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I see more and more LBSs struggling with this as we see more new sitches. And some of the LBWs seem to struggle with this more than LBHs, but LBHs struggle with it too. That struggle is that some feel that DBing is not showing love to their WAS. And many fear that will mean that the LBS will run for the door faster, push for D faster, etc.

I learned from AnotherStander in my sitch, and reading his advice to others, that you cannot nice your WAS back. Every one of us LBSs that come to this forum think we can. Even if we say in words that we understand that we can't, our actions belie us. And when we get called out by the vets on this forum for this "nicing them back" behavior we usually default to: "But I love him/her, I would do this for anyone that I love."

Nice sentiment. But it is a false narrative. Why do I say that? Because we aren't doing those nice things to try to win them back out of our love for them, we are doing them out of fear. Many of those behaviors have been absent from our MRs long before BD happened. Did we not love our spouse prior to BD? So "But I love him/her, I would do this for anyone that I love" isn't really true is it? The thing is maybe, just maybe, if you had done those "nice" behaviors all along then you wouldn't be in your situation. I say maybe because that may or may not be true. There are plenty of D'd LBSs that were good spouses before their lying, cheating, walkaway up and left them. There are no guarantees in life.

But for sake of argument, let's say that you could have prevented your sitch with those loving behaviors. The fact is, that now it is too late. After BD the last thing you should be doing is trying to smother your WAS with kindness, loving actions, and being nice to win them back. I often say that the last thing a LBS should do after being told that their WAS wants less of them, is to try to give their WAS more of the LBS! And I think a lot of this has to do with how we, as a society, think about love.

I've admitted before in this forum that my W and I are big fans of a certain bald TV therapist from Texas. If that doesn't give it away then let me just say that his first name rhymes with pill. One of the things that I've learned from watching his show is that many people will do the most unloving things in the name of love. They will ignore their husband's sexual abuse towards female members of the family in the name of love. They will enable drug and alcohol addicted children in the name of love. I've seen extremely obese guests that struggle with their weight because their spouse or someone close to them is happy to fetch 8000 calories of food a day for them in the name of love.

Ignoring deviant criminal behavior, and behaviors that will eventually kill someone, is not loving. At all. But many of those guilty of those things try to explain them away as "unconditional love". Maybe we've seen parents like this. With completely bratty, spoiled rotten, terribly behaved kids that they refuse to discipline because they "love" them.

I argue that these people are doing these things out of fear. Fear of what? Fear of having that person out of their life. "If I don't support him through the criminal behavior he may end up in prison!" "If I don't enable their drinking, drugging, severe overeating, then they may not like me anymore!" "If I discipline my kids they may not like me!" And a lot of LBSs fall into the same trap. They act out of fear, catering to their WAS, and then claim they are doing it in the name of love.

There is a sticky that every LBS spouse should read: You will not die It is so vitally important for LBSs to understand that what they are going through will not kill them. You will survive and even flourish again. Even if you end up D'd! Many others have gone through it before, and as long as they put the work in, have moved on healthy and happy with their lives. You can drop the fear and move yourself forward. While not ideal, there are things worse than D in this life! In fact, because life is short, do you really want to waste time holding onto someone for dear life that wants to walkaway?

But back to "but I love them". I love the definition of love found in I Corinthians 13. I won't quote it. But I can say that the definition found there is more consistent with letting them go, than trying to get them to stay. That might surprise some people. But true love is letting someone that wants to go, go. And not trying to hold them against their will. Loving them enough to want them to be happy, if that means they are happy without you, or that they are happy with someone else. Some of the best insight I got in my own sitch is the perspective that my W was just trying to be happy. Love is not selfish. And if you think about it, trying to convince, coerce, trick, or manipulate someone to stay with you, that doesn't want to stay with you, is not loving, it is selfish.

So, if you stayed with this post this long, let me try to sum it up. Holding on to a WAS for dear life is not love, it is fear. Fear will cause you to act in selfish ways, not loving ways. True love says you want your spouse to be happy no matter what that means.

Final thoughts:

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.

Remember, it is okay to love yourself! And that means you won't tolerate being treated poorly by a WAS.

I Corinthians 13:4,5 Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way;


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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.

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Very well said Steve!

Steven Covey says in the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People that love isn't a noun, it's a verb. It's not something that just "is", it's something you do. It's actions you perform. And those actions are not always easy. Sometimes love means doing something you don't want to do, something uncomfortable, even painful. If your spouse comes to you and says they are done, they want out and nothing will change their mind, what is the ultimate expression of love at a time like this? Is it demanding they stay and work on things? No, that's what YOU want. True love is allowing them to have what they want, it is saying "this isn't what I want, but I understand it's what you want and I will support your decision." I had that talk with my XW when she said she wanted to separate, and it was all I could do not to break down and cry on the spot. I hated saying it because it wasn't what I wanted. But it was the loving thing to do.

Sometimes, like the title of Dobson's marriage book says- love must be tough!


Me: 60 w/ S18, D24, D27

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I appreciate your post very much. I am thinking about it today. I have two questions I am confused on and hoping you can provide clarity:

1. I believe you are saying don't tolerate being treated poorly by your WAS. But how does that line up with allowing them to live at the house with you and have an EA/PA or speak unkindly to you? I feel like a lot of DB seems to be: let them do what they want and put up with it in case they might come back. Where am I going wrong with this?

2. One thing that really confuses me: If my spouse says he is done because he wanted more physical affection (not sex, just physical affection), and says that is a main love language, how does DB fit in with that? Are you saying it's too late for that? I am trying to understand the difference between meeting a need and pursuing. Would that not be a 180 or doing something different?

This can be so confusing 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 Oceangl
I appreciate your post very much. I am thinking about it today. I have two questions I am confused on and hoping you can provide clarity:

[quote=Oceangl] 1. I believe you are saying don't tolerate being treated poorly by your WAS. But how does that line up with allowing them to live at the house with you and have an EA/PA or speak unkindly to you? I feel like a lot of DB seems to be: let them do what they want and put up with it in case they might come back. Where am I going wrong with this? !
You should never let anyone treat you unkindly. You have to have boundaries. As far as a EA/PA that's up to you if you are willing to tolerate it or not.

Originally Posted by Oceangl
I 2. One thing that really confuses me: If my spouse says he is done because he wanted more physical affection (not sex, just physical affection), and says that is a main love language, how does DB fit in with that? Are you saying it's too late for that? I am trying to understand the difference between meeting a need and pursuing. Would that not be a 180 or doing something different? !

It's too late for that because that ship has sailed. You meet a persons need when you are in a caring loving relationship. Not when a spouse is in an affair and has one foot out the door. That is a display of low value. Relationship and attraction are about value. People who jump through hoops for you are not valuable and are therefore not attractive. You value people who are confident and self-sufficient, and that you feel you need to work to get. When you get attention from those people you feel good about yourself.


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ďDon'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.Ē- Will Smith
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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.


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Originally Posted by MoGirl
I'm crying as I type this right now because I have been pursuing and hanging on to H out of fear.

Your brain doesn't like this instability, and it doesn't like the unavailability of a remedy at all! Its panic-inducing.

Because of this lack of control and the fear that comes with it, you desperately, desperately want to regain your feeling of control and stability.

Your brain convinces you that the quickest way to do that is to get your wayward spouse back. If you can do that, then all the old rules still apply and there was just a temporary blip on the radar.

As a result, your brain will *compel* you to want to pursue, and everything else is a justification to allow you to do what you want.

Step back and look at some of these situations -- a person's wife cheats on them for years with several OM's. If that comes to light, a rational person would say "this woman has issues" and head the other way right? But in reality, we see time and again that the LBS convinces themselves that this cheater is the best person in the world, and they want to have them back more than anything.

WHY? Because the loss of control is devastating. The loss of control is something our brains can't process or tolerate.


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ďDon'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.Ē- Will Smith
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Originally Posted by Oceangl
2. One thing that really confuses me: If my spouse says he is done because he wanted more physical affection (not sex, just physical affection), and says that is a main love language, how does DB fit in with that? Are you saying it's too late for that? I am trying to understand the difference between meeting a need and pursuing. Would that not be a 180 or doing something different?

This can be so confusing for me!


My take is as follows as someone who's love language is physical and whom was pulling away from the M as my needs weren't met or worse were rejected. Note, no other woman was pulling me and Ive never cheated on anyone so my perspective could be different:

If theres no OW, 180 on the physical affection would be a big factor in rebuilding a connection. This would have to build up slowly and I'd need to know that its a permanent change, not a temporary one. Physical affection meaning not just sex, rather it would include things like a kiss goodbye, goodnight, random hugs, cuddling during a movie, or playful things like helping each other stretch, wrestling, etc. What would be equally important is not rejecting non sexual physical affection. For example if the PA love language person holds your hand, dont quickly move it away.

Putting myself in the mindset of someone that has another woman filling that need, I'd probably be completely repulsed and angered if W suddenly started trying to meet this need as soon as I found another source. Over time, the H in this case may no longer be angered or repulsed, he may get the idea that getting the attention from two women is better than one. This wouldn't mean he's coming back, and while its unbelievably selfish and uncaring, he may think I deserve this or let me enjoy it while I can, i never had this kind of experience.

I think LHs reply fits in the later scenario.

So now I wonder how this looks in other love languages.


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Originally Posted by Oceangl
1. I believe you are saying don't tolerate being treated poorly by your WAS. But how does that line up with allowing them to live at the house with you and have an EA/PA or speak unkindly to you? I feel like a lot of DB seems to be: let them do what they want and put up with it in case they might come back. Where am I going wrong with this?


A lot of what we talk about here is creating boundaries to protect yourself. One boundary might be that you will not allow yourself to be yelled at or spoken to in a disrespectful manner. You can still do that while living under the same roof. If he says something rude then you respond "I will not allow you to treat me with disrespect, if you continue then this conversation is over." And if he continues, you say no more, you simply leave the room or even the house. DB'ing is not at all about letting the WAS just steamroll you. It is about pulling back and giving him time and space while you focus your attention elsewhere (you, kids, hobbies, volunteering, etc.)

Originally Posted by Oceangl
2. One thing that really confuses me: If my spouse says he is done because he wanted more physical affection (not sex, just physical affection), and says that is a main love language, how does DB fit in with that? Are you saying it's too late for that? I am trying to understand the difference between meeting a need and pursuing. Would that not be a 180 or doing something different?

This can be so confusing for me!


You're not alone, many WAS's find this subject confusing. But here's the thing, these "complaints" mean something completely different after BD. Before BD if he said he wanted more PA then he meant it. He was telling you something was lacking and he wanted it fixed. After BD he does NOT want it fixed, he's merely explaining or using it as a reason or excuse to end the M. After BD these complaints are a moving target. Shower him with PA and he'll gripe that you are too clingy and need to back off. Do that and he'll gripe that you're cold and distant. The best thing to do after BD when he brings up these complaints is simply to listen and validate. "It sounds like the lack of PA was very frustrating for you, I'm sorry you felt that way." But don't give him more PA, at least not for now. That's got to wait until his position starts to soften.


Me: 60 w/ S18, D24, D27

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Originally Posted by Oceangl
I appreciate your post very much. I am thinking about it today. I have two questions I am confused on and hoping you can provide clarity:

1. I believe you are saying don't tolerate being treated poorly by your WAS. But how does that line up with allowing them to live at the house with you and have an EA/PA or speak unkindly to you? I feel like a lot of DB seems to be: let them do what they want and put up with it in case they might come back. Where am I going wrong with this?

2. One thing that really confuses me: If my spouse says he is done because he wanted more physical affection (not sex, just physical affection), and says that is a main love language, how does DB fit in with that? Are you saying it's too late for that? I am trying to understand the difference between meeting a need and pursuing. Would that not be a 180 or doing something different?

This can be so confusing for me!


As LH said, never accept mistreatment. so many LBSs think that they can nice the WAS back by being their doormat. No one respects a doormat, and that certainly will not win back your WAS.

LH and AS both said it best. After BD trying to fix their reason for their leaving is just going to irritate them. And they will see it as you simply changing temporarily to win them back, and once they are recommitted you will go back to the way things were. So in short, anything you do or don't do is going to irritate him and push him further away. Even if he responds positively to your changes it is will because he wants to keep you on the hook as plan B. Not sure about you, but I am not interested in being anyone's consolation prize.

We often say around here, "when he wants to reconcile, you will know. When he doesn't, you'll be confused." So don't start showing him physical affection until you know he wants to reconcile.


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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
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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.


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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?


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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.


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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..


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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.


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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.


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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.


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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.


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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.

Quote
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.


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Hey MS

Sorry you didn't feel you were getting the support you needed.

LH is a stand up person and he wouldn't intentionally cause you additional pain. He speaks of reason when it comes to these situations even when we are not ready to hear it. Often times you can see someone else's situation and know exactly what to do because you are not emotionally invested as you are in your own which can cause you to react out of fear and panic.

Please know that so many on this board are exactly where you are at.

You have to focus on yourself. Stop putting the spotlight on your H... but go read my thread... I struggle with that minute to minute all the time.

Hang in there and really focus on DB.

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Originally Posted by MistySea
- 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.


MS I am sorry that my post sent you off the boards that was not my attention. I tend to be a straight shooter in my posts while trying to show compassion because I have been through the pain myself. Some people don't like my style while others appreciate my honesty. I don't think your situation is hopeless in fact none of these situations are hopeless. I am true believer that time and space are the only thing that turns these around in the long term and most people don't have the patience and the discipline to wait it out. So it is my opinion that the little nuisances that you were talking about will not effect your situation in any way so do what feels comfortable to you.

Again I apologize and I will not post on your thread anymore.


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Originally Posted by MistySea
[
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.



I am not sure that what you quoted in verse 5 changes my point on "does not seek it's own" as KJV words it. Absolutely that love is slow to anger. And it doesn't keep a record of wrongs. Totally agree. But if the person wants out of the marriage it is not love that tries to keep them in it. That was my whole point. Forgive them. Don't harbor anger towards them. But if they want out let them out.

Last edited by Steve85; 05/18/20 06:53 PM.

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As far as what LH says. LH is a jerk and you should ignore him. Kidding!! Lol LH along with a few other posters brings the very important message that you can thrive after D. That D isn't a ending, it is a beginning. We all come here terrified of D, but the truth is that sometimes we needed a D and didn't realize it.

I came here hurting and in pain. What I found was caring people that give Frank, honest, straightforward advice. Sugar coating does nothing for anyone. The reason you know these folks care is that they are here, reading and responding, for no other reason than that they care. No one gets paid, they are just here to help.

Hope that helps. I know it helped me.


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Another thing we see a lot here is LBSs being in denial about the possibility of their WAS being in an A. Here are some facts:

- In the vast majority of cases, there is an A, whether an EA or PA
- The reason it is so common is that most WASs are like monkeys resting on a branch. They won't leave their current branch until they find another one that the feel can support them
- The fact that a WAS is willing to walk away from their marriage is the first indicator of an A
- As with trying to hold on for dear life out of love, love often makes the LBS ignore the obvious signs of an A
- The LBS is usually the last person to recognize that there is an A, though the indicators are obvious to others

So what are the indicators that LBSs so often miss:

- First, as stated above, their willingness to walkaway is the first indicator. I would guess that the % of the cases involving affairs where one S wants out of a marriages is in the high 90s.
- Significant periods of time where the WAS's whereabouts are unknown and unaccounted for
- Suddenly needing to work late or having a lot of after work hour work activities
- Always on their phone
- Secretive with their phone
- Long trips to the restroom
- Sits in their car for longs periods of time, either at home or other places
- Lots of "I am going out" without an explanation of where they are going
- If you use GPS to keep track of each other (Life360, etc) and they suddenly turn their GPS off
- Talks about or mentions alot another person (usually a member of the opposite sex)
- Change in grooming and dressing habits
- Suddenly interested in things they were never interested in before
- They stop dressing and undressing in front of you
- They no longer show affection or want to have sex
- They suddenly want sex a lot more (usually with a lack of affection otherwise)
- Anything that seems out of character with no clear explanation
- Start getting up much earlier or staying up much later than normal
- You have a feeling in your gut

Do not dismiss the power of that last bullet point. In both of my W's EAs, I just suddenly had a "feeling" something wasn't right. Maybe it was subtle clues, like being aggravated about having to take care of normal household chores that she normally did (like cooking dinner for the family), or suddenly she was going to bed at 2-3am. Whatever it was I could tell you stories in both cases where I suddenly had a gut instinct that something was amiss.

Why I think this is important, to watch for these signs? Because in both cases of EAs for my W, I was the one confronted and initiated BD. The reason I think that is important from a DBing standpoint is that if you are attuned to what is going on and you stay alert to the signs of above, you confronting them earlier than them getting to the point where they are ready and stating they want to walkaway is huge.

In my W's first EA, I confronted her and she immediately said she didn't want a D. I am not sure, but I believe the EA had been going on, starting slowly, for no more than 2 months when I caught it. By my catching it and confronting I shortcut the EA process, which if you aren't aware of how they work is very iterative. First, small, "harmless" flirting. Then discussions of dissatisfaction in their current relationships. Then more, suggestive flirting. Then pining to be together with one another, either sexually or relationship-wise. Though the wanting to be with each other sexually happens much earlier. It can then progress to virtual sex, exchanging erotic photographs, etc. And I believe all EAs are eventually destined for a PA, though some die on the vine before that point. And eventually will result in the person being willing to become a WAS. Very few start an EA with the intent of leaving their current MR, but the evolution of that EA eventually gets them there.

But by confronting it early, my W had just started into the pining phase. (It was still very powerful and an addiction for her, an addiction that took a while to break.) The longer it went on the less likely her reaction of "I don't want a D" would have been.

And in fact in her second one, just a little over 2 years ago, it had progressed way beyond the pining phase. They were deep in the virtual sex and erotic photo sharing phase. Now, I think this second one was a lot different. The first one happened mostly out of a chance encounter with the AP on social media (a high school reunion site). Couple that with some marital issues between us, it blossomed from just getting reacquainted to a full blown EA, and maybe more if not discovered by me. The second one was much more devious. She had been considering her options for months, and had gotten to the point of actually going out and looking for potential APs. Instead of becoming a walkaway due to the EA, the EA was because she was already willing to walkaway. The second greatly spends up the timeline mentioned above.

But still, even in the second EA, she had not arrived at the point where she was ready to proactively BD. I believe it was only a matter of weeks before it would have happened, but still I made her pull the trigger before she was fully ready. In fact, one of the pieces of evidence I found prior to confronting her was that she had been looking at apartments in the area. So she was getting close.

The point is that a vigilant LBS, that can as early as possible recognize the existence of an A, can improve their chances by discovering the A and confronting their yet-to-be WAS before they are ready to proactively BD. Remember, BD is a long time in coming. Very few WAS meet their AP, and then the next day BD their LBS. It is a process, over a long period of time, where they've convinced themselves that the branch they are ready to jump to can sustain their weight.

The fact that so many LBS come here after BD and are convinced there is no A, or at least completely ignorant to the fact there is one, amazed me. I think denial is a big part of it. But the sooner the A is discovered, and the WAS is confronted, the more likely you are to move to R. IF you still want to after you find out about the affair.

Sorry for the novel. Just something else I've been thinking about lately.


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Steve85, I wish I read this most recent post a year ago. I almost feel sick to my stomach. I think it's accurate.

I knew my wife and the eventual OM had a good friendship and I trusted them both. No lights ever went off in my head because of the age difference. I wouldn't have suspected that she would have this kind of interest in him.

The other thing is she had been active in trying to set him up with women. Just 6 days prior to their first physical contact (as reported by her) he had been lamenting to us both how he felt he had "blown it" with another woman by going too fast and how dating in the modern era was different from what he remembered in the mid 1960s. I think at the very least their communications had probably crossed a line that I, if I had known, would not have considered appropriate, and probably consisted of a lot of information about our own problems. I do know for a fact from a reliable source my W made the decision to divorce weeks before this.

Clearly I needed to have been much more vigilant.

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I think denial is a big part of it. But the sooner the A is discovered, and the WAS is confronted, the more likely you are to move to R.

Steve - As always you are on point with your advice. I was in denial and am not any longer. There is an A. Can you please tell me what / how is the best way to confront a WAS on this? I know this may be completely evident to everyone but I do not know if this should be a discussion of: "your out" or "you can not live here and do that" or "its either me or her" - do ultimatums even work for WAS? I guess I need to know the framework of this confrontation is for the sole reason of kicking him out of the house?

Also, any ideas on how the WAS will respond? So that I can be prepared for that.

Thank you for everyone's input. (as an aside, if you read pp, I will try to man-up and not get too sensitive, I realize its all coming from a good place, and I am beyond appreciative. I legit do want advice from those that have walked this path before.)


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[quote=MistySeaSteve - As always you are on point with your advice. I was in denial and am not any longer. There is an A. Can you please tell me what / how is the best way to confront a WAS on this? I know this may be completely evident to everyone but I do not know if this should be a discussion of: "your out" or "you can not live here and do that" or "its either me or her" - do ultimatums even work for WAS? I guess I need to know the framework of this confrontation is for the sole reason of kicking him out of the house? [/quote]

The thing is you don't have to do any of that. In fact you shouldn't. That's the key.

Prepare yourself for the fact that you're unlikely to ever get any remorse or any type of apology.

You are right that it [censored], and it's ok to be angry about it, that's part of processing all of this. Allow yourself to feel all of it and don't worry about it for a minute.

Realistically someone having an affair like this is usually a "last straw" versus a spur of the moment decision. In most relationships needs don't get met, resentments build up, and just pile up over time. When you're living in the same space there's a lot of motivation to compromise and keep the peace, but usually under the surface there's stuff brewing that isn't getting discussed, usually because both people convince themselves that it's just a temporary issue and will go away on its own.

I read somewhere that for people in a relationship to characterize it as "happy", positive interactions need to outweigh negative ones by a ratio of 7:1. For every one time you come away from an exchange annoyed, you have to come away from seven others feeling good. That's a pretty difficult thing to achieve for most people. If you're shy of that, the resentment snowball is growing.

An affair is escapism for sure, and its usually the result of a chance opportunity, or a thousand micro-escalations that happened without any forethought. What it's really a symptom of, however, is conflict avoidance.

For a relationship to be successful both people need to be willing to blow it up on occasion, argue it out and be prepared to walk if a compromise can't be reached. That takes a lot of strength and self-confidence. For more often people stuff it down and pave over it and eventually you're sitting on a volcano that's ready to blow.

Point is, regardless of the affair one or both of you weren't happy. Usually its just a matter of timing in terms of who pulls the rip cord first.

That's why it's now important to separate the desire for the person, from the desire for resumption of control, stability, and positive validation. Your brain is telling you that getting H back will restore these things, but it won't.

So ask yourself, what do you want and why do you want it?


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Hi Misty,

Originally Posted by Misty
Also, any ideas on how the WAS will respond?

I've not been in this situation, but I've seen it play out here dozens of times. They usually respond with a mix of DENIAL and RELIEF.

Denial - They'll gaslight you about the existence, extent, duration, and beginnings of the affair unless you're certain about them. Unless you have evidence, you're paranoid and delusional. If you do have evidence, prepare for them to lie about anything it doesn't directly prove.

Relief - Once it's out in the open, the shady business is behind them, and they're no longer doing anything wrong. Your eyes are open and it's your choice whether to accept it or leave.

Originally Posted by Misty
how is the best way to confront a WAS on this?

What about IF you should confront? You should only confront if you're certain there's an affair and you're ready to take action about it. Words like, "You have to choose between her and I!" are not action. Otherwise, you've just shown your hand and either look paranoid (if they go the denial route) or feeble (if they go the relief route) or maybe both at the same time (if they go both routes--it's possible!).



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Originally Posted by MistySea
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I think denial is a big part of it. But the sooner the A is discovered, and the WAS is confronted, the more likely you are to move to R.

Steve - As always you are on point with your advice. I was in denial and am not any longer. There is an A. Can you please tell me what / how is the best way to confront a WAS on this? I know this may be completely evident to everyone but I do not know if this should be a discussion of: "your out" or "you can not live here and do that" or "its either me or her" - do ultimatums even work for WAS? I guess I need to know the framework of this confrontation is for the sole reason of kicking him out of the house?

Also, any ideas on how the WAS will respond? So that I can be prepared for that.

Thank you for everyone's input. (as an aside, if you read pp, I will try to man-up and not get too sensitive, I realize its all coming from a good place, and I am beyond appreciative. I legit do want advice from those that have walked this path before.)



I am a confronter by nature. However, I since learned from this forum the right way to do it. I think I handled confronting her okay, but I could have done a lot better.

So here is my advice. When you are ready to confront it you say as little as possible:

"I know what is going on. I know what you are doing. And with whom.'

Then stop. He will deny, deflect, get angry, plead for more info, etc. Here is the thing. Never tell him what you know, or how you know. Leave at the fact that you know.

The mistake most make is to tell what and how. All this does, unless the WAS is ready to walk right then, is to cause the WAS to go deep undercover with their affair. If you say "I saw the text messages on your phone", guess what? His phone will go on lock down like never before. If you tell them what you know, they will gaslight you.

So leave it at "I know" and no more.

No ultimatums do not work. Either they will agree and then sneak around (remember you are dealing with a lying cheater here), or they will just blatantly break it and see if you follow through. So never give an ultimatum UNLESS you are willing to follow through on the promise made with the ultimatum.

A follow-up question to this line of questioning is usually "how will I know when the A is over and he really wants to come back?"

The answer is: you will know without any doubt when he is serious about returning to the MR. On the A being over, when his behavior is consistent over a long period of time, then you can be sure it is over. Do not trust words.


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Steve,

I'd like to make a "sticky" of this thread. Do you have a problem w/that?


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Not at all.


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Originally Posted by Steve85


A follow-up question to this line of questioning is usually "how will I know when the A is over and he really wants to come back?"

The answer is: you will know without any doubt when he is serious about returning to the MR. On the A being over, when his behavior is consistent over a long period of time, then you can be sure it is over. Do not trust words.


Is it a bad idea to ask my WAH if he is still in contact with the OW? Is this pursing? I ask because he is acting like my friend. I don't want to be his friend. I want to be his W. I think I've blown all DB efforts because I have been too accepting of his friendly gestures. I honestly don't know how to behave. I don't want to be in the friend zone, however I don't turn down opportunities to spend time with him out of fear that if I don't this will ruin my changes of R.


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Originally Posted by MoGirl
Originally Posted by Steve85


A follow-up question to this line of questioning is usually "how will I know when the A is over and he really wants to come back?"

The answer is: you will know without any doubt when he is serious about returning to the MR. On the A being over, when his behavior is consistent over a long period of time, then you can be sure it is over. Do not trust words.


Is it a bad idea to ask my WAH if he is still in contact with the OW? Is this pursing? I ask because he is acting like my friend. I don't want to be his friend. I want to be his W. I think I've blown all DB efforts because I have been too accepting of his friendly gestures. I honestly don't know how to behave. I don't want to be in the friend zone, however I don't turn down opportunities to spend time with him out of fear that if I don't this will ruin my changes of R.


Yes it is bad to do that. Remember the DB principle: remove all pressure and pursuit.

WASs and WWs in particular, will cake eat as long as you let them. Always being available to him WHEN he decides to condescend down from his throne to spend time with you doesn't increase your chance of Ring. In fact, it decreases it. Why? Because you are teaching him that he can do whatever he wants, and you'll be there anytime he decides he needs you.

So the best thing you can do is to start turning him down. Go no contact. Make him miss you a little. Remember, humans typically want most what they cannot have.

Mo, one last thing. Anything you do motivated out of fear is likely the wrong thing to do. Do things out of a place of power and control. You cannot control him or when he contacts you. But you can control you and your reactions to it! So let him start seeing what life is truly like without MoGirl in it. Otherwise he will continue to use you as a friend.


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Go no contact.

Steve - What about when the WAH is still living with you?

Alright - though all this has just been going on since Feb 25th, I feel like it has been years...

The WAH is in the house, at first was "trying" at our marriage and I was told he stopped the A during this try time to focus on us, after about a month or so of that, he let me know he still did not feel any rekindled feelings - thought I was a great person, he knew I had made major changes that would stick and thought we would make great friends. (kill me) And he would no longer be trying...but stayed in the house. I really did not understand what "not trying" meant, until I recently discovered that it meant that he was fully back into a EA/PA.

I let him know last night that I know. We have been to one MC session where we learned a DEAR technique for conflict resolution and should practice together - so I used one of our practices to bring up that fact that I now understand what he meant by not trying - and all the associated feelings around it. It turned out to be a lengthy conversation, where he did break down getting a bit weepy and said he was struggling with his decision and that is why he is staying. He was very soft, tender and vulnerable...but that was last night.

This morning, he is back to being distant and cold. And in one interaction we just had, pretty upset.

We are in the house together - how do I effectively DB ?
Right now, little communication - answer his questions with 1 or 2 sentences. Try not to engage. My mind is so muddled out of stress that all I can keep in my head as one rule is SAY NOTHING.

Would really appreciate input on next smart DB steps in this situation.


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Originally Posted by MistySea
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Go no contact.

Steve - What about when the WAH is still living with you?

Alright - though all this has just been going on since Feb 25th, I feel like it has been years...

The WAH is in the house, at first was "trying" at our marriage and I was told he stopped the A during this try time to focus on us, after about a month or so of that, he let me know he still did not feel any rekindled feelings - thought I was a great person, he knew I had made major changes that would stick and thought we would make great friends. (kill me) And he would no longer be trying...but stayed in the house. I really did not understand what "not trying" meant, until I recently discovered that it meant that he was fully back into a EA/PA.

I let him know last night that I know. We have been to one MC session where we learned a DEAR technique for conflict resolution and should practice together - so I used one of our practices to bring up that fact that I now understand what he meant by not trying - and all the associated feelings around it. It turned out to be a lengthy conversation, where he did break down getting a bit weepy and said he was struggling with his decision and that is why he is staying. He was very soft, tender and vulnerable...but that was last night.


Likely this is manipulation on his part. WAHs are often concerned about finances. And he may not be able to move in with her or have anywhere else to go. So he gets a little weepy, pulls at your heartstrings, and cements his ability to continue living there and having you as plan B.

Originally Posted by MistySea

This morning, he is back to being distant and cold. And in one interaction we just had, pretty upset.

We are in the house together - how do I effectively DB ?
Right now, little communication - answer his questions with 1 or 2 sentences. Try not to engage. My mind is so muddled out of stress that all I can keep in my head as one rule is SAY NOTHING.


This is exactly how you should be interacting with him. Be friendly and upbeat, but let him initiate conversation. Avoid R talks but if he corners you in one you listen and validate. Try to be the one to end the conversations. Message about excuse (remember you are busy!).

Originally Posted by MistySea


Would really appreciate input on next smart DB steps in this situation.


Focus on you. Keep GAL (being busy). Keep working on 180s (self improvement). And keep working on detachment. Get to a place where his actions and words have no impact on you.

Oh, I'd stop MC, stat. Never go to MC with a WAS in an active PA.


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Focus on you. Keep GAL (being busy). Keep working on 180s (self improvement). And keep working on detachment. Get to a place where his actions and words have no impact on you.


Thanks for the advice, I wasn't sure if DB meant I should kick him out due to the active PA.

So.... this continues until what? I have no clue...wait... until he leaves, right? frown this just socks.


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Steve,

I logged in to say thank you for your post. I was having a particularly tough day today and I needed this.

I agree with you that letting go is the healthiest and wisest thing to do for a LBS. I believe once you truly let go, only then other possibilities can happen. I believe letting go precedes forgiveness and forgiveness precedes reconciliation. The LBS has to let go and give the WAS time and space that he/she needs. More importantly so that the LBS can find his or her own peace. Then itís up to the WAS to find forgiveness. Someone mentioned that the WAS is full of resentment and the WAS has to forgive before the LBS has a chance of R. Also important to know that, you canít force the WAS to forgive you, itís a process for the WAS to undergo. The LBS has a different journey to make.

I might be oversimplifying it here but I hope I am making my point clear. Note that, I believe this only applies to WAS. Maybe itís different if there is an A involved.

I want to add that letting go is a step-by-step process. Itís difficult to let go everything entirely. So you let go of your attachments one at a time. At your own pace. That would mean letting go of seeing each other, letting go of getting goodnight kisses, letting go of seeing her smiling with someone else, and so on. One at a time. Accept and let go. I am talking from experience and this way of thinking has helped me a lot.


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Originally Posted by MistySea
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Focus on you. Keep GAL (being busy). Keep working on 180s (self improvement). And keep working on detachment. Get to a place where his actions and words have no impact on you.


Thanks for the advice, I wasn't sure if DB meant I should kick him out due to the active PA.

So.... this continues until what? I have no clue...wait... until he leaves, right? frown this just socks.


MS, kicking him out, if it is something you can do (in most places it isn't legal to kick out a spouse, but you can ask that they leave). One of the biggest things we advocate here is to boot the cheating spouse out of the MBR. If I remember in your sitch he is already sleeping in another room.

But yes, I don't think there is anything wrong with telling him that due to his behavior that he is no longer welcome there.

MS, I know it sounds scary at first, but one of the best things I did in my sitch was to contact a lawyer and get a free consultation. It was empowering. It made the D process less scary (the unknown is scary). And when my W found out about it she realized just how serious I was becoming about moving on. Don't do it for that last reason. In fact, don't even tell him you did it. That should be a side-effect, not the goal.

Unfortunately, these things are rarely over quickly. We moved to Ring in about 4 months. But that was unusually fast and there were a lot of unique circumstances that got us there. Most of these things take over a year, and many go on for many years. Unfortunately, WASs are not as motivated to do the legal processes and paperwork as they are at As and acting as if they are already single. Often times the filing of the actual D falls to the LBS who eventually realizes that there is no other alternatives and they've waited for their WAS long enough.


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Originally Posted by funbun
Steve,

I logged in to say thank you for your post. I was having a particularly tough day today and I needed this.

I agree with you that letting go is the healthiest and wisest thing to do for a LBS. I believe once you truly let go, only then other possibilities can happen. I believe letting go precedes forgiveness and forgiveness precedes reconciliation. The LBS has to let go and give the WAS time and space that he/she needs. More importantly so that the LBS can find his or her own peace. Then itís up to the WAS to find forgiveness. Someone mentioned that the WAS is full of resentment and the WAS has to forgive before the LBS has a chance of R. Also important to know that, you canít force the WAS to forgive you, itís a process for the WAS to undergo. The LBS has a different journey to make.

I might be oversimplifying it here but I hope I am making my point clear. Note that, I believe this only applies to WAS. Maybe itís different if there is an A involved.

I want to add that letting go is a step-by-step process. Itís difficult to let go everything entirely. So you let go of your attachments one at a time. At your own pace. That would mean letting go of seeing each other, letting go of getting goodnight kisses, letting go of seeing her smiling with someone else, and so on. One at a time. Accept and let go. I am talking from experience and this way of thinking has helped me a lot.


funbun, thanks. And good insights. The process of getting to Ring and piecing is complex. But I totally agree with you that the first thing the LBS has to do is to let go. I think there is almost no chance of Ring until this occurs. The LBSs that we see here struggling the most are the ones that fight letting go the hardest. I think LBWs struggle the most with this. They have a mentality that love means never giving up.

But letting go is not giving up. You don't have to give up to let go. Letting go means that you become the picnic. The lighthouse. You are no longer moving TOWARDS them, but they knwo where you are and can move towards you if they ever decide to. The analogies of the picnic and the lighthouse are perfect metaphors for letting go (stop moving towards them!), but not giving up.

I also think that LBWs struggle more with the idea of whether or not spouses deserve unconditional love or not. I believe that in romantic relationships there is no such thing as unconditional love. There are always conditions. Conditions like you won't try to murder me. You won't abuse me. You won't have sex with other people. Etc. We SHOULD have conditions on our love. And I think LBWs that struggle the most think that no matter what I have to show him that I love him. Even though I said abuse was a deal-breaker. Though he beat me, I can overcome that deal-breaker with love.

I'd argue, back to my OP in this thread, that when you give up on your deal-breakers after your spouse breaks them, then that is another sign that you love being married to that person, not necessarily that you love that person unconditionally. It is kind of like a parent of a child that commits a crime. Love doesn't say "you committed a crime but I will help you escape the consequences of your crime". True love says "I love you and therefore I want to make sure that you face the consequences for your crime!" A parent that turns their child into the authorities, in my opinion, is showing more love than one that tries to harbor that child and shield them from the law.

I am off on a bit of a tangent, but your post funbun sparked in me a reminder of the behaviors I am seeing in current sitches. This board ebbs and flows. We tend to get a lot of LBHs posting here all at once, then at some point it will flow the other way and we get a myriad of LBWs. Recently we've seen more LBWs, and due to gender differences, the dynamics are always slightly different. But it amazes me to see women that are willing to put up with so much garbage from a man in the name of love. If I pulled half of the garbage that some of these WAHs in these sitches pull, my W would hire a lawyer and file for D so fast my head would spin. Why? Because she has a healthy love for herself! I often wonder if LBWs being willing to put up with so much is rooted in a lack of self-esteem.

Thanks for your words on forgiveness, funbun. Forgiveness is similar to love, in that you can forgive someone, and still require things from them. Take the example I used of the parent above. If a child comes to you and confesses a crime, and asks for forgiveness. The parent can forgive them AND at the same time expect them to turn themselves in to face the consequences of that crime. We as LBSs can move on from a WAS or WS and still love and forgive them.

Last edited by Steve85; 05/21/20 12:53 PM.

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Steve,

I appreciate this thread. It is filled with nuggets of wisdom. Even though I have been through this twice before with my XW, and I have DB'ing down pretty well. Emotions make it challenging.

What I have discovered, is that reading the links in Cadet's welcoming thread and the sticky threads in this forum and MLC forum are a tremendous help.

This thread has helped me look within at what other areas that I need to adjust. One area that I can improve on, is not being too available to my XW. She gave that up, and quite frankly, she doesn't deserve a lot of my time or attention.

I've done my best in my sitch. I don't think there is anything else I could have done. I can now move forward without any regrets and be the best co-parent possible.

That being said, thank you for starting this thread. You are an incredible asset to these forums.


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Originally Posted by LITB
Steve,

I appreciate this thread. It is filled with nuggets of wisdom. Even though I have been through this twice before with my XW, and I have DB'ing down pretty well. Emotions make it challenging.

What I have discovered, is that reading the links in Cadet's welcoming thread and the sticky threads in this forum and MLC forum are a tremendous help.

This thread has helped me look within at what other areas that I need to adjust. One area that I can improve on, is not being too available to my XW. She gave that up, and quite frankly, she doesn't deserve a lot of my time or attention.

I've done my best in my sitch. I don't think there is anything else I could have done. I can now move forward without any regrets and be the best co-parent possible.

That being said, thank you for starting this thread. You are an incredible asset to these forums.


Thanks LITB.

"I've done my best in my sitch. I don't think there is anything else I could have done. I can now move forward without any regrets and be the best co-parent possible."

You nailed the whole goal of DBing! This is what we hope all LBSs can say once they are through to the other end of their sitch. R or D, being able to move on healthy and happy with no regrets is the goal. Congratulations, you are awesome and your life moving forward is setup for awesomeness!


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Appreciate it, Steve. That means a lot.

I recognize that I still have some healing to go through and I will get there. I'm taking one step at a time.

This life is temporary and so is this pain. My aim is the long game. Ultimately, God is in control and eternity in His Kingdom is the destination.

Peace


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Someone mentioned that the WAS is full of resentment and the WAS has to forgive before the LBS has a chance of R. Also important to know that, you canít force the WAS to forgive you, itís a process for the WAS to undergo.


Funbun- YES! There is so much resentment from my WAH, I see it in his clenched jaw, his dead stare that follows me when I am in the room. My DD tells me he just stares at me when we are all together. (I openly ignore him, so I don't see it myself, but I sure feel it. And when it happens, something bad soon follows.)

In our 'd.e.a.r practice session' his item was something that occurred 12 YEARS AGO! I knew it bothered him, but not to the extent he shared his feelings on it. Resentment - just outright anger - and a lot of it.

I guess I mistakenly thought that if he pours out that anger, if he grinds me into the ground with his heel, he will get it out and get some closure and move to forgiveness. That was the 'before' plan - dropping 40 pounds in 2 months, getting only 3 hrs a sleep at a time, walking around on eggshells - is something I can no longer do, I can not keep that up long-term.
The 'new' plan is to arm-distance - treat him like a drowning person that is flailing around - keep a healthy distance or else he will take me down too.

Quote
I want to add that letting go is a step-by-step process. Itís difficult to let go everything entirely. So you let go of your attachments one at a time. At your own pace.

This is so helpful - because there is so much talk of detaching and its importance - but I was left not understanding at all how to even do that. Your point is pretty much eating an elephant one bite at a time. And maybe that is what I am already doing, but it was helpful to read your examples- mine are similar - no more good night talks, then no more good night hugs, now its just no more good night anything. It was helpful to see thru your post that - yeah - I am detaching (at my own snail pace).


Last edited by MistySea; 05/21/20 03:14 PM.

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Wisdom from LH19 that all those who are dealing with WAS should read....

Originally Posted by LH19
Originally Posted by MistySea
I REALLY dont think any of this is going to amount to a hill of beans in the end . Oh, I would love for him to work this out - but this guy has other things going on in his head - and having a OW whispering sweet nothings and sheer adorations - is not helping. What I have learned on this board (just recently), is that you could do everything right per DB rules - and they still leave you. The wisdom being taught here is to detach detach detach so when it does happen, your just a bit more prepared.


Even if you do everything 100% perfectly starting today, this is still a months/years-long turnaround.

When you live with someone, there is a huge motivation to keep the peace. Everyone wants peace in their lives. If you blew up over every little thing that happened between you, you would both be miserable.

As such, you push things down and gloss over them as you live together, and the consequence of that is that resentment builds.

If resentment builds too much over time, eventually it becomes "too much" and people start contemplating an exit from the relationship. During this period, the relationship is really "on trial" but the other party is usually totally unaware of it.

Once the trial is over and the person has more or less resolved to leave, you're on the tail end of a years long process. It goes "things are overall good, but this stuff is annoying" -> "These things are really annoying but not bad enough that I want to leave" -> "These things are really annoying and I don't know if I can stay" -> "These things are really annoying and now I have to get out"

Unfortunately, in many cases the "annoying things" were never even articulated, or if they were, not with enough gravity. Once the "I need to leave" point is reached, whatever those things are get magnified (the coffee incident) and new ones get invented to help convince the departing partner that they are making the right choice, its an act in self-reinforcement which sometimes requires lots of fabrication.

Over time, you have *trained each other* what to expect from the other. He knows how you will react to any given situation, what you will say, how you will act, and he has decided that's not compatible with what he wants.

If you decide you don't want that either, and decide to make a change for yourself, initially he'll think you're just doing it as a gambit to get him back and as soon as he lets her guard down, you'll revert to who you "really are" in terms of who you've trained him that you are.

In order to turn this around he needs to *fully believe* that you've changed, and that you're not doing it just to get him back.

How do you convince him of that?

(1) Repetition, lots and lots of repetition in terms of reacting differently, acting differently, than you have historically.

(2) Acting differently when no one is looking

(3) Finding a life for your new self that doesn't require her. That's the only way you make it credible that your changes are for you. He won't even see them until she believes that you don't need him.

As a WAS, they will often displace blame on the LBS because they need to give themselves some relief, so eventually they are angry at you for what you did, and then they are angry at you again for what they did.

If they are in that state of mind, can you see why pursuing them or having relationship talks is just totally hopeless?

Can you see why if you address their past complaints *now* it just makes them angrier at you?

The three biggest things he's dealing with right now are fear and uncertainty about the future, guilt for what he's doing to you and your children, and anger and resentment over your role in pushing him to this point.

Everything you do right now is going to make him either more resentful, or less resentful.

If you increase his guilt, by blaming, shaming, or making her responsible for your emotional state, he's going to resent you more.

If you pursue him, argue with her, or try to convince him to work with you on the marriage, he's going to resent you for not letting him go and not giving him the space he wants.

If you immediately address all her historic complaints, he's going to resent the fact that you didn't do it sooner, and things had to get this bad for you to take action.

If you give him space, itís going to make him less resentful.

If you live your own life, and are happy and joyful for your own sake, itís going to make him less resentful.

If you are respectful in your communications with him, but not intimate, itís going to make him less resentful.

*Eventually* she will burn through that big pile of resentment.

*Eventually* he will process his anger at you and it will dissipate.

UNTIL he goes through both of those processes, he will not see you as anything other than he believes you to be based on his prior training.

If he thinks you wear blue every day, and you start wearing red, he's still going to think of you as the girl that wears blue, because he literally can't see you right now.

WHILE he is processing his anger and resentment, YOU work on your changes. You do it slowly and methodically *for you*.

If you're a 2 today, you don't focus on being a 10, you focus on being a 3. Then you focus on being a 4. You be kind to yourself.

While his anger and resentment are burning down, your changes are building up.

When eventually he's had enough time and space that he can SEE YOU again, he'll be surprised by what she sees, and he'll question for the first time the assumptions he has held about you.

THAT is the beginning of your opportunity to turn things around, but you CANNOT control how long it will take him to process his anger and resentment, and you CANNOT accelerate it.

Buckle your seatbelt, itís a marathon and you have to be patient and surrender to the fact that this relationship is NOT something you can control right now.

That's an uncomfortable feeling, but the sooner you own that fact, the better you'll do.




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Originally Posted by MistySea
Wisdom from LH19 that all those who are dealing with WAS should read....

Originally Posted by LH19
Originally Posted by MistySea
I REALLY dont think any of this is going to amount to a hill of beans in the end . Oh, I would love for him to work this out - but this guy has other things going on in his head - and having a OW whispering sweet nothings and sheer adorations - is not helping. What I have learned on this board (just recently), is that you could do everything right per DB rules - and they still leave you. The wisdom being taught here is to detach detach detach so when it does happen, your just a bit more prepared.


Even if you do everything 100% perfectly starting today, this is still a months/years-long turnaround.

When you live with someone, there is a huge motivation to keep the peace. Everyone wants peace in their lives. If you blew up over every little thing that happened between you, you would both be miserable.

As such, you push things down and gloss over them as you live together, and the consequence of that is that resentment builds.

If resentment builds too much over time, eventually it becomes "too much" and people start contemplating an exit from the relationship. During this period, the relationship is really "on trial" but the other party is usually totally unaware of it.

Once the trial is over and the person has more or less resolved to leave, you're on the tail end of a years long process. It goes "things are overall good, but this stuff is annoying" -> "These things are really annoying but not bad enough that I want to leave" -> "These things are really annoying and I don't know if I can stay" -> "These things are really annoying and now I have to get out"

Unfortunately, in many cases the "annoying things" were never even articulated, or if they were, not with enough gravity. Once the "I need to leave" point is reached, whatever those things are get magnified (the coffee incident) and new ones get invented to help convince the departing partner that they are making the right choice, its an act in self-reinforcement which sometimes requires lots of fabrication.

Over time, you have *trained each other* what to expect from the other. He knows how you will react to any given situation, what you will say, how you will act, and he has decided that's not compatible with what he wants.

If you decide you don't want that either, and decide to make a change for yourself, initially he'll think you're just doing it as a gambit to get him back and as soon as he lets her guard down, you'll revert to who you "really are" in terms of who you've trained him that you are.

In order to turn this around he needs to *fully believe* that you've changed, and that you're not doing it just to get him back.

How do you convince him of that?

(1) Repetition, lots and lots of repetition in terms of reacting differently, acting differently, than you have historically.

(2) Acting differently when no one is looking

(3) Finding a life for your new self that doesn't require her. That's the only way you make it credible that your changes are for you. He won't even see them until she believes that you don't need him.

As a WAS, they will often displace blame on the LBS because they need to give themselves some relief, so eventually they are angry at you for what you did, and then they are angry at you again for what they did.

If they are in that state of mind, can you see why pursuing them or having relationship talks is just totally hopeless?

Can you see why if you address their past complaints *now* it just makes them angrier at you?

The three biggest things he's dealing with right now are fear and uncertainty about the future, guilt for what he's doing to you and your children, and anger and resentment over your role in pushing him to this point.

Everything you do right now is going to make him either more resentful, or less resentful.

If you increase his guilt, by blaming, shaming, or making her responsible for your emotional state, he's going to resent you more.

If you pursue him, argue with her, or try to convince him to work with you on the marriage, he's going to resent you for not letting him go and not giving him the space he wants.

If you immediately address all her historic complaints, he's going to resent the fact that you didn't do it sooner, and things had to get this bad for you to take action.

If you give him space, itís going to make him less resentful.

If you live your own life, and are happy and joyful for your own sake, itís going to make him less resentful.

If you are respectful in your communications with him, but not intimate, itís going to make him less resentful.

*Eventually* she will burn through that big pile of resentment.

*Eventually* he will process his anger at you and it will dissipate.

UNTIL he goes through both of those processes, he will not see you as anything other than he believes you to be based on his prior training.

If he thinks you wear blue every day, and you start wearing red, he's still going to think of you as the girl that wears blue, because he literally can't see you right now.

WHILE he is processing his anger and resentment, YOU work on your changes. You do it slowly and methodically *for you*.

If you're a 2 today, you don't focus on being a 10, you focus on being a 3. Then you focus on being a 4. You be kind to yourself.

While his anger and resentment are burning down, your changes are building up.

When eventually he's had enough time and space that he can SEE YOU again, he'll be surprised by what she sees, and he'll question for the first time the assumptions he has held about you.

THAT is the beginning of your opportunity to turn things around, but you CANNOT control how long it will take him to process his anger and resentment, and you CANNOT accelerate it.

Buckle your seatbelt, itís a marathon and you have to be patient and surrender to the fact that this relationship is NOT something you can control right now.

That's an uncomfortable feeling, but the sooner you own that fact, the better you'll do.





I think this is a very powerful post. Ever since DB I have struggled for the loss of what I considered to be my stable live and my M. I have tried to use words to fight the attitude of my WAS and suffered ups and down because I felt the need to get control over the situation my family is going through. I have heard many times from my WAS that she likes nothing about me and my personality, she has told me I was the only thing not fitting right in her life and she has mocked any comments about rebuilding our marriage due to my previous inability to turn things around. The worst of all is the amount of blame she has put on me and paralyzed me in moving on to a new kind of happiness.

I am starting to see, and much of that is thanks to this board, that this can be the best thing that has ever happened to me. My work on me is giving me better relationships with my children, family and at work. My WAS continues to bash her resentment on me but my goals are long term and they involve a new me. I guess it is a very painful feeling because when you put yourself in the mirror and see the ways you were hurting your spouse it all becomes very obvious, and you want to make up for your mistakes NOW. I am reading books about self improvement and relationships and you immediately want to apply those principles with WAS, something as frustrating as trying to stick Velcro to glass.

This post hits right on that mindset that should be my goal everyday when I get up. Thanks a lot for sharing it, I will make sure to re-read it many times until it sinks. I dont think my WAS has an EA/PA but I never really searched for evidence and when I asked she seemed genuine in telling me the problem was in fact, me. However I agree that the picnic/lighthouse analogy apply to all us LBS. Let's be happy and be the best option. If they choose to ignore it, is their loss. At least we used this painful crisis to improve as human beings and parents if applicable, and that is inline with my values and beliefs.

Last edited by Pack_19; 05/28/20 11:03 AM.

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Thank you BlueSea for sharing that and thank you to LH19 for that in depth explanation. That was exactly what I was trying to convey when talking about the fact that WAS has to deal with the resentment first before LBS has a chance of R.

I can tell my W has a lot of resentment within her and she blames me for everything that has happened. Which is weird, because I am the one that is left behind, yet she's the one that is angry *shrugs*


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fun, in your sitch I think the anger and resentment is as much at herself as it is at you. I think she is angry that she went through with the wedding and getting married when deep down she didn't want to. NOTE, that has NOTHING to do with you. Yes she blames you because it is easier to blame you than to blame herself. But in a moment of clarity she will admit to herself, and in time others, that she should have been stronger and never went through with the wedding.

My cousin was supposed to marry his GF back several years ago. He proposed the summer before, they set a date. I was going to be in the wedding. As the date approached, being only 4-5 weeks away, he still had not told me and the other guys in the wedding where to go get fitted for our tuxs. I started telling my W (then GF), that he wasn't going to go through with the wedding.

When 3 weeks out he started to voice to his parents and other that he didn't want to go through with it, people were irate. His parents were angry. His brother was furious. Obviously everyone on her side was furious. I maintained at the time that he was doing the right thing. Calling it off BEFORE the wedding, not going through with it and getting a D later. And while he took a lot of pressure, scorn and anger, he did the right thing. Your W at some point, with the momentum of everything (ordering the dress, having showers, etc) felt she was past the point of no return. But after the wedding she finally broke. And all of those feelings were focused on you, when really she is the only one to blame. She could have stopped it at any point before the wedding, and was too cowardly to do it. That is all on her.


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I read this from Bluewave and thought it was perfect in every way...its been 3 months for me...and I finally understand this. Before I was too afraid and in denial to take anything in. Sharing:

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What I wish I could have also done differently and what I tell people here is to LET THEM GO. It's so simple it's hard to understand. When a person hurts us and rejects us, we cannot be nice, be friendly, and hope they will love us again. We can and should tell ourselves that we are worthy of more, we deserve better, and go dark. They do not deserve our attention, to see us weak, or to know our thoughts and feelings.

It wasnt until I let go of H and started to see a life without him that he realized what he was losing. It took me 10 months to hold my head up, let him go, and show the world I deserve better than this fool! No one wants a needy, sad, or weak person. No one wants someone angry or raging at them. No one is attracted to someone waiting for them as they are actively rejecting them. Again, so simple it's hard to understand.

Hold your head up high. Go dark. Let him go. And you take that time to take care of number one. You are number one. If sees over time that you are a beautiful and strong woman that is too good for him, then he can maybe prove to you that he deserves another chance. Maybe.


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Sharing from the archives that I recently starting looking at for more answers...as an LBS it helped me to understand the perspective from the other side....

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(Stayeds husband) here. Stayed asked me to write to you about your present situation. Before I do, however, I need to say a couple of things:

1. I don't know your H, your relationship or anything about his present situation.
2. The fact that things turned around for Stayed and I may not be "the normal way these things turn out".
3. The feelings and experiences that I had may not be the same as those your H is experiencing.

That said:

I have loved Stayed my whole life. The things we have been through together and the obstacles that we have overcome with our marriage, our children, financial problems, work related issues and so on amaze me. We really were, and I believe we are again, a single team. I never doubted her absolute support and willingness to work and fight with me to get where we needed to be and she felt the same way about me. I'm not sure that everyone's relationship is so intense or all consuming so the starting points may be different.

In spite of all this I went through this period of madness in my life that really had little to do with Stayed. I was very unhappy and unsatisfied with my life. I think that at some point you realize that "this is my life" and maybe you aren't "where you thought you would be" or what you would be and somehow it is all very disheartening. You've had your shot and there really isn't much you can do to change your "lot in life". Maybe an affair is in some way a dramatic way of "taking action" of "doing something" or refusing to accept the status quo. You really don't have to accept "your reality" you can change things and plot a new course. All of this of course sounds very fascinating to a middle aged (or older) guy who is feeling somewhat disappointed in (sorry for) himself and thinks that "there should be more" to life. It defies rationale explanation but the allure of the fantasy (not the other woman the "new life") is so overpowering that even though you know it is nonsense you still carry on.

So you live your fantasy and you choose not to think about all the pain and damage that you are causing. There is an emotional train wreck happening all around you but you do a couple of things that let you "deal with it". You tell yourself that this happens all the time and therefore it is normal. People change and their needs change. I'm just moving on in pursuit of my new needs to take full advantage of what is left of my life. It would be unthinkable not to do everything possible to "be happy". That's the whole point of being alive isn't it? I didn't intend to cause any pain and suffering so the sooner we get through this part the better. People die, bad things happen in life and eventually we all get through it and learn to live with it. It's painful now but that won't last indefinitely. Eventually everyone will realize that this was "for the best".

There are lots of times though that you see the illusion for what it really is. It is hard to deal with so you block it by doing "all kinds of fun things". Keep yourself busy, go places, do things: eat in nice restaurants, go dancing, see movies, keep your mind busy. As long as there are bright lights and distractions you won't dwell on your own stupidity. When you get tired and your mind starts to wander you suppress it. I took anti depressants and sleeping pills so that I could just turn off and get some sleep instead of thinking about the whole situation. The sleeping pills worked great but I actually got annoyed because the anti depressants didn't make me feel good about the whole situation...what the hell was I paying for anyway?

You seek assurances from friends and family because you are "too close to the situation" to see it clearly. If they don't outright tell you that you are being an absolute [censored] you assume that their neutral or supportive comments like "no matter what you do you will still be my...(friend, brother, whatever) are more positive than they are. You hear what you want to hear and if they say something you don't like you ignore it and go somewhere else for re-assurance.

The second aspect of the whole thing is that it doesn't seem real. You don't feel the full impact of anything you do. You feel like you are living an adventure. I tell Stayed that it often felt like I was watching myself in a movie. The more I think about it the more this seems to apply. The fact is that when you are watching a movie, you know it is going to end, you also know that it isn't real. Unfortunately, unlike a movie where none of it is real, the situation you have created may not be real for you but it is absolutely real for everyone else. There is a part of you that knows you are not going to stay on the ride forever (or in the movie) and that when it is over you will come back to reality, you just don't want that to happen "right now'. So the bullshit drags on and on and the pain continues for everyone who isn't in the movie and for you when you have those moments that you realize that it isn't a movie either. Then you take your pills, drink and find "fun things" to do to drown out the painful thoughts.


The third thing is that you have an anchor in reality. It is like knowing that if things get a little too weird in a dream you can always tell yourself it is just a dream (even while dreaming) and if it gets real bad you can actually make yourself wake up. It doesn't matter how far you lean out the window, you can always pull yourself back in. Knowing that Stayed was worried about me (it's not me, I'm sick) and knowing that she wanted desperately to have me back made the melodrama of the movie even more intoxicating but more importantly it reassured me that I had an out. I knew that she would be there for me regardless of what sort of an idiot I was being because our love could transcend any stupidity.

So what does all this mean?


I'm not sure because people and relationships are different. I promised Stayed things several times and then let her down totally. When I made those promises I meant them but the other life was just so addictive that I fell right back into the illusion (movie or dream, take your pick). At some point, however, I realized that I was in danger of actually losing Stayed and that if that happened my life would be empty. No anchor, no way back, no reality, just a movie. I actually added this to my screenplay. Sure, she might say we were through but a couple of years from now when I came to my senses it would be so romantic getting back together...what the hell was I thinking. That's when I woke up.

So, I can't be sure and I would hate to offer advice (let's face it we know I'm an idiot) but if your h is having a similar experience to the one I had, then "chasing" him just reassures him that his anchor is still holding. It also adds to the drama of the movie. On the other hand, if you just let go he might be completely consumed by the illusion. There are numerous real movies that have used this theme; you see them all the time. They always rely on the gimmick that if you believe in something hard enough or if you love someone strong enough that you can bring them back from the brink and save them (even Darth Vader turned out to be salvageable in the end, realizing his mistake before he died). Sorry, they are just movies. Real people need to be shaken up and someone has to turn on the lights in the theatre.

So, if you stop chasing and checking up and worrying you might actually lose him. Would that be any worse than the suffering you are experiencing right now? How much longer do you want to hurt, be angry and confused? On the other hand, you thought he was your life partner and you feel that you are abandoning him if you don't try to "help him through this". It is a horrible situation to be in.

So, my suggestion would be to stop chasing and checking and reassuring him that the anchor is still holding solid. Quit making the movie more dramatic and exciting. Tell him:

That you want to work on the marriage, that you can forgive him and take him back but starting today your life is about you and not about his movie. You can't be sure where this decision will lead you but you need more than hopes and dreams that things will be the way they were. You are very sad and you feel very sorry for him and hope that he will be OK but you have had enough and you can't let this situation ruin two lives. If he comes to his senses and wants to be with you then you hope that happens before your life takes a new direction and the door closes. You are not going to live in the past and you are prepared to move on without him.

Then live your life as if he may not come back. Believe it, don't play it: he may not come back. If he doesn't then how will that be any worse than what you are living now? On the other hand, if he feels the danger like I did, he may be smacked back into reality. Depending on when that happens and where you are with your life you can make a decision at that time as to what you want to do.


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From Maika (back in 2017) who was re-posting from AnotherStander. Good info about the fog that LBS' are in and why we continue to act as we do .... I was deep in the fog (and probably still am).

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I just want to add one thing with is keeping with the spirit of this post, but it is slightly tangential. It is probably one of the best pieces of insight that I got here and every LBS should know this. The credit for this goes to AnotherStander who laid it out in plain terms when I was in the throes of my confusion. His insight really opened my eyes and I am putting it here in my words (I will try and go back later and find what AS exactly said)

Quick caveat: I know some people on the board don't like using the word 'fog' as it stands. They think it's too reductive and maybe negative to portray the WAS in that light. I am using the term 'fog' here to describe the mindset and attitude rather than saying that it is negative or not. For me it represents confusion and mental jedi mind-tricks to rationalize the situation - for both the LBS and the WAS.

The 'FOG'

Both the LBS and the WAS spend some time living in the 'fog'. The interesting thing is that this 'fog' is diametrically opposed for the LBS and the WAS.

The LBS 'fog' is all about looking at the MR and their spouse with rose-colored glasses and thinking that the MR breakdown was all their fault. If they can just reverse some of their faults quickly, or do more around the house, or spend more time with kids, or pay more attention to their spouse, the WAS will change their mind or come back. In this 'fog', the LBS can't see clearly that they were not the only one responsible for the MR breakdown, and that they were also unhappy with some things in the MR. But, in the LBS 'fog' all of this is obscured and the LBS tries to grab on to any crumbs or shreds of life from the WAS to restore the MR. Once this fog slowly starts to clear and the LBS can see that they are worthy of love, respect, and can see the MR in a more objective light. They also realize that they were unhappy and that their needs weren't being met either. As soon as this 'fog' clears, the LBS is able to take charge of their life, have more control, and realize that they will not go back into the old MR again.

On the opposing side:

The WAS 'fog' is projecting most of the blame on the LBS and rewriting MR history. During this time they can hold anger, resentment, rage etc towards the LBS. The mindset hinders their ability to take responsibility for their contributions to the breakdown of the MR and that their unhappiness is not the sole result of the actions of the LBS. Once their 'fog' starts clearing, they can see more objectively about the MR and realize their contributions to its breakdown. Whether they want to do something about that is a different story, but until this 'fog' clears, they are really hindered in seeing what they brought to the table as well. Sandi has written extensively about the WW mindset, which every LBS should read as well.

A more simpler way to describe the difference in the 'fog' is that the LBS 'internalizes' the faults and the WAS 'externalizes' the faults. I know this may sound overly simplistic and it isn't always fully true, but it is a start to at least unpacking the feelings and thoughts that accompany the 'fog' mindset.

I apologize if I have misrepresented the concept as someone else understands it. I am just sharing what I thought was very useful insight for me about the 'fog' mindset as this is all consuming in the early stages after BD.


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2017 post from Zues - thread: WAS showing you positive signs? WAIT- READ THIS!

The goal of this post is to avoid misinterpreting their WAS's mixed messages resulting in actions that hurt ourselves, our WAS's, and our chances for the M.

If you're an LBS it's important that you don't assign too much meaning to signs of warmth or indecision from your WAS. One of the easiest mistakes to make is to assume other people feel and think similar to how we do. In our LBS minds it's easy to project how we feel or how we desperately want our WAS's to feel onto them. Maybe this is part of denial, we simply can't imagine things not working out so we are just waiting for the sign that shows us this is the part of the movie where everyone falls back into each others arms.

Hey, we're human, we're going to feel desperate at times and get our hopes up at times. That's fine. We just can't let it derail the road we need to walk.

WAS's are much farther gone that we think. On these forums we say the marriage is dead at BD. That maybe if you do your work and they do theirs a day might come when the two people you become reengage, but this relationship is dead.

This isn't about giving up hope. I'm 100% in favor of standing for a marriage. It's about not allowing ourselves to be strung along and fed crumbs so we end up enabling an impermissible situation.

I remember when, 90 days after BD, my XW started sending me emails that demonstrated some regret. I'd been warned and was trying very hard to be deliberate and cautious. Very hard. I waited hours before I'd respond. I'd check with the boards. I was TRYING to reign my emotions in. But when she used phrases like "She hated divorce" and "She liked the person I was becoming" and "She missed talking to me" and asking if I was seeing anyone or if I still thought about us together, I was SURE this was a big break through! She finally was seeing what I saw, that we can work this out!!!

She called me late in the night and said she was drinking a little and she missed me and our marriage and was so lonely she didn't think she could make it through. I, the white knight I was, drove over to see her because she sounded like she was in a dark place.

You all buckled up? When I got there, she freaked out because OM was sleeping upstairs in the marital bed passed out. She was depressed because he had just told her he wanted to break up with her. I'll spare you what was by FAR the worst part (for those who like pain you can dig up my old thread) but I had a chance the next day to open up her phone and I was blown away with what I saw. She had been with many different guys, and she had a different persona via text message exchange with each of them including new OMs she was lining up. She also had one with her friend talking about how "Great, now I have to push Zues away again because of yesterday..."

This isn't my thread, but I hope this example is better than a general warning. Conflicting feelings and some sadness does NOT equate to remorse and commitment to the marriage.

So, how is it that they can express genuine regret, pain, loneliness, and warmth without meaning 'let's get the band back together?'
Simple. Those feelings are genuine, they just aren't commitment.

Pretend your WAS started using heroine habitually. Or started gambling away all of their money every paycheck. Do you think that they'd feel regret at times? Do you think they'd feel the pain of the consequences of their choices at times? Do you think that they'd miss their old life at times? Of course they would, but that's totally irrelevant. We know they do. The ONLY thing that matters is whether they have felt enough of those things to hit the rock bottom to where they'll actually commit 100% to changing their lives for the better. Even then it's lip service and only time will tell if their actions match their words.

So why do they do this to us? Simple. To avoid consequences.

Some is avoiding physical consequences. Maybe they want to control the speed of the breakup, like when you wade into cold water little by little. They aren't ready to be splashed yet, they're still working up to it- but they are going to do it on their time, in their way. They don't want you charging around now they have to deal with consequences like being cut off financially, or having family or mutual friends hear about their behavior, and it sure is easier to get you to agree to give them whatever they want whenever they want it when you are blinded by hope.

Some consequences they wish to avoid are emotional. So long as they string you along they aren't sacrificing their marriage for their love affair because they know they can get you back at any time, so they are just indulging themselves because they deserve to feel better. No, they don't want you back, but by knowing you are still there they don't have to deal with the sense of loss the same way they would if you moved on.

So how can they say they say they want to repair the marriage one day and then not follow through the next, you KNOW they were being genuine at the time. Hey, I'm not saying those emotions aren't real, just that they aren't the same as ongoing consistent behavior. There is something I call "Medicating with positive intent". Think of it this way. Say a friend is in an abusive relationship. Their partner just slapped them around. They call you crying and saying they can't take anymore. So what do they do? They talk to you for hours, making plans about where they will go, what they will do, and on and on. Guess what? Now they are feeling better. Empowered. Hopeful. They feel alright again...hmm...now they feel alright again, and guess what? Things aren't that bad. They do love so and so. They can get through it after all. I don't know about you but I've seen too many examples of people that truly convince themselves they are going to make a positive change because the good feelings that follow their well intended proclamation are all they really needed, no reason now to bother with all of that following through hard work stuff. It'll be ok. Right?

So what's an LBS to do?

Well, the first step is to read this like ten times and really understand it. Because while our feelings will be all over the map, we have a responsibility. If we truly love our WAS's we need to allow them to experience the consequences of their choices. This is the best chance to save the M. And if that isn't possible, consider it the last gift you give to someone you pledged your life to, ending on a positive note after all of the hurt. That gift means that when they are engaging in unhealthy choices that are destroying their lives we don't make it easy for them to keep doing it.

I'm not here to script out verbal responses to temp checks and displays of emotion, but the underlying message you need to communicate are things like this:
-Your not the shoulder to cry on anymore
-Getting back together isn't that simple anymore
-You are firm in your boundaries and won't accept [open marriage, loveless marriage, sexless marriage, uncommitted partner, disrespect, etc]
-You've told her everything you have to tell her and have nothing left to say (no R talks, never ever ever ever).

From our LBS view it seems like we're destroying our only hope. But WAS wants to have the R talk!!! If I blow them off then they'll blame me for being the one that ended it.

Hogwash. If WAS is seriously remorseful and ready to do anything and everything to work on the marriage they will let you know. They won't play games. The 'well then, that's why we can't work' card is manipulative and proof there is no lasting remorse. Any R talk that doesn't start with them going first with a list of apologies and re-commitments is just proving to her that you are willing to compromise your boundaries and remain emotionally involved with a wayward spouse. I repeat, this is hurting yourself, your WAS, and your chances of preserving your family.

In conclusion, if you are seeing signs that your spouse wants to return, post all about it here. Get it out of your system. Overreact on these forums. Tell us how it's going to work out after all, that we were wrong, that YOU KNEW your WAS, you KNEW they would fall back into your arms, that you think you are in piecing, etc, etc, etc. But please, for all that is good and holy, stay detached from them outwardly and give them time to see if they actually recommit, show true remorse, and prove it to you with consistent behavior over time. Keeping DBing and may you make it to the other side, whatever lies ahead.


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BlueSea, thank you for going into the archives and sharing these posts. You found some real gems. I think I'll take Zeus's advice and read the last one, at the very least, 10 times.

Only 2 1/2 months after BD my feelings/emotions are still all over the place. On balance I think things are a little better. Some days are noticeably better as I concentrate on plans for my post D life and even feel a little excited over how awesome life is going to be once this nightmare is behind me. I go to bed feeling optimistic and content only to awaken three or four hours later with my first thought of the day being OMG is this actually happening?

Maika/AS's post was a helpful reminder to me that part of my own experience in the "LBS fog" was the self blame, and how unreasonable it was for me to be putting all of this on myself. In hindsight, yes, I was far from perfect and definitely needed a more heightened awareness of the true health of our couplehood, which was clearly heading in the wrong direction, but I can recognize at this time that my W made her own contributions to the demise of our marriage and could have worked harder herself and communicated her concerns in a more constructive and less toxic way.

My W owns a timeshare on one of RI's beautiful beaches where we had so much fun in past years. There is nothing more relaxing than the sound of ocean waves crashing onto the beach when first waking up in the morning. This is the week we were supposed to be there together. Instead she's there with the OM, a former friend of mine. She contacted me a few days back with a reminder that it would mean a lot to her if I stayed there Wed through Sat because she knows how much I love it there, and of course there was the reminder too that it was her wish we could always be friends. I said "nah, I'm good, made other plans for those days, thanks anyways". Not sure how she could have thought it would have been enjoyed the same way under the current circumstances. It wasn't even tempting, my own sense of self-respect is the most important thing to me, and I would have been questioning it if I went.

The other night I was watching reruns of Three and a Half Men. It dawned on me in the middle of one of them that I was laughing, laughing pretty good actually. I tried to remember if I had even laughed at all since BD on 4/6. I don't think I had. I remembered the importance of laughter, it's something I need to do more of during this difficult time when I can find it. It can be very therapeutic. I think it was further evidence I'm slowly but surely getting to a better place. There is a nearby comedy club that I think I'll be going to more often, as part of my GAL strategy, once places begin to open up again.

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Originally Posted by Steve85
"But I love him/her, I would do this for anyone that I love."

Nice sentiment. But it is a false narrative. Why do I say that? Because we aren't doing those nice things to try to win them back out of our love for them, we are doing them out of fear. Many of those behaviors have been absent from our MRs long before BD happened. Did we not love our spouse prior to BD? So "But I love him/her, I would do this for anyone that I love" isn't really true is it? The thing is maybe, just maybe, if you had done those "nice" behaviors all along then you wouldn't be in your situation. I say maybe because that may or may not be true. There are plenty of D'd LBSs that were good spouses before their lying, cheating, walkaway up and left them. There are no guarantees in life.

But for sake of argument, let's say that you could have prevented your sitch with those loving behaviors. The fact is, that now it is too late. After BD the last thing you should be doing is trying to smother your WAS with kindness, loving actions, and being nice to win them back. I often say that the last thing a LBS should do after being told that their WAS wants less of them, is to try to give their WAS more of the LBS! And I think a lot of this has to do with how we, as a society, think about love.


Here's my confusion. There are lots of nice things that I've always done for my spouse. From the outside, the few friends that know what is happening, some of my wife's family that knows, and recently I've gotten unsolicited comments from the kids regarding their struggle with my wife's actions because they only see the outside.

My wife has PTSD. It was caused by my situation. It was compounded by my absence. Healing was further compromised by my being passive and emotionally withdrawing from her once I got home. I get how she got to this point.

But even while being emotionally withdrawn and incommunicative, I was also always doing nice things for her and the family. I'm working on being more open with my emotions when dealing with everyone else. With WAW, I continue being withdrawn. I'm increasing communication, but focusing on logistics and kids stuff, not any communications about us, the future, the marriage, or the past.

So when you talk about "doing those nice things to try to win them back...out of fear", well I just have trouble becoming the person that doesn't do all those things for others including her. It is part of who I am. I don't want that person to go away, I just want him to be more open with his emotions and communications rather than only showing love through actions.


Originally Posted by Steve85
Do you love being married to your WAS more than you actually love your WAS?


No. I want her to be happy first and foremost. I just disagree that a divorce will get her there. Just like I want my kids to have happy relationships in their future and I always have and will continue to teach them that you put in the work to make it happen. Learn from Dad's mistakes. Learn from Mom's mistakes. Read Michele's books when you start the relationship, not when its coming unraveled.

Obviously, I can't "teach" this to my wife. She has to learn on her own and find her own path. I understand the problems with pursuit. I understand the problems with clinging. But I can't become a person that is helpful and doing nice things for everyone else even strangers, and I struggle excluding her from how I normally operate.

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Originally Posted by Steve85
I Corinthians 13:4,5 Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way;


My wife is often very insistent on things happening her own way. Meanwhile, I'm usually good with going with the flow, especially with little things. But every now and then I get frustrated with the micro-management and rebel in some stupid way that's really just annoying and not productive. I don't really care how the silverware is arranged in the drawer, just get irritated that something so trivial has a "right way" and a "wrong way". Still, I'm trying not to succumb to such rebellious actions the only serve to annoy and harass.

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Originally Posted by ShaneG

My wife is often very insistent on things happening her own way. Meanwhile, I'm usually good with going with the flow, especially with little things. But every now and then I get frustrated with the micro-management and rebel in some stupid way that's really just annoying and not productive. I don't really care how the silverware is arranged in the drawer, just get irritated that something so trivial has a "right way" and a "wrong way". Still, I'm trying not to succumb to such rebellious actions the only serve to annoy and harass.


That's good, Shane. We all have quirks and fads and 'rules' and 'right ways' of doing things. If they matter to her but it's not that big a deal to you, then it's one way of demonstrating love. Just find the right frame of mind to keep it in. You are showing love but not doing her a favour that requires repayment. It's part of the remit of being a spouse, to help make the other person's life better/easier/happier. There's an article that sort of touches on it that you might be able to find if you search for "marriage missions quirkiness".

Sometimes of course you will have your own ideas too about how things should be done, or there might be another reason for speaking up or taking action. I read another article about a H who was driven crazy by his W always leaving drawers sticking out around the house. He could never get her to push them back in. He thought about it and decided his options were leave, be miserable about it, or take care of it. He knew the first two options were no choice at all, and went with the third. If it matters to you, then you have to find the compromise.

Joined: Oct 2020
Posts: 149
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Joined: Oct 2020
Posts: 149
I was in the fog after BD. This is all my fault, I validated, validated, validated. No progress. Huh.And then I learned there was another player in this drama.

The weird thing is it made me feel better about myself because while I I might not have been a perfect husband, youíre a cheater.


Me 57/W 53, M 23, T 27

D21/D17

BDay 6/29/20, ILYBINILWY

IHS 10/5/2020
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Moderated by  Cadet, job, Virginia 

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