Hi, I've come across this forum and hope you 'real people' can give me some straight talking advice on where I stand.
I discovered (though had previously suspected) that my wife was having an affair two days before Christmas. She is citing communication issues between us and the methods I use to raise our children - admittedly, I can lose my temper and raise my voice to them too quickly sometimes.
I am trying to establish where I would stand should we separate and she decide to go to this other man (11 years younger than her 37 - 26!)
If we were to separate who would get the three kids (13,10, 8)and what could happen to the family home?
She is a nursing student and only has a moderate busary coming in, he on the other hand has nothing having been unable to work after injuring a knee (though I do ask why that stops his arms working??).
On the other hand, I have a steady, secure (as can be) job, that pays over 25K a year. If they were to stay with me and I did not have to pay her anything for the house I could comfortably afford it.
For the duration of our 14 year marriage I have been primarily the one to pay the mortgage, my wife never having to go out to work through absolute necessity. However, the house is in joint names.
The worries I have is that this other man stands to gain financially from my hard work and at the same time take away my children to what would account to a life very near the poverty line in a council estate. A far cry from the comfort they have at home, each having their own rooms. Of course, it would also mean them having the upheaval of having to change schools (not good for my 13 year old who is about to enter his exam years).
It all seems so unfair that not only could this man take my entire family and my home away but I may also end up paying him (indirectly through payments to my wife) for the privilege of him to do so.
All that said, my wife says she wants us to try and make things work but has also stated that she refuses to break contact with the other man completely as she values his friendship outside of the relationship - and I know that her keeping this communication going with him will tear me up inside.
If anyone can give any advice on this, I would be so very grateful.
If your wife has been the primary carer for the children then it is likely that she would continue to be - and this would probably mean her staying in the family home and either buying you out when she starts earning or you keeping an interest in the home until your youngest stops full time education, when she would have to buy you out or sell. You would pay child maintenance at CSA rates. Courts will put the children first in making any order, and you and your wife should also try to do this.
Specialdad is right that you should try mediation before court as it is cheaper and saner. However, I wonder whether you should try Relate before either. It doesn't sound as though your relationship is unsalvageable, or that your wife is so much in love with this man that she feels she has to leave you for him.
You do need to sort out your parenting, either on your own or together. Losing your temper with the children is not a good thing for anyone, and is likely to get worse as your eldest moves more into adolescence.
The real issue here is to try and save the marriage.
Whatever happens it would be agood idea if you took steps to look into the issue of anger management. You have taken the first step in recognising the problem. It won't be held against you if you seek help you and the children will benefit and moreover hopefully your wife will respect you for the efforts made to improve matters...this may help in your relationship with her.
It is a hard grind being a parent
Your wife will work hard keeping the home fires burning and you work hard also.
The problem is we all often don't have enough time for each other and that is always the fundamental problem.
Show her how important to you and the children she is and if her quality of life at home improves (and I don't mean materially) she will not have the urge to seek friendship and solace elsewhere.
I hope it works out...use your energies at this stage in trying to save the marriage and if it does look like failing what Sexysadie and Specialdad says is wise seeking mediation.