Turns out there is "another man". I feel like a fool.

Hi all, haven't posted in a couple of weeks. 

Here's the quick stats for those unfamiliar with my story.  Wife is ADD, diagnosed, I am the non-ADD spouse.  11 years married, 3 kids ages 8,5,2.  Marriage in a tailspin and past year has been horrible.  Many "typical" ADD related issues as well as some other red-flag behaviors on her part.  Have done the MC thing for almost 3 years but it's been months since we last went.  Have tried and tried to make things work but just never could get it "right".  So many problems seemed to be constantly coming up out of nowhere.  I knew something was up but I guess I was in denial.

Found out this weekend (after being awakened AGAIN by the dogs barking at the door because my wife was having another one of her solo telephone- and - cigarettes happy hours on the back porch) that she is involved in an affair.  Just like a couple of you here mentioned.

We had had a pretty good night together before I found out, in fact, it had been a pretty good week.  We watched a movie, then she said she was tired so we went to bed.  I'd just started sleeping in the bedrooom again a few days prior.  I woke up at 1:15, alone in the bed to the sound of the dogs barking at the back door.  I immediately felt sick because I knew what was going on.  I walked downstairs to the back of the house.

Sure enough, she's out there.  Cigarette smoke (a NEW habit at age 35, BTW) hanging in the air, glass of wine in the hand, cell phone to her ear.  She was giggling like a giddy school girl.  I walked out and she hurredly ended the conversation. 

Of course it was "just a friend" she works with - who she has worked with for a couple years now, also a "friend" who is a married M.D. with 3 kids, who I coach my kids little league team with, whose kids have stayed at our house, whose son I have taken to sporting events, etc.  A "friend" that my wife talks about constantly with "amusing stories", who is "supportive" of her most recent career change and has helped her with her associated school work, a "friend" who complains about his wife to her... you see where this is going.

After hanging up the phone it was clearly evident that my wife was SLOSHED.  She could barely speak and was staggering on her feet, not to mention the stains of wine down the front of her shirt.  I told her she looked pathetic, of course she told me that saying that was "abusive" and THAT was why she "was done with me".  Her "friend" is "nice to her".  I didn;t continue the conversation because I just can;t deal with sloppy drunks.

The next day I told her I was looking forward to seeing her "friend" again at this weekend's practice, noting that I had to return the "friend's" son's bat to him that had been left in my truck.  I also wondered aloud if perhaps "friend's" wife might be there, too.  She panicked.  It would cause her problems at work, it would hurt his career, I was "crazy", etc.  Of course, not too "crazy" to stay home with the kids while she went out that night with "coworkers".

Last night she told me that she was going to get "help" from her parents and would be moving out.  Of course, she resents me for "having" to move out and "making" her do this to the kids.

As for me, I'm actually a bit relieved to have found out.  I was SERIOUSLY starting to think I was losing my mind.  Seems like these ADD spouses are a bit prone to finding novelty, stimulation and excitement outside of their marriages.

Oh well - that which does not kill us makes us stronger, I suppose.

Pbartender's picture

"I feel like I'm taking crazy pills!!"

"Doesn't anybody notice this!? I feel like I'm taking crazy pills!"  - Jacobim Mugato, Zoolander

Your wife sounds not so different from my non-ADHD wife...

My wife doesn't usually go on benders at home, but she does drink on a fairly regular basis.  She goes out to the bars with her friends and comes home late and drunk.  I've occasionally run across six packs of beer that she seems to be hiding from me.  A year ago, she got so drunk that she made out with one of her coworkers at a late night party.

She doesn't talk on the phone quite so much, but she'll spend hours texting back and forth with her "friends".  She'll sit on the couch or in a chair in the living room and hide the screen of her phone under a blanket while she does it.  Last winter, I caught her sexting with a (different) co-worker who was engaged to be married.  I'm not sure if she's actually seeing someone, but it sure looks like she's at least got a crush on another guy, who she undoubtedly complains to about me, and is supportive of her, and and the rest you describe.

I'm also 95% certain she's taken up smoking...  not exactly a NEW habit at age 36, but not one she's indulged in since high school.  She comes home from work and I can smell the smoke on her clothes and breath.  At first I thought it was just from her hanging out with coworkers who smoke while taking her breaks at work.  On Saturday, though, she asked me to check out the codes for a check engine light that popped up on her car.  I was looking in the pockets of her car for a pen and a scrap of paper to write down the code numbers when I found a pack and a half of cigarettes hidden in her car.

This weekend, she misplaced $20 she left lying on her nightstand, and practically accused me of stealing it and using to buy Chinese take out for me and the kids.  The $20 I used was the registration refund from the Motorcycle Safety Class I took a couple weeks ago and I told her so, but it's clear she doesn't believe me.

So, it's not just ADHDers who pull this sort of crap.

And I can completely sympathize with the feeling of losing your mind...  There are days in which I wonder if I really am the one with ADHD.

 

Pb.

y'know....

I think actually your wife probably IS ADHD.  So many things you describe are 'flags.'

Has she ever talked about the possibility, or has it always just been about your ADD?

Pbartender's picture

In retrospect, it's never

In retrospect, it's never even really been about my ADHD, I don't think.

But no, she's never talked about the possibility.  She says, "I already know what's wrong with me.  I don't need to go to a counselor/therapist/psychologist/etc."  She barely acknowledges that I was diagnosed with it.

And I think that statement by itself gets to the root cause of our marital problems.  She may know what's wrong with herself, but nobody else in the family does.  Furthermore, she never bothers to do anything to make things better, and she refuses to let anyone help.

Looking back at it, we've never really had anything other the usual troubles that any married couple has...  My ADHD may have exasperated things on occasion, but never caused the sorts of trouble I hear about from the Nons on these message boards.  When it comes time to deal with those problems, she wouldn't compromise, she wouldn't negotiate, and if anyone stood up to her, she would run away and shut down.  So, nothing ever got resolved.  The same problems would come back.  New problems would get tossed in, and over the years it slowly snowballed into something that was too big for either to carry emotionally...  Both of us started letting our built-up anger and resentment spill during times and at people we shouldn't have, which, of course, made everything worse.

And so now here we are.

I don't entirely understand it.  She grew up in a very broken, very poor home.  She has everything she always wanted...  A clean, comfortable house.  A husband and children who love her to pieces and would do anything for her, if only she would let them.  A job that she can take pride in, in which she's well respected and well paid.  She has more friends than she knows what to do with.  Together, we have plenty enough money to pay all the bills, with enough left over for a little fun. 

But she's still not happy.  She talks about feeling trapped and suffocated, but won't explain why.  She acts paranoid toward me, always suspecting me of plotting small revenges against her.  I simply don't know what's going on inside her head, and she won't take the time to help me understand.  She's said that if I don't get by now, I never will.  If she put half as much effort into solving her problems like an adult as she did avoiding them, she wouldn't have nearly so many problems.

In the meantime, she's resorting to every behavior she's ever complained about someone else doing and everything she ever accused me of doing.  It makes her look like a rebellious teenager whose only concern is partying with her friends and getting attention via shock value.  The truth is, she's just using it all as a smoke screen to avoid dealing with the real difficult issues in her life, and hoping they'll go away.

If that's what she wants, I don't care anymore.  That's her choice.  But I don't have to put up with it in my house around my children.  She can knock it off and be a part of the family again, or she can do it somewhere else and learn to pay her own bills.  I've got more important things to worry about.

 

Pb.

Oh, Zombiedad... I'm so

Oh, Zombiedad... I'm so sorry. No matter what is going on or how she has acted, it is still painful. It's a betrayal of everything you've had together. Don't be afraid to grieve even though it may be a release in the end. Stick to your guns on her moving out--you've been the stalwart one and she's the one who has committed the transgression. She needs help in a big way--it sounds like she has no remorse. She is the one that is breaking up your family, not you. Remember that. We're here for you.

Best of luck.

Hmm...

Looks like the wife has figured that the best DEFENSE is a good OFFENSE.  Now that she's been caught, she's lawyered up.  That was quick!  I guess this process will be her NEW hyperfocus.

At least the end is in sight.  I hope.

so sorry

Zombie dad, I am so sorry. Thinking of you and hoping that you can use this time to take care of yourself and children. Don't let her "light you up like a pinball machine..." You have no control over her actions or decisions. She may find some day that the grass on the other side of the fence didn't do anything to solve her problems. Hoping you find some happiness and peace. Hang in there. 

 

Pbartender's picture

I am not a lawyer, but to

I am not a lawyer, but to prepare myself for a similar situation, I've done some homework and gotten some preliminary professional advice.  Generally, it all agreed.  Here's what I've been told...

The more you and your wife can agree on the terms of the split -- most notably joint property, child custody and child support --  the less it will cost both of you.  Ideally, you can hire a single attorney to act as an advisor and a mediator, and to make sure all the paperwork is completed correctly and on time.  The less it costs, the more resources you'll both have to take care of the kids.  Furthermore, with the help of a good lawyer, you and your wife will have far more leeway should want alternative or unusual terms in your divorce agreement.  A judge will tend to stick to the standard terms and guidelines for divorce, which may not be best for your situation.

If you can't come to an agreement on any particular point, a judge decides for you.  Who is at fault is not necessarily a consideration for the judge.  Regardless of the circumstances of what caused the split, there's every chance that the judge will make a decision you won't agree with.

With regards to child support and child custody, a judge will aim for the best outcome for the kids.  Very often, all things being equal, the judge with stick with the status quo, if you have already separated.  In my state, even if you have joint custody with equal time, one parent pays child support to the other.  While the amount may be negotiable, the kids are considered to have a right to support, and the parents can't waive it.  Whichever household remains the kids' permanent address is the one that gets the support.

Whatever you do, don't talk poorly about your wife around your kids.

Start collecting records (especially financial records) and making copies...  Tax returns, pay stubs, receipts for regular bills, debt records, bank statements, etc.  You'll need them.

Finally, find a divorce attorney or two that'll give you a free consultation, explain the situation to them and get some good advice.  Divorce laws vary from state to state, so learn about how it works where you live.  The advice I was given will give you an idea of what to expect, but it may not specifically pertain to divorces in your state.  Inform yourself.

Good Luck.

 

Pb.

Zombiedad I'm so sorry

Think of what is best for your children and act accordingly. Some divorces can be nicely agreed upon and negotiated but it sort of sounds like that isn't what is happening in your case. From what I understand, if she moves out it gives you home ground advantage, especially if she doesn't take the kids. By not taking the kids her claim of abuse is diminished since what kind of mother would leave her children in an abusive situation?

Lawyer up because this could get ugly.  And if it doesn't it still doesn't hurt to have someone looking out for your interests. At this point, I personally would go for full custody and standard visitation for her since she doesn't have her own home. With you having custody, you would keep the house (if you own it) and she would have to pay you some child support. It doesn't sound like she is in the correct frame of mind to take good care of the kids full time. Being a single parent is really tough, I've done it. I'm sure she can curtail her activities for a few days a month to be a great mom to her kids. It may actually improve their relationship when the full time pressure of parenting isn't on her plate and she can set aside every other weekend and really focus on them.

Good luck.

Already? Wow.If I were you,

Already? Wow.

If I were you, I would start gathering witnesses for her behavior. She may be a good parent essentially, but the staying out all night, drinking, smoking, etc is not the type of environment your children need to be raised in. Nor do they need to be with her if she can't even remember to pay the bills. You might as well lawyer up too because I imagine that her medical records, cell phone records, etc will need to subpoenaed. Make sure to get a good one. It will make a difference if this turns ugly. Of course, a good lawyer will subpoena her lover as well. That might be enough to scare the hell out of him, and have her back down. It sounds like he has a lot to lose. Though I wouldn't make any more threats about exposing her adultery either, even though I'm sure it feels good to see her scared. Let the lawyer handled it. I would start gathering witnesses for yourself too as I'm sure she will try to play the abuse card (despite the fact that it is unfounded).

Keep us up to date...we'll be thinking about you.

That's terrible!

You know, if you are fair with someone, I've found they will frequently be fair with you -- even if you don't get along. Don't use the kids as pawns. Don't be aggressive and sneaky, or you can surely expect that back.

You are giving advise for a TERRIBLE divorce. I've been through 4 of them, and managed to stay on decent terms with both kids' fathers. The last 2 times, we used the same attorney to save money. I tried to be completely fair, the exes mostly rose to the occasion, and everything worked out fine in the end. (That's not to say I got everything I wanted....) I let my kids go to their father's houses whenever they wanted them, if there wasn't something else pressing. I didn't try to drag the other parent through the mud. I acknowledged that I had done my fair share of wrong in the relationship, and if they wanted to leave, I would not be vengeful if they would also be fair with me.

 

I have no knowledge of

I don't think his wife is interested in being fair. He has been trying to be fair. He's chased after her, sought counseling, tried to help her, and she's rebuffed him multiple times. Still just from what I've read of him, he seems to be a reasonable individual, while his wife does not. She hasn't even admitted that she was wrong, which shows a lack of good judgment and moral character. Instead she's lawyered up.

I merely advised him to watch his back, not use his kids as pawns. Have your divorces ever involved adultery? From what I know, those types of divorces can be pretty acrimonious. I'm sure that he doesn't want to go this route, but he needs to protect himself nonetheless. This isn't going to be a happy rainbows and sunshine, let's share the same lawyer type of deal. She has frequently accused him of verbal abuse when he has merely asked her questions about her whereabouts or suggested that she shouldn't be doing some of the things she does. She just doesn't indulge in a lifestyle that is conducive to raising happy, healthy children. He does everything for his children and therefore, he should have primary custody. I wasn't meaning that he should take them away from her, I'm sure joint custody would work just fine, but he needs to be the primary caregiver.

He doesn't have to "drag her through the mud". But he needs to be strong and not let her railroad him.

Astute observation, ellamenno :).

I thinik you might be on to something, ellamenno. She certainly sounds more ADHD than pb from his description, and is self-medicating for sure. I was just talking to someone at work today about the fact my dad is likely on the super high-functioning end of the autistic spectrum and was musing out loud that perhaps between his genes and my mother's (from whom I inherited my ADHD), that is perhaps why my ADHD seems to be a variant superstrain ;). I know pb has a son also on the spectrum if both of them had ADHD, I imagine as there are a number of crossover genes, that would make even more sense. I am sorry that both you, pb, and zombiedad are going through these sad and stressful events. It's no fun to be in a marriage that is going south. ADHDMomof2

Another man

It's ALWAYS a shock to find out about an affair, but life does go on.  If you want it to stop, one option is to talk with him directly - often that's all it takes for someone who is married to stop completely.  Something like "I just want you to know that you are paying too much attention to my wife, in my opinion, and she to you.  It makes me uncomfortable and is very awkward given that our two families know each other and run into each other so often.  I would appreciate it if you would move back to a professional-only relationship, immediately."

That's all that's needed.  He'll understand exactly what you are saying.