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Previous Threads:
WAW w/Exit Affair or WW? - Don't Want Divorce (1)
WAW w/Exit Affair or WW? - Don't Want Divorce (2)
WAW w/Exit Affair or WW? - Don't Want Divorce (3)

Originally Posted by CWarrior
BL42, personal preference, but the Surviving the Big D group are all focused on a future without their X. If you still hope to R and are trying to maximize those chances I’d probably stay here. If you’re only going to update every 3 months or so I’d stay here where more people know you. Otherwise, join the dark side!. wink

Staying in "For Newcomers" for another thread. Not hoping for an R at this point - W has been living with OM2 for 9-10 months so even if she did a dramatic 180 and changed her mind don't think I stomach taking her back at this point - that said, the D is fresh so who knows what I may encounter in the next 6 months. I'll stick with the folks here who are most familiar with my sitch.

Summary:
My Ex & I were together 9 years, married 7, with two young children (then S4/D1, now S6/D2). 17 months ago we had a nice family vacation in Disney. Two weeks later she says we need a break and I find out within a day she's in a EA with a married co-worker and confirm PA not long after. I spend months pursuing, chasing, begging, snooping...etc., during IHS caring for the children as she has to "go into work early" and "stay late" and putting the kids to bed by myself, playing nice family, all while I know very well exactly what she's up to. Finally get her into marriage counseling where she complains about me in the 1st session, admits the affair in the 2nd, and says she wants a divorce in the 3rd. Affair w/OM1 blows up when his W and HR/administration at their work finds out.

Instead of coming back to the marriage and working things out she starts dating OM2, moves out and files for divorce. I had been reading other resources but find Divorce Busting last Summer and stop all pursuit, and limit engagement with her to kids and divorce process via email. Ex-W has been dating OM2 for roughly a year (before we separated) and living with him for 10 months (we've been divorced less than a month). He essentially moved in with my children the month after (or maybe same month) she moves out, which I hated for my kids sake, but consulted multiple attorneys who all say there's nothing I can do about it - the law and courts don't care. D is finalized last month. I win big on finances as she and her L aren't on the ball. I have 50/50 with the kids on paper, but in practice much much more.

I was severely depressed the first 6 months, started turning that around last Summer after IHS with an affair in my face ended and also when I could start hanging with friends again. Did IC initially, but stopped when my counselor kept saying I was doing everything right and wasn't sure how much more she could help. I improved over the next 6 months and am even better in the last 6 months as we approach a year and a half. I did have a breakdown or two when reviewing the divorce settlement and when it was finalized, and I'm having points of anger boil up at times which I need to continue processing and dealing with, but overall much better. I'm back on track at work, volunteered to coach S6's sports teams this year, joined an adult sports league, reading/watching tons of divorce and self-improvement books/videos, joined a religious-based D support group. Mostly dedicating my time to the kids, but also getting out for food & drinks, golf...etc. with friends on my very limited "off-time". I avoided dating completely while still married, which I'm proud of - think it was the right thing to do morally, and also best for my kids.

Reflecting on my Ex-W's past, there were warning signs I didn't appreciate. Both her parents were married 3 times, found out as a teen her mom was having an affair and divorced her dad and has issues around that, she was in IC and on ADs since she was a teen, has cut multiple very close friends and family out of her life, and always seems to be your "bestie"...until she's not.

Reflecting on my MR, there were warning signs of SSM not long into the marriage and perhaps even before which I should've taken more seriously . I had definitely built up some frustration and resentment over that. There were times I probably was too critical and times I could've been more empathic and caring. However, overall I was a pretty decent husband and an excellent father. I'm willing to accept my shortcomings and improve them, but honestly feel the divorce is much more to do about her than me.

So here I am...never wanted divorce or my family to break apart apart Ex-W choose that path and I've learned it's beyond my control. I'm doing much much better overall.

The only real update since my last post is Ex-W dropped off S6 & D2 to me - despite it being her time with the them - to go on vacation to the Caribbean (assuming w/OM2). She's done that a few times now. I feel bad for the kids they're not W's priority, but also happy for the time with them.


Me:39 Ex-W:36
M:7 T: 9
S:6 D:2
BD/IHS/Confirm EA/PA: Feb '20
OM1 affair ends: May '20
W/OM2 & moves out: June-July '20
W files for D: Jul20
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Hope all the dads on the forum had a wonderful Father's Day. I did. Took S6 & D2 to the zoo, mini-golf, and swimming at the pool. Nothing fancy but we had fun.

Ex-W is out of the country on a tropical vacation with OM2. Dropped them off over her time with them, so I've had the kids longer than usual. I'm happy for the time, but unfortunately D2 cried quite a bit a few nights saying "miss mommy" and "why mommy go away" and S6 teared up once or twice as well. She did reach out once over the week to video chat with them, but when she hung up D2 started crying again, so that's been tough to deal with. I try to validate, console the kids, and provide them hugs and comfort.

Took the kids on a long weekend trip to visit my sister's family. S6 & D2 have a younger cousin they love. We've been "camping" in a tent we pitched in the backyard, campfire with smores, state park for hike and lake swimming, zoo tomorrow...etc. My B-I-L is amazing and even designed custom printed t-shirts for everyone. That's been a blast and we're making memories with my family.


Me:39 Ex-W:36
M:7 T: 9
S:6 D:2
BD/IHS/Confirm EA/PA: Feb '20
OM1 affair ends: May '20
W/OM2 & moves out: June-July '20
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BL42, I had an S2 when I divorced. I feel you. It's a really difficult age to explain what's happening.

Originally Posted by BL42
My B-I-L is amazing and even designed custom printed t-shirts for everyone. That's been a blast and we're making memories with my family.

Sounds amazing, BL42! Glad you had that support and this moment with your kids. (:



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Originally Posted by BL42
So here I am...never wanted divorce or my family to break apart apart Ex-W choose that path and I've learned it's beyond my control. I'm doing much much better overall.


Awesome stuff BL, learning what is and isn't within your control is such a difficult thing and was one of my biggest 180s.

Originally Posted by BL42
The only real update since my last post is Ex-W dropped off S6 & D2 to me - despite it being her time with the them - to go on vacation to the Caribbean (assuming w/OM2). She's done that a few times now. I feel bad for the kids they're not W's priority, but also happy for the time with them.


How did you feel about this? Are you in the place where the vacay doesn't bother you because you're just cheering to have more time with the kids?


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

BD & OM Jun 2020
W moves out Aug 2020

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Originally Posted by CWarrior
BL42, I had an S2 when I divorced. I feel you. It's a really difficult age to explain what's happening.

CWarrior - How old is your son now, and how is he doing with everything? Any advice on helping the kids work through it?

Originally Posted by OnlyBent
How did you feel about this? Are you in the place where the vacay doesn't bother you because you're just cheering to have more time with the kids?

OnlyBent - I think I'm being honest when I say the vacation didn't bother me from an ex-husband perspective, but rather much more from the perspective of a father. I'm ahead of the kids in that I knew what might be coming 6 months before they did, plus I'm an adult and understand it better, so I've processed the situation and my emotions a good bit (though I certainly have more work to do). However, it's difficult to be left behind to deal with their emotions around it. I comfort, hug, validate S6 and D2 as best I can, but my heart breaks a bit when they're crying because they miss mommy. It's a regular reminder of the situation. I am certainly glad I have more time to spend with them, but also have to deal with the fall out, and feel sad for the kids. I suppose it'll improve over time, but wish for their sake it didn't have to.


Me:39 Ex-W:36
M:7 T: 9
S:6 D:2
BD/IHS/Confirm EA/PA: Feb '20
OM1 affair ends: May '20
W/OM2 & moves out: June-July '20
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Originally Posted by BL42
CWarrior - How old is your son now, and how is he doing with everything? Any advice on helping the kids work through it?

He's doing great--all he knows is two parents, two homes, two sets of holidays. Kids forget nearly everything before 3-4 years old. He'll only "remember" if you keep a photo album around of early days.

Young kids have short memories. If you can distract them, they may forget about the other parent for awhile. Five years later you may still have trauma from it, but they won't remember what transpired.



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Reflecting on my own situation in light of the Netflix (Sex/Lives) an Inside to the mind of a WW thread...

Originally Posted by OnlyBent
One thing that struck out at me when the backstory of her and the ex-BF was playing out was her saying that the first night she was with him she had a "vision of who she could be" with him. This is a person that couldn't make herself happy, but relied on someone else.

Originally Posted by OnlyBent
Originally Posted by Ginger1
No, no, no. I think the bigger part of this series and I just began watching it is, not dating before you are over your ex!

She was in some crazy passionate relationship with this dude who broke her heart and met her husband a month later, never dealing with her crap. And he re entered the picture.

So the moral of the story is get healthy before dating

Bingo Ginger! This woman was always looking for someone to make her happy rather than happiness from within herself.

This is actually one of my major take-aways from this board and other resources over the last year and a half, and I now have a much better understanding of the concept. Happiness has to come from within; other people can not be responsible for our happiness. Just like a shiny new thing, the validation and excitement a new relationship brings fades after awhile and you revert back to your previous level of happiness if you don't address yourself internally.

Reflecting back on my past I have been guilty at times when I was single of missing being in a relationship / having a significant other and therefore focusing more on pursuing new woman / relationships as opposed to focusing on working on myself and pursing my own interests, which would then attract others and compliment my life instead of supplanting it. Now, after a year + of my sitch I'm understanding much better than I do enjoy life (mostly spending time with the kids, but also my career, friends, sports...etc.) on my own.

As time passes since BD (talking at least 6 months to a year in) I started to revert back to my fairly confident, happy, content person whereas I'm now recognizing my Ex-W had significant self-esteem issues / un-happiness with herself stemming all the way back from her teenage years related to the fall out of her mom having an affair / divorcing her dad. She was in therapy and on ADs dating back two decades. I greatly underestimated its significance and impact on our relationship. Ex-W told me not long after BD she "was at a 0" and "needed to be alone and work on herself". She was absolutely right about that (though I believe she misdirected that anger/unhappiness at me), but instead of working on herself she was pursuing the affair w/OM1 and quickly jumped over to OM2 when OM1 didn't work out, instead trying to band-aid on her unhappiness. Ironically, I'm the one who avoided dating / relationships to focus on myself (and the kids of course) pursing IC, support groups forums, self-reflection and self-improvement...etc.

Looking back all the way to when we met Ex-W had just moved out from living with her boyfriend of many years when we met, yet within the first months quickly broached topics with me such as love, meeting the families, moving in together...so maybe I was her band-aid from the start after all.


Me:39 Ex-W:36
M:7 T: 9
S:6 D:2
BD/IHS/Confirm EA/PA: Feb '20
OM1 affair ends: May '20
W/OM2 & moves out: June-July '20
W files for D: Jul20
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Originally Posted by CWarrior
Originally Posted by BL42
CWarrior - How old is your son now, and how is he doing with everything? Any advice on helping the kids work through it?

He's doing great--all he knows is two parents, two homes, two sets of holidays. Kids forget nearly everything before 3-4 years old. He'll only "remember" if you keep a photo album around of early days.

Young kids have short memories. If you can distract them, they may forget about the other parent for awhile. Five years later you may still have trauma from it, but they won't remember what transpired.


I can second this. My daughters were a little older (8 and 12) at the time of the divorce. They are doing well. I'm sure there are some things brewing under the surface, but kids are resilient. If both parties are amicable to each other and focused on the kids (which both my XW and I are when we have them), I think the kids will be fine. They are used to their new normal.

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Originally Posted by harvey
Originally Posted by CWarrior
Originally Posted by BL42
CWarrior - How old is your son now, and how is he doing with everything? Any advice on helping the kids work through it?

He's doing great--all he knows is two parents, two homes, two sets of holidays. Kids forget nearly everything before 3-4 years old. He'll only "remember" if you keep a photo album around of early days.

Young kids have short memories. If you can distract them, they may forget about the other parent for awhile. Five years later you may still have trauma from it, but they won't remember what transpired.


I can second this. My daughters were a little older (8 and 12) at the time of the divorce. They are doing well. I'm sure there are some things brewing under the surface, but kids are resilient. If both parties are amicable to each other and focused on the kids (which both my XW and I are when we have them), I think the kids will be fine. They are used to their new normal.

While MWD addresses the kids are resilient thing I don't disagree with her, if parents are putting the kids first it should be mostly fine. I compare it to a kid falling down - if the parents reacts negatively the kid starts bawling. If the parent is stoic, the kid goes back to playing.


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Ill be honest kids being ok or not ok is just a matter of opinion, not all kids are resilient and some will be affected more than others, regardless of how much positive focus you put on them through this difficult time. Of course my kids are ok for most part, but the fact that they are from a broken family affects them particularly as everyone we know has mum and dad together. Its during those quiet times right before bed time, when the emotions often come out. S5 wants us to be a family, H collected the kids today unplanned, and had to return because S5 changed his mind and was really upset and wanted me. S7 often talks about the fact that he will wait for a long time to see if H comes home to us. Of course my kids are happy, they play with friends, have fun at school, have playdates, but ultimately they remember how it was for us as a family and want that back.

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Originally Posted by BL42
Looking back all the way to when we met Ex-W had just moved out from living with her boyfriend of many years when we met, yet within the first months quickly broached topics with me such as love, meeting the families, moving in together...so maybe I was her band-aid from the start after all.


Its a good point BL, and one that made me think back to when my STBXW and I met. Strangely, I haven't reflected on this until now. She was less than a year out of a 6 year relationship where the ex-BF lied and cheated on her the whole time, and I was maybe 6 months out of a 4 year relationship where I hadn't given my all. Despite being so soon out of Rs, and admittedly neither of us having been single adults for very long, we were basically living together after a month or so and engaged within 6 months.


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

BD & OM Jun 2020
W moves out Aug 2020

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Originally Posted by Gigi123
Ill be honest kids being ok or not ok is just a matter of opinion, not all kids are resilient and some will be affected more than others, regardless of how much positive focus you put on them through this difficult time. Of course my kids are ok for most part, but the fact that they are from a broken family affects them particularly as everyone we know has mum and dad together. Its during those quiet times right before bed time, when the emotions often come out. S5 wants us to be a family, H collected the kids today unplanned, and had to return because S5 changed his mind and was really upset and wanted me. S7 often talks about the fact that he will wait for a long time to see if H comes home to us. Of course my kids are happy, they play with friends, have fun at school, have playdates, but ultimately they remember how it was for us as a family and want that back.


Gigi, I do agree with this. There are no totalities with this stuff. However, the better the LBSs handles the situation with their kids, the more likely they are to be ok. I think that is the point.


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GAL - Our area hosts an annual Senior PGA Tour event, it's a big social outing for our area every year, and big name hall of famers play (E.Els, R.Goosen, A.Jiménez, J.Furyk, J.Daly, V.Singh, B.Langer...etc.) Anyway, friends (our families went on vacation together just before BD) was in town for the event and had extra tickets to a luxury box so we played golf in the AM and then went to the tournament all day with free food & drink, and I saw lots of friends and people I knew there, capping it off with a big name concert. My wedding band always plays the post-concert party (I booked them knowing from this event they're so great/entertaining), but was indifferent to that fact and just enjoyed myself. The next day I played with a dozen guys and we all went back to the tournament, same deal. So lots of friends and entertainment and fresh air all weekend. It was great. Kids came back on the 4th and we enjoyed a big fireworks show together and then spent yesterday's work Holiday yesterday swimming in a pool.

Dating - I did sign up for dating apps a few weeks after the D finalized and I've been chatting with a couple woman since, and met up with one last week for my first post-D date / first first date in a decade. Honestly, I feel quite odd driving to the date and didn't feel right, so I almost turned around and canceled. However, I stuck to it and we ended up having good conversation for 2-3hours, which was nice. I'm not expecting a ton to come out of it, but she does seem interested which is nice. One red flag though is she told me her parents have been married 40+ years and so she never expected to be D, but they weren't connecting and so she went on a trip to find herself and decided to D her husband - it was her choice and she doesn't regret it; however, he was quite upset about it. Sounds like she may have BD'd him? Don't like that.

Trigger - ExW bought a brand new vehicle last week, the same minivan make/model that OM1/AP had recommended to her at the beginning of our sitch after I (wrongly suggested we go car shopping to show we could work together, probably trying to buy her off) and instead she texted him to see want he recommends. Anyway, the new vehicle has boiled up some anger in me, riling me up, and I have a strong urge to throw it back in her face with something like "Oh, congrats...that's what OM1 recommended so you'll always have a part of him in your vehicle while you're driving around with OM2!". I suppose I should resist the temptation. Also, she continues to pile on big ticket debt and I'm essentially paying her mortgage and new car payment now with my child support...but I suppose again I need to let that go and further detach.


Me:39 Ex-W:36
M:7 T: 9
S:6 D:2
BD/IHS/Confirm EA/PA: Feb '20
OM1 affair ends: May '20
W/OM2 & moves out: June-July '20
W files for D: Jul20
OM2 confirmed: 9/2020
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Quote

One red flag though is she told me her parents have been married 40+ years and so she never expected to be D, but they weren't connecting and so she went on a trip to find herself and decided to D her husband - it was her choice and she doesn't regret it; however, he was quite upset about it. Sounds like she may have BD'd him? Don't like that.


This is a positive. Not so much that she DB'd her ex, but the fact you are spotting these things.

Its all too easy to ignore little niggles when there is a gorgeous lady in front of you..

What does "not connecting" mean lol.. sounds like "i got bored"...

One thing i will say, from personal expereince is a Wayward is a lot more common than a walkaway - Most people like to monkey branch.


Previous username - Helpme123.. A name chosen at a desperate time..

Now Mr Brightside.. coming out of my cage, and doing just fine.
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I’ve been here 6 plus years and I think only a handful has no signs of OP.


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

“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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Pulling this over from 97Hope's thread in Surviving the Big D, so as not to hijack hers...

Originally Posted by BL42
Originally Posted by HaWho
Recently I learned they divorced 5 months after they married!!! He told my kids to keep that a secret from me, too?!??
I saw them 1 month before their divorce and they seemed happy as clams. All is not as it appears.

Be honest, was part of you happy they got divorced and didn't just ride off into the sunset? Did you enjoy the schadenfreude?

I know I'm not supposed to care at all about what my now ExW is doing, but she started dating OM2 before moving out and filing for D and then moved him in (with my kids) shortly after we separated. They've been together now a year yet we've only been D a month. I see her speeding along with him (as looking back she did with me) and can see an engagement/wedding coming up in the near future, and there's certainly still a big part of me that wants to see it blow up in her face. Not to say I want her back at this point, but if it didn't work out and she needs to start fresh it would feel like we're more on an equal playing field - more "fair" so to speak. Yes, I realize...worry about me not her. Just saying...there's still points of anger where I'd love for things in her world to explode. Doesn't seem fear (seemingly) all is well with her, and us LBSs are left with a broken world.

I feel like your ex getting married and quickly divorced would be a bit of a boost or validation for you as the LBS.


Originally Posted by BL42
Originally Posted by LH19
Originally Posted by BL42
I see her speeding along with him (as looking back she did with me) and can see an engagement/wedding coming up in the near future, and there's certainly still a big part of me that wants to see it blow up in her face.

This is where you have to be careful BL. We say all the time that WS are selfish (which they are). Do you think it is good for your children to have their mom jump from one man to the next? Seems to be the type of woman your ex is right now.

Good point LH. It gets so much more complicated with children. Obviously any anger and thoughts of ill-will I have towards ExW always has to be caveated with what's best for the kids. I don't want them seeing her jump from one to the next, but also have fears at times of OM2 raising them and don't want OM2 to be dancing with my daughter at her wedding instead of me (as I've seen happen before). I think what's more likely is she's rush into this one and it'll be glowing/good for several years but eventually have issues down the road, so speculating here but I see it lasting quite awhile. Anyway, I am doing everything I can to make them my priority and be their rock which is the important thing and all I can do.

Originally Posted by BL42
Doesn't seem fear (seemingly) all is well with her, and us LBSs are left with a broken world.
Originally Posted by LH19
Your world is only broken if that is how you view it.

True. Just saying...think all of LBSs have thoughts/wishes that things don't work out with our Exs and their APs.

Originally Posted by LH19
Originally Posted by BL42
I don't want them seeing her jump from one to the next, but also have fears at times of OM2 raising them and don't want OM2 to be dancing with my daughter at her wedding instead of me (as I've seen happen before).

This will only happen if you drop the ball on your end. This to me is more catastrophic thinking on your part.

LH19 - I won't drop the ball with my kids, so much as I can help, but as I learn more and more about my ExW's parents' situation I get nervous. The kids are very young and impressionable, and I have reason to believe they're being told to lie and cover things up. ExW's dad wasn't invited to our wedding and her step-dad danced with her - I was foolish enough at the time not to question that enough, but have since come to understand her mom had the affair, initiated divorce, dragged her dad's name through the mud, and perhaps manipulated her relationship with her dad. There's an update I just got related to her mom and step-dad and our sitch that further concerns me in that area, I'll share in a bit.

Originally Posted by CWarrior
Originally Posted by BL42
have fears at times of OM2 raising them and don't want OM2 to be dancing with my daughter at her wedding instead of me

I get the first part of your fear--if your XW married someone who acts like a second father to your D--helps pay for college, is there when she needs her--I could see him being in the father/daughter dance. Your D's life is richer for the wider support network, but your father/daughter dance experience is lesser, and that's bittersweet. What I don't get is your fear of being OUT of the dance. If your D loves you both, she's going to dance with you both. I guess I've never feared being replaced. My XGF's XH has several people he calls mom and one he calls dad. In their case, it wasn't a competition. It doesn't have to be a competition.

CWarrior - Point taken, if OM2 is good to my kids and enriches their life then I guess that's a benefit to them (though I don't appreciate the moral lesson being modeled to them of D and affair partners), but guess I'll just have to shallow my own bittersweet feelings for the betterment of the kids.


Me:39 Ex-W:36
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S:6 D:2
BD/IHS/Confirm EA/PA: Feb '20
OM1 affair ends: May '20
W/OM2 & moves out: June-July '20
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Originally Posted by BL42
Be honest, was part of you happy they got divorced and didn't just ride off into the sunset? Did you enjoy the schadenfreude?

I know I'm not supposed to care at all about what my now ExW is doing, but she started dating OM2 before moving out and filing for D and then moved him in (with my kids) shortly after we separated. They've been together now a year yet we've only been D a month. I see her speeding along with him (as looking back she did with me) and can see an engagement/wedding coming up in the near future, and there's certainly still a big part of me that wants to see it blow up in her face. Not to say I want her back at this point, but if it didn't work out and she needs to start fresh it would feel like we're more on an equal playing field - more "fair" so to speak. Yes, I realize...worry about me not her. Just saying...there's still points of anger where I'd love for things in her world to explode. Doesn't seem fear (seemingly) all is well with her, and us LBSs are left with a broken world.


BL, you know our sitch's are very similar, and I'd be lying if I said I couldn't understand this quote. How I am seeing it is, feeling like this is a very clear indicator that I am not where I want to be. Once I no longer feel anger about her and OM and/or stop wanting it all to blow up for them, I'll know I am where I want to be. Until then, just continue doing what has been working and accept that this is a loooong process. Be kind to yourself mate.


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

BD & OM Jun 2020
W moves out Aug 2020

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Originally Posted by LH19
This is where you have to be careful BL. We say all the time that WS are selfish (which they are). Do you think it is good for your children to have their mom jump from one man to the next? Seems to be the type of woman your ex is right now.

Originally Posted by CWarrior
I get the first part of your fear--if your XW married someone who acts like a second father to your D--helps pay for college, is there when she needs her--I could see him being in the father/daughter dance. Your D's life is richer for the wider support network, but your father/daughter dance experience is lesser, and that's bittersweet. What I don't get is your fear of being OUT of the dance. If your D loves you both, she's going to dance with you both. I guess I've never feared being replaced. My XGF's XH has several people he calls mom and one he calls dad. In their case, it wasn't a competition. It doesn't have to be a competition.

Originally Posted by OnlyBent
BL, you know our sitch's are very similar, and I'd be lying if I said I couldn't understand this quote. How I am seeing it is, feeling like this is a very clear indicator that I am not where I want to be. Once I no longer feel anger about her and OM and/or stop wanting it all to blow up for them, I'll know I am where I want to be. Until then, just continue doing what has been working and accept that this is a loooong process. Be kind to yourself mate.

LH19/CWarrior/OnlyBent - I hear you, and you're probably right. But I'd be lying if I said I don't have flares of anger and thoughts of karma/revenge. It's not all-consuming by any means - most of the time I'm out there living my life - but periodically when something specific happens or a thought pops into my head, anger boils up. I'm certainly not at the "wishing her all the best and (sincerely) hope it works out with OM2" point like some here. Suppose that means I still have work to do processing through the emotions.


Me:39 Ex-W:36
M:7 T: 9
S:6 D:2
BD/IHS/Confirm EA/PA: Feb '20
OM1 affair ends: May '20
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Originally Posted by BL42
I'm certainly not at the "wishing her all the best and (sincerely) hope it works out with OM2" point like some here.

BL42 if you follow my posts you will know I am not a fan of posters saying you "need to detach". SteveLW use to say "I don't care if your W is getting ganged banged by the football it shouldn't effect you" I would think WTF?????
Full detachment is very difficult and I am not sure if anyone ever gets there. If you follow the "other side of divorce" thread there is a guy who has been D about 5 years was checking obits because he is wishing death as karma on other male. So don't beat yourself up and try to think about what is in best interest of your children. You are human and certainly never have to wish happily ever after but you also don't have to wish death of OM. Maybe somewhere in between.


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

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As a stepmother, a stepchild, the mother of a child with a step parent, as well as the friend of many many people in many iterations of the blended family listen to what LH says. There is a middle ground. Finding the healthiest middle ground you can is where you need to be.

Every step parent isn't a winner. Trust me. I had basically one step away from the worst of the worst. But if you make that relationship about you and your feelings you have the potential to ruin something really great for your kids. Sometimes that OM is the voice of reason in that household. Sometimes that OM is a 3rd parent you didn't know you needed. I will add to what LH has to say as keep an eye on things because that makes you a good parent, but keep your mouth shut about OM unless you absolutely feel it's necessary because you don't want to be the boy who cried wolf. Or the bitter ex who has nothing better to do than make their kids' lives harder by putting their bitterness right in the center of every family interaction.

My H's ex ignores and refutes every thing I've done and do for D17. Including the year she lived with us full time, full time where she went by her mom's only every other weekend and only for one night. I took on a lot of their parental responsibilities over the years including but not limited to: helping the poor girl when she got her first period at her dad's because her mom wouldn't answer her phone (her dad and I had only began seriously dating the month before), fighting for an IEP to help her with her reading, the birds and the bees talk because neither parent wanted to do it, buying school supplies every year since her dad and I moved in together, buying every dress for every dance since 8th grade, helping her bathe when she broke her arm, taking care of her when she's sick, yelling at her to brush her teeth, providing her health and dental insurance, etc, etc, etc,. Every other week I have to dive in head first to a kid who was poisoned for a week about our entire household. And every other week I wonder if it's ever going to stop because it's exhausting. But I won't speak ill of her mother because I refuse to contribute to the problem. I fully expect some day there will be a wedding I help plan and pay for that I will be uninvited to to make my H's ex happy. And I'll do so quietly and ask my H to keep his mouth shut too so D17 can have the best day possible.

My H and his ex have been split up since D17 was 4. H and I started dating when D17 was 9. The ink was still wet on my D papers when H and I started dating. My exH treats my H, who is probably more of a dad than my ex ever was, with the utmost respect. My H and I sat next to each other at our D's high school graduation and joked and had a nice conversation. My daughter talks often about including them both in her wedding some day. She isn't doing it because he dad even deserves that spot, because I don't know that he does deserve equal credit with my H since my ex's parents were more co-parents than he was but because h and exH are civil and even kind to one another she doesn't question including them both. It isn't simply about who the bride felt was there for them. It's also about how much drama comes with that decision. More often than not if you're the parent who can't find a way to be in the room with their ex and their ex's new spouse you will be the parent with the limited responsibility and face time in a wedding. D18 has said if exH and H were dramatic the way a friend of her's are she would have me fill all the traditional father of the bride duties.

The deal is don't be my H's ex. It's only going to hurt your kids. If you can find that middle space LH is talking about it's the best outcome for all of you.

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Good Morning BL

You are receiving some truly excellent advice. As one who lives and believes in the middle ground - all sides of an issue as valid - it is quite freeing and peaceful. Far too many people are extremely polarized and quite unable or unwilling to see or consider the other view. Strive for better not bitter.

Originally Posted by BL42
I know I'm not supposed to care at all about what my now ExW is doing…

This is not quite correct. Of course you are going to care. What you’re supposed to do is focus on yourself and your kids.

We cannot directly control our feelings - only influence them. Feelings are actually quite fleeting when not reinforced. You control your thoughts and actions and reactions. That’s it. Those three things are all that is in the realm of your direct control. Your feelings and beliefs are then influenced from those controlled thoughts and actions. Of course, external factors influence your feelings as well; we are discussing that which you can control and therefore alter.

That is how one alters their path. Finds their middle ground and peace. Mental assertiveness - sword and shield (if you’ve read my posts smile ) - influences your beliefs and values and feelings. Controlling what you can leads to detachment, letting go, and such.

A word on indifference:

The “not supposed to care” is a heading one is temporarily on. We learn detachment; the ending of being dragged around by our spouse’s behaviour, actions, and words. We regain “control” (lol, influence remember) of our feelings and emotions. We then find indifference and the peace it brings.

Indifference is a temporary state. It is the absence or muting of your feelings towards your spouse. This is a weird landscape. That void causes other feelings to loom larger than they really are. Nature abhors a vacuum and your feelings will grow to fill it. Many different emotions will seem and feel very strong and therefore real. Infatuation and temptation is one of the cautions this is specifically direct towards. Our feelings are real; and temporary.

Do not make life altering decisions based upon feelings. Indifference does fade and our feelings do return. Something to consider.

While the noise and commotion of one’s spouse is muted and pretty much absent, use that time wisely. Seek your internal self. Discover your beliefs, values, and convictions. Strengthen those beliefs that serve you. Craft values that you aspire to. Alter or discard those that do not serve the life you want. Discovering our beliefs and altering them is a key step to peace and contentment.

Beliefs are not directly controllable either. Like feelings they are influenced. However, beliefs are slow to change. It is the slow change which make them excellent headings for one’s life. Once you have organized and sorted our your convictions - live them. Feeling are fleeting. Thoughts come and go. Follow your beliefs.

Back to your quote. It is alright to care. It is alright to not care. And then it is alright to care again.

Not caring is different than uncaring.

From a guy a bit further down the path. I still care for my XW. Heck, I still love her. And I’ve forgiven her.

It takes a certain amount of understanding to let go. With understanding comes compassion. Compassion leads to empathy. With understanding, compassion, empathy, and a life of kindness and gentleness comes acceptance and eventually forgiveness. Although I do at times think maybe forgiveness needs to come before true acceptance.

At any rate, forgiving requires one to not be indifferent. Oh, the counter-intuitiveness of this path.

One cannot forgive when one doesn’t feel anything towards the other. Without feelings there is no need to forgive. No actually ability to forgive. I think this to be the biggest huddle for most folks - their working to remain indifferent and not caring.

I get it. The peace from feeling nothing is so welcomed after that ceaseless horrible pain. There is a valid concern of reentering that world again. Thing is, indifference is a skill. One can lessen it and one can strengthen it. We control ourselves. And we influence ourselves. Indifferent is a feeling (lack of feeling) which is affected and influenced by us. It can be turned on and off rather quickly as it turns out.

As indifference melts away and our feelings return, those beliefs will kick in. Hopefully one has organized them well. Some of the common societal values I believe need to be altered - vengeance, punishment, justice, restitution, and such.

We all feel and believe in the justified punishment of the bad guy. Heck, I too cheer when in the movie the bad guy finally gets his comeuppance. I also enjoy watching videos of bad guys getting caught as much as the next person. Our values need altering. And our focus.

It is not our place to dish out justice in our situations. If/when you stand in the middle ground, you will see and understand the other side. Nothing is as straightforward as it appears. No one know all ends, so serving justice is best left to God or fate or karma.

Likewise our belief or need for vengeance or restitution or punishment. These are ego driven. Our need to be right. Another belief we need to alter somewhat. There is definitely a place and time for our ego in our lives; although here it is rather bruised and hurt, and we therefore want to lash out. Let go and seek better.

Hope you have a wonderful Sunday

D


Now: Me53 XW50 S24 S23 S20 D19

Oct 8/17-BD, Moves in w/OM, Leaves Kids
Me49 W46 S20 S19 S16 D15
M26 T29
Dec 9/17-Legal Separation
Oct 3/18-W Files
Apr 6/19-Divorced

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I'm so frustrated tonight because once again the kids came back unbathed. I don't mean for a day or two...for the entire week they hadn't had a bath or shower. They were clearly sweaty and unclean, and when I asked S6 about it he smiled and kind of bragged they hadn't had a bath all week. Again I'm torn between emailing Ex-W to stand up for the kids' care or keeping quiet because the message coming from me won't be well received.

The other major area of concern is last week we were having a family dinner with me, the kids, and my parents (who they're very attached to), and D2 mentions her great grandma (my W's grandmother) is getting a new house. My parents and I wonder about it but S6 brushes it off several times as if D2 is being silly and making things up. However, my mom knows my son and believes he was lying or covering up for D2. It's not even something he really needs to cover up, but S6 doesn't understand that; the fact he's either being told to lie or even just feels the need to is concerning. Well, turns up great-grandma's house pops up on Zillow so D2 was right and S6 was likely trying to cover it up and flat out lied to us. We weren't digging - D2 just mentioned it - but S6 jumped in trying to play it off as if it wasn't true.

Turns out both my Ex's great-grandma's house (in town) and her mom & step-dad's house (in other state) is up for sale and her mom and step dad are now moving into town. Ex-W's mom had an affair and divorced her dad and the more I'm learning used emotion and psychology to push the kids away from their dad which eventually led to him not even being invited to our wedding (red flag in hindsight I should've dug into at the time), and she spread lies about him all over town. So...I'm concerned about S6's lies and concerned Ex-W's mom moving into town is going to spell more trouble.


Me:39 Ex-W:36
M:7 T: 9
S:6 D:2
BD/IHS/Confirm EA/PA: Feb '20
OM1 affair ends: May '20
W/OM2 & moves out: June-July '20
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Hi BL42,

The American Academy of Dermatology has this to say about bathing for ages 6-12:

"If your child is in this age group, taking a daily bath is fine. However, children in this age group may not need a daily bath. Children aged 6 to 11 need a bath:"

  • At least once or twice a week
  • When they get dirty, such as playing in the mud
  • After being in a pool, lake, ocean, or other body of water
  • When they get sweaty or have body odor
  • As often as directed by a dermatologist if getting treated for a skin disease"

Medical professionals say daily or weekly baths are fine for 6 years-olds. As long as her parenting choices fall within guidelines, I wouldn't raise a stink about this stinky issue. Now, you do say they arrived "sweaty". That falls outside guidelines. If this happened twice in a row, it's worth raising. I'd probably try casually at the next handoff when you've cooled down. "I noticed Johnny arrived all sweaty. Is he refusing to bathe over there? Oh yeah? I agree, it's hard to get him in there sometimes. I had to bribe him with bath toys." You catch more flies with honey, but if that doesn't work, you can always escalate to more formal communication.



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It's been a week of rollercoaster emotions...

Found out Ex-MIL is moving back into town (was living primarily 8hrs away). That has my Ex-FIL all worked up, because she had an affair and divorced him and according to him dragged his name through the mud all over town and bought away his relationship with his children. I'm admittedly worked up about it as well as I know Ex-MIL actively encouraged and supported the D, and was hanging out together and having parties with OM2 and his family before Ex-W even moved out.

I did see the woman again from my first post-D date, but not sure we're clicking. Also reached out to what I thought were a few potential good dating options but one "didn't have time to date" and the other in particular thought might be a good match (very cute, wonderful mother, persevered through a tough time herself, strong parental marriage...etc.) had "just started seeing someone". So, I was a feeling a bit lonely and sorry for myself Friday night.

Then over the weekend had a fantastic time with the kids! Took them fishing and with the rod I bought S6 for his birthday and he caught his first fish! It really was big (no fisherman's tale). S6 was super excited; I was an extremely proud father. He also lost his 2nd tooth that day, and we went to a local minor league baseball game that night and saw everything: a grand slams, 25 runs, a pickel...you name it, and the kids had a blast. We did church, mini-golf, and pool on Sunday. Saturday in particular made me feel great, like "it's all good".

Then Sunday night I returned the kids to Ex-W's house with OM2 and Ex-MIL all hanging out like one big happy pre-fabricated family just waiting for the kids to arrive, and I felt the anger turning on again while driving away. Dropping off the kids off and and seeing OM2's truck still boils my blood a bit - it's a source of anger I need to process.

Today I went to a funeral for my uncle who passed away unexpectedly. I was holding back tears talking to my aunt and cousins. I really feel for them. Their family didn't live in my town, so I didn't see my uncle all the time (holidays, reunions...etc.), but he in particular stood up for me and said some strong words in support of me when my parents told their family about the D saying how wonderful of a man I am, and compared to what he sees in his job it's ridiculous anyone would D me. I didn't even hear his "speech", but apparently he went on and on and on and was really riled up and thought very highly of me. So besides feeling for my aunt and cousins, being at the funeral home and seeing him laying there also really got to me reflecting on my own sitch.

Anyway, that's where I am. Need to process more emotions and make the most of my free time this week when I don't have the kids...


Me:39 Ex-W:36
M:7 T: 9
S:6 D:2
BD/IHS/Confirm EA/PA: Feb '20
OM1 affair ends: May '20
W/OM2 & moves out: June-July '20
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I can relate to the ex-MIL scenario.

Although I wasn’t married to my ex, her mother was a constant thorn in our relationship and constantly competed with me for my ex’s time and attention.

I think you are doing well, BL. You are a great father to your kids and you’re processing things in a healthy way. Eventually, you will burn through your anger and resentment and reach indifference.

You’re going to be just fine, my friend. You have a bright future ahead of you.

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Originally Posted by BL42


Then Sunday night I returned the kids to Ex-W's house with OM2 and Ex-MIL all hanging out like one big happy pre-fabricated family just waiting for the kids to arrive, and I felt the anger turning on again while driving away. Dropping off the kids off and and seeing OM2's truck still boils my blood a bit - it's a source of anger I need to process.


This is your mind playing tricks on you. Specifically the "one big happy pre-fabricated family" part. You simply have no idea what goes on behind closed doors.

Also, if this is a trigger for you, why do you have to do drop offs? Why can't she come pick them up? Why not decide on a public place to do the exchanges?


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Originally Posted by Thornton
I think you are doing well, BL. You are a great father to your kids and you’re processing things in a healthy way. Eventually, you will burn through your anger and resentment and reach indifference.

You’re going to be just fine, my friend. You have a bright future ahead of you.

Thanks Thornton! Appreciate the encouragement.

Originally Posted by SteveLW
This is your mind playing tricks on you. Specifically the "one big happy pre-fabricated family" part. You simply have no idea what goes on behind closed doors.

Could be. My mind certainly makes it seem that way. Thinking objectively (though without evidence) my guess is they are all happy for the time being and in that honeymoon / blissful stage, but who knows - just seems like they're my kids, and it should've been my family, and it doesn't seem fair or right to see them all together. I suppose the anger will dissipate over time...it's gotten better since last Summer but still pops up.

Originally Posted by SteveLW
Also, if this is a trigger for you, why do you have to do drop offs? Why can't she come pick them up? Why not decide on a public place to do the exchanges?

Our current arrangement is the parent who has the kids drops off to the parent who is getting the kids (so it alternates every week). Don't think it would be reasonable to have ExW do all drop-offs (even if her actions caused all this).

I'm not too excited about the public drop-off. My kids are young so it means two car seat exchanges and seems less convenient and "colder" for them to have to go to a public parking lot. As their father I should be the one taking the hit on my feelings to protect them.

With the new school year approaching, I've considered asking ExW to switch from Sunday evening exchanges to Mondays before/after school. First, it'd be fewer transitions for the kids...they currently go over to her house every other Sunday night and then come back to mine for before school Monday morning, as I care for them before/after school even on her weeks. Second, it may be less disruptive for them on Sunday evenings...no hurrying up to finish playing with friends, or quick finish dinner, or having to take a baths or do homework before bed at the next house...etc. Third, and this one's for me, it would result in less interaction with ExW and trigger points of seeing OM2's truck. However, I want to think that out fully before floating the idea because it'd also mean seeing the kids on fewer days (even if the total time is the same).


Me:39 Ex-W:36
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BD/IHS/Confirm EA/PA: Feb '20
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Originally Posted by BL42
I'm not too excited about the public drop-off. My kids are young so it means two car seat exchanges and seems less convenient and "colder" for them to have to go to a public parking lot. As their father I should be the one taking the hit on my feelings to protect them.

Sounds like a bunch of excuses. The kids will be fine with public place exchanges. It happens all of the time. Personally, I would NEVER have agreed to go to her place with the OM there. It would have been one of my non-negotiables. But to each their own.


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Originally Posted by SteveLW
Sounds like a bunch of excuses. The kids will be fine with public place exchanges. It happens all of the time. Personally, I would NEVER have agreed to go to her place with the OM there. It would have been one of my non-negotiables. But to each their own.
Maybe it is an excuse. Looking back, maybe I should've made a hard line. I probably would have done things differently through the lens of now, but at the time and in the moment I was unsure on how to handle it.

Also seemed to happen incrementally. Like first I was aware OM2 was in the picture but didn't realize it was staying over with the kids (assumed she'd hold off), then his truck was there once or twice around drop off time and I drove around the block and until he left, then he was just there. Now I know she was with him before she even moved out and suspect we had the kids around him before she moved out. I guess even though it riles me up it also seems silly to ignore reality and all of a sudden go to a public parking lot. I'll work through it over time.


Me:39 Ex-W:36
M:7 T: 9
S:6 D:2
BD/IHS/Confirm EA/PA: Feb '20
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I've been vacillating lately between "life is good" and anger moments...

Great GAL last weekend went out of town to visit a good friend and went to a great restaurant we like in his city and to a professional baseball game of our rival teams. Downloaded a few self-help audio books recommended here (Richard Cooper's Unplugged Alpha & Corey Wayne's 3% Man) to listen to on the long drive. Also did a golf tournament / dinner with a whole bunch of buddies this week.

Continue to crush it with the kids and like ScottB feeling great during my time with them. S6 loves fishing lately and we've been out twice, caught another fish and also unexpectedly a pet frog. Have taken them to a pool and a lake with a beach front. Had a "this is wonderful" moment pitching baseball to him in the backyard before dinner the other night and another when we all swimming together in the lake.

However, I'm also feeling anger at times directed towards my ExW, OM2, and Ex-MIL. Reminds me of the discussion on ScottB's thread recently. Wishing at times karma would come to them and I wouldn't have to deal with them anymore in terms of the kids. I have some work to do processing those negative feelings. We've been going back and forth over email on logistics over vacations, which doesn't help. Hopefully those feelings dissipate over more time...


Me:39 Ex-W:36
M:7 T: 9
S:6 D:2
BD/IHS/Confirm EA/PA: Feb '20
OM1 affair ends: May '20
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Anger is tough. I think we all get it at times especially near the beginning (and even though it's been a year and you've already D, it's still near the beginning). It's easy to say "just worry about the things you can control" but it's harder to do in practice I know. I don't remember if you're in IC, maybe that could help give you some ways to work through it. Also as discussed above maybe just doing pick up/drop off at a public place for a while could be helpful, just so you don't have to see the "one big happy family" in your face. I agree with Steve that public car switching is not going to be an issue for the kids. Above all, I do think things will dissipate with time.

On the bright side, it sounds like you're definitely killing it with the other parts of your life and time with kids, so you should feel good about that.


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Originally Posted by BL42
I have some work to do processing those negative feelings. We've been going back and forth over email on logistics over vacations, which doesn't help. Hopefully those feelings dissipate over more time...
Hi BL42, they can dissipate over time, but you have to put in at least some work, too. I definitely know 5-10yr ex's who still demonize and battle with each other. I'd probably begin working through your feelings towards whichever of XW, OM2, and XMIL did you the least wrong. I'm guessing that's OM2, as OM2 broke no commitments to you, and XW chose when he moved in with your kids. People often seem to project anger over XW onto OM, maybe because he's a safer target.



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Good Morning BL

Love the catching fish, pitching the baseball, and all swimming around in the lake. Life is good.

Cycling between “life is good” and anger moments is understandable and perfectly normal.

Feelings are born from our irrational subconscious self. Our emotions influence our thoughts and beliefs.

Thoughts reside in our logical conscious reasoned self. Thoughts influence emotions and also beliefs.

Beliefs are deep core values that are very slow to change. The inner work of self is discovering what one’s beliefs actually are; and you’d be amazed at what you “believe”. A common example is a belief in justice and retribution. The need to see our wayward spouse get their comeuppance.

We discover our believes, strengthen those which we are proud of and serve us, craft those which we aspire to, and alter or discard beliefs that do not serve our lives and how we want to live. Once one’s values are organized, their slow changing makes them excellent headings for one’s life.

However, that is the long view and we still have our feelings vacillating.

Feelings are fleeting. They are quick to rise and quick to extinguish. Feelings are real and completely temporary unless reinforced.

Consider this as an example, imagine I said something to you really offensive. You’d get angry or hurt instantly. That’s how quickly feelings can spring to life. That angry feeling then unknowingly influences your thoughts and then you are thinking angrily towards me. Now, both thoughts and feelings are influencing and reinforcing each other.

Control. We only can control our thoughts, actions, and reactions.

A couple of really important parts here. Firstly, we have no direct control over our emotions. Secondly, we can, and that’s the biggest part, can, it’s a choice, can exert direct control over our thoughts, actions, and reactions.

Anger is a normal part of grief. Emotions are a healthy part of life. Letting go. Letting the anger wash over you. However it is stated, is finding, is learning actually, how to stop reinforcing your undesirable feelings. Remember feelings are temporary and will flit if not reinforced.

The three items so far discussed - emotions, thoughts, and beliefs - make three lanes on our road of life. These are the emotional, intellectual, and spiritual lanes. There is one more lane which is the physical lane which makes the four lanes or paths we all travel.

We are all in our four different cars somewhere along our highway. Usually one’s intellectual car is well placed and in the present moment, after all that is our conscious self and our directly controllable self.

Our emotional car seems to zoom around, stop, even go backwards, at times. It’s ok. One learns how to control their thoughts and influence their other “cars”.

An interesting thing about our cars and our life’s lanes or paths, you only really drive one car at a time. We switch instantaneously between various cars. Still, we only drive one at a time. If you are focused on an intellectual problem the worries and pain of emotions fade away. Likewise being consumed by grief and sadness keeps one from performing their best at other tasks.

A caveat, for accuracy, since being accurate is one of the tools for detachment and self awareness. In reality our minds are incredible and do perform tasks simultaneously. Driving one and only one car at a time is a simplification. It holds true for the majority of our focus. If you are 90% focused upon balancing your cheque book that leaves 10% for everything else. Recall the zombie like state after BD. Now that was close to 100% consumed by emotions and disbelief. Just staring , not eating, man oh man what crazy times.

Anyhow, your anger towards XW, OM2, and XMIL is being reinforced. It is real, temporary, and being supported by other parts of your life, your thoughts, and your convictions. One learns to uncouple their feelings from that reinforcement. Remember, the realm of feelings is our subconscious. And that is an irrational landscape. Ties between various aspects of our life and grief and physical world need not, and usually do not, make sense in a rational and logical way.

For example, right after BD I could not make coffee. I mean I could place the filter in the cone, fill it with coffee, pour in the water, but I could not press the button to start the brewing. I know. Crazy right? Well actually, just irrational. Irrational means sans reason; it’s not crazy.

Another thing is the word “but”. Usually what we say after “but” is a justification for our action. “But I could not press the button.” Actually and accurately, I would not press the button. Of course at the time I didn’t realize I was reinforcing my despair. Pressing that button meant that W had left, was cheating, my life was forever changed, over, finished, etc… Not so! Lol. Yet, at the time that’s what I felt. Irrational as it was.

I’ve learnt and employed several strategies over the years for uncoupling those irrational ties. Successfully let go of anger, fear, ego, vengeance, etc… No one strategy will work completely or in every case, it takes a multi-faceted approach.

Physical activity. That is completely within our direct control. When angry go do something. Something not related to the anger. smile We are working to uncouple not reinforce. Lol.

Go work out, run, clean the yard, dig the garden, etc. Sweat the anger out of you. This pulls your focus away from the emotional car and places you in the physical car. So many things are happening, you are lessening your focus on your anger, therefore letting it go, and crafting a new and better irrational tie based upon whatever triggered the anger in the first place.

That’s a pretty neat thing as well. Triggers. Emotions are triggered by thoughts, events, and such. Rewrite your response to those triggers.

That leads to rationalizing the irrational. This is an excellent tool for uncouple our fear response and works equally well for other emotions. Fear is particularly troublesome as it highjacks and freezes us. Hard to gather one’s intellect while in the grip of fear.

Basically, look at the chain of coupling. Through event, trigger, all the way to anger or fear or whatever. Our emotions are irrational. Our thoughts are rational. Arrest the domino effect of your irrational chain with reason and logic. Exerting a rational view upon this slows the cascade of emotional response. It buys you precious time to adjust your focus. Once proficient, you can rationally extract yourself from an emotionally highjacked moment rather easily.

Once you dig deep and find the true irrational cause and rationalize it, understand it, it’s power greatly diminishes. In this way we break that chain and stop the anger moments.

A general tip regarding all of this. Brute force is not best. In fact it doesn’t work. You are working to alter that which you do not have direct control of; that which you can only influence. You need to come at things gently and kind of sideways. Patience and faith are virtues that will be tested.

Once your cars are all lined up, all side by side purring along together, peace and contentment are found.

Of course the most important car is on the spiritual path. Those slow to change convictions that influence everything.

Lol. Perhaps another time, I’ve used up quite a bit of your thread already.

Have a great day.

D


Now: Me53 XW50 S24 S23 S20 D19

Oct 8/17-BD, Moves in w/OM, Leaves Kids
Me49 W46 S20 S19 S16 D15
M26 T29
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Oct 3/18-W Files
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BL, keep up the good work and be kind to yourself mate. Its all normal, the ups and downs. You know I struggled last week a bit, but just as you experienced, I am feeling pretty bloody positive about things and I can feel another shift in the right direction. Its like 2 steps forward, 1 step back, but thats net forward progress, just takes time.


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BL - all of what you are experiencing/feeling sounds 'normal' given the circumstances.

I think the less you see of them, the better. One positive to a D is not having to deal with the in-laws.
If you can make it happen to where you don't do a swap, just use the school - go for it!

Also - go ahead and buy a second car seat. Simplify your life as much as possible.

your GAL activities sound amazing!!


ME47 XH44, S28 S24 S19

8/17-BD
IHS: 1/17-2/19
D FILED (ME): 7/19
D FINAL: 10/20
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OW CONFIRMED: 01/21

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Originally Posted by mako
Anger is tough. I think we all get it at times especially near the beginning (and even though it's been a year and you've already D, it's still near the beginning). It's easy to say "just worry about the things you can control" but it's harder to do in practice I know. I don't remember if you're in IC, maybe that could help give you some ways to work through it. Also as discussed above maybe just doing pick up/drop off at a public place for a while could be helpful, just so you don't have to see the "one big happy family" in your face. I agree with Steve that public car switching is not going to be an issue for the kids. Above all, I do think things will dissipate with time.

On the bright side, it sounds like you're definitely killing it with the other parts of your life and time with kids, so you should feel good about that.
mako - I was in IC for 6 months but the counselor mentioned several times I'm doing all the right things and she felt she couldn't do much more to help, so I eventually dropped it. It did help be a good bit during the IHS and initial separation / D filing. Maybe I should consider finding a different one to help work the anger if it persists. Thanks for the encouragement on killing it, especially with the kids!

Originally Posted by CWarrior
Hi BL42, they can dissipate over time, but you have to put in at least some work, too. I definitely know 5-10yr ex's who still demonize and battle with each other. I'd probably begin working through your feelings towards whichever of XW, OM2, and XMIL did you the least wrong. I'm guessing that's OM2, as OM2 broke no commitments to you, and XW chose when he moved in with your kids. People often seem to project anger over XW onto OM, maybe because he's a safer target.
CWarrior - Yeah...as much as I have thoughts of Karma now, it wouldn't be good for the kids (or me) to demonize ExW 5-10 years from now. I'll need to work through that anger as you mention. OM2 did date my ExW before she even moved out and moved in with her and my kids almost immediately and lived with them for 8-9 months while we were married, so don't know that's he's completely without fault, but you're right in that he didn't break a commitment to me like ExW did. I definitely need to work on the anger moments. It's not like I'm constantly stewing, but there are certainly moments.

Originally Posted by DnJ
Good Morning BL

Love the catching fish, pitching the baseball, and all swimming around in the lake. Life is good.

Cycling between “life is good” and anger moments is understandable and perfectly normal.
...
For example, right after BD I could not make coffee. I mean I could place the filter in the cone, fill it with coffee, pour in the water, but I could not press the button to start the brewing. I know. Crazy right? Well actually, just irrational. Irrational means sans reason; it’s not crazy.

Another thing is the word “but”. Usually what we say after “but” is a justification for our action. “But I could not press the button.” Actually and accurately, I would not press the button. Of course at the time I didn’t realize I was reinforcing my despair. Pressing that button meant that W had left, was cheating, my life was forever changed, over, finished, etc… Not so! Lol. Yet, at the time that’s what I felt. Irrational as it was.
...
Physical activity. That is completely within our direct control. When angry go do something. Something not related to the anger. smile We are working to uncouple not reinforce. Lol.

Go work out, run, clean the yard, dig the garden, etc. Sweat the anger out of you. This pulls your focus away from the emotional car and places you in the physical car. So many things are happening, you are lessening your focus on your anger, therefore letting it go, and crafting a new and better irrational tie based upon whatever triggered the anger in the first place.
...
Once your cars are all lined up, all side by side purring along together, peace and contentment are found.
DnJ - I appreciate you taking the time to weigh in. I find myself reading your post several times, as it's a bit more philosophical/esoteric/conceptual than my left brain is used to, but definitely good concepts to learn more about. I am reading up on those areas I traditionally wasn't as into. I like your analogy on the car lines, can relate to the coffee maker example, and fully admit I need to focus more on the physical activity - maybe putting too many of my eggs in the kids and work basket and not enough on the raw physical. Thank you for your perspective!

Originally Posted by OnlyBent
BL, keep up the good work and be kind to yourself mate. Its all normal, the ups and downs. You know I struggled last week a bit, but just as you experienced, I am feeling pretty bloody positive about things and I can feel another shift in the right direction. Its like 2 steps forward, 1 step back, but thats net forward progress, just takes time.
OnlyBent - Thanks for the support as always. Glad you're shifting towards positive again!

Originally Posted by 97Hope
BL - all of what you are experiencing/feeling sounds 'normal' given the circumstances.

I think the less you see of them, the better. One positive to a D is not having to deal with the in-laws.
If you can make it happen to where you don't do a swap, just use the school - go for it!

Also - go ahead and buy a second car seat. Simplify your life as much as possible.

your GAL activities sound amazing!!
97Hope - Definitely resonate with the positive note on not having to deal with the in-laws! Even my ExW used to complain about her mom a lot and cut her dad out of her life for a time (guess she did the same to me as well in the end). Now she has to deal with her two sides as well as OM2's two sides (his parents are divorced as well) and split time between all of them. So...she might have a lot of juggling with them going forward. Right now it's just me, the kids, and my family (parents married 4 decades) that get 100%.

I may broach the before/after school transition approach. That may be helpful for the kids (fewer switches) and me (no OM2 / "big happy family").


Me:39 Ex-W:36
M:7 T: 9
S:6 D:2
BD/IHS/Confirm EA/PA: Feb '20
OM1 affair ends: May '20
W/OM2 & moves out: June-July '20
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Vacation - Just returned from a fantastic two week beach vacation with the kiddos. We swam in the ocean, jumped over waves, built castles in the sand, enjoyed the pool, mini-golf, arcade, ice cream, boardwalk rides, dolphin sight-seeing boat tour, and took S6 to a preseason professional sporting event (our team) as well as a monster truck ride (he's really into them right now). What a blast! It was exhausting at times but well worth it! I would've preferred a partner in all this - ExW and I used to be a well oiled machine about taking care of vacation logistics and prep, but we a lot of fun and it was great bonding.

Two minor items...

1) Overheard ExW telling the kids she was at OM2's dad's house during one of their video calls. I recognize I need to get past that, but it did still work me up a bit.

2) Ex-FIL was pretty passive aggressive about talking to the kids while on vacation. We'd only been gone 2 days when he texted me about it being "far too long since he spoke with his grandkids" and "as you know, it only takes 5 minutes". I have no problem with them talking but I am doing the bulk of work vacationing with two young kids and it's not super convenient to line up times when you're in the ocean/sand. However, I took the high road and made sure they spoke halfway. I want to maintain a good relationship and ensure he responds in kind when watching them on my "off" time, but on the other hand I'm thinking...my parents wouldn't text ExW to talk to the kids while they're on vacation with her.

The major news is...ExW is moving!

She notified via email during vacation she bought a new house closing in a month and will be moving out of the house she moved back into when she physically separated (in which we lived together for a year before and a year after our wedding, and I then managed as a rental property for 5 years when we bought what's now my current place).

Therefore, the kids are going to have to switch "mommy's house" and go through a move once again. Not sure if they're going to feel disrupted yet again, or if they'll just go with the flow. Seems like a whole lot of change for them in a short amount of time. Maybe it'll bolster my credibility as the stable one and have them see my house as the constant. Not sure if ExW recognizes she's become her mother (who she always said she didn't want to be) and putting her/our kids through living w/an affair partner and moving, the same thing Ex-MIL did to her.

The good news is it's still fairly close so it won't be more inconvenient. and because it's in a different / less desirable district I finally be listed as the primary parent / residence in terms of the school district. It doesn't really matter legally, but it was an issue for me for awhile because I was doing all the school support (virtual learning, caring before/after, transportation to/from), yet she was listed as the primary. Also, if she ever wants to change the arrangement in the future it gives me the advantage of being the sole parent in the district which the kids attend.

The bad news (or at least interesting aspect) is the new house is directly across the street from OM2's sister. So...ExW is heavily doubling down on OM2. It's also a street over from Ex-MIL's new residence, and I suspect they're moving her grandma into her old house, so it's like she left, moved a couple miles away, and replaced me and my family (who she originally wanted to buy a house near) with her new man and family. It's incredible...just a drag and drop into a new life. So if ExW & OM2 ever have issues down the road she'll be living across the street from his family, though I guess she did with mine and just picked up and left anyway, so who knows what will happen. It reinforces my perspective of the "one big happy family" transplant view. Maybe another reason to try to switch transition schedules from Sunday night to before/after school, so I won't have to head over that way.

Dating - I've had very little success with online dating. Most profiles I "swipe left" on, and those I "swipe right" I don't hear back / nothing comes of. I'm probably just going to disable my accounts for a bit. I did go out on a date a month and a half ago and she invited me over a week later and we hooked up, so I finally crossed that bridge. However, our schedules didn't align for a bit and texting dropped off soon and I saw her out on a date with another guy recently so that's probably run its course. We probably weren't super compatible anyway. I did have two different friends try on the same evening try to set me up with different women who seemed cute, but I then left town on vacation and haven't heard anything more, so we'll see what comes of it.

GAL - I started a graduate program / master's degree in my professional field. I'm taking the first (800 level) class starting this week, so it'll be interesting to see how I can balance that with everything. It's online, like my job, so it'll be intellectually stimulating, but won't necessarily have me meeting people in-person. Part of me wonders if I shouldn't take on more like that and rather pursue more face-to-face connections such as running club or trying a beginner's yoga class. We'll see have the first semester goes and adjust accordingly.

Anyway, that's my August. It's been a fun Summer with the kids and the school year quickly approaching...


Me:39 Ex-W:36
M:7 T: 9
S:6 D:2
BD/IHS/Confirm EA/PA: Feb '20
OM1 affair ends: May '20
W/OM2 & moves out: June-July '20
W files for D: Jul20
OM2 confirmed: 9/2020
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Originally Posted by BL42
Yeah...as much as I have thoughts of Karma now, it wouldn't be good for the kids (or me) to demonize ExW 5-10 years from now. I'll need to work through that anger as you mention.

BL, I've been reading a lot about Stoicism lately and this stuck out at me. If you know that in 5-10 years you won't be demonising XW and may even be friendly (not friends), then the Stoics would ask why wait? If you know the best place to be is there, then why not get there now? Why wait?

Last edited by OnlyBent; 08/30/21 10:05 AM.

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

BD & OM Jun 2020
W moves out Aug 2020

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BL, keep your head down and just keep doing you! Don't let her crazy affect you. As long as you remain the rock for your kids, they will overcome her crazy too. You've got this.

On dating, no rush. You got plenty of time to just be the best dad you can be and still date later. I love the taking classes! Well done.


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Hey BL!!

Looks like you're getting excellent feedback from many folks here, a lot of them who were either around during my journey or were giving me their perspectives. I'll definitely keep an eye out on your thread and comment when I feel I can add something.

The major takeaways that I have are letting your exW run her course on her fantasy R and all of that. Her neglecting the kids and just doing what she wants to do is very on-the-money script. my exW did a version of that for sure and rationalized it as it was good for the kids in some ways - total selfish decisions to further what she wanted.

I know sometimes it feels like beating the same drum but - focus as much as you can on yourself and the kids. Look up parallel parenting if you haven't already - that's how I basically operate and it has reduced a lotta mental and emotional stress for me. At least in my sitch, exW is doing a lot better with the kids and they do have an engaged mom - it wasn't like that in the first two years or so though.

I am super proud of how I weathered this and took care of the kids and provided stability. Your kids won't remember it, but you will and it will pay off in the future in terms of their mental and emotional health - I over index on the emotional health side because it will pay out in spades in the future.

I'm around if you have any specific questions.


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Maika,

Thanks for chiming in. I'm probably getting at a question which you (or anyone else) can't possibly answer, and recognize it's not "focusing on me and the kids", but if I'm being honest I do wonder what's going to happen with OM2 in the future...

In reading your thread the similarities of our Exs moving another person in with the kids and rushing things along immediately after separation struck me. My now ExW moved OM2 in with the kids very quickly, including him and his family attending my D2's birthday party the next month, vacationing together, and now buying a house directly across the street from OM2's sister! Very similar to when ExW & I got together - integrating with the families - only now there are kids (mine!) involved.

D2 talks about going for ice cream (or whatever) with "Mommy and OM2" and I have to swallow my feelings and smile and listen as she's too young to understand. S6 doesn't bring him up at all, don't know if that means he's been told not to or if he knows something isn't quite right and feels the need to protect my feelings.

So, part of me wonders if she's just replaced me and my family with a new happy family of her own and will ride off into the sunset, or if there are underlying issues that will surface down the road for them, and I should brace for my kids' sake.

Anyway...no one can predict the future, but due to our similarities and considering things blew up between your Ex & the new guy, was just wondering if I might be two years behind you and am most interested with your thoughts on my sitch, whether anything jumped out or resonated with you, and any related advice. Part of me is still hoping things don't work out for them.

Last edited by BL42; 09/09/21 05:07 PM.

Me:39 Ex-W:36
M:7 T: 9
S:6 D:2
BD/IHS/Confirm EA/PA: Feb '20
OM1 affair ends: May '20
W/OM2 & moves out: June-July '20
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Hey BL!

I am going to 'try' and answer your questions and thoughts to the best of my ability. I don't know if it will alleviate anything, but the most I owe to anyone on this board is honesty and my take on it. But let's be real here - my context is different from yours and we have things that overlap, but there will be differences. So, take what I have to say with that in mind.

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but if I'm being honest I do wonder what's going to happen with OM2 in the future...

I know this question and I know how I pondered on it forever. The only real answer to this question is - I don't know. It may work out, it may not. The best we can do is speculate. I can give you a whole lot of reasons why I think it might not work out, and I think they are legitimate reasons. But there is also a chance it might work out - they might go to therapy, they may restart from the beginning, etc. The chances of that happening are slim, but you just don't know.

I would highly suggest that you stop asking questions that have no answers. I know it is hard to not fixate on these questions because they allow us to grieve in some way. You will get past these questions through your grieving period.

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My now ExW moved OM2 in with the kids very quickly, including him and his family attending my D2's birthday party the next month, vacationing together, and now buying a house directly across the street from OM2's sister! Very similar to when ExW & I got together - integrating with the families - only now there are kids (mine!) involved.

yes, i know exactly how that feels. i know exactly how it feels to have this happen and have zero control over it. All I have to say is that you have to take care of your heart because there is basically nothing you can do. I know that there is a terrible answer because there is no solution here. It is just embracing the reality. Every time my kids came and told me about whatever they did there, it was like arrows piercing my heart. I dreaded the moment when my kids would come back to me because I knew I was going to hear all about what's happening at mommy's place with the new guy. But I swallowed it and never showed it to my kids. I would put them to bed at night and then feel all my emotions in my room over some sad music or just have a good cry. Most important advice - don't bury your emotions over this. Make sure you give yourself time and space to feel them when no one is around. Your kids can't see this because they won't understand and it is not their burden to carry. Try and be the best dad when you're with them, and you have full permission to fall apart when they're not around - I surely did and over time I picked myself up and got stronger.

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So, part of me wonders if she's just replaced me and my family with a new happy family of her own and will ride off into the sunset, or if there are underlying issues that will surface down the road for them, and I should brace for my kids' sake.

yes, i felt that I had been replaced by a new shiny person. that she now fulfilled her fantasy of having a white picket fence house with a new guy, some cats, a big yard, a pool, and buncha kids blended in together as a new family. and I was left out in the cold. It's heartbreaking to see that. Like you're garbage that was just discarded with such ease and without any concern. that you didn't matter at all. some of that may ring true, but only because your self-worth and self-value is right now in the deepest darkest parts of a dungeon. I had yank out my value from that place by being around people that loved me and doing things that brought me joy - that's why GAL is such an important component of this.

There may be issues down the line. Again the answer here is the same - I don't know. You don't know. All you can do is stabilize the present to affect the future. I knew that I had to be a rock for my kids no matter what happened, so that in the future, they would know that I am a safe place for them. Whatever that may transpire for the kids in the future, they know that you got them. You can't count on your exW to make that space for them, but you can do it. Kids will grow up and see the truth for themselves and see how you held it down for them and that might not happen until they're in the 20s, or not until they have kids, but they will eventually. Just be present and stable for them and give them all the love and attention when they're with you because that is the time you can control.

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Part of me is still hoping things don't work out for them.

It's totally normal to feel and think that. Some part of you wants comeuppance, some revenge. You'll feel less of it over time. Part of the reason why I had these thoughts was because in a small way I wanted her to run back to me after realizing what she had lost - but that never happened. And it's okay to have that desire, but it will lessen over time when you shift perspectives. Instead of wondering if the new R will work out, I asked myself:

1. Do I want to be with her considering all that she's done?
2. Is she a healthy emotionally mature human being?
3. What is that I want from a relationship?

Once you shift focus to your own priorities and what you want, you realize that exW is not someone you want to be with right now. If she does the work, you might consider it, but for now that door is only very slightly open.

The only thing that I'll say is that I did spend more time than I should have on questions that had no real answers and trying to find clues to see if she's changed her mind, or try to really understand how she could make the decisions she made etc. And you can probably get a good approximation of those answers because you know her, but those answers don't really help you with anything. I do still struggle with them at times, but I remind myself that I am answer something that will not change a thing for me - mentally or emotionally. So, I reframe my focus back on to what my dreams and aspirations are and focus on that. Cuz I know that when I make my life better, I improve the lives of my kids and am a stronger and more attractive person to be with.

A small detail I forgot to mention about my decision to meet exW's lilmanboy - he was not an OM in the sense that they got together while we were married and she cheated on me. They met a year after the separation. If he was an OM in the traditional sense, I would not have met up with him. Small, but important detail.

The last thing I'll add is that I am not sure if you've been to therapy. If you haven't, you should give it a try. I did a year of it and it was very helpful just to get all my thoughts out and have a neutral party give me new perspectives. The other person who really helped me with my emotional and mental health and mindset is Peter Crone. We can't link up things here, but I would humbly suggest checking him out. Podcast interviews with him are on YouTube. The one with Kerwin Rae is phenomenal, and so are the ones with Dr. Rangan Chatterjee. Didn't solve anything overnight, but I keep going back to him to help me cement my thinking process and emotional issues. Check him out and see if it speaks to you.

I truly feel how you're feeling and I know that it's very possible to get through it with all the rollercoaster feels. This community is very helpful and it definitely helped me in my most troubling hours.

I'm around.


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What Manila said…100%. I know what it feels like as well BL. It is the worst feeling in the world to be “replaced” like that. But…time helps and taking the focus off of them and onto yourself. I did what Maika suggested and asked myself those questions on the regular. The answer was always consistently “no” to the first two questions. Why would I want to be with a cheater who never looks in the mirror and takes no responsibility for himself? It’s a no brainer. You will realize the same thing once you give your heart enough time to catch up with your head. It will eventually. (((HUGS)))


Me 53
H 48
B/G Twins 13
SD 21
Legal SA - January 2019
Divorce filed - June 2019
Divorce final - November 2019

Together 14 years
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BD1 - May 2014
BD2 - September 14, 2018

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has cut multiple very close friends and family out of her life, and always seems to be your "bestie"...until she's not.

Saw this in your intro to this thread. Have you ever heard of borderline personality disorder? People with this issue can “swing” - first you’re the best thing since sliced bread, the only person who really understands them - then you’re a horrible person, the worst ever.

People with borderline personality disorder often cannot maintain stability in their lives, or do so with difficulty. They don’t maintain friendships well over the long term. They have difficulties with coworkers at work. If you were the subject of their admiration at first, it’s disorienting when they turn in you.

I suggest you read up on it and see if it rings any bells. If she IS BPD, understanding it will be key to helping your kids in the future.

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Maika,

I appreciate your time and you weighing in...

Originally Posted by Maika
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but if I'm being honest I do wonder what's going to happen with OM2 in the future...
I know this question and I know how I pondered on it forever. The only real answer to this question is - I don't know. It may work out, it may not.

I would highly suggest that you stop asking questions that have no answers. I know it is hard to not fixate on these questions because they allow us to grieve in some way. You will get past these questions through your grieving period.
Objectively I realize no one can know what will happen in the future. I try not to dwell on it and do my best to stay busy with GAL, but my mind has been bringing it up a good deal lately. Hopefully time will help.

Originally Posted by Maika
i know exactly how it feels to have this happen and have zero control over it. All I have to say is that you have to take care of your heart because there is basically nothing you can do. I know that there is a terrible answer because there is no solution here. It is just embracing the reality.
It's the worst.

Originally Posted by Maika
Every time my kids came and told me about whatever they did there, it was like arrows piercing my heart. I dreaded the moment when my kids would come back to me because I knew I was going to hear all about what's happening at mommy's place with the new guy. But I swallowed it and never showed it to my kids. I would put them to bed at night and then feel all my emotions in my room over some sad music or just have a good cry. Most important advice - don't bury your emotions over this.
It is like an arrow piercing my heart. S6 doesn't bring it up at all, and maybe it's him trying to protect me (which has it's own implications), but D2 doesn't understand and will say "I went for ice cream with mommy, OM2 (they have pet name ExW gave them for him), S6, Ex-MIL" or "I went swimming with mommy and OM2 in Ex-MIL's pool!". I've just been swallowing it like you said and smiling and saying "Oh wow, that sounds fun".

Originally Posted by Maika
Make sure you give yourself time and space to feel them when no one is around. Your kids can't see this because they won't understand and it is not their burden to carry. Try and be the best dad when you're with them, and you have full permission to fall apart when they're not around - I surely did and over time I picked myself up and got stronger.
I haven't had any break downs lately, the last was a few months ago when the D settlement went through, but it still hurts at times for sure.

Originally Posted by Maika
yes, i felt that I had been replaced by a new shiny person. that she now fulfilled her fantasy of having a white picket fence house with a new guy, some cats, a big yard, a pool, and buncha kids blended in together as a new family. and I was left out in the cold. It's heartbreaking to see that. Like you're garbage that was just discarded with such ease and without any concern. that you didn't matter at all.
Yep. Exactly. It's heartbreaking and also bewildering. Like looking in at your life through a window of of house, except it's a different person in there.

Originally Posted by Maika
some of that may ring true, but only because your self-worth and self-value is right now in the deepest darkest parts of a dungeon. I had yank out my value from that place by being around people that loved me and doing things that brought me joy - that's why GAL is such an important component of this.
My self worth has rebounded a good bit. I've always had good self-esteem prior to BD, and I've got that back now. Plus, I've been doing GAL fairly well (adult sports league, coaching S6's teams, grad school, kids, friends & family...etc.)

Originally Posted by Maika
I knew that I had to be a rock for my kids no matter what happened, so that in the future, they would know that I am a safe place for them. Whatever that may transpire for the kids in the future, they know that you got them. You can't count on your exW to make that space for them, but you can do it. Kids will grow up and see the truth for themselves and see how you held it down for them and that might not happen until they're in the 20s, or not until they have kids, but they will eventually. Just be present and stable for them and give them all the love and attention when they're with you because that is the time you can control.
I am absolutely crushing it with the kids, which besides being the right thing to do and the best for them, has helped me quite a bit stay busy and kept my mind off the sitch. Hopefully that's helping them now and will pay dividends for them in the future (despite all they're going through).

Originally Posted by Maika
Quote
Part of me is still hoping things don't work out for them.

It's totally normal to feel and think that. Some part of you wants comeuppance, some revenge. You'll feel less of it over time.
Yep. There's no doubt part of me still wants to see Karma to come around on ExW. Maybe that's not healthy, and it's probably not best for the kids, but I can't help feeling it at times. Hopefully it'll dissapate over time.

Originally Posted by Maika
Part of the reason why I had these thoughts was because in a small way I wanted her to run back to me after realizing what she had lost - but that never happened. And it's okay to have that desire, but it will lessen over time when you shift perspectives. Instead of wondering if the new R will work out, I asked myself:

1. Do I want to be with her considering all that she's done?
2. Is she a healthy emotionally mature human being?
3. What is that I want from a relationship?

Once you shift focus to your own priorities and what you want, you realize that exW is not someone you want to be with right now. If she does the work, you might consider it, but for now that door is only very slightly open.
I don't want her back at this point, and don't even think I could want here back. The answers to questions 1 & 2 are a definite "NO", but that doesn't mean I don't lament the loss of an intact family or wish (even though I wouldn't take her back) she'd realize what she did and what she lost. Though, I suppose what's the point of that now?

Originally Posted by Maika
The only thing that I'll say is that I did spend more time than I should have on questions that had no real answers and trying to find clues to see if she's changed her mind, or try to really understand how she could make the decisions she made etc. And you can probably get a good approximation of those answers because you know her, but those answers don't really help you with anything. I do still struggle with them at times, but I remind myself that I am answer something that will not change a thing for me - mentally or emotionally. So, I reframe my focus back on to what my dreams and aspirations are and focus on that. Cuz I know that when I make my life better, I improve the lives of my kids and am a stronger and more attractive person to be with.
You're right. I shouldn't waste my time on trying to answer questions which can't be answered. I am going pretty well in GAL and improving myself & my future though. Would love to kick those thoughts popping up right out of my head for good!

Originally Posted by Maika
A small detail I forgot to mention about my decision to meet exW's lilmanboy - he was not an OM in the sense that they got together while we were married and she cheated on me. They met a year after the separation. If he was an OM in the traditional sense, I would not have met up with him. Small, but important detail.
Not here! They moved in together the month after separation, and I'm quite sure they were "together" while she still lived with me and the kids. Not sure if that hurts worse, but it seems like it does. I think I'd feel better if they met a year after separation, but who knows maybe not...I guess it doesn't change the result in the end.

Originally Posted by Maika
The last thing I'll add is that I am not sure if you've been to therapy. If you haven't, you should give it a try. I did a year of it and it was very helpful just to get all my thoughts out and have a neutral party give me new perspectives.
I did IC for 6 months and it helped, but the counselor started telling me I was doing everything that I should be doing and she didn't feel she could help me more, so I stopped. I was more in the sad/depressed mode back then, which I've worked through, but maybe I should pick back up at some point to address the thoughts of anger which is more often now.

Originally Posted by Maika
The other person who really helped me with my emotional and mental health and mindset is Peter Crone.
I bookmarked his sessions and will definite give them a listen...thanks for the referral!


Me:39 Ex-W:36
M:7 T: 9
S:6 D:2
BD/IHS/Confirm EA/PA: Feb '20
OM1 affair ends: May '20
W/OM2 & moves out: June-July '20
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Originally Posted by DejaVu6
What Manila said…100%. I know what it feels like as well BL. It is the worst feeling in the world to be “replaced” like that. But…time helps and taking the focus off of them and onto yourself. I did what Maika suggested and asked myself those questions on the regular. The answer was always consistently “no” to the first two questions. Why would I want to be with a cheater who never looks in the mirror and takes no responsibility for himself? It’s a no brainer. You will realize the same thing once you give your heart enough time to catch up with your head. It will eventually. (((HUGS)))

Thanks DejaVu6! I appreciate the words. When I think of Maika's questions objectively the answers are a definitive "NO". It's like I'm in some sort of odd paradox. At this point I don't want to be with her anyway, but also never wanted to be in the position in which I find myself (I.e., the lack of nuclear family for my kids). So while the sitch has past the point of no return with my wife and I, I'm also wanting the family I can never have. If that makes sense?

I have gotten a lot more comfortable with the concept and practice of being a single father and have been crushing it taking the kids places and doing activities with them, so maybe I'll see this "new normal" as even better than a nuclear family in the future.

One topics I've been meaning to raise here on the board is considering we have such young children I still see ExW a good bit with the transitions and activities...etc., and it's an odd feeling at times. She looks the same; she's her pretty / happy self she always was (at least on the outside) and we're cordial, which makes it a bit surreal, like...why did all of this have to happen? And maybe on the inside she's all torn up and hating me for whatever reason, but there's a sense of normalness that does come through on our limited interactions that makes the extremeness of the reality of the divorce and her living with another man seem so bizarre. I don't know if that makes sense or resonates with anyone?


Me:39 Ex-W:36
M:7 T: 9
S:6 D:2
BD/IHS/Confirm EA/PA: Feb '20
OM1 affair ends: May '20
W/OM2 & moves out: June-July '20
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kml,

Originally Posted by kml
Quote
has cut multiple very close friends and family out of her life, and always seems to be your "bestie"...until she's not.
Saw this in your intro to this thread. Have you ever heard of borderline personality disorder? People with this issue can “swing” - first you’re the best thing since sliced bread, the only person who really understands them - then you’re a horrible person, the worst ever.

People with borderline personality disorder often cannot maintain stability in their lives, or do so with difficulty. They don’t maintain friendships well over the long term. They have difficulties with coworkers at work. If you were the subject of their admiration at first, it’s disorienting when they turn in you.

I suggest you read up on it and see if it rings any bells. If she IS BPD, understanding it will be key to helping your kids in the future.

It's hard for me to diagnose. I certainly see I watched a number of videos on narcissism / NPD awhile back and ExW certainly has some of the traits, but not sure if that was more of me reading into things happening during the the affair / divorce and other traits didn't ring as true or at least not obviously.

In terms of BPD, I've read up on it a little on your suggestion. ExW clearly exhibits certain traits:
  • fear of abandonment - Possibly. Not obvious, but would make sense looking back on family history
  • unstable relationships - Not unstable in the short term, but will have relationships (high school best friend, father, our marriage...etc.) which seem very close for a long time, but then are just cut off.
  • Unclear or shifting self-image - Definitely had anxiety and low self-esteem. I didn't realize the extent of those until snooping around affair.
  • Impulsive, self-destructive behaviors - Definitely impulsive, but more like buying things or changing something on a whim as opposed to more risky behaviors.
  • Chronic feelings of emptiness - I'm learning she has low self esteem at times and kind of projects a more happy / confident vibe outward.
  • Extreme emotional swings - Maybe? Again, didn't necessarily see this through our relationship but perhaps inside she was feeling this and masking it? I could see this being the case.


Other BPD traits not as much:
  • Self-harm - No don't believe so. Have no indication.
  • Explosive anger - Didn't really experience much if any of this during the marriage. Seems more like things were boiling on the inside I didn't know about, and maybe just blew out at the end.
  • Feeling suspicious or out of touch with reality - Not sure.


I do see common co-disorders are anxiety which certainly the case and depression which may play in. I've learned self-imagine was a bigger issue than I realized.

ExW did have very traumatic teenage years. She found out about her mom's affair and divorce before her dad. She had a tumultuous relationship with her step-dad and cut her own dad out of her life for 5 years. She has been on ADs and in IC since her teenage years, and I'm hearing others now say "this is the real ExW" and "she's always been messed up", but it's difficult to reconcile that with my experience for the first 7 years of our relationship.


Me:39 Ex-W:36
M:7 T: 9
S:6 D:2
BD/IHS/Confirm EA/PA: Feb '20
OM1 affair ends: May '20
W/OM2 & moves out: June-July '20
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Good Morning BL

Originally Posted by BL42
DnJ - I appreciate you taking the time to weigh in. I find myself reading your post several times, as it's a bit more philosophical/esoteric/conceptual than my left brain is used to, but definitely good concepts to learn more about. I am reading up on those areas I traditionally wasn't as into. I like your analogy on the car lines, can relate to the coffee maker example, and fully admit I need to focus more on the physical activity - maybe putting too many of my eggs in the kids and work basket and not enough on the raw physical. Thank you for your perspective!

Many of the answer you are seeking come from the philosophical realm. These answers are more resolution than solution. And they come from within you.

Originally Posted by BL42
I'm probably getting at a question which you (or anyone else) can't possibly answer, and recognize it's not "focusing on me and the kids", but if I'm being honest I do wonder what's going to happen with OM2 in the future...

I’ve found most obstacles are overcome not by brute head on force. Rather a sideways gentle approach yields the answers/resolutions, although they are usually not what one expects.

There is an answer to this and it will be revealed in time. The unknown future will provide the answer.

However, that is not the real question, is it? From my experience you are still formulating your true question(s). One’s path takes time to walk. It takes time to discover what we are truly questioning and therefore answering/resolving.

Quote
I would highly suggest that you stop asking questions that have no answers.

I suggest you keep asking questions. Especially those that have no, or more accurately hidden answers. Questions lead to knowledge. It is the need for answers you must quash. Again, to be accurate it’s the “quickness” of answers that is best to quash. Patience is the key, not forgoing asking questions.

However, while in the thick of it, focusing on you and the kids is one strategy that lessens those consuming thoughts and questions. GAL, focusing, etc, are all valid and excellent choices within your control and needed to give one’s mind time and rest to find its balance.

It is perfectly normal to wonder and worry about XW and OM2 and your kids. You are doing fine swallowing your feelings and allowing son and daughter to talk about their time and life with mom and OM2. That is what you control. You and your actions and reactions. Continue to be the best Dad you will be.

(A bit more of that esoteric view you mentioned. smile Be the best you will be, not can be. Everyday I can be better. Upon my deathbed, with the final exhale of breath, that is when I am the best I can be. Until then, I can choose to strive to become that man. To walk towards that goal. To work toward being the best I will be.

It’s a different view. And viewpoint changes everything.)

Do be your kids’ rock. Their solid stable parent. Choose this! Realize, it’s a choice.

When we start out, I think we all feel as an imposter. The rug was pulled out from under us. Our spouse displays such arrogance and assuredness of their new life. It is difficult to not get caught up in their fantasy and mix that into our belief system. In time, we find our balance and truth, and properly organize our beliefs and convictions. It does takes some time and patience. And by the way, you really don’t want to rush that.

Ensure you and your kids’ lives are stable and great. That is within your realm. And you are rocking it!

Originally Posted by BL42
There's no doubt part of me still wants to see Karma to come around on ExW. Maybe that's not healthy, and it's probably not best for the kids, but I can't help feeling it at times. Hopefully it'll dissapate over time.

It’s perfectly natural to have those feelings.

Quote
…but I can't help feeling it at times.

If you can’t help it, who can? As in, no one else can it for you.

True, you cannot directly control those feelings. You can influence them.

Feelings are born from within. Like the answers (and still hidden questions) you seek, they are within you. Born from your subconscious they herald a path of growth you can choose to walk.

These situations are horrible. Divorce is horrible. And an excellent and golden opportunity for growth and incredible blessings. I suspect you’ll need to take that a bit on faith for the moment.

Those feelings can dissipate in time. Will dissipate depending upon what path(s) you choose.

Altering, strengthening, discarding certain beliefs we have is a choice. One can choose to live, to belief, in that which they aspire to. One pretty common value/belief is that of justice and vengeance. In my humble opinion most people would be served better if they altered their view of that. Again, viewpoint changes everything.

From your statement you recognize certain rational elements of the value of letting go of the need for karmic intervention - healthier, better for kids. “But”. What comes after “but” is justifying you hanging on to your beliefs and convictions. It’s not “can’t help feeling”, it’s “won’t help feeling”.

Can’t vs won’t. One of the biggest belief/convictions one needs to discard. You are captain of your ship. Everything within your control you can control. It’s a matter of choosing to.

Choose to follow the rational left brain reasoning. This influences feelings, which together with those rational ideals alters deeply held convictions. Beliefs, feelings, thoughts - imagine all those cars lined up on your highway. Imagination, the first step towards creation. The creation and eventual fruition of peace and contentment.

Originally Posted by BL42
So while the sitch has past the point of no return with my wife and I, I'm also wanting the family I can never have. If that makes sense?

Yes, makes sense.

The seeming paradox is due to your binary limiting of options. There are a great many more possibilities. However, this is normal while one lets go.

Originally Posted by BL42
I have gotten a lot more comfortable with the concept and practice of being a single father and have been crushing it taking the kids places and doing activities with them, so maybe I'll see this "new normal" as even better than a nuclear family in the future.

And this is what you can control.

Is the new normal better than the nuclear family? Let go the paradox, discover BL42, and find out. For it will be as best as you make it.

D


Now: Me53 XW50 S24 S23 S20 D19

Oct 8/17-BD, Moves in w/OM, Leaves Kids
Me49 W46 S20 S19 S16 D15
M26 T29
Dec 9/17-Legal Separation
Oct 3/18-W Files
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Hey BL!

This caught my attention and I don't think there's an answer to it. I mean there is, but you would have to ask her directly and see if she in a moment of honesty can say what's going on. I can speculate here and so can you. Think of all of this as an escape from her part. She is hell bent on creating whatever normalcy she can because actually digging in the past is beyond her. Same with my exW - that process will come in time and she's gotta actually allow for it. The so-called normalcy might also just be to put you at ease so that she can get through it as fast as possible. It could also be as a ploy to keep you as back-up. All of these scenarios are possible and are not mutually exclusive. Time will tell.

My exW has only be cordial and nice in the past whenever there was something she needed from me. I've come to recognize the pattern and so I don't get caught off-guard. I treat her with civility and don't think much of her 'niceness'. Maybe if it's still the same a year or two from now, I'll consider changing my perspective.

Quote
One topics I've been meaning to raise here on the board is considering we have such young children I still see ExW a good bit with the transitions and activities...etc., and it's an odd feeling at times. She looks the same; she's her pretty / happy self she always was (at least on the outside) and we're cordial, which makes it a bit surreal, like...why did all of this have to happen? And maybe on the inside she's all torn up and hating me for whatever reason, but there's a sense of normalness that does come through on our limited interactions that makes the extremeness of the reality of the divorce and her living with another man seem so bizarre. I don't know if that makes sense or resonates with anyone?

DnJ made good points about asking questions. Let me clarify what I was saying. I think it's normal to have the questions you are posing, but there are no answers. I'll mildly agree with DnJ about asking questions, but they have to be the ones directed at yourself. There's no point in dwelling on questions that try to surmise the motivations behind exW's actions etc. The only way you'll get an answer to them is if you ask her point blank and even then I wouldn't trust those answers. But the DB way is to focus on yourself and ask yourself the right questions:

What did I contribute to the disintegration of the marriage?
What areas can I improve as a person?
What are the things I would want in a R?

and so forth...

I think those are the real productive questions because it allows you to go inward and seek more self-awareness and understanding.

I think the questions you're thinking about, and trust me I have spent enough time on it as well, leads to rumination and no answers and creates conditions for self-pity, anger, revenge etc. None of those things are going to help you to pick yourself up and move forward.

I'm around


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D2 (soon to be D3) had a meltdown this evening during her bath / before bed time, reminiscent of some of my son's break downs awhile back. She was crying and saying things like "I miss my mommy!", "why mommy leave?", and "I just want my mommy!".

I just held her and hugged her and told her things like "I know it's tough", "I understand how you feel" and "sometimes S6 & I get sad too", "you're my wonderful little girl and I love you"...etc.

Rough night. Sometimes this really [censored].


Me:39 Ex-W:36
M:7 T: 9
S:6 D:2
BD/IHS/Confirm EA/PA: Feb '20
OM1 affair ends: May '20
W/OM2 & moves out: June-July '20
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Sorry D2 had a rough night. It just makes it worse. My kids are all young adults today, their father continues to hurt them with his actions, but they can verbalize it and have boundaries if they choose.

Just keep doing what you are doing. Be the rock she needs. x


ME47 XH44, S28 S24 S19

8/17-BD
IHS: 1/17-2/19
D FILED (ME): 7/19
D FINAL: 10/20
M23 T25
OW CONFIRMED: 01/21

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Sorry, BL42, you handled that wonderfully--validating her feelings and telling her you love her.



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BL, I am so sorry about the bath time emotions. I know how awful it feels to hear your kiddos say things like that.

It has taken me awhile, but one thing I have learned to do is not hijack my children's emotions and conflate them with my own. I am not talking about to them (you validated D beautifully), but within us.

For a long time, I would witness my children's suffering and it would highlight and fuel my own sadness, or rage or frustration with my H. Even if I hid those emotions when I was with my child, I would allow their emotions to kick off a flood of similar emotions I held inside, that I would release when I was alone.

Only very recently I have been able to see their emotions as separate from mine. That they can have those emotions and I can support them through those emotions and not muddy my own emotions with theirs.

I am a better support to them as a result. It's subtle shift, but a powerful one to work towards.

((BL))

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Hello BL

You are doing well listening and providing a safe and healthy space for your children to emote their feelings.

Sage has highlighted an excellent lesson. Our ability to control ourselves, to be strong and stable, so very much helps us and our children.

D


Now: Me53 XW50 S24 S23 S20 D19

Oct 8/17-BD, Moves in w/OM, Leaves Kids
Me49 W46 S20 S19 S16 D15
M26 T29
Dec 9/17-Legal Separation
Oct 3/18-W Files
Apr 6/19-Divorced

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Great week overall. School started so seeing the kids before/after school again this year, coached S6's sporting event, took D3 to gymnastics, held a fabulous birthday party for now D3 with family in town, which she LOVED. I love those kids to pieces. Also, got through the first few weeks of my first grad school class but it's supposed to ramp up over the next month so we'll see how things balance out.

However, there was a negative encounter today and I'm all riled up this evening. ExW asked me to talk at transition, and said my mom had said some things to her at D6's sporting event about not coming around and how ExW left the kids...in front of D3. My mom's been a saint in taking the high road in this entire situation, so I'll have to have to hear her side of it, but it gets me all worked up and my blood boiling to even have to deal with this. I bit my tongue w/ExW, and just listened and did my best to validate. I said something to the effect of 1) I can understand why that might be upsetting, and 2) I'll have a discussion with my mom and give it some thought. ExW said "Thanks for listening". I'll be honest...I wanted to say some hurtful things about AP about her parenting...etc. I managed to keep it inside and not let it show, and am now all amped up in private. Sometimes I don't know why I bite my tongue though...I can't imagine ever taking her back and seems like it would be a good release at times. She deserves it.


Me:39 Ex-W:36
M:7 T: 9
S:6 D:2
BD/IHS/Confirm EA/PA: Feb '20
OM1 affair ends: May '20
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BL, I have seen you on these boards (and I'm guessing in real life too), that you're listening and validation skills are very good. Mine are coming nicely as well, but my IC has told me more than once, my STBXW will be the most difficult, triggering person to not be defensive with and to validate and listen to. If I do it with her then I can do it with anyone. It sounds like you have just achieved this, congrats, well done, it can't have been easy. Do you really want to regress back to the old BL and give her a piece of your mind? Would it do anything more than to her than give her the satisfaction that no, BL hasn't changed? Do you really want to be that person? It's easy to be that person, its hard to be the emotionally controlled and self-disciplined person.

You are doing amazingly mate, keep it up. You sound like you're killing it with the kids and are a great father, be proud of that. I have been doing really well since I came to my last realisation and forgave myself and took some of the blame off myself. I've started seeing the light at the end of the tunnel and I like what I see.


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

BD & OM Jun 2020
W moves out Aug 2020

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Originally Posted by BL42
Great week overall. School started so seeing the kids before/after school again this year, coached S6's sporting event, took D3 to gymnastics, held a fabulous birthday party for now D3 with family in town, which she LOVED. I love those kids to pieces. Also, got through the first few weeks of my first grad school class but it's supposed to ramp up over the next month so we'll see how things balance out.

However, there was a negative encounter today and I'm all riled up this evening. ExW asked me to talk at transition, and said my mom had said some things to her at D6's sporting event about not coming around and how ExW left the kids...in front of D3. My mom's been a saint in taking the high road in this entire situation, so I'll have to have to hear her side of it, but it gets me all worked up and my blood boiling to even have to deal with this. I bit my tongue w/ExW, and just listened and did my best to validate. I said something to the effect of 1) I can understand why that might be upsetting, and 2) I'll have a discussion with my mom and give it some thought. ExW said "Thanks for listening". I'll be honest...I wanted to say some hurtful things about AP about her parenting...etc. I managed to keep it inside and not let it show, and am now all amped up in private. Sometimes I don't know why I bite my tongue though...I can't imagine ever taking her back and seems like it would be a good release at times. She deserves it.

Taking the high road with her isn't in case she ever wants to R. You saying that will send LH into convulsions! LOL No, you listen and validate to diffuse the situation. Of course you wanted to go off on her. She cheated, left you for OM, now subjects your kids to OM. She is one of your least favorite people in the world. Plus, you don't want to be in the middle of this stuff. Your mom and her conversation is between the two of them. You are no longer her H and therefore have no responsibility to defend her to your mom. You did great listening and validating. If you do mention this to your mom I would do is in a completely non-confrontational manner. Info gathering. More than likely your EX was trumping it up to be worse than it was, and it was her own guilt and disgust with herself she was projecting from your mom.

But no, do not keep the peace for the chance at future R. Keep the peace for your kids' sake. To make coparenting easier. She likely will get comments and complaints from others in the future. It is no longer your job to help her cope with the barbs from others.


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OnlyBent,
Originally Posted by OnlyBent
Do you really want to regress back to the old BL and give her a piece of your mind? Would it do anything more than to her than give her the satisfaction that no, BL hasn't changed? Do you really want to be that person? It's easy to be that person, its hard to be the emotionally controlled and self-disciplined person.
Well it'd certainly feel good to blow off some steam in the moment, and she deserves some comeuppance, but probably wouldn't be helpful in the end.

Originally Posted by OnlyBent
You are doing amazingly mate, keep it up. You sound like you're killing it with the kids and are a great father, be proud of that.
Thanks! I've always taking pride in being a fantastic father, and have given even more focus to it since BD.


SteveLW,
Originally Posted by SteveLW
Taking the high road with her isn't in case she ever wants to R. You saying that will send LH into convulsions! LOL
Haven't heard from LH in a bit! Didn't mean to say I'm trying to do that to R - can't see myself ever R'ing at this point - only saying that since I don't want to R what's the point of holding back?

Originally Posted by SteveLW
No, you listen and validate to diffuse the situation.
I did. I was good and have for the most part taken the high road through all this...but certainly didn't want to at the time!

Originally Posted by SteveLW
Of course you wanted to go off on her. She cheated, left you for OM, now subjects your kids to OM. She is one of your least favorite people in the world. Plus, you don't want to be in the middle of this stuff.
^YEP!!!

Originally Posted by SteveLW
Your mom and her conversation is between the two of them. You are no longer her H and therefore have no responsibility to defend her to your mom. You did great listening and validating. If you do mention this to your mom I would do is in a completely non-confrontational manner. Info gathering. More than likely your EX was trumping it up to be worse than it was, and it was her own guilt and disgust with herself she was projecting from your mom.
ExW could definitley be trumping up. I trust my mom much more than her. My mom is on team BL42 whereas ExW has done everything she can to get off my team over the last year and a half. I will discuss it with my mom though because don't want things said in front of the kids for the kids' sake. Just wish I didn't have to deal with all this stuff.

Originally Posted by SteveLW
But no, do not keep the peace for the chance at future R. Keep the peace for your kids' sake. To make coparenting easier. She likely will get comments and complaints from others in the future. It is no longer your job to help her cope with the barbs from others.
Point taken. You're absolutely right in keeping the peace for the kids' sake. It's just tough because part of me would like to go off or handle situations differently, but always having to take the high road and focus on what's best for the kids, which is of course right, but can be less satisfying from a personal / I was betrayed perspective.


Me:39 Ex-W:36
M:7 T: 9
S:6 D:2
BD/IHS/Confirm EA/PA: Feb '20
OM1 affair ends: May '20
W/OM2 & moves out: June-July '20
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Originally Posted by BL42
ExW asked me to talk at transition, and said my mom had said some things to her at D6's sporting event about not coming around and how ExW left the kids...in front of D3.
That sounds uncomfortable. Maybe say "No" to discussions at transition next time? I often have sensitive discussions with my XW 20 feet away from my kids or over the phone.

Originally Posted by BL42
but it gets me all worked up and my blood boiling to even have to deal with this.
You are not Man & Wife, but you are still Dad & Mom.

Originally Posted by BL42
I bit my tongue w/ExW, and just listened and did my best to validate. I said something to the effect of 1) I can understand why that might be upsetting, and 2) I'll have a discussion with my mom and give it some thought.
It's great you listened and validated. I'm curious why you feel the need to talk to your mom about how she interacts with your XW? Your XW's relationship with others is hers to figure out, right? Maybe you're actually concerned for your mom--that if your mom continues to be unkind towards XW, XW may not allow mom at future games or school events during her time?

Originally Posted by BL42
ExW said "Thanks for listening". I'll be honest...I wanted to say some hurtful things about AP about her parenting...etc. I managed to keep it inside and not let it show, and am now all amped up in private. Sometimes I don't know why I bite my tongue though...I can't imagine ever taking her back and seems like it would be a good release at times. She deserves it.
I suspect you want a good co-parenting relationship for the sake of your kids. If it's about venting, write hurtful letters and burn them, channel your hurtful energy into a punching bag or a jog. A good relationship with your ex will allow you to name parenting issues and have her consider them. Which, of course, doesn't guarantee she'll resolve them in your preferred way or at all.



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CWarrior,
Originally Posted by CWarrior
Originally Posted by BL42
ExW asked me to talk at transition, and said my mom had said some things to her at D6's sporting event about not coming around and how ExW left the kids...in front of D3.
That sounds uncomfortable. Maybe say "No" to discussions at transition next time? I often have sensitive discussions with my XW 20 feet away from my kids or over the phone.
Maybe this was confusing. It was meant to read ExW told me that my mom said inappropriate things to her in front of the kids. ExW did not engage me in front of the kids, she waited until they went inside. I did ask ExW if she could email me because I had to run, but she said it was important so I listened.

Originally Posted by CWarrior
Originally Posted by BL42
but it gets me all worked up and my blood boiling to even have to deal with this.
You are not Man & Wife, but you are still Dad & Mom.
Very true. I'd never give up my kids, but this whole BD/D situation would be a whole lot less complicated without the parenting.

Originally Posted by CWarrior
Originally Posted by BL42
I bit my tongue w/ExW, and just listened and did my best to validate. I said something to the effect of 1) I can understand why that might be upsetting, and 2) I'll have a discussion with my mom and give it some thought.
It's great you listened and validated. I'm curious why you feel the need to talk to your mom about how she interacts with your XW? Your XW's relationship with others is hers to figure out, right? Maybe you're actually concerned for your mom--that if your mom continues to be unkind towards XW, XW may not allow mom at future games or school events during her time?
Well if my mom did say things to ExW in front of my kids, that shouldn't happen going forward in the interest of the kids. Wanted to get my mom's side of the story. Definitely trust my mom completely and way more than ExW at this point. Don't want to get in-between them generally or really have them in contact at all, but if there's anything questionable going on in terms of the kids that needs to be addressed.

Originally Posted by CWarrior
I suspect you want a good co-parenting relationship for the sake of your kids. If it's about venting, write hurtful letters and burn them, channel your hurtful energy into a punching bag or a jog. A good relationship with your ex will allow you to name parenting issues and have her consider them. Which, of course, doesn't guarantee she'll resolve them in your preferred way or at all.
Good suggestions. Part of it is maybe posting/venting here. Unfortunately it's been hard to count on ExW related to any parenting-related topics at this point, but hopefully she's coming around on the parenting front lately. For awhile during IHS/affair she was extremely nasty to then D1, and hasn't acted in the best interest of the kids, but hopefully that's changing.


Me:39 Ex-W:36
M:7 T: 9
S:6 D:2
BD/IHS/Confirm EA/PA: Feb '20
OM1 affair ends: May '20
W/OM2 & moves out: June-July '20
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Originally Posted by BL42
It was meant to read ExW told me that my mom said inappropriate things to her in front of the kids. ExW did not engage me in front of the kids, she waited until they went inside.
Yes, I (mis)read this as you suspected. (:

Originally Posted by BL42
Well if my mom did say things to ExW in front of my kids, that shouldn't happen going forward in the interest of the kids.
Definitely!

Originally Posted by BL42
. For awhile during IHS/affair she was extremely nasty to then D1, and hasn't acted in the best interest of the kids, but hopefully that's changing.
Nasty to a D1?! How sad. I'm glad to hear that may be turning around! And likewise, I find posting here often helps me work out what I'm struggling with emotionally.



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CWarrior,

Originally Posted by CWarrior
Originally Posted by BL42
For awhile during IHS/affair she was extremely nasty to then D1, and hasn't acted in the best interest of the kids, but hopefully that's changing.
Nasty to a D1?! How sad. I'm glad to hear that may be turning around! And likewise, I find posting here often helps me work out what I'm struggling with emotionally.
Yep. I don't know if it was a postpartum thing, issues ExW had w/her mom surfacing, guilt of the affair, or just bitterness/resentment about me also directed at our daughter...etc., but she treated our daughter much different at a young age than our older son.

ExW would snap at (then) D1, not go to and comfort her, tell me not to go to her when she was crying or having a meltdown (for the record I did not comply and told ExW straight out I would go pick up hug my daughter when she was crying, standing up to ExW despite be being scared at the time about the affair and marriage).

The good news is that from what I can tell it seems to have corrected. She appears more engaged and caring with now D3 than before - though I can't say what happens at her house - so hopefully for my daughter's sake whatever was going on to cause that behavior has stopped. I do wonder at times if there was some underlying issue (postpartum, whatever) which drove BD and the affair, but who knows.


Me:39 Ex-W:36
M:7 T: 9
S:6 D:2
BD/IHS/Confirm EA/PA: Feb '20
OM1 affair ends: May '20
W/OM2 & moves out: June-July '20
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I am no doctor and cannot offer diagnosis, but I've heard that a lot of women go through undiagnosed post-partum depression. I know my exW did and neither of us recognized it until much later. She also had/has high levels of anxiety and paranoia at times, which made it worse.

All of these things add to layers of resentment which then explodes at BD, so PPD could've been part of that as well.

Glad to hear she's better with your D now.


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A few items of note...

S6 School Open House - S6 didn't want to go to his open house, asked mommy in the morning and teacher at school if he had to, and asked me if he could stay home with D3 & my parents. However, the purpose of the event was for kids to show their classroom/teacher/projects to their parents. He was happy and playing until dinner time when he got quiet and wouldn't eat - told me he was "just tired", but my mom and I got a strong sense he was uncomfortable about the open house, maybe because ExW & I would be there together? Anyway, I told him he had to go. I was a bit uncomfortable myself but put on a good face and believe it went smoothly.

D3 Vacation Crying - D3 told my mom when she would cry on vacation mommy would let her watch a particular funny video which would make her laugh. When my mom asked why she cried on vacation D3 responded "I missed my daddy". D3 went on to tell my mom "I like when it's me and S6 and mommy. I like when it's me and S6 and daddy. I don't like when it's me and S6 and mommy and OM2". I don't like the kids are upset and missing me, though in a way it's nice to hear it; I'm only privy to the "I miss mommy. I love mommy" side of things when they're with me. Also want to keep my eyes & ears open about "don't like time with OM2" comment. This was completely unprompted and want to make sure nothing bad is going on around my young daughter, to whatever extent I'm able.

ExW Family/OM2 Drama - I'm not seeking this out, but ExW's stepmom keeps reaching out to my mom as her and Ex-FIL are afraid Ex-MIL & ExW's stepdad are going to manipulate and shut them out with the grand kids (as they felt happened years ago with the kids). ExMIL recently moved from a good distance away back into the area, and is now having Ex-BIL and his wife (who is pregnant with #3 and who ExMIL hates) move here as well. ExMIL had ExW's grandma sell her house, but has now told her she can't move in with her (as was the plan) so she's angry with ExMIL and not sure where's she's going go. Maybe they want her in a old folks' home? Apparently ExW wasn't able to secure a loan from the bank for the new bigger house out of the school district across the street from OM2's sister without ExMIL's help due to the significant amount of debt ($75k?) she's taken on in the past year (even though I'm giving her monthly checks for the equivalent of her current mortgage and car payment!). Also...heard my first indication that some of the shine is coming off ExW's R w/OM2. Supposedly he didn't really want to go on their family vacation, felt trapped with the kids and ExInLaws and was going back and forth on committing giving ExW headaches about it, and ExW has made comments such as "I don't know what I'm gonna do about OM2."

Anyway, after hearing all that the "not my monkey, not my circus" saying immediately came to mind and I couldn't help but smile a bit...there are some "pros" of the D! :-)

Last edited by BL42; 09/26/21 04:13 PM.

Me:39 Ex-W:36
M:7 T: 9
S:6 D:2
BD/IHS/Confirm EA/PA: Feb '20
OM1 affair ends: May '20
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Hey BL, how do you feel when you hear that the shine might be coming off? Detached?


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

BD & OM Jun 2020
W moves out Aug 2020

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Originally Posted by OnlyBent
Hey BL, how do you feel when you hear that the shine might be coming off? Detached?
I hear you OB, but would be lying if I said it didn't put a smile on my face.


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No judgement from me, I’m sure I would feel the same. But you know what I’m getting at. I say this knowing that I need to keep working on the same thing as well.

Keep going mate, your progress is great. Also, your contribution to others on here is awesome, much respect.


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Oh BL, can i just say that you are obviously doing an amazing job with the kids. When mine are at home with me s7 doesnt really ask about H, doesnt cry, every now and again s6 will say he misses H and how it was before he left. And i can totally sympathise with kids not liking the OM.
Same here with not liking ow and wanting her gone from S7, he literally says that he is waiting for her to go and live with her parents, back where she came from basically.

No judgement here either, i also think that healthy detachment doesnt mean treating the ex as a stranger. I will always have some interest in his life all the while the kids go to his home.

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Quote
I hear you OB, but would be lying if I said it didn't put a smile on my face.

oh for sure. The fantasy has started to disintegrate and maybe reality is setting in. It definitely brought a smile to my face too. Just know that it doesn't mean she's going to want to come back. So, you keep on doing your thing and let her stew in what she's done. Your business is still the same - keep being an amazing dad and focusing on what you want to do with you life and getting after it.


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BL, I just want to pop in with something on the little one not being a fan of OM. I liked a total of 2 of my mom's bfs. I'm actually still social media friends with one of her exes. But he was probably the best of them all. He still came to see me after they broke up. He wanted to marry my mom but she said she wasn't ready and he didn't want to back track in the relationship. So it ended where it ended, but he never stopped being kind to either of us. And he didn't just leave me behind when they split.

The others, however, some were openly resentful and cold to me. Some just gave me a really bad feeling. Honestly I think kids are a lot more intuitive than adults or they're just better at listening to their gut. My feelings on those guys were never wrong.

That being said my daughter haaatttteed my now husband and my exH's 1st gf after the split. She genuinely did not like me splitting my attention. She had grown accustom to being my whole world. And even though she grew to love my exH's now ex-gf (she was the best of all of them) she didn't appreciate her dad's behavior. He is the kind of guy who gets swept up in a relationship. Not that he was ever particularly active in our daughter's life but he completely dropped off the face of the Earth for the first few months they were seeing each other. She felt like he was always choosing someone or something over her and she (the gf at the time) was no exception.

Another example my high school bf was also part of a blended family, like I was, but in their house they were forced to call the step parent by either mom or dad. That in and of itself bred a ton of resentment for all the kids. The grossest thing about that is that their non-custodial parents (who admittedly were shi!tshows) were still in their lives to the best of their abilities. On top of that they were married when the kids were like 8, 10, 12, and 14. IMO a little too old to play Brady bunch. Also a little to far this side of the 1970s. It literally became a household of kids vs the parents because of the dynamic they created. My house was a nightmare, but that was one horror I was never forced into.

The point here is kids can dislike the dynamic for a plethora of reasons. Maybe your ex behaves differently when OM is around. Maybe D3 just isn't a fan. Maybe D3 isn't getting the attention she wants. Maybe when OM is around they do what OM wants to do and when he isn't your ex let's the kids do what they want to do. I'd keep and eye out for obvious signs, but make sure you keep in mind 3 year olds don't prescribe to logic yet. They still live in the realm of magical thought. And at that age developmentally speaking they are all essentially tiny sociopaths that lack empathy. Not to defend OM but he could be a perfectly acceptable bonus parent and D3 could just like things they way she likes things, in the same manner she probably has a favorite cup.

Lastly, remember that digging into what's going on in the other household opens your household up for the same kind of scrutiny when the time comes. Which I'm sure right now that doesn't mean much. Probably you're thinking, fine, I got nothing to hide. But it gets complicated as they age and if you meet someone you want to stick around. If they don't learn the boundaries of what happens at mom's stays at moms unless you were scared or hurt, and what happens at dad's stays at dad's unless you were scared or hurt early it becomes a whole thing. Trust me I lived/live it with H's ex. D17 still doesn't get the boundaries sometimes. It's exhausting and frustrating when dealing with an ex who is always looking for way to hurt, manipulate or get more money.

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I'm really upset right now. My blood is boiling.

ExW just emailed me saying she's changing the schedule & childcare during her weeks. We had an arrangement where I would care for the kids before & after school (I work from home whereas she has to go in) as well as Fridays (I have a 4-day work week), so essentially I spent time significant time with them on 12 days in the two week cycle. We've been in this mode for over a year and it's worked fine - I've made myself 100% available. Instead she stated her parents will cover different the days of her week while she's working, essentially blocking me from seeing the kids...even on weekdays she's working and I'm not.

I reached out to my attorney, but don't know if there's anything to be done. We worked in a "right of first refusal" into the agreement, but not sure the terms help me in this case due to the time period and "relatives" factor. I was afraid she would change things like this...

I'm feeling hurt and angry right now, and grieving again the loss of more time with my kids.


Me:39 Ex-W:36
M:7 T: 9
S:6 D:2
BD/IHS/Confirm EA/PA: Feb '20
OM1 affair ends: May '20
W/OM2 & moves out: June-July '20
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BL42, aww, I feel you. smirk The year COVID shut down schools, I encountered a similar loss--I temporarily stopped seeing my kids daily, something I had previously been accustomed to. If this new schedule gives you less than 50/50, or your Right of First Refusal terms are written just right, you may have recourse. I'll leave that to your lawyer who knows your state and agreement.

Assuming you still have 50/50 and Right Of First Refusal does not apply--I assume her parents are not "bad" for your kids and this is mostly about your feelings. Which are important. During COVID I began calling my kids more during my ex's custody time. Is that a possibility? My ex actually had no issues with that and we've shifted much more to a co-parenting mood over the last couple of years.



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Hey BL!!!

I am so sorry for what the exW pulled. I totally get your feelings of being angry and hurt, and grieving the time that you had cultivated with the kids which is now getting cut short. What's appalling about this is the unilateral move on exW's part and not consulting you on this.

One of the things that still grates me to this day is my time cut short with the kids. Even though we have 50-50 custody, I still feel that I am missing out. This feeling has dissipated over time, but what's been required is time and a shift in mindset for it. But first a few questions:

1. What is your custody split?
2. How are your ex-in-laws with the kids?

I know what I am going to offer right now is going to be difficult for you to see and digest, but having been longer in this game, my perspective has had time to marinate.

First and foremost, your feelings are valid. This seems like another stab to your heart and it is painful. I have no doubt about that. But as CW said, this is a lot about your feelings and grieving another loss to what you have already lost.

But here's the thing - think of this change as a positive move for your kids as they get to spend more time with the grandparents, assuming the relationship with them is good for the kids and they are caring and wonderful people. I have no family here and I have gone out of my way to strengthen my kids relationship with my ex-in-laws to create a sense of a larger family for the kids. My kids see my side of the family maybe once a year, with COVID it's been nothing for the last 18 months. So, to have connections with the larger family is going to be important for the kids. They will have more family stability in the future.

The other thing is, and I am completely speculating here is because I don't know your exW, that maybe she feels guilty about you bearing most of the burden for childcare. Especially when she needs to shoulder her part of it and if she's unable to, then make arrangements that will suitable for the children. That she shouldn't have to rely on you and it would be unfair in the co-parenting arrangement. I know it's hard to see her side of this, and maybe this perspective, but it's very possible that this could be her thinking.

Now the most difficult perspective, the one that took me a very long time to come to terms to. This additional time that you don't have the kids is the time for yourself. What are you going to do with this time? What opportunities might be now open to you in terms of work, GAL, dating etc because of this? I know it seems like a selfish perspective, but it's not. It's about recognizing that YOU are also important and this time could be well used for that.

Initially I just sulked around and didn't do anything. But after that got tiresome and predictable, I started thinking of how I could use the time to further myself as a person and as a father. I had to get past my emotions and feelings first and you have the full right to grieve this for some time.

The most egregious part of all of this is that you were not consulted and there was no amicable conversation around this change. But remember, it might be difficult to have this conversation on her part. It doesn't excuse it and she should've taken the responsibility to address it with you, but she didn't. Until you and her can get to a place where you can have conversations about such things, you'll have to remember that she's going to take unilateral decisions. And the unfortunate part about it is that you won't be able to control it, unless it violates the separation agreement or it is something that is not legal.

I am really sorry for what you're going through and I feel you on it. Take some time to take care of your heart and grieve.

The ultimate question I always ask myself - Is this better for the kids?

Sometimes the answer is not so clean and black and white, but it at least allows you to remove yourself from the equation and look at it with a bit of distance.


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So I'm inclined to wonder if this is a money move. If you have hands on/face time with the kids 12 days out of 14 if it's broken down into hours there's a chance you could demand child support. Some places it's all about the over nights, some places it's actual hours with the kids so I'm not 100% on that but I'm always kind of expecting the worst of the parent who has less face time with kids. And it's something you should check in with your lawyer about.

But, and this is a big but, if the order is 50/50 and it actually means 50/50 you have to understand this isn't her taking away the kids from you, but actually holding up her end. I know it doesn't make the blow any softer, but it's what you're working with. And if that's the truth here it's a waste of your money to get your lawyer or the courts involved. I'm sorry.

There's a very fine line in co-parenting where you have to ask yourself if you're co-parenting well and sharing responsibility or you're using/being used/relying too much on your ex(and vice versa) to do things you really need to figure out yourself.

You're a hands on dad. Your littles are still really little. I totally understand why you feel like they are being snatched from you. This could've been handled better than kind of bomb dropping it in an email, but I have to agree with Maika sort of. I'd reverse the question. Not "is this better for the kids?" but "is this harmful to the kids in any way?" Because that answer is clear. It's either a yes or a no, and if her parents are stable and sane people you know the answer to this.

I know when this is all still fresh every step of the way feels like another step on broken glass, but you have to understand it's really important for her to be responsible for the child care on her weeks. Just like you should be responsible for yours. You two should only rely on each other in emergencies. You have two separate household, and two separate lives now. Both of your lives should be minimal contact with each other outside of trading the kids off, or kids updates/emergencies. Healthy happy co-parenting relies heavily on the clear separation of your lives in the early years. Eventually it can lead into trading days, and more lax versions of your court order, and if you're really lucky someday co-parenting with bonus parents in a healthy, mostly happy, integrated way. But most couples aren't lucky enough to make it to that top tier. And until you guys have done this co-parenting thing post divorce for a few years it's best to parallel parent.

Problems happen in the future if the laissez-faire custody happens. There will come a day when she dumps the kids off unexpectedly when you have plans since it's not your week. And I'm not insinuating that your children are a burden in any way, however, when you sink into your life with 50/50 most people arrange their lives based on the week with their kids and their week without. The potential you have here is you planning a week long vacation and her saying she doesn't have a sitter and has to work and now you're losing money and time to yourself. It leaves room for her to do something like that out of spite, or simply because she knows no matter what you're just going to take the kids. And she'll walk right through boundaries if she knows they're permeable. It could even end up where it's expected that you pick up the slack when she can't and then when you bring up the fact that it's not your week and that she does that, she can turn it around and make it a you don't want to spend time with your own children thing. There is a lot of messy messy things that come with not establishing boundaries and rules early that will put the kids directly in the middle of your D for the foreseeable future. That's not good for you and that's really not good for them.

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I didn't think of the money angle - good point wayfarer.

I'll add to the laissez-faire custody thing that wayfarer brought up. We had a fairly strict 50-50 split and schedule that we didn't really deviate from in the beginning. 4 years out now we are able to have much more flexibility. Also, in the beginning she didn't want flexibility as she was out on the town sleeping around etc.

The other point around boundaries and the schedule is that this new arrangement might reduce your contact points with her during the week - which is a good thing. The less you see her and stay dark, the better.


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CWarrior/Maika/wayfarer,

Great appreciate your support and input. I was really worked up yesterday, very upset. I didn't sleep well last night, but have calmed down a bit today with a feeling that after compromise it's not as bad as it initially presented and also there are "pros" to mitigate the "cons" of the change.

Fortunately after a few back-and-forths emails it sounds like we've come to a sort of compromise agreement. I still won't have the kids in the mornings on her weeks, but will see S6 a few afternoons before activities / my off-week evening for dinner, and she's agreed to let me be with them on my off-Friday days. So I'll still miss out on the mornings - walking S6 to school each day had become one of our things - but will see them more than her original stance.

To your points, I need to change my mindset and get over the loss of potential time with my kids (which unfortunately is not in my control) and instead focus on the positives (more sleep/less hectic mornings, more time for regular workouts, golf, skiing...etc.)

Originally Posted by Maika
I am so sorry for what the exW pulled. I totally get your feelings of being angry and hurt, and grieving the time that you had cultivated with the kids which is now getting cut short. What's appalling about this is the unilateral move on exW's part and not consulting you on this.
Thanks. It's infuriating. It's like they're being torn away from me again.

Originally Posted by Maika
One of the things that still grates me to this day is my time cut short with the kids. Even though we have 50-50 custody, I still feel that I am missing out. This feeling has dissipated over time, but what's been required is time and a shift in mindset for it.
It grates me as well. However, it's been mitigated by our arrangement where I essentially spend time with them for several hours most days of the two week cycle. This declaration by fiat was essentially removing that mitigating and extra connection with the kids.

Originally Posted by Maika
1. What is your custody split?
Our legal agreement is joint 50/50 custody, but in practice we've had an arrangement under which I've been spending an hour or two before and after school with them as well as every Friday (regardless of week), as well as afternoons with S6 when he has an activity. So I've been spending as much time non-sleeping with them in some respects on her weeks as she has. This informal/non-legally binding arrangement is what's she's changing.
Originally Posted by Maika
2. How are your ex-in-laws with the kids?
The ex-inlaws are good with the kids. They're loved and cared for. I am concerned about Ex-MIL manipulation, but no indication whatsoever the kids are harmed in any way.
Originally Posted by Maika
The other thing is, and I am completely speculating here is because I don't know your exW, that maybe she feels guilty about you bearing most of the burden for childcare
I don't think this is the case. I highly doubt it. It's not about her spending more time with the kids, it's her work schedule shifted and she doesn't want to get the kids over to me earlier - it's easy for her this way. Also concerned with Ex-MIL now in town there's a sense of me and my family see the kids too much and they're going to put a stop to that. ExFIL has warned my family repeatedly of what's to come with ExMIL, based on his experience through their D and kid manipulation, and I believe him.
Originally Posted by Maika
This additional time that you don't have the kids is the time for yourself. What are you going to do with this time? What opportunities might be now open to you in terms of work, GAL, dating etc because of this? I know it seems like a selfish perspective, but it's not. It's about recognizing that YOU are also important and this time could be well used for that.
I agree, and need to get better in this area. I've put a lot of the weight on myself about being there for the kids in every way possible, which is good for their needs from a "father" perspective, but a "pro" of this change could be better self-care for me and my priorities. I'll be able to sleep in alternativing weeks now and it'll ease the extreme flexing/juggling work for the kids, plus maybe I can establish a gym workouts in the mornings.
Originally Posted by Maika
I am really sorry for what you're going through and I feel you on it. Take some time to take care of your heart and grieve.
Thanks.
Originally Posted by Maika
The ultimate question I always ask myself - Is this better for the kids?
I'm not sure. Who knows. On the one hand I thought it was good they had a regular starting point to get to school every day - consistency - and now it'll be changing day by day, but on the other hand they'll be able to sleep in more.

I need to let go as I can't control it.

Originally Posted by wayfarer
So I'm inclined to wonder if this is a money move. If you have hands on/face time with the kids 12 days out of 14 if it's broken down into hours there's a chance you could demand child support. Some places it's all about the over nights, some places it's actual hours with the kids so I'm not 100% on that but I'm always kind of expecting the worst of the parent who has less face time with kids. And it's something you should check in with your lawyer about.
Originally Posted by Maika
I didn't think of the money angle - good point wayfarer.
I don't believe it's about money. Our state is based soley on nights, which is why I give her a large amount of child support even though I care for them a good bit more than her (they ultimately end up at her place at night on her weeks). She gets paid regardless, which in a sense benefits me because she's less likely to prevent me from spending more time with the kids, at least from a financial perspective.

I think this is about convenience for her - it's easier to have her parents come over than the kids come to me - and also maybe a bit controlling of her and Ex-MIL in town whispering in her ear that me and my family see the kids way more (I know ExMIL used to do that when we lived far away, well before BD).

Originally Posted by wayfarer
But, and this is a big but, if the order is 50/50 and it actually means 50/50 you have to understand this isn't her taking away the kids from you, but actually holding up her end. I know it doesn't make the blow any softer, but it's what you're working with. And if that's the truth here it's a waste of your money to get your lawyer or the courts involved. I'm sorry.
You're right. Our arrangement was not legally-binding and I was running on borrowed time in a sense, but it had been operating smoothly for over a year so maybe I was niave enough to think I'd have the opportunity going forward. The thing is about holding up her end...it's not about her spending more time with the kids - she's still relying on others to take care of them - it'll just be her parents (their grandparents) instead of their father.

Originally Posted by wayfarer
There's a very fine line in co-parenting where you have to ask yourself if you're co-parenting well and sharing responsibility or you're using/being used/relying too much on your ex(and vice versa) to do things you really need to figure out yourself.
I think I was being used/relied on too much previously, but it was a role I happily accepted because it led to more involvement with the kids than I would've had otherwise.

Originally Posted by wayfarer
You're a hands on dad. Your littles are still really little. I totally understand why you feel like they are being snatched from you.
Thanks. I take pride in that.
[quote=wayfarer]"is this harmful to the kids in any way?" Because that answer is clear. It's either a yes or a no, and if her parents are stable and sane people you know the answer to this.
No, it's not "harmful". Not sure it's the best for the kids either, but can't say it's harmful.
Originally Posted by wayfarer
I know when this is all still fresh every step of the way feels like another step on broken glass, but you have to understand it's really important for her to be responsible for the child care on her weeks. Just like you should be responsible for yours. You two should only rely on each other in emergencies. You have two separate household, and two separate lives now. Both of your lives should be minimal contact with each other outside of trading the kids off, or kids updates/emergencies. Healthy happy co-parenting relies heavily on the clear separation of your lives in the early years.
Thanks for the perspective. It is fresh and therefore "broken glass", but understand your point on her taking on more, except she won't be doing any more...she's just offloading it to other people instead of me.

That said, it will lead to less contact with each other which is fine by me at this point - so that's another "pro" of the change.


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Just want to clear up a couple things, when I say holding up her end I don't mean taking on more with the kids. It's her taking care of her side of the street with her support system and not relying solely on you.

Her carrying her weight on her weeks isn't more face time with the kids. And keep in mind moving forward, how much time she does or doesn't spend with the kids isn't really your business unless it's affecting them enough to carry over into your home. But that also means it's none of her business what you're doing with your time on your weeks. What she's doing know, and I know it hurts, is establishing her own routine, her own child care system, building the boundaries you guys should've had over the last year. I totally get when the pro is "I get my kids more," and when they are as little as yours are I understand how easy it is to think she's either pawning the kids off or taking them. But right this second she isn't and there doesn't seem to be a nefarious motive. She's just doing what should've been done a year ago.

Also, I want to touch on why I never ask what's best for the kids. I worked in child welfare for a decade. What's best for the kids isn't an answerable question. There are so many variables in any given situation even if you were an actuary by trade there's no way to know that unless it's a completely black or white situation i.e. "is it best to let kids play in a busy street kind. Nuanced things like this, this isn't answerable. It's why I frame the question in the way "Will it harm the kids? Yes or no." It's a long road to learn how worry only about your side of the street. It's a longer road when you have an ex that wants you to mind your own business but will do everything in their power to try to muddy up those sides of the street. Building and maintaining clear, consistent and healthy boundaries with and for each other is the only way.

Tell yourself over and over again if you have to she's worrying about her side of the street and I'm going to worry about mine. Two households. Two lives. Please trust and believe what Maika and I are saying about this because we've been there. You should be parenting side by side right now. There will be a time when you can parent in a way that's more co-parenting together than next to each other. Now isn't that time.

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wayfarer,

Thanks for sharing your perspective. It does hurt, because it feels like I'm losing special time with the kids (walking to/from school became our routine). While the changes won't do direct "harm" to the kids, I was able to provide a reliable launching point to & from school, whereas it sounds like ExW's schedule will be changing week to week so I'm concerned they'll be unsettled and wondering who is taking them to school, who will pick them up, where they'll be going...etc. (D3 is already asking those questions a lot). At least my weeks will be very routine and organized so they'll have a sense of comfort and consistency. But perhaps in the long run it will be for the best and will help establish those boundaries. As I mentioned, one of the pros will be more self focus (more sleep on "off" weeks, less stress in the morning w/school prep vs. work calls, and maybe implementing a regular workout schedule).

Also wanted to circle back on the D3/OM2 topic from before I got waylayed by ExW's schedule changes...

Originally Posted by wayfarer
The point here is kids can dislike the dynamic for a plethora of reasons. Maybe your ex behaves differently when OM is around. Maybe D3 just isn't a fan. Maybe D3 isn't getting the attention she wants. Maybe when OM is around they do what OM wants to do and when he isn't your ex let's the kids do what they want to do. I'd keep and eye out for obvious signs, but make sure you keep in mind 3 year olds don't prescribe to logic yet. They still live in the realm of magical thought. And at that age developmentally speaking they are all essentially tiny sociopaths that lack empathy. Not to defend OM but he could be a perfectly acceptable bonus parent and D3 could just like things they way she likes things, in the same manner she probably has a favorite cup.

I've heard OM2 never wanted to get married or have kids, and more recently ExW was upset he was waffling about whether to go on vacation with her, the kids, and her family, but I had not had any indication he was mean or nasty to the kids or that they were upset about him. My parents and I really don't pry - not wanting to get kids caught in the middle of a spy game - but we do let them talk and listen if there's something they want to discuss and encourage them to share their feelings. This comment D3 made to my mom about not liking when it's "me, mommy, S6 & OM2 time" was the first indication either kid was upset about OM2 in the equation. It could be just a passing feeling and completely innocent, but want to keep my eyes open (as you mention) to make sure it's not anything more serious over time. Also, I don't bring this up with them obviously but do wonder how they feel when during my time I'm 100% focused on them whereas ExW has other priorities to balance.


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Don't let the pain of not seeing them as much as you want stop you from getting everything out of your time together with the kids. It could be worse - they could die and you could never see them again! Or it could be even worse than that!

So cherish what you do get and don't let the negative emotions bleed into your important time with the kids. Good luck.


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I'm with wayfarer on this one - kids will dislike things for any number of reasons, especially at that age. But it's always good to keep an eye on what's going on with them and just let them talk. Your kids are not old enough yet to try this, but one of the things I do is have family meetings every week. Kids really enjoy this 'formal' process and making an agenda and them taking turns being the 'chair'. I learn a lot about what's happening at school and at the other house without asking prying questions.

Because they're little, they don't have the range to articulate how they're feeling if your exW is all over the place and not spending as much time with them as you would etc. It'll come out, but it won't be sophisticated thoughts. Just keep your observation skills up high and you'll see how they're doing over time.

One of the other things I've come to realize is not the quantity of the time with the kids but the quality. Am I being present with them? Are we doing things that they enjoy? Even little things like taking a walk or lazing out in front of the tv etc is just still great quality time. So, I focus on what I am doing with the time I have with them rather than thinking the time I don't have with them. They'll remember the quality when they're older not how much time you spent with them.

There was a time when the schedule was a bit chaotic with the kids a while back. One of the ways I dealt with it so that kids wouldn't be anxious was to let them know who's picking them up that day and who's dropping them off etc. This way they knew beforehand and weren't left guessing. Just giving them information so they have control over the day and certainty. You're probably not in the communication space with exW to mention that, but hopefully she does that if her schedule is going to be unpredictable.

And I 100% co-sign on the parallel parenting that wayfarer talked about. I still parent that way even though now we have a bit more communication between us. It's a lot less stressful and you can make decisions without worry.


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Originally Posted by BL42
Also, I don't bring this up with them obviously but do wonder how they feel when during my time I'm 100% focused on them whereas ExW has other priorities to balance.
Well, when you were married, neither of you was 100% focused on the kids, correct? You balanced kids time and couples' time. I'm okay that my son and daughter sometimes don't have me planning events, feel bored, and have to figure out how to entertain themselves. XW's decrease in focus on the kids may be partly or wholly made up for by OM's focus on the kids? One GF I dated was an amazing influence since she fielded questions about tying up hair and menstruation my XW would not. There are a lot of changes in dynamics to get used to. It's hard at first. I'm glad she was able to give you more time with your kids than you expected and hope OM is more benefit than problem for your kids.



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Apparently this is a drama-filled week from the ExW side. I swear I'm not seeking it out. At times it feels like I'm living in a bizarro world where everyone is crazy except me...

OM2's sister just texted me inviting S6 and D3 to her daughter's birthday party! (It's scheduled during my week with the kids). It was a perfectly normal invitation on its face, completely ignoring the elephant in the room...as if there wasn't an affair/recent D with her brother involved.

Should I...
1) Not respond at all
2) Respond: "Thank you, but S6 and S3 won't make it."
3) Respond: "ExW was having a physical affair IN THE OFFICE with a married coworker (who has 3 young daughters) while I was at home putting then S4 and D1 to bed...to the point HR & administration had to intervene. When that ended your brother started sleeping with my wife and they immediately moved in together with our two young children...long before we were divorced. I'm sure ExW has worked through all of her issues though, and the two of them will ride off happily into the sunset together - good luck to him! S6 and D3 won't be able to make it. Please do not contact me again."

I'm assuming #1 is the recommended BD approach...but man is #3 tempting.

Last edited by BL42; 09/29/21 04:48 PM.

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#1 or #2. No need to go nuclear over this invite.


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No #1 isn't the DB approach. You're not in a relationship with OM's sister. I suggest option:
#4 Thank you for keeping S6 and D3 in mind, that was kind. I won't be able to swing that. Our apologies or if you must your #2 .

I personally think because you are working on creating boundaries and adhering to your custody agreement this should be a no, and for absolutely no other reason.

I understand that this is a crappy over all situation, but this is what is going on. Ignoring it doesn't make it go away. Dropping your emotional trauma on OM's sister accomplishes nothing. Even if you were to unload on her you'd feel better in the moment and the like sh!t after the fact.

OM's sister didn't cheat on you nor cheat with you exW. And I don't know enough about your sitch so maybe she even encouraged or supported them during the affair. Which I could see why you'd be wary or even a little hostile about her, but all that's pretty irrelevant now. You're not married any more.

What is relevant is your current situation. OM's sister has kids that your kids probably play with and are familiar with. They may even really enjoy playing together. It was a nice gesture. Is it weird? Yup. Probably a little too soon? Also, a yes. But at some point in the near future this will be your new normal. The question here is are going to turn every opportunity like this for your kids to have a good time into an emotional landmine for you because it's with OM's family or are you going keep working through this so you don't have a visceral reaction to a kid's birthday party invite and can make the decision solely based on the kids availability?

BL I think maybe it's time to head over to Surviving the Big D. I've done this all before, but it's been like 10 years for me, my kid is an adult. It's pretty active over there and there's a lot of people who went through or are going through what you're dealing with. That way you can get more voices to weigh in on this stuff.

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I'd actually tell S6 and D3 they were invited to OM2's sister's D's party and ask if they wanted to go.

The priority is your kids, right? wink

Originally Posted by BL42
It was a perfectly normal invitation on its face, completely ignoring the elephant in the room...as if there wasn't an affair/recent D with her brother involved.
I'm not sure what you're trying to say--your XW broke her vow to you by being with OM2, so OM2 wronged you, so OM2's sister did wrong, so OM2's sister's D did wrong? I get that anything related to OM2 may be triggering. If the party isn't far enough away for you to work through your feelings, consider dropping your kids off for an hour while you do something else.

Originally Posted by BL42
3) Respond: "ExW was having a physical affair IN THE OFFICE with a married coworker (who has 3 young daughters) while.. Please do not contact me again."
This reminds me of when I was 22 or 23, just after my grandma passed, and my extended family cut me off because of how my father behaved. "I'm not my father's son" fell on deaf ears. It's ironic my aunts/uncles lumped me together with him when I want nothing to do with him. Consider OM2's sister and OM2's sister's daughter are separate from OM2 and maybe your kids' chosen friends.



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SteveLW,
Originally Posted by SteveLW
#1 or #2. No need to go nuclear over this invite.
You're probably right.

wayfarer,
Originally Posted by wayfarer
I personally think because you are working on creating boundaries and adhering to your custody agreement this should be a no, and for absolutely no other reason.
I agree. I don't plan on having them attend.

Originally Posted by wayfarer
I understand that this is a crappy over all situation, but this is what is going on. Ignoring it doesn't make it go away. Dropping your emotional trauma on OM's sister accomplishes nothing. Even if you were to unload on her you'd feel better in the moment and the like sh!t after the fact.
You're probably right. Fun to lash out but ends up feeling worse after the initial rush ends.

Originally Posted by wayfarer
What is relevant is your current situation. OM's sister has kids that your kids probably play with and are familiar with. They may even really enjoy playing together. It was a nice gesture. Is it weird? Yup. Probably a little too soon? Also, a yes. But at some point in the near future this will be your new normal. The question here is are going to turn every opportunity like this for your kids to have a good time into an emotional landmine for you because it's with OM's family or are you going keep working through this so you don't have a visceral reaction to a kid's birthday party invite and can make the decision solely based on the kids availability?
Feels super weird and way too soon. I agree about taking the high road for the benefit of the kids in the long run, but the ink is barely dry on the D, my kids are young, and weren't friends with this girl before. Maybe in the future it'll be different.

Originally Posted by wayfarer
BL I think maybe it's time to head over to Surviving the Big D. I've done this all before, but it's been like 10 years for me, my kid is an adult. It's pretty active over there and there's a lot of people who went through or are going through what you're dealing with. That way you can get more voices to weigh in on this stuff.
Good suggestion. I considered starting this current thread there because it lined up right after the D was finalized, but I kept it in Newcomers for one more round of familiar faces. Perhaps I'll jump over once this thread hits the limit.

CWarrior,
Originally Posted by CWarrior
I'd actually tell S6 and D3 they were invited to OM2's sister's D's party and ask if they wanted to go. The priority is your kids, right? wink
Nope, that's going a little too far. I hear your point on "what's best for the kids", but not this time. It's way too fresh and raw. It's not like they're asking to go and feeling like they're missing out. They're young and don't know any different. It's not some long-established friendship with OM2's neice or something. They can have plenty of fun and good times with me, family, and other friends doing Fall activities. I don't need to be carting them off to OM2's family birthday party during my time so soon after he sleeps with my wife and moves in with my children.

I'll take the high road and not make a terse/nasty comment, but am taking wayfarer's route of establishing boundaries and not have them attending for now. Maybe in the future it'll be different.

Originally Posted by CWarrior
Originally Posted by BL42
3) Respond: "ExW was having a physical affair IN THE OFFICE with a married coworker (who has 3 young daughters) while.. Please do not contact me again."
This reminds me of when I was 22 or 23, just after my grandma passed, and my extended family cut me off because of how my father behaved. "I'm not my father's son" fell on deaf ears. It's ironic my aunts/uncles lumped me together with him when I want nothing to do with him. Consider OM2's sister and OM2's sister's daughter are separate from OM2 and maybe your kids' chosen friends.
Think the difference in that analogy is in your case it was actually your family whereas here it's not family or even my kids' family, it's OM2's (recently AP and now BF's) family. Maybe it'd be different if it were the kids' actual cousins. I don't feel the need to have any interaction with OM2's sister or OM2's niece simply because they didn't directly wrong me like ExW or OM2 did.

I'll probably take #1 and simply not respond, maybe acting as if I had blocked her phone number. I did block all of ExW and OM2's family on social media awhile back - Didn't even occur to me to do the same with the phone contacts - assumed they'd never reach out.

Last edited by BL42; 09/29/21 08:35 PM.

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Originally Posted by BL42
I don't feel the need to have any interaction with OM2's sister or OM2's niece simply because they didn't directly wrong me
It does seem like you're projecting some of your anger towards your XW for betraying you upon her. I suspect if any other parent whose kids played with yours invited your kids, you'd politely accept or decline (e.g., option #4), right? I agree she doesn't deserve preferential (family-like) treatment, but I wonder if she deserves sub-par (betrayer-like) treatment. It's not her fault you're triggered? You do you. Where you can extend kindness, I think it can help to reduce drama. I'm blessed to get along with my ex.



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Originally Posted by CWarrior
Originally Posted by BL42
I don't feel the need to have any interaction with OM2's sister or OM2's niece simply because they didn't directly wrong me
It does seem like you're projecting some of your anger towards your XW for betraying you upon her. I suspect if any other parent whose kids played with yours invited your kids, you'd politely accept or decline (e.g., option #4), right? I agree she doesn't deserve preferential (family-like) treatment, but I wonder if she deserves sub-par (betrayer-like) treatment. It's not her fault you're triggered? You do you. Where you can extend kindness, I think it can help to reduce drama. I'm blessed to get along with my ex.
I’d tread real lightly with your high and mighty CW. You’re a WAS who left his W while she was depressed. Not the same thing as what BL went through. I dig your kindness and compassion but IMO you need to reel it in a little buddy.


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Originally Posted by LH19
I’d tread real lightly with your high and mighty CW. You’re a WAS who left his W while she was depressed.
I left my W and took custody when she physically abused my son, after giving her 1.5 years to improve, after getting her emergency psychiatric help so she didn't kill herself (and the children). I make no pretense at being high and mighty, and I may have a broken picker as BL42 well knows, but I'm not ashamed of being a WAS, and I know how in the decade after D I got from a place of anger to positive cooperation. It's a journey. We each share our experiences and BL42 decides what works for him.



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C-Dub, I will admit that on occasion I have been a little triggered by you justifying why it was ok to leave your XW (not on this most recent occasion). It’s not specific to you but perhaps you could be sensitive that most here have listened to their WAS justify why it was ok for them to walk away.

This is not a judgement as to whether you were justified or not but just pointing out that even hearing you justify may not be received so well from people on this forum.


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OB, I hear you that discussing justifications for choosing the WAS hat in one of my relationships may be triggering for some--thanks for speaking up. No doubt the anger BL42 feels towards his XW betraying him with OM2 is different than the anger I felt towards my XW for putting my son in the hospital or my long-term XGF for suddenly leaving the family home after promising forever. We each faced our own hells, but there are common threads, like the pain and anger we must process after our splits.



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If I may chime in…..

My ex left me for his AP when our first and only child was 6 months old. He moved her in as soon as the divorce was final, engaged shortly after and then married.

I was livid . I was hurt. I hated this woman being involved in my daughters life since before she even turned one year old. When my daughter was a year old , he tried to take her out of state to visit with OW’s friends WITHOUT TELLING ME. I went apeshit, naturally.

At that point I made sure he knew legally he had to make me away, I have to say know an address and phone number of where my child would be at.

I knew my daughter spent a lot of time with OW’s family as well. I never facilitated it, but I couldn’t stop it. The pain that came with it for me was absolutely immense. I couldn’t stop it. But I didn’t have to make it happen.

More time went on, and it just got easier. My ex was always the one to ask me if he could take her on my time to an event. No one else. And if it is something I know she would really enjoy, I would let him take her. If it was just for him to have my daughter as an accessory at a kids party, then no.

FF to nearly 14 years later. They are still married. My daughter is a part of OW’s family. They treat her well. I am friendly with OW. I am friendly with her family. I make sure every decision I make is in the best interest of my daughter. Even if it hurts me sometimes. She knows she has lots of people who love her. She is happy we all get along and can do things together on some special occasions.

This came with a lot of time and pain and maturity on my part.

You do need to exercise boundaries. They are important to establish early on. If your ex would like to have the kids on your time, she needs to approach you, no the OM’s SIL. I would make that boundary clear. That your custody and times should only be discussed between the 2 of you. No one else.

It’s a process, it’s a learning curve, and it’s hard! But eventually, it won’t be so difficult anymore.

Unless someone was ever in this position with young kids and affair partners, they don’t know what comes with this emotionally.

One day at a time. One decision at a time . I think your heart and head are in the right place. None of this is easy, and I was in my 20’s and I didn’t do such a good job of controlling my emotions in the beginning .

You are doing good. Keep going

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^^^^^ This. Everything Ginger said!

I do think you should politely decline instead of ignore. Why put up a wall or burn a bridge when you have absolutely no reason to? A decline of the invite states neither your displeasure nor approval of the invite. It just is. It's an actually neutral response vs. ignoring it.

And I really wouldn't block her number. And I'm not saying that so you can be besties or trade after school snack recipes with this woman. I'm a saver. I keep a ton of information out of an abundance of caution. Retaining the ability to contact OM's sister could some day help you track down your kids or your ex. But that's just me.

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This is how I would handle the current situation at hand:

Ignoring it all together is not the solution. It’s just going to hamper any further communication and trust me , with a 3 and a 6 year old, you want to make going forward as easy for yourself as possible.

So this is my suggestion .

Reach out to your ex W. Kindly ask that all requests for kids on your custody time be done directly between the two of you. It really is appropriate. The SIL of OM is not a friend or acquaintance of yours to be asking for that.

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That’s a great response, Ginger.

I admire your maturity even when faced with the pain of everything that occurred. I’m sure that was not easy.

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I 100% agree with Ginger’s advice. Any invites like this should come from your XW. I have made a point of requiring XH to be the person communicating with me regarding our children. Not just because it is his responsibility but also because it is important our kids see us as united in our efforts to parent them. Both XH and I have made a concerted effort to be reasonable and cooperative with one another and it can only benefit our kids in the long run. I also agree that ignoring the invite is a reaction and just paints you in a negative light (even though no one could blame you for feeling that way).

I completely understand your feelings BL. XH was dragging our kids to OW’s family events before I even knew she definitively was OW. And now they are married and he (mostly) lets me know when my kids are involved with her family. For instance, my daughter and her bestie went and stayed at the lake with OW’s mom for a couple days in the summer and he texted me to let me know. Was that a bit of a trigger? For about ten seconds and then I looked on the bright side… my kids have a stepmother whose family cares about and includes my children in their lives. I would have way more concerns if it was the opposite because then I would have to worry about my children’s feelings. Currently, the only feelings I usually have to worry about are my own and those get less and less intense as time goes on. If this had occurred this time last year, instead of ten seconds, it would have been a couple hours of negative feelings so distance and time does help. In the future, I fully expect it to be a non-issue. Now my kids are 13 so it is not exactly the same situation but the principle remains. You may not get to choose what happens to you but you do get to choose how to respond to it. As always, choose better not bitter. If you can do this consistently, long after the hurt feelings have faded away, you will look back on this time and be very glad you did. (((HUGS)))


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CWarrior/LH19/OnlyBent/Ginger1/wayfarer/Thornton/DejaVu6,

Greatly appreciate all the inputs, perspectives, and discussion on the topic...

Ultimately I decided not to respond at all to OM2's sister. To me that is taking the high road at this point. I won't make any nasty derogatory comments, but also don't feel the need to engage and play "nice" either. To Giner1 and DevaJu6's points, I can see how over time things can de-escalate and outlooks may change over time.

The kids will not be attending the party tomorrow. I don't see it as anti-"what's right for the kids". They are unaware of the situation, are not aware, and have no sense of missing out. We'll be going apple picking and to the pumpkin farm with my family as an alternative, which will be plenty of Fall fun. If they were older and aware and requesting to go I might make a different decision.

CWarrior,
Originally Posted by CWarrior
I suspect if any other parent whose kids played with yours invited your kids, you'd politely accept or decline (e.g., option #4), right?
I admit I was a little triggered to see the text come through, stunned even, but mostly galled she even had the audacity to contact me. Her ask seems completely taboo to me, but maybe I'm just too raw at this point. Certainly I'd politely decline (or more likely accept) for another kid's parent. But she is not just any other random parent. Her brother was sleeping with my wife and then moved in with her and my kids immediately after ExW moved out...and while we were married! It takes a lot of guts (and lack of empathy) for her to do that. I can not imagine if the situation were reversed and my sister slept with her husband and moved in with her kids that I would contact her as if nothing unusual happened and ask her kids spend time with us during her custody time. If anything I'd be appalled with my sister and contact her about how sorry I am for my family and that I disapprove.

Ginger1,
Originally Posted by Ginger1
My ex left me for his AP when our first and only child was 6 months old. He moved her in as soon as the divorce was final, engaged shortly after and then married.

I was livid . I was hurt. I hated this woman being involved in my daughters life since before she even turned one year old.
Ugh. 6 months?!? My daughter was not yet 1.5 when the OM1 affair was going on, which is bad enough, but 6 months sounds so much worse.

Originally Posted by Ginger1
I knew my daughter spent a lot of time with OW’s family as well. I never facilitated it, but I couldn’t stop it. The pain that came with it for me was absolutely immense. I couldn’t stop it. But I didn’t have to make it happen.
Yep. That's exactly where I'm at. ExW is even moving across the street from OM2's sister!

Originally Posted by Ginger1
More time went on, and it just got easier. My ex was always the one to ask me if he could take her on my time to an event. No one else. And if it is something I know she would really enjoy, I would let him take her. If it was just for him to have my daughter as an accessory at a kids party, then no.

FF to nearly 14 years later. They are still married. My daughter is a part of OW’s family. They treat her well. I am friendly with OW. I am friendly with her family. I make sure every decision I make is in the best interest of my daughter. Even if it hurts me sometimes. She knows she has lots of people who love her. She is happy we all get along and can do things together on some special occasions.

This came with a lot of time and pain and maturity on my part.

It’s a process, it’s a learning curve, and it’s hard! But eventually, it won’t be so difficult anymore.
Time will tell whether ExW and OM2 self-implode in another year (like Maika's Ex) or any another decade-plus (like yours, Ginger1). I'd be lying if I said I didn't hope for the former. Something about the ExW needing to start on a level playing field seems like justice. But, I know it'll be her life regardless and I should focus on mine. It must've been so incredibly difficult for you to deal with that situation for years, and kudos for you working through the pain. I can see how you're right that the anger and pain will dissipate over time and things will get less difficult - after all, I'm already much better emotionally than I was a year ago.

Originally Posted by Ginger1
Unless someone was ever in this position with young kids and affair partners, they don’t know what comes with this emotionally.
Indeed! The thought of an affair partner helping to raise my own kids...

Originally Posted by Ginger1
One day at a time. One decision at a time . I think your heart and head are in the right place. None of this is easy, and I was in my 20’s and I didn’t do such a good job of controlling my emotions in the beginning .

You are doing good. Keep going
Thanks! Really appreciate the kind words and support.

wayfarer,
Originally Posted by wayfarer
I do think you should politely decline instead of ignore. Why put up a wall or burn a bridge when you have absolutely no reason to? A decline of the invite states neither your displeasure nor approval of the invite. It just is. It's an actually neutral response vs. ignoring it.
Originally Posted by DejaVu6
I also agree that ignoring the invite is a reaction and just paints you in a negative light (even though no one could blame you for feeling that way).
I can see how it would be viewed as negative instead of neutral, but also not sure it burns any bridges. If I can get over ExW & OM2's actions over time in the interest of the kids, they can certainly get past a no-response to a kids' birthday party invite.

Originally Posted by wayfarer
And I really wouldn't block her number.
I don't plan to, unless there's repeated contact (which I highly doubt).

Ginger1/Thornton/DejaVu6,
Originally Posted by Ginger1
You do need to exercise boundaries. They are important to establish early on. If your ex would like to have the kids on your time, she needs to approach you, no the OM’s SIL. I would make that boundary clear. That your custody and times should only be discussed between the 2 of you. No one else.
Originally Posted by Ginger1
Reach out to your ex W. Kindly ask that all requests for kids on your custody time be done directly between the two of you. It really is appropriate. The SIL of OM is not a friend or acquaintance of yours to be asking for that.
Originally Posted by Thornton
That’s a great response, Ginger. I admire your maturity even when faced with the pain of everything that occurred. I’m sure that was not easy.
Originally Posted by DejaVu6
I 100% agree with Ginger’s advice. Any invites like this should come from your XW. I have made a point of requiring XH to be the person communicating with me regarding our children. Not just because it is his responsibility but also because it is important our kids see us as united in our efforts to parent them.
I like this suggestion of ANY custody requests ONLY going through me & ExW. I may have an email or discussion with ExW about this situation and going forward.

DejaVu6,
Originally Posted by DejaVu6
Both XH and I have made a concerted effort to be reasonable and cooperative with one another and it can only benefit our kids in the long run.
My perception is ExW & I have worked together relatively well in terms of the logistics with the kids, at least considering the situation. I've certainly seen a lot worse on this board, so in that sense we're doing alright.

Originally Posted by DejaVu6
I completely understand your feelings BL. XH was dragging our kids to OW’s family events before I even knew she definitively was OW. And now they are married and he (mostly) lets me know when my kids are involved with her family. For instance, my daughter and her bestie went and stayed at the lake with OW’s mom for a couple days in the summer and he texted me to let me know. Was that a bit of a trigger? For about ten seconds and then I looked on the bright side… my kids have a stepmother whose family cares about and includes my children in their lives. I would have way more concerns if it was the opposite because then I would have to worry about my children’s feelings. Currently, the only feelings I usually have to worry about are my own and those get less and less intense as time goes on. If this had occurred this time last year, instead of ten seconds, it would have been a couple hours of negative feelings so distance and time does help. In the future, I fully expect it to be a non-issue. Now my kids are 13 so it is not exactly the same situation but the principle remains. You may not get to choose what happens to you but you do get to choose how to respond to it. As always, choose better not bitter. If you can do this consistently, long after the hurt feelings have faded away, you will look back on this time and be very glad you did. (((HUGS)))
Thanks for the support. As I mentioned above in response to Ginger1, I can see how my emotions and triggers will dissipate and improve over time. Helps to hear these types of comments from others' who have gone through it. I'm working on it...


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Believe it or not, there comes a point where you hope your ex and her OM do not implode. When they got married, I wanted it work. I didn’t want my daughter to go through a divorce ( she was a baby for mine) and lose people who love her. I continue to want them to work. And they are, so that’s good. Him and I would never. He’s a really mean man at times and unless you just go with his flow, you pay the price. So, she can stand him.

Abs I would even make sure my daughter still saw her stepmother and her family if they did divorce and he wasn’t facilitating that.

It takes years and a lot of painful emotional work to get where I am. Not everyone does. Everyone doesn’t even have to. I still have triggers, they are just managed well.

You seem to have your kids best interest at heart. OM’s family seem like good people, even if they are clueless. And you and your ex can coparent.

By the way, my biggest hurt and pain came from the thought of another woman raising my child. Her thinking as her as her mother. And guess what. My daughter knows exactly who her mother is and parents are and what roles everyone has. Your kids know you are dad and always will. No if’s ands or buts about that

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Originally Posted by CWarrior
Originally Posted by BL42
I don't feel the need to have any interaction with OM2's sister or OM2's niece simply because they didn't directly wrong me
It does seem like you're projecting some of your anger towards your XW for betraying you upon her. I suspect if any other parent whose kids played with yours invited your kids, you'd politely accept or decline (e.g., option #4), right? I agree she doesn't deserve preferential (family-like) treatment, but I wonder if she deserves sub-par (betrayer-like) treatment. It's not her fault you're triggered? You do you. Where you can extend kindness, I think it can help to reduce drama. I'm blessed to get along with my ex.
I wouldn't want to be involved with OM2's sister in any way. It's not her fault but why get that close? Not that you're wrong for your choice either and I certainly don't see this as high and mighty.

And for all the triggering that people get CW walking away, we should probably, I dunno detach from all that. The beauty here is all the different advice and perspectives. I don't see anyone crapping and Sandi or neffer. Not to mention LH you tell people all the time about how they should turn into a WAS after being a LBS. I appreciate your perspective on that too and I think you really help empower these guys who are feeling low.


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Originally Posted by ovrrnbw
Originally Posted by CWarrior
Originally Posted by BL42
I don't feel the need to have any interaction with OM2's sister or OM2's niece simply because they didn't directly wrong me
It does seem like you're projecting some of your anger towards your XW for betraying you upon her. I suspect if any other parent whose kids played with yours invited your kids, you'd politely accept or decline (e.g., option #4), right? I agree she doesn't deserve preferential (family-like) treatment, but I wonder if she deserves sub-par (betrayer-like) treatment. It's not her fault you're triggered? You do you. Where you can extend kindness, I think it can help to reduce drama. I'm blessed to get along with my ex.
I wouldn't want to be involved with OM2's sister in any way. It's not her fault but why get that close? Not that you're wrong for your choice either and I certainly don't see this as high and mighty.

And for all the triggering that people get CW walking away, we should probably, I dunno detach from all that. The beauty here is all the different advice and perspectives. I don't see anyone crapping and Sandi or neffer. Not to mention LH you tell people all the time about how they should turn into a WAS after being a LBS. I appreciate your perspective on that too and I think you really help empower these guys who are feeling low.
Truthfully I don’t give a $hit that CW is a WAS. If you follow his thread he is definitely dealing with his own karma anyway. I was pointing that out because he was bragging about how wonderful his relationship is with his exw. IMO way different circumstances when you are the WAS. As for Sandy and Neffer, pretty sure they never divorced their spouses. Appreciate the compliment in the end though.


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Originally Posted by LH19
Originally Posted by ovrrnbw
Originally Posted by CWarrior
Originally Posted by BL42
I don't feel the need to have any interaction with OM2's sister or OM2's niece simply because they didn't directly wrong me
It does seem like you're projecting some of your anger towards your XW for betraying you upon her. I suspect if any other parent whose kids played with yours invited your kids, you'd politely accept or decline (e.g., option #4), right? I agree she doesn't deserve preferential (family-like) treatment, but I wonder if she deserves sub-par (betrayer-like) treatment. It's not her fault you're triggered? You do you. Where you can extend kindness, I think it can help to reduce drama. I'm blessed to get along with my ex.
I wouldn't want to be involved with OM2's sister in any way. It's not her fault but why get that close? Not that you're wrong for your choice either and I certainly don't see this as high and mighty.

And for all the triggering that people get CW walking away, we should probably, I dunno detach from all that. The beauty here is all the different advice and perspectives. I don't see anyone crapping and Sandi or neffer. Not to mention LH you tell people all the time about how they should turn into a WAS after being a LBS. I appreciate your perspective on that too and I think you really help empower these guys who are feeling low.
Truthfully I don’t give a $hit that CW is a WAS. If you follow his thread he is definitely dealing with his own karma anyway. I was pointing that out because he was bragging about how wonderful his relationship is with his exw. IMO way different circumstances when you are the WAS. As for Sandy and Neffer, pretty sure they never divorced their spouses. Appreciate the compliment in the end though.
I just want to feel like the little brother who has to get in on the argument and disagree with everyone lol.


H 34
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BD 3/12/18
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Originally Posted by LH
I was pointing that out because he was bragging about how wonderful his relationship is with his exw. IMO way different circumstances when you are the WAS
LH, comparing different traumas is difficult. My XW's untreated postpartum depression resulted in my son being in a full-body cast. The anger initially served me well--to get more space, get custody, and help my children. But after, and especially when she got better, it was a festering wound. Lingering anger is a tie that binds us, but it doesn't serve us. In-person, I have many single parent acquaintances. Some work to reduce it, some don't. Graduations and holidays are easier for the kids of parents who do.

Originally Posted by LH
If you follow his thread he is definitely dealing with his own karma anyway.
I live in interesting times. Amazing highs, tough lows--both karma. Onward and upward. (:

Originally Posted by overtherainbow
I just want to feel like the little brother who has to get in on the argument and disagree with everyone lol.
lmao. Some day we'll have a DB family reunion.



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You know what CW you’re right life would be grand if all the WS and LBS could live together in true harmony and bliss and walk into the sunset together. Also if my aunt had balls she’d be my uncle.

Onward and upward my friend!


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Originally Posted by Ginger1
Believe it or not, there comes a point where you hope your ex and her OM do not implode........ It takes years and a lot of painful emotional work to get where I am. Not everyone does. Everyone doesn’t even have to. I still have triggers, they are just managed well.

Yes, I agree with Ginger that you want that outcome eventually for the well being of the kids. But it takes a lot of work and time, and there are still triggers that need to be managed. The reason I wished that exW's R with lilmanboy would implode is because she rushed into everything and wanted to create some fantasy blended family and I didn't think it was going to be a good thing for the kids. And then it did implode because lilmanboy is an a$$hole.

I don't intend to reconcile with exW - it would take a lot of effort and time, and I don't have the patience to go through piecing. But like LH says, you never know. So, I expect that she's going to get into a R with someone else at some point and I hope that the OM is a decent person and can be a good influence in the lives of my kids. There is no OM or OW that can replace you as the primary parent, so I have no concerns about feeling less than. My relationship with my kids is rock solid and there is no other man that can usurp that. My only hope is that exW doesn't rush into a new R and doesn't introduce the kids early. I have a suspicion that an OM is in her life, but nobody has been introduced to the kids, and so I am good with it.

Originally Posted by BL42
Something about the ExW needing to start on a level playing field seems like justice.

I feel you on that. exW's R imploding was good justice in my eyes. Whatever fantasy land and fog that she was in was ripped apart in a matter of days. maybe now she can look back at our marriage and BD and see her part in the mess she made.

Originally Posted by LH19
You know what CW you’re right life would be grand if all the WS and LBS could live together in true harmony and bliss and walk into the sunset together. Also if my aunt had balls she’d be my uncle.

LOL! Good to see you back and in fine form LH.

Last edited by Maika; 10/03/21 01:08 AM.

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Time for a new thread and please link this one to your new one.


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The past is gone, the present is a gift and you need to focus on today, allow the future to reveal itself when it is ready.
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Me:39 Ex-W:36
M:7 T: 9
S:6 D:2
BD/IHS/Confirm EA/PA: Feb '20
OM1 affair ends: May '20
W/OM2 & moves out: June-July '20
W files for D: Jul20
OM2 confirmed: 9/2020
Divorced: May '21
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