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A Message from Michele
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#1681950 - 12/28/08 04:43 AM Re: My Story [Re: A in Ohio]
JDOllie Offline

Registered: 12/13/08
Posts: 1005
Loc: Ohio
The weird thing that makes this a bit convoluted is that W and I have been separated for 6 months, "separated" for 2+ years.

I know exactly how to handle her, what to do, and so on. She hates the dating scene, etc, has never had any interest in anyone, and so on. If that was the current state, I would know what to do, and feel very confident!

A month or so ago, she out of the blue said she wanted to "date" - and told D8 and S6. She is very honest - she told me before she started dating, and I told her it was wrong, that we should get divorced/dissolution first, etc. She of course, continued. In my mind, it is still an affair, even though it's allegedly not PA - foolish to fret over it at this point, anyway.

Regardless, this has thrown me a bit off track - my standard approach is that marriage is a life-long commitment - I tell her that we can't be friends if she breaks up our family.

So, in my position, doing a 180 WOULD be being friendly. I hope this helps explain why I'm a little confused right now.

I'm absolutely going to continue with detachment - but do you just go into freeze mode until OM falls out of picture?

I did do one very small 180. I have like 4 total spoons, so I emailed W asking if maybe kids had brought some of "my" spoons over there on accident, or bringing home from lunches. Key here is I called them MY spoons - we have had a little argument sometimes about me calling it "our" bathroom, and she would get weird about that.

Here is what my short-term goal is
- take small but clear steps about ending, like saying "my" and getting her to sign her name off our joint checking account, and stand up to her on the A, and not take any explanation or crap about it.

Here is the question: do I take these steps, and be "nice" with it? Does that show "approval" of what she's doing? Or will it make her re-think? Should it matter, should I just do it anyway?

Maybe I just need a few days to sort this out - I'm the type of person that needs a plan, and I feel all loosey-goosey.
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#1681992 - 12/28/08 07:11 AM Re: My Story [Re: JDOllie]
sandi2 Offline

Registered: 06/28/07
Posts: 17179
Hi all, it is very late (again) and I shouldn't even start this and probably won't make a bit of sense, but you know me.....

"Being a friend" is the hard part for people in DB to understand. It really is determined (I think) by which way you have approached the stitch. If you are trying to draw the spouse back home to your loving arms, then being a friend and outshining the OP often works, but it does usually take a long time so that requires a lot of patient. Also, if there is a PA going on.....that is something a lot of people cannot tollerate and won't show any signs of condoning that type of R while M. That is why the "friendship" thing gets confusing.

In some cases, spouses must use the "tough love" route, such as Puppy did in his stitch. Hope he doesn't mind me using him for an example.

There are many ways, I believe, that you can DB, but you have to figure out what is best in your stitch. Some women say they cannot ML to their H's who they know are having sex with OW. Other W's say they can do it if it will help them draw their H's back home after the excitment of the A wears off. Everyone is different in what they can or cannot do.

In Jon's stitch......and if I were Jon and was about to D my W on grounds of A, I think being "best friends" at this particular time would not seem appropriate somehow. That is just my way of thinking. If a couple can go through a D and be civil to each other and try to put their best foot forward for the sake of the children.....that is about the most a lot can accomplish. By being a "friend" in his stitch, I see it as treating someone you met in an impersonal way and was "decent" or "nice" to them. When you are getting a D on grounds of A, being best friends?.....I don't see it. But, if there is a way a couple can have what I would call an "impersonal friendship", (you know, kind of like some people we have to work with?) then I think for the time being.....that is doing good. Later, after things settle down and emotions are not as raw, maybe that impersonal friendship might get better, but I don't think I have ever seen a D couple in real life become best friends. That is just my take on it. It only happens on TV sitcoms.

Now....if you are fighting to draw her back to you and not D her.....then, yes, you can play the "best friend" card if you can tollerate it. It is just that not every man or woman is able to put up with the crap that they have to see and hear....especially where their kids are concerned.

Jon, my heart goes out to you over your little girl. I only have to think of my GD in that picture and I can't stand it. I can see her doing the same thing. It is hard to imagine a mother's heart being so hard toward her child's brokeness. All of this mess.....MLC, WAS, D .....the whole stuff is horrible.

My prayers go up for all of you.

It is not about what you feel should work in your M. It is about doing the work that gets the right results. Do what works!

#1682138 - 12/28/08 06:46 PM Re: My Story [Re: sandi2]
JDOllie Offline

Registered: 12/13/08
Posts: 1005
Loc: Ohio
Very insightful words - I appreciate them, but you named my predicament right on.

Let me prepare in advance this is going to be a long post! I'm sure I broke several DBing rules in here, but I hope I made up for it with good things! \:\)

The whole thing sort of started when D8 told me that OM sleeps over with W. I thought D8 was making it up, as she has been saying weird stuff like that lately, and it has been completely untrue! I wanted to bring it up in front of W, and with D8, so we could talk about truthfulness.

Imagine my surprise, when W didn't deny it outright, and told D8 they would talk about it when she got her back. I then took the phone, and asked her if it was true. She started saying it was none of my business, that OM's W liked her, etc - lots of justification. In my eyes, VERY guilty.

So I asked her just to tell me - I told her I believe that divorce was only right in God's eyes based on adultery, and if I was going to file divorce, I wanted to do it right.

W said that I was being creepy trying to find out about her personal life - right here, I did a 180. ME, "(W), I don't care how you insult me - I don't need details, who when where - THAT would be creepy maybe. I just want to know, yes or no."

W: "You are being weird, listen to yourself."

ME: "I have a belief, and I will stand up for my beliefs. You don't have to agree, that's fine, we'll soon be divorced. Do not insult me anymore - I will not take any demeaning from you. We have disagreed, but I have never insulted YOU."

She asked, why I couldn't just listen to HER, why bring God/Bible into it, and I said I made a vow to her AND God, and while I would abide by divorce, God took a bit more precedence.

W: "You are creeping me out because you keep hanging on."
(This is stupid considering I haven't even contacted her in 2 weeks)

ME: "I'm absolutely not hanging on. Let me try this: I have poured out my heart, life, and soul for you for 2.5 years. I am exhausted and numb. I ache every day for you, for kids, and for ME. I am completely ready to "let go" and file divorce, but I need to be clear before God. If you think I'm creepy, and weird, fine, all the more reason to get the show on the road."

W (off-topic): "It's been 2.5 years, and we haven't been friends."

ME: "YOU said you wanted to try again three times in that period, and less than three months ago, YOU dismissed divorce, and told kids we would see what happened."

W: "Why is it about God, what can't it be my choice?"

ME: "It is about your choice - you are with another man, and I just said that I hoped you find happiness."

W: "Our marriage was crap for 8 years, and ME I was standing up for myself."

(Note: I've heard this alot)

ME: "Sorry, I'm calling bullshit. There were bad times, yes, but there were awesome times. Maybe I'm a Pollyanna, but you're the Grinch."

ME: "And don't you know that I realized that there were problems? When you asked me to try again, I just said, "Let's get counseling." You refused."

W (off-topic): "I know you saw OM at Walgreens, he saw you when he came to check up on me" (First, of all, puh-lease! She acted like this was so sweet, but I have ALWAYS babied her when she was sick. It was interesting because I had my kids, so he must've known it was me by my kids, but I didn't even notice, have tried to remember)

ME: "I didn't see him, or if I did, I didn't know. I don't even know what he looks like, and don't care."

I did another 180 - I have always been really hard-core about marriage, blah blah blah...
ME: "If he is your choice, I hope you find the happiness you're looking for, and will wish you the best."

W: "He is funny and shy and sweet and nice"

ME: "Whoopee, so am I, except shy - again, don't care"

W: "You would never be friends/family without strings attached."

ME: "Poop, there were never strings attached, YOU are the one who limited everything. I only asked that we just see what happened."

ME: "If he is the perfect man, what is the holdup? You can be honest about PA, and this'll be done. Like ME, I deserve to be treated better anyway."

She went off-topic: "We are where we are because of things you did, etc"

ME: "We are where we are because we were selfish and hurtful. We can choose to end that and do right, or continue, give up, and move on"

W: "We tried, and friendship never happened."


W: "Fine I will file divorce" (She can't file now because she doesn't have money)

ME: "I'm not waiting 2 years for a divorce with you being with another man"

W (off-topic): "I'm not responsible for problems because I was just reacting to you."

ME: "BULLSHIT! You were as much a part as me, and you won't admit it. I reacted to YOU too, but I pointed the finger at myself and took responsibility."

ME: "I'm not rehashing the blame game - if you want to resolve past hurts, fine, but I'm not doing the back-and-forth"

W: "You mistreated me blah blah blah"

I pointed out the many unreturned back rubs, $6000 in plastic surgery, bringing home Starbucks, doing laundry, cleaning house, buying chocolates, taking to Florida every year for a week - just her and I, dating, etc."

(She was at work, and quit responding - she has to stop abruptly if her client comes out)

I ended with this: "Look, we're going in circles. If you are interested in our family, I'm ok with staying separated and starting as friends, but not with another man involved. If you are interested, we'll discuss. Otherwise, be honest about sleeping with OM, I'll file divorce and we'll end this. I just want to be happy again, with or without you."

PHEW - that was long, and my arms are tired! The last part was a great 180 for me, and let me tell you how good I feel.

1. W some pretty mean things, and I DIDN'T care!
2. I was kind, but firm, never took her bait, but didn't let her bash me!
3. I told her all she had to do was be honest, and our relationship was over with, done, forever.
4. The 180 at the end: I always tend to give severe ultimatums, and not stick with them. This time, I just said, "I want to be happy again, with or without you". The best thing is, I completely mean that.

I guess I was hoping I would be so mad about A, I'd be done, but I don't WANT a divorce. I love her dearly. I'm not going to let her walk on me, and I will file divorce, but how do you DB at this point?

So, maybe I get a couple of 2x4s, but please hit gently as I have reached a major point in my life of true detachment.
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#1682145 - 12/28/08 07:02 PM Re: My Story [Re: JDOllie]
JDOllie Offline

Registered: 12/13/08
Posts: 1005
Loc: Ohio
This is what I'm talking about - confusion abounds!
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#1682193 - 12/28/08 08:56 PM Re: My Story [Re: JDOllie]
JDOllie Offline

Registered: 12/13/08
Posts: 1005
Loc: Ohio
OK, had a couple hours to digest, and I see some things I should have done differently.

1. Didn't validate her feelings, but turned them back in her face. I think I could've done better while still standing firm.
2. I brought up the past - instead of redirecting to the future
3. Cursed, and showed anger
4. Kind of whined about being exhausted and wanting to be happy - instead of just saying I AM going to be happy.

I also did glean some positive things:
1. She showed emotion about us, instead of indifference
2. She pointed out positives about OM - this gives me something to go on now. I had no idea what she saw in him - I don't think there are many positives, but it looks like it boils down to him being a good listener. Now I can be better!
3. I didn't respond to unkind words except to stand up for myself
4. She would never say that he was her choice, she wanted to be with him, he was better than me - the only positive thing she said was he was sweet/shy/nice.

Sigh, this is gonna take me a month to figure out! \:\)
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#1682237 - 12/28/08 11:18 PM Re: My Story [Re: JDOllie]
Tawnya Offline

Registered: 10/13/08
Posts: 2556
Loc: NC
{{Jon}} What a good DB'er you are to reflect and digest on what you did/didn't really makes me irritated that your wife still didn't confirm or's like she's toying with you OR not wanting you to know..I don't get that..and I applaud you for standing your ground on the spots you did!

By the way, you DO remember the "don't believe anything they say and less than 50% of what they do" motto about that he was better than you eh?

Bomb 10/11/08

#1682245 - 12/28/08 11:32 PM Re: My Story [Re: Tawnya]
JWM Offline

Registered: 11/10/08
Posts: 743
Jon, you did fine. She needs to make a choice about OM or you. It is hard but you cannot be friends with someone you cannot trust.
Me 56 W 46 D7

#1682283 - 12/29/08 01:23 AM Re: My Story [Re: Tawnya]
whateverittakes Offline

Registered: 11/28/08
Posts: 255
Hi Jon,

I'm amazed at your PMA - let us in on some of your secrets!! I'm serious about that. I cycle back and forth - not good!

I'm dealing with an affair situation as well. You might want to read Huizenga's e-book on the different types of affairs, and what works and doesn't when talking to your spouse. Talking about God, etc., respects your beliefs but may or may not be in line with what you want to do right now or not to try to restore your marriage.

I'm struggling with the friends-issues. It's been continuously recommended by the DB coach. The other day my husband said 'we've always been friends'. That got me thinking that not acting as his friend would be a 180 for me and probably take a huge pressure off me. It would allow me to go dark to the extent that I can given some overlap in our lives. And that would help me get back my life.

I also seriously doubt whether the friends-thing works while there is an active affair going on. They are so blinded by hormones, etc., they can't see anything else; everything else is just taken for granted as part of the backdrop.

While there's an affair going on, I believe there is NOTHING that can be done to work on the marriage. They have to get it out of their system. If being a friend is something you haven't done before (or she thinks you haven't), then it might be a good thing for your wife to see. But at this stage, I don't think it is what will restore the marriage. But it could help pave the way much later on down the road (after the affair).

#1682287 - 12/29/08 01:29 AM Re: My Story [Re: JDOllie]
Luci Offline

Registered: 12/05/08
Posts: 48
Hey, Jon! I'm popping into your thread belatedly, I hope you don't mind my intrusion, so to speak. I appreciated the words of wisdom you gave to me and thought I might pass some on.

I read that dialog between you and W, and I wanted to remind you something you've already sort of realized: you need to validate your W.

For instance:


W: "Our marriage was crap for 8 years, and ME I was standing up for myself."

(Note: I've heard this alot)

ME: "Sorry, I'm calling bullshit. There were bad times, yes, but there were awesome times. Maybe I'm a Pollyanna, but you're the Grinch."

Seems to me a better approach might have been something along the lines of "I'm sorry you felt that way. I can't change what's happened in the past, but now that I know how you felt, it's possible for us to shape a future that's brighter together".

Or something similar.

Validate, validate, validate. I think you already said you saw the responses you weren't happy with, anyway, but I figured an outsider's example might be helpful.

Keep the faith, my friend! \:\)
Bomb Dropped - 11/08
Working on the R - 12/08 (thankfully short period of time!)
Still DBing to see positive changes!

My Thread in Piecing!

#1682308 - 12/29/08 02:00 AM Re: My Story [Re: JWM]
JDOllie Offline

Registered: 12/13/08
Posts: 1005
Loc: Ohio
I do remember that, and like I said - she has never said anything comparing us or saying she wanted to be with him. I think one time she said, "I like him." Otherwise, it sounds like she's describing her neighbor's sister's daughter's friend. \:\)

The plot thickens, and REALLY is starting to make me mad. D8 and S6 wanted us to be together as a family to watch ball drop.

I asked W, she said no, I told kids, they asked why. I asked W, she said, "Just tell them I'll have them next year." I told her that I was going to have them just start asking her, and that I would not deal with the fallout and consequences for her actions, and have to look at disappointed face.

She got all mad, started telling me to leave her alone, and that I don't listen. Then, oh my goodness, I was SO POed, she forwarded me a text from the OM! Let me give some background - apparently she has been telling him I demeaned her, belittled her, and caused her "anguish" (not true, and the things she IS talking about happened at least 5-6 years ago).

I'm going to put it here in total, the text from OM she forwarded:
"Forward this,please: a man who belittles, demeans, and causes anguish for a woman. Is no man.he is a coward.worthless. You do not listen. If you didyou would be leaving her alone.she wants nothing to do with you. You've had your chance. Nine years worth, right?Instead of continuing to waste everyone's time,you should be praying for common sense."

P.S. The poor punctuation is OM's, not mine!

Anyway, OM is married and apparently separating from W, so I sent back this, laughing wildly:

"Please Forward: a man who can't keep his own marriage together has no business getting into others. A man who doesn't respect marriage is no man. He is a coward, worthless. And needs help with his punctuation."

Ok it was silly and childish, but oh that felt good. Interestingly enough, here was his zinging response. "Stop, man, you are making me cry." I was like, Good Lord, is this man in 3rd grade? But, I didn't expect much anyway.

Then, I texted W, "Anywaaaaay, back to YOU and ME - I asked for the truth on the affair, and it's up to you to be honest. If you won't say, I will leave you alone and do my best to be a friend to my wife."

I said "Don't forward me anything else from him. He doesn't know you or me or our kids or our lives. I will respect YOU and what YOU say only."

She said, "You don't respect me."

I said, "I sure do - do you think this is fun and giggles for me? If I didn't respect you, I wouldn't want to be with you."

1. What I gleaned from this is that OM is just a shoulder to cry on, and not much to write home about overall. Can't even do punctuation right \:\) Hah, sheesh the crap that OM/OW are is unbelievable - Tawnya, you understand how stupidly low they dip.
2. W is STILL hung on stuff that is six and seven years in the past, and still has alot of bitterness that she refuses to let go of or get counseling for. Not sure what to do with that.
3. W still refuses to come clean on whether A is PA or not - either has received legal advice not to admit, or it isn't PA, and thinks that I will bug her because she hasn't met divorce "requirements".
4. I have a LOOOOONG road to haul.

So at this point, I have no idea what to do. I guess I'm going to do what I last said to W - be a "friend" to my wife. When I see her I am going to smile, be chipper, and cheery, and DEAD silence on the phone/or texts. I'm going to completely ignore the existence of OM, period, and if brought up, politely decline to discuss.

Now she is texting me and kids funny things about Sound of Music that we are watching (she is at work)
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