When the domestic goddess gets dumped for a 'career whore'

So there she is, standing over in the corner, staring at you. It’s your husband’s firm Christmas party and you get a bad vibe about this woman. She’s minted. Polished. Educated. Young. Successful. Capable. Sexy. With a corporate job in Midtown where she wears short skirts and kitten heeled shoes and spends a better part of the day in board meetings with your husband. Sometimes, she even travels with him on the corporate jet (with others from the firm, of course) to subsidiaries around the world, but he assures you that you are being silly when you ask him who she is and why does she stare at you like that.  Although, looking at her, you felt sorry for her. Because, well, you are superior to her. What does she know about anything about raising a family, keeping a happy home, nurturing a husband, and, frankly, baking a cake? She’s not a woman. She’s a thing, a concept with fake breasts and dark roots. You doubt if even her teeth are real.
And then, here you are, Ms. Perfection confection Martha Stewart eat your heart out over here. Yours has been a long marriage, nearly twenty years. You’ve got 3 perfectly well adjusted kids, 2 German Shepperd dogs and a cat, you car pool your kids and 2 of the neighbors’ every day to soccer practice, you bake cookies practically on a daily basis (and frankly your cookies are the rave in your hoity toity suburban block), you tend the most beautiful garden in your zip code, you are president of the PTA (but without the presidential ambitions), you always have dinner ready when your husband comes home, you are organic, kosher, and green. You work hard. And you have the hardest job in America — being a mom– and you love it. You are uniquely suited to the role. The last thing you want is to wear 5 inch heel stilettos and thigh high skirts to a some corporate pressure cooker where men sexually harass you on a daily basis and build glass ceilings you can never crack.
You prefer your life, thank you very much and your husband likes it that way too. He has encouraged you not to return to the workforce because he wants a wife at home to host his parties, tend to his kids and keep his house clean and his garden tended. You pretty much put your life and education and career on hold to help him further his professional ambitions. And you love it. The sacrifice was well worth it. You fill the role perfectly. Life is great. Actually, it is so great you feel like you are in a bubble….
And then. The unthinkable.  One beautiful spring afternoon, just as you are filling a vase with freshly cut daffodils from the garden you have tended so lovingly all these years (with the help of your gardener, of course), dear husband comes home and tells you that he’s leaving you for someone else–the woman at the office who wears the kitten heels and mini skirts; the phocking cliche with the fake breasts and fake teeth; the career “whore” who he denied having an affair with when you told him she was looking at you funny in the loo. He can’t be serious. You gave this man your best years. He got you when you were 24, young, fit and perfect: a trophy wife. And he’s leaving you for what? A trollop he met at the office who just happens to be ten years your junior, 30 pounds thinner, with ridiculously well manicured-I’ve never had a chipped nail hands, and coiffed hair–and a joint MBA/law degree?
The vase drops to the floor and smashes into a million pieces. The daffodils are splattered on the floor. Life will never be the same….what are you supposed to do? Well, according to Donna F. Ferber, LPC, LADC, author of From Ex-Wife to Exceptional Life, “divorce is a process.” I wholeheartedly agree and you need to keep that in mind at all times. You are going to go through a lot of emotions, peaks and valleys before this is over, girl.
This is a very tough, challenging time for anybody. And there is no one thing you are going to do. There are no specific sequence of actions that you are going to take. But there are a few posts on here that you might find helpful, and many resources that are available online and at the library that can guide you to making informed decisions. Plus, it is imperative that you talk to a therapist, clergy, best friend, mom or somebody who trust and who you can confide in during this difficult time.
If you have the time, read some of our blog posts which may be germane to your situation:
Start with our post on how to divorce a CEO http://www.divorcesaloon.com/how-to-divorce-a-ceo and also when the trophy wife gets dumped. http://www.divorcesaloon.com/when-the-trophy-wife-gets-dumped But more generally, you need to put together a good divorce team. http://www.divorcesaloon.com/your-divorce-team-why-your-cabinet-picks-matter
And you can always sue her for loss of consortium. http://www.divorcesaloon.com/adultery If you signed a prenup, you may want to try to set it aside.  http://www.divorcesaloon.com/how-to-attack-a-prenuptial-agreement Obviously, you want custody of the kids but don’t assume that just because you are the mom you will get custody. Still, since you are a stay at home mom who likely was the main caregiver, you will probably prevail on this issue. But what if the kids want to live with him and not with you? That’s a post I plan to work on very soon…or maybe you don’t want custody? You want to move to San Francisco? Start fresh by yourself? Try this post: http://www.divorcesaloon.com/when-mom-doesnt-want-custody
Depending on how old you are, you may be able to get lifelong alimony. http://www.divorcesaloon.com/how-to-get-life-long-alimony-now-called-maintenanceWomen over 50 who were in long term marriages and who are not trained in any profession may be able to secure life long maintenance from the monied spouse. He may try to hide assets. Read here: http://www.divorcesaloon.com/how-to-find-hidden-assets-in-your-divorce-action-lets-ask-ruth-madoff
Should you get the house? It depends. Read here: http://www.divorcesaloon.com/should-i-keep-the-house-after-the-divorce
Whatever you do, remember this: “Divorce is a process.” Take it easy. The ride is not going to be fun. But you can control, to some extent, if it becomes a complete nightmare.
Check out a real nightmare here: http://www.divorcesaloon.com/swine-flu-pandemic-divorce-epidemic-what-the (Updated 4/27/09)