Am hoping you will be able to help me. I will try and be brief with my background information. My husband and I have been married 5 years and have 3 children (5, 2, and 8 months). I began to suspect he was cheating on me in 2012 and after some investigation (phone records, match.com profile, hotel bookings), I found out I was right. In April 2014, he finally admitted he had slept with someone. In the aftermath of his admission he said sorry but wasn’t truly remorseful and he continued contact with this OW, coming and going as he pleased.
I asked him to move out which he did in June 2014. I gave birth to our third child in July 2014. I continued snooping on him and think he has continued some sort of contact with the OW, his answers are always vague, and I am pretty sure he has given me a fake name to throw me off scent of who she is. He says he is sorry and wants to stay married, but he is not actually doing anything to show this.
In December 2013 his company went bust as he had some debt and he had to start a new company from scratch and the stress of this affected him and all of us. He says he is still suffering the effects of this which is why he doesn’t know what to do to save our marriage. He says he is mentally, spiritually, and physically exhausted and doesn’t know what to say to me anymore. Even though I made it quite simple — I just wanted the truth! But he has concocted a story based on what he thinks I know and he is sticking to it. For example he still will not admit to the match.com profile even though I saw it with my own eyes!
Now I know your stance on reconciliation, but just wanted to get your thoughts on this situation. Could stress be a real factor in my husband behaviour or is it just an excuse?
Thanks in advance,
Dear Just Wondering,
You know what’s stressful? Being 6 months pregnant with two preschoolers and discovering your husband has cheated on you. Gee, you know what’s also stressful? Being financially vulnerable to a guy whose business just tanked. Oh, and his answer to failed self-employment is MORE self employment. Splendid. So tell me, Just Wondering — where’s your dating profile? What hotels are you booking for covert fuckfests?
Oh, that’s right. You’re probably at home changing diapers, washing vomit from your hair, and picking Goldfish crackers out of the carpet fibers. So often life with three preschoolers is confused with spa resorts. (Hot stone Hemlich manuevers, Lego exfoliating, Ayurvedic Chicken Nuggets…) You don’t need escapism because your life is so care-free! Three babies in five years? Who wouldn’t thrill to that kind of relaxation?
JW, what the fuck does your husband think your life is? Seriously, you caught him cheating on you through at least TWO pregnancies and his best line of defense is how stressful HIS life is? Are your recent episiotomy scars so disabling that you can’t stand up and slap him?
Now I know your stance on reconciliation, but just wanted to get your thoughts on this situation.
My thoughts… hmmm… my thoughts…
I’m not saying that because of “my stance on reconciliation,” I’m saying that because of my stance on reality. You don’t have anything to work with.
According to you he’s not doing anything to save the marriage, you live apart, and he continues to gaslight you. (Dating profile? What dating profile?) What exactly here do you think you have to work with?
Why doesn’t he want a divorce? My guess is it isn’t his love and commitment to you and the kids — it’s because divorce equals consequences. He’ll have to pay child support on three kids, (that will cut in on the Match.com fees and hotel expenses). That means he’d have to date openly as a divorced dude with three kids and child support payments. That’s going to make finding a new chump that much harder. (Unless the OW is willing, these idiots often are.)
Let me just segue here to say the OW isn’t special. She could be anyone. So don’t let competition with her fog your thinking. Your husband was advertising for a mistress vacancy. He wanted to cheat and she fit the bill. Not saying she isn’t reprehensible, I’m saying right now she’s besides the point. Your problem is this creep you’re still married to.
Redirect your focus from what parts of his story don’t add up, to taking back your power. Lawyer up (don’t tell him) and start calling the shots. I commend you for throwing him out, but this limbo you’re in has given him time to fuck you over further. I promise you he’s not spending his nights at home reading “Just Friends,” — he’s living the single life. At your expense.
You’re already a single mother of three. Why not do that with full legal protections and supports in place?
You think reconciliation is an attractive option? He just told you he is “mentally, spiritually, and physically exhausted.” Poor sausage. How dare you place further demands on him! He just doesn’t have any head room for this reconciliation business! So stop with the questions — or he’ll get STRESSED. And you know what he does when he gets stressed! He cheats!
This Poor Me shit is really a threat, JW. Rug sweep and take him back, no questions, no consequences… or he’ll fall apart. And cheat. But oh hey, he was already cheating, so clearly your pleasing him and trying harder is the only thing that can save this! Just don’t ask for the truth. That’s hard on him.
That kind of injustice and high rope act (one false step and IT’s YOUR FAULT!) could really stress a chump out. And yet you’re there raising three kids alone and not cheating on him. Huh.
What distinguishes you from him? Character. You’ve got it, he doesn’t. Please step away from this jerk. There’s nothing here to save. I’m sorry.