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A Message from Michele
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Barry Offline OP
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Thanks Mozza. I do feel like I'm doing ok, and the boys have said how much better I am now. Yes, the photo albums hurt. I've since mentioned it to my D16, who was with STBX when she did it. D16 said that she had to rip the pages out because she couldn't get the photo's out of each page. I tried and had no problems. As you say, it was the symbolism that got to me.

I was actually slightly nervous about her being in the house, and going through everything, picking out all the best photo's etc, but I needn't have worried. I forgot how bloody lazy she is, she didn't even try to fins all the good stuff. She's actually be heartbroken to know some of the treasures I've find from the kids childhoods. Some of them are heartbreaking now.
Rather than do the same thing, what I've actually done is split is all up as fairly as I possibly can, and have been busy bagging and boxing up anything that I think she may want. There's nothing to remind her of me - what's the point. She just wants to forget.

Yes, my female friend is an intersting situation. We're more than friends, but not in a relationship...a flirtationship. She was seeing someone at Christmas, but she's split with him now. I don't know if I'm doing the right thing in even thinking of doing anything with her - I don't want to jeapordise the friendship, and one surefire way to do that is hop into her bed!

WIll update soon smile


Me 40 W 38
T 23 M 21
S21 S19 D16 S14
BD 19/12/2014
D mentioned 27/2/2015.
I filed 08/04/2015, D Absolute 04/11/2015
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Covert contract. I would not send her the bag of memories. She had her chance to pick what she wants and she did it. You putting these things together for her is 1) telling her she's lazy; 2) feeling superior for your good behavior; 3) feeling like she owes you now; 4) not doing it for yourself since you find these memories very precious; 5) deciding for her what she wants; 6) pursuing to a certain extent.

What the WW wants is to escape our control, to owe us nothing, to move on, to free themselves from the past. These kinds of initiatives are just ways to remind them that we want to have a say in their lives and they're not even good for us. Forget about the bag: if she wants something more, she'll ask you.


M39 D6 D3 (at S)
S 2014-09
D 2016-09

"You can't start a fire sitting around, crying over a broken heart" - Bruce Springsteen.
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Barry Offline OP
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So I'm now roughly a week or so away from my decree absolute dropping through the letterbox. Life is not great.
STBX avoids me at all costs, and we have zero contact now. I'm told she's happy now. I gotta hand it to her, we're 10 months down the line, and there is still no OM on the scene.

Me personally, I'm not happy. My life now involves struggling my ass off to live a life I don't even want. The flirtationship with my friend is at an end. She doesn't want me either.
I don't know what it is, but there's clearly something fundamentally wrong with me. I knew it would be like this, I knew no-one would want me.

So I give up completly on the thought of love. It isn't all its cracked up to be and hurts too much.


Me 40 W 38
T 23 M 21
S21 S19 D16 S14
BD 19/12/2014
D mentioned 27/2/2015.
I filed 08/04/2015, D Absolute 04/11/2015
Joined: Jan 2015
Posts: 1,098
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Barry, I have read your postings and I don't think I've actually posted before on your thread...You are in need for some loving alright, but that needs to start with you.

How can we expect others to love us, if we can't love ourselves?

How can we expect happiness if we don't want to be happy...I should rephrase that - we want to be happy, but we don't go out and grab life by the balls and do what we need to do to be happy.

There are a billion books, articles and blogs on how we make ourselves happy. There is ONE resounding theme in all of them, that is that we need to want to be happy. we need to want to accept that we can be happy in our own skin.

I get the fears of being alone. I get the fears that no one will ever want me again, i'll never have sex or a BJ or whatever again. I do understand where that fear comes from. it is something that you need to work through / get past and start kicking some ass.

You can do this!!! You are worth it!!! you need to start believing it!!!


M - 40's
W - 30's
Two Sons
Living together
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Hey Barry, I'm sorry to hear how you are feeling just now. It's a tough time if you are expecting the decree absolute and your flirtatious friendship hasn't progressed. However, your W choosing to end your M and a further new R not working out doesn't equal you being unlovable. These are just two women out of millions.

I hope you'll keep posting and really use the opportunity to move positively forward at this point. Your life isn't over, you are lovable, happiness is achievable again, there are positives in this situation, a new door is opening (even if another may be closing.)

Have you considered doing a divorce recovery workshop if you are in the UK? Mine starts soon and I'm looking forward to it. There are groups all around the UK if you google it.

Keep posting my friend and take care. Things will get better xx


T 13 M 7
Me 48 H 46
SS 15
BD 7.14 PA
D final 5.16 (H filed)

We receive & we lose, and must try to achieve gratitude & embrace with whole hearts whatever of life that remains after the losses - Dubus
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Barry. Glad you came back to update us and sorry things are so rough right now. I think Zephyr and Sotto have already covered what I would have said. Please consider their suggestions. Maybe it's time to come back to the forums and DB for you, there's still tons of potential for growth and the oppertunitiny to learn who you are.


Accept what is, let go of what was, and have faith in what will be
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Barry Offline OP
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Hi guys,

I can't bust my divorce, it's completed. I really need to talk though and its better that I come here.
To any newcomers about to read this, it's really up to you if you continue, but know that for me, this process didn't work.
I don't think anything would have done, mine was one of the cases where there is no happy ending.
That's not to say that the process won't work for you though.

Divorce busting was supposed to be about saving myself first and then my marriage if that were possible. I tried so hard to stay the course and stick to the plan and although I fell down a couple of times, it was going ok. No matter what I did though, XW was never going to change her mind and see the good in me again. I hope you all have better luck with you're partners, and the process.

I just want to tell someone, anyone, that I didn't save myself, and actually - I'm not well. I've been on anti-depressants for most of this year but tailed it off a couple of months ago and haven't taken any at all in the last 2 weeks. I can't take them any more. They're all very well in stopping the bad emotions but I've found that any simple happy moments don't have the same effect on me any more - it's like they stopped ALL emotion. Obviously I'm aware that in stopping taking them, there will be a period of adjustment.

I don't feel any better now than I did 6 months ago though. My ex now has her own house (D16 lives with her but I hardly see her now - not because I don't make myself available either). XW has poisened D16 against me. I know this because on the rare occasions I do see her, she acts and talks just like XW. She doesn't see the boys either. They don't bother with her and she doesn't bother with them. I stay out of it.

I'm more aware than ever before how much of a co-dependant relationship I had with my XW. That's why it still hurts so much. Yes Yes, detach...I know. If it were that simple, I'd have done it already. GAL, difficult when you don't have a penny to your name.
The fact is, that all of this has changed the way I see the world. I used to be able to see the good much more - sadly, that's not the case anymore.

I don't trust anyone now...especially women. How can I??
I know I shouldn't judge them all the same, but God, you think you know someone when you've been together for 22 years and then they do this to you. How can I trust anyone now.
I never did anything to hurt my XW, all I ever did do was love her and want us to be together. She decided that she didn't fancy being married any more so wrecked mine and my kids lives to save herself....from nothing!

I was raised in a generation where the advice was to "work hard to be happy and get on in life". All i've ever done is work for my family, and the minute XW gets a job, I'm surplus to requirements. I feel used, betrayed, lonely, bitter and unloved.

I know everyone would say the same thing (it's why we married our partners in the first place!) but she was such a good person before all this happened. Ok, she had her faults, as did I. I always overlooked hers, I had no idea she was piling all of mine on the scale.
I slept soundly at night knowing that there was at least one person drawing breath who wouldn't hurt me come hell or high water. I was so wrong, and I don't know how to cope with the loss. This divorce has left me financially crippled and emotionally scarred and I can't find a way out of it.

S19 had spinal surgery a week ago (total success), which XW attended with me. We ended up spending 12 hours solid with each other, the most amount of time in probably 5 years. We did get on, but because I still love her, I found it difficult to hold everything in check. I did say that I wanted to be friendly (although not friends), and that that would be easier only up to the point where she meets someone else. I'm not sure how I'm going to cope with that - at a guess, not well.

I just can't get over the fact that she did this to me at all. She wanted to give up purely because she's still in her thirties and to her, that means there's time to find someone else. I've never felt more worthless than I have this year. All those good times we had, all those special moments - tossed away like they meant nothing. I invested over 20 years into my family for someone to wreck it all.

I think it's fair to say that most people would do anything to defend their family / loved ones from all harm. I always thought that the problem would come from the outside though, I had no idea that the enemy would be within.

To sum things up, I've lost my place in the world - well, the only one I ever cared about. My family has been split up, and all because of her. None of us deserved that.


Me 40 W 38
T 23 M 21
S21 S19 D16 S14
BD 19/12/2014
D mentioned 27/2/2015.
I filed 08/04/2015, D Absolute 04/11/2015
Joined: Oct 2014
Posts: 5,301
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Hey Barry, I'm sorry you're struggling with things. What has happened to us is one of the most painful things that can happen in life and it does take a while to recover. Like many of us, you're not there yet. But I would put the emphasis on the 'yet' and encourage you to explore that it is within your gift to recover and enjoy the many beautiful gifts life has to offer. After all, what is the alternative? Feeling angry and sorry for ourselves, bitter in the longer term....none of these sound particilarly appealing.

I recently read Viktor Frankl (Man's search for Meaning...`(I think)) He wrote about his experiences as a prisoner/doctor in concentration camps. He distilled from this something that has stayed with me - We don't get to choose what happens to us - in prison camp pretty much everything was stripped away from people - but we do get to choose how we respond.

So, while it may be sometimes hard to do this - recovery or otherwise from what has happened - truly that is within your gift. We are none of us helpless in the face of this ordeal - this tough hand of cards we have been played.

I'm going to suggest some things you may find helpful...

Attend a divorce recovery workshop. I'm also in the UK and just finishing one off. Have a look on their website to see if there's a local group (best) or a weekend workshop (there's a social scene that comes with this too.) Cost: 60.

Read Growing through Divorce by Jim Smoke. It links pretty closely to the DRW, but of course you don't get the social element...but well worth the 3 from Amazon.

Have a look at the talk on happiness by Shawn Achor on TED and try his happiness plan for a month - it's a combination of gratitude, meditation, exercise, helping others and journaling. He's also written a book on this, which I haven't read.

I'm not a medic, and would encourage you to see your GP about managing your depression, and possible medication. If you adamantly don't want to be on anti-depressants, maybe consider St John's wort and regular exercise to manage this.

Read NMMNG and consider joining a NMMNG group...

Reach out to your D on a regular basis and accept she is still coming to terms with what has happened in her life. Please don't presume she is being poisoned by your ex. Kust know that everyone is doing their best to heal from a difficult time.

Start to think about forgiveness. Try to think less in terms of what your ex has done 'to you' and more in terms of what she has 'done for herself.' She became unhappy for whatever reason and took steps to change her life. You were unfortunately the closest person around and have been impacted by this. However, this too can be forgiven.

Really start thinking about your own growth - spiritual, social, financial, hobbies, home, family, learning, work.....given all that has happened, what would you like to do in these areas now my friend? Try and see the 'freeing' aspects of D, and that (whilst unasked for) you have more freedom to make decisions about your own life.

You'll notice I haven't suggested dating. I think you have more healing to do before you consider this. However, I truly don't think you should say that DBing (to save yourself) hasn't worked for you....though it's fair to say you're not fully healed yet.

Please stick with us and journal and post - rejoin the community while you heal further. This isn't the end of the road for you my friend and there are many joys still to experience in life.

Take care xx


T 13 M 7
Me 48 H 46
SS 15
BD 7.14 PA
D final 5.16 (H filed)

We receive & we lose, and must try to achieve gratitude & embrace with whole hearts whatever of life that remains after the losses - Dubus
Joined: Sep 2014
Posts: 1,242
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Sotto put it beautifully. I know it hurts buddy, but you are not alone. find things you can be thankful for and thank the good Lord every day. You will see, that all is not that bleak.

Stay strong buddy.

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Great post Sotto. Barry, please listen to all of this and take it to heart. It think it would be good for you to come back to the forums and post more regularly. There's still a great deal of learning and growth you can do and I still think your M can be busted. At the very least there is you to be saved still. I've been through so much this year and learned so much about myself and I hope you can do the same. Forgiveness is hard when the WAS is still damaging us and add in the nice guy/Codependent qualities we both share and it makes it even harder. What she's doing isn't about you. It was the hardest thing I had to accept in all of this but your W didn't set out if betray you, even if she did. I understand the pain she's caused you but it is in no way a reflection of who you are or who you can be in life. You decide those things, only you. Who are you Barry? Are you a man who lives with whatever he was given in life and is happy, or one that allows an event (that's not about you) to destroy you?

It will be hard and take time to move through this pain to grow but I believe in you. You can do this Barry.


Accept what is, let go of what was, and have faith in what will be
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