Dear Chump Lady,
My husband and I have been married for 6 years, together for 8. Up until the night I found out he was cheating on me, I thought he was madly in love with me. We had a wonderful life, and he just took me to France for my 30th birthday.
We have been trying to have a baby for two years and finally sought fertility treatment and we successfully got pregnant with the IUI procedure. We were over the moon to find out we were pregnant. He was amazing, he told me that we were going to be amazing parents and he couldn’t wait to start this chapter in our life.
The weekend after Thanksgiving, he went out with his buddies for a birthday party and didn’t return home until Sunday at 10pm. I was 5 1/2 weeks pregnant. I was so worried he was hurt, in the hospital or there was something wrong. When he came home he was so drunk and out of it that he just went to bed. In the morning he lied and said he slept in a lobby of a hotel room and was ashamed, so spent the whole day at the bar.
He finally told me (after a lot of prying) that he had a one night stand. Her name was Amber. My husband works out of town often so I called the hotel that he was supposed to be at for his job, and he had been lying about being out of town. He told me that it had only been going on for a week (needless to say, everything has been a lie). He pleaded for another chance, said he would go to counseling, and the whole week, we decided we would work on us.
Friday I went out of town. (My mom had planned it because of everything I went through from the fertility treatment). On Friday night he never came home, kept my dogs home in the house for 25 hours. I drove back at 3 a.m. and found his car at the girl’s house that he was supposedly done with. It broke my heart into a zillion pieces. I kicked him out of the house and has not been back since he left.
I tried really hard to work through the pain, and to have him help me understand where he is coming from. But he is not the same man. He never apologizes, the only thing he will say is “I’m sorry I handled the situation like this” or “I haven’t been in love with you for two years”.
He has spent hundreds of dollars from our accounts and our credit cards, he is living with his girlfriend and won’t ever acknowledge the love that we shared, (it was so real, we were best friends), but he treats me like garbage. Has walked away from our house, our two dogs and our unborn child (currently 16 weeks pregnant).
I have a lawyer and filed for divorce, I know that’s what needs to happen. But I’m just so lost at how one person can say that they are so in love with you one day, and it just turn off, he was engaged in the affair before the procedure and I am so angry that he put me in this situation. He takes her on vacations, goes out for fancy dinners and drinks and I’m at home taking care of everything and growing a baby.
I guess one reason why I am emailing you is, have you ever had anybody that has been through fertility treatment with their husband, for the guy to just leave once they got pregnant? He was so happy to be a dad… and now hasn’t asked me in 6 weeks how the baby or I am doing. How do you just do that? Also, do you think I’m going to be okay? Is my baby going to feel loved and will I be happy again?
I am in counseling, seeing my doctors and have a strong support system, but nobody can actually grasp the situation I’m in. Everybody is mourning him too, nobody saw it coming, his friends and family are also devastated. We were all so close. I just don’t know how to stay positive with the pregnancy that I wanted so bad. I wanted to be a mom, I wanted to have a family with him so incredibly bad, I just feel like he took all of my hopes and my dreams.
There are some people who are going to tell you that he bolted because he’s afraid of fatherhood, afraid of responsibility, wobbly and timid in the face of this Great Life Change, and so (hey! it wasn’t optimal!) he reacted in a terribly immature manner. But This Isn’t Who He Is, so be pals because he’s the father of your child, and It’s What’s Best for the Children.
I am not that person.
Protect your heart, Danielle, and never EVER allow yourself to be broadsided by this person’s character again. He is NOT your friend. He is NOT capable of deep intimacy or love. He is a TERRIBLE person.
Don’t be so black and white, Tracy. Everyone is a subtle, nuanced tapestry of beige…
No, sorry. He sucks. Cheating on your wife during fertility treatments and early pregnancy, abandoning her for a fuckbuddy, spending marital resources you need for an INFANT on oneself, is a moral stain that cannot be washed clean. I don’t care if he devotes the rest of his life to world peace, or chains himself to a redwood, or is trampled by a pussy-hatted rebel force storming the bastille — he SUCKS. Forever and ever AMEN.
You might just find this reply a useless rant, but I’m trying to telegraph an essential truth to you — DO NOT EXPECT DECENCY. From this point forward, realize what sort of creature you are dealing with and set your expectations accordingly. Do not expect him to be fair-minded in a divorce. Do not expect him to have your or your child’s best interests at heart. Do not expect him to show up. Do not expect him to respect obligations.
You have been very, VERY mighty. You did a tremendously brave thing — you threw the bastard out when you were 5 weeks pregnant and you’ve been soldiering forward since with a lawyer and a support system. GOOD. But I see the chump in you too. It was real. We were best friends. How could he?
It was real to YOU. He’s a figment in a man-suit.
He’s never been your best friend. Best friends, hell, casual acquaintances, would not lay down this much hurt.
How could he? Apparently, quite easily. Didn’t twinge his conscience in the least. How do I know? BY HIS ACTIONS. He abandoned you, and then helped himself to the contents of your checking account. He disappeared and came home shit-faced drunk and never gave one thought to your fears. People who love you (and your unborn child) DO NOT DO THIS. Who does this? TERRIBLE PEOPLE. Cluster Bs, narcs, selfish assholes, those for whom the empathy synapses do not fire.
Your soon-to-be-ex is one of these freaks. Never, ever mistake him for the caring sort. You got fooled. Welcome to Chump Nation. Millions of people have visited these pages — that’s how NOT alone you are.
Now that you know what you’re dealing with (HE SUCKS), you’re going to do the following.
1.) Grieve. It takes some time to work through the loss of your imagined future. What you thought your life would be and where it is now. This is just a window in time of pain. Losing this awful person is a great opportunity for a better life.
2.) Protect yourself. See yesterday’s post on finances. Stick with that lawyer of yours. Let the cool heads of professionals guide you through this. Freeze that money so he can’t go on slut junkets.
3.) Enforce agreements. You get that child support docked from his pay automatically. You make the state the heavy. And read everything you can on grey rock and no contact. Personally, if I were you, I’d see about waiving child support so you could terminate his parental rights. Guys like this tend not to be reliable father material, financially or in person. Sorry. Hope I’m wrong about that (and judging by my mail from the last 5 years and my personal experience as a single mom, I don’t think I am).
Okay, now here’s the good news — you lost a LOSER, and you’re gaining a BABY! Babies are wonderful. Motherhood (even with the exhaustion and vomiting illnesses) can be indescribably joyful. All that deep love and commitment you’re capable of now has an outlet. A little miraculous person who needs every ounce of you. Focus on this new life — yours and your baby’s. Figure out what next — school, career, living in a single mom commune? (Okay those don’t exist.. but they should.)
Do you think I’m going to be okay?
YES. Better than okay. It’s just going to hurt like a motherfucker for awhile. I trot this metaphor out quite a bit — birthing a new life is agony. Like being ripped in half. But you heal back up whole again.
Is my baby going to feel loved and will I be happy again?
Yes, YOU are going to love your baby, and all those supportive, loving people in your life, they’ll love your baby too. Sadly, one fucker the Sperm Donor, will not love your baby (despite protestations otherwise, which is just impression management bleating). BUT THIS DOES NOT MEAN YOUR BABY IS UNLOVABLE.
Don’t make a fuckwit your lodestar. Do we really care what terrible people think?
You get a new baby AND a new beginning. Stay mighty, Danielle!