Divorcebusting.com
Posted By: BluWave 3 years pieced and still a work in progress! - 05/03/18 11:45 AM
Yo! Passed 100 posts so here I go onto the next ...

My last thread took 7 months and I am finally starting thread 8! Couldn't think of a catchy title, but this should do just fine. My new 180? Not sweating the small stuff. So I didn't come here for a few days and now I find this exciting conversation happening! I will be back later and address all you fine folks right here, below. But feel free to continue or hijack.

For now, let me reintroduce myself. My name is Blu. I turn 40 this month. Gulp. This has led to a barrage of feelings about aging, and some acting out -- tattoos, changing the way I see my Rs, and well just read the title of my last thread -- and while some may call it a MLC, I don't believe in that! We are all accountable for our actions and choices in life, whatever your excuse may be, we are all accountable. No free passes or excuses! Period.

I consider myself a success story. And no, not because Mr Blu has been back for 3 years and done the stuff, but because I am willing to look at myself and change. I like who I am and my attitude about life more now. A couple posts lately have helped me understand my success further, but I will get to that in my next post. I need to go and do some GALs now.

I also have 3 awesome Ds (19, 13, 8) and they are all super rad. I am an ICU nurse and charge nurse in a poor, urban area, so I have devloped some thick skin over the years and can deal with ALL SORTS of craziness. And death. I am comfortable talking about death.

You might (or might not) be wondering why am I now sharing more than I have shared over the years? Well that is because I already know that I have been figured out. My H has found this site and my posts (although I really don't think he reads here). My H's X-OW's XH has read here. And I could give 2 chits if the crazy bish X-OW ever read here. I have nothing to hide, and she is a pitiful disaster, so I don't care what she could think regardless!

I'll be back later and jump into the awesome convo that started at the end of my last thread. Thanks for reading my story!

Peace!
Blu


Thread 1:

http://www.divorcebusting.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=2670289#Post2670289

Thread 2:

http://www.divorcebusting.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=2677578&page=1

Thread 3:

http://www.divorcebusting.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=2688297#Post2688297

Thread 4:

http://www.divorcebusting.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=2712057&page=1

Thread 5:

http://www.divorcebusting.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=2745868&page=1

Thread 6:

http://www.divorcebusting.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=2745874&page=1

Thread 7:

http://www.divorcebusting.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=2766229&page=1
Blu

Not sure if i have ever posted to you before

Thank you for sharing

W has been back three months

And it is not easy

Many mixed feelings

I have learned from you this is part of the process

Again

Thank you

I read your every post

And i have the utmost reapect for nurses
Hi Gordie, thanks for posting. You had a post that disappeared and I was wondering what you said. So your W has been back for 3 mos? I will def check out your threads.

Originally Posted By: JujuB
Your ex did some pretty sh!try stuff. And yes, he has turned around and made it right. But why are you taking on guilt for reacting to his sh!try behavior? Its natural. It's to be expected. You did nothing wrong. Having moments of anger or detachment is ok because its what you feel. So what if its been a while. If he's done the right thing. You are entitled to these feelings and they are due to his actions. His actions have consequences.

What I'm trying to say, is that you did Nothing wrong. Maybe start accepting yourself and your emotions that are natural.


jujuB, I really appreciate your perspective. Maybe I should clarify that my guilt does not stem from how I felt about his sh1tty behavior, but it is based on some of my own actions in response to the feelings. No doubt he was in the wrong and was for a long time. However, in the last 3 years he has been transparent, remorseful and committed to making it work. I have wavered in my own commitment. I have not spoken much about it here, but I have been selfish and dishonest in more than one way. I am not proud of some of the things that I have done. Am I justified in this because they were in response to a sitch that he created? Maybe. But what I am coming to understand is that it doesn't really matter. I don't feel good about some of the things that I have done or about the impact it has had on him and our M.

Blu


Originally Posted By: 25yearsmlc
Blue's situation is one which we all thought we wanted...and God knows I credit her h for being one of those rarely seen unicorns who screws up and gets it! AND wants to do the work to undo as much as he can and rebuild what they can!

I wanted that but I mistook x's self pity and missing us, as true remorse and self awareness, which it was not.

Knowing that Blues case is the best case scenario is what newbies must realize. And without a long shared history and kids, and the type of h she has, - who won't flinch when reminded of her pain - I'm not sure many would want to do it.

Just my .02


25, thank you. I think you are right. It is hard for me to say that I am grateful for him because of what happened, but I do feel grateful for what he has done in the last 3 years. It is not just because he has been loving and accountable for the mess that happened, but because he has learned from it and changed moving forward. I can confidently say now, that I would not want our M the way that it was pre-BD. There wasn't this ugly history or A then, but something essential was missing.

Lately, my positive feelings about my M are in the little day to day things. For example, we had a text convo about our youngest D sitting in the front seat given her size, her age, the law, and our inconsistencies. I just know this same convo 5 years ago would have been different. We both would become easily frustrated, not hear the other, and it could soon become more about being right than listening and being considerate of the other's POV. I recall many disagreements like this and my frustrations. I would leave the convo feeling annoyed, as if dealing with a stubborn teenager. Now, I feel as if he is listening and wants to compromise. The natural consequence is that i want to lighten up a bit and compromise too. I feel a shift inside. I find myself feeling less controlling. It seems like a slow progress, but the progress feels real.

... Several of you went on to talk about being a doormat, what it means to have "badness," and why we cling. Well I can tell you guys that I struggled with all of that too. My perspective is simple and the same (which is why I started posting here). You cannot save your M until you save yourself. That cannot happen until you LET THEM GO -- no doormat, no clingy, and no pathetic neediness -- because no one will be attracted to you in that state, and more importantly you cannot heal and feel good about yourself like that either.

And you know what else? My H was bad too; he was bad, chitty, wayward, and selfish and all the stuff. But he was not mean, abusive, cruel or neglectful. I stayed in the home with our kids, he saw them daily, he paid half the bills, and he never wanted to hurt us. There are some things that are just too far to recover from and fortunately he did not cross those lines. I deserve better than that and so do our kids. I think a lot of posters here have an ex that has simply gone too far past recovery.

Lastly, when he came back he presented a man that was changing and willing to change. You guys really don't want your ex as they are -- lying, cheating, manipulating or running away -- and if you do want them that way, then you need to stop and ask yourself why. What are you worth? And what do you want your kids to see you are worth?

Blu
Blu wave,

When someone cheats in a relationship they do so much damage on so many levels. The person cheated on is left to deal with feelings of anger, guilt, betrayal, doubt. Oh god. The list goes on and on. To me, it is the worst thing one can do to their partner. Cheating really hits ones self esteem in so many ways.

I understand you might not be proud of your reactions to the number 1 ultimate betrayal. None of us are.

I wish i had the chance to dish back some selfishness and dishonesty as opposed to the begging, and rationalizing and appeasing I did. Now thats cringe worthy.

Not being completely committed to soneone that broke their committment to you is something you should not waste your time feeling guilty about. the two of them are not in the same category.

Just move forward in a way that will make you feel good about yourself.
Blu, I think you have to cut yourself a break for being human. I'd wager there is not a single one of us that doesn't have regrets about some of the behaviors and choices we engaged in while going through this journey. DB might come with an instruction manual but real life does not. Everyone does the best they can with what they have at the moment. The important thing is to learn and grow and not to get stuck there...which you have. I'd call you a phenomenal success story. smile
Blu

Straight up from V.

If you had not kicked back in the way you had then I think H would still be WH. It is because you did react that it turned out the way it did.

So, if it were me then I would just say 'sure, I might have behaved differently but if I had then I might not be here'

And infidelity, being a f@ck wit cheater scumbag loser breaks trust and breaks an R or M. A new one has to start and atoning done. It's very rare for that to happen. The memory of that cheater pants will stay for a long time, that's a consequence of that Behaviour. If H is atoning and in a way you need him to then that still doesn't make his behaviour right. Its still entitled wassock stuff. So he has a lot to do for the rest of his life to become new H.

You be proud of your reaction, it worked!

And I am not going to say 'trust' or 'let him earn back your trust' because I don't think love and trust are inseparable. Nor complete. You may trust him on fins, driving the kids, to work, etc but may not be there on the cheating thing. It's not all or nothing to me. 12 steps taught me that the two can be separate. It is ok not to trust.

Or to forgive or forget. Your mind is protecting you from hurt by not forgetting.

I have only one thing, love you first (and kids). That's all life asks of you to take care of you.

And yes, it's a tough road.

My thoughts

V
"And I am not going to say 'trust' or 'let him earn back your trust' because I don't think love and trust are inseparable. Nor complete. You may trust him on fins, driving the kids, to work, etc but may not be there on the cheating thing. It's not all or nothing to me. 12 steps taught me that the two can be separate. It is ok not to trust.

Or to forgive or forget. Your mind is protecting you from hurt by not forgetting.

I have only one thing, love you first (and kids). That's all life asks of you to take care of you.

And yes, it's a tough road."

Yes, that's it.
These are all valid points. Thank you for that. I am trying not to waste time on feeling guilty, as I don't believe it is a productive emotion. One thing I am getting better at is seeing myself less as a victim and more accountable for my own choices, even if they are in response to the fallout of our sitch. I can't dwell on the poor choices that I am not proud of, but I do feel stronger and more motivated to make better ones. I think enough time has gone by now that the triggers no longer rattle me and derail my thinking. I acknowledge them, allow the feelings briefly, and then move on. I just needed time to get here.

I recall reading here 4 years ago that this was a marathon and not a sprint and that makes sense to me now. In hindsight, so much of the way things unfolded makes sense to me now. I couldn't see it clearly while it was happening. All of this just takes time. I recall in the beginning that I would try and follow Sandi's rules and reread them every day. I failed often. I kept trying to evaluate if they were having an affect but couldn't. The reality is that they did have a huge effect! I just wasn't equipped with a measuring stick. It also took time for the cumulative affect to finally break the camels back.

Blu
Blu - what specifically do you think had a cumulative effect from Sandi's rules? I don't mean like rule # 3 or #4, but in general. What do you think made him turn around? You might've answered this at some point, but I don't remember.

I know that by asking this question, there will be a massive rush of people thinking that there was some specific thing that you did that turned things around - newbies, don't get sucked like that. We all know this is complex and not one specific thing might've made the difference.

I am curious because you're right, there is no measuring stick right now that can provide answers in the moment.
Forgot to add - has he admitted to anything specific that made him realize what he'd done and turn around?
Originally Posted By: Maika
Blu - what specifically do you think had a cumulative effect from Sandi's rules? I don't mean like rule # 3 or #4, but in general. What do you think made him turn around? You might've answered this at some point, but I don't remember.

I know that by asking this question, there will be a massive rush of people thinking that there was some specific thing that you did that turned things around - newbies, don't get sucked like that. We all know this is complex and not one specific thing might've made the difference.

I am curious because you're right, there is no measuring stick right now that can provide answers in the moment.


I am not sure I answered this in much detail. Maybe it would help if I did? There are some things that are similar and also different about all of our sitches. Important to note, is that my H was not a traditional Walkaway (WAS) but was completely Wayward (WS) and deep in the A fog. One thing that I tell people, is that while the A feels like the worst/painful betrayal, I think they actually may be more likely to return to the M later when compared to the WAS. Of course this isn't a science, but when you think about it, the WAS has been planning to leave for some time and are not comparing you to someone else. The WS is running off to fantasyland and inevitably that will come crashing down.

This is important in my sitch because my H never had the intention of leaving initially when the EA got started. He didn't want a D and he didn't want our family broken up. He got in over his head with the "friendship" with OW and then everything blew up, they got caught, and I was a mad (insane) woman! So after a lot of drama and push-pull, I kicked him to the curb. Instead of him coming crying/begging back (which I thought would happen) he ran straight to her. She happily left her H and was all in (even wanted to move in together and blend our families and screw up our kids). The reason this is so important is because he on some level knew he was chasing something very unrealistic, he had a lot of guilt that he expressed all along, and of course that R soon became a nightmare for him.

Mostly, I want to tell people that I think the main reason my H came back had nothing to do with my actions and my DBing. But, he also didn't come back until I started doing it. It is both. I want people to see that because we have a lot less control than we think we do. For my H, that A had to die a natural death. I really don't think I had much influence. Fortunately, in our case, OW was incredibly shallow, desperate, and quite unattractive ;-) I mean what woman goes after their friends H and then leaves her H and kids for him? Yes, he did the same thing, but the amount of grooming and energy she put into it was really over the top. He sees that now too.

In the beginning I was so emotional, furious and lashed out left and right. Then cried and begged. I did this on/off for several months. So when I finally started following Sandi's rules that was 1 big 180 in itself. He did try and leave in the middle and says he wanted to come back, but didn't know how. He cut her off for several weeks upon my request. But I forced him at that point. He says he thought I couldn't forgive him. But he also ran right back to her. He was a mess. That has been hard to believe -- that he wanted to come back, but didn't; know how -- but he has said that consistently for 3 years. So after he left me again, and I started to calm down a bit and get better at following the rules, he could no longer point fingers at me and blame me, and so he had to start being more accountable for his own actions. Eventually he couldn't blame me for making things hard because I stopped doing that completely.

As I got better at DBing, he started to increase his fear of losing me. When I broke the rules, threatened D, or lashed out, he just sort of backed off more and pulled away. When he saw me moving on with my life, not paying attention to him, and when I didn't show him a person he was scared of, he really second guessed himself the most. I started to make more plans with friends, kept myself busy, didn't initiate any contact, and even started to plan a life without him, he soon became afraid he could never have me back. This also forced him to look at why he left if he still cared so much about losing me. He could no longer make sense of that. This is why the light house story resonates with me; I had to calm the F down and learn to do that.

Originally Posted By: Maika
Forgot to add - has he admitted to anything specific that made him realize what he'd done and turn around?


One thing my H has always said is that while he was with OW, it felt wrong. He felt guilty, it wasn't comfortable, and he felt stuck. He says he felt as if he had made this choice and needed to follow through. He also felt low about himself and she was a person that accepted him for who he was (a liar and cheater. lol). He says he would miss times we had together and our family and that what we had had was something real. The R with her was an A and felt as such. He just felt like a loser that messed up in his life and felt stuck with this bad decision.

The moment that stands out in his mind was a very simple conversation we had about the dog. It was a moment that just slapped him into reality and reminded him of what used to be our every day normal life. He missed that. He missed it more and more as I backed off, detached, and started to move on without him. So after 10 months, I got better at following the rules and his A was pretty much dead in his mind.

One thing my H always makes a point of is that I was not his plan B. Now we have fought over this (and all of the above stuff that seemed liked BS to me) but he holds his position firmly. The R with OW did not drastically change -- fall apart -- and then he ran back because of that. He actively chose to leave it. He will stand firm that he chose to leave her and wanted me back. This has been hard for me to understand because I see it that it had to die a natural death. I think his position is that it wasn't ever real, it was fantasy. She wanted so much more than he ever did; to bring families together, to live together, and to pursue a future. He more so saw her as the only friend that cared about him after he ruined his M and life. The attraction and excitement had fizzled out quickly for him when the reality of losing his family had set in.

That was a lot. I think it's easier to answer more specific questions. I can certainly ask him now too.

Blu
Blu,

How long did it take for your trust to return or has it fully returned.

Are you and your H closer now?

Is there any info you can provide about how to make it thru recon?

My W has made some of the same statements as your H after she decided to stay in the M.
Thanks Blu for the response. I feel like a major factor was your H feeling massive loss. And maybe he would've felt it with or without DB, but with you DBing, it magnified it as he could see how you were moving on with your life. And this sense of loss cannot be engineered.
Originally Posted By: joejoe1
Blu,

How long did it take for your trust to return or has it fully returned.

Are you and your H closer now?

Is there any info you can provide about how to make it thru recon?

My W has made some of the same statements as your H after she decided to stay in the M.



JJ, thanks for replying. I will try and answer the best I can, but these questions are hard. I think it's good for me to think about them more tho, and writing them out helps me process too.

How long did it take for trust and has it fully returned?

I trusted right away that when he came back it was genuine, but I will never fully trust him or anyone again. I said fully because I now know that anyone can be dishonest and hurt us. The only 100% trust I have is for myself, and even that isn't consistent. When my H ended his A and came back, I could tell it was real. That is why I tell people that they will know intuitively. I think our instincts are strong, even if we don't understand why. So in a strange way, I trusted him initially. I could feel he was back and vulnerable. I could tell that he knew he made a terrible mistake, was remorseful, and was committed to changing. And, his actions were consistent with his words on a daily basis. He let his guard down fully, he offered complete transparency, and he really looked at his part. I think he said he was sorry about 20 times a day. I could just feel that he was trustworthy. And what I learned after BD, was to trust my instincts. So the trust was there and has remained there. The hardest part for me, has been the forgiveness.

Are we closer now?

That is a hard question to answer. I would say no, we are not. The closeness we had for so many years was an intimacy that we all crave. Maybe some would say we were suspended in a honeymoon period for 10-15 years? I don't know, but it felt good. I was so attached to this man and he could do no wrong in my eyes. I think that's why D rates are so high; we run to those feel good feelings and romance, the newness. Now, things are different. I see him as a good man, but one that is human and capable of mistakes. Big, giant, huge mistakes. But I also see a very strong character in him, because he has owned those mistakes. He has looked at himself and been committed to changing. He is stronger, more confident, listens and makes adjustments, and far more than most of my friends' partners. Not everyone can do that and I respect that about him, it shows integrity. I also think the silver lining in this was that it forced me to look harder at myself too. I have made some good changes too. So I would not say that we are "closer" (not yet anyhow), but I would say that our M is more genuine now, it's more solid.

How to make it thru recon?

I think it takes two people that are committed to making it work and that really mean that. Both people have to be willing to look inside of themselves and their history (which can be really painful), and be willing to change. It is hard to change all those habits that we have adopted in life, but it can be done. I also think both people have to accept that it takes a long time and learn patience. The more damage that was done, the longer it takes. The spouse that had the A and/or left has to be willing to accept the fallout of that. They have to be patient, demonstrate compassion, and they also have to accept that they may not get forgiveness from their S. My H has had to learn to forgive himself and not wait for mine. I am still working, or deciding, on that....

The betrayed S has different challenges. Even if we have been wronged, we cannot only see ourselves as a victim. We have to learn to understand how this happened and have compassion for someone that betrayed us. That is very difficult. We also have to look inside and be committed to changing. We also need to be patient and know that this can take a long time. Once I accepted that there is chance that this may never work -- like I did when I decided to leave him last fall -- I also freed myself up to see him for who he actually is now. There are so many things I like about him more now than who he was before. I never, ever thought my H was capable of this before, I was blinded by my love for him. However, today, I see a man that is proving on his own he doesn't want to hurt me and that he values our M and family, not because we are M and in love, but because this is what he wants in life.


JJ, I'll check out your threads too, I wish you guys the best!

Maika, I think you are right. You cannot engineer the loss. My H certainly felt the loss on his own right away. I just didn't have the strength to pathe the way. Life was so hard when I lost my father, my H's beatryal, and my teen spiraling out of control. I was viscous to H, so he stayed back for a long, long time. I didn't have a rosey picnic, I had a fire breathing dragon on the wrong side of the draw bridge!

Blu
BLU,

I really appreciate the info.

It amazes me that thru all the damage beauty can be had. After my wife and I recon, I was happy, then after a few months, I stop wanting to be in the M. I couldn't get pass the betrayal. I start to feel like she didn't deserve me. But she stuck by me thru all my pain. The other honesty, I was a truly sh!tty husband and father and I have to live with that as well. I treated her like deal and I sometimes wonder why she decided to come back to me after I treated her so bad and ahe wonder as well.

I also know now that I truly love her, before last summer I wonder if I did.

BLU, I'm glad you have stayed around. The recon thread is dead.

Can you answer, why you think my W stayed?

Did your husband and you go to any Marraige retreats, if so did they help?
joejoe, thank you for posting. I have read your thread in piecing and so I will post to you there!

I'm sorry it has taken so long to post. As I have said before, while I enjoy reading/posting here, I also recognize that it can keep me held back a bit. I do still frequent here several times a week and follow many of you. My strongest advice to all of you in the throws of it, would be to challenge yourselves to actually follow the advice. The most simple, yet hardest thing to do! I read a lot of excuses and justifications, but remember it only keeps you stuck. You really have to push yourself out of your comfort zone to GAL, 180, and let them go.

I am not sure what to update with. Most days I go about my routines and the "drama" of my sitch has faded. I had to see XOW at a kids event recently, and that was a strange and slightly surreal experience. These are the kids milestones that we had planned (or assumed) we would all share together over the years. It's hard to share much because her XH reads here and my H could potentially. I will say, I am starting to pity her more, because of the choices she made, how much she has lost, and her overall character. Not sure how much self awareness she has, but I personally would not want to show up at these events knowing that I was a sleazy OW and ruined my Rs with friends (that were also present there) .... so yeah, obvi I still have the bitterness ...

Things with H are okay. Not much new to report. He is very helpful and supportive of our home and family, more so than a lot of my friends partners. I also have noticed how much he listens and hears me now compared to pre-BD. When I tell him something I don't agree with or need, he listens, validates makes the adjustment. Honestly, even without this site, he is better at following the rules than I have ever been. I cannot lie and say that I have fully forgiven him and that my heart is healed. I do see more so now tho, that those answers are within me. I have a lot of work to do.

Most of my days are filled with the same; work, kids activities, time with family and friends, and trying to carve out my own time. I feel like I am still looking for something, but I don't know what. I am trying to get better at healthy activities that facilitate soul searching, as opposed to the same habits and then negative thinking, ie "you should do more of this, or less of this, or this isn't good enough, etc." I often think I am my own worst enemy!

Please feel free to comment or ask questions. I will work on a better response time! Joejoe, I will get back to you on your thread today :-)

Blu
Blu,

Thanks. I truly appreciate it. I lurk around here often as well. But it's hard, because I'm filled with the pain of the LBS on their sitch. But I also like to see the progress of the LBS.

I know the feeling you are describing about feeling like you are missing something or searching for the missing piece.

I'm always trying to not say or do the wrong thing and so is my wife. She seems to be going on like life will be great.

Thanks BLU once again.

It's also impactful that you can see the OW life unfolding in front of you. You are strong person to show up to an event with her there and be calm. Great job.

So OW life is Sh!t now! Wow!
BLU!!!!!!!!!!

Just sending love and hugs!!!
M, hey, yo! Thank you. Back at ya!

joejoe, I am headed to your thread soon!

And just to clarify, I rarely see XOW and it had been over a year. Our kids are school friends, otherwise I have no contact with her. I happened to see her at this event out of the corner of my eye. I was with a group of friends and she waited off to the side for me to leave and then approached them. Recall, we used to have a circle of friends and that all got busted up when BD happened. I don't think I ever shared the details of the story, it's just too much drama to even go there!

So after approaching my friends, they had a brief hello, and then went on their way. We got together for dinner that evening, as we still do. They are civil with her, but it's still awkward for them. Most likely for her too. These were the milestones that we shared as families and all assumed we would over the years. Now she is the black sheep.

So no, I would not say her life is unfolding in front of me at all. We do have some social media friends in common and they will occasionally (rarely) tell me what she is up to. I really don't care, because I know enough about her and her character as it is. When I say that I pity her for her choices/loss, I am referring to the overall sitch. She had a wonderful H and kids and she destroyed her family. This A also broke up our circle of friends, which had an additional impact on all the kids, and her friendships consequentially fell apart. She also did not (to my knowledge) express much remorse or responsibility for the damage she has caused. She just moved on to the next man and his kids. So either she lives with shame for what she did or possibly worse, she lives in denial as to her lack of integrity. Either way, I find myself pitying her when times these events come up and I am forced to think about her.

My husband was as much in the wrong as her, so I don't deny that. The difference is, he has taken responsibility for his part, demonstrated remorse and change, and he did right by his family. Sadly, he still shoulders a burden of guilt. That is just another consequence that cannot be undone. Forgiveness takes time. Even tho the feelings are painful for him, he has also allowed them to motivate positive changes and growth. I have no idea where she is at in her process, so perhaps I am wrong, but from what I have heard about her, she has not changed much.

Blu
This is a heartwarming thread to read, very happy to read it!
Hi everyone!

I'm going to add some thoughts I have after reading some of the threads by posters that may feel stuck at times.

Don't have anything too exciting to report. Summer is moving along. My younger Ds are busy with sports and camps. My oldest D is working and coming/going as she pleases, without helping in our home. I'm having a hard time knowing how to parent a young adult (possibly bipolar) that still acts like a younger teen at home. Sigh. Probably need to join a different group for support in that area!

We have several vacays this summer so a lot to enjoy and look forward to. H and I have been doing some house projects, which feels good. I have gone back to yoga (which I did a lot during the lowest points in my sitch) and so that feels like a move towards healing for me. I'm going to train for a half marathon this fall and so I'm excited about that. Mostly I am trying to check my attitude about day to day things, as I do think we can change the outcome of life as we change our views. We all get so stuck in our thinking and it can be hard to be truly open minded. I had to get out of the crisis part of my sitch to develop this way of thinking, and I believe I am on my way.

I was hesitant to return to yoga in the last couple years because I was worried it would be a trigger and bring up old feelings. I chose to change my perspective and it worked. I am seeing it for all of the postive that it provided and so far it feels great. I realize I have a choice in how I "feel" about things, which is influenced by the part I focus on, the words I use to describe it and letting go of fears. I feel like all of the posters here could benefit from getting this power back. I certainly think my sitch would have been less painful if I was more open minded whike I experienced it. I let my fear get in the way every time.


So I wanted to share a couple things that might have helped me feel less stuck. These are just a couple and I will add to it as I think of them.

1. The words we use to describe our sitch molds the way we think and thus feel about it. I think its important to select words that reflect an attitude of strength and growth. Words like "never" and "always" keep us stuck in absolute thinking and don't create space for improvement. Think about your word choices and frame them in a way that allows for change. Some posters write in a way that is convincing or persuasive and I would challenge you to stop doing that because you are closing yourself off to support and advice that could help you.

2. Trust the advice here and from the people that care about you. It may not feel intuitive, but when you are hurting and scared, you are acting based on emotions and that rarely goes well. Try and separate how you feel from what you do. It's okay to feel hurt, angry and desperate, but not act in a way that reflects that. It has taken me a long time but I try and separate those things in all of my Rs. We can feel dissapointed in someone and still behave in a way that is respectful, but also not allow them to take advantage of us (being too nice or spineless). It can be a fine line to walk, however the more you make your actions based on rational logic and not emotions, chances are you will feel better about it later.

3. Do not measure success based on other people and external factors. Also, success, and whatever that may mean for you, can usually only be measured over time and not on the day to day results. Success is not getting your S back, them responding how you want them to, or moving closer towards R. I know that doesn't resonate with people, but it's the simple truth. Success is the ability to make positive changes within ourselves, detachment from those things and people that harm us, and over time creating more healthy Rs with people that deserve us. For some of us our own success might lead to R, however for most it will not.

This is okay because success is not getting a person back that doesn't value you, respect themself or want to be M to you. You don't actually want your S as they are, even if you can't detach from them! You want someone that wants you, respects you, and is willing to be accountable for their mistakes and will make positive changes. Just chew on that for a few minutes.

You have complete control over your success. Allow yourself to bring in small changes, even with the words you choose and where you put your thoughts and focus. Change the way you think, process and write here. Take the advice here and apply it. Over time, you will have success I promise!


Just my thoughts for today.
Blu
Well said Blu!!- where can I sign up for your next posting? We all need more of this!! Thanks you!
Great post Blu! Glad to hear things are going well!
Thanks, guys. Much appreciated. I'll keep posting random nuggets as I think of them.

So I was hanging out with my BFF yesterday, just chatting by the pool for hours. She has been uncoupling from her long term partner for the last two years and he still can't accept it. She mostly called it off two years ago when her son moved out, and so she sold her house and then moved into a very small cottage for one. He has continued to pursue her for the last two years. She doesn't invest in their R or initiate contact ever, however she is friendly and reciprocates friendship when he calls or (rarely) visits. He doesn't get it and still lives in denial. It's very sad.

One of the things she said to me is that "he doesn't actually want me, or really love me, he's just attached to the idea of me." You see, she is right. He remains attached to her even though she invests nothing or gives little in return. This makes him, and any friendship, less desirable for her. He is not able to move on with his life and create new Rs, friendships and hobbies. Even when they have hung out, he doesn't bring much to the conversation. She doesn't share much of herself or what she is up to with him either.

So why does he remain so attached to her? .... can any of you that have been at this for awhile think about this question? If someone is pulling away or breaking it off, and you remain attached, then that person naturally will lose respect for you. It demonstrates a low self worth to want someone that doesn't want you. People with high self esteem know their worth and only what to be with someone that also desires them. He is becoming pathetic in her eyes and she is losing the ability to even maintain a friendship, however she also feels sorry for him.

After BD, our self esteem is thrown in the gutter. I want you guys to realize that your strong attachment for your partner (who is actively rejecting you) is not rational. It's based on fear of the unknown and you are seeking self worth, not love. Even though their actions might have caused this damage, only you can repair it! Getting them back will not. Following Sandi's rules, doing the 180s and GAL like crazy, is the way towards that. Hold your head up high around your S and take your power back.

I have known my BFF since childhood and her EX since she met him 18 years ago. There are several things about him and their R that didn't work for her. I do still think if he were able to do the things here and follow the advice here, she would give him another chance. She cares about him and they have so much shared history. But he is unable, or unwilling, to detach from her and really make positive changes in his life. He can't get on his own two feet and create a better life for himself. He is waiting for her and even though he pretends he is moving on, it's so obvious he's not.

Blu
I 100% agree with what you said Blu. I just heard a podcast with this researcher called Guy Winch as a guest on it. He explained that research has shown that what the LBS is feeling after BD is akin to withdrawal from drugs in the brain. Same chemicals are activated. But, pursuing is like taking that hit again to feel better, but it doesn't work. The LBS has to move forward and stop pursuing, and putting their life back together as a full person.

I posted this on Orange's thread, but I'll do it here as well as you brought up self-esteem. I have been struggling with this for a while and my negative self-perceptions are rooted in more traumatic experiences, and not just BD. A lot of the self-esteem stuff talks about engaging in action and having grit and 'just doing it' and pushing through the pain etc. I don't disagree with that advice, but I think that only works if a person has some healthy accurate perceptions about themselves. For me, positive affirmations and all of that didn't work. And I realized that for me to put stuff into 'action' to improve my self-esteem, I needed to first root out the causes of my negative self-perceptions and truly understand my strengths and starting to trust them.

I am in the process of doing that, and I have the help of a great IC as well. What I found is that before you can take action towards improving your self-esteem, you really need to understand what's important to you and why. I found that action for the sake of action wasn't getting me there. Making huge plans wasn't getting me there. I wasn't following through on them as I wanted to. And when that happens, it's easy to spiral into blaming yourself and having negative self-talk. And I didn't understand why I was failing even though I had great plans and processes set out. It wasn't a lack of motivation, but a lack of clarity on the 'why'.

The other main thing I found for myself is how I understood my goals. What I realized is that I was subconsciously framing my goals like this - If I achieve (X), then I will be happy. To give a concrete example - If I lose weight and get my muscle definition back, then I will be happy about how I look and will feel comfortable going out in the dating world. What I realized was that I was deferring my happiness and self-worth on something in the future. And that the only purpose for my working out was so that I could swoon some ladies with my good muscular looks (i know it takes more than that). So when I realized that I was deferring my happiness on a variable like that, I changed up. Instead, I started telling myself that my goal is to workout because I enjoy being physically active and want to be a healthy person. With the way I had my goal set up, I was also activating a part of myself that is afraid of success. I have always been comfortable living in the 'failure' zone so I could victimize myself and come up with a hundred excuses why things are the way they are.

I hope this all makes sense. One of the best articles I've read about this that cuts through the conventional nonsense is by Kris Gage called 'how to build your self-esteem'. Just search for it and you will find it. I mean not just you, but people who are reading here. I have some minor disagreements with it, but I think overall it's a great blueprint to start working on your self-esteem and self-worth.
Interesting conversation here. I do wonder if there's anyone who has been able to instantly detach and perfectly follow all of the DB rules? It seems to be a process and during that time then sure, the one who walks away will lose respect for their left behind spouse because they no longer want to be bothered, but the one who is left behind is struggling to make sense of it all. DB does provide a good clear roadmap towards becoming a person that could re-attract the one who walks away, but just like everything it takes time and practice.

My self-esteem is also lower now than it used to be. I feel confident about who I am as a person, about my skills, about being a parent, and about my career but now suddenly I turned 40, I have a young child, and I haven't even remotely tried socializing with single men in over a decade (and never dated back in my teens or 20's). I have a lot more physical flaws now than before I met my husband. I'm under-weight, have lines around my eyes, imperfection on my nose, dry skin, mild eczema etc... I live in an area where most people are wealthy, successful, and attractive so all around are people who are physically perfect looking. It's hard to believe that someone who I believe is attractive (and my husband is really attractive) will be attracted to me now. I do feel sad about that. I dress conservatively and don't exactly advertise myself in a way that would gauge men's interest especially given my daughter is usually the first person anyone will notice. I don't really know what the solution is. I wish maybe one day down-the-road I'd be surprise just meet someone out-of-the-blue where there'd be mutual chemistry. Otherwise I try to remember that someday, when I die, few will judge me based on makeup or plastic surgery or skimpy clothing but rather by who I was as a person and what I contributed to others' lives. I try to remember that I want to be a good role model for my daughter and be respectful to myself and I probably have no choice but to accept my physical flaws unless I want to do a lot of plastic surgery and cosmetic procedures. It is hard though when I see pictures of the women my husband has dated during the times we've been separated which were all too easy to find. He goes for the perfect model porn-star type and I'm just not that.
Nicole,

The way you think of yourself is they way the world sees you. If you think you are not attractive why would your husband or anyone else think you are attractive.

Carry yourself with confidence. Your husband was attracted to you for a reason. If he's chasing beauty he will soon be bored, because beauty becomes boring real quick.

How about you start getting dressed up. I have seen and worked with a lot of respectable women, that gets dressed nice , smell good and carry themselves with confident and they were all shape and sizes. And had very attractive personalities. They just make you want to be around them.

I'm here to scream out loud that confidence is super attractive. Being around a women thats is attractive physically but has low self esteem is a huge turn off.

Nicole, become attractive, in confidence and your physical looks will follow.
Thanks Blu! This is extremely helpful as you are speaking from the other end of the tunnel where we all want to me. As I have mentioned before, the board is full of WWs and WAWs but fewer WAHs. So as a LBwife it is sometimes hard to come by advice that could transcend gender. I hope at some point you get to read my sitch and guide me. I dont remember if you were actually D or just S before R, but I had a few questions
- Other than missing the family and having the guilt about children, what brought him back?
- What did he miss in you as a spouse/as a partner that gave him second thoughts?
- I know you really need to drop the rope and move on, but what actually made him feel that you had moved on? No contact, LRT?
- Did you have any family together time with children and H at all while separated or did you do your own things with the kids?
- The biggest thing for the WAS to come back some day would be the guilt and fear of rejection by LBS, what do you think helped in your sitch? How was your behavior towards him that gave him the courage to even consider letting you know he wants to try R?
Thank you for taking the time to guide us all who are still burning in these fires.
Thank you for weighing in, everyone!

Maika, you bring up some excellent points. It has been said here before that we may need to "fake it until we make it." I know for me, this did not work out so well, and I blew it often and would slip back into pursuing or lashing out behaviors. Then even when I tried to follow the rules, I would end up ignoring/stone-walling him and then bounce right back over to a more emotional reaction. I struggled a lot with detachment and the "friendly neighbor" approach! So I think you are correct that only following rules/180s/GAL is not enough in itself. I think that for any of us that are experiencing trauma or pain, we need to address that too. I think some type of counseling or therapy is a must. I went to IC, read here, did yoga, spent a lot of quality time with friends/family, GAL, and it still didn't feel like enough. My anxiety and depression was crippling at times. I will say tho, that the times I allowed myself to make more rational choices and respond from that place, and really tried to separate out my emotions/feelings, the better I felt about those interactions and decisions afterwards. The more I was able to do that, the more self confidence I gained. Slowly over time, I began to feel that I was getting better at DBing and was consequently feeling better about myself too.

I want to read what you suggested. ... My position on goals is similar to my views on success. They have to be something that is under your control and something that is measurable. We cannot base goals and success on external factors or on the actions of other people. We have no control over that. This just further diminishes our power. I have some goals for myself that involve exercise and the way I communicate. Those are things that I can control and I feel good about both when I meet these goals. They have health benefits and social/emotional benefits.

Nicole, I am glad you weighed in here. You are actually one of the posters that I follow and one of the reasons that I posted the other day. Maybe I should respond to you further about that in your thread? You are in a hard spot and I feel for you. You also read like a very intelligent and caring person. One thing that I often notice about your posts is that you word things in a way that might keep you stuck and is also closed off to changing your perspective. For example, you will write out "my husband" over and over again. He may be your husband on paper, but he has been a selfish and negligent partner and father for many years. I think it's time to call him WAH or STBXH, or anything that better defines the reality. I have also noticed that you focus in on things that keep you stuck; ie, that there are no other single parents or only happy families where you live. I don't buy into that for a minute! I feel strongly that you are keeping yourself stuck. Perhaps that is the fear talking? And yes, it takes time, but we all have to start somewhere. Can you make small changes in the words you choose?

I agree with joejoe all the way! Nicole, carry yourself with confidence, even when you may not feel up to it! Use words that allow you to start accepting that your M is over AND also words that demonstrate that you deserve better! You do! You are codependent with a man that is toxic for you. Perhaps it is hard for you to see because you are in it? There are so many single parents out there that have overcome hardships, that have some financial struggles, and that fear they will not find someone that will love them and their child again or as much as the Ex did (at some point in the past). It is simply not true! We keep ourself stuck when we think/talk/write in a way that exudes hopelessness. Then we become shut off to support, help and change.

I just want to share something about myself too. I was a single mom at 21, left a bad R with a HS BF, had no money, and found a tiny apartment I couldn't afford. My Ex-BF was mentally ill, and so he not only didn't help us out, but he made my life harder and also stalked me. I was determined to finish college and create a better life for me and my daughter. I took out as much fin aid and loans as possible, found subsidized daycare for her, took as many classes as I could to move it along, and I gathered any and all support and resources that I could. Life was so, so HARD. It was my mindset and determination that got me through. Now, I did gain some PTSD that I think made my more recent BD harder to cope with, but I was still able to fight my way through it. Now looking back, I can see how terribly unhealthy my R was with this Ex, even though I was afraid and things felt hopeless at times. Step #1: let go of holding on to toxic people.

Now I am 40 and hopefully wiser. Yes, my H did pull his head out of his arse and we did R. We prolly even look like one of those happy families; nice house, 3 kids, blah, blah, etc. But I will tell you what! I am stronger now and it is not because of him and him being here. If he leaves tomorrow, or if I leave today, I know I will be juat fine. The tools are in us all, we just have to find them and use them!


Ok, this is getting off topic and long winded. I gotta run, but I will post more later! Arsh, I will get back to you, I promise!

Blu
Blu - Incredible words of wisdom - please keep posting! Thanks for sharing your knowledge!
Originally Posted by arsh18
Thanks Blu! This is extremely helpful as you are speaking from the other end of the tunnel where we all want to me. As I have mentioned before, the board is full of WWs and WAWs but fewer WAHs. So as a LBwife it is sometimes hard to come by advice that could transcend gender. I hope at some point you get to read my sitch and guide me. I dont remember if you were actually D or just S before R, but I had a few questions
- Other than missing the family and having the guilt about children, what brought him back?
- What did he miss in you as a spouse/as a partner that gave him second thoughts?
- I know you really need to drop the rope and move on, but what actually made him feel that you had moved on? No contact, LRT?
- Did you have any family together time with children and H at all while separated or did you do your own things with the kids?
- The biggest thing for the WAS to come back some day would be the guilt and fear of rejection by LBS, what do you think helped in your sitch? How was your behavior towards him that gave him the courage to even consider letting you know he wants to try R?
Thank you for taking the time to guide us all who are still burning in these fires.



Arsh, thank you for commenting. I will read your sitch. Yes, there are more LBHs on these boards than LBWs, for sure. I am not sure why though. I have read here that D is more often filed by women and more so by the WAW (walkaway) than the WW (wayward). In MWDs article, she even states that the WAW tried to talk to her H for so long -- often years -- and to no avail, until she got to the end of her rope and gave up. He did not listen or make the adjustments, and so time went on and she suffered vocally and then fell silent. At this point she becomes checked out entirely. She then ends it, sometimes with an A and sometimes not. He is forced to acknowledge, then he panics and now finds himself here, yet it is often too late. This scenario seems to be the norm here and seems more common for the LBH. Sometimes there is an A mixed in, but if she did not leave only to pursue the A, then it is more of a WAW sitch than a WW. I do not often see this scenario for the LBW (like us). And for the record, I am speaking about monogomous hetero Ms, and of course am gender-stereotyping a bit, based on what I have read. Hopefully I am not offending anyone!

I am certainly not an expert, but I can speak to my sitch and my husband was not a WAH (walkaway) as much as he was a WH (wayward). I would also venture to say, that his stages of limerance and the predictability was very similar to a WW! So what I am suggesting is that perhaps the WAW syndrome is more exclusive to women, however waywardness knows no gender. Someone please correct and 2*4 me as needed :-) I learn from everyone here. When women or men become engaged in an A, that A can become addictive like a drug (limerance) and causes the person to flee their M, and often at the expense of everything (M, family, home, finances, etc) and the behavior is more irrational. There was no plan to have the A, no prior plan to end the M, and the person is very much in a fog. All they can see is (tunnel vision) this A and that option is better. It is a form of avoidance and escapism. While being left for an A can on the surface feel like a much more painful betrayal, I also tend to think there is more hope. Rarely do As work out or turn into successsful Rs, and so at some point in time, the person will start second guessing their choices. The walkaway, is usually done before the A starts, and so I tend to think there is less chance of them going back to the M. In my sitch, I think my H was a WH and I think his XOW was a WAW. After he left her, she ran right on to OM2 and never went back at her H.

To try and answer your questions:

Yes, he says he had guilt and self-doubt the entire time. He says in his gut he always felt the A was wrong and never saw it as a real option. He also says he felt guilty about not really giving our M a chance or having worked out our issues. What kept him away so long was his fear that I could not forgive him and that he didn't deserve a chance. He knew his R with OW was a pipedream but he also felt addicted to it and more so the way she made him feel about himself. From his end, the R didn't ever feel real and it felt manufactured. He knew he couldn't trust her and what she said. He also says he always missed the connection and closeness that we had, but he felt he had ruined it. When I finally let go and stopped ignoring, or attacking, him is when he realized he was losing me. He did a sharp 180 at that point and started doing whatever he could. It was almost like a light switch. So I tell people here; if you have to ask if they are coming back or moving towards R, then the answer is "no." If they want to come back, you and your gut will know!

When BD happened, I really lost it. For weeks and months, I was a mess. I am not proud of my behaviors, but I just didn't have the reserves to handle it. If you read my sitch you will see that it came at the worst time; my father had died, my teen had been diagnosed bipolar and we had to get her help and send her out of state, and the OW was a person I actually thought was a close friend. The sitch was more than a bomb drop, it was a nuclear explosion. And I acted as such. It took me a long time to learn to follow the rules. As I got better at it, I also started to feel better about myself.

We have 3 Ds (my oldest is his step-D). So I had to be in contact with him often. It was really hard. Here is another difference between my H and some of the folks on this board. Even though what he did was incredibly selfish and destructive, he still tried his best to do the right thing. I know that sounds strange, but there are some things that are unforgivable, and I don't think he crossed those lines. He left the home and I stayed there with the kids. He still paid half the bills. He made a point to talk to or see the kids every day. When he was around, he cooked, he cleaned and he continued to be a good dad. When I was upset/angry/etc he listened and apologized: he did not even try and justify what he was doing or make excuses. He also did not allow our kids to be around her or the A, which I told him I wouldn't ever accept. (of course she still tried, she wanted my family) Was he perfect, or even a decent human? Heck no! But could our sitch have been a lot worse? I really think so.

Gotta run, I'll be back later!

Blu
Thanks Blu, I have been reading all your threads and there is such wisdom for the newbies like me to follow. I have always felt this forum is like grief counseling, all the vets like you are doing charity work by offering your DB lessons and advice. Thanks for investing your time here.
The first thread you described your H as a nice guy who was a people pleaser and put your needs before yours, that is exactly what my H was too. And then suddenly he was this erupted volcano that had been unhappy for so long and I was completely unaware and he cannot believe I wasnt aware. In my sitch, this volcano erupted when our baby was about 10 weeks old, but I do not think there is any A, certainly not a PA and mostly no EA either but well I have been the definition of naive with this MR so nothing can shock me at this time I believe. Now on retrospect there may have been signs, very subtle or I may have been completely ignorant, but I go back and ask myself if he was so unhappy would he have had another child with me?
You mention above that when you let go, did not ignore him he responded. How do you define not ignoring, in DB LRT it is suggested we dont always answer their calls and be friendly but distant. When he came over home, were you like a friendly neighbor, or did you just leave if he was around? Did that change over the course of the time?

When it rains misery it pours, you losing your dad, your Ds diagnosis and then the BD it couldn't get worse I can imagine. Have you spoken to him about the timing of this all? Do you hold resentment about when he did it not just the how or why?
Did he ever complain of depression to you before BD or post BD?
I do not mean to revisit any of those painful memories with these questions, trying to understand how the WAH minds work. if it is too painful to go back, please ignore my questions. - Arshi
LoneWlf, thank you for saying that. I can certainly keep posting. I read here a lot post-BD and these boards and posters got me through many seemingly hopeless days. I don't know how much wisdom I have (on generalizing everyone's situations and needs), but I definitely have spent a lot of time analyzing and trying to make sense of my own. I don't think that I am an expert though. Yes, I got better at following the rules, my H did return, and the piecing is mostly successful. I still feel I have a lot to learn and understand about myself. There are still changes I want to make and I feel like overcoming hardships for me, motivates positive change and growth. It has been getting easier because I am no longer fearful, anxious or depressed. I recognize how much harder this is for all of you then where I stand today. Lastly, if you read my threads, it is pretty obvious I still have resentment and disgust towards XOW. I am not sure how much of that is worth exploring and trying to let go of. I just don't know yet.

arsh, it is fine to post and ask me anything. I am okay with revisiting painful memories because I am not one to avoid things in general. I feel like the more people avoid/deny hardships, the more they manifest in other ways that are beyond our understanding or control. I will try my best to answer your questions. When I have a chunk of time, I will read your sitch from the start. Does seem like there are several differences. Either way, our actions as the LBS should be the same.

In terms of ignoring vs spending time together and the "friendly neighbor" approach: I found all of that really hard. In my initial attempts to detach, I would ignore him. I would not reply to all of his texts, calls and emails. Then when I would see him for kid exchanges, I would avoid speaking to him or even making eye contact. When he spent time with the kids at our house, I would leave and go out with friends. Mostly he took the kids to his parents' where he was staying. I didn't have family time or allow the cake eating! He chose to leave the M and so as far as I saw it, he needed to face the consequences of that. When my emotions built up or he did/said something I didn't like or agree with, I was emotional in my responses. If I was angry, upset, afraid, he saw it all. Other times, I would engage him in long desperate conversations. I wore my heart on my sleeve. I wish that I hadn't done that. He was not a safe person for me to share that with and it also scared him away. When I got better at DBing, I changed my approach. I still didn't initiate contact, but when it was about logistics, I replied. I was simple, direct, and matter of fact. I really did try and treat him like a neighbor.

Overcoming resentment and finding forgiveness about what he did and the timing of it all, has been the hardest thing I have ever done. I am still a work in progress. Yes, we have talked about it many times. He carries a huge burden of guilt and regret. I actually feel sorry for him. I would not want to carry that. It has definitely changed who he is and how he sees people. Some of that has also built character and grit. In several ways, I like him more now. He also remains very affectionate and kind.

Before BD, he didn't complain of depression, but I could see changes. I can think back to things that were happening over the couple years before and see now that there were risk factors. We had a lot on our plate with work, kids, family, and my over-volunteering. He often seemed tired, overwhelmed and unhappy. He gave and gave to our family and felt empty, but he didn't vocalize it much. I can also see how I was controlling and not responsive to his needs. He shut down and became resentful towards me and I started to resent him for the withdrawal in return. And XOW was right there befriending him and supporting him on the sidelines behind my back. He had poor boundaries with women in general: always the nice guy, helpful neighbor, and best dad, and he didn't say "no" to anyone. My H was the last person on earth I would have ever thought could have an A! He was so loyal, present, warm, devoted and generous. However I can see now, looking back, how our sitch was in other ways a recipe for a disaster.

Not sure if that helps. I'll check out your threads soon!

Take care,
Blu
Blu- I'm eating this stuff up -like it's prime rib steak!! Your posts have substance- depth and flavor! So appreciated!
On a side note- try reading -The Art of Forgiveness. You might be able to gain something by it. Cheers!
Quote
And then suddenly he was this erupted volcano that had been unhappy for so long and I was completely unaware and he cannot believe I wasnt aware. In my sitch, this volcano erupted when our baby was about 10 weeks old, but I do not think there is any A, certainly not a PA and mostly no EA either but well I have been the definition of naive with this MR so nothing can shock me at this time I believe. Now on retrospect there may have been signs, very subtle or I may have been completely ignorant, but I go back and ask myself if he was so unhappy would he have had another child with me?


Hey Arsh! I know how you're feeling exactly! That's why this is so hard to wrap one's head around. What you wrote is exactly what happened to me, minus the recent baby. People here keep saying that the WAS probably was saying that they were unhappy in their own way, but the LBS wasn't listening and picking up on the signs. I spent so much time thinking about that and dissecting my marriage to see what signs I had missed. And honestly, I cannot remember any such signs from my WAW. The few times we had actual fights, I was there with her and we resolved them.

Not sure if this is the same with your H, but my WAW has serious anxiety issues. I totally underestimated the severity of it. I knew she had them, but I didn't realize how bad it was. My best answer to her behavior is that her anxiety didn't allow her to talk to me and she kept it bottled up. For years apparently, but I remember so much happiness and joy in that time. Yes things were difficult because we were both young professionals with 2 little children very early on in our marriage, but I thought we were making it work and grinding it out together. Together being the key word. We were both contributing to our family in different ways, and that's what I believed partnership was.

We even bought our dream home six months before BD. She was so excited and happy during house hunting and so was I. It was like a huge milestone in our lives and I thought we were getting somewhere finally after so many years of moving around and job changes.

And then she started a grad program and got to be good friends with a man who was going through issues in his MR. I believe that fed her and I am not sure how much influence he had in messing with her head. But, it was definitely an EA, even if she didn't recognize it as such. And then BD and the volcano erupted.

Yes, we had issues, and we needed to address them. But they weren't issues that were separation worthy IMHO. We could've worked on them together. We could've built something strong.

So, this thing about them being unhappy forever is partly rewriting the marriage, and also them having issues communicating in a healthy way. On chump lady, she has a post exactly about this. When the WAW talks about being unhappy forever, there is really nothing the LBS can say to that. It also send the LBS in these crazy loops of how they didn't see it. Because it wasn't really there in the severity that the WAW talks about.

In my case, I wish I had seen her anxiety issues better. I also wish I had seen my depression issues better. So, in a way we both failed to support each other properly. The only difference is that I was willing to put in the work, she wasn't. So, what can you do about that.

About WAW's coming back, I am not so optimistic about that. I am not saying it can't happen, but most LBS here are dealing with a WS, which has some differences in the trajectory of how things play out.

I sometimes struggle with thinking about whether I should reach out to her or not. Should I initiate something? I know the answer to that is just pain and so I don't do it and I am good at checking myself before I act now. I also don't know if she reached out and wanted to spend time, what I would do. How do you go back from complete separation and NC to hanging out? In my case, with the EA and I know she went on a few dates after BD and probably continued as well, how do you go and hang out with them after they've done that? I feel that I would be disrespecting myself and what I bring if I go with that. She hasn't reached out so this is hypothetical, but I like to think about it so that I know what I really want and what would make me feel respected and comfortable. I have mighty respect for people here who are able to just hang out after the A has ended and WW's reality has collapsed. I just don't think I have that in me.

For me to even consider, she would have to make some major moves. Make her intentions clear. I don't expect to want the marriage back, but I want remorse, transparency, and some action plan on her part to show me that she's a better person. Unfortunately, with her severe anxiety issues, I don't see that happening. She would have to work with a therapist to address all of that, and I don't know if she will. She gets anxiety just thinking about going to a therapist, let alone doing it. So, the probability of her turning things around for the marriage or herself are low. I honestly wish she would do the therapist for herself, if nothing else.

A long time ago, I came to the realization that my situation is not salvageable. And I didn't do that because I am a pessimist or I didn't believe in DB. DB has helped me immensely for myself, but for the marriage not so much. And I am okay with that. If there was a specific set of techniques that worked foolproof, the rate of reconciliation would be so much higher.

All in all, I feel the pain of you facing the 'I have been unhappy for years'. Ultimately, you can't do anything about that. If you were a mind reader, then yes, but we are not. You can't try and work on something if the other person doesn't communicate with you. There's always something more behind that that is about their character and personality rather than what the LBS is doing. I also thought what if I created an environment in the marriage that made them feel unsafe or uncomfortable communicating with me. And there were some instances that maybe I did. But I also remember the times when the problem was communicated to me and I was full on involved in figuring it out with her. So, I thought I had a track record of at least being willing and open and able to work with her. But it didn't matter in the end.

Sorry there's no real answer in what I have written. I can just learn the lessons I can from this and be a better person moving forward. And I encourage you to think in the same way. This is over for now.

If they do want to come back, they have to be a better person as well. And that's the only way you can work together and see if something can be built. I can't take my W back if she doesn't fix her anxiety issues. I can't put myself through that again - the betrayal, the pain, the lying. Your H would have to be a better man too and learn how to communicate well.

The saddest part of all of this is that these issues could have been worked with together instead of a separation and a divorce. But that's the chance we are not given. A second chance because the stakes are so high. And that's why I cannot give her a chance easily because she chose the path that irreversibly changed the life of 3 people. I love the quote that LH19 has in his tag about never having to convince someone to be with you; the right people will find you and stay in your life.

I am never going to convince someone to be with me or be in my life. Take that empowerment and run with it. That's what I am doing. It's a really difficult path, especially when you have no family or community around you. I know what that's like. We just have to pick up the pieces and make something else out of it. There's just no other way around.
My kids are a really huge part of my decision making on how I should move ahead with my life. That helps a lot.

This all weighs on me a lot, but I also know that I will not stand defeated. Keep going! I hope to look back at this in ten years and see how I dug deep and brought out my strength and resilience and made a great life for myself and my kids. Keep that vision!
THANK YOU Maika! What you just wrote is so much how I am feeling in my sitch!
I'm glad to be of help. Trust that there is a stronger you at the end of it and commit to personal self care, improving mental health, lowering stress, be a warrior parent, finding what you love in life, and being self-reliant. The right people will come and stay in your life.
Thank You Maika, very well written in fact. I am shocked because we had the baby but in your case who goes from signing a mortgage on a dream home to wrecking it for the entire family? There is no way to understand the WAS mind.
You say, in the process you realized you cannot salvage your R due to her personality traits. How far along were you in the DB to have realized this and how much after BD?

Piecing is not easy, it takes 2 strong individuals not a strong couple to make it thru.WAS leaves the LBS shattered and rejected. Over time LBS gets over the initial trauma and begins to see they might have played a role but definitely are not responsible entirely for the undoing. And most of us realize this could have had so many other outcomes, S and D are the worst choices. We realize the WAS is broken. Once they are out of the fog, eventually WAS has to realize this too. At that point in time, the WAS is way lower on the R and even humanity scale compared to the LBS who picked up the pieces and moved on. In that aspect it is easy to be a LBS, the guilt that comes out of breaking the MR and the home for your kids must be eternal. Of course unless they are plain evil and are far gone. How is R possible at that point. For the WAS to be forgiven and to be made to feel that past will be forgotten, this has to take tremendous effort on both sides and that is what I am seeing in Blu's scenario.
They both need to be very strong individuals, for her to consider forgiving him but also for him to come back and make amends knowing he will have to bear this burden living together needs a lot of strength from his side.
Blu, my question to you is, you clearly made him realize you were the lighthouse, but how did you keep the path to home paved? What gave him the hope and idea that you maybe able to forgive and work on the R in spite of his behavior? Why did he return to you to go thru this pain after the A ended, it would be easier to just move on in life and be in denial, but there must be something you did that gave him this confidence. Can you please let us know how that played out in your sitch?
- Arshi
Arshi - I don't remember the exact timeline, but I think it was around the 8 month mark after BD. I had probably been DBing for 6 months at that point. And I came to this realization over time after dissecting the marriage and what we had both done over the years. Her personality traits are fixable and she would have to commit to the process, just like I did after BD. I started therapy and it has been a huge help for me. If she came right now and said she wanted to work on the MR, my answer would be a 'no'. I would like to see a minimum of 6-8 months of IC at least twice a month and then she can come tell me if she wants to work on the MR. And then I'd commit to a couple of MC sessions to see where she's at and where I am at, and then make decision if I want to continue the MC to invest in rebuilding the MR. I don't think my ask is unreasonable, and I won't budge on it. I know she would think it's unreasonable. So, it's a moot point really. For her to come and ask me to work on the MR would be a massive step in the first place and I don't even see that happening, forget the rest. She is stubborn and prideful as well, on top of the anxiety issues, and so I know that the MR isn't salvageable in my timeline. And the best I can do is control my timeline and my needs and move forward with life.

As Vanilla always says - it is the LBS who makes the final decision.

I am at a place where I am letting some time pass before I start D proceedings. I don't want to be impulsive and let my emotions dictate action. I want to be certain and level-headed, and make sure I am ready for the new chapter in life. I don't want to use the D as some technique. I am almost there and looking forward to the next phase of life. I've had a lot of mental and emotional growth in the last few months, and my IC has been a godsend. I've finally come to understand myself better and I know what things I need to do to be a more grounded person.
Maika, I found a lot of similarities between your story and my sitch.

I find it curious that the BD came only 6 months after getting your new home after she was very excited while searching for a home. But I also found many similarities with my W. I felt that during our last year of MR before BD, she had pretty much achieved all her dreams. She got everything she ever wanted. She had the nice house, the kids, successful husband, money, the luxury car she always dreamed of, etc. So, instead of being grateful for everything she had, she instead felt bored and that she needed to move on to a new life. It's sad, but that's really what it seems to me.

My W is also very stubborn and prideful. And she has low self esteem and doesn't know how to communicate openly.

I actually really like how you are approaching your situation. I learned a lot from reading your last 2 posts here (the only ones I have read).
Kiro - I feel for you and so many of our stories have such similar trajectories.

Yeh, my W had achieved a high paying job in a role she wanted; we got a new car for her (it was used but she still picked it out and it was hers); we bought a new wonderful home; kids were more stable and settled; she started a new grad program that she wanted to pursue for a long time; she had me - even though I had my imperfections back then, but I was still a decent partner - I managed all household finances; I was the primary cook; I took care of the cars and all the DIY stuff; I didn't look for a job to take care of my young kids so that she could continue on her career path; I went back to work and started contributing financially as well, even though she earned more (our industries are different and there is no way I can compete with what she can make). on the other side - I was depressed over time due to some tragic life circumstances; became emotionally distant and developed NGS; sex life kinda went lack luster over time because it wasn't meeting my needs, and probably hers too; and was conflict avoidant.

She told me she was unhappy after a few months we got married (buyer's remorse?) and has been unhappy throughout. Major news to me as I remember us being happy and making our life together from scratch. We went through hardships and made it together. We both gave up stuff to make the marriage work for us and for the children and figured how to make it manage based on our circumstances. It wasn't like we were destitute, but we made it work and we always had food and shelter even if our jobs weren't stellar in the beginning.

The other complaint she had was that she didn't have any friends and community and I wasn't interested in having friends. That she was lonely. Even when we moved to a new neighborhood, I pushed her to spend time with some people and see if it was social circle that she would've liked. I also went with her a few times to hang out with neighbors, even though it wasn't what I wanted to do. Anyways, another BS complaint that was about her and not me. I never stopped her from making friends or being more social. I was more of a home body at that point and it got worse as I was depressed.

So, all in all, I have realized that this is way more about her than me. And I can't fix her. Even if I wanted to and she was willing, I don't have the tools. I can support her and be there for her and work with her, but she removed all of that from happening. So, I am moving forward with my life, improving my flaws and creating a more grounded and complete life for me and my kids. That is the most I can ask because I have some control over it.

I am not 100% sure if she is a WW or a WAW. Feels like a mix of both to me. But, I approached DB with what I could do best and I realized what I also couldn't do. And that is the best I can ask of myself. Sometimes I wonder if I had done something differently after BD maybe things would be different. But that is a pipe dream because I did what I could do as myself authentically. And there is no one technique that can change things.
JoeJoe1, thanks for your encouragement. It's good to know that confidence is important. I feel I'll adapt eventually to being older and having more physical flaws and re-gain confidence despite these circumstances. Just like everything it feels like a process because it's like I woke up one day and everything changed for the worse. I have to better accept it and find the positives. It's still hurtful seeing pictures of my husband's affair partners and when he told me he's no longer attracted to me a few years ago. As soon as I improve my finances I'll invest in new clothing and other things to improve my appearance but my real passion and source of confidence is in my career, faith, and related hobbies so I hope as my daughter gets older I can pursue those and not get too caught up on my age and flaws that come with aging.

Bluewave, Maika, and Arsh, it's nice to see you all supporting one another! I hope we can all find a group like this in real life!
Hello friends,

I just wanted to pop over and say hi. Please excuse typos. I haven't posted lately because I have been traveling for several weeks. I do still read and follow many of you, whether I post on your thread or not. I am in your corner. If someone had told me four years ago that I would be taking a trip like this with my family, it would have been difficult to believe. If you have read my sitch, then you know why. If you haven't, well let's just say my world was turned upside down and I never thought it could be the same again.

And it's not really the same. That's what I want to say. It's never going to be the same, even if you do reconcile the M. You know how everyone says that on BD, the former M dies? I had a bit of trouble fully getting that. My H has made changes, and so have I, but it's the dynamic between us that is very different. So why am I saying that now? Because I can see clearly now that my initial grief and pain was not so much that I grieved the end, but more so that I was hanging on to what I had already lost. And when I read here, I see so many of you doing the same. I can feel it in some of your writings.

So I want to encourage you to let go of that. Focusing on what was, or what could possibly be with your S, isn't fruitful. It only prolongs your suffering. It will never be the same. And this should not be confused with giving up hope. Being hopeful that you can reconcile is different than holding on to a person that has become toxic for you. I think more than that, if you are pining for someone that is toxic (actively rejecting you), then now you are causing yourself additional harm. By doing that, you lower your own worth. Don't pour gasoline on your own fire! Walk away, and just swim in the sea.

I have literally been swimming in the sea every day! And traveling, exploring, soaking up a new culture, history and food. I'm so, so fortunate to be able to do this and provide these experiences for my kids. I never had this growing up. I bet when people see us together, they think, what a happy family! Or, such beautiful kids! They have no idea what my H and I have been through. You see, they also have a tinted lens, and perhaps more tinted than my delusional lens was, when all I could see is that I wanted him back. I just wanted my life back. I think many of you want that too. And while that's perfectly normal, what I am suggesting is that it is you that is the cause of much of your own pain, by holding on to the impossible.

Those compulsive, and intrusive, thoughts are not based in reality. It's the fear inside your head talking. The M is dead. And just as when a person dies, longing for them and thinking about them, will not bring them back. The person can never come back from death, nor can that M you knew.

It's okay to let go of the fear. Just let a little piece go at a time. All the negative energy you spend holding on, is energy that is being taken away from something better. From living a life now. You thinking about them and their mistakes, won't ever fix them. It's just causing you pain. Put down the gasoline can, and dive in the sea ...

This vacation is not really how I thought it would be. Nor is my M. That's far too long to go into now, and frankly it's hard to type on this iPad, but I will say, I am giving up a little bit too. Letting go piece by piece. Of the ideas, the fear, and of trying to make things happen. You know, there have been so many little annoyances and disappointments on this trip. Traveling this long with our family, is a LOT of togetherness. It forces you to change your perspective. These people can really get on your nerves too! There are no romantic dinners going on folks. This is not the M with the man I knew years before. It never will be.

The best part of this vacation, has been those simple and unexpected moments, when I stop planning or wanting something. When I stop expecting. You can't be disappointed if you didn't expect it or want it in the first place.... the best part has been just floating alone. Alone in a foreign sea and feeling the cold water around me on a hot day. I don't need him for that and I didn't before actually. You see, I just didn't know then what I do know now ...

I hope this makes at least a little sense. Your life can be beautiful. It's mostly how YOU see it.

Blu
Blu- love your post! Love your insight! Love your honesty! Thanks for such valuable information!
Hi Blu,

that was deep, and a good reminder. I'm glad you're doing well.

There was a poster in here asking how many people on this board have actually saved their marriages. I could only think of a few, here's another. But, as you know, it's more than that. You've changed your life in a positive way. And that lead to something else changing. Amazing.
Hi Blu...arenít you my W?!!! My W could perfectly have written all your sitch. Itís always a painful reminder of the things Iíve done...so everytime I read your posts I end up tearing a little.

Glad you are walking together as a family. Iím doing the same.

You are right, IPad writing s@cks!

Sending you a big hug and an enormous thank you!
Blue

Always appreciate your posts

I think I was stuck in that pining for the old m for a long time

And had misguided notions of what saving the m would look like

So I truly appreciate your candor

Which makes me more hopeful that maybe my m has been saved

Just not what I thought it would be
Blu, as always I eat up every word you write. You are correct, we dont need a S or anyone for that matter to float through life and enjoy the journey. Those who are destined to be with us will find their way and be a companion for as long as we are meant to be together. I hope all of us who are suffering through the worst phases of our lives find the strength to realize this and let go a little bit at a time.
Hope you have a great vaca, hugs
(((Blu)))
Thank you for the responses, everyone :-) I get a lot out of your posts too. I want to go back and get caught up on more of your sitches. I am finding lately that I feel stronger and that reading here is less of an emotional trigger. I hope it lasts. Perhaps it would help me to explore why that is and what has changed.

I have come to the conclusion that traveling is not good for my M. Too much togetherness? Stress of traveling with kids ? Entitled teenagers driving me nuts in general? We took a long vacay last summer and after I returned I was ready to walkaway (who am I kidding, I wanted runaway) from my H. And this trip was certainly stressful in it's own way. I found myself going back to that doubtful thinking again and I have had to really check myself.

I don't have all the answers. I do feel like I am turning some small corner in the way I view and think about things in my M. And not just in my M, but in my relationships with other family members and friends. I've been feeling more patient and less reactive in general. Maybe some of this is age related too.

We are back in full swing of work, school, kids activities, etc. I am enjoying my days off more. I have faced a challenge that I wasn't sure I could, which involves visiting a place I went during that painful time. I think it will be good for me. Sometimes just reading a good book and putting all thoughts and worries aside is nice too.

Things with H are okay. It is strange to talk about him knowing that one day he could read this. So could XOW's XH too. I don't think H will, but I also don't put anything past anyone anymore. Myself included in that! People can always surprise us! My main goal is just to feel okay with the choices I make, while putting the BS aside.

Blu
Blu,

I have been reading through your sitch the last week or 2. I would absolutely LOVE if you could read through mine and give me some feedback, 2x4's ANYTHING. BD was a year ago, ILYBNILWY while I was 5 months pregnant. 3 months later I found out about OW. He felt awful, tried to make us work, but continued talking with OW and we separated when baby girl was 6 weeks (this past April). We have been on and off, trying to make it work, not trying to make it work, living together, not living together. Everything has been on his terms in my opinion.

I asked him to leave the house 2 weeks ago, as I suspected he was seeing someone else and he refused to show me his phone. After about a week out of the house he started to seem remorseful, coming around more, communicating better, telling me he was sorry for everything and wishes he had handled everything differently. This was this past Friday. I found out Saturday night he is seeing someone else, he continues to deny this, and is now extremely angry with me and discussing divorce again. Through the advice of some amazing people in here, I am doing my best. But as a woman who has been there before, I would absolutely love your input.

I am thinking of you daily and it is YOU who has really inspired me to fully DB. I read your sitch daily, starting from your first post. I hope to hear from you, thanks!
kech, sure thing. Thank you for reading. I have been trying to read your threads, but there are so many and it's moving so fast, I can't seem to get caught up! Look, this is really hard stuff. Slow and steady wins the race and there is always more time on your side. Time is your friend. It takes time to digest all this and time for your improvements to take hold. People here get very caught up in winning them back, however they have often lost site of the fact that they really do not want what they are fighting for (this person that has lied, cheat, hurt or abandoned them). We want the person that we used to have. That person is gone and we need to let them go ...

Looks like you are getting lots of great advice. Just try and have some patience with yourself, and try to actually stick to the advice, without slipping into bad habits. That is the hard part. Do not engage in this petty drama, it will not help anything.

This takes a ton of patience, but it can be done! Do not even try and measure any success or judge his responses. It will not work. He is on his own path and it cannot be controlled or predicted by you. Everything you do, you do for YOU (not to get a response from him) and for the baby's best interest of course. Things often get much worse before there is any sign of improvement. I will post on your thread later, okay?

Blu
Glad to hear from you Blu. Life is about walking the road to our destiny. We must enjoy that walk (not the walkaway ;))
Posted By: sia Re: 3 years pieced and still a work in progress! - 09/19/18 01:33 PM
Blu, vacations can be stressful even in normal circumstances, sometimes you need a personal vaca after a family vaca. Do you know if H feels the same way? Do you think a vaca without the kids, just the two of you would be different? But as you have pointed out in your earlier threads, we all just need ourselves to cruise through the calm waters of life. Thanks for your reply on my thread, helped me a ton as usual, reading posts on this forums has become my go to when all else seems to be at a dead end. Hugs.
I try and update monthly, but sometimes it's hard to know what to post. Things carry on and life is busy as usual. I find myself wanting to feel detached from the situation in general. There is a distance between us and I can't seem to find motivation to move in one direction or another. I don't want to get D, or break up my M or family, not at all. I also feel guarded and am not doing what is needed to have a close relationship with him. I am not entirely sure why. I am accepting where I am at and can't force it.

My BFF that I spoke of before is doing well. She ended her long term R last spring and has been dating. It took her almost two years to end it because he just could not let go of her and she felt guilty. And a bit torn. So now she has moved on and has been dating. She is seeing someone now that she really likes, and is maybe infatuated with. I am thrilled for her and it is fun to hear her stories. She is realizing that she has never felt this sort of connection with anyone and she is overjoyed. Even if things don't work out with this guy, she is getting a flavor of how romantic and exciting it can be. She never had this with her Xs. I have known her since childhood and would have to agree.

This has brought up some feelings for me because I felt this way about my H in the beginning. Those feelings lasted a long time. Even for 10-15 years, and going through hardships, I still felt very much in love with him and we had a strong connection. I know it will never be the same as it was then, but I find myself wondering what it will be and if THAT will be enough. I just don't know yet. I don't have the motivation right now to work on things or create closeness. He thinks I am unhappy and says that he is. I tend to focus on kids, work, yoga and my friendships. Perhaps I should be doing more and working on my M - and my guess is you all think that too - I just do not feel it inside of me right now.

Blu
I don't think you need to work on it more than you can take or feel. Reading your piecing journey and some of the others, it's such an exhausting process that will probably continue in some form as long as you have the R. It just can't be the same as ever before, as you've noted.

I think you just need to take the time for yourself, and if that is focusing on the kids, friends, and other activities, then so be it. You can't work on something from an empty tank. You need to fill up that tank from things you love to do and bring you energy and joy. And then you can probably do some self-introspection to see why you're feeling this way about the R at this moment.
Thank you, Maika. You have always been supportive of me. I appreciate it. You are right, we cannot work from an empty tank. I am pretty good at keeping busy, nurturing my other relationships, enjoying my alone time, and have gotten better at self care. It's hard to admit, but I still feel this void or emptiness in regards to my M. So what I am suggesting is that my tank is not empty, and I don't feel like I am unhappy, but when it comes to my M, something is missing for me.

It is easier for me to give advice to others than to take it myself. I guess that is true for all of us. I find myself focusing on things that were wrong in the M before all of this happened. These things did not bother me before as much as they do now. I guess that is how rewriting history works ... I get it now.

I still miss the way I felt about him before this mess. I really don't see myself ever feeling that way again. Sometimes I wonder if I am settling for less. Other times I feel down on myself because I think I should be doing more. Most days though, I don't give it a lot of thought and I simply carry on. Life is beautiful. I have a lot.

He told me that he knows when I look at him, I am disappointed in him. He can feel it. I think after all these years he still feels that he is waiting for me to come around more. That is sad, right? That I am the cause of his unhappiness, or so he feels that way. But that doesn't motivate me to change. He reminds me of all the things I have done and said that have hurt him since he has been back, and he is not wrong. He has remained here and loyal. I know that.

I am open to advice and 2*4s. Maybe you all see something that I don't.

I recall those days after BD so vividly when I felt so afraid and dark and hopeless. All I wanted was my H and my life back. I have that now. But I am telling you, it is not what it was. I have never in these last several years felt as strongly about him as I did the first many years of our M. I guess I still like the idea of feeling that way about someone. I can't just let that go. I also don't have it in me to "make" it happen.

Blu
Posted By: sia Re: 3 years pieced and still a work in progress! - 10/23/18 03:21 AM
Blu I know you have been piecing for 4 years now and you have tried all the known techniques. I am new to this and inexperienced, please take whatever I say with a grain of salt
You may be feeling this way because you see your bff living her life differently, you have known her a long time and listening to her makes you wonder maybe there is something else for you out there that doesnít come with so much baggage, your BFF has young love in her life right now, the honeymoon phase which all of us would want forever. Feeling this way may have nothing to do with your history with H, it is just the girl in you wanting love, wanting newness in life. M is a commitment, you went thru hell for your H because you are a committed wife, mother and a person with strong values. But there is a child in all of us wanting a burden free new life and you feeling this way might just be because of what your friend has. I have had these feelings at various junctures with my BFFs, a twinge telling me maybe there is something more, but then I used to come back to reality
Will going on a retreat by yourself over the weekend help? If you do a trip of sorts just by yourself once a month or so? Let H handle the house and Ds
Your H has made some huge mistakes but he has also done something most waywards donít do, he has shown remorse and made amends and rightfully earned his place back into your family.
I read everywhere that M is always work in progress but that sounds so exhausting, to me it feels like it should come more naturally. You are doing all you can, donít beat yourself up. You have endured more than most already
Give it time, all Ms with or without history like ours have these phases, men are just exhausting lol. Remember the storms you have been through, this is just cloudy weather for your standards
Hugs
Hey Blu...

I have walked the journey, but not the phase that you have with your H coming back. So, unfortunately my take is more theoretical than experiential perspective.

As Sia pointed out, I am wondering at some subconscious level you are doing the 'what if' scenario? Seeing the life your BFF is living, are you comparing your life to hers, and particularly decisions you made. Are you feeling something is missing because of a potential life you might've had if you hadn't taken H back? More questions than answers lol.

I am also wondering if you're somehow struggling with letting go of the past - life with H pre-affair and then BD and the aftermath. I do have experience with that struggle. The issue there is not the recognition that there is explicit baggage that needs to be dropped, but dealing with the fear that once you drop it, it's never coming back on your shoulders and you have to walk the path forward. Even though intellectually you know it's going to fine, part of you is wrapped up in that baggage as being part of your identity and story. Letting go means you have to change your story, which is scary because that story is a source of comfort and retreat. It's tackling that fear and seeing yourself differently where the challenge is. I am just curious to know how you think of yourself? Are you self-victimizing yourself with the story of what happened and that it will always continue to define you? For me, making that marked difference between being victimized in the past, and not a continuous victim helped.

The other thing about what you feel 'missing' in your M, are you waiting for your H to figure out what that void might be and fill it? Even though your R will never be like it was in the past, can you come to a place of acceptance on that? I don't mean resignation to that fact, but accepting that going through what you have gone through cannot possibly salvage the R in an intact way. The other piece on this is - what do you want your M to look like? Don't compare it to the past, but look towards the future. If you're not going to D and walk away, what does happiness and fulfillment in your M look like? And can you take ownership of that and make it happen, with his partnership?

You may feel like your tank is full, which is great, but you still need time for yourself. Tank is full, but not full enough for you to take active steps yet. Maybe you sense that broaching this is going to be another round of exhausting work and you just don't want that right now - which is completely fine.

I am sorry that you're going through this and I don't want to chalk it upto ups and downs in a relationship. I do want to feel the same things you noted when I get into a R. Have the strength for you to do you. I wonder if you feel any pressure to do something because you know he's unhappy and he sees it in your disappointment. Well, that's his bag to solve and overcome his insecurities.

Keep posting and sharing your journey. There's just so much to this and every bit of insight into the full path helps.
Hi Blu,

I feel so funny trying to give you advice but here I go anyways. If you a "piecing" and "R'ing", then that marriage - that relationship - is the most important one. You have to treat it as such. You have to create those feelings. We always talk about how actions can control feelings as much as feelings control actions!

It's always easy to generate those feelings (or at least for me it was) when you start from scratch. But you made the choice to stay and fix this. So why not put your heart into it? Why hold back anymore? You're focused on the past instead of making the best future!

You say you don't want to make it happen. But you want it to be great and you miss the old feelings. Seems contradictory. Good luck!
Wow. Thank you, guys. That was so helpful to read. I don't think you have to be piecing to give good advice! You are all people that have had heart aches, struggles, and that are motivated to create positive change in a M. This info is in many ways more valuable than what I hear from friends. They just want to protect me, I know that. You all help me look at my sitch from different angles. I am going to reread the responses a couple more times and really think on it. Thank you :-)))

Blu
Blu,

Well, well, well......I think you and I are surfing the same wave. Man am I becoming ambivalent. I just want to run out the front door or some days and never look back. My W wants this to be normal. I can't see no got dam normal. I guess that's how I feel when she says some of the things she say. And I know she is right, but I still have some anger in me on some days. And she can see it in me. In those moments I dont care what the hell she does. I love my wife and love is a choice and so is forgiveness and for some reason choosing to love is easier than choosing to forget. I'm guarded as well. Even, now that my W is more transparent than she has ever been.

Some days I feel like a plum fool and other days I feel just fine. I'm doing so much better in other aspects of life thou. Better than before BD. I would of gave almost anything to be in this position last year. Halloween marks our 1 year mark on deciding to piece. Time sure in a hell a$$ flies. Life is short, and I don't want to spend anymore days feeling like this. I have read and listen to all kind of podcast and videos and I know this is part of the process.

My wife and I have gotten a lot closer and I'm the one pulling a way most days. She just gives me space a pouts. You are not alone BLU. You my girl BLUE. "All these tears".

Onward and forward
Hi Blu, trying to catch up on your journey, piecing is hard, stick with it'll work how it's supposed to!
HI Blu,

After reading your posts you indirectly touched upon something that I am hesitant to mention but is a reality.

- Piecing involves work from both and on different levels, much like 2 teams building a bridge from either side and meeting in the middle

- Healing, emotional healing much like the physical one needs time. It is not something that can be rushed and there is no specific time limit.

- There is no guarantee at the end of the day no matter how much work is put in that it will work.

One point I have always told newcomers is to work on themselves. When they first arrive they are desperate and will hang to anything so that things go back to how they were. To them they "need" their spouses.

After working on themselves the "need" should turn into a "want" and it is at this stage that they look at their spouses and see them in a very different light. They have grown, changed, matured but not their spouses. They see the cracks and flaws and need to fall in love with someone who is not who they thought they were.

In a sense the roles are reversed.

I was in piecing but unfortunately was let down again. The only positive thing I can say is that I am a better person and face problems both in and outside my M in a totally different way. I hope that I have changed enough to start a new relationship without the faults I had before.

Unfortunately it took me to end up here to hopefully become a better man, father and husband.

Peace

Max
Posted By: sia Re: 3 years pieced and still a work in progress! - 11/28/18 05:27 PM
Blu, hope you are doing well and had a wonderful thanksgiving with your family!
Hello all,

Thanks for the posts. I am doing well. Working a lot this time of year. Finally getting a small break from traveling for kids sports. Things with H are okay. Not much new to report. My love/hate R with the holidays is rearing it's head. I dread the shopping and frivolous spending!

I wish I had more to share. It's quite anticlimactic really. It's somewhat strange to view my R with H with the background of having read here for so many years. I wonder if I had not, would my M have survived at all? I don't only attribute it to the DB techniques that I have learned and the self growth, but reading here gives me a sense of normalcy overall. We all have our issues, no M is perfect, and I am not the only crazy person that wants to be M to a (former) adulterous mess! There is still some shame in that, for me. Sigh. And yes, I am calling you guys "messes" too. I am almost done reading ovrrnbw's threads and I badly want to shake some sense into him!

Something that Maika wrote last month left me thinking. You are truly a wise one, Maika. You have forced me to unpack a little bit more.

Originally Posted by Maika

I am also wondering if you're somehow struggling with letting go of the past - life with H pre-affair and then BD and the aftermath. I do have experience with that struggle. The issue there is not the recognition that there is explicit baggage that needs to be dropped, but dealing with the fear that once you drop it, it's never coming back on your shoulders and you have to walk the path forward. Even though intellectually you know it's going to fine, part of you is wrapped up in that baggage as being part of your identity and story. Letting go means you have to change your story, which is scary because that story is a source of comfort and retreat. It's tackling that fear and seeing yourself differently where the challenge is. I am just curious to know how you think of yourself? Are you self-victimizing yourself with the story of what happened and that it will always continue to define you? For me, making that marked difference between being victimized in the past, and not a continuous victim helped.

The other thing about what you feel 'missing' in your M, are you waiting for your H to figure out what that void might be and fill it? Even though your R will never be like it was in the past, can you come to a place of acceptance on that? I don't mean resignation to that fact, but accepting that going through what you have gone through cannot possibly salvage the R in an intact way. The other piece on this is - what do you want your M to look like? Don't compare it to the past, but look towards the future. If you're not going to D and walk away, what does happiness and fulfillment in your M look like? And can you take ownership of that and make it happen, with his partnership?


Reading this first part, made me think of my mom. I am (like many of us) afraid of turning into my parents. My mom has spent a lot of her life and in her Rs, being a victim to others. She is a victim in several senses of it. I remember being kid, and even at a young age, feeling guilty. I would feel as though I let her down, hurt her, or did something wrong, when I didn't. I know that I didn't now of course, because I have three kids and realize that those were HER issues and not mine. That must have done a number on me and my development. How could it not have? My parents' D when I was 5 and I was lost in their shuffle.

I think you are right in that his A and our separation has become the defining moment in this M. There is some fear of letting that go, even tho it doesn't feel like a source of comfort. Maybe my fear lies in forgiving and moving forward because that translates into acceptance. I have always had a problem accepting things that don't feel fair or justified and so this was the ultimate whammy. Or am I like my mother and seek comfort and power (a false sense) in being a victim? Gosh, I hope not. Either way, it doesn't logically make sense to remain a victim or hold onto the past. I know that.

I don't know if I am waiting for my H to fill a void. What I do know is that his NGS is still a part of who he is, and while I accepted it about him before, there are things that are harder to accept now. The poor boundaries with women has been handled, so I am not referring to that. I am trying to recognize that the things about him that I don't like may not actually be deal breakers, but yes, they do bother me more now. I also think there are some very good and kind qualities in nice guys, that we tend to overlook here.

What you said is the same advice a friend has given me. If I am deciding to be in the M (I am) than I need to make the best of it.That's still hard to do. I am not quite sure how it is supposed to look moving forward. It's very strange to start over with someone I have so much history with ...

Blu
Tomorrow is our 14 year wedding anniversary. Wowza! I met my H almost 18 years ago. Still strange to think we have been in each others lives for so long. It's been a crazy ride, but I recognize how fortunate and blessed I have been overall. He is a nice guy, but also a reforming one. And I feel like I am turning another good corner myself. I do not think it is because of our dynamic changing, but more so that I am changing my perspective quite a bit. That is all we can control, right? I emphasize the importance of that to posters and I do try and take my own advice. Even tho my M is surviving, I still work on myself and DB to an extent. I see it as a way of life -- letting go of expectations, seeing what is in front of you verses what you want to see, and giving up control of people and situations. Sounds easy, but it is not. It does get easier with practice. And then GAL starts to get more fun and not feel so contrived.

I know the holidays can be hard for many of you here. I remember during my sitch, getting my girls ready to go with their papa on Christmas Eve and then having to face it without my family and inlaws. I dressed up the girls, packed their bags, and put on my brave face. As soon as he took the girls, I fell to the floor and just sobbed. Then I picked myself up, turned on some holiday music and wrapped presents. That night I went to dinner with my BFF and her family and had a nice evening. The girls were returned in the morning and we had our Christmas morning without him. I survived! And it was actually okay. I am giving myself a pat on the back now, because I sure didn't back then. Plus, I got to hold my head up high and he looked (and felt) like the total chithead he was.

That doesn't feel like yesterday anymore. It feels like 4 years ago, because it was. Onward and upward. It takes two people to own their mistakes, to be willing to change, and to make it work. I am lucky to have that. But as MWD says, "It takes one to tango." You can still enjoy your holidays without your M intact, even if only some of it. I promise. I hope and wish for you all that you give yourself permission to do that!

Love,
Blu
Quote
I am almost done reading ovrrnbw's threads and I badly want to shake some sense into him!
Thank you very much for reading that whole thing. I couldn't have imagined my marriage would have this happening. I don't know where I'd be without this forum. I picked my screenname "Overtherainbow", and the site shortened it. I was pretty low and the only way out of it, that I saw, was R with my W. It seemed impossible, and I was spinning out of control, so I picked the name because it seemed impossible to fix.

I'm glad you reposted Maika's quote. It's so true.

Quote
Either way, it doesn't logically make sense to remain a victim or hold onto the past. I know that.


I'm hurt, you've been hurt, and we just want something we know, and moving forward is definitely scary. We'd rather deal with the devil we know than face uncertainty.

I don't have much long winded wisdom to offer you, and I so wish that I did.

Happy Anniversary, I hope you can enjoy it.
Hi Blu,

For one, Happy 14 Anniversary! I hope you found some renewed energy from this and not the other way around. These markers/milestones are usually times of reflection and looking towards the future. I wish you much happiness.

You have your anniversary and the holidays, the vacation you spoke of and a lot is thrown at you. It is exhausting. What happened to time away from the spouse so that you can re-center yourself? Has that been done? If so, does it help? Apologies for not having read your sitch yet, have read most of this thread.

When you talked of your BFF and her relationship, there was a spark in your writing. I felt it(maybe it's just me because I am attaching my W to it). I felt as if my WW was living that life and she chose someone else over me because I could no longer be the person she had passion for. When you talked of your H, it wasn't on the same level. I sense the appreciation but something still missing. What do you need and is that need being expressed or met? I think I am saying or asking what Maika has asked in a slightly different light. You brought up he may or may not read this one day, what does that do to this dialogue now? You won't refrain from anything will you? I snipped out some stuff about the NGS, well a lot of it.

As articulate, strong, and self-aware as you are, is it a different type of challenge now from "saving" to "making better" or is it all the same? I see you in a dominant role. From NMMNG, whole attracts whole, and broken attracts broken. I read somewhere else that alphas attract alphas of the opposite sex. Do you put any stock in this or feel that way and how is it affecting R? Are you both connected on the same level yet? Can you confide in him and is it better or not the same? I hope this isn't too personal and if the questions are answered in previous threads, please let me know. I'm curious about growth and what happens when there is change and how that dynamic between two people play out.
Happy Anniversary!!! I hope you have/had a great day!! (((Blu)))
Happy anniversary Blu. Still wondering if you are not my wife...today is my anniversary too...19 years!

Keep shining Blu, enjoy the day.
Blu,

I have been reading your thread, and I wanted to thank you. We are piecing now, and much of what you have written rings true for us as well. It has definitely helped me look at my situation knowing that even though I feel like this is new and scary, I'm not alone. There are so many strange emotions that I've been experiencing that it's nice to know that it's not unheard of to feel these things.
Hi everyone!

Thank you for your replies! Today is so busy for me, but I will be back later and reply further.

Going to go out and have a nice dinner tonight with H. This is the first anniversary I have looked forward to in some years now. Feels good.

Adam, I am somewhat confused by your questions, and I am not sure if that is because you did not read my sitch, or if you are suggesting something that I am not understanding? Perhaps you can read more and then clarify? I like to be challenged by posters and you may be on to something here.

I will tell you guys something too, I take my own advice and 2*4s. I really do and more so lately. Writing to others helps me to check if I am doing the same in my own sitch. We really do teach others how to treat us. We also have to accept who and what is in front of us. We cannot control them, but we can decide to take it or leave it. My H is showing me someone that is consistently devoted to our M and family and a person that is willing to look at his mistakes and still learn from them. It has been motivating me to want to do more of that too. That is another small corner Ive turned.

I am also getting better at my 180s and GAL these days. Perhaps I am a bit selfish with my alone time. I work hard and long hours so I don't feel too bad about that :-) I'll be back.

Blu
Originally Posted by BluWave

Adam, I am somewhat confused by your questions, and I am not sure if that is because you did not read my sitch, or if you are suggesting something that I am not understanding? Perhaps you can read more and then clarify? I like to be challenged by posters and you may be on to something here.


Hi Blu,

I'm sure once I fully read your sitch instead of looking at bits and pieces that I'll find the answers in the context. If not, I'll come back and try to reword it bettter. From what I read, I thought you may have been in some sort of slump and didn't know why. I wonder about the struggles LBS face in piecing and tried to ask too much all at once.
Posted By: sia Re: 3 years pieced and still a work in progress! - 12/19/18 02:36 AM
Hope you have a great fun and love filled anniversary Blu. You deserve all the happiness in the world
Hugs
I have just briefly read this thread having followed you before. I am glad you kept posting and am.thrilled to notice that you are doing well. Your wording has changed subtely but significantly which indicates to me that you are in a much better state of mind. Keep up the good work and best wishes for the festive season.
Hello friends!

I just wanted to say Happy New Year to all of you! I hope that 2019 brings more happiness and clarity to all of us here.

We do not have to let others, and espcially our Hs/Ws (Xs, STBX, WAS, WS, etc) define who we are, nor dictate the choices that we make. We can all choose not to be a victim! We can choose to see, or not see, our reality in front of us. And we can choose to go forward and create a more wonderful and healthy life, with or without them. My wish for all of you here, and myself, is for better choices in 2019!

Cheers!
Blu
Originally Posted by BluWave
Hi Steve,

How are things? I've been loosely following the boards in the last few weeks, but just haven't had the time to post to everyone. Between holidays, working OT, kids, travel, illness, etc, I just can't keep up! I am impressed how people, like yourself, can stay so committed to posting! Thank you for that.

So I have been thinking about you and your recent changes in perspective and desire to walkaway. I don't have a thread in the piecing forums so I thought I would put this here. We keep saying it's hard, but we don't say a lot more. I thought I would dig a bit deeper (as I advise everyone else to do) as to WHY it is hard, and harder in some ways, than DBing. For anyone reading here, I would suggest looking up Maslow's Hierarchy Of Needs. I am sure that makes more sense than what I am going to attempt to explain!

My H has been back now for almost 4 years, and while we are not always "actively piecing," I think I can speak to it from the LBS perspective. In fact, IMHO, an important part of piecing is allowing yourself to second guess your commitment to the M and exploring those feelings. If you gloss over them or "force piecing" when you are not feeling it, I think you rug sweep something that needs to be addressed. If you do not address those issues, ultimately the LBS could become the WAS/WS. You might be getting a taste of that now. This has come up for me several times in the last 4 years. Now instead of acting on it, I dig a little deeper.

The shock of BD is devastating for all of us. The rug is essentially pulled out from under us and our entire life as we knew it changes. Many of us enter a stage of disillusion, anxiety, depression and desperation. That is how most Newcomers enter their sitch and thus the board. So there is no doubt that it is hard. It can feel unbearable. We read MWDs book and the links in Cadet's welcome thread. Some of us start posting and turn to the board, and some of us (myself included) just read in private for years.

For me, I did not create an acct, however I read for hours a day and found the advice/support through others that were in a similar position. I also read Sandi's rules daily and tried hard to follow them. I thought of them as my guide to just make it through the day. Because I was in a terrible crisis, I did not have the emotional bandwidth to do the greater task of self exploration. I was so wounded by his actions, that most of my focus was on wanting him back. I could not objectively think about what went wrong in the M and how I ended up here. Here lies the major difference between DBing and piecing. While DBing, I followed a set of rules, and felt as if I was in survival mode. Just getting dressed, getting through a work day, not falling apart, and taking care of my kids, and then sleeping through the night, was a challenge most days. I was at the bottom of the pyramid for many months.

The focus was on survival, following the rules, 180s, and GAL. I could not see clearly through my own fog, that him returning to the M would not fix my emotional damage. As Maslow explains, one cannot think about self actualization without basic safety! This pyramid on first glance is obvious, but a reminder we all need. How can you run a marathon without having had food, water or even oxygen?

Piecing is an entirely different animal. When my H pulled his head out of his rectum and left crazy XOW, of course there was an initial period of extreme relief. Perhaps it would be as if the doctor tells you that you have cancer and it is terminal, that you may have 6 months to live, only to later tell you that you are in complete remission and may live a full life. The emotional feelings of relief when the S returns to the M are indescribable. This for me lasted for a few weeks. As he continuously demonstrated his remorse and commitment to the M, I began to feel safe again. The safety, and detachment from the crisis period, allowed me to start seeing my sitch more clearly. I started to move up the pyramid. This is when a new kind of pain set in ...

As the months progressed, and I felt increasingly safe, my fog lifted and my perspective became more clear. As I moved up Maslow's pyramid, I was in a position to now see what had happened more broadly than just having become a victim. This devastation is less of a shock, but more of a dull ache with less and less periods of relief. The triggers were everywhere. And unlike DBing, there was no set of rules to follow. Reality stared me in the face and this was my new life, unlike the life I had created before BD. I chose a man to have a life and children with that is capable of the worst choices and here we are together again ....

The triggers were everywhere: in MC, during our conversations, when I saw a car that looked liked hers, when I saw HER, or just driving down the highway on an average day out of nowhere and the tears would flow, and waking up in a dark room with him laying there. While things may have looked normal, and yes, I got the guy, that dull ache and not knowing how to fix in was inescapable. Life went on, but the enjoyment was gone, and with a heaping side of resentment! This was not the man and life I had chosen.

If you are a LBS, and should be so "lucky" as us to have your S return, you would be a fool NOT to think about walking away. I said "think," and you really need to explore those thoughts. You owe it to your M and you owe it to yourself. The M was flawed before BD and it is even more flawed now, and that is the new reality. Because unlike a new R, where we don't really know if the person could cheat and abandon us, with our S, we know that they absolutely CAN and 100% DID. If that isn't a mind F, then I don't know what is. So if you decide to stay with someone after they return, there is work to be done and there is nothing fun or sexy about having to "work" on an R. The damage is 10 fold -- there is resentment now, there was a problem before, there is grieving the loss of what was and is now gone, there are triggers slapping you left and right and out of the blue, and then the "task" of creating something new. It can feel impossible at times.

I developed some very poor coping mechs in the last 4 years and I have also hurt my H a lot. I am not proud of it. I am changing, but I am still learning. I will say tho, that because so much time has passed, I don't have the same triggers, fears, or emotional responses to things that I did the first couple years. If I were to think about or see XOW, I would not feel much of anything, however I would more think something that includes pity for a what a mess she is. I think we are finally getting to place where we can discuss and address the bigger and more important aspects of our life and family, without as much emotional baggage. I still reserve my position that if I am going to leave my H, it will not be because of the mistakes he made, but it will be because we are no longer compatible.

And let's face it, we have all changed a lot during this process. We cannot really know if the new versions of ourselves will want to be together for another 10, 20, or 30 years. I am not disillusioned to what anyone is capable of anymore. But I also don't know what my perspective will be in the future. The silver lining for me is that this sitch has forced us both to really look at ourselves and our flaws and change. I think if we had maintained the old M without the BD, then we would have been our same selves. My hope is that the tools we are gaining in this mess will ultimately benefit us both personally and in our Rs in general. I hope what didn't kill me is making me stronger.

Hopefully you're all still awake .... Look up Maslow's pyramid. Good stuff.

Blu

Hi Blue, I plan to start a new thread topic in the next day or so. I've been asked to give some guidelines for Piecing the Marriage Back Together. Was also asked to define the Piecing stage. I hope you, and any other member who have/are experiencing the period we call Piecing, will offer your thoughts on the thread. smile
Originally Posted by sandi2
Hi Blue, I plan to start a new thread topic in the next day or so. I've been asked to give some guidelines for Piecing the Marriage Back Together. Was also asked to define the Piecing stage. I hope you, and any other member who have/are experiencing the period we call Piecing, will offer your thoughts on the thread. smile


Thank you, Sandi. I think that's a great idea. It would have helped me to have something more specific to go by. It's definitely more of a challenge to put together because there are more variables, whereas following the DB rules are applicable to most all sitches post BD. I feel that my sitch was rather extreme in terms of variables: my H had a lengthy EA and then left me for a PA for quite some time, this OW was a common/close friend, we had young children, and we were simultaneously dealing with other life crises (death of a parent & mentally ill teen). I imagine there would have been less work required with less variables, but I don't know. I do not yet consider us a "success story," but I also feel comfortable saying that we may always be a work in progress. I don't know yet, but I like that attitude because an R doesn't ever stop needing work and attention in general.

I'll jot down a few thoughts here if that helps. Please tell me what you think!

1. I often read posters ask how they will know when their WAS/WS is coming back and what signs to look for. My response to that is usually the same, "when your S wants back in, you will see a changed person and you will know. You won't need to ask when it happens because your instincts will tell you and you will feel the change." They will come to you and show you a person that is remorseful, transparent, and they will tell you in one way or another that they want you back. Do not fall for false starts or anything less than that.

2. First and foremost, in order for piecing to happen, both partners must be willing and (at least somewhat) ready to work hard at the R. Both partners, the LBS and the WAS/WS, must commit to making the M work, must be willing to look at their own mistakes, and both must be willing to make changes, on themselves and for the M. I say "somewhat ready" because there are varying degrees of self-growth that has happened during the sitch and often the WAS/WS hasn't started that process.

3. I think it's also important for both partners to be humble and accept that despite doing all of the hard work, there is still a chance that they may not get the outcome they hoped for. You must commit to doing the work with this understanding in mind. Both partners must accept that they other could choose to back out at any moment and nothing is guaranteed.

4. The SLOWER you move in piecing, the better. The process cannot be rushed or forced, and in doing so you will begin to move backwards in your progress and may cause additional harm. In every piecer that I have read here, the poster says in hindsight that they moved to quickly. I would say the same for my sitch even though I made an effort not to.

5. The DB rules (and Sandi's rules) no longer apply when piecing happens. To be successful, there needs to be open and honest communication, you will need to initiate contact, share your process with your S, and the walls should start to come down. On the flip side, DB is a way of life now and the healthy attachments, 180s, and GAL should be adopted as a way of life moving forward.

6. The less personal growth (detachment, 180s, GAL) that has been done during the separation, the slower the piecing should happen, because ideally this work should have been completed beforehand. While the LBS that was reading/posting here has often started this journey, and the WAS/WS has usually not, there is still an uneven surge of emotions/anger that make this very difficult to continue simultaneously. It must be continued so you do not give all of your energy to piecing. It is too emotionally taxing.

7. It is completely normal to feel tremendous relief when your S comes back. You have been held under water and then let up for air. This feeling will subside in a matter of weeks or months, as your new reality sets in.

8. The LBS cannot continue to hold the mistakes over the head of the WAS/WS and/or punish them. The LBS cannot continue to hold the mistakes over the head of the WAS/WS and/or punish them. The LBS cannot continue to hold the mistakes over the head of the WAS/WS and/or punish them.

9. The WAS/WS cannot apologize enough times for the hurt their actions have caused! For the first year of piecing, my H said he was sorry once, twice or ten times in a day. He still does apologize when things come up.

10. It is very important during piecing that the couple have support from a third party and this should come in the form of MC. The MC should be experienced with reconciliation, betrayal and have a pro-M belief system. This can be expensive, yes, but probably nothing compared to the cost of D!

11. Triggers are going to come from every angle and at times you least aspect them. The dull ache of piecing could be interrupted by the sharp stab of a reminder of your post BD days, and this PTSD could mentally throw you back in time. The pain and fear is indescribable. It is important to hold the belief that like any other crisis in your life, they will lessen in time and eventually disappear. Please believe this.

12. The LBS will think about giving up, leaving, and walking away. You may think about it often or occasionally and you may even act upon it. Just remind yourself that time is on your side and there is never a need to make a decision hastily. Do not make decisions about anything when emotions are high. In fact, you shouldn't act on emotions in general or express them all to your S. Decisions will now be made with your mind and not your heart. Your heart will continue to change, but you have made the decision to try and make this work. Give it another 6 months or couple years, you have come too far to give up now.

13. PATIENCE.

14. TIME.

15. Then more patience and more time.

16. You are both juggling several things and there is no perfect way to do that. Some moments you are discussing painful topics and working through the devastation. Other times you are making sense of what was wrong with the M before and how you ended up here. You still need to take breaks from that and build a new M together! There must be days when you just do something fun and don't discuss the past.

17. Forgiveness is a gift we give ourselves .... That is what they say. As we hold on to hard feelings we cannot move forward and it behooves us to forgive others. Most people need to have forgiveness for a successful R to happen, however how each person reaches that point is very individual and personal. I am still working on my forgiveness and it's been several years.

18. Only surround yourselves with people that support your decision to R. Keep seeing your MC, your own C, read books, take walks, and do whatever you can to practice extreme self care. If anything or anyone derails you from your progress, stick it in a box to the left.

19. Remind yourselves that things will get easier and become more clear in time. The first few months, and possibly years, are so emotionally charged, and there are going to be set backs. It is important to accept that the path will not be linear. This does not mean that you have to quit or give up.

20. Compromise is important in any M. However, neither person has to make sacrifices. If the LBS needs something, for example complete transparency, passwords, frequent reassurance, then they should say very clearly what that is. The same goes for the WAS/WS. Tell your partner what you need and what you want. In time they can either provide those things or they can't. But give them the time.


That is my start! I will revisit and revise later.
Blu
Thanks, I appreciate your perspective. Our thoughts seem to line up. I have tried to keep it unbiased, but I wondered if a recovering wayward spouse and a recovering LBS would have a slightly different viewpoint. It may be interesting to find out, if others join the conversation. I hope to get the thread posted today. smile
Sandi and Blu,

Sandi list is an amazing start and I totally agree with her assessment of the process of piecing.

Joejoe01
Thank you Sandi and Joe,

Do you guys want to use my thread to edit/add/subtract or start a new list? There is not much other activity on here ;-) Perpaps others could weigh in as well?

I think you're right about the importance of removing bias! This was more a list that I jotted down as it came to me and there is definitely my own bias in it. That can be removed.

Perhaps I will ask my own H for feedback or what he would add (change) to the list? His perspective is different than mine and he may balance out some of my own bias with his. Piecing has been very challenging for him as well, however not in the same ways.

Blu
This list is wonderful. I am struggling with all of these things.

Trying to explain some of this to my XW is really difficult, too. Some days I have to be so calm I'm like someone trying to tame a wild animal, just so I don't trigger guilt. Because honestly the last thing I want to do is make her feel guilty. She already feels constant guilt. I can see it in her eyes every time we talk about our kids, or one of our vacations, or the old MH.

I think the LBS's on this site are really quick to pass judgement on a returning WS/WAS because of the hurt and destruction they caused. But a lot of that has to be worked on and let go of, if you are rebuilding a relationship with them. I really like reading posts from members that have been there before and can help us all realize that these challenges are normal.

Thanks!
Well, I think I'll just have a thread dedicated to the subject of Piecing. I'll post mine, and yours, and then anyone can ask questions or make suggestions for the final product. I started out trying to define Piecing, then answered common questions, and then made a list of guidelines. There may some similarities with some, but I think the two lists are different enough to show both of them. That's my goal today. (I've got to stop being so wordy, or I'll never finish it!)
Happy (SAD) Singles Appreciation Day, everyone!

I just wanted to remind everyone that you are all worthy of love and the best things in life. No one deserves to be in this situation, we are all human and we all made mistakes! Please don't look around and think that those love-struck couples on Valentine's Day have it better. They too have ups and downs in life, and we all have a different time line.

I truly believe that you would not be happier if your S returned, even if you feel that way now and long for them every day. Happiness and love comes from within. Give that to yourself!!! Coming to accept that and practicing that often, is the silver lining in this. No one can ever take that from you!

Blu
Originally Posted by BluWave
Happy (SAD) Singles Appreciation Day, everyone!

I just wanted to remind everyone that you are all worthy of love and the best things in life. No one deserves to be in this situation, we are all human and we all made mistakes! Please don't look around and think that those love-struck couples on Valentine's Day have it better. They too have ups and downs in life, and we all have a different time line.

I truly believe that you would not be happier if your S returned, even if you feel that way now and long for them every day. Happiness and love comes from within. Give that to yourself!!! Coming to accept that and practicing that often, is the silver lining in this. No one can ever take that from you!

Blu


Thanks, Blu (((HUGS)))

One thought that hit me earlier was seeing other couples, and the idea that THEY may be NEXT for a BDíing, or to end up in a sitch like ours.

Iím also learning that happiness and love come from within; hopeful W will do the same in time.
Originally Posted by BluWave

I truly believe that you would not be happier if your S returned, even if you feel that way now and long for them every day. Happiness and love comes from within. Give that to yourself!!! Coming to accept that and practicing that often, is the silver lining in this. No one can ever take that from you!


Well said! My GF came over yesterday and we had a nice dinner out, brought home a piece of homemade cheesecake to split, worked on an art project I've been helping her with, exchanged some presents and cards and then had some lovely personal time by candlelight. Do I regret that it was her I was spending this time with and not my ex? Oh hell no, I don't even think my ex and I ever had special time like this even when times were good. She just wasn't into romantic stuff. So what is my point, well it's to boast. No I'm kidding grin It's to send a message that what lays before you won't be what you had, but I bet it will be just as good as what you had if not even better. You're all setting the stage for something really great to happen.
I think that is a good advertisement for not getting married...lol. Honestly...my WAH and I were both romantic before we got married and had kids. I remember the year before we got married, I took him to Vegas for VD to see his favourite band play at the Hard Rock Cafť. I think too many people get complacent and take things for granted when they get married and just rely on the vows we took to carry us through the day-to-day grind that life can be. I know that I often thought of things that I would like to do but would always put them off for a time that was more convenient, or when we had more money or when I was thinner or when... you get the picture. Tomorrow rarely, if ever, comes when you live your life like that. If there is anything I have learned from this experience, it is to never put off what you can do today as you may not get a tomorrow. Tough lesson to learn but so valuable. I won't forget it if I ever am lucky enough to be in love again. smile
Originally Posted by DejaVu6
I think too many people get complacent and take things for granted when they get married and just rely on the vows we took to carry us through the day-to-day grind that life can be. I know that I often thought of things that I would like to do but would always put them off for a time that was more convenient, or when we had more money or when I was thinner or when... you get the picture. Tomorrow rarely, if ever, comes when you live your life like that. If there is anything I have learned from this experience, it is to never put off what you can do today as you may not get a tomorrow. Tough lesson to learn but so valuable. I won't forget it if I ever am lucky enough to be in love again. smile


I absolutely agree with DV.

Iím pretty sure I got complacent to an extent, and just relied on the vows.

Since the ILYBINILWY BD initially back around last February, one of my personal mantras has been to go ahead and take the chance and not put things offóyou may only get one chance.

I often tell my students that if you have the chance to tell someone you love them, take itóbecause no one is promised a tomorrow. This is why I often affirm my students when I have a chanceóI tell them in person or email their parents to tell them how I really feel about them.

2 of my favorite quotes, and they are related: ďYou miss 100% of the shots you donít takeĒ (Wayne Gretzky); and ďYou get 100% of what you donít ask forĒ (for some reason, that expression never made sense to my W)
Originally Posted by DejaVu6
I think that is a good advertisement for not getting married...lol.


Well yeah there is that. We lived together briefly when she tried to renew a lease at the last minute and found out she couldn't, she was living at my house maybe a month and wow did things deteriorate. We get along much better just dating and living apart. I have a friend who actually lives separately from her husband. They have a daughter together. They separated, then once they separated they started seeing each other and got along much better, so they decided they would stay married but live apart!
I missed these last posts. Thank you Bo & AS.

New thread:

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