Recently Separated Woman Just Wants the Truth

By Jackie Pilossoph, Founder, Divorced Girl Smiling, the place to find trusted, vetted divorce professionals, a podcast, website and mobile app.


Divorced Girl Smiling received this e-mail from a recently separated woman, and honestly, it hurt my heart.

My husband of twelve years and I have been separated for a little more than two months and divorce is only around the corner. I’m working hard to stay positive and healthy both for myself and for my children. Just when I think I’m over it, my heart goes right to his emotional infidelity with an office co-worker and I struggle to let it go. He will not admit any wrongdoing, but I know differently. I am unsure of the extent of it, but incessant texting/calling after work hours, a passcode on his phone, and then the deletion of his/hers text strands. This was all going on prior to our separation; we were having problems but I feel that his involvement with her has accelerated our divorce and left him unwilling to work on our marriage. I know that he is spending time with her but he refuses to be honest about it. How do I move on gracefully and let this go, especially when my husband refuses to take responsibility? He claims that he needs his space, but I fear that what he needs is to be with her and not me.

First of all, I’d give you a hug if I could. I’m so sorry you are going through this.

I have a few things to say to you that I think might help. The first is, it’s only been two months. Do you know how short of a time that is? Besides the fact that I highly doubt “divorce is around the corner” (most cases I know take at least a year), I think you need to give yourself a break. “Staying positive and healthy” is wonderful, but when you say, “Just when I think I’m over it,” I’m thinking, ‘In two months, you’re not over it.’ How could you be over a 12 year marriage in two months? No one could be.

I’m not telling you to sit by and play the victim and wallow in your divorce, yet I want you to be kind to yourself. It’s healthy to grieve it and to admit that you are deeply hurt. Cry all you want. Please don’t hold it in (except in front of your kids.)

Here’s the part that is frustrating. You don’t have real proof, but you know in your heart that your soon-to-be ex is leaving for someone else. Sure, maybe you two had your problems, but he didn’t make a move to divorce until he met someone he likes. Right? I’m not saying that SHE is the reason he’s leaving, but she gave him the push he needed to walk out the door.

“He won’t admit any wrongdoing but I know differently,” you write. That must be driving you NUTS! It would anyone. In your heart, you know he had an affair (or even an emotional affair) but he won’t ever admit it. EVER. Do you realize that? In 20 years from now, if you ask him, I doubt he will fess up. So, just accept it. In your heart, you know the truth. Isn’t that all that matters? His dishonesty is HIS problem, not yours.

I love how you ask, “how do I move on gracefully?” That shows maturity, class, and insight. That means you want to take the high road and move on, and not become one of those angry, bitter people who plays the victim forever. Which also means, you will eventually have a great life again, probably one you never expected with someone you truly adore and who adores you. I know that sounds like I’m jumping too far ahead, but I just feel it. I really do.

Lastly, if he “needs to be with her” right now, just let it happen. You have no control over what HE does.

I remember when I was first separated, my ex began a serious relationship with someone and it drove me INSANE. I obsessed about it all the time, and always let myself think, ‘He must be blissfully happy.’ Looking back, I wasted so much time going to those negative thoughts, when I should have been focusing on myself and my kids more. Nothing good can come from fantasizing about your ex and his new, perfect relationship. Trust me, it’s not perfect and it’s EARLY. Really early. Just wait.  My ex and his girlfriend ended up breaking up six months later, by the way.

Here’s my closing advice. Take one day at a time. Really take time to enjoy your kids, enjoy little things in life. Also, focus on your financial future and making sure you and your children are provided for, both by your ex and your professional career. And lastly, let yourself grieve until you are tired of it. Get support from your family and closest girlfriends. And what will happen is, the days of crying will become less and less. You go from crying every day to every other day and then every other week and then once a month and then less.

Best wishes to you for a really really happy future.

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    Jackie Pilossoph

    Editor-in-chief: Jackie Pilossoph

    Jackie Pilossoph is the Founder of Divorced Girl Smiling, the media company that connects people facing with divorce to trusted, vetted divorce professionals. Pilossoph is a former NBC affiliate television journalist and Chicago Tribune/Pioneer Press features reporter. Her syndicated column, Love Essentially was published in the Chicago Tribune/Pioneer Press and Tribune owned publications for 7 1/2 years. Pilossoph holds a Masters degree in journalism from Boston University. Learn more at:

    5 Responses to “Recently Separated Woman Just Wants the Truth”

    1. Bill

      I truly feel for this person. Since I am currently going through the same thing. Difference is my wife is the one who cheated with someone at work. But she did the exact same things to me. She would hide her conversations on her phone. She would pretend that she is doing nothing wrong.
      I agree with everything Jackie is saying. But I have to say it isn’t easy. I find myself deeply depressed and thinking maybe we can still work things out but in the end the facts remain and I can’t look at her the same way. My wife threw away 10 years of marriage for a 6 month fling. For all I know it is still happening. She won’t say. She says she isn’t but how would I know right…. But that is neither here nor there. What matters now is how I conduct myself and what I need to do to take care of my daughter. Right now she is my main focus. I know it is going to be difficult and I know that she will eventually figure what is going on but I am doing my very best to make sure she is happy and healthy. We’ve been spending a lot of time with my parents. I figure the more time we are there with them the more she’ll feel at home when we are there later on…. We’ve just started the process of divorce… it’s 3 months till the court date… I am hoping and praying that we don’t see the inside of the court room.
      I told my wife one night that our situation isn’t unique. I told her there are others in a situation very similar to us… Life is truly what you make of it. People handle things very differently. Some find a way through it. Some work together because they want to fight for what they believe in. Then there are the ones who just give up… Even when I found out my wife cheated on me instead of just giving up I chose to fight. I had a hard time coming to terms with it and I had a hard time trying to get over it. I felt she didn’t want to put in the effort to help me heal from this. For all I know she didn’t want to bother. In the end what I need to do is heal and move on with my life and make a better life for myself and my daughter. No one said it would be easy but then no one said that life was easy either right?

    2. Cheryl

      Thank you for your supportive messages, it helps to know that I’m not alone. Jackie, you’re right, for me to think that I would be over this so quickly is naive. My words should have reflected my acceptance of the situation, not my getting over it. I am taking steps to secure myself financially, in that regard I am fortunate to be educated and have a solid teaching career to focus on. Thank you for pointing out that his lack of discretion and honesty are his issues and not mine, all I can do is move forward and conduct myself in such a way that would make my children proud. He continues to contact me, wanting to be friends, I declined the offer. I feel good around my friends and they’re honest and loyal.. He does not fit that bill. I may sound cold towards him, but I’m in self preservation mode. I am hopeful for a bright future without him, I just need to keep him out of my head. Your reference to second firsts has been helpful. Good luck Bill, wishing you all the best 🙂

    3. Lucy

      Hi Cheryl,
      My situation is very similar to your own.
      Last February I found out my husband was having an emotional affair with my 10 year old Daughters Best Friends Mother. A woman who was also posing as my friend.

      I was devestated. through our entire relationship I had always let him know how important I our emotional bond was. Two weeks later Just when I was trying to get my head around it all my mother was diagnosed with Terminal Cancer.

      In order to cope with this I tried to carry on and work through it.
      My husband said he done nothing wrong, that he wasn’t interested in her that it was all in my head. He wouldn’t apologise or acknowlege how hurt I was. If i brought it up he would say he was over it and nothing had happened.

      To make matters worse my Mother in law continued to be close friends with her regardless of how I felt. Even taking my kids out with her and her own kids. My daughter would tell me when she got home.
      My husband never said a thing.

      This woman left her husband in February this year.
      This April we separated. He said he was depressed and needed time to think. A couple of weeks later he told me he didn’t want to be with me anymore and from that point on has blamed me for everything wrong with his life. He won’t talk to me and when he drops the kids off he keeps the car running.

      Last week my daughter came home and said They’d had lunch with Daddy and the woman, they surprisingly ran into her and the kids. And on the Sunday they had a picnic together where we used to go as a family.

      It was the final twist of the knife. For the next few days I felt as if I’d regressed emotionally. It was horrible.
      I couldn’t believe he’d been trying to defending himself for over a year, telling me it was all in my mind and the reality was it was true.
      He still claims nothing is going on, will not admit any wrong doing whatsoever.And is aggressive towards me every time I speak to him.
      I have spent weeks crying about how someone I’ve loved for so long could lie so much and treat me so badly.

      Now, I feel I’ve got to let it go.
      I’ve been morning for the person I used to know and the relationship I once had. The man I fell in love with is not there anymore. I’ve tried to understand why? But in the end the confusion only hurts me.
      His anger is not justified but then I think he’s angry at himself and he’s reflecting it on me. He’s not happy.

      I do think it’s sad that he didn’t try. Although we had problems I was willing to work at them. I would have been loyal to him to the very end.

    4. Cheryl

      Hi Lucy,
      The man I married twelve years ago is no longer there either. Like you, I miss the honest, caring, adoring man he used to be. Reminding myself of all the crumby things he’s done over the last several months is helping me to move on. I wish there were a way to speed up the divorce, not looking forward to the process. This has been most painful for our twelve year old son. I am hopeful for a happy future, Wishing you the best…

    5. Amelia

      It saddens me so much to hear the countless stories about marriages breaking up! I was married 33 years when my husband had an affair with his old high school girlfriend. He reconnected with her on Facebook. I found their texts on Skype purely accidental! Like many, I wanted to work on the issues and restore my marriage but was never given that choice. I too do not recognize the man that my husband had become! My divorce was final on St. Patrick’s Day and I am healing. It has helped me greatly to blog about my journey, and my hope is my story and healing process can help others as well. What Jackie said is true, the crying does start to go away, but I have found that every new chapter in this process ( ie. ex moving to another state, first holiday apart, first anniversary as a divorcee etc.) has to be grieved. Don’t rush the process and just give yourself all the time you need!


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