My story is unbelievable. Before I met my husband, I was a tenure-track professor at a university in Michigan, living in a gorgeous loft-style apartment overlooking the Grand River. I was doing really well for myself. Then I went to a conference in Mexico and was swept off my feet by a graduate student. He was charming, smart, funny, sexy and was interested in my work. I had a PhD in psychology and he was studying for a PhD in cancer biology. His ideas were brilliant and we started a whirlwind romance. We lived 6 hours away from each but started a long-distance relationship. After only 6 months he proposed. It seemed like a fairy tale. Until it wasn’t. All the red flags were there but I chose to ignore them. || Over time I gave up everything for him. I quit my tenure-track job to take a visiting position at a university closer to him. Our wedding was beautiful but full of trials. My mother died 2 days before the wedding and his father died 5 days after. We spent our honeymoon burying our parents. Then we found out I was pregnant just weeks after our wedding. All of that would put a strain on any new marriage but we had a beautiful baby girl and did the best we could. He eventually got his PhD. We moved to Texas so he could do a post-doc at MD Anderson. Despite my training I became a stay-at-home and had a another child 2.5 years after the first. The first year in TX was an adjustment for us. My husband became increasingly unhappy with his work. He began constantly complaining about science and the field of cancer research. I could tell he was becoming disenchanted with the world of academics, but he would never speak honestly with me about it. Then the unthinkable happened. Our house burned down in a wildfire. We lost EVERYTHING. We had been out of town at the time and had three suitcases to our name. We were at a crossroads and my husband’s mother offered us land on her farm in NC if we would move to his home and build a house there. My husband said that this was a sign. We should move and start farming. So he went from having a PhD and doing research in cancer biology to wanting to run an organic farm in rural NC. I was doubtful. Again, I had given up everything for him. But I thought if anyone could do it, my husband could. So we moved. We started farming. From the moment we got there he started making bad decisions. He was spending our insurance money from the fire like crazy. He said you have to spend money to make money. He started building our new house on his own despite my pleas that he hire a builder. He was trying to start a new career he knew nothing about and build a house as his own general contractor at the same time. It was a recipe for disaster. If I questioned him or had a suggestion or concern, he said that I didn’t trust him or support him (even though I had given up everything for him and followed him to the ends of the earth). He started accusing me of lying to him. He accused me of sleeping with his sister-in-law. He accused his brother of only being nice to me because he wanted to sleep with me. Our”farm” lost money the first year. My two part-time jobs were the only things keeping us afloat. We needed help so my husband hired a”farmhand”. She was young 23 year. She had a 4 year old child from a previous relationship, and she was passionate about farming. My husband came home saying how much this girl loved and appreciated farming. She was one with the earth. She was studying Chinese alternative medicine and healing. She came to help 2-3 days a week and went to the farmer’s market for us. I watched her 4 year old from a previous relationship while they”worked” in the fields. He started giving her beers at the end of a long day. It was clear something was going on. And then a storm caused a flood. Our second summer, we lost all our crops. Our farm was 13 feet underwater. It was devastating especially after having gone through the fire two years before. || I was not in the best place to comfort him. Our marriage was not ok, he had spent almost all our insurance money on a house that wasn’t anywhere close to being built, we had no second income, but still I stayed. Six weeks later, on our 8 year anniversary, I gave him a card a bottle of expensive Scotch. He said he thought we needed to separate. I was shocked, blind-sided. What?!??! Things weren’t great, but a separation? Our kids were 7 and 4. We were living in his mother’s basement because he had failed on building the house and we had nowhere to go. Three months later I definitively caught him cheating. I had access to our phone records and could see that the days when he said he was at the store buying stuff for the farm or house, he was 30 miles away in her town. His calls registered on a tower near her house. It had been going on for months. On New Year’s Eve, he said he was sick and wasn’t going out. He had been with her. When I confronted him he at first made excuses and lied, but when he realized I knew everything he simply laughed. I was devastated. After all I had given and all we had been through, this is what he did. And he blamed me. He blamed me for not having been supportive enough, for not trusting him, for not believing in him. Even though he had wasted $200,000 on a house that wasn’t even halfway built, the farm lost $21,000 and he had cheated on me for months. It was my fault. || I was so hurt because his whole family had told me I should insist that he fire her. I said that was sexist. I couldn’t fire someone just because they were an attractive female who wanted to farm. I defended her when no one else would, when everyone was warning me. I had babysat her daughter!!! It was the ultimate betrayal. So I panicked. I hadn’t really worked in years. I started frantically applying for jobs. I somehow got a job in TN near my brother and his wife and their kids. I decided to make a bold move. My husband threatened to charge me with kidnapping if I moved without accepting his low offer of a monetary settlement. So I agreed and moved with my kids to start a new life. One week after my move, her mother (yes, her mother who is only 3 years older than me) contacted me and apologized for her daughter’s actions. She said she didn’t know who she was anymore. And she said she wanted to reach out since there was soon to be another child involved. OMG! My husband got her pregnant, and I found out from her mother. We are still married. This picture is of the three of them together. It’s been 8 months since I’ve moved away and 4 months since the baby was born. I am still struggling. I am still angry. Sometimes I think I will never get over it, especially after all of the other things we had been through. I think with me he felt like a failure. She is in the early adoration stages that I was in when we first met. Sometimes I feel bad for her, but not only did she know he was married, she’s supposed to be a healer. She came into my life. I invited her and her daughter to parties. I went to her daughter’s 4th birthday party and got her a gift. I met her mother and father. I defended her. And she betrayed me. He is absolutely to blame for his actions and I realize that he is handsome and charming, but she is to blame too. I never thought I would be someone whose husband got his paramour pregnant. || The only good news is that since he left me, my life has fallen completely into place in a way that I could have never imagined. I don’t know if I will ever date again, but I might be ok with that. I’m certainly ok for now. I can’t expose my children to any more than they have already been through. Thank you for letting me share. I am devastated but not defeated. I will survive, one day at a time. I am so much stronger than I ever thought I could be.