Thanks May. Ok so I am getting to the point, much thanks to the strength from this community, of wanting to lay out some boundaries. Everyone here has been so great. You guys definitely tossed some much needed 2*4s my way.
Would ya'll throw out some example boundaries for me to get me started?! (insert nervous smiley face ) I really want to make certain that:
A) I am doing more by actions and not words
B) I am not setting a boundary that I will not stick to
C) I am leaving the "door open" so to speak bc I really DO want to save our M.
The person that is cake-eating to her heart's content is not the same person I married. I know many of us feel like this. I know that we can never have the R we previously had, but I also know that we were really great together for many years. I want to be true to following my heart and true to my commitment because I am sure at some point, she is going to think - wow, what have I done and what kind of human have I been. The story of the prodigal son rings true to her mindset and I was raised to show grace even when the person may not deserve it. Thanks for the input and help!
Hey May! Keep working on those positive vibes. I'm sure at some point, this trip will be stressful for you but come back to this and read it over and over.
Originally Posted by may22
-- less anxious, it doesn't really bother me too much if I wonder if he's going to see her or not-- like whatever, he'll do what he wants to do, worrying about it isn't going to help anything and just makes me stressed out.
Hey man! sounds like a bumpy ride but you're still hanging in there.
About the dating scene, it's good you're taking a break from it. I don't think a dating blitz has been working out in your favor and it definitely is time to re-evaluate it. If I were you, I would try to have more conversations with women IRL without the expectation for anything. Just even some chit chat at the yoga class, grocery store etc. I think it pays to be more selective when you know what you want. Also, I am sure your wallet will be glad that you're not doling out $$$$. Those first dates add up I am sure.
I haven't been in the dating scene just yet and I am trying to talk to women more IRL and improve my communication and social skills. I know that I clean up real nice in person more than online, and I've had a few women who expressed some interest, but I wasn't ready so I just let it slide.
Take some time off for yourself and breathe. There's always other aspects of life that need attention and maybe just focus on that for now.
I think part of my problem is I am feeling down right now. About a lot of things. This is having a negative impact on my MR outlook. I need to find my groove again and get back to where I was feeling fulfilled and happy internally. I have a lot to be happy and thankful for, and I need to get busy feeling that way again.
Boom! That's it! It's funny how quickly our perspectives can change when we line up a few small wins and get the good feelings rolling. I know you can do this. You know you can do this.
Steve, you've helped out a TREMENDOUS number of people here. You can turn this around and I know it.
good job at keeping the interaction short. If D seems imminent, perhaps consider not responding to statements, only questions.
No sooner I get into my car she texts me, “What happened?” I said “nothing, why?” She said you seemed off. I said I just miss my family. She replied I’m sorry, didn’t want it to be this way. So I didn’t respond anymore. Then about an hour later she text me, “you ok?” I wrote no not really. She wrote, why today? I simply said we are getting close to the end of our marriage. Going to bed now have a good night. She text me ok with a sad face.
I would save these types of open hearted convos for someone who values you, not for someone who does not want a R with you. I wouldn't eschew these convos to be mean, but only to be real.
She has actually told me she just wants to be free and do what she wants and when she wants. She doesn’t want to have to answer to anyone anymore.
So now she feels like it’s her time, I just would t expect it at the expense of the family.
I felt this way just yesterday. Mainly it was because I didn't want to do what my W wanted to do. Feelings come and go. I realized I was being dumb. Just validate those feelings. I mean, wouldn't it be nice to have less responsibility? You should have just asked her what beach she'd like to be on then? A lot of times we just want to play this fantasy out loud for a few moments. Entertain it and it passes. Try to explain it away and it becomes something negative.
The advice I’ve been giving you is about respect and your own well being. If it saves your marriage even better. I know it’s hard to implement many of these suggestions but we still need to give advice based on what we feel works best for you and your children based on past experiences and research. I guess it is just confusing to us why you come here and reject just about 90% of the advice giving to you.
You are correct that you need to live with the choices you make so you should choose the choices you make moving forward.
You are right that this is going to be messy, and the longer you delay it the worse it will probably be for you because you are setting a bad status quo right now. The problem is deep down you still care about her, and deep down she wants you to drop dead, so she is going to keep steamrolling you. My advice is to consult with a couple of lawyers to find a fair, reasonable judgement in your area, propose something close to this but a little bit better for you, do this through mediation if that is normally done in your area, and don't give up anything in mediation past the fair "midpoint" (try to think of things to offer in negotiation that have value to her, but not to you. Like right of first refusal, expediency, more upfront cash vs long term support etc), and when that breaks down you get a lawyer to fight this out for you.
A fair proposal may be to start 50-50 immediately (delayed 50-50 = never 50-50!), max 2 years of spousal support (same amount of time she has been unemployed), she vacates the house in 3 months (it will never sell if she is in it, and this gives you a few months to get it ready for spring sales season), specify 50-50 for activity and college expenses (you will thank yourself in 15 years), and impute her income at the max of what she could make full time (Its no longer your job to support her dreams of part time work or a lower earning career path - she can figure that out on her own). Offer her right of first refusal in negotiation as a carrot because she can get this anyways. This means she has every right to watch them instead of daycare on your days if she wants to - but I suspect reality will set in and she will be too busy working so long as you don't fold on the financials. And stop thinking that them being with your WAW is better than daycare, and using this as an excuse not to fight on custody. First of all, this is just not a tenable option given that it requires you to burn through your savings. And, I promise that you will quickly change your mind when she starts attempting to alienate them from you and new guys are spending more time with them than you, and by then it will probably be impossible to change status quo to get more custody.
After you send your fair proposal in writing or mediation she will immediately reject this offer and counter with a proposal for you to go die in a hole but keep giving her lots of money. At that point you need to retain your lawyer and hide behind them. Your job is to push or contain (if they start overspending) your lawyer from behind, your lawyer's job is to negotiate with your WAW or her lawyer. Whenever she attacks you, simply refuse to discuss legal matters with her.
Hi Ballast. I agree with much of what you are saying. In terms of introducing the kids to someone, I think it really depends on the situation...in particular, the vulnerability of the kids. In my case, my kids are very connected to their dad. They aren’t looking for a father figure and I’m not looking for anyone to be that for them.
My kids met my boyfriend pretty early on in a very casual, nonchalant kind of way. He doesn’t have kids and hasn’t been around a lot of kids so things were a bit awkward at first but now it’s been six months, there is a pretty good level of comfort on both sides but still not the kind of connection where I would worry very much about them being highly impacted if we broke up. Their primary concern would be my emotional state so if I looked okay, they would be okay too.
My kids are also turning 12 in December so are getting to that adolescent stage of caring way more about their peer relationships than their mom’s love life. Now if they were younger and their dad had disappeared from their lives, I would be much more cautious as I would worry about them becoming overly attached.
So, in short, I think every situation is different and depends on a lot of factors. I also think that you wouldn’t want to wait too long as you would want to know how your SO is around your kids. If there is a big problem, you are going to want to know that before you get overly attached. I would not want to be with someone my kids didn’t like or someone who had too many opinions about my parenting or was irritated by the presence of my kids. I also would not want to be with someone who is more interested in my kids than in me.
I don’t know Don. I think the thing that’s hard for logistical minded people or maybe people that were hurt or trying to not be hurt is that there is no linear formula to follow when it comes to relationships and love.
On my parents first date, my dad asked my mom “what do you think our children would look like?” Huge red flag. But they have been happily married - absolutely no drama- for over 40 years.
My ex husband made sure he waited 3 days to call me after our first date. We waited 3 years to move in. Another 4 years to get married. And 1 year to have a kid. Guess what? He was leading a double life and now I’m too old to have more kids. Because I followed this linear formula.
Now, for people that are looking for that person to grow old with ... I think Dating does help people to figure out what they don’t want in someone. What they won’t settle for. And for people that keep following similar patterns in partners it’s important to break that cycle too. But you can’t lump everyone into that category. Some people just find the right person early and know a good thing when they see it - and just as there are unsuccessful stories there are positive stories out there too. Point being - there’s no guarantee of success with any method of dating and relationships.
And then Some people don’t really want to find the right person but the right for now person as they are not looking for commitment. So that comes into play as well.
There has been no communication since the last message from W. As we are getting close to the end of the year, I realize that the apartment I´ve sorted for her is not for that much longer. So I have a question to the vets here -
Just to remind everyone of my sitch - I have a prenup which means W gets nothing once we are divorced. However, I can´t protect the apartment with a prenup due to local laws. They will give it to whoever needs it the most. Since I make a lot more money than her, they would say that I can afford to buy a new one instead of keeping this. So I wrote a separate agreement before we got married stating that if she doesn´t claim this apartment, I will give her approx 15.000 USD cash.
The day she moved out I told her I would wire her the money in a few days to which she said she doesn´t want them yet, she is worried she might spend them(wise decision, I believe she would have spent them too). So I only wired her a small amount so she can buy basic things for the new apartment. As for the apartment itself, it costs me about the same, around 15.000 USD which wasn´t in the agreement that I would pay but I did it anyway just to get rid of her. She has it until February 29. Last week she messaged me and asked if she could get another small amount from the divorce money I owe her to which I said yes, but I need her to legally change her address with the tax office. Once she has done that, she can no longer claim the apartment I live in now. She questioned it at first, asking if she shouldn´t wait until end of February but I told her I can´t wire any more money until she has done that. A day later I got confirmation that she has changed her address.
This means she can no longer claim the apartment or demand to move back in. However, I know it´s IMPOSSIBLE to find a rental apartment in our city. She doesn´t have the money to buy one either. So I have a feeling she will be reaching out when it´s getting closer. What would the recommendation be? I don´t know what she will do. She has two friends she knows well enough but they live with their boyfriends so she can´t move in there. Her only option is to find a guy to move in with and that is not something she would want. Not in such short time.
Obviously I can´t have her move back in here but if it comes to the point where she has absolutely nowhere else to go, I´m not sure I can be cold enough to let her end up on the street. What would you do?
I agree w/all of the posters. He needs to calm down and breathe. After all, it is your house and it certainly doesn't sound like the kitchen was a mess. In fact, it sounded like it was very clean. Your son left the innards of the rice cooker in the dish rack to dry. You don't want to just wipe that down and them put it back together. It's better to air dry it.
He needs something for that OCD mess and he should be thankful and appreciative of all you do for him. I don't know how you put up with all of his drama, especially after all that you've been through the last couple of weeks.
I am so happy that things have finally turned the corner for you! The hard work of reconciling is not for the faint of heart. It takes a lot of patience and understanding to know that the time it takes for them to enter the crisis will take just as long, if not longer, for them to come out the other side.
Congratulations! I wish you your hubby many, many years of happiness.
I think the ego fights the spirit to preserve what was familiar, secure, and attached to your"re identity as a spouse and you. Its hard to come to terms with, but when you realize, your roles, your talents, your emotions and even to an extent, your personality and behaviors aren't really you, but your who trying to preserve itself with memories, habits, routines. It might help a little. When you do something and go places with someone for over a decade or more, its hard not to remember and grieve. I've had to go through this 5 times in my life. The more you frequent it, the more the feelings of loss subside.
To put it this way. There are a lot of things you did and frequented before you met your spouse, there are a lot of things you did and places you went while single, and even the same from when we were children. If we remaun stuck there, we don't grow, we don't heal, we don't move on, and we don't experience. I am very guilty of dwelling in the past, as it is a bad habit I picked up from my family as all they ever talk about is how good things were, and how everything is always getting worse. They are never present. I an never present. Yet they refuse to change or take initiative to change and chronically whine about their circumstances in life. I don't want to do that anymore as I've been mentally doing it for the last 40 years.
As much as it hurt me to hear it a few months ago. XW said I was just another chapter of her life. And appalled me that I could be looked at that way. But in time of the last few months I got it. I've watched her change into a person I don't know. I've watched her make changes in her life. I've observed her family making changes in their life too. The whole time I'm watching all this the more I realize the little I have changed. I mean internally I'm learning things and mentally does far as taking actions time to put the rubber to the road. I have to change by force and I have to move on. For the first time I understand what she went through. Because I have been in limbo for the last year I have lost a sense of myself. I am forced to reevaluate a lot of things I have done, said, acted and didn't act on. What I want out of life now, who I am, etc. This is why time and space is healthy. It is our opportunity to get ourselves right. I will let everyone here know how I am doing with this once I move in a week.
Sunset, I'd been thinking about you. I'm glad you came over for an update.
I'm glad you're feeling powerful. So much of what we go through leaves us feeling like nice little puddles on the floor, but a dose of seeing how capable we are as human beings really can go far. Clear thinking can go far. A lot of folks get that self-affirmation through exercise. I got mine (initially) through redesigning my outward appearance to be a little more glam-rock. You are a woman of action and taking control of your life.
I can appreciate how slow and methodical you seem to be working behind the scenes. That's important. Don't get swept up in the hubbub of it all - remember that EVERY single step is on your timeline.
A word of caution that I sense you are already aware of: Be careful what you post regarding legal steps. I suspect that was why you were MIA for a month not posting. But while this site is very unlikely to be found, I just don't want you to give away your playbook or give any ammo.
Lastly: A little challenge for you, if I might. Your coping strategies. What are you doing for you and you alone? You're a new mom with a crazy amount on your plate. How are you remembering who you are? Rediscovering things that bring you joy? If nothing else, break-ups give us the space to remember things we let fall away when we became partnered. I want to hear more about who Sunset is in her soul, because you have a very long road ahead of you, and you need to be content in yourself every step of the way.
I like you. Your fiesty spirit shines through the posts. I'm wishing you well.
I've been thinking a lot about my situation the past few days, and - in hindsight - it occurred to me that I had a short window into my WAW's perspective during and around the time of BD. So I thought I would share some of what I remember and/or learned during that time as well as a few other things I've learned, in the hopes that it may help some new LBS, or even myself at some point in the future.
What I learned -
- BD is the end of a marriage. It doesn't matter what legal papers still exist, when one person is checked out, it is over.
- Acceptance of this will be extraordinarily painful, and there is no way around it. You have to go through it, you must grieve what you had. If you choose to try to avoid it, you will only be delaying the grieving process.
- Your WAS is in a crisis state. They cannot think clearly. My WAW told me she felt like she had 3 people screaming at once in her head, all trying to make themselves heard over alarm bells that were constantly going off. When she spoke to me, I could physically see that she was telling the truth. Her topics shifted suddenly and randomly, and made no logical sense. She had never been this way before in 20+ years of knowing each other. She was in no way able to handle a discussion about our R.
- Time and space are crucial. If a catastrophe was happening inside your mind, a hurricane of chaos blowing everything you knew away, would you want someone to try to reason with it? Would you want your partner to add to the mess by begging or pleading with you to stop something that you had no control over? No, of course you would not. Give space, and a lot of it.
- Stop pressuring your S. Without realizing it, I was pressuring my W big time before I found DB. I watched as I pushed her away from me and then caused myself more misery when I didn't understand why it was not working. W had told me point blank she needed space and time. I should have listened and at that time, I did not. Now, after 7 months of doing a 180 on this, she is very slowly calming down.
- Loss of identity is a real thing. My W told me she felt like she had lost her identity during BD. I validated this. How could I argue with what she was feeling? What was I going to do, tell her it was just a phase, that she would get through it and not to worry about it? I could not. That was her truth, that was/is her perspective, that was/is her reality. Invalidating that would just push her farther away.
- Learn to be patient. I don't mean, see what happens after a week or a month. It will be much much longer. Read the old threads here, some of the posts from AmyC and happy again and others if you want to gain a perspective from the other side and if you want to know what kind of timeline you are looking at.
- Figure out ways to occupy your time. This was the hardest thing for me - what do I do with the time W and I used to spend together? My suggestion - start small. Make a list of everything you ever wanted to do in your life. Go back to childhood if you want - write it all down (hey, you've got a lot of time to think about it now, right?). Then, start doing those things. Get a project going. Get ten projects going. Focus on yourself.
Been thinking about W recently. I don't like the idea of her alone and struggling. I feel sad for her. But at the same time, she was the one who wanted D - she didn't want to work on the R, even though I really did and made it really obvious that I wanted to make things work. She has put herself in a really difficult place from a life-logistics point of view.
I sometimes worry that she's thinking "he's just ignoring me - he clearly doesn't care," but then I reason that must be an emotional reaction and not a logical one, presumably sped along by influence from others feeding her that idea; it's an easy way of explaining how I'm reacting or rather not reacting.
I'm wearing my wedding ring on my right hand. I didn't wear it for a week or so but put it back on. Feels a bit strange on the wrong hand.
I feel GAL is going well, and I am working on myself and have identified areas that I was "lacking in" generally and addressed those.
I am frustrated that she isn't reaching out, but then on the flip side I figure that when we do meet (no idea when that will be however), I am hoping my transformation will be more noticeable for her. Rest assured, I'm not doing this for her and her alone. It's for me because it's a long overdue overhaul of 'me'.
To follow on with AS... my H and I have the same dynamic (though opposite gender) where he's the one to get ridiculously angry with people who take to long to park and servers who screw up orders and can't/won't acknowledge their mistake. This was a long, LONG time area of contention for us because I felt like (a) NBD chill and (b) let's not make a scene, especially in front of the kids. So the other day we were driving and a car in front of us did a few annoying things... not really all that big of a deal but my H got heated and honked once. The car pulls up alongside of us and the lady rolls down her window and starts shouting. What I would have done previously is try to calm my H and get angry with him for causing the sitch. This time I did nothing and validated him for being annoyed, and when the lady went off the rails and I was totally on his side that her behavior was unacceptable. We kept driving, he was quiet for awhile... and then he said to me out of nowhere what he thought he could have done better, and that he probably shouldn't have engaged at all with the kids in the car. I was blown away. This was probably the most stark example of it, but since I've stopped responding when he starts to get road rage, it has completely simmered down to the point where he says something off-hand when encountering a bad driver but the anger that used to be behind it is nearly gone.
I know my sitch is not the same as yours BUT I agree with AS that maybe these are opportunities for 180s for you in these kinds of sitches. She's spinning out of control and maybe you're feeding that somewhat with your actions in those situations.
By the way this scenario sounds like me in the past and my wife was assuming your role. But somehow or rather nowadays, I noticed that we have swapped our roles. I becoming whom she was while she becoming whom I were for certain instances.
I have heard it all from the other side now. I get it. Listen to the vets here. Everything they are saying is for a reason! Those times he saw me moving on, and focusing on myself, and when I didn't attack him and became more approachable, he seconded guessed himself 100 fold. But only when it was genuine, not when I was trying to trap him.
I am not sure why I decided to make an acct and post after all these years, and this is somewhat impulsive. But if you have a spouse thick in an A or fog, I just might be able to give you some additional insight. Because what they are saying and doing is often 90% based on fear and emotions. There is little rational going on in their heads. Or there wasn't in the case of my H; a lot of fear, anger, and self-doubt.
I see my W trying. It's like she is fighting alarm bells going off in her head. She told me that during BD - she felt like there were three people inside her head all screaming to be heard at once
That's when I knew this was definitely not about me. That's when I cranked up the empathy studies.
Unfortunately I don't see my W trying. I see her blaming me for relocation, then heaping on the same story about how I am potentially unsafe. I am the villain, she is the victim, and I can't change that for her.
Originally Posted by IronWill
I cannot remember where I read this, but it is something that has helped me greatly in times like this. It goes "Someone can hide who they are for a maximum of 12 months, 18 months at most. After that their real personality begins to appear."
Your W did not hide who she was for 15 yrs. Mine did not hide who she was for 21 yrs.
The experiences we both had were real - don't let the changes/crises happening now affect your view of what you had.
I think in time it will be easier to understand. We just have to get through it first.
If only we could have 20/20 hindsight now lol.
You are right, she did not hide who she was. I have seen her make black-and-white decisions about other people in her life, cut them out, and assume the worst in people. I never thought I would be on the receiving end, but here we are. In hindsight it all makes some sort of weird sense.
I know I sound kind of bitter. We had an initial counseling session today about how to proceed next. It's clear she has stuck to her "UC is potentially violent and abusive" narrative and, well, that pretty much ends our chances of recon. DB techniques have helped me a ton, and have also helped me manage my MR to this point so that we aren't in court in a nasty contested battle. But recon is not something on the table. So I'm not sure I should continue to post in the newcomer forum.
First off, I can't say now that I would suggest writing a letter like I did. In hindsight, it was not the reason for his turn around, rather it was one of many elements happening that led to his downward spiral. I think most of the things going on with him may have been unrelated to where I was at.
Blu, thanks for responding. Interesting, I misinterpreted or more likely missed some later posts. I was under the impression the letter triggered his rapid turnaround. I can see how several items can accumulate at once for the WAS and make them feel that loss. It seems that’s what happened for your H.
Originally Posted by BluWave
My letter was long, it was heartfelt and it was honest. I told him that I didn't want to live in limbo anymore, and I didn't. Limbo for me was not having any legal separation or D, it meant we still owned our home together, and while he was staying at his parents and OWs, he was also coming/going from the house and some evenings I would have to leave at dinner time, and also all of our finances were shared. It was awkward and uncomfortable. For example, the days I worked, I had to get up and leave the house by 630 am and so he would come over before that and get the kids ready for school and then we would swap cars. He would make my coffee and sit there like an outsider in our shared home, looking sad and hopeless, as I was leaving for work. It was total cr-ap!
Wow, sounds like it was awkward and very frustrating to live like that. Your limbo was much different than mine. WW and I have been physically separated for over 6 months. We each have our own house and share the kids 50/50. Kids are starting to hate it at her place, they just want to be back home full time. WW is cycling between multiple OM. I’m sick and tired of the betrayal. It’s wearing on me and the kids. My limbo is more wanting to move on if my W doesn’t want to R. Finding someone that will love and respect me.
Originally Posted by BluWave
Basically my letter stated that it was time for him to make some decisions and that it was time to change the sitch.
I’ve also felt that the right thing to do is give her the choice. Lay out that I’m done living this way and let her make the decision. Yes, it is forcing a decision, but I’m not going to live this way for another year or two.
Originally Posted by BluWave
He also was growing tired of the double life -- pretending to be a good dad and family man to our kids (even tho he was leaving their mom) and then going off to OW -- and it haunted him.
I can’t fathom how my WW cam keep up the double/triple life with all of the lies she’s told me and the OM. It must be extremely burdensome to keep it all straight in her head and change her personality based on who she’s communicating with. I have to think she’ll be haunted for the rest of her life if we D and she knows she never gave us a chance.
Originally Posted by BluWave
Once the momentum of his downward spiral started, there was no turning back for him. My letter was just the threat of a nail in his coffin. It was the realization that he now had to fight his way out of, what felt like, a near impossible situation. I basically removed myself form plan B at the same time he realized I was actually what he wanted.
So, you removed yourself as plan B by stating in the letter that it was time for him to make a decision and change the sitch? No mention of D or separation, just that the sitch had to change? Start moving in one direction or the other?
Originally Posted by BluWave
Not sure that helps. I don't recommend a letter for most people on the boards! Maybe in the case where the WAS is showing a lot of doubt and remorse but hasn't quite made the final leap yet. More importantly, the letter cannot be used to trick them into thinking they will lose you. You have to be ready to follow through in your words and let them go entirely. I was honestly fed up with him and his BS and knew I deserved better. That was in the letter too :-)
The contents of my letter are similar. Mine was not intended to be a threat. I mean it that I’m finished with the crap and BS. I’m not tolerating it any longer. Not sure if you’ve kept up with my sitch, but I take it you wouldn’t recommend I deliver such a letter as my WW has not really shown any chinks in her armor or movement away from the OM except during Retrouvaille weekend.
I probably just did the D work for him by completing the financial disclosure form (I handle the finances) since alimony is all there is to negotiate.
I have to make decisions as if he’s filed correct? The longer I survive on child support alone the more he can prove I don’t need it.
FWIW I’m not asking for much more. I am the reason he left so guilt alone would stop me from “taking him to the cleaners”. WAH accused me of this until he saw my very reasonable but highly frugal post divorce budget.