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A Message from Michele
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Thank you for your input. This has been the most confusing part for me.

My H asked me to meet a physical affection need (again, not sex) about 3 weeks ago after a counseling session. I agreed. But he still speaks of divorce and will not reciprocate any physical affection. 90% of the time, I am the only one initiating. We still sleep in the same bed. The mixed messages are tough.

So bottom line for this post, is that I am trying to figure out how Steve's advice fits for me.


me: 46 h: 49
m: 24 T: 27
DD1:20 DD2:17 DS:12
BD1: PA for 2 yrs 08/2016
BD2: OW is one of my closest friends 12/2016
BD3: H wants a D 11/2019
Now: He is in the same house, but has filed for divorce.
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Originally Posted by MoGirl
Thank you Steve85.

I'm crying as I type this right now because I have been pursuing and hanging on to H out of fear. I'm so scared of letting go. I'm not sure why because I'm an intelligent woman and I am fully capable of taking care of myself. Over the past 24 years I lost that and became dependent upon my H. I made him my world.

Your post has inspired me to find a way to let go and detach. Stop pursuing. Stop being selfish.

Thank you for sharing.



Very common story. Google "self-differentiation in marriage". It is unhealthy to be overly dependent on anyone, including a spouse. We live in an imperfect world full of disease and death. You could lose your husband at any moment, and you would need to be able to move on and flourish with out him. If he loved you he'd even want that. Healthy marriages are never composed of 1 or both spouses being overly dependent. A healthy marriage is two differentiated individuals coming together to share their lives. If you made him your world you did you and him a disservice. No one can live up to the weight of responsibility of being another person's world.


M(52), W(53),D(17)
M-20, T-23 Bomb Drop - Dec.23, 2017
Ring and Piecing since March 2018
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Originally Posted by Oceangl
Thank you for your input. This has been the most confusing part for me.

My H asked me to meet a physical affection need (again, not sex) about 3 weeks ago after a counseling session. I agreed. But he still speaks of divorce and will not reciprocate any physical affection. 90% of the time, I am the only one initiating. We still sleep in the same bed. The mixed messages are tough.

So bottom line for this post, is that I am trying to figure out how Steve's advice fits for me.


That is called "cake eating". He is going to leave you and move on with his life, but in the meantime still wants you to meet his needs. Not something. Does that sound fair to you?


M(52), W(53),D(17)
M-20, T-23 Bomb Drop - Dec.23, 2017
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Originally Posted by KitCat
Thank you!!!!!

I do read all of the advice on everyone's sitch and stew on it and let it sink in.

I do have 2 major emotions. Anxiety and Fear.

You are correct. I LOVED being married. I loved at the end of the day there was someone at home for me. I spent the first 40yr of my life being single and independent. I know that lifestyle and it was great. I loved being a team member more. I have vacationed a ton a single woman - its great, but you know what's better??? Vacationing with your spouse. I was loving and supportive but in the last months to year of the M we both dropped the ball.

Ultimately my H did not feel liked by me, loved by me or respected by me.

As much as I loved being M. I have asked myself what is it I love about my spouse? When I see him. When we do have the very briefest of interactions as he no longer lives with me. I can love him from a distance. Really love him. In our personal interactions I don't make any forward moves... I don't want to scare him off. But, there are so many things we've had together over the years and how he made me feel and how we worked together... the things we shared... when I see him my heart is full of affection. I see him as a good guy doing a bad thing.

I love him from a distance.

When we first got together and the early years in our M his relationship with his mother was toxic. Over the last few years it has gotten better and I'm happy for that. NOW, his relationship with his mother is so much better - he is at their place nearly daily. I have joy that he has mended that fence for both him and his mother.

Thank you Steve for writing this. I will continue my journey asking the hard questions of myself.


KC you're welcome. This post has been ruminating in my brain for a few weeks now. I know you might think this was aimed at you, it wasn't. It was aimed at the vast majority of LBSs, because most of us hung on too hard too long to our WAS.


M(52), W(53),D(17)
M-20, T-23 Bomb Drop - Dec.23, 2017
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Great thread Steve 85 - thank you

Originally Posted by Steve85
Do you love being married to your WAS more than you actually love your WAS? I think most that hold on for dear life would have to answer yes to this if they were being honest.
I am wondering if this is me! It's so difficult to fathom out - better the devil you know, than the angel that you don't.! In some ways the potential for reconciliation is scarier than the prospect of divorce..


M:49 H:49
T:20 M:18
D:16 D:14

EA: Feb 2019-May 2020
Separated: Mar-early Aug 2020
H asked to reconcile: Jun 2020
EA relapse: Oct/Nov 2020
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Great post, Steve85. Really hits home for me. I am really struggling right now (pre-separation but still living together) with towing the line between trying to be strong and friendly and being nice and still doing things for W.


H 34
W 35
T 7
M 3
BD 4/26/20
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This is a great post Steve85!! I was looking for a post on "How to DB when your WAS is still living in the house with you".

So, yes - to be completely truthful I am being nice to my spouse. I still feel that the best way to show him the changes I have made is to have him here to see it. I think this is a huge advantage over him out of the house. I walk a fine line between being civil and being nice. I fall more on the nice side - but I am learning to detach - and recently being more civil only. Is this DBing - being civil only? As well, I do not tee up R talks. But there are so many grey areas!

Small grey things...
He is actively in the room with me and the kids, during dinner, do we include in conversations or exclude - especially as it seems like he wants to be a part of it. He has a small hurt on his face/eye - that is pretty obvious - do I notice and show concern- or do I stay silent unless he brings it up? I need help carrying or doing something in the yard/house that requires his expertise (IT computer stuff, lifting a patio table, etc), do I ask for his help?...........So many small things, I just don't know how to handle.

Big grey thing...
We are not supposed to talk R but... how do I communicate to him that, he is free to go and walk his journey as he needs to - that I (no longer) expect him to stay (as I did before). This is something I have not communicated before, and in our interactions it does not seem like this will organically come up as we don't converse much. How would this best be done? Even the words to use & how to bring this up would be immensely helpful. Granted it took me awhile, but the cage door is open.

As always, much thanks.


M:50 H:49
D:16 S:13
M:23 T:25
BD: Feb 25th 2020
EA/PA: Dec 2019 - June 11, 2020
Behind every broken woman is a broken man...
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Originally Posted by MistySea
So, yes - to be completely truthful I am being nice to my spouse. I still feel that the best way to show him the changes I have made is to have him here to see it. I think this is a huge advantage over him out of the house. I walk a fine line between being civil and being nice. I fall more on the nice side - but I am learning to detach - and recently being more civil only. Is this DBing - being civil only? As well, I do not tee up R talks. But there are so many grey areas!

He will not notice any changes while he is having an affair.
Originally Posted by MistySea
Small grey things...
He is actively in the room with me and the kids, during dinner, do we include in conversations or exclude - especially as it seems like he wants to be a part of it. He has a small hurt on his face/eye - that is pretty obvious - do I notice and show concern- or do I stay silent unless he brings it up? I need help carrying or doing something in the yard/house that requires his expertise (IT computer stuff, lifting a patio table, etc), do I ask for his help?...........So many small things, I just don't know how to handle.

What ever you feel comfortable with because in the grand scheme it doesn't matter.
Originally Posted by MistySea
Big grey thing...
We are not supposed to talk R but... how do I communicate to him that, he is free to go and walk his journey as he needs to - that I (no longer) expect him to stay (as I did before). This is something I have not communicated before, and in our interactions it does not seem like this will organically come up as we don't converse much. How would this best be done? Even the words to use & how to bring this up would be immensely helpful. Granted it took me awhile, but the cage door is open.

If he is having an affair you ask him to leave. If he is not you say nothing. When you open the cage door you don't tell the animal to leave you are just not restricting him any more.


M:51 W:46
T:22 M:16
S:15 D:11

“Don't chase people. Be yourself, do your own thing and work hard. The right people - the ones who really belong in your life - will come to you and stay.”- Will Smith
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LH - I left the boards just based on your reply - it felt indifferent to me and hurt me in that I felt blown off. And right now I am going thru a world of hurt and pain that is unbearable - so this just sent me right off the edge, if I could not find support here, the only place there really is. I am in a very bad place and will apologize upfront if I am being too sensitive.

Why do you say in the grand scheme it doesn't matter? .... What does right now then?
I just felt really hopeless after reading your reply. Like this relationship is just doomed and that was just the way it would be.

Steve - I appreciate your advice, felt it was spot on to where I am at. I agree with you on the Corinthians "it is not self-seeking"...ie, let him go - and for me and situation I have communicated that door has been opened. And I am not one to get into any type of debate on scripture let me add that the verse 5 continues:"it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs" (NIV). I think the great thing about any verse, is that its totally open to interpretation for every person based on where they are at.

Ok, you have to admit, it is a very fine line when you have your spouse in the house - and with quarantine - all the time. I have thought about it, and if it does not build resentment within me and its not for the reason of pursuing, then do it. Otherwise don't. I shouldn't take credit for that - it came from the DB IC.


M:50 H:49
D:16 S:13
M:23 T:25
BD: Feb 25th 2020
EA/PA: Dec 2019 - June 11, 2020
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Originally Posted by MistySea
And right now I am going thru a world of hurt and pain that is unbearable - so this just sent me right off the edge, if I could not find support here, the only place there really is. I am in a very bad place and will apologize upfront if I am being too sensitive.


Misty, no need to apologize, if you can't share your feelings here then where? I am very sorry you're going through this, I think those of us that have been here awhile (and I mean me) tend to forget the horrible pain and anguish that new LBS's are going through. It's tough to be torn up like that and then come here and get hit with 2x4's as well. The 2x4's are well-intentioned but sometimes it can be overwhelming.

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What does right now then?
I just felt really hopeless after reading your reply. Like this relationship is just doomed and that was just the way it would be.


I say a lot of the same things LH does about the WAS being checked out and wanting nothing to do with the LBS and such, but I always try to stress that I'm saying this is their attitude RIGHT NOW. You have every reason to hope, a lot of marriages do reconcile even against crazy odds. But the hope is for a turnaround down the road, not for something immediate. Once people end up here things have gone too far for a quick fix. Hang in there, be patient, give him as much time and space as you can and keep the focus on you for now.


Me: 60 w/ S18, D24, D27

M: 21 years; BD: 06-14-12; S: 09-10-12; D final: 03-17-14; XW:57
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