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LH, I know you are right. Knowing and doing are a bit different, though, but I'm trying.

Now I see why it is easier if you're S and I know it would have been easier if he had left. But I chose this path and you're correct. The sooner I can let go, the better for me and my kids.

Here are some things that are helping me right now on this path:
- the punching bag. I'm really sore smile (thanks Scout!) I also have a few little physical rituals I do if I feel the anger cropping up in me towards AP, which I'd really like to jettison because I don't think she's worth the headspace she's been occupying, including taking a deep breath and blowing her away. I know that sounds weird but it helps.

- i am going to step up my workout routine and dedicate some time to this, and yoga again. I feel very fortunate that I have the ability to do this right now and that my children are in in-person school (sorry, Sage... I am feeling so deeply for you, and decided that it was wrong of me to have this situation right now and not be grateful for it), so want to take advantage of this opportunity to get back on track.

- for whatever reason, the "you only control how you play" Stoic video speaks to me in a way that nothing else has. I get it. Somehow the sports lens helps me. I am repeating this to myself every day.

- Alison saying that she has to work on letting go of what is not hers from scratch every morning, and IW saying he makes the decision to stand anew every day... wow. Reading both of those statements and letting them sink in over time has started to really transform how I look at myself, this challenge to let go, how hard it is, my imperfect abilities, the scratching/clawing control freak inside of me wanting to take charge and move past all this nonsense... that is all okay. I don't have to be perfect at letting go. It doesn't need to be total enlightenment or bust. And I will probably be someone who also has to wake up every morning and reset. That's okay.

Wayfarer's inspiring example and her hard truths from the other side and all the things inside my H I wish were different and simply aren't mine to worry about... Alison's help with boundaries and pushing me to see where I still am trying for control... Sage's spreadsheets and gentle 2x4s about not naming feelings as bad or good... leaving my old roadmap behind and drawing a new one (thanks Sage and SamCal) and Yail consistently reminding me to take the 30,000 foot view... all these things have helped me and continue to help me on this path. Blu's truly sanity-saving posts to me from the very beginning. And so many others who have posted on my thread, helped me and made me think (wooba, Pommy, LH, Steve, CW, Ginger, Scout, IW, unchien, Kristin, so many other kind and generous souls...) thank you. I think I'm moving forward and letting go.

The anger is still there but much less acute when it flares up, and within my control. I feel calmer. Not defeated. Just calm.

Forgiveness-- do I have it in me to forgive? I believe I do, but I don't really want to focus on that right now. I'll get there when I get there.

Thanks, everyone. I know it has been a painful process watching me, and I know it isn't over... but I am sensing a sea change inside of me. It is freeing. I physically feel less tension in my body. Here's to doing this again tomorrow morning, and the next morning, and the next.

xx M


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Sometimes, I can't even do it for a whole day, so I just work on it in ten minute chunks. And when I mess it up, each minute is a new start.

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Originally Posted by may22
I guess it is a moral thing for me. Again, I'm not religious, but I had never seen divorce as an option and have only slowly come around to it from constant pressure on this board, which is weird as a "divorce busting" board but that is neither here nor there. I feel strongly about giving children, if you choose to have them, the best possible environment and for me, that would mean parents who are married to each other, to the extent that is under your control. I know plenty of people who have kids together and aren't married. That is their choice and I don't judge. It just isn't what I had always imagined for my own life.


I brought this over to your thread as to not hijack Wolf's. Who is pressure you to divorce? I am not sure I read anyone tell you to divorce your H. I suggested a separation to give yourself space from one another to process your emotions. I have also suggested to you that you guys agree to stay together for the kids and not pressure yourself into a relationship I don't think either of you want right now. Lastly, I don't think any of us imagined being on this site and or being divorced. Sometimes things don't work out like you plan.


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Hi LH,

I don't feel like anyone is pressuring me to D right now. Earlier on in my sitch I did feel this way, like in January and June.

Also, to me-- less now, but especially back then-- I didn't see a difference in S and D, particularly in its impact on the children and on our lives. The marriage certificate is just a piece of paper (though financially it is probably better for me to stay M on paper if we were to split.) It is how we live our lives that matters. Obviously, my H has violated this in an extreme way. I was, and am, still not prepared to do it.

It's okay though-- I think it has been helpful for me to stretch my own beliefs, and let go of that which is outside of my control. I definitely feel far more empowered now to be on my own if it comes to that than I did before I came to this board, and less frightened of what D would mean for the kids. All good things for me. I'm grateful for all the different perspectives.

I spoke with my IC yesterday, it was a good session. The one thing she said she's concerned about is me normalizing the A. I told her I'm not worried about that-- it will never, ever be okay with me, even as I watch my H tie himself in knots to justify it. What this means going forward, if he never becomes truly remorseful? IDK. Doesn't matter right now. Just trying to focus on me and that which is within my control.

Alison, ten minute chunks I can probably do. smile


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Journal (I know I post too much, sorry... )

I wanted to share how true some recent observations have proven.

For the many of you who have counseled dropping of expectations, just focusing on co-parenting and directing my anger elsewhere-- today H shared a little with me about how his IC session went today. He said it went well and because our R has been calm this past week, he didn't have to waste any time talking with her about our interactions. He was able to dive deeper into issues surrounding his identity and why he did what he did. He said he was very, very sorry for the hurt he had caused me and for the lying. Anyway, it really brought home the value of the emotional space-- when it isn't all taken up by him feeling the need to fend off my anger, it gives him the ability to start processing the real stuff. (Maybe.)

Sage, when you said he is still ruled by my emotional state, even my silence... after he shared this with me, I got very quiet. (Thinking about what he was saying, and also trying to not emotionally react to both what he was saying and what he wasn't saying.) That clearly unnerved him and he said, let's not talk about this anymore. I said OK, went to the basement to work. Later he came down and said that it is hard for him to see me unhappy. (Quiet = unhappy, I guess.) He doesn't know what to do about it. It frustrates him. He feels like he's come a long ways from where he was but he isn't all the way to where I want him to be and I am not recognizing any of the progress he has made. I validated. I said I was glad he hadn't run off to live with AP, but that I was still sad that he had wanted to for so long. He validated me in return and said he was sorry for that.

Anyway, just thought I'd share how on-target both of these observations were.


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Later he came down and said that it is hard for him to see me unhappy. (Quiet = unhappy, I guess.) He doesn't know what to do about it. It frustrates him. He feels like he's come a long ways from where he was but he isn't all the way to where I want him to be and I am not recognizing any of the progress he has made.


"Please do my emotional labour so I can feel better. And give me a cookie while you're at it."

Alternatively,

"Me, me, me, me, me, me."

Be careful with his sense of entitlement, May. He is not entitled to your validation or forgiveness or reconciliation. It is a gift you choose to give him. And I don't know if he realises that.


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Originally Posted by scout12
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Later he came down and said that it is hard for him to see me unhappy. (Quiet = unhappy, I guess.) He doesn't know what to do about it. It frustrates him. He feels like he's come a long ways from where he was but he isn't all the way to where I want him to be and I am not recognizing any of the progress he has made.


"Please do my emotional labour so I can feel better. And give me a cookie while you're at it."

Alternatively,

"Me, me, me, me, me, me."

Be careful with his sense of entitlement, May. He is not entitled to your validation or forgiveness or reconciliation. It is a gift you choose to give him. And I don't know if he realises that.

Oh, his entitlement is so obvious it is blinding me. I really wanted to ask him if he wanted a cookie but I refrained. (What I did say though in addition to what I typed above, before I said the part about being glad he hadn't left, was that it was kind of like congratulating someone for not committing murder. Like, good job? I left that part out... not sure why. Felt like i was showing my non-detachment and am trying so hard to be detached so forgave myself that little slip.)

Anyway, yes. I agree with you one thousand percent. Trying not to let it bother me, though-- not in my control. I think engaging with him right now in conversations like this is not really productive from my perspective.

But the main reason I shared it was because Sage had just commented about it, and then it happened in such an obvious way.


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Hi May,

I loved your update with the list of things that are helping you in this process right now. It inspired me to write a list of what is working (or not working) in my own life at the moment.

Originally Posted by may22
For the many of you who have counseled dropping of expectations, just focusing on co-parenting and directing my anger elsewhere-- today H shared a little with me about how his IC session went today. He said it went well and because our R has been calm this past week, he didn't have to waste any time talking with her about our interactions. He was able to dive deeper into issues surrounding his identity and why he did what he did. He said he was very, very sorry for the hurt he had caused me and for the lying. Anyway, it really brought home the value of the emotional space-- when it isn't all taken up by him feeling the need to fend off my anger, it gives him the ability to start processing the real stuff. (Maybe.)


There is nothing more validating than experiencing something working. The more that the focus comes off of you and the MR, the more that H is going to do the work he needs to do on himself. I envisioned it as being on a pathway and stepping onto my own path when H comes along. I am still there, I am still me walking my path, but I am not going to get in the way of his journey. He can stop and talk to me, or not, but he can't blame me for obstructing his path. This is part of removing the walls and detaching.

Originally Posted by may22
Sage, when you said he is still ruled by my emotional state, even my silence... after he shared this with me, I got very quiet. (Thinking about what he was saying, and also trying to not emotionally react to both what he was saying and what he wasn't saying.) That clearly unnerved him and he said, let's not talk about this anymore. I said OK, went to the basement to work. Later he came down and said that it is hard for him to see me unhappy. (Quiet = unhappy, I guess.) He doesn't know what to do about it. It frustrates him. He feels like he's come a long ways from where he was but he isn't all the way to where I want him to be and I am not recognizing any of the progress he has made. I validated. I said I was glad he hadn't run off to live with AP, but that I was still sad that he had wanted to for so long. He validated me in return and said he was sorry for that.


I am going to suggest something that may be unpopular, so take it or leave it. What would have happened if you said to H (maybe while giving him a hug or some gentle PT reassurance such as a hand on his arm): thank you for sharing, I need to process all of this. I am going to go down to the basement and work and sit with my thoughts for a while. My silence is not a reflection of my feelings, it is simply a byproduct of my own processing. I can assure you that you don't need to take my silence personally. Or whatever words allow you to be both authentic to yourself and reassure H. In a physical S, you wouldn't be witnessing each other's process. I think that minimizing assumptions and projections is going to be helpful in healing while living under the same roof.

Originally Posted by may22
Originally Posted by scout12
Quote
Later he came down and said that it is hard for him to see me unhappy. (Quiet = unhappy, I guess.) He doesn't know what to do about it. It frustrates him. He feels like he's come a long ways from where he was but he isn't all the way to where I want him to be and I am not recognizing any of the progress he has made.


"Please do my emotional labour so I can feel better. And give me a cookie while you're at it."

Alternatively,

"Me, me, me, me, me, me."

Be careful with his sense of entitlement, May. He is not entitled to your validation or forgiveness or reconciliation. It is a gift you choose to give him. And I don't know if he realises that.


Oh, his entitlement is so obvious it is blinding me. I really wanted to ask him if he wanted a cookie but I refrained. (What I did say though in addition to what I typed above, before I said the part about being glad he hadn't left, was that it was kind of like congratulating someone for not committing murder. Like, good job? I left that part out... not sure why. Felt like i was showing my non-detachment and am trying so hard to be detached so forgave myself that little slip.)


So, a gentle 2x4 here: I don't think your R has any room for being snarky and I am going to be that friend that asks you to be the highest, most evolved May you can be. You can't both CL and DB this relationship at the same time. Are you allowed to have those thoughts and feelings? Absolutely. But it is your column, not H's to deal with your emotions, witty comebacks and anger surrounding the A. I see you recognizing it here:

Originally Posted by may22
Anyway, yes. I agree with you one thousand percent. Trying not to let it bother me, though-- not in my control. I think engaging with him right now in conversations like this is not really productive from my perspective.


H is going to say a lot of selfish, un-evolved and narcissistic things. But they're his narrative at the moment. That narrative will change over time and you have committed to seeing where things go. So when he says something that triggers you, tap into your reaction and feelings surrounding it and look at it as a growth opportunity for YOU. You don't have to accept it, but you do have to keep it in your column.

You are doing so good May.

xx

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Originally Posted by Sage4
So, a gentle 2x4 here: I don't think your R has any room for being snarky and I am going to be that friend that asks you to be the highest, most evolved May you can be. You can't both CL and DB this relationship at the same time. Are you allowed to have those thoughts and feelings? Absolutely. But it is your column, not H's to deal with your emotions, witty comebacks and anger surrounding the A.

This is what I was talking about earlier and Sage sees it too. This is the path you have chosen. You are going to have to eat these $hit sandwiches right now. Does it $uck? Absolutely! Reconciliation isn't for the weak May. Just keep saying to yourself that you are doing this for your kids when you want to bite his head off.

Last edited by LH19; 11/20/20 05:51 PM.

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I think you've had great advice, May. And it is so, so, so hard.

I think in a normal, functioning marriage (or even friendship) there's a lot of STFU going on. I do know that my H has always been a bit moany and critical and, at times, self righteous - he's not a perfect man and he doesn't need to be. In good times, I was able to roll my eyes and let him get on with it, and even felt affectionate about his old-before-his-time ways and he was even able to accept a little bit of good natured teasing about it now and again. But that was when there was a foundation of love and trust between us.

When that was gone - and it wasn't just because of his infidelity that it went (the SSM drained the tank for me long, LONG before that) then I had no tolerance for listening to his little moans and groans and would often come back with sarcastic, cutting or argumentative remarks. On paper, I had a perfect right to push back when he was being petty and unreasonable, but all me doing that achieved was to drain the love tank even further. After his EA, it was just not possible for me to listen to his self justifying entitled blame-shifting pathetic nonsense (it makes me mad just THINKING of some of the rubbish he came out with in those times) without responding in a way that made it worse.

I did try the validation, but all that did was give him little rewards for his blaming - little cookies of attention every single time he shoved the blame for his actions onto me. I tried to logic him out of it, and all it caused was arguments that escalated in terrible, damaging ways. I am still a little scared of how he can be when he feels the need to defend himself by lashing out. He has a really nasty side I don't see very often at all any more, but it is there and I really struggle with that. So that didn't work either.

Separation was the best thing, and the second best thing - which I still need to work on - is leaving him in a room on his own to blame and resent rather than provide an audience for it. He doesn't like it. I do think me withdrawing that attention panics him and upsets him. I also think in the short term, it makes him blame me more. But here is where detachment comes in: I really don't care whatever bile is in his head in this moments, so long as he treats me with respect and communicates like an adult the nonsense is his burden to bear and his work to deal with. It is VERY VERY hard but I do think refusing to be around for the pity and blame and 'give me a cookie for not cheating on you today' parties is essential.

It has helped in a way that validating his self-pity and entitlement (which is the DB way, I think) actually made things much worse. It has also helped my development, in that when I noticed that no matter how unpleasant and upsetting it was for me, I really struggled to leave him alone in these moments. I signed up willingly for a lot of his rubbish. And it was because I thought by interacting with him - one way or another - I could get him to process it more quickly, or come to the conclusions I wanted him to, or taking responsibility in a way that felt good to me. It was still control. And that was disrespectful of me towards him, in many ways.

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