My story is pretty much the same as everyone else’s with a small twist. Married for 12 years. He said he wanted another child in October 2017. I wasn’t so sure, because I had been doing 99% of the child rearing alone. Eventually, I thought to myself that I was being selfish since I was the only person that could give him another child. I didn’t want him to resent me. So, I agreed to “see what happens”.
D day was January 31st, 2018. My four year old told me at bedtime that Daddy kissed another lady like he kissed Mommy. The next day, I found his bag of pictures and keepsakes from the affair that started three years prior while I was pregnant with #3. I confronted him right away, and learned all of the sordid details while he was still feeling guilty. Three days later, I found out I was pregnant with #4. I asked him why he had wanted another child given the fact that he had been having an affair for the past three years. His response, “I had tried to end the affair a few times. I thought that if you got pregnant, that would end it.” Now, I live in this strange reality where this child that I have completely fallen in love with wouldn’t even exist if not for the affair.
The entire pregnancy was spent pick me dancing. Two weeks after I delivered the baby, I found out that he was still seeing her. I guess the baby (and it’s three siblings) wasn’t enough to end it after all. I filled for divorce at the beginning of this year. I’m struggling with loads of anxiety and probably a touch of depression. I have no idea how I can be a good single mom of four young kids and work outside of the home.
Ironically, not long after I stopped pick me dancing, he started begging me to withdraw the divorce papers. It is set to be finalized by the end of this month.
Why does it hurt so badly to officially end my marriage? I know that it has to happen, and most days I don’t even feel like I still love him. Yet, I find myself missing him already. I’m already grieving the loss of my time with the kids, and it hasn’t even happened yet. He still wants me to withdraw the papers, but I have concrete evidence that the affair has continued. He’s now cheated on me through two pregnancies. Why do I miss him? Why am I so very tempted to stay in this mess? I don’t want to miss half of my children’s childhoods, and I have always longed to be at home with my kids.
I feel like every dream that I had is dying, and by divorcing him I’m making sure that those dreams are gone forever. He keeps repeating that he doesn’t want a divorce and that this is all my choice. He’s told me that I am selfish for tearing apart our family, because “I may have cheated on you, but I never would have left you.”
I feel like I am a quitter. Like I am less of a mother for not keeping our family together. Is my meh and freedom from infidelity really worth their pain and the loss of daily hugs and kisses with my babies? How can I possibly go on regardless of which path I finally commit to?
Dear Momma Chump,
Of all the pernicious blameshifting (and I’ve read a shit-ton), the lie I hate the most is that chumps are ‘selfish’ for leaving.
NO. Risking four young children’s intact home to get your dick wet is selfish.
NO. Insisting your wife invest in you further with a fourth pregnancy when you KNOW you’re a cheater is MONSTROUSLY selfish.
Selfish for leaving? No, you’re SANE for leaving. It’s about the most unselfish thing you can do — push through this wall of grief — to get yourself and your children safe to a new life the other side. It requires sacrifice, honor, the discipline to not reach for the hopium pipe. Leaving is many, many things, but it is NOT ‘selfish.’
I had the “quitter” mindfuck put on me too, Momma Chump. Here’s what a quitter I am. I left. I rebuilt my life. I raised a child on my own (again). I rebuilt my career. I learned to weld. I made art. I found happiness. I found a better man. I moved. I started a blog. I wrote a book. I built a movement. SO. MUCH. QUITTING.
The only thing I quit was him. And I miss that person like you’d miss asbestos poisoning.
Pay no attention to his mindfuckery. It’s quite clear what you have to do here. Because if you do NOT do it, you’ve just green-lighted him to abuse you and those beautiful kids further. You cannot model this dysfunction to them, and he’s shown you, he is not going to stop being an asshole.
His response, “I had tried to end the affair a few times. I thought that if you got pregnant, that would end it.”
Wow, you must be carrying Super Fetus there, with the power to end affairs. So much responsibility for one so unborn.
I have no idea how I can be a good single mom of four young kids and work outside of the home.
It can be done. Moms at CN have done it and you can too. I just read this story in the New York Times about these brothers who created this successful CBD oil business (think what you will of that) — raised by a single mother WITH 11 CHILDREN. Single parents are mighty. You are mighty. You can do it.
Yet, I find myself missing him already.
You miss the family you thought you were going to have. The life you invested in so deeply. You miss the lie life he promised. It’s many things — fear of the unknown, loss of Intact Family Status, the basic primordial terror of being abandoned. It’s not him. He’s a person who cares more about his dick than he does his wife and four children. Let him and dick grow old and flaccid together. You are worth more than dick dribble.
“I may have cheated on you, but I never would have left you.”
BITCH COOKIE. I may have smacked you in the head, but I never would’ve set you ablaze.
He is not noble for staying. His presence means CAKE (with a side of bitch cookie). Not divorcing you is not loving you — he’s saying YOU ARE STILL OF USE TO HIM. To raise his kids, pay bills, keep him from consequences.
No man who loves you could behave this way.
Is my meh and freedom from infidelity really worth their pain and the loss of daily hugs and kisses with my babies?
Don’t put the choice this way. (Also, I doubt he’s going to take those four kids half the time.) Ask yourself instead, is modeling chump/cheater dysfunction to your kids and living with the daily pain of a man cheating on you worth facing the fear of starting over?
How can I possibly go on regardless of which path I finally commit to?
You’re not a quitter. So, you will go on — to a better life without him. ((Hugs))