Dear Chump Lady,
A couple of months ago my husband got a transfer with his company and we were planning to move. He had me quit my job of 10 years to start to prepare for this move. We put our houses up for sale and we were looking for the new one in the new location.
Then a month ago we got into a bullshit argument and he told me he would talk to me the next day. The next day he came home from work to tell me “This is going to be a hard conversation and I want you to know there’s no one else involved”. He said I’m moving to the new location alone and you and the kids are going to move back to the old house. He said the majority of the money from this house you can keep and I’m not sure if I want a divorce yet.
It caught me off guard. Up until then I thought we had a great marriage. Everyone always commented on how great our marriage was too. It was a total blow. I packed a bag and decided to leave for the night. I was yelling and my teens were in the house.
Fast forward a couple of weeks later after I’ve begged him to reconsider over and over I get an anonymous note in my mailbox that says “you have the right to know your husbands been messing with a woman X at work and it’s been going on for a while. This whole thing has been planned for him to leave you. You should also know this is the third marriage she’s destroyed.
I got his phone records and traced their talk and text back to April. Heavy on the day I quit my job too. I spoke to my grown kids and one called him and lit his ass up. He came up with a bullshit story a couple days later that he just started talking to her not knowing I had his phone records. She told him to stop fucking lying and just own it. He said “I don’t have to justify myself to anyone I just started sleeping with her I never cheated on mom”. Up until this point he blamed it on me leaving the night he told me what his plan was moving forward.
Am I the biggest Chump of all? How the hell did I not know??? He would still do everything he’s always done the entire time and treated me great. I bent over backwards for this shitbag for years! He left me for a woman 5 years older and who has a young child from the last marriage she destroyed. He moved in with her. My shitbag has seen our kids once in almost 5 weeks and texted twice. WTF
THE BIGGEST CHUMP OF ALL
First off, no, you’re the not the biggest chump of all. We vie for the crown here and from where I sit, you’re a totally normal chump married to a typical dumbass. Nobody’s fucking goats, or impregnating their cousin, or gifting half-eaten boxes of Wheatena cereal — so if it’s the freak factor you’re worrying about — RELAX.
Now for the softball question:
How the hell did I not know???
Because you have a moral compass. Because you see the world through your own values, and you could not imagine a world in which your husband is conducting a double life — and performing a high-wire act of getting you to quit your life of 10 years, only to abandon you.
NO, that does NOT skip through the average person’s mind. Gee, I wonder what nefarious plot my spouse is up to today? Embezzlement? Identity theft? Caging immigrant children?
You could not conceive of it, because you aren’t that person. But now you MUST shift your thinking and accept it immediately — because further disbelief is jeapordizing your safety. You need to get your head OUT of “How could he do that?” and “How did I not know he was doing that?!” space to “How do I find a good lawyer to shut this shit down now?”
THAT’s the game your head needs to be in — protecting your finances, your children, finding a job (perhaps getting the old one back?) — or not finding a job (talk to your lawyer — perhaps he should now pay alimony as he’s impoverished you, plus a sum towards your insurance.)
How many marriages the OW has ruined isn’t relevant here. It’s one of those How Many Fuckwits Can Dance on the Head of a Pin existential questions. She clearly sucks, but your husband is demonstrably the sort of person who’s A-Okay with a workplace affair and abandoning his family. She didn’t seduce him into becoming a shitheel. He IS a shitheel. (And really, if you ask me, the shitheels deserve each other.)
This isn’t her first rodeo and she has a small child? And yours are grown? And now the fleeting office romance is out in the open and they’re living together? (Whoever tipped off you I hope has tipped off Human Resources.) This isn’t going to end well. Get a settlement while the buffoon still has a job.
No more skein untangling — this isn’t your fault. Just lawyer up and no contact. ((Hugs)))