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Separating from lying, cheating, cross-dressing Husband - upset and confused

Community Member

I'm very new to reaching out - here goes... My husband and I are currently separating (living under the same roof - until he house sells).

There have been warning signs which I have put down to his health issues (diabetes) for that last 15 years of our 30 yr marriage (he has not been interested in 'special cuddles'), has been secretive about Tax returns, deletes all phone txts, messages, recent call lists etc. Recently also discovered he has been siphoning money from his pay each fortnight (we have joint accounts where our pay goes), has accumulated significant debt (on credit cards I didn't know existed), has been having 'emotional affairs' with people at work and online, lies about having to go to work on the weekend (I went there and he wasn't there), plus found photos on his phone of him dressed in my clothes with a wig and makeup. He has also been secretly drinking alcohol and seems to be in a constant state of drunkeness ( which I stupidly though it was the diabetes and eating the wrong foods making his blood sugars sky-rocket). He has been very argumentative and aggressive.

So now we are separating and while I know there is no other way out of this (I have suggested counselling but he has refused on multiple occasions - just promised things would get better).. I am so struggling and am very emotional (close to tears all the time). He, however, doesnt seem upset at all and is telling everyone he is very happy - is on multiple dating sites etc., I am struggling with the fact that I think he never really did have feelings for me as he has moved on immediately.

The future no longer looks like I thought it would be with the person that I loved (not sure he actually is who I thought he was). After 30 years and looking forward to retirement - my world now is upside down. How to put this all into perspective and 'keep going' every day? The last 15 years haven't been great and I wasnt sure how I could keep going inside the marriage - and now I am wondering how to continue outside the marriage...

4 Replies 4

Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni

Dear Alone4me,

Welcome to Beyond Blue, and well done for reaching out.

I am so sorry to hear of what you are going through right now. Separation, being lied to and cheated on is something that I too, unfortunately, have experienced.

I know you say that you don't know how to continue outside of the marriage, but maybe, just maybe, it could be an opportunity to 're-invent' yourself? I know that when I left my husband (we too were separated but living under the same roof for a little while until I found somewhere to go), I had feelings arise that I did not expect; that being relief! He too had lied to me about money many times; racking up debts etc, and talking to certain people but then denying it later on ..... and it took him, after us having been together for 16 years, just a few short weeks to get someone new in his life. Just weeks! I found myself feeling so angry and hurt, wondering if I had ever really meant that much to him? Or was I just some sort of 'trophy' he used to make himself 'appear' to be okay.

Back to the feeling of relief though; I suddenly realised that I no longer had to worry about what was being said or done by him because I was out of the picture. If he chose to continue to lie about money and talk to people and lie about that too, then it was up to his new partner to put up with it, but not me!

I found a whole new lease on life! I lost some 20 plus kilograms and got better at my job (and promoted too!) and just felt completely unburdened.

I also swore off ever having another relationship ...... but I now have a partner who is wonderful and generous and honest with/about money and communicates openly ....... I am very happy with him.

Anyway, I guess what I am trying to say is that perhaps you could try looking at your new/different-than-planned future as a blank canvas; yours to 'paint' however you like it!

I do hope that you find peace and contentment again, however that may be. And remember you are most certainly not alone. Beyond Blue is here for you and with you for as much as you want.

Take care, I'll be thinking of you. xo

Hi Soberlicious96 - thank you so much for replying. Our stories sound very similar as I have been lied to for years and have always been 'on edge' as to what has been going on and what was the truth etc. I too am thinking that I have meant nothing to him.

Your words have given me hope that I can get through this and move on to create my own life again - where I am not constrained by what he wants all the time, or what he will say or do. I'm not sure I'll ever trust again to have a special someone - but hopefully can become comfortable in leading my own life again.

Just have to get through this very difficult exodus.

thanks for taking the time to reach out - it really has meant so much.

Community Member

Hi Alone4me.

Sorry to hear you are going through what is probably one of the most difficult times in your life. There is nothing quite like a massive upheaval of a relationship to make you feel vulnerable and helpless. However, you are not alone. I went through something similar about 2 years ago and really struggled to comprehend why and how it had happened. I tried desperately to fix the situation a cheating partner had caused and was willing to do anything to just go back to the way things were.

However, similar to Soberlicious96, about 3 months in and after a number of counselling sessions that focused on me, the fog of grief and hurt of a failed relationship lifted and I had a complete turn around. I had found a new motivation - I could begin again!

I found myself a new place to live, and made it my own. I started going out for dinner with friends, meeting new people, I started exercising and eating healthy, and I started doing things my way. Once I shifted my focus to what was good for me and stopped worrying about my ex and his new girlfriend and what they were doing, it was like a weight lifted off my shoulders and I stood taller. My mind cleared of hurtful thoughts and I started to think positively about a future I could create for myself.

You are grieving for the loss of your relationship, and what it meant to you and how it would shape your future. You have the chance to make a new future for yourself. It doesn’t mean you have to completely forget about your husband and the life you had together, but your focus should now be on you. If possible, can you find a place of your own? Somewhere you feel safe and comfortable and can make your own? Living in your matrimonial house and seeing your husband on a regular basis will be making it more difficult to move forward, and you are constantly being bombarded with the emotions you feel when you see him happy or seemingly moving forward and dating etc. it’s scary, I know, but doing this in smaller steps on your own time frame when you choose to, will be better than having to take action when you are left with no choice (like when the house sells and you are now forced to move).

I hope I have given you a little courage to face your new future head on. It’s scary, but once you get started with managing your own finances, setting your own schedules and completing your small goals, you will hopefully find a new and reenergised you that can tackle your future head on.

Dear Carmen01,

thank you so much - it really does help to know that there are people out there who care. Everything you say is true - I need to focus on me now. I know this sounds weird but I find that really difficult as I have spent so much time dealing with his diabetes and looking after food issues - it is quite difficult to not think about that any more.

Unfortunately we need to sell the house to enable us to move on - he also resigned from his job (without telling me) - so I currently have to pay all house-hold expenses and I cant do that for two places. Hoping we may get a contract soon (real estate agent is hopeful). Once that is finalised and we are physically in separate dwellings then the 'fog' may clear. He is currently still Jekyll and Hyde - never know which one.

Sometimes things seem like they are spiralling out of control - but will try to focus on me and what is good for me now.

thank you again.