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Hi Everyone,

This is my first time posting. I was looking for an online community and am happy to find this one. I bought the DB book a few years ago and it made a difference in my situation. It seems like a lot of online groups just go straight to telling each other to end their marriages but here it looks like there's more analysis and support.

My situation is a bit different than many of yours because I married a guy from the Middle East and I'm originally from the US. There are cultural and religious differences. I sponsored my husband's visa to come here and supported him initially until he started his career. My husband came from a repressed and dysfunctional society although he adjusted quickly here and embraced his American freedom.

We married nine years ago after knowing each other for almost two years before marriage. For the first five or six years (before and during marriage) we had a wonderful relationship. We met in our late twenties and supported each other in our careers, were accepted by each other's families, and had many mutual friends. It seemed like our days were filled with love and laughter.

The only sign that something was wrong was my husband's questionable communications with an ex-girlfriend and e-mails and text messages I found where he was asking women for coffee or just generally being in touch with women I didn't know, who he didn't mention. There was no sign a full affair, but eventually I confronted him about his ex-girlfriend and he was really upset that I had discovered it and broke his trust. I felt he'd broken my trust by not disclosing the communication and he felt he was entitled to talk to her. We went to marriage counseling and the situation got somewhat resolved.

Our days were still, for the most part, good for a long period of time. Then my husband was accepted into a program in another city and we moved for the first time. Within a few weeks of moving my husband was going out alone, with new friends, and drinking alcohol which he hadn't done before. I saw from our shared phone bill many text messages to a number that I checked online and found it was a woman. He totally changed - he would come and go and say it was none of my business where he was. He'd stay out all night and wouldn't answer his phone. He said he wanted to move out but didn't find a place that he liked so for weeks we were still living together under these conditions.

I was so confused and shocked I could barely think at that time. I was frozen. It was like my husband changed overnight. Then, as quickly as it happened, he came back one day, apologized deeply for everything and said he loved me and wanted to work things out. We moved to another city and everything became great and normal again.

We had a child and went through a time when we were both pushed to our limits trying to survive caring for our child and the stress of our careers. About 1.5 years after having our child we were supposed to go on vacation and my husband said he wanted to go alone. We had already booked our plans months earlier so I said that would be difficult, so he came. But clearly something was wrong. When we returned he went away for a weekend and then I found out he had both a girlfriend in the city where we lived and he drove far away to visit his ex-girlfriend. At the same time he was on many dating sites. He announced he was moving out and felt nothing for me anymore.

Suddenly I was alone with a baby while my husband was out enjoying his freedom with all the women he was dating. It was the worst time of my life. That's when I bought some books, including the DB book, because I felt we were headed towards divorce but I also couldn't process how I'd survive or how it could end that way. My husband had been so great. I went to a counselor who said he see's this often when people have kids and that my husband would be back, but I'd have to decide the rules when he returns.

I didn't cut-off contact with my husband but amidst the tears and weight loss I pretended we were having fun when he called or visited and within a very short time, just a few weeks, my husband sounded very depressed and sad. After eight weeks he came home one night saying he was so depressed, he was so sorry, he couldn't live without his family, and he just wanted to come home. I told him we'd have to do a lot of work to fix what would happened if he came back. He said yes, he agreed, but he needed to do x, y, and z for his career in order to salvage it and then we'd focus on fixing things. I agreed to be just roommates until that happened.

Somehow the roommate situation lasted over a year and every month or so I'd go to my husband's room and ask if we could talk about a plan to fix things or end living together. He'd always stare blankly at the wall. When I pushed too much he'd say "don't make me angry, leave me alone, etc.."

Finally I got him to see a psychologist alone. He didn't say much about it. I went to the same psychologist separately and the psychologist said my husband accepted blame for what he'd done, spoke highly of me, but doesn't know what he wants or where he's headed in life.

I asked my husband to return to the psychologist again and after the second time he came home that night and said he wanted to live separately again to "find himself" and to see if he's miserable because of me or because of a problem with himself. Who knows if that's true of if there's just another woman in his life, but on September 1st we moved to separate places.

At first he was coming over every day. He did many nice things for me which he hadn't done in years, including cleaning out my car, buying supplies for my new apartment, setting stuff up, and paying for everything. He would call and come over like everything was normal, but it wasn't. I found my daughter and I were always waiting for him to come and then sometimes he'd be busy and wouldn't come. I realized quickly that this had to stop. As the psychologist said, my husband would take the path of least resistance and enjoyed "having his cake and eating it too." The psychologist suggested becoming more independent and said that'd be best for me and for helping my husband be attracted to me again if that were ever to happen.

I had kind of forgotten about DB and the 180 rule until finding this website and forum, but it made sense as I drafted a separation agreement for my husband to sign which said we'd only talk about financial issues and issues related to our child. He signed it and now he comes three nights per week to take our child out. This has been the situation for two weeks now.

When my husband comes he asks how I'm doing and tries to talk but I just give short answers and don't really express any emotion. I haven't contacted him at all aside to confirm the time he's coming for our child.

I forgot to mention that my husband has said many things since moving out like "let me finish the house (that he started building for us) and we'll have a serious conversation about fixing things" or "let us have six months apart to save our marriage." He also offered for us to move back in with him to see for ourselves that he's not dating anyone else.

I don't know. I guess what I'm wondering is whether this new effort to cut off contact is appropriate for our situation? It seems like there have to be boundaries but sometimes it feels like it's just expediting the process of ending the marriage rather than creating an opportunity to save it. So far in the last two weeks my husband hasn't said anything new about trying to work things out.

I'm sure the easiest thing to do is consider the marriage to be over and move on. The hardest part though is that my husband does seem to be going through a phase of being lost, like a mid-life crisis, and it still seems like he'll snap back at some point. I still remember our happy times and it's so hard to move on.

I'd appreciate any input and I'll reach out to other members and respond to their posts about their situations too. I look forward to contributing here!

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Welcome to the board

Sorry you are here but you will meet some wonderful people here and get some great advice.

The first thing you should do is be sure to read the Divorce Remedy (DR) book by MWD
http://www.mcssl.com/store/mwdtc2014/
http://divorcebusting.com/sample_book_chapters.htm

and Michele's articles
http://www.divorcebusting.com/articles.htm

You may be on moderation now, post in small frequent replies and stay on this thread until you reach 100 posts
(for your thread, you can also post on other peoples threads to give support).
Especially on this Newcomers forum, where the posting activity is very active,
and your posts can quickly fall to the bottom of the page or even several pages down.
Keep journaling and asking questions - people will come!
Most important - POST!

Get out and Get a Life (GAL).

DETACH.


Believe none of what he or she says and half of what he/she does.

Have NO EXPECTATIONS.

Take care of yourself, breathe, eat, sleep, exercise.

Take the parts of this advice that you need and don't worry if I have repeated something that you have already done.

Here are a few links to threads that will help you immensely:

I would start with Sandi's Rules
A list of dos and don'ts for the LBS (left behind spouse)
http://www.divorcebusting.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=2553072#Post2553072

Going Dark
http://www.divorcebusting.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=50956#Post5095

Detachment thread
http://www.divorcebusting.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=2538414#Post2538414

Validation Cheat Sheet: Techniques and tips on how to validate (showing your walk away spouse (WAS) that you recognize and accept his or her opinions as valid, even if you do not agree with them)
http://www.divorcebusting.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=2457566#Post2457566

Boundaries Cheat Sheet
http://www.divorcebusting.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=2536096#Post2536096

Abbreviations
http://www.divorcebusting.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=2553153#Post2553153

For Newcomer LBH with a Wayward Wife by sandi2
http://www.divorcebusting.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=2545554#Post2545554

Resource thread
http://www.divorcebusting.com/forums/ubb...224#Post2578224

Stages of the LBS
http://www.divorcebusting.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=1964990&page=1

Validation
http://www.divorcebusting.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=191764#Post191764

Pursuit and Distance
http://www.divorcebusting.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=2483574#Post2483574

The Lighthouse Story
http://www.divorcebusting.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=2484619#Post2484619

Your H or W is giving you a GIFT.
THE GIFT OF TIME.
USE it wisely.

Knowledge is Power - Sir Francis Bacon


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Hi Nicole and welcome to the forum. I'm sorry that circumstances have led you to be here, but truly it is the best place to be, given the place you are currently in.

I would focus on DBing basics for now - this may release the pressure on the situation for a little while. I'm going to suggest that you carve out a little time for yourself in all of this. When he comes to collect little one, he sees you there and he sees you there again when he gets back. And maybe you do some chores or watch a little TV between the two? However, what if you went out to a dance class (I love Latin dance) or a Meetup group whilst he is parenting?

Primarily, this may be good for you - ie: help you build your own social networks and a life beyond your marriage. And secondly, it may provide a little food for thought for him. Hey, this attractive woman clearly isn't going to sit at home pining for me. If you do one thing right now, I would do this. Next time he comes around, you would be looking nice, carrying your dancing shoes and smelling gently lovely. Then you would go off and enjoy an hour or so of dance (or whatever other activity you would genuinely enjoy...)

As for communications with him, I would gently draw back and stick to essential matters and pleasant (pass the time of day) chat. From what you have posted, this would be a 180 for you as you have previously initiated talks about your R with him. Maybe just let that drift for now and time will tell how things may unfold...

I hope this helps as a starting point. I post in the MLC area of the forum and my XH left for another woman back in 2014. He divorced me and is still with OW as far as I'm aware. In this regard, you may not see my DBing efforts as a great success. However, I fall into the 'successfully saved myself' group IMHO... grin

Xx


T 13 M 7
Me 48 H 46
SS 15
BD 7.14 PA
D final 5.16 (H filed)

We receive & we lose, and must try to achieve gratitude & embrace with whole hearts whatever of life that remains after the losses - Dubus
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Hi Nicole, sorry you are here.

No, your H isn't in midlife crisis. This is something else - and what it is, will require some sleuthing on your part.

Does he have a deep seated problem with monogamy, and were his apparently "out of the blue" mood shifts due to things that were happening in his relationships with other women that you didn't know about? Could there have been more cheating going on than you were aware of?

Does he have some kind of mood disorder such as bipolar disorder?

Could he have an addiction that you are not aware of?

Is it possible that he married you to get his green card, and once you'd been married long enough that he was "safe" from losing his card if you divorced, he no longer kept up his mask?

I know these are all distressing scenarios, and it's difficult to imagine that this person who seemed so loving could be duplicitous, but these things do happen.

If you had to guess, which of these scenarios sounds most likely to you?

(My story: was married for 24 mostly-good years, but there were red flags I overlooked from the beginning. There was an affair with an old girlfriend in the first year of our marriage that I forgave and put down to marriage jitters. An affair after 16 years of marriage that I DB'd our way out of. Then a classic MLC as he approached 50, we divorced and he's now married to an Asian girl 19 years younger. In retrospect now, 9 years after our split, I can see that he's a narcissist, and that he was never 100% in the marriage. I also suspect that there was more flirting and cheating than I was aware of.

Also, recently got out of a 4 year relationship with a man who treated me like a princess. Imagine my surprise on finding out he had another woman on the side for the last three years! And some of his "inexplicable" mood changes occurred when they were fighting, or he was stressing about keeping up his double life.)

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NicoleR Offline OP
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Cadet,

Thanks for those resources! I'll keep posting. I like the lighthouse story and wish I could be like that.

Thanks again!

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NicoleR Offline OP
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Hi Sotto,

Thanks for your response! I'll try to plan more activities for when my husband takes our child out. Currently I need some of the time to do consulting work but I am active with a new church and new friends (we just moved to our current city a year ago). I used to take Latin dancing lessons but it's been a while....I'd like to learn meditation or go to the gym. Perhaps those aren't the best excuses to dress up but I'll work on it.

I'll look for your other posts in the other forum and hope to learn more about saving oneself. I'm just physically not well from all this stress and wish to work on the health issues first and foremost.

Did you ever meet another man or re-marry?

Thanks again!

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NicoleR Offline OP
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Hi KML,

Thanks for your thoughtful questions. All three of your scenarios are possibilities. It's also possible that two or all of them are reasons for what happened.

There's no evidence that my husband has been cheating since he came back the first time. It's always possible he got smarter about it, but in general up until we separated on September 1st he was home all the time when he wasn't at work, wasn't texting anyone frequently, and never looked particularly nice when he went out. But it's still possible there is someone and that's why he's not motivated to work things out. He definitely "discovered" that monogamy is restrictive after getting married and that seems to be one of his regrets - that he didn't get to "live his life" more before getting married. I think after all the dating he did when he left the first time he discovered it's more complicated than he realized. I assume he had a bad break-up or realized it's not as carefree a life as he'd hoped.

I asked the psychologist if my husband sounds like he has a mood disorder and he said he didn't think it's likely, but I do believe there is something wrong like ADHD or mild bi-polar disorder because he does bizarre things like go on major shopping sprees and then returns everything and he has road rage, and he's very anti-social except with his few best friends. I know he watches pornography and may be addicted to it. It's hard to say. I haven't checked what's happening behind the scenes for over two years but there's also the phenomenon of him coming to the US after living in a conservative country and having everything suddenly available. There may just be too many temptations. Perhaps he feels it's marriage vs. all the great things in the world and can't reconcile how to have both or give up one or the other.

He may have married for a green card and I still wonder about that possibility. It's the least likely scenario because our life together was consistently good for many years even for two years after he became a US citizen. He used to call or text me every hour or two when I was at work, sent many loving e-mails, and was proud to be my husband. He wanted to have kids right away but I refused because I wasn't 100% sure about what would happen after he got the green card. It's possible his primary motive was to marry for a green card and I was also a good wife so he kept me around until he had better options, but it's really hard to know.

I'm sorry to hear about the end of your 24 year marriage and the newer relationship where the man was cheating as well. That's so sad and unfair that your ex-husband would marry a younger woman and that your newer relationship had a third party. How can you trust anyone after all that?

It's off topic but also what's with all these much younger girls marrying much older men? I'm almost 40 and I don't feel like I can relate well to a 60 year old man. It seems like every older man wants a much younger woman and apparently there are many out there ready to be their girlfriend and some are probably sincerely in love, but it can't be all of them. It does make me feel like I wouldn't be anyone's first choice unless he's much older. I wish I'd never have to find out, but there doesn't seem to be much hope left for my marriage.

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I must admit, I agree with kml about the worrying long term pattern of consistently needing the inappropriate contact alongside his main R. It does signify a problem that may be more deep seated, and how willing and able he may be to try and change that - IDK?

I'm reminded of a good friend of mine who was married for a few years to a guy and discovered an A and ongoing contact with various women during their M - even on their honeymoon actually - yikes! They recovered from this once and then the behaviour started up again - second time around, she had reached her limit and they D'd. She is now happily dating a new guy couple of years later. Now I don't advocate divorce, and this is a marriage saving site. But there are two messages in here. One is - however things unfold, you will reach a happy place again if you put in gentle and consistent effort. Two is - personal boundaries - critical in a situation like yours. What are you willing to live with and what aren't you willing to live with. One of my biggest 'learns' has been to ask myself - is this working for me? And What do I need to do to look after myself in this situation?

You may want to have a look at psy Sara's thread as I thought of this when reading your post too. I tried hard to save our marriage, but it did end in divorce. However, the big thing I really don't miss is that state of anxiety around whether XH was in touch with OW again (he was..) I don't ever want to live like that again - it's miserable - and it is perfectly reasonable for you, for anyone, to have a rock solid boundary on this.

All of this means I don't think an early reconciliation is a good thing to aim for in your situation. I think it will be best for you to start rebuilding your life after your separation and just let the dust settle with him. In my friend's case, her XH asked if they could try again after D - and she wasn't interested. Undiagnosed depression was her take on what happened with him, and the contact with OPs was a distraction and way of not facing those internal issues. I think your H would need to willing to face up to whatever underlying cause leads to this behaviour and seek therapy to address it.

Hope this helps a little anyway Nicole. Chin up, extend yourself with new activities and invest in getting your new place looking nice...leave your H to twist in the wind just now and step back a little... I'll keep looking in on you..

smile


T 13 M 7
Me 48 H 46
SS 15
BD 7.14 PA
D final 5.16 (H filed)

We receive & we lose, and must try to achieve gratitude & embrace with whole hearts whatever of life that remains after the losses - Dubus
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NicoleR Offline OP
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Hi Sotto,

Thanks for your response! You are right and it sounds like you have a lot of experience with these issues to pick-up on how it may be a more deep seated problem.

Originally I was most troubled by my husband having affairs but that was actually nothing compared to him just leaving as if he doesn't care and never again wanting to openly communicate or act like himself. He completely changed as a human being and that's the hardest part for me to accept.

I'd have to think about it more but I almost don't even care who he's talking to if he could just offer us a semi-normal life with stability for a few years. It's currently not an option since he's gone again, but none of the options on how to proceed are good. Divorce is not good, being single is not good, trying to date and meet someone new seems like exchanging one set of problems for another is not good, and living with a husband who doesn't love me isn't good. Not one of those options are currently ones that I can accept. My husband's affairs are part of something that happened to him where he's no longer the man that I married. I don't even think about them compared to missing the man with whom I had a great life for many years.

I don't know if any reconciliation is possible nor if it could happen any time soon, but I feel I can't wait indefinitely so asking for a divorce may eventually be the only way to end this situation. The last time my husband returned within eight weeks, but this time he seems just checked-out and in his own world.

Thanks again for your input. If my husband ever did want to work things out seriously then I'd definitely ask him to seek long-term counseling to address what went wrong.

I'll search for psy Sara's thread. I'm glad in your case you're at least out of that state of anxiety wondering about the OW. That is a terrible feeling.

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Hi Nicole, absolutely focus on health first and you can add other things in when you are feeling stronger. In the early days, I found it very soothing to read Jon Kabat Zinn - even if I didn't meditate, I found his words really calming. I also joined a yoga class with a great teacher and I still do that. I did some upcycling projects too - I had little in the way of funds but my Dad kindly lent me his garage and it did me good to get out in the fresh air and do something creative with my hands..

I'm not sure I'd recommend reading my threads!! It's been a long road for me - since Spring of 2014. And funnily enough the OW in my sitch was much younger than XH - 17 years. She is closer in age to his son. No, I haven't met someone else yet. I decided to wait for a year after D finalised to open up to that. And I have been on one coffee date with a dancing friend, but haven't taken that any further. I'm enjoying the single life just at the moment....all in good time :-)

Anyway, just keep on moving forward - get through today, don't try and think too far ahead. Settle your system, so you are eating, sleeping and working - and then you can build on that as time moves on.

Take care smile


T 13 M 7
Me 48 H 46
SS 15
BD 7.14 PA
D final 5.16 (H filed)

We receive & we lose, and must try to achieve gratitude & embrace with whole hearts whatever of life that remains after the losses - Dubus
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