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Originally Posted by ShaneG
So for wife to act like I'm not usually involved...ugh. Wife tends to overextend herself when it comes to the kids and I am the one that bails her out, but if its all about the kids, then its completely different, right?

Was that pre-incarceration? Presumably, while you were imprisoned, your wife figured out how to make it without you bailing her out--whether that meant becoming more self-reliant or making new allies.

Originally Posted by ShaneG
I just said, "sure, whatever you need". But I had some second thoughts later that maybe I was too accommodating.

It sounds passive. If one of your 180s is to prioritize your kids, why are you doing "whatever [your wife] needs"--anything from 0% staying out of the way or being ordered around all night to create her vision? It sounds like you could take or leave preparing for your kids' at-home prom. You say you love doing things for your kids and used to be an active participant. Is there something you could "own" to show your kids dad's back without stepping on her toes? E.g., a backdrop matching her theme, while still helping your wife?

Are any single dads coming? You can't control your wife, but curious about the landscape.

PS - Do check COVID rates in your state--are a higher percentage of people testing positive? If so, consider if there are any safety precautions you could take to protect your family and guests.



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Originally Posted by CWarrior
Was that pre-incarceration? Presumably, while you were imprisoned, your wife figured out how to make it without you bailing her out--whether that meant becoming more self-reliant or making new allies.


Yes it was pre-incarceration. I was still keeping a low profile when I first came home and then Covid shut everything down. "Self-reliant" is a loaded phrase. She got the important things done but again pushed herself too hard. She never took time for herself and she told me once I was home and the counselor confirmed that she was very close to giving up. I wasn't clear if that was suicidal or just catatonic depression. But the counselor did help her through that and also diagnosed her with PTSD. Well, those were the words used, I didn't see the med charts myself. House was in significant disrepair, a complete mess that might actually qualify as squalor, several bills were weeks and sometime months late. So the term would be that she had survived 15 months but if it had to go 24 it could have been a problem.

With the counselor's guidance I was very careful to validate her efforts and never critical, although I think she felt guilty and might have even felt she deserved for me to be mad. She has always considered herself fully capable of being independent. But as you said, that was my fault and she paid the price and I acknowledge it several times, albeit not lately.

I know that I have had significant post traumatic stress, but the counselor admitted that I never actually hit the "syndrome" stage like my wife did and that I might have even been an example of post traumatic growth. There is a difference between surviving and thriving. I know that I will survive this regardless. Nevertheless, when my wife and I are on the same page working as a team, then we definitely thrive. It's just been a while since we were both working together towards a specific goal versus just general.

Originally Posted by CWarrior
It sounds passive. If one of your 180s is to prioritize your kids, why are you doing "whatever [your wife] needs"--anything from 0% staying out of the way or being ordered around all night to create her vision? It sounds like you could take or leave preparing for your kids' at-home prom. You say you love doing things for your kids and used to be an active participant. Is there something you could "own" to show your kids dad's back without stepping on her toes? E.g., a backdrop matching her theme, while still helping your wife?


The context was a bit different. She asked whether I was going to be able to help with my daughter's back yard Prom, because she knows that I work Saturday. But then she threw in the zinger of "or were you even planning to be here?".
I basically ignored the last part.

My wife is definitely the planner/organizer. I do lots of things for the kids, but I'm the worker. I usually let someone else lead, and we have lots of A-type parents in our area. It's also kinda like what Michele says about if one person takes on all of one aspect of a relationship, then the other backs off. It's always been that way for planning parties and vacations and such big events. My wife just loves the planning. And she is pretty damn awesome about creating great stuff on a shoestring budget. She's just creative that way. I'm not.

So on the one hand, while planning such events/activities myself without the wife's input would be a very big step for me, I don't want to have my daughter's prom be my testing grounds. Kid has already been through too much with Covid killing the end of her senior year. Thus, in this instance, I decided just to be the loyal trooper and worker bee. I think I was just too enthusiastic.

But longer term, I want to plan some activities for the kids and I.

Originally Posted by CWarrior
Are any single dads coming? You can't control your wife, but curious about the landscape.


I'm expecting some other parents to show up. The exact attendance is still up in the air as we don't have all the RSVPs. But honestly, we just don't know many divorced couples, and we may end up being the first in this parent circle.

Originally Posted by CWarrior
PS - Do check COVID rates in your state--are a higher percentage of people testing positive? If so, consider if there are any safety precautions you could take to protect your family and guests.


Can of worms that one. Throughout this, my wife has been the overprotective/conservative one because she works with cancer patients. I on the other hand have a significantly different opinion about how it all should have been handled. Not for someone like her in healthcare, but for most other people, I sorta voiced a more libertarian opinion a couple times about govt overreach, and was quickly shot down. So I've let her take the lead on what precautions she is comfortable with for the family considering her patients. For me to now step in and be the one pushing for safety.... I think it would be viewed kinda like pursuing and antagonizing.

So I think in this instance, I'm just focused on completing the task list, keeping communications benign and logistics focused, being available for the inevitable last minute emergency tasks, and making sure that I do not give her any reason to pick a fight, nor do anything to pick one myself.

Then, I need to focus longer term on the next big events: dropping off oldest daughter at college, restarting school and marching band for youngest daughter (which will likely include some prop building for me). And sometime in there trying to plan a weekend getaway for the girls and I...a short distance road trip.

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Really great day today. It was my day off and spent the day with my two girls, their friend, my son and his best friend that we've adopted short term until he ships off to Army in Aug. We were just hanging out at house, watched Guardians of the Galaxy. That show just can't help but be a pick me up with its great music and since we've all seen it so often as well as have the music.... well there was lots of singing and dancing. I'm tone deaf and dance like the pasty white boy that I am, but that just entertained the girls even more. And all this after movies with my son and his friend last night. And then finally, my youngest daughter and I watched TV together tonight for a couple hours snuggled up on the couch while everyone else disappeared.

Meanwhile, I think wife had a rough day at work that went long, and she probably wanted/needed support, but she's not talking to me and I think her friend was not available. So she fell asleep in recliner playing on her phone while my daughter and I giggled threw a cheesy episode. Of course I still wish my wife was giggling along with us, but she's made her choice for now.

I also finally really feel the conviction of letting her "find her happiness" through her own journey. I don't think she will find it in a separation or divorce, but much like teenagers, you can't tell them these things. She will have to have that journey herself.

In any case, I wanted to be sure and write down how I'm feeling right now, so that I can remind myself later during the not-so-good days.

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ShaneG, great job focusing on GAL.



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Quote
One of the first things that I picked up on when starting to read the book and watch the videos, was how Michele talked....


Hi Shane - just wanted to ask you, what videos of Michelles are you referring to? of course, I would like to check them out as well.. thanks!
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EA/PA: Dec 2019 - June 11, 2020
Behind every broken woman is a broken man...
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In addition to YouTube, I got the Divorce Busting Guide to the Last Resort Technique found here: https://divorcebustingtraining.mykajabi.com

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The past 48 hours was so surreal. It's been all focused on my daughter's "back yard prom" since she didn't get one this spring. I had a decent list of things to do. Throughout our marriage, I've always had a pretty substantial honey-do list. However, over the past several years, I've also been frustrated that these are all solo projects. I hate working on DIY projects around the house by myself.

So this party tonight was very welcome, because the whole family was working together to pull it off. My wife had the vision and planning, but certainly did a lot of the actual work as well. On the other hand, I can hear her voice in my head from previous discussions that she is irritated because she always has the role of motivator and that no one else will do anything if she doesn't take the lead. Of course even the kids recognize that we all wait for her lead so that we don't deviate from what is in her mind and thus fail to do things the correct way.

Nevertheless, my goal during this endeavor was to communicate much better than in days past. Be very clear on exactly what she wants and do it her way, so that she does not feel that I am "sabotaging" her. For the most part my efforts were successful, and it felt like we were back three months ago when I first got home. But there were not any overt signs that she feels any different than three weeks ago. And most notably, she still never tries to talk to me about anything meaningful or relationship related. And I've been very good not to bring it up

so tonight....

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So tonight, I'm realizing that it is so much harder, because I know that she still needs to follow her own path. Even though I don't want it, I almost wish she would follow through a bit more. I think she needs to leave the house, and be on her own. She can't come back if she never leaves. And if she doesn't leave, I'm worried that the what-if might continue to haunt us for years. I want my wife to stay, but I also want the marriage to be so much better than it was. I want us to both be very happy in the marriage rather than just "not unhappy".

I thought that we were both trying to pursue the goal of rebuilding/remaking our marriage when I got home in Feb. Other circumstances as well as Covid kinda through us off track. And I failed to keep communicating that it was still my goal. Nevertheless, I'm now realizing that I can't go back to what it was. Not only do I want her to be happy, but I also want to be much happier myself, and I want us to work together toward the same goal rather than working independently toward the same goal.

I want to tell her all these things and I want to tell her that we should proceed with the "separation" so that she has the independence to "pursue her happiness". Meanwhile, I will rely upon faith that her journey leads her back to me.

But here is the question. The last serious talk we had, was brief because we quickly hit an impasse. She wants me to move out. It is my intention to stay in the house. I may even be successful in remaining in the house if we did proceed all the way to divorce. But again, what I'm seeking if for her to have "space" to work through her process.
So is it realistic to be "separated" while still living in the same house. Will she have the space to do what she needs to?

We are already sleeping in separate rooms. Have been for a while due to my snoring. We don't spend any time together except when with a kid or two. She told me in the original letter that she wanted a separation and to start figuring out the divorce, but in the same letter told me that I could stay in the house as long as I needed to due to my probation situation. Of course she also said that in the long run it was important for me to move forward elsewhere. And now I'm thinking something similar, that she needs to figure things out by being elsewhere.

But of course, what I ultimately want is marriage coaching together followed by happily ever after...

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Living separate live, but sharing a home is living hell. Do not move out. Do not accommodate her. If she wants to leave, let her.

Let her do her thing, do not check on her, you will only piss her off. She needs to be on her own.

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