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A Message from Michele
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Re: Crossroads [Re: may22] #2903825
09/15/20 08:55 AM
09/15/20 08:55 AM
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LH19 Offline
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Well May if your core values are loyalty, honesty and integrity and your husbands are infidelity, lies and manipulation you can certainly see where this could/will be an issue in your marriage.

So I know you have read on the board what it takes for a successful reconciliation. I have posted many times and I know Sandi has also. So if right out of the gate you are afraid to separate for him to work on his issues that he will text A/P then do you really reconciliation is really on the table?

So a two plus year affair is not a reason to separate but some yelling at one another is acceptable? Come on May quit BSing yourself. When you are seeing your IC forget about your marriage and get to the root cause of what you are so afraid of and start working on that.


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

“Don't chase people. Be yourself, do your own thing and work hard. The right people - the ones who really belong in your life - will come to you and stay.”- Will Smith
Re: Crossroads [Re: may22] #2903848
09/15/20 04:40 PM
09/15/20 04:40 PM
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Valeska19 Offline
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Originally Posted by may22
Boundaries... what i have been working on with my IC since June. Something that basically didn't exist in our relationship so has been pretty difficult for me to even understand, let alone stand up and enforce. A bunch of posters, especially AlisonUK, have really helped me here.


I totally get it. I've been in IC for 3 months specifically dealing with boundaries. If you want - Google Vicki Tidwell Palmer and boundaries. She is a game changer for me.

Originally Posted by may22

My current boundaries are:
-- I will not make this decision for him.


My question for you is yes - you will make not the decision for him - but are you enabling his indecision-making?

Originally Posted by may22
Those are my authentic boundaries at this point. My IC really wants me to stop being empathetic to him and stop letting him lean on me to process his emotions (she thinks I shoulder his emotional burden and he has this unhealthy need to process through all this cr@p with me, has wanted me to make the decision together with him, etc.). For the most part, he's stopped bringing up the SSM and talking about fantasyland D scenarios.

Totally agreed. I said something to Pommy on her thread.. His emotional spew is not your burden. He needs to find someone else to talk to about all this stuff.

Originally Posted by may22
I still need to stop him from talking about his feelings for AP, though he will respect my boundary with a simple hand motion reminder. (Before, he would pout and say he didn't want to talk about the outlines of what had happened without the feelings because they were inseparable). I'm actually wondering if spilling the rest of his guts will help here-- he'd said in the week leading up to the most recent BD and during that conversation that he felt there were things I still needed to understand about him, that I didn't "see" him, and from what I can tell I think that it is all just about his feelings for her that I had refused to hear.
.

I would not suggest that H spill his guts w/o guidance. A therapeutic disclosure of sorts. Are you familiar with that?


M(f): 38
D'ed: 8/12

Show empathy when there's pain. Show grace when warranted. Kindness in the midst of anger. Faith in the face of fear.

Love at all costs because you are loved well.
Re: Crossroads [Re: may22] #2903855
09/15/20 05:21 PM
09/15/20 05:21 PM
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Sage4 Online
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Good morning, May!

Originally Posted by may22
Question for you about the enabling. Did you realize you were doing this during the healthy part of your M? Or is it just now that you're seeing it? For me, I never ever ever thought that was a role I played with my H. I definitely don't see myself even now as helping him or taking care of him. Just frustrated and angry with him and sort of sorry for him in between. When we were talking more and when everyone here and my IC was like screaming at me to stop processing all his garbage with him/for him, I was totally taken aback. It didn't feel like that to me at all. I felt like I was just trying to follow the DB validation rules (along with the occasional truth dart when I couldn't stand it any longer).


I had no idea the depths of my enabling until my IC pointed it out to be in really clear terms. And then family members started telling me stories of when they were worried about how much I was 'helping'' H deal with the stress of his job and life at the expense of my own well-being. The enabling can be unrecognizable in real time. The very fact that your H feels comfortable telling you all the juicy details of his feelings for AP (and has for a long time) is a sign of you emotionally enabling him. If you look at any place in your R where you don't have good boundaries, you will find enabling occurring. Other arenas where I was guilty of enabling: me just 'getting it done' instead of asking for H's help or not expecting equitable contributions to our family life. Anywhere in your life where you didn't let H stand on his own two feet, anywhere that you stepped in to 'fix' a problem, enabling may be lurking.

But let's just say for the sake of discussion, that you are only enabling H now with this whole A thing. That needs to end for your own well-being.

Originally Posted by may22
More recently, though, I've recognized this more. Most of all last week when I was in a place to be able to shut him down quickly each time and it really became clear that he wants me to talk about it all with him.


I echo Valeska's suggestion of a therapeutic disclosure. He (along with the help of a therapist) can get all the details out on paper, all his feelings, all of it. And you get to digest it on your own terms, with the support of a therapist to help you deal with the information contained.

Originally Posted by may22
A different pair of shoes. That resonates. if it were just my shoes it would be so easy. my girls love their dad so GD much. I almost wish we were high conflict so I had a good reason to S.


Of course they love their Dad. As they should. I am not suggesting walking in a new pair of shoes means that you have to S. But I just think you need to draw that roadmap on a blank sheet of paper, not one with lots of Sharpie marks on it already.

Re: Crossroads [Re: LH19] #2903871
09/15/20 07:51 PM
09/15/20 07:51 PM
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Originally Posted by LH19
Well May if your core values are loyalty, honesty and integrity and your husbands are infidelity, lies and manipulation you can certainly see where this could/will be an issue in your marriage.

Hi LH, I don't think my H's core values are infidelity, lies, and manipulation. I don't think his behavior is in alignment with his values. I think you can change that by changing your behavior or, with time, your behavior erodes your values until you are no longer the person you thought you were. Question is, I guess, how far along that path he is... but that is his work to do, not mine.

Originally Posted by LH19
So I know you have read on the board what it takes for a successful reconciliation. I have posted many times and I know Sandi has also. So if right out of the gate you are afraid to separate for him to work on his issues that he will text A/P then do you really reconciliation is really on the table?

On the "trial" S, I was thinking more along the lines of what happened in Pommy's sitch. I just don't believe in trial separations UNLESS you can be fully 100% certain that both parties are doing it to work through things on their own and decide if the M is right for them. In my case, I'd have to believe 100% he wasn't going to start texting AP again. I don't 100% believe he's going to stop all contact forever with AP now. How could I have the trust to believe he could in an S situation? This man is scared of being alone.

Originally Posted by LH19
So a two plus year affair is not a reason to separate but some yelling at one another is acceptable? Come on May quit BSing yourself. When you are seeing your IC forget about your marriage and get to the root cause of what you are so afraid of and start working on that.

A two year plus A is absolutely reason to S, for me. It is not, necessarily, for my children. A high-conflict environment for the children is reason to S. I've read a lot about the effects of D on children, and that children in a "secretly unhappy" M do worse than children in openly conflictual households (all assuming you can eventually develop a healthy co-parenting relationship-- kids whose parents continue to fight after D do the very worst), even many years down the line, and as adults they can have serious issues with trust and intimacy because you've thrown this bomb that to them came out of nowhere.

TBH, I don't think it is a good idea for me to go here-- I think it will end up with me backsliding like I did in July. I spent multiple sessions going through this issue with my IC. A major part of my identity is being a mother. In fact, that probably contributed a lot to the problems in my M, particularly the SSM. I absolutely am incapable of pulling the trigger on this family and breaking it apart unless I know in my bones it was the right thing to do for the children. (And people telling me it is won't really help. I need to come to it myself.)

My IC tested this boundary for me a lot for weeks and then finally said OK. Let's see how we can protect you given that. We also worked out what it would take for me to do it-- I'd need to believe it was better for the children, meaning either the atmosphere in the home was toxic or getting there, or I was beaten down enough to feel it was negatively affecting my parenting. Last week, I felt both were true. I was done. I was not speaking to him. I was unable to be a good mom with him under this roof, which is why i asked him to leave.

In any case, I know many/most of you here have S or D and your kids are just fine, maybe better off than before, and this probably is super annoying and frustrating to you that this part is so hard for me. And I'm sure some of you think this is just me projecting my own fears onto my kids. I truly don't think so. It is about my own identity and how I see myself. And F him if he's going to get me to compromise my own values and my own understanding of who I am on top of everything else he's done.

Originally Posted by Valeska19
My question for you is yes - you will make not the decision for him - but are you enabling his indecision-making?

I think I have enabled his indecision throughout this whole process. I don't think I'm doing that anymore in the past week. But I will carefully watch myself to be sure I'm not.

Originally Posted by Valeska19
I would not suggest that H spill his guts w/o guidance. A therapeutic disclosure of sorts. Are you familiar with that?

Originally Posted by Sage4
I echo Valeska's suggestion of a therapeutic disclosure. He (along with the help of a therapist) can get all the details out on paper, all his feelings, all of it. And you get to digest it on your own terms, with the support of a therapist to help you deal with the information contained.

What I'd meant is his spillage the other day with the box of memorabilia that he'd sworn didn't exist, her visit to our city, all the places they visited that he says we will need to reclaim for ours. He's said several times post that convo that I know 100% now. I asked him what would possibly make me think this is really everything. He said he understands why I wouldn't trust him on this, but that the difference is that this was his choice to tell me everything. That these last things he's shared were things that he thought I never really needed to know if we split, this is one of his ways of demonstrating to me that he's letting go of AP and committing to the M.

But, I do think this idea of a therapeutic disclosure or at least the opportunity for one would make sense if we stay together. I'll hold onto this one.

Sage-- super helpful about the enabling. I am definitely seeing it in the processing of the A, and me NOT engaging this week has been both freeing for me and potentially part of the reason he's acting differently this time.

I'll give you an example of how he has needed my approval throughout all of this. When he first told me he had an "emotional connection" to someone a year ago now, I of course looked her up online and found a photo. She's 11 years younger than me, same ethnic mix, but... plain looking. Kind of pretty, I can see how someone would think so, but not beautiful by any stretch. And not trying to toot my own horn here but significantly less attractive than I am. It was like when FlySolo said her H's GF was like a watered down version of her. So I said to H, I found her online. And man. I am shocked. She is NOT an attractive person. He looked at me and was all upset, and then he went and found ANOTHER photo of her online that was more attractive. He said that first one was a bad photo. This is more what she looks like. I just looked at him and shook my head.

Sunday, when he did his whole spill, he told me it always bothered him that I didn't think she was pretty. How messed up is that??


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: Crossroads [Re: may22] #2903886
09/15/20 10:33 PM
09/15/20 10:33 PM
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may22 Offline OP
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LH, bringing this over from Pommy's thread:

Originally Posted by LH19
Originally Posted by Pommy99
I guess the truth is I'm scared, I'm scared he will walk away, I'm scared he wont be in my life. I'm scared of having to start over again at my age!

^^^^^^^^^^^This is what is keeping you from getting what you want in your marriage. Life will present you with people and circumstances to show you where you are not free. If you can overcome this you will eventually get what you want out of a relationship.

May22 writes paragraphs and paragraphs of words when it can be summed up in two sentences.

Thank you for being honest PM99.

LH, you've made your point, I know what you think. I'm glad you know me so well. Please at the very least keep it off of Pommy's thread, will you?

Thanks.


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: Crossroads [Re: may22] #2903887
09/15/20 10:45 PM
09/15/20 10:45 PM
Joined: May 2011
Posts: 1,324
Los Angeles, CA
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Valeska19 Offline
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Originally Posted by may22
[On the "trial" S, I was thinking more along the lines of what happened in Pommy's sitch. I just don't believe in trial separations UNLESS you can be fully 100% certain that both parties are doing it to work through things on their own and decide if the M is right for them. In my case, I'd have to believe 100% he wasn't going to start texting AP again. I don't 100% believe he's going to stop all contact forever with AP now. How could I have the trust to believe he could in an S situation? This man is scared of being alone.

This seems like you are controlling the situation. If your H was ACTUALLY not texting his AP and committed to the marriage - the S wouldn't be as necessary.

Therapeutic separations can be very healing for a relationship. You set it for a period of time. Set ground rules, etc.
They help provide space and safety needed for each party to think and figure out what they want.

Do you think you are being honest with yourself here? Is it that you don't believe in it? or are you scared because you won't have eyes on your H and he could "wander" back to AP? You response above seems to point to the latter.


M(f): 38
D'ed: 8/12

Show empathy when there's pain. Show grace when warranted. Kindness in the midst of anger. Faith in the face of fear.

Love at all costs because you are loved well.
Re: Crossroads [Re: may22] #2903889
09/15/20 11:38 PM
09/15/20 11:38 PM
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May

I would lean toward keeping H in the house and accepting his last ditch effort to be honest as he showed you things he did not ever plan to and did not have to. Don't get me wrong as there is a lot of work ahead. But, you have to choose forgiveness if not for him... for you. Please set boundaries on what is acceptable behavior but you are going to have to get to a point where you just don't bring it up again. Could you? Could you forgive and not bring it up again?

I think in reading through your posts I sense that keeping H in the house gives you the feeling of control.

If he moves to an apartment you lose control. The ability to know if he is in touch with AP. Control comes from fear --- so what are you afraid of? You've listed it. Your fear is if he moves out he will be contact with AP... but wouldn't it mean more to you if he moved out and he made a choice to not contact AP and instead chose to do some work with the idea of winning you back? I think that is a much bigger powerful statement than he stays in the house and commits to you under duress.

There is no easy answer here.

You have to chose what is best for you. Try taking your kids out of the equation for a bit. Sure a 2 parent household is best but a household where mom is miserable or dad is miserable is still not a healthy environment to grow up in.

HUGS!

Re: Crossroads [Re: may22] #2903890
09/15/20 11:39 PM
09/15/20 11:39 PM
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may22 Offline OP
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Originally Posted by Valeska
Do you think you are being honest with yourself here? Is it that you don't believe in it? or are you scared because you won't have eyes on your H and he could "wander" back to AP? You response above seems to point to the latter.

For me, there are a few different things. One, trust is a squirmy and tricky thing that I don't have a whole lot of, right now. I know myself and I know I'll just doubt that he's really not in contact with her, probably regardless of whether or not he's in the house, no matter what he says. I'm going to bet that I'll doubt more if I don't see him. He is a giant cake-eater. I just want to call his bluff and say-- in or out, buddy. He's saying in, but I'll believe that when I see it. The only way I can believe it is to see it/him and his actions, and the opportunities to see that and rebuild trust seem a lot less if we are S than if we live under the same roof.

The biggest thing for me, though, is the effect of the S on the kids. I just am having a hard time wrapping my head around the benefits of a trial/therapeutic S for me or for H vs what it is telling the children.

All that being said, I'm open to the idea, especially if I felt like it was really just about the two of us and our relationship. I just feel like doing things to work on our R while he still has her in his head is useless. We've talked about him sleeping in the basement for awhile (suggestion of my IC, who said we could tell the kids Dad has some allergies and is snoring a lot so sleeping in the basement to help Mommy get more sleep because sleep is so important, or something like that, so avoiding my fears about the kids).


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: Crossroads [Re: may22] #2903891
09/15/20 11:47 PM
09/15/20 11:47 PM
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IronWill Offline
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Hi may -

Still reading along.

The only thing I'll add is that a "trial separation" isn't "trial" at all. Its a separation - IHS, trial, actual S - they are all the same thing. The word "trial" is added by Cs and Ls to ease the transition for both LBS and WAS.

What each of you do during the S is not the business of the other person.

You control you, H controls H.

Sorry - I know it's pretty direct, but that cuts through all the fog and mud.

Take care - stay strong.

Re: Crossroads [Re: may22] #2903892
09/15/20 11:48 PM
09/15/20 11:48 PM
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Just gently, what would be wrong with leveling with the girls in an age-appropriate way if you decide that him moving out is the best way forward?

“Sometimes in adult relationships, we need to press pause to figure some things out. It doesn’t mean that we don’t love each other or love you both. Dad is going to live by himself for a little while and Mum will be staying here in this house. We’ll make sure you see us both every day and nothing else will change for you guys. It’s okay to feel any kind of way about this and you can talk to Mum or Dad at any time. We are both sorting out our own feelings as well and we don’t have all the answers. No matter what happens, you are both our first priority and we’ll do anything to support you.”

Is that less frightening than having the big D talk? It would be honest and authentic and considerate.


W32
X30
S2

June 2019 | Runaway husband
May 2020 | Legal separation
Xmas 2020 | Divorce hearing
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