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

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

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

The 'FOG'

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

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

On the opposing side:

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

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

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


M:50 H:49
D:16 S:13
M:23 T:25
BD: Feb 25th 2020
EA/PA: Dec 2019 - June 11, 2020
Behind every broken woman is a broken man...
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2017 post from Zues - thread: WAS showing you positive signs? WAIT- READ THIS!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

So what's an LBS to do?

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

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

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

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

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


M:50 H:49
D:16 S:13
M:23 T:25
BD: Feb 25th 2020
EA/PA: Dec 2019 - June 11, 2020
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BlueSea, thank you for going into the archives and sharing these posts. You found some real gems. I think I'll take Zeus's advice and read the last one, at the very least, 10 times.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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


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


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

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

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


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

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Originally Posted by ShaneG

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


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

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

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

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


Me 57/W 53, M 23, T 27

D21/D17

BDay 6/29/20, ILYBINILWY

IHS 10/5/2020
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