I have been married to my possible soon-to-be-ex for 25 years (M 53). I should have left in 2007 when he had an emotional / online affair with a woman he met on a dating site (claimed it was an old friend from high school). Our kids were 2 and 10. It was the start of the Great Recession and I wasn’t making enough money to live comfortably. He convinced me it was my fault. We worked it out and have had a quiet 12 years.
In October 2020 he got a 19-year-old female helper. Management supposedly decided he would be the safest person to put her with. She doesn’t have a license, so he picks her up, they ride to jobs together (alone) and then drops her off. I wasn’t thrilled, but to keep the peace, I didn’t say anything. I’ve passive aggressively been calling her his “work wife” for awhile but otherwise, wasn’t letting it consume me. I genuinely wasn’t thinking anything nefarious was going on. He was actually pretty open about telling me things they talked about, some things about her life, etc.
Four weeks ago he sent her $600, without telling me, to help her get out of her country. Supposedly she lost her green card when she went home to Central America and needed the money to get home. Family couldn’t help. I had specifically asked him to not send her the money. Not only did I think it was inappropriate, I was suspicious of the whole story. I found out the next morning when I checked our joint bank account.
The company did reimburse him, but the damage was done and trust shattered. I got mad at him and called him a “f***ing liar”. He got mad at me — and I have texts of him accusing me of being the problem. He also said he shouldn’t have to ask me to “send money to a friend”, and I’ve been “stalking” him with find my iPhone. We fought, and eventually I accepted everything as my fault after begging a half-hearted apology out of him. He still says he did nothing wrong.
Since then, on top of the 2 to 4 hours of driving time they spend alone, I found out they’ve been going to leisurely lunches, either at restaurants or in the work truck (but we can’t go out because of COVID) and then Monday he came home with his hoodie strings cutely braided. I told him lunching for hours alone with his female coworker isn’t appropriate and wanted him to set a “no touch” boundary. He got mad — I’m just being jealous… threatened to quit his job… threatened to fire her… all of his decisions being my fault. None of which are going to happen. We haven’t spoken to each other in days.
He has since also bought her $1000 phone. He “confessed” and said he didn’t know why he did it And our marriage counselor said it seems like he’s trying to “save” her (she’s had a rough life). He promises he doesn’t love her, but does care about her. So after all this, he comes to me yesterday and says he’s going to a coworkers birthday party Saturday night and she’s probably going with him. I went off and told him how could he think I’d be okay with him hanging out with her on a Saturday night after everything that’s happened? So, now he is blaming me for not being able to go hang out with his coworkers because of my trust issues.
I’m in individual therapy and we’re in marriage counseling. Obviously it isn’t doing much good. I’m a big ball of mess — can’t sleep, stressed, heart rate up, blood pressure up. I want to believe she’s “just a friend” but nothing is adding up. I’m trying to find peace but it’s hard when you’re in the middle of a storm.
I’m curious where you fit into all this for your husband. Are you supposed to stay home and starch his shirts? Keep the home fires burning? Maintain a shrine and have no other gods before him?
What exactly is the point of you? Are you just some buzzing annoyance that he placates in weekly counseling sessions? While he continues his balls-deep infatuation with a teenager?
Creep fact: You have two children ages 15 and 23. SHE COULD BE YOUR THIRD CHILD. He is 53.
So is all this interest fatherly? Do your children get new $1K phones? Do you?
And our marriage counselor said it seems like he’s trying to “save” her (she’s had a rough life).
I think the word here is “groom” her. Your therapist is a quack. How nice of her to attribute the kindest of motivations. With that interpretation, what does that make you? The meanie who doesn’t want to save this waif?
Let me ask you — does your husband commit any other acts of flagrant generosity? Sponsor overseas orphans? Have a nephew he helps with college? An aging aunt who needs lawn care?
Or is it just one attractive teenage girl that is the sole focus of his charitable urges?
So after all this, he comes to me yesterday and says he’s going to a coworkers birthday party Saturday night and she’s probably going with him. I went off and told him how could he think I’d be okay with him hanging out with her on a Saturday night after everything that’s happened? So, now he is blaming me for not being able to go hang out with his coworkers because of my trust issues.
You weren’t invited? Oh right, you’re the controlling mean mommy who won’t let him have friends.
Look, Beth, no one wants to be the marriage police. When you find yourself in this bullshit, it’s best to realize that the relationship is over. You’ve been parentified. He’s wildly inappropriate, but you’re the Adult who is supposed to enforce his nonexistent boundaries. (Why don’t they exist? Because he doesn’t want them.) It’s a total no win.
He’s got cake — you there doing whatever it is that adds value to his life. (Just now, please shut up and don’t question his entitlement.) And he’s got his new mark, potential Schmoopie/sexual harassment lawsuit giving life zing.
Speaking of which — you don’t know if she’s a willing participant in all this. She may be a kid going along, who needs a ride, and is creeped out by the attention and needs her job.
If the $600 was reimbursed by the company, (i.e., they read this as a legitimate expense), she may have sincerely thought he could help her in that moment. There’s no reason HE had to do it, if it WAS something the company would cover, so that’s fishy.
But my point is, I can see the Predatory Other Woman narrative coming into play here. She’s after a new phone! A ride home! Bail!
She’s 19. HE is the predator. If he really wanted to “save” her, he could direct her to the appropriate services and keep it professional. His dick is being wildly unprofessional.
But most of all he’s hurting you. And that’s what really matters. He doesn’t seem to give a shit about that.
You can live with the constant devaluing (your blood pressure feels otherwise), or you can leave. My advice — hang up your mean mommy boots, and put the X in that STBX.