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Grey Havens

Posted By: Zues126

Grey Havens - 12/15/18 03:12 AM

DB Gang, thank you for keeping me in your thoughts. I still follow many of your threads daily and you all remain close to my heart. I suppose it's time for an update.

http://www.divorcebusting.com/forum...ain=60736&Number=2811448#Post2811448

Family. S14 has been a bit distant since the start of the new year. I don't think I've posted too much about the blowouts we've had, but it started with him being deceptive at the end of last school year (lying about grades, falsifying report card online, etc), went on to me grounding him and giving him extra assignments, him passively refusing to do them, and culminated with him blowing up right before the school year began. Things were pretty escalated and his mom asked if she could be the one that manages grades and homework this semester to allow things at my place to cool down. I was ok with that. Right now I am pretty disgusted with some of my son's behavior (lack of accountability, victim mentality) and it has come between us. We are fairly disconnected. We still eat together and spend a little time together, but there is definitely a shift. I am not prepared to be closer as long as he's prepared to lie and manipulate things, and I don't see him growing past that yet. And I'm not going to beat my head against the wall trying to teach him. Life can do that. If I'm teaching him it's mostly in the way of showing him that he can't treat me like a chump and expect that I will take it. Still getting him xmas presents of course, we will go to a show in January that is a Beatles tribute. We went to Ringo a few months ago and it's nice to have a few good times that pierce the distance between us.

D11. Trying to make each day count before she too becomes a teen. We're having fun playing pool, she is hitting the balls really strong. Got her into a pool league, took a minor miracle to get XW ok with it (it's every Sunday so needed XW to be ok with it on her weeks) but I magically got it to work. D11 is new to competition so she's very tentative and lacks confidence. She doesn't know how good she is, like a baby lion that doesn't realize she will be king of the jungle. We played a tournament last Sunday, her first ever. It was 'adult/youth' scotch doubles, so we took turns shooting. She made a horrible mistake and lost us our first match in a double elim format. Then she hit a gear and we won 6 in a row to end up in 2nd place. The coolest part was the team we played for 2nd had a girl on the team who my daughter is enamored with, she looks up to her and thinks she's really good. Well, we beat them every game, my daughter made staggeringly strong hero shots in each game to win it for us. I'm glad she gets to see that she can compete and win if she works hard and delivers her game. Most of all it's fun that we get to hang out and hit balls together.

D8 is doing well too. Reading together, doing puzzles. She likes puzzles so as a xmas gift I have a personalized puzzle coming with a picture of her and a little note from her dad on it. Still waiting to see who she becomes as right now she's still following the lead of her older sister and hasn't quite hit her own stride yet. But we're doing lots of little things so she'll have chances to find out. November was her birthday, we went out for breakfast at IHOP, then we played a crane game. I always say no, so on her birthday I got 10 $1 bills and let her swing away at the stuffed animals all she wanted. LO AND BEHOLD, SHE HOOKED ONE! First time I've seen it. It made her day. I'm so happy for her. Then we went to a used bookstore and good a couple of cool books. Just thought I'd share, cool day with my daughter.

XW. I'm so far past "meh" I couldn't catch the bus back to meh. Pretty awesome. I think she's graduating her nursing program (NO idea what type of degree or what kind of work she can now do, I'm all the way out on her life) soon and might become a home health aide. When I heard that I remember genuinely thinking "Good for her" without any desire to see the karma bus hit her nor any longing to have anything to do with her. Meh is awesome. I'm done paying her in May, I can almost taste the finish line!

Work. Speaking of Meh, that's where I'm at with work. Slugging away. Never good enough to relax, never bad enough to lose sleep. The bank I work for really screwed up in 2016 and it's been dismal since, but they expect their sales stars to magically rescue them by hitting unrealistic goals (even when those goals caused all of the problems originally...). Whatever. I'm getting paid enough to pay my bills, and I'm producing enough to not lose my job, at least today. So it's all good. And I like helping my customers.

Pool. Playing a lot. Went to a FL tournament and got beat badly. Did ok at a regional event in WI. Going to a 10 day tourney in January (Derby City Classic, Louisville KY). US Open 9 ball in April 19. MN State Championship 1/5-1/6. Some other regional thing end of this month. Probably feather in a few more events. I'm hitting them pretty good. Really want to play better, but still playing well enough to enjoy the game and put up a good fight. I guess I'm excited that I'm filling up my tournament calendar, in the past I've averaged about 1 pro event a year, next year I want to hit 5-6. That's a new thing for me and I'm excited to have a legitimate opportunity to acclimate and perform. I really love the game. When I'm done posting this I'll go practice again. Oh, and I got a beautiful 9' diamond pro-am table, it's exactly what we play pro events on and it was a beast to get installed (one piece slate!). It's a real joy to have that table. Gotta get back to it!

Not terribly exciting, I just do my job, raise my kids, and then practice my pool.

Oh, one thing- I have a buddy that just joined the forum. Username rerediss. Just posted today for the first time. If any of you want to lend a hand to a newcomer please take a look. Juju, I'd love it if you could bop over, he's dealing with a WW who is nowhere near remorseful (she's still in the 'can't I have both of you' phase), I think you could be of value!

I did learn something about myself from that. I realized I referred him to this site, not CL's. While I read CL and enjoy much of her content, when the chips were down I still found value in him standing by his marriage and working on himself. Plenty of time to dump a cheater later on. I know I never regret what I put into myself as the marriage finished burning to a crisp.

OK, wrapping up. Thanks again to all of you and have a happy holiday!!!
Posted By: DejaVu6

Re: Grey Havens - 12/15/18 02:28 PM

Hey Zues. Thanks for the update. I am hoping to get to meh one day... itís a work in progress but Iíve had some good days. Great to hear about your daughterís pool playing. I wish I had started playing at her age. I LOVE pool. It is the one thing that I do that is just for me. I have a Diamond as well but had to get a seven foot because my downstairs rec room wasnít quite big enough for a bigger table. Iím fully an amateur player but I like to compete as well and when I do, it is usually on a seven-foot so it works for me. Iíve been to Vegas probably 20 times to play in the BCA championships. Last year I went to Vegas to watch the Mosconi Cup. Might go back again in 2019 now that America has finally won again - it was starting to get too predictable. Anyway... just wanted to say ďhiĒ and wish you luck in your tournaments this year. smile
Posted By: Zues126

Re: Grey Havens - 12/15/18 05:05 PM

Hi Deja! Thank you for sharing! Always a joy to meet a fellow pool player!

Yes, I've had the pool bug all of my life. When I was a kid I wanted to play with the other players so I would practice for hours on my father's home table, listen to music, and dream of competing. Many, many hours every single day, for years. I just wanted to be the best, and be able to outplay my opponents. So then 20 years go by and I'm out competing, playing others, sometimes for money, sometimes in tournaments, always matching up, always sparring, always competing. Little by little it gets a little fatiguing. There is no more local competition. Money matches have to be prearranged and become a spectacle. Tournaments are regular, but even a month in between is like a lifetime when you're playing every day.

It's funny, it went full circle. Now I just like hitting balls by myself and listening to music. I will go compete, I will match up. But 99% of my play time is by myself, doing drills, working on one area of my game, playing straight pool or the ghost, etc. I guess what I'm saying is I used to play by myself so I could compete with others, now it's just the world I enjoy living in and when I compete with others all of the money and cameras just become background and it always feels like I'm by myself in my basement.

7' diamonds are beautiful tables. I normally would never want a bar table but the diamonds are so nice I could be happy with one of those. Congratulations. Bummer you missed the MC this year, who knew it was going to get so crazy?!? And yes, I've played both BCA and VNEA a few years. I haven't played leagues in a while as they've all gone handicapped and I feel like they're not my place anymore, but I remember when they shared the Riviera with the pros and I got to watch all the top players during the amateur event. That was a big part of what got me playing in pro events, I got to see up close and personal they weren't all that much better. Sure, the top 10 guys on their best day are, but the top 100 guys on their bad days aren't!

Anyway, since you're on this forum I'd imagine you might be on AZBilliards? I'm a regular. I'll take all of my geek pool shop talk over there. But hopefully we can cross paths some day!
Posted By: JujuB

Re: Grey Havens - 12/15/18 05:59 PM

Hello Zues,

I am glad I checked the forums today.

I have only recently been introduced to CL. And I absolutely love her. If you remember my early writings, I have always been in agreement with her, no tolerance for cheaters philosophy. I am not sure if I would have healed faster had I been on her site as opposed to here. I do think the DB forum is more interactive and allows for more self reflection and journaling. I do not think the DB forums really acknowledged cheating and lying and betraying and leaving as a form of abuse a few years ago though. As a boundary. As a condition. And i think that was unhealthy.

In my situation, I never had that black and white, Yes he's cheating. He violated a boundary. Now make a choice. Everything was secret and I had a lot of self blame. I never really had a choice to make a stand against cheating. I feel cheated out of that closure, out of the power to make a decision. My ex did not even respect me enough to be honest even after our marriage was over. I will certainly reread and post on your friends thread. He seems to have all the intel which gives him power to choose . Once you have that intel, i think its more black and white and logical.

I am glad that you and your daughters are doing well. Very sorry to hear about friction between you and your son. I am going to offer you some thoughts to chew on though. I don't have answers or even advise. Just thoughts.
My parents raised us old school. We had consequences. We had to conform to their rules because they were the authority figures. Which I agree with. But their parenting style was executed in a manner where it felt like they were trying to WIN (my mother) or acted out of emotion (my father) as opposed to teaching and guiding. So i think my mothers need to to win at all costs (silent treatments in addition to other techniques) really left me susceptible to gaslighting and abuse from others.

" I am not prepared to be closer as long as he's prepared to lie and manipulate things" - I would be careful that you are not resorting to stone walling or withdrawing affection in order to win. I know you have access to some good counselors and maybe this might be helpful. Nip it in the bud early. No he is not making good choices. But you as parent/teacher might need to change approaches as well. Different personalities require different approaches. Some personalities buy from a salesperson that takes a hard dominant approach. Gives a hard handshake. Others don't trust that approach and prefer to buy from the friendlier easy going sales person. You have to recognize and conform a bit to make that sale to get through to someone, no? Just look at the big goal.

Anyway, best of luck. Hope you post more often. I am grateful I still have more years until my son is a teenager.
Posted By: Zues126

Re: Grey Havens - 12/16/18 12:07 AM

Juju, thanks for the reply.

I don't know that I have a die on the hill opinion about whether cheating should be a definitive deal breaker. I would never fault someone for making it so, but I would also never fault someone for taking their time and doing some soul searching. Granted CL calls it hopium and unicorn chasing because it almost never works out. But marriages fail most of the time, as do remarriages, as do long term relationships. Hard to know if I'm being cynical or just realistic, but the more I've considered the situation the more I consider the game unwinnable and I start to feel like we're talking about what chess move to make in a totally lost position.

As for my son, I don't disagree. I'm in a strange spot. He had tricked me all of the prior semester by changing the grades on his computer screen prior to our reviews, then when I caught him because the grades he was showing me on the screen didn't match the screen shot from his mother's portal or his year end report card he refused to admit it and said it must be a tech glitch and he didn't understand how his grades had mysteriously dropped. He even tries to blur what his actual grades were.

What I left out is that I did put the hammer down at the end of last summer. I took away all of his electronics entirely and gave him extra home work assignments. He asked how long he was grounded for and I told him that those were privileges that depended on him getting satisfactory grades. I told him that he had a choice. He would either be grounded until his next report card came out that demonstrated he deserved those privileges (which would mean 6 months of no electronics) or he could "apply for credit". What I mean by that is that he could demonstrate by completing the assignments I gave him and resuming his violin practice that he was prepared to take his scholastic responsibility more seriously. If he did those things I would reinstate electronics. So I gave him a clear road back and laid out my expectations.

Well, he dug his heels in and decided that there was nothing he could do, he was a victim, I wasn't being fair because I didn't believe him about his report card grades being incorrect, and that he couldn't win. I can't tolerate the lack of accountability and this victim mentality crap. Probably natural from a teen but his mother is a pro as well. I am a world class gamer and I set things up so that either option I was good with. Either he could learn from me to own his crap, or he could learn from life consequences that he can play victim all he wants but he will be a victim without electronics all summer. Which is what happened. I was good with that.

Where things got whacked is what happened at end of summer. I lost my temper with D7 and for the first time in my life I spanked one of my children. No, it wasn't cool, I consider it a blunder and regret my action. But what happened next was crazy. He had smuggled a cell phone over to my place and he texted his mom that I was out of control, that I was beating up D7 and she was injured, and that he was terrified for his safety. He spent the next week at his mother's house and said that he didn't feel safe with me because I was abusive.

I was furious. Calling a man physically abusive is about the second worse thing you can say in today's age, and while I am not going to argue in favor of spanking I don't for a heartbeat think that a one time spanking equates to physical abuse and a dangerous environment. From my vantage point he was playing a power game, using the power he had to go to his mom's where he wasn't being held accountable and wasn't grounded. Just my feel on the situation. But now while he was my son, he had suddenly become a threat to my family. It took hard work to get 50% custody and for him to blow the abuse whistle as a power play was totally unacceptable. I felt like he was a dog that bit the baby. He was a loved family member, but suddenly he was a threat.

I immediately schedule counselling and we went to two sessions. The counselor has asked to meet his mother and she kept saying she'd schedule something but hasn't. Meanwhile the dust has settled and things have stabilized a bit. S14 is still without personal electronics but he has a school tablet he can use anyway, and I wasn't going to try to enforce him only using it for school work because it seemed like making a rule I couldn't enforce. And frankly I am so disgusted by his behavior (first not doing school work, then lying about it, then not making things right, then playing power games that threatened my family) that I am pretty much done. I felt like he was determined to show me I'm not the boss of him, so I quit playing. I hesitate to try to enact more consequences when he shows he's willing to trump up accusations that threaten the family to get away from me, it's like blackmail. Right now that means the love I have deep down for him is pretty deep under some serious distaste for how he's choosing to conduct himself. But I figure he's a teenager, maybe this is normal. If I'm teaching him anything it's from the example of how I live my life. He has his own road to walk and he might have to learn from life and not from me for a while. Maybe when the day comes he sees I'm not fighting back anymore and he is making his own bed he'll grow up a bit.

If I was together with XW and he couldn't go running to mom I would certainly be more heavy handed, as is I just don't have it in me to fight an unwinnable war. Ain't nobody got time for that. We keep things civil. I'm not trying to stone wall him, he's still part of the family and we joke around a bit and interact together. But there is no question there is a divide that hasn't been bridged, and at this point he'd need to show me something different for me to be interested in bridging it.

Again, I don't feel this is the optimal response, but like I said, sometimes it's hard to find the right move. And as I've also said, I quickly lose interest in games that can't be won.
Posted By: DejaVu6

Re: Grey Havens - 12/17/18 03:26 AM

Hey Zues. Iím not on AZBilliards but I will check it out. My sister and I actually run a pool league in our town/city (not sure which it is - pop 120,000) that is BCA and ACS (CCS in Canada) sanctioned. The handicap system can be a drag but it is the only way to get newbies to play and feel like they have a chance. We play every Monday night and it is something I look forward to. Ah... the Riviera... I so miss that hotel. I was really sad when they knocked it down. It was like a home to me and having the tournament in July at the Rio is just not the same. Havenít been in three years now but we have been talking about going in 2020 when the tournament gets moved to the Spring again. July is Vegas is just too darn hot.

Sadly... I do not practice as much as I should but it is one of my goals for 2019. I pretty much get by on natural ability but that only takes you so far. I know I could be a lot better if I worked at it. Motherhood, work and marriage got in my way a bit. Now I only have two of those excuses...lol.

It would be fun to cross paths one day! Always love to meet fellow pool players!!!
Posted By: Ginger1

Re: Grey Havens - 12/17/18 02:41 PM

I am glad to see you around these parts again and thanks for the update. I am sorry all you are going through with your S14. It scares the bejesus out of me, the teenage years. I've known quite a few great parents with great kids where the hormones win for a while. I hope your S finds his way soon, and I think it is a good idea to let his mom handle that stuff for a while. I also completely understand your sentiments on how you fought for 50/50 custody and he tries to hurt that with the family. I don't know if he truly understands what you went through, but he should.

Just keep on keeping on, raise your kids, enjoy them, do the things you love.
Posted By: Zues126

Re: Grey Havens - 03/14/19 07:13 AM

I can't believe it's been another three months. Time sure flies these days compared to right after BD!

Family. S14. I pretty much let the schooling go. He's going to do what he's going to do. I believe he'll graduate high school, and probably get shaky grades along the way. Based on the way things have played out there aren't a lot of alternatives I have that don't lead to bigger issues. I'm not prepared to go to war on this one, particularly when it might result in him running to mom's house where the war isn't being fought, causing me trouble in other ways, and making our last few years together hostile. It's his life and he's got to live it. And honestly I got horrible grades in school and my life went on. There were consequences to be sure, but I hated school and if I had to go through high school again I'm not even sure I could make it through at all. I'm sure if I had been a better student I could have done a better job earlier in my son's schooling, but I wasn't, I didn't, and from here I'm moving forward. The good news is I am working hard to establish a good continued relationship with him. I FINALLY found something we can do together. There is a computer game called Quern, it's basically a puzzle game where you explore an island and try to figure out how you got there and why. We've been playing an hour a day after he gets off school and on the weekends and we're really enjoying it. He's a smart darn kid, I forgot how much he's grown but I am working hard to contribute because he is a maniac at the game. Also, for his birthday I got him Paul McCartney tickets in WI. The Ringo concert was his favorite memory, the Beatles Tribute band was kind of meh, but Paul is something beyond priceless to him. Bottom line, I'm making sure the last few years we have living together are mostly pleasant and we spend some good time together. To me that's more important than grenading it all to make a point.

D12. She just turned 12! She's doing great. Really good kid. Smart, funny, joyful, and hard working. We continue to have a lot of fun together shooting pool and goofing around. For her birthday I am taking her to Philadelphia at the end of March for a pool tournament. There are two pro events, a 'pro-am' with some pros and some amateurs, and a junior event. She'll play the junior event, I'll play the pro-am. But the main point of taking her out there is we are going a day early and staying through the finals of the pro events. This way she will get to see the best players in the world from front row center. What prompted this was my trip to Louisville in January. I spent 8 days competing against the best in the world and it was so much fun. I just played, then watched matches, then played, then watched matches. I was a pig in mud. There is something so different about being there in the room, feeling the tension in the crowd, watching how they handle or fail to handle the pressure, seeing how well they really play. You just lose so much with a screen. I knew then and there I HAD to get her to a pro event, and lo and behold, I put it together. Of course on all of this I ask her if she wants to because I don't want to be the dad pushing her into stuff, but she always just lights up and says "That would be AWESOME" whether it's about going to PA or playing a local tournament or something. For the trip she has to miss two days of school, we will have a lot of fun together!

D8. D8 is on her way to growing out of baby mode. Still a bit of a struggle, but she's come a long ways. She's included in our nightly reading now (previously she sat out because the books we were tearing through were a bit beyond her) and is keeping up pretty well. Per family request we are re-reading Ender's Game because the other kids love it and wanted her to hear it. She didn't get into chess or cribbage, but I taught her backgammon and she loves it. We had been using some cheap fold out cardboard board with plastic checkers and it was miserable, so I got a nice backgammon set, big, with nice heavy checkers and a heavy duty board. We are now playing every day when she gets home from school.

So our daily routine is I pick S14 up from school and play Quern, then I play Backgammon with D8, then dinner together, then pool with D12, then our nightly show (Star Trek Next Generation currently), then I read, put them all to bed, and am exhausted! That's a lot of games, even for me! But I still try to make time to practice a bit afterwards before I surrender for the day.

Work. Meh. No change. I got my annual review. I'm not being pushed out for production yet. It's weird because I'm missing goals (80-90% consistently, it's not like I'm not showing up) which is normally a fast track to being terminated. But I believe the majority of the reps across the nation are missing goals by wider margins. So with my tenure (10 years in January), my professionalism, leadership, customer service, and steady nearly passable results, I guess they have bigger problems to worry about. And I'm still getting paid decent money, so who cares. I am still trying and need to keep grinding, but that's all it is at this point, a grind.

Pool. I'm hitting them well. I cashed in all three events in that pro tournament in January. Last month I played a tournament in Fargo, ND, finished 2nd and 3rd in the 9 ball/8 ball. Practicing a lot and feeling pretty solid. Put in an all-nighter last Friday and played from 8pm to 7am, just like when I was a kid. Can't get enough. I'll keep pushing. I've kind of given up on my dreams, but I still love the game so much I just want to keep going anyway. We'll see how I do in the PA event.

Oh, XW. I meant to tell you guys this. She broke up with her BF of 4 years. Not her first hook up post BD (or technically prior to BD), but the first one that took roots. Not sure all of the reasons, not really interested. She started pinging me a little bit, making comments that expressed a mix of remorse, regret, and affection. I was surprised by how meh I was. I realized I was not moved by any of this. Yes, I understand the spousal maintenance is up in May and finances will be a lot harder for her when she's on her own and paying off student loans. Yes, I know she's on her own now and dealing with the loss of the M that I went through years ago and she put off by medicating with another man. I get all of that. So I'm not particularly moved by the fact she feels regret when the marriage starts to look better than her current reality. I feel like she's basically saying "Now it looks like it would've worked out better for me to stay married, too bad I'm broke and single". Now if she spends a few years putting her life in order, financially, emotionally, etc, and everything is going great for her, and she expressed true remorse in destroying the M, even allowing for the fact there would be stretches when it wouldn't be convenient or easy, then I might take her words a bit more seriously. But I've come far enough to understand that expressing displeasure at consequences is trivial, and far enough to not have any of this even evoke an emotional response from me. It's pretty amazing. Oh, and no where in here did I talk about the possibility of R or what that would take. I was simple referring to what it would take for her words to carry any substance whatsoever with me. Whatever. I just thought you'd appreciate the update on that. There is a small part of me that feels a bit vindicated of course, but mostly I am just sad to watch her flounder, and slightly concerned about how she'll be able to provide for the kids and if it will impact them in any way.

Well, that's my life. About the same as last time which is all good with me. My kids won't be around forever so I'm going to live these days to the fullest. I have some fears about feeling empty and lonely when they move on, but I'll cross that bridge when I come to it. I can always get a dog. Thanks for being around gang and talk soon!
Posted By: doodler

Re: Grey Havens - 03/14/19 11:32 AM

Originally Posted by Zues126
My kids won't be around forever so I'm going to live these days to the fullest. I have some fears about feeling empty and lonely when they move on, but I'll cross that bridge when I come to it.


Zues,

I dread the empty nest. My youngest son is on a field trip to New York this week and I'm missing him. I still have a few years before the boys leave home, but the time flies by too quickly.
Posted By: Coconut

Re: Grey Havens - 03/14/19 12:54 PM

Great update, your after school schedule got me exhausted, but sounds like quality time with each of the kids..

I wanted to ask how everything worked out with your ex-partner? If I remember correctly you cancelled your plan tour with him because of who he showed himself to be, just wondering if that has impacted you and your touring?
Posted By: Dawn70

Re: Grey Havens - 03/14/19 02:07 PM

Great update! Sounds like great fun with the kiddos altogether and some good solo time with each as well. You all will NOT regret the Paul McCartney choice. I am not even really a Paul McCartney or Beatles fan, but I got to see him a couple of years ago when he was in AR and OMG...........by far best concert ever. The man is in his 70s and performs like a man in his 20s...it was AMAZING!
Posted By: JujuB

Re: Grey Havens - 03/14/19 08:14 PM

I would love validation like that Zues! But like you said, I am sure it is not the real, truly remorseful type of validation that comes after soul searching. More of the, life is not not great right now and my ex husband is looking good in comparison to what I am feeling and going through right now. What exactly did she say? (If your willing to share)

I think that makes a lot of sense with your son and I am so glad about how well your relationships are going with each of them. I think divorced parents do have to contend with different issues when parenting that a unified parent front does not have to. Itís more challenging, but maybe in the long run we have different relationships with them? We kind of have to conform and alter our initial parenting ideas and ideals.

Glad you posted.
Posted By: Zues126

Re: Grey Havens - 03/14/19 10:07 PM

Coconut- I've been less than certain about boundaries with my ex road partner. We kept our distance for about three months, from October until January. Then I saw him at a pool tournament. At first he didn't really talk to me, but that was just because we didn't know what was appropriate. Then, finally, we sat next to each other and caught up a bit. It's difficult for me because I've known him for over 10 years since he was a teenager and we have spent a lot of time together and know each other well. We kept things light, joked around a bit, and that was all.

Then my other road partner that I travel to bigger tournaments with pulled the plug on pool and said he was done playing. He's still my best friend, but he just can't do it. Too hard for him to play, because when he competes he wants to play his best so bad that it makes him want to quit his job, divorce his wife, and just lock himself in a room with a pool table until he can beat everyone in the world. Since he can't do that he feels like he's always just a shell of what his true potential is, and it's too hard for him to play mediocre, lose, and then have to go home and go back to work when he just wants to practice. He admits he can't handle the balance and of course he's not choosing pool over family.

So that leaves me with no road partner at all. I decided that instead of trying to find one person that wants to go to a series of tournaments with me, I'd just go on my own or have someone ride with me a la cart. If I'm playing a tournament I'll just invite a few people to see if anyone wants to ride with me and split the hotel, but I won't have a partner. The two reasons for this are 1) no one else can keep up with the tournament schedule I want to play and I don't want to have anyone pull me down, and 2) everyone else has things that make me draw some boundaries such as an active affair, or in the case of others drug use, alcoholism, etc. Just no one I want to be all that close to.

But then I thought about it and realized that maybe I can relax my boundaries a bit if I'm just riding to one tournament together. For example, the guy that does a lot of drugs (steroids, beta blockers, adderal and other prescription speeds, etc). I might not want to partner up with him, but if he wants to practice with me prior to a tournament I'm ok with that, or maybe even going to a tournament together. I've known him a long time, I'm not worried he's going to suck me into that world. And so I made the same decision with the guy in the affair. We can't put the band back together, but I'm not going to cut him completely out of my life. We can talk when we see each other, and I decided to even go to a single tournament with him. I am trying to find a balance of surrounding myself with good people and making sure I don't endorse destructive behavior, along with being quietly in the background of my friends that are going through difficult times, even when they're self inflicted. Maybe I can be a good influence on them to a degree, and maybe our friendship can be there, dormant, until the situations change a bit.

For that reason I did go to a tournament with this guy in February. We had a good time and kept things light. On the way back he brought up relationships. I wasn't going to bring it up, but once he did we talked about it for 3-4 hours. I'm not going to change his behavior, but at least by remaining connected to some small extent I can voice my opinions, whereas if I wrote him off entirely he wouldn't hear my voice at all. Again, we don't have any other tournaments we're planning to travel to together, but I think we can stay in touch once in a while and I'm not ruling out the possibility of going to another with him this year.

All in all, tricky balances, I'm not sure what's right, so I'm trying to be there for a friend and be a good example, while protecting myself from his destruction and not enabling his choices. I'm not sure I'm doing so well, but I'm still sorting through it. Really tricky to know.

Juju- here are some excerpts from XW's texts:

-Sad I can't be with u due to circling on calendar of Oct 10 (divorce date). I will never forgive myself for breaking the cardinal sin. Sorry. Not where this was supposed to go. I'll never forgive myself. I'm sorry and ty for taking care of kids when they aren't here. One day I hope to be worthy of supporting them. And dammit for no facial hair before that I like, wish u asked what I wanted...bet if I told you now as a single guy you wouldn't judge me so harshly. I met a Catholic lady tonight I drove home from bar. It's just hard.
-Can we do mediation when the maintenance is up? I love you and don't want to fight.
-I'm just so broken about us...My bad

There were a few other things, like her using my name more often, and her overall tone seemed much friendlier. This was in January and has tapered off.

We're on the same page. It was a non-event, only made the update as an afterthought because you have all been through this ride with me. I have no doubt she's messaging half a dozen different guys flirty messages in between expressions of regret. Or maybe not. Who knows? I hope she can keep her stuff together for her sake and for my kids' sake, but it's no longer my concern and I feel that way in my heart, not just my head.

On a different note, I booked tickets for my family to go to a play performing Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory at a nice theater on Sunday. It was pricy but I have never taken them to a musical and this will be fun. Let's begin with a spin travelling to a world of my creation, what we see will defy explanation! (I'm a pure imagination groupie smile )
Posted By: Twofeet

Re: Grey Havens - 03/15/19 12:09 AM

Zues,

It's a good thing you are in the state of meh with XW. I mean what do you do with those texts? I am reading them thinking wow Mrs. X-Zues you seem a bit out of sorts. I remember reading your story when I first landed here. Wasn't you D adversarial? What keeps you in meh and not angry?
Posted By: Zues126

Re: Grey Havens - 03/15/19 02:09 AM

Hi Twofeet. The only thing I said in text was "As for our past, I know we both have regrets. Anything that pushes us to be better today is great, no time for anything that weighs us down. We've both worked hard to take care of the children and keep things calm and stable for them. I'm glad we could provide that for them and they know their parents love them enough to put them first in all things."

She had bombed me with a lot of questions about schedules and other things, I just worked this into the reply. Probably the most I've said to her since BD.

I had to do a lot to get to meh. All of the questions you can't seem to let go of bounced around my head. How could she do this? Why is the world like this? Where did I go wrong? And on and on and on. It was like a scab I couldn't leave alone. The pain was so strong I couldn't help but ruminate and spin.

I think for me to move past this required two things. First, I had to beat those questions to death. I wrote about them endlessly on this forum. I read books and other people's situations. I talked with friends. I reflected. And so forth. At some point your brain loses interest. Like when you play a ring puzzle game, where you have to get the metal ring off the other metal contraption. You play with it for a while, then at some point you realize you're stuck and are out of things to try, and you just lose interest. You put it down and move on.

But secondly, and maybe more importantly, you have to move forward with your life until you are no longer in pain. As long as I was suffering because of her choices it was hard to let this stuff go. So while I was financially destitute and felt hopeless about my ability to provide to my children while paying the amounts of support the courts had ordered it was very hard. And while I was only seeing my kids one night a week and every other weekend it was even harder. While we were in the middle of the divorce negotiations and I constantly had to be on guard and spend hours planning my next move like some life and death chess game. Etc. While this was going on it was hard to be totally at peace. But eventually I got through it. The divorce was settled. I got 50% parental time. My finances stabilized. And I fell into a nice rhythm with my new life. I got to the point that my life was good again. And from that spot, it is much easier to let go of the past than when you're still suffering because of it.

This is why I believe GAL is so important. It's like we all have a certain amount of needs that need to be met as a human. When we were married many of them were satisfied by our spouse. Emotional needs, physical needs, help with life's daily battles, and so on. After BD there are not only real losses to grieve, but you are suffering from not getting your needs met. GAL allows you to meet new people, find new activities, build a new routine. It's not about rebounding, heavens no, absolutely not. But it's about finding a new way to live where you get what you need from life somewhere else.

I think both worked together. I worked hard to move forward, and once the pain of the divorce and it's immediately consequences had passed things got easier. This and I had beat those questions to death enough that I could let it go once I was no longer in pain.

Now I look at her more like a shelter dog that I took in that bit me and I had to get rid of it. I wouldn't be mad at the dog. But I wouldn't want to bring it back into my house. If it came by my house once in a while and started barking at me I'd feel a bit sad that this creature was suffering, but I wouldn't take it personal. The dog obviously had issues that extended beyond me and it's too bad.

Hope this helps and sorry you're dealing with this crap. I may have moved on, it may not keep me up at nights anymore, but I'll be the first one to agree that everything about it stinks to the core. Hang in!
Posted By: JujuB

Re: Grey Havens - 03/17/19 11:29 PM

The ring game analogy is perfect. I guess it gets to the point, you just get sick of it and put it down. Some people try to solve it a bit longer then others do, some people just realize itís unsolveable early on. I think you handled her temperature checking quite well. And Iím hoping that since this tapered off in January it means sheís in a better place and not succumbing to her old vices. I would still like some validation..but I havenít quite put my toy down yet. Although oddly enough, since the break up I am thinking of ex less and less.

I donít let friends actions dictate whether i hang our with them. I find it interesting that you do. Of course, I voice my opinion. Offer them my version and experience. listen and write off their version. But I still hang out with them. I think cheating and affairs are very wrong. They are not people I would set up with anyone. But I still can have fun with them. I donít feel attached to them that way I guess. I also did not boycott a certain crafts store when I needed to put together an emergency costume for my son last minute though. Or maybe because they didnít hurt me personally, Iím not as angered. Which makes no sense because I get so mad at the walkaways on here, yet I donít disengage with a friend that did the same to his partner.

Hope you guys enjoy the play. My son and I loved that book (but not as much as the Witches - thatís our favorite by raol Dahl. Itís laugh out loud funny)
Posted By: Zues126

Re: Grey Havens - 03/18/19 04:53 AM

Thanks for the reply Juju.

Most people these days go with the flow and don't worry much about their friends' behavior. Sometimes it's attempting not to judge so they in turn aren't judged. Other times it's because the rule book is so blurry these days it's out of fashion to expect people to follow any rules. I get this completely.

I really looked for guidance on this one. There were a few reasons I decided to create some distance. For one thing, I ask myself "What would happen if everyone acted as I did?" If everyone sent a strong message of distancing themselves to someone doing something wrong, maybe that person wouldn't behave that way. It's a form of love to help someone on a destructive path understand where they have crossed the line. It involves a sacrifice and pain, hoping to help everyone avoid greater pain. It's like there are two things that run our culture - literal laws and social rules. We still enforce laws, but as we as a society stop enforcing social rules we will see a big shift in behavior. For example, if cheating apps and affairs become popularized by people like that Esther woman the reluctance to be outed as a cheater may wane. With one of the biggest deterrents gone more and more people will cheat. And so on. I'm just one person, but I have to cast my vote.

Another thing is we become like our friends. I've thought a lot about why that is. One thing I've come to realize more and more is that being human is potential. When we are young we are told (hopefully) how much potential for greatness we have. We could be president, or an astronaut, or whatever we want. But what we aren't told is that we could also become criminals, drug addicts, morbidly obese, morally bankrupt scum buckets.

There is a quote "People don't rise to the level of their dreams; they sink to the level of their preparation". I heard it originally as a motivational quote that I used to fire myself up to practice pool. But it seemed to be along the same lines. What makes us think we'll soar to our hopes and dreams? Why do we think we won't fall to the depths of despair? Optimism? Sure, maybe. But as I thought about it, I played with the idea of "worst case allowable will become your reality".

What I mean is this. We all have a breaking point in many areas, something gets so bad we can't accept it getting worse. Here are some examples. Weight. Some people get 10lbs heavier than they were and they can't allow it to go any further, they hit the gym. Others might budge 30-40 lbs. And some people might allow themselves to get all the way to 500lbs and just give up. Another example is cleanliness. Some people can't stand a single dirty dish on the counter. Others don't mind a small mess. Then you have hoarders and people with clothes sprawled over their furniture and pizza boxes on the floor. Finally you have people with insect and rodent infestations. The same distributions could be found with personal hygiene, financial stability, career performance, quality of family relationships, and so many other areas.

So what determines what type of life you live? How successful at work you are? How financially stable you are? What types of family relationships you maintain? How clean your house is? How healthy you are? In my theory, the answer is whatever the minimal conditions you are willing to accept will become your reality. This sounds negative, but it kind of makes sense. I mean, who comes home from work and feels like doing dishes? Or working out? Or eating a salad? Or flossing their teeth? A lot of life comes down to a battle between our dislike of doing what we don't want to do, versus a distaste for the consequences of neglect. So by definition we will do as much as we need to in order to avoid the consequences we can't tolerate, and what we can tolerate we will to avoid having to do things we don't enjoy.

Now, this doesn't apply to things we enjoy. If you really enjoy working out, for example, that is the exception. Things you are passionate about and are energy creating don't count in this model. Also, the importance of habits becomes highlighted. Basically the idea is once you make a habit out of something it takes almost no additional effort to maintain a standard at a higher quality of living than a lower one, because you do those activities without much energy or will exerted, and because it doesn't take much more fuel to fly at 20,000 feet than 5,000.

Ok, this is just a brainstorm of mine. But then I asked, what determines what individuals are willing to live with? If people's minimal standards will become their reality then setting standards is pretty darn important. What is it that influences someone's standards? Parents. Friends. TV. Social media. We look at what's around us and take it in.

And all of this long rant comes full circle. When people say "You become like your friends" it now makes sense why. It's because you gradually come to think of them as 'normal' up to and including their standards.

Life is already hard enough for me, I don't need to surround myself with people that have standards that I don't want to adapt. It's like if I was an alcoholic, I wouldn't want to hang out with my old drinking buddies at a bar. I'm not condemning anyone who drinks, I just can't be a part of it.

In the end I try to walk the balance of being strategic about who I get close to in my life while still getting along with all of the people that life dictates I will be in contact with. To those I admire, I hope to be close and aspire to the qualities I admire most. To those who are behaving in destructive ways, I prefer a little bit of a safe distance, from where they can't pull me down but from where hopefully I can inspire them. And maybe if some part of them craves personal growth they might lift themselves up in some ways to be closer to me the way I try to life myself up to be closer to those I admire.

It's not black and white of course. We're all flawed and we're all striving. I get it. And I am not saying this is how it is or should be. These are simply thoughts I've had as I've tried to better understand why I have felt the need to pull back from this friend a bit.
Posted By: Coconut

Re: Grey Havens - 03/18/19 02:05 PM

Zeus,

I appreciate the response. The reason I asked was because I was in a similar situation with a guy I worked with. As far as work peers were concerned, I got along with him the best and he was someone I wanted to hang out with outside of work. Then I found out that he had no qualms about cheating, he would talk about an out of town Lady who he referred to as his girlfriend, would say that he was close to proposing and thought she was the one, then 5 minutes later started talking about another girl he was going out with that weekend and how good she was in bed and was gonna have a good weekend. Anyway, I told him how I felt about that; I still talked to him occasionally (but less often, more superficial) at work but no longer would have hung out with him outside of work. I too believe that befriending a person with that type of character, ignoring their traits that we don't agree with, basically is giving your approval of their behavior. Which ultimately can make that type of behavior the norm in your life.
Posted By: Btrow

Re: Grey Havens - 03/18/19 03:57 PM

Zues, thanks for sharing the messages from XW. They are certainly interesting. I wonder how it would have played out if you still had feelings for her.

May I ask how you have acted towards her over the years? Mean, angry, friendly, light headed? I read one of your older posts where you mentioned that you were very angry. That combined with what you wrote about a couple of posts back where you mentioned the latter exchanges have been the most since BD.

Coconut: I had a (male) co-worker, we "clicked" on many levels and he had the potential to become a very good friend. He is an amazing guy but he has one major flaw. Women. He has been married 15 years, has two teens. He had an affair 2 years ago. His W forgave him. He is still very flirty with the ladies. And I have no doubt that he will cheat again if the opportunity arose. I told him straight up "you're a great guy but we cannot be friends. I have no room for cheaters". He tried to deny ever having had an affair and was deeply hurt. I think the message got through. Will he change his ways? Probably not. But it was important to me and that is all that matters. BTW thanks to Zues for giving me the strenght to say that. It was your story with your pool buddy that inspired me.
Posted By: Twofeet

Re: Grey Havens - 03/18/19 04:26 PM

Just to chip in my 2 cents... you are who you surround yourself with. If you allow yourself to get close to and befriend low caliber people you then may find yourself giving in to their low values and morals. Be a high value person and find like people to be apart of your circle.
Posted By: Zues126

Re: Grey Havens - 03/18/19 04:28 PM

Btrow, thanks for the reply. I don't think I would've played it any differently if I had more mixed emotions. Emotions are one thing, facts are another. The facts of the situation haven't changed. Emotions don't make a great compass.

As for how I've interacted, I found a post of mine from a few years ago that sums it up pretty well. I think my full post and the replies on this page (page 2 of 10 on this thread) are relevant:

http://www.divorcebusting.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=2616817&page=2

I can tell you that I have stuck to that outlook religiously. It's been over 4 years now since I've truly interacted with her. These contacts back and forth regarding the children are extremely short, business like, and emotionless. Hers have varied widely from hostile, to threatening, to mournful, to raging, to snipy, etc, etc. But she can't start a fight if I don't fight back. Not only has my approach avoided anything escalating (which is a great gift for the children, that I am not at war with their mother), but it has made moving on so easy because I feel like I haven't actually talked to her in over 4 years. As far as I'm concerned she was murdered by my XW in 2014. I mourned her the way I would if she was dead. And I keep as emotionally distant from XW as possible.
Posted By: JujuB

Re: Grey Havens - 03/19/19 08:47 PM

Oh wow... that link was from after your divorce and a few months after my BD. My replies are on there. We are like old friends now lol.

Regarding discontinuing friendships with friends that cheat. I get it. It would be better if cheaters did receive consequences from society. It would be less acceptable. My ex is a follower of his peers and his friends were divorcing and then he did. Imagine if friends discontinued friendships. Would that change things?

I have a friend from high school that cheated and gaslighted and divorced and is a horrible person to be married to. I think heís possibly sociopathic. But I would still hang out with him. He knows I donít approve. We debate each otherís perspectives in a very unemotional way. He knows my situation and actually helped me a bit when I was going through the worst. Gave me the cheaters perspective but also helped me in other ways. I look at him as someone thatís fun to talk to and hang out with but like I said, I certainly would not set him up with anyone I knew. I have another friend thats married and flirts a lot and does stuff I personally do not approve of. But I still hang out with her cause sheís fun.

I am also very strong in my morals and I know myself and never follow my friends. Iím kind of viewed as the reserved one in my group. For me, itís hard to discard people maybe? Or I think I just stay a bit detached from friends where a I donít take their actions personally, like I would someone I am dating. I donít feel like they bring me down. I do keep them at arms length though and they are there more to socialize with so maybe a different definition of friendship.

Now hereís a question that kind of came up on Dawns thread... would you continue to eat at a restaurant like chick filet if you loved their food yet disagreed with their politics? I personally canít relate cause I hate that type of food - but what about listening to a Michael Jackson song? Or watching a woody Allen movie? Child pedophila is even worse then cheating yet do you turn Thriller off the radio? Thatís a harder one for me because the thought of children being hurt
Makes me very emotional but I grew up on Michael Jackson songs.
What about politics? Regardless of the party, Most politicians do cheat, yet they are running our government. how do we vote?
Posted By: Zues126

Re: Grey Havens - 03/20/19 06:25 PM

Hey Juju, yeah, it's cool that we've known each other for four years now!

Interesting questions. I really don't know where I stand. I can see some pros and cons of social boycotts.

On the pro side, social pressure can force a layer of humanity onto corporations which can be by nature sociopathic and profit driven. We can make it financially beneficial for them to behave more civilized. I suppose you could say its a social regulatory system. Having working in large corporations for 20 years now I am a big believer that some degree of regulation is a good thing. Social regulation is quite appealing in some ways compared to government regulation.

Social regulation is quicker. It is the direct will of the people. There is no gridlock. There are no lobbyists. We see something horrible and we can make a direct immediate impact. And the threat of that forces companies to behave in ways that can bear our scrutiny and the consequences that could follow.

One example of this is Glassdoor, a website that allows employees to review employers on how it is to work for a company. This feedback impacts the company's reputation and the ease with which they can hire in the future. It creates a social incentive for them to want to develop a good rating. Customer reviews of services are another great example.

On the other hand, social regulation lacks the checks and balances that we count on to protect our freedoms. Innocent until proven guilty is a concept that can easily be lost in a lynching of social outrage. I've seen many examples of individuals who's careers were shattered and who's reputations were ruined due to allegations that were never substantiated to any extent that would satisfy a legal system's demands. This is quite scary to me. In addition, it seems that the most extreme and vocal people start to dictate the terms of our society. Outrage culture can censor free speech as people with opinions that vary from the mainstream can be persecuted at the drop of the hat.

One example pf these things is the backlash against Matt Damon for his comments on the "Me Too" movement. He said that while any form of sexual misconduct is inappropriate and should be addressed, there was a spectrum as to the seriousness of the transgressions, and that while they should all be confronted, they shouldn't be treated as the same. In other words, if someone made a lewd inappropriate comment that shouldn't necessarily result in the same lynching as someone that abused a position of power to pressure numerous vulnerable women into unwanted sexual acts. This seems a reasonable and important point he made, yet the reaction he received was frightening. He was called "Systematically part of the problem" and received tons of scathing comments in the news stories that followed. One person used the word "Orwellian" when to me it seems that term would be better applied to a society in which we are afraid of the extremists with their social media followers and journalists looking for stories and scandals.

To me the question becomes who is going to regulate the regulators? The same benefits of social regulation, swift and impactful judgment and consequences, become horrifying when the protections of due process and free speech are removed.

In the end this is the a change in our culture that isn't going away. I just hope there are good answers to this last question that help preserve the liberties we've come to depend on. Just like corporations are a net positive as long as they are regulated to some extent, I think social regulation will be mostly positive if we can keep it in check to some extent.

I'm still torn as to how much I'll participate because I'm not clear on the consequences. But I don't feel the same degree of responsibility as I do when I have someone in my personal sphere doing something detestable as I don't have the same degree of influence.

As for politicians, I am mostly voting on people I believe will do the best job of making our world a better place to live. I vote knowing they are all flawed humans in an imperfect system. That goes without saying. I suppose I'd exclude a candidate that was convicted of pedophilia, but unsubstantiated allegations from decades ago wouldn't be a deciding factor. I guess that's me voting for due process as well.

I'm certainly open on this subject and I'm sure my views will evolve with time and new information. Interesting times we live in to be sure!
Posted By: JujuB

Re: Grey Havens - 03/20/19 07:03 PM

Those are great answers and I am in agreement. Most issues do not have clear cut black and white answers to them.

I brought those questions up because i do notice a level of hypocrisy in myself. I hate my ex, I get so angry at the people here that cheated and lied and manipulated the LBS. Yet, I know people and continue to engage with people that make some pretty crappy moral choices. Itís not because I worry I will be influenced by them (I know I wonít). Itís because they are fun to hang out with once in a while. I never get close to them though.

When it comes to having a partner, I would prefer a partner that chooses the right thing because thatís who they are. Not a choice they are making based on whatís ok socially. Like I would want my husband to not cheat because he cares about me and my safety and my feelings and because he gave me his word. Not because he worries that his friends or family will find out and shun him.

I donít socially boycott either. I understand the collective power that comes from it. And i love that it can have an effect, but i guess I am hypocritical in that sense as well. Pendulums swing and social regulation can one day take on a cause that might be opposite to my own beliefs.

Just some things that I am thinking about.
Posted By: Zues126

Re: Grey Havens - 03/20/19 08:35 PM

Thanks for the reply J.

You're right. It would be nice if people did the right thing because they felt it was the right thing to do. Just like it would be nice to not have police or jails. But zooming out, people in our society likely are more likely to behave morally if there are consequences. More people are going to do what's right if we demand it of each other.

That's on the big level. Even on the individual level it holds true. I don't really believe there are 'good people' and 'bad people'. I do think some people can do horrible things, and some things are worse than others. But I don't think it's black and white. One things I've mentioned that is off-putting to me is the nearly unanimous narrative that we posters are all enlightened LBS good people and all of our WAS's are diagnosable narcissistic bad people with FOO issues. Oh, each of us individually can build that case. But when comparing the probability that all of the good people just happened to find this site after they were left by all of those bad people, well, Occam's razor just suggests it's more likely that ALL people feel like we're generally good and those who've wronged us are monsters.

I'm not denying the horrible things our XS's have done. I read your reply to Don about your husband's lateness for example and it was pretty bad. But I also know that if you highlighted my top 5 worst husband moments it would have been pretty bad. I know my XW judges me and labels me by my top 5 worst moments. That is why she is my ex. If she was the type to judge me by my top 5 it would've been a totally different story and we'd probably be happily married.

The reason I bring this up again is that I don't personally believe in unicorns, i.e. a 'good person' out there that will be a great partner that is uninfluenced by our society and who's morality transcends our humanity. I think that we are dealing with a population pool consisting entirely of flawed humans who are influenced to a larger degree than they believe by the culture and societal norms that surround them. For example, a few years ago ghosting someone would've been considered a bad thing, but now enough people do it that 'well, who hasn't ghosted someone?' You could even say your outlook on not distancing yourself from people based on their destructive choices is a fairly new societal norm as we try to evolve past a 'shame culture' and ensure we 'free people' from oppressive social stereotypes.

I don't really have a point. We don't dictate how the world works around us. But by trying to understand it maybe we can operate in it more effectively with less disappointment. It's possible I'm too cynical and could use a dose of hopium. But I've never been happier and am having a joyous time in life and with my family and passions, so I'm not letting it bog me down too much. smile
Posted By: JujuB

Re: Grey Havens - 03/20/19 10:15 PM

That list wasnít my top 5. That gets bad. Last boyfriend was negative and critical. My ex husband accused me of being negative and critical. That list Helped me to see if I was unfairly critical and negative regarding his lateness and money issues.

It is different from your ex wifeís list because my list was not being used to justify leaving a marriage or cheating on a spouse. He was using my complaints or my holding him accountable for the things on that list as a reason to leave the marriage. So he was mad at me for being mad at him and used it to justify not only leaving us, but his financial decisions that devastated us.

Not all LBS are good. And yes, we all have our flaws. I was certainly not perfect in my marriage or in my last relationship. And my flaws seem to change. I now have communication issues and Iím not sure I can love someone. Thatís a big flaw for someone that wants to date me.

I know people all have flaws. I know people can pull that abuse card to justify a failed relationship when really, they wanted to bail out of a relationship that was not unicorns and rainbows because unicorns and rainbows donít exist.

I think when are flaws are pointed out to us, all we can do is acknowledge them and work to change them. I made an effort to change my negativity and criticism - especially when it came to my son. I donít know your entire list, but Based on your writings for the past few years, it seems like you addressed some of the top 5 valid issues on your wifeís list as well.

People arenít good or bad - I put guys that cheated or guys that live far away from their kids in the bad category - or at least bad for me. Those are black and whites for me. I feel like all I really have to go on with a guy is how they handled the kid aspect. I went for my ex bf because he raised his child by himself. He had flaws that I just could not deal with. But to me, the fact that he did what was best for his kid put him in the ďgood ď category. The category that meant he was more trustworthy then others.

Our stories will all be from our perspectives. So we canít count on that. But a dad or mom that did not do right by their kids is easy to spot.
Posted By: Zues126

Re: Grey Havens - 03/22/19 04:46 PM

A couple of years ago I watched a video series from a guy that was really profound to me. I think it's safe to say that if you added up all of the posts I've written and reviewed, all the books I've read, all of the blog posts, all of the podcasts, and you totalled up the whole thing- I think this gentleman's videos are the single most powerful thing I've seen and worth almost as much as all the rest put together.

He has an updated version out that was so good I watched them all back to back, then rewatched the original series just to contrast the way he presented the material.

If you search it on youtube you'll find it here: andy stanley what happy couples know I'd recommend you all check it out.

I would like to discuss some of his ideas as they apply to relationships and partners, so let me know if you give it a watch and what you think.
Posted By: Zues126

Re: Grey Havens - 03/22/19 04:47 PM

If you search it on youtube you'll find it here: andy stanley what happy couples know

(Can't edit and that came out choppy)
Posted By: JujuB

Re: Grey Havens - 03/22/19 10:56 PM

I did not watch the whole thing yet.

1. But it sounds like he is saying that for a couple to be happy, there cannot be expectations. Thatís what many religions say the key to happiness is right? Eliminating want and desire and ownership?Heís kind of transferring that on to a relationship.

2. It also sounds like heís saying that a happy relationship requires unconditional love? Right? Thats something that would only work if both partners are capable of it. If one person is and the other one has a personality disorder it becomes unhealthy and abusive. Call me a cynic, but based on my experience here I donít think That adult love can be unconditional. You have to have the expectation that ďmy husbands not gonna go out and f random women and expose me to hiv and stdsĒ or that ďmy wife is not going to steal family funds for drugs while I work and saveĒ ( and based on the stories we read here these actions are not far fetched and out there. ) Those are fair expectations and everyone should be able to expect that their spouse will not abuse them.

Now I havenít watched part 2. So maybe this is explained further down the line. But thatís my initial thought.

Now regarding gratitude over things that are not in the extreme - like not expecting lunch to made for you certainly makes sense.
Posted By: Zues126

Re: Grey Havens - 03/22/19 11:57 PM

Originally Posted by JujuB
I did not watch the whole thing yet.

1. But it sounds like he is saying that for a couple to be happy, there cannot be expectations. Thatís what many religions say the key to happiness is right? Eliminating want and desire and ownership?Heís kind of transferring that on to a relationship.

2. It also sounds like heís saying that a happy relationship requires unconditional love? Right? Thats something that would only work if both partners are capable of it. If one person is and the other one has a personality disorder it becomes unhealthy and abusive. Call me a cynic, but based on my experience here I donít think That adult love can be unconditional. You have to have the expectation that ďmy husbands not gonna go out and f random women and expose me to hiv and stdsĒ or that ďmy wife is not going to steal family funds for drugs while I work and saveĒ ( and based on the stories we read here these actions are not far fetched and out there. ) Those are fair expectations and everyone should be able to expect that their spouse will not abuse them.

Now I havenít watched part 2. So maybe this is explained further down the line. But thatís my initial thought.

Now regarding gratitude over things that are not in the extreme - like not expecting lunch to made for you certainly makes sense.


Thanks for checking it out J! I agree that the first part is in large part talking about the danger of marital expectations. He said it posed a problem and I agree. His recommendation is still coming. And he makes some other points along the way that are very interesting. Let me know if you are able to make it through all of them. I'd enjoy talking further about this.
Posted By: Zues126

Re: Grey Havens - 03/23/19 12:05 AM

Oh, and by the way J, the examples he was giving about expectations were things like finances, family traditions, vacations, housekeeping, etc. I don't think he would give any argument about expecting a safe and monogamous relationship, free of adultery and physical abuse. Where people draw lines around emotional abuse and addiction can vary, but this wasn't what he was talking about. I also think that oftentimes it's what people are missing in the first category that can lead to the second category of offenses, so to me this is all relevant.
Posted By: JujuB

Re: Grey Havens - 03/26/19 08:12 PM

I'll be honest...I am not seeing the uniqueness or main point of what he is saying. (I also was not raised with any type of religion. and I grew up and live in an area where religion is not really embedded in our culture - so I am probably the wrong person for the discussion)

Is he addressing married couples? I do not think what he says is applicable to someone that is dating. It also still sounds like an argument for unconditional love for a partner. (loving your partner like you would Christ) but I think that type of thinking can be dangerous and easily exploited by very bad partners. All you have to do is read some of the threads in the Mid Life Crisis section of the forum!

I do agree that people go into marriage with different dreams and goals and do not communicate this enough from the beginning. My dream was that my husband and I would save for a house and kids (I very clearly communicated this). I never told him that he should not withdraw over 700 dollars a week in addition to 100 dollars a day in secret and spend it on god knows what. I did not think things like that needed to be communicated. (sorry..i cant get over that) So, me personally.. I was not dealing with someone that had different dreams. I was dealing with someone that was lying our whole marriage by ommission.

My point is that, all those things hes saying are not applying to some of the horrific stories on here. Most of us on here have been through the EXTREMES. In my case, I was not nagging or on top of my ex husband ENOUGH. I should have been demanding more and questioning more (which is opposite of what Andy Stanley is saying). Like, "let me see your credit card statements and bank accounts. It doesnt make sense" Instead, I just trusted that he was working hard and I was often deflected. Not to mention I was too tired to keep up with it as I working and primary care taker)

If he is saying, don't sweat the small stuff and nag your partner about all the little things, then yeah. I am in complete agreement. If he is saying be appreciative of everything and do not take things for granted. Yes I am in agreement of that as well. It makes sense. So yes, I get all of that. I was raised with that. Not one person in my immediate or even closely extended family has been divorced. There has been no cheating or leaving or addiction either in my family. So i guess, part of what he is saying I already know.

I think when someone makes an effort to meet someone else's needs, a healthy person wants to reciprocate. It becomes mutual. And it helps to create a bond of good feeling. He's saying, just keep meeting the other person's needs no matter what and if both people are able to do that, you get a happy marriage. Yup. I can see that. But you have to have two people willing and capable of that. You also have to have someone willing to accept that their needs cannot always be addressed or like he says, you can't have expectations that your needs will be met at every point during the relationship. You have a newborn. Sorry. There's just not energy. A project at work. Same situation. I understand all that.

I disagree with you that when people miss the stuff in the first category it leads to things like adultery or stealing or lying. I think that for someone to do those things (your wife - my ex) - it requires some sort of serious dysfunction within them. They were manipulative and deceptive beyond what someone like Andy Stanly is referring to, I guess I am not seeing the bigger picture here.

Also, it is impossible to meet someone else's needs at all times. To love them like you would Christ. So does that mean a happy marriage is impossible?
Posted By: JellyB

Re: Grey Havens - 08/17/19 04:05 AM

Hey friend I know it has been a long time. I just wanted to stop by and share some news with you.

Two weeks ago I became engaged to the man I have been seeing for the last three and half years. He is likely as perfect a man for me as some I could have designed for myself and I am very happy. It means of move of country and a whole new life with him.

Being here so sad and overwhelmed seems like a lifetime ago, but I am so so grateful for everything this site brought me.

So there you have it...you are someone I wanted to tell.

I think about you often. I hope and your lovely children are thriving.

Lots of Love

JellyB xxx
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