In the spring of 2007, my beautiful wife of 19 years (soon to be beautiful ex-wife) placed an add to have someone finish a horse barn that the original builder never completed. A guy answered and began working on its completion. My wife and I are both school teachers. This guy does not have a job or a driver's license (taken away for life), is from a town about 20 miles away that is well-known for meth users, is a felon, and lacks about half of his teeth. He is what many would describe as a hillbilly (even in the Arkansas Ozarks, where we live), and my wife and I are just regular people who went to college, got married, had kids, and live a normal life.
Well, this guy came around more and more, even after the job was finished. Originally, he seemed to get to her because he went to school with her older brother, who died in a car wreck when he was 17. My wife and I are both 43 and this guy is 50 and not a very alluring character... pretty obnoxious really, but in any case, she befriended him. I began to be troubled by this guy's presence, but having complete faith in my wife's character and knowing this guy was so far down the social ladder, I never suspected anything sexual. When we built a new house, he was given the task of building a new horse barn and never seemed to go away, to my dismay. Fast forward to today, they have been having an affair for over a year. I had been totally unable, no matter what, to get this guy away from her. I forbade him from our property, and that made things worse, as she then disappeared for hours out a time to go to his house. She said that he was like a brother (no Arkansas jokes, please), and he let her be herself while I did not. She took off any chance she could, leaving our kids for hours upon hours to fend for themselves - kids were 9, 12, and 14 when this began. She would leave the 9 year old by himself, the 12 year old by herself, etc., and then there came a night in July when she did not come home.
Divorce was barely averted, though in retrospect, I should have done it right then. But again, I "knew" nothing sexual was going on because this guy is so far beneath her. She left my kids alone when I was out of town, not coming home on at least one occasion. Three nights in October she did not come home, and that was it for me. I filed for divorce, more for what I consider abandonment of the kids than abandoning me. A week later, I found out that, indeed, she was having an affair with him, and the betrayal was complete. Two weeks after that, I told her to leave if she could not stop calling him and going there while we were living in the same house as the divorce proceedings were slowly beginning. She still sees him, though she freely admits that he is not someone whe would consider marrying. My daughter told her that if she ever did, she would never want to see her again.
She has always been a good mother. Not great, but good. She is caring, and I know she fights a battle within herself because I can see the pain and turmoil on her face. I can no longer believe anything she says though, being a cheater and a liar. When I asked her if she was screwing this guy, she said that if she was going to do that, it wouldn't be with him. Not a ringing endorsement of our marriage, but it does appear she knows this guy is not worthy of her. She even said that she chose him for the affair because he would be easy to leave due to his social standing. Weird, I know, not to mention a total line of BS, especially since she has professed her love for him to others. My kids know something's going on with her and this guy (except for my youngest, who probably knows in his own way). My daughter told her she knew she was having an affair with him, and I had no part in it. I have not told them, but they are not stupid. Yet she still goes to him. The motherly instincts seem to be gone.
Her behavior has changed in subtle ways, as well. She used to have to be in bed by 10 or she'd be a wreck the next morning. Now, she stays up much later, often way past midnight on weekdays. Unusual for her. When at home, she spent almost all of her time at the barn, while the rest of us were normally at the house. She did very little in the way of taking care of the kids or housekeeping once she got home. If she wasn't not off to Peel (where the guy lives), she'd be on her secret go phone at the barn. When she came home from her stints (which she claimed to be from vodka, which she drinks a lot of now after drinking beer normally), she would go straight to bed, and on those times when she came home after staying out all night, she would be in bed the entire next day. She gets drunk almost daily now, and she goes through vodka bottles at a startling rate (I know one can drink like a fish while using meth). She seemed in moral pain on such days, seemingly ashamed of whatever she had done (it could have been the affair alone, I suppose).
I missed so many signs over the past year and half. My wife wouldn't do drugs or have an affair (she had always been so trustworthy). My wife was simply partying with her friends, new friends. Her old friends rarely see her anymore. Rumors around town are that she's having an affair with a "Meth-head from Peel." I won't look past these signs, especially now that we're divorcing and I'm looking out for the welfare of my kids. She is a different woman. Those who know and love her think she has lost it. It's not just me.
So, what do you think?
I have no proof of what I believe is a meth addiction, and I do not know how to prove it. I'd like to somehow see her get over this. Our marriage is ruined, but my kids still need a mother.
Thanks for any input.