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As I read through the forums on Divorce Busting, I like to grab the nuggets of gold and share.

My advise, commit to personal growth. What you judge in others, you condemn in yourself. Take all the focus off of your spouse and address your own issues. How hard is it to change your own behavior? Now think how hard (almost impossible) to change someone else.

Set goals for the future and keep taking steps to get there. Read about boundaries and learn how to set and enforce them. Be in the present. Let go of the past and do not fear the future. Get in alignment with your core values. Try new ways of interacting. Learn ways of being more attractive, especially in your behavior.

If you have kids, commit to being the best parent ever. Frequent and equal contact with both parents is important. You are responsible for your relationship with your kids. Let your spouse be responsible for their relationship with the kids. Learn new ways of parenting. Lots of great books out there. Most of the new tools dealing with spouse will also help in parenting.

The best way to respond to a particular event? Initially, the best action to take is no action. Do your homework here. Do not react emotionally. Stay neutral. Seek wise council here. Evaluate all the different options and the possible outcomes of each. Challenge your current beliefs. Make a choice and live with the consequences, good or bad. Things are predictable. Read and read and read. Get mentally ahead of your spouse in the whole process ASAP, they are ahead right now.



As far as your spouse, until you have enough info to prove this wrong, assume there is another person (Hint:This is your first 180). Do not reveal anything about what you know and how you found out. "We both know that is a lie." is a great way to deal with any deception.



I wish everyone well during these difficult times. Remember that everything will be OK no matter what the WAS chooses.

"You can handle it"-Coach



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Link to a recap of my sitch and books I found useful


"What is best for my kids is best for me"
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Originally Posted by Lostforwords
I like this switch in the board. Instead of focusing on dealing with our spouses...instead we are focusing on the changes within ourselves. Very deep..

My thoughts on the LBS stages;

Denial- Without a doubt the first phase. It could be as simple as denying that there is something wrong or amiss. Eventually turning to denial that it is actually happening to us, denying our part in everything, and the worse part.....denying our inner self's to come out. Maybe because we don't know how.....but at the point everything is caused by some outside catalyst. Sounds very MLC like to me?

Bargaining-I put this here instead of after anger because I feel the deep seated thought out anger is yet to come. We have felt the quick anger brought on by emotional pain and trauma, but not that thought out and reviewed anger that is to come. So we beg, plead, whatever it takes (during this stage I actually saw the positive side of an open marriage...granted my situation is only slightly different...LOL). We will do whatever it takes to save the marriage, yet haven't realized that the marriage is gone. dead! Fini!

Anger-This stage is third...why you ask? At this point our bargaining, selling of our soul, absolutely nothing has had the expected results. So we feel deep down anger and conviction that we are right...they are wrong....and We will win no matter who loses! This very well might be the hardest stage for anybody going through this. I have been scanning lightly in newcomers and see so many of that boards "mentors" stuck themselves in this stage. Trying to control what is uncontrollable out of anger and not based on sound decision.

Depression-At this point the energy involved with our anger is used up. We are burnt out......and now we are ALONE. Yes...we have been alone in the physical sense for some time, but the bucket is finally empty.

Resentment-Slightly different than anger.....more identified with long periods of being OK....then boom.....anger comes bursting back in very brief, but extremely intense blasts. I think it is almost a triggered response...a missed ball game, long weekend with a sick child, or coming up short on a mortgage payment. A catalyst disturbs the beast sleeping within.

Acceptance-I place this before forgiveness because I feel you have to accept the marriage is done before you can forgive the damage it's death has caused. At this point you know that you are alone. The resentment is gone because you accept that triggers from resentment are just yours alone to deal with. This is also a great time for personal growth. Confidence that you will survive on your own, that you can do thing yourself, and that the sun will still rise tomorrow.

Self-growth-Regaining on confidence continued. New perspective of the things around you. Constant questioning...of yourself and the principles we follow. At this point anything is possible....for ourselves.

Forgiveness-At this point you can forgive yourself for your part in the demise of the marriage. You can also see the pain the process has caused our spouse. The knowledge that neither party has really come out of this unscathed is apparent. You will know at this point that the journey was beneficial for both parties as long as neither got tripped up in their respective journeys. Maybe the marriage is renewed...maybe not.

Renewal-The world is different (I know that I see it differently). We are almost reborn to a life that that has unlimited potential. Things that were once taken for granted are cherished...and things thought essential are no longer that important. We are finally able to cash in on the independent self that we have found within ourselves.

Living again-At this point we move on, piece, whatever hand we have been dealt. Everything behind will be seen with compassion for the pain it caused and the enlightenment about ourselves that we achieved.

Just my $0.02


"What is best for my kids is best for me"
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Originally Posted by Bworl
stage One - Frickin' H3ll

Can't eat, can't sleep. Can't listen to music, can't watch movies. Obsessed with knowing everything that your spouse is doing. Hang on every word your spouse speaks. Write or verbalize numerous pledges to become a better person. Read everything you can on the sanctity of marriage and how to save a marriage, and actually think there is something to be gained by sharing all of it with your spouse. Willing to appeal to any and all friends and family in an effort to "reach" your spouse. Emotions run the gamut: fear, anger, depression, anxiety, hopelessness.


Stage Two - A little knowledge is a dangerous thing.. At some point a little bit of knowledge finally creeps into the picture. May come thru a friend or family member, or maybe something you've been reading. You realize the first two fundamental truths - 1) You're not perfect, and 2) You can't control what another person chooses to do.

In this stage we start to try to improve ourselves, but it's mostly improvement done to try to win our spouses affection. We stop pressuring, we stop pleading, begging, etc, and try being nice and giving them a little space.

Unfortunately, our spouse responds to the change by doing or saying something nice or thoughtful back to us. This is unfortunate because we jump at the crumb thrown our way and reach out again, get summarily rejected, and generally wind up back in stage one again.


Stage Three - "Fool Me once, Shame on You..."
After a period of time working thru stage one again, we move on to this stage where we are now a little wiser to the ways of the MLC spouse. We begin to understand that niceness CAN lead to niceness in return, but that it does NOT change how our spouse feels fundamentally.

We renew our focus on ourselves, this time with less of the motivation coming from our desire to impress our spouse and more of it coming from a genuine desire to rediscover the person we always hoped we would be. We begin to venture out into the world again, start focusing a bit better on work and friends.

We are less inclined to obssess about our spouse, but it's still there. Ocasionally it rears it's head, usually when we are surprised with another hurtful revelation, and this can still send us back to stage one or two for a refresher course.

Two key things happen here. First, we actually begin to see some personal progress that we feel good about. Secondly, that progress establishes a determination that will fuel us forward.


Stage Four - "How Long Does It Take Again to Establish a New Habit?"
Practice does not always make perfect, but regular practice does eventually establish a habit. Making progress in ourselves causes us to want to make more progress. We begin remembering things we always thought we would do or try and realize that we now have that opportunity. Slowly but surely we begin chipping away at the rust that had accumulated on the person we once were, and we begin to like the return of the old, energetic self.

We still hold out hope that our spouse will be a part of our life again. But we've also reached a point of honesty and realized that our relationship had become something less than what it once was. We can see that both spouses had let hurts, disappointments, and laziness diminish the love and commitment that we started out with. We acknowledge inside ourselves that both of us truly had much that needed worked on and improved.

Despite the love we still have for our spouse, we've begun to entertain the notion that it might just be possible to still have a full and meaningful life, even if they choose to never return.






These are just some of my weird thoughts about the process, and of course they come from my experiences, which are not necessarily the same as others.



Bill


Last edited by job; 11/01/19 10:54 PM. Reason: edited language

"What is best for my kids is best for me"
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Originally Posted by DiamondGirl
Lessons I have learned (or am in the process of learning):

~ That I can only control 3 things in life: My thoughts, My actions, My words

~ That others are responsible for their own choices and life paths. I may impact them by my choices, but I should not own or take on theirs as my own (if that makes any sense LOL)

~ That a relationship is not a merging of two people to completion, but two individuals intertwining *at points* to complement each other's life paths

~ That Boundaries are my protection for the inner me (the real me)

~ That when I react to something someone does or says it is a reflection of my ego reacting, not my inner self which knows ME and what is true and that I need to give the inner self time to communicate that to me

~ That happiness and security comes from within and is not dependant on my marital status or companion

~ That where I fear is usually the universe's pointer to something I need to work on in myself

~ That there is someone/thing higher than myself who communicates to (and guides me) through my inner self, if I allow myself to get quiet and still enough to listen

~ That to change a way someone is treating me if it is unacceptable, I must first change myself and my way of interacting with them

~ That if something I'm doing feels uncomfortable at the moment, it just may be a sign that I'm doing something right; comfortable = back in a rut

~ That feelings are transient and not fatal; it's the way you deal with them that matters

~ That what you need is available to you, when you truly need it, and if it seems absent you have to ask for it. If it doesn't appear, it means you have more work to do in order to have it come to you, or it may actually be a "want" not a need. (not sure if that makes sense)


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Originally Posted by Cadet

Particularly good michelle weiner-davis questions we all need to ask ourselves:

What was your role in this ? The break down of the marriage?
How did you play a part in that ?
What do you accept as your shortcomings ?
What is MLC fluff ?
What "stung"
How do you envision your future?
Are you willing to sell yourself just to have your marriage back ?
What are YOU worth as a person?
Can your soul be replaced if you give it away for a relationship ?
who are YOU ? Don't give me Father, Husband, and all of that stuff either.. YOU !! ????
How can you be anything for anybody if you don;t know you?
What values do YOU own, if you sacrifice them ?
When you can answer all of those....then you will know where your line in the sand is....

What are your limits ?
What is your tolerance ?
What defines you ?
What are your fears?
What are your strengths?



"What is best for my kids is best for me"
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Originally Posted by HeartsBlessing
I stayed on the board for over 2 years or two dispensing help, wisdom, and getting help for myself.


I'm one of the success stories that made it out. My husband and I did make it out of this darkness called MLC;



Many people tried to fit their situations into the time frames that I posted, and I'd tried and tried to remind people that every person was and is different, and the time frames are not the same. Maybe I was wrong for even posting times, when the focus should have been solely on the descriptions.
I mean everything takes TIME..and that's what you've got when you don't have anything else for the time being.


People, you must remember to work on yourselves, forget your WAS for the time being; there will be time to get to that later. There's a time and season for everything.

For now you're on a path that's not of your own making; what you do with it is up to YOU!

This is a GROWING time for all of you; giving you the freedom to choose how your life will go from now on. It's also a time of CHANGE; whether you like it or not.

I may not remember it all, anymore, but I still understand how it is.

From where I sit now; I'm GLAD for what I endured; as it made ME a better person, never mind what happened to my husband.

And took a LONG time to get there, let me tell you.

Life has NO guarantees, so make the most of the opportunity that has presented itself. It'a ALL in the attitude, ladies and gentlemen.

Listen to your mentors; pay attention to the advice they give, they KNOW what they are talking about; they are drawing on HARD experience. You will be in their place before you know it, mark my word. smile



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Originally Posted by Cadet
I named myself Old Pilot


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Originally Posted by AnotherStander
Keep in mind your W is not a part of your support group. Don't solicit her advise, just make your decision based on what is best for you and inform her afterwards. If she rants and raves then tell her "this wasn't your decision to make and I am not looking to you for support, nor am I looking to you for criticism. I am simply keeping you informed of what is going on." Then leave the room.


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Originally Posted by Gekko
I have been enjoying my days with the kids immensely and being very productive on my days off. Life has been full.

The settlement with W is coming along and we are down to some finer points that hopefully can be worked out over the next few weeks. I would like to have a signed agreement before the end of the year. I have long since moved on in my head and heart, and I want it formalized legally.

I remain cordial and all-business with the W. I am not quite as short and frosty as i have been, so there is some progress there. We will always have an R to some degree because of the kids. The way things unfold and the temperature of the R in the future is unknown. I know some vets have decent R's with the ex. Every dynamic is different. Something in the cordial to friendly zone is my goal for the kids sake and yes for my own sake as well. It's not healthy to harbor resentment. The more I have focused on the beauty of the present, and the horizon ahead, the less i think about W's past behavior. And my own for that matter. I've accepted my flaws and my role and am going to continue to work to be a better man.

It's actually a fun process.


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Quote
But do i confront her based only on this gut feeling that i have? I have nothing else.
Originally Posted by hoosjim


IMO you can't "confront" her based on your gut alone. Heck, even when you have proof.. even rock solid proof... a WW will often just deny it ("Who are you going to believe, me or your lying eyes?") or try to argue around it or in some way put it back on you ("You SPIED on me!!"). I've been through it... I know.. and i've seen others here go through it as well. That's why, if you think you need it and can handle it, you get your proof, but then you never, NEVER share with her exactly what you know (because she'll just argue points about it or flat out deny it) or how you got it (because then a) she'll try to turn it back on you for snooping/spying and b) it burns that source of intel if you need it in the future.) Best thing is to just get the intel/data you need... and then stop looking, because you already know what you need to know. Then, when you confront her, you need only say "I know. I wont have an open marriage. I want you out". If you need to drop the odd detail (such as OM's name, or whatever, it probably doesn't matter) but the more detail you offer up the more you invite discussion/denial, which is completely unproductive, and the more you make it about HER and not about your boundaries... which is what you need to establish and enforce. You can probably establish such boundaries even without knowing for sure if she is in an A: "W, I know you have been spending alot of social time on your own... i don't know what you are doing, but I won't live in an open marriage or "share" you", but You obviously have a bit more weight on your side if you have some proof of infidelity, as well as, obviously, having been alerted to the sitch so you can be "on guard" (read the threads on boundaries for help, here... I was pretty bad at it initially.)

In my case, I flat out caught my W with a burner phone. Twice. Once when she had not turned off the buzzer, left it visible, and OM called her on it when i was standing right there and i picked it up. She had denials both times, even though what she was doing was clear.

I also faced denials when she had been up to no good and i knew she had been. I eventually learned that there was no point in continually policing/confronting her, and established my boundaries that i wouldn't share her or be in an open marriage. Later on, when she got caught continuing to contact OM (and, actually, after nearly an hour of sitting silent together in a car in the park, admitting/confessing to it) I indicated i was going to walk, and she offered to restart counselling, destroy the burner phone, and "no contact" OM (which she had already kind sort committed to before-- like i said at first i was not great at formulating/stating/enforcing boundaries. Even thereafter, it turned out she had been entertaining regular calls from OM at work, even as they were not "seeing" each other... a situation i would not have found out about had i not kept the options open on some of my surveillance by keeping details from her.

At any rate, Readers Digest version: If you think you can handle it, my thinking is that it is best to know, but, once you know, establish your boundaries (and enforce them, when appropriate) and stop looking. Keep the option open to spot check her if she indicates the A is over and/or otherwise wants to stay in the house or if she otherwise indicates she wants to come back to marriage and work on the MR but, otherwise, you know she cheated on you and the MR is, for the time being, over. Once you know that, there is no further reason to check on her unless you suspect she is violating a boundary or if she wants to "come back" and you need to spot check her.


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