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Emotional space, not physical space.

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Scott, turn the mediation sessions into a chance to show how great you are doing. Stay upbeat and positive. It sounds like from your earlier update that you have a pretty good mediator. Go in and be the best version of yourself. If you go in defeated and anxious, she will sense that and use it to her advantage. Stay upbeat, fulfilled, give off an air of happy and fulfilled.

I would suggest sitting apart from her at the kid's sporting events. Doesn't have to be obvious. Get there early and get a seat. More than likely she'll choose to sit apart. Or get their just on time, and grab the first spot you can find. If you go in looking for her, stop doing that. Pretend like she isn't even there. You are there for you kids, not for her.


M(52), W(53),D(17)
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Scotty B

Everyone who goes through one of these situations and recovers their lives, either with or without their WAS, is a success story.

The blessing for all of us is that the pain and stress provide motivation for real change.

Its a rare opportunity in life to find motivation really evaluate who you are and who you want to be.

From my perspective, someone who saves their marriage but goes back to their old habits and resolves themselves to a life of unhappiness is not a success story.

Someone who ends up with a divorce but moves on to healthier and happier relationships has succeeded.

One trap we LBS's can fall into is that there is

(1) the person we wish our spouse to be, and

(2) the person our spouse really is.

It's great to love (2), it can be dangerous to ourselves to love (1), because that person is not real.

Your W may be miserable and have lots of adversity in her life, but it is not your job to save her, nor do you have the power to do so.

Just as you are working on healing yourself, your W needs to do the work.

Your job is to create an amazing life for yourself that anyone would want to be a part of. At that point, W will be lucky if you let her come along for the journey.

If you want her (or anyone else) to feel safe in this regard, then you need to have a wonderful life on your own. If you have provided for your own emotional needs and are living a life that makes you happy, then you don't need to hang anything over her head, because you really don't need her for anything.

She's in your life because you want her to be, not because you need her to be. You're her partner, not her dependent.

The nice thing about that scenario is that she knows if she doesn't hold up her end of the bargain as your partner, that you don't need her and are able to leave her behind while maintaining your wonderful life.

What kind of behavior do you think that will motivate?

Your STBXW is walking down the street at night and stops between two houses. From one house comes the sound of crying, wailing, and breaking glass. The other house seems to have a party going on and she can hear music and laughter and sounds of friendship. Which house does she want to enter?

If your life is full of warmth, laughter and friendship she won't be able to stay away, and even if he does you won't miss her.

When you pursue someone, their response is to run. The more you pursue, the more they run. Think of it this way, pretend W wants 4 feet of space between the two of you. You move in a foot to three feet and it makes her uncomfortable, so she moves another foot away.

Do that for long enough and she will want 5 feet between you instead of 4, and then 6 instead of 5.

If, on the other hand, you go the other direction and give her 8 feet instead of the 4 feet she wants, then you make it "safe" for her to move 4 feet back toward you without feeling uncomfortable.

If you allow her to maintain her 4 feet and she gets comfortable, she may only need 3 feet, etc.

That's the point about pursuing and temp checking and why it makes everyone's situation worse.


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“Don'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.”- Will Smith
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Ginger1 - Emotional Space - that makes sense. I guess I feel dense in that I didn't understand that but thanks for pointing it out.

Steve85 - Sounds like a plan. I'll be as upbeat as possible in those sessions.

LH - I constantly think of a book written by Shel Silverstein, The Missing Piece and The Big O. It basically outlines exactly what you're talking about. I read it to my daughter sometimes before she goes to sleep. When I think about our relationship it had some bad dynamics; I know I wasn't living my best life because I lived in fear of upsetting her. I think the term is definitely co-dependent or dependent. I still can't make sense of it.

I do need to find myself and learn to be alone and learn to feel fulfilled on my own. That will be a journey. And the midst of it I am broken hearted.

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I feel like my subconscious has turned against me. Everyone night when I sleep I have dreams about her. Last night I had two or three. When I woke up after the second one I wrote the first two down so I could remember them. It feels like if I distract myself enough during the day to get away from it, I still have to deal with it in my sleep. It really [censored].

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Tonight a buddy of mine invited me to his men's group. And then the Friday through Sunday I'm going on a retreat; Monday I get the kids back and I will have successfully weathered this five day storm without them.

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I do feel blessed to have kept the house. It may have some memories in it, but it also just feels like home. The house she bought, which was more expensive, is about half the size but in a better location. I can't imagine how much worse I would feel if I didn't have my home.

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Originally Posted by ScottB
I feel like my subconscious has turned against me. Everyone night when I sleep I have dreams about her. Last night I had two or three. When I woke up after the second one I wrote the first two down so I could remember them. It feels like if I distract myself enough during the day to get away from it, I still have to deal with it in my sleep. It really [censored].

Scotty B you have to feel the pain and lean into it not distract yourself from it. Just like the saying "you have to feel it to heal it"

Originally Posted by ScottB
I do feel blessed to have kept the house. It may have some memories in it, but it also just feels like home. The house she bought, which was more expensive, is about half the size but in a better location. I can't imagine how much worse I would feel if I didn't have my home.

Lol. No job but buys a more expensive house. She's something else. Yes I kept the family home and it was the best move I made. The kids feel more at home with me.

I am really kind of shocked that from all you went through you are not feeling some relief about her being gone. You will at some point. It takes time.


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Originally Posted by ScottB

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Tonight a buddy of mine invited me to his men's group. And then the Friday through Sunday I'm going on a retreat; Monday I get the kids back and I will have successfully weathered this five day storm without them.

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THIS. IS. AWESOME!!

Exactly what GAL is about, the right way! Well done.


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Steve85 - I got another thing getting ready to happen that I am freaking really fired up about. I just ran into him in the hall; My friend rides back country / off road motorcycles and we are working to plan a trip to a private BMW riding school so I can learn to ride, he's going to go with me. Then I'm planning to join a group of him and his friends on a trip across Alaska in August.

If I can go through this BMW motorcycle school I think there is a high likelihood I buy one afterwards (used). I'm told they are like $10-15k for what I would need. That gets me pretty fired up. I just need to get it scheduled.

And LH - I know you work out a lot. I did 6 one arm pullups yesterday. I was pretty fired up about that; four on the right and 2 on the left. I hadn't done one since I was 40, which was the first time I had ever done that. That got me pretty fired up at my gym. So I have some fun stuff going on.

But family has always been my number 1 value. Nothing is more important to me than family, and in my mind family starts with the most important relationship, which is the marriage. This has been such a harsh shock to my life and value system, that even if I'm not as repressed, I'm not finding a lot of relief.

I was thinking about how much closer my son and I have gotten without her around because all the time I used to devote to her basically is going to the kids when they are around. My daughter goes to bed about an hour before my son, so him and I are getting a lot of one on one time together which we never got before.

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Originally Posted by ScottB
And LH - I know you work out a lot. I did 6 one arm pullups yesterday. I was pretty fired up about that; four on the right and 2 on the left. I hadn't done one since I was 40, which was the first time I had ever done that. That got me pretty fired up at my gym. So I have some fun stuff going on.

Very impressive Scotty B!

Originally Posted by ScottB
But family has always been my number 1 value. Nothing is more important to me than family, and in my mind family starts with the most important relationship, which is the marriage. This has been such a harsh shock to my life and value system, that even if I'm not as repressed, I'm not finding a lot of relief.

I am not sure if you are familiar with Tony Robbins work but he talks about why people get depressed. It because their story doesn't match their blueprint. Your blue print is to be happy you need a few full family including a wife. That is why you tolerated her unacceptable behavior for so long. Also your fear of your family breaking up caused you to do things to actually make that happen. (I am not saying it was your fault or you did it intentionally). So now your story doesn't match your blueprint so you are depressed. You can't change your story because your W is not an active participant in your story so that actually makes it a dream or a fairytale. So since you can't change your story you need to change your blue which includes a family of 3 for now.

Originally Posted by ScottB
I was thinking about how much closer my son and I have gotten without her around because all the time I used to devote to her basically is going to the kids when they are around. My daughter goes to bed about an hour before my son, so him and I are getting a lot of one on one time together which we never got before.

Yep this is one of the many great things about D. Your mood sets the tone for the house. If you are happy and fun they will be happy and fun. You will become closer then you have ever been.

Last edited by LH19; 01/07/21 03:42 PM.

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Scott, love the riding idea! And happy that you're fired up about it.


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As far as the kids, do they have any pets? I've always felt that the LBS should consider getting the kids a pet post D. Kind of takes the focus off of the split.


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