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Gordie - I'm going to ask you a tough question that's not very DB.

It's been 4 years now. You've been doing pretty much all the heavy lifting on this and it sounds like your W has no interest in doing any work to build a solid marriage with you but is just coasting along.

Is this the life you want? Given that the only person you can really control is yourself - what actions can you take to get to the life you want?

Keep in mind that my perspective is that of someone who has gone through divorce and out the other side. And it is "survivable" but also no fun at all either. But in hindsight, knowing that my ex was someone who wouldn't have put in any sustained effort and would have expected everything to be swept under the rug, for me - I personally - feel that I'm better off with that behind me.


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AndrewP,

That is a more than fair question and one that I have asked myself more than once. And it's part of the reason why I came back here because the people here have been through this and they ask the uncomfortable and politically incorrect questions--and I like that! I have a close friend IRL and he and I have talked about that in depth (his wife left him and his kids several years ago).

I agree with your assessment of my wife's lack of interest in putting any effort into the m. She isn't and I think right now...she just can't. And right now, in the middle of it, it's not terrible but it's not a lot of fun either. As you said, I can only control me, and I choose to stand. It's what I believe. It's the "for better and for worse, in sickness and in health" vows.

I think of heartsblessing and other standers here and they warned me upfront...this was going to take a lot of time...maybe 10 years! and standing would be the hardest thing that I would ever do.


Gordie 40s W 40s M20+ kids
2016 BD W fantasy affair w OM1 I do everything wrong
2017 I start to DB W says TLTL files for D PA w OM2
2018 I do LRT W drops filing and OM2 situation slowly improving
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Well - you know that I've always been a big fan of your dedication Gordie and admire that.

But in the cases where there has been a turn-around, it usually comes after some sort of epiphany. If you've read for example Sandi's story it was a family friend who made her realize how much she had to lose. Others have hit some sort of rock bottom. Pretty much no turn-around reported here has happened with both spouses in the same home cruising along with the status quo although I'm sure it has happened. I think BluWave was one of those.

I remember that in the times when you did things for yourself and your wife had to "step up" and do the parenting because you were otherwise occupied on - as they say here - getting a life - that it helped her to realize how fortunate she was.

Are you doing much for yourself these days? I know there's not a lot that can be done perhaps. Take one or more of the kids camping as a special treat? Go on a retreat? I believe you did one of those and it really helped you find your centre.

Nag nag nag naggity nag nag

#TeamGordie - we're still here.


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Gordie...I'm glad to see your name across my screen. I wish it were for better reasons.

I'm sorry to hear your W is still on the same path. I imagine covid isn't making that any easier. Your dedication is inspiring to me. I like the way Gerda put it, but I also think what Andrew said rings true. Sounds like your W has made efforts which definitely says something about her internal dialog, but she hasn't HAD to deal with her inner demons so she puts it off and maintains the status quo. That has to be a miserable experience for her. It can't be easy to live with someone you love who feels like that and treats you the way she does, after all the previously happy years.

There are so many bright people on this site that have great advise, all I can really add is to remind you that none of this is your doing. You didn't ask for this and don't deserve it, so try not to take it personally (I roll my eyes at myself for that as that seems almost impossible sometimes). This is and always has been about her. If there wasn't something inside her reminding her of her true self and how she really feels, subconscious or not, she would not still be under the same roof as you. Make sure you take care of you so you can take care of the kids...and W. If you aren't doing great its hard to make sure others are.

Hang in there...you have friends here. #teamgordie

Last edited by sjohns6; 07/22/20 07:25 PM.

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Gordie, I've found much wisdom in your older threads since I arrived here last year. I admire your clear convictions and wish you comfort and strength. ((gordie))


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Hello Gordie

Iím sorry your situation, at times, pulls you down into a slump of depression. Your W is a sad lost soul who doesnít or cannot see the wonderful loving man standing in front of her. Her behaviour is truly about her, not you.

She gets up early and goes to bed early to avoid you. Are you sure? Did she actually say that? And if so, only believe half of what they do, nothing of what they say.

Her early to rise and early to bed behaviour is about her. Not you! Itís her way of not dealing with whatever feelings arise when she interacts with you.

Now, you are wisely not pushing this, so she has very little to blame you for. And of course, her listening to music, keeping to small talk, etc. is all her efforts to attempt to remain free of those traumatic feelings lurking and rising to her surface.

We all think these MLCers need some rock bottom experience to awaken them. A few things, we donít know what is rock bottom to them. They define their lowest level. We define ourís as well, btw.

We also donít know the emotional storm raging inside their heads and hearts. She may appear calm, and you, we, may look upon that as she doesnít care. Doesnít want to work on the marriage. And so on. Remember, itís all about her. She doesnít have the resources to put into anything or anyone else right now. She doesnít ďcareĒ because she is unable to, not because she doesnít ďwantĒ to. She probably doesnít care about much right now. Depression is a huge part of her path. Remember she is driven to this behaviour. Running.

The idea of rock bottom is sound, just donít use your definition. I believe in the small details as well. The loss of the daily interaction, love, kisses, hugs, running and laughing with her children. That all accumulates. Her living under the same roof might constantly highlight to her just how much she doesnít have, how much she has lost. Donít assume she is all blissfully unaware.

Also, she is still living there. With you and family. Something is going on with her. Again, her outward appearance is not indicative of what she is emotionally doing inside. I suspect she has made progress. She still has difficulty expressing it, and shame, guilt, remorse, etc. all get in the way for her. She still has a way to go.

Now, you do know some of her trauma. I remember her telling you and even taking you to the place it happened. It takes time to heal a wound thatís so deep.

You have gained so very much my friend. Grown so very far. Iím going to turn my attention to you. Encourage and hopeful - as if youíd expect different from me. smile

Originally Posted by Gordie
I agree with your assessment of my wife's lack of interest in putting any effort into the m. She isn't and I think right now...she just can't. And right now, in the middle of it, it's not terrible but it's not a lot of fun either. As you said, I can only control me, and I choose to stand. It's what I believe. It's the "for better and for worse, in sickness and in health" vows.

You are a great husband, father, and man. A person who does everything to keep his word. I completely understand, know, and empathize with your vows; and your desire to uphold them.

ďFor better and for worse, in sickness and in healthĒ. Today, I actually explained my view to my doctor. He asked if I was seeing someone yet. Itís been almost three years, and he means well. But, him never having walked in these shoes. I said no, and he asked ďno offers, no interest?Ē I chuckled and said, no there has been interest both ways and offers. I paused as he looked and was puzzlingly interested, Itís my vows I told him.

He didnít understand. I said itís the vows. ďĎTIL death do us part.Ē I meant it. I keep my word. He nodded in acknowledgment and probably a little bewilderment.

Now, I didnít want my divorce. And I didnít push for it. I can, and do, have a say in keeping my vows. XW destroyed herís. I need not follow suit.

Please donít misread that. Iím not thinking Iím not divorce; I am well cognizant of my marital status. Itís my vow to my conscience and to God Iím talking about. XW destroyed her covenant, which broke our bond. My covenant is still intact. I havenít divorce me (yet).

Now, that view isnít all that popular. Even around here.

Iím also not that blushfully naive that I cannot see the possibility of me choosing to break my vow someday.

This it seems is one of those contentious issues that people can really get heated over. My view is my view and for me. My belief is my belief and for me. I do encourage, suggest, and even guide to the best of my abilities. And completely support someoneís decision - to stand or not. For I know, I do not have all the answers.

That being said, I usually keep my soap box put away regarding this subject. However, Gordie, I encourage and care that you continue your faithful path. You state that you believe in vows. And you are not alone in that!

Of course, youíre actually still married. A very good thing, IMHO.

True, itís not terrible and not a lot of fun either. That does come from your viewpoint and how you are looking at things. Your lens of the world. We do create our reality, our perceptions of it.

Standing really starts when we heal enough to stand down. You passed that point a while ago. Dig and find strength and patience.

Yes, you have done most of the heavy lifting. The lionís share falls upon the LBS, falls upon the strong and stable spouse. Rejoice that is you!

Itís ok that your faith is wavering every now and then. Donít worry, He understands.

Hold your faith. Hold it for you. Itís light shines bright. XW cannot help but see it. As she runs and tries to ignores it, continue your path, and let God do his work.

Bless you Gordie. You are an excellent person. A husband only a fool would leave.

D


Now: Me54 XW51 S25 S23 S21 D20

Oct 8/17-BD, Moves in w/OM, Leaves Kids
Me49 W46 S20 S19 S16 D15
M26 T29
Dec 9/17-Legal Separation
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Gordie, DnJ and Gerda have trouble all fitting on the same little soapbox. Fortunately we are mantle-sized. You guys are no longer on my mantle because my H is finally gone. But I still keep you in my pocket sometimes to remind me of stuff. I don't need to do that as often. Like DnJ always says, we have come a long way!

I am on a totally different path in a way because I couldn't be with my H again. And yet I consider myself still clutching a corner of that soapbox though I don't understand what that would entail. I have not posted much of the specifics in the last six months,but the not-physical violence against me of which my was-H is now capable is astonishing, exhausting, never-ending, working against his own financial interests, etc, and in looking back at our lives, I realized that maybe this isn't as surprising as I thought. There was a mental break, but, as I said, the original package was perhaps not the great man I thought he was. But yes, like I said, I think he was battling it for me. Or for God.

I know I could not be married to him ever again, and I don't even want to ever have to see him again. I am Catholic, and I am reading a lot about why the church grants annulment, I mean in a real faith-based way, not the way it is sometimes done -- I am positive my marriage would qualify because we truly did undertake our vows not as Christians and not understanding what it meant. If my husband was mentally ill, I certainly didn't know it. I know there were many many times I ignored an inner voice in regards to my was-band when he was just my boyfriend. I know I didn't value myself and didn't think a man would ever love or care for me in the way I thought a man should love and care for his wife. And we certainly weren't married in the church -- I mean that in a faith-based way, though it is also true in the material way. But I am still standing for something. I wear my wedding ring on the other side now, the widow finger, but I wear it, along with a ring that I think God put (literally and figuratively) in my path to replace the engagement ring I lost after taking it off in anger in the early days.

And when I saw what DnJ wrote above, I was SO happy about that, so happy to see what is on both of your hearts still. Even if the proximity on the soapbox for me and DnJ and some of my other "friendships" IRL have sometimes been very ....proximate.

For all of us, we know God is asking something from us, we just don't know what it exactly is. But we are trying to walk towards His will as best as we can, and I think that is why we are all three still able to see meaning and light in it. I am reading this book which talks about how different the life of faith was from what came before, starting with the OT but much more with the NT, that it was less about our unknown origins than our unknown future -- that faith comes from trusting God completely, without knowing what the future is, that the sacrifice God asks is your desire to control your future and to instead trust His plan for it. I'm not even talking about after death, but tomorrow, today, when Gordie's wife has her headphones on in the next room. I wish my H had left long before he did, and I think you'd have more peace if your W left for a while, but I know that the thought of you going about your day as best as you can, giving your loneliness and grief to God as best as you can, cooking dinner and laughing with your children while their mom is in the next room alone, that that to me is a beautiful light. I don't think this is what God wants for you, but maybe it's what God expects from you, at least until He makes it clear that your path has shifted. I am sure God wanted me to stand, even if it didn't "work" to bring mine back. I have to trust that the reasons for that will become clear as time goes on (and many are already clear), and that I'll never know all of them, but that walking in faith is how I get closer to God. And I know that to be true. You are laying down your life for your family, and maybe we're not even doing it "right," and certainly we can't take any action that will change the MLCer, but there can be no doubt that you are choosing your family over your own desires and even needs and that there is a lot of light in that choice.

I think some of this belongs in my thread, but here it is!

Last edited by Gerda; 07/23/20 02:46 PM.

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Hi Gordie

It saddens me to read about where you are at, probably because your situation had much more potential and at the time you were ready to move out your W seemed to realise some things. Unfortunately she has returned inwards and isn't in a place to want to let alone work towards a better M.

Did you make the right decision when you decided not to leave. Some may argue that it is allowing this situation to continue. But I'd like to look at it another way.

You can see she isn't right (as in ok not being right or wrong). She's not herself and she's definitely not happy. In your situation there is no wondering about that. Once separated, the unknown makes us wonder and the LBS usually assumes things are going well for the WAS because they now have what they wanted. Still at home or separated she still has to go through her crisis.

Your aim was/is to save your M. Being still "together" is closer to that objective than being separated. Whereas separation in some cases can help the WAS see their priorities change and they realise the true value of what they are leaving, in many cases it's an extra barrier to getting back to happiness together.

Living as ye are sure isn't fun and can be extremely difficult because you see constantly the differences between how you'd like to interact and the reality. That isn't easy to live with. I would also add it is no way to live indefinitely. Until the day you decide you prefer to stop living that way, your focus needs to be on how you are going to live in cohabitation. I'll expand on that in the next paragraph. Beforehand know that you are living that way because of a choice you made. This isn't a critic but know that is a choice you can change too. There is no pressure to decide today but know you have that power.

Now back to the how. How are you living? Are you living or surviving? It's important to take care if yourself. First advice that I would give you is to avoid focusing on the negative. By that I really mean on what is missing from your R. That leads on to the huge topic of expectations and intentions and the difference with reality. But that's a topic you surely know by now!! By focusing on what isn't there you don't see what is there.

You do seem to have accepted your situation as being as it is. That's good, but I suspect a part of you hasn't fully accepted it, which brings me back to my previous point.

It's good you have friends that you can turn too when down. That's great. Don't bottle things up BUT I would also avoid constantly pouring out about how bad things are. It's related to the point about what you focus on. I remember a story about a W who constantly bad mouthed her H to everyone around her. When she realized that this wasn't good or helpful she decided to stop. But her mother and others would refer to H as she had done previously and when she tried to state positive stuff about him there was resistance because they had been conditioned to thinking of him negatively. But more importantly the Person talking is also influencing their own brain.

It's great you have a strong dad role. I hear you in that it's probably not a fair sharing of parenting, but you are building a huge base for a great relationship with your kids going forward. That is priceless. Look at Irish and his R with his girls.


So what are you doing for fun. Every day do something you enjoy.

Get back to striving

As for the OM question from another poster, I think it's irrelevant in your case. Even if there is someone which I have a doubt, she isn't well. This isn't to excuse anything and everything. You need to know and respect your boundaries. Know how you would react if it occurred and then don't focus on it. Focus o you.

You have your evenings free or at least W free. Use them. Watch series you like, do hobbies, work out..... the list is endless.

Gotta go.

Best wishes
ROIST


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Andrew, Sjohn6, DNJ, Gerda, and Roist,

Hello old friends. It's been months since I logged in. Happy New Year. I logged in to catch up on some of your threads and get some encouragement and I read what DNJ, Gerda and Roist posted in response to my last post and it's exactly what I needed to hear.

So here's the update. Yes, Covid and extra togetherness hasn't been easy, but it hasn't been terrible either. W and I are still married. We have had one relationship talk over the past few months and W asked that we just be friends and while it hurts to hear, I accept that as my reality. No, it's not the relationship I want, but it's the relationship I have. And I choose to accept that. I choose to stay in this relationship. I choose to stay. I choose to stand. Yes, I have my fair share of good and bad days and hopes, fears and doubts, but on balance, my life is good.

Actually, my life outside of my M is great. Fatherhood is great. Work is great. I have more extracurricular activities than I have had in years, partly because I spend so much less time with W than I used to, but also because they are a source of enjoyment. I don't know if I'm doing things right, but I'm trying my hardest to stay true to my values and continue to pray that things turn out how they are supposed to, even if they are different than what I want or how I imagined.

Even though I don't check in very often, I do think and pray for all of you.


Gordie 40s W 40s M20+ kids
2016 BD W fantasy affair w OM1 I do everything wrong
2017 I start to DB W says TLTL files for D PA w OM2
2018 I do LRT W drops filing and OM2 situation slowly improving
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Roist: You can see she isn't right (as in ok not being right or wrong). She's not herself and she's definitely not happy. In your situation there is no wondering about that. Once separated, the unknown makes us wonder and the LBS usually assumes things are going well for the WAS because they now have what they wanted. Still at home or separated she still has to go through her crisis.

Gordie: True, she is still going through her crisis.

Roist: Your aim was/is to save your M. Being still "together" is closer to that objective than being separated. Whereas separation in some cases can help the WAS see their priorities change and they realise the true value of what they are leaving, in many cases it's an extra barrier to getting back to happiness together.

Gordie: Yes, for me, I choose to see being together is closer to my goal than separated.

Roist: Living as ye are sure isn't fun and can be extremely difficult because you see constantly the differences between how you'd like to interact and the reality. That isn't easy to live with. I would also add it is no way to live indefinitely. Until the day you decide you prefer to stop living that way, your focus needs to be on how you are going to live in cohabitation. I'll expand on that in the next paragraph. Beforehand know that you are living that way because of a choice you made. This isn't a critic but know that is a choice you can change too. There is no pressure to decide today but know you have that power.

Gordie: Yes, thank you for the reminder that this is a choice. I'm not trapped, though I admit that sometimes I feel that way, so that's a good reminder.

Roist: Now back to the how. How are you living? Are you living or surviving? It's important to take care if yourself.

Gordie: I'm living well and taking care of myself, exercising my mind and body. Sometimes I don't sleep so well because we are still in the same bed, but sleep far apart from one another.

Roist: First advice that I would give you is to avoid focusing on the negative. By that I really mean on what is missing from your R. That leads on to the huge topic of expectations and intentions and the difference with reality. But that's a topic you surely know by now!! By focusing on what isn't there you don't see what is there.

Gordie: Another good reminder. I'm at this stage where it's easy to dwell on the glass half empty and forget the glass half full.

Roist: You do seem to have accepted your situation as being as it is. That's good, but I suspect a part of you hasn't fully accepted it, which brings me back to my previous point.

Gordie: True, there is a part of me that hasn't fully accepted it. I guess there's a mix of acceptance (or lack thereof) the current situation, and hope / expectation that things can get better.

Roist: It's good you have friends that you can turn too when down. That's great. Don't bottle things up BUT I would also avoid constantly pouring out about how bad things are. It's related to the point about what you focus on. I remember a story about a W who constantly bad mouthed her H to everyone around her. When she realized that this wasn't good or helpful she decided to stop. But her mother and others would refer to H as she had done previously and when she tried to state positive stuff about him there was resistance because they had been conditioned to thinking of him negatively. But more importantly the Person talking is also influencing their own brain.

Gordie: Good reminder. I confide in a few buddies, but we talk about everything and only sometimes about M.

Roist: It's great you have a strong dad role. I hear you in that it's probably not a fair sharing of parenting, but you are building a huge base for a great relationship with your kids going forward. That is priceless. Look at Irish and his R with his girls.

Gordie: Another good reminder. If it weren't for this crisis, I wouldn't be spending this much time with my kids and that is a gift.


Gordie 40s W 40s M20+ kids
2016 BD W fantasy affair w OM1 I do everything wrong
2017 I start to DB W says TLTL files for D PA w OM2
2018 I do LRT W drops filing and OM2 situation slowly improving
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