Welcome to our series, The Divorce Diaries. In the past eight instalments we’ve covered everything from the effect of lockdown on divorces to whether they’re contagious and have now spoken to dozens of women – including one who discovered her husband’s affair during lockdown and another who found out her husband had a vasectomy and didn’t tell her – even after they’d been trying for a baby for a year.
This week we have a first person story from Jenny*, a woman who became aware that her husband was having an affair, but decided against confronting him about it. She’s certain she will divorce him in the coming years, but for now she is staying quiet. Even after she read a confronting story online, giving details about how to have an affair and get away with it – penned by the very woman she believes had an affair with her husband…
I know my husband had an affair but I’m going to ignore it and keep my family together for now. Worst still, I’m almost positive “she” is the tacky Wellington woman who wrote the guide to having an affair.
Her story is on Newshub and on The Daily Mail. [The rather vile story includes advice on “how to get away with being the ‘other woman’ in an affair, borne from her own experience of sleeping with a married co-worker several years ago. Her tips include how to hide expenses and communication, along with advice on where and how to have sex in a car”. It’s makes for pretty grotesque reading – even if you’re not viewing it from the perspective of the wife who is being betrayed]
The details are just too closely matched to my life for it not to be about my husband and me. Wellington is just not that big.
He tried so hard to hide the affair from me. It made me furious. More so that he blatantly denied it and thought I hadn’t noticed how protective he was of his phone and how vacant he was. He bought so many new clothes and how many 7am meetings and “leaving drinks” can someone really have!? He also frequently came home with the scent of a perfume I didn’t recognise as he sat down at the dinner table.
I was totally livid for a long time. Then it dawned on me that he’d hidden this trashy relationship as he desperately didn’t want to lose me and upset our family dynamic. He also knew how badly I despised betrayal from past experiences in my wider family.
I could divorce him. Some days I really want to. But what would it achieve at this point in my life? I’ve got three children with multiple drop offs and pick ups to manage. Not to mention after school activities to coordinate. I’ve got a busy job, house work to manage and financial commitments and goals. How does going it alone help me and my children?
My husband is needy, grumpy and quite frankly entirely self-indulgent at the best of times. But he follows my rules for the kids and shares the load at home. I don’t want to be doing it all alone.
I think the affair’s over now anyway. He’s had really disturbed sleep the past couple of months and been more vacant than ever. He claims it’s health issues and work stress. I’ve even tried to feign sympathy. But I know he’s probably just missing her sexual gratification. I’m sure as hell not giving him any. Even if he got the best sex of his life with his whorey colleague, I know he’ll never leave me. We signed a marriage certificate, we have partnership and shared responsibilities. That’s all that counts in marriage.
Divorce can be for when the kids leave home and trust me I will take everything!
THE DIVORCE DIARIES
Do you have a story to share? If you’d like to share your own experiences, tips or advice (we can keep you anonymous if you’d prefer!) please do email me at [email protected].
Missed an instalment? Catch up here!
- Week one: Women Tell: ‘My Lockdown Betrayal’ ‘He Ended Up With My Pilates Instructor!’ Charting the Rise of Divorce Coaches in NZ
- Week two: When Are You Most At Risk of Splitting? Plus, Can Divorces Be Contagious?
- Week three: “My Husband Didn’t Tell Me He’d Had a Vasectomy Until A Year Into Trying For a Baby.”
- Week four: “Mum’s Reaction Was: ‘Oh Darling, I Kept Telling You to Get Your Grey Roots Dyed!’” What to – and What NOT to Say – After a Split
- Week five: “Should I Stay or Should I Go?”
- Week six: The Number One Mistake Women Make When Separating
- Week seven: He Left To Be In An Open Relationship With the 19-year-old He’d Been Having an Affair With
- Week eight: He Changed His Mind About Having Children… When I was 7 Months Pregnant
*Names have been changed