Just an update to those folks who have been advising me to accept that H has left our marriage and move forward with my life without him (LRT-like).
I've been trying to do this in the past week-10 days and have noticed some changes in our interactions.
Or, it could just be that H is in a 'normal' phase of his mood swings - or that he's wanting something from me and so is being nice.
Don't know, don't really care, but to anyone who is trying to enact LRT - this latest change in my H's behaviour might be of some interest.
Here's what happened today: H texted me early Easter Sunday morning to say he was working till midday and could he see the kids then?
I was peeved, as he made it sound as if I 'keep' the kids from him - but I just texted happily back "No worries, we'll save the egg hunt till you get here".
He texted back "Thanks".
He arrived in a happy mood and commented on the great smell of the casserole I was cooking.
I never cooked when we were together, as he took this job as his own (cooking was his big thing). So, a 180 on my part here (he!!, almost a 360, as not only am I cooking - I'm doing a damn fine job at it!)
The house was clean, cosy and decorated for Easter with painted eggs and such. The added extra of great food cooking must have made it seem like a really nice place to be.
H even agreed to eat lunch with us and took a glass of wine and a cup of coffee (great step forward over recent months where he has refused just about everything).
After lunch he sat at the table with me chatting on a range of topics in a way that seemed like he'd never left. We seemed to be getting on like a house on fire.
Then, as he got up to go after about 2 hours, he stepped towards me and said "I'm so sorry for how I've been in the last few weeks. It's not you, it's all me; I'm so sorry".
He then lent in and kissed me on the cheek.
I hugged him back and said "If you'd ever like someone to talk to talk to, I'm here."
Then I just smiled and said "I hope you can work it out, and I walked towards the door."
He got tears in his eyes and thanked me again and went to say goodbye to the kids.
I've been listening to him (lots of eye contact), validating what he says, and generally acting as if I've accepted that our marriage is over and I'm getting on with things. When I speak to him about the kids, I make every effort not to pressure or have expectations - I just tell him what our schedule is and let him know he is welcome to come.
I'm not doing this as a strategy, more like a survival technique. I know my best chance is to get on with my life and that I have to do this with or without him.
Not to say I don't have bouts of almost incapacitating sadness - but I also feel as if I'll be OK, at other times.
I'd still appreciate any feedback from anyone out there. It's good to get a bit of encouragement because I'm keeping my own expectations low on this change in our dynamic.
NLW, I'm glad you and your family had a good and drama-free Easter. The detachment is working for you! Whether it saves your marriage or not, it's helping you in your day to day life. I practice it to a certain degree as we reconcile, and I find that I let the little, unimportant things go instead of fussing over them like I used to. It makes for a much more peaceful, stress-free and happy marriage.
The cartoon is funny...maybe he stumbled across it in his paper, too. Of course when they are in the WAS fog, so much goes past then anyway. Just keep being your best YOU for YOU and the kids. I feel sorry for him if he continues to miss out on a great thing.
Thanks for the reminder about the importance of detaching ncl.
It was brought home to me, again, yesterday by H's failure to turn up to see the kids.
On Sunday, just before he gave his apology, he'd told the kids that he'd be back the next day to do a range of things with us for Easter.
Specifically, he said that he'd come by after his shift ended at midday. He'd offered to pull down a big tree branch that was laying across the electricity wires coming from the street to our house. The kids wanted him to go out with them and he'd agreed, and he'd also indicated that he wanted to taste my casserole and would stay for dinner.
When we hadn't heard from him by 1.45pm, I bundled the kids in the car and took them into the city to see what was going on in the mall.
I pretty much expected a big pull-back from him after yesterday's apology. Regardless of what he says, I don't have expectations any more.
I do like to think that what stops him from following through on his promises is emotional turmoil.
I don't mean this in a nasty way - I'm trying to be compassionate and understanding. I imagine he could be feeling almost paralysed by depression and horror at what he's doing.
But anyway, the kids and I just have to get on with our little lives.
Today it's school holidays and we plan to take puppy to his first obedience class, followed by a movie for me and the kids (it's discount day).
I figure H will still be in nc mode for a while as he attempts to deal with the fact that he accepted some responsibility for his bad behaviour and gave me an apology.
I do wonder where apologising fits into the MLC script. I'd be keen to hear from anyone else whose S has taken to lobbing "I'm sorry; this is all my fault" into the field of play.
Seems like a real shift in POV from the standard rewriting of marital history and monster spew that is usually directed as the LBS.
Trying hard to keep the days full of activities while S13 and D16 are on holidays.
It all just seems so fake. These are not things I really want to do - I'm just doing them in order to show H that I have a life.
Everything I do is planned and acted out in terms of its effect on my H and my hopes of reconciliation.
Everything H does is designed to send me the same message: He wants to be free of me.
I try to detach and focus on myself, but it doesn't come.
I think it's because I feel inauthentic. I want to rage and scream at him and tell him what a low life he is. But I don't.
I want to cry and beg and make him realise how much I love him. But I don't.
I want to sit in a corner in a darkened room and stare. But I don't.
I want to tell everyone what he is doing to us and what OW has done to us as well. But I don't.
I don't do anything that seems natural. And it's driving me to despair.
All I think my changes are doing is making him feel more guilty - hence the apology.
More guilt is unlikely to produce a reconciliation.
At a loss...
NLW - You have described my life perfectly. I know it doesn't make sense, but doing those things to GAL will help you in the long run. Half the time, I just want to lay in bed, but I know that won't help me in reconciliation or D.
Maybe scale back the activities you are doing. Staying in and reading or relaxing can be a form of GAL too. Maybe try some no pressure activities for now. That's what I've been doing. It doesn't work every day but it does most days.
Thanks guys, it really helps to know I'm not alone in this sort of feeling.
I think, too, that part of my problem is that I'm always waiting for 'something' to happen in my sitch.
I think I'm constantly hanging out for H to show some sign that he's changed his mind.
It's exhausting to live like this - constantly on the look-out for positive signs and constantly unsatisfied because nothing really changes.
I read and read and read on here in the hope that I'll find that someone, somewhere, has changed their mind and is going to reconcile. And if I do find that, I pore over the 'signs'.
Even when I detach from H's actions and manage not to take them personally and avoid getting drawn into his drama, I still can't shake this terrible empty feeling that comes from nothing happening night after night that can make me feel that I'm getting somewhere.
A lot of the time, I wonder if I'm not just drawing out the agony by DBing.