Infidelity costs: a 19 year relationship, a 12 year marriage- a child’s family unit- a child’s home, a family's dreams and plans for the future- the comfort of having someone there for you in your worst moments and in your happiest, who stood in front of friends and family and promised faithfulness. All gone because of a sense of entitlement to please oneself - not just once, but over and over again day in and day out for 5 years, without feeling guilt, without thinking about those whose lives will be broken forever- your reputation- your extended families - your mutual friendships - how your child will view you as he gets older, how the woman who has loved you for almost 20 years would be devastated. You stood there for 5 years blaming your wife for a “not normal” marriage. While your wife killed herself righting her financial mistakes and every other mistake you could come up with - including buying too many bananas or ham or whatever criticism you could come up with. While she tried to make you happy and followed your instructions to the letter to gain your trust back, and show you she was serious about making things right- and did it on time while missing out on things with her friends and family- she became a stranger to her friends.
Meanwhile your wife’s calls for dates and time together were ignored and you told your wife it cost too much to get a sitter or you didn’t want to have to pay for your wife to go out with you and your friends - why should you pay for her dinner too- they’re your friends after all- you wanted the single life. -Little did she know all the while you were spending hundreds of dollars a month on hotels and dinners and gifts for someone else- someone else’s wife too- no respect for that marriage either. All while criticizing everything your wife did - while she was raising your child, making every meal, going to practices, checking homework- YOU were in a hotel room sleeping with someone else and then coming home like nothing. While your wife was taking care of your child and maintaining the home, being here for home improvements and working a full time well paying job and wondering what else she could do to make you happy you were cheating. All you did was berate her over how messed up your marriage was, how lazy she was and what a loser job she had. You were busy destroying that life and marriage and dating someone else who was also married. You also took time from your child- choosing time spent with that ***** over time spent with your child, you never took him trick or treating, never decorated a Xmas tree with him, weren't there for karate promotions or swimming lessons, barely paid attention at soccer games. Even booked a hotel room on your child’s birthday, instead of coming home early and spending the afternoon with him! Your wife made excuses for you to friends and family, trying to not have them see your lack of interest in time with them and your son. Now as your wife looks back, memories are forever tarnished by the knowledge of what was really going on at the time. Anniversaries and vacations are now full of hollow sentiments.
It’s not the financial costs of a divorce that hurts- although you've made sure that the cost would be substantial by no cooperating and throwing up every obstacle you could.
You forced a divorce because you refused to take responsibility for what you did, more worried about your own freedom and protecting the other woman. Probably protecting her from the fact that her husband had no idea that his upcoming divorce was being driven by his own cheating spouse. The lack of interest and straight up refusal to do the hard work of earning trust back, not wanting to be accountable. You showed no empathy, more concerned with YOUR ability to deal with her roller coaster of emotions than actually comforting her or reassuring her. And god forbid she have any questions about what had transpired in the last 5 years or in your daily dealings with this woman who you were still in contact with on a daily basis because you work with her. In the midst of your wife expressing the depth of her pain, you decided that listing her faults was the proper response to that pain.
It’s not the financial cost- it’s the emotional cost of not recognizing who the person you married , that the person you should have been celebrating 20 years with, is not there anymore and still wishing like hell that this is all a nightmare you’ll wake up from.
I wasn’t perfect, I made mistakes with my personal money. I don’t hide the fact that those mistakes made our marriage difficult, from friends and family. I worked hard to make it right, i opened up my financial records to you- i wanted to build the trust back. But once that wasn't a problem it became, that i bought too many bananas, or i snored or made noises in my sleep. I put up with moments of hearing “if you don’t like it you can go” and “I will not lose my friends over you”- knowing I wasn’t a priority- I hung in there hoping that this was a rough patch in a 20 year relationship. Not once in all those years did i contemplate being with someone else. Instead i refused to see the clues-because if there was one thing I knew about you, it was that you would never cheat! You would never risk you reputation that way- it was too important to you! Instead you were capable of doing exactly that for 5 years while making me feel like I was the one destroying our marriage even as I did everything I could to get it back to where we were before this woman walked into OUR lives and you gladly went to her. With one hand I was trying to build our marriage back up while you just bombed the foundation right up from under us!
For those of you who have ever thought about having that lunch, sending that text, going to that “happy hour” or hiding a “friendship” from your spouse- and ultimately emotionally and physically breaking your marriage vows——think about it- really think!!! The harm you do is indescribable to anyone who has not gone thru it. And if you have children- think about the fact that you will forever change their lives- you are robbing them of a family - of holidays, of never having to choose which parent to spend a holiday with. You are saddling them with a life of hoping your parents will not have to be separated at their wedding or their own child's christening! You are stealing that sense of wholeness and security from them. A child never forgets that- it will affect your relationship with that child forever. They will love you, but they will always know you didn’t put them or their mom or dad first. Being with the other person was more important.
I’ve always said you don’t really know the immense joy of parenthood until you experience it yourself - this is the flip side of that joy. I wouldn’t wish this experience on my worst enemy. Think about it- if you want to be with someone else, have the decency to leave your current relationship gracefully,with honesty, with respect for what you once had- there’s no need to implode your partner’s life and forever change that person and all of your worlds- there are ways to make ending a relationship mutually respectful and productive and hold on to the beauty of what once was but no longer functions. Be honest, and man or woman enough, to do the right thing by the people who, whether you believe it or not, loved you most in this world. Be a human being. Be decent- you’d want the same for yourself.