You had tried reconciliation with your ex, and up until recently I too had hoped for that. In fact, three or so weeks ago she called me in tears asking to come back home. This was five days before her scheduled move-in date with her affair partner (AP), and she tells me that up until then, moving in with him seemed like an abstract thing. But since the AP’s wife kicked him out, AP thought the smart thing to do was get a place together.
The apartment was beyond their means, in fact she was the one who had to get the cash advance on her credit card to move in. She told me that she wasn’t sure she was in love with him, but she and I had something “deep.”
Well, at first I’m thinking this is just what I’ve been waiting for, but then the next morning she backtracks, and the next day a little more…. so she ends up moving in with him.
Since then I’ve cut off all non-essential contact with her and am proceeding with divorce . My gut tells me that sometime soon she may try to come crawling back. Why? They are in heavy debt, no health insurance, and he’s on four prescriptions plus a sleep apnea machine (it’s like a nursing home over there), his Cialis is out of pocket, he pays $800.00/month child support, and lots towards his medical expenses. Neither of them make much money (she doesn’t even make $10K a year). My wife is a gym rat, in great shape. I just can’t wrap my mind around it. It’s unsustainable.
Thing is, having my daughter pulls at me. I think about her having her family back. What was it that made you decide to give your husband another try? And how should I respond to my wife if and when she asks to return? In my heart I know I need to move on without her, and I want to be strong, not show any weakness and say the right things to her.
She thought moving in with him was an ABSTRACT thing? How is she enjoying the theoretical debt she is incurring? (Are they imaginary numbers?) Or her soulmate’s erectile dysfunction? And sleep apnea machine? Seriously?
Wow, and she’s thinking about leaving that Dreamboat and coming home?
Here’s how I read your situation. She leaves you, then says she wants back. That is YOUR cue to do the Humiliating Dance of Pick Me! Try harder to win back the wonderfulness that is her. <snort> Here is where you lose me — she doesn’t come home because…… you said go fuck yourself? (Please tell me you told her to go fuck herself, which she must make a habit of, as he can’t get it up). No, she moves in with him for the stated reason…. The AP “THOUGHT IT WAS THE RIGHT THING TO DO.”
That howler had to come from her, right? Along with the something “deep” she feels for you? You realize this is a play for CAKE, don’t you? The deep thing she feels for you is in your back pocket, where you keep your wallet. She wants to keep you as the Mr. Fall Back Plan and the personal financier of her fuck ups.
I hope you’ve got a kickass lawyer, Jeff, because my first fear for you is that somehow you’re on the line for all this debt she’s running up. My next thought is, it sounds like she moved out, so I hope you have her for abandonment of the home and your daughter. Please solidify your position. Keep her out the home. Her problems with the AP (financial, penile, and otherwise) are not your concern. They are her karma.
You asked: What was it that made you decide to give your husband another try? Stupidity, Jeff. I have a long post about it, which sums it up. Five things that keep you stuck with a cheater. That was me. He did a lot of what I thought at the time were convincing dramatics about How Sorry He Was, but his actions said otherwise.
And look, even if I believed in reconciliation (I’m highly skeptical), you have NOTHING to reconcile with. Her actions are screaming loud and clear that she’s a cake eater — she lives with her affair partner. She walked out on her daughter. She wanted to come home so badly (and eat cake) that she… went to go live with him. But hey, it’s not like a for real thing — she just meant it in the “abstract” sense. She’s not truly screwing you over, Jeff. It’s abstract. Does your pain feel abstract, Jeff? Or does it feel real?
I understand that you want a family for your daughter. Grieve that. Grieve your marriage with this woman and what you thought it would be. Then take a very hard look at what it is — toxic. Your little girl should not grow up having this kind of dysfunction modeled to her. You can have a family — either create one yourself with the family you have and dear friends, or hold out for the real possibility that you will love again, and reinvent. You’ll have an authentic relationship with someone worthy of your love and loyalty. Which will be a blessing for your daughter and you.
As to how should you respond to your wife if she asks to return?
Direct her to your attorney. Don’t listen to her nonsense, her Hail Mary plays for forgiveness. Don’t put your head in the blender, by which I mean don’t talk about your relationship or the deep bullshit she feels for you. NC. NC. NC!
It’s hard stuff. Get some support from the CL forum, a therapist, or check out the resources section here for some useful books. But stay strong, Jeff. Do NOT take her back. There is a good life waiting for you here on the other side of divorcing her broke, toned, gym-rat ass.
This column ran previously. Postscript — Jeff found her on Ashley Madison, and pushed forward with the divorce.