Savage Love



Omg!! First!!!
I wonder if Heartbroken's husband could be suffering from something like mania, of which cheating and reckless spending are both symptoms.
not first.
Sweet!!! Last letter: this financial betrayal is so much worse than the sexual betrayal. After affairs, couple talk about how much "stronger" the relationship is now that they've healed. Monetarily speaking, wiping out all the savings and piling on debt is a betrayal they will NEVER financially recover from. And in all actuality, unless she's able to get spousal support, divorcing him will only make her financial situation worse as she owns half that debt and will live without his income.
Lesson to the world from the last LW: keep an eye on your fucking bank accounts!!! I say DTMFA and sue his ass off.
I'm surprised by Dan's answer to EFFED. I thought it would go (and should have gone) like this.

It's pretty obvious to you by now that your husband has cuckolding fantasies, but it may not be as obvious to your husband how much you want him to touch you, kiss you, and look at you the way he used to. So strike a deal.

Tell him that he has to complete a week (a FULL WEEK!) of being as affectionate as you want. Spell out for him in detail what this entails in terms of back rubs, kisses when you come home, thoughtful gifts like flowers or your favorite fruit (make mine strawberries) from the farmers market, and maybe some completely you-centered sex.

In return, you'll appeal to his fantasy by talking dirty about the other (imaginary) men you've been with, leaving notes about those (imaginary) men you've been with, talking into the phone (while you listen to a dial tone) to the (imaginary) men, etc. Your promise to him is that you'll put your heart into the act in order go through with the fantasy as much as you reasonably can.

Note that I'm not suggesting that you find an actual other man to have sex with, not if you don't want to. If that wasn't on the table when you married, I see no reason why he should be able to manipulate you into doing it now. Presumably the gentle, caressing, romantic, strawberry sex was on the table when you married. Otherwise you wouldn't have said "the way he used to."

Bottom line is that I see 2 unrelated issues here that only look like they're related. One, he keeps badgering you about a fantasy he wants fulfilled, one that you're completely uncomfortable with, and one that he brings up when you're having sex, something that spoils the sex for you. Two, he's not being nice to you the way he used to. Maybe he is punishing you for not engaging in his fantasy, and if that's it, you have every right to be pissed. So my idea is that you tell him "you first." You please me first, and when you've proved yourself, I'll do my reasonable best to please you.
Heartbroken--- @5 (thank you) beat me to it: DTMFA!!!!
And while you're at it, seek out a good lawyer and sue his
lying, cheating, robbing, sorry sack o' monkey shit ass off.
Adding on to @5's (sorry--I missed where you also had already mentioned that Heartbroken sue her sack o' monkey shit husband's ass off so you get full credit there, too) and my comment @7:
And Heartbroken, make him PAY and make
it HURT! He not only stole from your future,
but that of your children, as well.

Okay---I'm shutting up now, going back outside to worship my / our ruling planet, drink some red wine, and catch a fucking good flick.
Which reminds me, Happy Birthday, Angelina Jolie!
Ms Crinoline - She's been a sport about it for ten years, and a mere week of having things her own way (which surely he'd never be able to do to her satisfaction) is supposed to sustain her through escalating rounds of things that already produce self-loathing in her? Oh, no. If extenuating circumstances permit, PDY (Please Divorce Yesterday).

It is interesting that she thinks she's not enough for him when it might seem that the usual way of looking at it would be being depressed over being supposed to think that he's not enough for her, but it doesn't really change the essentials. I'm very favourably impressed with Mr Savage for not trying to wheedle her into it via the You're Really Super-Attractive route.

Of course, one might hope that she would go through with it for real, find someone much better and dump him, but that would be a bit too obvious. If the person holding the smoking gun over the just-shot corpse really is going to be the murderer, it should at least be a double bluff.
@EFFED: Ten years is a hell of a long time to do a thing that visibly upsets your partner in bed. For once Dan was nicer about that than I would have been.

@Heartbroken: It's wonderful that you thought of your children while deciding how (or if) you want to proceed with your marriage- and you should continue to do so. That said, that's a fuck of a lot more consideration (or interest, or concern) than your husband showed and you should not only leave but (legally) destroy his ass. Seriously.
@6 - Are you kidding me? That's terrible advice. She's not into cuckolding. Not at all. Just hearing about it is a huge turnoff in the way hearing about dog fucking might be a huge turnoff for someone else. Well, just about anyone else. Yet EFFED's husband been badgering her about cuckolding for years. It's well past time he shut up and satisfied his wife the way he used to. Or he's heading to divorce court.
Wow. Great answer to EFFED. Might've mentioned the corollary about alienating the vanilla partner; I like that one.

Maybe the husband would be into a fantasy in which the role of the other man is played by himself. They meet at a hotel, and they both pretend he's the other dude.

Third letter reminds me of a L.P. Weston column. She did one about adultery vs. financial adultery and which leads to more divorces. Turns out that, in America, "it's one thing to screw around, but it's another thing to screw around with my hard-earned cash!" In modern terms, this is the equivalent of taking food from their children's mouths. She doesn't even do the usual caveat of mentioning that he has redeeming qualities in there somewhere.
Heartbroken, Try couples counseling for a few sessions. Not because it will help you get back together -- like Dan, I can't imagine being able to trust someone after all that, that is WAY worse than a simple sexual peccadillo -- but because good couples therapists help lots of couples through divorce, and may help you negotiate a suitable post-divorce relationship. You have kids, so you probably can't just walk away from him forever. You two may share child care, or child support, and will probably have to be in the same room for important events in your kids' lives, like graduation and marriage. I know a few couples who have used a "divorce therapist" this way, and most have found it helpful.

Also, get a good lawyer.

Best wishes.
@13: He neglected his children's security in the name of pleasing his POSotS. I say "fuck the fucker, sue for full custody and child support, and DTMFA." Here is the fact: I come from a family with a mother who pulled similar shit. My sister and I talk to her only when necessary and having her in our lives has caused us both a lot of pain. If the kids are young enough to walk away, WALK AWAY. Never look back. Don't subject them to years of having to communicate with a piece of shit who thinks getting laid is more important than his own children's futures.
Dan, brilliant advice this week, all 3.

EFFED: you need to rewrite the script happening between you & your husband, pronto, if you want to work things out. Just like Dan said. As other Sloggers have mentioned, 10 years is a HELL of a long time to "close your eyes & think of England", even when it sounds like there's some return in it for you..& your situation doesn't even sound like that's a factor.

Sex isn't just for him, it's for both of you! & it used to be something that made you feel happy & close. He's been ignoring your needs for so long that even mentioning his single-track fantasy makes you feel kinda gross.

IDK if that part of his fantasy life can ever be allowed back in for the occasional treat, but right now - things have to have major change. If everything else about the relationship is as good as you say, then dig your heels in & don't settle for less than what you deserve.

I don't think someone should have to put up with this level of sexual callousness forever, though. I'm not sayin', call a lawyer..but I am saying, make sure you put some limits on how much longer things can continue as they are now. Life is short.
@6 - The woman isn't an idiot. Even if her husband is nice to her for a month ("A FULL WEEK!!" is your idea? weak is your idea) after the demand like you suggest she make, she's not going to feel at all satisfied. It'd be pathetically obvious he's not being the least bit considerate of her needs. In fact, it's such an obvious ploy to manipulate her feelings into getting his own result that I think that would only make her more embittered. Terrible advice, you didn't listen to this woman at all. Terrible. TERRIBLE.
Dear Heartbroken: turn to your family & friends, get some counseling to make the break - but if you stay with this guy, I feel sure he'll do it again. It's not that he cheated, it's the depths he sunk to. Taking money not just away from you & your own stability, but that of your children, & children's future! I'm agog. This borders on sociopathic, & were I in your shoes, there'd be a cartoon-like little puff of smoke in my wake as I ran, not walked, to the best lawyer I could afford or get my family to help me obtain. You should be separated from this man & (hopefully somehow) his debt. So very sorry this happened to you.
I am a dom
I am fat and pasty
I am mad at my mother
I put on my dom hat and the world is a better place
She screams out in feigned agony as I beat her with tassles.
I am a dom.

I am a dom
I put on my dom hat and the world is a better place
I have never had sex with a woman.
I have no jaw
I am a dom.
@Heartbroken: So, you told yourself you would forgive him if he ever had an affair, and now that he's gone and had one, you are feeling ambivalent, presumably because you feel like you want to leave him but you sort of said you wouldn't.

Well, you never told yourself that you would forgive him for any of that other stuff. So forgive him for the extramarital sex. Then rip him a new one for theft and destruction of the financial future of his wife and kids. Forget the ambivalence. DTMFA with a clean conscience.
that's so awful about spending the family savings and running up debt.

Here's hoping that it's on his own credit cards and not spousal ones.

What a terrible way to get screwed.
Heartbroken should do what she wants to and what she judges best for herself and her kids, but I don't know that she can sue her husband for wiping through their savings and kids' college funds. Divorce laws differ from state to state, and she should talk to a good divorce lawyer, if that's what she wants to do, but typically all debts accrued by either spouse in a marriage are community debts.
re: debts accrued by either spouse in a marriage belong to both parties.

I'm Canadian, so I don't really know how it works in the US, but this is a common misconception amongst Canadians (where it is not always true).

It depends on whether the spouses got the card together or depends on whether the spouses USED the card together.

If you get a card and ask for a spousal card and the spouse uses the spousal card, the debt 100% belongs to both parties. (ie. if one defaults, the other is responsible to pay).

If you used joint property to secure the debt, then they are both on the hook.

If one partner went ahead and applied for a card and didn't get a spousal card, then it's only the spouse who got the card's debt.

Bill collectors might tell you you owe the money even though you legally don't, so get good advice so you know what you're talking about when confronted.
I retract my apology for talking smack in a comment about the woman with a fourteen year-old son and the keylogger. What if the LW doesn't understand you aren't being serious?

What is she really thinks she is fooling anybody implying that she is willing to strips, dress in chains, but never ever imagines herself with anybody other than her husband when she masturbates?

You know damn well the wrong dirty talk is like switching the turn on button to the off position, and it's more than likely that dipshit just needs to lay off the "suck that cock you dirty bitch" talk.

If you are going to sabotage hetero relationships, I am not going to speaking up every time I hear some republican rattle off bogus studies done.

What's the point of being a responsible probate in the trial version of Heaven if your just pull the same shit the devil did in the garden and employ subtlety to ruin everything

Please tell me they left a return address so that you can at least tell the husband to quit the turn off talk and instead use a dildo while in doggie, without mentioning the automatic implication of a another man's presence without the awkwardness of there being another man except the only part he'd be good for.

Why didn't you inform her that the world is no longer bound by bigoted republican definitions, and these days a he can be cuckolded by a woman with a strap-on.

No woman in her right mind is going to be inherently positive about a second man being involved as any intelligent woman knows damn well the way to solve EVERY problem in the world is to enforce men who get convicted of crimes to take anti-testosterone pills. We could close down every jail because anyone under the influence of said hormone who is too stupid to not act like a male, if you cut off the hormone that makes him the idiot, problem solved.

this is bullshit, I am too pissed off to even finish reading this weeks installment of "ask the hetero saboteur for advice"
Hoo boy, Heartbroken.

Lawyer up and DTMFA.

Put aside the cheating--he stole from you. He stole from your kids. He lied to you. These are not signs of a stable partner! These are not signs of a good partner. In fact, it's verging on controlling, since now you're in a financial pinch.

Get with a good lawyer, file for divorce YESTERDAY, and if you do go to marriage counselling, DO NOT GO WITH HIM. Do NOT go to couples counselling. The job of a couples counsellor is to help the PAIR work things out, not help you work out what you are thinking or feeling. It sounds like you need time in your own head to sort out exactly what you are thinking, other than (understandable) shattering rage. Plus, when you're in counselling together, he's going to be on his shiny good boy best behaviour which you now know is....just a front for the piece of shit thing he did to your family. You are who you are in the dark. In the dark, he's the dude who wiped out his family's savings account to make his dick happy. The couples counselling will try to focus on the Shiny Good Boy, rather than the person he is in the dark.

If you have the time and money, get with a financial advisor NOW. Divorce is always a huge financial hit, and all the more so since he's gone and wiped out your savings. Figure out just how much you need to move away, what you can do and keep a reasonable living, etc.

If it works out for you, family arbitration may be a better option than court. It's less expensive and the idea behind it is to be less adversarial. Oh, and get counselling for the kids, if you can. Their school counsellors might know where you can find some help for them in your budget.

Good luck and DTMFA's ass to the curb and don't look back!
Oh HB, so so sorry this happened. Now is an excellent time to seek counsel from the best lawyer you can find and to call the locksmith. Dump this pos. He has shown you his character and it is shoddy, shady, shitty, and a whole mess of other negatives. Would you have done what he did to anyone? Would you have done it to your partner and children? If not, why not? Because it's sleazy and a huge betrayal? Then why the fuck would you consider tying your and your children's future to someone who already betrayed and stole from them? Good luck, be strong.
Many say Heartbroken should sue. Sue for what? Depending on where they live, she may not be entitled to anything but child support. If kids are young and she is a stay at home mom, she may very well be responsible for half the debt, including mortgage, and her child support could very well be 1000/mo or way less, not enough for her and kids to live on. Not saying she zhould not leave, not saying she should forgive, but she needs to talk to a lawyer about her obligations and options and state laws before doing anything. Often, even the best $$ lawyer cannot circumvent the laws of the state. In Indiana, example, there is no alimony and my child support is way less than 10% of my ex-husband's 300k+/ yr salary.
Heartbroken, I agree with the person above who said, sure, forgive him for the affair, but that doesn't mean you have to forgive him for the major financial betrayal and irresponsibility and being an absolutely awful co-parent. All that other bullshit makes for solid grounds to DTMFA. And a side note, while I think I personally could totally forgive "I had sex with someone else a few times because I was tempted and all people fuck-up bad sometimes," I wouldn't forgive "I actively tried to woo someone else for 8 month."

More importantly you need to go into survivor mode here; you are living with a guy who cannot be trusted with your money and have children to support. You have to staunch the bleeding and take away his ability to dig you any deeper into financial ruin. See a divorce lawyer TODAY - call your local bar association for recs. If you don't have your own bank account, open one NOW and transfer your paycheck or any other income you alone receive to that account. Do not give your husband access. Don't drain any joint accounts just yet but ask your lawyer when you talk to him/her today or tomorrow if you can. Also ask about closing all of the joint credit card accounts and invest in credit monitoring service who will alert you immediately if he tries to open any other cards you could be jointly responsible for so you can shut them down immediately to.

Not saying you actually have to divorce the guy, but you do need to make damn sure he can't threaten your family's financial security any further until you figure our what the next step for your relationship is.
Heartbroken, I'm with @19 - forgive him for the affair, but that doesn't mean you have to forgive him for the major financial betrayal, irresponsibility, and being an absolutely awful parent. That's all solid grounds ti DTMFA. And a side note, while I think I personally could totally forgive "I had sex with someone else a few times because I was tempted and all people fuck-up bad sometimes," I wouldn't forgive "I actively tried to woo someone else for 8 month."

More importantly you need to go into survival mode here; you are living with a guy who cannot be trusted with your money and have children to support. You have to stanch the bleeding and take away his ability to dig you any deeper into financial ruin. See a divorce lawyer TODAY - call your local bar association if you need recs. If you don't have your own bank account, open one NOW and transfer your paycheck or any other income you alone receive to that account. Do not give your husband access. Don't drain any joint accounts just yet but ask your lawyer when you talk to him/her today or tomorrow if you can. Also ask about closing all of the joint credit card accounts and invest in credit monitoring service who will alert you immediately if he tries to open any other cards you could be jointly responsible for so you can shut them down immediately to.

Not saying you actually have to divorce the guy, but you do need to make damn sure he can't threaten your family's financial security any further until you figure our what the next step for your relationship is.
I think Heartbroken should wait to DTMFA until *after* she's gotten him to try to prove his commitment by working a second job long enough to get at least the savings account back to where it was. And *then* drain the joint account and kick his ass to the curb.
You fucking litigious Americans need to get over your obsession with suing each other. Not only would this bring on years and years of back and forth spite misery for the entire family, but the bloody lawyers would get most of the money in the end anyway! This dude's betrayal is clearly some of the worst shit you can heap upon your spouse, but we don't know much else about the relationship. That's why I think Dan's advice is spot on. Give counselling a shot to see if you can figure out what the fuck this guy was thinking over those many months. If you don't buy it get the fuck out. And as long as the debt isn't going to leave you homeless, forget about the lawyer.
@ Heartbroken - I say: tell him you'll take him back once he's totally restored your finances. If he's sincere, he can take three jobs, live in a boarding house and bust his arse for however long it takes.

THEN shift it all into your own name and DTMFA for good.
A good couples counselor will also help end a relationship as gracefully as possible. He can figure out what caused him to act that way on his own time. As someone said above--you'll have to see him over the years because of the kids, might as well learn to communicate about that and hold boundaries and such. A counselor can help.

But it's time to go. See a lawyer.
All this advice about suing the husband is piss poor advice. Sue him for what? He's just as broke as she is!

Heartbroken needs to decide whether she wants to potentially reconcile a romantic relationship with her husband. Regardless of that decision, she also needs to seize control of her family's finances so that her husband does not have the ability to access any funds and, should she try and work things out, put him on an allowance.

And she needs to consult an attorney who can tell her what obligations and options she has in the state she resides in.
@Heartbroken: I know there's a ton of people who like to diagnose strangers on the internet with all sorts of psychiatric disorders based only on the short descriptions of them we read in advice letters, and it's usually wise to take that with a grain of salt ...but here I go anyway: Sexual indiscretions and indiscriminate spending are both hallmarks of the manic phase of bipolar disorder. If this behavior is out-of-character for your husband, you might seek a psychiatric evaluation instead of couples counseling. Has your husband suffered from depression in the past? Have there been other periods of time when his behavior seemed out-of-control? Has he exhibited rapid, pressured speech and an overabundance of energy, despite sleeping less?

Just to be clear, I'm not saying that the letter-writer's relationship isn't over. Even if her husband were suffering from bipolar disorder (and hence wasn't in his right mind during the affair and spending spree she describes), it's hard to imagine her regaining the type of trust in him that's necessary for a healthy marriage. But if he does have bipolar disorder and it isn't treated, manic episodes will recur throughout his life. And since they have children together, his behavior will continue to affect her life and their children's lives. I think it's worth considering the possibility.
If EFFED's husband continues, she says she's going to leave. I've wondered if, for some men into being cuckolded, the threat of being left does something for them. If she leaves, and ends up with someone else, would that be like the ultimate cuckolding experience?
Obviously that wouldn't work for all people into that, but it's certainly a theory as to why he would continue refusing to consider her feelings...
DTMFA for sure, get what you legally can but don't go to war with your husband. Don't try to punish him beyond ending the marriage. Because of the kids, he will always be in your life and a constant war just isn't worth it. It would be like having your own personal Afghanistan.
Once you're free, try to be forgiving. For your sake and not his. The best revenge is having a better life without him than with him.
@31 Does it really matter what he was thinking? Because his actions said that he thought getting off with his girlfriend was waaaay more important than the financial security of his family or the future of his children.

The pain from infidelity isn't about the fact that they got off with someone else - it's the lack of honesty about one's needs, the abuse of trust, and in this case the serious disregard for the welfare of the person he made a commitment to and the children he should be raising.

Finally, stop with the "litigious Americans" bullshit. Sometimes suing is an entirely appropriate course of action. As in, when you want to terminate your marriage to a POS and try to recover some semblance of a normal life (not saddled with debt you had no part in) for yourself and a future for your children.
I don't think the best advice to heartbroken is to "GET A LAWYER". Did anyone miss the part where the guy cleaned them out? She.! if we go by this letter. She can look up free legal help and advice in her state; law schools may be able to help as well with their clinics. I'd suggest legal advice at this point since it's mostly free.

I'll actually suggest *forgiving* him. Bide your time, see if he changes enough to replace all the money. Hell, turn a blind eye if he fucks around again. Set up conditions to ensure you get total control over the accounts. Let him prove his remorse by replacing all the money and paying off the debt. The minute he does and turns over everything to you or that trustee/administrator, you DTMFA and run.
@38, you say "Sometimes suing is an entirely appropriate course of action" - but that' s my point. In this case it would be a totally leotarded course of action. She and the husband have no money! Moreover, they will still be connected personally and financially for years to come (regardless of whether they split). I realize it's never a good idea to paint a whole country with the same brush, but if you were to see yourselves from the outside, you'd see how motherfucking litigious you are compared to the rest of the world! The only ones getting rich in this situation is the lawyers.
@6: You can't quite tit-for-tat things that shut you down inside like that.

"I see 2 unrelated issues here that only look like they're related. One, he keeps badgering you about a fantasy he wants fulfilled, one that you're completely uncomfortable with, and one that he brings up when you're having sex, something that spoils the sex for you. Two, he's not being nice to you the way he used to."

You're only solving one of the problems, so "striking a deal" is still going to leave her miserable and with a husband who feels entitled to get right back to what makes her unhappy.
Does anyone have even a slight clue what 23 is going on about?
@38: "Finally, stop with the "litigious Americans" bullshit. Sometimes suing is an entirely appropriate course of action. As in, when you want to terminate your marriage to a POS and try to recover some semblance of a normal life (not saddled with debt you had no part in) for yourself and a future for your children."

If he had a secret bank account, it would have been what he used to pay for the affair(s). Instead, he's got no extra money and you're going to drain even more from BOTH COFFERS and both childrens' college funds to pay the lawyers.

It just doesn't sound sensical. Set up child support, alimony, etc., in the divorce, but suing him separately just sounds like money set ablaze.
The advice to Heartbroken started out great and then got worse and worse. Not to mention the comments trying to "justify" his behavior because mental illness. (If a woman is mentally ill and acts out on her husband this way, she's summarily called a crazy bitch.) I've seen harsher responses to people who allow their relationships to suffer lackluster sex lives than I've seen so far to this dude who stole from his wife and kids.
Of course, the people called out more harshly for lackluster sexy time are women and not men 9 times out of 10. At least.
@42: Sounds like a cuck-obsessed MRA.

Hint to 23: If you're "almost" agreeing with Republicans about how terrible gays are because Dan gives advice you don't agree with, you're still an asshole and should rethink your life choices.
With all due respect to #39, that is bad advice.

My W cheated - not as egregiously as Heartbroken's H did, but still. I stayed and Surprise! It happened again 12 years later.

Through communicating with other people who have been cheated on - and SO many (like Heartbroken) have way worse stories than myself - in groups and other settings, I have come to realize that husbands and wives who cheat have a overwhelming sense of entitlement coupled with a complete lack of regard for ANYONE else's feelings but their own.

For the record, I do believe that small, isolated or otherwise contained "lapses in judgment" do not make someone a horrible person. I was in fact willing to try and work past it both times. Mistakes are made and can be worked past.


In so many cases, it is like it was for Heartbroken. One of the biggest hurdles I have had in working through this incredibly painful experience is being very hard on myself for not kicking her lying, cheating, completely self-centered ass to the curb 12 years ago.

Heartbroken, do what you can do and DTMFA and run. Do not waste years - do not waste even months - on this POS. You can never get that time back.
KateRose@36, you may be right but it doesn't really matter, does it? Whether or not some part of him gets off on her leaving, it doesn't change the facts on the ground. He's pushing her away.

If I were her, I'd make it clear that the marriage is on the rocks. I would go to individual counseling and ask him to find a counselor he could tolerate for marital counseling. If he values their marriage, he'll participate in trying to reboot their sex life. If not, then she'll have that information and can act on it.
While there are a lot of differences between how jurisdictions treat divorce, especially between fault and no-fault, many of them have built in a method of dealing with especially egregious financial acts. Simply put, it is likely that funds spent in furtherance of an affair can actually be counted against Heartbroken's spouse.

Even if Heartbroken does not ultimately go through with legal proceedings, a legal separation or divorce might be the only responsible thing she can do to protect their kids, and talking to a lawyer should be on the top of her list.

Divorce and legal separation, that is having the state help put your affairs in order when a relationship is failing, is one of the most important benefits conferred by marriage, and Heartbroken should examine it, if not for herself, than for those kids.
@48, EricaP.
Nope, definitely doesn't make a difference to her situation. More just a musing of my own. It made sense in my head, and I wondered if it would make sense once I typed it out. :)
Wow, @10, @11 and the rest, are WAY too hard on EFEED's husband.

No where in the letter does EFEED ever mention that she told her husband that the dirty talk/progession to cuckolding talk was a turn off. All we know is that 10 years ago her husband asked her to talk dirty about sex with other men, and she complied. He apparently has escalated that to cuckolding fantasies, over 10 years. She shuts down during sex. She has harbored resentment for ten years and has never given her husband the reason. That is passive aggressive bullshit. She reaps what she sows.

Dan's advice is generally fine and his core message is worth shouting from the rooftops: If you want a man to stop doing something or to do it differently, speak up directly.

EFEED , your husband is not a mindreader. And if the recent NYT cover on monogamy and women is accurate, most long time married women are fantasizing about other men during sex.
Dan Savage asked: "No more closing your eyes and waiting for him to finish. (What kind of asshole can finish under those circumstances?)"

Tim Horton answers: Married men, reluctantly.
Ms Erica - I think you and Ms Rose are both correct. Threatening to leave may only make him push her away harder, but pushing away is still pushing away. The best way for the LW to make use of Ms Rose's idea is to emulate Marigold Featherstone - don't leave, but don't forgive him (for the LW, no more giving him what he wants).
No one's using mental illness as an excuse here. It's just that IF mental illness is a factor, it's a good thing to know that, because then you have a better clue what to expect and how to deal. The information gives you an extra toehold or two on the way up the cliff, as it were. Doesn't mean the cliff isn't there or you don't have to climb it.
As for Heartbroken, would any of those who have provided a condemnation of the character of the Other Woman mollify it if Ms Other (whose first name, according to Gilbert and Sullivan, is bound to be Anne) were a sex worker (assuming the same total expenditure)? This letter reminded me of the Cracker episode *Brotherly Love* except that here the LW is at least directing her anger at the proper party.
I like all the advice, but I think @EFFED definitely needs to start enforcing hard lines with her hubby about what she does/doesn't want. I stayed waaaay too long in a marriage with bedroom issues, trying to be nice, trying to work harder at it, and all it did was enable her to kind of ignore my wants. Rather than learning to speak up for and demand that my needs be met, I allowed the lack of them to erode away the relationship. And it wasn't just sex - it was a ton of stuff. I wasted time wrestling with the tar-baby, and honestly it was as much my fault for engaging in it as it was hers for being that way. When the end finally arrived and I just started blowing her off and doing what I wanted - taking care of my needs, her tune changed, and toute-suite (sp?). If I had done that a decade earlier, we might've kept the relationship and all the good stuff that did work - and worked well. I think we all try to get away with getting as many of our own needs/wants met with having to give as little (that requires something of us) as possible - and that's OK. The hubby is not a 'bad guy' but he does need to change, and EFFED needs to demand it. Good luck!

@Heartbroken - Yeah, um, DTMFA. Not only cheating, but...robbing you to do it. A lot of people will say, "oh, he's shown he doesn't respect you" and maybe that's true, maybe it's not, but what is true is: he puts his own needs/wants so far ahead (or lacks impulsivity control) of yours that his respect isn't worth much.

@56 - I don't share the cuckolding fantasy, so I'm just speculating, but I'd really bet that the "dirty, dirty slut" bit - while true! - is not so much a function of misogyny as it is a kind of validation or reassurance that the wife enjoys the hot-and-horny side of sex as much as the emotional intimacy: that she's as big a horndog as he is. That she likes screwing in and of itself just as much as he does.
@42, I was more curious about @18
Mr Horton - I don't know; anyone who is sufficiently oblivious not to notice a partner's shutting down during sex on a regular basis and not wanting to collect the hard-earned climax thereto, or sufficiently callous to be able to take such a unilaterally beneficial arrangement for more than the shortest period of time without initiating conversation or feeling concern about it except to keep pushing to escalate what's been causing the problem seems like the kind of miserable worm who ought to be divorced yesterday anyway given the evidence of a partner's regular Disenthusisatic Consent over a long period of time, even if that partner was less direct and forthright than was possible. And I say this for any combination.

And you might at least make an attempt not to be completely heterocentric. Quoting a rhetorical question and then responding to it with "married men" when Mr Savage Himself IS a married man is an act of High Erasure. I'll let any straight men so inclined argue on the merits of the statement, as that's not my place, but I'm sure there are many here who could.
All the people saying she can't get out of the debt, it's forever: not necessarily. That's part of what divorce court can do. I know (I am not a lawyer, but I am divorced) that even in my no-fault state, spending the couple/family's money on an affair or other stupid shit like gambling gets the money and debts chopped up differently in the court settlement.)

Divorce may be the ONLY way she gets out of that debt.
(I wasn't bi-erasing by not saying opposite-sexer instead of straight; the bisexual perspective is different, even - in general - for those bisexual men whose sexual and emotional relationships have been entirely with women. When I say either straight or gay, people may rest assured that I am being specific on purpose. The last sentence just looked ambiguous, and I thought it couldn't hurt to clarify.)
It's amazing how many of the problems in Dan's mail could be solved, or at least improved, if someone (EFFED's husband) would apply the principle of "Could you shut the fuck up about that HALF the time?"

One nit to pick with the reply to Heartbroken: *Maybe* the girlfriend is not a complete fucking piece of shit if he misrepresented how much money he had. If she knew he was not filthy rich, or should have known (e.g. he was picking her up for dates in a 13 year old Honda), then FPOS.
@54: It's a good idea to know what to expect in the future and for the purposes of categorization, but shouldn't "help" the husband win her back in any positive sense.
@64: What the fuck with the golddigger routine? The letter was so short, how did you not read it all?

She's MARRIED to the guy, she knew about his financial state, she's mad that the money that EXISTED once in her accounts for her children was drained for the mistress' entertainment.
EclecticEel what mean, cruel, underhanded thinking but I like it. Maybe MacD's on the weekends for a third job and castrate the prick as a parting gift.
to 42, I don't even know if I could tell what I was thinking, too often thinks don't make sense in the morning but I could have sworn it was coherent when I thought it, but not always translated without error when I type it

It was nothing but a failed attempt at sarcasm that didn't make sense. I wished he would have been more direct by saying to Fuck that! (as in Fuck Edward, Victor, Alpha, Tango, and whatever each letter's word is letters are spoken to ensure precision in translation when there is no room for typos in spoken instructions. As is the case with trasnscription, Word must be transcribed into thoughts which are coded without the aid of verifiable written symbols, which can be rechecked, but that fact alone makes written word susceptible to the possibility that they fall into the wrong hands) And Truth should never be used as an offensive weapon, at least not for good reason, but in general one can never go wrong when it is kept for only defensive applications.

I just did again, what I meant to say is I wish Dan wasn't so subtle when directness can be used in more liberally. Not everyone would have heard the following thoughts behinds Dan's subtle words EFFED: or fuct *see note at butt, excuse me "bottom"

"...only you know if sex with another person other than your husband is truly something that turns you off. Too often people have been taught to adopt the traditional patriarchal view of how "normal" people are allowed behave without being shunned by society. These false beliefs are so entrenched after two-thousand years that they are even effective at enforcing how you are allowed to feel.

For instance, it's perfectly "normal" (as in everybody has had the thought at least once, if not multiple times) to have a fleeting thought of sex with a person other than your spouse. Humans are extremely sexual creatures and if Freud had been a woman, perhaps psychology wouldn't be so far behind all other sciences as it is today.

SO it's perfectly OK if sex with other men, isn't a turn on. But before you put your foot down, and give him an ultimatum of respecting your position and feelings on the issue, take a day or a week and allow yourself to be unshackled of the false beliefs of the Republican Right Wing and make sure it isn't two-thousand years of programming that insists you must never admit the truth of how you feel, are you will be pay dearly because the rest of the world will shun you forever.

The worst part about these fucking assholes who tell you it's bad to be honest, is that they don't care if your thoughts are fleeting, but there is a difference between a thought you think, or emotion you feel once in a blue moon when you are horny compared to the thought or feeling experienced 95% of the time.

Some thoughts and feelings are extremely temporary while others are much more permanent. Only you know what you personally feel, just make sure you are honest with yourself about those thoughts. There is a difference between pretending you didn't think something, and deciding your thought was not a good idea to follow through and give it life in your actions. Honesty is not something we should be afraid of, what we should fear are those who would have US believe it is better to lie than be grounded in truth. So just for the sake of argument and amusement, let's pretend that it may be closer to the truth in reality for you to say, "...While I am definitely notta prude and I willingly participate in every other way to make sex between my husband and I more exciting, I don't think bringing another person into the bedroom and engaging in sex is a smart move at this juncture in our marriage. I'd be lying if I said I have never ever imagined sex with another man since committing to my husband, but living out fantasy tends to make or break relationships. The level of maturity, honesty, and truly knowing yourself that would be necessary to ensure cuckolding didn't end our marriage, is not the level of maturity, honesty and self-knowledge we are currently at.

Perhaps if we were better communicators I could tell him I like sensual tones as opposed to nasty dirty. If he wants me to be into it, he needs to tell me things like how beautiful I am and how much it turns him on to see me experience pleasures so sharply, you could mistake the sounds I make to be from being sliced open with a knife, but my eyes tell him there is nothing painful about it. I need the truth to be turned on, and not some dirty male chauvinistic talk of "oh baby I love to watch you suck cock you dirty whore" I wish my husband realized that sex doesn't have to be associated with something negative to be exciting. We can spice our love life with healthy, honest forms of communicating our sexual desires in ways we both feel comfortable experiencing in real life.

To me that is what Heaven is about, living your dreams and being able to fulfill healthy fantasy in ways that aren't destructive. I refuse to be programmed into living in denial. I refuse to become the typical bull shit control freak who has to lie to themselves in order to live their dreams. I as understand life, it's often the dishonesty that is destructive, many things when approached with honesty rather than lies can salvage the subject and return it good, from evil

All relationships are in trouble if wives can't even honestly discuss with their husbands what they are thinking or feeling just because the thought is fleeting. I don't want to ignore my emotions just because they may be temporary, they are still real and while my more non-fleeting thoughts and feelings (the more permanent ones) should dictate the majority of my decisions in life, when it comes to sexual fantasy, I need him to be honesty, truthful, and self-knowledgeable and self-aware."

I like Dan's thoughts, I was being completely sarcastic (facetious) with the attitude I was upset with Dan's attitude. In fact I wish he did more to fill in the blanks of what he implies, as not everyone will understand the subtle direction he is pointing.

Hopefully he will elaborates in his books.

But as far as here on his web site, I think he should be more direct, Not only in sex advice, but for his work that has more to do with the fight for Freedom, Justice, Liberty and Equality, as I am vehemently opposed to the first flowers being discarded as opposed to nurtured into fruition. I don't take the first flowers appearance lightly, it has been nearly 250 years since the tree described in Genuses that was recognized by the Ephraimers on the Constitution as noted by Jefferson remarks, has been vigilantly watched so that we don't miss these exact situations.

If anyone thinks I am going to hesitate or not obliterate bigoted republican philosophy from all parts of society with the only exceptions to it's existence being history books, an unreformed private clubs known as yesterday's religion that failed to recognize what they mislabeled as love, was old fashioned hatred.

They are IDIOTS

I will ring a bell and announce HERE YE HEAR YE HEAR YE



I am not sure if I am being clear just yet, soon though, I promise you soon

Hatred is so dense it will sink any ship that refuses to jettison it, an no church, no state, nor political party is immune to it.

Even I don't understand my own humor sometimes, so I must acknowledge my thankfulness to Dan and anyone else who tolerates my sometimes gibberish.

But hatred, politics, religion, and Love are dangerous topics to antagonize a person who may not be able to hit the targets at close range when it isn't unusual for me to lob one from the distant past or future that obliterates long after some idiot is laughing over things he ought noght have said or done.

@68: Serious question, do you need help?
@61 - Mr. Ven, if you will allow me to elaborate:

As with all letters, we only have EFEED's side of the story. I would guess that EFEED's husband would be surprised to find out that his fantasies are destroying their sex life. Since she describes their relationship as otherwise good but for the sex, there is obviously an element of mutual caring and respect outside the bedroom. I doubt he is aware his fantasies are sabotaging his marriage. At the risk of more gender essentialism, men aint good at reading female minds.

So why hasn't this supposed D-bag of a husband realized that he is putting his marriage at risk with dirty talk? Maybe he thinks his wife's lack of enjoyment during sex is from low libido secondary to her being bored of fucking him, something fairly common in long term relationships. Maybe he assumes that she, like pretty much all men and most women, have active fantasies about fucking people other than her spouse. Maybe he thinks he is being GGG by initiating bedroom fantasies involving others, which is not something that all husbands would be thrilled about. Maybe she could, you know, speak up about what she wants, instead of making him guess and then getting depressed when he guesses wrong.

Which brings me to my half-sarcastic point @52: In my marriage, Mrs. Horton wants me to "finish" even though it is pretty clear to me she doesn't particularly want to be having sex at that moment. Believe me, Mr. Ven, the situation sucks. Fucking an unenthusiastic partner is debatably more/less enjoyable than going without. It is, however, preferable to Mrs. Horton feeling even worse about her lack of libido by me stopping the fucking and mid-pump and checking in with her. (Want to see a low libido spouse really feel bad about the situation? Insist they must enjoying themselves and be in the throws of orgasm with you for each sex session. Funny how that works.)
@66: I think #64 is referring to The Other Woman, not to Letter Writer. In other words, The Other Woman may not have realized that Cheating Husband was spending his family's life savings and childrens' college funds in order to wine her and dine her and take her to fabulous vacations. She may have thought she had just lucked into a rich guy.

Granted, that would change her role in the story from Fucking User Dirtbag to Fucking Naive Moron, so it's not really much of a hall pass.

(Me, I'm wondering how Letter Writer failed to notice the fabulous vacations. Did Cheating Husband send The Other Woman on them by herself? Lots of bogus "company travel" perhaps?)
@68 ...and if you don't think you need help (#69), do you have anyone close to you who you could check in with?

It may be a good time to chat with a close friend, family member or teacher, boss, mentor, etc.
@51, 52: If she hasn't said anything, she certainly should have. But shouldn't the husband notice his wife shut down during sex? Close her eyes? Wouldn't it behoove him to at least ask why that happens? There's at the very least a bit of negligence on his part.
To all the folks who are going on and on about suing and overly litigious americans and all that, stick a sock in it. HB needs legal representation regardless of whether she intends to sue for financial damages.

If we assume she's in the US, then it's a given that family law in her state is going to be complex to the point where she does not have the knowledge level to navigate it successfully. You don't ask a five-year-old to sit an algebra test, you don't ask an olympic ski jumper to compete in the 4x100m freestyle swimming relay, why on earth would you ask somebody who is not a legal professional to undertake a legal case that has everything to do with her financial well-being, her mental well-being, and the well-being of her children who are innocent victims in this mess?

That's partially why I suggested arbitration rather than court: IF they can come to an agreement through arbitration, it's usually much less expensive and much less time-consuming than the courtroom, and her finances are definitely taking a hit right now.
Also, family arbitration is legally binding and family law arbiters are legal professionals.....and if arbitration fails or the husband does not agree to it, her only other option for ditching him is court.
@75: Here here.

To all those advocating a fantasy of "forgive him, make him cause all the money he spent to reappear, and after he's spent years doing that empty the accounts and dump him!!!!" Yeah, years of faking it, eating her rage, dependent on her getting him before he gets her (like she planned to pull her thing April 30, and April 20 the money vanishes with him and his new mistress), is exactly what she needs to move past this in good emotional and financial health. And for her children to do the same. Only not.

The best revenge is living well. To get started on that, she needs to follow the advice about legal counsel, because while the savings are gone the maxed out credit lines could be assigned to her husband in divorce court. Not in "figure he's a nice guy who wants to do right by you without any legal people involved to iron out the binding details." That doesn't seem to describe him.
Can someone please explain why, in this day and age when being a single male is totally acceptable, that one who has "confusion regarding my sexual orientation and gender identity" would get married?

Dating? Sure. But why would you drag an unwitting, innocent party along, on a full time basis, for this bumpy life's journey? I've even known guys who've have kids in these circumstances, only to leave the marriage later in a fanfare of "sexual discovery" and "isn't it great how the guy found himself," etc. Sure it's great, except for the wife and kids left behind in a flurry of emotional shrapnel.
Yes, gays deserve equal rights, understanding, etc. But if you're not sure of your sexual identity, remember that the whole world isn't about you and your needs.Think hard before bringing others into your dramatic mess.
MWAH: My husband loves sissy-training videos. He's shown me some of his favorites. They're not going to turn you into anything you're not, but do keep working on figuring out what that is with your shrink. You might be a bisexual cross-dresser and there's nothing wrong with that.
Stay with the cheater BUT you take total control of the finances. He has no access to any cash, credit cards, lines of credit, checking account etc. except for the $5.00 a week you give him for his allowance.
Mr Horton - While I am sorry about Mrs Horton, there are no good choices here: he thinks he can badger her into it, he thinks what he's doing is working, he thinks it doesn't matter as long as he's getting what he wants, or he's too clueless to be able to tell. If it turns out that he's another Launcelot and she's the basket case, it's still a PDY, just the other way around.
Just had a realization about this part of EFFED's letter: "I am open to a great deal of things (toys, games, dressing up, striptease, etc." She thinks those are kinks that they could share, because they're "normal," not like that nasty cuckold stuff in his head. But what she's not processing is that those kinks feel normal, easy and fun to her because they're HER kinks. I don't think she has realized that she actually has kinky desires of her own. But if she figures that out, then (a) her husband may be thrilled to see his wife actually hot for something instead of acting like a cold fish, and (b) it gives them a way to start negotiating their reboot. Some of what you like, for some of what I like. But it requires her to own what she likes, rather than telling herself that she'd do those games and dress-up for him.
EFFED: Your situation sounds JUST LIKE MINE. After years of marriage, my husband brought up this fantasy as well. I finally gave in recently, and the results have been catastrophic. I no longer desire my husband. At all. Whatever you do - DON'T give in. Those sites that he's reading (which I'm convinced are written mostly by men) are telling him that he'll eventually wear you down. I think it's part of the fun for them.

Dan's advice is great - tell him to never speak of it again. 10 years is enough!! Giving in could do more damage than you might think, and he could also decide that he's not into it anymore - after the damage has been done. Then where does that leave you??

For me, it left me not wanting my husband sexually, and him whining now because I now want to continue sleeping with other men. Makes me furious.
@82 uhhhh, as far as 'kinks' go hers are playing in the shallow end of the kiddie pool. And not all people view their kinks as normal. Hell, kinks by definition AREN'T normal. (Caveat that not normal is not bad.) She's actively turned off by his kink. She tried it for TEN YEARS. Her normal is enduring sex she doesn't like. The charade needs to end.
@18: Absolutely no sarcasm here, but you sound like Jabba the Hut.

@42: I have no idea.
Ms Erica - Maybe if she could get him on to something else, but this feels as if she'd be Shirley Valentine trying to give Joe chips and egg on a Thursday instead of steak.
I am with EricaP @82.

There is nothing worse than someone complaining about their marital sex life, when they have given no indication of expressing what they want. Again, EFEED makes zero mention that she has ever expressed 1) her disgust for his kink, or 2) what would turn her on.

Which raises my lone objection to Dan's advice - I don't think she should be so harsh. She should certainly make it clear she doesn't want to play cuckold with him. But it seems unnecessarily cruel to go from indulging the kink to threating to end sex sessions if he dares go there again. If she tells him it turns her off, that will do it. Remember, assuming her husband isn't a sociopath, he is about to be jolted that his kink is a threat to their marriage.

If you make your spouse 100% responsible for the sexual part of your marriage, you lose the right to complain where he/she takes you.
Dan says: "Not all "other women/men" are pieces of shit, but anyone who would allow her married lover to spend that kind of money on her in eight months is a flaming piece of shit."

I just want to disagree slightly with that. It is very possible that Heartbroken's husband misrepresented his financial situation to his lover and she had no idea she was draining his savings and credit.

Heartbroken, if you're reading this (and if I were you, I probably wouldn't read the comments): I'm really sorry this happened. I, too, would be able to (and have!) forgiven affairs, but could never forgive being dragged into serious debt against my will. That's just unbelievable cruelty.

Everyone's talking about what you should do (lawyers, counsellors, etc.) but what does your husband say? Does he feel bad about his debt? Has he suggested some kind of workable plan where it could be paid off with a second job or something? Has he show initiative to fix his mistake?

Find out the extent that you personally can be held liable for the debt and protect yourself from any further debt being incurred in your name. NOW.

Then, treat your lying soon to be ex like the rapidly sinking ship of fool he is. If it takes having charges of fraud being brought against your husband to minimize your culpability and liability, then do it as part of the plan to save your and your children's asses. Save yourself.

Anybody else get a Mark Sanford vibe from the last letter?
Mr. Ven, per your point @53. I think that would definitely be the best way for the LW to keep from giving her husband what he wants. If that is her only goal, that is.
Unfortunately, as I'm sure you're aware (particularly after your ready use of PDY for this couple)spiting him will not necessarily make her happy. If she does not want to leave him, she would be best not making the threat, but to just state matter of factly what she will and will not do anymore.
On the other hand, if she feels leaving is her only option, it's worth giving him "what he wants" if it also makes her happier in the end.
@75: I agree that she needs it, to protect herself financially before and during the divorce process (and even while ~considering~ divorce), I just felt that suing him directly to recover the money lost might not be as successful. But yeah, lawyer up.
@Heartbroken: Staying together with someone who raids the college fund and racks up debt to have an affair isn't going to be serving the best interests of the children. Your husband has already demonstrated that he considers his own extracurricular romantic interests more important than not only his integrity and promise of monogamy but also NOT FUCKING STEALING FROM HIS OWN KIDS AND WIFE. Cheating is shitty; stealing from a spouse is shittier; stealing from one's dependent offspring is unconscionable. Leave him yesterday.
@88, what the eff? Why does it matter what her husband thinks/says at this point? Actions have consequences and the whole thing about him, say, getting a second job to pay back the money (if indeed he can do so, we don't know the situation), it logically follows that any time he spends out of the house doing paid work is time that she is stuck with ALL of the child care and ALL of the housework and ALL of the domestic tasks....tasks that he probably was sharing to some extent before. If that's the way things are going to be, she might as well divorce his larcenous ass and not be held to debts that he racked up in her name without her knowledge and still be stuck with all of the work of single parenting.

That's served with a hot side order of why the eff should she believe anything that comes out of his mouth, after nearly a year of lying, cheating, theft, and screwing her and her children over? Honestly, if he's the kind of jackass who will rob his family blind to get his dick wet, I wouldn't be surprised if she never got a dime of child support, let alone paying back what he stole.

The only time she needs to be hearing his plans for the future are through a neutral third party, such as a divorce mediator.

And get the kids into counselling, and no matter what, no matter how angry, stick to the facts and don't trash-talk the bastard in front of the kids.
@94: See, you need to give him the opportunity to lie more and lawyer up himself to outflank you as he prepares to leave you for his girlfriend(s) before you lawyer up.
First time poster here, I just wanted to say two things that may be useful to Heartbroken.

1. I don't like how many posters concentrate on how she could get "revenge". HEARTBROKEN has been hurt, and the focus should be on how SHE can deal with the situation and heal, not on how to punish the husband. Separation may be necessary (and probably is), but "revenge" is almost always counterproductive.

2. If this behaviour was totally out of character for him, I would strongly suggest the possibility of mental illness. Let me be clear, a psychiatric diagnosis would not be an EXCUSE, but maybe an EXPLANATION. And as importantly, in some jurisdictions, he may get at least some of the money back he spent on the girlfriend if he is certified to have been insane at the time of purchase by a medical professional. (I mean the girlfriend probably still HAS some of the gifts and could return them.) And even if there is no LEGAL obligation, it might still help convince the girlfriend to co-operate/help once she knows the whole picture. As some other posters noted, we do not know if she was aware of the real situation. Obviously, all of this is very hypothetical, I just wanted to put it out there as a possibility.
@96: It's not out of "revenge", even in the cases where they want to sue the husband, it's about getting the money back in the kids' accounts.

To point two, it's his business to fix himself independently if he wants to at any point be a good father. Being aware of mental illness isn't going to change the situation radically.

"certified to have been insane at the time of purchase by a medical professional"

Give me a fucking break.
If the money was in fact taken from a college fund, the courts would be more likely to rule in favor of the kids' future than whatever Twinkie-defense movie script you've got going in your head.
I'm unsure how a woman can not notice all her joint savings and joint credit cards are being racked up with debt. Here in VA, if my husband gets a credit card and racks up debt I'm not on the hook for it. So that's a non-issue. The other accounts, though-both partners should be aware of their financial status ALL THE TIME. It's how you catch identity theft and prevent your spouse from trying shit like this.
@99: I imagine if it's a "no touch" savings account, she honestly expected money to flow in but never, ever flow out.

It would be better for your children if your CPOS husband is forever removed from being in any position where he has access to whatever college funds you manage to restore.

It would be better for your children if he is forever removed from having access to any family savings you manage to restore. It would be better for them if they have at least one parent who isn't bogged down with automatic shared responsibility for whatever impulsive debts the other incurs.

It would be better for your children to see their mother demonstrate that, when somebody is treated the way your husband treated his family, there are serious consequences.

It would be better for your children to see that, while some skirmishes and betrayals can be worked through, others are so thorough that the best course of action is to LEAVE. That there are some things that a self-respecting person should not tolerate.

Nothing about divorce will stop him from being a big part of his childrens' lives, if he wants (and is qualified) to be.

All it will do is make you, and the kids, less emotionally and financially vulnerable to the destructive whims of a person who has demonstrated a severe lack of willpower or genuine concern for his family.

I fundamentally disagree with Dan's assertinon that divorce is always a bad thing for kids. Sometimes it's the best thing (and not only in cases where there's abuse; sometimes just ending the general malaise and tension of a bad marriage winds up being better for kids in the long run). In this case, while your husband may not be abusive, his position as your legal spouse is a huge liability and he doesn't exactly seem to be making up for it through emotional rewards.

Drain (or freeze) your bank accounts and then call a good lawyer. Make sure you've had at least one good meeting with this lawyer before you even bring up divorce with your soon-to-be ex.
Okay but they should be getting statements regularly. I review all our financial statements from every account each month as well as our retirement accounts, which are truly meant to be for money coming in. I guess my point here is that finances are a joint responsibility for every single account you have.
And even though I'm not responsible for his personal debt and he's not responsible for mine, we also inform each other about the status of our personal checking accounts and personal accounts where we have debt (we each have a cc in our own name). Being open and smart about your finances is so important-marriage isn't an excuse to not protect yourself. Perhaps he spent it too fast for her to notice, and that is unfortunate, but there are things you can do to protect your accounts as well, like asking for notifications if it drops below a certain threshold. Obviously it's too late for her, but maybe someone else will read this and spend some time shoring up their situation to avoid this kind of heartache.
Divorce the man, get alimony, get the house then sell it.