Dear Chump Lady,
November 19, 2014 I learned that my wife had slept with another man in our bed while I was away at a work conference.
Naturally, I was devastated. She swore up-and-down that he was the only one. I found out who it was, grabbed a weapon, and went to visit this man.
He said something that spurred me to act in a civil manner. I never showed him the weapon, I was never violent. Although I suspected he was being dishonest with me.
Several days later, I told my wife that I had installed spyware on her phone, that I had cloned every text and email.
Over the next several days, she admitted to being with two other men, including being with two men at the same time.
If I believe her, she only engaged in intercourse four separate times… But there were several other instances of oral sex or other acts of infidelity.
Our son is almost 2 years old. The first act of infidelity occurred approximately four years ago. The last one in April 2014, whilst our son slept in the next room.
The very day that I found out, I moved most of my stuff out of our room. I took all my pictures off the wall in the master bedroom, all of my certificates and accolades.
I moved into a hotel room, but this was very short-lived. We do not earn very much money at all.
I am currently living in our basement in my office. I have not worn my wedding ring, and basically consider us separated while I figure out how to process this devastating news.
We saw a counselor once, together. Then we both saw the same counselor separately. A close personal friend confided that the counselor told my wife that the counselor was on my wife’s side 150%.
I was suspicious of the counselor after our first meeting, and decided to record our session. She basically told me that I’ll never find anyone as perfect for me as my wife. She said that it would be very expensive to separate and to divorce. She cited websites that explain how expensive it is for me to pay support/childcare/another apartment for my wife, etc.
I’m so busy with work right now, I’m trying to ignore this for the time being. I’m hoping that a little bit of time, and reading some good books, followed by sessions of introspection and simply knowing myself will cause the answers to bubble to the surface.
It is the search that let me to your website. I have singled out 18 separate, and specific things that I object to with what my wife has done. My wife is very sorry, and swears it will never happen again. She is very committed to moving forward and trying to start things over. Hell, we were in the process of trying to have a second child.
Somehow, I feel like I will be “settling” or living life at half measure if I stay with someone who could do this to me.
I look forward to any comments or insights you may have to offer me. I also look forward to comments from your readers. I am normally quite a strong man. Considering this though, I feel like I wish I had someone to direct our guide me.
What have you become? Dude, since your D-Day you’ve gone to confront a man with a gun, installed spyware, secretly recorded a therapist, moved into a hotel, moved into a basement, and seriously considered living the rest of your days in “half measures.”
I ask you, James — is this your best self?
And the most stalwart IRL advice you could find out there was to not divorce because of the cost? Because this sociopathic bitch is perfect for you? Does this therapist hate you?
James, you could do better marrying the raw sewage that Roto-Rooter just pumped out of my septic system yesterday. You could swing a cat and hit any perfect stranger who would be a better partner than your wife, just by virtue of the fact that person hasn’t fucked two men in your marital bed.
I cannot believe your quack therapist! (Except I can, you should see my mail.) You must feel like you’re in a Kafka story. Only instead of waking up a fly, your metamorphosis is some alternate universe in which serial cheating isn’t transgressive, abusive, and disrespectful — no, it’s perfect for you! So you’re casting about online trying to get a reality check that what’s happened was WRONG.
James! It was WRONG. Sick-in-the-head wrong. Unfixable wrong. Fucking a man in your bed is an act of aggression, a sick power play to humiliate you, for her own sexual jollies. How are you going to explain that away? Mental illness, addiction, sad sausage brokenness? Look, whatever that quack therapist throws at you by way of explanation, it’s still WRONG. Serially cheating on you is either a deal breaker for you or it’s not.
Let me suggest that it’s a deal breaker, James. Because the person you’ve become trying to adjust to the reality of her deceit is falling-down-the-rabbit-hole crazy. You can’t control this. You can graduate phi beta kappa from Marriage Police Academy and you still cannot control this. No matter how many people you tape record, how many key loggers you install, no matter how many times you cross examine her, she will still remain a person capable of casually betraying you.
That is who she IS.
Don’t let her disordered, abusive whack job self drag you down with her. Don’t wind up in jail fighting some idiot Other Man. He’s not worth it. She’s not worth it. I’m sorry she’s the mother of your child. Hang out here a bit, and you’ll find you’re in good company — most of us have bred with fucktards. It’s painful, but it works out over time.
So James, your job is to take your life back. Make a plan, see a lawyer, and figure out what you want in a divorce. (I’m not going to advise you about reconciliation. A) I’m the wrong person and B) You’ve got nothing to work with.) Will it be costly? Yes, but not nearly as costly as staying married to such a person. Life with a serial cheater isn’t lived in “half measures,” it’s soul death. It’s denying yourself intimacy. It’s shackling yourself to someone who doesn’t give one shit about you.
There is a whole bright world out there of people who can and WILL love you right. Why would you waste one more moment with her?
Be a strong, sane parent for your son. Would you want anyone you love to stay in such an abusive marriage? You’re not letting your son down by leaving, you’re modeling strength and good mental health (qualities your wife doesn’t appear to possess). Your son needs you to get yourself together. Forget revenge on the OM, forget your wife — focus on you and your healing.
Know your worth, James. Talk to a lawyer, go no contact with her (except over logistics over your son), and get out of the basement. Come up the stairs, into the light, and hang your accolades on a new wall far away from her. I see a new cheater-free life — and it’s just perfect for you.