After being quarantined with Covid for the month of November 2020 my wife came home and announced that she wanted a divorce. The month had been stressful as we have two young children, 5 and 3, and I worked from home as a teacher during that time. My wife had returned to work as a nurse and I remained in quarantine for another two weeks. During that time she worked late, went “away” for the weekend because “work was stressful” and was just plain distant the whole time. It was a very lonely time but I kept my head down caring for our children and working.
This was days before Thanksgiving and she informed me that she would be moving out on New Years Eve. During that time (2 major holidays), she was distant and not really present in our home. I made gingerbread houses and made Christmas dinner for the kids. I took the kids to a hotel to get out of the house and swim. She would shave her legs and go “shopping” for 4 hours at a time. She was not someone I knew anymore and I confronted her about there being someone else. Each time she would lie and say there wasn’t. I handled my part, owned what I needed to own for the demise of our marriage, got sober and focused on myself and my children. I bought my own home, sold our home for a hefty profit and eased into my new life. I got a therapist and started working on my mindfulness. She got a lawyer and we quickly filed for divorce. I limited contact with her and sensed that there was something bad going on. Well, fast forward to June and it all came out.
It turns out that she had met a man, a co-worker, for “beers” out in the woods in the middle of October. A fellow co-worker (a female who my wife was also intimately involved with), who has an open marriage and is a slut, had set up a threeway for the three of them. They talked for hours and made out. They got Covid and spread it to me and our children. They spent every night talking on the phone for hours and meeting whenever they had a chance. He was married too but his wife found out about the affair. He ultimately decided to leave his wife of 23 years and his two children for my ex wife. They spent the winter continuing their affair and ultimately buying a house together a few weeks after our divorce was final. The whole time they were both peddling a narrative that didn’t involve an affair but was a magical coincidence.
She controlled the narrative for much of that time — telling people that she left a loveless marriage and somehow “found” her new lover as they liberated themselves from their painful marriages. She assassinated my character to our mutual friends and got ahead of the affair narrative. I have lost a lot of shared friendships as a result.
Now I am realizing just how many people really are not that interested in what happened to me and are happy to buy whatever narrative she is selling. It is a sad reality but at the same time also liberating that there are many people who just aren’t worth being a part of my life. Since we live in a small town and have a large circle of mutual friends it has been painful to watch people accept her immoral actions as justified. I know that I am on a better path, the path I was meant to be on but know the road is long. My children are now living with this man (6 months after our divorce and her moving out) who crept into our marriage and decimated my life as I knew it. We try to parallel parenting but communication is toxic and limited. She told me the only thing she would change about all of it was “telling me” and that “he left his wife for her” (like it was something to be proud of). I work on my no contact but there are challenges. Any advice for this chump?
I’ve got advice for your ex-wife: “Fly! Be free!” That old Robin Williams Mork episode came to mind (thus gif). Fly you selfish twat! Be liberated from the cruel environs of marriage and a loving husband! Go splat on the counter.
I mean, think about this Christian. (I’m sure you have.) She began the pick-me dance with a three-way in the woods. (Were there pine needles? Ticks? Poison ivy? I know this is supposed to be edgy, Druid stuff, but I always imagine — is the sex really that great in a forest?) She “wins” the pick-me dance and the guy leaves his wife. The wife who was into the open marriage. (Maybe. Big maybe.) Does she really think this guy is going to close the circle and make her special? Or she is the new sucker who gets to schedule his sex partners?
She thinks THAT guy, Lord of the Pinecones, is a prize. She imagines she’s the only co-worker he has a beer with. She gets to police that. Or play along. (We’ll fuck in a yurt! Go glamping with groupies! In the glow of kerosine!)
My advice to you, Christian, is be the sane parent. Because your ex has taken leave of her senses.
Or perhaps not. Maybe she’s always been a shallow, selfish person who’s okay risking her children and your health for a fuck in the park.
I handled my part, owned what I needed to own for the demise of our marriage, got sober and focused on myself and my children.
You didn’t make her cheat. I’m glad you’re sober. Whatever your problems, you clearly had the executive functioning to do child care, make gingerbread houses, move an entire household, and navigate a divorce. Oh, and teach children remotely during a pandemic. So, don’t accept any blameshifting that you Drove Her To It. She could’ve spoken up before she fucked strange in a pile of leaves.
But she didn’t. And that’s about her character.
A fellow co-worker (a female who my wife was also intimately involved with), who has an open marriage and is a slut, had set up a threeway for the three of them.
And you know this how? From your cheating, lying ex-wife? Look, the whole “Let’s try open marriage” is something foisted on a lot of chumps. Some go along (see “Pick-me Dance”). Some discover this “offer” is just damage control because unbeknownst to them, they were already in an “open marriage.”
Also, if she was really into open marriage, then after 23 years, she’s the primary partner and your ex is just a satellite. Didn’t work out that way, did it? And, it’s in your ex’s interest to describe her competition in a bad light. Just like she did you. So, check your own narrative, okay? It’s still not okay that this woman fucked your wife. But consequences were served.
Affair partners, as much as they suck, don’t make cheaters cheat. No more than you can make a cheater NOT cheat. Adults have agency.
[This man] who crept into our marriage and decimated my life as I knew it
Your ex did that. All by herself. He and his ex-wife are co-conspirators, for sure. But this The Big Bad Affair Partner Ruined My Marriage narrative is dangerous. What happens when Ms. Egg goes splat and needs a Plan B? You gonna take her back because he’s gone?
No. Be clear-eyed on who she is. Someone who is okay cheating on you and then assassinating your character afterwards.
She controlled the narrative for much of that time — telling people that she left a loveless marriage and somehow “found” her new lover as they liberated themselves from their painful marriages.
And you liberated yourself from a fuckwit.
Look, you don’t control what self-serving tales they spin. I get that it’s infuriating and adds insult to a pile o’ injury, but it’s just what fuckwits do. What is she supposed to say? “I got drunk in the woods and gave my family COVID for luv”?
No, much better for her ego to paint you as “loveless.” The guy there picking up the slack, making gingerbread. I’m sorry you don’t give her the same butterflies as a loser with a cold beer and a tarp. (Sorry, I have to imagine the logistics of that romp. What were they fucking on? A blanket? But there’s no moisture barrier. It’s damp outdoors!)
Anyway, as you rightly point out, believing her nonsense is a litmus test. Those who judge you as loveless, or complicit in being cheated on, are NOT people you need in your life. Cull your social register accordingly.
As for maintaining no contact ahead — with kids there’s just grey rock. Minimal contact, parenting software, and iron-clad boundaries. CN can weigh in with Co-Parenting with a Fuckwit pointers.
If it’s any consolation, I wouldn’t expect Lord of the Pinecones to be a permanent fixture in your children’s lives. The odds of open marriage guy committing to the hum drum of domesticity with two small children after he did 23 years of it elsewhere, unlikely. But by the time the consequences hit, you’ll be past caring.
Soldier on, Christian. ((Hugs)) from all of us.