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Take Two
Mondays for days ...
Loot and lawyers

Wonka, you're the lucky winner! You locked the last thread. You win ... a virtual high-five!! grin

You said:
Doing nothing is also an action.
I've *never* thought of it like that. But I like it! smile

Another lengthy one ...

So y'all remember how I was talking today about how different H was acting in texts? He texted me a few hours ago and said he'd been "tired and miserable" all day. He had just driven by the house, laying on the horn, before writing a text: "I'm beginning to think that if I wasn't always so d*mn tired when I was home that things would have been different and I wouldn't have just drove by the house I lived in and beeped the horn."

Later, he called the kids and - for the second time in a week - asked S7 to pass the phone to me. We chatted a while about his work and how things are going there and what he's up to tonight. He told me he thinks he's done in the industry. He doesn't feel tied to this place anymore or to his line of work. And he said, "I'm honestly thinking of selling all my tools and buying us some land in the mountains."

Though the "us" didn't go unnoticed (I felt my heart flip), I didn't bite. But I did tell him then of my current plan to head to the mountains as early as August, after a summer in SC. I asked him how he felt about me taking the kids there. He said he wants to be close to the kids and has been giving serious thought to trying to find work in another area of the mountains, which would be about an hour or 1.5 hours away from where I want to sink roots. He said he could try to find a place halfway between. He said, "I'll find somewhere small and cheap and nestled in the mountains. No matter what, it sounds like we're both moving toward living a more simple, less expensive life away from here. We'll see what happens between you and me. But otherwise, I want to be alone ... no girlfriends."

He re-emphasized he had "started the wheels in motion on that yesterday." I asked how things were going with that. He chuckled and sighed and said, "Looks like I got myself one of those psychotic ones." (HS, I *immediately* thought of you and actually giggled a little, and H chuckled and asked, jokingly: "Are you laughing at me?")

Apparently, she was at his apartment yesterday. He said "she showed up," but I find that hard to believe. (Irritating that SHE knows where he lives, but his *wife* and the mother of his children doesn't.) I don't know why he felt I needed to know this information, but he said: "You'd be proud of me: I didn't christen the place with her. I could have been the typical guy and done that and then told her I don't want a relationship. Yeah, so, I'm pretty proud of myself." (At some point later in the conversation, he was talking about how he doesn't want to have sex with her anymore, but then he said: "You know what? I can't say that I won't. I don't want to tell you a lie." I just didn't respond. Didn't know *what* to say to that ...)

He said OW has been "blowing his phone up all day." (And I've noticed, even when I have texted him, it's taking him an hour or so to even read the texts, so I'm ASSuming he's trying to avoid his phone as much as possible - lol.) He mentioned (again) that his lease is only six months, so he could "pack up and leave anytime, really" to get away from her if he has to. (He *just* texted me and said "if things get out of hand," he'll change his number "and get a restraining order." I think he's somewhat joking about that. But he said: "She tried to call when you and I were talking. I literally put my phone in the truck, locked the truck and locked the door to the shop. I'm just now leaving, and I haven't got another call or text from her. Lol." He said he's going to start doing that at all times, even during the day, until this passes, I guess. I told him to make sure I have numbers to his shops in the event of an emergency with the kids, so he sent those to me.)

It irritated me to hear that he's merely "set the wheels in motion" on a break-up with OW. I didn't indicate I was irritated by it, but I did ask: "If you're ready to end things, as you say you are, have you considered being a little more definitive and decisive with her? Seems to me, especially if you're saying she's relentless, you'll eventually need to be that way, whether it's now or a couple weeks after you've both suffered through the fall-out." I know I shouldn't play psychiatrist with him, but I had NO idea how to respond to what he was saying. And I felt like a dork just sitting there, not engaging with him a little while he was talking. I DO NOT WANT to be his friend and listen to him talk about sex and "christening an apartment - or NOT" with OW. I don't want to hear about him possibly having sex with her again! So do I just outright SAY that? I think I should if he mentions it again. At some points, he sounded *relieved* to be talking about her. But I think, when I wasn't really responding, he grew more uncomfortable talking about her. I'm not sure why he kept on about her. Maybe because I stupidly asked, in the beginning, how "things were going with that." But d*amn. I was asking about the break-up. Only the facts, sir. I didn't need all THAT ...

Lesson learned.

He said she's laying the guilt on thick, just as all of us here presumed she would. Pretty textbook. He said, "She's saying, 'I left everything for you'." I asked him how he felt about that, and he said (again), "Well, she didn't have to call me back!" I told him: "She made choices, and she is responsible for answering for those to HER family. Her choices, and her family, are HER responsibility. You have your OWN family that you may eventually need to answer to." He responded: "Exactly!!!"

I told him if she keeps showing up unannounced at his apartment, to let me know if he needs me to pop by for an evening visit one day. wink He laughed and said, "Okay! Do you mean you'll stop by for ME? Oh, nevermind. You mean for her ..."

We talked for a bit about how crappy our M was in especially the last six months before he left, mainly because he was working non-stop. I told him, "As sad as this is going to sound, things haven't really felt different since you've been gone because you were never here." He said, "Can I interject here?" And I said, "Yes, please, of course!" He said, "You know, I haven't been miserable since leaving because, well, I had a girlfriend. She filled that hole. But just after starting to break things off with her last night, I was freaking MISERABLE all day today!"

I didn't ask him to expound on whether he's miserable without HER; context clues would suggest otherwise. We've discussed before that he can't be alone. Both times he's left, it's because he has a "back-up." He just can't be by himself for some reason. That's something I don't understand because I'm not like that. I've always told my daughters, though: "You'll know you're happy WITH yourself when you can be happy BY yourself." So, yeah, maybe he's just miserable because he's alone. Or maybe he's starting to feel miserable because he misses his family and he doesn't energetically feel her there "filling the void." Maybe it's a little bit of "all of the above."

We chatted a little longer, but I could tell that hearing/talking about OW had changed the tone of my voice and the quality of the conversation, so I told him: "You know me: I could talk 'til 3 a.m., but I should go."

He told me he's going to get money to me soon to have birthday parties in the next two months for both S7 and D2.

And that was it.

Gah. It is so frustrating to not fix things for him - and I could FEEL myself trying to start doing it in the conversation! I'm SO used to rescuing him, and it's hard not to. I also know, however, that this is HIS journey. And he needs to fix it all by himself. I've fixed things for him before, and I've seen - and FELT - the consequences of that, eight years later.

The truth is: though these past two months have dragged by ... and today, in a way, has felt like an eternity ... looking back 10 years from now, with or without H, these moments will seem like a drop in the bucket. I HAVE to keep my eyes on the big picture.

I don't want to deny him the dignity of his own struggle. That would do no good for either of us, our marriage or our family.

And I walked away from this conversation thinking, HS, you are a freaking genius. You've NAILED what's going on in his relationship with OW. And I need to make sure, as you ALL have emphasized today, to be cool, calm and collected while OW's storm rages on. While it hurts that she knows where he lives and I don't - and that she's VISITED him and I haven't - it's a small price to pay for what's in "the big picture." I must keep reminding myself of this. And I must continue to practice patience.

Question, though: If he is initiating the conversations now, is it "okay" for me to engage with him a little more like I did today? Distancing HAS been working, yes, obviously. It is apparently starting to attract him back. And I want to continue doing what's working. But once it's working, and he's initiating conversations, THEN what? Is it okay to put a little toe in the water and start listening/validating when - and only when - the conversation is initiated by him? I don't want to get too far ahead of myself here, but this makes the second night that H has texted me at night and past midnight. He just texted: "I'm thinking of taking the kids to the mountains Sunday to eat pizza. You wanna go?"

Duh. Of course! wink


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Originally Posted By: Train
I DO NOT WANT to be his friend and listen to him talk about sex and "christening an apartment - or NOT" with OW. I don't want to hear about him possibly having sex with her again! So do I just outright SAY that?



HELL YES!!!


"Look, we're still married and I'm not your B-F-F. If you want to end it with her, end it with her, but it's incredibly disrespectful to me, to our marriage and to our family for you to sit there and talk to me about 'christening' your apartment with her. Stop it."


Starsky


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Train,

I'm a little concerned/alarmed at the dynamics I'm reading between your exchanges. It is NOT your job to fix HIM, and it's not your job to HEAL him. More importantly, you guys have it precisely BACKWARDS.

Yeah, I am good with a good phrase sometimes, but more important to me in these sitches is to coach people on the overall dynamics, including the POWER dynamic. Your sitch has "reconciliation" written all over it, but you've GOT to turn this power dynamic 180 degrees. Put more simply,

HE SHOULD BE PURSUING YOU, AND TRYING TO HELP HEAL YOU, AND THE DAMAGE HE'S CAUSED YOU AND HIS FAMILY.

Everything else you're doing and saying is great, but this is a biggie. I'll be anxious to hear if others are seeing/hearing the same thing in your exchanges, but that's my take on it at least.


Starsky


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More in a little bit. But, Starsky, your concern/alarm is dead-on. And I don't want to be with him until he DOES pursue me. In fact, I'd love to see him flat on his face.

Do I hold off on conversations with him? Pull so far back that he'd HAVE to pursue me in order to reconcile? Do I turn the conversations more distant? Do I just flip a switch like that? Will it work?

This is one reason why I feel getting out of this town will do me worlds of good. I feel like maybe I have some power to reclaim. I need to truly understand my worth again. Part of me feels I lost part of it somewhere along the way.

Maybe that's what it is. I don't know.


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Omg. Why am I trying to be his friend instead of his WIFE?!???


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Originally Posted By: gabbysmom23


And I'm going to assume, depending on where this is going ( it looks good although it will take work and time on both parts) that before you two have sex again that he will not be sleeping with OW AND he will be tested up and down.



x 10


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Originally Posted By: gabbysmom23
Just for the record...... I've been on these boards a long time ( too long, lol). Mostly giving back in the past few years.

I've seen all sorts of approaches taken with infidelity, and starsky, by far promotes the best, most self-respecting, long -term resulting getting approach there is.

His advice is golden. If I had a chance to employ a portion of it, I would have ( I just married and douchebag. I knew it the day I met him, but I was young, stupid, insecure , and I. " love").

But I do take it with me going forward into any future relationships. One thing we need to keep through this process is our self- respect. If we don't respect ourselves, how can anyone else respect us?

Ok, carry on, great job:)



Awwww, shucks. That made my day. blush smile


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Originally Posted By: Train
More in a little bit. But, Starsky, your concern/alarm is dead-on. And I don't want to be with him until he DOES pursue me. In fact, I'd love to see him flat on his face.

Do I hold off on conversations with him? Pull so far back that he'd HAVE to pursue me in order to reconcile? Do I turn the conversations more distant? Do I just flip a switch like that? Will it work?

This is one reason why I feel getting out of this town will do me worlds of good. I feel like maybe I have some power to reclaim. I need to truly understand my worth again. Part of me feels I lost part of it somewhere along the way.

Maybe that's what it is. I don't know.


Great questions. Know that I am more hard-core than most, but all I go by what worked for me and what I've seen work for others.

Even geopolitically, I don't think you can negotiate the peace until you've won the war, and pacified your enemy. (It NEVER works) There will be a time to show forgiveness, understanding, compassion and an overall attitude "I will not lord this over you if you return to the marriage" to your husband, but until he says it's OVER -- PERIOD with the OW, and gives you the remorseful/contrite "What will it take?" speech, it's NOT the time to be displaying any of those other than just basic compassion and civility.

In my opinion.

In the meantime, your conversations should be of the "This is your mess; you need to clean it up" type, and of the forward-looking statements you made like this one you did, which was great:

Quote:
"She made choices, and she is responsible for answering for those to HER family. Her choices, and her family, are HER responsibility. You have your OWN family that you may eventually need to answer to."


It's a delicate dance, Train, but it's an imperative one. Your husband has to sense your forgiveness, and a smooth path back to the marriage, but he has to know it's with conditions. It's an "if/then" thing, if you're into logic: "IF you end your affair, and all contact with OW -- period -- and return to the marriage, I think you will find me willing to talk about and work on any and all issues -- including my own role in the prior problems we had in our marriage. But that ball is squarely in your court."

Make sense?

Starsky


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Originally Posted By: Train
Omg. Why am I trying to be his friend instead of his WIFE?!???


A few reasons.

- because you see him hurting, and you want to comfort him;

- because YOU are hurting, and you want the comfort that comes with a more friendly relationship, and not the godawful adversarial one that accompanies adultery;

- because you miss his friendship, and always considered that an important part of your marital relationship with him? (I know I do -- my wife IS my best friend, by far)


It's all very understandable. But you can't -- at this critical stage -- turn to HIM to soothe you, and you damned sure shouldn't be soothing HIM.


Starsky


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First topic:

Quote:
In the meantime, your conversations should be of the "This is your mess; you need to clean it up" type, and of the forward-looking statements you made like this one you did, which was great:

Quote:
"She made choices, and she is responsible for answering for those to HER family. Her choices, and her family, are HER responsibility. You have your OWN family that you may eventually need to answer to."


Seriously, Starsky: WHY is it that that's the ONE thing I said last night that - though it made me feel like my REAL, genuine self to say it - made me cringe a little bit when it came out of my mouth?

I feel like I have to be someone different than who I really am to attract him back. Because I feel like THAT is the person he left.

But it's not that, is it?

I mean, the proof is in the pudding. I've been fearing that he left me because I always HAVE commanded respect. And my fear is that that's kind of "emasculated" him. But - surprise of all surprises - as soon as I start laying down firm boundaries like my old self? Boom: He's following our family down to the beach. He's "ending" his relationship with OW. And he's talking about following us up the mountain. It could be all coincidence. But probably not.


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And as for the topic after that - your responses to why I'm trying to be his friend instead of his wife - you're right on ALL counts. I got nothin' to add to that one.

I'm feeling like a beaten freaking dog.


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I'll have more thoughts on all that a little later . . . gotta run, but those are pretty key thoughts and questions. You are on the right -- (((ahem!))) -- "track," Train! grin


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smile Well, that makes me feel a little less beaten, maybe. Or at least one wound out of 100 feels patched up. Lol.

Thank you, Starsky and gabbysmom, for your insight this morning.

I have NEVER felt more confused and off-balance in my entire life. I get my legs back here. smile


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More later, but just made up for some lost ground today.

Starsky, get your high-five ready ...


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Train,

I want to expand a bit on what Puppy said about the "friends" part.

From what I've read around the boards over the years, reconciliation occurs because the WAS remembers and misses the true essence of their LBS that underpins the friendship in the M. That is why I am constantly reminding you to re-attract your H for he misses his best friend: YOU.

It is okay to be in the friends zone for now...because that's what lead you two to get married in the first place. H is experiencing some withdrawal symptoms as he breaks things off with the OW. It will be a very bumpy road for all of you as he tries to cut ties with the OW. She may very well try to use all sorts of tricks to draw H back into the A.

However, I would suggest that you draw the line at hearing some of the intimate details about H and OW. Not happening! You can say, in addition to what Puppy said about H cleaning up his mess, "H, I know you can figure this out yourself. I have confidence that you will be able to do this."

Listen to H like a lover...no criticisms or trying to fix him. Become the 'OW' to the XOW! LOL!

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Wonka, I adore you. And your advice.

I am still on my phone instead of on my computer. So still more to come ...

BUT, I think you'll BOTH be happy with the conversation this evening.

I feel really, really good about it.

Having a one-on-one with D16 on the back patio right now. But I'll be back here soon.

Y'all rock.


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As an aside, H is meeting with OW tonight ...

But more on that later, too ...


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Things are moving quickly. Maybe too quickly. The conversation I was so proud of yesterday is almost a moot point now because H has said since that he wants back in our M. He decided not to meet OW last night, after all. Instead, he sent her a text - which he sent to me for approval - telling her, in no uncertain terms, their relationship is over. And then he came to our marital home to avoid her for the night.

Let me backtrack a little:

I received an email from L yesterday, saying H's L wanted all four of us to sit down and try to reach a settlement outside of court. My immediate concern was that H has been talking about following us to the mountains, which means his income is going to take a huge hit. What's the point of paying Ls to reach a settlement now when H and I would just be right back at that table a few months from now if he plans to move? In addition, how am I supposed to plan where I'm going to live if I know my support could change so drastically in only a few months? H still has me on a string ...

I texted H: Call me when you have a few minutes to chat?

Then I thought: No. This is what he wanted. And I'm ready to move forward. So, I emailed L back and told him - while I didn't look forward to the meeting - I'm willing to do it. And I texted H and said: Actually, never mind. (Remember, his phone is locked in his car, so he wasn't getting any of these texts at the time.)

But the more I thought about it, the more I thought: H doesn't have a track-record of thinking through things. Going through this *twice* is going to cost us a fortune. I couldn't think of many downsides to talking to him about it - and my L was okay with it - so I texted him AGAIN, right at 5 p.m., when I knew he'd be checking his phone: "Ok, so maybe DO call. Or better yet, stop by for a few. Kids and I are outside playing."

He came right over. Sure enough, he hadn't even considered it. I told him: "When I first heard from L, it occurred to me that this could be an expensive step we may need to avoid if you're going to move and change jobs. That's why I first texted you to call. Then it occurred to me: I'm ready to start moving on with my life, and being legally separated is a big step toward that. So I emailed L and told him to go ahead and schedule the meeting, and I sent you the follow-up text that said never mind re: calling me to chat. As it stands, we'll be having a meeting to work out the support order and sign our legal separation within the next week or so. But the more I've been thinking about it, the more I realize that it's in the best *financial* interest of the kids and me not to move forward with a support order right now if I'm going to have to pay my L now and again in just a couple months. It's going to cost us thousands to go through this twice."

H thought about it and said: "You're right. Are you good with what I'm paying you now?"

I said: "Considering I'm not paying mortgage, I'm good with it *for now*."

He said: "Okay then. I'll call L tomorrow and tell him we're holding off for now."

Then, he said: "I still have most of the tax money left over I was planning to use to pay the Ls for our D. How do you feel about using it for counseling instead?"

I was a little shell-shocked and don't remember much about my response except for asking, essentially, if he meant he was suggesting we put the D on hold indefinitely.

And then, he pulled his chair really, really close to mine and put his face close to mine ... and said yes. He wants to work things out. He wants back in our M.

THEN, however, he told me had plans to meet OW later in the night. I told him, if he truly wanted to commit to our M, that I would not be okay with that. I reminded him what he had told me in the conversation the other day about not being able to promise they wouldn't have sex. I told him, first: "I'm not your BFF. I'm your wife. It's incredibly disrespectful for you to talk to me about 'christening your apartment' - or NOT - with OW. It's disrespectful for you to talk to me about sex and OW *at all*. Second, no. You can't tell me in one breath you want to work on our M and in the next breath that you're meeting her later tonight."

He said: "Well, she's the one who said she wants to meet. I'm going to listen to what she has to say."

I replied: "Then I'm not ready for you to be my H again. And you're apparently not where you need to be to really be open to working on our M."

He said: "Maybe I'm not then. I don't know."

And I said: "Looks like we both have some big decisions to make."

Somehow, things turned less tense. He promised me I would hear from him later in the night. He hugged me, assured me he wanted to be with me - and was making plans for that - and left.

He had a meeting at work at 7 p.m. He texted me something at 8 p.m., once he was back at his place. I didn't respond. He texted an hour later: "You there?" I said: "Yep." And he started texting about random things - a computer, furniture, etc. He said his "meeting with OW" was at 11 p.m., when she got off work.

I told him to have a good night and that I would see him tomorrow (today) when he picked up the kids. He said, "Are you not gonna want to know the outcome?"

I said: "Depends. I'm still not sure I understand why you're meeting her in the first place if you've already told her you don't want a relationship."

He said: "She has a phone that I had gotten her to talk to me when OH was all over her as$. She's the one who wanted to meet, for whatever reason, and I want my phone back."

I simply replied, "I'm no fool. F*** a phone."

He wrote: "Huh?"

I didn't reply.

He wrote: "You know what? F*** meeting. I'll write her a text. I might come over there to hide out for a while though."

I said: "Just let me know if you decide to come over."

And he responded: "I'm gonna have to, she's liable for some crazy sh!t. How should I word this (text)?"

And, Starsky ... wait for it ... wait for it ...

I said: "Your mess. You clean it up."

He said: "K, on it!!!! :)))"

That felt good. smile

We texted a little more until he finally wrote, jokingly, "Hey stop texting me. I'm trying to write my 'out.'" I asked: "Your 'out' for GOOD? Or just for tonight?"

And he said, "For good d@mn it!!!!"

Then, he came over here, and we had a midnight drink on the back patio. We started talking a little. I told him I would need him to author a no-contact letter to OW. I also told him I would need him to agree to a transparency plan and, obviously, counseling.

The one thing that bothered me is that when I got to the part about the transparency plan, he said, "Yeah. Not a problem. You find everything out anyway."

I'm going to chalk it up to him being tired - for now. I could tell, even before that comment, that we were both wayyyyy too drained - physically and emotionally - to be having an in-depth discussion about our relationship or our future. But I knew I needed to at least get out my "demands" asap.

He's not exactly balking anything. But he's not showing me the remorse I feel he should have. It's more of that "power dynamic" thing. I'm not seeing him begging me back ... or even trying to understand the pain he has caused me.

Am I expecting too much, too soon?

Or is this a sign that he's not where he needs to be to actually begin the long, tough road to recovery?

H just texted to tell me he left a message for his L, telling him to stop everything, send him a bill and he'd be there to pick up all his paperwork soon.

He told me he loved me last night and this morning, and I felt my insides cringe. Is that normal?? I don't believe him!

I have a million more questions and concerns and fears swirling around in my head. But if I could get sorted out on those couple first, maybe I can start to pick apart everything else.


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Train,

Baby, you rock! cool

Originally Posted By: Train

And, Starsky ... wait for it ... wait for it ...

I said: "Your mess. You clean it up."

He said: "K, on it!!!! :)))"

That felt good. smile


^^ deserves a Puppy 4-whistle!!! whistle whistle whistle whistle Good job on using this script!

He's not exactly balking anything. But he's not showing me the remorse I feel he should have. It's more of that "power dynamic" thing. I'm not seeing him begging me back ... or even trying to understand the pain he has caused me.

Am I expecting too much, too soon?


It took a while for the M to fall apart and it will take TIME to piece it back together. In a way, you are expecting way too much from H in terms of showing remorse and groveling. That is not the forgiving way to go about it. Focus on solutions going forward. I am liking what H has done so far in regard to wanting to work on the M and WANTS to be with YOU!

Or is this a sign that he's not where he needs to be to actually begin the long, tough road to recovery?


Honey, you cannot actually pin the recovery all on H. You do have a role in this as well. You do NEED to contribute to the recovery. It takes two to tango to make this new M take off in new direction.

He told me he loved me last night and this morning, and I felt my insides cringe. Is that normal?? I don't believe him!

Train, why did you have this particular reaction? Why didn't you believe him? Why are you not able to take his "ILY" comments at face value since he has declared that he wants to be with YOU. Yes, YOU!!!!

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Hey, Wonka!!!

Baby, you rock! ... Good job on using this script!

Yay!!!! Thank you SO much! I was like: Dang! I was waiting on an opportunity to use that one, and Starsky promised I'd get my chance. laugh

In a way, you are expecting way too much from H in terms of showing remorse and groveling. That is not the forgiving way to go about it. Focus on solutions going forward. I am liking what H has done so far in regard to wanting to work on the M and WANTS to be with YOU!

Thank you for this, Wonka. It makes me feel a lot better. I guess I've just read so many stories of cheating spouses being incredibly remorseful, even as soon as the A is discovered ... and I have A LOT of leftover anxiety from the first time this happened. I don't trust myself, or my judgment, anymore. What *has* occurred to me is that something I've learned through reading these boards and hearing from you, actually: I need to pay more attention to his actions.

- He sent her a text last night and sent it to me first to approve.
- He didn't meet her.
- ... instead, he was with ME.
- He is actively looking for homes in the mountains.
- He invited me to the mountains with him and the kids on Sunday and is now saying we will use that opportunity to drive through different towns to look for our new home for our new life. He is already mapping out the towns through which we will drive.
- He called off the divorce and even asked his L to send a bill.

I can't ask for much more than that, especially considering this is only Day 2. wink Thanks for keeping me straight and level-headed on that!

Or is this a sign that he's not where he needs to be to actually begin the long, tough road to recovery?

Honey, you cannot actually pin the recovery all on H. You do have a role in this as well. You do NEED to contribute to the recovery. It takes two to tango to make this new M take off in new direction.


Yes. I worded that question wrong. I should have said: "Or is this a sign that he's not where he needs to be FOR US to actually begin the long, tough road to recovery?"

My fear is that I'm going to be working on it more than him. That's just in my nature. I asked him last night, since we haven't had ONE conversation about the breakdown of our M: "Can you give me ONE thing for now? ONE area I can improve on, starting today?

And he said, "I want to have sex with you more. And I want you to sext me some through the day."

I swear, that's ALL he thinks about! laugh But that's exactly what OW gave him that I didn't.

He did add, though: "And I know I need to pay attention to you more for you to want to have sex with me. I need to have conversations with you, take you out to dinner, buy you flowers. I get that."

Actually, H is VERY GOOD at all of those things ... except conversation. He's always bought me flowers and asked to take me out. His work schedule just got in the way. I think we are both looking forward to a fresh start, moving to a place with no triggers and somewhere that we can live better within our means and without him having to work so much. He DOES say he wants to live together when we move. We will start counseling soon, while we still live separately, and see where that goes.

Train, why did you have this particular reaction? Why didn't you believe him? Why are you not able to take his "ILY" comments at face value since he has declared that he wants to be with YOU. Yes, YOU!!!!

I haven't heard him say "ILY" to ME in so long. It almost sounded odd. And I guess I have a hard time believing he can possibly love me after the way he has treated me. The A was one thing. But his venom and meanness and the awful things he said just make me wonder: How can you love me this week when you were saying those things to OW as recently as last week? I mean, he was still forwarding my texts to her LAST WEEK so they could bitch about me. So how does he love me NOW, less than a week later? I just don't get it. At all.


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BTW, Wonka, I LOVE this. In all the action of last night, this little nugget slipped by me. But I *will* be using it next time it's needed:

"H, I know you can figure this out yourself. I have confidence that you will be able to do this."


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One MORE thing I should add: H *did* say last night (same thing he said when he came back in 2005): "Train, I loved you all along."


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Originally Posted By: Train


And then, he pulled his chair really, really close to mine and put his face close to mine ... and said yes. He wants to work things out. He wants back in our M.

THEN, however, he told me had plans to meet OW later in the night. I told him, if he truly wanted to commit to our M, that I would not be okay with that. I reminded him what he had told me in the conversation the other day about not being able to promise they wouldn't have sex. I told him, first: "I'm not your BFF. I'm your wife. It's incredibly disrespectful for you to talk to me about 'christening your apartment' - or NOT - with OW. It's disrespectful for you to talk to me about sex and OW *at all*. Second, no. You can't tell me in one breath you want to work on our M and in the next breath that you're meeting her later tonight."


This ^^^ had me smiling in my office when I read this just now! smile

Quote:
He said: "Well, she's the one who said she wants to meet. I'm going to listen to what she has to say."

I replied: "Then I'm not ready for you to be my H again. And you're apparently not where you need to be to really be open to working on our M."

He said: "Maybe I'm not then. I don't know."

And I said: "Looks like we both have some big decisions to make."


. . . and then THIS ^^^ had me doing this stage-whisper "YES! YESSS!!!" thing and pumping my fist in the air!! grin

And then THIS:

Quote:
He wrote: "You know what? F*** meeting. I'll write her a text. I might come over there to hide out for a while though."

I said: "Just let me know if you decide to come over."

And he responded: "I'm gonna have to, she's liable for some crazy sh!t. How should I word this (text)?"

And, Starsky ... wait for it ... wait for it ...

I said: "Your mess. You clean it up."


. . . had my CLAPPING MY HANDS, OUT LOUD, IN MY OFFICE!!!! Woot! Woot!!!! Where's that STANDING OVATION emoticon???

And then Wonka beat me to the punch, but I'll do it anyway:


whistle whistle whistle whistle


Yes, it's the HIGHLY coveted "Puppy's 4-Whistles Award." wink Not available in stores.


I think I may -- if I have your permission? -- link to your thread, for some others to follow. Cuz THIS . . . is how it's DONE, people.


A+


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fwiw, I agree with 100% of what Wonka said above, and Wonk beat me to the punch by saying "Yes, you're expecting to much" and then YOU answered what I was going to say when you correctly saw that it's your H's ACTIONS -- and not his WORDS/DEMEANOR -- at this stage.

Look, I'll be blunt, Train -- for somewhere between 33% and maybe 60% of the people, that remorse/contrition/"begging-back-into-the-marriage" thing NEVER HAPPENS. And not every formerly LBS is okay with that, and THAT is okay if you're not -- if you need it, you should TELL him (at some point, soon, but not now) that you do. But it may never come.

You're going to have to decide if you're OK with that, or if it's a dealbreaker for you. I would encourage you to continue to focus on his ACTIONS, however, and not his attitude or even his words.


Starsky


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Quote:
. . . had my CLAPPING MY HANDS, OUT LOUD, IN MY OFFICE!!!! Woot! Woot!!!! Where's that STANDING OVATION emoticon???

Hahahahaha. Yay!!! Well, I only thought of you with EVERY good catch phrase I used. THANK YOU!!! wink laugh

And, yes, OF COURSE you can link up to my thread!!!

I just hope, hope, hope there's more good news a-comin'.

Quote:
Look, I'll be blunt, Train -- for somewhere between 33% and maybe 60% of the people, that remorse/contrition/"begging-back-into-the-marriage" thing NEVER HAPPENS. And not every formerly LBS is okay with that, and THAT is okay if you're not -- if you need it, you should TELL him (at some point, soon, but not now) that you do. But it may never come.

I don't really need deep remorse. As long as his actions continue to show he's coming around, I'll be good with that. smile

OW has texted him again today. He came here after work to pick up the kids for time at the park. He's NOT in a good mood; veryyyyy tired. But he showed me the texts. She's still freaking out and laying the guilt on him big time. He says he has no second-thoughts ...


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I am so happy for you!! I have followed your posts all along but will be going back and rereading so maybe I can learn more!


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Thank you, twinmom! My journey is nowhere near over. These situations are the pits. I'm still thinking of you and will be back around to peek in on others' threads as soon as I get over the initial "shock" of this latest development in my sitch ...

Okay, folks, time for a NC letter. I need advice.

Here's what we have so far:

OW,

As I've already explained, our relationship is over. It was a mistake, built on lies and deceit, and it hurt my wife and children very much. I am committed to Train and my children and to repairing my relationships with them.

Do not contact me any more. I will also not be contacting you.

I have committed to being fully open, honest and transparent with Train about my affair with you. To that end, any attempts on your part to contact me if you choose not to respect my wishes of no-contact - will be immediately shared with my wife, just as I've openly shared with her the texts you've sent this week.

Sincerely,

H


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I don't think you need to change a word.

Make sure that YOU either mail it, or you go with him to do so -- the idea being to make sure he doesn't add any "softening" handwritten notes onto it or something.


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Got it. Thank you, Starsky.

He just brought lunch for the kids and me, and he's talking about how to financially make everything work until he can find work in the mountains. We have a lot of VERY tough decisions to make. But we MUST put our M before ANYTHING else. And me moving to the mountains with him staying behind, if we're committed to our M (and both of us say we are), would be detrimental to our efforts to work things out, IMO. I'll get into those a little later.

But for now:

If OW doesn't have a mailing address right now (I think she's "bouncing" until she rents a place, according to texts between her and H and a couple weeks ago), THEN what? They've always communicated strictly by text. So I may have no choice but to be with him when he sends the note to her in text??

Here's another kicker, and I need some advice on this one: He bought her an iPhone. He wants it back. He told her, in the text he sent her this week, that he did not want to meet with her, as she was proposing. He told her, instead, to drop the phone off at the front desk of his apartment complex. She is outright refusing; I saw the texts. She said she WILL NOT drop the phone off and will only give it back to him if he meets with her.

I told H today that he has two choices:

1. Either let the phone go and work something out with the phone company for the bill, or ...
2. Meet her, but I'll be going with him.

I know EXACTLY what that wh0re is up to. And H says I'm "probably right."

So, how do I handle THAT little nugget?


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Like the NC letter! smile

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I say let the phone go. You have already spent $$ on lawyers and what's a few extra hundred added to this "situation"..... just to be DONE with her.


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Train,

I would not meet with the XOW under any circumstances. Don't give her the power.

If I were H, I'd go to the Apple store and work with them to disconnect the phone. Is the phone under H's plan? If yes, then I'd ask the store to disable it. If it is under XOW's name and credit card, then it'd be best to cut your losses and move on from that situation.

You and H need to extract yourselves from OW in any way possible without SEEING her at all. Scratch option #2.

Doesn't the OXW have an email that H can send the NC to as most iPhones tend to have the @gmail.com account.

Good luck!

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Thank you, Wonka! smile

H said he wants to try to get his phone back before he sends the NC letter. I mean, I DO understand where he's coming from. And he said he would be perfectly fine with me accompanying him if he has to meet her. But if he tells her I'm coming, she won't show. And if he *doesn't* tell her I'm coming, the meeting could end up being confrontational. *I* wouldn't be confrontational. But I'm guessing she would feel "trapped." Either way, H will likely not end up with the phone ...

Would love y'all's thoughts on that one ...


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Just saw your response, Wonka. Thank you. I'm thinking H needs to work with the phone company/Apple store first. I bet he bought it from the phone store.

I'll ask him more about that - and about e-mail.

But I think that's the only way to go.

You rock!


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And you, too, twinmom!

I think you're both exactly right.

Thank you!


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And, Wonka, yes. The phone is under his plan.


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Originally Posted By: Train


I told H today that he has two choices:

1. Either let the phone go and work something out with the phone company for the bill, or ...
2. Meet her, but I'll be going with him.

I know EXACTLY what that wh0re is up to. And H says I'm "probably right."

So, how do I handle THAT little nugget?




Looks to me like you just did. smirk


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laugh Yeah, Starsky. Maybe so. Lol.


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Originally Posted By: Wonka
Train,

I would not meet with the XOW under any circumstances. Don't give her the power.

If I were H, I'd go to the Apple store and work with them to disconnect the phone. Is the phone under H's plan? If yes, then I'd ask the store to disable it. If it is under XOW's name and credit card, then it'd be best to cut your losses and move on from that situation.

You and H need to extract yourselves from OW in any way possible without SEEING her at all. Scratch option #2.

Doesn't the OXW have an email that H can send the NC to as most iPhones tend to have the @gmail.com account.

Good luck!



Actually, as I re-think this, I agree with this from Wonka ^^^.

Nothing good can come out of such a meeting. I originally thought "he/they will never go for that option anyway," and kinda liked the firmness and snarkiness of the way you phrased it, but upon further reflection you shouldn't even offer that option.


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I believe that whomever his service provider is for the iPhone (mine is AT&T), he can just declare it "stolen," and they will disable it. It -- and your obligation for its "x" number of more months on your contract -- remain your responsibility, but the phone will be disabled from making anything other than a 911 call.

This would avoid the unnecessary embarrassment for your H to explain the situation fully to the cellphone provider, and would also allow the possibility that OW at some point would agree to mail it to him or drop it off at the apartment complex, as he asked. If not, you could eventually just ask what the contract buyout is and eat that $$$, along with the loss of the equipment itself.

Starsky


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Okay, guys. I'm seeing a side of my H I have NEVER seen before!

He's actually cleaning up his OWN messes! All I've had to do is stand down for a minute and let him handle it!

He just sent me this text:

"I just suspended service on the phone. Do gotta pay for it though. I told them if it wasn't returned soon, then I would call them back and report it stolen."

I wanna pat his as$ all a sudden! laugh


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Pls don't! Nothing good comes of that.

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Originally Posted By: Train
Okay, guys. I'm seeing a side of my H I have NEVER seen before!

He's actually cleaning up his OWN messes! All I've had to do is stand down for a minute and let him handle it!

He just sent me this text:

"I just suspended service on the phone. Do gotta pay for it though. I told them if it wasn't returned soon, then I would call them back and report it stolen."

I wanna pat his as$ all a sudden! laugh


I hope you won't. Please keep this to a courteous "Thank you for handling that," or even a "I knew you could handle that" if you wish. You don't want to give your husband like EXTRA CREDIT, just for doing something you rightfully expect out of him (his fidelity).


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Just sent him that very message, Starsky. smile

Thank you ALL for your feedback - that's exactly what I needed.


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Train,

Patting H's bum will come in all due course! Eyes on the prize!

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Hahahahahaha. Deal, Wonka!! laugh


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Not sure how the other providers do it, but AT&T if I remember correctly classifies it at "lost or stolen." No police report necessary.


M57 W 57; D30 D28 S24 S20 GD7 GD2 GD1 GD5m GD1m
BD 5/07; W's affair 5/07-8/07

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Well, *I* stayed at a Holiday Inn Express once, so there!

ssthhhhsbbbbbtthhhbbbb!!! laugh wink


M57 W 57; D30 D28 S24 S20 GD7 GD2 GD1 GD5m GD1m
BD 5/07; W's affair 5/07-8/07

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You guys are awesome. And I agree that the phone is an insignificant casualty in the grand scheme of things. He *did* get it through AT&T. And that's who he talked to today to suspend service.

He just let me know a little while ago that he received an "info text" from Snapchat (which he and OW used), with OW's name somehow attached to it, informing him that Snapchat now allows messaging.

H wrote to me: "How convenient! I bet she thought I'd message her and you wouldn't find out. So I deleted the app."

I thanked him for letting me know.

For right now, I'm pretty happy with how things are progressing. smile

Thank y'all SO much for your feedback!!!! Hearts to you all.


M: 40 H: 44
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Originally Posted By: Train


He just let me know a little while ago that he received an "info text" from Snapchat (which he and OW used), with OW's name somehow attached to it, informing him that Snapchat now allows messaging.

H wrote to me: "How convenient! I bet she thought I'd message her and you wouldn't find out. So I deleted the app."


smile smile smile


Starsky


M57 W 57; D30 D28 S24 S20 GD7 GD2 GD1 GD5m GD1m
BD 5/07; W's affair 5/07-8/07

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Train,
Glad to hear that things are progressing! So many on here don't follow advice, especially when it feels counter intuitive. You did follow the advice of folks on here, like Starsky, that do understand what it takes to get your spouse back and it seems to have paid off smile.

Some will say that not every marriage is salvageable, and perhaps they are right. I, however, look at it differently. Like Kenny Rogers said: "Every hand's a winner, and every hand's a loser." I think it's how you play the hand you've got that makes all the difference. Your hand has been well played thus far!

Please realize that getting your H back is *only* half the battle. Now you both must put in some very hard work to create the marriage that you BOTH want. You will have to have some very frank discussions together about what you expect from a spouse and life partner. Then you must work on making each other happy each and every day. The book HNHN will give you both a good primer.

I hope that your spirits are in a much better place after last week!
HS

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Hey, HS!

I was just checking in to write a little about the weekend when I saw your note. And it is SO in-line with what I logged on to journal about ...

This. is. hard. Who knew that re-attracting H was only half the battle? Well, obviously YOU guys did. But whew! I'm still over here, slinging. I mean, I KNEW it would be hard even if he came back. But, well, this is really d@mn hard, if I haven't mentioned that already.

I find myself happy one moment and feeling hopeless the next. Friday night, H was in an angry mood re: his second-shift job. He went to work anyway, but he was upset because it's not going the way the business owner - H's friend - promised. I listened to H and asked if he wanted company at work that night. He said I wouldn't want to be around him in the mood he was in but said: "Tell ya what, don't tell me whether or not you're coming." Basically, he was saying, surprise me. So I did, remembering something he told me the night of BD: "I just want a girl who will hang out in the shop with me." I showed up at his work with a six-pack of his favorite beer and his favorite energy drink, just to try to cheer him up. I sat around and chatted with him while he worked. His spirits were clearly lifted, and he told me so.

He initiated a talk about some of the details of the A ... and about the night I left flowers at the hotel for him and OW. He talked of why he was so angry toward me all the time: mainly because he was mad at himself. He told me how he knew he made the wrong choice the very night I asked him to leave. He said he stayed in his car that night. When I started talking about some of MY feelings, though, he became agitated. I realized what was happening: it was our "old" way of communicating. I jump on one thing - and it wasn't even important AT ALL - and just shove it down his throat until he chokes on it. Usually, he just gets really mad and shuts down. This time, I told him I was leaving until we could calm ourselves and then we could consider continuing our conversation later.

He texted me almost immediately, saying he was sorry, he loves me and that he wished I hadn't left.

I couldn't text back immediately because I was still driving home. By the time I was home, he was freaking out, asking if I wasn't speaking with him anymore. And *I* had calmed down enough to realize that the topic I had raised at the shop was not solution-oriented AT ALL. It did NOTHING to help us reach our goals. So I wrote him back once home and apologized. I tried to explain that while he sees me as strong and resilient, that I am going to need his patience and understanding as we both try to work through the pain and confusion. I also suggested we schedule "affair-free" nights to just relax and enjoy one another. He agreed to that and asked me out on a date for the following night (Saturday). I recommended that to be an "affair-free" night. smile

We had a ball. He took me out to eat at a nice restaurant. He *did* bring up the A, but he asked me if I felt comfortable listening to something he had to say. I told him I was fine with it as long as we didn't allow it to turn into an argument ... for that night. Some things he has said sting - hard. But I try to listen and really HEAR what he's saying. I've learned a lot in the past few months about how differently we communicate. I'm trying to adjust my way, and he seems to (perhaps unknowingly) be reciprocating. We are starting to have some of those frank discussions. It's somewhat uncomfortable, and I have to keep reminding myself to stay solution-focused. It's so easy to run down a rabbit hole with pointless questions/discussions that are NOT going to get us closer to a goal of moving forward together. We both hope that counseling will help us work on this even more.

Yesterday, we took the kids to the mountains and had another good day.

Now, we're starting to have discussions about how to make things work from here out. We both are ready to move. There are all sorts of issues tied to that decision, including the decision to now leave D16 here to finish her last year of high-school in her district, and D17 would stay to begin college here. D16 will live with my mom, who's been a second-mom to her and her sister all their lives. D17 will likely stay with my sister, who has ALSO been like a second-mom to the girls all their lives. We have a very close-knit family. At first, I felt okay with the arrangement because the girls understood I was leaving our town to go find peace and happiness that I know I can't find here. Now that H will be going with me, I am so afraid they're going to feel I'm abandoning them for him. And I'm not. I just don't want to force such a huge change on them when they're almost legally adults. I also, though, don't want to be one more person who has abandoned them. I think they know better. But they're also very angry with H. I'm letting him clean up that mess, too. But if I stand by him, I'm so afraid my older girls are going to resent me for it. They say they will support me. But everything has changed for them, and they don't want a relationship with H. I don't know if that will ever change.

And then, there are allllll those well-meaning friends and family members. They all said they would support me, no matter what I decided. And it felt like they rallied behind me BIG TIME when H was gone. But now? Oh boy. Now, their feelings about H are coming out. They're mad as hornets. And bitter. And I get where they're coming from: They want to see me out of pain. They don't feel he deserves my forgiveness after everything he did to the kids and me. I almost feel they're attacking my choice to try to save my M and family, even though that's not what they're MEANING to do. They're mentioning it'll likely happen again. They're telling me I deserve better. (I find it almost laughable to hear such "words of disapproval" from a friend who has cheated on HER H but wasn't caught ...) It's just so frustrating! They say I'm one of the smartest people they know yet they act like I'm making a foolish decision. And then I start to have those doubts: Will H always be a cheater? Can I make it through this in tact? Will I ever be here again? Even if I am the best wife on the planet for H, will it be enough? There will be bad days and probably a bad week every now and again; will he cheat on me again?

Though, yes, my spirits are up and I feel happy, I also feel so beat down on so many levels right now. Perhaps only folks like you all can understand being in both of those places at one time??

H and I understand that the straw that broke the camel's back in our M was him having two jobs. I never had any time/conversations with him. He'd come home at midnight, plop down on the couch and say, "Wanna do it?" I'd roll my eyes and say, "no." He'd ask if I wanted to schedule a time to ML with him. I'd respond: "Do you want to schedule a time to take me out?" Ugly, vicious cycle. But that's what our relationship was reduced to. Neither of us was happy; we weren't in a living, breathing M. We want it to be different this time. But it can't be if he's continuing to work two jobs. Though I've felt that living separate while going through counseling would be beneficial, we discussed yesterday how he will continue to have to hold down two jobs if he's paying for two households (our marital home, which we still plan to vacate, AND his apartment). It would be more beneficial for our M if he could stop working two jobs. So we made a decision that he would move back into our home, essentially just in time to help me pack it up. He has e-mailed the managers of the apartment complex to end his lease. He'll have to do a buy-out, but whatever. (He also paid to have OW's phone completely severed from his account, and I will be calling to place his phone back on the family plan today.) He plans to drastically reduce his hours, or completely quit, his second-shift job to spend more time with me ... and as a family.

He has started looking for jobs in the mountains. We're going to start budgeting tonight so we know exactly how much money we will need to make wherever we go.

I'm so glad I have you guys here. You are truly pro-marriage and pro-family, and it's good to know I have a place to receive some like-minded support when I feel like I feel right now. I honestly feel like I'm fighting a hundred battles all at once.


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Originally Posted By: Train


I'm so glad I have you guys here. You are truly pro-marriage and pro-family, and it's good to know I have a place to receive some like-minded support when I feel like I feel right now. I honestly feel like I'm fighting a hundred battles all at once.



Yeah, you are. But just look at how many you're winning! grin


Starsky


M57 W 57; D30 D28 S24 S20 GD7 GD2 GD1 GD5m GD1m
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Ahhhhh the virtual hug from one of my favorites.

You never disappoint, Starsky. Thank you. smile


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Train you are inspiring. Having read you since I stumbled here in feb. it gives me hope, but it's hard going up and down seeing not much in the way of progress.


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Train,

For the cherry on top of your sundae, may I suggest that the pair of you attend Retrouville as soon as you can? I think it is timely for this stage in piecing.

Don't be a stranger...come by and say "hello!" to us here. wink

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Thank you, beautiful people!

I'm still plugging along. This week has been a little crazy, with H tying up loose ends with his apartment, etc. and S7 turning 8 yesterday. Sniff, sniff.

I promise I won't be a stranger. I'm planning to stick around this time. wink

More soon; gotta go plan a last-minute surprise birthday cookout for S*8*.

smile Hugs errbody!!


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Originally Posted By: Train


I promise I won't be a stranger. I'm planning to stick around this time. wink




You'd BETTER. Because I have a particular set of skills . . . acquired over a lifetime . . . and if you do forget about us, I WILL find you, and I WILL kill you. wink grin


Starsky


M57 W 57; D30 D28 S24 S20 GD7 GD2 GD1 GD5m GD1m
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Love this thread, so happy for you Train!!! smile you handled the situation with so much dignity & its really admirable.

Your doing great!


Divorce Final: Oct 2014

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Because I have a particular set of skills . . . acquired over a lifetime . . . and if you do forget about us, I WILL find you, and I WILL kill you.
laugh laugh laugh Once you find me, let's sit down and have a drink first, mmmkay? laugh I adore you, sincerely, Starsky. I could never leave now. I have too many BFFs here. Lol.

Love this thread, so happy for you Train!!! you handled the situation with so much dignity & its really admirable.
Awwww, thank you so much, Upwards!!!

I swear I feel I may be taking hits in the "dignity" department recently. Lol. I am battling A LOT of demons. I guess that's to be expected. I have up days and down days. Up MOMENTS and down moments. I feel so much differently than how I felt when H came home from the 1st A in early 2006. Back then, all I wanted was my H back. I didn't think about actively changing the dynamics of our M. I didn't think about looking back ... or looking ahead.

I know that sounds like I'm rambling. And I pretty much am. My thoughts and fears are swirling around like CRAZY in there. It occurred to me yesterday that so much of what I love, my H hates. I love my home for its character and charm. He hates it because it's historic and requires too much upkeep. I love yard work and gardening. My H hates working in the yard. He wants a townhome rental with no yard work. If we do that, I'm losing my yard work and my gardening, two things I love dearly. The inside of my home looks like it stepped off a freaking Pinterest page ... I have a built-in cabinet used exclusively for my fabric ... all folded perfectly and color-coordinated. I have a custom desk for my four sewing machines in that room ... also pretty much "built-in," thanks to my H's amazing carpentry skills. I LOVE painting furniture, and I have pieces that I bought specifically for use in this house. I paint and distress and antique-stain picture frames and cover photo mat boards with cute fabric. I painted a design on my curtains, which I sewed custom for my windows. I made my own lampshades. I have artwork everywhere. Handmade goodness everywhere. I JUST finished painting my hallway/stairway light grey and was planning a "you are my sunshine" theme. H bought me a piece of sunshine-yellow furniture for it for our anniversary. If I move into a rental, not only can I not plant plants or garden the way I like, I likely won't be able to paint the inside of my "home" the way I want. Will I even be able to put holes in the walls to hang pictures? I only have a million of them! And I HATE carpet! I have hardwoods and LOVE them! Am I going to have to give them up? And what will carpet do to our family's already-terrible allergies?!? But H? The guy with the allergies? He LOVES carpet and hates hardwoods. He even likes that disgusting carpet powder crap that gives ME headaches!

And then there are my dogs. I have two boxers. They are my "security team," and my H knows why it's so important to me to have them. When he isn't home, they make me feel secure. But he doesn't like dogs; never really has. He thinks I should just be able to "get rid of them." And if I move into a rental, chances are I'll *have* to.

It seems to try to make my H happy, I'm having to get rid of SO much that makes ME happy. And it seems awfully unfair.

Then I think: But I was going to have to do that ANYWAY when H and I were living separate. Financially, he literally forced me out of my home and into a rental. But now that he's back in our marital home, it's a jagged pill. We have the money to stay here until D16 graduates next year. Would he have to continue working two jobs - the very thing that led to the breakdown of our M? Yes. But he can scale back BIG TIME on the hours he spent at his second job, and he's willing to do that. I don't know that he's 100% ready to leave that job anyway. We've struck an interesting balance with that: he goes in a few times a week, and I'll go spend time with him there at least once a week. It seems to work okay. But the thing is: if he quits his career for a different career, even if we squeeze our family into a small apartment, he's likely going to have to work two jobs while I'm still a SAHM. We're danged if we do and danged if we don't.

I know I want out eventually, but we've both decided we'll stay in town for D16's senior year, after she expressed that's what she wants us to do. Neither of us want her to feel we are abandoning her during such an important time of her life. (As an aside: is it "neither of us WANT her to feel we are abandoning her" ... or "neither of us WANTS her to feel ..." Omg. Do y'all see how freaking CRAZY I've become??!??? Help! laugh )

But will it be detrimental to our M to stay here when we both want to move? Should I leave this house and find a rental somewhere close by? Do I REALLY want to go through all the trouble of moving a few streets over for ONE YEAR just to get out of the house that causes friction between H and me? Can I deal with the triggers of this town for another year? If I stay in this house, at least I won't have to deal with ONE trigger ... and that is the stigma that I feel would be attached if I walk away and the house goes into foreclosure, which is where I'm currently headed.

Aaaaaaaack! There are TOO many questions and uncertainties. And I'm angry because I feel like I had made up my mind a few weeks ago, when H was still wayward. I felt good about where I was going, considering I was being forced to make the changes.

Now? H and I keep having the same conversation. It always starts with him asking, "So what are we doing?" And we end the conversation the same way we ended it the time before: with no answers.

Yesterday, I had a BAD day. Let me backtrack: A few days ago, when H was at his second-shift job, he texted me and said: "Just a heads up: my ex-GF messaged me on FB. I had friended her when I had left you. It's all good. I'll show you the conversation." Apparently, he friended her in April and sent her a message on April 28. She didn't respond until the other day. (This is the ex-GF right before me.) When H got home, he handed me his phone for me to read the exchange. They had been messaging back and forth, apologizing to each other for some of the things they had done to each other during their relationship. H was telling her that our M "has had its ups and downs." And then he called her "kid," and I put his phone down and went ape-sh!t. I was like: "Really?!? You're home from an A for a week, and you're already messaging a person of the opposite sex - and your ex-flame of three years, no less - about your M? Do you NOT FREAKING GET IT?!????" He said he'd been giving a lot of thought to our upcoming counseling sessions, and he's trying to figure out when he became the person who "escapes." He said a lot of it went back to her, so he felt that her messaging him when she did was more than coincidence. He said, in a nutshell, he needed to make peace with that before he could go on to try to discover himself. He was looking to her for answers about HIM, I guess. Still, I went to bed FUMING mad, without being able to bring myself to read the rest of the messages. (Thankfully, she lives in a different state. Is it awful that I'm being thankful for at least THAT??)

H said: "Honey, please keep going. Please see how I tell her you're my wife and I love you at the end." I couldn't do it. I wanted to puke. He apologized. I slept off most of my anger and didn't bring it up again.

So back to yesterday: for no apparent reason, I just got really, really mad. I think it's because it was Mother's Day, and I usually spend the day outside, planting plants and working in the yard. All I could do - considering I don't know if I'll be here for long - was mow the grass this Mother's Day. And I push-mowed. Meanwhile, H was mumbling under his breath - as always - about yard work, even though he's on a riding mower, holding a Corona, while I was sweating my a$s off, push-mowing. I think that's what set me off.

H and the kids had taken me out for brunch before I started working in the yard. And he planned a dinner for just the two of us last night. On the way to dinner, I came unglued. I lost my temper and let out A LOT of things that had been building up. I told H that I'm not sure if we ARE compatible, which is what HE said when he left. I told him I'm tired of feeling I have to sacrifice almost EVERYTHING that brings me happiness on what appears to be a fruitless venture for HIM to find happiness. I cried. And I talked through a beautiful dinner he had planned for me. Like, I started talking on the ride there (it was just the two of us), and I spewed so much ... and for so long ... that we completely missed dinner.

And my H sat there and listened to me. He took it like a man. For probably the first time ever. He got mad, and admitted that, but he said he was mad at himself. He told me today he is "scared and confused" after everything I had to say last night, but he said he was very happy I had finally gotten so much built-up anger off my chest.

Things were better today. We finished moving everything out of his apartment. I started calculating in my head the expense of this most recent mistake of his ... until I realized I was growing angry. And the fact is: it's spent. No point whining over it now. So I dropped that before I even said anything to H about it, and I moved on. I grilled out tonight ... I kicked myself for missing my dinner last night. (H had taken me for oysters, which are my favorite; even though he doesn't eat them, he shucks them for me once he's finished eating his own dinner. Ha.) I REALLY hate I missed it. Because I'm REALLY in the mood for them now. cry

I need to re-center. The best place to do that is here. So here I am. And I'm feeling better already. THIS is why I won't be going anywhere this time; y'all can't get rid of me THAT easily. wink

I think I need to re-read my books and pay close attention to the after-the-affair parts. I skimmed those when I read them while H was wayward because, well, who wants to read about reconciliation when it seems like a distant (im)possibility? So I need to reread HNHN and DR, at least. Probably "Not Just Friends," too.

If any of you have some insight into how you handled this delicate dance of trying to reconcile while also trying to deal with feelings of anger and confusion and frustration and - yes - sometimes hopelessness, I'd love to hear all about it. And even if you haven't reconciled, any advice on how to keep my composure and stay solution-focused in the moments I want to punch my H in the throat would be valued.

Thank you all! <3


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***I should clarify: when I'm talking above about H's ex-GF, I AM NOT referencing OW#1. I'm referencing the girl he dated and lived with for 3 years before we met. Just want to clarify that ...


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maybe some posters in the piecing section will have some insight too...

smile

we all get angry and hurt over things and you are right...marriage (even without reconciliation as an aspect) is a dance...

sometimes you give, sometimes you take

there has to be a balance

You should not be giving up everything
but, realistically you may have to give up something

I am a believer in lists

list the things you love
(you might even add what it does for you)
then check the things you are unwilling to give up

I used to love puttering with my plants and my house was full of them and pots and pots and pots in all the rental homes I owned. I realized I was escaping through gardening.

when I didn't need to escape any more, I didn't NEED that gardening...

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Thank you so much for that, fig. I think a list sounds like a good plan. smile I am willing to give up a lot. H is more selfish. It makes our relationship difficult at times. Always has. I just want a different dynamic this time. More equality.

Question for you all:

How does a former WAS seemingly turn their feelings for their spouse off and on so suddenly? I know H's feelings perhaps weren't turned off suddenly per se. But they were turned ON almost overnight, it seems.

I obviously have some MAJOR trust issues going on right now. Those will be dealt with over time, I presume. But I don't understand how H can say he felt like he hated me a month or so ago and now he says he feels total love for me. How can I start to trust that? I'm finding it hard to commit to working on our M, honestly. It's hard because I expect he could just up and start hating me again at any moment.

A couple nights ago, he sent me this text: "Girl, you should still be reaming my as$. I'm having trouble coping with the damage I've done. Please, I don't want any sympathy, just want to let you know that this time around is different for me. Don't think I walk up into that house and everything is fine. I may act like that, and I think you mentioned that I have. You are being way too nice. And it's just unreal that you are willing to work sh!t out, totally unreal, makes me think twice on the kinda person you really are, wow, I love you!!"

It was nice and thoughtful. And unprompted by anything I had done or said except I had sent him a text telling him I still get happy butterflies to see his name pop up on a text telling me he's heading home. Still, I read what he wrote and immediately thought: "Awww, that's so nice ...... and I've heard it all before ....."

Ugh!!! This freaking blows! I don't want to feel that way!!!

Today, H spent his lunch break at home on the phone with our insurance company to square away everything we need to do for MC.

These actions should be making me HAPPY. And they DO. Sort of.

Am I normal???


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Train,
Yep, you're officially "normal".

Trust takes a long to to rebuild. He must earn your trust little pieces, and sometimes big chunks, at a time. I was a live wire with internal worry at first too. I was crystal clear with my wife about what worried me, and she made every effort to assuage those worries. As you may have read, get all of the details of the affair out in the open now. All of your questions answered by your H, as painful as that is, and absorb it. Do not get angry or he will shut down. Accept it. Once that is done, put it away and never revisit it again. You don't want to beat him up forever or he will begin to feel ashamed and hopeless.

You must start living whatever you want your new marriage to be RIGHT NOW. if you want transparency, then ask him for it (I'm sure you already have). If you want affection every day without him looking for sex, then ask for it. If you want intimate conversation, you guessed it.... At the same time, your H will have things that he wants too, you should know what those needs are and meet them with enthusiasm. I make a concerted effort EVERY SINGLE DAY to meet my wife's most important needs and she does the same for me.

Will the A, your husbands old words, the OW etc. plague your thoughts in the future? Yes. I'm just being honest. Don't lose hope, however. At first, I would think of those things just about every minute of the day. Then every ten minutes. Then a couple of times an hour. Fast forward over a year and a half and thoughts (sometimes brought on by a trigger) still come to me several times a day, but they are much more mild and are gone as quickly as they came. That's the trust bucket filling back up. One day I hope to go a day or a week or longer without a thought of it. Visiting these boards to "pay it forward" certainly doesn't help, so I disappear from here periodically for a month or so to take a break. To be honest, I've been considering going away from here for good, soon. I've helped some folks here, like you, so I've done my work wink.

Will your H stray again? It's certainly possible. Anyone can cheat- no matter what their morals are. I'm a man. I recognize that, married or not, I find women attractive. Sometimes their beauty is accompanied by a great personality too, and when I find that, I run like the wind! I don't ever want to become unfaithful, so I guard against it. Your H needs to do the same. I think that if you continue to be open and honest with each other, ask for what you want, and meet each other's needs with enthusiasm, then your risk for another A is very low.

These are very important and precious days for you- don't put aside the hard work for another time or place. Has your H read HNHN?

-HS

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Originally Posted By: Train


These actions should be making me HAPPY. And they DO. Sort of.

Am I normal???



Yes. More later, but YES!!!


Starsky


M57 W 57; D30 D28 S24 S20 GD7 GD2 GD1 GD5m GD1m
BD 5/07; W's affair 5/07-8/07

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Train,

What's happenin' over thar? How's things going for you and H?

You might want to check out DearPeggy dot com. It opened my eyes a bit.

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Hey, y'all!

I'm still here. smile Checking in daily, but not posting. Fact is: I don't know what to post most days. I'm still as confused as ever. My mind goes back and forth a million times ... and in a million different directions ... many times a day.

The same stresses are still here: OW is outright rejecting the no-contact letter now, but she isn't being *obsessive* (though I guess that's relative). While she said she would "absolutely" honor H's request for no-contact - and told H and our family to stay away from her, even the grocery store at which she works - she's now started blocking her number and calling him every-other-day or so. At first, H just assumed it was her; but an assumption, for me, wasn't pressing enough to have his number changed (at aNOTHER hefty cost to us). I finally told him to answer one of the blocked calls so we would know for sure; I *didn't*, however, tell him what to say/do if he discovered that it was, in fact, her calling. He got his chance the day before yesterday. And sure enough, she was on the other end: "Are you alone?" she asked. H hung up on her. She tried calling back. He didn't answer. And now he's insisting on changing his number, no matter the cost. We plan to go check into that this afternoon.

He has now officially blown through our entire tax-refund; every penny was spent on what he wanted during the affair/our physical separation ... and now on getting out from under OW.

It makes me irate. But I keep reminding myself to keep my eyes on the prize.

And then, I think: Prize? Am I SURE there's a prize here?

I'm just being brutally honest.

I am paralyzed at times with fear and hesitation and confusion. H senses it. He told me the other day he's scared sh!tless. He doesn't feel 100 percent commitment from me. And I *know* there's a reason for that. I mean, even as early as my very first post here after BD, I was questioning whether he was a quality person ... whether maybe I should just cut my losses and move on. As a friend says: "The only thing harder than moving past your H's betrayal ... is moving past ANOTHER one."

I've never felt more torn and confused about anything in my entire life.

The motivating thought/fear behind my confusion is: He's going to do this again. It doesn't matter what I do. We will slip back into our old pattern. And he'll do this again.

I mean, our relationship before wasn't all THAT bad. We've identified what we believe was the breakdown (brace yourself because it's not like ANY other problem in ANY other relationship out there ... *note sarcasm): Lack of affection, intimacy and sex.

But is it really that easy? THAT simple?

I'm just so afraid that it won't matter. I don't trust him. I don't trust my own judgment right now. I just can't seem to make myself trust ANYTHING right now.

He told me the other day that he can see a huge difference in me this time compared to when he came back last time. But he keeps assuring me that HE feels differently partly BECAUSE of that. He LITERALLY said, "Last time, you worked with me and fixed everything. This time, you're making me handle my own mess." I've also told him, in no uncertain terms, that another affair is a deal-breaker for me. No questions asked. One more time, and I'm done.

I just don't remember the last time being this hard. All I wanted was HIM. That's it. But even then, our relationship was awesome for the first three or four years. Then everything went to he!l. Financial burdens mounted, H's income decreased. That's when he had to get a second job.

And we're stuck in that right now, for at least another year while we wait on D16 to graduate. BUT, H and I are working together on ways to balance everything. He says he can work his second-shift job four evenings a week (one or two of which I'll spend at the shop with him, which he LOVES for me to do now - it visibly lifts his spirits and motivates him for me to be there ... quite interesting to watch, actually). That will give him one evening a week at home with the kids and me. We will devote Saturdays to house/yard work and maintenance, which he hasn't had time to do in at least a year, and we'll wrap up Saturdays with date night for the two of us. And then, he'll take Sunday mornings to go ride his bike. And then we'll have a family evening on Sunday.

We're trying to work on "intimate conversation." It is SO foreign. We only ever talk about kids and work. Stressful things.

HS, you said the other day:
Trust takes a long to to rebuild. He must earn your trust little pieces, and sometimes big chunks, at a time.
I learned this first-hand the other day. Re: H hearing from his XGF, after I lost my cool about it, H didn't mention a thing about her for a few days. Then all a sudden, I got a text from H, saying: "I'm learning so much about how affairs start and literally wreck a family in four short months." He said I had been right: His XGF - who is engaged to be married - had continued messaging him, even while he ignored her, finally asking, "Just out of curiosity, why did you look me up and contact me?" And when he didn't respond to that, she sent three photos of the two of them from when they were together in the early 2000s. She told H that her DD had "just" found them in a closet.

That's all it took. H - without even telling me (until afterward) - sent her a message that said essentially: "I contacted you when I was away from my wife. You didn't respond until I was back home. I was wrong in replying to you last week and mentioning anything about my marriage or delving into the issues you and I had in the past. What's done is done. It was disrespectful to my wife and family, and I'm happily back with them now. I don't want us to communicate or have any sort of emotional connection. I wish you all the best."

I was quite floored. But I just thanked H and told him I expect that my trust in him (at least as much as possible) will be restored, little by little, over time. But I need him to be ALL mine ... and very consistent in his actions, as he was with his XGF.

I know he's trying very hard. I *see* it. Just the other day, H and I had a bonfire and burned all his bedding from the A because it hurt me to look at it. I'm also watching as he struggles with seeing me not being as enthusiastically willing to commit to HIM. Don't get me wrong: I'm definitely cleaning up my side of the street and taking steps toward him. But I'm always so "in my head," and my doubt and confusion can be read on my face sometimes.

H said the other day: "I'm willing to deal with any questions you have and answer them. I'm willing to deal with you lashing out right now. I know that's where you are right now, and I can handle it. But one day, I'm going to ask that you read every text and e-mail that you need to read and then delete it. I'm going to ask that you move forward with me."

Pretty much at that moment, I thought of what HS said about getting all the details about the A out in the open, dealing with it, quietly wrestling with it, then letting it go. And I decided I'm *just* about there. I'm trying to decide if H and I should have one BIG conversation about the A, instead of talking about it little-by-little, as we have been doing. At first, I thought that's how I *needed* to handle it: in small doses. I'm not a person who needs the details. But I'll think of things here and there that I'd like to know. That's when H and I will talk about it. And he's been VERY open ... sometimes TOO open.

But now, I'm almost ready to put it all behind me. So I think - and I've told H as much - we need to have a talk, one in which (as HS said) I don't get mad. I just ask questions and listen. And then, let it all go. I think I'm ready for that now.

Oh, and HS, H doesn't read. EVER. I mentioned downloading HNHN (if it's available on audiobook) on his iPod the other day so maybe he could listen to it at work. He said that would be perfectly fine, but he's concerned that he wouldn't be able to pay full attention to it. He asked how long the book is, so hopefully he'll make time to read/listen to it soon. In the meantime, I'm reading sections of it to him as I can. smile


M: 40 H: 44
Married 14 years
S11 & D6; D20 & D19 from previous M
2BDs/PAs, 8 years apart
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Train,

Go to DearPeggy dot com and print out stuff there. They all address what you mentioned ^^ about your "paralyzing fears"...I was a few steps ahead of you in anticipating this. No, I don't have ESP. I am just a good student here in the DB forums and learn some here.

It is VERY, VERY encouraging that your H has seen the "light" on how affairs start and is doing EVERYTHING he can to keep the walls around the M strong. He is taking proactive and concrete steps in protecting you, the family and the marriage. What a keeper!

How about Retrouville? How about giving H the 5LL book and you guys discuss your LLs together? Look for ways to bond as a ONE united marital unit.

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Originally Posted By: Train


I just don't remember the last time being this hard. All I wanted was HIM. That's it.



Because you didn't do it the right way last time. The right way is ALWAYS more difficult.

Look, Train -- at some point, you've GOTTA trust him. Yeah, it's "trust -- but verify" -- but you either are willing to open up your heart to him one more time or you're not. You've let him know what your stone-cold dealbreaker is (do it again and I'm OUT -- PERIOD), so let that lie and work with the man.

I totally get your fears. I had them too, for a good 2-3 years after my wife agreed to reconcile. And I STILL get triggers from time to time, no matter how good things are now between us and no matter what she writes in my anniversary cards and such. It's natural.

Slow and steady, and communicate to each other your fears and concerns. I think Retrouvaille would be an AWESOME thing for you two right now, because it really focuses on communication more than anything else. I hope you'll consider it.


Starsky


M57 W 57; D30 D28 S24 S20 GD7 GD2 GD1 GD5m GD1m
BD 5/07; W's affair 5/07-8/07

At the end of every hard-earned day, people gotta find some reason to believe. (Bruce Springsteen)
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Train,

Are you still out there? Hope things are going well!

-HS

ps: was just down in Charlotte area this week- great weather smile.

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Hey, guys! Yep. Still here. And still reading daily. Several times a day, in fact.

I apologize for not posting/responding more lately, even though I'm religiously reading your comments and breathing in your support.

I have requested information for Retrouvaille; haven't received it yet, but I'm waiting. I think the next session is in September, a few hours away in Raleigh.

Wonka, I read 5LL in 2005. H and I took the quiz way back then. I have recommended that book to countless couples over the years. But I think *I* need to read it again.

HS, the weather the past two days here has been terrible! Lol! It's as hot and humid as can be, and I'm being eaten alive by mosquitoes! laugh This weekend is supposed to be a lot less humid, so I'm looking forward to it! smile H and I have spent the past few days setting up our 3.5' pool for the kids. I was shocked that he mentioned it. He hasn't wanted to put it up the past few years, even though he knew I wanted to in order to give the kids something to do during the summer besides beat the heat inside the house. He and I spent the day the other day leveling the ground by hauling wheelbarrows full of dirt to the pool-spot (I hauled six loads all by myself when he was at a job interview, and my arms sure have felt it since - lol!). And he's identified some tiny pin-hole leaks and worked to patch them. He's spending lots of time getting it perfect and keeps saying he'd rather hang at the house to help me than go to work. It's been so nice to have him back.

While things are chaotic around us, H and I are doing pretty well. We're being a team. And while I'm still hesitant to jump "all in," it feels mighty good to have my co-pilot back. smile

Now, we're battling the fall-out from my girls (the teenagers). As should be expected, they're thinking mostly of themselves and the pain that H has caused them. And it's causing rifts even between them and ME.

It's hard to explain; fact is, it would take a novella to explain. All I can say is I'm staying pretty freaking emotionally exhausted.

We found out the other day that our copay for counseling is $100 a session. And we're expected to be seen weekly. If we extend that to individual counseling, it's another $100 copay per person, per week. My D16, at least, needs it. That's another $100 per visit, per week. Impossible. It's so freaking disheartening. How can we get professional help if we can't afford it?

I'm trying to sit back and let H "clean up" the mess he made. But this is my family. I'm watching little bits of it falling apart every day. And then I cling onto hope as microscopic parts MIGHT be being put back together. I have little hope for my girls to ever have a relationship with H again. They are hurting so badly. And they are MAD. And D16 is even projecting that on ME now because I'm "choosing him." I know they want me to be happy. But they're not happy around him because of what he's done. D16 says it's "too awkward" to be here, so she stays away most times. It's straining my relationship with her.

Many times I feel so broken. So helpless. I can't fix what I didn't break. But I don't understand why my relationship with D16 seems to be breaking, too.

Tonight, she lashed out at ME when my mom and I told her that they wouldn't be moving out together, after all. In fact, my mom is going to stay here with us, likely until D16 graduates next June. That decision was made due in part to "divine intervention" and in part because H and I are going to need some help with the little kids the next year while we try to stay here until D16 graduates (which D16 at first said she WANTED us to do) and until we can get our relationship back on track. Mom helps TONS with the little kids while D16&17 stay busy with social lives and school. And, lonely after my dad died, Mom wants to be here, too, for the company. Kinda seemed like it would be a win-win for everyone ... until D16 lashed out tonight because she doesn't want to be around H anymore. She was looking forward to moving out. Which breaks my heart.

I'm having a hard time putting my relationship with H before my relationship with D16&17, considering THEY have been my rocks since I was 19 years old. They were "here" before HE was. And they're looking at me like I'm choosing him over them. D17 isn't as vocal about it because she still depends on me so much, emotionally. She's along for the ride. But D16 is having a very difficult time with the idea of H and I reconciling.

Everything changes so fast. And I'm TRYING to be patient with EVERYONE involved - especially my girls - as we all adjust to the seeming daily changes.

Honestly? I'm just so tired of being everyone's whipping post when I did nothing to cause this nightmare except to - what? - fail to give my H sexual pleasure when he wanted it?

Ugh! See? Still lashing out.

My apologies for my whining. Yes, Starsky, pass the cheese! Lolol!!!!

Thank y'all for thinking of me and checking in. Please don't think I'm not reading and holding on to all you have to say. I am. Adore you all so much.

Here's some good news: thanks to what happened - and my feeling to make sure I have some stable, reliable income to take care of my kids *in the event* this ever happens again - I am planning to take the LSAT in September or December of this year and start law school (my dream!) in 2016 ... or maybe even next year if I choose to do it part-time in evenings. It'd take me four years to graduate if I choose the part-time curriculum. But it's something I've ALWAYS wanted to do. And H is supporting me 100%. That makes me a happy girl. smile smile smile


M: 40 H: 44
Married 14 years
S11 & D6; D20 & D19 from previous M
2BDs/PAs, 8 years apart
Piecing: April 2014
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