Now What? A Guide for Men Starting Over in Life After Infidelity, Breakup and Divorce.

NOW WHAT? A Guide for Men Starting Over in Life After Infidelity, Breakup and Divorce.

Did your wife cheat on you?

Did you hear the dreaded “I love you, but I’m not IN LOVE with you?”

Is your wife acting like a completely different human being?

Just can’t find the strength to get over her and move on?

Life is not making sense. You want answers, and you want them now. 

I’ve been there, and done that, my friend. I know exactly what you’re going through. I wrote “NOW WHAT?” as a way to help men understand the phenomenon of the cheating wife, the “walk away wife”, the wife who seems to have completely forgotten what marriage is supposed to be all about.  I wrote this to help men take this pain and turn it into something productive and amazing. 

why did she leave me for such a loser?
why is she doing this?
why is she doing this?

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AUDIOBOOK

Listen to a sample of the Audiobook version of NOW WHAT?

What’s inside

Prologue
Who This Book is For
My Story
PART 1: RETHINKING RELATIONSHIPS
Chapter 1: Why Did This Happen?

  • Marriage
  • Stress
  • Loss of Respect
  • She Becomes Your Mother
  • Other Women Lost Interest in You, and You Lost Interest in Other Women
  • Borderline Personality Disorder
  • Baggage
  • Nice Guy Syndrome
  • Putting Women on a Pedestal
  • Weakness and Vulnerability Are Not a Male Virtue
  • The Mysterious Female Sex Drive
  • The Open Marriage Phenomenon
  • Who Cares?

Chapter 2: Real Love

  • What is Real Love?
  • Every Man Thinks He Can Win the Relationship Lottery
  • You Don’t NEED Real Love
  • The Times They Are-a-Changin’
  • The Great Irony of Love

Chapter 3: Succeeding in Relationships

  • The Ugly Truth of the Modern-Day Dating Game
  • Don’t Make Dating and Marriage Your Life’s Mission
  • Don’t Be Ashamed to be the MHNNM
  • Lover vs. Provider
  • The Elusive Lover + Provider Man
  • The Career Gal
  • No Lover + Provider Guys Available? Time for Plan B
  • A Lot of Men Are Only Comfortable in the Provider Role
  • What’s In Store for the Provider in a Relationship
  • Be More Like a Woman
  • Neediness
  • Social Anxiety

PART 2: YOU NEED A MISSION Chapter 4: Keep Busy

  • Choose Your Mission
  • Be in Control

Chapter 5: Mandatory Mission #1: Your Body

  • Sleep
  • You Are What You Eat
  • What Diet is Right for You?
  • Get Thee to a Doctor
  • Testosterone Replacement Therapy
  • Working Out
  • Trying to Lose Fat? Be Patient

Chapter 6: Mandatory Mission #2: Your Money

  • Beware of Manic Optimism
  • Embrace Your Male Cheapness
  • Get Out of Debt
  • The Cost of Marriage
  • Take Advantage of This Time

Chapter 7: Obstacles

  • The Well-Intentioned Worriers
  • The Truly Toxic
  • Your Habits
  • Comfort

[An Excerpt From the Book]

Prologue

I have to be the dumbest ******* idiot on the planet.”

Steve’s email was very typical for readers of my site at dadstartingover.com. All of the situations are roughly the same, yet they all think they’re unique in their own special blend of “stupid”.  Steve, like many other readers, was convinced that the entire world was in on a cosmic joke at his expense. He feels like Jim Carrey’s character from “The Truman Show”. Unbeknownst to him, everyone around him was a cast member of a secret TV show… and the whole world was watching and laughing. He just pulled back the curtain and everything is finally starting to make sense. He doesn’t like what he sees. It was all just a big charade. Nothing was ever real.

Over the last few months, he has run the events that led him to this point again and again in his mind. He’s trying to figure out where the marriage machine broke down. He did everything by the book and yet his marriage sure didn’t go as planned. Not at all. He was promised a better life than this. He was promised the wife, the kids, the grandkids and the picket fence. He was promised comfort and stability. He did his part, why didn’t she?!

Now he’s in an empty apartment, driving a crappy old Ford pickup truck that breaks down half the time, and he’s only allowed to see his kids on Wednesdays after school and every other weekend. This really really sucks and it doesn’t look like it’s going to get any better in the foreseeable future.

The TV show audience is now pointing and laughing at him. “Haha!! He bought into the whole ’Til death do us part’ thing?! Haha!! What a dummy!”  Steve is now a dangerous combination of angry, hurt, scared, and confused.

I’m a Good Guy! I Swear!

Most readers in Steve’s shoes will immediately start to list all of the positive stuff they did in their marriage. Steve was no different.

“I did laundry, I cooked, I cleaned, I did it all. I paid all the bills while she went into huge amounts of debt for her degree. I didn’t complain fucking once. I supported her in everything. She doesn’t give a **** about anything I did for her.”

Steve was building up a “Good Provider” resume for me so that I wouldn’t think he was some abusive loser like ”most other guys” are. In his mind, he checked ALL of the “good husband” boxes. To think that his wife would even CONSIDER stepping outside of their marriage never occurred to him, but, that’s exactly what she did.  Multiple times.

The first time it happened, he saw text messages between her and a guy from her work. Steve had his suspicions. He saw her strange behavior going on for weeks.  One evening he finally got a hold of her phone and read every one of their messages to each other. He saw how the conversation and their relationship got progressively more sexual as time went on.  He saw pictures that they sent back and forth. At first, their messages were innocent and friendly. Then they weren’t. He couldn’t believe what he was looking at. THIS was his loving wife?

He went to the internet for help. A quick Google search gave him pages and pages of results. He read up on the growing phenomenon of “emotional affairs” happening thanks to social media and websites like Facebook. Steve read what to do if you catch your wife in this scenario, and he followed the advice to the letter. He approached his wife and her new boyfriend and stopped the emotional affair dead in its tracks.

The second affair occurred with an old boyfriend from her pre-marriage past. He was the quintessential “one that got away”. For years she would send innocent Facebook messages to him on every birthday and every Christmas, just so he wouldn’t forget she was still around.  Steve knew about this ex-boyfriend, but he wasn’t worried. This guy had his own wife and three kids, and he lived really far away, so he was nothing to worry about.  Steve was convinced that his wife’s cheating days were well behind her. They both put in a lot of work over the years and really grew together as a couple. Through good times and bad, they were a team.

After one typical “Merry Christmas!” message from the wife to the ex-boyfriend, he responded unusually. “I really miss you. I think about you a lot.”  That set off a chain reaction in Steve’s wife. Those old lustful feelings came right back. Their conversation went from sappy to sexual in no time. They remembered all the dirty escapades they had together all those many years ago. Two hours into their heated conversation, they made plans to meet. The ex-boyfriend left his wife and kids for a “business trip” and drove eight hours to see Steve’s wife. Steve’s wife simply had to skip her university classes for a day. She told a female classmate what she was up to and they agreed on a cover story to use in case anyone asked where she was. She promised to pay her back with dinner and drinks.

The two lovers finally met. They spent hours reconnecting and having sex. Old feelings came right back. It was like the years apart just melted away. They both envisioned a long and wild love affair that would give them much-needed relief from their respective boring marriages and god-awful home life. They were both equally sick of screaming kids and the dull spouses they lost attraction to years ago.

Unbeknownst to his wife, Steve knew ALL the details of this latest secret affair. He had been tracking her exact whereabouts and all of her online activity for several weeks now. Thanks to all the tricks he learned on the internet, he had become quite the private investigator and knew exactly how to get ahold of her conversations without her knowing. The dummy forgot she was logged into Facebook on an old iPad they had lying around. Steve would sometimes watch their conversations happening in real-time.

Before he started spying on his wife again, he conferred with his friends.  Was he just being paranoid? They all agreed that yes, he was acting crazy. He should respect his wife’s privacy, they told him. That emotional affair of hers was YEARS ago, and she’s been a great wife to him. He kept telling them that something just didn’t feel right. She was acting like her old cheater self again.

Unfortunately, his gut was right and his friends were wrong.

Again, thanks to the internet, he knew exactly what to do next. He was going to do all he could to ruin his wife and her lover. He was a man on a mission.

• He informed the lover’s spouse of the affair.

• He told the lover’s employer why he missed work.

• He told officials at his wife’s school that she was missing classes and why.

• He met with an attorney and drew up a plan for splitting assets and debts.

• He filed for divorce right away.

Unfortunately, Steve would learn what most men in his situation learn:

Nobody gives a ****.

His wife’s lover wasn’t fired. He kept his job. He’s since been promoted. He’s even still married to the same woman. Absolutely nothing has changed for the cheating *******. His wife actually got angry at Steve when he called her with evidence of her husband’s affair. She bluntly told him to stay out of her life and never contact her again. Steve would later learn that his wife’s lover was quite the player. This was not his first affair rodeo, and the wife sticks by him through it all.

The university administrative office never even replied to his repeated emails and calls. His wife would later brag to him that she was friends with the office staff, and they all just laughed at his crazy emails and calls. They called him “that psycho husband”.  They couldn’t care less about a student’s personal love life or if she skipped classes. What does that have to do with them? As long as she keeps paying the bills for the classes, his wife can skip however many classes and sleep around with whoever she wants. After a while, the university eventually sent him an email and let him know that his personal matters have nothing to do with the school and to please stop harassing them or they will be forced to contact the police.

When it came time to divorce, it went a lot rougher than what Steve anticipated. His wife’s family, the ones he considered the surrogate parents that he loved with all his heart, cut off all contact with him. He considered this one of the largest acts of betrayal he had ever seen. “Mom and dad” abandoned him in favor of their “***** daughter”. He was a great husband to their daughter and a great son-in-law to them. They didn’t care one bit. They stuck the knife in even further when they helped his wife pay for a really good attorney. A really good attorney with a reputation for getting divorced moms a lot of money. The attorney would live up to his reputation.

Steve was painted as the villain in court documents. The words “abusive” and “neglect” came up more than once. He was baffled. None of this was true. He was a good man. A good husband. A good father. Why would they do this to him?

Steve’s own lawyer was nowhere near as well-seasoned as his wife’s attorney. Yes, the wife’s affair was brought up, but thanks to “no-fault” laws, it had zero bearing on much of anything. In the end, it was just a matter of who should have the kids and when, who gets what asset, and who gets stuck with what bill.

After all was said and done, Steve was left in a small apartment on the opposite side of town with a growing stack of bills, half his 401k, zero savings, and a new drinking habit. Understandably, he feels that the world has just chewed him up and spit him out.  The second he tried to make his case and prove his worth as a man, the world laughed at his naivety.

That’s when Steve ended up on my website.

I patiently scroll and read page after page of his first email to me. This is nothing new. I’m no longer shocked. I’ve officially heard it all. This is actually not THAT bad of a case compared to some I have read. At least one of his ex-wife’s mentally ill lovers didn’t stab him nine times in the back and leave him to die like the other guy I recently talked to.

After a few emails back and forth, with Steve saying over and over that this isn’t how it was supposed to turn out…I grow a little impatient and say what I say to all guys in his position:

“Okay. You were wrong. Now what?”

It’s Time to Rebuild

When you join the military, they send you to boot camp. Based on what branch of the military you are in; they are all varying degrees of an extremely strenuous experience that few recruits are mentally and physically prepared for.  All of these boot camps have the same end result in mind: They want to break you down and completely rebuild you from the ground up. Why? Because it works.

They don’t want a soldier with baggage. They don’t want a soldier with a mental catalog of self-limiting thoughts and behaviors. They don’t want a soldier who “triggers” and cries when something very stressful and dangerous is going on around them. They want a machine. They want a machine that reacts in the way that will keep themselves and their fellow soldiers alive and still able to carry out the mission. That’s it.

This is the mindset of truly starting over. This is what “Now What?” is all about.

It’s time to break you down and REBUILD you from the ground up. If we’re going to do this, we’re going to do it right.  No dancing around your emotions.  No telling you just what you want to hear to make you feel better. It’s time to get to work.

Rebuilding is about setting aside all of the stupid ******** that happened to you before. It’s about realizing you can be whoever and whatever the hell you want to be. I make it sound simple because it is. Technically, it’s as easy as making the first step and saying “I’m going to do this” … then the rest falls into place. So many men can’t even bring themselves to make that first step. It’s absolutely terrifying.

If you’re a man living in a free country and you have a functioning body and an average IQ, there’s no reason you can’t take the steps you need to turn the page on this god-awful chapter in your life. That’s exactly what it is, after all: One chapter in a much larger story. This is something that HAPPENED to you, not something that has to DEFINE you.  It’s a part of your life story. Make it a springboard that launches you to better things or make it a giant mud pit of awfulness that continuously drags you down and eventually overwhelms you.

Up to you, amigo.

Life****** you over. So… Now What?

[An Excerpt From the Book]

Prologue

I have to be the dumbest ******* idiot on the planet.”

Steve’s email was very typical for readers of my site at dadstartingover.com. All of the situations are roughly the same, yet they all think they’re unique in their own special blend of “stupid”.  Steve, like many other readers, was convinced that the entire world was in on a cosmic joke at his expense. He feels like Jim Carrey’s character from “The Truman Show”. Unbeknownst to him, everyone around him was a cast member of a secret TV show… and the whole world was watching and laughing. He just pulled back the curtain and everything is finally starting to make sense. He doesn’t like what he sees. It was all just a big charade. Nothing was ever real.

Over the last few months, he has run the events that led him to this point again and again in his mind. He’s trying to figure out where the marriage machine broke down. He did everything by the book and yet his marriage sure didn’t go as planned. Not at all. He was promised a better life than this. He was promised the wife, the kids, the grandkids and the picket fence. He was promised comfort and stability. He did his part, why didn’t she?!

Now he’s in an empty apartment, driving a crappy old Ford pickup truck that breaks down half the time, and he’s only allowed to see his kids on Wednesdays after school and every other weekend. This really really sucks and it doesn’t look like it’s going to get any better in the foreseeable future.

The TV show audience is now pointing and laughing at him. “Haha!! He bought into the whole ’Til death do us part’ thing?! Haha!! What a dummy!”  Steve is now a dangerous combination of angry, hurt, scared, and confused.

I’m a Good Guy! I Swear!

Most readers in Steve’s shoes will immediately start to list all of the positive stuff they did in their marriage. Steve was no different.

“I did laundry, I cooked, I cleaned, I did it all. I paid all the bills while she went into huge amounts of debt for her degree. I didn’t complain fucking once. I supported her in everything. She doesn’t give a **** about anything I did for her.”

Steve was building up a “Good Provider” resume for me so that I wouldn’t think he was some abusive loser like ”most other guys” are. In his mind, he checked ALL of the “good husband” boxes. To think that his wife would even CONSIDER stepping outside of their marriage never occurred to him, but, that’s exactly what she did.  Multiple times.

The first time it happened, he saw text messages between her and a guy from her work. Steve had his suspicions. He saw her strange behavior going on for weeks.  One evening he finally got a hold of her phone and read every one of their messages to each other. He saw how the conversation and their relationship got progressively more sexual as time went on.  He saw pictures that they sent back and forth. At first, their messages were innocent and friendly. Then they weren’t. He couldn’t believe what he was looking at. THIS was his loving wife?

He went to the internet for help. A quick Google search gave him pages and pages of results. He read up on the growing phenomenon of “emotional affairs” happening thanks to social media and websites like Facebook. Steve read what to do if you catch your wife in this scenario, and he followed the advice to the letter. He approached his wife and her new boyfriend and stopped the emotional affair dead in its tracks.

The second affair occurred with an old boyfriend from her pre-marriage past. He was the quintessential “one that got away”. For years she would send innocent Facebook messages to him on every birthday and every Christmas, just so he wouldn’t forget she was still around.  Steve knew about this ex-boyfriend, but he wasn’t worried. This guy had his own wife and three kids, and he lived really far away, so he was nothing to worry about.  Steve was convinced that his wife’s cheating days were well behind her. They both put in a lot of work over the years and really grew together as a couple. Through good times and bad, they were a team.

After one typical “Merry Christmas!” message from the wife to the ex-boyfriend, he responded unusually. “I really miss you. I think about you a lot.”  That set off a chain reaction in Steve’s wife. Those old lustful feelings came right back. Their conversation went from sappy to sexual in no time. They remembered all the dirty escapades they had together all those many years ago. Two hours into their heated conversation, they made plans to meet. The ex-boyfriend left his wife and kids for a “business trip” and drove eight hours to see Steve’s wife. Steve’s wife simply had to skip her university classes for a day. She told a female classmate what she was up to and they agreed on a cover story to use in case anyone asked where she was. She promised to pay her back with dinner and drinks.

The two lovers finally met. They spent hours reconnecting and having sex. Old feelings came right back. It was like the years apart just melted away. They both envisioned a long and wild love affair that would give them much-needed relief from their respective boring marriages and god-awful home life. They were both equally sick of screaming kids and the dull spouses they lost attraction to years ago.

Unbeknownst to his wife, Steve knew ALL the details of this latest secret affair. He had been tracking her exact whereabouts and all of her online activity for several weeks now. Thanks to all the tricks he learned on the internet, he had become quite the private investigator and knew exactly how to get ahold of her conversations without her knowing. The dummy forgot she was logged into Facebook on an old iPad they had lying around. Steve would sometimes watch their conversations happening in real-time.

Before he started spying on his wife again, he conferred with his friends.  Was he just being paranoid? They all agreed that yes, he was acting crazy. He should respect his wife’s privacy, they told him. That emotional affair of hers was YEARS ago, and she’s been a great wife to him. He kept telling them that something just didn’t feel right. She was acting like her old cheater self again.

Unfortunately, his gut was right and his friends were wrong.

Again, thanks to the internet, he knew exactly what to do next. He was going to do all he could to ruin his wife and her lover. He was a man on a mission.

• He informed the lover’s spouse of the affair.

• He told the lover’s employer why he missed work.

• He told officials at his wife’s school that she was missing classes and why.

• He met with an attorney and drew up a plan for splitting assets and debts.

• He filed for divorce right away.

Unfortunately, Steve would learn what most men in his situation learn:

Nobody gives a ****.

His wife’s lover wasn’t fired. He kept his job. He’s since been promoted. He’s even still married to the same woman. Absolutely nothing has changed for the cheating *******. His wife actually got angry at Steve when he called her with evidence of her husband’s affair. She bluntly told him to stay out of her life and never contact her again. Steve would later learn that his wife’s lover was quite the player. This was not his first affair rodeo, and the wife sticks by him through it all.

The university administrative office never even replied to his repeated emails and calls. His wife would later brag to him that she was friends with the office staff, and they all just laughed at his crazy emails and calls. They called him “that psycho husband”.  They couldn’t care less about a student’s personal love life or if she skipped classes. What does that have to do with them? As long as she keeps paying the bills for the classes, his wife can skip however many classes and sleep around with whoever she wants. After a while, the university eventually sent him an email and let him know that his personal matters have nothing to do with the school and to please stop harassing them or they will be forced to contact the police.

When it came time to divorce, it went a lot rougher than what Steve anticipated. His wife’s family, the ones he considered the surrogate parents that he loved with all his heart, cut off all contact with him. He considered this one of the largest acts of betrayal he had ever seen. “Mom and dad” abandoned him in favor of their “***** daughter”. He was a great husband to their daughter and a great son-in-law to them. They didn’t care one bit. They stuck the knife in even further when they helped his wife pay for a really good attorney. A really good attorney with a reputation for getting divorced moms a lot of money. The attorney would live up to his reputation.

Steve was painted as the villain in court documents. The words “abusive” and “neglect” came up more than once. He was baffled. None of this was true. He was a good man. A good husband. A good father. Why would they do this to him?

Steve’s own lawyer was nowhere near as well-seasoned as his wife’s attorney. Yes, the wife’s affair was brought up, but thanks to “no-fault” laws, it had zero bearing on much of anything. In the end, it was just a matter of who should have the kids and when, who gets what asset, and who gets stuck with what bill.

After all was said and done, Steve was left in a small apartment on the opposite side of town with a growing stack of bills, half his 401k, zero savings, and a new drinking habit. Understandably, he feels that the world has just chewed him up and spit him out.  The second he tried to make his case and prove his worth as a man, the world laughed at his naivety.

That’s when Steve ended up on my website.

I patiently scroll and read page after page of his first email to me. This is nothing new. I’m no longer shocked. I’ve officially heard it all. This is actually not THAT bad of a case compared to some I have read. At least one of his ex-wife’s mentally ill lovers didn’t stab him nine times in the back and leave him to die like the other guy I recently talked to.

After a few emails back and forth, with Steve saying over and over that this isn’t how it was supposed to turn out…I grow a little impatient and say what I say to all guys in his position:

“Okay. You were wrong. Now what?”

It’s Time to Rebuild

When you join the military, they send you to boot camp. Based on what branch of the military you are in; they are all varying degrees of an extremely strenuous experience that few recruits are mentally and physically prepared for.  All of these boot camps have the same end result in mind: They want to break you down and completely rebuild you from the ground up. Why? Because it works.

They don’t want a soldier with baggage. They don’t want a soldier with a mental catalog of self-limiting thoughts and behaviors. They don’t want a soldier who “triggers” and cries when something very stressful and dangerous is going on around them. They want a machine. They want a machine that reacts in the way that will keep themselves and their fellow soldiers alive and still able to carry out the mission. That’s it.

This is the mindset of truly starting over. This is what “Now What?” is all about.

It’s time to break you down and REBUILD you from the ground up. If we’re going to do this, we’re going to do it right.  No dancing around your emotions.  No telling you just what you want to hear to make you feel better. It’s time to get to work.

Rebuilding is about setting aside all of the stupid ******** that happened to you before. It’s about realizing you can be whoever and whatever the hell you want to be. I make it sound simple because it is. Technically, it’s as easy as making the first step and saying “I’m going to do this” … then the rest falls into place. So many men can’t even bring themselves to make that first step. It’s absolutely terrifying.

If you’re a man living in a free country and you have a functioning body and an average IQ, there’s no reason you can’t take the steps you need to turn the page on this god-awful chapter in your life. That’s exactly what it is, after all: One chapter in a much larger story. This is something that HAPPENED to you, not something that has to DEFINE you.  It’s a part of your life story. Make it a springboard that launches you to better things or make it a giant mud pit of awfulness that continuously drags you down and eventually overwhelms you.

Up to you, amigo.

Life****** you over. So… Now What?

Reader Reviews

Great read so far! The first few chapters have given me so much clarity on the crap I’ve been trying to get my head around. I keep going back and re-reading things! Many thanks – helping me get through things one horrible step at a time 

Greg

The book and audio bundle is a life-changer. I listened all the way through during a road trip, then I got home and read the book and took notes. I recommended it to a couple of guys going through divorces that I know. I really think this book will save lives. I know I was on the edge and this helped me see things clearly for the first time. Thank you!

Tony

This was exactly what I needed to read. It helped me a lot. I can start to see the light at the end of the tunnel. It’s been a tough year but I can see I have a lot of great stuff to be thankful for and to look forward to. Thanks!

Jake

I went through the book, twice. Seriously, great job. I loved the links to other resources and the depth you went into on your sources and statistics to back them up. You have an excellent grasp on the male mind when its in pain. I felt your pain probably because I’ve felt your pain. The connection between author and reader is there from beginning to end. The only reason I ever set the book down was because life got in the way, otherwise, I would have read it cover to cover. You cover a broad spectrum of subjects and your advice/opinions line up with all the other books I’ve read out there on similar subjects (I read a lot). Honestly, it’s a great book. I wouldn’t classify it as an e-book simply because it’s in such a better format for the reader. If men pick up this book, it will be a game changer for them.

Mark

At first I didn’t like this book at all. I thought it was way too negative. I was still thinking that I wanted my wife back (ex-wife). I read it again and talked to my friends about my situation and they agreed with what you had said. They’ve been trying to tell me the same thing this whole time. I’m a pushover nice guy and my wife was a sick woman that took advantage of me. I can see that now. I can especially relate to the part about borderline. I’m going over your book with new eyes and I realize it’s all true. It’s really sad but very eye opening. It’s what I need to hear now.

Dave

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