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Utterly predictable ending. But I just couldn't admit it.

(84 Posts)
hareinthemoon Thu 23-Feb-17 21:57:41

So - let's just start with the fact that despite having been on mn for ages, and read all the posts that sound very much like this one I'm about to write, I just somehow thought that I would be different. And I'm in the same shitty place as all those other women who thought their dh would never, in a million years, act like the other douchebags...

And even worse, I am 20 months into a separation and am only just now beginning to accept the situation. I am just in such pain and part of it is because I have been hoping all along that stbxh was just having a mid life crisis and would come to his senses before the plug was actually pulled. But I was wrong in a thousand ways.

Stbxh has been noticeably unhappy for about the past three years, since I turned 50. I knew this but he had been miserable for at least the 8 years before that - depressed at the failure of a business; I took on a counselling sort of role and we limped along for a bit. I knew he wasn't happy but assumed it was with his life, which was not going the way he wanted it to. I thought it was a rough patch we were going through - busy with the children and the demands of jobs etc. I was hoping that with DD off to uni and DS starting college we would have a bit more time together to concentrate more on the relationship and could come closer together again.

Because when we first met I just fell so deeply in love, it felt so magical, and I have been trying all this time to get it back to that. I'm not mourning the relationship as it was in the past few years, but it's so hard to let go of the memory of how it was when it started. I couldn't even begin to count up the number of self-help books and websites and mantras I've taken on and I know that 'the man I'm divorcing is not the man I married' - that's because the man I married would not have had an utterly predictable affair with a woman ten years younger than me and then lied all about it, the whole time, avoiding having sex with me because of his ED but taking Viagra to be with her, would not have cried about the therapy he was having that he said was all about the silly mistakes that he made that should never have broken our marriage up (but were all about how he wanted to be with her - ironically she broke it off with him because she caught him in a lie, and he has been obsessed with getting her back while telling me he wanted to change). He would not have been telling me that he thought he would regret breaking the marriage up somewhere down the line, telling me about his counselling, and all the while obsessing about one other woman and sexting yet another one...

I feel like a fool but I so wanted to believe him and to believe in him. On the weekend I found out as much of the truth, finally, as I needed to know to accept that this has been a lie for years and that any intimations of regret were just to keep me from causing a fuss. But I am so mourning the loss of my family and of that man who I now know was a fantasy - and how do you mourn a fantasy without feeling like an idiot?

Tonight we had the first discussion that was based on any kind of truth. As soon as I found out about the affair he drove the 80 miles to where she lives (where we used to live, when it started, I suppose) and told me he'd only be back if she didn't accept him back. I was here looking after our son (he is normally the resident parent) and there was no comeback to that. He stayed out; I imagine he told her he'd finally told me about them (though in fact I found out and confronted him, I don't know how long it would have taken otherwise). Since then he has been to the bank to try to close the joint account, appointed a solicitor, and talked to his work about taking early retirement so he can move to be with her.

We've been married for almost 20 years. Our son has 18 months of college left; I would have stayed but got the chance of a funded study position elsewhere, stbxh was working locally, and so we decided he would be the one in the house looking after our son and I would move. Now stbxh is saying his mental state is precarious and he is not sure how he will cope staying in the area for 18 months. If I have to move back to look after our son during his A-levels I will have to do it but it will impact very negatively on my studies, perhaps funding, etc.

If I'd known about the affair from the beginning I would have thought twice about taking the funded position. So many things could have been more sensibly worked through. But the lies have not only caused me to wonder if there was hope for our relationship; they have meant I have missed time waiting for him to 'come to his senses' when I could have been moving on. I could have been preparing the DCs better instead of trying to keep everybody happy by playing happy families. I could have come to terms with much sooner with who it was I actually married instead of the fantasy man I thought I had. The lies have turned me into a crazy person, trying to fit information that only half fit into stories that I tried to believe in.

I know I'm an idiot but that's what lies do to you. I'm just looking for some hand holding I guess, and people to tell me it gets better and people can learn to trust again.

hareinthemoon Thu 23-Feb-17 21:58:29

Crikey that's longer than I thought it would be. Sorry, and congratulations if you make it to the end.

Holly3434 Thu 23-Feb-17 22:03:19

You'll be fine this is just a process you have to go through. Accepting things are hard I do the same block it from my mind in hopes it goes away but never really does.

Kittencatkins123 Thu 23-Feb-17 22:04:43

You're not an idiot - your husband is.

What is HE going to do to support your son, seeing as this is all HIS fault?

Can you get support from friends or family?

Others will have better practical advice but please stop blaming yourself - you've been a good and devoted wife and mother. He has been a selfish (and likely deluded) prick.

therealpippi Thu 23-Feb-17 22:05:53

You are not an idiot. You have been lied to by someone you trusted. I am so sorry. It's a headfuck. The realusation that all this time you were still worrying and thinking and caring about him he was just thinking about himself.

Hand holding. flowers

hareinthemoon Thu 23-Feb-17 23:03:15

Thanks so much for the hand holding. I am gathering my friends around me (I was so loyal that I never told anyone we were having problems in case they thought less of him, so there is a lot of catching up for everyone to do). No family - parents dead, and I'm foreign originally, so - there was a moment in this process when I suddenly thought, oh, I'm an orphan, and although I have a right to live here, it made me feel very insecure about everything.

I don't know what he will do to support his son. I think he has got used to saying he's depressed and can't cope and that that excuses him of having to. I know he has been really unhappy but - he's our child. He had a massive falling out with this other woman by calling her a shit parent - and now he is doing this.

FritzDonovan Fri 24-Feb-17 02:06:29

How hypocritical of him. What a shit parent, husband and human being he is. Don't let him weasel out of his responsibilities flowers.

mamakena Fri 24-Feb-17 03:46:01

Please take courage, you'll get through this and thrive too. It will be hard at first, but very doable, then it gets easier and one day you'll actually feel very glad to be rid of the cheating scumbag.

Can your child switch to boarding school / on campus living, or can you get back the local job?

Get a solicitor and file for child maintenance ASAP. Then make sure you get your fair share of any assets in the divorce.

Inneedofaholiday2017 Fri 24-Feb-17 04:21:25

God how utterly miserable. I truly hope 2017 will see you get some happiness back in your life.
What an idiot your ex-h is.

ElvishArchdruid Fri 24-Feb-17 04:44:44

It must be really difficult, I have no words of wisdom, but I think the idea the man you are divorcing isn't the man you married, in a way is true and will hopefully help you heal.

We obviously hope that our vows mean something, after getting through the hardest bit of parenting you can be yourselves, getting life back in a way I guess.

I'm sorry I have no wisdom, I think everything happens for a reason, so hopefully in the future you'll have the relationship you deserve. flowers

AncientAliens Fri 24-Feb-17 07:00:28

Truly amusing to me that, not only has he completely upended his home and family life, he also seems to be intent on alienating and burning bridges with the OW through sniping criticisms of her life choices too.

What a sad, sorry tit; he will never find any sort of closure or happiness in life with that kind of self-sabotaging attitude. Good luck to him, I would say.

Naicehamshop Fri 24-Feb-17 07:12:16

Your situation really resonated with me, op. You sound like a strong, kind, caring person who's been left with all the family responsibility while your stbx tries to skip off into the sunset.

No real practical advice, but you will feel so much better when you finally let go of this self-absorbed deadweight. You have done your best. He has let you and your son down.

Onwards and upwards. flowers

hareinthemoon Fri 24-Feb-17 07:12:34

Fritz thank you for the flowers. I don't want to let him weasel out of responsibilities but I'm not at all sure how I would stop him. The way he's acting now I can see perfectly well that he has it in him to stay and just do such an appalling job of parenting that he forces my hand to come and take over. He knows I could never stand by and see our son be neglected.

mama my child is at a local 6th form. It is a very good college, unlike any of the colleges where I now live, which is quite far away. I had a part time job in the region that involved me getting up at 5 and in at 8 on the days I did do, and could not survive on the wages I was getting. Any assets to divide will be minimal - we've been poor as church mice throughout the whole marriage and although we own a house together it is not worth much and was only bought after the separation with the intention of giving the children a stable base for the duration of their schooling (more irony) - I really thought I could trust him with the children, if nothing else. Again I know he is perfectly capable of going through the divorce and blowing all of the meagre proceeds and then saying he has nothing to contribute.

I know I will get over him and in many ways I can see he and the other woman are better matched; he says he found my intelligence intimidating. I am just really frightened for my child's prospects, which I spent so many years trying to build up - we've had no money so all I've had has been the social capital of finding out about schools, study styles, and so on. With me gone/out of the way that forward momentum will not be so encouraged.

He has left the house for the weekend without saying goodbye to DS. I think he would have crept our if I hadn't been awake and found him leaving. He 'forgot' to tell me he was leaving early, and that I would need to get DS up and out.

I am scared for the future. Not mine. I know kids are resilient and besides, they will have to cope, but DS will need help to get through his A-levels. But at my age I feel this study is the last chance to heave myself into a better career/financial future, as much to provide for the children as anything else.

Naicehamshop Fri 24-Feb-17 07:20:03

Just read your update. What a sorry waste of space he is! "Forgetting" to say goodbye to your son!! angry

My niece was in a similar situation and boarded with a very nice local family near to her 6th form college while my brother tried to sell his house to move to be with her. I don't think that this is a very unusual situation - might be worth finding out about it from the college/school.

ParadiseCity Fri 24-Feb-17 07:20:54

You poor thing. Sorry if I have missed you saying this but can you freeze your studies until your son has done his a levels? You shouldn't have to but your ex is being a shit and if you can bear to grit your teeth /get your head down and just get DS through the next year I think that will benefit him more than whatever studies you Do, iyswim.

It is a bit of a sore point for me having experience of 3 different teenagers whose parents divorced at a level age, and seeing them as adults now I could honestly shake one set of parents over how they mis handled it...

Good luck flowerscake

hareinthemoon Fri 24-Feb-17 07:21:46

Ancient I wouldn't have called it sniping - OW's child is a drug addict and he bailed on her during a confrontation she was having with her child. Another reason to worry.

hareinthemoon Fri 24-Feb-17 07:24:46

Naice that is something to consider.

Paradise yes, in extremis I could freeze my studies but would not receive funding and have absolutely no idea how I would finance the house etc for that year. I've just signed a new lease where I live now as well.

watermelongun Fri 24-Feb-17 07:47:00

Vindictive maybe, but I'd be so tempted to contact the OW and give her a little rundown of the facts, as I'm sure you're right that he's spun her a yarn.

The practicalities sound difficult. Not sure what to suggest. I'm sorry. He's turned out to be such an insufferable prick angry

CatsDogsandDC Fri 24-Feb-17 07:51:23

Sending virtual support OP. It is sadly predictable that your STBXH has let your DC down as well as you because he must, of course, put his own happiness first above any idea of being a decent parent.

I also know a teenager who boarded with a local family while she finished her education after her parents split up and that may well be an option, with you collecting your DC at weekends and holidays. Could you let the house out to fund this?Alternatively, is there someone you trust who would be willing to live in the house with your DC in exchange for living rent free for 18 months, perhaps an older woman who could let out her place and keep the rent?

I strongly do not think you should abandon your studies. As you say, it is your chance for a more financially stable life in the future and you and your DC will need that more than ever.

DevelopingDetritus Fri 24-Feb-17 08:05:03

Never ceases to amaze me how selfish some people can be.
I know this phrase is written often but you will truly be better off without him. I've also mourned like this, you can get through to the other side of it though.
he found my intelligence intimidating. dear lord, as someonre up thread said, what a tit he is.

hareinthemoon Fri 24-Feb-17 08:46:59

watermelon I'm not even slightly tempted. He told me they were "seeing" each other but it was only platonic (and his ED allowed me to believe that) but also told me when they argued she had told him he needed to man up and tell me about them, and changed his name to "hare's husband" on her phone. Obviously (hindsight always 20:20) this only really makes sense within the context of a much more serious relationship, that she knew he was hiding from me, for whatever reason that would only contribute to me looking (more) like a mad woman if I contacted her. Besides, no-one knows better than I how compelling and romantic and plausible he can be when he turns that full force of his attention on to someone. And I know her, she used to be our neighbour, and she's not a bad person. In any case, it's become abundantly clear that the person who doesn't have the rundown of the facts is me.

Cats thank you, I truly hadn't thought of the boarding option before this thread, and it would have to be on the table, though I don't know what would fund it as I would imagine xh will want to sell the house and recoup the funds and if DS was boarding he might see this as an opportunity to do this. If I had more money I wouldn't worry quite so much, but options seem to be very limited.

Thanks again everyone, it does really help.

hareinthemoon Fri 24-Feb-17 08:51:50

Developing is the other side of this good? Or just bearable? Any tips on how to get there? Or is it just carry on and wake up one day and it's suddenly just not quite so bad?

I think even if more lies come out now I finally know enough to fully comprehend he's no catch, and there surely can't be any lies so huge as to knock me sideways as this has done. There may be little shocks and disappointments but I think I can take them in my stride as (I hope) I've had the worst.

nigelforgotthepassword Fri 24-Feb-17 09:54:22

Op it is just a case of in time you will start to feel, gradually, a bit better until eventually better days begin to slowly outweigh the bad ones. There isn't any other magic cure Im afraid.
What will help you is to have a plan for the next few years.
I can't see your ex being much help so you may as well count him out-and any help he does give you will be just that-help to make your plan work, but probably not something you can rely on-he's clearly not the full ticket right now.
I would sit the kids down and give them a factual run down of the practical situation you now find yourselves in-you don't need to slate their dad, just tell them what it is he wants to do re living arrangements.Ask them what they want to do re college/boarding in the area (would your youngest have a friend they could stay with during the week-I know someone that did this for sixth form-they stayed with their friends family and board and lodging was paid-it worked out fine)/moving.
They are old enough to have a say and help you in your choices.
I'm sorry this has happened to you-it's a cliche, but you have dodged the bullet of having to spend another 30 odd years potentially with this man, who really isn't worth your time.

DevelopingDetritus Fri 24-Feb-17 10:16:25

* is the other side of this good? Or just bearable? Any tips on how to get there? Or is it just carry on and wake up one day and it's suddenly just not quite so bad?* the other side is pure light, you've got to be at one with yourself first before moving on to be with another though. Then always be true to yourself, of course we have to make compromises in relationships but never compromise on your values.
I can hear strength in your words. The only way to get through it, is to keep going and never give up, my mum used to say "you've got to keep on keeping on". Best wishes.

DevelopingDetritus Fri 24-Feb-17 10:19:16

Ps, I agree with you OP about not getting in touch with the OW.

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