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Scout's QLC journey #2

Posted By: scout12

Scout's QLC journey #2 - 11/29/19 12:10 PM

Thread #1

To kick off thread #2, here's some relevant reading on adult attachment styles. This excerpt pretty much describes the dynamic between H and I that lead to the breakdown of the R.

Quote
Additional studies have investigated chronic stress—especially the transition to parenthood [39]. Having a baby is a joyful but chronically stressful experience, making it ideal to test stress-diathesis processes, particularly if attachment insecurity makes individuals more vulnerable to personal and interpersonal problems [40]. Indeed, highly anxious women enter the transition to parenthood perceiving lower levels of spousal support, which predicts sharper declines in marital satisfaction [41,42] and increases in depressive symptoms [43,44] across the transition. Their husbands show parallel effects, including declines in both marital satisfaction and support-provision over time. Highly avoidant individuals—especially men—who believe their newborn is interfering with their personal or work lives [41] or who perceive they are doing too much childcare [45] also report steep declines in marital satisfaction. Less avoidant individuals (who tend to be more secure) report much smaller postnatal changes in satisfaction and depressive symptoms.

In sum, specific situations/events during the transition to parenthood tend to activate or exacerbate the cardinal concerns of highly anxious and highly avoidant people—abandonment/loss for anxious persons, and lack of autonomy/independence for avoidant persons—which in turn have negative effects on their marital satisfaction and depressive symptoms over time.


I believe H's attachment style is dismissive-avoidant.
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Avoidant: High on avoidance, low on anxiety. Uncomfortable with closeness and primarily values independence and freedom; not worried about partner’s availability. “I am uncomfortable being close to others. I find it difficult to trust and depend on others and prefer that others do not depend on me. It is very important that I feel independent and self-sufficient. My partner wants me to be more intimate than I am comfortable being.”


Mine might be described as secure with anxious tendencies.
Quote
Secure: Low on avoidance, low on anxiety. Comfortable with intimacy; not worried about rejection or preoccupied with the relationship. “It is easy for me to get close to others, and I am comfortable depending on them and having them depend on me. I don’t worry about being abandoned or about someone getting too close to me.”

Anxious: Low on avoidance, high on anxiety. Crave closeness and intimacy, very insecure about the relationship. “I want to be extremely emotionally close (merge) with others, but others are reluctant to get as close as I would like. I often worry that my partner doesn’t love or value me and will abandon me. My inordinate need for closeness scares people away.


It's possible that we brought out the worst in each other and that this was always doomed to fail; it just needed a trigger point.
Posted By: peacetoday

Re: Scout's QLC journey #2 - 11/29/19 03:02 PM

Relationships are hard and Ive seen it with friends and family
when a baby enters, sometimes the first, many more times the second
A spouse,,,usually the H but we see plenty of wives here, the spouse seems to snap
usually around 40
like MLC,
If it is based on unresolved childhood issues, it probably would have happened no matter what the circumstances
even if a person is single at time of crises
Many cant/wont get therapy to heal the issues from past...crises
I really believe this

so if we M a person with little skills and coping
one who is avoidant and my XH had many characteristics that I overlooked when dating and M
But it is sometimes hard to see clearly when younger and in love

You are doing fabulous
You are right on track, smart and intuitive
as well as very young and you will create a better life with or without Him

I believe many of these MLCer will not fully recover(unless they get hardcore help)
and if we stay with them, this will repeat
Posted By: kml

Re: Scout's QLC journey #2 - 11/29/19 05:05 PM

That avoidant/anxious attachment can be a useful construct. HOWEVER there is a lot more wrong with your H than just an Avoidant attachment style. Seriously, please read The Sociopath Next Door and also consider the possibility of bipolar disorder.
Posted By: Gerda

Re: Scout's QLC journey #2 - 11/30/19 01:55 AM

From my post on a couple other threads -- I am reading these now and they are helping me a lot. There are some cheesy or corny parts but it is helping me so much to become aware of my wounds, pre and post H, and to start to heal them. One is called, You Can Thrive After Narcissistic Abuse and the other is called, Whole Again. What I like about them is they are not so focused on diagnosing the abuser, but rather on healing your own wounds -- including those that predated your H and may have led you to him.

I think it's also important not to rewrite history. That's what the MLCer does. You don't have to figure out every bad thing in the past, just heal yourself and find that freedom and peace. (I am the first to admit that that is the hardest thing ever!)
Posted By: scout12

Re: Scout's QLC journey #2 - 12/01/19 02:53 AM

Originally Posted by kml
HOWEVER there is a lot more wrong with your H than just an Avoidant attachment style.



This made me chuckle, thank you for keeping it real. Lol.

I went to a pool party with a group of girlfriends and all our kids yesterday. Two of them work with H. I swear I’m not keeping tabs on him through them; we were friends already, and have gotten closer since H left me. We had a great time swimming with the kids then having cocktails, a cheese platter, and chats afterwards.

My friend told us her husband had just returned early from a two-week bachelor party trip to Japan after the groom-to-be spent the night in a red-light district. His wedding is in a couple of weeks and he has a newborn at home with his fiancée. Friend said her husband was so disgusted that that confronted his cheating friend, punched him in the face, and cancelled the rest of the trip. What a guy!

Inevitably, talk did turn to H. They said their workplace is really dysfunctional and the problems come from the top down. He ignores direct requests from his employees, refuses to address problems, won’t look people in the eye when speaking, doesn’t nurture or train his staff, procrastinates on completing basic tasks, sits in the office all day and only comes onto the shop floor when upper management or sales reps are visiting so he can kiss ass. He is draconic about employees using their phones during work hours but apparently never puts his down. He cracks down on rumours about personal relationships at work and accuses his employees of bullying others (including OW before she quit). He is openly applying for every possible job opportunity to try and escape his current situation. In short - he sounds like an absolutely terrible manager. He always made out that he was the company’s golden boy. Hmm.

The week that H left, I received a promotion to management. The leadership training and education I’ve received in the last six months has definitely contributed to my healing. I only manage a small team, but people management takes a lot of time and effort. I know I’m a good manager. A rising tide lifts all boats, as the saying goes, and I try to apply that to my role.

One friend messaged me after she left to say she was so sorry she hadn’t warned me about the OW when she first started to suspect. I assured her there was nothing to be sorry about and that H is the only one who has anything to apologise for. She said if she had concrete proof she would have exposed them to upper management. I just thanked her. She reassured me that I deserve a much better man and that H will get hit by the karma train at some point.

Good friends are priceless.
Posted By: scout12

Re: Scout's QLC journey #2 - 12/01/19 03:08 AM

Quote
You are doing fabulous
You are right on track, smart and intuitive
as well as very young and you will create a better life with or without Him


Thank you peacetoday. I am so excited for Christmas this year and I don’t miss H at all. Perhaps as the holidays get closer, more emotions will surface. I’m planning to host an open home every night during Christmas week as a way of thanking my friends and family for their support this year. But also because it just sounds joyful and fun!

My message:

I have never been more thankful for my friends and family than I have this year. My life has been blessed beyond measure with love, fellowship, and good fortune. I want to demonstrate the same generosity of spirit in return. Nobody ought to be alone on Christmas, so let's be alone together!

S1 and I are extending an open invitation to all our family and friends between 22-28 December. If you find yourself lonely or idle in the evenings, we will be getting into the Christmas spirit from 5pm every night. Feel free to join us for food, drinks, music, games, presents, and lots of fun and laughter. Just message me for our address and turn up whenever you feel like some Christmas cheer. S1 and I would love to see you, one and all. Wishing you and yours a joyful holiday season!
Posted By: scout12

Re: Scout's QLC journey #2 - 12/01/19 03:19 AM

Originally Posted by Gerda

I think it's also important not to rewrite history. That's what the MLCer does. You don't have to figure out every bad thing in the past, just heal yourself and find that freedom and peace. (I am the first to admit that that is the hardest thing ever!)


Chump Lady calls that ‘untangling the skein’. You’re right, it’s not necessary. She says the goal of detachment is ‘meh’ and I think I’m close to that place. I can reflect on the past without getting hung up on it.
Posted By: Gerda

Re: Scout's QLC journey #2 - 12/01/19 04:47 AM

Originally Posted by scout12
[quote]
My message:

I have never been more thankful for my friends and family than I have this year. My life has been blessed beyond measure with love, fellowship, and good fortune. I want to demonstrate the same generosity of spirit in return. Nobody ought to be alone on Christmas, so let's be alone together!

S1 and I are extending an open invitation to all our family and friends between 22-28 December. If you find yourself lonely or idle in the evenings, we will be getting into the Christmas spirit from 5pm every night. Feel free to join us for food, drinks, music, games, presents, and lots of fun and laughter. Just message me for our address and turn up whenever you feel like some Christmas cheer. S1 and I would love to see you, one and all. Wishing you and yours a joyful holiday season!


That's so funny, I decided to do something really similar at my house! I am doing it every other week on Thursdays all winter.
Posted By: scout12

Re: Scout's QLC journey #2 - 12/01/19 11:54 PM

Just journalling as the memories come up.

When we decided to start trying for a baby, I went all in. Tracking ovulation, daily temping, fertility windows etc. Having a better understanding of how my body worked, and the miracles it could perform, was empowering. It was like playing the lottery every month knowing that one day you will eventually win. Exciting!

The day before I got a positive pregnancy test result, on our fifth cycle of trying, we had a huge fight. We were driving to dinner and I mentioned how my basal body temperature was still raised which indicated a good chance of pregnancy. I explained the science behind it and said wasn't it just so cool? I was so excited and said I couldn't wait to take a test the following morning because I just had a good feeling about this cycle.

Throughout this conversation H was silent and withdrawn. Eventually he blew up and said I was ruining this experience for him. I had taken something that was supposed to be fun and spontaneous and turned it into a science experiment. He was sick of hearing about my periods and having sex on a schedule. He made me feel like absolute garbage and the evening ended with me crying my eyes out and apologising to him.

He would often use the phrase "There are two people in this relationship" as a trump card in arguments. It would inevitably cut me down in my tracks and bring me so much guilt that I'd fall over myself apologising for being selfish and thoughtless.

The next morning I took the test and it was positive. I was happy, of course, but it was tempered by the ugliness of the previous night. His response was weird. He just said "We're going to have a little one" and tried to initiate celebratory sex. While he was at work that day, I decided to make up for my transgression. I blew up about 100 balloons to fill our bedroom. I hung bunting on the walls. I bought a tiny onesie withe 'my dad rocks' written on it. I also bought a little baby groot figurine because H loved superhero movies and thought that character was really cute. So I put together this nice display to surprise him when he got home.

For his part, he surprised me with a similar display a few days later. A card with a 'bun in the oven' joke, a bottle of my favourite perfume, flowers, and candles. That is a nice memory. He knew that cards meant a lot to me, and always put a lot of effort into them, even though he couldn't care less about receiving them himself. Although that gesture is tainted now after the card I received on our third anniversary, just two weeks before BD. In it, he had written 'love you to the moon and back'. After BD, I asked him what he meant by that message if, as he claimed, he had been unhappy for years. He replied that he just did it because it was expected of him. Phew!
Posted By: DS9

Re: Scout's QLC journey #2 - 12/02/19 01:12 AM

Hey Scout,

Glad to hear you're killing it with your GAL! Pool party sounds like a blast. Ssssoooo hot here now isnt it!

It seems the goss suggests your H is spiralling. How does that make you feel?

That invitation message you sent to your friends about your open house was really touching. Your friends and family are lucky to have you, and that's going to bring such joy to your little one having so much lovely interaction. It's my first xmas too without family, so we'll see how that goes.

Your memories about conception and pregnancy brought back memories for me too. I'm sorry H's attitude was such that they weren't as good as they could have been for you. You really tried, didn't you, but it seems H's heart wasn't really in it, and it was always just about him. That's sad.

You've come far Scout - good on you and keep going!

Cheers, DS
Posted By: kml

Re: Scout's QLC journey #2 - 12/02/19 02:09 AM

Quote
He would often use the phrase "There are two people in this relationship" as a trump card in arguments


This is MAJOR gaslighting, girl. Basically it was code for “I want what I want and if you don’t agree it’s YOUR fault”.

He really knew how to push your buttons, didn’t he?
Posted By: DnJ

Re: Scout's QLC journey #2 - 12/02/19 02:48 AM

Hello scout

That was a memory of a precious time. Thank you. I’m sure your sharing of it brought back many memories around here as well.

From me to you:

Trust in your past.

As detachment and indifference expands within you, tempered it with compassion. Reflect upon your history with an accurate heart and mind. Do not tarnish from vilification, nor brighten from glasses of rose. Remain accurate and true.

A period of time elapses during which one looses some touch with their past, both the bad and the good.

Indifference brings peace for one’s mind. Compassion brings peace for one’s heart.

There were many good times and the memories will return to you, in time. Be in a strong and good place for when they do.

Trust in your past.

DnJ
Posted By: scout12

Re: Scout's QLC journey #2 - 12/02/19 04:18 AM

Originally Posted by DS9

It seems the goss suggests your H is spiralling. How does that make you feel?


Pity. Compassion. Relief. Bemusement. Disappointment.

Things I don't feel? Concern. Sadness. Satisfaction. Hope. Loss.

I wish he had the tools to dig himself out of the hole. Is that a mixed metaphor? I wish he had the tools to build a ladder out of the hole, then. Instead, it seems he is choosing to dig deeper.

There is also empathy. If I put myself in his shoes, I can almost feel the pain, shame, confusion, arrogance, desperation, panic, blame, fear, and all the other conflicting emotions that seem to come with the decision to blow up your old life. It feels absolutely exhausting and makes me all the more grateful for my current state of inner peace. I hope that doesn't sound morally self-righteous. I am a whole and healthy yet flawed human being.

I don't wish him harm. I don't want to punish him. I don't judge him.

It is what it is.
Posted By: scout12

Re: Scout's QLC journey #2 - 12/02/19 04:27 AM

Originally Posted by DnJ

Trust in your past.


You seem to be advocating the other side of the coin to our friends in this thread! Thank you for the brain food. Should I acknowledge the red flags of the past as they appear organically, or am I seeking them to fit a narrative to explain how we got here? Hmm.

I think I have a fair and objective mind. I'm a truthseeker at heart. There was fun and lightness in our marriage, definitely. There was care and love, of course. There were also patterns of control, withdrawal, anger, coldness. Unvoiced and unmet expectations on both parts. Hmm, indeed.
Posted By: peacetoday

Re: Scout's QLC journey #2 - 12/02/19 03:00 PM

Scout

you are doing great

as you travel this road you will gain insight into your H and yourself

always remember this was not your fault and nothing could stop it but him

Most LBS here wind up landing on their feet...stronger...wiser and in a better place than ever before
If your H decides to step up..there will always be hope
and he he decides to continue the destructive pathway that MLC brings...so be it
You can love him and wish him well
be cordial, kind and work on your reactions and feelings in a safe environment which is not him

Your son will have a great chance of growing up wise and strong as long as your are

all the best.
Posted By: scout12

Re: Scout's QLC journey #2 - 12/02/19 11:06 PM

Thanks PT. If I search my feelings a bit deeper, there is still care for H. I don't know if I'd call it love. Don't you need respect to feel love? While I respect his right to make these decisions, I don't respect the decisions themselves. Deep down, I do continue to cut him some slack and give him the benefit of the doubt that he is struggling with something. It's hard to tell if my feelings are sitting in reserve or simply gone... for now.

The caveat, of course, being that feelings can change, disappear, return, increase, decrease etc wink

Onto the good news!

My mortgage refinance was conditionally approved yesterday. I was disqualified from the first two banks due to blanket restrictions on my particular circumstance, so this is a relief. I wasn't too worried because I knew I could afford the refinance; it was just a matter of which bank would play along. So it looks like I will be walking into 2020 in a very strong position, albeit with substantially more debt after paying H his settlement money.

Next: the issue about S1.

With regards to my concerns about H's time with S1, I have decided to do nothing. I'll let the legal documents do their job and let go of my fear that S1 is being negatively affected. H spends such a short amount of time with him, a matter of hours twice a week, and I just have to trust that it doesn't matter in the long run. My job is to make sure S1 is securely attached when he's with me. I can't control what happens when he's with H. At this point, parallel parenting seems to be the best option.

One last thing. A happy GAL update.

For the last ten years I have had a cheap little $10 Christmas tree. I loved this tree and took great pleasure in decorating it each year. Well, the time has come to invest in tree 2.0. I put up the old tree and and realised it was no longer fit for purpose. So I purchased a magnificent 6ft prelit beauty which should arrive this week. I find myself drawn to greenery in this MLC process. I've hung watercolours of local flora on the walls and filled shelves with potted plants. The new tree is symbolic, I suppose, of new beginnings and growth. I can't wait to play some Christmas carols and decorate it with S1.

A favourite activity of Christmases past was to light the tree at night and turn off all the other lights in the house. Play some happy music while baking cookies and enjoying a drink, basking in the ambience of the warm twinkling lights. H would be working nights so that was my time. Ah!
Posted By: kml

Re: Scout's QLC journey #2 - 12/03/19 03:49 AM

Sounds great to me! Can I come over?

You’re doing great girl. Enjoy the holidays with your little one, your family and friends, and leave H to his journey.

Perhaps the hardest lesson for me was that I couldn’t save my ex from himself. On the surface his new life looks great - hot young Asian wife (surfer trophy wife), a duplex at his favorite surf spot, plenty of money (even though he cries poor, our divorce settlement was very fair). His wife seems nice enough (not one of his affair partners, thank god). But I can see he hasn’t really outrun his demons, and several things have happened in the last few years to throw a wrench in his MLC fantasy of eternal youth (illnesses and death in the family, some serious medical issues himself). Still he’s possibly happier than he would have been if he’d stayed, and although my dating history in the last ten years has been - well - an adventure, I feel like every man I’ve dated validated me more than my ex did.

Also the shock of divorce launched me on a path of adventure - I learned to play the drums when he left (at 53), played for several years in a pop punk band, learned to play vibraphone and glockenspiel, toured with my best friend who is a professional singer songwriter - none of which would have happened if I’d stayed married.

Embrace your present and your future. Your ex may catch up - or he won’t . Just keep living your life.
Posted By: job

Re: Scout's QLC journey #2 - 12/03/19 02:17 PM

Congratulations on the mortgage refinance! Sometimes it takes a while to find the right company to do business with.

As for the new tree...I am happy that you purchased a new one. The little one served its purpose but it's time to change up some of those holiday traditions and a new tree is just the beginning.

As kml stated, embrace your present and your future. You are light years ahead of him and he's got a lot of catching up to do.

I think you are doing great!
Posted By: DS9

Re: Scout's QLC journey #2 - 12/04/19 12:49 AM

Originally Posted by scout12
Deep down, I do continue to cut him some slack and give him the benefit of the doubt that he is struggling with something. It's hard to tell if my feelings are sitting in reserve or simply gone... for now.


This quality is very admirable Scout, particularly given what he's put you through.

Originally Posted by scout12


My mortgage refinance was conditionally approved yesterday.



Fantastic! Hopefully H approves the orders now.


Originally Posted by scout12


With regards to my concerns about H's time with S1, I have decided to do nothing. I'll let the legal documents do their job and let go of my fear that S1 is being negatively affected.



Good call Scout.


Originally Posted by scout12

Well, the time has come to invest in tree 2.0.


Nice one. I just goit a new pre lit one as well. Went crzy in T k max buying decorations - fantastic range that you should check out. Got realy nice outdoor led lights from Aldi too.

Have fun decorating with your son!


Originally Posted by kml
played for several years in a pop punk band,


You're one cool chick kml. I sang in a rock/punk band in my late teens/early 20's!
Posted By: scout12

Re: Scout's QLC journey #2 - 12/04/19 03:29 AM

H’s mum just called me to have a chat. We haven’t spoken since early September, but I send her photos of S1 every now and then.

The one dark spot lately has been my (totally unfounded) assumption they think badly of me because of the custody contention around Christmas, in particular that H won’t be seeing S1 on Christmas Day. I think I gave H too much credit for his communication skills in assuming he’d tell his parents anything at all. Lol. She was as friendly and chatty as ever, so I can put my mind at ease.

H is taking S1 to his family Christmas gathering this weekend, including his first overnight away from home, and I wanted to make it clear that I totally support that. She told me their plans and I said it sounded like a fantastic weekend and that S1 was sure to enjoy himself. She said they would love to catch up with me before Christmas and they’d have me down to visit their new apartment once they move in. I ended the call saying that I really loved chatting with her and it meant a lot that she still cared about me. She said of course we do!

I can’t explain how relieved and pleased I feel that she reached out. It was weighing on me quite a bit. It’s funny timing because I was only thinking just yesterday about how much I should/shouldn’t tell her about the current state of things, and whether I mention the affair or not. Fortunately I am learning the best course of action is to sit on my thoughts and do nothing until the impulse passes, so we didn’t discuss anything to do with H at all.

I feel like a passed a test of some kind.
Posted By: DnJ

Re: Scout's QLC journey #2 - 12/04/19 03:58 AM

Hello scout

Originally Posted by scout12
Fortunately I am learning the best course of action is to sit on my thoughts and do nothing until the impulse passes

Now there are some wise words.

Most definitely passed a test. Well done!

DnJ
Posted By: scout12

Re: Scout's QLC journey #2 - 12/05/19 10:35 AM

Sitting here in the dark looking at my new Christmas tree with its sparkling bright lights, I just realised it is the six month anniversary of BD.

On this day six months ago, I had the day off from work and went to get my hair cut and coloured. I was one week into anxiety medication and feeling great. We had had sex three times that week after only managing once a month since the birth of S1. I finally felt like things were on the up and up. H had been unusually reserved and polite after an argument about the iron earlier in the week, but I didn’t think too much of it. It was over an iron, after all, and it had been resolved.

H called during the day to say he was going shopping after work and would be home for dinner. I encouraged him to treat himself, we joked about something, exchanged love yous. At dinner time, he messaged to say he was going out with a friend and that he was sorry he couldn’t be there to help with the baby. I asked him if he was alright and he replied that he had a lot on his mind. Worried, I called to check that he was actually ok. He said yes then went silent, then said bye and hung up.

After that, I started to panic. I got the baby into bed and started thinking about the near full box of anxiety meds in the bathroom cupboard. My fear got ahold of me and sent me to a very dark place. I wanted to take the whole box and make the fear, panic, and pain stop. I had enough foresight to call my mother and I held my sleeping baby while I waited for her to arrive. We sat in the baby’s room in the dark and I shared my worst fears. I had a premonition of what was to come.

At close to midnight, H messaged that he was coming home. I assured my mother I would be alright and she left. When H got home, he didn’t want to talk, he was tired and wanted space. In tears, I said I was worried and wouldn’t be able to sleep unless I knew he was ok. He said no, he didn’t want to, over and over he repeated no, no, no. Eventually he started to cry. I hugged him and said it was ok to be sad, it’s ok to cry, tell me what’s wrong. He choked out that he didn’t want to disappoint the people who had helped us. I drew back and said slowly, do you mean if we split up? He nodded.

We sat down on the lounge. He stopped crying and started to turn cold. He said he wasn’t happy. His life wasn’t what it was supposed to be. He had settled for a mediocre job, and settled for... he looked at me. I asked me? He nodded. I have forgotten the next half hour or so of conversation, but it was basically alternating between asking him questions and reasoning with him.

Eventually it came down to he just didn’t love me anymore. He was resolute.

I ended up on my knees, holding his hand, begging, crying, pleading. All those yucky, degrading things you do when the rug has been pulled from under you. Tears slid from his eyes again but he just kept shaking his head. Eventually he shook me off and went to sleep in the spare room. I went to my bed and did not sleep at all. Around 4am I went into his bed and cuddled up to his back, but still couldn’t sleep.

At 5am he rolled over, saw me, and grumbled angrily that I was disturbing his sleep because he was starting a leadership course at work that day. He was angry at me for “doing this” the night before his course and that I had put my own selfish needs before his very important work. I burst into tears and apologised saying I had been so worried about him. I asked him to stay home so we could talk and he scoffed at the idea. At this point the baby was awake and crying, I was crying, and H was running out the door.

Annnnd scene. That was BD. The ripples of devastation had only just begun to spread.
Posted By: DnJ

Re: Scout's QLC journey #2 - 12/05/19 12:32 PM

Good Morning scout

(((Hugs)))

So much gets blown up, our life, the kids’ lives, our spouses’ life, work, home, family, friends, etc...

That moment is aptly named, as Bomb Drop.

Those ripples of devastation do spread out, engulfing a lot.

And underneath that wave of destruction is a undercurrent of hope and renewal. LBS, kids, family, friends, work, etc... all can become rebuilt, stronger, and so much better for having survived and healing from this.

The destruction, the bomb, is quick. The rebuilding is a slow process. The time is well invested, building bonds and self worth that are much stronger than the forces that toppled it all before.

I am happy you can, and are, reflecting upon that moment without cynicism and vengeance. I believe you are using your gift of time very well.

Enjoy the sparkling lights with your son.

DnJ
Posted By: job

Re: Scout's QLC journey #2 - 12/05/19 03:05 PM

Scout,

Your h had been bubbling in his cauldron for quite some time before the bomb drop. The argument may have been over an iron, but honestly, the iron was just an excuse to have the argument. Having sex three times that particular week was his way of trying to reconnect and yes to "feel" that love that had gone numb within him.

Please do not take anything he says or does personally. He's a lost soul trying to find his way and to feel "alive" again. Depression tends to numb their souls and hearts, especially towards the one person that they vowed to love till death due us part.

Continue to focus on you and your child. Enjoy that Christmas tree because Christmas is a magical time of the year and anything is possible. It is also the time of new beginnings and a new year is around the corner. Scout, you are doing great and it's good to reflect, but don't stay in the past wondering and thinking the "what ifs". This journey that your h is on is one that you weren't invited to participate in. Trust me when I say this....if he was single or had been married to someone else, his crisis would have still happened. You didn't break him and you can't fix him. He has to dig deep within his soul and accept the things that he couldn't change as a young child. He needs to understand that he's not at fault for being emotionally stunted at an early age.

Continue as you have been and dig deeper for patience. You've got a great support team here and most likely IRL. He doesn't. Some day, he will have to run to catch up w/your emotional and spiritual growth. At that time, it will be up to you as to whether you want to reconcile or move on completely w/your life w/o him in it as a spouse.
Posted By: peacetoday

Re: Scout's QLC journey #2 - 12/05/19 03:07 PM

Hi

Clearly, extremely difficult

BD is a tremendous shock for all of us


You are making terrific progress Scout and in time you may see good things they come from bad-
Your growth and the health and growth of your son...

Your H may not be as lucky
only time will tell-
Posted By: DS9

Re: Scout's QLC journey #2 - 12/06/19 12:51 AM

Hey Scout,

Thanks for sharing what you went through at BD. That you didn't succumb to your thoughts about the meds is a reflection of what a strong woman you are.

With all that you've said about what you've become, and what H has devolved into, it seems like you're leaving him in your tyre smoke, and I'll echo the vets in saying your progress is just fantastic.

Now, smash those carols with your son, and make sure you get him a cute xmas themed onesie (short sleeved of course as the heat now is melting!)

Cheers, DS
Posted By: scout12

Re: Scout's QLC journey #2 - 12/07/19 12:37 AM

Thank you all for your wise and caring thoughts. I’m very thankful for the day I found this forum. It means a lot that you all take the time to read and comment on my story.

H just picked up S1 for his family Christmas weekend. He was 15 minutes late with no phone call or message in advance and no acknowledgement or apology when he arrived. Jeez, that really steams me. But I did not say anything about it because my expectations of him are below zero. I asked S1 to say hi, handed over his bags and gifts for H’s family, told S1 I loved him and would see him tomorrow, and hoped they would have a great time. I did not speak to H directly.

I admit I’m feeling a little ruffled right now. He doesn’t know that I know about OW. Every time I see him, I want to call him a liar and a cheater. I don’t and I won’t and that’s why I’m NC. But even just the sight of him is repulsive to me now.

As it’s S1’s first overnight away from home, I though I would feel sad. I expected to feel like I was missing out on a fun family weekend. But I really don’t. I have no desire to be part of it, or to spend time with H. That’s my old life, and I’m starting a better one on my own. I have a big weekend of GAL planned - seeing my financial advisor today to ‘singlefy’ my life insurance and other policies, then out with a friend for dinner, my first sleep-in EVER since S1 was born, and then some home reno projects with my stepdad tomorrow. Once S1 is dropped off tomorrow, we’ll go to his daycare Christmas party. Hooray!

Since the OW revelation in October, I think I’ve been slowly standing down. At first, I examined my feelings and was surprised to realise the cheating wasn’t a dealbreaker, and my goal was still to reconcile. I was at peace with my decision to stand until the divorce was final after twelve months. But over the last two months, my feelings have utterly died, and I am at peace with that too. I have no interest in any kind of relationship with this person at this point in time. He is my son’s father; nothing more.
Posted By: OwnIt

Re: Scout's QLC journey #2 - 12/07/19 02:15 AM

Scout, I've said it before, but it bears repeating, you are doing such a great job. You have such a wonderful life ahead of you. If ever you doubt your choices, think about if it is like this now, how is this guy going to handle midlife. You can respect the time you spent with him and his role in your child's life, but still go on to have your own.
Posted By: kml

Re: Scout's QLC journey #2 - 12/07/19 02:28 AM

Exactly. If he’s like this now, hows he going to be when you encounter major challenges in life? When your child develops an eating disorder, or a drug addiction, or special needs of some kind, or you become sick? Stuff happens and if he couldn’t make it through a pregnancy he’s unlikely to be useful to you in future challenges.

Good spouses who have a temporary mental derangement are worth fighting for. But spouses with personality disorders, serious long-term character defects, or abusive behavior are not worth waiting for unless they’re seriously motivated to change.

I think you’re just beginning to realize how badly H was gaslighting you and how much was missing from your marriage.

Enjoy your time “off” !
Posted By: DS9

Re: Scout's QLC journey #2 - 12/07/19 06:15 AM

Hey scout

Hope s1 has a blast with dads family and you kick up your heels tonight!

Make sure you change your beneficiary on your super death benefit component and make sure that your will marries with that as well

Sounds like you’re step dads a good man! Now, are you going to boss him around or get stuck into it with him lol

Cheers ds
Posted By: scout12

Re: Scout's QLC journey #2 - 12/08/19 04:45 AM

Thanks, you guys. From the bottom of my heart. Your kudos and validation help me keep my head held high.

My solo weekend is nearly over. I managed to fit in an impromptu visit with my grandma amongst all the other appointments and activities, which was lovely. Stepdad and I hung wallpaper and shelving that I immediately filled with artwork and plants. We had a great chat about infidelity, forgiveness, revenge, and other juicy concepts. His first wife left him for one of their friends, so he has been through all this stuff too, and has good perspective now ten years out. I’ve also prepared a draft review of my consent orders ready to scan at work tomorrow and send back to my lawyer.

I’m going to record another memory while I wait for S to return. Part of my memoirs, if you will. This one is the incident that happened a week before BD involving the iron.

I had gone to the doctor to get medication for anxiety. H knew I was going to the doctor and didn’t ask me what my appointment was for, so I didn't tell him. I started the meds on a Thursday and had a horrible reaction to the side effects. I had to call my mother to pick me up from a random train station I had collapsed at after getting off the train to work vomiting everywhere.

When H came home from work and found me sick in bed, he was angry and said I'd betrayed his trust by not involving him in this decision. I said he had been so irritable and uninterested in my mental health struggles that I didn’t want to involve him. He shrugged that off and insisted I continue taking the meds otherwise I’d have withdrawal symptoms and be even sicker. This was not out of concern for my health, though - we had his best friend's wedding to go to that weekend and he said I would ruin the wedding for him.

H was in the wedding party and was busy with pre-wedding events and parties in the lead up while I took care of our child and tried to deal with my illness. He had spent $800 on a custom suit (when the groom had given them the option to buy a $200 suit off the rack). I was unhappy with this. I had been waiting four years to purchase a new dining setting for the family home but it was never a priority, and it was to come out of my personal spending account, not the shared family account. So I took issue with this purchase; I felt it was extreme. He countered with the fact I had recently spent the same amount on our baby’s first birthday photos and family photos, ie. that was ‘my thing’ and the suit was ‘his thing’.

The wedding was outdoors in the sun. I was uncomfortable in my heels and squinting into the sun, so I guess I gave off some kind of bad vibe. I met up with him after the ceremony and the first thing he said to me was "you looked so snooty that whole time". I was shocked and hurt. He disappeared for the bridal party photoshoot and sat at the bridal table during the reception, so we didn't spend any time together. I didn’t know anyone except one of H’s friends, and he’s not a big talker. H was busy getting drunk and dancing with the bridal party and I was feeling sick, lethargic and lonely at my table. I ended up getting a ride home early with the friend, so I went up to H and told him I didn't feel well and didn't want to be a burden on him when he was having a good time. He just said “okay” and I left.

I didn’t hear from H until 2pm the next day. He didn’t say where he’d stayed, just that he had gotten blackout drunk and couldn’t remember much. He came home that afternoon with one of the bridesmaids bouquets as a gift for me.

The next day, Monday, I had a job interview and needed to iron my dress. H had taken the iron to his friend's place for the wedding and hadn't brought it home. I was annoyed about this, and he got defensive saying that I never even use the iron. He asked "what would make you happy?" and I replied "if the iron was here". He got really angry, saying that everything was always his fault, and that he was DONE. He stormed out and lay face down on the lounge. I went to him crying and asked why he was always so hostile towards me. He gave me the silent treatment while I went to hug my baby goodbye so I could get to work on time for my interview. I couldn’t find my keys and was about to miss my train, and that was the final straw that caused me to have a panic attack. Finally, H got up to hug me and tell me it was okay, we'd work this out together.

His behaviour towards me completely changed from then on. He was reserved, withdrawn, polite, and unreadable. It sounds silly, but he started using full stops in text messages. It was weird and cold. I thought he just needed space, so I was lighthearted and cheerful around him, but didn’t pry. I didn’t question when he went out with friends after work, and when he didn’t come home one night. We had more sex whenever he was around. He went to pick up the iron from his newly married friend, and I asked him to apologise for me being so out of sorts at the wedding. He told me not to worry about it.

A week later, BD.

Later, the topic of the wedding came up. He told me he felt so much disdain looking at me sitting at the table all by myself like a sad sack. He said I wasn’t the wife I was supposed to be, the wife he deserved. He told me he was so upset by my behaviour that he had to get blackout drunk just to feel better. I said I had a different memory of that evening, and reminded him that he never called to check I had got home safely, or asked whether I felt alright the next day. He got angry and said so it’s just another thing that’s my fault. I said no, it’s just my perspective.

I asked him to keep my mental illness in context, and he said he didn’t want to deal with a wife with mental illness anymore. He said I didn’t listen to him about the medication withdrawal effects and I should have started them after the wedding so it wasn’t ruined. I said that I had the right to manage my own mental health and that a wedding wasn’t too important to me when I was dealing with suicidal thoughts, struggling with work, and trying to parent a baby. Again, I reassured him that this was just my thoughts, and that he was entitled to his own thoughts. He calmed down after that.
Posted By: DS9

Re: Scout's QLC journey #2 - 12/08/19 06:54 AM

Hey scout

Glad to hear your weekend was great with lots of activities. Hope you’re feeling ok after being away from your munchkin.

Can I say quite frankly I felt like vomiting when I read your preceding week to bd memoir. That must’ve been hard and emotional to recount that let alone live through it. Jeez I got emotional just reading it, particularly how he abandoned you at the wedding and scorned your mental health situation. I’m not going to write here what I think of your h because it would be very offensive.

Please please promise yourself and your precious son that if h wants comes back you make it a non negotiable condition precedent that he obtains top notch lengthy treatment from a psychiatrist before you entertain letting him back into your life.

Anyway hope s’s return completes a great weekend for you.

Cheers ds
Posted By: scout12

Re: Scout's QLC journey #2 - 12/08/19 09:53 AM

Wow DS, strong reaction. But I thank you for saying so. I promise he wasn't always hateful and dismissive or I wouldn't have married him. He did always seem to value his friends more than me, but he was never nasty about it like that. Of course, now that I know OW was already in the picture, I can see that the devaluing stage was well underway in preparation for the discard.

At this point, H would have to have a personality transplant for me to consider any kind of relationship with him.

My little guy was not really himself when H dropped him off. He was quiet, tired, and subdued. He must have had a big weekend. We went down to the daycare Christmas party, but he didn't want to play with his teachers or jump on the bouncy castle. So we went back home and had lots of cuddles and chats until he was smiling again. Back into the normal evening routine of dinner, bath, books and bed. I missed him a lot.

I opened the door to S and H when they arrived. S is starting to understand that he has to say goodbye to dad at the door, so he said "bye dad" and gave H a kiss. H handed me the bags and thanked me for packing them so well for the weekend. I just smiled. H said "bye S", I said "see ya", then tried to close the door with my elbow since my hands were holding the bags, and accidentally slammed it in H's face! Whoops. A genuine mistake.

This evening, my SIL sent me photos of the kids from the weekend. That was really special. I had packed a present for the kids (S and his cousin are the same age, 11 days apart) of matching Christmas pyjamas and they looked so d@mn cute. I was really grateful for the photos. I didn't even feel a pang of sadness for missing out. I was just glad that S had such a good time.
Posted By: scout12

Re: Scout's QLC journey #2 - 12/08/19 09:51 PM

Sorry for the bad language, job.

I'm flooded with anger at the moment. Writing down these memories is cathartic, but it's stirring up a lot of emotion. That, coupled with everything happening in the present day, is making me feel some kind of way. I've been reading CL articles and other material that takes a hard line stance on cheating, and it's making an impression on me.

H doesn't know that I know about OW. I want him to know that I know.
Posted By: job

Re: Scout's QLC journey #2 - 12/08/19 10:11 PM

Breathe! You don't want to have a go at him when you are angry, hurt or disappointed. The best thing to do is settle down a bit and wait 24-48 hours before you say or do anything. You need to prepare yourself for how he will react if you were to tell him about the ow.

Don't worry about the language, i.e., we understand that there are times when it slips out.

Breathe! Find a pillow and beat the stuffing's out of it. Take that anger and put it to good use on a project that you've put off doing.
Posted By: DnJ

Re: Scout's QLC journey #2 - 12/08/19 10:54 PM

As job said, wait a day or two before speaking or answering.

Feeling will change, they are temporary. But something said cannot be taking back. Things said or done in anger or when highly emotional are seldom helpful in such a charged situation as this.

Find a safe and healthy release of your anger. Sweat it out if you. It will look different once you settle.

H knowing that you know about OW serves you no purpose. Let him slip up and have to do the explaining.

Keep moving forward.

DnJ
Posted By: DS9

Re: Scout's QLC journey #2 - 12/09/19 04:13 AM

Originally Posted by scout12
Wow DS, strong reaction.


Yeah, it was, sorry about that. I'm quite 'traditional', in a sense, in the way I believe a man should act to a woman and a husband to his wife. Your H's behaviour disgusted me.

Seriously, from a strategic perspective, don't say anything to the H about OW. Keep everything calm and level til your Orders have been signed and made by the Court. Don't give H any excuse to not cooperate with that process.

Remember your "Calm" mantra when you get angry or heightened, and do the breathing like the vets have suggested.

Cheers, DS
Posted By: kml

Re: Scout's QLC journey #2 - 12/09/19 04:56 AM

Quote
H doesn't know that I know about OW. I want him to know that I know.


Always ask yourself “Is saying this going to get me closer to my goals?” If not, don’t say it. Tactics not emotions.

If you think him knowing you know would give you an edge in some way, then tell him. But if you think it’s just going to unleash spew (I’m sure he’ll blame you for his affair) then keep quiet.

Take your time and make a pros and cons list. He doesn’t sound to me like a guy who’s going to feel remorseful and give you more in the divorce as a result.

What do you hope to achieve?
Posted By: scout12

Re: Scout's QLC journey #2 - 12/09/19 11:02 PM

Thank you all for your valuable advice.

Truthfully, I did not (and do not) intend to do anything or say anything. The problem is that my sense of cosmic justice is offended. I know the truth will out eventually, H will have to explain himself, and people will put two and two together about the affair. I'm just impatient for some consequences.

(In talking this over with a friend, he actually pointed out that there already have been plenty of consequences - H is barely part of his son's life, has alienated our mutual friends, trashed his reputation, endangered his career, surrendered the assets and wealth we shared, and has to live with his bad self. Touche!)

Once I allowed myself to come to that conclusion, I realised my desire to tell was fed by an underlying desire to regain control. And that recognising this emotion, and choosing not to act on it, is actually an act of positive control. It restores my sense of agency just a little.

So I dealt with that, but the anger wasn't going away. What else was bothering me?

It's the suspicion that H is taking S back to his house for morning visitation without my knowledge.

I was upset about that for a number of reasons - that H is breaking the rules, going behind my back, giving the middle finger to my custodial rights, demonstrating gross entitlement at the expense of S, and generally taking the opportunity to stick it to me by acting out some form of juvenile rebellion.

I stewed on this for a while. What it boiled down to (lots of cooking metaphors here) AGAIN is my loss of control.

Realistically:
- It's only a few hours
- S is not in danger
- I can't enforce it even if I did raise the issue

Therefore I'm circling back around to my original conclusion which is to do nothing and say nothing. And again, by choosing this action of inaction, I AM in control of the only thing I can control, which is myself.

Cooler heads do prevail.
Posted By: OwnIt

Re: Scout's QLC journey #2 - 12/09/19 11:07 PM

Scout, I like to see some anger and frustration coming out. You are almost doing too well and I hope you aren't pushing these things down. I do believe Freud on the return of the repressed. Let them flow through and out of you.

I always had to blab about everything. All I did was teach him how to lie better and how to hurt me. Now I don't tell him squat. Now I like having the power of knowing things he doesn't know I know.

Focus on your beautiful boy. I like the way you handled and explained how he was on pick up and didn't blame your H for that. You focused on your child and his needs. I also love that you were confident enough to appreciate the pictures and that he had fun without making it about you. This says a lot about who you are as a person and a mom.
Posted By: scout12

Re: Scout's QLC journey #2 - 12/12/19 11:45 PM

H's mother sent me a message after their family Christmas weekend. She wanted to let me know that they had a wonderful time with S1 and the family. She said how cute the kids were and hoped I enjoyed the photos. She also thanked me for sending gifts for the family (just some nice boxes of chocolate). She wants to catch up next weekend.

I replied that I was glad they had a good time and I was hoping to hear that. I said the photos were lovely and thanked her for them. And I said I would love to see her next weekend.

I'm wondering what to say if she asks how things are between me and H. The reality is that I don't speak to him unless required, he isn't allowed in my house, and I'm no longer hoping to reconcile. The last time we spoke, I told her I was standing for my marriage. How I can explain these new decisions? I know I don't have to discuss it at all. I don't want to hurt her. But if she asks, I feel that I shouldn't obfuscate the truth. The verbal abuse, the false accusations, the parenting disrespect, and the biggest elephant in the room, the affair.

I'm sure the advice will be to keep H's dirty laundry private, especially to his family. But that feels disingenuous to my own integrity. I feel I have the right to own and share my story as I see fit. Not to punish or condemn, but to stay true to myself.
Posted By: DS9

Re: Scout's QLC journey #2 - 12/12/19 11:58 PM

Hey Scout,

Blood's thicker than water - always remember that when dealing with his family. I think from memory you may have mentioned H's family demonstrating that as well, so I'm not sure how well you get on with them in the broader scheme.

I'd just say "I'm solely focusing on S and myself right now, and havent had much to do with H. Please know that H's decision doesn't mean S and I wont be part of your life still'. Modify to suit of course, based on how well you get on.

Your own integrity is just that - your own. You don't need outside validation, least of all from H's family, to cement your integrity. His lies, deceit and sliminess will make itself apparent without you needing to tell anyone. Your quiet dignity will speak in greater volume than any retelling of what he's done or airing his dirty laundry.

Cheers, DS
Posted By: DnJ

Re: Scout's QLC journey #2 - 12/13/19 12:44 AM

Hello scout

I’m still following along and saw your anger has risen quite a bit. Did the physical activity help with it? Sweating it out?

Originally Posted by scout12
I'm wondering what to say if she asks how things are between me and H. The reality is that I don't speak to him unless required, he isn't allowed in my house, and I'm no longer hoping to reconcile. The last time we spoke, I told her I was standing for my marriage. How I can explain these new decisions?

These new decisions - I want you to think about them. “Think” about them, not feel about them.

Bond drop was June. Separation in July. OW confirmed in October. Months.

You have the gift of time. No need to rush decisions.

Do not make big decisions based mostly on feelings. You are justifiably angry and that influences your thoughts as well. Find indifference and things will look clearer. Then find your beliefs, your values, and alter those which you wish too. Base decisions upon beliefs.

The decision to stand down or not. Base it on beliefs, anything else will cause you grief.

To tell or discuss further details of the situation with spouse’s family is one we all struggle with. And you have plenty of poor behaviour from him you could share.

Originally Posted by scout12
I feel that I shouldn't obfuscate the truth.


That is the point.

You feel you shouldn’t.

With your intellect, logic, and reason (keeping emotions out of it): Do you think you should tell? What do you think it will accomplish? Or hope to accomplish?

The bigger view point: Do you believe in telling?

Originally Posted by scout12
But that feels disingenuous to my own integrity.


Feels.

Can you say - That is disingenuous to my own integrity.

I understand where and when you are. 6 month in, things are still stirred up a bit - even for someone so far along and doing so well as you.

Your integrity. That means something. Keeping your side of the street clean.

I believe integrity includes some compassionate confidence and some compassionate disclosure.

Originally Posted by scout12
I feel I have the right to own and share my story as I see fit. Not to punish or condemn, but to stay true to myself.

You absolutely have the right to share or say what you will. You also have the right to choose not to. It is up to you to decide which right you will exercise. It’s impossible to un-share later if you realize it was an error.

I do realize you are not full of vengeance, and not trying to punish or condemn.

Staying true to yourself is a worthy goal. I just want you to ensure you know and believe in what you are doing. Things change a lot during this journey. Look at far you’ve come in six months. Imagine where you’ll be in six months from now.

Have faith. Keep moving forward. There is a time when feelings are not so involved. It’s rather peaceful.

DnJ
Posted By: scout12

Re: Scout's QLC journey #2 - 12/13/19 02:29 AM

My anger was short-lived. It subsided within a matter of days and I'm chugging along quite cheerfully again.

Sometimes we think we are bad people when we feel angry. Anger is a fair and correct response to being mistreated. It is what we do with the anger that matters. I try my best to not REACT inappropriately while angry. I do ACT though. I reach out to friends, post here or elsewhere online, or channel the emotion into positive activity.

As you said, DnJ, I need to think it over and approach it without emotion. Typing it all out here and receiving your thoughtful input is part of that process. I have been thinking about this in various states of being for a little while now. I'm not too sure that my logical intention is different from my emotional intention. But I will think on it some more smile

In times of emotional overwhelm, sometimes all you can do is just sit with your feelings, examine them, even console them like a friend in need. No need to reject any feeling, even anger. Or be afraid of those feelings and emotions.

Something my H always struggled with was the inability to entertain negative emotions. It was a point of pride with him that he just wouldn't allow it. There was always the implication (and sometimes the outright statement) that he was 'stronger' or 'better' than me in this regard.

I'm at peace with my decision to stand down. If H was to try and come back now, my answer would be "no". In practical terms, this doesn't mean anything changes for me. I'm still on the same path as I was during my decision to stand. Maybe that is your point, DnJ?
Posted By: scout12

Re: Scout's QLC journey #2 - 12/13/19 03:16 AM

Originally Posted by DS9

I'd just say "I'm solely focusing on S and myself right now, and havent had much to do with H. Please know that H's decision doesn't mean S and I wont be part of your life still'. Modify to suit of course, based on how well you get on.


I like your script, DS.

Quote
His lies, deceit and sliminess will make itself apparent without you needing to tell anyone.


I do believe this.
Posted By: DnJ

Re: Scout's QLC journey #2 - 12/13/19 04:30 AM

Love your post scout.

Originally Posted by scout12
Maybe that is your point, DnJ?

You are very insightful.

So, if the path is the same, regardless of decision to stand or stand down, you see it’s your path. The path to your healed self.

A concept I really like is - instead of standing down, stand for you.

We start standing for our marriage, our spouse, our relationship. And one by one, indifference mutes those reasons which were based on such strong emotion.

We continue our path, look to our beliefs, and discover. One learns their core, their center, their convictions.

Stand for you.

I like to be accurate in both thought and heart. And remember one’s mind and heart are listening. Standing down has to have something to stand down from. It removes possibilities, it removes hope.

Standing for you, is forward, it’s creation of possibilities and hope.

Hope and possibilities make good healing.

All this may have no affect on the outcome of your situation. It will have an affect on the outcome of you.

The path of the LBS is not primarily about reconciliation, that is the bonus part; the path is about you.

I am so glad you got my point.

DnJ
Posted By: scout12

Re: Scout's QLC journey #2 - 12/13/19 06:10 AM

DnJ, you are Yoda and I am Luke Skywalker. Lol. Thank you.

As part of the healing process, I am transferring memories from my head onto this thread. The theory is that ceremonially downloading these thoughts will free up disk space in my mind and improve my processing speed. So to speak.

The added benefit is the reaction from you all to help me keep things in perspective.

Here are the most 'memorable' things H said to me in the four days between BD and moving out. I'm sure all LBS have heard a variation of the below in their own situations. These words make a lot more sense when seen through the lens of the OW's presence, but without that knowledge at the time, I understood very little of it. Hearing this from the person who vowed to love, cherish, and protect me sent me into a catatonic state of shock, as I'm sure you all have felt before too.

“I don’t love you”
“I don’t like being around you”
“I don’t feel any connection to you”
“We don’t have anything in common”
“I see no future with you”
“I settled for you”
“You are the safe option”
“You’re holding me back”
“I don’t respect you”
“I have too much disdain for you”
“You disgust me”
“You are lazy and boring”
“You are bad company”
“You make no effort to better yourself”
“I need to see what else is out there”
“I want the chance to sleep with other people”
“I give everything and never get anything back”
“I feel trapped with this life”
“I want my freedom”
“I won’t do something because society expects it”
“I haven’t been happy for years”
“The only thing I care about is my own happiness”
“It’s not about what you want, it’s about what I want”
“You never tried to be good enough for me”
“You weren’t the wife that I deserved”
Posted By: DnJ

Re: Scout's QLC journey #2 - 12/13/19 12:25 PM

That is quite a list. And quite a good memory.

After my BD, and meetings, I wrote down what happened and what was said. I just couldn’t believe it; it was just so out there. I thought there is no way I’ll ever remember this. ha ha. Yeah, remembering isn’t a problem.

I’m sure that list looks much different to you now. But man oh man, at BD these kind of things cut to the core. Getting them out of your disk space and onto here is a good idea.

My XW said similar. During her tirade she also blamed me for the furnace vent blowing on her and making her feel cold. Did H make any wildly off the wall blaming of you for stuff? It seems we all have one or two really weird “things” that are actually a bit humorous - once you heal enough and find your humour again. Which I’m pretty sure you have done.

Green and wrinkled you say I am. smile

DnJ
Posted By: scout12

Re: Scout's QLC journey #2 - 12/13/19 09:40 PM

I made note of everything that happened as well during the first six or so weeks. More to protect myself should things go south than out of disbelief. I don’t blame you for recording your situation. It is really one that beggars belief.

Originally Posted by DnJ
Did H make any wildly off the wall blaming of you for stuff?


Yes, my emails were too business-like! The furnace vent making your XW feel cold is pretty funny. Couldn’t you have tried a little bit harder to meet her needs, DnJ?!
Posted By: DnJ

Re: Scout's QLC journey #2 - 12/13/19 09:48 PM

Quote
Couldn’t you have tried a little bit harder to meet her needs, DnJ?!

HAHAHA!!!!!
Posted By: OwnIt

Re: Scout's QLC journey #2 - 12/13/19 10:00 PM

Scout, I heard every single one, almost word for word, except overtly the sex one (but definitely in the room).

The anger will come and go for a long time. Your psyche lets you deal with these things as you can. The character of it changes though.

I love DnJ, but he is still a man (sorry DnJ). Feelings matter and how you feel about things matter. But the two, our thoughts/beliefs and our feelings need to be in an equilibrium, with neither of them running the show. An upset in the scale either way upsets the balance.

Yes, do the brain dump. It helps. Cry and scream in the car and the shower. Process away. You are kicking it.
Posted By: scout12

Re: Scout's QLC journey #2 - 12/15/19 11:03 AM

It's Sunday night. Son is in bed and dishes are done. I'm poring over cookbooks and food magazines planning my Christmas menu. I did my Christmas shopping this morning and thought how wonderful it was to buy gifts for loved ones without Scrooge McGrinch (aka H) harping on about how much it all cost. How freeing and fulfilling it was to come across an item and think "xyz would love that" and pop it in the trolley without a second thought.

I am a spendthrift by nature, and even more so by conditioning, but H became truly obsessed with frugality and the idea of retiring early. He put us on a highly restricted budget when S1 was born. I was on maternity leave (minimum wage) for a year and struggled to get out of the house and take care of myself on my 'allowance' - I'm talking a coffee date, a yoga class, a lunch, even buying clothes that fit post-pregnancy. I believe this contributed to the debilitating post-natal depression/anxiety I experienced.

I was making notes in my phone of the Christmas groceries I need and came across a note I made in November last year. I had forgotten about it, but reading it again now - whoa.

It was around this time that my PND/A was at its worst. H had just signed a $50k car loan that I was vehemently opposed to, and the debt frightened me as I had expressed a need for financial flexibility during my return to work in January. I had started individual counselling, and asked H to go to marriage counselling because I was deathly unhappy. I told him if the things in this note didn't change, that we might be better off raising our son apart.

You know - the honest approach that emotionally mature people take!

I feel
[ ] Taken advantage of
[ ] Mine/S's wellbeing at home isn't considered
[ ] Lonely
[ ] My thoughts and feelings aren't taken seriously
[ ] I'm not worth your effort or attention
[ ] My health and fitness isn't supported
[ ] Insecure about my value and worth

Because
[ ] You don't pick up after yourself
[ ] You don't consider the impact that has on the house and my responsibility for maintaining it
[ ] I have to pick up after you so S doesn't get into things he shouldn't
[ ] I have to pick up after you before I can get to other chores
[ ] You're addicted to technology (as am I)
[ ] You make jokes or give a stock response or brush me off whenever I want to talk about my feelings
[ ] You don't bother to shower/use deodorant/shave on my account
[ ] You fart in front of me and other gross body stuff when I've told you it turns me off
[ ] You won't commit to healthy eating or a fitness routine
[ ] My contributions to the household aren't noticed or appreciated

That makes me
[ ] Resent you for making my daily life harder and more boring
[ ] Lash out at you for seemingly small things that actually are a big deal to person stuck at home every day
[ ] Not want to do anything extra for you/only take care of S and myself
[ ] Have no desire to have sex with you
[ ] Cook/eat unhealthier than I'd like because I have to take your preferences into account
[ ] Turn to technology more than I'd like so I can feel connection and support from other people
[ ] Needy for constant validation and reassurance
[ ] Feel guilty about spending money, particularly on myself because I don't contribute to finances equally
[ ] Ask you to do things I could do myself so that the scales are balanced

Therefore
[ ] Housework may not seem like a big deal to you but it is the only thing that gives me purpose
[ ] By sabotaging my ability to succeed at housework, you prevent me from feeling in control

I need
[ ] The living space to be peaceful and calm because I spend majority of the time there
[ ] You to be more considerate of the impact your laziness has on me and S and do something about it
[ ] Recognition for the things I do achieve even if they seem like nothing to you
[ ] Encouragement and opportunity to do things for self care including spending money on things I need
[ ] You to be sincere when responding to me
[ ] To control my anger towards you and explain why I'm frustrated without being mean
[ ] To be more open to physical affection and intimacy
[ ] To let you and S have time together without interfering, except when you are using technology excessively around him because that's not ok
[ ] To help make home and family a happy place so that everyone wants to be here

H read the above note. He didn't say much. I can't actually remember what was said, but there definitely weren't any apologies or promises made. I guess I was so conditioned to expect a non-response that it didn't surprise me. Eventually he did agree to marriage counselling once he realised I was serious, but that was more of the same shallow, evasive responses from H, so it didn't really help. I don't think he was willing or even capable of doing the work required to actually benefit from counselling. Which is why it surprised me to hear that he is in counselling now.
Posted By: Gerda

Re: Scout's QLC journey #2 - 12/15/19 02:59 PM

Holy cow, that list given to an MLCer is going to be a train wreck! Think of what a teenager would do if his mom gave him that. That's how they see it, they are not interested in working through problems. The only way forward is to let them go.

I know you wrote it last year but you present it here as if it's something that you thought would work, so I wanted to chime in on that. That approach will never work with an MLCer and will make things worse. You didn't cause anything with the letter but it could fuel his MLC fire.

I read on the Daughters of Sarah or somewhere, before I knew what MLC was about, writing down all your expectations of your H and then hiding it and rereading them six months later, repeat, until you had let go of all of them. I periodically find that paper and am astonished at how many expectations I let go. Try that. It helped me let go, slowly but surely. It doesn't mean he won't return to being the man you knew. But he won't if you try to make him!
Posted By: kml

Re: Scout's QLC journey #2 - 12/15/19 07:44 PM

Well, although I’m not surprised he didn’t respond to that list, my reasoning is a little different - you made that list because he was already out of the marriage but you didn’t know it, so you were looking for solutions without knowing he was having an affair. Gaslighting will do that to you.

As for his frugality efforts - followed by a $50,000 car loan! Obviously the frugality part wasn’t something he could stick to. Doesn’t mean, though, that a frugal approach FOR YOURSELF wouldn’t be a good idea - check out the Mr Money Mustache blog and message boards for information and inspiration.
Posted By: scout12

Re: Scout's QLC journey #2 - 12/15/19 08:58 PM

Oh dear God, did I make it sound like I had given H this list in the present day? Definitely not! This all took place six months prior to BD, before I knew that anything was wrong with H, before I knew about the affair, before any of this had happened. I am not trying to save this marriage anymore and I have no contact with H beyond kid changeovers.

Speaking of, H just arrived for morning visitation. He parked his car on the driveway, not knowing he was parked behind my car inside the garage. I opened the door when he knocked (telling S "dad's here!) and noticed his car. I leave as soon as he arrives. We had the following exchange:

M: Can you move your car, please?
H: I thought you park on the other side of the garage
M: I park wherever I want these days. You might want to start parking on the street.
H: No. I'm not going to do that. I'll park my car on the driveway and move it every single time if I have to.
M: (laughing internally) OK.
H: Where's his stroller? Is it in your car or the garage?
W: In my car. You'll need to get your own stroller though.
H: (stares at me for a moment then shakes his head as if he can't believe the audacity of what I said)
M: You can take it today, that's fine. But you'll need to sort your own stuff out for him when you have him.
H: (scoffs, presumably at how unbelievably petty and unreasonable I am)

As a sanity check for my own behaviour, I often try to imagine H retelling these exchanges to try and make himself look like the victim. Eg.

"She told me I had to park my car on the street! ON THE STREET! Who does she think she is?"
"Apparently I have to buy my own stroller to put my child in when I have him. What a b!tch!"
Posted By: job

Re: Scout's QLC journey #2 - 12/15/19 09:06 PM

Scout,

Your h isn't stupid one bit. He figures that he will use all of the "baby" stuff you have...so he doesn't have to put out any money at his own place. At some point, he's going to have to get baby things for his place and keep them there for when the little one comes over. It's not your responsibility to provide him with the essentials. I would think it would be far easier to have a stroller at each place, instead of folding one up every time the little one goes over there. But, in his mind, he thinks that you should be taking care of all of that for him.

As for where you park in your garage, that is your business. You asked him politely to move his car and if he wants to go through that exercise each and every time he comes, so be it. He's still trying to control what is going on in your space.

He hasn't figure out what the word divorce means when it comes to separate households and each household having what is needed to take care of the little one. He's in for a rude awakening at some point.

You handled the conversation very well today.
Posted By: scout12

Re: Scout's QLC journey #2 - 12/16/19 11:47 AM

Thanks, job, for confirming that I’ve not done anything wrong.

Is H determined to make my life difficult, or is he just a hopeless dolt?

He turned up half an hour late for kid changeover this afternoon. I refuse to chase him up to do the right thing anymore, so I did not call or text. I held my temper when he knocked at the door. I just said "Hi. You were supposed be here at 5. Please get the stroller out of the car." He looked at me literally slack-jawed and said "I thought you were at work..."

I was, and I had to leave a two-hour meeting with heads of department early in order to get home by 5pm. This was to accommodate today’s change in visitation that he requested as part of his Christmas schedule. I didn't bother sharing how it affected my day. I just repeated "You were supposed to be here at 5. Please get the stroller out of the car." He did so, then said "bye, S" and left.

It’s possible he got confused with his normal weekday dropoff time of 5:30pm. In which case, an acknowledgment and apology for his mistake would have sufficed. Is that too much to expect? Probably, huh.

My dad flew into town for the holidays last night, so once H left I took S to my mother’s house for dinner. While I was dressing him after his bath, I noticed there were still three of four nappies left in his bag. Meaning he only had one nappy change in the 12 hours he was with H. Not great for his poor little bottom. The change pad was also missing from the bag. Lord, give me strength.
Posted By: DnJ

Re: Scout's QLC journey #2 - 12/16/19 12:45 PM

Good Morning Scout

Well done with H being late and the parking in the driveway and the stroller and ...

Yeah, crisis and divorce, H is in for a big slap in the face when reality kicks in.

Originally Posted by scout12
Is H determined to make my life difficult, or is he just a hopeless dolt?

A bit of both probably. But hopeless dolt is a pretty good assumption for when and where he is for most times.

The latest 5:30 instead of 5:00 pickup time shows a bit of it. I don’t see culpable intent with his incorrect time; there’d be a smirk or smugness to him. A person in that mindset want and needs the other to see the power they are exerting, quite passive aggressive. Of course some are just outright aggressive and nasty and cruel.

H’s slack-jawed response sounds genuine. Crisis people have minds and memory like Swiss cheese - full of holes. He may have forgot, well I’m thinking he really did forget. He may have been listening when you told him about the different drop off time, and then poof it’d be gone. It doesn’t take much to overwhelm him in his current state.

I am a bit surprised he is keeping to the “normal” scheduled times so well. Truth be told. There is usually much more frustration with their lack of punctuality.

One quick thing, there was four nappies left in the bag - therefore only one change. Maybe (ok probably). Perhaps H got some of his own. A bit wishful thinking I know, but don’t jump to conclusions to quick. Is it probable that H only changed S once in 12 hours? Is there further evidence, like rash and so on?

This is something you should discuss with H. Politely, of course (and you got that down really good). Ask him how often is he checking and changing son. If H is having any problems or concerns. What brand he bought. Etc. Should be able to start a conversation and find out and gently correct H; the well-being of S being the focus of the conversation will not blame H and therefore get what you want out of it.

You got some strength in you girl!

DnJ
Posted By: kml

Re: Scout's QLC journey #2 - 12/16/19 08:53 PM

Why are you giving him a fully stocked diaper bag? Why doesn’t he have his own bag and his own diapers? I’d stop that right now . Hand him a paper bag with any bottles needed and the name and size of the diapers you buy. Tell him he needs to buy his own stuff for S. Or just gift him a cheap gaudy diaper bag.
Posted By: scout12

Re: Scout's QLC journey #2 - 12/17/19 01:39 AM

It honestly never occurred to me to not send a fully stocked bag. Hmm. I thought it was best for S to have access to all his familiar things when he's out with his dad, but you're right, it's not my responsibility anymore. Especially as the bag is regularly returned missing water bottles, snack containers, spare clothes etc. Not sure if H is losing or keeping them.

S did have a rash and marks from the nappy on his legs and bottom yesterday. The nappy was bulging full when I changed him. Poor kiddo. Once again he was not given breakfast at home. He asks for cereal when he wakes up, so I tried giving him the cereal box and getting him to ask H himself when he arrives. I guess H told him no and put it away.

With regards to the tardiness, H has never been respectful of other people's time. It used to embarrass me when we were together. He thought an arrival time was more of a goal and that people could just wait. Whereas I'm more of an 'on time is late' kinda person. Trip planning was always left to me to figure out, and H didn't care much about helping to get us out the door on time, but he would inevitably blame me for our collective lateness.

So I think the continued problem with his punctuality is just more of the same careless behaviour, just magnified through crisis. Despite the fact that the 5pm dropoff time was one that he decided on, and put in writing in email to confirm, I guess he just forgot.
Posted By: DnJ

Re: Scout's QLC journey #2 - 12/17/19 02:01 AM

Hi scout

Originally Posted by scout12
I'm more of an 'on time is late' kinda person.

Oh, I know what you mean. I’m right there with you.

I do like kml’s advice regarding the diaper bag and stuff. Never occurred to me either. Makes perfect sense when you think about it. Of course she’s a pretty sensible person.

DnJ
Posted By: scout12

Re: Scout's QLC journey #2 - 12/18/19 03:38 AM

I just wrapped all S's presents and put them under the tree. After standing back to admire my handiwork, it hit me.

For the first time in 31 years, I won't have any presents to open on Christmas morning. Ouch! I will just have to experience the thrill and joy through S this year. We are going to play with his new toys, read his new books, and bake some cookies to take to my family lunch. New family, new traditions.

H won't be on the scene until Boxing Day, so I'm hoping for a happy, peaceful day.

Last night, I approved the final consent orders and instructed my L to forward them to H. That was a good feeling. Gives H some time to think about things over the holidays. I'm hopeful he will sign and return them expeditiously as there is nothing in them that we haven't verbally agreed on. But we shall see.
Posted By: kml

Re: Scout's QLC journey #2 - 12/18/19 01:37 PM

Girl - sounds silly, but buy yourself some presents “ from Santa” and wrap and put them under the tree. Let your son see mommy open a couple presents too. And even though you won’t be surprised - be nice to yourself.

You’ve got this.
Posted By: job

Re: Scout's QLC journey #2 - 12/18/19 03:28 PM

I agree w/kml. Absolutely purchase some gifts, wrap them up from Santa and your little one. He will be watching you and you will want to see "mommy" happy too.
Posted By: scout12

Re: Scout's QLC journey #2 - 12/19/19 12:17 AM

It feels silly but okay. I already bought some board games for the open house I'm hosting next week so I can wrap those up.

Can I get some feedback on this draft email?

After yet another late arrival this morning ("missed my alarm and slept in") I've had enough of the morning visitation. H causes problem after problem, week after week, and it's just not good for me or S to be jerked around any more. I've tried to frame it as changing for positive reasons, rather than negative ones, in order to get H on board. I've been thinking about this solution for a while, but I'm not going to send this until the frustration from this morning has settled.

Note: we have a non-binding parenting plan in place, so this can all be worked out between us. No lawyers needed.

Quote
Hi,

I would love to come to an agreement on changing the morning visit to an afternoon/evening visit.  

The goals being to minimise disruption to his morning routine, give you more opportunity to participate in his evening routine, and prepare him for an overnight visit in future. 

My thought was that you could handle pickup at 3:30, dinner, bath, then drop him back home for bed at 7:30. Giving you the same amount of time as the morning visit, if not more. Does that sound like something you'd be interested in doing? I believe it would be better for S - and he would love it, I'm sure.

Please let me know what you think. If you need time to organise your schedule to suit, that would be fine. As mentioned, you would need to let me know your address so that I know where S is when he's not with me.

Thanks.
Posted By: OwnIt

Re: Scout's QLC journey #2 - 12/19/19 01:24 AM

I don't know how you could be more positive than this. I don't read any control or vindictiveness. I like tying it to a future overnight visit and pointing out that he loses no time.

Maybe instead of "let me know what you think," how about, if you have any other suggestion, then of course I'd be happy to discuss that as well. Making it very clear you are not laying down the law.

Good job!
Posted By: DS9

Re: Scout's QLC journey #2 - 12/19/19 05:00 AM

Originally Posted by scout12
It feels silly but okay. I already bought some board games for the open house I'm hosting next week so I can wrap those up.

[/quote]

Nah, stuff the board games. Get yourself something really nice Scout. Something you've been eyeing for ages but didn't pull the trigger on. You deserve it. We all do.

Surely though H isn't that much of a tool that he wouldn't get you something on behalf of S.

Good luck with the open house and have fun. I'd have one but too no-one round me to invite!

Email sounds perfect - very nicely done.

Good luck with the Orders.

Overall, you sound like you're doing really well and have grown so much Scout. Good on you!

Cheers, DS
Posted By: Gerda

Re: Scout's QLC journey #2 - 12/19/19 05:23 AM

Originally Posted by DS9
Nah, stuff the board games. Get yourself something really nice Scout. Something you've been eyeing for ages but didn't pull the trigger on. You deserve it. We all do.

Surely though H isn't that much of a tool that he wouldn't get you something on behalf of S.

Good luck with the open house and have fun. I'd have one but too no-one round me to invite!


DS9, this post shows us all that you are a great guy. And I agree, Scout needs to get herself some earrings or something too!

But yes, all our MLCers are that much of a tool.

About the open house -- I have the same problem as you but I have been doing this open house twice a month and I invited almost everyone I liked at all and find that each time 2 to 4 people come, and it's enough to hang out by the fire and not feel lonely. So maybe you just need to expand your vision of it or ask at your (or a) church about a family who needs an evening like that!
Posted By: DS9

Re: Scout's QLC journey #2 - 12/19/19 05:35 AM

Oh gee thanks Gerda that's very kind of you. I'm actually blushing!

I think Scout needs to get herself a pair of Louboutins as well as the earrings, hey Scout.

Good idea for the open house too - thank you.

Cheers DS
Posted By: scout12

Re: Scout's QLC journey #2 - 12/21/19 04:35 AM

Just got back from visiting the in-laws. It was three hours of small talk, watching S play, and silence. I didn’t tell them about the affair, and only shared two bits of information about H. I can tell they were deliberately avoiding any mention of him, which I should have expected. I feel really agitated by all the words I wanted to speak but didn’t or couldn’t, so I’m going to blurt them here.

Number one. I mentioned that I had served H the separation paperwork this week. MIL said “oh, you’re doing it through lawyers?” As if to say, surely that’s not necessary? I just said yes and that it had all been verbally agreed upon, so hopefully H would just sign and return without changing anything. FIL said confidently “he wouldn’t do that”. I kind of just smiled and didn’t reply.

Here’s the redo conversation I’m having in my head. This did not happen.

IL: He wouldn’t do that
M: Actually, a lot has happened since I last talked to you both, and H has proven himself to be supremely untrustworthy.
IL: What’s happened?
M: I would love to confide in you, but out of respect for your feelings, I’ll only tell you the truth if you want to hear it. You know that I am honest to a fault, and I hope that you trust me.
IL: Of course we do.
M: Well, I’m sorry to be the bearer of bad news. H did, in fact, leave me for another woman. A 21-year old employee, actually. He has been making my life extremely difficult ever since, and it is virtually impossible to coparent with him.

I can’t actually picture their reaction to that information, so I won’t speculate further. The reaction would have been superfluous anyway. All I would have cared about was getting the truth out.

Number two. As we were saying goodbye, MIL mentioned she would be seeing S on Boxing Day. I said “Oh, are you all going to H’s place?” She said no, H would be bringing S over. I said “Oh good, because he isn’t supposed to take S to his place without sharing his address, and he hasn’t done that”. She reassured me that they would be spending the day at their place. I smiled and said that was totally okay.

I’m okay with how that went. Maybe she can encourage H to do the right thing. Or maybe she thinks I’m being unreasonable and controlling as per H’s tall tales. I don’t care. Again, all that matters is that the truth is out there.

I would have liked the chance to explain why H is no longer welcome in my home, or why I have no contact with him, or why I am no longer hoping to reconcile. Or even just to tell them that I’ve made those decisions. I will probably never get the opportunity, and even if I did, I probably wouldn’t bring it up. I just want to COMMUNICATE. It was like holding back rising floodwaters by holding my tongue. I don’t know if I can see them again. It’s too hard on me.

Arghhhhhhh. It feels good to expel these pent-up thoughts.
Posted By: job

Re: Scout's QLC journey #2 - 12/21/19 02:51 PM

Scout,

You handled the situation w/grace and dignity. If the in-laws want to know more about the situation, they can ask their son about it. Of course, he will have a different tale or completely change the subject w/them, but at least they now know that something isn't right in Denmark, so to speak.

You do not need to explain anything more to them at this time. They can piece together what is going on and go from there. If they ask questions, then you can answer them, but until they do...I wouldn't say another word.

In time, once the dust settles, you may decide to go visit them again. After all, you are the mother of their grandchild. For now, keep the focus on you and your child. Life has a way of working things out and there's no need to bring worry to your door about your in-laws and what they think.
Posted By: peacetoday

Re: Scout's QLC journey #2 - 12/21/19 02:56 PM

Hi

The Mlcer family will side with them at least for a while till they see first hand the craziness the MLCer brings

It took a few months until My XH family could see first hand the damage he was creating
I never had to say a word to them except ..
I am ok ..the kids are ok..
I wish the best for him

Its just takes time
who he is becoming will speak the truth and you can stand tall without ever saying a word

as you work on forgiveness, your son will learn from you
Your H is not bad he is a sick person running from inner child issues, running from pain from his childhood

Unfortunately for many in crises, they may not have the awareness of ever working their demons out

Hang in and continue to work on you
your son will reap the benefits of a healthy mom
Posted By: scout12

Re: Scout's QLC journey #2 - 12/22/19 11:43 PM

Last night was my stepdad’s family Christmas dinner. The whole family knows about the separation and the reasons behind it.

I went over early in the afternoon with S1 and we all went for a swim. S1 is overconfident and underskilled in the pool, which makes things interesting. Luckily I used to teach swimming so I can handle it. Once the kids were dressed and occupied with toys, my sister and I did our makeup together listening to Christmas music. Lots of fun!

After dinner, I was chatting with my uncle. He said how disappointed he was with H because he had always loved him like a son. He told me he’d tried to call him a few weeks ago with no answer. I said it was not surprising after H deleted all the family and my friends from Facebook.

Uncle said he was still so shocked and would never have expected behaviour like this from H, who was the nicest guy and always made a beeline for Uncle at family gatherings to chat and have a laugh. He then said something I thought was interesting. He had always thought H was nice, but not the kind of guy you’d expect to have your back in a bar fight. I asked what he meant. He clarified that he though H was not an honourable man.

After dinner, we watched some digitised home videos, including one from my stepdad’s father’s 60th birthday party. I never met him, but my stepdad is one of the best men I’ve ever met, so he must have been a h3ll of a guy. The video captured all the speeches and it seemed he was truly loved and respected by many people. It got me to thinking about my life. What will my friends say at my 60th? Or H’s?

Later, I asked Uncle what gave him that impression about H. He said that even though H went out of his way to speak to him at parties, he noticed that he never included me, or returned to me when he was done. It was always onto the next source of entertainment. He also said that H always served himself first without making sure I had a drink, or was seated comfortably, or had someone to talk to, or whatever.

Uncle’s wife told him he was old-fashioned. Uncle reiterated his strong belief that the most important quality a man has has in life is honour. He implored me to raise S1 with this quality and I promised I would.
Posted By: scout12

Re: Scout's QLC journey #2 - 12/23/19 03:34 AM

A quick little vent. My dad has been in town for the holidays since last Sunday.

My parents separated when I was 11, but they are completely amicable now and dad always stays with Mum and Stepdad whenever he visits - usually once a year. Now, as an adult, I can see that his life has pretty much been a shambles since my mum left him 20 years ago after years of trying to get him to participate in marriage and family life.

He was the big shot that everyone loved, the funny guy with the loud voice. He was also emotionally unavailable, avoidant, didn't respect boundaries - the works. Sounds familiar, huh? I get along fine with him, and share things that are going on in my life, but I have no idea what goes on in his life. I'm perfectly fine with the depth of our relationship and don't want anything more.

On Monday I took S1 to mum's place for dinner. Dad was very happy to see his only grandchild. We had polite chit-chat and did the awkward one-armed side-hug.

I have strong boundaries about my personal space because Dad has never respected it. As a child, he would flick, slap, pinch, tickle, fidget, caress etc, and occasionally drive me to tears with his physical attention. I won't call it affection, though I'm sure in his mind it was. He would literally trap me in a hug and rub his beard stubble on my face even after I told him I didn't like it and please stop and would eventually scream to be let go. He would either laugh and tell me to stop being silly, or get grumpy and offended at the thought he'd done something wrong.

So for years now, I haven't allowed any at all, because it makes me extremely uncomfortable. He still reacts badly when I politely turn down a hug or escape from a shoulder rub. He will sulk and 'punish' me by withdrawing his attention. The manipulation is quite childish and obvious.

He knew I had the day off last Wednesday, yet booked in a day trip to visit an old drinking buddy. I'm guessing this was in retaliation for Monday night's offense. Before he arrived for this visit, he sent messages telling me he would have so much time to spend with me and S1 and that he couldn't wait to see us. But it did't seem like he was making us a priority...

He also made himself scarce from the family gathering last night, which is understandable. When he got home, he asked if I had plans today and I said no, feel free to come over. I suggested we take S1 to the beach for a swim. He then backtracked and said he had to go shopping so he might be able to fit us in if he had time... Okay, whatever.

Woke up to rain this morning and a phone call saying he was going to the shops and we could meet him there if we wanted. The last place I wanted to be was in the last-minute shopping madness - I deliberately did all my shopping weeks ago to avoid it. So I said no thanks, but you're welcome to pick up lunch and bring it here. He said he would be there at 11:30.

Now, like all toddlers, S1 has a midday nap. 11:30 came and went. 11:45 he messages to say he'd be another 20 minutes. 12:05 and S1 is hungry and overtired. Finally at 12:15 he arrives with fast food. S1 isn't in the mood to eat so I say he can have his lunch afterwards since it's an hour past naptime. I tell Dad I had planned to take a nap as well and he's welcome to hang out and watch TV until S1 wakes up so they can play. I swear, he actually huffed like a moody teenager and said "No, I'll just nick off and come back later". So off he went.

So now I'm sitting here typing this out instead of napping, because I'm a bit annoyed.
Posted By: Gerda

Re: Scout's QLC journey #2 - 12/23/19 04:21 AM

I think once we start doing the healing work, we realize how it was not just our MLCer whose trauma caused the rupture. Likewise our own traumas may have be the reason we were attracted to the MLCer, to play out that wound all over again. I always thought I was dating men who were nothing like my dad or nothing like my family; now, looking back, I find it terrifying to realize that I ended up marrying someone who would become the spitting MLC image of my mother.

I had/have the same problem with my parents, that physical block that I even felt was a repulsion toward them. I used to beat myself up for it and sometimes I still do. But all kids WANT parental affection when things are not disordered, so it must really go deep for both us and surely, like Robin WIlliams says in Good Will Hunting, IT'S NOT YOUR FAULT.

From my far vantage point reading your story I would just tell you to be easy on yourself and not read too much into your dad's behavior. You seem to have quite a lot of expectations of him; expectations are why we feel disappointed each time these things happen. Maybe you can practice some of what you are learning here -- more than what you have already done, I mean -- just in terms of not thinking anything you do or say can change your dad, and just accepting that reality as you GAL.

I would also say that many grandparents don't have any memory of what babies need as far as schedules, etc., and usually see our mothering as being overly focused on the kids. My dad is the same even now that my kids are tween/teen and he knows that they have experienced so much loss, he will even say he doesn't want to go on a vacation with us because my choices "revolve too much around the kids." Some of that is just normal grandparent stuff and some is your dad's NPD or whatever his clusterB disorder is!
Posted By: scout12

Re: Scout's QLC journey #2 - 12/23/19 04:41 AM

Argh, another Dad frustration.

He came back from having a beer at the pub and started a roundabout conversation about whether S1 had a bank account. I said no. He then told me Grandma gave him $1000 for S1 and $500 for me to buy a new bed. Apparently when I visited her earlier in the month, I mentioned that I no longer have a spare bed after H moved out.

He said once I set up a savings account for S1, I can have the money. I said why don’t you just transfer it to my savings account? He said no because it’s for a specific purpose. He also refused to give me the $500 for the bed until I’m ready to buy it. Again, because it’s for a specific purpose.

Am I wrong in thinking this is a control tactic? I’m a grown woman with a child and a mortgage. I don’t need my father to tell me how and when to spend my money. If that money was a gift from Grandma, should it not be passed on to me? Dad is notoriously bad with money and for him to not trust me with it is pretty insulting.
Posted By: scout12

Re: Scout's QLC journey #2 - 12/23/19 04:57 AM

Tried to edit above to address Gerda’s response, but ran out of time.

Good point about expectations. I’m not stewing over Dad’s behaviour. I’ve had a long time to accept that this is all he’s capable of being. Venting here is all I need to process it. I did enjoy your post and will ponder those thoughts for a while.
Posted By: job

Re: Scout's QLC journey #2 - 12/23/19 12:47 PM

It sounds to me like your father is either trying to control the situation over the money. It's not his money to hold hostage. If your grandmother wanted you to have this money, then he should give it to you...after all, you are a grown woman and will do what is best for you and your child.

Your father sounds like he is a bit lost in the world and doesn't know how to deal w/the real world. He sounds like he may have had a MLC at some point because he still sulks if you aren't all into those hugs, etc.

Keep your expectations very low w/him because I do think he has no clue how to communicate w/you because you are not that little girl of yesteryear...but a strong, independent woman who knows her mind.
Posted By: kml

Re: Scout's QLC journey #2 - 12/23/19 03:45 PM

Is it also possible that your dad is trying to protect your money from your H by not giving it to you until you’re ready to dispose of it? I say call his bluff and take him with you to the bank to start the account for son (you’ll need money to deposit anyway). Don’t give HIM a chance to p!ss it away.
Posted By: job

Re: Scout's QLC journey #2 - 12/23/19 07:32 PM

kml, gave you a good idea...call your dad's bluff. You don't want him having that money in his possession too long or he may very well use it for himself. It would be interesting how your dad would take it if you did call his bluff.
Posted By: scout12

Re: Scout's QLC journey #2 - 12/24/19 02:58 AM

Thanks for the advice, job and kml. I'll see if I can make this happen.

H has sent an email informing me that he is unavailable for today's visitation, and will be unavailable for next week's as well. No reason given other than "it's a busy time of year". And in the same email, he asked for multiple changes to the current visitation schedule giving him more time at his convenience. Bit of a head-scratcher, that one.

The tone of the email was overly nice and solicitous. I read it as manipulative and guilt-trippy. There were lots of unctuous comments about how the changes would benefit me "and especially S". He mentioned how much the family enjoyed their weekend with S and "we would like the chance to do that more often". He ended it saying "looking forward to seeing you guys at 8am sharp Thursday" with a smiley face emoji.

A few months ago, I would have been thrilled to have 'nice' communication. Now it sets my teeth on edge.

I'm not obliged to agree to any changes, but I do have a change of my own that I've been wanting to raise. So I will lead with that and respond with a compromised schedule. H can take or leave it. He is asking for an overnight, which has never been an option up for discussion to due S1's age, and won't be for another year a least. He knows this.

I won't respond until after Christmas to give myself a break. After Boxing Day, I won't have to see him until the following Sunday. Yay!
Posted By: DS9

Re: Scout's QLC journey #2 - 12/24/19 11:18 AM

Hey scout

Sorry things didn’t go better with dad. Respectfully, the money issue sounds like a father desperately trying to be ‘fatherly’, but in a clumsy, disrespectful way. I’d let it go.

I liked the discussion about honour. Honour for me is very important. There is precious little of it in today’s world of personal happiness at any cost. Arm your son with with not only honour but the tools he’ll need so as not to repeat his fathers mistakes.

The email from H smacks of his family’s involvement, not that that’s a bad thing. Good idea to wait before replying. I too am wary of overly obsequious and unctuous messages from my XW. They usually presage advantage attempting to be taken.

Merry Xmas to you and your son.

Cheers ds
Posted By: kml

Re: Scout's QLC journey #2 - 12/24/19 08:42 PM

“Unctuous” - THAT is the word! Those are the kinds of emails my ex sends - all smarmy nice, full of plausible deniability, while he sticks the knife in your back.
Posted By: DnJ

Re: Scout's QLC journey #2 - 12/25/19 08:15 AM

Merry Christmas scout

I do remember how difficult it was to feel that in the beginning. And I remember all the kind people who still wished the best for me and my kids.

Have a happy Christmas with S1 and best wishes.

DnJ
Posted By: scout12

Re: Scout's QLC journey #2 - 12/28/19 12:26 AM

Thanks DnJ. It sounds like you had a beautiful Christmas with the family, plus the usual XW weirdness that you are fortunate to be removed from.

I posted an open house invitation to my Facebook page on the 23rd. I took the opportunity to thank people for their love and support since my marriage came to an unexpected end, and said I wanted to repay the kindness I had been shown by opening my home over Christmas.

I thought on this for a long time before deciding to announce it in this fashion, and it was the right choice for my situation. I’m not standing. I’m moving on, and I’m not bitter. There was nothing about H in the post. It was partly about taking ownership of my truth, but more about my desire to share, connect, and be generous.

There was an outpouring of well wishes and commendations in response to the post. Both public and private. I ended up with so many RSVPs that I have been juggling multiple visits every day, in between spending time with my family. It’s been so great. My little INFJ personality is looking forward to some alone time to recharge, but honestly - who could complain about having too many friends?!

Additionally, I am still processing so much anger whenever I have a spare mental moment. Mainly when driving the car or trying to sleep. I find myself muttering or cursing under my breath non-stop, like a nervous tic. Imaginary conversations with H where I destroy him with my words. Sometimes I even fantasise about punching him in the throat next time he drops S1 off.

I’m trying to allow this happen as a natural step in the healing process. I have DnJ in my ear telling me to be compassionate and forgiving, etc. Well, I can’t get there yet. I’m not a violent or angry person by nature. I believe that anger is a normal and healthy response to being emotionally violated, that it helps propel us into action when we feel powerless, and that it will pass. It’s just a little bit much to handle sometimes. Like a pot boiling over.

The first six months after BD were filled with shock, bewilderment, heartsick grief, trauma. So much energy spent trying to understand why, and how to fix it. Then uncovering the affair - a mini BD. Once the second round of emotional responses passed, the anger surfaced. I am fixated on my situation and how I feel about it all, but spend almost zero time thinking about H himself. I think that is progress.

I know the only way out is through. So I am just dealing with it. I let it out through talking and writing. One of my plans for the new year is to create a yoga/mediation room for me and S1 in one of my spare rooms. I’m going to fill it with mats, cushions, plants, inspirational artwork. I might put a punching bag in there as well.

I have a friend arriving any minute, so I will sign off here to go prepare a cheese and Christmas cookie platter. Sending my best wishes for happy and peaceful holidays to you all.
Posted By: DnJ

Re: Scout's QLC journey #2 - 12/28/19 01:50 AM

Hello scout

You are doing great.

You do not define yourself by H’s actions or words, nor the status of your marriage. You define you. Well done!

I support your choice to announce the unexpected end on FB and the open house was an excellent idea. I am proud of you. It was very good to see you didn’t include nor demonize H in the announcement.

Originally Posted by scout12
I’m trying to allow this happen as a natural step in the healing process. I have DnJ in my ear telling me to be compassionate and forgiving, etc. Well, I can’t get there yet.

I know you know this - it takes time.

Achieving compassion and forgiveness is firstly so much for you. Secondly, those are not expected to happen quickly, they are long term goals. I do believe that once you find them, especially forgiveness, you will be astounded at when you actually started to feel and believe them. They require maintenance and upkeep, like anything, including faith. They becomes a way of life.

“Can’t get there yet” is exactly it. The journey is the power and force of this, not the destination.

I read your views and what you are doing. You are not a gal who sits in denial, you push back that clouding curtain and look to face whatever is there. Honestly scout, you cannot fail on your path. Keep your headings.

Originally Posted by scout12
I know the only way out is through. So I am just dealing with it. I let it out through talking and writing. One of my plans for the new year is to create a yoga/mediation room for me and S1 in one of my spare rooms. I’m going to fill it with mats, cushions, plants, inspirational artwork. I might put a punching bag in there as well.

Throat punch that punching bag. Lol.

Originally Posted by scout12
I am still processing so much anger whenever I have a spare mental moment. Mainly when driving the car or trying to sleep. I find myself muttering or cursing under my breath non-stop, like a nervous tic. Imaginary conversations with H where I destroy him with my words. Sometimes I even fantasise about punching him in the throat next time he drops S1 off.


Your throat punch comment caught me off guard. The imaginary conversations, the fantasied throat punch, are fine - shows a mind letting go, imaging and moving towards accepting. Do work the anger out, sweat it out. Yoga/mediation are good too. But a good old throat punch. (Sorry, but the mental image I have of H’s surprise while picking up S1 is humorous. Sorry, I’ll be good. <giggle>)

Yep, deal with it and let the anger pass. It will loose intensity and frequency, slipping away, as it becomes less and less reinforced.

I did have a wonderful Christmas and, as you pointed out, am fortunately removed from XW’s weirdness.

I am glad you are having a good Christmas and holiday time full of guests, friends, and family as well.

Stay strong girl. And yes - better not bitter.

DnJ
Posted By: DS9

Re: Scout's QLC journey #2 - 12/28/19 07:56 AM

Hey scout

Good call on coming here to vent. It’s maddening sometimes when you want to do things to take out the frustration isn’t it. I’m taking a mental note though not to get on your wrong side lest I get a virtual throat punch lol!

Meditation room sounds fantastic. Maybe cleanse with sage smudging and grab some healing crystals too.

Cheers ds
Posted By: scout12

Re: Scout's QLC journey #2 - 12/28/19 10:02 AM

Not to worry DS.

So, I just found out H's sister is pregnant. Due in April. This hit me pretty hard for a few reasons.

1) None of H's family thought to tell me when I talked to them multiple times this last month.
2) The new baby girl would have been my niece and now I won't have any relationship with her.
2) SIL had her first daughter a week before I had S1 and it's a reminder than H has taken my choice to have a second baby away from me. We had always planned on two children.

I know that I could technically have another child with another man. It's not what I want. I wanted a whole, complete, unbroken family. H has destroyed my immediate family and my extended family. He didn't spend Christmas Day with his family - MIL let that slip. Guessing he was with OW. Family may not be important to him, but it's everything to me. All this destruction and pain he has caused so many people just for the sake of a 21 year old girl?! This is not helping my emotional state.

Months ago, when I told H I could no longer participate in his family group chat, I explained that it was hard for me to see photos of Niece, and the fun family times they were having without me, and that it hurt me too much because I didn't feel like part of the family anymore. Can you understand that? I implored H, still caring so much at that point that he understood my motives were pure. He just stared at me with dead eyes and shrugged. "No". WTF.

I'm not angry. I'm just sad. I entrusted my deepest hopes and dreams to this weak and shallow person, and he threw them all away in his pursuit of so-called happiness. If anyone is reading tonight, I would love a word of encouragement.
Posted By: DS9

Re: Scout's QLC journey #2 - 12/28/19 12:33 PM

I’m here for you scout to offer whatever encouragement I can.

You’re a fantastic mum and from what I read were a fantastic w to your h. You’re articulate driven and determined and have your stuff sorted. It wasn’t the 21 year old, you or anything other than whatever goes through his head.

You’ve got a fantastic circle of friends and family and are doing so well with your development and thought processes.

We’re all proud of how far you’ve come!
Posted By: job

Re: Scout's QLC journey #2 - 12/28/19 01:43 PM

Scout,

I am so proud of you. You are doing great in moving forward and galling. You have handled your holidays w/grace and dignity. Get that punching bag and set up your room w/beautiful and peaceful art to help you w/meditation.

Now, about your h and not going to his parents for Christmas. He may have opted to stay in his little hole and not come out. Holidays can be difficult on those who are experiencing depression and MLCers have a difficult time being around family and friends who are happy and enjoying themselves during the holidays. It is very difficult for them to wear a mask of happiness all of the time. It takes a lot of work to do this. If he was w/the ow, you can bet he was thinking about his family, home and what everyone was doing. His past life is never far away from them and that's why they work so hard to put on that happy mask and do things for distraction.

Hang in there....you are doing great!
Posted By: HaWho

Re: Scout's QLC journey #2 - 12/28/19 02:30 PM

Scout - those sad feelings you have about your hopes and dreams are perfectly normal. Allow yourself to feel them. Time will help heal you. Trust the process.

All of us have felt sadness over the loss of the dream we were building. It has nothing to do with the 21 year old; she’s
just the band - aid. Imagine the caliber person she is to be involved with a married man with a child! He is running to her because she mirrors who he is right now.

Most of us here had spouses who had major turmoil upon midlife. I bet most of these spouses had issues with major milestones whether that be turning 30, having children, settling down, turning 40, aging, etc. In hindsight my own ex had blips in adjustment that compounded and erupted at midlife. I probably glossed over them and overcompensated for his weaknesses.

My point is, if your h’s turmoil is this deep at his young age, at 40 or 50 he would be a train wreck. So there was no escaping it. In fact, have dodged a bullet with it revealing itself to be so large so early in his life.

When the moments of sadness still come for me, I feel them but remind myself I can’t go back and change anything. What is done is done. I forgive myself for choosing a broken guy. I work really hard to make sure my kids have strong coping skills so that this does not happen to them. I focus on what I can control. I don’t know tomorrow so it is pointless to worry about that. I have today and I will make it the best I can.

Give it time, breathe. You have this; keep posting as we are all here to support.
Posted By: kml

Re: Scout's QLC journey #2 - 12/28/19 05:21 PM

Scout - You're doing awesome (awesomely?). As for your angry thoughts - it’s healthy to have anger. But I also think the depth of the anger has to do not just with your H but also with your old coach. This is turning out to be a way to process that anger too.

In-laws usually stick with blood, but not always. If you really want to maintain your relationship with SIL, reach out to her directly.

None of us here are having the life we expected - but you’ll find that different doesn’t have to be worse. Sometimes it ends up being much better.
Posted By: scout12

Re: Scout's QLC journey #2 - 12/29/19 09:57 AM

DnJ, DS, job, HaWho, kml,

Thank you from the bottom of my heart for taking the time to share your thoughts, and for propping me up during a rough time. I have read your responses over and over and they fill me with hope.

One good thing about all this anger is that it’s made me realise how weak my boundaries have been. I stayed up until 2am last night talking with my sister during her last night in town. She suggested I write down where I draw the line on big issues and refer to this if I feel conflicted on a course of action. She also pointed out that it’s a way to give myself permission to stand up for what I believe in. I can then act with fairness and reason rather than emotion.

- I am not obliged to consider or even respond to H’s proposed changes to the custody arrangement
- I will not tolerate manipulation and guilt from H or his family about the custody arrangement
- I am not required to maintain a relationship with H’s family if it is detrimental to my well-being
- I am entitled to information about my child’s care when he is not in my custody
- I do not need to explain my decision to be NC with H to his family

Today S1 refused to nap. I was tired after the late night with my sister, and we had spent a fun but long morning at the waterpark with my cousins and kids, so I was really counting on that time to catch up on sleep myself. He normally goes down without fuss, but today he cried and whinged, asked for cuddles, wanted his grandparents, and was generally unsettled. After an hour of trying to get him to sleep, I found myself so frustrated that I gave up. I didn’t show him I was frustrated - who knows what was going on in his little brain. I just held him, sang to him, talked to him, until I called time on the whole operation.

A memory of H came out of this frustration. A few months before BD, I went to see Book of Mormon with a friend. S1, who had just turned one, was sick. I had asked H to give him medicine throughout the evening and make sure he wasn’t left to cry himself to sleep.

I checked in once and received “all’s well” before arriving home to blazing lights and a screaming baby at 1am. H was asleep in our room with a pillow over his head to block out the screaming. I picked up S1 and stormed into the room saying “what the f are you doing?” H moaned that S1 had been waking up every hour screaming. Apparently, H had tried everything and S1 wouldn’t stop screaming, so he stopped trying. I told him I was disgusted with him and went to calm S1 and put him to bed.

He apologised the next day. I told him that I was incredibly disappointed that he would neglect an innocent, sick baby. He brought up that we had left S1 to cry in bed in the past. I said yes, that was for a reason (sleep training) and under controlled conditions. He continued to argue and downplay his actions. I said the bottom line was that S1’s needs must come first, no matter how tired or frustrated you feel. He begrudgingly agreed.
Posted By: DS9

Re: Scout's QLC journey #2 - 12/29/19 10:43 AM

Hey scout

Your sister talks a lot of sense.

I wouldn’t close your mind to any changes the h seeks particularly if they are minor and can be leveraged for your own advantage. Take legal advice as to any changes. If this ever goes to court you don’t want to be painted as the rigid inflexible mother who wouldn’t countenance any changes sought by h.

The sick son situation is just awful. Respectfully, h was a feckless child and that behaviour is deeply troubling. I hope that was an aberration. I get the sense you had 2 children you were looking after

Anyway your story about S not napping gave me memories! My enduring memory when my s was little was my swollen sore feet and ankles. Nearly every night I’d walk him for about a hour to get him to sleep and man it became gruelling!

Cheers ds
Posted By: scout12

Re: Scout's QLC journey #2 - 12/29/19 11:31 AM

Why did god/nature/whatever design babies to be so terrible at sleeping? It seems counter-productive to the continuation of the species... funny story DS!

Hmm, I might need to work on that first one. I don’t want to shoot myself in the foot there. Not saying that every request will be summarily dismissed, but my L did lead me to believe that the custodial parent is legally able to do so, especially while parenting orders are not in place and taking S1’s age into consideration. Might need to clarify that.

I think what it boils down to for me is that it’s okay to say no. For example, I can thank H for his proposal and say I’ve given it some thought but it doesn’t work for me or S1 at this point in time, happy to consider any changes in future should you have any suggestions, etc. And I don’t need to feel guilty about that.

At this stage, I’m practicing parallel parenting rather than coparenting. My time with S1 is my time, H’s time is his time, and never the two shall meet. We might be able to move to a coparenting arrangement in future as time heals and if H decides to cooperate.

Before Christmas, I re-enrolled S1 into daycare for next year. I am so used to handling this stuff on my own that it never occurred to me to ask or inform H. I worried whether this would look bad from a legal standpoint. It just never occurred to me. H would have received all the reminders and emails and flyers about re-enrolling and he never asked what was happening, who was handling it, if it was done, did he need to sign anything, etc.

H literally never asks anything about S1 - what extracurricular activities is he doing? How is he handling the transition to a new room at daycare? What is his favourite book or toy or food right now? Has he said any new words lately? What level is he in at swimming lessons? Does he miss me or notice that I’m gone? Is he happy?

In the six months since he left, he has never asked one single thing about him.
Posted By: DnJ

Re: Scout's QLC journey #2 - 12/29/19 03:43 PM

Good Morning scout

That’s a good list.

DS made a good point about being open to changes, especially for the betterment of you or S1.

I find your wording perfect for your intended purpose. It is strong and yet flexible. You have a keen mind; the list is where you draw the line and realizes your ability to say no.

For example, in the first point you are speaking of your not being obligated to consider. You still can consider, you’re just not obligated too. You control the only thing you really can - you.

Do not share this list with H. Do not tell him about it. You demonstrate it. You live it.

With that brings up the actual boundaries. What do you tell H, his family, and others? The “when you do x, I’ll do y”.

Some like number 5 are just that, telling them that you don’t need/have to explain why. A boundary may be require if they don’t accept that and keep pushing you.

That the key thing about boundaries vs drawing the line. Boundaries are for your healing. They are to stop the effects from attack or disrespect from behaviours or interactions from others that are detrimental to you, by utilizing what you can control - your actions.

You cannot control others, just yourself. Example: If H is swearing to you on the phone. Tell him - When you swear at me I feel disrespected and hurt. If you swear at me during a phone call, I’m going to hang up. After that, you hold that boundary rock solid. Probably with ever increasing delays in future answering of the phone. You just let him bounce off your boundaries, until he tires.

So far, it sounds like you have no need for boundaries at the moment. And you may not need to; your right to say no may be respected as put forth.

I agree with you on your current parallel parenting views. Perhaps in the future coparenting can be achieved. Perhaps not. The future is unknown, and lots can happen. You may end up with primary custody. Who knows? I never thought that XW would ever throw away her kids.

The future will reveal itself in time. And like your list, it is good to have some thought out general strategies for how you plan on handling life and the various curve balls yet to be pitched.

You do have a keen and sharp mind. And your heart’s influence also shines through. Keep it up, you’re doing great.

DnJ
Posted By: DS9

Re: Scout's QLC journey #2 - 12/29/19 11:07 PM

Hi scout

Absolutely it boils down to it being ok to say no. I’ve been doing it the last couple months and it works. Ive related this in my thread. Try asking for things from h as well, tying that into your response to a request- ‘hey scout you dropping s1 off to me?’. ‘Actually I’m a little jammed h, it’d be perfect if you could collect at 130pm. Thanks ‘

Did you book care only during times when S is in your care? If so I see no need to inform h other than as an FYI tied into some other communication.

I’m sorry that h hasn’t asked anything about s. That is disquieting. In all the circumstances I think you made the right call in not standing further for h.

Cheers ds
Posted By: scout12

Re: Scout's QLC journey #2 - 12/30/19 10:29 PM

Journalling again. During another long night of insomnia, I wrote down everything I wish I could say to MIL, then slept like a baby. In a good way! There was a real physical relief in getting these thoughts out of my head.

Quote
Hi MIL,

H sent me an email which indicated that your family wants more time with S1. He said you don't have enough time to do the activities you want to do with the kids. If you do have an issue with this, you are welcome to discuss it with me directly. But I want to make it very clear that I will not tolerate manipulation, guilt, or pressure from H or your family regarding the custody arrangement.

The current arrangement was agreed upon in August and signed by both parties. It has been approved by my solicitor and psychologist as being in the best interest of the child. Sole custody is what happens when you divorce with an infant child. When I was begging him to stay for our child's sake, H coldly informed me that he understood how it worked, and it wasn't a good enough reason to stay.

When H cancels visits, it is me who comforts my child's disappointment. When he forgets that it's his afternoon to visit, it is me who cancels my plans to cover for him. When he fails to inform me he is running late for his morning visit, it is me who misses my train to work while I wait. When he forgets to send bottles, milk, clothes to daycare, or loses them during his time, it is me who replaces them.

I have spent our entire relationship compensating for H's shortcomings. His laziness, his procrastination, his unwillingness to participate in family time, his video game addiction, his prioritisation of friends, work, and hobbies over his wife, his inability to put someone else's needs before his own, his inability to communicate. I refuse to compensate any longer.

I was not a perfect wife, but nothing I did or did not do warranted the abandonment, emotional abuse, and continued mistreatment I have suffered. As a reminder, H betrayed his wife and destroyed his son's family when he decided to leave us to fool around with a 21 year old co-worker named OW. If you weren't aware of this, I'm sorry to break it to you, but I think you know he would never have admitted it.

You are entitled to support him despite his lying, cheating, cowardly behaviour and I do not hold that against you. I understand that he's your child and you love him no matter what. But any insinuation that the current situation is unfair to H is laughable coming from a man who continues to demonstrate a lack of integrity, courage, or the ability to do the right thing.

I want to explain how things currently stand in case H is muddying the waters with half-truths and lies by omission. It is my choice to have no contact with him after he called me a b!tch in front of my child. It is my choice to not allow him in my house after he verbally abused me. It is my choice to stop trying to save this marriage because of who he has shown himself to be.

None of these choices affect the custody arrangement. I communicate what is legally required to be shared. I never withhold or change the parenting time that was agreed upon. He has the opportunity to make the most of his parenting time and he chooses not to. In his own words, "I know I'm not doing what's best for my child but I don't care because I'm doing what's best for me".

Finally, I want to remind you that the legal standpoint of any family law case is that the child has rights and the parents have responsibilities. Parents do not have rights. Simply being a father does not entitle H to anything unless it is in the child's best interest. The same goes for myself. As the custodial parent, however, I do have decision-making abilities. I also have the right to know where and how my child is being cared for while not in my custody.

I know H has made out that I was some sort of control freak who made his life so miserable that he was willing to give it all up just to get out from under my all-powerful thumb. Search your heart and ask yourself if this is believable. If I was so controlling, how was he able to start an affair without me having any inkling that he was even unhappy?

I understand if I don't see or hear from you again.
Posted By: job

Re: Scout's QLC journey #2 - 12/30/19 10:45 PM

I am glad you are jotting down your thoughts. It does help to have pen and paper handy for when you have that need to write. Some of what you jotted down may arise at some point...but I would wait and see how things go w/the MIL. For now, let's see what transpires in the days ahead.

I hope your insomnia improves and you can begin to get a good night's sleep more than once in a while. Keep the focus on you and your child.
Posted By: scout12

Re: Scout's QLC journey #2 - 01/01/20 03:20 AM

Happy New Year, dear MLC board! I haven’t been here very long, but I’m touched by the care and support shown by every single member. Thank you for sharing your wisdom and advice with us all. Here’s hoping that 2020 is more fruitful and peaceful than we can imagine. We deserve it.
Posted By: Gerda

Re: Scout's QLC journey #2 - 01/01/20 06:01 AM

That message will backfire. Believe me, I speak from experience. I have written far far less than that and received far far worse in return.

Thinking like that also pulls you into the never-ending game of self-justification. You have ZERO control over your H and even less over what your MIL or anyone else thinks. Your H may obviously be crazy but not to them. Again, I speak from experience. I was with my H since 1995. He is very very clearly crazy. In response to a very nice note from me saying I hoped we could keep being a family, my MIL told me in June of last year she never wanted to see me again.

Here's my suggestion -- and I would skip talk of the OW but if if you want to say something about OW in your note, here's how I would include it -

Dear MIL --

I wanted to let you know that I will always welcome your loving relationship with S1 in his life, and I would be glad to make arrangements with you to see him at times that work for us both. As I have sole custody of S1, I always have to try to figure out what is best for him, from scheduling naps to scheduling time with all the people who love him. So if you would like to see S1 outside of the visitation H has via the court system, you would need to reach out to me directly.

I am sure you know that I am broken-hearted at all that is happening -- I mean, not just because of the adultery but because of losing the wonderful family life I thought we were building, and that included extended family.

I know S1 will benefit so much from having loving grandparents in his life and I know we all want to protect him from any feelings of anxiety or confusion in the months and years ahead.

Love,

Scout
Posted By: DS9

Re: Scout's QLC journey #2 - 01/01/20 08:20 AM

Happy new year scout, to you and your little one!

Loved the message. A real b$tch slap to H. As gerda said, never to be sent of course.

Remember too grandparents have standing in oz to seek time spent arrangements if they really get motivated enough.

Cheers ds
Posted By: job

Re: Scout's QLC journey #2 - 01/01/20 02:51 PM

New Thread:

Scout's QLC journey #3
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