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Things are trending up...

Posted By: unchien

Things are trending up... - 10/10/19 05:34 AM

Old thread:

Separated and sorting #3
Posted By: unchien

Re: Things are trending up... - 10/10/19 06:02 AM

Originally Posted by LH19
U,

If you follow my posts I comment a lot about how winning her back, making grand gestures etc. only works in the movies. I never will forget my MC saying that when two people come to see her and their attitude is divorce is not an option she has a 100% success rate. I have also read that 75% of people who filed for divorce 5 years later say they wished they would have tried harder.

If she is ever to be in that 75%, I completely believe it will take 5 years to get to that point.

Originally Posted by AnotherStander
Originally Posted by unchien
The problem I have here is that I do believe she resents me for the move.


Oh sure, she does NOW! That's my point, that's what rewriting history means. A year ago she was completely fine with it, said it was best for the family, and she wasn't lying! At that time she believed what she was saying. Now? It was a terrible idea that unchien forced her into against her will, and she resents you for it. That right there is classic rewriting of history. She wasn't lying then, she isn't lying now. If you're looking at the marriage through rose-colored glasses she has inky-black glasses on, now she sees the bad as bad and the good as bad and everything in-between as bad. With time she will remember there were good things in the M, but not now, and not for a good long while. So when she talks crazy talk you listen and validate and dismiss. Don't let it keep you up at night.

The thing is I do think she resents me for the move. She just never admitted it. She instead had 100 other things to complain about and eventually I just felt inadequate and got more and more desperate to try to fix things.

I was in a minor text skirmish with her tonight. I no longer avoid them completely. At one point I said, "Why do you always assume the worst in me?" and she responded "Because you blah blah blah..."

Rather than, I dunno, "I don't always assume the worst in you."

Originally Posted by AnotherStander

I think there is a certain amount of inevitability to many of our sitches. I spent a lot of time considering what I should have done differently. How I could have been a better husband and father. My conclusion? I could have done better but I don't think it would have changed anything. What my XW went through, I don't think any actions on my part could have prevented it. I think the same could be said for most people here, maybe not all but certainly most. The people who end up here are not flaming jerks, they are good, loving, dedicated, loyal people who don't understand why they are here and are truly heart-broken and desperate to make things better. What does that kind of person sound like? A great spouse, that's what. When my XW and I had our ill-fated attempts at MC the C asked W if she respected me, and she said yes. She asked if she loved me and she said yes. She said "what about the sex, is he selfish in that regard? Doesn't meet your needs?" She said "Oh the sex is fantastic, in fact I wouldn't mind continuing to have sex!" The C looked GENUINELY astonished at these answers. She looked at W and said "So you love him, respect him and have great sex with him. In marriage counseling we call those the 3 pillars of a marriage, without any one of them the marriage can't be held up. But what you're describing we call the makings of a great marriage! So what exactly is wrong?" She said "I don't know, I just don't want to be married anymore."

That's a long story but the point is simply that it may have been inevitable regardless of what you may have done differently.

I also think I could have done better. I resist saying, "I did my best" because there is no such things as one's best. But I did try.

Sometimes I wonder if the move was the instigator for this, and I know it's pointless. Would we be happily married had we not moved? And that is just impossible to know. We were under incredible financial stress. We could just as well have moved a year later, to a different city. Maybe something else would have changed. I know I probably would have stayed in my NGS mode.

To your point, maybe it was inevitable. Whatever my W is dealing with, past traumas, her own baggage... I can't help her with that.
Posted By: LH19

Re: Things are trending up... - 10/10/19 10:53 AM

Statistics say that your W probably starting thinking about the divorce before you moved and before your D was born and that the move was her last ditch effort to be happy. It's very common and we see it here all the time that WW drop the bomb after being in their dream house for 6 months. They are acting on emotions and not logic and reason.

I know that you don't believe it now but I promise you that two years from now you will be ten times happier then you feel today. I can guarantee it.
Posted By: IronWill

Re: Things are trending up... - 10/10/19 01:05 PM

The timescale for this is ultra-long. I don't think many people fathom just how much of a marathon it is. I am only beginning to get it now and it's been 13 months for me.

It may take years for a WAS to realize they threw something good away. Or they may never realize it.

Sobering stuff, for sure.
Posted By: Many worries

Re: Things are trending up... - 10/10/19 02:02 PM

Originally Posted by IronWill
The timescale for this is ultra-long. I don't think many people fathom just how much of a marathon it is. I am only beginning to get it now and it's been 13 months for me.

It may take years for a WAS to realize they threw something good away. Or they may never realize it.

Sobering stuff, for sure.


Truth. But it also works for the LBS. The sad reality is that many LBS here make changes for a few months then complain about their spouse aren't recognizing their "change" They seem to want their spouse to instantly realize that the LBS is a new person and life will be better and grand.

Um no, it doesn't work like that. Not at all. For most of the WAS, their resentment, etc was built up over years. The LBS did things to harm the marriage for YEARS. A few months of changes isn't going to make that disappear. Doing the LBS drill of working out, going to church, becoming a super parent, isn't going to fix that.

And even if things do get better and the LBS and WAS reconcile...that process to heal the marriage will take years. it isn't instantly going back to the same marriage. I see so many LBS give up, move one because the work, the waiting is just too hard. (I'm not saying they are wrong or bad people) Everyone makes their own choices about how long they want to live in limbo.
Posted By: kas99

Re: Things are trending up... - 10/10/19 04:11 PM

Quote
I see so many LBS give up, move on because the work, the waiting is just too hard. (I'm not saying they are wrong or bad people) Everyone makes their own choices about how long they want to live in limbo.


Truth. I'm surrounded by well meaning friends who encourage me to file first, to move on and throwing out words like "new beginnings". These people don't understand that I'm a LBS that did major damage to WAH for years.

We've been together for 30 years and this will sound completely insane but given the extent of the damage I've done I think it would be disrespectful to give up, file or move on. It's like hey sorry I hurt you in ways I will never fully understand but I'm tired of waiting so here are your papers and can you hurry it up my new bf is waiting.

I owe it to WAH to make amends even I never see him again. Amends is changing my behavior for the better (we have kids), GAL, detaching to heal and staying single. Unless it harms me or my kids I will wait until he ends limbo (he will end it eventually) and I won't date until 2 years after the D is final.

The work is brutal and the thought of waiting years is depressing but having a clean conscious knowing I did everything I could to save our family will be worth it.
Posted By: IronWill

Re: Things are trending up... - 10/10/19 04:34 PM

Originally Posted by Many worries
Originally Posted by IronWill
The timescale for this is ultra-long. I don't think many people fathom just how much of a marathon it is. I am only beginning to get it now and it's been 13 months for me.

It may take years for a WAS to realize they threw something good away. Or they may never realize it.

Sobering stuff, for sure.


Truth. But it also works for the LBS. The sad reality is that many LBS here make changes for a few months then complain about their spouse aren't recognizing their "change" They seem to want their spouse to instantly realize that the LBS is a new person and life will be better and grand.

Um no, it doesn't work like that. Not at all. For most of the WAS, their resentment, etc was built up over years. The LBS did things to harm the marriage for YEARS. A few months of changes isn't going to make that disappear. Doing the LBS drill of working out, going to church, becoming a super parent, isn't going to fix that.

And even if things do get better and the LBS and WAS reconcile...that process to heal the marriage will take years. it isn't instantly going back to the same marriage. I see so many LBS give up, move one because the work, the waiting is just too hard. (I'm not saying they are wrong or bad people) Everyone makes their own choices about how long they want to live in limbo.


Agreed. I would also note that the LBS usually has a tendency to over-exaggerate the faults that were shown to them during the BD - because they were delivered during a highly emotional, sensitive, and stressful time. It takes lots of distance and the ability to change perspective outside of oneself for the LBS to understand that, while there were problems in the MR, it is not solely the LBS that caused the MR distress.

Yes, it is the responsibility of every LBS to change for the better for themselves. But the WAS has just as much responsibility to own up to their own side of the issues, once they come out of their crisis/fog/call it what you will. If they do not, whether it be through Recon or a new R, they will end up kicking the can down the road and have the same thing happen again and again.
Posted By: unchien

Re: Things are trending up... - 10/10/19 04:44 PM

Originally Posted by LH19
Statistics say that your W probably starting thinking about the divorce before you moved and before your D was born and that the move was her last ditch effort to be happy. It's very common and we see it here all the time that WW drop the bomb after being in their dream house for 6 months. They are acting on emotions and not logic and reason.

I know that you don't believe it now but I promise you that two years from now you will be ten times happier then you feel today. I can guarantee it.

LH19 - I do believe the D seeds were sown before we moved. We had owned a house in the prior city. We sold that house, with the intent of renting for a year and making some decisions about whether to stay or move (my job situation was very unstable there). That year of renting was incredibly stressful. Towards the end, day by day we would think we were staying, moving to city A, moving to city B, etc.

We could have stayed and rented another year. Or purchased a less expensive home. My W turned down those options. I didn't force her to move. We were both fully on board.

Anyhow, I completely agree with you that the beginning of the D goes back probably 3 years.

Originally Posted by IronWill
The timescale for this is ultra-long. I don't think many people fathom just how much of a marathon it is. I am only beginning to get it now and it's been 13 months for me.

It may take years for a WAS to realize they threw something good away. Or they may never realize it.

Sobering stuff, for sure.

IW - I'm not even sure she's throwing something "good" away. I think it could be good. Maybe it wouldn't be. That's the thing about DB... after awhile, my brain more and more has accepted that ANY future will be good. That is the sweet spot where I want to be. That is letting go. I'm going to make my life good. She can be a part of it or not. If she's by my side, I will work to be a great partner.

Originally Posted by Many worries
The sad reality is that many LBS here make changes for a few months then complain about their spouse aren't recognizing their "change" They seem to want their spouse to instantly realize that the LBS is a new person and life will be better and grand.

Um no, it doesn't work like that. Not at all. For most of the WAS, their resentment, etc was built up over years. The LBS did things to harm the marriage for YEARS. A few months of changes isn't going to make that disappear. Doing the LBS drill of working out, going to church, becoming a super parent, isn't going to fix that.

And even if things do get better and the LBS and WAS reconcile...that process to heal the marriage will take years. it isn't instantly going back to the same marriage. I see so many LBS give up, move one because the work, the waiting is just too hard. (I'm not saying they are wrong or bad people) Everyone makes their own choices about how long they want to live in limbo.

MW - I think about this too sometimes. I have made so many changes in the past 6 months. But the thing is, I recognized my baggage for years, read books, went to IC, and it wasn't enough. It took the horrific pain of dealing with my MR falling apart to FORCE me to change.

I believe people are capable of change, but it takes a LOT for people to change. The universe almost has to force people to change. This is just a personal opinion. I look at my W and her issues, and I think... it's not so easy to just address one's own baggage. That sounds paternalistic, but it's not. It's not as if I am "fixed" - I have only scratched the surface.

I don't think those changes mean my W should accept me back. In fact, for us to ever reconcile, I would need to see her work to make changes. I understand this is an emotional time and it's unreasonable to expect she's going to change right now, nor should I ever expect her to change. Her resentment is thick, her knee-jerk mind-reading prevents her from hearing what I try to communicate. I need her to see value in a partnership with me.

I contributed to our MR falling apart. She did too. She doesn't see it that way. There's no getting around it. We both were ill-equipped to handle the stress of 3 kids and a relocation. I accept my part. I also don't think this is a matter of me fixing myself and then her accepting me back.

I haven't necessarily given up on limbo. I was in limbo for about 12 months (ramping up from a "some things are wrong with our MR" to "my W is shutting down communication and researching D"). We agreed to separate (I moved out). She asked for time and space. As I saw it, she was in a heightened emotional state and staying in the home was unhealthy for all of us - me, her, the kids. I moved out because it made more sense logistically. I could sense my W was emotionally building up and it was not healthy. Moving out was a relief valve for us all.

The problem is that we are spending more than we take in now. That pressure has forced action. 4 months into physical separation, although we have gone to counseling (about 1x/month now), my W has shown zero interest in talking about our marriage issues. The financial pressure combined with zero movement has really forced us both to acknowledge this isn't working.

I'm not really giving up on her. I am very in touch with what changes I would need to see (or at least, the beginnings of changes) in order for me to go back to the MR, to move in with her. It would take baby steps. She cut me deep. I will never forget some of the things she has said and done. That's not to say I am incapable of forgiveness. But those memories are touchstones which remind me not to go back to my NGS tendencies and accept a lousy partnership.

I made my own mistakes too. I am ready to talk, when she is ready. The reality is we are going to need to go through with this D, and all the painful emotions associated with that. Maybe years down the road, my W will want to come back and work on things. Maybe I will be here with an open mind. Maybe not. I don't know. I haven't given up.

I think of the metaphor posted sometimes here about walking down the path. The LBS walks down the path, periodically shining a flashlight back in case the WAS wants to come along. The LBS is not standing still. Sometimes the LBS confuses Limbo with standing still.

I think we often confuse Limbo with that period of time between "WAS has expressed a desire to divorce" and "actual divorce filing." I don't think Limbo is defined by specific events or timelines. We are in Limbo when it is unclear where our MR is going. Yes, we can choose to exit Limbo by giving up on the MR. That is *not* the same as proceeding with a D. I haven't given up. However, this is not sustainable. I am repeatedly reminded by my W of how I have, more or less, ruined her life (in her mind). It is not healthy for me to wait for her. In the meantime, my relationship with my kids, albeit with long gaps of time without seeing them, is better than ever. I cannot wait years in limbo, financially digging a hole, hoping that this person who thinks I am a monster (at the moment) is going to change and be willing to work on things. I'm not even sure that is best for my kids anymore.

This is a long rambling response. I guess I'm trying to sort this out. I haven't given up.
Posted By: unchien

Re: Things are trending up... - 10/10/19 04:49 PM

Originally Posted by kas99

Truth. I'm surrounded by well meaning friends who encourage me to file first, to move on and throwing out words like "new beginnings". These people don't understand that I'm a LBS that did major damage to WAH for years.

We've been together for 30 years and this will sound completely insane but given the extent of the damage I've done I think it would be disrespectful to give up, file or move on. It's like hey sorry I hurt you in ways I will never fully understand but I'm tired of waiting so here are your papers and can you hurry it up my new bf is waiting.

I owe it to WAH to make amends even I never see him again. Amends is changing my behavior for the better (we have kids), GAL, detaching to heal and staying single. Unless it harms me or my kids I will wait until he ends limbo (he will end it eventually) and I won't date until 2 years after the D is final.

The work is brutal and the thought of waiting years is depressing but having a clean conscious knowing I did everything I could to save our family will be worth it.

kas - I like your mindset. I have empathy for my W amidst all the other conflicting emotions. The most respectful thing I can do is work on myself and address my issues - for my sake, for my kids, for all my relationships with friends and family and colleagues.
Posted By: unchien

Re: Things are trending up... - 10/10/19 04:52 PM

Originally Posted by IronWill
Agreed. I would also note that the LBS usually has a tendency to over-exaggerate the faults that were shown to them during the BD - because they were delivered during a highly emotional, sensitive, and stressful time. It takes lots of distance and the ability to change perspective outside of oneself for the LBS to understand that, while there were problems in the MR, it is not solely the LBS that caused the MR distress.

Yes, it is the responsibility of every LBS to change for the better for themselves. But the WAS has just as much responsibility to own up to their own side of the issues, once they come out of their crisis/fog/call it what you will. If they do not, whether it be through Recon or a new R, they will end up kicking the can down the road and have the same thing happen again and again.

This ^^^^^

Limbo cannot be about the LBS feeling guilty and horrible and 100% to blame. I spent over a year obsessing over my issues and contributions to our MR failures. When I spent some time 2 months ago thinking about my W's issues, and what I would like to see her work on, and my conditions for a reconciliation, I felt so much better. It helps me stay true to my own values, and not get sucked into feeling guilty and down about myself.
Posted By: Many worries

Re: Things are trending up... - 10/10/19 05:12 PM

Originally Posted by unchien
Originally Posted by IronWill
Agreed. I would also note that the LBS usually has a tendency to over-exaggerate the faults that were shown to them during the BD - because they were delivered during a highly emotional, sensitive, and stressful time. It takes lots of distance and the ability to change perspective outside of oneself for the LBS to understand that, while there were problems in the MR, it is not solely the LBS that caused the MR distress.

Yes, it is the responsibility of every LBS to change for the better for themselves. But the WAS has just as much responsibility to own up to their own side of the issues, once they come out of their crisis/fog/call it what you will. If they do not, whether it be through Recon or a new R, they will end up kicking the can down the road and have the same thing happen again and again.

This ^^^^^

Limbo cannot be about the LBS feeling guilty and horrible and 100% to blame. I spent over a year obsessing over my issues and contributions to our MR failures. When I spent some time 2 months ago thinking about my W's issues, and what I would like to see her work on, and my conditions for a reconciliation, I felt so much better. It helps me stay true to my own values, and not get sucked into feeling guilty and down about myself.


To be clear. I'm not suggesting the LBS at 100% fault. But I am suggesting that if you want the WAS to accommodate your timeline you will never get anywhere- if you reconcile or don't reconcile it doesn't matter. You can't expect a tit-for-tat that the WAS will own up to their issues. (i'm not suggesting this is you unchien) And it's totally natural that you'd expect the WAS to work on her stuff as well. I don't think you could have a true reconciliation without it - to be frank.

But I am saying it might be much longer than you or any LBS wants
Posted By: kas99

Re: Things are trending up... - 10/10/19 05:30 PM

Quote
Limbo cannot be about the LBS feeling guilty and horrible and 100% to blame. I spent over a year obsessing over my issues and contributions to our MR failures. When I spent some time 2 months ago thinking about my W's issues, and what I would like to see her work on, and my conditions for a reconciliation, I felt so much better. It helps me stay true to my own values, and not get sucked into feeling guilty and down about myself.


Guilt is overrated, feeling horrible keeps you stuck, and none of us here are 100% to blame. I'm still where you are where I feel better focusing (at times) on what WAH did than myself. It's called "blame shifting" for a reason. Consider this you allowed your W to treat you this way. She has her issues as my WAH does but we allowed the behavior to continue. We gave them permission to treat us less than regardless of who started it.

If we both focus on what we can control that is power. Should I get the gift of reconciling I will have a choice of deciding whether or not he's all in or not. Whether I stay and fight or whether I leave. I decide not him.

I'm not there yet by all means but this is where I'm aiming for but first I have to get to the part where I don't need him anymore. This part stinks.
Posted By: Many worries

Re: Things are trending up... - 10/10/19 05:57 PM

I didn't mean to sidetrack the discussion, but I just want to note that it will take a lot more time than you think. A lot.
Posted By: unchien

Re: Things are trending up... - 10/10/19 06:00 PM

Originally Posted by Many worries

To be clear. I'm not suggesting the LBS at 100% fault. But I am suggesting that if you want the WAS to accommodate your timeline you will never get anywhere- if you reconcile or don't reconcile it doesn't matter. You can't expect a tit-for-tat that the WAS will own up to their issues. (i'm not suggesting this is you unchien) And it's totally natural that you'd expect the WAS to work on her stuff as well. I don't think you could have a true reconciliation without it - to be frank.

But I am saying it might be much longer than you or any LBS wants

Agreed. I have no expectation on a timeline. I recognize it's asking a lot to say "W, I expect you to get over your resentment, projection and mind-reading since I'm sitting here waiting to work on our MR". Also I did contribute to this MR erosion including not working together with her as a healthy couple. So now she is fairly entrenched in her beliefs and it just is what it is. It will take a long time (if ever) to resolve.

Originally Posted by kas99

Guilt is overrated, feeling horrible keeps you stuck, and none of us here are 100% to blame. I'm still where you are where I feel better focusing (at times) on what WAH did than myself. It's called "blame shifting" for a reason. Consider this you allowed your W to treat you this way. She has her issues as my WAH does but we allowed the behavior to continue. We gave them permission to treat us less than regardless of who started it.

If we both focus on what we can control that is power. Should I get the gift of reconciling I will have a choice of deciding whether or not he's all in or not. Whether I stay and fight or whether I leave. I decide not him.

I'm not there yet by all means but this is where I'm aiming for but first I have to get to the part where I don't need him anymore. This part stinks.

There is very little I can control. I can control my own actions and words. I am very consciously not trying to blame shift. Although I would have preferred she told me she resented me for the move, I understand that my behaviors contributed to her reticence. I don't go so far as to say "I allowed her to treat me this way" but there is some truth there also. It's why one of my recent 180s is to cut out the validation and speak up for myself sometimes. It runs counter to DB advice, but I think I let myself be walked on, and let my W continue to project because I was not expressing my feelings. As long as I am okay with her reactions - ignoring what I say, arguing, projecting, twisting my words. I don't have any expectations about how she will react (in fact my expectation is all of the above), but I think it would be wrong for me to stay silent. At some point, if we are ever to even attempt a reconciliation, the first little baby step would be her actually acknowledging what I say. Showing me that she listened. I don't expect this will ever happen, but if it does, I will surely notice.

The dynamic for the past several months was my W shifting 100% of the blame onto me. Any blame she accepts (at least as far as she has shown to me) is that she allowed the move to happen even though internally she was unsure at best. I don't see that as a proper acknowledgment of her role.

Relationships are dynamic. There are individual issues, and then the issues of the dynamic between two people. It's complicated. Blame is pointless. We all make mistakes. We can all do better. I certainly could have done a lot better.
Posted By: unchien

Re: Things are trending up... - 10/10/19 06:00 PM

Originally Posted by Many worries
I didn't mean to sidetrack the discussion, but I just want to note that it will take a lot more time than you think. A lot.

MW - I agree 100%. Maybe in 5 years, if ever.
Posted By: kas99

Re: Things are trending up... - 10/10/19 07:20 PM

Quote
Although I would have preferred she told me she resented me for the move,

Any blame she accepts (at least as far as she has shown to me) is that she allowed the move to happen even though internally she was unsure at best. I don't see that as a proper acknowledgment of her role.


I don't remember your story but offhand I'm not sure I completely believe her. I feel for you though. I cannot even imagine going through this having to see her everyday. How do you do that??
Posted By: AnotherStander

Re: Things are trending up... - 10/10/19 07:24 PM

Originally Posted by unchien
I was in a minor text skirmish with her tonight. I no longer avoid them completely. At one point I said, "Why do you always assume the worst in me?" and she responded "Because you blah blah blah..."


Well you kind of set yourself up for that one! Why even reply, it's texting! You can wait a couple of hours to reply. Or not reply at all. Don't let her draw you into nonsense, and if you do then validate and let it go. I know it's not easy, all of us are naturally inclined to defend ourselves. My GF is a classic example, pushes my buttons to get a reaction. If I defend myself it almost always ends up being a fight where we both think we're "defending ourselves". If I validate then inevitably she'll apologize and say she was just having a bad day. There's a MC who talks about it being like ju jitsu where you use your opponent's moves to defeat them. Instead of trying to block their attack, you allow them to attack and divert it and as a result you gain the upper hand. That is EXACTLY what validating is. Some people think validating is giving up or giving in, no it is not that at all. It is a different way of fighting back. It is ALLOWING an attack and dodging out of the way. You don't block it, but you don't let it hit you either. Validation is NOT an admission of guilt, or even saying "you're right". It is simply acknowledging that person has feelings and their feelings NO MATTER HOW CRAZY OR NONSENSICAL are legitimate. Right?

Posted By: unchien

Re: Things are trending up... - 10/10/19 07:55 PM

Originally Posted by kas99
Quote
Although I would have preferred she told me she resented me for the move,

Any blame she accepts (at least as far as she has shown to me) is that she allowed the move to happen even though internally she was unsure at best. I don't see that as a proper acknowledgment of her role.


I don't remember your story but offhand I'm not sure I completely believe her. I feel for you though. I cannot even imagine going through this having to see her everyday. How do you do that??

I don't have to see her every day =)

I moved into a separate house 4 months ago.
Posted By: unchien

Re: Things are trending up... - 10/10/19 08:10 PM

Originally Posted by AnotherStander
Originally Posted by unchien
I was in a minor text skirmish with her tonight. I no longer avoid them completely. At one point I said, "Why do you always assume the worst in me?" and she responded "Because you blah blah blah..."


Well you kind of set yourself up for that one! Why even reply, it's texting! You can wait a couple of hours to reply. Or not reply at all. Don't let her draw you into nonsense, and if you do then validate and let it go. I know it's not easy, all of us are naturally inclined to defend ourselves. My GF is a classic example, pushes my buttons to get a reaction. If I defend myself it almost always ends up being a fight where we both think we're "defending ourselves". If I validate then inevitably she'll apologize and say she was just having a bad day. There's a MC who talks about it being like ju jitsu where you use your opponent's moves to defeat them. Instead of trying to block their attack, you allow them to attack and divert it and as a result you gain the upper hand. That is EXACTLY what validating is. Some people think validating is giving up or giving in, no it is not that at all. It is a different way of fighting back. It is ALLOWING an attack and dodging out of the way. You don't block it, but you don't let it hit you either. Validation is NOT an admission of guilt, or even saying "you're right". It is simply acknowledging that person has feelings and their feelings NO MATTER HOW CRAZY OR NONSENSICAL are legitimate. Right?


AS - I agree for the most part with your points. I was baited and I bit.

When we first went to MC2, my W started talking about this episodes she called abuse. I listened, I validated, I didn't defend. In a private conversation with the counselor, he thought that I was AGREEING with her version of events.

There is a point where validation is not the right approach. When faced with a narrative of abuse that is factually untrue, I do need to defend myself.
Posted By: kas99

Re: Things are trending up... - 10/10/19 09:37 PM

Quote
There is a point where validation is not the right approach. When faced with a narrative of abuse that is factually untrue, I do need to defend myself.


My father used to say you can't do anything with the truth as THEY see it. I believe there is a way to validate without agreeing. When WAH and I fought (years ago when this started) I just agreed because it was easier than defending. In hindsight there was nothing I could have done to change his narrative about me. I could have produced a video, concrete evidence and then maybe I might have a had a chance at convincing him but barring that I had nothing and I got nowhere.
Posted By: kas99

Re: Things are trending up... - 10/10/19 09:43 PM

Quote
I moved into a separate house 4 months ago.


You still see her though which I couldn't do right now. I'm not strong enough. I'd take every bait, argue every point, the whole nine. The last time I saw WAH was July 20th. I did good at first but then I got sucked in. There is this neediness, this can't let go, the part where I can't accept what's happened that gets in the way.

I've read that avoidance won't heal a relationship which I get but for me I don't know I need some distance until I beat my addiction (him).
Posted By: unchien

Re: Things are trending up... - 10/10/19 10:02 PM

Originally Posted by kas99
My father used to say you can't do anything with the truth as THEY see it. I believe there is a way to validate without agreeing. When WAH and I fought (years ago when this started) I just agreed because it was easier than defending. In hindsight there was nothing I could have done to change his narrative about me. I could have produced a video, concrete evidence and then maybe I might have a had a chance at convincing him but barring that I had nothing and I got nowhere.

Even if one validates without agreeing, there is zero control over how the other person perceives the interaction. You can't control how someone receives communication. But yes I should probably revisit validation and just stick with it. She is baiting me hard lately.

Originally Posted by kas99

You still see her though which I couldn't do right now. I'm not strong enough. I'd take every bait, argue every point, the whole nine. The last time I saw WAH was July 20th. I did good at first but then I got sucked in. There is this neediness, this can't let go, the part where I can't accept what's happened that gets in the way.

I've read that avoidance won't heal a relationship which I get but for me I don't know I need some distance until I beat my addiction (him).

I don't take every bait or argue every bit. But sometimes I do.

What helps me is I don't really feel attracted to her (physically or otherwise) anymore. She is not a person I would want to spend time with right now. I don't want her back, not this version. I know I can find a better partner in the future for me, but that partner would not be the mother of our beautiful children, the person I shared so many years of good memories with. So I obviously leave the door open for future possibilities if that is to happen. It seems so unrealistic and impossible.
Posted By: IronWill

Re: Things are trending up... - 10/11/19 12:04 AM

Originally Posted by AnotherStander
Originally Posted by unchien
I was in a minor text skirmish with her tonight. I no longer avoid them completely. At one point I said, "Why do you always assume the worst in me?" and she responded "Because you blah blah blah..."


Well you kind of set yourself up for that one! Why even reply, it's texting! You can wait a couple of hours to reply. Or not reply at all. Don't let her draw you into nonsense, and if you do then validate and let it go. I know it's not easy, all of us are naturally inclined to defend ourselves. My GF is a classic example, pushes my buttons to get a reaction. If I defend myself it almost always ends up being a fight where we both think we're "defending ourselves". If I validate then inevitably she'll apologize and say she was just having a bad day. There's a MC who talks about it being like ju jitsu where you use your opponent's moves to defeat them. Instead of trying to block their attack, you allow them to attack and divert it and as a result you gain the upper hand. That is EXACTLY what validating is. Some people think validating is giving up or giving in, no it is not that at all. It is a different way of fighting back. It is ALLOWING an attack and dodging out of the way. You don't block it, but you don't let it hit you either. Validation is NOT an admission of guilt, or even saying "you're right". It is simply acknowledging that person has feelings and their feelings NO MATTER HOW CRAZY OR NONSENSICAL are legitimate. Right?



AS really hit the nail on the head here.

Wow.

Everyone should read this.
Posted By: IHCLACS

Re: Things are trending up... - 10/11/19 12:28 AM

Printing.....Validation 101: <Does not compute>... Lol JK...
Posted By: unchien

Re: Things are trending up... - 10/11/19 07:52 PM

Lol I do struggle to validate now that we are going to start negotiating things that will affect the rest of my life. I canít confuse validation with accepting a raw deal.

My W uses a lot of emotional reasoning (as we all do). Validating those emotions while disagreeing with the reasoning and still standing up for myself is tricky to navigate.

Today she texted she wants to review our schedule. She said she is bummed having 2 straight weekends without the kids. I could have validated but instead just sent her the schedule. (I also found it strange she does not have this written down but ok).

Thanks all for recentering me. I need to validate not for self protection anymore, but mostly to try to manage the situations so they donít escalate emotionally. I have simple needs. 50-50 long term and a reasonable financial settlement. The rest is just noise. Unless I am forgetting something?
Posted By: rooskers

Re: Things are trending up... - 10/11/19 08:20 PM

Quote
Validating those emotions while disagreeing with the reasoning and still standing up for myself is tricky to navigate.


I think you will get the hang of it unchien. It would seem that being able to validate someone who uses emotional reasoning instead of logical reasoning would be even more important in your situation. It will probably go a long way in getting everything you need out of the divorce settlement.
Posted By: Adam04

Re: Things are trending up... - 10/12/19 03:05 AM

U,

Validation does take time and practice. While you are covering the basic needs or your wants of the 50/50 and a reasonable financial settlement, that can get tricky as well... so validation could help you in the long run to being both good co-parents. Right now it may be the farthest thing you can imagine, but once the dust settles and the emotions are gone, your emotional control and validation could swing things in the far future. My W and I were still amicable so when we were splitting weeks, she was able to come around when I had the kids and I was able to come around when she had them. She was willing to help with picking the kids up from school if there were days I would be late due to work.

I've seen AS, R2C, Gekko discuss and lay out the basics pertaining to the financial split and assets. While your needs can be described as basic, (we don't need much), this is not the time to be laid back about it. Consider what those holidays will look like, who gets who when, and what will work for both of you. Is there a plan a or b, something to fall back on that you both agree to ahead of time? Be prepared to negotiate, and don't totally give in but don't also argue over something petty. Planning ahead now on how this could play out could help you prevent sudden flare ups if you thought she would let you have x y z days and she ends up not letting you. Think about what works for you and what you would want, then imagine if she disagreed. What would or could you do to work towards an agreement?

Posted By: unchien

Re: Things are trending up... - 10/14/19 04:31 AM

W and I go back to MC tomorrow, for the first time in a month. I imagine we will be talking about whether to go to mediation, etc.

W was texting me tonight about talking for 15 minutes beforehand about "finances" including her options for the house. She also said she thought we had been in agreement about D, but then the blow-up last Tuesday left her not knowing where I stand.

Ultimately this post is a big question about validation.

I want to say:

- I never wanted D, but given we are spending down our assets in a separation where we are not working on things (read: W has not opened up in MC), I see no choice. So don't make this about us making a "joint decision."

- The only financial option that makes sense is we list the house promptly. Given we are separated, the wise choice for me is to immediately financially separate and pay support payments. That would leave you on the hook, however, because it would not be enough to pay for the house payments, so I am actually *helping* you out here by letting you drag your feet.

- Saying that you understand relocation isn't an option and you are okay with that is not granting me a favor. It is the law unless you choose to go to court to move the kids.

- Saying that you want what's best for the kids (and implying that's the reason you aren't going to court to try to relocate) does not make me feel any warmth towards you.

I'm so expletive frustrated about this whole ordeal. Her story is so out of line with my reality. I'm no saint, but I'm also no villain. I don't want a D. But I feel like I'm out of options.

The true colors of my W (at least the last 2-3 years of her) have shown me a woman I cannot be happy with. Of course there is a chance she comes to terms with her baggage and makes some changes. It seems unlikely, and it definitely won't happen with me pointing out her baggage. I need to let her go, and at this point, the circumstances of my situation dictate that we move on with D.

And if we are moving on with D, then why would I do anything other than 100%. Pure. Validation.

- Don't let her know how I am feeling.

- No emotional reactions no matter how strong she baits me.

- Be pleasant but firm in negotiations.

Tell me if I'm wrong in this thinking. I know you all have already been advising this. Of course I need to stand up for what is fair, but I don't need to get baited into arguments like "I'm their father, I deserve 50/50!" Instead I just say, "I would like to be at 50/50".
Posted By: rooskers

Re: Things are trending up... - 10/14/19 05:01 AM

Quote
- I never wanted D, but given we are spending down our assets in a separation where we are not working on things (read: W has not opened up in MC), I see no choice. So don't make this about us making a "joint decision."


I never wanted D, but I see no choice.
Using reason and logic is pointless. Don't bother.

Quote
- The only financial option that makes sense is we list the house promptly. Given we are separated, the wise choice for me is to immediately financially separate and pay support payments. That would leave you on the hook, however, because it would not be enough to pay for the house payments, so I am actually *helping* you out here by letting you drag your feet.


I would like to list the house promptly.
She won't understand or care about the rest.

Quote
- Saying that you understand relocation isn't an option and you are okay with that is not granting me a favor. It is the law unless you choose to go to court to move the kids.


I want 50/50 custody of the children.
Using reason and logic is pointless. Don't bother.

Quote
- Saying that you want what's best for the kids (and implying that's the reason you aren't going to court to try to relocate) does not make me feel any warmth towards you.


I want 50/50 custody of the children.
She doesn't care about the rest so don't bother.


Since I went through a divorce and got everything I was fighting for all I can say is let almost everything go through the lawyer. If you W is anything like my XW then reason and logic is pointless, your feelings she doesn't care about, what's best for the kids will only be understood through the lens of what is best for her and the kids. If you truly are getting a divorce it is time to realize you are in this to protect yourself, your rights as a parent, and your future.

Posted By: unchien

Re: Things are trending up... - 10/14/19 06:30 AM

Thanks rooskers.

It feels like giving up. I'm on a divorce BUSTING web forum after all. I feel guilty for dropping my faith, that I should hold out longer (I'm not religious, but I did have faith that we would be able to piece this thing back together somehow). I feel like my kids' lives will be so different from what I had hoped for them - not ruined, not worse, just different. I feel like my W was just waiting for me to agree to D so that SHE didn't have to live with her own guilt. She needed it to be a joint decision. I feel like none of this makes any sense. It makes no sense.

Then I feel like I have no choice but to give up. Three years of built-up resentment. Accusations of abuse. Accusations of being unsafe with my kids. Coming home every day hoping for my W to be there for me, but feeling like I just had a roommate. Going to MC1 and working on helping more around the house and with the kids, only to realize now it was all about resentment over the move and addressing those other symptoms were not going to help one iota. Feeling emotionally abandoned. All of it. Why continue this path of misery with someone who doesn't want to work on it? I haven't been happy. I told myself I was happy but I wasn't.

Or am I missing something I should be doing, or should have done, differently? It is absolutely maddening.

When we had our blow-up 6 days ago, she said I never tried to win her back. I told her "Go read those letters I wrote you in April". I wrote 3 letters then, 2 apologies, and 1 love letter. I know better now. I shouldn't have even said this to her. But she cannot read those letters and think "This is a guy who is checked out of the marriage." Again, why do I bother, it was a waste of my energy.

I spin and spin and just come to the same conclusion. I need to move on. She's not going to come around. And I'm not going to wait. I've been going at DB for about 6 months now, and on the self-improvement path for another year before that at least. My marriage didn't get any better. But I sure did.

I guess I just feel guilty letting go. We are all here trying to save our MR's, not give up on them.
Posted By: CWarrior

Re: Things are trending up... - 10/14/19 08:40 AM

Originally Posted by "Unchien"
When we had our blow-up 6 days ago, she said I never tried to win her back. I told her "Go read those letters I wrote you in April". I wrote 3 letters then, 2 apologies, and 1 love letter. I know better now. I shouldn't have even said this to her. But she cannot read those letters and think "This is a guy who is checked out of the marriage." Again, why do I bother, it was a waste of my energy.

lol. Amazing to hear, for anyone who's been reading your situation.
Posted By: LH19

Re: Things are trending up... - 10/14/19 10:39 AM

U,

You really need to stop two things for your own sanity moving forward.

1. Believing anything she says. The letters are absolute proof that ďwinning her backĒ is BS and real life isnít rom com movie.
2. Using logic and reason. You are mostly likely going to know why this happened.

I know this isnít the life you wanted for your kids but they will be just fine. My daughterís three best friends parents are divorced so itís not abnormal for her. The other day she told me a friend from school started texting her because her parents were going through a D and my daughter was able to make her feel better. Not the conversation I wanted my 11 year old daughter to be having but Iím glad she could help her friend.

The truth U that by the time you found DB the odds are not in your favor to stop the D. I can absolutely promise you it gets better and you deserve to be with someone who treats you as an equal and with respect.

Stay strong my friend.
Posted By: AnotherStander

Re: Things are trending up... - 10/14/19 02:19 PM

Originally Posted by unchien
It feels like giving up. I'm on a divorce BUSTING web forum after all.


You're just giving her what she wants. Remember what I said earlier about jiu jitsu? Giving her what she wants isn't giving up, it's a DIFFERENT FORM of fighting for a possible future with her.

I agree with Roosker's edits. Short and sweet wins the day. Don't inject personal emotion into it. Don't talk about how badly you want to stay in the M, she knows that already. If she thinks the D is being rushed then believe me, you will be the first to know!

Quote
Why continue this path of misery with someone who doesn't want to work on it?


A very valid question that EVERY LBS needs to ask themselves sooner or later.

Quote
Or am I missing something I should be doing, or should have done, differently? It is absolutely maddening.


It's her journey, not yours.

Quote
When we had our blow-up 6 days ago, she said I never tried to win her back. I told her "Go read those letters I wrote you in April". I wrote 3 letters then, 2 apologies, and 1 love letter. I know better now. I shouldn't have even said this to her. But she cannot read those letters and think "This is a guy who is checked out of the marriage." Again, why do I bother, it was a waste of my energy.


Either validate these comments or don't respond at all. "That must have been frustrating for you."
Posted By: Many worries

Re: Things are trending up... - 10/14/19 03:44 PM

Originally Posted by unchien


It feels like giving up. I'm on a divorce BUSTING web forum after all..


Most of the "experts" here are divorced. There was no divorce busting at all. (Personally, I think a few would be better served on militant men's rights forum) but that's for another day.

Also, it should be noted that many here give advice contrary to MWD. At times, I feel the advice here pushes spouse into binary thinking and thus moves them to divorce without giving them a path home.

Remember the things that did or didn't serve them in their marriages won't necessarily serve your efforts.
Posted By: unchien

Re: Things are trending up... - 10/14/19 04:29 PM

Originally Posted by Many worries
Originally Posted by unchien


It feels like giving up. I'm on a divorce BUSTING web forum after all..


Most of the "experts" here are divorced. There was no divorce busting at all. (Personally, I think a few would be better served on militant men's rights forum) but that's for another day.

Also, it should be noted that many here give advice contrary to MWD. At times, I feel the advice here pushes spouse into binary thinking and thus moves them to divorce without giving them a path home.

Remember the things that did or didn't serve them in their marriages won't necessarily serve your efforts.

MW - Thanks for your input, I really enjoy hearing different points of view.

Back in June I signed up for 3 phone sessions. They were extremely helpful, and did offer a different take on how to approach my situation. I wouldn't say they were misaligned with forum advice, but the forum has a more hard line stance on how to approach situations. It's a self-selecting group here - most of us (and I think I'm in this group) found this forum when it was already too late. I've always read the advice here with that in mind - although so many situations are similar, each one has unique factors.

At times I have followed the forum advice, at times I have not. I moved out of the marital home in late June as part of our separation. I received a lot of push back on the forum, but I stand by that decision. My W's nerves were frayed, our kids were suffering, and logistically it made sense for me to move out. I was not going to perpetuate an untenable situation in an attempt to save my MR. I thought the removal of pressure would help while we went to MC. It didn't. It was still the right decision and I stand by it.

What I believe happened in my case is similar to others here. My W was thinking she wanted out long before I realized it. We relocated, and that stress broke us. It also did not help that we, as a couple, did not establish a healthy way to resolve conflict. So the longer this tension lasted, and was not discussed, the more I felt her distance, and the more she resented me. We are both at fault. We went to MC and rather than tell me what she was feeling, my W asked me to do more chores. And I was too dense too realize it. I will say I was also unhappy about the emotional distance I felt from her, and I admit I had some resentment over this. I felt unsupported. The only way back, in my mind, would be communicating with honesty and openness, and a willingness to resolve conflict. I can't make my W want to do that, all I can do is try to live by those values. I struggle. I get sucked in sometimes and forget to validate.

Could I have saved my MR? I guess had we not moved, we would probably still be M'd. Maybe. Who's to say. I'm no misogynist, I have a lot of empathy for what my W is experiencing.

Anyways, what you point to is exactly the issue that drives me crazy... Did I try hard enough? Did I mess up DB'ing?

This forum in many ways has turned my life around, even though it does not always follow MWD's advice. For that I am incredibly thankful. I go to IC, I read, all of that... but the advice on this forum has changed my mindset so I will go out and be happy whether or not my W joins me or not. I don't say that in a "take it or leave it" negative sense. I'm truly here if she wants to work together and join me. And I will be a better partner. I am a better father now. I am a happier person. I can handle difficult situations so much better.
Posted By: ovrrnbw

Re: Things are trending up... - 10/14/19 04:30 PM

Originally Posted by Many worries
Originally Posted by unchien


It feels like giving up. I'm on a divorce BUSTING web forum after all..


Most of the "experts" here are divorced. There was no divorce busting at all. (Personally, I think a few would be better served on militant men's rights forum) but that's for another day.

Also, it should be noted that many here give advice contrary to MWD. At times, I feel the advice here pushes spouse into binary thinking and thus moves them to divorce without giving them a path home.

Remember the things that did or didn't serve them in their marriages won't necessarily serve your efforts.





I've seen you drop in a few times and say how a lot of the advice is going contrary. Let's start a separate thread to discuss.

In regards to this thread, detaching should feel like giving up. It is, in a sense, giving up. It's letting go of things you can't control, it's listening to your spouse and quit trying to talk them out of it. It's stopping pursuit, which a lot of people think is them standing for their marriage.

There are lots of discussions about keeping the road home paved smooth. It's very hard to thread that needle for most people early on in there sitches.
Posted By: AnotherStander

Re: Things are trending up... - 10/14/19 05:41 PM

Originally Posted by Many worries
Most of the "experts" here are divorced.


I don't think anyone here considers themselves an "expert". DB'ing is acknowledging there is no PHD in WAS psychology, it's accepting that we don't understand the dynamics and letting go of the need to understand.

Quote
There was no divorce busting at all.


I assume you mean in the sense that many of the vets were not able to save their M, which is true, as opposed to the vets not participating in DB practices, which is false. Unfortunately most of us come here after BD and after the WAS is two feet out the door. All the DB'ing in the world only saves a small percentage of M's. DB'ing is reactive rather than proactive, so it's trying to fix something after it's already very broken.

Quote
(Personally, I think a few would be better served on militant men's rights forum) but that's for another day.


I don't believe it's appropriate to launch personal attacks here, would suggest you refrain from that in the future.

Quote
Also, it should be noted that many here give advice contrary to MWD.


Not really. Usually when people say this they are misunderstanding what they are reading.
Posted By: CWarrior

Re: Things are trending up... - 10/14/19 05:44 PM

Originally Posted by "Many Worries"
Most of the "experts" here are divorced. There was no divorce busting at all.

I think most relationships are cooked at BD. My partner and I are still together--she loves me and sees a long-term future--but the relationship we had was dead. Letting go allowed a new one to crystalize. Whether that new one will satisfy each of us enough to go the distance is an open question.

If you feel you're more an expert in a particular sitch, do share.
Posted By: Many worries

Re: Things are trending up... - 10/14/19 07:33 PM

Originally Posted by AnotherSlander


I don't think anyone here considers themselves an "expert". DB'ing is acknowledging there is no PHD in WAS psychology, it's accepting that we don't understand the dynamics and letting go of the need to understand.


I disagree. People are explicitly telling others what to do and presenting themselves as experts.

Quote
I assume you mean in the sense that many of the vets were not able to save their M, which is true, as opposed to the vets not participating in DB practices, which is false. Unfortunately most of us come here after BD and after the WAS is two feet out the door. All the DB'ing in the world only saves a small percentage of M's. DB'ing is reactive rather than proactive, so it's trying to fix something after it's already very broken.


Then why give false hope.

Quote
I don't believe it's appropriate to launch personal attacks here, would suggest you refrain from that in the future.


This wasn't a personal attack. it was just an observation.

Quote
Not really. Usually when people say this they are misunderstanding what they are reading.


It's funny because somewhere in one of your posts... you admitted to going against MWD.
Posted By: Many worries

Re: Things are trending up... - 10/14/19 07:35 PM

Originally Posted by CWarrior
Originally Posted by "Many Worries"
Most of the "experts" here are divorced. There was no divorce busting at all.

I think most relationships are cooked at BD. My partner and I are still together--she loves me and sees a long-term future--but the relationship we had was dead. Letting go allowed a new one to crystalize. Whether that new one will satisfy each of us enough to go the distance is an open question.

If you feel you're more an expert in a particular sitch, do share.


The only situation that I am expert is my marriage. That's kind of my point.
Posted By: LovingIt

Re: Things are trending up... - 10/14/19 07:51 PM

I'm still a newbie, and still work in progress myself...

But it's not just MWD that suggests letting go, NC, and work on self improvement. If you research on the internet, lots of relationship / marriage coaches suggest very similar things dealing with ex's or marriages on the brink... at a certain point of WS's emotional state, pursuing them will come off as needy, and will just push them away and lower your value.

It's sound advice, and it's never bad to give time/space and self-improve.

Posted By: LH19

Re: Things are trending up... - 10/14/19 08:37 PM

We give advice based on our experience, research and 100s of situations we have seen on this board. Youíre welcome to take the advice or not. Most donít and then have setbacks.
Posted By: Many worries

Re: Things are trending up... - 10/14/19 08:57 PM

Originally Posted by LH19
We give advice based on our experience, research and 100s of situations we have seen on this board. You&#146;re welcome to take the advice or not. Most don&#146;t and then have setbacks.


Huh? I disagree. What is a setback? something that YOU deem a setback? That's foolish. If 90% o the WAS are already out the door, the idea of a setback is meaningless. You Dig.

It still doesn't make you an expert on anyone's situation.
Posted By: rooskers

Re: Things are trending up... - 10/14/19 09:35 PM

unchien sometimes the only way to save something is to let it go. The divorce is to protect you, your finances, and your rights regarding the children. Divorce doesn't have to mean you are closing the door on your wife.

I have so much respect for all the veterans on here, but really, why in the world are you letting Many worries bait you? This is unchien's thread and we should continue to offer the best advice we can and let unchien decide what is best for him.
Posted By: IronWill

Re: Things are trending up... - 10/16/19 11:05 AM

Hey U -

Sorry you're struggling so much, man. This is a very difficult situation to be in, where decisions that would otherwise not be such a big deal have huge consequences. It is the nature of the beast.

Don't be so hard on yourself. It is impossible to know of any other outcome in life because there are an infinite number of variables. It is not possible to know what could have been. I think once you accept that, you will find a lot of the angst and unsettled feeling inside will pass.

Of course, I say this while I am in a period of personal (relative) calm, but I too will also be in upheaval again. The thing is to realize that these moments will eventually pass.

Remember this isn't about you. You are not the one who initiated this. While you are changing for the better, there is no single thing you did or did not do that precipitated all of this. Could you have been a better husband? Could I? Could o have communicated better? Yes, naturally. But you care enough about your R to continually work on it, and you did what you thought was the best thing to do at that time.

As far as "taking advice" is concerned, I follow the motto "do what works". We are all here because we want help. People are very kind to offer their take on similar situations. Not every sit will follow the same pattern, they are all unique. There will be many common denominators in all of our MRs, but it is up to us to decide what advice to implement and how to do so.

Take care buddy smile
Posted By: DaB35

Re: Things are trending up... - 10/16/19 12:04 PM

Hi U

I agree with IronWill above. All of us are in very difficult situations, and each one is unique with its own problems and peaks and troughs.

Originally Posted by IronWill

It is impossible to know of any other outcome in life because there are an infinite number of variables. It is not possible to know what could have been. I think once you accept that, you will find a lot of the angst and unsettled feeling inside will pass


This is very true. There are lots of 'could have beens' or 'might have beens'. For me, maybe my wife and I stayed happy forever. Or she could have cheated on me. Or she could've just upped and left in ten years' time when we were both in our 40s. The discord you're feeling is absolutely normal, and will smooth over in time.

Originally Posted by IronWill

You are not the one who initiated this. While you are changing for the better, there is no single thing you did or did not do that precipitated all of this. Could you have been a better husband? Could I? Could I have communicated better? Yes, naturally. But you care enough about your R to continually work on it, and you did what you thought was the best thing to do at that time.


Again, very true for so many of us here on the board. I admit what my shortcomings in my M and R were. I'm addressing them now and am reaping the rewards along with my friends and family. Sadly a WAS won't enjoy the fruits of the LBS' hard work, but you know what? Their choice, their loss. That's how I feel now. I felt guilty about having that stance at the beginning, but not any more.

With regard to advice, I appreciate all advice on this board when it is given to me. Understandably, some advice may not be practical or not even be possible depending on an individual's circumstances. You just go with the advice that you feel is most appropriate to your arrangements, and that is fine.
Posted By: DejaVu6

Re: Things are trending up... - 10/16/19 03:12 PM

I, for one, found this forum too late although Iím not sure I would have saved my marriage had I found it sooner. Surely the things I did do in the beginning were contrary to what I would have been advised to do and my marriage fast tracked to divorce. What this forum DID DO, is save my sanity and show me that I was not alone in my plight. It helped me find me again and the people who had gone down a similar path before me were beacons of hope in what was otherwise a very hopeless place.

I donít pretend to know what is the right answer for others but I do know that once a spouse has gotten to the point of wanting out, there is not a lot that is going to change his or her mind. It took too much for them to get to that point and they have likely been thinking about it for years. In my sitch, my XH had been working towards it for four years and was well into living a second life with someone else. I was just loose ends to him that needed to be tied up with as little drama as possible. This board helped me to minimize the drama which I did...for my kids. If the recommended approach is not for you, MW, then feel free to go elsewhere. Maybe there is a board out there that supports a different approach that feels better to you?

Sorry for the hijack U. Just wanted to add my two cents.
Posted By: DS9

Re: Things are trending up... - 10/16/19 11:24 PM

Hey U,

How you doing right now buddy? I'm sorry to hear you've been doing it tough recently. Don't beat yourself up and 2nd guess whether you've done the right thing or DB'd enough. You're one of the best new generation DB'ers here mate!

Cheers D
Posted By: unchien

Re: Things are trending up... - 10/17/19 09:51 PM

Thanks everyone for checking in on my sitch. Work has picked up and I had the kids a lot recently, so haven't spent much time on the forums. I also haven't had much happen significantly. W and I are going to counseling next week so I expect to be posting again - this will be our first real discussion about next steps.

As for now, I'm treating my situation as a holding pattern. We are spending down money, but it's not the end of the world. And I feel like it would be unwise for me to start trying to press my W into discussions without a 3rd party mediator (or counselor) present.

So I spend a lot of time validating, letting little things slide, and mostly trying to keep a PMA and maintain friendliness. A couple weeks ago I slipped into some emotional discussions with her that did no good. I have a little voice of doubt telling me that I am being conflict avoidant right now, but for the most part I think this is the right approach. I know things will get tough when we start negotiating. I suspect she is also being conflict avoidant and enjoying the relative calm.

It's hard to avoid that knee-jerk defensive instinct, because she often implies that D is something that I wanted. There's really no point arguing, though. With a couple weeks hindsight now, I have some distance, and I realize it's just not worth my energy.

There was a situation with S7 last weekend that irritated me, where I thought my W was maybe playing a little emotional tug of war with him, but I took a step back and realized (a) it's possible that I was wrong about what happened; (b) I had no control over the situation; and (c) I am feeling closer to my kids post-separation, so I must be doing something right.
Posted By: SteveS

Re: Things are trending up... - 10/18/19 03:53 AM

Originally Posted by unchien
Thanks everyone for checking in on my sitch. Work has picked up and I had the kids a lot recently, so haven't spent much time on the forums. I also haven't had much happen significantly. W and I are going to counseling next week so I expect to be posting again - this will be our first real discussion about next steps.

As for now, I'm treating my situation as a holding pattern. We are spending down money, but it's not the end of the world. And I feel like it would be unwise for me to start trying to press my W into discussions without a 3rd party mediator (or counselor) present.

So I spend a lot of time validating, letting little things slide, and mostly trying to keep a PMA and maintain friendliness. A couple weeks ago I slipped into some emotional discussions with her that did no good. I have a little voice of doubt telling me that I am being conflict avoidant right now, but for the most part I think this is the right approach. I know things will get tough when we start negotiating. I suspect she is also being conflict avoidant and enjoying the relative calm.

It's hard to avoid that knee-jerk defensive instinct, because she often implies that D is something that I wanted. There's really no point arguing, though. With a couple weeks hindsight now, I have some distance, and I realize it's just not worth my energy.

There was a situation with S7 last weekend that irritated me, where I thought my W was maybe playing a little emotional tug of war with him, but I took a step back and realized (a) it's possible that I was wrong about what happened; (b) I had no control over the situation; and (c) I am feeling closer to my kids post-separation, so I must be doing something right.


Good stuff, U. The holding pattern is brutal, so kudos to you for fighting through it.
Posted By: unchien

Re: Things are trending up... - 10/18/19 06:01 PM

Originally Posted by SteveS
Good stuff, U. The holding pattern is brutal, so kudos to you for fighting through it.

Thanks Steve.

To be clear, I think I've gone off the DB path a little bit. I'm not holding because it is the best thing I can do for my MR. I think it's the best thing I can do for my upcoming D. Engaging with my W on any emotional level right now is likely to cause more pain.

It's not that I've given up completely. But I do think any R would be years down the road at this point. One thing I've learned recently is how far gone my W really was. This stuff was festering for years. And I'm not sure I could have prevented it -- I may not have known she was thinking about D, but I did know things were not working and I tried in my own clumsy way to work on the MR. I can live with the fact I gave it an honest effort.

I'm still working on getting over feeling angry about her not wanting to work things the same way I did. But I do understand.
Posted By: unchien

Re: Things are trending up... - 10/19/19 11:22 PM

Hey all -

I think itís probably time for me to move off this board and over to Surviving the Big D. Iíll have an update the next few days but my situation has transitioned that way and I think posting on this board is not as appropriate. Will link from here when I set up a new thread, hope some of you can stop by! Iíll pop in here from time to time also.
Posted By: kas99

Re: Things are trending up... - 10/20/19 07:57 PM

Just curious have either of you filed?
Posted By: rooskers

Re: Things are trending up... - 10/21/19 01:55 AM

Quote
I can live with the fact I gave it an honest effort.


My XW decided to have an affair 11 years ago and I tried to stick with it until the last BD. I agree in my own clumsy way I also tried to work on the MR but it takes two. I don't think it was ever about us. My D13 said to me point blank "if I had one wish I wouldn't undo what was done because she would have just found another way and another time to leave."

You gave it an amazing effort and in the process became a better you. You never know what the future will hold.
Posted By: unchien

Re: Things are trending up... - 10/21/19 02:17 AM

Originally Posted by kas99
Just curious have either of you filed?

No we haven't. We are starting discussing details of finances and custody this week.

Originally Posted by rooskers
My D13 said to me point blank "if I had one wish I wouldn't undo what was done because she would have just found another way and another time to leave."

You gave it an amazing effort and in the process became a better you. You never know what the future will hold.

You touched on something that I really didn't understand until recently. My WAW's mindset is *so far* from what I thought was going on. I'm more confused than ever. I'll never understand it. But I will also learn to accept that there wasn't much I could do. I don't think handling limbo any differently would have resulted in a different MR outcome. I am more confused tonight about what's happened than I ever have been. It's hard to give up on those future dreams, and the comfort of that life we had, but now is the time for me to own my life and walk tall. It's scary, but I've been tackling those challenges so far and each little success makes me feel stronger.

The future may hold new relationships. I don't know. I can imagine it's going to be hard for me to dive in again, to trust that I won't bring my old baggage with me, to trust that the other person will be open and honest and communicate when things are not going well. From my current standpoint, relationships look like a burden. I see now how relationships need constant attention and care, and for now I need to put that energy into my relationship with my kids, co-parenting with my W, and my self-improvement. I need some time alone to figure out what I really want moving forward. I spent 15 years with my W, and 5 years with an XGF before that. I haven't been alone for half my life. I'm not used to defining the path of my life.Like anything it probably just will take some time to settle out. Rome wasn't built in a day.
Posted By: IronWill

Re: Things are trending up... - 10/21/19 11:17 AM

Originally Posted by unchien
I'm more confused than ever. I'll never understand it. But I will also learn to accept that there wasn't much I could do. I don't think handling limbo any differently would have resulted in a different MR outcome. I am more confused tonight about what's happened than I ever have been.

Very much relate to this, U. I was in your position back in April/May. W was running out the door and I was stumped. Then something happened to change her mind again. There is still no R, and no desire for one, but I will say everything has calmed way down, and there has been a slight improvement in communication. Not to give you false hope or give you expectations, but just to let you know feelings change, nothing is permanent, and this, too, shall pass.

Originally Posted by unchien
I can imagine it's going to be hard for me to dive in again, to trust that I won't bring my old baggage with me, to trust that the other person will be open and honest and communicate when things are not going well. From my current standpoint, relationships look like a burden. I see now how relationships need constant attention and care, and for now I need to put that energy into my relationship with my kids, co-parenting with my W, and my self-improvement. I need some time alone to figure out what I really want moving forward.


I relate to this very much. I don't feel like trusting anyone right now. I don't think I can. And I think that's ok - that's all part of it.

How do you look at it, U? I thought about what you wrote and here is what I came up with:

If I cannot work on the R I wanted to work on, then I don't want to be in any R. I have a lot of things I still want to do. Before her crisis/whatever, W understood and encouraged me to do those things. It was hard enough finding someone who "got me" before our R, that's why I lived alone for 8 yrs.

Right now, I have a very hard time believing I could find someone else who would understand the way I am and why I do the things I like to do. And TBH I don't have the energy or time to explain these things again or to compromise on those things with anyone else. It is very sad, and it will be very different without W involved, but there is no reason I cannot still do what I want to do.

Good on you for getting stronger, U. Hope you stick around for a bit.

Take care of yourself, buddy smile
Posted By: unchien

Re: Things are trending up... - 10/21/19 03:06 PM

Originally Posted by IronWill

Very much relate to this, U. I was in your position back in April/May. W was running out the door and I was stumped. Then something happened to change her mind again. There is still no R, and no desire for one, but I will say everything has calmed way down, and there has been a slight improvement in communication. Not to give you false hope or give you expectations, but just to let you know feelings change, nothing is permanent, and this, too, shall pass.

Thanks IW. I notice that my W catches herself before getting emotional talking about custody or money. I can see this is difficult for her, but she is trying. Does this mean she cares about me? Or is she doing this because she knows if we can't be amicable we will have to resort to using L's? I don't know... it's an interesting observation, and I see no particular meaning in it.

Originally Posted by IronWill

I relate to this very much. I don't feel like trusting anyone right now. I don't think I can. And I think that's ok - that's all part of it.

How do you look at it, U? I thought about what you wrote and here is what I came up with:

If I cannot work on the R I wanted to work on, then I don't want to be in any R. I have a lot of things I still want to do. Before her crisis/whatever, W understood and encouraged me to do those things. It was hard enough finding someone who "got me" before our R, that's why I lived alone for 8 yrs.

Right now, I have a very hard time believing I could find someone else who would understand the way I am and why I do the things I like to do. And TBH I don't have the energy or time to explain these things again or to compromise on those things with anyone else. It is very sad, and it will be very different without W involved, but there is no reason I cannot still do what I want to do.

I would be very cautious about R's right now. I think there is the initial NRE exhilaration, where everything is generally positive. But all R's turn towards something more serious eventually, and I'm not sure I would even want that. From my current vantage point that looks like hard work, a huge time commitment, a lot of risk with little upside. I know my viewpoint is skewed and things will change.

I spent 15 years with my W, and the things that have happened the last 2 years make me think she has no clue who I am. And all along I thought that she did. It will take me a long time to get over that feeling and trust another person at a deeper level.
Posted By: IronWill

Re: Things are trending up... - 10/21/19 08:15 PM

Originally Posted by unchien
Originally Posted by IronWill

Very much relate to this, U. I was in your position back in April/May. W was running out the door and I was stumped. Then something happened to change her mind again. There is still no R, and no desire for one, but I will say everything has calmed way down, and there has been a slight improvement in communication. Not to give you false hope or give you expectations, but just to let you know feelings change, nothing is permanent, and this, too, shall pass.

Thanks IW. I notice that my W catches herself before getting emotional talking about custody or money. I can see this is difficult for her, but she is trying. Does this mean she cares about me? Or is she doing this because she knows if we can't be amicable we will have to resort to using L's? I don't know... it's an interesting observation, and I see no particular meaning in it.


Same here. I see my W trying. It's like she is fighting alarm bells going off in her head. She told me that during BD - she felt like there were three people inside her head all screaming to be heard at once

That's when I knew this was definitely not about me. That's when I cranked up the empathy studies.

Originally Posted by unchien
Originally Posted by IronWill

I relate to this very much. I don't feel like trusting anyone right now. I don't think I can. And I think that's ok - that's all part of it.

How do you look at it, U? I thought about what you wrote and here is what I came up with:

If I cannot work on the R I wanted to work on, then I don't want to be in any R. I have a lot of things I still want to do. Before her crisis/whatever, W understood and encouraged me to do those things. It was hard enough finding someone who "got me" before our R, that's why I lived alone for 8 yrs.

Right now, I have a very hard time believing I could find someone else who would understand the way I am and why I do the things I like to do. And TBH I don't have the energy or time to explain these things again or to compromise on those things with anyone else. It is very sad, and it will be very different without W involved, but there is no reason I cannot still do what I want to do.

I would be very cautious about R's right now. I think there is the initial NRE exhilaration, where everything is generally positive. But all R's turn towards something more serious eventually, and I'm not sure I would even want that. From my current vantage point that looks like hard work, a huge time commitment, a lot of risk with little upside. I know my viewpoint is skewed and things will change.

I spent 15 years with my W, and the things that have happened the last 2 years make me think she has no clue who I am. And all along I thought that she did. It will take me a long time to get over that feeling and trust another person at a deeper level.


Yeah, I agree. No R's for a very long time.

I cannot remember where I read this, but it is something that has helped me greatly in times like this. It goes "Someone can hide who they are for a maximum of 12 months, 18 months at most. After that their real personality begins to appear."

Your W did not hide who she was for 15 yrs. Mine did not hide who she was for 21 yrs.

The experiences we both had were real - don't let the changes/crises happening now affect your view of what you had.

I think in time it will be easier to understand. We just have to get through it first.

If only we could have 20/20 hindsight now lol.
Posted By: unchien

Re: Things are trending up... - 10/22/19 12:59 AM

Originally Posted by IronWill

I see my W trying. It's like she is fighting alarm bells going off in her head. She told me that during BD - she felt like there were three people inside her head all screaming to be heard at once

That's when I knew this was definitely not about me. That's when I cranked up the empathy studies.

Unfortunately I don't see my W trying. I see her blaming me for relocation, then heaping on the same story about how I am potentially unsafe. I am the villain, she is the victim, and I can't change that for her.

Originally Posted by IronWill

I cannot remember where I read this, but it is something that has helped me greatly in times like this. It goes "Someone can hide who they are for a maximum of 12 months, 18 months at most. After that their real personality begins to appear."

Your W did not hide who she was for 15 yrs. Mine did not hide who she was for 21 yrs.

The experiences we both had were real - don't let the changes/crises happening now affect your view of what you had.

I think in time it will be easier to understand. We just have to get through it first.

If only we could have 20/20 hindsight now lol.

You are right, she did not hide who she was. I have seen her make black-and-white decisions about other people in her life, cut them out, and assume the worst in people. I never thought I would be on the receiving end, but here we are. In hindsight it all makes some sort of weird sense.

I know I sound kind of bitter. We had an initial counseling session today about how to proceed next. It's clear she has stuck to her "UC is potentially violent and abusive" narrative and, well, that pretty much ends our chances of recon. DB techniques have helped me a ton, and have also helped me manage my MR to this point so that we aren't in court in a nasty contested battle. But recon is not something on the table. So I'm not sure I should continue to post in the newcomer forum.
Posted By: IronWill

Re: Things are trending up... - 10/23/19 02:32 AM

Originally Posted by unchien

Unfortunately I don't see my W trying. I see her blaming me for relocation, then heaping on the same story about how I am potentially unsafe. I am the villain, she is the victim, and I can't change that for her.

Yes, that is also where my W was when I started DBing. It was all my fault. Nothing I did or didn't do would change anything and I was the worst person in the world, ever.

Not sure if I ever told you this, but I went nearly NC for two or three months during this time. While we were still both in the same house. I did it for my own sanity, and to remove myself from the equation almost completely. It was an excruciating time for me - you can read my posts from April through June/July if you want to see how painful it was - but I think it helped at least a little in resetting the scenario. It also helped me to see that i was definitely not the monster i was made out to be at BD.

She's blaming you right now because there is no one else to throw the blame on, U. You are the closest to the fire, so you're gonna get burned. A lot. That's the nature of this crisis. Plus she needs to justify her decisions to break up the MR. Its not rational or logical - it is 100 percent emotional. Otherwise there is nothing left to hang on to, and somewhere deep down she knows it.

Originally Posted by Unchien

You are right, she did not hide who she was. I have seen her make black-and-white decisions about other people in her life, cut them out, and assume the worst in people. I never thought I would be on the receiving end, but here we are. In hindsight it all makes some sort of weird sense.

I know I sound kind of bitter. We had an initial counseling session today about how to proceed next. It's clear she has stuck to her "UC is potentially violent and abusive" narrative and, well, that pretty much ends our chances of recon. DB techniques have helped me a ton, and have also helped me manage my MR to this point so that we aren't in court in a nasty contested battle. But recon is not something on the table. So I'm not sure I should continue to post in the newcomer forum.


Are attending these counseling sessions agreed upon by both of you? And if so, are they helping you at all? It's hard to sense from behind a keyboard but from here it seems like they aren't. Again, I might be misreading your sit, though

Soft 2x4 time - Recon is not something that happens that quickly. Not when your W is still in the anger phase.

It took my W from November 2018 to August 2019 before she started losing most of the anger. During that time she also had nightly panic attacks, extreme anxiety, and insomnia. Now she is in depression and withdrawal. There is a long way to go.

I cannot tell you what to do, as always, but if it were me, I might think about taking a breath and letting W be. That's what I have done. I have left my W alone - that's what she wanted, that's what I could do for her, so I did it. Plus it probably is not the best for you to keep getting these mini-BD's every time you have a session, at least in my opinion. I told my W I had had enough and I wasn't interested in going over my faults yet again when she tried to bring it up at another point a few weeks after BD. She stopped doing it.

Hang in there, man. Hope you keep posting here - I see lots of longtime vets still posting in newcomers, but if you decide to switch, let us know so we can follow you.

Take care, buddy.
Posted By: unchien

Re: Things are trending up... - 10/23/19 05:39 PM

Originally Posted by IronWill

Yes, that is also where my W was when I started DBing. It was all my fault. Nothing I did or didn't do would change anything and I was the worst person in the world, ever.

Not sure if I ever told you this, but I went nearly NC for two or three months during this time. While we were still both in the same house. I did it for my own sanity, and to remove myself from the equation almost completely. It was an excruciating time for me - you can read my posts from April through June/July if you want to see how painful it was - but I think it helped at least a little in resetting the scenario. It also helped me to see that i was definitely not the monster i was made out to be at BD.

She's blaming you right now because there is no one else to throw the blame on, U. You are the closest to the fire, so you're gonna get burned. A lot. That's the nature of this crisis. Plus she needs to justify her decisions to break up the MR. Its not rational or logical - it is 100 percent emotional. Otherwise there is nothing left to hang on to, and somewhere deep down she knows it.

You never told me about going NC. If we didn't have 3 kids, I would say we would be NC at this point. We barely text unless it's logistics about the kids or the upcoming mediation process.

My W has a strange stance right now. She seems to want us to all get along, but continue to act as if I am a scary, violent person not deserving of adequate parenting time with our kids. She has made overtures that I can join them on Halloween.

I should be clear that I have zero desire to reconcile right now, and primarily I am trying to forge an amicable relationship when we co-parent our children as divorced parents. Unfortunately, my desire to be amicable is getting in the way of me standing up for myself. I have allowed things to get to this point.

Going back to the main point, it is incredibly painful to be called "violent" and "abusive" when I don't believe I did anything anywhere near that extreme. From the woman I loved for 15 years. Having to feel like I'm being watched when I have time with the kids. Being judged. This goes way beyond realizing she fell out of love.

Originally Posted by IronWill

Are attending these counseling sessions agreed upon by both of you? And if so, are they helping you at all? It's hard to sense from behind a keyboard but from here it seems like they aren't. Again, I might be misreading your sit, though

I will continue to go as it helps with co-parenting and communication. As far as helping our relationship, they do not help at all.

Originally Posted by IronWill
Soft 2x4 time - Recon is not something that happens that quickly. Not when your W is still in the anger phase.

Recon is not under consideration by me at this point. The rope is dropped. I want to snap my fingers and have this divorce over with. I have seen how I can (and will) be happier on my own.

Originally Posted by IronWill
It took my W from November 2018 to August 2019 before she started losing most of the anger. During that time she also had nightly panic attacks, extreme anxiety, and insomnia. Now she is in depression and withdrawal. There is a long way to go.

I also think my W is going through a difficult phase of her life, and I am to blame for everything in her mind. It's too late at this point. Continuing to DB and be patient is causing me to suffer as a father and a person. My kids are suffering. I can't let this continue under the assumption if I wait long enough that she will come around.

Originally Posted by IronWill
I cannot tell you what to do, as always, but if it were me, I might think about taking a breath and letting W be. That's what I have done. I have left my W alone - that's what she wanted, that's what I could do for her, so I did it. Plus it probably is not the best for you to keep getting these mini-BD's every time you have a session, at least in my opinion. I told my W I had had enough and I wasn't interested in going over my faults yet again when she tried to bring it up at another point a few weeks after BD. She stopped doing it.

I get my kids 4 days every 2 weeks. The longer this goes, the more my kids drift away. I am paying for 2 households off my salary. I am called "violent" and "abusive." She has thrown these terms around cavalierly in counseling sessions where I could be reported to authorities if there was any substance to the allegations. She says she doesn't love me anymore. I will leave her alone from an emotional perspective, but I do need to change the situation. Some may suggest I move back into the marital home. I think I need to move on.

If I could snap my fingers and she would return to the loving, understanding woman I used to know, I would. It's not reality. It is a fantasy. Right now, the only change in her life has been that I left the home. I need to move on for my own sanity, and she needs to face reality as well. This means we need to move towards divorce. I see no other options. I have seen that I am a happier, more relaxed father by myself than when we lived together.

I can't stress enough how much the parenting element and fear of going to court and losing my kids plays into this situation.

Originally Posted by IronWill
Hang in there, man. Hope you keep posting here - I see lots of longtime vets still posting in newcomers, but if you decide to switch, let us know so we can follow you.

I will probably continue to post here as well, but keep it more on the feelings/emotions side of things. I anticipate having a lot of divorce/logistical questions, and I think it's best I go to the other board for those. For one, I may get more tailored advice. And secondly, I don't want newcomers feeling jaded reading my story.
Posted By: unchien

Re: Things are trending up... - 10/27/19 05:17 AM

Journal ~

Iím facing down the next phase of this process - mediation. I feel a need to push things along, as on all accounts (parenting time, finances) I expect to be better off. I know Iíll be okay. Things may get nasty. This upcoming process may be really brutal emotionally, and will take its toll, but in the end, things can only be better.

My W scares me. I just want a settlement in writing. At the moment I feel like I still give ground on little things, solely for the purpose of maintaining peace. Part of this is NGS rearing its head, part of it is fear of her reactions. Just last Monday she called me a ďviolent personĒ in counseling, to which the counselor corrected her and said maybe something UC did was violent. This mentality scares me. Her inability to rein in her emotions, even when we are in front of a counselor, does not make me feel confident in the mediation process.

But something deeper is eating away at me. Iím looking at my future. I know Iíll figure out the logistical stuff (clothes, food, school schedules) even if it does not come so easy for me now. I have improved during the separation.

Deeper down I am emotionally a mess. Iím not wallowing in it like maybe I would have a year ago. But itís there. I know I need to step away from any whiff of a romantic relationship for a long time. I need to reset my life, figure out what this all means, how I want to approach friendships, my estranged family relationships. What are my values? I will be handed controls to run my own life again. Itís exciting and scary at the same time.

What eats at me is that I still look back. I should be looking forward, 100%. But I turn my head and look over my shoulder. Itís not the hope of reconciliation (at least I think so). Itís looking back at how good life could have been if things had worked out. And not understanding what the he** just happened.

And at the same time, recognizing there is absolutely NO WAY I can go back. She accused me of abusing my children, of abusing her. In front of mandatory reporters. Several times. She continues with that thread. And then turns and acts upset if we arenít friendly to each other. The resentment has set in for me now. I see her being controlling, and manipulative, and putting her needs first, and not dealing with her own emotional baggage.

I know part of healing is going to involve standing up for myself and facing the hurricane-force winds when my W realizes how her life is about to get turned upside down. She is not going to have the life she expects to have. The only impact she has felt in this separation is missing every other weekend with the kids. I know the storm is coming. I know long-term even if I secure 50/50 custody there will be constant tug-of-wars, and she will constantly try to assert herself as the superior parent. I just have to feel secure that my kids love me and Iím doing the best I can.

I just feel really emotionally screwed up from all of this. My parents cut me off 3 years ago. Iím pretty sure I suffered CEN (Childhood Emotional Neglect) as a kid. I attached myself to a W who felt like the love of my life. I should have done something differently. Not to save the MR, but to avoid the protracted limbo standoff that turned into overblown worries that I was an unsafe person. Something is not right with my life decisions. Yes, I go to IC and work on all this stuff. I just wonder sometimes if Iím going to feel whole. I know now that is up to me and not another person.
Posted By: rooskers

Re: Things are trending up... - 10/27/19 04:37 PM

Quote
Deeper down I am emotionally a mess. Iím not wallowing in it like maybe I would have a year ago. But itís there. I know I need to step away from any whiff of a romantic relationship for a long time. I need to reset my life, figure out what this all means, how I want to approach friendships, my estranged family relationships.


Heck I don't even know if I trust myself anymore. I find myself questioning the motives of friends I have had for over 35 years. There is only one person in the world I love right now and that is my daughter. Know that you are not alone in this unchien. One step at a time, one step at a time.

Quote
What eats at me is that I still look back. I should be looking forward, 100%. But I turn my head and look over my shoulder. Itís not the hope of reconciliation (at least I think so). Itís looking back at how good life could have been if things had worked out. And not understanding what the he** just happened.


I can completely relate to this unchien and I think I have found a quote that explains it for me.

I'm not crying
Because of you;
You're not worth it.
I'm crying because
My delusion of who
Your were was
Shattered by the
Truth of who
You are.

Quote
And at the same time, recognizing there is absolutely NO WAY I can go back.


The first time my XW had an affair she accused me of raping her (I never ever did any such thing and she couldn't tell me when this supposed event happened). After we had gotten back together she brushed it aside and said she was just mad at me but I was never able to get that out of my mind. I never initiated sex with her again and always feared she would accuse me again. I take the blame in the relationship for never letting her know how much that hurt me and our intimacy. This time around it is the accusation of me being dangerous like yours. I feel false accusations like this means trust can never be reestablished and therefore a relationship would never be possible.

Quote
I know part of healing is going to involve standing up for myself and facing the hurricane-force winds when my W realizes how her life is about to get turned upside down.


All I can say is I am there and it rocks you to your core. I feel that as much as I loved my XW is as much as she wants me to hurt and I have no idea why.

Quote
I just wonder sometimes if Iím going to feel whole.


Know that you are not alone. Even though we have never met I care and believe in you. We will make it.
Posted By: DaB35

Re: Things are trending up... - 10/27/19 04:53 PM

U,

I'd like to echo what Rooksers has said above. It is normal to feel this and want to figure out things.

'Reset your life' is quite apt. Yes it is to an extent a forced reset but you have to believe that things will be good and better. Looking back is normal as well; I do it sometimes too. How you could have acted differently, and how things may have panned out. Hindsight is great but it's best not dwelt upon; just look ahead and be excited.
Posted By: unchien

Re: Things are trending up... - 10/28/19 06:48 PM

Thanks rooskers and DaB35 -

Clearly I need to continue in IC to explore my fear. I am afraid of my W, and feel like I need to sort out these issues. I feel controlled and manipulated. It's going to take me awhile. I also need to figure out how to manage this relationship with her for the rest of my life, because we have kids together.

The false (or overblown) accusations have really worn me down at this point. Traumatized is a strong word, but I do feel burned very badly and worry that I will develop serious trust issues. The people who were supposed to be there for me in my life (my parents, my W) have more or less abandoned me. I know that it is more about them than me, but it's not that easy to brush it off.

And rooskers to your point... I'm not sure I trust myself anymore. In little situations... do I stand up for myself, let it go? What am I communicating to another person by how I respond? It's all overwhelming and exhausting sometimes.
Posted By: unchien

Re: Things are trending up... - 10/31/19 05:35 AM

Journal ~

Something that's been bothering me is why I sometimes feel strong emotions when my W does or says things. Little jabs that I feel a need to defend.

At first I thought, well, this is a 15 year relationship. But I think I've accepted the fact our MR is over. I'm not hoping for reconciliation.

Then I thought, this is my desire to seek approval, NMMNG style. Even though this person has more or less abandoned me emotionally for the past 2 years, labeled me with some awful terms, and taken zero responsibility for her contributions to the failure of our MR, I still feel like she has this power.

But I think it's actually a desire to avoid disapproval. I am learning to build confidence in my choices, but it is something that doesn't come naturally to me, not from the way I was raised by my parents, and not from how things went in my MR (and I take responsibility for my part in that).

So my Aha insight, I hope, is, well, why should I care what my W thinks about my choices? Why does her opinion carry more weight than my own?

My fear of a custody battle does influence this as well. But I do still feel the need to defend sometimes, when really I just need to shrug it off, do what I think is best according to my values, and let her deal with her own choices and emotions.

This feels like part of my healing process... learning to make my own choices confidently, regardless of what other people think. If I don't work on that, I'll end up in a relationship down the road and slide right into the passive NMMNG role again.
Posted By: IronWill

Re: Things are trending up... - 11/01/19 02:50 AM

Originally Posted by unchien
Journal ~

Something that's been bothering me is why I sometimes feel strong emotions when my W does or says things. Little jabs that I feel a need to defend.

At first I thought, well, this is a 15 year relationship. But I think I've accepted the fact our MR is over. I'm not hoping for reconciliation.

I think you answered your own question here.

As far as whether we've all dropped the rope fully - well then we wouldn't be on a forum called "Divorce Busting", would we? laugh

Have you read Manly Marriage Revival? I think it's a great secondary/companion read to DB - and more importantly it distinguishes some subtle differences between "alphas" and "leaders". Just a suggestion smile
Originally Posted by Unchien
Even though this person has more or less abandoned me emotionally for the past 2 years, labeled me with some awful terms, and taken zero responsibility for her contributions to the failure of our MR, I still feel like she has this power.

Re-read what you wrote here, U - and I think you'll start to get at the crux of what is bothering you.

Why do you feel your W emotionally abandoned you?
What did she do?
How did you react to what she did?
What life-changing or significant events happened during those 2-plus years on her end that caused her to view you differently from what she saw you as before?
How did you respond to those significant events?

Put yourself in her shoes, try to see yourself as she saw you during that time. I'm not talking about the hyper-sensitive reactions/interactions during that one incident near BD, or the letters or that kind of thing, but previously to that. List it out if it helps - doesn't even have to be here if you're worried about anonymity. Write it all down on paper if you like - every single little thing it could have been. I did it - it may help you too.

Originally Posted by Unchien

So my Aha insight, I hope, is, well, why should I care what my W thinks about my choices? Why does her opinion carry more weight than my own?

Because deep down (somewhere on some level) you still do want this to work out. Just like I (deep down) want mine to work out.
But we can't say that or think that because we both have to be prepared for any possible outcome. Spending too much time thinking about R would be for naught if it did not end up working out. So we keep ourselves occupied and protected - as we should.

Originally Posted by Unchien

My fear of a custody battle does influence this as well. But I do still feel the need to defend sometimes, when really I just need to shrug it off, do what I think is best according to my values, and let her deal with her own choices and emotions.

I probably shouldn't say anything here because I don't have kids. But i do have a ton of experience with fighting divorcing parents. So I'll keep it brief. Prioritize the needs and emotional well being of your kids when it comes to custody. That's all that matters.

You are a smart guy, U. You know as well as I do that the future isn't written in stone. None of my future predictions over the past 14 months has come 100 percent true. I would suspect yours have not either.

This is so tough but you're getting a lot stronger and you're thinking critically. Good to see you working on yourself and using the gift of time.

Take care man - stay strong smile
Posted By: unchien

Re: Things are trending up... - 11/04/19 06:54 PM

Originally Posted by IronWill

As far as whether we've all dropped the rope fully - well then we wouldn't be on a forum called "Divorce Busting", would we? laugh

I came here hoping to bust my D.

I've stayed because I am becoming a happier and healthier person.

I'm not going to insist I've dropped the rope -- it certainly feels like I have, but every once in awhile the rope is tested and it isn't completely slack. I do feel like I'm thinking more clearly about making life decisions in my best interest (and that of my kids).

Originally Posted by IronWill
Have you read Manly Marriage Revival? I think it's a great secondary/companion read to DB - and more importantly it distinguishes some subtle differences between "alphas" and "leaders". Just a suggestion smile

Thanks for the recommendation... I like the idea of distinguishing "alphas" and "leaders"

Originally Posted by IronWill
Originally Posted by Unchien
Even though this person has more or less abandoned me emotionally for the past 2 years, labeled me with some awful terms, and taken zero responsibility for her contributions to the failure of our MR, I still feel like she has this power.

Re-read what you wrote here, U - and I think you'll start to get at the crux of what is bothering you.

Why do you feel your W emotionally abandoned you?
What did she do?
How did you react to what she did?
What life-changing or significant events happened during those 2-plus years on her end that caused her to view you differently from what she saw you as before?
How did you respond to those significant events?

Put yourself in her shoes, try to see yourself as she saw you during that time. I'm not talking about the hyper-sensitive reactions/interactions during that one incident near BD, or the letters or that kind of thing, but previously to that. List it out if it helps - doesn't even have to be here if you're worried about anonymity. Write it all down on paper if you like - every single little thing it could have been. I did it - it may help you too.

This gets so complicated.

It's easy to think myself into a pretzel, or to start assigning fault. The fact is, I contributed to the failure, and so did she. I've talked about the disruptive move we made 2+ years ago, and how we both struggled to handle it. It ripped our MR apart. Had we not moved, maybe we would still be together, but all those subtle sub-surface issues would still be there. I don't look back anymore and think how great things were. I think about the little red flags. Maybe it's my way of moving on. Maybe it's the only way I *can* move on.

I don't think my W has asked how I'm doing and asked a follow-up question since we moved. That's what I mean by emotional abandonment. No interest in my inner world. Little to no interest in spending time together. Of course I contributed, but also... we moved, and she was depressed (she admitted that to me), and her way of handling this was to shut down and slowly build up resentment. We can't undo the past.

I know that I invested way too much time and energy trying to "fix" things. Trying to please her, tiptoeing around, never feeling good enough. What should I have done? I could have been a stronger person.

She likely feels like she did the best she could too. I'm sure she feels moving was an enormous show of support for our MR. But that's not how relationships work. They take constant attention and care, and appreciating the other person.

So many little things along the way. I would buy her flowers and she would complain I didn't tell her I was stopping at the store. I would watch the kids whenever she wanted to go away for the weekend. I would do the laundry and she would complain that I didn't put everything back how she wanted. Nobody is perfect. She resented me. I can see it now. How could I have fixed it? Maybe with extreme self-improvement. Or maybe she just really didn't want to move.

IDK... trying to ascribe reasons for our failing MR's feels pointless after awhile. Of course I could be a better person, and work on self-improvement, and try to win her back. But at the end of the day, perhaps things were never meant to work out. What attracted us to each other in our 20's and 30's did not sustain. We have 3 kids. Goals change. It's okay that things didn't work out. I've spent years confusing "love" with "trying to please my W" and the fact is the love part disappeared awhile ago. It's okay. The woman I loved is gone. She's still a good person, and a good mother, but I think I can forge a happier life as a single dad. I'm looking forward to it. Her goals in life are not mine, and I've set aside my own goals for far too long.

or maybe these are all messages my brain is creating in order to cope with it all.

See what I mean about the pretzel?

Originally Posted by IronWill
Originally Posted by Unchien

So my Aha insight, I hope, is, well, why should I care what my W thinks about my choices? Why does her opinion carry more weight than my own?

Because deep down (somewhere on some level) you still do want this to work out. Just like I (deep down) want mine to work out.
But we can't say that or think that because we both have to be prepared for any possible outcome. Spending too much time thinking about R would be for naught if it did not end up working out. So we keep ourselves occupied and protected - as we should.

Actually I think one of my big NGS flaws was to think the opinion of my W mattered more than my own. And women in general sometimes. And I am still recovering.

Thank you for the feedback. You are constantly challenging me and getting me out of my patterns and grooves -- which is what this is all about =)
Posted By: unchien

Re: Things are trending up... - 11/04/19 09:29 PM

Journal ~

A few random notes about interactions with W over the last week...

For Halloween I went over to trick or treat with the kids and W at the house (remote area, with about 100 houses in a community). I had a great time with the kids, and there was zero awkwardness with W (meaning, we were in full parenting mode, no R talk). I'm glad I went to enjoy the night with the kids.

W dropped them off the next night at my house for the weekend. She was telling me about S7 having some behavioral problems during the week, but almost lecturing him within earshot so we are all "on the same page." I wanted to say "I think it would be best that you and I discuss this privately first." I didn't. W was riled up as she was talking and I wanted to end it quickly. Strangely, she gave me a tight hug when she left (I sort of half-hugged back). It's something she's been doing a few times recently.

I had been trying to organize some dinner time with the kids in the next week (this is one of my long 10 day gaps), which W had agreed to long before. I think I asked 4-5 times over text in the past 2 weeks to confirm a date. Yesterday morning, before W came to pick up the kids, I said, "Can you please confirm which of these options works for you? I feel it is unfair to me and the kids to leave the schedule up in the air until the last minute." W responded with a date, I said "Great." When she came to pick up the kids, she said, "Oh by the way that wasn't intentional or personal I've just been very busy." This coming from her is a major improvement.

I also texted her to say I would like to reach out to mediators. She said "OK" and did not seem emotionally reactive. It's time to get the ball rolling. The status quo does not work for me.

Anyhow, this post violates DB rules because it focuses heavily on W... I notice a general thawing in her attitude. I'll leave it at that and not speculate as to the cause, because of course it could be anything. It's noticeable enough that I know it is intentional on her part. I imagine things are going to get worse during mediation. That's okay. I'm trying to get my mindset straight --I know my needs, and although I'm willing to negotiate I will not give way just to be nice and pleasant.

We also have a couple birthdays for the kids plus Xmas coming up, and planning to talk about how to handle gift-giving, etc. given that we are not financially separated right now.

For me: I bought some home gym equipment in September and finally kicked my workout into gear at home. I'm feeling great physically and looking great. Work is picking up and I feel more productive. I've been cooking a lot when I have the kids. Last week I went to a live concert for the first time in a long time. I love when I have the kids -- they do complain about having two houses, and ask frequently when I am moving back. Mostly I think I'm doing the best I can, trying harder than ever to focus on the present and let go of both the past and the future to a degree. Control what I can control. I could probably do a better job seeking social opportunities in my free time.
Posted By: DS9

Re: Things are trending up... - 11/05/19 04:19 AM

Originally Posted by unchien
Journal ~

I imagine things are going to get worse during mediation. That's okay. I'm trying to get my mindset straight --I know my needs, and although I'm willing to negotiate I will not give way just to be nice and pleasant.



Hey U (the rock steady crew - sorry mate)

Sorry to hear things are a little up and down for your mate.

Just wondering if a shuttle mediation might be worth a look into? Basically you and XW in different rooms, with the mediator shuttling between you both.
Posted By: unchien

Re: Things are trending up... - 11/05/19 04:58 PM

DS -

I have never heard of shuttle mediation - I have to admit it made me chuckle a little bit picturing the scenario:

"She said what?! Well you go back in there and tell her this!"

I have a very dark sense of humor sometimes =)
Posted By: unchien

Re: Things are trending up... - 11/05/19 05:12 PM

Journal ~

Last night W and I had a phone call to discuss some logistics about kids' birthdays and the upcoming holidays. It's our first Xmas apart so we are working out the details, but everything is okay. We talked a bit about scheduling mediation soon as well.

The most interesting part of the conversation was my W started talking about how her family was doing. I was validating, not all that different from the pre-BD days when we lived together but I knew she was considering D. I asked about her grandmother, whose health is failing. She talked for about 10 minutes about it. She shared that her parents are judging her a bit, and that she hasn't shared many details with her family about what is going on with us. I had a brief "Hmmm that's curious" moment and that's all. Maybe what she meant is she hasn't gone telling her family the things she has said to me directly. The accusations. It seemed like she really wanted me to know that. I just continued validating, and said I hoped her family was doing well.

I thought it was exceptionally strange that she shares very little with her family, but that's for her to decide. It was also strange how much she was telling me. She said "My family still cares about you a lot" and I said "Thank you for sharing that." I could swear she thought in her mind that I really needed to hear this, that I would be struggling with worrying that her family hates me. I guess that's probably some projection on her part, because she did ask if I had told my family anything. I do care about her family, and love her dad and brother in particular, but they are going to be my ex-in-law's, and other than seeing them at some random functions like graduations that is that.

I'm thankful that things aren't so tense at the moment. I can see a future where we co-parent amicably. I expect things will worsen when we do start mediation, because I am going to ask for what is fair, and W will think those asks are unfair. Perhaps I will be pleasantly surprised. But I am absolutely going to be prepared.
Posted By: kas99

Re: Things are trending up... - 11/05/19 07:50 PM

Originally Posted by unchien
DS -

I have never heard of shuttle mediation - I have to admit it made me chuckle a little bit picturing the scenario:

"She said what?! Well you go back in there and tell her this!"

I have a very dark sense of humor sometimes =)


My best friend got divorced this way. Took all day with the back and forth but she never had to see her ex. I'm 100% NC so if I end up here this is how I'd want to do it.
Posted By: DS9

Re: Things are trending up... - 11/05/19 10:41 PM

Originally Posted by unchien
DS -

I have never heard of shuttle mediation - I have to admit it made me chuckle a little bit picturing the scenario:

"She said what?! Well you go back in there and tell her this!"

I have a very dark sense of humor sometimes =)


Hey U,

Shuttle mediation is quite well regarded here in Aus for Family Law stuff. It assists the parties in removing the tension and opportunites to inflame things when one party is prone to aggressive tactics or there's a power imbalance.

When I say mediation though, I mean the negotiation type where the parties are trying to hammer out a deal for property or parenting. Not 100% sure what mediation encompasses in the USA - could be different.

Best of luck mate!
Posted By: IronWill

Re: Things are trending up... - 11/06/19 12:32 PM

Originally Posted by unchien
She shared that her parents are judging her a bit, and that she hasn't shared many details with her family about what is going on with us. I had a brief "Hmmm that's curious" moment and that's all. Maybe what she meant is she hasn't gone telling her family the things she has said to me directly. The accusations. It seemed like she really wanted me to know that.


This is very similar to my sit, U. My W still wants me involved in events with her family, and her family wants all that too. Last year they said I will always be family. It's true if I want it to be true - I've known all of them for 21 years and I've seen no indication that they feel otherwise.

It's so strange when you pull back, really far back, and WASs start to question themselves, to see that it was not all you that is causing the problems. The timescale on this is soooo long, I think you're beginning to see the scope of it now.
Quote

I thought it was exceptionally strange that she shares very little with her family, but that's for her to decide. It was also strange how much she was telling me. She said "My family still cares about you a lot" and I said "Thank you for sharing that." I could swear she thought in her mind that I really needed to hear this, that I would be struggling with worrying that her family hates me. I guess that's probably some projection on her part, because she did ask if I had told my family anything. I do care about her family, and love her dad and brother in particular, but they are going to be my ex-in-law's, and other than seeing them at some random functions like graduations that is that.


Facing their own truth can be daunting. My W had to do that too and her family is against her decision.

As far as our MR is concerned, I stopped talking to Ws family about it 10 months ago when I decided I still wanted them in my life. I came up with some neutral sounding language that deflects most of the questions they have.

If you like them and you still want them in your life, that is up to you. Yeah, it will be weird at first, but that does pass. My SIL and BIL are some of my best friends. It has been 14 months and even though it is different now, they are still close. I'm not willing to lose them (or my nephews) over this and they want to keep me in their lives just as much.

Quote

I'm thankful that things aren't so tense at the moment. I can see a future where we co-parent amicably. I expect things will worsen when we do start mediation, because I am going to ask for what is fair, and W will think those asks are unfair. Perhaps I will be pleasantly surprised. But I am absolutely going to be prepared.


It is always good to be prepared, U. But we cannot predict the future. Maybe mediation is awful, maybe it goes smoothly. You control how it goes for you. W controls how it goes for her.

So glad to hear things have calmed down for you -

Keep yourself as steady as you can - you can do this, man smile
Posted By: unchien

Re: Things are trending up... - 11/11/19 06:05 PM

Journal ~

I picked up some mediation books from the library last week and am feeling completely overwhelmed the last few days. There are so many details to consider. Many of them probably don't matter. There are only a few things that really matter -- having a solid foundation with my kids, and a fair financial settlement. One thing I notice these books stress is that fighting tooth and nail for everything you think is fair is not wise as one will end up spending a ton of money chasing marginal returns. And to always focus on what's best for your kids, not what's best for you (or your WAS if you tend towards conflict avoidance as I do).

Mediation may not end up working for us, but I'm feeling like it's really important for my own self-growth that we try it this way. I certainly feel like my positions are valid and fair, and I also am willing to negotiate and work together to find something that works for both of us. I have to be really careful not to cave on issues with the kids.

What I should really do is make sure to have legal counsel available before starting mediation (to make sure I don't agree to something I shouldn't).

I've learned from DB (and IC, and podcasts, and reading, and personal growth) that these stress cycles happen for me and the more I react with aversion the more they persist. It's just going to last a few days. Breathe, meditate when possible. Focus on "the next thing." There is so much uncertainty in life, but I am certain that once we come to an agreement on a settlement my life will feel much more centered.

I'm also realizing that I have always let my worries dictate my life. Before my MR difficulties, it was issues with my parents. Or work stress. It's a wake-up call to enjoy the day, enjoy the moment. I'm trying. I'm not great at it, but I'm getting better. Even today I should enjoy my Monday, and not be so worried about mediation. It's going to be there tomorrow. It's time to define the rest of my life - how I want to live it, the changes I want to make. Nobody can completely overhaul themselves. But I certainly have an opportunity to get out of "marriage auto-pilot" mode and start making decisions for myself again.

I'm having a lot of trouble sleeping. Waking up a lot during the night, having dreams about the separation, MR problems, issues with my parents. The kind of dreams that bother you long after you woke up. This has been going on for about 2 weeks now. I'm exercising a lot more to try to exhaust myself, but it's not enough to counter the stress.
Posted By: rooskers

Re: Things are trending up... - 11/12/19 04:55 AM

Quote
I'm also realizing that I have always let my worries dictate my life. Before my MR difficulties, it was issues with my parents. Or work stress. It's a wake-up call to enjoy the day, enjoy the moment. I'm trying. I'm not great at it, but I'm getting better.


That is one of the things I find so difficult. It was so nice to come home and have someone I believed loved me unconditionally to share with. I never wanted the person to fix anything it was just nice to have someone to talk with after a rough day. Learning to do that alone is one of my biggest challenges.

Quote
I'm having a lot of trouble sleeping. Waking up a lot during the night, having dreams about the separation, MR problems, issues with my parents. The kind of dreams that bother you long after you woke up.


It is almost 6 months since BD and 4 months since divorce and all of a sudden the nightmares have returned. I hope they will end for you because I know how exhausting it can be.
Posted By: unchien

Re: Things are trending up... - 11/12/19 06:38 AM

Thanks rooskers. I feel like I went over a year while living together where I wasn't getting much support. When we did talk during that year, it was mostly one-sided and my W rarely asked about me. Since about April I've reached out to friends who have been extremely supportive. It's a complete change of lifestyle now that I moved out, as I come home to an empty house now, but better than the pre-BD days where I felt essentially no support. And I'm much more capable of dealing with my emotions on my own.

The nightmares come and go. Lately I'm sure it's because my mind is on the upcoming mediation process. which leads to a lot of problem-solving obsessive thinking. But the dreams really throw me for a loop. Dreams of verbal fights, of my W with an OM, of being estranged from my kids, of my W taking me to court. Sometimes good dreams, about the good times we had. One big emotional spaghetti mess, and rather than try to sort it out I'm just trying to accept that it is there and push through it best as I can.
Posted By: KristinG

Re: Things are trending up... - 11/13/19 11:13 PM

Hey U,

I got caught up on your whole thread. Wow - have you been through the ringer. I don't have any children and thank goodness we don't have much in the way of divided assets should it come to D. However, I do think that protecting yourself is the best course of action no matter the outcome. I hope that mediation goes well for you and that you are able to control your responses. Remind yourself not to react, but rather listen and respond with dignity and integrity. If a subject is too stressful, or you find yourself getting worked up, table it for now!

I have had the horrible dreams on and off as well. They blow. One thing that sometimes will help me fall into a restful sleep is to focus on my task list for the following day. As I lay in bed, I envision each thing that I want to accomplish tomorrow. It may or may not be your thing.

Good luck & lots of hugs!
Posted By: IHCLACS

Re: Things are trending up... - 11/14/19 04:02 AM

As I lay in bed at night. I imagine a horse head in my XW's. Gets me through the day... Lol
Posted By: unchien

Re: Things are trending up... - 11/14/19 03:19 PM

KG and IHC - Thanks for the support. I have no problem falling asleep, but the nightmares, followed by waking up in the middle of the night, make sleep unenjoyable. For mediation, the challenge I foresee is that I will obviously get worked up about many things, but I'd like to conduct myself with dignity and respect and stay focused.

I am looking for some advice here. W and I go to our co-parenting coach soon. We've been going about once a month. My agenda this time was going to be to kick start mediation. Of course we could do that without this coach, but my W seems so poorly informed about this process that I think it is wise to start things in front of this 3rd party. For instance, I think we should discuss hiring legal advisors ahead of time, because that is something I plan to do.

However, there was a recent situation this week which has me feeling perhaps we should stop going to co-parenting coaching. My W signed my kids up for an after-school activity and didn't tell me. I received notification from the school via e-mail a week ago. I e-mailed my W and asked her about it, and she ignored it. Finally I texted her, and her responses concerned me.

1. She said since it wasn't affecting my parenting time, she didn't think I would care. (Rather than talk about it first...)

2. She said she would be okay if I did something like that on my parenting time. This is simply false -- recall when the kids are with me, she still requests I let her know what we are doing and where we go... in order to rebuilt trust. This is something I think I need to stop, and is one of the reasons I believe co-parenting coaching is failing. The coach says that our little improvements in trust make it worthwhile -- after 5 months, I am thinking it is time to stop. I do want to make sure I do what's best for the kids however, which is why I hesitate. Just because she has issues doesn't mean I should give up if I think long-term that being better parents together will help them.

3. She said she was too busy to inform me, gave several excuses, and only then apologized in a half-hearted way that left me feeling she was not truly apologizing ("Forgive me, I'm sorry, this won't happen again").

4. She asked if I wanted her to cancel - I said that was not my point, and she wasn't hearing what I was saying.

5. She asked if I wanted a copy of the receipt - I said that was not my point, and she wasn't hearing what I was saying.

I'm happy that I stood up for myself, and did it in a respectful way. The episode left me feeling that we badly need a detailed parenting plan.

But even moreso... I feel like my W does not see us as equal parents. It is the one thing that bothers me most. I know that I need the parenting plan to protect myself. But I also feel that co-parenting coaching is not going to work with her attitude.

These are not things I would say in counseling, but things I wish I could say:

1. You never bother to try to understand what I am saying.

2. You do not respect me as the father of our children.

3. You assume because I work FT, and because we had a FT-SAHM relationship for 2 years, that things will continue in this way and I will always defer to you for parenting decisions.

These are things I am considering saying in counseling, and don't know whether I should:

- I would like to stop co-parenting coaching for awhile.
- I do not see any improvement in our communication.
- I am not happy with our existing parenting arrangement. The timesharing, you asking me to update you with what I am doing with the kids, and several other things.
- In 5 months, you have said your trust in me being safe with the kids has changed from 0 to 10%. I don't believe continuing to come to coaching is going to change that number. I believe it will only change with time, and not through co-parenting sessions, and is not something I can help you with at this point.
- I want to start mediation ASAP.

Advice is welcome.
Posted By: rooskers

Re: Things are trending up... - 11/14/19 07:48 PM

Quote
But even moreso... I feel like my W does not see us as equal parents.


This is why I don't understand co-parenting. She doesn't see you as an equal or worthy of anything right now or you would not be here! Look at the list Sandi says W feels about husband. Your wife has zero I mean zero respect for you so how in the world would you be able to co-parent? I have heard it working in a few cases, but usually that is when the divorce is wanted by both individuals and trust/respect still given.

Examples from my life:

-XW takes D13 to therapist without informing me and then when I email about it she makes up excuses why she didn't tell me even though it is written in our divorce decree she has to tell me. Why does she do this because I don't matter.

-XW demands I heal her relationship between D13 and her. Why because I must be at fault for why it is bad not her actions.

-XW bad mouths me when talking to other people in front of D13. Why because in her eyes I am worthless and she has no respect for me.

-XW buys D13 gifts all the time. Why because the true way to a persons heart is through money.

-XW lies to D13. Why because it is justified if it brings D13 closer to her and hurts me.


Unchien my advice to you is to look hard at what kind of dad you want to be, what role you want to play in your children's lives, what morals and values you would like to instill in your children, and finally get a lawyer and fight to make sure you have that right. If you become the dad you would like to be and DB from wife then the hope is one day W realizes that you did what you needed to do to become an amazing person and father all of which has nothing to do with her. You may need to look into parallel parenting.
Posted By: kas99

Re: Things are trending up... - 11/14/19 08:39 PM

Quote
You may need to look into parallel parenting.


This.

WAH buys the kids gifts all the time as well. Has turned one kid against me. Tries to get another to leave me. Also demands I fix the relationship with D17 yet he's the one who has done SO much unnecessary damage after he left.
Posted By: unchien

Re: Things are trending up... - 11/16/19 06:14 AM

Really really rough day...

W and I went to counseling, co-parenting coaching, Iím not even sure what to call it at this point, today.

My intent was to be clear that I wanted to move forward with mediation quickly because our current situation was not working for me. I made this very clear, so mission accomplished here.

The session started off with my W mentioning behavioral issues with S7. We had talked on the phone about this about 2 weeks ago, and I brought up that maybe he should see a counselor. Itís unclear if his issues are related to our S, but he does have trouble expressing his feelings and has been acting out. We agreed about him maybe seeing a counselor.

My W brought it up today in counseling, describing the behavior she sees. And then she said:

ďI donít know if maybe this is related to the things his Dad has done since S was 4.Ē I was stunned. She jumped right to speculating that my sonís behavioral issues were my fault.

The counselor said: ďLetís not jump to the Why.Ē

I said, ďOr maybe he misses his Dad because he goes 10 day stretches without him. Maybe heís confused why his Dad moved out and he doesnít see him very often.Ē

My emotions were a mess all day. I feel like itís time to push this D through. I feel like co-parenting coaching is a waste of effort, because my W does not respect me as a parent and continues to raise overblown allegations. Iím tired of being afraid, tired of trying to earn trust, tired of trying to work on communication with her. Iím a good dad. I donít need her approval anymore. Iím tired of working with a controlling person.

One of her favorite sayings is ďI want us to be on the same page.Ē My feeling is she wants to write the words and I have to read them.

I picked up my kids tonight and they are so amazing. I canít wait to spend time with them this weekend. Everything feels better when I just have that time after these long stretches. I saw them for 2 dinners in the meantime, but thereís nothing like having them over for overnights and extended time.

Iím starting to be leery about posting here because I donít want to sound like a disgruntled vet whose MR didnít work out. I donít know if my situation belongs here. This was a toxic situation from the start when I came here to the forums, and I didnít recognize it. In retrospect, I never had a chance of saving this MR, and itís time to hit escape and save myself. But.... the skills I have learned here have helped me immensely. Focusing on PMA/GAL, self-improvement, and better listening skills and validation (when appropriate!) have made a huge difference in my ability to handle what comes my way. Iím still in a high state of panic and fear of what my W may do or say, but I know that I can handle whatever comes my way. Iím not going to die. Iím going to be happier. Iím going to get through this and come out much much happier.
Posted By: Jdevast

Re: Things are trending up... - 11/16/19 12:34 PM

Hang in there man.
You're doing good,
Focusing on the parenting is the right thing to do even with all the turmoil we feel about our MR bubbling underneath

My wife is exactly the same, still wants to dictate everything regarding parenting, perceives herself as the lead parent and that Dad needs to be constantly guided in how to parent.

It's infuriating
Posted By: LH19

Re: Things are trending up... - 11/16/19 02:06 PM

U,

The majority of the success stories are about people who come here lost and broken and leave here with new and improved relationship skills, health and purpose. You've come a long way in 8 months and I can tell with you the self improvement will never stop.

If you can ever get your anxiety in check there is no doubt you will lead an amazing life.
Posted By: IHCLACS

Re: Things are trending up... - 11/16/19 05:14 PM

Ill comment more here later. Uni? Why take the bait, and play into the blame shame game with S7 behavior that XW's narrative is leading and controlling with counciling. That's not to say she doesn't have feelings. Ask... Paraphrase..."What have I done since S7 was 4" Ask a question with a question. Acknowledge it, don't defend it, and semi validate her feeling on it. Nod your head and smile... Say ok if that's how you feel. The councelors is right. The why is only somewhat important. Mention you're lack of time with the kids. That you won't be controled,that the kids are not pawns to XW feelings, and that the victim narrative needs to stop. If it doesn't stop during counciling, and solutions to the problems are not reccomended, suggested, and negotiated in a reasonable fashion, that you will get up, leave the room and leave counciling all together if the two of you cannot find a middle ground. You have 3 choices. You can parent them you're way. You can parent them her way, or you can work together to parent them collaboratively. REMIND XW THAT THIS IS NOT ABOUT HER OR YOU!!! This is about what is the best possible outcome and direction for the kids. The both of you can do this the hard way, or do it the collaborative way. Its up to her since she is the one crying victim.
Posted By: IronWill

Re: Things are trending up... - 11/16/19 05:18 PM

Hey U -

I just got a chance to read through your recent posts. You are doing well, man - keep doing what you are doing, focusing on yourself and your kids.

If I had one piece of advice, it would be to keep posting here. It is obviously helping you very much, even through the really down days.

Much like all of these situations, life is not lived on an even keel. It is all about peaks and troughs.

One other thing - when I am presented with challenging situations that I don't seem to have an answer to, I stop, breathe, re-focus, and then I ask myself this question:

"What am I supposed to be learning from this?"

I find it helps.

Stay strong, man smile
Posted By: unchien

Re: Things are trending up... - 11/17/19 07:01 AM

As with most things, a little time makes a big difference. I'm letting things settle in my mind while I enjoy the weekend with the kids

Somehow the four responses to my post yesterday, as different as they are, have really helped me clarify some things.
Sometimes my response to these posts goes off in a completely different direction. It is part of the magic of this forum and I thank everyone who reads and posts.

Originally Posted by Jdevast

Focusing on the parenting is the right thing to do even with all the turmoil we feel about our MR bubbling underneath

Absolutely. As soon as I picked up my kids yesterday, I felt so much better. Things are going to be okay.

Originally Posted by LH19
U,

The majority of the success stories are about people who come here lost and broken and leave here with new and improved relationship skills, health and purpose. You've come a long way in 8 months and I can tell with you the self improvement will never stop.

If you can ever get your anxiety in check there is no doubt you will lead an amazing life.

LH - Good to hear from you! I always appreciate the wisdom you provide. You have an amazing ability to distill your thoughts into a few well-chosen words.

You hit the nail on the head with anxiety.

Originally Posted by IHCLACS
Why take the bait, and play into the blame shame game with S7 behavior that XW's narrative is leading and controlling with counciling.

IHC - More thoughts on this below...

Originally Posted by IronWill
If I had one piece of advice, it would be to keep posting here. It is obviously helping you very much, even through the really down days.

Much like all of these situations, life is not lived on an even keel. It is all about peaks and troughs.

One other thing - when I am presented with challenging situations that I don't seem to have an answer to, I stop, breathe, re-focus, and then I ask myself this question:

"What am I supposed to be learning from this?"

I find it helps.

Stay strong, man smile

Thanks IW.

So... what am I supposed to be learning from this?

One problem is all along I've been hoping that during the 5 months of co-parenting sessions, things would calm down, we would start to work together, and at least make this separation more tolerable to give the time and space necessary for things to possibly trend towards R. That was a false path to pursue. I thought these sessions might eventually trend towards MC. That has not happened.

In the meantime, I have a custody and financial situation that is worse than a worst-case divorce settlement.

The only sensible path forward is to proceed with D. The remote chance of R is one several years down the road. I am not holding my breath, but it's the only way forward.

We've agreed to mediation. We also continue to go to the co-parenting coach, although I am going to stop pressing for that.

My thoughts:

1. Mediation is where I need to stand up for myself. Co-parenting sessions are an opportunity to validate. They are not the same thing. I need to differentiate that in my head.

2. I am undecided on whether to continue with the co-parenting sessions. On the one hand, it may be the best path forward towards us co-parenting in a more peaceful way. On the other hand, trying to accomplish that during a D process may be extremely challenging, especially with my W bringing up allegations every session. Perhaps it would be more effective after we reach a settlement agreement.

3. I do *not* need to let the co-parenting session discussions trigger my fears about how the D process will go. I am choosing to take the bait.

4. I am choosing to worry about a D process when, no matter what happens, I cannot end up with a worse situation than I have now. I may not get what I think is fair or what I want, but I will be happier.

I have to get a little GAL update in... I hit 2 personal bests lifting in my garage last week. I'm in the best shape of my life, feeling great physically, feeling exhausted at night when I'm done.
Posted By: unchien

Re: Things are trending up... - 11/18/19 05:43 AM

One thing I've learned on my self-improvement journey is to check my thinking: Is this a useful thought?

Sometimes a thought can be useful, but not at the time I am thinking it (for instance, if I am off worried about my situation rather than enjoying time with my kids).

Other times the thought itself is inherently not useful.

In general, I am trying to anchor myself to useful thoughts, to help myself from spiraling into anxiety. Anxiety for me is nothing more than thinking about something other than what's right in front of me. It can be debilitating. It can prevent enjoying the little things in life. I've improved a ton in the last 8 months, but I have so much longer to go:

Some anchor thoughts for me that help:

1. My W is not D'ing me because of her allegations.

- The allegations are noise. The more I react to the noise, the more it controls me.
- Changing my W's mind about the allegations would not change our MR, or even our "DR" (Divorced Relationship).
- Hence, ignore them.

2. Just as it will be hard for me to reconstruct a new life, it will be so for my W also. We both will have it hard in different ways.

- I distanced myself from family and friends during our M. I made her family/friends mine. They are all gone now. This is hard for me, accepting that not only am I losing relationships, but some of these people may think awful things of me because of my W's allegations.
- My W is not prepared for the lifestyle change she will experience. This will be very hard for her.

3. I need to err on the side of self-preservation. My W is not my life partner anymore.

- I should assume for now if it's not in writing, things will slide. I see a lot of little oopsies happening that cannot all be accidental.
- I should expect my boundaries to be tested, repeatedly.

I am VERY focused on getting through the mediation step. I can't wait to parent without feeling watched all the time. I can't wait to have the freedom to make my own financial decisions. I don't care if I'm struggling financially, or juggling work and kids. I know it will be hard. Bring it on.

My last thought: I've spent countless hours on DB forums the last 8 months. The path to R is different for every one of us. Many don't get the chance to R and move on, but learn the skills to be happier people and to live more fulfilling lives.

I don't think I have a realistic path anymore to R. Whatever path I had was lost long before I found DB forums, maybe years before.

I am still the lighthouse. I am also pressing to D.

This happens to many of us. It is confusing. Why have I found strength from a divorce busting website to proceed with divorce?! Sometimes I feel like moving towards D is an admission of defeat.

But it's not... it is just another step on the road of life. D is a signpost. A significant one, but it doesn't prevent you from taking a detour or turning back.

I've decided to stop defining my life by my MR. It is a work in progress, but I plan to take the reins and take ownership of my life. I'm no longer going to be a passenger.

I've decided to start living my life according to my own values and needs. Those values and needs include only being in relationships (romantic or friendly) that involve mutual respect, solid communication, and vulnerability. I take accountability for my role.

I can't say that I've dropped the rope. I just don't care whether or not the rope is even there. The rope is tethered to the memory of a person who doesn't exist anymore.
Posted By: LH19

Re: Things are trending up... - 11/18/19 11:46 AM

U,

Pushing for D when it benefits you and and protects you is definitely the right thing to do and understandable in your case.

I actually see your path to reconciliation to be easier then most. There is no OP which IMO helps with trust issues.

I think the number one problem in all this is timing. It takes the WW too long to come out of the crisis. I have seen AS write that his W is just coming out of it and he is seven years in.

100% your W will struggle.
Posted By: IronWill

Re: Things are trending up... - 11/18/19 12:42 PM

Hey U -

I agree with LH. Of all the things you have to deal with, you could get through it if it were not for time.

I am only starting to get a grasp on exactly what it is my W is going through (finally), and just how long this is going to take. it has been nearly 15 months for me.

Over the many arguments/BDs/discussions we had in the beginning of all this, I pieced together from what she told me that it was another year and a half to two years prior to that that she had been "feeling differently" but was too afraid to tell me.

So that's my timeline - and I think I'm probably somewhere around halfway through this. It seems our stories are similar, so I would estimate we are both probably in the 5-7 year timeframe. If they get through this, that is.

Right now, interactions with your W are going to lead to you being blamed for everything. It was the same way in my sit while my W was going through her anger phase. She has only just started to show that she is beginning to move out of it, and there are moments where I can see that it returns briefly. The more you attempt to reason with, communicate to, or try to understand why she is treating you the way she is, or talking about you the way she is, the farther you will push her away (and the farther you will push yourself away).

This may eventually entrench those feelings of resentment in the both of you, which I would suggest is not something that would be good for you, her, or your children in the future.

Knowing all that, and knowing that at your core you are a great person who cares about his kids very much, and knowing that your W is looking for anyone else to blame for how she is feeling right now, what do you think the best course of action would be? Do you think it's productive to keep worrying about what your W is saying about you, or how she thinks she views you right now? Also - do you think that rushing through this process will end the pain? Do you think it will all stop the minute mediation is done?

Of course it is all up to you to decide, and this is only advice from someone behind a keyboard who is reading words on a screen. I can't know your sit like you do - none of us can - but I can tell you what I see from what I'm reading. I see someone who is hurt, someone who is struggling to understand what has happened, and someone who is looking to end the pain as quickly as possible. And I get it, 100 percent. Believe me.

But I also see someone who still has a tiny glimmer of hope of R in the far far future. Maybe I'm wrong, maybe I'm totally off base here, but if what LH says is true and from what I have seen from you in the past 8 months I think it is, I would at least give some consideration to slowing down. again, you don't have to - you can do what you feel is best, but I think if you find ways to let your sit settle, let yourW live without you and see that it is not all Rose's, and that it is not you who is to blame for everything, I think you have a shot at having an amicable new R with your W (regardless if you end up D or not)

Take care U - stay strong, buddy smile
Posted By: unchien

Re: Things are trending up... - 11/18/19 08:06 PM

Originally Posted by LH19
Pushing for D when it benefits you and and protects you is definitely the right thing to do and understandable in your case.

I think the number one problem in all this is timing. It takes the WW too long to come out of the crisis. I have seen AS write that his W is just coming out of it and he is seven years in.

Originally Posted by IronWill
do you think that rushing through this process will end the pain? Do you think it will all stop the minute mediation is done?

IW, I agree that finalizing a D is not going to make me feel any better about the emotional pain. But I do need to protect myself with regards to the kids and money. In both areas I am sacrificing a lot.

Also, continuing to support my W's lifestyle (which is essentially the same as our MR except I've moved out and I have the kids 4 days every 2 weeks) is not going to be helpful for her.

Legal S could be an option, but I see little difference between a legal S and a D other than semantics. I could be wrong. With a long timeline I doubt that it matters. Regardless I need a formal agreement. We have tried it the informal way for 5 months, and it results in way too much interaction about logistics and way too many misunderstandings. That's the most blameless way I can put it.

Maybe the hardest thing to let go of is my W's belief that I want a D. I'm sure upcoming events will only cement her belief. It's outside my control and hence I should not care. But I do need to protect myself. Continuing in our current separation is not standing for my MR. I need to move my little picnic outside the castle walls =)
Posted By: AnotherStander

Re: Things are trending up... - 11/18/19 09:24 PM

Originally Posted by LH19
I think the number one problem in all this is timing. It takes the WW too long to come out of the crisis. I have seen AS write that his W is just coming out of it and he is seven years in.


Yes, absolutely. It was a solid 5 years post BD before she started showing signs of her old self, I really thought she had changed for good. At first there were just glimpses of the old her, but over time she's become more and more like the person I remember being married to. I don't think she went through MLC, but certainly her recovery timeline mirrors that of an MLCer. That's not to say she'll ever hit me up for recon, I don't get any sense that she would. But it's still interesting to see how long it can take before they come out of the fog and start acting like their "old self".
Posted By: IronWill

Re: Things are trending up... - 11/18/19 11:56 PM

Originally Posted by AnotherStander
At first there were just glimpses of the old her, but over time she's become more and more like the person I remember being married to.... it's still interesting to see how long it can take before they come out of the fog and start acting like their "old self".


Not to hijack here, but I thought I would quickly add that I am also beginning to experience the glimpses of W's old self, very sporadically. From what I have learned in my sit, it is about 2.5 to 3 yrs into her crisis (or whatever you want to call it)

The timeline is very long, I finally get it now.

Originally Posted by Unchien

IW, I agree that finalizing a D is not going to make me feel any better about the emotional pain. But I do need to protect myself with regards to the kids and money. In both areas I am sacrificing a lot.


I apologize for seeming harsh before - I reread what I wrote and I think what I was trying to impart (poorly) was that you are going to have this person in your life for a long time, D or not - because you have kids together.

If you find the things you are doing are not working, I might suggest you consider changing something - something quantifiable, but do it for your own sake. I really don't know what that would be, in the interests of anonymity, but maybe a shift in how you communicate with W...?

Originally Posted by Unchien

Also, continuing to support my W's lifestyle (which is essentially the same as our MR except I've moved out and I have the kids 4 days every 2 weeks) is not going to be helpful for her.

Actions have consequences. My W got extremely angry when I told her point blank I was not going to keep paying for mutual things if she was on her way out the door. It was a terrible time for both of us emotionally, but eventually things calmed down afterwards when she realized I was not going to cave one inch on that. It was a reality check - something that WAS's absolutely want no part of.

Originally Posted by Unchien

Maybe the hardest thing to let go of is my W's belief that I want a D. I'm sure upcoming events will only cement her belief. It's outside my control and hence I should not care. But I do need to protect myself. Continuing in our current separation is not standing for my MR. I need to move my little picnic outside the castle walls =)

It's all up to you, U. She will think what she thinks, but you do have the control here - that's the thing a lot of us LBSs forget. You can choose to stand or you can tell yourself you've had enough and walk. But make sure you are absolutely certain this is really something you want to do, and that it is the best course of action for you and your kids.

I wish you the best, buddy! smile
Posted By: unchien

Re: Things are trending up... - 11/19/19 04:33 AM

Time for a new thread:

https://www.divorcebusting.com/foru...flat&Number=2872595&#Post2872595
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