Thank you all for the kind and supportive words. It has been a very rough week, and I know it will only get harder before it gets easier. Here’s my update:
I contacted a lawyer on Thursday to set up a consultation. I have that appointment tomorrow afternoon, and I am prepared to pay her retainer so I can file asap, as long as I feel she will represent me well. My sister is going to go with me to help me take notes, and to drive me so nobody sees my car at the lawyers office.
I told all of my immediate family on Friday and Saturday. Everyone has been very supportive and they are all willing to help me through this.
I have a list of all of our marital assets typed out, with what I want and what I’m willing to let him have. I’m going to try and record any evidence of him being mean to the dog in the next week. I know it cannot be used in court, but surely it will help me if he tries to fight for him. I also know that I have a better support system in terms of people willing to help out (let him out if I can’t leave work over lunch, watch him while I travel, will have access to a big fenced in yard, etc)
Unless my attorney advises against it, I plan on having him served some day next week, so that I can use this week and weekend to slowly move out my important things that he will not notice. On the day that he is served, I will take off work and my parents, sister, and best friend have said they will come up to help me move as much out as I can. I will have a letter waiting on the kitchen table for him explaining why I am divorcing him, and will most likely leave my engagement ring there. I will take the dog with me, so that I have possession of him. My sister and brother in law have been gracious enough to let me move in with them, and bring the dog (they are not really dog people, so it really means a lot to me that they are willing to let him move in as well). I also plan on taking half of what’s in our savings/checking account on the day he is served, and will take half of the cash we have in our safe. I am meeting with HR today or tomorrow to have my direct deposit cancelled, and to get the ball rolling on getting back on my own insurance.
I also have some screen shots, and will threaten him with those. I also have some leverage with him as I’m connected with some of the superiors at his place of employment, and I know that some of what he was doing regarding chatting with these women was done on his work provided phone, while he was on a trip representing his company. They can trace back things done on the phone, and I’m sure he’d rather them not be aware of what he’s done.
I accessed our lock box this weekend and got all of my important paperwork together so that I can quickly grab it. I also took pictures of the titles of all of the vehicles that we have purchased together and/or paid off with our joint account. He threatened to sell all of his vehicles to his dad if I ever divorced him, so I wanted to be prepared.
The main thing I am struggling with now is knowing that he will never tell the truth of what happened. I worry that our shared friends, church family, his family, etc will all think I just gave up for nothing. I do plan on sharing what happened with his family, because he needs help. I have also planned on having conversations with those important to me. I will have to find a new church, as his whole family goes to the church we attend (his church his whole life), but I am pretty sure the pastor that married us will contact me to find out what happens, as he said during our marriage counseling that he does that if a marriage he’s done fails.
If anyone has any further tips on things I need to prepare before he’s served, I would really appreciate it. This week has been a whirlwind and I am very overwhelmed, but I know I’m doing what is best for myself and my sweet puppy.