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StonesBally

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Here's a NEIPA, came out great, and a CAP, also pretty good. I may not brew for quite some time after about 10 years at it. I think I've become quite a decent brewer. My wife and kids moved put about 3 months ago. I was blindsided. She has not asked for divorce, but doesn't seem to want to reconcile. I brewed these beers about 6 weeks ago. The thought of brewing another seems pointless as I dont know how long I'll be here able to brew or keg. They moved to my mother and father in law's house about 10 minutes away. I've been living in our home one since. It feels like living in a museum of our lives, only I'm stuck there. Nearly every single friend has taken her side, many of which I've been friends with since before I met my wife. I know I have had some serious issues in life and our marriage has been more about our daily routine of kids and work lately. I've made every effort to try and work on our problems and try to move forward. She said she wanted to try and save the marriage and offered to go to counseling. I am completely open and willing to do so. She avoids talking about it or making any kind of plan to reconcile or move on. She left with and email when she and the kids were gone one day. I dont think the kids know the truth. I know they miss their home and life here. I harbor her no ill will and hold no grudge against her for leaving and taking the kids, but it tears me up every single day. She makes no effort to change the situation one way or the other. It seems as though she has no plans to either. She has no other love interest in her life and is consumed with being busy with her career and our kids while I live alone in limbo in our home. She just went to Disney with them and my in laws. I'm taking the kids alone to visit family I'm 2 days. She is making daily plans for the weeks after we get back, not one mention of counseling or making any kind of decision. My therapist says to give her the benefit of the doubt and take her words at face value. I've put in loads of work to make myself a better person and I can see the difference it makes with coworkers, my children, and even crappy drivers on the road. She seems disinterested in any of that, and when I bring things up she is always avoiding the issue. Our anniversary of 12 years is in 4 weeks and it has been hard enough without my family here, but that day is fast approaching and with no resolution could be the hardest day of my life. One friend says to move on. I cant control her I know. The other friend says to force the issue and that she is doing a disservice to me and our children by keeping us in the unknown. I cant keep living alone, a nervous wreck every day with no idea of what may happen in the future. I dont want to lose my wife and family either. I really just dont know what to do. It's just really hard to keep living on maybes or who knows or perhaps. Every day is a struggle with no resolution. I'm thinking of forcing the issue when we get back from vacation, but I'll talk to my therapist first. Sorry for the rambling. Any thoughts, questions, concerns, or advice are appreciated.
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Kent88

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Wow dude, it may be the biggest understatement I have made lately when I say that what you're going through really sucks.
 
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Your equity in life is your kids, so focus on that. Those kids, and their progeny, are all that's left of you when you go.

By far the best possible thing is to get you and your wife back together again (for the kids). That's the best thing for them; you should be ready to give up anything to resolve things with her. If your wife is a complete nutcase (this doesn't seem to be the case though), then of course you should attempt to get custody of kids. If she's reasonable, then you should consider groveling. Srsly. IF she comes back, become a new person, one your wife approves of. You'll live through it, though maybe not your pride, and your progeny will succeed.
 

SEndorf

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Same thing happened to a friend of mine. Returned from a week fishing trip to find his wife and kids gone and most of what was in the house. Completely blindsided. No previous disagreement or argument prior to the trip. Just the routine issues that most marriages face.
Since you asked for advice, I commend you for holding off on the brewing. I'd temporarily bag the fermenter and forget about alcohol while you're in turmoil and figuring this out. I think your therapist would agree. Good luck on finding a resolution.
 

zymsmith

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I'm thinking of forcing the issue when we get back from vacation, but I'll talk to my therapist first. Sorry for the rambling. Any thoughts, questions, concerns, or advice are appreciated.

Forcing the issue may be the worst idea. You have the right to spend some quality time with the kids. Maybe do that and spend less of your time on hobbies. It's hard to change the way we are, but we can try harder to see the needs of others. Brewing can often be activity of a loner. Try getting involved in the interests of other family members.
 
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You're not going to want to hear this, but get a lawyer.

She's abandoned your marriage and taken your children. You likely have shared resources (other than the kids) such as bank accounts, retirement accounts, homes, cars, etc...

If you don't take the lead to straighten those things out, you will probably wind up on the short end of the stick later on.

Sorry you're going through this. While the emotional side of it sucks, you still need to take care of yourself and minimize your losses.
 

Kent88

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You're getting a bunch of advice, but I think ultimately the answer comes down to what you can live with.

You need to consider all the options that make the most sense to you, and you need to consider the possible outcomes, and if it comes to the worst you need to know that you did what you could and will leave you with the fewest regrets.

Sounds like some pretty standard decision making, but you're in one of the worst possible situations and under a ton of stress.

Find a way to clear your head. Listen to music, go for a walk, ride a bike, go for a drive on some low traffic roads. Anything that can reduce that stress right now is really going to help with your thinking.
 

betarhoalphadelta

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Obviously I don't know you or her, so I can't tell you what you should do. But I do think you should ask yourself--honestly--what do you want?

I went through something similar a couple years ago. The night before we were supposed to celebrate Valentine's Day I came across evidence that my ex was talking to guys on dating websites. The next day, I confronted her, and she said she wanted a divorce. And you know what? So did I. I was absolutely miserable with her. What we had at that point wasn't a marriage; it was two people in the same house walking past each other as we raised kids. Getting out of that marriage was basically a revelation in that I realized I should have ended the marriage years before. We weren't compatible from the start.

How are things now? I'm happy. I actually found someone else, and though I thought I might never do it again, got remarried. We have the kids about 40% of the time, and try to do our best to make a life that they will remember fondly. That doesn't mean we spoil them rotten to "win" their affection; we're more strict than my ex is with them. But they recognize that despite their parents no longer being together, they've still got a great life.

Now, maybe that's not your situation. Maybe your marriage was in a better place before this happened than mine was [although I think your wife may not think it was]. But maybe this was just her taking the step that one of you should have taken a long time ago. Divorce is scary, but if it's the right thing to do, sometimes it's the right thing to do.

I do agree with AZ_IPA first and foremost. Regardless of what you're going to do, consult a lawyer ASAP. You need to protect yourself. It will be expensive, but failure to protect yourself now will cost you FAR more in the long term.
 

beernutz

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I have not been divorced or ever close to it but my brother was similarly blindsided after being married 12 years and I have learned a lot from talking to him.

People have said it already but it bears repeating, TALK TO A GOOD LAWYER NOW, even if you desire to reconcile in the future. My brother's ex had a plan to surreptitiously leave and make a new life with their 3 children and she took a significant amount of their savings, mostly an inheritance from his and my uncle, with her to finance it. He realized the situation too late and had to borrow money from the rest of the family to finance his legal team. They finally obtained a divorce but it will be years before he lets it go.
 

burntchef

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A lot of serious responses here, with a a lot of good advice. Being blindsided sucks. Period.
To lighten the mood I will quote Drew Carey
I am worried about you buddy
something has to give, and I am afraid the drinking is going to suffer.
A hobby can be a stable rock in the stormy water.
Eric
 

JohnSand

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I've been divorced, and seen a lot of things in decades of police work.
I think all of the advice above is good. You have a therapist, you should have a lawyer, and you're trying to figure this out and improve yourself. All very good. I'll add this: No matter what happens, there is more life and happiness in your future. You may not be able to reconcile with your wife, but you can build a happy life without her if necessary. I've been through pretty hard times: loss, betrayal, my own mistakes biting my ass. But I worked my way back to where I needed to be. Get the help you need, believe in yourself and your future. I've seen people survive crack addiction, gunshot to the head, fires, wrecks etc. You can too. Good luck brother.
 

shoengine

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Any thoughts, questions, concerns, or advice are appreciated. View attachment 577398View attachment 577399
My wife and I decided after some long, distressing rough patches to suck it up and wait until the kids are gone before we re-evaulate our relationship. She brought a son to the marriage, and we had twins after that. We realized on those times we can get away that we still like each other, but the strains of work, school, activities and just the kids in general take a toll on our relationship. There are still hills and valleys, but it is nice to have that reality check. I don't dread when the kids leave, I am looking forward to us after. Good luck. I wish you the best.

My only advice to you is to stay away from alcohol and sulky music. Trust me on that.
 

kh54s10

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I have to say that forcing the issue is probably the worst course of action. I hope it is not too late. Talk to a lawyer to cover your bases. Continue with your therapist. Try a hobby that doesn't accumulate anything to try to take you mind off your troubles. Take what you can with your kids. If there is nothing hostile try to include your wife in something. Wait it out a while then try to, without forcing the issue, get her to marriage counselling. But also, I know this is hard, try to prepare yourself for divorce. If you can afford it you might want to try to find somewhere else to live for a while to get away from all the reminders.

Good luck.
 

FloppyKnockers

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"I've put in loads of work to make myself a better person and I can see the difference it makes with coworkers, my children, and even crappy drivers on the road."

I'm going to throw this out there. We haven't heard your wife's side, but by your own admittance, you were not the best person you could be. Kudos for working on it, but it might be a day late and a dollar short for her. It seems as though she is improving her surroundings for the better on her terms, not yours. Keep working at it (you) and give it time.
 

str1p3s

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I'm divorced and I didn't realize a hell like that existed until I went through it.

Hopefully you reconcile. No one deserves that kind of pain. Don't give up on your kids without a fight though. I see too many guys just assume they won't get any custody of their kids when in reality you can do joint custody.

My ex fought me the whole way and seemed to expect me to just give up my daughter to her. I didn't and I would have regretted it deeply if I had. And for a silver lining, I am pretty confident in saying my daughter and I are closer than I think we would have been had I stayed with her mother.
 

lschiavo

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I'm divorced and I didn't realize a hell like that existed until I went through it.

Hopefully you reconcile. No one deserves that kind of pain. Don't give up on your kids without a fight though. I see too many guys just assume they won't get any custody of their kids when in reality you can do joint custody.

My ex fought me the whole way and seemed to expect me to just give up my daughter to her. I didn't and I would have regretted it deeply if I had. And for a silver lining, I am pretty confident in saying my daughter and I are closer than I think we would have been had I stayed with her mother.
My ex never fought much. We kept it civil because I decided that was best (knew she was a little off and it was time to get out). I have a great relationship with my daughter now because I made that my priority over everything.

You choose what's important to you. If you let someone else make that decision, you will be unhappy.
 
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StonesBally

StonesBally

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Thanks for all the advice. We have kept things civil through the last 3 months. The last week I've been on vacation visiting my family with my 3 kids. My wife has been visiting her aunt in Malibu while we've been here. I've been put in a budget. She says all the money she has spent she earned through extra work and conferences and such, which she does do. I've worked 6 day weeks 10 times in the last 3 months, and when I asked her she gave me about a third of that extra money to be able to spend. I know I earned more, and she says that the money they spent on the trip to Disney and her vacation in California were all earned by her. I've been sticking to a strict budget for myself and the kids when I have them. Where did the money I earned go? I've never spent a lot of money on myself. I get the food and clothes for the kids and things needed for the house. She has always been in control of the finances. I've kept my career on the back burner for years, having a job with only really supplemental income to hers for maybe the last 7 or so years. I had a brief stint as a restaurant chef where I earned considerably more, but it cut into my ability to be there for my family so I changed jobs. I dont have access to any financial information other than checking our account balances at the bank or atm. I am in a horrible position to try and live on my own. I need a new car as well. She gets upset when I mention anything that may mean confrontation or conflict between us. She left without confrontation and looks as of though she never wants to discuss the reality of our situation. I've had a few pretty sad heart to hearts with my kids and I'm pretty sure she hasn't told them any semblance of the truth of the matter. They think we are taking time to work on ourselves and ultimately get back together. She has said she wants to save the marriage and go to counseling with me but does nothing to make any of that happen. She has no plans for moving forward despite my efforts. I'd like to be be able to tell her I need something more concrete, but I fear the consequences as well. I am coming from a very weak position and just cant see a good way out for me. She tells me that I dont listen to what she says or feels very well, but when I ask her she doesn't offer up her thoughts or feelings. There is no resolution to anything that has happened and I dont know if there ever will be. I used to be an angry and anxious man. I've turned that into depression now. I'm just having a hard time seeing any light at the end of the tunnel.
 

kh54s10

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One thing I would do is to take control of your finances. Figure out a budget to take care of the kids and send that to her, or make the needed purchases yourself. At least that way you will know that she is not using your salary alone, or spending it on herself.

Keep up with your counselling, depression is not fun. Look for a hobby that doesn't amass possessions and is low cost to distract yourself. Something to make you happy, even if only temporary. Continue to interact with your kids as much as possible.

Hang in there.
 

MaxStout

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I am so sorry that your life has taken this turn. I cannot possibly imagine. Stick with the counseling, even if she won't go. The counseling is for YOU. Get yourself in a better place then work on your family. If you find yourself in more of a dark place, don't do anything rash. Talk to somebody. You mentioned that many of your friends are on her side. You must have someone who is truly in your corner. Talk to that person. This is when you find out who your real friends are.

The darkest hour is just before dawn. Things will get better.
 
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StonesBally

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Well in the middle of my therapy session this evening, which I do by video conference, a knock on the door. You've been served! Of course while she's out if town, just like when she left and didnt come back when we were first separated. I feel stupid to have been blindsided again. I trusted her completely until today. Now I know shes been lying to my face. Just last week we took the kids to a water park together and she said we should do it again soon. Yesterday was what would have been our 12th anniversary. We talked a lot and now I feel she was extra sad because she knew it was over, not because she was missing me or our anniversary. My life is upside down. On a lighter note there may be a posting for a few nice pieces of brewing and kegging equipment coming up soon.
 

Jtk78

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I'm really sorry you're going through a tough time. I too got blindsided by finding out my then wife was cheating on me. I too fell into a dark hole. I was fortunate to not have any children yet, so it was easy for me to be miserable and depressed.

You know what though, there was light at the end of the tunnel, and there is at yours too. Just because you can't see it doesn't mean it's not there. Your children need to see that you can be strong and overcome this. It may be a lesson that serves them well one day. I'm not saying have no emotions, or to be disrespectful to or about their mother. I am saying to be in control. Get the things figured out that you will ultimately need to figure out, i.e. this car replacement, seeing your children, etc.

Keep working on you and being a great dad. I feel we are truly judged in the worst of times, not when the dice are rolling in our favor.
 

betarhoalphadelta

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Sorry to hear that, but clearly if it's not meant to be, it's better in the long run.

As I said earlier, it's time to lawyer up. Clearly she's been planning this out on her end. Which means she's probably already done so. And if--as you say--she's the primary breadwinner, you want to make sure you don't get screwed here.

Remember that you have three priorities at this time:

1) Make sure things are in a place where you still have the opportunity to be a great dad to your kids.
2) Make sure you're taking care of your own mental health.
3) Make sure you get a divorce judgement that fully meets your needs and doesn't take advantage of you because you're "nice".

A good lawyer is key to #1 and #3.

This can't be stated strongly enough.

The little bit I've read here suggest you're a very nice guy who likes to think the best of people. It suggests that she's mostly in control of everything that happened in your marriage. Nothing is wrong with either of those things. But if you let her control the divorce, she's going to do what SHE wants and it might not reflect or in any way account for what you want, need, or deserve.

Lawyer up.
 
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StonesBally

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My wife seems to be living in a delusional world. I've given up my career and took a night job to pay for things and still allow me to watch the kids. I've let her career flourish while I maintained the house and cared for kids. I wasnt best husband at times, I admit that. She seems to think shes done no wrong. She has been hiding her thoughts, actions, and finances for a long time. Now asks if I'm going to seek alimony. She cant afford it she says. I took home about $24000 last year, she took home $94000. She has racked up $17000 in new debt since we paid our credit cards off with a home equity loan 2 years ago. She spent our tax return, savings, and has graciously saved $600 to help me buy a car. She put me on a budget of $150 dollars a week while spending about $10000 over the last four months. Now I have to ask to make any kind of large purchases she says. I opened my own account and changed my direct deposit to it. We get paid Friday and I fear that shell cut the power, phone, internet off here. I cant afford a lawyer and told her that I haven't gotten one. My family graciously gave me a loan, so I'm consulting with some lawyers this week. She at least had no idea of that. She's controlled my life for too long. Time for me to step up to the plate I guess. I think she thinks I'll just roll over for her.
 

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Damn dude. I've never been divorced so I have no experience in this situation but it's time to get a lawyer. You may spend money now for it but she is clearly going to run you dry unless you get some help to stop this.
 

bpgreen

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You may think you can't afford a lawyer, but not getting a lawyer could be much more costly.
 
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StonesBally

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Well I have had a visit from my mother. She did give me money from a lawyer and said she would give me more if I needed it to make sure I get as much time with my kids as possible, which is really what I want here. I need to be able to have a home the kids can feel at home in too. My biggest concern going forward is having the children feel as good about their situation as possible. After consulting with a lawyer, I'm consulting with 3 others the next few days, I'm a little more confident that it won't be as bad as I keep. My therapist has been a huge help and support as well, as well as my mother has. It's still a scary prospect for me charting the waters of the unknown. My wife thinks theres not way I can afford a lawyer, want to move quickly to sell the house, and still expects me to plan my time with the kids around her setting up her classroom for school. Even now she tries to control every aspect of my life.
 

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