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tom_l Offline OP
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Thanks to all who have contributed and been patient as I navigate some tough times!

Quick summary: married over 30 years, wife files for divorce and walks out without notice or prior discussion. Divorce is still in process after 14 months. Adult children in their 20s so there are no custody issues. Wish I had discovered DB back when she filed but I only found it 4 months ago. Current view is that there is zero chance she is coming back. Working hard on GAL and 180s, and 180s can be found in previous threads.

Part 3:
https://www.divorcebusting.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=2910956&page=1

Part 2:
https://www.divorcebusting.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=2909819&page=1

Part 1:
https://www.divorcebusting.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=2905366&page=1

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Hi Tom,

Remind me again about the living arrangement of your kids.


"What is best for my kids is best for me"
Amor Fati
Link to quotes: https://www.divorcebusting.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=2879712
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tom_l Offline OP
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Originally Posted by harvey
Yes, we all have negative personality traits, but I think my positive personality traits (thick-skinned, forgiving, self-deprecating, non-jealous, even-keeled, good natured, loyal) far outweigh my negative personality traits. On top of that I make really good money, I'm not addicted to drugs/alcohol, I'm a good father, etc. I think that is appealing to many women. It is to my GF.

Thanks for saying this. I thought my positives outweighed by negatives by at least 2:1, especially when comparing myself to other marriages of friends and family. My ex's sister is married to a very troubled fellow with volcanic anger problems and huge issues with self-esteem mostly because of an abusive father. Yet, this sister remains married to this (sorry, it's true) monster while she counsels her baby sister (my ex) to leave me! [Please, no one needs to respond to this point ... I still have to let hurt out once in awhile.]

Originally Posted by harvey
... she was also the one that wanted the huge house and fancy things, so we just couldn't afford for her to quit her job. At the time of our divorce, we were in the process of building a 5600 square foot house on a 2.5 acre lot in a gated community.

Did she keep the house? I assume you had no interest in it.

Originally Posted by harvey
I think of a relationship as a jigsaw puzzle. The pieces that you and your SO bring just have to fit right. My GF appreciates what I bring to the table much more than my XW, and my negatives don't bother her that much. My GF is kind of a procrastinator--like me.

This is a great point, Harvey, I'm going to remember this.

Originally Posted by harvey
At my age I'm not going to do much about my personality traits. The ones that affect relationships (lack of empathy) I work on. The rest are just who I am.

We should explore this a bit more. I know that my ex and I were very different people yet during our courtship we complemented each other very well. I filled in many pieces that were missing in her life. She liked that I was outgoing, bold, fearless, adventuresome, and passionate. Never at a loss for words. Made friends anywhere and everywhere. Analytical and logical. Yes, I have always been a little high strung but I would always, always back down if she thought I was being too dramatic. It worked well for so many years.

My negative traits will no doubt be found buried inside the positive ones.

Originally Posted by harvey

This has to be my longest post on this forum.

Thanks for trusting us all, Harvey!

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Originally Posted by Ready2Change
In regard to finding the right person, Steve85 advises to wait a year to start dating again. I'm not set on any rules. I felt ready after 9 months. Other guys probably aren't. However, I think you need to really get to know somebody before proposing. I proposed to my XW after one year of dating (pressured by her). We were married a year later. That will never happen again. I've been dating my girlfriend for 16 months. I will not propose to her until I know deep down that it can work. I will not rush into marriage. Marriage is years down the road for me.

I will start addressing this point in the New Year. There are some developments for me, but I want to talk through my 180s first a bit more.

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Originally Posted by Ready2Change
Hi Tom, Remind me again about the living arrangement of your kids.

Ages from early to mid-20s, one at home permanently, two others home until early January.

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Originally Posted by tom_h
Did she keep the house? I assume you had no interest in it.


We sold the house. It took us a year to sell the house after the divorce. We split the mortgage payments until we sold the house. I bought another house after the divorce, so those double mortgages were tough. We also had something happen to the house in that year, and it cost us $6K (deductible). We sold the house for about the same price as it cost. It was a really nice house, and we had an offer on the day we put it up for sale for $50K more than we bought if for. I won't get into details, but there was a party connected to the builder that basically sabotaged the sale. Pissed me off, but ultimately chose not to sue. The difference in the sale + mortgage payments + damage cost me around $50K.

Originally Posted by tom_h
We should explore this a bit more. I know that my ex and I were very different people yet during our courtship we complemented each other very well. I filled in many pieces that were missing in her life. She liked that I was outgoing, bold, fearless, adventuresome, and passionate. Never at a loss for words. Made friends anywhere and everywhere. Analytical and logical. Yes, I have always been a little high strung but I would always, always back down if she thought I was being too dramatic. It worked well for so many years.

My negative traits will no doubt be found buried inside the positive ones.


I think there are personality traits (lack of empathy, overly jealous, too beta) that can kill a relationship. I think it's important to identify and work at those.

My biggest failure in my marriage was lack of leadership. My XW is an alpha. To keep peace, I submitted the role to her. Big mistake that I won't make again. Women like my XW will test a man. I failed the test.

Leadership, listening, empathizing - those are the things that I've worked on. Every LBS has their own 180s to make.

Last edited by harvey; 12/19/20 05:32 AM.
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Originally Posted by Rose888
You choose to quote only part of only one of the three paragraphs I wrote, thus making it appear my point was something other than what it was.
Didn't do it deliberately, but I sure know the feeling.

Originally Posted by Rose888
I'm bowing out for now.
I most certainly respect your decision.

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Originally Posted by harvey
I think there are personality traits (lack of empathy, overly jealous, too beta) that can kill a relationship. I think it's important to identify and work at those.

My biggest failure in my marriage was lack of leadership. My XW is an alpha. To keep peace, I submitted the role to her. Big mistake that I won't make again. Women like my XW will test a man. I failed the test.

Leadership, listening, empathizing - those are the things that I've worked on. Every LBS has their own 180s to make.

I can't help but wonder sometimes if the personality traits that an ex-spouse really really liked when you met don't become the source of her dislike later on.

I said in a previous post that I suspect the source of my bad personality traits will be found in my good ones. For example, I'm accustomed to leadership and have been in leadership roles for decades; I am good at canvassing for facts and, if necessary, making swift decisions. I have been told that people want me at their side during tough times (I have no military experience, by the way). But this leads to a curtness that I'm certain is one thing that my XW got torn up about. For example, she once came to me (years ago) and told me that we could shave ~$50/month in expenses by deleting a few things on the cable bill (a second land line and some sports channels) and by using smaller trash containers. I was busy and distracted and probably had finished a very stressful day, and was very dismissive of this suggestion; I was also making fantastic money. I recall she was very hurt by my reply "honey we don't need to save the money and once in awhile I like those channels"; I recall her walking away with hurt in her eyes. I didn't mean to be cruel or curt; I adored her, I worshiped her character and spirit! But in retrospect, I expect that wound never healed. We certainly never worked it out or discussed it. I never forgot that moment, but I expect there were other times where she tallied more and more hurts like that.

Yes, I hang my head in shame for what I did. Sigh. Some of you might recall a previous comment of mine where I quoted her saying she felt like a piece of furniture. Well, this would be exhibit A for that sentiment.

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Happy New Year everyone!

To all my DB friends, it's now time to announce that, yes, I am seeing someone. Based on prior comments I expect to get a lot of, shall we say, "challenging" feedback for this situation. But it's important to divulge this now because I have been working on my 180s, and fixing myself, together with this lovely lady and I can't leave her out of the dialogue anymore.

It's been going on for a number of months (recall that BD was Sept 2019, 15 months ago). She is a former girlfriend, from over 30 years ago; we were both totally smitten with each other back then. But we were young, and although we had a great time together, we were typical of any couple in their mid-20s -- worked hard, played hard, and broke up twice. Then I met the sweet girl next door who, over a year later, became my wife (and future WAW). We'll call my girlfriend, for the purposes of this forum, Sally.

Earlier this year, trying to pick up the pieces, I looked up Sally and found out that she too had recently become single, her husband of 30 years having passed on from cancer. It was pretty mind-blowing; we had both become single again at the same time! I arranged a dinner, we spent 3 hours awkwardly catching up, and then literally fell into each other's arms. Everything was so familiar.

So I am in a significant, serious relationship now. With someone who already knew me well, someone who says quite frequently, Tom you haven't changed! We didn't have a startup phase to the resumption of our relationship this year. We plunged in. And I'm loving it. I am made for relationship with a woman.

I'll leave the story at this point for now. Happy to reply to anything all my friends here want to say. Also happy to explore all the important issues, such as "am I ready for a relationship, have I fixed myself yet?" and to tell you all how I'm working through my 180s together with Sally.

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Hi Tom,

Happy New Year. Quick question, if your STBXW came back to you tomorrow and apologised for the hurt she caused you, for abandoning you and recognised all your changes and wanted to give it a second chance, what would you do?


Me: 39 W:41
T: 14 M: 11
S: 5

BD & OM Jun 2020
W moves out Aug 2020

"What happened happened, and couldn't have happened any other way...because it didn't"
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