I don’t know why I feel so compelled to write a complete stranger at 3 a.m. about this. I pretty much know the answer to my problem, but am having trouble facing the demise of my marriage.
My husband of 6 years (together 12) recently came clean out of the blue that he has been having an emotional affair with a woman that lives 2,000 miles away. They met online 10 months ago. They have spent countless hours on the phone and finally met and spent three days together two months ago to take it to the next level. This woman is also married. In fact, married one month after she became involved with my husband.
My husband says he is deeply in love with her and they had discussed leaving their spouses to be together. When he finally told me, he said he was not prepared to stop talking to her. He felt something I never gave him in all our years. He said he never considered that it would end our marriage. He hoped he would never have to tell me, but the guilt became too much. However he did not want us to end. He loves me, our life, our home and had even petitioned to adopt my adult children (a month before affair started) because he is the only dad they have had and wanted to make it official.
When my husband confessed, I was blindsided. I honestly had no idea he was even unhappy. He prided himself on making others jealous about how amazing our relationship was. Constantly making other girls jealous of me because I had the perfect hubby. He had been putting a lot of energy into his double life, but he has a high stress job so I thought thats why he had been withdrawn and never suspected otherwise when he said that’s what was going on.
The day he confessed, 1.5 weeks ago, he left. Said he had to figure things out on what to do about everything. Everyday since he messages me, calls me. To check in on me says he loves me and is worried about me. He says he knows what he needs to do. He wants to work out our marriage. He came by a couple of days ago (our wedding anniversary) took me out to dinner and asked to come home, but couldn’t say when. He had made some moves to prove he wants to try, like blocking her number — but refuses to give up Snapchat because that’s mainly how they communicate. He confessed to me yesterday he is still messaging her, but only to tell her that he is working things out with me. He lies to me again. When he should be building trust, he doesn’t. He says he doesn’t know why he can’t stop.
Now he is moving out officially, said he needs more time to make sure he isn’t trying to work things out with us for the wrong reasons. mainly he feels guilty for what he did and keeps doing. Or because he feels bad for me and is worried what will happen to me after. (He makes a lot more money then I do.) He does love me, but is not sure if he wants to be with me. Our sex life always sucked because he has had performance issues. He then confessed he was never really attracted to me. But still wants to work on the marriage???
Am I so completely stupid that I still have hope we will work this out?? This man I was so in love with, played me for a fool for 12 years and I still can’t believe it. Everything he says contradicts himself literally in the same sentence. I love you, but love her. I want you, but want her. I know I want our life, but not sure I can anymore. I was happy but not fully happy. I asked him just to let me go, but he says he doesn’t want to. He doesn’t want this to be the end, but he can’t come home to work it out?? I am so lost. What’s crazy is I think he is too. This isn’t the guy I know. He would have never done this to me. He has been battling depression for a few years now but refuses to get help. I just always thought if we ever had problems, we would work it out, give our marriage a chance.
Why can’t I just let him go??
I’m sorry, you’re going to have to protect yourself from this cake-eating, sociopathic bastard. You have a crucial defining moment before you — you can be a chump, or you can be mighty. I vote for MIGHTY.
Let’s first dispense with what you think you know about this person. He isn’t “lost,” he isn’t depressed. No, he knows exactly what he’s doing. He’s toying with you, getting a contact high off your grief, exulting in his indecision and goading you into the pick me dance. This guy doesn’t want a wife, he wants a hypotenuse. I beg you — step away from the triangle!
I have a strong suspicion he’s snowing you so he can financially fuck you over in a divorce.
Oh no Chump Lady! You’re a bitter, cynical person who reads too many sad stories, and it’s jaded your perspective! He Would Never Do That!
Learn from the gazillions of sad stories I’ve read, and don’t assume you’re exceptional. Your husband isn’t a sad, confused man who needs greater love and understanding while you go through this crisis together — your husband is a narcissistic asshole who is playing you. If you’re lucky, he’s only playing you for kibbles, (“Tell me again how shattered you are!”) — but I doubt it. People who will fuck you over sexually, will fuck you over financially as well.
Here’s what you do next — let him think you’re confused and considering his generous offer of retaining all the advantages of marriage, but still fucking around on you. MEANWHILE, you go retain the services of the most bad ass divorce attorney in your town. MEANWHILE, you gather ALL the financial information you have on him. MEANWHILE, you run a credit report on your husband. (Not entirely legal, but while you’re still married it’s in the gray zone — and could reveal a lot of hidden debt, P.O. boxes and other things he’d rather you not know about.) MEANWHILE, you save all the physical evidence you have of the affair. Do you know who she is? Have you seen those messages? Get him to confess in email to you about his cheating — if you live in a fault state that considers adultery (most don’t), this could be useful leverage. Please note, I am NOT a lawyer, and this is not legal advice — this is advice from one chump who’s lived it. And you’ll get a lot of similar advice from Chump Nation who’s lived it too.
As we say here — line up your ducks. Then, Christy, go on the offensive and FILE.
Do NOT stay stuck in paralysis — that’s precious time you cannot waste. You can mourn him later, right now you need to kick self-protection into high gear. Get ANGRY.
I love you, but love her. I want you, but want her. I know I want our life, but not sure I can anymore. I was happy but not fully happy. I asked him just to let me go, but he says he doesn’t want to. He doesn’t want this to be the end, but he can’t come home to work it out??
You are NOT a consolation prize. You are NOT going to fight for the honor of his ambivalence. FUCK his disrespect. FUCK his pick me dance. FUCK HIM.
Start judging him by his actions, not the self-serving nonsense he’s spewing. He LEFT. He won’t commit to repairing the relationship. You have NOTHING to work with. Do not ask him to let you go — YOU GO. Stop giving this fuckwit your power.
Christy, one telling thing about your letter is that this jerk really loves the pick me dance.
He prided himself on making others jealous about how amazing our relationship was. Constantly making other girls jealous of me because I had the perfect hubby.
Yeah, normal people don’t do this. Narcissists do this. Healthy people do not care or want other people to be jealous of them. Manipulative people, OTOH, love this impression management shit. It was nice while you were on the inside, insulated as I’m sure you thought by your commitment — but now you’re on the outside. The Other Woman is Ms. Awesome and you’re supposed to be jealous at how amazing their relationship is.
Is that acceptable to you?
Call that lawyer. TODAY.