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BL42 Offline OP
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Previous Threads:
WAW w/Exit Affair or WW? - Don't Want Divorce (1)
WAW w/Exit Affair or WW? - Don't Want Divorce (2)
WAW w/Exit Affair or WW? - Don't Want Divorce (3)
WAW w/Exit Affair or WW? - Divorced Anyway (4)
WAW w/Exit Affair or WW? - Divorced Anyway (5)
WAW w/Exit Affair or WW? - Divorced Anyway (6)
WAW w/Exit Affair or WW? - 1 Year Divorced (7)

Summary:
ExW (38) & I (40) were together 9 years, married 7, with two young children (then S4/D1, now S7/D4). BD shortly after a nice family Disney vacation, and soon discovered her affair w/married co-worker. For months I pursued, chased, begged, snooped...etc., put the kids to bed at night while she "worked late" and got up in the morning with them while she "went to work early". Affair w/OM1 blows up sometime around when their employer & OM1's wife find out; instead of working on the marriage ExW starts up w/OM2, moves out, files for divorce, moves OM2 right in (including with my kids). Physically separated occurred two and a half years ago and the divorce legally finalized a year and a half ago. ExW's been living with OM2 for over two years in a house she bought across the street from his sister.

Crushing it as a dad, at work / financially, and with GAL. Still dealing with some lingering anger around ExW's betrayal and OM2 being around my kids. Experimented with OLD apps for a time after D finalized but deleted my profiles awhile back and haven't fully jumped into the dating pool yet. Biggest focus has been the kids...


Me:39 Ex-W:37
M:7 T: 9
S:6 D:3
BD/IHS/Confirm EA/PA: Feb '20
OM1 affair ends: May '20
W/OM2 & moves out: June-July '20
W files for D: Jul20
OM2 confirmed: 9/2020
Divorced: May '21
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One more thought about the drop off, and the crushing sense of emptiness when the kids leave. Thankfully my ex always picked our son up, but ... even that was painful - to watch and know I wouldn't see my son for an entire week ... devastating is the word which comes to mind. A continual reminder of the failure of our marriage and the annihilation of our family, my hopes and dreams.

So, one day, as I was curled in the fetal position sobbing my heart out, I decided I didn't want to live like this any more. I decided the best thing I could do was volunteer somewhere - to give back in some small way to show gratitude for what I still had that was good in my life. I was lucky enough to be accepted as a volunteer at an endangered wildlife educational facility, a place I'd been interested in for years. My shift was always the same Sunday morning that my son would leave with his dad. Eventually I felt comfortable leaving before pick up so I wouldn't see the departure. I needed to make sure it was ok with both of us - my son and with me, to leave before he did.

While it was never ok that my son was living out of a backpack and bouncing back and forth between parents like a tennis ball, the sense of purpose I felt knowing it was volunteer day enabled me to find my way through the pain, anger and grief. The work was hard, often physical. The reward was earning the trust of the animals there and the knowledge that I was helping. Suddenly I wasn't so powerless after all.

But, I wouldn't have come to that place if I hadn't first spent a lot of time thinking about what my core values were post BD, and even earlier than that, discovering what my love languages are while DBing my marriage. Acts of service is one of my love languages and also a core value, as well as a love of animals. I'm forever grateful that I spent the time alone so I could get to know myself post BD, rather than getting distracted by idle flirtations or taking up with any of the guys who started to circle around after exh left. The growth from that time was priceless, and my relationships with those animals ... so humbling. They helped me find my joy again - especially a certain handsome furry fellow who would steal kisses when I least expected it. To have a 140 pound wolf dog hybrid suddenly jump up to kiss me on the cheek then run away before I had a chance to react will remain one of my favorite memories for my entire life, as will having my face completely slobbered by wolf kisses. I'm sure they helped me more than I helped them.

Anyway, that's what worked for me. Perhaps this resonates with you, or someone reading along.


M 20+ T25+
S ~15.5 (BD)
BD 4/6/15
D Final 12/23/16

"You know who you were before & during your marriage. Find out who you are now. What are your core values? What do you really want? Then, live it!"
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Hello BL

I thought I’d drop by:

You are giving excellent advice to posters. I enjoy reading your well thought out suggestions. Well done!



Somehow I missed a couple your posts.

I love the after Thanksgiving tradition. Green Christmas tree pancakes sound awesome. smile M&Ms ornaments and whipped cream garland, the kids would love those! The whole days sounds wonderful.

Originally Posted by DnJ
Well done not letting your feelings take over your day and ruin it. How long until they fleeted? Just curious, if you don’t mind.

Originally Posted by BL42
It hit me a bit hard on the drive back and definitely on my mind during the workout (which of course helped), and I think it lingered throughout the day and perhaps later on I was a bit down being the holiday. When my kids returned that evening I felt the love and was back in full fledge loving dad mode.

Sounds like a reasonable response. And timeline.

“Hit me a bit hard” is the triggered feelings. Hit. Non rational. Felt. Emotions influencing thoughts.

“On my mind”, “lingered throughout the day” is the reinforcing of the feelings. Thoughts influencing emotions.

Absolutely nothing wrong with any of that. You didn’t get dragged around. And you controlled your thoughts and actions. And yes, a bit down due to the holiday is understandable and mixed in too.

Next time, fleeting will be even quicker. Your mind now has a map. A route. A guide. Telling yourself (and me) about your timeline crafts and reinforces the route. Your mind is listening. It now knows. And realizes that it knows. (Well you do. Seriously I’m not bonkers, it is just helpful to see your mind separate. If you know what I mean. smile ) Anyhow, with that route established, it’s just a matter of how swiftly now.

You know you can do it. It’s similar for forgiveness. Once we know and believe we can get over the hurdle, we’re there.

And forgiving really lessens the triggering in the first place.

Take care.

D


Feelings are fleeting.
Be better, not bitter.
Love the person, forgive the sin.
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Yo BL, what's the latest? Plans for Xmas? How's the potential dating going?

When's that trip to Australia?


Me: 41 W:42
T: 14 M: 11
S: 6

"What happened happened, and couldn't have happened any other way...because it didn't"
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bttrfly,
Originally Posted by bttrfly
One more thought about the drop off, and the crushing sense of emptiness when the kids leave...

So, one day, as I was curled in the fetal position sobbing my heart out, I decided I didn't want to live like this any more. I decided the best thing I could do was volunteer somewhere - to give back in some small way to show gratitude for what I still had that was good in my life...

Anyway, that's what worked for me. Perhaps this resonates with you, or someone reading along.
Thanks for the recommendation. In the Thanksgiving case it was more about crossing paths with OM2 than missing the kids - though I do miss them - but point taken. I have volunteered a bit - worked a soup kitchen last year for the first time I wasn't with them on Christmas Day. Maybe something more regular would be good, but also only have so much capacity with full-time work and coaching S7's sports. I may look into it though. Would be a good way to network / socialize too.


Me:39 Ex-W:37
M:7 T: 9
S:6 D:3
BD/IHS/Confirm EA/PA: Feb '20
OM1 affair ends: May '20
W/OM2 & moves out: June-July '20
W files for D: Jul20
OM2 confirmed: 9/2020
Divorced: May '21
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DnJ,
Originally Posted by DnJ
Hello BL

I thought I’d drop by:

You are giving excellent advice to posters. I enjoy reading your well thought out suggestions. Well done!
Thanks. I've been trying to pay it forward and help others, especially the Newbies, because I know how awful and difficult a period that was for me and others. Hopefully I'm giving good and advice and if nothing else just getting responses I think makes folks who are spinning feel better.

Originally Posted by DnJ
I love the after Thanksgiving tradition. Green Christmas tree pancakes sound awesome. smile M&Ms ornaments and whipped cream garland, the kids would love those! The whole days sounds wonderful.
It's been real nice. I'm glad the kids remember it, anticipate it, and get excited about it. Makes me feel close to them and love that they're so close to my parents too.


Me:39 Ex-W:37
M:7 T: 9
S:6 D:3
BD/IHS/Confirm EA/PA: Feb '20
OM1 affair ends: May '20
W/OM2 & moves out: June-July '20
W files for D: Jul20
OM2 confirmed: 9/2020
Divorced: May '21
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OnlyBent,
Originally Posted by OnlyBent
Yo BL, what's the latest?
I've been feeling down and maybe a bit depressed over the last month or two to be honest. A couple things I've been meaning to post about, plus the holidays coming up.

Originally Posted by OnlyBent
Plans for Xmas?
S7 and D4 will be with me for Christmas Eve/Day this year so that's nice. Been a bit stressed about the prep, but hopefully have that under control now after this weekend.

Originally Posted by OnlyBent
How's the potential dating going?
Non-existent. I deleted OLD profiles months ago and the setups friends have alluded to haven't come to fruition. The one mom who was flirting with me hard over SM stopped messaging once I broached the topic of her martial status, so that answers that question I suppose. My sister's friend single mom who her and my mom were trying to get me together with is seeing someone. And my good buddy's friend's SIL single mom set up doesn't seem to be happening. Need to figure out a way to network more in that area. Tough with my job to meet people through work.

Originally Posted by OnlyBent
When's that trip to Australia?
Sounds fantastic but it might be awhile!


Me:39 Ex-W:37
M:7 T: 9
S:6 D:3
BD/IHS/Confirm EA/PA: Feb '20
OM1 affair ends: May '20
W/OM2 & moves out: June-July '20
W files for D: Jul20
OM2 confirmed: 9/2020
Divorced: May '21
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Been feeling down and a bit depressed lately, probably the last month and a half. Maybe why I haven't given an update in awhile, though I guess that should be the opposite lol...

Halloween with the kiddos went well for the most part. I volunteered as a class parent to run S7's school party, which went great and it seemed like he appreciated. Unfortunately I didn't realize at the time signing up it'd conflict with D4's school parade so I felt a lot of guilt missing that, but there wasn't much I could do. My mom went instead and D4 ran over to her, hugged her, and had her walk w/D4 (even though ExW was there) so it was nice she had someone from my side. Although afterwards ExW shot me an email and said "you could've told me you were doing S7's party. Are you a class parent or something?" (I told her I wouldn't make D4's event, but not why).

Also, I took the kids to my country club's Halloween party the next night and we had a blast! They had a DJ and were rolling people up in toilet paper mummy's and there was an incredible haunted hay ride on part of the golf course which I was nervous about my kids being scared (E.g., people w/chain saws attacking the tractor) but S7 was laughing and loved it and said he wanted to be an actor next year and D4 told me "Daddy I did not like those scary men...can we do that again?! I want to do that again!!!". So sounds like they weren't scarred for life or anything. And they already want to go back to the party next year.

Both had fantastic homemade costumes (S7's was especially tricky), which they loved and looked great in. And we had some neighborhood friends over for pizza before trick-or-treating, like usual, which was fun. As for trick-or-treating itself...S7 had a blast with our neighborhood friends we always go with but ExFIL showed up before he was invited and D4 latched on to him and I was torn and caught in the middle between the two with D7 running ahead and D4 latched on to ExFIL. And then when ExFIL had to leave she was crying and having a fit. Then, halfway through I had to take them to ExW's house (we agreed to split the night), and D4 was crying about ExFIL and apparently S7 wouldn't wear his mom's costume and refused to go out trick or treating over there telling her "I was having fun, why did I have to leave my friends?". So not the ideal trick-or treating experience.

Anyway...two things that have gotten me down recently...

ExFIL has been increasingly difficult towards me and my parents since Halloween. Apparently he lost it on his W in front of my parents that night, the stress of D4 and his relationship with ExW I guess. I wasn't there but it was a scene. And since has been very gruff and a bit nasty to me and my parents for no good reason really. If anything we've gone out of our way to keep up friendly relations with him and his W considering his daughter cheated on and divorced me, inviting them to things for the kids. But he called me to ask if he could come over dressed as Santa late Christmas Eve well after the kids go to sleep and then wake them up in the middle of the night to have them "see Santa". I thought it was a horrible idea (waking them up in the middle of the night, what if they ran down and didn't want "Santa" to go and then had a meltdown, or god forbid recognized him as grandpa...just didn't think it was a good idea. So he was very mad and passive aggressive about that and hung up abruptly. And then he's emailed me about D4 and meltdowns and how if ExW and I don't work together she's going to end up self-harming herself as a teenager. And finally at a sports game he refused to even say hi to my parents - who have been nothing but nice to him - and at the end of the game I said with a friendly smile "Hey ExFIL, how are you doing today?" and he responded with "a lot of room for improvement BL42, a lot of room for improvement". For a half second I thought he was referring to the game which we won and thought he was kidding but then I realized he was directing that at me. So I thought my parents and I were doing the right thing to keep things up with them for the kids and because they didn't really wrong me, but now I'm second-guessing that relationship. Not that I need a R with them, but thought we were all trying to keep it reasonable and friendly and it's hit me a bit the things he's said. And who really knows, but it sounds like his R with ExW isn't too great at the moment either, so maybe he's just redrecting his anger about her towards me. I don't know. Seemed like ExFIL was the reasonable one and ExMIL was the crazy one, but maybe it's on both sides. Perhaps I need to set some boundaries there and back away.

Anyway the other more important thing that's weighing on me is D4. She's had a slew of major melt downs lately. She's very sweet when she's happy, but gets into a spin at times and just loses it and it's bad. Hard to know what's being a 4yo and what's the struggle with the divorce and constantly going back and forth with people and places, but feels like extra / more serious than a normal 4yo behavior. It was a really tough week the last one with the kids. It was a hard on me, especially as a single dad. So now I'm wondering about counseling for D4. After the holidays I may schedule a session with a child counselor for me and discuss recommended paths.

This past week I was out of town hosting a face-to-face meeting for a lot of people who report to me and our stakeholders. It was great to see folks in person for the first time in quiet awhile (or in some cases ever), and think the team saw value in it and got energized, so that was great. D7 and S4 got sick this week, and although I did miss them, it was nice to avoid the illness and have ExW scramble and deal with it for once (seems like it's mostly been on me over the last two years).

So anyway...ExFIL interactions and D4 meltdowns have been weighing on me, plus prepping for Christmas for the two young kids (still believers) has me stressed though my mom has helped and pre-wrapped some gifts and I did a whole bunch of shopping this weekend, so I'm feeling much more prepared now, almost ready a week in advance.

Hope everyone else is ready for the Holidays. Would love to hear if you have any thoughts.


Me:39 Ex-W:37
M:7 T: 9
S:6 D:3
BD/IHS/Confirm EA/PA: Feb '20
OM1 affair ends: May '20
W/OM2 & moves out: June-July '20
W files for D: Jul20
OM2 confirmed: 9/2020
Divorced: May '21
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hey BL.
I have no magic words, sadly. First, I want you to know I think you're doing a fantastic job as a single dad. This is a tough time of year, for many reasons.

Kids go through phases. I think it's a good idea to talk to someone re the meltdowns. exFIL is another story. Perhaps you could invite him out for coffee and have a man to man talk with him, using your mutual concern for the well being of the kids as your starting point.

I read his answer differently ... a lot of room for improvement in answer to your question of how HE was doing. telling you he isn't doing very well, from my interpretation.

BL, I'm going to suggest something that might be hard: dig deeper for some compassion for exFIL. Think about your daughter. Imagine her as an adult, married to a great guy, with a beautiful family, and she blows it all up. How would you feel? Heartbroken? Disappointed in her? Ashamed of her behavior? Questioning what you could have done differently as a parent? Devastated and worried for your grandchildren?

I think you and exFIL might find your way. It's Christmas. There's magic to this season of hope, love and compassion. Think about it my friend.

xoxo


M 20+ T25+
S ~15.5 (BD)
BD 4/6/15
D Final 12/23/16

"You know who you were before & during your marriage. Find out who you are now. What are your core values? What do you really want? Then, live it!"
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Originally Posted by BL42
Thanks. I've been trying to pay it forward and help others, especially the Newbies, because I know how awful and difficult a period that was for me and others. Hopefully I'm giving good and advice and if nothing else just getting responses I think makes folks who are spinning feel better.

Hats off to you BL, you're definitely kicking goals with this. Highly commendable how much effort you are putting in.

Originally Posted by BL42
Non-existent. I deleted OLD profiles months ago and the setups friends have alluded to haven't come to fruition.

I sometimes had found the same thing when friends mentioned a setup. The way I look at it is like job interviews, if they're interested, they'll contact you. Maybe, the friend did mention and the setup wasn't interested, maybe they forgot, maybe they're a bit of all talk and the other person wasn't as great or available as they made out. I've had offers here and there with varying degrees of success. What I found is, that if you have the abundance mentality or even just an abundance (from all sources of dating as LH would say), then you won't care if it does or doesn't come through, and strangely that's when these sort of things to do tend to come through. Does that make sense?

Re the interactions with the FIL, as everyone has always said on here, blood will always be thicker. I was very close with my brother in law and he always told me how little he thought of my XW, but guess what....we don't talk anymore and he and his sister still do.

The second point is that once you stop giving a fuch about letting anyone else's mood affect you, the better your life will become. The FIL doesn't like you, zero fuchs given, that's your greatest power. I'm not saying be a dik, but just not letting what others think get to you. I'm there now with XW after being scared of her moods and what she thought for 10+ years and its very liberating. and she can't stand it!

BL, you're doing great, and its totally common after putting in 2 years of hard yakka on yourself, kids, gym, work, etc to regress a bit in the effort that you can make. Give yourself a break, recharge and get back to a good balance of work and play.


Me: 41 W:42
T: 14 M: 11
S: 6

"What happened happened, and couldn't have happened any other way...because it didn't"
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