Husband left me & 3 kids..mid-life crisis...

lori122August 27, 2012

Hello, I am 38yrz old and my husband is 39yrz old. He recently left me and my twins and son after being together for 14yrz. He did not leave me for another woman and is not cheating or in love with anyone at this time.

Its been 2 months since he left me. His mother passed away 2 yrz ago of brain cancer at only 58. His job is stressful but a great job. We both worked and were together for ten yrz before we had attempted to have any kids.

We got three all at once....which is tough for any couple. He is from England and very non-communicative and we had issues of no intamcy on his end for years before children. I believe he has suffered from mild depression possibly for a long time, and then when his mother died, there was definitely a long depression and him coming home drinking friday thru sunday till 3am by himself. Before she passed or was ill, I pleaded to him to go to therapy for our marriage sake bc 3 babies was so hard and I stopped working, so we only had one income with 5 of us now. He refused. To add insult to injury, my ex had be-friended me on fb during that time....innocent e-mails and open with my husband regarding the friendship. But eight months later, I did meet him for coffee, and the e-mails had gotten reminicent of our past relationship. My hubby was suspicious, and was caught the first day of meeting for coffee. He finally agreed to therapy. I was told to stop all communication. I was so upset for getting caught on the first day that I didn't. He found out and we were going to split. He stayed. So for 3 yrz, I tried to show my commitment and love and was here for him every night raising our babies and loving and supportive. But, alas, after 3 yrz after the affair and death of his mother, he has left me bc he says he cannot get over the betrayal of my short and stupid affair that was mainly e-mail fantasy. But I take responsibility for it.

He is visiting our kids and being a good father and paying the bills, but now hanging out with co-workers at bars and meeting new women and I am just so upset and angry. I don't want my marriage to end. I love him dearly, and we are best friends, and I don't know what to do or how to help him want to come home. I have tried for 3 yrz to show and do my penance for what I have done, and make amends and take responsibility. Even after having twins, I have always taken care of myself and did not 'let myself go' after 14 years. And I believe he understands the problems before leading up to it.

He is staying on a friends couch(supposedly), and doesn't look like he is coming back to me. Seems over me most of the time.


Thanks for reading and listening.

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First of all, you didn't have an "affair"....sure what you did wasn't cool, and very well may have led to one, but it is what it is, communications and a coffee date....that is no where near an "affair" of epic proportions that would warrant him tossing in the towel on the marriage. Trust me on ex wife cheated on me, had a full-blown affair for 9 months before I found out, and still I was willing to try to put it behind us and work on the marriage, since I was not perfect either (didn't cheat on her but had other things I needed to work on), it was only after her cheating on me again that I walked away. Not many guys would consider some emails and a cup of coffee a "marriage ending" thing....there is more than just this behind his actions I believe.

My guess is he's just generally not happy, not in a good place in his life, doesn't know what he wants out of life...and just wants to run wild for a time, live like a bachelor again and answer to nobody (deep down all us guys want this to some extent....especially the not having to answer to anyone). And since he knows that if he used this as a reason to leave you and your kids, he'd be looked down on by everyone, and feel tons of guilt about it. So he is using your little "emotional fling" or whatever it was as an excuse to leave you....that way instead of getting sh*t about leaving his wife and 3 kids to act like a 20 year old, he is probably spinning it in such a manor that he is actually getting sympathy from people.

As far as what to do....the first thing that comes to mind is to just tell that you will give him X amount of time...6 months, a year, figure out what he wants. If after that time he doesn't get it out of his system and want to return to the marriage and the family, then fine that's his choice, get a good lawyer and divorce him, because if after getting to live like this for a while it is not out of his system, then he most likely will never really want to be in the marriage again. Try to be civil with each other though, as it is important for your children that he is a central part of their lives in the years to come.

Good luck....sorry you are going thru this.

    Bookmark   August 28, 2012 at 9:14AM
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Dear mkroopy,

Thank you so very much for your response and actually, a man's opinion too.

I think that you have hit everything right on point. I agree with you about where he is in his life and the confusion, not wanting to answer to anyone, feel like a bachelor and party again, etc.

I sincerely want to thank you for the words of wisdom and I honestly feel like you completely understand where his head is at, and have great suggestions of how I could and should deal with this seperation.

Thank you again for your response and it helps me feel like I am not so alone....

Take care and all the best to you...and sorry for your previous situation as well.

Thank you!

    Bookmark   August 30, 2012 at 6:37PM
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You're welcome...but I think the important thing for you is to not get caught up in a situation where you string yourself along hoping that he will just wake up one day and realize he's made a mistake and want to get everything right. It may happen, but again, if a six months or a year passes and the light doesn't go on for him, it likely never will.

My only regret about how I handled my situation with my ex is that I let her string me along for 3+ years...until such time that she was done with school and got a good job. As soon as that happened, within six months she found someone new. She (still) claims this was not something that was planned out, that "it just happened", but looking back, and realizing how she works, I know that's not the case. All the signs were there of someone who had very much "checked out" of the marriage, such as refusal to go to counseling, limited communication pertaining to us and our issues, etc.

I was just too stupid to see it, and it cost me 3 years that I will never get back. I think the thing that is hardest to accept is that I was living and sharing a life with someone who for probably 4 or 5 years knew she wanted out, but lied to my face on a daily basis. I've come to accept that there are some things in life you may never get over completely. For me, this is one of them.

    Bookmark   August 31, 2012 at 12:53PM
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Dear mkroopy,

Thank you again for your time and response. Much much appreciated.

I would like to start off, by giving you some more info! Which is definitely why I can identify and feel like you did in your past relationship. Which is that I have wasted about 3 yrz time trying to amend and fix and show my commitment to him, but really it was my guilt allowing him to behave 'not o.k.' i.e. coming home every night at 9:30pm saying its all work, never giving me access to see or read any of his e-mail or cell(work cell so I have no access at all!). I thought bc he stayed, that he was going to forgive me and work on our marriage and we could get thru it, and save our marriage. What I now that he was just waiting it out.

I have to confess that I probably didn't give enough info regarding my indiscretion and my ex. I was so angry that he finally said yes to therapy when he found out we went to coffee, and the lady therapist acted like I was the biggest liar and cheat and worst wife ever, that I said I would stop talking to him, but I did not.
I saw my ex a week later, and intimacy (sort of) occurred. Sort of...bc he lasted about 30sec. I met for a few more lunches and two more attempted intimacy moments, and my husband found out we were still talking. And I believe thats when he felt 'betrayed'. This was all about 5 month time period. His wife found texts in his cell, and she sent me a message and he never contacted me again. Which also made me feel like a big fool...bc I should have never contacted him again, even tho I got caught bf anything happened and when it was just a "e-mail affair".....because my ex had no problem at all immediately dropping contact with me when his wife found they are happy now.

I don't know, I guess my point is that my husband was going to leave in Aug of '09, and then...he didn't, for whatever reason. Which again, I turned into...."Oh, he loves me and wants to save our marriage, and work thru this!" So I allowed his behavior and went back to school with 3 toddlers and got my RN degree and passed my state boards in April and he left in June.

So that is the full story, just didn't want you to think I was completely innocent...just stupid.

But....After all that being said....I still think your 1st post hits the nail exactly on the head of what he is feeling and what he is going thru!
Not only that, but your completely right about stringing me along. I already feel like I have been strung along for 3 yrz....and now, my family is so pissed at me for allowing the behavior for 3 yrz and my friends think I am too nice when he comes to visit the kids (he visits mon, wed, fri, sat, sun). He is nice as pie to me here, and acts all sad and tortured and guilty.....but once he leaves.....he ignores me the entire week and feels no need to talk or communicate with me, and I constantly say to cannot have it both ways. A hubby and family on te weekend, and bachelor single guy during the week! Which means you have lost nothing. And feels to me and all around he is string me along and making sure I do not move one from him...just in case. I think he wants to make sure that he never feels like he will not be able to come back if he wants. You know? Some weekends, I have met him at the door with the kids, and said, "be back at 5pm", shut the door, and been indifferent. He hated that and looked like he was gonna kill me. But I feel I might have to do this again (i keep moving ahead, and then moving back sometimes).

I know your probably sick of me rambling, but a man's opinion is something that I do not have:0) and appreciate your time and listening and response....sincerely.

I know that feeling of wasting years with your ex is sooooo frustrating and must have made you so angry!! It feels horrible to look back and realize you gave and gave for not just months....but Years! It's amazing how people change, and how much we learn as we get older.

I thank you again for all your help. Truly:o)

    Bookmark   August 31, 2012 at 3:42PM
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" my RN degree"

LOL another thing we have in common, but in got YOUR RN degree while he was stringing you along, my ex got HER RN degree while she was stringing me along.

Best of luck with whatever approach you take. And remember, no matter how it turns out, staying on good terms with him is vital for the development of you kids.

    Bookmark   August 31, 2012 at 4:15PM
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That is quite ironic! Lol.

Best of luck to you as well! And thanks again for all your listening and responses.

Take care,


    Bookmark   September 1, 2012 at 10:19PM
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Dear mkroopy,

I have had some major happenings and was interested on your take and if you cared to hear

My husband after I tracked him on a gps has been lying about certain days of 'staying with his buddy' on his couch.
I told him on two occassions that I knew for a fact that he was lying to me...yet again....and he adomantly (spelling?) denied and kept lying for weeks.
I called him last week and said if you don't stop lying to my face for the 20th time about this....we will have absolutely no relationship (he still spent weekends here with the kids). He Finally....told me the truth.
I am completely taken off guard that up until that week...he had absolutely NO PROBLEM lying to my face!
He then came back with the speech of...I realize I am f###ed up and need therapy and I love you and I want to save our marriage.
I said I would need to process this and think about it.
During this time, I continued to ask him for "the truth" about whether or not he had slept with anyone in the 3 months since he's left...or 3 yrz before.
He denied EVER being with I continued to ask every time I saw him.

I called the best couples therapist in our city...made an appt for sep. 19th...but she asked for some rules and stipulations....and one was that HE has to move back into the house by our 1st session. We were both a bit unsettled about this one.
But...nevertheless...last night he moved back his things...and I looked at him and calmly said outside after the kids were in bed...that if he is waiting until our appt to tell the truth about having sex with someone be it....but...I absolutely do NOT believe that you have not had sex with anyone. And I believe whole heartedly that you are lying about this and will try to lie about this like you have been doing...till the death.
He looked down and said nothing.
My gut, which is finally connected instincts used to be great, but not until he moved out, did they start to be good again.
I then waited after I took some relaxing meds...and looked at him and said...who was she and when? At first he said that he wasn't going to talk about it. But after much calm and quiet talking and pursuading....he told me.
A few weeks ago, he went to a bar by himself and picked up a 21 yr old! F###ed her, and then called her two days later and F###ed her again...and thats it.
I am at a loss....He says he doesn't feel bad, he is not sorry, and thats it.
I said, "Why are you back??" He said, bc I love you, not IN love with you, but want to save the marriage.

I can't believe that he lies to me sooooo easily and now I am definitely not sure who this person is!? Even my cousin/family who have known and been close to him for 14 yrz is shocked that this is the same man!

I don't know what to do? I tried to get an earlier therapist appt, bc I don't think I can take him living here for a week acting like if nothing.

My close friend thinks hes been cheating more than just this one tiem.

But I do know.....I cannot trust Anything he says...that is the pure fact of it.

And he gets so appauld when I say, "I don't believe you" today when he says...I am telling you the truth that she was the only girl I had sex with.

I'm in shock and haven't even cried about it....I am soooo taken back....

Thanks for listening!

    Bookmark   September 13, 2012 at 12:22PM
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Holy mackeral! How much did his drinking figure in this mess? Are there drugs involved? And - you must fnd out if he used a condom, for your own health.

    Bookmark   September 14, 2012 at 1:53AM
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I will be honest with me, this does sound like a guy who is more interested in preserving the 'status quo' than someone who really wants to fix the marriage for the right reasons. At first leaving was probably exciting, fun, carefree....obviously he did enjoy himself a little too. But as that wears off and he is faced with the reality that if he wants to 'get out' permanently, he will not be crashing on friends' couches or whatever, will have to get a place of his own, and most likely send a large chunk of is paycheck to you for support. Not sure what your financial situations are....there are so many variables, do you work, does he make a lot of money, is he going to want joint custody of the kids, etc.? Likely, someone may have wised him up to the fact that his lifestyle may not exactly be what he would like it to be if he does permanently leave you....and he may be just trying to salvage the marriage enough avoid this.

That's my read on it anyway. Someone who is truly interested in fixing the marriage does not pull the old "I love you but I'm not in love with you..." crap. That's a total cop ex said that to me after her first affair. I was stupid enough to believe that if I fixed certain things about myself, and we really worked on it, that I could get her to truly love me again. That mistake cost me 3 years.

As for hooking up with a 21 year old, hey that's what we would all do in that situation (although honestly what 21 yr old is interested in a 40 yr old guy unless there's $omething in it for her?)....he had technically left you at that his eyes he was a "free man". Legally, technically and morally he was not, but just trying to point how his thinking probably worked. I honestly would not let too much of your decision making process focus on that.

The lying...that's a big indication of where he is with you. My ex lied about everything under the sun, I eventually learned. When I found out about the first affair, she lied about the duration of it. How often they got together. As time moved on, she lied about not still keeping in touch with him. She lied about her intentions on fixing the marriage, which is what I truly wanted. Turns out she just wanted to "buy time" until she could get her RN degree and become more self sufficient. I know now she never had any intentions on making things better and staying in the marriage for the long term. But she lied about that for 3 years, until she got working and found someone else. Then when I got suspicious that she might be 'involved' with someone else, she lied about that too and made me twist for months before I finally figured it out again. What a lovely women.

Anyway....there's my opinion, sorry it's not a more positive one. Hope things work out for you and your kids as best as they can....good luck.

    Bookmark   September 14, 2012 at 9:50AM
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