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Posted By: unchien This is a gift - 12/11/19 10:46 PM
Previous thread:

https://www.divorcebusting.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=2875746
Posted By: Jdevast Re: This is a gift - 12/11/19 10:56 PM
Nice change of title U.
What's changing for you?
Posted By: unchien Re: This is a gift - 12/11/19 11:15 PM
Originally Posted by may22
Do you think it is possible that she was partially pushing the custody issue in order to get enough $$ in child support to keep the house/lifestyle? I would worry that it might flare up again once she sees the full picture. Not sure what the situation is like in your state though.

Hi may ~

It's possible, although I doubt it. For one, she just granted me extra custody in our informal arrangement.

I truly believe the custody issue was emotionally driven. For instance, right before I moved out, I had gone out in the woods to shoot a pellet gun with S7. My W reacted as if I was a dangerous gun-toting H who may harm her and the kids at any moment. Things were very intense there for awhile. It's taken 6 months of slow and gradual progress (and pain being separated from my kids more than I think is fair or healthy)... but we are getting closer to a "normal" parenting arrangement.

Also, the difference between 100% and 50% custody (for child support) is not enough to move the needle as far as keeping the house. My state (and most, I believe) tweak their recommendation calculators so that people benefit financially by sharing custody and working. This is done specifically so people don't fight over the kids just to get more money.

Recently, my W asked me to help her work out whether or not she could keep the house, because she trusts my financial judgment. I turned her down. I told her that I'm willing to negotiate when it comes down to it (rather than force a house sale), but I don't want to be giving her financial advice which she may later resent. She thought it was weird, but so be it. It's a far cry from being accused of being "financially controlling" back during the pre-BD days.
Posted By: unchien Re: This is a gift - 12/11/19 11:20 PM
Originally Posted by Jdevast
Nice change of title U.
What's changing for you?

Ha -- it always takes me awhile to come up with a title, and within 24 hours I regret my choice.

I decided to go positive today. It's hard to maintain a PMA sometimes. But early in my sitch I latched onto the idea that "this is a GIFT" and I think about it every day. It keeps me from wallowing sometimes.

I think it's also in Cadet's introductory response when you first post here.
Posted By: unchien Re: This is a gift - 12/12/19 07:37 PM
DB'ers I need your help.

I'm spinning a bit today.

Counseling appt with W tomorrow. She texted me today:

- She no longer has time afterwards to discuss mediation and "several other things." "Maybe next week".

- She proposed dropping the kids off at my house rather late on Xmas day (mid-afternoon). I think late morning is appropriate.

Most importantly,

- She didn't realize she agreed to the 2-3-4-5 schedule. She thought I only wanted to add 2 days per month. She's "not okay" with my proposal and thinks it isn't "fair." This apparently was a text miscommunication... and of course she continues with text to try to communicate.

I told her "I do not want to continue this over text."

I am fully committed to DB as a way to conduct myself. 180s, PMA, detach, listen, validate.

But... I feel like I need to stop catering to my W under the label that I am "DB-ing". Stop going to C sessions under the guise of trying to be better co-parents. Stop tolerating a less-than-"fair in the eyes of the law" custody and financial situation. Stop dealing with her waiting until the last minute then peppering me with texts.

I feel like I need to go to C tomorrow and be firm and resolute. "We need to start mediation by X date. Our current arrangement, or small changes to it, is not longer acceptable to me. I agreed to this arrangement during our separation as a path for us to work on the MR."

Any thoughts on this are welcome.

The biggest 180 I can do in my life is to stop being conflict avoidant, stop trying to people please, and stop devaluing my self-worth. I have plenty of empathy for my W. That doesn't mean I need to put up a situation that doesn't work for me.
Posted By: Ready2Change Re: This is a gift - 12/12/19 08:16 PM
Full disclosure: I am not following your sitch, but read your last post.


Here is a text message I send my X the most:
"I sent you an email"

I can't control what she does, but I can control how I respond. Do this enough, and your W will communicate via email. At some point, she will also send a text to check your email.



Hopefully you are negotiating (discussing) things in writing (EMAIL). If not start now. No more voice.

Quote
But... I feel like I need to stop catering to my W under the label that I am "DB-ing". Stop going to C sessions under the guise of trying to be better co-parents. Stop tolerating a less-than-"fair in the eyes of the law" custody and financial situation. Stop dealing with her waiting until the last minute then peppering me with texts.

I feel like I need to go to C tomorrow and be firm and resolute. "We need to start mediation by X date. Our current arrangement, or small changes to it, is not longer acceptable to me. I agreed to this arrangement during our separation as a path for us to work on the MR."

The biggest 180 I can do in my life is to stop being conflict avoidant, stop trying to people please, and stop devaluing my self-worth. I have plenty of empathy for my W. That doesn't mean I need to put up a situation that doesn't work for me.

Sounds like good ideas.
Posted By: may22 Re: This is a gift - 12/12/19 08:17 PM
Actually? I think your plan is right on. You are setting your boundaries and standing up for what you believe is right. You aren't doing it for her reaction or as a way to try to win her back.

Sounds like you've dropped the rope. Congrats.

(of course take this all with a grain of salt since I am floundering... but I think you're doing the right thing.)
Posted By: unchien Re: This is a gift - 12/12/19 08:36 PM
Thanks R2C. My most common text is probably "Let's please not continue this over text" (or some variation).

With e-mail, my W has given me the "I didn't get your e-mail" or the "I haven't checked my e-mail in X days" responses. Sometimes I text her with "Please see the e-mail I sent you." And then get no response.

In other words, I don't feel like we have a working communication protocol.

Sometimes I get the "UC If we can't work this out over voice/text how are we going to be able to do this?"

may22 ~ thanks for your feedback. I can't tell if I'm just really really ticked off today and need to calm down. Or if I've been excusing my conflict avoidance under the guise of being a "patient DB'er". DB isn't always about patience.

I have moments where I think I should just retain a L and file and get the ball rolling. Sometimes I think we are headed there anyways. Sometimes I think that would be the biggest 180 I could make.

Our whole current situation feels like a sham. I agreed to it because my wife was making wild abuse allegations and I thought some time and space would help things calm down to a point where we could work on the MR. I still think we needed the physical separation.

But DB has also taught me emotional awareness. And right now I am feeling like I'm sick of this sh*t. Which tells me I'm angry, worked up, and may be reacting emotionally.
Posted By: IronWill Re: This is a gift - 12/12/19 08:58 PM
Hey U -

Sorry to hear that you're in a spin.

I wouldn't respond to or discuss anything until you've had time to calm down and think about this.

Do you absolutely HAVE to go to MC tomorrow? Is it truly necessary to see each other when you're both upset?

If I were in your shoes, I would highly consider cancelling.

If you do have to go, I would recommend not talking about either mediation or "other things". They are triggers for you right now.
Posted By: Ready2Change Re: This is a gift - 12/12/19 09:11 PM


W:"I didn't get your e-mail"
H:"I just resent it"

W"I haven't checked my e-mail in X days"
H"That is why I notify with a text"

W: "UC If we can't work this out over voice/text how are we going to be able to do this?"
H"I sent you an email"

H:"Please see the e-mail I sent you."
W: no response.
She is being passive-aggressive. You set and hold boundaries.

Example from my life:
Originally Posted by ME
Hi W,

It appears there is some confusion regarding this fathers day. I would like to reach a mothers day / fathers day agreement with you.

I was talking to the children about fathers day and they all said "Mom said she doesn't want us to be with you on fathers day and there is nothing in the paperwork." In the past, you have dropped the kids off the night before at 6p and I dropped them back off at 6p. I did check the divorce agreement and there is nothing regarding Fathers day or Mothers day.

I see two options that are best for our children and allow them to spend mothers day/ fathers day with the appropriate parent:

1) 24 hour option --> 8:30p the night before to 8:30p the night of
2) 11.5 hour option --> 9a the day of to 8:30p the day of

Do either of these sound good to you? If not, do you have another suggestion?

If I don't hear back from you by 5p today, I will initiate the mediation process to help us come to resolution.

Thanks for you attention to this matter.

Best Regards,R2C

Originally Posted by Wife
I searched the paperwork last week and saw nothing regarding Mother's/Father's Day.

Originally Posted by ME
Yes, searching the paperwork will not give you the answer to my question. Searching your core values will. I have spoken with each of the children and they all expressed their deep desires to share mothers day with you and fathers day with me. We can do the right thing for our kids and allow them to spend fathers day with me and mothers day with you. Or we can fall back on legal paperwork. Your choice. I just suggest making the right choice for the right reasons.

If you change your mind before 1p tomorrow (That will give you ample time to speak with the children and hear their true feelings as well as consult anyone else) , let me know and we can work out the exchange times.

If I don't hear back from you, I will consider this matter closed (even though I don't think it is the right choice) and we will stick to the normal parenting schedule on mothers day and fathers day from this point forward.

Best Regards,

R2C
Posted By: Ready2Change Re: This is a gift - 12/12/19 09:24 PM
Originally Posted by unchien


Most importantly,

- She didn't realize she agreed to the 2-3-4-5 schedule. She thought I only wanted to add 2 days per month. She's "not okay" with my proposal and thinks it isn't "fair." This apparently was a text miscommunication... and of course she continues with text to try to communicate.
Did she agree to this in writing?

Is the current split 50/50? This is the only thing that is "Fair" for your children.

Even then, you have options of throwing in truth darts like "Non of this is fair to our children." but I would hold off on this. Negotiate what is best for your children living with separated parents.



Posted By: IHCLACS Re: This is a gift - 12/12/19 09:47 PM
Uni. I can say this as an emotionally reactive person. Back in March in my sitch I started implementing the email only communication protocol. It's a good protocol for several reasons. It gives you time and space to emotionally collect and protect yourself. It becomes a paper trail for all requests receipts and documentation for the divorce. it's also beneficial because you can carefully take the time to word out what you need to say and articulate as well as be assertive with. In my situation there was memory problems on both my side and XW side on what was discussed and how discussions would get misinterpreted or rewritten in her mind, or things would come up that she thought she told me she never did because her own memory was dealing with so much. That is what frustrated the hell out of me was no accountability and this went on all throughout our marriage. She would blame it on my memory I would blame it on hers and round and round we went with important occasions and no resolve. So email made it very clear cut. There would be times where she wanted to keep having discussions with me of importance. I would have to tell her email email email email email.... stick with the protocol ...email me so I can keep record of everything and I can hold her accountable to her words and memory as well as hold myself accountable. if I need to backtrack or re-read something of importance now I have an archive of it.

I put that boundary in place because things were getting heated and misconstrued over text message. Plus I got tired of being bothered with only logistical things that weren't top priority at the moment. Being called, getting emotionally attached to her voice, or having an important discussion while I'm on my way out the door when I was in the marital home. Plus I also wanted to detach more. Since then XW and I loosen that restraint a little and we are back to texting. But only out of necessity, either for the sake of S2, or if either one of us have to get something from one another otherwise she barely bothers me anymore with the exception keeping on offering me shared stuff from the home that I don't want in my place or she keeps inviting me to family occasions, when I made it clear months ago I'm not interested in doing things together if we're not together. A few occasions we did together like Santa pictures and Halloween with the kid otherwise I politely decline, like invite to dinner and time with her and her family. I know it has nothing to do with me and it's only for the sake of S2 when I shouldn't read into it.

Any way back to you. I would stick with the email protocol as it holds both of you accountable for what you say, suggest, offer, agree upon etc. Like you said I would be assertive with your needs as far as Financial Arrangements custody time with the children, mediation, etc. Set the boundary that you're only willing to communicate through email only for the sake of protecting yourself and keeping people accountable. If she doesn't answer them, or respond to them in a timely manner then that's on her, actions have consequences or lack of. Eventually with the paper trail and divorce complaint it's going to go to snail mail. if she can't respond to email or snail mail. How can she have a verbal conversation with you. It works both ways you know
Posted By: AnotherStander Re: This is a gift - 12/12/19 09:50 PM
Originally Posted by unchien

But... I feel like I need to stop catering to my W under the label that I am "DB-ing". Stop going to C sessions under the guise of trying to be better co-parents. Stop tolerating a less-than-"fair in the eyes of the law" custody and financial situation. Stop dealing with her waiting until the last minute then peppering me with texts.

I feel like I need to go to C tomorrow and be firm and resolute. "We need to start mediation by X date. Our current arrangement, or small changes to it, is not longer acceptable to me. I agreed to this arrangement during our separation as a path for us to work on the MR."

Any thoughts on this are welcome.


^^^100% agree with your plan^^^ Also R2C and IH are right, if you're negotiating visitation then do so in writing (email or text).
Posted By: unchien Re: This is a gift - 12/15/19 09:20 AM
Short update as I have family in town.

C was postponed until next week by W. She was selling mediation hard last week, and with time passing I feel more strongly that she wants mediation because itís her best way to get what she wants. Iím leaning heavily towards just doing this with Lís.

I donít see much benefit to mediation other than it would be the most cost effective way to D if we were amicable. The heavy power dynamic makes me think mediation is a waste of time and emotional energy that I should be using towards my self improvement.

My W wants to keep the house. Itís not financially possible unless I cave in. She wonít go back to work until she knows where she is living. The custody situation is perpetually unclear. Little financial slips are constant, and she is always bending the rules that we both agreed to. If I ask for an item from the house, she wants to purchase a replacement. Iím tired of negotiating all these little things.

Iím just done. I donít want to ďL upĒ out of anger. But it feels like the best option I have or I will keep sacrificing my time with the kids and money for a situation I am not happy with.
Posted By: unchien Re: This is a gift - 12/15/19 05:29 PM
Adding to my thoughts...

My understanding is mediation works when both parties are trying to be amicable and there is no significant power imbalance.

We both profess to wanting an amicable D. But on the power front, my W seems very controlling and unpredictable to me. Rather than negotiate with someone digging in their heels in a position far off from what is legally ďnormalĒ, I feel it might give me peace of mind to handle this through Lís.

Iím always doubting my instincts. I want to 180 on conflict avoidance.

Am I wrong to think mediating with a controlling and domineering person is going to be a huge money, time, and emotional sink?
Posted By: IronWill Re: This is a gift - 12/15/19 08:19 PM
Hey U -

Soft 2x4 here - Someone only controls and dominates when you allow them that power in your mind.

You're giving your W that power by reinforcing and repeating this idea in your own mind.

The situation always is what it is, no more no less. Maybe that sounds like zen nonsense, I get it, believe me I always used to think that too. But - have you tried not reacting to her decisions or her non-decisions?

LH55 told me one time "the reason you are so tired is because you are fighting everything she wants to do. Let her go be happy."

I would pick the most important things (time with the kids) and prioritize. I would recommend letting the small things go.

My 2 cents...

Enjoy time with family, man - take care and stay strong! smile
Posted By: unchien Re: This is a gift - 12/15/19 09:11 PM
IW -

Money is also becoming a problem. She is spending it frivolously lately. I am concerned about her transparency. Nobody needs to spend $700 on groceries for instance.
Posted By: fade Re: This is a gift - 12/16/19 03:16 AM
99% of the time mediation is the best route. You are in that other 1%.

You should immediately find a good lawyer, give them a written list of your absolutes (asset %, support amount, support duration, custody split, future child/education expense slit), pay the retainer and completely remove yourself from the process.

In some cases you may have to attempt mediation. If you do, go with your lawyer and agree to nothing unless they tell you to.


As for the grocery bills, she is probably getting cash back and buying gift cards. That is SOP for people in her situation. I bet you wouldnt believe how much cash and assets she has that you dont know about.
Posted By: unchien Re: This is a gift - 12/16/19 06:47 AM
IW ~ Your posts always make me pause and reconsider my thoughts. I wasn't clear in my earlier posts, but lately I feel like I'm sacrificing in so many ways - time with the kids, financially, going to C to try to be amicable in the face of abuse.

Sometimes I struggle, like many of us, to separate my feelings from the tangible - custody, finances, etc.

Feelings: Yes, I feel controlled. Take the issue of continuing to go to C. I'm not even sure what DB would say is the right thing to do. Do I continue to go, show my W I am not afraid of her, and stand up to her allegations? Or do I stop going, because the very act of going to C is a way of her controlling me?

The watch? She pings me about him wearing the watch. What do I do? The watch itself is a symbol of control.

Tangible: Custody - I want more. Finances - I am effectively supporting her way above what I would need to in a post-D world. Strip away feelings, I am giving way in all these areas. It needs to be addressed. It's not about how I feel about them... it is simply me handing over money and time with my kids for no discernible reason other than that's how it is. That's not working for me.

And I also tell myself, from a DB perspective, there is no benefit to continuing to support my W's fantasy that D is going to look like our situation does today.

Sigh... I know I'm making DB mistakes left and right in this post, just spinning a lot lately...
Posted By: rooskers Re: This is a gift - 12/16/19 07:36 AM
unchien I can only give you the advice my lawyer did, what many people on here have said, and what helped me the most. This is a divorce busting site but I think it has evolved into something much more. When my wife BD'd me for the second time after reconciling for 10 years I basically said there is the door and retained a lawyer immediately. He advised I cease all contact except about D13 and only to communicate thru email. This would prevent her from being able to bring harassment and abuse claims against me which he said is all to common. He said to start keeping a journal of interactions with XW in case situations needed to be looked at in front of a judge. He also told me to cancel all credit cards in both our names, split finances as much as possible, and to have all of it done in writing. I joined this site not to prevent divorce but to save myself. I have implemented all the strategies this board has to offer and if XW ever wanted to reconcile in the future I will consider it then but in the meantime I am fully protected by the divorce decree. This means there is a document stating what the exact parenting schedule is, who picks up and drops off D13, and exactly how finances are split. I felt an immediate divorce this time around was the safest option for me and honestly after reading the 100's of sitches from this board and many others I feel like in most cases it is the safest option. Divorce in no way prevents reconciliation in the future.
Posted By: IronWill Re: This is a gift - 12/16/19 12:19 PM
Originally Posted by unchien
IW ~ Your posts always make me pause and reconsider my thoughts. I wasn't clear in my earlier posts, but lately I feel like I'm sacrificing in so many ways - time with the kids, financially, going to C to try to be amicable in the face of abuse.

Sometimes I struggle, like many of us, to separate my feelings from the tangible - custody, finances, etc.


You are sacrificing a lot, U. I don't say what I say to be mean, I hope it doesn't come off that way. It's what I see from your words - and i see that you're giving this certain level of power to your W in your mind.

But I think you can turn it into a positive or growing experience for you. I'm currently doing something similar - I practice not reacting if and when my W says or does something illogical. I remove the context of how she says it, replying only to the words. I screw up sometimes but others I am successful. It takes a LOT of practice - but I think it's something you can do. smile

Originally Posted by unchien

Feelings: Yes, I feel controlled. Take the issue of continuing to go to C. I'm not even sure what DB would say is the right thing to do. Do I continue to go, show my W I am not afraid of her, and stand up to her allegations? Or do I stop going, because the very act of going to C is a way of her controlling me?


She doesn't control you, if it feels like that it is because you are allowing it to feel that way in your mind. "Standing up to someone's allegations" or "showing her she can't control you" in MC are IMO not good reasons to go to MC. I know it sounds like I'm a broken record here, but I do not think going to MC with a person that does not want to work on a M is a good idea.

The trick is to stand up for yourself in a way that is also kind to yourself, your kids, and W (as much as it is possible) - in a way that is unique to your sit because only you know your sit fully. I don't know what that answer looks like for you, U. Only you can decide what that looks like, what you want in life, and how to implement it in a way that is functional for you and your kids.
Originally Posted by unchien

The watch? She pings me about him wearing the watch. What do I do? The watch itself is a symbol of control.

Tangible: Custody - I want more. Finances - I am effectively supporting her way above what I would need to in a post-D world. Strip away feelings, I am giving way in all these areas. It needs to be addressed. It's not about how I feel about them... it is simply me handing over money and time with my kids for no discernible reason other than that's how it is. That's not working for me.

And I also tell myself, from a DB perspective, there is no benefit to continuing to support my W's fantasy that D is going to look like our situation does today.


I see what everyone else is posting about lawyers and mediation here, and I'll be honest - I don't know if I should be giving any advice on that. It seems like there are a lot of people here who are divorced and /or who have experience with mediation. So from a self-protection standpoint, I defer to them on that.

I would only suggest that you try and keep things as amicable as possible - even if you have to fake it in front of your W. Do that for the kids' sake. I do have a lot of experience with parents who selfishly and maliciously went after each other for years. That dysfunctional dynamic in my formative years contributed in a big way to the failure of my own MR.

Originally Posted by unchien

Sigh... I know I'm making DB mistakes left and right in this post, just spinning a lot lately...

I know the feeling. I was spinning all weekend for no apparent reason. Sometimes it just happens. It's okay - don't be so hard on yourself.

My IC told me when it feels like everything is out of control, find one small thing that you CAN do, and do that.

For example - my finances are horrible - have been for a long time, and it was like a weight hanging over my head on top of all this other [censored]. So I decided to make an appointment with a financial advisor.

I was only able to do one thing with regards to finances. But doing that one small thing actually made me feel a little better, and helped to slow the spinning on that front.

You might try that yourself - find one small thing you can do, that only you can control. If its finances that are bugging you, you can visit an advisor. You don't even have to discuss the whole MR sit - just see if it's possible to reorganize your finances on your own. The act of doing something will help.

This is so tough, man - but you're doing great. Stay strong, U smile
Posted By: AnotherStander Re: This is a gift - 12/16/19 03:49 PM
U, listen to Rooskers, separate from her financially and lawyer up. This isn't about being vindictive, it's about protecting yourself. You've said she's controlling and manipulative, and that she's spending 700 on groceries (no she's not, she's probably hoarding cash and will claim it as marital debt). Too many red flags. Get an L as soon as possible and start taking measures to protect yourself.

Rooskers approach was to protect himself without being mean or vindictive or burning any bridges. I think the way he handled it probably earned him the respect of his W. She'd never admit it but she probably couldn't help but respect the strength he showed in handling things.
Posted By: Mario Re: This is a gift - 12/16/19 04:05 PM
Originally Posted by unchien
Adding to my thoughts...

My understanding is mediation works when both parties are trying to be amicable and there is no significant power imbalance.

We both profess to wanting an amicable D. But on the power front, my W seems very controlling and unpredictable to me. Rather than negotiate with someone digging in their heels in a position far off from what is legally “normal”, I feel it might give me peace of mind to handle this through L’s.


I think you and/or your wife are misunderstanding mediation. Mediation isn't (and shouldn't be) to give one party an advantage or better deal. It's just a chance to try to negotiate a settlement between the parties. it's to give party's a fair chance to discuss and resolve the outstanding issues. You don't need a lawyer for mediation, but some have it

Also, most likely...even with Ls you will have a negotiated settlement. The vast vast majority of divorce cases in the US do not go to any sort of trial. People see mediation as less expensive because you don't have to have a L. But it doesn't mean that it will be quick or easy just because you call it mediation. The role of mediator is to facilitate the agreement - not to make decisions.

If your W is making wild demands or digging in her heels or is unpredictable then it won't matte if she uses mediation or the Ls.
Posted By: kas99 Re: This is a gift - 12/16/19 06:22 PM
Quote
You've said she's controlling and manipulative, and that she's spending 700 on groceries (no she's not, she's probably hoarding cash and will claim it as marital debt). Too many red flags. Get an L as soon as possible and start taking measures to protect yourself.


AS is right because I'm doing this. I'm trying to convert my savings to cash by taking out $20-$40 out in cash every time I buy groceries. My only regret is not doing this sooner.

I lawyer'd up as soon as WAH started trying to make handshake deals and offering me pretty much nothing. He is too delusional to mediate with. He responded by not filing for D when he realized it wasn't going to go his way. I filed for D after he evicted me from my house and quit paying my bills. I have saved up cash and I am prepared for war. Hope for the best prepare for the worst.

Quote
Rooskers approach was to protect himself without being mean or vindictive or burning any bridges. I think the way he handled it probably earned him the respect of his W. She'd never admit it but she probably couldn't help but respect the strength he showed in handling things.


I agree with this. WAH is going to flip out when he gets served but deep down he will respect me. People always respect those who stand up for themselves even if there is hatred between them.

Posted By: may22 Re: This is a gift - 12/16/19 06:45 PM
Hi U,

Have you seen an L just for a consult? It might make sense just to be sure you can know your rights and it is a positive step towards protecting yourself. Also, I could be wrong, but my understanding is that the longer you let things go on (like being OK with having less than 50-50 custody in the meantime) it could damage your prospects for it going forward.

It does seem to me like standing up for yourself and your own rights and for time with your kids can never be a bad thing from a DB perspective or not. Also, a side effect just may be that her fantasy starts to deteriorate... and likely things will get worse before they get better... but if things are pretty sh***ty right now, why not take a step in a positive direction for yourself even if it feels like a step away from R?

Stay strong. You got this!
Posted By: kas99 Re: This is a gift - 12/16/19 07:18 PM
May is right. If youíve followed me for 5 minutes youíd know I read everything. Status quo both financially and custody issues are difficult to overcome should she decide to fight you. Iím in the same boat financially. If he can prove I donít need alimony I wonít get it.

You need a litigator. If you can take a day or two off go sit in family court and find one you like. Introduce yourself and get a business card. If your wife cooperates then youíre good and it wonít cost much if not youíre prepared. I already know who my judge is so Iím going to go sit in court myself to get a feel for him.

Experience: I work in a court.
Posted By: unchien Re: This is a gift - 12/16/19 10:06 PM
Thanks all.

I have a L I consulted awhile ago who would be my first choice.

The key point is through mediation or other means I should get this ball rolling ASAP.

Everything appears amicable now. But thatís because I have been willing to be unhappy to keep things ďamicableĒ on the surface. Thatís on me. It is NGS behavior.

I need to drop the goal of an amicable D for now. I will still conduct myself respectfully and be cordial and willing to negotiate and coparent, etc. I will also assert my needs.

At the same time, Iím not going to cave into fears that I may lose custody or she may clean out the bank accounts. We arenít at that point yet. Iíll be monitoring accounts daily now just in case. For groceries, last time she came to my house she dropped off several bags of different homemade Xmas goodies. Iím pretty sure she went out and spent a bunch on the supplies, special bags, etc. Definitely frivolous given our current situation.
Posted By: kas99 Re: This is a gift - 12/16/19 10:13 PM
See the frivolous spending should stop but as I type this WAH hasnít stopped. They donít stop until forced to.
Posted By: unchien Re: This is a gift - 12/17/19 02:51 AM
W texted me about an agenda for our upcoming meeting. She wanted to add some miscellaneous home repairs to the list. Plus talking about the kids, April spring break, holidays.

I said ďI would like us to have a clear plan and timetable for starting mediation by the end of our meeting.Ē
Posted By: Core Re: This is a gift - 12/17/19 11:43 AM
U,
Just wanted to chime in and say I know this has to be hard. Its like I'm looking in to my own future posts. Keep on the positive changes you've shown everyone here! Keep your head up and keep posting.

I like your verbiage, shows strength and leadership at a time where many people would be weak and caving in.
Posted By: IronWill Re: This is a gift - 12/17/19 01:37 PM
Originally Posted by unchien
Thanks all.

I have a L I consulted awhile ago who would be my first choice.

The key point is through mediation or other means I should get this ball rolling ASAP.

Everything appears amicable now. But thatís because I have been willing to be unhappy to keep things ďamicableĒ on the surface. Thatís on me. It is NGS behavior.

I need to drop the goal of an amicable D for now. I will still conduct myself respectfully and be cordial and willing to negotiate and coparent, etc. I will also assert my needs.

At the same time, Iím not going to cave into fears that I may lose custody or she may clean out the bank accounts. We arenít at that point yet. Iíll be monitoring accounts daily now just in case. For groceries, last time she came to my house she dropped off several bags of different homemade Xmas goodies. Iím pretty sure she went out and spent a bunch on the supplies, special bags, etc. Definitely frivolous given our current situation.



Maybe I'm reading things wrong here, U - it seems like other posters here view your sit differently than me. So I'll keep my thoughts brief.

What if - and this is a big what if - you delayed all of this until after the holidays? Is there really an urgent need to solve every single thing at this time of year?

I think you should still find ways to set and keep important boundaries(ie finances), but...

I dont know about you all but I'm finding it really tough around the holidays and - keep in mind - my sit has calmed down somewhat recently. Making life altering decisions seems like it would only add to the pressure, no?

Again - just my thoughts.
Posted By: unchien Re: This is a gift - 12/17/19 02:53 PM
IW -

I have the same thoughts about timing. Keep in mind we agreed to this over 2 months ago.

We agreed to D at end of September. Itís been dragged out. I am spending probably 3-4K/mo more than I would post-D. I am seeing my kids less than I want.

I empathize with my Wís situation, but Iíve been doing so at the expense of my own. I am ready to move on. I do think she will cling on to this lifestyle as long as she can and itís not healthy for either of us... because it does not represent what a post-D life will look like. She does need to face the consequences.

Now if somehow we could fix the custody and money issue, of course I wouldnít be pushing D. At the same time, I donít see how this is possible. For instance, she refuses to go back to work until she determines if she can keep the house. In my mind this is a ridiculous position, but she doesnít want to be working one day a week while also trying to stage a house for sale. Ok, I can empathize with that, while also believing it is not a very fair position. I work full time and have weekdays with the kids. I am sacrificing. Her life has barely changed other than me moving out, and me having the kids 4 days every 2 weeks.

DB can be very appealing to a NG. I often confuse empathy with people pleasing. The fact is, I havenít enjoyed being my Wís partner for 2 years. She is controlling and unwilling to communicate. She bends rules. I am not perfect. But I need to protect myself now. If she changes, maybe I will still have the door open. Continuing in these circumstances is not healthy for me. Or my kids. I want to be able to build a life, and not sit waiting idly while my money and time with the kids are sucked away.
Posted By: unchien Re: This is a gift - 12/17/19 02:54 PM
Also, my position is basically ďletís agree to start mediation by Jan 15. If that doesnít happen I may press forward.Ē

I donít think this is particularly disruptive to the holidays.
Posted By: LH19 Re: This is a gift - 12/17/19 03:07 PM
U,

I have to post this for the newcomers so they are able to learn from other peopleís mistakes. If you would have listened to our advice and not moved out and attended MC you would saved money and most likely forced her hand to accept D immediately.
Posted By: unchien Re: This is a gift - 12/17/19 03:17 PM
LH - I agree with you. My W at that time was wildly accusing me of abuse. We would have gone straight to D.

I imagine I would have had to go to court for any custody. In that respect I feel like this 6 month period has put me on solid ground to advocate for 50/50 and proven I am a good father.

Regardless, I put myself in extended limbo
Posted By: IronWill Re: This is a gift - 12/17/19 04:17 PM
Originally Posted by unchien
IW -

I have the same thoughts about timing. Keep in mind we agreed to this over 2 months ago.


My W said she wanted to sell the house by summer and get a D almost 10 months ago. Yet here we still are.

I know the feeling, man - truly I do. Logic will not work here. Time has no meaning here. I'm sorry you are in this position, but that's the reality of it, unfortunately.

Originally Posted by unchien
She does need to face the consequences.

Now if somehow we could fix the custody and money issue, of course I wouldnít be pushing D. At the same time, I donít see how this is possible.


Thought experiment here - theoretically, put aside the D talk for a sec -

Have you established any boundaries regarding finances with W before?

You have said earlier that she trusts your financial acumen. So what if - and again, it's a big what if and in no way am I telling you what to do here, its just a thought - you told W you have changed your mind. You have decided to re-run the budget and have found that the finances are currently unsustainable? Theoretically, what do you think would happen?

I did this with my W in the middle of all the S and D talk from her (this happened in upside down land - where she was pushing S and D and still asked me if I would rework "our" budget..?!?)

It was an opportunity for me to set a boundary, and I did. It was her first consequence and boy did she get angry. But I stuck to it - made my case and that was that.

Just a few thoughts from another possible route. Others may tell you to just pull the plug. Maybe you should, maybe you shouldn't - I can't tell you what to do. that's up to you to decide.

Posted By: unchien Re: This is a gift - 12/17/19 06:04 PM
Hey IW ~

I get what you are driving at. D is one way to solve my problem, but not the only way.

Set aside the custody issue. Perhaps I can negotiate that on the side.

The house issue entangles this mess. If we were both renting, I would propose a financial separation, where I route my paycheck to my own account, then pay her a monthly support payment. Then our money isn't mixed. Problem solved.

But with the house it is a mess. What do we do about the mortgage? I am a co-owner of the house. Do we say that the principal pay-down is not part of the support payment? What about property taxes? She thinks she is doing me a favor by maintaining the house, for instance.

It's complicated and messy. She won't go back to work until she determines if she can keep the house. This seems excessive - she only plans to work one day per week, so I don't see how a potential house sale should prevent her from working. I know what my maximum support payment in a D would be, and I know how I propose to split our assets (50/50, but also take into account that I brought in a substantial asset base pre-MR). Unless her friends or family gift her money, she can't keep it. It's not even close. She would need maybe 300K to materialize out of thin air. We could barely afford it when I did live there.

I have not wanted to be the person to tell her she can't keep the house. It will come off as controlling. But she has asked a few times. Maybe I should just say what I think.

Anyways, I guess my point is... a financial separation would give me some peace of mind. Accomplishing that while owning an unaffordable house is not possible. So my alternative is to push to sell the house and financially separate. At which point, we may as well just D.

Still stuck, will have to think more...
Posted By: Core Re: This is a gift - 12/17/19 06:22 PM
Originally Posted by unchien


She thinks she is doing me a favor by maintaining the house, for instance.

It's complicated and messy. She won't go back to work until she determines if she can keep the house. This seems excessive - she only plans to work one day per week.

Still stuck, will have to think more...


She is in for a rude awakening. Work only one day per week? It's like she believes your whole paycheck will go to her. She seems stuck in a fog/fantasy. It sounds like she isn't too aware of what you handled financially. On some end, I'm wondering if you don't want her and the family to learn the hard way. I can relate.

Take the time to think, be sure of it, make sure that the end result isn't a NGS response and post it here for the vets. It sounds like she will sadly suffer with her choice. May be a form of tough love to let her handle her choice here with the house.
Posted By: unchien Re: This is a gift - 12/17/19 06:45 PM
Core ~

Yes, I worry about how hard it will hit her when she realizes keeping the house is a fantasy.

Now, if her plan was to go work FT, she could possibly, just possibly, eke it out. She would have to liquidate a large portion of her part of our assets to do so. But it may be possible.

It will also be a rude awakening when I mention I brought in a substantial amount of money before the marriage, and according to state law she is not entitled to that either.

I imagine she may offer that I treat the house as an "investment" while she resides there. That is a hard no for me.

One thing I do know... I am not benefiting by dragging this out, and I think it does not benefit my W either (as it perpetuates her fantasy).
Posted By: rooskers Re: This is a gift - 12/17/19 07:16 PM
Quote
What if - and this is a big what if - you delayed all of this until after the holidays? Is there really an urgent need to solve every single thing at this time of year?


Quote
Set aside the custody issue. Perhaps I can negotiate that on the side.


I have a friend who delayed the divorce after moving out and while not exactly the same sitch it was similar. He went to court and because of the routine established, the fact he moved out, and the abuse allegations he now gets to see his children every other weekend and lunch on Wednesday once a month. He has gone back to court to get the parenting time changed to 50/50 and has lost every time because the judge did not want to disturb the children's routine. She has remarried and my friends children call the new guy dad and consider my friend as more of an uncle. There is nothing he can do about it and he has already spent well over $100,000 fighting the system. I am all for DB and for holding out for reconciliation until it causes the relationship with your children to become permanently harmed. If you divorce you don't have to become hostile and angry. Let your lawyer know what you want and he fights in court for it, meanwhile you can still treat your wife with respect and make the changes you would have in normal DB.

This is not about boundaries with your wife or making her face consequences, it is about protecting your rights as a father. It seems like in many sitches here the WAS hurts the LBS in all sorts of ways but leaves the children out of it but there are a few where you see the LBS losing not only the marriage but much of their rights as a parents as well.
Posted By: may22 Re: This is a gift - 12/17/19 07:18 PM
Here are a few thoughts/suggestions for you to take or leave:

-- with January 15 as your date to move forward with mediation, try to stop thinking and worrying about it now. Put it out of your head and focus on enjoying the holidays. When is your upcoming meeting? Can you just state it then and then put it out of your mind?

-- are you taking any time off work to hang with your kids over the holidays? Assuming they are off school-- maybe plan (if you can) a fun dad day just for them. Day trip or take a night in a hotel. Maybe let them each plan some part of it. I don't know how that will all work with your custody situation and the fact that your wife doesn't work, but maybe you can ask for an extra day during the week (she may appreciate the opportunity to do her own Christmas shopping and such) or, just plan on one of the days you do have them. Your head is full of negative future thinking right now, thinking about what if you do X and what if she does Y... lots of worrying about things you don't have a lot of control over, like her actions. Take all that future planning energy and put it into something positive and under your own control.

-- Are there workbooks or anything like that in your state that you can fill out together to see what the post-D financial picture will look like? That could be something you suggest in front of the mediator-- and also the mediator should know just like an L should know the law in terms of how post-D finances work out. I would guess that any D mediator has been through this before and has seen it all. He or she should be able to steer you and your W through her freak-out when she starts to understand that she is living in fantasy land. And/or, you could say in your upcoming meeting that you've started to look into the financial picture of what legal S or D might look like under your state's D laws... you could or could not say something like "it might not be a bad idea for you to do the same" but even if you don't say that, she might be clued in to take a look.

A good friend was D in CA with a lot of complicated assets in different states. Splitting that all up was incredibly complicated and there was spousal support in the picture as well. She retained an L for consulting even though they went through the mediation process.
Posted By: unchien Re: This is a gift - 12/17/19 10:44 PM
Originally Posted by may22
Here are a few thoughts/suggestions for you to take or leave:

-- with January 15 as your date to move forward with mediation, try to stop thinking and worrying about it now. Put it out of your head and focus on enjoying the holidays. When is your upcoming meeting? Can you just state it then and then put it out of your mind?

We meet tomorrow.

Originally Posted by may22
-- are you taking any time off work to hang with your kids over the holidays? Assuming they are off school-- maybe plan (if you can) a fun dad day just for them. Day trip or take a night in a hotel. Maybe let them each plan some part of it. I don't know how that will all work with your custody situation and the fact that your wife doesn't work, but maybe you can ask for an extra day during the week (she may appreciate the opportunity to do her own Christmas shopping and such) or, just plan on one of the days you do have them. Your head is full of negative future thinking right now, thinking about what if you do X and what if she does Y... lots of worrying about things you don't have a lot of control over, like her actions. Take all that future planning energy and put it into something positive and under your own control.

I do have roughly 50/50 time with the kids over the 2-week holidays. I will definitely be taking them to do some fun activities.

Originally Posted by may22
-- Are there workbooks or anything like that in your state that you can fill out together to see what the post-D financial picture will look like? That could be something you suggest in front of the mediator-- and also the mediator should know just like an L should know the law in terms of how post-D finances work out. I would guess that any D mediator has been through this before and has seen it all. He or she should be able to steer you and your W through her freak-out when she starts to understand that she is living in fantasy land. And/or, you could say in your upcoming meeting that you've started to look into the financial picture of what legal S or D might look like under your state's D laws... you could or could not say something like "it might not be a bad idea for you to do the same" but even if you don't say that, she might be clued in to take a look.

We went to a financial advisor back in September who mapped out enough where I thought this was clear. I also figured we would work this out in mediation - part of the reason I want to get started sooner rather than later.

Originally Posted by may22
A good friend was D in CA with a lot of complicated assets in different states. Splitting that all up was incredibly complicated and there was spousal support in the picture as well. She retained an L for consulting even though they went through the mediation process.

Fortunately we don't have much that is complicated other than the house. No shared businesses, etc.
Posted By: unchien Re: This is a gift - 12/17/19 10:50 PM
Originally Posted by rooskers
Quote
What if - and this is a big what if - you delayed all of this until after the holidays? Is there really an urgent need to solve every single thing at this time of year?


Quote
Set aside the custody issue. Perhaps I can negotiate that on the side.


I have a friend who delayed the divorce after moving out and while not exactly the same sitch it was similar. He went to court and because of the routine established, the fact he moved out, and the abuse allegations he now gets to see his children every other weekend and lunch on Wednesday once a month. He has gone back to court to get the parenting time changed to 50/50 and has lost every time because the judge did not want to disturb the children's routine. She has remarried and my friends children call the new guy dad and consider my friend as more of an uncle. There is nothing he can do about it and he has already spent well over $100,000 fighting the system. I am all for DB and for holding out for reconciliation until it causes the relationship with your children to become permanently harmed. If you divorce you don't have to become hostile and angry. Let your lawyer know what you want and he fights in court for it, meanwhile you can still treat your wife with respect and make the changes you would have in normal DB.

This is not about boundaries with your wife or making her face consequences, it is about protecting your rights as a father. It seems like in many sitches here the WAS hurts the LBS in all sorts of ways but leaves the children out of it but there are a few where you see the LBS losing not only the marriage but much of their rights as a parents as well.

I am hoping I am part of the 99% that do not end up in court.

I've heard the precedent argument, but again, I hope I'm not in the 1%. I have a L ready for that scenario. Whether she remarries and the new guy becomes dad is not within my control.

I get your point... custody is also an urgent issue. All of this is urgent. I'm trying to sort it out in my head, and come up with an appropriate plan. Setting custody aside was mostly a way for me to try to work out a plan for the finances and house.
Posted By: unchien Re: This is a gift - 12/18/19 06:36 PM
Feeling lousy today.

I have a bad cold, and 2 of the 3 kids also have one. We had to cancel C. W and I still plan to talk on the phone this evening to close some items (not sure what they are though...)

I also found out my estranged parents now know what's going on, as my W's parents have been communicating with them. I would expect them to try to "help" me by reaching out, even though they cut me off 3 years ago. Extra stress to handle.

I had dinner with a D'd friend last night. He suspects I will end up in a court trial since my W's expectations are far off a typical D settlement. He also gave me a 2x4 -- even if my W is in fantasy-land right now, the erosion of our MR was just as much my fault as hers. It is true. I wish I could go back and clean up my part. I can't.

I'm also feeling overwhelmed by Xmas next week. Need to finish up some shopping for the kids. Lots of self-doubt about being a good dad.

Work is super busy this week. I've been trying to catch up, but the last 2 nights I have gone to sleep as soon as possible to fight this cold.

I know this is a wallowing, negative post. Just feeling overwhelmed, sick, and feeling like things are going to get worse here soon. Sometimes I feel 100% at fault for the MR falling apart. Sometimes this just s*cks.
Posted By: IronWill Re: This is a gift - 12/18/19 09:23 PM
Hey U -

I'm so sorry you're sick and feeling lousy. Sometimes it feels like the weight of everything comes crashing down all at once and we have no choice but to deal with life on life's terms. Yeah it does [censored].

I'm there too - feeling just blecch and wanting the holidays to hurry up and go away already.

Watch out only for yourself and your kids. Everyone else's drama is up to them - those are whole other cans of worms you don't have to deal with right now anyway. You've got enough on your plate.

I've had my fill of explaining things to people. Now - when asked, I say "I don't want to talk about it right now, but thank you."

Stay strong, man smile
Posted By: IronWill Re: This is a gift - 12/18/19 10:50 PM
P.S.

I know your D'd friend seems like he knows what he's talking about.

I would take his practical advice - but only as it directly pertains to your sit.

Remember your sit is not his sit. His perspective is not your perspective. How he handled his sit is not how you handle your sit.

Therefore his result will not be your result - it can never be, because you are not the same person he is.

"Buddha Lite" for today wink
Posted By: Core Re: This is a gift - 12/18/19 11:18 PM
I'm sure you know this already but be miserable if you need to be for a day. 180s, GAL, changing yourself can add some pressure and exhaustion especially with NGS. A couple days won't set you back and plenty of time to read or do a non physical hobby. Shop online for the kids.

A reminder-you had a part in the relationship breakdown but you are not to blame for whats happening, you didn't ask for D and you're working hard to build a new U.

I have a twice D'd friend on his third marriage having trouble and one that is healing his M after his W cheated for two years. Your sitch is difficult and draining but its not over and from what I've seen in your posts, you'll come out on top either way.
Posted By: unchien Re: This is a gift - 12/18/19 11:25 PM
Thanks IW ~ I definitely take everyone's advice with a grain of salt, and trying to understand their experiences and why they have the perspectives that they do.

It feels like a lot going on all at once. Holidays, trying to start mediation, feeling like everything is a negotiation... It is exhausting.

I feel like I have made progress DB'ing, but I have so much farther to go. It's like... I can finally see the mountain, and I can also notice I've only started to climb.
Posted By: unchien Re: This is a gift - 12/19/19 12:02 AM
Originally Posted by Core
I'm sure you know this already but be miserable if you need to be for a day. 180s, GAL, changing yourself can add some pressure and exhaustion especially with NGS. A couple days won't set you back and plenty of time to read or do a non physical hobby. Shop online for the kids.

A reminder-you had a part in the relationship breakdown but you are not to blame for whats happening, you didn't ask for D and you're working hard to build a new U.

I have a twice D'd friend on his third marriage having trouble and one that is healing his M after his W cheated for two years. Your sitch is difficult and draining but its not over and from what I've seen in your posts, you'll come out on top either way.

Thanks Core

I am incredibly frustrated about the spot I am in. I feel pressed to at least financially separate and improve my custody situation.... which then means we may as well D. I feel forced to be the driver. It's not what I want.

I wish I could address the finances/kids while still being the lighthouse. But pressing for D (or a legal S) does not feel like being the lighthouse.

Any vets out there have any advice?
Posted By: unchien Re: This is a gift - 12/19/19 06:47 AM
It's strange in this physical S how you only get bits and pieces of information here and there. Maybe one new piece of information a month.

One recent revelation was that my W was telling her parents we were having serious problems long before I realized how serious they were. Of course looking back all the signs were there at that time. Maybe I was blind. She also wasn't communicating much, other than completely withdrawing affection (which I guess is a bright red flashing warning sign, but one of our issues was that she wanted no pressure when it came to affection).

I can't understand for the life of me why she didn't just come out in MC1 and say, "We are having serious issues" and instead chose, "I need more help washing dishes."

We went to MC1 last fall, and by the end I had agreed to stop pressuring for any type of affection, I was helping more around the house, I was basically doing everything I committed to doing in MC1. Then came the New Year. I remember her just railing me while we heard fireworks exploding in the distance that night. And then 3 months of silence, me giving my W space, not sure what to do. When I found the pre-BD evidence in March, my world turned upside down. I pulled over the car one night, pleading with my W, and she thought I was dangerous and scary. It all just went completely downhill. I wrote the apology letters, more quiet periods, we separated, more quiet, more distance...

But I look back to a year ago now, and I think maybe by the time I realized things were way off the rails (in March) it was too late. She was long gone. I thought giving time and space was the right choice.

I feel like I can let go of HER, but I can't let go of the fact that this all seems like it could have been so easily fixable. With some communication and compassion for each other. I know I am grasping at that elusive closure that so many people here never find. 2019 has been a year of h3ll. It started rough, it's not ending where I wanted it to, but I can definitively say I am happier in many ways.
Posted By: Traveler Re: This is a gift - 12/19/19 07:19 AM
Originally Posted by unchien
I can't understand for the life of me why she didn't just come out in MC1 and say, "We are having serious issues" and instead chose, "I need more help washing dishes."

Hi Unchien,

It would be great if other people were more transparent. So many motives could be behind it, no?

After my ex-girlfriend moved out, I pointed out in MC1 she'd lied about the seriousness of at least one key issue. The therapist changed the focus. She asked why my ex-girlfriend felt a need to lie. She didn't want to disappoint me, knowing the truth would hurt me, and she was not sure how I'd handle it. She's lied more recently, and a mutual friend who knows her side says she believes it's a way to avoid conflict.

I told my ex-wife of 10yrs what my issues were, but never that they were serious enough I was considering divorce, until I did it. I might do differently now, but I figured a good partner wouldn't need threats.

I never told an ex-girlfriend of 5yrs my issues with her--because I didn't love her. I was going to move on eventually, almost certainly, regardless of what she did right or wrong.
Posted By: IHCLACS Re: This is a gift - 12/19/19 12:25 PM
I know exactly what you mean by your last post Uni. they gave up they quit nits checked out because we couldn't be in the present in the now and realize the subtle signs they were trying to tell us the whole time. They were reacting based on their feelings and their emotions based on what you were giving them and you didn't realize it at the time. You and I know that these are skill sets and they are fixable things through proper counseling and communication. They wanted you to adhere to their agenda and they wanted you to fix things then but they wanted you to figure it out without actually having to tell you. Now that they are checked out all of a sudden we want to fix things and improve on things it is too little too late. It all has to be for you to changes and all has to be demonstrated through actions silence is actually your best friend make friends with it. regardless of how Justified they may seem in their own perception in mind always remember that they are the ones to end it, quit and vilify you on a vow is because you failed to meet their expectations whether realistic or unrealistic logical or delusional. Keep in mind that they gave their time their effort their thoughts their body and they're sold us so for them to turn cold and move on fast is not uncommon. They do not adhere to the past the way we do since their future no longer benefits from it. This is something we have to accept
Posted By: AnotherStander Re: This is a gift - 12/19/19 12:46 PM
Originally Posted by unchien
I wish I could address the finances/kids while still being the lighthouse. But pressing for D (or a legal S) does not feel like being the lighthouse.

Any vets out there have any advice?


Here is my opinion- this is a marriage-saving site and I am on board with doing everything you can to save your M. But after years here I am convinced that most people that end up here have full-blown WAS's and they CANNOT save their M. It's dead and gone by the time most make their first post here. The best they can do is let their M go and try to build a new R and M with their spouse. That almost never begins until AFTER separation. A lot of people here are scared to death of S because they think it's the end of hope, but in fact it's often the beginning of rekindling things. I'm not saying I recommend S, that's a personal decision. But I am saying it is not the end.

Being the lighthouse is simply being the place of strength, security and solidity when the WAS is anything but those things. Not just for your spouse, but for your kids, extended family, friends and yourself. In your case pursuing a legal separation for financial reasons may very well be a required act to continue being the lighthouse.
Posted By: unchien Re: This is a gift - 12/19/19 04:59 PM
Originally Posted by IHCLACS
I know exactly what you mean by your last post Uni. they gave up they quit nits checked out because we couldn't be in the present in the now and realize the subtle signs they were trying to tell us the whole time. They were reacting based on their feelings and their emotions based on what you were giving them and you didn't realize it at the time. You and I know that these are skill sets and they are fixable things through proper counseling and communication. They wanted you to adhere to their agenda and they wanted you to fix things then but they wanted you to figure it out without actually having to tell you. Now that they are checked out all of a sudden we want to fix things and improve on things it is too little too late. It all has to be for you to changes and all has to be demonstrated through actions silence is actually your best friend make friends with it. regardless of how Justified they may seem in their own perception in mind always remember that they are the ones to end it, quit and vilify you on a vow is because you failed to meet their expectations whether realistic or unrealistic logical or delusional. Keep in mind that they gave their time their effort their thoughts their body and they're sold us so for them to turn cold and move on fast is not uncommon. They do not adhere to the past the way we do since their future no longer benefits from it. This is something we have to accept

IHCLACS ~

Yes, she wanted me to change on my own. But I understand and empathize with it. It took the BD for me to change, by which point it is too late. It's the same script that happens over and over with couples.

In the same way, I don't want to have to point out the changes SHE needs to make in order for me to consider a R (if she ever came around to wanting one herself). If I am to consider R, I want HER to come knocking on MY door. How Shakespearean.
Posted By: kas99 Re: This is a gift - 12/19/19 08:08 PM
Being the lighthouse means you get 50/50 custody of the kids. They need you. You'll have to D (or legal S) to get this. My kids are older so I got their input before filing for D. Their only response was that I should have done it sooner. In my case being the lighthouse means getting enough money to feed and clothe them.
Posted By: IHCLACS Re: This is a gift - 12/20/19 01:33 PM
Originally Posted by unchien
Originally Posted by IHCLACS
I know exactly what you mean by your last post Uni. they gave up they quit nits checked out because we couldn't be in the present in the now and realize the subtle signs they were trying to tell us the whole time. They were reacting based on their feelings and their emotions based on what you were giving them and you didn't realize it at the time. You and I know that these are skill sets and they are fixable things through proper counseling and communication. They wanted you to adhere to their agenda and they wanted you to fix things then but they wanted you to figure it out without actually having to tell you. Now that they are checked out all of a sudden we want to fix things and improve on things it is too little too late. It all has to be for you to changes and all has to be demonstrated through actions silence is actually your best friend make friends with it. regardless of how Justified they may seem in their own perception in mind always remember that they are the ones to end it, quit and vilify you on a vow is because you failed to meet their expectations whether realistic or unrealistic logical or delusional. Keep in mind that they gave their time their effort their thoughts their body and they're sold us so for them to turn cold and move on fast is not uncommon. They do not adhere to the past the way we do since their future no longer benefits from it. This is something we have to accept

IHCLACS ~

Yes, she wanted me to change on my own. But I understand and empathize with it. It took the BD for me to change, by which point it is too late. It's the same script that happens over and over with couples.

In the same way, I don't want to have to point out the changes SHE needs to make in order for me to consider a R (if she ever came around to wanting one herself). If I am to consider R, I want HER to come knocking on MY door. How Shakespearean.


Let me guess? You keep getting the "You can keep a knocking... But you can't come in..." From XW? LOL..Walls are funny like that. Sometimes they are meant to guard and protect. Other times they are used as an unnecessary weapon from a person that is hurt.
Posted By: unchien Re: This is a gift - 12/20/19 04:33 PM
Originally Posted by IHCLACS
Let me guess? You keep getting the "You can keep a knocking... But you can't come in..." From XW? LOL..Walls are funny like that. Sometimes they are meant to guard and protect. Other times they are used as an unnecessary weapon from a person that is hurt.

Actually I am not getting much of that from W. Lately W has been a bit more pleasant but I don't know what that means. Sharing some details about the kids over text, things like that. It is a bit of a cognitive distortion when she is nice to me, as she has also called me abusive and violent within the last 2 months.

Yesterday I had some bizarre drama, where one of my W's family members texted me out of the blue an insult. The backstory is long and convoluted and not very interesting, but suffice it to say I did nothing wrong and it's possible this person was joking (although he/she has proven to be a hothead in the past). But knowing this person, I think it was an emotional knee-jerk reaction and it honestly scared me a bit. I blocked the number for now.

IW had a great post on KG's thread today about our thoughts and how they are not reality. I'm thinking about it this morning.

Thoughts:

- My W *could* be buttering me up with niceness in advance of a potentially contentious D process.

- My W *could* be nicer recently because it's the holidays.

- My W *could* be nicer because she has some sort of internal struggle going on.

- My W *could* be secretly plotting the perfect D, and I am the unwitting victim here being strung along and taken advantage of.

- My W *could* be nicer because she thinks our current situation is working just great.

- I need a L ASAP and I need to get the D ball rolling. The more time goes on, the more I am sacrificing and stuck in limbo, not able to live my life.

I don't believe fully in any of the above, but from time to time they pop in to my head.

Reality:

I need to resolve the financial and custody issues in my situation. But I spend a lot of time problem-solving in my head. Taking a problem-solving approach is not helping. It worsens my anxiety.

I do not need to resolve my MR. If, for instance, we were sharing 50-50 custody, and I was effectively paying an appropriate support payment to my W, I could continue on without feeling pressure.

The house creates complication in our financial situation, since the mortgage payment alone is enormous (more than a max support payment).

A L would give me peace of mind, so at least I would stop problem-solving so much in my head.

Ideas:

I can't decide if I need to take the protective route or not. And how much I should communicate to my W.

On the one hand, my instincts guide me to tell her: "W, this situation is not working for me. I would like more time with the kids. I also think financially we are both stuck in limbo. While we get the mediation process started, I would like to explore a financial separation. Regardless of who is paying for what, there is more money going out than coming in, and this situation is not sustainable. We are effectively spending several K per month sustaining a situation that does not work. The house complicates matters of course."

Then I'm like... UC, cut out that NG cr*p.

"W, this situation is not working for me. I hope we can work out a settlement in mediation. I also feel like we are far apart in our goals for custody and finances. I will be retaining a L as an advisor for this process. I do not intend to go to a court trial, but I do think our situation is complicated enough that I prefer to have legal counsel."

Then I'm like... UC, cut out that NG cr*p.

"W, this situation is not working for me. While we pursue starting mediation, I will be retaining a L. I do not intend to go to court, but I do prefer to have legal counsel for this process."

Then I'm like... UC, just hire the L, you don't need to tell her at all. But then that seems like an act of aggression.

This is how my mind works... I can never make a decision. Sigh... need to go back and revisit my NGS methinks.
Posted By: Jac12 Re: This is a gift - 12/20/19 05:19 PM
If you remember, you and I were/are in similar financial situations. I have stabilized mine for the time-being but I do look back and think I should have just followed through with the separation agreement meeting with our L's.

I like your last quote as a response to her. I wouldn't just do it in my case either...send the email to your W and then follow through. However, if you don't think it's an act of aggression than why worry about how she perceives it? We can't control how people perceive things anyways. Either way, I would just do it so you can protect the financial interests of not just yourself, but your family.

Lastly, about your thoughts at the beginning...I'm the same way. But, the more I try to figure out what she's thinking the more stuck I get. Who the hell knows what her intentions are. Moving forward, I'm going to assume my W doesn't want to be with me until she says otherwise because that's what her actions have shown.
Posted By: may22 Re: This is a gift - 12/20/19 06:20 PM
U,

Why does she need to know that you're retaining an L? You can have an L who reviews and supports you through the mediation process but that doesn't necessarily mean you have to be in a "have your L talk to my L" situation.

You can't worry about how doing what is best for you and the kids affects her. She's given up that right.

Hugs! You got this.
Posted By: kas99 Re: This is a gift - 12/20/19 07:34 PM
My WAH is no longer my friend and I just filed for D with grounds. Aggressive? Absolutely but I had no choice and neither do you. The clock is ticking on custody. Hire the L.
Posted By: KristinG Re: This is a gift - 12/21/19 03:00 AM
U,

I agree with May, she doesn't necessarily need to know as your L can assist you throughout the mediation process and should be able to stay out of any legal drama. If, by some chance, she finds out or he does intervene, you can always respond with an appropriate statement. ie: "w, I do not want this separation or d, however, I do feel the need to protect myself during this process." The vets could definitely come up with something far better, but you get the gist.

((Hugs U)) You're so strong - don't get caught up in the "thoughts"
Posted By: IronWill Re: This is a gift - 12/22/19 11:03 PM
Originally Posted by unchien

Actually I am not getting much of that from W. Lately W has been a bit more pleasant but I don't know what that means. Sharing some details about the kids over text, things like that. It is a bit of a cognitive distortion when she is nice to me, as she has also called me abusive and violent within the last 2 months.

U - in my opinion, at least part of what your W is going through is MLC related. It is very similar to part of what my W is going through. All depression-like symptoms - illogical thinking, no (known) OP (although it's best to assume so), withdrawing, looking for the fantasy world, looking for someone to blame for everything etc...

Nothing makes sense in this world. And you did not break her. I know we all assume responsibility for our own part of the MR failures as we should, but this is something she is going through, not you. The more you come to understand this, the better prepared you will be for the rollercoaster, regardless of outcome.

Originally Posted by unchien

Reality:

I need to resolve the financial and custody issues in my situation. But I spend a lot of time problem-solving in my head. Taking a problem-solving approach is not helping. It worsens my anxiety.

I do not need to resolve my MR. If, for instance, we were sharing 50-50 custody, and I was effectively paying an appropriate support payment to my W, I could continue on without feeling pressure....

This is how my mind works... I can never make a decision. Sigh... need to go back and revisit my NGS methinks.


As I've recommended to you before, if you're stuck in a loop, the best way to start making decisions is...to make a decision.

Figure out one small thing that you can do, on your own, for yourself.

I don't know what that could be from reading words on a screen here, U - but i think if you do that you will feel a little better about yourself and stop some of the spinning.
Posted By: unchien Re: This is a gift - 12/24/19 04:54 PM
Well... I didn't see this coming.

W and I had a text exchange last night that I'm still processing. I'm going to paraphrase a lot below so don't read into the actual wording.

It started with me mentioning that I wanted a plan to start mediation in January, and that I wanted to discuss the personal spending account setup we are using because it is not working. My W asked for examples (for the personal account), and I brought up two, one of which was her having childcare for several extra hours in the evening. She said she actually wanted to talk about maybe having *another* spending allowance for extra childcare so she could do housework, etc.

I responded that if she needed someone to watch the kids for several hours, I am always available for that call (rather than spend money on a nanny). She replied, "Oh I didn't realize you could do 3 hours on a Wednesday afternoon. Do you want to do that instead of Monday dinners with the kids (these are the dinners which break up my 10 days without them)?"

I said, "I'm not signing up to be your after-school care. You know I want more hours with the kids. You have also said you don't want me having more overnights with the kids because you do not like the kids having after-school or extra nanny care. But it seems like you want extra nanny care."

She kept replying she was confused.

She asked what schedule I wanted. I repeated what I asked for 3 weeks ago... 2 extra nights with the kids, every 2 weeks. I also stated that I understood she was confused about agreeing to this, and didn't accept it. So I felt it was her turn to propose a schedule, not me.

Again she said she was confused.

Then things got bad. She said our current schedule is what I wanted 6 months ago when we separated. I said, "No, I was lucky to get any overnights when we separated." She said again she was confused. I said, "I agreed to that schedule because you asked for time and space, things were tense between us, and I wanted to help create that space so we could work on the marriage."

She said "Work on the marriage, like now?"

"No," I said.

Then she started claiming I've been okay with this schedule all along, and it was me who asked for D in September.

And then... she brought up the safety stuff with the kids. She asked for me to have my IC write a letter for next time we go to MC "detailing my progress." She said "We've come so far, but things were really scary." "All these things that happened in June" - including the incident where I showed S7 how to shoot a pellet gun, and apparently she thought I was going to go on a rampage or something. She said that I've made so much progress going to the parenting class (which is something I chose on my own, but she's co-opted as part of this "plan").

I can't really describe how offended I was by the content of the last paragraph. I don't know how to read this other than a big manipulative game.

It's been 6 months. We've gone to the "MC" for 6 months, and all it does is feed this narrative in my W's head. Maybe she's going to take me to court and wave my apology letters in the air as some sort of evidence. Whether or not I continue to go to "MC" she may do that anyways, so why keep going to "MC" trying to soothe her concerns? It could be years. I need to "face that fear" and accept she may take me to court and this may get ugly. I can't fix it by going to MC for years and easing her concerns over the long run.

I had a couple regrettable parenting moments. I've outlined them here. This year has been absolute hell. I went through months questioning if I really was someone with these labels. By taking the accusations seriously, I only fed my W's belief that they were true.

In the process, I learned a lot about emotional abuse, gaslighting, manipulation, control. I truly bought into these allegations for awhile. I went through a deep soul-searching phase. Mix in some CEN with NGS and you get a person who believes another person's reality is completely valid. My problem isn't lack of empathy... my problem was so much empathy that I was not in touch with myself to begin with. I tried so hard to see things her way that I *believed* them for awhile.

I've been allowing it to happen. I've been going to MC knowing full well we aren't working on the MR, but somehow hoping it would result in the "best outcome" for our kids. I need to stop. I know this.

My current plan is:

- Discontinue MC
- Contact the L I have on hold later this week, ask rather than pay a retainer to have a 1-hr session to review my options
- Continue to be cordial with W. Work out a January parenting schedule. Press for a plan to start mediation in January.

Finally, just wanted to say thank you to everyone who posts on my thread. I read all the replies quickly, but sometimes don't respond. I've been trying to limit my time on the forum to avoid over-thinking my situation.
Posted By: IHCLACS Re: This is a gift - 12/24/19 04:59 PM
Sounds like more cognitive dissonance on her part to me. I've seen that many times before which is why I email keeo record of everything or say nothing at all.
Posted By: unchien Re: This is a gift - 12/24/19 05:31 PM
IHC ~ I agree on the cognitive dissonance. I am blown away when I get these window-peeks into what my W is thinking.
Posted By: Jac12 Re: This is a gift - 12/24/19 05:56 PM
Yeah my W has no recollection of things she said 9-12 months ago...things that I'll never be able to erase from my memory.

I like your plan U. Keep doing what's best for U and the kids.
Posted By: Traveler Re: This is a gift - 12/24/19 06:24 PM
Hi Unchien, I believe you're making the right choice to pursue legal action for more custody. Even if she pursues this in court and convinces a judge you're presently a danger to your kids--undermined by her already allowing you overnights--in the USA they will almost certainly give you a clear path to 50/50 custody instead of continuing to play her games with an unknown timeline and outcome. That's what I've seen before. Of course, I defer to your lawyer who knows your local courts better.

I also like your new assessment of yourself--you're TOO empathic. smile

Some people who have written here and left without a stand, you could sense some anger and manipulation. You come across as an intelligent, reflective, and caring individual who acted desperately a few times. Your wife's account is bizarre, but vilifying you probably makes it easier to step away.
Posted By: glhf Re: This is a gift - 12/24/19 07:17 PM
Originally Posted by unchien
IHC ~ I agree on the cognitive dissonance. I am blown away when I get these window-peeks into what my W is thinking.


U: I'm 18 months after BD, almost a year of limbo, and 368 days from telling the kids we are splitting up. 11 months from moving out. Coming up on anniversary of separation and having first set of holidays with kids on my own terms.

I've gotten though and get through by reading stories here that are similar to mine. I've come so far. I see you in my review mirror. Your situation and mentality and how you process is quite similar to mine. You've done some very different tactical maneuvers and I've watched you make them thinking "Oh crap. He's scr3wed".

I hope you are not... but I registered just now, and may make this the only post on the board I ever make to say THIS to YOU:

"Go dark, lawyer up, and prepare for your wife to lose. Her. Mind."

Expect her to hold you in so little regard that she's going to come after you financially, and for custody. She's being nice to get what she wants and needs, and she only wants more. When you start to ask for what's fair (50/50) she's going to lawyer up and you're going to see a side of her you had no idea existed.

Keep your side of the street clean, and say nothing to her. Believe nothing she says.

Odds are in 6-12 months you'll be facing trial and the only person who thinks what she's doing is reasonable will be her and her lawyer.

Brace yourself for this person to show you new colors from the rainbow. You have NO idea how bad this can get. Well.. you see it. You're preparing for it intellectually. I didn't. Then it came. The nicest, conflict-avoidant, emotionally-stuck spouse in the world just. Doesn't. Care. About. You. Anymore.

Meditate, exercise, and find your joy. But do not give any quarter and let your lawyer bring you what you should have never moved out without in the first place. A custody and financial agreement that was fair. You're not going to negotiate one with her now. In six months the odds get worse. In a year? She'll deserve more and she'll punish you to get it all while you were hoping she'd snap out of it. The person who said she'd be reasonable will go SIDEWAYS.

You can sleep at night for trying it this way. You've handled this with honor and dignity and compassion. But it will get you nowhere from here on out.

Good luck.
Posted By: unchien Re: This is a gift - 12/24/19 07:49 PM
CW ~ I caution others here similar to me -- that combo of CEN and NGS can lead us to not just validate our S's feelings but also their REALITY. We come to DB and get very drawn to the validation piece. Maybe if I just empathize *even more*.

I was drawn in. I thought she just needed a little more empathy and then we could start working on things. I was desperate to fix things and work on them, to the point I wrote apology letters completely buying into her point of view. Even today, going back to MC is just giving her "a little more empathy" so maybe we can co-parent more successfully.

I thought, Maybe she is not capable of empathizing with me right now, but it takes someone to kick start things, and I am going to be that person. I will weather the storm, and hopefully she will turn. I will be the lighthouse. I will walk my path.

See how seductive the trap is? That is not DB-ing. That is sitting around passively while nothing changes.

I'm not suggesting I am a victim here. It is my own undoing to a degree. I probably should have said a year ago, "W, things are completely off between us. I know I played a role to get us where we are at. I don't think MC1 is working, but I absolutely want to work together with you to get us back on track. What we are doing is not working for either of us."
Posted By: MLCxH Re: This is a gift - 12/24/19 07:55 PM
Time for some 2x4s...sorry

Originally Posted by unchien
Well... I didn't see this coming.


I wish I could say I am surprised you did not see this coming, but I have seen you pick and choose feedback that suits your narrative, so it is not surprising. Read back through your thread and you will probably see a lot of feedback that indicated this could happen someday. Sorry for the 2x4 but you need to stop analyzing and start acting if you want your sitch to change.

Originally Posted by unchien

I can't really describe how offended I was by the content of the last paragraph. I don't know how to read this other than a big manipulative game.


"Fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on me". You have heard people say over and over about how WAW can be manipulative. You should be offended - not at WAW but for allowing yourself to be manipulated. Just my humble opinion...sorry.



Originally Posted by unchien
My problem isn't lack of empathy... my problem was so much empathy that I was not in touch with myself to begin with. I tried so hard to see things her way that I *believed* them for awhile.


Nice try putting a positive spin on it. IMO, this has nothing to do with empathy . You tried hard to see things her way because your NGS led you down a non-confrontational path.


Again, just my opinion but I don't see why your WAW will want to get out of a sitch that is in her favor. Don't you feel like she is 'confused' only about topics that are not favorable to her? Did she seem pretty clear and not confused when she said you were the one who wanted the current schedule when you separated? The path you need to take does not look that unclear for most of us looking at it from the outside. But you are the one who needs to choose your path and more importantly start walking down it.

Sorry if I was harsh, but I have now known you for a while and you need these honest 2x4s. You have come a long way since you first came into this forum. Don't fall back into your old bad habits. Be decisive and avoid analysis paralysis.

Good luck my friend and Merry Christmas!
Posted By: MLCxH Re: This is a gift - 12/24/19 08:00 PM
Originally Posted by glhf
Originally Posted by unchien
IHC ~ I agree on the cognitive dissonance. I am blown away when I get these window-peeks into what my W is thinking.


U: I'm 18 months after BD, almost a year of limbo, and 368 days from telling the kids we are splitting up. 11 months from moving out. Coming up on anniversary of separation and having first set of holidays with kids on my own terms.

I've gotten though and get through by reading stories here that are similar to mine. I've come so far. I see you in my review mirror. Your situation and mentality and how you process is quite similar to mine. You've done some very different tactical maneuvers and I've watched you make them thinking "Oh crap. He's scr3wed".

I hope you are not... but I registered just now, and may make this the only post on the board I ever make to say THIS to YOU:

"Go dark, lawyer up, and prepare for your wife to lose. Her. Mind."

Expect her to hold you in so little regard that she's going to come after you financially, and for custody. She's being nice to get what she wants and needs, and she only wants more. When you start to ask for what's fair (50/50) she's going to lawyer up and you're going to see a side of her you had no idea existed.

Keep your side of the street clean, and say nothing to her. Believe nothing she says.

Odds are in 6-12 months you'll be facing trial and the only person who thinks what she's doing is reasonable will be her and her lawyer.

Brace yourself for this person to show you new colors from the rainbow. You have NO idea how bad this can get. Well.. you see it. You're preparing for it intellectually. I didn't. Then it came. The nicest, conflict-avoidant, emotionally-stuck spouse in the world just. Doesn't. Care. About. You. Anymore.

Meditate, exercise, and find your joy. But do not give any quarter and let your lawyer bring you what you should have never moved out without in the first place. A custody and financial agreement that was fair. You're not going to negotiate one with her now. In six months the odds get worse. In a year? She'll deserve more and she'll punish you to get it all while you were hoping she'd snap out of it. The person who said she'd be reasonable will go SIDEWAYS.

You can sleep at night for trying it this way. You've handled this with honor and dignity and compassion. But it will get you nowhere from here on out.

Good luck.


This is a great post!!
Posted By: Ready2Change Re: This is a gift - 12/24/19 08:01 PM
Originally Posted by CWarrior
-in the USA they will almost certainly give you a clear path to 50/50 custody instead of continuing to play her games
I agree.
Posted By: unchien Re: This is a gift - 12/24/19 08:22 PM
MLCxH, glhf, CW, R2C -- Thank you. I never take 2x4's personally -- I come here exactly to hear these things.

I'm sure some of you are shaking your fists at the screen "JUST FOLLOW OUR ADVICE DOGGONE IT!!! When is this guy going to learn?!?!"

glhf - That was a really sobering and resonating post for me. I never really considered how many people must be here reading and not posting. Thank you for reaching out and sharing your story and point of view.

Happy Holidays to everyone... time to go shop for Xmas dinner and get my house ready for the big day!
Posted By: unchien Re: This is a gift - 12/25/19 05:10 PM
Really excited for the kids to arrive in a couple hours, quick post.

Yesterday W messaged me that she was going to set up a new MC appointment. I said I wasn't interested in going. She responded by wondering how we were going to arrange "child visits" then.

The night before she was saying we should be able to work things out ourselves. So I'm not sure why she feels we need to go to MC unless... she wants to keep mashing on that button that I am unsafe, that my time with the kids is a "visit," etc. etc.

Then we went to Xmas Eve dinner at a local restaurant as a family. Kids were dressed up, super cute. Not a normal Xmas Eve by any means, but good to be with them for an hour. As we left, W gave me a thoughtful, small, personal gift, and gave me a hug and wouldn't let go. She was crying. I felt empty, tired, confused, just wanted to leave.
Posted By: Traveler Re: This is a gift - 12/25/19 05:22 PM
Hi Unchien,

Originally Posted by Unchien
She responded by wondering how we were going to arrange "child visits" then.

That's you taking away your wife's control (beyond 50/50) of when you see the kids--good for you! Happy Holidays. Glad you (and I) find ourselves in a good place, about to see our kiddos (38min for me!)
Posted By: Core Re: This is a gift - 12/25/19 06:15 PM
Originally Posted by unchien
As we left, W gave me a thoughtful, small, personal gift, and gave me a hug and wouldn't let go. She was crying.


Confusing to say the least. Enjoy it, however try not to read too much in to it. I wonder if the vets have a good read on what it meant. I just wanted to stop by your thread and wish you and the kids a Merry Xmas, U.
Posted By: Jac12 Re: This is a gift - 12/26/19 01:19 PM
Merry Christmas U
Posted By: kas99 Re: This is a gift - 12/26/19 02:51 PM
Quote
That's you taking away your wife's control (beyond 50/50) of when you see the kids--good for you! Happy Holidays. Glad you (and I) find ourselves in a good place, about to see our kiddos (38min for me!)


This. Many WAS's enjoy the immediate control they have over the LBS. But file for D, refuse to play nice, or stop participating in manipulation and watch how they act then.

Ignore the tears and keep your eye on 50/50.
Posted By: IronWill Re: This is a gift - 12/26/19 03:33 PM
Merry Christmas, U smile
Posted By: unchien Re: This is a gift - 12/27/19 06:58 AM
IW ~ Merry Christmas to you, too! Santa brought me a special book from E.T. Looking forward to it!
Posted By: unchien Re: This is a gift - 12/28/19 06:28 AM
Feeling kinda strange lately, probably a mix of the holidays and what's coming next.

My W's recent comments about my safety as a parent (again) felt like the last straw. They happened a week ago, yet I remain feeling the same... a calm anger. I can't even imagine what 2020 may bring once we start proceeding with the D. Emotionally it is going to take me a long time to recover from this experience. I feel betrayed, I feel like I am incapable of trusting another person and may never reach that place again.

I am guilty of mind-reading my W, which I learned early on in my situation to stop doing. But I'm back at it a bit. I'm seeking to understand.

When things went south with my mom several years ago, I sought understanding. I wanted to understand why she was so toxic in so many relationships (not just mine, but everyone near her). I feel like I have a good understanding of her issues now, which has helped me develop empathy for her. There is a consistency to her actions and behaviors. They are unhealthy, but they make sense.

In my W's case, I just don't understand. I'll never understand. It is hard for me to empathize without that understanding. I do empathize with the fact I could have been a better H. But I don't empathize with her victim narrative.

If I understood, maybe I would have some empathy today, maybe I wouldn't feel like I am left with no choice at this point. But I have nothing left.

The only thing that makes sense to me is an analogy I used to make when I first came here. I felt like our MR was Earth, and my W was building a rocket to launch into orbit, and she needed as much anger and resentment as she could gather as fuel. It didn't matter where it came from, she just needed it. I thought, "If I just weather this storm, things will eventually get better, she will see that I have changed." None of that happened.

Up until 2 weeks ago, I would have said, "I want to try mediation. I want to stop being conflict-avoidant. I want to handle this maturely, stand up for myself, and negotiate a fair and respectful deal for all of us."

Today, I think, "Mediation cannot work with someone who demeans me as a parent, and thinks I should go to counseling due to safety concerns. I need a lawyer. I also need to stop going to MC2, as it is merely a forum for my W to perpetuate her narrative in front of someone who validates it, and I am no longer interested in participating when there has been zero effort to work on the MR."

I don't know why all of a sudden I am done. But I am. It feels anti-DB and pro-DB all at the same time. It's a weird feeling.
Posted By: LH19 Re: This is a gift - 12/28/19 08:55 AM
U,

I think what gets lost sometimes is that our spouses know us better then anyone in the world. Couple that with probably years of seeking an exit strategy they become mastermind manipulators and I am sorry to say your wife may be the queen of them.

She got you to move out, tricked you into thinking you were attending MC, used a couple bad moments to paint you as a child abuser and refuses to seek employment. Then every time you start to stand up for yourself she throws you a little bone like the Christmas gift and crocodile tears to try to real you back in.

I know itís hard to see probably from where youíre sitting but you are going to be financially ruined if you keep this up. War is lurking in the future. Do you want to sit back and see your men slowly picked off one by one or do you want to get the tactical advantage and go in guns a blazing?
Posted By: FlySolo Re: This is a gift - 12/28/19 03:04 PM
Originally Posted by unchien
The only thing that makes sense to me is an analogy I used to make when I first came here. I felt like our MR was Earth, and my W was building a rocket to launch into orbit, and she needed as much anger and resentment as she could gather as fuel. It didn't matter where it came from, she just needed it. I thought, "If I just weather this storm, things will eventually get better, she will see that I have changed." None of that happened.


This is a good analogy which fits many of our sitch's. Thank you for sharing it. I think what is missing is the realisation that the anger and resentment you talk of didn't suddenly come out of no-where to fuel her escape. It was silently harboured over a number of years and only gained a voice in the months leading up to BD. By the time it came out it, it had lived inside her for so long it had taken on a different form, one divorced from reality. Not taking the garbage out once too often became a sign of your innate selfishness, not getting her the gift she hinted at became you never listening to her. In her head, each single event becomes symbolic of a universal trait.

In the months after BD, any attempt at change will be seen as 'too little too late' or an attempt to manipulate her into coming back. Her mind is caught in a negative spiral, one where everything you do is wrong. Take the garbage out = too little too late; buy her a nice gift = trying to win her back. The only thing that may work is consistency and space. And with that, the key word is 'may'.

Don't give up on mediation - this is to help you. I know the phrase may be overused, but working on you really is the only way through this. Learning to navigate the ebbs and flows so the slings and arrows she throws do not cause you to go into an emotional spiral will help you in the long run, with or without an R. It will help you separate an emotional response (b***ch) from a rational one (identifying actions which demonstrate you are not a bad parent).

The truest thing anyone has ever said to me is MC only works if both parties are working towards the same goal, i.e. R. Next MC session I would ask your W (clearly and without any blame) what she wants to get out of it. What is her goal?. If it is not R, then (right now) there is no point. If you still feel that the M is worth saving, then say so, but don't sit there and take her sh!t unless she is doing it so that you can build a better M.

Oh, and get a lawyer. LH is right, you need to protect yourself.
Posted By: unchien Re: This is a gift - 12/29/19 01:41 AM
W came to pick up the kids today, headed to see her family in her hometown. There are some health issues going on with her family.

W: Have you looked at any mediators?

Me: I did, last month, but you didn't want to use any of them.

W: I thought about asking MC2 about a different set of mediators. But you said you don't want to go back to MC2. Can I ask why?

Me: (after a pause) Because I'm not interested in continuing this child safety c***. I thought we were going to MC2 to work on the MR. But it never happened.

W: Can we go for at least one session to work out our schedule with the kids? We have nothing after the next 2 weeks [because she has not counter-proposed to my proposal].

Me: (no response)

W: (starts crying) The last few days have been really hard. Sorry I've been avoiding talking with you.

Me: I understand, it's hard, it's the holidays.

The tears came as soon as I stood up for myself.

Originally Posted by LH19
U,

I think what gets lost sometimes is that our spouses know us better then anyone in the world. Couple that with probably years of seeking an exit strategy they become mastermind manipulators and I am sorry to say your wife may be the queen of them.

She got you to move out, tricked you into thinking you were attending MC, used a couple bad moments to paint you as a child abuser and refuses to seek employment. Then every time you start to stand up for yourself she throws you a little bone like the Christmas gift and crocodile tears to try to real you back in.

I know itís hard to see probably from where youíre sitting but you are going to be financially ruined if you keep this up. War is lurking in the future. Do you want to sit back and see your men slowly picked off one by one or do you want to get the tactical advantage and go in guns a blazing?

LH ~ I've always appreciated your concise honesty. You have a way of drilling straight to the truth. The tears came back today and I felt nothing. Just calm. I'm ready to get this moving.

Originally Posted by FlySolo
Don't give up on mediation - this is to help you. I know the phrase may be overused, but working on you really is the only way through this. Learning to navigate the ebbs and flows so the slings and arrows she throws do not cause you to go into an emotional spiral will help you in the long run, with or without an R. It will help you separate an emotional response (b***ch) from a rational one (identifying actions which demonstrate you are not a bad parent).

The truest thing anyone has ever said to me is MC only works if both parties are working towards the same goal, i.e. R. Next MC session I would ask your W (clearly and without any blame) what she wants to get out of it. What is her goal?. If it is not R, then (right now) there is no point. If you still feel that the M is worth saving, then say so, but don't sit there and take her sh!t unless she is doing it so that you can build a better M.

Oh, and get a lawyer. LH is right, you need to protect yourself.

I'm absolutely getting a L. Waiting to hear back as a matter of fact.

She has no intent of R'ing in MC. So I'm stopping it. I think her goal is managing a long separation while the kids are young so she can avoid going back to work as long as possible. She has never actually stated a goal. But it's clearly not to work on the MR.

I still have my emotional reactions to the slings and arrows, but I feel more clarity now.
Posted By: IronWill Re: This is a gift - 12/29/19 12:49 PM
Good for you - standing up for yourself, U. Backing off and letting her deal with her own issues is beginning to show it's effectiveness.

Originally Posted by unchien


She has no intent of R'ing in MC. So I'm stopping it.

Good. Very glad to hear. You will feel much better. Less chances for BDs while she is going through this. You need to remove yourself as a "reason for all her problems", regardless of any outcome. The best way to do that is time and space.

Originally Posted by unchien
I think her goal is managing a long separation while the kids are young so she can avoid going back to work as long as possible. She has never actually stated a goal. But it's clearly not to work on the MR.


Be careful mind-reading, here - it could be anything. Step out of "the why", you stop going because you don't want to go with someone who won't work on the MR. You have a boundary here, and you set it.


Posted By: unchien Re: This is a gift - 12/29/19 06:31 PM
Originally Posted by IronWill
Originally Posted by unchien
I think her goal is managing a long separation while the kids are young so she can avoid going back to work as long as possible. She has never actually stated a goal. But it's clearly not to work on the MR.


Be careful mind-reading, here - it could be anything. Step out of "the why", you stop going because you don't want to go with someone who won't work on the MR. You have a boundary here, and you set it.

Guilty as charged on the mind-reading.

I think it's okay to periodically mind-read as long as it's a shallow dive and not one where I spend a lot of energy or time on it. And also as long as I don't assume I've arrived at "the answer" - which was my mistake above.

The fact is, it is absolutely to her benefit to drag this out, and it is to my benefit to make this as short as possible. The reasons don't matter, but the incentives to each of us are clear.
Posted By: ovrrnbw Re: This is a gift - 12/29/19 07:35 PM
I went back and read a lot of your thread U. You should too. You haven't progressed much in 6 months. You are back in forth on a lot of big issues. You moved out and you don't see your kids much, yet you are constantly communicating with your W. You are psychoanalyzing everything. You are wordy with her, you are watching her actions, and I think in your own mind you aren't clear on what you want or need from this life. You still focus and discuss MC and working on the marriage.

You probably can't heal and move on with the two of you constantly battling over everything. I think you need to focus on DB fundamentals.

Can you change the communication to business only? It doesn't seem like you guys talk business much.
Posted By: may22 Re: This is a gift - 12/29/19 10:00 PM
Hey U,

I was reading your post on IW's thread about purpose, and I wanted to gently push back on that. Can you take a "purpose" like being a family man, and break it down? What does it really mean to you, beyond what you see from the outside?

I feel like "family man" is an idea that is made up of a number of different values, and many of them you already live out every day-- being a good dad, being there for people you care about and care about you (including folks on this forum!), etc etc. Those are important values and you can honor them in your life -- build purpose-- without fitting the exterior mold of a "family man."

Just a thought. I wouldn't be so quick to dismiss the importance of purpose.

M.
Posted By: IronWill Re: This is a gift - 12/30/19 03:40 AM
Originally Posted by unchien
Originally Posted by IronWill
Originally Posted by unchien
I think her goal is managing a long separation while the kids are young so she can avoid going back to work as long as possible. She has never actually stated a goal. But it's clearly not to work on the MR.


Be careful mind-reading, here - it could be anything. Step out of "the why", you stop going because you don't want to go with someone who won't work on the MR. You have a boundary here, and you set it.

Guilty as charged on the mind-reading.

I think it's okay to periodically mind-read as long as it's a shallow dive and not one where I spend a lot of energy or time on it. And also as long as I don't assume I've arrived at "the answer" - which was my mistake above.


I think trying to mind-read is only going to cause you more pain. If you are okay with that then that is your choice. But for my own sanity I had to stop.

You asked me once how I was able to be so patient. The biggest 180 I could have done - I stepped one hundred percent completely out of my W's mind. I had to. After much reading, and following the advice of very wise posters here like AS, LH, LB, Neffer, and reading the wise words of vets like sandi2 and AmyC, I completely surrendered to the unknown. I have zero idea what she is thinking.

Originally Posted by unchien

The fact is, it is absolutely to her benefit to drag this out, and it is to my benefit to make this as short as possible. The reasons don't matter, but the incentives to each of us are clear.


U - I'm really not trying to be mean, here - but flip the perspective for a second. Do you really think there will be any benefit to an unemployed woman with 3 young kids who has suddenly decided to abandon her husband and lost their house? Does that sound like the decision of someone who is thinking logically?

Yes you are hurt, yes you are angry, yes you feel burnt. We all feel that way too. But you are the one who understands exactly what his situation is and understands the logistics of how to deal with it. You're a smart guy and you're not in crisis. I would suspect your W has not even begun to feel the sting of her decisions.

Just something to keep in mind.

Stay strong, buddy smile




Posted By: IHCLACS Re: This is a gift - 12/30/19 03:52 AM

Originally Posted by unchien

The fact is, it is absolutely to her benefit to drag this out, and it is to my benefit to make this as short as possible. The reasons don't matter, but the incentives to each of us are clear.


U - I'm really not trying to be mean, here - but flip the perspective for a second. Do you really think there will be any benefit to an unemployed woman with 3 young kids who has suddenly decided to abandon her husband and lost their house? Does that sound like the decision of someone who is thinking logically?

Yes you are hurt, yes you are angry, yes you feel burnt. We all feel that way too. But you are the one who understands exactly what his situation is and understands the logistics of how to deal with it. You're a smart guy and you're not in crisis. I would suspect your W has not even begun to feel the sting of her decisions.

Just something to keep in mind.

Stay strong, buddy smile

[/quote]

IW. It would be of complete benefit to Uni's STBXW to be unemployed with 3 kids and a mortgage, with an abuse narrative, and things such as CS and Alimony. Especially when Uni is already still paying for all of it. Its probably cheaper for him to D, divide assets, either sell home, or be bought out, and have STBXW take on some real accountability and responsibility to secure home either by purchase individually or rent, find gainful employment (which alimony may give her an extend time to do so if she doesnt.) She's thinking plenty logically alright in dollars and cents.
Posted By: unchien Re: This is a gift - 12/30/19 05:33 AM
Originally Posted by may22
Hey U,

I was reading your post on IW's thread about purpose, and I wanted to gently push back on that. Can you take a "purpose" like being a family man, and break it down? What does it really mean to you, beyond what you see from the outside?

I feel like "family man" is an idea that is made up of a number of different values, and many of them you already live out every day-- being a good dad, being there for people you care about and care about you (including folks on this forum!), etc etc. Those are important values and you can honor them in your life -- build purpose-- without fitting the exterior mold of a "family man."

Just a thought. I wouldn't be so quick to dismiss the importance of purpose.

M.

may22 ~ You said more eloquently what I was trying to say. For me, over-identifying as a "family man" meant staying married at all costs. The term "family man" may imply values but it is vague. Being a "family man" meant not devoting time to myself, not taking care of my own emotions, but judging myself as a "good father/husband" because I worked and came home every night.

I think you nailed it... our values are what matter.
Posted By: unchien Re: This is a gift - 12/30/19 05:43 AM
A lot of thought-provoking comments on my thread today.

I can put it succinctly... what is best for me is to have a better situation with my kids and finances. This has nothing to do with my W's thoughts or feelings or circumstances.
Posted By: kas99 Re: This is a gift - 12/30/19 02:49 PM
Quote
I can put it succinctly... what is best for me is to have a better situation with my kids and finances. This has nothing to do with my W's thoughts or feelings or circumstances.


I think it's easy to justify falling on your sword when the WAS manipulates you into believing that it's all your fault.
Posted By: unchien Re: This is a gift - 12/30/19 06:55 PM
Originally Posted by kas99
Quote
I can put it succinctly... what is best for me is to have a better situation with my kids and finances. This has nothing to do with my W's thoughts or feelings or circumstances.


I think it's easy to justify falling on your sword when the WAS manipulates you into believing that it's all your fault.

True.

My point was that I have been getting a lot of feedback here which confirms what I already know... I'm starting to do exactly what I accused my W of doing. Finding fuel to motivate me to take the next step. I need to focus on myself, and stop worrying about what she is thinking or why she is doing what she is doing.

The existing situation with my kids and money is not sustainable or acceptable to me. Thus I need to take action, or I am continuing to perpetuate my own suffering. That's it.

I contacted some mediators yesterday, and e-mailed my W about our options.

Then I went on a long hike in the mountains. It was basically a 2 hour meditation... constantly catching my wandering mind as it tried to think about my situation, and bringing it back to the moment. The sound of the rain, the cool breeze, the smell of wet leaves, the looming fog, the incredible rock formations carved by the ocean millions of years ago. Then my mind would wrestle back control and have me thinking about lawyers and next steps and I would gently bring it back.
Posted By: may22 Re: This is a gift - 01/03/20 09:35 AM
hey U,

how are things going? Did your wife respond on the options?

Your hike sounds amazing.
Posted By: unchien Re: This is a gift - 01/03/20 04:35 PM
may ~

Thanks for checking in.

W and I have a phone call scheduled this weekend. She didn't respond on the options yet (or acknowledge the e-mail - par for the course).

One of my NY resolutions is to reduce my rambling post rate here =) I recognize the anxiety trap - it feels good to pour out my feelings, but it also exacerbates the anxiety by thinking about it too much.

Like most resolutions we'll see how long this one lasts!
Posted By: Mario Re: This is a gift - 01/03/20 04:42 PM
Originally Posted by unchien
may ~

Thanks for checking in.

W and I have a phone call scheduled this weekend. She didn't respond on the options yet (or acknowledge the e-mail - par for the course).

One of my NY resolutions is to reduce my rambling post rate here =) I recognize the anxiety trap - it feels good to pour out my feelings, but it also exacerbates the anxiety by thinking about it too much.

Like most resolutions we'll see how long this one lasts!


I found that not putting it out there or not posting it just made it live in my head longer, but to each his own.

Good luck.
Posted By: unchien Re: This is a gift - 01/03/20 04:56 PM
Originally Posted by Mario
I found that not putting it out there or not posting it just made it live in my head longer, but to each his own.

Good luck.
I think there is a balance I'd like to strike. I have found that pouring out my feelings here has not necessarily eased my anxiety or the flow of thoughts/worries/concerns. Sometimes it helps, sometimes not.
Posted By: kas99 Re: This is a gift - 01/03/20 05:05 PM
Quote
I found that not putting it out there or not posting it just made it live in my head longer, but to each his own.


Same. I get criticized for focusing too much on WAH but posting gets it out of my head.
Posted By: IronWill Re: This is a gift - 01/03/20 05:07 PM
Hey U -

I find that it's good to have a record of how I was feeling and at what time. It's also good for me to measure how much progress there has been (or lack thereof). Otherwsie I get into the habit of thinking/feeling that things are just as miserable as when BD happened, which - when I go back and re-read my sit - is definitely not the case.

But to each his own smile

Happy New Year, man - stay strong!
Posted By: IHCLACS Re: This is a gift - 01/03/20 05:28 PM
Originally Posted by IronWill
Hey U -

I find that it's good to have a record of how I was feeling and at what time. It's also good for me to measure how much progress there has been (or lack thereof). Otherwsie I get into the habit of thinking/feeling that things are just as miserable as when BD happened, which - when I go back and re-read my sit - is definitely not the case.

But to each his own smile

Happy New Year, man - stay strong!


This is exactly the conclusion I came to on NYE while reading 1 year worth of post. You start to realize how your thinking is. Was. And will be with the progress we all have made. Good journaling.
Posted By: unchien Re: This is a gift - 01/03/20 05:36 PM
New thread:

https://www.divorcebusting.com/foru...flat&Number=2878633&#Post2878633
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