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Hi Paco

I am sorry you are here. I hope you are able to find comfort in the words of the many people here with you. You will find good, kind hearted people here who are rooting for you.

I am two years post breakdown and I can tell you it is a long and painful road. But it will get easier. Follow the lessons you learn here, GAL, 180 and most importantly stay strong.

Your list is good, but a couple of things that helped me:

1. Meditate - this helps with the sleepless nights, and also overtime, you'll learn how to be an observer of your feelings. Everything you're feeling is valid, but it is important not to let them take over. Learning to observe them helps put things in perspective.
2. Journal - offline or online, either will help. This will help structure the thoughts that go round and round in your head. Once you have it on paper (or on screen) read it as if it were someone else's story. The structure will help you to detach and look at things rationally.
3. Read other peoples thread. Respond. Even if it's just to say 'I'm here and I'm listening'. Knowing that there is someone else out there who gets you matters more than you know.
4. As AS said, find some GAL activities that involve other people. Join groups - climbing, running clubs. Get out of your comfort zone and when you're there force yourself to be present. Being present is one I still struggle with. Sometimes I can be out with people and still feel separate from them.

You asked a question about how to plan childcare without it seeming like pursuing. I find that (forcing) a kind of 'colleague' like friendliness worked best with my H. Try sending a message like "Hi - I am going to be in Madrid on xxx and would like to spend some time with S6 and S1. I would like to take them for one or two of the days. What days would work best for the children ". No pressure. Never any mention of also seeing her. Just a simple request to see the children. If she says no say, "Thank you. It would have been great to see them. Maybe next time". If she says "sure, then suggests some dates" respond with a simple "Perfect. Thanks. It will be great to see them".

Make your messages about your children. Not her. Never her. You (have to act like you) don't care if you see her or not. You can be friendly, maybe throw in a "hope you're well" or "have a great day" but nothing more personal than that. If there's something more regular, then send a "Hi W. I would like to sort out the childcare arrangements for the next few months. I can be in Madrid on the following days and would like to see the children. Do these days work?".

Your aim right now isn't to R. It is to become a better you and to build a co-operative co-parenting relationship. She needs to work through her own stuff. And she will do this according to her own timeline. Use the time wisely so that should she wish to come back, then you will be a better man then when she left. And if she doesn't come back, then you will still be a better man then when she left.

I hope that's helped.


W40 (me), H40
M14, Together 16
D12, D9

BD Oct 17
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Hi FlySolo, AS

Thanks a lot for the nice advice! Yes I am also working on doing GAL activities that involve more people!

I have learnt the hard way the priority system for her is very different to what I thought mattered but I am going to be a rock on this, make me a better man and a better human being in general. Keeping a journal is something I have seen many people recommend, it helps you cope with feelings and also makes you a better speaker of your mind. I will do so!

I had a bad day today, packing up for the trip to Spain I found the wedding ring and it was a tough moment, I ended up doing push-ups until my arms were hurting... what a disaster!

Great advice about the planning for the children FS, I want to see them more often but again I don't want to push her and she seems to be in the mindset of you get your time as per separation agreement. I have read threads in here that make it clear this is for the long run if you ever are to stand a chance and it takes all your effort and patience, but it also converts you into a man and leads you to new levels of maturity. I try to stay positive, act as if this was going to end well (hope for the best and prepare for the worst) and I recap everyday in bed if I took actions that bring me closer or further from the man I want to be.

Thinking about my 2 children gives me superpower and I am not joking. I have started to see I need to forget about W and R and focus on being the best role model for them and enjoy every second I spend together. I will read here today about detachment and as we know, 1 min at a time, 1 day at a time.

Thanks a lot you people are wonderful.


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Me 29 W:29
M: 5yrs T:10yrs
S:6 yrs S:1 yr
BD: "I want a D" 08/09/19
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Paco

You're in a good place re the children. There are many on here who could tell you about monster partners who treat the children like pawns in a game to score points.

There is much talk here about 'detaching' and yes, in some cases, the hard line (minimal to no contact, yes and no responses, never initiating messages) is what is needed to allow the LBS mind and soul to heal. But that hard line option is not really available to us who have children. We have to maintain contact. Sometimes we have to initiate. And we definitely have to keep things on a friendly level. The trick is to think of her like your children's teacher. Be polite but suitably forceful. Show her that you are the man that the children deserve to have in their life.

I read above that you are thinking of orchestrating a career move so that you can live in Madrid. I am all for this as long as you are doing it so you get to spend more time with your children. If you're fearful that this might be taken as pursing, then frame the discussion in a way that it isn't about being closer to her (because it shouldn't be) but about being closer to your children. I'm sure that there are people here who can help you with putting together some words should that be something you want in the future.

My H and I successfully co-parent. He is a wonderful dad and he (mostly) respects me as a mum. He does not see anything I do or say as pursuit (because it isn't). There are pros and cons to this, but it is the path I chose. I am OK with it.

Good luck and keep posting.


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Hi FS,

Thanks a lot for the advice! I must be very naive but I genuinely believe I can change and so our relationship so hopefully in the future we can have a chance. Even talking about the children is proving challenging. She keeps blaming me, she sounds angry all the time on the phone and keeps saying she has nothing to talk to me even when I call to schedule picking up the children

This DBing is the hardest thing ever, some days I feel she really wants to brake me and there is no chance for a R but other days I feel her anger can indicate there are feelings I can bring back.

The move to Madrid is of course for the children but right now she only wants my visits to stick to our agreement, again I do not recognize the woman I married. She knows I am in our hometown for a month now, maybe she has a revelation of some kind and lets me see her, the expectation is of course not.

I am reading now DB and wanted to ask, would you guys recommend telephone IC with DB? I was thinking about getting three sessions as a trial. Thanks a lot and lets stay as a lighthouse!


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Me 29 W:29
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BD: "I want a D" 08/09/19
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Originally Posted by Paco_19

I am reading now DB and wanted to ask, would you guys recommend telephone IC with DB?
I recommend it. Personally, I would quickly read the book before hand. Have some questions ready.


"What is best for my kids is best for me"
Amor Fati
Link to quotes: https://www.divorcebusting.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=2879712
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I would recommend it purely because unlike the advice you receive here, their advice will not be filtered through the lense of personal experience that we provide as well as where we are at in our own sitches. Plus, a phone conversation can be much more open and honest than typing on forum.

Originally Posted by Paco_19
She keeps blaming me, she sounds angry all the time on the phone and keeps saying she has nothing to talk to me even when I call to schedule picking up the children


Firstly, do not call. Email or message. Both your emotions are too high. It is easier to provide a structured argument and be detached using written communication.

Secondly, she will blame you for everything because right now she has to. Otherwise she has blown up your lives for nothing, or even worse, she has to look in the mirror and realise that at least half of this is her fault. Read the validation thread if you want some strategies on how to deal with this.

Originally Posted by Paco_19
I genuinely believe I can change and so our relationship so hopefully in the future we can have a chance.


You can change. That is within your control. Whether you have a future is outside your control. You say you are a workaholic (so am I by the way) and you feel that you neglected the marriage, then that is something that you can change. Do things that do not have to do with work. Find pleasure in it. Reawaken that part of you that gets excited about things. I have rediscovered a love of photography. A love of spirituality. This has nothing to do with my H. . If you do not R then you will have developed a passion for life that you did not have before. If you do R, then you can share this new found passion with her.

What is not in your control is whether you R or not. Work on the assumption that you will not - that doesn't mean jumping into another R. Like I said before I am two years down and I am no closer to R then when I started. But we are in a good place and I am content with my life. That has a lot more to do with the kind of man my H is than anything I have or haven't done. He will not admit he has made a mistake. He will not put our children through a potential reconciliation if there is any chance that he will have to put them through a breakup again. Live your life Paco. She will notice (even if she pretends not to) and she will either want you back or she won't.

Re the children and her 'sticking to the separation agreement'. I do not know the legalities around this in the EU. In the UK a separation agreement is always subject to change if there is a change in circumstances, for example, if your work situation changes and you are able to see the children more. Speak to a solicitor, see if there is any room to move. The other aspect you need to consider (and again not sure what the sitch is in the EU) is that in the UK the routine you establish during the separation is considered if/when you get divorced. It becomes the status quo, and the courts aim to maintain the status quo to minimise the impact on children once following a divorce. If there is anything you are uncomfortable with in terms of the separation agreement, speak to a solicitor now about getting it changed.

Some notes:

- keep all correspondence where you requested to see the children especially those where you weren't able to
- keep records of all the days you do see the children

in fact keep records of everything. As mercenary as it sounds, this is where the friendly 'colleague' thing is important. Never let your emotions get the better of you in writing. Keep your cool. Never swear, never accuse. Request politely. Say thank you whether she says yes you can see the children or no you can't see the children.

Yes - this is the hardest thing you will ever do. You have to keep your emotions in check (or at least cry in the privacy of your own bedroom) and maintain the higher ground at all times. This is why journalling is so important. You can rant to your hearts content, be as irrational as you like, and still those who read will not judge, because we have been where you are.

I cannot emphasize enough how important it is that you be there as much as you can for the children. There are only so many years that a parent is the center of their childrens lives. Be a part of it. You are in Madrid . Msg her with days you want to see the children. Be reasonably forceful. "I understand it is not in our agreement, but I would like to see the children. I am around all month and can make myself available whenever it suits. Let me know what days it would be good for me to take them out ". Make it clear she does not need to be there, in fact make it clear you don't want her there.

Again, I am sorry you find yourself here.


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Hi guys! FS you are becoming my best angel in here, thanks a lot! I did have a bit of a set back today, after 4 days with the children I had to leave them with her and I woke up today thinking how it is possible that I am not going to be there all days with my children and they are not going to get my support.

I am fighting to be the lighthouse, bring stability and peace to the lives of both S6 and S1 and at the same time control my emotions and move on. As I said my LRT +180 is to move on, to be a better listener and to never ever speak or bring up the topic of our R. I am enjoying things outside of work like preparing the house where I am going to be when I visit in Seville or every little moment I share with them but it just breaks my heart to be the missing piece of the family.

I am trying to experiment different 180s but even after weeks of no contact she keeps blaming me and being harsh. I know she needs to justify what has happened and I know she knows I am a good person and father and she has built up this wall against my changes. I know changes are for me and my own future but for example performance at work has decreased, I told my manager I need a long break to find myself again and overcome all the changes but I need to pay the rent in Germany and pension until I can definitely move to Madrid / Seville.

When I am with friends and family or with my children I am an ironman, I am not joking, is when left alone or attacked by her when I go back to the misery of the early separation days. A lot of people are telling me she does not deserve that I fight for her but I have learnt to ignore them. I look better, eat better and I have recovered my confidence but it is her ignorance and contempt that is killing me inside. I have all these thoughts about how far moved on she is, if she things about our good times, if she misses me at home with the children or if she will ever consider giving our R a chance in the mid term (is only been 1.5 months). Patience, exercising and all my books are helping me a lot but it feels like nothing I can change will be noticed by her simply because we have no contact at all.

Which actions from my side say "hi W, I am here being a lighthouse for our family, I will protect and serve our family above all in my life"? I am doing the following:

> I sit down with my S6 and speak to him about how he has experienced separation, I have apologised for all the mistakes I made at home when I lost temper, I have asked him about his day to day and reassured I will be here for him always.

> I am teaching my S6 new things to show him his relationship with dad will remain as it was before

> I holding and hugging them more than I ever had. I want my S1 to feel secure and happy as he develops.

> I look better, I am optimistic, I am acting as if we were going to R, I am cheerful and I tell my W when I make plans with my children to see if she would join.

What can I do reach her? how can I make her slow down the D and reconsider family and marriage?

On thursday she had this big party at work and she left our children sleeping in the in laws for the entire night, this is something we never did as a couple and it breaks my soul she goes and does it now because she needs to go out like crazy to feel young and free again. Then on friday she handed over the kids to my parents and told them I had all the fault and I had to calm down. This is the W I am dealing with. Then she writes to me without even saying hello, I take a deep breath and answer, "good morning W". I want to be the better person, I want to show her I have clarity of mind on how valuable our family is but she keeps kicking me out. Maybe she does need to see me move on, maybe she also needs to thing, heck I am losing him forever. I have a new 180 idea, I am going to take away her safety net, I am not second option to anyone and she also has a lot of introspection to do. There will be no R without that work from her side.

I am going to book 3 IC sessions to begin with, see how it goes. Lets keep DBing, being a better person is amazing! smile


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Me 29 W:29
M: 5yrs T:10yrs
S:6 yrs S:1 yr
BD: "I want a D" 08/09/19
Sep: 10/27/19
Joined: Dec 2019
Posts: 207
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Hi all,

I wrote to my W yesterday the exact words that FS gave me and after no reply to my email I TM her to say I only needed an answer about the children. Her answer was she could not make it work this week. I asked if she was busy I could pick them up from school one day and she did not answer. When I insisted she told me to please stop writing to her and only talk about the children. I said it is about the children and she told me it wasn't the right time.

This morning she has called me crying saying I have no right to keep playing psychological games on her and that I destroyed our M for 5 years if now I am suffering I need to stand it and leave her alone. She said I am not thankful for the time when I have my children and I am not playing the role of a father.

I told her I want her to be happy and to be a full time father above everything and I only ask for 5 minutes in the park and again she threatened to have me blocked of her phone and only "communicate" via email. Honestly today is one of those days you feel like there is no point. I have read the lighthouse story 3 times already and I do not know what to think. Why would she cry? does she have feelings? am I suffocating her? I will leave her all the space there is but the price to pay will be to stick to the separation agreement when it comes to my children. I do not feel this is fair but now I have to walk this path.

I remain strong, LRT + GAL + act as if things were going to sort out. I really need those IC sessions now, I feel like nothing I do will soften her heart and all I get is blame and contempt.

Thanks a lot for all your support!


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Me 29 W:29
M: 5yrs T:10yrs
S:6 yrs S:1 yr
BD: "I want a D" 08/09/19
Sep: 10/27/19
Joined: Dec 2019
Posts: 207
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hi again,

I think I have had a big step backwards. As I said I am in Seville and I asked to pick up my children one day during the week and my W told me she could not make it work and I should not be unfair.

I insisted this Morning on picking them up today or tomorrow and she told me the following:

W: I cannot keep going like this. I will have to block you on Whatsapp. You are being unfair, when you have them every 2 weekends I do not bother you and you have 24hr, I only have 2 hr after work.

Me: I only want to see them 30 min in the park now that I am here in Seville. I do understand you must be very busy.

W: I do not want to speak to you. Talking to me you are not going to fix anything

Me: Regardless of what happens between us please do not get the children in between. Have a great day.

I am preparing a house here in Seville with my family, seeing friends and going out and I keep up with the sports routines but being so close to her and receiving such contempt and ignorance is bringing me down. I know we are here for the long run, we are here to be the rock of the family and the lighthouse in their lives but I feel a doormat she feels she has the right to ignore and push out of her life.

Could I get some help on how to stop the dynamics she is on, she clearly is pointing towards D...

Thanks a lot to all of you!


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Me 29 W:29
M: 5yrs T:10yrs
S:6 yrs S:1 yr
BD: "I want a D" 08/09/19
Sep: 10/27/19
Joined: May 2019
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Hey Paco,

Im sorry to hear you are going through this. Hopefully one of the vets will give you advice but just wanted to say this is to be expected. It often gets worse before it gets better. Remember to be cool, calm and confident no matter what she says. Everyone here has been through times where their spouse says crazy things. It wont always be like this.


Me: 38
Stbxw: 35
No kids
Mini bd: February 6, 2019
ONS confirmed Sept 7, 2019
Told her to move out: September 8, 2019
W moved out: September 28, 2019
Divorce filed by me: September 23, 2019
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