The Divorce Diaries: Last Year He Asked Us ‘Should I Divorce My Wife?’ So… What Happened?

Should I get a divorce? That’s the question John was asking himself as he entered 2023. He was so consumed by thinking about it that he put the question out to Capsule readers – should he do it? Well, it’s now a year later. What happened to John?

Welcome to the Divorce Diaries. In our past instalments over the last year we’ve covered everything from when you’re most likely to divorce to whether they’re contagious to whether being on the contraceptive pill can effect your chances! and have now spoken to dozens of women – including one whose husband announced he was leaving her to have an open relationship with a 19-year-old, another who was quite literally ghosted by her own husband and one who discovered the real reason her husband divorced her was because he had a baby with her SISTER.

If you have a topic you’d like to discuss, share your thoughts, experience or advice about, drop a line to [email protected].

Around this time last year, we brought you the story of a man, John, who had a big question he was weighing up. It was one he’d been considering for years:

Should 2023 be the year he splits from his wife?

John told us that he’d been casually dating his wife when she fell pregnant. Although he knew he wasn’t in love with her, marrying her felt like the right thing to do. The couple went on to have another child, and while John describes himself as a devoted dad, he’s never felt as though he is with the love of his life.

Well, John has an update.

He received a fair bit of feedback from the story – some were horrified that he “needed the validation of strangers to do something he obviously wanted and needed to do”. Others were supportive and wanted to offer advice – particularly as John’s primary concern was their two children, whom he didn’t want to be apart from.

Ultimately, John decided to take the leap and tell his wife that their marriage had run its course.

“It was time,” he says. He consulted a lawyer before he spoke to her and “got his ducks in a row”. He wanted to have the children as much as possible. He was afraid he’d be in for a fight, but initially, it went “surprisingly well”.

“She didn’t seem surprised when I broached the subject,” says John. “The cynic in me says she’d been waiting for me to do it, so she didn’t have to be the bad guy.”

John says it seemed very amicable and his wife, if anything, seemed quite relieved. He was glad he had a lawyer – he discovered his wife had consulted one before he’d told her he wanted to split – but they didn’t need a mediator or too much involvement from their lawyers.

For the first couple of months, they tried a living arrangement where the children stayed in the house, and they cycled through it. They rented a one-bedroom apartment together, which one of them would live in for three nights while the other would live back in their original home with the kids, and then they would swap.

“It was my exes suggestion and it made sense to not be paying for two larger houses while we worked things out, and for the kids to have that continuity,” says John.

But three months in, the situation was causing tension. There were arguments over how the house was left for the other person, particularly the one-bedroom, which was starting to feel a bit strange to be sharing.

Plus, John’s circumstances had changed. He had begun seeing someone.

“She’s someone I met through the kids a while back, but nothing had happened,” he says. “I hadn’t thought of her like that because I was married, but when that changed… it was like a lightbulb went on the next time I saw her.”

But John says the living arrangement made seeing his new girlfriend difficult.

“I wanted her to be a part of my life, but I didn’t have a home to take her to,” says John. “I couldn’t take her to the family home, but the apartment didn’t feel right either.”

While he was looking for a new home to rent, his wife found out about his new girlfriend.

“I’ll admit, I’m ashamed of how she found out,” he says. “I’m not ashamed of my new partner, but I’m ashamed of how she found out about her.”

John says a mutual friend accidentally put her foot in it.  “And that seemed to change everything,” he says.

John’s wife refused to move between the two homes, so is living there with their two children. John now has a separate home nearby. They each have the children three days on, three days off.

When we spoke to John last year, he was concerned about how much he’d get to see his kids. He also felt that his wife didn’t spend much time with the kids on weekends, so thought he deserved to have them every weekend.

Although it’s been difficult, he says he’s happy with how things have been split up. The arrangement means he sometimes gets them on a weekend but not always. His work has allowed him flexibility, where he finishes early on the days that he has the children so he can spend more time with them.

He says what was particularly difficult though, was Christmas this year, as he spent it without the children – although that was his choice.

“My ex went back to work last year and her workplace closed down for two weeks – as did mine – so she took the kids overseas with her on holiday with her parents.”

John says he was happy for that to happen because he also went on holiday – he took his new partner overseas for a memorable trip.

“I proposed to her on the second day of the trip,” he says.

“I know, I know, I am still technically married, so our wedding is a while off, but I wanted to make it official. This time it feels right and I don’t want to waste any more time.”

John says he hopes he still has time to have more children with his fiancé.

“My kids are my greatest gift. I’d love to have more. She has kids so we’re already big on numbers, but I’d like to do it over again with her and experience having children in a relationship like this one.”

Invisible Illnesses: ‘Why Coeliac Disease Is A Lot More Than Just Having a ‘Funny Tummy’ After You Eat Gluten…’

For those who have Coeliac Disease, having a little crumb or trace of gluten can mean a raft of horrible symptoms, that can take...

Money, Honey: Inside the Life and Budget of a Wellington Sales Manager on $122,000 a Year

How much are we all earning? How does your profession add up? How are women your age spending their money? Is everyone in debt?...

The Divorce Diaries: ‘I Set a Trap on Facebook to See if My Husband Was Cheating. It Worked.’

It's one horrible thing to say you've caught your husband cheating on Facebook... but for Capsule reader Kelsey, the twist was that she caught...

The Devastating Loss Of Dr Michael Mosley: A Tribute To A Man Missed By Many

Sarah Lang had been anxiously waiting for news of Dr Michael Mosley, the popular journalist, presenter and author who went missing in Greece last...