My husband of 10 years is divorcing me. We have three young children. He says the past two years have been hard on him because I didn't care about him, which is a lie. I love him. I have always loved him.
The past two years he's worked 80 hours a week while I was a stay-at-home mom. He resented working so much to sustain our lifestyle and I resented him for never being here. He believes divorce is what he needs to be a better father because he takes out his anger on the kids.
We never had a conversation about any of this until he decided to leave. I don't know what to do because I know divorce is never good for children.
He thinks I am using him for his money, but I have been with him through medical school, residency and now private practice. I worked the first years of our marriage while he was in school, so that statement is not true.
We separated 15 months ago. A year ago he filed for divorce but we are still married. He never gave me a true reason why he left. Two months ago, I found out he proposed to someone early last year. The girl is much younger than he is.
He denies it all. However, there's photographic evidence of the proposal and ring on their wedding website. I don't know what to believe.
I want our family and I want us. I never wanted separation or divorce, and I have been fighting to get him back. Since I found out about the affair and engagement, we have been talking through texts and trying to figure out what happened to us.
Am I doing the right thing in fighting for him, or should I let go? Do cheaters always cheat?
Regina, what he is doing is a cliché: trading in the wife for a younger model.
Let's look at your last question first. Do cheaters always cheat?
The problem with staying with a cheater is that cheating destroys trust. We have a built-in cheater alarm which goes off whenever we are with someone who has broken faith with us. This sense has developed over the long course of human history on the planet. Why? Because dealing with cheaters is a high risk activity.
Even if you stayed with your husband, you would have a hard time being around him.
He says he resents you for the long hours of work he has put in. The reality is in his profession he would have put in nearly the same amount of work with or without you. The amount of work strikes us as a justification not a reason. He thinks he is entitled to a younger woman. He's "earned" it.
You wrote that you've been "trying to figure out what happened to us," but you are talking with a man who is engaged to another woman. Most likely he wants to calm you to ease his escape.
Should you fight for your marriage? That looks like a lost cause. But you do need to fight for your children and for yourself. What do we suggest? Privately and without warning your husband consult with a very good, very experienced divorce attorney.
This is our suggestion of what you will want after a divorce.
1. A home for you and your children.
2. Support sufficient to get your children up to and through college.
3. Education or retraining for yourself so that when you reenter the job market, you will be in a promising, relatively lucrative field.
Our feeling is he is getting ready to lower the boom on you, and he is hoping to do it on terms which are favorable to him and his new bride, regardless of your needs.
A good divorce lawyer can give you guidance and do the heavy lifting you may be unwilling to do.
~ Wayne & Tamara
Column for the week of May 11, 2015
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