Thanks so much everyone for taking the time to respond. I ran out of time to respond on my own thread tonight but I hope to get caught up in the next few days with full responses to each response. Thanks again!
I have hesitated to post to you because I don't want to come off too harsh, and I feel like you might not agree with what I say because you are so dead set on getting your H back.
I read Blu's post to you, and WOW. Yes! it says so much to you and your sitch and what you and daughter deserve.
I also really don't have any family. I am an only child. My mother passed away when I was 21, and we never had a good R, as she was a bipolar recovering drug addict who picked drugs back up again when my dad left. My dad was all I had, and when I was 17, he left for his OW. He moved back to NY to build a life with his now wife. he was still present, but I never felt so abandoned and alone as my mother was going off the deep end and my dad wasn't there to protect me anymore. This lead to some really bad decisions in my life. One being my exH. This is the time we got together. I let him treat me so horribly because he was all I had. I allowed myself to be cheated on, disrespected, talked down to, all because if I let go of him, who did I have? I guess you could say he later did me a favor by letting go. He is no different the man who left me almost 11 years ago. For a period of time, of course, with a 6 month old baby, I thought I couldn't survive without him and him coming back would be the answer to everything and my life would be that much better. But LORD NO! If he was coming back unchanged, my life and my daughter's life would have been a pure hell. She would see me disrespected on a daily basis and I would have modeled a woman tolerating this. This is what she would have learned. I honestly cringe at the thought. We think showing that "standing for our marriage" is showing our kids something honorable. But no. When the other half violates those vows in so many numerous ways, it shows a lack of self worth. A marriage is more than living with someone and piece of paper. There are more ways to violate vows than infidelity. You ex is violating vows in every way imaginable.
And I know if he were to come home unchanged tomorrow you would accept him with open arms. What would that be showing yourself and your daughter? Imagine you were watching your daughter in your position? What would you want for her? For her to pine over a person who has proven he is a poor excuse for a husband and a father? For her to wait for him to come home? To have all of her moves dictated by his?
This is not meant to be insulting to you as a woman and a mother. I know your intentions are that you are standing for your M. You continue to say "my husband" every chance you can. He hasn't been a husband to you, but on paper.
I survived by making friends family. By knowing I am teaching my daughter self worth and self respect. Showing her I will be just fine and we will be just fine, just the two of us and the tribe we built.
You are going to literally waste what could be such a beautiful and fulfilling life waiting on a guy who is so lost and selfish and I would hate that for you and your daughter. You have a career, a wonderful child, hopefully a strong circle of friends, how is this disrespectful man going to make anything better?
I hope traveling to Europe and being with those who love and respect you open your eyes up to what this life has to offer without him. So much more than with him, quite honestly. And I believe in honoring marriage vows. But both sides have to do it. He is choosing to violate them in more ways than one. And you holding your growth and healing and life back for a lost man breaks my heart for you.
Nic - You are amazing!!! You are raising your D essentially on your own and you are not actively disrupting any potential relationship between your D and her father. That's no easy task when there is so much hardship between parents. I've seen the damage first hand when children are used as pawns to punish another parent. So Kudos Girl!!! Pat yourself on the back. Single parenting is exhausting and challenging but not impossible. You are doing a wonderful job.
You've asked me multiple times why I state that your H knows that you are still available as an option while you point out a list of things you have done that show you are not but as Blu pointed out - its symantics on your end that show how eager you are for any breadcrumbs thrown your way by him.
Anytime you miss a late night call, OR he seems sad, OR he looks puffy eyed you jump to the statement that perhaps he is starting to realize how much of a mistake he has made with you. That's a pretty big assumption on your part. You have NO idea why he has these issues. Not only is his personal life a mess but he has profound professional issues to --- trust me when a resident is let go from multiple jobs it is a huge red flag!!! It gets harder and harder to a job because future prospects will look to why he has been forced out. Quite frankly it appears he starts to feel bad for himself and falls back on you not because he wants you per say but because he can whine to you... that makes him feel better but at the cost of your hopes and sanity.
In my honest opinion I think you need to read DB about the Last Resort Option --- and go dark... go very very dark. And, you need to actual live your life like he is never coming back... which means when there is a missed call 1am you don't immediately ponder that if you had only taken that call he would have come back... stop that!!!
Trust me, if he does the work he needs to do to be the man you need not answering one phone call will not make him say "oh well...". When the guy really wants to come back he will be persistent. He will shout from the rooftops what a fool he had been and he will take the time to be patient and show consistent good behavior over time so that you know that its real. He will show interest in your feelings, concerns, etc. That's the one thing that has been lacking... concern for your feelings for such a long time.
One of the best words of advice I ever got in my life over a broken heart was that "I will get over it when I'm ready to be over it". Its true... when you are ready you will move on... we all grieve differently. I think what most of us are trying to say is that when you can see that missed call at 1am and go "what the crap does he want now" and really mean it then you will finially be detached. Moving a 1000miles away may put physical distance but you are no more detatched... and he isn't going to have any kind of wake up call until you really have detached and moved on.
I know this is hard.... holidays and all. Everyone here thinks the world of you and your D. We just want to see you live your best life! Hugs!!!!
I tend to apologize or feel a bit guilty when I tell people things that might hurt their feelings or if I know it is something they don't want to hear. The thing is, we are all here because we care about one another and are (or have been) going through the same things. I have no reason to spend several hours a week reading and writing other than because I want to help people. It was the darkest time of my life and I needed help. .... As long as we don't insult one another, I think we owe it to each other to be honest. Validation alone, is not going to get us through these hard times. I didn't post here during my sitch, but I did talk to several close friends. Sometimes they said hurtful things to me about H that I did not want to hear! I am now glad for some of those truth darts, because it shocked me into some detachment. We need to see reality, and not just what we want to see. I have noticed Nicole has a pattern of ducking out of her thread for a few days when she gets posts that challenge her beliefs, so perhaps she is thinking about some of this. I hope so.
“Forgiveness liberates the soul. It removes fear. That is why it is such a powerful weapon.” – Nelson Mandela
Nicole, I've tried to gently chide you into detaching and moving on, but I have to say, I agree with a lot of what was said in recents posts. (And yes, I get the hypocrisy, as hard as it's been for me to move on. I think it's easier to see clearly in other people's situation than your own.) I know it's hard, but you have it in you!
M:23 T:26 Me:53, Wife: 60 S:18 D:16 filed 7/16 W moved out 4/28/17
Hi all, thanks again for so many of you taking the time to write and comment. I had no idea that my boring old thread would attract traffic!
I try to respond to others' threads before my own but I'm not very fast and lately, between work, my daughter's needs, illness, activities, etc.. I haven't done well in saying thank you to those who take the time to share their valuable time and encouragement. Last night I wanted to write a long message but one thing led to another and suddenly it was after midnight so let me try to catch up. I really appreciate all of your responses and I'm sorry because there are still a few from a few weeks or months ago that I never got to respond to individually. I'll try to find them over the holidays and respond because I remember there were some important points and advice.
I'll do my best to respond to each of your messages without writing a 50 page novel.
Ovrrnbw, there may be a temp check. I really don't know what my husband's cryptic words meant. I'll try not to take the bait.
Davide, I like your suggestion to not be overly friendly or interested. Despite all my doubts it makes most sense. Regarding sleeping over on Christmas, I just don't know. I believe the DB book says exceptions can and should be made when it comes to family time and Christmas may be an exception. If it makes our daughter happy and he sleeps in the spare room then I don't see it as detrimental but I'm open to canceling the idea.
Jim, my husband may just automatically drive to his family anyway but as mentioned above I think Christmas might be the one day of the year where an exception can be made. What would you do? And I remember some times where your wife wanted to be included in family activities. Do you think you made the right decision to let her? I hear what you're saying on living the new life as truth. It IS better than where we were last year at this time. It IS a new life, one that wasn't planned, and one where I've learned to live solo. I don't know what my husband thinks of it, or if he cares or notices, but I'll try to keep merging my thoughts and actions to embrace the 'moved on' aspect.
Bluwave, I'm sorry that my response to one or more of your messages was lacking or sounded dismissive. It sounds like you feel resentment and want to clear the air. I'm guilty of rattling off messages sometimes without proofreading and I know I've missed some. It sounds like you really enjoy helping people and you get frustrated when someone doesn't get the boost you tried to offer. I'll try to go back and find your old messages and see what I said or did that was offensive to you. I'll respond again once I find it. Regarding spelling out 'my husband' honestly I do remember this being offered as a suggestion, to find a different word or acronym, but I think I forgot and didn't realize it until you sent this reminder. I'm not really sure what to call him - I feel like technically he's a husband on paper until we get divorced, then he's an ex-husband. I can change it to WH or WAS to fit better within the terminologies used on this site and see if it catches on. Let me think what might be the best acronym. Regarding my husband being a bad person, yes, he became someone unrecognizable. For over seven years he was a kind, gentle, thoughtful, funny, and loving man. Then he became the polar opposite. I don't want that version of him back and I can't take him back after he's done this twice, but the old version was a good man. It's hard to make sense of it all. I make progress but something like our anniversary or the holidays bring back memories of the good days. You mention a deep rooted fear of being alone, abandonment, depression, and anxiety. I think I've struggled with a lot anxiety over certain things, especially health and religion. I've felt depressed a lot since this happened, not the bedridden kind but more like extreme emotional pain and endless tears. I went through ages 18 - 30 mostly alone in life. Put myself through college and grad school, traveled, built my career, etc.. without family moral support or financial help. I had one long-term, eight-year relationship that was mostly long-distance before I met my husband. It kept going because we'd meet up and travel and we had mutual interests but I don't think it was love. I broke it off when he and his family started to get really controlling and suggested I change my career to stop traveling to war zones. When I got married it was amazing. It's like I had thought all those years being on my own weren't ideal but they were fine. Being married was just great. It was like a huge bonus. I realized how great it was to lay on the bed and talk about everything before falling asleep. How fun it was to plan weekend activities and dream about the future. We laughed and helped one another with chores and did special things for one another. It was better than living solo. I was so happy and it even brought me closer to my family because they loved my husband and he helped to mitigate the bad behaviors my mother normally showed. When he was around she was on her best behavior. Now here I am, alone again. I'm not sure if it's a fear of being alone per se, but a fear that there's no guarantee I'll find such a partnership again, at least not soon. I know I need to be more confident and positive and push away the doubts because there is one other man I love, and that man loves me (but we chose separate paths and he's married so not an option), so if there are two then maybe there could be three. And I know there are many people out there who say it's important to be happy alone and to not need anyone else, but in my experience life was better when shared with someone special. Sure I can go back to being alone....I guess I already did. It's just happening right at a time when we had a beautiful daughter and we had the financial means and stability to live a dream life. I thought what we had was great, so it's a horrible feeling to know that what I thought was great was so terrible for my husband that he had to leave. Here we were together with totally opposite experiences. I take the blame for taking a huge risk on a man from the Middle East. Right now I feel like more of a fool than a victim, but if I find out this was all a big immigration scam I will feel like a victim at least for a while I'm sure. Am I codependent? Maybe. I think my original response may have been from an anthropological perspective rooted in the belief that we're designed to be codependent and it's natural to want to live in pairs or groups. I tried to look up the clinical definition of codependency and it says "excessive emotional or psychological reliance on a partner, typically a partner who requires support due to an illness or addiction." I feel it's a subjective term. We're probably all a little co-dependent here in this group to want to save our marriages, so where do you draw the line? It's not something that my counselors or psychologist suggested so I may have dismissed it earlier on because it wasn't on my radar. Usually I feel that mental illnesses need to be diagnosed clinically, otherwise we might end up labeling ourselves or others with conditions that they may or may not have. I will take a second look at it with the next counselor I see. I've tried start with new a counselor that takes my insurance here but with a new job I don't have much accrued leave to take off and in the evenings I have to pay a babysitter and it's a hassle. What past counselors have suggested, and what I keep hearing from friends in real life, is that I lack confidence. I guess the bottom line is that you, and many others here, believe wholeheartedly in the DB approach. You feel confident advocating it and your messages and encouragement are based on the belief that if we fully embrace it we'll find happiness again with or without our spouses. I did choose to go with the DB approach as well, but many of my posts raise my skepticism of it because my situation has been going on for a long time now and while DB may have contributed to stopping an actual divorce, I haven't experienced that feeling of euphoria and moment of clarity that yes, I want to get a divorce! Or "I don't care!" I'm just so analytical. I look at the short and long term, micro and macro, one theory vs another theory and I just feel plain confused. I feel I have no belief system, no strong conviction, and no clarity because the evidence is lacking in all directions. If DB is about saving oneself that's great, and eventually we all need to save ourselves in our new solo roles, but if DB can only anecdotally claim to save marriages and there's no evidence that it works then who is to say it's better than another approach, such as filing for immediate divorce when a spouse cheats or leaves, or marriage counseling, or whatever else one might choose to do. I've built a new life and I now have a wonderful job, my daughter is happy with her school, and our evenings and weekends are filled with fun activities but I have this lingering doubt and skepticism about what step to take next. I don't think happiness is the only metric now that counts - there are practical issues related to my daughter and our finances too. I'm also exhausted from having orchestrated this whole process starting from zero and having been ill for an extended period of time, so I do want to snap my fingers and be happy and know that I deserve better, because yes, we all deserve to have loving people in our lives. I just struggle with relying 100% on one method and I feel I need to really believe in my next steps, so I keep questioning everything. It's kind of like religion. Let's say someone walks into a church and everyone tells that person to believe in that religion but that person knows there are other religions out there and no hard evidence making one more right than others. Which one do you choose? I'll stop there because now I really did write a 50 page novel, but I wanted to fully respond to your post and I'll respond more when I find your old ones. I really admire your confidence and conviction because that's what I'm lacking in my life, and this is something that needs to come from within, so I need to find it.
Neffer, thanks, yes I read Bluwave's post. I just responded to it!
Hi Ginger, thanks for taking the time to share your story. It sounds like you really understand what it's like to stand on your own two feet and be a leader to your daughter. I'm sorry to hear you had to go through all that. It's tough, especially when you look around and see so many loving families and wonder why you can't have the same. We don't all have the good fortune to be born into the perfect loving family and when we dream to create that perfect family as adults, and it doesn't work out, and our kids get stuck in the same trap, it feels hard to see the light. It's good that you reached a point where you could see why having your daughter's father come back wouldn't be good for you nor her. It sounds like you've done great fighting to do what's right for your daughter and yourself. It's interesting to hear how you can trace the cause of everything to that period when neither of your parents were there for you and you married the wrong guy. Sounds like you have a good understanding of why everything happened and you understand the consequences of being with a man who isn't loving, dedicated, stable, etc.. Regarding my husband I did take him back the first time. I can't take him back a second time with open arms but I also don't want to move on so fast and file for divorce that I regret something later on. My husband was a really good guy. He cracked under the pressure of his career and having our daughter and having his whole family move here all at the same time. He went off the deep end. He messed up his whole life and ours too. I feel like I need to process it, give it time, and be confident in my decisions. I'm not looking to date any time soon and every so often miracles do happen, particularly in a religious setting where someone really sees the light and turns their life around, but I'm fully aware that my husband may be lost for a long time. I also did bad things to my husband to punish him and I need to keep improving myself. I've made some progress with gaining confidence, being more positive, dealing better with some chronic health problems, etc.. but I need to keep going. I will try to keep seeing the importance of both sides honoring marriage vows and why it can't work when one person doesn't.
Ovvrnbw, I know you understand because your wife has been back-and-forth and you've had to keep recalibrating and deciding how to proceed. I did accept the demise of my marriage when I decided to move, but as life has improved and my husband has warmed up again I have a hard time filing for divorce right now. The holidays are just such a difficult time.
KitKat, thanks for your continued encouragement. Yes my husband is a mess. I think he has lucid moments where he realizes what he's done and he definitely feels guilty which is why he keeps buying us stuff and sent a luxury car, etc.. My daughter and I have been sick and he keeps offering to pay a babysitter so I can rest and keeps asking if he can prescribe me anything (my daughter told him and then he asked to talk to me). I don't know how to explain the variability in our communications. This morning my husband called at 8 AM and I texted him that I can't talk. I forgot about it and he called back again two times later and I finally answered. I can't go completely NC because of our daughter but I have been successful in limiting conversations to a few minimal words. I'll try to re-read the DB book again. I've made quite a bit of progress in detaching because last year at this time I'd cry uncontrollably when my husband called whereas now I can ignore him or talk briefly but those lingering feelings and doubts reappear at strategic times like the holidays.
Joe, thanks for your honesty. I do believe that for those who can handle it, filing for immediate divorce is the best option. Once things go on long enough being separated becomes a new way of life and it's not a long-term solution. I'll think about your strong conviction that divorce is the only option. I agree that a year is a good benchmark to pass and if the marriage hasn't been fixed it's not worth saving, however, I never wanted to get divorced so it's hard to find the urgency in filing. It's almost better when the other person does it like your ex-wife did. Then you have no choice, and you're catapulted forward, and you give up completely.
Bluwave, I see you that you've been through this and you want to help others. It's a noble thing to do. I'm sure everyone here appreciates the time you spend writing to them when you could be out doing plenty of other things. It's great that you take a no nonsense approach and think rationally since so many here can barely think at all right after their spouses leave. I'm not sure what you mean about me ducking out when my beliefs are challenged. I feel like I usually write way too much, and probably no one reads half of what I write, but sometimes I struggle to respond quickly due to work, my daughter, etc... I don't mind hearing what others have to say. If I didn't want to be challenged I wouldn't post on a forum and share my deepest fears and doubts with strangers in hopes of learning from one another. I get the impression I said or did something that really bothered you so I will try to read my old posts as if I'm someone else and try to pick up on what it was.
Jim, thanks for your gentle style and for being personable, showing sympathy, and for all of your support over the past year. I really appreciate all of your input. I admire you for your strength and honesty.
On a separate note, the guy that I liked at work wrote saying he quit his job and he's moving back to his home country. He sent me his new personal contact info to get in touch when I arrive in his home country in a few months. I think I'll contact him. I was determined to have a fun time with him. Maybe I'll give it one more shot.