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Wife Wants Divorce - END OF MY WORLD

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My wife after 10 years of marriage, in 2015, betrayed me, sexting at least three different men, (She claimed she never actually "did the deed"). But I found all of the insane videos the guys sent and my wife sent back. It was horrific and I actually went outside to vomit!  I stopped the divorce process only for my young son but our relationship was very crippled. I couldn't look at her the same after that and we slept in separate bedrooms. A couples therapist diagnosed her as histrionic, which is something like an exhibitionist only worse, I had to have open heart surgery, 7/2019. Amazingly my wife was there for me. I had just turned 63 and was looking to retire in December 2020. I forced myself to forgive her, and did, and December 2019 was really great! We were back together! I really loved her again! About three months later  (3/2020) I discovered she was having some kind of online affair with her first boyfriend from high school. I saw her phone ringing for a video chat, while she was out talking to a neighbor, the display said from "SOULMATE" with his name. UGH! I was just devastated, literally dropped to my knees. I confronted her and she admitted it. Then two weeks later she said, "I'm going to make gift baskets overnite for a charity". by 10PM I knew she was with that man at a hotel despite her story, I texted her relentlessly, begging her not to do this! The next morning, she came home strangley furious with me. She said she only saw him for two hours. I ended up later getting into her cloud photos and there he was!  Mr. naked ex-boyfriend man in the hotel.room! Their luxury jucuzzi bath filling up, It was horrific! Now that she was exposed she became open about it, "says get over it", and drives up every weekend now to spend with him! THAT IS KILLING ME. No man should go through that. All 3 of our grown sons (two still with us at home) are angry with her as well, and all have spoken up to condemn her actions.When you have a spouse that is committing adultery it can cause something called "betrayal Trauma" in the betrayed spouse,, very much like PTSD.  I not only have that but I have to endure the constant visuals in my head of her boyfriend and her every 48hr weekend. 

So here I am, age 63, looking so forward to retire, now will lose my house, my retirement, my wife, my 3 dogs, everything. Plus my self-esteem is completely shot. How can a man start over? Yes, I wished I would've done the right thing in 2015 and divorced- I stayed for my youngest son.  This is the MOST pain I have ever experienced. My therapist honestly hasn't helped my pain at all.

Has anyone else somehow survived this?




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Beverly Annika

Hi Michael,

i am going through a nightmare at the moment. I can’t eat and can’t sleep. I am so sorry to hear your story. I have known my husband for 25 years.  He is from India and we were passionately in love. We have been married for 18 years. I had a difficult pregnancy and our son was born premature at 1 pound. He is now 17 and an amazing young man. We were living in California for 17 years with my husband.  He started having money issues and becoming really abusive and mean to me and our son.  We were doing a long commute.  He has obsessive compulsive disorder and hoarding issues. I always loved him no matter what. He always thought I was the beautiful one and he was not.  We became distant due to the financial hardships and stress.  I still lived him and I believe he still loved me.   Three years This summer, my son (then 14) left him and went to Florida to be with my mother.  I got a job teaching and my son goes to the private school where I teach. The first year, my husband sent no money because we still had our rented home in California. I forgave him due to the circumstances. My son and I flew there several times to clean our home out.  He didn’t help us, but still seemed to miss us terribly. I was deeply hurt. But stoic. I had turned in to a single mom with no help.  My husband had always adored our son and me.  The second year, my son and I stayed in Florida for school and work and my elderly mom.  My husband downward spiraled. He lost his sales engineering job and he claimed he was homeless. I never gave up, but tried to protect our son from his issues by staying in Florida. I was hoping that my husband would work on himself and get another job so that we could be a family again. He hardly contacted us after that. It was really sad after 25 years of being his best friend. And sad for our son. This past November, I found out through research that he had been involved with a woman two years ago when we had left.  She was just using him for friendship, but he wanted more. It was a fantasy relationship because she didn’t know the truth about him. He was severely depressed and having a hard time when we left. She filed a restraining order against him which is how I found out almost two years later. He wouldn’t admit to the relationship claiming she was a criminal. I later spoke to the woman these last few weeks and she told me the story (which she constantly changed). She insisted that she had been only friends. I broke down and cried and realized that I was still in love with him, but he had severe issues. He had gotten another job for a few months and had actually wired money to us. And then he lost it and is now livIng in his car in San Francisco. We have been talking regularly after two years of not seeing each other. It is heart wrenching for me. He seems to want to be a family again but has no job. I can’t forgive him or get over the emotional affair. It gives me nightmares. And I cry all the time knowing that he betrayed me. He won’t admit it a d won’t talk about it. We haven’t seen each other for two years. My son is really angry at him. And I cry all the time and have severe anxiety since he came back into our lives. I feel like I need to see him again. To know if he is serious. And what he is really doing. It feels like a horrible mind game on his part, but then again, he has no job  and lives in his car.   I can’t let go until I know if he loves me still.  I am a strong, beautiful, educated and international woman. I can’t understand how he can control my mind like this. He has caused me to lose everything.  Our son wants to be a doctor and is amazing. I am heartbroken and in shock.




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Hi. I'd written a post awhile ago but hadn't joined yet so it seemed to disappear.

I understand trying to maintain the marriage even after betrayal. It's hard to know if it would have been any better if you'd left sooner... Maybe she would have found a way to hook you back in, anyway.

My story is not quite the same but the loss of the marriage has been very difficult and I've been piecing my life back together over the past two and a half years. My ex and I were together 7 years, married almost four years, when he left out of the blue in 2017. I thought we had a good relationship and a good marriage. I'd supported him through mental health crises and graduate school. He was 18 years younger than me (If we'd been the same age, I wouldn't have been able to do the same things for him). I was left with the responsibility of paying the mortgage on my own for a year and a half, until we sold the house, and he got half of everything (no fault divorce in a 50-50 state).  The day I had to put one of my dogs to sleep for lung cancer, the countercomplaint from his attorney arrived -- I'd filed for divorce a year after he left.  The document stated that if I didn't agree to terms, he would allege marital misconduct. It was just one horrible, ugly thing after another. I had drawn on my own past hardships and trauma history to be able to give him what I did, and he took what he could. Both financially and spiritually it still feels like theft.

I'm not sure what to do for the pain. I still struggle with it. Mostly I feel incredibly isolated, and it's been this way for a year and a half, not just since the pandemic began. If it weren't for my dog I'm not sure I would have made it (She misses the dog I had to put to sleep, too.). I moved to a different state in 2018 and have no sense of community here. I've been involved in communities where I've lived for a number of years now, so this in particular is very difficult. I've tried to reconnect with friends from the past, with mixed results -- Can feel very ignored, invisible.  It's such a process putting the pieces back together.   

After he left I started doing "box breathing" (a breathing exercise, kind of meditation) for 15 minutes a day, and last year I started doing yoga, Yoga with Adriene on Youtube. He and I used to do a lot outdoors and I need some kind of physical activity. It helps. Nothing completely takes away the pain when it hits. I've had a few really low points. Am still trying to comprehend it. I think being able to communicate about it helps.  And it's nice when someone understands... It was hard after he left that most people said ugly things about him, when that isn't what I wanted to hear. 

You sound like a very tolerant person.  What you've been going through sounds over the top excruciating.  I hope the validation helps and doesn't make anything feel worse.

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