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Ready2Change, SteveLW, toughtimes180, Traveler
Total Likes: 9
Original Post (Thread Starter)
#2932854 04/24/2022 10:15 AM
by toughtimes180
So, I'm not exactly new here, I was on this site three years ago. I successfully dbed and pieced. We even had a third child. About 9 months ago things started to slip and we agreed to go to couples counselling. At that time I had already been in IC for years and felt I had been making good progress on what was Childhood Emotional Neglect. I started to understand my feelings more, and said to my W that what I want is missing, deeper connection and mutual respect. She always says she just wants more physical touch and affection.

Couples counselling has been great, a very switched on provocative and emotionally draining therapist. She got us to understand attachment and the avoidant (me), anxious (W) trap. It was an eye opener, it explained our sitch and my previous relationships. When I further delved into it at the attachment project (which I highly recommend), I was blown away by the accuracy of behaviours and feelings. I looked back at previous events in my life under this lense of avoidant attachment, and it explained so much. It shed light in events where I blamed SO when it was more about my distorted reality and negative emotional reactions.

So my original DB wasn't enough, more work needed by me, and it didn't fix things, but it lead me address depression and be more aware of my emotions.

Which leads me to now. Two weeks away for another intense couples therapy, I start to get disrespect, anger and gas lighting from W. When I enforced boundaries to stop, more anger, and then BD.

Along the lines of I've not had sex for too long, I'm leaving, we need to sell the house. But I reminded her that it will come after our relationship gets a better connection and more respect. W wasn't listening.

Now, I'm better at this now. No anxiety, no panicky reaction, and, of course, validation. She still has to point out that last time we separated, I was unreasonable. What happened was I simply reminded her that her expectation of separation doesn't match reality. In this case her suggestion to sell, or develop our house into a duplex was surprisingly fair. She also went to great lengths to exoress that I'm her best friend, in the friend zone.

In any event, I'm still emotionally messed up on the inside, finding it hard to keep a brave face. I'm pretty convinced she's serious this time as I accidentally saw her calendar (we share on our phones), and saw a detailed plan in her calendar of dates for moving into her parents, how she wants to not develop our house, but sell, how I'm to stay in the house with our son during weekdays, date when to ask for child support and how much, and even the date with her therapist to discuss her anxiety that ill drag things out with her therapist. I feel bad for reading all this, but I couldn't help myself.

However, despite BD, we're fairly back to normal. Still sleep in the same bed, doing family things, she makes a point to wear her wedding band out in public, but off all other times. In fact we went to a wedding yesterday, and in all respects we acted like a happy couple, other then no kissing.

Now as an anxious person, I know the minute she thinks of something, everything gets planned, then when the intensity wears off, they get dropped. But this seems different.

I know I need to focus on me, GAL and IC. And I still do. I've lost 30 pounds, and working in IC on self esteem and secure attachment.

After this ramble, should I DB? How would it work, she's not WAW quite yet. I am in the process of improving connection with not bottling things up, asking for help, calling out behaviour, more boundary setting, more compliments. No issues so far, but now I'm afraid of looking needy.

I wanted to sit down and tell her my feelings that I understand her BD but also disappointed because we are doing IC. I wanted to suggest we take things slow, but given she has anxiety about me "delaying" I'm not so sure. I've been sharing what happens in IC, but should I now that I've been demoted into the friend zone?

There is a part of me that feels she's probably doing me a favour. I've not seem real change on her behaviour, and rejection in what I said is required to be more close. I think about what separation will look like, and although I'll loose out on some time with my toddler daughter, the idea of space and eventually a new partner is compelling. But the other side of me sees more I can do to overcome avoidant attachment and maybe to the point to better manage anxious W.

I guess I have to admit, I'm probably too attached to my sitch and wish I could get the sort of deep connection with W that I desire.

Liked Replies
#2932893 Apr 25th a 05:38 PM
by Traveler
Originally Posted by Ready2Change
Are you trying to bust this divorce, or do you want to get divorced?
I got that sense from Josh's last posts, too.

Originally Posted by Josh
Well, it's funny how in the morning W is all sympathetic, but now that I've announced that I want to move out she goes into a tirade about how you can't afford it, haven't you thought about it (no, BD was like 48 hours ago)?
She's not wrong that it was an illogical, emotional decision. I wonder if this is your avoidant side--sprinting away makes you feel in control. As others have cautioned, seek an attorney before making weighty decisions, and like most "Talky" actions I doubt this helped you.

Originally Posted by Josh
Then she reverted to the hostile form I remember last time of starting arguments
An argument takes two. It's up to you whether her words "start" an argument.

Originally Posted by Josh
she talked about how the house will be split not 50/50,and then asked if I agree. Remember, this is BD +3. So I had to play dumb that I don't know,
Dumb doesn't gain respect or attraction. Why are you acting dumb--and blaming her for that choice?

Originally Posted by Josh
It's funny she says stuff where I know the truth is the opposite. "I'm so happy!" No you aren't, your snappy and moody.
I agree she sounds like she has mixed feelings about divorcing you. It sounds like you may also have mixed feelings about her divorcing you. Do you want to stand, aren't sure, or what to be single?
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#2932916 Apr 26th a 01:08 AM
by SteveLW
Originally Posted by Josh_T
Originally Posted by SteveLW
Originally Posted by Josh_T
I do wonder too if she has mixed emotions since she is wondering when to tell the kids and when to tell her parents.

Let's just say she does. What does that change?

Remember, focus off of her and onto yourself. Josh, you are actually in pretty good shape here. Just a few adjustments and you are on the right track!

Yeah, changes nothing. You are right. Focus on me, not her. She's just a roommate now.

Should I push the issue of staying in the marital bed? It would be interesting because the kids will see what is going on.

I would. When she protests just tell her that you're not the one that wants the divorce, you shouldn't be the one to sleep elsewhere.

Then move your office into the MBR if that makes things easier. At this point it is about commanding respect and that is more important than keeping the peace.
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#2932925 Apr 26th a 03:52 PM
by SteveLW
Traveler makes a great point on validation. Validation is not agreeing or disagreeing, it is recognizing how she feels! I feel the anti-validating sentiment sometimes misses this point. You are not validating that she is leaving/cheating/lying/breaking vows/being disrespectful. You are validating her feelings. But the reason validation is so effective is because the alternative, if you must respond, is to get defensive and argue. Between the two choices, validation is best.

If and when she starts behaving poorly and disrespectfully simply state that you refuse to be spoken to that way, then walk away.
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#2932926 Apr 26th a 04:01 PM
by kml
Do not - do NOT - agree to anything financial right now without your lawyer's input.

Tell her this should go through your lawyers.

I agree with asking her to put in writing whatever it is she is thinking. But don't respond to it - just say you will discuss it with your lawyer.
You need a good idea from your lawyer about what is likely in a divorce settlement in your case. But definitely do not negotiate or agree to anything with her without your lawyer's input.

With 3 kids, there will be child support, custody issues, and if you're in a community property state, splitting of assets accumulated during the marriage. If there is a big disparity in your incomes there might also be alimony for 1/2 the length of the marriage. It will be complicated and you definitely want your lawyer's input.

She of course, like most WASs, will have an unrealistic idea of what she will get in a divorce. You could try to explain the facts of life to her but she will not welcome it from you; nor will you want her to stay only because she feels financially "trapped".

Also - do you suspect her forcing the issue of discussing divorce is a reaction to you starting to act like you're accepting that will happen? Like she's trying to push you into begging her to stay? (Don't! But it's okay to reiterate that divorce is not what you want, but you won't stand in her way.)

I haven't read all of your thread, I see she had a previous bomb drop in 2018. Which leads me to ask - how confident are you that she was faithful in between 2018 and today's AP? Are you positive your 1 year old is your biological daughter?
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#2932921 Apr 26th a 10:22 AM
by LH19
So there are lots of different ways to handle this based on what you want right now. If it were me and had the knowledge I have now that you don’t yet I would want her fuching out of there as soon as possible and do everything I could to speed up the process. There is also some value to standing up to her and saying “ I will only speak to you when your calm” and walk away every time she raises her voice. You are going to have to deal with her for at minimum the next 15 years so you mine as well set the precedent now. Lastly if you go the speak to my lawyer route it may get rather expensive. Best to come to an agreement before hand. Unless you have tons of assets it should b3 relatively easy.
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#2932962 Apr 27th a 04:33 PM
by Ready2Change
Originally Posted by kml
Do not - do NOT - agree to anything financial right now ...I agree with asking her to put in writing whatever it is she is thinking. But don't respond to it

With 3 kids, there will be child support, custody issues, and if you're in a community property state, splitting of assets accumulated during the marriage. If there is a big disparity in your incomes there might also be alimony for 1/2 the length of the marriage. It will be complicated and you definitely want your lawyer's input.

The moment I realized I could no longer trust my then wife, I set a boundary (Before I even heard the term) that our primary communication would be through email. One of the best things I did.

Draft up an email:
"W, I believe it is best that we limit our communication about our divorce to email. That will give each of us time to draw up our thoughts and...bla bla bla"

Then you reduce it down:
"W, I believe it is best that we communicate by email to help move through this process as smoothly as possible."

You can post it here for feedback if you would like, then wait until the next day, read it again and edit if needed and send it.

1) Joint custody of the kids. 50/50 equal and frequent contact with both parents.
2) Child support. There are formulas. Look yours up for your state.
3) Splitting Property- I did this room by room. I started in MY OFFICE. I asked her if there was anything in there she wanted. Big ticket items got a value. Cars and house and IRA's ect. There is a balance sheet. Not all money is the same....consult a financial expert. Tax issues as well.

Keep all three of those as separate issues. Get #1 in place first.

Every time I sent an email, I would text W "Sent you an email". She would do the same.

I had a highly contested custody battle with my X and had 50/50 custody for the 14 years.

Until you have some type of 50/50 parenting agreement, Immerse yourself into your kids bubble, stay out of W's bubble. She can come and go into your bubble while you are with the kids.

Always a work in progress.
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#2933011 Apr 28th a 11:56 AM
by SteveLW
Originally Posted by Josh_T
Originally Posted by BL42
Originally Posted by Josh_T
lol, yes. I've been fixed, it was IVF.
So you two purposefully planned out a third baby between BD 3 years ago and current BD? That's a tight window. I know several couples who have gone through IVF and it's quite the undertaking. I wonder if you both were completely convinced the marriage would work, or if one or both of you had reservations?

Yes, we genuinely wanted it to work and genuinely wanted kids. Whether we bother were convinced, I can't speak for W, but I was.

Here is the response from W on email communication, which was what she asked for yesterday.

"Meetings have a purpose. Face to face communication is useful, do you agree? I can't just use email it's not only very time consuming but also notorious for misunderstanding"

Let me translate for you:

"I don't want agreements in writing because then I can't go back on them later."
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#2933014 Apr 28th a 12:38 PM
by MrBrside

You seem very focused on keeping the peace rather than whats best for you.

Comes across as either weak or Nice Guy Syndrome.

Your WW is in the driving seat at the minute and only you can switch cars and go your own way.

I get a sense that you are scared to annoy her, in case it adds further resentment. Detech and get into the head space that you shouldnt care if she resents you.. Its about working on you - because you can't fix her.
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#2933015 Apr 28th a 01:01 PM
by LH19
Ok Josh T it is time to get real here.

Originally Posted by Josh_T
Um, I know why. She has been complaining about a lack of sex, and I've said it won't happen until there is respect and a connection.
Ok so you want the marriage more than her so unfortunately she is in control. You should have conceded and gave her the sex she was asking for and initiated. The beauty of it all is men typically connect more with their W through having sex. Eventually you both may have been satisfied.
Originally Posted by Josh_T
We were going to hit the subject head on in couples counselling, and even discuss past fears in relationships.
Josh this all sounds great if she is interested in doing this but lets face it she doesn't and it's not sexy. She just wants to get laid and feel desired and sexy.
Originally Posted by Josh_T
It was going to be a very confronting. I genuinely think her ego does not allow her to face her shortcomings.
Welcome to the club Josh. She thinks its you and you think it's her. Guess what? She wins because she doesn't want to address her issues and will D you and move on to someone else.
Originally Posted by Josh_T
Maybe it was a co-incidence, I don't know. But thinking over the years of the games, blame, re-framing, gaslighting when there is a conversation about her attitude, the timing does make me wonder.
What's the prize here Josh? She has told you 3 times now you are not good enough.
Originally Posted by Josh_T
What to others think? A few replies back, someone said I'd just create a caged animal full of resentment if I block. Another says embrace the divorce, which means I accept selling with gusto. Lastly, would it seem manipulative if I said selling is not in the best interest of the kids? Which it is not, it will disrupt their lives.
Why would that be manipulative if true? It sounds like you can't afford to keep it so I would sell it ASAP.
Originally Posted by Josh_T
Partly because I'm not interested for emotional reasons, partly because she insists 100% of the time I must initiate which I don't do very often, partly due to sexual disfunction which was since solved, and partly because I'm tired of her criticizing me after every sexual encounter that something was wrong, or not good enough.
That sounds awful Josh. Did you ever try to improve?
Originally Posted by Josh_T
We only learned this recently, but we have a classic pursuer/distancer relationship. My contribution to this is the distancer. We have a habit of a negative destructive behaviors that always seem to manifest. At the end of the day, I don't think we ever had a deep connection since we both can agree the issues started from the day we moved in together. She started getting assertive about how everything has to be her way, challenging it was constant effort and arguments. I didn't have the strength to enforce boundaries. I eventually stopped arguing and withdrew as the Nice Guy. That's the 10K ft view.
Ok you have diagnosed the problem. She is not interested in fixing the problem and wants a D. You can fight it and drag it out as long as possible while she builds more resentment or you can speed up the process and set your caged animal into the wild and go and find a nice woman who you can build a great relationship with moving forward. Your choice.
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