I have been separated since late April last year and in process of divorcing. My STBX gave all the appearances of cheating: no wedding ring, weight loss, manic exercise, overly protective of passcode for phone, preening etc. what got me though was for some years prior he’d been emotionally withdrawing. Very little conjugal relations (!) and limited input. He spent most of his time pursuing his hobbies and I was truly neglected.
I’d basically had enough and throwing his stuff out came across a letter to another woman. It was clear he was smitten. He never sent it obviously, but I felt everything at that point added up.
To cut a long story short, I invited him over last weekend. Don’t ask me why. Validation? To see if he was remorseful. Terror of being on my own. Probably all the above. I asked him repeatedly whether he’d slept with OW and he denied it. I said if I’d been him I’d have asked her to verify nothing had happened. So after 13 months that’s what he did and whilst she was clearly unimpressed, she acknowledged nothing improper had happened and they’d not been intimate.
The whole mess has set me back. I know I shouldn’t have contacted him. But he appears to innocent. I now feel guilty as I’ve maligned him so. His kids have disowned him as his first wife says he cheated on her etc. so collateral damage is major.
I’m wondering if I did the right thing. He looks terrible. Is clearly remorseful, but I don’t get why after this time he’s finally cleared his name so to speak.
Any advice would be appreciated as I’m 2 weeks from divorce finally got a buyer for the house and have been looking for somewhere else to live etc. the pain is never ending.
You wrote: Validation? To see if he was remorseful. Terror of being on my own.
Translated: I still seek his validation. I still care if he’s sorry. I am terrified of being on my own.
All of those things have clouded your ability to assess the situation. You use them as reasons why you broke no contact with him, but they’re the same reasons why you’re now doubting your divorce.
You invite him “over for the weekend,” presumably because you’re lonely. And you want to know if he slept with the OW. (That might dissuade you from being intimate with him?)
He doesn’t volunteer anything. You ask that he confirm his “innocence” with the OW. Why would you believe what the OW says? What interest is it of hers to confirm an affair? You could use that against her. If she has a partner, you could inform that person. If you’re still working out your divorce settlement and she wants him, she has an interest in denying this.
In my experience, the only time OW tell you they’ve slept with your husband is if a) the husband dumped them to maintain the marriage. Or b) they didn’t know he was married, have a conscience, and wish to inform you what he’s up to. Otherwise, it’s not in their interest to tell you jack.
So, in short — you don’t really know anything about his innocence. (Except that you want to believe it. See validation above.) But you do have a ton of circumstantial evidence, plus a history of cheating, plus his very real neglect.
I don’t get why after this time he’s finally cleared his name so to speak.
Because you insisted on it. If he had a name to clear, he would’ve moved heaven and earth to be transparent with you from the start. He wasn’t. He wouldn’t give you the passcode to his phone. There were no actions to indicate remorse. But you state that he is remorseful now. Based on WHAT? He got the heady sniff of cake? Because he looks terrible?
I think you’re mistaking poor sausage-dom for sorry.
My advice is, move ahead with the divorce. If he’s truly sorry, that won’t change if you divorce him. If his sorry is contingent on halting the consequences? Keep going, he’s not sorry.
Neglect, secrecy, no sex life, separate life — what about that marriage did you want to save?
If you’re trying to stave off the terror of being alone? Face it. You were already alone. Now you’ve got a chance to build an authentic new life. Stay strong!