Dear DSO: “My wife cheated and my whole world has changed.”

Estimated Reading Time: 5 minutes

Dear DSO:

Fourteen months ago I found out that my wife was cheating on me with a family friend. His dad was childhood friends with my dad. I’ve known him my whole life. We weren’t super close, but we saw each other pretty often during holidays and family outings. 

Like you mentioned in another post I found messages on her phone that she forgot to delete. When I found out about the affair, they had already been seeing each other for eight months. It took that long for her to slip up and forget to cover her tracks. She was an expert at lying. It’s been over a year now and I still can’t wrap my head around what happened. I know you talk about not trying to make sense of it and just let her go, but this is just the worst thing that has ever happened to me. My whole world has changed and I have no idea what I did to deserve any of this.

When I found out about the affair I confronted new friend/affair partner and things got physical. I punched him. He punched me back. The police were called. I was told to leave and two days later was told that she took out a protection order against me. My brother is an attorney and he said it wasn’t that big of a deal. It just means to stay away from her and that was probably a good idea. On top of the protection order, she was also telling everyone that I have been abusive and terrible to her the entire marriage. This is not true in any way. I’ve never done anything to hurt her. Ever. If anything I’ve been way too nice and a typical happy wife happy life kind of guy. She doesn’t care at all. All she cares about is getting me out of the picture so that she can move on with our “friend”. 

Now I have people that I have known for years that won’t talk to me. They won’t even look at me. They’re all convinced that I’m an abuser. Getting in a fight with him probably didn’t help my cause. She has told everyone that he is the sweet and kind man she always dreamed of and me punching him is proof that she needs to keep me away for her own safety. He’s the first person I’ve ever punched and probably the last.

We don’t have any kids. I’m told this will make the divorce a lot quicker and easier, but that’s not comforting at all. Even with all of this, there’s still a part of me that loves her. She was my best friend. We did everything together. I loved her more than anyone has ever loved another person. How can she just change like this? It doesn’t make any sense. One minute we’re talking about having our first kid, getting a bigger house and taking our dog to the vet and the next minute I’m seeing text messages on her phone and she’s done. 

Today would’ve been our sixth year anniversary. I just want to run away from all of this and start over somewhere new, but I have no other job prospects and I’ve been told to stay put for now until the whole divorce is over. I’m going to have to dig into my savings and may end up paying her money or buying out my part of the house. 

Thanks for listening and thanks for your website. 

Jamie

Jamie,

I can feel your pain, brother. This is still fresh and the divorce hasn’t been finalized yet. None of this is making much sense and nor should it… because it’s complete nonsense. Just know that the simple truth: Your wife caught feelings for another man and subsequently had to drop you. That’s it. She detached from you and attached to another. Since you didn’t go quietly into the night like she expected, she has to punish you to more forcefully push you away. That means a protection order, telling lies about you, and probably more and more negativity in the days to come. This is not “normal” behavior for a wayward wife, but it is far from unusual. Cheating men tend to slither away in shame or go super stoic and avoid any shows of emotion… cheating women tend to become psychotic, blame everyone around them, and mold the situation to their benefit. Remember, their social status is of utmost importance, so if she has to lie her way out of the situation, she will.

You also lashed out physically against the man she is now deeply in love with. You’re lucky you got a protection order and not a knife in the back… or worse. No more physical confrontations. It doesn’t solve anything, as you have learned. It just makes things exponentially worse.

On a more scientific note, if I did the math right… her affair came around the four year mark of your marriage. The fourth year is, in fact,  the most common for childless couples to file for divorce. As you probably now know, most of the time it’s the woman doing the filing. 

So where do you go from here? I think you’re on the right track with the “running away” idea, to be honest. Scrape some cash together, put pen to paper and figure out a plan for how you can move far away from there and never look back. Are you running from the situation? Yep. There’s nothing wrong with that. No kids. Wow, you are lucky. F those “friends” of yours, too. If they can’t see through her BS, then F em’ all. Move on. Start planning today. Sell everything. You can start over and be whoever the hell you want to be, my friend.

The quicker you physically get away and begin the process of “starting over”, the quicker your attachment to your ex will weaken and you will be a new and improved man. 

I’m biased, but I recommend you check out my book “Now What? A Guide for Men Starting Over in Life After Infidelity, Breakup and Divorce.” It was pretty much written for men exactly in your position.  

Good luck to you. Get through the divorce process, take stock of your life, put a plan together and carry it out. You can do it. If you need some words of encouragement, join the Facebook group and the private men-only group to talk to guys in your shoes. You are not alone.

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Dear DSO: “I feel like I need a wife.”

Estimated Reading Time: 5 minutes

Dear DSO:

I read your book (Now What? A Guide for Men Starting Over in Life After Infidelity, Breakup and Divorce) and I totally agree that I’m one of those guys that feels like he needs a wife to feel normal. I was totally in love with my wife for the 14 years we were together. I gave her everything. I supported her. I paid for her to go back to school and get her degree. She was my best friend and I was hers. We had two great kids. We did everything together. Then I found out she was fooling around with her ex-boyfriend that she had in highschool. They got back together when she went back home to Texas for a family reunion. All that time we had meant nothing to her. She treated me like garbage. That all went down about three years ago. Our divorce was fair and we share custody of the kids. I don’t have to pay child support or anything like that since she has a good job now.

I’ve been online dating for two years. I realize I’m totally the Provider that you talk about. I pay for lots of dinners and dates and I don’t have one longterm girlfriend yet. The second girl I dated after divorce seemed to be perfect. We had a lot in common and both fell in love pretty quick. She ghosted me after three months and I saw that she was dating somebody else. That felt like my divorce all over again.

I don’t know how to not fall in love right away. I’ve had sex with one woman in three years. I don’t know how to be the Lover you talk about. You make it sound easy but for me it’s not. I’m not made to screw around with lots of women and just not care if I don’t get a longterm girlfriend or wife again. The only reason I’m dating is to get another relationship and to settle down and have a normal life again. I don’t think there’s really anything wrong with that but at the same time I see that it’s not what works today with Tinder and online dating. You have to be one of the guys who doesn’t care or you will just get your heart broken and pay for a lot of dates.

Les

Les,

This is an incredibly common sentiment. You are absolutely conditioned to believe that the end goal of a longterm relationship or marriage is a MUST HAVE for a complete life. Because of this mindset, you project a very NEEDY vibe to the world around you… and you get the predictable results (nothing). You’re right, maybe dating isn’t for you right now. With your current mindset, you will just dig a deeper and deeper hole that you won’t be able to escape from.

Take a timeout. Forget women. Forget relationships. It’s time to rebuild. Just like I said in the book. You’re a PROVIDER because you tell yourself you are. You then take that mentality out into the dating world and… lo and behold… the women you encounter all treat you like a Provider. They use you and discard you. You’re a quick and easy meal and shoulder to cry on. You’re not a sexy diversion or a real long-term romantic partner candidate.

Sorry to be blunt… but what the hell did you expect?

If I walk into the lion exhibit at a zoo with a hundred pounds of raw meat attached to my body, I have no room to complain about being eaten alive. It’s all my fault. Sure, I can complain that the lions should know better than to eat a man. After all, the human zookeepers take care of them and treat them well and make sure they’re healthy… so why on Earth would they eat a guy just because he’s covered in raw meat?

Same for you. Sure, you read my book and read my posts and see what lies ahead for the Provider in the modern day dating game… but you decide to play that game anyway because, hey, you’re just not cut out to be anything else.

Sorry to be blunt again… but that’s just complete bullshit.

These self-limiting behavior patterns are just going to leave you sexless, depressed, or worse… with a complete nutjob of a woman who has zero attraction to you but needs you for the resources you so gladly hand over. You will end up with your wife all over again. You do not want that. Even if you think for a moment that you do, YOU DO NOT WANT THAT.

You’re using your Provider title as a crutch. Every time you get that hint of social anxiety and fear about doing something different, you just say, “Welp… I guess I am a Provider after all!” Then you get mad at the Provider results. Then you go back to being Provider. Then you get angry about more Provider results. The cycle continues…

You can be whatever the hell you want to be in this life. That doesn’t mean changing your ways will be simple and you will feel great 24/7. Changing your line of thinking may take a good deal of work and it may feel like crap for a while. That’s ok. That’s called living life. It’s not all sunshine and rainbows, as you have learned. The problem is that your current line of thinking is resulting in misery and continued misery into the foreseeable future. On the other hand, a big change in thinking and a lot of hard work will result, in the long run, in a much higher chance of personal fulfillment and happiness… but also inevitable short-term misery.

Take a timeout. Dating is not an option for you right now. Read the book again. Read it again. And again. Let in sink in. It hasn’t sunk in yet, but it will. Talk to guys in your shoes. Join the private Facebook group. You need to live what you learn. Don’t just take what’s there, ingest it, get pissed off, and then do nothing productive with it. That’s like shooting 1,000 jump shots a day, but never playing a game of basketball.

What you’re describing in your email is, in part, called being “vulnerable”.  If you want to be in any kind of meaningful relationship with another person, it will require vulnerability. You DO want to be an unselfish loving person to your partner, but at the same time, you want to build a framework of strength that can successfully put up boundaries, recognize when things go south, and be able to endure hardship when it smacks you upside the face.

Heartbreak happens. You learn to live with the loss like any other. You move on to the next chapter. Such is life.

Good luck, my friend.

DSO

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Dear DSO: “My friend says my wife is cheating…”

Estimated Reading Time: 4 minutes

Dear DSO:

One of my best friends went through a really bad divorce about a year and a half ago. His wife had an affair with a guy from her work (she’s a nurse). Ever since then he’s been talking to me about how women cheat way more than we think and most of the women out there today are just like his ex-wife. I thought he sounded like a typical divorced woman hater so I didn’t let it bother me.  I understand he’s going through a lot of pain.

 

He told me that I really needed to read your site and listen to your podcast. I liked what I read and told him it all made sense and I’m here to help him out however I can, but he needs to go easy on reading so much because he’s going to go nuts and he’s starting to annoy everyone we hang out with. He told me that he wanted me to read your site because he thinks MY wife is cheating too. I told him he was full of shit and going too far. He started listing all the signs of a cheating wife that you outlined and yes… my wife does do some of those things. But doesn’t every wife?

 

My wife has been going out with her friends more. After our daughter turned 6 and started going to school, she felt like she could go back to her old self and start to party and have fun again. I am supportive of her and don’t see any problems with hanging out with friends. I know all her friends and they are all really good people. They’re not the type that would support her if she cheated on me. I’m very close to all of them and know all of their husbands and kids.

 

About six months ago she asked me about getting breast implants. She’s always hated her body after our daughter breast fed. I think she’s gorgeous, but her self-esteem problems have had an effect on our sex life. She doesn’t feel comfortable being vulnerable and physical with me (in her words). She got the boob job and we are still paying for it. I thought the boob job would help fix things as far as sex goes but it didn’t. It hasn’t changed at all.

 

My wife has also become addicted to her phone and social media. She’s on it all day every day. She mostly does Instagram and Facebook but I also saw that she is on Snapchat. I don’t spy on her and don’t think any spouse should do that in a healthy relationship.

 

I would say that overall my wife has become more defensive and argumentative. Anything I bring up will usually end up in her getting pissed off. It’s now to the point where if it doesn’t involve her hanging out with friends then she doesn’t want to talk about it. She’s very defensive and will say that she deserves to go out and have fun after being home with our kid for six years and basically raising her alone (I work a lot of hours and travel).

 

That’s it. From those things my friend is sure that my wife is cheating just like his ex did. The two of them were friends (and still are), and my wife probably knew about the affair of her friend. She says she didn’t but I find it hard to believe. 

 

What do you think? Is it fair to really judge people like this just based on a few things they do?

Brian

Brian,

Let’s recap:

  1. Your wife’s friend, your friend’s wife, had an affair. Your wife probably knew when this affair was going on, but never brought it up or did anything to stop it. In fact, they’re still friends after the truth came out. Not good.
  2. Your wife is now partying it up after enduring six years of being a stay-at-home mom.
  3. Your wife got a boob job to improve her self-image and, presumably, to get her more comfortable being physical with her husband again. Didn’t work. Not good.
  4. You’re in a dead bedroom marriage.
  5. She’s always on her phone.
  6. She’s always looking to start a fight.

So… do I think she’s cheating? No idea. Do I think she has laid the groundwork for what is a fertile affair-growing environment? Yep.

Her actions are bad news. They lead to one of two places:

  1. A bad marriage
  2. An affair

She’s acting like a brat. She’s rebelling. She’s bringing up the six years of being with your kid at home as reason enough for her to act in this way. Based on the tone of your email, I would assume that you have done little to nothing to put an end to the behavior. It may be too late at this point, but you need to do something if you want this marriage to continue.

Your friend is understandably emotional over his divorce. Men in his position found answers to some of his troublesome issues on my website, so he’s excited and trying to share “the gospel”. It’s not unlike the guy who found Jesus after going to rehab. It’s annoying to everyone around him, but you have to understand where he’s coming from. Finally, SOMEBODY connected the dots and made sense out of his turmoil-filled life. He has solutions. He sees a friend in danger, and he wants to throw you the rope to save you.

You may have caught your wife early on and you’re able to stop her from crossing the line into affair territory… or maybe not. Do I think you should spy on her? Yep. She’s your wife. Your lives are far too intertwined to just leave things to “trust”. Her actions have shown that there’s something to worry about. So… you investigate. Get her phone. Get into her social media accounts. Track her car. I have a feeling you’re going to be surprised at what you find… and not in a good way. These type of behaviors usually coincide with a lot of secrets. Not necessarily CHEATING, but secrets none the less. Not good for a marriage.

Good luck.

DSO

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Dear DSO: It’s not so easy for some of us.

Estimated Reading Time: 3 minutes

Dear DSO,

I know you talk about having to move on and get over your wife after she cheats on you, but it’s not so easy for some guys. My wife and I have been married for 17 years. We have two kids. We work together. Her dad owns the business where I work. It’s a business that has been in a her family for a really long time. My wife does not want to divorce. If I decided to divorce her, I’d probably lose my high-paying job with her dad’s business. I really don’t have much in the way of a resume that will help me get another good job. The job market sucks right now.  Where would I live? My parents live a thousand miles away. I can’t move there because then I wouldn’t see my kids. If we divorced, she’d probably get the kids almost full-time because I’m a dad with no money.

 

I’m basically stuck. She had one affair two years ago, and now I just discovered another. I love her still, but I’m starting to lose attraction to her. I can’t stand to lay down next to her at night. We stopped having sex almost completely after the first affair was discovered. Now I usually spend the nights sleeping on the couch.

 

I just want my life back.

 

So I just wanted to let you know that’s it not so easy for some of us out there.

Gary

Dear Gary,

First, I’m sorry to hear about your situation, brother. I can’t imagine the stress.  But, you’re right. It’s not so easy for everyone. It’s not as easy as sayin, “See ya, bitch!” for a lot of guys. Kids complicate things a great deal. Add to that your unique job situation, and your world just got a hell of a lot tougher than most.

Your situation illustrates two hugely important things:

  1. Don’t make yourself dependent upon your spouse for your livelihood. Ideally, you want to be the guy that doesn’t NEED his wife. The more you NEED her to function day-to-day, the higher the chances are that you will fail the relationship game.
  2. You really need to better vet your relationship candidate. Red flags? Run. I’m wiling to bet there were a plethora of red flags early on in the relationship that you ignored. Then you kept digging the hole deeper and deeper and find yourself in this predicament.

She currently holds all of the cards. This is not an even contest, by any stretch. You WILL completely fail at this game eventually. I realize you probably think you’re failing pretty hard at life already, but things will inevitably get much worse for you. It’s just a matter of time. She will at some point land an affair partner that will be dumb enough to declare her the love of his life, and you will quickly see divorce papers on your desk. She’ll make the big awful decision for you.  She has already replaced you in her mind, now she just needs to iron out the all the logistical stuff about ending your relationship. Step 1 of that plan is to get a new man and to make sure he sticks around (the other two affair partners probably used her for sex and weren’t interested in committing). Step 2 is to then cut ties with you completely. This is where she may try to get the kids away from you, lie about you, take money, make your life hell, etc.

The ideal relationship is one where two people that are completely independent and fine on their own get together because they love and adore each other and want to help each other go through the adventure of life. The more all of the facets of their respective lives intertwine, the more trouble pops up. If her hobbies becomes yours, if mom-in-law is living with you full-time, if you only hang out with her friends, if you work side-by-side, if the in-laws sign your paychecks, etc… that all leads to further intertwining of the two worlds and a whole lot of trouble.

Lawyer up. Now. You don’t have to file. But you need to be prepared. The lawyer can tell what to do and what not to do to prepare yourself for the inevitable.

Good luck, my friend.

Dear DSO: How do I get my husband to be more of a Lover?

Estimated Reading Time: 3 minutes

Dear DSO,

I am a woman but somehow found your articles and I think they’re great! Very clearly stated why marriages fail and women cheat on “nice guys”.

Would be great to see an article for women someday – how to help a husband to become more of a lover and less of a provider? He’s never been a “lover” but we just became great friends and then more (my initiative, of course, his first serious relationship – textbook case, I guess). Good looking, wealthy, smart, caring and loving to extreme. But after 6 years I’m bored – I crave for jokes, fun, excitement, sexy, a bit selfish and independent man. I told him so many times. He wants marriage and kids; I dread that as kids would make him even more of a provider and I’m starting to doubt if my willpower will be enough and my innocent flirt with other guys won’t turn into more someday. I love him and want to make it work but not sure I can be satisfied with a provider all my life (I’m financially independent and have no desire for kids).

Should we split or is there a way to bring out “lover” in a man?

Mary

Hello Mary,
 
There are a couple of things that stick out for me in the description of your relationship. First and foremost is that HE is wanting to settle down and have kids. YOU are pretty much in the mindset of being an independent career woman and have no interest in having kids. Would you say you have no interest in having kids with HIM (since he is already a Provider type and, as you point out, kids will just amplify those traits) or is it more that you don’t want kids ever no matter who your partner may be? I think that’s a question you need to take time out to ponder for a while.
 
Either way, that alone sounds like a relationship breaker for most people. He wants kids. You don’t.
 
Setting aside the kids thing for the moment, you say you would like to make your relationship work with him… but you need him to be more fun, sexy and independent. See, the way it works with men is pretty simple: BE BLUNT. Guys don’t work well with nuance. We don’t do subtlety. The best course of action is to simply TELL him what you want and LEAD him to it. Seriously. An example may be to say, “As I get older and more mature, I realize that our relationship needs to be dirty and more fun than it is right now. I need that extra oomph to keep me going. I love you for everything you are, but I do need more… and I’m not the type to go out and cheat. Instead, I want to have sexy and fun adventures with you. I want us to take our relationship to a new level.” See how he responds. He may be a little embarrassed. You may hurt his feelings. He may be extremely turned on. It could be that he has a kinky side to him but he has been shamed into being Mr. Nice Guy his whole life. That’s not uncommon. Maybe all it takes is his hot wife to say, “It’s okay to be crazy dirty. I love it.” 
 
Regardless of his response, the truth is out in the open and that’s always a good thing.
 
Let’s be honest, having to “lead” your man to be more fun and sexy may just completely turn you off. After all, you want a guy who is just a natural lover, not a guy you have to TELL what you want him to do. You’ll have to fight through that. This is what people mean when they say, “WORKING on your marriage”.
 
You’ll also have to cater to his masculine side when coming up with ideas for sexing things up. Consider watching porn together. Going to strip clubs. Role-playing. Sending him dirty photos and videos of yourself. There are lots of simple ways you can push his buttons. This is all assuming he’s a healthy adult male and his hormones are in check, of course.
 
So, in review:
 
1. Figure out the kids things first and foremost. You don’t want them at all, or you don’t want them with him?
2. You will have to be blunt and be the sexual leader. Watch how he responds.
 
Good luck!
 
DSO

“Dear DSO: Women today are f*cking disgusting”

Estimated Reading Time: 4 minutes

Dear DSO,

I’ve been divorced for about two and half years. My wife left me after her second affair. Those are the only two affairs I know about, but there were probably more than that. We had no kids thank God. Our marriage lasted about four years. I started dating before our divorce was final. I counted and I have been on dates with 28 different women. All but three of them were from Match.com. 

 

If I’m being honest, I am looking for my next wife. I’m definitely what you like to call a “provider” and I like the idea of going though life with a woman and being there for her. I am looking for the love of my life. I know she’s out there, but I’m starting to lose hope that I will be able to find her. There’s just too much trash women out there. Women today are fucking disgusting. They’re just looking for bad boys and assholes that they can have sex with no strings attached. They think it’s a good thing to act slutty and sleep with multiple guys at the same time. My problem is that if I have sex with women, which is way too easy, I get attached to them right away. I fall in love and start acting like a boyfriend. That’s when they usually ghost me and run away. I’ve had a few women tell me right to my face that I’m way too nice and way too attached. They tell me they just want fun and no long-term relationship.

 

I had ONE woman that I really hit it off online with. She was very sweet and we both talked about how we were tired of assholes looking for just sex and no commitment. She was very pretty in her pictures. Then I met her… and she was about 50 lbs heavier than her photos. Then she told me she had not one but TWO fucking kids.  She never mentioned kids. Then I realized that I was seeing A LOT of red flags and this woman was just looking for a provider guy to take care of her and her kids. I bailed on her. She texted me and called me every name in the book and said I’m an asshole like every other guy out there. It made me feel terrible. Maybe I’m starting to become just like the girls I hate dating.

 

I’m so tired of the whole thing. It’s dumb. Was I really wrong about relationships? Is marriage dead? You married again… how did you find your wife?

 

Jason

Jason,

There’s a lot going on here. It’s not a simple situation you find yourself in, but it is a common one.  Let’s break it down…

Women looking for sex but not commitment  —  Yep, times are a changin’, as they say. The sexual and economic landscape has gone through a pretty major shift. Good guys like you feel that finding a good-looking and decent woman looking for a good man to commit to should be a simple thing. You’re looking at the dating world through old-fashioned, male-centric glasses. Right now, the dating world is a woman’s market. 

When you strip away the economic factors (women looking for men to pay for their way through life) you’re left with a large group of the female dating pool that thinks that “settling” for a Provider is fruitless. Why would she devote herself to a man she has no sexual desire for if she doesn’t NEED his cash and resources? Why would she do that when her dating pool is so abundant? In their mind, they have the looks and personality necessary to allow them to pick from the cream of the crop. They want the Super Lover with the heart of gold, and they will go through a laundry list of Lovers to find him. In their mind, they have all the time in the world.

The irony is that a lot of men honestly feel that they fit the bill of, “Super Lover With a Heart of Gold” (SLWAHOG). The harsh reality is that the men deemed “relationship-worthy” account for MAYBE 20% of the dating pool. The remaining 80%? You’d be lucky to play the part of human dildo for one evening. 

It’s a buyer’s market right now… and the women are the buyers. You’re selling a product that your ideal buyer is not interested in. It’s really that simple.

Is there a magic formula to find Mrs. Right? Yep:

  1. Forget about finding Mrs. Right. If you are actively looking for her, you’re setting yourself up for failure.
  2. Just have fun.
  3. Loosen up. Stop being so dramatic. You don’t have to date and you don’t have to commit. You can focus on other things in life.

Big picture question for you: Why are you so damn caught up on the idea of finding a wife? Maybe you should dig into what it is in your past that is bubbling up now and causing you to feel like you NEED a wife so badly. Why can’t you be happy with friends, hobbies, activities and the occasional girl for a casual relationship and fun? Remember, you want a relationship with a woman to be an ancillary to your life… not the entire meaning to life. 

I can feel your neediness just from your email. It’s a giant turnoff. Women typically don’t want to feel NEEDED by a man. They want to WANT you. Yes, it’s all a stupid little game of cat and mouse… but welcome to the mating game. You have to play by the rules or you’ll turn into roadkill. You’re pushing forward your Provider traits. The only fish you’re going to catch are 50 lb overweight women with kids and a shrinking bank account… or decent-looking women that are getting up there in age and want to “settle down” and have kids. If that sounds appealing to you, that’s great… but please realize that these women won’t be interested in YOU as much as they are reacting to their biological shortcomings. They are running out of time to breed and start a family. Those are the women that later pop out a couple of kids and then get caught banging the landscaping guy because “something was missing” from their life.

Take a break from women for a while. You married a woman and she quickly cheated on you (multiple times). Maybe it’s time you stopped and talked to somebody to figure out WHY that happened to you and WHY you seem so eager to relive that experience. Good luck!

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