Husband had affair, I asked him to leave

My husband was having an affair and wouldn't stop so I asked him to leave. He insisted he wanted a divorce but refused to sign divorce papers when I gave them to him. He started saying that he needed time to think...but was still having the affair with a 26 year old colleague (he's 43).


We went to counseling and he insisted he didn't see us as a couple anymore so I went to see a lawyer and told him that's it. Our kids are devastated, naturally (11 and 14).

He still wouldn't sign the papers so I went away for two weeks and told him when I got back I was filing with or without him. He turned around and bought a small flat.

Still won't sign divorce papers and is still seeing the girl, although not as much. Now he's talking about taking a job overseas and wants us all to come (not the affair girl, though) but live in separate houses.

What is going on with him? He is angry at me all the time. If I smile it's the wrong kind of smile, if I don't talk to him he is angry, if I do talk to him he is angry. He wanted to stop therapy, three days later he wanted to start it again.

He had the kids the other night and all he talked about was 'the old days' and about moving.

To say I'm confused is an understatement. I love him but am not willing to deal with an affair, something I've made clear from the start.

Help?

Noel's response

I know it is confusing, but I think you are doing the right things:
- not putting up with the affair
- filing for divorce

It seems to be depressingly common for men to become angry and irritable during midlife transitions. Jed Diamond in his book The Irritable Male Syndrome: Understanding and Managing the 4 Key Causes of Depression and Aggression can give you a much deeper understanding of this, and what you can do when faced with it.

Moving overseas would be a very risky proposition for you, and I would not recommend it.


Comments for Husband had affair, I asked him to leave

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May 01, 2012
Not going well..
by: Anonymous

...with his young girl. They seem to fight a lot, she's very insecure, breaks up wiht him over stupid things, he begs her back. She wants to meet the kids, the kids say no way, then she has a drama queen moment.

I just sort of watch all of this happening and half laugh, half shake my head in disgust. He's making a fool of himself and is trapped in a corner now that I've said goodbye for real. I'm not filing but I'm not waiting for him to come home.

It's hard because I do love him but no more of this nonsense. I'll get myself sorted and he can go play drama queen and victim with the silly girl. What an idiot.

Apr 18, 2012
Reactions and Moving on
by: Anonymous

Yeah I am beginning to feel that way too. He doesn't provoke me but when I ask him to spell out his plan and seek divorce he just goes on and on about how he has lost his passion etc. and can't stand being with me and feels it is better for him and me that he is gone. He includes me in this saying it is mutual when it is not. He just did it again via email last night. I did respond to things he said because he is totally not owning up to his responsibility in the matter. He even admits he has been living a lie for over a year and a half. I told him that if that is the case then he is a pretty good actor. But I said for heavens sake get on with it man show me your plan. I can't stand living in this limbo land and want to move on but will not be forced into seeking divorce. It has to come from him. Finances are a big issue and he holds all the cards. I wish I could trust him enough to negotiate with him but I see now that he is deceitful through and through. He even had the gall to tell me he cares for me and hopes I can forget the hurt and maybe find someone else. That is ridiculous as he has never even apologized sincerely. I told him to stop this phony stuff I don't want to hear it because it is precisely that PHONEY. I do hope you can move on. Do you have a plan I am at a loss as I really can't afford a lawyer.

Apr 18, 2012
Walking away
by: Anonymous

Not sure he's walking away. He provokes me daily via email. Usually it starts out with things about the kids and then he throws something in to needle me, which I usually ignore but sometimes do not.

He still won't file for divorce but insists he loves the young girl. I'm just moving on.

Apr 08, 2012
Sad
by: Anonymous

That is so sad, I always wondered how men could walk out (women have too I know a couple) and turn their backs on their own family. I figure they must not have much courage, feel overwhelmed and so they run. I believe that is what my husband has done. Maybe it is just the sin of selfishness. He knows I am still here paying the bills and caring for my disabled son and hosting another who is now attending university and needed a free place to live. His mom is also here but at the moment she is not a burden and in fact helps out financially. You have to think they are mentally ill at best and beastly selfish and spoiled at the worst. I pray and that helps me a lot. I do not always really know what to pray for but in the process I find that I am learning more about myself and I am gradually getting stronger. I dream of a total turn around and a restored and redeemed marriage but in the mean time it is important that I stay focused on reality and move ahead. That is why it so frustrates me when he won't communicate. I pray for him to once again hear God's call and take our marriage vows to heart and try to work on things instead of running and hiding. Whether or not we reconnect though he does need to stop running from God. He was once a strong Christian and now this? It is mind boggling and very disheartening but I believe we should never lose hope because all things are possible with God in control. I am not a Pollyanna but I do believe this to be true so whether he returns or stays gone I know I will be ok. I hope you have a peaceful Easter time.

Apr 08, 2012
Alien
by: Anonymous

Yes, it's almost as if they become aliens. my husband has very quickly turned from a loving husband and father who rarely raised his voice to an angry, rage-filled monster who screams at the kids, threatens to cut me off, has bouts of crying and admits to his children that he hates himself.

It's worrying and I have no idea if he'll continue counseling. He changes his mind with the wind.

So I too feel like I do not know this man and wonder if I ever did. Right now my main concern is making sure I don't end up on the dole. At first he was being very generous but now that the financial implications are starting to hit he is suddenly portraying me as a freeloader who is taking advantage of him.

Apr 07, 2012
Stranger than fiction
by: Anonymous

Well I am not quite sure how he would make that stick but stranger things have happened I guess. Will he still continue with counselling? Maybe you can get to the straight truth about his intentions there, who knows. Anyway I am sorry to hear that he is slamming you with that, but it is not your fault and you did the right thing in asking him to leave. Perhaps being dumped by the gf reinforces his anger at you for in a sense dumping him initially. Maybe it is just a knee jerk reaction and with time he will come around, wait and see if he actually files for divorce. Not sure what it is like where you live but here it is a simple 1 year separation no contest divorce. Threats are one thing but like my guy he is doing nothing legal to dissolve our marriage...yet anyway. The sad thing for me is that the guy I loved and trusted up until he left and even beyond really does not exist and maybe hasn't for a long time. It is hard not to feel like a naive fool after 41 years of it.

Apr 07, 2012
Yes
by: Anonymous

Apparently the girl dumping him triggered his sudden need to file for divorce. I imagine that it's somehow my fault that she dumped him.

Apr 07, 2012
weird
by: Anonymous

Really is this just recently? How do you feel about that. It is kind of weird though isn't it.
I haven't heard a word from the husband yet even if he has dropped the gf (still no confirmation of that). So am in the dark as to what he wants. Easter is coming up and I suppose he will be here as his mom lives with me and all the boys one wife and one grand will be here. It is awkward. Try to relax and have a restful Easter. I have been trying got out twice yesterday with family and it was good.

Apr 07, 2012
Just got more odd...
by: Anonymous

Well, the girl dumped him and he turned around and demanded a divorce. Strange man.

Apr 06, 2012
Counselling
by: Anonymous

Well at least he is willing to go to therapy that is a plus. It is bound to be hard. I do hope you can get through this OK. There is a lot of crap that comes out and if my hubby ever makes overtures to reconcile that will be my first condition, therapy that he goes into with the goal of trying to sort out himself as well as our relationship. The last time was just all about him. The cousellor didn't really let me have the floor at all. It was very frustrating he just let my hubby stick with his lies about me. Anyway, my husband stopped going because my youngest adult son confronted the other woman he has been dating and was very emotional in doing so. He totally blamed me, go figure. The sad thing is this woman works in the day program my disabled son goes to and my husband has worked at, so inappropriate. I may go over their heads and tell their bosses. As it stands I have just told them I expect them to never care for my son together or otherwise. Fortunately my son is with it enough to tell me who he is with each day but he doesn't know about them. My husband expects to head back there after he recovers from his latest hip surgery. Anyway he still seems like he is in a huff toward me and is not talking at all for the last 3 weeks. I have heard rumors that he has broken it off with her but nothing from him about that. I had challenged the both of them to let him figure out his life alone as I am doing and not with her insight. (insight what a laff). I hope he is trying to do that.

Apr 05, 2012
Discontent
by: Anonymous

Yes, any discussion was viewed-and continues to be viewed-as discontent.

Even now, four months after I asked him to leave, he won't discuss what's happened except in therapy, but then after things are discussed in therapy he gets very, very angry because he feels like all he does is have a mountain of shite poured on him.

He just can't own up to the fact that he had an affair and it made anything that was wrong in our marriage much, much, much worse.

Apr 03, 2012
Similarities
by: Anonymous

Amazing how similar our situations are. I don't get it. Are men really that weak? One of the problem that men have and never seem to be able to overcome is a lack of proper sharing or communicating with their spouses. My hubby could never hear anything that I had to say as it always was processed as discontent on my part. Any discussion turned into a vitriolic attack on myself as a person with nothing to do with the topic that needed resolving. Their egos are much to big or too little perhaps. I have noticed that for quite awhile even while at home he always had to be the centre of attention. It really bugged and embarrassed me. And he has stayed in a job that is too physical for him simply because he gets the strokes from all the female staff. Guess where the other woman came from.....

Apr 03, 2012
Never mentioned any problems.
by: Anonymous

He never mentioned a word about anything being wrong until I used his phone and found texts. Then there was a barrage of complaints/excuses as to why I 'forced' him to do it.

I pointed out that he had never mentioned any problems and apparently I was just supposed to read his mind. Now, of course, it's 'too late' and it should have 'happened naturally'.

And my favourite? He has probably 'saved us both'. From what is an open question. :)

Whatever, I asked him to leave and now he appears to be regretting it, although not ready to tell me.

Apr 03, 2012
The Blame Game
by: Anonymous

Same story here although I don't think he ever said it is the reason for going out with another woman. But definitely it was all my fault. aLL NICELY NICEY Sure I'll go for counselling line, and then at the cousellors all the hatred and false accusations came out. Totally not based on any actual experiences as they truly unfolded. I think these men build up bitterness for whatever reason (you are too strong, too opinionated, you are a reminder that they are aging, whatever) which colors their perceptions greatly and project the blame on to you as a means to justify their cowardly and unfaithful behaviour. Don't ever believe it is your fault and don't beat yourself up about it. He is the one that broke your marriage vows not you, you were just setting the standard and treating yourself with respect. I am learning. I didn't even know he had designs on another woman before he left and had been talking to her about his terrible marriage a year ago in April, when they were alone together in our vacation home (I knew she was coming, not crazy about it, but he was supposed to have a friend vacationing with him as well who ended up not coming) or I might have given him an ultimatum back then. AS it is he continued with the charade till July when he first expressed his discontent. Even so now months later he is stonewalling me as to how we will carry through with all the 'stuff' that needs to be done before a real split can happen.

Apr 02, 2012
Men!
by: Anonymous

Yes, he says she's nice, she's nice to him, I'm so angry and she's so nice and supportive.

Of course she is, she's supporting your leaving your family!

At the end of the day I'm just keeping my distance. He stresses me out right now, to be honest, because one day he's nice and then most other days he is a nasty piece of work. The kids are confused by him, saying they don't even know who he is anymore and want their 'normal' dad back.


Apr 02, 2012
MEN!
by: Anonymous

He also probably considers her 'nice' that is what my husband who has been gone since October told me. Now I find out that this is definitely not the first marriage she has had a hand in busting up. MEN> they are so foolish at times. I wish you well in your search for answers and your healing.

Apr 01, 2012
More info...
by: Anonymous

I'd like to add that he blames me for cheating (not affectionate enough, not loving enough, felt like I didn't want him). Also, he emails me endlessly about nothing, then picks fights.

He says he needs butterflies, that 'tingly' feeling, marriage shouldn't be hard work, the affair partner is so easy, she listens to him, etc.

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