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Get divorced or not?! I'm in love with another man!

so_confused

Rough_Rock
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Hi all,

I'm a long time poster, but would like to remain anonymous for this thread, and would like to seek your help and opinions regarding a personal matter.

I'm currently married, having been with my husband for some 20 years. About 6 years ago, I found evidence of my husband cheating on me and he admitted it. Mind you, I'd suspected for years (the wife always knows, right?!). He'd been unfaithful to me with numerous prostitutes. I was very hurt and wanted a divorce, but he never agreed to it. I have to say, with hindsight, that I'm partially to blame for his infidelity (very long story but let's just say we used to fight like cats and dogs), but it still hurt. We sought counselling; but it didn't help much and I really really wanted a divorce. When I last brought up the subject of divorce (which was more than a year ago), my husband blew his top!! So I basically just left it. It's been like a giant elephant in the room. To this day, we are still together. But it's been a sex-less relationship for the past 2 years. The irony is that we now get on so much better than before, on a day-to-day basis.

I started dating about a year ago (primarily b/c I couldn't be celibate) and 10 months ago met another man. Well, actually, he's much much younger (like 20+ years younger). When I first met him, I was instantly attracted to him; but never thought it could be anything other than "just a bit of fun". Well, fast forward 10 months later and I'm head-over-heels in love with this man. The amazing thing is that I KNOW that he's also in love with me and wants us to be together, 100% on a permanent basis. Again, I still live with my husband but my lover/ boyfriend is now giving me an ultimatum and insisting that I get a divorce, or else I won't "ever see him again". He says, and I agree, that it's disrespectful - to both my husband and to him - that I can be with two men at the same time.

Again, I'm in love with this younger man but I still love my husband. I've never been IN LOVE with my husband but have loved/ still love him. How do I throw away 20 years?! He's kind to me and my family & friends, is a good provider and intellectually we are on the same wave length. The younger man and I are not compatible intellectually; but OMG, I'm soooooo crazy about him. The chemistry is...just..out of this world!! And he also loves me soooooo much, he says he'd rather be with me than have children in the future (to which I say he'll change his mind in 5-10 yrs time and that I want him to eventually get married and have a family of his own). But I can't imagine my life without him!! He's amazing, is 100% faithful (I just know), even though he's reeaaaally hot, is kind and funny and he makes me laugh, even if his sense of humor is a bit silly at times. Buuuut how do I leave my husband?!! Incidentally, I don't think my husband is with anyone at the moment and am fairly certain he no longer visits prostitutes, if that matters.

So, what do I do?! Please help!! !!
 

lulu

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You're confused? Me too.

Your husband cheated on you with prostitutes and you asked for a divorce but he wouldn't agree to it. He doesn't have to agree-get a lawyer and get on with your life.
 
Q

Queenie60

Guest
This is a mess. Since your husband cheated and you have cheated, there's probably not much left in the marriage. I can't imagine being in this situation however my common sense tells me that you need to divorce and move on with your life. I would suggest that you cut it with the younger man, this is putting yourself into another bad situation. You're probably infatuated with the chemistry that the two of you feel but be real, this can't be a long term, ideal situation - it's a temporary fix. Before you can be with someone else full time, you need to be on your own and rediscover who you are as a person on your own. Rebuild your self confidence and life as a single person, then allow someone else to be a part of that life and compliment what you have established. I wish you well.
 

momhappy

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No one can advise you what to do.
One word of caution though about your younger love - sure, the chemistry may be great (now), but you clearly have reservations about long-term compatibility, so trust your gut on that one. It's easy to get caught up in the romance of a "new" relationship that is free of the stress associated with your marriage. Personally, I would reevaluate BOTH relationships and focus on myself for awhile.
Best of luck on your choices.
 

Tacori E-ring

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Queenie60|1448727829|3954952 said:
This is a mess. Since your husband cheated and you have cheated, there's probably not much left in the marriage. I can't imagine being in this situation however my common sense tells me that you need to divorce and move on with your life. I would suggest that you cut it with the younger man, this is putting yourself into another bad situation. You're probably infatuated with the chemistry that the two of you feel but be real, this can't be a long term, ideal situation - it's a temporary fix. Before you can be with someone else full time, you need to be on your own and rediscover who you are as a person on your own. Rebuild your self confidence and life as a single person, then allow someone else to be a part of that life and compliment what you have established. I wish you well.

I agree. To start "dating" (not just sex/fling) while married is a strong indicator that you are profoundly unhappy in your marriage. I know walking away is scary but I am in the "life is short" camp and believe we have to make choices that will lead to happiness, even if that looks different today than it did 20 years ago. I am all about changing the bait if you want to catch a better fish. I am guess someone 20 years your junior who knows you are married, at least legally, is not the long-term answer.
 

smitcompton

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Hi,

I have noticed that men will often leave their wives after they meet someone else. Its the impetuous to move out of the marriage. It may work out or it may not. I don't see any reason that you should not do the same. Underneath it all you would like a divorce, but like so many of us, you hesitate for all sorts of emotional and financial reasons. It is hard to make that decision.

If you can understand that this new relationship may not work out, after all 20 yrs is a big difference, and make the necessary decisions to put your life on a good financial basis, IMO you should consider a divorce. Just be prepared emotionally to be ready for a change of heart about the new love by yourself or the man himself. If you think you can weather that possibility then I would go for,it.

Your husband doesn't get much sympathy from me. While theoretically, I understand prostitution, I probably couldn't stand that action being taken by my husband. Rather, I would prefer him to have an affair if he was going to be unfaithful. Somehow I think its a class thing for me. Honestly, you probably should have left him a while ago. Nobody can refuse you a divorce. You will have to stand up for yourself.

This may be a tough road ahead, but many have traveled it before you, and you will make it to the end. Just be sure that you can make it without the new love if that ends. I wish you every happiness for your future.

Annette
 

tyty333

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lulu|1448723629|3954930 said:
You're confused? Me too.

Your husband cheated on you with prostitutes and you asked for a divorce but he wouldn't agree to it. He doesn't have to agree-get a lawyer and get on with your life.

That's what I was thinking...when does it take both parties to agree to a divorce? Dont get divorced because of the new kid on the
block...get divorced because you are not content in your marriage and it cant be fixed to your satisfaction.
 

Asscherhalo_lover

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The only situation I can think of is with a religious Jewish couple, the man must allow the divorce or there can't be one. In that case, it's still not a legal thing, you have to chose religion over your happiness. If that's not an issue, get divorced.
 

december-fire

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Honey, its not 'love' with the new guy.
Ten months in, and particularly in your situation, the guy sounds like a short-term way to feel good about yourself.
Long-term, not something I'd be betting on. :nono:

You need to figure out what you want.
Consider seeing a therapist. Seriously.

If you want a divorce, get a lawyer.
As others have said, you don't need your husband's approval (unless you live in some country with very different laws).

If you get a divorce, I strongly advise that you live on your own for at least a couple of years.
Date if you want. But don't move in with a man until you figure out what you want in life, and how to live happily on your own.
Too many women seem to look for a man to make them feel happy or good about themselves.

I think this is about you.
Not your husband, the new guy, or anyone else.
Its not about picking one man over another.
Build your confidence, figure out how you want to live, make your own decisions, and sort out the substance from the fluff (yeah, I mean the new guy).
 

packrat

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Go back and re read all the replies, cuz I think they're right and that's what I would say. You do for you, not your husband and not your boyfriend. I am personally against having to say "your husband and your boyfriend" in the same sentence. If you want to sleep w/someone else, regardless if it's a sexless marriage or what goes on, then you should be divorced. Great sex doesn't always mean great relationship/great marriage, especially when you're not compatible intellectually. Back in the day, I dated a couple guys who I clicked with sexually in such a manner that I would call physically perfect/intense/mind numbing, but the rest of it..it just wasn't there. We were friends also, but we weren't in the same "places" I guess. You need to decide what you want to do. Yes it would be hard to throw 20 years away---but what's left to throw away, really? I think your husband has already thrown away his part. He's cheated, he's admitted to it, and now you've cheated..so, that's just really two people with a marriage certificate, sleeping w/other people. And I doubt the man you're meant to spend the rest of your life w/is going to be found whilst currently married to another man, you know?
 

Calliecake

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I think you need to talk to a therapist. Everyone here has given you excellent advice. As far as the new young guy, you are infatuated. What you feel right now will not last for any length of time. It's new and exciting but the probablity of this lasting many years is slim to none. Life always seems greener on the other side until you reach the other side. You need to figure out what you want regarding your marriage. If it's a divorce, then divorce him and get on with your life. I'm in the camp that you need be on your own for a while too.
 

smitcompton

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Hi,

I have never heard anyone tell a man he should be on his own for a couple of years, or even be on his own. Why are we telling this to women?. This is an older woman(past 40?) and I assume she knows a bit about life.

I love Agatha Christie movies and books. Miss Marple makes all of her observations of a murder from the people she comes across in her village. I made my observation of how men move from marriage to divorce from an accidental meeting of a business acquaintance, while I was garage sale-ing. I knew he and his wife had troubles when I knew him in the past. She had left him recently. He was still in the house. He confided to me that he had a new girlfriend and was moving in with her. He said it made the divorce action of his wife much easier to take. He seemed almost happy.

I realized how much easier life was when you had someone to be with you while you were going through the unpleasantness of divorce. But as I said above, men get a forbearance on emotional loneliness, but women have to be on their own to make them strong.(I guess) I thought I gleaned a bit of truth there. so in a way, I'm Ok if anyone has another person to ease their pain.

But, as another tool, of course therapy is good.

Annette
 

momhappy

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smitcompton|1448737440|3955009 said:
Hi,

I have never heard anyone tell a man he should be on his own for a couple of years, or even be on his own. Why are we telling this to women?. This is an older woman(past 40?) and I assume she knows a bit about life.

I love Agatha Christie movies and books. Miss Marple makes all of her observations of a murder from the people she comes across in her village. I made my observation of how men move from marriage to divorce from an accidental meeting of a business acquaintance, while I was garage sale-ing. I knew he and his wife had troubles when I knew him in the past. She had left him recently. He was still in the house. He confided to me that he had a new girlfriend and was moving in with her. He said it made the divorce action of his wife much easier to take. He seemed almost happy.

I realized how much easier life was when you had someone to be with you while you were going through the unpleasantness of divorce. But as I said above, men get a forbearance on emotional loneliness, but women have to be on their own to make them strong.(I guess) I thought I gleaned a bit of truth there. so in a way, I'm Ok if anyone has another person to ease their pain.

But, as another tool, of course therapy is good.

Annette

I would have the same advice for a man under these exact same circumstances. I wouldn't advise a man (with a new, young GF that is free of the everyday stress that can occur in a marriage) to invest too much into the relationship and/or end a marriage over.... No one said OP had to be alone - it was just suggested that she make her decision based on what's best for HER, not what's best for Choice A (the husband) and Choice B (the new BF).
 

december-fire

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so_confused said:
...The younger man and I are not compatible intellectually; but OMG, I'm soooooo crazy about him. The chemistry is...just..out of this world!! And he also loves me soooooo much, he says he'd rather be with me than have children in the future (to which I say he'll change his mind in 5-10 yrs time and that I want him to eventually get married and have a family of his own). But I can't imagine my life without him!! He's amazing, is 100% faithful (I just know), even though he's reeaaaally hot, is kind and funny and he makes me laugh, even if his sense of humor is a bit silly at times....

So confused,

I need to add something to my earlier comments because this has been bothering me.

Have you told this younger man that you and he are not compatible intellectually? The honeymoon/lust/infatuation/in-love stage of a relationship can last up to two years. But a healthy, long-term relationship requires more than physical attraction and a good sense of humour. If this younger man is sincere in wanting a long-term relationship, he deserves to know that he won't have that with you. Isn't it leading someone on to imply you'll be together long-term when you don't consider him your equal intellectually? Try to show this younger man some respect.

My advice to live on your own for at least two years should you divorce has nothing to do with your gender. As I stated in my earlier post, you need to sort some stuff out regarding yourself. This younger man seems like a fun distraction to avoid dealing with real issues.

Although gender didn't factor into my response, I do wonder how people would react if a man wrote in and described the same situation with a woman who was 20+ years younger and said he and the younger woman were not intellectually compatible.
 

Dancing Fire

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so_confused|1448718746|3954913 said:
Hi all,


I started dating about a year ago (primarily b/c I couldn't be celibate) and 10 months ago met another man. Well, actually, he's much much younger (like 20+ years younger). When I first met him, I was instantly attracted to him; but never thought it could be anything other than "just a bit of fun". Well, fast forward 10 months later and I'm head-over-heels in love with this man. The amazing thing is that I KNOW that he's also in love with me and wants us to be together, 100% on a permanent basis. Again, I still live with my husband but my lover/ boyfriend is now giving me an ultimatum and insisting that I get a divorce, or else I won't "ever see him again". He says, and I agree, that it's disrespectful - to both my husband and to him - that I can be with two men at the same time.

So, what do I do?! Please help!! !!
Go Cougar!... :naughty:
 

packrat

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My brother is going thru a divorce, and I told him to be by himself for a while, even tho deep down I'd like him to find a nice woman who I can hang out w/and I want him to have kids, it's better for him to just do for him for a while. Doesn't have to be a year. Doesn't have to be a specific length of time necessarily, like oh it's been exactly 241 days, now I can date again. I told him that after breakups from serious relationships also. And I've told my guy friends that too. I would tell that to anyone.
 

Gypsy

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I'm going to give you the advice someone gave me once regarding your husband.

Say you had cancer for 20 years. And now had the chance to be cancer free. Would you throw away the chance to be cancer free just because you have 20 years of history with cancer?

No. History is just something you learn from. Read my tag line in my signature.

IMO, your relationship with your husband sounds abusive (maybe on both your parts) and toxic.

Whether or not you go on to be with the new man, you need to cut your husband out. You need to learn and grow. That's the point of life. You can't do that where you are now.
 

monarch64

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packrat|1448748747|3955057 said:
My brother is going thru a divorce, and I told him to be by himself for a while, even tho deep down I'd like him to find a nice woman who I can hang out w/and I want him to have kids, it's better for him to just do for him for a while. Doesn't have to be a year. Doesn't have to be a specific length of time necessarily, like oh it's been exactly 241 days, now I can date again. I told him that after breakups from serious relationships also. And I've told my guy friends that too. I would tell that to anyone.

This is so true. After I left my first marriage, it was hard to stay single (I swear to god people came out of the woodwork and it was WEIRD), but I did spend several months without a significant other before I met the person to whom I eventually became remarried. I had lived on my own previously (during and after college, briefly), so I had time to explore my life with just me and I am thankful for that. I will say that being single is hard for me. I am happiest in a committed relationship and I really enjoy being married. It is understandable how difficult it is for people who've been used to being with someone (whether or not they are happy) for so long to be strong enough to just be alone after leaving a relationship/marriage.

OP, you are at a real crossroad here and you have in front of you an opportunity to do a huge service for yourself. Be very careful in how you proceed here as your actions will determine your life for the foreseeable future. Don't jump from one sinking ship to another. Be kind to yourself.
 

kenny

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Leave them BOTH and heal thyself.
 

marymm

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I agree with others that you could really benefit from therapy - based on your opening post, it is very strange to me that you didn't unilaterally file for divorce from your husband. It also sounds like this new relationship is only physical/infatuation and should be enjoyed for the (temporary) time that it lasts.
 

tuffyluvr

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I'm sorry, but I have to agree with momhappy and December-fire...
I am very skeptical of this being "true love". To me it sounds like a lot of these feelings are built on you having been in a sexless marriage and also the excitement and exhilaration of a relationship that is both new and illicit.

My advice is if you want a divorce, make sure it's for YOU, otherwise you run the risk of regretting it later on down the line. You didn't need your husband's approval to file for divorce 5 years ago, and clearly you stayed with him for some reason. Furthermore, if your husband is not on-board with the divorce, he could really hang you out to dry because of your affair. Of course that depends upon if your husband knows about the affair and what state you're in, but i feel you could be opening yourself up to a world of hurt.
 

chemgirl

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I think you need a break.

It sounds like you are too wrapped up in the emotions and drama. Is there somewhere you can go? I really think you need time away from both guys to work on you.

Ok that sounds harsh, i'm not saying that you are somehow boken and need fixing. I just think that you need some time to yourself where your focus is on things that make you happy and not these men.
 

distracts

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If you've wanted to divorce your husband multiple times over the past several years, to the point of discussing it with him multiple times, and you're already seeing other people... yes. You need to divorce him whether or not someone else is in the picture. Whether or not your boyfriend is going to be forever? I don't know. No one in this thread knows. And it doesn't really matter, either. There's no telling whether a man your age would be forever material either. Just go for it if you want it.
 

sunseeker101

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Hello there. It seems like your marriage is in the 'too bad to stay, too good to leave' class. The fact that it's sexless, and you need a sexual relationship to feel connected and loved should indicate that something is deeply amiss in your relationship. It's impossible to tell from here, but the options are endless. Could your husband be passive aggressive, narcissistic, controlling, sending out mixed signals by seeming to enjoy being around you without laying a finger on you and ignoring your feelings about things in the relationship? Could you be like this or doing business in any way like this?

As said above, therapy is a way to reach clarity on what the confusion and hurt is at the center of your relationship with your husband. If you're hesitant to leave it's either because you feel you don't deserve better (low self esteem) or you feel partly responsible. Reaching clarity will give you the license to act on your basic feelings without feeling pulled by guilt one way or the other.

The dalliance you have with your new man might be delayed pay-back for what your husband did -- but I'd hazard a guess that it's doing nothing good for your self esteem, despite it making you feel attractive and wanted again. Respect your natural integrity and distance yourself from both until you know your desires better, is my advice :)

Best of luck with the resolution. You deserve to live fulfilled and at peace with yourself, with or without a man.
 

arkieb1

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I am with the posters that think, hey a man can find a younger woman immediately but when woman does it then she must obviously be in the wrong? The OP might have thought about it all already for a really long time. Life is short. If you can survive financially and emotionally on your own and want a divorce anyway what is stopping you. The fling with the younger guy is a bonus and if it lasts great, if not then it's a a stepping stone in becoming more independent.

Happiness cannot be found in another person, it can only come from within.
 

House Cat

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I am very sad that you are taking responsibility for your husband's infidelity. Please release yourself from this. He is a grown man who is very much in control of his actions. He made the decision to cheat. If there was something going on in the marriage that made him feel deprived or unhappy, he had many more options other than cheating on his marriage to get his needs met. What is even more disturbing is the fact that after he committed adultery with prostitutes, he's been holding you hostage in the marriage.

You are not an object to be kept by an abusive and unfaithful man who convinces you that his crappy behavior is all your fault. There is nothing "kind" about a man who does this.


Everyone, even the worst of the worst in our society, has good qualities, but their bad qualities outweigh the good and that is when we must leave for our own good.


I don't really care about the 20 year old. I guess the only way he is relevant in my mind is if the affair with him could be used as a catalyst for divorce with the husband.
 

luv2sparkle

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Dear so confused,

I am so sorry for all you have had to go through. I have not read all the other replies so if I am repeating please forgive me. Your husbands infidelity would be very hard to get past. Frankly, I don't think I could do it. However, life with a man 20 years younger than you is not realistic either. I don't think a man would stay with a woman 20 years younger than him for the rest of his life. I just don't. It seems to me that is setting yourself up for more heartbreak. No one can tell you what to do, but I can only say what seems clear to me from your post.

Your husband has betrayed you in the worst way and you are no longer happy with him, even though you "get along" better now. A sexless marriage is one that cannot be held together for a lifetime. A relationship with a man 20 years younger, while it makes you feel better about yourself, chances are, it won't last.

If I were in your position, I would end my marriage and start again. For me, not living with what my husband had done on a day to day basis, and wondering if he was going there again, would be most important to me. Then I would look for a relationship with a man closer to my own age that has a chance of being a death till death do you part kind of thing. That is what I would want. You have to decide if that is what you want. If fun for now, is enough for you then stick with the guy you are dating now.

Mostly, I just think you should know that you are not responsible in any way for your husbands choices. I don't care if you were a raging [email protected]&$h at times. He is the only one who is responsible. Marriage takes work and if someone is not happy, then it takes more work to fix it.
 

momhappy

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House Cat|1448813453|3955271 said:
I am very sad that you are taking responsibility for your husband's infidelity. Please release yourself from this. He is a grown man who is very much in control of his actions. He made the decision to cheat. If there was something going on in the marriage that made him feel deprived or unhappy, he had many more options other than cheating on his marriage to get his needs met. What is even more disturbing is the fact that after he committed adultery with prostitutes, he's been holding you hostage in the marriage.

You are not an object to be kept by an abusive and unfaithful man who convinces you that his crappy behavior is all your fault. There is nothing "kind" about a man who does this.


Everyone, even the worst of the worst in our society, has good qualities, but their bad qualities outweigh the good and that is when we must leave for our own good.


I don't really care about the 20 year old. I guess the only way he is relevant in my mind is if the affair with him could be used as a catalyst for divorce with the husband.

I don't think that OP was taking responsibility for her husband's actions - I think she was acknowledging that she played a role in the failing marriage too. I'm certainly not condoning the husband's cheating, but these types of issues are often more complex (than simply a cheating spouse). There are always two sides to every story and again, that doesn't justify his actions, but it can offer insight on how/why the marriage failed in the first place.
 

MollyMalone

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Informational note: If so confused lives in New York, the only kind of "no fault" divorce possible 6 years ago did require the cooperation of your spouse. The only way you could obtain a divorce decree-- without filing a petition alleging one of the legislatively approved grounds for divorce & then proving the ground -- was if both spouses executed and filed a complete, separation agreement (including provisions for e.g., alimony, allocating responsibility for mortgage payments) & then lived apart, and in accordance with the separation agreement, for at least 1 year; at the end of that time, you could then petition the court to convert the separation agreement into a divorce decree.

Adultery was (no surprise) a recognized ground for a NY divorce 6 years ago, but assuming she could have proved that (NY requires independent evidence if contested), our OP's husband might have successfully raised the defense of condonation/forgiveness, i.e., that by continuining to cohabitate with him -- indeed continuing to be sexually intimate with him -- after she knew he had been paronizing prostitutes, she forgave the adultery & therefore could not obtain a divorce on that ground.

NY was the very last state to enact a provision for a "no fault" divorce, but no matter which state you live in & even where there are no children, a no fault divorce in and of itself does not eliminate the need to resolve financial matters such as the allocation of marital assets & spousal support. The resolution of these issues is obviously easier & less expensive if the other spouse is amenable to negotiations. So this may be why so confused has been hoping and waiting for her husband to get more on board with the prospect of a divorce; she also may be apprehensive about the social fallout and/or the dimunition of lifestyle, which divorce brings for the vast majority of divorced spouses who were married for years.

Those are rational concerns, although they would not be deciding factors for me, so I wouldn't assume (on the basis of her original post) that she is an emotionally battered spouse being "held hostage" by her husband.
 

MollyMalone

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arkieb1|1448808874|3955247 said:
I am with the posters that think, hey a man can find a younger woman immediately but when woman does it then she must obviously be in the wrong? * * * .
I'm not seeing that anyone here here has opined that she is obviouly in the wrong. Those who have suggested therapy and/or flying solo for awhile have said that would be their counsel regardless of the gender. Therapy was invaluable to me after I made the decision to leave my husband of 20 years (I'd made the decision before my first appointment with her & never wavered from that). There are inevitably MOs and expectations -- goood and bad -- that one has taken on while growing up & in the course of a marriage. My excellent therapist enabled me to gain clarity & rid myself of thinking-reactions that were "baggage" that I might trip over, even when it had not already gotten in the way of my self; her kindly yet objective, thought-proving challenges and my explorations with her enabled me to develop a better toolbox for life in general & relationships -- and more quickly -- than would have been possible through purely self-help.

Several months after leaving my husband, I began what what became a serious relationship, but it's the "dating around" I did. after breaking off what was a kind of rebound relationship, that gave me a more informed perspective on what now matters most to me & also that what was once a deal breaker for me is no longer. So I think there's a lot to be said for not "going all in" on another relationship on the heels of, or in tandem with, leaving a marriage.
 
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