I've been posting in Newcomers a lot but think I should post some here.
To recap, we have been physically separated 6 months, I have the kids 4 nights every 2 weeks, and no financial separation. I earn all the income and pay for the mortgage and my rent.
- W and I have agreed to find a mediator. It's been really slow to get started, and I've told her we need to get moving.
- We have been sporadically seeing a "MC" the last 6 months. There has never been work on the MR, only co-parenting (and frequent accusations from my W). This C also works in collaborative divorce - he hasn't been pushing us to D, but he has been somewhat helpful about teaching us how to communicate.
- Last week I negotiated an additional 2 nights every 2 weeks with the kids. So we are edging towards 50/50 before mediation. I am happy about this. When we separated, my W was accusing me of abuse and being unsafe around the kids.
I expect I'll have a lot more questions coming up as we start. Monday we are going to meet to discuss my W's options for keeping the house. I'm a little concerned here because I don't think she has any options unless I completely cave and gift her a huge sum of money beyond what is legally reasonable. My concern is she will react and things may take a turn for the worse.
Our communication is poor. I have gone very low contact unless we need to talk logistics (which is often). We rarely talk on the phone. Just last week there was a text exchange where I suggested we talk about parenting schedule changes in mediation and she flew off. When we do talk on the phone I keep it all business. I sense she thinks this is really weird, and I guess if I was a better DB'er I could walk that fine line a little more and open up slightly. Not sure that it matters. She has chosen by her actions and lack of interest that she doesn't want to work on the MR now. I am going to move forward to protect myself financially and as a parent in the meantime.
I have a L at the ready to consult when mediation starts.
I agree with the idea behind Job's idea but I wonder if you could do something that would not give H the power. Job's idea worked amazingly but it was a real gamble!
For example -- Find the most amazing dog of the same age as yours who is at death's door on a rescue site and send listing as a Bcc so he thinks you are sending it to a lot of people with a message -- "A friend just sent me this, I wonder if anyone is interested in saving this wonderful dog?"
I don't mean that you should do that particular idea but I just wonder if can be a little more strategic and have love and confidence fuel your thinking on this instead of fear. We all know that MLCers do not negotiate and they often want to hurt us. If you really don't think your H loves your dog the way you do, he is probably doing this to keep the power and/or to hurt you. Mine is doing that to me by trying to keep me from buying him out at appraised value -- he would get the same money either way and get it sooner but he wants to rip my life apart.
If not, I think your clarity is good -- that you understand you are opening yourself up to this pain and the dog is worth it to you. You know that your dog's life will not be as long as yours and you are okay with sharing your dog with this man though it hurts you because of the love you feel for the dog. Just as long as you are clear. And I would put something in the settlement, if you don't end up getting H another dog somehow, that the dog comes to you when s/he is sick, and that the dog can't be shared during periods of illness, esp for when your dog gets old and infirm.
And on the fifth hand, there is a whole chapter in that book I keep talking about about how we can be released from the fears of what the narcissist is going to do next. Your post looks like came out of that chapter -- a lot of calculating what kind of abuse you will have to face. Maybe better to have peace knowing that you can try to get the dog to be yours alone but that you can face anything H throws at you, you don't have to worry about it in advance, you have confidence you'll be able to do what needs to be done. (Fearful Pot telling Fearful Kettle!)
It wont let me edit my reply but wanted to say another problem is he is encouraging me to get out with friends, but not to the point of encouraging me to see other people. He said God will send me some one of and when the time is right. (Part of him wants to believe God sent the OW to him)
Did not get time to read through the entire thread but quick comment on the babysitting expense. In my opinion (and I am not a lawyer, so take it for what it is worth) unless you have a prenup or some sort of legal separation order the money you have is likely to be community property which means it makes no sense to talk about "my money" and "her money". It is joint property and she has a right to spend it on babysitting as long as it is reasonable. There is a difference between what you think is ethically right and what is considered legally right.
My XW blew up and flaunted it to the entire family, friends, and town. I never had to hide details of what went down; there were many dumbfounded people who saw it.
It is ok to be open about what you are going through. You need not throw H under the bus, speak briefly and with compassion. Besides you really donít know too much about his whereabouts or struggle. Focus on you and yourís.
People, friends, and family are going to inquire. They care about you, and H - just as you do. And if you think you donít know what to do and how to behave in this situation, imagine their point of view. It takes us a long time to figure things out, and we live with it. All these other caring people have to learn to let go of the H they knew as well, just like you are doing. They are looking for guidance, and will follow your lead; much more than you think or they even realize.
You donít need to be super happy-go-lucky happy; in fact you shouldnít be. It is ok to feel sad, and even empty at times. This is terrible, it really hurts. Make time to cry it out, that is part of caring for yourself.
Fake it, till you make it - is a very good practice to follow. It slowly, and I mean sloooooowly, changes your mind and perspective. And one day, you realize you arenít faking so much, and further along you realize you arenít faking it at all.
Our minds are always listening, so ďactingĒ or ďfaking itĒ helps. This is utilized in the only realm or ďcarsĒ we have direct control Physical, our actions and reactions. Intellectual, what we say and to a lesser extent what we think. Thoughts being influenced by emotions can be overridden with that mental assertiveness - the sword.
Emotions and feelings are irrational, beyond direct control and only subject to influence. One controls their thoughts and actions regarding feelings, not the feelings themselves.
Beliefs, values, and convictions are those deep forces from within. Slow to alter, and subject to influences of thought and heart.
When people ask about H. Your truthful response is excellent - ďI donít know. H is taking some time for himself.Ē
ďIím ok with it.Ē You might want to alter a bit - ďIím learning to be ok with it.Ē
Itís ok to be authentic and still fake it. To be vulnerable and reach out, and still express strength.
You mind is listening, and slowly, and yet sooner than you can believe (and that my friend is a deep sentiment), you will have learnt and will be ok with it.
Have trust and faith, that empty feeling is temporary. You will be full again. And that current struggle transforms into a path of growth, which provides much fulfillment and true joy.
Focus and you and especially D3. Hearing about Santa, a sleigh ride, and her daycare party was wonderful.
A bit overwhelmed by this one. Made me cry for quite a while but I think in a good way.
I have been trying to allow myself to just feel what I feel and not try to fix it, just look at it, based on those books I have been reading. And last night I was alone as D10 was with H and D14 was out. I went to my church to pray for a long time and then dried my eyes and went to a cafe to write, and I had that feeling of total solitude and spirit hovering nearby that is both sweet and searingly painful. Worked for a while on the writing and then went out into the cold air and felt the lights and life all around me and tried to look at that feeling of loneliness and not get rid of it, but man it was hard. I was asking God why so much of my life was this way, alone. Came home to this post from you. I understand exactly what you are saying and I know it is true. I am not sure I will ever be where you are, to be able to say I am glad for what happened. I am a little stuck on wishing I had not been so damaged when I first met H, that maybe I would have chosen more wisely. I wish my life had been totally different. I wish if I was going to spend so much of my life in feeling alone, I had pursued the life I intended, which was an artistic one. I am doing that more now but it's pretty late. (And yes, of course I am glad I have my children and I know God wanted these particular children here, and for me to be their mom and love them. But I am still allowing myself to look at that other thought for now and see the pain in it in order to try to let it go someday.)
(And by the way, as someone who works with teens and loves them more than any other age of people, there is no more sure way to know you are a beautiful soul than to have teens tell you or at least respond to you in that way. Well done!!!)
So many unknowns for me right now but reading your post last night and again this morning, I am thinking of what we can be sure of. I am sure that God started to bring me to faith before the hurricane actually hit so that I could walk through it with Him and be refined by it in God's way. And truly, it was because of H that all those books were on our shelf, that I was exposed so often to churches and to his endless discourses on faith (clearly, in retrospect, the shallow soil, but still used to plant it in me!), of which part of that was -- "The child can't distinguish between the gift and the giver." It truly is one of the truest truths and it has played over in my head since H said it years ago. I am glad it will play in your head now; and I am not surprised that it hit you so hard and that you understood it exactly and understood why it was so important because of who you are. (I love your description of being shell shocked, just sitting there at work with the noise around you and you in stillness thinking about that truth.) And I am sure I am glad our paths crossed here. Thanks for the post, DnJ, you were right that it meant a lot for me. Tomorrow is my birthday, I take that as your gift!
I also found a picture of W and OM mixed in our xmas decorations, hidden right under our wedding pictures. Feels so cold, hurtful and I may be overthinking it but it seems purposeful, like maybe she wants me to confront the issue again or see if I get jealous/stand up. As what helped get us to this point...I cant read her mind. Its weird as she hasn't initiated one R chat since BD.
It really is the worst HaWho. And the signs are already there.
S has been making some comments about visit 3.
Several replay behaviors seem to be MIA ATM. These include: 1) missing beard; 2) missing diet obsession; 3) missing workout obsession; 4) mention of his family (never had anything to do with them when we were together then ran to them when we weren't); and 5) no mention of politics (this is the big one--this was very present last year during his cycle in and I also noticed its absence when I met with him recently).
S reported that OD is sick, yet again. Something minor, but still. We have so little interaction with him, but when we do, he is sick or relaying a recent sickness or injury.
S also reported that OD's mood was noticeably "down." OD even allowed S to pick the movie (really, another movie?) and then complimented him on the choice. I can't even remember when OD let S pick a movie.
I also noticed that OD is still erasing his life in his town from the Internet. He made a comment during my visit that made it clear that he was aware of what was on the internet about him, although no mention of why he was so up on it.
Apparently OD took S to task in visit 2 about something I had told him S had done that was not great. A little surprising.
So, S is supposed to see him next week. Seeing is believing. I anticipate a cancellation or postponement.
Just crazy to think how scared I was of when the D would be final for so long. Now I am honestly excited for the day to finally come (Mid-January per her lawyer) to no longer have any legal attachment to her in order to begin my new life.
Hey ih thanks buddy really value the support and encouragement mate. Itís a frickin lonely path mate.
Yeah Iím helping ss with guidance and even taught him to iron the other night. We pumped iron then ironed haha 😂
Yeah focus shift is tough. She was my life. I thought i was meant to sacrifice myself for my wife and family. I was dumb and naive, trusting and loyal. Just gotta remember thereís women out there who are different.
Quick recap - STBXW responded by saying that she is concerned for D4 and that I'm not following the divorce agreement (accusatory). I sent a note back saying that D4 is my top priority, that I appreciate her sharing her views with me, but that I'm not seeing the symptoms and I'm in alignment with the agreement. If she wants to talk more I offered to meet in person today (Friday). So...
STBXW and I met this afternoon to talk about the emails, etc. Good conversation overall. We started by talking about some scheduling items. I'm going on vacation in January and, with holidays, it would result in me barely seeing D4 at all during the month. Our custody arrangement allows that and it's my choice to go on vacation so I told her that I respect her decision either way, no hard feelings. She traded a weekend, definitely something "for" me and I really appreciate it.
Regarding the separation anxiety issues, she is saying that the issue exists and that it only manifests itself when D4 is with her. Single dads, what's your experience? D4 is happy when she's with me like 95% of the time. STBXW says that she is having headaches, issues sleeping, and so on, with her, because she's scared of STBXW not being around. I'm open to making changes that help D4 but it really feels like an issue between STBXW and D4 rather than me. STBXW wants to take D4 to counseling, perhaps have the two of us go, too. Seems like a waste to me - I am reading books, making sure that my time w/ D4 is quality time (no screens, etc.), and so on... not sure what I could possibly improve. I don't really want to spend my time and money on what seems like her issue.
She offered some bait by saying that she was giving me "grace" for some things I am doing as a dad that she doesn't agree with. I didn't ask what they were (had to bite my tongue, ha). I probably could have done more validation overall but overall it was a pleasant conversation. Went 45 minutes without me noticing. All business. She asked me about my work but I couldn't tell her anything even if I wanted to (my work is privileged - as a couple I could share more than I should but now? No way.). Didn't pry about hers, ask about anything personal, etc.
At this point it feels like a business relationship, nothing more. I don't know how I feel about that. Certainly not good but also not really bad. I don't feel like I have to resist the urge to talk about reconciliation in any form. I'm just being a dad. Well, if I'm honest, I'm also still a bit angry that I am put in the position where I have to justify my actions as D4's parent while STBXW walks out the door and can pretend she has her best interests at heart. I did have to resist defensiveness/justifications.
Hey Wolf. Cousin canceled on me for the 14th. House renovations on her part. She canceled XW's visit too this weekend. Good thing too because I accidentally double booked the 14th. Band mates birthday party shindig is on the 14th. Part of it is the holidays. But not entirely. Its the boredom. Its the struggle of head vs. heart again and ideation. I see it for what it is though. It temporarily sent me into a rage. Not GALing enough is playing a role in it. Im anxious, bored, and restless. Not depressed though. The anger turns to sadness and it passes. S2 has been so sick the last 2 months. Missed so much work. I have to be a hermit because of financial constraints. Just barely made the rent. So part of its boredom and thoughts run amuck being isolated. Cleaned up my phone and external hd, had videos and pics going back 2 to 3 years. Man did that open up some wounds, that and XW buying a new car despite us both being broke with all the work days we are both missing. She can't afford it and even said so. She's probably tapping the money I never took from her because I won't sign the settlement agreement until I can afford a L to review it, and get my all my stuff out of garage which may take many months. Its not that I'm jealous. I'm much more frugal with $. Always was to get the bigger things in life. My clothes are 15 years old but I still look like a million $ . I guess what it is. Is? Watching her making all the changes and moving on when I can't that angers me. Having more of a social life, etc. Having money. (But not really.) For all the extras like nails, clothes, gifts, going out, new car, therapy, hair, stupid contraptions. Accessories. Underware, makeup, etc. Those pictures were mostly memories of how she was and how I knew her a little over a year ago. The pictures all in the last year were all evidence of all the changes, craziness, red flags. Etc. Having a hard time now moving on and detaching when I thought I did. Just wish I could shift the focus back to myself again. But its coming back slowly. My turn is coming soon though. Its really hard to stay committed to personal development when your mind has too much information in it, that and being ADD. Again I will keep you posted when I am coming out. Hope you are doing better.
Thank you so much, kml, for stopping in and for your thoughts!
Originally Posted by kml
The main problem with too much magnesium is it can overwhelm the kidneys, so patients with kidney failure should not take supplemental magnesium. Usually in a person with normal kidney function 500 - 800 mg/d is safe. If he was taking it not to fix constipation but to induce weight loss by abusing it as a laxative, that would fit into the whole eating disorder thought.
Well he started using it to fix constipation alongside a complete and radical change in his eating habits but I am pretty sure he was taking at least 5 times the recommended dosage, so that would be 2000 mg per day. Since MLC started at the end of 2013. I don't want to get too graphic, but being the only person in the house who cleaned the bathroom, it was pretty intense daily. It was one of the good things about him moving out, that I would stop cleaning toilets daily. When I am sick and can't hold my food at either end, I get extremely dehydrated and sometimes even have a panic attack. So I imagine this has to have a brutal effect on his body, and I read a few anecdotes on the internet of people who had gone a little batty from it. But it sounds like you have not encountered anything about that. I remember my uncle had a nervous breakdown from mercury poisoning and seemed sort of stoned for almost a year, so I was thinking it could be something like that.
Originally Posted by kml
As for your brother, who knows if that diagnosis was correct, I think teenagers in crisis and using drugs get mislabeled a lot. Does he strike you as a narcissist now?)
Yes, he is one of the most self-centered people I have ever met. I just never realized until now that it was that all these years. I thought he was just like that and that never having kids made him never get over that self-focus. I actually feel like an idiot for not realizing it! And it actually made me feel a lot more forgiving -- I realized that he has been trying really hard to conquer that in himself all this time -- tons of therapy and all sorts of physical, nutritional and other practices, and that he might be doing the best he can. He might actually serve as a model for me as the best that someone with NPD can do after years of intensive therapy.
Originally Posted by kml
It does sound like the family dysfunction in your childhood may be the reason why you never recognized it in your H - you were accustomed to it. It felt familiar.
Thank you for your empathy, that is very comforting. What I am grappling with now is that I thought it wasn't familiar at all. I thought my H was totally different from what I knew. It makes me wonder if I was sleepwalking all this time on some level, except that he really seemed like a wonderful guy in most ways, and we were so close. So I think he was either hiding it or battling it or ... I don't know anymore.
Originally Posted by kml
(In my case, the opposite was true - my ex was a fairly benign narcissist, and nobody in my family had any kind of pathology like that, so I feel like I was naive and just didn't know what to look for because I'd not been around it.)
But did you notice any behaviors that bothered you? I would think that if you had never encountered it, you would find it really horrible and not something you had to put up with. Or did your H also seem mostly good until MLC?
Thanksgiving we spent with my family , had a great time . I did spend a night at his sisters over holiday . I kept my distance . Hello and goodbye. H went to a family birthday party . I declined and went to visit my sister . Clearly noticed by his family I will not just be the way I was . The line was drawn and Iím not going back .
Few sessions of marriage counseling. Nothing really to report there . Basically he made a lot of mistakes and admitted them . Iím terrible at admitting when Iím wrong but what Iím trying is to stick to my 180s. H has made some random last minute plans with the guys here or there . I used to give him a lot of grief . Now I say ok have a great time . It seems to help . H gives me a lot of good feedback when he feels free to spend some guy time with no pressure. Itís helped me be able to do what I like too without feeling guilty like I used too .
H has been noticing many things he took for granted and pointing them out . Like his blinders are lifted . Sometimes he will say I canít believe you do all that and I didnít notice . H is planning more dates and trying to spend time with me . He really can be just a sweetheart most of the time .
A few bumps with his mood . Stress that he wasnít feeling well . I DB the crap out of him for a day or two . He apologized and said he was sorry for being moody and cold .
Wow may ! I tried to post other night and got error message . H walked in room so I had to put away phone so he doesnít see DB site .
You are one tough cookie for somehow maintaining your composure with everything . Many hugs !!!!
Distance yourself . When he decided to go to another restaurant . You responded to most of his texts . Put some space in between or cut back . Heís confused . The longer he has you on the hook . The longer limbo is going to be .
H is still in contact with OP . Heís admitted this . You are not his friend when theres OP. You do not have to be angry . Detach and distance . More distance then you think you can do . You are the prize to be chased .Heís playing H most of the time . Sitting on couch with you . Asking about dinner . Messaging frequently. But still seeing and talking to OP.
Look at actions . This goes both ways . Good and bad . This was hard for me to realize . I had to look at bad actions as well .Yes he moved back in master bedroom . Yes he hasnít moved out . Increased time together . But he also has continued to talk to OP . Meet with OP .