From Regina Her comments will be in bold italics, while mine will remain in regular format.
HB, I have been with my husband for 26 years and would say I am about 4.5/5 years into his crisis. I was pretty much checked out when his crisis began and after deciding recently (about 1 year) I wanted our marriage to work, I discovered and caused his confession of an affair of 3.5 years with a woman 15 years our junior (who is not much older than our oldest). The OW is currently pregnant. I am 3 months post discovery and I am already exhausted.
((BIG HUGS!)) Regina, I am so sorry you’re dealing in this way. I realize that mere words cannot convey my deep compassion for your situation. My heart goes out to you, as I cannot begin to imagine what you must be going through at this point. Bad enough to discover an affair, but also the Other Woman’s pregnancy, (I suspect she got pregnant to try and “trap” him into staying with her) is like being bombed twice in a row, from a single package of dynamite.
You are exhausted, yet, determined, but you’re unsure of what would be the right thing to do. Quite understandable, as it’s always hard to know the right thing to do in one’s situation. I think from what I gather here, had you not carried out the process that led to the discovery of the affair, it would have continued on his part in secret.
Now, I will tell you up front, the advice I’m about to give going forward may seem counterintuitive to the normal advice I usually give. I do not mind also telling you or anyone who is reading this advice that I read your comment, and I have prayed for an answer filled with wisdom, partly, because I immediately knew what to tell you, and partly, because I NEVER give “knee-jerk” answers to any questions a person asks of me. You have taken the time to write, so I will take the time needed to answer you in full.
The reason I’m saying this upfront, is because I’m a well-known mid-life crisis “lay-counselor”, (although I do not carry a college degree that certifies me in this field), and have long experience in this particular time of life. My reputation directly and indirectly precedes me, and I will not tell you something out of “ego” or because I am the one validated, so to speak, by my own advice.
My advice comes directly from the Lord, and no other, and in the harder situations, such as this one, I make absolutely certain of what I’m hearing, (even if I also need to sleep on it), before I begin speaking or writing out what I have to say. I care about the repercussions that I know will come from carrying out my advice, and I will not speak anything that does not come from Him.
Most of the time, if the spouse asking me for advice already has strong Intuition (the voice of God that never shouts), what I am given to advise will usually be in line what they already “know” for themselves, unless their confusion is such that God cannot speak directly to them.
Understand that whatever advice I give isn’t set in stone, because the decision to carry out this advice or not, is solely up to you, and not me. My advice varies depending on circumstances. I usually suggest putting mid-life crisis spouses in spare bedrooms, basements, attics, anywhere but the Master Bedroom. I don’t usually advocate throwing them out as a general rule, because if a left-behind spouse does this, it usually decreases the chance of them returning.
With that said, I will begin a further dissection of your situation.
As a result, I have read alot about male midlife crisis and feel my husband must still be in replay because of the ongoing affair, his being a member of an outlaw motorcycle club, excessive drinking and other out of character behaviors.
You have it correct. He is definitely in Replay, characterized by the presence of the Other Woman, but also because of his current rebellious behavior that include one or more “running behaviors” described above.
He was intially remorseful and claimed he wanted our marriage to work. We tried therapy but he stopped going when he realized his ambivalence could not be overlooked while in counseling. Ultimately, he uses the pregnancy as the excuse to justify continuing the affair. I realize he wants to keep us both as is or maybe he wants me to be the one to end the marriage. While no contact would be impossible once the child arrives, co-parenting is not the same as having an affair. I have explained keeping both of us as is, is not acceptable or possible.
Simply put, he got caught, this contributed heavily to his “awakening,” and because he faces the loss of both worlds, he has continued to try to keep the deck stacked in his favor, by trying to have everything his way, so he won’t be forced to choose.
He’s definitely not compartmentalizing because it’s all out in the open, now. You know what’s going on, and in his eyes, you seem to be “OK” with this, (I know, and you know, this is NOT true-you’re NOT OK with it) and there’s no reason to hide this affair.
This is a very clear-cut case of “cake-eating” and you describe this very well, here, and in your next paragraph. Now, in the above description, I see that he clearly knows exactly what he’s doing, Regina, evidenced by the fact that HE realized his ambivalence could not be overlooked while in counseling, yet uses the pregnancy to justify his continuing of his affair.
Under normal circumstances, the mid-life crisis spouse “plays along” while still having the affair, during marital counseling, but apparently he’s not done that-he stopped marital counseling upon HIS realization…not so much yours. That’s important to understand, as I proceed along this path with you.
He has definitely “awakened” to what he is doing, (this is the “awakening” described in the stage of Replay) but because of the continuing selfishness on his part, he wants to keep this triangular relationship going. However, marriage was made for two people, not three, therefore he cannot have what he’s trying to force you to accept.
I admire you for being willing to accept the Other Woman’s pregnancy, and for understanding the difference between the affair, and co-parenting. There are not many women who would accept this aspect, and they have a perfect right NOT to accept what is usually known as the “other” child that resulted from an act of adultery. I also realize, and want to make this clear for others reading here, that because a mid-life crisis affair pregnancy and child is accepted by the left-behind spouse, this does not mean they condone the affair-not at all.
Children don’t have a choice about coming into this world. In my humble opinion, while it’s hard to accept and reconcile this aspect, people must needs to remember their anger needs to be directed at the ADULTS who CAUSED this situation, not directed toward the innocent child, who, again, never asked to be here to begin with.
It’s even more obvious that he seems oblivious to the fact (because of continued irresponsibility on his part), that when this child comes, HE is going to have to have a means of paying support toward this little one who didn’t ask to be here. Does he really expect that you are going to support HIS child? I think not.
My issue is he refuses to leave our martial home and/or our bedroom. He comes home every night and even tries to cuddle. He is what was described on another site as a clinging boomerang midlifer. I recognize he uses me for all real life stuff, like bills, advice, etc. My husband is currently unemployed and is not able to pay the household bills. It makes sense for him leave as I can pay the bills and keep my/our credit intact.
There’s a clear difference in being unable to pay the household bills, and REFUSING to pay the household bills. When a person is down sick, or otherwise incapacitated, they are unable to pay. But there’s NOTHING wrong with your husband-he could find a job, he just doesn’t want to find a job. This isn’t “cake-eating” by the way, this is him taking advantage of you, because he’s allowed to take advantage of you, if that makes sense.
People will treat us as we allow them to. A man is charged with the care and support of his household-and if this falls upon the wife for any reason OTHER than clear incapacitation, then that man isn’t anything but immature and irresponsible. He can go out, ride motorcycles, date his paramour, drink to his heart’s content on YOUR money, and until you stop enabling his crap, he will keep doing it. Now, that probably sounds hateful, but he cannot do what he wants to, if he has no money to do, and if he has no job, then his money has to be coming from you..and you’re not “Miss Moneybags”. You work dang hard for your money, and you need your money, not him.
He’s treating you like his MOTHER, for Heaven’s Sake! Why should he leave, when he can do what he wants when he wants, and no boundaries have been set. Sure you explained some things to him, but I believe it’s time for an ultimatum, Regina, because he’s not listening.
He refuses to leave, because he’s a SELFISH man, a common trait in the mid-life crisis. He tries to cuddle, because he wants you to bend to what he wants. He doesn’t have a job, therefore he isn’t contributing to his household, and in that sense and circumstance, I will advise putting him out to go live with his paramour. See how long this lasts when he goes to her, has no job, and she’s starts harping on him, because he’s of no use to her, if he isn’t working, has no money.
This is where we come to the actual heart of the matter, Regina-he has no job.
First Timothy Chapter five, verse eight clearly states, and I quote:
But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.
Second Thessalonians Chapter three, verse ten through twelve states:
10 For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat.
11 For we hear that there are some which walk among you disorderly, working not at all, but are busybodies.
12 Now them that are such we command and exhort by our Lord Jesus Christ, that with quietness they work, and eat their own bread.
I appreciated the email you sent me, catching my attention on your comment-I usually see every comment that comes in when I log into my site. When I read your comment, I immediately knew that I would need to advise you to put him out, send him to her, and to recap this is because of two things:
He has NO job-and a man who doesn’t work, doesn’t eat.
Because he KNOWS exactly what he’s doing, and is trying to take advantage of you.
A third thing would be the fact that he’s using you to meet some emotional needs, while she meets others-and this aspect falls under the “cake-eating” aspect as described. However, that’s beside the point.
You’re trying to do what’s right on your part, and doing very well, but he’s out spending YOUR money on HIS rebellious behaviors, and on a pregnant other woman to boot? Take away the money. The Lord had me looking up those passages to further cement the advice He said to give.
This also becomes about setting firm boundaries on unacceptable behavior-people will treat us as we allow them to treat us.
The Lord said if you don’t put your foot down now, your husband is likely to try and push you into supporting not just the baby, but possibly also the other woman. To clarify this, the next thing your husband might ask for, would be for you to consent to allowing not just the baby, but possibly, also the other woman into your house, and this would NOT be acceptable at all.
I rarely ever advise putting mid-life crisis spouses out, but there are special circumstances where the Lord will advise me to speak of these-and yours falls right into this category. Now, if he were NOT involved in an affair, and he had no job, that’s one thing, because a mid-life spouse will sometimes lose their jobs within an orchestrated circumstance that God has brought about, because it’s clear they need a time of rest to help them regain their strength in various aspects. Or, if he were working, supporting his household, and “cake-eating”, like he is doing, then I would suggest the spare bedroom, basement, or other spare room, putting him out of the master bedroom, but not putting him out of the house.
However these two above examples are not this kind of circumstances. So, put him on the road, and make it clear to him that he will not return until he has a good job to support his current household, and his affair is finished, and you KNOW that it’s totally finished. He will argue with you about it, but close your ears to his arguments, because he’s nothing but “dead weight” at this point in time. You’re pulling all the weight, while he’s increasing your burden.
I’m sure you understand this stands the chance of ending your marriage completely-but then your marriage was ended when he went into Replay, and took up with his paramour. So, you have nothing further to lose at this time, and I believe you know and understand this, too.
Last, but not least, to drive this point home, this is called CONSEQUENCES. He won’t end the affair, and get a job to support his household, therefore, he can take his “no job” and go live with his paramour, and see how long SHE will support HIM. This will get interesting, because she’s his “fun”, but this won’t last long, when she gets the burden of meeting ALL his needs, including providing financial support.
He also tells his family and our friends that we are in therapy and that we are going to stay together. Since discovery we have made appearances at family and friends events at his urging. Deep down I wonder if he wants to keep the appearance of our marriage and life because it allows him to continue to appear as the success story of his family.
Basically, he’s all about appearances-this is one of the many narcissistic traits that appear in the mid-life spouse. He looks like a “good guy”, and it’s also a major part of the mask he wears that is so deceptive. I think you would be right in what you’re thinking, Regina.
However you go about this, don’t let his family interfere with your decision and plans. They don’t have to live your life, you do, they don’t know what you’re dealing with, you do, and regardless of what happens, know you will be just fine.
Most recently I have been focusing on trying to detach as I know already this is too much for me to deal with day to day in the same house. I also no longer intend to appear together at friends and family gatherings.
This is not going to be an easy thing, but detachment is necessary so you can begin to deal going forward, as the road you’re about to embark upon is going to become much harder than before. But you can do this, as you know it’s necessary to bring these things to a head. If you don’t detach, you’ll crack and break under the stress, and I know you don’t want that to happen.
I have not decided if I will be a dealing spouse but I do know that I cannot continue to share living space while he is in crisis. I have an appointment with an attorney next week as I intend to pursue legal separation hoping to use the threat of suing the OW (I live in a state that prosecutes for Alienation of Affection and Criminal Conversation) as a means to convince my husband to leave the home. This will be step 1 of many if necessary. The one thing I know for sure right now is I need space to get centered enough to continue to work on my own growth and to decide if I will be a dealing spouse (who is legally and physically separated) or pursue a divorce. My question is…is it counterproductive for me to play hard ball to force my husband to leave should I decide to be a dealing spouse?
In every sense right now, Regina, you’re ALREADY a spouse who is dealing with this situation-since you’re continuing at this point, there’s no decision to it. Your actions speak of your current decision to deal, if that makes sense. Now, you can decide to STOP dealing at a later time, but for now, you’re still living in this, therefore you are currently dealing with a hard situation.
What you are doing at this point is known as Standing Still-until you take steps to end your marriage completely on your part, you’re a Stander, honey.
There’s time enough to decide whether you will continue to Stand for the marriage, or choose to cut your losses, and move forward from there, Regina. Time is what you have to work with. Considering the advice I gave above, I would say it’s a right to thing to pursue legal separation, and since you live in a state that prosecutes for Alienation of Affection, and Criminal Conversation, suing the Other Woman would definitely be an option, and I’m not saying that to be mean to anyone.
However, what I consistently get is that your husband is jobless, awake and aware, and he needs to suffer serious consequences for his actions against his marriage. Bad enough to commit adultery in the first place, but to also get the paramour pregnant, and think to continue as he is, living on what you are providing, makes a bad situation, so much worse.
As far as going on to pursue divorce, I have no advice in that area, as I cannot say one way or the other in this aspect. The decisions you make are yours, and you know your situation better than anyone. If you think divorce is what you might want to do, that’s up to you, because in the end, you are the one who will have to live with the end results of your decisions.
((Hugs)) The Lord says it may be enough for you to do what you’re planning, without having to go as far as divorcing this man. However, that choice IS yours, because when he committed adultery, he did open the door for you to exit the marriage legally as per your choice, and the Lord won’t take that choice from the betrayed spouse.
Every situation contains its differences, and that’s why there are no hard and fast rules set down to deal with each one. As each person is different, each mid-life crisis is different. What one will do, another won’t.
May the Lord guide your steps, and be with you as you live your life forward each day. May He bless you according to His riches in Glory, and keep you in His care, Regina.
I hope that you get some kind of benefit from what’s been written down. 🙂