My husband and I met at 19. We were super toxic in the way we communicated, he shut down and I always pushed for him to talk, he’d shift blame to me and I’d beg and cry on how I could make it better. We got married at 24 and things got better, but we still weren’t good at resolving conflict and I was still the one that wanted to find solutions as he shut down.
Looking back we should have gotten counseling for communication and resentment when we got married, but instead we decided to try and have a baby. We found out we were both infertile and went through three years of infertility before I became pregnant with our daughter.
I thought things were continuing to get better between us, but it turns out he was just avoiding communication and conflict and started slowly distancing himself from our marriage and me.
I found out he had an affair. It started when I was 20 weeks pregnant and I found out at 28 weeks pregnant.
She was a stay at home mom, 12 years older than him with a husband and kids. He was meeting her on his lunch breaks instead of coming to doctors appointments with me. I sensed his distance and questioned him and he comforted me saying he’d never do anything against us all while he’s sending dick pics and I’m having morning sickness.
We tried to reconcile in counseling, but he went to one appointment before he wanted a divorce. He moved in with his grandparents as I did the pick me dance for another month. I found out he was continuing to see this woman and they were saying I love you to each other and being physical. He didn’t see it as continuing to cheat because we weren’t living together and he said he wanted a divorce but when took steps to proceed with it.. I finally found the husband and told him. The husband said his wife and my husband are over, but who really knows.
I’m having trouble with a few things.
1. There are some days I still beg for answers and to know he loves me because I can’t let go of the life I thought we had and why you would go against our vows and the family we went through so much to create? Why can’t I see he sucks and I deserve better and my daughter deserves better? I have a lot of guilt from our toxic communication and how if maybe I did a few things differently or got us help he wouldn’t have cheated and I wouldn’t have lost my companion and family unit.
2. I still feel responsible for his well being. Like I want to make sure he has things to take care of our daughter during his time since I know child support and other finances will leave him dry. He won’t have insurance through work when we are divorced and I think about making sure he has contacts before that happens. But why? He didn’t have any concern for me so why do I for him?
3. I worry about when I have to see him be with someone else. I think I’ll be hurt that he loves her and is committed to her the way I wanted him to love me and be committed to me. And I worry about the example of a woman he would bring around our daughter.
(((Big hugs))) Your communication style didn’t make him cheat, okay? His being an asshole did that. You’re pick-me dancing because you’re in the bargaining stage of grief — trying to control the terrifying uncontrollable. And there’s nothing so vulnerable as a pregnant or recently postpartum woman.
Your fear is natural and deeply wired. Think about it — what kind of freak abandons his offspring? By wandering off to go fuck Ms. SAHM, he left you alone in the forest, the weak antelope and baby antelope, prey for the wolf pack. No wonder you’re wailing and scared. I hate him for you.
I know, I sound mad and you’re not there yet. You’re in the weepy, grief-vomiting state of disbelief. Thinking you need/love this abandoning man-child creep. When really you just need protection and help. We’ll get to that. Let’s work through your questions.
1. There are some days I still beg for answers and to know he loves me because I can’t let go of the life I thought we had.
That’s normal. You’re not wrong to wonder. He invested in a life with you. And even though he dragged his feet and was a withholding, stonewalling dick, he went right ahead and married you and made a baby with you. And let you believe you had a shared, committed life together. He let you invest. No one held a gun to his head. Of course you’re wondering WTF went wrong.
We call the why-why-why stage Untangling the Skein of Fuckupedness.
Why you would go against our vows and the family we went through so much to create?
Because commitment doesn’t mean to him what it means to you. He’s a shallow as a puddle of piss. Some people are.
Some will excuse what he did as being young and unsure about his future and fatherhood. There’s a whole sad, misogynist sausage narrative out there about how we can’t expect adulting from young men and they often wobble, or get distracted by new pussy and wander off, the poor benighted waywards.
Fuck that shit. You’re there. You showed up. There are good people — men and women — who show up and then there are those who don’t. He’s in Camp Fuckwit.
Why can’t I see he sucks and I deserve better and my daughter deserves better?
You’ll get there.
It’s hard to turn your heart around. You’re a loving person capable of deep connection and intimacy. It’s heartbreaking to un-bond. But that’s exactly what you need to do. Look at things lucidly. I’m alone in this forest with a baby. The fuckwit is not coming back. I better deal with those wolves myself.
Does that situation suck? Yes. But you’re far more likely to survive it if you don’t helplessly wait for fuckwits.
I have a lot of guilt from our toxic communication and how if maybe I did a few things differently or got us help he wouldn’t have cheated and I wouldn’t have lost my companion and family unit.
Whoa! Stop blaming yourself. You didn’t make him cheat. That’s magic voodoo thinking, that if you did X, he wouldn’t have done Y. We don’t compel people to cheat and abandon. That’s entirely on him.
While it’s laudable to examine our faults, correlation is not causation. Plenty of people have arguments and lousy communication styles and don’t cheat on their pregnant wives. This is like saying, I wish I hadn’t yelled at my employee and then he wouldn’t have embezzled the pension funds. Don’t yell at employees — good takeaway. But it has ZERO to do with embezzlement.
2. I still feel responsible for his well being. Like I want to make sure he has things to take care of our daughter during his time since I know child support and other finances will leave him dry.
Oh boo fucking hoo.
Methinks that gem comes from him. Make the motherfucker pay child support and you dock that shit from his paycheck and never mention it again, except in court to get that shit raised.
This isn’t alms for the poor, this is SUPPORT FOR YOUR CHILD.
A real man would be tripping over himself to provide. This isn’t feeling responsible for his well-being — this is excusing his non-being.
He won’t have insurance through work when we are divorced and I think about making sure he has contacts before that happens. But why?
Because you’re a chump. Leave the adulting to him. You know he won’t adult, so you’re stepping into that space. But he fired you from the job of caring. So STOP it. Also, only hang with fellow adults. Fuckwits are exhausting.
He didn’t have any concern for me so why do I for him?
Excellent question. Now that you know he has no concern for you, change your behavior accordingly.
3. I worry about when I have to see him be with someone else. I think I’ll be hurt that he loves her and is committed to her the way I wanted him to love me and be committed to me.
It hurts now. It won’t hurt forever.
Look at his actions — he’s capable of cheating on his pregnant wife. NOTHING about that says love and commitment. You’re projecting that. You’re believing the stupid lie he sold you, and you miss the lie.
Is he going to try his Love And Commitment Lie on some other poor woman? Yes, of course he will. The proper response is pity her.
And I worry about the example of a woman he would bring around our daughter.
You don’t control who he dates. Now, if it rises to the level of imminent harm to your daughter? You bring that up ASAP to your lawyer and the court. (We’re talking abuse, drugs, criminal wrongdoing). But I Don’t Like HIs Girlfriend is just a shit sandwich flavor we’re all familiar with her at Chump Nation. It’s survivable.
You focus on being the sane parent. On raising your little girl to be a mighty wolf fighter like her mama.
You got this, Kayley.