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A Message from Michele
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Re: This is a gift #2 [Re: unchien] #2882071
01/23/20 11:16 PM
01/23/20 11:16 PM
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IronWill Offline
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Originally Posted by unchien

My W has been reaching out a lot to inquire about my thoughts on what's going on with our kids. I find it really difficult not to respond.


Hey U - I may not be up on everything in your sit, but are you not responding at all when it comes to the kids?

Originally Posted by unchien
I can detach from anything involving me and her, but when kids are involved it feels so entangled. She projects her feelings onto them ("the kids are worried about <something my W is actually worried about>", for instance) and then asks what I think. As genuine as this may appear on the surface, I know it is bait, and the goal is to get me to react and then we get drawn into an exchange where I end up validating and deflecting and trying to exit as quickly as possible. But in the moment.... it is so HARD to hold back from responding.


You already know I don't have kids. But you and W have to discuss what is going on with them. Even if you think your W is projecting, and especially since you cannot be sure if it is projection or not.

I'm not saying have deep meaningful conversations. But you both have to talk. Otherwise you end up in a situation like I did with my parents. And you definitely don't want that.

I don't think it's "bait", but I do think she is testing your newfound strength. I would respond to the parts that need responding to. I have practiced this in my sit. With texting I use a lot of "I will" statements when applicable. It shows more decisiveness. I ignore anything MLC/whatever related and pick apart the text to see what the meaning is (as best I can). If there is something I don't know I will say something like "I will have to think about that. I will get back to you."

Quote
I do not feel like she has a healthy curiosity about my thoughts on parenting. I know it is bait, and if I bite, my thoughts will be dissected, refuted, analyzed, and debated. I may be called names. I typically give a bland neutral response (such as, "Yeah, I noticed that behavior, I am also concerned")... because I don't want to be accused of not responding and hence not caring. I can deal with all the blowback, I believe I am emotionally strong enough at this point, but it feels pointless to engage. Especially when she characterizes any response that doesn't agree with her opinions as "angry" or "venomous", etc.


I hate to say it, but she doesn't care. Just like my W doesn't care right now. That's all part of whatever it is they are going through. It's also why MC doesn't matter.

You can't control what she thinks. But that is her opinion, not fact.

Originally Posted by unchien

I've been reading some co-parenting books about how to handle these situations. I am struggling to figure out how much to engage. I have a very very fine speck of trust right now with my W. Ideally I'd like to trust her more in the future and be able to have healthy conversations about our kids. I have no clue how to rebuild that trust when there is no healthy forum to do that. MC would have been an opportunity, but W spent 6 months sticking to the same tune of safety concerns, etc. Maybe this is just what it is, and as years pass we will build trust with the mere passage of time. I am sad for my kids to see what is happening. I have the instinct to be protective and stand up for what I think is right, but I also recognize it is a losing proposition to engage with my W right now.

Perhaps in the future I will feel like my parenting opinions are respected. At the moment, it's more of her "let's be on the same page" script... meaning she writes the book and I read it. Pretty sure I'm going to be vilified (in her mind) for a long time if not forever, no matter what happens.


Part of separation is living alone and doing things your way. The kids are your kids too. Your parenting decisions are important too, even if it's not in her script. If she wanted you both fully on the same page, then why are you separated?

Makes no sense.

I think you're wise to keep contact low. I know because I am in the same boat. My W is all over the place and I do not want to be in the middle of this carnage.

I wish I had more advice, U. Keep posting, man. And I would recommend going back and re reading your whole sit once in a while. It helped me a lot, I think it will help you too

Take care smile

Re: This is a gift #2 [Re: IHCLACS] #2882162
01/24/20 05:20 PM
01/24/20 05:20 PM
Joined: Aug 2018
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harvey Offline
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Originally Posted by IHCLACS
Originally Posted by LH19
U,

Are you familiar with work of Joe Dispenza? You might be interested.


His philosophies I've been following for the last year on You Tube. I discover my niece actually bought a few of his books while riding in her vehicle. The man is profound on dynamic and ability of how to change the human mind and how we interact with people and create new habits.


I enjoyed watching some of his videos. It really made me think. Overall, I'm doing well, but I still machinate on things. He talks about how your body and mind cycle through past experiences. You have to train your body and mind to think about a positive future (meditation, etc.). I think GAL speaks to this--being so busy that your body and mind doesn't cycle through past experiences.

Re: This is a gift #2 [Re: harvey] #2882254
01/25/20 08:18 AM
01/25/20 08:18 AM
Joined: May 2019
Posts: 1,210
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unchien Offline OP
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unchien  Offline OP
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Originally Posted by IronWill
Hey U - I may not be up on everything in your sit, but are you not responding at all when it comes to the kids?

I respond to some items. Not the ones which are bait for arguments.

I did correct course a bit this week to be a little more assertive on certain items. Assertive in a courteous and respectful way (or at least that is how I try to word things, not sure how they come across to her).

Re: This is a gift #2 [Re: unchien] #2882395
01/26/20 05:19 PM
01/26/20 05:19 PM
Joined: May 2019
Posts: 1,210
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unchien Offline OP
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unchien  Offline OP
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I've been doing a lot better lately avoiding overthinking things. But I still do it from time to time.

I went on a 4h hike yesterday. I find exercising in nature is a great exercise in being present and turning down my brain volume. But I did spend some time going over things. I limited the time, then switched back to enjoying the hike.

I think what I've been looking for is an understanding of why (in my mind) we didn't try harder to work on things. I can accept the lack of closure as to why things fell apart. I have a decent understanding why, but there are unknowable things. I'm coming to peace with that.

We spent a total of 9 months in MC in the last 18 months. It just... didn't work. Not once did I feel my W was leaning in and wanting to work on things. I know that sounds blaming, and that's not what I mean. I feel like even in MC1, she was not really at a point in our MR where she was really ready for MC, ready to work together. I think she wanted me to fix my issues first.

Periodically in MC1 she would say she wanted to hear about my feelings, but I never felt validated or understood. I recall a couple times I said how I felt, then she was told by the MC to repeat back what she heard. And my W would repeat back HER interpretation which was not correct. I would say something like, "I feel like we haven't supported each other well during our move and I'd like to spend more time together" and she would say something like, "He feels like I'm not giving him enough."

On another instance, she told me, "I know how important it is for you to feel heard." Yes, it is important for me to feel heard. It is important for *everybody* to feel heard.

Truth be told, I was making some personal improvements during this time but not the deeper changes I've made more recently. I worked on my listening skills a ton, but did not have a good handle on my anxiety. So while all this was going on, I of course could have handled it better. The man I am today would have handled it differently.

Well... I'm off today to go have some fun with the kids for a special thing I planned!

Re: This is a gift #2 [Re: unchien] #2882535
01/27/20 03:26 PM
01/27/20 03:26 PM
Joined: May 2019
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unchien Offline OP
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unchien  Offline OP
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I'm trying to sort out this heavy sense of loneliness that's come back the last day or two.

One of the books I've been reading pointed out that the negative interactions between D'ing parents is another (unhealthy) way for them both to stay connected.

I don't feel like I was chasing that kind of interaction. But now things have changed - I think in a healthier direction, but also it feels strange. No more MC where I get labeled and pathologized. My W scaled back on her long texts. We have some e-mail exchanges but they are becoming more business-like.

I notice the void. I didn't enjoy the recurring soap opera, but when it's gone, what's left is an empty hole to fill.

Stacked on top of that feeling is the feeling of being completely overwhelmed about starting this D process. Even though logistically I feel prepared, I am not looking forward to the actual process.

Whereas in the past I would feel more hopeless about feeling lonely, now at least I can recognize it for what it is and not wallow in it. Thanks primarily to DB and meditation.

But it is still there.

Re: This is a gift #2 [Re: unchien] #2882555
01/27/20 05:03 PM
01/27/20 05:03 PM
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DejaVu6 Offline
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I can totally relate Unchien. I felt lonely all of the time at the beginning. How I dealt with it was I did the opposite of what my mind was pushing me to do which was to isolate. I had a New Year’s party and invited friends over. I said “yes” to every invitation, even if I didn’t feel like it. Eventually the feeling faded and now I don’t feel alone anymore...even when I technically am. That alone feeling, for me, was not about my XH not being around. He hadn’t been around for a few years. It was more about me. When your marriage ends, your self esteem takes a pretty big hit and that takes awhile to work through. The feeling will pass if you continue to do the work. (((HUGS)))


Me 51
H 46
B/G Twins 11
SD19
Legal SA - January 2019
Divorce filed - June 2019
Divorce final - November 2019

Together 14 years
Married 12 years
BD1 - May 2014
BD2 - September 14, 2018

Re: This is a gift #2 [Re: DejaVu6] #2882645
01/28/20 02:55 AM
01/28/20 02:55 AM
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IronWill Offline
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Originally Posted by DejaVu6
I can totally relate Unchien. I felt lonely all of the time at the beginning. How I dealt with it was I did the opposite of what my mind was pushing me to do which was to isolate. I had a New Year’s party and invited friends over. I said “yes” to every invitation, even if I didn’t feel like it. Eventually the feeling faded and now I don’t feel alone anymore...even when I technically am. That alone feeling, for me, was not about my XH not being around. He hadn’t been around for a few years. It was more about me. When your marriage ends, your self esteem takes a pretty big hit and that takes awhile to work through. The feeling will pass if you continue to do the work. (((HUGS)))


This resonates very much, DV.

I also say "yes" to every invitation - and also do not feel like it all the time. I do it anyway, more as a way to keep my mind occupied on other things. Plus I usually end up having fun with friends - and it has helped me to realize that I am not, in fact, a boring person nor the monster I was made out to be at BD.

The alone feeling is pretty normal. I spent a lot of time thinking that way when i was alone for 8 years after i left home following graduation. Back then, I remember wondering if i would ever find someone I could get along with, if there were any normal people out there, if I would be alone forever. I did a lot of writing and journaling back then too, and kept myself as busy as I could doing new things or things that interested me. I also said yes to everything back then.

It is sort of like getting reacquainted with yourself.

Re: This is a gift #2 [Re: unchien] #2882651
01/28/20 05:10 AM
01/28/20 05:10 AM
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CWarrior Offline
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We're here and listening, Unchien. Feel free to post here when you feel lonely.


My partner of 2yrs left and moved away. Three months later we reconciled as a family living separately. I've accepted she sees us as an "us" forever, but can't see her daughter living in my community.
Re: This is a gift #2 [Re: IronWill] #2882658
01/28/20 11:06 AM
01/28/20 11:06 AM
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IHCLACS Offline
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[/quote] The alone feeling is pretty normal. I spent a lot of time thinking that way when i was alone for 8 years after i left home following graduation. Back then, I remember wondering if i would ever find someone I could get along with, if there were any normal people out there, if I would be alone forever. I did a lot of writing and journaling back then too, and kept myself as busy as I could doing new things or things that interested me. I also said yes to everything back then.

It is sort of like getting reacquainted with yourself.

[/quote]

Yes. More like reinventing yourself. Almost anything new. A new place, a new experience, a new commitment to a purpose of yours. All this chaos, all this loss, and all this hurt. Once the dust settles around you're former life. You start to seriously ask yourself somethings like? Where do I want to go? What do I want to do? Who and what do I want to spend my time on? Are these situations good for me that I'm moving torwards? Does it benefit me or hurt me or distract me? Where do I want to be in 5 years? What do I want my life to look like? Be greatful for the former chaos and the people that created it. They are forcing us to learn and grow. Those who are no longer our cheerleaders. Leave them behind. We were never that important to them anyway. Maybe so for a time.

Re: This is a gift #2 [Re: unchien] #2882714
01/28/20 03:04 PM
01/28/20 03:04 PM
Joined: May 2019
Posts: 1,210
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unchien Offline OP
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unchien  Offline OP
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Thanks all for chiming in with your support.

It feels like a heavier loneliness than the usual "well I'm separated and alone without my kids the next few days" feeling.

I worked so hard when I moved out to set up a house for my kids and me. Now that it's 7 months later, the house feels temporary, unfinished, with a bunch of hand-me-down furniture. Temporary stuff for a temporary place. It's not the community I want to live in. It's expensive. The entire area I live in lacks a feeling of community (everybody complains about that). I don't know where I want to live.

I'm working full-time. Busy again, which feels good. But it feels kind of meaningless. I'm earning money, which is necessary. And I enjoy my job enough day to day.

I've never been great at building a support network in my post-college adult life. I likely stayed in too many long-term relationships because they felt "safe" and I avoided the lonely feeling. I have one good friend in the area, a bunch of work colleagues, and that's about it. I haven't had much success during the 7 months making new friends, which is really on me I guess. Like DejaVu suggested, I usually say yes to every invitation, but I think I need to put myself out there more somehow.

I'm 40 and I have 3 little kids. When married I spent quite a bit of time with them, but I wasn't the primary parent of the household like I am now. It is daunting. W and I haven't really separated those duties yet. I haven't gone out and bought them all clothes, it hasn't made sense since I still have the clothes from moving out that fit them.

There are things going on in my situation that are probably sparking these feelings. I'm choosing not to post much of that right now. There is a re-realization that this is really happening, now that the ball is rolling.

This is one of those posts that sounds more wallow-y negative than I actually feel in the moment. It helps to let it out sometimes.

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