Why is he mad that I got a lawyer?

by Eileen
(Flanders, NJ)

My husband of 26 years left three months ago. For three months I have cried, reached out to him, offered him help (I believe there may be a bi-polar issue involved) given him his space, etc. I even instituted a "no contact" policy for myself and went one month with no contact with him at all. He left me for a high school sweetheart after they reconnected via the internet.


Recently, he reached out and said he wanted to talk. He wanted to weigh his options about coming home. He says he's confused. Has an upset stomach, can't sleep, even spent one night at a truck stop because he was so confused. I laid it on the line - with me its all or nothing. I again offered help with a therapist, even offering to pay for it and fill out the paperwork. The same song and dance - he's confused, doesn't know what he wants, etc. He did say that if he can walk out on a 26 year marriage, he can walk out on his 3 month relationship with his new/old gf.

He obviously doesn't want to come home but wants the option available to him should he change his mind and his new life doesn't work out. After our conversation I contacted a lawyer and will be starting divorce proceedings. I will make sure the process drags out so that the new gf can nag him about why the process is taking so long. It will drive him to the brink, I'm sure.

I texted him asking for his mailing address so that the lawyer can start sending paperwork. He went ballistic. He's angry that I got a lawyer and said he wished I had waited until after the holidays. He threatened to quit his job if I went through with hiring an attorney. He had been planning to leave since Christmas last year. It took him several months to convince himself that he HAD to leave. I thought we had a happy marriage - I don't know what happened?? I have allowed him time to think, have a relationship with a new woman for over three months and he's mad that I am hiring a lawyer. Can you offer any insight? How much longer am I supposed to wait for him to "make up his mind"? Most women would have hired an attorney at the first sign of infidelity.

Thank you.

Noel's response

He is probably angry that you are eliminating one of his options - i.e. coming back home should he tire of his new/old girlfriend (or she tire of him). Of course the two of you can get married again in the future if that is what you both want.

He may also be angry because he thinks it is going to cost him some money, and he will have to be responsible for his actions.

He is probably as confused as he says he is, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't take action on your own behalf.

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