My STBXH (common law) of 23 years married the woman he was seeing after knowing her 14 days. It's been 6 months now.
Fear: He will die and leave her all assets before we've settled.
Reality: I will get my attorney to secure any future money that would be owed for child support or settlement.
Fear: They will live happily ever after, doing all the things we never had the money for.
Reality: He's spent thousands of dollars on fancy hotels, meals out, expensive trips, but I'll be reimbursed for it all since he wrote it all off as a business expense, and I have a good attorney.
Fear: I've wasted 23 years of my life on someone that cheated me out of genuine love, and security due to his serial cheating.
Reality: It's better to be alone than live in misery. My dog is a greater comfort than a cheating spouse. There is someone out there for me, I just have to find them.
Fear: She is everything I'm not, younger, ambitious, outgoing, and loved.
Reality: She married a broken man that cheats. She will always look over her shoulder, and be threatened by our past. He loved me before he loved her, and he didn't have an issue cheating on me, so he will do the same to her in time. She's the beginning chapter of the same book, I'm how it ends for both of us. She doesn't know it yet.
Fear: I will never be able to afford to retire after 18 years of being home with no real social security. She will benefit financially from the years he and I were together, while I have to watch her go to all the places he talked about taking me.
Reality: I will likely get the house, and a fair and equitable distribution of assets. I have enough records to cause him financial issues for the rest of his life. He owes the IRS almost $200k that she isn't aware of. She better enjoy it now before he can no longer afford to spend thousands on her "fancy tastes".
Fear: I won't be able to afford to pay my attorney and he will outlast me.
Reality: He can't afford to piss me off, as I know where all his skeletons are buried. I've been a toothless dog for years, but now I've become a pit bull with a bad attitude. The end will justify the means, even if I owe my attorney until I retire.
Fear: They won, they broke me, they will be each other's "soul mate" and will go on to make a great life filled with wonderful things.
Reality: If I survived this I can survive anything. This is a soul sucking experience, and I'm still alive. They deserve each other. What begins in lies, ends in them, and they may be happy now, but the novelty hasn't worn off yet.
Fear: I have to interact with the two of them at some point in social settings where my children will be present. I'm afraid I will dissolve into a puddle seeing them together or become enraged at the sight of them together.
Reality: I don't have to navigate Jack shit that I don't want to. No rule says I have to confront or see the source of my pain. My youngest is 16 and I don't ever have to meet her face to face. In 2 years I can tell them both to Fuck off, and send them both the letter I wrote each of them.
Fear: I may lose my father in the next year. I won't be able to afford to go help my step mom (2nd mom) when this happens as I don't have anyone in my life now to help with school for my daughter.
Reality: My oldest is 21 and others can handle it all when the time comes, and I will manage what needs to be done.
Fear: I will never make up the years I lost, and will struggle to enter the job market after years of being a SAHM.
Reality: No matter how much I make I will know it's my own money, and I will have my dignity. I may well end up with a significant settlement from our "marital" assets and might not have to work more than part time.
Fear: I will always be angry, and bitter at being discarded, replaced, and abandoned. I will miss the life I had, and will envy them and the relationship they have together.
Reality: I will eventually find acceptance, I will move on, and as my life changes I will replace bad memories with new happy memories. I will be happy again. They possess nothing that money can't buy, and their happiness is likely a temporary illusion. Karma will come full circle and we all pay the price for our deeds in life at some point.