Hey all, I need some advice from a perspective that I just can’t seem to grasp…my wifes! I think I’ve asked all the right questions in terms of legality, but from an emotional perspective I am doing my best just to understand the situation from HER perspective.
As is previously written, my wife left me in January while I was deployed to Iraq. Suffice it to say that I’ve not been a great husband, as I’ve made most of the errors in judgement and critical mistakes that a man could make in a relationship. The breaking point for her was that she found out I kissed on of her friends back in October. We’d been rocky before that, due mainly to mutual drinking/partying and pretty much thinking only of ourselves instead of each other and our children. In no way am I trying to justify past behavior, just laying my cards down.
About a week or so after the announcement, my wife emailed and said that she had done a lot of thinking, and decided that she would like to TRY and work on our relationship. She was quite clear in the fact that she’d be undecided until I returned. She spoke often about getting a job (hasn’t worked in years, some college but a high school drop out), going back to school, etc. but IMHO never really put forth any effort. She was offered a decent paying job, but turned it down as it was only part time. Now, at the same time, she went out a lot. She visited our local bar nearly nightly, in some cases leaving my 11 year old daughter to watch our 7 year old son. Although she claims to have not been drinking that much, the kids were tardy or missed school altogether on several occasions.
I had the opportunity to return home early, but at her request did not…she stated that she “wasn’t ready” to see me yet. So I waited, and came home at the end of March…a bit early but not as early as I would have preferred. It should be said that during my deployment I talked to her nearly every day, via telephone or internet. Most of the time, the talks were cordial unless I criticized her spending habits, drinking habits or anything else along those lines. She told me that the police had been called on her for leaving the children alone, but was assured by the police that it was legal. In early March, child protective services was called on her for continuing to leave the children at home alone, frequent parties at the house (with overnight guests, married and single), and for the kids not being clean or dressed warmly enough for school. The CPS lady came to the house and the report implies that nearly everything she was doing was fine…she agreed to not do what she’d been doing in terms of the generally just not paying enough attention to the kids.
When I got to the house, while the kids were at school the first thing I noticed was the mess. She’s never been a great housekeeper but it was clear that she was neglecting the very basics…dishes, food, stuff on the floors - the place looked like there had been a party the night before, or maybe a tornado. I’ve never been a neat freak, but it had me concerned. We immediately sat down and talked, and she told me she’d been seeing someone (without sex), but had broken it off due to age difference (he’s 23, she’s 28) and wanting different things. She said it had nothing to do with him, but when she saw me she didn’t “feel anything” for me, didn’t love me and didn’t want to work on “us” anymore. In all fairness, I’d been home an hour when this came out.
We’d originally agreed that I would move out…despite my emotional state I convinced her to move out to the hotel that I’d be staying at, in order to spend more time with the kids. She’s been there for two weeks now (give or take) but wants me to move out and her back in after my sister leaves on Saturday. She’s made some attempts to gain employment (putting in applications) but thats about it. She calls about nothing nearly every day and stops by regularly to “see the kids” (which usually involves her either talking to me about nonsense or checking her email).
I’ve taken steps to protect myself…to include documenting all of the absenses of the kids, her spending patterns while I was gone, pictures of her and her friends and paramour, phone records, talked to a counselor and a lawyer. Most of these steps she has lashed out angrily at me about, claiming I am just trying to be vindictive. We don’t agree 100% on custody, child support, spousal support, alimony or property/debt disbusement…so I am working diligently to increase my negotiating ability. She has taken none of these steps.
And therein lies the rub…she’s smart, independent, friendly and outgoing and when determined to do something she’s stubborn as hell. Until recently, I’ve always thought she was a great mother and a pretty solid wife. I just don’t understand what the heck she’s thinking…it doesn’t make any sense to me that someone would WANT to get a divorce and not make any step forward in increasing their ability to get what they want and not get screwed in the process. What the heck is she thinking?