I will be the first to admit that I did EVERYTHING WRONG when I discovered by ex-wife’s infidelity. I am the perfect example of a guy who succeeded in spite of my immediate actions. I got lucky. I’ve spoken to enough guys to see patterns and recognize what one should and shouldn’t do when the big bomb is dropped on you. It can go HORRIBLY wrong if you don’t play your cards right.
Here is the DSO prescription that will give you a better chance of coming out on top.
- Don’t tell her you know or suspect anything. Do you have a piece of concrete evidence or maybe some circumstantial evidence… or maybe just a hunch that she’s up to something? Keep it to yourself. I don’t care how minute it is. Don’t tell her a damn thing. Play detective. Gather evidence. Don’t tell anyone. If she catches wind of you snooping she will play cover-up and you lose your advantage.
- Meet with an attorney. You simply go to an attorney with all that you know about your wife’s activities.. along with your financial information. Income. Debts. The attorney will take a look and let you know where you will stand after divorce. Yes… you are divorcing. There’s no coming back from this. I don’t care what anyone says, it’s over. NOTE: Many times the infidelity has zero bearing on the circumstances of the divorce. Just like everyone else on the planet, the courts don’t care that she cheated. What it MAY do is give you some leverage during negotiations. She may not want the world to know all her sordid details and will bend a little more to keep things quiet. “You know about the llama and the five midgets in Mexico? Okay… I’ll let you have the truck.”
- Present your evidence to the spouse. Act like an attorney. It should go something like this: “Okay… I know about the affair. Please don’t say anything and make it worse. I have more than enough evidence. Just sit and listen.We are divorcing. I have already met with an attorney and have written up an agreement that is fair to both of us. I suggest you hire an attorney ASAP to also look it over. You may move to the basement, or to a friend’s house or anywhere else.. but our current living arrangements will not remain. I will give you ample time to get all of your things in order. I’m sorry it had to come to this. Good luck.”
- Her family is dead. Don’t talk to that sister-in-law you always got along with. Mother-in-law the sweetest thing ever? Good. Be cordial but do not reach out. At all. It will be weird for quite a while.. but that’s ok and better than the alternative. They are all on her team now. Always. No matter what they say she is still their daughter/sister/aunt/cousin… and that means a lot more than “that dude she married that one time”. Even if they just want to talk about how much of a giant slutty crazy woman she is now… you don’t care. You don’t stoop to that level of gossip. You tell them you’re not interested in talking about it and need to go.
- If you have kids, you communicate with your ex only through text or email. Transfer of kids? No talking. She texts you and asks how you are doing? No reply. She sends you some photo from your past? Delete. No kids? She’s dead. Let the attorneys talk. She no longer exists.
There’s a reason for all of this. One reason is to cover your butt and not open yourself up to something that will harm you legally, financially or socially. Another is to start the process of removing emotion from the equation. To become indifferent and stoic in the face of all the crazy and awful things you’ve just learned. You have to eventually, might as well start now and hit the ground running. Your future self will thank you.
I know.. easier said than done. Easy for me to say after years of being removed from the situation. But sometimes the right thing is not the easy thing. Sometimes it’s the hardest thing in the world, but you gotta do it.
Let’s be really blunt here for a moment. Monogamy.. it just ain’t right. And by “right”, I mean… it just doesn’t make biological sense. It goes against the strongest of forces: Our primal urge.
I am a firm believer in science. Crazy, I know. Science tells me that we human beings are just animals. Super smart versions of the common ape. As such, we are slaves to certain underlying instinctual drives that seep through the social and moral safeguards that we put around us. In other words, no matter how much we say “I love you and only you” to our wives, that doesn’t mean that we don’t want to bang that hot young thing that keeps smiling at us at the gym. Our programming is setup to say “Bang as many young, fertile women as possible. Spread your seed. It feels good. It’s awesome. Do it again and again until you die.” But, we don’t. We wouldn’t want to do anything that hurts our beloved spouse and causes our life to crumble around us.
That “I wouldn’t want to do anything that hurts my spouse” thing? That’s reason. That’s rationality. That’s your “honor”. That’s your social intelligence recognizing the visceral feeling you have at that moment, digesting it, and coming up with a pretty good reason why you shouldn’t bend Buffy over the bench press and impregnate her right then and there. “That just wouldn’t be right. I couldn’t live with myself.”
But you know what… people DO bend the proverbial Buffy over ALL THE TIME. My eyes were opened to this after I had my divorce and started dating around and talking to other singles. Holy crap do people cheat a lot.
Yes… this applies to women, as well. Women cheat a whole heck of a lot. They are just as susceptible to the lure and draw of an extra-marital fling.
Why is this? What the heck is going on that people cheat left and right knowing full well the negative implications of an affair? Don’t they have the same voice in their head setting up a roadblock and stopping them from taking the next step towards a really big life mistake?
Yes, they do have that voice. The problem for some is that their moral safeguards may be temporarily down (there’s a whole host of reasons why this happens). This may in turn leave them open to attack from the competition. Once the enemy is in the gates, no amount of social intelligence or intellectual reasoning will be able to drown out the firestorm of feel good brain chemicals that an inappropriate secret relationship will create. Your task, as a man, is to prevent that from ever happening, because once it does… it’s over, Johnny.
The standard advice I give up front to men is to create the best version of you possible. The most attractive YOU may be enough to keep her eye from wandering and daydreaming about that guy from the office. Then again, it just may not be enough. You can’t be around to wow her 24/7.
So now, as a man, we’re in a bit of a pickle. You’ve done a shit ton of hard work on yourself. You’re awesome by every sense of the word … but man, your wife just did or said something that makes your instincts kick in. “Uh oh… something’s up here.” Now what do you do?
Well, two schools of thought here:
- Do nothing. If she can’t see the greatness you have created for you, her and the family.. and she STILL acting inappropriately and possibly looking for validation and emotional/physical connection outside of your marriage, you just let her go do her thing. Protect yourself and start a new chapter in your life. More than one fish in the sea, right!?
- Do whatever you can to stop the wife from walking towards that inappropriate line. If you sense something is up, you confront her immediately and get to the bottom of it and squash it. You have to do this VERY EARLY in the process. It’s too late if the deed has been done.
With option #1, you do come across as the tough one. “Don’t need ya. Your loss. Beat it, bitch.” You’ve maybe lost a wife, but you keep your ego and masculinity in tact.
With option #2, you’re running the risk of looking weak. “I sense something is wrong! I feel threatened! I’m going to prove to you just how much I NEED you! Please don’t leave me!”
This also has the negative side effect of pushing her more quickly towards the line and away from you. You’re being needy, and needy is unattractive.
So.. my advice? Do a little of both.
Let’s give a very real world example to illustrate how to pull this off. This may be a little familiar to some of you:
Because of your trips to the gym and new wardrobe, your wife has been also hitting the gym and buying sexy panties at Victoria Secret. She loves showing them off to you. She is looking GOOD. Like, REALLY good. Sex has been amazing. You two are sexting each other almost every day. You’re on cloud nine.
You won the battle of reigniting your sex life, but the war isn’t quite over.
The other day, you were at the grocery store together. You step away from her for just just a moment to get bread in the next aisle. You come back to your wife and she is talking to a man you’ve never seen before. She is beat red in the face. She motions towards you. The guy looks over, gives a little laugh and says “Oh, sorry about that… have a great day!” He walks away.
“What the heck was that all about?” you say.
“I think that guy was about to ask me out!” Her face is still flush and she has a sly smile on her face. “He said ‘Wow.. you are hot! What’s your name?‘ and then you walked up. I just pointed at you and said ‘That’s my husband‘ and he apologized and walk away.”
You listen and just laugh it off. Awesome, your wife is sexy. You already knew that. You reach over and grab her and pull her close to you. “That’s right… you are HOT. Sexy, even. Mmmm…We may have to go home real quick before picking up the kids.”
What you don’t realize is that the mystery grocery guy just set off a cascading series of psychological events. To her, that was REALLY awesome and unexpected and for a brief second she felt like a million bucks. That random guy moment was worth about a million Facebook likes. That was a million “You go girl!” text messages from friends all at once. That was uber validation.
Most people would laugh and be done with it. Smile, shake your head and forget about it. Maybe you take that energy into the bedroom. But, your wife was caught at JUST the right time and this had a profound effect on her. She would like another taste of that drug as soon as possible. It’s perfectly natural.
The next day, you are both lying in bed reading a book. She puts her book down and looks at the ceiling. “I can’t believe that guy said that to me yesterday at the store! I haven’t had that happen since I was in college! Any idea who that was? Don’t think I’ve seen him before.”
Ding… a little bell just went off in your head. Your antennae are quivering ever so slightly. You forgot about the incident. She obviously hasn’t. What does she care who this guy was? Weird thing to ask.
Three days later her friends come over to drink wine and gossip. They do this every now and then. You walk into the kitchen to get something to eat and hear a friend say “Tell Mary about that guy at the store the other day! Did you ever find out who he was?”
Ding ding… Now your eye is twitching a little. She’s still talking about it. She’s talking about it with friends. What the hell?
A week goes by and all is cool again. Then you walk by the kitchen and your wife is chatting on her cell at the kitchen table. “No no… It wasn’t Betty’s ex-husband. No, this guy wasn’t married. He didn’t have a ring on. Oh, he was ok. Kinda rough. No, I’ve never seen him at any school meeting. No idea who he was. It was weird. You’d think I would have seen him before.“
She’s STILL talking about this guy?! Jesus. Get a hold of yourself, woman! Some chick at the gym asked me if I was single the other day, I didn’t bring it up and I forgot all about it in an hour. This kind of stuff happens all the time!
Then..the last straw. She approaches you a few days later. “Hey, babe. I’m going to go out Friday night with some ladies from work. You be okay with the kids here? Not sure what time I’ll be back.”
Ding ding ding ding. She hasn’t done this in YEARS. Not on a Friday. Fridays are always your night together watching a movie with the kids, eating popcorn, and then wild sex when they all go to bed. This can’t be a coincidence. Time to probe a little.
You: “Who’s all going out?”
Her: “Oh, Rebecca, Amy, and Sally.”
Ding ding ding ding ding. SALLY. Sally is the lowlife office gal your wife has been bad-mouthing for the past 5 years. Sally has two kids from two different guys. Sally used to be a stripper. She is divorced. You personally know three guys who have banged her. She drinks like a fish. Giant fake boobs and likes to show them off at seedy bars and on every form of social media. Giant YOLO tattoo on her stomach. She is bad news.
You: “Huh.. Sally, eh? Cool. Tell you what, though. I’m going to go ahead and get a babysitter. I don’t feel like being cooped up on a Friday playing Mr. Mom. Need to go do something fun. Haven’t been to that new bar yet on 3rd street. Or that new club outside of town.”
Her: “What? Who are you going with? What club?”
You: “Nobody… just me. The strip club that opened last week. They have a special on Friday. Free beer with a lap dance. Heard about it on the radio. They said a hot crop of young girls from all over the country are there for the grand opening. I’ll get a cab and go out there. Might do me some good. It’ll be fun.”
Her: “Uhhhh…. what?”
Unless she’s completely dense, she will get it. You just said “That’s a really really stupid idea you have. I can do something equally stupid. I have options, too. Temptation is around every corner and in the time it takes me to call a cab, I can find it. Don’t forget it, sweet cheeks.”
You didn’t say it with explicit words, but with your actions.
What you’re doing here is a sly form of something called “Mate Guarding”. You sense the enemy circling. Your wife is just too god damn stupid or too caught up in the feel good brain chemicals to realize that with every mention of this mystery guy and with the newfound friendship with Sally the hooker and the unexpected Girl’s Night Out she is repeatedly walking towards that “inappropriate” line. She’s not crossing it… but she’s repeatedly looking at the line and tip-toeing closer and closer to it. This is not appropriate behavior from a wife with a loving and sexy husband and kids and she needs to be told this, but in a careful way.
Unless checked, the wife will continue to tip-toe. It’s just human nature. She will say it’s all innocent…
laugh it off… and then keep inching closer and closer and closer to that line. Most of the time they do so with NO malice. They’re not literally telling themselves “I need something else beyond my husband. The hunky grocery store guy made me realize that I am wanted by other guys. Therefore, I’m going to put myself in situations that will open me up to inappropriate behavior and negative consequences.” If you were to say something about it, they would legitimately be flabbergasted. “I haven’t been out in years with the girls! Sally just wanted to celebrate her promotion! She’s harmless. You’re being stupid!”
Putting things into a perspective they can relate to, via your ACTIONS, and shocking them a little bit may be enough to snap them out of it. She may suddenly realize that, oh yeah, it is weird that she’s talking about that mystery guy so much and that no, she should NOT want to hang out with a person like Sally. Sally is a a whore.
Or not, and you enjoy a night of hot young strippers and free beer.
It takes NO time at all to cross right over that “inappropriate” line and never come back to this side again. We all innately know this. This is why jealousy is a thing. This is why my woman peaks over my shoulder when she hears my phone vibrate with a new text message.
Here are other “walking towards the the line” scenarios that are common:
- The wife mentions Chad from work. He is SUCH an asshole. He said something really stupid in a meeting. She heard he cheated on his wife. Oh my god, Chad said something really bad in front of the boss today! OH MY GOD, listen to what Chad did today! This is insane! (translation: Chad is on my mind a lot and I can’t stop thinking about him.)
- Your response: “Ya know… We should have Chad and his wife over for dinner. I gotta meet this guy. He sounds like a doozy. Tell him to bring his kids.”
- “You remember Steve from college? He Facebook friended me yesterday and says he wants to get together for dinner or something to catch up.”
- Your response: “Awesome! Let’s meet him at the new bar in town. Been wanting to check it out.”
The beauty of these responses is what you are NOT saying. You are not explicitly saying “Uhhh.. do you think this is appropriate, sweetie? You should immediately say NO to Sally and NO to Steve. You’re married. Did you forget!?” No, that would be viewed as insecure, jealous and controlling. Instead, you take the higher road of “Sweet! Let’s meet the guy!” or “Sweet! I’m going to go something fun and a little seedy, too.”
You know what happens? “Oh, we’re not going out on Friday now. Sally cancelled it. She’s a bitch. Let’s watch that new Netflix series, instead! Do I need to go buy popcorn? What was that beer you liked? I’ll stop and and get some.”
No matter how moral, intelligent, trustworthy and perfect your woman is, you MUST be the man and keep on alert at all times. You must be able to figuratively grab her by the shoulders and point her back in the direction she should be facing: away from the inappropriate line.