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Scout's QLC journey #3

Posted By: scout12

Scout's QLC journey #3 - 01/01/20 11:36 PM

Thread #2

New year, new thread.

In response to my open home invitation, I ended up cramming 20 visits, outings, catchups, parties etc into 14 days off. I'm back at work today and ready for a break! I am incredibly grateful to have such a supportive network of friends and family in my life. There has been an unflagging willingness to talk, listen, comfort, connect etc from everyone in my life. I feel very lucky.

So naturally, there were a lot of talks about my sitch over the last two weeks. I was prepared for this, but it was emotionally draining. I am sleeping again, and dreaming about H every night. Some nights he's a serial killer trying to attack me. Some nights we are on a family holiday and cuddling in bed. It's confusing. I can admit there is still love in my heart. Just because I want him to feel consequences, doesn't mean I hate him. But nor does it mean I want him back.

Two bits of new information are giving me peace after a turbulent couple of weeks wishing for karma to do its job.

1) My friend, J, who works with H told me about their work Christmas party. The chatter in the room was about poor H spending the holidays alone without his wife and son. J bridled at this and told the group NO. He left his wife and son for another woman. He does not deserve any sympathy. J stopped short of saying the other woman was a former employee, but told me she has a meeting scheduled in January to speak directly with H's manager.

2) Another friend, R, who is also in H's friendship group, had a New Year's party and explicitly told the group not to invite H because "he doesn't live by his codes of life". When one of the group, let's call him M, asked what he meant, R told them a little bit about the other woman and the missed visitations. M was the one H stayed with during the first three months after he left, and was apparently "appalled" that he had unknowingly supported this bad behaviour.

This has reminded me that anytime I start feeling powerless, I just need to wait. H's choices and actions are evidence enough to anyone with a brain, a heart, and a soul that he has messed up. Big time. Did I contribute to the wheels falling off our marriage? Of course, and I've acknowledged and apologised for my flaws and mistakes. H and I were both in the same unhappy marriage, and both made very different choices about how to cope.

My mantra for 2020: act on principle, not emotion.
Posted By: scout12

Re: Scout's QLC journey #3 - 01/03/20 10:28 PM

So the friend I mentioned, R, had birthday drinks last night and asked me to come along. Again he made it clear that H wasn't invited or welcome. I had some nice red wine and didn't talk about H at all, as I knew it would be inappropriate given I was amongst his friends. It was a lot of fun to have a night off from parenting and I very rarely drink, so by the time I left I was pretty tipsy.

H's other friend, M, was there as well. He ended up giving me a lift home. We did talk about H at that point and I told him a lot of things that have happened the past seven months. M confessed that he suspected H was involved with someone else from the get-go, because he saw d@mning messages from OW on H's phone when he moved in. He said that H often didn't come home at night during the period of time we were 'on a break'. And the kicker - that he and H went on a boys' camping trip and H asked if he could bring OW and her sister. I don't think M was impressed by this, nor did he seem like a fan of OW.

He gave me a big hug when he dropped me off and said I could chat to him anytime. I sent a message saying thanks for the lift and the talk, and that I was sorry if my drunken confessions put him in an awkward position. He replied saying it was fine, he had no idea how tough it had been on me. He was sorry H hadn't handled things in a mature way and that sadly it was obvious he had only thought of himself in this process. He thought H's priorities were all mixed up and it was sad that he felt like something was missing from his life when he actually had it all.

In other news, H's grandmother passed away yesterday. I found out from my friend J who let me know he would be off work for a week for the funeral etc. Haven't heard anything from H about this affecting visitation, so I will just wait and see what happens. He was close with his nan as a boy, but she has been estranged from him and his parents for a couple of years.

I keep remembering his grandfather's funeral a couple of years ago. H cried while I held his hand and whispered words of comfort into his ear. I had only seen him cry once before. I hope he is OK. I might message his mother with my condolences at some point. Is that the right thing to do?
Posted By: job

Re: Scout's QLC journey #3 - 01/03/20 10:34 PM

I am glad you had a good time last evening. I am sorry to read that your h's grandfather passed away. You may not hear a peep out of your h about his passing. There is no harm at all in messaging your condolences to his mother. I think it would be the right thing to do and a kind gesture on your part.
Posted By: DS9

Re: Scout's QLC journey #3 - 01/04/20 07:08 AM

Hey scout

Iím sorry your son lost his great grandfather before he had a chance to get to know him. Iím sure heís up there keeping an eye on your son. Do you ascribe to the white feather theory? Keep an eye out.

Be very wary what you say to hís friends. Iím a little confused by the dynamic there. They sound like honourable men seemingly at odds with h. Is this right? Anyway just be wary, ok.

Yes message his mother with condolences. Not him though.
Posted By: scout12

Re: Scout's QLC journey #3 - 01/04/20 08:40 AM

Originally Posted by DS9
Do you ascribe to the white feather theory?


Iím not sure what that is, other than a symbol of cowardice? Iíll google it.

Quote
Be very wary what you say to hís friends. Iím a little confused by the dynamic there. They sound like honourable men seemingly at odds with h. Is this right?


Thatís the long and short of it. The guy who drove me home says he doesnít agree with what H has done, but obviously accepts him as a friend still. Thatís okay. The others seem to have similar views, with the exception of R, who was my friend first, and has taken a hardline stance against H. Itís really not my preference to spend time with these guys or discuss H with them. They are his friends, not mine. I went to the party because R asked me to go for his birthday, but I wouldnít hang out with those guys otherwise. The convo I had was a one-off due to a combination of circumstances and wonít happen again.

Does that make sense?
Posted By: DS9

Re: Scout's QLC journey #3 - 01/04/20 01:31 PM

When someone dies thatís very close or family they signify their presence with white feathers. When my dad died, for months after I kept having these white feathers land in front of me or floating near me, and in odd places. I didnít know about it but told my XW and she said that it was my dad. Itís a bit out there but I have an open mind and am fascinated with these things.

Yes makes perfect sense. Sorry I was maybe a little unclear. I was confused a little at H having these types of friends as he is seemingly so different. Hopefully his friends influence him to be responsible and honourable. That will be the proof of whether or not they live by a code or just talk about it.
Posted By: scout12

Re: Scout's QLC journey #3 - 01/04/20 10:41 PM

Just got into an argument with H when he came to pick up S1. Uh oh.
Posted By: DS9

Re: Scout's QLC journey #3 - 01/04/20 11:22 PM

Sorry to hear that scout. Are you ok? Let us know what happened when the dust settles. Remember to relate your boundaries, and walk away if needs be. Calm.
Posted By: scout12

Re: Scout's QLC journey #3 - 01/05/20 02:36 AM

Keep in mind I am not standing or wanting to reconcile. I know DB advice tends to be "softly, softly" but I felt that the truth was more powerful in this instance. I needed him to hear this.

H: When are you going to respond to my email?
M: I need time to think about it before making changes to the permanent custody schedule. I'm not obligated to agree to your requests, but I am considering it.
H: But I wrote it so nicely!
M: Do you hear how manipulative that sounds?
H: (sarcastically) So what, are you waiting for your lawyer to get back from holidays to discuss it?
M: I'm discussing it with a few different people.
H: (threateningly) Well, I'm also going to be discussing things with your lawyer. (indicating he doesn't have his own L)
M That's generally how settlement works, yes.
H: (scoffs) Why are you acting like this?
M: Because you cheated on me? Abandoned me? Left S1? Any number of reasons, really. This is how divorce works.
H: I didn't cheat on you. I promise. (he crossed his heart)
M: You've broken every promise you ever made to me, and you've been caught in a number of lies. I don't trust you and I don't believe you.
H: Who have you been talking to? You're just going to believe whatever J (his coworker/my friend) tells you?
M: I've heard it from multiple people. When multiple people tell you the same thing, you tend to believe it.
H: Who?
M: People who care about me and want me to know the truth. Friends, both yours and mine.
H: Whatever. I didn't cheat on you. (he got into his car and I followed him)
M: I know about OW. I know you left me for OW, I know you're with her now. Our families know, our friends know, your coworkers know.
H: I didn't cheat on you. (the corners of his mouth were turning up like he was trying not to smile)
M: I know you were emotionally involved with her before you left me. Stop f*cking lying and stop smiling. (I got a little heated here).
H: (laughs nervously) What does emotionally involved even mean?
M: You left me to try it on with her. When you get married, it's to the exclusion of all others. When you allow someone else to become an option, that's breaking your marriage vows. Also known as cheating, an affair, whatever.
H: The marriage was over; I didn't cheat on you.
M: That's news to me. You never told me you were unhappy enough to leave unless things changed. You told me you loved me the morning that you walked out. I'm not a mind-reader.
H: I told you so many times I was not happy.
M: If you had told me, don't you think I would have done everything in my power to fix it? I loved you and would have done anything for you.
H: You just wanted to control and manipulate me.
M: How? By asking you to get off video games and spend time with us as a family? By asking you not to put us $50k in debt for a truck? By asking you not to go on your fifth boys' trip for the year leaving me alone with the baby?
H: You made us spend $15k on home improvements! You never let me make one decision on my own.
M: *lists a bunch of examples*
H: Yeah, but you did XYZ!
M: If I was so controlling, how were you able to coerce me into buying this $50k car when I was adamant I didn't want it?
H: Oh, big deal - one thing I won over you in 8 years!
M: Every decision that we made about our life was made together. It's unfair to agree to something then blame me for going ahead with it. I had no idea you didn't want to do it. You agreed to it.
H: You were controlling then and you're still trying to control me even though I've ended the relationship!
M: I don't care what you are doing now. I don't care that you are with OW. But I will hold you accountable for your choices. I'm sorry you don't like it. You are the one who has trashed your reputation.
H: (sarcastically) I'm SO glad I trashed my reputation. I'm SO glad these rumours have come out. Hooray!
M: I don't understand?
H: I'm being sarcastic.
M: Oh.
H: (searching for something else to accuse me of) You won't even let me in the house anymore!
M: Because you called me a bitch last time you were here. That's my boundary.
H: Well, my boundary is that you get out of my car. (I got out and stood in the doorway)
M: I'm not out to hurt you. I loved you and would have done anything to make you happy. But you chose to put the emotional energy I deserved, which could have saved our marriage, into OW. You had legitimate concerns about our marriage. I never had the chance to address them once she came into the picture.
H: (doggedly) I didn't cheat on you.
M: The things you've done were not mistakes, they were choices. You are a liar, a cheater, a coward, and a fraud. These were not the choices of a good person. One day S1 is going to understand the truth. And you will have to live with it.

Then I walked away, feeling AT LAST that I took back the power he stole from me upon BD. I didn't feel vindicated or righteous as I walked away. I felt relieved to have expelled the poison that was eating me up, and underneath that a real sadness that this is how we have ended.

No regrets.
Posted By: DS9

Re: Scout's QLC journey #3 - 01/05/20 03:44 AM

Hey scout it sounds like you finally closed that chapter emotionally and I hope this gives you the power to keep going with your journey.

Personally, I wouldnít have had any regrets either standing in your shoes.

Iíd just give your lawyer the heads up though to expect something from him.
Posted By: DnJ

Re: Scout's QLC journey #3 - 01/05/20 04:10 AM

Hello scout

That is some powerful truth. It is good that you expelled that poison, it can eat away if not dealt with.

The DB principles are usually a tread softly approach. The underlying focus is really your healing; saving the relationship, if it happens, is the bonus part.

One tries to get to a place where they act on beliefs and thought rather than emotion.

I like seeing that you have your feeling of power back. I found that no one can steal someoneís power; we actually gave it away, and like you just did, we take it back.

I think itís going to take some time for the dust to settle with H.

DnJ
Posted By: scout12

Re: Scout's QLC journey #3 - 01/05/20 09:47 AM

Quote
Hey scout it sounds like you finally closed that chapter emotionally and I hope this gives you the power to keep going with your journey.


Thanks for the validation and constant support, DS. I feel stronger now. I'm a little worried about retaliation through the settlement, but will deal with that as it comes. He tested me this afternoon by dropping S1 off 30 minutes late. I didn't acknowledge it.

Quote
One tries to get to a place where they act on beliefs and thought rather than emotion.

I like seeing that you have your feeling of power back. I found that no one can steal someoneís power; we actually gave it away, and like you just did, we take it back.

I think itís going to take some time for the dust to settle with H.


Hopefully you will be pleased to hear that I was pretty calm throughout. Lots of truth darts, but delivered with a calm, logical, neutral tone. I made my judgement clear, without being mean or nasty. In my opinion, anyway.

I did give my power away in my attempt to save the marriage. I reacted to the information (or lack thereof) I had at the time so I can't give myself too much grief, but I do feel a little foolish not knowing I was fighting with another woman for H's affections. At least I can say that I made every effort to rescue the marriage. Again, no regrets.

Regarding dust settling - do you mean between H and I? Or just with him? Today's conversation shows he hasn't budged on his stance. If anything, he has dug himself deeper into denial, blame and anger. I'm back to NC now, so hopefully S1 and I will be safe from the fallout if he self-destructs. My hope is that settlement proceeds as per our verbal agreement, but as I said to DS, he might now retaliate.

I read that Own's H intially agreed and then refused to sign for three years. I can't imagine how frustrating that would be. Hopefully the financial incentive for H to receive his share of settlement cash will convince him to sign.
Posted By: DnJ

Re: Scout's QLC journey #3 - 01/05/20 04:10 PM

Good Morning scout

Originally Posted by scout12
Hopefully you will be pleased to hear that I was pretty calm throughout. Lots of truth darts, but delivered with a calm, logical, neutral tone. I made my judgement clear, without being mean or nasty. In my opinion, anyway.

I am glad to hear you were calm. There is a much better chance of him actually listening than if delivered when highly emotional or angry.

You and H married and had a baby. You are navigating this life transition, H is not. He, for reasons probably buried in his childhood, is not coping with the responsibility of a family, a career, growing up, supporting others, etc... you know that adult stuff. He still wants video games, and that carefree existence of yesteryear. He cannot (accuracy: cannot not wonít) see the fulfillment that is possible in this stage of his life. So a new truck, an affair, etc... All of which didnít assuage his insecurity and that hollow emptiness inside him. He needs to grow and learn to see.

You my girl are 29. Much life and experience still to learn. Heck, Iím 52 and have much ahead of me to learn and experience as well. Some of the very first advice was focus on you and S1. Your growth and journey is paramount.

I understand you judging H, really I do. However, donít judge someone till youíve walked a mile in their shoes. Imagine just how hurt and frightened he must be; and probably unrealized to himself; to throw away what he did.

Compassion scout. It may not change you path; it will change how you walk it. As Iíve said, everything is first and foremost for your healing and grow, restoring a R is a bonus.

You and I have much left to experience; probably new relationships are even in our futures. It could even be with our healed spouses, or not. The future is unknown and will reveal itself in time.

In your conversation with H he stated that he didnít cheat. Said it five times.

A hard lesson to grasp is there is no absolute truth. It is very much in the eye of the beholder. H doesnít feel he cheated. In his mind he was on a break, or the marriage was over, or whatever. Justification is powerful stuff. You going toe to toe against his reality just escalates things. No one can force someone to see the ďtruthĒ, they have to get to it on their own. All you can do is guide, and that doesnít come from going toe to toe. Again, this is for you, not so much H.

Validating his point of view costs you nothing. It is not agreeing with his point of view, just acknowledging its validity; and it is valid to him. Validation of someone elseís view point and feelings shows personal growth and can smooth the growing chasm between you and H. He is S1ís Dad, and is probably going to be involved for some time; best to have a less confrontational relationship.

You did fire quite a few truth darts and received a volley back from H. Ensure you exam his darts and work on those that ring true.

Did you see how he withdrew during the conversation? The more you pressed the more he became defensive and protective. He is a hurt person.

I had a conversation with my XW two years ago which really illuminated just how damaged these people are. My XW is pretty far gone. Her dominate 18 year old personality was poking at me and flaunting. I lashed back about her affair, and she instantly become the 14 year old girl - shy, scared, confused. I stopped right away.

I had previously, during other times, continued pressing and she leaves the 14 year old and becomes a girl about 7 years of age. A young girl who can only preform mathematics at a seven year old level. Sees the world as a seven year old. Speaks like a seven year old. The innocence that she spoke with - eerie.

XW is usually the 18 year old rebellious teenager. She is currently fighting with her 17 year old daughter, just like two teens would. She is also a 14 year old and a seven year old. I havenít seen or heard from the 49 year old woman for years now. Four different time periods and lives within one person. Just think of the damage to fracture someone that much.

I, my kids, and my best friend, have seen XW change, instantaneously, in the middle of a sentence and become one of her other selves. Then after a bit go right back to where she left off, in the middle of that sentence. It is so very strange to witness; almost unbelievable really. What can one do but be compassionate, understanding, and forgiving; she is living in her torment, I need not add to it.

Your conversation with H, it is said, and it needed to be. Now, where you go from here is within your control.

Originally Posted by scout12
calm, logical, neutral

Go forward with that.

Perhaps add compassionate.

Originally Posted by scout12
Regarding dust settling - do you mean between H and I? Or just with him?

Both. And a third.

H will most likely be wound up from this. He will takes some time to unwind.

You and H, as you are suspecting may have some further escalation in possible retaliation from H. Calm and logical better serves you.

The third is you. Detachment and indifference. Much settles when only one is stirring it up.

This all takes time. And you have the precious gift of time. Use it well.

DnJ
Posted By: OwnIt

Re: Scout's QLC journey #3 - 01/05/20 06:27 PM

Scout, I've spent much time and many words worrying about the retaliation. I wish I could have the time and the worry back again. What I have learned is that when I show mine how to hurt me, he does it again and again. I would try not to let him know the things that really eat away at you. When you don't react as he hopes, the fun of doing them will cease and he will move on to something else. I've let mine continue to mess with logins to different sites and mention it to him every so often. I could care less. He's locked out of the ones I care about and he can keep thinking he is bothering me with the others. Stops him from doing the things I really care about (and keep very hidden from him).
Posted By: kml

Re: Scout's QLC journey #3 - 01/05/20 07:32 PM

Just in case you have any doubts - when I discovered cold proof of my ex-husbandís affair on his laptop, he STILL tried to tell me he hadnít cheated on me. (Yes, he had, and later he admitted it, she had gone with him to Hawaii on a business trip and much more....). Itís just a cowardly thing, not being able to admit to an affair when youíre caught.

You got it all out, thatís good, now stop. No need to have any further discussions with him about the relationship. Itís all business from here on out. Heíll try to suck you into arguments - be like a smooth stone, no edges he can grab. Donít let him push buttons. The opposite of love isnít anger, itís indifference. Be indifferent.

Posted By: scout12

Re: Scout's QLC journey #3 - 01/05/20 11:14 PM

Originally Posted by DnJ

I understand you judging H, really I do. However, donít judge someone till youíve walked a mile in their shoes. Imagine just how hurt and frightened he must be; and probably unrealized to himself; to throw away what he did.

Compassion scout. It may not change you path; it will change how you walk it. As Iíve said, everything is first and foremost for your healing and grow, restoring a R is a bonus.


This is making me think a lot. In the months following BD, I truly was able to set aside my own judgement and feelings to give H the breathing room he asked for. I felt an enormous amount of compassion and empathy (driven by guilt that I had hurt him so badly he simply had to leave me). I read articles, books, websites on how to save your marriage, how to get your husband back, how to bust your divorce. I pretzeled,†I validated, I sympathised, I understood. I nearly destroyed myself in the process.

When I discovered the OW, realised who she was, and how long the affair had been going on, I started reading other material. Resources which took a hardline stance on cheating. It became harder for me to excuse his behaviour by viewing it through the lens of MLC. For my own healing, I needed to internalise the fact that H cheated because he felt entitled to do so. Any other excuse fell by the wayside. A person could be in the worst marriage in the world, in the worst state of mind possible, and still not cheat because it would never even be an option. It's a matter of character. He believed he could, so he did. It was not a mistake, it was a choice.

And that's not a person whose values are compatible with mine.

I needed to accept that and get angry in order to have the strength to detach. That was step one. But the anger wouldn't go away. As long as it was bottled up inside, I was incapable of compassion. I was victimised, I was bitter, I was self-pitying. And that was nearly as bad for me as trying to save the marriage. So yesterday's confrontation needed to happen for my sake. For once, I decided to put my needs first instead of tiptoeing around him. And I will never feel guilty about that.

I have acknowledged and apologised for the legitimate concerns that he had with the marriage. I have continued to work on these issues. I have examined his repeated accusations of control in the time since BD, ie. since the marriage ended, and found them pretty spurious. How is it possible for me to be controlling him when I haven't spoken or interacted with him since November? What he perceives as control is actually consequence. He doesn't like playing by the rules of the divorce that he initiated. He doesn't like being held accountable for his choices. Not being allowed in the house is a consequence. Me filing legal paperwork is a consequence. Having to adhere to the visitation schedule is a consequence.

I would have to care about what he does in order to want to control him. And I truly don't.

I think it's very telling that the only emotion I felt after yesterday's conversation was sadness. Once the anger was flushed out, compassion could be felt again. I asked my friend J to come over and debrief with me yesterday. She brought flowers, coffee and pastries and we talked for a long time. She told me about ongoing incidents at work involving H and I just felt sorry for him. She has a meeting scheduled with H's manager this week about the incidents (that have nothing to do with his affair with an employee) and I'm sad to be privy to this trainwreck. I'd rather not know how much he is self-destructing.

Quote
Detachment and indifference. Much settles when only one is stirring it up.


Agreed. Now that my blockage has been freed, I can work on achieving this.

Thank you DnJ.

PS. I'm 31 wink H is 29.
Posted By: scout12

Re: Scout's QLC journey #3 - 01/05/20 11:24 PM

Originally Posted by OwnIt
What I have learned is that when I show mine how to hurt me, he does it again and again. I would try not to let him know the things that really eat away at you. When you don't react as he hopes, the fun of doing them will cease and he will move on to something else.


Originally Posted by kml

You got it all out, thatís good, now stop. No need to have any further discussions with him about the relationship. Itís all business from here on out. Heíll try to suck you into arguments - be like a smooth stone, no edges he can grab. Donít let him push buttons. The opposite of love isnít anger, itís indifference. Be indifferent.


Grey Rock is the name of the game now. Get the legal separation done, keep building a new life for me and S1, and file for divorce in five months.
Posted By: DS9

Re: Scout's QLC journey #3 - 01/06/20 12:43 AM

Originally Posted by scout12
[quote]

Thanks for the validation and constant support, DS. I feel stronger now. I'm a little worried about retaliation through the settlement, but will deal with that as it comes. He tested me this afternoon by dropping S1 off 30 minutes late. I didn't acknowledge it.




Right back at you Scout. Whilst I can't profess to the breadth and depth of knowledge of the vets who are along for the ride with you, I'll keep doing what I can to help you out.

If there's any retaliation through the settlement from H, such as delays, refusal obfuscation etc, you may want to talk to your L about the pros and cons of giving him a short timeframe to confirm and sign, failing which you indicate you'll initiate settlement proceedings.

Anyway, like others said, try not to dwell on that.

**********************************************************

Excellent advice from DnJ, Ownit and KML that I've taken on board too - thank you folks!
Posted By: Gerda

Re: Scout's QLC journey #3 - 01/06/20 01:28 PM

Scout, your anger is justified but my suggestion to you is to write lots of letters you don't send to H and never engage in those kinds of conversations with him in person or writing or anything. Not even about visitation. Get a lawyer and pay that person to handle visitation; the money will be well worth your sanity. That anger will consume you, not him. He doesn't even understand what you are saying. If he is in MLC, he is not the man you knew and he is living in a completely different reality until he gets through MLC. You know how in Charlie Brown the grown-ups are always saying, "wanh wanh wanh wanh" no matter what they are saying? Everything you say is like that to him except that any anger feeds his perception of everything he hates about you.

Would you try to have a rational conversation about your relationship with a great-grandma with Alzheimer's who thought you were her mother?

Would you try to have a rational conversation about our relationship with a drug addict who was in the middle of a heroin high?

If you have read my sitch, you know that I have been at this for 7 years. I assure you that the only way you will live through this is if you stop justifying, explaining or discussing anything with your H until he comes to you openly expressing interest in you. That day will come if you drop the rope, but only if you drop the rope. It might come many years from now when you chose to move on. But everything you say now is like talking to an evil talking doll in a horror movie.
Posted By: DS9

Re: Scout's QLC journey #3 - 01/10/20 12:35 AM

Hey Scout,

Just checking up on you. No pushback from H I trust?

Hope all's well with you and S.

Cheers DS
Posted By: scout12

Re: Scout's QLC journey #3 - 01/14/20 05:26 AM

Hey DS,

No pushback, just silence. No response to my solicitor as yet regarding the consent orders and no response to my email regarding his request to change the parenting plan. I'm resigned to whatever response eventually comes. Expecting the worst and will just deal with it.

I have been unwell since the conversation with H last weekend and I believe it is psychosomatic; a physical release of the toxicity I had been holding inside. Only today am I feeling brighter and healthier after a long week of days and nights spent on the toilet.

Without anger and adrenaline pushing me forward, I pretty much crashed physically. 10-12 hour sleeps every night after weeks of insomnia.

I'm not standing for my marriage. I have shut the door and padlocked it and thrown it away. This doesn't give me any satisfaction. In fact, it makes me feel sad all over again. But the marriage that I want and deserve just isn't possible with H. It has nothing to do with his choices, actions, mistakes etc, but his character. There are fundamental differences in our values and beliefs that can't ever be reconciled.

If H displayed any acknowledgement, introspection, ownership, acceptance, regret, remorse, or basic human decency for his choices - as I have shown him in spades over the past seven months to atone for my marital 'sins' - then I might have kept the key in my pocket instead of throwing it away. Gerda was absolutely right in saying it is pointless to try and dialogue with him. Not because he is in a fog, or hurting, or confused, but because THIS IS WHO HE IS at his core, and he has shown no willingness to examine HIS contribution to the marriage failure.

I know many of you were married for much longer than I was before your spouses cheated and left you. I assume (I hope) you had long and happy marriages before they turned around and stabbed you in the heart. I only knew H for 10 years, together 8, married 3. In that time, he never performed the emotional labour required to maintain a relationship. Our over-functioning (me)/under-functioning (him) dynamic allowed him to coast along on the back of my efforts in every area of our shared life. It was toxic and harmful to both of us, and built resentment on both sides.

The truth is, I was probably more unhappy in the marriage than he was. He wasnít a helpful or proactive parent, he was simultaneously reckless and controlling with finances, he refused to communicate constructively, he had to be dragged off his computer to spend time with me, he made it clear that home life was of secondary importance to work life, he was confused and repulsed by my frantic postnatal helplessness. It has become clear to me that I have never been his #1 priority at any point in our relationship.

How did I handle this? I asked for marriage counselling. I went to individual counselling because the frustration, anxiety, and helplessness I felt at being abandoned within my marriage must be my fault and my problem. I planned family outings for us to make memories and share the load. I made opportunities for H and S1 to spend time together alone. I shouldered the bulk of the parenting so H could have down time with his friends. I had cookies delivered to his workplace when he had a bad day. I scheduled sex even though I was too exhausted and resentful to desire him.

I dealt with my unhappiness by trying to make the marriage work. I vowed for good or bad and when things felt bad I decided that since we had committed to each other for life, so I'd better find a way to turn things around so that we could both be happy and provide a safe, loving, and stable home for our child. I had empathy for H at first, thinking he was experiencing his own delayed postnatal crisis, depression, work stress, or whatever. My love for him actually grew after BD.

He dealt with his unhappiness by cheating on me. Cheating is abuse, and there I draw the line. I will not teach my son that love is inclusive of betrayal, deception, and abandonment. I would argue that 'love' and 'walking away from your children' are mutually exclusive.

The bulk of our marital problems were caused my decision to marry a man who did not care for the responsibility of being a husband, a father, or part of a family. Because that responsibility impinged his divine right to do whatever he wanted, whenever he wanted.

Lest you think I am bitter (and I have every right to be, btw), let me say that H did not make zero effort. He booked me a massage once a month. Brought me flowers every now and then. Cleaned the house on his day off. I returned every gesture with love and appreciation. He was not and is not a complete @sshole. I think he did love me to the best of his emotional capabilities until he replaced me with OW in his mind, and then in reality. He simply can't give me what I need, and it seems that I can't give him what he needs either.

I hope he finds whatever he's looking for. I even hope OW gives it to him. But I am freeing myself and my son.
Posted By: OwnIt

Re: Scout's QLC journey #3 - 01/14/20 05:52 AM

Scout, you are wise beyond your years and experience. So much of what you wrote is something I could have written. I applaud you for standing up for yourself and your son and recognizing that you deserve so much more than this. I wish I had the strength and the courage to do it 10 years ago. But in truth, like you, I see things even before then that showed me I deserved better.

Whenever I feel wobbly, I do remember that. OD is the one who is missing out. OD is the one who will have the life-long regret. As it concerns me and the children, I will always have a bit of a broken heart, but I'm guessing that is nothing by comparison. At least I don't have to live with the fact that I broke three of them for my own selfish and ultimately pointless endeavors.

Leaving this cleanly with as much compassion as you can muster will make the next 17 years a lot more pleasant for you and your son.
Posted By: job

Re: Scout's QLC journey #3 - 01/14/20 05:08 PM

Scout, I agree w/OwnIt...you are definitely wise beyond your years and experience. You have to do what you think I right for you and your child. Do you sound bitter? No, you do not. You sound like a woman who has tried very hard to keep her marriage together and your partner wasn't in the marriage/relationship 100%.

Hopefully he will come forward and respond to your solicitor and things can begin to move along at a better pace for you. Once the divorce is finalized, you will feel a huge weight lifted off your shoulders and it will take a little bit of time, but you will much better and can begin to really look forward and not in the rear view mirror.
Posted By: DS9

Re: Scout's QLC journey #3 - 01/15/20 12:22 AM

Hey Scout

Echoing Ownit and Job in saying that your post speaks of wisdom beyond your years.

I'm sorry too to hear you've been unwell but glad you're better and back on the forum.

A lot of your commentary again showed the similar values and principles we share. I laughed when you commented on my thread we both have a thing for over preparation!

It seems that you've well and truly moved forward, and I appreciate you sharing with us here the thoughts and feelings you have behind that transformation.

Do you think this process has hardened your heart?

When I saw a psychic I was told 2 things that stuck with me - BD was a blessing in disguise, and, rather than XW changing to the person she is now, this is what she truly is. I think the same comments apply to your sitch too.

Can I say as well I think you went above and beyond in what you did for H and in y our efforts to repair things. I too dont think you sound bitter. It sounds just like you've stepped back and reflected on all the pros and cons of H and the M and made an evaluation that H and M had unfixable flaws that were outside of your control to mend, depsite your efforts.

Anyway, what GAL activities have you and S got planned, and have you done any recent home decoration stuff (apart from remodelling the dunny with all the time you spent there recently haha)?

Cheers, DS
Posted By: kml

Re: Scout's QLC journey #3 - 01/15/20 12:44 AM

Girl, you were smart enough to be able to see that things were wrong with your H that no amount of DBing were going to fix. I still think that if you read that book The Sociopath Next Door, you would see a lot of him in it. Personality disorders and serious character defects are not very fixable.

You're right to just move yourself along into a new life with your son. Just because it's not the destination you were expecting, doesn't mean it will be worse. More likely it will become WAY better and a MUCH better love is waiting for you down the line. Have peace in your heart that you made the right attempts to save your marriage, but this one is one that shouldn't be saved (and I almost NEVER say that to people!).
Posted By: Gerda

Re: Scout's QLC journey #3 - 01/15/20 05:11 AM

Originally Posted by scout12
Gerda was absolutely right in saying it is pointless to try and dialogue with him. Not because he is in a fog, or hurting, or confused, but because THIS IS WHO HE IS at his core, and he has shown no willingness to examine HIS contribution to the marriage failure.


Scout, I just want to comment on your quotin' me since I know that a lot of people read these things long after posters move off from the forum and I think we need to make sure that we all have left the right breadcrumbs in the dark MLC forest.

I do believe it is pointless to dialogue with the MLCer. I wish I had understood that long before, and I keep looking for ways to say it in a way that a new LBS will be able to understand, because it takes most of us so long to get to that point. I understand now that it is the only way to stay sane, because you train yourself to stop hearing the lies and to focus on your own life by having no contact or as little contact as possible.

But I say that in the service of restoration.

I am not commenting on your choice to divorce and would not dare weigh in on that.

But I wanted to be clear that I wrote that as a way to offer a tip for someone who does want to stand. I never understood what dropping the rope and going no contact really meant, all these years. I thought I was letting go, and I most certainly did build a life for myself during my H's MLC. But I continued to engage with far too much of his insanity even though compared to a marriage, I rarely engaged him at all. It was hard because we had a business together and lived together. But I didn't set the right boundaries. I never understood that a loving boundary actually is as much no contact as is possible within whatever your circumstances are. I always thought I had to keep being loving and open as a way of showing him the door was open. Now I know he can't even see that there is a door there. If he ever comes out of MLC, he will see the door, whether it's open or shut. And even if it's shut, a truly woken-up MLCer will knock on it. So there is no point in standing near the door, watching the door, painting the door yellow or boarding up the door. The MLCer can't see the door or you behind it.

But for those who want to stand, to outlast the MLC, I just want to say that no contact, an end to engagement, is loving too.
Posted By: scout12

Re: Scout's QLC journey #3 - 01/16/20 10:58 PM

Originally Posted by DS9

Do you think this process has hardened your heart?


Good question. No, not at all. I'm definitely feeling beaten down and weary, but not hardened. Having boundaries about what I will and won't accept doesn't mean I have a hard heart. It means I have enough love, respect and care for myself to remove myself from a bad situation. Unfortunately I failed at that yesterday morning and had this unpleasant encounter with H.

He was late for his morning visitation which makes me late for work. Once again he failed to inform me that he would be late. He accused me of "blocking him on everything" so he can't contact me. Untrue, he can reach me via email, phone or text. He then switched tack to say that I never respond to him so why should he send me a message? Untrue again, I respond to things requiring a response. He brought up his request to change the parenting plan and argued a few points that he didn't like. I said you need to work with me to do what's best for S1 and respect the coparenting relationship if this is ever going to succeed. He said that I haven't shown him any respect so why should he? My jaw dropped at that one.

He said I didn't have the decency to reply to his message about his grandmother's death. He accused me of going behind his back to send his mother a message in sympathy. I told him I don't have anything to say to him unless it's about childcare or divorce. He told me I caused this (!) so I said no, he needs to own his decisions and the consequences thereof. He retorted "I left my family because you are a crazy psycho b!tch spreading rumours about me". I think he was referring to an article about adultery that I shared on FB. He's blocked but I guess it got back to him, most likely via his family.

He started laughing and said "You want to hit me, don't you? Look at you." I admit I was shaking like a leaf trying to hold it together, not particularly angry, just overwhelmed. He kept taunting me. I should mention that I was holding S1 the whole time.

Eventually he came toward me demanding I hand S1 over because I was stealing his time from him. He haughtily informed me that the reason he drops S1 off late is because he has to make the most of every minute with him. I snapped back "Oh, so that's why you cancelled on Christmas Eve and NYE?" Not my finest moment and I should have just stopped engaging with this argument, but it was true nonetheless. I told him it was his choice to spend these holiday moments with someone else instead of his son.

Things took a turn into bizarro land when he demanded I pay him the settlement money. I said I'm trying to - just sign the consent orders and you'll get your money. He claimed that he never received them. However I was bcc'ed onto the email my L sent him in December, so I know for a fact he got them. I just said okay, I'll get her to resend. He mocked me for having "such a great lawyer who doesn't know what she's doing". He then switched tack and said he would refuse to sign and force me to sell the house instead. I didn't respond to that, mainly because I was speechless from these brazen lies and attacks and abrupt topic changes

After he left with S1, my mind was struggling to process what had just happened. His demeanour was so unstable, alternating between rage, smirking, threats, self-pity. I was frightened. It was crazy to witness the manipulation at work, but I can see it for what it was - panic and desperation at his web of lies falling apart. Blameshifting to avoid responsibility. Gaslighting to make me question my own integrity. Intimidation at coming up against my boundaries. Sad, sad, sad. I have to try harder to avoid situations where I get drawn into these conversations.
Posted By: kml

Re: Scout's QLC journey #3 - 01/16/20 11:41 PM

Yeah - now that you have a clear idea of how sick he is, it would be best to steer clear of all unnecessary conversations, no matter how hard he tries to sucker you in. (Btw, this just sounds like someone who is spinning because he can't control the situation, but do you suspect him of any drug abuse?)

And what happened to just taking the baby to daycare if he hasn't arrived by the time he needs to be there? It's the only way to train him to be on time.
Posted By: scout12

Re: Scout's QLC journey #3 - 01/16/20 11:47 PM

Originally Posted by kml
(Btw, this just sounds like someone who is spinning because he can't control the situation, but do you suspect him of any drug abuse?)


I really don't know about any drug abuse. I know he parties with a younger crew, so it's possible.

Originally Posted by kml
And what happened to just taking the baby to daycare if he hasn't arrived by the time he needs to be there? It's the only way to train him to be on time.


I was pulling out of the garage to go to daycare when he pulled up on the driveway and blocked my car in.
Posted By: DS9

Re: Scout's QLC journey #3 - 01/17/20 08:09 AM

Hey scout

Iím so sorry you endured this. What an awful man he is. Truly. You had your baby son in your arms and he conducted himself that way!

Have you looked into dv protection orders? I worry for you that next time heíll escalate. Donít put yourself in that position. Nows the time to seriously reconsider changeover arrangements. These awful things can implant on the subconscious minds of children.

Please protect yourself and your son against the possibility of things getting worse in future.

Stay strong scout

Ds
Posted By: wooba

Re: Scout's QLC journey #3 - 01/17/20 01:40 PM

Gosh, Iím so sorry that this happened. Your H sounds completely out of control. I worry about handing your son over to him if heís emotionally unstable. You really handled the situation as best as you could.
Posted By: job

Re: Scout's QLC journey #3 - 01/17/20 02:56 PM

Scout,

Are you documenting each and every time he's let or doesn't pick up his child? If not, you need to start doing so. I know that you would like for him to be on time when picking up his child, but he's not going to do it. He may be genuinely late or he may be doing it deliberately to annoy you. Whatever the reason...document. He really is gaslighting you and trying to control the situation.

You said what was on your mind, now you need to step back, document and try not to get into it again w/him. You are dealing w/someone who is emotionally immature and acting irrational about having to be responsible.

You handled the situation the best you could. I just hope he doesn't become physical in the future towards you.
Posted By: scout12

Re: Scout's QLC journey #3 - 01/20/20 02:35 AM

kml, DS, wooba, job - thanks for weighing in. Job - I document everything. DS - several people have recommended I speak to the police, so I'll keep that in mind.

I made an emergency appointment to see my psychologist on Friday which helped a lot. I'm finding I'm able to bounce back from these attacks more quickly now. The emotional hangover doesn't last as long.

My parents stayed over on Saturday night so they could be there when H arrived to pick up S1 on Sunday morning. I think their car in the driveway was enough of a deterrent because H was on his best behaviour. I did not speak to him.

My L informed me that H responded to the consent orders himself this morning. He does not have a legal representative. I now have his residential address on record, so that eases my mind when he takes S1 to his place. Even though him taking S1 there still goes against our parenting plan agreement, at least I know where my son is.

There's a section in the orders which asks both parties to respond to the question: Were the contributions from each of the parties as homemaker and parent the same?

After explaining that I was the stay-at-home parent for the first year while he worked full-time, my solicitor responded: The Applicant (me) made greater contributions as homemaker and parent of the child of the relationship.

H's response: DISAGREE. Applicant did not make greater contributions as homemaker. Respondent (him) wishes to add that household chores and homemaker duties were split evenly between both parties. Respondent cared equally for the child and performed a greater variety of homemaker tasks than the Applicant.

Am I correct in thinking a judge is going to read that and laugh? Surely by definition a SAHP and working parent physically cannot have equal responsibility for childcare and household duties?

My L said this will go on record as a disputed fact and will not require further negotiation, so once she amends the orders with H's comments and he signs them, it should be a straightforward path to settlement. He did not dispute the financials, which is the important part. One step closer to the end.
Posted By: OwnIt

Re: Scout's QLC journey #3 - 01/20/20 03:20 AM

My guess is the judge will roll the eyes on that one. He just needs to be the good guy, as they all do. Makes him feel better and costs you nothing. I say get this thing pushed through before the buyer's remorse kicks in for him. I'm glad your parents were there. If it is an ongoing issue, at least in the US you can get exchanges ordered at police stations, but I'm sure you and your lawyer have discussed what the options are in view of his physicality, lateness and rudeness.
Posted By: scout12

Re: Scout's QLC journey #3 - 01/21/20 04:11 AM

Just journalling here. A memory from the immediate post-BD weeks. I want to say late June 2019. I was suicidal, taking care of S1 without any help from H, not eating, sleeping, or able to work. And yet I was still certain this was a temporary crisis and we would work everything out.

He reluctantly agreed to meet up to talk. He originally said Wednesday, then his mum called to confirm childminding for Thursday. I was confused and called H to double check. He morosely told me he had plans on Wednesday and and hung up.

He picked me up in the evening and drove us to a local park. I suggested we get fish and chips for dinner and he grumbled about it, saying he wanted to get this over with quickly. I did my best to act happy and unruffled. I told him I had seen a psychologist who had confirmed that I no longer needed treatment for postnatal depression or anxiety, and that despite the marital crisis, I was feeling much healthier. I said I had so much compassion for him, no anger, no judgement, and that I wanted to support him no matter what. He did not respond to any of this.

He commented how amazing it was to have the freedom to pick up and go camping on a whim, or stay overnight at a friend's house when the opportunity arose. I held my tongue thinking "the only reason you can do that is because I am taking care of our baby ON MY OWN every single night". Of course, 'friend's house' = 'OW's house', but in those early days I defended his honour to anyone who suggested there was someone else involved.

We got to the park and unfolded our package of food. I was the only one eating. He seemed put off watching me eat. The conversation went terribly, as you can expect. I felt blindsided all over again. I did my best to simply listen and validate, but ended up in tears. I said I couldn't change what had happened in the past, but asked for the opportunity to spend the rest of my life making it up to him. He became furious and insisted he take me home. I begged him to tell me what I had done wrong and he just drove in silence.

Eventually I sobbed "why do you hate me?" and he became so agitated he lost control of the car and narrowly avoided crashing us into a roundabout. He yelled at me to be quiet and said "this is why I can't talk to you!" When we got home we sat in the car for a few minutes so I could compose myself and he said "I don't hate you. I just don't love you." He repeated this several times, as though he was convincing himself. I asked again "why?" and he couldn't answer.

(It wasn't until I wrote him a letter taking ownership for my flaws and mistakes in the marriage that he began to craft his narrative of the controlling and manipulative wife. He turned my desperate insights and honest apologies into weapons, arming himself with reasons he had to leave me. Giving him that letter was probably my biggest mistake in this whole process.)

We went inside and his mum held me while I cried that he just didn't love me anymore. H sat down on the lounge with FIL in silence. MIL made me a cup of tea and we all sat down on the lounge watching a show about ambulance chasers. We sipped our tea in complete silence. FIL made a joke about something on the show. It was bizarre. There was no acknowledgement about this intense personal crisis that was going on. FIL did not say one word to H or me, just joked about this meaningless TV show. MIL asked H a couple of questions and he stared at the floor and ignored her.

Eventually H left and MIL gave me a hug and said to call her anytime. Once they left, I laid down on the cold tile floor and cried myself to sleep.
Posted By: job

Re: Scout's QLC journey #3 - 01/21/20 02:08 PM

Scout,

I am so sorry to read about the post BD meet up. Your posting truly broke my heart to read it. How cold and indifferent your h and his parents were. They were very uncomfortable w/the way that meet up went. As for the in-laws, they don't have a clue when it comes to their son. They were most likely hoping that all of this would be shoved under the rug and life would go on. Your h may have told them some out of this world lies/excuses as to why he's doing what he's doing and they will believe him for a while...but eventually, the truth will come out...but until then...blood is always thicker than water.

Your h was and is a very lost soul. He really does not know why he doesn't love you and if you were to ask him today, the answer would still be the same. In his mind, he's been unhappy for a very long time and he thinks the marriage and you are the reason for that unhappiness. Your man needs to grow up and realize that happiness comes from within and not from exterior things.

He would have blamed you for the moon rising or the sky being blue. That is the way of the MLCer, i.e., they blame us for everything that went wrong in the lives, i.e., not taking blame for anything. They remember and remind us of things that we did or say many years ago and then use those things as excuses for what they are doing now.

Scout, you are human and you wanted to try to make things right w/him. We all have apologized for our flaws. Don't ever beat yourself up over apologizing to him.

My xh said the same thing to me as well, i.e., "he didn't hate me, but he didn't love me either". It's a phrase from the MLC lingo book. Another one is "I don't love you the way I use to". Typical lingo from a MLCer.

Scout, you've come a long way and you are stronger than you think. Please do not ever doubt yourself. The road you are traveling started out as a difficult one, but from where I am sitting, you are getting stronger each and every day and that road is starting to lose the bumps and potholes for you.

Keep the focus on you and your child. Listen to what your h has to say, but sift through the garbage spewing from his lips to find the truth. You know what you need to do and no matter what he says or does...you are the one fighting for your child and yourself.

Hang in there.
Posted By: HaWho

Re: Scout's QLC journey #3 - 01/21/20 02:30 PM

Iím sorry; that is so painful what happened.

Donít blame yourself for the letter. First off, in a healthy relationship you can and should be able to express vulnerability without it being turned on you. So you did nothing wrong. And trust me, if you did not give him the letter, he would concoct other reasons. Are you familiar with gaslighting?

Reading your post, I see tremendous emotional abuse. He acts angry towards you. You try to ask why he hates you and then he says that is why he canít talk to you. Classic gaslighting. He creates situations to make you to blame because he needs an excuse for how he feels.

You had a partner who could not care for you or your child when you both needed it. Strong men want to care for loved ones. That cold dynamic you saw from his family during that show should look very familiar to you in your husband. They are emotionally constipated.

Stop blaming yourself. Heal. Strengthen yourself. Raise a good man. You are the prize.
Posted By: DnJ

Re: Scout's QLC journey #3 - 01/22/20 02:51 AM

Hello scout

That is a heartbreaking story. (((scout)))

H is a sad lost soul. Desperate and lashing out. It hurts so much when our spouse uses our apologies and admitted flaws against us. Crisis people need justifications for their actions, and they exaggerate the h3ll out of them.

He doesnít hate you, but doesnít love you. Or loves you, but not in love with you. There are lots of variations of this theme. All of them say something along those lines. All are deeply confused and really donít know why they donít love you anymore.

The hidden truth is that they donít love themselves anymore. That is a very difficult thing to face and overcome. Hence all the running and projecting upon the LBS.

His familyís response was bizarre. It does highlight why he is the way he is. Not hard to imagine some unknown trauma he had to burry when he was a child. My XWís family was similarly bizarre and cold; undoubtedly a source of future problems of crisis proportions.

You are doing very well scout. Sane, strong, and stable.

DnJ
Posted By: OwnIt

Re: Scout's QLC journey #3 - 01/22/20 03:09 AM

Scout, the mind movies end at some point and the memories become just that. Not anything devastating or unsurvivable. Yep, the parents attitude was like a neon sign. Process, grieve, and keep moving forward.
Posted By: unchien

Re: Scout's QLC journey #3 - 01/22/20 04:55 AM

Originally Posted by scout23
(It wasn't until I wrote him a letter taking ownership for my flaws and mistakes in the marriage that he began to craft his narrative of the controlling and manipulative wife. He turned my desperate insights and honest apologies into weapons, arming himself with reasons he had to leave me. Giving him that letter was probably my biggest mistake in this whole process.)

scout ~

This exact same thing with letter-writing happened to me. I'm so sorry you had to go through that, I know how painful it is to feel so vulnerable and pour out your feelings onto paper only to have them weaponized. Also my biggest mistake and regret.

When they want out, everything is fuel. There is no doing right. DB often advises a neutral or non-reaction, but sometimes I think there are situations where a complete non-reaction provides them a blank canvas onto which they can project all those negative feelings. Then they can freely paint the picture they want, and then use THAT as fuel. Everything is fuel.

I don't think there is anything wrong with standing up for yourself and disallowing the projection (as you have been doing). It shows that you won't play the same games anymore (gaslighting, projection, whatever it is...) It is a proper boundary.
Posted By: Gerda

Re: Scout's QLC journey #3 - 01/22/20 05:34 PM

Originally Posted by unchien
Originally Posted by scout23
(It wasn't until I wrote him a letter taking ownership for my flaws and mistakes in the marriage that he began to craft his narrative of the controlling and manipulative wife. He turned my desperate insights and honest apologies into weapons, arming himself with reasons he had to leave me. Giving him that letter was probably my biggest mistake in this whole process.)

scout ~

This exact same thing with letter-writing happened to me. I'm so sorry you had to go through that, I know how painful it is to feel so vulnerable and pour out your feelings onto paper only to have them weaponized. Also my biggest mistake and regret..


Me too. I have hundreds of his e-mails spiraling into that narrative. It's like they have to build up the courage to believe it.

Don't have any regrets. The letters were part of your love. Your love will always be a victory, no matter what evil thoughts took over your H's mind....
Posted By: DS9

Re: Scout's QLC journey #3 - 01/24/20 02:26 AM

Hey Scout

Thanks for popping into my thread yesterday. Meant a lot to me to have my Ozi DB lil' sis having my back.

How's the Orders? Hope they've been signed. Your L is right about them. Glad he didnt dispute the substantives

Your recollections from June last year are especially sad to read, let alone that you lived through them.

Good luck at next changeover and have a good weekend with your son.

Cheers, Ds
Posted By: scout12

Re: Scout's QLC journey #3 - 01/28/20 12:00 AM

Here's a happy update - I have a date!

I've been chatting with a tall, beefy, funny Irish lawyer and we are going out on Friday night. It's the first time I've felt excited and not sick about the idea. Now that I finally feel ready to date, I've also been feeling a bit deflated with thoughts of 'what man would want to get involved in this situation?' The fact that I have full-time care of a toddler would have to be challenging a) logistically and b) emotionally for someone considering a relationship with me. But I don't want to borrow trouble, so let's just see where this date takes us.

In divorce news, I'm seeing my L tomorrow to discuss the parenting plan vis-ŗ-vis the escalating abuse from H. She hasn't contacted me to confirm H has signed the orders, so I'm assuming he hasn't yet.

H has not yet replied to my proffered compromise to his parenting plan modifications.

He did send an email to say he is going away with FIL this weekend and would not be available for his scheduled visitation, but said MIL would like to take S1 for that time instead. That's fine with me. At least I know she will change his nappy more than once!
Posted By: DS9

Re: Scout's QLC journey #3 - 01/28/20 12:54 AM

Hey Scout

Good on you - enjoy the date. I agree with just enjoying it before worrying about the why's and everything else.

Good call discussing recent developments with your L.

Cheers DS
Posted By: scout12

Re: Scout's QLC journey #3 - 01/31/20 03:06 AM

I've been doing some reading on the topic of compassion in light of abusive behaviours like betrayal, deception and abandonment (not to mention more overtly abusive behaviours like threats, intimidation and physical hostility I've recently experienced). The following excerpt is from a review of a book written by an abuse counsellor.

Quote
To care about another, to have compassion for another, is beautiful and life-affirming. To care about and have compassion for another who is abusing you is a toxic mimic of real compassion, and is one of the obscenities spawned by a culture of abuse.

Bancroft states that one of the most common forms of support for abusers is the person who says to the abused woman: ĎYou should show him some compassion even if he has done bad things. Donít forget that heís a human being, too.í

Bancroft continues, ďI have almost never worked with an abused woman who overlooked her partnerís humanity. The problem is the reverse: He forgets HER humanity."

Acknowledging his abusiveness and speaking forcefully and honestly about how he has hurt her is indispensable to her recovery. It is the abuserís perspective that she is being 'mean' to him by speaking bluntly about the damage he has done. To suggest to her that his need for compassion should come before her right to live free from abuse is consistent with the abuserís outlook.

I have repeatedly seen the tendency among friends and acquaintances of an abused woman to feel that it is their responsibility to make sure that she realizes what a good person he really is insideóin other words, to stay focused on his needs rather than her own, which is a mistake.


This was the biggest cause of cognitive dissonance for me on my DB journey. I knew what STBXH was doing to me was not okay. I KNEW it, more than I could feel it. It just took a while for me to give myself permission to feel my feelings instead of worrying about how STBXH felt and whether my feelings would push him away. Once I did, the relief was immense.

His need for compassion should not come before her right to live free from abuse.

As a caveat, the above describes my lived experience. I realise it is not necessarily representative of other situations.
Posted By: wooba

Re: Scout's QLC journey #3 - 01/31/20 03:24 AM

Thank you for sharing this scout. Iím trying to figure this out also, but another thing in my sitch is Hís depression- so Iím always thinking about my words and action now how it will affect him psychologically. Is he using that as a crutch so I am focused on his needs? Maybe......

Now I know a lot of the things he did in our M was not okay. But he was the broken one, so I always felt like I had to be compassionate and ďunderstandĒ him in that way. And in doing so I put my sense of self away. My feelings were not valued as much.

Anyways, again- thank you for the post.
Posted By: kml

Re: Scout's QLC journey #3 - 01/31/20 03:11 PM

Quote
His need for compassion should not come before her right to live free from abuse.


This is true. But itís possible to have compassion and good boundaries at the same time. Compassion doesnít mean you have to have any contact, or give anything up in negotiations. It definitely doesnít mean tolerating abuse or being codependent.

I see compassion in a more Buddhist sense - trying to see the Buddha nature in every being.

I could easily get stuck in just thinking about how my ex is a narcissist who cheated on me more than once and who could never quite be satisfied with me. And all those things are true, and I have anger at the way he continues to interact with our adult children.

But I try to maintain a compassionate stance. He consciously tried to be better than his parents, although he ultimately failed. Heís had multiple concussions and maybe a shadow form of bipolar disorder that affects his actions. And his behaviors towards me in the marriage were just a reflection of his deep inner dissatisfaction, a hole that wlll never be filled. Iíve got by far the better end of the deal, as Iím happy with life, free of bitterness.

That doesnít mean I want any communication with him. I just feel sorry for him, that heís missing out on a rich relationship with our cool kids, and continues to be incapable of being satisfied with what he has.
Posted By: scout12

Re: Scout's QLC journey #3 - 02/04/20 02:26 AM

Here's a parable from the abuse counsellor's book which stood out to me.

Quote
There once was a man whose neighbors had a large and beautiful maple tree growing behind their house. It gave shade in the hot summers, turned stunning colors of fire in the fall as it dropped its leaves, and stood against the winter snow as a magnificent wooden sculpture.

But the man hated his neighborsí tree, because the shade that it cast into his yard made his grass grow poorly and stunted his vegetable garden, which was his passion. He pressured the neighbors repeatedly to either cut the tree down or prune it drastically, and their response was always the same: ďYou are free to cut any branches that stick out over your property, but beyond that we are going to leave the tree alone, because it is beautiful and we love it. We are sorry about the shade it casts on your side, but that is what trees do.Ē

One summer the neighbors went away on vacation for a week, and the man decided to rid himself of his aggravation. He took a chainsaw and cut their tree to the ground, making careful cuts so that the tree would not fall on the neighborís house and destroy it but also directing it away from his own yard, so he wouldnít have to clean it up. Then he walked home, fully satisfied if perhaps a little afraid.

The next day he took his chainsaw, threw it in the dump, and prepared himself to deny having any idea who had brought the giant down, even though the truth would be obvious. There was only one hole in his plan: He didnít realize how popular his neighbors were, and he didnít know how unbearable it would be to have the entire local population turn against him, to the point where no one would even look at him or talk to him.

So the day finally came when the man realized his life would be wrecked for good unless he dealt with his destructive and selfish act. What steps did he have to take in order to set things right?

THE STEPS TO ACCEPTING RESPONSIBILITY

1. He had to admit, and admit fully, that he cut down the tree. He dreaded looking at people and saying, ďYeah, it was meĒóeven though they already knewóbut he had to do it. He had to stop claiming that the neighbors had cut the tree down themselves so that they could blame him and turn everyone against him. And when he did admit his act, he also had to acknowledge what an old and impressive tree he had killed, rather than try to save face by insisting that it had been small and ugly.

2. He had to admit that he had cut it down on purpose, that his actions were a choice. He couldnít claim that he had been so drunk or enraged that he didnít know what he was doing. He couldnít say, ďWell, I just meant to put a little cut into the trunk as a warning to them, but I accidentally cut too far and the tree fell down.Ē In short, he had to stop making excuses. Furthermore, he had to admit that he had goals that he tried to further through his destructive behavior; he needed to be honest about his motives.

3. He had to acknowledge that what he did was wrong. This meant that he had to stop blaming the neighbors and playing up how victimized he had been by the shade. He had to make a sincere, heartfelt apology.

4. He had to accept the neighborsí right to be angry about what he did, which meant that he had to be willing to truly acknowledge the effects of his actions. He had to take in the anguish he had caused. He had to stop asserting that they were ďmaking too big a deal over one stupid treeĒ and that ďit happened along time ago and they should be over it by now.Ē Although apologizing was important, he also had to accept that saying he was sorry was only the beginning and that it meant nothing unless he also looked seriously at the damage he had done.

5. He had to accept the consequences of his actions. First, he had to provide reasonable monetary damage for the value of the destroyed tree. He then needed to plead guilty to the criminal charges, so that the neighbors would not have to go through the ordeal of testifying against him. He had to stop seeking sympathy from people for the problems he himself had caused, along the lines of: ďPoor me, I had to pay out all this money that I canít afford because of their tree when the only reason I cut it down was because they were wrecking my yard with it.Ē

6. He had to devote long-term and serious effort toward setting right what he had done. No amount of money can replace a mature tree; thereís no way to erase the effects of such a destructive act. The man therefore had to make amends. He needed to buy as large and healthy a young tree as he could find in a nursery and to plant it carefully behind the neighborsí house. Whatís more, he had to water the tree, protect it from deer, watch it for diseases, and fertilize it as necessary for years. A young tree takes a long time to securely establish itself.

7. He had to lay aside demands for forgiveness. He had to recognize that even if he sincerely were to take all of the steps I have described, the neighbors might still be left with pain, hurt, and bitterness, and the man had no right to tell them how long their bad feelings should last, especially since he was the cause. People might be nicer to him now that he had stopped denying what he did, but they wouldnít necessarily ever like him. The neighbors might never
want to be his friendsóand why should they be? If they did decide to be friendly with him at some point, he should see their forgiveness as an act of kindness and not as his due for replacing the tree.

8. He had to treat the neighbors consistently well from that point forward. He couldnít decide to stick it to them five years later by cutting down a rosebush, for example, and then say,ďOkay, I messed up, but shouldnít I get credit for the five years that Iíve been good? You canít expect me to be perfect.Ē Asking someone not to cutdown the neighborsí flowers is not the same thing as expecting perfection.

9. He had to relinquish his negative view of his neighbors. He had to stop speaking badly about them to other people and accept that mostóperhaps even allóof what he disliked about them actually had to do with their responses to the damage he had done and their refusal to be bullied by him. He had been the creator of their hostility toward him.
Posted By: OwnIt

Re: Scout's QLC journey #3 - 02/04/20 02:35 AM

Very powerful, but sadly the people who need to hear/read this never will.
Posted By: DnJ

Re: Scout's QLC journey #3 - 02/04/20 12:24 PM

Good Morning scout

Thanks for sharing that parable.

It lays out responsibility quite nicely. Illustrating behaviour, and what one should see, of a person truly owning up and growing.

That was a nice read first thing this morning.

DnJ
Posted By: scout12

Re: Scout's QLC journey #3 - 02/10/20 07:35 AM

S1 is now S2! I hosted a big birthday bash on the weekend for him. He is such a loved and loving little boy.

STBXH took advantage of this special occasion to finally address my response to his parenting plan amendments. His email was hostile, demanding, accusatory, and threatening. Unnecessarily so, I thought, given how measured and reasonable my email was. My L even commended me for how child-focused it was.

Here are the key sections. Keep in mind that family law in Australia is more conservative than the US, recommending children under 4 live with their primary caregiver and spend substantial and significant time with the other parent. It's expected that children will transition to infrequent but regular overnight stays between 2-3 years old.

Quote
STBXH: I would like to have S2 overnight this weekend as it is my weekend and I would like to celebrate his birthday with him. You have had him all weekend last weekend, it is only fair that I get him to celebrate the same amount of time.


He forfeited this visitation time last weekend to attend a car race in another state. I don't think I need to change the current parenting plan to accommodate.

Quote
Me: Happy to extend Tuesday visit to include dinner and bath to give you the opportunity to participate in his evening routine and get him acclimatised to your house.

STBXH: If Tuesday visit is to be extended it is in S2's best interest to stay overnight here, building a routine of becoming familiar with his fathers environment, not alienated.


Accusations of parental alienation are unfounded as I have never deviated from the current parenting plan. STBXH has forfeited time on a near-weekly basis. I am willing to transition to overnight visits in a manner that ensures S2 feels safe and supported given he has only spent one night away from home in his life. S2 has not yet 'officially' spent any of his visitation time at STBXH's house. I'm happy to work with him to achieve this, but I need to know his address first.

Quote
Me: I agree to one weekend that includes an overnight stay per month. As you have not shared your address, I agree on the basis that the overnight takes place at MIL or SIL's place.

STBXH: You are trying to be overcontrolling and manipulative by not letting him stay at my house. I am his parent, his father and one of his legal guardians, if I wish him to stay at my house so be it. How dare you try and take my rights away from me. You may ask where he is staying and I will let you know. You are not welcome at my house.


Children have rights, parents have responsibilities. There are no rights to take away. And the idea that I want to be anywhere near his house is laughable.

Quote
STBXH: We are both equal parents and if you want equality to stand it is not a pick and choose scenario. Either be equal and fair about things or give up on equality. You preach it only when it benefits you.


I don't want equality. I want what's best for S2. I have no idea what exactly he is referring to here. I have never been unfair or self-centred in any of my decisions throughout this process. I have always put S2 first in everything I do, unlike STBXH.

He ended by telling me he will go for 50% custody with alternating weeks if I don't agree. "Your choice", he said.

Sigh. My L also informed me that he has retained legal counsel regarding the consent orders so there will likely be further negotiation.

Feeling like I was so close to being settled and now the cat's amongst the pigeons. Just need to remain patient and calm.
Posted By: peacetoday

Re: Scout's QLC journey #3 - 02/10/20 02:30 PM

Scout

The custody issue was difficult for me

One of my children was young and , and I truthfully did not trust my xh and OW to be caretakers if needed
MY XH Lied and I did not really know who OW was or where they lived or if they lived together till the end

The process is grueling, but it sounds like you are clear headed

The Mlcer is usually selfiish and will typically either lose some rights or back down

I did everything to protect my kids and fought him to them safe and away from OW who was an addict and he also began to use substances...so they were not sane people


Judges, L can see this and probably see it every day
Thank God for one responsible parent

hang in there
Posted By: Gerda

Re: Scout's QLC journey #3 - 02/10/20 06:01 PM

You will not be done anytime soon. MLCer loves the drama. Stop communicating with him. Stop being reasonable; they don't speak reasonable. Get a lawyer for your child and let that person do all the communicating with your H. This money will be well spent, seriously. If your H ever comes out of MLC, negotiation will be possible; for now, all you can do is protect S2.

Remember, you are the custodial parent. You choose what is best for S2, not what is best for H. You don't have to explain yourself. Keep a daily record (devoid of emotion) of every single thing that H says and does and the effect on S2. You'll need it.

Learn from my mistakes. I didn't figure this out until now; I ignored all the warnings here. Now I am paying double in money, stress, time.... I believe in restoration and healing of the marriage, always. But while they are in MLC, there is no marriage to heal. S2 needs you to be clear and fearless. I didn't do right by my kids because I didn't understand that.
Posted By: scout12

Re: Scout's QLC journey #3 - 02/12/20 12:53 AM

After giving it some thought, I decided to flex a little and try to be compassionate about our sonís birthday. I hope this was the right thing to do for S2, and maybe take the wind from STBXHís sails by showing Iím not an ogre.

I havenít addressed the rest of the email, but this part was time-sensitive as it related to the coming weekend. I do not plan to negotiate further regarding permanent changes to the parenting plan, as I donít believe itís in S2ís best interest.

Quote
Hi

S2 and I already have plans this Saturday. I am happy for you to pick him up at 5:30pm once we get home.

I'm sure S2 will have a wonderful time celebrating his birthday with you on Saturday night and Sunday at MILís place.

Dropoff as normal 5pm Sunday.

Thanks
Posted By: DS9

Re: Scout's QLC journey #3 - 02/13/20 03:24 AM

Hey Scout

Happy Birthday to your son! Hope he had a blast and got lots of pressies.

Your XH seems to have no idea how it works. Don't succumb to any threats to litigate for for 50/50. I suspect they are entirely hollow and an act of bravado.

If property will be protracted now, see my earlier comments about severing the joint tenancy (if applicable), new Will etc. I think I mentioned this months ago. That said, him engagaing lawyers doesnt mean it'll make things go bad - keep PMA, ok.

If you're continuing to communicate with XH direct despite both having lawyers, you may want to speak to your L about whether your comms to him should be without prejudice. Frankly, I'd leave it to the lawyers to communicate on your behalf given your sitch.

With the email, I'd delete reference to S having a wonderful time etc. Remember, it's business now.

Keep taking the high road Scout and accumulating karma credits. Good luck with it all and stay strong (if not dry lol).

Cheers DS
Posted By: may22

Re: Scout's QLC journey #3 - 02/14/20 01:17 AM

Hi Scout,

Happy birthday to S2! I'm so sorry about this recent email. You seem like you are totally clear and logical and everything you say makes 100% sense. (And honestly, his pretending he doesn't want to give you his address because you might stalk his house? Is pathetic and ridiculous. I am imagining this self-righteous, red faced, sweaty clown with a big clown nose and wig and makeup reading all of the email in a pompous, annoying voice. I don't know why that came to me but it did and I got a little kick out of it. I don't know if you will but just in case I thought I would share.)

I wanted to ask if you had any fun plans for this weekend sans S2. Hope you can find a way to do something just for you and fun that is hard to do with a toddler in tow. Even just sleeping in as long as you want.

Hang in there.
Posted By: scout12

Re: Scout's QLC journey #3 - 02/14/20 05:31 AM

Thanks all for sharing your thoughts.

Peacetoday - Parenting arrangements are my biggest sticking point too. Fortunately I have the law on my side. My L said STBXH is full of hot air and pretty stupid to put these words in writing.

Gerda - Great advice, thank you, and I will heed it. For what it's worth, I think you are managing to hold your own very well against the onslaught from your crazy H.

DS - Thanks for the reminder about severing joint tenancy, I will definitely look into that. I have yet to make a will, so legal advice will be required. The 'without prejudice' concept is new to me too. In sum, I need some help. Haha.

May - Welcome to my thread! Thanks for offering your perspective and the hilarious visual. I might envision that next time he decides to kick off and start whining.

As far as this weekend, I've yet to hear acceptance of the proposed overnight visit. It's currently Friday afternoon. The lack of communication is very typical behaviour. It's deliberate. He returned S2 half an hour late on his birthday after texting me "Leaving the park now" at the time he was due back. Note the complete lack of information. Which park? How far away? What's the ETA?

Another example: After he told my L the consent orders were with his own legal counsel for review, she requested the details of his L so they could communicate directly. As of yesterday, he had yet to provide that information. She asked me if it was possible he was not telling the truth about having counsel. I just laughed and said yes.

Anyway, my plan for this weekend, if it comes to pass - a long leisurely dinner out, seeing a movie by myself, getting an uninterrupted night's sleep, binge watching TV all day, doing some chores, and talking to a lovely single dad I met online.
Posted By: may22

Re: Scout's QLC journey #3 - 02/14/20 08:21 PM

Originally Posted by scout12
Anyway, my plan for this weekend, if it comes to pass - a long leisurely dinner out, seeing a movie by myself, getting an uninterrupted night's sleep, binge watching TV all day, doing some chores, and talking to a lovely single dad I met online.

That sounds ah-may-zing. (And ridiculous he hasn't even gotten back to you yet on the overnight. Honestly, just sad.)

Thinking of you!
Posted By: scout12

Re: Scout's QLC journey #3 - 02/16/20 04:03 AM

Itís been a while since Iíve felt sad, but I do today.

S2 has been with his dad since yesterday afternoon and is due back this afternoon. Itís only the second overnight heís been away from home, and I miss him.

I seized the opportunity to meet the nice single dad last night. We met in the city, walked around for a bit, had dinner, and saw a movie. It was great. But the silliest thing - he smelled wrong. Not bad, just wrong. Different to STBXH. We both chose perfumes for each other years ago and never changed them in all this time. We both still wear the same fragrances. I really loved his scent.

So I drove home with tears in my eyes feeling an intense aching nostalgia for my old life. Although I have no interest in reconciliation, I do miss the good parts of my marriage. I miss his hugs and his scent. I miss how easily we got along. I miss the attraction. If our relationship could have coasted along on the superficial aspects, we probably could have stayed married forever. But thatís not how relationships work. And itís not the kind of relationship I will accept.

Iím also sorrowful over the custody situation. To forever lose time with my only child due to his fatherís decision to betray, abandon, and deceive me is a bitter pill to swallow. Itís the worst injustice of this whole mess. That a man who demonstrates over and over how little he values family can force the unnatural separation of mother and child is galling.

The law says the child has the right to a relationship with both parents, and I accept that. But what kind of positive influence can this man have on his child when he continues to lie, threaten, intimidate, accuse, and harass the childís mother? Not to mention the other poor qualities of character he continues to demonstrate.

I would feel better about things if shared parenting could be respectful and honest, with both parents acting in the best interest of the child. But he canít, or wonít. His sense of entitlement prevents it. His latest email is an example of this. The custody arrangement he demanded is all about his rights, his feelings, his convenience.

Whatís done is done. He made his choices, he has the new life he wanted. Iíve let him go entirely in every possible way. The continued attempts to bring me down are cruel and unnecessary. I just want to pour my love and energy into my life with S2.

Iíll just allow myself to be sad until S2 gets home. One of my best friends must have sensed I needed help because he offered to bring Thai food around for dinner for us. So thatís nice.
Posted By: scout12

Re: Scout's QLC journey #3 - 02/16/20 08:10 AM

Case in point. S2 was returned half an hour late just now.

Me: He was due to be returned at 5pm.
STBXH: I thought it was 5:30pm.

Please scroll up to my earlier post where I stated ďDropoff as normal 5pm Sunday.Ē What part of that was ambiguous?

Iím wondering if I should send something to the effect of ďIf you canít respect the scheduled pickup/dropoff times, I will no longer agree to compromise on exceptions to the current parenting plan for special occasions.Ē

This has been an issue for the past nine months and I am tired of it. This person does not and will not respect anything except tangible consequences. I AM FED UP.
Posted By: DnJ

Re: Scout's QLC journey #3 - 02/16/20 01:50 PM

Good Morning scout

Donít sweat the small stuff.

The half an hour late is aggravating, and not to the agreement. I get that.

Originally Posted by scout12
This has been an issue for the past nine months and I am tired of it. This person does not and will not respect anything except tangible consequences. I AM FED UP.

You know STBXH is irresponsible, flaky, Swiss cheese memory, and purposely provoking you. He knows your buttons to press. Do not reinforce his poor behaviour. The more you show your displeasure and push back the more he will act out. What in his recent behaviour would lead you to think otherwise?

Expectations are tricky. You are both expecting him to be on time and late. You will be resentful no matter what.

Is S2 being dropped off in healthy, happy, and in clean condition? Did STBXH ever get a diaper bag, bottles, etc...? Did he step up a bit?

Boundaries regarding S2ís welfare you should enforce. However, sometimes it can be chalked up to differences in parenting style. I do admit I am looking a bit forward here, like what Dad feeds son is different than what you want him to feed son. As long as S is feed, happy, clean, and safe, donít sweat the small stuff.

You know you cannot count on H right now. You can only control you. If you need S2 back at a certain time, make other arrangements. Never let H know he is getting to you. He might tire of this game of his without your reactions. He may not, but itís worth a shot. It also is good for you. You donít need the stress.

How about:

Me: Hi. Did you guys have a good time?

STBXH: uh, yes. (wondering why you arenít jumping on him for being late)

Me: S2 certainly looks like he had a good time. Thank you for changing his diaper. (or whatever else may have been done - sometimes one has to look pretty hard for positive behaviours to reinforce)

Me: What did you guys do?

I suspect there (eventually) would be some banter back and forth regarding S2ís actives. Be cordial.

Me: See you next <scheduled time>. Good bye.

STBXH: Bye.


With a few interactions like that perhaps you can modify things for the better. Remember STBXH is like a rebellious teenager, and something that doesnít get a response, and they usually want an immediate response, will be dropped pretty quick.

There is a goof in my building who would turn up the radio in my office and then wait by the door for me to get upset like all the other people he does it too. (The radio is piped throughout the building and the volume controls are in a separate room). I never took the bait. Iíd keep working while he waited and peeked. In minutes heíd burst into my office admitting he turn up the radio and commenting on how loud it is. He needed his feedback. I gave nothing. Three times and he stopped. He hasnít touched my radio volume in a long time, otherís he still cranks up. There was just no fun in it with me.

You cannot control STBXH, but you can certainly take the wind out of sails.

Donít sweat the small stuff.

DnJ
Posted By: scout12

Re: Scout's QLC journey #3 - 02/16/20 11:48 PM

Thanks DnJ.

I respectfully disagree with the notion that pointing out there was a scheduled dropoff time is 'jumping on him'.

I certainly do not let STBXH know that I am fed up. I'm a grey rock, as much as possible, during interactions. Bland, boring, no sharp edges. I do not react. I do not encourage or invite this behaviour. He does it, I put up with it, and so it goes. Hence the frustration, which I vent here, to my parents, or to my friends.

I don't ask questions about his parenting time because it's none of my business. There is no chat or banter because I am not interested in conversation with the man who continues to abuse me. I take S2's bag when he hands it over (no, he hasn't provided one of his own) and then I welcome S2 into the house. That is the extent of my interaction with him.

I have to have my neighbours attend changeovers because I am afraid of this man. Soothing his ego and praising him for doing the bare minimum as a parent in order to 'modify' our interactions comes pretty close to victim-blaming in my book. As in, if I don't do it, I am complicit in my own abuse.

My only interest now is self-protection and the protection of S2.
Posted By: DnJ

Re: Scout's QLC journey #3 - 02/17/20 02:24 AM

Hello scout

Originally Posted by scout12
I respectfully disagree with the notion that pointing out there was a scheduled dropoff time is 'jumping on him'.

I agree with you, pointing out there was a scheduled drop off time is not Ďjumping on himí. But you and I are sane and emotional stable - he might feel different.

Sorry for the mix up.

DnJ
Posted By: scout12

Re: Scout's QLC journey #3 - 02/19/20 01:11 AM

Sorry if my response was a little curt. Iíve been in a mental tailspin trying to stay on top of the legal stuff this past week. The lateness is a small issue, but in a sense, itís a microcosm of the bigger picture. Iíll try to explain.

Why does it bother me? Because he just assumes that Iíll bend my schedule around his. Why does that bother me? Because it shows he still feels entitled to favours from me. Why does that bother me? Because I do feel an immediate discomfort in not accommodating him. Why do I feel that way? Because I donít feel comfortable saying no. Why not? Because I tie peopleís approval of me to my self-worth. Why? Because my husband made me feel unreasonable for having any expectations of him. Because my pain was mocked and dismissed by my swimming coach when I was a teen. Because my father was emotionally unavailable and physically distant when I was a child. It boils down to a terrible fear of asserting my needs and sharing my emotions.

The legal stuff feels overwhelming right now. As much as I try to remind myself this is a process, and to only deal with the issue in front of me at any moment, my emotions are preventing me from seeing the forest for the trees.

There have been emails back and forth with my L to draft a letter which restates my parenting plan proposal. I keep trying to downplay and placate STBXH with the wording of the letter, and I think my L is getting annoyed with me requesting changes. Probably not true, but I feel so shattered and raw that my thinking immediately assumes the worst. Iím so terrified of a custody battle that I feel like I have to play nice to stop him from retaliating if he senses he is going to lose.

STBXH responded to my L himself. So either he doesnít have his own L as suspected, or he is getting legal advice but choosing to communicate himself. He informed my L that I am still a joint name on his car loan. He had told me months ago that this loan had been refinanced to remove my name. He has requested a 12 month timeframe to refinance with a clause that I am indemnified in the meantimeís first he defaults. My L wants to respond with a reduced timeframe of 14 days. Again, Iím afraid of retaliation if I assert myself.

I just feel like a snail without a shell right now.
Posted By: OwnIt

Re: Scout's QLC journey #3 - 02/19/20 02:02 AM

Scout, this is all a bit much and you have been such a trooper. It is natural to have these moments and to feel overwhelmed. I'm much older and my kids are older, I have been dealing with this a very long time, and I am very familiar with the legal system and at times I feel overwhelmed by it.

Couple of things that stand out to me.

1. Find a lawyer you trust and then let them do their job. Do not keep changing what your lawyer suggests to placate a man who most assuredly is not thinking about yours or S2's best interest. Try not to micromanage. It will drive you crazy and drive up your costs. Tell him your goal and let him do his job.

2. It may have been your past to have bad experiences with men and authority figures, but it doesn't have to be your future. Use this moment to stand up for yourself and stop worrying about who is watching or what they are thinking. You matter. Your view of yourself matters.

3. You aren't going to nice him into anything. Set clear boundaries and stick to them. That is not mean or argumentative. Don't assume by giving him what he wants he won't retaliate. All he will do is take advantage until you are sick of it, and then he may. Firm boundaries will teach him how to treat you and how to behave.

4. Don't get lulled by him having a lawyer or not having one. It could change at any time. Because he has been abusive, leave it to your lawyer to deal with him.

5. It's very easy to refinance even a car these days. Go with your lawyer's recommendation to free up your credit. Indemnification won't help with that and it is just something else to fight over if there is a problem.

6. If you are waiting with S2 and he doesn't show, then leave after 10 minutes if he hasn't notified you of something unforeseen (take a video on your phone to preserve the day and time). If you are waiting for him with S2, document, document and let your lawyer deal with it.

It's totally normal to feel raw and vulnerable. But it absolutely will pass. There will be as many or more good things in you and your relationship with S2 as there are bad ones that come out of this.
Posted By: may22

Re: Scout's QLC journey #3 - 02/19/20 02:38 AM

Hi Scout,

I feel so much for you, around how unfair and wrong it is that this total a-hole gets to act like this AND gets to take time away from you and S2. Yes, yes, yes, your child needs a strong relationship with his father. Yet. I 100% understand where you are coming from and it is the one place where the rage really hits me when I think about my sitch and the possibility that the end will mean I wake up to an empty house half of my days, no warm snuggly mornings.

My only thought for you is to focus on the long game-- getting the best deal for you and S2 out of this as possible. Document his every time being late or blowing off a weekend because he has something better to do. S2 comes home with a full diaper? Record it. I do want to agree with DnJ on this one... there is just zero point to telling him he's late (unless your L says you need to have mentioned it). He's not going to change. He may even be doing it on purpose to get a rise out of you. There is just no value to pouring any energy down that hole. So what if he thinks he's getting one over on you? Let him. It doesn't hurt you or mean a thing about who you are or how you'll interact in future Rs-- in fact, the work you've already done in acknowledging why this bothers you will be enormously beneficial to you in any and all relationships far into the future. You're getting this out of it while he's just being smug and stupid and shooting himself in the foot by demonstrating with his actions his poor parenting.

You aren't a snail without a shell. You are the f-ing shell and your son is inside. You can take whatever $hit he tries to throw at you because you are protecting your child and doing the right thing for him, even if it means not reacting now, or being nicer in the tone of the letter (I might have a slightly different take on this from OwnIt-- while I 100% agree that assuming you have an L you can trust you should go with their recommendations, on this one I would go with your gut. You know your H and if a little sugar here helps, especially since he doesn't have his own attorney to tell him any differently, it could make a big difference. And don't worry about annoying your L as long as you're willing to pay).

All to say I obviously haven't been through any of this myself and I live in another country. It is like me trying to perform first aid because I watched a lot of Grey's Anatomy. Obviously listen to your L and the vets who have been through this... but I just wanted to give you my POV on this. Remember-- you're the shell. A steel-reinforced one at that.
Posted By: kml

Re: Scout's QLC journey #3 - 02/19/20 03:03 AM

I agree with Own It, let your lawyer handle it. 14 days to refinance the car sounds fine. Make him get it done while he still has a job!

Quote
Why does it bother me? Because he just assumes that Iíll bend my schedule around his. Why does that bother me? Because it shows he still feels entitled to favours from me. Why does that bother me? Because I do feel an immediate discomfort in not accommodating him. Why do I feel that way? Because I donít feel comfortable saying no. Why not? Because I tie peopleís approval of me to my self-worth. Why? Because my husband made me feel unreasonable for having any expectations of him. Because my pain was mocked and dismissed by my swimming coach when I was a teen. Because my father was emotionally unavailable and physically distant when I was a child. It boils down to a terrible fear of asserting my needs and sharing my emotions.


You got it, girlfriend! And itís time to start standing up for that teenage girl. Defend her!
Posted By: DnJ

Re: Scout's QLC journey #3 - 02/19/20 04:00 AM

Hello scout

Thank you for sharing. Things do sound stressful with Hís behaviour and all the legal stuff. There is a lot happening. (((scout)))

I do recognize and empathize with your fears about retaliation. To be overwhelmed with all this. Itís normal, and quite temporary, it will flit away - in time.

I am willing to share my experiences, and discuss anything youíd like.

And I agree with the posts from the wise gals; they have given really good advice.

You are doing well my dear.

You have value and worth, donít ever tell yourself different!

DnJ
Posted By: DS9

Re: Scout's QLC journey #3 - 02/19/20 04:18 AM

Hey Scout

I'm sorry about all this mess you're in at the moment. I really am. It [censored] doesn't it. You're a strong woman though - I'd argue one of the strongest on this forum, and that's not taking away anything whatsoever from any of the other ladies here on the forum.

By the way, you've had some fantastic advice from a couple of the ladies here.

Can I be blunt and say that until you get your L to write a letter about changeover and what you will do if he's late, it will likely continue happening and you'll keep getting frustrated over and over. He's playing you with this. Your second paragraph describing your reasons for getting peeved hit home for me, as I share this type of mindset in almost mirror image, and its so, so tough to break isn't it. I'm wondering if there's a female equivalent of no more mr nice guy you could read.

I get it about editing your lawyers letters. Just remember the fees are clocking over each time that happens. Let your lawyer handle it but get drafts for approval first before they go out.

If its becoming overwhelming, put a brake on things for the next few days or weeks, unless your L says its urgent. You drive the pace and momentum, not XH. It really sounds like you need to just pause, breathe, and regather your strength.

Indemnifying you means nothing, unless it's in an Order, and even then, the lender won't care if the XH defaults. 2 weeks to refinance sounds good - maybe 28 days even. Failing which, the car is sold and proceeds to the lender, with any outstanding amount to be settled by him within a short timeframe - no loose ends he can manipulate ok. It's disquieting that he was untruthful about refinancing. Ask your L for advice about whether you should contact the lender direct to advise of separation and ensure they have his address for billing purposes.

Think deeply about whether XH has the capacity, commitment and intent to commence Court over your S. From what you've told us, he sounds like a paper tiger who is calling your bluff. Push the fear of this to the side in your mind - I used to visualise a huge hand, pushing all the crap to the side, away and behind me.

What is the retaliation you fear? I had fear of retaliation too - bigtime. I actually had the biggest fear of just upsetting my XW. I realised a lot of it was bravado. I think your XH is the same.

Sounds like you've got a good lawyer whose got your back. Your friends on the forum have got your back too Scout. Is seeking an urgent IC appointment an option for you?

Keep us posted with how you're doing and feeling. Definitely speak to your lawyer about pausing to settle things within yourself. You're no good as a client if you cant make the best decisions for you and your son. He's relying on you to be in the best possible state to make the best possible decision.

Chin up Scout - you got this. Tap deeper into those reserves of courage, strength and resolve we all know you have. You may feel like you're on the last smelly vapours of your reserve tank, but there's always a little bit left.

Cheers, DS
Posted By: scout12

Re: Scout's QLC journey #3 - 02/19/20 11:41 PM

Oh dear. The L sent off the custody letter this morning and received the below message in response immediately. She notified me and advised me to be vigilant in my interactions with STBXH as he is obviously highly emotive.

Quote
Seriously? Not allowing him to stay at my place but at my parents or sisters. Shame on you. You are a terrible person. I hope you never have a situation where you are put in mine. I will reply in good time.
Posted By: OwnIt

Re: Scout's QLC journey #3 - 02/19/20 11:58 PM

Scout, not pleasant, but will likely be helpful for your case. Judges really do not like people they believe are making things difficult or not playing nice. Follow her advice and hope that he leaves it with some cutting words and then finds an attorney. More evidence of what you are dealing with.
Posted By: scout12

Re: Scout's QLC journey #3 - 02/20/20 12:54 AM

Yes, I can't quite believe he thought it appropriate to respond to my L in that manner.

Here are the facts about the issue he is so angry about.

1) The current arrangement, which has been in place since August, had his visitation time occur at my/S2's house. Since I stopped allowing him in the house in November, these visits have taken place at the park, at his parents' or sister's place, or just out and about. There was never a discussion about visitation occurring at his place because he refused to share his address whenever I raised it.

2) He was forced to share his address in order to complete the consent orders two weeks ago. Other than the general suburb information, I had no knowledge of where he lived. My proposed compromise to the current arrangement was sent to him in January, well before I had this information, and at the time I declined his request for overnights at his place because I wasn't comfortable with my 2 year old child staying at an unknown location.

3) Now that I have his address, I said I was happy for daytime visitation to occur at his place. I agreed to the overnight visit he asked for, but stipulated it take place at his parents' or sisters' place initially because it's a familiar setting for S2 with familiar people. I specified this was a transitional arrangement, giving S2 time to adjust to his father's residence during daytime visits, and that overnights would occur at his place following an adjustment period for S2.

This was all spelled out very clearly in the letter. The actual schedule hasn't changed from the compromise I proposed in January, in which I agreed with 90% of his request for increased time. The purpose of the letter was to couch my proposal in legal and psychological terms in support of S2's developmental needs, and to explicitly say it would be a transitional arrangement that we would work together to implement.

I know, MLCers are emotional. Yeesh.
Posted By: OwnIt

Re: Scout's QLC journey #3 - 02/20/20 01:31 AM

Scout, you know there is nothing unreasonable here. Do be careful though. There have been a lot of scary stories in the media over custody matters and when someone feels a loss of control they can quickly become someone different from who we think we know.
Posted By: kml

Re: Scout's QLC journey #3 - 02/20/20 01:46 AM

Son can spend the night at his place once he gives you the address. Easey Peasey.
Posted By: Gerda

Re: Scout's QLC journey #3 - 02/22/20 06:50 AM

Scout, think for a minute about what you would do if someone told you about some other man who would not give his ex-wife his address at all, let alone when her child was staying there. That is weird and scary and potentially dangerous. It is insane. Your thinking so much about it or excusing it in any way is LBS egg-shelling. I know because I did it for seven years.

They unravel more and more as the D unfolds. Do not wait, do not pass go! Protect your child here and now with a solid arrangement and, if possible, a social worker who can either supervise H or ensure that he follows normal rules. The years to come will be a very vulnerable time for you kid, and your H may get worse and worse before he comes out of this. You don't have to be mean to H or sink to some low level that you abhore, but I would get things on paper, including where he lives.
Posted By: scout12

Re: Scout's QLC journey #3 - 02/27/20 12:09 AM

H responded to my L with a huge list of demands and accusations. He suggested she "tell [her] client to get her story straight". He said I was only thinking of my own selfish wants and keeping S2 all to myself. "You know that as well as I do", he told her. He was nitpicky and aggrandising and threatened to "seek other avenues" if I didn't agree with what he wanted, which is basically 50/50 shared time, and inappropriate for a child of S2's age.

After the hostility escalated to an uncomfortable point, I decided to reach out to H directly to try and come to a resolution with the parenting plan. My email was kind, accommodating, reasonable, flexible and child-focused. More than he really deserves from me at this point, but I have to be my best self. He texted me to say he hadn't had time to reply and couldn't agree to certain things, but the tone of his message was more pleasant and respectful than it has been recently.

I'm sure there will be further negotiation, but I don't feel frightened about it now.

I feel like I've reached a new stage of acceptance. S2 won't be with me full-time, and that's OK. Even if his dad and I were together, I still wouldn't be with him full-time as he grows up. My house will always be his home. He will spend time at his dad's house, and that's OK too. Is this fair on me? No, but it's good for S2. I've accepted this, but I won't compromise on my boundaries or my responsibility to protect S2's physical, mental and emotional wellbeing.

I ended my email with this statement:

Quote
Lastly, your affair and abandonment of the marriage have nothing to do with parenting. I will only say this once and never mention it again. I am not your friend and have no desire to be part of your life in any way. I will be divorcing you as soon as the waiting period is up. That does not mean you are my enemy. I don't hate you because that would not be best for S2. I just don't care about you in any way other than as S2's dad, and only for S2's sake.

I am hopeful this can be settled between us with some effort and communication around the shared goal of ensuring S2 feels safe and supported at all times, and has a meaningful relationship with both parents that is appropriate for his age. If you donít agree that this is the best way forward, I will defer to my solicitor in reaching an agreement. If you are abusive or angry in your response, I will forward it directly to my solicitor as such hostility is unnecessary and upsetting.


If he refuses to compromise, I will tell him that I know he falsified his retirement fund balance in the property settlement to the tune of $10-20k. I will instruct my L to request full and frank disclosure of this figure and deduct the additional balance from his share of the settlement. So one way or the other, he will do the right thing.
Posted By: scout12

Re: Scout's QLC journey #3 - 03/02/20 02:17 AM

There was a post on Reddit this morning from a man considering leaving his wife due to lack of sex in the 18 months since their child was born. It stirred up some feelings of guilt and shame about that period of time in my own marriage, the unexpected psychological impact of becoming a mother, and my sense of failed womanhood due to H's affair.

I had severe PPD/A following S2's birth. I had some birth trauma and PTSD-type symptoms that took a while to process. My sex drive was below zero, but I was desperate to want it again for his sake. My efforts weren't enough in the end, but I'm not sure what else I could have done. I was honest about my feelings, sent him scientific articles about postpartum hormones, went to therapy, played around with different anxiety medications, went on and off birth control, scheduled sex, agreed to maintenance sex, bought various toys, gave him suggestions to turn me on, showed him love in other ways...

We went from a couple times a week pre-baby to once a month post-baby. It took me 3 months to work up the courage to even have sex after giving birth. I cried after sex for a good 6 months due to pain and different sensations and PTSD. Obviously not a turn-on for anyone.

I probably did stuff wrong, too. I asked him to sleep in the spare room whenever he had an early/late shift or stayed up late playing video games to help me preserve my sleep. He might have felt rejected by that. I explained many times that my postnatal hormonal state interfered with my sex drive and he would just need to be patient. Perhaps 15 months was too long to wait for things to return to normal. At one point, I even made comments about him fulfilling his needs elsewhere if that would satisfy him, because I felt so guilty for turning him down so often. Obviously, I shouldn't have been so flippant about that.

I understand why he turned to a young, attractive woman who was under his control and willing to give him what he wanted. That doesn't make it okay. I do wish he could have given me more of a chance. Becoming a mother is the biggest upheaval a woman will ever experience. Her brain chemistry is completely rewired, her organs are settling in new places, her heart is walking around outside her body inside that little person. The first two years of a child's life are supposed to be the most difficult on a marriage, but it gets better, right? I wish someone older and wiser could have told him "What's two years in a lifetime of marriage?"

Submitting to unwanted sex in order to please him never felt right, but maybe I should have done that to keep him happy. I was of the opinion that sex is something you do with, not for, your partner. But maybe I am wrong. He was never able to express how he felt about it, other than petulance and blame, which made me feel guilty and defensive. I explained many times that you cannot pour from an empty cup, and that I needed more emotional support from him without the expectation it would lead to sex. As the saying goes, women are not vending machines that you put niceness coins in until sex falls out.

I don't know. Thanks for reading my Monday morning ramble.
Posted By: DS9

Re: Scout's QLC journey #3 - 03/02/20 03:23 AM

Thanks for sharing your feelings Scout. It's difficult when outside sources stir the emotions, isnt it.

I hear what you're saying but nah, that's pretty much all on him Scout. What sort of man demands sex after his wife, the mother of his child, has given birth, especially in your circumstances post birth. I'm kind of unsurprised he didn't volunteer to do more, or sleep elsewhere when Xbox became the priority. I think from what you've said here you really, really went above and beyond.

You're no vending machine, and even if you were, sounds to me like XH was substituting the coins he was putting in for those worthless copper game arcade tokens.

How's GAL? How's S2 - any nice milestones? How'd the date go you went on the other week? Future dates with him on the horizon?

Cheers DS
Posted By: may22

Re: Scout's QLC journey #3 - 03/02/20 07:40 AM

Hi Scout,

I know we've been talking about this all over today. I wanted to say on your thread a couple of things. First:

Originally Posted by scout12
Submitting to unwanted sex in order to please him never felt right, but maybe I should have done that to keep him happy.

No. No, no, no. Please never ever think this. I remember reading in the thick of the SSM that the basic recommendation was fake it til you make it, and I never did that... I sometimes wonder if I had if we would be where we are now, but in that case, for *me* I probably would still be low desire and would never have had the impetus to really change how I perceive myself... which would be a far-from-optimal solution for me, even if my H was happier and maybe didn't end up being unfaithful if there wasn't an SSM. Also, you can't change the past, so no use beating yourself up about it. You did the best you could with the tools you had at the time.

You did *far* more to try to boost your sex life back up than I did-- really impressive, actually. I went to the doctor (was told it was totally normal, not to worry about it), read some magazine/internet articles (fake it til you make it), and talked to my friends, kind of, about it (who were all also not having sex with their husbands either). That was it. And it went on for literally years. The last 5 years we probably had sex once a month or less (by the end maybe once every other month) and I dreaded it. So your husband was on easy street compared to mine! wink

I know you mentioned the Emily Nagowski book on Alison's thread, and I highly, highly recommend it. The other two I read were Esther Perel's Mating in Captivity and Laurie Watson's Wanting Sex Again. I would rank them in that order (Nagowski, Perel, and Watson).

Anyway, I hope you don't feel guilt around being low desire. One of the biggest things I have taken away from these books and more research about it is that I am totally normal and so are you. There is nothing wrong with you. And (the Nagowski book is particularly good at this) once you understand how desire works for YOU, you can nurture it.
Posted By: kml

Re: Scout's QLC journey #3 - 03/02/20 02:06 PM

Scout - it sounds to me like you made plenty of good faith efforts to remedy the problem while your H made little or no effort. Itís not surprising that his lack of support and affection worsened your postpartum depression and dampened your desire for him.

This situation revealed your Hís basic narcissism - a trait that was always there but may not have been visible to you so long as he was getting his narcissistic supply from you.
Posted By: wooba

Re: Scout's QLC journey #3 - 03/02/20 02:53 PM

Originally Posted by scout12
Submitting to unwanted sex in order to please him never felt right, but maybe I should have done that to keep him happy. I was of the opinion that sex is something you do with, not for, your partner. But maybe I am wrong. He was never able to express how he felt about it, other than petulance and blame, which made me feel guilty and defensive. I explained many times that you cannot pour from an empty cup, and that I needed more emotional support from him without the expectation it would lead to sex. As the saying goes, women are not vending machines that you put niceness coins in until sex falls out.


Your Ex shouldíve been more understanding about PPD. I mean, the pregnancy and becoming a mother alone mess with a womanís body and brain enough without PPD already!

I donít know about other women, but I remember for awhile I was really having conflicting feelings about my body after becoming a mom. Forgive me for being forward here- my nipples- are they for pleasure or for breastfeeding?? I felt like a cow constantly breastfeeding my baby but I somehow needed to figure out how to switch to ďsexy wifeĒ mode after the baby is full? How are we supposed to know this stuff??

But with that said, I also believe that sometimes you do it with your partner just to do it. We donít have enough candle light dinners to set the mood first, and with a high drive partner sometimes it just needs to happen. Now looking back at my own M I feel like part of what went wrong is I didnít examine the situation hard enough. (And I didnít know how) I felt like I was trying so hard to match my Hís drive but it was so exhausting for me. And it was disappointing for both of us because he didnít want to feel like I was forced, and I didnít want him to feel like itís still not enough. I think the key is to figure out WHY- why didnít I want to have sex with this man? What is missing for me? Basically shifting the focus to myself instead of him.

And also obviously it takes two to tango. Thereís lots of things husbands can do to help plant the seeds for the flowers to bloom instead of focusing on ďpoor me, I am not getting enough sex.Ē

Donít beat yourself up for whatís in the past. We all have room for improvements. But I think your H wins that one, he needs A LOT of work.
Posted By: may22

Re: Scout's QLC journey #3 - 03/02/20 11:06 PM

Originally Posted by wooba
I donít know about other women, but I remember for awhile I was really having conflicting feelings about my body after becoming a mom. Forgive me for being forward here- my nipples- are they for pleasure or for breastfeeding?? I felt like a cow constantly breastfeeding my baby but I somehow needed to figure out how to switch to ďsexy wifeĒ mode after the baby is full? How are we supposed to know this stuff??

If you haven't read Mating in Captivity I highly recommend it. it really made me feel so much better about all of these feelings. And in fact probably pre-birth control, it was necessary for women to NOT feel very much like having sex because otherwise you'd just have kids on top of kids before your body was ready. So maybe it is partially protective from an evolutionary standpoint. But she also talks about the sense of being a mom being totally at odds with having desire. And that desire requires some level of selfishness, of wanting just for you, that I think is hard for a lot of moms to do. We are so used to doing everything for everyone else that it is hard, sometimes, to take something just for yourself. It feels a little wrong. And yet for me, being able to once again do things just for myself (not even in the sexual arena... I mean even making time to work out or to get a haircut or anything else that isn't absolutely necessary and is just for ME) has been enormously important in so many ways. For me, also, I spent all day long with people wanting things from me at work and then the kids wanting things from me at home, and being constantly TOUCHED *all* the time and pawed by the children, the honest last thing I wanted at the end of the day was for anyone to touch me or want anything from me. I just wanted to be. And on top of the mom part, we as women have been told over and over sexuality is bad, be a good girl and keep those legs together... until we get M and then we are supposed to be sexy and uninhibited and O just like in the porns. HA. It is all BS and none of us should feel badly if we fell victim to this load of BS we've been sold.

Originally Posted by wooba
I think the key is to figure out WHY- why didnít I want to have sex with this man? What is missing for me? Basically shifting the focus to myself instead of him.

Completely agree... and how to cultivate desire in yourself and how to have him help set the contexts where you are able to relax and feel sexy and desirable and interested in sex. Assuming we stay together, my H will have a lot to learn in this area and I'm determined that we will work on it and talk about it. I'm not going to compromise on this one again. Feeling desire and desirable is empowering and fulfilling and I want to keep these feelings in my life going forward.

Anyway... sorry to hijack, I feel very strongly about all of this. And Scout, I agree with kml's assessment-- seeing how much you did, in such a difficult situation with PPD especially... he could have stepped up and helped you through this. His response does say a lot about who he is and nothing about who you are.
Posted By: scout12

Re: Scout's QLC journey #3 - 03/02/20 11:50 PM

Originally Posted by DS9
Thanks for sharing your feelings Scout. It's difficult when outside sources stir the emotions, isnt it.

I hear what you're saying but nah, that's pretty much all on him Scout. What sort of man demands sex after his wife, the mother of his child, has given birth, especially in your circumstances post birth. I'm kind of unsurprised he didn't volunteer to do more, or sleep elsewhere when Xbox became the priority. I think from what you've said here you really, really went above and beyond.

You're no vending machine, and even if you were, sounds to me like XH was substituting the coins he was putting in for those worthless copper game arcade tokens.

How's GAL? How's S2 - any nice milestones? How'd the date go you went on the other week? Future dates with him on the horizon?

Cheers DS


Thanks DS. I have to be fair to XH - he wasn't overtly demanding, he was not an ogre, he never forced himself on me. The pressure and manipulation was subtle.

He didn't do more because he didn't get anything out of it. Parenting, family life, marriage all require sacrifice without expectation of reward, and it just became tiresome to him. This man hesitated when I asked him if he regretted becoming a father. That says it all, really. He didn't do more because there was nothing in it for him. No joy.

My life is very rich and full now. I'm still investing time and effort in redecorating my home. Work is productive and fulfilling. I couldn't ask for better, deeper friendships. Dating is fun, but I LOVE (and prefer) being on my own.

S2 is the best little kid. I'm putting a lot of effort into developing his emotional intelligence. He is now able to verbalise his feelings (sad, angry, scared, tired) and recognise the appropriate action (ask for help, ask for a cuddle, take a deep breath, try again, have a rest). His daycare educators told me he is the most well-adjusted kid in his class of 2-3 year olds, and that you would never know there was any familial conflict. That made me feel so proud. There have been long periods of time over the past nine months where I have wanted to end my life, and been unable to take care of myself, but I've never faltered in taking care of S2.

I recently read a comment from Jerry Seinfeld about wanting to spend 'garbage time' with his kids, rather than quality time. Garbage time = the random nights where they want to stay up and eat a bowl of cereal after dinner for no reason. Walking past their room while your doing laundry and seeing the elaborate Lego setup they built. Driving them to school and hearing the plot of the latest Marvel movie for the tenth time. That's what I want, and that's something XH will never see as precious or valuable.

This comment got a bit long, so I'll respond to the others in a separate comment.
Posted By: scout12

Re: Scout's QLC journey #3 - 03/03/20 12:08 AM

Originally Posted by may22

I know you mentioned the Emily Nagowski book on Alison's thread, and I highly, highly recommend it. The other two I read were Esther Perel's Mating in Captivity and Laurie Watson's Wanting Sex Again. I would rank them in that order (Nagowski, Perel, and Watson).

Anyway, I hope you don't feel guilt around being low desire. One of the biggest things I have taken away from these books and more research about it is that I am totally normal and so are you. There is nothing wrong with you. And (the Nagowski book is particularly good at this) once you understand how desire works for YOU, you can nurture it.


Thanks May. I've got a slight aversion to Esther Perel because she's a bit of a cheater apologist, and my stance on cheating is pretty black and white (I know most people here feel otherwise). But I did enjoy a talk of hers about desire, a video I actually sent to XH way back when he first moved out, before I knew about his affair.

I love your points about nurturing desire on your own terms, not in relation to a man. This is a journey I'm looking forward to taking. Over time I allowed XH to convince me that I was broken, sexually, but I know now this is not true.

I had zero experience before I met XH at age 20, so I had no framework for what a healthy sexual relationship should look like. In hindsight, ours wasn't. We were together nearly ten years and for the first 3/4 of our relationship we had sex 3-5 times a week. Good on the surface, right?

HOWEVER, there were many, many occasions where sex felt so transactional that I would cry silently in bed afterwards while he obliviously slept. He did not know how to bring me to completion, though he did try, and I tried to help. It was never a 'him' problem or even an 'us' problem, it was a 'me' problem.

Some years ago, I invented 'the question game' to encourage emotional connection and intimacy in bed - just taking turns asking and answering questions as foreplay. He played along because he knew it would result in sex, but grumbled about it and obviously got no enjoyment from it.

Intimacy without intercourse was not enough for XH. I couldn't have intercourse without intimacy. Therein lay the rub (so to speak).
Posted By: scout12

Re: Scout's QLC journey #3 - 03/03/20 12:26 AM

Originally Posted by kml
Scout - it sounds to me like you made plenty of good faith efforts to remedy the problem while your H made little or no effort. Itís not surprising that his lack of support and affection worsened your postpartum depression and dampened your desire for him.

This situation revealed your Hís basic narcissism - a trait that was always there but may not have been visible to you so long as he was getting his narcissistic supply from you.


Thanks kml.

He brought me flowers and bath bombs, wrote cards on my birthday, booked me massages, took me on date nights. Those gestures were lovely and thoughtful. But I am not the same woman that he pursued and wooed pre-baby. He wouldn't, couldn't, DIDN'T see what I actually needed as a new mother. What I told him outright many times.

- Uninterrupted sleep
- Time alone without the baby
- Shared mental load
- Appreciation for my efforts as a SAHM
- Contribution to a clean house
- Intimacy without the expectation of sex

And most importantly, for him to choose me and our son over work, friends and hobbies. Subconsciously, I knew we never came first in his list of priorities unless his sense of duty compelled him. I wanted him to CHOOSE us.

He was never the type of father to rush home to see the baby. As a rule, he would come home late, tickle S2 under the chin, then disappear into the nearest screen device for the rest of the night.

When I returned to work after 11 months maternity leave, I asked H to meet me on the train platform after work with S2 so I could step off the train into my family's arms. Three days in a row I asked him to please do this one thing for me because it was really important. Sentimental and silly, but important to me. I had never been away from my baby in his short life, and I missed him like crazy. Three days in a row, he let me down with some excuse. He was running late. It was too much effort to get S2 out of his car seat. He forgot what time the train arrived.

The reality? He just did not care.
Posted By: kml

Re: Scout's QLC journey #3 - 03/03/20 02:01 AM

Quote
He brought me flowers and bath bombs, wrote cards on my birthday, booked me massages, took me on date nights.


Narcissists can be very seductive. And so long as they are getting their narcissistic supply from you - it looks good. However, once they actually have to give something up - do things they don't want to do, put the needs of others ahead of themselves, love unconditionally - their true nature starts to show through.

It took me a long time to understand the role my ex's narcissism played in our marriage. I''m so easy-going and accommodating it wasn't really visible to me for a long time.
Posted By: DS9

Re: Scout's QLC journey #3 - 03/03/20 05:30 AM

Hey Scout

I feel subtle pressure and manipulation is still forcing himself onto you. Do you think you adopted a mindset that if you portrayed something in your mind other than what it was, it would make it more capable of processing and 'accepting'. I think I did that with certain aspects of my M to XW.

With all you describe about XH, do you think what he did (BD) was a blessing in disguise to set you free to be the woman you were meant to be, as you wouldn't have separated from him on your own volition? I'm kind of feeling that way now in my sitch.

I'm so stoked to hear about your son and how well he's doing! He sounds like a little ripper of a kid, especially with those comments from daycare and in the circumstances you're both facing. Darn right you should be proud!

Love the comments about garbage time. My son and I do this (didnt know it was a term!). Usually in the car - lot's of 'revelations' from my son, and lot's of Mhmm's and Oh's from me. He has this theory about the C-virus - its hilarious to listen to.

Keep spreading those wings Scout!

Cheers, DS
Posted By: scout12

Re: Scout's QLC journey #3 - 03/08/20 11:54 PM

It's been three weeks since I sent XH an email asking him to work with me on the parenting plan and de-escalate the tension for S2's sake. He hasn't responded to that, nor has he responded to my L's email negotiating the refinance period for his car loan. I'm half expecting responses today because he usually has Mondays off, but we shall see.

Last week, I sent MIL a farewell letter telling her that while I always loved XH, I was filing for divorce because infidelity is a dealbreaker for me. I laboured over this message for months and had a small breakdown once I worked up the courage to hit send. I said I was so grateful for her kindness and generosity and welcoming me into the family. I told her I didn't wish him any ill will, although I can't be friendly with him, and I hope he sorts his life out and finds happiness. I said I hoped this would bring everyone closure and that I just wanted to put the marriage behind me and be the best mother I can. I told her I knew she would love and support XH no matter what and that I will bow out of their lives gracefully, but we will always be connected through S2.

She replied yesterday:

Hi Scout, we are pleased that you are moving on with life and we wish you all the best. S2 will always be our link to you and we are happy to keep in touch. We love S2 with all our heart as we do XH and will always be there for both of them. Love MIL and FIL xx

I debated on sending the letter for a long time. It was really important to me that it not be motivated by anger, or trying to get a certain response from her. I would have been fine with no response, but what she said is fine too. Keeping this secret was like a poison dart preventing me from healing. If sending the letter was selfish, I'm okay with that. It would be the only selfish thing I've done in this whole mess. Holding it in was turning me into someone mean and small and bitter. I don't know if I did right, but I can move on with a clear and peaceful heart now.
Posted By: scout12

Re: Scout's QLC journey #3 - 03/09/20 05:42 AM

My L just emailed to say XH signed the consent orders for financial settlement! I'm so relieved. One step closer to being free.
Posted By: OwnIt

Re: Scout's QLC journey #3 - 03/09/20 06:03 AM

I am glad you are happy with it and I hope the rest of it works out cleanly as well. I admire your tenacity in taking care of business to protect yourself.
Posted By: DS9

Re: Scout's QLC journey #3 - 03/09/20 06:19 AM

Fantastic news! Go scout!
Posted By: scout12

Re: Scout's QLC journey #3 - 03/10/20 10:11 AM

XH bailed me up at kid changeover this afternoon. Fortunately I had already gotten S2 inside and spoke to XH through the locked screen door. I wasnít able to keep from engaging, but I stayed calm in the face of his outrageous claims.

- I will be reported for spreading lies and slander (I said if itís good enough to do it, itís good enough to talk about it)
- Iím punishing him for leaving because Iím jealous and bitter (I said please read my email where I said I donít wish you any ill will and Iím not interested in revenge)
- Heís with someone now but he didnít leave me for her (I said great, if you guys are in love then be together and be open about it)
- He didnít cheat or have an affair, and what even defines cheating? (I said umm, when you leave your wife to sleep with someone else)
- He left me because I was super controlling and never let him make one decision in eight years (I said I donít remember our life that way and his opinion always mattered to me)
- I left the marriage first because I asked to go to marriage counselling in December 2018 (I said that I was trying to fix things to make us happy again because I didnít want to model a broken marriage for S2)
- He has been more than fair to me in the settlement and everything heís done has been out of concern for me (I said I have a different definition of fair and that if he had any concern for me he wouldnít have cheated and abandoned me)
- I lied about my mortgage preapproval being affected by his car loan to force him to refinance sooner (I said I didnít lie about anything sand went with the advice of my lawyer and mortgage broker)
- I wonít give him overnight visits because Iím trying to get as much child support as possible from him (I said my only concern was S2ís well-being and that I am willing to work with him to gradually increase his parenting time)
- I lied to the child support agency about my income to get more child support (I said they calculated based on both our tax returns last year and that it wasnít possible to falsify government records)
- My lawyer is just as manipulative as I am (I said she is just doing her job)
- He did tell me his address when he moved and I must have forgotten and should write these things down (no response, in shock at this bald-faced lie)
- And yet, he DIDNíT tell me his address because he was afraid I would come and smash up his house after I apparently keyed his car (no response, just wtf to this whole ridiculous comment)
- I am abusive because I swore at him (I asked when? He said like four words ago. I asked what did I say? He said he canít remember)
- Heís not a jerk to everyone, just to me (I said I donít believe Iíve done anything to deserve that treatment)
- Calling me a bitch, threatening me to take me to court and lose my house, taking S2 from my arms, and taunting me to hit him was not abusive (I said my lawyer and psychologist disagree)
- I am playing the abuse trump card to prevent him from seeing S2 (I said I have never prevented you from seeing him and I could make access a lot harder if that was my angle)
- He and I both know that I donít have a clear conscience and I should stop saying I have nothing to hide (I said I do have a clear conscience and nothing to hide)

In the end, I got fed up and said that he seems to think Iím obsessed with him when all I want to do is get away and move on. He said that he wants to do the same. I said well, leave then! He scampered away to his car and I was a bit petty and yelled out that he was a cheater and that he should own his bad behaviour. He then told me I was abusive for saying so.

Kind of a masterclass in gaslighting, blameshifting and projection, no?
Posted By: CanBird

Re: Scout's QLC journey #3 - 03/10/20 11:33 AM

Wow scout. How are you feeling? That's terrible how he went off like that, especially at kid changeover. You handled yourself well.

Sending out a big ((THAT A GIRL)) to you.
Posted By: wooba

Re: Scout's QLC journey #3 - 03/10/20 01:52 PM

Scout, Iím so sorry that you had to deal with that. Stay strong!
Posted By: job

Re: Scout's QLC journey #3 - 03/10/20 02:26 PM

I think you handled him and his crazy statements quite well. Yes, quite a bit of gaslighting going on there as well as projection first class. Kudos for your handling this w/grace and standing your ground.
Posted By: OwnIt

Re: Scout's QLC journey #3 - 03/10/20 08:59 PM

Scout,

I will wager that the erratic behavior is fear and guilt. I think the more you can ignore him and his outbursts the better. Maybe suggest that you guys discuss any issues later when things have deescalated a bit. OD and I could not be civil at the beginning. Too much pain. As time goes by this should lessen. But talking to someone in this state never leads to a good place.

You are strong one. You have this covered.
Posted By: kml

Re: Scout's QLC journey #3 - 03/11/20 05:46 AM

Heís spinning. Youíre not playing the game - he wants you pleading and upset, not calm and moving on. You letting go and moving on robs him of his power over you, so he is desperately trying to hook you back in. He doesnít want you but he doesnít want you to move on either because then he loses his Plan B.

Picture a kid with ADD who will do anything for attention, even if itís bad attention like punishment.

Donít feed his narcissistic supply by reacting to him. Be the smooth gray rock that he canít get a finger hold on. Donít dance with his craziness. Let the lawyers do their work.
Posted By: scout12

Re: Scout's QLC journey #3 - 03/12/20 03:21 AM

Oh my goodness, XH has emailed my lawyer accusing her of lying in some previous correspondence. I truly thought that having all correspondence go through my lawyer would force him to behave out of respect for her profession. I am shocked at the audacity. She has drafted correspondence in response asking him to refrain from making false accusations against her office. Is this normal behaviour during divorce proceedings? He must be self-representing because no legal counsel would allow him to act the way he has.
Posted By: HaWho

Re: Scout's QLC journey #3 - 03/12/20 03:42 AM

Probably projection
Posted By: kml

Re: Scout's QLC journey #3 - 03/12/20 03:58 AM

Do you think heís on drugs?
Posted By: unchien

Re: Scout's QLC journey #3 - 03/12/20 06:20 PM

scout ~ I don't know if I've posted on your thread before. You are an incredibly strong person for how you deal with a toxic situation.

My situation is not the same as yours, but it does involve that magical "A" word and all the emotions that get stirred up with kids involved.

OwnIt had great advice -- please consider focusing on de-escalation. These interactions are only fueling the negativity and your H is behaving erratically. He is hooking you back in by getting you to engage in these prolonged back-and-forth's. It only takes one person to exit the vortex of negativity.

Originally Posted by scout12
Oh my goodness, XH has emailed my lawyer accusing her of lying in some previous correspondence. I truly thought that having all correspondence go through my lawyer would force him to behave out of respect for her profession. I am shocked at the audacity. She has drafted correspondence in response asking him to refrain from making false accusations against her office. Is this normal behaviour during divorce proceedings? He must be self-representing because no legal counsel would allow him to act the way he has.
I've followed your situation for awhile, and honestly I am not shocked at all by this. It seems pretty consistent with how your H has been behaving.
Posted By: job

Re: Scout's QLC journey #3 - 03/12/20 07:05 PM

New Thread:

Scout's QLC journey #4
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