A Look Inside The Mind of a Cheating Wife Who Filed For Divorce

A woman recently posted a very candid and honest story on the “Divorce” section of the super popular website Reddit. In the post, she outlines the conditions that led her to question her marriage and eventually have an affair. This coeherent chronological breakdown gives us a rare and unfiltered look at what goes on in the mind of a cheating spouse. I thought it would be interesting to break her story down into pieces and give my thoughts as the story unfolds.

In my case there was no abuse. We were together for 8 years that was mostly good and we have 4 kids. Right around 5 years I got a promotion at work and i got it in my head that my XH was dragging me down, or at least holding me back from more success and a better life. We never had a lot of money but with my promotion I was now making more than he was.

I can’t tell you how many times I have heard this scenario. There is a reason she started her story with her job promotion. This was the switch. So many infidelity stories start with some “switch” that breaks down the cheaters boundaries and gets the cheating machine whirring along. For many women, the simple act of making more money than her spouse starts the process. Why? Because her respect for her spouse just took a major hit. She WANTS to look up to him. She WANTS to brag on him. She WANTS to be able to see him as the super lover-provider combination that every woman dreams about. Since he’s a husband and a dad, his Lover qualities probably went out the window long ago. He was a Provider… now he’s not. What’s he left with? Nothing, other than an angry wife who grows resentful.

There is a phenomenon known as “hypergamy”. The terms refers to the trend of women marrying across or UP their social food chain. Women CEO’s tend to not marry garbage men, in other words. The opposite tends to not be the case for men. The male CEO will gladly marry the secretary, school teacher or cashier.

Before everyone writes me with, “Nuh uh! I’m a stay-at-home dad and my wife is a doctor and we’ve been married for a million years!” … Great. That’s awesome. I wish you were the norm. You’re not. You’re an outlier.

Back to the story…

I started working longer hours and at the same time his hours were cut so he was at home more. I really began to resent him because he was home and because he got to spend time with our kids. Most nights when I got home they were already getting ready for bed if not already sleeping. After a few months of my new job it was clear to me that things were not going well at home without me there. Some nights the dishes weren’t done when I got home or the kids hadn’t eaten or whatever else I could think of to be mad at him about. It really didn’t matter. He kept saying that he would try harder but that it was hard being home all the time. That always made me really mad.

She’s jealous. She’s angry. She is not happy being Mrs. Breadwinner. It creates a great deal of resentment in her. THIS is not what she envisioned when married. She points out that the house is not clean enough… but the truth is there’s nothing he could do to make her happy in this situation. Absolutely nothing. It’s over at this point.

For the next couple years things kept getting worse. My hours weren’t any shorter and his were on and off fulltime. There was no convenient time for him to be working full time because of my hours, but we also needed the money. Whenever he would tell me that he could get extra hours I would always complain and the less hours he worked the more I complained that he wasnt bringing in enough money. Whenever he brought up the contradiction I would tell him that he needed to figure it out. I knew that it would bother him so I started saying that a lot and for everything that I could.

Here is where she starts bluntly pushing him away. There is zero he can do to make her happy. She’s not going to tell him, “There is nothing you can do to make me happy, so just divorce me already.”  She is following the common cheating wife pattern of treating the husband with such disrespect that she actually gets more angry if he doesn’t stand up to her and divorce her (as she wants).

I really started to resent him and I pulled away from him. I knew that it was hurting him but I didnt care. If he didnt want to be hurt then he would at least try to make me happy. I used that same thing to justify when I started to talk to another guy at work. I thought he was just a friend but talking at work turned into texting at home and then pictures and videos and then trying to sneak some alone time with him. I knew that it was wrong but it made me feel so alive, and my husband had not made me feel like that in years. I was tired of being unhappy and I was doing this for me.

And here it begins. Didn’t take long. The “Must find new and better mate to procreate with” programming is off and running. The rationalizations come out in full force. I was doing this for me.”

The worst was the night that I came home at a reasonable time and found that he had cleaned the whole house, cooked the whole family dinner and picked out a movie for all of us to watch together. This would have made me swoon a couple years earlier, but that night I couldn’t even look at him and I pretended to be sick. I spent the rest of the night in bed while he waited on me and checked on me and even made me different food and brought it to me in bed. It made me feel terrible, and then it made me angry that he made me feel that way and by the end of the night I was texting with the other guy.

See? There’s absolutely nothing he could do to stop the machine from running. Nothing. This is why reconciliation and trying to “win” your wife back is so fruitless. He would be much better off if he got a head start and began the process of self-care and rebuilding. He’s wasting months and years he can’t get back.

Over the next month or two from that night it did not matter what he did. He was wrong just for breathing most days. He would get so upset with how I was treating him and I would just wait and egg him on into losing it because i knew it would happen eventually. After most of the fights we had he would apologize for whatever I told him he did wrong if there even was something, but I never did. I would usually find a way to make him feel even worse. I knew that I was right because he was wrong and that was all that mattered to me.

She’s pushing and pushing and pushing him away. This is the equivalent of kicking him in the balls and hating him for wincing in pain. She will do so until he either dies or comes to his senses.

I even pretended that I didn’t care when he found out about my relationship with the guy from work. It really destroyed me inside to see him holding back tears, but I wasnt going to let him see that. He was at his weakest and that was when I chose to tell him that I wanted a divorce. I could almost hear his heart shattering inside his chest. He talked and fought and said that we could work through it together. I really wasnt interested in fixing our marriage, but i mostly ended things with the other guy but only because i knew i could get it back if I wanted it.

The brutal coldness of the cheating wife is always astounding. In her mind, there is no human lower than the man she has deemed as, “No longer worthy of being my partner”. Their history together means absolutely nothing.

I could see that he was trying and occasionally i would let him know, but for the most part I kept being a huge bitch to him for any and all reasons that I could think of. I’m not sure how much more the man could have done to make me happy besides finding a job that paid enough for me to not have to work at all. He said that he was looking, but looking and finding are 2 different things. It was around this time that I discovered this group and a few others. I started posting things about him, from my perspective only, and I got so much positive feedback for how I was feeling that I knew I was right. The more I posted the more validation that I got. It wasn’t just me who knew that XH wasn’t worth keeping around. I had the whole internet telling me how terrible he is. I started saying awful things to him and even outright ignoring him. I was so confident with mine and everyone elses opinion that I contacted a lawyer and within a couple weeks had filed for divorce. I continued to use this site and a couple others to validate my feelings and for encouragement to go through with it, and finally it was done.

For the cheating wife, there is no shortage of validation and “You go girl!” sentiment from her friends and strangers on the internet. She can do no wrong. This drives the husband completely crazy. It’s just human nature.

It went pretty smoothly. XH didnt ask for much besides to not get divorced and to try to work it all out. I didnt care about that though. He was broken, but I was free. I could do whatever I wanted without having to feel any guilt or answer to anybody. It was an amazing feeling of freedom. It didnt last long though. In the first month after he moved out I missed garbage day 3 times. There was also rarely a single clean dish and the laundry sat in piles so long that I had to start doing the sniff test to see if it could be worn again. I also never saw my kids more miserable. My oldest had seen some of the messages from the other guy months earlier and she knew that XH still wanted to try to work it out. It didnt take her long to stop talking to me at all except to say that she wanted to go to XH house. The others all told me that they wanted to live with XH too. I did my best to try to make them happy, but I ended up just buying them toys all the time and the happiness only lasted minutes. I also was having a lot of trouble with work. Being alone I couldnt work all those extra hours that I was expected to. I finally gave in and starting calling XH to watch the kids. He would always come over as soon as he could and he always asked me if i needed anything. When I would get home I would find clean dishes and laundry and even dinner sometimes. He would never say too much after I got home. He would just say to call him if i needed anything and leave. One night he took out the garbage and brought it to the curb because it was garbage night and I forgot again. He always looked so sad when it was time to go.

Oh, God. This poor guy. This is a conditioned man. He’s been kicked in the balls and spat on for so long… and yet he still believes she is his one true love. Can you blame him? He’s been told his whole life that this is the ONE thing he was to live for. In his mind, he failed. He failed at providing and maintaining a relationship. Everyone in the world is telling her she’s “the bomb”.In his mind, everyone seems to be conspiring to tell him how worthless he is. He has to improve and NICE his way out of this… otherwise he is in fact the scum everyone is making him out to be.

Finally after a couple months my friends convinced me to go out on a date. It was for dinner and a movie and I was excited and hopeful, but at dinner I started getting a feeling of overwhelming guilt. It got so bad that I ended up not even going to the movie. A week and about a million tears later I was on a therapists couch. I told her everything that had happened starting with the promotion that I got at work. She did not agree with me or with any of the encouragment to divorce that I got. I ended up in her office 2 and sometimes 3 times a week, and the more that I talked to prove that I was right, the more that I started to see how wrong I was. It was truely heartbreaking. I dont know if I cried as much in my whole life as i did in the first month in her office.

I had a therapist tell me once, “I can’t tell you how many times cheating wives have cried on that couch telling me that they couldn’t believe what they did… that they were acting completely out of control. Those same women were the ones that ended up doing it again and again.”

After about 2 thousand dollars of therapy sessions I learned that my XH had his faults, but I figured out that mine were so much worse. I did so many awful things and said awful things that I wouldnt want to be with me, but he did. I still remember him asking me in the meeting with the lawyer to please not go through with it. I did go through with it though, and then later I bragged on here how great it felt. I was so wrong, and now I can see it.

It took $2k of therapy to elicit feelings of empathy. This is not a good thing.

A couple weeks ago I went outside with him when he was leaving the house. I asked him about getting back together. When he looked at me his eyes were full of tears and a couple went down his cheeks. He told me that he didnt know if he could. He said that the pain has been too much for too long and that if we got back together that I might just turn around and do it to him again. He said that he always thought that I would realize how much he loved me and stop up until i signed the divorce papers and let out a big over exaggerated sigh of relief. He said that hurt him more than anything else and that he doesnt know if he can ever trust me again. I dont blame him. I destroyed a man who looking back was a great husband. I deprived my kids of having a great father in the house with them and I took his kids away from him. And me, the one who pushed for the divorce expecting happiness and a life of freedom, spend all my free time sitting at home or sitting on a therapists couch.

Good for him. He’s right. There’s no way he can take her back… because he’s not sure if he can survive another heartbreak, and he knows it won’t be the only time she has feelings of doubt and ends up cheating again.

It’s in her nature. She’s a cheating wife.

Interview With A Real Dad Starting Over – “William”

This is the second in a series of interviews with REAL dads and dudes starting over in life. From each of these stories, we can learn a great deal from each other and see that we are nowhere near alone in our quest to start over.

“William” is the an example of a VERY common scenario:

  1. Little experience with women before or after his ex-wives.
  2. Comes from a broken home with an absent father figure and strong attachment to mom.
  3. Strongly attracted to women from broken families, histories of abuse and has an intense need to help them.
  4. His kind/pushover nature eventually backfires on him as he is taken advantage of the worst way by predatory women.

DSO
So, if you could, tell us your name, age, number of kids

William
William. Age 48. I have three biological children and then two who are bonus children.

DSO
Bonus children… step kids?

William
One former stepson who I am still close to and one who I discovered was not mine, but am also close to.

DSO
Oh wow. Sounds like you do have a story to tell. And what ages are the kids?

William
30, 28, 27, 24, 23. The 30, 27, and 23 year olds are mine. Yes, it’s quite a story. 23 year old is the only girl.

DSO
That poor girl! That’s a whole lot of testosterone. Married how many times?

William
Twice. Quite a story with both.

DSO
Well let’s go with ex #1, how did you two meet?

William
We met in high school. I was a basketball player and she was a track/basketball athlete. She asked me for a ride home from practice every day and one thing led to another. The 30 year old son was born my senior year.

DSO
Started early! And how about her family life? Broken family? Abuse?

William
Her parents divorced due to her father’s infidelity. There were rumors of abuse between her father and her sister, but it never went anywhere. None between my ex and her father that I’m aware of.

DSO
And your family life?

William
My dad was an abusive alcoholic to my mom. I witnessed a lot of it. They divorced when I was six. I was not abused, but I have heard rumors that my older sister was. We’ve never discussed it. We are very close though. My mom is a saint.

DSO
Looking back on the early “courtship”, did you feel a bond with your shared family “issues”?

William
Not on a conscience level I don’t think.

DSO
So senior year, your son is born. How do you cope with that? Family help?

William
Yes. I quit basketball and started sacking groceries full time. I stayed at my ex’s house and got up with the baby on weekends. My mom and my stepdad were upset at first, but extremely helpful financially and emotionally. I got a job out of high school working in the billing office at a hospital and things went okay for several years.

DSO
College?

William
I took night courses at the local Junior college. Got my Associates degree in four years. Started at the University level about the time the first marriage fell apart.

DSO
So, “went okay for several years”, when did the wheels start to fall off?

William
We were married for five years. I came home one night after running in to my childhood sweetheart at a convenience store. I came home and told my wife about it. Shortly after that she insisted that we move. We did. As it turned it we were living caddy corner from her boyfriend’s apartment. At the time, I had no suspicion that anything was going on.

DSO
Oh, so the prompting for the move, in your mind at that time, was your surprise meeting with the childhood sweetheart?

William
Yes and no. I feel she used that as a justification in her mind, but she was already planning to set herself up with Plan B (him) in case Plan A (me) didn’t work out.

DSO
She was already in the middle of an affair with Plan B by that time… and for how long at that point (the move)?

William
I feel that it had been going on for several months before the move, but I have no proof. The fact that we moved in so close to his place was not a coincidence in my mind.

DSO
Oh… so not only did she want to move, but she had the specific place already picked out… right across from Plan B. Gotcha.

William
Yes. Again, just a theory.

DSO
Well that was ballsy of her. So when did you discover the affair?

William
After the move, she insisted we should separate. I moved in with my mom with the idea that we would work it out. She would give me no reason for the separation, just needed “space”. I went back to our place and discovered a note to him on the door. I don’t remember what it said, but the implications were clear. I started moving my stuff out that night.

DSO
Sorry to hear that… and pretty textbook. So now you have a son and a cheating wife. Was divorce pretty soon after?

William
Oh that’s where it gets crazy. We had two sons at that time. She came to me a week after I moved out and told me she was pregnant. I told her I thought it wasn’t mine. The state of Oklahoma would not allow me to divorce her while she was pregnant. They also told me that I not only had to prove the baby was not mine, but I also had to prove whose the baby was or I would be held financially responsible for it. I was not allowed to divorce her because the baby had to remain a product of the marriage in case the true father was not found.

DSO
Oh, no way. Wow. Are the laws still the same to this day in OK?

William
It took a year and a half for all the prelim crap to get done and the divorce to be granted.
I don’t know. I live in Colorado now and haven’t been married for 16 years. Doubt I ever will again.

DSO
So eventually you prove the child is not yours AND you find the father?

William
Yes. It didn’t take too much detective work on my part.

DSO
I know I’m getting into specifics here… but this whole “state forcing the non-father to pay” thing always amazes me…. What was the process for proving the paternity? Did the suspected father have to go through testing? Or did he/they just confess?

William
I had to subpoena the blood from the baby as well as the suspected father. The fact that she was able to just keep the truth to herself and hope for the best has always stuck a burr in my saddle. She was not asked to testify or anything.

DSO
She knew she had the state on her side. Okay, so… two bio kids, one that is with her lover, and you are divorced. Does kid #3 have a relationship with bio dad?

William
Yes, but he always came over to my house with his brothers. Birthday parties, sleep overs, etc. He is currently getting his PhD and will be married in May. I’m invited to the wedding. He says his father is a 50/50 bet on whether he will show up.

DSO
Well, good for you and him both. Sticking with wife #1 for now. Looking back… any red flags through the short relationship?

William
Yes. She was my first, but she was known to have slept with a lot of boys in high school. I had some friends who warned me about her, but I didn’t listen.

DSO
You’re not the first and certainly not the last with that story. If you didn’t get her pregnant while in high school, would you have married her?

William
Her best friend got pregnant about the same time she did too. I think that was part of the plan.

Definitely not. I was trying to “do the right thing”. I wish I’d have been told by an older male role model that I didn’t have to marry her. Don’t know if it would have changed my mind, but it would have made the divorce decision come a lot faster.

DSO
And how soon after was kid #2?

William
Kid 1 was born 1987. We were married in 1988. Kid 2 was born 1991. We split up in 1993. Kid 3 (not mine) was born 1994.

DSO
Was #2 another “oops”?

William
No. He was planned. Maybe just a “trying to do the right thing” thing again. I am very close to my sons though. We have a lot of fun together.

DSO
That’s great. Did you have a fair co-parenting/custody sharing plan from the beginning?

William
Yes. But I was very busy working full time and going to college so I didn’t get to see them 50/50. That as used against me when it came time to calculate support, which makes no sense. I was doing my part when I had them.

DSO
And how has ex #1’s life gone since your split?

William
She married and divorced the guy she was sleeping with. She has just been released from the county jail and into a halfway house. Her and her new boyfriend were convicted on trafficking meth through the mail.

DSO
Wow. I’d say that’s a pretty low point in life. So how long after #1 did you meet #2?

William
I was sitting in a class in 1993 thinking about the aforementioned childhood sweetheart from before. All I knew of was where she worked, Wal-Mart. So I left class, drove to Wal-Mart and sure enough, there she was working the front. She took a break and I filled her in on my situation. She showed me evidence that her husband was physically abusing her. I told her that I didn’t want to wreck her marriage, but that if they broke up, I would like to give us a try. We began an affair, and she became pregnant with my daughter. There was and is no doubt that the child was/is mine.

So I guess it was only a matter of three months or so.

DSO
Wow. You weren’t wasting any time. Ran right into the arms of another broken one. Also not uncommon.

William
Haha. Oh ya.

DSO
So, the first red flag is obviously “I was abused” and “I am willing to have an affair and get pregnant”… what other red flags did gal #2 have? How about her family life?

William
Her mother was a mean bitch. I remembered it from my childhood. Nothing had changed in the years that followed. She was a tom boy and an athlete from the time we met, age 13, all the way through high school. She actually told me after she divorce her first husband that she never wanted to marry again. I was so happy we were together that I didn’t mind. We were living together and we had a daughter. My two sons, my bonus son, and her son were with us most of the time once I finished college. We were making the blended family work. She never initiated sex though. I thought she was submissive, but as it turned out she was hiding a deeper secret. Queue suspenseful music…

DSO
So… in hindsight do you feel she grasped onto you as a way out of marriage #1?

William
Yes. I also feel that she knew she could get away with what she had planned next because of what had happened in my previous marriage. I may be paranoid, but that doesn’t make me wrong.

DSO
So, she gets pregnant… how long after did you marry?

William
She approached me two years later in 1997 and asked, “Why haven’t you asked me to marry you?” and I said, “Because you said you didn’t want to get married.” and she said, “Well, we might as well. I mean, look at all these kids in our house.” and I said, “Okay”. Shortly after, I called the kids into the living room and I proposed to her. We eloped to Colorado and were married on Christmas Eve, 1997 in Aspen.

DSO
And after marriage… how long until the big bomb drop?

William
June, 2003 she told me she was leaving me. She didn’t say why at the time. We had just made our first payment on a new house.

DSO
Wow. What was the process after that? Did you start investigating?

William
I take that back. She told me she was leaving in April and the truth about why came out in June.

I helped her move into her own apartment. I told the landlord I needed a key since I was on the lease. When she took her son to the movies one night, I went to her apartment and found a journal. In it, she confessed her love to her new girlfriend who lived two states away and she revealed her plan to move there as soon as she could.

DSO
Wow.

William
It was shortly after that she admitted she was gay. She never told me of her intention to move. She intended to abandon us.

DSO
You were helping her move into an apartment that she planned on leaving soon?

William
Yes.

DSO
And her plan was to leave you and the kid?

William
Yes. and my stepson with his father.

DSO
Oh wow. How did she meet the girlfriend?

William
Work. The GF had moved away in order to prevent wrecking our marriage, or so the story goes.

DSO
I see. Did the wife later admit she always KNEW she was gay, or this was something she discovered later in life?

William
She said that she had always known she was gay. She said no man was ever going to touch her again and that her whole life had been a lie. She was celebrated for now “living her truth”. The fact that she had discovered it at the expense of so many lives was swept under the rug.

Maybe not discovered it, but verified it. Found the courage to admit it to herself. However you look at it.

DSO
And she has remained in the new lifestyle since then?

William
Yes. She has a GF now that she met when she was 45 and the GF was 17. Also something for which she has never been held accountable.

DSO
WOW. Well, this is usually the case in these relationship dramas. The damsels in distress will get the adulation… You’ll just go crazy trying to understand it.
So, how soon after the bomb drop did you divorce?

William
It took four and a half years. When I would go to court, the judge would give her additional time to appear even though she had left the state. Once I got Oklahoma DHS to start garnishing her paycheck for child support did she finally show up and the divorce was granted. She also got custody arrangements changed and once she paid her back child support, I had to start paying her. I raised my daughter for five years without help from her and then she came in and got what she wanted.

She moved back to Oklahoma and started playing “supermom”

DSO
Wow. That seems to be the them for this story: “Wow” She moved back to OK… and the kids went to live with her?

William
Haha. I’m 16 years out and I still can’t believe it.

By the time she came back, my daughter was 13. She wanted to know her mom and asked if it was okay if she lived with her. I helped my daughter move. There’s nothing I wouldn’t do for her. it is a fact that if not for her, I wouldn’t be alive. We are very close today. So part of what the gay ex got was what I allowed her to have for the sake of my daughter.

DSO
And she stayed with her for all of her teens?

William
Yes. But again, I would meet her for breakfast before school and I would have her and her friends over when she wanted. My gay ex knew I would do anything for my daughter too, which of course she used to her advantage.

DSO
And her relationship with your daughter today?

William
They are good. One year after I left OK for CO, my daughter followed me though. All of my biological children have left OK and moved closer to me, much to their mothers’ dismay I’m sure.

My daughter and her mother visit occasionally. I have no contact with her mother. We haven’t spoken in years.

DSO
So after the second divorce… have you had any relationships? Dating?

William
My first relationship after the gay ex (both wives were my first and second) I had an affair with the minister’s wife. She divorced her husband to marry me, but I told her I wasn’t going to marry again. That ended our relationship poorly. Had a GF for about three months in 2007 or so. She broke up with me because I told her I didn’t plan on marrying again. I don’t date at all now. I work hard and do my own thing.

DSO
There does appear to be a pattern here… not to play psychologist… and I don’t mean to overstep my bounds.
1. Being attracted to broken women
2. Ignoring red flags and jumping into serious relationships with broken women.
3. Pursuing relationships with women who are already attached to others.
Sounds like you nipped #2 in the bud and stopped the marriage train.

William
If I had to self-psychoanalyze, I’d say that I have a bit of a hero complex after seeing my mom take some hellacious beatings and not being big enough to stop it. I did not grow up to be an abuser. But instead I grew up allowing myself to be used. I didn’t stand up for myself. Now I do. I am fine on my own. I’d love to meet someone who would love me, but it is not a priority.

DSO
Did you have a close relationship with your mom? Almost a surrogate spouse to her?

William
Yes. She is a retired nurse and an absolute hero.

I’m about out of time. I wanted to plug the Straight Spouse Network. It is a support group among those who may have married homosexuals either knowingly or unknowingly. They are at www.Straightspouse.org. They have been very healing for me over the last couple of years.

DSO
Thank you for sharing your story!

William
You’re Welcome. Keep up the good work.

Interview With A Real Dad Starting Over – “Pete”

This is a first in a series of interviews with REAL dads and dudes starting over in life. From each of these stories, we can learn a great deal from each other and see that we are nowhere near alone in our quest to start over.

“Pete” is the perfect example of a guy who had very little self-worth combined with the all-consuming need to find “the one” to settle down and grow old with. When you combine the two, it can be a complete disaster.

DSO: Okay, so to start with… if you could, tell us who you are, how old, kids, etc..

Pete: I’m Pete. I’m 35 years old. Have 3 boys.

DSO: You gave me a little bit of you story before this interview… Are you technically still married as of right now?

Pete: Yes, technically still married at this point but have been separated since January 2017. Tried to reconcile this year, only lasted about 3 months and then I walked away for good. I had started over last year and I was in a really good place. All that went away during time period of trying to reconcile and that’s what made me realize it was time to let go and now for a second time I’m starting over again. 

DSO: Sorry to hear that. How did you and your wife first meet?

Pete: We met through her cousin that I was friends with. 

DSO: Did you have much experience with women prior to meeting her?

Pete: I had been in 3 or 4 relationships prior to her and had been casually dating a few other women but nothing real serious. 

DSO: And how about her family? Did she have a stable family life? Mom and dad in the picture?

Pete: Her parents had divorced when she was 12 and her dad remarried but her mom did not until this year. Her dad and grandmother raised her after the divorce 

DSO: Oh, interesting. Why was mom out of the picture?

Pete: She gave up rights because of a violent incident that occurred with her boyfriend and my wife and her brother. So, her dad got custody of them two. 

DSO: Did her mom cheat on dad with the bad guy?

Pete: It’s crazy because her mom had another daughter by the boyfriend after high school. It didn’t work out and then she met my wife’s dad and they had two kids together being my wife and her brother. Yes, she did cheat. 

DSO: Oh wow… Mom had some serious issues. So, looking back now on your relationship, were there warning signs/red flags with your wife and her behavior?

Pete: Yes. There were the violent outbursts towards me and the kids. There was a lot of secretive stuff on her cell phone. All this started happening in 2016 after our third son was born. Before that there was one or two instances where she would just pack up the kids and leave for 3 weeks the first time then 3 months the second time taking our boys with her. After she had come back both times there was messages on her phone from a guy she knew talking about what they had done and that he better not have told anyone about it. I confronted her about it each time and she just blamed me for it. 

DSO: Wow… your wife just took off with the kids for long periods of time? Sounds like kidnapping.

Pete: No, she would use a PFA each time making up stuff then dropping the PFA when we would go to court because I could prove the statements to be false that were made against me. Second time she left I didn’t see my two older boys for 3 weeks then got a visitation schedule through court with help from my attorney. 

DSO: PFA?

Pete: Yeah here they have a PFA or protection from abuse order that can be filed in family court. Don’t have to have any proof of anything they are easy to get. I have 3 that I have filed on her as well. With pictures and documents proving my statements. That’s why 95 percent of them don’t stick because there has to be proof beyond a reasonable suspicion to get one. 

To stick you have to go in front of a commissioner. 

DSO:  Oh, I see. So… if I understand the timeline correctly, she had claimed abuse and ran off with the kids (and to another man), returned, and this was before your third child came into the picture. After third child, she became more secretive and violent. Correct?

Pete: Yes. 

DSO: Well, this begs the question… Why stick around with her during all this?

Pete: Because I loved her, and I wanted our boys to have us together around them. Looking back at it now that should have been my turning point and that’s when I should have started over, but I wouldn’t have my youngest son if I had of left then and I wouldn’t change having him for the world. 

DSO: Understandable. Circling back…. How about YOUR family past? Any issues there? Mom and dad in the picture?

Pete: Yes, my mom and dad have been there the whole time for me and for her when we got married. They have seen all the ups and downs we had. They gave us a place to live for a few years because we couldn’t make it on our own with having our first two kids 12 months apart. 

DSO: Were they aware of all the issues you had, and did they ever suggest you leave?

Pete: They were witness to just about all of what happened. After a couple years we built an apartment and moved into that and out of their house. Thinking that it would make things better and it did for a couple years. 

DSO: Your thought was that the living arrangement brought about her behavior? Too close to parents?

Pete: She always blamed my parents for everything. Once they were out of the picture and it was just us then everything turned to being blamed on me then because no one was around, and she knew whatever she said happened couldn’t be refuted and it was just my word against hers with no witnesses like when we lived with Mom and Dad. Yes, that was her excuse that we were too close to my parents. They were the only ones that offered to help us out.

DSO: Was she ever formally diagnosed or under any kind of mental health care?

Pete: No, she would never get any kind of help and I offered that multiple times she would say ok then when I would schedule appointments she would cancel and say that I was the one that had all the problems. Nothing was wrong with her. It was all put on me. 

DSOHey, you tried. WAY more than most would do, I would say. So… back to after the birth of the third child. What was the tipping point that made you say “Enough”?

Pete: After finally being able to buy a house together and moving in with each other to work out the differences between us this year. The tipping point was the lies she would make up and then she would go and stay gone for 10-12 hours at a time saying she fell asleep along the side of the road or that she fell asleep at a parking lot when she was at other guys’ houses with them and meeting other guys out at different places. The last time she was caught at a guy’s house sleeping with him and when I asked her about it she told me 4 different stories and I told her I was done it’s over I know your lying about everything. I can’t do this anymore. 

DSO: Wow. Was there ever a “She’s behaving just like her mom” moment… either from you or from herself?

Pete: No. Her dad did make a suggestion of the behavior being the same. Only he didn’t understand why she was being with all the different guys. 

DSO: I was going to ask if her dad ever pulled you aside and warned you.  I have an article I wrote on my site called “Baggage” that I think fits your wife perfectly. If you don’t make constant corrections in life, you WILL end up acting out your baggage. You saw that firsthand, unfortunately.

Pete: The other tipping point for me was the physical abuse on the kids from her. Once I saw that started then everything just fell into place with what I needed to do. And yes, unfortunately I did see that. 

DSO: Have you begun the divorce process? Does she still have contact with the children?

Pete: I have the paperwork filled out and turned in to my attorney. Right now, she has minimal contact because she was evicted from the house we had bought for not paying. So, the kids live with me full time in the apartment that I had built. 

DSO: I’m glad to hear they are safe. So, you have a long road ahead of you with the whole divorce process still… This is all still very fresh

Pete: Yes, a long road for sure. It was June of this year when I walked away for good. 

I had moved on last year got saved gave my life to Christ and became more of the man that I always was supposed to be by living a life for god and my boys. I’ve learned a lot about myself through this whole process so far and I realize now it wasn’t worth the heartache and having to start over again. 

DSO: Good for you.  Before wrapping this up… the big question: What was it about you that REALLY kept you in the relationship. That’s not something you have to answer now, but it’s the big picture that every guy in your shoes needs to answer, or else you’ll do it all over again. And no… you can’t just say, “I am a good guy, and I loved her.” That’s a copout. 

Pete: I wanted to have that marriage that when we turned 80 we could sit in the front porch holding hands and say we made it. Everyone doubted our marriage from the start and I thought I had met the woman I would be with forever. And I never really knew my worth as a man and how I should really be treated but after going through the years of abuse and narcissistic actions towards me I now know that I stayed out of fear of not being with my boys, making sure they were safe and taken care of, and lastly because I was afraid of losing her to the point I lost myself and no woman is worth that unless they are willing to do the same for you. 

DSO: What was it about HER that made you so sure she was “the one”, in spite of everyone and everything tell you the opposite?

Pete: The first time I met her it was like we were the only two people that were around like everyone else just diminished into the background. We just clicked instantly. That was the only time so far I’ve ever had butterflies in my stomach.  I just knew she was the one. 

DSO: So, you had serious physical chemistry. 

Pete: Sparks flew definitely. 

DSO: Typically, men that are so drawn to broken women in such a way have broken moms themselves. Or, they have little experience with women… Which is why I ask.

Ok, so where do you see yourself five years from now?

Pete: In five years, I see myself living life to the fullest with my boys. Buying a nice house for them and I. And to not be looking for anything or anyone. I know that in due time God has an ultimate plan for my life and for my boys and as long as I stay true and honor him, my blessings will come when least expected. 

DSO: Thank you so much for taking the time to share, and LAST bit of advice… Don’t you DARE take that woman back, Pete. 🙂

Pete: Definitely not doing that again. 

DSO: Good. All my best to you and the boys. Thanks again!

How to Detach From Your Cheater Ex-Wife

A popular question I get from time to time:

“How can I move on and get over my wife?”

Let’s first look at what it is that men are talking about exactly when they ask for help “getting over” their ex (or soon to be ex-wife).

What they really mean is, “How can I break this addiction?”

Make no mistake about it, you are mentally and physically addicted to your wife. She has been in your little world for YEARS and every facet of your life has her stamp on it. From your daily routine, your kids, vacations, hobbies, etc… she’s there. She’s another limb on your body. For that to suddenly GO AWAY is not a little thing.

It’s traumatic.

Just like trying to break substance abuse, getting over your ex is a big F’ing deal and one that makes your body and brain naturally scream, “Now, hold on a second. Wait… Let’s talk about this first.” 

But just like with drugs, when you finally get over the hump and break that connection and start the real healing process… you’re left with this overwhelming sense of regret. “Why didn’t I stop drinking years ago? I feel so much better. God, what a waste of life that was.” 

Feel Horrible -> Get over the hump -> Begin rebuilding -> Feel a million times better than before.

So… how do you do it? How do you get over the hump?

Well… You just do it.

Sorry, there’s no magic formula here. I can only tell you what makes the disconnect happen faster (cutting as much contact as humanly possible and keeping busy), but It’s still up to you to make that first step and put down that proverbial bottle and not pick it up again. It’s up to you to call the attorney and get your ducks in a row and figure out the steps for an amicable divorce and moving away from her so you can rebuild.

The two rules of recovery:

1, You cannot rebuild while you are in the presence of your ex-wife.

2. You cannot overcome the grief if you are in regular contact with your ex-wife.

You cannot overcome alcohol addiction by having just a little shot of whiskey here and there. It’s the same damn thing.

You absolutely have to break contact with her. Completely. Cold turkey.

“But… we have kids.”

Then your contact should be kept to brief logistical text messages. “Making sure you’re getting kids after school today. I will swing by and get them at 6:00. Thanks.” or “Tommy has strep throat. Got meds from doc. He’ll be ok in a couple of days. I’ll stay home from work with him.”

No personal talk. No casual chats. No friendliness.

If she texts “How are you doing?”, you ignore.

If she calls, you don’t answer the phone.

If she shows up at your place, you don’t answer the door.  If she refuses to leave, you call the police.

If she bad-mouths you to the kids, you don’t respond. You let it go. You let your actions do the talking. You be the best dad in the universe and never say a bad word about mom to your kids. Ever. They will just internalize that negativity and think less of themselves. Your positive energy will pay dividends years down the line.

See, you can’t interact with or bad-mouth a ghost. “A ghost?” Yes… she’s a ghost. Why do I call her a ghost? Because…

SHE IS DEAD.

The woman you knew and loved doesn’t exist. She was an imaginary friend. You think fondly of your memories, but that’s all there is. Memories. Chapter closed. Movie over. You move on. Just like you do when a loved one dies. You didn’t sit around and cry for days on end when Uncle Bob passed away. You attended the funeral, you mourned with family, and you moved on. Bob is in the ground. Life kept going on without him.

In the case of your wife leaving you, you do much the same.

You get busy. You stay away from women for a while.  You focus on yourself. If you are not with the kids, you are Mr. Selfish. You only worry about yourself and what you can do to improve. The gym is your new temple.

IT WILL SUCK.

You will feel HORRIBLE for a little while. You don’t have your drug, after all. What makes it worse is that your drug is RIGHT THERE and only a phonecall or text away.  All you gotta do is answer the door when she cries on your doorstep, and you have your immediate shot of heroin.

You will just go right back to where you started.

Most men know all this stuff. They know you just have to get away from the broken woman for good, but most men don’t want to. They know how much the process will suck. They don’t want to give up the warm, comfortable feeling of familiarity that their drug provides. They don’t want to go into withdrawal and vomit all over the place while having delusions of a dead baby crawling on the ceiling (Trainspotting reference… awesome movie).

These guys are just scared and understandably so.

MOST THINGS IN LIFE THAT ARE WORTH DOING REQUIRE A SCARY LEAP OF FAITH.

Just fucking do it. Get help if you need to. Talk it out with friends. But make no mistake… you NEED to do it. If not, you will slowly die on the inside. It’s as simple as that. You don’t want to be 98 years old and sitting in a chair taking your last breath and saying to yourself, “Why didn’t I just fucking leave? God, I was so stupid. What a waste.”

That’s regret. You don’t want regret. There’s nothing worse.

ARE YOU WORTH IT?

Maybe that’s the crux of your problem. Maybe you feel you’re not WORTH anything better than a cheating wife. Be honest with yourself. Is that it? Maybe you need to dig deeper down into your past and figure out why exactly it is that you: 1. Were attracted to a woman like this to begin with, 2. Stayed with her even though there were lots of red flags, and 3. Tried to stay with her after the bomb drop of infidelity was discovered.

Why the hell aren’t you worth better? Did your wife’s mental issues and gaslighting convince you that you were a crazy, worthless husband? Did family constantly remind you of how lucky you were to be with a woman like her? Does your family now pressure you to stay and keep the family unit together?

Fuck ‘Em.

Seriously. Fuck all of ’em. Crabs in a bucket. They’re all dragging you down, my man. Get out. Move on. You can be whatever the hell you want to be. Do you want to be the guy that people say, “Awwww… I feel so sorry for him” when they see you picking up your kids from school? Or do you want to be the guy that makes them say, “That guy over there… the cute one? His wife left him and then he just totally changed. He’s got like five girlfriends now. Seriously. My sister dated him. He’s a really good dad, actually. Very cool guy.”

Sound stupid and far-fetched? It’s not. Could very well be you…. You just need to take that first step.

Books

Read. Learn something. It makes you less dumb.

“My Wife Wants An Open Marriage”

More and more I’m seeing the topic of “Open Marriages” come up from men online. Unlike what many people may think, it’s not the men making the case for sleeping with other women, but rather husbands caught off guard by what they thought was a seemingly happy wife pushing them to “allow” her to have sex with other men. “Hey,” the wife explains, “You can have sex with other women now, too!”

The man is confused, scared, angry… and yet… intrigued.

But we’re getting ahead of ourselves. Let’s dive into the nitty gritty of this alternative lifestyle choice and why it is now so much out in the open and what it means for YOU.

The concept of an “open” marriage is not a new one. Two people being together in marriage but open to sex with others has been around (but kpt hush-hush) since… well… forever. It wasn’t until the 1972 book Open Marriage: A New Life Style for Couples came out that a how-to guide for these adventuresome couples was created and the concept further thrusted into popular culture. This was in the midst of a huge sexual revolution in America… the 60’s and 70’s. The baby boomers were challenging, well… everything. If it was “normal” it was “a drag”. Is there an institution that is more “normal” than good old-fashioned marriage?

Let’s not confuse people in open marriages with swingers. Unlike swingers, open marriage couples have fun without the other partner. Swingers go to parties together and possibly have sex with others in front of their partner. People in an open marriage go out and have dates and casual sex without the presence of the marriage partner.

What do the two have in common? Both are very strict about one rule: “We are married. We are partners. We are primarily with each other. Doing things with others is just sex. It’s just fun. That’s it. Our communication is always open and we do everything to avoid the complications of becoming attached to others outside of our marriage.”

As with most things in life, it ain’t that easy. This is especially true when sex is involved.

With the 1980’s came the Reagan era and AIDS. The party was over. Studio 54 emptied out, the bathhouses closed up shop and the sexually adventurous all got scared and went home. People they loved were dying and relationships were falling apart left and right. Hey… maybe boring monogamous marriage is ok after all? Seems to be a lot less trouble, at least.

The authors of Open Marriage: A New Life Style for Couples, reassessed things and came out with the follow-up book called The Marriage Premise. They conducted follow-up interviews with couples they spotlighted in their first book… and it wasn’t pretty. Most of the couples were not honest with each other about their extramarital affairs (so much for open communication and not getting feelings involved), and as a consequence, most of the marriages did not survive. The authors were upset that so many people took the concept of “open marriage” and defined it as “go out and have sex with whoever, there are no consequences”. They saw the concept more as “be individuals that have experiences outside of the marriage… oh, and that might mean sex with others, too.” Understandably, everyone saw “SEX WITH OTHERS” and went hog wild.

Wow. Who saw that coming?

Fast forward to today, and the social climate has changed dramatically since the 70’s. Women are more powerful than ever. They are the majority of our university students, they occupy high levels in the corporate world and they have stay-at-home husbands that take care of their kids.

With all these changes comes dramatic shifts in our relationship dynamics.

Many men point at times like the 1950’s as the Shangri la of marriage past. The man works and the wife stays home and cares for the kids. Divorce rates were much lower. Everything just clicked into place. What they fail to mention is that women weren’t necessarily happy with the situation, but the social pressure and lack of financial options may have left them trapped in unfulfilling marriages. She could divorce and be a broke social pariah… or stick it out and raise a family and try to enjoy life.

Both the social and the economic barriers to divorce have been broken down. Women now file for 70% of all divorces… even higher if she is college-educated.

Today we have a pervasive theme that has both good and bad repercussions. That theme is a deadly combo of “you go girl” and “you deserve it all”. When society tells you that your nagging feelings of doubt and unfulfillment are not only legitimate but can and SHOULD also be acted upon… well, that can be a recipe for disaster for the unsuspecting husband.

To summarize: We’re seeing a rise in women telling their husbands: “I would like to go out and test the waters to see what else is out there… but I don’t want to blow up this comfortable marriage we have going on here. At least, not until I know I have a for sure thing lined up. Cool?” In the past, this would result in a one-way ticket to DivorceTown, USA and a lifetime of social shame and financial struggle.

Today, it’s an empowering statement and realization of her own sexuality.

I did a search for “Open Marriage” and saw article after article that came up with the same basic conclusion:

“You know… maybe an open marriage isn’t such a bad idea.”

Is the cultural zeitgeist shifting? Is society overall more open and accepting of relationships that fall outside of the monogamous template we’ve known all these generations?

No. Actually, if the General Social Survey is to be believed, people today are more intolerant of sexual relationships outside of marriage than they were back in the free and sexy 70’s.

These articles weren’t based on research of hundreds of couple interviews with thousands of data points to digest. No, they stopped at, “She felt trapped, she wanted something more, she heard about open marriage and wanted to try it… and that’s ok.”  To say that Sally’s thoughts and feeling MAY NOT be 100% A-OK and could actually be destructive to the relationship would go against the much larger and more inclusive/progressive theme of “Anything goes… no judging here… be free.” In other words, telling Sally “Well, that’s a stupid thing to ask. Perhaps you’re just not cut out for marriage.” results in being labeled an oppressive misogynist.

Maybe we’re jumping the gun here and assuming the worst. These are genuine feelings that Sally and thousands of other women like her are experiencing on a regular basis. Maybe the strict confines of a traditional marriage are too much to bear. Hey, men always want to sleep around, right? They like porn and strip clubs and other outlets for their sexuality. That’s the equivalent of cheating in many women’s eyes. Maybe it’s time women tried out a more sexually free lifestyle. Life is short. Why be miserable?

Maybe your wife has genuine sexual desire that she feels can’t be confined to your one-on-one relationship. Maybe THAT’s why your sex life is so dull. Maybe she just feels trapped. Maybe she absolutely still loves you and her sleeping around will go on for years and years and you two will continue to grow closer and closer emotionally and live happily ever after.

It’s possible, sure.

I’ve never seen it play out like that.

In fact, based on what I have seen again and again, I feel confident enough to say:

A wife asking for an open marriage signals the beginning of the end of the marriage. She’s breaking up with you.

The wife is so confident in her ability to dictate the rules of the relationship (she lost respect for you long ago), that she tells you she wants to have sex with other men but still keep you around for the other non-sexual resources she needs.

She is bluntly telling you, You are a great Provider, but I need more Lover. Don’t go anywhere. Not yet, anyway. I need you for all that non-Lover stuff right now.”

I can’t think of anything more hurtful to a man, to be honest. Your wife is, in essence, leaving the romantic relationship… and telling you to put your feelings on hold right now while she figures things out.

Why is she doing this?

More than likely, this means that another relationship candidate has already been lined up. She would normally just have an affair behind your back… but that can get messy. This absolves her of any guilt or shame. It also keeps the logistics of her life in order until she can figure things out.

The wife is not stupid. She knows that asking “Can I sleep around?” will probably be met with “Are you out of your god damned mind?” So, she says what all women in this position say:

“You know, you can have sex with other women, too!”

Before she can finish the sentence, the dumb husband is already fantasizing about that one girl at the gym, that one cashier at the grocery store and that chick that smiled at him that one time at his kid’s basketball game.

Men can be so delusional.

He envisions a buffet of hot women at his disposal. A veritable conga line of hoohah ready for him to sample whenever he likes. This will be the sex life he has always fantasized about! It’ll be just like porn!

But, wait… that means his wife has sex with other men. That’s not good. Oh well… he can deal with that jealousy when it comes. The buffet awaits. This will be amazing.

TRUTH: THE FANTASY RARELY, IF EVER, PANS OUT FOR THE MAN.

You and your wife are living in two completely different worlds. Even if you look amazing, you’re charming, you talk a great game and have lots of cash to use on your dates… your success in dating will pale in comparison to your wife’s.

She’s going to get laid. A lot. You will not. It’s just that simple.

If you were the type of guy that could go out and get laid so easily, your wife probably wouldn’t be asking for an open marriage.

Fast forward to six months after you agree to the new arrangement, and you have a grand total of one woman that you had a series of dates with and one awful night of sex. It probably turned you off from the whole idea completely, but you don’t dare tell the wife. You innately know that your lack of success in dating will paint you as a lower status than her. That will be extremely unattractive.

Your wife, on the other hand, had many steamy nights of sex with the one guy she had already begun a relationship with. That didn’t work out, so she cried in the arms of another guy she kinda knew… a friend of a friend… and that resulted in a two-month affair that also fizzled out. While she was out with her girlfriends drinking her sorrows away, she met two more men she exchanged numbers with and ended up having sex with them both over the next two weeks.

You get the idea. Not the same ballgame. Combine a world of desperately horny men and a wife with zero boundaries and her new “I get to have sex guilt-free” card, and you are in for a world of trouble.

Please keep in mind one important thing: What your wife is doing is NOT just enjoying casual sex with zero interest in commitment. She is most likely looking for a replacement partner. Something or somebody pushed her buttons and her “must procure new mate” programming is off and running. She is back on the market and she won’t stop until she gets the guy that will check all the boxes. That’s when you’ll get the crying wife at home apologizing and telling you that she didn’t MEAN to fall in love with this guy, but it just happened.

There MAY be women out there who can casually date and have sex outside of the marriage and be completely unfazed and return home to husband with zero attachment to the other man. I have never seen nor have I ever heard about this scenario playing out successfuly. I just don’t feel that the majority of women are wired for such an arrangement.