‘The Thought Of Paying Him Alimony Stopped Me From Divorcing Him’

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In 2015, my husband began an affair with a coworker. Of course he denied any sexual involvement with her, but he is an avid photographer and his assertion was invalidated. He has been involved with sex workers, as well; ditto a movie. I only know these facts because I reviewed the evidence on the SD card in his camera. Thanks to our shared Apple account, I was privy to a lot of info.

After two years of this behavior, which basically drained every cent of his (our) retirement money (I had my own investments), I moved to a different part of the country because he wasn’t going to stop. I moved out with every intention of divorcing him, but never did. Within two weeks of leaving, he broke up with her. The thought of paying him alimony stopped me from divorcing him. I am still working and paying half of our mortgage for the house he lives in. We see each other, maybe two or three times a year.

I don’t love him, and I am thoroughly enjoying being on my own. I feel that for me to move back with him would be a step in the wrong direction. I haven’t been involved with anyone sexually. I have rekindled some old friendships, and really don’t care if I’m ever involved with anyone again. I’ve told him that I want to work until I’m 70 and then I’ll retire. He’s willing to move where I am, but fortunately my current circumstances don’t allow that.

I’m regretting that I didn’t bite the bullet back when I left and divorced. Now I feel time and distance are on my side. Is it worth a divorce to let this go for good?

– Sill Married


Meet with a divorce attorney to get more information about what this would require. You can do this via Zoom if the divorce needs to happen in your husband’s state.

Honestly, there is a real spiritual reason to go through with the process. Your letter makes it clear that you long to be 100 percent out of your relationship – so you never have to worry that you ex show up on your doorstep and say, “But we’re still married.” You seem to walk around feeling like you have an invisible tether to your past. You are ready to cut that cord.

A lawyer should be able to tell you whether initiating a divorce makes you financially vulnerable in new ways. You’re already paying for some of your ex’s expenses, but would this involve a more complicated settlement? I do think it could be very simple, and even protect you, but I’m no expert. You’d have to ask.

The attorney session should push you in one direction or the other. Maybe you’ll have more confidence to go all in to make this official, or you could wind up saying, “Wow, that sounds like too much work.”

I hope it sounds like a good thing to do because … you want to be single. It sounds like this connection holds you back. Why not have what you desire?

It’s worth it if it improves the quality of your life and mental health. Get the information you need. See a few lawyers, if you can, for comparison.

– Meredith

Readers? Is a divorce worth it, or will it just make things more complicated?

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