I have been married for 18 years. My husband and I were separated for four years and during that time we both got involved with different people. After the four years we decided to give our marriage another try. I ended my outside relationship but his was on and off. It started causing quarrels between us and he said I couldn’t expect him to just drop everything and continue as usual.
Fast forward to present. When we were separated he had drawn up separation papers which I had signed at the time. When I came back he told me that he was not going through with any divorce because he wanted to give us a chance. However, this year he came with an Absolute paper which is the final divorce document, to show me that the divorce came through. I was so shocked because he told me he wasn’t going through with it and I believed him.
A week after he showed me the paper, I went through his phone and saw some wedding photos. To my surprise, he was the groom in the photo. I enhanced the picture because I wanted to see who the bride was and there it was, the same girl from the relationship he had when we were apart.
I confronted him and he said that he didn’t know how to tell me. All this time we were still intimate, going out with the kids, and planning for the future. I did not know any man could be so cruel.
Right now I don’t know what to do. His excuse was that she was migrating and he wanted her to file for him when she went away because it would be easier. My kids and I are so torn; me especially, because I trusted him.
I am seeking your advice about what to do. He is still living with me at the moment because it is his house.
When married couples separate and decide to give the marriage another try it is always recommended that they seek professional help before proceeding the second time around. During that period there are issues that they need to discuss before they continue. It would be business as usual if those issues are not addressed and so it would be a matter of carrying on with the same problems that caused them to separate in the first place.
Those four years of separation and seeing other people would have meant that your interest and attention were not on each other at the time and so no attempts of reconciliation would have been likely. It is interesting or rather curious that whereas you made a clean break from your outside relationship, your husband was still connecting with his outside lady. This is a conversation that you both should have had and a commitment made to sever all ties with the outside persons. His continuation with the outside relationship, albeit on and off, is a clear indication that he was not ready for a committed relationship with you.
It is obvious that your husband had a master plan that you were not a part of. From all indications, the plan was to divorce you and marry this other lady who could provide him with permanent resident status benefits abroad. So while she is away you both would continue in a cohabiting relationship with no legal strings attached. Is this an arrangement that you would be comfortable with? Surely you would realise that your status would have been downgraded from wife to mother of his children/ex-wife/girlfriend.
Honesty and integrity are necessary components of a committed relationship and it does appear that deception played a very active role in your narrative. Had you not pried in his phone and saw those lovely wedding pictures where he proudly stood beside his new bride, you would have been kept in the dark.
You have to consider all the factors including the fact that children are involved and decide if you want to continue in this present scenario or move on with your life. The fact that you managed to survive in the four years you were separated would mean that you can do it again. Your mental health and emotional well-being are paramount, so do look after yourself.