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Link to old thread: http://www.divorcebusting.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=2815862#Post2815862


I have a longish history, so to catch anyone up, here's a synopsis:

We had a fabulous, wonderful marriage for 15 years, but things started unravelling, and we weren't really happy or close for about 10 years.

W desperately unhappy, severely depressed.... left me in July 16.

GAL, 180's, personal growth, self reflection to understand my flaws, got a girlfriend, moved on with my life, yada yada. But I've never been able to fully detach from her, and the dream of reconciliation (it's been an issue).

We've always gotten along well, even in the darkest days of D, to the point that people here and IRL have said how unusual it was.

The D has taken forever; she hasn't pushed it forward aggressively, and I'm not going to do it for her. Having said that, it should be finished shortly, less than a month. Everything is done except the final court appearance.

About a month and a half ago she absolutely blows my mind by telling me she wants to reconcile. She's been undergoing a new anti depression therapy that has been miraculous, and realizes how badly she misses me and wants to get back together. I tell her I need time to think about it.

I go see our marriage counsillor, who says something that resonates. "Now that she's opened the door to reconciliation, can you continue in your relationship with GF without continually looking back and wondering, "What if?"? and if not, is that fair to GF?"

I think about that question for a month, before telling GF I need to explore this with W. All in all, it went reasonably well. She's not waiting, but wishes me the best.

From here on out it's mostly just journalling.....

I'm very guarded. I'm hopeful, but not optimistic, if that makes sense. I hope we can put our marriage back together, but don't really believe she understands what needs to change for me to be happy in our relationship. Things have changed enough in the last three years that I'm not willing to settle anymore for a mediocre wife. I'm willing and able to be the worlds best husband, and I deserve no less than a wife who is my equal.

I tell W we can see if reconciliation is possible, but it will not be quick. I am unwilling to move forward quickly, and she needs to regain my trust. She knows I understand how my behaviors contributed to her unhappiness, and knows I am resolved to behaving differently. She is clueless as to how her behaviors contributed to my unhappiness, and I am hesitant to tell her for two reasons... 1. In counselling she didn't really hear how her behaviors upset me and I suspect it will be far more impactful if she figures it out on her own than if I just tell her, and 2. I don't want to make it too easy for her. I guess I feel like I've done the work, and a reconciliation doesn't really have much chance for success unless she does some of her own. I have given her some guidance and hints.

So it's been a few weeks. and not much has happened. We saw each other to talk a few weeks ago, and I asked how a new relationship would be different, and she didn't have much of an answer. I suggested she spend some time thinking about her failures in our relationship, and her response was very uninsightful, "I should have given you sex more often and reacted better to things you said and did."

We haven't seen each other for two weeks. It wouldn't have been easy to get together as our schedules just didn't synch up, and she was sick for a few days, but I'm kind of wondering how committed she is if she can't find time to get together, especially since not being a priority for her is one of my issues. I really pressured her to spend time together in our marriage, so one of my 180s is not to push her to get together. But two weeks?

Anyway, I'm taking my time, trying to give her an opportunity to understand my needs and commit to meeting them, but am not sure she can or will. And that's ok. If she can't, I can move on and be satisfied. My only real concern at this point is how long do I give her before I give up on her? That part I haven't figured out yet.

I am back to seeing our marriage counsellor. W doesn't want to go. I can understand why, because I viewed counselling as a "safe space" and said some things that hurt her badly there, but I am not sure we will get through this without some more counselling. I guess I just don't feel secure enough that she won't misinterpret some of the things I say (she had a history of reacting "disproportionately" (counsellor's word, not mine)) to talk openly and honestly about them without the counsellor's intercession..


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Actions matter over words. If you aren't seeing any action on her part over a period of time, then you can make a decision. How much time? That's entirely your call. I know this is ambiguous and not reassuring, but isn't this whole process like that?

My question is this - what do you need concretely from her to believe that she is committed to a process of reconciliation? Whether it's going to be successful or not is another story, but that is of irrelevance right now.

Once you have that figured out, then you can truly say whether or not enough time has passed for you to make a decision.


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Jim1234 Offline OP
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Originally Posted by Maika

My question is this - what do you need concretely from her to believe that she is committed to a process of reconciliation? Whether it's going to be successful or not is another story, but that is of irrelevance right now.



I guess I need to see her grasp how she failed to meet my needs, apologize for failing to meet my needs, and do a better job of meeting my needs. And my needs are pretty simple. I need to be a priority in her life, not the last thing on her plate when she's taken care of everyone and everything else, And I need to be treated with respect. That encompasses a lot that I don't need to get into.


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From your previous post, it sounds like you've already communicated that to her, correct? So, now you can only see from her actions whether or not she can meet you where you need her to be.

I've been thinking about actions over words a lot lately - seems like the gold standard. I get it and I agree with it, but I think that there's some nuance to it. I examined my own ways in which I would say something but not follow through or my actions didn't communicate what my words were expressing.

I realized that many times I said something or agreed to something is because of NGS and I didn't want to let someone down or I was trying to please them. But internally, it didn't jive with me and I didn't say no or express my true feelings because I didn't want to create conflict. I also realized that I was doing that through instinct and learned behavior, and not with the recognition that my words were a way to cope with my insecurities.

So, now I am much more aware of what I am doing and saying and I don't say something to not follow through with it. Even little things that I agree to, I make sure I do them. Sometimes it was also just laziness or forgetfulness on my part, which I needed to rectify.

All in all, what I am saying is that I wonder if your W's inaction is a symptom of larger issues, rather than her not wanting to make you a priority. She already said she wants to reconcile etc, but she's not following through.

I am also wondering if her desire to reconcile is coming from a place of desperation rather than genuine reflection on what her contributions to the deterioration of the marriage. If as you say that she hasn't gone through that process herself, I would put her desire to reconcile in the 'suspect' pile because she truly doesn't know what she needs to do for herself to be a better partner. An offhand comment about more sex is just a quick response rather than thinking about dynamics of intimacy in your marriage.

Maybe I am blowing this out of proportion as I tend to sometimes overthink things. But, I think that you waiting around is just going to be a period of anxiety and anguish as she takes time to figure herself out.

I think it's admirable for you to try to reconcile with her after all that you've gone through. I personally at this point can understand it, but it's hard for me to now relate to considering where I am in my journey. I just could never go back. But that's just a side editorial and me projecting my feelings, so don't let it carry any weight.


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Hey Jim, wow what a roller coaster it still is! So the D is still moving forward? Your W said she wants to reconcile, but she doesn't want to stop the D? And she refuses to go to MC? That's confusing. So is the fact that she isn't making any time for you. Like Maika said, you can tell more from actions than words, and it certainly sounds like her actions do not align with her words. I think if I were you I would put zero effort into her, just go about your life. Go NC on her. If she reaches out then explain to her that she needs to SHOW you she wants recon, not TELL you. And until you see ACTIONS there's nothing to discuss. She's got to to the work or this will never get off the ground.


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Originally Posted by Maika
From your previous post, it sounds like you've already communicated that to her, correct? So, now you can only see from her actions whether or not she can meet you where you need her to be.

I've been thinking about actions over words a lot lately - seems like the gold standard.
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I am also wondering if her desire to reconcile is coming from a place of desperation rather than genuine reflection on what her contributions to the deterioration of the marriage. If as you say that she hasn't gone through that process herself, I would put her desire to reconcile in the 'suspect' pile because she truly doesn't know what she needs to do for herself to be a better partner. An offhand comment about more sex is just a quick response rather than thinking about dynamics of intimacy in your marriage.



In years of MC I told her what I wanted, and needed out of our relationship, but she was as close minded as I was. That's why it was far more impactful for me when I figured out where I failed, and I'd like for her to look back and figure it out so it has the same impact. I have not communicated my needs since we stopped going to MC years ago.

Action over words..... boy, that's a big one. She talks a really good game, but frankly, is a little wanting when it comes time for action. And I appreciate that it's something I need to watch out for. Thanks for the reminder.

I think you're exactly right about her desire to reconcile coming from a place of desperation. I don't think she's thought much on what her contributions were to the deterioration of the marriage, and my desire to have her spend some time thinking about it is an attempt to get her do reflect on just that.


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Originally Posted by AnotherStander
Hey Jim, wow what a roller coaster it still is! So the D is still moving forward? Your W said she wants to reconcile, but she doesn't want to stop the D? And she refuses to go to MC? That's confusing. So is the fact that she isn't making any time for you. Like Maika said, you can tell more from actions than words, and it certainly sounds like her actions do not align with her words. I think if I were you I would put zero effort into her, just go about your life. Go NC on her. If she reaches out then explain to her that she needs to SHOW you she wants recon, not TELL you. And until you see ACTIONS there's nothing to discuss. She's got to to the work or this will never get off the ground.


We are literally maybe a week away from finishing the divorce after three years. At her suggestion, we are not stopping the process. I didn't bring it up, but I don't want to stop the process either. It's just a piece of paper after all.

We're at a crossroads of sorts. I want to go to MC because she took some things I said out of context and it took the MC to get her to understand what I was trying to say, and she doesn't because I did say some things there that were very hurtful to her. It's something we're going to have to figure out.

I'm already putting zero effort into this, for all the reasons you mentioned. I sent her a text last night asking if she was around this weekend, because I wanted to go see my parents, and wanted to make sure she'd be around for D17. She said "haha. And I thought you were going to ask if I could get together with you this weekend since we haven't talked in a while." I replied with "I am not going to put any pressure on you to get together. I am sure when you are up to it you will reach out." One of my 180's is to not pressure her into spending time with me, and I think my text made clear that if she wanted it to happen, she needed to make it happen.


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How are things with your W now, Jim?


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Originally Posted by scout12
How are things with your W now, Jim?


I don't really know. She still hasn't asked to get together. The closest she's come was to say "we should get together when you return from XXXX" I said "I'd like that". She knows my schedule, so I figured if she wants to get together, she'll suggest a time and place. I'm just going about my life, and putting no pressure on her. When we do get together, I intend for us to have a talk about her actions not backing up her words, and until they do, there's not much else to discuss.


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I'm already putting zero effort into this, for all the reasons you mentioned. I sent her a text last night asking if she was around this weekend, because I wanted to go see my parents, and wanted to make sure she'd be around for D17. She said "haha. And I thought you were going to ask if I could get together with you this weekend since we haven't talked in a while." I replied with "I am not going to put any pressure on you to get together. I am sure when you are up to it you will reach out." One of my 180's is to not pressure her into spending time with me, and I think my text made clear that if she wanted it to happen, she needed to make it happen.


I would have responded lol. Please stop talking to her. She's made it clear she's not interested.

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