Moving Forward After Marital Infedelity
June 6, 2016 12:50 PM   Subscribe

I just found out that my husband of 6 years has had multiple affairs. I am devastated and I have no idea where to even start.

I am in my early thirties; he is mid-thirties. We have been married six years and together for a total of nine. No children but we have pets and own a condo. I had previously known about online emotional affairs, which he swore up and down were over and a mistake etc. Yesterday I found out about physical cheating and confronted him-- he admitted everything, including that he was having yet another online affair. I would not be at all shocked if there was more I didn't know about.

I am devastated, angry, ashamed for his behavior, afraid that I was the last to know in our small town, and completely done trusting him. If life were simple I would have just left, but I am in graduate school and he is my only source of support and our (completely combined) finances are incredibly tight; we have a fair amount of debt in addition to the mortgage. Plus there's the question of the pets. I won't be done with school for a year-- though at that point I'm fairly confident that I could find a job nearly anywhere.

I have completely built my life around my marriage, including moving far from my family and most of my friends. The thought of starting over is terrifying-- I haven't dated in the age of Tinder, I am not exceptionally physically attractive, I desperately want to have kids and I am not 25 anymore. And regardless of what he did we still have shared history and I can't honestly say that I don't still love him. He has said that he will seek individual counseling and arrange marriage counseling, but I am not sure I even want to do it.

I know there's not really a question here, besides the incredibly broad what should I do? I'm looking for steps to take now (I guess I have to get tested for STIs? the idea of telling my doctor that my husband cheated is awful) and ideas of what to do in a situation where I feel trapped by circumstances in a marriage which may be dead in the water.
posted by sockaroniandcheese to Human Relations (38 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
 
Lawyer and a counsellor. I'm so terribly sorry. Everyone deserves to be cherished and adored and the first priority in their marriage.

Your husband is an irredeemable bastard.
posted by taff at 12:58 PM on June 6, 2016 [44 favorites]


Divorce that fucker and move on in your life.

It'll be hard, but I promise far better for you. He had one chance when he promised you the online affair was over the first time. Instead of keeping that promise, he doubled or tripled down and escalated to multiple IRL affairs, in addition to more online affairs. You can never trust him again--he's shown that to you now. Move on; your life will be so much the better for it.
posted by Special Agent Dale Cooper at 12:59 PM on June 6, 2016 [65 favorites]


You don't need to go to your PCP for an STI test if that's too much right now. There are clinics that can handle that sort of thing anonymously. I'm so sorry.
posted by xingcat at 12:59 PM on June 6, 2016 [25 favorites]


Yes. Step 1 is a full STI panel now, and again in a few weeks just to cover any window periods since there's obviously no way you can trust him to be honest about safety or dates. It may suck having to tell your doctor that your husband cheated on you, but there are significant health risks at play, some which could potentially put roadblocks in the way of your desire to have children.

Step 2 is to consult with a divorce lawyer and find out what you need to do to get your ducks in a row. Important to find out: will the sale price of the condo allow you to pay off the mortgage and have money left over?

Step 3 is individual therapy for yourself--your school probably has resources both mental and financial for you.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 1:01 PM on June 6, 2016 [8 favorites]


Start looking for work, and move out, to begin with. If you have to postpone school for a bit, that's what you have to do. A year from now, you will look back on this and wonder how you got through it, but you will have gotten through it.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 1:01 PM on June 6, 2016 [10 favorites]


Chumplady.com
posted by Sublimity at 1:02 PM on June 6, 2016 [3 favorites]


I'm so sorry to hear this has happened to you. There's a ton to unpack here, and I'm not the right person to address most of it, but I do just want to tell you that of all the things you have to worry about, this part

The thought of starting over is terrifying-- I haven't dated in the age of Tinder, I am not exceptionally physically attractive, I desperately want to have kids and I am not 25 anymore.

while understandably frightening right now, will be ok.

It is very, very common to think at the end of a relationship that you'll never be in another relationship again. And in fact, it's that kind of thinking that keeps people in relationships they'd be better off out of. Nearly all the women I know feel that way when relationships end -- regardless of how smart, charming, good looking and attractive to the opposite sex they are.

The only ones who actually stay single are the ones who drop out and give up. The ones who, when they're ready, get back out into the dating pool (whether through apps or not) do eventually find themselves new, better relationships.

Early thirties is still pretty young, definitely young enough to find someone who is better for you, will not cheat on you, and will want to have children with you.
posted by pocketfullofrye at 1:12 PM on June 6, 2016 [27 favorites]


I get the sense from you question that you are torn about staying or leaving. Don't stay because it's convenient. That's the sort of thing that will devastate you down the line. You'll wake up one day wondering what you've done. If you want to save your marriage, then try counseling but don't go through with all that stuff because leaving might be hard.

If you genuinely want to stay go for counseling as a couple and go by yourself. Be honest about where you're at emotionally and know that its okay to decide at any point that it's not going to work for you anymore. Talk to a lawyer even if you want to stay. I think having that conversation will help you have a better understanding of what a divorce will look like and take some of the anxiety away from it. Call up your family and friends. You don't have to tell them anything, but sometimes its just nice knowing that there are people out there who care about you.

If you decide you want to leave, pretty much all the same advice except for the couples counseling. If you need to work, there are many options out there that could work around your schooling.
posted by GilvearSt at 1:13 PM on June 6, 2016 [5 favorites]


Planned Parenthood can also do all the testing you need and tend to be extremely well-trained in sensitivity and awful situations.

Then speak to a lawyer. You must do this to protect yourself no matter how slowly you proceed from there or how this plays out. Many marriages end at inconvenient times, and it gets figured out. Pets survive divorces. People sometimes get roommates for a while. It is figure-out-able, that's all you need to know right this second.

[Absolutely do not move or even offer to move out, however. He can find a couch for a few weeks until you decide if you're separating first or what. This is his fault, his decisions, this is what he wanted.]
posted by Lyn Never at 1:15 PM on June 6, 2016 [50 favorites]


Build a support group. You say your friends are spread out, but that doesn't mean you can't stay in touch with them. Organize a small group of friends that you can share your feelings with whenever you are having them. If they are people you can put in charge of parts of your life that you just can't handle right now, so much the better.

And if there's anything you just want to talk to a stranger about, you can memail me.
posted by yeolcoatl at 1:15 PM on June 6, 2016


You have nothing to be ashamed of. It is not shameful to assume that your husband will be faithful or that he will keep his word to you about ending online affairs. There is nothing shameful in getting tested--and your doctor will not judge you--she will think you are smart to be looking after your health.

Starting now, you need to focus on taking care of yourself. If you can't move out (or are advised not too when you speak with a lawyer) then move to a spare room if you have one--start getting as much separation as you able to from him.

You are going to need legal advice, financial advice, and emotional support. Don't be ashamed--share what is going on with close friends and family so they can give your the support you'll need to get through this.

He's proven to be a liar. So don't believe anything he says--get "team you" assembled and rely on them to tell you the truth.

I'm sorry you are going through this.
posted by agatha_magatha at 1:16 PM on June 6, 2016 [20 favorites]


"Your husband is an irredeemable bastard."

I would be careful putting focus on hating on him. He himself is not an irredeemable bastard, but his behavior is definitely abominable. Only reason I bring it up is in difficult moments like these, instead of addressing your needs, if you focus on hating the person who hurt you it can cause more damage than good.


The other thing I wanted to say is to avoid any vices at this time that you know you go to when seeking comfort. I just wouldn't want you to do anything self-sabotage-y at this stage. You will get through this. Lots of love, good luck
posted by rhythm_queen at 1:23 PM on June 6, 2016 [10 favorites]


I'm so sorry. Please see a counselor. You don't have to go with your husband, but you'll want help in processing everything because infidelity really is a gut punch. A good counselor will help you plan and then take the steps you need to take: whether that's pursuing reconciliation, figuring out STI testing, developing an exit plan, strategizing about who to turn to for emotional support, lawyering up, etc.

But I'm really here to say that I was you once - the emotional affairs that weren't just emotional, the debts, the pets, the having built my life around my marriage, the job uncertainty, the never having dated in an internet age, the worry about my looks (and whether or not I would have more kids).

One difference, though, is that we did have a kiddo. When my marriage fell apart, and because of the nature of my career, I had to do a national job search. And so me and the kiddo (and the pets) ended up moving eight hours away all by ourselves.

I was so scared. And so lonely. And so hurt and devastated.

But then: we learned to co-parent through it; we sorted the debts; the pets and kiddo were resilient; and the internet dating was easier and more fun than I thought it would be.

And now, several years later? I'm happier than I have ever been. I couldn't imagine then that I would be happy ever again, but I'm crazy, deliriously happy these days. I have the most amazing partner and a really satisfying career. I have a sense of myself and a sense of what matters to me, and the conviction that I can get through some shit.

So this is just to say, that all of it feels like so much right now, but you'll get through it step by step, and that maybe -- all of this is a strange, unexpected gift that will make you stronger and happier and better, and will let you find your way into the life that you really want and deserve.
posted by pinkacademic at 1:28 PM on June 6, 2016 [17 favorites]


You don't have to get a divorce. The fact of the matter is - YOU get to decide what to do from here. You can give yourself some breathing space to figure out what you actually want, not just what you want in pain and heartbreak. Maybe you're done with him, and maybe you have enough shared history and love that you want to figure this out with him.

The main thing is, you don't have to do anything right now. You get to have as long as you want to figure out what it is you want. Get tested (you don't have to tell a doctor why), and look into individual counseling. In a week - or a month or a year - when the first awful shock of it has worn off, you can think again about what you want. There's no reason to feel pressure to Figure It Out right this very moment. Hasty decisions are often poor decisions. Unburden yourself of the pressure to know what to do.

Spend time on self care, whatever that means for you. Give yourself enough breathing space that you feel like you can think clearly. And when that moment comes, go into the future fearlessly. Because whatever it is you want? You are strong enough to make it reality. I believe in you.
posted by stoneweaver at 1:48 PM on June 6, 2016 [11 favorites]


Call a few lawyers or some other resource for legal advice and just hear them out. First thing.

(Also, your doctor will absolutely be on your side and will have seen it all and worse before, I promise.)
posted by quincunx at 1:51 PM on June 6, 2016 [3 favorites]


He has said that he will seek individual counseling and arrange marriage counseling

What else has he said? That this is not who he really is, and it's not who he wants to be? That you deserve better and he's ready to dedicate the rest of his life to being the kind of husband you deserve? That he knows he can/will quash the urge to cheat from now on because ____? That he'll make things easy if you decide you cannot forgive him, but he wants so badly to know what he can do to convince you to stay and trust him again? That what he wants most in the world is the chance to build a family with you and you alone?

If you are not hearing anything along those lines -- if there's mostly just chagrin cuz he got caught and/or 'going through the motions' so you'll drop it with minimal fuss -- well... I hope that will factor significantly as you make the decisions ahead of you. You DO deserve better, for what it's worth, and in my opinion your chances of getting better from him are very low if he's not genuinely treating this like the soul-searching-worthy breaking point that it is.
posted by argonauta at 2:06 PM on June 6, 2016 [3 favorites]


I went through a similar experience with my exhusband almost 5 years ago and my biggest regret is that I gave him another chance. The constant reminders of the pain I felt ground me down into nothingness. It took far too long to recover from that and I wish I'd had more faith in my own survival. I'm now in a happy and loving relationship with someone who treats me well, who doesn't have emotional affairs while pretending that I'm crazy and reading into things. I can live an authentic life that doesn't involve catering to a demanding ex.

It's incredibly daunting, especially when you're financially dependent on someone, but you can get through this and through school. You deserve to have a safe and happy life.
posted by A hidden well at 2:26 PM on June 6, 2016 [8 favorites]


If your best friend came to you with this story, what would you say to her? I am 99% sure you'd tell her to GTFO of this. Please just get out. Schooling can wait if necessary. You will find someone else when the time is right (or you can adopt/have a child as a single mother - would you want to have children with this man?). Just get out. (Or, more accurately, kick him out.)

I filed for divorce when all my credit cards were maxed and I was very unhealthy/overweight. I had $0 in savings. It all works out when you start putting yourself first.
posted by getawaysticks at 2:30 PM on June 6, 2016 [15 favorites]


You're going to feel shellshocked for a while. Probably a couple months. Just... I guess know that and let it happen. Be mindful of it, aware of it. [Personal aside: I did a lot of yelling, both at my boyfriend and in private. For no other reason than to fucking yell out loud.]

Crises don't have to go straight to the lawyer. That usually grates nerves more than salves wounds, and gets expensive very quickly. You say you still might love him, you say you're worried about finances, you say... well there's just a lot there, and this is all so fresh. It's trite but solid advice to avoid making major decisions for a little while. You're very hurt right now and that's not a state conducive to changing course (for most people, it seems).

I only read a couple of responses, but you have more options than divorce and run. This is not an uncommon experience, and you'll find a greater diversity of experience in published works on relationships and infidelity than you will on an internet forum. Guide yourself to resources like that based on how you feel as you come out of the fog of shock.

To give you anecdotal data points: when I found out about my boyfriend's affair, it took me about a month to go to a support group help at the library I live near (it was a niche group, an LGBT relationships conversation/support group mediated by a clinical psychologist). It was a help. I eventually made some requests of my boyfriend, like that I'd need him to see a therapist before considering sticking around (I'm a stepdad to his kids, and I didn't want to fuck them up by bailing and leaving them with a bio dad in bad shape). He got a counselor and we spent a good few months talking things out--with much disagreement--on how we both wanted to structure our relationship to save it. In the sense that it finally got us talking about issues that had otherwise gone unspoken (or even unconscious), we look back on this like it was a twisted Good Thing. And things did improve. They improved slowly, but greatly.

So, if that's something you want, there are ways to work toward it. But, again, focus on yourself for now and see if you can find free or low-cost counseling or meetups in the immediate future. It might help you to know that there's a way to talk this out without having to talk it out with your partner.

Be well.
posted by late afternoon dreaming hotel at 2:42 PM on June 6, 2016 [1 favorite]


Personally I would suggest you not worry about the question of whether to stay with him or not for now. I think rather that you have a more immediate problem which is that you've realized you are not a whole person without this marriage. And whether you stay partnered or not, you deserve to be a whole person, and I think you should focus on yourself and becoming whole, and later on you can decide about what to do with your husband.

I don't think he is necessarily beyond redemption. This could be a wake-up call for him, a rock bottom moment in which he admits his own faults and begins to turn his life around. Or, it could not. But if he does want the marriage to continue, and it seems he does because he's talking about counselling, then that actually gives you some leverage -- it is one thing you have that he wants and can't get without your co-operation. You can define conditions on what he has to do if he wants to stay married to you. For example, you could demand that he move out indefinitely but continue to support you while you figure things out and recover from this crisis. I know there are a lot of reasons why this seems unfeasible, but he may find a creative solution is the issue is forced. And you could use this time, whatever you can extract from him, to become more resourced and stable so you can navigate this and future situations with a clear head. The power dynamics are really working against you, so I encourage you to take full advantage of the leverage you have right now.
posted by anybodys at 3:03 PM on June 6, 2016 [4 favorites]


He will never stop lying to you. You have to protect yourself.

It sounds insane, but being cheated on was actually a huge ego boost for me. I suddenly realized that there was nothing I could have done to make my husband want to be with me—which meant I could start doing whatever I damn well pleased without giving two shits what he thought of me. I finally started to feel like a real, independent adult. I'm way too awesome and important to waste my time trying to convince some asshole to like me.

I know it doesn't feel like it, and it may not for a long time, but you will be ok and you will eventually be stronger for having lived through this. It is truly a waking nightmare to discover that everything you've trusted has been lies, and it's ok to feel despondent and enraged and aggrieved and whatever else you feel. Just know that it isn't your fault. You didn't make him cheat, he chose to.

For immediate steps, I would urge you to get counseling for yourself. There are some very affordable options for counseling from legit online services.
posted by a strong female character at 3:21 PM on June 6, 2016 [4 favorites]


Nthing counseling for yourself. This is the time for it.

And while he should also get himself a therapist because there is something clearly and obviously badly broken in him that he needs to tend to, say no to marriage counseling for now. People believe some ridiculous mythology about marriage counseling, in short assuming it fixes something, that you show up six times and get a certificate that says your marriage is fine now and you'll never ever speak of what happened again. Men, in particular, who invoke it right at the moment you should be changing the locks are the same men who, when you're later changing the locks, will spit that they went to the fucking marriage counselor for you, what else do you want?

Marriage counseling is for people who want - actually want - to stay married. Mediation is for people who want to divorce as well as possible. You need to let the shock pass before you a) decide which of those things you want b) assess what he is actually capable of. He really should leave for probably a couple of months minimum, in therapy weekly, in rehab if it turns out this is also a substance abuse issue, because there's no way he can tell you today whether he's capable of redemption - if he does, he's lying - but it might be a conversation you will be fully armed and prepared to start at that point.
posted by Lyn Never at 3:43 PM on June 6, 2016 [3 favorites]


The other thing I wanted to say is to avoid any vices at this time that you know you go to when seeking comfort.

Unless there is some demonstrable reason OP in particular should not do this, like "would interfere with AA meetings," I would suggest rounding up a friend, and hitting the pubs and not coming home until the wee hours, if at all.

(I also think it would be interesting to find out if, with him out of the house and you with wine and a good stereo, you found yourself weepy and missing him or exulting in "@#$* that @#$!@()!!!" In vino veritas and all that.)

Do this after interviewing a few attorneys to find out what your rights are.

Can you sell the condo, use the equity to fund finishing school? Can you move in with family, transfer to a school there?

Your doctor will be appalled at your partner and pleased with you for being responsible enough to come in for tests, guaranteed.
posted by kmennie at 5:23 PM on June 6, 2016 [2 favorites]


Start hiding money from him now. Use some of it to hire a private investigator to catch him in the act. He did the bad thing, he should pay. This is a situation where you can and should get alimony.

Don't sell yourself short. You don't have to look like a model to turn a man's head. Dating someone who actually values you as a person will feel wonderful. You can do this. And don't worry about future children other than to promise yourself that you will find them a father that they, and you, can count on.
posted by myselfasme at 5:35 PM on June 6, 2016 [1 favorite]


Your first step is go to the Gynecologist, and get checked, for everything. Rent a storage unit, put it all there, find a place to stay, until you work out how to go on.
posted by Oyéah at 6:35 PM on June 6, 2016


You might want to go to your financial aid office to find out about student loans and grants. The federal deadline for aid for the upcoming school year is the end of June.
posted by salvia at 6:56 PM on June 6, 2016 [4 favorites]


I am devastated, angry, ashamed for his behavior, afraid that I was the last to know in our small town, and completely done trusting him. If life were simple I would have just left

This is very strong and clear. Compared to this, your reasons to stay are weak.

As much as you fear getting divorced now, imagine making this discovery afresh ... in four years. ... in six years when you're pregnant. ... in nine years when you have a toddler and a baby. How will you feel then?
posted by salvia at 7:02 PM on June 6, 2016 [3 favorites]


I'm so sorry. :(

the idea of telling my doctor that my husband cheated is awful

It's none of your doctor's business why you're having a test. You're not sure but you may have been exposed and you need to be tested for sexually transmitted infections. A full panel, please. That's all the information you should ever need to provide.

I know that someone upthread suggested skipping your doctor and going the anonymous clinic route, but you may want to consider that there's value in having the tests performed by someone who is aware of your full medical history. If any test comes back positive, they will be better able to discuss your options with you.
posted by zarq at 7:23 PM on June 6, 2016 [4 favorites]


but I am in graduate school and he is my only source of support and our (completely combined) finances are incredibly tight; we have a fair amount of debt in addition to the mortgage. Plus there's the question of the pets. I won't be done with school for a year-- though at that point I'm fairly confident that I could find a job nearly anywhere.

A while back my best girlfriend was getting her phD and had a crappy boyfriend. She was 2 weeks away from her defense and wanted to dump him. He was icing her out for God only knows why. But she was stressed about her defense, but was worried about the dumping. What to do?

String him along, I said. Blow smoke up his ass. Say hey baby I'm fine just focussing on the defense will call later. You have One Job right now and that's to get this phD. He can wait.

To you I will say much of the same. This dude clearly doesn't give you any consideration so you owe him about the same. Stay in this marriage just as long as it takes to finish grad school. Use him as that support. Don't sleep with him. Say sorry baby not in he mood... For the next year. Fake your way through marriage counselling (he is). Because fuck him. And as soon as that degree is in your hot little hands dump his ass and don't look back.
posted by St. Peepsburg at 7:56 PM on June 6, 2016 [27 favorites]


Lawyer, lawyer, lawyer. Get one asap.
posted by metajim at 8:27 PM on June 6, 2016 [2 favorites]


I'm very sorry this has happened and I'm hesitant to add advice because with the whole gamut of responses you've gotten, your head is likely spinning. Get a lawyer? Get drunk? Support group?

My advice is to SLOW DOWN. Slow wayyy down there. You said you're not sure you want to work it out with him. Okay then, take time and space to figure things out.

This is what I think you should do:
1. If you have any family relations, call them for support. Ditto friends. Let people rally around and support you. Accept all offers of help.
2. Tell your husband he needs to move out for at least a month. It's HIS problem to figure out where to go and how to pay for it.
3. Open a new checking account and squirrel away some money. Also get a few new credit cards in your name. There's a possibility your husband will clear out all joint financial accounts; be prepared by putting some money away.
4. Get tested.
5. Divorce lawyers range from incompetent, unintelligent lazypants to scary sharks. Ask around for recommendations and take a few meetings. These consults will be free but you can get a feel for the divorce process. (And FWIW, you may want to be a nice person and above the rancor, but trust me, you want a motherf*cking shark of a lawyer who will protect you.)
6. Go to school, make some friends, get on with your life. Hike, get a cat, play some tennis, volunteer. Just get out of the house.
7. Don't try to force what you should do next. Things will become more clear over time.
posted by yes I said yes I will Yes at 2:50 AM on June 7, 2016 [2 favorites]


You have no reason to feel ashamed. Everyone will hate your husband for being an asshole, and they will understand. Anyone who doesn't is just scared that they have to face not being as in control of life as they need to believe.

Trust me. You didn't do anything wrong and you didn't do anything to cause his disloyal behavior. He's the one people will blame, not you, so don't be afraid or beat yourself up.
posted by discopolo at 3:29 AM on June 7, 2016 [1 favorite]


I wanted to second calling your friends, even if they're far away. I had a friend call me once at 2AM because she'd just discovered her husband was cheating on her, crying and occasionally dropping the phone to go vomit. I was glad she called, I was glad she wasn't alone, I was glad to be able to be with her (even just via the phone) as she worked through the initial shock and into a calmer spot where she could start to think, to do the initial planning of "what do I do now?"

She tried to reconcile; it didn't work out, but I supported her through trying, and I supported her through the divorce. I'm sure you'll have at least one friend who will want to do that for you. You need people in your corner.
posted by RogueTech at 7:21 AM on June 7, 2016 [3 favorites]


I know how you feel. I've been there - 5 years ago. It sucked, and sucked hard. I was one year into a PhD program, myself. But it all worked out, and I'm glad it happened in a way, because it was a badly needed wake-up call. I had been low-level dissatisfied and stifled for years, and I deserved better but didn't want to rock the boat. After I found out about his cheating, I basically blew up the boat and walked away, free of the bad marriage I wasted my thirties on.

Believe me - you can get through this. It's not too late to start over. Good luck. Message me if you need to talk.
posted by sockpuppetryarts at 8:24 AM on June 7, 2016 [1 favorite]


I stayed in an abusive marriage because I was terrified of all the details I would have to work out to leave. Eventually I reached the end of my rope and my misery beat my anxiety over the practicalities. The relief was immense and you end up realizing, it's all going to be ok. It may be tough, it may suck, but take things one thing at a time.
What he has done is unforgivable and I am heartbroken for you. Your life is valuable. You deserve happiness. Please leave and find it.
posted by shesbenevolent at 11:17 AM on June 7, 2016 [1 favorite]


It's none of your doctor's business why you're having a test. You're not sure but you may have been exposed and you need to be tested for sexually transmitted infections. A full panel, please. That's all the information you should ever need to provide.

I mean, this is technically true, but I think hiding the fact that you are under more stress than you have ever been in your life from the one person most qualified to provide medical assistance for it is counterproductive. At the very least, just say "Due to Life Events, I need STI tests and also I am under a crushing amount of stress." But you can also say that at Planned Parenthood or an Urgent Care place, if that's more comfortingly anonymous for you. They are doctors who can prescribe whatever you need.
posted by Lyn Never at 12:07 PM on June 7, 2016 [1 favorite]


Before you drop out of grad school or try to change to a different program, take a good hard look at whether that makes sense for you, your grad program, and your goals.

Talk to a lawyer about your options -- you don't have to pick any of those options right now, and your spouse certainly doesn't need to know you've been exploring them. But you should know what those options are.
posted by yohko at 5:09 PM on June 7, 2016


Start hiding money from him now. Use some of it to hire a private investigator to catch him in the act. He did the bad thing, he should pay. This is a situation where you can and should get alimony.

This sort of thing varies by jurisdiction. For example, in some states in the U.S., evidence of adultery could give you an advantage in divorce proceedings. In others, it is generally irrelevant. This is why you should consult with a lawyer. You don't have to decide now whether or not to leave him, but you should learn more about what divorce would be like for you so you can intelligently consider your options. How long would it take, would get you support (alimony) to cover your continued tuition and could you get your tuition paid after filing but before the divorce was granted, how assets would be divided, etc.

I don't have any research or expert basis for this, but I suspect that the fact that he has had multiple affairs makes it less likely that he would be able to change and become an honest and monogamous partner for you.
posted by Alluring Mouthbreather at 6:18 AM on June 8, 2016


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