Hi Everyone.Have been quietly reading the posts on this site- thank God I found it. It has been a real life saver to read everyone''s stories. I finally felt I had to try and give something back, even if its just my story.
Briefly- married 13 years, 2 wonderful kids, 9 and 11.I was 43 she was 46. Life fairly sorted- job of a lifetime in the pipeline- would sort all our finances and finacial stresses. Taking about 2nd honeymoon and still getting texts from wife about how much she loved me. We still cuddles and held hands etc even after 13 years. Though like many marriages I guess, it had lost a lot of spark and become more familial rather than romantic. We had never really worked at the marriage or needed to- took it for granted I guess.
Completely out of the blue wife announced she had been having an affair with her first boyfriend from 31 years ago! It was a Facebook/ email type thing. On the back of seeing him twice (one of which I knew about and gave her permission to see him thinking it was just an old friend- what a mug I was) and a second time to test things out physically as she called it, after 12 weeks (and I do believe her as I have investigated almost forensically the computer/ phones etc)- it was all over. In the space of 2 minutes she said the marriage was over, she wanted a divorce, was going to live with him and take the kids. Strangely one of the worst things she said as she cried was "you won''t hurt me will you"- it was like a knife to the heart- I have never laid a finger on anyone, let alone the woman I loved and trusted most in the world. At that moment, in the middle of a working day (I worked from home) my life was almost over in my mind. It was like a nuclear explosion.
One of the main reasons for writing is that I did crack- I attempted suicide that night- selfish I know, but I was completely gone mentally. It wasn''t a cry for help- I couldn''t bare the thought of surviving and being a walking cliche- took a huge overdose of painkillers. I survived as you can see- 10 days in hospital- the antidote being worse than the overdose.
We carried on living together- me in a complete state as you can imagine.I was so punch drunk I didn''t know what I was supposed to do- was I supposed to be the big man about it like in the soaps and magazines? She abused me mercilessly with her thoughtlessness. When I arrived home flowers were in the front room- she told the kids they were from the neighbours for me (she told them I had food poisoning). They were in fact from him to her. She let slip that he had been round to see her at our house whilst I was in hospital- so I had to discharge myself early as it was driving me mad the thought of him entering my house. She would leave books around the house, with his messages of love in the front cover, ring him up in our front room or kitchen- I would hear them laughing like 2 teenagers in love- all the time the kids and I could hear what was going on. She would get dressed up to go out on dates with him to our local village pub and come home all happy and tuck the kids in late at night as if nothing was wrong. No shame, no regret, no sorrow. Convinced it was a mid life crisis by the way- far more serious than I ever knew.
The final straw came when I overheard her one morning on the mobile in her bedroom (seperate rooms by then of course). She was slagging me off to her lover- listing my faults- so trivial they were laughable- but to hear your wife and soul mate say such things and giggle gently as she told him she couldn''t wait to "jump ship" was unbearable.(I just pray it turns out to be the Titanic!) To cut a very long story short- she moved in with him after just a few months and has now lived with him and his 2 teenage kids for 7 months now. I have filed for divorce and have received Nisi, just waiting for her to make mind up about pension to make it Absolute.
She''s now riddled with guilt and wants to be friends. I have tried- I cant stand hating her, but I just can''t force forgiveness even though I have really really tried. It just ends up hurting me inside. So its no contact as we all know- just hard having to see her/discuss the kids.
I''m a year on in the process and beginning to accept that its over- up and down terribly as is everyone else at this stage. Family home is nearly sold- we will end up with nothing after paying off mortgage and credit cards, so rented house somewhere. Lost promotion at work due to mental state, no mates to speak of- focused on wife and family so much I really neglected most of my mates who are now scattered all over the country. So I''m completely starting from scratch with life. I have 2 kids that I see every other weekend and hardly recognise they have changed so much in character, my job and a blank canvas in front of me. I have dated a few times- 1 fantastic woman- the next special person for me, but it was too soon and I couldn''t keep it together for more than 3 months, so it ended. Now focusing on sports clubs and social groups to try to make friends, as dating causes me so much anxiety I''m obviously not ready yet. On the plus side I don''t have much left to lose, and I have never been fitter!Its hard to believe I know but I lost 3 stone in 3 months! 13 stone down to 10- ditched the glasses for contacts and look 10 years younger! Have managed to keep the weight off- turned to the gym rather than the bottle thank God.
Sorry its a depressing story for anyone reading-I''m having a bad few days- house sale looming and the reality of leaving family home- no idea where to live- useless these days at making any decisions and generally bloody frightened by life and by making mistakes. Such huge decisions too. Still have occasional suicidal thoughts too to contend with. I can''t stand being alone either- not even for a day- no phone calls, no texts nothing. People say you get to love being single and alone but I really hate it and can''t imagine how long its going to take to get used to it.
On the plus side again though- don''t want terrify any freshers under 12 months into it, it is already so much better than it was at the start, so even though it doesn''t always feel like it I know its all a question of healing. That''s why reading everyone''s stories on here at the different stages helps so much.
I will contribute again soon, but far more positively I''m sure- to help others- just had to give my background and get it off my chest,
Welcome. None of us want to be in this situation but at least we have each other for support.
As you will have realised from trawling through the site, your story is a depressingly familiar one. But at least you are making progress. I hope your story will comfort some of the many newbies who are still coping with raw hurt.
The let''s be friends thing is a familiar trope. Of course you don''t want to be friends with someone who has so cavalierly betrayed you. But you have at least to put on a facade of friendship for the sake of your children. They didn''t ask for this and you both need to do as much as possible to minimise the effect on them.
And remember - your children do need you. Alive and kicking.
Hi Dr M Im so sorry that you have had to post on here at all but as pixy has already stated yours is a very familiar tale to so many of us....it is amazing how with so many of our background stories we could exchange our names and genders and almost be living the same lives of hurt and deceit.
Stay strong and keep posting now you are here...best of luck with the house sale and move hope that everything from that point of view goes smoothly............
But for all the negatives you can be proud of yourself as you may not think it now but already you have mentioned things like dating(yes maybe too early you will know when the time is right) going to gym (you have to love the divorce diet man it sheds the pounds rapid)focusing of sports clubs & social groups.
These are all very positive steps in the whole process of dealing with all the pain, feelings of loss & memories of the past.
It takes different time for all of us to deal with these separation/divorces.
On top of the fact that you are functioning better than you realise you have 2 kids that need there father.
Initally I hated the lonelyness. Missed the kids the most to be honest.
But if you were still stuck in a marriage with a woman who has no respect, trust or love for you you wouldn''t be able to go and do some of the things you have done already.
How are your kids dealing with the situation?
Post & comment on other posts. There is a wealth of information and support on here that really is priceless.
You just have to be amicable ish with your ex for the sake of the kids when it is required.
As for freinds. Your ex needs to wake up. But from reading your post and the things she has said and done. That won''t be happening any century soon.
We can only control what we do regardless of what we think other should do in there lives.
Divorce is a new stage in life and unfortunately it becomes very common this days. It''s good you can talk about it and are doing things to keep you on the right path. Make sure you focus on your life and your children. If you don''t take care of yourself than your children will loose a father. It''s time to think of YOU first. So go ahead and keep your head up high. You have done nothing wrong. Surround yourself with positive people/activities/things and move on. A new door opened up for yourself so walk through it and see what''s next. We are all evolving even if we have to go through a divorce. It''s not the end, it''s the beginning of A NEW YOU!
Thank you all for your comments- and hello! Today is a bright new sunny day.
I won''t labour the point anymore, but one of the hardest things (amongst a million other bad things) has been the fact that my marriage was so benign, even in its last weeks. I often read about people divorcing and kids saying "well at least all the rowing and shouting has stopped and mum and dad seem far happier now". We didn''t even argue that much- no really bad times to look back at and think "phew, thank God it over". It was a far more subtle breakdown for me. I just wish it had been horrendous. In one of our final conversations before she left (we did have some really honest talks- there was nothing left to lose or hide from I guess), she even scored the marriage 7/10, as did I!! So galling to go through all this pain and suffering (for the kids and extended family too)for more than 7/10. Her last words that I will never forget where that "its just easier to start again with someone else"- says a lot about her character I guess. What a legacy for the kids.
On the kids front-I even challenged my love of the kids in the early days- just couldn''t cope with the pain of separation from them. This sounds awful, and I never thought I would say it but I can see why some dad''s run away now. I never signed up to be a part time dad- it wasn''t the deal. I wouldn''t have had kids if I had known. In what warped universe can someone- the closest person to you in your life, just take your kids away from you? Can you imagine it? I have gone from seeing them almost everyday to 6 days a month. 6 days! I will almost certainly never get my chance again in this lifetime- this is it- its not a rehearsal as they say. I shudder when I think of the days of their life that I have missed already. I would gladly have died to protect my kids had anyone threatened to take them away- over my dead body. Yet it happened- not by a stranger but the one I had loved and trusted with all my heart.
I soon realised in my really angry early days that hurting her hurt me and the kids too- she had the perfect shield. A few weeks ago my then 10 year old boy wrote me a truly harrowing letter saying how his life was a mess and he had no friends anymore etc. He left messages in my bedroom and on my wall planners etc saying that he wanted to stay with me and how much he loved me. I cried my eyes out till I thought my heart was going to burst. I decided then that no matter what I/we had to convince the kids everything was going to be ok and that we were still a happy family of sorts. Its been really hard- had to grit my teeth and invite her in for coffee and chats during pick up times, and even went into the lovers home to see the kids bedrooms and daughters new kitten. Heartbreaking/ mind bending/ reality challenging stuff.
Anyway, like I say- its a new day. I will contribute to other discussions- have developed a few tips and mental strategies for coping. Even if they help just 1 person its worth it. This website should be mandatory for all people in break-ups! Just can''t believe its not more common knowledge. Why''s this stuff not on tv more? There are programmes on virtually everything else under the sun!!!!!