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https://www.divorcebusting.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=2921698#Post2921698


Originally Posted by AnotherStander
I know this is tough for you, it's been 10 years for me but I remember quite well how difficult it was being apart from my kids half the time. But here is the thing that I came to realize, my days of raising kids were numbered no matter what happened to my marriage. They don't stay kids forever, they grow into independent adults. The days of tickling them, giving them butterfly kisses, reading them stories and such are limited. Make the best of those times, but be mindful that you can't lose sight of who YOU are. You've got to pursue your own interests independent of your wife (current or future) and your kids. You have to have a compass that gives you direction outside of being a husband and father. And if you've already lost that compass, then you need to get it back.

So what does that look like, that "getting your compass back". Well it's a lot of what we preach here. It's getting out, GALing. It's finding things that YOU like to do, whether anyone else is interested or not. For me it was getting back into the hobbies I had set aside years before. Building and flying R/C planes, weight training, working on and riding motorcycles, building model cars, rekindling relationships with old friends. In addition I met new people through my hobbies and made new friends. I also picked up some new interests, ceramic sculpting in particular. The weeks I had the kids I was more focused than ever on making the most of that time. The weeks I didn't have them I dove into my GAL activities.

At first I was just going through the motions, but then I started liking it, then loving it, then it became my "new normal" and I wasn't sad anymore. I can't stress enough what a transformation this can make in you, I went from desperately trying to save my marriage at all costs and being miserable and depressed, and seeing nothing but negative karma everywhere I looked; to being content and happy and optimistic, and not even caring if my marriage made it or not. Now I am all for saving marriages if possible, but sometimes it's just not meant to be. And for me, the whole idea of DB'ing isn't necessarily to save your M, it's to put you into a position where you will succeed and be happy whether your M continues or not.



"What is best for my kids is best for me"
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https://www.divorcebusting.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=2910438#Post2910438

Originally Posted by BluWave
I didn’t let H back into my life, home or bed until I trusted him. Not forgiven — that’s a looonnngggg process — but trust. I needed to see that he was completely done with his A and feelings for her, I needed to know that he was remorseful, and I needed to believe that he was committed to doing the hard and uncomfortable work with me. I just couldn’t open up to him in any way until those were in place. And then, I allowed him to come home and start the process of piecing.


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Originally Posted by AnotherStander
Do you know the roller coaster analogy? She's riding a roller coaster with a lot of highs and lows. If you tie yourself to her feelings then you ride it as well. When she's at the peak then you think things are improving and you get your hopes up. Then down her coaster goes crashing back to the reality that she's done and there's no hope and you with it. Your job is to stay off the coaster. You're on solid ground off to the side watching her go up and down and all around. A lot of her feelings, whether good or bad, are temporary. She might dangle the carrot of reconciliation one day and then reel it right back in the next. You want to avoid pinning your own feelings on her swings.



Originally Posted by AnotherStander
A lot of 2x4's get doled out on these forums, sometimes it's easy to forget that most of the people here are hurting and trying to work their way through this very difficult time, and need hope as much as or more than correction. And there is every reason to hope, people who have mastered DBing went on to better things whether they reconciled or not. No matter how much you are hurting now I completely and fully believe a year or two from now you will be a BETTER, HAPPIER person! It WILL happen, I can't guarantee you will reconcile but I can guarantee you will be in a much better place!


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Originally Posted by smartcookie
Some people think that a WAW is hard, angry, cold. In a fog. There's more to her than that.

4 years ago, a woman laid in bed at night, not wanting to wake up in the morning. There was no way out. She couldn't divorce him. He would have visitation without her there to protect them. He had never hit them, but he surely didn't understand how to care for them. He didn't even know who they were.

She couldn't leave. She had no job, no way of putting food on the table for the children she loved. She had been dependent for so long, & she trusted this man to provide for her. Now she lay in bed, wondering who he was, & how she got her. These were not the choices she would have made, if she had a 2nd chance.

She couldn't talk to him. He couldn't hear her. She desperately wanted to share herself with him. He had walls up. She couldn't penetrate them. He seemed so content to work, watch TV, eat & sleep. Why didn't he want more, like she ?

She felt trapped. She resented herself for letting him treat her this way for so long. He told her often enough, he was a good husband. She needed so much more from him. She tried telling him, for years she tried, then she cried, she begged, she pleaded, but he couldn't hear.

He was cold, hard, in a fog.

She tried everything, she read every book. She prayed her heart out. She tried to be more Christ-like. Figuring if she set the example, he would follow.

She knew it came down to two choices. Her children's happiness, or hers. She would sacrifice hers. She decided to stay, & raise the children, with this man who would never know her. When they moved out, so would she. Then she would salvage what was left of her.

She put her heart in a dusty old box in the top of the closet. It was easier. She didn't hurt anymore, she was numb.

When she finally quit trying, & tried to fill her hours with distractions, he noticed. His fog was lifting. He wasn't quite so cold, so hard. She didn't care. It was too late. She was numb. Her heart was in that box. She vowed never to take it out again.

She stumbled through her days, crossing them off in the calendar. Wondering how much longer she could live this way. Did her children see her unhappiness ? She wondered, are they better off with a single happy parent, or with two parents who co-exist ? The torment was eating her alive. What to do ?

By now, she wasn't sleeping. Wasn't eating. She pulled away from all of her friends. She was dying inside. She desperately wanted, needed to be loved, appreciated, noticed, cherished. She was a beautiful fragile flower slowly dying without water, sunshine & air.

When no one was watching, she cried. She cried til she ran out of tears. She wanted it to be over, she wanted the pain to stop. Everytime she looked at her husband, it reminded her of the pain. The pain that was consuming her. She turned to alcohol to numb the pain. Anything to make the pain go away. Her friends ask her why she's losing so much weight. She wonders, why can't anyone see that I'm dying here. She doesn't try to tell the man she shares a bed with, remember, he can't hear her.

She finally writes him a letter. She says she is done. They need to raise their children, & he's the only one who can be their dad. Now he's fully awake & out of his fog. He's scared. He had no idea how bad she hurt. He thought things were good. He's been living in a separate reality from her.

He says he'll change, he'll do anything, to make her happy. He says his family is the most important thing to him. She doesn't believe him. She's numb. Her heart is safely in that box. He tries, she watches. He tries some more, she watches. He's dying now. She's numb. Now he wants the pain to stop. She's numb. She wonders why did things have to go this far before he would hear me ? Now she doesn't want to talk to him. She's numb. Talking to him reminds her how much she used to hurt, she can see it in his eyes now. Her survival instincts kick in, at least she doesn't hurt now. She's numb.

The only place to go from numb is anger. He tries some more, she can see he's making changes. Now comes the buried anger. The anger that she wanted to express to him for all the years past. The anger she was afraid to show. He doesn't realize, angry is better than numb. He takes her anger. For 12 months he takes her anger. Sometimes he fights back, & when he does she goes numb again.

She's so scared to take her heart out of that dusty box. Numb is so much safer. Angry is so much safer. Does he know how hard it is for her. She knew the day that her children were born, that she would give her life for them. She just didn't know it would be like this.

Sometimes he tries to push her to heal faster. She's doing her best. He wants more from her at times. She's doing her best.

Some nights, the pain returns, & she remembers, & she just can't sleep. She's not numb anymore, and the anger is going away. She doesn't know how or where, but it is. She's so scared. Numb is safer. Angry is safer. If she gives in to her fear, to her sometimes overwhelming fear, everyone will call her a WAW. She wanted you to know.
_________________________


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Originally Posted by wayfarer
Co- parenting is a super long road with a contentious ex. I know I'm not the only one who's done this a long time on here so I'm sure others can attest to the same thing.

I think for right now you can set strict boundaries, your decree should have everything spelled out as far as time with the kids. And I'm sure there are penalties. I know it's more money but if she keeps violating the court orders you can take her back to court. It's an option...(I wish there was a shrug emoji). I don't think this is a good time to just kind of let things slide. You may need to dig into the DBing bag and dig out some validation. But you may want to look into some co-parenting classes or books, or difficult communication books. I'd strongly suggest Difficult Conversations. I had to read it for a business related thing but there's a lot in there for more personal convos with difficult subject matter or difficult people. (Crucial Conversations will pop up when you search it. I've also read that for professional reasons. I think the Difficult book is much better applied to real life, and I prefer the methods.)

In the immediate I'd say things like:

-I'd really rather not deviate from the court order right now. I'd really like to stay on schedule for a little while until we get settled in to this routine. Maybe we can discuss day exchanges because of fun plans in the near future once were a little more practiced at this.

-No, I won't be giving up my time unless you plan on a fair day exchange 1 for 1. This is what's court order. I can bend on this so the kids won't be disappointed but that means you need to bend too.

-No, we can't do that. I'm sorry, you'll have to disappoint the kids but this is what's court ordered.

-I don't think it's necessary to assume the kids are struggling with every little change. No one likes change, but kids are resilient and if this change proves to be a continued problem we can address this down the line.

-I'm not saying that these kids aren't struggling, I'm not really seeing the same thing when they are with me. Could you be more explicit in why you feel that way so I can understand better?

-I don't really understand why the kids would worry for me while I'm hiking(etc). On our time I don't concern the kids with where you are or what you are doing on your time without them. That's your time just for you. They obviously miss you but they never worry. Can you help me to understand their anxiety around that better? I'd like to address that with them myself.

This kind of stuff works with my ex, and the exes of friends. I don't know how your ex will take it, but it's worth a try. Warning though, conversations like this are hit or miss with my H's ex. But she's not real good with deescalating conversations. She takes validation and any attempt at cooperation as patronizing even when it's sincere if she's in the wrong head space.


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Originally Posted by DejaVu6
This board saved my sanity and helped me get through the hardest most painful period of my life. I truly believe that if I hadn’t found it, I would still be struggling. I am always happy when newcomers join as I know that if they stay here and take the advice that is offered (it is sometimes very counterintuitive and difficult to do), they may not save their marriage (although some will) but they will save themselves. I am one of the latter.

Reading your post, it seems like you are doing a lot of things right. Good for you for recognizing your part in things but please don’t go down the road of beating yourself up about it. The disintegration of a partnership is rarely just about one person. Sounds like you are handling it the best way you can and consciously giving your W the space she needs to figure things out. I know it is hard but keep it up. Congrats on making the changes you needed to. That’s a great step towards recon or a better life…hopefully both. (((HUGS)))


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Originally Posted by wayfarer
Dropping expectations is kind of a life long DBing thing. As far as I know dealing with an unreasonable ex it's best to keep expectations for them on the floor and then you're always pleasantly surprised instead of angry or disappointed. At least that's what works for me, H and a lot of friends of mine.


Originally Posted by wayfarer
Don't validate BS. If she comes at you with something is patently untrue feel free to correct her. I absolutely never validated things that were bald faced lies. But if she's just kind of emotionally dumping this is a good time for the phrase I loath "I'm sorry you feel that way." I think it's one of the most patronizing things you can say to another adult, but honestly when people get like this there's not much else you can say. You are validating but you aren't taking ownership of her feelings either. You're sorry she's frustrated and angry and that she thinks this is all your fault. But you're not sorry. Because you aren't the one and only reason she's feeling like that right now. You have nothing to personally apologize for.


Originally Posted by wayfarer
I just wanted out as quickly as possible and the only thing I was willing to fight over was debt and our kid. The debt was fully his, and he wasn't capable of having her 1/2 time. I got lucky he just accepted it. Our D process went really quickly. I literally was living like I was 20 while I was about to turn 30. I had nothing but I had my freedom and my sanity and that was worth way more to me than having to start over.

Point of all that being, seriously, financial health is temporary. Mental health leaves a much deeper longer scar and it costs a lot on the back end to fix, at least here, you know our health care isn't the greatest...lol. I needed my mind and soul intact more than I need things, a healthy bank account, or even what I was technically owed. Do what's best for you regardless even if it's not the best money move. If you just want this over and that $500 gets you there faster, by all means pay it. If in the midst of the divorce it's easier on your stress levels to give her something she wants even though she really shouldn't have it just do it. Kids are a hill to die on. Poverty is a hill to die on. If it won't starve you or make you homeless. If it won't harm your kids or your relationship with them there is absolutely nothing wrong with doing things that on the surface don't look like they are in your best interest. You know what's best for you. Trust that.


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Originally Posted by wayfarer
Dealing with emotionally volatile exes when you have kids together is a long, long road. You need to use all the tools you have. No response is one tool. Validation is one tool. There are many other communication tools that a person needs to learn and use when dealing with difficult people and difficult subject matter. Over the course of the D and the rest of your lives that you have to co-parent you need every single tool at your disposal. And sometimes you need to use more than one in one sitting. No response is just a useful as validation.


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Originally Posted by Gekko
1. What are your current GAL activities?
2. You are correct in your first post in this thread - you do not want someone who doesn't want you.
3. Your kids will come out of this just fine. Be the best parent on the planet and make it so.
4. Keep the house if financially possible, you will be happy you did. You can always reevaluate later.
5. Response to your first post - No fighting with your W. Always stay cool and in control. No fighting.
6. No mention of counseling or reconciliation. Shhhhhhh.
7. Also as to W, STFU about anything other than business/logistics.
8. Re: any request from W you are not prepared to discuss - "I'll have to think about that".
9. ABA Always Be Attractive. Don't be unattractive. Be a strong man. Be strong.
10. You are not a victim.
11. When your W gets COVID again and wants to rethink D because she's sick, be skeptical.
12. Hey have I asked you What are your current GAL activities?

Hang in there.


"What is best for my kids is best for me"
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Originally Posted by wayfarer
-Very few people get out of a divorce rich. Most people take a pretty hard monetary hit. But money is temporary. In a year or two you'll be settled and none of this will matter the way it matters right now.

-Good lawyers aren't cheap. Cheap lawyers aren't good.

-Please consider the 5-5-5 rule. When you're struggling, worrying, feeling a little low for yourself ask yourself: will this matter in 5 days? 5 months? 5 years? If the answer is no then don't spend more than 5 mins worrying about it. With my teenagers I drop that down to 5 hours, 5 days, 5 weeks. (Teenage girls a just a dream, everyone should have one.) It's a really easy way to give yourself perspective and to keep yourself in check.


"What is best for my kids is best for me"
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