I am the wife but the third person in this marrage



I have just turned 60. Have three wonderful grown children. I married a wonderful person who is a better friend to everyone, than a husband and father to his family. All his life, he has been out saving ‘damsels in distress’, and he still is. Every so often, these damsels, some single some married often ended up having short term or long term affairs with him.

More than twenty years ago, he got into a very intensive relationship with someone much younger, about 15 years his junior. During this time my youngest child was born. He refused a divorce, maintained that it will blow over, it did, after four years and lots of ill feeling all around, and it ended badly.

He always said that I have bad timing for doing things, half of his life has been waiting for me to come to bed every night. I felt extremely offended when he used to say that I should jump into bed with him after the children retired, and wait until he’s asleep then I can go do the dishes and clean up the house again, before I get back to sleep, His theory has been that he makes more money then I dot, He has matched my monetary contribution penny to penny and more; it wouldn’t be ‘right’ that he still have to do housework.

Everytime when we fought it always ended up that he threw me out of the room, but we always reconciled. We all knew he has a temper,so everyone just get out of his way when it happens, we all know he could be a wonderful gentle person most of the time, but he is a hell of a devil as an enemy, and he had proven himself many times with me, family and ‘friends’, and ex-girlfriends.

Boxing Day 2004, for some very minor comments, he threw me out again. We have never been able to reconcile this time. I find out recently that he started his affair with this current love in the autumn of 2004. This woman who is in her late 40’s is the wife of his ex-client, who works out of town, apparently she doesn’t work and my husband is in sales, so they are together every single day, he keeps an almost day to day photo journal of her and her family in our computer. Now, he knows that I know, but he denies it totally, and talked with this mockery look on his face…‘catch me if you can’. He maintains that because he was left alone for so long, he has just acquired someone to keep him company all the time now, therefore, I need to ‘book’ for an appointment if I need him.

He had left me and the children, four or five times looking for ‘better jobs’ somewhere else out of town, or out of the country. He always ended up coming home in less than a year; because he was lonely, he had to do his own laundry and cook. But he is never happy with what he has, he always feel that the next person ended up with the better deal. He doesn’t appreciate me nor his children. The oldest child is now an attorney, the younger one a chef, but they had to fight and struggle with their own father to get there, and paid heavily for it because my husband refused to pay their full tuitions, so they work every summer and holiday days to make up for it.

During his last ‘looking for green career pasture’ episode, he sent emails and phoned me to look for documents and files from his file and boxes, and send them to him. It was then when I find dated withih the last 25 to 30 years, love letters, love poems, casual as well as explicit photos to and from women from Australia, Hong Kong, different parts of US and Canada. Now at hindsight, may be he wanted me to see the things in those boxes, and hoped that I would walk out on my own.

Those are old acquintances, high school sweethearts, career partners, clients, clients’ wives; friend of his then girlfirends, from highly educated to the new love of his life, who doesn’t speak English at all, and he is now her protector and companion, he coaches her kids he fights insurance claim, traffic tickets for her and her children. We always have to do it ourselves.

My oldest daughter too, went through a very distasteful divorce a year ago, it’s so pathetic that she ended up marrying someone so much like her dad. And I just are afraid of what he is capable of.

It seems that I am pointing a guilty finger at him; may be I could have done more to secure this marriage, but honest to God I tried very hard, I have given my all to him and his family, our children, my time and my money. I could be stubborn at times. This Sunday’s sermon at church was about pride, I did wonder whether it was my pride, but I think there is a fine line where pride ends and self-respect counts. Please, read betwee the lines and tell me that I was wrong somewhere, so that I could feel that it’s not as unfair as I feel, because it hurts so much feeling that I have wasted 38 years of my life chasing an illusion, living in a world which was never there to start with.



Ms. Marie,
I’m amazed with you. I’m too young and inexperienced to offer any advice. But I’m not too young to tell you that I think you are a very beautiful, persevering mother.


The long and the short of it…I wouldn’t put up with him. Seems like you tried as best as you can and now you need to make some not so easy choices. Don’t let him continue to abuse you. That is just what he is doing and you are letting him


Maria, when you said “in our computer” I realized you were still with that idiot. I understand your feelings that it is your own fault–it takes awhile to come to the conclusion that your dh made his own choices. He has trampled on your and your children’s feelings and needs. And for all those years. He thinks only of his own.
I wish I could talk to you.
The Catholic diocese has counselors who will help you. They will help you figure out what’s best for YOU, not him. You are entitled to 1/2 of his belongings. Please, do not wait any longer. Do not waste any more years on this one-sided marriage.


I am 40 and reading this and thanking God that I left my husband and am now single and divorced. Your husband and my ex are cut from the same cloth. Do not spend one more minute worrying about what you could have done to save the marriage. Do not invest one more second of your life worrying about this man who has never acted as your husband.

I heard that same line about how much money he earned and how much value he felt it gave him. The truth is, if you were paid for all of your services that you provide, you have definitely out earned him. No matter what you’ve been told, you are a person of worth. You have value.

Go and find yourself a good counselor and find out how to detatch yourself from this person who has used you for so long, taken advantage of all of your good intentions, and left you with nothing. That is not love. Go bring all of this to your priest. He will tell you the same thing.

It wasn’t your husband who willed you to see those boxes of mementos from all of those years of infidelity; surely it was God. There is a better life out there for you, I am here to tell you. Go find it. Claim it. It’s yours.



This is not your fault. None of it. Not the affairs, not the poor treatment, nothing.

Your husband likely has a personality disorder, probably narcissistic personality disorder-- but of course only a mental health professional could diagnose this for certain.

No one here can tell you what to do. However, the Church does not require a woman to stay in an abusive situation, and allows for civil divorce when it is needed to protect a spouse financially or physically.

Only you can decide if that is the course you want to take.

Personally, if it were me, I’d take all the evidence (boxes of letters, and any financial records I could lay my hands on) and secure it in a safety deposit box in a bank. I’d take an account out in my own name, put money into it, and hire the best divorce attorney I could find. Then, I’d make him wish he had never pushed me as far as he did.

You have your retirement to think of-- don’t assume he’ll play nice. He might one day leave you after taking all the assets. Don’t let him beat you to it.


Oh my dear woman. It would appear you have done everything in your power to save your marriage. Do not let this man hurt you anymore.


Sweetheart, there is a big difference between humility and humiliation. A humble person gains in stature and it is an act of their will. They are confident because who and what they are comes from God, not themself. Humiliation is heaped on you by someone else to destroy your stature and image and self confidence. One is a virtue. The other is a sin.

You have been given very good advice in this thread. Protect yourself. You are owed for all the stuff you have done. I too was told to get a job and he didn’t have to help because he earned the money. (When I was 9 months pregnant, it would have been nice if he carried the laundry basket upstairs. But that was asking too much.) Take your proof of his infidelities and show a lawyer.

You did more than most women would have. This is not a marriage. You did not waste this time, in that you have children who love you. You were the good parent. They know that. They probably want you to get away from him too.

It’s not too late to rebuild your life. Please do that and let us know how you are doing. We care. :o


God loves you and we love you.

Go and reclaim your life, so that you start healing and start feeling God’s Love and Care for you :slight_smile: . Its difficult to experience God’s love when one is hurting so much - Ask me I know :confused:
And yes, I believe it was “Divine Intervention” that made you find those letters.
It’s not God’s intention for us to be sad :blush: and lonely and helpless 90% of our lives - as we then cannot serve HIM the was we are intended to.
From what I hear, You don’t deserve another day of this kind of treatment. But YOU need to want out. You need to want YOUR life back. You need to want your kids to see the Maria you really are. You need to want, and experience Jesus’ unconditional love for you.

I will pray for you and ask Our Lady, Mother of all Mothers, to guide you and your thoughts and your decisions. To ask HER SON to heal your broken heart and start making you feel WHOLE again.

God Bless You


Maria, it has been 2 whole days since you posted, and I keep returning to this spot to see if you have posted again, but nothing! :slight_smile: :slight_smile: :slight_smile:
Please let us hear from you so we know how you’re doing, OK?


Maria, I like the other posters say, move on with your life without this man. I am in a very difficult marriage and if I had any inkling that he had been unfaithful, it would make my decision so very easy.
Once would be enough for me, not repeatedly. He is a selfish, conceited and very unhappy man. You deserve so much more. A woman that has stood by him for his repeated indiscretions. Please, try to find some happiness in your life. You have done everything and MORE and he doesn’t deserve such a wonderful and devoted wife. He will realise far too late what he has lost. Silly man… ( I cant write what I really think…)
Look after yourself now, God bless


Turn the computer over to your divorce lawyer. Make sure that you get the house, car, and at least half of the retirement accounts.
Change the locks on all the doors and get a restraining order to keep him and his infantile temper tantrums away from you.
If your description of him is accurate, he has never been sacramentally married to you. Get an anullment. Also put the computer in the hands of a canon lawyer to help with the anullment process.



This is not a marriage. God does not reside there, and may have never been there to begin with. Our Heavenly Father will be with you every step of the way–out the door. I pray that you find the strength to do what you need to do. To leave would be to honor God and yourself – His creation. Please update us as you have many people, who have replied or have only read your post, who are praying for you.

Peace be with you,



If this has been the pattern all through the marriage, he is not going to change. You will have to change. Either continue to tolerate his abuse (yes, his behavior is abusive) or do what you can to free yourself, with the guidance of good counsellors and a good lawyer to protect your share of marital assets and provide financial security in your retirement.


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