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#2228938 - 03/08/12 07:57 PM Re: (NA) Informally separated from WAW, but DBing my best [Re: danielf]
AlwaysTrying Offline
Member

Registered: 10/27/11
Posts: 243
Welcome to the board, danielf. This "thing" going on with my wife and family has been the most awful experience in my life. Reading other people's stories makes me realize how much worse it could be. There are things that are going well for me.

My social life is broken. There really aren't people who are physically close and emotionally close to me. The four people who I have been closest to in my life are inaccessible to me now. My wife is hard to reach. frown I have a friend 3000 miles away that I have grown increasingly distant from over the last 16 years. My next closest friend is in Beijing, and the friend I have relied on the most has done something terrible.

I don't know what my closest friend did exactly, but I gather that it was sexual in some way, involved my 15-year-old daughter, and triggered my wife into writing a statement into our separation agreement that says my kids can not see him at all ever. My daughter and wife refuse to tell me exactly what happened, so I just don't talk to him any more.

I talk to my brother and sister on the phone.

I have a friend that has given me a lot of support that I see once or twice a week, but she is not the sort of person I can open up to the way I could to the friends that I have lost.

I have been making an effort to talk to more people.

I'm really a people person. I like to be alone a lot of the time. But I do need to replace these relationships that I've lost. It's hard to see how that is going to happen, though.
_________________________
- 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

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#2228950 - 03/08/12 08:31 PM Re: (NA) Informally separated from WAW, but DBing my best [Re: AlwaysTrying]
ces67 Offline
Member

Registered: 12/23/11
Posts: 1024
AT - A few friends on this board recommended Al Anon as a support group.

Labug described it as "a fellowship for friends and family of problem drinkers, and you get to define problem."

My W isn't an alcoholic (though she was raised by 2) but the 2 meetings I've been to are helpful because the focus is on you and how can better handle what you can control and recognizing what you can. They have meetings all over the country.

May be worth a try to connect with people who are struggling as well. Also, you sound pretty athletic. Any sports leagues you could get into just for the fun of it?

We all need a good support system around us and it seems it rarely forms by chance.
_________________________
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

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#2228953 - 03/08/12 08:34 PM Re: (NA) Informally separated from WAW, but DBing my best [Re: AlwaysTrying]
AlwaysTrying Offline
Member

Registered: 10/27/11
Posts: 243
"One day is a long time for me to go without seeing you!"

I called my wife at work today. D15 made some sort of plan to study at an ex-boyfriend's house, so I called to confirm. I'm going to pick her up after work and bring her to the house.

I want to see my youngest two kids more often. Hmm. I actually do see them 4 days a week - Tuesday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday. But what I'm looking for is more quality time - one on one time with just one of them. W actually gets to see the kids as long as I do Tuesday and Friday, and when she leaves for most of Saturday, that is her choice. She doesn't know what it is like to go three days between seeing the kids.

The kids don't like it and neither do I. But she needs "space".

I'm not trying to get at W in any way. I just want to see my kid.


Anyway, as long as we're getting along, it seems like a reasonable request.


When I called W today to ask about D15's plans, she immediately seemed annoyed to be hearing from me. Maybe I should have taken that as a sign and discontinued the conversation. I wanted to ask about taking D6 to the library, though, so I did that.

She said, "I don't know what we're doing." I said, OK, just let me know if I can pick him up or not later. The she gave me a flat-out "No". I said, "OK. That's fine. I would like to be able to take them out sometimes. Two days is a long time for the kids to go without seeing their dad."

I could sense this vibe from her that I think comes from being reminded that separation and divorce are hurting people - that she is hurting people by going down this path. I wasn't trying to tug at any heartstrings or shame her in any way... but something went wrong.

"One day is a long time for me to go without seeing you."

I think I said something like "This sounds like it's a problem for you and that means it's important." or something. She said something back and hung up. I'm not great at remembering conversation details. I'm actually really bad at it. I can remember feedback from clients and action items, but when there is conflict involved, I don't remember the back and forth.

This is exactly the sort of situation where I'd send her a well-thought-out email so that she could understand my side of the story. She would ignore the email, then two weeks later call me up and ask if I want to take one of the kids out for the evening.

I've sworn off email this month, so I might just have to let this go.

But I'm going to see if we can talk about it again. Specifically this: For her to make a statement like that, clearly she is not getting the distance she needs from this separation. I want to figure out if there is anything we should change about our separation so that she feels she is getting the space she wants and we don't have to escalate in some way. I want to do that without causing more disruption for the kids or any more distance between children and parents than is needed.

I want to see if we can talk about some of those ideas, and see if she is willing to discuss it with Laurie (DB coach) some time next week. I can mention that Laurie suggested I start sending fewer emails, and that I took that suggestion to heart and stopped sending them altogether.
_________________________
- 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
#2228959 - 03/08/12 09:15 PM Re: (NA) Informally separated from WAW, but DBing my best [Re: AlwaysTrying]
AlwaysTrying Offline
Member

Registered: 10/27/11
Posts: 243
Actually, I should probably lead with apologizing for putting pressure on her with the "two days" statement.

Hypothetical future conversation:
Quote:
Can we talk for a minute? The other day, our phone call didn't go well. I think I may have been putting some pressure on you with what I said about it being a long time for the kids. I didn't mean it, but it was there. I've been working on not putting pressure on you, and I'm sorry for slipping up.

You commented that one day is a long time to go without seeing me. Maybe you were reacting to what I had just said, but it sounds like you're not getting enough space. You sounded upset from the moment you picked up the phone that day.

If I push you further away during this separation, I'll consider that a tragic failure. That is why I value talking to Laurie. When I last talked to Laurie, she suggested I cut down on my emails to you. I took that to heart and stopped them altogether. I also cut way down on texts didn't send any where I might be tempted to say something 'persuasive'.

The first time you called me 'manipulative', I was completely befuddled that you would say that. I've since realized that a lot of what I say comes out in an attempt to be persuasive. I'm working to change that.

I think there may be other things I can change to make you feel more comfortable in your space, and that we can even do it in ways where I can have some more one on one time with the kids. I would like it if we could both talk to Laurie to explore what kinds of ideas she has for us.


That is probably too many words.
_________________________
- 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
#2228967 - 03/08/12 09:26 PM Re: (NA) Informally separated from WAW, but DBing my best [Re: ces67]
AlwaysTrying Offline
Member

Registered: 10/27/11
Posts: 243
I'm pretty sure Al Anon isn't for me

Originally Posted By: ces67

May be worth a try to connect with people who are struggling as well. Also, you sound pretty athletic. Any sports leagues you could get into just for the fun of it?

We all need a good support system around us and it seems it rarely forms by chance.


I don't have time for sports. When it's warmer and dryer, I play tennis when I can. I miss having a gym membership so I could play racquetball. But I'm not about to join a league. I have time for my job, time for my kids and family, and that is about it.

I have friends over a few times during the week to play board games and hang out.

I try to keep time in my life for a hobby project. Right now, I'm working on a facebook game for fun and to see if I can get it to produce any money. Maybe I'll post an ad in craigslist and see if anyone wants to help out in some way.

That's actually a pretty good idea. I'm going to do that.
_________________________
- 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
#2229017 - 03/09/12 02:56 AM Re: (NA) Informally separated from WAW, but DBing my best [Re: AlwaysTrying]
AlwaysTrying Offline
Member

Registered: 10/27/11
Posts: 243
I took D15 out for late dinner tonight. She had a lot of emotions to deal with. She wants a home and a family, but everything is all broken up. Her best friend abandoned her (D15 struggles with depression. Really struggles. Best friend needed a break.) One of her former best friends is trading sex for drugs and money and is now trying to end her possible pregnancy through more drug use. I sat with her while she called the friend's father to ask him to help her.

Somewhere in the middle of this, she was finally ready to tell me what happened between her and my former best friend, DeadToMe. D15 was not able to live at home for a while. DeadToMe was kind enough to offer her a room and open up his home to her. D15 was pulling herself together and succeeding at life and at school for the first time in a long time. I think it was really helping D15 to be living someplace where two parents had a strong bond and a warm home...

Well, after 3 months there, something happened and nobody could tell me what, but D15 wouldn't go there any more. D15 kept telling me things like, "Nothing happened". Well, what might have happened, D?

I told DeadToMe that something was really wrong and I needed him to own up to whatever it was. He gave me a partial-truth story that really didn't satisfy me. We haven't talked in over a month.

It turns out that DeadToMe did a number of things that went way over the line. I trusted him with my 15 year old daughter, and it was a mistake. Nothing "happened" but he did suggest that if he had an affair with her (d15!), it would ruin his family, but would probably be worth it. UGH>!!#$$@#%@#$^#$TE

I am so angry. I should not have driven home. I can't see straight and I'm lucky I didn't damage anything.


DeadToMe really was my closest friend. I may have some words to share with him, but I hope I never have to see him again.

I am at a loss.
_________________________
- 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
#2229020 - 03/09/12 03:10 AM Re: (NA) Informally separated from WAW, but DBing my best [Re: AlwaysTrying]
labug Offline
Member

Registered: 11/25/11
Posts: 9107
Loc: Sonoran Desert
Ohhh AT, that's terrible for a father to hear. You are right to distance yourself from this freak.

I think you need answers. She's still a young girl.
_________________________
Me 57/H 58
M36 S24 S21
Bomb 3/11 Sep 3/11
Piecing 9/13 12/13 Reconciling

"We can make ourselves miserable, or we can make ourselves happy. The amount of work is the same"~Carlos Castenada

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#2229027 - 03/09/12 03:42 AM Re: (NA) Informally separated from WAW, but DBing my best [Re: labug]
AlwaysTrying Offline
Member

Registered: 10/27/11
Posts: 243
What is really messed up is how she, D15, was trying to protect me in this. She knows that I do not have a lot of friends and that losing my wife is hard. She has avoided telling me this over the last few months so that I wouldn't stop talking to him and lose the friend.

Knowing that there was something there that nobody could talk about was enough reason not to talk. I wish she hadn't tried to protect me by protecting this friendship She's still afraid to talk openly with her therapist about this because although nothing "happened", her therapist might have to report it and that would cause trouble for Dead's family. D15 doesn't want to break up a family.

I need to sleep this off. I feel like my frontal lobe is on fire.
_________________________
- 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
#2229136 - 03/09/12 03:07 PM Re: (NA) Informally separated from WAW, but DBing my best [Re: AlwaysTrying]
AlwaysTrying Offline
Member

Registered: 10/27/11
Posts: 243
W called to be emotionally supportive, I think, after my conversation with D15 about what happened with my old friend, DeadToMe. I can't remember the last time she has done anything emotionally supportive. I didn't expect it and I wasn't quite sure what to do.

It got strained, though. I'm saying, "I never would have sent her over there if I thought he was capable of this." She said we should have known better.

About 13-14 years ago, W, my two best friends DeadToMe and MrBeijing, and I were living in the same house. W was dating my friend who is now in Beijing who was studying Chinese in college at the time. MrBeijing was also a nice guy and there was a lot of dysfunctional going on in his relationship with W. They lasted 6 months. At the time, it seemed half of that time was waiting for it to end. I was in love with her almost immediately. Things were strained in the house.

W was kind of in love with being at the house with us even though she didn't want to be with MrBeijing at that point. It wouldn't have been appropriate for me to start dating her at that point, since we all knew I was in love with her and there had to be some sort of... I don't know... waiting period before I could try dating her without ruining my friendships.

What were we all thinking? We were kids and this was all a bad plan. W spent a couple of nights sleeping in the same bed with DeadToMe. They didn't have a love connection. In fact, DtM didn't have a strong connection with W at all, so this was somehow the most platonic option.

Well, they fooled around, so to speak, but no sex. Until one night, W fell asleep during some fooling around and woke up to DtM initiating sex with her, which she did not want. There was no birth control in use, W asked him to stop, but apparently he was not quick to comply. He did not have permission to begin intercourse. This was without consent.

W left. The following evening, DtM confessed what happened to MrB and I, with lots of sobbing and self-loathing. DtM and MrB lived together for 2 years after that and went from not talking to slowly rebuilding their friendship. I left the house. I couldn't talk to MrB because I chose W over DtM after the event. I couldn't talk to DtM because he couldn't find the inner strength and character to face W, apologize, and try to make things right. He was miserable and torturing himself emotionally, but he could have made things so much better if he would have manned up and showed W some empathy and compassion.

W got rape counseling, morning after pill, dropped out of her doctorate program, was depressed and sick for months. I tried to take care of her without stepping over boundaries. 6 months later, we were pretty sure we were dating. 5 years after that, we were getting married.

I adopted an attitude that there is a continuum of degrees of evil when it comes to rape. I believed that what DtM did was on the least evil end of that spectrum and that he was not irredeemable. I knew from experience that W will easily fall asleep at times when intercourse seems like the next logical step and it is actually hard to tell that she's fallen asleep. However, my friend had initiated unprotected sex with an unconscious woman.

I didn't talk to my former friends for about 8 years, but was unable to replace those relationships. MrB approached me, and slowly we started to talk more and more frequently. 11 years after the incident, W started to be accepting of the idea that I would have a friendship with DtM and invited him and his family over for a dinner party. It seemed like wounds were healing, and I was grateful.

W hid from me how much this upset her. I'm not even sure I believe this upset her that much until she found out about what happened between DtM and D15. I was mistaken in allowing my relationship with DtM to get closer without him really addressing what happened with W years ago. I shouldn't have gone ahead with the risk of resentment being there.

I didn't think that DtM was irredeemable. Sexually inappropriate behavior was not a pattern for him, or so I believed. W was pleased that D15 was in a safe place with DtM's family for the 3 months that D15 lived there. DtM would come over to my house after night school and play card games with W and I some times or just hang out and talk. I felt that things were normal.

But after D15 confided in W what happened with DtM, W began to feel guilty for letting D15 into that situation and that she should have known better.

Anyway, with that back-story, you can see how giving me emotional support over this situation was complicated for W.

She said, "You never really believed me, did you?". The conversation was strained. I was already confused and dazed. I don't think I handled it all the best. Eventually, she gave me a dry, resentful, "good night". I said, "good night" and hung up before she could get a chance. The temptation was there to hang on the line and struggle for the words to set things right.

I have no idea what to say to her. I'm thinking about inviting her to a counseling session to hint at that process. I can't force that conversation on her and she probably doesn't want to have it.

In the meantime, I do mean to have the conversation about pressure, space, and an appointment with a db coach tonight if she seems receptive. Any comments on that conversation are appreciated. Or comments on anything, obviously. If there is a text limit on this forum, I've probably hit 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
#2229139 - 03/09/12 03:14 PM Re: (NA) Informally separated from WAW, but DBing my best [Re: AlwaysTrying]
labug Offline
Member

Registered: 11/25/11
Posts: 9107
Loc: Sonoran Desert
Wow, there's a sh!tload of stuff to work through.

Quote:
W hid from me how much this upset her. I'm not even sure I believe this upset her that much until she found out about what happened between DtM and D15.


My guess would be it was there, she repressed it because of you. This brought it all back.

Sometimes we need a slap upside the head more than once for things to finally make sense.

Do you think your D is not talking because she doesn't want to ruin your friendship with the predator or because she thinks people won't believe her?
_________________________
Me 57/H 58
M36 S24 S21
Bomb 3/11 Sep 3/11
Piecing 9/13 12/13 Reconciling

"We can make ourselves miserable, or we can make ourselves happy. The amount of work is the same"~Carlos Castenada

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