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midlife crisis or long affair

by jennifer
(wichita, kansas)

I'm really not sure if he did have a midlife crisis. He seems content now and after 34 years of marriage, I would think he'd want to be free of me. But, he refuses to bifurcate the divorce. What is coming out of the former secrecy is that he took cash in large amounts from our joint checking account and has had this affair going on during the marriage and the divorce. He's 59 and it's like he has been leading a double life. He seems to be flaunting his girlfriend while we're in the middle of the divorce without any regard for anyone's feelings. I'm extremely hurt and feel so betrayed and rejected. It's like he never really loved me to do this to someone. Yet I have a hard time believing it and can't understand the sudden change in deciding to just "out" himself. I've heard affairs that become public knowledge don't last, but this one is the opposite. Do you have any insight on this one? I guess I'm wondering why he didn't leave me a long time ago if what he's been saying is true which is that he's been unhappy for the last twenty years! Really? I know statistics are against the relationship he's having, but could it be that he really was just an unhappy man and decided to abruptly leave or with midlife crisis is it often a sudden thing?

Noel's response

It is possible and perhaps even likely he was happy for much of your marriage, but for any number of reasons - unresolved conflict, feeling 'stuck' in his life, including his marriage, problems at work, a midlife crisis - he doesn't remember the good times.

Yes, leaving is often an abrupt thing, with or without a midlife crisis.

It is true that many affairs of this nature don't last, but many also do.

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