Filed for separation, wonder if I should finalize


#1

After my spouse's brush with infidelity, her denials, continued contacts with her would-be lover and blaming it all on me, I moved out for four months last year. I hated being away from the kids. People have asked me, "Why didn't you make HER move out?" That didn't work when I asked. She wasn't going to leave. Nothing really changed while I was away. Nothing attitude-wise changed until she received my final act of resistance to her behavior -- the separation filing. "Why didn't you just file for divorce," was her question. I said I had the tiniest hope that things could change and that I still loved her. She said she still loved me too.

She said she would "never do anything in our marriage that would condemn her soul." She's also never talked to our pastor about what went on, nor spoken with a friend who is a nun who offered to counsel with her. In the meantime, I find out she's telling friends the marriage is over.

I'm back to not sleeping at night because I awake with such misgivings, the anger, the betrayal. I've mentioned that here before. Now she added that her affair was my fault.

I recently found a book that spoke to carrying on with your marriage vow even after your spouse has left you. The book really spoke to me, but I believe its audience was for those left behind by uncommitted spouses. I wonder if I can finalize JUST my separation, so I can separate at least our physical lives, while still living at home and caring for the kids.

I need to find a way to resolve my place in her duplicity. I have a friend who recently lost his wife after many years of disease. He cared for lovingly until the end. There's a big part of me that would love her, but does not want to be a part of her.

I spoke to a counselor a couple months ago who asked if I "wasn't religious" would I still be married to her. I said likely not. I'm at a point where I don't want to build anything in my life that involves building something around her. The counselor also told me that if we had come to her for marriage counseling she would have made it clear that my spouse could not continue to be in contact with her would-be lover. She could not understand our prior counselor not reacting to that continued relationship. It continues today, with texts, and small gifts.

So, can one serve one's marriage vow after filing separation? My loving friend told me I shouldn't think that I can find the grass looking greener elsewhere. I couldn't convince him that all I am searching for is some measure of peace and personal integrity.


#2

I am so sorry to hear of your separation.

I’m not sure what you are asking - is it that you want to stay in the same house but still be separated? That can’t work, can it, if she’s carrying on an affair in spite of everything you’ve been through.

If you physically separate, you are not divorced. And even if she filed for divorce, you would still be married in the eyes of the Church, so yes, you could still honor your marriage vows by not acting as though you were single again. Wearing your ring, not dating or even flirting with other women, giving your attention to your children, etc.

Don’t move away from your children, however. Somehow, if she wants out, she’s got to leave, and you stay in your home with the children. This may mean that you see a good lawyer for advice on your next move.

Again, I’m so sorry to hear that things have not improved for you. And I’ll add you to my prayers, and your wife to the growing list of women I need to “talk” to…grrrrrrr…they are not representing our gender very well at all…

:mad:


#3

Have you confronted this other guy? Why is he continuing to contact YOUR wife? Personally, I think you should start there. Your wife won't respect your position if you don't.


#4

Not sure if simply separating and staying home will work. I envision saying, “yes, date who you must, but don’t bring them around here.” I just know that this personal charade is driving me crazy. I want my life back to live, and to live it fully for God’s work in me to others. Sorry, that last sentence sounded a little preachy when read back, but my spiritual adviser says that this stormy marriage has been a real catalyst in getting closer to God, His love and that love we are to share. I tend to agree.


#5

[quote="LaSainte, post:3, topic:242487"]
Have you confronted this other guy? Why is he continuing to contact YOUR wife? Personally, I think you should start there. Your wife won't respect your position if you don't.

[/quote]

Yes, sent that note to him a few years ago. He didn't reply, but she talked with him and was very upset that I had contacted him. I found out later that he had married since the start of their affair, but that she wondered that if was just a marriage of convenience for him.

Her story throughout has been that he didn't mean that much to her. But I can tell you from what I read, she was heartbroken when she discovered he had been dating another (his future spouse) while they were having their infatuation and planning their affair.

I can't believe I'm writing this about my own experience. Seems like the stuff of a soap opera.


#6

[quote="indymb, post:5, topic:242487"]
Yes, sent that note to him a few years ago. He didn't reply, but she talked with him and was very upset that I had contacted him. I found out later that he had married since the start of their affair, but that she wondered that if was just a marriage of convenience for him.

Her story throughout has been that he didn't mean that much to her. But I can tell you from what I read, she was heartbroken when she discovered he had been dating another (his future spouse) while they were having their infatuation and planning their affair.

I can't believe I'm writing this about my own experience. Seems like the stuff of a soap opera.

[/quote]

I think you NEED to talk to your wife.
Dont think about what other people say about what she said.. etc. Somethings are said in affect, in anger, and people pass on gossip without realising the full picture sometimes.
Gifts and notes are improper, hurtful and unacceptable but might not indicate anything further.
I really think you should sit down and have a hard talk. She told you she still loves you and you said it to her too. I think it can be saved. How about retrouville?

I have a boyfriend and we are both well meaning but we had a lot of turbulens in our relationship and often we totally misunderstood each other, took things out of context, were suspicious of each other etc... open communication is just the best way.


#7

[quote="indymb, post:5, topic:242487"]
Yes, sent that note to him a few years ago. He didn't reply, but she talked with him and was very upset that I had contacted him. I found out later that he had married since the start of their affair, but that she wondered that if was just a marriage of convenience for him.

Her story throughout has been that he didn't mean that much to her. But I can tell you from what I read, she was heartbroken when she discovered he had been dating another (his future spouse) while they were having their infatuation and planning their affair.

I can't believe I'm writing this about my own experience. Seems like the stuff of a soap opera.

[/quote]

I would ask her to leave. Right now she is having her cake and eating it too. If this other guy is married, she won't be able to go running to him and hopefully she will soon realize that living in a little apartment by herself while you have the house and kids is not exactly charming. I would tell her that ALL contact with this guy stops NOW or she is GONE and you WILL fight to keep he kids and the house and you WILL use anything you have to build a case against her. She needs to decide NOW what she wants out of life and she cannot have both a boyfriend and a husband, period.

She will respect you much more for standing up for yourself and whatever happens, at least you won't have to live in limbo for years to come.


#8

I am not sure if you are seeking reasons to reconcile, or seeking reasons to seek a civil divorce.

Forgive me but my biggest concern reading your post was for your children at the moment. How old are they? Do you see them regularly? It concerns me that they may have a perception that their father simply left and that the parent that stayed with them and spends the most time with them is an adulterer.

Please be assured of my prayers for your family this is simply heartbreaking.


#9

Also, f this guy is married, I would write him a letter or call him and tell him that either he ceases all contact with your wife NOW or you will go to his wife and tell her what has been going on since before they were even married. That should stop him in his tracks if he cares about his marriage at all.


#10

[quote="GraceDK, post:6, topic:242487"]
I think you NEED to talk to your wife.
Dont think about what other people say about what she said.. etc. Somethings are said in affect, in anger, and people pass on gossip without realising the full picture sometimes.
Gifts and notes are improper, hurtful and unacceptable but might not indicate anything further.
I really think you should sit down and have a hard talk. She told you she still loves you and you said it to her too. I think it can be saved. How about retrouville?

[/quote]

We did retrovaille 12 years ago, when I thought it would help. Was probably too early; relationship hadn't hit bottom yet. Saying "love you" doesn't necessarily mean it and after 25 years, I've run out of strategies.


#11

[quote="LaSainte, post:7, topic:242487"]
I would ask her to leave. Right now she is having her cake and eating it too. If this other guy is married, she won't be able to go running to him and hopefully she will soon realize that living in a little apartment by herself while you have the house and kids is not exactly charming.

[/quote]

Not sure how that works, "Leave now." Tried it, and she said no. What then? They text each other still and saw each other last month at an out-of-town conference. Just know that she believes he is the breadth of fresh air she needed. Now I have to also deal with her excursions to see male friends. One, two hours away when he was in town nearby. Another last night, came back 3 a.m.


#12

[quote="Monicad, post:8, topic:242487"]
I am not sure if you are seeking reasons to reconcile, or seeking reasons to seek a civil divorce.

Forgive me but my biggest concern reading your post was for your children at the moment. How old are they? Do you see them regularly? It concerns me that they may have a perception that their father simply left and that the parent that stayed with them and spends the most time with them is an adulterer.

[/quote]

Not seeking divorce, but have nothing on which to base reconciliation. Just want peace of mind, what's best for her and me. She flatly denies actually committing adultery, and in that regard, I believe her. But she told friends she was planning on it. Thanks for prayers. I've asked for and received many in the years of wrestling with this.


#13

I hope this isn't stupid, but I thought a divorce is ok with the Church if one of the spouses committs adultery?

Thank you for clarification!


#14

[quote="indymb, post:11, topic:242487"]
Not sure how that works, "Leave now." Tried it, and she said no. What then? They text each other still and saw each other last month at an out-of-town conference. Just know that she believes he is the breadth of fresh air she needed. Now I have to also deal with her excursions to see male friends. One, two hours away when he was in town nearby. Another last night, came back 3 a.m.

[/quote]

I would hire a lawyer and have him file papers to have her removed from the home if she refuses to go. Keep and collect evidence of her activities and give them to your lawyer to use against her and tell her you are doing this. Tell her that your lawyer is hiring a private investigator (he probably will) to collect the necessary evidence against her and that you're done playing around and waiting patiently for her to come to her senses. She can either stop seeing him permanently NOW or your lawyer will take action.

Also, I think it's very important that you call/write this guy and inform him of your intentions to take this evidence to his wife if he EVER sees her again. She can't see him if he refuses contact with her.

And mean what you say. No more Mr. Nice Guy.

If she still chooses to carry on after all this, then I imagine a divorce will be in order unfortunately, but it sounds like you've done what you can on the diplomatic front.

I'm very sorry about your situation and I hope God will send you the graces to deal with it and come out a better man.


#15

[quote="LaFleurDeLis, post:13, topic:242487"]
I hope this isn't stupid, but I thought a divorce is ok with the Church if one of the spouses committs adultery?

Thank you for clarification!

[/quote]

Divorce IS ok with the church, on the secular level. You just can't remarry in the church. That's called an annulment. I envision living single from here out, regardless whether the end result is separation or divorce. Could make the case for annulment, but that's not the point. The point is to reach a level of peace and personal clarity, with her and with the kids.


#16

[quote="indymb, post:15, topic:242487"]
Divorce IS ok with the church, on the secular level. You just can't remarry in the church. That's called an annulment. I envision living single from here out, regardless whether the end result is separation or divorce. Could make the case for annulment, but that's not the point. The point is to reach a level of peace and personal clarity, with her and with the kids.

[/quote]

Divorce is not really "ok" with the church. It is tolerated for the safety of the spouses or to gain the necessary civil remedies . A separation in the case of adultery is allowed. However the well being of the children must be taken into consideration. Separation and divorce have very negative effects on children and those effects must be weighed against whatever is gained from the separation.
A decree of nullity is given based on the attitudes and intents that each spouse has at the time of the marriage. Not necessarily anything that took place during the marriage.


#17

[quote="LaSainte, post:14, topic:242487"]
I would hire a lawyer and have him file papers to have her removed from the home if she refuses to go...And mean what you say. No more Mr. Nice Guy.

If she still chooses to carry on after all this, then I imagine a divorce will be in order unfortunately, but it sounds like you've done what you can on the diplomatic front.

I'm very sorry about your situation and I hope God will send you the graces to deal with it and come out a better man.

[/quote]

LaSainte, praying for God's graces has been continual exercise. Also, praying for the means of being His best servant. I think often of our Christian calling to serve as Christ served, and He even going to the cross for all sinners and those still against him. Even Saul who become the apostle Paul received His mercy. That said, I have felt the two opposing pulls: separate/divorce to save self and offer self to seek reconciliation. The middle solution, simple separation seems like a way of confirming, "you have betrayed me, and still hurt me" while still keeping my marriage vow to love and honor. A friend said it won't work until she comes back to God. I can't make that happen. If I've been ineffective at being a spiritual leader at home, I still pray to become better. And to be guided.


#18

I agree, with what you say, but can you spell out/direct me to what separation means? Is it legal/financial? Also, what is proven adultery? Is it expressed intent? Is it continuing contact with a stated “would-be lover?” I only know she has told friends on several occasions that “our marriage is over” and at one point told several people in a chat room that, “next time my moral compass will not stop me from [going to him]” When confronted with these conversations, she says I’m taking them out of context, and that she would never violate our marriage vows. It doesn’t square.


#19

[quote="indymb, post:17, topic:242487"]
LaSainte, praying for God's graces has been continual exercise. Also, praying for the means of being His best servant. I think often of our Christian calling to serve as Christ served, and He even going to the cross for all sinners and those still against him. Even Saul who become the apostle Paul received His mercy. That said, I have felt the two opposing pulls: separate/divorce to save self and offer self to seek reconciliation. The middle solution, simple separation seems like a way of confirming, "you have betrayed me, and still hurt me" while still keeping my marriage vow to love and honor. A friend said it won't work until she comes back to God. I can't make that happen. If I've been ineffective at being a spiritual leader at home, I still pray to become better. And to be guided.

[/quote]

I think your intentions and your attitude about this whole thing are unbelievably admirable. That being said, I don't necessarily think that doing the selfless thing is the right thing. Your wife seems to think that because she hasn't physically broken her marriage vows that she has kept them, when every day she is making the choice not to love, honor, cherish or respect you. She IS breaking her vows to you each and evey day through her own choice. What she is doing is emotional abuse. How old are your children? Are they learning what a healthy and happy marriage should be from your wife? She is failing on every level as a wife and a mother and she needs to be held accountable for this, not enabled.


#20

I think you should speak to your priest as he probably knows both of you the best and will be able to guide you better than we could. Then you can start to work through these feelings with good sound advice.


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