For the Stay At Home Moms Out There

Hmmmm… well, let’s look at the whole picture. She is doing what she wants, when she wants and with whomever she wants. She is not being attentive to her kids (in my opinion) and she’s being honest with you about it (as far as you know/feel). YET, she has no consequences for her actions. Well…no consequences means she’ll keep doing it. That’s why she gets mad every time you bring up resolving the issue that SHE wants resolved.

Keep in mind that since she isn’t working, she is the dependent spouse. If you can prove the adultry, then she isn’t entitled to alimony. You are doing the right thing by keeping documentation and records. Get a good lawyer and follow his advice.

Of course she is going to think you’re being vendictive, but you’re not. You’re trying to be fair, but that YOU don’t get used in the process. You have your children to consider. SOmeone has to be there for them. If you do not agree on splitting up things on your own, then you’ll have to let someone else do it for you. DO NOT SIGN ANYTHING WITHOUT COUNSEL. I can’t stress this enough. Do not let her bully you into anything you don’t feel comfortable with. She is using your emotions to get the better of you.

Bottom line, as long as you sit by, she will do as she wished. If you push the envelope and cause her to take some responsibility, then if she is as smart as you say-she’ll get her act together and act like a grown up.

I don’t know that I can give you any idea what your wife is thinking other than it sounds as though she wants it all. She wants to be able to live the single life but with the security of marriage. She wanted to work things out with you as long as you weren’t in the country because in reality she didn’t have to deal with the day to day routine of being married. I mean, how much could you possibly find out while in Iraq and what could you do about any of it??? When you got home, this lifestyle that she has gotten into or rather not ever grown out of, didn’t mesh with being a stay at home mother and a wife. Basically, it became obvious that she could no longer have her boyfriend over to party and spend the night with her husband there…Sorry to be so harsh but you are being too understanding IMHO.

From the sound of it you are letting her call all the shots. If I were you, considering the history of child care, I would NOT move back out. If she moves back in you will still be paying and she will be a lot more comfortable. Why would you want to put her comfort over yours? Your children need you in the home to care for them as they should be cared for. Put the children first because from the sound of it, they have not been first in her life for a while now. Regardless of what the reasons are that you are separating, (who did what when) you need to protect yourself and your children. She possibly could be owed alimony but there is a chance that if she has admitted to an affair that could be eliminated.
needinganswers is correct, do not sign anything without an attorney looking over it. While you may be feeling guilty over what you did to “cause” the breakdown in your marriage and feeling depressed, angry and sad, you are not able to make judgements that are in your best interest down the road. Read sleepyhead’s post about what he agreed to just to get out of the situation. Put a stop to her coming over every day. Start now by setting up a visitation schedule that she can come by and get the children for a few hours to spend time with them. She can check her e-mail at the library and if divorce is what this is going to end with, you and she have nothing to discuss unless it’s negotiations and/or about your children. Talk with an attorney, get a separation agreement drawn up, if you can’t compromise and agree on the equitable distribution, custody, child support, alimony then it will have to go to court. The best scenario for the children is joint legal and physical custody with equal time…but since she doesn’t work and living in a hotel, likes to party, you should really have custody and you can give her as much time with the children as you want. You are going to be paying for the child support regardless of whether it’s joint custody or she has custody, so to me it would be better that you have custody and pay a smaller amount to her. The children will be better taken care of that way. If she grows up in the future you can alter the custody to fit.
On a side note, my husband’s ex turned 30 and after 15 years of marriage and two children, she seemed to lose her mind. She started going out all the time and leaving him with the children. After three years of “flirting” with a guy she knew, she left him. It only took 2 months for the guy she left for to dump her, which was about the same time that my husband and I met. Then she was angry that she had no relationship to fall back on. He was her safety net. In her mind she could move out and party or live the single life and if it didn’t work out she could go home to the husband and kids. I have never heard any statements of fact but I would stake my life on the fact that her “flirting” was a whole lot more. You do not leave a 15 year marriage with children because you have been flirting with someone. You leave because you are having an affair (with sex) and are no longer able to deal with the situation. In my opinion she has never been a “good” mother. While they were still married, she and a friend took all the children with them to a bar, left them in the car and took turns standing outside. She has left the children with almost strangers so she could go out and party. She lets the children rule her house and they run over her. My husband would swear to this day that he always thought she was a good mother and wife until she left him for another man and neglected her children so she could satisfy her own needs.

Thanks so much to both of you…you’ve reaffirmed my conviction in doing what I thought was right. I’ve negotiated some of the items with her, and as usual she’s lashed out at me about being vindictive…she’s really upset by the fact that I think she’s lying about her affair(s) amongst other things, but I digress.

I am working to get her out of the hotel by weeks end, I told her she had plenty of friends to stay with. She insists she’s diligently working on getting a job but once again no progress. She hasn’t applied to any that are beneath her (ie, fast food), as she “wouldn’t be able to support her kids”…I laughed at that because she can’t do it now! What a joke. She will be cut off 100% financially on Friday, until we can come to some agreements. This thing just drives me crazy.

I think you’re both spot on, I have been soft, mainly because of the damn hope that we can work out these problems, but I realize it isn’t possible. So hard it gets. I told her no alimony, much less child support than planned (more detailed, less about money changing hands more about whats purchased - she agreed to an itemized list of where the money goes!), 50% custody (haven’t quite sold the fact that I should be primary, but as I have the job and the medical hopefully the logic train will stop at her station).

On her recent interaction with the kids…I told her it wasn’t enough, she blamed me saying she didn’t want to be around me (this from the person who called me to go out for drinks last night with mutual friends). I told her that she should have her own time with them, and she blamed me for complaining about money! Wow, what a good time divorces are. Hell, if it was for the kids I wouldn’t have a worry forking over the cash at all…of course, I told her we were broke :slight_smile:.

In regards to spousal support while separated…I know that fault doesn’t matter necessarily, but can I just cut her off?

  • Dave

I am not sure of the cutting off of money. If SHE left the home, then to ME that implies that she is choosing to separate and live apart (IE: paying for herself). BUT I could be wrong. Stepmother would know more about that. That MAY be why she wanted to move back in and have YOU leave. Then you would be the ‘separating’ one and the one providing for support.

Sounds like she has a lot of growing up to do and sounds like she is confused on what a marriage really is.

I hope we didn’t sound too harsh on our views. When you’re on the outside looking in (and you’ve experienced some of the same things you did) you see things the person in the relationship may not. Love (or perceived love) can really cloud one’s judgement-especially when kids are concerned. I am amazed at how many people will use their kids as emotional weapons to get what they want. I know you wanted to try to work things out, but it takes TWO people to do that and it is obvious to me that she doesn’t have her heart into having a real and happy, healthy marriage. It’s easy to be ‘soft’ when you’re in the situation. You know the ‘easier said than done’? It’s very true. But you have to be firm. People like your wife don’t seem to listen to reason-so you have to be very firm in your expectations and then you HAVE to follow through-or she’ll run over you. GOOD LUCK!

This is going to be long and should really be on the legal issues but here goes:

Hey all, I’d thought I’d give an update. Let me say first that this whole experience so far has been an emotional roller coaster, as most of you already know. After much thought, consultation with family, friends and my friendly (free) attorney, and with a lot of help from God - this is what has transpired in the last few days.

I sat down, face to face, with my wife and discussed reasonably the issues at hand. I addressed some faults in her behavior, specifically in regards to the children. I also told her what I thought ultimately was fair in terms of her job seeking, spousal support, child support and yes, even alimony. Equitable distribution of debts and assets was also discussed and despite my concern about our inevitable disagreements…we’ve come to an agreement! We’ve got most everything ironed out…the few limiting factors currently are the actual amount of child support (cash) that she will be paid and the actual date of separation (she’s still debating an older date, but not forcefully).

Now its confession time…the reality is that I really don’t want a divorce. During our discussion, I presented her with a “gift”, it was Dr. Phil’s book Relationship Rescue. I told her that I wanted her to read it (as I am reading it as well)…not necessarily to get her to change her mind about the divorce but because we BOTH know that we want a different relationship. The eventuality may very well be divorce, but hopefully this book and the level of apparent changes that I am making will be enough for her to realize that this isn’t what she wants. My wife and I were married very young, had children at a young age and both of us have allowed it to disintegrate in pursuit of our own misguided agendas. We both know its time for change. For her, change is a divorce. For me, change is a reignition of what we want from ourselves and each other. I don’t know if these steps will take us to the place were we can truly reconcile…but I do know that after all of this our relationship can and will be a positive one.

I truly appreciate all of the advice that I’ve been given on this forum and others, so please keep the good words and inspiring thoughts flowing not only to me but others in similar situations. For the folks out there reading this…there is an endstate, it may not be the one you want right now, but it can be the one you need if you let it. I am choosing the path of self-improvement and positive thought, I encourage everyone else to do the same. Special thanks to stepmother for her kind words and firm encouragement, they were not unnoticed and I will be forever in your debt.

  • Dave

I am routing for you! It sounds like your head is where it should be. The ultimate goal is to repair/regain the relationship you want with yourself and your wife. The same goes for your wife. I wish you all the best! Whatever the outcome, I can see that you have done all the right things and all the things in YOUR power to move to the goal you seek. It will make you a better person all the way around. Draw upon your faith and stay positive, and you just can’t go wrong. Even what SEEMS may be wrong really isn’t—it’s what is meant to be.


wow as i read this ia m amazed at how the story is told. I have put up with 11 years of emotional and mental abuse from my husband, he has center of attention issues and used me as the center of his jokes to have the audience. he had parties at our home on a weekly basis, having married and single people sleeping over. heck one of our friends lived with us on the weekends. even when i would protest having people over and beg him to spend time with me and the children, i got nothing from it, but more and more drinking. drinking habits were out of control, to the point he was becoming violent. after discussing some of our situation with my mother, basically me telling her i was not sure if i was happy in my marriage she told me i new deep down what i wanted, i just needed to admit it to myself. she was definately right, and I planned to wait until the deployment was over to tell him as i did not feel it was right to do so with him overseas, but then i found out he tried to have sexual relations with one of my good friends while i was out of state with another good friend helping plan a funeral for her fiance who was killed in iraq. i could no longer hold my feelings in and had to express them to him. i am kind of old fashioned and believe once married you should only be with your spouse. I am not and have not left my husband for another man, i have not had sexual relations with another man. I want my divorce overwith, and fast because i am tired of the mind games he is still playing with my head, the late night drunken text messages of how i should come back to him, his refusal to let me file through his home state, by havng the childrens juristiction changed to NC. him not allowing me to get any possesions from the home, including my clothing, until i took a police officer over with me to do so. his refusal to give me any possesions that were gifts to me, including heirloom items such as my grandfathers gun, knives etc. i am at my wits end, i do not know what else to do, i hope someday he can accept the fact that i am not in love with him, and do not want tobe married to him. heck after all i have been through the past couple of months with him, it will be a long time before i consider a relationship again, if ever. we had always agreed if one of us no longer wanted to be married, just tell the other and not drag out the inevatible. i wish he owuld still hold true to this and be friends, we have a long time before our children are grown, and i would love tobe able to get along and not argue at our childrens functions. i do not want to drag our children through a messy divorce, but i am afraid whis is what is going to happen because he will not cooperate with me on anthing. to the point the day before our last court date he called me at work trying to change my mind on the divorce,a nd when i told him my mind is made up, i am so much happier alone…and yes i am alone, he said he would fight me for full custody if i did not come back to him. i reminded him we were not going to use the children against each other and keep them out of this fight, but got nowhere. i am at my wits end, he has so much control over my life, my possesions, etc…and will not give it up. yet claims one minute he loves me the next he hates me…

i have been our childrens only parental figure our whole marriage, with his constant being away from home, and drinking habits my children have not had a father in their lives until now. i am happy he is stepping up to the plate and being a father finally. if one thing good happens from all of this it is that my children will have a father finally! i am going to end this now, i just wanted to get another perspective out there, and i am trying so hard not to bash him, but include the facts.

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?

  • Dave