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fb2 #1786790 06/21/09 04:17 PM
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Hi FB2,

As the LBS and the primary wage earner, I feel and struggle with exactly the same anger that you were feeling when you wrote. My W is not being very aggressive in her walking away, but her opinions and beliefs about what a "fair" separation / divorce would be are frightening and make me angry.

Exactly as you describe, the WAS (WAW) would like to walk away and maintain

- Almost full custody of the kids ("I am, after all", said she, " their primary caretaker" "You don't need to be superdad - you can see them on the weekends")

- Possession of the home we chose, and I remodeled with my own hands ("It's the best for the kids" said she, "You wouldn't want to disrupt them")

- Half of my savings, assets, and future earnings ("Just because you have a career and I haven't worked" she said, "Doesn't mean it's your money. We split it all 50/50, that's how it works"

This leaves the WAW with a house, salary to support her without having to work, unlimited time to spend with her kids, and someone to watch the kids for her on the weekends when she want's to go out with her new love life.

This leaves the LBS living and starting over, forced to work hard and live on half of his income, panicked of the prospects of layoffs, etc which could reduce his income, and only able to see his kids on the weekends or otherwise at the whim of WAW.

This is the panic, worst case scenario that FB2 was describing. I also understand his anger at the courts, because in defending the W's ability to leave a controlling or abusive M, they seem to set up the ability of a WAW to walk away with all the benefits and leave the LBH carrying the burden - in effect punishing the LBH when it is the WAW who refused to stay.


Me 42, W 39, S8, S6, S2
M 11y, A & ILYBNILWY 11/08
Walking away from a bad situation.

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Smiley, Your question yesterday re: are there any similarities between W's D1 and current sitch was a very profound one. And while I'm fairly sure it was rhetorical and intended as food for thought, I can't help but wonder why you asked it. And I think the answer may interest you.

Anyway, rhetorical or not, whether you're a psychologist or not, I was wondering if you would mosey on over to my thread and give me your thoughts on it when you get a chance...
Thanks.


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With fruit, with weeds even; but gather them
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@Gardener - I'll go check that out momentarily.

@fb2 and @Thinker -- I get that your sitch's are different. But (as WAW has been all-too-ready to point out) "divorce" is only about the money; divorce -- conceptually, emotionally, psychologically -- is about the flip-side of divorce-busting: You, your mental wherewithal, etc. So it has been useful for me to not confound the one with the other -- to firewall off the juridical from the emotional. Lawyers are for the former; this board is (among other things) for the latter (for me, anyway).

Last night at dinner WAW was rambling on about moving out Friday, and I was rambling on about my ever-increasing to-do list and mentioned that I thought it would be useful to have at least one divorce-box checked each month.

What's the big hurry? asks WAW. And she's goes off on this somewhat incoherent discourse on how moving out "is the big thing" and once that's done as far as she's concerned the legal bit can linger and linger because we'll be "on our own" and can do "whatever we want" and etc.

After my initial -- though unspoken -- reaction, which focused on the "do whatever we want" bit, I realized -- she's stalling. She's absolutely stalling. Now why would she do that when stalling costs her more money than finalizing?

(FYI, per state/county formula, temporary spousal support > permanent spousal support, and remember that I'm the supportee, since I focused on kid-stuff > professional stuff, where WAW was professional > kids).

So, being me, I thought I'd push her to the door a bit and see what happens.

So I pointed out that, from my POV, the old Macbeth Doctrine applied: If it were done when 'tis done, then 'twere well it were done quickly. I feel that there should be some forward progress toward the Final D; I can't imagine that the lingering Limboland (thanks @Thinker) would sit well with me, and at the risk of projecting I'd imagine it would be the same with her.

Ah! WAW interrupted. Limboland is okay with me. Because (then a repeat of above)....

Well, says I, I guess I just don't feel that way.

And WAW gets all suspicious and asks why I feel that way. There's only two reasons why I'd want the divorce finalized -- money or marriage, so.....

You're thinking of getting married again! says she. Oh, that would be a disaster. Oh, that would be terrible. You shouldn't do that.... (That was pretty effin' sweet, I gotta say. I mean, she went off on a thorough-going review of all the reasons why it would be a really bad decision for me to even THINK about getting married again. She was really into it. All I could do not to grin.....)

The reason, I said, is irrelevant to this discussion. What's relevant is the way I feel. And I don't know that I will be able to cope as well with the uncertainty of Limboland as I would with the finality of Divorceland.

She then said things that are very much in line with @Greek's recent comments on @Thinker's thread (and can I just say how much I love that these discussions of all of ours weave in and out the way they do?) -- she just wants to move out, get settled. It's too much! Too much! She can't think straight, etc. etc.

Well, thinks I (though don't say it out loud), tough sh*t sweetie-pie. You called the tune; you pay the piper. It's not my job to make it easy or to give you space to get comfortable with it step-by-step. I need to be comfortable, too, and I'm 50% of this thing, and I'm all about me -- just like you were the day you declared Game Over.

So I twisted the old knife a bit more. Well, look, if I'd been the one to declare "I'm done" -- and then I repeated a lot of the things she's said to me, starting with ILYBNILWY, and she got more and more visibly uncomfortable hearing them out loud -- I'd be done. Not wanting to live in suspended animation. So that's how I understand it from my POV.

We dropped it at that point because Real Life intervened, but I had to again fight the urge to grin because later that night, while we were watching TV (trying to close out the TiVo file before WAW takes it to her new house!), she paused the show in the middle and out of the clear blue asked, "No, really, why IS it better for you for the divorce to be final?"

I'm not sure what to make of this seeming urge to stall and delay. I know that time is my friend. Why doesn't WAW view time as her enemy?

Thoughts?

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Hey Smiley Person..

"I know that time is my friend. Why doesn't WAW view time as her enemy?"

I dunno.. maybe because everything else is "too much". Maybe that's where she's comfortable.

Folks end up in LimboLand because the alternative is far too scary for one party or the other. Goodness knows I had to be catapulted out a circus cannon over the decayed carcass of my marriage to finally get to Divorceland.

She's thinking in ways she never imagined. Which is a good thing. It's always easier to 'fix' the other person than yourself. And imagine the shock finding it's her own face looking back in the mirror of what is truly worthwhile in life.

I don't think you're DBing anymore. It's more like Yin Yang Wa, The Art of War equivalent for relationships.

*hugs*

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SP,

I really don't think it's all that complicated. She's confused and having second (and third, and fourth, and . . . ) thoughts, and has shown this to you repeatedly, and all she gets from you is this sorta sick "well, too bad, toots" game.

"Twist the knife a little?" Look, I COMPLETELY understand the power rush you're getting from having the tables turned on her, but I don't think it's going to be productive to your future relationship with her, in whatever role it takes. Either you're still DBing and trying to save your marriage, in which case you're blowing all of the openings, or you're moving on, in which case you might as well just take the high road and stop torturing her this way.

Just my opinion. I do agree in general that "Limbo Sucks," and could see why you wouldn't want to drag this out.

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It's not a power rush. It is, a bit, of revenge. But I think I have a fairly fine-tuned sense of just how far I can push because she keeps coming back for more.

In a broader sense, though, we've got to come to grips with this recurring question -- come here or go away?

You yourself have, up and down the threads (not least in mine), advocated Tough Love and Hard Lines and rejected "saving" or "rescuing" or other behaviors that don't compel WAS to own it. Yet in the next breath you appear to advocate Not Tough Love and Not Hard Lines. Rules -- even rules-of-thumb -- are only useful when they are consistent.

As to the specifics, this wasn't from my perspective an "opening" -- not at the end of a day (Father's Day) when she'd spent 4 hours moving stuff to her new house and drawing up lists of goods to be packed for the movers on Friday morning.

And she IS confused and, if you go back to pages 39-41 (and whatever happened to locking thread, btw??), you'll see that this ISN'T all she gets. Yet when she WASN'T getting a "power play," you were sitting your Arabian charger, tilting at the "rescuing" windmill.

From my POV, I do myself no good by enabling AVOIDANCE behavior. I'm happy to lend a hand in COPING. I'm happy to do what I can to be flexible on the kids and what-not. If she can't pick up on "her" day because she's stuck at work, no biggie (assuming it doesn't impinge on plans I might have). I'm happy to have Friendiness and support her in her quest and encourage her new work and business ideas, and encourage her to open up and share and cry, and to not be judgmental. But I won't help her weasel out of the price to be paid.

But what I'm not going to do is play the game her way to enable her to avoid dealing with the reality. She knows that I don't want a divorce, she knows that I think working the problem is better -- even if it does in fact end in D. But I'm not going to keep reminding her of that.

Dangerous? Perhaps. But her confusion and pain are increasingly my allies. The "fuller" her new house gets, the more real it becomes, and the less appealing it is.

Since Big Midwestern City, which was the last time we had a big fight, and which was the start of my new m.o., let's review:

*She's walking-back all her complaints about me in the M

*She's walking-back her desires

*She's telling the story of M "my" way and not hers

*She's totally severed all contact with Signore Schmuckatelli, confessed it, and rejected it

*She's (mostly) stopped arguing about the money

*She's more physical -- very small acts of touch, to be sure, but acts of touch nonetheless

*She's open to acts of service in a way she wasn't even 2 months ago and now even requests some (per DB Coach Jody, an important step)

*She's openly and admittedly jealous of my "new women" -- who aren't really "new" and aren't really "women" in that sense, but Mystery is my friend -- despite having said after Bomb in an e-mail that I "should get out there," and that "it would be great" if I found "someone to take [my] mind off" my sadness, and "it's not cheating because we are so done."

*She's now advocating "go slow" and "what's the rush" having initially promoted the "it's done" and "let's just tear the bandage off" approach.

So I'm not sure openings are being squandered here.

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Quote:
In general, WAW is not "that kind" of a person -- what's the word I'm looking for? Sentimental. She doesn't get attached to things. No one in her family does. In many respects they're very 1950s, Cheever, cold-WASPy people. They form limited attachments to people and far fewer to things. I, on the other hand, still have stuff from kindergarten.



Quote:
I'm not sure what to make of this seeming urge to stall and delay. I know that time is my friend. Why doesn't WAW view time as her enemy?




Connect the dots my dear Watson.

Revenge is a negative emotion be careful using that as your tool. It's normal and going to surface just be aware.


Cheers


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OK then. Just giving you my opinion.

There is nothing inconsistent in advocating a tough stance in GENERAL, yet recommending softening when appropriate. Whether you're an NFL head football coach or a guy trying to DB, it's always easier to go from being the hard-ass who then "grows/softens in the position" towards his players, than the other way around. Tom Coughlin (NY Giants) would be a successful example of the former; my Jaguars' Jack del Rio an example of the folly of the latter.

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Smiley, I agree with Puppy. When they do have second thoughts, they need encourgament that "this", the M, can work. They have by no means yet decided. But the seed is planted and that is the first significant indication your "non Dbing is working".

My H ASKED ME back saying "IF the soil is fertile I want us to get back together", he never said " I want us to get back toegther and I will fight against all odds to do it", because he just couldnt say that. When faced with the difficulties of the reconciliation and the reality of the hard choices he had to make, (because I didnt give in) he backed off. He had SAID/ADMITTED he wanted back, HUGE step had been made and still his actions were hesitant and very much dependent on mine (to be honest this is where me and him f@cked up).
BTW, he too was stalling divorce proceedings AFTER he had moved out for 14 months. He used the exact same words "why are you in such a hurry?" and couldnt explain why he wasnt when I asked.

So, if she does show with actions that her determination is not as rigid as it was, and you still are willing to give it another try, be smart and not angry about it. Your "power" can be channeled to positive actions and not to "slightly vindictive" actions/words. Think about it.

And I agree with Puppy, tough love can be "practised" together with a softer approach when required.
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Thinker #1787443 06/22/09 08:41 PM
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Originally Posted By: Thinker
Hi FB2,

As the LBS and the primary wage earner, I feel and struggle with exactly the same anger that you were feeling when you wrote. My W is not being very aggressive in her walking away, but her opinions and beliefs about what a "fair" separation / divorce would be are frightening and make me angry.

...

This leaves the WAW with a house, salary to support her without having to work, unlimited time to spend with her kids, and someone to watch the kids for her on the weekends when she want's to go out with her new love life.

This leaves the LBS living and starting over, forced to work hard and live on half of his income, panicked of the prospects of layoffs, etc which could reduce his income, and only able to see his kids on the weekends or otherwise at the whim of WAW.

This is the panic, worst case scenario that FB2 was describing. I also understand his anger at the courts, because in defending the W's ability to leave a controlling or abusive M, they seem to set up the ability of a WAW to walk away with all the benefits and leave the LBH carrying the burden - in effect punishing the LBH when it is the WAW who refused to stay.



Thinker/FB2,

This is so true in my sitch, too; and, unfortunately, in my sitch, it'll be the next target for me...

Smiley,

Can you hum a few more bars on this one? We all know that you are a master at certain forms of DB-Compartmentalization, but I'm not following why -- conceptually, emotionally, psychologically -- divorce is the opposite of DB'ing and only about the $?

Quote:
@fb2 and @Thinker -- I get that your sitch's are different. But (as WAW has been all-too-ready to point out) "divorce" is only about the money; divorce -- conceptually, emotionally, psychologically -- is about the flip-side of divorce-busting: You, your mental wherewithal, etc. So it has been useful for me to not confound the one with the other -- to firewall off the juridical from the emotional. Lawyers are for the former; this board is (among other things) for the latter (for me, anyway).


It's hard in FB2's, Thinker's and my shoes to have faith that the courts will do the right thing by us, too, because they are set up as Thinker says. That can't help but seep into the DB equation when it gives the WAS so much more power in the present. If one of the goals is to shift the power as you have been able to do, it makes the hurdle that much higher which, doesn't it?

-AlexEN


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