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Starting a new thread

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Spiraling into the Upside Down #2

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Responding to a bunch of recent replies

LH19, MLCxH, IW, D - I agree that I have little to no control of the situation.

In an ideal world, we would go to one counselor for co-parenting/separation coaching, and a separate counselor for MC. Unfortunately it is all merged together.

At some point, Iíd like to transition from S coaching (which only needs to take a finite amount of time) to working on the MR. If it doesnít, then I will walk away from MC. I would like that transition to happen soon, but I have an open mind and donít have a specific session in mind (yet). I have stated this in MC twice now, in a non-threatening way. Itís clear to the counselor and my W that I am not willing to operate on an indefinite timeline.

I also need to differentiate ďworking on the MRĒ vs. ďW wanting to work on the MRĒ. I think itís impossible to determine her motivation level. Letís say we go to MC next week and dig deep into relationship issues. That would be a starting point for working on the MR. But even if we do that, it does not make clear whether or not my W actually wants to work on the MR. She could be ticking a check-box, or feeling cautious, or being completely open but not wanting to say. I donít know and I donít care - provided I feel we are working through our issues, and that I have a voice (not just going over her issues with me). Look at SteveSís situation - they are Síd, going to MC, digging into relationship issues, and itís completely unclear what his W is thinking. Gauging motivation would be very tricky. I know what is the most likely case, but mind-reading gets us all into trouble.

As for telling the kids and family we tried, it doesnít really move the needle for me. Family I donít care. Kids I do care, but I think itís much more important I focus on being a great father. Iím not trying to win a battle with my W for the heart of my kids. That attitude alone will guarantee failure. I know down the road my W could morph into a vindictive person who tries to pit our kids against me. I can't control that, and whether or not we continue with MC, I'm sure she would gather enough ammo to justify her actions.

NowÖ what is ďworking on the MRĒ? I think we are at an impasse until/unless my W is willing to hear my input on our issues. That is the first step. MC is the only forum where I think this can happen. Next week we are supposed to try out a listening activity where, if I am the speaker, it would be the ideal place to start. Why not tell her what I think? I have nothing to lose.

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What you're going through is why MC is a slippery slope.

I would flat out say in the next session the following things:

1. How many sessions do we need to improve our communication issues around the kids?
2. Beyond that, you will only participate in any future MC sessions if W wants to work on the marriage. Not in some superfluous way, but in concrete terms.

If I were in your position, I would actually walk away from MC and say that you're willing to go to MC once W does IC and still wants to save the marriage. If she does, then you're willing to go back to MC.

You have zero need to give your input into anything. Your W needs to be in a place to 'hear' you. You want to be vulnerable and open, and that is awesome, but it will most likely be counter productive at this stage.

You have nothing to lose by stating what you would need from her to save the marriage. What is that? IC would be the minimum on my list.

Take all the mind reading out of this and state it as clearly as possible. No need to gauge her motivation or what not - it is totally irrelevant at this point.


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I just don't see why you would pay someone to coach a separation. Seems easy enough to handle. The fact that you are going makes it seem like you're desperate. If you decided you have a handle on this and don't need a separation coach, it makes you look like you are not desperate at a minimum.

When/if your W wants to work on the marriage, you'll know it!

Originally Posted by Maika
1. How many sessions do we need to improve our communication issues around the kids?


None! I think U can work on this by himself and have better results. And truly, if communication was the biggest issues, he would be better off not worrying about this divorce/separation b/c I can guarantee all this stress has not helped.


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Originally Posted by Maika
I would flat out say in the next session the following things:

1. How many sessions do we need to improve our communication issues around the kids?
2. Beyond that, you will only participate in any future MC sessions if W wants to work on the marriage. Not in some superfluous way, but in concrete terms.

If I were in your position, I would actually walk away from MC and say that you're willing to go to MC once W does IC and still wants to save the marriage. If she does, then you're willing to go back to MC.

You have zero need to give your input into anything. Your W needs to be in a place to 'hear' you. You want to be vulnerable and open, and that is awesome, but it will most likely be counter productive at this stage.

You have nothing to lose by stating what you would need from her to save the marriage. What is that? IC would be the minimum on my list.

Take all the mind reading out of this and state it as clearly as possible. No need to gauge her motivation or what not - it is totally irrelevant at this point.

Maika - Thanks, I like your 2 numbered points a lot.

My W has been in IC since February and continues to go. She mentioned in MC this week she will continue to go to work on "healing." I don't ask what they cover, but the evidence suggests she has not been digging into her own issues and contributions to the failure of our MR.

I still fundamentally don't understand what "working on the MR" looks like. Example: Communication has been a huge problem in our MR. I have been conflict avoidant, and my W has withdrawn and built up resentment. We are working on communication in counseling -- partly (but not exclusively) in the context of communicating concerns about the kids as co-parents. So is this working on the MR, not, or somewhere in between?

BTW I've been bingeing the Aubrey Marcus podcasts, really good stuff.

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Originally Posted by ovrrnbw
I just don't see why you would pay someone to coach a separation. Seems easy enough to handle. The fact that you are going makes it seem like you're desperate. If you decided you have a handle on this and don't need a separation coach, it makes you look like you are not desperate at a minimum.

When/if your W wants to work on the marriage, you'll know it!

Originally Posted by Maika
1. How many sessions do we need to improve our communication issues around the kids?


None! I think U can work on this by himself and have better results. And truly, if communication was the biggest issues, he would be better off not worrying about this divorce/separation b/c I can guarantee all this stress has not helped.

ovrrnbw - One would think this stuff would be easy, I agree. I should give an example of what's happened so you can understand why I say MC has benefited us.

For instance, it took a couple MC sessions for my W to fully get that yes, we need a calendar with dates and times for drop-off and pick-up to avoid confusion and unnecessary conflict. She literally did not get that. When I asked for it, she was getting irritated and withholding stuff. This is where the counselor has helped. My W also didn't want to tell me the kids extracurricular schedules, or doctor visits, because she's used to handling that stuff. Well... things changed, I need to know what our kids are doing. I won't be seeing them every day to hear about swimming lessons. I want to know, I deserve to know, I'm their father. Why is it like pulling teeth? In that sense, MC has defused the drama and the counselor has given my W some clarity that she can't just run things the way she wants. Yes, internally I am eye-rolling quite a bit that we have to pay money and waste time on this, but I think a few sessions have been necessary to bring things together. It is absolutely annoying to waste time and money on information you can find in any internet article about separation or divorce. Or just by using common sense.

Phew... okay... got some frustration out.

Back to "working on the marriage" -- many people say going to IC and MC are steps to working on the marriage. Technically we are kinda doing that (MC goal is debatable).

I think your point is that in whatever form, if my W chooses to invest time and energy into actually trying to work on the marriage, it will be clear. And my current doubts are indicators that she is not invested. I can go to MC and take advantage of the forum to air out my grievances or the things I would like to see change if we are to work on things, but that's different from actually working on things. "But we ARE working on things, we are working on communication!" is not really meeting my needs. When she says things like "I know you feel like you need to be heard" - that also tells me she is not interested. Everybody in a relationship wants to feel heard!

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U,

For an example if you are working on the marriage itís very common for the MC to have you read the 5 Love Languages and take the test. Once your LL is established then they will have you speak to each other in your LL. You will know if your W is participating or not. Mine didnít so I stopped going after 3-4 sessions.

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Originally Posted by LH19
You will know if your W is participating or not. Mine didnít so I stopped going after 3-4 sessions.

Pretty sure this MC won't use 5LL, but he did talk next week about working an exercise on communication (not about the kids, but about, well, anything). This will be an opportunity to gauge my W's participation. It is an opportunity for me to air out what I am feeling, really anything I want to say, and her job as listener is to just listen.

On that note, I do have to consider what I would talk about. There's so much that could be said, but the more words, the more it dilutes the message.

I'm fairly sure I will bring up an incident about 7 months ago, long before I realized I was in limbo. W and I were having a chat in the living room, and she transitioned into unloading on me for, by my count, at least 12 different things she was upset about. It was a verbal barrage. Then she just got up mid-conversation and went to sleep and left me there. She was upset about: Xmas gifts, lack of emotional intimacy, feeling I made no progress in IC, accused me of a PA, accused me of a porn addiction, said I was financially controlling, all the changes I made from MC1 were not helping, on and on and on. I call this the sh*t tsunami. She tied it off saying this is why she felt no desire for physical intimacy (knowing that was something I was missing).

It perfectly encapsulates the important issues I would want her to address:

- Quietly stewing, mind-reading, building up resentment, then periodically erupting, then acting like nothing happened. Repeat.
- Complete lack of communication - no willingness to find common ground, or work through conflict, or talk about serious issues with an open mind and heart
- Trust issues
- Ignoring or diminishing my needs

Finally, there is a tinge of her tendency to "therapize" me -- and that alone may be enough to say this MR is over. That is a power dynamic that really makes it impossible to have a loving relationship.

Oh, and all this happened while fireworks were going off in the distance. It was NYE. I recall lying in bed wide awake for a couple hours thinking: "Something needs to change, I can't keep living like this."

At the time, I handled this fairly well I thinkl. I was not in "fear of losing the marriage" mode. I listened non-defensively, validated, stayed calm. I had been reading a lot about couples communication the prior several months during our first MC go-round. I responded the next day with an e-mail to acknowledge what I heard, let her know I cared about her feelings, suggested we work on how to address some of the items, and that I thought we should go to a new MC. No response. No acknowledgement that I even responded.

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Journal -

Good IC session for me yesterday. I have spent so much time there talking about my sitch, yesterday I decided I wanted to focus 100% on myself.

Spent last night at home in my garage working on a little kitchen table I'm building. It's turning out fantastic. Maybe I'm chasing the high of accomplishments, but I'm okay with that. It's fun to learn new things.

Took a day off exercise yesterday because weightlifting on Tuesday destroyed my body. Soreness all over. Soreness feels good. Somehow today I need to drag my bag of bones over to the gym and do it again.

After two weekends with the kids I am off this weekend. Going to try surfing with a buddy for the first time in 3 years. I've never been very good, and usually end up gasping for air most of the time. But when you see a wave cresting, and you have to furiously paddle just to survive... there is no other experience I have felt that just puts you right there, in that moment, forgetting everything about the past, the future, nothing. Out in nature, enjoying the views of the coastline... Sometimes after a 2 hour session I remember getting out of the water feeling completely refreshed, rejuvenated, like a new person. And every once in awhile, if I'm lucky, I catch one of those waves, and I swear it can be better than... yup.

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Aubrey's podcast is awesome. Others that are on top of my list are the Rich Roll podcast, Impact Theory, the Angry Therapist, and Single Daddy Daily.


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Journal -

Tonight was our "once every 2 weeks" (bi-weekly?) call to go over logistics. We set an agenda ahead of time.

I'm only going to note the items of interest that came up:

1. Finances - We are going to talk to a financial advisor about the S. Lots of talk but the option of splitting finances was mentioned. I don't think my W realizes how financially screwed up this deal is, so I'm happy for an advisor to point it out. I think I prefer separating finances if it comes down to it - less back-and-forth conversations about expenses, budgeting, etc.

2. School - The house I moved to is in a much better school district. W mentioned if the kids have trouble at current school, maybe they could switch. I pointed out I don't want to mix up school with our S -- what if I move back to the house, for instance? -- to which she replied, "the school will never know you changed addresses." She even mentioned possibly pulling them out and homeschooling them, which would continue to be a financial disaster because she would end up working less. Another sign she is on an indefinite timeline.

3. Work - W seems to be dragging her heels a bit going back to work. Some of this is justifiable due to reasons I won't go into. I used to never mention it, trying to avoid pressure, but I brought it up in the context of finances (the advisor will want to know both of our projected incomes).

All in all, same old story. Indefinite timeline in her head, she seems in no rush to file for D either. We were cordial enough, while at the same time I stood my ground on a few things. Some stuff that would have triggered me in the past did not. It seemed a lot like a conversation that a couple going through an amicable D would have. I still want to see some indication of working on the MR in MC.

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U,

I'm not surprised she is dragging her feet on going back to work. Right now she has the best of both worlds. She has her freedom and you're footing the bill. It will be financially beneficial to her if she decides on D and she is a SAHM.

Not to beat a dead horse but this is why we don't recommend leaving the house. Everything is too easy and comfortable for her and she has zero incentive to change anything.

Continue working on you and let her sort all her $hit out on her end.

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Originally Posted by unchien
All in all, same old story. Indefinite timeline in her head, she seems in no rush to file for D either. We were cordial enough, while at the same time I stood my ground on a few things. Some stuff that would have triggered me in the past did not. It seemed a lot like a conversation that a couple going through an amicable D would have. I still want to see some indication of working on the MR in MC.


Yep, we're definitely in the same boat. No timeline, no structure, no clarity on what we're supposed to be doing or working on - just that WAW needs space to figure things out.

I'm sure the veterans will say that space in this context almost 100% means EA or PA.


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LH19 - I'm also not surprised. Couple things I will stress up front:

1. She is going back to work, just not with any alacrity.
2. I am not allowing fear of EA/PA into my decision process. If I discover it, I file. No suspicions or evidence through this whole process.

Everything *is* too easy for her. This is a setup for indefinite limbo. My W may be completely okay with this lifestyle indefinitely. But I am not. I'd prefer to move on and forge new relationships eventually.

I need to be aware of my triggers. Right now my primary trigger is that my W continues to suggest that I was the one driving us to D or S -- whereas I went months trying to communicate with her to work things out. I need to let this go. That's her story, I can't change it.

I'm trying to sort out my plan of action going forward. There is the "MC needs to include working on the MR" piece which I have talked about before.

I also am considering pressing for financial separation, but we will first talk to a financial advisor soon. I don't want money to influence my W's feelings towards me, but I also think she needs to face the financial reality of what is happening here. If she wants a long-term S then she needs to contribute to making it work.

My W used to always use the phrase "We'll figure it out" when a problem came up. It drove me nuts. That's just kicking the can down the road and ignoring the problem. She seems to be operating in "We'll figure it out" mode right now.

Looking forward to a weekend of GAL

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Originally Posted by SteveS
Originally Posted by unchien
All in all, same old story. Indefinite timeline in her head, she seems in no rush to file for D either. We were cordial enough, while at the same time I stood my ground on a few things. Some stuff that would have triggered me in the past did not. It seemed a lot like a conversation that a couple going through an amicable D would have. I still want to see some indication of working on the MR in MC.


Yep, we're definitely in the same boat. No timeline, no structure, no clarity on what we're supposed to be doing or working on - just that WAW needs space to figure things out.

I'm sure the veterans will say that space in this context almost 100% means EA or PA.

I am going to sound like a goober and say I am convinced EA/PA is not part of my sitch. At least right now.

Even in good times, my W over-committed to friendships, kids activities, house, etc. Just not our MR especially with the kids. She's been running around all summer with the kids. Unless she's very clever about hiding things, it just isn't happening. And I know she isn't clever because pre-BD I found so much evidence about her intentions to BD me.

And anyways... if there was an EA/PA, I would absolutely file for D.

So... SteveS... no timeline, no structure, no clarity... how do we get that back? And I suspect you feel the same way I do... am I just being impatient?

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One other random thing - I like to periodically throw in some humor to throw my W off. Thanks to R2C for advocating this.

She was telling me about her D'd friend coming to visit this weekend. This friend had a nutty H who would insist she send pictures wherever she was, because he was convinced she was cheating. Actually maybe she was, I have no idea, she denied it but what do I know? I remember W's friend telling me this one day at our house several years ago, and I thought "Yeah right," and at that moment my phone started blowing up because her H was texting me to make sure she was at her house. I said, "Yes". And then he asked me to take a picture of her as further proof (as if I was in on the lie).

So last night:

W: "D'd friend is coming to visit with her daughter this weekend. I just wanted you to know that."
UC: "OK. Please take a picture of you two together at the house and text me."

I couldn't help myself, we both laughed.

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Originally Posted by unchien
Originally Posted by SteveS
Originally Posted by unchien
All in all, same old story. Indefinite timeline in her head, she seems in no rush to file for D either. We were cordial enough, while at the same time I stood my ground on a few things. Some stuff that would have triggered me in the past did not. It seemed a lot like a conversation that a couple going through an amicable D would have. I still want to see some indication of working on the MR in MC.


Yep, we're definitely in the same boat. No timeline, no structure, no clarity on what we're supposed to be doing or working on - just that WAW needs space to figure things out.

I'm sure the veterans will say that space in this context almost 100% means EA or PA.

I am going to sound like a goober and say I am convinced EA/PA is not part of my sitch. At least right now.

Even in good times, my W over-committed to friendships, kids activities, house, etc. Just not our MR especially with the kids. She's been running around all summer with the kids. Unless she's very clever about hiding things, it just isn't happening. And I know she isn't clever because pre-BD I found so much evidence about her intentions to BD me.

And anyways... if there was an EA/PA, I would absolutely file for D.

So... SteveS... no timeline, no structure, no clarity... how do we get that back? And I suspect you feel the same way I do... am I just being impatient?


FWIW, I feel the same way - zero evidence of a EA/PA, My WAW simply threw herself into activities and friendships - so yeah, exactly the same boat as you.

I don't have the answers either right now. I do think about it the same way I think about when I was raising venture capital for my company: I needed the money more than they needed to invest in me, and therefore I had very little leverage to negotiate. In that situation, the easiest thing for the more powerful actor to do is to follow the path of least resistance. In the case of my fundraising, it would be to walk. In the case of WAW, it's to file for D.

And I get it - that's a defeatist, powerless mentality. But I think there's a middle ground: to set boundaries and timelines without necessarily pushing for a resolution. I think it's reasonable to account for the possibility that WAW in both of our cases really is confused and ambivalent.


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Originally Posted by SteveS
I think there's a middle ground: to set boundaries and timelines without necessarily pushing for a resolution. I think it's reasonable to account for the possibility that WAW in both of our cases really is confused and ambivalent.

I like this mentality - I think pressure is required in both of our situations, because our WAW's feel zero pressure. In fact, any standard advice on trial separations will say that timelines are necessary.

I'm curious what are your boundaries and timelines.

I have some obvious ones (no FZ talk, no intrusiveness into the other's time with kids, possibly financially separate, need MC to transition to working on the MR and not co-parenting coaching).

The harder one is setting a timeline, and whether to make it explicit. It would be great to say, "If X does not happen by this date, I will Y" but I just don't know what X or Y should be right now, or whether I would keep that to myself.

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Hey U -

Not really in any shape to offer support or arguments right now, but I would maybe revisit the timelines idea. It's pressure.

Trust me, I know.

Have a great weekend smile

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Originally Posted by IronWill
Not really in any shape to offer support or arguments right now, but I would maybe revisit the timelines idea. It's pressure.

It's definitely pressure.

I don't think pressure is always bad, but it's something I definitely need to reflect on more as I am not feeling very decisive. We did originally agree to a 6-month separation, but it's clear the way my W talks that is not her intent. Do I hold her to the 6 months? Would that be unnecessary pressure? I honestly don't know, and it's not something I feel I need to resolve immediately, but if I let it go things will likely drag out.

At some point in the DB process, the LBS ideally can accept any MR outcome. At that point, if the LBS feels in limbo, I don't think pressure to move in some direction is necessarily a bad thing. The trick is that the LBS can be fooled into thinking he/she is okay with any MR outcome... when reality says otherwise.

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I think a lot of it depends on what you want. But as you said, sometimes you think you want something when that is not the case. In my sitch I pressured my wife and it led to D. When I look back at it now, I wonder if I actually did a good thing by pressuring her to make a decision because I likely would have just extended limbo otherwise. Now, I have clarity on my sitch and I am able to move on. If there is R it has to be a new MR anyways. At least now I can move on. With every passing day I am also stronger in setting clear terms for a new MR and I am also detaching so if a new MR does not happen I feel I will be ok.

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U,

I agree that I donít think your w is in an affair.

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Originally Posted by unchien
Originally Posted by IronWill
Not really in any shape to offer support or arguments right now, but I would maybe revisit the timelines idea. It's pressure.

It's definitely pressure.

I don't think pressure is always bad, but it's something I definitely need to reflect on more as I am not feeling very decisive. We did originally agree to a 6-month separation, but it's clear the way my W talks that is not her intent. Do I hold her to the 6 months? Would that be unnecessary pressure? I honestly don't know, and it's not something I feel I need to resolve immediately, but if I let it go things will likely drag out.


I would counter that if you're standing for the M, there would be no deadline. I have none. This takes the time it takes. I didnt want the MR to end, my W effectively ended it because she is in a MLC or depression or WAW mindset or whatever the hell you want to call it.

I did get a few peeks inside my W's mind over the arguments and fights last year. It's why I dont ask anymore, why I removed all pressure (i still screw up from time to time but it's really rare now). It is absolute chaos inside her head right now. I would bet it's like that inside your Ws head too.
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At some point in the DB process, the LBS ideally can accept any MR outcome. At that point, if the LBS feels in limbo, I don't think pressure to move in some direction is necessarily a bad thing. The trick is that the LBS can be fooled into thinking he/she is okay with any MR outcome... when reality says otherwise.


As always you have the control, U, as do I. It is a choice.

I've chosen to stand and whatever happens as a result of that is my own doing. Choosing to stand is easy. Doing it is the hardest thing I have ever done.

As always I cant tell you what to do. Just provide another perspective on it

Take care buddy smile

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Originally Posted by LH19
U,

I agree that I donít think your w is in an affair.

LH19 - Sorry I was not implying that you thought that. I just mention it from time to time in my posts because I know that a quick read of my sitch may lead one to conclude EA/PA is obvious.

Originally Posted by IronWill
I would counter that if you're standing for the M, there would be no deadline. I have none. This takes the time it takes. I didnt want the MR to end, my W effectively ended it because she is in a MLC or depression or WAW mindset or whatever the hell you want to call it.

I did get a few peeks inside my W's mind over the arguments and fights last year. It's why I dont ask anymore, why I removed all pressure (i still screw up from time to time but it's really rare now). It is absolute chaos inside her head right now. I would bet it's like that inside your Ws head too.

IW - I have to say thank you for spurring a lot of introspection on my side.

On the one hand, removing pressure allows our WAS to make decisions on their own. Pressure will almost always push them out the door.

On the other hand, part of DB is about self-differentiation, understanding your own needs, and standing up for yourself (NMMNG). Setting boundaries.

So perhaps the way to view some of these decision is: Am I setting a healthy boundary, or am I unnecessarily adding pressure?

And for this timeline decision... I'm not sure what is the right answer. It feels somewhere in between. The nice thing is that I can make this decision at any time, I do not have a deadline.

I was about to end the post... and then I thought more. It gets complicated. So many thoughts swirling around, I need to let them settle. Pressure, NGS, boundaries, walking my path - things are not so clear sometimes. "I am not willing to go back to the old MR" - did I add pressure, or did I resolve NGS, or am I just walking my path? My W seems to think I am enjoying the S, that this is somehow all my idea -- do I just let that slide, or be vocal that I did not want this but I am going to GAL and have a PMA regardless?

I don't know... I'm stuck here. Will have to think more.

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Originally Posted by unchien
[quote=LH19]So perhaps the way to view some of these decision is: Am I setting a healthy boundary, or am I unnecessarily adding pressure?


Million dollar question for me as well. I feel like the two schools of advice (DB vs. NMMNG) are pulling me in completely opposite directions. I feel like I'm more confused than I was even right after the S, to be honest.


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Originally Posted by SteveS
Originally Posted by unchien
[quote=LH19]So perhaps the way to view some of these decision is: Am I setting a healthy boundary, or am I unnecessarily adding pressure?


Million dollar question for me as well. I feel like the two schools of advice (DB vs. NMMNG) are pulling me in completely opposite directions. I feel like I'm more confused than I was even right after the S, to be honest.

Yep. My brain and emotions have settled down, but the confusion persists.

I am trying to walk that fine line of DB and NMMNG. During our weekly phone logistical chat, W questioned a parenting decision I made last week. The old UC would have caved and just said ďyouíre rightĒ and that would be that. The new UC stood up for himself, not in a showy or belligerent way. We ended up sort of agreeing to disagree. This felt like a small win for me vs. NGS. I stood up for myself because it felt right and true to my values, not because I was told to stand up for myself.

What to do about MC is very confusing.... A truly reformed NG would probably just do whatever he feels in accordance with his values and react with the cool calmness of Clint Eastwood to everything. That would also be in accordance with DB.

Iím still confused (scratches head like an ape)

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Originally Posted by unchien
ĒI am not willing to go back to the old MR"


It sounds like a healthy boundary. Youíre not asking or telling them to make a change. ďYou need to stop smoking or you canít come home.Ē vs ďI wonít live with a smoker.Ē Similar words, totally different ideas/intents.


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Originally Posted by Unchien
Originally Posted by IronWill
I would counter that if you're standing for the M, there would be no deadline. I have none. This takes the time it takes. I didnt want the MR to end, my W effectively ended it because she is in a MLC or depression or WAW mindset or whatever the hell you want to call it.

I did get a few peeks inside my W's mind over the arguments and fights last year. It's why I dont ask anymore, why I removed all pressure (i still screw up from time to time but it's really rare now). It is absolute chaos inside her head right now. I would bet it's like that inside your Ws head too.

IW - I have to say thank you for spurring a lot of introspection on my side.

On the one hand, removing pressure allows our WAS to make decisions on their own. Pressure will almost always push them out the door.

On the other hand, part of DB is about self-differentiation, understanding your own needs, and standing up for yourself (NMMNG). Setting boundaries.

So perhaps the way to view some of these decision is: Am I setting a healthy boundary, or am I unnecessarily adding pressure?

And for this timeline decision... I'm not sure what is the right answer. It feels somewhere in between. The nice thing is that I can make this decision at any time, I do not have a deadline.

I was about to end the post... and then I thought more. It gets complicated. So many thoughts swirling around, I need to let them settle. Pressure, NGS, boundaries, walking my path - things are not so clear sometimes. "I am not willing to go back to the old MR" - did I add pressure, or did I resolve NGS, or am I just walking my path? My W seems to think I am enjoying the S, that this is somehow all my idea -- do I just let that slide, or be vocal that I did not want this but I am going to GAL and have a PMA regardless?

I don't know... I'm stuck here. Will have to think more.


Here are some questions I ask myself before I set a boundary:

1. Is it necessary?

Choosing your battles is a big part of all of our situations. If we go off setting boundaries everywhere and waiting for others to trip them - it's like living in a minefield. And it just sets us up for way more hurt.

2. Am I doing it for the right reasons? Am I sure that I need to set this boundary to protect myself? Or am I doing it to "get back at" or retaliate against my S?

Something LB pointed out to me last week. This is a hard one when I am hurting. The need to defend oneself.

This is where "ego" comes in to play. The ego is enormous in all of us. That's where hurt, pain, and the saying "I can't believe she/he would do this to me" comes into effect. I have struggled mightily with this one. I think all of us do. Realizing we do it is a huge step out of our own worlds and into a different perspective.

3. Am I willing to enforce it? Am I sure that this important enough to risk drastic change?

A boundary is useless if we aren't willing to enforce it. It makes us look ineffective and weak at a time where we need to appear calm, collected and confident in our decision making abilities.




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I should also add

4. Is it the right time?

Knowing when to state a boundary is probably the trickiest part of setting one. I have chosen to remove all pressure from W - and she knows she can come talk to me when she is ready.

Requires a lot of patience and humility. It also invites a lot of doubt on my part. But that comes with the decision to stand - so I deal with it as best i can.

Hope that helps a bit

Stay strong smile

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Thanks IW.

There are boundaries and needs. I would like to be working on the MR. I would like to avoid going to MC long-term with no concrete goal in mind.

It is hard for me to tell what is a boundary and what is a need here.

I feel like I'm trying to talk up courage to take a harder stance, but still doubting myself. For the meantime I will continue to go to MC and at least be more assertive about my position - there is really no point going to MC with a "no pressure" attitude because the dynamic shifts very much to one side. I've learned that the hard way in the past.

Originally Posted by IronWill
Here are some questions I ask myself before I set a boundary:

1. Is it necessary?

Choosing your battles is a big part of all of our situations. If we go off setting boundaries everywhere and waiting for others to trip them - it's like living in a minefield. And it just sets us up for way more hurt.

Good question. If and when I do feel like we are not working on the MR in MC, I think it is necessary to avoid wasting my time, money, and emotional energy. That does not mean I have to stop standing for my MR.

Originally Posted by IronWill
2. Am I doing it for the right reasons? Am I sure that I need to set this boundary to protect myself? Or am I doing it to "get back at" or retaliate against my S?

Something LB pointed out to me last week. This is a hard one when I am hurting. The need to defend oneself.

This is where "ego" comes in to play. The ego is enormous in all of us. That's where hurt, pain, and the saying "I can't believe she/he would do this to me" comes into effect. I have struggled mightily with this one. I think all of us do. Realizing we do it is a huge step out of our own worlds and into a different perspective.

I do not feel like it is retaliatory to say "I want to work on the MR in MC". I am meditating a lot and trying to have the proper state of mind to really explore my subconscious motivations. I know we LBS's fool ourselves all the time, so it is possible I do have some anger driving this. Need to reflect more.

Originally Posted by IronWill
3. Am I willing to enforce it? Am I sure that this important enough to risk drastic change?

A boundary is useless if we aren't willing to enforce it. It makes us look ineffective and weak at a time where we need to appear calm, collected and confident in our decision making abilities.

For MC, it would be fairly straightforward to enforce -- stop going. But you are right that I should not set the boundary until I am actually prepared to enforce it. I don't think I am ready today for instance.

Originally Posted by IronWill
4. Is it the right time?

Knowing when to state a boundary is probably the trickiest part of setting one. I have chosen to remove all pressure from W - and she knows she can come talk to me when she is ready.

Requires a lot of patience and humility. It also invites a lot of doubt on my part. But that comes with the decision to stand - so I deal with it as best i can.

EXACTLY. The MC issue timing is tough. Things feel so fluid. We talk a lot about co-parenting. It is both useful and frustrating at the same time - useful for our logistics, frustrating because this is not what I want.

I guess for now I will keep my same approach - I'm going to stop being meek and quiet, I am gong to tell my side of the story in MC, and hope we can start digging through things. I am doubtful, but either way it would be a huge mistake for me to hold back on my feelings at this point.

Whether to continue with MC, stop, etc.... I just don't know. Now is clearly the wrong time to decide.

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Journal -

Had MC earlier today. We did a communication exercise where I was the speaker and W was the listener. I chose a past event that encapsulated a lot of our issues - my W's tendency to unload all her resentment at once, my own inability to process the information (at the time) without cycling and spinning, our joint inability to work together through issues. We got pretty deep into things. It was very matter-of-fact and not particularly emotional - partly because of the awkwardness of the setup. My W seemed a little defensive but she listened. I brought up some ways I have changed since this incident, not trying to go too deep into my personal issues... this part was awkward. At the end, the counselor suggested I make a request that I need to be heard. I corrected him, and said, "I would like to be heard, but I don't need to be heard."

I'm not sure if this exercise was good or bad for our relationship whether as co-parents or spouses. I guess we'll see. It's probably my W's turn next week ::cringe::

However... I'm glad we did it. Either I was laying necessary groundwork (for MR 2.0) or I was being much more assertive and shedding some NGS. No outcome expectancy from this talk. I feel really good. When I did some coaching a couple months back, the general advice was to just be positive and focus on improving myself. That's how I felt today -- positive, and happy to let go of some of this baggage and air out my feelings.

It's a weird feeling... part of my NGS has been giving over control and power of my happiness to my W. It's almost like my happiness was a delicate crystal ball and she shattered it -- I want to thank her for making me realize happiness is my responsibility. I didn't feel particularly emotional today, just described how I see things. Sometimes I wonder if I would have been as attracted to her in the past, had I resolved my NGS issues sooner. I honestly don't know.

Onwards and upwards.

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Originally Posted by unchien
Sometimes I wonder if I would have been as attracted to her in the past, had I resolved my NGS issues sooner. I honestly don't know.

Your story is slowly selling me on reading that No More Mr. Nice Guy book. In life, I typically don't do "nice" things (holding open doors, buying a date a glass of wine) with any significant expectations. I do them because I like seeing others feel happy. I have to admit it was different for me once in a relationship and in the "Circle of Trust". Good for you learning some things about your boundaries, what you want in MR2.0, and finding ways to have deep conversations with a difficult partner without cycling/spinning.

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CW - For some people like me, NMMNG reads like a freakin' biography. You may or may not get the same mileage out of it. I do highly recommend it.

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Originally Posted by unchien
CW - For some people like me, NMMNG reads like a freakin' biography. You may or may not get the same mileage out of it. I do highly recommend it.


Same.

6 months away from a codependent R helps t makes sense of it all though.


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Originally Posted by unchien
CW - For some people like me, NMMNG reads like a freakin' biography. You may or may not get the same mileage out of it. I do highly recommend it.


Same for me. I was shocked at how much I identified with it.

And I'm not going to lie: it stung, because for so long I felt that being a nice guy was what separated me, and the refrain I'd hear from people "You're such a great guy!" really validated me. I wasn't until I read the book that I learned the hard downside - so many covert promises, so much people pleasing, so many problems with integrity and shame.

I wish I would have read it a year ago, as I think it would have made a difference in my MR. All I can do now is commit to getting emotionally healthy, and hope that there's a MR to go back to after S.


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Originally Posted by SteveS

I wish I would have read it a year ago, as I think it would have made a difference in my MR. All I can do now is commit to getting emotionally healthy, and hope that there's a MR to go back to after S.


I agree, Steve but iím Not sure it wouldíve resonated in the same way without a BD first. I think Iíd have agreed in principle with a lot of its points but not really thought it a problem.

Some of us need BD to open our eyes.


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Wow, that's wild acclaim! And there's an Audible version. It's added to my reading list.

Thanks Rooney, Steve, Unchien.

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I actually read NMMNG over a year ago, when I was trying to deal with our DB (Dead Bedroom, in this case, not Divorce Busting).

Unfortunately the lessons didn't stick and I didn't put in the hard work. I thought I integrated the lessons, but I didn't scratch the surface. As Rooney pointed out, us ignorant fools need the BD to snap us awake.

There's some stuff in the book that's kind of a waste to me - the "here's why men are like this today" part. The rest is gold.

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Also to SteveS's point... I now see being called a "nice guy" as an epithet. It's not who I want to be.

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Glover also has some excellent podcasts out there as well on his webpage that are pretty cheap and definitely worth a listen


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Quote
so we are working on trying to insert some time in there during those gaps.


I have a dinner visit midweek...IE the kids come to my house for 3 hours during mothers parenting time and go to mothers house for 3 hours during my parenting time.



Current parenting plan:

Exchanges on Fridays. Kids go to off week parent from 5-8 on Tuesdays. During school season, they would go to offweek parent after school and then get dropped of at the On-week parents house. Was nice when they were younger and sitch was fresh.


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R2C - How old are your kids? And how old were they when you started 50-50?

Glad the 7-7 with a mid-week dinner is working well for you and your kids. If we D, I think I prefer the 7-7 schedule over a 2-2-5-5 arrangement. All of these schedules have their pros and cons.

Our kids don't seem overly emotional during the handoffs, at least for now. I know sometimes people need to limit the number of handoffs to help their kids adjust.

My W still advocates for a family dinner from time-to-time. If we were D'd (or in process) it would be a hard no for me. And I know the advice here from the forum in my trial separation would be the same. I'm just sort of ... ambivalent about the whole thing? Maybe something to bring up in MC next time. I don't know if the family time thing is good for our kids right now because it must be confusing. Limbo affects the kids too...

I felt like 50-50 would be more disruptive to our kids right now than I was comfortable with. I admit to feeling some incredibly strong guilt sometimes over not pressing for 50-50, but I do not feel like my W coerced me into it. Long-term if we go down the D path then 50-50 will be what I want. I know there may be legal battles to fight, etc. but I felt now was not the time to fight future battles that may not materialize. But if somebody asked me "Why are you not doing 50-50?" I would immediately feel put on the defensive and every reason I give could be countered.

I heard on a podcast yesterday that guilt is the most selfish emotion one can feel. Maybe I need to explore that.

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D5/S7/S9 at start.... D16/S18/S20 now...


The mid week dinner visit also allowed me long/short days each week. My Boss was flexible.


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U- I is/ was in a weekly split with my XW similar to R2C's. My kids were 9, 15 and 17 at the start. They're 16, 22 and 24 now. Both D's are out on their own, XW and I still swap S16 back and forth.

My brother did a 2-3-2 split with his XW. He and the kids really hated it. The kids were living out of suitcases all the time. The constant swaps meant neither parent could track homework assignments very well. The odd number of days meant they weren't even swapping on the same day each week. They were constantly wrestling with coordinating where to pickup/ drop off because the kids were in activities (tumbling, football, etc.) I asked him about it early on in my S and that was a big reason I talked XW into the weekly split. XW and I both agreed 7 days was a long time to go without seeing the kids, so like R2C we agreed that we would incorporate one evening a week for the other parent to have the kids for dinner or a movie or whatever (when we D'd we wrote that into the agreement). In actuality we rarely used it because as it turned out, we both saw the kids quite a bit even on our "off" weeks because of school and after-school activities.

I really feel that the weekly split is beneficial in these situations. Homework rarely spans a weekend so it allows you to track the kids' work on your week and not worry about it on your spouse's. It also allows for a leisurely handoff on the weekend. We did Sunday evening handoffs, sometimes we would have dinner together with the kids to ease the transition.


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My xw and I do 50/50 Sunday to Sunday and there has been no issues outside of kids getting adjusted to not seeing the other parent as much. We dont have anything written in our D agreement for week night visits but my xw and I are open enough to get them from each other when we want and they have their activities through the week as AS described so it really never is a full week.


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My STBXH and I have 50/50 custody. Currently we do a 2-2-3 schedule starting on Mondays. When school is in session, the kids are home every day as they are within walking distance of my house and their grandmother is here. Their dad picks them up as soon as he can. Heís a teacher so they are usually at my house for an hour. We also have an arrangement where he drives our D11 to her tutoring on Tuesdays and Thursday mornings regardless of who has them and I or my sister picks her up and takes her to school. He also takes her to her speech therapy appointment on Fridays after school. The suitcase scenario is not an issue as my kids have clothes at both places so donít need to take things back and forth. So far, so good although Iíve told the kids that if it starts to be too much, we would look at doing a schedule with fewer changeovers. My D11 has made a few comments that indicate she may want something different but her twin brother has said he is happy with how things are. That could change over time but for now it is working reasonably well. My STBXH and I have also been really flexible if either of us needs the other one to take them outside of our schedule which helps.

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Originally Posted by AnotherStander
U- I is/ was in a weekly split with my XW similar to R2C's. My kids were 9, 15 and 17 at the start. They're 16, 22 and 24 now. Both D's are out on their own, XW and I still swap S16 back and forth.


Oh my gosh, "I is". Wow my grandmother would knock me on the head if she saw that grin Too late to edit now, hope you all can forgive the grammatical error, and you too Mimi if you're looking down now smile


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I also have a 50/50 split and we do a 2-2-3 schedule like DV. This allows both of us to see the kids during a calendar week and we get alternate weekends. We have flexibility and if we need to change somethings up, we do that. I find the 2-2-3 pretty good and its worked for us.


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My kids were involved in sports. X and I would both go to practices and games. I would interact with the other two kids that were not involved in the formal sport. Saw my kids almost daily during soccer and basketball season.


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My exww and I do 50 50 with Sunday as the swap day. I live 5 minuted away so D16 drives her and S12 over. I wish I had full custody but I am satisfied with what we have. I also have a closet full of clothes for each kid.


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We veered into a custody discussion here but it's really really useful, thanks everyone!

Right now we are essentially doing a 4-10 schedule (Friday pm to Tuesday am with me, every other weekend). I will be doing some activity shuttling as school and activities ramp up. My older two will be in school, and the youngest in a 2-day-per-week preschool.

My W is ramping back to work, but by the nature of what she does, this will take time, and she will start at 2 days per week. The other days she will be with D3 during the day. She can't do full-time because she would not be able to fill her schedule that quickly. I am happy she is getting back to work both for her (she gets great satisfaction out of this part of her life, and the adjustment of moving 2 years ago took that way) and for me (it will balance her out hopefully, plus she establishes income and contributes at a time we really need more cash flow). I'm taking a low-pressure approach right now - if we end up filing for D that may change.

It just didn't make much sense for us this year if we did a 7-7 for instance, because we would be swapping D3 back and forth a lot in the mornings and nights. D3 was in a day-care last year and did not adjust well, and relied on D5 to help her. D3 is having a hard time adjusting right now to all these changes. So a combination of what is best for D3, and my W's ability to ramp up work, has really driven my willingness to do less than 50/50. I'd like to take a "let's see how this goes" approach and then be open to modifying the schedule -- no idea how my W views things.

If we end up starting the D process I will want 50/50 (in my state it will probably take 12-18 months to finalize, by which time we can sort out a good 50/50 plan and my youngest would be about to enter kindergarten). Of course I don't know how my W would react. The L I spoke to awhile ago did not seem concerned. I do worry though...

The 50/50 plans I like best are 7-7 or 2-2-5-5. The 2-2-5-5 gives each person the same 2 weeknights each week, but other than that it's pretty much the same as 2-2-3. Seems like everyone who responded here is at 7-7 or 2-2-3.

7-7 works best for my work schedule because I have week-long business trips a few times per year. 2-2-5-5 has its advantages though (less time between seeing the kids, plus might work better as my W ramps up working).

If you've read this far, you can tell by my long-windedness that I worry about the details a bit too much. Maybe I should have just said 50/50 and left it there. Separation is another limbo... trying to make everything work for everyone, not yet on the D path... ugh

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I forgot to add... the marital home (where my W lives) is very remote. If we D, for logistical and financial reasons, that house will need to be sold, and we will need to live much closer to each other, which will make all of this much easier on everybody. The house is a huge pain TBH. 20 minutes to the school (which is also fairly remote), 30 minutes to activities (which are centrally located in civilization).

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On the GAL front, I'll be off the forums a few days, weekend with the kids. Finished staining a kitchen table I'm building last night. Hit the gym today. Meditating daily. Feeling pretty energized.

I took an Uber to work today. Normally I'm just staring at my phone. Today I started chatting with the driver, he had 3 daughters, we talked about east coast vs. west coast vs. midwest life, turns out he surfs at the same spot I go to sometimes. Gave the guy a great tip, and the ride flew by. I really enjoy striking up conversations with strangers, wish I had done it more before.

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Hi Unchien,

Thanks for your thought and insights! Hope you have a great weekend.

FYI, I'm on a 5-2-2-5 custody schedule, which seems the most popular in my area. A 5-2-2-5 keeps your weekdays consistent, which helps when signing up kids for sport or clubs or setting up weekly work meetings. The 5's also allow for business trips and adult vacations when you get around to dating again. [My 5-2-2-5 is modified--I also get the kids before school and after school for a few hours everyday.]

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Thanks CW -- I also like the 5-2-2-5 for the "same weekdays" aspect. Thanks for the feedback.

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I make it a point to talk to people now. Even if they are small conversations. I do this especially in elevators which always seem to be insanely long rides when done in silence. I started with regular small chit chat about weather, but now I try to make convo about something more than that. It's always short and sweet, but good enough to get outside the comfort zone. I stay off my phone as much as possible too.


No one is coming to save you!

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I'm starting to feel a little overwhelmed as of last night. Lots going on right now.

But first and foremost, I had an awesome weekend trip with the kids, memories that will last a lifetime. I thought I would be more stressed out taking 3 kids around an amusement park for 2 days by myself, but actually being a single parent left me entirely in control of the plans, etc. and the kids were amazing. There were a few issues with my W along the way, which I will post about tonight. I had some DB successes and some DB fails in there.

We are setting up a financial consulting appointment next week with a CDFA (Certified Divorce Financial Analyst). As brief background, this was my W's idea initially, and I am fully supportive. W has stated she thought this would be good for "budgeting." As with most DB issues, I've learned to let go of trying to figure out her motives.

It was a bit of a gut punch to receive the initial documents to fill out: full disclosures of assets and expenses in preparation of D. I'm not sure if we D if I would agree to a joint advisor, although I'm not sure I wouldn't agree either. I am only interested in what's fair to both of us.

Those of you who have followed me since the beginning know I used to make a lot of lists. For this item, I see mostly positives

Pros:

+ W and I both have clear exposure to the cost of the physical separation
+ W and I both have clear picture of a post-D life and how we would need to adjust lifestyle
+ Elimination of any implication of unfairness or hiding things

Cons:

- Feels a little like a push towards D (or financial separation).

Heck, I'm not even that concerned about the outcome of this consultation... now that is DB progress! I assume the CDFA will guide us towards a financial separation. My W seems to think this is a "budget" exercise, although I'm not sure for what purpose - are we going to buy generic brand Mac&Cheese for the kids now?

On a separate note, we have MC later today. Last week was my turn to talk about issues I saw in our MR. Given some of the conflict this week I'm sure we will have plenty to discuss today. I'm not going into MC today with any agenda on my part, just planning to fully participate and see where things go.

And finally, in the back of my mind, I still have that little voice talking to me, wondering what is the point of whatever you call this? Standing? Can we ever piece together a loving MR again? All while parenting 3 young kids? I have my serious doubts.

Sometimes I think I'm not the lighthouse, and it's not my W wandering outside. Maybe my kids are the lighthouse, and I'm the one wandering outside, and periodically I have to look up and see that light. I'm not saying that I'm doing this because it is "best for the kids." But at the same time... I am not at a point where I feel comfortable moving on, where I could look my kids in the eye and feel like I was living up to the values I would like to pass onto them. I wish I could just know at what point living in accordance with my values is going to mean changing direction (if ever).

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Originally Posted by unchien
We are setting up a financial consulting appointment next week with a CDFA (Certified Divorce Financial Analyst). As brief background, this was my W's idea initially, and I am fully supportive. W has stated she thought this would be good for "budgeting." As with most DB issues, I've learned to let go of trying to figure out her motives.

It was a bit of a gut punch to receive the initial documents to fill out: full disclosures of assets and expenses in preparation of D. I'm not sure if we D if I would agree to a joint advisor, although I'm not sure I wouldn't agree either. I am only interested in what's fair to both of us.

Those of you who have followed me since the beginning know I used to make a lot of lists. For this item, I see mostly positives

Pros:

+ W and I both have clear exposure to the cost of the physical separation
+ W and I both have clear picture of a post-D life and how we would need to adjust lifestyle
+ Elimination of any implication of unfairness or hiding things

Cons:

- Feels a little like a push towards D (or financial separation).

Heck, I'm not even that concerned about the outcome of this consultation... now that is DB progress! I assume the CDFA will guide us towards a financial separation. My W seems to think this is a "budget" exercise, although I'm not sure for what purpose - are we going to buy generic brand Mac&Cheese for the kids now?


Went through the same thing here. It was definitely a gut punch going through all of the actions of D, listing out the assets, and tangibly picturing life without WAW. My pros and cons were exactly the same.

I talked about it with my IC, and here was his view: regardless of the motives, it's unreasonable to expect WAW (or you!) to be able to make a decision on how to move forward without a clear understanding of all of the implications.

My natural inclination was to be pessimistic regarding intent, and wonder why doing the exercise was important to worry about now, as opposed to when and if there was a decision to D. That line of thinking doesn't help anyone, it only makes you defensive towards WAW and pessimistic towards the future.

Knowing that reticence around having honest discussions about finances and our future together was an issue in our relationship, I treated it as a 180 opportunity. As it turns out, WAW hasn't really mentioned it since - I've done the work of organizing my documents, uploading them to Dropbox, and creating a Python script to auto-pull our transactions into a spreadsheet for budgeting. Maybe she was expecting it to be more of a fight or a struggle, I don't know - but it hasn't been really addressed since.

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Originally Posted by SteveS
I talked about it with my IC, and here was his view: regardless of the motives, it's unreasonable to expect WAW (or you!) to be able to make a decision on how to move forward without a clear understanding of all of the implications.

My natural inclination was to be pessimistic regarding intent, and wonder why doing the exercise was important to worry about now, as opposed to when and if there was a decision to D. That line of thinking doesn't help anyone, it only makes you defensive towards WAW and pessimistic towards the future.

I completely agree.

Originally Posted by SteveS
Knowing that reticence around having honest discussions about finances and our future together was an issue in our relationship, I treated it as a 180 opportunity. As it turns out, WAW hasn't really mentioned it since - I've done the work of organizing my documents, uploading them to Dropbox, and creating a Python script to auto-pull our transactions into a spreadsheet for budgeting. Maybe she was expecting it to be more of a fight or a struggle, I don't know - but it hasn't been really addressed since.

I can't remember ... did you end up financial separating as well?

Also... Python is the best!

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Originally Posted by unchien

I can't remember ... did you end up financial separating as well?


No, probably against some advice on here. In my view, WAW are still married, and I think any area in which we can come together as a team to work through a problem, understand each other's viewpoints, and solve it together is a good thing. Doubly so given the issues we had on that front before.


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Hey U, I know all the thinking about the custody arrangement can be super stressful. As I am filing tomorrow, I spent hours last night looking up and reading different custody schedules. I decided on 2-2-3 just because I feel like you get a little of every day of the week and the swap location is my Sons school which is very close and wonít be much of an issue. Iím glad you are thinking about it now though so you wonít be rushed.

Do you feel like MC is doing anything positive at this point U?


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Hi Hallzy -

I've been thinking about custody since April when I figured out I was in pre-BD limbo. At this point I'm not particularly stressed worrying about what I want, other than feeling guilty about starting off less than 50% for now. But I do think it's for the best. Long-term I would want 50-50, and likely a 7-7 would work best with my work schedule. 2-2-3 or 2-2-5-5 I think are as good as it gets if you can do it. I'm glad you have something that works for you.

MC was really bizarre today. My W went back to the kid safety narrative, and I don't want to go into details, mostly because they aren't relevant to my larger point. One issue was something W and I had already discussed over the phone.

I hate delving into my W's head, but here is how I believe she is approaching MC (now that we are 5 sessions in):

- We are going to D.
- What is best for the kids is that mom and dad are excellent co-parents.
- Part of this includes dad being a safe parent, and I am worried about that.
- Rather than filing for D immediately, I would like to push dad to be a better, safer parent, so I am comfortable with a joint custody arrangement that is good for our kids.

I actually brought this up today. I said I felt the 3 of us (me, W, counselor) were there primarily to focus on making me a better parent so that my W feels safer. My W said, "No! We are also working on communication!" I just don't believe it at this point.

Because of the history of my sitch, I feel it is in my best interest to continue with MC while our timeshare arrangement gets cranking. At the moment, I feel there is little benefit to our MR. We are communicating better, although mostly I feel it is obvious to me when we don't communicate well, but my W needs MC to understand when she misinterprets things.

All in all a big swirling mess in my head right now. I felt pretty beat up in MC today. I said I'm going to be a better dad regardless of this situation and I'll take the negative feedback to heart. My W tried to recover and give some positive feedback, but the constant hammering on my parenting leaves me numb. I need to work on my PMA at these times, and not feel victimized.

I keep telling myself to weather the storm. Even if I was 100% convinced I wanted a D, now is not the time to file.

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Journal

MC really threw me for a loop today. I need to take this as a lesson and absorb it. I'm a bit of a mess. I'm frustrated with myself.

I am sucked back into my old patterns of thinking. This is a lesson in letting go of outcomes. In this case, MC outcomes.

We continue to cover kid safety heavily in MC. Anytime my W brings up a topic, it is kid safety. We repeat discussions we have had outside of MC, items I thought we closed. I am not diminishing the importance of the safety of our children. But I do feel put under the microscope. Any parenting mistake I make is dissected and analyzed. These are not mind-blowing mistakes. The details are unimportant.

I'm not supposed to do this, but I do wonder what my W is really thinking with respect to MC. I can't understand what is going on. Mostly I wonder if she thinks she is being the bigger person, that rather than filing for D and full custody which would damage the kids, she is giving me the "gift" of proving my worth as a father, and then she will file and we will have some amicable happy family D. I could be completely off-base. I have no clue what she is thinking. I know that I can withstand this kind of pressure for only so long - I'm trying to make it through for awhile so we have established regular timesharing with the kids.

The old patterns of thinking haunt me. I feel attacked, accused. I feel like my feelings are treated as less important than my W's. I feel like my concerns are secondary to hers. I feel like my wife only values my money, and the fact I am the father of our kids... everything else annoys her. I feel like she is very controlling. I feel betrayed, hurt, small.

I do stand up in MC when I can. I said today that regardless of how much negative feedback I get, I will continue to be positive and work to be a better person and a better father for myself. My W at that point started giving me positive feedback... "so glad you took them on that trip, you all deserved it, I really mean that". Her earnestness rang hollow for me. I don't even know if she meant it. She just never talks that way, and I felt like it was pried out of her. After the session she was her normal self, we had some brief banal discussion about swapping a weekend to accommodate her t which point I said "Not sure, I have plans that weekend"

This post is a mess and I am a mess of swirling thoughts. Not as bad as I would have been a month ago, but I recognize I need to work on myself here.

Big picture I feel kind of stuck going to MC for the moment. I need a better gameplan. I should assume my W will have some to sort of parenting issue to bring up, that I will be under the microscope, and prepare accordingly. Stop playing the victim, but also don't be dismissive of her concerns.

I wish I could see a year into the future right now. I know it will be better than the present moment.

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U,

I think part of your problem is you are taking the term "marriage counseling" literally when it is clearly not what it is right now and most likely ever. Again, you have made this way to easy for her to disassemble the family unit. This gives her the ability to tell your family and children down the road that you tried MC and it didn't work. Only you will know that it's all a bunch of bs.

As far as her feelings being the only thing that matters. Welcome to the world of the LBS. In time you will realize that life is to short to be constantly reminded how horrible of a person you are. Right now you are the young child touching the stove "hot" how about now "hot" now "hot" but you'll learn unfortunately it takes time.

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Originally Posted by LH19
U,

I think part of your problem is you are taking the term "marriage counseling" literally when it is clearly not what it is right now and most likely ever. Again, you have made this way to easy for her to disassemble the family unit. This gives her the ability to tell your family and children down the road that you tried MC and it didn't work. Only you will know that it's all a bunch of bs.

As far as her feelings being the only thing that matters. Welcome to the world of the LBS. In time you will realize that life is to short to be constantly reminded how horrible of a person you are. Right now you are the young child touching the stove "hot" how about now "hot" now "hot" but you'll learn unfortunately it takes time.


As someone who is in a similar boat - although my MC sessions have been a lot more positive - do you have any recommendations for how LBS should approach MC?


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Yes only attend if your W is working on the marriage. How do you know? She reads the 5 Love Languages and learns yours and actively tryís to implement them. She does the homework given. She speaks positively about you in MC.

Anything less is a complete waste of money and time but of course MC is not going to tell you that.

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Originally Posted by LH19
Yes only attend if your W is working on the marriage. How do you know? She reads the 5 Love Languages and learns yours and actively tryís to implement them. She does the homework given. She speaks positively about you in MC.

Anything less is a complete waste of money and time but of course MC is not going to tell you that.


So that basically means (if I'm hearing you correctly) that any couple that is currently S should not do MC, right? My WAW certainly knows my love language and to her credit, speaks positively about me but since we're S, we don't have much of a pathway to implementing them.


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Iím not saying that at all. Iím saying participation is mandatory.

Iím skeptical when there is a separation. If she really wanted to work on it a separation is not likely needed. When people separate itís more then likely another person involved. Obviously there are outliers.

Just so you know I am divorced and am often told my ex speaks positively about me. Actions not words.

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Originally Posted by LH19
U,I think part of your problem is you are taking the term "marriage counseling" literally when it is clearly not what it is right now and most likely ever. Again, you have made this way to easy for her to disassemble the family unit. This gives her the ability to tell your family and children down the road that you tried MC and it didn't work. Only you will know that it's all a bunch of bs.

You are right that I take the term "MC" literally.

My frustration is two-fold:

1. The "child safety" issue - There is an implicit threat that my W may at any time decide I have made a decision that endangers the children. So I feel forced to go to MC for the time being. I want to establish another month or two of regular timesharing.

I want to avoid a custody battle if it comes down to it. Establishing a regular pattern of timesharing now is in my best interest. This feels like I also have to "put up" with the repeated discussions on child safety and my inferiority as a parent in MC.

2. The "not working on the MR" issue - We went to MC last year. I would say we were "working on the MR" more then, but even then week to week it was confusing if we were making progress.

One thing I don't care about as much is whether I am enabling my W to tell family and kids that we tried everything and it didn't work. I'm not interested in fighting for hearts and minds. I know my kids love me and in many ways this separation is bringing us closer together.

Originally Posted by LH19
As far as her feelings being the only thing that matters. Welcome to the world of the LBS. In time you will realize that life is to short to be constantly reminded how horrible of a person you are. Right now you are the young child touching the stove "hot" how about now "hot" now "hot" but you'll learn unfortunately it takes time.

Thanks for bringing me back to center here. You are right.

I brought up yesterday in MC this point -- that the constant negative feedback wears on me. I followed that up by saying I would be positive regardless on focus on making myself a better person and father. I did not say husband.

To your stove analogy -- yep, I keep getting triggered. The kid safety issue triggers me more than anything else. And she keeps going back to that same button and mashing it over and over and over and over. I need to work on this, avoiding the trigger response.

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Originally Posted by LH19
Iím not saying that at all. Iím saying participation is mandatory.

SteveS and I are both struggling with what "participation" means. I think this is where our sitches diverge a little bit, with my MC so heavily focused on childcare issues.

Originally Posted by LH19
Iím skeptical when there is a separation. If she really wanted to work on it a separation is not likely needed. When people separate itís more then likely another person involved. Obviously there are outliers

I wonder how this actually works in a separation where the couple reconciles. It does happen sometimes.

You start with a separation. At some point down the timeline, there must be dinner dates. How do you go from A to B? Where do you start? If you just separated, it seems strange to flip the switch and suddenly both be actively engaged in fixing things. Part of the point of separation is that one or both parties needs time and space.

I have a possibly controversial theory about separations that work out. I suspect substance abuse is involved many times. There is an obvious problem, both parties understand what the problem is, and one party has to go fix it.

Then there are separations like SteveS's and mine. Our WAW's are indecisive. Heck asking for separation is an incredibly indecisive move, but with heavy consequences. I know my W did not think this through at all. It's "I want a D, but I don't want the guilt of a D."

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Originally Posted by SteveS
Originally Posted by LH19
Yes only attend if your W is working on the marriage. How do you know? She reads the 5 Love Languages and learns yours and actively tryís to implement them. She does the homework given. She speaks positively about you in MC.

Anything less is a complete waste of money and time but of course MC is not going to tell you that.


So that basically means (if I'm hearing you correctly) that any couple that is currently S should not do MC, right? My WAW certainly knows my love language and to her credit, speaks positively about me but since we're S, we don't have much of a pathway to implementing them.

Forget about the separation.

Couples go to MC all the time and get nowhere. Misalignment of goals. They can both think they are "working on the MR" but what is really happening is they both view the MR so differently that progress cannot be made.

I had decided 2 weeks ago to view MC differently, but I got pulled off-track. Here is what I was thinking:

I could care less about 5LL right now. My W has significant relationship issues:

1. Overwhelming negativity (read Gottman on this, 5:1 positive:negative ratio in a healthy relationship)
2. Mind-reading and poor communication skills
3. Lack of empathy

For me, evidence that my W is working on the MR would involve her working on those 3 points. I don't need her to say "I have a lack of empathy" but I need to see evidence of movement or I will continue to feel that R is not healthy or possible.

This is why I advised you (Steve) to think about your W's issues. Use MC as a forum to show your "reformed NG" side. I brought up some conflict we had last week, stood my ground, and my W actually came around a little bit yesterday. I was proud of myself, didn't really see it as an evidence of movement in our MR. But it is a necessary step if we are ever going to work out, and also necessary for me in any future relationship to assert myself more. I cannot be in a MR if it depends on me continuing to be a NG.

I think there is a huge NGS trap here. It's easy to skip the hard work step and jump straight to traditional MC steps. All that stuff is meaningless. Use MC as an opportunity to assess if you think this MR can work first.

Or maybe I'm just rationalizing why I continue to go to MC...

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The thing about separations are itís almost impossible for the WW to not love it. After living with someone for decades of putting up with their annoyances etc to have complete freedom is liberating. On top of that knowing that if doesnít work out that the LBS has their nose so far up their ass that they can end it at anytime.

Itís like walking a tightrope with a giant net underneath. No risk with lots of reward.

As far a MC goes I would start by no longer calling it MC. Call is Child Safety Class which is bs anyways. Youíre no threat to your kids.

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Originally Posted by LH19
As far a MC goes I would start by no longer calling it MC. Call is Child Safety Class which is bs anyways. Youíre no threat to your kids.

I was just thinking about calling it something else!

For some reason I am super triggered today. It's probably the kid safety issue rearing its head again yesterday. There was so much other stuff in that one hour session to unpack also that I haven't even mentioned. I think I'm in heavy Negative Sentiment Override with my W right now (Gekko brought up this term in his thread).

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As long as you are in MC, it will be difficult to drop the rope and detach. Not saying you need to stop MC if it is benefiting you in other ways. But you need to expect to have emotional ups and downs. Try to keep any R talks in MC confined to MC and not think about them at other times. Drop expectations of any progress on R as a goal for MC. As long as R is a goal in MC you cannot really detach

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Get out of MC. Get into IC. MC is useless right now. LBSs think MC gives them hope But if the WAS isn't invested it just gives them a place to attack the LBS, and then later say "we even tried MC".


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Originally Posted by MLCxH
As long as you are in MC, it will be difficult to drop the rope and detach. Not saying you need to stop MC if it is benefiting you in other ways. But you need to expect to have emotional ups and downs. Try to keep any R talks in MC confined to MC and not think about them at other times. Drop expectations of any progress on R as a goal for MC. As long as R is a goal in MC you cannot really detach

MLCxH - We definitely have no R talks outside of MC. We sometimes don't have R talks inside MC.

I think MC is actually helping me detach. Just not sure it is healthy for me or my relationship with my kids.

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Originally Posted by Steve85
Get out of MC. Get into IC. MC is useless right now. LBSs think MC gives them hope But if the WAS isn't invested it just gives them a place to attack the LBS, and then later say "we even tried MC".

Already in IC, and making some huge gains lately focusing on NGS.

MC does feel hopeless to me. But I feel stuck going - we are a month into the separation, and just settling into our timeshare routine. After another month or two, once that is established, if MC continues to be "Child Safety Class" I will stop going.

If you took child safety out of it, I would suggest today we stop going to MC for awhile

However blame is assigned to the failure of our MR is not really my concern. I can't control that. I am secure with my relationship with my kids. They love me, I love them. My insecurity is that my W will cause a stir and try to withhold the kids from me via legal means.

Friends and family may decide to judge if we end up D'ing - going forward I will surround myself with positive and supportive people. Life is too short for toxic negativity. I really don't care what other people think. I worried about that for way too long, and it got me nowhere.

I shouldn't project into the future and worry about outcomes. But I do. I foresee my W willing to continue in separation for a long time, perhaps even years. It is a setup where I would have to be the one to file for D, or continue in perpetual limbo. Not ready yet, but we'll see where I'm at in 2-3 months if there is no progress.

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Originally Posted by Steve85
Get out of MC. Get into IC. MC is useless right now. LBSs think MC gives them hope But if the WAS isn't invested it just gives them a place to attack the LBS, and then later say "we even tried MC".


I agree 100 percent.

I know you're in a tough spot, U, and I'm not trying to pile on, but Steve is right.

I think as long as you are in MC you will continue to get BD'ed, every time. Sometimes by the MC as well.

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IW - I certainly feel ganged up on at times.

The threatening undertone of a custody battle is ever-present. I can't just drop MC right now. I think it would be unwise.

However, I can go into it understanding it is what it is. It is not MC. As LH19 put it, this is "Child Safety Class" for now until my W shows me otherwise.

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I was in limbo for 8 months and while I did get pretty detached you always know that technically you are still married.

Just know that if your w is out dating while you are still married it says a lot about the quality of man she is with. Unless that poonannie is amazing smile. Any man that I would have respect for would not be dating a woman that is still married with young kids at home.

If you stick to your guns, carry yourself with integrity, and run your own race eventually you will feel the power shift. You will get your confidence back, your swagger, you wonít care what she is doing, and over time she will notice. I am not saying you will recon but she will notice.

I still DB my Xw to this day. Yesterday she sent me a picture of herself, with some co-workers on a scavenger hunt at a famous athletes house. I have no clue what possessed her to share that with me.

It just takes time bro.


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Originally Posted by unchien
IW - I certainly feel ganged up on at times.

The threatening undertone of a custody battle is ever-present. I can't just drop MC right now. I think it would be unwise.

However, I can go into it understanding it is what it is. It is not MC. As LH19 put it, this is "Child Safety Class" for now until my W shows me otherwise.


I know it might seem like that, but it's only bc we see what you're going through emotionally and we all know it [censored]. Big time.

There are many sides to every individual's story. We see your side of it but I'm sure there are many nuances that are not shared here. You know what's best in regards to your kids - you seem like a great dad - and if you need to do that to secure time with them then that's what you need to do.

I would consider putting any thoughts of Recon or her changing her tune in MC (at least regarding the old MR) on the back burner. Too little time has passed. Trust me - I'm going on month 12 and it's only slightly stabilized. Sort of, sometimes.

I would recommend more detachment and getting much stronger if this "MC" is to continue. Prepare for a BD every session - you'll be much better off.

Like you told me - prevent her from sending you reeling as much as possible.

Stay strong, man! smile

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Originally Posted by unchien
Originally Posted by MLCxH
As long as you are in MC, it will be difficult to drop the rope and detach. Not saying you need to stop MC if it is benefiting you in other ways. But you need to expect to have emotional ups and downs. Try to keep any R talks in MC confined to MC and not think about them at other times. Drop expectations of any progress on R as a goal for MC. As long as R is a goal in MC you cannot really detach

MLCxH - We definitely have no R talks outside of MC. We sometimes don't have R talks inside MC.

I think MC is actually helping me detach. Just not sure it is healthy for me or my relationship with my kids.

It is not just about having talks with W outside MC but about you not thinking about it also. As long as expecting W to work towards R in MC is a goal, detaching will be difficult.

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Originally Posted by MLCxH
It is not just about having talks with W outside MC but about you not thinking about it also. As long as expecting W to work towards R in MC is a goal, detaching will be difficult.

MLCxH - Thank you. You (and the others responding) are right.

I am too focused on the direction my W is taking, and letting it stir up frustration and anger. "Just make up your mind!" has wormed its way into my brain.

I have a question though: The advice is "only go to MC if you are working on the MR". What is the reason for this advice?

A) To protect the LBS from the same mistakes we always make (i.e., a firm line in the sand we should never cross, because we don't have the emotional resiliency to handle what is likely to happen if we do cross the line).

- or -

B) Even if the LBS is fully detached, there is no value in going

- or -

C) other

I get hung up on "working on the MR" because it feels like an exercise in mind-reading.

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Originally Posted by IronWill
Originally Posted by unchien
IW - I certainly feel ganged up on at times.

The threatening undertone of a custody battle is ever-present. I can't just drop MC right now. I think it would be unwise.

However, I can go into it understanding it is what it is. It is not MC. As LH19 put it, this is "Child Safety Class" for now until my W shows me otherwise.


I know it might seem like that, but it's only bc we see what you're going through emotionally and we all know it [censored]. Big time.

There are many sides to every individual's story. We see your side of it but I'm sure there are many nuances that are not shared here. You know what's best in regards to your kids - you seem like a great dad - and if you need to do that to secure time with them then that's what you need to do.

I would consider putting any thoughts of Recon or her changing her tune in MC (at least regarding the old MR) on the back burner. Too little time has passed. Trust me - I'm going on month 12 and it's only slightly stabilized. Sort of, sometimes.

I would recommend more detachment and getting much stronger if this "MC" is to continue. Prepare for a BD every session - you'll be much better off.

Like you told me - prevent her from sending you reeling as much as possible.

Stay strong, man! smile

Thanks IW for reeling me back in =)

My frustration is in the waffling. I feel like there are 3 paths: D, MR 2.0, and continued S/Limbo. The absolute worst is the last one. The other 2 I know I can deal with. I just want to get moving on with life sometimes.

I need to refocus on meditation, perhaps increase the time. It is helping, but the last few days sent me reeling a bit and I need to regain my focus.

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U,

I feel like we have answered this several times so I am going to flip it on you and ask what are the advantages of going to MC when the WW is clearly not working on the marriage?

I think one of your problems is you get to caught up in anything you view as a positive sign from your W. Your suggested MC so you viewed that as a positive sign when clearly so far it is not the case. When your W claimed she was upset she didn't get a letter you were never able to let that go as just another thing for her to complain about.

You have to try to get to a place where you say this is BS. I'm done. I am a great father, I am a great human being. Did I make mistakes? Sure did because I'm fuching human. If you want to actively work on the marriage then I will continue with MC. If not then I'm not attending anymore. Take some time and let me know.

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Originally Posted by unchien
Originally Posted by MLCxH
It is not just about having talks with W outside MC but about you not thinking about it also. As long as expecting W to work towards R in MC is a goal, detaching will be difficult.

MLCxH - Thank you. You (and the others responding) are right.


You are most welcome. Don't be too hard on yourself . Most of us have all been (or are) in this situation and there is a big difference in the difficulty between knowing what is the right thing to do and actually doing it given the emotions involved


Originally Posted by unchien

I have a question though: The advice is "only go to MC if you are working on the MR". What is the reason for this advice?


The other vets can probably answer this better because my thoughts are similar to yours on this. My ex-W did not want to do MC but if she had asked I would have gone. The caveat is that I would have wanted to see some benefit from it. In your case you had mentioned it helped with communication which was probably a good reason to do it. The concern I have seen in your sitch is that you have expectations from your wife in MC. You need to understand that you have no control over her actions and trying to set expectations will only drive you crazy emotionally. Being in MC and not expecting to work on the MR is again difficult to implement which puts you in a catch 22 situation


Originally Posted by unchien

My frustration is in the waffling. I feel like there are 3 paths: D, MR 2.0, and continued S/Limbo. The absolute worst is the last one. The other 2 I know I can deal with. I just want to get moving on with life sometimes.


D - the decision is final and you move on but clearly you are not at the point where you want to file and your W does not seem to be in a rush to either.

MR2.0 - this is not a path now. At least till your W decides it is a path

continued S/limbo: Since you are not planning to file for D, this is really your only option right? Yes, it [censored] but you can also look at it as a gift of time.

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Hey U, I agree with you about limbo/s it is by far the worst. Even if you make changes and take control of all other aspects of your life, we still feel powerless while in limbo.

Iím with LH here. Although my S has been only 3 months, I got to a point where I am done waiting around to see what happens and want to get past this part of my life, on to the next chapter. If W can make some desperately needed changes which are conditional for MR 2.0 great. If not no problem. I am done waiting to see and am ready to march onward. It sounds like you are getting close to the same point. Roll with the punches buddy, good luck!


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Originally Posted by unchien
Originally Posted by IronWill
Originally Posted by unchien
IW - I certainly feel ganged up on at times.

The threatening undertone of a custody battle is ever-present. I can't just drop MC right now. I think it would be unwise.

However, I can go into it understanding it is what it is. It is not MC. As LH19 put it, this is "Child Safety Class" for now until my W shows me otherwise.


I know it might seem like that, but it's only bc we see what you're going through emotionally and we all know it [censored]. Big time.

There are many sides to every individual's story. We see your side of it but I'm sure there are many nuances that are not shared here. You know what's best in regards to your kids - you seem like a great dad - and if you need to do that to secure time with them then that's what you need to do.

I would consider putting any thoughts of Recon or her changing her tune in MC (at least regarding the old MR) on the back burner. Too little time has passed. Trust me - I'm going on month 12 and it's only slightly stabilized. Sort of, sometimes.

I would recommend more detachment and getting much stronger if this "MC" is to continue. Prepare for a BD every session - you'll be much better off.

Like you told me - prevent her from sending you reeling as much as possible.

Stay strong, man! smile

Thanks IW for reeling me back in =)

My frustration is in the waffling. I feel like there are 3 paths: D, MR 2.0, and continued S/Limbo. The absolute worst is the last one. The other 2 I know I can deal with. I just want to get moving on with life sometimes.

I need to refocus on meditation, perhaps increase the time. It is helping, but the last few days sent me reeling a bit and I need to regain my focus.


No problem, U. smile

Take a breath. Take 4 deep ones in a row. I do this several times a day when my mind starts spinning and I don't have time for meditation. It helps to center me.

I think they recommend not to go to MC with someone who doesn't want to work on the M because it protects the LBS from repeatedly getting beaten down with a series of mini-BDs spaced out at regular intervals.

It wears on a person, and if your S is truly going through a MLC or depression or whatever, then the time frame required for this to pass (if it does) is much much longer than any of us have anticipated. In order to (maybe perhaps one day far in the future) try to restart a new MR without the LBS getting fed up with being gaslit all the time, the LBS has to do all that is possible to avoid getting triggered, or letting the MLCer see the LBS in a negative light.

I'm viewing my sit differently. I'm buying time by not talking about the MR (which is dead anyway), not initiating conversations, not mind-reading, not questioning Ws actions, and basically just leaving her alone to be herself and think for herself.

Is it what I want to do? Absolutely not. Is it what i have to do to protect myself as much as possible and avoid more BDs while W works her own [censored] out? Absolutely.

If you don't want D and you can't have MR2.0, then you have limbo. It's not really a choice, it is what you are stuck with. For now.

It won't be like this forever. It's too unstable.

I recommend you take yourself out of the equation as much as possible.

I can't help with what to do with kids because I don't have any. But the vets with kids probably would know of other options than MC for securing time with them if that's what you are worried about.

smile

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I feel like those are my 3 paths as well. Limbo does stink, but only if you let it. Have fun with your kids, let go of the outcome of the situation, and be yourself.

I'm not pushing a D right now, even though i've wanted to do so repeatedly the past 3 months. I realized the only reason i wanted to push it was to try and get a reaction from her to wake her up. I'm not ready to just go push it through because i still believe we can have MR2.0. She has literally done nothing to move forward with D. I struggle with the concept of just pushing it through, probably because it isn't what I want. One thing that has hit me recently with the saying "believe nothing they say" can be applied to things in a positive way for my mindset to get through this too.

Example: She says "there is no future for us, I never loved you, and we are best just parting ways forever" I'm just putting it in the file of 'believe nothing she says' because i don't believe that stuff just as I would if she told me I'm worthless and a failure at everything i've every tried. I don't really believe anything she says anyway, but I was choosing to believe things she did say that benefitted my situation and then she would yank the rug out from under me.


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Thanks IW and LB55.

Limbo certainly stinks.

I am much more clear-headed today now thanks to this forum. I need to stop going to MC with any expectations for now. That may mean stopping going altogether. Either way, my expectations were bringing me down.

There are parts of this limbo I enjoy. I am working out like a madman, playing basketball, I built a kitchen table, I meditate, I spend more time after work with friends.

But the parts I don't enjoy are awful: missing my kids. the financial strain. And maybe the one that is hardest to admit here: not feeling loved. On that last one I have made huge progress, but trying to "work things out" with somebody who feels no love for me is really really taxing. It is a fundamental human psychological need to feel loved. That is what we all struggle with.

Originally Posted by LB55
I realized the only reason i wanted to push it was to try and get a reaction from her to wake her up. I'm not ready to just go push it through because i still believe we can have MR2.0. She has literally done nothing to move forward with D. I struggle with the concept of just pushing it through, probably because it isn't what I want.

LB - What I am struggling with is that, more often than not, lately I feel like D is what I want.

I question myself though: Is this just my hurt feelings lashing out?

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Originally Posted by unchien
Thanks IW and LB55.

Limbo certainly stinks.

But the parts I don't enjoy are awful: missing my kids. the financial strain. And maybe the one that is hardest to admit here: not feeling loved. On that last one I have made huge progress, but trying to "work things out" with somebody who feels no love for me is really really taxing. It is a fundamental human psychological need to feel loved. That is what we all struggle with.


Yes this is certainly a difficult thing to deal with. If you weren't in limbo, and finished your D, which of these things would change? Which of them can you change?

Originally Posted by unchien
Originally Posted by LB55
I realized the only reason i wanted to push it was to try and get a reaction from her to wake her up. I'm not ready to just go push it through because i still believe we can have MR2.0. She has literally done nothing to move forward with D. I struggle with the concept of just pushing it through, probably because it isn't what I want.

LB - What I am struggling with is that, more often than not, lately I feel like D is what I want.

I question myself though: Is this just my hurt feelings lashing out?

I am going to remind you that today's feelings won't be tomorrow's feelings for a while yet. By your timeline I am 6 months ahead of you. 4 Months ago I had my lawyer all geared up to just push it through. Then a couple days later I decided to back off. Waste of time and money until I am absolutely ready to do that.

I was and still am quite hurt; and I am quite certain that my desire to push the D through was me lashing out and trying to get her to see that I am willing to do just what she wants. Like in a 'I told you and look what you made happen' kind of a way. Not the best way to handle it. So until you know for sure and are not willing to just stop and change your mind if she said 'hey lets have dinner and talk', exist in limbo, work on yourself, make your kid days the best they can be, and take the time to figure out what you want.


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Originally Posted by LB55

Yes this is certainly a difficult thing to deal with. If you weren't in limbo, and finished your D, which of these things would change? Which of them can you change?

The financial strain would still be there, but likely not as bad as now.

Missing my kids will always be there, not much I can do.

Not feeling loved and supported is the hardest... I have my kids, and a couple close friends. My family of origin is a mess. I have probably mentioned before I am currently estranged from my parents - it is a long story, but fundamentally estranged or not they are not emotionally supportive people. Most of my friends are mutual friends with my W. And/or they have kids and their own busy lives. I was close to some of my W's family, and that tie is severed now.

I realize my small circle of support is my own doing. I put so little effort into relationships outside of my MR.

I spend a lot of my free time alone now. I'm really good at alone time. I have a lot of alone hobbies. I go to the gym, I play basketball, I hang out with my couple close friends when possible. I felt lonelier during the pre-BD months than I do now. But it's still lonely.

So I feel like creating new friendships, meeting new people, being more social. Long-term I'd like to have a loving, supportive partner. I can't change that now.

Originally Posted by LB55

I am going to remind you that today's feelings won't be tomorrow's feelings for a while yet. By your timeline I am 6 months ahead of you. 4 Months ago I had my lawyer all geared up to just push it through. Then a couple days later I decided to back off. Waste of time and money until I am absolutely ready to do that.

I was and still am quite hurt; and I am quite certain that my desire to push the D through was me lashing out and trying to get her to see that I am willing to do just what she wants. Like in a 'I told you and look what you made happen' kind of a way. Not the best way to handle it. So until you know for sure and are not willing to just stop and change your mind if she said 'hey lets have dinner and talk', exist in limbo, work on yourself, make your kid days the best they can be, and take the time to figure out what you want.

I really appreciate your feedback here because I think you understand what I am going through with the safety concerns my W repeatedly brings up.

To be honest, I am really hurt. What has happened with my W surrounding the child safety concerns has really scarred me. Writing that "parenting plan" 4 weeks ago to avoid going to court in order to have overnight with the kids -- I don't know if I will be able to get over it to the point where we could reconcile. Repeatedly talking about child safety keeps opening up the wound.

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Originally Posted by unchien


To be honest, I am really hurt. What has happened with my W surrounding the child safety concerns has really scarred me. Writing that "parenting plan" 4 weeks ago to avoid going to court in order to have overnight with the kids -- I don't know if I will be able to get over it to the point where we could reconcile. Repeatedly talking about child safety keeps opening up the wound.



I hope you are addressing this in your IC sessions?

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Absolutely. It was the focus of IC last week. In the past I have spent more energy in IC on ďwhat to doĒ instead of ďwhat am I feelingĒ

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Time for a new thread:

Separated and sorting #2

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