I am a relatively new chump. My soon-to-be-ex had what he claims was an “emotional affair” in 2011. I haven’t ever really fully trusted him since then because he has not been transparent about so many things. I have thought about divorce often over the past 6 years, but have been waiting for my kids to get older and for the “right time.”
Last week, I discovered text messages between my STBX and the woman with whom he had the affair in 2011. Among other things, my STBX informed his affair partner that he had “waited and waited until the clock struck 12 so that he could be the first person to wish her happy birthday, baby!” Needless to say, I feel so devastated and distraught that, notwithstanding our 10 million conversations on this subject over the past 6 years during which my STBX assured me that he was not in contact with her, he is in contact with her. (He claims that he has not been in contact with her for years, but of course I do not believe him).
So I have told him to move out. I have consulted with a child psychologist regarding timing. Since my older daughter will be starting her first semester of college far away in a week, the psychologist recommends that we wait until her semester break to tell my kids and to separate. Which means that my STBX and I will be living in the same house from now until then.
In order to make our living situation more palatable for the next few months, I have asked my STBX to commit that he will cease contact with his AP during that time period. I believe he owes me that, after everything he has put me through, not to mention the fact that we are still married and bound by marriage vows. I explained to him that to the extent that we are living in the same house and doing things as a family for the next few months (such as dropping my daughter off at college, attending family weekend, etc.), I do not want his AP hovering within our marriage — I do not want him to be communicating with her about our family events, our conversations, etc., and I do not want to hear her stupid voice through his mouth. I explained that she has been hovering over/within our marriage for 6 years, uninvited by me, and I requested that he cease contact with her for the nect 4 months out of respect for me and our 26 years together.
My STBX responded with all kinds of double talk. He said he didn’t want to make the commitment to me because he doesn’t want to lie to me any more, and it is reasonably likely that he will speak to her. So I explained that communicating with her is within his control and that I am asking him to commit NOT to communicate with her. He responded again by saying he doesn’t want to lie to me any longer. So I asked, “Are you saying that you won’t make that commitment?” He said, “I’m not saying that either. But if she calls me in 3 days, I’ll have to talk to her.” I explained to him that, no, in fact, he could contact her now and explain that, out of respect for his wife, he is ceasing contact with her for the next 4 months and that she is not to contact him. And around and around and around we went. Bottom line, he does not want to commit not to speak to her for the next 4 months while we are still living together/married. Eventually, he did commit, but I of course do not believe him.
So my question is, WTF? How can my STBX betray me so thoroughly and completely and then not agree to my simple and reasonable request to cease contact with his AP for the next few months while we are still living together? What am I dealing with here? Perhaps more importantly, how do I deal with this? It is incomprehensible to me that he could treat me this way.
I appreciate your insight and advice.
Why are you demanding “commitment” from someone who has wholly demonstrated himself unwilling to give you one? Not just on this talking to the OW thing, but in your marriage, period.
Because unwilling does not mean unable? COULD he cease communications with the OW? Sure. He COULD. But he CHOOSES not to.
That’s your reality. He wants to text mushy shit to Schmoopie at all hours in front of you. Because it’s all about HIM. It’s not about you, or your kids, or your daughter going off to college. It’s about his kibbles.
And frankly, humiliating you and disrespecting you with his affair is part of the high for him. It’s triangulation and cake. Your upset delights him and makes him feel central. This has been a six-year cake fest. OW is some kind of fuckwit to lurk in the periphery of your life waiting for her cake crumbs, but hey, that’s what Schmoopies do. And your cheater freak has to get keep the intermittent rewards going so she’ll stick around and play Pick Me Dance.
So Done, you’re playing Pick Me Dance too and you need to quit that shit. Your Pick Me Dance goes — STOP! Just pretend you’re part of this family for SIX MONTHS until I can give you that divorce! Before it was, STOP the emotional affair! Hey, wife and kids over here! I don’t think this is just “emotional.” STOP being shady! STOP lying to me! Watch me keep our family together! Aren’t we worthy? LOOK at us!
You’ve done a six-year cha-cha to win the dubious honor of being Plan B. The Fall Back Family. The shrubbery, the background scenery to his Great Cake Romance.
You say you’re “done,” but you are not acting done.
This is what DONE looks like — you don’t see a child psychologist — you see a LAWYER first. You do what the lawyer tells you to do. Protect your finances, secure that kid’s tuition, run credit reports (how much did he spend on a 6-year affair? Were there others?), get temporary support orders in place — and have him move out immediately if he needs to text his OW so badly.
It’s called a boundary. And you enforce it with consequences.
You say you’ve been waiting for the “right time” for SIX YEARS to divorce his asshole? It will NEVER feel like the right time. There will never be a magic alignment of the stars in which this decision will not hurt your children and disrupt their lives.
And that sucks, but it’s not as bad as watching their mother be humiliated as a chump day in and day out. Modeling mightiness is always preferable to abuse.
I explained to him that to the extent that we are living in the same house and doing things as a family for the next few months (such as dropping my daughter off at college, attending family weekend, etc.), I do not want his AP hovering within our marriage — I do not want him to be communicating with her about our family events, our conversations, etc., and I do not want to hear her stupid voice through his mouth.
YOU ARE NOT A FAMILY. I’m sorry to wield the 2×4, but if you’re divorcing that means you are NOT a family with him. You do NOT confuse your daughter with “family weekend” or “doing things as a family” for four months. (What? Only to drop the bomb, that oh hey, you were planning to divorce all along?) No, YOU take her to college. YOU go to the family weekend with your kids. Leave him at home with his cell phone. Don’t drag him by his hairy ear forcing him to feign “family” man, pretending you’re all on the A team together.
Start dealing with REALITY. He LOST the privilege of your love and your family. He’s a solo operator, and you’re the badass who doesn’t need him or his disrespect in your life. You can’t control if he talks to Schmoopie, you can, however, control whether you’re in the room, or the same planet, or same marriage.
Quit pleading with the fuckwit and take charge. This is YOUR life. If he wonders what’s changed, tell him you respect him too much to keep lying to him about being “family.” You waited and waited until the clock struck 12, so you could be the first to wish him a new life without you.