I donít know Don. I think the thing thatís 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 ďwhat do you think our children would look like?Ē 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 Iím 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 donít want in someone. What they wonít settle for. And for people that keep following similar patterns in partners itís important to break that cycle too. But you canít 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 - thereís no guarantee of success with any method of dating and relationships.
And then Some people donít 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.
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'.
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 thatís 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. Iím sick and tired of the betrayal. Itís wearing on me and the kids. My limbo is more wanting to move on if my W doesnít 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.
Iíve also felt that the right thing to do is give her the choice. Lay out that Iím done living this way and let her make the decision. Yes, it is forcing a decision, but Iím 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 canít fathom how my WW cam keep up the double/triple life with all of the lies sheís 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 sheís communicating with. I have to think sheíll 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 Iím finished with the crap and BS. Iím not tolerating it any longer. Not sure if youíve kept up with my sitch, but I take it you wouldnít 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'm just about ready to get it going in terms of casting some lines. My head in getting into the space where I see potential everywhere. I have an early p.m. party to attend this weekend which is likely to be followed by drinks out and about with some friends, so we'll see what develops.
I'm at 1 year BD, it's just amazing how the time has flown. I feel like a much better person these days. I feel like a combination of having my old mojo back and also new and improved in many areas. It's going to be great to interact with women on a romantic level again.
Which we all know isnít true. I have tons of words!
But I am kind of erasing the dad thing from my mind now. He is t talking to me, I texted about something he asked about prior to the fight and no response. I canít even call and slightly apologize because he canít ever listen to me. He will go off on me and quite frankly, Iím going to my friends wedding and Iíll be in FL and I want to be light-hearted.
I Do realize that I kind of have the ideal relationship with my ex that most only dream of. We switched cars for the week while Iím away and heís doing my brakes and oil change. In exchange I have him a water dispenser and I bakes a nice apple pie I have to his wife today. He helped me carry in my daughters desk because it was way too heavy. They made it to my house first yesterday because I was running late at work. When we were married he would have flipped on me for being late and making him wait. He said ďno big deal, take your time, Iíll hang out hereĒ I walked in and he was playing with the dog. Sometimes I wish it was that way when we were married. But Iím happy we can be this way now. We help each other more now than we did when we were married. Funny how that works. But Iím happy with where our relationship is.
Iím still on the fence about this new guy. I mean, I really like him. But I donít want to like him anymore than I do if we canít make it work to see each other. And I kind of refuse to be the only one who needs. Opposite weekends are super tough. And his hands are beyond full with 3 kids. I donít know. I think heís going to have to try harder if he has the same interest, which he expresses.
But all of that will be in the back of my mind this week. Itís all about one of my bestest friends and her marriage. I donít think Iíve ever been so happy for any other individual who has gotten married.
Oh, and funny story. One of the nurses on my floor is divorced with 2 kids and dating this guy she talks about all the time and occasionally bad mouths his ex. I saw a post on FB she was tagged in so I checked out her profile. I know who her boyfriend is. He was/is married to someone I grew up with. he was married before her too and his daughter from his first marriage went to dance with D12 when she was like 5. He married this woman I grew up with and they had a boy. I only found out they were divorcing when he sent me a message on a dating site! I was like ďare t you married to so and so?Ē He freaked and never replied. I guess he got her now.
I am not that far along but here is my stats. BD1 in Feb 2017, left home March 2017 (and pretty much moved in with OM but not constantly) since then. Started angry, basic rewriting, ILYBNILWY, then never loved you. We would see each other on and off initially every month or so, then she disappear for 3 months. Reappeared after reaching Jan 2018, touch and go, with more time spent together, reconnecting a little. Then Aug 2018 came home after we both were traveling and said we should go our separate ways out of the blue (after admitting being in "love" with OM a couple of months back and thanking me for being patient). She had been coming back from shark eyes and total disconnect, but at that time reverted all the way back to cold, calm shark eyes, but no anger.
Barely any communication since then, will avoid actually talking on phone. Only sends texts sporadically, mostly if she needs something. But once or twice sharing things that are important to her.
But no progress or talk of divorce. So basically disappeared.
Me, I am just living my life as if she is not coming back. But still have empathy for the pain she is in.
Hey guys itís been a few since I checked in. So Iíve totally GAL. Been keeping really busy doing things. Been consistent with my 180ís. Itís been great. Iíve actually been feeling happy. Not much has changed with the wife. The D is still progressing at the moment. Although she hasnít said much or done much about it. Iím truly ok with either outcome for the first time since the BD. That conversation a few weeks ago where she refused to come talk to me about the kids was the slap in the face to me. It awoke me from the state I was in and I realized her actions are very clear despite what she says. Iím done letting her have a say in my happiness and Iím moving forward and doing whatís best for my kids.
Pax, time passes faster than we think it will in the moment. Use the time you have left in your lease to decide what you want to do for you and where you want to be. I've changed my mind a few times, but have really settled into the idea of where I want to be long-term, which parts of town I will look at in my preferred location, and exactly the kind of house I want to have. I am so excited for you that you are envisioning this new life. I see you standing there trying out those nascent wings and getting ready to take flight.
I take back part of that. I have never explained it as well to D10 as you do in this letter. On the other hand, I am not you. I am the mom she ended up with. I made mistakes and I will never know if I chose rightly each step of the way, but at least I can be sure that she saw me keep choosing to love.
I didn't speak to exF for most of the weekend. Today he called and wanted me to come spend the day with him. I declined and reminded him of the break-up text and got off the phone. He then sent me some texts still wanting me to spend time with him. My only response was that I do not want to spend the next 10 years of my life getting break-up texts when he is angry.
He called me again this evening and asked if we could talk. I agreed and we met up and talked. He said his feelings were hurt when he wanted to spend time together on Friday, that I wouldn't give him a clear answer about my plans and then I went to hang out with friends.
He essentially did the same thing earlier in the week and I did the same to him out of spite. Probably super immature of me. So we talked more about that. I told him I am not happy with how our R is going. It feels like we are going down a path right back to old R and we were both unhappy in it. He agreed and said he thinks if we were nicer to each other our problems would be solved. I agreed that we need to be nicer and think of more solutions.
He said I need to talk to him when I am upset about things and I told him he is very unapproachable and only gets angry when I bring anything up and I listed examples. He apologized and said he will work on it.
We talked more about what each of us want. I mentioned more QT, random talks in the evening and texts throughout the day would make me happier. He would like more ML and affection and for me to spend less time on my phone. The phone one semi-annoyed me as that's his thing when we go to bed but I didn't say anything.
We had plans originally with the family on Saturday. He went alone and took the kids. He said he spent the day thinking about what he said on Friday and wished I was with them. He said there were several times he thought about how much fun I would be having and how much I would have enjoyed the activity.
This is where I get stuck. We had a great conversation, both agreed to work to make things better The second he gets angry about something we are back to square one. He gets angry and I get super distant. I feel like I just keep rolling on with one foot out the door. I realize I need to put the other foot out the door and then get suckered back in. I feel like I am doing everything wrong. I want this to work but am afraid we just aren't compatible. I am all over the place.