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I'm chiming in with just a few things to let you know I'm here I'm reading but your thread moves so quickly I can't always keep up.

- As to 'unfair' as discussed in reaction to my last post, I get unfair all the time. That was unfair of me. That was unfair to you. That wasn't fair. Does fair even begin to scratch the surface of what he did to me? Nope. But it's the best way he can articulate it right now. Every day he gets a little closer to articulating it in a more meaningful way. Recently he admitted that he had a conversation with his aunt who took her H back after an A 20ish years ago. She looked him dead in the eye and said "You'll never understand the amount of pain you put her through. You'll never understand what she's overcoming to let you back in." He had a really hard time saying that to me. He couldn't look me in the face. All I said was, "She's not wrong. I hope you understand that." He said "I'm starting to." H loves me. H wants this to work. H is remorseful, but his understanding of my pain is going to be a long, long road that I have to accept he will always be 20 paces behind me on. They have to heal themselves, forgive themselves, and then attempt to empathize with what they did to you. That's a lot. It's a burden. One they deserve and gave to themselves but it's still a heavy load to bare. That in and of itself deserves patience.

- Which brings me to LH19's sh!t sandwiches. Girl, if you want the MR you're going to have to eat more than your fair share until H is ready to eat his fair share. I learned to eat sh!t sandwiches to survive my home as a kid, so this is easy work for me. For someone like you, this is probably going to be one of the hardest things you'll ever do. For you I'm sure it feels like giving someone something they don't deserve. Or like swallowing things you yourself are subjected to on the other end. For me it was a simple switch of keeping my mouth shut and staying light to keep me safe in childhood to doing the same to keep H from running like a scared cat and to keep myself protected. Perhaps you can look at it this way. H is not prepared to deal with your emotions as well as his. Don't give your inner most self to some one who can't or won't understand or empathize. It isn't protecting him. It's saving yourself from an interaction that won't prove to be fruitful or give you any sense of relief.

-And then that brings me to Sage's point. Your silence. You know it cuts him. He processes everything verbally. When he hears silence he hears what it would mean if he were to be the one being silent. I know you know he's going to react to you being silent. Instead of processing in front of H the way he processes in front of you, because we know that's not your jam or most humans, perhaps you can, like Sage offered, explain your process instead of the actual thoughts in your head. You don't want to share it, and he can't digest them right now anyway. Explaining how your process is different than his will probably go along way in bridging the communication gap you guys have. It will also feed his need to talk literally everything through without you having to actually talk it out.

I know this mostly in but somewhat still out stuff is rough. But you're smart, you're strong. You've come this far. You can do this. Even when it seems too hard.

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Thanks Sage, LH, Alison, WF.

Sh!t sandwiches. I get it that they'll be on the menu for a looooong time. Yes, it is not easy for me to do this. Yes, when I think of CL saying a tiny bit of $hit in a sandwich is still a $hit sandwich even if the rest of the sandwich is wagyu beef, I want to spit out the d@mn sandwich and tell the person serving it to me to F off.

So yes, LH and WF. You guys are right. This is one of the hardest things I've ever had to do. It was easier earlier in my sitch. I svcked it up because that is what I needed to do in the moment to move towards my ultimate goal. I think I thought once he decided to stay and R for real that he'd get to start loving the sweet, sweet taste of $hit for awhile (or at least crow). And now I'm seeing that nope, even though some things have changed, as long as I want to walk this path, they'll be on the menu for me for a good while longer. I get it. I can still zoom up to the 30,000 foot level and feel that I can keep going in service to the end goal.

I do think, to all of your points, that letting go of caring so much where H's head is, letting go of wanting/needing him to understand the full gravity of what he's done, detaching and stopping the flow of my energy into H's headspace really is helping. I've found that just sitting with whatever impulse I have at any given moment to say something to H about the A or react in a certain way can help me let it go without doing anything about it. Maybe I do still need to reset every morning or every 10 minutes, but I feel progress here and it feels good.

And again... all things I was able to in the depths of my sitch. I think all the posting and work over the past couple of weeks has really helped me to kind of reset where I am, what I am and am not okay with, and this time with a keen awareness of the anger and sadness that I'd been kicking down the road to deal with later.

Originally Posted by Sage
So, a gentle 2x4 here: I don't think your R has any room for being snarky and I am going to be that friend that asks you to be the highest, most evolved May you can be. You can't both CL and DB this relationship at the same time. Are you allowed to have those thoughts and feelings? Absolutely. But it is your column, not H's to deal with your emotions, witty comebacks and anger surrounding the A.

This is sticking with me, Sage, particularly the part about not being able to both CL and DB at the same time. I think I hold onto CL in case he leaves again. I'm getting less and less worried about that, though I'm not sure how much of that is me detaching from the possible outcomes or his behaviors/words. But point taken, anyway.

I am feeling less snarky, generally, since my last post. Letting go both reduces the impulse to go to the snark and I find I'm taking things less personally. WIP though still for sure. Also, the punching bag helps.

(Note: I got one that isn't a heavy hang-from-the-ceiling kind, but has a base you fill with water and then a small bag on a pole, on Amazon for only $55. It also comes with gloves. I so so so recommend this for anyone who doesn't want to spend a ton of money or has a ton of space but just wants to punch something when the mood arises. The bag itself is helpfully about the same size and shape of a head, so quite easy to imagine someone's mug on it. smile )

Originally Posted by wayfarer
They have to heal themselves, forgive themselves, and then attempt to empathize with what they did to you. That's a lot. It's a burden. One they deserve and gave to themselves but it's still a heavy load to bare. That in and of itself deserves patience.

Wow, the visual of your H not even being able to look you in the eyes was powerful. I know this is very much the case with my H. He told me on the weekend something he's said before but with a lot more detail and depth, about him working with his IC on why he did what he did and his inability to believe that what he did was fully wrong, because if he did, it would crush his soul and he wouldn't be able to live with himself, doesn't think he'd be able to function in life as a husband and a father. I listened to this, it makes sense to me that he feels this way, knowing him. At the same time, feeling like this process will be important, acknowledging the truth even if it is really hurtful and not simply spackling on justifications. Again, his work to do (or not to do) and I think that this is an area where I need to stay out of his column and his way. my interference will only hinder this process.

I did try the "hey, I need to process some stuff, please don't take it personally" with mixed results, though repetition might help. I had a rough workday on Friday and he pulled out all the stops that night, went and picked up dinner and good beers and dessert with the kids for me, let mommy choose the movie, cleaned up everything, and then proceeded to basically do the same thing all day Saturday and Sunday. He then gets frustrated that I'm not Susie Sunshine (also, noting how much easier it was for him to pull out all the stops when I was in a bad mood about work and not about him). He said again how hard it is for him to see me sad and doing everything he can to make me feel better but it isn't working and he can't erase the past. I said, you just gotta let me work through some of this stuff. Just like you can't snap your fingers and get over AP, I can't snap mine and get over it either. It's a process, and it's normal. So I'm doing the best I can, I think, to help him not to freak out when I'm not being all happy, while also not reinforcing his (still very) selfish view of the world with a lot of reassurances or validation.

Without any set agreement we've basically been confining these conversations to once a week (thanks WF). I am able to have them with close to zero spew, so that's a plus. He takes a tiny bit more responsibility and is able to convey a tiny bit more remorse each time, though I only can see that when I dial back up to 30,000 feet and recall our conversations from before. He says things that feel more like he's in this for the long haul. I think detaching-- even in bits and pieces-- helps here too.

WF, I think you're right in the saving myself from an interaction that is draining and provides no relief is right on. I kept banging my head against the wall of thinking if only I explained it this way to him, he'd get it. And then went through cycles of anger/sadness/frustration plus a fear that if we don't deal with this we'll just fall back into the same M1.0 patterns and never really heal... but then again, once I can release control over outcome on this, I can let things unfold as they will and know that as long as I'm protecting my own boundaries and checking in frequently with myself and on the kids, we'll deal with what comes when it comes. I can leave. I can stay. I can make the most of what I do have in my life, today. All the possibilities are out there and it's okay to relax and let go.

Alison, I recognize so much of our M1.0 interactions in your description of the dysfunction between you and your H. It makes me stop and think about the SSM and how this may have impacted things between us. I agree that validation is generally the DB way but... and a big but... DBing is also about seeing what works and changing things up that don't, so in a lot of ways I think you're still DBing.

Originally Posted by AlisonUK
And it was because I thought by interacting with him - one way or another - I could get him to process it more quickly, or come to the conclusions I wanted him to, or taking responsibility in a way that felt good to me. It was still control. And that was disrespectful of me towards him, in many ways.

This very much holds true for me as well. He is an adult human being who made his own choices and needs to process his feelings and actions and what he wants out of life on his own. I need to step out of the way-- it is a mechanism of perceived control for me in these moments, whether wanting him to understand how I feel or simply being quiet, knowing how that impacts him.

I think I'm starting to get it. Very much a WIP. But I feel progress, I do.

I am very thankful for you guys and this entire community. smile xx M


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Sometimes in my internet travels I read things that make me think "May will like this!" and this is one of them.

Keeping in mind that forgiveness is unnecessary to the repair of a damaged relationship, the intentional act of forgiveness has two primary functions:

1. Religious or spiritual
2. Relationship detachment

There are ancient religious and spiritual components to forgiveness as a “soul-cleansing” process. It is beyond the purview of psychology to go into that element of forgiveness, except to say this: If your personal religious or spiritual beliefs demand forgiveness, it will be to your psychological advantage to consider it carefully since any violation of a deeply personal value brings guilt, shame, and anxiety. But the more slowly you forgive, the more likely it is to last. If attempted with open wounds, the common coping mechanisms after betrayal — distrust, anger, and resentment — will undermine even the most sincere attempts to forgive and forget.

Don’t get me wrong: I believe in the psychological reality of “soul-cleansing.” But it’s the betrayer who needs to cleanse the soul through consistent reparative and compassionate behavior. The betrayed needs to heal, grow, learn, and develop more viable defenses.

The other primary function of forgiveness is relationship detachment. Detachment from an emotional bond occurs at the point when you become able to think about your betrayer without significant positive or negative emotion. In other words, you’re “over it.” That kind of forgiveness is described as bringing “peace.” Unfortunately, detachment through forgiveness is rare.

Intimate relationships typically break up with at least one of the partners feeling dumped or wronged, if not betrayed. Detachment, under those circumstances, comes at the end of a very long period of resentment. Over time, resentment turns into contempt, and contempt eventually turns into the final pre-detachment emotion of disgust. The literal meaning of disgust is to throw up an ingested substance, which the body experiences as harmful. And that is a good metaphor for attachment that goes bad. We get the former beloved “out of us,” like milk that has gone sour, through disgust.

You may recall this common detachment process in an earlier relationship, particularly a youthful one, for which you’ve gained objectivity through the passage of time. If you were dumped when you were young, you probably went through a period of intense grief, followed by resentment (“How dare he do this to me," or "She was outrageously unfair!”), followed by contempt (“She has a personality disorder,” or “He’s a psychopath!”) and, finally, disgust, when you couldn’t stand to imagine ever having been intimate with that person.

Once the disgust stage passed, you could think of your former lover with little emotion, positive or negative. This process is always long and often unsuccessful; so many people get stuck in the resentment or contempt stages without ever detaching. (Think of how many people you've met who are still bitter about a divorce or betrayal that happened 20 years ago.) Forgiveness is a more elusive but far more positive way to achieve detachment.

The secret of forgiveness, regardless of whether you want to use it as a method of detachment or as a way to fortify your relationship after a repair, is to focus not on the offensive behavior, but on freeing yourself of the emotional pain you experienced as a result of the behavior.

Unless you’re a saint or Mother Theresa, trying to forgive while in pain is like trying to put out a fire in an oilfield without sealing the wells. As long as the pain flows, any forgiveness you achieve will be nothing more than a temporary elevation of feelings that will sink back into a pool of defensive resentment or contempt as soon as the pain rekindles. If you’ve ever tried to forgive while you were still hurt, you probably ended up forgiving the same offense a thousand times, as the pain and resentment kept coming back, without mercy, until you finally healed the wound.

Because the most severe aspect of emotional pain is the sense of utter powerlessness it engenders, forgiveness has to involve taking back power over your emotional life. At the end of your healing process, the subtext of forgiveness will be something like this:

“I forgive you for reminding me that I sometimes feel devalued, inadequate, and unlovable. I know that I am valuable and worthy of love, because I value and love others. Whenever I think of how you hurt me, I will value someone or something and show love to a significant person in my life, and that will remind me of how valuable and lovable I truly am.”

Reclaiming power in this way makes forgiveness relatively easy, once you are completely healed. As long as you feel powerless, forgiveness is all but impossible.


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Scout, thank you for this. I've been thinking on this a lot, and some of the action over on Sage's thread about detachment and indifference. Letting go of control and caring about what is or isn't going on in someone else's head.

It's been a good week, a really good week. I've been focusing on myself and the kids, Thanksgiving, getting ready for Christmas. We decided to cook a whole big meal just for the four of us, and ended up eating outside and inviting our neighbor over (the one who was recently divorced) because he was all by himself. It was nice. H did the majority of the cooking, including two pies, and the kids helped a lot too. We hung out with our good family friends at the beach on Saturday and went on a hike with another family Sunday, so also got some social time with other adult humans who aren't my H, which always feels good.

I feel good in where I am with letting go of control and not caring about what is going on in my H's brain, not worrying about a timeline or what happens next. Just accepting where I am/we are for now and being okay with it. No R talks at all for more than a week now and I'm good with that too. I trust that if we both individually get to the place we need to be to work on our MR, we'll deal with it then, with professional help. For now, we're just being parents and friends and I'm not spending any time worrying about what that means or doesn't mean. (Sometimes I feel a little coming on and I can take a deep breath and RELAX and let go, again.)

The anger has abated, a lot. I've had a few triggers when I think of the A or AP, but the pain is much duller than it was before. H has also been extremely kind and thoughtful and, actually, rather loving. It feels interesting but I'm not reading anything into it. Very present and engaged. We also had a little fight the other night and afterwards he apologized and took responsibility in a way I've never, ever, in 17 years of knowing this person, seen him do. (My IC was blown away when I told her the story). That experience unbalanced me a bit, but again, trying to not worry about it one way or the other and just be grateful that it happened.

It still feels strange to be going through the preparations for Christmas and remembering where I was at this same time last year. I just did our holiday cards and remember so clearly last year thinking it was probably the last time I'd do a card that included H on it. Weird to put together a new one with all four of us and no visible sign of all the trauma we've gone through this past year, or how close we came (maybe how close we still are) to no longer being a family unit. It feels strange, though, not sad or hard. I feel a little remote about it.

One thing I'm loving over the past week is that putting a stop to all that mental flow of energy to my H is allowing me to spend much more mental focus on my kids. I remember a year ago taking them to the movies by myself, and having the hardest time even concentrating on the movie or them or anything but OMG what was happening with my MR. I've had some really wonderful 1-1 conversations with each of my daughters this past week, fun and lovely and fulfilling and I feel so full of joy in those moments I could explode.

We put up the tree last night, our elf came this morning and the kids are so excited and happy. I hope everyone no matter how difficult things are right now can take a breather from the stress of what is happening or not in your MR to connect with your kids and block everything else out and just BREATHE and enjoy them. xoxo M


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This is a really good post May. Everything will need to be addressed at some point. Enjoy your kids and the holidays.


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May, this is one of your best updates yet! I see SO much growth in you, in your relationship and just in your general life perspective.

Literally every paragraph you wrote is peppered with deep, authentic, healthy detachment:

Originally Posted by may22
Letting go of control and caring about what is or isn't going on in someone else's head.

Originally Posted by may22
It's been a good week, a really good week. I've been focusing on myself and the kids, Thanksgiving, getting ready for Christmas.

Originally Posted by may22
I trust that if we both individually get to the place we need to be to work on our MR, we'll deal with it then, with professional help. For now, we're just being parents and friends and I'm not spending any time worrying about what that means or doesn't mean. (Sometimes I feel a little coming on and I can take a deep breath and RELAX and let go, again.)

Originally Posted by may22
That experience unbalanced me a bit, but again, trying to not worry about it one way or the other and just be grateful that it happened.

Originally Posted by may22
It feels strange, though, not sad or hard. I feel a little remote about it.

Originally Posted by may22
One thing I'm loving over the past week is that putting a stop to all that mental flow of energy to my H is allowing me to spend much more mental focus on my kids.


Keep it up, you are doing so good.

xx

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Thanks LH, Sage. I feel good. smile

Scout, I realized I didn't address the forgiveness part of your post at all, just the parts about the path towards it... and I wanted to be sure you knew that I appreciated the whole post. It is just that I'm not really thinking about forgiveness, yet. I know I want to get there but I don't want to move faster than I'm ready-- which was one of the major takeaways of that post for me, anyhow.

My IC asked me about forgiveness this week and how I saw that happening. I said that I'm not really worrying about that right now, but that trust and forgiveness are things that generally have come easy to me, and sometimes it is my brain that has to slow me down. Earlier that day I'd been in a conversation with someone at work who had totally thrown me under the bus back in January. It was really awful and I felt completely betrayed when it happened, and it took me several months to repair the damage with my own boss because of it. Anyway, I was having a great time talking with him, work stuff, kid/distance learning stuff-- a very positive conversation and I hung up feeling good about it, I'd helped him out with several things. It didn't occur to me until after we hung up that wait, I don't trust this guy at all. It is something I need to hold onto intellectually, otherwise I forget.

I also realized that nearly every time I post about feeling positive, something happens to derail me-- like the Universe reminding me not to get too big for my britches. And in fact yesterday after I typed this out, I went to a colleague's funeral and was feeling rather down, it was a long drive so I listened to Esther Perel's podcast on relationships and got to one about a couple that met as affair partners and were now married, the H with two young children and the W feeling unaccepted by his family and branded as the "other woman." All the other episodes I'd listened to that involved affairs placed the original married couple in the center, not the APs and the difference in my response really struck me. I could drum up zero sympathy for the OW, ZERO-- even when she was crying about being treated as an outcast by his family, I just felt like she deserved it and what else did she expect? And when the H talked about how happy and in love they were, I felt a visceral disgust, like I wanted to vomit.

Then I got home and H had spent the day on a virtual quarterly conference that used to always be held in AP's city. He had also won a new contract that he'd worked on for a couple of years, and while I am happy about this and said let's celebrate with nice take-out, I know I wasn't over the top by any stretch, I didn't touch him or hug him-- I just didn't feel any of that would be authentic to how I was feeling at the moment. It was more how you would congratulate a neighbor or friend, not your H or best friend. (Not that I think I should have done anything differently, just saying what I did.)

He seemed a little down and quiet all night, and in my head I wondered if he was missing AP, because of the conference, or because she might have been more enthusiastic in congratulating him on something he's been working for during the entire duration of the A. He'd shared with me way back when that one of the things he knew he was going to miss about her was her friendship, someone he shared good news with and was happy for him, etc.

But... here's what I'm really proud of, and how I know I'm really making progress, not just on the surface. (Though please swing 2x4s at me if I'm not getting it.) It didn't really bother me. I felt the stirrings of it all worrying me, and of course the podcast made me think about the A and AP. I know that a month ago I would have gone down the rabbit hole and felt terrible and probably started something with H around it.

Instead, I did my own thing. Relaxed my brow. Enjoyed the amazing take-out dinner and no cooking or dishes. Played board games with the fam. After the kids went to bed, took a bubble bath, worked on a crossword puzzle, chilled out until I felt totally calm. I realized that my own experiences during the day probably had something to do with how I was feeling-- maybe more so than anything I was observing in H's behavior-- and anyway, even if he was missing her or those feelings he had with her, I really felt like well, that is natural under the circumstances and besides completely in his lane, not mine.

So I went to bed and fell asleep and had a good nights' sleep-- no 4 am awakening and mind going in circles-- and woke up feeling fine. And H has been his nice (new) normal self today so far, made me breakfast, cracking dumb jokes, wanted to call his mom on speakerphone together to talk gifts--so who knows if everything yesterday was just in my head. Maybe, maybe not... but truly? it doesn't really matter either way.

I am, though, really feeling proud that I was able to nip those feelings in the bud and refocus on what I can control-- my own emotions, my own response to the triggers I experienced yesterday-- and was able to rebalance. Alison, if you're reading, it was so key for me to know it was OK to have to re-let-go of the control thing every 10 minutes sometimes-- that has really stuck with me and helped me to recenter and rebalance.

Clearly all still a WIP but feeling pretty good. I have a lot of fun stuff planned for the weekend and had a productive work week. Happy Friday everyone! xx M


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(boring) status update for the past week: nothing, really, to report. Things are basically the same.

Earlier in the week I was triggered during a conversation with my H about something totally unrelated to any of this--he used the word "love" and I was immediately hit with a tidal wave of remembering that my H was/is in love with someone else. I walked away and needed some time on my own to recalibrate, and was pretty quiet the rest of the day.

H of course couldn't handle this and seesawed between being solicitous and kind and upset that I was upset (I shared with him that I'd been affected by the conversation and needed to process my feelings, and that I was sad). At the end of the night, he told me he understood these things would come up but that I "couldn't" let it affect me for the whole day and be "mean" to him ("mean" = not being nice, since I did nothing that could be remotely considered "mean." I was simply not being too friendly).

I said nothing at the time, but the next morning told him I didn't think that was right, that I was going to have these feelings, probably would for a long time, and I deserved the space to process them. That feeling them was healthy and shoving them down was not, and I didn't like being made to feel like I should apologize for having them. I wasn't yelling at him or being "mean" to him-- I was simply working through some things in my own head.

He said, okay. Repeated that it makes him feel helpless and frustrated when I'm upset, and also that he knows me well enough that I can't really fake it anyway. But this time, he didn't seem to think that his feelings trumped mine, which I'd kind of felt that he'd intimated in the past--- a sense that because he was upset and couldn't do anything about me being upset, I needed to just get over it. That was absent. He said he was sorry and he understood, and I went back to work.

Still no talking about anything but I'm not pushing that. Sage had written on her thread about being scared of detachment, the feeling that once you let go of this love it is never coming back. I feel that too, a bit. That the longer we aren't connecting on any of this, the longer it goes without him beating his breast and telling me it was all a horrible mistake, the farther I walk down a path alone and the more I feel there will be no going back... though at the same time, I don't want to go back anyway. If there is to be a M2.0 it will need to start from scratch. I have flashes of wondering if I even want an M2.0 with him.

The girls and I decorated the tree over the weekend, and I found his box and put his ornaments on the tree. I pulled the letter out I'd written him and read it and cried, on my own. He came around to see how I was doing and I told him that it was hard for me, that last year I had really thought this was probably going to be our last Christmas as a family. He said, well, it isn't, we are here together, you should throw that letter out. Which weirded me out a bit, that he showed zero curiosity to read it. I said, it was a nice letter. He seemed surprised. I asked if he'd expected it would say something like I hope you are sad and alone right now? And he said yes, maybe, something like that. All weird.

It makes me sad that he isn't showing curiosity, that he can't say to me... hey, I'm really sorry you're feeling this way. It is okay. I get it. What can I do to help you feel better? I realize he simply can't right now and besides, his process and ability or inability to support me is not within my control, anyway. I know this, and mostly it is okay and I just handle my own side of the street. I think I've been able to drop my expectation that he would support me here... but I'm still dealing with some sadness around this, what it even means to drop those expectations of the person who was supposed to be there for you no matter what.

I'm also realizing there are some new feelings surfacing that I hadn't really fully recognized or named before, maybe because they were buried under the anger... feelings of rejection and humiliation that go along with the A. Just trying to sit with them and acknowledge they're valid. Somehow it feels easier to be angry than humiliated.

Maybe the most telling thing this past week is that I spent fully half of my IC session talking about work stuff rather than H stuff, which feels like progress to me. Starting to re-look at some career change opportunities again (I turned down the other offer earlier in the year even though the money was really good, because I had a couple of sidebar conversations with people in or recently left the organization and the internal culture did not sound like what I need in my life at this point). Some movement in both the potential for going the consulting route and other FT roles... not sure what I want, at this point, but I feel excited to be exploring my options here again, and connecting with people around all this stuff is really interesting and fulfilling to me, regardless of what I decide next.

We have plans this weekend to spend time outdoors with our closest family friends, and the girls have tons of plans to bake up a storm which I'm both looking forward to and dreading the mess that will inevitably follow. I'm still reveling in this feeling of being totally present with them and loving every moment of it-- an ability that had been somewhat lacking during all the emotional turmoil of the past year. And, the MBR is just about finished (finally) though I don't think we'll be able to move back in this weekend.

Happy Friday, everyone.

xx M


Me (46) H (42)
M:14 T:18, D9 & D11
4/19 - 12/19: series of escalating BDs
9/20 - present: R and piecing
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So May I’m going to challenge you to just live the next 20 days enjoying your children and the holidays and try to block everything else out. Stay in the moment for 20 days focusing on the present.

Also I can see what’s happening and it’s actually pretty predictable. You have been growing, learning everything about relationships and your husband is standing still. You are looking for some simple validation and he’s not able to provide it. You are more then likely not going to be able to go backwards unless you sacrifice your needs.

I think you and I are a lot alike and up to a year ago I was still looking at reconciliation with my ex for my kids and familiarity/history. My ex was obsessed with the bachelorette and loved the movie Bad Moms. Last Saturday I was on a date with an Ivy League PhD, fitness competition winner, who has traveled the world and done habitat for humanity in South America. Why would I want to go backwards? To say I won? For my kids who will be adults soon?


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

�Happiness equals reality minus expectations�- Magliozzi
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Originally Posted by LH19
So May I’m going to challenge you to just live the next 20 days enjoying your children and the holidays and try to block everything else out. Stay in the moment for 20 days focusing on the present.

Challenge accepted smile I'm getting there. The majority of my time, I'm there... A day and a half of sadness in the past week is waaaaaay better than where I was a month or two ago. I'm not sure I can legit hit being in the moment for 100% of the next 20 days, but I'll shoot for an improvement.

Question, though-- I've been consciously letting myself be okay with the feelings as they come, not pushing them away (which was kind of my MO that allowed me to get through a lot of the last year and a half). Are you saying I should take 20 days to put those feelings aside and just not think about them? Or do my best to focus on all the positives in the moment, but if the feelings come, it's okay to feel them for a bit?

Originally Posted by LH19
Also I can see what’s happening and it’s actually pretty predictable. You have been growing, learning everything about relationships and your husband is standing still. You are looking for some simple validation and he’s not able to provide it. You are more then likely not going to be able to go backwards unless you sacrifice your needs.

yeah. Not going to worry about what the future does or does not hold, right now, though (Right???) he will or he won't move forward. The choice to leave is always in my hands. I'm not taking it, now. We will see. FWIW he's been in IC two years now and I've actually seen a lot of growth in him, around communication, vulnerability, and empathy, though I would say the empathy has not been directed at me to date. He's become a much more involved, engaged, and loving father. Whether or not he can work on his issues in/re our R is another story, but at this point I don't think he's a lost cause.

Also... sorry, but Bad Moms IS a funny movie wink Maybe you have to be a mom to like it. My H also thought it was dumb. I watched Bad Moms Christmas on an airplane and kept cracking up, which is weird when no-one else can hear the movie wink

I hope you also are enjoying the moment for the holidays-- it sounds like it! smile


Me (46) H (42)
M:14 T:18, D9 & D11
4/19 - 12/19: series of escalating BDs
9/20 - present: R and piecing
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