Yes, Iíd like to believe it was harder on me than it was on her. And I do struggle with separations from her in general, Iíve been at home with her for 4 years and Iím just used to being with her. And I know itís normal for young children to cry at being separated, thatís not really what got me in this case. Itís more the very sad fact of running into my own 3 year old child on a Saturday afternoon, during a day when I would almost definitely be with her given the chance. To me itís devastating to bump into my own child around town and say hi and be forced to leave without her. Itís just not right and it feels like the part of this that isnít tolerable and that will always, always be horrible. That terrifies me. I know itís usless to think of the ďshouldsĒ, but we should be together. This is just not the way of things.
You can't win, U. There is no correct path, or better route to take.
Because it's not about you. And in her mind the R is over. Which is why she was "surprised" you wanted to work on the R.
It has to end in order for it to begin again as something new. In my sit, the old R was not working. I went kicking and screaming (not literally but you get the idea) fought for it tooth and nail, and in the end none of it mattered. I see it for what it was now. And things were not as good as I thought they were.
So I accepted it, got up, and started figuring out how this new thing will look. That's not to say I dont have moments of sadness or regret, but I make it a point to move past those thoughts now. Hard as it is to do.
And I thought I would draw the line at IHS. I came close to leaving. But something told me not to. I'm still not sure what it was or if I was mistaken. It was my gut instinct. For whatever reason I am still here, giving space in an 800 square ft home.
I think you have been one of the luckier ones to quickly find someone that you want to go on a second date with. You are quite a catch, so im not surprised.
I think what you should do differently this time is to be careful of building someone up in your head. I think when you do, you might really have hope they will be that person, even when they show you that they arenít. Just be aware of when someone shows you who they are, believe them. And if the reality isnít someone you want to be with, move on.
For now enjoy the moment, donít look to the future yet. Learn him and get to know him. And I sure do hope he turns out great, but if he doesnít, just recognize it and move on.
Wife messages today saying "Daughter's birthday is in early August. Need to start planning in case you want to throw a party and invite people".
maybe something like "I have plans to take D xday-xday to celebrate, but if you would like to have dinner with us on her birthday, we can work something out"
I am not a vet to this forum, but I have been DBing for 2 years. Not always successfully, and have needed 2x4's on detachment more often than not.
From what you said, you know what you want to do, but you are trying to accommodate a WAW. I would say as long as she is having an A, you are not obligated to do anything for her. She might be used to letting you know what you need to do, but right now, you are in control of what you do/don't do (i.e. throw a party etc) if you WANT to go eat with her and your D, do so. If you don't, offer to let her have the birthday evening just the two of them, and then take the 2 days and celebrate just you and D.
My wife mentioned to me tonight how angry it makes her to see some of the changes that Iíve made. Like level 10 anger. ďYou clean out the junk drawer after not doing it for 12 yearsĒ. You now get a handle on your finances?Ē
She stormed out basically saying that sheís moving out as soon as she can.
The thing is, and I told her this, I get it. I said to her I understand you being angry that it took basically ending the relationship for me to start making positive changes in my life. But thereís nothing I can do about it now. She then said no, youíll be happy as a clam. Just go live your life. I then told her that she has no idea how I feel. None. Thatís when she walked out.
I kinda regret saying the part about making changes, but this is the first convo Iíve had with her in a while. We never talk about this stuff.
Iím sad but Iím also feeling good. I know my marriage is over, but Iím happy that Iím getting my life together.
I have been reading your story and itís very similar to mine, except my wife swears sheís not cheating.
Originally Posted by Vik11
Update on what has been happening:
So, after MIL was sent back in early May, my wife told me that I may have to keep our daughter for that week as she has some job interviews stuff for which she has to go to another city for a week. To which I agreed. I am not sure if she went out of town or was with the AP for that week (most likely with AP), but it was a good week with my daughter.(Though I felt bad that being with AP was more important than being with Daughter.) Then she asked me later that week if we she could have D with her for another day(which was my day) as she did not spend time with D that week, to which I again agreed.
I am not sure agreeing to her requests like this is ok or not. ( Just to mention that I had no prior engagements, so no real reason to deny and would love to spend as much time with D as possible). But want to know if this approach is fine and don't want to enable the affair. Also, as I also travel for business, I may need her to keep D with her during those days (So that is give and take we may have to agree on). The only difference being, I actually have to travel for business and she lies and spends time with AP.
Another message came just two days back that she may have to travel for 2-3 weeks again but not sure when and wants me to have D during those weeks. I did not reply to that message at all as it was information message and did not need a reply (though I could have said ok or thanks for letting me know")
Communication: She usually messages me asking How D is doing and if she is fine health wise when D is with me and I simply reply "She is fine". that is it. Occasionally sends me pics of D when she is with her, though she stopped asking for D's pics when she is with me, which she did earlier. For other messages like "Our D likes this new book/food and you can get the same for her if you would like", I do not reply back at all (Though I could say "OK...Thanks"). Is this approach fine? I feel I come across being cold. Why I ask that is because her complaint was she felt unimportant and by being like this, I don't want to send the same message again. (That was needed to be my 180) Not sure, so would love to have feedback from the vets.
Other than that, there is no communication between us. Only stuff related to D and mostly she initiates the conversation and my replies are short and precise and that too where there are questions, not for messages that have information. Also, feels like how will she notice my changes if we have zero communication other than D stuff. Doesn't worry me but I think of it sometimes. There have been no interactions where she shared something other than D stuff.
Finally I feel a little at peace. After she left for her apartment, there is a relief. I don't feel the need to know where she is, what she is doing, how will she react if I do this or that. The home was a tense place when we were together after BD and now its not that sinking feeling to open the main door. Doesn't bother me when she lies. On weekend, when I go to pick my daughter, I have no hard feelings, I say hi and then play with my D (I pick her from her apartment parking) and am happy to see her and usually plan something with my D and we both have a great time. When alone at home, I enjoy making nice food for myself. Have started guitar lessons (which I wanted to do for a long time) and enjoying my golf.
I feel that detachment has also helped me focus on other things that are important.
Also, want to thanks all the members here who are supporting and providing their guidance through this rough time.
Oh my gosh, DnJ, I have not been checking up on your thread enough, due to the aforementioned burying, and so I did not know it was your birthday.
I can't believe I didn't even bake you any virtual butter tart slice with an appropriate number of virtual candles, a dollop of ice cream and virtual bacon sizzling nearby. Please be sure to eat your virtual kale once the birthday is over though.
As I cannot give you anything IRL, I am sending you two birthday poems. And I will sing a little birthday song to the mantle in your honor.
How to Spend a Birthday
BY LEE HERRICK
Light a match. Watch the blue part
flare like a shocked piŮata
from the beating into the sky,
watch how fast thin
wood burns & turns toward the skin,
the olive-orange skin of your thumb
& let it burn, too.
Light a fire. Drown out the singing cats.
Let the drunken mariachis blaze their way,
streaking like crazed hyenas
over a brown hill, just underneath
a perfect birthday moon.
And this one, wasn't sure it was appropriate given our current circumstances, but it's so beautiful and your thread is called Great New Life so what they hey, let's say she means the love of the trees and of this great new life that is come to you --
A Birthday BY CHRISTINA ROSSETTI My heart is like a singing bird Whose nest is in a water'd shoot; My heart is like an apple-tree Whose boughs are bent with thickset fruit; My heart is like a rainbow shell That paddles in a halcyon sea; My heart is gladder than all these Because my love is come to me.
Raise me a dais of silk and down; Hang it with vair and purple dyes; Carve it in doves and pomegranates, And peacocks with a hundred eyes; Work it in gold and silver grapes, In leaves and silver fleurs-de-lys; Because the birthday of my life Is come, my love is come to me.
Iíve been sitting 3 days thinking over the decision I need to make by next Wednesday.
My W feels emotionally abused from past events like my car pullover. The lingering effects are that she is hyper sensitive to my moods. And misreads me a lot. We need to by physically separate for some time. I am in agreement.
Looking back I donít think sheís felt romantic towards me in about a year now though. I pressured her for affection, not all the time, but enough to destroy things.
And she feels like Iíve had other emotional issues going back 2-3 years.
I donít think she is trying to screw me over. But I need to look at this and think... do I want to save this? Can it be saved? It seems impossible. For one I have to regain her trust emotionally. Tall order even if I continue the hard work I am putting in. Secondly she has to regain romantic feelings towards me.
And meanwhile I will feel shut out.
Is it worth it? I donít know. Is it possible to do this? I donít know.
I feel like Iím walking a tightrope. Fall off on one side and Iím in a divorce legal nightmare custody battle. Fall off the other side and Iím in a lousy separation which I shouldnít have agreed to. Walk perfectly and I become a stronger person and heal... and MAYBE my W comes along. Iím just trying to walk that tightrope and be outcome-independent if I can. I guess Iím trying to say... Iím trying to pick a DB path that is not tethered to R, but also makes me feel good about my future no matter what happens. Right now I feel awful.
Idk... the emotional abuse victim piece makes it hard for me to feel any hope. I file for D and that reinforces the victim role.
Hey Gekko thanks for the advice, I possibly could have but itís too late now I am here haha. It wasnít that I didnít want to go just that I didnít really want to go with W. I fckin love Disney land and have had fun so far. Feeling pretty detached so I feel like Iíve been able to be here without problem. Sure itís cake eating by my W but Iím enjoying myself and not worrying about our interactions so whatever.
Iíll do an update on the first day of the trip. In the airport W asked me to get a drink with her. I agreed. While we were sitting she saw a mark on my neck and was convinced it was a hickey. She didnít get straight batshit crazy but she started questioning me loudly at this very public place. The barrage included ďwho are you dating. Is it a girlfriend or something casual? Is it one person or multiple?Ē And so on. To this I replied. ďWe are in public and Iím not having this conversation right now.Ē As she continued I said ďIím not discussing my personal life with you.Ē
She wasnít happy with me denying her information on my personal life and gave me the silent treatment the rest of the night. Fine by me. When we arrived, I immediately went out and did some GAL, even made a few friends while out and about.
Today at Disney Land was fine. I could tell that W was pissed and her mind was racing about if I had a girlfriend or whatever. But Iím at the point where I donít really care. I focused on my S and had a good time.
Throughout the day there were three separate occasions where W started interrogation about my personal life. Many of the same questions as before but this time ramped up with ďI know youíre dating one of my friendsĒ. I denied but it was like she was convinced I was. So weird and I dont know why she is so certain that Iím dating her friend. She also started saying ďI deserve to know whatís going on in your life, we have a kid together.Ē I replied that ďyou do not deserve to know whatís going on in my life because we arenít together anymore.Ē
It got pretty crazy at one point. Whenever she would question me I just started replying, Iím not talking about this with you. Eventually she said ďIím going to post a picture of you and me together on Instagram and see how your girlfriend likes that.Ē Totally crazy haha.
There was a lot of sexual tension it felt like and W was definitely pursuing me, touching me many times throughout the day. There was some flirting on both sides. She kept this front up that she didnít want anything to do with me but her actions were far the opposite.
More later as the trip isnít over yet but Iíve felt pretty good so far. Been real positive and am enjoying the extra time with my son. Getting better at detaching too I guess. Thanks
Itís easier in a way, but not in others. I think about how he has treated me and it makes me so utterly sad that a man who was once kind and caring and loving, would do that kind of thing. Then I channel my anger into detaching, focusing on me etc so Iím that sense it helps.
He (again!) is not liking the no contact, he really canít handle not knowing what is going on in my life. He has phoned to speak to the children twice in two days now (usually only a couple of times a week at most) and he is trying desperately to talk to me about normal stuff and ask whatís going on but I have just shut him down and gave the phone to the kids. I am annoyed that a part of me does want to talk to him, but I am NOT letting him do this to me again.
I will see him later today for Fatherís Day, Iím a bit unsure of how that will be but I am going to re read the rules over and over and out all my energy into not showing emotion and detaching.
Is it any comfort to think that it was almost certainly harder on you than it was on your daughter? Both of my kids clung and cried like that when I left them with family or the childminder, and they were always fine 5 minutes afterwards. She loves spending time with you, she loves spending time with her daddy, and yes, in that moment she didn't want to let go of you - but she's only three. She'll have been okay. She probably doesn't remember you all living together. I know that's hard, but it's probably better to separate your own feelings from hers in that situation. Anger and grief and sadness is okay. And loving detachment will come and go.
I think you just need to be true to yourself Juju and make sure you keep your eyes wide open. It is completely possible to find someone you like on the first date. I liked all eight guys that I went out with but was only REALLY attracted to one which happened to be the seventh guy I met face to face. Am I banking on him to be a forever love? Not exactly. I honestly am not thinking that far ahead because I think that is what gets me into trouble. Iím just taking one day at a time and enjoying his company. The last time I did the OLD thing, I dated three different guys for six weeks at a time but only one at a time... like you, I canít read five books at once and I donít want to. Itís too much work. And...just as you donít necessarily want to grab onto the first guy you meet, you also donít want to eliminate him because he is the first guy you meet. My XH was the fourth guy I met and we lasted 14 years. There are no guarantees in life. We could all die tomorrow. Do what makes you happy today and worry about tomorrow....tomorrow. Pay attention to that inner voice...and have fun!!! We deserve it after all the SH*T weíve been through. (((HUGS)))
Itís either make a stand in my home or propose a separation plan. Or file myself.
I know I need the sep plan to be a good transition to divorce because I may bail out soon. I agree W is showing no initiative to change. We had 1 MC session that threw her off a bit. Iíll see next session or two where sheís at. If Iím still the abuser and completely at fault... whether itís true or not this M is dead and we should D.
Itís hitting hard today while we play family with the kids. Everything is great except for us. I thought I was over the grief part but itís hitting hard.
Wife messages today saying "Daughter's birthday is in early August. Need to start planning in case you want to throw a party and invite people".
Now if I throw a party, all people who are going to come know about our situation (not that she is having affair) but we have issues and she had decided to leave the house and leave the marriage. She is not in contact with any of those people now. Does not talk to anyone. I usually go to all the get togethers and parties and sometimes take my daughter along as well. I am in contact with all our friends here in the area.
If the party happens, it will be really awkward as everyone know about our situation and me and my wife do not talk much or I should say not at all other that stuff related to our D.
Not sure how to respond to her message and what will be the right approach.
In my heart, I really don't want to throw any party. I was thinking that we (me and wife) will go out for dinner and that is it. And next day, I was planning to take two days off and travel with my daughter (Just me and my daughter) to a waterpark resort and enjoy with her.I don't want to be doing anything with my wife where my heart is not. But again, I want to do what should and needs to be done and not what my emotions ask me to.
So, would appreciate if all the vets can help me with this situation and guide me on what should be the right way to handle this.
Oh, Nyla, I am grieving for you. (And thank you for the tears on my last response, you should see my tears in writing it!)
My son is the same as your daughter, and same age.
He completely transformed when his dad went crazy. He was eight years old. Then he became a school refuser in 7th grade, missed 75 days of school. Shoplifting and many other things. The key was to keep the lines of communication open. Make sure she keeps trusting you and sees your strength and your ability to forgive. My son is my cross, but I am carrying him while he carries his own cross (that's a heavy load!), and he doesn't even know that he is carrying one or why or how, let alone see any meaning in it.
Tell her you love her constantly. And tell her that you respect her fire and her anger and her very clear sense of right and wrong, and that her morals will make her a great woman. Keep validating who she is -- because she is totally right, she is seeing things very clearly, like Huckleberry Finn choosing to go to hell if that's what he had to do to free Jim.
But tell her also that when she is ready to start thinking about forgiveness, that it will free her, that she doesn't want this terrible lady to change who she is or make it impossible for her to ever see her dad again. But that she can take as long as she wants to think about that, just to know that that freedom is out there one day for her.
DnJ and Peacetoday gave great advice. I would like to add to that -- show her some movies and get her to write. Show her "Good Will Hunting" and "The Four Hundred Blows" and "Ferris Bueller's Day Off." Let her see that adults do some crazy stuff and kids can't change that, even if it hurts them deeply. If she likes to write, have her write her feelings in poetry or work on a film script. Or have her write a short story about a girl just like her, tell her to use any details she wants and fictionalize or don't fictionalize what she wants. Teens love to write when given the chance to write from the heart. If you want, I can even send you some ideas if you tell me if she wants to write poetry or fiction or a screenplay. I am going to paste some below that I found on the internet, for you and her to do together. Give her a really beautiful journal and a really gorgeous set of pens.
Let her know that one day she will be able to know her dad again and that it will be better for her to have her dad in her life, even if she can't respect or understand his choices, even if they hurt her and he doesn't understand that. But that for now it's okay if she feels differently. If you are Catholic, I can recommend a great book I just got my daughter that helps kids process divorce issues without condoning divorce in any way.
If you are a religious family, I can also recommend some prayers she can say for herself and for her family and yes, for her dad.
Here are some prompts I found that look good, for you to do together if she wants. You can add some that relate to your family situation once you get the hang of it. I couldn't do this with my son but we go on walks at midnight or 1 in the morning, whenever he asks me, and that's when he likes to go, and we talk about things like this. But with a girl I bet she would write about it with you -- in a journal or in letters.
I can send some for creative writing if she would write about her life in poems or stories/scripts. Once DnJ wrote a letter to my son, which I gave to my son, and it was really powerful. I can do that for her too. My parents split up when I was her age, and I learned rage then, and it haunted me until about five years ago. I understand her very well!
((((NYLA)))))) -- and even more, (((((Nyla's daughter)))))))
1) Both: What is your favorite season of the year? What is it that makes this stand out from the others? 2) Both: If you could be any animal for a day, what would you choose? Why does this animal appeal to you? Can you think of any down-sides to being this animal? 3) Parent: Describe your favorite memory from school (around age your child is now). Child: Describe the best day of school you have ever had and why. 4) Parent: Were you ever bullied as a child? If yes, share your experience and how it made you feel. If not, share about bullying you witnessed in school. Child: Have you ever been bullied at school? If yes, share about your experience and how you feel about it. If not, share about bullying you see happen at school. 5) Both: Describe your favorite memory from the last year. 6) Both: ďThe best thing about being ME is: ______.Ē 7) Both: ďThe hardest part about being ME is ______.Ē 8) Both: What would you do to help the poor if money was not an issue? 9) Parent: Describe the day you brought your child home from the hospital. How did you feel? Child: Describe your earliest memory. 10) Both: What is one belonging that you will NEVER throw away? 11) Both: Describe the part of your current home that you love the most. 12) Both: Describe the part of your current home that you dislike the most. 13) Both: Close your eyes and imagine the most relaxing place possible. Where is this place? Describe how it looks, feels and smells. Is this a real place? 14) Both: What is your favorite food? Can you explain why you like it so much? 15) Both: ďIf I received $1000 to spend on anything I wanted, I would buy ___. Here is why: ___.Ē 16) Both: What is the thing that scares you the most? Can you explain why? 17) Both: ďMy favorite memory with you is _____.Ē 18) Parent: ďMy biggest wish for you is _____.Ē Child: ďMy biggest hope for my future is _____.Ē 19) Both: ďThe number one thing I would like to change about myself is: ____. Here is why: ____.Ē 20) Both: What do you imagine your life will be like in 5 years? 21) Both: What do you imagine your life will be like in 10 years? 22) Parent: ďFor me, school was _____.Ē Child: ďFor me, school is _____.ĒAnd more! 23) Parent: ďThe hardest part of being an adult is _____.Ē Child: ďThe hardest part of being a teenager is ____.Ē 24) Both: The best advice you have ever received. 25) Both: The thing I think I am best at is ______. How do you know? 26) Both: Do you believe in ghosts? UFOs? Why or why not? 27) Both: The nicest thing anyone has ever said to you. How did you feel when you heard it? 28) Parent: Is there something you wish you had done or tried as a teen? What is it and why? Child: Is there something new you would like try, but havenít? What is it and why? 29) Both: Write about a time you made a mistake and tried to hide it. How did that work? 30) Both: Write about a time you made a mistake and were honest about it. How did that work? 31) Both: What three items would you want with you if you were stranded on a deserted island? 32) Parent: What was dating like for you in middle school and high school? Child: What is your experience with dating? Are you happy with your experiences? 33) Both: What is your favorite song of all time? What do you think about when you hear it? 34) Both: If you were to get a tattoo today, what would you get? If you would not get one, explain why. 35) Both: My questions for you about sex and sexuality. 36) Both: My answers to your questions about sex and sexuality. (It is fair for both of you to include ďI am not comfortable answering that questionĒ in your responses.) 37) Both: Describe yourself in five sentences. Explain if desired. 38) Both: Describe the other person in five sentences. Explain if desired. 39) Both: What worries you most about getting older? 40) Parent: What do you most hope your child will learn to do before they are on their own? Child: What do you need help with learning before you move away from home? 41) Both: If we could go on a road-trip together, where would you want to go first? Second? Third? 42) Both: What would you like to be an expert on? Describe what and why. 43) Both: ďSometimes it is hard for me to tell you _______.Ē 44) Parent: ďWhen I was your age, my hero was _______. This is why I admired this person: ____.Ē Child: ďMy hero is ________. This is why I admire this person: _____.Ē 45) Both: My very favorite meal is _____. Tell why you love this so much. 46) Both: What is the one thing you need to do or see every day? Why? 47) Both: ďMy favorite thing to day dream about is ______. Here is why: _____.Ē 48) Both: One activity you would like to do together in the next month and why. (Start making some plans!) 49) Both: The house hold chore you hate the most and why. 50) Both: Draw me a picture of something that makes you feel happy. 51) Both: Draw me a picture of something that makes you feel sad. 52) Both: Describe your favorite thing about the other person.
I have the facts on the outburst. S24 had been chatting with 20S when she perhaps teased him about us wanting him to move out. He over-reacted and confronted me.
We talked about it again this afternoon - both apologized - he knows that while I want him to be independent as he does too that he is also welcome here.
It's all good. Hurray for honest communication.
Originally Posted by JujuB
I was kind of concerned about the comment ďwhich she gets away with because sheís not familyĒ comment too. Was that meant affectionately or do you think she was out of line?
What I meant is that I'm so used to walking on eggshells both around S24's mother and to a lesser degree him that it's odd when someone like B - who is used to a loud family and who is an "everybody's mom" speaks up. It's generally taken in good humour all around.
I donít feel bad at all. I notice what you said as well and my mom has been telling me not to get exclusive with any one. And that was my plan going in.
The only difference is that last time, I initiated and this time he initiated. I initiated because I created something in my mind based on his profile. Last time my first reaction when I met ex bf was ďnopeĒ but then I gave him a few dates and I liked him for having been through a crazy situation like me. I was still healing and ex bf had so many red flags that showed early and I kept saying - heís a great dad. Not realizing how many great dads there are out there. My friends did not like him when they met him. My friends are very loud and brazen and tell it like it is themselves and they did he was way too negative and rude.
This time around, I liked the guy when I saw him and whenever we talk I am literally smiling during the whole conversation. We do seem to have a lot more similarities and i suspect we follow the same love language. I like the sound of his voice and I love the way he communicates with me. I love the way he talks about his kids and what their dynamic seems to be (heís more laid back like me). He seems to be so positive. I do know that there is so much more to know and discover. I know that you have to date a while before you discover flaws. I know that we put masks on in the beginning. That we are revealing our true selves. That it takes a while. That you only get a limited time of infatuation. But if I date others, I canít mentally connect with him. Itís too much. Itís like reading 5 books at once and I canít get into it or read it with depth and appreciation.
I think I am pretty selective about who I message though. I read through every profile good, bad, and crazy.
First impressions do mean a lot in life. . There might be great guys out there but if they message me a generic ďhiĒ or ďhey thereĒ or just a mass produced profile of themselves they are not going to get noticed in OLD. I donít know why they pay for something and then put no effort in. Would you choose to interview someone that sent a personalized cover letter about your band And had an outstanding resume or just a guy that had a regular old resume? You would pick the guy that had the cover.
I might be making a bad mistake again. I know that too though.
Thank you everyone for kind messages and encouragement.
So - Friday was weird. Not awful, but odd. He started by wanting to talk about how uncomfortable he felt at the prospect of taking Youngest to a school event later that day - there was a loose plan that H would take him as Friday was his usual day, but I was willing to come along if it was what Youngest wanted. H spoke at length, and I validated, about how uncomfortable he was thinking that other school parents knew our business. I haven't spoken to anyone and don't really have school mum friends - but I validated anyway. We went on our walk and it was okay - in that he was polite, if a bit withdrawn. We talked about finances - he wants to pay half of Youngest's childcare costs and a third of the mortgage, which seems very fair to me given I earn more than he does. So we agreed that for the time being. We also talked about Youngest's birthday, he said he'd take Youngest to see his family at their home, and we'd split costs for the party and presents 50/50 and that was more than fine with me, so that was good too. We talked a bit about therapy - he'd found a therapist, and he talked a bit about what he wanted to get out of it. He wanted to repair things, but said he didn't know what his contribution was towards what had gone wrong, and was hoping the therapist would tell him that. I said I knew I had work to do on taking care of my own feelings and valuing his wants and needs, and I was open to hearing other things that I hadn't thought of. I said I was worried that I'd done the work of thinking and looking inwards, and that he hadn't, and that when I've tried to ask him for changes - like an end to the sarcasm and verbal abuse - that it either made him angry, or he got defensive, or he blamed it on me, and none of that made me feel that he was in a place where hearing any of that from me in a therapy room would make any difference. I could see some changes - he talked about being hurt, and struggling with his anger - and that was new, and I've not heard him be open about his feelings like that or take responsibility for them. So in the end I decided I would go to therapy with him, and he emailed the therapist and asked for an appointment.
The weird thing was - well - I felt little. Not happy or hopeful or relieved. It was difficult to make conversation with him. I tried asking him a little about his work, which just unleashed another torrent of moaning and complaints. I tried chatting to him about my work, and what the kids had been up to, but he didn't seem interested. It was... well, boring. I couldn't think of a single thing to talk to him about other than practicalities, and we'd covered those pretty amicably. We were a little affectionate with each other - held hands a little - but he felt remote, like a stranger, and I was struggling to remember what we used to talk about. I enjoyed the walk, but hand on heart I think I'd have enjoyed it more with a friend, with the kids or alone.
I went to take Youngest to the school event, and he stayed in the house and made tea. He wanted me to tell Youngest that he had a work meeting and couldn't go, and I said I didn't feel comfortable lying. In the end Youngest didn't ask, and we had a nice meal together.
It all went a bit south in the evening - he'd bought some beer and got a bit tipsy, and Eldest was awkward and difficult and combative, I stuck to the agreement we'd made about boundaries and consequences, but he didn't - and approached Eldest with usual contempt and sarcasm. It's like he'd rather sneer and make a catty remark than say 'don't speak to me that way,' and I don't understand it. I went into the kitchen and said, 'I know this is stressful. Let's tackle this together the way we agreed. I'm on your side,' and he huffed and shrugged me away. His mood tanked further the more he drank and he started being very snappy and irritable. The dog jumped up and attacked some knitting that was near him, and I called out to him with urgency (I was trying to get his attention - not angry, just a bit louder than usual) but before I could ask him to retrieve the knitting, he was on his feet ranting and shouting. I stayed calm (both kids where there) and asked him to stop. He was ranting - saying I was attacking him and shouting at him. I said 'I just called your name, once,' and he said he wouldn't be blamed for the dog, etc etc - it was really crazy stuff. I asked him again to calm down. I said I just wanted to get his attention. I spoke really quietly and respectfully and he said I was shouting at him and telling him off. I know 100% that I wasn't. The kids witnessed all of this, which i regret. I didn't see any way of rescuing the evening.There was no convincing him. I said I thought I should call him a taxi so he could go home (he was past driving at that point) and that inflamed him so much he packed up his stuff and left there and then.
No contact since. I'm not upset and I wasn't really at the time - other than the fact the kids had to see him in that state and what could have been a pleasant family meal went south. I actually feel a lot of pity for him. I think he'd really really like to repair things with me, just as I thought I wanted to - but who he is right now I don't want, and I don't think he's capable of being someone that could have a relationship with someone healthy. He doesn't seem to enjoy normal family life (the normal noise and mess of kids on a Friday after school evening was clearly more than he could cope with) and if I'm honest, I didn't enjoy his company at all. He helped in the house - cooking and cleaning and hung a wash load out for me - and he was mainly civil until he started drinking - but it was like having a vaguely unpleasant stranger in the house. Not exactly a guest, but a distant and slightly annoying relative who had made themselves a bit too much at home.
My emotions now are fairly steady. I feel sorry for him. Really really sorry for him. He's in a bad way and he clearly isn't well. And I'm okay. I've been in a bad way, but I am recovering and better every day, and as soon as he started with his reactivity, I thought, 'ah no, I"m not sitting here and having this again.'
Charitably, I can see that he's still so afraid of being stuck in an awful marriage - as we were - that he's hugely, hugely reactive to the tiniest thing. Perhaps he doesn't want to go to therapy, he's just offering that because he doesn't want to get divorced, and he resents me for that choice. I have no idea. What I can see is that he has no capacity for humour or generosity or curiosity. The drinking on top of whatever mental health stuff he's suffering - stress, depression, anxiety - obviously makes him unfit for any real meaningful interaction. But even beyond all that - when we were out on the walk and the practical things I wanted to address with him had been addressed - the conversation was stilted, painfully awkward. Boring. There was just nothing much there. He's not really doing anything other than working, and brooding, and playing computer games. He's exercising a bit more, which I'm glad about, but he didn't really want to talk about that either. And in the evening, he kept getting on my nerves and I kept having to train myself to think kind thoughts about him (make excuses for him, deny the reality of who he is and how I feel about him now) rather than just enjoy his company or get on with my own evening.
It was a bit of an eye-opener, and that's no bad thing.
I doubt very much that he will pursue this therapist when she comes back and offers an appointment. That's probably no bad thing either. Today I can't really think of any reason, other than attachment to a memory of a long time ago, why I'd want him.
I think my priority now is myself, GAL, detachment and the kids. I haven't thought longer term than that. If he sticks to the financial agreement he made with me, then this can stand as it is. And if he doesn't, I have recourse.
Hmmm if I were to engage in the mind reading Iím trying really hard to quit, Iíd say your H was def trying to find out what you were up to. Unless this is the kind of thing you all do sometimes, that feels like might sense that you have other places to be at night and wanted to find out for sure...