Dear Chump Lady,
My husband cheated on me. When I found out, it had been going on for a month or so…..but thought it was just messaging (not physical). I kicked him out.
I let him move back in when he hated where he was living and said he was afraid he might kill himself. He was sleeping in the basement, then moved to a bedroom next to mine. We were working on things and started back with a physical relationship… I THEN found out the affair was physical. I later found out he was still in contact with affair partner and wouldn’t stop. Kicked him out again.
Now here is where I am the biggest chump. I can’t imagine being single at 53 … I don’t want to be alone. I don’t want to start over. We have been together for over 32 years… married for over 28. I just want my life back. I am almost begging him to try harder to make it work. He is saying he doesn’t want to live under a microscope and he wants to remain friends with her.
I just can’t stop and give up on us when we have shared our whole adult life together. We did everything together and I am so lost and alone. I am too old to start over. How do I stop…. how do I get past this? I feel like such a fool.
Whoever that woman was who kicked out her cheating husband? Grow old with her. She’s got your back. That fearful creature who let him come home, and is pick me dancing to win a manipulative fuckwit? Smother her with a pillow.
Where to begin… Let’s start with “he hated where he was living and said he was afraid he might kill himself.” If he makes such an utterance again, call the police and have him involuntarily committed for a 72-hour psych evaluation. (This is the standard emergency response when people are threatening harm to themselves.) If he’s suicidal, he’ll get the help he needs. If he was being manipulative, he’ll never try that shit again. Either way, he’s not sleeping on your sofa tonight.
I can’t imagine being single at 53.
It’s not a disease. Being single is not pitiable — it’s you minus one fuckwit. Let’s try some scarier sentences, shall we?
I can’t imagine having to compete for my husband’s affection.
I can’t imagine having to get STD tested constantly because my husband fucks around.
I can’t imagine humiliating myself for someone who is demonstrably cruel to me.
There are far worse things than being alone, chief among them is being married to a remorseless cheater. Those sentences above are your current REALITY. Being single after 32 years is just the unknown. And you control how you captain your life. You control nothing about fuckwits.
I don’t want to start over.
Life is starting over. Think about it, every aspect of your life is about starting over. You give up crawling for walking. You lose teeth. You change classes, suffer through puberty, start new jobs, make new friends, lose friends, have to eat at countless lunchrooms alone. People die, people are born. Not to write an entire paragraph of cliches here, Shelley, but life is CHANGE. There is zero guarantee your life will remain as you thought it would be, or give you the future you thought you deserved. Life coldcocks everyone.
You’re not washed up at 53. Not by a long shot. Look, I’m here in Roanoke, Virginia this weekend with my parents — people in their mid-70s. It’s abundantly clear to me that time is running out before I’m spending dinners discussing my acid reflux. I’ve got about 20 years before my knees are arthritic and I have to set the thermostat to 80. Nonetheless, the old people are out and about, admiring the azaleas and having cocktails.
I’m aware that my time with them is dwindling and my own mortality is in sight. It makes me rethink exactly how much time I want to waste. I suggest you don’t waste your precious years and good health on a cheating bastard.
Divorce over 50 has its own host of considerations, financially and health-wise. Do some research at AARP (I’m not being snarky, I LOVE AARP). Talk to a lawyer and face all your scary fears with some facts about your situation. People start over every day.
If you’re rightfully scared about your security, consider that it’s probably MORE insecure to stay with someone who is spending marital resources on an affair. There’s no guarantee he’s going to stick around — so protect yourself.
How do I stop…. how do I get past this? I feel like such a fool.
He’s the fool. You get past this by recognizing your worth, and taking your power back. He doesn’t want to live under a microscope? Fine. He can live under a divorce summons.
Hang in there Shelley, better days ahead. Make the most of them!