Posted in Separation / Divorce

Five Years On: The First Signs of Marital Breakdown

A startling revelation struck me this week. It is now February 2016 and five years ago this month saw the beginning of the breakdown of my marriage. Just a month before, we had booked a holiday for September. At the time we didn’t know it, but it would be the last holiday we’d take together. Anyway, that fateful month began the first signs that our marriage was on the decline because she was having an affair.

She Started Sleeping on the Couch

More than once over the following months I woke up in the middle of the night to go to the toilet to find my wife was not beside me. More than once, I went into the living room to see her lying on the couch, sound asleep. It was quite clear that she had been there for some considerable time, and not merely a few minutes. A couple of times she was awake and I would ask her what was wrong. She’d tell me I was snoring or fidgeting and she couldn’t sleep. It hadn’t been a problem before then, but now she felt the need to sleep on the couch because of me – this later turned out to be untrue. It was simply a) so she could talk to him so it wouldn’t disturb me and b) she no longer wanted to share a bed with her husband.

Texting at All Hours

A little later, say around early March, she would keep me awake at night by playing with her new phone – this was possibly to avoid waking me by getting out of bed and transferring to the living room. I’m not talking about playing Candy Crush at 1AM and being unable to put it down, I’m talking about getting multiple text messages at 3AM most nights and responding to them. For a while, I pretended to be asleep but after something like the sixth night in a row, more than a little irritated I asked her who she was talking to so late. The text messages stopped shortly after this but I already had my suspicions.

Urgency to Lose Weight

I’ve discussed this before in my article on “Signs She’s Cheating On You”, but it’s worth repeating again. Most women are not happy with their weight no matter how sexy you tell her she is, no matter how often your eyes pop out of your head when she’s naked, no matter how often you describe her as “infinitely fuckable”. Wanting to lose weight is one thing, but it’s another to want to do so with a sense of urgency, to want to shift it in as quick a time as possible. She’ll eat next to nothing and she will want to get out and exercise all the time. In Feb 2011, my ex-wife was suddenly overcome with an urgency to lose her excess weight.

She No Longer Talked About Our Future

Suddenly, we stopped talking about where we would live when we cleared our debts (it was no more than a year away at this point) and stopped wanting to talk about the subject altogether. Off the cuff remarks about “we’ll do XYZ when we get our own place” are met only with silence or a dark and forboding nod at the most. She’d already decided we had no future; she’d already chosen him (a person she’d not met in person) over me (someone she’d been with for some 12 years). Suddenly, all the plans we had made seemed a lot less secure.


February was the month she started taking her phone everywhere with her. It was the month she would angle her laptop so I couldn’t see the screen. This was strange. We never had trust issues, I never had any reason not to trust her and vice versa. She started keeping her phone with her all the time instead of leaving it lying around. There was clearly something she didn’t want me to see. Not, I hasten to add, that I ever checked her phone. If I ever did after discovering her affair, I certainly didn’t before. We never mistrusted each other which is why her actions (both her affair and her secrecy) came as a shock.



I go by the name of Frank Speaking. My blog "In the Mind of Men" (former name Chin Up, Chest High) started out as a chronicle of my mental health recovery. Now it is a forum where I discuss issues related to male mental health.

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