It's been a LONG time since I've been here. I have often thought of stopping by to update and offer hope. Now seems to be the right time for that. Our divorce busting story is classic, ILYBNILWY scenario. With depressed walk-away, MLC husband, not having an affair, but having feelings for another. I was angry with him, we fought all the time, sex life sucked and we were both unhappy. However, I had stuck my head in the sand as to the degree of unhappiness. To my surprise, two years ago he moved out. I DB'd my ass off. As you know, it's hard, hard, hard stuff. It's the ultimate test of self-control. At first, I responded the way most left-behinds do. Cried, pleaded, chased, tried to use guilt/honor in my favor. Thank God, I came upon the Divorce Rememdy material. Because of course, all of those behaviors just served to push him further away. Even though they seemed logical, and "right" based on my feelings, they weren't effective in reaching the goal of restoring our connection. Crying, begging, criticizing were not attractive. So, what did I do? I did not cry in front of him. When he was around, I did my best to be upbeat. I helped him move! Probably one of the hardest feats. I went through the cabinets and packed him pots & pans, gave him sheets and silverware. Did it all without a tear, until he left of course, then I fell apart. I told him I wanted him to be happy and anything that was needed to be done, I'd do, even if that meant letting him go. I put quotes on our blackboard that reinforced my support of him, things like "Courage is risking the loss of everything, but following that path anyway." This ran counter to what my emotions were wanting to put on the board based on my deep feelings of hurt and betrayal. But I chose to act in accordance to what works, not what my emotions suggest. I wrote about emotions elsewhere. Of course, lost weight during the process and always looked good whenever I saw him. I made myself unavailable, went with friends, didn't answer the phone when he called. Let him leave message and called him back. When we talked I did not talk about us, or pressure him. Spoke of exciting new things I wanted to pursue, like getting a horse. I didn't respond to certain things he said, like he never loved me and that the marriage was all a mistake. This 9 years into the marriage? It's just so classic! This hurt deeply, but I did not respond to him. I wrote and wrote and wrote in my journal. Talked to family and friends. Visited this board religiously, and re-focused on DB techniques. I truly focused on being his best friend. As hard as it was I got my needs met in ways other than from him. I reached out to friends and family. I took care of myself. I did not expect anything from him at that time, and was only showing him that I am indeed his best friend, and I can have a meaningful life without him, if that's what he really wanted. Our story has a happy outcome. He decided that's not what he really wanted. The "straw" that broke the camels back, was when I packed up pictures of his family and gave them to him. Not in an angry way, but in a way which clearly expressed my letting go of him. That if we are no longer a couple, I think you would want to have these pictures of your family. He moved back in after 4 months of seperation. That was 1 1/2 years ago. I think I have taken so long to return here and tell my story of hope, because I have been fearful that the changes in our relationship were not lasting. But with the past two years, we have indeed grown so much closer and our relationship is the BEST, that it has ever been in our 13 years together. Our separation was so necessary in helping us both realize how much we care for each other and that we are each other's best friend. And that if we do love each other, we must chose to act in loving ways.
So fellow DBers, keep your chins up! The recommendations found in the Divorce Rememdy & Divorce Busting materials are sound! They are sound in providing wise suggestions, both for your relationship with your spouse, but even more importantly for suggestions in making a life worth living for youself, with or without a particular person by your side.
Thank you Michele for such great material. Also, thanks to my DB Coach. Your input & support were so valuable!
Virginia Peeples Assistant to Michele Weiner-Davis The Divorce Busting Center