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A Message from Michele
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^^^^ I agree. I imagine your wife just stopped talking because anything you dont agree with is shot back with venom and being told the way someone perceives is wrong. I would certainly not want to engage in that. Its exhausting, hurtful, and you feel like you cant communicate any true feelings because your feelings and perceptions are automatically invalidated and ridiculed. I would absolutely shut down completely

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Originally Posted by Steve85

Everything else I stated stands. I agree, you're sensitive, but not just about words being attributed to you. It appears you are quite sensitive about anything other than attaboys. Remember, the posters here are trying to help. I found in my threads that it was better to ignore advice you don't like, rather than challenge everything you disagree with. Maybe insight into a bit of a dynamic that helped in your marriage ending and resulted in your STBXW not speaking to you? Maybe she doesn't want a scolding everytime she gets a minor detail incorrect? Something to consider.

Happy New Year Tom, may 2021 bring you peace and prosperity.

Thank you Steve. Happy new year to you too. I will do what you advise. I do not think all posters on my threads have my best interest at heart. Some of them lurk for weeks until they find a reason to criticize and leap into view . Scout, for instance. She could have asked whether I had shown empathy to Sally 30 years ago and this year, but instead she assumed I had not been empathetic so as to reinforce her perceptions of me and to feel good about lambasting me as a j-rk to everyone. These little brush fires are not started by me.

I accept your advice, I will ignore those who do not appear like theyre trying to be constructive.

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Tom, Ill be honest. I find your posting style very weird. You dole out incomplete pieces of a story, bait people into commenting, then lambast them for offering perspective based on incomplete information. You also hint at other things happening that would give a clearer picture, but force people to ask rather than just being open and sharing it all. Why is that? The attitude I get from you is that we have to prove that were worthy of reading your story and participating in this thread. It comes off extremely entitled.

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I tried to be as empathetic as possible. I first wrote her a short note, handwritten on an embossed card, that said it appears we had both undergone significant life transitions recently (I saw the obit for her husband) and would she be interested in reconnecting? I ended the note saying, if she found this letter to be unwelcome, just let me know by email or USPS and I would not reach out again.


I think this demonstrates again that you dont fully understand empathy. Going purely off the information you shared in that paragraph, your actions just seem self-serving. I dont actually see any empathy here. Empathy would have been sending the card with the sole purpose of offering sincere condolences for her loss, NOT talking about yourself with the goal of rekindling your romantic connection. Ill give you the benefit of the doubt and assume you did address her husbands passing and just didnt mention it here, because itd be pretty damn cold if you didnt. Maybe you sent flowers along with the card too, since youre such a kind person? Id be interested if you were willing to clarify?


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Originally Posted by scout12
Tom, Ill be honest. I find your posting style very weird. You dole out incomplete pieces of a story, bait people into commenting, then lambast them for offering perspective based on incomplete information. You also hint at other things happening that would give a clearer picture, but force people to ask rather than just being open and sharing it all. Why is that? The attitude I get from you is that we have to prove that were worthy of reading your story and participating in this thread. It comes off extremely entitled.

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I tried to be as empathetic as possible. I first wrote her a short note, handwritten on an embossed card, that said it appears we had both undergone significant life transitions recently (I saw the obit for her husband) and would she be interested in reconnecting? I ended the note saying, if she found this letter to be unwelcome, just let me know by email or USPS and I would not reach out again.


I think this demonstrates again that you dont fully understand empathy. Going purely off the information you shared in that paragraph, your actions just seem self-serving. I dont actually see any empathy here. Empathy would have been sending the card with the sole purpose of offering sincere condolences for her loss, NOT talking about yourself with the goal of rekindling your romantic connection. Ill give you the benefit of the doubt and assume you did address her husbands passing and just didnt mention it here, because itd be pretty damn cold if you didnt. Maybe you sent flowers along with the card too, since youre such a kind person? Id be interested if you were willing to clarify?

OK, Scout, I'll continue this. I was reluctant to but I will.

I noted early on that most people do not respond to long posts. So while I don't write teaser posts per se, i have assumed that if questions arise from a 3-para post people will ask for clarification. As it is, I still write lots of long posts, but if I told full stories the would be much longer and no one would read them. I don't call that wierd, by the way. I'm just trying to understand what works.

The initial outreach to Sally was a short notecard. Brief. We hadn't spoken in 32 years, and I did offer my condolences, although it had been over a year since her husband died. We began our active communication via email the following week. It was mostly just chatty, about lives and vacations and careers and children. She apologized for my marriage having ended as well. We didn't really break the ice until our dinner a month after the written connection.

And you assumed that I asked to rekindle the romance in the first note. I did not. I just asked how she was, offered condolences for her husband having died the prior year, and wondered whether she would like to get together, and said it would be good to reconnect. Then my postscript that if the note was unwelcome, to let me know.

Perhaps Sally is the best judge of how things worked, by the way, and whether there was enough empathy and sincerity. She opened the note, saw my name embossed across the top, and immediately got both nervous and excited. We had both still had a candle burning for each other, even after all those years! To her it was the most thrilling note she had received in a long time. For the following month, we both admitted that we each awaited each new email with baited breath. It was a real reconnection of sundered hearts.

Now my commentary. I still think youre looking for reasons to criticize, Scout. I have to be honest here. Your words seeth disdain. If you can't see this, maybe you need to look inside your heart more carefully at your motives. Certainly the prior comment did. Or, maybe it is your practice to shoot from the hip, and anger people, with reflexive words. Either way, I found that earlier comment offensive. If such is to be your style it might be best if you bowed out from particpating in my threads.

[Written in a hurry, on an airplane and the doors are closing.]

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Originally Posted by tom_h



She knows I am on a divorce forum, by the way, but she does not know the URL. I felt that it would be healthier that way that she not see what I say here. But she knows all about GAL/180s/Detach. Also love languages. We talk about those regularly.

I welcome any other questions!



Does she know why you came to this forum and the nature of it?

Do you?

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Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Tom.

I was trying to determine the reason behind the note. Was it to acknowledge the pain she must have felt at losing her husband? Or was it to open the door to the possibility of a new relationship with you? The former is empathy, the latter is not.

Would you have contacted her if you hadnt seen the obituary and realised her husband had passed away? Theres a difference between My old friend is grieving, I wonder if shes doing alright and My old friend is single, I wonder if shes open to dating me.

Shes obviously okay with your approach, so congratulations on your newfound happiness. I, too, wonder what motivated you to start posting here if youd already started a new relationship and werent trying to save your marriage.


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Tom_I,
Wonder why I am posting, do you?
What do you want?
Wow, a GF before you came here.
What relationship do you want?
You are a complex person
Wish you the best.
dunnm

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Originally Posted by SamCal
Originally Posted by tom_h

She knows I am on a divorce forum, by the way, but she does not know the URL. I felt that it would be healthier that way that she not see what I say here. But she knows all about GAL/180s/Detach. Also love languages. We talk about those regularly.

I welcome any other questions!



Does she know why you came to this forum and the nature of it?

Do you?

Yes she does. Sally knows that I have a lot I am wrestling with about my failures. She and I have discussed my 180s, all seven of them. She actually has been talking about her own 180s as well, mostly because I have talked about the principles of detach/180s/GAL at length.

As for your last question, SamCal, I came to this forum because I still had an enormous hole in my heart and had a lot of healing to do. Still do, even with my romance with Sally. [She does too, by the way, after her husband passed on. We sometimes laugh and call ourselves the walking wounded couple. We examine our prior marriages all the time.] I stumbled on DB only because of Michelle's article on the WAW syndrome, which fit my ex to a T, that she wrote about 10 years ago. I found it on google. That same article talked about how the men whose wives leave them without warning are brought so low that they are ready to make any and all changes to become great second husbands. So Michelle's article, and DB, have given me great hope. Even my therapist is impressed with what I get off of DB!

My healing now comes from three quarters: DB, my therapist, and Sally. It's working. Sometimes it's two steps forward and one step back, but it's working.


Last edited by tom_l; 01/04/21 05:47 PM.
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Originally Posted by dunnm
Tom_I,
Wonder why I am posting, do you?
What do you want?
Wow, a GF before you came here.
What relationship do you want?
You are a complex person
Wish you the best.
dunnm

These are good questions. Yes, it might seem like things were happening backward. But I didn't discover DB until 11 months after BD, and I decided I had to move on long before that when my ex walked out in Sept 2019.

I came trying to understand why things fell apart and how I can improve myself. That need was there regardless of whether I had a GF or not, most definitely. As for your other comment -- complex, me? Yes, guilty as charged.

What relationship do I want? I do not want to remain single. I am made for connection and I do want to remarry. However, I have learned an enormous amount here on DB and am quite sobered by the statistics about the failure of second marriages; I am also very interested in WHY second marriages fail. I explore that weekly with my therapist and with others here on DB, especially Steve85. Even Sally and I have discussed this. A friend of hers just had a second marriage fail after one year and Sally and I have discussed this intensely. Personally, I would rather not remarry than remarry with a high risk of a second divorce.

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Originally Posted by scout12
Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Tom.

I was trying to determine the reason behind the note. Was it to acknowledge the pain she must have felt at losing her husband? Or was it to open the door to the possibility of a new relationship with you? The former is empathy, the latter is not.

Would you have contacted her if you hadnt seen the obituary and realised her husband had passed away? Theres a difference between My old friend is grieving, I wonder if shes doing alright and My old friend is single, I wonder if shes open to dating me.

Shes obviously okay with your approach, so congratulations on your newfound happiness. I, too, wonder what motivated you to start posting here if youd already started a new relationship and werent trying to save your marriage.

Scout, OK, since you are still interested I will go a bit deeper.

First, this has happened to me over the years. Beginning in my mid-30s, to as recently as 2018, maybe 3 or 4 old girlfriends reached out to inquire about me. All of the outreaches were quite innocent although I'm certain they weren't just interested in my health. They had become single themselves and were just wondering about my status. I can hardly blame them for trying. None of them were obnoxious or obsessed. Each found out I was happily married and never reached out again. I told my wife each time, showed her the letter or email.

I would never have reached out to Sally with that letter if she was still married. Never. Even if I was unhappy in my marriage, I would not have crossed that line.

My primary motive wasn't "I wish I wish that we can go back to what we had." I didn't know what she looked like, what her health might be like, how wounded she might be after 30 years of her own marriage. But I did have to know. Even if it meant a quick dinner date that ended without a hug or a "call back next time you're in town."

As for your final question, I started posting here because I still needed answers. I said a moment ago in a previous post how I found Michelle. Even if I am married 12 months from now, I still need some healing, some renewal, some positive changes in who I am. I'm pretty sure I said within my first few posts that I thought my marriage was hopeless. I'm guessing that as long as I am in therapy I will still be here on DB exploring things.

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