My wife had an affair for several years and when I found out she told me she wants a divorce. The marriage was not good for a long time so after I got over being cheated on, I was fine with the divorce.
I met someone and started dating and here’s what’s weird: my ex totally freaked out. She has been verbally and physically abusive since discovering I have a girlfriend and for the life of me I can’t understand why.
What are your thoughts? I wouldn’t have probably started dating at this point since we haven’t even filed but she has been openly dating this guy for months and he’s married too.
This is an excellent question. I posted a teaser for this on Facebook and received many comments from people, almost all of which said, “this exact thing happened to me!”
We spoke about your situation and there are more details the readers should know.
Allen and Mrs. Allen: A Powder Keg About to Explode
- Allen found out about the affair five months ago when he came home early from a trip and Mrs. Allen’s boyfriend was caught running out the back door. Classy!
- Mrs. Allen’s boyfriend, also married, is a longtime friend and sometime employee of the family. Ouch!
- Mrs. Allen’s boyfriend moved out of his home last week.
- Allen and Mrs. Allen still live together.
- Mrs. Allen and her married boyfriend have flaunted their relationship in their small town, causing their children and spouses great embarrassment and pain.
- Mrs. Allen has repeatedly ordered Allen out of the home, calling it “my house,” because she earns more money than he does.
- The physical and verbal abuse of Allen by Mrs. Allen, something that escalated immediately after she discovered he was in a relationship, has taken place in front of the children.
- Since discovering the identity of Allen’s girlfriend “Marie,” Mrs. Allen has threatened to “destroy” her business, labeled her an “embarrassment,” alleged that people who like her don’t, and labeled her a “whore,” “tramp,” “bitch,” and the like.
- Mrs. Allen has also stalked Marie’s social media and has engaged her friends to do the same, one of whom inadvertently shared a photo of Marie on her husband’s Facebook page. That was funny. If you don’t know the difference between “sharing” a photo privately and sharing it publicly, you may want to take a Facebook training bootcamp and limit your use until you’ve figured things out.
Allen, I’m going to give you some thoughts and some advice.
Please remember I am not giving you legal advice, I am not your lawyer, and use of this website comes with your acknowledgment of my disclaimer.
Years ago I lived with my good friend Paul Biskar while he was in medical school and I was in law school. Paul is a reasonably intelligent guy and we used to stay up late having conversations about everything under the sun.
I remember once after a breakup I was proclaiming to Paul that I was totally over the guy, recovered from the breakup, and hated him. Paul challenged me and noted:
The opposite of love isn’t hate – it’s indifference.
I’ve used this phrase many times in this blog, in conversations with friends, and especially with clients in my new business. When people treat their former partners in a horrible way, they are expressing the other side of the love coin.
Mrs. Allen may very well regret the affair and the end of the marriage.
Perhaps her years-long love affair is no longer interesting, now that the thrill and drama that comes with a salacious and illicit coupling have given way to the tedious day-to-day bothers of ordinary life.
Perhaps she discovered that her boyfriend, a contractor, isn’t the man she thought he was.
Your wife said her boyfriend makes $300,000 per year.
I guarantee you that an hourly contractor who works for someone else doesn’t make that kind of money. If you provide me tax returns that show his income is anywhere near $300,000 per year, I will publicly apologize in a video in which I play my ukulele and sing a song I’ve been working on about the dangers of making hasty assumptions.
Either she lied to you or her boyfriend lied to her, but since how much money you earn has been a major issue for her, and since her man will need to pay alimony to his ex (and she to you, in a delicious turn of usual events), she has gone from the frying pan into the fire, financially.
Marie is successful, smart, cute, and your friends and family think she’s wonderful. It’s obvious to everyone around you that you are happier than you’ve been in years. Your wife assumed you were dating, and I quote, “some fucking Tinder whore.” When she discovered your lady’s identity, she lost her shit.
She didn’t want you anymore, but apparently she didn’t want anyone else to want you either, especially not someone like Marie.
Advice from Your Advice Guru
The most disturbing part of this story is that your children are witnessing hatred and violence from your wife towards you. As a result, they are learning lessons about relationship paradigms that are unhealthy and frankly, dangerous.
Often times during a divorce, each party is reluctant to leave the marital home. They falsely believe it puts them at some disadvantage, when really it does not. You and your STBEX (Soon To Be Ex) need to come up with a resolution now as to who will occupy the home during the pendency of the divorce.
She cheated, she demanded a divorce, she earns more money, she was abusive, and her boyfriend now has a place of his own. If the genders were reversed, this would be a no-brainer. Your attorney should have told you by now (and if he didn’t you should fire him immediately) that her actions, witnessed by the kids, are enough for you to get a restraining order, which means she would have to move out.
Not only that, but if you don’t want to go the restraining order route, your attorney should have told you that you should file for divorce and also file a motion for possession of the home during the intervening months until your decree is entered. You have photographic evidence of the assaults and an adult child who could testify to them.
This is a no-brainer, but the inherent sexism in this country probably makes you reluctant to admit you were attacked by a woman. Don’t be. We need to call out abuse and correct it regardless of the genders of the perpetrators and victims. Women wanted equal rights and we got them, but those rights come with responsibilities. Your ex needs to be held accountable for her actions.
It seems pretty obvious to me who should move out until your divorce is final, but if she refuses, I encourage you to consider moving out.
No, it’s not fair. It’s not right. But your kids must come first, Allen. Don’t let them believe that this type of behavior by one spouse towards another is normal or OK. Even in a divorce, it is not.
- Live your life to fullest extent possible. Try new things, have new experiences, and push yourself.
- Spend quality time with your kids. They need you, now more than ever.
- Ignore your wife’s ranting. You know what is true and what is not.
- Work hard.
- Get the housing thing figured out now, before something terrible happens. I’m worried she may escalate the violence.
- Get through the divorce as amicably as possible, but don’t settle for anything less than what is right.
Appreciate the gift your wife gave you, because sometimes abandonment can be the most beautiful thing in the world. It frees us to discover there are no limits to how happy and successful we can be, once freed from the shackles of a unhappy marriage to a person who long since stopped caring for us.
Readers, who do you think should move out? Sound off in the comments!
Coming up soon: What happens when a husband bans his wife from their private club, in violation of their own bylaws and policies? First world problems ensue!