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Man goes through wife's computer and finds divorce papers; 'I am in shock.' AITA? UPDATED

Man goes through wife's computer and finds divorce papers; 'I am in shock.' AITA? UPDATED

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When this man is upset with his wife, he asks the internet:

"I found out my wife is looking up divorce papers. AITA?"

My wife is looking up divorce papers. I'm (30M) freaking out. I thought we had a happy marriage. We've been married for 6 years and dating for 10. Edit: We started dating when I was 20 and she was 23.

My wife (33F) and I have always been very open with each other. We share passwords and have never hidden anything. When we have disagreements we get through it together.

We've never screamed or yelled at each other. We're in couples and individual therapy, not because of anything wrong with our relationship but because we want to make sure that we're happy. My wife always says better prevention than cure.

Yesterday, she left her laptop open and I saw she was looking up new york divorce papers and how to see if someone was cheating and some subreddits. There was 5 or 6 six tabs open.

I pretended I didn't see anything and but went into the bathroom and threw up. I've been shaking in anxiety and my wife has noticed I haven't left her side and she's asked me if anything was wrong.

Readers I've NEVER cheated and never even thought of cheating. I don't even watch stuff. I don't even know how she could think I would betray her like this.

If it's the opposite and she's cheating, I don't even know how she would do it because even if she didn't love me she doesn't even have the time.

I checked her phone and computer and she doesn't have anything previously downloaded, there's nothing fishy and nothing suggesting even an emotional affair.

She's been incredibly affectionate. She loves me and would never hurt me. So it's me she thinks.

I have a part time bakery catering business I run from home and she works from home for literally 70-80 hour work weeks and is the breadwinner. We haven't left each other's side and I love it that way. Covid was actually good for us because we could spend so much time together.

My wife is the love of my life. I'm in the process of being diagnosed and looking at symptoms online I'm pretty sure she's my Favorite Person (FP). It's unhealthy but she's never complained about me being clingy or overbearing. I don't know why she would want a divorce.

I'm afraid to talk to her about it because what if she starts thinks of divorcing me and realizes that she's so much better and deserves so much more and just leaves. I feel like like somehow talking about the d word will manifest it and ruin all the happiness I have. I wished I never saw it.

Today she joked that we'd literally melt together because I haven't stopped holding her all morning. I'm afraid that I'll fall asleep and she'll disappear from my life.

Edit: I know I need to talk to my wife. This is a vent thread and as someone who has anxiety and possible BPD, I'm very grateful for the empathetic and actionable comments.

My wife and I decided together, after she suggested it, to have me work part time. I run a catering business from home. I do all of the housework. My wife works in a demanding field...

and part of the reason for the long hours is all the pro bono work that she does. I'm very proud of her and though I wish she cut back on hours for her own health, I would never dream of asking her to quit a job she loves and has a positive impact on.

I have literally never yelled at my wife much less yelled at her for not baking (?!) My wife does not bake. She does not lift a finger in our house.

Edit: Thanks again for all the support. I'm talking with her tonight (or maybe tomorrow morning). My wife has a pretty big project at work she needs to finish and that's no time to have a conversation.

Edit: Logically I know she might be researching for a friend of hers, but mentally and emotionally my brain is screaming that she forgot to close the window that she's leaving me and I'll never be with the love of my life again. Right now I'm leaving her to work and just watching some random show.

Before we give you OP's update, let's take a look at some of the top responses:

dapperbull66 writes:

Everyone else has addressed the cause here, but I want to help y'all deal with the symptoms. Your anxiety is understandable, however irrational it may be. Do you have chamomile tea in the house? If so, brew some up and let it steep for at least 15 minutes. Drink it slowly; don't rush.

If you have a bathtub, fill it with water at ~ 35 ºC/95 ºF (very slightly warm to the touch; use your elbow, not your hands, to check temperature), and sit in it for 20-30 minutes.

Put on some gentle music that you like; personally I'd recommend classical harp, classical guitar, or Renaissance lute music. If you need to, get an audiobook or something going, and just focus on that.

Don't forget to keep taking deep, slow breaths to help calm that fight or flight response. Whatever is going on, you can make it through. You're strong enough to make it through even the worst possible outcome. And also recognize that the worst possible outcome is not very likely.

I live with autism, and sometimes stuff gets to be too much. These things have really helped me in the past. I hope they help you, too.

jexorcist writes:

I had a coworker who was CERTAIN he would be fired (there were no complaints, no hints, no discernible shred of a reason he would be fired, he hadn’t even been talked to or written up).

So he started getting his ‘ducks in line’…which meant he would act super paranoid and defensive.

It went so far that he tried to secretly download a keystrokes logger on a few work computers so he could see EXACTLY what complaints or comments about him said. EVEN THOUGH THERE WERE NO COMPLAINTS.

That is until IT noticed the logger and supervisors started putting everything together with his recent abnormal behavior.

He was so worried about being blindsided by firing that he created multiple reasons to fire him. This is what you’re doing.

Your clinging and anxiety, your inability to talk to your spouse out of ‘what if’ is going to be 100 times more harmful and dangerous than whatever it is your brain is imagining.

You need to step back and talk to your therapist and THEN your partner before you do something too obsessive and clingy that forces her to leave.

anteater76 writes:

Listen, OP. You and you wife are in counseling, both individual and couples. If things were going this badly for her, don’t you think something would’ve come up in your sessions?

The reality is, she’s likely either trying to help a friend, or she’s thinks you might be cheating.

If it’s the latter, she may have left those searches up for you to find, so you 100% need to bring this up in your next session.

You may think not knowing is better than knowing, but you’re wrong. Not knowing will leave you riddled with anxiety and behaving strangely, and any reasons she may have for this hypothetical divorce will only grow stronger unaddressed.

Worst case scenario, she tells you why she’s been thinking of leaving and you now know what you can actually try to address and work towards resolution.

Letting yourself be consumed by this knowledge and leaving her with issues is the worst possible option you could take. If this has nothing to do with any real issues in your relationship, you allowing yourself to keep this from your partner will create a disconnect that didn’t exist before. Sorry if my advice is unsolicited, but talk to your wife.

creezall writes:

I have BPD and I can only imagine how much seeing that has played on your fear of abandonment. There are many times that I let my insecurities and past experiences cloud my reality. I have to look at things logically to remind myself what's reality and what's not.

For example, the other day I asked my husband to clean the a/c vent for me. He asked me to check behind him and he'd only half way cleaned it. I got irritated and finished it myself.

After I calmed down, I thought about it. In the 7 years we've been together, he's never pulled the "weaponized incompetence" bs. That's not who he is. So I talked to him about it.

I told him, "I'm feeling frustrated because it seems like you didn't try to clean it". What I hadn't thought about was the fact that he's in desperate need of new glasses and keeps putting it off.

He couldn't see in the vent to clean it properly. That's why he asked me to check behind him. I apologized for getting irritated and not talking to him about it and giving him a chance to explain first. He apologized for the miscommunication. He didn't mean for me to take over and didn't explain that he couldn't see to clean it.

I also reminded him again to get his glasses taken care of, but I'm sure he's forgotten again. Look at your relationship objectively. If everything seems great, it probably is. Remind yourself that your perception isn't always reality.

That way, you can go into the discussion calmly (or at least a little calmer). I agree with others saying that it's likely she's doing some research for someone else.

juniorsubstance7 writes:

There is nothing wrong with loving your spouse so much, but is there a fine line between love and clingyness? Maybe. I'm not going to lie, you do sound a bit clingy, but that doesn't sound like something someone would get divorced over if you guys are both so happy together.

I honestly don't know why someone would need couples counseling when you are so happy together. It doesn't make sense for your pockets. I would think something IS wrong when you NEED to make sure you both are happy together. You can't figure that out on your own?

It's healthier to get some hobbies and friends outside the relationship, but if the dynamic you have going on with your wife is working out fine, then okay.

Look, the only way you're going to get to the bottom of this is by asking her directly. Bite the bullet and ask her yourself. You've already snooped and found nothing else, so ask.

You can say, "Babe, can we talk, I'm feeling uneasy about something? The other day you left your laptop open and I just went over to move some things and close it for you. I didn't mean to snoop, but you left the page open where it talked about getting divorce papers. Is there something I should know?"

Look, if your relationship is as solid as you seem to think it is, then you should have no issues talking to her when you're literally tied by the hip. Don't be afraid to get a scary answer because whether it is what you want to hear or not it's better to put this heaviness to rest.

If you find out that everything is okay, maybe it's best you both sit down and talk to each other and not a therapist about boundaries. Does your wife like all this clingyness, maybe she let's it happen because you love it so much and doesn't want to hurt you.

Not everyone loves the same. Besides, my own personal opinion is that what you are doing by constantly being all over her sounds a bit unhealthy and like you are obsessively attached. You're co dependent and that is not always a good thing.

Whatever happens, good luck.

And now, OP's update:

I just want to say I'm very grateful for everyone's love and support. Last night, my wife asked me if anything was wrong. She was finally done with work, so I asked her why she had tabs full of divorce information.

It wasn't for a friend or family or anyone we knew. The divorce tabs was because she recently read a "cozy mystery" with a divorce-turned-murder and thought it was so bad and unrealistic that she could write one better.

My wife is an avid reader (me not so much) and likes to read mystery novels, though I secretly think it's because she can complain about them to me. I read some of it this morning and my wife's short story is better than most movies to be honest. I could see her becoming an author when we retire.

I struggle with my mental health and though my wife has been through trauma she's a stronger person than me. Though I knew logically that she was looking for some other reason than our relationship...

mentally and emotionally my brain was screaming at me that she was going to leave and I was going to lose the love of my life. I have (suspected) BPD and my wife is my FP and my soulmate. I know some of my behavior is unhealthy but it's an uphill struggle. It doesn't help that my wife is the most amazing selfless loving person I know.

I was the product of a one night stand to two parents who didn't want me. Neither of them had steady jobs or relationships or really any desire to parent. If I was too much of a burden for my dad, he'd drop me off to my moms...

who wouldn't be home. I'd be locked outside her apartment until she came home at 2am. There'd be nothing in the fridge.

School wasn't much better. I was the weird short kid with long greasy hair and two day old clothes and I was relentlessly bullied. When I was 14, I was finally taken away by my maternal grandparents, who didn't have a relationship with my mom.

Though they loved me, they couldn't really take care of me because they were old. We lived in a tiny house stuffed full of useless things. When I was 19, my grandma died. Lung cancer. I think my grandpa died then too. He stopped eating properly. They were deeply in love.

I met my wife when my grandpa was dying of heart disease. I was 20 and she was 23. She worked as a consultant and had been working 90+ hours. We met a mutual friend for lunch, and he introduced us.

After lunch, we ended up spending the whole day and night together just talking. It was amazing. I felt bad because her parents yelled at her for not calling them that night. I asked her out the next day and she said yes.

My grandpa died a month later. She helped me with the funeral and came over to help clean the house without me even asking. For the first time, I could actually see the walls of the house I lived in.

My mom wanted the inheritance. My grandparents didn't leave any inheritance, just debt, and a house my mom didn't want. She didn't even care about me. My wife got me a lawyer friend to keep my mom away. My mom didn't even care once she found out there was no money. My wife supported me through it all.

A few months later my wife said she was going to her home country for a visit. Her grandmother was sick. The first day she called. and then for a month, there was radio silence. I thought my wife got tired of me and I hated myself for burdening her. It was a bad spiral.

Finally, there was a call and she asked me if I could help find where she was and how to get to the nearest airport. Her parents had hidden away her passport and she was sure she was going to be married off.

She stole back her US passport. Her job paid for her flight back even though they had previously fired her for not checking in for two weeks. I met her at the airport. She looked so tired.

Our next date night, she looked better but I had a feeling something was wrong. I followed her and she was going to a women's shelter. Her parents had cleared out her bank account and she didn't have a place to stay. I told my wife she could live with me at my grandparents house, and it wasn't a burden.

She tried to do all the chores and pay rent at the same time but I was just happy she was with me. Though it's twisted, I was secretly kind of thrilled that she ran away from the marriage. To me, it felt like she chose me over her parents. Her parents tried to track her down. We got married and they cut her off for good.

Like me she didn't get much physical affection growing up either. She was expected to get great grades and clean up after everyone because she was a girl. There was physical abuse.

Education was a way for her to be more marriageable, that's why they agreed to let her to get a job while going to grad school. Once she finished, she would be married off to an older man and be a housewife. She didn't want that.

We had to build up our finances from the ground up. My wife likes experts who tell us what to do with our money, our relationship, our house remodeling, because she wants us to be happy. I'm terrified of losing her, that some day she'll realize that she could have something better, because I need her so much.

People on the thread have told me I'm too clingy. that my wife secretly hate that. Now when I hold on to my wife or rest my head on her chest or lap, I wonder if she's lying that she loves that. That she's just tolerating me.

I talked with my therapist and he told me of some techniques to get my anxiety under control and some techniques for BPD, as he is CBT therapist. I still have my diagnosis coming up in 5 months. My wife loves me and she's not leaving me.

What do YOU make of OP's story? Any advice for him?


Sources: Reddit
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