Agony Aunt Annie offers advice to a reader whose husband is cheating, lying AND greedy too…

Dear Annie

My husband and I have been separated for six weeks, and are in the process of a divorce after twelve years of marriage. We have two daughters, aged 11 and seven.

He moved out of our family home after much arguing and unhappiness

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The girls stay with me in the week and go to him on weekends. The problem is that he is already in a new relationship and the girls can’t stand her. They’re reluctant to spend time with him because the new girlfriend is always there. They never get to see him alone and they feel like they have been replaced. He says that they are just friends.

Our marriage contract is written in a way that if either partner cheats while we’re still married, there are heavy financial penalties for the guilty person. My husband has formalised our separation legally with the intent to divorce as soon as possible. As long as he can maintain that the new woman is just his friend, he fulfills the legal requirements.

Our marriage contract is written in a way that if either partner cheats while we’re still married, there are heavy financial penalties for the guilty person

My 11-year-old is taking our separation very hard and is angry most of the time

She feels that her father has betrayed her by leaving us. The last weekend that the girls were with him she snooped in his room and went on his cell phone. She knows the password.

She found proof that her father and the woman were in a relationship a few months before he said that he wanted out of the marriage. They had even spent an X-rated weekend together. She said the texts sent to each other were so gross and included naked pictures of the woman.

Her dad claimed that he had a business trip and my daughter remembers the weekend as she was so disappointed that he could not watch her first hockey match. He had told her that if it were at all possible he would have been there. She is so angry that he lied to her and that he had a different priority.

She found proof that her father and the woman were in a relationship a few months before he said that he wanted out of the marriage

My husband has always been very shrewd with finances, and although I came to the marriage with a large sum of money that I had inherited, he always controlled the purse strings.

All purchases that I wanted to make had to go through him first. I had a household budget that I had to carefully budget to make work.

He would of course spend frivolously, always claiming it was in work or in the family’s best interest. He was very dictating about how we should live, what I should cook, wear, do etc. Eventually I valued peace more than choice and so I learnt to just go with it.

Since he moved out, I am barely making ends meet. He is in an upmarket flat living the high life

I decided to confront him about the affair and text messages as I know that will mean that my financial settlement will give me back my original inheritance, and I will be able to provide for the girls and myself.

When I confronted him, he denied everything and then said I am free to check his phone. I did that and all the messages have been wiped clean! He scolded my daughter for snooping and denied what she claimed to have seen, saying that she’s just acting out because she is angry.

My daughter is so hurt and angry and refuses to see him. He has forced her to go and she refused to speak or eat the entire time that she was there.

He has become even meaner with money now and he has a very expensive attorney. He says that I must prepare to lose everything.

Please can you advise me… I’m so scared that I will lose our home and the girls.
Love
Fran

Dear Fran

Thank you for your letter. It sounds like you had a very thrifty marriage… from your side anyway. Your ex sounds a tad self centered, like a twelve out of ten on the ‘I’m a narcissist scale’.

Now that you have no one to guide you, I assume that you’re running about in your pyjamas all day, watching series and eating cereal for supper and peanut butter out of the jar with spoons….I certainly hope so.

You have given a decade of your life to man who wanted to play Barbie, complete with dress-up, and now it seems that he has moved onto Blonde Barbie. Good luck to her.

You need to take your independence back and make choices for yourself and your daughters. Now is your chance!

I am sorry that your marriage has ended and the girls will have to make huge adjustments

It will be painful for them and they will also need support. Perhaps providing them with the opportunity to see a child therapist will help them to process their loss and these changes.

For you, I’d like to suggest some off-budget retail therapy, but of course I’d never do that. Get yourself a good divorce lawyer who can fight for what’s in your best interest. Just because he deleted his sexting doesn’t mean that it no longer exists in cyberspace. Your daughter has, by legal definition, been exposed to pornography, having viewed those pictures.

This man has been treating you like a child for far too long

It’s time to stomp your foot and say: “You’re not the boss of me”. Let a lawyer help you take back what is rightly yours, as you choose your own (newly-bought) clothes to wear.

As dear Dr Phil says, you teach people how to treat you. Seems your ex is a decade behind in his lessons.

You are beautiful!

Love and blessings
Annie