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It’s time again for Shortcuts. For every question, I’ll give my advice in just a few sentences because sometimes the answer to a person’s question is so obvious and the need to hear it so great that being as clear and frank as possible is simply the best way to go.
Because it’s none of your business. And because he probably is dating and sleeping with other people but would rather you remain ignorant and/or indifferent to this point so that you might entertain the idea of getting back together should he decide that’s what he wants. He’s clearly used to calling the shots in your relationship and isn’t comfortable with you asserting yourself in any way, which is why he reacts with defensiveness and meanness rather than an open dialogue. Save yourself further grief and MOA.
Ask if he wants to go to counseling to help you figure out how to reconnect, do things together again, and meet each other’s sexual and emotional needs. If he declines, then you should start figuring out how to financially support yourself so that you are in a better position to end the marriage. You may also decide that you don’t care if your marriage is a sexually or emotionally fulfilling one as long as it meets your financial needs and that it’s easier to co-parent while living together. The good news is, your husband doesn’t have to be married to you, happily or otherwise, to continue being a brilliant dad to your four kids.
If you’re married, you need to file for divorce. If you’re not married, you should move out one weekend when he’s MIA. Or, if his name isn’t on the lease, you can throw his crap outside and change the locks. If his name is on the lease or you own a home together, talk to a lawyer about what recourse you have. But, clearly, on a strictly emotional level, this relationship is over. All that is left to do is make sure you’ve got your legal and financial ducks in a row for the final phase of this break-up. As for where he is — a man doesn’t just up and leave a woman he’s been with for twenty-four years out of the blue unless there’s someone else waiting in the wings. I suspect he hasn’t officially moved out because he’s afraid of what breaking up with you/divorcing you will financially cost him and it’s simply easier to pay one set of household expenses and peace out every weekend.
If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, you can send me your letters at email@example.com.