I was divorced several months ago and although I was stunned when my wife left me, I made the best of things and made certain we had a drama-free divorce and maintained a good relationship so we could successfully co-parent our two young children, both of whom are happy and thriving now.
Yes, I read your blog, and you gave me a lot of great advice by phone during my divorce. You are the reason I was able to achieve this feat in the midst of my anguish and worry. Thanks for that.
I recently began to suspect my wife was cheating during our marriage (Readers: I told Matt this when he first contacted me about his sudden divorce a year ago but he didn’t believe me. Sometimes I truly do hate being right all the time).
I’ve started to do some investigating such as talking to her friends, looking at travel records, phone and credit card bills, and it seems pretty obvious what was going on.
My question for you is: how do get her to admit this?
After being confronted with the evidence all she would admit to is an emotional affair but she swears it was never physical even though they met several times in another city. That made me more angry so I have been digging deeper and the more she denies it the worse I feel.
Her father worships her as his little princess and I want him to know – I want him to know what she did to our marriage and that the divorce was not my fault! I think I’m becoming a little obsessed with getting the truth out of her. What do you suggest for making this happen?
This is a great question so thank you for trusting me with it and for speaking with me at length on the subject. Readers, you should know the following:
1. Matt is currently dating a woman he feels is a great match for him;
2. His post-divorce and co-parenting relationship with his ex-wife was up until recently very good, but lo and behold, suddenly it has become quite strained; and
3. He has a demanding job, good friends and lovely children. In other words, he isn’t lacking for things to take up his time and efforts.
Matt, I’ll reiterate what I told you when we spoke:
There is no upside to forcing your wife into a dramatic confession as to the extent of her waywardness. Much like Donald Trump when he attempts to opine on worldly matters, you are only making things worse.
You already know what you claim you need to know. Do we need Hillary Clinton to admit she isn’t trustworthy?
You came to the right person for advice, but not for how to force your wife into a full confession. Try Dick Cheney for those methods, although I hear they don’t work well.
Instead you need a knock upside the head.
The opposite of love isn’t hate. The opposite of love is indifference.
Your feelings towards your ex-wife are exactly the opposite of indifference so get over it and begin the new life in front of you instead of remaining mired in suspicion and bitterness and phone records and pain.
Since we spent so much time talking about this, I can hear you whining that you won’t be able to move on until you know the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
Matt Knows What He Says He Doesn’t Know
You know enough from all the meticulous information-gathering you have conducted, my little Sherlock wannabe. Your ex was waxing another dude’s surfboard while you were putting in 70-hour work weeks to support your family.
So now what?
Do you want to keep pressing this matter and engaging in behavior that comes off as unhinged and stalker-ish and could ruin the childhood of those two little people I know you love so much? Pardon my French, but that’s fucking crazy.
As for contacting your former father-in-law for vindication, don’t you dare. What right do you have to come between a father and his daughter?
If my son were in your wife’s shoes years from now and his ex-wife came to me to tell me what a shit he was during the marriage, I’d tell her exactly where in her posterior she could enthusiastically insert and manipulate the nearest ankus.
What to Do?
Please explore with your (dear Lord I hope you have one) therapist the reasons why this “truth” is so important to you. Look for understanding of why your marriage broke down enough to send your wife in pursuit of happiness elsewhere. I don’t mean to blame the victim here, but truth is rarely presented in perfect black and white.
The answers to those questions may enlighten and surprise you, making room for greater personal growth and advancement past the pain of your divorce.
In the meantime, those children are what matter now, not your bruised ego. While I commend you for taking my advice many months ago on how to go about this divorce, I will hereby disown and disembowel you if your next step is to destroy the healthy and happy co-parenting paradigm you share with the mother of your kids.
Seriously, I’ll mess you up. Don’t make me come over there.
Work on you, not her. Work on your future, not your past.
And put that new relationship on hold for a while until you process and move on from your marriage because if this woman is truly a good fit for you* your current impression of Scotland Yard’s finest will surely doom this new sexual gig to failure.
The next time you find yourself tempted to delve into the past instead of leaping into the future, I implore you to find the nearest photo of your two children, look at it, and remember what is really important here:
Not your “truth.”
Not your ex-wife’s “truth.”
What’s critical is the happy childhood and adulthood your kids deserve.
Going after your ex is not in their best interests no matter how much of a duplicitous bitch you may think she is. Never forget she’s the mother of your children, so once you start publicly labeling her a whore you call into question half of who these sweet little people are.
Please check back with me and let me know how things are going.
*The new gal isn’t right for you, but that’s another blog for another day.
Readers, did you like this? If so, share this! Freshly pressed askdescamp tomorrow, in which we examine why a man making his final alimony payment is strangely depressed, not exhilarated.