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Cheating Wife Needs a ‘Safe Space’

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Dear Chump Lady,

I got married 3 years ago and recently my wife and I had a baby. My wife and baby are both gorgeous, by the way.

But a few weeks ago at a therapy session my wife wanted me to go to with her (she’d been a little depressed lately) — I was blindsided by the information that she had “hooked up” twice (while she was pregnant) with a guy she’d met on a dating app a few years ago.

I was stunned. I love my wife and baby, and I had never even thought of something like this. The therapist says my wife needs to feel emotionally safe if I want her to communicate with me about this. I’ve always wanted to be a safe place for her to communicate about anything. And I do want her to figure out what she honestly needs and if she even wants to still be married or not. She says the reason she told me in the first place is she felt like she was maybe about to do it again — and she didn’t want to. I guess that’s positive, but somehow not too reassuring.

Right now I’m trying to deal with all the crappy emotions I’m having myself. Waves of anger and betrayal; fear of losing my family — and I’m trying to be as non-judgmental as possible even as my mind paints relentlessly painful pictures me to contemplate and get angry about all over again.

If I were to give in to my feelings of betrayal, anger, and rejection — and walk away from my marriage I would (at least in our state) probably get to see my baby once a week and every other weekend. Moms always get custody of the children unless they are homeless drug addicts. I cannot bear to even think of not seeing my baby every single day. So that’s just not an option at this point.

If it’s hard to be a chump as a female, it may even be harder as a male. At least women get to keep their kids. Us guys — we lose everything. I don’t want to lose everything. So I’m thinking right now I’ll stay until she decides what the heck she’s doing. But that makes me feel like the most valuable things in my life are hanging in the balance — or worse, in her unpredictable hands. Which feels like crap.

Jim

Dear Jim,

Snatch your life back. Don’t let her decide this — YOU decide. I know exactly how hard it is to deeply invest in a shared life and lose the dream. She’s pulled a bait and switch on you. Did you want a committed, loving relationship and stability for your child? No sorry, she’s busy with Tinder now, and you have to tiptoe around her tender feelings. FUCK THAT SHIT, Jim. Fuck it!

I can’t tell you what to do — oh hang, on, yes I can — leave a cheater, gain a life. (It’s emblazoned in red lettering on the banner of this site.) You’re going to have to decide this on your own, but… GO! Leave! Sane parent on your own! Petition for full custody or 50/50! Build a new life! Imagine the mind-blowing future of having a partner who respects and cherishes you! I’ve given this pep talk so many times, I think I have record it and leave it on a permanent tape loop… Read the archives, Jim. Read the comments, until we’ve fully colonized your mind. Don’t choose further abuse. Expecting you to pick me dance so she doesn’t swipe right for more Tinder fuckboys is abuse.

Of course you can’t see that right now because you’ve got a quack therapist convincing you the problem is you. Fucking strange when pregnant isn’t the problem, decimating a partner’s dreams and imperiling a small child’s intact home life isn’t the problem. Traumatizing a partner with betrayal isn’t the problem. No, Jim, according to this therapist — your potential REACTION is the problem.

The therapist says my wife needs to feel emotionally safe if I want her to communicate with me about this.

Does that quack give one shit about your emotional safety? Why on earth is the onus on YOU to provide safety to your abuser? Why the hell do we pay therapists? Isn’t the whole point of the $180/hour comfy sofa and box of tissues to provide a SAFE SPACE?

This is some DARVO bullshit. Yeah, you’re the raging rhinoceros who won’t take his betrayal quite the right way. You’re the threat and she’s some Timid Forest Creature. Poor boo might have her feelings hurt. Tread carefully!

Can all these therapists just hand in their credentials now and burn them in some giant funeral pyre? Mental health professionals are supposed to protect you from harm, not mindfuck you.

Oh, but the therapist just wants to open the dialogue so Jim can learn further of her perfidy. 

Jim, you know enough. She’s cheated. She wants to cheat again. She isn’t sorry. Nothing to work with. Buh-bye.

I’ve always wanted to be a safe place for her to communicate about anything.

This isn’t a communication problem, it’s an entitlement problem. She feels entitled to fuck around, and she’s keeping you an emotional hostage because you want your family. You desperately want this life you invested in and child you love. She sees your investment as an ADVANTAGE to exploit not a privilege. You cannot work with that.

She says the reason she told me in the first place is she felt like she was maybe about to do it again — and she didn’t want to.

Oh bullshit. Timid forest creature might reoffend? No. Your wife is goading you into the pick me dance. She wants you to compete for the chance that she Might. Not. Cheat. On. You.

HELL NO.

(Who facilitated this “sharing”? I’m imagining hurling that shrink off her shrink chair and bitch slapping her.)

I’m trying to be as non-judgmental as possible

NO! Judge, Jim! Judge! Use the wits God gave you and SAVE YOURSELF.

When someone is abusing you, you’re not supposed to sit in a pose of non-judgment — you protect yourself.

The grace of God that passeth all understanding can come later. Like, decades later, when you’re away from this. You have my permission to non-judge her then. Right now, Jim, you judge the piss-poor way she is treating you and you find it unacceptable.

Take your power back. Today. (And fire that therapist.)

((Hugs))

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Ask Chump Lady

Got a question for the Chump Lady? Or a submission for the Universal Bullshit Translator? Write to me at info@chumplady.com. Read more about submission guidelines.
  • Needs to see if the child is even his and if so take full custody. If not don’t spend 21 years paying out child support. Talk to good attorney as soon as possible.

    • I’d be vying for full custody to rescue the precious baby from a wingnut mother, no matter what the paternity test says. The baby is blameless and needs the support of healthy people.

      • Jim, how do you think a judge would feel about your pregnant wife screwing some stranger from a dating app endangering your baby’s health (insert STD of choice here)? More importantly, how do feel about it? Your wife did not protect your unborn child. It’s up to you and a judge. Your wife will not change. Period. Thousands here can attest to that fact. Paternity testing and STD testing is a must.

        • I say 100% to Paternity test your child. I found out one wasn’t mine. Paid 14 years for another mans child. If you present your DNA proof when you file, you get out of paying child support in my state. My “child” does come over for voluntary visitation and we love each other. Never assume your wife is telling the truth.

          • If this man discovers he is not the bio dad, he can always act as a doting uncle instead.

            And please get your own non disordered therapist who can help you grieve this abuse. We here at Chump Nation don’t want you to self-medicate with people and find yourself in another relationship with another wingnut woman. A bunch of us have done that-heal your broken heart first.

      • I’m sorry are you also encouraging women to divest time and funds from their own children to take care of the other woman’s children. It’s important to be fair. Man does not equal mule and he is under no obligation to take care of another man’s child.

    • Agreed. As sad as it is to say so, get the paternity test. And read the comments in old posts–many, many chumped men succeed in getting 50/50 custody. Don’t let the fear of failure make you stay with someone who is going to abuse your trust. Seriously, Jim. Your kid doesn’t need to see that relationship modeled as they grow up.

      Show your child the healthy way to protect themselves and live as an adult. Would you want that precious baby to grow up and stay trapped in a marriage with a betrayer…who is considering doing it again!? Be strong, get your OWN therapist (who has a clue, Lord have mercy!) and be someone that you want that child to emulate.

      I know it’s hard. Hugs.

    • Those are both good recommendations. And as Tracy said: “When someone is abusing you, you’re not supposed to sit in a pose of non-judgment — you protect yourself.”

      Dude, as someone who has lived this nightmare, I can tell you that your marriage is over, toast, cooked. You’re wasting time with someone who does not have your best interests in mind.

      Good luck.

      • Jim, I’m a guy who got cheated on. In my state of residence, women have all the divorce rape rights. Guess what? I got custody and the house.

        Document everything, total stealth mode, only communication through your lawyer, silently protect your assets, etc.

        Be calm, cool and deadly. Save your emotions, which are so painful, for when you’re alone.

        Don’t assume the woman cheater will always win at divorce rape.

        You can do this. Take the long view.

        • Jim I was cheated on by my wife too..I forgave her the first and second time, but then I walked out the third time. I got custody, house, etc….learn from my experience, if your hurting now, it hurts even more the second or third time around. If your wife is not 120% in for saving the marriage, she is most likely going to do it again.

    • Absolutely see if the child is yours. She may not even want custody of the child. If she does fight for 50/50. Don’t stay with a cheater and take the abuse.

  • Jim, you’re being double teamed with your wife & therapist. This isn’t fair. It isn’t how this thing works.

    Chump Lady uses the example of a robber. Should you empathize with the criminal after you’ve been victimized?

    A decent, loving, honest guy like you needs to run to your attorney for your & your child’s sake, find out when (by law, in your state) you can leave or have her thrown out & get custody.

    Don’t waste any more time. This doesn’t get better until you end this abusefest. Don’t regret years down the road that you gave her “another chance.” Stick with the thousands of us who know.

    • “Stick with thousands of us who know” : She isn’t a good person who is temporarily messed up and will come out of her crazy-faze. She isn’t confused. She isn’t going to come to her senses and realize what she’s got. She doesn’t need time to decide what she wants. She’s got exactly what she wants right now: a chump husband who will take her abuse, and all the sex with other people she wants. She’s a HUGE ASSHOLE, Jim. This is not going to change. Not ever.

      It may seem to you that staying in this situation is best for your child, but that’s an illusion. Go get yourself a pitbull attorney, Jim. Don’t waste another second of your life on this worthless person

    • I agree w paid-up Jim,
      I was cheated on too. My Thearpist tried to pull the same stuff on me. I had to ”hear” my hubby… WTF???

      He became the victim in all our mess, I too was blindsided as I was in a 30 yr marriage that I thought was good!

      I should had just walked away. It messed me up emotionally so much I’m still in limbo 8 years later.

      You may not realize this Jim, but you really are in the driver seat right now. Take control of your emotions & the situation, I know your confused right now, & this all sucks, … I really hope your child is yours.
      Hang in there Jim, your in for a ride of your life.
      Sorry.

      • “you really are in the driver seat right now” Oh man, this is so true…. I wish I had understood that, and made the right moves early…. Instead I bought him time to figure out how to fuck me over more deeply…. Jim, take control of this situation, before it takes control of you!!

  • Go now or you’ll likely go later.
    Going now = more of your life.
    Going later = wasted years.

    Trust any one of us.

    • I concur. No point delaying the inevitable. I left finally, and my only regret is not doing so three years earlier.

    • Oh yes Tall ONe,

      So wish I had left 5 years when I found out about DDAY 1 – unfortunately I kept quiet, didn’t know about CL, and wasted 5 years thinking that we had found our way while he went into super stealth mode – it made the process more painful because I don’t blame myself for not knowing but I really regret staying after the first DDAY (I am finally choosing me).

      To Jim – WTF – where is your emotional safe space? I am sorry but your wife’s therapist and your wife are doing the special snowflake thing. She’s so special and fragile that you must do whatever she wants (aka pick me dance). This invalidates your feelings and need to feel safe after the trauma of being betrayed. She also potentially endangered your child by having sex with a stranger while pregnant (was it protected sex because my husband eventually admitted to going bare back frequently – awesome what a catch I had).

      It will suck sharing parenting and sometimes guys do get screwed over but really I think it is us chumps that really get screwed. Do you want to live the rest of your married life wondering what if? I couldn’t believe my STBX was the man I eventually saw– I believed he was a caring, loving, trustworthy family man but really he was a lying, selfish, manipulative asshole who can’t ever be trusted. I invested 27 years with this man and it turned out to be a penny stock that busted. I am a firm believer of one and done now.

      If you stay (which based on all of our stories here is probably not a wise choice) then you should be getting your own therapist and your own lawyer and coming up with a list of things that make your relationship an emotional safe place for you. She cheated you did not. End of story – don’t pick me dance it just gives them the idea that they are special and infallible and deserve to screw around.

      Hugs Jim.

      • Yep!
        All this happened to me: my own lawyer, mine own (& better) therapist, etc..

        It’s gonna hurt like hell.

        By ask yourself Jim, “what’s my worth?”

        And if you have ANY amount of worth, of value, then the math = you gotta go through that pain.

        But we’re here for you and telling you, it’s worth going through it to the other side.

        • It’s worth the pain — and there is more pain to come — it’s still worth the pain. I love being free of the dread, the spiritual illness the came upon me, unknowingly, for sharing my beloved in intimacy with others — so, so harmful to the psyche. The mindfucking is so deadly, too, and that is gone. I’m just me, my faith community bailed on me too, but fuck them. It’s just good to be healthy and free.

  • Jim – she’s right – get out! She is NOT stable. Do NOT pick up that hopium pipe! It’s like she has a big flashing sign on her forehead ” you aren’t good enough for me Jim I need more “! She’s just using you – gather as much evidence as you can and leave!

  • Please let me give you a possible peek into the future because I married a man who was long divorced from a woman who did this (but not on a grand a scale as your wife).

    It will take a bit of soap to get past the ickies that she chose to risk the life and well being of your child by fucking strange while gestating (that is messed up) but to blow up your family and present it as a perfect mind fuck goes beyond.

    My now husband is a decent, devoted (yet a little imperfect and silly) man who did not have “cheat” or “divorce” in his vocabulary but when his then-wife was fresh from having their only child, she decided that there was greener grass she was missing and told him to leave. He wasnt going to leave his home so she pulled a wild mind fuck of a “i will keep all the benefits from this union and as much money as possible and still dump you”.

    Once the contentious divorce was done, she figured out she would have to work and asked to reconcile and he declined. When the daughter was old enough, she told daughter that she tried to recon and he refused.

    Their daughter hoped for years that they would get back together but early in her college years, d realized that because her parents are not together, she now has a safe family where we cheer her on and facilitate her growth and happiness. Her selfish mom has shown her colors time and again. 18 years after her moms flip-out, we moved her into her dorm for her 3rd year of college and she introduced me to her roomies “this is my mom”. I got to hang stuff on her wall and we took her to dinner. Her stewing mother was hundreds of miles away refusing to celebrate her daughters accomplishments or even see where she lived.

    If you decide to leave…please do the hard work to remain involved in your child’s life (Im astonished at my husbands commitment and devotion). My husband and his daughter got a happy ending…one I hope you get too.

  • “She says the reason she told me in the first place is she felt like she was maybe about to do it again — and she didn’t want to.”

    Your wife is externalizing a problem that is internal. She isn’t taking responsibility for her own choices and actions. This is a sign that it will happen again.

    She is the only person who can stop it, but she is signalling she is unwilling to take that responsibility on. Unless you want to go through more rounds of infidelity discovery, I recommend developing an exit strategy now.

    It sucks. But staying around to be abused through more of her cheating will suck more, imo.

    • Yes, exactly! She is externalizing an internal problem. She is acting like cheating is a problem that comes over her like a seizure. Epileptics may feel a seizure coming on and have no way to stop it. Cheaters, on the other hand, absolutely CAN stop it by … drumroll… not cheating. They just don’t want to stop.

      • Jim, you are being set up. When (not if) she does it again, she will blame you. You’ve been warned. She’s thrown out the possibility that opening her side of the marriage is on her agenda. And she’s floated that weather balloon to get your reaction.

        Is this okay with you? Is holding your child hostage enough to keep you in line, providing her with all the comforts of marriage and an intact family, while she does as she pleases with whomever she pleases? While she unilaterally moves the goalposts you mutually placed?

        You are already angry, so you know the answer to the big question. She sucks. A lawyer can answer all the little ones. Good luck to you.

    • She is begging you to, what, handcuff her to your bedpost?? Otherwise her feet will head of their own accord to the nearest Super 8, and she won’t be able to stop them??

      • Heh. Exactly.

        And cheaters always make it sound like cheating is something that you just kind of slide into by mistake. Think about all the steps necessary to do this: Finding the contact information, contacting the guy, making arrangements to meet, booking the hotel, driving there, going into the room… It’s a whole series of decisions that could be stopped at any time. Every step is yet another decision to go forward. It takes work. It takes planning. They are NOT doing this by mistake!

  • Safe space? This baby deserved a “safe space” and instead got assaulted in the womb with someone else’s life making protein. Ew. Just Ew.

    Imagine that child’s life with mom from here on out… a revolving door of men coming and go (pun intended). Ew. Just Ew.

    GET OUT NOW. Get an attorney who will fight for your rights as the sane parent. That woman is putting the baby’s life in danger every freaking day. The next hook-up may not be Mr. Nice Guy but Mr. Pedophile. Or Mr. Angry Guy who hits and abuses.

    GET OUT.

    Your mission is to protect your child from the woman who willingly seeks out men to invade her “safe space.”

    Ew. Just Ew.

    • Yeah. Despite all the whining about how divorce screws men, joint custody is actually the norm. Also, cheating on Tinder while pregnant (see: exposing a child to STDs) is not always looked on kindly by a judge. See a lawyer.

  • Please don’t assume that you will not get time with your child based on hearsay. Talk to a tough competent attorney. You may be able to get custody or shared custody. Many people stay paralyzed because of assuming the law.

    • I second this. I am in an extremely conservative southern state, so you’d think that the mom would always get custody, but this is *not* the case. You need to talk to a lawyer and find out what the odds are. If there’s one thing I learned in my divorce, it’s that you can’t figure out law by either (1) asking around, or (2) thinking about how it ought to work, logically. You need a professional to tell you how it actually works, in practice in your particular county (not even state!).

      You need a clear-eyed view of what the consequences of divorce are (as does your wife, actually). That will only come from talking to someone who knows how it works. By the way, you don’t need to keep this secret from your wife. A logical possible consequence of adultery is divorce, and it’s not doing anyone any favors to pretend that this outcome isn’t in the realm of possibility. You are allowed to not know how you will react to this (just as she is allowed to not know whether she is capable of remaining faithful to you) and to explore your options.

      If you are still going to this therapist, I would suggest that you schedule a session where you talk about what you both imagine post-marriage life would look like. You may be surprised at your wife’s response to this: have you even asked her if she wants full custody? Having a child full time will put a significant crimp in her ability to harvest kibbles; there’s a chance that she’s self-aware enough to realize that you can still be useful to her after the marriage is over, and she will accept joint custody. It’s really hard for us to know their mindset. Don’t assume you actually know what her take is on the question of custody. (Now, of course, she could lie to you about her intentions. That’s a definite risk here).

      • My other advice, if available to you. Is even look slightly outside your county. Speaking with lawyers inside my home county (many who knew and were friendly to my ex’s family) made it sound like i was in deep shit through going through with a divorce, One even tried to talk me out of it.

        Simply by using a different county, i spoke to lawyers (and they spoke to judges) who knew jack shit about my ex and couldn’t care less who his family was.

        Made a world of a difference in the advice i was given and the settlement i ended p with was extremely in my favor.

        Shop around to find a support system who actually support you, this includes the hired help.

        • This is what I did also. More so because the few attorneys in our small county are less than competent. In rural west TN, the judges work several counties, and rotate, so there is no “local” judge. My ex and his family used to brag about how they knew all of the judges, and were such good upstanding people in the community (makes you wonder how/why they knew the judges….) They were’t from here, just moved to this community about 20 years ago. My family has roots all the way back to the 1800’s. But, they seemed to think they new everybody and everything here.

          I went with an awesome attorney from the closest city about 20 miles from here. My ex went with a local attorney- who happened to live above his practice in a dilapidated building, because he couldn’t afford to live in an actual house. Needless to say, my attorney did a fantastic job, and his was less than stellar. The divorce was actually finalized in another county because the judge was there at the time, and I was not going to wait five more months for him to rotate back to our county….

          As far as fathers not getting custody: get that idea out of your head! Fight! My father got custody of my brother and I from my mother in 1985, in Tennessee! He was the first man in the county to get custody of his children in this rural place. It can be done, and the laws are much different now. Unless you are in a really backwards place, or she pulls something crazy, you should be able to get at least 50/50.

    • Talk to 2 or 3 of the best attorneys in your area. When you decide to file, pick the one who will fight for you, who has the best strategy, and who is on the same page in terms of timeline and outcome.

  • Dear Jim, I would be willing to bet that your wife has cheated the entire time. She just now, while pregnant with your child, decides to hook up with some guy she met, a few years back? Makes no sense because it’s not believable.

    She doesn’t need a safe space, she needs consequences and a divorce. Courts are much more lenient that they used to be when it comes to fathers having custody. Don’t accept that she must have custody. If you have a job, a home, and work hours that allow you to care for your baby, you can be the custodial parent.

    Accept that the fact that she’s just an ordinary cheater and move on with your life. She’s not worth it.

    • I agree. I thought my husband was cheating because we had our two kids within 3 years, was working a lot, I was fighting to loose my post pregnant body ( while taking care of kids 90% of the time with no outside help and studying full time)

      Reality?

      He started cheating on me as his gf… following on his as fiancée… then as his wife….

      It’s never what they say…. it took me 15 years to get the whole picture…. 15 lost years on someone who did not deserve my love, care and devotion

      Don’t be like me…. get out ASAP

  • An attorney will tell you that you have more options than you think you do. Talk to one. I’ll take a good attorney over a quack therapist anyday.

    This part is harder: get that child DNA tested. It will be easier for you to know now rather than later. She didn’t just magically become a cheater. This isn’t the first time.

  • Yes, find out if the child is really yours! I don’t believe this magically happened while she was pregnant. It’s been ongoing, I’m sure.

  • A married woman who will cheat with someone she met on a dating app is disgusting, can’t be trusted, and in this case sounds like she is using the counselor as a flying monkey.
    A pregnant woman who is sleeping around has endangered her child for the kibble she seeks in the form of sexual attention. That a counselor does not see through this does not speak much for the counselor.
    Trust me when I say that it won’t get better. Men who cheat on pregnant wives are scum. Pregnant women who cheat…I can’t even…something is extraordinarily wrong with this person.
    Run Jim. Don’t let church or faith or “counselor” manipulate you. Get yourself out of there. Seek custody and show your child what a loving parent is. There are plenty of loving women out their who will treat you right and join in a genuinely loving family life.

      • Raising hand. It happens. XW cheater was definitely in the throes of an affair while pregnant with our third son. That was a little nugget of a puzzle piece that fell into place after the divorce agreement was already drafted almost a year after DDay. Just made me even more disgusted to look at her.

        • Chumpity

          My h was fucking hookers and having unprotected sex with me during all of my pregnancies. That is unforgivable.
          During that time I was off wine ( even when in normal circumstances half a glass was my limit), coffee, cheeses( which I love), pain killers that were helping my migraines ( hell to say at least)no artificial coloring in food
          All that- because the moment I decided on having children, I knew that it is my responsibility to do everything in my power to prevent any preventable negative outcomes.
          It was my job/ is my job to keep my children safe. It was my decision to bring them to this world, it’s my responsibility.

          My h was endangering life of 4 human beings, just to feel like the king of the hill for a moment.
          Unforgivable.

  • Jim,
    I hear your fears around custody. I think it would be great for you to discuss them with a lawyer.
    It’s not easy for any of us to leave our cheaters. I feel bruised and pretty fearful as I enter divorce mode in earnest, because I have medical issues (am a cancer survivor with serious long-term side effects), not very lucrative job prospects, one daughter doing to college, and another who’s 8. I fully expect never to marry again, and possibly never to be able to afford many experiences for myself and for my kids. But at least I won’t feel bruised or used for my chumpy loyalty and household functions anymore.
    Onward towar freedom and meh. And good luck finding the best possible lawyer to help with your custody fears.

  • More later, but Tracy, PLEASE record The Pep Talk!!! Put it on a CD that comes with the book so I can play it in my car!!!!

    Jim, don’t be afraid of that avatar masquerading as your wife. SHE should be afraid of YOU. And she probably is. But as cheaters always do, they spin it around to put the onus and the blame on us, AT ANY AND EVERY AVAILABLE OPPORTUNITY.

    You have my support to lock, load, and LAUNCH the loser.

    I am so sorry for your loss. We all know how this particularly horrible trauma feels, and we are all
    making it through and helping each other here.

    These terrible people threw us and our families in the fire, and we walked out.

    Who are the stronger ones?

    Not them.

    • PS…

      My shock has worn off sufficiently to add…

      SHE needs an emotionally safe space?!!!!!

      WT everloving dadgum Jiminy Crack Christmas?!!!

      YOU are the one who needs the safe space!!

      Your cheater wife (no surprise here) had ZERO concern for YOUR emotional safety, and the therapist is saying SHE needs a safe space?

      Excuse me for a moment. My jaw is on the floor. I need to go scream and punch something.

      • She had a safe space, her marriage, that she shat in. She fouled it and now wants to cry foul. Shame on her and shame on that therapist.

        • MissBailey, I love this way of framing it! She HAD a safe space, her marriage. You thought you did too. SHE destroyed the trust and security of that relationship, not you. HER job to deal with YOUR lack of trust and security, and to repair that if she can, not yours.

          She can’t be honest and open without a guarantee you won’t be angry or upset, when SHE is so severely in the wrong? Too bad, so sad. She’s not adult enough to be married.

  • Have you actually spoken to a lawyer regarding custody? Or are you going off of reports from divorced people?

    Most states these days default to 50-50 custody. When statistics are quoted saying that men get reduced time seeing their kids, what most don’t report is that it’s because most men don’t ask for more time, for whatever reason.

    It does take a hell of a lot to lose custody entirely if you really want it. That part, with regards to your wife, is true. But the every-other-weekend-and-Wednesday-night-dinner trope is really outdated. States recognize that fathers who see their children often are more engaged in their lives and more likely to support them, and from the states’ cynical standpoint, that makes those children less likely to need state social services. So they’ve found that encouraging a more equal custody scenario is just plain better economics.

    Please please please find out what is real and what is possible in your area, not from talking to people who divorced 30 years ago, but from a lawyer TODAY. You can only make good decisions if you base them in fact and not fear.

    • Wednesday – Is that really you? From MidlifeClub? I still have your field guide to trolls! Pat the velcro pooches for me.

      • If that is the MLC Wednesday then her and I and Patsy have been friends for YEARS. Im going to meet Philjm this week !!

        • So cool! Please say ‘hi’ and give her a hug from me.

          I still remember her telling us that she would go to Mass and sit there and cry, every Sunday. That made me feel less alone (in how much I was hurting). It was a ‘I get you Girl, me too’ moment.

          And DON’T touch the snake.

          Wednesday, is that you?

  • Jim,
    Fight for a good life, fight for your daughter. Get the best attorney you can and go for full custody, 5050 custody. This cheater doesn’t deserve you. Do not go to this quasi professional therapist again. Be prepared for tears, begging, etc. don’t fall for it. Any woman who would do this while pregnant, with a new baby, in a young marriage, is unstable.

  • Jim, being “judgemental” in this scenario is the only sliver of hope you have of protecting yourself. That’s your inner self trying to make sure you stay anchored to transparency, accountability, and the need to not be taken advantage of.

    This woman is MANIPULATIVE. Her behavior is a giant middle finger pointed directly at you, and based on the info you provide the only thing you did to deserve it was to be a chump.

    As Tracy reminds us frequently, Chumpdom is not a pain Olympics, so it’s not any worse or better being a guy chump. Every bit of it sucks in the worst ways possible. Document everything that’s occurred (dispassionately, in a facts-only manner), and continue to do so, and I think you might be surprised at what arrangement you will end up getting.

    More than anything, think about your child and about the conflicting examples that are being set by your cheater and by you. You have a lifetime of responsibility to that child no matter what the end result of the situation is — you don’t want accepting emotional abuse to be something that (s)he internalizes.

    Stay strong, brother,

    • Right on!!
      Jim, I can promise you she will cheat on you again and again. If she says she never will, she’s lying. I agree with the others – it probably started before the pregnancy.
      It is SOOO much better to be single than live with a lying manipulating cheater. CL is absolutely right…you have nothing to work with.
      The pain is raw and suffocating, I know. You will be ok.

  • The therapist who wants her office to be the safe space to tell you that you were ducked around on.
    The therapist who will continue to charge you hourly while you “work through your feelings”
    Ugh.
    She’s awful, your “gorgeous wife” was cruising tinder while she’s caring for your child should tell you all you need to know. She felt like she was about to do it again?? Come on.
    I’m sorry, I know this hurts like a mother.
    See her for who she is, not who you want her to be and make a relationship with your daughter.

    • AND an STD test. And Get the wifey tested. AND have the child tested as well. That stuff passes in utero.

  • Jim I went three years of waiting and trying to help my wife see that our family of three where more important than married men. Also I was waiting for my real disclosure. Three freaking years I held out. I did hours and hours of counseling. I did all of the shit that reconcile industry says to do. I became an amateur psychologist. I have a small library now. During that time she kept on kept on with her bullshit. I finally got my disclosure three years later on the week of our only daughters graduation. Yep you got it. She made it about herself once again.
    Jim either yall’s family of three is worth it to her or it isn’t. She should not be in a grey area on this one.
    Dang think about it. You and your kid or strange men? How can that be something to work out?
    In my case I was so miserable for so long, it became an old friend. Now I finally have detached and I am about done with this nightmare.
    Brother I know it sucks. I wept for my family of three for a long time. I finally noticed “hey why isn’t she crying?”
    At the very least check out the legal thing. I didn’t and I regret it.

  • Jim, you’re in danger sir!

    At best your wife really did hook up with someone she knew before from a dating app and is goading you into the pick me dance; at worst it’s just the tip of the fuckwittery iceberg. Dude, she’s already exposed you and your daughter to STD’s and not to put too fine a point on it, but are you sure your daughter is biologically yours? It’s a legitimate question even if you can’t fathom it now. Chumps tend to give people the benefit of the doubt, especially the people we love. It can be our most endearing quality but it’s also our downfall when it comes to our cheating life partners. They don’t deserve the benefit of the doubt, like ever. Please at least consider the STI testing.

    I know you can’t imagine losing any type of custody with your daughter. You didn’t get married and have a child to be a “see you on the weekend parent.” All of CL nation who divorced a FW while their children were minors understand this hell; but they also understand that modeling chumpdom to the next generation isn’t ideal either. It’s a shit sandwich to be sure.

    Okay so here is more bad news. I’m from your future and this doesn’t end well if you stay. Your wife is shopping for a new kibble source right under your eyes. Right now she says she wants to work it out but she just wants you to model your pick me dancing skills and you’re not auditioning alone. Trust me when I tell you she’s comparing your kibbles to someone else’s. Eventually some other cheater will win that game. It’s rigged so there is no way around it. You will have more invested; potentially more children and she will be the one asking for a divorce.

    You have an opportunity here. She showed you who she is so it’s time to believe her without saying a word. Interview some attorneys and make sure they specialize in family law for men. They’re out there because I hear advertisements on the radio all the time. Don’t assume you can’t get 50/50 or even full custody based on some anecdotal evidence. Find out for sure and act accordingly.

    It’s hard initially and life won’t be a bed of roses in the beginning but you can get out while your sunk costs are still manageable. I was invested for 27 years and trust me, that is a picnic you do NOT want to join!

    Good luck!

    • You make a great point… if there are no bad consequences now, she learns that it is open season on doing it again and again.

      • That’s exactly what my Ex learned, when I truly forgave him and reinvested in our marriage after his first affair. Not that he’d gotten so dangerously close to losing what was most precious to him, nor that he could be grateful that I’d given him that chance to stay, with an open heart. Nope, he learned that I’d fuss and fight, then give in and treat him even better than before.

        He was pretty shocked when I wouldn’t take him back after Affair #2. Kept trying to hoover for about 2 years. Then he got MAD!! How dare I not want him? How dare I not protect him from the unwanted consequences of his choices? I’m sure he felt like I’d somehow tricked him. I’d been extremely extremely clear, after Affair #1, that I wouldn’t put up with another one. But somehow he ‘forgot’ about that, just as he forgot his promises to never cheat again, no matter what, to leave before getting involved w/someone else again.

        I realized later that I’d actually inadvertently encouraged his worse and worse behaviour, in many ways, by not leaving as soon as he did things that SHOULD have been deal breakers.

    • Ok, one thing: don’t do the Family Law For Men route. They use their Good Ol’ Boy camaraderie (and often leaning into men’s misogyny) to make up for lack in skill. A good custody lawyer who works for both genders will be far better qualified.

      • Yeah, as a guy I eagerly looked into C&C and the like early on, but got a bad vibe about it. Try hard to find someone regardless of gender who has experience with infidelity, deception and discard, etc.

        • Yup. You don’t need to pay some guy $500 per hour to pat you on the shoulder and go “bitches, man, they crazy,” and excuse your bad outcome by saying “the system’s rigged, bro.” I’m sure you’ve got a rando buddy who can do that for free.

      • Yeah I should have qualified that. I don’t mean to actually use the ones on the radio-they annoy me too. But the take home point is that there has to be some pit bull attorneys out there that have specialized in helping men in divorces because the courts are not favoring women in custody the way they once did. That kind of change only happens when cases are fought for and won in court. Clearly there have to be attorneys that specialize in this otherwise the tide wouldn’t have changed as it has.

        Regardless you need to do your research and find an attorney that has been successful getting dad at least 50/50 or more if it’s warranted.

    • I wish I could upvote cheaterssuck’s comments. Spot fucking on.

      As chumps we are good at empathy and think ‘how can there be a downside”…but there is dark and sinister side. Too much empathy becomes codependence and that fuels our need for control. Your daughter’s mother and her therapist are trying to isolate you and make you take ownership of her actions…if you only do x, y or z then all this can be ok. This is not good.

      “If I were to give in to my feelings of betrayal, anger, and rejection — and walk away from my marriage…”

      See how you have made a value judgement about your response. Leaving = weakness. You have already internalized that if the marriage fails it’s your fault. You just weren’t strong or forgiving enough. Never mind the whole screwing around on you while pregnant and who knows what else…cheaters never admit everything and that means there are worse things. Think about that for a minute, she isn’t telling you everything and what you don’t know is worse than her fucking random guys while she is pregnant. We’ve all got our war stories, you are not alone.

      Weakness is not “walking away”, I say weakness is knowing what the right answer is and not making that choice. Weakness is settling for the mere hope that things will work out instead of taking control. Look Jim, you are in the plane and the oxygen masks just dropped. First get your mask on before helping others. Catch your breath and then fight for what’s right, fight for your daughter. You want a fierce, smart, capable daughter? Well model that behavior for her by being a fierce, smart and capable father.

      The good news is there are lots of success stories. Just know that the secret to each of those successes was taking the first step of saying enough is enough. We believe in you, we are Jim.

    • As to the paternity thing – it does really need to be checked out as painful as it is. I know a couple where the woman married the man while pregnant – he was told it was his baby. They then had another child together. She left him while the kids were still fairly young for the biological father of the first baby. He found out that the child he had nurtured from birth was not his biologically. Now he loves both of these kids but now that biological Dad is in the picture his “rights” seem to have gone out the window. The guy was used by his ex-wife (who is a piece of work as she didn’t tell the biological father of the first baby that it was his for the longest time).

      I am a firm believer of making decisions based on knowledge. Find out as much as you can and proceed from there. It will be painful no matter what – but I have gone from crying many days at many times to once a week. I can’t change my past but I can change my future – so can you,

  • Jim, limbo sucks. Trust me. After D-day #1 I was in limbo for 8 months while he tried to figure out what he wanted. Massive pick-me dance after being blindsided by my “best friend” of 27 years and husband of 21. 8 months of psychological abuse. 8 months of not knowing if today is the day he doesn’t come home from work. 8 months of not knowing if today is the day he comes home and tells me he’s leaving me. You do not want this. When I kicked him out on D-Day #4 I was a shell of myself. Paranoid, suspicious, desperate, needy. I didn’t recognize myself.

    You didn’t do anything wrong so why torture yourself? Having a baby is wonderful but an incredible strain on a relationship. Sleepless nights, teething, isolation…. What do you think your wife is going to do when it gets tough? Escape.

    Please learn from us. If she has to take time to decide between you and whether she’s going to do it again, she has already made her decision. You are not a consolation prize, you are the prize. There should be no wavering. If she didn’t immediately show remorse and chose you – walk away. She has no regrets and will do it again. I agree with others here. She has done this before.

    What’s best for your baby is for you to be the sane parent. I know it’s hard to leave. Please don’t wait until D-Day #4 to do it. Or worse, never knowing if your next child is yours or not.

    • “When I kicked him out on D-Day #4 I was a shell of myself. Paranoid, suspicious, desperate, needy. I didn’t recognize myself.”

      Yes – you are now in that terrible time. Worse by far than leaving (although it doesn’t feel like it right now), or ending your relationship and making her leave. Trust us Jim when we tell you that the longer you are kept in this state of confusion, the more “Paranoid, suspicious, desperate, needy” you become, it’s just horrible.

  • Please take a paternity test just for confirmation. Then look for the best possible family law attorney in your area. Cost is not important at this point. Pay whatever it takes. I bet you’ll find you can get more custody than you think. Fire that quack of a therapist and find a new good one. It may take a few tries to find a good fit. And then, most importantly, ditch this bitch (always follow your attorney’s advice on how to go about it). I know it hurts like a mother, but now is the time to act. Oh and get an STD screen. Read CL every day (book and blog) for support. You’ve got this!!!

  • That safe place… the place they want to exist… where they’re free to do whatever their heart desires… without ANY consequences whatsoever… that’s their bliss… an imaginary throne where everyone serves their happiness.

    Sorry Jim. I’ve served the happiness throne. It is never satisfied. And when you are spent in its service, you will be thrown out with the rest of the trash and exchanged for new servers. You need to get out of this.

  • See an attorney NOW! And talk to 3 to make sure you get the same interpretation of the laws ( not practices but laws) in your state. I doubt that your assumptions about custody are complete.

    Chump Lady, I’ve been thinking about the total appropriateness of the term fuckwit, and it is sooo appropriate because they put fucking ahead of wits ( ie it does take a little bit of wits to prioritize your marriage ahead of fucking someone else).

  • Cheaters rarely tell the whole truth. She paired up with a therapist who she undoubtedly expected to believe her narrative and lies of omission.

    As we know the trickle truth is always the tip of the iceberg. See an attorney to advise you on paternity prior to filing. Stop sleeping with her; get STD testing.

    If it’s your child go for full custody. Get at least 50 %. Check her family history for mental illness.
    CL is right, she sees your investment as an advantage. Don’t get locked into her world; it will never end.

  • Oh Jim. I’m so sorry. My cheating ex needed so much safe space. But there was never enough. He cheated for years. Do you want to spend years looking over your shoulder or turning over in bed to gaze at the beauty of deceit and betrayal? She needs to feel like you forgive and understand her so that she doesn’t feel so guilty and to clear the slate for her next temptation. Listen to everyone here. We’ve all been through it. It’s misery living with a cheater. It sucks the life force from you. Your child will pick up on this, no question about it. Talk to a lawyer. You wrote to Chump Lady for a reason. No one here is going to judge you but we ALL know what life is like with a cheater and it’s awful. You stay, they continue to cheat because they can. Save yourself from years of heartache and give your child a healthy environment to grow up in. Not one filled with suspicion and lies. Good luck.

  • This happened to my brother, except they weren’t married. They split up when my nephew was a few months old and it has been hell on both my brother and my nephew ever since — partly because cheating while pregnant is not the only way the mom is a complete wingnut.

    Get yourself a tough, scary lawyer ASAP. Get as much custody of that baby as possible, to protect him/her from the rest of the crazy your wife brings to the table. And brace yourself for 18 years of fighting to be the same parent.

    That sounds pretty dire, but there is good in there too. When my nephew was four my brother married a woman I think very highly of, who is thrilled to be a mom, even if it’s only part time. She’s loving and attentive and she evens out the crazy. You can have a happy ending too.

  • Here’s the thing about men and custody of their kids Jim:

    Courts don’t award what you don’t ask for.

    Courts don’t just automatically award all custody and rights to mothers just because they’re moms and they believe mom is always the best caregiver and dad gets screwed. Ask some of the woman chumps here who have been dealing with split custody to complete fuck heads who honestly couldn’t care less about their kids, but still asked for an even split.

    If you want 50/50 custody and regular visits, you need to get a good lawyer to demand it. Some fun, yet not very widely known at all, stats (these come from a study done by the state of Massachusetts on custody cases at the state and national level):

    -2100 cases over a 5 year period where fathers sought custody, 29% were awarded primary custody, 65% were given joint custody. 7% of mothers got primary.

    -Second study, 700 cases over 6 years, in 57 of those cases, the father sought primary custody. 67% of them were awarded it, and 23% of mothers got it. (Note that only 57 out of 700 of these fathers actually asked for primary custody. Again, you have to demand it. Courts don’t award what you don’t ask for.)

    Don’t resign yourself to the idea that you will never see your child before you’ve even tried. You need to say you want it, and you need to lawyer up and fight for it.

    Second: This “Oh she needs a safe space to communicate with you about it” is bullshit. Your wife cheated, twice, and now says she wants to do it again (she likely is already in communication with whoever she wants to cheat with, if she hasn’t already done it again. Money is on that she has.) That’s some bullshit, and it is also emotional abuse.

    Setting aside the cheating itself (I’ll get to that in a minute) saying you can’t react, you have to tiptoe around her feelings to maybe, possibly, eventually get the truth, and forcing you to walk on eggshells, dangling her fidelity that she might take away ANY MINUTE unless YOU behave perfectly, that is an abuse tactic. It’s emotional blackmail. It is holding the sanctity of your marriage hostage to get you to act the way she wants you to.

    Controlling your behavior with threats of damage to the relationship is a very, very common abuse tactic. It gets the victim to shut up and comply. It gets you to not speak up about how you really feel, shut down objections to being hurt, and dismisses the harm they have done to you. It sets things up so everything is your fault. They do something hurtful and damaging to the relationship (cheating) and they make it about your reaction.

    I assure you, it does NOT stop there. And in the case of your wife, it didn’t stop there.

    She cheated. She had sex with another man behind your back. She can call it hook ups, she can call it tinder matches or what ever she wants. Bottom line is she cheated. Not only is she capable of the grandest and most hurtful lie anyone can tell in a marriage, but she’s told you she’ll do it again, and she’s using an abuse tactic to get you to do nothing about it.

    Believe me, this “safe space” shit does not work. She won’t tell you a anything no matter how angelically you behave. Because abusers don’t actually care about that. They care about successfully getting away with cruelty. I have unfortunately experience more than one abusive relationship. And all the “good behavior” and “safe spaces” in the world will not make it change, it will not stop them from doing whatever they feel like, and it will only ever get worse. There will be no amount of safe spaces and good behavior that will be enough for them.

    You can’t nice your way into changing an abuser. And your wife is an abuser. She cheated twice and is now using an abuse tactic to get you to comply. That. Does. Not. Get. Better.

    • Yes! I was in communication with the OWhore’s husband the whole time and he was taking the ‘don’t rock the boat, protect (enable) the poor timid forest creature, provide a safe place’ approach. Well, I can tell you OWhore just used that as a free pass to abuse her husband and children even more by continuing to run around with my husband. I have seen the depths of darkness in that creatures soul, the self-interest, only concerned with getting what she wanted no matter how much her family suffered. Well, guess what… she’s still in contact with my Stbx while her husband provides a safe place. I however, have left that circus.

  • Ah yes, the safe space bullshit line. This goes along with the “me time” line that I got, which was a fucking joke. Jim – your wife is playing her therapist and the therapist is too stupid to see what is going on. Your already done as the therapist is actually helping her create the excuses to do what she is doing. Time to go pal – this one is already over. By the time they get to this point, they have figured out how to play those around her to get what she wants. It is a painful reality but all the therapy isn’t going to help you and it is just enabling her so hold her responsible and serve her quickly – you’ll smoke out the OM and you can begin to move your life through a traumatic period. The sooner you start the better, so get to it.

  • Paternity test, STAT. She’ll get all huffy about this, but she has zero place to object. ANY man who has a baby or young child and finds out his wife has cheated needs to demand a paternity test.

    I agree with all of CL’d advice. The whole “feels like she’s about to do it again” thing. Please. She’s acting like she has no control over something she has 100% control over.

    • Absolutely. She has complete control over whether or not she does it again. The “I need a safe space” shit is a setup to make it his fault if she does.

      My money is on that she already has.

      And unfortunately, yes, Jim, you need to paternity test your daughter. This is probably the worst, most hurtful part of this. She cheated while she was pregnant. Did she? Or did she cheat and become pregnant? Unfortunately you can’t take her word on this. She’s shown that her word is garbage.

    • Does he need her permission for the paternity test? I think he proceed without her permission. He needs to know now and move forward no matter what the results. Feel so sorry for that poor child. A pregnant woman in a “stable” marriage that hooks up with other men has some serious issues and guess what? All the therapy in the world will not help this woman. The crackpot she is currently seeing is just going along with her crazy agenda.

      • “Does he need her permission for the paternity test?”

        Probably not as they are both the presumed parents, are married and live together. But it is best to have an attorney give the go-ahead and ensure the test is done properly (will stand up in court if it shows Jim isn’t the biological father).

        • I’d also make the point that if Jim wants to get on a level playing field, there’s nothing like a paternity test to say “I’ve had enough of your bullshit.”

  • Jim,

    She’s setting you up for even something bigger. Her few hook-ups aren’t the bomb. There is something else bigger coming. She’s either already done it OR this big reveal and therapy is a way to set you up for future abuse. “Oh, I cheated again! Oops. But I’m working on it! *bats eyelashes*”

    I know you don’t know me. I’m just some stranger from the internet, but trust me. I’ve been around people like your wife my whole life. This will never get better; it will only get worse. And worse for your child too. This is not the sort of home you want to raise a child in. A home where one parent is controlling and abusing the other

    You’re not going to want to leave. It’s not easy, but she is as bad for you as a drug. You need to get out and detox yourself from her, get yourself healthy, work on yourself.

    Time with your baby will happen. You will get custody. Things will settle and you’ll get more time. Your child will

  • To Jim:
    I am here to tell you that you CAN get 50/50 custody of your kid, even if she’s not a crack user. Yes, the state is heavily slanted to her, and you may still have to pay child support, but it can be done. Just get a good lawyer, and fight like tooth and nail. Make a mention of her Tinder habits, if your lawyer thinks it will help.
    And… make sure the baby is yours first.
    –A single dad with 50/50 custody

  • Jim, very quietly get your affairs in order. Finances etc. document every detail you can remember of that therapy session. Get the meanest SOB lawyer you can find.

    You need to shake this 600 lb gorilla off quick because she’s just off. She’s been pretending to be something she’s not and she’s ready to blow. She may be gorgeous on the outside but she’s got dark and ugly on the inside. AND it’s got nothing to do with you. I bet you can look back and see there were times you noticed something didn’t ring right with her but you glossed it over.

    The sad part is. She’s probably been hooking up on the sly since you’ve known her. Fucking strangers while pregnant could have endangered that child so go for custody. I had a friend who was a cheat. She compartmentalized it. Even blamed her hub. Then he found that odd email and after five! Kids, he found out what was going on. It blew his mind. There’s just a missing piece in her heart and you can’t fix.

    Go. Run. Be free of that crazy. And truly, I am so sorry this happened to you.

  • Jim, I’m so sorry!

    The therapist says my wife needs to feel emotionally safe if I want her to communicate with me about this. I’ve always wanted to be a safe place for her to communicate about anything. And I do want her to figure out what she honestly needs and if she even wants to still be married or not. She says the reason she told me in the first place is she felt like she was maybe about to do it again — and she didn’t want to. I guess that’s positive, but somehow not too reassuring.

    This is your wife’s therapist, right? Your wife has a bullshit therapist.

    1. Your STBXW’s desire to be emotionally safe is therapy bullshit for your STBXW wants zero consequences for her behavior. Real adults communicate the hard truths. If your STBXW wanted to communicate, she would have communicated. She didn’t because she LIKED the secrets.
    2. She has already figured out what she honestly needs. She needs kibble and cake. She also has a baby, which means she needs someone to watch the baby while she hooks up with her current flame. In other words, you’re the Spouse Appliance. She needs your function to watch the baby, help with meals, etc. This frees up her schedule.
    3. No one forces your STBXW to fuck other people. Telling you she fears that she’s going to cheat when she doesn’t want to is total bullshit–and her therapist should call her on this, by the way. No. One. Is.Forcing. Her. This maneuver is dodging the consequences. She’s denying her own responsibility and shifting the blame to you. Is she going to cheat again? Answer: yes. Well, it’s YOUR fault because you didn’t try hard enough!

    Jim, if this situation is acceptable to you, then you can attempt reconciliation. Just know in advance that you will forever be playing marriage police. That trust that you once had? It’s gone. You can’t get it back.

    Insofar as that baby girl is concerned, it is totally up to you as to how you’d feel about paternity testing. Some men, when they discover that their wives have been cheating on them, are faced with the issue of whether or not their children, whom they’ve loved and cared for, are really their biological children. Some prefer not to know for sure because they don’t want their feelings to change, especially because they’ve been the only father the child has known and the father has know the child as his for their entire life.

    Legal stuff. You cannot assume that courts always give custody to the mother. You need a lawyer to help you with this stuff. In the majority of states, custody is 50/50 unless there are mitigating factors. I, too, live in a fairly conservative state and the state is very clear about the rights of both parents. It is true that babies often spend the majority of the time with their mother, but as they get older, they start spending one night, two nights, and then by the time they’re toddlers, they’re spending 50% of the time with each parent.

    So lawyer up yesterday.

    It is certain that your STBXW will push harder for reconciliation once she realizes that you are imposing consequences. Cheaters hate consequences.

    Brace yourself for a lot of bullshit being flung your way. Find a good therapist for yourself. Clearly you should NOT use the therapist your cheater is seeing.

    Good luck!

  • Jim, fight like hell! First, start documenting everything you do for babe, everything she doesn’t do. Go part-time at work and start caring for your baby. Document, document, document. Every doctor visit— go! Join a baby parent group like PEPS or one at the local college that includes parenting tips – those facilitators will become your prime witnesses that you are primary parent choice—- go with baby! Document. Get ring for your doors to document mom leaving baby with you — document! Bathe and feed baby every day — document! Meet with every top family lawyer in a 50-mile radius to conflict then out so she can’t hire them. Make this your focus in life …. consider moving family to a better jurisdiction for your chances — chumps, let Jim know where that might be and how long he has to be there for the laws to apply. If you’re going to stay, might as well set yourself and baby up for when this happens again…. and for God’s sake DO NOT SHARE ANY OF THIS WITH HER! Use locked down cloud based apps such as Dropbox to save all this documentation. She’s your enemy now and you need to fight with cunning to save yourself and your child.
    Fight man!

  • Jim, your “gorgeous”/ugly on the inside wife doesn’t love you. She’s using and abusing you. That’s not love. She may say with her words that she loves you, but her actions says she doesn’t. She doesn’t even love her own child, because she wouldn’t have risked the life of her child with Tinder sex partners and also destroying what could have been a stable and loving home. Now it’s time for you to step it up and protect your daughter from this so-called mother. Unemotionally document all that you know that she’s done and has admitted to and then go see all the best lawyers in your city. Every single lawyer that you go for a free consult with, she can no longer use. You have the upperhand now; use it to your advantage. Don’t tell her about Chump Lady and all that you are learning from CL and CN. Keep everything to yourself. She’s expecting you to do the Pick Me Dance and “fight” for her and your family. Fight for yourself and your daughter!!

    I’m sure you have read this many times over here at CL, but IS THIS RELATIONSHIP ACCEPTABLE TO YOU?! Would you want your precious daughter in a relationship like this someday?

    “When someone treats you like an option, help them narrow the choices by removing yourself from the equation.”

    “If you hesitate between me and another person. Don’t choose me.”

    “When people show you who there are. Believe them the first time.”

    Good luck, Jim!

  • Raising hand. It happens. XW cheater was definitely in the throes of an affair while pregnant with our third son. That was a little nugget of a puzzle piece that fell into place after the divorce agreement was already drafted almost a year after DDay. Just made me even more disgusted to look at her.

  • In my state, the cheated-on can get sole custody or at least full-time/primary custody of the child due to adultery.
    Get a lawyer, discuss your options.

  • Jim, you’re not being judgemental in the least. You’re calling a spade a spade. In this case, you’re calling a skank a skank. Calling someone out on their bullshit is not being judgemental. Forget that new-age crap ‘I don’t judge.’ It has never been judgemental to tell somebody that the crap that SHE is doing is wrong. When I told my ex that I couldn’t be married to an adulterer, he turned around angrily and said, “And THAT’S your problem!! You’re so judgemental!!!” I was so mindfucked that I stopped and thought, “Am I really being judgemental?” I looked it up. The whole ‘take the log out of your eye before you point out the sliver in another’s’ is not appropriate here. That is a saying about hypocrisy. (I’m assuming you’re not screwing around on the side.) The saying that you’re looking for starts like this: “If your brother or sister sins, go and point out their fault.” I did my research about being judgemental. Shut that skank down and don’t even think you have to be understanding when she’s out fucking around. Like CL says, it’s all about entitlement. I’m sorry you’re in this boat, but if you don’t get off the ‘luv boat’ now, you’ll be getting off of it later with a whole lot more invested. Been there. Done that. Burned the T-shirt.

    • I have learned the difference between being “judgemental” and “judging what is good for me.” Two different things. You wanted and expected and were promised monogamy. It’s ok to judge whether you want to stay in this situation now that you have learned that she is not what she pretended to be. Your letter brought back intense feelings of the shock I went through when my husband confessed to being “with a prostitute, just once, I’m so sorry, it’ll never happen again.” Much later, and slowly, I found out that his disclosure was “trickle truth” and just the tip of the iceberg.
      If I could go back in time, I would not keep this secret, or private. I needed support and didn’t reach out! I would broach the topic with all the people I was close to as well as my own doctor & seek a therapist who supports me separately from my spouse. Don’t discuss your relationship with your wife- she has shown she is not trustworthy and does not have your best interests at heart. Read as much as you can on Chump Lady. Not every friend or relative will know how to show emotional support, but someone will!

    • Amen to this!! The ‘judgemental’ is indeed New Age crap that defuses the possibility of consequences for wrongdoing. Which then means that wrongdoing is perfectly fine, when ‘the heart wants what the heart wants’. What about your heart and your baby’s heart, Jim? Why should the cheater’s wishes take priority over yours and your child’s? Because that child will not want to be brought up in a home where one parent prioritises their fun and attention-seeking over the stability and peace of the home and the family’s hearts and minds.
      Jim, huge hugs. You’ve just had the incredible experience of becoming a father and now you find your not so gorgeous wife has utterly betrayed you and her child. Your emotions are all over the place. But please, please remember you CAN judge her behaviour and how it has and will impact on you and your child. That’s not ‘judgemental’, it’s acting like an intelligent, sane adult. If your wife feels ‘judged’ that’s her problem, and she probably will feel that way because she can’t admit she has agency and free will in her situation and has chosen to cheat, deceive and betray. She is apparently helpless before her passionate, wayward but heroically loving heart, as she will see it. Here at Chump Nation we call that Timid Forest Creature bullshit.
      Jim, so sorry you are in this hellish situation. I know what you mean by wanting to be her safe space, I wanted that too and ended up being ex’s mother and comfort blanket. Please fight for your family, that is you and your child, and rid yourselves of the drama and manipulation. Drop your ex, because she is no longer your wife.

      • ArtistFormerlyKnownAsChump,

        ‘As long as you live keep learning how to live’ is a quote by Seneca that I read today and it does sum up what my life has been these past 2 years.

        I survived several Ddays, the discovery that the x is a serial cheater and had been at it for the entirety of our 30 year marriage, RIC rhetoric, pick-me-dancing, separation and finally divorce. All mind numbing, soul crushing and utterly confusing. The pieces only began to come together when I discovered LACGAL and CL and CN.

        I know I have read what you wrote above about judgment at least a thousand times. I also know that things have a mysterious way of migrating very slowly from head knowledge into heart knowledge.

        This issue of judgment has been a tough one for me to digest because somewhere, along the way in my life, I bought into the no judgment thing big time wherein I end up absolving the offender of any responsibility for their actions while condemning myself over being judgmental.

        Makes not a lick of sense to me how my mind does that. The only way I can figure out that twist in blame is that my mind is trying to protect me from hurt in its twisted way. That it sees judgment ending up as me being abandoned and that is like a death to my ego therefore absolving the wrong doer prevents me from experiencing that fear while taking on the responsibility for the act perpetrated upon me where in I can be in control of things….or so my mind believes since I know that control is an illusion.

        Difficult to put what I am trying to convey into words but the literature is full of those of us who, so to speak, tie our hands behind our own backs due to our inability to judge clearly and cleanly and hence walk away for abusive relationships.

        When reading your words it was like a freight train coming straight at my head – its whistle screaming – HE IS GUILTY, HE REALLY IS. I felt it clearly and cleanly for a split second before my brain jumped in and did its best to convince me that he ‘didn’t mean to’ and that it I am still the bad one for judging. Of course the x reinforces this belief of mine whenever we have to have contact but slowly I am finding it harder to really swallow it and wonder what it will be like to really take that truth in fully. Today it feels like I had a forethought taste of what that will feel like.

        And this ties in with the quote at the beginning because this whole betrayal thing has made me look at my entire life in a new light and to really delve into what exactly does make me tick in the first place. I keep coming up with a lot of contradictions and complete mysteries. Human emotions are so elusive but I now know they have a huge impact on how I view the world and hence experience it as well. Thoughts that have been believed without close scrutiny and they have been ‘controlling’ me via my unconscious mind for as long as I can remember. Can’t run away from them so I come here looking for ways to piece what is left of my shattered life back together.

        Thanks for posting. You put a dent into my wall of ignorance. At some point in time, I know this wall of deception has to come tumbling down.

        • Hi lovely, I’m so pleased it helped a little! In my 20s I was a very judgemental person but I’m realising now that there is a white, there is a black, but there’s a beautiful rainbow of greys in between. I think what I was trying to say is that nowadays people tend to confuse ‘judging’ with ‘condemning’. Of course we must and should judge behaviour, judging anything is just common sense. I judge that another beer on top of the 3 I’ve already had will make me sick. But you can judge behaviour and decide it is harmful to you without condemning the person who carried it out. To condemn is to say that person has no hope ever of becoming better or behaving more kindly, and for me, I really can’t say that of anyone I know, I want them to be better. But they can stay far away from me in the meantime!
          One huge resource that helped me was Brene Brown’s Ted talks on the difference between shame and guilt. Guilt says, I did something wrong, it was my fault, I’ll do better next time. That’s judgement. Shame says, I did something wrong, it was my fault, I am a terrible person, end of. That’s condemnation. I’d advise you to watch!
          All the best, Elderly Chump, I always admire your strength and resilience and I love your self-reflection. That wall has big cracks in it now, I can see it crumbling! xxx

          • ArtistFormalyKnowAsChump,

            Thanks for your kind words and referral to B.Brown’s talk. I will watch her later on today. I need constant reminders.

            I also liked your breaking down of judgment vs condemning which I do get BUT I end up speackeling vs walking away. Thanks to CL and CN I am learning to hold separate spaces for each word. EG: If I felt judgment my brain instantly turned into condemnation and then I condemned myself for being judgmental in the first place so I was killing any judgment in an attempt to stop the cycle wherein I was the one slammed no matter what I did.

            Now I am exploring a new dimension of this dynamic that I hadn’t seen before. That there can be a different outcome when judgment comes into play especially when it is necessary. So many nuances to this stuff which I find both exciting and terrifying at the same time – so many possibilities to explore.

            I did have to chuckle at your words ‘I love your self-reflection’ I giggled because I am coming to see that my self-reflection could maybe be over thinking about things? Oh heaven forbid! 🙂

            Time to move on an LIVE my life. I’m off to Costco to stock up on the essentials. Something concrete and grounding for me to do.

  • Sadly it is not true that moms always get custody. I wish. My cheater got 50% custody in spite of never having been alone with our children before. Like, ever. The pendulum has swung far away from moms, Jim. You just might be in luck on the custody front.

  • Jim, there is so much more “under the surface” going on with your Soon to be Ex.
    What she did wasn’t an oops rather it was a conscious act. She decided to load the Tinder app, she decided to put herself on it and she decided to virtually cruise for guys and hook up threatening herself and her baby. She didn’t know those guys, they could have given her an STD or been rough and caused her to lose the baby. Did she think about any of this AND what it would do to you, your marriage and unborn child ??

    Nope, it’s all about her and she is worried about your REACTION ? More like she fears that the truth is going to come out and she will have to face consequences for her actions.
    Also, don’t assume these are just “hookups”. Hookups don’t have the kibble value of a full on affair. Don’t be surprised if their are multiple OMs and all of them are competing to be your replacement when she decides that one of them are “better than you” and she is “trading up”.

    You need to see a lawyer ASAP as well as get a paternity test !! I’ve been down the road you have and my Ex blew up a 16 year marriage with 3 minor kids because “her needs weren’t being fulfilled” and I discovered on Dday that pesky detail that there were 3 OMs at the same time (she’d been busy whoring).

    Your marriage is irretrievably broken and it’s time for an exit strategy. Staying leads to more kids, more cheating, and more pain for you, get out !

  • Jim – LISTEN to CL and the advise everyone has on this site!!!!! Do NOT listen to spakletwats like the therapist. Their source of income is dependent on chumps who do what they say and take it from a veteran chump – DO NOT listen to those idiots! They will keep you in the line for fucking years spending your hard earned money and fucking with your emotions keeping you in trauma. It BLOWS!!!!! Spend that money on a good lawyer, document ALL OF THIS and go after 50/50. Women don’t get the majority of the time with the children anymore especially women who are unstable. She is most definitely unstable! Remember that. Fight for what is right!!! Find a lawyer that fights for fathers rights. There are plenty of them out there and 50/50 is actually becoming the norm so don’t listen to spakletwat and the spakletwat therapist. They are saying that shit to keep you raining money on them. That is BULLSHIT! I hate you are going through this! I absolutely HATE dating sites and technology….and what happened to you is exactly why. It makes it so easy for betrayal.

  • Jim, if you read other peoples stories here on CL you will see the term “wife appliance”. That refers to a husband who wants a woman to have the babies, run the house, make him look good and supply sex as needed. But one who will not complain about an irresponsible adulterous husband who acts like a 15 year old boy that watches too much porn.
    Your wife wants a husband appliance.
    In her
    So flash forward with me in my story.
    It is my birthday and my wife of 20+ years takes me out for dinner and to spend the night in a fancy downtown hotel. Birthday sex! Yeah!
    In the morning she says she has something to tell me. She is pregnant at 48, but in the same breath says she does not want to have an abortion. So were does that come from? 25 years before when we were barely dating and in college she got pregnant. No jobs a just getting by. I did not want to start a family. She got an abortion very early. We later married and had two sons. So now I feel like a bum that this is what she is afraid of when she got pregnant out of the blue. I reassured her I want this baby too. It will be our bonus baby.
    A couple weeks later she miscarries. We have a good cry together.
    Our marriage was already a little rocky, but it goes further down hill until she tells me she wants a divorce. A few weeks later I discover she was having an affair. I do some sleuthing and find she had been having sex with at least one other co worker for years!
    This whole drama about not wanting to have an abortion I suspect now was just an act to make me the bad guy while she was sleeping around. Plus, the guys she was fucking had darker skin and brown eyes making her fear her perfidity would be revealed at birth as we are both fair skinned and blue eyed. Wouldn’t that be fun to sort out?
    So what I am saying Jim is that this bites. I did not know early in marriage this is what she was.
    You do.
    Play the movie forward. You will not like ending.

  • Jim, if you read other peoples stories here on CL you will see the term “wife appliance”. That refers to a husband who wants a woman to have the babies, run the house, make him look good and supply sex as needed. But one who will not complain about an irresponsible adulterous husband who acts like a 15 year old boy that watches too much porn.
    Your wife wants a husband appliance.

    So flash forward with me in my story.
    It is my birthday and my wife of 20+ years takes me out for dinner and to spend the night in a fancy downtown hotel. Birthday sex! Yeah!
    In the morning she says she has something to tell me. She is pregnant at 48, but in the same breath says she does not want to have an abortion. So were does that come from? 25 years before when we were barely dating and in college she got pregnant. No jobs a just getting by. I did not want to start a family. She got an abortion very early. We later married and had two sons. So now I feel like a bum that this is what she is afraid of when she got pregnant out of the blue. I reassured her I want this baby too. It will be our bonus baby.
    A couple weeks later she miscarries. We have a good cry together.
    Our marriage was already a little rocky, but it goes further down hill until she tells me she wants a divorce. A few weeks later I discover she was having an affair. I do some sleuthing and find she had been having sex with at least one other co worker for years!
    This whole drama about not wanting to have an abortion I suspect now was just an act to make me the bad guy while she was sleeping around. Plus, the guys she was fucking had darker skin and brown eyes making her fear her perfidity would be revealed at birth as we are both fair skinned and blue eyed. Wouldn’t that be fun to sort out?
    So what I am saying Jim is that this bites. I did not know early in marriage this is what she was.
    You do.
    Play the movie forward. You will not like ending.

  • She’s afraid she might cheat again? Cheating isn’t like contracting a cold or a flu, it doesn’t just befall a person. It involves scheming and deceit. It involves low morals. A disordered view of wanting flattery and excitement at someone else’s expense.

    She may be gorgeous on the outside, but what’s underneath ain’t that pretty.

    It all comes down to what you can stomach. You have a lot of thinking to do.

    If your work allows for a 50/50 custody split, that is your best bet. It’s a difficult road to not be with your child every day. But, it’s an honest life. And a sane one.

    • What Mitz said. Don’t be dazzled by someone who is “gorgeous” on the outside but a lying, duplicitous, entitled cheater on the inside.

  • You said you wanted to stay “until she decides” but that leaves things in her “her unpredictable hands.”

    Taking control of the situation isn’t walking away from your marriage out of anger or betrayal. That’s being a responsible person and parent. Holding your breath in fear gives her a tremendous amount of power when she has demonstrated she has no integrity. It’s okay for her to decide the fate of the family but you have no say? That’s basically what you are surrendering to when you wait for her to decide. It’s at odds with your beliefs about her behavior.

    Go visit an attorney. Learn about your rights. This will help inform a plan of action. This does not mean you are throwing her out tomorrow and filing papers. It means you are getting the information you need to put your child and family first.

    You also don’t tell her you have an attorney. She doesn’t deserve to know. She didn’t let you in on her affair until she had an audience at a therapist’s office–which is seriously cowardly and shows she can’t own her shit–and trust me, she won’t let you know when she does it again and are about to “lose everything.”

    Knowledge is power.

  • Jim,
    Many on here have already given the great advice to how to proceed to protect yourself and your baby. I want to give you a bit of fuel to fire that up.

    As a pregnant woman who was cheated on and abandoned I can tell you that her narrative makes no sense at all. Even though I have been hurt, betrayed and flat out abused by this man I could never fathom being with another man while carrying this child. My therapist advised me, as did my OBGYN, that my hormones have me programmed to not endanger my baby for anything. Only a dysfunctional broken Narc could do this to her baby.

    Also, look at the hookup partner. Who willingly gets together with a woman who is pregnant with another man’s child? A sick fuck, that’s who! There have been a few guys who have tried to get with me while very pregnant. My alarm bells went off every single time. It was so gross, depraved and the anger I felt each time showed me exactly how much I will protect my baby. Something is wrong with this person.

    Get angry at her betrayal. Use it to do what you have to for yourself and your baby. You will get through this and in the end, stay the sane parent. It will show your little one that you are the one they can count on no matter what.

    • “Who willingly gets together with a woman who is pregnant with another man’s child?”

      Which leads me to believe that this baby isn’t Jim’s daughter.

    • “Who willingly gets together with a woman who is pregnant with another man’s child?”

      Which leads me to believe that this baby isn’t Jim’s daughter.

  • Jim,

    You have a slew of comments here that say you should just end the marriage. I suspect your brain might agree with that sentiment, but your heart absolutely does not, having just had a baby. Here’s my suggestion, it’s perhaps a little different.

    1) Get tested for STDs. If she gave you something, that’s something you should know.

    2) Get your child’s paternity tested. If you’re the father, move on to step three. If not, well, then this becomes very clear cut. Leave her, disavow paternity, and refuse to pay alimony.

    3) If you are the father, then you need to have a talk with your wife. Put all your anger in a mental box, and close it up for the time being. Let her know that she really messed up by having the fling, you’re considering separation, but you want to know where she is mentally. Let her know in no uncertain terms that any more of this behavior is unacceptable, and will be grounds for divorce, with you demanding 50/50 custody and no spousal support. And let her know that if this is who she is, someone who wants to keep playing the field, then the two of you can divorce, work out amicable child custody and care arrangements, and she can live her life while you live yours. During all of this, be calm, cool, and collected. Give her zero reason to want to run to a safe space, no concern that you’ll get violent or upset, and clear options on where you stand and what her choices are. Do not assure her that if she cleans up her act you still won’t divorce her – you need to rebuild trust, and that is very, very difficult (many here would argue that it’s completely impossible).

    “She says the reason she told me in the first place is she felt like she was maybe about to do it again — and she didn’t want to.”

    What does that even mean? Either she wants to, or she doesn’t want to. This is grade A word salad BS. What I think she is saying is that she feels the desire to do this again even though she knows it’s wrong. So what she needs to do is to decide if she has the emotional control of a small child and will give into every impulse she feels, or will she be an adult and control her behavior. If she can’t answer that question, then she’s clearly falling into the child camp for some reason.

    A number of calm, follow up questions you can pose. Handle these with caution, she might flee back into the undergrowth, timid forest creature that she is.

    1) You know that this behavior would hurt me deeply. Do you not love me enough to not create that emotional pain?

    2) Do you prioritize these little flings over the well being of our child?

    3) Do you think these events (affair, reveal, etc.) are something that will help you grow and mature, or is this simply your way of avoiding feeling guilty about what you did by unburdening yourself to me?

    All that said, I have little hope for your marriage. If she’s the kind of person who would have a fling while pregnant (which means that her body is literally advertising to every potential affair partner that she chose to procreate with someone else, presumably you), it seems clear where her emotional priorities are.

    I suppose it’s possible that the emotional swings of pregnancy may have made her vulnerable to this behavior, and that postpartum depression contributed to both her current state and her therapy, and her decision to reveal it (which frankly, is the only positive in all of this – she came to you with the information, you didn’t have to dig it up or stumble upon it).

    If you think she wasn’t in her right mind, well, that’s possibly legit, but then, going forward, the pressures of possibly another pregnancy (or more) and baby/babies, raising kids, teenagers (!?!?!?!), and eventually becoming a empty nester could throw her right back into this ugly (for you) space again. If so, do you want to sign up for a lifetime of managing her emotions and happiness so she doesn’t cheat again?

    You thought she was one person when you married her. You just found out she isn’t that person, she’s someone else. Put the emotions aside, and try to look at the situation objectively. That will help you find the right path for you and your child.

    Hugs. Strength. Peace.
    aeronaut

  • Jim, as a mom of three kids, I can tell you that, without a doubt, I cared for myself throughout my three pregnancies. I avoided unpasteurized foods. I didn’t eat deli meat due to the possibility of contracting listeria. I watched my weight, went to all of my doctor’s appointments, and took my prenatal vitamins. I took growing those babies very seriously.

    Your wife slept with another man while she was pregnant. That should tell you everything. She not only exposed herself and you to STDs but also your unborn child. Think about that. She put sex with a stranger and her selfish wants ahead of the the safety of your baby.

    I want you to think about that. She cared more about what she wanted in the moment than your baby. If you can’t leave her over what she’s done to you, then leave her over how she clearly views your child. You love that child. If she loves your child, she has a hell of a way of showing it.

    I agree with the others that you will likely get 50-50 custody. It sucks, but staying with her (remember– a woman who has already abused your child) would suck far worse. The only reason my ex doesn’t have 50-50 is because he didn’t want it; he was happy to let me be the primary custodian. If your wife is as selfish as she sounds, she may very well be happy to let you bear the greater burden of parenting because that is probably how she sees it– a burden, not a gift.

    I wish you luck, and I hope you get away from your abusive spouse. You’re not just protecting yourself. You’re also protecting your child.

  • Jim, your wife doesn’t love you. She doesn’t respect you. She told you she felt like cheating again. This means she is actively planning to cheat again. She just wants to see if you will tolerate it. It looks like you will unless you get the hell out of Dodge. Your relationship is over. If you try to save your marriage, ask yourself what are you trying to save? A lifetime of doubt and self-reproach?

    My partner and I didn’t have any children, but we were together for 25 years (never married). He had three affairs and an unknown number of hook ups. After the last affair I finally grew a pair and threw him out. How many affairs and hook ups will you tolerate before you’ve had enough? I hope it doesn’t take you as long as it did me to figure out that cheaters are going to cheat. They never change. THEY NEVER CHANGE.

    I am truly sorry there is a child involved, but don’t despair about custody. I had a co-worker who got full custody of his five children when he divorced. That was 25 years ago.

  • I would recommend getting a DNA test done. Yeah, she will be upset but you need to know if this is your child. And it will also let her know that you don’t trust her (and you don’t). That therapy session was a “set up” against YOU. They have plotted on how they can make you accountable for her transgressions thus putting the burden on you. Even if you are thinking about staying Jim, don’t allow her/them to decide how things are going to be. It can be very scary to think ahead and i know you want to believe that she won’t do it again. But this isn’t what she is saying. She is telling you she wants to cheat and is challenging you to make her NOT wanna cheat. SMH. She sounds like a person with entitlement. You owe her! You need to prove to her why she shouldn’t continue cheating. Jim see if that baby is yours for starters.

  • Something about this post is odd.
    CL delivers (as always) with universally solid advice; my intuition is ringing on several fronts based on the OP’s description. Regardless, what’s best for that child is not the status quo.

  • “This isn’t a communication problem, it’s an entitlement problem. She feels entitled to fuck around, and she’s keeping you an emotional hostage because you want your family.”

    Jim — you are three years into this sham of a marriage. The situtation you describe can go on for YEARS undectected. (Believe me and hundreds of others on this site that had a similar situtation.)

    What’s the alternative to dangling on a thread waiting for her to decide which way the wind blows? And can you ever feel secure in the relationship again?

    Your child is a baby. That means there’s a good chance for you to meet someone who can be a loving step-mother and role model. And someone who loves you and respects you and treats you with respect.

    Seek out a lawyer, get at least 50% custody. Be the dad you want to be, without the abuse.

  • Please go. Get a lawyer and go. I understand that the thought of losing custody of your baby is scary, but there are lawyers who will help you. Don’t tell her what you’re doing, get a lawyer and document everything.

    I stayed. I had a therapist that said I was 50% at fault. I gave my ex-horrible a second chance and I thought that we were the couple that was going to make it work.

    WRONG! He cheated again while we were in therapy. You will not find peace with someone who doesn’t value you.

  • 1) Consult every family/divorce attorney and ask each of them who they would most fear have representing their spouse in a divorce. Go see that attorney. Even if you have to pay for a one-hour consult it’s worth it.
    2) DNA testing
    3) STD testing
    4) With the attorney’s blessing – separate the finances. You don’t say if she works or not, but you can still have separate checking. Get a new bank – not a new branch – a wholly new bank and set up your direct deposit, etc.
    5) Also with the attorney’s blessing – change the beneficiary on your life insurance policy – at least have the paperwork ready to go the second you are divorced.
    6) Minor child = parenting classes for divorcing couples. Look them up, sign yourself up and impress your attorney.
    7) A therapist for you and you alone (which is kinda sorta related to #6, but it shows you put in a good faith effort to fix your “failings” that “made her cheat”. Even if you don’t. A therapist who is NOT an M.D. can have their notes subpoenaed – so be wary of what you say. If she gets a good attorney, they will ask for them. No dark fantasies. Just how to be a good single parent.

    She’s not interested in monogamy or she would behave completely differently. She’s not remorseful, she’s treating you like an afterthought because she feels entitled to the security of you and your home, plus banging whomever she chooses and then BLAMING YOU FOR HER UNMET “NEEDS”.

    Screw that noise!

    • Oh yeah – don’t forget not to tell her a single one of your plans. She isn’t trustworthy and she will use that information to make your life WORSE. Don’t move the money until you’ve gotten the plan together with your attorney.

      This will suck, but it’s important that you trust that SHE sucks in both personality and probably other people.

      In my state, if you have sex with her after this revelation, it means you have forgiven her the affair(s). So hold off if you haven’t already reset that shot clock. Tell her she has to prove to you that she hasn’t gotten an STI.

      • Change phone plans as well so she can’t read what your plans are (texts and calls to prospective attorneys, any discussions with family and friends, etc.)

      • Makes me laugh Lee. Because she’s telling him she’s thinking about fucking someone again. It doesn’t sound like she’s remorseful or asking for forgiveness. Nope.

  • Jim,
    Your wife needs to feel “emotionally stable.”
    What the hell do you need to feel Jim?!
    ANGER, you need to feel ANGER, rightful anger, and act on it.
    All that CL said, all that CN tells you, do it Jim! Big deep breaths. You have to do it for yourself first, so that you can do it, so you can be there, for your precious Baby. It is so obvious that you will be the present, sane, loving parent. Whether you get full custody or whatever time you spend with your child, this will be his strength. YOU will be the role model, no matter what.
    There is no luck in having to be on this site, but there is good, fruitful fortune in finding CL, CN. You cannot see us, but Chumps are real people, with hearts as big as the ocean. Chumps get it, we feel your pain. We want to reach out and help you.
    Get a lawyer, get your own therapist and stay strong with CL, CN, we have your back.
    You can do this!

  • I’ve been thinking about this a minute and here is the first thing I really definitely think you should absolutely do:

    TELL the people in your life who you love and who love you. If that’s your family, tell them. If that’s close friends, tell them. I think the single biggest red flag (of the many red flags) for me is that she’s subverting the idea of a “safe space” in order to isolate. That’s SCARY and you need to RESIST THAT RIGHT NOW. With the help of the people you count on as your support community, I really believe you will have the strength to accomplish what you need to.

    I don’t necessarily think you need to do a paternity test for genetic reasons (if you love the baby, you love the baby) but the truth is, if it isn’t yours, she can drop that bomb in court to get full custody — better to know sooner rather than later.

    Also, I know this is hard to imagine right now, but I promise you there are women out there who will do right by you and just fyi, single dads are super hot.

    • This is such a wise point. Tell the people you need as support. Don’t let her control the narrative or determine what “reality” is for you.

      If she decides to continue cheating or leave you for another man, you will be playing defense and catch-up. And you will be much more vulnerable if you don’t tell your family and friends. You don’t need to bad-mouth her; just let people know what you are going through.

    • This, and if I might add, go to your doctor and get the details recorded so that you have an official record of what went down, and tell, tell, TELL.

  • Dear Jim – DO NOT stay until she decides what the heck she’s doing. YOU get to decide what is acceptable to you. Be the captain of your ship and sail away from that cluster fuck of a poor excuse for a wife and a mother. You can do so much better.

    She may be pretty on the outside but she is an ugly troll on the inside. She is a woman of no moral substance or integrity. All that ugliness on the inside can be seen on the outside as well. You have to take off those rose colored glasses.

    To quote CL, your attempts at trying to untangle the skein of her fuckedupness is keeping you from the life saving task of RUNNING THE HELL AWAY FROM HER.

  • You feel like the most valuable things in your life are hanging in the balance–because they are if you decide to let your cheating wife make the decision if the marriage continues or not.

    Let’s imagine a different scenario. You catch your wife physically abusing your child. Would you let her make the decision about whether she stays or goes? Or say she’s taking crystal meth while she cares for the baby. Would you let her make the decision whether she stays or goes? Or say she locks your child in the house alone and goes out for a pedicure. Would she get to make the decision?

    She’s the one who cheated. You are the one who decides. You are the victim here, you and the child. Now you can take into consideration who remorseful a person is–and not just based on what the person SAYS. You also have to look at actions, past and present. You have to sort out how much lying went on. There’s the question of paternity. There’s this weird idea that she needs a “safe space” to talk about how she’s hurting you, as if you don’t count at all. I read your post and I think, “Where’s the heartbreak here on her side? The therapy is just an extension of the other gaslighting she’s done.

    Your first order of business should be to talk to at least 3 divorce attorneys. Don’t bother with the “men’s rights” advocates. Just get the very best ones in your area and ask for a consultation. Find out what your state is mostly likely to do in terms of custody. You should ask for full legal custody based on putting the baby at risk during the pregnancy. I’m quite sure there will also be other behaviors that put you at risk. Take steps to protect yourself from disease and from further emotional abuse, for that is what cheating is. In your case, she extends the abuse by playing the victim with her quack therapist. Protect your finances. Protect your child.

    You decide what you want in your life. You can’t control the courts, but you can control what you are willing to tolerate and what you will model for your child.

  • This is horrifying Jim. ‘I’ve just birthed your baby and you thought your life was complete, but now I’ve got my finger on the tinder button, and whether I swipe or not is up to you Jim? How hard and how long are you willing to dance, because, wow, with my PND ‘n all, I’m super unstable and if you don’t treat me exactly right (and even then) I might go do it again, but I don’t want to, but you made me do it.’ Wow Jim, just wow, who is this women? Obviously not the woman you thought. When I was pregnant I thought my life was made and I was in my own little love bubble of a rosy future with my husband full of love and baby snuggles, not fucking other men. So she’s had major, basic foundation of character problems for a while now. Please get out, this won’t get better. She’ll do horrendous things and then blame them on you, she might even try to alienate your child from you to justify her horrible actions, and I am curious to know what she’s told family and friends about you lately, in case this all comes out. She’s a stone cold psycho, who knows the stakes are incredibly high for you, and she’s taken a grab for your short hairs. Call her bluff. I would love to see the reaction from her when you did that. I’d make sure you line up your ducks, let your close friends and family know, make sure that baby is in a safe place, and file. It’s gonna get messy, she’s gonna pull all kinds of bullshit on you to get her way, or when she realises she’s not gonna get her way. Be prepared for her to have told/tell friends you were cold, unsupportive, perhaps even abusive to justify why she would fuck other men while she was PREGNANT. Or perhaps she’s counting on you to keep her secrets for her – don’t, tell someone today, and get help. Best of luck Jim, congrats on your beautiful baby, and although it’s sad for your bubba and you, I suspect that in the end if you do this cleanly and quickly, you’ll look back and be happy that you saw the measure of her so early in the timeline and got on with a better life.

    • PS, that counselling was a setup, she wanted you there so she could tell you in front of someone else. Write an email and note down everything you can remember that was said and send it to yourself or someone you trust. Make an appointment with your GP and talk to them and get them to record what you have just told us, so that it is on your file in a timely manner. I am not sure how it all works, but record the details of the therapist you visited (who is a bullshit therapist by the way) and if possible get notes if possible. You need to document this timeline, because I have a feeling she is going to try and pull some major bullshit on you if you file, and it would be good to have this for court, either to let her know that you are happy for those notes to come out in court because they are your doctors notes, that might be leverage, or it might be that you are having to fight false accusations of something.

  • The fact that you started out your story with (a basically irrelevant statement)…”My wife and baby are both gorgeous, by the way.”, tells me that you probably chose her based upon her looks, and that you value women and even your baby largely based upon looks. When you (only) choose looks, then that’s usually what (and all) that you get.

    • I agree with Tall One and Stig. We Pick Me Dancers danced because we thought our spouses were gorgeous inside and out. Jim has a loving soul and I’m sure still loves his wife. Not all of us can turn off the love tap just like that – it can take months or even years of trickle truth and self-love recovery. Everyone who truly loves believes their spouse is beautiful, whether they look like a film star or a gargoyle. Love is just like that.

  • hi jim – reading your letter reminded me of how i felt on d-day. that was quite a few years ago now. life has improved greatly.

    i think it’s pretty vital that you acknowledge your anger and find a way to release it so that you can focus on keeping your cool around your wife. for me it was intense exercise. hitting a punching bag etc. don’t be ashamed of the rage.

    talk to a lawyer. i agree with the person who suggested you should go for full custody, but expect to get 50-50.

    alternatively, you could talk to her and try and settle it out of court. i did this, but i don’t live in the states. it may not be feasible for you.

    or, if you’re ok with being treated like a piece of shit for the rest of your life, continue with the therapy and try to keep the marriage together. good luck with that.

  • Oh Jim, I’m so sorry. But please know that your wife is weaponizing your infant. She is using your love for your daughter against you—to prevent you from leaving. It is no coincidence that she sprung this on you now, when you instinctively feel compelled to be there for your child, when you are vulnerable. It’s despicable what she’s doing, like sociopathic. She needs mental help, you need a kick ass attorney who can parlay her cheating while pregnant into placing your baby at risk.

    • It’s worth considering why a cheater wants to stay. And often it’s because the chump is a good “earner” and also willing to do what needs to be done around the house, whether the chump is male or female. So Jim, if she is a SAHM, insist that she go back to work. Get her to establish her capacity to earn. Get yourself in a better position to argue that you do as much for kiddo as she does. Don’t support someone who is a parasite using you to take care of her while she cheats.

  • Everything people are saying above. Putting a child’s life at risk by having sex with strangersnwhile pregnant can be ground for custody.I would want to do paternity though I feel sad about it since little child is innocent of all this lady’s shenanigans.

  • My wasband is a serial cheater. Fessed up decades ago, I was young, naive and madly in love. Promised me he was done because he loved me and our children. Well, fast forward 3 decades wherein I found out he had just gotten sneakier and didn’t fess up again until he walked out the door because he had found his soul mate at last. Children and I had been Plan B all along.

    Ouch.

    He is a therapist so BEWARE of who the therapist is you are seeing and what his/her agenda is.

    Ditto what everyone says about lawyer up and paternity test.

    Run like you hair is on fire.

    You will never be able to trust her again because cheaters do not change.

    Trust that they suck. Tracy’s mantra – well, at least one of them anyway. 🙂

  • Jim. Sorry this is happening to u and ur kid but ur wife doesn’t have the same morals and values as you when it comes to love marriage and family. Sorry. Put down ur dancing shoes and hopium pipe and gain a life. Ur living a lie and ur kid will too. It’s going to eat u up ur not like ur wife. Leave. It’s going to suck for a long time but u don’t want this narcissist to suck u dry and she will.

    Lawyer up, fight for ur child and eat the shitsandwichs for now but in the long run u will have a life.

    Keep moving forward don’t stand still because the crazy going to fuck u up if u stay.

    P.s. tell that piece of shit counselor to fuck off and school her with some cl lines

  • I learned the hard way that once a cheater, always a cheater. Sometimes going to therapy with the cheater is just another opportunity for them to blame & abuse the chump while stalling the divorce process so they can get all their ducks (reality: fucks) in a row. And nothing aggravates me more than cheaters who imply they don’t feel “safe” or need a safe place away from the chump while they have totally undermined our safety: physically, emotionally & financially. They are unsafe partners but play the victim & suggest they don’t feel safe with us! Such evil projection!

  • Jim, I wasted an extra 4 years hoping and believing I had won the pick me dance and found out it was all an illusion. Your wife is no longer your wife. She’s someone else’s willing plaything and you have been chumped 🙁 Do not stay in a ‘sham’ relationship with a cheater for the sake of a relationship with a child. They are two entirely different things. You need to separate them ASAP and keep them separate and you will be forever mindfucked until you do. Don’t waste any more time on this losing game. Lose the cheater – gain the life. Get the paternity test and navigate from there.

  • I am a fellow father that went through a similar situation and the same fear about loosing my child and not seeing them.

    The old rule of mom always gets full custody is no longer real. If you only look at raw percentages then yes the mother gets custody most of the time.

    HOWEVER

    When you drill into the reasons and the actually numbers behind the reasons the majority of the time it is because the Dad does not contest the custody.

    Now taking those numbers and just focus on the ones dad does contest the custody and the dad wins a little over 50% of the time.

    So on to my point, yes you should be able to get 50/50 custody. What you will have to show the court is that you have a parenting plan (I had to do the same thing). I showed them while I am at work this is whats going on and my child will be at the special school daycare prior to school and after the school so I can drop her off early and pick her up after. I had to show my job has fixed hours so I can be home to make sure my child got fed and would not be alone at night etc….

    You do that and you should (at the minimum) be part of the 50/50 custody club!

    • I was not clear, when dad wins over 50% of the time I meant he wins full custody (not 50/50). So you follow what I am saying you have a VERY high chance of winning a 50/50

    • Lothos, happy to hear your personal testimony as a father, with joint custody. Happy you did not allow your fear of loosing your children keep you in a messed up situation.
      It seems courts advocate for joint custody, making it more difficult to go for full or sole custody, even with deadbeats and criminals, unless they fail to show for court.
      Wasn’t even worth mentioning adultery in the court room, since I’m in a no-fault state.

  • Chiming in late here. I had the same experience, Jim.

    Our therapist said, “No one make any sudden moves; JC stay in the marriage; JC wife keep having contact with OM because she’s getting something out of it.”

    Fail. I left that therapist.

    Within a month, we had a new therapist, and that one was encouraging an open marriage, despite my repeated insistence that’s not my lifestyle.

    Open message to all you alleged “therapists”: STEP ONE for any couple dealing with infidelity is for immediate ending of the affair and no contact with the AP. Without STEP ONE, there is nothing to work with. There are no other ways to “fix what’s broken” without STEP ONE.

    Jim, Get out of this marriage, ASAP.

  • She brought you to therapy to tell you that she did something bad and was thinking about doing it again…because…… she’s just a pitiful broken person that can’t control herself, blah, blah, blah. She doesn’t want consequences- she wants you to feel sorry for her and see her as the victim instead of you.

    Sometimes we fear the unknown. We fear life on the other side of divorce. It’s a different life, but it’s a life without looking at a cheater every day- rather peaceful if I do say so myself.

    Do a secret paternity test. If yours file for 50/50. You have a right to it

    What I realized during my 2 months of pick me dancing: XW wasn’t sorry about what she did- she was actually proud and bragged about it to others. If AP had money she would have dumped me instead of begging me not to divorce her. And 3rd she was going to do it again and all the previous 6 years of stuff were her attempts to cheat.

    These people are abusers. Walk away from your abuser. A happy life awaits.

    • The therapy is also a way to delay your leaving Jim, while she maybe waits for a Twu Wuv OM to be ready. Easier to play the victim and keep you around (you’re obviously useful to look after her & the baby) while she plans her next move.

      And please don’t pick-me dance anymore. I did that for a year then another year in an in-house separation. I somehow survived. 3 weeks ago I (finally) moved out into my own apartment. It’s bliss.

    • Ouch, I am in the same boat as Jim. I think your comments are on the money Zell. They certainly ring true for me. Can’t bring myself to risk most/any of it in divorce so I’m in the pick me dance therapy nonsense.
      Distracting myself with golf seems to be “helping” but I’m likely just putting myself at a disadvantage as time goes by.
      Cheater recently said she would leave my money alone and share custody. I don’t believe her. I think she was just feeling out my strategy.
      I sort of want to hedge the situation by slowly paying off all my debts, which are equal to about 30% of my savings and try to eek out an amicable settlement out of court without lawyers (though they may have to sign off). Thoughts?

      • Mac1234
        These are just my thought but you asked for them so here you go….take them with a grain of salt.

        If she has offered to leave $ alone and to share custody I am thinking she is in that pink cloud of limerence that happens at the beginning of a relationship and has a shelf life of about 2 years, if you are lucky….In other words, she is probably high on love so material things are of no value and seem inconsequential to her distorted thinking process.

        Translated further – take her at her word and get out now before that pink cloud bursts and reality hits wherein she could turn on you and take you to the cleaners. ‘They’ call this the anger stage which hits when they wake up and realize what they have given up. Their guilt has run its course which motivates them to be generous. Life goes on because wherever you go and whom ever you are with – there you are too. We can’t run away from ourselves no matter how hard we try to.

        If you can do it amicably without lawyers – do it. Saves time and $$$. Worry about paying down your bills once all is settled because lawyer bills can add to that significantly but I am no expert here so do not listen to me in regards to managing finances. My debt was free and clear when the shit hit the fan here so I didn’t have to deal with that and he paid off his debts out of his share of the split of our savings. That was a blessing for me because I was afraid I would be held accountable for his overspending…

        Good Luck. Sorry you have to go through this shit storm especially with a young child.

        • Elderly Chump – you just described my Ex’s actions to the letter. Didn’t want anything from the house at first but within a year was saying I took everything and left him with nothing. He was/is angry at me because he suffered consequences for his actions. And finally, his relationship with his ‘true love’ ended around the 2 year mark.
          Mac1234 – most likely your wife won’t leave your money alone otherwise she would have filed by now. But use it to your advantage to see what she is after. It may be some amount much lower than you think.

          • mcfeisty,

            As CL states – cheaters are cliches.:)

            A few conversations ago, I am NC but occasionally we have to talk and he manages to toss in a TFC / DARVO tactics and one was, with self pity dripping from every word, “Well, I guess I have to live with the consequences.”

            NO SHIT SHERLOCK. (My thoughts but not spoken – grey rock saves me many a pointless discussion.)

            He failed to mention that I and our children are having to live with the consequences of his choices/behavior and we had NO choice in the matter. Thanks to CL and CN I now see how his behavior is all about HIM which makes it easier to accept all that has taken place these past couple of years.

            OW left him in less than 6 months. Guess she only liked triangulated relationships so when I bowed out the who game changed….also predictable.

  • Jim,
    I think that children ending up solely with the mother, by default, is an outdated way of doing things and also a common misconception. It seems that most courts these days are big advocates of joint custody, atleast in my state and quite a few others, from what I hear from family.
    I might also add, that if your soon to be ex wife wishes to have an active dating/social life…you will most likely be babysitter for her most nights, and therefore very involved with your child.
    Yes, it does suck sharing your kid and not having them home every night, but the time you do have them, you really make those times count.
    I might also add that it might be wise to order a paternity test before you start forking out child support, become too emotionally attached to the child or give into any shameful feelings you might have about divorcing the women you love who is pregnant and about to be a new mom.
    I wish you the best of luck through this crap. I sympathize with your position as a chump man, in this dynamic. Many here understand the pain of marital purgatory and loosing the intact family. Some have come out on the other side and others still to come. It’s hard work but definitely worth it, and you’re worth it. You can’t fight for love that doesn’t fight for you. Look at her actions and how she treats you. You deserve better, and it’s okay that you made a mistake in choosing a partner that you thought you could trust and raise a family with. She’s not it. Staying with someone you don’t trust destroys you, every day. If the baby is yours, it will be difficult to be a present father if your mind is preoccupied with the untrustworthiness and accountability of your hopefully soon to be ex wife.

  • Jim,

    Here’s one other question to ask yourself. Why wouldn’t she just keep the whole thing a secret? What was the purpose of her reveal? And why this particular timing, just after having her first kid with you? Something doesn’t add up here. Here’s my guesses, from most likely to least likely, and it could be some of each.

    1) She wanted to use the reveal to manipulate you. Put you on notice that you need to dance for her, be a super-husband, or she’ll cheat again Still begs the question of why she would need to do this if she just had your baby and you were over the moon about your family life, before her ugly reveal.

    2) She’s guilty, but not guilty enough to not do it again, so she wants to unburden her psyche, and get your tacit permission (I told him I might do it again and he didn’t divorce me, …) to have another affair when she wants to.

    3) She has some weird control fetish, and wants to manipulate you this way. If this is the motivation, it’s also possible that the affair stuff was made up, although that’s twisted and sick in a whole different way that would also suggest you should divorce her and run like hell from her.

    4) She has always wanted an open relationship, but with the security of marriage. She knew you wouldn’t go for that until there was more than promises and paperwork tying the two of you together, so she’s laying out the groundwork for her to screw around for the rest of her life, springing the trap after the baby is born to tie you together. If that’s what you decide you want to stay signed up for, well, enjoy, and good luck with it.

    5) This is all about image management. She did the reveal in the therapist’s office to give her a veneer of ‘respectability’ and ‘reasonableness’ about this, and she fully expects you to go nuts at some point down the line, at which point she can accuse you of being an angry neanderthal who drove her to find safety in the arms of other men, making the whole mess appear to be your fault. If that’s her plan, you can thwart it by being peaceful, responsible, and law abiding (while still honoring your justified anger at her and taking actions to protect yourself and your child).

    As I said above, you can try to salvage this, but I’m highly skeptical. There are thousands of possible futures for the two of you, but very few of them end with the two of you together and you happy. Many more of them involve a lot of pain for you; the amount of that pain is roughly proportional to the amount of time you try to stay married to her.

    Good luck.
    aeronaut

  • It’s possible that the person she is cheating with looks distinctly different from you, so when the pregnancy reveals that “your” baby is the result of her infidelity, it makes her secret known to the world.

    BTW, I agree with others who tell yo that it is entirely likely that the cheating did not start after she was impregnated.

  • Jim,
    As CL says, ‘there is no great awakening when an affair is discovered, cheaters just ramp up their manipulation game’. You are being played. I found out on 2/28/18 that my stbxw cheated on me for years, telling me that she was going on yoga retreats with other women, when instead, she was going to a cabin she and her boyfriend called the “Love Shack.” She refused couple’s counseling, but saw a therapist on her own and was told to go to a mental safe space when we would have arguments about her infidelity and lack of remorse or empathy. Although that affair ended years ago (the guy died), I found out that her safe space was the Love Shack and that was the final straw. Even though the asshole had been long gone, she was still cheating on me mentally in her safe space. Just another “Fuck You” to me. We are now divorcing. It has been a year since our date of separation and things are getting better, but I have minimized contact and am no longer smoking the hopium. Your wife is not a kind person and she does not respect you. If you stay with her, you will never feel you can trust her and will always have doubts about whether she really loves you or not (she doesn’t). Be glad you only had 3 years of marriage invested in her, I had 30 years invested and although I only had recent proof of her infidelity, I have had gut feelings that has cheated for decades. I am finally starting to get some peace of mind. Your wife is a sparkly turd, don’t waste your life with her. Get out, Jim, you won’t regret it!

    • GotPlayed,

      I have a friend who has a friend who cheated on her husband 10 plus years ago. She cheated with one man for 2 years. It was a long distance relationship. Her husband and children didn’t know and still do not.

      According to my friend, her friend ‘woke up’ and as a result ended the affair and cut off all contact and has been dealing with her issues ever since and has remained faithful to her husband although she does not love him and only remained in the marriage due to her ‘abandonment/security’ issues.

      This story helped me deal with any thoughts that the x and I could resume and work on our relationship as per RIC rhetoric. I am convinced that if he had chosen to remain in the relationship it would not have been out of his love for me but rather his need for security/comfort.

      Like the woman above, the x had it made for years. I never caught on. He got to have his flings and didn’t need to commit to anyone least of all me. I now know I spent 30 years as Plan B and our kids were all part of that plan too. His ‘front’ so to speak so he could feel respectable and then he could feel honorable because, after all, he supported us all for all of those years….The lies these cheaters tell themselves and believe are mind boggling.

      Glad to read that you are divorcing and sensing some peace from all of the mind-fuckery. I am 2 years out and I keep getting my eyes open to more and more of his behaviors that I had previously had accepted as ‘normal’. I am feeling free at last knowing it wasn’t about me – that it was about him all along. Not a burden that I have to carry anymore

  • Awesome post and awesome advice.

    For the male chump….

    Send this link below to your wife. In the music video, you are the character called “reality.” Only don’t go away. Kick your wife out of her safe space. See video. Tell your wife only satirical cartoon characters are allowed safe spaces. But, if humans are entitled to them, she doesn’t get one because she already stole your “safe space,” which was a monogamous marriage and family. She ripped your safe space right out from under you, she needs to take responsibility for her horrible actions against you and she needs to be a trustworthy person. It sounds like the therapist is being emotionally abusive to you. The therapist’s advice to you about giving your wife a safe space smells of gas-lighting.

    https://youtu.be/sXQkXXBqj_U

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