I think my D-days happened in reverse order and I’m having a really hard time making sense of things. It seems like most chumps discover the affair first, and then financial abuse. I found the financial abuse first, so by the time I found the affair, I already had a clue that I wasn’t being treated fairly.
A year and a half ago, I discovered that my husband of 25 years had blown through $50k in our savings account. I was livid. He said he wasn’t happy, and found us a marriage counselor. I was confused-I thought he needed a credit counselor! Wasn’t I the one who should be questioning if I wanted this marriage?
Then more than a year later, I discovered he’s been having an affair with a coworker for THREE YEARS. I told him he could have his family life or his girlfriend, he chose the girlfriend and moved out less than a week later. Our 2 almost-adult sons were blindsided, as was everyone else. I told him if he didn’t tell them about the affair, I would, so he came clean. I picked up the pieces, got an attorney and a full STD panel. It was very hurtful to be replaced by a woman much like me, with kids the same age, doing very boring things-they go to costco, the hardware store (no wonder why I didn’t notice any odd charges), they go to lunch. It seems like a very mundane affair but hey Covid right? His plan, to the extent he had one, was to keep wasting money on marriage counseling, do more with the kids to make things easier for me and offer them stability, and then divorce me once the youngest was off at college. Nobody would ever have to know about the affair, or that we didn’t drift apart. He never tried to reconcile, he never even apologized, and he only does Sad Sausage.
So there I was, chugging right along, reeling but hanging in there. Crying, reading your blog, going to therapy. He filed for divorce and I got his disclosures. He opened a checking account in his name 9 months ago in order to attach it to his ebay sales account! From what he has sold, it looks like he is stealing from work! Expensive, tech things. He is in charge of inventory and nobody else at this company really understands a lot of this hardware. There was more than $10k flowing through this account in under a year, along with a lot of lunches, a few thousand in motorcycle gear and a payment to American Express. So he stuck to his budget for about 6 months after I found the missing savings account $$ and then went straight back to spending on whatever he wanted, hiding it from me.
At that point, I went Full Forensic Accountant and tried to figure out how much we spent servicing his Amex and what was on it. I couldn’t get into it and will probably never know for sure. But as I painstakingly went through the home computer I discovered old hookup accounts and a secret email he used to send emails to craigslist personals (remember those?) back in 2017. It looks like those were too hard, so he moved onto hiring ESCORTS on business trips. Which seems to have evolved into escorts during the workday close to the office. The emails stopped in 2020–lockdown? the affair heating up? or moved to texting escorts because he knew them already? Who knows? The AP is literally the first woman he didn’t pay to have sex with him! Somehow it’s tragic AND stupid.
I don’t know why, but I am having a much harder time now. Finding out my life was a lie for three years was horrible, but I recognized that man. The AP thinks he’s a devoted family man, too! He found the marriage counselor! He filed for the divorce! He’s in therapy! But stealing from his employer? To fund a me-first lifestyle? Who spent more servicing his Amex than on the college fund by about 500%? (Tip: don’t put hookers on a high-interest credit card!) Did I mention the HOOKERS? (Excuse me, escorts.) I just cannot process this. Because in my state I will only get 50/50 if we go to court, my attorney has suggested that I continue being persuasive, which some days seems like more than I can handle. Although I did move about 6 months closer to Trust That He Sucks.
I have good legal advice and a therapist. What I need is the voice of experience–How do I keep doing this for a few more months? Why is cheating with hookers harder for me than cheating with an affair? Do I stop digging? Every time I dig a little deeper, I find more horrible stuff! Where is the bottom and how do I extricate myself if I can’t go No Contact and have to be persuasive?
Please help me!
Trapped In His Head
What exactly does your lawyer mean by “persuasive”?
Because from where I’m sitting, that looks like your lawyer’s job to LEVERAGE this. Caveat: I am not a lawyer. This is not legal advice.
It’s not your job persuade your creepy soon-to-be-ex of anything. Stay NO CONTACT. I worry if it comes out that you knew about his siphoning of monies from his employer, you’d be an accomplice.
Your lawyer needs to be strategic about this goldmine of malfeasance.
“Gee FW, I’d hate for this to go to litigation. Because then we’ll have to do a deep dive into your finances and all your sources of income, depose your employer…..”
Let the shifty bastard sweat.
A legal professional should know how to walk this line.
Your ex is clearly someone who operates out of pure self-interest. It’s in his self-interest to settle with you and avoid prosecution and losing his job. It’s in your best interest to get a settlement while he still has a job.
Press hard on theft of marital resources. Yes, many states are no fault states and don’t care who fucked around on whom. Judges don’t care about your hurt feelings. They do, however, care about evidence. Create a big tally sheet of what the mofo owes you.
If your lawyer isn’t up to the job, find someone experienced in high-conflict divorce. CN can weigh in here on this. You don’t have a Kumbaya we-drifted-apart divorce. You have a criminal with a long history of deceit. He won’t be an honest broker. He’ll be fuckwit, because fuckwittery is his basic operating system. A good lawyer will find the advantage in that.
At that point, I went Full Forensic Accountant and tried to figure out how much we spent servicing his Amex and what was on it. I couldn’t get into it and will probably never know for sure.
Why aren’t his credit card statements part of discovery? You were married then, RIGHT? That’s your marital money that’s being spent, correct? TALLY UP THE COSTS OF HIS AFFAIRS.
I found this Googling “Dissipation of Marital Assets” (from Colorado law firm Griffiths Law. Check your state laws.)
Marital asset dissipation occurs when one spouse has consumed, given away or otherwise transferred, mismanaged, converted, or otherwise adversely affected property that, had it been before the court, would have been subject to equitable distribution. This commonly takes the form of spending marital funds for the benefit of paramours or wasting marital property. Under Colorado law, dissipation is also called “economic fault” and is considered different than “marital fault.” See, e.g., In re Marriage of Jorgenson, 143 P.3d 1169, 1173 (Colo. App. 2006). Marital fault is when someone has an extramarital affair. Economic fault is when a person spends money for the benefit of the person with whom they are having the affair. A claim for dissipation is valued at the time the asset once existed. See In re Marriage of Finer, 920 P.2d 325, 331 (Colo. App. 1996) (“marital assets are dissipated by one of the parties, they must be valued as of the time when they existed.”).
When making a dissipation claim, a spouse only needs to prove that the expenditure was made at or during the time of the marriage breakdown or spent for a non-marital purpose, (such as significant gifts, hotel rooms, air tickets, etc for a mistress,) during the marriage. Once the spouse proves this, it is the burden of the other spouse to show that they spent the funds on a legitimate purpose. If the court finds that dissipation has occurred, it will appropriately adjust its division of property to offset the dissipation. These points may be useful to you if you think you may have a claim for marital asset dissipation.
As we say here at CN, DOCUMENT, DOCUMENT, DOCUMENT.
How is he going to show the funds were legitimate? Or the income? He’s not, because it wasn’t.
This ends the Perry Mason segment of our blog post.
The AP is literally the first woman he didn’t pay to have sex with him! Somehow it’s tragic AND stupid.
Well, he didn’t pay you. Schmoopie is just his new chump decoy. Of course she sucks, because she knew he was married, but she’s just the new banal front for his double life. He’s not going to quit buying sex. Do you really think he’s going to find a life of contentment and balanced checkbooks? No. The deceit is a big part of the high.
He’s a freak who has to stick it to someone — you, his employer, now HER. Rejoice. You’re soon rid of him.
How do I keep doing this for a few more months?
You do it as long as it takes. We’ve been there. You’ll survive. As my old divorce lawyer used to say about dealing with FWs: “It’s like a pebble in your shoe. Painful as hell, but once it’s gone, you’ll forget it was ever there.”
Why is cheating with hookers harder for me than cheating with an affair?
Because he’s a misogynistic creeper who enjoys sex with people who don’t want to have sex with him. Hookers need the money. He loves the power imbalance of that. And hookers don’t have needs. (Not ones he must concern himself with anyway. Who cares if they’re human, or trafficked, or addicted.)
With an affair, you can think, oh The Heart Wants What the Heart Wants. He has feelings! He fell out of love!
With prostitution, the ugly is much more unvarnished. But look, it’s all ugly. Soon Schmoopie will soon find out exactly how un-special she is.
Do I stop digging? Every time I dig a little deeper, I find more horrible stuff!
That’s a good question for your attorney. It all sounds like leverage to me. I’d press hard on discovery.
Where is the bottom and how do I extricate myself if I can’t go No Contact and have to be persuasive?
There’s no bottom. You’re dealing with someone who is all id and zero conscience.
You CAN go no contact. You are paying your lawyer to be the firewall. You’re also paying your lawyer to be the persuader.
If you find yourself untangling his skein, STOP. If you want to take up sociopathy as a hobby later, okay. Right now, you need to focus on yourself and sane parenting your kids. That’s ENOUGH.
Why did he do this? Because he can. Because he’s not that deep. It really is all about his dick and his entitlement. You can’t understand it because you’re a normal human who bonds. Stop trying to figure him out, and put your energies into SAFETY.
It takes time to recover from this level of betrayal. But you’re going to triumph in a new life.
Meanwhile, he’s stays that syphilitic supply closet guy selling dusty keyboards to support his hooker habit.