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Man accused of 'gaslighting' after 'tricking' wife into telling him about her affair to get more in the divorce.

Man accused of 'gaslighting' after 'tricking' wife into telling him about her affair to get more in the divorce.

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Man asks if he was wrong to trick wife before divorcing her?

PearIndependent6020 writes:

I've (34M) been married to Alice (33F) for seven years now, the last 2 years have been completely dead bedroom with Alice being extremely closed off. I tried to start date nights, but she would cancel them. Tried to start couples therapy, and again, she would cancel appointments day of. I did, however, start independent therapy which has helped a lot.

Overall, she has been extremely frigid. I would get home and she would just tear me apart, judge everything from how crooked my shoes are in the shoe cubby to how salty dinner is when I cook it. And before you ask, yes, she does work. I also do the majority of the cooking(I find cooking relaxing/therapeutic).

After two years of this, I finally decided to talk to a lawyer and get my options. Alice seemed as miserable as I do, so I talked to a lawyer about how a straight down the middle split divorce would look. Basically, we would have to sell the house, each one keeps a car, and we split the equity of the house, each of us keeping our own retirement accounts.

I am fine with this, and I asked the lawyer to start writing it up. Alice in the past had some issues with her temper, so I made sure to record the conversation on my phone, just in case. Well, two months ago was when I sat her down and told her I was thinking and neither of us have been happy for a long time, we should just pull off the bandaid and get divorced.

Alice then shocked me with her first question. "How long did you know?" I didn't know what she thought I knew, but I played along and said since the beginning. "You knew for half a year and didn't say anything?"

I have to say, I was very emotionally divorced from this woman already, partially thanks to a good amount of therapy, so I kept playing along. I asked why him of all people.

She then spilled her guts that 'Frank' was there for her and everyone else in the office found him charming. Frank was her boss, so now I had more. We danced around more and she handed her phone over to me defeated thinking that I already knew the worst. I took screenshots of their conversations and forwarded to my email. Alice wasn't crying, she wasn't begging, but she did act 'sad'.

She packed up a bag of stuff and left. I took the recording and the screenshots and sent them to my lawyer. After a brief phone call with my lawyer, we decided to not go with the 'clean split', but instead I keep the house, the cars, and whatever is in the joint accounts.

Papers were drafted and sent to her, which she has not contested with her thinking I had a mountain of evidence of her infidelity. Divorce is now underway, with just the clock running until the final decree. The problem starts when my sister Sam(31F) bumped into Alice in the grocery store.

I talked to Sam about the marital problems and how I wanted a clean split. I didn't, however, tell her about the adultery. Alice told her that she cheated and Sam was confused.

Sam called me last night, asking if I knew Alice was cheating when I got a lawyer. I told her, no I didn't, Alice volunteered the information when I asked for a divorce and I played along to get more info.

Sam said she was disappointed in me using 'mind games' to trick Alice into agreeing to a less than even split in the divorce. Sam said it was stunts like these that are borderline 'gaslighting'. So, I got to ask, should I have kept with the even split divorce?

OP provided some extra context:

We live in a state that allows both no fault divorce and fault divorce, and there is a prenup with a cheating clause involved. I originally sought to do a no-fault even split, basically wash our hands of this sham, get on with our lives.

We're not going to try an unrealistic 90/10 either. In the end, it will be more 65/35. She had a lawyer read and agree to the settlement, which she had signed. Like I said, now we're waiting out the clock; our state has provisions on 'cool-off periods'.

I didn't have papers ready or drafted when I talked to Alice. With how miserable she was, I figured she would want the split as well. No idea why my sister is so hung up on the 'dishonesty' I had to 'trick' Alice.

Here are the top comments from the post:

bhyellow says:

You didn’t “trick” her. She mistakenly spilled the beans on herself. Your sister is a traitor.

virtualchoirboy says:

NTA (Not the A%^#ole). The extra money you're getting out of the divorce are going to help with the extra therapy you're going to want to help you process all the signs you missed. At least, that's the answer I would give to Sam.

l3ex_G says:

NTA is your sister okay? She finds out your wife cheated on you and then said she’s disappointed that you played mind games? I hope she isn’t married.

NaturesVividPictures says:

NTA. I'd flip it around on your sister. So, if your husband was cheating, and it was obvious you were both miserable in your marriage, and you confronted him and told him you wanted a divorce, and he asked you how long did you know, and then confessed to cheating on you for the past 6 months or more, wouldn't you want a more than 50/50 split of all marital assets?

After all, he's the one who stepped out of the marriage. Yeah, I don't think she'd be so fair if that were the case and it happened to her.

Crimsonwolf_83 says:

NTA and never tell your sister anything of importance again.

What do you think? Was OP right to trick his ex-wife?

Sources: Reddit
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