I wrote this as my journal. I know its long I just wanted to share my thoughts because I havenít posted in quite a while. I guess I just hoped this might be helpful to someone.
I read here almost every morning and let me say this place will open your eyes when you are ready. Although I donít post much I follow several people on this board. I find that most people are searching for answers and success stories to give them hope and encouragement to do the work to get through the pain. I will tell you that going through this has opened my eyes and itís making me a much wiser person. I canít really say that I liked learning what I have this way but I have learned so much and it is all priceless. None of us are perfect and reading and learning through others is a great way to get through the gut wrenching pain when this all began. The most important thing I have learned from my wifeís mid life crisis? God never lays more on a person than they can handle. I also know that we all play a part in the situation you just need to figure out what was your part. My part in the destruction of our marriage was being lazy and taking things for granted. That made me not listen and let me think everything would be just fine no matter what. Marriage takes work lots of work and it also takes two to do that work. Running to another person doesnít fix your issues it just adds to things that will have to be fixed down the road. It doesnít matter if your ex/spouse is still with the OP because they are fighting the demons every day. They donít even know why they are fighting themselves and all you can do is sit back and let this thing run its course. Nobody can predict the outcome of their sitch and I think itís fine to hope for the best but you better plan on the worst.
I have to laugh some days because I really donít think you could make this stuff up if you tried. I also know that when you think you are seeing a sign that the train wreck is almost over, you need a good kick in the pants to remind you that itís not over, until they show you without a doubt in your mind itís over. Actions are louder than words. I can tell you that I can look at my married friends and see things they are doing wrong. I also know you canít tell someone they are making mistakes. Well you can tell them but thatís like telling a newbie not to break any of the 37 rules posted on this site on what does not work. Everyone has to learn as they go or they canít learn anything. Lord knows I have learned some life lessons that I never wanted to learn and I feel like I have finally come out of the fog that the LBS stays in for a while after the bomb is dropped.
You can sit in limbo and worry everyday whether or not your spouse is going to wake up or you can live and enjoy life. I can tell you that making your own mistakes is all part of the journey and all that does is build character and knowledge. I see so many people on this board that have been in long term marriages including myself, get frustrated and think they are ready to jump into the dating game or a new relationship. Remember that patience is the key to fixing yourself and possibly your marriage. I broke a good womanís heart because I was hurting and lonely. Just because you are hurt and lonely doesnít give you the right to hurt someone like you have been hurt. The first thing you should think about is whether or not you are willing to hurt that person. If you are then you have many more issues to work on before you are ready to date or jump into a new relationship. If you have to ask whether or not you are ready to date, you are not even close to ready. I asked myself if my ex were to come back would I drop this person like a bad habit? That gives you the answer to the million dollar question. Donít listen to people that havenít got a clue where you are emotionally. Just because you are dating it doesnít make the pain go away and actually it just makes your healing take longer. I wasnít completely out of sorts when I tried the dating game I never brought the person around my kids to save them from more pain. When I woke up and realized I was just prolonging my healing process I fixed the problem the best that I could. Dating still didnít give me what I was looking for in life and if you need to find whatís missing look deep inside and you will find what you are missing. You own your problems/fears in life and the only way to fix them is to look deep and do the work. Donít be lazy and try and take the easy way out do the real work and fix your problems. When you are ready you will know and you will not question your decisions.
If you think you canít go dark with kids you are wrong. I can go weeks at a time without talking to my ex, when I do talk to her itís about the kids or the house and thatís all. I donít ever initiate the conversation the only thing I ignore are texts that do not pertain to my kids. I am about to get my first grandchild in about a month. I am excited and my D18 has lived with me for about seven months. I get my D12 every other week and it makes me feel good that they know I am a great dad. You can find a bunch of joy and happiness in your kids when you do whatís right.
I found you can set boundaries without ever stating a boundary. If your spouse or ex starts doing something you donít like tell them once that you donít deserve to be treated that way and walk away or hang up. You will be surprised about the third time they try and start something you donít like you just walk away or hang up it wonít happen again. I was told in the beginning that I was a worthless father and my kids didnít want to be around me. That hurt and I didnít know if it was true. I thought about the mistakes I had made as a father and worked at improving my skills as a dad. The truth always comes out and the last I heard a few months ago from my ex was I am the greatest father that she could have ever had for her kids. What happened to being worthless? I can tell you that when the bomb first got dropped my ex played me against my girls and I fought hard to prove her wrong. I must have done a good job because D18 still lives with me and D12 usually canít wait to get to my house on Sunday night. Itís not about winning and losing when it comes to the kids, itís about doing whatís right. DBíing is doing whatís best for all the people involved.
Detachment was one of the things that everyone seems to have trouble with and I staggered like a drunk down a long road to get to the point I am at now. I guess I might not of figured out how to lovingly detach or maybe I have. I finally just said if I love her I have to set her free. Once I set my ex free I guess I just accepted the choices she was making as her own and she is the only one that can make her choices and itís no longer my business. If the OM is her knight in shining armor that is her choice and everyone deserves to be happy even the WAS. You can let go and live or you can stay stuck itís all about the choices we all make.
Getting a life has been easy. I will say at first going places with my married friends was awkward but it beat sitting at home being miserable. Now I have people call me several times a week for something as simple as a card game. I love a good card game and I play pitch and poker tournaments about twice a month we even go to different towns. I have met some interesting people at card tournaments. My D12 is a cheerleader and I havenít missed a sporting event. On the days I have D12 we find something different to do together all the time and itís fun to plan the next thing so we both have something to look forward to do when we are apart. I try and cook new things and I am turning into Betty Crocker with a Bobby Flay throw down attitude. If you would have seen the first few cakes I tried to bake you would have died of laughter. Now all three of us can knock one out without a glitch. Our next baking experience is cinnamon rolls, I figure we should have it down in a couple of attempts. I figured out that happiness comes in many shapes and sizes and you canít ever learn anything unless you try something new.
For anyone that is going through a divorce the only advice I would ever give is make sure you have a good lawyer and remember the lawyer works for you. I had a female lawyer that woke me up to many things about divorce. I asked many questions and decided what was best for me and my girls. I am divorced and I feel like it was fair and thatís the best goal you can have. Nobody wins in a divorce actually I think everyone loses. All you can do is try and do whatís best for you and the kids. The last day I seen my lawyer was about a month ago, she told me to prepare for reconciliation. I asked her why she said that (I had never told her I was trying to save my marriage) and she told me that she has been doing this for years and she just knows that my wife at some point will want to get back together. I asked her again why she thought that and she said it happens quite often and she knows my wife left a great man. The only thing I got out of that was to keep on keeping on I might be on the right path. The only thing is now I am not sure if I would reconcile with my ex and the odd thing is when I first came here thatís all I wanted. Now I am not sure she would actually do the work needed to put our family back together. I find it strange how my thinking has changed over the last year. To be honest I just canít see myself settling for less than I deserve. I actually hope that nobody after going through this would just settle and think everything is going to be just fine. Life doesnít work that way. Divorce isnít the end of the world itís the beginning of the next chapter of the choices that you make. Choose wisely and live with no regrets.
Thanks for reading my post. I wish you all the best and I hope you make the best of this journey.
Me 44 W 38 M 18 D 18 D 13 Bomb 10/21/2010 Divorced 7/19/2011 Just getting to the 7th inning!
I will look up your thread and post my thoughts when I get a chance.
Going dark was probably easier for me because my kids are older. D12 has her own cell phone and I call her everyday just to ask how she is doing or just about her day. What I would suggest for you is to stick with a schedule. I know life happens and I would only make adjustments if those adjustments are reasonable. I get my youngest every other week and I drop her off at my exís house after my week is over then my ex drops her off at my house after her week. Another thing I did was made sure my D12 doesnít need to bring a bunch of things along. She has plenty of clothes and toiletries at my house, less things to carry makes for an easier transition. I think itís important to make this as easy on the kids as possible. This is not what the kids chose so do whatís best for them.
Look I am not going to tell you to not talk to your spouse. There are times that you have to talk to them about the kids. I say just donít talk to them because you are feeling lonely or miss their voice. All that does is keep you stuck. You have to put yourself in the position that this is best for everyone involved. Another thing is only talk to your spouse when you are good emotionally. We all make mistakes so learn what works in your situation and stick to that. In the beginning I only got my girls every other weekend and I hated that scenario. I wanted more time and worked hard to get that. My ex told me this would never work. Guess what you can make whatever you want work if you put forth the effort.
My ex tried to make D18 her friend instead of being a parent in the beginning. It was all fun and games at first until the child loses respect for the parent. Every time my D18 and her mom got into a disagreement/fight I always tried to patch things up in the beginning. Now they both need to grow up and learn to get along. I am done fixing things that I didnít break. All you can do is be a good parent and expect your kids to do the right thing. My D18 is pregnant and thinks she knows how life works, she doesnít always like the rules of my house. I stay firm and consistent and I let her make her own mistakes that way she gets some life experiences. We all need to live and learn. I have had to go as far as tell my D18 that she is living with me because thatís what she chose. I also had to let her know that she was not going to run back and forth between me and her mom every time things werenít going her way. I just stay strong and consistent and they both respect me for that.
The best thing I could tell anyone is to become creative and do something you may not like. I am a manly man I hunt, fish, work on cars and live for the outdoors. I have hung a tire swing in my front yard and learned the cheapest place to get my D12ís nails done. I can actually walk into a mall for more than 5 minutes at a time now. I still donít know how to match clothes but the girls are teaching me and they think itís funny. I love to hear my girls say dad please we are going out in public you canít wear that. Everyone has strong points in life, mine might not be matching clothes but does it really matter what I am wearing when I fix my D18ís car or her boyfriends truck? The brownies I made didnít even know I was wearing a red plaid shirt without any sleeves and black jeans. Yes I will wear boots and shorts to the store it doesnít bother me at all. I really do know what to wear when I have to dress nice but I love the reaction I get from my girls when I might embarrass them a little. I just like to have a little fun and live. The laughter you get out of your kids makes everything come into perspective.
Oh and one small thing I will add. When my ex seen me pushing D12 in the tire swing, I actually seen a small glimpse of the old her. I hadnít seen that person in a while and not sure I will for a long time if ever.
My ideas might be off the wall and a little out of sorts but we have fun.
Me 44 W 38 M 18 D 18 D 13 Bomb 10/21/2010 Divorced 7/19/2011 Just getting to the 7th inning!
seminole - thank you for taking the time to write what you did - even though i'm still db'ing, i sometimes get very discouraged - at trusting that i will be alright no matter what the outcome is - to read where you are and how okay you, makes me feel hopeful for myself
thank you zig
me 46 H 38 M10yrs T 11 S10 BD ow 8/11 h filed 9/25/12
"if i could define enlightenment briefly, i would say it is the quiet acceptance of what is"
Seminole, If I was to write a post (I have written many) I would have written my experience just like you. I have a daughter 9 and a son 7. I do EVERYTHING with them, including painting my daughters nails and braiding her hair. I went to YouTube to learn those things. My kids have a great relationship with their mom but always come to me when it's something important. My daughter came to me to take her to get her ears pierced and to get her long hair cut for the first time. I know she will come to me when she needs a prom dress. I taught my son to ride a motocross bike and take him riding all the time.
I have friends in the music business so I was able to get my daughter to meet Taylor Swift and Carrie Underwood with me. I have taken both my kids to their first concerts.
I have taken my kids camping and travelled all over with them.
Their mom is very affluent so she too takes them on trips. But in the end what gives me the greatest satisfaction is when my daughter wrote me a letter about that she always feels close to me and knows how much I care while being a cool dad too. I could not ask for more.
As much as I hated going through all of this I would not change it for the world as it made me a better person with the proper priorities in life.
My ex has a big house and cottage and is constantly "doing stuff". Heck she has 3 dogs now and a nannie. I doubt she will ever regret her decision but that's ok. As much as I loved the "old her" she is long gone.
So thank you very much for posting what you did. It meant the world to me to read that !!
Oh ya, my daughter always tells me when I am wearing the wrong thing or have a bad hair cut too.
Me/W: 46/36 D7.6/S6 T/M: 7.5/6.5 Bomb 12/05/07 D final: 03/03/09