Monday, February 1, 2016

The Same Sad Old Story

Each morning I hike with a friend. The other day she was telling me about her sister, recently broken up from a long-time boyfriend, who's been spending time with a "friend" of hers. He's an old work colleague with whom she had a fling when they were both single. He's now married. You know where this is going, right?
My friend's sister, let's call her Elvira, is "just" meeting this guy for the occasional drink. They're "just" having dinner together.
The wife "hates" Elvira, allegedly because she knows about the fling they had years ago. Elvira takes a perverse delight in the fact that this wife "hates" her, as if it's a supreme compliment for a woman to feel threatened by her.
The husband has told Elvira that his marriage is "horrible." His wife is an "awful mother."
To which I respond, "of course his marriage is 'horrible'. Of course, his wife is 'awful mother'. How else to justify the fact that he's leaving her at home while he goes out for drinks and dinner with a woman that he knows his wife feels threatened by. And of course, she's a 'horrible' wife. Her husband is having dinner and drinks with someone else while she's at home dealing with kids and laundry and wondering where the hell he is."
And, incidentally, this wife likely feels "threatened" not by Elvira's beauty or youth or sex appeal (Elvira lacks any of this) but by her willingness to throw herself at someone else's husband with no regard for any consequences.
I'm stunned – though, honestly, why should I be? – at just how ridiculously cliché this whole thing is. 
My friend has tried calling Elvira out on her behavior but Elvira won't listen. She's not doing anything "wrong", she insists, except being a "friend" to this poor guy with the "horrible" wife. My friend points out that Elvira's ex was "just" having dinner with his assistant and that Elvira believed that to be a betrayal. That, says Elvira, was "different".
Elvira admits to her sister that she's lonely. She knows she drinks too much and too often.
And, in a stunning but temporary insight, she admits that she really just likes the attention. She's not actually interested in this guy at all.  But, right now, this just "feels good."
So far, this affair – and make no mistake, it is an affair even though it hasn't crossed any line sexually – is still under wraps and the wife has no idea what's going on.
But we all know how this story goes, don't we? No matter what the circumstances of our particular betrayal, we all know the ending.
It's sad.

46 comments:

  1. It is like Groundhog Day over and over. And in many of our discussions my husband has said these women are everywhere. Some want more and some just have no regard for anything but themselves. I really feel like there is no 100% safe. Any sense of security is false. And I think that would be with any man or relationship. I think the "experts" that say the biggest mistake is thinking this will never happen to your marriage are correct. It is just too easy. So instead like you say on here I am trying hard to work on myself and think of what do I need to do each day. And remember there are no guarantees with my husband and really not with anyone else if we were to part. So I work at it all each day through the ups and downs.

    And I don't really care about the other women but I do think they are off in their new relationships and I wonder do their boyfriends know what they did. Will they cheat on them. Not that it matters to me. But I do think has this had any affect on their lives?

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    1. This is exactly where I'm stuck right now. I feel like I'm wedged between, "Any sense of security is false" and a powerful desire for security, emotional safety and trust. Then whenever I start to get comfortable a little voice reminds me that comfortable is based on fantasy bullshit and not reality... Back and forth I go. I can't seem to settle on which path to take and get on with my life.

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    2. Aelia I totally agree. It is just so up and down. I even told my husband as we approach dday 1 at times it makes me so sad and down and then at times I think it is the best thing that has happened to us. Neither of us can change what he did now. And I do think that I am so grateful it came out. If this works between us we can maximize our time together and make it top notch or at least work towards the best we can each give. And honestly I am most glad for our children that things can turn around. They have no idea why but they notice a difference.

      But I will say I think about every day now there are zero guarantees. I think what do I need to do for myself. My husband wants me to step up and help more with the running of his business. I am cautious and not committing to that yet. My therapist says it is good he wants me to be involved but to be cautious since it would enmesh our lives together more and give me less independence. It is all so complicated. I am still working through the past. As I see it I fell like my husband is treating what he did as a few one night stands. Minimizing and saying it all meant nothing to him. It is not making sense based on what he actually did. I do think he feels that way now but I am not convinced that is how it was. So we keep working and I am more assertive. In time I would like to be less guarded and more trusting. For now I am taking care of myself and sinking my time into my kids if not my marriage and taking a back seat with everything else. I need time.

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    3. Well said, Hopeful and Aelia. I don't believe in security. My world is just a little bit darker now.

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    4. Do I trust my husband 100%? Of course not. But I trust myself to respond to any future betrayal of any sort in a way that respects myself. Will I be sad? Absolutely. But at a certain point we can't let life's uncertainty dictate our lives. We can only trust in our next step. And that's enough.
      I know how anxiety-provoking it is to imagine trusting someone who's broken that trust. But, if you choose to stay, you watch them earn your trust. You don't trust someone who's revealed himself to be untrustworthy until he shows you, over time, that he's earned back your trust. Even then, it will likely never be 100% but that's okay. Life never is 100%. Ask anyone who's had a cancer diagnosis or lost someone suddenly. And, the thing is, you'll come to a place where that's okay. Simply accepting that but nonetheless trusting yourself is actually a really great feeling.

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  2. It is sad, and scary.

    I cannot ever understand how any woman can behave like this...never mind with a married man, but a married man with children?

    Sure, they can pretend that the marriage is awful, or on its way out...but why be a fifth wheel? Why not have the self respect to say "when you're divorced, come find me?"

    Of course, the husbands aren't innocent. They are probably worse than the OW, because they are betraying their supposed loved ones.

    Yes Elle. This is very sad.

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    1. It is sad, Piper. It's sad to see anyone make choices in his/her life that we KNOW are going to lead to pain. It's like watching the teenagers go into the abandoned house that we all KNOW is haunted. Stop, we watch to scream. Go back.
      Sigh...

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  3. Yes we do know how the ending goes! The saddest part is knowing how many new betrayed spouses there are on any given day!

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  4. This is EXACTLY why I have no sympathy for OW and I never will. In nearly all cases, they know and admit what they are doing is wrong but they continue to make the same bad choices. Why? Because they like the attention. They want the ego boost. Just like Elvira, many are warned by friends or family. They have people in their lives telling them "don't do this". They ignore it. When it all blows up in their face, they try to spin it and act as if they were wronged too. As if they deserve sympathy.

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    1. Excersizegrace
      That was basically my h ow did! Telling him to cut her some slack and then listing her oh poor me reasons, none of those I feel compassion for as they are life up to the one of her loving a married man and that one she could have prevented, she knew he was married and she had friends telling her to leave that man alone! Took a judge to get through her affair fog!

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  5. This is so sad! I hope this situation will be resolved as it should be before people get hurt more and lives are damaged.

    I also find it so hard to feel for OW, (even when their personal stories or situations are truly terrible ). there is simply never justified to engage in an affair with a married man. OW really need to find help for themselves in healthy ways. Having a sexual or emotional affair with a married person is never healthy.

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  6. Pathetically cliche indeed. LOL it will never end.

    But a good article in reference to my comment that OW/AP dig getting one over on another woman. Sometimes it's almost titillating for them It's sick this is how some people find their value. I know the OW in my life loved knowing she was sneaking in my back door.

    Too bad you don't know the wife so you could clue her in.

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    1. I tried to figure out who the husband was – he works in the same industry as my own – but came up empty. I imagine myself as some sort of betrayal vigilante, bringing offenders to justice. ;)

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  7. This is why, despite the insights of others like MBS and everyone who advocates that we release the idea of (and the literal), OW I cannot. I will likely never cross paths with the beastie because it is just a nameless blonde from a town where the man in my life was taking a course. Part of what makes my blood boil when it comes to OW--and yes I fantasize about distributing pieces of her throughout the countryside, is the threat she posed to the happiness and security of my four children. Rest assured I hold the man in my life accountable for his choices, but the beastie pursued and fought hard for her romp in the hay and I loathe her for it. I would LOVE to confront her for her heinous disregard of my children. I could almost leave myself out of the equation, but the the risk that was posed to their family of origin was huge and because of that I long to tackle the beastie--as a mother. I had a good friend in highschool whose yardstick of self worth was how many "boyfriends" she could sleep with...other peoples' boyfriends never her own. It was such a paradox to see her ego enlarged by feeling she made other females small. I am now ashamed to say I adored this girl in my youthful stupidity because I knew the building blocks of her esteem were the security and well being of others. I would totally confront the OW (the same way I would confront ANY adult who threatened the well-being of my children). I have no need to label her or be concerned with her reputation, mental health or even the fact she collaborated with a man to trounce on my heart. I am a grown adult and reside in a world where my feelings are vulnerable. I just want to tackle the beastie who felt either so significant or so miniscule that she stole from kids. Safe travels to you all on this wacky road, Shawn.

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    1. I agree with this. I will have zero comparison for a woman that knowingly pursues, sleeps with and continues a relationship with a married man. My husband had two women and one was single and the other was a single mom. He said he has more respect for the single mom. Well that did not sit well with me. I feel the opposite. At least the single ap was younger and I can see where you would not understand then destruction to a family. Not that I am letting her off then hook. But it was the wrong thing to say to me. I was like any mother who would do this to another family is pathetic. And putting her energy into a relationship with him vs someone viable that could be part of her life and her kids would make more sense. She pursued him for four years. She begged him for his number for four years, and he gave in and there it happened. Again as far as I care now it is all on him. But yes these women are aggressive and will stop at nothing. I guess they have too much time on their hands and obviously are broken hurt people too. I always think what is a single mother of two doing with her time, I would never have time to pursue an affair raising my two kids. Not that I would ever anyways but what kind of mother could she have been for all those years. Pathetic!

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    2. For the record, I do fantasize daily about confronting the OW. I do wish that I had been more forceful about getting in her face back then. I spent forever wishing bad things would happen to her. And then something worse than I could wish happened--her child was rendered partially blind disabled by a large truck-- and I felt truly terrible about myself. Because in reality I wouldn't really want something that terrible on anyone. So I let go of wishing for bad things. But I still fantasize about telling her off, making her feel worthless. But I be she feels pretty worthless, especially since what happened to her child was kind of her fault.
      Nonetheless, I think it is worth noting that the POV of the OW is me, me, me. She couldn't care less about you or me or anyone else. So I would rather give her as little real estate in there as I can--which is often hard. But it is something I intentionally do for me, not because I want to be holy, forgiving and above it all. But because I do want to reclaim my joy and happiness.
      That said, I think this Amy Schumer video makes me think of OW's around the world--especially the one in this post. enjoy
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6eqCaiwmr_M

      MBS

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    3. MBS
      Like you I wish I would have confronted her face to face but I'm sure it would not have been healthy! I confronted her through text as in answer on my h phone and told her how tired we were of her drama... Just made her more angry she told me to stay out of their conversation! That's when my h told her to stay out of our lives! Didn't make her stop just more persistent! Like you I kept wanting something bad to happen in her world and probably asked for her karma but when the really bad happened, it didn't make me happy at all! Just sad for the whole family and for my h and me....So for me, the whole damn mess has gone full circle, and it's now up to my h and me to decide together how to make OUR life together better than ever! Hugs!

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    4. MBS, that video is hysterical. Thanks for sharing the laugh today.

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    5. Dear MBS (and all wise champions): I am quite literal when I say I wish I could let the phantom OW go. I admire your strength and I hope it is just a function of my not being quite "there yet". I cannot envision moving forward for real when another person can live rent free in my head--the one who begged for no condom (one was used) and willingly would have risked my health just to somehow feel better about itself. The beastie proceeded to beg the man in my life to see it again and said he would "have no choice if somehow the condom was defective and it was pregnant". Sigh...the fantasy of the happy ever after baby strikes again. I will NEVER question, diminish or condemn any woman on this site who is contending with betrayal--I am immensely grateful as you have been in the trenches with me and you are teachers, poets, gurus and goddesses. This road we walk is scorched Earth and each time my inner monologue has tended towards "cannot" I come here to lick my wounds and apply the salve of compassion and "me too". In the beginning I thought I would simply and spontaneously die--the lump in my throat would asphyxiate me or my heart would simply stop beating as it had been rendered to dust. The pain of this is remarkable and somehow displaces you--Dorothy like--to a very foreign, but in this case less colourful world. There are witches though and it was Elle that made me realize the most ruthless one was me. At first I was addicted to whipping myself for all my flaws because why else would this man I had married have SEX with someone. It had to be because I was a troll! I grew up in the dystopian Cleaver family rife with comments about my chubbiness, my stupidity and how unfortunate it was I wasn't as cute as cousins or classmates--fast forward 40 years and I have reason to believe I'd spent 20 years with a man who proved my mother right. And there was my glimmering shard of hope--that like countless of you I would strike down some of my demons and after being incinerated by the pain of betrayal I could construct a new vision of myself. A kinder, gentler rendering. I pray every day to get there--to a quieter mind and consoled heart. To a place that if the OW knocked on my front door I would simply say no thanks. I don't want to be defined by this, but redefined: braver, stronger, self aware--like so many of you. With gratitude Shawn

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    6. Shawn
      I keep the ow out of my mind most of the time, but this crazy ow drove past our house yesterday and triggered me so bad and I blew it all out with h again from one screech to the other and have no idea what I said for the most part. We took a step backward last night because even though I think I can tell him when I see a drive by truth is I lose self control. So today I too am sitting reading for comfort. We have a no contact order in place but she can still drive by anytime she pleases. I'm still shaking from the anger that I feel returning in my heart just because I saw her car! I'm going to turn my music loud and scream for a few hours! I'm snapping my band again, Elle! God give me strength!

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    7. Shawn-
      That was a great rendering of this journey: Looking inward and onward, while still contending with what is and what was. Elle might have shared this before, but as I listened to it yesterday, it provided such solace... and the wisdom you have shared.
      http://www.wbur.org/2015/10/02/dear-sugar-episode-twenty-eight

      MBS

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    8. Shawn,
      What you're contending with is something that so many of us also do. And we're supported by a culture that insists that there must be something wrong with us -- or at least not as "right" as the Other Woman. We're too old, we're not as sexy, we're uptight, and the list goes on and on. And yet, what we learn when we really deconstruct the affair, is none of that really had anything to do with it. It was about fantasy. It was about the reflection men see in the OW's eyes. A reflection that makes THEM feel young and sexy and interesting. The other woman is just a distorted mirror.
      So your work is re-discovering yourself -- your beauty, your heart, your soul. It's learning how to be kind to yourself.
      I don't know if the OW will ever knock on your door or whether any of us ever really gets to a place where we're "meh" about her. But we can get to a place where we've let ourselves off the hook and fully recognized that this had nothing to do with us. We were collateral damage. And we can get to a place where we really value ourselves and only let others into our life who value us too.

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  8. One Armed Pie Maker
    LOL--please don't distribute her body parts through the country side. Orange jumpsuits don't become anyone :) But we can fantasize right?

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  9. I don't know why but it makes me so stinkin happy to know how many other wives are out there wishing awful things to happen to these ow. I just hate them for being immature, selfish and entitled,. Just like our husbands were while the affair was occurring! If you want an ego stroke- do something to better yourself or the world around you- don't get it from a married man or an ow!!! dimwits!!

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    1. This is exactly how I feel!

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    2. The OW in my case knew exactly what she was doing and why. She had the 'joy' of getting back her old flame sexually behind my back. According to her I 'stole' him from her 36 years ago and at a chance meeting she made it clear she was available. My husband was clever and told me he had met her by chance at the time but didn't let on about their first adulterous affair or their continued distant contact, even after her marriage to another man. This only came out when I discovered their second affair 18 years later. I do not subscribe to any pity for her or her ego and I wish her the worst that life can bring.

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    3. I spent the first year at least fantasizing about running her down with my car. At first, the idea excited me. Then it made me giggle. Now...I rarely give her a thought at all.

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  10. Elvira, Queen of Darkness - nice pseudonym!
    Yes, the skank is selfish and shallow. Yes, she clearly has emotional problems and is making herself feel good by belittling and hurting someone else. Here's what I didn't fully understand until it happened to me: the depth of the pain. My H and the skank put me through prolonged emotional torture to make themselves feel better. Neither of them would have been ok with physically, literally torturing me - but they gave themselves permission to put me on an emotional rack, and to risk emotionally damaging my children. People just don't get it. They don't comprehend the extent of the pain, and that's why it's easier for them to do it, and to wink when they see other do it. I didn't get it either...before.
    My H, I think, now has some idea of the pain he caused. He had to watch me suffer day in and day out. The skank may never know...or care.
    Get a life, Elvira! You are a sad excuse for a woman.

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    1. Phoenix
      The pain was not something my h knew would be so intense or so prolonged. It hurt him to see me in so much pain. He was finished with his ow but she wouldn't let go and kept twisting the knife in my heart. He told me he knew I'd be hurt and disappointed in him but didn't know it would be this bad. He has changed so much this past year! I have too! We are both working so hard to repair the damage done by his choices!

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    2. That's a failure of our culture to make clear the true cost of cheating. We celebrate infidelity. It's a punchline. It's titillating. We hang on the gossip of celebrity cheating like it's a spectator sport. We pick a team and root for him/her.
      And behind all that is a betrayed spouse going through, potentially, the worst pain of her/his life. But nobody sees that. They imagine anger...but not the kick-in-the-gut agony that we all felt when it happened to us.

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  11. My thoughts exactly. Who has time for an affair?

    That is one thing that convinced me to ignore the red flags during the affair. My h was running our business. During a recession at that. He was home every night for crying out loud. No way I guessed when he said he was working he was running off to her. Well that cost him. Business suffere but he would never agree to that. It also suffered as he placed the dimwit in a position for which she wasn't qualified and overpaid her. We took a pay cut during the recession and she got raises!!!! Ugh, what am I doing here. Must get my head examined, AGAIN

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  12. "...her [OW] willingness to throw herself at someone else's husband with no regard for any consequences."
    THAT is exactly why I can't get past affair #1. It wasn't emotional- this one was a sexual kind of flirtation or teasing- I'm not really sure what to call it. And SHE was married while she was stalking my H. He let her stalk him and he enjoyed the attention. But she took the first step. She was going to have my H- all he ever had to do was say yes. Thank God he did not and at least was able to recognize THAT boundary. The big dope. But she did not care about the consequences to her marriage, to our marriage or to herself or to my H. I don't get that. At all. What is WRONG with these kinds of women? I'm sure she enjoyed tempting him and stalking him and flirting with him. I still can't figure out what my H did to encourage it since this went on for two years. Of course, he didn't discourage it, either and maybe that's enough for psycho-women like this.
    She was dangerous- very dangerous- more dangerous than the EA with sexual overtones #2. And that spouses don't recognize that, or won't recognize it is why so many of us are here. They don't know how to talk to us even though we've been there for them every step of the way. We put ourselves last so many times. And they took advantage of us and took advantage of a situation because it made them feel good and they COULD get away with it. And they left us behind.
    Some women stumble into a secret relationship with a married man like EA#2 did- I can forgive her for part of what happened, because I CAN understand how one feels totally abandoned when their H leaves them for another woman. That's how #2 started- he truly WAS trying to help her, and it got out of hand. And I get that and don't blame either of them for that piece- now other pieces, I've got problems with.
    But #1- she was the dangerous one. She made no secret about her attraction for my H in his military unit. I won't say everyone knew, because I know that if one person in particular had, she would have set my H straight- she was a true friend to him. But enough people knew. I now feel like a fool when I remember standing in front of his unit when he retired and how he went on and on about how much I supported him and how much he loved me (BS)....and all I can think now is how many of the people in that unit were laughing at me or at my H. No wonder few of the members of that unit bothered to stop by to say hi. Now I know what was going on. And he had the nerve to introduce me to her that afternoon. What is that about? My only consolation with her is that I considered contacting her after I found out about her and looked her up on LinkedIn. I must have done it several times, and one day, I couldn't see her page anymore. I'd been blocked. So at least she knows I know- and I hope she's nervous. I hope that at least for awhile she was looking over her shoulder since I knew where she worked. And that's the only consolation I'll get with the dangerous OW. The one who had no regard for any consequences and didn't have a conscience. Just yuck.
    C.

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    1. Yuck. Her insides are yuck. Her heart is yuck. Her soul is yuck buried in yuck. Who would want to be her? Yuck.

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  13. Theresa
    OK can you just rearrange that trigger. Ok, she drove by, so what??? She's crazy, her driving by keeps driving that home. What if she stopped driving by you would wonder what she was doing. Can you try to visualize her as The Road Runner cartoon character?? Seriously, back and forth, back and forth she goes just like the crazy Road Runner character. And crap now that gas is cheap she has even MORE incentive to drive by!!!! Road Runner. Visualize the Road Runner :)

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    1. Whenever I have a trigger of anything to do with OW, I force myself to re-arrange it by just imagining chasing her into a rail station and pushing her infront of a train......splat, she's gone.
      The OW in my case was 22 and some people say her immaturity must have played a part. F that I say, I knew the difference between right and wrong at 22. When she gleefully called me to tell me all the details of the affair, the only remorse she had was for herself and that it was over. Woe is me she cried, telling me how she doesn't have many friends and no father. I was in such shock at the end of the phone I barely spoke and regret not telling it's no surprise she doesn't have many friends as they're probably worried she'll make a play for their boyfriends and that does the absence of her own father make it right to take my son's from him?
      Don't get me wrong, my H is to blame for this mess but she played her part. It makes me angry, sad and depressed these girls or women actively pursue married men for their own selfish gain and thrill. Are there not enough unmarried men in the world to choose from?
      I did manage to say to her that when she is 40, married with a child and someone comes along and f**ks her husband, then she'll know what life is really all about.
      I still fantasise about taking some sort of revenge but fantasising is where I'll leave it and I just pray that karma really is a b*tch.

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    2. Trying hard
      Your suggestion had me and my h laughing so hard when I read it to him! I'm already using it to make me feel better! Thanks for the belly laughs!

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  14. More stuck than everFebruary 6, 2016 at 12:10 AM

    Honestly, I may have (more than likely WOULD HAVE) been divorced already if it wasn't for my babies. I cannot imagine giving them up half the time or coming home from work and not hearing "mama!" It breaks my heart into even smaller pieces than the affair itself.
    It's been 1.5 year this month since D day, and I feel more confuses than ever. I don't think my H is cheating on me, I DO think he CAN be a great husband, and at times he is. Aaaannddd, at times he is not. When he loves he loves hard, but he can hate just as hard. He has issues with "being the man" of the household and maybe not seeing everything as equally as he should. (I also work full time, no such thing as a stay at home mommy in this house). I'm not sure where he gets his sense of entitlement from as his parents don't act that way.
    Things were going well for a long time and now they are crumbling again. I think I want a divorce, but how can I leave my childen 50% of the time?
    Has anyone dealt with such feelings or divorce with children involved? I need help!

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    1. MSTE,
      I've watched friends go through what you're experiencing and, yes, it will hurt. I spent every second weekend consoling a friend who ached to say good-bye to her kids on a Friday night. Today she and and her ex live a couple of blocks away and her kids bounce from house to house with total freedom and comfort. It hasn't been easy but the kids are fine (I'm convinced kids' ability to navigate divorce is far more affected by how their parents treat each other than by the actual logistics of the divorce) and my friend has moved on to a much happier life.
      Sometimes after an affair, a couple is able to cling more tightly to that which they love. But sometimes, it reveals character flaws that we overlooked, or understated, or made excuses for. Sometimes, a guy who cheats is just an entitled prick and you're better off without him.

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    2. I do think about this almost daily. I question if I would be here if I did't have kids with him or if they were even grown and out of the house. Also I have said this before I think if I inherited money would I want to be with him. Would I want to share or allow him to have access to this money. I do think about getting legal and financial advice related to my inheritance. It could be a very long time before my parents pass but I now see this in a different way. Even though I guess it would be an asset if we were to divorce and it was just in my name. But I think I might look into the choices I have. I am not sure and nervous about who to talk with since my husband is very connected into then legal community. Might have to go out of town. But then how to pay for it. Something to think about.

      But I am right there with you on the kid thing. I am not at the point of even considering it as an option. My husband goes on and on about wanting to always be with me and he cannot wait for our lives together once our kids are both in college. Sometimes it feels good but sometimes it feels like a joke or fake. It is hard to take these statements seriously.

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  15. I would def look into protecting your inheritance. Maybe there is something your parents need to do on their end with regards to trusts etc. Look it is VERY unethical for your lawyer to divulge any private info, but I am sure you know this. Can't they lose their license for talking about private business?

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    1. Trying hard.

      I do not know a lot about confidentiality. It would make sense what you are saying. However it makes me nervous since my husband works with all of the best family attorneys in town. He works on child custody cases every day. The best one in town he is in communication with her weekly and all the others. I mean I would hope they would but then there is calling into the office and talking to the secretary. I know what you are saying they should not talk but my fear would be oh we talked to your wife when she called. And they have no idea why, it should not happen. But it really does worry me. He says he has never spoken to an attorney about us or anything to do with our marriage ever. I guess I have to go with it. Yet he knows how it works out due to a lot of the professional work he does. He has said if I wanted a divorce he would want to use the same attorney and would give me anything I wanted. Who knows if that would happen but he sees couples spend $100,000's of dollars and get no where. And it is horrible for the kids. He takes 100% blame for all of this and says I should be taken care of. But my therapist said to be cautious. He said this is very unique due to my husbands professional training, work and experience but he said you never know. That is why I have records of all of what he did that I have. I do wonder where I could keep them safe.

      As far as my parents go I am not sure about how they have it set up. I know it all would go to me and I think they have a trust. I do not feel I could ever tell them about my husband, and I am not sure telling them it is for tax or business reasons makes sense. My dad had a top notch attorney so they would figure it out. I mean in the end if it came down to it, I would get half of all we have. The issues is the spousal support. I can not go back into the work force after 14 years and get back to my last earning potential from where I left. That is my hang up. And also ultimately protecting my inheritance. I do wonder if there could be a time limit on it. Or a certain amount per year like there is when kids inherit money, but I assume that would be counted as an asset for me. Who knows and it might never matter but I am glad I am thinking about it,

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    2. Hopeful30,
      It sounds as if you might want to sit down with a lawyer and get some of these questions answered. Some lawyers will give you a free consultation in the hopes that you will, eventually, hire them.
      But I think there's a deeper issue going on here. You don't trust your husband to have your best interests at heart. And while that's "normal" at this point (why would you trust someone who has revealed himself to be a liar?), I want you to be aware of it because I wonder if it's telling you something you'd prefer to not think about. And while I understand that your husband works with lawyers and other professionals in town, unless your town is the least professional in the country, your confidentiality should be secure. Lawyers can be disbarred for breeching confidentiality. Therapists can lose their licences. And anyone working for these people understands that the stakes are high. Privacy is paramount. You give your husband credit for a lot of power in your town. I can't help but wonder if he's truly that influential or if you've inflated his power. Something to consider, in any case. I suspect you have power of your own that you're accustomed to giving up to him.

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  16. Wow Elle these are some really great points. I have been guilty of exactly what you are saying. I have given my h way too much power in every aspect of our marital decisions. I deferred to his judgement and my perceived power and influence that he has.

    I know we like to think there is no gossip between professionals like lawyers, doctors, bankers etc but trust me they talk. They talk on the golf course and between each other. I can't believe some of the "gossip" my husband comes back with after golf or talking with the "boys" all coming from the mouths of these professionals. Which is why we don't bank in our town. We use out of town banks. These places are hired by local people who know they are not supposed to be talking about clients but it always happens that they do.

    If I were Hopeful I would go to the next county and find a lawyer. Most lawyers only have influence in the county where they practice. I think Hopeful has probably heard of some of the types of gossip I'm talking about and that is why she is reticent to find legal advice. I get her need for safety and confidentiality. That's not to say she shouldn't seek legal advice. If Hopeful lives in a small town and her husband is a big fish in that town the likely hood of him finding out is pretty good. Heck I've known of people finding out stuff about others because someone saw their car parked in front of a certain office. Small towns are weird and incestuous and full of gossip!! Heck my town still loves to gossip about my h's cheating and that was five years ago!!! I hate small towns. Give me a big anonymous city any day.

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  17. Elle and trying hard,

    Yes I agree with both of you. I do think I have given over too much power to him in many ways. I think that is an accurate statement. And we are redefining that. We have had major improvements in that area. And we need more work but I am really happy with our progress. One major hurdle is related to him professionally. And it has played a role in our marriage and with our kids and other relationships. With him being in the mental health field it has caused issues many times. One thing he has never liked is I have at times asked him when we have had a conflict or challenge what would he tell a patient or what would he say professionally. And he hates this. He never talks about work out side of work since he really cannot and he is not one to brag. But he hates me putting him on the spot. Now I think it has to do with I am seeking his professional insight and he has told me that over these ten years he has struggled since he talks with people all the time about their marriages and what to do. He felt like a hypocrite every day. Now I can see it and that all makes sense.

    As far as being elevated he really is the top person in his field in the region we live in. He limits his therapy work load and it is hard to see him since he does so many evaluations and court work. And he is in high demand and the top person in his field hands down. I would say people come up to me several times a week gushing about him telling me how much he has helped someone in their lives. Yeah! And of course I am like how nice since he could not help himself or his family. But of course I know none of this since I have no idea who he sees but people share so willingly.

    All if this had caused some issues for us. And I have talked with my therapist about this a lot. He said it is a very unique situation, that is why he is suggesting not to push him to therapy since he said he honestly thinks my husband will say all the right things and it will be over in three sessions. It is really odd.

    And trying hard as you say none of this should be said but things do get mentioned. I am going out of state for my therapy. Partially since anyone I would see would be in the same office as my husband. And I agree banking, lawyers things get around. For example one of my husbands friends wife contacted an attorney and went over an hour away to a huge city. And it got back to my husband and his friends that she was going after a top divorce attorney, and they told him. He did nothing but we still have no idea how it got back to him three counties away.

    So I decided I will talk with my therapist to see what he suggests. Even though he is out of state so it would not make sense to speak with someone there. And I need to keep pursuing my concerns with my husband. Granted he keeps saying all positive things and that I would get what is required plus more. Whatever that means. It is hard to take his word for it and this has been a major issue since as we have discussed I cannot just slide back into my original career and earning power after the sacrifices I made for a career and our family. Lots to discuss!

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  18. OMG Hopeful he could so play you being a therapist himself!! Well there has to be a way to get legal help. What about even LegalZoom.com? Many times lawyers have dual licenses for contiguous states so you could go to the other state and get advised. LOL just don't park in front of the building!!!

    Yikes, I'd feel the same Hopeful were I in your shoes. It also sounds like he may be a weee bit of a narcissistic ??? Typical Dr as God syndrome?

    Sometimes I think my H is playing me and I'm sure he's not nearly as educated as your H with regards to responding properly to our emotional issues. I guess really the only thing you can do is trust your gut and watch his actions.

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  19. It's easy to tell someone how hurt you are. "I am SO HURT. This has DEVASTATED ME!" But anyone that hasn't experienced this level of hurt has no idea what it is even like. On TV and in movies it's a montage of the betrayed crying then getting hot then moving on. IRL it is 130 hours straight of ugly crying and wishing you could go to sleep and never wake up instead of dealing with this pain. If only the world could read betrayed spouse blogs BEFORE a betrayal then maybe betrayals wouldn't happen so often. I believe when you get your marriage license they should give a book about infidelity and you should be forced to read it before you actually marry! I (like EVERYONE else) KNEW it would NEVER happen to me and yet here I am 26 days post DD.

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