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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.


Me:45 ExW:48
M:04/97
3 Bombs & 2 ReCons
1st BD 11/10
D Finalized 4/20
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Going in one more round when you don't think you can. That's what makes all the difference in life.~Rocky Balboa
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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


Me:45 ExW:48
M:04/97
3 Bombs & 2 ReCons
1st BD 11/10
D Finalized 4/20
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Quote
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.

M:50 H:49
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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:

Quote
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....

-------------------------------------------------------------
(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.


M:50 H:49
D:16 S:13
M:23 T:25
BD: Feb 25th 2020
EA/PA: Dec 2019 - June 11, 2020
Behind every broken woman is a broken man...
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Moderated by  Cadet, job, Virginia 

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