He Ended The Affair Once I Filed For Divorce. Now I Feel Like It’s Not Only Ironic, But It Might Be Too Late

By: Katie Lersch: When you find out that your husband has been cheating, your first agenda is usually to make sure that it is over. Most wives realize that before they can even give their marriage (or what is to become of it) any real thought, they have to know that the other woman is completely out of their husband’s life.

If this isn’t the case or if the husband isn’t willing to end the affair, this greatly complicates matters. It can be quite a challenge to save your marriage when the affair is very obviously over and both people are working very hard to save it.  But when the opposite is true, it is even more difficult.

So when your husband won’t end the affair at once, it’s natural to think that your marriage might be over. And some wives act on this and file for divorce. Of course, a great irony is when the wife files and then all of a sudden her husband ends the affair. Some wives will think that this is too little too late. And others will wonder where to go from here.

Here’s a classic example. A wife might say: “when I found out about my husband’s affair, his first words to me were ‘please don’t break up our family over this.’ And my first words were: ‘you need to end it right now.’ Because he seemed to want to keep our family in tact, I assumed that he would have no problems breaking it off. But he kept telling me that he needed just a little more time. Weeks went by and he was still in contact with her, although he swore that he wasn’t physically seeing her. I kept asking him when it was going to be over for good and he kept up his old ‘I need more time’ plea. I got sick of this and I filed for divorce. The day after I filed, I was astounded to get a call for the other woman. She was very angry. She sarcastically said she wanted to thank me for taking away the one man she has ever loved. I told her that I didn’t take anything away from her, that I was divorcing my husband, and that she was welcome to him. She told me that he wouldn’t have anything to do with her now because after my husband saw that I’d filed, he realized that he needed to do whatever he could to get me back. I am torn about this. I wanted him to end it so badly weeks ago and he would not. Now I worry that it is just too late. I have too much anger. I didn’t necessarily want to file for divorce. But I feel like he gave me no choice. And I’m not sure that I could ever be open to him or my marriage after this. His not breaking it off right away was very telling. It makes me think that he didn’t prioritize me enough. Some of my friends say that I might regret it if I don’t see if we can’t work it out before I move forward with the divorce. I don’t know about this. I would have wanted it to work a couple of weeks ago, but now I do not know if I can put aside my anger. What should I do?”

I can not answer that question for you. Only you can do that. I can tell you that I do regret some of the decisions that I made in anger after my husband’s affair. Many of them were harsh, cruel, and very different from the way that I normally like to handle things.

That said, no one could blame you for divorcing a spouse who has cheated on you. In fact, I feel that you have every right to make this decision based on how YOU feel without worrying about every one else’s opinions. But I would want to be sure that you’ve given yourself enough time to evaluate your true feelings. And it is possible that your true feelings were clouded by the rejection you felt with him not breaking it off. It’s possible that your decision might have been different if you did not feel rejected.

Should this matter? Only you can decide. I’m certainly not an attorney and I can’t give you legal advice. But a suggestion might be asking your attorney if you can pause the divorce while not retracting all of your paperwork. You don’t even need to tell your husband that you are doing this if you don’t want to. But this would buy some more time to evaluate your feelings so that you don’t feel like you’re rushing what is a very important decision.

I’d also suggest counseling. You could go alone if you’re not ready to go with your husband. But the counselor could probably give you insight and support you in making this decision. If you ultimately do decide to divorce, the counselor could help you to make sure that it’s a healthy one.

This way, you will know that you didn’t make a rash decision based on anger or feeling rejected. You will know that you sought a professional opinion when so much was at stake. And, if you ultimately do pursue a divorce, you can do so with a clear conscience. Likewise if you do end up saving your marriage, you will feel relief that you didn’t rush. Either way, you might feel more peace by giving this very careful consideration and time.

Divorce did cross my mind after my husband’s affair.  Ultimately, my kids meant that I needed to make a very careful decision.  Because our marriage recovered and we are happy today, I’m very glad that I didn’t divorce.  But that decision is not going to be right for every wife.  You have to decide what is best for you.  It is no one else’s decision.  You can read more about my own journey at at http://surviving-the-affair.com

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