We Were Just Getting to the Good Stuff
First let me say that I am a licensed counselor and my husband is a college professor. He's my second husband and younger. Most of our lives were spent taking care of my kids (his step kids), getting him through graduate school and PhD now as he is getting tenure (4vs7 years)early at a University he returns from a business trip so it was decribed and says, "I'm unhappy, I've been unhappy for 10 years". Now then I do not doubt that given he is a workaholic and can't manage money and stays in debt. So, yes there is 'suddenly' another woman. A woman he has worked closely with in academia and grants and he and she are leaving their spouses to be together. He left and didn't look back and immediately filed for divorce. He would not respond to my contact efforts until just the last couple of days. The bomb dropped March 26 the day he returned from D.C. (where she has a fellowship or something). He left on the 21st of March. On March 20th he and I were joyous as he was telling me for the first time in our 17 years he would have 'summer money' due to all of his grants. It was wonderful news since I usually pull all the finances for us in the summer. So, he came over yesterday to pick up personal items, had only left with his travel bag. He was tearful, sorry to be hurting me, he hugged me numerous times it was so tight it nearly hurt. We actually talked some and he told me that at the time he told me about the summer money right before he left he had no thoughts of leaving me. It is my determination that he had sex with this colleague during his trip to D.C. and feels he can't come back. I know they have worked close and had actually felt she had a thing for him by the way she was always buying him stuff out of her grants or giving him money for stuff out of her grants. It's just all too sickening. I don't understand him. He is a stressaholic, turning 40 next month and I think he has flipped his lid. He honestly feels so regretful he is giving me everything and paying off my credit cards too. At least I won't be financially struggling but I am still totally confused. I was very happy and thought he was with me too. Daily talks, making love, great friends. None of his close friends knew either, they are also devastated and confused. He is coming back today to get more things and I'm very confused on how to handle myself.
I am so sorry. Be polite when he comes back to get his possessions. It is very difficult, but in the end, probably the best way. It prevents fights and when you are alone, grieving, you can feel better about yourself. Confusion is a given; grief is a given; courtesy is both unexpected and generous. Been there...
The money is for guilt.
Take it, you'll need it.
But he's feeling guilty because of what he's doing, so he's trying to make himself feel less guilty by giving you the money for the bills.
Emma V said...
I am so sorry for you and I can imagine the pain and confusion you feel. Please hang in there.
I wanted to tell you that things between you and him may get ugly (it did for me and several others) and I would make your sure you are well protected. Things like joint bank accounts...I trusted my ex with everything I owned, and was devastated that he took money out of the joint account a year after he left and closed it without telling me a word. I hope he will treat you with respect, but things will not be the same as before.
Yes, please preserve possibilities for interacting without conflict, but neither fail to protect yourself legally and financially. There's a book called _Man's Guide to a Civilized Divorce: How to Divorce with Grace, a Little Class, and a Lot of Common Sense_; if only men and women would go by it.
I'm so sorry that you've been blindsided. I think the confusion is often the worst, even though it sometimes sounds like least (compared, say, with the sense of betrayal, etc.). Confusion means we've lost our sense of how the world works. If something like this could happen, then anything could happen, any time. It can be very hard to regain any sense of security.
Hang in there, and take it one step at a time. You're going to go through a lot, but you can and will heal. You're not alone, and there are lots of people sending positive energy your way.
Btw, this stuff is all too common in academia. Booksmart people can know themselves the least. How about this: a religion professor cheats to be with an ethics professor who's already married. Right.
As hard as it is to believe right now, your husband is apt to turn on you as time goes on so be very cautious financially and assume that his goodwill will end. A person who genuinely loves you could never do what your husband has done to you. He's being generous because he's guilt-ridden right now but that will come to an end, too and then he'll just be cruel to you.Think only of yourself and your children, if there are any, protect yourself and brace yourself. This is no fun at all but being ready will put you in a stronger position. Good luck and remember that you're not the person who did something wrong.
Well I have so many updates to do here but will wait til 1pm tomorrow to see if he actually signs my countercomplaint and settlement agreement. His divorce filing didn't even have a property settlement agreement. Mine had plenty. He told me personally he would sign it and has said that for the past 4 days. Tomorrow is D day. Once this has or has not happened I'm going to share with you a weird experience with him this weekend. Remember..he only left me March 26 so I am acting fast before the meaness happens lol. OMG, please just sign!!!!
Please know that the guilt will give way to your husband telling lies about you.
I was very lucky that a psychologist and my lawyer both warned me of this just as it was beginning. Because they did, I was prepared for it. It was - and is - still difficult to take, but at least I understood the reason for it.
The husband does it because he has to justify his actions. He can't tell people he was leaving a kind, decent person who loved him and who wanted him to stay. (OK, maybe the marriage wasn't perfect, but it wasn't bad enough that it had to end.) He has to start telling lies so he doesn't look bad.
It will happen. It will hurt. Sorry.
Emma V. said...
The psychology behind it is that if they made a choice between two possible choices, there is a need to make the one they did not chose very negative so they can be happy about what they did chose. The more they realize the pain they caused, the more they build up on the justification. Realism has nothing to do with it anymore. Your ex will need to find a way with the guilt and the pain he caused, and the pain he feels and does not want to admit. Life seems easier in black and white. He has chosen over you, and he will keep doing that from now on. It sucks, but this is what you need to protect yourself from. Keep remembering it is not reality, and that you are a beautiful person who is going through shit right now. Keep believing in yourself. Remember that you did the best you could and that you are capable of loving someone. You did not do this.
All of your posts have been so touching, supportive and helpful. I was quick to get the money stuff tended to since I manage all of it, including his. We have His Mine and Ours which developed out of his not ever being able to manage money so I'm in much better shape there. He never made it back for the rest of his personal things which surprises me. But, after tomorrow at 1 I'm going to hopefully have the papers signed by him and then I will share "The Rest of the Story. I want input. Everyone on here is wonderful, it has helped me a lot to read from others.
Thanks so much,
Joan, it is so useful to know that the lies are part of the way in which they operate. For months I doubted myself- was I that person he said I was? Had I been so awful, did the affair really start after he left? Was I making a mountain out of a molehill? All these doubts in my mind planted there by his convincing charming charismatic manner. In truth, now I know she was there months before he left, the evidence shows it, I was not that bad and it WAS a big deal. He lied and then he lied and then he lied some more. I wanted to believe him because then I could have fixed it, somehow. Now I know I cannot fix it, I don't want to fix it, I have wasted enough time...
The lies can be crippling.
I have a friend whose wife life him decades ago for a younger man. She told incredible lies about him. I'm ashamed to say I believed them.
It was years later before I met the man again, and he had changed. He had once been a confident, capable man and it was like he had shrunk in on himself, afraid anything he said wouldn't be taken seriously and he was now uncertain about his abilities. He had lost his self-confidence.
We talked about the end of our marriages and the lies our respective partners had told about us. He had spent more than 20 years believing what she had said about him. He wasted a great deal of his life believing that he was a horrible, insensitive, inadequate person.
The same psychologist who helped me had helped him, but only a few years ago. He was now starting to feel better about himself but the lies his wife told to him and about him almost ruined his life.
And all because she needed an excuse to run off with someone else.
Well, it has been an interesting week. We have a property settlement that is definately great for me. He does feel guilty about being unfaithful. Anyhow, we spent some time together yesterday or last evening and it was so funny..I kept seeing his mean attitude and grumpiness and telling him, "hey, I don't have to live with this or that or whatever anymore" and I hadn't realized just how hard it was to be around him. We went to the store and on the way back I told him I miss talking to him daily and making love. His response:"well it looks like I did you a favor." We both laughed. Don't get me wrong but if things at least stay this good I can cope much better with the split. And I have been emotional. It's all a bit weird.
Well, I'm doing pretty good. I was feeling some sadness and anger last night. I spent from about 3pm-11pm getting our taxes done...it's always me. I have run our home lives, bought every stick of furniture in this house out of my own money and it occurs to me..he has primarily only worked. And while I am doing this, our joint taxes it makes me sad because this will be the last time. I'm thinking to myself that he is probably not even working like normal, he is probably out having some fun, asking myself is she in town right now. Then it hits me: What in the world does it say about him that he leaves someone who has been completely supportive of him while he worked to get his masters and doctorate. Restarted my career twice to relocate for him, was dedicated, honest and true and he leaves me for a serial adulterer that he knows is a liar and is very out of shape? I did not cry at all yesterday though. Today I'm leaving to visit my daughter and son in law and going out with them and lots and lots of single men. Not that I'm interested but my daughter said it will make me feel very good! I'm excited because it will be all new people. No history and no involvement with the current junk. When I think about them together it makes me cringe but it also really turns me off to him because he has given up everything, kids, home, wife, for a lying and cheating woman.
Hope everyone has a good day and can get to moving on. We have a property settlement agreement, final papers being drawn up, hope to God that he signs them.
Emma V said...
I hope you had a good evening. I truly hope you will get through this ok. hope he signs the papers. I hope he is compassionate. Please keep us informed.
I am a little worried.
I can only look at my experiences to try to help you, which is very much what I like to do (I wish someone was there for me at the time..)
I remember after a few weeks he had left, I sort of went on a high and thought, hey this is not so bad...I can survive, I am strong, I am positive, I can deal with it.
I did not last. It seems I plummeted. If it does not happen, great. If it does, reality kicks in and you feel no more ground underneath...it is all normal.
When I was all optimistic and totally convinced of myself, my best friend told me, just watch out, depression comes after. I did not believe her. Until it happened.
I don't want to pull you down. If you are fine, I will be so happy.
If you need us, we are here.
Well, the agreement betweeen he and I is done but the attorneys are taking forever to hammer out the wording that they both like. I feel that our capacity to be civil has deteriorated. I lost my temper on a message about his logical choice in leaving me for a woman who has already been unfaithful once to her husband and now twice and she has text her husband saying that she misses him. What kind of logic is he using? Then I said the unspeakable about him fu..... his whore. Well, he's not really talking to me now. I am getting more and more angry and I have tried to be civil to get this property agreement signed. He actually had the nerve to tell me the other day, "if you're going to yell I'm not talking to you." In other words, I don't want to deal with you being angry because I don't care and i don't have to deal with anything". I'm still tending to all the business, he wouldn't even come over to sign his signature for the state taxes. Told me just to do it...of course I'm always the one who takes care of everything anyhow...who is going to do it for him now? I just got a book in today that I ordered called SUDDEN ENDINGS: Wife Rejection in Happy Marriages...only 4 pages and it is my life she is telling. Written by Madeline Bennett if anyone is interested. What is taking so long with getting theh papers done up, we have been in agreement for over a week, nearly 2. I also do not want him back. If he hadn't of left me I have found that he was pushing us into bankruptcy. I want out and free. I want to be happy and have another mate. He does not even look like the same person when I have seen his face. He has gone from sad and feeling bad to just cold when he looks at me. This sucks.
Thanks everyone for writing, it helps.
Well, April 25th and still nothing is signed. My attorney has already worked on getting a trial date set..which is exactly what I did not want and he said he did not want. My anger is getting stronger and starting to create pressure in my chest and I am a heart patient so this is not good. How can I release this anger when I have to be on my good behavior? Why am I always the one who has to be good and do the right thing. That sob is living with the gf and doing whatever the heck he wants and I am just lying in wait!!! What is wrong with this picture? And then an attorney I spoke with during a trial in which I was the 'expert witness' tells me that in Arkansas fault is not usually considered in the property settlement. In my mind he is the one that walked out on us and he should leave with the shirt on his back. Especially in light of the facts like him lying to me up to the minute about loving me and talking about our summer plans, etc. etc. It's like I was driving a car 100mph on a vacant highway and suddenly hit a tree.
It's not easy, but you do have to control your emotions.
My lawyer acted as quickly as possible, figuring my husband would be generous because of his guilt. Turns out, he wanted to leave his past behind so he could start a new life with his new girlfriend, so he didn't want hardly anything from our years of marriage.
But still, my lawyer told me to be non-confrontational with my ex. It was difficult and I had a hard time holding back on many of the things I wanted to say.
Where I live the reason for leaving also makes no difference in how assets are split up and who plays support and how much and who gets what. It doesn't seem fair, but that's the law and we have to live with it.
I'm just really happy that I don't have to pay him anything. And I really do wish he had taken some of his junk out of the house instead of leaving it all for me to deal with.
Well he did sign the PSA yesterday. Initially I was elated but today I am feeling depressed. It's just too much to deal with. Now I am dreading him coming next week to get this rest of his personal items which are already packed and have cluttered my hallway and living room for probably 2 weeks now. I feel so sick in my gut that I don't even want to see him. The last time was April 9th. It hurts even more knowing he is off on a 4 day weekend to see his ho in DC...this the workaholic who I was honorable to and supported for 17 years and did without him. Word is that he and she are like lovesick teenagers. It makes me sick to think of it but I am hopeful that soon enough reality will set in. The main thing is that I want to be able to stay afloat with my assets until I can liquidate some. And I want happiness again. I know this site is Runaway Husbands and the book I am reading is Sudden Endings but the reality is that my husband did shockingly leave and no one was aware he even wanted to...except the woman he had been seeing for at least several months..which makes it not really SUDDEN at all. Just deceitful.