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Wife left me, her 'perfect husband'. Was it inevitable?

(53 Posts)
SadDadNW Sun 16-Dec-18 21:20:49

Hello. Never been on anything like this before. Am looking for a bit of advice and support.

6 weeks ago my wife of 12 years told me she didn't love me anymore and it wasn't fair to either of us to carry it on. She gave me a few reasons, she said we had nothing in common, we had nothing to talk about and she hadn't felt a connection for a while. I was devastated, pretty silent while she sat there and said it all. After about a 40 minute talk she went upstairs and came down with a bag she had packed and went to stay at her mothers. I stood for a long time just watching the dry patch on the drive where her car should of been. I didn't even cry until the next day, i was so shocked by it. She told me i had done nothing wrong, i had been a perfect husband for her, and perfect father to our 2 young children.

When we met i knew we were quite different, she came from more of a fragmented family, her parents were separated, she had moved around a lot as a child so she wasn't well educated, she had tatoo's lived in a run-down flat. All of this was absolutely fine to me, i fell in love with her upbeat personality and it didn't matter we wern't a perfect match, we loved each other and i loved looking after her. I helped teach her to drive, we bought a house, and eventually had 2 perfect kids.

The last 12 months however started to show a growing divide between us. Its pretty obvious now in hindsight, but living through it i was so desperate to make it work for the families sake i would have done anything. She was always as long as we knew each other tired after work, and would often go to bed really early, sometimes 9pm on a saturday night. This would sometimes cause friction, but not to the point of it being a problem. I accepted her for who she was. I would do all the housework, cook her tea almost every night, because i knew she would be too tired to do any of it herself.

Anyway, about 6 months ago she mentioned in conversation she was Bi. I was pretty shocked by this, she was always a bit of a tom-boy but i wouldn't go as far as to say she was 'butch' or anything. I accepted her of course, she told me it wouldn#t change anything, she just found women attractive. Despite my insecurities about not being enough for her etc i tried to make it part of our relationship, i would get pictures of girls on my phone, say 'do you like her?' etc so it would be something we could share. Around the same time she always told me she wanted some more tattoos. She knew i didn't like them but she insisted it was her body and it was up to her. Despite some too-ing and fro-ing she got them in the end. I hated this so much but again, i tried to make it something we could do together, i said when she got more could i help her pick, make it something we could do together.

On top of these little rebellions against me i was also starting to feel really left out. We have always had our own social circles, with some mutual friends, but the last 6 months had really started to see her going out with her mates, but when it came to me it would be staying in and watching tv, or something chilled out like the cinema. I sat her down one day and said i could do the more exciting things too, but the conversation went really badly, and it the end made things much worse. She said i was paranoid and didn't trust her, which isn't what i was saying. I was worried she saw me as this boring stay-in-the-house dad who she didn't want to have nights out with.

We had a big argument in Sept and i ended up sleeping downstairs for a week while we had a cool off. After that week though we started slowly bringing it back, just holding hands at first, then hugging, kissing and finally sex. In fact the last 2 months before the end were brilliant, we were having sex several times a week, she seemed a lot more 'into it' too.

Anyway, im nearly done here, so bare with me. I have never snooped on her, but about a week ago, i couldn't help myself. I couldn't understand how she could walk out on the family after everything. So i checked her Facebook, she hasn't changed her password so i logged in as her. I felt ashamed doing it but i had to know. I found a conversation between her and a young girl in her early 20's. They were talking about how in love they were, how amazing the night they spent together was, how my wife couldn't wait to introduce her to our kids. This was obviously a kick in the guts to me, we had been separated for about 5 weeks but a part of me was still hoping she might snap out of this, that she might be going through depression or something and was focusing it on me. I have been worried sick about her, and she was with someone else the whole time. I feel like a fool.

Any advice and support welcome. The thing that's killing me is, was this always going to happen? If not now, somewhere down the line? Could she not help it, is this how she is wired? Does she get a free pass because its a woman?

pinkyredrose Mon 17-Dec-18 10:51:32

You sound like you've taken a fatherly role in her life with the way you talk about teaching her things and her rebelling against you. Maybe that's why she left, she didn't feel you were treating her like an equal adult?

AssassinatedBeauty Mon 17-Dec-18 10:59:02

Of course she doesn't get a "free pass" because it's a woman? I don't even really know what you mean by that anyway? Do you think she was cheating on you before you separated?

Being bisexual doesn't mean you get to be unfaithful. The fact her new relationship is with a woman is not relevant.

It sounds like she was unhappy in the relationship and possibly felt restricted. It's odd you talk about her "rebelling" against you. It's also odd that you talk about the tattoos like she shouldn't have had final say about it.

LovesLaboursLost Mon 17-Dec-18 11:12:40

I imagine it was inevitable she would leave, because being treated like a dependent inferior child who needs to rebel must get very wearing. Being treated that way probably made her feel she was dependent on having someone to be with, so instead of doing the right thing and leaving when it wasn’t working she waited until she found someone else. She doesn’t get a ‘free pass’ for that (and she doesn’t need one, you’re separated) but you’ll probably move on faster if you can understand the role you played in the relationship.

pinkyredrose Mon 17-Dec-18 11:15:24

Ps. A woman in her early 20s isn't a 'young girl' . How old are you OP and how old is your wife?

Gettingbackonmyfeet Mon 17-Dec-18 11:26:27

Firstly her cheating is not acceptable , no she doesn't get a free pass at all and will need to face the same consequences anyone would

However , firstly no-one is perfect...noone and if you view yourself as such it's concerning

I agree with p.p to consider rebellions against you is incredibly controlling ,it's irrelevant if you don't like tattoos it's her body her choice (I am going to guess you somewhat patronisngly explained in depth why you don't consider them acceptable) , unless she was using family money and causing financial hardship in which case that was unfair

If I'm honest the whole thing sounds toxic , you were totally inappropriate sending photos of women asking if she liked them ,however you both sound like there is some growing up to do (don't really care about ages because frankly I've met mature 18 year olds and childish 55 year olds)

You are not innocent and perfect but she doesn't have an excuse to cheat

Stop being passive aggressive and guilt tripping and move on as should she

If you are thinking about behaviour learning points for the future ,being in an equal relationship respects that both people are individuals and are able to make autonomous choices....we don't Conform to a cookie cutter mould so allow your future partners to be who they need to without patronising them

Cla17e Mon 17-Dec-18 11:32:39

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

Madratlady Mon 17-Dec-18 11:36:22

You sound far from a perfect husband, you sound controlling and patronising and like you feel superior to her. I’m not surprised she wasn’t happy.

QforCucumber Mon 17-Dec-18 11:38:37

I find the whole thing rather bizarre. showing her photos of women to be involved? I'm straight and my DH doesn't sit showing me photos of men asking if I like them - how odd.

Agree with PP, the whole thing doesn't sound like a happy marriage, more an arrangement. You talk about how you took on all of the cooking and cleaning (therefore showing you expected it to be her role)
You speak about how you 'rescued her' from this horrible life before she met you, did you remind her of this often?

QforCucumber Mon 17-Dec-18 11:40:38

You respect the words 'I accepted her' over and over, i wouldn't want to just be 'accepted' I don't know many women who would.

QforCucumber Mon 17-Dec-18 11:41:33


StoatofDisarray Mon 17-Dec-18 11:43:44

How old were you and your wife when you married?

chocolatebox1 Mon 17-Dec-18 11:46:31

I think your frequent usage of the words "I accepted" tells you everything you need to know about why this situation went wrong

SadDadNW Mon 17-Dec-18 12:18:16

Wow this was not the kind of response i was expecting, which is great. Need other points of view. All i am getting from my friends and family is 'she'll be back, she will see what a mistake she made' etc.

Perhaps i haven't made it that clear, our relationship. I don't see myself as controlling, at all. She had total freedom, i never ever stopped, or even questioned her going out, who she saw, or anything like that. I trusted her. She was her own woman. I always saw myself as her partner, we were on the same team. Equally i tried to be her protector, it was my job to look after her. Her general tiredness and lack of energy had always made something i had to deal with.

And no i dont think it was her job to cook and clean or anything like that, im not some 1950's sexist husband. Equally however she never once cleaned the bathroom in 12 years of being together, she might do the dishes once a week, things like that. It was one-sided, but i accepted that as who she was. I didnt go on about it all the time, im only mentioning it now to try and explain how the situation was.

We were happy, for a long time we were happy. If you think i demeaned her, reminded her of how i 'saved her' or anything like that, it simply isnt true. I respected her.

Maybe a rebellion against me isnt the right way to phrase the tattoo thing, but i dont know how else to explain it. She didn't get any for over a decade then out of the blue it was this massive issue. Im not going to pretend i was fully on board with it but i tried my best to get on board with them. Its only now in hindsight i think it was a push away from me.

HJWT Mon 17-Dec-18 12:35:58

@SadDadNW I'm so sorry OP sounds like she was looking for a woman, hope you get to keep the house and make sure you get 50/50 with the kids

Fairylea Mon 17-Dec-18 12:42:07

I’m really sorry op but it sounds like you’ve just become very different people. Sometimes these things do happen and in the long term it may be best for you both to live your own lives separately. I hope you can continue to work together to be amicable parents for your children.

pinkyredrose Mon 17-Dec-18 13:36:57

i don't see myself as controlling Controlling people rarely do.

How old are you? What was your parents marraige like?

You seem to have old fashioned views about being her protector. Maybe she felt patronised.

About you doing the housework, do you have high standards that she couldn't live up to?

SadDadNW Mon 17-Dec-18 13:53:31

I am in my mid 30's. We were 21 when we met.

What was your parents marraige like? My parents are still together, as i say we came from different backgrounds, she came from more of a fractured family. I didnt care about that. I cannot imagine how you would consider me controlling. She had total freedom, she didn't 'report to me' or ask permission etc.

I’m really sorry op but it sounds like you’ve just become very different people I think this may be the sad truth. I was just wondering about the person she has gone to being a woman. I feel like i did everything i could to make her happy.

About you doing the housework, do you have high standards that she couldn't live up to? I wouldn't say so, having 2 kids will keep a house messy. She would walk in and just drop everything in the hall, and there it would stay. In the early years of having a house i would challenge her on it but in the last year i had just become a cleaner round the house, i would just do it. I can see now it wasn't healthy but i was so desperate to keep her happy, keep our family together, i would just do everything.

ShesABelter Mon 17-Dec-18 14:09:06

Honestly she sounds a complete nightmare to live and be with anyway. It doesn't sound like the relationship is right and the fact she brought up being bisexual was maybe because she met the woman and wanted to prepare you for when she inevitably announces it.

My mum was lazy like your wife. My dad done all the cleaning after work and bathing us and doing our washing and cooking. She ended up cheating and leaving him and after a few years he realised what a blessing it was when he finally met someone who was on the same wave length and shared the work load 50/50. Who wanted to spend time interacting with him and going out as a couple etc. I hope you get to a place in time where you can see the same as it doesn't sound like you were a good match at all.

JamAtkins Mon 17-Dec-18 14:14:10

Sounds like you have grown apart. Perhaps at 21 she wanted the security/stability that you could offer but now that simply isn’t enough. You can be a ‘perfect’ partner in every way but the one that counts. Doesn’t necessarily mean you’ve done anything ‘wrong’. There are couples who reconcile after an affair but it’s no picnic and they have to both really want it. In your situation the best thing may be to develop a good co-parenting relationship.

Surfskatefamily Mon 17-Dec-18 14:20:47

Sometimes this just happens it doesnt sound like you were awful. Unfortunatly people sometines fall out of love.
It honestly sounds like she wanted to start a relationship with a woman and theres probably nothung you could have done.
Id focus now on the future and making fair arrangements for the children

ElspethFlashman Mon 17-Dec-18 14:29:02

It sounds like you are total opposites tbh. She is messy and fairly lazy (I'm a nurse and still don't go to bed at 9pm every work night) and clearly has a rebellious streak.

You seem very eager to please and orderly and probably quite safe. All of these things probably attracted her in the start. A safe haven.

But now she doesn't need a safe haven anymore.

Where are the kids in all this? With you or with her?

2boysDad Mon 17-Dec-18 14:35:43

You need to start getting your ducks in a row. You have a window of opportunity now while she's "loved up" with her new beau but that won't last.

1) File for divorce - do it ASAP.
2) You're looking after the kids. Get EVIDENCE that you're doing this - it's critical.
3) If the child benefit isn't in your name - get it in your name. Apply today.
4) Apply to the CMS for child maintainence once the CB is in your name. You have 2 kids that need to looked after.
5) Be ready to get a child arrangements order in place if needed. Read up on how the law works.

None of the above is brutal or vindictive. It's just defending yourself and taking care of you and your kids future. Your kids come FIRST. This is also the advice given to any woman who comes on Mumsent and makes a similar post.

SadDadNW Mon 17-Dec-18 14:37:29

Kids are with me, im keeping the house, thats the plan anyway. We are starting the procedures now for mortgage, divorce and all that.

She has gotten herself a little rented place, she moved out 3 weeks ago, so far they have stayed with her 3 nights, ive had them the rest. She even took the big car and left me with the little one, despite the fact i am having the kids most of the time.

The idea of dating at my age is pretty scary. I cant imagine many people looking for a slightly overweight guy with 2 kids.

2boysDad Mon 17-Dec-18 14:37:55

Oh... and once you've sorted yourself and your kids out.

Try online dating as a "man who looks after his kids full time after his wife ran off".

There isn't a stick sh*tty enough to fight the ladies off with.

Please don't think your life is over - the truth is it's hardly started and your future is much rosier than it might seem right now.

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