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WH giving up in favor of divorce

Six weeks ago DDay struck, I found SI and started posting in "Just Found Out." I’ll spare you the details but the overview is that he cheated once before we were married, and just had another one night stand again almost a decade later with a colleague. He’s been fired, he’s facing a potential legal charge related to the affair, and every single aspect of our lives has been negatively impacted. We have young children. He claims he had been happy and had not considered cheating, it was a drunk night when he made a bad decision based on opportunity. It confounds things even more.

My WH kept saying he wanted to try to save our marriage and we both entered IC. We were both waffling and I second guessed his actual desire to try. I was not seeing actions or hearing words that somebody desperate to keep his family together would do or say. I met with an attorney and drafted divorce, child custody/support and separation agreements myself as insurance. I started posting in "Reconciliation."

And here I am today, firmly a new member of the "Divorce" forum.

My gut instinct all along was that my WH didn’t have the depth of character to make changes or desire to put in the work to attempt to reconcile. He destroyed too much by being unfaithful, and by choosing to walk away he wouldn’t have to confront or deal with what he did. I knew that even if he was on his knees begging and pleading for me to give him a chance my decision would still be divorce. But I wasn’t going to give him a hall pass. I needed him to make another decision that ripped apart the family, to be the one to admit he couldn’t handle the hard work that would come, that he would walk away with the narrative that he couldn’t put in the effort, didn’t want to actually try. Not vice versa. He finally got that conclusion this morning.

So now it’s logistics. He meets with an attorney this week to get the agreements in process. My attorney will of course review and represent me. We agree to file immediately and I’ve asked to file a separation agreement and child custody/support agreement immediately because unless I am legally required to remain in the state where we are I will be moving with the kids before the divorce is finalized. He will pay spousal support and child support and half my rent until the divorce is finalized (then alimony kicks in and child support continues). He agrees to see them every other weekend (or have the option to). I plan to go across the country to a city I used to live in and where I have some friends who can help support me as I settle into a new community. I don’t know when I will move, I’d like it to be by the end of the summer so I can settle the kids before a new school year. But I may be stuck starting the school year here and moving them at winter break.

I now have to sort out, after the timing of the legal things, when I can move, how I can secure housing from across the country, who will rent to me without income (I’ve been a SAHM mom with a tiny hobby that brings in very little money), how to get daycare lined up outside of school hours, how to pay for everything, how to get FT work with benefits after not working for several years, how to logistically pack and move and unpack on my own with young kids and a pet. How to deal with their emotional needs and get them into therapy. How to eventually get myself dusted off from the mess he has created and is walking away from.

When he finally came clean I told him I respected his decision and felt sorry for him that he was so weak that he could set his family on fire and turn his back to walk away. That he was pathetic that he destroyed everything and couldn’t put in any effort to try to apologize and repair. He just reiterated he was sorry, he had been happy with me, he wanted nothing more than to have a happy marriage with me again but that he couldn’t see it happening and yes was giving up.

I am not surprised and it certainly cements who I have learned he really is. But damn if it’s not disappointing, that on top of all he has done he has decided I’m not with the fight, his kids aren’t worth the effort. That he voluntarily agrees to see them 10% of the time because he is too selfish to even make an attempt at saving the family — not that it would have worked out or that I would even commit to R. But that it’s just not worth his time or effort and he can in many ways avoid confronting what he has done if he doesn’t have to face the person he wronged each day.
Out of sight out of mind I suppose.

I’m not sure if I’m asking any questions here, just needed to vent. I literally went from being happily married six weeks ago to divorcing, with my life completely altered in every single aspect. I’m still in shock and bargaining, haven’t even reached the anger phase truly, and now it’s all fast tracked to forced acceptance.

388 comments posted: Saturday, August 19th, 2023

Empowering words for the betrayed

I saw the below on another resource recently and wanted to share it because it felt pretty profound and "telling it like it is." Especially for those of us like me where this is all still a fresh hell, you very much want to go back in time, and wish you had the life you used to have.

"About cheating:

1. It is actually a million micro decisions to betray you and lie to you in a multitude of ways.

2. There is always a factor of what value is the cheater extracting from you (money, sex, reputation, childcare).

3. Cheating is a deep moral failing that for most cannot be overcome in a lifetime. It is not the cheating itself...it is everything it represents: avoidance, selfishness, willingness to abuse a trusting partner, willingness to alienate and humiliate children, profound lack of integrity (which extends into many areas).

Do you want to pick pieces of rice out of a pile of vomit, or would you rather get a whole new fresh, delicious bowl of Happy Life, custom made to your exact liking?"

6 comments posted: Friday, August 11th, 2023

What “becoming a safe partner” looks like to you

I have a thread on "Just Found Out," and am four weeks out from DDay. He cheated, our lives have been blown up, and neither of us knows if we want to try to R or to D.

A lot of people in the forums talk about wayward spouses doing the work to make them become safe partners. I’m curious what that has looked like to you all who have been through such trauma. What can a cheating spouse say or do or show that he or she wants to make their betrayed spouse’s world safe again?

My WH is stuck wallowing in self pity for the situation he has put himself in and keeps saying he is numb, emotionally blocked, having difficult communicating. He claims he wants to try to make it work but is afraid it won’t work. He is in IC (I am too), reading books, and taking time for himself. We’re in separate rooms and mostly communicating logistics only (young kids). I’m frustrated by the lack of redemption I am seeing. To me, he isn’t acting or sounding like somebody desperate to keep his family together. I told him that that is OK too. It is best that he is honest with himself and me about future pack. He individually wishes to pursue. But if he keeps giving me the soundbite that he wants to try, he needs to be back in that lot in more meaningful ways.

Just interested in what real work to become safe may have looked like from your spouses who cheated. Thank you in advance for sharing any insights.

45 comments posted: Tuesday, June 20th, 2023

Execute a post-nuptial agreement or draft a divorce agreement to be filed if/when we decide to divorce?

Looking for some insights and advice from those who may have BTDT.

I've been posting in the Just Found Out forum of late. Boilerplate is my husband cheated two months ago with a colleague and is on administrative leave, I found out one month ago, we are both uncertain if we want to try to reconcile or to divorce. We have small children. I have been a SAHM supporting his career for several years (yes I am now looking fiendishly for work I can do with small kids at home now).

We have discussed structuring a post-nuptial agreement that could port over into a divorce agreement if necessary. We have both agreed to terms of division of assets, alimony support, child support, and child custody should we divorce. The terms are to my advantage but fair to both of us.

I met with an attorney today whom I feel very comfortable with and confident in. I have three paths I could take:

1. Structure and file a post-nuptial agreement (save for child custody and support which aren't included in such agreements). This locks us into the terms as agreed upon today, unless one of us decides to challenge them in a divorce proceeding (note: we have included language that if either party does they are responsible for both parties' legal fees). This is a flat fee cost of $7500 for my attorney's firm to prepare and file. He would pay a nominal fee for a separate attorney of his choosing to review the final document.

2. Structure divorce, child support, and child custody agreements. Sign but do not file until necessary. This involves a retainer of $7500 with hourly billables as needed (to eventually include case prep, court filing work, representation, etc.). No ballpark for costs. Unused retainer balance, if any, would be returned if we do not file.

3. Do nothing.

#3 is out for me. In this land of uncertainty I need something solid to rely on. I am leaning towards #1. But I also worry it is a sunk cost if we will be divorcing anyway. I do not know when we will make the decision if we do. And #3 makes sense from a financial standpoint but means we don't have a contract that is valid in place. Just a draft that hasn't been filed.

I would love some insights here. We have funds to pay for these fees but of course would prefer to stay fiscally conservative if we can as future earnings are uncertain. Thank you.

0 comment posted: Tuesday, June 13th, 2023

Unfaithful but facing false allegation

I am in desperate need of advice and some virtual support. I am in a very dire situation that has me deeply upset and scared of what could come.

Background: DH and I have been married 8 years, together for 11, and are in our 40s with two young kids. We were long distance when we dated and were engaged, and then moved to the same city six months before we got married. While dating, we weren’t totally exclusive in the beginning, but obviously were by the time we got engaged. A few months after we were married, I found out he had had a last hurrah with an ex for one night. It occurred when we were engaged but hadn’t yet moved to the same city together. He had broken all communication and told her he was planning to marry. She figured out how to contact me and sent me a message. I confronted him, he was mortified and remorseful, we entered months of individual and marriage counseling and ultimately stayed together. We have done complete open access to communications and have check ins with a counselor from time to time. I’d say I had built back trust to a decent level, and didn’t think about the infidelity every day. We have had 8 years of a mostly happy marriage. It hasn’t been perfect but there has been respect, communication, friendship, decent amount of romance (harder with small kids and work travel).

Two weeks ago, DH came home extremely upset. He told me he had been fired because work found out he and a colleague had had sex which is against policies. What’s worse, the other person confessed to her DH and has (we think) been coerced by him into reporting it was not consensual. By reporting the allegation she has been protected from being fired, which would have happened to her as well for her part in the act. There is an investigation but he has not been charged with anything. He is on administrative leave and has retained attorneys.

He has — I believe truthfully which I know sounds naive — told me the series of events as is. They were on a work trip at the same location, had drinks with colleagues after the work event, and then she said she wanted to show him some photos on her laptop from a hobby they been discussing and they went to her room. He claims they were chatting then she leaned in and told him she thought he was attractive, put her legs on his lap, and they kissed. They stopped and talked about what’s going on here (she is also married with children) and she got up and went to the bathroom. He stood up to leave, she came back, then they kissed again and had sex. Afterwards they discussed that it was a bad decision and he left. The next day they talked again in person that it was a terrible mistake, she asked for everything to just go back to normal, he agreed and they traveled separately back from the trip. Before and after this incident they had never flirted or communicated in anything but a professional manner. This was somebody he worked with occasionally and with whom he claims has never flirted or had communication outside of professional capacity at work. It wasn’t planned or "a long time coming" or similar. I’ve reviewed all text messages and emails and everything is completely up to code. The nature of his work requires emails cannot be deleted; they go to a server. He has pulled up the server entries so I know nothing was deleted. Same for his cell statement which I have been through.

He described (on my insistence) what happened to prove it was consensual. There were different positions, foreplay, things she joked about "my DH is going to kill you if he finds out." He has sworn on our children’s lives that it was consensual. Though I have little reason to trust, I do believe him. He is not capable of a crime; it’s just simply not the person he is. Her words and actions also don’t fit somebody who is a victim: The next day she emailed him inviting him out to dinner with two other colleagues before they flew back from the trip but joked he was probably tired from presenting at the conference so understood if he wanted to pass. (He did). We also ran into this woman and her husband, whom we’ve met a few times at work events, about two weeks after the incident at a restaurant. She came over from her table to our group four times to talk during the course of the evening, was happy and friendly, complimented something he had recently done at work. She ran into him at work the next day and said she was sorry she crashed our party but that we were more fun. He thought they had just made a terrible mistake and had agreed to move on and had been professional after the fact. He presumed she was on the same page from her words and actions. Until he found out she was now claiming it was not consensual.

Not only am I dealing with infidelity, I can’t even start to address it because of the serious allegation made against him. We live in a small community and are involved quite a bit, and some know he was let go and there is an investigation just not what for. Some friends have reached out just to say they’re sorry and are here for us, but others are giving a wide berth (understandably). We are not talking to anyone about what it going on other than each having a single designated confidant to confide in.

We are deeply scared of what could come. There is no evidence, just her word versus his. All he has are communications showing professionalism and colleagues who were with them up to a certain point; they knew she had stayed to show him the photos but of course had no clue anything was or did happen after. She could say she was drunk (they were all drinking but nobody was drunk), or that she was coerced because he is senior to her. Her word is stronger here and despite the rage I have for both of them for being so disrespectful, I’m MORE concerned about my DH going to prison for something he categorically did not do. If he is charged and it goes to court it will be wildly public and awful. And my children could lose their father. The investigation will take a long time, we were told, potentially months, and because she is claiming she’s a victim the first component of the investigation is only focusing on her, and her story of what happened. He will not be asked for his side at this time, which is hugely frustrating, and why we have attorneys right now.

I don’t know what to do other than try to get through each day. Our kids are cared for, DH and I are each trying to set up mental health appointments. I am not sleeping or eating well and am completely spaced out. I’m getting by at work and with the kids; they are too young to know anything is going on thankfully. He and I are being civil and managing logistics while he focuses on his attorneys and what could happen. His future career is in jeopardy and I don’t make enough to support us or even me and the kids solo. We are not rich but aren’t paycheck to paycheck. For now he is being paid. I am trying to deal with scrutiny and knowing people are gossiping about him/us, which is crippling to me.

We have been talking each day about the future. He is despondent that he hurt me and wants to make it work if I am willing to try. I’m not willing to do anything other than not make a decision right now because there is so much else at stake. In some sick way because we did so much therapy and work when I found out he had cheated before we were married, I’m almost numb to it because I’ve been hurt so deeply already and already "did all the work" to come back from it. So what’s another round? There are bigger things to focus on for now but I am completely drowning.

173 comments posted: Friday, June 9th, 2023

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