OwningItNow ( member #52288) posted at 8:30 PM on Saturday, July 15th, 2023
Boy, when my blinders came off about my H, they really exposed someone I did not recognize. He had been there all along, but I realized that I made excuses for him, told myself things, created justifications and explanations for him--he didn't have to do a thing! I did it all in my own head and always made him out to be the best!
Tell me again how good a dad you are?
Didn't you say he's always travelled a lot and only been home a handful of days per month? On some level, not to be unfair to every person who travels for work, maybe this amount of time was always enough for him? Maybe you've been doing the same rewrite of his behaviors that I did for so many years?
I'm sorry, Fold. It's so difficult to see someone as they really are, someone you once had such love and respect for. The disillusionment is extremely painful. You have been so strong, as you have clearly always been. It will serve you well in the end. Just keep putting one foot in front of the other. (((((Fold123)))))
[This message edited by OwningItNow at 8:30 PM, Saturday, July 15th]
me: BS/WSh: WS/BS
Reject the rejector. Do not reject yourself.
Fold123 (original poster member #83366) posted at 10:55 PM on Saturday, July 15th, 2023
Owning It: Yes, your experience really resonates with me. I am really sorry that when you discovered the infidelity you felt very much the same. Like who is this person? This is not the person I knew, or I thought I knew. It is such an odd and unsettling feeling. Kind of an out of body experience in some ways, right?
I do think that for many of us we realize how much we were explaining away or covering for our spouses. Even if we were blindsided, there were likely, in hindsight, behaviors or situations we can look back on under a different lens. Like everyone, he wasn't perfect, but he had/has a lot of great qualities and we were compatible in all the ways it seemed to matter, and complemented one in another in most of the others. It is a shock still that he is showing me a very different side of him now. This unfeeling, disassociated side. And of course the side that could cheat, blow up our lives, and then walk away because it wasn't a sure thing that we could make it work. He has been driven and determined in a lot of ways, and it is crushing to see that when it comes to me and his family he can suddenly apply an apathetic, clinical, "game over" approach. It hurts. That he can look at the kids and me snuggling on the couch or sitting down for dinner together and go "nope, not worth trying, I don't want this."
He is used to traveling a lot for work and not having a ton of family responsibility. He mostly just has had to watch out for himself, and even to that level, not to the same degree as most, as he has had a lot of people supporting him and managing the details at work and at home. I think that he isn't cut out to be a FT parent. He loves the kids and spending time with them, but he is not used to being home every day (or week). I just think he doesn't want to be a family man, but likely enjoys appearing that way. It's becoming pretty clear since he is electing, repeatedly, when all he has is time, to spend less time with them, that this may be who he is. PT dad who thinks he is a great father. Tale as old as time, along with the serial cheating.
I did have a lot of respect and admiration for him. Not in a glorified way; up until now our relationship had been pretty even in a lot of ways. We had some issues but we were still mostly well matched. Nobody had "the upper hand." And I did love him. I loved him a lot. And when I found out he cheated the first time, a part of my heart closed. And now, despite me being so emotional and blabbering on here day after day, the rest of that heart has closed. The day (Father's Day) he told me he didn't have it in him to try, I think I just stopped loving him. I am hurt and wistful and sad. But the respect and love I used to have for him has been erased. Maybe that will help serve me in some way going forward if nothing else.
Beachgirl73 ( member #74764) posted at 12:28 PM on Sunday, July 16th, 2023
Wow, Fold! Could your husband be any less loving and caring for both you and his children??? He truly isn’t father material, is he? Is he this cold when he interacts with the children, too?
I’m so, so sorry for all you are going through but I continue to be impressed by your strength, resilience, and resolve. I can’t even imagine the stress you’ve been under in such a short time! You may find once you’re settled again that everything hits you. Right now you’re working on adrenaline, I imagine.
Please keep us updated on how you and your children are doing in your new home. I begin to really care about certain posters and you are one of them. I want to know your doing okay.
Sending hugs and best wishes.
Fold123 (original poster member #83366) posted at 5:44 PM on Sunday, July 16th, 2023
BeachGirl: You are so kind to continue to read this thread and listen to me. Thank you. I feel like you and some of the other amazing members who have been so giving with their time and advice are my emotional support internet strangers. The nature of the potential criminal investigation he is facing has forced me not to open up to many "in real life." So I probably am depending more on this forum than most would, I am a bit ashamed to say. It really means a lot to me and I appreciate you being here for me.
He is mostly good with the kids when with them. He plays, takes them places, is affectionate. But he is not 100% focused on them or engaged (falls victim to being on his phone or laptop like many of us do) and he will do things like put a show on and then disappear to go read in another room. But he is not negligent or cold with them. Just keeps putting himself first and makes it clear in every way that he is the most important thing in his life.
Tonight is the last night we will all sleep under the same roof. He will check into his hotel tomorrow. It continues to be a head scratcher to me. You have one more week with the kids in the house and in this state and you want to check into a hotel by yourself?
When he would travel for work I often would joke, when saying goodbye, "enjoy your freedom!" because he was heading off to interesting locations for interesting work conferences and would be staying in hotels and going out for dinners and drinks, and I'd be at home with the kids solo. In a few weeks when the kids and I are moved into our new home and he leaves to fly back to this empty house by himself that is all I can think to say to him again. "Enjoy your freedom." Because it is what he seems to only want, and yet again, by divorcing me and not putting in any effort (even a fake effort) to try to keep the family together, he is getting exactly what he wants. Freedom and only having to watch out for himself.
Beachgirl73 ( member #74764) posted at 7:17 PM on Sunday, July 16th, 2023
Well, he never should have gotten married and had children then. What a selfish jerk!
The1stWife ( Guide #58832) posted at 4:02 AM on Monday, July 17th, 2023
It’s like watching your cheating spouse morph into someone else. And there is nothing you can do to change it. 😡😢
I won’t even begin to tell you what my H changed into. Practically overnight he became someone I did not recognize. And then after he declared he wanted out of this marriage— it got worse.
It’s like the affair emboldens the cheater to just become selfish jerks!
I’m sorry your H has decided to go off on his own and abandon his family. This is so painful for you & kids. But at least he made his intentions known and you are not finding out years later he never has any intention of fully reconciling. I think that would have been worse for you.
It will be hard getting started. But I think you will look band see that you have an opportunity to re-start your life. And I think you will be very happy.
[This message edited by The1stWife at 4:02 AM, Monday, July 17th]
Survived two affairs and brink of Divorce. Happily reconciled. 10 years out from Dday. Reconciliation takes two committed people to be successful.
Fold123 (original poster member #83366) posted at 12:28 AM on Tuesday, July 18th, 2023
BeachGirl and 1St Wife: Thank you. Your support means a lot. I know a lot of us here know the feeling of suddenly realizing you are married to a stranger. It is so unsettling. Just a very cold, argumentative, and utterly selfish side to him I have not seen.
Today we had the moving POD delivered to pack. It is being picked up tomorrow. Not surprisingly, the one he ordered was too small. I had told him multiple times that we needed a larger one and he continued to brush it off. The crew could fit about 60% of my items into the container. Our garage and living room are still filled with furniture and boxes.
He is now trying to schedule a second POD, but it is the middle of summer and we have no idea when they can drop another off, how long that one will take to cross the country, and when it can be delivered. I told him he would likely have to change his 10-day boondoggle trip and return flight after move in because he has to see this through. He can't leave me to deal with loading a POD by myself with kids in 104 degree heat, and then deal with unloading a POD on the other end by myself with kids. He just said he will see what happens and do his best. And if it takes some time then I just have to go through the boxes and pull out things he can drive across the country. "You don't need everything until it can get there" he says. The other alternative is that I just l leave behind a ton of things -- the washer and dryer, small appliances, exercise equipment, patio equipment, etc. And he keeps them and then the onus is on me to replace everything, schedule delivery and installation, assemble new furniture etc. He is both super apathetic that half my things aren't shipping and irritated that he has to deal with it. He just doesn't care because it's not his stuff, not his problem. I am livid. This is the single ONE thing he was put in charge of and he totally has effed it up. I want to take my kids and get as far away from him as I can as fast as I can. But I want my things. I want the new house to be a home for me and the kids. It is my fault I keep getting disappointed. I just can't expect anything from him. And I still have to bite my tongue because the divorce isnt finalized and I can't give him any reason to fight dirty now.
TheEnd ( member #72213) posted at 11:42 AM on Tuesday, July 18th, 2023
Damn he's gone cold stone killer. I'm angry for you! What an ass to not do everything he can to help get his children into their new home and settled. He's the reason they have to basically flee and he's all put out about it? Fuck that guy.
I wouldn't give up that stuff, btw. It will be costly to replace and you don't need that added stress right now. Do you have a friend or two that could help load the new pod when it arrives? Someone you trust with a key to your house who will do you a solid and get it done? I hope so.
Also, fuck that guy again.
Abalone123 ( member #82896) posted at 4:17 PM on Tuesday, July 18th, 2023
Catching up on your updates. I am sorry your WH isn’t making things any easier for you. That kind of callousness and selfishness cannot be cultivated in a few days. He has probably been just that. You weren’t blind to it, he kept you happy because you served a purpose in his life.
His callousness seems to extend to his roles as a parent as well. Its possible once you move he may disconnect further. It will be further disappointing for you but remember this is all him. You are doing your best. He is not even classy enough to end this is a dignified manner after all he has done and give his family the respect it deserves. I am wondering where is his family in all of this?
The move will do you good emotionally once you have settled down. Having him in your space is no longer healthy for you. Hope your kids are doing ok.
Fold123 (original poster member #83366) posted at 6:24 PM on Tuesday, July 18th, 2023
TheEnd -- you made me laugh through the tears and stress headache. Thank you.
Yeah, he is putting himself first again. He is irritated he has to find another shipment company, he is annoyed I wont just do it myself or leave things behind, he is frustrated I am upset about it. He never once apologized for screwing it up of course. And once it was packed to the brim, he took off to his hotel for the week. He is allegedly "working the logistics" now.
If he leaves before the second container comes to be packed then I can hire a crew or call on friends to help. Same for on the other side. It's just the literal example of the figurative statements I have been making since he decided he was giving up: he has created a mess and is walking away from it. Maybe he will surprise me and see this through. I told him I was holding him to it to do it correctly. But, more than I ever I know I have set too high expectations and need to recalibrate them back to zero.
Thank you for listening to me vent. I really needed it.
Fold123 (original poster member #83366) posted at 6:34 PM on Tuesday, July 18th, 2023
Abalone: Appreciate your words and support; thank you for reading my vent.
I think you are correct. I don't serve a purpose much any more other than ensuring children are alive so he will put in minimum of the minimum effort. That clearly applied to taking the cheap approach with this move. He had grumbled that a traditional door to door move was $10,000 and now he has surpassed that threshold by having to order two PODS plus load/unload crews, buy the moving blankets and ropes and other supplies. That brings me just a tiny sliver of pleasure knowing he shot himself in the foot, but yeah, not enough to surpass my stress over just wanting my household items to be moved with me. And you know, things like our clothing and the kids' toys. I told him he was a cascade of disappointment yesterday. He really is. It's like he lost a moral or two and then just said "eff it" and decided to shed the remaining few.
His family does not know the whole story. They know he is on admin leave and accused of something he claims he did not do. They do not know we are getting divorced or that he cheated on me or that I am moving with the kids. This road trip he is taking -- aside from his casino visits and steakhouse reservations that he does not know I know about -- is to spend a few days in person with his family to explain everything to them. They are clumped in two different cities: his parents, his siblings, and his adult child from his first marriage (who doesn't even know about the accusation and firing yet). I have only been in contact with my stepchild, and just have kept it light as it is his situation to talk to them about it in person. He told his parents and siblings that I have my own support system and to give me space and they have surprisingly complied. I have a good relationship with all of them, so am curious to see what happens once he comes clean.
DragnHeart ( member #32122) posted at 7:29 PM on Tuesday, July 18th, 2023
I have a good relationship with all of them, so am curious to see what happens once he comes clean.
Are you sure he's going to come clean? I'd worry he's going to sugar coat it and make you out to be the bad guy in this.
Me: BS 46 WH: 37 (BrokenHeart911)Four little dragons. Met 2006. Married 2008. Dday of LTPA with co worker October 19th 2010. Knew about EA with ow1 before that. Now up to PA #5. Serial fucking Cheater.
Fold123 (original poster member #83366) posted at 7:41 PM on Tuesday, July 18th, 2023
Dragon: Oh, I told him that I would permit him the opportunity to talk to them in person and would give them a couple of weeks to process everything. And then I would be reaching out to do a Zoom with them because they deserve to hear from me and vice versa. With my stepchild I will not go into detail for their emotional wellbeing but for the inlaws....I am sure he will skate over the facts or omit them (serial cheating, unprotected sex, AP could be pregnant, etc.).
Fold123 (original poster member #83366) posted at 7:43 PM on Tuesday, July 18th, 2023
^ Also curious to see what one sibling's reaction will be. She was cheated on by her husband in a very profound way and we all rallied around her with support. She will have to face the fact that her brother is the same as her ex-husband, and actually worse because to my knowledge her ex was never accused of sexual assault...
Beachgirl73 ( member #74764) posted at 7:39 PM on Thursday, July 20th, 2023
How are you holding up, Fold? You must be swamped with preparations for moving. I hope you are doing okay and getting at least SOME help from your juvenile and selfish husband.
Fold123 (original poster member #83366) posted at 12:24 AM on Friday, July 21st, 2023
BeachGirl: You're so kind to check in. Thank you.
My stress level remains high. I am working intently on the logistics of closing out life here and setting up life in our new location. We managed to get another POD delivered today and packed it ourselves, which is a relief, and finalized a few other items (closing our joint bank account, transferring one of the car titles into my name only). Our attorneys are working on the divorce agreement. I sent over some additional clauses today I want to include pertaining to parenting expenses, which expressly state the equal split of fees related to education and activities. I also am requesting an even split of after school care and school vacation/summer camp fees. He is not on board as our state's standard is for the custodial parent to utilize child support for such fees. But, the fees would be much more per month than I receive for child support; and until I have income I cannot pay for our rent, utilities, and childcare on alimony/child support alone. I have a feeling he will win this one, but it is our current only item of contention so will see what may come. Work-wise, last week I interviewed and signed with an agency to do freelance work. It is low-paying, 1099, and not guaranteed but it is a start. I will start bidding projects once school begins. I interview next week for another 1099 job, this one 30-40 hours, that I am not entirely qualified for, so will see what happens. It's another baby step for now.
We had a final counseling session together earlier this week to discuss coparenting. We have always been on the same page there so it went smoothly. The therapist however did ask him how often he planned on visiting, and he said he would try to visit twice per month. She followed up asking when he would visit for the first time after the move and he replied "at the end of September." She was quick to point out that that was 8-10 weeks away rather than every two weeks and he just shrugged. Le sigh.
He is out for dinner now with the kids to say goodbye, then will drop them home, head back to his hotel, then take off in the morning on his road trip to visit friends and family, gamble at casinos, and eventually show up on the east coast to help me move into the new house. Then he will be gone for good. Definitely feeling more and more finality to all of this, and it has me tearful and wistful again today. He is literally driving away from our family. The kids are sleeping in sleeping bags on travel cots in a near-empty house and he is off to hang out with friends and gamble for the next two weeks, then leave us behind.
I am feeling really isolated and abandoned today. And just lost, I suppose. I had a lot of comforts and pride in being a wife, being married, and being in a nuclear, traditional family. And it has all been stripped away so swiftly and I am stuck with these new labels -- single mom, divorced, betrayed former spouse, ex -- and also lacking the labels I had enjoyed -- stay at home parent, volunteer, military spouse leader. Its an identity crisis I had no part in creating and I also really don't want any part in. I also know once we get settled it is going to feel for awhile like he is just off on another business trip, and I know it will be another difficult period to just adjust to the fact that he is never ever coming back and I am truly 100% on my own.
Abalone123 ( member #82896) posted at 2:42 AM on Friday, July 21st, 2023
You are in my thoughts. The more you write about your WH’s behavior the more disappointing he seems. Who goes on a two week gambling fun trip when one is responsible for breaking up their marriage, not getting to be a full time parent, not being able to see the kids enough?
He has moved on some time ago, this is just fresh for you. You are still processing this, he has processed all of this already. He cannot feel the grief you are feeling over the end of a major chapter in your lives. Add his selfishness to this, he is fine eating steak and gambling.
I am glad your job search is starting to yield some results, every small opportunity is a blessing right now.
You will be proud of your identity as a strong woman, a responsible mother: single or married doesn’t matter. We as a society place too much focus on marriage for women. The biggest lesson I have learnt is to be financially independent, emotionally strong and be proud of who I am. No person or relationship should define our identity or self worth.
I say all of this to make you feel better. I know it’s painful. But at some point you will be ok.
Please take care. You are moving on to a better chapter in your life even if it doesn’t seem like it right now. Lots of hugs
BearlyBreathing ( member #55075) posted at 3:00 AM on Friday, July 21st, 2023
I suspect that once you’ve moved you will feel all the things you noted. But you will also feel this lovely feeling of peace. No walking on eggshells. No wondering what he is doing. Just you and kids living your best lives. He’s the pressure on your neck that you can’t shake right now. And you’ve had it there so long you don’t even know.
Yes, it will be challenging. Some days will downright suck. But then the kids will integrate into their new school (and as a brat myself, I know they know how to do that), and you will start getting gigs and soon enough you and the kids will be sitting around the dinner table laughing until someone snorts milk out of their nose. And you will smile and realize you made it to the other side.
Military spouses are tough and you are a prime example. Just keep your eye on the prize. You are doing AMAZING.
Me: BS 55 (49 on d-day)Him: WH. 64. D-Day 8/15/2016 LTA. Kinda liking my new life :-)
**horrible typist, lots of edits to correct. :-/ **
Fold123 (original poster member #83366) posted at 6:54 PM on Friday, July 21st, 2023
Abalone Thank you for your message and support.
I think he either has been checked out for awhile; is a master compartmentalizer; or just quickly determined that he had lost his career, future, potential freedom, and was going to add family into the bonfire just to have a totally clean slate. Who will ever know. He has not been without emotion -- at least earlier when this all first came up, and when we had the D conversation. But he has completely shut down emotionally for the last month. Whether its just being cold and callous or as a coping mechanism, I have no clue.
On top of my grief and sadness and shock, I am still spending a lot of time trying to wrap my ahead around what is going on in his head. It doesn't serve any real purpose and I don't think I will ever have the answers or "closure" that I feel is missing. But I continue to try to piece together WTF has happened and his actions ad behaviors remain puzzling in many ways. I don't have love for him any more, and little respect. But I am still mourning what we have lost and what I have lost and what the family is losing. It's all just loss after loss.
I totally agree that there is too much pressure on women to be married. I really really loved being married and being a wife. And it is just more to grieve and have to adjust to. I do feel, in a backwards way, that me being divorced and a single mom shows the world that there was something wrong with me or my marriage or both. It feels like this new identity I will have is negative, not what I want, not what I had planned, and that I will be looked at poorly because of it. I am someone who cares what others think, not afraid to admit it. But I hear you, Abalone. I know I have the ability to be strong, show a good example to kids, figure things out for us on my own. I just am so exhausted that it is seems all very negative and scary and insurmountable.
He is off on his big road trip now. He said before he left that he wants to talk to the kids "at least once. I just nodded. Once in the next two weeks? OK.
As an aside: We have AirTags on all four sets of our keys. They come in handy as he is somebody who was always misplacing his keys, and we would place them in our cars and household goods each time we moved overseas to track where our things were. I'd placed one in each of the moving PODs and so we were left with two. The third was on my keychain, which is the set he has to drive my car. I tracked it to the garage this morning; before he left last night he removed it and left it on a storage rack. I am sure he does not want me being able to track where he is (eg, casinos, fancy steak houses) so he removed it so I wouldn't have the ability to see where he is. But he is not smart enough to realize that the fourth AirTag has been hidden in my car. I don't even need to ping it to know where he is because I already know where he has reservations on this vacation he is taking. Holding on to that info until I need to use it.
Fold123 (original poster member #83366) posted at 7:08 PM on Friday, July 21st, 2023
Thank you, Bearly. Those are very kind sentiments to share with me.
I know it will be hard and it will be a struggle, but I am hoping that when we move that the physical distance will help. I won't be wondering if people are staring at me or whispering about me; I won't be nervous going onto the military post; I won't be near military people and can have some anonymity. So in some ways maybe my paranoia about the gossip will lessen. But the reality is sinking in more and more. Just another week or so here in this state and this house then we are gone and then it is all just never going to be as it used to be, for better or for worse.
I will be busy trying to get settled, get the divorce finalized, get all the logistics from the move sorted, find work, start work, manage the kids, manage being a single parent doing all the things. But it will get routine and then I foresee a lot of loneliness and it worries me, especially as the location we are going to has dark, wet, cold, rainy, snowy weather for a large chunk of the year. I just imagine the kids in bed and me by myself every single night for the rest of my life. I don't want to live life feeling bitter, damaged, untrusting, and scared; but I don't know how to shake that because I am and I know will be disillusioned by others' promises or intent and scarred by what has happened. It is just such a scary position to be in. That I had my chance at a happy life and it didn't work out and my chit has been used. That life for me has peaked and is fast on a descent. I know that sounds very weak, but I am just wallowing a bit still. He is probably singing along with the radio and planning for the fun he will have tonight and I am sitting in an empty house typing through the tears.