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#2218379 - 02/03/12 04:02 AM Re: (NA) Informally separated from WAW, but DBing my best [Re: AlwaysTrying]
ces67 Offline
Member

Registered: 12/23/11
Posts: 1024
AT said:
I feel like what I have going on is that she is willing to wait and see about our relationship as long as I give her space, but she is not able to acknowledge this attitude to me, or possibly even to herself.

Ces- I see this pattern noted a lot on posts on the board. My W has even said at times I'm doing the right things but it actually makes her mad because of where our marriage had to get to see it happen.

AT Said:
W comes out and says, "You're right. There may be no point to marriage. I know people stay together in other cultures and at other times. People can't make that promise to each other." She keeps on going like that, and I'm going nuts inside

Ces - This is rough. Sorry man. My wife has made some "life is tough" statements as well. W has been hurt and she's even said she doesn't want the kids to get their hopes up about life always being rosy. But what I don't think she realizes is she's demonstrating a life that has very little hope. How depressing is that????

So sorry about your daughter. That's a really tough spot to be in. Is she talking to any counselors?

What 180s are you doing right now for you? Any idea which ones you want to try next?
_________________________
Me:45, W:44
S:15, D:12
M:22, T:25
Bomb: July 2010
2 attempts at MC-stopped 09/13
Continue to live in same home-separate rooms

Top
#2218386 - 02/03/12 04:27 AM Re: (NA) Informally separated from WAW, but DBing my best [Re: ces67]
AlwaysTrying Offline
Member

Registered: 10/27/11
Posts: 243
Originally Posted By: ces67
So sorry about your daughter. That's a really tough spot to be in. Is she talking to any counselors?

What 180s are you doing right now for you? Any idea which ones you want to try next?


Daughter has lots of therapists and people who love her trying to support her, but I'm starting to wonder if she has to somehow hit rock bottom before she makes some changes in her life. She can't keep friends because she is too much of a burden on them emotionally.

My big 180 was leaving the house and accepting some form of separation as a positive thing for the marriage. That is in effect now.

It is unclear to me whether I should try a 180 about contact with the wife. She needs more space, so I'm going to make an extra effort to see that she has plenty over the next two weeks, but I'm not sure I should be avoiding her when she does want to talk.

There are 180s on stuff that don't matter any more. I wasn't transparent about some things in the past and it was big trouble. I'm transparent now, but she doesn't want to know.

I don't really know what is next. There is something I need to work on. I have a todo list with terrible stuff on there that hasn't been getting done. I need to keep swinging at that list every day. I don't know if that's a 180. That's just a working-on-me thing that I do. I do a lot of working on me.

I need a lot of work, honestly...
_________________________
- All for the kids -
Me:34, W:35
M:7, T:13
S6, D3 + my D15 from previous marriage
July 2011 "I think I need a separation"
W filed D September
Currently living apart - she has the house, I rent a room

Top
#2219803 - 02/08/12 03:35 AM Re: (NA) Informally separated from WAW, but DBing my best [Re: AlwaysTrying]
AlwaysTrying Offline
Member

Registered: 10/27/11
Posts: 243
I've gone a long time saying "I'm doing everything I can" to fix my marriage. Earlier on, I think it was true, but I certainly sank into a slump.

I think I get better at communicating all the time - better at listening and validating and letting W know I'm thinking differently about us.

I still think I'd make her a great husband if she'll have me. But I'm still struggling with depression and it's side effects. After all this time of trying to sort myself out, though I am a lot better in plenty of ways, I still have days where I refuse to look at my todo list and just coast through the day in a cloud.

So I figured out what my next two 180s are. The first is to start taking care of myself like it's my job. Specifically, I have to get to sleep every day at a reasonable time. I'm going to push that hard.

The other one is to start showing up to things 10 minutes early instead of 5 minutes late.


Things are still hot and cold with the wife. Detachment makes that so much easier to handle. She has been choosing to stay for dinner on the nights I come to be with the kids rather than rushing out of the house. I don't say anything one way or the other, but it used to be one of my complaints about this whole thing - just because the parents are taking some time to work things out doesn't mean the kids always have to live in a single-parent home where no one gets enough attention and everything is always a mess because it is too hard to keep up.

My wife got a little scary in the days running up to when we signed our informal separation agreement, but she's been very pleasant since then.

We got into an argument about money today, but I think it was a productive one. I wasn't defensive and tried to own up for my mistakes.
_________________________
- All for the kids -
Me:34, W:35
M:7, T:13
S6, D3 + my D15 from previous marriage
July 2011 "I think I need a separation"
W filed D September
Currently living apart - she has the house, I rent a room

Top
#2222592 - 02/16/12 03:14 PM Re: (NA) Informally separated from WAW, but DBing my best [Re: AlwaysTrying]
ces67 Offline
Member

Registered: 12/23/11
Posts: 1024
Hey AT,

Just checking in on you. You hanging in there?
_________________________
Me:45, W:44
S:15, D:12
M:22, T:25
Bomb: July 2010
2 attempts at MC-stopped 09/13
Continue to live in same home-separate rooms

Top
#2223510 - 02/20/12 04:32 AM Re: (NA) Informally separated from WAW, but DBing my best [Re: ces67]
AlwaysTrying Offline
Member

Registered: 10/27/11
Posts: 243
Yeah. I keep coming back and lurking, but haven't had a lot to say myself. Ups and downs. Last week I told my IC that I saw a lot of positive signs for the marriage, and that I was feeling good about myself in general.

I didn't resist the urge to get W something for Valentine's Day. A small box of chocolates. well... It wasn't just a box of chocolates.

I've had a bad feeling most of the last week. W is more withdrawn, and it's been harder to have good times. Anger all the time, coming out sideways. It hasn't really been that bad, but I feel like we're backsliding or at least reaching a plateau.

I've been thinking of checking in to say, "I'm stuck on my marriage busting and I just don't know what to do next."

Saturday night, before I left the house, I asked her to tell me if there was anything I was doing right. This was during a conversation that went sideways and I don't even remember why. She couldn't answer, and I left the house. I've made a point of always taking the trash out even when I only stop in the house for a couple of minutes. This time I didn't. I didn't think she was noticing and I didn't feel appreciated and I did feel angry. She texted me shortly after I left and basically said that she almost said that she appreciated that I always take the trash out, but now I'm not doing that.

Today we talked again. W invited me over to the house for lunch and then later for after dinner/bedtime stuff with the kids. After the kids went to bed, I brought up something that had made her mad and told her that our problems come down to one primary disagreement - I don't think living with me means she has to be miserable. I've made her expect that I will ignore her, disregard her, and not be sensitive to her feelings and needs.

But I'm committed to being the best husband and father I can be, and over time I'll prove it.

The scuffle we had earlier was because I asked her if she wanted me to get S6 to clean up some toys instead of reading with me for a while, and W got really upset that I was insinuating that she needed *my* help to do anything! Her interpretation was so wrong I didn't know what to do, but I bit my tongue until we could talk about it later and that's when I said I know she's angry about something real, but I think she misunderstood what I was saying.

I'm not saying that she can't handle the kids without me. We both manage alone, almost every single night. Even though we can manage, the kids get a little less than they would with two parents present, and I am really glad that had a chance to both give them something tonight. She tried to retreat into saying "well, I'm evil and I'm destroying the kids, so just leave me alone."

I told her that I understood that she was doing what she had to do and left her alone of a few minutes.

When I came back, I told her that I believe that it is my responsibility to show her that she will be listened to and respected and that her feelings will considered and her needs will be met, and that over time, she will see me as the husband she wants in her family. And I asked her what, if anything, I was doing right or if anything came to mind that I should be doing differently.

I could see that she actually wanted to say something. I listened closely.

And she said, "I don't know." She used to say that in therapy. "What can he do to show you X", therapist would say. W would say, "I don't know".

I think she's completely trapped in her anger and misery that she just can't see a way out.

She did go on this time, though. She looked like she was on the verge of tears and said that she really wanted to miss me, but it wasn't happening. That was the point of the separation for her. She said maybe there hasn't been enough space or enough time, but every time she sees me, she gets tense over her whole body.

Anyway, I told her we might need to adjust the way we are doing our separation right now. I told her maybe W and I should talk to one of the coaches here over the phone and see what they can suggest.

She said, "I'll think about it", which probably means she'll do it but doesn't want to commit.

I think I may have nearly gotten my wife to admit that while she doesn't want things to work out between us, she does want to want things to work out.

I think that's my next step. I'll ask W to talk to a coach or one of our therapists with me about adjusting our separation so she can feel that she misses me. Or something. crud, I'm tired.

You probably are too, if you read that whole thing. Sorry.
_________________________
- All for the kids -
Me:34, W:35
M:7, T:13
S6, D3 + my D15 from previous marriage
July 2011 "I think I need a separation"
W filed D September
Currently living apart - she has the house, I rent a room

Top
#2223556 - 02/20/12 02:40 PM Re: (NA) Informally separated from WAW, but DBing my best [Re: AlwaysTrying]
ces67 Offline
Member

Registered: 12/23/11
Posts: 1024
Hey AT, good to get to catch up. That's sounds like a lot of conversations going on.

I'm certainly not the best at DBing but IMO, you may want to think about how much you tell your W about what you are doing. It may be better for her to "see" what is happening vs. you telling her what "will be" or "is" happening.

For me, it gets very frustrating that I do so much and it does not seem to be acknowledged. But when I have brought it up, its caused my W to get very frustrated. Everybody's different so ask yourself what's working and what's not.

As far as the "wanting to miss you" part. That is a sign of some effort. Just be prepared that this is not linear. Your W may bounce around this concept in both directions. That is her internal wrestling so try not to take it upon yourself. It's not easy but try.

Good luck getting into joint sessions of some sort.
_________________________
Me:45, W:44
S:15, D:12
M:22, T:25
Bomb: July 2010
2 attempts at MC-stopped 09/13
Continue to live in same home-separate rooms

Top
#2224074 - 02/22/12 04:10 AM Re: (NA) Informally separated from WAW, but DBing my best [Re: ces67]
AlwaysTrying Offline
Member

Registered: 10/27/11
Posts: 243
I was at the house tonight - Tuesday is one of my nights with the kids - and after I got the kids to bed I had a short talk with my wife.

I told her that what I heard her saying the other night was that she doesn't want things to be better for us but she wants to want them to be better. I mentioned how things have been better for us recently, but since our money issues are front and center right now, everything is really tense. I said that I'd back away and give her more time and I think things will get better again as our financial situation improves. I asked her again if there is anything she thinks I could be doing better.

She said, "I don't know", which is what she has been saying for months and months whenever anyone asks "What can" or "How can" or "When can" questions. She has no answer. It's hard for me to believe she has that little imagination. It makes you wonder if she is just unwilling to share her thoughts.

She still texts her EA buddy constantly, and it seems like even more so when I'm stressing her out. I haven't mentioned it to her in months, but I really wish it would stop.

Anyhow, I asked her if she'd be willing to talk to someone who can help us see what I would have to do differently to make our arrangement work out better. She said yes.

Yay!

So, I'm going to call the db people and ask if it makes sense to have a phone call with one of the coaches with both my wife and I on the line, and whether I should have a session first.

Otherwise, I'll bring her to see my IC Tuesday.
_________________________
- All for the kids -
Me:34, W:35
M:7, T:13
S6, D3 + my D15 from previous marriage
July 2011 "I think I need a separation"
W filed D September
Currently living apart - she has the house, I rent a room

Top
#2224177 - 02/22/12 05:07 PM Re: (NA) Informally separated from WAW, but DBing my best [Re: AlwaysTrying]
AlwaysTrying Offline
Member

Registered: 10/27/11
Posts: 243
So I have the smallest sliver of an "in" to start something positive with my wife right now. She doesn't want marriage counseling, but is willing to meet with someone to help make sure our trial separation is working so that she might feel that she misses me and wants me back in her life.

I called MWD's office to set up something with Laurie, who I have spoken with twice before. Virginia said that with this glimmer of hope, I should act as soon as possible, but she also said that Laurie would need an hour alone with me, an hour alone with my wife, then an hour with us together. She offered me a deal at $360 for another 3-session pack, but I literally have no money.

W and I are catching up on bills from my period of less-than-full employment. I owe my lawyer $300.

Maybe I could borrow the money from family or something, but I'm just not sure that's the wise thing to do. My wife barely wants to do this and is willing because I've already paid for the one appointment. She is not going to approve of spending more money on it, even though it could be the best spent money we've ever had in the long run.

Not getting divorced will save us a ton of money. There may be other benefits, as well.

What do you think?
_________________________
- All for the kids -
Me:34, W:35
M:7, T:13
S6, D3 + my D15 from previous marriage
July 2011 "I think I need a separation"
W filed D September
Currently living apart - she has the house, I rent a room

Top
#2224352 - 02/23/12 02:53 AM Re: (NA) Informally separated from WAW, but DBing my best [Re: AlwaysTrying]
AlwaysTrying Offline
Member

Registered: 10/27/11
Posts: 243
Someone in my family is letting me borrow the money until I can pay them back. I have some side work next week that will cover half of it, and more coming the next week to cover the other half.

So, I think I'm in for doing the sessions with a coach. I called W today and told her that Laurie wanted to meet with her separately and that didn't turn her off at all. I'm hopeful that this will give our process a little more shape and less waiting and hoping for the best.

If there are additional concessions that I have to make to help repair my marriage (aside from leaving my home, only seeing my kids half the week, etc, etc), I feel comfortable knowing someone pro-marriage will be mediating that discussion.

So... This has been a good day. I know other people have it worse. I'll take it.
_________________________
- All for the kids -
Me:34, W:35
M:7, T:13
S6, D3 + my D15 from previous marriage
July 2011 "I think I need a separation"
W filed D September
Currently living apart - she has the house, I rent a room

Top
#2224375 - 02/23/12 06:22 AM Re: (NA) Informally separated from WAW, but DBing my best [Re: AlwaysTrying]
NLW Offline
Member

Registered: 09/09/11
Posts: 1312
AT,

This sounds like good progress. I think you're doing the right thing going all out on this opportunity with your W.

It's been a fantasy of mine for a while now that my H might agree to counselling and I could suggest a DB coach.

I'm hanging out to hear how it turns out - and whether anyone else has had the opportunity to go down this route with their spouse?

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