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Originally Posted by BluWave
After around 10 months he did a very fast turnaround. ... Now, I firmly believe you have to let them go before they come back.

I had conditions, but I accepted him back. He had to end things with OW and go 100% no contact. I needed proof and 100% transparency for all devices. Weekly MC. He would not move home until we were both ready. He also needed to continue to work on himself and accept responsibility for the damage he caused. He read the No More Mr Nice Guy book which fit him to a T! Even tho I was the person that wanted the M back more during the separation, I definitely have struggled more with understanding it and more so forgiveness. He has been consistent and patient in his commitment to our M and family in the last 5 years.

He has now been back in the M for over 5 years. It has been bumpy and messy. There have been times that I have seriously doubted if it could ever work in the long term and if I made the right choice. We did MC, we did our own IC, we attended Retrouvaille, we had the same conversations and tears. He has genuinely apologized and felt remorse a million times. I would say that my biggest obstacle has been myself and my feelings around his betrayal. It is not something I ever had thought I could understand and I don't know that I ever will. I do believe the man in front of me now is a good man, H and father. I think that is more important than our mistakes in the past. I have made mistakes too, I just haven't shared the details here. .... After BD, we often hang on to them so tight, but really, we are hanging on to the idea of them and what we had. When they return, the initial relief wears off quickly and the real person in front of us is tarnished.


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https://www.divorcebusting.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=2911599#Post2911599


Originally Posted by ovrrnbw
Whenever someone does this they are hoping to hurt you, to get a reaction out of you. It only works if you let it. I remember a good quote a DB'er gave me a couple years ago from Bruce Lee:

"You will continue to suffer if you have an emotion reaction to everything that is said to you. True power is sitting back and observing everything with logic. If words control you that means everyone else can control you. Breathe and allow things to pass."

You don't become a stoic overnight, so I don't expect you to not feel the pain. But you knew this was possible. Divorce doesn't bring out the best in people. Try to view the rest of this as a business transaction. You broke up with gf's before right? Treat her like that and move forward.


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https://www.divorcebusting.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=2911996#Post2911996


Originally Posted by LH19
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 she 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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Originally Posted by Steve85
Sorry you are going through this. Most of us can relate to what you are going through.

I see you are struggling with wrapping your head around the whys: Why is this happening? Why is he doing this? Why does it have to be so upsetting? Why does it have to cause so much turmoil?

That is one of the biggest struggles we all go through. But here is the thing, the reasons do not matter. Nor will they help you. I know this is hard to hear, it was for me as well. When my most recent situation happened I struggled with the whys too, and then I had someone point out one simplistic, yet so profound, answer. And that is that he is simply trying to be happy. Why he wasn't happy no one can tell you, but the fact that he is doing all of this is in an effort to be happy.

I love your last question: "How can I make it through this, my friends? What can I do?"

The first thing you can do is come to the understanding that you are going to be ok. When you are thick in the despair of your situation it is hard to think ahead to 3, 6 9 months from now, or even a year or two from now, and realize that you are going to be ok! And if you think about it, you have no other choice. We live in an imperfect world. We do not get to decide the choices others make. Your H is making these choices, and there is nothing you can do about that. It is very similar to if he were to pass away. You wouldn't be able to change the fact that he were gone, but you DO get to decide how to move forward! And there really is no other choice to make. Remaining stuck in one place for too long is never healthy. So whether he leaves you, or whether he were to pass away, you should mourn the loss for a period of time....then pick yourself up and move forward! Likely there are other people in your life that need you, and it wouldn't be fair to them to remain stuck in a prolonged period of paralysis.

Second, once you realize that you are going to be ok, that you need to be ok at some point, the question is: how do you get there? First you start by taking your focus off of him, and onto yourself. Easier said than done, isn't it? But this is really a key piece to moving forward. This is going to be a culture shock for both you and him. But once you start focusing on yourself (and we'll talk about how you do that in a minute), then that culture shock will help you get over the fact that your MR is ending, and get you to a place where you realize that it is going to be much better than you could imagine it being right now! And it also means that he may not like the fact that you are moving on without him and suddenly decide to change his mind. You do not do it for that reason, but it could have that result. It has happened, though it isn't a guarantee.

In order to move forward you start instituting DB principles. Do not start R talks. When he does listen and validate. Do not accept disrespect, if he starts to get disrespectful you calmly but firmly end the conversation. GAL! Start living a life that others find interesting! Be busy, reconnect with old friends (preferably same sex friends), pick up old hobbies you may have moved away from, and take up things you've always wanted to do! 180 on any bad behaviors you have. Get into IC to cement these changes. If you are overly critical, work on that. If you are a pushover, work on that. Whatever your weaknesses are, figure them out, and work to correct them. Become the best version of yourself you can be! And finally learn to be lovingly detached. Get to a place of evenness emotionally, where he doesn't have as much control over what you think and feel. This starts by learning and knowing your own worth! Don't let your worth be dictated by other people.

One other point, Look back at your MR pre-BD. Did he have problems? Were you as happy as you could have been? BD has a way of making us, the LBS, romanticize that our MR was perfect before BD, when it wasn't. I know I was miserable in my own MR leading up to BD. If I am truthful there were many times when I almost initiated my own BD to my W! Yet after BD, I was consumed with trying to save it. While you may not have been as unhappy as I was leading up to BD, can you look back truthfully to say your MR was all you wanted it to be? I ask this because while the WAS will rewrite history that the marriage was always bad (yours did that), we often see LBSs rewriting history about how wonderful their MR and their WAS was too. I see you call him "my normally amazing" husband. Is that accurate? (Not a questions necessarily to be answered, but for you to ponder.)


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https://www.divorcebusting.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=2913068#Post2913068

Originally Posted by ScottB
I use this message board to explore my thoughts and feelings to a degree. I continue to reflect on the marriage and I think my values are playing into this significantly. Family has always been my number one value and I've framed that around a long term marriage. No other value was even close to that of Family for me and the frame that I defined that through.

I don't miss my wife most of the time. Its not about her. The anxiety is about the unknown. The sadness is about a lifelong dream that has been lost. I'm mourning that dream and its hard to let go of.

Its about the dream, not about my wife. She just happens to be in the dream and the subject of it.
Originally Posted by LH19
It's hard to accept that what you viewed as the dream your W viewed as a nightmare. You are starting to see things clearly Scotty B. It was never about your W, she's just a mythical character in your dream. Time to change what your dream life looks like. Hopefully it includes laughter, joy and people who want to be apart of your new amazing life.
Originally Posted by DonH
Itís much easier for those of us with BD and D at or near double digit years in the rear view mirror to look at it this way. But we only got here by first facing and then grieving what we lost. Itís normal to feel like you do Scott. You thought you had your dream life. Itís crushing to learn otherwise and takes time to get through. In some ways it will effect you for the rest of your life. I know it has me. Thatís not bad, there is positive effect too. It changes who we are - again, sometimes for the good. But it does all get better as evidence by how LH and I can look back at and talk about it all so matter of fact and casually as we do now.



Last edited by Ready2Change; 01/20/21 06:57 PM.

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Originally Posted by LH19
You basically need to withdraw support -- emotional support and financial support to the degree possible. If she makes a mess, she needs to clean it up. You do not step in and enable her in any way.

You go out and "get a life" and you don't feel *any* responsibility to explain or justify what you're doing, you just do it.

Very important: You are not mean, punishing, or passive aggressive. You don't make nasty comments. You don't go out of your way to inconvenience her, you simply act as if you are completely uninterested and unaffected by her.

Itís a huge comfort to know that she has you to fall back on if things go badly for her. You need to pull that safety net away entirely.

She needs to fully believe that you will not be there for her if she chooses to return, and that if she wants to come back she's going to have to work for it.

You can't tell her that, she'll never believe it. You have to show her that beyond a doubt with your actions.

At the same time, you have to build a life for yourself that anyone would want to be a part of, full of fun activities, outside interests, and engaging friends. If you can do both of those things -- completely emotionally uncouple from her (fake it until you make it) and build an amazing life for yourself, she'll clamor to come back and if she doesn't you won't care. That's your only winning path out of where you are, but getting there is going to be uncomfortable, and more painful than you feel today, because it will go against your white knight nature.

You cannot placate her, you cannot "prove your love" through acts of giving and support.

You also cannot push her away by withdrawing support.

She has chosen her course of action, and as of right now, nothing you do will impact it.

Your shortest path back together is to go the opposite direction.


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Originally Posted by may22
My advice? Figure out what is most important to you long term and then make every decision with that goal in mind. Who cares if she thinks she can still control you? If she thinks she's in the driver's seat, you are more likely to get what you want. If you fan the flames right now and do anything that could give her ammunition in the coming divorce, I would question whether or not you're just acting on emotion and short-term pleasure.


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Originally Posted by Gekko
My D is oh so close to being finalized, I am just waiting on W's lawyer to send over some paperwork. If it looks acceptable, it will go to the judge and that will be all she wrote! Just as a brief recap, I have 50/50 custody, zero child support or alimony, and we are both keeping our own bank accounts and retirement accounts. My W's parents helped her buy me out of the house and I got a nice chunk of money that will be a down payment on my next purchase. I'm currently renting a house in the same town in a neighborhood that is zoned for my kids' school and they have friends in the 'hood which is amazing. It is also a very social neighborhood with parents (even with Covid ) so it's alot of fun.

Relations with the STBX are all business and 95% via text. There have been a few blips of drama due to her hotheaded nature, and I simply will not interact with her at those times, same as when we were together. "We'll have to talk about that later." Then silence. I have always believed that one of the most powerful tools is to refuse to engage with a person who is emotional, agitated and spinning. Even waiting just 1/2 hour to deal with the issue is massively beneficial to permit the hothead to cool off. It also allows you to avoid getting sucked into their whirling tornado. The truest manifestation of strength is control over one's emotions.

As for my routine, like BL42 it involves handling virtually all domestic tasks while the kids are at W's - laundry, cleaning, shopping, etc etc, including cooking - I cook multiple complete meals the day before i get the kids so i am not even bogged down with that when they are here. I have found that I need 2 nights to get everything done. It's a multi-tasking scenario and i will often listen to podcasts while i'm doing tasks, or have the music going. I enjoy those nights. So i then have either 1 or 2 nights free every week depending on the schedule. I make use of almost every free evening by being social in some way.

I tend to work longer days when I don't have the kids so I can call it quits a little early when I do have them.
We have a different fun project that we work on every week so they have that to look forward to when they arrive. We have family game sessions, movie nights, family band sessions and a bunch of other routines. Outside of that, I have a four day a week workout routine and have specific chunks of time set aside to work on photo projects, researching purchases, reviewing investments, speaking with family, etc etc. There is alot to pack in but there is time. I think it was Bruce Lee that said people who value life do not waste time, because time is what life is made of.


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Originally Posted by may22
So the first step that worked for me, at least in this situation was... stop. Don't say ANYTHING. Just listen. Even if I was fuming inside and dying to say something back, I zipped my lip. That both prevented me from going to my usual reaction but also forced him to respond differently. And, for the most part (yesterday being an exception) he's become much better about this kind of thing-- says it nicely, like hey, looks like the dishwasher isn't doing a good job, I found this spoon. (I'm just using the spoon as an example-- it isn't always the dishwasher, it could be just about anything in this category.)

Then I noticed.. I had that same response NO MATTER HOW he said it to me. Because he started saying it more nicely and I *still* felt guilty and defensive. That helped me realize that this was my issue, more than his.

Taking that beat has really helped me in a lot of ways better interpret what my H is actually saying or doing from an intellectual space, without going immediately to the ingrained emotional response. Alison helped me with this a lot too, seeing where my own behaviors were actually aimed at getting some response out of H and it was a form of trying to maintain control.

Sometimes that beat is enough. Sometimes it needs to be three deep breaths. Sometimes I say, I can't really do this right now, I'm sorry, can we pick it up in a minute? And take the time I need to think through what is going on, what I'm really hearing from him and what blanks I'm filling in from my own experience and emotional response.

This has helped me in my interaction with my mom, too, quite a bit. She can say some nutty things and my immediate usual response is to get frustrated with her, and I know she thinks I jump all over her for taking the smallest misstep. Now I take that same beat with her and try to separate out what I'm hearing vs what me just reacting to her or the context.

Naming your own emotional response in the moment helps too. Rather than just feeling defensive and that huge spurt of adrenaline fueling your response, being able to say wow, I feel defensive right now, helped me at least to calm down. And if you get to the point where you can also name that to your H-- I'm sorry, I'm feeling kind of defensive right now-- that also can help him understand what is going on for you in that moment.

Once you can take that beat and control your initial emotional response, then another step you can take is to listen carefully to what it is that your H is saying. What is he really trying to communicate to you? A lot of times it isn't in the words he's using-- those are often the same old retreads as well. Be curious. Ask deepening questions. (Another very, very serendipitous thing that happened for me at the same time as this whole crisis was that I had the opportunity to participate in this incredible 18 month leadership fellowship, a lot of which was about learning how to be a better listener/communicator, and I had an executive coach also who helped me with a lot of this in a work context.) See where he's coming from. I think a lot of times it can defuse your own emotional response to understand where he's really coming from, because it is often not about you (something you can be defensive about) but rather how he feels, which you can probably empathize with.

Later, spend some time parsing through what happened. How did you feel? What did you say? What might you have said instead? What is really at the heart of your regular emotional response? If you were a fly on the wall and observing another couple having the same conversation, what would you think?

Anyway, just some thoughts that helped me.


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Originally Posted by ScottyB
And I'll ask a question I would assume to know that answer to, because I've learned not to assume -- How do I deal with the feeling of the loss of control?
Originally Posted by may22

You have to accept it as reality. The feeling of control you had before was an illusion. You control you. Focus on that which is within your control, and let go of that which is not.

This was the hardest thing for me to accept. And releasing control is an ongoing practice for me (at least for now), not a state I reached and never looked back. One thing that really helped me that I learned about here is the Daily Stoic videos-- the one that really spoke to me for whatever reason is the one he did for pro sports athletes called "you control how you play"-- somehow that really helped me to understand. You don't control the weather, or your teammates, or the fans, or what they say about you on Twitter. You control how you play the game. That's it.

In the LBS sitch, you don't control your S. The decision to be M or stay M is not something you can make happen on your own. Both parties have to want it. Another quote I found and liked was you can't clap with one hand. Whatever you can grab onto that helps you to let go of the illusion of control over your S and M and focus on that which is within your control, the better you'll do... because you'll see you ARE in control. Of yourself. And you have your whole life in front of you, to take and live, and grab happiness with both hands. You can't do that if you're fretting about things that you can't control. It is what it is.

And if the distance you've gained so far is helping you to see that your R with your spouse was toxic... then onward, man. You know what to do. This is a journey and a practice, and it will get easier and easier. The more you focus on things within your control, the more control you'll feel-- because you ARE taking control of your own life and not letting yourself get dragged around by someone else's crisis.


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