Here’s a letter from one of my subscribers that we will call “Jacob”.
My wife met a 23-year-old guy, a guy who is 15 years younger than her, who she snuck behind my back and brought my children around.
My wife decided to have an affair 8 months ago and before I knew about the affair she told me on my 36th Birthday she didn’t know if she wanted to be with me anymore because I was controlling. I didn’t see this coming because she had never said anything to me about being unhappy before this. She said it was not right that she had to take care of the children and have the house in order as we both agreed she would do when she quit her job 8 years ago. She was a 28-year-old waitress at Sizzler and I owned my own multimillion dollar businesses.
I would come home to her friends being at the house and her drinking all afternoon. I would get home from work after being gone for 15 hours and would have to say something about how the house was a wreck and how there was no dinner in sight. We even had a maid, but she told me that it was sexist of me to pay her to do stereotypical work. This was a point I didn’t want to argue so I fired our maid, but the maid is now one of my wife’s friends who is at the house all the time. I also know my wife just gives her money.
My wife met a 23-year-old guy, a guy who is 15 years younger than her, who she snuck behind my back and brought my children around. We’ve been married for 15 years and have 3 children. She wants a divorce and plans to move her new boyfriend in with our kids. I cannot handle the idea of my children being around this new boyfriend. I know the relationship won’t last between her and this kid, but I don’t want this guy being around my kids doing who knows what. If this kid was fine with breaking up a marriage I know he doesn’t have the maturity to be able to raise kids. This boyfriend can’t even discipline himself so I don’t want him trying to discipline my kids. She thinks this is perfectly fine to do. I do love her and would do anything to keep my family together. I always thought she was the one for me. What can I do?
I know this is not all my fault because I busted my ass to build the life she always dreamed of and thinks she can throw me out now that the work is done.
I’ll take any help.
Your surprise to her infidelity and willingness to implode your life and your children’s lives shows that we, as individuals in our relationship, have to start asking ourselves, “Why did I believe my partner was so safe,” instead of asking, “Why was my partner so undependable?”
There is nothing you can do to stop this. You can just make this an easy of a transition as possible for yourself and your kids. Don’t speak poorly about her publicly or to your kids. You’re young and sound like a hard working man so focus on your kids and yourself now. This relationship is a lost cause to your wife and she isn’t investing in you, the relationship and is okay with the ramifications of what this will do to the kids when someone just puts into action breaking apart a relationship, family, and home without trying to do anything about it.
She wanted out and swiftly did what she wanted to do. If she wanted to work on the relationship she would have just as swiftly spoken to you to do something about the relationship. She gets to choose that, no matter how wrong it feels.
Learn to be a healthy narcissist for yourself. Work out, get yourself physically better and look for someone to get some psychological help because men are 10x more common to commit suicide than women are after a divorce and I don’t know your full situation and would want to make sure you make it through it so you can make it for your kids and yourself.
Also, you have to make sure you don’t repeat this relationship and marry another woman who is like this. We are brilliant at recreating and refinding our miseries and making the same relationship with a different person. Find a professional to make sure you don’t repeat this relationship when it comes time for you to look again. The relationship ended up not being a good relationship and the negotiation of desire and safety is a battle that we are not naturally able to negotiate with another person. This battle us also the one that breaks down long-term relationships. Working on yourself and working on understanding how to negotiate safety and desire in your relationship will help you make sure this doesn’t happen to you again. You’ll become attracted to a woman who is constructive to you, not just familiar to you.
I hope you get through this. I know I only have your side of the story, but it sounds like a destructive mistake is being made by her. To sneak behind your spouses back and bring your kids around someone you are having an affair with is in no way excusable, regardless of gender or age.
But, there is no such thing as “The One”. There are many “ones” for us and some are more constructive for us than others.
Remember, you no longer have control over this and it will be popular to blame you for her cheating on you. People will tell you that you worked too much and didn’t pay enough attention to her so you drove her to cheat. As much as I know that you are not completely innocent in this situation, you didn’t drive someone to break up a family and cheat. She is her own person just as you are your own person.
You don’t control her and she has a mind of her own and she chose to cheat instead of choosing to invest in your 15-year marriage. There are billions of other complex factors playing into this that we don’t know here, but we can see the end result and the behavior and can only judge based on this right now.
I understand your want to try to work on the relationship and you can try marriage counseling. But, there is no such thing as “The One”. There is the one we wish to be with forever, but we can’t always have what we wish for. There are many “ones” for us and some are more constructive for us than others. There is a point where it is too late and very often I see couples come into my office when it’s too late and one is just using me to validate that the relationship is broken beyond repair while the other blames me for not fixing the relationship.
Focus on your kids and yourself.
Get professional help as you go through the divorce emotionally and legally.
I believe you when you say you didn’t see it coming. We believe that as long as we do what we have agreed to do in the relationship that the relationship will be safe. You’re seeing that safety is a co-created illusion. How surprised we are when our dependable spouse is seen to be not so dependable. Your surprise to her infidelity and willingness to implode your life and your children’s lives shows that we, as individuals in our relationship, have to start asking ourselves, “Why did I believe my partner was so safe,” instead of asking, “Why was my partner so undependable?” When we can live asking the first question we can change the destructive assumption of safety we live under when live by the second one.
You’re going to be going through a long process in the divorce courts and you will have to communicate with your soon to be x-wife about the kids and many other things. My guide 4-Step Solution on How to Not Argue with your Lover helps you have these conversation without them becoming arguments that can and will hurt you in court and in your life.