Do I let him stay in my life, even though we are getting divorced, for his own feelings of guilt?

by Wanda
(Rhode Island)

The question


I am in the process of getting a divorce after 20 yrs. of marriage. My husband has been having an affair with a neighbor for at least five years.

He has said all the mid life lines: I am not in love with you anymore; I think I could be happier doing something else; this is not about my girlfriend, it's about me.

Anyway, does he love this other woman or is he looking for something? He keeps telling me if I need anything he will be there for me. What does this mean? He hurt me so much. I cant just let him stay in my life for his own feelings of guilt, right?

Noel's response

If you are divorcing him, it means for all intents and purposes, he is just another person. You ask whether you can let him stay in your life for his own feelings of guilt. I can't help you as it really is your decision.

Comments for Do I let him stay in my life, even though we are getting divorced, for his own feelings of guilt?

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Mar 28, 2011
Already divorced
by: Anonymous

Well, my heart has been immensely broken. My husband of 36 years has left me and our 3 children and 5 grandchildren and moved in with a younger woman, the same age as our oldest son, and she has 5 children at home.

For awhile, I noticed him changing like: "is there any way you can cover my bald spot?" He was very concerned about him not being able to perform in bed, so I went with him from specialist to specialist, even though this was not an issue with me and I made him see that.

Well, after a few months of this on-going change, 3 years ago, 2 weeks before Christmas, he left us. He was SO confused! When he finally admitted he was having an affair, I was devastated, and so were the kids. I NEVER, ever thought this would happen to me. A christian family!

Even today, after 3 years, I cry because I miss him. Life has been SO hard since he left. I had to divorce him in order for me to have some kind of an income, as I was ill and could not work. It took almost 3 years before I got half of his pension...and it was hard living of nothing for the most part.

All I can say is that life will never be the same...as we all miss him and love him still. Unfortunately, he doesn't feel the same way. He never calls his children as he's too busy with his new family; the only time our children talk to him is when 'they' call him; he never visits; he never asks how everyone is....it seems he just does NOT care if we existed or not. It really hurts the children and that SO breaks my heart, and it's the same with the grandchildren.

It's hard as we see them from time to time, together, and it hurts..acting like a couple of young lovers! I am being honest when I say that I'll never get over this...he IS the love of my life!

I did not know what was happening at the time, but since then I have learned a lot about midlife crisis in men...but it's too late for me.

Jan 30, 2011
Divorced--Guilt Feelings
by: Anonymous

Keep him in your life as little as possible so he doesn't make you go crazy. Try to validate his issues and not fight him so much.

There is not much you can do right now--so let him miss you and don't try to talk him into anything--it will not work.

He is full of guilt and entitlement right now and he is dead inside if he is having a MLC. If he has left he will not be back anytime soon.

Hold onto your hat and money and get a close friend for hugs when you need them. Follow your own heart and try to be strong. If he is disrespectful to you, tell him there are boundaries he may not cross and you will not talk to him while it continues, for your own sanity.

Boundaries are protect your feelings--not to hurt him more. Keep the dog dodo on your side of the fence, no dumping on mine! He will eventually get it but you have to keep at it and be strong consistent--daily.

Feel for you greatly, NWF

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