I’m finally divorcing my cheating husband but am I making a mistake?

I’m finally divorcing my cheating husband but am I making a mistake?

I am 57, my husband is 59 and we have been married for 34 years. My husband has cheated on me for a very long time – before our wedding in fact, when he went for a ‘massage’ and came back with an STD. He found God 20 years ago, and he was good for three years and then went back to his old ways.

Eight years ago, he began gambling and for the past few years has been flying all over Asia and Australia to gamble in addition to searching for young beautiful girls. He thinks a lot of himself and does a lot of body-building and self-care. We have talked (and fought) about getting a divorce for three years but when push comes to shove he backs off.

I feel like I’m living with a stranger, because most of the time I don’t know what he does and who he’s with. When I’ve tried to find out, he gets mad and has chased me from the house. I have left him but we keep getting back together and the whole cycle begins all over again. Now, I’ve prepared the divorce petition and I’ve signed it, but after two weeks he hasn’t signed his part. I’m incredibly sad and worried that I’m making a mistake – but is that even normal? I just don’t even know what to do anymore. Please help me. Agnes

You’ve done a brave thing organising the divorce petition, and I suspect you’ve done it because you’re exhausted by decades of your husband’s lies and behaviour. That you’ve taken steps to change your life shows gumption and courage and I applaud you. The key now is to STICK WITH IT.

Doubts are normal; you’ve been with him a long time – more than half your life – but stay your course. Sit with those uncomfortable and sad feelings. Let them consume you until you come out the other side. You may be living with this grief and pain every day all day for a while while you process this enormous life change. But trust me, one day, it’ll stop being so enormous and little by little, the relief will seep in.

What will help is talking about it – to your friends, your family, a counsellor. Go and pour out your feelings at RC’s sister site, Letter To My Ex. If you’re in Australia, your GP can refer you to a good psychologist for six free sessions which is just what you need right now. Make it clear to your husband that the marriage is over. Instigate a period of no-contact – no texts, phone calls, visits and so on – so you both have a chance to process the split. STICK TO IT.

I wish you all the best Agnes. Please know that it’ll never hurt as much as it does right now.

Love, reality chick

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Freelance journo, blogger, self-appointed advice-giver and co-author of Get Lucky. If you've got a dating or relationship issue, feel free to ask a question. (PS. You can also find me at The Mama Files and Letter To My Ex).

1 Comment

  1. Jacqui Manning- The Friendly Psychologist 8 years ago

    Just a note, the GP referral to a psychologist is only free if the psychologist bulk-bills. Most will have a gap but the rebate is $85 per session so you’ll likely be around $70 out of pocket.

    All the best Agnes, you’re amazing! Change can be painful, this is huge change on your part but leave him, go out and enjoy the rest of your life without the burden of thinking about what he is doing all the time.

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