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#2939916 11/29/22 05:13 PM
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DW17 #2939919 11/29/22 05:55 PM
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Originally Posted by LH19
Ugh DW that is not a “thank you” moment. It’s a I understand you feel that way but we will not be friends when we divorce. End of discussion.
Originally Posted by R2C
So why did you leave this out of your first post about the interaction?
It is hard for us to give appropriate feedback if details are missing.
Yeah, I kinda botched that. Wasn't sure what to say, but I see how I need to make that clear to W. She has to KNOW she is losing something. I doubt she currently feels that way, despite me previously telling her that we would not be friends after D. She needs to know I'm serious about it. And I will try to make sure I include the important details in my posts so you guys have all the relevant info.

Originally Posted by SteveLW
Typical WAS. No follow-thru. If you read through the situations here, most LBSs end up being the one to file for D. Because the WAS is usually lazy, and after they state what they want they just expect it will happen. DW17, have you considered setting a drop-dead date? A date that if she isn't recommitted fully back to the marriage then you will hire a lawyer and go file yourself? Do you know how long you are willing to live in the current situation? Being married to someone that clearly doesn't want to be married to you, isn't willing to put any work into the marriage, and goes around making it abundantly clear how miserable they are?
I decided that I will wait this out one year from the time W went crazy, which was when I went out of state for work last summer. So my drop dead date is June 1. I do anticipate being the one to file, and I will try my best to make it that far, but I wouldn't be surprised if it ends up being earlier than that.

IHS is tough. You've been with someone for 22 years, but then have to try to act like friendly acquaintances in a shared living space while raising kids together. I think my current struggle is that things feel like they are slipping back into normalcy and I don't think it's a good kind of normal. I've seen recent posts on other threads about the need for things to be a little uncomfortable. I have been doing my own thing, taking care of the kids, giving space, no talks about R, detaching pretty well, focusing on GAL, and my emotions have been in check for the most part. I messed up trying to set boundaries to the point where they were so ineffective that I had to take a pause. And some of the things I was trying to do have slipped back as well. For example, answering phone calls. I don't always answer, but sometimes, like this morning where we are trying to coordinate getting 2 kids around with snow related issues, I know the calls are likely important. I understand that if I am not consistent with things, they will not work. I've raised kids long enough to understand it, but I guess it's a little different applying it to my W. I will continue to work on this.

Currently W is still not providing much help with anything regarding the kids or around the house. Tried to set some plans for who is taking care of D4 and on which days, that didn't really work. My wife would rather just figure it out each week and be flexible with who has which day on the weekends. That has worked for the most part as I've been able to do things whenever I wanted, so maybe a strict schedule isn't necessary. But maybe that's just me letting her set the expectations because she's too lazy to plan ahead. Probably the latter.

Tried to set plans for cooking/grocery duties swapping each week. That didn't work either. W bought groceries, but it was a week late and has only cooked a couple of days. This is "my week" to cook, so I'll try and have a plan for next week.

I think my biggest problem is that I just need to actually apply all of the advice I've been getting and be consistent with it. I think that after discussing divorce with a few people, going through the paperwork, and gaining a better understanding of what to expect, much of the fear I had has been relieved. I don't think I fear upsetting W anymore and I no longer fear that anything I say will be the final nail in the coffin. I've been hoping that her therapy will be some kind of magic fix for things, which is stupid to think and is something I have no control over. I do know that to even put myself in position to turn this thing around, I have to take more control over this situation. I will try my best to focus on that for the next few weeks.


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BD:7/2022
DW17 #2939930 11/29/22 09:35 PM
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DW, I think you are doing fairly well. A few tweaks and you will be there.

I do think answering the calls related to kids is ok. If you are fairly sure that is what is about and keep it to the logistics of the kids. If it starts to veer into other territory, just make and excuse and hang up.

As far as childcare and the meals responsibility, I think you need to formulate a plan to discuss this with her. Make sure you are not negotiating but setting ground rules.

"The shared meal duty and child care schedule haven't been working. So from now on I will be responsible for the kids and myself on my child care days, and you will be on your own. And vice-versa. Here is a schedule I have come up with that I think is fair: Mon-Fri every other week I will have the kids, and you will have them Sat. and Sunday. Alternating weeks you will have them Mon-Fri, and I will have Sat and Sunday."

If she protests, point out that you both need to get used to an arrangement like this as this is how it will be post divorce.

If she continues to protest, inform her that the next step will be to get a custody arrangement in place with a lawyer.

Be unemotional. Stick to business and the facts. Have a plan for if she balks at it.

If she agrees and still doesn't live up to it, that is when you start needing to keep a journal and track all of the times she flakes. That will be crucial in a custody hearing as it will show she was leaning towards abandonment.

DW, you've got this! IHS is hard. But many LBSs struggle with true separation too. I really suggest consulting an attorney as well. It was one of the best things I did in my own situation.


M(53), W(54),D(19)
M-23, T-25 Bomb Drop - Dec.23, 2017
Ring and Piecing since March 2018
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DW17 #2939935 11/30/22 01:08 AM
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DW17,

IHS is incredibly difficult. Especially when they're having an active affair and making overtures of leaving.

LH & R2C are right on the "no thank you moment". Be strong and decisive about not wanting to be friends.

I agree w/SteveLW you're doing fairly well overall considering. He gives great advice above on the approach w/caring for the kids. Remember to document!!! 50/50 with mom/dad is best for the kids IF both parties are caring parents, but if W is too depressed to handle the job maybe you want to document for a potential custody hearing, if needed.


Originally Posted by DW17
Thanksgiving morning I ran my 10k
Keep up the exercise! I did a 5k and lifted on Thanksgiving Day when I didn't have the kids...helped me feel a lot better.

Originally Posted by DW17
W sent me a message stating she was proud of me for setting a goal and accomplishing it. Then she added that just because she doesn’t want to be in an intimate relationship with me and she has a lot of work to do on herself it does not mean that we aren’t a family. She said she is hopeful we will remain close and will do life together for our kids and each other. She said I am always welcome at her mom’s house and it feels weird not having me there, but she respects my decision not to go to Thanksgiving there.
No question or kids/financial business = no need to response.

Originally Posted by DW17
I don’t know how to interpret this.
Like LH said, she's probably being honest. Many WWs would love to be in a romantic relationship with their AP but keep their H/ExH as a father, friend, and emotional safety net. Doesn't mean that works for you.

Originally Posted by DW17
It mostly just pissed me off when I first read it.
That's an appropriate reaction.

Originally Posted by DW17
I don’t see a scenario where I interact with her any more than necessary if we split up. I know that’s not her expectation even though I’ve told her I don’t see us as friends if we divorce.
I'd make that abundantly clear.

Originally Posted by DW17
I like that she acknowledged she has things to work on, and I think that’s been a focal point of her therapy, but we’ll see.
Good she's in therapy, but I wouldn't bank on that fixing everything. I suspect my ExW went back to IC to manage herself through the affair and D, not to fix anything. So depends on your W's motivation. Hopefully yours is different than mine.

Originally Posted by DW17
It was nice spending Thanksgiving with my family, as I usually spend it with the in-laws.
Hmmm...why do you usually spend it with the in-laws and not your family? Is there not an even split rotation?

Originally Posted by DW17
It was pretty tough not having my kids with me though.
Yeah. I hear you. That is difficult.

Originally Posted by DW17
I could feel the emotion building for a few days. I ended up calling my MIL on the way to my aunt’s house and telling her that I wouldn’t be there. I wanted to make sure she knew it had nothing to do with her or my FIL and I thought she should hear it from me. The conversation ended up being a little deeper than I was planning or expecting.
I think most here would say don't engage with the in-laws. If it's just logistics maybe, but might there have been a deeper motivation behind you reaching out? I suspect it's likely there was.

Originally Posted by DW17
I got the vibe that MIL doesn’t really know what’s going on.
Very likely. At least the full truth. W isn't going to tell her family she's cheating and divorcing a good man.

Originally Posted by DW17
After the call my emotions all came out. Anger, sadness, a feeling of loss, a bunch of stuff that I’d been keeping in for a few days.
Good! Get it out. It's important. And in an appropriate venue. I.e., not in front of W or her family.

Originally Posted by DW17
In the days leading up to Thanksgiving, W tried to frame things as me abandoning my kids to be with my family, which pissed me off too.
Right. She's not going to tell the whole truth to anyone.

Originally Posted by DW17
I wanted to tell her she blew up our family at the worst possible time, her selfish actions are causing irreparable damage with the few people in her life who actually do care about her and that her lying and cheating prevented me from spending Thanksgiving with my kids for the first time in their lives. Instead I just respectfully disagreed with her and went about my day.
Perfect. Completely natural and understandable to have those thoughts and feelings, but great job controlling your emotions and not blowing up at W.

Originally Posted by DW17
I later found out that she tried making up a story of why I wasn’t there only to have her mom say she already talked to me about it. I think getting blindsided while trying to badmouth me is what upset her.
Yep. They're not happy when things don't go to plan.

Originally Posted by DW17
after a bit she just kind of checks out.
Originally Posted by DW17
her lack of help is causing issues.
Originally Posted by DW17
I get stressed sometimes trying to take care of the kid related things she is neglecting. She doesn’t help with brushing teeth, giving baths, feeding, etc.
Remember your primary responsibility is the care of your children. My ExW would sleep through the day, stopped bathing our kids (I'd do it myself on day I flexed out to see them during "her weeks")...etc. It's stressful and hard, but remain their rock. Make up the slack. Eventually hopefully she'll come around there. Also document! Ideally for the k ids it's 50/50 mom/dad, but if your W is too depressed to care for her children maybe she shouldn't get custody until she can.

Originally Posted by DW17
W still hasn’t mentioned the D papers and there’s been no real conversation about the future.
My experience was different - ExW rushed it through - but many others say WSs are lazy.

Originally Posted by DW17
Okay, now some GAL stuff
Keep up the GAL! Best way to get you feeling better, stronger, more confident, interesting, and attractive.


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
DW17 #2939948 11/30/22 04:53 AM
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I second everything BL42 says.

Yes be angry at her in your own time, but you need to be Grey rock whenever you’re interacting with her or kids or her family/friends. Google “grey rock”. Your kids need a solid, stable, unreactive anchor in their lives - that can be you !

Sounds to me like she’s suffering from mid life depression. There’s some very classic symptoms in her behaviour and what she’s saying.

But diagnosing or fixing her is not your job. It’s up to her to work it out and fix it.

She’s framing things as you abandoning her kids, because in her mind and to her friends, that helps her rationalise her shi**y behaviour. Despite the fact that she’s choosing to rip your family apart, be aware that (in her mind) she 100% thinks she is doing the right thing.

DW17 #2939970 11/30/22 04:26 PM
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Steve, thanks for the advice. That sounds like a great game plan for my situation.

I've been documenting things each day in a journal. The 2 lawyers I spoke with said it wouldn't have much bearing, but it does help me sort my thoughts, see progress, and see faults/mistakes. I feel that it's beneficial so I will continue to do this.

Originally Posted by DW17
It was nice spending Thanksgiving with my family, as I usually spend it with the in-laws.
Originally Posted by BL42
Hmmm...why do you usually spend it with the in-laws and not your family? Is there not an even split rotation?
We used to split between our families earlier on in our relationship. My family is pretty small and the people who used to host things have been gone during the holidays most years. Most Thanksgivings for the past 10 years have been at the in-laws, except for one that we hosted 2 years ago. I had also slowly drifted away from my family and friends for the past 10+ years, which was part of me losing my identity and likely helped lead to the situation I'm in. I've probably seen my family and friends more in the past 4 months than I had in the past 4 years.

Originally Posted by BL42
I think most here would say don't engage with the in-laws. If it's just logistics maybe, but might there have been a deeper motivation behind you reaching out? I suspect it's likely there was.
I had been meaning to speak with her for several months to just thank her for being an awesome grandmother to my kids, especially D4 and D6 since my family did not seem to accept them in the same ways. I went to a celebration of life in August for a coworker who passed away at 41. The big theme of everyone speaking was regret for not being able to tell that person the impact she had on their lives and how much they appreciate it. I am bad about letting people know how I feel about them and letting them know they are appreciated. I kept thinking about my MIL and how I couldn't remember ever truly showing her my gratitude, other than saying thank you. My mom has not been a very good grandmother for a ton of reasons, which has been a source of frustration for me and W over the years, so MIL stepping up has meant a lot to me. This is some of what I finally got around to telling her this year. Each Thanksgiving with them we go around and each person says something they are thankful for. It felt appropriate to me since I wasn't there to let her know that I was thankful for her and why. I think part of my emotion coming out after was that it kind of felt like I was saying goodbye to her. It wasn't intentional but that's how it felt. It's easy for people to say "you can call or stop by whenever, I'm always available if you need anything, etc", but I understand that is probably not realistic after D. Long way to answer your question, but I agree there was probably a deeper motivation. But it also felt wrong not to at least speak to her on the holiday I've spent with her for majority of the past 22 years.

Kind18 - I looked up the grey rock method and I love that. I think I've been doing a pretty good job of that with W. I can tell when she's trying to cause tension and I've been able to avoid it most of the time just by recognizing when she's doing it or anticipating when she will. We haven't had many arguments and the times W has gotten mad recently, like when she was upset that I called her mom, I've mostly just kept my mouth shut and found a way to end the discussion quickly. Thanks for adding another tool to my toolbox.


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DW17 #2939979 11/30/22 05:23 PM
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I've been browsing around the MLC threads the past couple of days. This "Midlife for Dummies" one made me laugh. This stuff shouldn't be funny, but I guess you gotta try and make the best of a sh!t situation.

https://www.divorcebusting.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=960393&page=1


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DW17 #2939994 11/30/22 08:11 PM
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I’ve never seen that before. Borderline brilliant! If only people could get this sent to their WAS and make them read it. Would they see the irony? Whomever took the time to write this is awesome.


DonH
Midwest
Me 56
WAW-EXW 55
Met 11/95 / Married 5/00
Bomb 6/20/05 / She Filed on 6/2/06 / Divorced on 10/9/06
4 who'd qualify as GF since D & dated about 25 women since D
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DW17 #2940005 11/30/22 10:10 PM
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I pulled up some goals I had set from a post in October. I did 4 of them and I think it's time to set some more.

1 – Turkish bath house (the one I found is actually Russian, but close enough)
2 – There’s a small mountain nearby I want to hike to the top of
3 – Hit my current weight goal (8lbs to go) by the end of the month
4 – Reconnect with at least 2 more friends and make plans with them
5 – Run a 10k that’s coming up next month


Having my goals listed somewhere seems to help, so I'll post them here again so I can refer back as needed.

1- New weight goal by the end of the month (7lbs to go). To get there I'll continue with my 100 pushups a day and add Insanity ab workout 3x/week. Continue running 3x/week. Continue eating well and limit those d@mn holiday treats.
2- Sign up for polar plunge 5k/dip in the water on New Year's Day
3- Plan a new holiday tradition with the kids
4- Expand my social circle by hanging out with at least one person not currently in my friend group.
5- Turkish bath house (I'll try again to squeeze this in somewhere. Closest one is over an hour away and most of my weekends are already full)


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BD:7/2022
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DW17 #2940309 12/07/22 04:12 PM
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Haven’t posted in a bit, mostly because there isn’t much to update. I’ve had a few things happen that I normally would have sought advice, but I’m learning how to handle these situations based on the advice I’ve already received which is nice. I feel like I get caught off guard less often. There is one thing that popped up the other day that I’ve been seeking advice with.

D4’s birthday is coming up. W has not participated in any of the planning so far so I took the lead. I booked the location (a swimming pool), got the decorations picked out and invited some of my family. We have had a couple of parties here before. W and I didn’t talk much about it until Monday when W asked if I had invited anyone. I told her I had invited my family and W blew up. She was mad at me for not thinking about her feelings about being around my family, she said it gives her anxiety, they haven’t been a big part of D4’s life so I shouldn’t have invited them, my selfishness confirms that she made the right decision to D, I haven’t learned anything, this was supposed to be a kid only party, etc. I just listened and kept my mouth shut. W took a bath and came back to apologize for yelling, but reiterated many of the same things she said before. I listened again and only added that I wished we had talked about this several weeks ago. I got out of the conversation by saying that I hear what she is saying and I would give it some more thought.

W has not had the best relationship with my family for various reasons, and she knows I am working on repairing those relationships. We just had a party at our house for D18’s bday and all of the same people were there with no issues, so I had no reason to believe this would be a problem. The next day W said she did not sleep that night due to anxiety and said she had a panic attack thinking about it. She did end up making a full invite for the party and inviting friends/family from both sides. She has therapy today and said she will talk to her therapist about this.

So I have a few thoughts on this situation.

I think I did well not engaging in the stuff she was spewing. This allowed her time to come back and calmly express her feelings. And I liked that she acknowledged and apologized for yelling.
I feel like I should have initiated a conversation about the party when I decided to take the lead to make sure any issues were addressed. I think I failed there a bit. It’s hard when W doesn’t seem to care about anything, but it could have helped this situation.

Respecting how she feels has been an issue for me in the past. I would discard thoughts like this as irrational because they didn’t make sense to me. I understand anxiety a lot better now after finally experiencing it several months ago and I know that it is a confusing feeling that the person experiencing it doesn’t always understand. There is also the possibility that she is lying or exaggerating her feelings, but I don’t think that was the case.

I am not 100% sure if there are any actions I should take (talking to my family ahead of time, let W handle her anxiety on her own, etc) to help alleviate that. I’m leaning toward waiting to see how her therapist addresses it tonight and seeing if W brings it up at all. If she does, I think I’ll just say something along the lines of “It’s too late to address your concerns about my family for this birthday party, but I know these discussions are important and should happen prior to any future events where you may be around my family.”


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