DEAR DEIDRE: AFTER 43 years of marriage, my wife left me for a man she met online. It broke me.
My wife is the only woman I have ever been with. We met at school, we are both 60 years old.
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But while I was thinking about retirement and looking forward to a happy old age together, she was online, talking to men in chat rooms and arranging to meet them for sex.
I found that this went on for four years while she was still living with me.
She betrayed me more than once. She did it again and again – and all under my nose.
While we sat together and watched TV, she chatted on the phone, corresponding with strangers. I thought she was chatting with her friends.
Now she admitted that she has been dating one particular guy for a year now. She fell in love with him and wants a divorce.
I don’t even recognize in her the woman I loved and had children with. It’s like she’s had a personality transplant.
Even though she’s an adulteress, the law doesn’t care. She filed documents and blames me for the fact that the relationship went wrong.
I was told that although I did not cheat, I would have to sell my house in a divorce and give her half of its value.
My daughters, who are in their early 20s, are also in shock and torn between me and their mom.
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I’m about to lose everything. The pain and shock are indescribable.
As for the future, it looks so bleak that I don’t know how I’m going to live.
DEIDRA SAYS: You wobble like anyone else. Sometimes people change. Or maybe your wife was unhappy and hid her feelings.
Try not to think long term. Focus on getting through it one day at a time.
Please lean on your children for support. I understand that they are broken, but they would also like to be near you.
If you would like to speak with someone impartial, call the support line, which provides confidential emotional assistance (supportline.org.uk01708 765 200).
Also consider consulting. Make an appointment with your therapist and check out my counseling and cheating support packages.
Even if your wife admits to cheating, we have a no-fault divorce system, which means people aren’t punished for cheating.
Please seek legal advice from an attorney and Citizens Advice (Citizenadvice.org.uk).
My Divorce Reflections support package will help too.