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Ten years ago, I started collection and posting links to wise words from the Divorce Busting forums while reading. I am not spending as much time these days reading, but others are free to post quotes here as well. If you do, please put a link to the original thread so others can dig deeper if needed.

Best regards, R2C

Link to Quotes (10) and links to all the older threads.


"What is best for my kids is best for me"
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https://www.divorcebusting.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=2895757#Post2895757

Originally Posted by Gekko

Jealousy - it's a natural thing. Even the dumper feels to a degree when they see the dumpee with someone else. As the dumpee, the more you want the R the higher you will be on the jealousy scale. I am probably not even at a 2 anymore, I would say I am close to Zero. That number can and will temporarily bounce when I see her with someone. How do you get your jealousy number down? GAL, improve yourself, realize your own worth, become more attractive and believe it and feel the attention, and analyze W's flaws and realize she may not be that great of catch and Mr. New Guy does not know what he is in for LOL.

Validation - you don't just practice on women and it's not just for women, it's to be done with everyone. Validate everyone. It can take awhile for it to become a habit, but it will if you practice. Once it become a habit, you will see how all your interactions and relationships will improve, and how you will be viewed as someone who "really gets it".

Analyze W's flaws - do it and do it deeply, and talk it out in IC. I'm not saying blame everything on her, I'm just saying understand her as totally as possible, including flaws. If you're going to recon, you need to understand how to deal with them. But you may not want to recon the more you evaluate her core issues. In any event, you will be better served. And it will help you in your next R, as you will be better at identifying traits that will not work for you.

Being disrespected and treated with contempt - never accept abuse. For me there is nothing I ever did to get to that mindset, I have always even as a kid refused to be dissed or condescended to etc. I just have strong boundaries that are always enforced. Enforcement is different depending on the situation. If your W is laying it on heavy, all you have to do is say something like "okay you are being really nasty and rude, and I'm just not going to listen to it. When you're ready to act calmly like an adult, we can talk about (whatever the issue is) then." And then just STFU. Hang up if you're on the phone or you can leave the room or the house if you have to. When you get better at it, you won't have to even leave the room - I only did if I was moving about the house doing tasks anyway - I just carried on doing whatever I wanted. Be prepared that W will probably not calm down and will rage on for a bit, but don't let that sway you to engage. Don't do it.

Hope all here are well, we will get back to a better sense of normalcy soon, hang in there and stay positive!!!



Last edited by Ready2Change; 06/02/20 09:55 PM.

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https://www.divorcebusting.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=2895521#Post2895521

Originally Posted by funbun
In my readings, I learned that people that are attracted to an avoidant partner and stayed in such relationship often have intimacy issues of their own. We tolerate their distant and emotionally unavailable behavior because we ourselves are afraid of someone getting close and we are comfortable with someone who kept their distance. I know that sound paradoxical, but it can be true. Why are we with this avoidant partner when we can be with someone warmer? Perhaps we too find that intimacy to be a terrifying thing, and someone who we can love at a distance, is more comfortable for us, despite craving for their attention. "They are directly distant, while we are so by proxy"


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https://www.divorcebusting.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=2896576#Post2896576

Originally Posted by LH19
Relationships generally fall apart for one of three reasons: (1) One partner becomes emotionally unstable for a variety of reasons, which may include mental illness, addiction, issues related to a bad childhood, etc. (2) One partner has a momentary lapse of judgement and cheats and the other partner can't forgive them, or (3) the relationship slowly degrades over time for both people.

In the first case, sometimes people have latent issues and they either temporarily get better (an addict stops using for a while, a person with a mood disorder pursues treatment, etc), or the partner knows the issues are there and chooses to ignore them initially, fooling themselves or falsely believing that things will magically get better in the future.

This "fooling yourself" phenomenon is a lot of what goes on -- you fall in love with who you want the person to be versus who they really are. Over time, your veneer gets stripped away, you see them for who they really are and it’s no longer acceptable.

The tragic situation is when someone who was emotionally healthy when you met and dated them has a breakdown after you're married and just becomes unlivable due to their issues. That's rare but it certainly does happen, people just "go crazy" sometimes.

The third scenario is really what the quote above is about. Chances are if the husband is ignoring the wife's complaints, it’s because he's not very motivated to respond to them. The reason is generally that he's not having his needs met either, and his complaints are likely also being ignored.

That's the vicious cycle that tends to land people here -- your needs aren't being met, so you're less motivated to provide your wife with what she needs. Her needs aren't being met, so she's not motivated to give you what you need, and that spinning wheel eventually drives you apart until one person (or both people) decides they want out.

Sometimes the scenarios are combined, you could have all three things going on.

My point is, unless you "went crazy" after you married W, this is in *no way* your fault for not responding to her complaints. She is equally if not more culpable than you are in that regard. Don't let her off the hook for that, and don't shoulder the blame.

It's good to be aware of these dynamics so that you can identify and avoid them in the future, but you're not guilty.
Here's what I mean when I say "make things worse": you are genetically wired to protect your wife and kids. When she's in distress, your first instinct is going to be to try to make things better. When you feel that you're making an effort to relieve her distress, it brings you a feeling of relief.

When you don't respond to her distress, it’s going to make you feel uncomfortable. You're going to get a cortisol dump and it’s going to be very tempting to act to make that bad feeling stop.

You'll tell yourself stories that you're being a bad person, or that you're "pushing her away" to justify trying to relieve your discomfort. "Making things worse" means that you grin and bear it.

You basically need to withdraw support -- emotional support and financial support to the degree possible. If she makes a mess, *she* needs to clean it up. You do not step in and enable her in any way.

If she gets mad at you, you shrug it off, you don't engage.

If she cries in front of you, you let her cry and you make NO effort to comfort her.

You go out and "get a life" and you don't feel *any* responsibility to explain or justify what you're doing, you just do it.

Very important: You are *not* mean, punishing, or passive aggressive. You don't make nasty comments. You don't go out of your way to inconvenience her, you simply act as if you are completely uninterested and unaffected by her.

When she senses that she's losing control over you, she *will* fight back. She will try to manipulate you to stay invested in her. The more you resist, the harder she will try. She'll scream and yell, she'll accuse, she'll break down and cry, she'll blame. The minute you engage, you lose. This will be uncomfortable, it will feel *worse* than giving in to her and engaging. That's what making things worse means.

Often people mistake this fighting on the part of the WAW as interest -- that they want you back and that's why they're engaging you. Don't be fooled -- you being emotionally invested in her is an insurance policy and nothing else. If things go horribly wrong with her affair partners and outside interests, she can always come back to her comfortable marriage.

It’s a huge comfort to know that she has you to fall back on if things go badly for her. You need to pull that safety net away entirely.

She needs to *fully believe* that you will not be there for her if she chooses to return, and that if she wants to come back she's going to have to work for it.

You can't tell her that, she'll never believe it. You have to show her that beyond a doubt with your actions.

Ever run into a crazy person on the sidewalk who points at you and yells at you? You do what you can to minimize the interaction but after that you move on. It doesn't ruin your day, it certainly doesn't hurt your self-esteem or make you feel worse about who you are.

You need to regard her with exactly the same level of detachment and disinterest.

At the same time, you have to build a life for yourself that anyone would want to be a part of, full of fun activities, outside interests, and engaging friends. If you can do both of those things -- completely emotionally uncouple from her (fake it until you make it) *and* build an amazing life for yourself, she'll clamor to come back and if she doesn't you won't care. That's your only winning path out of where you are, but getting there is going to be uncomfortable, and more painful than you feel today, because it will go against your white knight nature.

You cannot placate her, you cannot "prove your love" through acts of giving and support.

You also cannot push her away by withdrawing support.

She has chosen her course of action, and as of right now, *nothing* you do will impact it.

Your shortest path back together is to go the opposite direction.


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Thank you for starting this thread! I've went to quote people and didn't have anywhere to do it! Welcome back, and please R2C, come around more frequently! The board misses you insight and wisdom!!


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Original post

Originally Posted by LH19
C,

Being single is a thousand times better then being with someone who doesn't want to be with you. Keep taking the hits and moving forward. That's how winnings done.

You'll be fine. I guarantee it!


WORDS TO LIVE BY. I wish all LBSs would read this statement, and understand it. Life is to short to put energy into someone that doesn't want to be with you.


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https://www.divorcebusting.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=2897154#Post2897154

Originally Posted by Steve85

The dilemma you face in one we all had to face. The fact that it takes two to make a marriage, and only one to end a marriage. So you do not get the final say on whether or not the D will be "settled", she does. Protecting yourself, making sure the D settlement is fair and equitable, doesn't mean you are okay with the D, or think it is the right move. It is a recognition that without two committed spouses willing to work on the MR, there is no MR. I see LBWs struggle with this more than LBHs, but can you really claim what you have at the moment is a marriage?

So at some point you have to ask, what are you trying to save? All you can do is protect yourself, and hope and wait she comes to her senses. But if she wants the D, then she is going to get the D. And not protecting yourself to make sure you don't get completely screwed in the D is not going to stop that.


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https://www.divorcebusting.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=2897603#Post2897603


Originally Posted by ovrrnbw
The greatest enemy lies within. Quell the rebellion and do the things that will make you prosper. We all know what they are, the hard part is doing them.

Take care of that daughter of yours. An empty house can be nice in a lot of ways, so focus on the positive.

Keep making friends, male and female, and know that you can be the man only a fool will be, but only if you want to be.


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Thanks for the quote R2C, hope you're doing good man. When you post, I learn.

And just for clarity I mean to say "know that you can be the man only a fool would leave" not "the man only a fool would be".


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Finally! I was wondering where you went R2C. Even since the pandemic, I don’t see you much around this forum. I was waiting for you to create another DB quotes thread.

Thanks a bunch and stay safe out there!


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Original post

Originally Posted by Ready2Change

That being said, you have to put in a lot of work to bust the Divorce. The good thing is you have a team of people here that can help you. Time is your friend, but do not waste it. Get busy making positive changes to your behaviors.

Do not pursue your wife. Your ultimate goal is to have her pursuing you. She needs to see a confident man that commands respect from others. Your job is to lead your family through this most difficult time.

#1) Do not argue with her anymore. Listen to understand.

#2) Do not make any snap decisions. "I am not sure. I will let you know when I decide" goes along way. Learn to use statements like this. Get feedback from us and make logical decisions. Never emotional decisions.

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Original post

Originally Posted by Andy88
During this time you can't really have any expectations. That includes reciprocal love. If you want to work it out you are going to have to work through the situation without expecting anything. It is hard, some days very hard. It is a lot of the time unfair. That doesn't mean that in the future those things can't happen, just you are not in that place right now. There are plenty of success stories from people on the other side of this.

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I wanted to post this to the board because I see time after time people misinterpret the term Alpha Male. I have read people interpret it to mean someone who is vigorously active, combative and aggressive which include activities like shooting guns. That describes a Militant.

I have read the term used to describe men whose goal is seduction and sexual success with women. That is a Pick-up Artist.

I have read people interpret it as a domineering man who controls and treats women badly. That is just a plain dick.

I read the following quote and thought to myself that this IMO should be the benchmark every man on the board should strive for in the future. If they can get to this place they will never have to be on forum trying to get their spouse/partner back.

“A true alpha’s state of mind is one of indifference, charm, humor, humility, courage and a belief that eventually, things will work out in their favor. Alphas set, keep and hold other people accountable to their boundaries. They stand up for what they believe in and don’t compromise their principles or values for anyone. They have an emotionally compelling vision of what kind of life and lifestyle they want to create and then resolve to pay the price, no matter how long it takes to make it a reality.”


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“Don't chase people. Be yourself, do your own thing and work hard. The right people - the ones who really belong in your life - will come to you and stay.”- Will Smith
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I like that. Though I would add that alphas also have an air of confidence. Not arrogance, but a firm confidence in themselves, their values, and their own self-worth.


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Originally Posted by Steve85
I like that. Though I would add that alphas also have an air of confidence. Not arrogance, but a firm confidence in themselves, their values, and their own self-worth.

I would argue that is implied in "courage and a belief that eventually, things will work out in their favor." and "They stand up for what they believe in and don’t compromise their principles or values for anyone." and then resolve to pay the price, no matter how long it takes to make it a reality.”


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“Don't chase people. Be yourself, do your own thing and work hard. The right people - the ones who really belong in your life - will come to you and stay.”- Will Smith
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Originally Posted by JosephS
DB isn’t manipulation at all. It’s about getting yourself back. Making yourself happy and being able to live and thrive in your new reality. When that happens, you become confident, happy and attractive naturally without it being forced. That’s what catches your spouses eye. That’s what makes them stand up and pay attention.


Link


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https://www.divorcebusting.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=2898809#Post2898809

Originally Posted by funbun


I know right, every time I talk to her, I feel miserable afterwards. I should be smarter to know when to engage her and when to keep my distance.

My anxious attachment is the main thing I have to work on during this period. It stems from an abandonment wound that I developed from childhood. My parents weren't really the best when it comes to handling emotions and I often felt dismissed and neglected as a child. Always had to handle things on my own, no one was there when I needed them, and I always had to be a good child. All I wanted was someone to affirm me and make me feel heard.

Everything that WAW is doing right now is making that abandonment wound bigger and triggering an anxious response from me. I am scared. I am in pain. This is uncomfortable. I want someone to soothe these feelings, I want her to soothe these feelings. But she's won't, she can't and I shouldn't. I need to learn to soothe myself and fill in the void in my heart.

So, I am starting to see that DB-ing is not a battle between me and WAW. It's a battle between me and my anxious attachment. I grieve and am hurting, not because W is leaving me, I grieve because I feel that I am being abandoned again and I am scared of being alone. If I am able to overcome my anxiety, I will win. Maybe that will make WAW return, maybe not. Regardless, I won. I won against something that plagued me for most of my life and I will be better for it.

I can do this.
whistle whistle whistle whistle


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https://www.divorcebusting.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=2898750#Post2898750

Originally Posted by Gekko
I also don't chase women. Any woman who does not have high interest in me will not get my attention.


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https://www.divorcebusting.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=2898364#Post2898364

Originally Posted by LH19
The blessing for all of us is that the pain and stress provide motivation for real change.

Its a rare opportunity in life to find motivation to really evaluate who you are and who you want to be.

From my perspective, someone who saves their marriage but goes back to their old habits and resolves themselves to a life of unhappiness is not a success story.

Someone who ends up with a divorce but moves on to healthier and happier relationships has succeeded.


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Originally Posted by Ready2Change
https://www.divorcebusting.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=2898750#Post2898750

Originally Posted by Gekko
I also don't chase women. Any woman who does not have high interest in me will not get my attention.



THIS!!! Never settle for someone settling for you!


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https://www.divorcebusting.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=2899025#Post2899025


Originally Posted by CWarrior
If you're accepting less than 50% custody--why?! Talk to an attorney to fix that pronto.

She took the kids. What day do you get them back? Your parental rights aren't to see/visit your kids they are to have 50% custody of your kids unless you're unfit for some reason.

I hope you do whatever is necessary to be an equal parent in your kids' life. Don't be that nice guy who gets talked into every other weekend and a Wednesday overnight and then regrets it.


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https://www.divorcebusting.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=2899388#Post2899388


Originally Posted by Steve85
We are well over 2 years into this Ring and piecing, I am questioning if I made the right choice again. Can't really put my finger on it, there have been no specific incidents or problems, just a general feeling of malaise and unhappiness.

My W and I also are getting along well. We are better than we have been in all of our marriage. We are team, we recently got new furniture for the house (after old house finally sold a few months ago!), and we've been working well together on other things that relate to the house, etc.

But as I've said before, Ring and piecing is difficult. I think it is even more difficult than Ding. Ding is like ripping off a bandaid. It hurts but then the healing begins. Ring and piecing is like putting on a bandaid, ripping it off, over and over and over again. It is work. And it is hard, arduous, difficult work that requires you to be ON all the time. There is a lot of "waiting for the other shoe to drop" on both sides. The WAS keeps looking at the LBS wondering if one slip up is the start of the old behaviors returning. And there is obvious trust issues going the other way from the LBS to WAS. After 2 years and 3 months of official RIng and piecing I can honestly say that it is still a work in progress. And I am beginning to believe that it will be for the rest of our lives together.

So if you are in a position as a LBS, where you get a choice to walk away yourself, or move to Ring and piecing, consider carefully what you want. Because if you think "oh we work through this and things go back to normal in a few weeks or months or years", think again. I know the phrase "new normal" is way over used in this current COVID world, but your MR will never go back to a previous normal, ever again.


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https://www.divorcebusting.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=2899503#Post2899503


Originally Posted by LH19


SUCESSFUL RECONCILIATION MUSTS
1) She sees you as someone of extremely high value
2) She views a relationship with you as something much better than a life with someone else or a life alone
3) She's willing to work to win you

Without those three things, she's going to walk again down the line, because she really doesn't have the motivation to work with you to change anything, your relationship will keep seeking the same equilibrium it has had because of how your personalities and issues come together.


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https://www.divorcebusting.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=2899504#Post2899504

Originally Posted by Steve85
The one you are talking about from last year was more of "liking the attention". She had no problem ending it, gave me full transparency, and was very remorseful and even grovelled. That is why I "glossed over it", because she did all the work in that one. I simply stated, "I refuse to be involved in having to constantly check up on you". It was amazing the difference in how I approached it and in turn how she approached it. I know it may have looked like I "glossed over it" but that was not the case. My detachment took over. I was never sad, angry, or emotional in any way. I simple drew a line in the sand and said "either you are in or out", and she fell over herself to prove to me she was in. And her behavior has been consistent since then.


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Original post

Originally Posted by LH19

So in ten months you’ve tried everything you can think of and nothing worked. I’m pretty sure that you have read on this board it’s a marathon and not a sprint. 10 months is like an hour in WW land.

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Originally Posted by sandi2
If I had the power to get two messages across to LBH's, it would be the fact that he can't talk her back into his arms, and he can't nice her out of her wayward mindset. The most effective thing he can do, is to let her go.........and do it quickly & firmly, without giving any opportunities for her to "meet up with him to talk". I'm not saying you have to file for divorce, if you don't want it. I'm not saying you have to stop loving her. At this point in the sitch, talks don't solve the problems. In fact, most H's do more damage when they try to have a talk with his WW


H 34
W 29
BD 3/12/18
Divorce Busted Spring 19

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If I had the power to get two messages across to LBH's, it would be read every post Sandi2 has written, and apply her words of wisdom to your sitch.


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https://www.divorcebusting.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=2900658#Post2900658

Originally Posted by BluWave
For anyone that is entering this stage (piecing) and didn’t know this thread exists.

One year since I have posted here. I just reread my last post for June 2019 and want to thank myself for that. Haha.

5 years and a few months plus of piecing for me now. Does the action of piecing come to an end at which point the M has successfully been pieced back together? Does completion ever happen?

I’m going to think on this. I don’t know. On the one hand, the relationship always needs to be worked on and nurtured to keep moving forward. On the other hand, piecing also includes repairing the damage and working through past mistakes. How long do we need to talk about that and when can we put it to rest for good?

Blu


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https://www.divorcebusting.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=2900955#Post2900955

Originally Posted by BL42
The hardest part of this for me is losing the dream of a intact family unit, especially with my kids being so young, but to your point I need to accept I have no say in the matter.

Originally Posted by Steve85


I think this is a good time to share with you one of my favorite quotes:

-Life is 10% what happens to you, and 90% how you react to it.-

Your kids are going to be fine as long as you are their rock. Be the best father that you can be despite how flaky their mother becomes. Resolve to react to this crappy turn in your life by continuing to be the best father to your kids.

You cannot control her or what she does, but you have full control of yourself.


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https://www.divorcebusting.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=2901240#Post2901240

Originally Posted by WMWB
I think if the OM was not involved at least I could be clear in my own thoughts that perhaps her judgment and or her feelings towards me were not being clouded by the highs of this new "relationship".
Originally Posted by LH19


Realistically someone having an affair like this is usually a "last straw" versus a spur of the moment decision. In most relationships needs don't get met, resentments build up, and just pile up over time. When you're living in the same space there's a lot of motivation to compromise and keep the peace, but usually under the surface there's stuff brewing that isn't getting discussed, usually because both people convince themselves that it's just a temporary issue and will go away on its own.

I read somewhere that for people in a relationship to characterize it as "happy", positive interactions need to outweigh negative ones by a ratio of 7:1. For every one time you come away from an exchange annoyed, you have to come away from seven others feeling good. That's a pretty difficult thing to achieve for most people. If you're shy of that, the resentment snowball is growing.

An affair is escapism for sure, and its usually the result of a chance opportunity, or a thousand micro-escalations that happened without any forethought. What it's really a symptom of, however, is conflict avoidance.

For a relationship to be successful both people need to be willing to blow it up on occasion, argue it out and be prepared to walk if a compromise can't be reached. That takes a lot of strength and self-confidence. For more often people stuff it down and pave over it and eventually you're sitting on a volcano that's ready to blow.

Point is, regardless of the affair one or both of you weren't happy. Usually its just a matter of timing in terms of who pulls the rip cord first.

That's why it's now important to separate the desire for the person, from the desire for resumption of control, stability, and positive validation. Your brain is telling you that getting W back will restore these things, but it won't.

So ask yourself, what do you want and why do you want it?



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Originally Posted by ovrrnbw

The choice is simple: you can experience the pain of discipline or the pain of regret.

Discipline for football players meant hard work in practice, discipline and coordinated team actions, weight room, conditioning, character choices, and learning from mistakes. Pain of regret was watching yourself shoot yourself in the foot, make mental errors, and being lazy.

So what do you choose?

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https://www.divorcebusting.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=2901436#Post2901436

Originally Posted by ovrrnbw
You never find out how strong you are until you are put to the test. Life is one big mental test.

I like to focus on small tasks that accomplish the bigger goal and do them one at a time. Each small success should snowball into the bigger one.

Sometimes you have to reward yourself and go GAL or relax or do something for yourself to keep your morale high.


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https://www.divorcebusting.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=2902030#Post2902030

Originally Posted by funbun
What I am also beginning to realize is that the woman that I love is not the same woman that STBXW is currently. I love who she was before: this affectionate, charming, strong and funny person. I mourn not for STBXW, but for the fact that I am losing the woman that I love, that is no longer here or perhaps never even existed.


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https://www.divorcebusting.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=2902077#Post2902077

Originally Posted by LB55


For those just starting on this journey...it is long and arduous. There is a light at the end of the tunnel. There will be many mis-steps along the way. Crazy plot twists and things that are simply designed to get a reaction out of you to see if youre still paying attention. Live your life...live it the way you'd like...if your spouse chooses to rejoin you...then you'll be happy...if they don't...then you'll be happy...this is because you've chosen to be happy with yourself and your life.

I have also learned to ask for what I want and be ok if what I want causes others to dislike me or my choices...in the past I usually just did what I thought everyone else wanted me to do...total NGS. I am re-reading that book again with different perspective to keep myself aware and not fall back into old habits.


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Original post

Originally Posted by DejaVu6

When you find yourself wanting to send her something or call her or do anything to contact her... come on here and post about it instead. If you can follow this one rule, you will be way ahead of the game.

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https://www.divorcebusting.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=2902309#Post2902309

Originally Posted by LB55


You know for a long time I did let my happiness hinge on my marriage. It was all I had. I didn't have much else other than work...and that isn't a healthy lifestyle. I felt like such a failure; I didn't want to tell anyone, I wanted to hide in my bed all day, and most of all I just wanted to fix it. It took me a good while to come to the realization that I couldn't fix it. I am soooooo good at fixing things...but a marriage isn't a 'thing' I could fix...because I didn't break it.

I certainly contributed to the breakdown...I was an awful communicator and I never asked for what I wanted. I failed to live in the moment; instead always focused on the future or the past and trying to prevent future failures of anything and everything. So many things I have taken from the experience and the loss that I will apply going forward. Most importantly I am starting to repair friendships that disappeared over the years; that has been really good for me to know that those folks aren't judging me and are happy to know that I am ok.



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https://www.divorcebusting.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=2853949#Post2853949

Originally Posted by AnotherStander
Where you stand right now, right this second is she is done with you. She doesn't like you and may even find your presence repulsive. The ONLY way you can combat that is to pull back and give her loads of time and space. Remove all pressure, very important. Leave her alone, work on yourself. DO NOT ask about the M, or what she's thinking, or what the future is. Remove all pressure and she will probably put things in a holding pattern until she sorts out how she feels. With lots and lots of time she may very well change her mind. You've got to be very patient!


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https://www.divorcebusting.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=2903037#Post2903037

From Tagline
Originally Posted by Valeska19

Show empathy when there's pain. Show grace when warranted. Kindness in the midst of anger. Faith in the face of fear.


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https://www.divorcebusting.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=2903422#Post2903422

Originally Posted by Gigi123
Pretend you are not interested. When I had IC at the very beginning, she suggested treating him as if he is a patient, you might find him irritating, you might get angry, but never show him your emotions and remain professional at all times. I know its difficult to do, but the more you try, the more it works.


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https://www.divorcebusting.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=2903583#Post2903583

Originally Posted by unchien
You don't have to do anything. Your emotions are controlling you right now. Until you understand that, you will continue to make unskillful decisions.

You CAN tolerate intense emotions without doing anything. Try it. It may be excruciating. Force yourself to do it. Then do it again. And again. "Wow," you might say at some point in the future, "I was like a brainless monkey responding to my emotions. Now that I have this newfound emotional awareness, I can *choose* how to respond to situations. I feel empowered, centered, grounded. I feel amazing."


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https://www.divorcebusting.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=2903409#Post2903409


Originally Posted by unchien
Here is my view on control: Most of us respond to these situations by letting our emotions control our actions. We are passengers in a driverless car careening down the freeway. Helpless victims to the whims of our WAS's gone wild.

You do have control. Just not in the way you see it. This isn't about controlling your W. This is about *your emotions about your W* controlling you. You can't handle the extreme emotions and want to do something, anything, to soothe yourself.

I've been there too, I am not judgmental about this. Take back control by separating your actions from your emotions. Try spending a day doing absolutely nothing about your situation. No texts, no reaching out. Breathe. Suffer. FEEL your emotions and just let them be.

Eventually if you work at it your mindset WILL change. You will recognize your emotional state and be able to take a pause before making any decision. That pause, my friend, is control.



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https://www.divorcebusting.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=2903514#Post2903514

Originally Posted by sandi2
Your W left you b/c of how she feels. She was fed up with you and the MR. According to previous information you have given us, she is filled with a lot of anger and doesn't want you talking about anything other than the kids. IMHO, that's a clear indication that your love & commitment is not the issue that is preventing reconciliation. You seem to believe you can change her mind by talking about the relationship. She has told you she does not want it. Even after you heard she cheated, you want to discuss it. Let me tell you something, and please listen. If your W left you for any other reason than healing and working toward reconciliation.........then she sees her business as private. In other words, she doesn't believe you have any right to say something about her seeing OM. That is the thinking of modern women these days. She won't be impressed by your threats. Neither will she be impressed if you endure her affairs.


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https://www.divorcebusting.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=2903555#Post2903555

Originally Posted by Rose888
I don’t want to analyze you. I want you to analyze yourself. And this is rooted in my core believe that we only have control over ourselves, and that the core principle in Divorce Busting is that one partner’s changes can change the relationship.


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Originally Posted by Steve85
I truly believe that as long as there is breath in the lungs of a human, they can change. Just like tom said that the men can change, meaning LBHs can change, so too can WAWs change. We get LBSs that come here all the time saying "My spouse is so stubborn that once they make up their mind they won't go back on it." Yet that same WAW took the most sacred vow anyone could take, in front of God and witnesses, and are now going back on it. So if they can change their mind on that, they certainly can change their mind again to recommit to the marriage.

Also, the post quoted is pure gold, but one thing I want to reiterate, because it was so important for my own understanding in the thick of my sitch, is that this does not happen overnight. Notice that smartcookie denotes "4 years ago". Her journey to being numb, and giving up, started 4 years prior. And this is why the WAW will claim on BD that "they were never happy". It has been so long that in their estimation it was always that way. We LBHs struggle mightily with this concept. And while the truth is somewhere in the middle (she was happy at points in the marriage) her perception is her reality. And we do ourselves NO favors by bucking against that.

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Originally Posted by LH19

I was thinking about this more last night. IMO manipulation happens when words and actions don't match.

I looked up the definition of manipulation as follows " to control or play upon by artful, unfair, or insidious means especially to one's own advantage".

So she texts you that she "love you". Does her actions match her words?

I looked up the definition of "love" as follows: "unselfish loyal and benevolent concern for the good of another"

So based on the information above her it looks like her actions are NOT matching her words.

So lets go back to the definition of manipulation: " to control or play upon by artful, unfair, or insidious means especially to one's own advantage".

It’s a huge comfort to know that she has you to fall back on if things go badly for her. You've already proven that you'll jump at the "I love you" breadcrumbs thrown your way. You need to pull that safety net away entirely.

She needs to fully believe that you will not be there for her if she chooses to return, and that if she wants to come back she's going to have to work for it.

You can't tell her that, she'll never believe it. You have to show her that beyond a doubt with your actions.



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https://www.divorcebusting.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=1321863

Originally Posted by Punktmann


I'm not lecturing, (I did a lot of this myself early on...) but I'd like to point out what "pushing" does to them.

It really wore on me. It didn't break me down
and make me feel warm and loving toward him. It did
the opposite.



I have asked him repeatedly not to want
answers about our M or relationship right now -
because I don't know, and I can't go there at the
moment. If I could, I wouldn't be in my own apt.


Even if they didn't verbalize this, they feel this way inside. They need space from the pressure.

Things I learned in my sitch,

R talk is pressure
Anger is pressure
Those stupid little digs we all let slip are pressure
What it will do to the kids is BIG pressure
Adding to their guilt, even unintended, is pressure

Plus - it made the guilt worse.

I would have liked to have read this a long time ago. I still have a mountain of frustration and anger, but understanding helps.



Best,

Punk


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https://www.divorcebusting.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=2904618#Post2904618

Originally Posted by Steve85
As a former control freak myself, I can tell you that letting go of control is such a better place to be in. I am much more relaxed an laid back than I was before. IC had a big part to play in that. This is why I am such and advocate of IC (I was staunchly anti-IC before my sitch!) because it paid such big dividends for me in becoming aware that 99.9% of things ae out of my control. And walking around angry about what I cannot control was a miserable place to live.


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https://www.divorcebusting.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=2904755#Post2904755

Originally Posted by Yail
Mar, I've wanted to write for the past few days, but kept backing off. The truth is I'm not really here on the boards much anymore, and I hate to be only semi-present.

I wanted to say hi, as another lesbian on the boards. There are not many of us. I'm glad you found Wonka's threads. They were the best I found in all the history and helped me immensely. I think I read every one. The tone of the board has changed over the years and I always appreciated Wonka's very balanced perspective, and nuanced approach to each individual scenario. I think that is important to remember: there is a script, there are general guidelines and phrases you will hear repeated over and over. But each situation is nuanced, and you know it best. It's a tough balance between knowing your own sitch the best, and not falling into the "oh no, MY sitch is WAY different than anyone else" head-in-the-sand approach.

I like what Core wrote to you. Do not beat yourself up over what you "should" have done. We all make decisions based on the information we had at the time. Your perspective has changed, but I don't think anything you did was "wrong". You just act differently going forward with your new information.

Your W has gaslighted you. Don't feel guilt over your own actions just because she made you feel like you were the crazy one. Gently bring your mind back every time you start feeling like it was all your fault. I always liked reminding myself that "I'll take my 50% of the blame, and leave the other 50% to her". It helped me.

If I might suggest a path forward: go slow. Take your time, do not make rash decisions or blanket statements. Try to do more listening than talking. This has two benefits. 1) In the event you both decide down the road to reconcile, listening is the best path there. But more immediately 2) Listening gives you insight. With her making YOU feel like you are crazy you should pause before trusting any of her decisions. If it turns ugly (and I truly hope it does not) you are best armed with information on things she says/offers. Speaking less right now might be your best way to protect yourself both emotionally and later legally.

You state you have children. Be there for them. Show up for yourself. Lean in to whatever brings you comfort, and work on accepting that you won't have any final answers for a very, very long time. You embrace the chaos for now, and embrace the unknown. Every time you look ahead and see two paths a mysterious third option will show itself that you didn't see coming.


I wish you small moments of peace in all of this. You are so strong.


Wonka:
https://www.divorcebusting.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=userposts&id=6672


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https://www.divorcebusting.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=2905025#Post2905025

Originally Posted by Yail
I did not take marriage lightly. I was prepared to fight. But you both have to be moving in the same direction. I don't know if leaving and taking her at her word is the best for you, but I can say that it was for me.

You need to truly sit with it and turn off the noise and hear what your own soul is telling you to do without guilt and without societal pressure moving you either way.


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https://www.divorcebusting.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=2904957#Post2904957

Originally Posted by harvey
I've worked on my covert contracts. In my marriage my XW controlled our sex life. It wasn't terrible (1-2/weeks), but it felt stale. If I did things for her (loving things, chores, etc.) and she wasn't in the mood, it would often make me disappointed or upset. I did things with an expectation that I'd be rewarded. I'd let it fester inside. I think it's a bit normal for a guy. I've really tried hard to break free from that. I still do things for my GF, but without expectations. And sometimes, I say no. I try to keep all of our interactions flirty and fun--without the expectation that it will lead to sex. To be honest though, my GF is much more "sexual" than my XW, and she likes that I lead our sex life. Our sex life is fantastic. Hopefully, that isn't just limerence.

I've learned women don't want wishy washy guys that are always asking them what they want to do. I know where my GF likes to eat, where she likes to have a drink, etc. Instead of asking her what she'd like to do, I will say "I feel like having a drink at [a bar she may like]", and she's usually like "sounds great". Other times, I choose the place I like. If we have a free weekend, instead of asking her what she wants to do, I will tell her that I'm in the mood to take a road trip to a specific place. It's just a different mentality.

Getting through my divorce forced me to control my emotions and expectations. I try to be a rock for my GF--calm, cool, and collected. Nothing's going to bring me down. smile

The thing I've worked on the most is to truly listen to my GF. Women aren't looking for us to fix things--which goes against our nature. I don't even have to agree with what she's saying, but I try to validate the feelings behind her words.


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Originally Posted by Wolfman
That was one of my biggest problems. Being alone, everyone said get use to it but I was so fearful. I was having massive panic attacks way back. At first the limerance was great (of course) with my GF, I felt like I found someone, someone who I could love and love me back. But I was so broken and fearful I ignored the warning signs a few months back. My fear and selfishness put me in a real situation now. I just want to work on my relationship with my kids, I need to work on myself and figuring out what I want in life. My divorce made me panic about my life and my future, yet everyone warned me what to do and how to move forward. I let my anxiety control me, I wasn’t in control of my anxiety. Honestly I’m still not, I am a lot better but I still have a long way to go.

Originally Posted by MrBrside


WM, Sorry you are going through this...

But THIS ^^^ is what every LBS spouse who bangs on about dating 3 months after a seperation needs to read / be shown.. Then they need to read and re read.. and reflect on. Its a quick fix, ( at the time ) - but its rarely a fix and leads to these issues further down the line. Its probably not what they want to read, but it is gold - dating while broken equals further issues. !

You hit the nail on the head, with the selfishness - (i'm not having a go, as i'm sure you are beating yourself up enough over this ) - We all know how selfish the WW / WH can be - When kids are involved, LBS needs to focus on themselves and the kids - Not the dating pool etc.. Chances are that the WW is so self absorbed in their own new world, the LBS needs to show the children he / she is there rock, regardless of the WW / WH actions..

You have a lot of work to do wolf - on yourself and on working on proving yourself to the children.







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https://www.divorcebusting.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=2905101#Post2905101

Originally Posted by may22

A couple quick thoughts-- first, definitely talk to a lawyer. You can usually get a free consultation. Someone here suggesting scheduling free consults with the top three divorce lawyers in town, because once they've talked to you, even if you don't end up working with them, your W can't hire them. For me, having those conversations really helped ease a lot of my financial fears around D, and at least let me understand my rights. For instance, even though the house is your W's property as an inheritance, depending on the laws of your state you may very well have rights to half of the equity it gained since her mom passed. In any case, getting a sense of what your finances will look like if you S or D will help. Knowledge is power. If you decide to MO, this way you'll know what you can afford and be in a better position to map out your options.

Second, I can't stress enough how important sleep is, and I feel like figuring out how to get a good night's sleep is a critical first step to helping you figure out your path forward. A few ideas-- if you don't want to leave the MBR, go to bed really early so you can get to sleep before she gets there. Try OTC sleeping pills, a warm bath, melatonin, a glass of wine or 5-HTP (5-HTP has helped me a ton with sleep and also mood.) Tell her you're really uncomfortable sleeping in the same bed as her given what is going on and ask her to move to the office. (Hey, maybe she'll say no, but she's your W and no matter who the house belongs to, she's the one who is having an A and she should have enough respect for you to let you sleep in peace.) Move to the office yourself but go get a foam mattress topper or something to help you sleep a bit better. Go to a hotel for a couple of nights and order room service and take baths and SLEEP.


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https://www.divorcebusting.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=2905194#Post2905194

Originally Posted by Steve85
It was through IC I learned that 99% of things are not about me at all! So anytime I feel that old feeling of "the world should be this way because that's how I want it" creeping up and have to talk myself down off that ledge. The world doesn't give to shakes about Steve85. And I have to be ok with that!...I was able to forge a new MR with my W. There was no going back to the old one for either of us. IC and MC helped greatly through that.


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https://www.divorcebusting.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=2905173#Post2905173

Originally Posted by MrBrside
You contribute a lot to this forum, with a lot of good advice.. I really cant believe that you don't see how messed up your situation is - I cant imagine you would encourage a newbe to go through this drama..
Originally Posted by KitCat
I think this is incredibly common ---- when you have NO emotional connection to a situation giving advice and providing support and deep down knowing what the right thing to do is IS ALWAYS easier.

When its matters to you personally your brain gets so wrapped up in what was, the small issues, the future possibilities, the exhaustion of walking away and feeling like it could be different ---- this is the exact reason that medical professionals should not be the primary person involved in emergency/chronic care of loved ones. The reason that law enforcement are not allowed to be involved in cases with strong personal ties. Its so much harder to think completely logically when there are such strong emotional attachments.

Deep down you know all the right answers and what you would advise someone else but its hard for your logical brain to over rule your emotional brain. Hence why many of us make mistakes when we know better.



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https://www.divorcebusting.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=2905305#Post2905305

Originally Posted by sandi2
There's no way we can get everything in a couple of posts, so that's why we tell you not to do anything before running it by the board first.

Here are a few things the WW needs to experience/process in order to fully recover. This is just to give you some idea.
(These are in no special order).

1.) Consequences! And taking a hit with hard, maybe a painful loss of some kind.
2). Realizing the connection between her decisions with the consequences/loss.
3). Accepting responsibility for her decisions...and for every loss, and every hurt she caused those she loves and who loves her.
4). Accepting and dealing with the consequences, without blaming anyone but herself.
5). Making a conscious choice to end her wayward direction and turn around.
6). Seeking guidance and/or spiritual counsel to guide her in how to cleanse her heart of the wrong attitudes, self-centeredness, resentment, rebellion.......whatever she carries that is unhealthy.
7). To be remorseful. If necessary, even seek spiritual help, pray, whatever......to feel remorse for the destruction her decisions and feelings has caused her H. She has to feel true remorse in order to emotionally reconcile and heal properly.
8). To completely forgive her H for everything in the past. To release the blame, anger, and hurt she held throughout their M.
9). To be wiling to do whatever it takes for the MR to heal.
10). To agree and cooperate with the H's choice of transparency plan (accountability), sending a NC letter, having any medical tests, ending any friendships out of his request, (and of course, any contact with OM), place of employment, giving him requested information, attending MC, or anything else the H may request in order to ensure the success of their reconciliation, and the safety of the MR.
11). Accept/agree, without resentment, that she is in no position to give her H any "conditions" to her going back into the MR. And, to accept without resentment, that the greatest level of work in piecing the M back together, must come from her.
12). To accept that it will take time for her healthy emotions to be restored. To realize and accept she cannot measure the success of their progress by her feelings.
13). To be informed, and accept, that she must go through withdrawals from her AP, and could experience depression. She needs to understand this is normal, and not a sign that she will have never have feelings for H.
13). And the hardest one of all.........learn to forgive herself.

Again, don't discuss any of this with her right now. Please ask questions about any of this you don't understand.



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https://www.divorcebusting.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=2905335#Post2905335


Originally Posted by Wolfman
I understand it takes time to change old behaviors, it takes time to learn from our mistakes. It’s hard for us to think we are wrong. I have reflected so much the last 2 years and trying to be a better person. I use to be spiteful and hold grudges, I don’t do that anymore. I am really trying to learn to look at a situation through another persons eyes. I wish I had these smiles before my d, but all I can do is move forward and not look back. This has been a long road to get to this point, I still have a long road to walk to improve and learn more. This board has helped me so much from the validation cheat sheet, to boundaries, to the advice of so many. This board should be required for all marriages. It helps people open their eyes to the work that is needed in a marriage.


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https://www.divorcebusting.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=2905297#Post2905297

Originally Posted by may22
If I were you, I would absolutely cut any behavior of my own out that could be interpreted as applying pressure. If you aren't sure if it is pressure, then don't do it.

Think about it like this.. you kiss her on the forehead. She doesn't feel what she thinks she is supposed to feel when her W does that (love, affection, etc). Instead, she probably feels guilty and bad for not feeling what she's supposed to feel, and then that sparks an R talk where she states to you she doesn't think she can ever feel the way you want her to feel. Those probably aren't thoughts you want going through her mind at this point. Also, every time she says out loud she doesn't love you like that it reinforces it for her. (Believe me, this is something I have learned the hard way.)

So--- be sure that you aren't doing anything that applies pressure and pushes her further away. No kissing, no hugging, no affectionate touches. No saying ILY. Be cool and detached. Give her space and use the space you've gained to GAL.



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The existence of OM2 has made me question myself all over again - even when OM1 may be out of the picture she's still seeking out others and not me, and people who are drastically different.
Originally Posted by sandi2
It's not the other man #1 or #101. It is her fantasy that keeps her jumping from man to man. Of course she is not seeking you out, b/c she doesn't want that relationship. That's one reason a WW will usually have some OM that is nothing like her H. She wants to escape her old life.


P.S. The WW wants to escape to a new & better life (which usually includes another man). She doesn't want "to work" on herself. In fact, she doesn't want to "work" at anything, especially a relationship. She just wants to feel in love, without any effort whatsoever. Some WW's who leave the H will tell him that she's working on herself.........but it's a lie! Reality = work. Fantasy = play.


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https://www.divorcebusting.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=2905327#Post2905327

Originally Posted by TimW10I
I am wondering if she is noticing any of my changes? Not that I'm doing it for her. I'm just curious as to what she is thinking
Originally Posted by LH19
Right now she feels a sense of relief and is excited about her future. She has a sense of hope and optimism that she hasn't really had in along time. Right now she has a lot of expectations of how being single is going to play out. Luckily for you these expectations rarely come to fruition. If you work on yourself and have patience she may look back and realize this was a mistake. This will likely to years to play out.



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https://www.divorcebusting.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=2905444#Post2905444

Originally Posted by Ginger1
I am only 40. But I don’t think it’s singledom that ramps up a woman’s sex drive.

It’s who she is with. How that person treats her out of the bedroom.

Get in touch with a woman emotionally, and you will get in touch with her physically


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Originally Posted by Valeska19
I always found that DBing can be about loving your wife or it can be used as a manipulation tool... the motive is based on the individual. Everything has two sides of the coin - it's about which side of the coin you want to play. Let's assume love and go from there.

It is loving to your wife and you to help with the chores REGARDLESS of what it leads to. Period. Not up for discussion
It is loving to your wife and you to say "no" at times in order to eliminate resentment in your heart.
It is loving to your wife and you to set a boundary if your wife is speaking to you in a way that is hurtful (blaming, criticizing, etc)
It is loving for your wife and you to self care... both of you. If she doesn't support your self care - it is still your responsibility to do it. (Ie: GALing)

Yes it is okay for do some acts of service. No it is not okay to do them if you are going to resent her later. No it is not okay to do them if it enabling a toxic behavior.



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https://www.divorcebusting.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=2905646#Post2905646
Quote
What exactly would be considered Alpha behavior that you would suggest incorporating?
Originally Posted by AnotherStander
It definitely will help you understand alpha versus beta behavior. Alpha doesn't mean being a pushy jerk, it just means being confident and assertive. A lot of LBS's attracted their spouse in the first place because of their alpha characteristics. Strong, confident, independent. They might be interested in multiple women and she has to compete to win him over.

Then they go through the dating process and get married and become responsible fathers and husbands and often lose touch with their alpha side and become very beta. That is not a bad thing, but it's not what women are particularly attracted to. Obviously you don't want to abandon all your responsibilities, so you don't want to be alpha at the expense of your beta duties. You have to find a balance. My girlfriend once told me she just about lost it once when she saw me ironing my work shirt. She said it was one of the sexiest things she had ever seen. I asked her why, and she said because most men think that's a woman's "job", so to see a man confident and independent enough to do it himself was appealing. I would never have thought a woman would ever see ironing as sexy, but the point is if you strike the right balance then everything about you is appealing.


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https://www.divorcebusting.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=2905646#Post2905646

Originally Posted by AnotherStander
She won't believe your changes at first so stick with them and make them permanent. A woman that used to post here a lot had a saying that went something like "180's + time = changes she can believe in". Most people do 180's for a week or two expecting to see a reaction, and when they don't get it they give up and go back to their old ways. TIME is a critical factor.


Quote
You want to be a bit mysterious. Don't offer up info on what you've been doing (or not doing). Be brief. Be the first to hang up when she calls. Don't always answer right away when she calls. Don't always respond right away when she texts. Right now she sees you as low value and undesirable. You need to do things to change that. Dress nicer. Keep your hair styled. Wear cologne. Get out and be with people. Get back in touch with old friends. Meet new ones. Start a new hobby. Get fit if you're not already. Get a tan. I'm not saying to start dating or even to act like you're dating, the idea isn't to make her jealous, it's to make her wonder what you're up to. She needs to learn to miss you.


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https://www.divorcebusting.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=2906193#Post2906193

Originally Posted by AnotherStander
One thing I've seen you mention several times is the need for closure and the need to know "why". As Vapo replied, you'll never know "why", because more than likely your W doesn't even know why. Oh sure maybe you weren't as loving as you were earlier in the M, and didn't communicate as well as you could have, but the same could no doubt be said for your W and pretty much every other person in a long term marriage or relationship. And I would wager that like my XW, your W would have done ANYTHING earlier in the M to save it NO MATTER WHAT PROBLEMS CAME UP. Right? So what happened to her that she went from wanting the M at all costs to not even wanting to lift her pinky off the table to try anymore? I don't know. You don't know. She doesn't know. Something is happening to her internally, there is some kind of struggle going on and she doesn't know where it originated or why. But she's no longer in love and she no longer wants to be married. THOSE things she does know.

And it was the same for my XW. Unlike you and your W, we did go to therapy. We had discussions, and months after BD we even went to Retrouvaille which was her idea. So we had a lot of dialog. Whenever asked why she didn't want to be married, her response was without exception "I don't know." I'll give you a specific example, the therapist asked her if I was a selfish person and she replied "no, he's a very warm and giving person." She asked her if she respected me and she replied "absolutely." Asked her if I was an uncaring father and she said "not at all, he's an amazing father." Then she said "what about sex, does he not meet your needs?" Her reply shocked me since we had not had sex since BD, but she said "oh I really enjoy the sex and wouldn't mind continuing to have sex even now." The therapist said "I'm confused, you say you trust and respect him, he's an excellent father and the sex is great, we call those the three pillars of a healthy relationship. So why is it you don't want to be married?" "I don't know, I just don't want to try."

And in the almost 10 years since BD, that is as close as I've ever gotten to an explanation of "why".

So you will get closure, but your closure won't be in knowing why, it will be in letting go of the need to know why. Sometimes things happen without reason.

She's not guilty of an offense, she just doesn't know. There's nothing to verbalize. And she knows telling you "I don't know" is just going to make you frustrated and possibly angry, and so she'd rather just not talk. Plus the separation is her way of letting go, and she's probably afraid that if she sees you she might second guess her decision. This decision she made was a very difficult one and she is wracked with guilt over hurting you, the kids, your family and friends. She hates herself for it. She probably cries a lot even though she may appear cold and indifferent. But she still feels like she must do this to survive. My XW told me all of these things, but not until long after BD.



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https://www.divorcebusting.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=2906330&page=3

Originally Posted by Steve_
I just talked to a friend of mine a nurse practioner with 30 years as a therapist and a psychologist (PHD) I told him the situation and he was like, "why would you even want her back? she will just do it again, if you do the same thing she will also do the same thing, that's why I don't do therapy anymore, you spend years on someone and only around 10% of people change"



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https://www.divorcebusting.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=2905925#Post2905925

Originally Posted by AnotherStander
It sounds like she's going through something, and unfortunately when this happens the spouse usually becomes the lightning rod for everything that the WAS perceives as wrong in their life. The best thing you can do is detach, leave her be, remove yourself from the equation. She's got to sort this out and it's going to take quite some time, and the loss of the M may very well be part of the fallout of that journey she goes on. There could still be a future R and M, but that's way down the road. For now accept that she's already gone and DB your heart out.



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https://www.divorcebusting.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=2906204#Post2906204

Originally Posted by LH19


The three biggest things she's dealing with right now are fear and uncertainty about the future, guilt for what she's doing to you and your children, and anger and resentment over your role in pushing her to this point. Everything you do right now is going to make her either more resentful, or less resentful. If you increase her guilt, by blaming, shaming, or making her responsible for your emotional state, she's going to resent you more. If you pursue her, argue with her, or try to convince her to work with you on the marriage, she's going to resent you for not letting her go and not giving her the space she wants.

If you give her space, it’s going to make her less resentful. If you live your own life, and are happy and joyful for your own sake, it’s going to make her less resentful. If you are respectful in your communications with her, but not intimate, it’s going to make her less resentful.

Eventually she will burn through that big pile of resentment. Eventually she will process her anger at you and it will dissipate. UNTIL she goes through both of those processes, she will not see you as anything other than she believes you to be based on her prior training.

If she thinks you wear blue every day, and you start wearing red, she's still going to think of you as the guy that wears blue, because she literally can't see you right now.

WHILE she is processing her anger and resentment, YOU work on your changes. You do it slowly and methodically for you. If you're a 2 today, you don't focus on being a 10, you focus on being a 3. Then you focus on being a 4. You be kind to yourself.

While her anger and resentment are burning down, your changes are building up. When eventually she's had enough time and space that she can SEE YOU again, she'll be surprised by what she sees, and she'll question for the first time the assumptions she has held about you. THAT is the beginning of your opportunity to turn things around, but you CANNOT control how long it will take her to process her anger and resentment, and you CANNOT accelerate it.

Buckle your seatbelt, it’s a marathon and you have to be patient and surrender to the fact that this relationship is NOT something you can control right now. That's an uncomfortable feeling, but the sooner you own that fact, the better you'll do.


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https://www.divorcebusting.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=2906805#Post2906805


Originally Posted by Steve85
Decided to us my own thread to get a point across to LBSs that are struggling with detachment.

As many of you know, I am a huge proponent of healthy, loving detachment. It is probably one of the biggest struggles that LBSs have, learning to be detached, and that is too bad because it can have a profound effect on your sitch. And even if it doesn't, it certainly has a profound impact on the LBS!!

First, LBSs have to understand what detachment is. I've seen so many LBSs that think it means ignoring, being cold, being angry or unkind, etc. And true detachment is none of those things! I like to describe detachment as a state of being where you know your own worth, you own your own happiness, and because of those two rocks, you can remain emotionally even through anything.

I also like to have LBS google "self-differentiation" or "self-differentiation in marriage". Because detachment isn't something you do for a short period of time, it is really a healthy place to always be. I like to tell LBSs that if they ever want a healthy relationship in the future they first have to learn to be happy by themselves. Two people overly reliant on each other for their mental well-being is a disaster waiting to happen. Two fully individual people who are happy and healthy themselves first, can come together to make a long lasting relationship that will stand the test of time.

So how does it work:

Well if you go back to my first thread, you will see that out of the gate on BD I made all the classic mistakes. I begged, cried, pleaded, promised, used reason and logic, etc. In short, I looked like an over-attached baby, a beta (omega actually) that couldn't stand on my own, let alone command respect from my W! How unattractive that must have looked.

Her reaction was to say definitively, "I want a divorce".

I then on day 3 following BD remembered DBing. I started to reacquaint myself with DB, and started reading MWD's writing and watching her videos. I started to read other anti-D experts with similar approaches, and soon the idea of detachment came up. I vaguely remembered the concept from our first sitch 12 years before (I read MWD and other back then too), and started to change my approach to my sitch. I wasn't perfect, but unlike most LBSs (fortunately for me, unfortunately for them), I was trying extremely early (most don't find this forum and DBing until weeks or months in). And I think that is why my sitch turned around in the amount of time that it did.

So the first lesson is to start working on detachment as soon as possible! Preferably before BD but most people don't have that foresight, but at least as soon after BD as possible.

If you read back in my threads you will see that we had a bit of a hiccup in late summer 2019. The difference? This time I was an alpha, completely confident in the fact that even if she left me I would not only be fine, but move on healthy and happy! And boy did that change my approach to the situation.

There was no neediness, no pity party. It was me stating the fact that I had discovered emails from another guy (in retrospect he was definitely more into her than she was into him, but still she should have shut it down immediately instead of allowing it). But it was my handling out of the gate that really set the tone for how quickly she expressed remorse, and took ACTION (notice, not words) to correct it. Because I was a rock, I was firm but not mean or overbearing. I essentially let her know that I would not tolerate it, that I had some decisions to make for myself moving forward, but that she was free to do whatever she wanted. (One of my best lines was "I have no desire to be with someone that I have to check up on." I didn't over emphasize it. I stated everything once, and left it at that. I didn't tell her what she had to do, dictate anything to her, I simply let her know that I had my boundaries and if she crossed them I would take action.

There was a little bit of rebellion at first from her. A little defensiveness. She started in on the "snooping" aspect of it. Which I quickly shut down by saying that snooping on your spouse was no where near the transgression that entertaining the affections of a third part were and that I would not tolerate it being elevated to the same level. She never mentioned it again.

By day 2, I could see her remorse setting in. She started working on a home project she had been putting off for quite a while. She inventoried all of her accounts and made sure I had all of the login IDs and PWs. (I was insistent that I was never going to use them, but she insisted on me having them.) She took the lock ID off her phone. (I"ve since convinced her to put it back on due to the sensitive nature of personal information, like banking, so she has but I know the code.) She expressed a lot of remorse and said she was going to work on getting back to a place where she could trust herself, and have me trust her as well. And her actions have all, in the over a year since it happened, been aligned with that.

The point is that my detachment (self-differentiation) allowed me to handle this mini-sitch in 100% the right way out of the gate, and the effect it had on her was profound. But even if she had decided that she wanted to split and get a D, I would have been perfectly fine. In fact, my attitude has completely changed since we reconciled 2 1/2 years ago from "I want to stay with her no matter what!" to "I don't want to be with someone that doesn't want to be with me!" That is detachment!


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Telling the children:
Originally Posted by AnotherStander
It's not really possible to shield kids from these situations. Maybe early on, but not for long. Kids are intuitive, more than we give them credit for. They know when things are not right between their parents and if you try to hide it from them it makes them think it's their fault. So it's best to sit down with them and discuss it. What kids need to know first and foremost is that it isn't their fault, so emphasize that both of you love them, both of you support them, and no matter what happens between W and you, both of you will always be their parents and be there for them. They need reassurances more than anything. Ask them if they have any questions or concerns, and listen and validate.



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She offered to me to separate or divorce, she says it is up to me. She said that there is 0% of us staying together, but if it would be easier on me we can start with a separation. She said we will not be working on the marriage during this time. My question is, do I just let us go ahead and go through with the divorce, or do I make the call to just start with the separation? Thoughts?
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My thoughts are that it's HER decision, not yours. Your decision is to work on the M. If SHE pursues S or D, then you can't stop her and you won't stand in her way. But you also will not do the work for her. Look, I would absolutely not give her an "out" on this. If she tells you to decide between S and D, then no matter which you pick you've just given her permission to tell everyone "well he said this is what he wants". Don't give her the satisfaction! Tell her "I choose neither, I want to work on the M. But I understand that this is what you want and I will not stand in your way. I support your decision whatever it is." If you have a reading list, add Dobson's "Love Must Be Tough" to it. A lot of it dovetails nicely with DR. He talks about "opening the cage door" for the WAS. WAS's will often say they feel "trapped" or "caged". Dobson compares the situation to a bird, it wants out of it's cage but if you open the door and it realizes it isn't trapped, it may decide it likes it in there after all. Or it may fly off and then come back, deciding it likes the safety of the cage after all. Or it may never come back, but the idea is you are stepping back and letting her decide. If she thinks you are controlling then this is a good 180.


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https://www.divorcebusting.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=2906866&page=6

Originally Posted by Steve85
I always answer questions like this with a question (or questions). Do you want to be separated? Do you want a D? Here is the thing, WASs/WSs are notoriously lazy when it comes to these things. She wants you to do all the work. She wants to be able to look back and tell people (your kids?) that YOUR dad was the one that wanted a separation and/or divorce. Trust me on this, I've seen it dozens of times. One S has an affair or wants out of the marriage. The LBS finally gets tired of waiting and files for D. Years later the WAS' story is that "we were having problems, and ScottB pulled the plug."

I've told lots of LBS that were in IHS before, that if you think separation is going to help or fix things etc then you are sorely mistaken. We see a myriad of sitches on this forum and it always amazes me the GRASS IS GREENER attitude that LBS have. If in IHS they say "if we didn't have to see each other so much" etc....... But then read the sitches that are in physical separation. You see those LBSs saying "She won't talk to me. I have no way of showing her my many changes I am making." I've also so seen many IHS LBSs that HAD to push for S for their own sanity, only to find themselves separated and wishing they weren't.

The moral of this story is that Scott if you want a separation, then yes go for it. If you want a D, then yes go for it. But do not do it to fix the marriage or have any such expectation. Do not do it to "wake her up" to the reality of the sitch. If you try to S or D for any other reason than to be S or D then you will look back with regrets that you are S or D!!

My advice is to not lift a finger. Next time it comes up tell her it is her choice to S or D, not yours. If she wants S or D then SHE should move out and/or file. Of course she wants to make it your choice. It is like going out to eat. "Where do you want to go to eat?" "I don't know, where do you want to go to eat?" No one wants to make a choice in case it turns out to be the wrong choice! She is doing the same thing here.

Ride it out. Make her do the work. Listen and validate. Make no promises. Open that cage door and let her decide whether to go through it or not.


H 34
W 29
BD 3/12/18
Divorce Busted Spring 19

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Originally Posted by Zues126
The goal of this post is to avoid misinterpreting their WAS's mixed messages resulting in actions that hurt ourselves, our WAS's, and our chances for the M.

If you're an LBS it's important that you don't assign too much meaning to signs of warmth or indecision from your WAS. One of the easiest mistakes to make is to assume other people feel and think similar to how we do. In our LBS minds it's easy to project how we feel or how we desperately want our WAS's to feel onto them. Maybe this is part of denial, we simply can't imagine things not working out so we are just waiting for the sign that shows us this is the part of the movie where everyone falls back into each others arms.

Hey, we're human, we're going to feel desperate at times and get our hopes up at times. That's fine. We just can't let it derail the road we need to walk.

WAS's are much farther gone that we think. On these forums we say the marriage is dead at BD. That maybe if you do your work and they do theirs a day might come when the two people you become reengage, but this relationship is dead.

This isn't about giving up hope. I'm 100% in favor of standing for a marriage. It's about not allowing ourselves to be strung along and fed crumbs so we end up enabling an impermissible situation.

I remember when, 90 days after BD, my XW started sending me emails that demonstrated some regret. I'd been warned and was trying very hard to be deliberate and cautious. Very hard. I waited hours before I'd respond. I'd check with the boards. I was TRYING to reign my emotions in. But when she used phrases like "She hated divorce" and "She liked the person I was becoming" and "She missed talking to me" and asking if I was seeing anyone or if I still thought about us together, I was SURE this was a big break through! She finally was seeing what I saw, that we can work this out!!!

She called me late in the night and said she was drinking a little and she missed me and our marriage and was so lonely she didn't think she could make it through. I, the white knight I was, drove over to see her because she sounded like she was in a dark place.

You all buckled up? When I got there, she freaked out because OM was sleeping upstairs in the marital bed passed out. She was depressed because he had just told her he wanted to break up with her. I'll spare you what was by FAR the worst part (for those who like pain you can dig up my old thread) but I had a chance the next day to open up her phone and I was blown away with what I saw. She had been with many different guys, and she had a different persona via text message exchange with each of them including new OMs she was lining up. She also had one with her friend talking about how "Great, now I have to push Zues away again because of yesterday..."

This isn't my thread, but I hope this example is better than a general warning. Conflicting feelings and some sadness does NOT equate to remorse and commitment to the marriage.

So, how is it that they can express genuine regret, pain, loneliness, and warmth without meaning 'let's get the band back together?'
Simple. Those feelings are genuine, they just aren't commitment.

Pretend your WAS started using heroine habitually. Or started gambling away all of their money every paycheck. Do you think that they'd feel regret at times? Do you think they'd feel the pain of the consequences of their choices at times? Do you think that they'd miss their old life at times? Of course they would, but that's totally irrelevant. We know they do. The ONLY thing that matters is whether they have felt enough of those things to hit the rock bottom to where they'll actually commit 100% to changing their lives for the better. Even then it's lip service and only time will tell if their actions match their words.

So why do they do this to us? Simple. To avoid consequences.

Some is avoiding physical consequences. Maybe they want to control the speed of the breakup, like when you wade into cold water little by little. They aren't ready to be splashed yet, they're still working up to it- but they are going to do it on their time, in their way. They don't want you charging around now they have to deal with consequences like being cut off financially, or having family or mutual friends hear about their behavior, and it sure is easier to get you to agree to give them whatever they want whenever they want it when you are blinded by hope.

Some consequences they wish to avoid are emotional. So long as they string you along they aren't sacrificing their marriage for their love affair because they know they can get you back at any time, so they are just indulging themselves because they deserve to feel better. No, they don't want you back, but by knowing you are still there they don't have to deal with the sense of loss the same way they would if you moved on.

So how can they say they say they want to repair the marriage one day and then not follow through the next, you KNOW they were being genuine at the time. Hey, I'm not saying those emotions aren't real, just that they aren't the same as ongoing consistent behavior. There is something I call "Medicating with positive intent". Think of it this way. Say a friend is in an abusive relationship. Their partner just slapped them around. They call you crying and saying they can't take anymore. So what do they do? They talk to you for hours, making plans about where they will go, what they will do, and on and on. Guess what? Now they are feeling better. Empowered. Hopeful. They feel alright again...hmm...now they feel alright again, and guess what? Things aren't that bad. They do love so and so. They can get through it after all. I don't know about you but I've seen too many examples of people that truly convince themselves they are going to make a positive change because the good feelings that follow their well intended proclamation are all they really needed, no reason now to bother with all of that following through hard work stuff. It'll be ok. Right?

So what's an LBS to do?

Well, the first step is to read this like ten times and really understand it. Because while our feelings will be all over the map, we have a responsibility. If we truly love our WAS's we need to allow them to experience the consequences of their choices. This is the best chance to save the M. And if that isn't possible, consider it the last gift you give to someone you pledged your life to, ending on a positive note after all of the hurt. That gift means that when they are engaging in unhealthy choices that are destroying their lives we don't make it easy for them to keep doing it.

I'm not here to script out verbal responses to temp checks and displays of emotion, but the underlying message you need to communicate are things like this:
-Your not the shoulder to cry on anymore
-Getting back together isn't that simple anymore
-You are firm in your boundaries and won't accept [open marriage, loveless marriage, sexless marriage, uncommitted partner, disrespect, etc]
-You've told her everything you have to tell her and have nothing left to say (no R talks, never ever ever ever)
.

From our LBS view it seems like we're destroying our only hope. But WAS wants to have the R talk!!! If I blow them off then they'll blame me for being the one that ended it.

Hogwash. If WAS is seriously remorseful and ready to do anything and everything to work on the marriage they will let you know. They won't play games. The 'well then, that's why we can't work' card is manipulative and proof there is no lasting remorse. Any R talk that doesn't start with them going first with a list of apologies and re-commitments is just proving to her that you are willing to compromise your boundaries and remain emotionally involved with a wayward spouse. I repeat, this is hurting yourself, your WAS, and your chances of preserving your family.

In conclusion, if you are seeing signs that your spouse wants to return, post all about it here. Get it out of your system. Overreact on these forums. Tell us how it's going to work out after all, that we were wrong, that YOU KNEW your WAS, you KNEW they would fall back into your arms, that you think you are in piecing, etc, etc, etc. But please, for all that is good and holy, stay detached from them outwardly and give them time to see if they actually recommit, show true remorse, and prove it to you with consistent behavior over time. Keeping DBing and may you make it to the other side, whatever lies ahead.


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Originally Posted by Maika
It is probably one of the best pieces of insight that I got here and every LBS should know this. The credit for this goes to AnotherStander who laid it out in plain terms when I was in the throes of my confusion. His insight really opened my eyes and I am putting it here in my words (I will try and go back later and find what AS exactly said)

Quick caveat: I know some people on the board don't like using the word 'fog' as it stands. They think it's too reductive and maybe negative to portray the WAS in that light. I am using the term 'fog' here to describe the mindset and attitude rather than saying that it is negative or not. For me it represents confusion and mental jedi mind-tricks to rationalize the situation - for both the LBS and the WAS.

The 'FOG'

Both the LBS and the WAS spend some time living in the 'fog'. The interesting thing is that this 'fog' is diametrically opposed for the LBS and the WAS.

The LBS 'fog' is all about looking at the MR and their spouse with rose-colored glasses and thinking that the MR breakdown was all their fault. If they can just reverse some of their faults quickly, or do more around the house, or spend more time with kids, or pay more attention to their spouse, the WAS will change their mind or come back. In this 'fog', the LBS can't see clearly that they were not the only one responsible for the MR breakdown, and that they were also unhappy with some things in the MR. But, in the LBS 'fog' all of this is obscured and the LBS tries to grab on to any crumbs or shreds of life from the WAS to restore the MR. Once this fog slowly starts to clear and the LBS can see that they are worthy of love, respect, and can see the MR in a more objective light. They also realize that they were unhappy and that their needs weren't being met either. As soon as this 'fog' clears, the LBS is able to take charge of their life, have more control, and realize that they will not go back into the old MR again.

On the opposing side:

The WAS 'fog' is projecting most of the blame on the LBS and rewriting MR history. During this time they can hold anger, resentment, rage etc towards the LBS. The mindset hinders their ability to take responsibility for their contributions to the breakdown of the MR and that their unhappiness is not the sole result of the actions of the LBS. Once their 'fog' starts clearing, they can see more objectively about the MR and realize their contributions to its breakdown. Whether they want to do something about that is a different story, but until this 'fog' clears, they are really hindered in seeing what they brought to the table as well. Sandi has written extensively about the WW mindset, which every LBS should read as well.

A more simpler way to describe the difference in the 'fog' is that the LBS 'internalizes' the faults and the WAS 'externalizes' the faults. I know this may sound overly simplistic and it isn't always fully true, but it is a start to at least unpacking the feelings and thoughts that accompany the 'fog' mindset.

I apologize if I have misrepresented the concept as someone else understands it. I am just sharing what I thought was very useful insight for me about the 'fog' mindset as this is all consuming in the early stages after BD.



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Originally Posted by Sotto
Some longer-time posters will remember Starsky, a vet who always gave spot on and golden advice IMHO.

Something he posted a number of times (and I always remembered it) was this:

The number one mistake that many LBS's (who have a chance at reconciliation) make is letting the WAS back too soon and too easy.

What he said (and I agree) is that many situations need to have travelled pretty far before a potentially sustainable reconciliation is really possible .

The LBS needs to have taken their own journey and gained more insight into themselves as a person, parent, partner - and grown. They need to understand how their own behavior may have contributed to a marriage that broke down. They also need to learn how to live a more boundaried existence, understanding what does and doesn't work for them and being brave enough to ask for what they want and need.

They need to have experienced life beyond the marriage and have worked through their own initial desperation to save the marriage, and their possibly codependent ways. They need to know that this may go either way and they will be fine whichever way it does go.

The WAS also takes their journey and they will experience a natural and karmic unfolding of events based on their earlier choices. If they had an affair with someone, they may get to experience what a relationship is like with someone who was willing to date a married man or woman and who might be immature or broken. They get to see how their family feels about their choices, including their children. They get to experience how life actually is compared to how they thought it would be. This takes the time it takes and this can lead to what people call 'rock bottom.' When someone looks around and realizes what they have truly lost. Not just in terms of family, ties and friends, but self-respect too.

Only at this point (or similar) does a WAS start to maturely reflect on what has happened and look at their part, face damage they have caused. Not from a 'me' perspective, but from the perspective of others. And they may offer a truly sincere and regretful apology for their part and express a genuine desire to reconcile.

At this point the LBS has grown to a point that they are willing to move slowly and have a degree of self-control and a full 'other' life too. They don't jump in and they are not all in for a good while.

From all that I have seen posted, early reconciliations and quick ones really may not be good news and can lead to a looping scenario, where people find themselves back here sadly, a few years on. Much better to not waste the pain now and learn and grow from present, difficult circumstances. This we never regret - I truly believe that. If you learn and grow, this becomes a 'win' situation for you - however things may unfold.

Xx


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Originally Posted by Zues126
Something I've come to realize from what we've gone through as well: We aren't in control of everything.

I'm embarrassed to remember how arrogant I used to be; I mean, like even more than today! wink When I was young I saw other people's problems and somehow thought they wouldn't happen to me. I thought that I was different, special, the main character of the movie. That if I just did the right things, was clever and smart enough, played my cards right, and had a good deserving heart, things would just work out. I was the gingerbread man.

I've been humbled by all of this. I'm not more deserving or more special than anyone else. Suffering and loss won't avoid me in life just because I'm me. And most of all, I don't have everything figured out and under my control. Even if I did have it all figured out, somehow out of the billions of people on the planet I was the wise one, I could get hit by a drunk driver tomorrow and end up in the hospital. One of my children could take their own life and change mine forever. I could be falsely convicted of a sexual crime and end up in prison.

Bottom line, no matter how we play our cards we aren't in control. In our cases our partners made choices that ended our marriages and destroyed any possibility of a unified family or a lifelong partnership. No matter how special you are or how cleverly you DB'd, you couldn't prevent your XH from doing what we did. Neither could I.

Oh, it's appealing to cling to the idea that we can or could've done something differently. This idea is nice because we get to cling to the illusion that we are in control, that if we just figure out the right things to do or say we can save our M, get our WAS back, or bounce back and learn from this to find the perfect new R and quench our every desire.

But this just doesn't work. This all comes from a place of attachment. We are so attached to what we want that we can't bear to think we might not be able to get it.

I grieve the loss of my marriage. It hurts me to know I couldn't protect my kids from the pain of a broken home. I miss them when they go back to their mom's, the house goes from being filled with joy and life to seeming empty. It feels wrong to my soul that after centuries of families being torn apart by hardship and oppression that we now choose to do this to ourselves because we're willing to trade our families for the pursuit of happiness that appears to lie outside of our marriage in the arms of that other person.

But I am so grateful that God knocked the piss out of me and reminded me of my place, made it clear that my job wasn't to get everything I wanted but rather to serve Him, my family, my employer, and in the end to say thank you for this opportunity. My life will never fulfill my every desire or live up to the delusional aspirations I had when I was 18, but when I let go of that and focus my attention every day on what's in front of me it is so lavish I can't believe there was a time I demanded more before I could be content.

I got a little carried away and went from talking about lack of control to appreciation. My main point was about giving up the illusion of control. But appreciation has allowed me to find peace while my outer world crumbled. I wish that for everyone on these boards.


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The mantra that saved my life was this:
Quote
If God gives me my health, my children, my family, food to eat, a job to do, friends, gifts and talents that I can bring and share with the world, music to listen to, a nice car to drive, a comfortable bed to sleep in...ALL OF THIS...and I STILL look up at the sky and say "Screw You God, without the woman and relationship I want the way I want it when I want it I think all of this is total bull$hit and you can stuff it and take it all back!"...If I was truly THAT ungrateful- well, let's face it, one screwed up woman wouldn't really make me any less miserable.


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Originally Posted by Zues126
WW's are awesome at spewing. And those of us who had the Mr. Nice Guy syndrome are awesome at reacting to that spew.

In the end once they drop the bomb you don't have to put up with it in any way. If you allow yourself to keep feeling hurt, angry, apologetic, defensive, indignant, or- worst of all- like you need to explain your point of view to your WW, you are flat out giving her way too much power. They don't care about your point of view. They just want to remain in control of your emotional life. This is a power you don't have to give them.

I wanted to start a thread with real life examples of spew I've received, along with my response. I'm also happy to have others post spew they've received if they need help finding an appropriate response that isn't reactive. The only problem is that I haven't received any spewy texts lately, probably because I stopped playing the game with XW. OH WAIT! Just got one! Perfect, time to kick this thread off!

The situation: I have 50% parental time, so the kids live with me equally. My mom moved in with me over a year ago to help with the kids since as she is retired and I work full time. We've formed a great family unit, the kids love their grandmother, she enjoys being part of our family, all is good. The only strain is that she doesn't like my XW, and my XW doesn't like her.

So the other day my mom decided to get my two daughters hair cuts. Now this was probably a little provocative. She probably should have asked my permission, and I probably would've advised against it since traditionally my XW has taken the lead on the girls' hair. Maybe my mom was trying to stir the pot. Maybe she just thought they needed haircuts and since she is an adult that lives with them just got it done. Whatever. Point is that this set XW off.

My XW's texts to me: #1 I thought we were to tell each other before altering kids appearances or getting their hair cut. I'm not happy that your mom got it cut. D7's was just starting to grow out. I don't approve of their grandmother deciding their looks when it should be agreed on by their parents, not something a grandmother decides in split families.

#2 The windchill is -13 now and it's the middle of winter, yet you decide to cut our daughters hair off of her neck when I know she doesn't always wear her scarf and it's cold in their school. One thing in the summer, another when it's below zero and there is no consent from the other parent. I'm tired of your mom making decisions over my head. I'm not ok with this.

My reaction: OK, so let me share the thoughts that went through my head when I read this: Great. Here we go again. My mom should know better than to pester the ol' honey badger. I'll probably just respond with something like "agreed, I'll talk to her".

What's this? A second message? WTF. Could she be any more confrontational and pissy? Wait a second. What's this about 'parents agreeing'? She's never asked me once about what type of haircuts she gives the girls. Do I not have a voice in this? Or do we need to agree on haircuts going forward? What if we don't? Do I get my way half the time? Or do I just lose by default? What am I talking about, this is not a serious issue, we're not talking tattoos. What's she going to do, take me back to court because the girls hair was cut? How does she know my mom didn't ask my permission and I gave the ok? And if I did, don't I have as much a right to as she does? Maybe she should have thought about this before she wanted to split the family.

I get where she's coming from and don't really object to her being in the driver's seat of the girls' hair, but I also don't appreciate being spewed at and think her tone is a bigger issue than the haircut.

If I try to ask how we are going to work out haircuts in the future it will lead down a dead end road. If I try to argue that I get a say in the kids haircuts it's going to open up a bunch of arguing about why her hair styles are better or something. In the end this just isn't a big deal and I don't have time for it, nor do I want to send the message that she can fly off the handle at me and get whatever she wants. I'm not interested in talking with someone that is ranting at me.

My reply: Nothing. That's right. I'm moving on. If she wants to take me to court over a haircut I'll have to do some homework and find an amazing defense attorney.

That said, I will talk to my mom and ask her to check with me ahead of time. I will mention to XW any hairstyle changes in the future. Why? Because I think that's reasonable, and I think that's the right thing to do.

But I don't feel the need to apologize, explain, be drawn into an argument, or reward my XW's attempt to start a fight. I'll ignore her and just make the adjustments I think are right and move forward. If she wants to discuss this she can try again with a reasonable tone. Game over.

I hope you all learned something from this. Please post you favorite spew attack and I'm happy to share my thoughts on how to reply. This one was easy because no reply is hard to mess up. But sometimes you do need to reply without reacting. I've got good practice and am happy to help. Hopefully we can get some good tools for dealing with spew assaults. Who's next?


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Originally Posted by AnotherStander
You're not trying to win her back right now, you're trying to lay the groundwork for that to happen later (much later probably).


LBSs really struggle with this, but just fading into the shadows is absolutely the best thing you can do right now. I call it "removing yourself from the equation." Right now all her calculations on why her life isn't perfect all point to you. Everything you try to do just reminds her of what her central theme is (that she wants you gone). There's a line Cersei used in Game of Thrones- "your very presence irritates me." This is how she feels about you right now. So you fade into the background. Eventually she'll realize she's still unhappy despite you not being around and ever-present anymore. THAT is when she (hopefully) starts working on herself.


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Originally Posted by LH19
One of the most frustrating pieces is you can not use logic and reason with someone who is basing everything on feelings and emotions.


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Originally Posted by Steve85
Arranging time with the kids for the holidays is going to be an issue for years. My advice is to bend-over backwards to accommodate your kids. Do not put a premium on the day, just the time spent. "Dad, mom is insisting on getting together for Christmas Eve, and we have my spouse's side on Christmas. Could we do Christmas with you on Saturday?" Accommodate that. Do not get into the game of "Your mom gets Christmas Eve she is more important to than I am!" Be the bigger person. The time with your kids (and grandkids assuming you have some) is the important thing, not the day. The problems always arise when pettiness rules the day. Remember, your adult kids are caught in the middle of juggling all of this. Make it as easy for them as possible.


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Originally Posted by Steve85
All of the expert advice I've read on talking to the kids says to keep the kids out of the details. "Mommy and daddy just do not love each other anymore." type of statements. Things that do not cast blame on either parent. Make it seem as mutual as you possibly can without lying.

Son: "Dad, is this what you want?"
You: "I want what is best for everyone, including you kids and your mom."

Notice, didn't lie. Didn't say: "Nope, this is all on your mother!"

And trust me, the kids will know. They don't have to be specifically told. Kids are much more perceptive than you think they are. The truth always has a way of winning out.


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Originally Posted by AnotherStander
The idea of DB'ing isn't to dazzle her with a huge demonstration of how much you've changed. It's to fade into the background while she goes on her journey. She won't see you as not "THE problem" until you can remove yourself from the equation. When she discovers her life isn't nirvana, and that she can't blame you for it anymore, THEN she might look back and THAT is when your changes and 180's will matter. If she looks back and sees YOU-2.0 looking good and feeling good and enjoying life, then her curiosity will be piqued. She may question her choice to leave you.


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Originally Posted by LH19
So Indy below is my mantra on how I live my life. I read this at least one a day.

“A true alpha’s state of mind is one of indifference, charm, humor, humility, courage and a belief that eventually, things will work out in their favor. Alphas set, keep and hold other people accountable to their boundaries. They stand up for what they believe in and don’t compromise their principles or values for anyone. They have an emotionally compelling vision of what kind of life and lifestyle they want to create and then resolve to pay the price, no matter how long it takes to make it a reality.”

So in relationships moving forward for me infidelity is a boundary. You cheat you're out. No exceptions. In friendships if you are not loyal and do not have my back you are out. No exceptions. I will never ever again try to convince someone to be in my life who doesn't want to be there.

I think you need to figure out what are your principles and values. If it's monogamy then that needs to be a boundary and cannot be compromised for anyone and you need to stand up for what you believe in.





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Originally Posted by LH19
Why are you so obsessed with W? You were in a relationship with an woman who wasn't meeting your needs, who would irrationally blame you for anything that went wrong, and then cheated on you and lied to you. Why is that a prize worth making the focus of your waking attention?

The reason is that you are grasping to re-establish a feeling of control over your life.

When W cheated/left she ripped your sense of stability away from you. From your perspective you didn't do anything to deserve it, you couldn't stop it from happening, and you couldn't put things back together afterwards.

That would make anyone feel totally out of control, spinning down the drain, and that is a horrible feeling!

You are trying to analyze and understand everything so that you can build it into a rational model so that it will never, ever happen to you again. If I can avoid doing X, then Y will never happen. In addition, you want to unlock this puzzle, to deconstruct it so you can find the solution that will allow you to rebuild it. Finding that key would provide immense comfort.

Your brain has convinced itself that getting W back, or getting W to apologize and declare a desire to have you back is the very best and fastest way to restore your feeling of being in control.

With the benefit of time and distance, you'll realize that's what it's really all about, it's about regaining the ability to feel in control of your life and your future. It really has very little to do with W or who she is as a person, she's a lever to get you what you want, but that's really just an illusion.


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Originally Posted by uRworthy

You will not die. That's the truth of it. I thought I would. I really did. I did not think I would survive it. For a lot of reasons.

But i did. Mostly because of the generous, loving people I met here, my wonderful therapist and my son. But also because of me. The work I did. The strength I found.

I came kicking and screaming into DB. I could not get it for the longest time. It made no sense to me. Detach?? Let him go?? Find me? What??? My marriage was ending. The life I knew was gone. How could doing all of that help?

So, I kept making excuses. I kept fighting the idea of all of this.

Until one day....I didn't.

And that is when I had to roll up my sleeves and do the work.

It isn't easy this. I had set backs and I ran into my hole. The people here...my people... wouldn't let me do that for long. They challenged me and consoled me and pushed me. Held me up when I couldn't do it myself. It was a long journey...mainly because of my stubbornness...Be quiet, Mach. smile.

I can promise you this: Once you decide and I mean really decide to let go....your life begins anew.

You see, they cant move through their stuff, while you are hanging onto their pant legs. And you cant move through yours either. How can you see forward when they are in the way? You way down there? They are running towards a life they think they want while you are weighing them down.

The only way to do this...is to leave them to do their thing. And it will be ok. You will be
growing and changing and becoming who you were always meant to be.


Leave them to their journey. You walk yours.

You wont die from this. You will be reborn.


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Telling the Kids / Children:
Originally Posted by LH19

Just stick to the points that you love them both very much and this has absolutely nothing to with them. Then answer their questions the best that you can and validate their feelings. I found that this was a another part of the process that I imagined being way worse then it turned to be. I would try to stay away from the jibber jabber your w mapped out. Remember in general less is more.
Originally Posted by AnotherStander

As far as thoughts on the discussion, I agree with LH about focusing on the kids and letting them know this is not their fault. Can't remember if I suggested this already in your thread, but do tell them you both love them and will remain their parents no matter what and will always be there to support them. No need to get into a lot of detail about the separation other than explaining that you are separating and that they will be going back and forth. Ask them if they have any questions. When XW and I had this discussion with our kids most of their questions were about logistics. Whether they would have their own rooms at her new place, what days they would be switching back and forth, etc. Surprisingly they didn't ask anything about why we were separating or what the recon possibilities were. XW and I had discussed that first and if they asked we planned on telling them that we were going to counseling (true) and trying to work things out (not really true, just one of us was!)




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Originally Posted by LH19
Right now you shouldn’t be together because your W is choosing not to be together. It takes two people to want to be in a marriage to have a healthy marriage. Your W has changed the rules of the game. That doesn’t mean the first 14 years was a mistake. Right now she doesn’t respect you. An open affair is the ultimate disrespect in a marriage. Until that changes you can expect the same or even worse behavior from your W. I’m sorry.


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Originally Posted by Steve_
Unfortunately our ladies "moved on" a while back. We just didn't see it until BD. I asked mine up and down two weeks before BD "are we okay?" I could tell something was wrong because she said "yeah we are good" and had no nagging complaints... she gave up.


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Originally Posted by LH19
I would love to talk some sense into your W but she’s past the point of no return. Unfortunately her journey is scripted and the outcome is very predictable. I’ve studied this stuff immensely because I had to understand why my family was be broken apart and I had zero control of it. What really helps if you understand that your on a journey that may take you places you have never dreamed you could go. This is not a death sentence by any means. Just not the life you planned.


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Originally Posted by AnotherStander
WAS's have this fantasy in their head about how perfect and smooth everything will go. She fully expected you to agree with everything and rubber stamp it. Anything else is unacceptable to her WAS-polluted mind. Argue even the tiniest point and it sends her ranting and raving. Unfortunately this is life with a WAS. Expect more of this type of behavior. When we talk about "getting off the roller coaster" what we mean is while she rides the ups and downs, you stay off to the side on terra firma. She's all over the place, you are solid and stable. DO NOT let her browbeat you into accepting anything less than a fair settlement. Do your homework. Know what you want. If she screams and gets agitated and waves her arms around then listen and validate, but STAND YOUR GROUND. A lot of people think "validate" means "give her what she wants", no that is not it at all. Validating simply means reaffirming her FEELINGS, not her demands. "You seem upset, I am sure this all must be very upsetting for you, I am sorry you feel that way." "So you'll sign my version then?" "No, I've made changes that I think are reasonable and fair." "YOU ALWAYS HAVE TO HAVE WHAT YOU WANT BLAH BLAH BLAH" Always remember that she should not be allowed to tread on your boundaries. If she yells, then warn her once and then walk away. "I am sorry you are upset but I will not tolerate being yelled at, if you can discuss this calmly then I am willing, but if you yell at me again then we will take a break and discuss this another time."

Here's what my lawyer told me when I was in the stage you're in, whatever precedence's are set in the separation will be HEAVILY considered by the court for the final divorce agreement. And not only that, but I've seen it play out that way too. What you agree to informally CAN AND WILL be used against you later. I've seen men here that wanted 50-50 custody but let their WW coerce them into less, telling them the kids need their mom during this transition or whatever, and that it's just temporary and they will work out the permanent arrangement later. Guess what happens? Months go by and they go to court and the judge says "You've only been seeing the kids every other weekend, why do you think you deserve 50-50 now? You've shown that you are willing to accept the custody arrangement the way it is now, and the court doesn't believe it's in the best interest of the children to upset their schedule." Believe me, the judge won't care one hoot about what promises she made to you before, that falls under the category of "he said she said". The court will consider actions and history, not words and promises.

You're not in the business of placating her. You need to make sure you're protected and the kids are protected. I'm not saying to go for more than you think it fair, but I am saying you need to understand your rights and a lawyer will help you navigate that. Also the divorce process itself is pretty cumbersome and it's not as simple as walking in the court and high fiving the judge and walking out. The paperwork has to be done just so, the process has to be followed, things have to be filed a certain way with certain people, etc. Even if the two of you agree on everything, you still need a lawyer to help you with that.

Hire a lawyer. Inform her that you hired one not to fight her, but just to help with this process. Whether she likes it or not is immaterial. If you decide to build a house you consult a contractor. If you decide to get surgery you consult a doctor. This is no different, you're just consulting a professional on matters you don't have expertise in.



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As we tried to review the document she sat in her chair with arms crossed and left the computer on the ottoman as though it was up to me to complete the document. She was basically pulling away showing that she was done with the conversation.
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"You look agitated, would you like to continue or would you rather take a break and discuss this another time?"



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On several occasions she brought up past conversations.
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"We're trying to resolve this separation agreement, we can discuss that if you wish but I would suggest we save that for another time so we can focus on this."


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She mentioned that she had begun to make a spreadsheet of items in the house.
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Good, that is exactly what the two of you should do. I asked my XW to make a list of the things she wanted to take so we could discuss it. She did exactly that. We agreed on most of it, there were a few things I wanted to keep so I asked her if she was willing for me to buy her replacement items instead since I would have to buy replacements anyway. She agreed to that and we spent a day shopping for furniture which I paid for (we had separate bank accounts our entire marriage).


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She made it clear that she was upset that she was disinvited from Thanksgiving, though she didn’t want to go anyways. But she expressed she was upset about that. I believe the same goes for my work dinner Saturday based in her tone.
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Just validate, don't argue about it or tell her she can goes if she wants to. "I am sorry you are upset, I can understand why you feel that way."


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I stayed calm through the conversation. I thanked her over and over again for the work she had done in the agreement trying to show gratitude.
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It's great that you stayed calm, but this isn't the place to show gratitude. If you're trying to appeal to her "words of affirmation" love language then do it about the kids, tell her what a great mom she is and how much the kids enjoy her cooking or help with homework or whatever. Don't thank her for the separation/ divorce.


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I tried to listen and validate as best I could. I tried to show gratitude and be calm and gentle as I could. I tried to be strong and not cave. I did say I’m sorry about five times in different spots. It’s so hard to stop when I’m so used to it.
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And don't apologize either. Validation isn't apologizing. I mean you can tell her you're sorry she's feeling XYZ, that is different. That's validation, not an apology. You're sorry for how she is FEELING, not for whatever she thinks you did wrong.


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I've also given in and called my Doctor to discuss anxiety meds. I didn't want to make that call but between this board and a friend of mine, not to mention my inability to get to work and work, I believe its a good decision. I hate the idea but I can't let this thing get out of control. Really a tough tough call for me. Appointment is this afternoon.
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I understand, I felt the same way. But I am very thankful I went to the doc and got those prescriptions, it helped me cope at a time I could not. And it helped me get back to my old self much more quickly.


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Originally Posted by Vapo
Hang in there buddy. We hear you. We were all there. We have all faced the same demons. We all survived and came out stronger on the other end.

Your heart not letting go is just rose colored glasses and denial going on. There is no getting around it, the only way is through.


Learn about the 6 stages of grief
, it will help you understand your body reactions.

The Six Stages of Grieving

NUMBNESS AND DENIAL. To initially cope with loss it common to go in a state of shock and denial. ...
ANXIETY AND PANIC * When you feel anxiety, deeper feelings about your loss will be piercing through your denial. ...
BARGAINING AND CONTROL. ...
FRUSTRATION AND ANGER. ...
DEPRESSION AND DESPAIR. ...
ACCEPTANCE AND PEACE.

It is not a clear cut journey and one can regress for a while to a previous stage, but a general direction is there.


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Originally Posted by Steve_
I thought about something today regarding hope, maybe it will help you.

I don’t need hope, I have DBing, other research, and time on my side, one way or another I will win from this situation. I will get better and better as I get farther away from this sitch and either my WW will have to make genuine changes that I have the support here to sort through or I will eventually find someone better and be happier. So no matter what the outcome is, I win. And so do you.


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Originally Posted by sandi2
This man is often referred to as a "man's man". The attributes that attract the female can be detected in his persona. It shows confidence, strength, independence, assertiveness, and authority when needed. Even other men sense that this guy is not someone who will bullied, made the butt of a joke, ridiculed, and other forms of disrespect. He doesn't just go along with whatever the crowd wants, and that's why he is often portrayed in movies as a rebel. He is not a "yes man" who jumps through hoops trying to get someone's approval. He knows his own mind and lives by a code of honor. He is a take-charge kind of guy when action is needed. He doesn't get pi$$y, whine, fuss, tattle, or sulk like a girl. He isn't pushed around......especially by some b'tchy female, and if that means he has to get a little rude to shut her up, then he's not afraid to do so. He knows how to use his voice and his body language, to put a horsey female in her place (which simply means he doesn't cow down and is not about to let her push him around, belittle him, or manipulate him.) In the bedroom, he is sexually dominant, and women find this very attractive.

I think all the above applies to how this type of man should interact with his W. (Just to clarify, he does not get violent or abusive to his W.) This type of man knows there is a time & place to show tenderness, sympathy, understanding, etc. He also knows when he needs to apply tough love in his MR, and with his children. Although he and his W are a team, there is never a doubt that he is the final authority. He is the leader, protector and provider of his family.

He will show his W respect and lovingness,...….as long as she is mindful to show respect to him. However, if she displays any form of disrespect, manipulation, b.s., entitlement, tantrums, or actions we often see reported on the forum......he immediately deals with her bad behavior! He doesn't let her get away with treating him badly, and demonstrating those type of behaviors. He is the head of the family, and it's up to him to keep order in the MR and his family.



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Originally Posted by ericmsant2
I wanted to share with you some of my thoughts over the past few weeks. Some of this may be a bit of a ramble; however, I believe that some of you may find it useful.

I have entitled this post….. The star is inside of you.

There is no magic bullet, magic pill, set of actions, set of words or specific post that can ensure that your marriage will be saved. Not one. The advice that you receive here will vary. Some will be very related to your specific sitch – some will not. I see a lot of people still focused on your spouse. Still focused on what they do, do not do, say, do not say, act, their actions. I understand this, I was there at one point too. What I feel is missing is the “work” that is needed to FIX YOU. We say often around here…”we didn’t break ‘em so we can’t fix ‘em”. So ask yourself – do you still believe that? Do you? Are you still worrying about every word you say, every step you take, every action you do? Do you still live a life walking on eggshells? Do you live in FEAR? Do you worry if you should leave the bedroom, take off the wedding band, make dinner, do the laundry, go to work? Does you every decision get run through a process where you think…….”what is my spouse gonna think or say”? Do you try and overcompensate for your crazy spouse? Do you do everything for the kids…to protect them? Have you totally devalued yourself? Have you tossed aside your own needs and wants? Do you walk around in guilt? Do you really think that…..that time, 10 years ago that your forgot the cranberry sause on Turkey day that it cause your spouse to wig out? If so, why?

I can go on and on about the stuff people have written, the post I have responded to and have read. Heck I was there too. IMO, the root of all of this is one word.

FEAR

When you come here…you are afraid, afraid of everything your spouse does, is doing, saying, etc. The answer to the issue though is NOT YOUR spouse – it really is YOU!

Stop for a second and ask yourself…..

Why am I afraid my spouse may leave?

Why am I afraid my spouse may divorce me?

Why are you afraid? Can you answer it honestly? Do you understand and know the root of YOUR fear? Yeah..yeah..yeah…I get it…”the kids”, “our family”, “our friends”……”the house”….”the finances”… I get it.

These ^^^ though are SURFACE answers. They do not get at the ROOT of the issue. Why are you so worry about the house? Do you think you will not be able to afford it? Do you think that you will not be able to maintain it? Do you love your neighbors? Do you just love that “woofy” your dog can walk around and all of your neighbor adore him? Stop for one second and ask yourself…… “what do these FEARS say about ME”. Can you see how you are devaluing yourself? Can you see how you may be assuming a deafist attitude? Can you see that in reality…..YOU WANT to CONTROL EVERYTHING.

CONTROL….. we like it. It is safe. It allows us to put everything in a little box. IMO, some levels of control KEEP US STUCK. They keep us from LOOKING INSIDE and facing OUR FEARS. So we cling to them. We figure out nice ways to hide behind them. Do you really think you can control everything? Do you really think that what you do, do not do, say, do not say….will CONTROL how your spouse acts? Now, I am not saying that your actions may not impact someone else. I am not saying that a love and compassion do not help heal, promote happiness, etc. No. What I am saying is that STANDING for your marriage does not mean that YOU ACCEPT that you are treated like dog poop. What I am saying is that YOU cannot spend every waking moment in FEAR of EVERYTHING YOU DO. At the end of the day, you cannot control your spouse. At the end of the day….NONE OF YOU, NO ONE ON THESE BOARDS, NO ONE….can make your spouse wake up, come home, become a better person. Some of you may say I know this. My response to you is….so what are YOU really doing for YOU.

IMO, doing the “work” is about facing YOUR FEARS. It is about, letting go of the notion that YOU can control everything. Doing the work…mean that you look inside. I will use my life, my journey as an example……

Some of you have read my journey, at least what was posted. I was an abused child. My mother was…well not the greatest. I was pretty messed up. At one point I become a drug addict. I was put away as a kid. I was homeless for a short period of time. I was broken. So…what does one do, HE CONTROLS. He controls how close he allows people to get. He manipulates his relationships, he keeps everyone at a distance. He carries around a ton of guilt. He lives in TOTAL FEAR and he USES CONTROL to manage that fear. He thinks….well if I am good H, or a good worker..that I can control the outcome of my job, my marriage. Now, I am not saying one should not be a good H, or a good employee. Nope. I am using this as an example of how sometime we control things. The control….keeps us from looking inside. Lemme give a few specific examples:

Specific to me….I tried to control everything. I’ve listed a few examples as reference for some of you.

I became super DAD. I did everything for my kids. My ex would leave at 5am and come home at 11pm. I did the laundry, cooked, cleaned, house work, a full time job, pick up and drop off the kids – pretty much a full time single parent. Although I do not regret it….i could have done things differently. Allow me to explain….. being as busy as I was with the kids, was in a small way, helpful in keeping me from looking inside. You see, I felt that I needed to protect them, I felt that I needed to control what they saw, what they heard, I wanted them to NOT have any pain from the divorce. I tried to CONTROL IT. ALL OF IT. Yes, some of you may say…it was for a good reason. My response to that is…was it? YOU really cannot control everything. The kids, will at some point FEEL this. They will feel the issue that are going on in the household. They will feel the stress of your spouse actions. YOU really cannot CONTROL it. You may think you can but all you are really doing is postponing it. Needless to say, I kept controling the sitch…take the kids here…make sure they did not see mom monster on me. The control prevent me from FACING MY FEARS. FEAR of what you may ask….

FEAR of….
Could someone like me really be a good parent, would the kids no longer love me, would the kids grow up to be F’ed up, fear of FEELING like maybe I was really a crappy dad, fear of what they would think of me? FEAR….that DEEP DEEP DOWN INSIDE…..I DID NOT BELIEVE IN ME! Yep…the deep issue that really needed to be deal with was ME. I did not believe in ME. I used everything else, the kids, my sitch, everything to HIDE from facing and learning about ME.

FEAR of….
Facing my role in the demise of the M. What did I do wrong? Why was all of this my fault or was it? Was I done? Why wasn’t I done? Why did ex wife have an OM? Was that my fault? To deal with some of these fears I controlled. I controlled how I felt. I did things, said things, did not do things….all for the sole purpose of getting my ex back. The bigger question was WHY? What was I afraid of? When I really started digging I did not like some of the answers that I found. I was fearful of: losing my house, change, change in my lifestyle, change in my income. Would I find someone? Could I find someone? Did I really love my w? What did love mean to me? Hell could someone like me even really love?

Finding the answers to these questions was painful. It required me to face every single one of these fears. It is no easy, fellow posters. Not easy at all. IMO, though….if you do not do it YOU will never really find your true self, your true happiness. When I started to dig, I realized – yes I did love my ex. Yes, I was capable of love, I also realized…..that I did not really KNOW how to LOVE MYSELF. That I based my own sense of SELF on what other thought, said, felt. That I had hid for a long, long time behind a viel of FEAR. When I finally learned how to love myself, learned how to ACCEPT EVERYTHING about myself….well then I was FREE. Free to choose for ME.

I have a seen a lot of poster post very similar questions ….

1) Should I leave the house? Should I leave the master bed room? My answer to these is this….WHY do YOU want to leave or stay? Are you staying because you are afraid? Afraid that you are not strong enough? YOU can! You are strong enough! You will survive this! Only though if you really look inside and UNDERSTAND why you feel the way you DO. It is only then, can you make choices that are NOT based in FEAR. It is only then that you can determine if you are done or not done.

2) Am I am done? I think I am done? I want to be done? MY answer – Define done. What does it really mean? Why does it even need a definition? Why put yourself in a box? Personally, I think it is our way of controling everything and as I have said….IMO, CONTROL is just a way for US to NOT have to FACE our FEARS. IMO, you can be done. You can change mind later. You actually do not even have to decide today, tomorrow….YOU can JUST LIVE. Live a happy life. Make a promise to YOURSELF that I CHOOSE happiness. Let go of the darn need to control everything. YOU CAN’t. Can you really control what your ex does? If you end up getting divorced – can you control what the judge says, his/her attny says – NO. YOU CANNOT. ACCEPT THIS! Instead of using the energy trying to figure out if you are done..use it to figure YOU out. Use it to understand yourself and accept your own fears. Use the energy to sit down and really figure out what you want and WHY? The star that you look for….the answer to all of YOUR questions is really inside of YOU.

3) Do I confront H or W about OM/OW? What do YOU really want to do? Better yet – why? What are you afraid of? Are you afraid they may leave? Are you afraid you will piss them off? Are you afraid they may file? Do you really think you can control it? FACE your FEAR! Why are you afriad? What is the root of the fear? Is it that you never really valued yourself? Is it that you are afriad if they leave how you will put food on the table? If so, is that who YOU really want to be? Dbing DOES NOT say you should be treated like crap. It is about health boundaries. Are you afriad to tell your spouse to stop texing OM/OW in front of you? Why? YOU matter! You are worthy of LOVE and RESPECT too. YOUR feeling do matter. Now I am not saying that you should confront today, tomorrow…what I am saying is UNDERSTAND why you are making the choice you are making. Cause if it is the result of FEAR – you have not address the real issue. FACE your fears.

I can go on and one with all sort of examples: The key point that I want to make to many of you is…..

Inside of you is a star! That star is your guiding light. Not me, not another poster. YOU. YOU are your guiding light. Ya just have to get past the fear. You just have to ACCEPT YOU, learn to LOVE you, Choose happiness over everything else. Find the issues and fears that you have and then slay them – one at a time. They may not go away today…but just knowing what they are EMPOWERS you to make choices that are TRUE to YOU. You are star! Every single answer to your question is inside you.

If you work on you – fully – if you totally commit YOU to YOURSELF, to healing YOUR core. You will be happy. You will have an inner peace and joy.

Stop looking at your spouse – focus on you and face your fears!

Life is a river…..it flows…it changes….. YOU can’t control it.


"What is best for my kids is best for me"
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Originally Posted by Zues126
The goal of this post is to avoid misinterpreting their WAS's mixed messages resulting in actions that hurt ourselves, our WAS's, and our chances for the M.

If you're an LBS it's important that you don't assign too much meaning to signs of warmth or indecision from your WAS. One of the easiest mistakes to make is to assume other people feel and think similar to how we do. In our LBS minds it's easy to project how we feel or how we desperately want our WAS's to feel onto them. Maybe this is part of denial, we simply can't imagine things not working out so we are just waiting for the sign that shows us this is the part of the movie where everyone falls back into each others arms.

Hey, we're human, we're going to feel desperate at times and get our hopes up at times. That's fine. We just can't let it derail the road we need to walk.

WAS's are much farther gone that we think. On these forums we say the marriage is dead at BD. That maybe if you do your work and they do theirs a day might come when the two people you become reengage, but this relationship is dead.

This isn't about giving up hope. I'm 100% in favor of standing for a marriage. It's about not allowing ourselves to be strung along and fed crumbs so we end up enabling an impermissible situation.

I remember when, 90 days after BD, my XW started sending me emails that demonstrated some regret. I'd been warned and was trying very hard to be deliberate and cautious. Very hard. I waited hours before I'd respond. I'd check with the boards. I was TRYING to reign my emotions in. But when she used phrases like "She hated divorce" and "She liked the person I was becoming" and "She missed talking to me" and asking if I was seeing anyone or if I still thought about us together, I was SURE this was a big break through! She finally was seeing what I saw, that we can work this out!!!

She called me late in the night and said she was drinking a little and she missed me and our marriage and was so lonely she didn't think she could make it through. I, the white knight I was, drove over to see her because she sounded like she was in a dark place.

You all buckled up? When I got there, she freaked out because OM was sleeping upstairs in the marital bed passed out. She was depressed because he had just told her he wanted to break up with her. I'll spare you what was by FAR the worst part (for those who like pain you can dig up my old thread) but I had a chance the next day to open up her phone and I was blown away with what I saw. She had been with many different guys, and she had a different persona via text message exchange with each of them including new OMs she was lining up. She also had one with her friend talking about how "Great, now I have to push Zues away again because of yesterday..."

This isn't my thread, but I hope this example is better than a general warning. Conflicting feelings and some sadness does NOT equate to remorse and commitment to the marriage.

So, how is it that they can express genuine regret, pain, loneliness, and warmth without meaning 'let's get the band back together?'
Simple. Those feelings are genuine, they just aren't commitment.

Pretend your WAS started using heroine habitually. Or started gambling away all of their money every paycheck. Do you think that they'd feel regret at times? Do you think they'd feel the pain of the consequences of their choices at times? Do you think that they'd miss their old life at times? Of course they would, but that's totally irrelevant. We know they do. The ONLY thing that matters is whether they have felt enough of those things to hit the rock bottom to where they'll actually commit 100% to changing their lives for the better. Even then it's lip service and only time will tell if their actions match their words.

So why do they do this to us? Simple. To avoid consequences.

Some is avoiding physical consequences. Maybe they want to control the speed of the breakup, like when you wade into cold water little by little. They aren't ready to be splashed yet, they're still working up to it- but they are going to do it on their time, in their way. They don't want you charging around now they have to deal with consequences like being cut off financially, or having family or mutual friends hear about their behavior, and it sure is easier to get you to agree to give them whatever they want whenever they want it when you are blinded by hope.

Some consequences they wish to avoid are emotional. So long as they string you along they aren't sacrificing their marriage for their love affair because they know they can get you back at any time, so they are just indulging themselves because they deserve to feel better. No, they don't want you back, but by knowing you are still there they don't have to deal with the sense of loss the same way they would if you moved on.

So how can they say they say they want to repair the marriage one day and then not follow through the next, you KNOW they were being genuine at the time. Hey, I'm not saying those emotions aren't real, just that they aren't the same as ongoing consistent behavior. There is something I call "Medicating with positive intent". Think of it this way. Say a friend is in an abusive relationship. Their partner just slapped them around. They call you crying and saying they can't take anymore. So what do they do? They talk to you for hours, making plans about where they will go, what they will do, and on and on. Guess what? Now they are feeling better. Empowered. Hopeful. They feel alright again...hmm...now they feel alright again, and guess what? Things aren't that bad. They do love so and so. They can get through it after all. I don't know about you but I've seen too many examples of people that truly convince themselves they are going to make a positive change because the good feelings that follow their well intended proclamation are all they really needed, no reason now to bother with all of that following through hard work stuff. It'll be ok. Right?

So what's an LBS to do?

Well, the first step is to read this like ten times and really understand it. Because while our feelings will be all over the map, we have a responsibility. If we truly love our WAS's we need to allow them to experience the consequences of their choices. This is the best chance to save the M. And if that isn't possible, consider it the last gift you give to someone you pledged your life to, ending on a positive note after all of the hurt. That gift means that when they are engaging in unhealthy choices that are destroying their lives we don't make it easy for them to keep doing it.

I'm not here to script out verbal responses to temp checks and displays of emotion, but the underlying message you need to communicate are things like this:
-Your not the shoulder to cry on anymore
-Getting back together isn't that simple anymore
-You are firm in your boundaries and won't accept [open marriage, loveless marriage, sexless marriage, uncommitted partner, disrespect, etc]
-You've told her everything you have to tell her and have nothing left to say (no R talks, never ever ever ever)
.

From our LBS view it seems like we're destroying our only hope. But WAS wants to have the R talk!!! If I blow them off then they'll blame me for being the one that ended it.

Hogwash. If WAS is seriously remorseful and ready to do anything and everything to work on the marriage they will let you know. They won't play games. The 'well then, that's why we can't work' card is manipulative and proof there is no lasting remorse. Any R talk that doesn't start with them going first with a list of apologies and re-commitments is just proving to her that you are willing to compromise your boundaries and remain emotionally involved with a wayward spouse. I repeat, this is hurting yourself, your WAS, and your chances of preserving your family.

In conclusion, if you are seeing signs that your spouse wants to return, post all about it here. Get it out of your system. Overreact on these forums. Tell us how it's going to work out after all, that we were wrong, that YOU KNEW your WAS, you KNEW they would fall back into your arms, that you think you are in piecing, etc, etc, etc. But please, for all that is good and holy, stay detached from them outwardly and give them time to see if they actually recommit, show true remorse, and prove it to you with consistent behavior over time. Keeping DBing and may you make it to the other side, whatever lies ahead.


"What is best for my kids is best for me"
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Originally Posted by Steve85
Next time a mutual friend calls and says wants to talk about your W, say "I don't want to talk about it, but I am willing to discuss how I am doing!" And then talk about how awesome your time with S3 is. How you've been staying busy. And how you've been work on yourself to be the best you can be. FOCUS OFF HER AND ONTO YOU!


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Originally Posted by Sage4
This is all so hard and you are in a tremendous amount of pain. I know it is hard to imagine, but every single person on this board has felt the same pain your are suffering at the moment. And we are all here, all surviving and many of us doing even better than we were pre-BD.

So, can I give you a few things to hold onto right now?

1. Forgive yourself.
2. Time will heal.
3. This too shall pass.
4. The heart is a wonder.

The rejection is clouding your ability to see your own life clearly. It happens to all of us. But you and only you are responsible for dealing with your reaction to the rejection. Once you have had a chance to really engage with that rejection and understand the root of your reaction, you will be well on your way to healing. So start there. In time, you will see that everything you are experiencing actually has little to do with your W and everything to do with your own emotions. So you really have way more power and control than you know. You will get there, we all do. Take one small step at a time.


"What is best for my kids is best for me"
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Mixed messages is a horrible thing. The spikes in feeling good about things and then the drop once you realize it's not real is hard.

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Originally Posted by ScottB
I learned a simple lesson tonight. I texted my wife to ask for one of our laundry baskets back. We had four of them and she took all of them and I just wanted one (I now have none). So 3 hours later I’m sitting here gripping because i haven’t heard back. That was stupid. Go no contact, stay no contact, buy a stupid laundry basket.
Originally Posted by Steve85


When you do things out of the emotion. Anger ("SHE TOOK ALL THE LAUNDRY BASKETS!"). A sense of right ("I SHOULD AT LEAST GET 1 OF THEM BACK!") Or even hurt: ("WHY WOULD SHE TAKE ALL 4 AND LEAVE ME WITH NONE?") It is hardly ever going to be the right thing. I learned in my own sitch years ago that when I was emotional, DB principles went out the window. But when I remained calm and even, and even chuckled at the circumstance ("Ha, she even took all 4 laundry baskets...what a nut!") then I was able to think clearly, remember what I had learned, and apply it.

It doesn't come naturally though. Our first instinct is to do what you did. I failed early on too, but I remained committed to DBing and got better at it. I was never separated from my W, we were IHS, but she did a lot of little things to "test" me. Learning to let go and realize BEFORE you give into your instincts that "it is just a laundry basket!" will eventually become easier for you.

One tactic we try to get LBSs to try is to come here and use the forum as a test balloon. "Hey, my STBXW took all 4 of the laundry baskets when she moved out. Should I text her and ask for one back?" The forum is really good at giving you advice before you take action. So next time you have the urge to fire off a text message, even in response, come here first and get advice.


"What is best for my kids is best for me"
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Originally Posted by Joe2017

I had a lot of threads, so to recap if you don't know my story: Thanksgiving time three-ish years ago my W dropped the "it's not working out" and the ILYBINILWY stuff. I find evidence of OM. WW denied and went full aggro on me. Called the police and tried to get me arrested in front of our kids. The whole thing was crazy. Few months later the D was final. Maybe the fastest D in the history of this site. I lost my truck, my house, and dog. Like a country music song. I thought I was losing my life.

About a year later I got a very sincere apology from her. My ex wanted everything back that she threw away. She had it good with me. So we dated again, and she called OM and told him she was wrong for getting involved with him. She took a STD test. She apologized to my kid. She was subservient. And she eventually went back to her narc ways. Being dishonest, etc... then I found out about an addiction issue she successfully hid from me during all the years of marriage. We split up again. We're friendly now. Sometimes she'll call or text me. It's not a big deal. She's been forgiven. She knows a lot of people and will probably be beneficial to me in the future for business purposes.

Anyhow! Three years later and I'm great. My kid is doing well. I finished school. I got a decent raise at work. I bought a new vehicle. I bought my own house that is MY HOUSE. I've had a lot of time to reflect. I went and got a life. I've read a lot about narcissism and learned new ways of healthy coping. I learned a lot about myself. I have made self improvements. I hopefully have taught my son what a strong independent person looks like.

During my D, this site helped save my sanity. The 2x4's, the truth I didn't want to read or hear, the positive thoughts and constructive criticism all helped me. We are all lucky to have this resource.

Some of the big things I learned are:

SAVE YOURSELF. NOBODY IS COMING! Sound harsh? It is. You might find help along the way, but it is up to you to save yourself. You still have to go to work and pay bills. You still have to be a parent and mentor your kids. You still have to be an adult. But you also still have to have fun. You have to laugh again. You have to accomplish goals again. You have to smile again. You still have life to live! GO LIVE IT!

Invest in your own mental health. I went to counselors. I went to Divorce Care. I read books. I read the Bible. I even got medicated until my mood evened out. This goes along with saving yourself. These things are important resources you may need to utilize, because depression and anxiety are formidable enemies that can be lying in wait. Save yourself!

Narcissists will never change. My ex wanted me back, but in a really selfish and codependent kind of way. I had to realize that I'd never be able to trust her again with my emotions, because a narcissist does not care about anybody else's emotions! If your WS is a narcissist, you likely just thought they loved you. But in reality, they are incapable of truly loving anyone else. They are instead, highly skilled manipulators. You know how you read thread after thread on these boards of wayward spouses (of any gender) that all have the same playbook? Yeah. It's an unchangeable mental condition. They ain't gonna change.

Spend the money on a good attorney. The big D is a complicated business transaction. I had a very straightforward process and the WW's attorney was still a very aggressive and very offensive person. If I did not have a well-seasoned attorney on my side I could have easily been manipulated during my moments of weakness. Did I mention divorce is a business transaction? Divorce is a business transaction. Business is brutal. Invest the money in your own future, hire a good attorney.

I did not NEED my ex back. I only wanted her back. I wanted my life back to the way things were because I was comfortable until the BD. I spent years developing our family, our relationships, our home. That's a lot of investment! But at no time did I actually need my spouse to return. I just thought I did, I desired that outcome. But I also wanted a Ford Mustang when I was a kid and I never got it. And things turned out just fine.

I am really good on my own! I still get lonely, but it's OK because I learned that my loneliness is NOT me missing my marriage. At first it seems this way, and WOW do the two feelings go hand-in-hand in the beginning! But they are NOT the same emotions. Things are messy in your heart and your head during a D. Me being lonely is cured by an hour with my kid or a phone call with my friends. Anyone coming out of a LTR needs to read everything they can about codependency. Even if you're not a full blown codependent, learning ways that codependents heal can really help you GAL. And GAL will save your life.

My heart goes out to all of you living through your own situations. Divorce is one of the hardest experiences to survive, but you will make it! You might piece your marriage back together, or you might not. No matter which outcome occurs, you will GAL and become version 2.0 of you. It is going to be OK! Don't give up!






Originally Posted by AnotherStander
Hey Joe, that's an awesome post and really resonates with me as I approach 10 years post BD. My XW isn't a narcissist but I can 100% back up every bullet point you made. The goal to surviving and eventually thriving isn't to save our M, it's to uncouple ourselves from our spouse and find our own footing. People talk about codependency like it's a bad word but really that's what marriage is SUPPOSED to be- you depend on someone else and they depend on you. You're a team. To lose half that team is a very difficult thing indeed, you feel like your life has been ripped in half because it HAS. So you've got to find a way to make yourself whole again, and as nice as it is to have some support through that, we really have to do all the heavy lifting ourselves.

I think most of us come out the other side never wanting to be -that- codependent again. Good or bad, we tend to keep new romantic interests at arm's length. That's not to say we don't open up to them and such, but we do that while maintaining our independence. We can do just fine on our own, or with someone else. As you said, we learn we don't NEED anyone else. We might want them, but wanting and needing are very different things. I want a Lamborghini but I will never have one and I am happy anyway grin

Anyway, that was a great post full of wisdom. Glad to hear you are doing well!



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https://www.divorcebusting.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=2910193#Post2910193

Originally Posted by AnotherStander
The good news is there's plenty you can do to tilt the scales! That's kind of the point of DB'ing, you make yourself into this awesome man with a great mix of alpha and beta qualities, and eventually when your W looks back then that is what she sees, not some sad, depressed, desperate wreck.


"What is best for my kids is best for me"
Amor Fati
Link to quotes: https://www.divorcebusting.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=2879712
Joined: Mar 2008
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https://www.divorcebusting.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=2910231#Post2910231

Originally Posted by Rushton
Hi All,

It's been almost one-year since I posted this thread, and the details are there for anyone who wants to read them. I was in a very sad and lonely place last year, and I wanted to post this update in the hopes that it might help anyone experiencing something like that right now.

My wife and I have reconciled. Not long after my Christmas 2019 posts, I finally threw in the towel emotionally and turned the corner accepting that my wife wanted a divorce. It was devastating to me -- as I'm sure it is for anyone who loves their spouse and wants to hold their marriage together as their spouse insists on divorce -- especially so in my case since I felt largely responsible for the destruction of our marriage. I was carrying extreme sadness, fear of the future for me and my children, and heavy guilt for my mistakes.

I felt I was at the end of my rope. Up until that point, only my brother knew anything was going wrong. But I reached out to a few other close friends to talk to them when I had some time alone. For me, it was the first steps toward accepting what I had been trying to prevent for the past 7 months.

We were busy with lots of kids' activities during the holiday week, but the day before New Year's Eve, I initiated a discussion with my wife about the relationship. I told her that I couldn't take living like this anymore. I told her that I loved her but that if she did not want to reconcile, we should move forward with a divorce. I apologized again for what I had done wrong. I shared with her my perspective of trying to focus on being thankful for the time that we had been given together, for our healthy and beautiful children, and for what we had shared that had brought them into the world. She was emotional, but held firm in not wanting to reconcile; we hugged a little, we cried a little, but things remained the same -- she did not want to reconcile and wanted to move ahead with a divorce.

I did tell her that day that I would soon be moving out of the spare bedroom and back into the master bedroom in the next couple of days. I said that the reason was that after we divorced, who knew what our living situation would be, but that our oldest boy had never had his own room and always wanted one, and that for whatever time we remained in the house, I was going to let him have that room as his own.

Then I probably deviated from the DB philosophy and did some things that are not advised, and probably shouldn't be advised in most cases, but I'll relay them here anyway.

Later that day same day, I drove to my parents' house a couple hours away to talk with them. They had no idea anything was wrong, and they were stunned and heartbroken to hear the news. I confessed to them the mistakes that I had made, my part in the breakup of our marriage. They were kind, because they saw how defeated and devastated I was at that point, but of course, they knew I had made serious mistakes. My parents love my wife, probably as much as they love me, and they knew I had hurt her badly. They asked me to ask my wife if it was OK for them to reach out to her. My parents told me about the faith-based "Retrouvaille" program and asked me to consider giving it a try. I was willing, of course, but I told them that I didn't think my wife would be interested. But I agreed to ask her about it.

I returned home and spent New Year's Eve with the family. At some point on New Year's Day I told my wife about Retrouvaille, and asked her if she'd be willing to consider it. She was not. She said there was no point in trying anymore.

A couple days later, I moved back into the master bedroom, and back into our marital bed; she began sleeping on the spare twin bed was have in the master bedroom. So we were sleeping in the same room, but not in the same bed.

I returned to work after the holidays. The next couple of weeks are a blur. I know that my parents reached out to her via email, and maybe also via phone, and I don't know all that was said, but I know they were sympathetic to her and tried to show her that she was loved and that they understood where she was coming from, having been hurt by me so badly. I had some conversations about it with my mom and dad during the first and second week of January, as they were communicating with her. I'm pretty sure that during that two-week period, I asked my wife once or twice more if she would be willing to try Retrouvaille, and her answer was always the same -- no; she saw no point in trying to reconcile.

Although my parents were asking me to be more flexible, I could not take living like this anymore -- emotionally it was hurting too much. Moreover, I felt that by allowing her to stay in the marriage, and reap all the comforts of what it means to be provided for by a husband, and to not have to face the real world on her own, without any effort at reconciling, and repeatedly rejecting even the idea of reconciling, was counterproductive to any hope of reconcilliation. I knew it was a last-ditch move, but I reached a point where I truly felt that the best move -- the only move, really -- that I had left to make was to actively move ahead with the divorce. Most of me had given up hope, only a very small part of me clung onto the hope that maybe actually being faced with the stark reality of how her life would be post-divorce would cause her to reconsider her refusal to try to reconcile.

Since my wife seemed to have (to me) unrealistic expectations about how the marital assets would be divided up, and what standard of living she'd have post-divorce, I recommended that she have a frank discussion with her divorce lawyer (I knew she had met with one) about realistic and reasonable expectations, and then asked that we sit down to discuss the divorce in a week, the following weekend, to try to reach agreement on the broad outlines of the terms of our divorce. I scheduled an appointment with my own divorce attorney for Monday morning following that planned weekend discussion.

When that weekend arrived, we had an early morning talk. It was super tense to start. I beleived we were about the begin the actual work of negotiating the terms of our divorce. We sat down, and I asked her if she had spoken with her divorce lawyer, and she said yes she had. And then, when I started to talk about how to split up assets in the divorce, she cut me off and said that she was willing to try to reconcile with me.

I was stunned. It was only when I had basically lost all hope, and reluctantly brought myself right to the point where I was going to file for divorce on Monday, that this good news hit me. She told me some things that she wanted me to change; most of which were pretty reasonable, and to which I agreed. And from that moment on, we've been working to repair our marriage.

It turned out that some of the emails that my parents had sent her, confirming their love for her, their understanding of her feelings, and their thoughts about the importance of trying to work on our marriage resonated with her. They at least made her pause, raised some doubt about the feminst-mantras she had been telling herself for months, and ultimately, brought her to a point where she was inspired to change her mind.

We did end up attending a Retrouvaille weekend retreat a month later, and I think that really helped us get back on the right track. Even at the retreat, during introductions, she described herself as this being the "last chance" to fix things in our marriage, which to me seemed more extreme than I felt at the time. But in any case, we did have a positive experience that weekend, and our marriage has continued to improve ever since. It's not been without hiccups, and not without some arguments, but definite overall improvement month by month. Even during this crazy, unusual COVID time, when we were forced into close quarters with us and the kids all under 1 roof nonstop for months on end ...

There are no hard and fast rules. Talk to friends and family if you need to, as I did in my case. In my own personal view, I don't like the idea of a married couple trying to deal with all of this on their own, and keeping it all "private" ... that's unnatural, and it's not how we evolved as people or how our human societies evolved. Sometimes, we do need the wisdom and love and advice of family and friends. Our extended family, specifically my parents, did, in the end, help us reconcile. And I'm thankful for that.

I wanted to write this post-script to my thread for anyone who might stumble upon it and for anyone who might be reading these forums searching for any sign of hope that things can work out. Last year, around this time, when I felt completely alone in my grief and my sadness, I came here. Thank you to all who responded and offered words of comfort, advice, or even commiseration. I needed that. Remember that every relationship and every situation is different. But in the end, every relationship is between two people, people who are imperfect, whose thoughts and feelings can and do change. Nothing is permanent except God's love and plan for us. And I had to bring myself through the painful process of accepting the break-up of my marriage, accept it, and initiate the process of moving on, before things fell into place to begin a reconciliation. For anyone who is experiencing a difficult time this Christmas season, my heart and my thoughts go out to you. There is always hope.


"What is best for my kids is best for me"
Amor Fati
Link to quotes: https://www.divorcebusting.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=2879712
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Last edited by job; 12/17/20 09:14 PM. Reason: added link to new thread

Sit quietly, the answers will reveal themselves when you least expect them to.
The past is gone, the present is a gift and you need to focus on today, allow the future to reveal itself when it is ready.
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