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Hi Elbereth, this caught my eye:

Originally Posted by Elbereth
I don't want to be a Plan B, but if I 'stand', isn't that essentially what I am? It is messed up, but I think that is why we must drop the rope to have self-respect and to protect ourselves. Plan B becomes instead something else....like that amazing person I was dumb enough to lose....which is much more of what I would like to be thought of.


This is a common misconception by LBSs. LBSs see to things binary. Either you are standing, OR you are moving forward with D. However, these things are much more complex than that. And you can show you are not willing to be plan B and still stand for your marriage. This is a huge topic and probably can't be covered in a single post. But standing for your marriage is not equal to being plan B. You can stand for your marriage and still refuse to be plan B.

I know your situation is such that being the one to file has benefits, and if that is what you need to do so be it. Many LBSs are morally opposed to D, and therefore cannot bring themselves to be the one to file. But that doesn't mean that they have to settle for being plan B. Many of the actions that are espoused here are are keyed towards not being plan B:

- Kicking a cheating spouse out of the MBR
- Asking a cheating spouse to leave the house
- Not allowing disrespect (ending the conversation and walking away)
- Listening and validating, not engaging in arguing and explaining
- Focus on you and your kids, drop focus from the WAS
- Not actively helping in the D, but not hindering it either (make the WAS do the dirty work)
- GAL (this is important, to reestablish connections, friendships, activities, hobbies you may have let languish)
- Move forward with your life!

I can only speak for myself, but a spouse in a PA is a dealbreaker for me. That is where my line in the sand is drawn. Short of that I would be in the morally-opposed to D camp, and therefore personally couldn't participate in the D, though I wouldn't stand in the way. In my situation I contacted a lawyer, mainly to dispel some garbage my WAW was feeding me (we could do a quicky, online divorce for $400, etc). He immediately tried to talk me into being the one to file for D because that would give me an advantage. However, I could never bring myself to that since my W had not been involved in a PA (hers was a long-distance EA). But I also refused to be plan B, and started taking the necessary steps to make that clear.

So in short (TLDR) not being plan B and being the one to file or move the D along is not the same thing. You can refuse to be plan B but also not be the one to file for D. However, if you feel you cannot do both, then no one will fault you for being the one to file for D! That is within your right to do.


M(52), W(53),D(17)
M-20, T-23 Bomb Drop - Dec.23, 2017
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Just piggybacking onto the others advice here, it is very personal whether you file or he does. It is so subjective depending on your situation. Did you say you had a consultation with a lawyer yet? I can't remember. I had one and it gave me such peace of mind. The L was able to walk me through the process and my options, etc. Much depends on your state. In my state, we have the option of doing a divorce through a collaborative process. Each party has a lawyer to guide and advise, but also a neutral financial facilitator and a neutral facilitator who helps make a parenting plan and helps with decisions on things other than financial. So find out all your options.

For me in the end, standing up for myself meant telling him that I did not want a divorce, I believed that we could have a happy future together if we were both committed to it, but I also would not allow him to treat me like a roommate, etc. That the way he was treating me was not acceptable.

In the end, I told him if he wanted this divorce so much he could file for it, and that's what ended up happening. But where I live, with the process we chose, it doesn't matter who does the filing.

I'm sorry, I know this is not an easy path. xo


me: 46 h: 49
m: 24 T: 27
DD1:20 DD2:17 DS:12
BD1: PA for 2 yrs 08/2016
BD2: OW is one of my closest friends 12/2016
BD3: H wants a D 11/2019
Now: He is in the same house, but has filed for divorce.
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Originally Posted by DnJ
It is common for us to analyze and look for a cause and blame. You knew H, you completely believed that he would never cheat on you. (Take comfort, I completely trusted my XW. Completely! Absolutely!)

Do not rewrite your own history. MLC is a strange thing. Our once loving spouse becomes an alien. They blow up their life, and everyone’s around them. And we try to find answers in that which we know. However, most of us don’t know about MLC; it ain’t like it’s portrayed in Hollywood. MLC is a terrible thing, a foreign thing, and it takes quite a shift in our perception to understand it.

Is this just who he was underneath? We all pull the small signs of the past, and the “remembered” signs, to help find answers. Careful not to rewrite your history, not to skew the data. He is a different person now. This might be the new and permanent him, or it might not be. That is really up to him.

Yeah, I do think I'm in a bit of a negative rut and you are right, I shouldn't rewrite my own past. He was the man I fell in love with, at one time. Thanks for the shift in perspective. I needed it. smile

Originally Posted by DnJ
Your capacity to forgive will probably surprise you. If you want it.

This is a tough one to consider. I know I can forgive, but I am not sure if I could freely. He would have to earn it.

As for standing and the lighthouse, I'm doing my best to do it for me first. I am trying to do as you suggest...be patient, live today well, and let my unknown future unfold in it's own time. IT SURE IS DARN HARD THOUGH.

You always give me such good things to think about... smile


Me 52, H 56
T10 M7, 2nd MR for both
2 Step Sons (19 and 21)
BD: Fall 2020
D finalized: July 2022
AP for at least 6 mos prior and still ongoing...



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Originally Posted by SteveLW
This is a common misconception by LBSs. LBSs see to things binary. Either you are standing, OR you are moving forward with D. However, these things are much more complex than that. And you can show you are not willing to be plan B and still stand for your marriage. This is a huge topic and probably can't be covered in a single post. But standing for your marriage is not equal to being plan B. You can stand for your marriage and still refuse to be plan B.

I know your situation is such that being the one to file has benefits, and if that is what you need to do so be it. Many LBSs are morally opposed to D, and therefore cannot bring themselves to be the one to file. But that doesn't mean that they have to settle for being plan B. Many of the actions that are espoused here are are keyed towards not being plan B:

- Kicking a cheating spouse out of the MBR
- Asking a cheating spouse to leave the house
- Not allowing disrespect (ending the conversation and walking away)
- Listening and validating, not engaging in arguing and explaining
- Focus on you and your kids, drop focus from the WAS
- Not actively helping in the D, but not hindering it either (make the WAS do the dirty work)
- GAL (this is important, to reestablish connections, friendships, activities, hobbies you may have let languish)
- Move forward with your life!

I'm trying not to be too binary, but I am finding myself struggling with everything. I do want to stand, I don't want to be divorced, I didn't want to be the one to file first. These were the values and feelings that I began this journey with. I feel forced into a D, for my own financial protection.

I also get that PA is a deal breaker for you. And, I am still trying to understand if it is a deal breaker for me. I guess I just never expected to be in this sitch and thought I would never stand if I was with someone who cheated, but there is a part of me that is wanting to stand. But I have no way of knowing IF I CAN forgive for this. I don't think I can know unless we tried to reconcile. So, for now that has been where my head is at. And of course I would prefer to stay married with the hope of saving my marriage, but with no guarantees, I can't risk my future on him. This current him. So in doing this, I am standing for myself first. At least that is what I am telling myself in my head and heart. I can still stand for the hope of reconciliation, but I can't save the marriage at this point and save myself. Is that selfish of me? Whatever name you put on me, in his eyes, I am Plan B. At least right now. I know I am the prize, but he may never see that.

As for your checklist above...yes, I'm trying! I have this little list printed out and put in my wallet so I can remind myself of the things to do for me. Thank you! smile


Me 52, H 56
T10 M7, 2nd MR for both
2 Step Sons (19 and 21)
BD: Fall 2020
D finalized: July 2022
AP for at least 6 mos prior and still ongoing...



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Elbereth, I can relate to your latest post so much. Are you a bit of a control freak? I know I am, and I know a lot of LBSs that are tend to not really want to reconcile with a cheater, but they want to be the one to make the determination about it. I struggled with this about a year into my last sitch. If you read my posts from Dec. 2018 I almost became the WAS. We were 6 months+ into reconciling, and I had this desire to just end the marriage and move forward with my life. It was a weird, strange feeling. And it lasted about a month. I think that was the control freak side of me saying "Okay, you were able to turn this thing around, now YOU walkaway while you are in control." I've witnessed this a few times in my own life where a friend, coworker, or someone else I knew, after being cheated on and moving past the infidelity of their spouse decided they wanted to end the marriage after all. We've had a recent newcomer to the board that cheated a while back and now his W is walking away months after agreeing to move forward from it. It happens.

So I relate a lot to what you are saying. I think people that are competitive have this as well. "I am going to win them away from OP!" Then once they've won, they don't like the prize.

So keep sorting it all out. It is hard to think clearly in the midst of the raw emotions of situations like these. One minute you are ready go to file, the next you feel like wrapping your arms around his ankle and holding on for dear life. I get it, I was there too. But as we like to say around here, limbo is the gift of time. Rarely is the natural reaction to these kinds of situations the right one. We need to take the time to stop and consider everything, and move forward purposefully. The LBS that struggle the most are the ones that are like a tumbleweed blowing in the weed. We have an excellent example of that in poster Steve_ right now. Guy does and says whatever comes to him at any given moment, and he is struggling in his situation mightily because of it. You are doing well in that you are just giving it the time it needs to make the big decisions. And you will look back one day, regardless of what happens, and you will be able to say that you took the time to make the best choice.

Keep on working Elbereth! You've got this and you will be better and stronger for it.


M(52), W(53),D(17)
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Hi SteveLW,

Glad to see my post made it on here! The forum crashed while I was responding to all of you last night so I never finished and still want to write a reply to you Oceangl.

I know (and can admit) that I am sort of a control freak. But I think it's because I am the type of person who is very thoughtful in making decisions and once I do, I am sort of solid on them. So I don't deal with change after my decisions well. As for being competitive, not at all...at least not in the common sense. I enjoy winning, but I don't need to win. If that makes sense. Most hobbies and situations that I enjoy most are mostly competing with myself in the sense that I feed off my own self improvement. I know, I'm a bit odd.

As for seeing my wanting to reconcile as maybe wanting to be in control of saying "I'm the one walking away", I find that interesting. In my mind, I feel I need to understand where his heart and head was and is during reconciliation. I need to know that there is true remorse for what happened, I need to know that he will put me and our relationship above his whims, etc. I need to feel respected, loved, and supported. Things that I value in a relationship and in a partner. If I see that person in reconciliation, I feel that I may be able to forgive. But if I don't, then I value myself enough to walk away with a clear conscious, knowing that I gave it my all but also stood for what matters to me. Does that make sense? And I would not feel good if I 'won' him from the OW by competitive pressure, so that is why I have tried very hard to follow everyone's direction and not pursue and try to act without pressure. I'm struggling, but trying at least. As I do want choosing me/our MR to be his choice. Then it will be a real choice.

I am doing my best to take this time slowly. It feels like this has been going on for so long, but in reality, it's hasn't. Just a few months. So I need to recognize that slow moving time...and allow for more. And patience. I am already stronger...so that is a good thing. smile


Me 52, H 56
T10 M7, 2nd MR for both
2 Step Sons (19 and 21)
BD: Fall 2020
D finalized: July 2022
AP for at least 6 mos prior and still ongoing...



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Hello E

Nothing of the path we were unwillingly forced upon is easy. (((Hugs)))

There are incredible blessings and opportunities; stay the course you will make it.

Originally Posted by Elbereth
I know I can forgive, but I am not sure if I could freely. He would have to earn it.

Nope. Forgiveness is not earned, and is bestowed freely. It comes from, and is for, you. Forgiveness, as counterintuitive as this sounds, has little to do with the transgressor and everything to do with you and your beliefs.

H cannot do anything to earn your forgiveness.

H forced you onto this unwanted path. He doesn’t control where it takes you. That includes being angry, holding a grudge, and not forgiving him; and includes finding peace, letting go, and finding acceptance and forgiveness. All within your grasp, and abilities to find and/or reinforce/strengthen/craft/discard.

Of course it is a bit of slog to get there. Lots of stuff to work through.

Originally Posted by Elbereth
IT SURE IS DARN HARD THOUGH.

LOL

Ain’t that the truth.

Stick with it. Walk the path. Once you’re on the other side you’ll look back and be very happy you did. And by the way, all that hard work pays huge dividends.

Originally Posted by Elbereth
I'm trying not to be too binary, but I am finding myself struggling with everything. I do want to stand, I don't want to be divorced, I didn't want to be the one to file first. These were the values and feelings that I began this journey with. I feel forced into a D, for my own financial protection.

Glad to see you not being binary with your viewpoints. Steve has given good advice.

Look to the possibilities. You need not have a firm answer, and it is actually better if you don’t, for many of the currently maddeningly things your are dealing with can/will change their appearance after a while.

Our struggle is within ourselves. It is our ego. That need to be right. That voice that must be heard. We, our ego, gets in our own way. Among the things we need to let go of - H, M, fear, etc. - our ego is paramount. That doesn’t mean we disregard it, no our ego has value and is valuable. We do learn to control that which we can control - ourselves. Our thoughts, actions, and reactions. Which are mostly ego driven.

Dealbreakers, cheating, affairs, and so on; and standing. Yes, quite a bubbling pot of mixed emotions, thoughts, and beliefs. Start with intellect, your thoughts, that which you have direct control over. Consider where you currently are, where you want to be, and what thoughts make that possible and reinforce that chosen path.

Originally Posted by Elbereth
But I have no way of knowing IF I CAN forgive for this. I don't think I can know unless we tried to reconcile.

Sorry, that is emotionally driven. Most times everything after “but” is unwittingly justifying us usually in the negative.

Intellectually, you know you can forgive. No need to go further than that. Keep it straightforward. “I can forgive H.”

At first, you will feel like you cannot. You will even believe you cannot. Feelings are real and temporary and do change; stop reinforcing this one and let it wither.

Beliefs can, and do, change. They take time and effort though our directed thoughts and influenced feelings. Once you have crafted a belief which you aspire too, its reinforcement becomes self-affirming which cascades to your feelings and thoughts. A rather cyclic effect, which at the moment is not performing like you want it too, so alterations are required.

Accuracy. “I can forgive.”

Forgiveness is, in truth, foreign to most people. We kind of know what it is. Yet we have little actual experience with it. There are very few living examples, and society is more blame oriented than forgiving. The idea/belief that someone must earn their forgiveness is pretty common, which keeps that very tenet out of people’s reach.

Again, because I do believe in you - “I can forgive”.

Your mind is always listening and crafting your reality. Feed it well. Be patient, this all takes time.

D


Now: Me54 XW51 S25 S23 S21 D20

Oct 8/17-BD, Moves in w/OM, Leaves Kids
Me49 W46 S20 S19 S16 D15
M26 T29
Dec 9/17-Legal Separation
Oct 3/18-W Files
Apr 6/19-Divorced

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My only add to what DnJ said is that while forgiveness is not earned.....it should be sought. It is impossible to forgive someone that doesn't want to be forgiven. For instance, physical abusers, you cannot forgive them while they are actively continuing to abuse you. BUT, if they stop, change their ways, and get the help they need to stop......then you can CHOOSE to forgive them. But as DnJ says, that doesn't earn them forgiveness. (I could interject with Jesus and forgiveness of sin here, but I think you get the point!)

Elbereth, again, I love that you are taking it slowly. These situations didn't occur overnight, they are never resolved overnight either. Just keep focusing on you, go out and live that awesome life you deserve to be living, and let the chips fall where they may.


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Forgiveness, like most things in life is not a simple cut and dried thing. It would be great if it were sought, however that is not a requisite for one to find it within themselves. True, the current actions need to be ceased, yet one can forgive without the transgression doing anything further. Consider how you can/could forgive someone who is dead. Obviously you would have no tangible proof of their desire to seek forgiveness, yet that need not stop you.

My XW has done nothing to smooth the damage between us or with her kids. And I have forgiven her. That does not mean condoning, or otherwise stating such immoral and deceitful behaviour is correct or allowed - it is however, stating her behaviour is forgivable. I no longer seek restitution or retribution regarding her; and that is incredibly freeing and peaceful.

With candour, this is not a hugely populated place; people do not know how to forgive. Although, I have and am converting quite a few. Plenty of times in real life it starts with something like “I would never be able to forgive my W if she ever did something like that.” That usually leads into a conversation much like I have here, about how “you never really know just how forgiving you can be until you are tested, which I sincerely you are not”. From there the veil of foreignness is pulled back as demonstrated traits take its place. It is pretty humbling when one sees just how many lives each of us touch and how the smallest action can have life altering outcomes for someone.

That may have been one of the most needed realizations - I do not know all ends. How could I ever judge her? So, I let go, forgive, and gave her to God. Of course this view came about rather abruptly with that hellish nightmare of her being damned. I prayed right then and there, in the wee hours of the night, for God to forgive her. Lol. Me, begging God to forgive because I already did.

After that, sure there were plenty of other lessons and internal things to overcome, however holding a grudge and being angry were no longer on the list. I did dip pretty low though to find my path, about as low as one can go really. It took many more months before I forgave myself for that. (For those that never read my thread, I was in an incredible ceaseless pain and ending things was seriously considered. Trust me when I say this - things do get better. Much much better.)

My lowest and paradoxically my highest moment. Perception. Dark and shinny, good and evil, low and high, same coin different sides. I suppose it comes down to what one chooses. How one exercises their free will.

Hmmmm. Kind of strayed a bit. Sorry Elbereth.

You are receiving some excellent advice from the posters. I really like Steve’s view as well. You are doing fine, take it slow and be patient.

D


Now: Me54 XW51 S25 S23 S21 D20

Oct 8/17-BD, Moves in w/OM, Leaves Kids
Me49 W46 S20 S19 S16 D15
M26 T29
Dec 9/17-Legal Separation
Oct 3/18-W Files
Apr 6/19-Divorced

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Interesting discussion. I'll add my two cents to the roll of coins!

Originally Posted by Elbereth
I need to know that there is true remorse for what happened, I need to know that he will put me and our relationship above his whims, etc. I need to feel respected, loved, and supported.

Originally Posted by "Berkeley"
Psychologists generally define forgiveness as a conscious, deliberate decision to release feelings of resentment or vengeance toward a person or group who has harmed you, regardless of whether they actually deserve your forgiveness. ... Forgiveness does not mean forgetting, nor does it mean condoning or excusing offenses.

Forgiving a person does not imply trusting them again, nor giving them a chair at your table. In Elbereth's shoes, knowing her husband put his whims so high above her, I could understand being uncertain whether to trust and rebuild. I could see how true remorse would help make her feel safer to do so.



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