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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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