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My marriage turned into a lifetime movie!


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Wife & I married 11 years ago. We have 3 children btwn 4-10 yrs old. I'm 40, she's late 30's.

She is a serial cheat. She cheated before we got married (I found out later it was at least 3 times but caught her twice). I thought she would never do it once we were married and that was her promise.

She begged and fought for me not to leave her and I bit.

3 years ago she had an emotional affair with her best friend's husband. I shut that down.

in 2019 she started talking to him again and it turned into a real affair. (This is her bf's HUSBAND by the way) It was short because I caught them.

And the husband was the one that ended it and came out and admitted it.

She denied denied denied the whole way even though she was caught, but finally admitted to some stuff.

This destroyed me.


Her reasoning is that she wanted to be a stay at home mom and that I didn't do enough family stuff and that I smoke. Her biggest reason though is that I don't want a 4th child yet.

We are pretty modest but living but in a nice rich area. We are in a 3 bedroom house that barely fits the family we have now. I keep telling her let's move to a less-snobby area and get a bigger house so we can have a 4th.

She refuses. We are already struggling with bills now as it is and adding another child could even force us to leave the area for cheaper.


Now, I admit I am a homebody. I love to do things at home with the kids, not so much social stuff. She's way more an extrovert. The gap widened with time.

But we still do go out to plenty of things. She wants me to be at EVERYTHING! Every party, every social thing, every playdate. It's a lot of stuff.

The guy she cheated with was a huge family type guy and makes more money than me.


Fast forward to June 2020. Things are actually going well since the affair. No cheating. She has been very loving actually. Then all of a sudden she totally changed and became distant, aloof. I knew something was up right away. I found out she is in the middle of getting catfished by a fake pro catfisher on IG. She can't wait to meet him. She told him her desires to have more children right away before she turns 40. He reciprocated and said he wants children as soon as he gets back from overseas. (note, I actually image searched and it came up positive 100% catfisher). She again used the same reasons that she's not happy with me (but she has been acting loving for the last few months, even up to the day before the catfisher messaged her being really affectionate). That she settled for me at a young age because she wanted to get married so badly and not be alone.


Now, I caught her again. This time I said enough and I'm getting a divorce. She doesn't want to divorce, she wants us to just separate I guess and see what's out there. She told me to my face she thinks she settled for me and that we aren't on the same page.

That would've been nice to know before creating 3 kids together though. She knows I'm not the cheating type. I only want monogamy. She wants to test the field pushing 40yo. Anyway, I'm exhausted and just need help. What in the world do I do. What sucks is that this will ruin us financially. We need both incomes to afford where we live. It will be incredibly disruptive to my home based business. Honestly, I think she has a personality disorder or some other mental illness. Every time a guy gives her a little attention she suddenly is not happy with the marriage. It's just so funny that a catfisher brought this one out of her. What's going to happen is when the catfish blows up she will come back to me and realize her mistake and call off the separation. Then she will be the normal girl I married again and content for the most part. I feel like deep down I still love her and that she just has a split personality. Or am I being a fool for even thinking of staying with her?

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You are a fool for staying with her. You caught her cheating before the marriage but married her anyway. She continues to have affairs, and you let her. She has now spawned 3 kids and wants more while you work your fingers to the bone paying for it all. And she wants to be a stay at home mother?


I'm assuming you are in the US, which will mean, if you decide to file for divorce, she gets the house, the kids, child support, alimony, while you look forward to having your bones stripped bare, having no money, and working hard to pay for it all.


This woman is never going to be a normal woman. SHe has provied time and time again that you are not enough for her, and you are proving that you are the perfect simp that will pay for her kids, keep her in money and accept her back when she goes off with her latest boytoy.


I would suggest getting out entirely. You are paying either way, so may as well try to be happy alone without watching her jump from guy to guy because she doesn't like being with you.

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11 years of data suggest that she is not going to change. You never married a normal girl. She did this even before you are married. At this point you are making informed choices and you have been doing so for a long time. Imo, you need to seek professional counseling to explore whatever is keeping you stuck in this pattern. If you really want monogamy (11 years of staying on while finding out all kinds of messed up information about her suggest otherwise), then this woman is not the one for you.

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I won’t pretend to know what’s best for you, but when I found myself in a similar situation I chose to leave the marriage and started my life over from scratch.


Everything you’re saying about the hardships of divorce is true. Everyone hurts and finances are shot. The saying is “It’s cheaper to keep ‘er.”


The other saying is that “divorce is so expensive because it’s WORTH IT.”


I separated in 2013 and even though it was insanely painful I would do it all again. I took time away from dating and relationships to heal and learn to love myself. The insight and security I got from that experience has repaid the initial pain tenfold.


Just my own path there...only you know what’s best for you.


Best wishes!

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I'm sorry.


Sometimes we want something to work so bad, we keep thinking, if I do better!


The things that she has done from the cheating, to her reasons for marrying, to her, her, her! Everything is about her, her wants, her desires. And who cares about consequences.


You made a mistake marrying this woman. Sit with that for awhile. But! You got 3 great kids....


This woman is a trainwreck. So you have to start making better decisions.... mainly for the kids. They know more than you think and youre teaching them how to live, what marriage is and how relationships work.


The damage of divorce is devastating but the other side of that is, you can show your kids how we all deserve to be happy, have peace and when things don't work out, you can change them. You don't want your kids to carry the guilt of your choices.


When children see their parents happy, whether they're together or not, that's the best environment for them. They learn confidence, openness, and its ok to make mistakes.


I can't imagine how its even a decision to divorce or not. That is easy for me to say, not being in your situation. I'm not judging. I promise. My point is, I think you may be so hurt, broken and confused, you don't see how you are being treated and blaming mental illness. When your wife is a cheater. Cheaters are selfish. Not ill. Its an insult to the sick!


Something here needs to change. Her desire to 'see what's out there' is not marriage. Its openly finding a replacement. but if she can't do better than you, she'll stay with you.


That is ridiculous. I'd start by getting all the financials and possible time table mapped out. Even if its killing you... and then sit down and talk to her. Find your anger and be offended by her actions. Don't let her lead you by the nose. You matter!

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I can only echo the excellent advice given by the other posters.


I sighed deeply when I read this:


" I thought she would never do it once we were married and that was her promise."


Those disastrous words, and equally disastrous thinking.


OP. The leopard does not change its spots. Ever.


And I quote what Lambert said:


Cheaters are selfish. Not ill. Its an insult to the sick!"


And you ask:


"Or am I being a fool for even thinking of staying with her?"


No, not a fool, but someone who wants to self-destruct!


Time to get the formalities in motion. See a lawyer and take his/her advice.

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That she settled for me at a young age because she wanted to get married so badly and not be alone.


She doesn't want to divorce, she wants us to just separate I guess and see what's out there. She told me to my face she thinks she settled for me and that we aren't on the same page.

She wants to test the field pushing 40yo.


Every time a guy gives her a little attention she suddenly is not happy with the marriage.Then she will be the normal girl I married again and content for the most part. I feel like deep down I still love her and that she just has a split personality. Or am I being a fool for even thinking of staying with her?


She KEEPS telling you who she really is and how she feels about you. The real question is- WHY don't you believe her? Nothing YOU can do is going to make HER content. Please understand that.


You aren't a fool to stay with her- but you are incredibly naive if you think this behavior is ever going to change. I don't subscribe necessarily to the "once a cheater, always a cheater"- But MULTIPLE times a cheater, speaks to larger issues.

It's unfair to hold you hostage while she goes out and looks for something "better". She wants to have the security of being with you while being able to date. That's what she's really saying.


You have two options- Agree to an open marriage or get a divorce. I think I already know what most people will suggest to you and it is also my suggestion. You want different things out of this marriage. And nothing that you can do is ever going to fill her seemingly endless desire for more male attention and wanting to attain more- be it a child or money or security or whatever.


I am divorced and had NOTHING when I got divorced, so I understand the financial aspects. But trust me, it was WORTH it and I got back on my feet faster than I thought and I did it on my own with a low paying job. So, if I can do it, anyone can.

I think right now you just want the money excuse as a crutch to stay in hopes that you can "win her back". You can't. She's already made her decision.

The only question remaining is if you want to play her little game and be abused and disrespected and USED by her, or if you want to be free.

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Welcome to ENA,


First off I have been through what you are going through.


She put the blame on me for her cheating and lies. I fell for it for a while until my best friend threatened to beat me with a bat if I didn't wake up and see what she was doing. In time I found this place and got a ton of support and very frank and honest advice that I didn't want to hear but I needed to hear.


Eventually I learned to accept that the woman I had been with for 20 years was simply an unhappy person that lied, cheated and betrayed our family and future. She could not be trusted, she wasn't going to snap out of it and be the woman I married and she had no real remorse for the pain she had caused. She was sorry she got caught but other than that she was cold as ice.


Cheaters are selfish and only really care about their own WANTS at that moment and they will lie to you and themselves to get what they WANT. She blames you because she cannot admit to herself what a horrible person she is and has been the whole marriage.


Straight up she has shown you who she really is, can you accept that the woman you love is a lying, cheating and selfish person you can never trust? Acceptance is key in all this.


I was like you thinking how a divorce would ruin me financially but what is the cost of happiness? It sounds like you can easily be happy living a modest life with your children. The sooner you get this over with the sooner you can begin to rebuild your life without all the stress, lies and betrayal. Trust me I know what it is like to live with what you are living and I know how it feels when you finally shed that burden and can focus solely on your life and your children's lives. It is an awesome feeling.


All you are to her is security and home base for her fantasies. You are the window dressing she can use to make her life look respectable while she cheats and lies. You need to stop being a doormat because you love her and protect yourself and your future. She is using your love for her against you and she is good at it. Break the cycle, stop listening to the lies and do what you know deep down is the right thing to do.


Divorce sucks but living this hell is so much worse. I consider my wife's cheating to be a blessing now. She showed her true colors so I didn't waste any more time on someone that only cared about what she wanted no matter who it hurt.


I am happier now that I ever was married to her and you will be too.


There is a lot to do so are you ready to get started?



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A cheater like your wife will never change. She is doing what she wants to do in life and she has found someone, you, that let's her do it--screw other men.


Get your self respect back!


It's hogwash that you cannot be ok as a man, a family, after a divorce.


I've done it. Yes, it is a process into the unknown. But it is more than survivable. You can flourish, as can your kids.


Who cares if she does.

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Briefly adding one suggestion. Keep the family home. Rent a cheap room where you can live one week, and then your soon-to-be ex can live the next week, rotating. That way the kids can stay in the family home. Depends, of course, on how you run the home-based business. Read about other families doing this so just shooting it out there in case it would work for you.

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