Older couples sometimes drift apart and become dissatisfied with their marriage. Once the kids leave home, they get what’s often called a gray divorce.

Gray Divorce

By Sarah P.

You may view retirement as a long-anticipated liberation from the rat race, but it is also a period of substantial change and adjustment for your marriage. Some of the most overwhelming changes will take place between you and your spouse.

Some couples may have been drifting apart for years due to life commitments. Other couples may have drifted apart due to past infidelity that was never addressed and swept under the rug. Or, some couples may have been literally torn into shreds by a partner’s recent affair.

When an affair is or was added to the marriage mix, this period of time can mean absolute upheaval and utter destruction.

In the past, conflict may have been masked or swept under the rug because most of a couple’s time and attention was devoted to their careers and/or raising a family together.

For couples that are facing or have faced an affair, even in the distant past, they may find spending more time together unnerving at best and explosive at worst.

There is also nothing like an affair to ensure that spouses sometimes feel like they no longer have anything in common.

After all, when moral standards of such profound meaning are carelessly dropped, one person in the couple will likely be left feeling as if they do not even know the person with whom they share the same bed!

These events often culminate in a world of emotional pain that is very hard to work through; naturally the topic of divorce may cross one’s mind.

Some may argue that if they have already spent 40 years together, the unknown is unbearable. Still, ambivalence around whether to stay in a marriage or to part ways will linger. Regardless, others have already taken action.

One Less Bird in the Nest

Consider these statistics:

“The divorce rate for those ages 50 and older doubled between 1990 to 2015, according to the Pew Research Center. Known as gray divorce, it’s an event that doesn’t have to be negative. “It’s not necessarily a midlife crisis anymore,” says Garrett Oakley, a financial planning professional with the online investment service Betterment. “It’s a midlife turnaround.”

Whatever the reason for the change, those going through a gray divorce will encounter both difficulty and opportunity as they navigate their new lives. Without a doubt, the biggest financial challenge posed by gray divorce is the loss of income and assets.

Couples working together toward retirement goals could find themselves left with only half a nest egg, less income and fewer years to recoup the missing amount.

Getting a divorce later in life may mean less savings and sacrificing some retirement dreams. However, people may find that’s a fair trade-off in exchange for being able to spend their senior years as they want.

Getting divorced after age 50 doesn’t have to be a financially devastating experience. However, you may still want to think carefully about what you hope to accomplish by ending your marriage. While a divorce may be the right answer in some situations, other couples may find counseling and compromise let them enjoy retirement at each other’s side.” (1)

Money is most often the deciding factor in gray divorce and for good reason. All of the financial plans that a couple had made for retirement will go out the window. Worse, a gray divorce can greatly complicate or reduce a person’s standard of living.

Tom Sightings, for US News said, “Divorce during your retirement years can complicate your retirement plan. Retirement assets may need to be divided, and alimony could be granted after a long-term marriage ends.

The Financial Consequences of Infidelity

Here’s how to cope with a gray divorce:

  • Find out if your Social Security payments will change.
  • Determine what retirement benefits you are entitled to.
  • Consider whether you need to hire a lawyer.
  • Be prepared for the possibility of alimony.
  • Decide if you will keep the house.
  • Be prepared to divide household goods.
  • Communicate with your adult children.
  • Don’t forget about pets.
  • Focus on future happiness.

Older couples sometimes drift apart and become dissatisfied with a long-term relationship. Once the kids leave home, some couples split and go on to lead separate lives.” (2)

A further complication is the emotional aspects of a gray divorce. If your home was the place where all of the holiday parties were hosted and where family gathered, these gatherings will be extremely difficult to lose. Your adult children and grandchildren will feel the shift.

Additionally, there are health issues to consider. If you were to develop a catastrophic illness, would it be adequately covered by insurance? Even if it were covered, who would your support system be?

On the other hand, would you fully trust a cheating spouse to take care of you if you stayed married and developed a catastrophic illness?

These are all important points to consider when going through a gray divorce.

Most of all, I think if you are considering a gray divorce, it is important to contact a qualified therapist or marriage mentor to talk through these things.

Don’t forget that you can talk, you can explore all your options, and you can spend weeks gathering information WITHOUT having to make a decision. I would encourage you to talk to experts and explore all scenarios that involve staying or going.

Being armed with information and talking to third-party professionals is essential.

What do you think?

  • What is your greatest fear if you were to divorce after 50?
  • Alternatively, would the prospect of divorce give you hope?
  • What advice can you give to readers who are thinking about a gray divorce?
  • Do you think finances are important in making decisions or is gray divorce an emotional decision?
  • What questions do you have about gray divorce?
  • If you have thought about divorce or if you were in mediation, what changed your mind?
  • If you have stayed with your spouse, why did you decide to stick it out? What were all the pros and cons that you weighed to make a decision?
  • Does anyone regret staying in their marriage?

We hope to hear from all of you. Remember, not everyone who reads this blog leaves comments. However, what is said here is helpful and taken very seriously. Gray divorce is a topic we have been receiving emails about lately. So, readers, please sound off about gray divorce.





    31 replies to "Should I Stay or Should I Go: Is Gray Divorce for You?"

    • Sarah P.

      Hi All,

      Let’s get things started. Please watch the trailer below. Despite the humor in the film trailer, this was a very serious film. The two were actually on their fast track to a divorce until they saw the couple’s counselor in person. They were facing a “gray divorce” and had slept in separate beds for years.


      Does a sexless marriage – when both people in the couple do NOT want a sexless marriage – constitute grounds for a gray divorce?


    • Exercisegrace

      Another great article that brings a lot to think about and discuss! Prior to his affair, I (naively) would have told you that cheating was a deal breaker. Automatic divorce. Funny how when you find yourself in certain situations, the answers aren’t so clear! For most of us, the decision to stay or go is agonizing, and it’s based on many factors.

      I was in my mid-forties when my husband’s affair began. Our four children were young, ranging from two toddlers up to our oldest who was about 14. We had been married over 20 years and I was a stay at home wife and mother for the majority of that time. I gave up a lucrative career and never looked back. It never occurred to that cheating could happen in OUR marriage. D-day was seven years ago, and I am now 54. I depended entirely on the life we built to sustain us in retirement. His bad choices extended to giving his whore half of our business, and it cost us dearly to get her out of it. The financial fall out has been tremendous. Two years of therapy for me, him and us (not covered by insurance) at about $90/hour adds up to frightening sums of money. Add in husbands depression, which impacted his ability to work and make money (no paid time off when you’re self employed!). For longer than I care to admit I could just get the basics done, so we ate out A LOT. I’m sure we could do an entire blog post (and I think Linda did?) on the financial impact. Ultimately his business floundered and he dumped our savings into trying to keep it afloat, not being able to stand the idea that his actions largely contributed to a catastrophic failure on many levels.

      I do love him and I have wanted to make this work. I have put tremendous effort into recovery. Financially, neither of us would survive retirement on our own without combining households and expenses. So on the hard days, I just try not to let my mind “go there”. It isn’t an option.

      Side note? My husbands maternal grandparents divorced in their late seventies. Everyone was shocked. They just assumed they would stay together unhappily since they had done so for over 50 years. After the divorce, they remained friends. She blossomed and became very active in an assisted living community. He……was himself until he died, LOL.

      • Sarah P.

        Hello ExerciseGrace,

        It’s always great to hear from you. You have suffered so much due to your husband’s affair. You have lost so much financially. Of the two of you, who do you think has spent the most time working on affair recovery? After all these years, has your husband had true insight into the harm of his choices?

        I am sorry to hear all about your financial losses. You have been affected by his affair at every level in your life.

        That’s an interesting story about your H’s grandma divorcing grandpa, but it doesn’t surprise me. It doesn’t surprised me that she blossomed and he stayed the same.

        But the truth is, many people don’t have the financial luxury of going through with a gray divorce.

        What is the current status of your relationship?

        Big hugs,

    • Cheryl M

      My husband and I have been married for 29 years. He had an affair that began about 2 years ago. He finally ended it about 8 months ago but the question of “ should I stay or should I go” plays in my head often. Our kids are grown and there is no reason to stay together. He claims he will be faithful the rest of our marriage as this has caused so much pain and destruction for both of us. He wants to stay together and on good days so do I. But do you ever truly recover and have good days consistently? When I “go there “ in my head I think I have to get out to finally feel better
      Never thought I would be facing this in my late 50’s and at times I’m still pretty angry about it all. We get all the pain for something we had no say in.

      • Sarah P.

        Hi Cheryl M,
        I hear you and this must have been so disappointing for you. You make a great point when you said that “We get all the pain for something we had no say in.” Isn’t that the truth. The statement is resounding in my head like a large, ringing bell.

        You will feel better sometime, but it takes time.

        Big hugs,

      • Shifting Impressions

        Cheryl M
        The question of whether to go or stay plagued me at first as well…..I gave myself permission to “not know” the answer. I don’t know about you but I was such an emotional wreck for the first few years after d-day I wasn’t in the best shape to make such a difficult decision. I knew that if I walked away prematurely I would probably regret it. There will be grief and pain whether you go or stay…..but I encourage you to take the time to ask yourself what you want and maybe get some help dealing with the pain of it all.

    • Hopeful

      My husband’s affairs started when we were fairly young, early 30’s and he was highly successful. I am fortunate that as far as I can tell there were no financial implications. Even with his success I think he would have been more successful if he did not go down that path. Since dday he has grown so much in his profession and success. I do attribute it to him being less detached, more focused and maturing through the recovery process.

      For me the lies and actual cheating was bad but what hit me the hardest is I thought we were a team and always would be. For me that was the greatest betrayal. As you know my husband is in the mental health field. I was highly successful, worked really hard and put him through his higher level education and started up his business with all of my bonuses I had earned. I remember my accountant telling me if I use it for that there is a good chance I could lose all of those earnings if anything happened between us or if his business was not successful. I did mention that to my husband but I never gave it a second thought. For me it was really hard since I gave up my optimum career and location for his career. I was fine with it since we were a team. And my husband assured me if I decided to leave him he would not hide assets etc. However it was hard to get the point across how devastating it would be since getting half of our marital assets even though that would be a lot cannot at this point replace or make up for all I invested in him and gave up of my own career. He kept telling me not to worry about that but it was crushing. I still struggle with that and as a man and the one who has the amazing career, who is revered and highly successful it seems easy for him to say that if he or I decided to part ways. He has admitted he would not be where he is today career wise without me.

      My last thought related to this is since my husband’s affairs happened at a “younger” age I was actually happy about that. First if we did divorce I felt like it would give me time to enjoy my life an create one I would be happy with alone or with someone else. I also will say I am glad it all came out when it did. I feel like we are a team now and dealing with the stress of teenagers, health issues, becoming empty nesters some day etc. Also we both (especially my husband) look forward to having a lot more time together once our kids are in college. We love our kids and spending family time together but he looks forward to it being us. From what he sees professionally this is not normally the case.

      • Sarah P.

        Hi Hopeful,
        *gritting teeth over here*

        The thing that always gets me riled up about your story is that you worked your butt off for his career and sacrificed your high-powered career for his career. Of course what you were doing was correct because that’s what a team does. And as you said, you were a team.

        But, what I see in many marriages is one person agreeing to everything while the other person has their fingers crossed, behind their back. They want their spouses to follow certain rules while they do what they want. I am not saying that this happened to you, but it feels like your H went through a phase where he felt teaming was optional on his part.

        There is this humorous (but vulgar) image I have in my mind about cheaters. I imagine them dressed like Charlie Chaplain and moving around in uncoordinated ways until…whoops…! One of them just stumbled and fell onto the genitals of someone else when they were just talking a quiet walk in the park and minding their own business. I call it “crotch tripping.”

        Hopeful, so glad your husband is over that period in his life and I am glad he is being a team again.


        • Hopeful

          I do think for him it was parallel lives. And I think at his core his is selfish and was indulged in all ways as a kid compared to how I grew up. I think he hid/covered it up well. Or it only came out once in a while, not a constant issue. During the affair years it was hard to identify since they were sporadic. Now that I know everything it makes sense. I could never understand how things could be so good and then so bad. But as we figured out the longer time went by without contact he would be more like I guess you would say himself (less detached, depressed and disconnected). For him he said he just kept the affairs going since he felt like he messed up so bad and it could not be fixed. Yet he finally decided after 10 years to end it on his own. So he had flashes of doing the right thing. I do think it is still a struggle for him not to be selfish. Nothing related to women but he naturally takes care of/thinks of himself first. I guess it is the reverse of me I take care of others first and have to work to put myself first. I think the fact that we both have better awareness is critical. It still can be hard and we have to work at it after so many years habits form and a dynamic has been created between us.

          Thanks for all your work, thoughts and comments!

    • Shifting Impressions

      I have so many thoughts regarding this post. As many of you know, D-day came only a few weeks away from our FORTIETH wedding anniversary. Happy Anniversary, right?? I felt like someone cut off my air supply. And if that wasn’t enough almost a year later there was another d-day….I inadvertently stumbled on the fact that he had another EA about 15 years previously.

      The last six years, since d-day have been incredibly difficult and I can honestly say I have fantasized of walking away. But how do you walk away from a lifetime of memories together? We started dating at 17 and are now 66, So many years together…four children and four grandchildren. We have seen each other at our best and at our worst. So a lifetime of ups and downs….of joys and sorrows.

      Fortunately our finances aren’t dictating our decision to stay together…..there is enough to go around. Taking financial implications out of the mix has given us more freedom in our decisions. We stay because we still want to be together. Anything less wouldn’t work for me. Our family is everything to us. There have been times when I have been tempted to run away from it all. But that temptation comes in low times and is steeped more in fantasy than it is in reality. You know the fantasy that running away will solve all my problems. I think in reality it would create more problems then it would solve.

      Should he be unfaithful again I don’t think I could go through it all again. The fact that he shows true remorse and we work hard to not cause more damage, by treating each other with care, makes staying possible.

      • Sarah P.

        Hello Shifting,

        I had no idea the news came right before your 40th anniversary. What was he thinking? And even more, did you put on a happy face and celebrate your 40th anniversary? If I were in your shoes, I would have been crying all day.

        Honestly I don’t know how you suppress your rage against your husband. Or maybe you are fortunate enough not to have rage. I sure as heck would have had it. My hand would have been itching for his nice clothes, a match, gasoline, and the front porch. But, then again, why ruin a perfectly good front porch? Yeah, the front porch wouldn’t deserve such treatment.

        Shifting how do you reconcile the horrible timing of D day with concepts like forgiveness. You are a far better woman than I am.


        • Shifting Impressions

          What were any of the Cheating Spouses thinking?? They were only thinking about themselves. I’m sure he didn’t think he would get caught….especially not two weeks before the anniversary.

          I was completely shattered…….the rage was only one part of it. If not for the rage, I probably would have been a puddle on the floor, completely unable to function. For the anniversary we had a really special dinner planned with our children and their partners. The kids had put together some really amazing and funny cards and gifts etc. I went to that dinner feeling like a shocked zombie. At that point I couldn’t celebrate the marriage because the moment I stumbled upon that incriminating email, I no longer felt married. So I decided to celebrate the amazing adult children that came out of the last forty years together. That’s what got me through that night.

          The thing is he had been so completely miserable the year before at our 39th anniversary and the whole following year….it all made sense When the 18 month EA came to light. But he did cut all contact with the OW, the day I found out. If he hadn’t done that the match and gasoline thing might have been a distinct possibility!!!

          So the timing was just the way it happened. As for forgiveness, I’m not sure if I have come to the place of complete forgiveness even six years later. It’s been a long hard journey that is not completely over yet…..I’m not sure if it ever will be. We talked about it last week and I mentioned that he had never really asked me for forgiveness. So as you can see we are absolutely still a work in progress. I never really did suppress the rage….I embraced the grief and all that it encompassed (including the rage). I gave myself permission to feel all those things but to try to find the least hurtful way to express that grief etc. You can be sure I failed several times.

    • BoundaryBuilder

      I stayed with my 62 year old husband after affair with former Cockroach HS girlfriend was exposed. 30 years married in February, 2 years post D-day. To put this conversation in context, betrayal with Cockroach started in mid 2017 as a every day texting only EA that lasted for months. He bit when she fished him on Facebook 45 years later. Escalated to a PA in early 2018. PA lasted a total of 12 days (that I know of) – he shacked up at her house 3 different times. Tacked a few days onto the end of a couple of business trips and falsified our calendar. And took a four day “fishing trip.”

      I’m also in my early 60’s. Post betrayal I’m not as resilient as I used to be, so planning retirement this fall. A little earlier than I’d hoped. PTSD from post D-day year of “trickle truth” (continued lying) took a toll. Doing better now. For me, it was his lies that almost destroyed our marriage. Cockroach was never really a threat. Not much spend on the affair, no financial abuse accompanied the emotional abuse. Lucky me.

      Why did I decide to stick it out? Sunk costs effect first and foremost. Refresher: “The sunk cost effect occurs when a prior investment in one option leads to a continuous investment in that option, despite not being the best decision.” Guess I wasn’t willing to throw away a 28 year marriage until I was sure there was no other option. Financial considerations were very important to me also. Why should our family loose our home in a divorce settlement because he couldn’t keep his dick in his pants? We live in a VERY expensive housing market. Splitting assets meant I would never be able to buy another house in the area where my heart and home are located. I adopted a wait and see attitude, got support from a therapist, and started building new boundaries around what is and isn’t acceptable in our marriage.

      The biggest down side to staying in the marriage for me is this – I don’t think I will ever trust him. And, I will never know whether or not the last 30 years haven’t also been one big lie. He travels a lot for work so over the years had MANY opportunities to seek ego stroking from strange. He claims he never cheated before, but the two years of lying came so easily! I don’t readily believe him. I will never trust him unconditionally again, the way I did before D-day. My eyes are open as we go forward. Lack of trust in the person who’s supposed to have your back, be your partner in all things is a big weight to carry.

      I wish I could say he also got therapy or signed a post nuptial with an infidelity clause. I wish he would do these things to help reassure me, However, he has changed for the better. He’s more present with us, kinder to me. For the last year he’s been unflaggingly supportive of our recovery as a couple. We take trips together, have the occasional date night. The light bulb over his head finally went on – he understands that lies of omission are still lies. And his willingness to “be the healer” once he stopped the lying is helping me recover from PTSD. I could have done without the year of trickle truth lying, but things have improved in that department.

      So, do the pros outweigh the cons when it comes to staying in 30 year marriage after a betrayal? So far, I would say yes, with reservations. This is an individual choice with so many variables. What’s true for me may not work for someone else. Staying is hard work!

      • Sarah P.

        Hi BoundaryBuilder,

        I have to admit that with each passing year, I feel more strongly that I would stay if my husband had an affair. Now, each situation is different but I know my husband well enough to know that if he had an affair and IF our kids found out, he would crawl into a hole and curl into a ball. His biggest fear in life is losing the respect of our children. On the other hand, he has never experienced what it’s like to lose MY respect. Ask any ex boyfriend and it was a chilling an memorable experience that they never forgot. (Of course they did things to lose my respect. Someone has to do something pretty harsh to lose my respect and each of them earned it. So my husband truly has no idea…)

        But, on to the topic of staying. I have spent many years working hard and used to work in high tech. I spent many years saving and investing and my rule of thumb has always to live below my means. That way I can save. So I have spent years deferring all of the trappings that money can buy and living well below my means. I have spent years setting aside money for college and money for disasters and have also had to financially support family members who were elderly and lost everything in the crash. Don’t get me started on what it’s like to see family members dedicate their entire lives to work and putting their money solely into the stick market (and not diversifying) and losing everything and having nothing to show for it.. and they are too old to work. So I have lived a life of financial responsibility making sure there is money for the disasters in other family members lives, not just my own.

        A divorce would mean that the inheritance that is supposed to go to my rightful heirs aka my children or towards my retirement, would go to an unworthy inter-loper and her kin. Sure, men say they have their biological children’s interests in mind. Even after they divorce I have seen men actually pay for college for their biological children.

        Boom. Then they remarry.

        Somehow their own biological children and grandchildren become complete strangers to them. Soon they get enmeshed with the next wife’s family and all of a sudden he is putting her kids through college while financially abandoning his own. I can think of three examples in my off line life where this has happened. If I think harder I can probably come up with more. But, the utter emotional and financial blow that is dealt to biological children is BRUTAL. I have no understanding as to why a man would abandon his own biological relatives in favor of the relatives of a total stranger. I have no idea why a man would turn over the inheritance that is supposed to go to his children to strangers, yet it happens. The new wife often takes control and what she says goes. And if a guy doesn’t comply then I would imagine he gets kicked out of his bedroom. Soon many nights on the couch gets lonely and he trades his children’s inheritance for bedroom time with his new wife.

        There are no guarantees except people will lose money in a divorce. And as we get older money is more important and sometimes harder to come by, especially near retirement age.

        It’s not fair that money should take such a front and center role in life, let alone decision making. But, fair or not, the older we get the more it will become about money because we have to think about retirement, medical bills, nest eggs for children and grand children…. and so it goes.

        Life is not cut and dry. But, from a financial perspective any divorce deals a heavy blow. But, this is most of all the case is gray divorce. Betrayed spouses you all hold much more power than you know.

        And BoundaryBuilder, I like your approach.

    • BoundaryBuilder

      Hey Sarah P:
      Yes, yes, yes! I’ve worked hard and lived beneath my means to assure we’d have health insurance, a state funded retirement pension on top of social security, and my private retirement savings account on top of that. And the equity in our home. We live in a community property state and earn about the same salary, so by law, in divorce husband could take HALF of everything I’ve worked so hard for, including retirement funds. He’s an independent contractor, so has NO retirement savings. He does have a sizeable inheritance from the death of his father – by law this inheritance is HIS (inheritance wasn’t co-mingled with family accounts), I can’t touch it. Doesn’t seem fair does it? And you mention an important consideration that often gets lost in the mix when considering divorce – diminished inheritance passed to the next generation.

      The idea of another woman reaping a financial windfall from my sweat and tears while I’d have to downsize my retirement expectations really boils my blood. When we were in the darkest patch after D-day, husband claimed that if we split, he’d never remarry, and had no interest in pursuing any kind of relationship with Cockroach, or with any other woman EVER. I had a good laugh about that. He was willing to risk a 28 year marriage to get his ego (and dick) stroked by someone he barely knew! Post divorce he’s going to take a vow of celibacy? He’d be enmeshed with some woman before he knew what hit him. I read many of the texts they exchanged during the EA phase. Cockroach is a smooth online operator who easily manipulated my husband. Don’t get me wrong. He’s culpable; at each fork in the road he choose the path that led straight to her vagina. But he was so gullible! He thought she was really into him. Trust me, she wasn’t. He was shocked when I suggested that perhaps sucking his dick wasn’t its own reward. Hope it’s okay to be crude here. Cause crude is how I feel when I think about this stuff. I’m usually a very genteel gal :-). I guess one of the reasons why some men are willing to disown their families financially and emotionally for a complete stranger is pretty simple – the ego stroking they get from shiny new strange is the priority.

      I’m confident a big motivator for Cockroach when she fished him was financial. She’s a twice divorced, not very attractive (I’m being kind), uneducated 61 year old woman working several crummy jobs that involve scrubbing toilets to make ends meet. Her retirement prospects are probably pretty grim. It’s likely my husband was the biggest, fattest fish her online relationship trolling ever hooked. And half of that potential jackpot she eyed is MINE. I’m not giving that up to anyone without a fight. This doesn’t mean I’m willing to stay in a miserable situation, or willing to put up with continued infidelity. Husband knows if anything like this happens again, I’m out of here and good riddance. And my new boundaries around what is and isn’t acceptable in the way we treat each other are crystal clear. While I’m hesitant to give away half my wealth at this time, I’m not afraid to decide to call it quits if circumstances change.

      • Sarah P.

        Hi BoundaryBuilder,

        I am a very genteel gal too, pretty boring really and I was partially raised by a grandmother straight out of the Victorian era. I am a card-carrying member of the DAR.. I don’t drink alcohol, I don’t smoke, I don’t do recreational drugs and this has always been my lifestyle (except for a year or two of social drinking in college). My only “drug” is coffee and I have kids, a husband, and dogs. I like to read and write and work hard and I like to save money.

        But…I will tell you that there is nothing like infidelity to cause me to say things that would make a sailor blush. Profanities are welcome here because they are quite often mechanisms for comic relief. I have real doozies of profanity that go through my mind, but I try to keep them in my mind because I don’t want to offend anyone.

        But, for everyone else…. swear away, be crude, and use the slang of your choice. It always makes me laugh when I read it. (And I need a laugh since this is such a dim subject).

        I like the fact that you told your husband that that “perhaps sucking his dick wasn’t its own reward.” I died laughing when I read that.

        Those are the thoughts that go through my mind.

        I have noticed that SOME men who cheat are REALLY gullible to the extent that it is LAUGHABLE. Some men actually think that if the other woman says she will drop dead if she can no longer have sex with him, a man will believe it and think he is a better person for having sex. I mean, he is doing a public service! He is having sex with the other woman so that she won’t drop dead! OMG.

        The alleged prize in his pants is SO important that it is the only thing keeping the other woman between life and the morgue. Where did I come up with this one? This is one that my ex’s other woman said to manipulate him. Of course, I never found any of this out until long afterwards, but one of the things that she told him was that she would drop dead and be a sad ghost for the rest of her existence if she couldn’t have the ALLEGED prize in his pants and be with him forever. When I heard that, it was so pathetic that I actually laughed. It was even more pathetic that he believed it. That made it double hilarious! But, I did not even get to the most pathetic part. Apparently, he actually cried when she told him that. It was apparently the thing that caused him to break it off with me. Even though I had NO freaking clue any of this was going on at the time.

        What astounds me is that SOME men cannot see through such utter manipulation. How can a body part be that important? It can’t and his body parts were nothing special, so I have no clue what she was talking about.

        If a guy told me he would die if he couldn’t have access to body part of choice and only mine would do, I would actually laugh.

        Actually wait…a man did try to manipulate me with that once when I was single. I found out he was also seeing someone else, so I was pretty offended and scratched him OFF my list. Apparently he couldn’t live without body parts from lots of other women and there was no way I was going to be part of his elephant seal harem. Men are resilient. They find new eye candy every day and will certainly not die if they lose access to a body part. They will just go and find that same body part on another woman. In fact, some go find another body part when they already have one waiting at home!

        I mean us women all have the SAME equipment. It’s pretty straightforward! And our equipment is so similar that if we are in a house together, our equipment auto-synchs and bleeds at the very same time! How NOT unique.

        Well, Boundary Builder, you managed to get me to drop my boundaries and talk about some of the more outrageous things that I have experienced regarding sexuality.

        I want to know if there are other betrayed spouses out there who are privvy to absolutely PATHETIC things that the other person said in attempt to reel the big fish in.

        Today has been a really rough week (on a personal level) and I need a good laugh!!

        Boundary Builder, do you have any more zingers that you told your husband? Do share! And anyone else share your zingers too.

        And if you are wondering why I don’t want to be part of an elephant seal harem, just watch the following video:



        • BoundaryBuilder

          Sorry you’ve had a tough time last week. Hope you’re doing better now. Laughter is indeed the best medicine, so I’m ready and willing to have a good cackle about my husband’s asinine behavior. Not exactly what you asked for, but hope it fits the bill. The fact that I can laugh about this stuff shows I’m healing. There is light at the end of the infidelity tunnel! Maybe I’ll know I’m truly over this when I don’t give a hoot about husband’s Cockroach AP. Cockroach who? Looking forward to that day. I think you’ve struck a nerve with the “gray divorce” article. Any gray haired fellow betrayed out there could view this LONG tale as a humorous pep talk with a serious message. The message is this: the betrayal isn’t necessarily about “true love soul mates” or the AP being better – better than you are in bed, better at living life, better at FILL IN THE BLANK. They’re not. And the betrayal isn’t necessarily about your partner worshiping at the shrine of the AP’s sexual prowess. Maybe husband was being kind when he told me sex with Cockroach wasn’t all that great, but I believe him. One important thing I learned from all of this – if someone has a hole in their soul they’re willing to fill with vacuous ego kibble, the source of the ego kibble is irrelevant. It’s all about the kibble, not the person dispensing it. Another thing I learned – there are stone cold mate poachers out there coveting your hard earned nest egg, ready to stroke your partner’s ego to get it! I’m not demonizing Cockroach, or blaming her exclusively. Husband is not an innocent lamb. He has agency. The betrayal is 50% on him, 50% on her. But until I reach “Cockroach who?” sure is fun to mock her.

          Immediately following D-day I was a hysterical, sobbing mess. Even in the thick of the maelstrom my intellect kicked in and calmly assessed the situation. I was incredulous – DUMBFOUNDED about how the betrayal got started, and his choice of AP. She’s an old high school girlfriend who fished him on Facebook 45 years later. She’s not a long lost first love, they weren’t kept apart by cruel fate. Their high school liaison ended when she cheated on him and dumped his ass for another guy! I don’t think he’d spared her much thought over the last 4 1/2 decades. I was shocked to learn my (usually) intelligent and discerning husband of 28 years is THAT guy – a willing patsy who step by step followed the cheater’s playbook to engage in a texting EA, followed by a brief PA, with an old high school girlfriend – that started on FACEBOOK! Jeez, what a pathetic cliché.

          To cope with the betrayal, I morphed into Super Sleuth. I surprised myself with my newfound detective skills.! Super Sleuth was desperate to make sense of the betrayal, to understand what when where why and WHO. Super Sleuth HAD to learn about Cockroach, what she was up against. I learned his choice of AP, the type of person she is, was unbelievable. Husband is a tidy, serious guy with a very particular aesthetic. He’s professionally successful, well traveled, loves film, good food, music is super important to him. We live in California; hippie lifestyle is a really big thing here. And it’s not his thing. He’s a bit contemptuous of hippie culture, quick to joke about hippie art and beliefs, hates pot smoking, hippie cuisine. Folks, if hippie is your thing, no offense meant. To paraphrase, “some of my best friends are hippies.” I just never thought my hippie scoffing life partner would betray me with one. Yes, Cockroach is a scrawny 61-year-old, pot smoking, card-carrying hippie chick – with a slutty edge. Hate the word slutty, but when the shoe fits………..Think: above the knee, form fitting hippie patterned dress with kitten heels, rock crystal ankle bracelet, bedecked with beaded necklace, earrings, rings and bracelets. On any appendage able to sport hippie frippery, she’s all in. Visualize: long, unkempt frizzy gray hair down her back, with prune face, poor teeth, and strabismus (Google it ☺). Let’s just say she looks her age. This gal is NOT what I would think of if asked to describe my husband’s type. And not just his physical type, the things she’s into aren’t what my husband is into. The litany of likes on her Facebook page are telling. She ascribes to naturopathic medicine, weird diets, and paranoia about “chemicals”. He makes fun of a lot of this. She strayed from the hippie chick stereotype in one thing – her taste in music. SHE LIKES COUNTRY MUSIC for crying out loud! Husband can barely tolerate country music! As far as I can see, the only thing they had in common was high school.

          PART TWO TO FOLLOW later. Thanks for reading. I enjoy writing. Cathartic!

          • Sarah P.

            Hi BoundaryBuilder,
            You painted such a detailed picture of the cockroach that I could pick up my pen and draw a caricature of her. (Like the Chump Lady, I do satirical art and also very serious fine art. But, my satirical art is my favorite.). Yup, I can picture this lady perfectly.

            I know this sounds weird, but quite often wayward men choose mistresses that are NOT their type. I wonder if it’s a subconscious thing. If they choose someone against their type, they won’t risk falling in love with the person. They can better compartmentalize the affair. My ex left me for the OW. The one who said she would die if she couldn’t have the ALLEGED prize in his pants for herself. But, this woman could NOT be more opposite than me in EVERY way.

            First off, she was nearly 10 years older and that biological clock was SHRIEKING. Second, she was the daughter of a couple of janitors. Why is this important? Because one time his mom told him – before we dated – that he should find a CEO’s daughter. His father was a professor with a PhD and my father was also a professor with a PhD and got it from one of the nation’s top schools. My dad was also at USC film school when the now famous directors were there. My dad knew the Fonda family because he would crew their sailboat on the weekends. He and I were from “equal families.”

            The OW and I could not look more opposite in appearance either. I am a tallish, fair-skinned Auburn/brunette with an extremely feminine body type and she was about 5 feet tall and probably 80 pounds. I have hazel green eyes and she had black hair and coal black eyes. I have long curly hair and she had short, straight hair cut in a bob.

            He did not marry who his mom expected. She wanted him in the ranks of CEO’s and he is in the ranks of janitors. How glamorous!

            Talk about opposites!! People who met her said she was really intense and easily angered.

            Then, I am laid back and chill.

            After he left me for her, he soon figured out she was a nut bar. He sent word through the grapevine that she wasn’t who he thought she was. (Really?!) I did not bite. He never apologized, but even if he did, he did things that are SO horrible they are beyond reconciliation. He did things that are against the law like assaulting me and battering me so that I would move out of my house and she could move in. I was so terrified I hired a lawyer and put the house on the market. His name was second in the title and he didn’t really contribute to the down payment. I was so stupid to let him be on the title! He lived there with her until it sold. The real estate market had crashed and I didn’t get any of the money out that I put it. I lost about 20k!

            I heard that after I would not bite at his passive aggressive attempts to pull me into the “pick me dance,” he pretty much resigned himself to being with her.

            So does anyone know what an angler fish is? It’s that fish that lives in total darkness but has a brilliant light that hangs off its head. It’s prey will be attracted to the light and the angler fish will swallow it whole. Well, here is the thing about the male angler fish. The male angler fish is smaller than the female. It attaches itself to her body and then becomes slowly absorbed into it. Isn’t that weird?!!!!! And it’s a good thing it’s dark down there because the male doesn’t get to see that the female looks like something out of your worst nightmare. Well, I have heard through the grapevine that his marriage to her is a lot like that. People I know have seen him at networking events and they say he is like a shell of a person. She digs her claws into his arms wherever they go and ensures he doesn’t talk to women. She knows she “won” a cheater so she keeps him in a metaphorical choke collar. She knows that if he has one second alone, he might take an interest in someone else. So she is with him at all times, wherever he goes, and has him in a prison of a relationship. Well, he got what he deserved, didn’t he. And he is like that male angler fish becoming part of the female’s body until it’s dead.

            It’s just so romantic!!

            These men who cheat with these women have no clue what she will be up to IF they marry the other woman. Their alleged soul mate often turns into their worst nightmare.

            Yes, there are many stone cold spouse poachers out there. I am well aware they exist and they are HEARTLESS. Some of them take great pleasure in breaking up families. I have met them first hand and that’s how I know they exist. They are not some kind of myth like a big, bad wolf hiding in the woods; they are real. They don’t care if your kids become suicidal. They don’t care if your kids lose house and home and their inheritance. They don’t care if they cause the death of someone. These people are the most heartless, arrogant and entitled people I have ever met. They think they are special and that the rules only apply to others. Oh and heaven forbid you do something that makes them angry. They can dish it but refuse to take it. I suspect these are Cluster B’s.
            (Narcissists, borderlines, and sociopaths). A wife has to lay down the law if a spouse poacher crosses her path. A wife has to be the stronger one and not tolerate anything.

            Okay, BoundaryBuilder, let’s hear part 2 of your story. Feel feel to add snark, sarcasm, and make fun of this person all you want. Go for it. Vent all you like.

            Another topic….

            And for anyone out there who believes in a higher power, in good vibes or even positive thought, please send up a prayer for my grandma who is in the process from transitioning from this world into the next. She is very frightened and this is very sudden. She had stage 4 cancer and was healed and the cancer went into remission. But several weeks ago a doctor wanted to do an exploratory surgery on her bladder. He ended up creating a huge whole in her bladder and intestines. It could not be repaired. She entered hospice yesterday and my mom says that she is really out of it. My grandma is already seeing people in the room who others cannot see. That’s a huge sign that she is moving on. Today she saw her deceased mother-in-law in the room. That makes sense because my grandma took care of her mother-in-law until she died and they were great friends. She was closer to her MIL than to her own mom. Now apparently her mother in law has come to help her make the transition so she is not alone. When people start seeing deceased relatives, they generally have very little time. My mom was unable to rouse her mom from sleep today. I may not even have a chance to say goodbye and this makes me so sad. So if everyone could send good vibes so that my grandma will have enough time for me to say goodbye, please send good vibes my way. Her name is Lucille and I can’t stand the thought of her slipping away without me having the opportunity to say my goodbyes. My grandfather also has stage 4 cancer. It’s so sad.

            All good thoughts are appreciated!


            • BoundaryBuilder

              Sending good vibes to both you and Lucille. So sorry to hear about your grandparents. Stage four cancer for BOTH? That’s rough.
              Thank you for taking the time to focus on us betrayed, even in the middle of personal grief. The metaphor comparing your X to an angler fish is brilliant!
              You also mentioned Chump Lady. I love her website; especially the satirical cartoons. How did betrayed folks manage before the internet? Infidelity support websites like yours have educated, comforted and guided me going on two years now. I’ve posted on Chump Lady a few times, but felt disingenuous because I haven’t left my cheater……at least not yet :-). Actually, after two years of just reading, I’ve posted on several infidelity support websites recently. I was musing about this during my morning commute. Why now and not before? I’m grateful for the existence of places like Emotional Affair. Voraciously reading blogs every day got me through some really dark times. Think I’m ready to turn the page on this chapter. So, I’m leaving my mark. And.Then. I. Will.Stop.
              Cockroach saga part two on the way to (hopefully) lift your mood. Formulating my thoughts. Please don’t forget to take care of YOU during this time of loss.

    • Blind Sided

      I’m new to all of this and not sure where to begin. We just celebrated our 24th wedding anniversary last September, got our youngest married off in October, looking forward to being just us again. We were having a great time, sex life was great, talking to each other better than we had in a long time, making plans for our 25th wedding anniversary to Jamaica this year and couldn’t believe how great everything in my life was going. Then i found out the day we were moving my youngest to California (2 days after Christmas), that he had been texting/talking to 30 other women since the end of November! The texts were intimate, the girls sending naked pics of themselves to him, asking for money, telling each other how much they love each other, want to sleep together, making plans to meet up! I was devasted to say the least! When I confronted him, he doesn’t think it’s cheating or going outside the marriage because he didn’t actually “meet” them & wasn’t going to! How am I supposed to believe that when he’d been lieing to me for several weeks & telling 30 other woman how much he loved them while still telling me the same thing & pretending everything was great! All of these woman are basically catfishing him as every single one was asking for money from him & he’s a 55 year old man with 20 & 30 years old sending him pictures! I asked if he really thought those woman were interested in anything other then getting money from him and all I got for an answer was “probably not”. So he’s willing to throw away 28 years together over a fantasy!? I’ve read several blogs, articles, etc and majority of them talk about reconciling. But I don’t know how to process all of these feelings knowing that I can’t trust him again as that has been shattered. He has yet to even feel any remorse or even acknowledge he did anything wrong & is still texting/talking with them. He moved out a couple weeks ago & I believe he is now seeing one of them in person. Any suggestions or articles to help move forward alone when you still love someone that you can’t take back into your life as it’s way too painful & untrustworthy?

      • Sarah P.

        Hi Blindsided,
        First off, I am sorry for what your husband has done and the mess he is making.

        It seems to me that he is suffering from a case of testosterone poisoning. Before everything thinks I am sexist, my dad came up with the term and concept of testosterone poisoning. My dad thinks that “testosterone poisoning” sometimes leads men down paths that are NOT in anyone’s best interest IF a man doesn’t continually check himself and reflect when easy pickings appear. Now my dad made this concept up half-jokingly, but it was inspired by the absolutely insane things he saw men around him do. Your husband is in a really insane state of mind right now.

        I need you to lock down your finances. I need you to call an attorney – one that gives free consults – and tell the attorney what happened and ask how to lock down your finances.

        If your husband is out of the house and 30 different online women are asking for money, this is not a good situation. You need to lock all assets down because even a penny cannot be spent on these women. Your husband is aware he is being used for his money and he is still showing signs that he is okay with it.

        Your husband is NOT in his right mind. I don’t know how you feel about getting family members involved, but you need four strong sons, brothers, and neighbors to go and physically pick your husband up and carry him home. Then you need to call his mom and have her pull him around by the ear until he cries “uncle” and signs a post nup that all funds go away.

        It’s actually pretty easy to get rid of 30 young women. You text them an asset sheet that shows he is dead BROKE. Create a fake asset sheet if you must and then lock up all your money. Right now emotions over what he is doing after 25 years of marriage have to be set aside and you have to put on your financial analyses hat. You need to pull any family members in who will help keep your husband in check, and you have to lock up the money. After 25 years, if you do get a divorce, they will often alimony. But, you have to lock down that $$.

        Your husband reminds me of someone on a suicide mission. It’s like he is the pilot of a plane and women offer themselves up. The only problem is, he has to take his hands off that plane, in order to access those women. And so as his plane is heading towards the ground all he cares about is the fact a woman is on his lap.

        He MUST be reigned in. You must take the wheel of that plane and metaphorically tie him to a chair so that he can do no more damage. He is NOT in his right mind. A man in his right mind would stop. He would realize that he had gone too far and he would stop.

        Now I don’t want to sound harsh. I am very concerned about you and what is happening. But, right now you need to put your brain into survival and logical mode.

        Remember, the way to disarm your husband is to lock all your funds up and to throw away the key. He can try to fish for young woman at that point, but he will fail miserably. Once they find out he has nothing for them, they will scatter. He needs to have a massive wake up call that most women under 45 are simply not going to be interested in him. And middle aged women also need money.

        Your story makes me sad because no one wins here.

        I do like the books and advice that Boundary Builder recommenced.

        What does everyone else think?

        What’s your best advice for Blindsided?

        I say take away his wallet first and do it effectively. Then you can figure out the emotional part. But, right now the financial part is front and center.

        Big hugs,

    • BoundaryBuilder

      Blind Sided:
      Whether it’s a former high school classmate on Facebook, or a decades younger woman texting via Tinder, stone cold opportunists exist, and have always existed. Social media just makes their goal easier to accomplish. And the goal isn’t necessarily to have a meaningful relationship with our partners. They’re eyeing our hard earned nest egg, and are willing to stroke ego to get it. Doesn’t exonerate your husband, or mine. They’re complicit. I’m so sorry you’re experiencing this horror.

      A couple of books I found useful to help me wrap my brain around the betrayal and sort out what I wanted to do about it:

      “Not Just Friends” by Shirley Glass – includes a lovely section on “Healing Alone.”

      And “30 Covert Emotional Manipulation Tatics – How Manipulators Take Control in Personal Relationships.” Short and to the point. Not about moving forward after a betrayal, but super useful. Helped me identify unhealthy dynamics in our marriage that were always there before the betrayal; I just wasn’t willing to name to them until after the betrayal. Could help you to feel better about your decision.

      On another practical note, I hope you’re protecting yourself financially. The alarm bells in my head are ringing. Your husband is not sorry about his actions, and willfully engages with women who are blatantly cat fishing him for money. He’s moved out. If you haven’t already done so, seems prudent to get your financial ducks in a row, and take steps to protect what’s yours. I was way too trusting about finances before my husband’s betrayal. Post betrayal, I realized that someone who could lie to my face for two years about an affair was also capable of stealing from me. Harsh but true.

      Blind Sided, this is the worst part. But I know you will get through this. There’s strength and resolve in your post. Hugs!

      • Kris

        Thank you to both Boundary Builder & Sara P. for your advice. The first thing I did when I found out in December was separate the rest of the finances even before I confronted him. Everything he is using right now are credit cards & loan in his name only. My finances are okay since he is not on any of my checking or savings accounts. I did speak with an attorney to see what my options were legally, so I’m okay there as well. Just having a hard time with the roller coaster of emotions of letting go of a 28 year long relationship & all the dreams that I had associated with this man. I haven’t seen where anyone else had the issue of the online situation so that is why it’s been hard for me to relate to anyone else as it wasn’t in the “physical” part of the betrayal – at least not then. I believe he has now that he has moved out & have had other “signs” of him seeing someone closer to where he moved to. So there is no hope of reconciliation as he still has not come to terms that he did anything wrong or shown any remorse for his behavior on the texting/dating apps. So to protect myself I’m moving forward with the divorce papers so that he will be liable for the bills he agreed and we can make a clean break and I can try to move forward to heal. Just trying to figure out all the emotions that still come and go with this as well. At this point if he did finally realize what he’s done and would want to come back, I’m not sure I could ever trust him again or trust any man for that matter. I think this is going to be a long, lonely road for me to try to recover from. I have gotten both of the books mentioned above as well, some of it does help but like I said, most have not as they talk about trying to reconcile & that is not in my future. Thank you both again for the encouraging words of advice! I’m glad I was able to get some comfort from those that have been through the betrayal as well!

        • Sarah P.

          Hi Kris,
          I am SO RELIEVED that you have the finances in order.

          I DO believe online cheating is very common based on what I have seen in my offline life. There are a lot of middle aged people who open up online accounts to see what is out there. Between Ashley Madison, Facebook fishing, and all the hookup apps, some people are under the illusion that there are thousands of people out there who they might have a fun time with. But, this is no more than an illusion. Someone’s dating profile could be totally false. Even people who are unattached write fake profiles. I have a single friend and she is quite attractive. The number of men out there who fake who they are or what they are is outrageous. She has had probably 50 different dates in 10 years and they have all bombed.

          Many people get pulled in by the grass is greener syndrome. When they go online they will find hundreds of profiles of women who have photoshopped themselves and made themselves out to be better than they are. I read an article where many trans men (men who are transitioning to women) will photoshop themselves and go fishing for heterosexual men. Since photoshop is so advanced, you can make anyone look like ANYTHING and it’s hard to tell it’s fake.

          At first, online dating was a good idea; when it was in its early stages and being used by professionals who had no time to date. I was one of those people. I was working 60-80 hours a week and I had a friend who wouldn’t stop bugging me until I put up a profile. So I put up a profile with no photo. I was too embarrassed. Low and behold my (future) husband was also working 60 to 80 hours a week. He was the only person who returned as a 100% match. I felt lukewarm about his photos but wanted to meet him because at that point I was looking for a man who had my values and wanted to get married and have a family. Well, he looked much different in person and there was a lot of chemistry. Photos don’t tell the whole story at all. We met one night for coffee and eloped a year later. The rest is history.

          Speaking of that, I don’t see a long, lonely road ahead of you. I had friends who kept pulling me up – thank goodness – and they wouldn’t get off my case until I got back in the dating arena. They were also on the lookout for me. I was surprised at how many interesting men emerged when I thought life was over. I know it’s hard to trust, but you too can get online and see who is out there. Betrayed men exist as well and there are betrayed men your age that have been through what you have to go through. Please don’t give up just because you were married to someone that was different than who you thought you were married to. You deserve happiness and love. And it’s not your fault that you were married to someone capable of such cruelty. That is NOT your fault. So, please consider picking yourself up, dusting yourself off, and NOT be alone.

          Kris, please reinvent yourself. Now that your husband has fallen off a metaphorical cliff, you are free to be whoever you want to be! You are free to live any dreams or aspirations that you put on hold.

          Can you tell me if your husband ever calls you or makes frequent contact? Any idea why he thinks he is not in the wrong?

          Big hugs,

          • Kris

            Sarah – thank you again for your encouraging words! Maybe sometime in the future I would be ready but I can’t really see myself yet at that point. I’m strugging to find my footing and just try to now cut ties & move forward the best I can. He had moved out 3 weeks ago and honestly I still don’t have any answer as to why he felt going online was somehow not betraying our marriage. He said he even knows that all they are asking for is money but still continued to text them even after I confronted him! He would lie & say he wasn’t, but had the evidence he was! They are even a “broken” english language where I told him he doesn’t even know if they are actually women he’s talking to! There are so many scams and softward now that he could be talking to a guy or a room full of woman where it’s there job to text at all hours to get money from any men they can! But he still wanted to continue the texting all of the women. I only here back from him when I have texted needing an answer regarding a bill he agreed to pay for. I texted him the 29th after I believe he’s actually seeing someone now & wanted to verify that since he was still texting/talking & now physically seeing someone since he had spent the last weekend with her that there was no reconciling our 24 year marriage? I received no response from him at all. I finally had to text tonight to get information from him so I could file taxes. Still not a word regarding any type of information regarding our marriage/separation. I also found out tonight that he’s taken another substantial loan out, so now he’s got a “wad” of money to blow on all these woman – until that money runs out anyway! So I’ve been gathering “proof” and information to move forward with filing divorce papers as I feel the sooner I can cut ties financially and emotionally from him on all levels, it might help me start healing. Just need to realize in my head that someone that could lie to me so easily for several months & pretend everything was great in our marriage, isn’t worth trying to keep. It’s trying to tell my heart that is hard to do! I think that’s where I get hung up at is I still love this man and I don’t know how to stop – even with all the hurt he has caused me. But I know he is not going to change right now and I need to break free and start to live new dreams & like you said, reinvent myself to something even stronger and better! Hugs back to you all!!

            • Kris

              Sorry Sarah forgot to answer your other question at the end. When I confronted him about texting/ talking to the other 30 woman he didn’t think it was cheating because he didn’t sleep with them! I told him not yet but when you’re telling them all how much you loved them, want to sleep with them and making plans to meet them, your already betraying the marriage and disrespecting me as your wife. He still didn’t see it as cheating! The only reason i felt he hadn’t met them yet was there were inconveniences and I caught him before he could! But like I said before, now that he’s been out of the house for 3 weeks I believe he’s moved on to the physical cheating now. Another reason I don’t think I could handle him wanting to come back after being with others. That’s all I would see or think about and wonder what diseases could he possibly give me! Just still don’t get why he would not think it’s cheating! There’s no remorse at all on his side.

            • Sarah P.

              This sounds like a real mess. I want you financially separate from your husband ASAP. I had a friend who experienced financial abuse. He took out a loan with her SSN and forged her signature. Guess who is paying off the 30k! She is and she is in her 60’s!

              I know it’s hard to come to terms with the fact that the person you thought you knew changed in a flash.

              There is a book from the 80’s about the grass being greener on the other side. But, there is an even more helpful book called Runaway Husbands by Vicki Stark. She was abandoned out of the blue in her 50’s when her relationship could not have been better. She explains this phenomenon really well and maybe the book can provide you comfort.

              You are still young and have a whole life of adventure before you. Think of all the interesting things you can do. Think of all the hobbies you can take up, all the volunteer projects, all the travel. You could even go back for another degree. Or teach English outside of the United States. There are so many choices in life and so many changes of scenery to be had.

              Now I am not discounting the devastation that you are going through. I am just trying to get your mind to expand and realize there is life beyond a husband who has fallen off the cliff of sanity.

              And all those women he is talking to are mostly fishers of some type. Instagram now has a filter that can realistically change one’s gender in a photo. I was unable to tell it was altered. He doesn’t know who the heck he is giving this money to. But you won’t go down with his insane ship.

              Double big hugs,

    • Kris

      Sarah, thanks so much for the book idea. I will research getting that today. I’m definitely cutting my financial ties with him as I’m not going to pay off his debts again! Thank you again for helping try to expand my mind to look beyond the pain of the present and know I have more to offer in the further, with or without someone else in my life. I will take the steps to close this chapter and look forward to the new one! It may take me awhile but I will hope to get there!

    • BoundaryBuilder

      Whew. I’m so glad you’re protecting yourself financially, and facing forward towards a new life without him. He’s taken out loans????!!!! The sooner you file, the better, IMHO.
      Kris, he may never feel remorse, may never acknowledge that what he did was wrong and destroyed your world. Again, my alarm bells are ringing. Someone with a normal stockpile of empathy wouldn’t behave as he’s behaving. Someone with a hole in their soul they’re willing to fill with ego stroking from online ho’s has something missing in their emotional wiring, Not your job to figure it out, or fix it. It’s your job right now to take care of YOU. As Sarah said, be grateful you’re not “going down with the insane ship.” A favorite saying of mine “not my monkeys, not my circus.” Going forward, maybe let your divorce lawyer handle the communications about which bills to pay, etc.? May cost extra $$ but the peace of mind could be worth it. No contact sounds like just the ticket right now. You’ve got this!

      • Kris

        Thanks BoundaryBuilder! I too agree that the sooner I cut all ties, the better I will be and start healing myself as well!

    • Hangingin

      Wow I’m so happy to have found this page! Doug helped me find it. I will post my own story later on but really, you have all in your own words written it for me. I have such empathy and sympathy for everyone on this site. I’m 72 and it has been a “should I stay or go” issue with me for a year and 7 months now…..but so far I’ve stayed.

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