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Lost and broken

Community Member
So... about six weeks ago my wife goes on a drug binge and has unprotected sex with some random guy. She had just gotten out of hospital for a course of ect and blamed the ect for her poor choices. After seven weeks away from me and the kids the only thing she missed was getting wasted with her arsehole friends. I told her I want a divorce but she wants to go through counseling and refuses to move out. If it were just me frankly I would be gone but we have two kids. I feel like leaving the marriage is just ripping my kids off. I can’t afford to start over and set up a second home. I’m in my fifties and was looking forward to paying off the mortgage and saving some money to help my kids through uni in a few years (they’re 13 and 15). My only option is really renting something I can’t afford. I don’t have any savings. My wife hasn’t worked in years and we just scrape through week to week on what I earn. But then I feel like staying is setting myself up to be hurt again. This isn’t the first time. It’s the worst time but it seems every couple of years she goes out, gets obliterated and does something selfish and shitty. It’s just been this escalating cycle of betrayal. She swears she loves me but I feel nothing for her any more. There is absolutely no basis for trust. She seems remorseful but it’s so much more than this latest betrayal. Her days are basically spent lying on the couch. I work full time then come home and shopping, cooking, cleaning is all up to me. I’m exhausted but if I don’t do it it doesn’t get done and the kids deserve better. I’m so conflicted. I don’t want to end the marriage only to set the kids up for a life of poverty but how can I stay in this marriage? I can barely look at her without picturing what she did. I’m so sick with anxiety. I got a mental health plan from the gp, I’m just waiting to hear back for an appointment. I guess I’m just hoping to hear from people who’ve been through this sort of crap. Did you stay, did you go? Did you regain any trust, love, emotional connection? What worked out, what do you regret? How did your kids cope? I’m so lost right now.
9 Replies 9

white knight
Community Champion
Community Champion

Hi, welcome

It seems clear you have multiple problems, mental health for both of you, financial constraints, infidelity and any one of those can be potent enough to ruin a marriage.

In 1996 I was in a similar situation. Very lazy wife, worked 3 jobs so she could be a stay at home mum, I cleaned and changed nappies more often than her etc. She also used silence as a weapon. It drove me nuts...and she knew it.

After 11 years marriage I attempted to end my life. I left one week later. Better to be a part time dad than no dad at all. Our kids were 7&4.

I left, purchased a $1100 caravan and moved into a caravan park. I gambled she'd look after our kids ok as I did she'd get them to school.

She did get them to school but she treated our eldest with abuse as she did me. Also, the more money I earned by working hard to restart my life, the more child support I paid to a ridiculous level. After 2 years I built my own home.

My eldest at 12yo left home. She is 31yo now and will not have contact with her mother and sister due to abuse. I dont have contact with my youngest. She abuses also. My ex wife married twice more. Both husbands had the same issues with her abuse.

My advice is if you have the ability to remain in the home even in seperate bedrooms it is better. My battle was in an era when mums usually kept the children not now. But if you need to leave, seek out the first free visit to a family solicitor where you stand with keeping the kids and capacity in a single parent pension so you can care for them. For that reason, document her parenting deficiencies. If it ends up in court you need to be prepared. I didnt have such equality them days.

The excuse ect was to "blame" wouldnt hold water with me. You are entitled to judge her on that. YOUR values matter.

Due to all of the above, counseling might help. It isnt a waste of time.

Your fatherhood is priceless whatever happens ok. Even at 7&4yo kids are resilient let alone 13&15 so they will be ok. Considering their age a couple of short years and they will be adults, 18, can you survive till then? Do you have a spare bedroom to move into?

I wish you well.

Repost anytime


Thanks for your reply. Sounds like you had it pretty rough, hope you found happiness.

You’re right about my priorities as far as my kids. We have started counseling although I’m not optimistic. Really it’s the internal conflict between what’s right for my kids and how much more I can take that keeps me up at night.

Hi Stumblingon,

Yes, I've remarried, to my ex brother in laws ex wife that I matchmade in the 80's. I'm very happy. I have bipolar and she has depression. And that's another reason we are similar.

Would your kids go with you if you left the family home?. With your need for resolve you need some sort of change. Obviously negotiation with her is utmost important. Thats whete counseling will be of benefit if you pursue that avenue. If you seek full custody and her shared custody, she is given regular contact like once a week dinner at your place or dinner out somewhere as a family, that could work. I'd like to see you pursue these possibilities. It might not resolve now but a few weeks counseling she could realise the marriage is doomed, that you are best to run the family home and she mived out and sought employment.

Not knowing her it's your call but patience is a good thing right now. Things will develop.


Yeah I figure counseling is needed whichever way we go. I don’t wish to interfere with her relationship with the kids and if she can work towards being a functional parent/co-parent it will be good for everyone.

Community Member

Question for anyone who stayed with a cheating partner:

Now nearly eight weeks since she cheated on me, depending how bad a day I am having when she comes near me I either feel extreme anxiety or nothing at all. The anxiety I understand but its the feeling nothing that bothers me. I can't tell if I just have no feelings at all for her any more or if its some sort of dissociation where I have just shut down emotionally to protect myself from the pain I have been going through. I used to get a tingle of excitement when we touched like a hormonal surge or whatever in the back of my brain but now she just feels like a stranger. Can anyone relate to just feeling nothing for someone they loved and were you ever able to regain that connection?

Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni

Hello Stumblingon, and thank you for posting your comment and it's a situation that has happened to you and may occur to other people, so it needs to be discussed.

Your kids are old enough to understand what's going on, they will pick up any vibes, the atmosphere from what's happening, you can't hide any of this and depending on how they feel about parents sleeping in different beds may or may not unsettle them.

If you have no feelings at all for her any more because of what she has done over this time, then is it possible for the family to try and live in an opposing family unit or would it be better to part ways and live a happier life, for me that decision would be easy.

Have you thought about selling your house, I know from myself that it was very disappointing but in the long run it was the best solution.

Her escalating cycle of betrayal has happened and your kids must have their own opinion and can I suggest that they contact Kids Helpline 1800 55 1800 as their thoughts maybe suppressed, but you can tell from how they are behaving what they are thinking.

Take care.


Thanks for your insight Geoff. Honestly if it were just about me the choice would be a no-brainer but factoring the kids into the equation makes it so much harder. If I sell the house I will have to move further out and start over with a new mortgage basically taking me through retirement. Any hope I had of actually saving to help with the kids’ future just goes up in smoke. I feel like I always said I’d take a bullet for them, maybe this shitty marriage is that bullet?

Community Member
The infuriating thing is that whatever remorse she feels now, whatever assurances, it’s all out the window next time she chooses to go out and get wasted. Then it’s just who cares I’m having fun. But if I ask her to stop drinking it’s oh she doesn’t have to give up drinking because she’s not an alcoholic.

Don’t go back to her ever again!!!!

I did this I am 10 years of my life gone in a flash

First off along time ago she slept with my best mate I caught them together the next morning and bad it was the biggest case of being taken for granted but I always forgive people That was my biggest problem I trusted her and she did it again while she was overseas And yet again silly old they just took her right back it didn’t happen for the third time I asked her to marry me about three years ago and that’s where my life took massive downward spiral it was a great day for both her and me to say that happy really meant something to me so the big day came and started on the night she did not want to come back and sleep with her Husband I should’ve realise that then clearly I was nothing I had to beg her to come back to the cabin we had hired it was the first day of marriage but yet I was already hurting so I made a dick head of myself and my first trip overseas I’ve got so drunk to try and mask the pain of my wife not wanting to sleep with me on our wedding day So I took it out on her verbally one of the worst trips of hard because it was completely fake Foryears we had been renting and then that awesome day where we purchased our first time it was all looking so good and then it got better as we had the best child I could imagine he’s a spitting image of me I took care of my son full-time for about eight months growing a awesome bond That was sent to be completely shattered we had fights here and there about real petty shit because we were just so tired working full time I’ve got a job up the road It was a awesome job she was a teacher I quite successful one but it all got too much for her so she did the run I came home that day and I will never forget our house was completely empty She grabbed everything as my son knows back to Her parents house I sat in the kitchen and just cried and cried with that haunting memories of coming in the empty house not having my boy And just over the last 12 months I marriages fail I barely see my son then after that I had a cancer scare and just when I thought the bad stuff is over My job is next because of the housing market now I’m here and it just gets better I was in a bad bad car accident I’ll never walk right ever again

I Wouldn’t change anything I got my awesome son out of it But I know hundred percent with those happy memories Killing me slowly and haunting all my dreams