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Originally Posted by unchien
Journal -

I'm spending some time trying to recalibrate after yesterday, and focus on what's important.

I appreciate the honesty my W brought to MC yesterday. She is not ready to work on the MR.

She admitted she has individual issues to work on in IC, and lately her IC sessions have focused on separation issues (child safety, etc.) rather than personal work. She wants to focus on herself again and processing what happened in our MR. She said she's not ready to share her feelings about what happened prior to our separation - in particular when I pulled the car over in March and she feared for her life.

I don't feel as blamed as I did 2 months ago. I did things I regret. Whether they should be called abuse I don't know, but I know I am changing into a person who would not make those same decisions (like pulling the car over).

I am slightly more accepting of limbo today. I feel less urgency. I feel like I got more from my W than "I need time and space." I have a healthy dose of skepticism mixed in, but I can accept that today she is not ready to dive deep.

Even if my W and I can get over this first hurdle, there are other issues that would need to be addressed. It's a long road ahead either way.

Financially it is easy to get triggered. But quite honestly I think it's best for everyone involved to have a clear picture of the financial implications either way. So I am okay with that piece.



I think it's a good thing you are taking a break from MC to work on yourself, U. W had the wherewithal to realize that it is pointless to continue if you aren't working on the R. It would be a completely new R at this point at any rate - so maybe this will help you to see if a new R is possible, or is even something that you want.

The limbo part - that comes and goes in waves. Enjoy the calm periods and work to make them last as long as possible. See if you can practice trying not to react if you have an interaction initiated by W. I had a lot of success with this for a good 4 or 5 months before falling off the wagon last week - but it definitely is possible.

Everyone makes mistakes, nobody is perfect. Dont forget to forgive yourself too. We are all trying to be the best humans we can. Sometimes we fall - I do, often - but it's what happens after we fall that matters.

Take care man

Last edited by IronWill; 08/13/19 08:01 PM.
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Originally Posted by IronWill
Dont forget to forgive yourself too. We are all trying to be the best humans we can. Sometimes we fall - I do, often - but it's what happens after we fall that matters.

Self compassion is a huge component to this process, I agree.

Meditation and emotional awareness have helped guide me towards self-compassion. I haven't found books to be very successful in this area.

I do hope that we are finally reaching some equilibrium in the separation where the conflict over logistics dies down, and we can each focus on the next steps in our journey.

I definitely feel slightly more positive about the chances we might R. Perhaps we may be able to address my W's concerns with the MR. At the same time, I sense myself drifting away from the MR. Because I have doubts we would address my concerns about the MR effectively, whether my W would be receptive to change on her part. I wonder through this process if my personal growth will lead me to a place where we are not compatible. It feels that way much of the time.

One day at a time though.

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Originally Posted by unchien

Meditation and emotional awareness have helped guide me towards self-compassion. I haven't found books to be very successful in this area.


Yeah it is difficult to find a book that can teach you these things. The exception to this, at least for me, was E Tolle. It really changed the entire way I perceive reality.

I'm not kidding.

If you get the chance - I would highly recommend to read first The Power of Now, and then The New Earth. For me it was like a light switch moment where I suddenly "got it".

Take your time reading them, if you do. I have a tendency to speed read, so my second time around I am going back and re-reading paragraphs and parts I find insightful (there are a lot). Pages 35-40 in TPoN are screenshotted and saved on my phone. I have probably referred to them a hundred times when I feel myself spiraling.

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Thanks IW. I bought so many books the last 4 months that I've taken a break. I'm going to put TPoN at the top of my list.

I'm feeling kind of lousy lately. Because I've committed to PMA I didn't really notice it, but I realize I've been faking the PMA a bit. Melancholy is probably the right word.

Part of this is just missing the heck out of my kids.

I went to dinner with a friend who lives out of state last night. He is D'd with 3 kids and has rebuilt his personal life. He has really helped me dig out of the personal hole I was in back in April. We talked about my W wanting to focus on IC right now, that she is not ready to talk about the deeper emotional issues with me right now.

My friend pointed out that I can't be expected to wait around forever. His situation was not exactly the same as mine. His W was bored, said she didn't know what she wanted, and they lived in the same house. She refused MC. Eventually my friend said he couldn't do it anymore and they joint filed for D amicably. Later on they had a big custody battle where she accused him of abuse and called CPS on him several times (for no reason at all).

I mentioned that I worry there will never be a trigger event to push me along. If we had a big blow-up fight, or found out she had a PA, or she did something crazy with the kids like turning them against me -- it would be so much more clear-cut what to do (for me). But that's what happened with him. He gave her a few months, decided she was not willing to work on it, and moved on. They attempted a couple reconciliations down the road, but his XW wouldn't commit to trying.

He got me thinking that I have been lying to myself a little bit. I'm living on my own, kind of enjoying the bachelor lifestyle of having things in my house my way, not reporting to anybody. It's kind of nice. But it's still limbo. I'm not really building a life. I'm doing stuff with friends, going to work, working on myself, but I'm still in a holding pattern with my W. This is not my long-term life. I need a plan in place, I need to own my life. I need a timeline, if only in my head.

There has been some improvement with my W since the pre-BD days. We can actually discuss difficult subjects (kids, finances) without emotion taking over (especially on her side). It's a shame we can not hit rewind now and go back 3 years with out updated skill sets... but such is life.

I respect that my W shared in MC that she is not ready to do deeper couples work. Her identification with being abused is really really strong. I've talked about this at length on my posts. I don't believe I was an abusive monster at the time, and I certainly have changed now. But I will have an open conversation with her in MC if she is willing to share. I own my responsibility for things that have happened.

I just don't know if it is healthy for me to be waiting, or if this is even "fixable". The abuse narrative runs strong. If it is really true then for her own well-being (and mine as well) we honestly should split. Does she think of a path to R as she heals and I am completely penitent? Is that really healthy for me? It is not my narrative. But her narrative is so strong that I feel there is no room for my story. I mentioned this in MC in a roundabout way - I said I didn't think we could work on the MR issues that I saw until my W was prepared to be more vulnerable.

Maybe this is just a simple emotional recalibration, recognizing I was riding a little too high with the PMA and GAL and feeling good about things for awhile.

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Originally Posted by unchien

I'm feeling kind of lousy lately. Because I've committed to PMA I didn't really notice it, but I realize I've been faking the PMA a bit. Melancholy is probably the right word.

Part of this is just missing the heck out of my kids.


I'm sorry you are feeling lousy, U. This whole situation [censored] - theres no shortcuts around it. I remember feeling like you did about 3 months ago and then it all crashed down on me at once. It's part of the emotional rollercoaster. I still feel it, been in a rough state now for over a week and a half. This is the longest it's been since BD, and I'm trying like hell to cope with it best I can.

Originally Posted by Unchien

We talked about my W wanting to focus on IC right now, that she is not ready to talk about the deeper emotional issues with me right now.

My friend pointed out that I can't be expected to wait around forever. His situation was not exactly the same as mine.


As I always think to myself: "Consider the source."

I'm glad your friend helped you out, and you are lucky to have support like that. But... who is expecting you to not wait forever? You? Him? Society?

I have heard an LBS who stands waits about 12-18 months for their S. And someone in MLC takes about 2-2.5 years to start to come out of it, IF they come out of it. So that's the kind of timeline we are looking at - maybe.

You can wait (or not wait) as long as you want. It's your life, it's your situation, not your friends'. I wouldn't feel pressured to listen to anyone or society about expectations of what you should or shouldn't be doing.

It is nice that he said that and maybe he meant it in a good supportive way. But the choice is yours smile

Originally Posted by Unchien

I mentioned that I worry there will never be a trigger event to push me along. If we had a big blow-up fight, or found out she had a PA, or she did something crazy with the kids like turning them against me -- it would be so much more clear-cut what to do (for me). But that's what happened with him. He gave her a few months, decided she was not willing to work on it, and moved on. They attempted a couple reconciliations down the road, but his XW wouldn't commit to trying.

He got me thinking that I have been lying to myself a little bit. I'm living on my own, kind of enjoying the bachelor lifestyle of having things in my house my way, not reporting to anybody. It's kind of nice. But it's still limbo. I'm not really building a life. I'm doing stuff with friends, going to work, working on myself, but I'm still in a holding pattern with my W. This is not my long-term life. I need a plan in place, I need to own my life. I need a timeline, if only in my head.

There has been some improvement with my W since the pre-BD days. We can actually discuss difficult subjects (kids, finances) without emotion taking over (especially on her side). It's a shame we can not hit rewind now and go back 3 years with out updated skill sets... but such is life.


Everyone's situation is different. What works or didn't work for him has no bearing on your R. Its good to get other opinions, and it's good to vent to friends out of frustrationand anger or sadness, but as I said above, it's your sit, not his.

If theres been improvement with W, even if its modest - that's a good thing! Be glad for that smile

I know you need a plan in place - I got that about you the first time I read your sit smile but you cannot really plan out limbo, it just happens. So I think it's more doing things for yourself so you can see what happens or what you might do after this period of transition is complete.

Originally Posted by Unchien

I respect that my W shared in MC that she is not ready to do deeper couples work.


I agree that she isn't. My W is not either. That will take quite some time. Since I have decided to stand I'm willing to let that time pass for now. I'm not eager to get into any other R - it would just be a rebound thing at this point anyway and I'd bring the same problems into it, you know?

Quote

I just don't know if it is healthy for me to be waiting, or if this is even "fixable". The abuse narrative runs strong. If it is really true then for her own well-being (and mine as well) we honestly should split. Does she think of a path to R as she heals and I am completely penitent? Is that really healthy for me?


Since shes operating on emotional thinking and you are operating on logical thinking, I wouldn't expect these two lines of thought to converge until a later time. Unfortunately I can't give much help here as i am in a similar situation as far as it being "fixable". I also have to wait and see.

Originally Posted by Unchien

Maybe this is just a simple emotional recalibration, recognizing I was riding a little too high with the PMA and GAL and feeling good about things for awhile.


It's ok, this is normal. I'm going through it too. It will pass again, remember to breathe, and take care of yourself.

Stay strong, buddy

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Thanks IW.

What I could have said more clearly is I worry I am operating in an "out of sight, out of mind" mentality right now. It's really easy to ignore the elephant in the room, that this situation is not really sustainable, and perhaps I am not addressing things that I need to address.

It's almost as if I over-corrected from "I need to have clear expectations" all the way to "I have zero expectations and will just float along here." Zero expectations are okay, but floating along is not okay.

My friend is an engineer (just like me) and very logically oriented. I don't feel like I need to follow his advice, but he did help me consider that I may be operating on auto-pilot.

Compared to a few months ago, I don't have the same impulse to create a plan with a definite timeline. It's more that I just want to make sure I am not operating without any plan at all. I need to be fair to myself. Whether or not my W needs 12 months, 24 months, or 10 years, my needs are important too. Zero expectations on where she will be at any time, but also I need to be compassionate towards myself and what I need.

This spike in emotional awareness has really caused me to drop off my old patterns of logical thinking. I intentionally and deliberately try to make more emotionally-based decisions now. However, that requires constant awareness of my emotional state, so I am not in pure "reactive" mode. It's not that I avoid logical thinking, but so much of my logical thinking in the past was based on wanting to control outcomes rather than actually make good decisions.

One thing I can say is it feels absolutely incredible to more in tune with my emotions. Even the negative ones.

I think I discussed in a prior post how I was worried about the impulse to start a new relationship. One thing I have realized is what I really miss is connection. It's not about romantic relationships, it's just basic human connection. That is something I can work on right now.

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Hey U,

I know the out of sight out of mind feeling well. I actually enjoy it because it feels like I am detaching well if I donít have thoughts of W.

In regards to the timeline, I know we all logical think ďokay Iím going to hold the fort for x amount of time before moving onĒ. But it very well might be the case that before your logical timeline runs out, that you emotionally will have a feeling of being done. And I think thatís okay.

Iíve started dating and while I have no intention of having a serious relationship for now, if I were to feel very emotionally attached toward another woman and we get along really well, I donít think I would have trouble becoming more serious. Iím trying to not plan things out logistically and just go with the flow. Doing things and interacting with people who make me happy.


Me: 26 W:26
T:6 M:1 S: 1
BD: 3/26/19
DBing: 4/12/19
Separation: 5/20/19
I filed: 8/7/19
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It's an interesting discussion to have, U. It's different for everyone...

After the first session in a month with my IC yesterday, she determined accurately that I am still in significant shock from what happened over the past 12 months. We had been discussing plans and goals for me in the future, and I told her that I was not comfortable making any major life decisions while I am in this state. She then went on to say that of course i would feel this way, it had been over 21 years and for the R to end suddenly like that it would have that effect.

I likened it much to the PTSD i experienced in my upbringing, and then again in the military following a search and rescue mission we did that left severe emotional scars. IC said that these kinds of traumatic events can also leave emotional scarring - much like a real scar, and the people we seek afterwards can be an attempt to simply alleviate the suffering, rather than someone with whom we could make a real connection.

My melancholy feels much like what you describe, except everything has a dull, flat quality to it. There is life there, and it does peek out in moments of clarity, but the rest is shrouded in a numbness-inducing haze that obscures everything. I dont know if I can describe it more clearly than that.

The only way to deal with it is to go through it.

I wish I had better advice to give - but I'm still struggling. If it helps, know that you're not alone in this.

Stay strong man

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IW - Thanks for the reply. Sometimes I find myself riffing off your responses because you always kickstart interesting new thoughts for me.

I can't imagine what you have gone through with PTSD. You are tackling a lot all at once - your upbringing, your military experiences, your MR. I have incredible respect for how you are managing your struggle... it is not easy.

I think you are right about the impact of emotional scars affecting the connections we seek in our lives. In my case, and I say this with some shame, I'm pretty sure I "accepted" previous romantic relationships mostly on the basis that the girl liked me. That female acceptance mattered a lot. My W felt different when we met, we were very good friends for awhile, and the connection ran deeper. But I recognize I fell into the same pattern of feeling inferior, and going down that NG path which leads to emotional distance.

Anyways I've been thinking a lot lately about one thing that you mentioned: Connection.

Humans are tribal creatures. We want to connect. Combine the American nuclear family ideal with NGS and you have a lot of H's like myself closing off their lives. We lose connection. We center our entire lives around our family and house and our W and kids. We shut out our friendships, our outside world, our masculinity, our individuality. It's no wonder our own W's find us emotionally distant and dull, while at the same time we try harder and harder and harder to please.

I find myself craving connection. Not a partner necessarily (I was confused about this a couple weeks ago). I talk to strangers. I text friends more. I go out and do more things. I live more deliberately -- meaning I don't feel like every day is life or death, but I have turned off auto-pilot as much as I can. It's a more mindful way to live. Life feels like a place of abundance for the most part.

And then I think of my kids, and how I miss them, and how I worry we are already drifting apart. And I can't feel anything other than deep sorrow about it right now. I have them this weekend, and I am going to live it to the fullest with them. Adjusting to single fatherhood is going to take time, and it's really something I am struggling with. I feel shut out of their lives sometimes... but that's a very passive, victim-like role to take.

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Originally Posted by unchien
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And then I think of my kids, and how I miss them, and how I worry we are already drifting apart. And I can't feel anything other than deep sorrow about it right now. I have them this weekend, and I am going to live it to the fullest with them. Adjusting to single fatherhood is going to take time, and it's really something I am struggling with. I feel shut out of their lives sometimes... but that's a very passive, victim-like role to take.


How much time do you get with the kids? If it is less than 40% and you feel you are drifting apart from your kids, why are you not negotiating for more time with them?

Get as much personal work done when you don't have the kids and when you do have them dedicate a LOT more time to them without distractions. That way even if you have them for only 40% of the time, you can effectively still spend 60-70% of the time you used to spend with them when they lived with you 100% of the time

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