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A Message from Michele
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Still taking it a day at a time #2908388
11/13/20 04:02 AM
11/13/20 04:02 AM
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may22 Offline OP
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Last thread: A day at a time

Recap: Very briefly, H had a two year long distance affair, came clean in January but very ambivalent, she might be the love of his life, blah blah blah. We're now a couple months into reconciliation attempt #3 (maybe 2.5, since I don't know if we should really count the trip we took in August when he was NC with AP as a reconciliation attempt-- more like a break from hostilities).

This time around does feel different in many ways. We got to the very edge of S/D. He found an apartment he really liked. We agreed in principle to the financial splits and custody (which he has still agreed to memorialize in a post-nup, but we haven't done yet). We were working on what to tell the children (D8 and D10, who have absolutely zero idea anything is wrong). Then, H said he got to the very precipice of D, needing to pull the trigger on the apartment, and realized he can't do it, he doesn't want to D.

He came clean with a number of final lies about their relationship, including the fact that he'd kept a box of memorabilia which he threw in the garbage in front of me. He said things I'd been waiting to hear for the past year, that he was choosing our M, he was making this decision of his own free will (said in the past he felt coerced as there had been some ultimatum-ish deadlines I'd laid out), he was going to actively work on getting over AP, could envision M2.0 with me, was going to show me by being loving, etc. He said he finally realized that his fantasy D situation (where we'd all be best friends) was never on offer, from either me or AP. It only existed in his head. He had a conversation with AP and is now NC and transparent (I have his passwords, etc.), and it has been that way for two months now. I do trust that he hasn't been in touch with her at all.

After that, he went through some big swings. He got a little manic and wanted to make some big purchases which I'm not comfortable with given where we are, though we did start a renovation of our MBR which he seems to think is symbolic of us restarting together. Then he reverted to a total a-hole, alien, angry and depressed version of himself for few weeks. He came out of that and started to really amp up the non-sexual PT (his LL) and acts of service (mine) which is weirding me out.

We don't talk about the R very much and I haven't been really interested in doing it or starting MC until I feel he's completely over the AP-- a boundary for me has been hearing anything about how he feels/felt about her as it makes me feel completely bonkers. This bothers him as he thinks I don't "see" him and understand what he was/is going through. (I feel like I don't need to hear anymore how hard it is for him. too bad, so sad it is hard for you to break up with your GD sidepiece.) I have learned through all of this that we have horrible to nonexistent boundaries between the two of us and he really needs/wants to dump all of his emotional processing onto me, which I'm not OK with any more. I also tend to let my anger and frustration out on him, which I'm trying to no longer do, but he is very sensitive to me even being quiet or withdrawn-- that seems to freak him out. We have talked recently about either carving out time each week to talk about the MR and where we are, or going back to MC. No actual decision on any of this yet.

Right now, he's frustrated that I can't tell him I trust him and believe him 100%. While he's made some progress in taking responsibility for his actions-- he no longer immediately leans on the SSM if it comes up, and if you ask him, he SAYS he's taking responsibility for what he did and is sorry-- but to me it seems shallow and not really enough. He has twisted himself into knots around what it means that he did this and if it was wholly bad then doesn't that mean he is just a bad person and unworthy of forgiveness, either forgiving himself or me forgiving him-- so keeps trying to justify his behavior in his head, mostly around the idea that I was the first one to mentally check out of the M through the SSM. I also have heard so much stuff from him about how much he loooooooved AP, plus the fact that we tried this before in the spring and after 3.5 months she called him up and he reverted immediately to wanting to leave again, that I'm not really feeling able quite yet to let my guard down and believe that she is really gone for good.

As for me, I have an enormous amount of anger, frustration, and sadness to process (which makes him feel uncomfortable). I have a ton of rage towards AP which I'm trying to let go of as I'd prefer not to let her take up any of my precious headspace. I also have a huge amount of anger towards H that I'm trying to process without letting it overwhelm me. Easier said than done, but where I am right now.

Why didn't I kick him to the curb when the PA came to light, or when he relapsed in the past, you might ask? To date, I have been unable to see myself as the one pulling the trigger on breaking up our marriage, even though I know he's the one who had the affair and I have really done all I could to save the M if it ended tomorrow. Five years from now, I want to know to my bones that I did all I could to save the M and give my children a two-parent household. I feel rage that H even put me in the position of needing to consider not waking up with my kids every morning and what that would be like, let alone actually living it. However, I want to get the post-nup signed and have promised myself that if he gets back in touch with her again, I'll immediately call my mom and my other best friend (one best friend already knows) and tell them what has happened. I feel that will start the momentum going enough to make it possible for me to kick him out, even though I'm absolutely terrified and sick about the effect it will have on the children.

I am scared to lean in and let myself trust that this is real this time, that she's really gone, he's really invested in the MR, and think I will feel this way until at least as much time as passed as did in the spring (3.5 months) before the relapse. He keeps saying that things are different this time-- we have total transparency which we didn't before, 100% NC which we didn't before, he is choosing the MR with his own free will rather than felt coerced as he did before, he looked at the reality of D and decided he doesn't want that rather than imagining how amazing it would be; he has let go of his fantasy D scenario, and finally FWIW he thinks she is also done with him given how long he d!cked her around, and the only chance he'd have with her, if one remained at all, would be he'd need to already be separated from me and in the D process. Personally I think that is a gross thing to tell your W but as those who have been following this thread know he has never minced words to spare my feelings. At least that *is* something I can lean on here.

So there we are. I don't consider us in piecing-- more like working through reconciliation.

Last edited by job; 11/13/20 02:37 PM. Reason: added link to previous thread and placed it at the top of page 1

Me (45) H (41)
M:13 T:17, D8 & D11
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
6/20 limbo again, back in contact with AP
9/20-present R attempt #2
Re: Still taking it a day at a time [Re: may22] #2908389
11/13/20 04:41 AM
11/13/20 04:41 AM
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SamCal Offline
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Q: why have you not signed the postnup yet? (no judgment - just can't tell if it's for a pragmatic reason or an emotional one)

Re: Still taking it a day at a time [Re: SamCal] #2908392
11/13/20 08:46 AM
11/13/20 08:46 AM
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may22 Offline OP
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Originally Posted by SamCal
Q: why have you not signed the postnup yet? (no judgment - just can't tell if it's for a pragmatic reason or an emotional one)

Emotional. What I should have done is powered through and gotten it signed in that first week. Since then when we've talked about it he is clearly not excited about it. he's said it feels like we are planning to fail and that it will make to "too easy" to D if we get there. (To which I feel like... yes... that is part of the reason I want it signed so that I don't have to worry about any of the $hit in there. I didn't say that though.)

I'm partially worried that I got this bee in my bonnet about something I want and he doesn't, and that it will be our "transparency conversation" from the spring all over again, when I thought things were going well, pushed the convo, and he called her back three days later. That if I push this he might freak out and call her. And partially laziness, because by the time the kids go to bed and we clean up dinner etc the idea of sitting down and doing something heavy and difficult is not attractive to me. And, I wrote it, so there are definitely bargaining points in there he may push back on. IDK. It just isn't something I'm looking forward to doing, but I also feel like it is something I need signed for my own comfort. As much as I feel like we're not in piecing yet, negotiating a post-nup does very much feel like the opposite direction.


Me (45) H (41)
M:13 T:17, D8 & D11
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
6/20 limbo again, back in contact with AP
9/20-present R attempt #2
Re: Still taking it a day at a time [Re: may22] #2908393
11/13/20 09:26 AM
11/13/20 09:26 AM
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may22 Offline OP
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Originally Posted by AlisonUK
But if we both told our stories about that time, they'd be different. H would use words like 'unfair' and 'not having my needs met' and those are true stories for him. And I'd use stories like 'feeding your ego' and 'you had other options' and 'you felt comfortably lying to me' and those are true stories for me. I don't think our stories will ever totally match, and I am not sure that is necessary for healing. He knows how much it hurt and why it hurt, and I think I do understand a bit of what was happening for him at the time and why it was linked to how he was experiencing our marriage at the time.

Well. This is super interesting and I've been chewing on it all day long. I would say we both understand each other's positions here just like you and your H...and now I'm wondering why I feel so strongly that he needs to be sorrier and stop the justification game. is it OK that we have different stories for what happened? I guess in my perfect world he would be able to say and own that his behavior was wholly unacceptable, full stop. it was wrong and cruel and he regrets it completely. Full stop. He can say this, but always tinged with the justification in the background.

And I'm not trying to minimize the effect of the SSM on him. Much of what he says is true about me withdrawing my love and affection for him in many ways. I understand why he was open to starting the A. I still don't think that makes it OK. It makes me think he was sad and lonely and totally ripe for the picking with a young and ego-feeding AP. But that still doesn't excuse it. I just don't understand why he thinks it does. Maybe I'm being too dogmatic on this one, though.

Originally Posted by AlisonUK
I wonder, May, if you need to accept that there are aspects of your experience - as a woman, as a mother, as a friend, in your professional and creative and spiritual life, and in your healing from this terrible wound - that he isn't going to understand because he isn't you. There's always a kind of existential privacy inside marriage, and I can't help but wonder if you are stuck because you are expecting him to understand your pain and anger in a way that just isn't possible. Maybe instead of asking him to get up close to it and really see it, your job is to get up close and see it very closely for yourself?

I think I push wanting him to understand what I've been through less for him to understand my experience and more for him to understand the gravity of what he's done. I feel like he keeps minimizing it, because it was a positive experience in some ways for him, it's over now, and it is deeply uncomfortable for him to feel that he did something to hurt me so traumatically. I feel like if he'd spend some time trying to sit in my shoes, maybe that is what it would take to get the breast-beating clothes-rending sorrow I'm waiting for? IDK. Other than that, I'm OK with him not fully understanding my experience-- as you say, he isn't me. Just as I honestly don't want to fully live in his brain and feel how he felt during his A. I think you're right in that my job now is to really look up close at my pain and anger and understand it for myself, regardless of how or whether H spends much time thinking about it at all or not.

Another thought I just had... I wonder if I think that if he moved on to thinking about how badly he hurt me, that would say something about him having gotten over thinking about her?

The ritual thing... I like that idea, a lot. I have been noodling a lot about not having had a real separation. I need to think about what that might look like for me, though. At the moment I'm working on some ritual to exorcise AP from my headspace. I really want to stop thinking about her at all.

I started a little ritual for myself but one that will take me a loooong time to get through. Maybe a year ago or so, we started playing the NYT crossword puzzle together online-- previously we were doing the Sunday paper version. And maybe in the spring we started doing every day in a compettion against each other (we still sometimes do Friday and Saturdays together, but we race the other days). I went back to when he met AP and started doing back puzzles from back then. I think I'm going to go through all the Mondays up until H and I started doing them together. And then Tuesdays, and Wednesdays, up until I've done every puzzle during their A. It feels like reclaiming those weeks, for me. When I open it up and see February 2018, and remember what we were doing then, and reconcile the fact that H was having an affair while I blithely went about my life... somehow I'm taking that week back, one day at a time.

Originally Posted by wooba
I have to say though, when I read the part were your H said "If you don't trust me, then ask me to leave" and "I'm not actively in love with her anymore".....I really just want to punch him in the face. what kinds of sh*t is that??

The man still wants a cookie, I think. UGH.

He says he understands why I don't trust him and it is fair given what he did... but then a few moments later he launches back into if I can't trust him then what are we doing? I have told him I need time, please chill out.

Originally Posted by AlisonUK
I think it is entirely understandable that you can't trust him right now. It is a sane decision. It doesn't seem to me that you are trying to manipulate, punish or control him. But you are accepting very clearly the fact he lied to you for an extended period of time, and after you found out about that, he decided to carry on lying to you for some more time. And as a result, you are unable to trust him.

He might have all kinds of feelings about that, but none of those are your problem.

You're right. NOT MY PROBLEM. I feel kind of like it is. But it really, truly, is all his work.

Originally Posted by AlisonUK
I think here the problem might be that he thinks you're in piecing or marriage 2.0 and is confused or annoyed that you are saying you want that, but acting otherwise. Is it that you're still waiting for something from him?

I think you may be right on this. But I don't feel like we're in piecing until I feel 100% secure that AP is out of the picture and his head, he's 100% committed to the MR and making it work, takes full responsibility without making justifications and is truly remorseful, like "I made a horrible mistake" kind of remorseful.

These may be totally unrealistic and unnecessary hoops. But, it is how I feel right now. Maybe I'll feel differently once I process my anger. I'm sure there is some level of anger seeping out in all of this. So I don't really feel ready to piece, quite yet. I've told him that, but he gets frustrated in that I'm "telling him how to feel" because I don't want to start working on M2.0 until he can tell me unequivocally he's over AP (and normally I can't resist throwing in some choice words about her, which I know doesn't help anything). I think I need to just lay off on that part. I don't think I need him to be embarrassed about her, just over her.

I need to think about IHS vs an extended reconciliation period and what that looks and feels like, different from what we have right now. I think it could be helpful to be more explicit about the rules of interaction, for now.


Me (45) H (41)
M:13 T:17, D8 & D11
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
6/20 limbo again, back in contact with AP
9/20-present R attempt #2
Re: Still taking it a day at a time [Re: may22] #2908398
11/13/20 12:17 PM
11/13/20 12:17 PM
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Originally Posted by may22
Originally Posted by SamCal
Q: why have you not signed the postnup yet? (no judgment - just can't tell if it's for a pragmatic reason or an emotional one)

Emotional. What I should have done is powered through and gotten it signed in that first week. Since then when we've talked about it he is clearly not excited about it. he's said it feels like we are planning to fail and that it will make to "too easy" to D if we get there. (To which I feel like... yes... that is part of the reason I want it signed so that I don't have to worry about any of the $hit in there. I didn't say that though.)

I'm partially worried that I got this bee in my bonnet about something I want and he doesn't, and that it will be our "transparency conversation" from the spring all over again, when I thought things were going well, pushed the convo, and he called her back three days later. That if I push this he might freak out and call her. And partially laziness, because by the time the kids go to bed and we clean up dinner etc the idea of sitting down and doing something heavy and difficult is not attractive to me. And, I wrote it, so there are definitely bargaining points in there he may push back on. IDK. It just isn't something I'm looking forward to doing, but I also feel like it is something I need signed for my own comfort. As much as I feel like we're not in piecing yet, negotiating a post-nup does very much feel like the opposite direction.


Itís not pushing anything. Itís enforcing your boundaries. You canít have jello boundaries based upon fear of how heís going to react to them. Then you have no boundaries or conditions upon his return to this marriage. He still rules, basically. He still calls the shots. You basically are just trying to keep him there. And what for if thatís the man heís going to be? And if he does contact OW?? Then he has answered a lot of questions of how committed he really is. If he is still the guy who is going to run to another woman or his affair partner when something comes up he doesnít like, is that the man you really want to be with?? How could you go on in a relationship afraid to be strong in your boundaries with the fear he might run to another woman when he doesnít get what he doesnít want or doesnít like something ?

This might come out kind of harsh, but the real strength is t in just letting him be there. Itís by letting him be there while not being so fearful of the outcome of honoring your boundaries and needs. Otherwise, will you really get to marriage 2.0?

Re: Still taking it a day at a time [Re: may22] #2908399
11/13/20 12:33 PM
11/13/20 12:33 PM
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I tried to edit to add.... I understand that fear. I enforced zero boundaries before I was married and when I was married to my ex. I was in my 20ís and fearful of him leaving. So I had no boundaries afraid he would go. And he did! With another woman! He did it without the boundaries getting everything he wanted and how he wanted it. He would have done it with the boundaries too, but I could have held on to my self respect. Held on to my value. Now that Iím 40, honoring myself, my respect, my values regardless of someone else might react is very important to me.

After getting cheated on the way I did, people are surprised I am not surprised of the same in my relationships. To me, if they are going to cheat if I donít donít try to control the situation that they donít the. I know they arenít the person for me and I do not want to be with that person. Iíd rather remain single than to compromise any of that anymore

Re: Still taking it a day at a time [Re: may22] #2908401
11/13/20 12:35 PM
11/13/20 12:35 PM
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I agree with Ginger.

I think there's been a pattern for a long time of you doing things that you don't really feel that great about, or not doing things that are important to you, because either he pushes back at you and wears you down, or because you're afraid that if you stand your ground he will run back to OW.

If you have to make yourself small, dishonest and resentful in order to keep him, it isn't a marriage.

I also want to push back on you not being able to piece until and unless you know, 100% he is over AP. That isn't possible. You are never going to know that. You can look at his behaviour and his words (and like you, I wouldn't be happy with what I was hearing right now) and you can look inside and see if you can trust him or not. But it will always be an act of trust. You can ask for concrete actions - like transparency with his devices, and signing the post-nup - and his eager acceptance of that will go a long way to help, but it won't do the job. You will never ever get past this without having to trust his heart, and I understand why that isn't possible for you right now.

Have you told him that you will live with him and do some friendly co-parenting with the kids, but you are not yet ready to reconcile as his wife because you need more time? I think he thinks you're in piecing. There's so much murkiness here. And I also think you're afraid to be straight with him because if you said, 'I am not ready to work on a reconciliation with you because I don't trust you enough yet' then you think he's going to stop trying and run back to AP.

Maybe it would help to separate the two tasks ahead of you. One is your own healing and recovery and moving past his OW. That you have to do for your own sanity and health and happiness - and it might include forgiveness - whether you stay married or not. You don't need anything from him - he could go off and get married to OW and it is still possible and essential that you do this work.

The other task is your marriage. You have a right there to set boundaries and ask for some non-negotiables from him. But I don't think anything he does or doesn't do in your marriage is going to help you heal.

My IC explained it to me like this - there's you, who needs healing, there's him, that needs healing. You aren't his job, and he's not your job. Then there's the third thing, the marriage, and that needs enthusiastic work from two healthy (or reasonably healthy but also human!) people who agree most of the time on what the work should be and what the marriage is going to look like.

I think he's expecting you to do his work and you're still expecting him to do your work and you're nowhere near working on the marriage yet, but there's no clarity on that between you because you're still very emeshed and too afraid to let go of the dead broken marriage, be single (even if you live together) for a while and work on yourselves.

Re: Still taking it a day at a time [Re: may22] #2908405
11/13/20 01:16 PM
11/13/20 01:16 PM
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I agree with Allison.

Thereís a disconnect in your positions here. He thinks youíre both piecing, but you arenít ready for that and have a lot of unresolved stuff to work through.

I think the kindest thing here is to be honest. While youíre in different head spaces there are different expectations, and when expectations arenít met - it leads to disagreements, arguing, resentment - and ultimately further breaks the marriage.

I donít know HOW you should go about this (perhaps ask some of the more experienced members on the board) but I think someone needs to flag that you are in different positions and have different expectations.

It will be a hard conversation, but it needs to happen. You canít keep responding from a place of fear.

Re: Still taking it a day at a time [Re: may22] #2908407
11/13/20 02:03 PM
11/13/20 02:03 PM
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May,

I am hesitant to post because I don't think you take kindly to my advice.

You have been since day one and continue to operate out of fear and that is not the place you want to operate from ever. I think you really need to dig deep and figure out why are holding on so tight to this man and this marriage. It's ok to say because your afraid to be alone and start all over with two young kids. Just be honest with yourself. Stop the narratives. You once tried to convince us affairs where good for the marriage. "I want to say I tried everything to keep my family together". That's a narrative that is not true. You haven't tried letting go. You haven't tried separating so you can both figure out what you want. You are so afraid to lose him to the OW that unfortunately that is what is probably going to happen. If not her then someone else because the precedent has been set. I am not even sure that your number one motive isn't you winning and he's the so called prize.

For him to be in a two year secret affair where he was madly in love and kept a love box, he has to either be a sociopath or had some extreme anger towards you. Then you guys want cohabitate during a pandemic allowing him to grieve his relationship while trying to rekindle things with you that have been gone for years??? Sounds impossible right? Because it is almost impossible. You need time and space to CHOOSE each other. Not for the kids, not so the OW doesn't get him but because you genuinely miss and want to be with one another. It's the only way it works out long term.

If you are going to continue to live together then just live. Take a break from books and IC. One thing you talk about is true he will eventually show his intentions with actions. Right now you are clinging to his words which you are smart enough to know mean jack $hit right now. You guys are in for a rough ride and I do not envy you. Trying to put things together in the middle of a pandemic, in your early 40s with winter and lockdowns on the horizon. Best of luck.


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: Still taking it a day at a time [Re: may22] #2908429
11/13/20 08:18 PM
11/13/20 08:18 PM
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may22 Offline OP
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GInger, Alison, Kind-- I don't know why I'm so reluctant to push the post-nup. I 100% agree it needs to happen, though for me it is dealing with the fear of him staying, not leaving-- that I missed an opportunity to get a favorable arrangement that won't be there in the future. That fear has abated somewhat in that he's still willing to sign it.

If I really think about it, and thinking about Scout's recent situation with Christmas, I think it is that some of the things I'm asking for and to which he has agreed, in principle, maybe are too slanted towards me. I think that the custody split is okay, even though I would get the children 6 nights out of 7, but I'm asking for a 50/50 lifetime split of his pension, which I wouldn't be entitled to under my state's laws absent a separate agreement. I spoke to two Ls about it. If we went to court, perhaps I could get 25%. We weren't married for the entirety of his time in the military, but we were dating when he was injured, he moved in with me afterwards, and I spent four years nursing him through all his surgeries. Anyway. Since the actual marriage certificate means so little to him, and if we were married on paper through all of that I would be entitled to more, I asked for half. We talked about it and he agreed. So maybe some of my reluctance is stemming from a feeling that I'm not being totally fair on this.... but then of course I'm not the one who cheated and lied and put us into a position of me wanting a postnup or needing to think about retiring with less assets or splitting custody of our children.

In any event, the three people IRL who know about this whole sad situation-- one of my best friends, my IC, and my executive coach-- are all very very set on me getting this done. So I just need to put on my big girl panties and do it. I'm thinking I might want to approach it less as a done deal that needs his signature and more as something we talk through together, even though we already did talk through most of it. His memory from that time is p!ss-poor and I wouldn't be surprised if he can't remember details.

And Ginger, thinking of it as a boundary-- something I need to protect myself-- helps me be more confident in making it happen. Thank you for this.

Originally Posted by AlisonUK
Have you told him that you will live with him and do some friendly co-parenting with the kids, but you are not yet ready to reconcile as his wife because you need more time? I think he thinks you're in piecing. There's so much murkiness here. And I also think you're afraid to be straight with him because if you said, 'I am not ready to work on a reconciliation with you because I don't trust you enough yet' then you think he's going to stop trying and run back to AP.

He doesn't have the language for the difference between piecing and where we are right now. I have told him explicitly I'm not ready to work on our M, whether it be MC or relaxing into happily planning for the future, trips next summer and new cars or whatever, until I feel secure that AP is out of the picture. He says she is. I say I don't believe that, at least not in his head. That is where we get stuck. I'm either dictating how he should feel or not trusting him and he doesn't like feeling that way. (And yes, I hear you that I'll never know 100%. I need to sit with that. It may be that not knowing 100% will not be enough for me and I'll need to be done. IDK at this point, I just know I'm not comfortable today, not being at 100%.)

here's where I am on it at the moment. I'm sorry he doesn't like feeling untrusted, and that I'm not all sunshine and rainbows. I think he would be perfectly happy to friendly co-parent with me. His idea is that we work on our relationship and our friendship and let the romance bloom from there. I'm not bought into this right now, because (a) I'm afraid to let myself get too comfortable with him in that role and (b) I absolutely refuse to sweep this all under the rug, and I don't see where in his timeline we deal with the hard stuff. Which he know we have to do.

Originally Posted by AlisonUK
My IC explained it to me like this - there's you, who needs healing, there's him, that needs healing. You aren't his job, and he's not your job. Then there's the third thing, the marriage, and that needs enthusiastic work from two healthy (or reasonably healthy but also human!) people who agree most of the time on what the work should be and what the marriage is going to look like.

My IC said the exact same thing. That right now he's processing his grief over ending the R with AP and wrestling with his identity and what it means that he cheated. I'm wrestling with my own grief and anger and loss. These are parallel processes that we really can't help each other out with. He can't get involved with mine because it is too difficult for him right now to see and support, because doing so means he needs to accept responsibility and it makes him feel too badly about himself to do that right now. I can't get involved in his grief processing because to me it is illegitimate and the fact that it exists feels like a dagger to me. (Yes, I know he has a right to this grief and all that. I just am not FEELING that right now.)

Maybe I share too much about the circles going on inside my head here. I'm questioning a lot. And my focus on the negative probably overshadows the day-to-day. In general, we are being friendly co-parents. We have stopped sleeping together, per my request, and he has respected that. (He told me one night he wanted to, and thought about initiating, then decided that was disrespectful and so did not.) We haven't fought since I posted last about it. The anger has subsided somewhat, but I know it lurks there and I need to keep processing it and doing so without letting it overwhelm me and take it out on him.

Ginger, LH-- I truly don't think I'm generally operating from a place of fear any more. I absolutely was, for a long time. This board helped me enormously through all of this, to let go of that fear little by little. When we returned from our trip and he said he wanted a D, that was truly it for me. I let go and was totally ready for him to be gone. I wanted him out.

I still am questioning whether or not I want him here. Little things come up that make me wistful, thinking of the life I had imagined on my own. While I was afraid before of being on my own, I'm not any more. I'm completely confident I would do just fine on my own navigating parenting, life, new loves, work-- whatever life throws at me. I'm a beautiful, Ivy-league-educated, successful, fun and funny person. I have great friends who care about me. I have a strong family network, even if they're far away, who will be there for me no matter what. My H is a ding-dong. AP might be 11 years younger than me but she's a shadow in every respect. She looks like a paler, plainer, dumber, washed-out version of me. She kissed his @ss all day long, and I don't and I won't.

In M2.0 (with H or someone else) I don't want to be a control freak anymore so that is something that I know I need to work on. Maybe a lot of what reads as me letting myself being walked over is me letting go and giving my H space to be a full partner, if he wants to and is able to function in that way. I don't know. But I have come to realize that while he's not totally correct that I ruled every aspect of our lives for most of our M, I did dictate much more than 50%. I think this contributed somewhat to the SSM also, in that I kind of viewed him as another person to manage rather than a partner. It is really uncomfortable for me to let go of control, and maybe I'm swinging too far in the other direction and getting pushed into things I don't want to do. I'm not sure.

I do love him, he is/was my best friend, but that doesn't mean I have to live my life with him or that I couldn't get over him. Ginger, you asked me if I'd have left him if it wasn't for the kids and the answer remains of course I would have left him. I could fall in love again. I just want to give my children the chance to have that person be their father.

LH, I did let go. He just didn't leave. I'm sorry if you don't believe me but I'm comfortable that there was a sea change in me, letting go, and that the fear left. My IC and I have talked a lot about it. The fear has been replaced by anger, now, which feels even more uncomfortable to me than fear. At this point, I kind of WANT him to leave if that is what is going to happen. I actually think some of my acting out in anger is partially to see if he will do it.

You are not wrong about me wanting to win. This is also something I've been working with my IC on. I have been very fortunate in my life and this whole thing hit me like a ton of bricks. I'm sure that a big chunk of my motivation for standing at first was drawn from that place. I'm exploring whether my animosity towards AP is rooted partially here. At this point, if he ran off with her, f him and it wouldn't bother me all that much. But the idea of her ever meeting my children still makes me want to poke her eyes out with a fork. So... not sure what that all means.

I want to be clear also that i was never trying to convince anyone that an affair makes a relationship stronger. That is garbage. H said that to me-- the A may be what saves our M- and that made me furious. However. That being said, I do believe in the power of post-traumatic growth. I also believe that perhaps it took something this big to shake me out of my SSM stage. You can't change the past. If we end up together and happy, was the A a necessary part of the path it took for us to get there? Could it have been handled differently? will it matter? it won't change what happened, and it won't change the fact that he was the kind of person who dealt with his unhappiness and anger by cheating. I believe that people can change for the better, and I believe in forgiveness. If I didn't think it was possible for us to build a better M out of the ashes of this one, I wouldn't still be here. And I know it is a long shot, given everything. But to me it is worth the try. For my kids if nothing else.

But I do take your advice-- and I think Alison's is on the same track-- try to work on my own stuff and just live. Zoom back up to the 30,000 foot view, relax, and stop trying to push the timeline faster than it needs to go. His process is out of my control anyway. All I can do is manage my own. And to the degree that i need to communicate that to him, like you say, Kind, maybe we do still need to set some regular opportunities to talk honestly about what is going on, whether modulated by an MC or on our own for now. But I do feel there is enough on my plate right now that I can just worry about me, and my biggest challenge will be doing that without being awful to H while I'm doing it.

And get that dang post-nup signed. smile

Last edited by may22; 11/13/20 08:22 PM.

Me (45) H (41)
M:13 T:17, D8 & D11
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
6/20 limbo again, back in contact with AP
9/20-present R attempt #2
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