Dear Aunt Babz
I have been talking to a guy who I knew in High School. He has been married for 11 yrs. and they have an 11 yr. old daughter. He works very hard to give them all they need. He has wanted a divorce for about 2 yrs. now. When he tells her if she doesnt start paying attention to him or showing affection and to quit spending all her time with the horses than he is asking for a divorce. She of course changes for about a week and then its back to the same thing. He hasnt slept in the same bed with her for about 9 yrs. because she says he snores and keeps her awake, so he has slept on the couch.
He and I have been talking about starting a life together and he has asked her for a divorce. So my question is in order for him to not lose everything in the case that she does find out that we are sort of seeing each other should he try to get a legal separation asap? Or is it even going to make a difference if she finds out before he can get a divorce?
You can bet your bippy, if she finds out, she will use it against you. Now, I am not a legal eagle and my contact is out of the States at the moment but I would advise him to file for separation with Irreconcilable Differences. In most states, you must show cause or make a claim of some sort that validates your reasoning for that divorce.
To remain amicable is the key here. He needs to come at her from a place of "letting her go," in hopes that she will one day be happy. What I mean is that all and everything changes if the wording is right. He should point out the fact that she is not happy with him and a marriage is legally and morally not a marriage if they do not even share the marriage bed.
I don't care too much for snoring myself and had laid awake many sleepless nights due to the sawing sound, a constant from my spouse. But I never ever would selfishly allow my *husband to sleep on the couch. I sure as hell would not thoughtlessly allow it to go on unattended for 9 years. That's just wrong and he needs to point it all out.
I wore ear plugs and do till this very day even though I am no longer in that or any other relationship. I just got used to wearing them and what a difference a good pair of ear plugs can make. I do believe it could actually make or break a marriage that is already in conflict.
Their marriage has remained in that conflict and the icing on the cake was kicking him out of that bed. Even if he went voluntarily out of the goodness of his heart, I still have a problem with a woman that would allow her husband to remain on that couch for all those years.
Once again, I will mention that writing a letter, carefully orchestrated, mindfully worded may make the biggest difference in this situation. Yes, file for that separation but in addition, he should write a letter to her explaining that while he'll always love her, neither of them are in love any longer as it's perfectly transparent by her long term actions of disillusion.
I think it would be paramount to point out that he does not want to find fault with the obvious but merely take her by the hand and walk her through an amicable separation. He should tell her that he has not been happy as things are and it has gone on long enough. He should also point out that while she did try to for a minute, she seems unable to afford him what he needs; the basic fundamentals of any relationship. Those fundamental, every day items, are first and foremost sharing the marriage bed. As well, if the affection is gone, the attention is lacking, even on the most testimonial and affiance level, he needs to make her aware that it is not normal but more importantly, detrimental emotions he needs, requires and is not and has not seen, felt or known for many years.
It might be important for him to look in the mirror and see just what he may have attributed to the demise of his marriage. Fessing up to that in the letter would show that he realizes that he played a part. It is not a matter of looking for or to blame but simply showing that you are not pointing the finger or placing blame. Believe it or not, the manner in which you state things will make all the difference in the world as to whether she takes a defensive stance and fights this or makes a common realization as to her own part in this regrettable situation.
I encourage you both to be considerate and set aside any hateful differences. Your approach to this dissent will make the difference. If he has a positive tone in his words and he chooses to let her know that he is aware of how this may be a painful process, it may go farther than an attack defense. Let her know as well that it is not your aim to cause her grief but to right the wrong that has gone on way too long. This is real important and may make a huge impact in the proceeds to follow. Then hopefully, you two just might be able to move on, proceed forward on a positive and happy note and most of all; guilt free.
Keeping It Real,
*Just for the record; what happens in your marriage comes in part from what you allow. If you behave as a victim, you will always be a victim.
Babs, that's pretty solid advice for the dude. On a different note though... to the writer of the letter, and i am trying not to be a bitch here i really am. But you gotta back off.If the marriage is doomed and is going to fail, then it will without your interference. And if it was meant to be, a life with this guy. Then he will look for you afterwards. my personal take is neither of you should be party to extra-marital ideas. but that's just me. And maybe you two are destined for each other, who am i to say. But regardless of how the two of you feel, HE is married. And if he feels that he needs to end the marriage because he is unhappy, then he should do that instead of being disrespectful to his wife. Which is to say, have a relationship with anyone else while married to her. I am not in any way saying that he doesn't need to get out of this marriage, i have no idea what his life is like. But you can bet 100% that if there is any fallacy on his part he can, and likely will be nailed to the wall. Why? Because people, regardless of how they treat each other in a marriage, have a butt load of rights when it comes to unfaithfulness. And you don't need to be having sex to prove that. OOOH no. He says that they don't sleep in the same bed? That she is unkind and ignores him? Very well could be the truth. Then again maybe not, can he prove that? However, him having an on-line relationship and discussing moving on with his life with you? Definitely a legal no-brainer. You definitely need to be careful, and both of you need to cool the jets until he can get through to his wife and end the marriage. Continuing the e-mails and talking will likely land him with nothing, and maybe even blaming his own actions and thinking the online relationship was a big mistake and ditching you too. You just don't know. be careful with this one.