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'AITA for wanting a separation instead of working on my marriage with my cheating husband?' UPDATED

'AITA for wanting a separation instead of working on my marriage with my cheating husband?' UPDATED


"AITA for wanting separation and co-parenting instead of working on my marriage?"

When my husband (29M) and I (27F) decided to have a kid I thought we had a happy marriage and a financially stable future. My pregnancy was high risk and with the health complications I was going to end up using up a good chunk of my medical leave before the kid was born. So we together decided that I’d quit my job and be a SAHM for a few years and then go back into the workforce.

After our son was born, I had PPD and severe anxiety. I had complications in recovery and no help from family. I am LC from my family and my MIL had passed away and FIL had no interest in helping.

My husband expected me to be a full housewife as soon as we got home with the baby and stopped helping with anything home or baby related because it was my job now.I was lucky to get involved with a Mom’s group that helped me a lot because otherwise I was very lonely and stressed.

When our son was 10 months old, I saw some messages on my husband's phone indicating that he was having an affair. I don’t know when it started but a lot of his working late was because of that. At that time my mental health was not good and I became scared that he’d divorce me and take my baby.

My reaction wasn’t even anger at him, it was as if my love for him had disappeared and was replaced by abject fear. I didn’t confront him and he didn’t realize that I knew.

I ignored it and tried to deal with all my issues myself while living in a constant fear of getting kicked out without my son. I know that wasn’t a reasonable assumption and I have rights, but I can’t explain why my head was stuck in that mode back then.

I moved into my son’s room, separated myself from my husband but kept on being a good SAHM. The sad thing is that he didn’t even realize that I wasn’t living in our room anymore. He got home cooked meals, a clean house and got to play with our son whenever he was home and didn’t care about me at all. When our son was 2, I got a job and needed to put him in day care.

My husband was opposed to that because he liked how things were and wasn’t willing to pay for it. I went ahead with getting employed and the majority of my paycheck goes to pay for the daycare. The rest is my car payment and a very little bit for savings.

Over the last few weeks my husband has been home more and acting depressed and I found out that his affair partner has dumped him. Now he’s acting like the past 3 years were normal and wants intimacy and regular relations with me.

I told him that our relationship was over when he stepped out of his marriage and he can go start a different affair if the first one didn’t pan out. He got angry about that and accused me of being a cold-hearted gold digger.

He put me through agony and hell and I am here because I love my son and want to be with him everyday not 50% of custody so I am dealing, but he believes he’s the wronged party here.

I have become accustomed to the situation and I am ok with us living separately like roommates and raising our son. I don’t care who he dates or loves or sleeps with. If things change down the line when my son is going to school and is less dependent on me or if I fall in love with someone then yeah I’d file for divorce.

If he wants a divorce that's ok too. I have consulted with a divorce lawyer already and I know I’ll get half of the equity in our house, half of his 401K and either child support or shared expenses into our son’s needs. Living in this house with our son is more convenient for me right now.

He is arguing that because I didn’t say anything when I found out about the affair, I have no right to bring it up now that it is over. My parents agree with him and say that since I chose to ignore the affair, it has no bearing on our relationship now.

My husband wants to go into marriage counseling, but I don’t see a point to that. The only two options acceptable to me are the status quo as is now or divorce. Does that make me an AH?

Here's what top commenters had to say about this one:

Glittering_Job_7996 said:

NTA. Please divorce him. Him and your parents are aholes I can’t believe your parent would want you to stay with someone who cheated.

HeatherReadsReddit said:

NTA You have your boundaries and he doesn’t want to respect them. Divorce him. You don’t want your son to grow up thinking that how his father acts is okay. Children often model their parents’ behavior; you don’t want him to be a selfish taker, nor do you want him to fall in love with someone who will cheat on him and be selfish. Leave as soon as your good divorce attorney tells you to.

Dragon_Bidness said:

NTA. I'm sorry your parents are trash.

Danube_Kitty said:

NTA. What is wrong with your parents? You do what is the best for you. Anyone who sides with your husband has no respect for you.

tabbycatt5 said:

NTA. Your marriage was effectively over when he screwed around. He ended it not you. You've moved on mentally and emotionally, he should of thought of that before he got his d^ck out. I don't think your position is viable long term but I don't condemn you for exploiting staying together to get yourself in a more financially stable place before you leave.

tabbycat4 said:

NTA. Everyone is going to tell you to leave and divorce him. But as you said you are ok with things as is. You aren't intimate with him and really have no relationship beyond co-parenting. So he can either file for divorce or accept the status quo. The ball is in his court. Just shut down an discussion about counseling or working things out and go about your business.

Do not move out till you absolutely have to in the event of divorce proceedings. Actually I'm gonna add some things. I'd go as far as to stop cooking for him if you are still doing that. Everything is out in the open, and he knows you know. You don't have to play happy housewife anymore. You have a job and are already paying for daycare. Take care of yourself and your baby and let him fend for himself.


We have been having non stop arguments. I tried disengaging and grey rocking but that didn't' help. He swings between love bombing and being around all the time, to yelling and raging at me. I agreed to couples counseling with the goal of having a better coparenting arrangement. He told the counselor he still wants the marriage to work out. We had some proper organized discussions, so that was useful.

We were both asked to lay out our resentments. Mine was the years long affair, obviously. I don't think anything beyond that needs to be said. But of course, there's the neglect, the lack of help, the absence from home and that I have to pay for our son's daycare without any contribution from him.

His list of resentments were a doozy. He says that I ruined his experience of becoming a father because I was difficult and neurotic. My painful pregnancy and medical complications were unnecessary drama to him. When we agreed that I'd be a SAHM till our son started school, he was envisioning a picture perfect home with a beautiful wife and child who cater to him.

He's upset the reality was nothing like that and is convinced that I tricked him. He's a selfish idiot, but he was also encouraged and enabled by people around him who talked this up, including my parents. I've always known that my parents didn't love me much but I have come to realize that they resent me and look down on me.

The first year of our son's life, he was a bit sickly (preemie and had acid reflux), so was clingy to me. He resents me for that too. Now that son's a healthy toddler that can run around and throw ball, he's more interested in engaging with him.

The whole thing was a pretty painful exercise for me. I restarted my own individual therapy. I had made myself numb to his actions (I grew up that way, thanks to my neglectful parents) and was ignoring issues to focus on my son, but my husband did a good job of opening up all the scabs. I learned a lot more than I wanted to about his affair partner too.

Now that I am physically recovered, lost a lot of weight (ironically from stress) and look well put together, I am good enough to be his partner again. Anyway, I've filed for divorce. I think it'll take a year and then some for it to go through. I'll stay here and not move out till we sell the house and divide assets.

Here's what top commenters had to say about the update:

Sudden_Basket6644 said:

I’m so effing proud of you. You did it. Leave him in the dust sis. I’m so sorry for all you went through.

lunar_adjacent said:

NTA. I cannot believe all of these people are gaslighting you like that. Your own parents? Stay strong mama. You have the right idea. Eventually though your son is going to get too big for you to sleep in the same room as him so plan ahead what you want to do when that time comes.

Also a marriage counselor is there for if a couple wants to work things out. You are clearly past that point and completely indifferent to the marriage, as you should be.

The first question a marriage counselor is going to ask is “do you want to work on staying in this marriage.” If you say no then they will just decline to help you. That’s not your problem. That’s his problem that he created.

Accordingtowho2021 said:

I'm so proud of you. You did what you had to do. He did what he wanted to do. The difference is, that he has lost his family while you are gaining a love for yourself. Stay strong.

mikesbabymomma81 said: didn't "ignore" the affair, you decided to focus on your child and gain independence. As you said you're not in the relationship anymore, you're co-parenting in a convenient situation!

He's the one that had the affair, so he needs to figure out how to come to terms with the fact that it's too late, and make the decision for his next move. As for your parents, well they're AHs and so is your roommate!

Medical-Potato5920 said:

NTA. He is the one that had the affair, he is the one that broke his marriage vows. He is the AH, not you. You knew about the affair, but you didn't think you were in a position to leave.

Sometimes people do things that are unforgiveable, his affair is unforgiveable to you. You recognise that you are never going to be able to rebuild that trust. He had an affair while you were struggling. He should have been there to support you and he wasn't. That's not something that I could get over either. He made his bed and he can deal with the consequences.

Medical-Potato5920 said:

I was so concerned you were going to stay with this jerk. The last line, I was like YESSSSS!! I would rather be a single mother than be with someone like your husband (or soon to be ex).

All of his resentments are just so incredibly selfish and he was cheating on you. You owe this man nothing and the quicker you are divorced the better. And I would consider going NC with your parents. They sound like absolute aholes.

Everyone unanimously agreed with OP for this one. What's your advice for this couple?

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