I met my significant other about a year ago. He said he was separated and on our first date I asked him if he saw himself ever going back to his wife or not getting a divorce. He immediately said no. He didn't have to think about it. I had a cardinal rule about never dating separate men. I'd tell them "get a divorce and then see if I'm still available." There was something about him, and I'd heard from people who knew him well, that there was no way he and his wife were getting back together. There was too much water under that bridge.
A little back history: They have been married 25 years and have two grown children, both who have lives of their own but who live at home. My significant other "SO" leaves work each evening, comes to my house, stays until around 9 or so and then goes home...where he is still living with his estranged wife. Saturday nights he spends the night at my house. Apparently his wife has never asked why he is out late every night after work or where he is on Saturday nights.
Early on, I asked him when he was going to file for divorce, because at that time, they'd been separated, with him living at his sister's house, for more than a year. He said he figured it would be before the end of the year. I accepted that and didn't say much else. The end of the year came and went and no divorce in sight. He hasn't filed. We both live in Pennsylvania, where he can get a no-fault in 90 days if he wants. He can even do it himself.
About 4 months into it, he mentioned he was living at "the house" because "she" was living at her mother's, taking care of her after her mother had a fall. This was supposed to be only for a month and then he'd move out again. He didn't move out and when I asked why, he told me it was because his sister didn't want him living there any longer (she's the selfish type) and he couldn't afford to live on his own. That's true - there is a mountain of debt between him and his wife. Her medical bills are horrendous and he's paying them. I told him he could move in with me, and while he'd like to, he says he doesn't want to set a bad example for his kids, who he has raised not to live with a partner prior to marriage. Okay, I get that. Seems there's no place else for him to go.
I told him that by moving back and staying there, regardless that he sleeps on the sofa, he was sending the message that he was okay with the status quo. He maintained that she knew the score and that she knew they were divorcing. Well, come around to New Year's day this year, when they were both in the house at the same time and she asked: "where do you see us this year?" Not a question I'd expect from a woman who is expecting a divorce.
He says he told her he saw them divorced and she got very upset, started crying and accusing him of all the same things she accused him of the first time he talked about divorce. Yet, he's still there. I think the real reason he won't file is because it means stepping outside his comfort zone.
Tonight I told him again that by staying there he's sending the message that he's not going to divorce.
He says he loves me, and he does everything for me. He's kind, helpful, and does the little things that many women wouldn't notice, but are things that make my life so much easier. While I was unemployed, he kept me afloat. From the time he leaves here each evening until we go to sleep, we're texting. Yet any time I ask when he's going to file for divorce, he clams up, crosses his arms in front of himself, sets his jaw and won't talk. Just refuses. It's juvenile behavior, but it's behavior he's always gotten away with.
I'm thinking my only choice is to start taking some of that time away from him. Start having my own live again, doing my own things and not being available for those everynight visits. I told him last week that I thought it would be a great idea if he started going back to the gym (he stopped when he met me) each Monday, Wednesday and Friday. He agreed, but not with alacrity and then went on to justify it with the fact that we'd see each other Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday.
Thing is, this isn't healthy. He's married with no divorce in sight. I know he's not sleeping with her and I know he doesn't love her. I know it not because he tells me but because I know what I know. I know people who know both of them and who are confidantes of his wife and I know there' snot sharing of sleeping areas.
Tonight I told him I was afraid I would wake up on a sunday morning ten years from now and realize that I was still involved with a married man who only spent the night on Saturday night and even thought he was there every other night of the week, he wasn't spending quality or quantity time with me. He was doing what habit dictated. He told me I was full of it. I'm not full of it. He hasn't contacted an attorney but He says he sees a future with me - shoot, he even talks like he's planning one with me. Great. Get a divorce.
There are extenuating circumstances here having to do with his wife's illnesses and her mother's recent and very debilitating illness which may necessitate putting her in a home. I will say this for him: He doesn't love his wife, but he does make sure she and their kids are cared for. He makes sure the bills are paid. They want for nothing.
So I ask you: Why doesn't his wife ask where he is each night so late after work, and why doesn't she ask where he is on saturday nights into Sunday? Could it be she's accepted it, isn't as stupid as he thinks she is, and realizes that he's moved on? Or is she steeped in denial and thinks this is just his way of "acting out" and if she prays enough, he'll see the light? She's a fundamental Christian. So is he, but not quite as fundamental as she is. He struggles with his conscience but he keeps coming back and it ain't for the sex. We're both too tired during the week. We have supper, watch a movie, talk, whatever. We're definitely not jackrabbiting it into the bedroom.. Oh, and he was a virgin when he married. I'm only the second woman he's had sex with.
It's pretty obvious he doesn't want another woman and that he's extremely happy with me, but I wonder if I'm enough for him to man up and deal with the conflict that filing for divorce will bring. I'm 51 and he's 47. It ain't like either of us are spring chickens. So why the hell won't he divorce and get it over with. I know it means a huge change, but it's not like he has to do it alone. He's got me. He's got a good steady job, which is in no danger of evaporating. I'm starting to feel I'm not enough. He won't file for himself; he won't file to put his wife out of her misery and he won't file for me. I'm seeing this as all very selfish behavior, with a little narcissism thrown in and a lot of self pity and self-preservation.
I don't know what's going on. All I know is that it's been a year and there is no sign of divorce. He won't talk to me about it; won't ballpark a time frame - won't say a word. Nothing. He just goes silent on the subject. It's totally weird because he acts like he's married to ME. He takes ME to company functions. He doesn't attend family functions unless he can't get out of it. He doesn't make excuses for not being over here because he doesn't have to. He's here every day. Yet, I feel threatened by this situation. I think I'm justified in it.
Yes, I know I need to make decisions but I want to make the right ones.
Hell if I know. Any clues? Any constructive responses?
Hi. You have every right to be concerned with this situation. I feel this man is having his cake and eating it too. You're the "other" woman and will always be second to his wife and kids. He has no reason to make a move by divorcing his wife, he has the best of both worlds! Nobody knows what goes on behind closed doors when he is with his wife, and he may be stringing her along just like he is you. He's giving you just enough to keep you hanging on but with no commitment...not fair to you. I would tell him until he is divorced you no longer want to see him, he can't make a decision and if he loves you and truly doesn't want to lose you, he'll make a decision. If he doesn't divorce her, you will know he never meant to. There may be many different scenarios for his actions but it all comes down to you! A man will move mountains if he wants to be with you bad enough, and he can provide for his children while divorced. You and his wife are allowing him to go back and forth, so he will have his cake and eat it too and not give divorce a second thought. Being alone is better than playing second to another woman and all this man's excuses. You've given him ample time and opportunity and spinning your wheels while he plays the two of you. It's time YOU call the shots in this relationship, and YOU decide that it's all or nothing. You deserve more than this and I feel nothing is going to change with this guy...he has an excuse for everything. I know it will hurt but you've got to have more respect for yourself in what you deserve and need out of a significant other. It's like someone who is in a relationship with domestic violence....they're always sorry, do so many nice things to make up for it, has every reason...but it never changes. He gives you just enough to keep you hanging on. If he feels he is that needed by his wife then tell him to sort out his life and then see if you're still available. You can do better than waiting around on this guy. If he truly loves you and wants to be with you he will make a decision, but right now why should he...he's got the best of both worlds! I think you know what you need to do and it's the only logical move to make. Think of what you want and deserve and start living your life for you, not in a bubble of excuses from a man that won't commit to you. I do wish you all the best, I know it's not an easy time for you.
I just need to make a freaking decision. It's weird, but I kinda DO know what goes on behind closed doors. Small community, too many people blabbing. Still, he's not allowed to keep the status quo, and that's what he's doing. He can't have me and have his life, uninterrupted. I told him this morning I didn't care if hie was afraid to file papers - he need to man up and make his choice. He asked what that meant. Snort. Men are all the same. So I explained. In detail. It was short. "You file for divorce if you want me. Until you've filed, you don't get me. Period. Now you need to leave and make your choice." He ain't a happy camper this morning, but time will tell what's more important to him. Life goes on. I've lived alone a lot. I'm not afraid of it, nor do I have a driving need to have a man in my life. I"d like one, but I'm not too much of a sucker for punishment, hence the choice. No ultimatum. He's got choices.
You've been expressing YourSelf to Him for a Year and He didn't "get" it cuz He didn't "have" too.
Now that You've told Him to leave and make His choice, He has no other choice but to make a choice! and so He should! This isn't a good way for You or Him or His Wife to live. I think it's commendable that He doesn't want to set an example of "living together" to His Children, but that being said - His Children are grown and if They were to decide to live with SomeOne They would probably do so, Parental approval or not. But still, that delimma is remedied by a divorce and re-marriage. So, sounds like another excuse among His others.
I hope He chooses to go in the direction You want but if He does not, You are better to know now than to give it another year!
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