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Sticking to my boundaries #2900563
07/24/20 09:37 PM
07/24/20 09:37 PM
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may22 Offline OP
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https://www.divorcebusting.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=2899361&page=all

Quick recap-- H had a 2 year, long-distance PA. Two daughters, aged 8 and 10. I found out full extent at the end of December, we went through six weeks of DC and incredible ambivalence where H wanted both AP as a lover and me as best friend/co-parent. He decided to end the A in mid-February though his decision was based more on the kids, inability to continue the current situation for all of us because of the overwhelming stress, and AP's desire to have children (she's 11 years younger than me and H firmly does not want more children) rather than a desire for me as a wife. We had four months of getting along very well, enjoying family time with the lockdown, planning for the future. We stopped MC during lockdown as no childcare and H wanted to take a break given the potential stress of MC and quarantine together.

Then in early June, I found out that a couple weeks before he'd gotten back in touch with AP-- she'd texted him to say she was moving on, he reached out to see if she was OK with the protests in her area-- and all of a sudden we rewound back to January. This was his one chance for twu wuv (thanks Scout smile ), same fantasy D scenario, ambivalence, blah blah blah.

I have been pretty solid in a few things-- one, I will not make this decision for him; two, I will not be friends with him if we D; three, if he wants to go on a family vacation or work on our R in any capacity he needs to have the intention of cutting it off with AP permanently and blocking her technologically through all communication channels, which he didn't do the last time. I'm in IC now, which I wasn't before, have been focused on boundaries, questioning my own fears and motivations around the possibility of S/D, identifying the controlling/manipulative behaviors on both our parts.

Three weeks ago, he decided he wanted to go on a four-week family trip in August, will break it off with AP again, doesn't want to get a D. I have maintained I will only go on this trip if he has set the intention of being out of contact with her for good and working on the MR, plus he needs to block her on email, phone/text and WhatsApp (or delete it). Otherwise, it isn't happening. They haven't been in contact now for about two weeks (since he told her about the trip). He's been angry with me for setting an ultimatum on this trip and the idea of me telling him what to do--his narrative and justification for the A that I was a frigid control freak who broke him sexually through long-term SSM.

Earlier this week he committed to doing what I've asked, but it hasn't happened yet. We have a joint IC session this afternoon. Last night I'd asked him if he'd done it yet, he said no, still trying to figure out the best way to do it (he had said he wants to tell her on the phone before blocking her as she has expressed suicidal thoughts recently and he had told her she could always reach out to him if she needed someone to talk to. Blech.) I said I didn't really care, but it had to happen, would probably be better if we went into our IC session with it done if that was his intention so that we could focus on communication and other forward looking things than the fact he hasn't blocked her yet. He said, that made sense.

He also said he was having trouble figuring out what to say to her. I said (thanks Sage) I didn't really care, actually, if he talked to her or emailed her or actually didn't say a word. What I needed was him telling me his intention was to be done with her permanently and that he wanted to focus on the MR, and to block her on all communication channels. And maybe it was better if he didn't reach out to her, but I thought he wanted to do that because she was suicidal. He said, no, she isn't suicidal, she just told me she had had some thoughts. I rolled my eyes and was like whatever, just block her. He said OK. Haven't really talked to him yet today, we're both WFH in different parts of the house.


Me (45) H (41)
M:13 T:17, D8 & D10
4/19 BD #1 ILYB
8/19 BD #2 Long-distance EA
12/19 BD #3 Actually 2 year PA
2-5/20 R attempt #1
6-7/20 limbo again, back in contact with AP
8/20-present R attempt #2
Re: Sticking to my boundaries [Re: may22] #2900586
07/25/20 03:50 PM
07/25/20 03:50 PM
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Originally Posted by may22
Last Thread:
https://www.divorcebusting.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=2899361&page=all

Earlier this week he committed to doing what I've asked, but it hasn't happened yet. We have a joint IC session this afternoon. Last night I'd asked him if he'd done it yet, he said no, still trying to figure out the best way to do it (he had said he wants to tell her on the phone before blocking her as she has expressed suicidal thoughts recently and he had told her she could always reach out to him if she needed someone to talk to. Blech.) I said I didn't really care, but it had to happen, would probably be better if we went into our IC session with it done if that was his intention so that we could focus on communication and other forward looking things than the fact he hasn't blocked her yet. He said, that made sense.

He also said he was having trouble figuring out what to say to her. I said (thanks Sage) I didn't really care, actually, if he talked to her or emailed her or actually didn't say a word. What I needed was him telling me his intention was to be done with her permanently and that he wanted to focus on the MR, and to block her on all communication channels. And maybe it was better if he didn't reach out to her, but I thought he wanted to do that because she was suicidal. He said, no, she isn't suicidal, she just told me she had had some thoughts. I rolled my eyes and was like whatever, just block her. He said OK. Haven't really talked to him yet today, we're both WFH in different parts of the house.




Careful May. I see some controlling and micromanaging on your part here. He has to do this himself, of his own free will, in his own time and his own way. Otherwise, he'll just blame you for controlling him and ruining his 'true love' (vom) the second piecing with you becomes difficult - and it will be.

I think what you want is more than 100% reasonable. But he needs to want it - in his heart - too. And if he doesn't, then you need to make your decisions based on that.

I hope IC went well. You are doing great!

Re: Sticking to my boundaries [Re: may22] #2900593
07/25/20 05:03 PM
07/25/20 05:03 PM
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May,

I am also going to press you a bit here. Your thread title is "sticking to my boundaries," however your very stuck on this one detail, which is controlling. You are very hyper focused on him needing to block all contact with her and that is what you need in order to go on this vacation. Can you step out of yourself and see that this is nuts? I say that without judgement because I myself was completely bonkers when I was in the thick of it. But also please trust that for me that was 6 years ago and now I am looking back with a much clearer lens.

May, you cannot control or attempt to control what he does and does not do. Please repeat this to yourself every day. This all goes against the DB philosophy and what we know to be effective. You have to simply let him do what he is going to do. Then you decide what you can and cannot accept. Less is more. It IS that simple. I think you have it backwards. Let's re-shift controlling into boundaries in a healthy way.

Here is what you believe to be true. Your H has not completely ended all contact and blocked all future contact with OW because he still has some attachment or fear. That understanding makes you uncomfortable and prevents you from moving forward with him and prevents you from wanting to travel with him. So, you don't go. There is your answer. Not what you want to hear, I know.

If, and only if, he is the one to approach you and show you someone that is trustworthy, transparent and ready to recommit, then, and only then, do you consider moving forward (or traveling as a family) with him.

Please trust me when I say that there is nothing else to dissect and it is this simple. Let. Him. Go.

Blu


ďForgiveness liberates the soul. It removes fear. That is why it is such a powerful weapon.Ē Ė Nelson Mandela
Re: Sticking to my boundaries [Re: may22] #2900607
07/25/20 10:05 PM
07/25/20 10:05 PM
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may22 Offline OP
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Alison, Blu, I think I need some help looking at this.

I do see that my insistence on the blocking etc may be manipulative or controlling. But to me, I don't see it that way-- I just don't want to go on this vacation with the worry that she could throw a bomb in it.

To me, that doesn't necessarily mean that going on this vacation means we are getting back together, or working on our R, or anything. It just means I don't want to do it with that anxiety in my mind.

We met with the IC together yesterday. Here is what he said:

-- he has been NC with AP for two weeks. He doesn't have any intention of contacting her. He doesn't want to. He feels better and clearer without contact. He very much wants to go on this trip and it is important to him to maintain NC with her throughout.

-- one of the things she blocked him on two weeks ago was "find my friends" on the iPhone. Apparently, this was something he used to look at quite a bit, to see where she was, sometimes multiple times in one day. (This was painful for me to learn but also illuminating on just how obsessive his behaviors have been around AP.) He said it really was freeing to not have that anymore and he would never want it again no matter what. IC said that was really, really unhealthy to be checking where she was and he acknowledged. We all agreed the only thing it would be good for was tracking your teenage children, maybe.

-- he understands why I want him to block her. He said if it were 100% up to him he probably wouldn't do it himself, that he knows he won't contact her, he is not interested in being in touch if she contacts him, and if it were to happen he would talk to me about it first (unlike last time). However he said he understands where I'm coming from and why I would want that, and he is willing to do it for me to feel better/more secure. He feels controlled when I dictate how or when it needs to happen and is working through that. He said he will do it this weekend.

-- he wants us to reconnect. he is afraid we can't. he feels that the recent boundaries I've set up around not wanting to talk about AP is the equivalent to me not wanting to understand/know him. He is afraid we will slip back into the same patterns as before. That he needs me to see him for who he is, flaws and all, and believe that I still love him. We talked about this a bit, I said I didn't feel he saw me either, he saw me as an impediment, that if he can't take these fears and set them aside and really try to work on our M without keeping a foot jammed in the door for AP, then there is no point to any of this and we should D. This, I think, is the crux of where we are. He is scared we can't get to M2.0 and that he is losing his life raft of AP in the process of trying. I think we can't actually try until that life raft has been purposefully sunk. We are both scared of the negatives of both options-- staying together or Ding. I'm not confident that he can commit wholly to what it takes to stay and have the outcome be positive.

--IC asked of us the following-- spend the weekend working on connecting and seeing each other. (I said not possible until she is blocked. He acknowledged.) She asked for no phones or phones limited to an hour only during the first week of our trip, so that I don't have to be anxious and so that we can just work on connecting and being a family. No IC throughout. He was positive with this.

Originally Posted by AlisonUK
Careful May. I see some controlling and micromanaging on your part here. He has to do this himself, of his own free will, in his own time and his own way. Otherwise, he'll just blame you for controlling him and ruining his 'true love' (vom) the second piecing with you becomes difficult - and it will be.

I think what you want is more than 100% reasonable. But he needs to want it - in his heart - too. And if he doesn't, then you need to make your decisions based on that.

I think you're right, about him needing to want it in his heart too. It felt to me like from our conversations over the past week and from yesterday that he does want it. He's scared though. And I don't know if left to his own devices he would ever have the motivation to do anything decisive.

Originally Posted by BluWave
Here is what you believe to be true. Your H has not completely ended all contact and blocked all future contact with OW because he still has some attachment or fear. That understanding makes you uncomfortable and prevents you from moving forward with him and prevents you from wanting to travel with him. So, you don't go. There is your answer. Not what you want to hear, I know.

I do believe he has ended all contact. He doesn't want to block her but he says he will. If he does, I am willing to go. If he does not, I am not willing to go. I'm de-linking any further pressure on this trip to feel like we are moving forward together. it may simply be continued limbo but in a different location and the fun of travel as a family, which TBH I really, really need right now with all the pressures of COVID and childcare and my career decisions on top of everything else. We are lucky to be in a relatively safe place and the only real risks of travel will be staying in hotels, but we chose ones with kitchenettes so we can cook and everything we want to do is outside... and in fact without having our friends around wanting to hang out at the beach, etc., I think we will actually be able to do better with social distancing than we have been here at home.

I know you would both cheer if I could just tell him I don't want to be with him anymore and asked him to MO, or to the basement, or something. I simply cannot cross that line. I can work on not worrying what he does or does not do, and behave accordingly. I can't back out of this trip if he does as I've asked, and I don't want to. But I can remove all pressure for it to mean anything to me, and continue to work on my emotional detachment. And, not pressuring him to block her. He will or he won't. I won't ask again. But I won't start packing until he tells me and shows me it is done.


Me (45) H (41)
M:13 T:17, D8 & D10
4/19 BD #1 ILYB
8/19 BD #2 Long-distance EA
12/19 BD #3 Actually 2 year PA
2-5/20 R attempt #1
6-7/20 limbo again, back in contact with AP
8/20-present R attempt #2
Re: Sticking to my boundaries [Re: may22] #2900609
07/25/20 10:34 PM
07/25/20 10:34 PM
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The problem is..... what if he doesnít honor your request and the trip is planned? What do you do? You donít want him gone for the 4 weeks with your kids ( understandably), but what happens if everything is booked, the kids are excited and he doesnít come through?

I think you might need to have a plan for this and a deadline.

Re: Sticking to my boundaries [Re: may22] #2900611
07/25/20 11:40 PM
07/25/20 11:40 PM
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may22 Offline OP
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Hi Ginger,

Almost everything is cancellable. I think Iíd tell him to take the girls for the first week and then Iíd either take over for the second week and send him home, then the last two weeks would be cancelled, or cancel the middle two weeks and Iíd take them on the last week (though maybe a modified itinerary). Kids would deal. A lost trip is minutiae in the grand scheme of what is going on.

That is my plan, anyway.


Me (45) H (41)
M:13 T:17, D8 & D10
4/19 BD #1 ILYB
8/19 BD #2 Long-distance EA
12/19 BD #3 Actually 2 year PA
2-5/20 R attempt #1
6-7/20 limbo again, back in contact with AP
8/20-present R attempt #2
Re: Sticking to my boundaries [Re: may22] #2900620
07/26/20 01:24 AM
07/26/20 01:24 AM
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I just think if the kids think you guys are going on this trip as a family for a month, and all of a sudden you arenít and are splitting 2 weeks, they are going to have some questions.

You just might want o be ready to answer those . Or come to a decision more quickly. For the kids sake

Re: Sticking to my boundaries [Re: may22] #2900623
07/26/20 02:24 AM
07/26/20 02:24 AM
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May, it is confusing to me that you were adamant about not D because of how it would affect the kids, but in this case like Ginger said, splitting up the vacation with each parent would bring a lot of questions for the children also.

It is a lot more than a lost trip IMO. To make this action - block AP or not - as an ultimatum of whether you will go on this trip does not seem to help with anything. You say that you are not pressuring him to block her, but this IS pressure. If this trip is good for you for your stated reasons, then go! And make it clear to him that you going on the trip has nothing to do with reconciling. And accept the fact that he will do what he will do, contact AP or not, because you cannot control that. If you feel like the AP issue will loom over you the entire vacation, then donít go! Plan something else separately for yourself.

Originally Posted by may22
He will or he won't. I won't ask again. But I won't start packing until he tells me and shows me it is done.

Re-read this again, can you honestly say that this is not about control?

Also I am curious why ďblocking APĒ is the key here. How does it flip the switch for you to go from ďno tripĒ to ďyes tripĒ? He can block, and unblock. Does that increase your trust level that much more? Or are you simply looking for him to give in so you have the upper hand? You would feel like you won this battle?

-He has not blocked her, I donít feel comfortable going on this trip, therefore I will not go.

-He has blocked her, I feel like he is prioritizing me, therefore I will go.

I think thereís a whole range of issues in between. And should not be simplified because of this trip.

If I were you, a refusal to block AP would absolutely be the dealbreaker (trip or M). But even if my H acquiesced to blocking AP under this condition would bring me no peace of mind.


BD: Sep 2019
H moved out: Oct 2019
3 kids under 12
Re: Sticking to my boundaries [Re: may22] #2900625
07/26/20 02:37 AM
07/26/20 02:37 AM
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may22 Offline OP
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It's a good point, Ginger. I think we will be OK as we still haven't told them definitively we are going... H may have, but when we have talked about it as a family I still say "if we go." In normal circumstances this would be impossible. But with all the uncertainties of COVID and my work, I am pretty sure we could easily get away with "mom needs to work" and then we decided it was too dangerous with COVID and then take our time deciding what is next in terms of communicating what is going on to them (and actually taking whatever next steps).

He told me today it is pretty much done. I am assuming he will provide more details after the kids go to bed tonight. (Also, "pretty much" is an interesting way to put it. But. Whatever. Feel that any pushing or digging on my part will be interpreted as controlling and at this point I do still GAF what he thinks.)

Blu, I keep thinking on stepping outside myself and see this is nuts. I do see that is how others would see this from the outside-- I'm sure if I were looking at my own situation I would think the same thing. But, I have spent so much time in my own head and with my IC and have come to believe that the reason i'm reacting so strongly is because I feel that being the one to break up the family would be violating a core value of mine.

I *know* I am not the one who broke our M and all that. But I cannot see my way to being the one to pull the trigger, at least where we are right now. IC pushed me on this quite a bit and we got to a place where I believe I would be OK to pull the trigger without feeling like I'm violating my core values, and that would be when I believe the kids would be better off, either because of toxicity in the household or my inability to be a good parent because of the situation, if we split. We aren't there now but I'm committed to really monitoring that situation.

If that makes me stuck... I am stuck. I guess I'm trying to figure out within this framework how can I hold to my boundaries, protect myself and my kids, and let him go without being the one to kick him out the door? He won't leave. He still sleeps in our bed. He says he has cut off all contact with her. And that is all well and good but I just don't feel comfortable knowing she can still contact him. I can get on board with the rest right now-- having a fun and pressure-free family trip. But not if she can throw bombs. And maybe we connect more and maybe we don't. All I know is that I don't want to have anxiety about her reaching out and also I can't be vulnerable with him and reconnect without feeling more secure she is gone.


Me (45) H (41)
M:13 T:17, D8 & D10
4/19 BD #1 ILYB
8/19 BD #2 Long-distance EA
12/19 BD #3 Actually 2 year PA
2-5/20 R attempt #1
6-7/20 limbo again, back in contact with AP
8/20-present R attempt #2
Re: Sticking to my boundaries [Re: may22] #2900628
07/26/20 02:54 AM
07/26/20 02:54 AM
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may22 Offline OP
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Hi Wooba,

I posted the above before I saw your post... maybe I answered it.

On the trip and the kids-- I think if we don't go on this trip, he will pull the S/D trigger. He will be furious. Maybe I'm partially pushing this for that reason-- if feeling like I'm so controlling or selfish or whatever and taking this trip away from the children is what he needs in order to push him in that direction, so be it. But that is also making it so that I can't really say I don't want to go regardless of what he does with the blocking, unless I am purposefully saying I want to D. If he does as I ask, I am pretty much locked into going.

TBH I feel like I was getting a lot of support for not going on the trip without her being blocked being a healthy boundary rather than control... until now... and am freaking out a little because now we are down to the wire, I feel like backing down on this would set me up for a lot of issues down the line, teaching him that if he pressures enough and calls me controlling enough and dawdles enough, saying he'll do something and not actually doing it, then I'll capitulate. I think at this point that would not be good for me psychologically or our relationship generally, R or D.

I've been so, so clear on this for weeks now... posters here were really great in helping me to see I was being controlling when he came to me with the five day trip idea, and I backed off on that and said it was OK. Then HE was the one who came back and said he really really wanted all four of us to go and he was going to cut it off with AP, which was all well and good but I needed more than his word this time, I wanted him to block her because last time we didn't and we all know how that went, don't we... I have held firm to this ever since he said it and he keeps saying he will do it, before the trip, but that it feels controlling if I dictate how and when he does it. And that has brought us to today, three days before we are supposed to leave.

I know I like to be in control and I know I like to win. While I can't say that is zero percent of this current situation, I also know the pit in my stomach of worrying about her throwing bombs. I feel that I just want that anxiety out of here. And, IC's suggestion of limiting our phone use to work time only is a good one and would help me feel better about all of this too, blocking or no blocking.

I guess where I am is, I trust him when he says he has no intention of reaching out to her. I don't trust her and I don't trust his reaction if she does decide she wants to F with our vacation because she is not a trustworthy or a stable person, and I can absolutely envision her continuing to try to reach out to him and manipulate him back.

I also feel like there is far more transparency between us now than there was in the spring. I have no more lingering questions. I know all I need to know. H has been transparent since he did reconnect with her and has also verbally vomited a bunch of unrequested and frankly hurtful information in the name of transparency. He has said he'll tell me whatever I want to know. This is all new.

Maybe, my answer is-- blocking her at least releases my anxiety about her reaching out during this trip and allows me to relax and enjoy the family time. It doesn't mean anything else-- that he is prioritizing me, or wants to R, or is remorseful, or anything else. It simply means I can trust that they won't be in contact, and without that I don't want to go. I'm really trying not to put anything more on it than that. How does that sit?


Me (45) H (41)
M:13 T:17, D8 & D10
4/19 BD #1 ILYB
8/19 BD #2 Long-distance EA
12/19 BD #3 Actually 2 year PA
2-5/20 R attempt #1
6-7/20 limbo again, back in contact with AP
8/20-present R attempt #2
Re: Sticking to my boundaries [Re: may22] #2900630
07/26/20 03:14 AM
07/26/20 03:14 AM
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May, part of the issue and why you are stuck is that you have spent so much time on this ó in your head, with IC and here. But you wonít make sense of it because it doesnít make sense. Heís been having an A. You are focused on details because YOU have attributed meaning to them, not because that is reality. The reality of his infidelity is in his head and not something you can control. He can do as you require and block all contact and she can still find a way. So can he. So your sense of security in that is a false one by your design. You are explaining how he is making progress and Iím glad. I hope it holds true. But his actions over the years is that he cannot he trusted. There is a bigger component here that I think we are overlooking and that is what a person does, says and shows you when they are returning to a M. You will see it when it happens and you will know it and feel it in your bones. He is not doing that yet. You canít make him and you canít convince yourself or us. Let. Him. Go.

Blu


ďForgiveness liberates the soul. It removes fear. That is why it is such a powerful weapon.Ē Ė Nelson Mandela
Re: Sticking to my boundaries [Re: may22] #2900631
07/26/20 03:24 AM
07/26/20 03:24 AM
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wooba Offline
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May, I understand how youíre feeling. I tend to go with the ďdonít over analyzeĒ route with yourself and others. I feel like you can try to practice letting go a bit....the whole ďyou do x and he will do y. You do x and he will think y.Ē You do whatever you think is right and his actions and thoughts are on him.

If you choose to back down on this blocking thing (Iím not saying you should, I donít know the right answer either), you can be honest and just tell him that youíve changed your mind because of xyz. Our opinions and feelings about things change all the time. It does not mean that you are giving in to his critiques or you will teach him that he can pressure you into changing. He is thinking the exact way youíre describing: ďIf I block AP because sheís giving me this ultimatum, that will teach her that she can control me in the future.Ē How does that mindset for both of you move your relationship forward?

Originally Posted by may22
blocking her at least releases my anxiety about her reaching out during this trip and allows me to relax and enjoy the family time. It doesn't mean anything else-- that he is prioritizing me, or wants to R, or is remorseful, or anything else. It simply means I can trust that they won't be in contact, and without that I don't want to go. I'm really trying not to put anything more on it than that.

Have you said this to your H? It communicates a very different mindset from ďI donít really care what you do or say to her, just block her or I wonít go on this trip.Ē Sorry if you have, I admit Iíve skipped some of the parts in the previous threads. :P

Iím rooting for you!!

Last edited by wooba; 07/26/20 03:24 AM.

BD: Sep 2019
H moved out: Oct 2019
3 kids under 12
Re: Sticking to my boundaries [Re: may22] #2900632
07/26/20 03:35 AM
07/26/20 03:35 AM
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Quote
[/quote]On the trip and the kids-- I think if we don't go on this trip, he will pull the S/D trigger. He will be furious. Maybe I'm partially pushing this for that reason-- if feeling like I'm so controlling or selfish or whatever and taking this trip away from the children is what he needs in order to push him in that direction, so be it. But that is also making it so that I can't really say I don't want to go regardless of what he does with the blocking, unless I am purposefully saying I want to D. If he does as I ask, I am pretty much locked into going.[quote]


May, this is troubling to me. A huge red flag. Here he is controlling and this is an ultimatum. This does not a marriage make.

I donít see a man that is remorseful and committed to working and understanding. You will know when you see that man. I promise. None of the details of this trip or if he blocks her matter right now. You will need to know and feel he is back and trust he means it. Iím just not reading that. Protect yourself.

Blu


ďForgiveness liberates the soul. It removes fear. That is why it is such a powerful weapon.Ē Ė Nelson Mandela
Re: Sticking to my boundaries [Re: may22] #2900640
07/26/20 07:34 AM
07/26/20 07:34 AM
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Originally Posted by wooba

Have you said this to your H? It communicates a very different mindset from ďI donít really care what you do or say to her, just block her or I wonít go on this trip.Ē Sorry if you have, I admit Iíve skipped some of the parts in the previous threads. :P

haha I know i post waaay too much. I need to stop.

I have said some of this to him. Maybe not explicitly or quite as clearly as I did here. I have said why I want him to block her and I believe he gets and is OK with that from the conversation with the IC yesterday. I don't necessarily think he believes it doesn't mean I think a whole bunch of other stuff, like you said. I know he thinks I think that there is some magic wand that will fix us if we only want it hard enough, like Dorothy and her ruby slippers. He is vv scared of going back to the same place we were before. I guess I could be clearer about this, IDK.

Blu, the IC called him out on this manipulative behavior too, that not going on this trip means we can't be M. I'm not scared of that. He knows what needs to happen for the trip to take place. If it doesn't, and we S or D, fine. I think he feels I've put an ultimatum to him and he's putting one back. It doesn't move me. And the honest truth is I *do* want to go on this vacation. I need it. I will legitimately be bummed about the trip itself if we don't go. But, at this point I'm not willing to bend. If he blocks her, I'll go. If he doesn't, I won't.

He said in passing (kids not down yet) that it is pretty much done again. I said I don't understand. He said the reason that nothing is happening is that nothing is happening, it will happen regardless before we go. I said let's talk about it after the kids go to bed. I'm not sure what he means, if I had to guess it would be that he's tried to reach out to tell her and she hasn't responded. we will see.

Blu, I get that he isn't crawling back on his hands and knees. That will never, ever happen. Not in a billion years. if I want to wait for that, I will wait forever. That is not my H and if he did it I'd be weirded out and probably uninterested. (Though, TBH, I can imagine that happening in one circumstance-- we split, he hits rock bottom, he comes crawling back. But in that case, I won't want him back. I know we have different lines. For me the PA doesn't even touch the betrayal of actually walking out the door... I can't explain it and I don't know why, but it is exponentially worse, to me. So he crosses that line and all of this becomes easy peasy for me. I promise you I will immediately fall in line and go hard cold NC and be done done done.)

But. Given that that hasn't happened yet, I am also not in a place where I can walk away from the M and kick him to the curb. I get that you wish I would. I get that you were glad you did just that. I can't. It would break me. I can handle it if it happens to me. Not if I'm the instigator. So. Where does that leave me? How do I let him go without booting him? I have said over and over to GO. Please. GO. Let me go. you are free to go. If you want to go, go. Every possible combination of those words I have said to him. He will not do it. What do can I do? Understanding that I won't be the one to walk?


Me (45) H (41)
M:13 T:17, D8 & D10
4/19 BD #1 ILYB
8/19 BD #2 Long-distance EA
12/19 BD #3 Actually 2 year PA
2-5/20 R attempt #1
6-7/20 limbo again, back in contact with AP
8/20-present R attempt #2
Re: Sticking to my boundaries [Re: may22] #2900644
07/26/20 11:27 AM
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May, how can we help you recapture the mindset you had before the custody discussion on your old thread? Itís like all the fight went out of you and your righteous anger was replaced by fear. Your posts since then seem so defeated.

In terms of custody, yes, you do have to think about what is best for the kids and no, you wonít get what you want. But when it comes to the marriage, why is the fact that YOU deserve so much better not a good enough reason to leave?

You keep mentioning the OW throwing bombs and if only you can keep her away from your H, then things might be okay. But the problem isnít OW, the problem is your H and his weak character. Cutting off OW isnít going to change HIM.

The best time to have nipped this behaviour in the bud with the sledgehammer of consequences was when you found out about the affair. The second best time is as soon as possible! Otherwise what incentive does he have to improve his character when you continue to accept his boot on your neck?


W32
X30
S2

June 2019 | Runaway husband
May 2020 | Legal separation
Xmas 2020 | Divorce hearing
Re: Sticking to my boundaries [Re: may22] #2900646
07/26/20 12:08 PM
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May, I think the more contact and conversations you have with your H, the more confused you get.

Most of your conversations seem to be about him trying to manipulate you into doing what he wants, and you trying to manipulate him into doing what you want.

How about you just accept that he doesn't want to block his mistress, and make a final decision based on that? How long do you want to wait until you accept that? Until he has the suitcases in the car and the kids strapped into their seats in the back?

The IC feels like a waste of time, to be honest - and in my country it would be totally unethical for a therapist to be seeing both of you as separate clients if this wasn't specifically a strategy in marriage therapy. No therapist can guarantee impartial support in those circumstances - it's why there are guidelines about that sort of thing. It may be different where you are, but consider it anyway.

You've communicated your need to him very clearly. He went ahead and planned the trip anyway, which was manipulative of both you and your children and ignored what you said. You went along all the same, jabbing at him and reminding him of the hoop he's got to jump through before you'll go. He jabs you back, claiming that you're controlling and that if he doesn't get the trip AND an open door to his mistress, he'll divorce you.

My therapist told me that it is fine to ask for what you need. It is fine to make a suggestion or give some advice. You do that once, then you leave it. Any more is manipulating and nagging and controlling. Your husband's answer to your request is no.

Look at his actions. He will say whatever he wants - including threats, sulking, charm, deflection etc etc to get you distracted, but you have asked him for something and his action says 'no' very loudly. Accept that and make your decision based on his no rather than putting your energy into trying to change it for a yes.

This needs to be much much much much less complicated. The less you say to him the better. You don't want to go on the trip. So you don't go. You work out what happens with the kids, and you leave him to deal with any feelings he has about it.

If he threatens you with divorce, give him the details of your lawyer then go and GAL and self care. If he guilts you about the children, make a vague listening noise and go and GAL and self care. If he promises you the world and comes at you on his hands and knees, make a listening noise and go and GAL and watch for his concrete and consistent actions.
If at some point comes to you of his own free will with a transparency plan of his own devising, then you can listen to him and decide if that makes him a husband worth committing to. Right now he isn't, so your sole responsibility is to those kids, who are being treated like pawns here: your husband getting them to look forward to a trip that you've already told him you won't be going on if he doesn't block his mistress.

Quote
I am also not in a place where I can walk away from the M and kick him to the curb.


There isn't a marriage. The marriage died the second he started a relationship with someone else. This isn't about you walking away from a marriage, this is about you withdrawing from an unhealthy dynamic with a cheater you have to cohabit with in the hope that you will either have a healthy divorce or a chance at a healthy R at some point in the future. You are not walking away from anything real or worth having at all.


Last edited by AlisonUK; 07/26/20 12:13 PM.
Re: Sticking to my boundaries [Re: may22] #2900656
07/26/20 02:33 PM
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May,

I think Scout and Alison are brilliant. I have been reading their advice to you and agree with all of it.

I also questioned this IC and them seeing both if you. There are different types of therapy, like MC and family therapy, but an IC should not see two people separately that have conflict. Iím questioning how they justify this. Anyways.

I donít think your H needs to come crawling back full of remorse and desperation or whatever. I can read he has a very different personality than my H. But from all the stories I have read here, there is a shift that needs to happen before the M can be worked on. This shift includes vulnerability, honesty, transparency and commitment to working on the M. It is not until this happens first that you then begin to have conversations and consider him. So Iím honestly perplexed at the family vacation. Again, I know we are also different. I just fear that you give so much time and attention to him so he has no real motivation to look at his mistakes and change. Your time and attention is actually acceptance.

I also want to clarify what I mean when I say to let him go. I know you donít want to boot him out and that him moving out feels like the point of no return. I hear that. When I say let him go, I mean it literally and figuratively. You canít control him and he canít control you. This dynamic is not moving forward. Let him be and do what he will do. Then based on his actions over time you can decide if he is a man that is ready to recommit. Until you see that man (trust me you will know the change when you see it, Iíve read that in every situation here) THEN that is the time you can start having M conversations, counseling and consider a family vacation. In the mean time I think you should do nothing. Tip toe away from him, no R talks, ignore bad behavior, focus on you and the kids. Let him throw a fit and walk away.

Blu


ďForgiveness liberates the soul. It removes fear. That is why it is such a powerful weapon.Ē Ė Nelson Mandela
Re: Sticking to my boundaries [Re: may22] #2900672
07/26/20 08:02 PM
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Scout, it was the kid and custody thing that broke me. When I realized that no matter what in a D situation I am going to get half the time with my kids that I do right now, and maybe not be able to afford to keep my house, I simply can't walk down that path. I can't. I don't care. Of course I don't want a cheating, lying husband. But I Fed up seventeen years ago and chose this one and married him 13 years ago and then we had two beautiful children and I-- selfishly-- am unable to walk my own two feet down a path that involves them sleeping in another house half the week. Hopefully I can revisit this and the good things about having some time for myself. I know I can if it happens to me. I just can't be the one to do it. I do feel defeated.

The other difference that I know I'm experiencing that most probably aren't is that my H is fun and sweet and a good partner most of the time. I hear all of you that I should discount that, it is him just pushing the buttons that work on me, but I genuinely don't believe he is a sociopath and ignoring the perfect H he is showing me in every other aspect not connected to the A is much, much harder than you might think. Aaaaallll of the things I have complained about over the years are mostly gone. Even when we fight, even the conversations I've described where he was railing about control (Scout, me being so close minded I can't call myself a democrat wink ) that is all still minor and rare, and voices weren't raised. It wasn't a real fight. He has/had the capacity to be a real duck if he wants and he mostly hasn't gone there since we reversed course a couple of months ago. I feel beaten down here like I should be able to ignore all of that and just laser focus on the A, which is also hard since it is long distance and he is telling me it is over. I get that it is easy to say from a distance to do X,Y, Z. It is just a lot harder sitting where I am.

I think he is confused and he genuinely doesn't want to leave this M. I think he feels he got himself into a really $hitty situation and is paralyzed. I think he is very, very good at compartmentalizing. I think AP is manipulative and weird and yes, I do think that him cutting off all contact from her will bring him back to his senses. That won't change his issues with not being able to live his values, the entitlement/empathy/responsibility problems. But it could give us a place from which we could choose to work on our M, both of us, and see where that goes. Or not. So am I using the excuse of this trip to push the issue? Yes, I acknowledge that is probably the case, that this was a thing that can't happen with his A still being active. With my inability to walk I was feeling like there was the chance of this just going on forever.

He has told me that he is in the process of doing what I have asked and it will be done before we leave. Last night he fell asleep early and we didn't talk. This morning in passing he said it was done. I said we need to sit down and talk about it. He said OK. I think me pushing this is not a great idea.


Me (45) H (41)
M:13 T:17, D8 & D10
4/19 BD #1 ILYB
8/19 BD #2 Long-distance EA
12/19 BD #3 Actually 2 year PA
2-5/20 R attempt #1
6-7/20 limbo again, back in contact with AP
8/20-present R attempt #2
Re: Sticking to my boundaries [Re: may22] #2900674
07/26/20 08:20 PM
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May - early on in my sitch I read a book about radical acceptance. If you google that term, you will probably find it. I found it really interesting and not in any way against DB principles. I get that you're not willing to leave him and take the girls, and that even though you've asked him to leave, he is at the moment refusing to. Perhaps your energies are best spent right now in truly, radically accepting what is, rather than using your energies to try to change it. You can't do anything to make him faithful, you can't do anything to make him love you, believe your changes, trust you, cut off contact with the OW, be consistently honest with you, or anything at all. That isn't just you - that is true for every single marriage, happy or otherwise. I think the energies you put into changing the status quo are harming you, your marriage and even, in some way, your husband.

If you accepted that right now your H is dishonest, hasn't done the work to examine himself, isn't volunteering detail about his actions (why are you suggesting you talk this over? He either wants to tell you, or he doesn't. Let him come to you or accept that he doesn't want to come to you and give you the information you seek) and has a very recent history of manipulation - if you truly accepted, without trying to change it, that was where you were, what would happen?

You could still stay. You could still decide that 100% of time with your girls and keeping your house was worth living closely to a man like this. You could remain open to the idea that in time, he might change (and equally, he may not). But you'd do it with clear eyes, and you'd keep your hands entirely off him and his process. You'd act in the reality of what is, being close to him in ways that allowed you to respect yourself, and setting boundaries that are appropriate for the kind of man he's chosen himself to be (for example - you had an STI test, but he's slept with her since you had that clean panel and lied to you about it for some time afterwards, hasn't he? Do you still want to be exposing yourself to disease in order to have a sexual relationship with him? Do you need to have another test?)

Radical acceptance feels like a a harsh path, but it's actually a very gentle one. It helps you to give up flogging that dead horse of attempting to change or influence someone else. Your husband is, for whatever reason, a habitual liar. You choose to stay in your marriage out of the hope that might change, and because of your kids and the house. I don't judge you at all for that. I'm in a similar place: my husband is a cheat and a liar too - or at least, a couple of years ago he was. I still don't trust him. He has a habit of anger and blame that tips over into abuse, and my heart is not safe with him. I can accept this as fact, and accept that for the time being I am choosing to stay in my situation for reasons that are partly healthy, and partly unhealthy. But being clear about the facts helps me - more or less - to walk a path of (imperfect) detachment. He is free to do as he wishes. I am free to not trust him and act accordingly. You can develop this acceptance and get the space between your husband's actions and your decisions without having to leave him or kick him out.

Re: Sticking to my boundaries [Re: may22] #2900679
07/26/20 09:58 PM
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Hi Alison,

I spent some time around radical acceptance early on but haven't really revisited. Meditation and accepting my thoughts and feelings without letting them overwhelm me is also something I worked on last summer/fall but have let fall away. I think this is a good idea for me to focus on here, thank you for suggesting it.

Generally, I do think I've been better at reducing my own manipulative behaviors and seeing his (thanks in great part to your help). I think part of the issue for me is that it simply isn't all that clear cut. He has lied. He tells me he is fully transparent now and wants to do that going forward. I can accept both at face value and choose to disbelieve him now because of the past or simply put no weight into his words and only watch his actions. But even given all of that, the current path I'm on does hold the possibility, however remote, of what I want in the end. He would need to step up for that to happen, on his own. And I need to let it happen and not force anything.

It is also important to note that I don't believe he has lied in any other sphere of our lives other than around his relationship with AP. This has been very important for him to communicate with me and I believe it, 100%. I went through all of our finances. I know other WAHs do all sorts of auxilary things, hide money, etc. I trust him fully that nothing else is going on.

I do think that I've come a long ways in accepting that this is my reality right now in a way I really fought against in the beginning. I feel like that is maybe part of my problem. It is what it is. He is my H and the father of my children. He has also betrayed me terribly and is not crawling back to me on his hands and knees begging for forgiveness. I see all of that. I can ask for what I want and he does it or he doesn't. He can leave or he can stay. I know I'm not going to be the one to leave or to force him to go. That leaves me with not a lot of actionable steps to take. I'm actually OK with that for now. We go on this trip or we don't. I'm not freaking out about it. I said my piece and drew my line and it happens or it doesn't.


Me (45) H (41)
M:13 T:17, D8 & D10
4/19 BD #1 ILYB
8/19 BD #2 Long-distance EA
12/19 BD #3 Actually 2 year PA
2-5/20 R attempt #1
6-7/20 limbo again, back in contact with AP
8/20-present R attempt #2
Re: Sticking to my boundaries [Re: may22] #2900691
07/27/20 03:13 AM
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scout12 Online
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May, I don't want to pile on. But I do want to challenge your statement that you trust your H.

From my vantage point, you have already conceded your boundaries because the alternative is too frightening to contemplate. At first you said you wouldn't go as long as there was an active affair. Then you would only go if he permanently cut off all contact. Now you'll go if as long as he has the intention of never contacting her again. See how you progressively wore yourself down? I know you know that blocking her is meaningless as it can be undone at any time and there are virtually unlimited methods of staying in contact.

You said he will be angry and possibly divorce you if you refuse to go on the trip. You understand that divorce means losing time with the kids and possibly losing the house. No judgement whatsoever on those issues; they are massive concerns. But making decisions from a place of fear means you fall back on anything you can control - setting conditions that punish him and give you the outcome you want.

"I won't go on the trip unless you block her and intend to never talk to her again."

Such statements are not boundaries, but threats. Boundaries are not about punishing someone who has been hurtful. Holding to a boundary may not be liked by the other person, but it's essential in maintaining your integrity. Threats, punishment and conditions actually weaken a boundary. That is because the other person's response becomes more important than your own limit. A controlling person senses this and manipulates his response to make you unsure of your boundaries.

"I can't (not "won't" - important distinction here) go on a family trip with a husband who is not committed to our family."

This is where I think your trust in H is disingenuous. You can't possibly, honestly, truly trust your H after all that has happened. Yet you say you do. I think you are trying to convince yourself that you trust him in order to circumvent the above original boundary in your mind. Does going on this trip violate your integrity? What mental gymnastics are you performing to give yourself permission to go on this trip? Are you weakening your own boundary out of fear?

Regarding his nice, sweet, and fun behaviours - this is what CL calls a 'b!tch cookie'. As in, does he really deserve kudos for exhibiting the bare minimum of socially acceptable human relationship behaviours? I know it's hard (((May))). I bet your H has his good points and I believe they are genuine. But to use another food analogy - a delicious sandwich with a tiny bit of sh!t in it is still a sh!t sandwich.


W32
X30
S2

June 2019 | Runaway husband
May 2020 | Legal separation
Xmas 2020 | Divorce hearing
Re: Sticking to my boundaries [Re: scout12] #2900695
07/27/20 07:45 AM
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Originally Posted by scout12
Regarding his nice, sweet, and fun behaviours - this is what CL calls a 'b!tch cookie'. As in, does he really deserve kudos for exhibiting the bare minimum of socially acceptable human relationship behaviours? I know it's hard (((May))). I bet your H has his good points and I believe they are genuine. But to use another food analogy - a delicious sandwich with a tiny bit of sh!t in it is still a sh!t sandwich.


Scout- I literally have a google doc full of all your quotes. Lol. This one is gold!

May- Take your time to think about what is right for you. What you feel is right for you right now might be different 3 months later. Think about your core values and how your H aligns/deviates from them. With time, I believe you will be able to see things clearer. Youíre a strong, smart woman, donít let fear take the steering wheel.


BD: Sep 2019
H moved out: Oct 2019
3 kids under 12
Re: Sticking to my boundaries [Re: may22] #2900701
07/27/20 09:15 AM
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hi Scout,

I do love the $hit sandwich analogy... that is an awesome one. Though I would argue, I don't think he exhibits the bare minimum of socially acceptable relational behaviors. I had a number of serious relationships before I met H. I have a lot of close female friends and couple friends and I feel very confident in saying his behaviors are not anywhere close to the bare minimum. (I mean, I've also read enough threads on these boards that I feel I have a clear understanding of what unacceptable behavior looks like... maybe that clouds my judgment somewhat too. IDK. But. Still a bit of $hit in the sandwich here, regardless. But I do want to push back a little on this. He *was* the alien H others have experienced for a long time, probably the whole first year of the A. I just didn't know about it or these boards or anything else. He has been in IC for a year and a half and he has worked a lot on many of his faults. A lot on honesty too. Ugh, I don't want to feel like I'm defending him. I'm not trying to. But please do give me a little tiny bit of credit on this one.

Originally Posted by scout12
From my vantage point, you have already conceded your boundaries because the alternative is too frightening to contemplate. At first you said you wouldn't go as long as there was an active affair. Then you would only go if he permanently cut off all contact. Now you'll go if as long as he has the intention of never contacting her again. See how you progressively wore yourself down? I know you know that blocking her is meaningless as it can be undone at any time and there are virtually unlimited methods of staying in contact.

I'm going to push back on this one a bit too... though I don't disagree that I have gained a lot of fear for the S/D scenario around the children and custody once *my* fantasy D bubble got popped (which you really helped me to do, thank you.) I know this is all stuff I can work through, but right now, that is not what I want. However, at first I did say I wouldn't go if there was an active affair. And I told him that and he said after a few days/ week/ who knows, I can't keep track of time anymore-- OK, I am breaking it off with her. I said, great. Sorry, your word isn't enough this time. I need proof she is gone forever and technological supports to make it so (blocking).

Then, some wise posters here (I'm thinking of FS specifically) pushed me on this, saying it was impossible for him or anyone to commit to that-- the best he could really do would be to say his intention was to cut it off with her permanently. And H was saying the same thing to me, so I did compromise on that one. So I don't actually really think I progressively wore myself down. He is saying that the A is over, he is blocking her on all channels, his intention is to not be in touch with her ever again. I feel secure in my ability to participate on the trip under these circumstances.

Originally Posted by scout12
"I can't (not "won't" - important distinction here) go on a family trip with a husband who is not committed to our family."

I do believe he is committed to the family. I do not believe that he is committed to me as his W in every sense of the word. As his partner, best friend, co-parent, yes. The romantic/emotional intimacy side, IDK right now. I am in no way ready to explore that until I'm satisfied she's gone for good. He is in no way ready to explore that until he is NC for awhile and has some distance. He says he wants this trip to begin to knit this all back together. And I can't do that until I feel secure that the A is truly over. So, I simply can't participate in the way he wants me to participate unless I'm satisfied she's gone.

My boundary might be more: I can't go on a trip with the worry that AP is still in the picture. That's the truth. 100%. I don't want to worry about it. And I think I have the ability to actually *not* worry about it. I do think I can trust him. And I know it sounds crazy because I have trusted him every single other time he fed me trickle truth and told me something and said that was the extent of things, only to find out later that oh wait... there was more. I know that seems unbelievable that i can tell you I do trust him now when he says he's done with the A for good. I can say there is a lot more transparency generally. But basically I think it is just part of my nature. I'm not trying to do mental gymnastics. Maybe I do see what I want to see or believe what I want to believe... no doubt that is a part of it. But, as I've said before, I'm a trusting fool. It is who I am. And that is OK with me. I don't want to lose that part of myself through all of this.

I know he can unblock her, of course. Or find another way to get in touch with her. At this point, I'm really not worried about it. Maybe I will be when we get back (assuming we go). But for now... I'm not really going to sweat it.

Originally Posted by Wooba
May- Take your time to think about what is right for you. What you feel is right for you right now might be different 3 months later. Think about your core values and how your H aligns/deviates from them. With time, I believe you will be able to see things clearer. Youíre a strong, smart woman, donít let fear take the steering wheel.

Wooba... that is really helpful. I have felt like there was a ton of pressure on this trip. It is also coinciding with me needing to make some decisions about my career which is wound up in all of this too, so just a lot of pressure in a small time frame. I think where I am is to not worry about making any decisions right now-- take my time, as you say. Assuming we go on this vacation, just relax and have it be a vacation. Think about work stuff also and come to some decision in that arena. i do think time will help.


Me (45) H (41)
M:13 T:17, D8 & D10
4/19 BD #1 ILYB
8/19 BD #2 Long-distance EA
12/19 BD #3 Actually 2 year PA
2-5/20 R attempt #1
6-7/20 limbo again, back in contact with AP
8/20-present R attempt #2
Re: Sticking to my boundaries [Re: may22] #2900765
07/27/20 09:43 PM
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So I'm on for a little bit, and I'm trying to keep up. I'll give you my very very brief take on things here.

MAY TAKE THE D@MN JOB! Take the job. Take the money. Take the change. Take the job.

Next, I truly think you should just go on the trip. No qualifiers. No expectations. That goes for H too. No expectations of this is make or break the MR healing process, blah, blah, blah. I'd honestly say hey I'm going to let all of my qualifiers go if you let all your expectations about this trip go, Clark Griswald. Let's not build this up into some kind of life changing marriage retreat. Let's just let it be what it is a family vacation. Take a break from all this back and forth. All of the will he, won't he. All of the chaos and deception. Seriously. I worry every single day that we won't every get to the meat and potatoes of these issues and then I remember that there's plenty of time to dig into this later. We are enjoying each other so much right now. All you guys do, and I'm not dumping that on you, I know like 90% is H is mull over the SSM and the A. It's so much the focus of your MR and household right now you guys kind of just circle it over and over and over again like it's the only thing you can talk about. Wouldn't it be nice just to talk about beautiful sunsets and terrible traffic? Is there any way you and H can promise to not talk about AP or the A or H's ridiculous behavior or you being controlling or your pain or either of your fears or anger for this trip. Can you guys just exist on the surface for this trip and find out if you actually still like each other? You a while back put it out there that you wondered if this was more of a relapse than a collapse. Could you maybe focus on that he might have had a relapse and this trip is his rehab? You guys as a family unit pulls at him. That's clear. And you love him as the father of your children. Can you look at this trip as a just a family trip? And let the chips fall where they may after wards?

You can take that all with a grain of salt but that's what I see right now.
Thinking of you often. xoxoxoxo

Re: Sticking to my boundaries [Re: may22] #2900771
07/28/20 12:10 AM
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may22 Offline OP
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Hi Wayfinder,

On the job... I think I will. I just emailed asking for what she was thinking in terms of compensation, and let her know I'm taking the next several weeks off to think about all of this. There's another, also probably more lucrative, opportunity on the table that I'm also thinking through. I know I'm really fortunate to be in this space. When else besides when you graduate from college or maybe a degree program do you get to have several opportunities in front of you to choose from? That has never happened to me, at least-- it is more like stay with the current job or consider one other opportunity at a time. So I kind of want to take my time with this and really think it all through.

On the trip... we are going and I like the no qualifiers, no expectations, just have fun together as a family. It is what he asked for and what I'm going to do. Not worry about anything else. I think you're so right that we've been spinning around this A and SSM and what it all means and the kids and the future and what if what if what if for so long that it is just exhausting. So a break from that is so attractive. And a break from our phones and work and IC and everything else. May take a break from this forum too.

Quote
Can you guys just exist on the surface for this trip and find out if you actually still like each other? You a while back put it out there that you wondered if this was more of a relapse than a collapse. Could you maybe focus on that he might have had a relapse and this trip is his rehab? You guys as a family unit pulls at him. That's clear. And you love him as the father of your children. Can you look at this trip as a just a family trip? And let the chips fall where they may after wards?

Yes. I think I can do all of this. I think he can too. (I know he can, he is a master at compartmentalizing anyway). And the Clark Griswald thing is hilarious. That is exactly where he is on all of this... so hopefully he can chill and not go too overboard in terms of expectations for everyone (kids included, I know he wants them to be like gung-ho hikers and they're like, 8 and 10 and sometimes just want to play instead).

Also, he did it. He talked to her and has blocked her on every channel. He asked if I wanted to do it together or do it in front of me and I said no need, maybe he can show me later. I asked him how he was feeling and he said he felt good. That this is what he wants and he feels good to have it done. We hugged. I was honestly surprised-- I expected him to say it was hard or he felt badly, or something, but he gave me a really genuine smile and said, this is what I want and I feel good about it. Me--I feel relief, that's about it. Maybe will ask him a bit more about it after the kids go down, just to make sure I have no lingering questions about it, let him show me how it all works, confirm where we are... and then maybe say the no expectations, no qualifiers, let's just have fun as a family thing.


Me (45) H (41)
M:13 T:17, D8 & D10
4/19 BD #1 ILYB
8/19 BD #2 Long-distance EA
12/19 BD #3 Actually 2 year PA
2-5/20 R attempt #1
6-7/20 limbo again, back in contact with AP
8/20-present R attempt #2
Re: Sticking to my boundaries [Re: may22] #2900773
07/28/20 01:31 AM
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I whole-heartedly agree with WF on your situation!

And by your last post, it sounds like you and H are both in a good place to move forward with this trip and truly enjoy the family time. I think the hardest thing for you will be living in the present moment and not intellectualizing the potential future. So, here is a gentle nudge to rely on your meditation training and truly be 'here and now' for the next month. Don't read too much into ANYTHING that comes up between you and H, whether it is deep love/regard and/or a moment of second guessing. Live your way into a future that you want and don't sweat the small stuff (and as my late father would say, 'it's all small stuff, sweetheart').

You've got this, May. I am so proud of how far you have come!

(((May)))

xxxx
S

Re: Sticking to my boundaries [Re: may22] #2900790
07/28/20 12:28 PM
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Good look May. And please consider if you need another STI test - he slept with her again during his big goodbye and didn't tell you about it for weeks and weeks - and depending on how relations between you were going at that time (and I don't mean to pry) knowingly exposed you again to disease and infection. You are going to have to make your own decisions on this, and you are choosing to trust him right now - and that is your right. But please please protect your health.

Re: Sticking to my boundaries [Re: may22] #2900840
07/28/20 06:58 PM
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may22 Offline OP
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Hi Alison-- yes, 100%. In fact I asked him to do it too and he said he would. I'm pretty pissed about that and told him how I felt, particularly because of the testing which somehow made me feel a bit of a clean slate, and that it really felt gross to me that he would sleep with her again and not tell me about it. Anyway, probably not immediately due to COVID but it will definitely happen.


Me (45) H (41)
M:13 T:17, D8 & D10
4/19 BD #1 ILYB
8/19 BD #2 Long-distance EA
12/19 BD #3 Actually 2 year PA
2-5/20 R attempt #1
6-7/20 limbo again, back in contact with AP
8/20-present R attempt #2
Re: Sticking to my boundaries [Re: may22] #2900873
07/29/20 04:06 AM
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May

Ok so he said he cut off contact . Whether his decision your ultimatum or which ever . Now where to go from here . Just my two cents . You both talk too much . This though has been going on awhile thereís been back and forth progress then regression . Actions not words . Stop listening to whatever heís telling you , pay more attention to his actions . The good ,the bad , the ugly . One of the hardest traits for me to acquire was learning to just zip it and pay attention. Sometimes I zip it too much in others opinions but ultimately Iím the one who lives with it . I control me not H

Vacation you want to go just go . Donít put the weight of your life , your marriage , your kids on a trip . Go have fun . Like real fun . One of the things I learned was the best time my husband has with me is when I just go with the flow and do whatever . I donít plan . I donít stress . I just let him take the lead and go .

I am not shocked over the fact he slept with the A partner in his long goodbye and not shocked he started talking to her again . You will know when heís committed. He wonít just say it . Itís more a rock bottom lasting repeatedly saying it . They are basically broken . Looking back it was almost pitiful to watch . My H rarely talks about it . You can see when he does it makes him feel just sick . If anything I get the opposite. His buddy going through divorce . Wife all crazy , threatening to get full custody of kid , bury him in child support . The one thing this forum taught me was boundaries not threats . Which in turn actually built trust . Heís not here out of fear , heís here knowing he could leave and still have a great relationship with his kids .

Iíll give you a good laugh . Other night my H I think is honestly just overwhelmed managing a household, the kids , Iím a ghost most days .Basically said Iím oblivious to him and he feels I donít appreciate what heís been doing at home. I just stood there while he yelled . First time Iíve heard him yell in 10 months . After he was done I said now whatís really up . H responds sometimes I do not know why I wanted to move home so bad . My response simple . I didnít ask you to move home . You are free to be happy wherever you choose . - see itís not I donít want him here . He knows I do . But heís also learned Iím not the person he walked out on a year ago . He wants to go . Go . I wouldnít chase him. I probably wouldnít even pick up the phone and call him if he left again . Needless to say he realized on his own he was just being over emotional . Took me shopping for a new bedroom set out of pure guilt Iím sure .

Be the strong May , maybe a bit more carefree . Long haul girl . Long !!!!

Re: Sticking to my boundaries [Re: may22] #2900959
07/30/20 02:27 PM
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Thinking of you, may, and hoping you are getting a much-needed break on this trip, and enjoying the experience for you.


T: 16 M:10
BD 6/2019
Re: Sticking to my boundaries [Re: may22] #2900969
07/30/20 05:20 PM
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Hi May,

Just returned from a trip and caught up on your situation. I'm glad he blocked her on all channels so you can go on this vacation with a clear conscience! You'll know soon if this is a temporary thing. Whatever happens long-term, I hope the next few weeks are great for you and your kids.


May'19 - Girlfriend of 2yrs left. Aug'19 - We became a "broken" couple (I needed validation, she screamed). Dec'19 - We gave up and went NC. Mar'20 - I've changed and she's eager for MC and us again.
Re: Sticking to my boundaries [Re: may22] #2901133
08/02/20 09:00 AM
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may22 Offline OP
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Thanks guys... Iím having a really hard time on this trip. Not because I am worried he is back in touch with her, but because I am overwhelmed with anger towards him for a million different aspects of the A. It is swamping me. I think I have also been priming myself to look for the bad in him and so that is what is jumping out at me. He is just being his usual self on this tripó not jerky, not going overboard on being nice (which I think he had been doing)ó and I think I need the especially nice in order for me to want to even look him in the eyes. Iím just so furious with him for having done this and for not being abjectly sorry. And he is not handling my anger very well. I am blowing up at the smallest things and I see him trying to make small repairs and I just canít even acknowledge them unless he is fully 100 percent apologetic. Which I know isnít right or fair in the long run but I canít help it. I keep making snarky comments about him being a lying $hitbag. I totally blew up at him tonight, told him what a horrible excuse for a human being he is, liar, f**kwit, etc etc. ugh. I donít know what to do. I am finding it impossible to stay in the moment. And when I do, he is like ďI donít get it, an hour ago you were totally happy and all I did was make dinner and then you were mad.Ē Which is so frustrating because I feel like he should be grateful for every moment Iím not ripping him a new one right now, rather than upset that Iím not happily tootling along to his happy family vacation narrative. Help.


Me (45) H (41)
M:13 T:17, D8 & D10
4/19 BD #1 ILYB
8/19 BD #2 Long-distance EA
12/19 BD #3 Actually 2 year PA
2-5/20 R attempt #1
6-7/20 limbo again, back in contact with AP
8/20-present R attempt #2
Re: Sticking to my boundaries [Re: may22] #2901142
08/02/20 12:03 PM
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Wow... you are going through a lot emotions.

Do you think its helping? Being snippy? Oh, don't misread me as you have every right to feel the way you do. This has been a long, hard situation.

To me it comes across as a push... if he is constantly being pushed from you where does he go?

I respect your boundary in regards to the trip but if you can't reframe your thinking... "that this trip will be good for all and be filled with lots of positive connections " then isn't it due to fail before it begins?

Maybe you should picture this trip as dipping your toe in the shallow end of the pool and not diving off the board into the deep end.

What are you hoping that happens when you are snippy with him? That he will suddenly stop at nothing to appease you and make you feel better? Perhaps that's not the best way to communicate that? Rather than being snippy could you change your reply to "I really would like some space right now".... "I would really like to feel that I'm your top priority"... "I would love more input on this".

Hang in there and don't place all this pressure that you have to figure it all out before X.

Re: Sticking to my boundaries [Re: may22] #2901143
08/02/20 12:09 PM
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Originally Posted by may22
Thanks guys... Iím having a really hard time on this trip. Not because I am worried he is back in touch with her, but because I am overwhelmed with anger towards him for a million different aspects of the A. It is swamping me. I think I have also been priming myself to look for the bad in him and so that is what is jumping out at me. He is just being his usual self on this tripó not jerky, not going overboard on being nice (which I think he had been doing)ó and I think I need the especially nice in order for me to want to even look him in the eyes. Iím just so furious with him for having done this and for not being abjectly sorry. And he is not handling my anger very well. I am blowing up at the smallest things and I see him trying to make small repairs and I just canít even acknowledge them unless he is fully 100 percent apologetic. Which I know isnít right or fair in the long run but I canít help it. I keep making snarky comments about him being a lying $hitbag. I totally blew up at him tonight, told him what a horrible excuse for a human being he is, liar, f**kwit, etc etc. ugh. I donít know what to do. I am finding it impossible to stay in the moment. And when I do, he is like ďI donít get it, an hour ago you were totally happy and all I did was make dinner and then you were mad.Ē Which is so frustrating because I feel like he should be grateful for every moment Iím not ripping him a new one right now, rather than upset that Iím not happily tootling along to his happy family vacation narrative. Help.



May, being betrayed by a spouse is one of the most emotionally difficult things one can go through. You marry for life with the intent of a bind and closeness with each other that is unique from all other relationships in your life. And when that is broken and shattered, it can be extremely difficult to get over. Which is why piercing and reconcilation are so difficult.

Are give yourself a break. You didn't deserve what he did and you certainly can't just snap your fingers and be over it. I'm fact, one day you may decide you can't get past it and ever trust him again. But guess what, you get to decide that! It's better than being the one stuck and begging for scraps from a lying cheater.

Respect yourself enough to not settle for staying with him. Make sure it is something you really want and can do.


M(51), W(52),D(16)
M-20, T-23 Bomb Drop - Dec.23, 2017
Ring and Piecing since March 2018
Re: Sticking to my boundaries [Re: may22] #2901146
08/02/20 12:45 PM
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Originally Posted by may22
Thanks guys... Iím having a really hard time on this trip. Not because I am worried he is back in touch with her, but because I am overwhelmed with anger towards him for a million different aspects of the A. It is swamping me. I think I have also been priming myself to look for the bad in him and so that is what is jumping out at me. He is just being his usual self on this tripó not jerky, not going overboard on being nice (which I think he had been doing)ó and I think I need the especially nice in order for me to want to even look him in the eyes. Iím just so furious with him for having done this and for not being abjectly sorry. And he is not handling my anger very well. I am blowing up at the smallest things and I see him trying to make small repairs and I just canít even acknowledge them unless he is fully 100 percent apologetic. Which I know isnít right or fair in the long run but I canít help it. I keep making snarky comments about him being a lying $hitbag. I totally blew up at him tonight, told him what a horrible excuse for a human being he is, liar, f**kwit, etc etc. ugh. I donít know what to do. I am finding it impossible to stay in the moment. And when I do, he is like ďI donít get it, an hour ago you were totally happy and all I did was make dinner and then you were mad.Ē Which is so frustrating because I feel like he should be grateful for every moment Iím not ripping him a new one right now, rather than upset that Iím not happily tootling along to his happy family vacation narrative. Help.



Aw, May. It's totally understandable to feel this way - not having that 100% full encompassing apology is tough, because you want him to acknowledge just how bad you felt in every way, and how much that affected you. For me, it made me feel not seen or understood without that, and I am sure in a family vacation setting that is at the top level fun, it can create some real internal dissonance (like hey if you valued your family so much and have soooo much fun with them, then why did you actively sh!t on it for 2 years in secret). I think him not acknowledging your anger to the degree you'd like him to is part of his idyllic narrative of what is going on and how it can be smoothed over, and that isn't fair to you. To him, all he did was make dinner and then you were mad - to you, he is ignoring a whole lot of context. That all sounds like a tough spot - idk if it's better for you to talk to him about it and say what you need or not. I know you guys have had a lot of talks. I applaud you for trying to be in the moment - I am sure that is super hard right now. It's hard to enjoy the parts of the sandwich that don't have sh!t in it, because you know that the sandwich has been ~compromised. Would it help you to write out a mean angry letter and then throw it away? Sometimes that works for me.

Re: Sticking to my boundaries [Re: may22] #2901196
08/03/20 01:57 AM
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May, I think you might be experiencing some cognitive dissonance. Reconciliation requires both acceptance and denial. Acceptance that your spouse is a lying cheater and denial that he very likely could hurt you again. Your mind is struggling to reconcile (so to speak) these two things. You've reached acceptance and are striving for denial, but your mind is fighting against it in order to keep you safe. The primitive, instinctual, emotional part is reminding you that he harmed you and could do it again. The rational, realistic, moral part does not like this reminder because it's trying to maintain the state of denial. Thus, cognitive dissonance which is expressed as anger. The same mechanism that cause our wayward spouses to spew at us, in fact.


W32
X30
S2

June 2019 | Runaway husband
May 2020 | Legal separation
Xmas 2020 | Divorce hearing
Re: Sticking to my boundaries [Re: may22] #2901213
08/03/20 12:04 PM
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I think for reconciliation and piecing to happen, both parties need to be ready for it. The wayward partner needs to show full remorse and be willing to do what it takes to repair the relationship. The LBS needs to have digested their entirely appropriate anger, have done the personal work to know that they are fine on their own, and be ready to make a free choice to curiously see if piecing can happen. I think this takes a long time. I know for myself, I wasn't past the anger and resentment and ready to piece. I suspect, May, the same is happening here. Your H hasn't done the work, and you're probably not at the stage where you have digested your extremely appropriate anger and, I don't think, you are making a free choice to explore with this man whether a new marriage is possible because you never truly let go of him.

I struggle with anger too, and I am sure part of my own troubles is that it has curdled into a defensiveness and contempt so deep that a true vulnerability with my H is not really possible. This can look like detachment (and it might be a step in the process of detachment) but is not the end of the story.

I don't think you can restore your marriage until you let go of it and hold on to yourself and your own anger. Anger tells you what you need. But it doesn't speak clearly and it takes a while to listen to it.

Re: Sticking to my boundaries [Re: may22] #2901215
08/03/20 12:30 PM
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The only thing I'm going to add here my dear May, is this is the anger I've been very worried about. It is all incredibly valid and he is entirely deserving of any wrath directed at him. My concern as it has been is you haven't really sat in that anger and digested it all. Nor have you found an appropriate outlet for the irrational part of the anger. And my biggest fear for you, is you haven't yet separated out the anger just directed toward H and the anger you have at yourself. For feeling stupid. For being taken for a ride. For being tricked and not figuring it out sooner. For ever loving or marrying this man. For wasting time and energy on him and the marriage. I know it's there.

I feel instep with all the above comments the only thing I'd have to say is if you think you can break down this anger quickly and on your own go ahead carve out time for a conversation with H, but if you don't think you're ready to really dig into this and sit in it and see where all of fire lies I'd strongly suggest you find a way border-lining on unhealthy to compartmentalize or you won't survive this trip. Or reconciliation. It is his job to be remorseful. It's his job to fix his mistakes. But it isn't his job to heal you from this. He can't. This isn't a you broke it, you fix it situation unfortunately. There is only so much he is capable of in the way of cooling your anger, the rest of the work, unfortunately, my dear, is on you.

I've said it before and maybe it bears repeating here. This is coming from a place as a WW. He will be all in in the MR and the family long before you will be. He will be very much in love with you before you will be with him. He will have put all of this behind him long before you have. It will take you years to heal completely from this. But at a certain point in this process it's no longer on him to carry that burden with you. Not if you want the marriage. He can't make you forgive him. The only one who can do that is you. And true forgiveness allows you to let go of all that anger.

He deserves some rage, May. In fact plenty, but not all of it. I think you know that. You're going to have to decide though if you want rage directing your life. Because it won't just eat him up. Or destroy your chance for saving this thing. Left unchecked it will destroy you too.

Re: Sticking to my boundaries [Re: may22] #2901232
08/03/20 03:18 PM
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may, of course there is so much good advice here. Iím sorry you find yourself going through this. This trip has been looming, and there were so many emotions leading up to it, so much going on in your headóeven the job stuff is a lot to processóI guess Iím just saying donít be too mad at yourself. Can you do a phone session with your IC? Can your H give you some space to work through some things on your own now? Can he understand that there is work you have to do together (and work that needs the support of MC) and work that you also need to continue do for yourself, by yourself? ((May))


T: 16 M:10
BD 6/2019
Re: Sticking to my boundaries [Re: may22] #2901265
08/03/20 06:26 PM
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may22 Offline OP
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KC, Steve, SamCal, Scout, Alison, WF, Cardinal... thank you, truly. It is such an amazing feeling to have the support of all of you. I was having such a hard time coping and was starting to freak out.

I really let him have it the night I typed that post (in the dark, in bed, from my phone... I really just needed to tell someone where my head was). I think I got a lot of it out. It was bad, though. I pushed and pushed and was meaner and meaner and he kept his cool for most of it, but I didn't give up until he snapped and brought up the SSM. It was awful, really-- I KNEW I could get him there and I did and then I got to additionally hammer him for being unable to take any responsibility for his own behavior.

KC, yes, what I was doing was definitely not DBing. He kept asking me why I was doing this and pushing him away. I think I was doing it explicitly TO push him away, or maybe subconsciously to see just how badly I could treat him and maybe he would walk. Ugh. It wasn't pretty. I kept saying this was a bad idea, he should leave, I didn't want to live my life with him as things were, etc.

I feel like we are-- or at least I am-- in Gottman's negative feedback loop, where the tiniest thing sets me off. It was weird in that I could recognize his repair attempts after I would snap at the tiniest things and he would make these repair attempts and they simply weren't good enough. I ignored them and then felt badly that I was doing that but couldn't help it. I think we need to build up more positivity but I was having a hard time doing that. (Alison, I was meaning to write this on your thread but maybe I'll just say it here-- I think that might be something in your R too, where you're both stuck in a cycle of seeing the bad. Back when I first read all these books this was something I really focused on-- we were totally stuck in a negative cycle-- and I made a conscious effort to respond to his small bids and be positive, look him in the eyes when he said something, smile, whatever. Just small little things like paying attention. It made a HUGE difference, just me doing that, as he mirrored it and we got into a really positive place in the day-to-day. It is strange to have lost that when we went through all the crisis of the active A after that and it was still basically maintained until now. Anyway, I don't know if you've read his books or if you're in a place where you still want more ideas, but a lot of what I was thinking was along those lines, Gottman's sliding doors analogy and building up the tiny positive interactions.)

SamCal, an angry letter is a good idea. The first few days of the trip we did a lot of hiking and as I was walking my mantras were awful things about H and AP, just repeating them over and over in my mind. I was thinking that saying them to myself would help get it out but I don't think it really did. Something more physical like throwing it away would be better, I think.

Scout, I think there is a good amount of cognitive dissonance going on with me that I'm just starting to recognize. My IC pointed it out a couple of weeks ago. And I do feel like the anger and angry behaviors directed at him felt like how he treated me in his alien phase-- being a duck as much as possible to provoke a response in me so that he could justify his behavior.

Steve, Alison, I think I'm in this weird place where I thought this was what I wanted and now I'm just looking at the $hit path in front of me and really not sure it is a good idea. I got pretty revved up into the I WANT OUT mode and then he didn't leave. Then I spent a little time thinking about the other path, the children, all that, and that path still looks worse then the cr@p one I'm on right now.

Cardinal, the IC wanted two weeks without IC as she felt having a third party in the mix-- her-- right now was not a great idea. But, if I can't process this anger alone I think I'll need her help.

Wayfinder... I was thinking about your posts about my anger as it was happening. There she is. And he still has anger for the SSM, though I think it is complicated for him by the fact he's used it as an excuse for his own behavior. I don't know that he can appropriately address that anger until he can separate it from his own actions in embarking on the A.

My own anger towards myself... it is a real thing and I haven't really delved into it. You're right that it is all mixed up with my anger towards him. I think a lot of what I'm going through right now is that this is the first big trip we've taken-- more than a weekend or camping or whatever-- since BD, so everyone keeps mentioning some of our previous trips and several took place while he was carrying on the A, and I didn't know. I do feel like he has told me too much stuff about his feelings for AP, also. (I yelled at him for this a LOT the other night, that the damage he did by insisting I understand his FEELINGS will take a long, long time to get over, if ever.) It just colors these trips now knowing that he wasn't all in, that AP was unhappy about them, it makes me feel so angry and helpless and stupid all at once.

Anyway, the other night-- at least with my anger towards him, I got a lot of it out. I bawled my eyes out too, told him he had no idea how much he'd hurt me, I wasn't sure if I could ever love him again. I stormed off to bed, made him sleep on the sofabed in the hotel. When we got up in the morning, he came and hugged me for a really long time and said he was sorry over and over.

Between letting it all out and that, I have felt waaaaay better. We had an amazing day yesterday and he is suggesting changing plans for this next week to add things that I know wouldn't be his first choice but he knows I'd really love. (He'd been the one to totally plan this trip-- I basically ignored it since I didn't think it was going to actually happen.) I do feel much calmer and in the moment. Hopefully I can maintain this.

Thanks, you guys. You mean a lot to me.


Me (45) H (41)
M:13 T:17, D8 & D10
4/19 BD #1 ILYB
8/19 BD #2 Long-distance EA
12/19 BD #3 Actually 2 year PA
2-5/20 R attempt #1
6-7/20 limbo again, back in contact with AP
8/20-present R attempt #2
Re: Sticking to my boundaries [Re: may22] #2901279
08/03/20 07:23 PM
08/03/20 07:23 PM
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AlisonUK Offline
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Maybe this isn't all bad, May. I think, sometimes, there is a fine line between forcefully and strongly expressing anger, and being abusive. I'm afraid of my H's anger, so I know I am not the best judge of that. I do know you (and I, and pretty much everyone in the world) has a total right to their angry feelings. I also know that the person who made you (me, us) angry can't take our anger away, heal it or fix it. I know you have good strategies for dealing with your anger and so do I. I think the last piece in the puzzle though, is how to be intimate with someone you are angry at? How to express the depth of your anger and have them hear it without resorting to abusive behaviour - which is never okay - or trashing the relationship, or dumping the 'healing' onto the spouse? I know I've been feeling better since I've stopped drinking the STFU smoothie and being very clear when I am angry with my H, and why. It has helped me. I don't think it has helped our marriage, but our marriage was in a poor state anyway - partly, I think, because I was busy smiling and being peaceful and pretending I was not furious with my H for the decisions he's made to destroy my trust in him. I am coming round to thinking that if a marriage can't bear some honesty, then it isn't a marriage, and I think it is perfectly fine for you to forcefully express the depth of your anger to your husband, so long as you aren't abusive to him and so long as you aren't requiring him to deal with those feelings for you.

Last edited by AlisonUK; 08/03/20 07:24 PM.
Re: Sticking to my boundaries [Re: may22] #2901731
08/10/20 02:11 AM
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may22 Offline OP
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Hi friends,

Just checking back in. Alison, my angry behavior probably flirts (or even crosses the line) into bad or abusive behavior. I definitely have said things that aren't nice. I had one more evening where I got really really angry and said really mean things to him. He sat there and took it, I kept being awful and he said he wasn't going to engage (that was a boundary for him), he eventually moved to the kids' bed and I switched to texting him quotes from the Shirley Glass book about how abusive As are, the trauma I'm dealing with, the unprotected sex putting my health at risk, etc. I'm cringing a little remembering it. He eventually came back and said he was really, really sorry but didn't want to engage with me when I was like this. I dropped it and went to sleep.

In the morning (kids were awake) he texted me a long message saying he was sorry, he agreed with all the passages I'd texted, but that we needed to find a better way for me to express how I was feeling to him as he couldn't deal with the abusive anger. He said he was wrong the night before for not being more kind when I first expressed how I was feeling (he had turned on the Hamilton soundtrack, which reminded me he'd seen it with AP, which infuriated me, and then I said to him, should I tell you when I'm feeling angry or upset? I feel like I shouldn't... and he said IDK... to which I said sounds like you don't want me to... and then it devolved from there as I couldn't control myself and started to get madder and madder and eventually spilled over to him). He said he was really sorry for what he had done, he should have responded differently in the moment when I expressed how I was feeling about Hamilton, and next time he would be better.

Anyway. Things have been better since-- that was maybe five night ago and I haven't felt that way since. I have told him a couple times when I'm feeling upset and he's responded much more empathetically. I've been able to leave my anger and focus on having fun with the kids and with him. The hotel part of our trip ends tomorrow and we're in a camper van for a week... will see how the close quarters affect this.

I think feeling that AP is out of the picture has taken a lot of the fear out of the equation for me. And maybe I'm kidding myself but I really don't think there is any chance they're in contact since we're together 24-7. I'm realizing we can see if we can make this work, but if we can't, nothing is stopping me from choosing to walk if I decide that is a better path for me. He will have a lot of work to do and I am not going to settle for the half-a$$ed H-in-body-but-not-in-spirit that he's shown so far. I want the real deal and while I'm willing to wait for it and work for it, if he can't give that to me in the end... it isn't enough for me. But for now, I'm willing to cruise and give this a shot. Watching him with my kids does really hit a soft spot for me.


Me (45) H (41)
M:13 T:17, D8 & D10
4/19 BD #1 ILYB
8/19 BD #2 Long-distance EA
12/19 BD #3 Actually 2 year PA
2-5/20 R attempt #1
6-7/20 limbo again, back in contact with AP
8/20-present R attempt #2
Re: Sticking to my boundaries [Re: may22] #2901746
08/10/20 12:20 PM
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Hi May

Glad to hear that he is accepting your anger, and agreeing with you, but I guess being on holiday isnt the best timing (but he only has himself to blame for dragging his heels in invoking the NC with AP). I do admire you for being able to switch your focus onto your kids and having fun in spite of the sh1tshow going on around you. (I tend to really withdraw when I am overwhelmed with my situation and find it difficult to switch modes.)

Are you able to take some time out when you feel your emotions start to rise - go off for a little walk, pop out in the car to pick up some groceries, play a game on your phone? This might give you a little time for the boiling over feelings to subside and allow you to think about what you say before launching an attack. (Incidentally, the irony of us having to control ourselves in such a way as to suit or protect a lying/cheating spouse is not lost on me. But I guess irrespective of how they acted themsleves, constructive dialog is probably more productive. Although I also feel that it is good for them to see and feel the intensity of emotion in what they have caused.)

Hope the next few days in the campervan go ok.{{Hugs}}


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

EA: Feb 2019-Apr 2020
Separated: Mar-early Aug 2020
H asked to reconcile: Jun 2020
Re: Sticking to my boundaries [Re: may22] #2902301
08/18/20 08:52 PM
08/18/20 08:52 PM
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may22 Offline OP
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Thanks, Pommy! I have done better at managing my emotions but I think it is something I'll need to keep working at for some time.

I had another episode last week where I got really angry-- in the middle of the night, I woke up and couldn't go back to sleep and decided somehow it was a good time to wake him up and whisper-hiss to him that not all STDs can be picked up with a blood test. He didn't say much, listened, apologized, but wouldn't engage. That made me angrier and I kept pushing him. He said he had a lot of things to say but didn't think it would be helpful for him to say them. I pushed and he said, May, the reason I decided to have unprotected sex with AP was because, at the time I made that decision, I never intended to sleep with you again. (He previously told me they'd both gotten tested prior to this, so he "knew" she was "clean".) He said, things changed. And I'm really sorry for everything. But that is where my head was when I made that decision and things are different now.

It really made me think a lot. Realizing that in his mind, he had already left the M, it was over for him excepting the whole telling me part-- it really shows that to the WAS, the M is over at BD or even before. In his head, he'd committed to AP and was charging down that path even though he could never actually take the final steps to make it happen. He went a long ways down that path and it will take him a long time to come back, if he ever actually does. Though I do believe he is trying, in his own way. Whether it will be enough for me is yet to be seen.

It really brought home for me the value of DB-ing for YOU, not for your spouse. He's on his own journey and I'm on mine. I don't like myself losing control and letting my emotions get the better of me. I need to rework on healthy detachment-- not needing him to say one thing or another to feel better. Being OK with the validity of my own feelings but not letting them take over my actions. Understanding to my core that all I can control is my own behavior and healing, no-one else's-- and that I need to do a better job at this for myself as well. WF, if you're reading here, I have been thinking a lot about what you said on my thread and yours about healing being our own responsibility, not his. This is definitely something I need to really accept and learn how to do.

We talked another time about communication, and that I need more explicit words to let me know he's here for good, that this is his choice, in order to feel secure and give him what he wants-- the connecting part. He said that for him the actions are more meaningful, us connecting, having fun, working together. He feels that most of the time on this trip it has been really positive, we're both having fun and connecting, and that is what he is looking for and helping him right now. But he feels scared and unsure when I can go from that to totally distancing or getting angry (which happens when I start thinking about the A).

He said he feels in a bit of a catch-22 because he can be feeling really positive and good about us, and not about the A or anything at all, and is communicating that to me through his behavior, but that doesn't stop me from thinking about it/her and going cold. Yet because he's not thinking about her or me being upset-- for him she and the A are in the past, not the present-- he doesn't know how to preemptively avoid those times for me. Whereas for me, the hurt he caused with the A is very much real and present, today, and isn't going to go away just because he is no longer actively engaging in it. The damage is current even if the behavior is no longer there. And this time around I have less trust that it really is in the past, also, so that is harder as well. I feel he is more willing to accept that now than he has been in the past, and some of the conversations we've had this trip have helped with that. But thhose are baby steps if anything.

We talked about generally building the positive small interactions between us, to look for the good, that he could look for opportunities to tell or show me that he's glad we're here together (could just be a hug, doesn't have to be verbally explicit) and I'm not just a necessary appendage to being here with the girls.

That conversation did help me quite a bit in terms of understanding where he is and, if I care to do it, how continued DB-ing-- in this case PMA, acting as if, etc-- would be helpful for him in not pushing him away. When I feel like my goal is still standing for the M, doing absolutely everything I can to keep my family intact and my kids sleeping in the same house as me every night-- this seems like the obvious and right course. When I start to feel angry and that this whole sitch is so unfair and f-ed up and all his GD fault, that gets harder and my natural response is to lash out at him, throw the burden on him to fix. I know that is not healthy or smart. Something I need to continue to work on.

I've also been comparing this time around to the spring-- what is different for me, for him, for us, and what is the same. For me, I have much less optimism and faith-- which I also am blaming on him in my dark moments, since he *had* in a lot of ways what he wants now-- a PMA and positive engagement from me without all the doubts-- but he was meanwhile still obsessing over her and not really working on disengaging himself, and since he didn't want to talk about it it just lingered and festered.

This time, much more is in the open, both in terms of secrets of his that are now out, they're out of communication and she's blocked (yes I did watch him do it and I have the password to his phone should I feel the need to check and make sure, which I haven't done nor intend to). I do think he's more committed at this juncture to working on the M and being OK with her being gone for good. He said not having access to the 'find your friends' feature on his phone was really huge (and I know I've said this before, but so maddening that he couldn't see in the spring just how obsessive and unhealthy this behavior was... he hadn't told his IC he was doing it either so at some level he knew it was a bad idea).

We just ended our week in the camper van but decided not to go home. We have had an incredible time and been able to experience things we never would have otherwise, since there are so few tourists here. However, our community's COVID situation has taken a turn for the worse. Where we live is probably about to go back on lockdown, so we've rented a condo in a neighboring community with a pool, access to the beach, etc but can get back to working virtually, in a place with much less COVID and where we can still get outside. School starts in two weeks and will be virtual for at least the first two weeks. One of my colleagues is very ill with COVID and in the hospital on a ventilator, and my neighbor's father, both grandparents on his dad's side, and aunt all have it-- his aunt was just admitted to the hospital with advanced pneumonia. While earlier in the pandemic this all felt more distant, that the world was imploding but I was able to focus on the positives. The devastating impact on lives and families is hard to really wrap my head around.

Sending virtual love to all of you. I have been checking in on your threads and miss you guys.


Me (45) H (41)
M:13 T:17, D8 & D10
4/19 BD #1 ILYB
8/19 BD #2 Long-distance EA
12/19 BD #3 Actually 2 year PA
2-5/20 R attempt #1
6-7/20 limbo again, back in contact with AP
8/20-present R attempt #2
Re: Sticking to my boundaries [Re: may22] #2902426
08/20/20 09:05 PM
08/20/20 09:05 PM
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may22 Offline OP
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Just journaling...

Now that we're not in "vacation" mode in the quite same way-- and all four of us aren't in a camper van-- there is a bit more space, both physically and mentally, which is good, I think. I feel like I can see H making more of an effort to connect, going out of his way to smile at me, make eye contact, make small physical contacts like touching my arm or back. Being kind. When we were on top of each other and had a go-go-go schedule of things to do, there wasn't really the space to see any of that-- whether it was happening or not, I don't know that I was in a place to recognize it anyway since I was pretty stressed and working on controlling my anger. I have been able to keep my PMA going, the anger has subsided quite a bit, focusing on my kids and the positives. I'm feeling more in a zone of taking things day by day, as they are, not worrying about where H is or isn't.

I do have some fear about what happened last time and what makes this time different (or not)... like I think back to the spring and things seemed to be going so well. I feel like I care less, this time. He'll get his $hit together and to a place where we can work on M2.0 or he won't. This time he has been more explicit that he wants to work on reconnecting, but I don't know that I'm buying that yet-- I don't want to push the timeline or get my hopes up. Right now, I'm just trying to channel my inner Wayfinder wink

One day at a time, marathon not a sprint, all the rest.


Me (45) H (41)
M:13 T:17, D8 & D10
4/19 BD #1 ILYB
8/19 BD #2 Long-distance EA
12/19 BD #3 Actually 2 year PA
2-5/20 R attempt #1
6-7/20 limbo again, back in contact with AP
8/20-present R attempt #2
Re: Sticking to my boundaries [Re: may22] #2902448
08/21/20 01:06 PM
08/21/20 01:06 PM
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wayfarer Offline
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All good things, my dear. Covid is getting closer and closer to home as well. My job keeps sending out vague emails about our return to work plan but has no date set which has put a lot of people on edge. My girls are going back virtually as well but a lot of schools and businesses are playing with fire because apparently Covid isn't a real thing in the Midwest even though between H and myself we've been to 4 funerals this year.

Enjoy the space my dear. The breathing room in your sitch and the breathing room from the stress of the pandemic. You're fear here with H is totally, and completely valid. And I think the caring less is a really good thing. All of this will come easier and frankly go easier if you are simply invested in the trying and not so much the holding on. You just worry about you. Your healing. Your boundaries. Your wants and needs. Your apologies and your 180s. Like you said he's either in this or he's not, only time will tell. And you have time. It's a marathon not a sprint wink

xoxoxoxo

Re: Sticking to my boundaries [Re: may22] #2902467
08/22/20 12:45 AM
08/22/20 12:45 AM
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May, I am really proud of you. You sound more grounded and sure of herself than ever. Yes to this:

Originally Posted by wayfarer
And I think the caring less is a really good thing. All of this will come easier and frankly go easier if you are simply invested in the trying and not so much the holding on.


which it seems like you are well on the road to mastering.

Your H is showing a lot of good signs from an outsider's perspective: accepting your rages without self-pity, acknowledging your fears, acknowledging the past, owning the trauma he has caused and most importantly, just showing up each day for you as a family. These are all such good first steps.

Originally Posted by may22
This time he has been more explicit that he wants to work on reconnecting, but I don't know that I'm buying that yet-- I don't want to push the timeline or get my hopes up.


I still stand by my belief that in the end, your marriage continuing will be your decision to make, not H's. You will either decide his actions are enough or not. So live as if it's your choice. Which may mean that you need to be more intentional and explicit of your acceptance of where things are at right now. There is no harm in soaking up H's charms and efforts if you know that in the long run you get to decide. Because either way, you are giving the M the best chance of making it to true 2.0.

You're doing great, keep up the good PMA and just being your smart, intuitive self.

((((May))))

Re: Sticking to my boundaries [Re: may22] #2902699
08/25/20 11:54 PM
08/25/20 11:54 PM
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may22 Offline OP
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Thanks, Wayfinder and Sage.

It definitely is a marathon. I feel like focusing on me, caring less about what does or doesn't happen and just being OK with being where we are... that is slippery. I can feel it and live it and then the next moment something happens-- a thought might just occur to me-- and I lose that centeredness and my first reaction is to look to H to fix it for me. Like the poor guy will be totally oblivious, sitting next to me and to him nothing has changed and to me I'm angry and looking to him for some magical response to make me feel better. I know that isn't the way. I don't know that you guys should be proud of me yet. I'm a work in progress, that's for sure.

I think the improvements I've been seeing in this last week are me recognizing this and allowing myself to feel how I feel and let it go (or not) without feeling like he needs to be a part of that process at all. I have let him in on it a few times, not in an angry way but just telling him, and that has worked out really well. He made a joke that could be construed in a way about the A, I told him it was really hurtful, and he immediately apologized and hugged me... whereas before I think I would have snapped and said mean things and he would have gone on the defensive. So, some progress. But slow.

We are planning on heading home (to a total lockdown, ugh) next week, and I think it will be good to get my routines back, start exercising again, sleep in my own bed, have a little more privacy when I feel like I need it.

Sage, the thought of this being my choice in the end... that terrifies me, somehow. Really. I am feeling more and more like that *is* the case, that he's let AP go and that his narrative/fear that he'd expressed before-- that he'd do that and then six or twelve months down the line I'd decide never mind, this isn't what I want-- is unfolding as the next reality. And partially I feel scared and angry because he isn't doing all the things I think he should in order to prevent that from happening, and partially I'm terrified that regardless that is where we will end up and it won't be enough for me, wherever he gets, and I'll be the one then pulling the trigger and making the call to only have my children fifty percent of the time. Which I absolutely don't want more than anything... but I also don't want a half-a$$ed H who doesn't love me how I feel I should be loved by an H... it is all confusing and difficult and I don't feel up to the task of parsing through it all right now.

I know I don't need to. I probably shouldn't. Let the past stay the past and the future stay the future and sit in the now. I'm pretty terrible at that, though. i need my 16 point checklist to do all the things I'm supposed to do, and my H to do all the things he's supposed to do, so that we can neatly put this all behind us and move on triumphantly to M2.0. I know that is a ridiculous fantasy and the only way through this is messy and not within my control and all the rest. It just isn't how I work. Letting go is probably the hardest thing I've ever done... and I don't mean letting go of H. I mean letting go of my own expectations and imagined future and perception of control on the world around me.

So... I know all the things I should be doing to focus on me and let go, cultivate my inner zen goddess. They're working, kind of. In a two steps forward, one and a half steps back kind of way. Hoping when we get back home I'll have more ability to make that my primary focus. But any tips are welcome!


Me (45) H (41)
M:13 T:17, D8 & D10
4/19 BD #1 ILYB
8/19 BD #2 Long-distance EA
12/19 BD #3 Actually 2 year PA
2-5/20 R attempt #1
6-7/20 limbo again, back in contact with AP
8/20-present R attempt #2
Re: Sticking to my boundaries [Re: may22] #2902714
08/26/20 01:59 PM
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Originally Posted by may22

It definitely is a marathon. I feel like focusing on me, caring less about what does or doesn't happen and just being OK with being where we are... that is slippery. I can feel it and live it and then the next moment something happens-- a thought might just occur to me-- and I lose that centeredness and my first reaction is to look to H to fix it for me. Like the poor guy will be totally oblivious, sitting next to me and to him nothing has changed and to me I'm angry and looking to him for some magical response to make me feel better. I know that isn't the way. I don't know that you guys should be proud of me yet. I'm a work in progress, that's for sure.


I think the improvements I've been seeing in this last week are me recognizing this and allowing myself to feel how I feel and let it go (or not) without feeling like he needs to be a part of that process at all. .
This is definitely progress - recognising when you feel unbalanced, sitting with it and letting the feelings pass without reacting or bringing him into it. That is a big tick in the box.

Originally Posted by may22
And partially I feel scared and angry because he isn't doing all the things I think he should in order to prevent that from happening, and partially I'm terrified that regardless that is where we will end up and it won't be enough for me, wherever he gets, and I'll be the one then pulling the trigger and making the call to only have my children fifty percent of the time. Which I absolutely don't want more than anything... but I also don't want a half-a$$ed H who doesn't love me how I feel I should be loved by an H... it is all confusing and difficult and I don't feel up to the task of parsing through it all right now.
Have you read the 'Piecing' thread lately. I read it again today and it was a helpful reminder about the different timelines that WAS & LBS are on, that LBS is generally more advanced in the process & personal growth than WAS, that much of WAS energy has been dealing with ending an affair and recovering from addiction. Don't let those fears overcome you based on where you are at now.

Originally Posted by may22
I know I don't need to. I probably shouldn't. Let the past stay the past and the future stay the future and sit in the now. I'm pretty terrible at that, though. i need my 16 point checklist to do all the things I'm supposed to do, and my H to do all the things he's supposed to do, so that we can neatly put this all behind us and move on triumphantly to M2.0. I know that is a ridiculous fantasy and the only way through this is messy and not within my control and all the rest. It just isn't how I work. Letting go is probably the hardest thing I've ever done... and I don't mean letting go of H. I mean letting go of my own expectations and imagined future and perception of control on the world around me.

So... I know all the things I should be doing to focus on me and let go, cultivate my inner zen goddess. They're working, kind of. In a two steps forward, one and a half steps back kind of way. Hoping when we get back home I'll have more ability to make that my primary focus. But any tips are welcome!
Be kind to yourself, that is my tip. And yes, sit in the now. That is what I am trying to learn to do, to let go of what has been said and done; to stop worrying about what H isn't doing and focus on what he is doing; to stop thinking about what is missing and nurture the small things that are in the here and now. I remember something I read somewhere about a marriage repair being like a newly planted seed. All the good is happening below the surface - you cant see it, but transformation is taking place. Growth may be invisible but it is happening, and you just need to nurture it carefully.

Big hugs {{{May }}} - you survived your trip and it hasn't broken you or H - it could have so easily gone the other way. I think that's progress!!


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

EA: Feb 2019-Apr 2020
Separated: Mar-early Aug 2020
H asked to reconcile: Jun 2020
Re: Sticking to my boundaries [Re: may22] #2902733
08/26/20 07:05 PM
08/26/20 07:05 PM
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Thanks, Pommy!

I haven't looked at the piecing thread... I have stayed away as I haven't considered anything we are doing yet "piecing" either this time or the time before. I just don't have the deep certainty that H is in it for the long haul, yet. I think he's taking baby steps, positive ones, and of course assuming it really is over with AP for good that is a big one.

But for me, I haven't felt like we were there until we could look each other in the eyes and say... you're the one. I want to make this work. I don't feel that H is in a place to say that, yet. And maybe I'll be waiting forever for the deep remorse but I want that too. IDK.

I remember last time I said I'd wait six months and then see where we are. Aggravating because we are at six months now past his Feb ending of the A and I can't help but wonder where we would be today if only H had had more self-control, or listened to me and blocked her in the first place. I guess it is unknowable and not worth the time wondering what if. But it still bothers me, especially because I don't feel the same level of hope and optimism I did the first time around. I have some resentment around losing that towards him that I'm not really sure how to handle.

I feel like the smartest thing for me to do right now is-- as you say-- be kind to myself and sit in the now. Continue to focus on myself, what I want and need and my own healing. Take joy in my children and the small things. And as you say, be open to recognizing and focusing on the positive things my H *is* doing rather than the things he is not... I don't know why that is so hard, but it is.

My H has complained all along (to the degree we talked about it in the spring and then a TON in June and July looking back at the spring when he "relapsed" (that is how I"m preferring to think about it these days... doesn't mean he won't again)) that I want to skip over this part and just get what I want, i.e. H back securely in his "place". That I want to just put this all behind us and have him back as my loving, worshipful H. I don't think that is what I want-- I want this to have meant something, like Wayfarer talks about, or Esther Perel. That the pain and trauma and work will put us in a place we never would have reached without going through the $hit. But I see how he can think that. He feels I want to dictate what he should say and how he should feel... and TBH, though I don't want to admit it (and definitely haven't to him) there is some truth to that. So for me, a lot of the work I need right now is on that letting go part. Not needing H to feel or say one thing or another to feel OK about where I am, where we are, that I've made the right choice by standing.

It is so much easier to see things in black and white. H is a jerk, a lying cheater, irredeemable. H is a flawed human being who has made devastating mistakes but is trying to repair what he's broken. Somehow recognizing the little things he's doing in the day to day without letting myself jump to the conclusion that he's in it for the long haul is really difficult for me. He said to me explicitly the other day that I'm not letting myself see small actions that could tell me his feelings are changing. I want it all and am blind to the small good steps. Maybe this is true. I'm not sure. All I know is this is HARD.

Pommy, are there any threads in piecing you would recommend? Even though we aren't there yet maybe it would be helpful for me to read... at least the things you are talking about, patience and differing timelines, would DEFINITELY be helpful smile


Me (45) H (41)
M:13 T:17, D8 & D10
4/19 BD #1 ILYB
8/19 BD #2 Long-distance EA
12/19 BD #3 Actually 2 year PA
2-5/20 R attempt #1
6-7/20 limbo again, back in contact with AP
8/20-present R attempt #2
Re: Sticking to my boundaries [Re: may22] #2902744
08/26/20 09:26 PM
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May I donít think I am fully in piecing yet either. However, I find this thread really helpful in gauging where we may actually be in the R/P process, as a couple and as individuals.

https://www.divorcebusting.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=2832573&page=1


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

EA: Feb 2019-Apr 2020
Separated: Mar-early Aug 2020
H asked to reconcile: Jun 2020
Re: Sticking to my boundaries [Re: may22] #2902760
08/27/20 12:41 PM
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This is the article where it put things in perspective for me too. We are reconciling. We aren't piecing yet. And I'm ok with that. I think we both, but me more so than H, needs to know this is going to work. The reality is. He's in. He's all in. He's remorseful and a puppy very much in love. He knows this will work for him. Because who else is going to put up with this sh!t with a smile? No one. He knows and has finally articulated that no one is going to love him the way I do. Which is true. Because let's be real I'm a little bit of a fool for sticking this out. But we're all fools in love. I however need to make sure he can do this. Grow. Change. Work. I'm person of value. Our relationship is important to him. I just have no idea if I can sign up for forever yet. I'm hoping in the next couple of months I'll know. But we'll see.

You're a person of value to your H. The relationship has always been important that's why he didn't want to let it go. But other posters are right. Now is your time to decide if this is going to work for you or not. And you can't look at like you're willing giving up your kids 50% of the time. You have to look at it from the perspective that you and daddy gave it all you could to make this work, but neither of you could love each other the way you deserve, but you both love the girls so much. So, so much that you didn't want them to live where there just wasn't enough love. They need to learn what really being loved looks like. But that's 5 steps ahead here.

Just slow down and remember the ball is in your court now. You control this situation.

Re: Sticking to my boundaries [Re: may22] #2902816
08/28/20 08:34 AM
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Pommy, that thread was super helpful-- thank you for sharing it. I feel like I got scared off of the piecing thread from that first post which is like give it a few weeks... then a few months... then maybe, just maybe you can begin to imagine yourself piecing... or whatever. But reading through it and realizing, again, that my H is on his own journey and it is not the same as mine, that he's really now only been NC with AP for a month now, he needs to detox and it would be ridiculous for me to expect him to be further along the path than he is.

Wayfarer, I know exactly what you mean about needing to know it is going to work before being able to really commit to the work of piecing. I feel the same way. It is a bit of a catch-22-- I can't be in this until I feel that he's 100% in it, that AP is burnt out of his head and he wants me and our M more than anything and is willing to do whatever it takes to achieve that.

And yet I feel like this weird pressure to "reconnect" since that is what he says he wants and I don't want him to judge our R by what we have right now, which is basically like friends/partners though I know I'm still going cold or throwing mini anger bombs every once in awhile. And I feel some fears about the last time around, where I was much more relaxed and not angry (or had shoved that anger down so far that it wasn't really surfacing yet) and we were having a lot of fun together through the whole lockdown phase... only to get that next BD thrown at me after four months of what I thought was R and maybe tiptoeing into piecing.

It's like, last time I was relaxed and optimistic and trusting and we reconnected up the wazoo, or so I thought... and yet that didn't work. This time I'm much more guarded and angry and less interested in putting myself out there until he's demonstrated he's committed. I feel like he wants what I gave him freely last time, and yet (a) that didn't work and (b) I just really can't/don't want to right now. Does that make sense? I think not worrying about him and where his head is and refocusing on me like you are all saying (thank you!) is really the only non-disastrous path for me at the moment.

For you, WF, though... gently... how will you know if you don't try? You've gone through so much and it feels a little like you might not want to start piecing until you know know know 1000% that M2.0 is yours for the taking. From one control freak to another, respectfully... you don't need to sign up for forever to try to piece with your H. It isn't going to go how you thought it would and it won't be a straight line, just like none of this has been a straight line. If you wait for perfect it may never come. There won't be a nice list of tasks to check off in a timely fashion to get to point B. It will be messy and hard and only half under your control-- he's gotta do his own work. I think? you should let him. xoxoxo


Me (45) H (41)
M:13 T:17, D8 & D10
4/19 BD #1 ILYB
8/19 BD #2 Long-distance EA
12/19 BD #3 Actually 2 year PA
2-5/20 R attempt #1
6-7/20 limbo again, back in contact with AP
8/20-present R attempt #2
Re: Sticking to my boundaries [Re: may22] #2902961
09/01/20 08:56 PM
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So, we're home.

All in all, the trip was good for me. We had some amazing experiences as a family. I was able to disconnect from work, relax, take a bit of a break from the COVID monotony of being at home, although of course we were still safe and masked and everything else on the trip... it was just nice to be able to be in different places and be outside without a lot of people. Kids had a blast.

H and I... so-so. IDK. We worked well together as co-parents and vacation managers. We made good joint decisions, had fun together, no fights about dumb stuff. Of course you all know about my anger management issues. I had a hard time letting go and having fun at times, but as the trip wore on I was able to take a break and deal with my anger on my own without being abusive towards H. (Unless you count the occasional snippy comment as abusive... though I know I should not be doing those either.)

Originally Posted by Sage
Your H is showing a lot of good signs from an outsider's perspective: accepting your rages without self-pity, acknowledging your fears, acknowledging the past, owning the trauma he has caused and most importantly, just showing up each day for you as a family. These are all such good first steps.

This is true. He did all these things. I'm having a hard time accepting them as where we are right now and being OK without knowing where we're headed. Because on the other hand, he isn't fully remorseful, he hasn't said he WANTS to fall back in love with me a la Pommy's H. I feel like intentionality is such an important thing and I don't feel that is there, right now, with my H.

We had a few R talks near the end and again last night. The upshot is:

- he feels the trip was positive and we did well together

- he feels like things are less about AP and whether or not he wants to be with her, more about us and what may/may not work between us (this he said on the trip near the end)

- he doesn't feel the intensity of the feelings towards AP that he has when they're in communication, but he still thinks about her and has feelings towards her.

- he is worried he'll never be able to feel that way towards me again

- he doesn't know if he'll ever be able to forgive himself for what he did to me. Last night he really apologized for the A, said it was wrong, I didn't deserve it, etc etc. It felt very sincere and untainted by any excuses about the SSM or anything. This isn't the first time he said it, but often I feel the unspoken "but the SSM!!" even if he doesn't say the words... this time he explicitly said even though he felt there were reasons that led him there, it was wrong.

- He said he's worried that what he did was so bad that he will never be able to forgive himself, even if I can forgive him. He thinks about himself as a bad person for doing this. He never thought he was the kind of person who would cheat, especially to this degree... and yet he did. What does that mean about him as a person? What does it mean for the future of our R? I asked him what would happen if he tweaked that statement-- that he isn't a bad person, but a good person who did a bad thing-- that is what I thought, at least. He got a little emotional.

- it is really important to him that I understand that he didn't do this against me, that he loves me, never stopped, just stopped being "in love" with me. It bothers him that I feel like every interaction, every family trip, every date night we had was tainted because of his R with her. I said I believed him but it didn't make things any better. He said he really compartmentalized everything and it was more like he was living two lives than she was contaminating ours. (contaminating is my word)

- for some reason (I don't get this) he thinks that learning to live with what he did and forgiving himself would be harder if we stay M than if we don't. That his IC has a flexible view on M and if he thinks about maybe people aren't meant to spend their whole lives with one person that somehow relieves his guilt. I don't get this at all. I said, people out there might think that and you might think that now. But we didn't think that when we got married. We made a compact with each other and what you did broke that. That doesn't change no matter what happens in the future. He acknowledged this.

- he thinks I have a singular goal in mind-- M2.0-- and that I'm treating him as though he came crawling back on his hands and knees and he didn't. He acknowledges that he knows I want/wanted him to do this and he didn't, and that doesn't feel good. But somehow I'm coming across to him as though he did come crawling back and that is bothering him. I don't know exactly how to deal with this because I don't think that. Thoughts?

-- he doesn't think I "see" him as a person, that I only see the idealized version of him. This really, really bothers him. He wants me to see him for who he is, what he's done, and how he feels. I'm having a hard time with this. I feel I do see him and am empathetic to what he's going through (more, I know, than some of you think I should be). I don't want to talk about AP and his feelings towards her. I said, I'm willing to listen and talk about anything, just not that one thing. Are you 100% made up of your feelings for her? He said no and he couldn't explain to me what it would mean for me to "see" him. He asked what if I could think about a positive future where we were D and still friends? I feel so uncomfortable talking about this with him-- it is a boundary for me-- so I didn't engage.

-- he is freaked out by the idea that I want to be M to him and have M2.0 with him but that if we were to D I would hate him forever. How can he be married to someone like that? How could I say I love him but be ready to burn him down if he were to leave? We talked about this a bit-- I said that I was also struggling with the bad person/flawed human being who made a mistake narrative for him, as well, and that TBH the bad person narrative was a lot easier and I was pretty sure that was where I'd fall if we split under these circumstances. I emphasized though, that I wouldn't hate him, I wouldn't do anything to get between him and the children, that I just didn't want to be friends with him under those circumstances. He tried to push me on this more (Why?? why couldn't we be friends??) and I didn't engage.

- I said to him that last time around, he told me after the fact that he never really let go of the idea that he'd end up with AP in his head. Was that different this time? Did he WANT to forget about her? He hemmed and hawed and tried to talk in circles a little on this (well, logically, I won't ever forget about her, you won't either, blah blah) but when we got down to it he doesn't know. He isn't sure he CAN forget about her and I don't think he's actively trying. He said the best thing that could happen was he called her up and either she said "I'm over you, goodbye" or he realized after talking to her that he was over her. But he isn't going to do that because he also realizes the potential danger of flaming back up like last time. I said, you know, if I felt like we were on the same team about this-- that you honestly wanted to get over her and on with our lives, that I *could* talk about this with you without feeling angry or jealous (this was another thing he'd felt like if I could talk about her without demonizing her, understand his feelings without letting my emotions get into the picture, that somehow that would help me to "see" him in a way I'm not right now).

Anyway. The good part was that we didn't fight, I didn't get angry, we just talked and then went to bed at a normal hour. I woke up in the middle of the night to him spooning me (first time this has happened in a loooooooong time, unless you count the middle of the night sexcapades). Then he woke up and moved away.

I read through what I have just written and so much of it feels like something I could have written months ago. I believe that he is not in contact with her and that he doesn't intend to. Pommy, if you're reading here, I have been thinking about your sitch and our similarities/differences a lot-- I really wish my H would do what yours has, which is say that he wants M2.0 with you, just is worried he can't get there. What I want is to feel like we're a team on this, working towards a shared goal, but he doesn't work like this. He is more of a take things as they come kind of person-- so he wants to just see what happens, can he get over her, can he fall back in love, or not. (He doesn't want to do anything that feels contrived or forced since his FEELINGS are so GD important.)

For whatever reason, that shift feels really meaningful to me, and I never got it during the first go-round and we definitely don't have it now. A big part of me feels like this is just not worth it to keep trying. That he'll never stop tending this stupid flame/ fantasy and I'm setting myself up for grief in the future. The other side of me says his timeline is long, I'm in this for the long game, I need to give him time and space and probably stop being a b*tch about his A for awhile. I'm just tired.

Sorry for the long post, guys. I feel confused and anxious. I know part of it is the post-vacation low. I also gained TEN POUNDS which is really pretty sad, have been eating like $hit, no exercise, no yoga. My community is on total lockdown and kids started distance learning yesterday. I need to haul myself back into a healthy routine again. And... we are getting two kittens this afternoon!! smile smile smile

So... any thoughts on the "I don't SEE him" stuff? Clearly I need to work on my validation but I'm just confused. I really don't want to go down the road of being his emotional support system for his feelings about the AP. I feel like I took all that garbage once and I don't need to do it twice. Maybe he doesn't believe that I see his struggles, fears, etc? That I think his feelings around AP are invalid and wrong, therefore he just needs to get over it and with the program? I'm having a hard time with this one. Also the idea that I'm treating him like he came crawling back but he didn't. I feel like I need to be back in full DB mode right now.


Me (45) H (41)
M:13 T:17, D8 & D10
4/19 BD #1 ILYB
8/19 BD #2 Long-distance EA
12/19 BD #3 Actually 2 year PA
2-5/20 R attempt #1
6-7/20 limbo again, back in contact with AP
8/20-present R attempt #2
Re: Sticking to my boundaries [Re: may22] #2902981
09/02/20 03:31 AM
09/02/20 03:31 AM
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Welcome home, May! And thanks for the update, I have been thinking of you and wondering how the transition back to the 'real world' (Covid-style) was going for you! xx

I have some random thoughts, in no particular order:

-I think it is good that H is being so GD honest with you. Some of the things he said reflect the depth of his self-awareness, for better or for worse. He is looking at himself with honest eyes and questioning your M from a very wise place. You don't have to like it, BTW. But it is a positive reflection on him at the moment, from outsider eyes.

-Your H is afraid. He is using himself as a proxy for what he believes you are capable or incapable of forgiving in him. If he shares the darkest, deepest, most vulnerable part of himself to you, then you may take one look and run, making his choice easy (it's really all about him and always has been, as you know). Or not. But he is afraid of all the outcomes right now because he can't face the reflection of himself in your eyes (see that clever line you shared with me showing up here? x)

- This isn't about you. It never has been. I see glimmers of you realizing that in your update. But just want to hammer the nail home here.

- YOU are in the power seat right now. It's still too scary for you to own and recognize. Those darling girls of yours, and the fun you had on vacation, and your hopes for a positive outcome are all claiming a higher seat at your table than they should. But I truly believe that if you drop the F-ing rope, move on 'as if' and truly detach from the situation, the outcome will be so much better for you and your girls. OWN that power-- strong, smart, powerful, beautiful, wise May.

- All the R talks you have been having are super heavy. Which I understand (because bring them on, Baby Daddy! Smart, analytical, emotionally-wise women like us need them!). But what if you took a pause? Not necessarily in the R talks, but more in your self-knowledge that no matter what conversations you have today, no matter what you do today, things will be different in 6 months. Can you let that analytical scientist woman go for a moment in the name of self-preservation and just let things BE? Because I believe that whatever hand you play-- the heavy one that orchestrates the Nutcracker symphony or the one that sits on the beach with nothing more to do than relax and smile at your girls play in the waves, things will be different in 6 months. Can you live your way to your answer instead of spending the next 6 months analyzing the outcome? And I mean in your day-to-day life with H, not in your analysis here, which is a necessary outlet that we all need and welcome. Can you press the pause button, look H in the eye and say with genuinity 'I just want to be the best we can be right now, do the best we can do right now, and make the big decisions when we need to? Let's just BE for a while, H, it has been a tough road for all of us.'

Huge hugs, May. You are doing great. xxxx

Re: Sticking to my boundaries [Re: may22] #2903006
09/02/20 04:09 PM
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Originally Posted by may
he isn't fully remorseful, he hasn't said he WANTS to fall back in love with me a la Pommy's H. I feel like intentionality is such an important thing and I don't feel that is there, right now, with my H.

Originally Posted by may
Last night he really apologized for the A, said it was wrong, I didn't deserve it, etc etc. It felt very sincere and untainted by any excuses about the SSM or anything.
Can I gently ask, what does 'fully remorseful' look like for you May? Is it something he says, or does? Does it need to happen once, or many times over? I'm just wondering what you need to see/hear in order to get to a place where you feel he is remorseful. Have you talked this through with him? 'Fully remorseful' may look different for both of you perhaps.
Originally Posted by may
Pommy, if you're reading here, I have been thinking about your sitch and our similarities/differences a lot-- I really wish my H would do what yours has, which is say that he wants M2.0 with you, just is worried he can't get there. What I want is to feel like we're a team on this, working towards a shared goal, but he doesn't work like this. He is more of a take things as they come kind of person-- so he wants to just see what happens, can he get over her, can he fall back in love, or not. (He doesn't want to do anything that feels contrived or forced since his FEELINGS are so GD important.)

I agree with Sage, he is scared. Scared of making a wrong move. My H was in that same place. I also think my H said he wanted M2.0 before he realised that uh-oh, there are feelings missing and he might not get there. If you recall - and H admits this - he very much reacted to his emotions at the time, and everything he said at that time (wanted to come back, was in love with me, wanted to grow old with me) was how he felt at that time. He hasn't back-tracked on saying he wants to try but equally we have still recently had conversations about S/D and not knowing what is best for us. Your H could be processing things in a different order to my H (he sounds way more level-headed and methodical, whereas my H can be very reactive and impulsive). Actions speak louder than words. I know now that I should've taken my H's words with a pinch of sal.
Originally Posted by may
For whatever reason, that shift feels really meaningful to me, and I never got it during the first go-round and we definitely don't have it now. A big part of me feels like this is just not worth it to keep trying. That he'll never stop tending this stupid flame/ fantasy and I'm setting myself up for grief in the future. The other side of me says his timeline is long, I'm in this for the long game, I need to give him time and space and probably stop being a b*tch about his A for awhile. I'm just tired.
I hear you on this. Just a thought - do you think H is seeing what you are feeling? That you don't know if this is worth it? What place does that put H in - I don't know if May might leave me so maybe I don't want to take the risk of committing to her (or foregoing AP). Do you think you are feeding off each other's fears and that this is causing a blockage?

Sending hugs May - you are incredibly strong xx


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

EA: Feb 2019-Apr 2020
Separated: Mar-early Aug 2020
H asked to reconcile: Jun 2020
Re: Sticking to my boundaries [Re: may22] #2903010
09/02/20 04:44 PM
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I very much want to be optimistic and zen the way Sage is being about this but the things you're saying are inciting varying levels of rage in me. So I'm going to start with the things I can be level headed and zen about. The one, and only point I can unequivocally and wholly agree upon with your H is you have to get to place where you aren't demonizing AP and looking at parts of your family life and memories as if they are tainted and dripping with her essence because of the choices H made. I just think about the Hamilton thing and it breaks my heart to think you've allowed H's horrible choices to taint something that special for you and the girls.

The luxury of H having an AP that lives thousands of miles away is that he literally could compartmentalize. Clearly he wasn't doing a great job of it based on how you describe your relationship and his behaviors at the time. But to him he was keeping those two things separate. I can say coming from the place of a WW those two pieces of my life were very separate.. As much of a mess as my exH was I did love him. But I was miserable and empty because he couldn't love me the way I loved him. He couldn't love anyone, including himself. So I was in a hollow place mostly of my own doing. With a sprinkle of his poor life choices. When I was with my AP it wasn't because I hated my exH. Or because I loved him less. But because I was in so much pain, I was wallowing in so much sadness and anger. And AP just washed all of that from me. I could go home and be a better mother 100% and a better wife 50% because he was feeding needs I couldn't have met else where. The problem was I wasn't working to meet the needs I should've been fulfilling on my own. Which in the end I figured out that that was the biggest issue not H or my MR. I was in my own way. Your H seems to be getting here in that understand. Slower than molasses. But creeping along in the right direction.

Which brings me to the rage portion. Your H has these insane expectations that not only are you not allowed to control any aspect of this reconciliation but that you are also fully and completely responsible for his emotional well being and his healing through out this process. Which I won't go full bore and say it's sick, but it's effing co-dependent and horribly unhealthy. It's not your job to make him feel better about what he did. It's not your job to show him how to forgive himself. It's not your job figure out if he'll "ever feel that way about you again." It's not your job to dissect his affair with him or for him. It's not your job to make him feel in control in this process. It is incredibly unfair of him to make you feel like you are some how stealing power here by hoping that he would've come back crawling on his hands and knees. You know how I feel about this. I don't think it's a very fair expectation of any LBS, but I also don't think it's something way out of left field to want either. And frankly if he can't deal with the fact that you've accepted you have just as much power here to pull the plug as he does and he sees that as a control thing THAT'S ON HIM. He's been in control of the direction of this relationship for 2+ years. The fact that you have a tiny amount of control back here and that's a little scary for him is beyond crazy pants.

So as to the you seeing him. Sure you could probably put away the rage glasses. See him as a flawed imperfect human being. A beautiful work in progress. But I think the question is, is he seeing you in that way? Is he seeing you as a flawed imperfect human? A work in progress? Why are you always being asked to bend to the point of breaking while he's always waiting to see if he's willing to lean a little to the left to accomodate you? Can he appreciate where you guys are at with out putting so much d@mn pressure on you? How can you relieve the pressure on him if he can't reciprocate? This is point in which we are supposed to be finding our balance in our relationships again. This is the point in which we are both supposed to forgive and heal. We are supposed to both have open minds and hearts. We are supposed to be carrying the weight of this MR together to see if we can make it down this road for the long haul. So we can ignore the weight of it all some times and just enjoy each other together. Yes, his timeline may be slower than yours. But there's a level of accountability here that he seems to just be ignoring. At what point is he going to start putting in the work to heal himself? If he wants to be seen, IMHO he needs to start working a littler harder at seeing.

Re: Sticking to my boundaries [Re: may22] #2903028
09/03/20 12:18 AM
09/03/20 12:18 AM
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Wayfarer, this is absolutely brilliant, and Iím going to read it over a few more times myself to further digest! You so eloquently described some thoughts I was having that I couldnít form into any meaningful words. Your analysis is incredible.

May, Iíve been checking on you and following along. Iím relieved that he has finally ended things with AP, that he wants back in the M, and that the vacation was a success. I see these positives and feel glimmers of hope for your M. At times he seems so open to you and a future with your family together. I also know I cannot compare him to my H, the man that did ďcome crawling backĒ and very much knew that we both needed that. And I wonder when your H says to you that it would be easier to part ways and remain friends (versus reconcile) is an admission that he feels he is not cut out for that deeper exploration of himself and something very painful. Itís very difficult to accept such wrong doing and own it because then he has to explore why he did it and what kind of person he is to do that. Thatís painful.

He articulates that he knows he was wrong and unfair to you. But it seems he still lacks a deep feeling of remorse and desire to understand your perspective. Itís almost as if he is finding some safety in keeping you under his thumb or at some distance. I agree this is less about you and the M and more about his internal struggles. Heís just not ready to do the hard work yet. Will he ever be? I sincerely hope so. I donít know him. I do know that this all takes such a loooonnnggg time. My H and I have been back together for about 5.5 years and I think we are finally getting there. Each year was different and presented unforeseen challenges.

Sometimes itís better to do as stated above and stop analyzing everything, gibe yourself a break and just live. Itís okay to let go and just simply be for a day or a week here and there.

Blu


ďForgiveness liberates the soul. It removes fear. That is why it is such a powerful weapon.Ē Ė Nelson Mandela
Re: Sticking to my boundaries [Re: may22] #2903029
09/03/20 12:38 AM
09/03/20 12:38 AM
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may22 Offline OP
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Hi guys,

You have given me a lot to think about. I'm reflecting on portions and will come back to respond to other things. In the meantime, a few things stood out to me...

Wayfarer, I think he does really have co-dependency issues. Like, serious ones. He said to me in the depths of all this that AP needs him and I don't. That I've never needed anyone that way and he needs to be needed. (Said totally without irony... no clue that this is generally not considered to be a positive thing.) She knows how to show him how much she loves him and needs him and he doesn't believe I truly love him, I think because... IDK? I don't go gaga over his every word? I honestly *would* be OK if he left, even though it isn't what I want? That there are more important things in life than him, like our children? Whereas AP was saying things that were vaguely suicidal about how bleak life was without him in the four months they were out of touch in the spring. She told him he was her "chosen family" (which irritates me wildly).

Here's the thing. It is like he *thinks* co-dependency is so great and all, but IRL he would f-ing HATE it. He has always gotten annoyed with me if I ever do anything that comes across as faintly helpless. I'm sure it feels good and feeds his enormous ego in small doses, but I really don't think that is what he wants. (But of course, I don't "see" him, so maybe I don't know.) He told me his IC had said some things along the lines of the danger signals AP was giving out in July, like the dependency on him for her happiness. He said to me that her issues were from her childhood and therefore legit, somehow, and he shouldn't dump her because of them, went on this whole thing about mental illness vs physical illness, where is the line between who you are and what your mental issues might cause you to do or not (familiar, CWarrior?), that you wouldn't dump someone for a physical illness, why would you dump them for a mental one? And yet, the SSM and my low desire were cause for him leaving me (potentially) and her dependency issues were something to work through. And zero reflection on what this all means for himself, internally.

Anyway... I'm not sure I clarified anything here, probably caused more of you guys to be like OMG May, what a loser! WTF are you standing for? wink

I'm not sure that he wants me to help him figure out if he'll ever feel this way again... upon more reflection, I think he wants me to give him some space (as you're recommending, Sage) to see what happens. His way is the let's just muddle our way forward and see what happens naturally, whereas my way would be more research and methods and thought stoppage when AP thoughts come up, for both of us, all with a shared goal in mind.

To be honest, I'm not sure how much of his emotional healing he's actually putting on me vs me trying to solution for him. I know he thinks it is the latter and he is really pushing back against that idea. And on my end, me even saying what would be helpful for me to hear him say is me "putting words in his mouth." But I do very much get the sense that he's looking for something from me that I am not giving to him, and I don't know what magic sauce that is or if I would even want to or be able to give it to him if I figured out what it was. I'm really gun shy about just relaxing and letting things go, since that is what we did in the spring and it culminated in his relapse. Are things different this time? Different enough for me to be able to live in the moment and stop analyzing everything? I don't know. Truly. I need to spend more time on this. At the end of this, if it doesn't work, I just so much want to be able to say I tried absolutely everything and feel secure in that knowledge in my heart.

On the idea of me being equally able to pull the plug and his feelings around that... I'm not sure if it is at all clear cut. On one hand, he firmly believes that I will never say that we tried enough. He thinks I'll keep fighting or saying we didn't try everything or whatever no matter if we try for six months or six years. I don't think that is true, but there is some truth to it, in that I'll be annoyed if we just keep cruising along, not really dealing with anything, and then in four more months he decides he can't get those feelings back even after "trying" for so long and bails.

Pommy, your question-- does he sense i'm thinking whether this is worth it or not and that is causing some issues-- that got me thinking and I actually think that even though his mouth is saying the above-- he thinks he's stuck with me no matter what-- I do think he gets really anxious when I say things about not being happy and not being sure this is all worthwhile. He told me the other night every time I make some little comment that makes him realize I'm unhappy or thinking about the A that he spirals and it "isn't positive" for me getting what I want (i.e. him back in the saddle). Whereas I'm not really comfortable at this point stuffing down my anger any more and feel it is important for him to acknowledge at least some amount of my suffering to date. If I were a real pro I guess that wouldn't be necessary and I should work on that not mattering to me... but it still does.

Sage, I hear you on the six months thing. I actually was thinking about that idea last night. That if he'd only been stronger we'd have been past the six months point now. He has said a bunch of times that it is unfair for me to say we are back to ground zero in terms of R because of his reestablishing contact with AP... I guess I agree that we've made some progress between the two of us, but in terms of him "getting over" her, letting go, whatever, from all I understand we basically reset the clock to five weeks now NC, not since January. I was thinking, though, about the letter I put in his Christmas ornament box. And maybe that should be a time point for me... that if we get through the holidays and are still together, and I feel like it is necessary to again pack his stuff separately and put another letter inside... maybe that should be a signal to me that enough is enough. Not quite six months, but not too far either.

On him being afraid, how I define remorse, bleaching AP out of my memories so that I can once again enjoy them without her cropping up, whether or not he sees me... will respond more later.

I really heart you all. And also, the kittens are SO. RIDICULOUSLY. CUTE. Kids are in absolute heaven and it is giving me something to focus on beyond all the various things that have been taking over my life. One managed to take a $hit under our bed in the middle of the night last night, which was not fun or cool, but then she made it up to me with hours of snuggling. Sigh.


Me (45) H (41)
M:13 T:17, D8 & D10
4/19 BD #1 ILYB
8/19 BD #2 Long-distance EA
12/19 BD #3 Actually 2 year PA
2-5/20 R attempt #1
6-7/20 limbo again, back in contact with AP
8/20-present R attempt #2
Re: Sticking to my boundaries [Re: may22] #2903089
09/04/20 01:51 AM
09/04/20 01:51 AM
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may22 Offline OP
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Blu, I missed your post earlier... I think I must have been writing at the same time.

Originally Posted by BluWave
And I wonder when your H says to you that it would be easier to part ways and remain friends (versus reconcile) is an admission that he feels he is not cut out for that deeper exploration of himself and something very painful. Itís very difficult to accept such wrong doing and own it because then he has to explore why he did it and what kind of person he is to do that. Thatís painful.

I think you've hit the nail on the head, though obviously I'm hoping he does have the strength to do it. He has said a number of times in different ways to me that it is hard for him to face my pain because he knows he caused it. He is really uncomfortable with all of this. I feel he partially thinks it is easier to just slap on a label of "I'm a bad person" and be OK with that than really understand what it means that he did it and how to make amends. How to reconcile his own image in his head of himself with his own actions. All so much easier when you have things to lean on, like he was forced into it because of the SSM, or it was True Love with AP and therefore wrong not to pursue, I never really loved him anyway, etc.

I think you are all right in that I'm starting to realize more and more that this is all about him, not me, and he'll either have what it takes to face his own actions and make amends, or not. I do think there is some positivity in the fact that he's acknowledging it. I don't know. He has gotten through some really, incredibly difficult things in his life (with me at his side, ahem ahem) and the depth of his own internal strength, and willingness to gut through all the hardest parts with a good attitude is part of the reason I fell in love with him. In fact, it was how I knew that he was "the one" back when we were dating. But... those were things done to him, not by him, and he wasn't the bad guy. Now he is facing a situation that he caused.

He told me the other night that the minute he slept with her he assumed his M to me was over, because as soon as I found out I'd kick him to the curb and that would be it. So he spent time grieving our M (before I even knew we were in trouble) and coming to terms with the fact that we would get D. Yet he couldn't pull the trigger on his end and took a year and a half to even tell me he had an "emotional connection" to another person.

Also before, I think he didn't see (or refused to see) that there was a path to R with me, one that involved a lot of hard personal work and that involved him needing to reconcile his behaviors with his own self-image. He was too invested in the other path, where he wasn't really responsible because of the SSM and True Love and the idea that our R was unfixable so no use in trying-- a story he'd been burnishing for a good two years.

Sometimes, seeing how invested he is in his own narrative, I wonder what stories I am telling myself to get me through this space.

Pommy, fully remorseful-- he's sorry for hurting me, he's sorry for doing wrong... but what he hasn't articulated-- I think because he doesn't feel it-- is that he's sorry for having a relationship with her. I don't think he is. I think he feels he was in a bad place and his A was life-giving to him. He isn't sorry for knowing her or having a relationship with her, I don't think-- sorry for lying, sorry for the aspects of it that hurt me, sorry for breaking my trust and all that, but not actually sorry that it happened. Like if he could go back in time, what would he do differently? Would he walk away and come home and tell me hey, our M is in trouble and we need help? I truly don't know, where he is right now, that he wishes he had done that. I think he might wish he had had the b@lls to come home and ask for a D before he did anything "wrong."

Of course, neither of us could go back in time and I partially feel like it is a waste of time thinking this way. That what happened happened and we deal with it now one way or another. And I do feel like in the end, I'd rather feel like the A was something that we got through together and our M2.0 is stronger and better because of it, not a huge horrible mistake my H made that I munificently forgave him for. But that would be so much easier if I felt like he thought to himself, dang, I sure missed a bullet with that one. Not, dang, if only things were different maybe I could be living my fantasy life right now.

Sage, Pommy... is he scared? Yes. Pommy, definitely scared of making the wrong move. Sage, I don't know that he has that vulnerability that you describe... maybe. Maybe he just wants me to see that he doesn't love me anymore and wants to just be friends. It is all really complicated and TBH I'm getting a little exhausted trying to parse out his intentions and thoughts from his behaviors while trying to keep a grip on my own anger and sanity and a smile on my face so he doesn't freak out. I see what Wayfinder means about me doing all the work right now and how unfair that is.

And WF... I don't really think he sees me, right now. He sees me more than he did before. Right before our trip we had a conversation where I cried and he said he felt I was being more open and vulnerable to him than I ever had. One of his big complaints through all of this is that he feels I have kept all these secrets from him especially around sex, that I've never really let him in. I don't really feel like opening up to him in that way right now... and I don't know that he thinks all of this is as hard on me as it really is, since I don't express it to him, really. And of course he could make an actual effort to see me and understand what it is I'm going through. I don't think he's doing that. I don't know if he has the capacity, right now.

I will take all of your advice and give this analysis and planning and worrying a rest. Will just enjoy my kids and the kittens and try to not let a reduced focus on the sad state of my MR just allow me to expand my worries about everything else in the world that is going on right now. Sage, I'll try to see if I can say that to H... let's just *be* for awhile and not worry so much about what might or might not come next.


Me (45) H (41)
M:13 T:17, D8 & D10
4/19 BD #1 ILYB
8/19 BD #2 Long-distance EA
12/19 BD #3 Actually 2 year PA
2-5/20 R attempt #1
6-7/20 limbo again, back in contact with AP
8/20-present R attempt #2
Re: Sticking to my boundaries [Re: may22] #2903091
09/04/20 02:26 AM
09/04/20 02:26 AM
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SamCal Offline
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Originally Posted by may22


Pommy, fully remorseful-- he's sorry for hurting me, he's sorry for doing wrong... but what he hasn't articulated-- I think because he doesn't feel it-- is that he's sorry for having a relationship with her. I don't think he is. I think he feels he was in a bad place and his A was life-giving to him. He isn't sorry for knowing her or having a relationship with her, I don't think-- sorry for lying, sorry for the aspects of it that hurt me, sorry for breaking my trust and all that, but not actually sorry that it happened. Like if he could go back in time, what would he do differently? Would he walk away and come home and tell me hey, our M is in trouble and we need help? I truly don't know, where he is right now, that he wishes he had done that. I think he might wish he had had the b@lls to come home and ask for a D before he did anything "wrong."

Of course, neither of us could go back in time and I partially feel like it is a waste of time thinking this way. That what happened happened and we deal with it now one way or another. And I do feel like in the end, I'd rather feel like the A was something that we got through together and our M2.0 is stronger and better because of it, not a huge horrible mistake my H made that I munificently forgave him for. But that would be so much easier if I felt like he thought to himself, dang, I sure missed a bullet with that one. Not, dang, if only things were different maybe I could be living my fantasy life right now.



I think your point here about what is missing for you to feel as though he is fully remorseful is very insightful.

Forgive me if this was discussed at some point earlier, but if he starts to have the feelings that he had that led him to justify having an A, what is his plan? Would showing remorse = showing "hey here is my plan on how to deal with feeling we are in a SSM" and have that be a more open, constructive thing?

My H doing that was something that has been invaluably reassuring. And honestly, it's why I believe him. He has made a lot of progress on his personal mental tool kit and we have together as well - and he has taken so much initiative on it. Without that, I'd always be scared that the same factors that occurred would come up and then not be handled differently - it helps me trust him much, much more that there's been a lot of proactive effort on his part in this area.

Would that help you feel like M2.0 is better/stronger/something you get through together - because you both have better tools to handle stuff without hurting the other one, even though it was a painful lesson?

Re: Sticking to my boundaries [Re: may22] #2903138
09/04/20 08:04 PM
09/04/20 08:04 PM
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may22 Offline OP
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Hi SamCal,

The remorseful thing is interesting and something I've thought about. Every professional says that the WAS needs to be fully remorseful for healing to happen. Esther Perel says that the involved spouse doesn't necessarily have to be sorry that it happened, though... being truly sorry for hurting the other person is enough. I don't know. I want to at least feel he is authentically glad it is over, grateful I'm still here, 100% invested into M2.0, ready to move heaven and earth to make it happen. I don't feel that to be the case at this point.

That's really great how your H has done so much work on himself in service of your relationship and taken the initiative to do that-- I think that is terrific and I'm sure it does do a lot to help you rebuild the trust. How is it going with him deployed?

With my H, I do see him working on himself. he's been in IC now for a year and a half and I have seen a lot of improvements in how he parents, how he deals with anger, how he's looking internally at some difficult things (beyond the A) and making changes. For instance, he has gone from not really getting what white privilege is and always having a little chip on his shoulder on the topic to really, finally getting it at a cellular level, starting difficult conversations with family members, talking to the girls about BLM, participating in demonstrations, etc.

I think there are a lot of ways that he has become less entitled, more empathetic, outside of his R with me over the past couple of years. (Maybe it was the influence of AP!) Even the way he dealt with me when I was ranting at him on the trip was truly impressive, when I step back. He had far more restraint and compassion for me than I could muster up for him.

I do think that no matter what, we have both improved an enormous amount on communication and are a lot better at communicating difficult things to each other than we were before. That being said, I think we still have a long ways to go and I absolutely would want to work on relationship and communication skills together for M2.0. Also, while I've seen him work on himself, I haven't seen him take the initiative to explicitly work on couples-related skills or anything specifically tied to improving our R, more on improving himself. The only exception would be that a year and a half ago or so, when we were in MC the first time around and read the LL book, he immediately upped his game on acts of service (my primary LL) and has really kept that up this whole time. That's been nice.


Me (45) H (41)
M:13 T:17, D8 & D10
4/19 BD #1 ILYB
8/19 BD #2 Long-distance EA
12/19 BD #3 Actually 2 year PA
2-5/20 R attempt #1
6-7/20 limbo again, back in contact with AP
8/20-present R attempt #2
Re: Sticking to my boundaries [Re: may22] #2903293
09/08/20 12:17 PM
09/08/20 12:17 PM
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may22 Offline OP
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R talk tonight, started by him (well, he looked all mopey and sad on the couch so I asked are you OK, he said no, and there we went.)

H is scared he will never have "those" feelings for me again (POMMY!!). He is scared he will never stop thinking about/being in love with AP. I asked him if he was back in contact with her and he said no (I asked for his phone later on and he showed it to me, I think he's telling the truth here). I asked him if he wanted to and he said yes.

I've been thinking a lot about what WF and Blu wrote (and Alison and Scout from before the trip). My IC asked me this week to practice inhibiting my empathy in conversations with H. I'd told her about my convo with H where he said he thought he was just a bad person and I said maybe you're a good person who did a bad thing. She said, what would it feel like to just sit there? To say nothing? She thinks it will help me to strengthen my boundaries around not doing his emotional processing for him to practice this.

So. I got the chance to practice this IRL. He said all the same things as he did last week-- he can't forgive himself, he did such a bad thing to me and to our R that he can't see his way back. it really is all just about him. How he feels. Mouthing platitudes about loving me (just not romantically), not wanting to hurt me, not wanting to hurt the girls, but also in truth willing to hurt all of us so that he can f!$k his f!$kbuddy.

He feels he's tried, tried to see if the feelings would come back, they didn't come back on our vacation (surprise!!) and he started to get scared he would never be able to stop thinking about AP. He thinks he's been trying for seven months (never mind the whole "still being in touch" thing.) Actually, he thinks he's been trying for three years. (uh, no.)

I said, OK. If this is what you want, OK. I took off my rings and got out the divorce spreadsheets and walked through them with him. He was horrified at the amount of child support he would have to pay. I also asked for half of his pension, which at first he was upset about but then when I said it was always my/our plan for retirement, he said OK. (We'll see if that sticks.)

I went through the child care plan I'd created (mmmm, just remembering that when I shared that with you guys you were like yeah, May, that isn't a great plan, hard on the kids, lots of transition... I forgot all that when I went through it with him). He was OK with it generally. There is a section where you check off what holidays go with which spouse, odd/even years, etc., and that is the one time he got mad, because I'd checked off mother for Christmas Eve/Day, Halloween, and Thanksgiving. (I told him he could have them for six hours during the day on Christmas Day but I wanted them Christmas Eve and Christmas morning.) This is the only time I cried-- I said I was sorry but when I was going through this paperwork before I couldn't bring myself not to check those boxes. This is not what I want. But I understood that wasn't fair to him and was willing to talk about it some more.

I had written (from June/July) down some of the ideas of what to tell the children. I asked him what he was thinking about what to tell them. He said, Mommy and Daddy love each other very much but we have had problems in our marriage. And we think... then he stopped. I told him the most important thing we needed to tell them was that this was not their fault and that we both love them very much. However, I was not willing to tell them that Mommy and Daddy decided this together. That is not going to happen. He got stuck on what to say and got very emotional. I said, when do you want to tell them? He said, what about tomorrow? I said, I think we need to nail down exactly what we will say, we need to do it together, and then I think we need to have a plan for afterwards so it isn't confusing to them. You need to have a place to go live and be ready to MO. They can't think that maybe this isn't going to really happen or they can change things.

He asked can't we be friends? Can't we spend time together as a family? Can't we still co-own the house? Um, no, no, and no. I told him I've spoken to an L and no matter what I want to get our agreement down on paper sooner rather than later in a post-nuptial, even if we decide to stay M on paper for some period of time.

He is scared of me telling family and friends (especially friends) about him cheating-- he is afraid it will get back to the children. In that case, I said, maybe we need to tell them ourselves. But I'm not lying to my friends to protect you. He said, to protect the children-- it will reflect badly on them if people know. I said, no, it won't.

he got into the I'm not "seeing" him again. I said, holy cr@p. I said, I can tell you are scared and confused. You don't know what to do. He latched on to that super quickly and said "you've never said anything like that to me before." (BS, but I let it go.) He said, can't you look at me and take it as a truth that I'm in love with someone else without just trying to "fix" it? Your only answer is for me to get over her. I said... yeah. Sorry. I don't want to be married to a H who considers himself to be in love with someone else. And so far, from what I've seen, you haven't done anything to really try to get over her. you're just moping around clinging onto both possible paths without actually committing to either one. Make your GD decision and stick to it, then do everything you can to make your best life out of that choice. You're a weak and selfish a-hole. And I don't want to go through this any more.

He asked where he should sleep. I said, in the office. He said, maybe I should get the bed. I said, h3ll naw... that is my bed and I'm sleeping there. (if there has been one thing I've gleaned from all the alpha male talk on this board, the MBR is MINE and I'm not giving an inch on it. F him.) He said, well I want to sleep there too. I said, fine, I don't give a $hit, but I'd really prefer you slept elsewhere. He got all sad. I told him I wanted to call my mom and let her know and also one of my best friends... I think we both know once those two things happen the path to staying together will start to get very, very narrow. He asked for a night to sleep on it and tomorrow to talk to his IC and then we can go from there. I said, fine.

He then said, he's scared if he reaches back out to her that she'll be gone. he thinks if he waits any longer she will be gone forever. I said, better find an apartment fast then.

So, this is where we are. I am OK with it. I am incredibly angry with him and don't feel I will ever forgive him. I still have the burning scary rage when thinking about AP with my children. (I did tell him I was asking for one year of dating post-separation before introducing the kids to a new person, he is definitely not going to go for that but gotta start the negotiations somewhere!! wink )

But I am feeling at peace knowing that I *have* done everything within my power to save this M and give my children a two-parent household. He is making the choice to walk and that is on him, not me. But I also don't think that I want to be married to the person he is anymore. He is just so WEAK. It's sad, really.

So, friends, reinforcement please about how the children are going to be fine, okay?


Me (45) H (41)
M:13 T:17, D8 & D10
4/19 BD #1 ILYB
8/19 BD #2 Long-distance EA
12/19 BD #3 Actually 2 year PA
2-5/20 R attempt #1
6-7/20 limbo again, back in contact with AP
8/20-present R attempt #2
Re: Sticking to my boundaries [Re: may22] #2903311
09/08/20 03:10 PM
09/08/20 03:10 PM
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unchien Offline
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may ~

Here is my coping mechanism for dealing with how this affects my kids:

Some kids grow up in war-torn Syria. Some kids are orphans. Some kids have parents who abandon them.

Kids are incredibly resilient. More so than adults.

My relationship with my kids is stronger than ever. It's not easy. I've had really rough times with each of my kids this year. My job, as I see it, is to be a stable parent, and let my kids know I'm always here for them, and they can express ANY emotion they want (including "I hate you, Dad" which I've heard at times).

I think you'll also see there is a lot out of your control. In particular, the messaging to your kids about the D as well as introducing new partners. My XW has subtly coached my S to think that I hurt her feelings and that's why we D'ed. She has introduced a new partner. All of this upsets me, but it's out of my control. I had hoped to have a united front on items related to the kids -- I think it's always worth trying your darnedest to make that happen, but it may not.

I always come back to the same thought: Day to day this is incredibly hard. The more I can be strong, a rock for my kids, and show them I'm always there for them, and not react emotionally, and not talk about their mom negatively or get upset in front of them about the sh*tshow... I am doing right by my kids.

I haven't kept up to date on your thread fully. I'm sorry things have reached this point, but you sound much stronger and self-assured than a few months ago -- in particular with your words and actions.

Re: Sticking to my boundaries [Re: may22] #2903330
09/08/20 08:15 PM
09/08/20 08:15 PM
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may22 Offline OP
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Thanks, U. I really appreciate this. I know you've been having a really difficult time with all of this and have been so inspired by your continued focus on your kids and being the best dad you can be.

My kids are good kids and they are going to be okay, but I know it will be really rough going for awhile. I was reading a book on how to talk to children about D and it said that children of "secretly unhappy" low-conflict families fare the worst as adults because of issues with trust and intimacy. But. Nothing I can do about that but be here for my kids and help them through this next phase. He is totally underestimating what this is going to be like.

I know a lot is out of my control, but I think that there is a good chance we could come to some level of agreement of when it would be appropriate to introduce the children to new romantic interests. He agrees that they shouldn't see a parade of people through their lives-- it needs to be someone serious. I know that there are some bargaining chips I have, though, and if I'm being a bit unreasonable at the start on some of these things gives me some room to maneuver later on. And, I'm not being dishonest. I never, ever want that person to be in the same room as my children. I'm being quite authentic even if not mature or detached.

I've been re-reading my threads from June and July. There is great, great advice on there and really relevant to me right now. I'm angry and ready for this to be done. Re-reading my threads, I'm scared that I'll lose the grip on this anger and he'll come back after his IC conversation this afternoon and say oh no he can't do this after all and I'll be back in that same place I was before-- he'll go into his charm mode and I'll fall prey to it again. I just can't keep doing this. I need him out of the house so I can go NC and detach.

I feel strong and ready to be done with this charade, get him out of this house, plan my life without his weak and selfish presence weighing me down. I am probably going to need some encouragement to hold fast.


Me (45) H (41)
M:13 T:17, D8 & D10
4/19 BD #1 ILYB
8/19 BD #2 Long-distance EA
12/19 BD #3 Actually 2 year PA
2-5/20 R attempt #1
6-7/20 limbo again, back in contact with AP
8/20-present R attempt #2
Re: Sticking to my boundaries [Re: may22] #2903338
09/08/20 10:11 PM
09/08/20 10:11 PM
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scout12 Online
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May, I am so proud of you. I gave the biggest sigh of relief reading your post. Iím SO excited for the opportunity you have now to rebuild yourself. You might be alone for a while in the future, but you will learn to be whole again. That is priceless. Youíre already in good standing with your settlement plan, budget, custody schedule etc. Get that all iron clad while he is feeling like a sad sausage. He has given you the gift of freedom. Take and it and run!


W32
X30
S2

June 2019 | Runaway husband
May 2020 | Legal separation
Xmas 2020 | Divorce hearing
Re: Sticking to my boundaries [Re: may22] #2903340
09/08/20 10:36 PM
09/08/20 10:36 PM
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Oh, and regarding Christmas. Thatís my hill to die on as well. Iíve asked for Christmas Eve/Day until 5pm and X gets Christmas Day/Boxing Day until 5pm. Exact same amount of time at each home with each family, S2 still gets the excitement of going to sleep and waking up to presents in each household, the whole Christmas experience with both parents. But Christmas Day will be with me. I told X way back when he first left that this was my hill to die on and Iíll let many other things go to keep it. I offered him Easter and every other holiday in lieu of Christmas Day. Perhaps you could budge on Halloween and Thanksgiving to keep Christmas if itís your hill to die on. Just a thought!


W32
X30
S2

June 2019 | Runaway husband
May 2020 | Legal separation
Xmas 2020 | Divorce hearing
Re: Sticking to my boundaries [Re: may22] #2903342
09/08/20 11:13 PM
09/08/20 11:13 PM
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may22 Offline OP
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Hi Scout,

Thanks for the good words... I need to keep feeling like I'm feeling right now. He's talking to his IC right now and I'm hoping he comes out of that call with renewed determination to MO. I am very nervous about what happens if this drags on with no-where to go, everyone WFH and distance learning, community still on total lockdown, and he starts f-ing waffling again.

H has no friends here that would invite him to Thanksgiving. All our friends here are my friends. Most of the husbands tolerate him for my sake. Maybe one or two (divorced dads) will continue to be friendly with him but other than that I think he'll find himself pretty lonely, excepting of course he'll be with his True Love, which I'm sure will ease the sting of social rejection.

Our families both live far away and so by D-ing there is likely to be no more traveling to see grandparents for Thanksgiving or Christmases with the split time. H also has been willing to forego Halloween in the past to feed his own interests like fly to a baseball game. He's always complained to me that I (and my mom) put too much emphasis on the day itself for any holidays and has asserted you can celebrate on a different day. He missed our younger daughter's birthday last year for travel (probably to see AP) and spent a different day with her instead (just the two of them, was actually pretty cute).... so I don't think he has a lot to stand on to all of a sudden pretend like he gives a flying F about a given day or not.


Me (45) H (41)
M:13 T:17, D8 & D10
4/19 BD #1 ILYB
8/19 BD #2 Long-distance EA
12/19 BD #3 Actually 2 year PA
2-5/20 R attempt #1
6-7/20 limbo again, back in contact with AP
8/20-present R attempt #2
Re: Sticking to my boundaries [Re: may22] #2903348
09/09/20 12:05 AM
09/09/20 12:05 AM
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(((May)))

I am so sorry you're here in this place, but there is a small part of me that is celebrating who you are going to become when you are no longer emotionally catering to a bottomless H that is not giving you what you deserve.

And the kids, I totally get it. On my part, I had SO MANY FEARS surrounding the kids and this process. And in actuality, not many of them have come true. They are doing pretty good, all in all. I mean, they don't really want to leave me (I raised them alone for the most part, so this is a big shift for all of us), but after a month of doing it a few nights a week they seem to be adjusting.

One thing I want to put out there before you get too far in your custody conversation with H: don't trap yourself into having the kids all the time, even if you think you want it now. I have found that my alone time is super necessary for me to re-build myself. I am a better mother and certainly healing faster than I was when we were all one sloppy heap of humans struggling together with all these big changes and feelings. I am never alone unless I want to be (friends are always wanting to come over and spend my evenings with me). My down time was a luxury I didn't know existed and I am grateful for it. Also, some time in the future you will want to date and will need those times to have a private life.

In the beginning, I wanted to fight tooth and nail for as much time with the kiddos as possible, but played nice and (surprise, surprise!) I have slowly gotten more and more time with them once H realizes how hard it is to parent solo. So now I am actually having to stand up for my nights off (because I usually have plans, or just need to catch up on life stuff like grocery shopping). So that is always a possibility in your situation.

I know you mentioned in earlier posts that one of your girls is super sensitive. She might be a candidate for thinking it is her fault, so I would keep an eye on that. But you have a new kitten to cuddle (we got cuddly covid pets too and that has been a huge help in this process) and you sound like such a great, sure mom that I know your kids will be fine.

My guiding light in all of this is asking myself if I am being authentic. That my kids need and want authenticity and truth right now. H wanted me to lie to them about this all (we grew apart, we both agreed, we both wanted this) and I categorically refused to feed the children that lie. They have seen me sad and they have seen him bouncing off into the sunset and clearly there is a difference there. They are not stupid. So when they asked him why he wanted to D me, he flew into a rage at me, as if I am feeding them this line (um, I didn't). CHILDREN ARE SMARTER THAN US. So be prepared to answer some hard questions.

You've got this, we've all got your back right now. xxxx

Re: Sticking to my boundaries [Re: may22] #2903349
09/09/20 12:24 AM
09/09/20 12:24 AM
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may22 Offline OP
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hi Sage,

I'm really struggling right now. Thinking of my youngest who I think you're right, will definitely think this is her fault. And the oldest will have a lot of blame for one or both of us. Probably both. H asked what I thought of him renting an empty house a few doors down and I told him I thought it would be a really bad idea to be in walking distance, that we were both going to get a lot of "Dad would let me!" or "Mom would let me!" and being in walking distance was asking for trouble. He agreed.

My grandmother passed away several years ago and she left her house to my brothers, me, and my mom equally. My mom had a really hard time parting with the house and so we kept it, one of my brothers lived there (my @sshole H kept complaining that he should pay rent, until I finally told him to shut it, it wasn't his house, it wasn't his money, we didn't need it, and my grandmother would be happy to know that it was helping out my brother.) My brother bought a house a couple of years ago (my mom bought him out so he had the down payment) and we've now been renting it out to one of my brother's friends. I kept trying to convince my mom we should sell it because my other brother and I wanted to use the money to put in our kids 529 accounts. Education was really important to my grandmother and it would mean a lot to her to have those funds to to pay for her great-grandchildren's college, and better to put it somewhere to grow tax-free than locked up in property.

Right before we left on the trip, my mom randomly called me and said the renter wants to buy the house and she wants to accept. I said great. And the money was wired today. And it turns out to be exactly the right amount I need (I think) to buy out my H of this house.

It is just so sad to me. That my grandmother's money that really should be for the kids is all going straight to my stupid cheating lying H so that I can keep this house. The kids' college savings are f-ed. My retirement is cut in half. I'll have to scrimp and save to afford the mortgage on this place.

The authenticity... I think you're right, that is really important to me. When H tried to emotionally manipulate me into kissing his A last night (the way you're talking, I don't know that I want to be married to you anymore... and when I said the only reason I could even contemplate sticking around after all of this would be for the children, when pushed, he said, not because you love me?) I told him, look, I could be nice right now to you and pretend we'll be friends and get what I want. But I am not going to do that. I am not going to lie to you or for you or at all, really. That is all I have right now-- my own values and sense of self. And I'll be g-d-ed if I'm going to compromise that for you.

I'm glad to know you're doing well. I've been thinking of you. xx


Me (45) H (41)
M:13 T:17, D8 & D10
4/19 BD #1 ILYB
8/19 BD #2 Long-distance EA
12/19 BD #3 Actually 2 year PA
2-5/20 R attempt #1
6-7/20 limbo again, back in contact with AP
8/20-present R attempt #2
Re: Sticking to my boundaries [Re: may22] #2903358
09/09/20 04:00 AM
09/09/20 04:00 AM
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Sage4 Offline
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Originally Posted by may22
I'm really struggling right now.


Of course you are. This is really, really, really hard stuff. And you have spent the past 10 + months working towards a different outcome. Hold your head high, though, sweet May, you really have done everything you can to save your M. You can be proud of that, even if it means diddly right now. It will matter later. Your integrity and strength and resolve is inspiring. ((M))


Originally Posted by may22
Thinking of my youngest who I think you're right, will definitely think this is her fault. And the oldest will have a lot of blame for one or both of us. Probably both.


I know that there is a lot of differing ideas on what and how much to tell the children, but I have found that my kids look to me for the truth and truth = trust = safety for them. In your case, it is so clear-cut that I would approach them with as much reality as possible. H needs to take the blame for this so that the kids don't muddle along thinking it is about them, or that they have any responsibility (either in what happened OR in the outcome, ie trying to make you two get back together again). It doesn't mean you vilify him. It doesn't mean he becomes unloveable to them. But he needs to own this for his daughters' sake. What is the least amount of words you could use to tell the truth about the situation? Can you somehow say the truth without making love seem fickle (ie avoid 'Dad fell out of love with Mom, Dad doesn't love Mom anymore')? When you get married, you promise not to have boyfriends or girlfriends. Dad decided he wanted a girlfriend so we can't be married anymore. FACTS. They might ask more questions, or that may satisfy them. Let them lead. (CL has some great verbiage on this one, FWIW)

We don't own a TV, I don't let my kids watch scary shows or join pop culture ideology; for all intents and purposes I protect my children's innocence and childhood as much as possible. But I have an abhorrence to gaslighting children. Can they speak 'adult'? NO. Can they speak 'human' (ie feelings, intuitions). YES. In a more pure language than we can, really. And it is my job to teach them to trust their intuition, listen to their feelings, follow their hearts. I'll be d@mned if this ghastly situation H is putting my family through will suddenly change my entire parenting approach.

Just my 2 cents, you do you, girl.

Originally Posted by may22
H asked what I thought of him renting an empty house a few doors down and I told him I thought it would be a really bad idea to be in walking distance, that we were both going to get a lot of "Dad would let me!" or "Mom would let me!" and being in walking distance was asking for trouble. He agreed.


Good move (pun intended).

Originally Posted by may22
It is just so sad to me. That my grandmother's money that really should be for the kids is all going straight to my stupid cheating lying H so that I can keep this house. The kids' college savings are f-ed. My retirement is cut in half. I'll have to scrimp and save to afford the mortgage on this place.


A loving 2x4 for you here: don't catastrophize your future before you live your way there. May I give you some possible alternative views?

- your grandmother had a cosmic hand in all of this and wants you to keep the house and raise your girls there (I mean, what are the odds in the sale amount allowing you to buy H out? That is pretty special intervention...)
- you live in a location where property values are only going to increase over time, and in the next 8-10 years, your home value will increase more than a 529 account could have
- you meet and marry a philanthropist who wants nothing more than to send your darling girls to Ivy League schools, he loves them so
- you start a killer consultancy and are a multi-millionaire by 50, college educations are a drop in the bucket
- H and you are both able to contribute to their educations by the time they are college-aged and it is really not an issue

Originally Posted by may22
The authenticity... I think you're right, that is really important to me. When H tried to emotionally manipulate me into kissing his A last night (the way you're talking, I don't know that I want to be married to you anymore... and when I said the only reason I could even contemplate sticking around after all of this would be for the children, when pushed, he said, not because you love me?) I told him, look, I could be nice right now to you and pretend we'll be friends and get what I want. But I am not going to do that. I am not going to lie to you or for you or at all, really. That is all I have right now-- my own values and sense of self. And I'll be g-d-ed if I'm going to compromise that for you.


Good for you for not buying into the manipulation. This has been the hardest lesson for me. So so SO hard.

Originally Posted by may22
I'm glad to know you're doing well. I've been thinking of you. xx


Haha! I'm not. I spent a weekend with my extended family and cried and cried at how loving and adoring my brothers are to their wives and how stupid I could be to pick an a** and have 4 kids with him. But I am learning to hold it together more and more everyday.

XXX

Re: Sticking to my boundaries [Re: Sage4] #2903359
09/09/20 04:26 AM
09/09/20 04:26 AM
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may22 Offline OP
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Originally Posted by Sage4
Haha! I'm not. I spent a weekend with my extended family and cried and cried at how loving and adoring my brothers are to their wives and how stupid I could be to pick an a** and have 4 kids with him. But I am learning to hold it together more and more everyday.

OMG that is me today... I have been bawling afternoon. My children are completely freaked out. How/why did I pick this person to link my life to forever???

Thank you, Sage. I can't tell you how much this means to me. H and I talked (I yelled at him, he listened) for a couple of hours today. He is just ... not who I need. And yet. My kids are completely flipping their lids that I'm crying today. He started bawling when he saw D8 come and hug me when she thought I was sad. D10 asked if someone died. They hate that I won't say why I'm sad. I finally said, mom and dad got in an argument. D10 said, you aren't going to get divorced, are you? I said, oh baby, I don't want to. I really don't want to. And tears just welled up and she started crying too. It undid me.

I asked him if this was it, can I call my mom. (I feel like that will start the cascade of momentum). He asked me to wait until tomorrow. I don't know if I will/can. Maybe tonight we can talk about what to say to the children and tomorrow we can tell them, he can live in the basement until he finds a place. (I will push him to do that.)

I do have the sense that my grandmother's funds are a cosmic part of this. That she wouldn't want me to be beholden to anyone. Honestly, I do think that would be more important to her than anything else. (H also said when I told him how upset I was that her money was going to his lying cheating @ss that he'd put the max away for each girl immediately into their 529s out of it. To which I said, OK. Thank you. (Also he tried to convince me we could stay 50% owners and also that he needs a key regardless. I have such a long road ahead of me.)

And thank you for helping me to think of the positive possible outcomes. I know they are out there.

I spent a loooong time on CL last night. I think something along the lines of what you're saying would make sense to them. He will fight it. But I told him I'm done lying to anyone about what has happened.

(((SAGE))) I am so grateful to you and this community.


Me (45) H (41)
M:13 T:17, D8 & D10
4/19 BD #1 ILYB
8/19 BD #2 Long-distance EA
12/19 BD #3 Actually 2 year PA
2-5/20 R attempt #1
6-7/20 limbo again, back in contact with AP
8/20-present R attempt #2
Re: Sticking to my boundaries [Re: may22] #2903361
09/09/20 09:25 AM
09/09/20 09:25 AM
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{{{May}}} I'm so, so sorry about this. I know this isn't what you want - for you or your girls - and this whole situation s*cks. I know your heart is breaking into a thousand pieces and I so wish this wasn't happening for you.

FWIW, I think your H is a complete sh1te for doing what he's done. He pushed so hard for the holiday and , surprise, surprise, he's bailed straight afterwards. As if 4 weeks was enough time for feelings to come back! But I think you've done enough of the 'if only'. He is weak and you cant do anything more for him. Keep moving forward. You have your best life ahead, you deserve more than a cheating, lying, H.

I think his life is about to get a whole lot harder. As for AP, I sure as h3ll wouldn't want to be involved with a newly separated man who has chosen his wife over his AP a few times before now. Not that this is any concern of yours - you're bigger/better/stronger than all of that.

Keep strong sweetie...thinking of you loads xxxx


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

EA: Feb 2019-Apr 2020
Separated: Mar-early Aug 2020
H asked to reconcile: Jun 2020
Re: Sticking to my boundaries [Re: may22] #2903383
09/09/20 02:39 PM
09/09/20 02:39 PM
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may22 Offline OP
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Thanks, Pommy. He really is a sh1te for the trip. I don't regret it for myself or for the kids, but I think it is f-ed up of him to have done what he did, wait until the very last second to do what I'd asked, then turn around and say things like my anger during the trip proves that we can't be happy together. I'm OK with the emotional abuser label now. Took me awhile.

I am exhausted from no sleep and no food. I really just want this to be done and him out. I lost it yesterday, fully, like threw things (I have never done that before). He yelled at me "if this is how you want it then I'm calling a lawyer and will fight you for the kids" and D10 overheard. She flipped out, H started crying uncontrollably, D8 came by and started crying uncontrollably. I sat there and felt that my life was spinning completely out of control. D10 was bawling and hugging me and saying please don't divorce Daddy, this is just a fight, it'll be OK. I said, I don't want to divorce Daddy. I hugged her and D8, they both hugged H, he finally stopped crying, we went and sat together as a family on the couch to watch a movie, probably for the last time.

H refused to discuss anything last night after the kids went to bed, probably correctly as I was an irrational rage-filled mess. At least he slept in the basement.

I'm really feeling awful that we had that scene for the children to see. I want so badly to be detached and calm and icy and not spewing with rage. But I am so consumed with anger right now. I really need to figure out how to channel it productively instead of acting like an insane person. Also, our lockdown just got extended another two weeks.

I want to badly to not care that he's choosing AP, not me. That he's going to go ride off into the sunset with her. That she'll meet my kids and my in-laws and be thrown in my face at soccer games and weddings for the rest of my GD life. The thing is, I don't even want him anymore. He is a weak and selfish person. I've said all along that this is the bright line he's crossing, the thing I can never forgive, walking out and breaking up our family to go be with another woman. It is outside the realm of my understanding how anyone could do this.

I just feel like she's already contaminated two years of memories of my life and now she's going to dirty the rest of it. Pommy, I don't feel better/bigger/stronger at all. I feel small and mean and petty and like stabbing AP in the eyeballs with a fork.

Anyway. As I sit here and type in the middle of the night to restrain myself from going down to the basement and waking him up to yell at him some more, I feel the truth of DB-ing being for the LBS, not to save the M. My M is over. I'm no longer standing. I want as little to do with H as possible. What I want is to gather myself back up, focus on me, detach completely from caring about the mess of our lives H has made and is continuing to make, and figure out how to build my own path forward for me and the kids. I feel like a total BD-ing newbie and yet have been on this site now for a year.


Me (45) H (41)
M:13 T:17, D8 & D10
4/19 BD #1 ILYB
8/19 BD #2 Long-distance EA
12/19 BD #3 Actually 2 year PA
2-5/20 R attempt #1
6-7/20 limbo again, back in contact with AP
8/20-present R attempt #2
Re: Sticking to my boundaries [Re: may22] #2903394
09/09/20 03:38 PM
09/09/20 03:38 PM
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wayfarer Offline
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I'm sorry to hear that things took a nose dive, but I'm happy to hear you're the one calling the shots. You deserve that. Next I know people say it over and over and over but kids are resilient. And as a person who had a traumatic childhood if the worst pain these girls ever know is your divorce you gave your girls an amazing life. And you should be proud of that. Next 529's have a lot of pit falls. One of them in particular is the account is in the child's name so any money in there actually hurts more than helps because you can't use "well we have 2 children in this house" when working out how to pay for school and the financial aid package. So I'd really not stress too much over that. Lastly my dear I'm going to have to partially piggy back what Sage was saying and reiterate what I've already said to you.

You cannot let AP loom this large over your life, your family, your memories or your future. The fact is. She doesn't think about you, so you really shouldn't spend so much time thinking about her. And there is a huge assumption here that H will ride off into the sunset with AP because he loves her so much. Given their circumstances you are giving that imaginary scenario far more weight than it deserves. A huge pull for them is the distance and the complications. Those forces separating them feeds into the fire of their desire for each other. When you start pulling all the barriers out one by one, and they actually can ride off into the sunset that fantasy starts coming of the rails. The high starts to fade. The reality of a long term relationship with absolutely no barriers between them slaps them directly in their faces. And the two drama queens you're dealing with. Well. I don't know that this "love" they have for each other is really so much "love" as is it infatuation and lust when you start stripping away all the extraneous drama around it, you aren't really left with love.

Don't write a future that isn't here yet. Don't focus on a pain you may never have to feel. You worry about getting that pathetic man out of your house. And keeping you and your girls happy, healthy and whole as possible through this. Take a hot shower. Go for a walk. Have a small protein shake. You need something in you. Food is fuel. Do some work. Give those babies some cuddles. Have a glass of wine and take your steps forward. You can only control you. So you show H what a stone cold fox, and level headed boss b!tch he can't seem to drum up feelings for in 8 mins. You have this my dear.

Re: Sticking to my boundaries [Re: may22] #2903401
09/09/20 04:21 PM
09/09/20 04:21 PM
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For what its worth....

Your H has chosen you OVER AP twice now. The latest is he has had NC with her correct? So you are imagining yet again that if he is tossed out you have freed him up to be with HER.

What does that say about her? How could SHE ever trust him not to do it AGAIN? And, what an assumption that in the last few weeks of NC that she is just sitting there waiting for him?

He is clearly lost in his own head at the moment. And, for clarity of course he can't simply stop all thought and feelings for this object that he cannot have - not being able to have something increases the desire to have it. Yet, I'm 100% certain that two people who were in love and had a commitment can indeed find it again. But, it doesn't happen overnight. I think he is being held back by something and it puzzles even him. It seems he wants empathy from you where he is at with his head/thoughts... how he just can't switch his brain off and reload it with you. Its definitely a true test of a spouse who can love her H as he mourns the loss of his AP.

All in all you stand very clear that you will be okay with or without him - that scares him because what if the AP doesn't want him any more???

Hang tight.

Re: Sticking to my boundaries [Re: may22] #2903413
09/09/20 06:00 PM
09/09/20 06:00 PM
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(((may)))

Hang in there, be strong for your D's, shelter them from the conflict between you and H as best as you can, take it day by day. Breathe. Things will get better.

Re: Sticking to my boundaries [Re: may22] #2903420
09/09/20 06:36 PM
09/09/20 06:36 PM
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may22 Offline OP
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Thanks WF, KC. It is hard for me to put into words how much all of you and your encouragements mean to me.

KC, I have been thinking of you recently, especially yesterday as I felt such a compulsion to do things I know I shouldn't-- touch the hot stove, as they say on your thread. And I wanted to say how much I admire you, your honesty in your posts, the authenticity with which you are sharing your feelings and difficulties as you traverse this hard and unfair path. Thank you for posting and sharing. It helps.

FWIW, I don't think H ever chose me over AP. He chose our life and the children. But, you know, True Love conquers all, in the end.

Wayfarer... somehow, that last line, stone cold fox/level headed boss b!tch... that is EXACTLY what I needed. I don't know how you do it but you always do. Time for me to pick myself up, dust myself off, gather the shreds of dignity around me that are super tattered from yesterday, and move on.

And I know you're right about stopping thinking about AP and giving her so much power over my sanity. She's not worth it and neither is he. I just need to figure out how to focus on one step at a time, right in front of me. Get through that one before I worry about the next. (That is not my usual MO so hard for me.)

This morning, I told him (calmly) that I am filled with a scary rage and I don't know what to do with it. I don't want the children to see me like they did yesterday. I said what I needed was to have him out of the house and to get the things worked out that needed to be worked out so that we can see each other as little as possible going forward.

He said, if you guys care, he doesn't understand me flipping between being sad and being mad. I said, why? He said because sad means you want to be with me and mad means you don't. If him walking is such a bright line for me than why am I pushing him so hard over it? And he said he laid in bed awake all night thinking about the crying scene with the children and trying to figure out if he "could" stay. Don't do me any favors, @-hole.

Oh, and here's the best one, I forgot to tell you guys this yesterday. I'd emailed him a list of 36 questions to ask on a date, (the "scientifically proven to fall in love" ones) as I had been thinking after being back from the trip and not wanting to push anything but knowing he was judgy-judgy on the state of our R, that maybe something like going through those questions could be a way to reestablish emotional intimacy. He emailed me back yesterday and said, do you want to do these questions? Why didn't we do them last night? (We'd talked about them as the start of our conversation was more about us not having the emotional/romantic connection before he got to the decision to go.) To which I replied, it isn't like a race to get through as fast as possible. He wrote back, well, what do you need? Like three nights? Let's do them. I said, don't condescend to me. Like really. In what world is it appropriate to work on rebuilding our emotional intimacy the day after you tell your W you have decided to leave her for your 2.5 year long AP? I wonder if in before-times I would have been taken in by that? Is that the charming narcissistic sociopath peeking through?

In any case. Today he is looking at two apartments. I need to open a new bank account, move my direct deposit there. Get out all our financial paperwork to make sure I have updated numbers. Write up a draft agreement on child custody and financial arrangements for the near term so we can get some stuff down on paper while I think on whether I want to go the post-nup S or straight to D route. Figure out what to tell the children and when, and if we want/need to let them know he's living in the basement as a first step until he has his place. (Thoughts on this one? I feel like it would be better for it to be more of a done deal when we tell them and he actually goes, so that they don't think they can/should be able to change his mind? I worry about this. But then on the other hand it is more pretending until he can find a place. With COVID it isn't like he could go crash on someone's couch... not that any of our friends would have him anyway.)

Love you guys. xx


Me (45) H (41)
M:13 T:17, D8 & D10
4/19 BD #1 ILYB
8/19 BD #2 Long-distance EA
12/19 BD #3 Actually 2 year PA
2-5/20 R attempt #1
6-7/20 limbo again, back in contact with AP
8/20-present R attempt #2
Re: Sticking to my boundaries [Re: may22] #2903421
09/09/20 06:37 PM
09/09/20 06:37 PM
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may22 Offline OP
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U... thank you. Breathe. I have to remember that. Yoga, meditation... that will help me too if I can only get myself to do it.


Me (45) H (41)
M:13 T:17, D8 & D10
4/19 BD #1 ILYB
8/19 BD #2 Long-distance EA
12/19 BD #3 Actually 2 year PA
2-5/20 R attempt #1
6-7/20 limbo again, back in contact with AP
8/20-present R attempt #2
Re: Sticking to my boundaries [Re: may22] #2903423
09/09/20 06:48 PM
09/09/20 06:48 PM
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May

I have been following your sitch a little and i admire you for standing for your M for so long, for being so patient.

But i admire you the most for openly saying that you actually dont want this s@@tbag in your life! I can imagine its painful and you feel angry, but after reading your last post i deffo know you will be just fine, in fact you and yoir kids will be just fine. You H can continue to mope around somewhere else, honestly he hasnt hit rock bottom yet and it very much looks like he needs to.

Youve got this!

Re: Sticking to my boundaries [Re: may22] #2903426
09/09/20 07:05 PM
09/09/20 07:05 PM
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Originally Posted by may22
Figure out what to tell the children and when, and if we want/need to let them know he's living in the basement as a first step until he has his place. (Thoughts on this one? I feel like it would be better for it to be more of a done deal when we tell them and he actually goes, so that they don't think they can/should be able to change his mind? I worry about this.


We knew for a month that H was going to move out permanently before we told the children. I kept going back and forth about whether to tell them earlier, but decided it would be easiest on them if we told them the night before he moved out. My reasoning for this was that they would live in anxiety and anticipation as long as they knew. And we would get the 'how many days until?'. There are so many ways to do this, but for our family, I am happy we waited until it was really happening.

Either way, I think getting H out of your house ASAP is a good move. I am all about authenticity and believe that there is nothing wrong with showing emotions in front of the kids. We have always been of the mindset that light fighting in front of the kids is authentic and OK, as long as they saw us repair and forgive each other, so they learn the whole cycle. But when that making-up opportunity is no longer possible, then it can become toxic for all involved.

H moved out of our room with no fanfare. The kids didn't even ask about it. So maybe your children won't even address his move to the basement anyway.

(((May)))

Re: Sticking to my boundaries [Re: may22] #2903452
09/09/20 10:06 PM
09/09/20 10:06 PM
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(((may))) Well, I wanted to stop by and catch up after the weekend, and I'm caught up. I'm so, so sorry that you're in the middle of all this right now. Mostly, I'm sorry that your H has turned out to be the kind of guy who apparently wants to check off the box on the first-date questions so he can tell himself he tried that and it also didn't work. It sounds so much like he is having trouble facing the beginning of the fallout of his decisions. But it also seems very, very clear that you will not be drawn in to his drama. I know you may not feel it moment to moment, but you are strong, may, so strong. It is making me feel stronger over here just to read how you are handling things with H, not backing down, and instead stepping into the full knowledge that he is weak and not worthy of you. You will get through this, and the kids will get through this, and you are going to be able to walk through this sh*t time and emerge like the mother of dragons, just like that image you had for me. You should have no regrets--that is not the case for H, he obviously already senses that, and he will have to live with that and work through it. I don't think it's going to be sunshine and rainbows for him and AP (or anyone else) by any means.

I too struggle with taking things moment by moment, day by day. You know you have some tasks in front of you, that list of things to figure out, but also, what can you do in this next fifteen minutes for yourself? Do you need to eat something, anything? Get a glass of water? A milkshake?


T: 16 M:10
BD 6/2019
Re: Sticking to my boundaries [Re: may22] #2903465
09/10/20 12:39 AM
09/10/20 12:39 AM
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may22 Offline OP
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Gigi-- thank you. I've been following your thread too... I don't feel strong right now. I feel like an insane person. It is literally all I can do today to resist acting like a nut again. So far, so good though for today.

Sage-- how did you guys act to each other during that month? Did you eat meals as a family, etc? This is so hard in this COVID lockdown world... in normal times I'd just get out of the house to hang with friends or SOMETHING. Be at an actual office during the day rather than trying to avoid H in the kitchen. I really, really don't want to pretend to be a happy family this time around like we did in January and again, less so, in July.

Thinking on this-- that is a big difference for me. When people were saying I should go cold hard NC as much as possible in the home last time around, I was like... how do you even DO that? It was confusing for me and not something I could really do. It is so ingrained in me to be nice. Now, I feel it in my bones that I simply don't want to engage with him or fake it anymore, even for the kids' sake. So, I guess that is progress, even as I WANT to smash all his records and throw all his clothes on the front lawn.

Originally Posted by Sage4
H moved out of our room with no fanfare. The kids didn't even ask about it. So maybe your children won't even address his move to the basement anyway.

D8 has been quiet all morning. At lunch she asked me where Daddy slept. I tried to avoid answering but she was persistent (Where did Daddy sleep? Did Daddy sleep next to you last night, Mommy?). He came up at 5 am and replaced his pillow, put the futon back, etc and was down there on a call before she even woke up, so it wasn't like she had seen anything... I told her he slept in the basement. She asked why and I said he had an early call. (Also true. But.) I think we need to tell them sooner rather than later. This part SVCKS.

His apartment viewings aren't till tomorrow, I don't know why he told me last night he had two today. Hoping we can talk finances tonight and figure out what the next steps are, because I want to be sure he is paying for his own GD apartment. Sage, I know this was an issue with you too, your H finding a ridiculously expensive place. I think this may be the case here too. And I just don't want to worry about it.

Cardinal-- hugs to you, too. I am working as best I can on taking this one step at a time, not thinking about AP and him or AP and my kids or whatever. It feels good to have you guys say it won't be sunshine and rainbows, but my gut says even if it isn't he'll pretend it is and make it so, because that is how he deals with everything. That this is such a big and gut-wrenching decision with huge fallout on the children, me, friends, family, everything... I truly think this is it. He won't change his mind. I'm done, he's done, this is it. (This is really, really sad to me right now.)

He'll make sure his R with AP is sparkly unicorns at least to the world even if he's desperately unhappy inside. He doesn't think anyone will judge him for the A. He thinks people will think, well, you can't control when you meet someone you really love. Two and a half-- now almost three- years is a long time, long enough to know this is real. (Gross that he has the b@lls to say that to his WIFE. Duck. wink )

I ate a little, drinking tons of water. Every time this happens I can't eat and am desperately thirsty. Does that happen to anyone else? My good friend who I've told said the same thing happened to her-- she was constantly and incredibly thirsty.


Me (45) H (41)
M:13 T:17, D8 & D10
4/19 BD #1 ILYB
8/19 BD #2 Long-distance EA
12/19 BD #3 Actually 2 year PA
2-5/20 R attempt #1
6-7/20 limbo again, back in contact with AP
8/20-present R attempt #2
Re: Sticking to my boundaries [Re: may22] #2903481
09/10/20 05:15 AM
09/10/20 05:15 AM
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Sage4 Offline
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Originally Posted by may22
Sage-- how did you guys act to each other during that month? Did you eat meals as a family, etc? This is so hard in this COVID lockdown world... in normal times I'd just get out of the house to hang with friends or SOMETHING. Be at an actual office during the day rather than trying to avoid H in the kitchen. I really, really don't want to pretend to be a happy family this time around like we did in January and again, less so, in July.


It was really hard. There was a lot of focus on the kids, who were a buffer between us at the time. Focussing on the kids meant that we were never really 'faking' it as our love for them is authentic. And unlike in your sitch, the undeniable marital struggles were unrelenting and had been going on for a long time with a nesting S in the middle of all of it, so they were kind of used to things not being great. Sadly.

Can you do as much one-on-one things with the kids as possible during the transition to give each other space? Even if you are stuck at home, one parent can cook while the other plays board games with the kids, one parent is in charge of homeschooling while the other works, etc. You will find your natural distance in a few days and clarity surrounding the actual move-out date will allow you some peace, I promise.

Originally Posted by may22
Thinking on this-- that is a big difference for me. When people were saying I should go cold hard NC as much as possible in the home last time around, I was like... how do you even DO that? It was confusing for me and not something I could really do. It is so ingrained in me to be nice. Now, I feel it in my bones that I simply don't want to engage with him or fake it anymore, even for the kids' sake.


I think your anger has finally arrived and will keep that nice girl at bay. You don't have anything to prove any more, you have been forced to think of only yourself and your girls. Focus on them, focus on your next steps. You will be surprised how much of your time those two focal points will consume in a day.

You haven't been at this stage before, so the rules are completely different and you will naturally react completely differently than you did over the past 10 months.

Originally Posted by may22
D8 has been quiet all morning. At lunch she asked me where Daddy slept. I tried to avoid answering but she was persistent (Where did Daddy sleep? Did Daddy sleep next to you last night, Mommy?). He came up at 5 am and replaced his pillow, put the futon back, etc and was down there on a call before she even woke up, so it wasn't like she had seen anything... I told her he slept in the basement. She asked why and I said he had an early call. (Also true. But.) I think we need to tell them sooner rather than later. This part SVCKS.


Oh, it does svck. SO MUCH.

It's an answer to say you don't have an answer right now.

Or, if the kids push you for details, you can say something along the lines of 'you know how you saw us crying the other day? (<-- name the elephant in the room so the kids don't have to). You know how you sometimes have really big feelings and those feelings can be overwhelming? Well, sometimes adults have those big feelings too, like Mommy and Daddy did the other day. Daddy is sleeping downstairs so we can deal with our big feelings.' If the 'big feelings' line is too infantile for them, sub out for whatever your family's key word is for deep emotions.

Originally Posted by may22
His apartment viewings aren't till tomorrow, I don't know why he told me last night he had two today. Hoping we can talk finances tonight and figure out what the next steps are, because I want to be sure he is paying for his own GD apartment. Sage, I know this was an issue with you too, your H finding a ridiculously expensive place. I think this may be the case here too. And I just don't want to worry about it.


I hope the finance conversation goes well. I know that any input I would have had on his choice of living spaces would have fed the party line of 'controlling, manipulative Sage'. So I vented here and made sure my financial side of things were secure immediately.

Originally Posted by may22
It feels good to have you guys say it won't be sunshine and rainbows, but my gut says even if it isn't he'll pretend it is and make it so, because that is how he deals with everything. That this is such a big and gut-wrenching decision with huge fallout on the children, me, friends, family, everything... I truly think this is it. He won't change his mind. I'm done, he's done, this is it. (This is really, really sad to me right now.)


I am going to keep cautioning you from predicting the future, May. I thought the same thing at first, but the reality of how different life is post-S is something neither of you have been through before. He may make out like sunshine and unicorns, but he also may fall on his face and deeply regret this. Neither will change the outcome because you will be long gone by then.

Originally Posted by may22
He'll make sure his R with AP is sparkly unicorns at least to the world even if he's desperately unhappy inside. He doesn't think anyone will judge him for the A. He thinks people will think, well, you can't control when you meet someone you really love. Two and a half-- now almost three- years is a long time, long enough to know this is real.


EXCEPT that most sane, humans will look at the situation and think to themselves, what a f*ckwit. No one is going to pat him on the back and celebrate his 'brave decision' to leave his wife and kids. And years down the road when everyone reaches the point of acceptance, you will be married to that philanthropist I mentioned earlier wink

Drink coconut water if you can't get anything else down. At least then you will have the electrolytes you need! xx

Re: Sticking to my boundaries [Re: may22] #2903482
09/10/20 07:15 AM
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Gigi123 Offline
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May!


Im like you thinking about the future and trying to predict it! Dont, i have to remind myself that i have no idea what will happen nor does he! My H like to think he does and plays out these scenarios that we will be Best friends one day and will go on holidays together to maldives!

For them its real, i guess its just accepting that, i dont want to dwell on the past but wonder if he was booted out straight away and had the chance to live his ea/pa He would be further along.

Maybe this will trigger something, this will certainly make him face reality, this is what he has done and these are the consequences of his actions and him messing with you and the girls.

Stay strong, because we are!

Re: Sticking to my boundaries [Re: may22] #2903488
09/10/20 12:50 PM
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(((may)))

I'm happy for you may. Your emotions are not getting pulled by him in all directions this time around. It's his loss. whether he can see that or not, it does not even matter. You know it. Yeah, definitely get the financial stuff written up asap if you can. use his guilt to your advantage.

kids - my youngest is 8 and he's always been part of the conversation when I talk to the older two. I think I've probably said the word "divorce" at least 10 times in the last year when I'm explaining our situation, yet I think my S8 still has little clue what it really means. The best thing you can do is to reassure them that whatever problems you and daddy are going through - it's between you two, you guys still love them the same. Has your D10 been asking anything?


BD: Sep 2019
H moved out: Oct 2019
3 kids under 12
Re: Sticking to my boundaries [Re: may22] #2903498
09/10/20 03:06 PM
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may ~ I also lose my appetite under heavy stress. Even though I know I'm hungry and need energy, it is hard to eat. Exercise helps me.

Re: Sticking to my boundaries [Re: may22] #2903508
09/10/20 08:01 PM
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((((may))))


ďForgiveness liberates the soul. It removes fear. That is why it is such a powerful weapon.Ē Ė Nelson Mandela
Re: Sticking to my boundaries [Re: may22] #2903510
09/10/20 08:12 PM
09/10/20 08:12 PM
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may22 Offline OP
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GD it. He is waffling.

Of course he is. Par for the course. Yesterday all day he was in the basement. he came up and hung around as I started making dinner, trying to "help" as I ignored him (would open the garbage can, fridge, etc as he saw I was approaching and needed those things). I made no eye contact.

Went outside to drink a glass of wine and he followed me. Temp checked like crazy... he'd gone to look at a house for sale a few blocks away, said it was really nice, small but nice. I said, you can afford it with my grandmother's money. (I engaged because talking about finances and where he will live is on my list of things I am interested in discussing with him.) He said, we could buy it and then you take this house and I'll take that one. I said, fine (decided not to comment on the "we"). He said, or, if we stay together, we can rent it out, it can be another investment property. (POMMY!!) I said, I don't want to talk about that. He dropped it. Then tried, if we stay together, you can use your grandmother's money to buy a Tesla and do all the things around the house you want to do. I said, you can buy yourself a Tesla and I don't want to talk about that. He dropped it.

He said, I've really been thinking about what we could be like together in M2.0 (the thing I'd been asking for-- us setting a goal of what M2.0 looked like and working towards it). I said, BS. You've told me over and over you can't even imagine it. And, I don't want to talk about that. He dropped it.

He kept saying little things to draw me in. I refused to engage and finally, I said, please stop. I don't want to chat with you like we're friends. You always do this and it isn't okay. He acknowledged and finally shut it. I started reading my book about how to tell children about a D, which made me cry, so I asked him to please feed the children the dinner that was in the oven and that I was tired and going to bed early, and left the room. We didn't have our finance/tell the kids talk, he fed and put the kids to bed and went straight down to the basement. I actually got some sleep last night.

I am doing much better, this time, in terms of setting my boundaries and not letting him cross them. I don't want to talk to him, I don't want to pretend we are a happy family. I want him to GTFO. BUT. Even though I know I did well in my behaviors, inside I felt a little crumbling. F!&K, you guys. F!&K.

This morning, he came upstairs and hung around with D10 and me who were cuddling and talking. Even though the two of us didn't say anything directly to each other, I eventually felt like it was pretending and left the room. He came to me and asked what I needed today. I said nothing... well, I want to talk about finances. He said, okay. Then he said, I know this probably isn't helpful first thing in the morning, but I am not certain at all of my decision. I said, I can't imagine you would be, and walked away.

Later, I went to the basement to get waffles out of the freezer for the kids' breakfast. He said, I am really unsure. I haven't actually made my decision yet. I said, you're a selfish and weak person with no moral center. He said, we haven't really talked this time around. What would it be like if I stayed? I don't want to be married to someone who hates me and thinks I'm selfish and weak and empty inside. I said, then don't be. And, don't you think that of yourself? Don't you see how the choices you have made and continue to make are incredibly selfish? He said, I see that. I don't see where I'm weak. I said, if you weren't weak this never would have happened. If you weren't weak, you wouldn't have told me six weeks ago that your intention was to never speak to her again and then a week after we get back from the trip you're back in the same place. You'd be a person who had integrity and honored his commitments, the big ones and the little ones. He pushed me again, I mean, if I stayed, would you be able to forgive me? Would you just keep thinking I was a selfish and weak person? I said, I'll think that as long as that is who you are, whether you stay or go. And I think I've said over and over how I feel. I'm done talking about that with you. And I walked away.

I am feeling the anger subside, I think because of the temp checking. I know it would be so easy to get drawn back in but I am not going to let that happen. I'm re-reading my June/July threads and all the great advice on boundaries there (Alison, if you're around, your posts from then are golden and I can finally SEE what they mean and how to live them).

I think he needs to go. He will never be the kind of person I want to be with without drastic change and hard work and I don't know if he has the capacity for that. Focus on me, focus on the children, what I can control and not on what I can't. Detach. I want to get beyond needing the anger to keep me fueled and just not care anymore.

Sage--thanks for the continued reminders to stop predicting the future. It is hard for me to sit in the moment but I know that is what I need to do. You might need to keep reminding me smile Thanks also for the good advice on how to behave in the house, what to say to the kids, etc. At least last night he took his toothbrush downstairs and he's also left his pillow down there (hidden though-- when I went down the futon was all put away) so that is a positive step. I think if they ask me again, I'll say that is where Daddy wants to sleep right now.

Gigi, these WAHs are so weird. My H also thought we would travel together. Originally he told me his ideal situation was that he and AP live next door and H would come over every night to have dinner with me and the girls as a family, then presumably once they went to bed he'd go back to his place to F his AP.

Wooba, D10 asked me the other day when I'd been crying and she knew H and I had fought if we were going to get a D. I said, oh baby, I don't want to. Her eyes just welled up and spilled over and she wiped the tears away with her shirt and nodded. I hugged her for a long time and told her I loved her. Our neighbor's recent D really affected both my girls badly and D8 cries every Wednesday because her friend is going to her mom's house. D10 has more friends whose parents are Ded, one good friend whose parents are going through a D this year and then another family with kids in both my girls' class are going through a D right now too. So I don't know how much of their questioning has to do with what they're sensing in the household vs being really primed and having a lot of fear about it generally from what is happening with their friends.

This helps me get angry again, BTW. I'll sit in this.

U-- exercise... so far I haven't been able to motivate myself to do anything physical but will try.

Thanks, everyone. The continued encouragement really, really helps. I need it.


Me (45) H (41)
M:13 T:17, D8 & D10
4/19 BD #1 ILYB
8/19 BD #2 Long-distance EA
12/19 BD #3 Actually 2 year PA
2-5/20 R attempt #1
6-7/20 limbo again, back in contact with AP
8/20-present R attempt #2
Re: Sticking to my boundaries [Re: may22] #2903513
09/10/20 08:38 PM
09/10/20 08:38 PM
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Gigi123 Offline
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May i dont know you, but you are amazing!

We all have our faults, we have all contributed to issues in your M, but i absolutely am amazed at how you are dealing with this. Of course he is second guessing himself Now because you are ready to drop the rope! That is it you are where all of us eventually need to get to.

I do think that it woukdnt be a bad thing if he moves out, but i can see he is clinging onto you, because reality is bleak.

P.s my H wanted to continue living together and coparenting whilst Waking up with me in the morning cuddling and then going to see his AP.....bonkers.....thats didn't go to plan because i booted him out 3 months ago.

Re: Sticking to my boundaries [Re: may22] #2903530
09/11/20 12:52 AM
09/11/20 12:52 AM
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Hi May,

Sorry for the turn this week. I am SO impressed with your strength and words--that you will stop considering him a weak person not when he stay or goes but when he stops acting like a weak person, lol. It is a sad situation and you've been incredibly understanding and given him many chances to figure himself out.


May'19 - Girlfriend of 2yrs left. Aug'19 - We became a "broken" couple (I needed validation, she screamed). Dec'19 - We gave up and went NC. Mar'20 - I've changed and she's eager for MC and us again.
Re: Sticking to my boundaries [Re: may22] #2903532
09/11/20 12:56 AM
09/11/20 12:56 AM
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PLC Offline
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May,

You are so strong, you make me feel strong when I need to talk to my H who lives in the bedroom.

PLC

Re: Sticking to my boundaries [Re: may22] #2903534
09/11/20 02:55 AM
09/11/20 02:55 AM
Joined: May 2019
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unchien Offline
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Originally Posted by may22
He said, I am really unsure. I haven't actually made my decision yet. I said, you're a selfish and weak person with no moral center. He said, we haven't really talked this time around. What would it be like if I stayed? I don't want to be married to someone who hates me and thinks I'm selfish and weak and empty inside. I said, then don't be. And, don't you think that of yourself? Don't you see how the choices you have made and continue to make are incredibly selfish? He said, I see that. I don't see where I'm weak. I said, if you weren't weak this never would have happened. If you weren't weak, you wouldn't have told me six weeks ago that your intention was to never speak to her again and then a week after we get back from the trip you're back in the same place. You'd be a person who had integrity and honored his commitments, the big ones and the little ones. He pushed me again, I mean, if I stayed, would you be able to forgive me? Would you just keep thinking I was a selfish and weak person? I said, I'll think that as long as that is who you are, whether you stay or go. And I think I've said over and over how I feel. I'm done talking about that with you. And I walked away.

Incredible. I am in awe of how you are handling this.

I hope you can keep coming back to this paragraph that you wrote. It is really amazing.

Re: Sticking to my boundaries [Re: may22] #2903535
09/11/20 03:01 AM
09/11/20 03:01 AM
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My dear May, I lost 55lbs throughout this mess. 30 alone was from stress. I was on nothing but liquids from the end of November until the middle of January. I didn't start consuming solid foods 3 meals a day until probably April. Please my dear, even if it's coconut water, gatorade, ensure, pedilyte, a protein shake. Try to get those in. I was also incredibly thirsty with no appetite. And I fear you have a lot less wiggle room than I had with that kind of stress weight loss. Make sure you're getting something in you. It will help you sleep too.

Your last post honestly made me laugh. I don't know why but I can just see the pearl clutching/beaten puppy faces your H was making at you. I've never even seen the man but in my head he's like the Malibu Ken doll I had in the early 90s. I think you're headed in the right direction for you May. I'm glad your taking this. And if he perceives you standing up for yourself. And truly believing in your vows as you being an unrelenting b!tch he's far too immature for you. He probably always was.

I'm thinking of you often even if I'm not on here as much as I used to be. xoxoxo

Re: Sticking to my boundaries [Re: may22] #2903536
09/11/20 03:15 AM
09/11/20 03:15 AM
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Echoing what everyone else has saidógo, may! It actually made me wish my H had the tiniest insight into himself, some level of acknowledgement that what heís doing is selfish and wrong, so that I could just lay it all out like you just did. Thatís probably not what I should be taking away. Ha. But I just really admire the way you handled that.

When I was unable to eat and then even when I was eating but not keeping on weight, a friend recommended oatmeal with all the extra calories I could cram in, so I ate small bowls of instant oatmeal with half and half or cream (cream was a little too rich!), brown sugar or maple syrup, nuts... and it helped. Somehow oatmeal was something I could mindlessly eat even without being hungry most of the time.


T: 16 M:10
BD 6/2019
Re: Sticking to my boundaries [Re: may22] #2903538
09/11/20 03:33 AM
09/11/20 03:33 AM
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May,

I always read through your updates.

Youíre awesome and good for you for setting boundaries and sticking up for yourself.

You should be proud of how youíre handling everything.

Re: Sticking to my boundaries [Re: may22] #2903549
09/11/20 12:15 PM
09/11/20 12:15 PM
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May - hats off.

You stuck to your boundaries. You handled interaction with grace. You have taken your H off his pedestal.

I found your conversation interesting... the more you pulled away and rebuffed your H... the more he wanted to pursue and see your previous side of things.

Your H is so afraid of waking up and realizing that he may have let the wrong person go... you, the AP, you, the AP, you.... he is clearly in panic mode because the decision is no longer his but yours.

I think you are on the right path here!!

It will be at this point with you sticking to knowing what it is that you want for yourself that your H may finally sit down and do the work to be worthy to be your H. On this current path he is going to earn you back.... he either has that light bulb moment or he doesn't. But, you... you will be okay if he doesn't. AND, that is attractive and why he is struggling to get you to fall back with him.

I hope you had a restful night.

Re: Sticking to my boundaries [Re: may22] #2903566
09/11/20 04:30 PM
09/11/20 04:30 PM
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LH19 Offline
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The number one challenge people have on DB is that they WANT to pursue because they want their control back, so despite knowing they shouldn't, they invent viable excuses to justify it to themselves and then do it anyway.

Lack of self control is the #1 enemy of DB. If self control were easy, no one would smoke, drink, or be overweight. Its very hard, but that's what it takes to turn things around, commitment to being counter-intuitive and fighting your impulses.

Going the other way is the *only* thing that may effect your H right now.

I often tell people, the shortest path back together is a straight line in the opposite direction.

The very best path is the minute your partner says they want out you smile, say "good luck with that", hand them a box of their stuff, and go live a kick-@ss life of your own.

In that case, they have to spend zero time focused on getting away with you and can right away shift into wondering where you've gone. That's what you want.

In terms of him feeling differently -- when you first met he didn't instantly want to marry you, then you got married and he didn't want to leave you, then at some point he did want to leave you. He was stubborn the whole time, made three decisions there and changed his feelings about the first two. That should prove to you that his feelings do change, and despite how he feels now, or what he says now, he may feel and do completely different things in the future. You have hard evidence of that.

The ride is just beginning. He won't be done with you for a long time, nor will you be done with him. Since you have a kids together you will be intermeshed for years.

Stay strong May!


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

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
Re: Sticking to my boundaries [Re: may22] #2903589
09/11/20 07:46 PM
09/11/20 07:46 PM
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may22 Offline OP
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Wow, thanks guys. You sure know how to boost a girl's confidence!

Originally Posted by LH19
The ride is just beginning. He won't be done with you for a long time, nor will you be done with him. Since you have a kids together you will be intermeshed for years.

UGH. This is what I'm afraid of. The ride is just beginning no matter what. We will have to have some sort of relationship probably forever, because I chose to have children with him.

So our talk about what to tell the kids last night didn't get there. He doesn't know what to do. Blah blah blah. Nothing really new here so I won't bore you people. The only differences in what he said were that he knows he could get over her if he tried and he can't talk about what to tell the kids because protecting them is his very top priority and he can't figure out how to not hurt them if he leaves.

He asked about a trial separation. I said, sure. But if you're in touch with AP, then it is just a regular separation and we're done. He got a little huffy, isn't that the point of a trial S? I said, not in my book. A trial S to figure stuff out for both of us makes sense. But separating just so you can go carry on your A -- I have no interest in that. (HONESTLY. Where do they get this $hit? He was like, I won't SEE her. I said, any contact is carrying on the affair.)

He said, I can let go of the idea of her, get over her, reconcile myself to knowing she is out of my life forever. I never really did that before. (and this time is different.... why?) But I can't promise you I'll fall back in love with you and we'll have a perfect M2.0. The best I can guarantee is that we have everything else, partnership, friendship, blah blah blah, but not the intimacy. Like on a scale of 1-10, 1 being ideal M, 10 being acrimonious D, I can give you a 2 or a 3. I said, no thanks. I didn't go through all of this and am not willing to invest more--all of what it will take if we stay together--for the chance at at a ho-hum MR.

He said, but what is best for the kids? We need to do what is best for them. (He knows my weak spot.) He actually came up to me again this morning and said the same thing... we need to think about what is best for the children. I didn't respond, but what I think I want to say is that I've been prioritizing them this whole time. If it wasn't for them, I would be long, long gone. Meanwhile, he's only been thinking about himself and his FEELINGS. This is the third time we are in this same situation and I feel I have done everything humanly possible to give our M a shot. I'm done with this. It is time for me to start thinking about myself.

I said if we stay together or have a trial S, I still want a post-nup agreement signed and I want an infidelity clause. (Thanks, Chump Lady.) We can work out exactly what constitutes infidelity and what the consequences will be, but I think it should be something like the person that cheats loses the house. He said he won't sign anything like that. He'll sign a pledge to me but not a legally binding document with monetary consequences. I said, people that don't intend to ever cheat again would have no problem with that. He said, but we shouldn't have to sign it because we should trust each other. We shouldn't not cheat on each other because we're afraid of losing the house. We should not cheat on each other because we don't want to. (OMG. What planet is this guy on???) I said, right. Your word means nothing. If you have a better idea, I'll listen.

Oh, and I asked him if he'd talked to her. He said no, I haven't talked to her. The way he said it-- "talked to her"-- made me ask, have you been in contact with her in any way? He said, I sent her an email this afternoon that said I was really struggling. I was really really struggling. I don't know if she'll respond. I'm sorry, I shouldn't have done that. (Making sure Plan A is still there since Plan B is done with your weak and selfish @ss.) He apologized, said he was weak. Yep, you sure are, buddy. Then he said the reason he reached out was to tell her that he was never going to contact her again and it was over forever, that she deserves that. (What?? Haven't you already done that twice? Didn't you do that before the trip? Yes, well, I told her NC for the trip and we may never talk again. TBH, I think this whole train of reasoning was just BS. He reached out to see if she was still there.)

So, no resolution. This morning he came up all chatty to me. I let him talk for a few sentences and then he didn't stop and I interrupted him to say "we're not friends." He huffed away and then came back a few minutes later to say to me, "we're not friends" back. I said, ok. He said, I just wanted to show you how rude that was to say to me. (???)

I feel less angry, but I'm not sure if that is because I'm starting to detach or because he's leaning back in. I really need to stay strong on focusing on what is best for me and the kids. i had a long conversation with my friend yesterday about this-- I feel like what is best for me, personally, is to move on and be done with this M. What is best for my kids may not be the same thing. She also really warned me to be careful about relying too much on anything H is saying right now about what he'll give me in a D, especially around the children. If we do 50-50 custody, I get no child support and then probably can't afford the mortgage on this house. And he's going to want 50-50. Of course he is. Re-reading my thread from back in July, this is the part that scared me back into accepting the crumbs of this fake R he offered me.

I feel like I can figure out what to do if we separate in terms of how to interact with him. What I can't visualize, right now, is staying together.


Me (45) H (41)
M:13 T:17, D8 & D10
4/19 BD #1 ILYB
8/19 BD #2 Long-distance EA
12/19 BD #3 Actually 2 year PA
2-5/20 R attempt #1
6-7/20 limbo again, back in contact with AP
8/20-present R attempt #2
Re: Sticking to my boundaries [Re: may22] #2903593
09/11/20 08:12 PM
09/11/20 08:12 PM
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Posts: 5,953
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LH19 Offline
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May,

That was a tough read.

I guess I am just curious as to why you think staying in a loveless marriage is best for the kids? I can assure you that if you both D and end up in loving relationships that will be better for your kids and the both of you. I would be a win/win.

I see here people often saying they are doing it for the kids when in all reality they are just afraid of the own known and that allows them to hold on tighter.


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

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
Re: Sticking to my boundaries [Re: may22] #2903594
09/11/20 08:23 PM
09/11/20 08:23 PM
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Ginger1 Offline
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May, your kids are surely sensing this. Hearing the arguments. You are angry ( rightfully so) and he is mopey.

How is this whatís best for the kids.

In this situation what is best for you, is actually best for the kids right now

Re: Sticking to my boundaries [Re: Ginger1] #2903596
09/11/20 09:13 PM
09/11/20 09:13 PM
Joined: Jan 2000
Posts: 27,778
Southern Maryland
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New Thread:

Crossroads

Last edited by job; 09/12/20 08:52 PM. Reason: added link to new thread

Sit quietly, the answers will reveal themselves when you least expect them to.
The past is gone, the present is a gift and you need to focus on today, allow the future to reveal itself when it is ready.
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