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Woman demands immediate separation/co-parenting; 'I am NOT working on this marriage.' AITA? UPDATED 3X

Woman demands immediate separation/co-parenting; 'I am NOT working on this marriage.' AITA? UPDATED 3X


When this woman has completely given up on her marriage, she asks the internet:

"AITAH 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. 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?

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

kylos87 writes:

He chose to cheat on you and that drastically harmed your relationship. Trust is gone. Intimacy is long gone. If all you have left is a marital roof over your head and the ability to raise your kid in a safe environment until they are older- because as he said, that is your job- then what else are you supposed to cling to?

You’re supposed to just be pleased he’s available again and wants your body? Now he sees what f around and find out gets him.You only get what you put into things. He put in no effort to honor your marriage and invested his romantic energy into other women.

And if you had confronted him about the cheating when you discovered it- what difference would it have made? Doesn’t matter if he had se% with someone else 1 or 100 times, the one time did the irreversible damage.

He would have what? Stopped the affair? Seen the light??? Loved you harder for catching him dishonoring you? So what. All words. He made his bed, now he can lie in it- alone. NTA.

rara writes:

NTA. You have to do what you can live with emotionally and what you can financially afford to do realistically.

I dont know what your education or prior job experience is to be able to tell you if you are T A for not saying anything and stay with the cheating asshole. I also cant tell you what to do without that information either.

I mean if you are in NYC and the best you can earn is min wage that is way different than you being a neurosurgeon in Atlanta.

Hate to say it but what your earning potential and the cost of living was a factor and is still a factor. Things cost money. When you dont have money you dont have a lot of choices. That doesnt make you a gold digger. He is the person who is wrong in this situation.

Do what is best for you and your kid. What works for him does not matter.

pmarriage writes:

Yta if you stay in this marriage, not just because the impact it has on you but the impact it has on your child. It's better to be a child of divorce than to be a child in a loveless home whose only ideal of a marriage is betrayal, coldness & bitterness from one or both parents.

Yes your situation is more comfortable but you're doing serious damage to everyone by staying. Please divorce. Your child deserves to see stable parents growing up, and neither of you is currently providing a stable example.

mightymycroft writes:

NTA - That's not how it works. He wants to go to marriage counseling? Why? For what "Marriage"? Dude checked the f out for three years and now he wants to pretend like nothing happened?

Even if he HADN'T been be in a marriage, you have to BE THERE! He literally ignored you for three years and he didn't even NOTICE that you were GONE! It also seems abit weird of him to call you a gold digger when the only thing he ever actually pays for is the home and the kid.

OP, to me it sounds like your REAL problem is with your job, and i don't mean that the problem is that you have one at all. You got a job and are only making enough money to pay someone else to do what you were doing before (raise your kids) and get a car.

The problem isn't that you are trying to become more independent, THAT part is a good thing, anything which increases your capacity for financial independence at this stage can only be a good thing.

You "Work to earn the right to work". What exactly are you getting from this job? A car? You only use your car to go to work.

Paying someone else to watch your kids? You were doing a better job of that yourself for free! You are literally LIVING "The Fine Print" (look the song up if you haven't heard it, banging tune, you will not regret it. It's like, the song of our generation).

For you to benefit from having a job, you need to be bringing in enough money that you are benefitting from it in some, noticeable way. Right now i just don't see how it's improved your life at all.

You would probably be better off getting a divorce and living off the alimony to the best of your ability to go back to school. I know college is a pain but if you weren't already doing some kind of college degree job, you could just spend a few months learning one of the trades.

The demand in that industry is currently VERY high, wages are getting better every day and there's plenty of stuff that isn't hard to learn how to do. Most people aren't doing it because they've been conditioned to think it's beneath them.

But that's just my two cents, maybe the other redditors have better advice.=

And now, some of OP's comments:

I have looked into it but its such a messy process and I dont even have enough time to sleep. On top of that the complication of finding another place to live. It doesn't benefit me I think to do that right now. But if he does all the work then I'll just sign the paperwork (with my lawyer of course). But starting it all myself feels daunting.

I don't think he'd hurt me physically ... but then I never imagined he'd cheat on me like this or abandon me after I gave birth so what do I know.

I am LC with my parents because they are like this. He reached out to them and I know they are not right but its hard to ignore doubts.

Would I be morally wrong if I stick around for another few years so I have 100% custody and also comfortable living while my baby is so little? He is saying that me not confronting him about this affair and wanting to be a co-parent not a wife makes me a gold digger.

I am making 60% of what I was making before I quit my job. Office job in marketing, not lucrative but I had a career. I am struggling to crawl back into the same place. It'll take time for me to compensate for the gap in my resume. I can't afford housing in a good school district with what I make now.

I hear what you are saying, but I have to weigh this against high rent prices and child care costs.

Right now I feel that having access to a good school with its own after school program, safe low crime area close to work and not having to worry about rent increases gives me a much better chance...

of improving my career and being much more financially secure a few years from now. Whereas, I'll be a struggling mother on my own with fewer resources for my kid if I leave right now.

I have talked to different lawyers and have an estimate for lawyer fee retainer and a range of how much this could cost me. It's a LOT and I can't afford it while I am paying for daycare. Once my son is old enough to be in school, then hopefully with a bigger income it is something I'll be able to do.

I have taken legal advice and there is no alimony in my state and the child support calculator has not caught up to cost of living changes and inflation. I can get a decent amount of money in equity of the house and 401K split...

but it is possible that he'll fight on that out of spite and I may end up spending as much on lawyers fighting for it as I might get out of it. And even that will take 2 or more years to resolve.

If I divorce, the amount of CS I can get will help with utilities and expenses but only partially towards rent. I'll still need a job to afford housing and half of day care. I'd love to go back to school, but I am not able to fund it with a baby in tow.

Thank you for the advice, what you are saying is correct and I'll keep looking into college affordability.

sfhywre writes:

NTA. You have every right to your feelings and actions. If he wants to divorce, let him. You are doing this in best interest for your child and your own capacities.

Sidenot: When the therapist of my wife told us stories of other fathers I thought she was exaggerating. But here you are with an exact example how some men are. SAHM doesn’t mean all the load and childcare imo.

My wife does her best, and I do what I can when I’m there. And honestly, I don’t have the time nor energy (let alone motivation) for an affair. That in itself shows how little he did, (plus the affair), and with this all his arguments are worthless.

I came to every ultrasound, about half the therapy sessions, cooked and did the household, while still working 100%, 2/3 of the pregnancy and 2 months after. Now my wife does more and more, but I still do alot whenever I am home.

Like cooking, feeding the baby, playing with the baby, also laundry, and depending on situations whatever the mother of my child needs. That being said, not everyone has the same capacities, and energy levels.

So yes a setup with a SAHM that does everything can work, but a partner who can’t see what their beloved needs, (plus the affair), will never work.

So he can try to milk a dead cow, or beat a dead horse, but none of this is your responsibility or problem really.

And now, OP's major update (1 month later):

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.

Update 2:

Our counselor tries to put everything as a question instead of making statements. At one point he asked him why he thinks my mother, who only saw me twice throughout my pregnancy, has a better understanding of my medical needs than the OB-gyn who was treating me.

He kept arguing that I was exaggerating the Drs concerns, even though I had the printed notes of diagnosis and Dr recommendations.

My mother has a long history of avoiding doing anything for me by being dismissive, so things affecting me are never important enough or problematic enough to involve any work from her. My husband knows she's like this, but still ran with it as see even your mother thinks you were making things up.

Update 3:

No, it was more like he thought the baby wanting to be with me and not reaching out for him was something I was training him to do. I followed a certain method to hold our son right after feedings to minimize discomfort from his gerd symptoms and his Dad just wouldn't get the hang of it.

So obviously the baby wants to be with the one giving him comfort vs the Dad who wanted to bounce him and worsen his gastro pains. But my husband was determined to find fault so that has to be my fault, not the lack of care from him.

That's something I don't understand myself. We were pretty happy together before I got pregnant. He was a helpful loving husband very excited about becoming a father.

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

Sources: Reddit
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