I will be the first to admit that I did EVERYTHING WRONG when I discovered by ex-wife’s infidelity. I am the perfect example of a guy who succeeded in spite of my immediate actions. I got lucky. I’ve spoken to enough guys to see patterns and recognize what one should and shouldn’t do when the big bomb is dropped on you. It can go HORRIBLY wrong if you don’t play your cards right.
Here is the DSO prescription that will give you a better chance of coming out on top.
- Don’t tell her you know or suspect anything. Do you have a piece of concrete evidence or maybe some circumstantial evidence… or maybe just a hunch that she’s up to something? Keep it to yourself. I don’t care how minute it is. Don’t tell her a damn thing. Play detective. Gather evidence. Don’t tell anyone. If she catches wind of you snooping she will play cover-up and you lose your advantage.
- Meet with an attorney. You simply go to an attorney with all that you know about your wife’s activities.. along with your financial information. Income. Debts. The attorney will take a look and let you know where you will stand after divorce. Yes… you are divorcing. There’s no coming back from this. I don’t care what anyone says, it’s over. NOTE: Many times the infidelity has zero bearing on the circumstances of the divorce. Just like everyone else on the planet, the courts don’t care that she cheated. What it MAY do is give you some leverage during negotiations. She may not want the world to know all her sordid details and will bend a little more to keep things quiet. “You know about the llama and the five midgets in Mexico? Okay… I’ll let you have the truck.”
- Present your evidence to the spouse. Act like an attorney. It should go something like this: “Okay… I know about the affair. Please don’t say anything and make it worse. I have more than enough evidence. Just sit and listen.We are divorcing. I have already met with an attorney and have written up an agreement that is fair to both of us. I suggest you hire an attorney ASAP to also look it over. You may move to the basement, or to a friend’s house or anywhere else.. but our current living arrangements will not remain. I will give you ample time to get all of your things in order. I’m sorry it had to come to this. Good luck.”
- Her family is dead. Don’t talk to that sister-in-law you always got along with. Mother-in-law the sweetest thing ever? Good. Be cordial but do not reach out. At all. It will be weird for quite a while.. but that’s ok and better than the alternative. They are all on her team now. Always. No matter what they say she is still their daughter/sister/aunt/cousin… and that means a lot more than “that dude she married that one time”. Even if they just want to talk about how much of a giant slutty crazy woman she is now… you don’t care. You don’t stoop to that level of gossip. You tell them you’re not interested in talking about it and need to go.
- If you have kids, you communicate with your ex only through text or email. Transfer of kids? No talking. She texts you and asks how you are doing? No reply. She sends you some photo from your past? Delete. No kids? She’s dead. Let the attorneys talk. She no longer exists.
There’s a reason for all of this. One reason is to cover your butt and not open yourself up to something that will harm you legally, financially or socially. Another is to start the process of removing emotion from the equation. To become indifferent and stoic in the face of all the crazy and awful things you’ve just learned. You have to eventually, might as well start now and hit the ground running. Your future self will thank you.
I know.. easier said than done. Easy for me to say after years of being removed from the situation. But sometimes the right thing is not the easy thing. Sometimes it’s the hardest thing in the world, but you gotta do it.