DEAR ABBY: My wife and I both served in the military. When she returned from Egypt 19 months ago, she dropped a bomb on me, saying she didn't want to be married anymore. She said she had settled for second best all her life and that's what she had done with me. She went on to say she knows there's someone better than me out there, and she's going to find him.
All the evidence points to an affair, which she denies -- constant trips out of town, emails and phone calls. We are now living paycheck to paycheck. We have no more savings and I'm paying all the expenses when it comes to the kids. She retired a year ago and refuses to get a job worthy of her experience. The worst part is, our kids have suffered.
We have been separated ever since she got back. She says our kids aren't worth her trying to save our marriage. Our close friends and family are still shocked, but no one more than me. It has been a struggle, which almost caused me to have a breakdown. Everything I do now is to lessen the impact on our kids. What advice can you offer me? -- TRYING TO COPE IN VIRGINIA
DEAR TRYING TO COPE: Please accept my sympathy. Your marriage is over and you have to accept it.
If you haven't consulted a lawyer, you should do it NOW to figure out what your responsibility -- and HERS -- will be to the children once your divorce is final. They should be cared for by the parent who is willing and able to give them stability, and the lawyer can help you determine this. From your description of your wife, that would be you, while she searches for someone she "deserves." Personally, I hope she finds him, because the way she has treated you has been brutal.