Divorce after Twenty years together Community Group

I want to start something for those of us that were married for a long long time. I think that we face a little different issues than those who were dating for a few years or even married for shorter period of time. Being married for so long we have older children some have grandkids dealing with teenagers and their reaction to the divorice empty nesters dating after 40 etc.

0 Online
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Back N Forth Up N Down

I was with my husband for 21 yrs and we have recently separated its been 5 months now. He cheated for 2 yrs and I had NO idea..isn't that pretty common! I feel so stupid that I had NO idea. Anyway, I am STRUGGLING with putting the space between us and letting go. I have everything, the house, the two kids, the dog, etc. He packed his clothes and moved into a studio apt. He says he doesn't know what he wants. The "other woman" is somewhat still in the picture because she can't seem to leave him alone even tho he lied to her for 2 yrs. Her family will NOT except him & he knows it. He keeps going back n forth between her & I and I know I am the STUPID one who is allowing it. Its just my heart wants my family back SO bad it hurts! I have confronted the "other woman" and feel she is a BIGGER idiot than I am. I just want him to make a decision so we can all move on. I know I am supposed to kick his butt to the curb and tell him to figure it out but its easier said then done. I need the strength to put the space between us that is needed. People keep telling me if I do this he may finally see what a great thing he had w/ me & our kids but how long am I supposed to wait??? A part of me wants to move on & a BIG part of me is afraid. I have been w/ him since I was 16yrs old & he is all I know. Maybe thats the problem? I am STUCK and don't know what I am doing anymore! I am getting tired of the back n forth, up n down...when does it end and when is enough enough????

Replies

hurtinandhealin2560
hurtinandhealin2560

Don't wait for him to make the decision. Why are you giving up your power? YOU make the decision.

When is enough, enough? When you stand up to him and say, "I will no longer tolerate your cheating." Likely he is going back and forth because he realizes there is financial fallout to divorce and he doesn't want it.

Do not allow fear to keep you with him. You can make it; many women and men have.

Please make two important phone calls: one to a very good attorney who can tell you your legal rights and what to expect; the second call to a good counselor who can guide you through the emotional issues involving cheating and possibly divorce.

Only you can decide, but please don't leave the decision up to him. He'll dilly-dally back and forth forever because it benefits him. Face it, he's got the wife at home taking care of the kids and everything else and he's got the lover on the side. Good deal for him; crappy deal for you.

Take your control back.

Hugs! Keep talking to us here. We will walk the journey with you.
hurtinandhealin2560
hurtinandhealin2560

Don't wait for him to make the decision. Why are you giving up your power? YOU make the decision.

When is enough, enough? When you stand up to him and say, "I will no longer tolerate your cheating." Likely he is going back and forth because he realizes there is financial fallout to divorce and he doesn't want it.

Do not allow fear to keep you with him. You can make it; many women and men have.

Please make two important phone calls: one to a very good attorney who can tell you your legal rights and what to expect; the second call to a good counselor who can guide you through the emotional issues involving cheating and possibly divorce.

Only you can decide, but please don't leave the decision up to him. He'll dilly-dally back and forth forever because it benefits him. Face it, he's got the wife at home taking care of the kids and everything else and he's got the lover on the side. Good deal for him; crappy deal for you.

Take your control back.

Hugs! Keep talking to us here. We will walk the journey with you.
CowgirlKathi
CowgirlKathi

Hurtinandhealin took the words right out of my mouth yet again!

If this has been going on for two years and he moved out, then the last thing I would be doing is "waiting" or "wishing" for him to make up his mind. He's an idiot -- just like most of these runaway husbands -- and basically selfish -- what they REALLY want is to have their cake (the OW) and eat it, too (the wife). FORGET ABOUT HIM!

Get yourself into therapy so you are thinking of what's best for YOU and your kids - and believe me, sticking around waiting for someone else to do the right thing is NOT the best thing.

I will hold you in my thoughts and prayers.
Lori63
Lori63

Get a counselor, get an attorney. YOU (and your kids) deserve so much better!!!
Please visit here often for support-you can find your strength!!
Hugs to you! You are not alone :)
deleted_user
deleted_user

My litmus paper ....I ask myself " if my daughter was in a relationship and her spouse was acting like this, what would I recommend ?" It helps me to be a bit more objective and see things clearer. I used to say to my husband...How would you feel if your daughter's husband was treating her like you are treating me? He could never answer that question...... My two cents - anyone can make a mistake , but 2 years is not a mistake, it's a decision to be insincere and disrespect you and what a marriage is all about. sorry
kamary
kamary

Hurtin, CK and Lori are right. He's stringing you along. He's already shown his true colours. Please don't hurt yourself any more by waiting for him to decide what he wants. He's already shown you what he wants and now he's either treading water or trying to find a way out financially while you are unaware. I'd suggest you check out what's happening with your finances asap and make those phone calls. Leopards don't change their spots.

love and hugs and strength
kamary
deleted_user
deleted_user

Thank u all for ur words u r all right. However here comes the sticky part... We were never legally married! We reside in az where common law means nothing! My sin is 20 so no support to receive there our daughter is 17 so he is still responsible. We have gone thru the finances n I am lucky there he didn't fight me on that n gives me money weekly. I know what I need to do which is to move forward with my life n I deserve better. It is just so scary out there to think about dating again. I just don't know how to get back in the saddle again! I don't think I am ready yet either nits the loneliness that kills me, sleeping alone, being home along cuz my kids are grown n have lives. I go out with girlfriends it's just not the same. Will I ever find that someone n be able to trust another man again? He has ruined my self asteam n I gave to work on feeling better about myself n know I did nothing wrong! I gave him everything I am n then some n my heart is just so broken. Day by day is what I tell myself that's all I can do, right?
iammine
iammine

Carrie, don't even THINK about dating, let alone worry about it! You have a long road ahead of you, healing and gaining independence and inner strength.

I am sort of shocked that common law marriage would not be recognized in ANY state - that just doesn't seem right to me!? You need a lawyer to put in writing how much support your receive for your daughter. I'm guessing he does not have to pay spousal support to you? That sucks. I hope you have a job and will not be in financial constraints during this difficult transition time.

For now, focus on putting your life back together and being there for the kids. You will really benefit from some counseling - please do listen to this advice from many of us who have been there or are there now (me!). There is so much to learn from a good counselor and it is worth EVERY PENNY if you get the right one. Don't settle for someone you don't feel comfortable with and have a frank discussion as to how the therapy will proceed and what your goals are. Find affordable or even free counseling through is that exists in your community. Make some calls.

You are not broken! You are hurt, you have been deceived and treated terribly by the one person who is supposed to love and cherish you. But you will rise again!

When I was new to this site, many veteran members told me that my life would be good again - even great! - and that I will actually come to be grateful to be out of a marriage where there was no equality or reciprocation of love and respect. Love and respect yourself first. Find peace. You will get there. Be gentle on yourself, don't expect too much too fast.

You did not deserve what has happened to you. But you couldn't prevent it. And you must respond. Respond with trying to have the best life you can in the short term. The long term stuff will take care of itself.

Hang in there! We are with you!
kamary
kamary

Iammine has said everything. You will be okay and even happy again. You just have to make your way through the grief and find your new path. It takes time. I found paying attention to my self helped enourmously.

CowgirlKathi suggested I read a book called "Something More: Excavating Your Authentic Self" by Sarah Ban Breathnach. It got me sailing......

She also recommended "Date... Or Soul Mate?" by Neil Clark Warren. This one helps with how to know what to look for in a new partner.

I'm not ready for dating yet and it's almost four years since I left my ex. Fear? Yes. Lack of confidence because he was my one and only? Yes. But I also know that one day I will be ready for a new man in my life. There's no hurry.

A man in your bed won't necessarily bring an end to loneliness. I was never as lonely as I was the last 20 years with my ex. Get to know you, be kind to yourself, do things you enjoy and enjoy those who want you in their lives. These are good places to start.

love and hugs
kamary xxxooo
CowgirlKathi
CowgirlKathi

Carrie, my dear, I am sorry that you do not have the benefit of a legal marriage, but there are still plenty of things you can do to dig yourself out of this situation.

If you have a job, you may have to find a second one or a better-paying one, but at least you have some income. If you don't you may have to check into some social services to get you through until you can be self-supporting. There are lots of resources out there and you certainly sound bright enough to make some phone calls and gather information.

As to finding out what your rights may be -- regardless of legal marriage, if you two have both signed for a mortgage, car loan, credit card or whatever -- those debts and/or any joint assets are half yours and you could possibly pursue the matter in civil court. But the most important thing is to get some LEGAL advice as soon as possible. Lots of good attorneys will give a free consultation. Call around.

But the MOST IMPORTANT thing to do is to get yourself into some kind of counseling or therapy. I am sure that there is a resource for this where you live. A good place to start just asking for referrals would be, perhaps, a womens' shelter. They are usually in tune with all sorts of mental health service providers.

I always tell newcomers here "Get yourself a therapist and an attorney asap. Those two will become your Dream Team and you need one to get through divorce."

I will hold you in my thoughts and prayers. We can talk you through it, but YOU have to DO IT! Get going, girlfriend! Your New Life is out there waiting for you.
dairytech
dairytech

I've been right where you are right now. It was between divorce #1 and divorce #2. I felt exactly as you do. My ex was torn between me and the OW. It took 16 months but he decided he wanted me and his family back and I jumped at the opportunity to have my family back in tact. We lasted only 3 years...all the problems came back 10 fold and there was another OW in the picture...yup a different one. Basically...I waisted 5 years of my life.

What I learned through that experience is...you cant go back...you cant undo whats been done and you cant forget the pain. Something is wrong with the relationship. He has thrown you and his child under the bus. Walked away for someone else. He no longer has your best interests at heart. He has disrespected himself and his family. Dont focus on her...its him that cheated. If it wasnt her it would be someone else. You have to ask yourself...why would you want that back? How could you live your life contently knowing what he has done and could he do it again...how can you find peace in that. I sure couldnt. It was a hell of a different kind.

So...really thing long and hard on what it is you really want. How much of yourself are you willing to give up in order to have him back? I know first hand...there is a huge price to pay.

As already mentioned...why are you waiting for him to decide? He already did! The day he left. That was his decision. Its you that has to decide. What and how do you want to live the rest of your life? Go no contact so you can navigate your emotions and think with a clear head. My heart goes out to you...I understand the anguish...Big Hugs...Kathy
deleted_user
deleted_user

Carrie, you have been given some great advice and support here. I hope DS will become a haven for you to get through your feelings of lonliness and low self-esteem. The void that remains the 'present' after a separation is unavoidable it seems. Trying to fill the emptiness with more of what's causing it will never produce a better outcome for yourself. Have you tried changing up your night routine to get you through to the next day? I stalled my processing of healiing for a bit because I was hoping, and praying he would come to his senses. Instead of wasting time and energy on him you really must make self-care your priority. I found DS by googling the word lonliness, so I truly understand how you feel. I never thought I would ever get off of the separation, reconcilation and separation and divorce roller coaster, but I did. If you can be patient yet persistent with this new phase of your life you will come out just fine. We are all in different phases but only you can walk in your shoes. There have been a lot of advice and support offerred to help you process through your pain. You may not have chosen the path you are on, but where you go from here is really in your hands. I'll be routing for you as you find your own way. : ) (BIG HUG)

FYI: Another great book is Divorce Care: Hope, Help, and Healing During and After Your Divorce by Steve Grissom and Kathy Leonard. It is based on Bible verses but it really outlines all of the stages and scenarios that divorce brings and how to make the transition easier. In time you will be realize that you need to face your lonliness on your own and figure out who you are before you can even imagine bringing someone new into your life. You'll become much wiser and stronger than you ever knew you could and your confidence will grow with each milestone you make in your independence. I wish you patience and persistence. : )
Shorty54
Shorty54

Again, there is great advice here. My newest thought I'm trying to pound into my thick skull.......People treat you the way you let them. Good luck. Be strong.
deleted_user
deleted_user

Hey Carrie.
I know it is hard but you can do it. You need to have pride in yourself to not let anyone ever treat you this way, also show your children you will not be treated this way is a good example for your children so they will not let it happen to them someday.

I went steady with my ex since i was 13 years old, married him one week after my 17th birthday, married almost 35 years. I was 100% dependent on him. I had never paid bills or even supported myself. Id worked part time jobs at min wage now and then. I thought i was happy, i thought i had it made until i found out about the other woman. My ex divorced me and for the first time in my life i was totally on my own! I panicked, i was suicidal at times and broke. I went to the county for health care and mental health care as well, thank God they were there for me! I had to borrow money like mad to cover my divorce and living expenses. I had to learn how to do everything on my own. The prize is i found out everything my ex made look so freaking hard really is not, it just takes time to learn living skills but none of it is rocket science. Now i'm proud and independent and i love love love not waiting on his ass and doing everything i do on my schedule!
You will learn how to do everything on your own and the since of pride you acquire along the way will be priceless beyond your wildest dreams! I'm not rich, not even middle class, in fact i'm poor but my life is rich and yours can be to!

good luck
deleted_user
deleted_user

I have not too many words of wisdom except counselling for sure. I am sorry this is happening to you. I would suggest that you are worth more than only half a relationship with someone who has his pants slung over another bedpost. Be kind to yourself and work on increasing your self-esteem, for your sake as well as your kids.
Blessings
Cheryl