Fold123 (original poster member #83366) posted at 2:31 PM on Monday, September 25th, 2023
Hi Bigger. All good points! And yes, have been discussed extensively starting with our separation agreement. When he tried to do the financial shakedown he offered up a terrible portion of pension as a make good, but I turned it down. Same as I said from the start that I was going to decline my "fair" portion of pension and separate retirement funds as it is tied to (1) his legal case (2) cannot access funds for some time (3) are taxed to all get out (4) require me to hire a QDRO expert to parse the percentage I would be eligible for. Nope x10. There is no way I am taking on all of that -- waiting, taxes, needing an expert to quantify, contingent on outcome of his case. So I pushed for a set value for contractual alimony (and child support of course), and both will accrue for back payment if his case goes south.
I am technically "settling" for a lower amount over time (the pension would pay out indefinitely until he passes; my alimony is for a set number of years), but the unrestricted, untaxed, cash now when I need it value to the alimony is what makes sense for me.
I know like most things in life it comes down to money but it is just another gross aspect to all of this. He screwed over me and the kids and our family and future and stability and mental health, and now we have to quibble over effing financial support that he already agreed to .... money needed to make sure the kids have a place to sleep. Not money I think I deserve to go spend on shopping and sitting on my butt doing nothing. Money for our kids, his kids, to have stability after he has yanked it from them. I continue to go hard with job apps and finding odd jobs. I have one small contract client and had an interview for a second last week and an interview for a "real" job next week. In the meantime, I am also interviewing to do housework for a busy family a few towns over. A few months ago we had household help and now I am the household help. I am doing everything I can to try to make it through this without losing the small savings I have.
TheEnd ( member #72213) posted at 9:38 PM on Monday, September 25th, 2023
It's good to hear from you Fold. It really sounds like you have made some smart, practical choices in the middle of this atomic bomb going off in your world.
I also hear a bit of a different tone from you. I'm sure there is pain and loss and grieving but I'm catching a whiff of anger. Righteous, well-placed anger. Just a tinge in your writing but that's a good thing. You are moving forward. You are in-progress and that's healthy.
Wishing you the very best luck ever in finding employment. I feel like once you are able to provide financial support for yourself and your children, so much of your stress will be relieved. And needing not much from him will help you fully detach and heal (not suggesting you give up ONE THING he owes you. Just a cheerleader for independence!).
I hope the kids are doing well.
PS: Your STBX is nothing if not consistent. His discard of his family is astounding. The no heads-up on the criminal trial is just more of the same blatant lack of concern for anyone but himself.
I hope this is all in your rearview soon.
Fold123 (original poster member #83366) posted at 2:59 PM on Tuesday, September 26th, 2023
Thanks TheEnd for your support and cheerleading. I appreciate it. I need it. Still!
The continued disregard for any decency is helping me further detach. I mean, I feel pretty detached anyway, but the way this has all played it is still stunning as it was not a "typical" dissolution of the marriage. I would have laughed if someone told me a few months ago I would be cheated on, abandoned, and nearly divorced at this point. Me? Us? Naw. But most of us have similar stories, don't we?
Despite the ongoing disappointment from him, I am also struck by a mix of emotions. Part of me, a small part, feels sorry for him that the realty I knew was coming, smacked him in the face last week. I am sure he felt alone and scared when he was formally charged. That is hard on anyone. And last night, I just had one of those nights. It was a long weekend (schools off Monday) where it rained the entire time and the kids were cooped up all weekend. It was tiring. Last night I got everyone bathed, fed, to bed, the house tidied up. And then I sat on the couch and switched on Netflix to try to veg, where I was met with a preview of a prequel for a show he and I loved. Immediately, I went for my phone and then put it back down. I can't text him excitedly that a show we loved was returning. And I can't call him to tell him the silly thing one of the kids said at dinner. And I can't tell him some gossip a friend told me about a mutual friend. And I can't show him the funny Instagram post I scrolled through. I don't have a person to share these minutiae with. I miss it. I miss him sometimes, even after what he has done to me. It is just me, at the end of a tiring day, alone. And it is likely to be that way for, what, infinity? It is just sad and depressing. As it gets colder and darker and friends who swarmed me when I first moved here get back to their own rightful busy lives. I feel like I am already just receding into this sad middle aged black and white version of who I used to be and still want to be. A lot of self pity today obviously...
TheEnd ( member #72213) posted at 3:46 PM on Tuesday, September 26th, 2023
I was going to make a lame joke about throwing fabulous pity parties, but I don't see that as self pity.
You're counting up the losses. As your new reality takes shape, your living those losses. If you didn't miss your person, your partner, your co-parent then I'd say your marriage was shit to begin with. That minutia is the good stuff to me. It's a devastating loss. Grieve it all you want.
But I gotta tell you, I don't think there is anyway on god's green earth you are going to end up some two dimensional caricature of yourself. You're in mourning and rightly so. But that will end. You will heal. And what you will find is a competent, strong, loving person with the ALL the possibilities of life right in front of her. Someday that is going to excite you.
For now, you grieve. Take exquisite care of yourself. Cry and rage when you need to. Love those babies. Be kind to yourself always. The grief will end but nursing yourself through it will help.
Fold123 (original poster member #83366) posted at 2:23 PM on Wednesday, September 27th, 2023
Thanks TheEnd. You always have such comforting things to say. It brought tears to my eyes and I have read your message more times than I care to admit.
I am counting up the losses for sure.
Today, I will sign the final papers. Then we wait to get a hearing slot, likely next week.
It is all wrapping up and I feel a bit like it is closing in on me. Being separated has been hard but there has been some sense of "comfort" -- not the right word -- that I was still legally married. Still had wedding rings, still had a husband, still was in a couple, still had a nuclear family. Not that he is here for me and not that anything has changed but, I don't know. Like I could somehow still wake up one morning and everything would have returned to how it had been before.
SadieMae ( member #42986) posted at 2:42 PM on Wednesday, September 27th, 2023
Oh, Fold.... The roller coaster you've been on the past few months is insane. When you stop and look at all of the changes you've been forced to tackle one after another, it's overwhelming. But one day you will look back at all of those obstacles behind you, the obstacles that you've conquered and you will see how mighty you are.
My mother's divorce was a whirlwind, too. She was in a 24-year marriage on May 11th and finalized her divorce on September 11th.
I was a senior in high school and I was so sorry that I couldn't go with her and be there for her when she had to go to court. I wanted her to know I was with her, so I went and got her my gold/pearl earrings, the only "nice" jewelry I owned, and she wore them to court. I remember coming home from school and she was sitting in the living room crying. It wasn't over the divorce, it was because she lost one of my earrings.
I'm not sure why I wanted to share that with you. Like I've said earlier, your story reminds me of hers with the blindside and timeline.
It's so hard to have perspective while you're in the middle. But holy cow are you amazing.
Me: BW D-day 3/9/2014
TT until 6/2016
TT again Fall 2020
Yay! A new D-Day on 11/8/2023 WTAF
The1stWife ( Guide #58832) posted at 6:15 PM on Wednesday, September 27th, 2023
Still had wedding rings, still had a husband, still was in a couple,
You were wearing a ring that no longer held the same sentiment. One half of your couple cheated and lied.
I’d rather be single and live a life free from the stress and aggravation of infidelity then wear a ring and pretend to myself "it’s ok".
I understand your pain at the changes you are facing. It is emotionally devastating to be in your shoes when you truly loved your spouse.
But I don’t think any of it makes up for the stress inducing life you are forced to lead if the cheater doesn’t care or chooses not to try to make amends. You don’t know how things turn out but they could actually be better a few years from now.
Survived two affairs and brink of Divorce. Happily reconciled. 10 years out from Dday. Reconciliation takes two committed people to be successful.
Beachgirl73 ( member #74764) posted at 6:52 PM on Wednesday, September 27th, 2023
I totally agree with 1st Wife and also that brighter days are ahead for you. I think that the amount of distress heaped on you in such a short time is absolutely crushing. But you have continued on with amazing strength and having showed great resilience and I really admire you. You’d be inhuman if you weren’t beginning to feel the effects now that things have calmed down a bit. This will pass. I’m certain things will get better for you if only because of the strength that you have demonstrated.
Sending a big (((hug))).❤️
Fold123 (original poster member #83366) posted at 11:32 PM on Wednesday, September 27th, 2023
SadieMae, that is such a bittersweet story you and your mom experienced. I can imagine the range of emotions she must have felt and that you must have felt. But the main take away for me? How easy it is to see how kind and caring you were even as a teenager; clearly that nurturing, supportive mindset has only grown over time. You are so good to so many of us here. Thank you for being here for me.
I signed the agreement, initialed every page, scanned it back to my attorney. As soon as I hit send I got a call from the investigators asking me to do a deposition in his criminal case. I declined. And then I researched Medicaid since I have about 24 hours left with health insurance, applied to a few jobs I will never be called to interview for, and sat and cried. I know things can get worse, but I feel really settling in at rock bottom today.
I know perspective will come at some point. Today I am back to grief, dwelling, ruminating, and willing to bargain anything -- anything -- to rewrite history for me.
Fold123 (original poster member #83366) posted at 12:10 AM on Thursday, September 28th, 2023
Thank you, 1st Wife. You have a good perspective.
It is stressful to remain in a marriage that is damaged by infidelity, where the unfaithful can't commit to the change needed. And stressful to be forced to start anew after infidelity. I think if I had the work piece sorted out I would feel a lot more confident about working through this mess I have been left with. It is my biggest stressor and I feel completely anxious about work and finances. It clouds everything. Same as infidelity clouds everything.
I feel really desperate for something to go my way. And just totally mired in wishing I was living a different life. I want to go back to the start. I don't want a new chapter or a fresh start.
Fold123 (original poster member #83366) posted at 12:11 AM on Thursday, September 28th, 2023
Thank you, BeachGirl.. I appreciate you holding hope for me when I don't have it.
Abalone123 ( member #82896) posted at 2:00 AM on Thursday, September 28th, 2023
Fold, I am so sorry.
This seems like a conclusion of sorts with the trial and the divorce all happening in parallel. Please hang in there. The next couple of days and weeks might be really tough but I know you are strong and I know you will get through this.
Please take care of yourself. Lots of hugs.
Fold123 (original poster member #83366) posted at 9:00 PM on Monday, October 2nd, 2023
Update: I am officially divorced. It was signed by the judge last week and I am awaiting the formal decree. Broke up with my therapist since I no longer have insurance and his practice doesn't accept the plan I will likely be paying out of pocket for. I have an application in for transitional coverage and hope to be able to find a new therapist in a month or so when it kicks in. I have an appointment tomorrow to sell my wedding bands and a few other pieces.
I have two more weeks with my contract work client until the project ends. I just signed with a second client and put a bid in for a third. Still very low hours and pay, like doesn't even cover groceries each week, but it is what it is. I am applying to "real" jobs left and right but not getting much traction.
WXH has still not admitted to me that he was formally charged for the alleged crime. It has been two weeks. It has not been in the media yet but it looming for certain. Still think that the universe was telling me something when I received a call from the prosecution asking me to do a deposition against him while I was signing the divorce papers. He will be here next week to visit the kids and I have some financial forms he needs to sign so am curious if he provides an update then or continues to pretend it is not happening or at the least that he does not need to admit to me it is happening.
The kids are fine. Happy, enjoying school, none the wiser what all has transpired. Don't bring him up much, never ask to talk to him, but will talk if he calls (1-2 times a week). I am .... upright, breathing. Walking in circles with worry, same as usual. Feel unsettled and untethered, the typical anxious cycle. I have to "break the news" to a friend group I have been avoiding a bit this week. They're concerned by my absence in our group chat and two have reached out individually today, and I can't put it off any longer. I just feel so ashamed. All four of us were engaged around the same time, we all got married within a year of one another and traveled to four different states for the weddings, started families. The three of them are happily married, have big jobs, own their own homes. I could not be further from any of that and just feel like a gigantic loser. And the more I tell people the more it is "real." Which is dumb since it is real whether I wish it was or not.
SackOfSorry ( member #83195) posted at 10:33 PM on Monday, October 2nd, 2023
The three of them are happily married, have big jobs, own their own homes.
I am very careful in believing that about anyone these days. My situation made me jaded, but I do seriously think that there is so much that we don't know about people and their marriages. What they say, what they post - it's all suspect to me anymore. No one would have thought of what was actually going on in my marriage. Least of all, me! I essentially believe these days that more marriages are probably just like mine, all over the place, and far from stable and happy.
Me - BW
DDay - May 4, 2013
And nothing's quite as sure as change. (The Mamas and the Papas)
The1stWife ( Guide #58832) posted at 6:25 AM on Tuesday, October 3rd, 2023
I’m sorry you still face these challenges. But just know you are doing the right thing and your absolute best with what little support you get from the XH.
I’m wondering why the prosecutor wants you to testify. It’s not like you have first hand knowledge about the incident in question.
And yes it seems your H is living in denial. Because it works for him. He is not required to face anything. Not you. Not his kids. Not his career. Not himself. The world is crumbling around him and he’s pretending it’s not happening.
Keep doing what you are doing.
Survived two affairs and brink of Divorce. Happily reconciled. 10 years out from Dday. Reconciliation takes two committed people to be successful.
Bigger ( Attaché #8354) posted at 11:29 AM on Tuesday, October 3rd, 2023
WXH has still not admitted to me that he was formally charged for the alleged crime.
Well… technically (and probably legally) he doesn’t have to.
That is the beauty of divorce. He has no obligation to you on that end.
At the same time – you have no obligation to care a diff about it.
That is the beauty of divorce…
It’s a termination of a relationship and not an alternative form of personal relationship.
I know it’s not as easy as I might indicate with the above words, but you should be focusing on detachment. You have an obligation to be the best coparents, it makes the kids life immensely easier if you can be in the same room together, but there is no requirement that you two are "friends" or even like each other.
The other couples? Let’s hope they are really happy. But chances are they are all dealing with some relationship crap, be it financial, abuse, lack of interest, infidelity… It’s what’s called life. Wouldnt be suprised if at least one of them envies your new "freedom".
Regarding testifying… If you can, then get out of it. If you have to then personally, I would simply stick to the truth as you know it. I doubt the prosecution expect you to have known of his affair and it doesn’t sound like he was abusive or controlling in any way in your marriage.
Isn’t the key-issue – the legal dispute – about if he misused his position of power? Isn’t it correct that both your ex husband and the OW admitted to the sex? Isn’t THAT the reason you filed? The infidelity rather than any possible abuse?
So I don’t see the benefit for the prosecution to get your statement that basically would be "thought we had a great marriage, really great husband and man but then I learned about the affair and that was reason enough for me to divorce him".
"If, therefore, any be unhappy, let him remember that he is unhappy by reason of himself alone." Epictetus
Fold123 (original poster member #83366) posted at 11:26 PM on Tuesday, October 3rd, 2023
SackOfSorry: thank you for your note. This is a good reminder. I know that things are not always as they seem, I think it’s just so easy to compare with the best of what people present. And by all intents and purposes, my marriage was like that, too. Not perfect, but we were happy the majority of the time, and I think people knew that. That’s why to find out what happened is extra surprising. I’ve had so many people tell me they would never have guessed he was the type of person who would do what he did. Sometimes that makes me feel better, sometimes worse. But I think you are right that not everything is blissful all the time.
Fold123 (original poster member #83366) posted at 11:28 PM on Tuesday, October 3rd, 2023
1st Wife: I appreciate your message. And good words of advice. Thank you.
They want me to meet with them to give info on what I know. What he had told me about what happened, if he described the events differently than likely he is or will describe to them, if I saw any messages etc. Plus any info that would help them portray his character negatively. It is standard but I am not required to participate and won’t.
Fold123 (original poster member #83366) posted at 11:37 PM on Tuesday, October 3rd, 2023
Bigger: Thank you for checking in and weighing in.
I am definitely working on detaching. I truly have no love for him any more, although I am certainly wistful for what we had and there are days I miss him, miss the person I knew him to be, I miss the partnership, the family, disability, all of it.
Well, I certainly am not legally or personally obligated to receive information about the formal charges, it is something he and I discussed roughly 50 times. I requested, and he agreed that he would absolutely give me a heads up when and if charges were formally brought. The main reason was so that I would have a heads up about the prosecution contacting me and also have advance notice of the media attention that would come so I could shut down my socials. Also, kind of "nice" to have a heads up that my kids’ dad was arrested. But despite us discussing it and him promising loads of times the decency to inform me was not there. It is what it is, and the fact that he continues to disappoint, helps me continue to remove myself further and further.
I mentioned above, but the prosecution for the criminal case wants as much negative information about him as possible. And these cases they of course are going to contact the agreed spouse multiple times, I’ve already been contacted multiple times, trying to get me to provide any info that would be helpful to them. Information about his character, if he has a cheating history, if he Has an alcohol problem, if he’s ever been abusive, and they want to know what I know about what happened. If his story matches her story, if his story matches what he told his attorneys or in his depositions, if I read any emails or messages between them, if I saw any photos or any evidence or anything, if I knew of any meetings or prior history they had together. They don’t care whether we are married or I believe him I don’t believe him, or whether I chose to divorce him based on the infidelity or based on the allegation of assault… All they care about is that I would provide information that gives them fodder to be used against him.
Abalone123 ( member #82896) posted at 4:21 PM on Wednesday, October 4th, 2023
It speaks volumes about your strength of character considering you chose not to involve yourself with his trial, specially after what he put you through and still continues with his selfishness. I am sure you can now see that you are too good and classy to be with someone like him. He’s suffering because of a woman who’s exactly like him with no morality or sense of responsibility. If things hadn’t gone this way he would still continue cheating, you would be blissfully unaware and married to him.
He absolutely should have been keeping you updated when formally charged. There are kids involved that he supposedly co-parents with you. There are social implications for you when this all plays out, he’s obviously only concerned with himself. He owed you this and again ended up being a disappointment.
Don’t think of yourself as a loser, more like a survivor. Life hasn’t been fair to you, but you have just been through the worst of it. It only gets better from now on.