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My life is a bit of a train wreck. 42, wife's infidelity, dead bedroom, financial instability, 2 kids & 3 step kids... I'm still surviving, but would love to have guys in similar situations to talk to... Hi... BTW AMA

June 5, 2023

I was just answering a post in an infidelity sub about how I feel that traditional therapy was useless and I thought I would benefit more from a male support group. I just found this sub and would like to invite people to interact on any or all of the things I put in my title.

Ultimately I would love to find online friends who I can trust, to interact with in other ways other than Reddit. I've looked for men's meet up groups in my area, and there just aren't any. I was having therapy online, but don't really think it's will designed for men. I figured why not meet other guys online that maybe eventually I could form a supportive friendship with.

Anyway, feel free to ask me anything...

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Title My life is a bit of a train wreck. 42, wife's infidelity, dead bedroom, financial instability, 2 kids & 3 step kids... I'm still surviving, but would love to have guys in similar situations to talk to... Hi... BTW AMA
Author Terrible_Mastodon_50
Upvotes 37
Comments 21
Date June 5, 2023 3:20 AM UTC (6 months ago)
Subreddit /r/MenSupportMen
Archive Link
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[–]throwaway112112312 8 points9 points  (2 children) | Copy Link

Well, my question would be why don't you get a divorce?

[–]Terrible_Mastodon_50[S] 3 points4 points  (1 child) | Copy Link

Mostly because a divorce would cost money that I currently don't have, and the outcome of the divorce would put both my wife and I in financial situations that neither of us could survive. On top of that, while my current relationship isn't the one I want, at the moment there is no cheating, my wife and I get along and can have fun together, and I don't have to compromise any time with my kids.

[–]Klutzy_Pride_5644 6 points7 points  (7 children) | Copy Link

I was in the same situation, but my wife was also a profound narcissist (perhaps yours is too). I was concerned about leaving my son without me to shield him from her crap but, in the end, I left. After a while, her abuse of my son got so bad that there were police involved, and I ended up with 100% custody (with a drawn out court battle to wait for then to adjust their thinking to realise i wasn't the problem). I now have a new awesome wife (we have been together for about 10 years) and 2 more little girls. Life is good 👍. My ex is basically not legally allowed to make contact, which is a real blessing. She still invests an enormous amount of time trying to turn people against me, but, que sera. The more years that go by, the more ridiculous these efforts become, so quite a few people have realised she is insane and apologised for how they treated me.

[–]keker0t 4 points5 points  (3 children) | Copy Link

Op this, you can be him. ```

[–]Klutzy_Pride_5644 4 points5 points  (2 children) | Copy Link

Life is way too short to spend it being abused. But I know how the OP feels - it is hard to leave despite the abuse. That part is hard to understand unless you have been there

[–]Terrible_Mastodon_50[S] 0 points1 point  (1 child) | Copy Link

The infidelity was abuse. That was two years ago, and my relationship with my wife, while never completely coming back is fine, and caring, but it's obviously not the same and we really haven't done the work to reconcile properly. It's harder to leave now, though, because it currently isn't that bad, and financially is hard to justify.

[–]Klutzy_Pride_5644 1 point2 points  (0 children) | Copy Link

Perhaps you might focus on the bits that are "easier" to fix,.... and free. Have you spoken to your wife about getting your sex life back on track? Everyone is happier when they are getting a decent amount of sex 👍. Plus, if it's definitely a key point to having "closeness" in your relationship

[–]Terrible_Mastodon_50[S] 5 points6 points  (2 children) | Copy Link

Thank you. It is posts like this that I appreciate the most.

I truly don't believe my wife is a narcissist. Selfish? Yeah. But likely not a narcissist.

As far as leaving goes... That might be the right answer, but at this point I don't know. There might also be something to salvage here, too, but it's hard to tell at the moment. You see the infidelity happened two years ago, and right now the biggest issues are financial ones and catching up, yet constantly feeling like we're getting more and more behind. Certainly is all related, I know, but I can't even think about leaving until we get to a place where we both could financially survive if we do separate.

As things stand in my wife and my relationship... It's not what I want in many ways, but at least at the moment we can be united in our parenting, we get along fine and do care for each other.

I'm struggling, but surviving. I just want people to talk to about it all at the moment.

[–]Cyrozen 1 point2 points  (1 child) | Copy Link

Hey man, I’m in the process of divorcing and there are low cost lawyers in just about every city, just gotta research & call around like you’re trying to get a deal on a nice used car.. my lawyer estimates whole thing will cost about $3000 including retainer.. even with child custody involved. See my soon to be officially ex-wife attacked me making me limp badly for about a month..

My point is, divorce could be on the table.. it’d be messy and hard no matter what, however if you think you’re safe and secure enough, I don’t think it’s a bad thing to keep it on the table at least until your kids are old enough/you’re financially set enough for you to reconsider for everyone’s well-being.. that’s what I did anyway.

[–]Terrible_Mastodon_50[S] [score hidden]  (0 children) | Copy Link

Thank you. For me it's less about the cost of the lawyer and more about what it would cost to live in two separate households with me being the only one working and having to pay child support and alimony. What I really need to do is start dividing our finances and becoming more financially independent within the marriage so that I can see what it would be like if we separated.

[–]ZulutheZebra 4 points5 points  (2 children) | Copy Link

It sounds like you have a lot of things piled on your plate at the moment. Your wife cheating, a dead bedroom, five kids you are responsible for; each of these things are highly stressful by themselves let alone together. Judging by your responses it sounds like you have a high level of personal honor/responsibility, which is likely how the situation has progressed to this stage.

Probably the hardest thing I’ve had to realize on a personal level was a very simple truth: “Nobody is coming.” It’s easy to scoff and say “well duh” because that’s the knee jerk response especially as a guy. When you really dig deep on it though, you realize that you are literally the only one who can solve your issues. Therapy can help, talking about it can help, but at the end of the day it’s just you with a shovel in your hands, deciding when to start digging your way to a better life. For me I had to start small; one day I setup a whiteboard and wrote down my most pressing issues. That day I started looking into the one I could fix (hair loss). One by one I started cleaning up the largest issues, and it took a long time to gain any significant traction but once it got going it was like a boulder rolling downhill.

All of the above to say, you are going to have to decide what you want as an outcome and work towards that ultimately. The easiest way to do that is to start working down some of your major issues so you can see daylight again, then start taking steps to move towards what you want.

[–]Terrible_Mastodon_50[S] 5 points6 points  (1 child) | Copy Link

Thank you. That is the most understanding and helpful comment so far, and I appreciate it. Very useful strategy and I think I will get to work on it. It reminds me of the strategy for paid off debt. Pay minimum on everything except the smallest. When smallest is paid off, then apply what you were paying on it to the next smallest. Create a snowball effect.

I think that's a great strategy. Maybe I can't do the big stuff yet because it's too psychologically overwhelming. I should start with the easy stuff in an attempt to create a snowball effect.

[–]ZulutheZebra 1 point2 points  (0 children) | Copy Link

Exactly, that’s an excellent analogy for the strategy. For me, just the fact that I was “paying on the principle” and working towards a solution helped tremendously with my mental health. If there was one thing I could have told myself back then that I want to pass to you now, it’s that everything is going to be ok. It may not be tomorrow, or the day after or even the one after that but if you keep working down your problems and putting work in, one day you will wake up and you won’t feel that heavy weight on your chest. It’s been three years for me since that day with the whiteboard; some days are still bad here and there, they are overwhelmingly better on the whole. I know that will be true for you too in time; just hang in there, put in the work and you may be surprised how things change in six months.

[–]jessi387 1 point2 points  (5 children) | Copy Link

Not in a similar scenario. But I definitely feel like I’ve fucked up my life, irreparably. 28, no degree, no career. Today it feels like I’ve lost a lot of my friends and do t have anyone close to me. I’m lost, and feel like there’s no time to fix things. I’m sorry for what your going through, I can’t relate and it sounds awful, but I hope things improve for you

[–]Terrible_Mastodon_50[S] 2 points3 points  (4 children) | Copy Link

Are you married or in a ltr? 28 and no degree or career... there is still time to find something, and believe it or not, there are satisfying careers without a degree, but 28 isn't too late to go back to school either.

Do you mind me asking what happened that you feel lost you do much recently? You are welcome dm me if you want. If you are not comfortable sharing, that's fine too. What can I do to help you?

[–]Gr8gaur -1 points0 points  (2 children) | Copy Link

Something stopping u for looking at happiness outside ?

[–]Terrible_Mastodon_50[S] 0 points1 point  (1 child) | Copy Link

Um, I'm not sure what you mean. If you mean cheating myself, first off I'm pretty sure that that wouldn't make me happy, and second my integrity wouldn't allow it.

[–]Gr8gaur -1 points0 points  (0 children) | Copy Link

Then I guess many more years to go till u decide whether to quit or not.

[–]jessi387 0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy Link

I feel bad asking you for help, cuz you’ve got it so much worse. You’re the one who really needs it. I can listen but unfortunately I propbably can’t offer anything useful

[–]orei_noodles 0 points1 point  (1 child) | Copy Link

Are you planning on leaving your wife?

How did you two overcome the infidelity? If you did?

How are you feeling about all this?

[–]Terrible_Mastodon_50[S] 1 point2 points  (0 children) | Copy Link

As far as leaving... Maybe. I think a big thing for me at the moment is that I couldn't even if I wanted to, due to financial issues, so I've finally realized that it is impossible for me to have that choice until there is a means. I sometimes just want to leave and other times I have hope for our future. Which brings us to the next part...

How did we overcome the infidelity? We haven't. We talked quite a bit and eventually she stopped contacting the Affair Partner. It all was online. We have found a state where we can care about each other and work together, and I did therapy that had helped me cope, but we haven't really worked true reconciliation. Again, until it is even a financial possibility of separating, there is no consequence to back up my boundaries.

How am I feeling? LoL depends on the day, and what you mean by "all this". My relationship issues are always there below the surface, but we can work together, play together, and live together comfortably most of the time, and I cope, often sidetracked by the financial issues, and other normal life stresses. As far as everything else... Well sometimes I feel overwhelmed and like I'm drowning, but each and every time I find my way back up to the surface and tread. It stinks because I feel I'm carrying all the weight, and I'm tired. At the same time I'm trying to work on myself. It's a lot.

You can kill a man, but you can't kill an idea.

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