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How did it ever come to this?
#1
How did it ever come to this. 
Been married for 11 years, together for 3 years before that.

Never an easily relationship, she had all sorts of mental issues, but I was always there for her, always supported her and tried my best. I was easily going, and optimist, and she was more intense. But when things were good they were fantastic.

Sure I made mistakes along the way, said the wrong thing, or did the wrong thing, nothing major, just small stuff, in my mind. Never cheated, hit her, even shouted at her. 

But she always felt I wasn't there for her. I worked too much. We had years of counselling, marriage counselling and she had her own counselling.

Then one month ago she says to me she loves me but is not in love with me. That we should separate. I'm stunned, but agree. Its agreed, we won't be intimate with anyone else. We go on a family holiday, best holiday ever. Get back, but she's still adamant this is what she wants. 

She doesn't want to be 40 and in a marriage like this. Wants to find someone she can love and who can love her back.

When she told her therapist she called it "Reclaiming her life", like I had held her prisoner.

So I agree. Breaks my heart but what can I do. Im in shock. We set some initial agreements. We'll stay in the house together, for the sake of the kids, and finances. All our finances are combined and have been since we married.

Almost immediately she's on dating websites, floods of men contacting her. She's attractive, in great shape. 

She goes out on Saturday for a girls night out. Meets some random guy in a bar, sleeps with him. When she didn't come back that night I asked her and she admitted it, but said she didn't want to hurt me.

Says it wasn't adultery as we agreed to separate. Cant understand why I'm upset. She had emotionally been ready for this for years.

YEARS? What the actual fk. I wish she had told me so I could have done the same.

During our marriage I was proposition three times, by three different women, that I could easily have cheated on her with, but did not, because I believed that marriage vows meant something, that loyalty meant something. I thought she shared those values, and she'll probably say she does, and that we had separated. It may not have been adultery, but it hurts like it was.

She's gone on three dates since with other guys. I'm at home looking after the kids. Alone.

I am aghast at how quickly I have been replaced. That some other man has been with my wife and done god knows what with her.

She doesn't work. We have three kids. I'm in the spare room.

I worked 18 hour days building my company up, when we had no money that was her complaint, when we had money it was that I worked too much. I put up with stress and exhaustion to provide this life. Literally sick with worry sometimes.


I have worked so hard to build this life. We have a large detached house in the country, kids go to private school, drive nice cars and have amazing holidays. Yet this was not enough. Im always around for the kids, school events, or treats etc.

Now she is constantly texting away on her phone, when the kids are there, when we're watching tv, in the car, pretty much every moment. Drives me insane, obviously chatting with other guys.

I am completely and utterly devastated. This was the woman I thought I would grow old with.

I thought she was my soul mate. That were were on a journey that would last us the rest of our lives.

I feel like I have wasted 14 years of my life. I'm almost 40 now, and I feel I'm now too old to start again, to ever find love. That I'll be alone forever. And old man who's kids don't visit him and who dies alone in a bedsit.

We used to joke about what we'd be like as grandparents. Even keep the kids cot for the day when grandkids will come to visit us. But now that won't happen. EVER.

I'm grieving for the future I thought was so certain. What does the future hold for the kids. What will they grow up like, now this has happened?

I go through phases of feeling ok, and then feeling like my heart is going to explode. I haven't cried like this.... since I don't know when. feels like my world is coming apart.

I am trying to hold it together, but its so hard. I haven't got any friends I can confide in, no support network. Don't want to talk to a therapist.

I am going to need to be so strong in the times to come, but don't know how.

I want us to be amicable, and so far we are, but the pain is so great, and she doesn't seem to care. Just pressing forward with what she wants, "reclaiming her life", no matter the cost to me.
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#2
She is playing games and playing on your heart strings. Now it all depends on how old your children are and at some point you are going to have to errmm make changes as it cant continue like it is at moment. seems like she is taking total libertys and having her cake and eat it. You are in a very awkward situation as in you have children and a huge house you own. Best scenario for you is if she does left and u had house and children but it never works out like that does it i guess? You must be very upset at moment and your children are your rock and keep you being positive
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#3
Yep, very upset.

Kids are 9,7 and 3.
She's not a bad person, or purposefully being mean. But looking back I'm now wondering if she's is completely self absorbed, everything is about her, and how she feels. That she doesn't realise, or really care, how this makes me feel, just that it makes her feel good, free.

I don't want to move out, because the kids would be very badly affected. They had a difficult few years with grandparents dying. Also, not sure I want to end up in a one bed place staring at the walls all the time.
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#4
I think the big issue you have to deal with is which is so so hard is getting over your ex and moving on. what i mean is imagine how easier it would be if you had no feelings u would have 3 children and you wouldnt be bothered what she done and you would be happy yourself. unfortunately life isnt like that and i imagine u are very upset and its your children that put a big smile on your face. It seems from what you described she has switched herself off and is failing to realise that there is anything the matter and has like u say gone into her own bubble not thinking at all about her actions or anything she is doing.
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#5
As much as you may not want to hear this, but you need to start planning your exit so that you have a future with your children and finances sorted.

1. Don't leave family home until you have an agreed childcare arrangement in writing - or a care order
2. Start keeping your phone on you to passively record your day, should your ex make claims against you
3. Ensure as much comms with your ex is done over email / text so that you have electronic records
4. Keep an electronic diary of your daily activities with kids, no matter how small they may seem. Email these notes to yourself at the end of the day so that they are date time stamped
5. DO NOT RESPOND TO ANY PROVOCATION. Think of the bigger picture - a future where you get to care for your children.
6. Start planning your financial separation. She'll try to fleece you for every penny. Mitigate against this by all legal means possible.
7. Take up a sport / go to gym and work off the emotions. Your body and mind are linked.
8. See a therapist, not for the therapy, but to have a good cry.

Good luck brother. Your children need you, so stay strong.
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#6
i read this and shudder - as many similarities to my own case and can fully understand and relate to your sense of absolute helplessness, devastation and total shock. I'm only 4 months post my ex leaving with our young son. I still can only describe it as being in an emormous car crash in which I was the passenger.

I engaged a Solicitor immediately and whilst very good they only deal in the 'process' and legal aspects of matrimonial law as much as they are very necessary to defend yourself - this forum and the tremendous help & knowledge and if requested advice, is just invaluable. I only wish I had found it one day 1 and not a month ago.

I like maybe yourself and all before us - simply thought I must be a unique case and felt totally alone in not be able to understand why the person I loved and I willingly shared everything I had could be so heartless and cruel.
I thought I would somehow be able to rationlize it, find answers to make some sense of her decisions. The more I uncovered of the deceit and lies to cover her tracks, only made the despair even worse.

Even though she left wanting everything to be amicable and friendly. Me believing that was my first very very big mistake. The change in her attitude and demands was instant. 4 months on at the age of 55 with only now limited access to my son - I have to deal with an ex wife who is malicious, devious and conniving and someone who is total stranger to the person I loved is the mother of our son.

You will find only support and tremendous advice here to the days and weeks ahead in whatever decsions you make for you and your children.
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#7
I cannot tell you how much your responses have helped me.

For the first time since this began, I don't feel quite so alone.

Thank you.
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#8
Take in as much advice as you can and really start to plan ahead - Even though I engaged my solicitor 2 weeks before she left, I'd really wished someone would have given me Warwickshire's and especially Proud Dad's list.
More importantly that I'd acted on every point on the list.
If I had I would be in a far better position than I am tonight. I haven't made major mistakes but that list of what to do is really so important. Point 5 is the hardest one to achieve as the pure fabrication and lies that might be levelled at you in an emotional and distressing situations means you want to naturally defend yourself. It's highlighted correctly for a reason - just don't - its hard to understand why now but in my case 4 months later - arguments I engaged in defending undeserved, insenstive and comments when there is real stress and tension whilst living the final days under the same roof - are now twisted beyond all recognition and put into a narritive being used against me of false threats, abuse and intimidation.
I thought I knew my ex wife extremely well and just accepted and adapted to her sometimes extreme behaviour and insensitivity. Never ever thought I would be in the position I am today.
It's only in the last few days that I have realised after reading and looking for answers as to "why" - she has every trait and sympton of having an extreme case of Narcissist Personality Disorder. It's quite frightening and still hard for me to understand that I never really knew her. 4 months later she has no power over me thanks to this forum.

The advice and support here will be of great help and comfort - other family members and friends will also hopefully give great needed support and to listen - but the difference here is all the dads here have been in the same lonely dark
place and want to give you the strength and perspective from their own experiences.
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#9
Sherrydan, dude you are not alone in this bud many are on here that are in the same place as you, been through it all and also on the train wreck voyage that is divorce and separation, 6 months in for me bud and yes its fucking rank to find out that what dreams and aspirations you had and worked hard for you and your loved ones have been shattered to bits..... dark dark places you find yourself in BUT fight these emotions bud, be the better person for YOU and YOUR kids they need you right now.... if you want to chat bud feel free to pm me .....take care buddy.
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#10
Seriously this is, note for note, almost exactly like my own situation.

Now you've got some good advice here, I won't add too much to it. However it's all practical, not for your head.

1) It's 18 months later for me. I'm happier than ever. really. and healthier. and sleeping with more people.

2) go buy this book https://www.amazon.co.uk/Obstacle-Way-An...is+the+way

3) Your ex didn't owe you anything. She didn't owe you a future and she is perfectly within her own rights to change her mind, fall out of love with you, sleep with anyone she wants and do anything she wants that's legal. You need to accept this because otherwise you will hold a grudge against her which will weigh you down for life. She changed her mind. People do, because people change. Everyone changes. In fact everything does.


You will be ok. The world feels like it has ended because you are still attached to a future that never existed, that never could exist (because there is only ever the now). You have a very difficult journey in front of you but you will come out of it stronger and happier if you choose to. Good luck
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