Wife and I Separating
Not sure what I'm going to get out of this as it's literally the first
time in my entire life I can remember reaching out to anyone
for any kind of emotional support.
My wife has told me a week ago she wants to separate. She is and has
been seeing someone else. She has been spending a lot of time with a guy
from her work since around Christmas and everytime I raised any kind of concern
I was met with the usual, "He's just a friend, I don't have many friends, you have
nothing to worry about".
I work away for work for 4 and 5 days at a time and my 8 year old daughter
has told me he has been coming round while I have been away.
I guess I knew it was the end but I was ignorant and hoped the situation would
Finally she admitted she has been having an affair with him and wants to separate.
I have chosen to leave. I have gotten approved to rent a cheap appartment which I don't
even know if I can take because I don't have bond+2 weeks rent sitting there ready to go.
We have been fairly cival when discussing kids etc. But am still lost.
I am literally only taking the spare bed, my computer, my motorcycle and my car.
I know I am leaving with nothing despite working hard for everything we have
bought together over the past 11 years. But my kids are upset about
the situation as it is and I don't want to strip their home apart. I want it to feel
as normal as it can for them.
I feel so empty and lost. I have eaten next to nothing this last week, started smoking again
after being off them for 5 years.
I am still staying at the house until I can get out and I've moved into the spare room.
My wife goes out and stays with her new love interest almost every night
and it hurts everytime she leaves. I just keep putting on a brave face for everyone
and acting like I'm fine. But I'm far from it.
Hello Drew and welcome to the forums. I’m glad you decided to reach out here.
I’m sorry you’re going through this. Separations are so hard and destabilise everything we know. Our lives are so set around our family and our homes, so to feel them both change is very distressing. I feel you.
About 2 years ago I separated from my partner of 12 years. We didn’t have children, so it was a more simple situation, but I felt very similar to you. I didn’t know what to do and felt like all I’d built up over the years (emotionally and in possessions) I had to leave behind because I was the one who went to live elsewhere. I was shaky for months trying to find my feet in this new weird existence. I spent months living at my parents and it wasn’t until I finally moved into my own place that I started to see the future and found a sense of hope and grounding. I think we need that safe base to feel secure enough to move forward. Maybe moving into your new place will help you with that too.
Eventually we had to work out finances and possessions and we decided I’d get money to buy new stuff, since the other house was already set up, it was easier that way. You don’t have to make those decisions now, but there’s no reason why you shouldn’t eventually get to share everything you’ve accumulated over the years. Sometimes these things take time though and it might be best to just focus on your emotional well-being and having somewhere to live rather than get caught up in details too soon.
It’s really positive that you’re being amicable with each other, especially for the kids. But it must be really tough still living there at the moment. Do you have friends or family you can spend some time with who can support you, or at least distract you at the moment? It’s important not to feel alone through this. I’m sure people in your life would want to be there for you, just as you would be for them if they were in your position.
You’re always welcome on these forums, or else Beyond Blue has both online support chat and 24 hour phone line on 1300 22 4636. There’s also mental health support at Mensline Australia at mensline.org.au They also have online and phone counselling on 1300 78 9978. Please think about getting in touch with one of them. There are people there to support you through this hard time.
I'm sorry you are going through this Drew82. I can imagine what an awful shock it is to find your wife has been with someone else. It's not ideal at all, as it brings a new man into your daughter's life when she probably can't process what is going on, but you can't change what's already happened or how your wife feels. I think arranging to move out is likely the best thing in the immediate term, as staying will create a toxic environment and will only continue to cause more pain for you. This is the situation I am in as I've asked my husband for a separation and he's refused to move out, I can't afford to, so we are stuck together and it's making me physically sick, which is affecting the kids.
As long as you make sure your daughter knows you love her and want to see her, and that no matter what happens YOU are her daddy this is the reassurance she needs right now. You need to arrange a schedule of visitation which is as regular as possible given your work situation, in order to keep that bond with her. Do also seek legal advice about your financial situation. Just because you say you leave with nothing right now, doesn't mean you're entitled to nothing down the track. There are surely a few shared assets you are entitled to, or some money you should receive as a payout if your wife wants to stay in the family home. Perhaps it is inevitable that it be sold in order to fairly split the finances. These are things a lawyer can help with. If that's difficult financially, you can contact the family relationships advice line (google that phrase). There is a freecall number and a very informative website for recently separated parents, & they can refer you to free legal services.
The only other advice I can give is to take it one step at a time. Pick one thing a week to get sorted and focus on that, otherwise it all seems so overwhelming. Give yourself time to adjust, you are going to go through a lot of emotions, that's normal. Consider seeking counselling for yourself, even via the phone if that's all you can do right now. There's a number here on this website you can start with.
Things will get better...hard to believe right now, but there is light at the end of the tunnel, and lots of people who are willing to help. don't stop reaching out.
@Drew82 - its shit that this has happened, especially like this. Sorry mate. I am currently separating from my wife too (we share 2 kids) - and I relate to how you might feel.
You mentioned "you kind of knew it was the end" - so maybe your relationship wasn't making you happy either? I don't think what your wife has done in any way is fair or acceptable - but if you're separating (for whatever reason - be it her actions, or where your relationship was) - here's some ideas which might help;
- One thing you can control is what you do to yourself. The food you eat, the smokes... try and stay in a good healthy place. It will help you think clearer, sleep better and keep your emotions relevant to the situation. Just because your wife has made some poor decisions - it doesn't mean you need to too. You need to look after yourself.
- Think about a mid-term solution, not just a short term one. If you get a small apartment that just has your bike, computer and a bed - it might be tough to make that a place you can rebuild from. I would talk with your wife (as she is half of this situation) - and try work out a way to find a place that has the potential to be more like a home. It doesn't have to be 'home' straight away - but something you can build up, that has at least a couple of rooms, so your kids could stay the nights when your not working away. Use this as an opportunity to create "Dad's place" - and not just "where Dad is".
- Do you need to move out? Can you and your wife work around the travel you do? Can she stay elsewhere when you're at home (in the spare room), and she lives there when you're travelling? This might be an easier transition for everyone? It might also help you having the kids around - to try and maintain some sort of 'routine' (for you and them) - dinners, talking about 'other' stuff - school, friends, sports etc. You don't need to do the classic 'Dad moves out' straight away - consider other options that might work for you all.
Bottom line - this is going to be some tough times. I currently hold myself together 90% of the time, and it's often the smallest thing that brings me undone. But I focus on what I can make from this - pick myself up, and take another step. Before long, I know it will all be 'normal' again - whatever that looks like. It won't hurt forever.
You can do this. This happens every day to heaps of families. It's shit, sure, but you can rebuild yourself as a Dad, and as someone you want to be.
Believe me mate, there will be a light at the
end of the tunnel.
I went through something very similar in the early 2000's when I was in my early 40's with 2 kids 10 and 7 so know exactly what I'm talking about. . Happily married (or so I thought) my wife declares out of the blue that she no longer loves me but wants to stay together and try and work things out. I felt totally floored and tried to piece together our life over the past 10 years to see at what point things started to go wrong. I just couldn't believe it. Over the course of the next year I discovered a lot of things that signalled that she was probably having an affair 1. Her mobile bill had calls to a particular number – sometimes up to 20 a day which was odd to say the least . 2. Her going out on a Friday night to a so called "class" but not getting home till 2 in the morning 3. A speed camera ticket arrives in the mail with the offence allegedly committed at 1.30am on a Saturday morning in a suburb 50 kms from where we lived 4. Her going to the supermarket 5 minutes away to grab one item but being away for over an hour. 5. I discover a motel bill in her handbag for a place only a few kms away from us . It all didn't add up. Finally I discover emails back and forward between the two of them. She left our home computer switched on – presumably on purpose so I'd discover what was going on as she didn't have the guts to tell me. This was in the days before smart phones and when mobile bills were sent in paper form and itemised. The guy was a mutual friend who had recently separated from his own wife. This just made matters worse. I would have been less pissed off it was a total stranger – but a mutual friend ?...very low act.
It was leading up to Christmas time and I had family over from NZ so we agreed I'd move out after they had gone back but act normal while they were staying with us.
Fast forward to 2010 and I met the most wonderful woman and we've now been married 4 years and couldn't be happier.
Better days will come , it will just take time. Hang in there.
You don't have to be fine mate. It hurts now but you dodged a bullet. It may seem like this is the end but mate this is the beginning. Be honest was what you had what you really wanted for the rest of your life? Was that the best you could imagine for yourself?
Just remember infidelity in a marriage plays a huge part in the divorce. Your probably not ready to think about that. I do wonder though why you're leaving the house though, you've done nothing wrong? Let her move in with her new found love, see how that works out for her?
Stand up for you're self mate, you're a good guy. Look after you, no one else is going to. You're worth more than this and deserve respect.
Nothing more undesirable than a cheat mate.
2 year update. I moved out shortly after I made this post and started completely over.
I ended up taking my car, motorcycle, my computer and a queen mattress.
It was really depressing laying there in an empty house for the first while, but I just concentrated on buying stuff to get the kids set up my house. It took about 3 months or so, but I ended up with a house full of furniture and eventually a bed for myself. That took a bit longer. Christmas and both my kids birthdays in January delayed the process, but I was in no rush. I had everything else.
I really just threw myself into my hobbies with what spare time I had when I wasn't working or had my kids.
I now have a great girlfriend. We are like best friends. We share a lot of the same interests and she does so much for me which is really nice. We don't live together and neither of us are in any rush to take that next step, but we do stay at each others houses often. My kids absolutely adore her.
As for my ex. We didn't talk much for a long time and there was friction for a while. But we are actually pretty good friends now. To the point I even went and mowed their lawn when they were away at Easter this year for a funeral. Her relationship with the guy she left me for turned toxic and she went on a downwards spiral for a while and wanted to reconcile. As much as it would have been nice for the kids for us to be together, I just couldn't see it lasting. She has another guy now that seems much nicer. I honestly hope things work out for her. Aside from the affair, she is a good person.
As for the bad, which has nothing to do with the separation. I was diagnosed with Tcell Lymphoma 2 weeks ago. Survival rate is quite high. I have no cancer in my bones or organs. So we are fairly confident all will be ok.
And last Tuesday my brother woke up to find his 17yo son had committed suicide. He didn't leave a note, but we have a hunch it was over a girl.
I guess that's what has brought me back here.
If you are going through this, hang in there! I promise it does get better. I thought my life was over, but some time and soul searching will have you marching forward. We as humans are resilient and quite adaptable. But please do not be afraid to reach out for help. Use the tools at your disposal! Lean on your family and circle of friends. The fallout of suicide is the worst thing I have experienced.
Thank you for sharing this here. We're so sorry to hear whats happened to your family. Please know that this community is here for you.
If your ever concerned about the young people around you please help them to reach out. We think that it is really important that they talk to someone about these thoughts and feelings, so please give the Beyond Blue helpline a ring directly on 1300 22 4636 to talk things through with the lovely counsellors. A few more options are KidsHelpline on 1800 55 1800, Lifeline on 13 11 44, and Headspace on 1800 650 890. All of these options are also available through webchat, if you'd prefer:
Hello Drew, that's a great post to read but know that everything you've had to cope with has taken you to every corner as so much has happened.
I am deeply sorry for the loss of your brother's son and as each one of you has suffered from different incidents, support is still required having to cope with all of this.
We very much appreciate your comment and if we can be of any further help, please come back to us.