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If the couple decides to fight over things, it takes many months (or even years) to get divorced in the US.
I wasn't really happy in my marriage, didn't even realize how unhappy I was. Then, I met this other woman. Fell for her immediately, even though I had not seriously looked at another woman for the 8 years of my marriage. She was in China, I was here. We could not stop thinking of each other, could not stop chatting, emailing. We both felt it was 'wrong' so we tried to split up several times. But could not even go 3 days without the other person. Finally, after maybe a month, we talked about it again. She confirmed she is serious about starting a new life with me. So I decided I had to leave my wife and start over, to pursue true happiness.
So I told my wife we need to get divorced. I'm not happy with her. She begged me to stop talking to this other woman. Told me the easy way is for me to give her my email password, and whenever she emailed, my wife would reply to her. But this is not what I wanted. So we started divorce proceedings.
Meanwhile, I had gotten to know my Chinese girlfriend pretty well online, through phone calls, etc. I went to visit her as soon as I could. Confirm the relationship is valid. We had a great time. Got to know each other. I got to know her son, and visited China for the first time. During that visit, I cheated on my wife. Since I had already told my wife and since we had started the divorce, I didn't feel like it was REALLY cheating. But technically, it was. Everybody says I should have waited until the divorce was over to pursue another relationship, but it is easier said than done, when love is involved, right?
My wife got a nasty lawyer and tried to take everything from me, because I'd hurt her. In her eyes, she had been the perfect wife and I'd betrayed her. So I had to get a lawyer to defend myself. Then, the court ordered that I hire another lawyer to act in my daughter's best interest.
Finally, after several months of fighting, and many thousands of dollars spent, we will go and settle in court tomorrow. Finally, we will be divorced and start our separate lives.
All this time, I have still lived with her. Moved to another room. I could not reasonably move out, as that could be seen as abandonment, and it would ruin me in court. I will move to my new apartment in less than two weeks.
It has been a terrible 6 months.
Lots of people here will think I'm a bad guy and that my girlfriend is a bad girl. (she feels guilty about this too) But I did what I thought was right spiritually, rather than waiting for the law process. I told my wife, THEN went my separate way. Only not waiting for the legal process is what makes me a cheat. Too bad.