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17 years married, 21 years together and the bottom falls out of my world.

Separation and Divorce Considering ending your marriage? Going through a divorce? Let us know!

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Old 24th June 2015, 1:15 AM   #1
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17 years married, 21 years together and the bottom falls out of my world.

It's been over 5 months since I found out about my husbands 18 month long affair and I thought I was well on the way to carving my new future as a separated Mum of two boys, and then I watched a stupid show on TV and I was bawling like a newborn. So hear I am.

My Story.
Since christmas, my life took a turn I never would have bet on in a million years. My H was acting a bit funny about his phone just before Christmas, which made me very suspicious. Then, in late January I found out he was chasing around after a woman in our small rural town. I'm not happy about what I had to do to find out the full story, but he was not being honest and I knew there was more to the story than he was telling me. I found a program that was able to retrieve deleted texts on his phone which uncovered how he was chasing this other woman, but thankfully that she wasn't exactly reciprocating his advances. After speaking with her, I finally believed him that nothing physical had happened between them and was slowly thinking that we could get through this with counselling.

At first he didn't see the point in going to counselling, but finally when I said that I needed us to go so we start fixing the issues we had (I totally take ownership for my part in us growing apart, but had tried many times over the last 5 years to try and fix things with no changes from him). So I found a male psychologist/marriage counsellor with FIFO (fly in fly out) experience, thinking that would help. I had insisted on going to marriage counselling before when he had accused me for the third time of having an affair when I had done nothing of the sort. But the lady had been a bit anti-male and it ended up alienating him and hence we stopped going.

So we attended our first marriage counselling session and I thought that it had been ok for a first session. He seemed pretty fair and my H seemed ok with him. But straight after the first counselling session, he left for a 4 day "truck trip" early the next morning. He had been a Company Director on a board in a neighbouring country up until Sept last year. Since that had finished he had been taking the occasional "Truck driving job" for extra income as his farming income was minimal and I had been unable to find work in our town. I had asked him not to go on this "truck trip", said that we were not so desperate for money that he had to go, that we needed to work through our marriage issues as a priority. He went anyway.

Unfortunately as much as I was trying to regain my trust in him, I was still troubled by a text he had received by an unknown person that didn't correspond with the woman he had been chasing, and he couldn't offer a good explanation for it. I did try to put it out of my mind, but when I couldn't get in contact with him after two days, I became worried, firstly that he had had an accident or worse, but then found out (through the Find my iPhone app) that rather than driving a truck over east like he said he was doing, he was actually in the capital city in the other country that he used to go for the board meetings once a month.

To cut a long story short I ended up uncovering that he had been having a PA with a woman in that country for over 18 months, and had started to chase other women late last year when he knew the Board position was about to end and he would have no tangible reason to continue travelling there anymore. To complicate things, the other woman told him in Aug last year to say she has cancer, so he concocted these "truck trips" to continue visiting her once a month.

To say I was devastated is an understatement, and I'm sure a lot of you on this forum can feel my pain. But even after all I had uncovered, I made up my mind that if he was willing to be open honest and truthful, then I was willing to try and get past this, knowing it would be a long process of me not trusting him and wanting to check his phone and know where he was until I felt I could trust him again. Call me stupid and trusting, but I am a stubborn person who believes that marriage is not easy but is for life. Even though he had accused me three times of having an affair, with little to no reason other than a dream he had, or a comment he misread on Facebook, I still believed that our marriage could be saved.

So after I contacted the OW (only because he refused to contact her to call it off, cut off all contact and let me listen in to know he actually did it.....that there should have been my wake up call) and found out that he had in fact lied to her too (he told her we were already separated, she had no idea that he was in fact coming home to his wife and children as if nothing was going on) we went back to marriage counselling.

I asked him to pleas be open and honest about past present and future so I could start to regain my trust in him, but he resisted. He reckoned I knew all there was to know and why would I need to have access to his phone, that he reckoned I would never let it go and he didn't want to live under a microscope the rest of his life. Deep down I knew that really meant he wasn't being honest, but had no actual proof and I didn't want to give up if there was still some chance of fixing things. I just wasn't prepared to throw away 21 years of my life because of a mid-life crisis or whatever it was he was going through. I suggested he get individual counselling if as I felt he wasn't opening up at the counselling sessions. He ended up agreeing with me that he needed to see our counsellor on his own to work out some issues before he could open up completely.

Unfortunately during this process it got to the point where I ended up asking him to move out to his parents house on the farm whilst we were working through things, as our youngest boy wasn't coping with the tension very well, he didn't want to go to school and was getting sick. I couldn't bear seeing the look on my son's face when he knew I was in so much pain and my H was doing nothing to fix it.

As far as I was concerned we were still on the path to reconciliation and I had hoped that he would see sense, or his mother would talk some sense into him and he would start to come around. Unfortunately a message from the OW's friend mid March put to rest any thought that he did want to fix our marriage. It turned out he had been in contact with the OW the whole time we had been attending counselling and supposedly working towards fixing things. He had been pleading with her to not cut him out of her life, told her that he had moved out and our marriage was over. He had also organised another trip over to see her and plead for her to stay with him, whilst he continued to deny being in contact with her and telling me he wanted to fix the marriage up. It was then I could see he had just been playing me for the fool that I was, and was just keeping me on the line in case she wouldn't take him back, as she had made it very clear to me that she was going to walk away.

So as things stand now, I eventually managed to get him to agree to a meeting, confronted him about the trip, the constant communication and he eventually admitted it all when he realised how I knew. he finally agreed we are now officially separated and I managed to get him to agree to a basic parenting plan for our two sons.

I'm now in the tricky spot of trying to sort out our finances. I want to do it as amicably as possible, but at the same time protect myself and my boys for the future. He has proved himself to be untrustworthy and still lies to me about things....goodness knows why, we are finished as far as I'm concerned. I suggested to him that we should sell the house and use some of the proceeds to prepay our sons private school fees to the end of Year 12 (last year of schooling in Australia) and split whats left. He refuses to do this and refuses to discuss it any further. His comment is "Why would we sell our only assets to prepay fees", but yet he tells me we share the same priority that our boys finishing school at the private school is number one.

Our eldest has said he wants to continue boarding, and to be quite honest, as much as it kills me to have him in boarding, it has been the best thing for him and our relationship. He is a very headstrong boy who unfortunately had very little father son time due to my H working on the farm (or board duties) 6/7 days a week, and he is at that point in his life that he needs strong male influences.

I have told him I will stay here in the rural town we're in until the end of this year so our youngest can finish off his primary school years and make a smooth transition to the private secondary school that his brother currently boards at. But I said that as soon as our youngest finishes school in Dec this year, I plan to move down to the city so our youngest doesn't need to board. My parents live in the city and I still can't get a job in this town, so there is no reason for me to stay here if we are separated. So as far as I can see, whether he likes it or not, we need to sell the house so I can use my portion to find somewhere to live anyway. Every time I try to bring the subject up he gets aggressive, argumentative and leaves and I just let it go for a while. But time is ticking on and I don't want to leave it too late or I will end up trying to find a house and job with little to no money.

I have sought initial legal advice (unbeknownst to him, this is the first thing I have ever hidden from him in our whole marriage) and have a lawyer that I will go back to once I am back on my feet again (I just had to have a hysterectomy, another delightful complication life has thrown my way) but I was wondering if anyone out there has had a similar situation and can advise me, am I being unreasonable in insisting on this? Am I wrong to go straight to a lawyer, or should I try to settle this with him through mediation first?

He just gets so argumentative every time I suggest it, and when I don't broach the subject, he carries on as if everything is okay and things will continue as they are and I will let it go if he doesn't mention it. I don't want to fight about this as I know it will end up upsetting my boys, but I'm not going to just roll over either.

Sorry for the essay, but it's not a quick story. I turned to this forum as, although my family and friends have been super supportive through all of this, none of them have been through anything like this (surprisingly enough all my friends are so far, happily married) and can't really advise me the right path to take.
"Sometimes good things fall apart so better things can fall together." Marilyn Monroe
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Old 24th June 2015, 1:37 AM   #2
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I will just say one thing:

You are thinking with your head: You're looking at practicalities and the necessary steps you HAVE to take to engineer as satisfying a life as you can, for yourself and the boys.
He's thinking with his dick.
He's a dishonest, deceitful lying cheater who wants the best of whichever worlds he can possibly get, and the more he stonewalls you, the more he thinks he can beat you into submission and have whatever he wants.

Carry on with your plans.
At one point or another he will have to face the cold harsh reality of the truth: Thing can't always go his way when he thinks with his trouser-buddy, and not his brain. The house will HAVE to be sold, and he will have to suck it up.

Continue using your head to make all practical, logical, long-term sensible living solutions.
I know your heart is shattered and your faith in him totally non-existent.
But that's understandable.
So know that however he has treated you emotionally, he is trying to do the same with you in the practical sense too.
Don't allow it.
But listen to good, sound logical legal advice.
do what is absolutely right for you and your sons.

And he can go to hell.
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Old 24th June 2015, 1:42 AM   #3
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You can't trust him. He hasn't earned your trust.

Get the lawyer, you will need it. Request everything you want and let the attorney argue it out with him. Request him to pay all the school bills - he can do it as he goes along - there's probably not any benefit in paying it early and the money could be earning interest elsewhere in the meantime.

Then communicate with him as little as possible.

Find other men as role models for the boys - your husband isn't a man for them to model after.

I'd want to sell the house too, if nothing else to become untangled from him and his toxic ways.

Do you work?
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Old 24th June 2015, 1:58 AM   #4
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Thanks, to hear those words from someone else, makes me feel less like I'm doing it for revenge, not that I am doing it for that reason, I know that revenge is never worth it in the end, and ends up hurting me more than it would hurt him. But I'm sure he will just tell everyone that's my motivation. He is not happy that I didn't hide away in a corner, but instead tuned to my friends for support, and if anyone who is a part of my life asked me what was going on, I told them the truth. I had nothing to hide and I felt that I was only assisting him by not being truthful about what I'm going through.

The bad side to that is, we live in a small town, and of course those who don't know me well have spread rumours loosely based on the truth and he blames me for that. My response was, "If my friends ask me what's wrong I tell them the truth, I can't control what the rumourville in this town says, but I have only told the truth and if someone says anything that deviates from that, I correct them. If you didn't want the truth to be known, you shouldn't have done what you did."

I just want to move on with my life, unfortunately because we have children, he will still be a part of it and I can't avoid that, but I don't really want to be tied to him anymore than I really have to. It breaks my heart every time he leaves with my boys for a fatherly visit and waves at me like nothing is wrong, I just bite down the hurt and try to focus on the boys.
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Old 24th June 2015, 2:16 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Totallyfooled View Post
....unfortunately because we have children, he will still be a part of it and I can't avoid that, but I don't really want to be tied to him anymore than I really have to. It breaks my heart every time he leaves with my boys for a fatherly visit and waves at me like nothing is wrong, I just bite down the hurt and try to focus on the boys.
At some point, talk to your sons (in ways pertinent to their age) and maybe tell them something like this:

"Whatever you do with your dad that you love and enjoy, is great, and I think it's wonderful.
Do not ever feel your loyalties are torn. We are both still your parents, and you don't have to feel you need to do things to please either one of us.

If there is anything on your mind, ever, or a question you want to ask me, I will always answer you.

It may be difficult for you to hear. It may be difficult for me to answer, but I promise you: Ask me the same question, now or in 6 months' time, and you will receive the same reply, because I will always be open and honest with you.
I accept my responsibility in the break-up of our marriage, and I hope your father will accept the same responsibility for his actions.
No matter how I feel, I will try my hardest to not paint your dad in a poor light. That would be unfair.
Your relationship with us, is for you to digest and evaluate, and I will do all I can to make your lives happy and free from anxiety.
Talk to me. I am your mother and above all and everything else, you are the most important people in my life.

In time, I guarantee your boys will see things as they really are.
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Old 24th June 2015, 2:20 AM   #6
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beach, in answer to your question, no I don't work at the moment.

Unfortunately I have been unable to get work at the local school thanks to a run in with the local Principals wife. After a very successful first year of teaching, I unfortunately had to team teach with her in 2013 and as the year rolled on it was brought to my attention that she was blaming me for her own failures as a teacher even though I bent over backwards to help her more than I really needed to.

I ended up putting in a complaint about her as I wasn't willing to let her continue to drag my name through the mud to cover up her inadequacies. I knew it would mean no more work whilst her husband was the Principal, but she had already badmouthed me to her him and I knew I wasn't the only one she had done it to. I was however the only one who had the strength to put in the formal complaint. All the other people have been too worried about the consequences, they never had their teaching contract renewed anyway as she badmouthed anyone who made her look bad or had the cheek to stand up to her, at least I had the guts to go out with my head held high.

This was an incredibly stressful year for me as a result, and my eldest son was going through the worst of puberty and fighting with me almost everyday. This was also the year that my H started his affair.......things get rough, he starts an affair.

I went back to Uni last year to qualify as an Early Childhood teacher and was offered a full-time job in the neighbouring town. Unfortunately I turned it down as my H said he wouldn't be able to pick up the slack at home with my youngest son, and I didn't want my youngest to miss out on sports and extra curricular things just so I could work. Now that we are separated, it would mean leaving my youngest at home on his own for an hour in the mornings and afternoons if I took up a teaching position in the surrounding towns and I'm not prepared to do that.

So I'm trying to find part time work in town to bide me over until the end of the year. I will have a far better chance of finding a job once I get back to the city.

Meanwhile my H has no outside income other than the farm, and at this stage it's not very profitable, so I'm living off our savings until I can get a job or government handouts to see me through to the end of the year. I hate putting my hand out to the government, but jobs are few and far between in this rural town, especially if they know I'm not hanging around after the end of the year.

As for the private school fees, the school has offered us a deal which would mean we it will end up costing less in the long run if we can pay the fees upfront. We would end up saving more than we would earn if the money was in an account earning interest, so it is a benefit to pre-pay.

Plus I just don't trust him, I worry that he will manipulate the farm income and cry poor so he doesn't have to pay any school fees later on down the track and I will have to pull the boys out of the private school. Not that this would be the end of the world, but this school has been the best thing for my Eldest and I just want them to have the security that they know they will be bake to stay in the school they start in.

Sorry, another essay :-)
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Old 24th June 2015, 2:30 AM   #7
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Thanks Taramaiden2, I have in fact already had that very conversation with both my boys.

They are far too smart for their own good and Son1 had already worked out that something big was wrong. Turned out a counsellor I had been taking him too actually said to both H and I that he viewed all the behaviour problems we had been trying to sort through with Son1 through a different light once the affair was uncovered. Of course H tried to deflect and say that Son1 had always been difficult to manage and it wasn't his fault, but the counsellor agreed with me that Son1 had picked up that H was up to something, that things between us weren't right, got angry with me because I wasn't fixing it (because I didn't know about it) and felt safe enough to let all his frustration out on me but not H. Hence why Son1 and I seem to always be butting heads.

Son1 instantly blamed himself when he found out that H had started having the affair in 2013 when Son1 and I were arguing so much. I managed to get him to see that it was in no way his fault, that it was H's choice to have the affair, not Son1's behaviour or what I was going through at work.

Son1 then went on to ask me if that was why H had been texting someone called *** so often and used to try and hide the phone from him when he would try and see what he was doing on his phone. That's what I mean about being too smart for their own good, the poor little bugger would probably have worked it out in the end as H was stupid enough to think they wouldn't notice what he was up to because they were kids.

I sometimes think my two boys are smarter than their Dad
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Old 24th June 2015, 2:41 AM   #8
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Only 'sometimes'...?

Kids are always smarter than their parents even think they ever could be.
As we grow up, we put layers on.
And then the real us is shrouded and burdened with what we want others to perceive....

Sometimes, it feels great to peel another layer off.

Kids teach us a lot. They'd be a damn sight more successful if as adults, we listened more....
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Old 25th June 2015, 5:55 AM   #9
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Your husband is a prick; you should do everything with legal advise, especially regarding the house because he'll likely put up a fight. And him threatening you with rumors? Who cares? It's his shame, not yours. If he wants to expose himself, have fun.
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Old 25th June 2015, 9:49 AM   #10
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"but I was wondering if anyone out there has had a similar situation and can advise me, am I being unreasonable in insisting on this? Am I wrong to go straight to a lawyer, or should I try to settle this with him through mediation first? "


Protect yourself and your boy's interests. At this point you owe him nothing, as to your marriage vows. You seem like a nice decent woman, do not let this excellent trait stop you from proceeding with a divorce. Let the lawyers do the taking for you with your WH, that is all he will understand at this point. Please be at peace with your path.

I wish you luck.
It may not be the most important hole in the world, but I am in it"
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