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A Message from Michele
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Re: Things are trending up... [Re: KristinG] #2872151
11/14/19 03:19 PM
11/14/19 03:19 PM
Joined: May 2019
Posts: 986
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unchien Offline OP
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unchien  Offline OP
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U
Joined: May 2019
Posts: 986
KG and IHC - Thanks for the support. I have no problem falling asleep, but the nightmares, followed by waking up in the middle of the night, make sleep unenjoyable. For mediation, the challenge I foresee is that I will obviously get worked up about many things, but I'd like to conduct myself with dignity and respect and stay focused.

I am looking for some advice here. W and I go to our co-parenting coach soon. We've been going about once a month. My agenda this time was going to be to kick start mediation. Of course we could do that without this coach, but my W seems so poorly informed about this process that I think it is wise to start things in front of this 3rd party. For instance, I think we should discuss hiring legal advisors ahead of time, because that is something I plan to do.

However, there was a recent situation this week which has me feeling perhaps we should stop going to co-parenting coaching. My W signed my kids up for an after-school activity and didn't tell me. I received notification from the school via e-mail a week ago. I e-mailed my W and asked her about it, and she ignored it. Finally I texted her, and her responses concerned me.

1. She said since it wasn't affecting my parenting time, she didn't think I would care. (Rather than talk about it first...)

2. She said she would be okay if I did something like that on my parenting time. This is simply false -- recall when the kids are with me, she still requests I let her know what we are doing and where we go... in order to rebuilt trust. This is something I think I need to stop, and is one of the reasons I believe co-parenting coaching is failing. The coach says that our little improvements in trust make it worthwhile -- after 5 months, I am thinking it is time to stop. I do want to make sure I do what's best for the kids however, which is why I hesitate. Just because she has issues doesn't mean I should give up if I think long-term that being better parents together will help them.

3. She said she was too busy to inform me, gave several excuses, and only then apologized in a half-hearted way that left me feeling she was not truly apologizing ("Forgive me, I'm sorry, this won't happen again").

4. She asked if I wanted her to cancel - I said that was not my point, and she wasn't hearing what I was saying.

5. She asked if I wanted a copy of the receipt - I said that was not my point, and she wasn't hearing what I was saying.

I'm happy that I stood up for myself, and did it in a respectful way. The episode left me feeling that we badly need a detailed parenting plan.

But even moreso... I feel like my W does not see us as equal parents. It is the one thing that bothers me most. I know that I need the parenting plan to protect myself. But I also feel that co-parenting coaching is not going to work with her attitude.

These are not things I would say in counseling, but things I wish I could say:

1. You never bother to try to understand what I am saying.

2. You do not respect me as the father of our children.

3. You assume because I work FT, and because we had a FT-SAHM relationship for 2 years, that things will continue in this way and I will always defer to you for parenting decisions.

These are things I am considering saying in counseling, and don't know whether I should:

- I would like to stop co-parenting coaching for awhile.
- I do not see any improvement in our communication.
- I am not happy with our existing parenting arrangement. The timesharing, you asking me to update you with what I am doing with the kids, and several other things.
- In 5 months, you have said your trust in me being safe with the kids has changed from 0 to 10%. I don't believe continuing to come to coaching is going to change that number. I believe it will only change with time, and not through co-parenting sessions, and is not something I can help you with at this point.
- I want to start mediation ASAP.

Advice is welcome.


M: 11, T: 15
S7, D5, D4
MC1: 09/2018-01/2019
BD and S: 06/19
Planning mediation with intent to dissolve 12/19
Re: Things are trending up... [Re: unchien] #2872196
11/14/19 07:48 PM
11/14/19 07:48 PM
Joined: Aug 2019
Posts: 154
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rooskers Offline
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Quote
But even moreso... I feel like my W does not see us as equal parents.


This is why I don't understand co-parenting. She doesn't see you as an equal or worthy of anything right now or you would not be here! Look at the list Sandi says W feels about husband. Your wife has zero I mean zero respect for you so how in the world would you be able to co-parent? I have heard it working in a few cases, but usually that is when the divorce is wanted by both individuals and trust/respect still given.

Examples from my life:

-XW takes D13 to therapist without informing me and then when I email about it she makes up excuses why she didn't tell me even though it is written in our divorce decree she has to tell me. Why does she do this because I don't matter.

-XW demands I heal her relationship between D13 and her. Why because I must be at fault for why it is bad not her actions.

-XW bad mouths me when talking to other people in front of D13. Why because in her eyes I am worthless and she has no respect for me.

-XW buys D13 gifts all the time. Why because the true way to a persons heart is through money.

-XW lies to D13. Why because it is justified if it brings D13 closer to her and hurts me.


Unchien my advice to you is to look hard at what kind of dad you want to be, what role you want to play in your children's lives, what morals and values you would like to instill in your children, and finally get a lawyer and fight to make sure you have that right. If you become the dad you would like to be and DB from wife then the hope is one day W realizes that you did what you needed to do to become an amazing person and father all of which has nothing to do with her. You may need to look into parallel parenting.


1st BD December 26, 2008
PA admitted to by XW December 29, 2008

2nd BD May 23, 2019
Daughter confirms EA
Divorce Finalized July 18, 2019
Re: Things are trending up... [Re: rooskers] #2872208
11/14/19 08:39 PM
11/14/19 08:39 PM
Joined: May 2019
Posts: 862
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kas99 Offline
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Quote
You may need to look into parallel parenting.


This.

WAH buys the kids gifts all the time as well. Has turned one kid against me. Tries to get another to leave me. Also demands I fix the relationship with D17 yet he's the one who has done SO much unnecessary damage after he left.

Re: Things are trending up... [Re: unchien] #2872348
11/16/19 06:14 AM
11/16/19 06:14 AM
Joined: May 2019
Posts: 986
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unchien Offline OP
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unchien  Offline OP
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Really really rough day...

W and I went to counseling, co-parenting coaching, Iím not even sure what to call it at this point, today.

My intent was to be clear that I wanted to move forward with mediation quickly because our current situation was not working for me. I made this very clear, so mission accomplished here.

The session started off with my W mentioning behavioral issues with S7. We had talked on the phone about this about 2 weeks ago, and I brought up that maybe he should see a counselor. Itís unclear if his issues are related to our S, but he does have trouble expressing his feelings and has been acting out. We agreed about him maybe seeing a counselor.

My W brought it up today in counseling, describing the behavior she sees. And then she said:

ďI donít know if maybe this is related to the things his Dad has done since S was 4.Ē I was stunned. She jumped right to speculating that my sonís behavioral issues were my fault.

The counselor said: ďLetís not jump to the Why.Ē

I said, ďOr maybe he misses his Dad because he goes 10 day stretches without him. Maybe heís confused why his Dad moved out and he doesnít see him very often.Ē

My emotions were a mess all day. I feel like itís time to push this D through. I feel like co-parenting coaching is a waste of effort, because my W does not respect me as a parent and continues to raise overblown allegations. Iím tired of being afraid, tired of trying to earn trust, tired of trying to work on communication with her. Iím a good dad. I donít need her approval anymore. Iím tired of working with a controlling person.

One of her favorite sayings is ďI want us to be on the same page.Ē My feeling is she wants to write the words and I have to read them.

I picked up my kids tonight and they are so amazing. I canít wait to spend time with them this weekend. Everything feels better when I just have that time after these long stretches. I saw them for 2 dinners in the meantime, but thereís nothing like having them over for overnights and extended time.

Iím starting to be leery about posting here because I donít want to sound like a disgruntled vet whose MR didnít work out. I donít know if my situation belongs here. This was a toxic situation from the start when I came here to the forums, and I didnít recognize it. In retrospect, I never had a chance of saving this MR, and itís time to hit escape and save myself. But.... the skills I have learned here have helped me immensely. Focusing on PMA/GAL, self-improvement, and better listening skills and validation (when appropriate!) have made a huge difference in my ability to handle what comes my way. Iím still in a high state of panic and fear of what my W may do or say, but I know that I can handle whatever comes my way. Iím not going to die. Iím going to be happier. Iím going to get through this and come out much much happier.


M: 11, T: 15
S7, D5, D4
MC1: 09/2018-01/2019
BD and S: 06/19
Planning mediation with intent to dissolve 12/19
Re: Things are trending up... [Re: unchien] #2872350
11/16/19 12:34 PM
11/16/19 12:34 PM
Joined: Sep 2019
Posts: 170
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Jdevast Offline
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Hang in there man.
You're doing good,
Focusing on the parenting is the right thing to do even with all the turmoil we feel about our MR bubbling underneath

My wife is exactly the same, still wants to dictate everything regarding parenting, perceives herself as the lead parent and that Dad needs to be constantly guided in how to parent.

It's infuriating


Bd August 2019 after 16years
S 12
D 6
Re: Things are trending up... [Re: unchien] #2872357
11/16/19 02:06 PM
11/16/19 02:06 PM
Joined: Feb 2017
Posts: 3,362
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LH19 Offline
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U,

The majority of the success stories are about people who come here lost and broken and leave here with new and improved relationship skills, health and purpose. You've come a long way in 8 months and I can tell with you the self improvement will never stop.

If you can ever get your anxiety in check there is no doubt you will lead an amazing life.


M:50 W:45
T:22 M:16
S:14 D:10

ďDon'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.Ē- Will Smith
Re: Things are trending up... [Re: unchien] #2872362
11/16/19 05:14 PM
11/16/19 05:14 PM
Joined: Jan 2019
Posts: 793
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IHCLACS Offline
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Ill comment more here later. Uni? Why take the bait, and play into the blame shame game with S7 behavior that XW's narrative is leading and controlling with counciling. That's not to say she doesn't have feelings. Ask... Paraphrase..."What have I done since S7 was 4" Ask a question with a question. Acknowledge it, don't defend it, and semi validate her feeling on it. Nod your head and smile... Say ok if that's how you feel. The councelors is right. The why is only somewhat important. Mention you're lack of time with the kids. That you won't be controled,that the kids are not pawns to XW feelings, and that the victim narrative needs to stop. If it doesn't stop during counciling, and solutions to the problems are not reccomended, suggested, and negotiated in a reasonable fashion, that you will get up, leave the room and leave counciling all together if the two of you cannot find a middle ground. You have 3 choices. You can parent them you're way. You can parent them her way, or you can work together to parent them collaboratively. REMIND XW THAT THIS IS NOT ABOUT HER OR YOU!!! This is about what is the best possible outcome and direction for the kids. The both of you can do this the hard way, or do it the collaborative way. Its up to her since she is the one crying victim.

Last edited by IHCLACS; 11/16/19 05:16 PM.
Re: Things are trending up... [Re: unchien] #2872366
11/16/19 05:18 PM
11/16/19 05:18 PM
Joined: Apr 2019
Posts: 389
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IronWill Offline
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Hey U -

I just got a chance to read through your recent posts. You are doing well, man - keep doing what you are doing, focusing on yourself and your kids.

If I had one piece of advice, it would be to keep posting here. It is obviously helping you very much, even through the really down days.

Much like all of these situations, life is not lived on an even keel. It is all about peaks and troughs.

One other thing - when I am presented with challenging situations that I don't seem to have an answer to, I stop, breathe, re-focus, and then I ask myself this question:

"What am I supposed to be learning from this?"

I find it helps.

Stay strong, man smile

Re: Things are trending up... [Re: IronWill] #2872390
11/17/19 07:01 AM
11/17/19 07:01 AM
Joined: May 2019
Posts: 986
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unchien Offline OP
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unchien  Offline OP
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Joined: May 2019
Posts: 986
As with most things, a little time makes a big difference. I'm letting things settle in my mind while I enjoy the weekend with the kids

Somehow the four responses to my post yesterday, as different as they are, have really helped me clarify some things.
Sometimes my response to these posts goes off in a completely different direction. It is part of the magic of this forum and I thank everyone who reads and posts.

Originally Posted by Jdevast

Focusing on the parenting is the right thing to do even with all the turmoil we feel about our MR bubbling underneath

Absolutely. As soon as I picked up my kids yesterday, I felt so much better. Things are going to be okay.

Originally Posted by LH19
U,

The majority of the success stories are about people who come here lost and broken and leave here with new and improved relationship skills, health and purpose. You've come a long way in 8 months and I can tell with you the self improvement will never stop.

If you can ever get your anxiety in check there is no doubt you will lead an amazing life.

LH - Good to hear from you! I always appreciate the wisdom you provide. You have an amazing ability to distill your thoughts into a few well-chosen words.

You hit the nail on the head with anxiety.

Originally Posted by IHCLACS
Why take the bait, and play into the blame shame game with S7 behavior that XW's narrative is leading and controlling with counciling.

IHC - More thoughts on this below...

Originally Posted by IronWill
If I had one piece of advice, it would be to keep posting here. It is obviously helping you very much, even through the really down days.

Much like all of these situations, life is not lived on an even keel. It is all about peaks and troughs.

One other thing - when I am presented with challenging situations that I don't seem to have an answer to, I stop, breathe, re-focus, and then I ask myself this question:

"What am I supposed to be learning from this?"

I find it helps.

Stay strong, man smile

Thanks IW.

So... what am I supposed to be learning from this?

One problem is all along I've been hoping that during the 5 months of co-parenting sessions, things would calm down, we would start to work together, and at least make this separation more tolerable to give the time and space necessary for things to possibly trend towards R. That was a false path to pursue. I thought these sessions might eventually trend towards MC. That has not happened.

In the meantime, I have a custody and financial situation that is worse than a worst-case divorce settlement.

The only sensible path forward is to proceed with D. The remote chance of R is one several years down the road. I am not holding my breath, but it's the only way forward.

We've agreed to mediation. We also continue to go to the co-parenting coach, although I am going to stop pressing for that.

My thoughts:

1. Mediation is where I need to stand up for myself. Co-parenting sessions are an opportunity to validate. They are not the same thing. I need to differentiate that in my head.

2. I am undecided on whether to continue with the co-parenting sessions. On the one hand, it may be the best path forward towards us co-parenting in a more peaceful way. On the other hand, trying to accomplish that during a D process may be extremely challenging, especially with my W bringing up allegations every session. Perhaps it would be more effective after we reach a settlement agreement.

3. I do *not* need to let the co-parenting session discussions trigger my fears about how the D process will go. I am choosing to take the bait.

4. I am choosing to worry about a D process when, no matter what happens, I cannot end up with a worse situation than I have now. I may not get what I think is fair or what I want, but I will be happier.

I have to get a little GAL update in... I hit 2 personal bests lifting in my garage last week. I'm in the best shape of my life, feeling great physically, feeling exhausted at night when I'm done.


M: 11, T: 15
S7, D5, D4
MC1: 09/2018-01/2019
BD and S: 06/19
Planning mediation with intent to dissolve 12/19
Re: Things are trending up... [Re: unchien] #2872445
11/18/19 05:43 AM
11/18/19 05:43 AM
Joined: May 2019
Posts: 986
U
unchien Offline OP
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unchien  Offline OP
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U
Joined: May 2019
Posts: 986
One thing I've learned on my self-improvement journey is to check my thinking: Is this a useful thought?

Sometimes a thought can be useful, but not at the time I am thinking it (for instance, if I am off worried about my situation rather than enjoying time with my kids).

Other times the thought itself is inherently not useful.

In general, I am trying to anchor myself to useful thoughts, to help myself from spiraling into anxiety. Anxiety for me is nothing more than thinking about something other than what's right in front of me. It can be debilitating. It can prevent enjoying the little things in life. I've improved a ton in the last 8 months, but I have so much longer to go:

Some anchor thoughts for me that help:

1. My W is not D'ing me because of her allegations.

- The allegations are noise. The more I react to the noise, the more it controls me.
- Changing my W's mind about the allegations would not change our MR, or even our "DR" (Divorced Relationship).
- Hence, ignore them.

2. Just as it will be hard for me to reconstruct a new life, it will be so for my W also. We both will have it hard in different ways.

- I distanced myself from family and friends during our M. I made her family/friends mine. They are all gone now. This is hard for me, accepting that not only am I losing relationships, but some of these people may think awful things of me because of my W's allegations.
- My W is not prepared for the lifestyle change she will experience. This will be very hard for her.

3. I need to err on the side of self-preservation. My W is not my life partner anymore.

- I should assume for now if it's not in writing, things will slide. I see a lot of little oopsies happening that cannot all be accidental.
- I should expect my boundaries to be tested, repeatedly.

I am VERY focused on getting through the mediation step. I can't wait to parent without feeling watched all the time. I can't wait to have the freedom to make my own financial decisions. I don't care if I'm struggling financially, or juggling work and kids. I know it will be hard. Bring it on.

My last thought: I've spent countless hours on DB forums the last 8 months. The path to R is different for every one of us. Many don't get the chance to R and move on, but learn the skills to be happier people and to live more fulfilling lives.

I don't think I have a realistic path anymore to R. Whatever path I had was lost long before I found DB forums, maybe years before.

I am still the lighthouse. I am also pressing to D.

This happens to many of us. It is confusing. Why have I found strength from a divorce busting website to proceed with divorce?! Sometimes I feel like moving towards D is an admission of defeat.

But it's not... it is just another step on the road of life. D is a signpost. A significant one, but it doesn't prevent you from taking a detour or turning back.

I've decided to stop defining my life by my MR. It is a work in progress, but I plan to take the reins and take ownership of my life. I'm no longer going to be a passenger.

I've decided to start living my life according to my own values and needs. Those values and needs include only being in relationships (romantic or friendly) that involve mutual respect, solid communication, and vulnerability. I take accountability for my role.

I can't say that I've dropped the rope. I just don't care whether or not the rope is even there. The rope is tethered to the memory of a person who doesn't exist anymore.


M: 11, T: 15
S7, D5, D4
MC1: 09/2018-01/2019
BD and S: 06/19
Planning mediation with intent to dissolve 12/19
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