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A Message from Michele
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https://www.divorcebusting.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=2916693&page=11

I'm just here hanging out with my new friends. I had a lot of posts to respond to when my last one got "completed" so I'll go through those and respond here.

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LH: Its interesting to see how you break things down related to the text I had sent that you commented on. I didn't see that as passive aggressive, I guess I can see how it could be seen that way. I'm not even sure how to work on that.

Oh well, acknowledging it helped me move through it.

R2C: Do I love her unconditionally? Nope. I guess I don't. I loved her as long as she stayed. Now that she has put our family through this, I don't feel "love" for her. So I guess my love by definition was conditional. And I did send the text for me. And I'm okay with that.

CW: I did write out the text in notes. And I'm wasn't a big enough person not to say something on this one. I'm okay with that. I sent that text for me.

SteveLW: Its funny, I don't regret the text that I sent at all. She replied, she also acknowledged the day being hard. And I don't look back at the MR fondly. I look back and think about seeing my kids everyday and being a family - that's what I remember fondly. When I see her now I feel a revulsion and an anger. I want nothing to do with her, but I miss being a family. I miss seeing my kids every day. And I am sad about the future when for the rest of my life and the life of my kids and my grandkids, holidays are going to get split up. It makes me very angry and resentful.

LH: Great point on the "Do" hope you have a blessed day. I didn't even see that. So true.

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This past weekend with the kids was awesome. We got to FL on a Friday night and went swimming. Saturday we did a 2 hour dolphin tour on Jet Ski's which was just awesome. My daughter was scared to go and if my Ex was there she would have told my daughter it was OK to bail and then my Ex would have bailed on the tour and been angry with me for scheduling it and then angry because she would have told me to go with my son. (something very similar happened once before).

Instead I told my daughter we were doing it. It was her idea. And that I would take care of her. We worked through it, she did it and she was so happy that she did. It was her favorite thing we did on the trip. And it was really awesome to help her work through her anxiety and overcome it. I had wanted to do that in the past but I'd been held back - so this was great.

We then had lunch on the beach at a beach bar and I had a dad fail where I told them to put on sunscreen and trusted they did a good job. My daughter got a B+ but my son got a D.

So Sunday, we stayed out of the sun. Did Church, Brunch, I swam with my daughter while my son read a book. We went to Hawaiian bar and had virgin Pina Colada's. We walked an ocean pier and saw more dolphins and then I took my daughter to a knock off jewelry store where she got a dolphin pendant and the cutest Fedora.

That night my son and I ate the fish I had caught the week before - which was really cool. And on Monday we did a beach day which was great.

It is tiring being a single parent; I go on a trip like that and I'm worn out - its not a "vacation". But it was so incredibly rewarding. I've got this weekend to recover and then next weekend I'm having a pretty big 4th of July party.

I'm expecting between 40-60 people, so that should be nuts and a lot of fun.

The rest of July is a bit of a bummer as the kids go to camp and then they go on vacation with her so its going to be pretty quiet and I'm not sure what I'm going to do. Since my parents are in town I'll use them when I feel lonely to do stuff with. I may set up a date or two for fun - I'm not sure.

I had some good experience dating - it was fun and I learned a lot and it also helped me feel better about being alone and enjoying that time.

The divorce drags on. I was hopeful that today she would accept my first counter offer on the settlement but based on the fact the mediator scheduled two more meetings. One 7/7 and one 8/5 for a total of 8 hours I'm not feeling too good.

From a budget perspective, we agreed to numbers last November when I thought this would be settled by now and I'm running out of money based on what we agreed on but I've made a lot of money that is just sitting in cash because its more than we agreed to. I made my attorney aware that I need my cash and so she's going to give me clearance to get to it so I can keep moving forward on getting things done at my house. I am starting work with a friend that does interior design to transform the space.

Well, that was a lot folks. Thanks for hanging with me.

Oh and one more kind of silly detail. Last November I bought a fiction book, the Terminal List. Well, I had tried to read it for some time but I just could not focus. Anyhow, I finally finished it which was an accomplishment. I'm still struggling with focus at times but I'm getting better.

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Originally Posted by ScottB
R2C: Do I love her unconditionally? Nope. I guess I don't. I loved her as long as she stayed. Now that she has put our family through this, I don't feel "love" for her. So I guess my love by definition was conditional. And I did send the text for me. And I'm okay with that.


This might change Scotty, maybe you won't feel that love but you may get to a place where you genuinely wish her well and a happy life. I'm kind of getting there. Everyone deserves a chance at happiness and she's the mother of your children and her happiness will play a big part in their upbringing.


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Originally Posted by ScottB
LH: Its interesting to see how you break things down related to the text I had sent that you commented on. I didn't see that as passive aggressive, I guess I can see how it could be seen that way. I'm not even sure how to work on that.

Oh well, acknowledging it helped me move through it.

R2C: Do I love her unconditionally? Nope. I guess I don't. I loved her as long as she stayed. Now that she has put our family through this, I don't feel "love" for her. So I guess my love by definition was conditional. And I did send the text for me. And I'm okay with that.

CW: I did write out the text in notes. And I'm wasn't a big enough person not to say something on this one. I'm okay with that. I sent that text for me.

SteveLW: Its funny, I don't regret the text that I sent at all. She replied, she also acknowledged the day being hard. And I don't look back at the MR fondly. I look back and think about seeing my kids everyday and being a family - that's what I remember fondly. When I see her now I feel a revulsion and an anger. I want nothing to do with her, but I miss being a family. I miss seeing my kids every day. And I am sad about the future when for the rest of my life and the life of my kids and my grandkids, holidays are going to get split up. It makes me very angry and resentful.

LH: Great point on the "Do" hope you have a blessed day. I didn't even see that. So true.


Well if you are talking about how you feel or trying to get a reaction or make a point then you are typically being passive aggressive.

Scotty B I think its best right now to just move forward. No more texts about the door being open or how you feel. No grandiose statements on how you dont love her anymore. Youre feelings are going to change many times.

Lastly, about single parenting being tiring. Maybe now you can understand how she felt being a SAHM.


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Originally Posted by ScottyB
I am sad about the future when for the rest of my life and the life of my kids and my grandkids, holidays are going to get split up. It makes me very angry and resentful.

Hi Scotty,

This sounds like catastrophizing. It assumes youre never able to let go of your anger enough to spend a holiday together. 11yrs after my D, my XW and I get along well. Weve shared a few strategic holidays since year 5. It also assumes when your kids grow-up if youre still angry they will humor you and not just say, Thanksgiving is at my house and everyones invited. I had an XGF who did that.



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LH: It does not give me perspective on her being a stay at home mom. If I didn't have to work too, it would be pretty easy. My challenge is balancing work and care and house. For better or worse it does not give me perspective. Especially because over the last 5 years I was "over-functioning". I continued to take on more and more of her responsibilities until she had very little left. I should have pushed back and held her to a standard. That would have potentially improved things. Towards the end I think her sense of self suffered because she had an affair, never really owned it, and then she had quit her job and she was not doing much of anything. I think she was depressed and I think it probably continues.

"Well if you are talking about how you feel or trying to get a reaction or make a point then you are typically being passive aggressive." Interesting thought. I would need to internalize that.

CW: You're right, I am catastrophizing the situation. This is still a disaster in my mind and my brain is looking at all the negatives and worst case scenarios. I don't have good examples of divorce going well for a family. In my family there hasn't been a divorce among my aunt or uncles or grandparents. Nor in hers, so I don't have much of a model - and definitely not a model of a good situation.

OnlyBent: I'm not saying I don't want her to be happy, I hope she figures it out.

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Originally Posted by ScottB
I continued to take on more and more of her responsibilities until she had very little left. I should have pushed back and held her to a standard. That would have potentially improved things.


Scott what did this look like? How were going to hold her to a standard? In other words, if she decided she was going to sit on the couch, watch TV and eat bonbons all day, what was the consequences of her not living up to the set standard?


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Originally Posted by ScottB

"Well if you are talking about how you feel or trying to get a reaction or make a point then you are typically being passive aggressive." Interesting thought. I would need to internalize that.


Scott, passive-aggressiveness is a deep, complex subject. I do not think I've ever seen a definition or a description or explanation of it that truly captures what it is in its entirety. The closest I can come to it in my own words is to describe it as anytime you try to use unspoken negative reinforcement to get someone to behave or react in an intended way. But even that doesn't always capture it because I think you can try to use positive reinforcement and still be passive-aggressive!

I can remember being at my cousin's house one time for dinner. His mom had made pasta, and his dad had picked up some donuts for dessert. My cousin, who was a big eater, usually would eat 2 or 3 helpings of pasta. But after one helping, pushed away from the table and said "Mom, that was really good! I really enjoyed that." I looked him, smirked and said, "You just can't wait to get to those donuts, can you?" He laughed and at first tried to deny it, but eventually admitted it. That was passive-aggressiveness!

Here is the big thing: A lot of the time that people are passive-aggressive, they do not even realize it! That is one of the things that happens with Nice Guy Syndrome. Most NGS sufferers aren't actually doing it on purpose. They don't even realize they are being "nice" to try to get something they want. And that is why studying NGS is so eye-opening for those of us that have suffered from it. And that is why sometimes it is so difficult for the person being passive-aggressive to recognize that they are being or have been that way in the past.

I'd be interested in what you come up with looking back over the past few years. My previous post talks about something you mentioned related to "setting a standard" for her lack of living up to her responsibilities. My guess, you were passive-aggressive as you took on more and more of her responsibilities. I can remember in my own MR, I would get home from work to a dishwasher full of clean dishes, and a sink full of dirty ones. My W would be sitting on the couch watching TV in the other room. I would NOISELY empty and refill the dishwasher so she knew I was doing it. That was passive-aggressive behavior.


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Originally Posted by ScottB
LH: It does not give me perspective on her being a stay at home mom. If I didn't have to work too, it would be pretty easy. My challenge is balancing work and care and house.

Scotty B you were on vacation having fun and you got tired out. Not defending her just understanding her side.

Originally Posted by ScottB
For better or worse it does not give me perspective. Especially because over the last 5 years I was "over-functioning". I continued to take on more and more of her responsibilities until she had very little left.

By this time it was too late she had begun to plan her exit strategy.

Originally Posted by ScottB
I should have pushed back and held her to a standard. That would have potentially improved things. Towards the end I think her sense of self suffered because she had an affair, never really owned it, and then she had quit her job and she was not doing much of anything. I think she was depressed and I think it probably continues.

You could be absolutely right but she has to figure this all out for herself.
Originally Posted by ScottB
"Well if you are talking about how you feel or trying to get a reaction or make a point then you are typically being passive aggressive." Interesting thought. I would need to internalize that.

Scotty B it is my opinion that any sent text, letter, email etc from a LBS within the first 3 years of a D they are looking for some sort of reaction. Dig deep on this one.
Originally Posted by ScottB
CW: You're right, I am catastrophizing the situation. This is still a disaster in my mind and my brain is looking at all the negatives and worst case scenarios. I don't have good examples of divorce going well for a family. In my family there hasn't been a divorce among my aunt or uncles or grandparents. Nor in hers, so I don't have much of a model - and definitely not a model of a good situation.

Scotty B I hear you and no one on this board wants to be divorced. But again, you say "my mind" and "my brain" but are not looking at her mind or her brain. Now it could very likely turn out that she made a mistake but you have to let HER come to that conclusion without any influence from you.


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I have to say, my divorce went well. My daughter is happy, smart, and thriving and she splits holidays. SHE loves splitting holidays. She gets to do them twice . Christmas is something she brags about to her friends. She does round one then round 2 and couldnt be happier.

This stuff actually s@cks more for us than in does for the kids, relieve it or not

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Originally Posted by Ginger1
I have to say, my divorce went well. My daughter is happy, smart, and thriving and she splits holidays. SHE loves splitting holidays. She gets to do them twice . Christmas is something she brags about to her friends. She does round one then round 2 and couldnt be happier.

This stuff actually s@cks more for us than in does for the kids, relieve it or not


That is awesome! My wife's experience growing up was the exact opposite. To this day she hates the holidays because of the shuttling between family events and the stress it caused. Partly because her dad made it difficult on her. So it is a tribute to you and your ex that you have made this work well for your daughter.


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At a restaurant, you send a food item back to the kitchen to correct an issue, someone spits in it to "I'll show him". They are being passive-aggressive.

Waiter at the restaurant is not as attentive as you want. You leave a 5% tip to "I'll show him". You are being passive-aggressive.

"I'll show you" thought process is passive aggressive. Being direct about the issue is better.

My X would initiate court proceedings during hunting season. Intentional? Passive-aggressive? Really hard to prove.

Originally Posted by ScottB
I loved her as long as she stayed.
This goes down the passive-aggressive path.


There is a difference between loving someone and being in love with someone. Being in love with someone is a feeling.
Loving someone is a choice. It is much easier for us to unconditionally love our children. The forgiveness is easier. The emotional damage that infidelity and other issues around divorce takes a significant more amount of effort to work though. Working through all the emotions gets you to a healthy point. At some point, things in our past become "fact based" more than emotional triggers. When that happens, you know you have processed things and let them go. They are no longer controlling you.


"What is best for my kids is best for me"
Amor Fati
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Originally Posted by ScottB
I don't have good examples of divorce going well for a family. In my family there hasn't been a divorce among my aunt or uncles or grandparents. Nor in hers, so I don't have much of a model - and definitely not a model of a good situation.

On the plus side, then, you don't have any personal examples of it going badly?

Enter Ginger and I. I don't want to spend the rest of my life with my XW. I'm a travel bug and she hates to travel or even hear about travel. She pretended otherwise while we were dating. We can still be friendly, good acquaintances, who listen and value each others' opinion and co-parent well. This can happen as soon as you both let go of hurt feelings over being rejected. Even before we were communicating, like Ginger, my kids loved having two holiday celebrations. There's nothing inherently negative about two sets of presents, two birthday cakes, etc. Note, there is only one party with friends, to make things easy on acquaintances.

As Ginger says, the angst is usually for us--e.g., the kids have a great Christmas eve and Christmas morning with you and are now off to their 2nd Christmas. There's probably a few hours where you're like.. finally.. a chance to rest. But when it's dinner time and you're all alone it can be a challenging evening for the single parent especially when that's new and you haven't made plans in advance.

Your kids still have 2 parents who love them. You just don't love each other that way anymore. You can still care about each other. Your interactions don't have to be awkward.



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Again, it took 5 years before my XW and I were doing any shared holidays!! Getting along won't happen overnight, but it's a great goal and alternative to staying bitter and awkward 5 years later.



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Sometimes I feel like its me, and maybe it is. I hang on to the comment someone made that I had fought so hard for so long that it makes sense getting over this is hard. The ebb and flow of it is hard. And the unpredictability.

I'm not sure why but the last week or so I've been waking up with the divorce on my mind. I've also been dreaming about different aspects of the marriage. I had a dream about the guy she had her affair with. I know I've had dreams about her. Its like my mind is working against me even when I sleep. The last week I've been waking up with the divorce on my mind and honestly I've been really struggling hard to get out of bed. Also, my work involves helping families plan there futures so basically I talk to people who seem happy, about all the things I had wanted in life with my ex.

I think the combination of everything has me overwhelmed. Divorce negotiations look like they are on the bring of falling apart which would send us into litigation. Work is as stressful as ever with some significant things happening. I've probably taken off too much work to spend time with the kids when I have them, and this month they are gone to camp for a week and then on vacation with the Ex for a week and I'm struggling with the fact I won't see them.

A couple of weeks ago CWarrior used the term "catastrophizing", and maybe that's what I'm doing. Money has gotten tight, time has gotten tight, I'm just struggling with it all. I have a very full week of work and I have mediation tomorrow, which always hits me hard. On last Thursday I had a tough talk with my attorney.

I'm overwhelmed - and just came here to let it out somewhere. I miss the life I was working on. And I know its gone and I know I've got to focus on the things I can control, but right now I'm struggling - that's all.

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Scott,

It's an overwhelming process and you are going to have to allow yourself to accept where you are in life. I catastrophized all the time, it was the worst thing that could ever happened to me on that day. All I could think about was it getting worst and how shitty my life was. I maxed out multiple credit cards, and spent up a lot of money trying to find the answer to fix my Marriage. Overtime, I start listening to positive Youtube Videos and Podcast. I started accepting where I was in life, allowed myself to be in a hard spot in life and did small things to my place everyday. Even if it was spark up a conversation with a stranger to make myself smile and make another person smile. One less second feeling sorry for myself, how I saw it. I also told myself, it will take time, I told myself that over and over again.

Originally Posted by ScottB
Sometimes I feel like its me, and maybe it is. I hang on to the comment someone made that I had fought so hard for so long that it makes sense getting over this is hard. The ebb and flow of it is hard. And the unpredictability.


And this here is the best thing. It is you. And, that is awesome, which mean, you are realizing that you and only control where you are at. You did fight hard and long. But we must take care of ourselves, so we have the energy to fight the next fight. Knowing when to retreat and regroup is just as important as knowing when to push through.


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S17, S13, S10, S4
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Onward and forward

This process is not a sprint it's a marathon! Patience, Patience, Patience.
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ScottB,

Sorry you're having such a hard time lately. I'm having an angry day myself. I had a long response typed up awhile ago regarding your thread but then computer crashed. I'll try to read back through and share my thoughts...

Originally Posted by ScottB
Sometimes I feel like its me, and maybe it is. I hang on to the comment someone made that I had fought so hard for so long that it makes sense getting over this is hard. The ebb and flow of it is hard. And the unpredictability

I vacillate between blaming myself for things I could've done better and other times "knowing" that despite my faults Ex-W is mainly to blame.

Originally Posted by ScottB
I'm not sure why but the last week or so I've been waking up with the divorce on my mind. I've also been dreaming about different aspects of the marriage. I had a dream about the guy she had her affair with. I know I've had dreams about her. Its like my mind is working against me even when I sleep. The last week I've been waking up with the divorce on my mind and honestly I've been really struggling hard to get out of bed. Also, my work involves helping families plan there futures so basically I talk to people who seem happy, about all the things I had wanted in life with my ex.

Sleep / dreams are tough. I had a long period where sleep when I could get it would be a relief but then as soon as I woke up the reality and depression would set in. I know it's a terrible situation; what you're going through is so difficult.

Originally Posted by ScottB
I think the combination of everything has me overwhelmed. Divorce negotiations look like they are on the bring of falling apart which would send us into litigation. Work is as stressful as ever with some significant things happening.

Hopefully these fears are the worst case. I'm no expert - mostly just through my own process - but I get the sense the negotiations end up coming around at the 11th hour as no one (judge, lawyers, or clients) actually want to go to trial. I hope you'll come to a resolution you can accept.

Originally Posted by ScottB
I've probably taken off too much work to spend time with the kids when I have them, and this month they are gone to camp for a week and then on vacation with the Ex for a week and I'm struggling with the fact I won't see them.

Great you take off time with the kids! They appreciate it, I'm sure. Try to schedule as much GAL as possible in advance of not having them so you have activities and friends lined up to keep you busy, happy, and your mind off things.

Originally Posted by ScottB
A couple of weeks ago CWarrior used the term "catastrophizing", and maybe that's what I'm doing. Money has gotten tight, time has gotten tight, I'm just struggling with it all. I have a very full week of work and I have mediation tomorrow, which always hits me hard. On last Thursday I had a tough talk with my attorney. I'm overwhelmed - and just came here to let it out somewhere. I miss the life I was working on. And I know its gone and I know I've got to focus on the things I can control, but right now I'm struggling - that's all.

Hang in there. It'll get better. If nothing else, you have a lot of strangers on here pulling for you.


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So I'm in a run of days where I only get the kids for 2 in 19 days because they went to camp and then my Ex put her family vacation right on the back end of it. At the moment I'm on day 7 and get them back this weekend for 2 days.

This has really stung me pretty good. I've tried to plan something everyday that I can but this is hard right now. I hadn't been meeting with my counselor because of money, but I penciled him in for Friday to have someone to talk to.

I just feel like this is harder for me than other people, though I know that's not true. The roller coaster of emotions is a hell of a thing. I know it will turn around soon, but gutting out these days is tough. And working through this is tough.

I wish there were an easier or better way but I guess its time that heals when its said and done. These are hard days at the moment.

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Originally Posted by ScottB
I just feel like this is harder for me than other people, though I know that's not true. The roller coaster of emotions is a hell of a thing. I know it will turn around soon, but gutting out these days is tough. And working through this is tough.


Sometimes, it IS harder for some people. Sometimes, it DOES take longer for some people to get to the other side. And that's okay. I've always been one that naturally handles the lows in life pretty well, but that oftentimes comes with a lack of empathy. That is something I've tried to work on since DB. You will get through this. You can become a better person for it.

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ScottB,

Not being able to see your children IS tough. You're missing half their lives no, and you have no say in the matter. It's awful.

Glad you've made plans for the days when they're not with you, now make the most of your weekend with them...enjoy every minute of it.

You'll get through this; we're all pulling for you.


Me:39 Ex-W:36
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I did get to enjoy the kids over the past weekend. After a very hard week without seeing them for 10 days it was such a blessing to spend time with them. It made me realize how much they help me stay balanced, happy and healthy.

As I mentioned, I got to see them over the weekend for Saturday and Sunday and now I'm going another 7 days without them as my Ex scheduled her vacation with them for right after they got back from camp. Originally she was going to take them straight from camp to vacation but fortunately my daughter threw a fit and said she wanted to see me for the weekend. I don't how I would have gotten through a full 19 days without them.

In mid June I had a session with my counselor get canceled and I had let that drift. I met with him last week since I was struggling and though I'm still in a lot of emotional pain it was helpful. I've started journaling again to help and I'm trying to be a little easier on myself. What I mean by that is more open to the pain that I'm going through and just accepting that its going to take time, everyone's path is different, and I have to accept mine.

I just wish that it didn't hurt so much, and that my mind would move on. I'm not sure what kind of a timeline is fair for this kind of thing. She left in December. We're not actually divorced yet. I fought for this marriage since 2016 - so that was a solid 4+ year fight to try and save it. We as of this past June we were married 15 years. And we were together 7 years before we got married. In a lot of ways she was my best friend. So, maybe I'm expecting too much of myself in getting over her.

I just wish the impact on my mental and emotional well being wasn't so severe. Definitely dealing with some depression and an inability to focus on work - it seems meaningless.

In Michelle's book she talked about how us husband's often make our wives the purpose of our life, and I was in that group 110%. That's not healthy. And now I've got to figure out what my purpose is anew.

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Scott, glad to see you back in IC. I truly believe that guys that made their wives the purpose of their lives suffer from PTSD after their wives up and leave them. So you have trauma to deal with and IC is one of the best tools for dealing with it.

I'm a little surprised you're still struggling with this to this degree, but everyone is different. Just keep working on you and you will get there. You will thrive again.


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Hey Scott,

I was with my ex for almost 10 years and I also made her my purpose. I very much identified as a family guy, and she was my best friend as well.

It took me a long time to work past most of the pain (for me it was about 14 months and I still deal with some stuff from time to time), so don't beat yourself up. You are on the right path in regards to healing if you are allowing yourself to honor your feelings.

Time takes time, I promise that your depression will lessen, you just take one day at a time.

One thing that truly was a lifesaver for me is the gym. I would, and still do play really loud rock music and crush it in the gym. It's become therapy for me, and you'll feel your confidence grow when the sleeves on your shirts get tight. Give it a try.

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Scott, wow, 19 days without seeing your kids would be terrible. I'm glad you got that weekend in!

Originally Posted by Scott
I met with him last week since I was struggling and though I'm still in a lot of emotional pain it was helpful. I've started journaling again.. I just wish the impact on my mental and emotional well being wasn't so severe. Definitely dealing with some depression and an inability to focus on work - it seems meaningless.
I think it's wonderful you're taking some time to face your grief head-on. The grief can linger if we distract ourselves and don't set aside time to deal with it. There's a thread in Surviving the Big D where, due to parental health issues, the LBS put processing their grief on hold and discovered it's still waiting years later. I similarly want to process some of my past trauma and leave more of it behind.

Originally Posted by Scott
In Michelle's book she talked about how us husband's often make our wives the purpose of our life, and I was in that group 110%.
Originally Posted by "Early Scott"
I'm angry though. And I'm kind of sick of putting my life on hold.. [I]ts exhausting to live this way. I feel like the giving tree.. [S]he was a stay at home mom for years and I made the mistake of expecting the home to be her job.. I put pressure on her for sex one night and she said no.. Then on Sunday night, she started to light me up..
I agree it's not healthy to live your life for someone else. It's even more problematic when we have covert expectations about what we'll get in return. The act of giving doesn't spark joy, rather resentment.



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Originally Posted by ScottB
I did get to enjoy the kids over the past weekend. After a very hard week without seeing them for 10 days it was such a blessing to spend time with them. It made me realize how much they help me stay balanced, happy and healthy.


Scott, I know this is tough for you, it's been 10 years for me but I remember quite well how difficult it was being apart from my kids half the time. But here is the thing that I came to realize, my days of raising kids were numbered no matter what happened to my marriage. They don't stay kids forever, they grow into independent adults. The days of tickling them, giving them butterfly kisses, reading them stories and such are limited. Make the best of those times, but be mindful that you can't lose sight of who YOU are. You've got to pursue your own interests independent of your wife (current or future) and your kids. You have to have a compass that gives you direction outside of being a husband and father. And if you've already lost that compass, then you need to get it back.

So what does that look like, that "getting your compass back". Well it's a lot of what we preach here. It's getting out, GALing. It's finding things that YOU like to do, whether anyone else is interested or not. For me it was getting back into the hobbies I had set aside years before. Building and flying R/C planes, weight training, working on and riding motorcycles, building model cars, rekindling relationships with old friends. In addition I met new people through my hobbies and made new friends. I also picked up some new interests, ceramic sculpting in particular. The weeks I had the kids I was more focused than ever on making the most of that time. The weeks I didn't have them I dove into my GAL activities.

At first I was just going through the motions, but then I started liking it, then loving it, then it became my "new normal" and I wasn't sad anymore. I can't stress enough what a transformation this can make in you, I went from desperately trying to save my marriage at all costs and being miserable and depressed, and seeing nothing but negative karma everywhere I looked; to being content and happy and optimistic, and not even caring if my marriage made it or not. Now I am all for saving marriages if possible, but sometimes it's just not meant to be. And for me, the whole idea of DB'ing isn't necessarily to save your M, it's to put you into a position where you will succeed and be happy whether your M continues or not.

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I just wish that it didn't hurt so much, and that my mind would move on. I'm not sure what kind of a timeline is fair for this kind of thing.


It took me a year to finally start feeling like my life was under control again, and two years to get pretty well detached. But it will take you whatever it takes. One of the hardest parts about this is being patient with YOURSELF. You can't rush recovery from emotional trauma.

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In a lot of ways she was my best friend. So, maybe I'm expecting too much of myself in getting over her.


I don't think you're expecting too much, but you may be expecting it too soon. It takes time!

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I just wish the impact on my mental and emotional well being wasn't so severe.


It may very well be the most difficult thing you go through in your life. It was for me (at least to this point). But once you recover you'll look back and wonder why you struggled with it so much. Because you will find new happiness, maybe even so fulfilling that it'll make you wonder why you clung so hard to the old.


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What AS said. Read it and reread it at least 5 times, slowly. Truer words have never been spoken. Every word resonated in me.

This June it has been 7 years since BD for me.

I to have been in the dumps, I too have risen from the ashes as a new man, and you, my friend, will rise again. Have faith in the process and know that everything that you are feeling is normal and it will not last. Happier days are ahead.

Work on yourself, spend time with the kids, love, laugh, live!

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AS, please come back more often on this board ! I think your comments are always spot on and full of wisdom.

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So I called my STBEx. I told asked her if she felt good about the current direction of our divorce. She asked what I meant. I said I still didn't want to get divorced. She began to cry. She said I caught her off guard. She said life is really hard for her right now and that the last week had been very hard.

Her dad continues to degrade because of his dementia, her mother has an unknown health ailment which she believes is cancer - she says the doctors don't know what it is - and her mom said that whatever it is she is not going to get treatment, she would just assume die. She said that my son is disrespecting her and she doesn't know what to do about it. She said her family is a mess, her marriage is ending, and she's overwhelmed. She also mentioned the deteriorating relationship with her sister. And so she just cried on the phone.

I tried to use the skills I've been working on. I tried to listen without providing any solutions and empathize. She said she couldn't make any decisions or really talk. I just mirrored back to her that losing her dad and now her mom possibly too had to be unbearable.

I do believe her mom is just trying to manipulate her and her sister and I'm betting the illness is made up. That woman is nearly a sociopath. She just seems to destroy everyone she gets her claws into.

As for my STBEx, we have what might be our last significant mediation session on Monday.

I feel bad, but knowing that she is doing a lot worse than I am, actually in a weird way made me feel better. Also, hearing in her voice that their might be a place to reconcile really made me think about whether or not that would make sense for me and I'm not sure.

When I have my kids I'm pretty happy. We have a lot of fun and we're building great memories. Its really low key and low stress. I hired an interior decorator and I'm redoing my house, which is kind of stressful and sad, but also a bit empowering and the kids seem to be kind of excited about it.

I was dating some but I'm pulling out of that scene. It just feels like more than I'd like to deal with. There are still good days and bad, but I've learned time with the kids gives me a lot of balance and happiness. The three of us make a good little family.

In talking with the STBEx, I do feel like I've healed a good bit and I've grown a good bit. She did not seem healthy or happy at all and really like a complete and utter shell of herself, which had started before we separated , but now seeemed so much worse.

The thing that causes me the most stress is definitely dealing with the attorney's as a part of the divorce, so Monday will be stressful. But from here we are back on a normal schedule with the kids; in two weeks I'm taking them on a fun 5 day vacation. My house will get painted inside in the next two weeks, I've got a new bed coming soon. So a lot is changing and a lot is going on.

Anyhow, just felt the need to do some writing today.

PS AS, I read your post a couple times over some dark days. It was good.

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Oh boy Scotty B you really have a hard time listening. She file for divorce correct? If my count is correct you have now told her 3 times since YOU don�t want a divorce. To be blunt, she doesn�t give a [censored] what you want. You really need to stop making this about you. Then on top of that you are relishing in the fact that she�s going through a $hitty time right now and maybe losing her parents. Weak Scotty B. You are better then that especially if this is the woman you love.

If she changes her mind she will let you know. Until then you need to move on.


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So Scott, why not come here and float the idea that you were flirting with calling your STBXW to try one last hail mary attempt at stopping the D? Oh, I know why you didn't, cause you knew we'd tell you that you shouldn't!

And then to hear how poorly she is doing made you feel better? Yeah.......I think that is your answer right there.

I'd steel yourself for the final mediation. Likely she is going to be embarrassed by the conversation and will be cold, and out to reiterate to you that the D is still on. Maybe not, but I would say the chances are high that you will be dealing with an icecube.

Also, 2x4 on the dating. So you started dating (even got pretty serious with one gal if I remember right) YET still called the STBX to stop the D? And you find that congruent? You feel that it is right to meet new women when you still want to R with your STBX? Oh and now that she gave you a 1 in a million (so you're saying there's a chance!!) hope you are completely pulling the plug on dating. All I can say about that is ROFL.

Last edited by SteveLW; 08/02/21 12:40 PM.

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Originally Posted by SteveLW
And then to hear how poorly she is doing made you feel better? Yeah.......I think that is your answer right there.
To add to this Scotty B I listen to a pod cast this weekend about the Buddhist interpretation of Love. If you truly loved your W you would never feel this way. What you are doing is confusing Love and attachment. You are attached to your W and having an intact family. That attachment has been a death grip on your marriage the last 5 years and continues to this day. This death grip you have pushes her farther away. Your soul focus needs to be on you and your children.


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Originally Posted by ScottB
I said I still didn't want to get divorced. She began to cry. She said I caught her off guard. She said life is really hard for her right now and that the last week had been very hard.

WAS's have a lot going on in their heads. They may seem all calm, cool and collected on the outside but inside there's a storm raging. They are torn, confused, anxious. Sometimes it comes to the surface like you saw here, but almost as soon as it does they will bury it again and resume their facade.

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Her dad continues to degrade because of his dementia, her mother has an unknown health ailment which she believes is cancer - she says the doctors don't know what it is - and her mom said that whatever it is she is not going to get treatment, she would just assume die. She said that my son is disrespecting her and she doesn't know what to do about it. She said her family is a mess, her marriage is ending, and she's overwhelmed. She also mentioned the deteriorating relationship with her sister. And so she just cried on the phone.

I tried to use the skills I've been working on. I tried to listen without providing any solutions and empathize.

Good. She was just venting, not asking to be "fixed". And if you were a fixer before, then this time you showed her something different. A single example (or even a dozen examples) won't impact her, but if you keep it up then eventually she'll start to believe you really have changed.

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I feel bad, but knowing that she is doing a lot worse than I am, actually in a weird way made me feel better.

Do you know the roller coaster analogy? She's riding a roller coaster with a lot of highs and lows. If you tie yourself to her feelings then you ride it as well. When she's at the peak then you think things are improving and you get your hopes up. Then down her coaster goes crashing back to the reality that she's done and there's no hope and you with it. Your job is to stay off the coaster. You're on solid ground off to the side watching her go up and down and all around. A lot of her feelings, whether good or bad, are temporary. She might dangle the carrot of reconciliation one day and then reel it right back in the next. You want to avoid pinning your own feelings on her swings.

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Also, hearing in her voice that their might be a place to reconcile really made me think about whether or not that would make sense for me and I'm not sure.

If she really does get to the point of wanting to reconcile, you won't have to read the tea leaves to figure it out. She'll tell you in no uncertain terms. I've seen it happen quite a few times over the years. A WAS that was done, done, done, telling the LBS to walk away because there is no hope, ever; suddenly doing a complete reversal practically overnight and telling the LBS they were wrong and they want to work on things. Anything short of that is just background noise and you should ignore it. If you want to hold out some hope then by all means do so, but in the meantime focus on you and the kids and don't sweat whether you would take her back or not, just keep pushing yourself forward.

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When I have my kids I'm pretty happy. We have a lot of fun and we're building great memories. Its really low key and low stress. I hired an interior decorator and I'm redoing my house, which is kind of stressful and sad, but also a bit empowering and the kids seem to be kind of excited about it.

Fantastic, that's a great thing to do to make the place yours and help erase some of the memory triggers.

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I was dating some but I'm pulling out of that scene. It just feels like more than I'd like to deal with.

Great. I started dating prematurely (about 9 months after BD) and looking back I'm convinced it slowed down my recovery rather than boosting it.

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PS AS, I read your post a couple times over some dark days. It was good.

Glad it helped. A lot of 2x4's get doled out on these forums, sometimes it's easy to forget that most of the people here are hurting and trying to work their way through this very difficult time, and need hope as much as or more than correction. And there is every reason to hope, people who have mastered DBing went on to better things whether they reconciled or not. No matter how much you are hurting now I completely and fully believe a year or two from now you will be a BETTER, HAPPIER person! It WILL happen, I can't guarantee you will reconcile but I can guarantee you will be in a much better place!


Me: 60 w/ S18, D24, D27

M: 21 years; BD: 06-14-12; S: 09-10-12; D final: 03-17-14; XW:57
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Originally Posted by ScottB
When I have my kids I'm pretty happy.
What can you do to get to extremely happy alone?


"What is best for my kids is best for me"
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LH - I appreciate the advice. She hasn't filed but we got through our final mediation session on Monday and the attorneys are drafting paperwork.

I don't relish that she isn't doing well - but it made me feel better. There is a difference. One is logical and the other is emotional.

As for my STBEx, her MO is to go with the flow regardless of what she thinks or feels and her inner world is typically run by others. She needs help.

I reread some of the things you've posted. I agree with of it most of it. But I don't have a regret in reaching out to her on this one - I may have had a regret if I hadn't done it. So I'm good with that.

Steve - The website was down, at least on my end, for a couple of days - else I probably would have floated it here.

And yes, I see congruence - That's what's great. Its my inner world. She left me, I began to try to figure things out. I went out with some women and got a sense of what was out there. I realized I was going to be okay and that gave me a lot of confidence. I then began to realize that I can be pretty happy without a woman in my life, so I slowed the dating scene down and I'm losing interest. Maybe I'll change my mind again too. What awesome is I get to make those decisions for myself. It doesn't really matter what anyone else thinks. So that's pretty cool. And I figured some things out. That's really valuable for me.

LH - That is really interesting, the difference between Love and Attachment. That's probably accurate.

Originally Posted by AnotherStander
A lot of her feelings, whether good or bad, are temporary. She might dangle the carrot of reconciliation one day and then reel it right back in the next. You want to avoid pinning your own feelings on her swings.

AS � I completely agree. I was fully ready for a complete rejection and I wasn�t worried about it. Also, if she said she wanted to reconcile I would have needed to step back and really talk about what that meant. I did not feel like I was on her roller coaster, I felt in control of my emotions but also able to listen to her. And I wasn't trying to not feel anything, I was open to feelings and paying attention to them.

Originally Posted by AnotherStander
If she really does get to the point of wanting to reconcile, you won't have to read the tea leaves to figure it out. She'll tell you in no uncertain terms. .

Agreed. I have a feeling it could happen once I am completely closed down to the idea. I know that I�m healing, at my speed. I do wish she would come around sooner than later o

After the conversation with her and that I heard some pause in her voice, for the first time I could feel myself be unsure � Would I really want that life back? Or to have to do what it would take to make it work? I could feel that I wasn't so sure.

And being aware of how I feel is very new to me. I didn't start exploring feelings until about the last year because of counseling. The difference between logic and my feelings is something I continue to explore.

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Glad it helped. A lot of 2x4's get doled out on these forums, sometimes it's easy to forget that most of the people here are hurting and trying to work their way through this very difficult time, and need hope as much as or more than correction. And there is every reason to hope, people who have mastered DBing went on to better things whether they reconciled or not. No matter how much you are hurting now I completely and fully believe a year or two from now you will be a BETTER, HAPPIER person! It WILL happen, I can't guarantee you will reconcile but I can guarantee you will be in a much better place!

Well said. Thanks.

R2C � Great question. Last week I had a good day. I went to church, then went to brunch and took a book. I was there for two hours. After that I went home and jumped on my bike and went on a 33 mile bike ride. That felt good. Then I made myself dinner and watched a TV show. It was a good day.

I need to get myself a kayak to be able to take some other adventures on my own. This is a space I�m still working to play in - fun alone. On the weeknights I work out after work, and make dinner and then either read or watch TV. I find reading makes me feel better than TV, but both can be relaxing � but that doesn't generate �happiness�.

I�ll be thinking more about this.

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I wholeheartedly disagree with you on the dating. The fact that you had to do that to know you'd be okay means I still wonder if those old "I have to have a woman" tendencies you admitted to a while back are still underlying. Sounds like a good thing to continue to explore in IC.

So how about an update on how mediation went? It sounds like the D is still on?


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Originally Posted by SteveLW
I wholeheartedly disagree with you on the dating. The fact that you had to do that to know you'd be okay means I still wonder if those old "I have to have a woman" tendencies you admitted to a while back are still underlying

The "I have to have a woman" tendencies is driven by a million years of evolution of man. If humans did not have these tendencies, our species would be extinct smile Jokes aside, I understand what you are trying to convey but if Scott's realization about how dating made him feel he does not need a woman to make him happy sticks, it should hopefully not be relevant moving forward.

Originally Posted by LH19
Originally Posted by SteveLW
And then to hear how poorly she is doing made you feel better? Yeah.......I think that is your answer right there.
To add to this Scotty B I listen to a pod cast this weekend about the Buddhist interpretation of Love. If you truly loved your W you would never feel this way.

Are we still pretending that 'true unattached love' is a real thing? smile

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Originally Posted by MLCxH
Are we still pretending that 'true unattached love' is a real thing? smile
I think it's a real thing just not to anyone on these boards.


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Originally Posted by MLCxH
Originally Posted by SteveLW
I wholeheartedly disagree with you on the dating. The fact that you
The "I have to have a woman" tendencies is driven by a million years of evolution of man. If humans did not have these tendencies, our species would be extinct smile Jokes aside, I understand what you are trying to convey but if Scott's realization about how dating made him feel he does not need a woman to make him happy sticks, it should hopefully not be relevant moving forward.
MLC, I will probably ignore disagreements in the future because I do not think LBSs get much out of other posters arguing on their threads. But since I got called out specifically:

You may have missed it a few months back when Scott said he had a weakness when it came to women. As in always having to have one. His point was that his weakness in this regard was more than the usual "man needs woman" "evolution" thing you mentioned. That is what I was referring to. And no one ever said he should never date again. Just that he shouldn't be dating when he isn't ready to be D'd, as evidenced by telling his STBXW that he still doesn't want a D.
Originally Posted by MLCxH
Originally Posted by LH19
Originally Posted by SteveLW
And then to hear how poorly she is doing made you feel better? Yeah.......I think that is your answer right there.
To add to this Scotty B I listen to a pod cast this weekend about the Buddhist interpretation of Love. If you truly loved your W you would never feel this way.

Are we still pretending that 'true unattached love' is a real thing? smile
I am not pretending anything. We aren't cattle. We can love someone and not be so attached to them that we want to stop breathing if they leave us (read the "You will not die" sticky thread!) As far as the word "true", that is an overloaded term that means different things to different people.

But for anyone else reading this, the state of attachment is not binary. There is no absolute on or off when it comes to attachment. Codependence, over-attachment, thinking you cannot possible live a moment without our your spouse is NOT healthy. You can be properly attached somewhere in the middle without being completely attached or completely detached.

P.S. Did you come in to give Scott advice? Or just to argue?


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Scott,

Back when I first started posting, there was a lot of support from "newbie to newbie". I think that was extremely helpful.

I noticed that you only post to your thread. Same thing with Smilie, Most of his posts are on his thread. I might suggest that you read his threads ,if you haven't already, and offer some support. He will most likely reciprocate.

It is definitely a worthwhile endeavor. You get to think about things and use logic to address the other persons sitch. Your emotions are not controlling your response and when similar things come up in your own life, you already know a good choice to help make your decision easier.


"What is best for my kids is best for me"
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Originally Posted by SteveLW
MLC, I will probably ignore disagreements in the future because I do not think LBSs get much out of other posters arguing on their threads. But since I got called out specifically:

You may have missed it a few months back when Scott said he had a weakness when it came to women. As in always having to have one. His point was that his weakness in this regard was more than the usual "man needs woman" "evolution" thing you mentioned. That is what I was referring to. And no one ever said he should never date again. Just that he shouldn't be dating when he isn't ready to be D'd, as evidenced by telling his STBXW that he still doesn't want a D.

Steve, the intent here was not to argue. It was to an attempt to temper the 2x4 by trying to be more empathetic to Scott. I feel disagreements do benefit the LBS because it allows them to see both sides and help decide what advice suits their situation better. I hope you will not ignore disagreements. Case in point, I did not know Scott had admitted to a weakness and that you were referring to this specifically. I clearly misinterpreted the context of your comment and your response helped clarify this. In this case, I do agree with your suggestion to Scott to consider exploring it further in IC

Originally Posted by SteveLW
Originally Posted by MLCxH
Are we still pretending that 'true unattached love' is a real thing? smile
I am not pretending anything. We aren't cattle. We can love someone and not be so attached to them that we want to stop breathing if they leave us (read the "You will not die" sticky thread!) As far as the word "true", that is an overloaded term that means different things to different people.

You are taking the quote too literally here. The point is none of us would likely be here if our relationships had true and unattached love. We may be more civilized than cattle, but at some level we are still creatures driven by hormonal, physical, social and emotional needs. Love does not happen between romantic partners without at least some of these needs being met. Every person values different needs differently and hence the level of hurt and anger at some of these needs not being met will vary from person to person. The advice to reduce attachment is sound but I feel we need to be empathetic to those who have a tough time detaching completely. Not an argument, just my opinion smile Cheers!


Originally Posted by LH19
Originally Posted by MLCxH
Are we still pretending that 'true unattached love' is a real thing? smile
I think it's a real thing just not to anyone on these boards.
Maybe I am jaded but I don't believe this is true in romantic relationships. There are those that are closer to true love relative to others, but at some level romantic love is need based and is only sustained if mutual needs are met regularly.

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Originally Posted by Ready2Change
Scott,

Back when I first started posting, there was a lot of support from "newbie to newbie". I think that was extremely helpful.

I noticed that you only post to your thread. Same thing with Smilie, Most of his posts are on his thread. I might suggest that you read his threads ,if you haven't already, and offer some support. He will most likely reciprocate.

It is definitely a worthwhile endeavor. You get to think about things and use logic to address the other persons sitch. Your emotions are not controlling your response and when similar things come up in your own life, you already know a good choice to help make your decision easier.

This is such a great point R2C. Not only will you be paying it forward, but also you will attract more posters to your thread, creating a more diverse set of opinions.

Last edited by OnlyBent; 08/04/21 10:50 AM.

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Originally Posted by Ready2Change
Scott,

Back when I first started posting, there was a lot of support from "newbie to newbie". I think that was extremely helpful.

I noticed that you only post to your thread. Same thing with Smilie, Most of his posts are on his thread. I might suggest that you read his threads ,if you haven't already, and offer some support. He will most likely reciprocate.

It is definitely a worthwhile endeavor. You get to think about things and use logic to address the other persons sitch. Your emotions are not controlling your response and when similar things come up in your own life, you already know a good choice to help make your decision easier.

Someone should put this into R2C's quote thread. I would do it but I can't stay long.


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Originally Posted by MLCxH
Maybe I am jaded

Not "maybe". You are jaded. I've noticed this in your responses since you returned.


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From a post i read based on R2C's advise. Its an old one but really good:

Originally Posted by uRworthy
Bo, I have been around a long time. It sounds like there may be some sort of crisis going on with your wife.

Here's the thing..you have to let go of who your wife was, because if you don't, you will keep feeling as you do. The sooner you accept that this is who she is right now, the better you can move forward. Now, dont get me wrong. It is hard. But know this...what you had was real. Dont allow her to rewrite history. You know your truth.

You need to go through the steps of grief because this is a death of what your marriage was. That doesnt mean there cant be a new marriage if that is what is meant to be.

You cant rush through this. It takes as long as it does. And you dont want to rush through any of the steps because if you do, they come back around to bite you.

The most important thing is this...begin to believe that this was a journey you were meant to go on. I know that for myself without a single doubt.

I also know that I could have been perfect and it would not have mattered because he was broken. It had, except for the stuff I needed to own, very little to do with me. This was his journey, too.

My job was this...not to cause harm to the relationship my son forged with his dad, to accept what my h felt, and to walk my path with dignity and courage.

You cannot change how she feels. Nor should you want to. That doesnt work in the long run for either of you.

So, feel what you need to and then let those feelings wash over you. That is the way forward.
I thought the part about letting go of who your wife was, was good. And the idea of accepting who she is right now also very important. Its reality and it is hard to accept. Lots of good stuff in this one.

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Originally Posted by ScottB
I thought the part about letting go of who your wife was, was good. And the idea of accepting who she is right now also very important. Its reality and it is hard to accept. Lots of good stuff in this one.

Yeah, this was a perspective that really helped me in my sitch. I also like to throw in that the person she is now may be who she is from now on. As in the change is permanent and who she was is never coming back. I think a lot of LBSs struggle with that. They sit hoping and waiting their WAS snaps out of it and that the person they knew will come back at some point. I know the woman my W was 10-15-20 years ago is vastly different than the person she is now. It is either accept it or move on.


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ScottB,

Originally Posted by ScottB
So I called my STBEx. I told asked her if she felt good about the current direction of our divorce. She asked what I meant. I said I still didn't want to get divorced. She began to cry. She said I caught her off guard. She said life is really hard for her right now and that the last week had been very hard.
Sorry the conversation didn't go as you hoped.

Originally Posted by ScottB
Her dad continues to degrade because of his dementia, her mother has an unknown health ailment which she believes is cancer - she says the doctors don't know what it is - and her mom said that whatever it is she is not going to get treatment, she would just assume die. She said that my son is disrespecting her and she doesn't know what to do about it. She said her family is a mess, her marriage is ending, and she's overwhelmed. She also mentioned the deteriorating relationship with her sister. And so she just cried on the phone.

I tried to use the skills I've been working on. I tried to listen without providing any solutions and empathize. She said she couldn't make any decisions or really talk. I just mirrored back to her that losing her dad and now her mom possibly too had to be unbearable.
Good you listen and validated, instead of fixing/reasoning/trying to convince.

Originally Posted by ScottB
I do believe her mom is just trying to manipulate her and her sister and I'm betting the illness is made up. That woman is nearly a sociopath. She just seems to destroy everyone she gets her claws into.
Could be. My Ex-MIL is very manipulative as well. Bought a house in town not long before BD, helped faciliated W's affair and D, hung out and partied with ExW&OM2 before ExW even moved out. Thing is, as with me, she's part of your W's story/life and you can't change it. So you just need to deal with what you can.

Originally Posted by ScottB
I feel bad, but knowing that she is doing a lot worse than I am, actually in a weird way made me feel better.
LH19 and SteveLW may be right about "unattached love" being the ideal and most healthy state but think it's common to have some angry thoughts about an Ex who betrayed you and take some schadenfreude out of their struggles post-BD/D. I'm there myself right now. I'm guessing it's going to take more time and personal work to get to the "zen" state of loving detachment for our Exs. You were married 15 years and together 22 yet it's been less than a year since she moved out. It's probably normal at this point. Just keep working on yourself and you'll get there.

Originally Posted by ScottB
Also, hearing in her voice that their might be a place to reconcile really made me think about whether or not that would make sense for me and I'm not sure.
Doesn't sound like she was really thinking of reconciling - don't read too much into it.

Originally Posted by ScottB
When I have my kids I'm pretty happy. We have a lot of fun and we're building great memories. Its really low key and low stress. I hired an interior decorator and I'm redoing my house, which is kind of stressful and sad, but also a bit empowering and the kids seem to be kind of excited about it. I was dating some but I'm pulling out of that scene. It just feels like more than I'd like to deal with. There are still good days and bad, but I've learned time with the kids gives me a lot of balance and happiness. The three of us make a good little family.
Glad you're enjoying your time with the kids! I'm making the most of mine, and redoing the house as well! Dating is weird after so long, right? I dipped my toes in after D but not making it a priority.

Originally Posted by ScottB
In talking with the STBEx, I do feel like I've healed a good bit and I've grown a good bit.
Good!
Originally Posted by ScottB
She did not seem healthy or happy at all and really like a complete and utter shell of herself, which had started before we separated , but now seeemed so much worse.
That's her problem now, not yours.

Originally Posted by ScottB
The thing that causes me the most stress is definitely dealing with the attorney's as a part of the divorce, so Monday will be stressful.
It's a soul-sucking process. Hang in there. You'll get some relief to not have to deal with it all once it's done.

Originally Posted by Jason88
AS, please come back more often on this board ! I think your comments are always spot on and full of wisdom.
I second that motion! A lot of good advice from AS, Thornton, R2C, LH, SteveLW, Vapo, and others lately on this thread.

Originally Posted by AnotherStander
WAS's have a lot going on in their heads. They may seem all calm, cool and collected on the outside but inside there's a storm raging. They are torn, confused, anxious. Sometimes it comes to the surface like you saw here, but almost as soon as it does they will bury it again and resume their facade.

...

Do you know the roller coaster analogy? She's riding a roller coaster with a lot of highs and lows. If you tie yourself to her feelings then you ride it as well. When she's at the peak then you think things are improving and you get your hopes up. Then down her coaster goes crashing back to the reality that she's done and there's no hope and you with it. Your job is to stay off the coaster. You're on solid ground off to the side watching her go up and down and all around. A lot of her feelings, whether good or bad, are temporary. She might dangle the carrot of reconciliation one day and then reel it right back in the next. You want to avoid pinning your own feelings on her swings.
This is a very good read. At least for me, it's helpful to have a better understanding of what's going through WAS minds (deep down, not the happy façade was LBS see). Not that it changes the situation, but makes me feel more normal less crazy relative to my emotions and how I'm handling myself.

Last edited by BL42; 08/09/21 04:13 PM.

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So its been a couple of weeks. The divorce details have all been negotiated. Paperwork is getting drawn up. No further communication with the Ex other than stuff related to the kids.

I had an awesome trip with the kids last week. We went to the beach for 5 days and had a really great time. They really are such a blessing and such great kids.

Work is very busy but I do think its slowly getting better. I bought a kayak two weeks ago but I haven't gotten out on it. I'm continuing to work to get my house redecorated and painted. Right now they are fixing cracks in walls and there is dust everywhere so that's creating a bit of stress but it will be great when its done.

I've been incredibly busy as of late and haven't had much time to myself. I could go for a slow evening or two but it just hasn't gone that way. Anyhow, just wanted to drop a line out here. Have a great weekend!

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Nice update!


"What is best for my kids is best for me"
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Hi Scott, glad to hear your divorce is wrapping up, you had a good week with the kids, and you're learning to kayak. Wish you lived closer! I'm always down for kayaking--ocean, river, or calmer waters. Home maintenance and redecorating can be stressful but also builds you up. Rock on!



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Scott, good to hear from you!

Onward and upward.


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I thought I'd come here to more or less journal today and let go of some stuff. I do some business with my in-laws and I've expected them to pull that from me at some point - it just makes sense. I wouldn't want to have business with my former son in law.

Anyhow, I got a call from a competitor - which was nice of him to call to a degree - letting me know that he was going to be taking over the business. He let me know that my in laws didn't feel comfortable working with me and didn't feel comfortable even calling me to have the discussion. He also recommended that I call them and leave a message to let them know there were no hard feelings.
I thought that was a good idea and so that's what I did.

I knew it was coming, but its just another reality hit. These things stir up pain. I imagine that is simply going to be the way it is for the rest of my life, but it will probably be less and less as time goes by.

Counseling continues to be helpful for me to process my feelings and to try and make sense of something that doesn't make sense to me.

My last session the counselor helped me see that in the marriage I had accepted certain behaviors too long, which was not healthy for me or for my ex. He made the comment that the vision I had for my marriage represented my fantasy or my ideal and that I need to continue to work to accept that it doesn't exist either. And then the big one is that I shared with him that my mind just keeps going around in circles asking What I did wrong. His point on that one was that I didn't do anything wrong. This wasn't about me.

I know that is true but it is so hard for me to accept. I just constantly wonder, what could I have done differently, but at the end of the day, This wasn't about me and I need to accept that.

I'll continue to work at that - it will take time.

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I can certainly relate to your questioning of what you did wrong. I struggled with that for a really long time as well.

While you certainly played a part in the demise of your marriage, you were willing to work to resolve the issues. Your STBXW wasn't, and that's where it becomes her issue.

Ruminating on what you could have done differently only serves to keep you imprisoned. Certainly learn from your mistakes so you don't repeat but also realize you are imperfect, always will be.

Sometimes you can be the perfect partner for someone, and they will still find a reason to leave.

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Originally Posted by ScottB
Anyhow, I got a call from a competitor - which was nice of him to call to a degree - letting me know that he was going to be taking over the business. He let me know that my in laws didn't feel comfortable working with me and didn't feel comfortable even calling me to have the discussion. He also recommended that I call them and leave a message to let them know there were no hard feelings.
Very adult and business like. Good job Scotty B.
Originally Posted by ScottB
I knew it was coming, but its just another reality hit. These things stir up pain. I imagine that is simply going to be the way it is for the rest of my life, but it will probably be less and less as time goes by.
Yep. This may be permanent but will get less and less. I recently saw at Ex at a wedding and didn't feel much.
Originally Posted by ScottB
Counseling continues to be helpful for me to process my feelings and to try and make sense of something that doesn't make sense to me.
Counseling will help in this matter.
Originally Posted by ScottB
My last session the counselor helped me see that in the marriage I had accepted certain behaviors too long, which was not healthy for me or for my ex.
This is very true but on the flip side your ex most likely did the same.
Originally Posted by ScottB
He made the comment that the vision I had for my marriage represented my fantasy or my ideal and that I need to continue to work to accept that it doesn't exist either.
Your counselor gave you great advice here. Number 1 reason there is so much suffering on this board. Everyone here is in love with a fantasy that doesn't exist.
Originally Posted by ScottB
And then the big one is that I shared with him that my mind just keeps going around in circles asking What I did wrong. His point on that one was that I didn't do anything wrong. This wasn't about me.
Your counselor is doing you a big disservice here Scotty B. You played a role in the break down in the marriage. It's concerning to me that you don't see and accept it.
Originally Posted by ScottB
I know that is true but it is so hard for me to accept. I just constantly wonder, what could I have done differently, but at the end of the day, This wasn't about me and I need to accept that.
Probably nothing. Your STBXW has never been faithful to you and was bound to stray again.
Originally Posted by ScottB
I'll continue to work at that - it will take time.
Great! We are all works in progress.


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Thorton - I completely agree that I'm imperfect - I try hard, but no one is perfect. The key, I believe, is to accept and love the parts of someone that aren't perfect. That's what love is about. Otherwise, what's it worth? Its easy to love something that's perfect. And therefore I'm not sure that love is worth all that much. I don't know.

LH Quote "Everyone here is in love with a fantasy that doesn't exist." So very true.

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Originally Posted by ScottB
And then the big one is that I shared with him that my mind just keeps going around in circles asking What I did wrong. His point on that one was that I didn't do anything wrong. This wasn't about me.

I know that is true but it is so hard for me to accept. I just constantly wonder, what could I have done differently, but at the end of the day, This wasn't about me and I need to accept that.

I'll continue to work at that - it will take time.

Scott, my guess is that you are at least a little like me, a bit of a control freak. You like to be in control of the things around you and that affect you. I struggled with the "what could I do different" thing to. But the answer to that wasn't the answer to the impending end of my marriage. I believe there are things we can do, and things we shouldn't do, after BD, but none of that guarantees an outcome either way. The hardest thing for the LBS to come to grips with is that they have no control over what the WAS decides. Either the WAS will decide to stay or they will decide to go. That is why the advice is to remove the focus from them and put it on yourself.

I understand the struggle but your IC (sounds like you have a good one!) is right, it wasn't about you. It was about her. And nothing you said or did was going to make her change her mind.


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SteveLW - I agree. True Acceptance of that will take me some time.

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Scott B,

Originally Posted by ScottB
I knew it was coming, but its just another reality hit. These things stir up pain. I imagine that is simply going to be the way it is for the rest of my life, but it will probably be less and less as time goes by.
I completely empathize with the "reality hits". I'm getting the same myself occasionally. However, I do believe those will dissipate over time.

Originally Posted by ScottB
Counseling continues to be helpful for me to process my feelings and to try and make sense of something that doesn't make sense to me.
That's great. Any tips on processing anger? lol

Originally Posted by ScottB
My last session the counselor helped me see that in the marriage I had accepted certain behaviors too long, which was not healthy for me or for my ex. He made the comment that the vision I had for my marriage represented my fantasy or my ideal and that I need to continue to work to accept that it doesn't exist either.
I think this is the case. We all accepted behaviors for too long which we should've addressed earlier. Hindsight is 20/20. Now we'll know better and hopefully address those in the future.

Originally Posted by Thornton
I can certainly relate to your questioning of what you did wrong. I struggled with that for a really long time as well.

While you certainly played a part in the demise of your marriage, you were willing to work to resolve the issues. Your STBXW wasn't, and that's where it becomes her issue.

Ruminating on what you could have done differently only serves to keep you imprisoned. Certainly learn from your mistakes so you don't repeat but also realize you are imperfect, always will be.

Sometimes you can be the perfect partner for someone, and they will still find a reason to leave.

Originally Posted by LH19
Originally Posted by ScottB
And then the big one is that I shared with him that my mind just keeps going around in circles asking What I did wrong. His point on that one was that I didn't do anything wrong. This wasn't about me.
Your counselor is doing you a big disservice here Scotty B. You played a role in the break down in the marriage. It's concerning to me that you don't see and accept it.
Originally Posted by ScottB
I know that is true but it is so hard for me to accept. I just constantly wonder, what could I have done differently, but at the end of the day, This wasn't about me and I need to accept that.
Probably nothing. Your STBXW has never been faithful to you and was bound to stray again.

Originally Posted by SteveLW
I understand the struggle but your IC (sounds like you have a good one!) is right, it wasn't about you. It was about her. And nothing you said or did was going to make her change her mind.
I wanted to chime in on the discussion of responsibility and reflection on what the LBS did wrong, and the comments from Thornton, LH19, and SteveLW...

To me there's a difference between "not doing anything wrong", which is never the case because no one is perfect, and "not being the one ultimately responsible" (I.e., "it's not about you"). In my mind it's very important to separate these two in the discussion.

In regards to the former we have all made mistakes, acted poorly, could've handled situations differently. This is the case for both the LBSs and the WAWs! To that point, it's healthy to reflect on where you could've done better, work on self improvement, and correct those behaviors in the future. That process will make you a better man.

However, in regards to the latter, unless you had major issues (physical abuse, drug addiction, gambling problems...etc.) there's a good chance that ultimately it is not "about you" and your ExW has deeper issues preventing her from being willing to work on the issues, leading her to an affair to get the quick fix of feeling better about herself, and putting a band aid on her pain. I've heard the "it's not about you" from IC, family, and others on this board and while it's something I go back and forth on at times, ultimately I think they're right.

Point is...YES, absolutely reflect on how you can do better in the future, but NO, do not let the "what could I have done better / how could I have fixed this" allow you to put the full burden of the divorce on your back. Thornton, LH, and SteveLW are right when they say 1) you were willing to work on marriage whereas she was not, 2) it's possible (even likely) that is is about her and not you, and 3) she could've strayed even if you were the perfect husband.


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Originally Posted by BL42
That's great. Any tips on processing anger? lol

Sure, this is how I try to do it. Write it out. I think journaling your feelings is a good way to work to release them. I think meditation or prayer (I practice centering prayer) can be a good way to work through it. Emotions make us want to move to action - so going for a walk, working out, something that involves movement can be helpful.

I recently ran across the poetry book "the truth of you" by iain s. thomas which has been a very nice companion on my journey. So I'll read and journal - focusing on feeling my emotions instead of stuffing them away. My hope is that let's me move through things in a healthy way, though sometimes they will overwhelm me.

I'll also try to work on presence - being present to the moment.
Stopping to smell flowers or the rain, noticing the clouds and the sun.
I read a paper by some college profs on happiness and so I use their tips to help me.

Originally Posted by BL42
To me there's a difference between "not doing anything wrong", ... and "not being the one ultimately responsible" (I.e., "it's not about you"). In my mind it's very important to separate these two in the discussion.

In regards to the former we have all made mistakes, acted poorly, could've handled situations differently...

However, in regards to the latter, unless you had major issues (physical abuse, drug addiction, gambling problems...etc.) there's a good chance that ultimately it is not "about you" and your ExW has deeper issues preventing her from being willing to work on the issues, leading her to an affair to get the quick fix of feeling better about herself, and putting a band aid on her pain. I've heard the "it's not about you" from ... others ... and while it's something I go back and forth on at times, ultimately I think they're right.

Point is...YES, absolutely reflect on how you can do better in the future, but NO, do not let the "what could I have done better / how could I have fixed this" allow you to put the full burden of the divorce on your back. Thornton, LH, and SteveLW are right when they say 1) you were willing to work on marriage whereas she was not, 2) it's possible (even likely) that is is about her and not you, and 3) she could've strayed even if you were the perfect husband.

All true. I really like the way you differentiated between these two concepts. Words are important and I think your word choice more clearly illustrates what I was trying to say. Thank you.

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Scott, if she came to you today and wanted to reconcile....what would you do?


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Originally Posted by BL42
In regards to the former we have all made mistakes, acted poorly, could've handled situations differently. This is the case for both the LBSs and the WAWs! To that point, it's healthy to reflect on where you could've done better, work on self improvement, and correct those behaviors in the future. That process will make you a better man.

However, in regards to the latter, unless you had major issues (physical abuse, drug addiction, gambling problems...etc.) there's a good chance that ultimately it is not "about you" and your ExW has deeper issues preventing her from being willing to work on the issues, leading her to an affair to get the quick fix of feeling better about herself, and putting a band aid on her pain. I've heard the "it's not about you" from IC, family, and others on this board and while it's something I go back and forth on at times, ultimately I think they're right.

Point is...YES, absolutely reflect on how you can do better in the future, but NO, do not let the "what could I have done better / how could I have fixed this" allow you to put the full burden of the divorce on your back. Thornton, LH, and SteveLW are right when they say 1) you were willing to work on marriage whereas she was not, 2) it's possible (even likely) that is is about her and not you, and 3) she could've strayed even if you were the perfect husband.

Brilliant summary.. Hits the nail on the head !

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SteveLW - Your timing is interesting.

Originally Posted by SteveLW
Scott, if she came to you today and wanted to reconcile....what would you do?

Recently we spoke. She said I probably wouldn't like what she had to say. She said to me that she doesn't want to work on the marriage, that she doesn't want to go to marriage counseling, that she has considered pushing off filing 3-6 months (paperwork should be done next week), she said she hates destroying the family, that she misses the kids terribly, she has said that her and I don't work, that she can't get over the past (I'm not sure what that is in reference to), and that she thinks the divorce is the only path but "you can never really be sure about a decision like this". Then she said she didn't want to hurt my feelings.

I said "don't worry, I want to be with someone that wants to be with me, I deserve that." I also questioned what holding off on paperwork would do if we weren't going to work on anything or have discussions.

After that conversation I began making a list of my non-negotiables in regards to changes I would need her to work on to be able to get consider going back. This list is a reminder list for me so that I stay strong and feel some ownership from my side on this decision. When we get divorced - which is inevitable in reality - I want to feel, for myself, that this is a healthy outcome.

When we spoke, she said she has no interest at all in dating anyone else, which is why she's not in a hurry. She said she still loves me. She said she's not sure if she will ever get married again and she's not sure she will ever love anyone like she loved me or be able to trust anyone again.

The way she talks, it makes me feel like I was the one that had the affair - its crazy to me.

My gut tells me that she needs to have some kind of real "come to jesus" moment and I don't believe that will happen for a couple of years. Until that happens and she really sees things for what they are, there is no reconciliation.

Also, I deserve to be loved. I deserve to be cared for. I deserve to be appreciated. I deserve to have someone say I'm going to do the work to be with you. I'm worth it. And if she can't see that then I need to move on.

As I've mentioned, I have dated some and I dated one wonderful woman. I think about her some still. She cared for me, deeply, and wanted to take care of me. Since I've been single I've been able to interact with woman in a different way for the first time in 20 years, and I've felt cared for by wives of friends. I know what it can be like to be with someone that actually cares for me, and that's what I want. I'm not sure I'm willing to settle. Time will tell.

My STBEx and I are supposed to talk next week. Everyone I know would tell me its a mistake to entertain getting back with her and probably even talking to her because it can mess my head up. But its my life so I get to make those decisions.

We'll see what happens. The man sitting here today is thinking "I'm not going back to that life. I refuse."

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Originally Posted by ScottB
Recently we spoke. She said I probably wouldn't like what she had to say. She said to me that she doesn't want to work on the marriage, that she doesn't want to go to marriage counseling, that she has considered pushing off filing 3-6 months (paperwork should be done next week), she said she hates destroying the family, that she misses the kids terribly, she has said that her and I don't work, that she can't get over the past (I'm not sure what that is in reference to), and that she thinks the divorce is the only path but "you can never really be sure about a decision like this". Then she said she didn't want to hurt my feelings.
She's being really honest here Scotty B.
Originally Posted by ScottB
I said "don't worry, I want to be with someone that wants to be with me, I deserve that."
Passive aggressive. You are not a fan of validation are you?
Originally Posted by ScottB
I also questioned what holding off on paperwork would do if we weren't going to work on anything or have discussions.
Probably cost you a lot more money.

Originally Posted by ScottB
After that conversation I began making a list of my non-negotiables in regards to changes I would need her to work on to be able to get consider going back. This list is a reminder list for me so that I stay strong and feel some ownership from my side on this decision. When we get divorced - which is inevitable in reality - I want to feel, for myself, that this is a healthy outcome.
I wouldn't waste one ounce of time on a list like that Scotty B.

Originally Posted by ScottB
When we spoke, she said she has no interest at all in dating anyone else, which is why she's not in a hurry. She said she still loves me. She said she's not sure if she will ever get married again and she's not sure she will ever love anyone like she loved me or be able to trust anyone again.
All WW script. Hmmm Still loves you. Can never love another like you. Misses the kids terribly but is on a fast track ticket to D town. It's a case of actions vs words.

Originally Posted by ScottB
My gut tells me that she needs to have some kind of real "come to jesus" moment and I don't believe that will happen for a couple of years. Until that happens and she really sees things for what they are, there is no reconciliation.
What will that moment look like?
Originally Posted by ScottB
Also, I deserve to be loved. I deserve to be cared for. I deserve to be appreciated. I deserve to have someone say I'm going to do the work to be with you. I'm worth it. And if she can't see that then I need to move on.
100%
Originally Posted by ScottB
As I've mentioned, I have dated some and I dated one wonderful woman. I think about her some still. She cared for me, deeply, and wanted to take care of me.

That's a weird thing to say after a couple months of dating.
Originally Posted by ScottB
Since I've been single I've been able to interact with woman in a different way for the first time in 20 years, and I've felt cared for by wives of friends. I know what it can be like to be with someone that actually cares for me, and that's what I want. I'm not sure I'm willing to settle. Time will tell.
Why would you settle?
Originally Posted by ScottB
My STBEx and I are supposed to talk next week. Everyone I know would tell me its a mistake to entertain getting back with her and probably even talking to her because it can mess my head up. But its my life so I get to make those decisions.
Just wear a cup because you are about to get get kicked hard in the marbles!
Originally Posted by ScottB
We'll see what happens. The man sitting here today is thinking "I'm not going back to that life. I refuse."
Well that's good because you can't. The tribe has spoken and the decision is final!


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Just a couple things here:

Have you ever considered that that speech she gave you wasn't her trying to creep her way back to your MR as passively and weirdly vague as possible but that she is genuinely sad about the dissolution of your MR and the family while also understanding it's legitimately not going to work? Is it possible that her consideration into slowing down the D process (which isn't something she's actually done just something she said she had give some thought to) was the best version of softening the blow she could muster? And along those lines is it possible that her stating you can never really be sure about a decision like this was literal and not some code that she wants back in?

I'm just saying it seems like she was saying some pretty clear things without it being cryptic in the least yet here we are with you trying to decode it. And even if this was some coded message and she is trying to let you know she's unsure about her decision the best response to this you could come up with was a passive aggressive swipe? I gotta agree with LH on that. Validation probably would've been the way to go here but you could see the forest through the tree. You took heartfelt honesty she was offering you about her truth as subtext personally insulting you.

Last thing, why do you want a woman to "care" for you? Why do you want to be taken care of? Are you not self sufficient enough to take care of yourself? Are you lacking self esteem so you need someone to adore you to feel complete? This is not why we look for partners. Relationships are not about what people do for us. That's transactional and that is not love. Love is about what you offer. Love is about what you can do for the other person. It is not about what you can gain. Or what they can do for you.

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Originally Posted by ScottB
Recently we spoke. She said I probably wouldn't like what she had to say. She said to me that she doesn't want to work on the marriage, that she doesn't want to go to marriage counseling, that she has considered pushing off filing 3-6 months (paperwork should be done next week), she said she hates destroying the family, that she misses the kids terribly, she has said that her and I don't work, that she can't get over the past (I'm not sure what that is in reference to), and that she thinks the divorce is the only path but "you can never really be sure about a decision like this". Then she said she didn't want to hurt my feelings.

I said "don't worry, I want to be with someone that wants to be with me, I deserve that." I also questioned what holding off on paperwork would do if we weren't going to work on anything or have discussions.

Scott, do you see why YOUR behavior during this discussion is not DBing?


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Originally Posted by ScottB
My STBEx and I are supposed to talk next week.
I would be extremely busy. If you absolutely can't resist, then you had better change the way you interact with her.


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LH- In reality the list is for me. A reminder of all the things that would need to change. All the things I now see that were screwed up. A reminder that It wasn’t that perfect and that I can move on. It’s a loss, but there was a lot of screwed up stuff and I do believe I can find someone with fewer issues who treats me better.

And I don’t care what her “come to Jesus” moment looks like. I believe it will be too late. I’ve had several friends who have gone through this. Wives leave them and then come back down the road saying it was a mistake, but they’ve moved on. Seems like a common pattern.

As for validation I was trying on during parts of the call. But when she implied I was fragile and that I was dying to have her back, I needed her to know that’s not how this is. I don’t think it was passive aggressive. There was no hidden meaning or hidden agenda, there was no guilt trip. Bottom line is that I want to be with someone that wants to be with me. I think that’s fair. You can say I wasn’t listenning tonher and didn’t validate. Maybe I should have said “it sounds like you’re really concerned about how this impacts me and you don’t want to hurt my feelings.” But I didn’t in this spot. I try to listen and validate when I can, I’m not close to perfect at it.

Wayfarer - Hi. I didn’t think she was trying to creep her way into my life at all. I think she’s not 100% sure. I think she’s confused. I believe she was emotionally abused as a child by her mom. I know she was on the brink of physical abuse. I know her dad, who is disabled is abused by her mom. I believe she transferred some of her issues with her mom to me. I think she’s going through all kinds of midlife stuff and she’s confused. I think what she said was honest. She had a lot going on.

And when I say care for me, I mean acts of service. “Hey, I’m running by the dry cleaners, would you like me to take your shirts in?” Just little things. All the same things I do for those I love. I want to be in a relationship where that’s reciprocated. I don’t need it, I want it.

R2C - Yes. Per the book, not divorce busting. At this time the last resort strategy in theory would be the recommended course of action. I’m not divorce busting. I’m looking for closure.

I agree with LH, actions speak louder than words. She has done nothing to change the course. I also know this woman quite well. She is the epitome of an enneagram 9. She avoids conflict, avoids decisions, avoids problems. She goes with the flow. She can be apathetic and a bit lazy. Her way of dealing with life is to avoid it. Anyhow, I’ve got to run.

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You know your stbxw better than I do. Interpret as you please. But I'm seeing nothing here that has anything to do with that bountiful amount of possibilities and past influences that are leading to supposed confusion. She didn't say a thing about being confused. She seems pretty confident actually that she's divorcing you regardless. But it seems that she does care for you whether you want to recognize that or not, and is starting to feel pretty remorseful about the way things shook out. Granted I can only base that off what you've put here, but what you've put here seems like a woman who isn't exactly sorry about what she did, but she is sorry about the fallout. And honestly at this point in the game this is pretty much the best you can ask for.

Just so you know I've read through a large bulk of your sitch so I do know what you're dealing with. I just usually keep my opinions on this to myself. You have a history of over analyzing what she says and does and under analyzing what you say and do in reaction to her. I'm curious if you ever really dug into some of the other WW's around here, because your stbxw while her cheating is pretty prolific, emotionally, she's one of the more stable ones around here. I'm not saying she's the pinnacle of behavioral and mental health I just don't think she's as MLC as you want to think she is. I think she's done. I think she's been done. I think she keeps telling you she's done and you keep hearing her say there's a chance. Like peak Lloyd Christmas 'there's a chance.'

What I'm trying to get you to understand is she speaks passively out of kindness, but that gives you room to interpret. The reality is there isn't room for interpretation here, but you're going to read into it any way you like.

At some point here accepting that while you may have had a hand in the marriage failing you had no hand in it ending means you need to accept that your marriage is in fact ending.

I've watched you literally start super ill advised dating and still pine after this woman. Still interpret her every move as some reach to or for you. The D is impending and still when she says plainly what she means you still are looking for that hand, and refuse to accept that it's not there. You will never get the magical closure you seek if you keep telling yourself that your stbxw deep down really wants you and the MR, she's just confused. You will never move on. And you will become bitter because her actions in moving on and living her life will continue to look like underhanded or coded attempts to purposefully make you feel bad. By not doing the work. By not DBing you're doing yourself a major disservice. You're seeking closure you're never going to get. Closure is for people who like to keep wounds and doors open. Closure isn't ever really about closing a chapter. It's about wanting to control the ending instead of just relinquishing control of the situation and taking control of the next chapter of your life. The concept of closure was created and perpetuated by emotional masochists, emotional sadists and people with deep control issues.

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I've told this story before:

When my sister's 1st marriage was ending, which was a long time coming, she had second thoughts. Her 1st H couldn't hold a job, she became the sole bread winner. Even though her H was unemployed he insisted on putting their young daughter in daycare. She met her now H during this period, left her 1st H, and filed for D.

A few months in she started to have 2nd thoughts. She hastily arranged a meeting with her STBXH and met him. By the end of that brief meeting, she was further convinced that she was doing the right thing by leaving him.

I tell this story because there are lots of times the WAS has second thoughts. Absence makes the heart grow fonder. They start to romanticize the MR that is ending. They remember the good times and the bad times fade. They start thinking about how much better it would be for the kids to have an intact home with their real parents.

Then they get around the LBS again and all the reasons that they left come crashing back to them. It is like the last "am I doing the right thing?" moment, and solidifies in their mind that they are.

The impact on the LBS is devastation. They see it as a chance to R and fix things. And when it turns out to be a false start, they are devastated and resort back to square one as if BD just happened again.

I saw that with my sister. We've seen it with other LBSs here. The old adage we quote, may be cliche but is so true, "When they want to R you WILL know. When they don't, you will be confused."


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SteveLW - That was well written.

Same for you Wayfarer.

I lean towards both of your thoughts. She knows what she wants, she's just afraid.

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You don’t want someone to be with you because of fear. Many of my friends are in this situation and it’s awful!


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Originally Posted by LH
Passive aggressive. You are not a fan of validation are you?
Originally Posted by wayfarer
You took heartfelt honesty she was offering you about her truth as subtext personally insulting you.

Originally Posted by Scott
She said I probably wouldn't like what she had to say. She said to me that she doesn't want to work on the marriage, that she doesn't want to go to marriage counseling, that she has considered pushing off filing 3-6 months (paperwork should be done next week), she said she hates destroying the family, that she misses the kids terribly, she has said that her and I don't work, that she can't get over the past (I'm not sure what that is in reference to), and that she thinks the divorce is the only path but "you can never really be sure about a decision like this". Then she said she didn't want to hurt my feelings.

Originally Posted by Scott
As for validation I was trying.. But when she implied I was fragile and that I was dying to have her back, I needed her to know that’s not how this is.
Did she say that, or did you interpret that from "I don't want to hurt your feelings"?

Originally Posted by Scott
You can say I wasn’t listenning tonher and didn’t validate. Maybe I should have said “it sounds like you’re really concerned about how this impacts me and you don’t want to hurt my feelings.”
I guess, if I were trying to actively listen and validate the above, my try might be "I get you miss the kids, and it bothers you that this hurts the kids and I. You feel divorce is the only way forward."



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Originally Posted by ScottB
R2C - Yes. Per the book, not divorce busting.
It has nothing to do with the book. It is about how you are interacting with her.

Originally Posted by ScottB
At this time the last resort strategy in theory would be the recommended course of action. I’m not divorce busting. I’m looking for closure.
LRT is to be done after you have tried everything else. You have children with this woman. You are DBing for them. DBing is about changing the way you interact with others. She is the the best person to practice and learn from. She is one big mirror reflecting things for you to work on and fix.


Originally Posted by ScottB
Recently we spoke.
Sounds to me like you broke a sandi2 rule. Talking almost always makes things worse. If she repeatedly insists, then your #1 job is to SFU and listen and validate. Do not linger. End the convo first. "Thanks for sharing, I got something important to do".

Originally Posted by ScottB
I said "don't worry, I want to be with someone that wants to be with me, I deserve that."
This can be your mantra. This can be something that you say to yourself. But you do not say these words to others (especially her if you want any chance of attracting her back (or other women as well)). If this is truly how you feel about her, take action (such as file the paperwork yourself). Less words and more action is always better.

Originally Posted by ScottB
I also questioned what holding off on paperwork would do if we weren't going to work on anything or have discussions.
This is R talk. You know the rule.


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Originally Posted by ScottB
she has said that her and I don't work, that she can't get over the past (I'm not sure what that is in reference to),
This is the meat of your statement. This is where you need growth.

Just listen to her and agree and validate how she feels. She wants to be heard and understood.

The way you were interacting in the past was not working. Maybe just for her, but most likely for both of you. Maybe you always argued. Maybe you never argued. Maybe you didn't listen to her. Maybe you made it about you instead of her. When you change the way you interact, it changes the dynamics. You have the power to make things better.

Learn how women talk to each other. One is doing all the talking and the other listens and validates. Go to a coffee shop and sit behind two woman. You can learn a lot.


I agree that a statement like this would be appropriate:
"I get you miss the kids, and it bothers you that this hurts the kids and I."

I would focus on her decision:
"Making this decision must have been hard for you."

I would add:
"It's too bad we didn't work out. (Agreeing)"


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Originally Posted by ScottB
SteveLW - That was well written.

Same for you Wayfarer.

I lean towards both of your thoughts. She knows what she wants, she's just afraid.

What is it that she wants Scotty B? A divorce? Not to be married to you anymore? If so, and she's afraid to go through with it, help her not be afraid.


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Originally Posted by wayfarer
I've watched you literally start super ill advised dating and still pine after this woman. Still interpret her every move as some reach to or for you. The D is impending and still when she says plainly what she means you still are looking for that hand, and refuse to accept that it's not there. You will never get the magical closure you seek if you keep telling yourself that your stbxw deep down really wants you and the MR, she's just confused. You will never move on. And you will become bitter because her actions in moving on and living her life will continue to look like underhanded or coded attempts to purposefully make you feel bad. By not doing the work. By not DBing you're doing yourself a major disservice. You're seeking closure you're never going to get. Closure is for people who like to keep wounds and doors open. Closure isn't ever really about closing a chapter. It's about wanting to control the ending instead of just relinquishing control of the situation and taking control of the next chapter of your life. The concept of closure was created and perpetuated by emotional masochists, emotional sadists and people with deep control issues.

WF nailing it as per usual. Take control Scotty, you will not be able to move forward and live a great life until you accept, let go and forgive. I heard a great quote by Tony Robbins yesterday.

"Blame is not a strategy for greatness"


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I’m afraid she isn’t confused. She knows exactly what she wants and that is a divorce. The “I have no desire to date” line is widely used to soften the blow, but then it’s a huge blow to the nuts when she is dating. And she will be soon. Trust me on this. My ex fed the “I loved you the most” line while he was dating his OW. They were engaged shortly after. And still married 10 years later.


She wants a divorce. She is not confused. She is trying not to be harsh.

Saying “ I deserve someone who wants to be with me” to her was passive aggressive and kind of childish. You don’t need to announce that to her.

Please stop trying to have the “are you sure you want this “ talk.
It’s only going to make things worse for yourself.

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Hey Scott, been a while since I posted.
You are getting great input by most here!
A list of demands might be good but the top spot on that list helped me out of ur current situation.
1. “Unless she is the one to initiate (read beg and beg and beg for weeks) recon I will never ever trust that she wants it.
Hence, you can never ever have ANY part in the start of a recon. Not even a hint.
This is my opinion and advice, take it for what it is. For me it was a very strong realization.

To this day I still think way too much about her but it’s easy to fall back on this principle.
Also easier since she “blew up” her lips sick


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Originally Posted by ScottB
When we spoke, she said she has no interest at all in dating anyone else
Hate to say it, but she's either lying to you or herself. She's almost certainly date - might even have someone else in mind. Not fun to think about, but better to prep yourself and soften the blow.

Originally Posted by Mumin
Also easier since she “blew up” her lips sick
LOL! Why are botox lips a thing? Do other guys find this attractive? I don't.


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Originally Posted by BL42
LOL! Why are botox lips a thing? Do other guys find this attractive? I don't.
BL42, I was curious! Most men claim to prefer unaugmented lips, but in a study where men didn't know it had taken place, men most preferred lips with a +53% augmentation and a 1:2 upper-to-lower lip ratio. The Kardashians seem to have boosted the trend. Of course, the real question isn't whether we or guys prefer it, but whether she prefers it, whether it makes her happier and more confident.



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To me personally I completely agree with you BL. Don’t get it!
To your point CW I say the real question is, has she considered what this (boobs and lips and makeup) tells her (my!) kids?

Back to Scott, if the above rule/principle sounds rational to you.
Has she begged?
If not, move forward and protect yourself.


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Boobs and lips are a personal decision and it doesn’t send a bad message to kids. Women have the autonomy to do what makes them feel good without it being a bad message. Just like make up, nice clothes, getting their hair done, etc.

Not for anyone else to judge, especially their own kids

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Also…..

Begging? Why is there this notion that a walk away spouse who would like to try to live the marriage back together should be begging? It takes 2 to end a marriage in most cases, quite honestly. No adult should be “begging”

Should the walk away want to reconcile, I believe they should come with acknowledgment of what went wrong on their side of the street and an action plan to do better and with remorse in the form of owning up to how actions were hurtful

But no one should be begging. Come one now

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Ok begging is a bad choice of word, I agree.
Point is was/ws must IMO be the one to initiate and “push” R.

With regards to boobjobs and the like.
I was questioning whether she had even considered it. It is absolutely a personal choice and if it is something that someone (man or woman) feels the need to do I am all for it. Though believing it will not be analyzed by the people around you, including kids, is delusional IMO. If it were me who had done some sort of surgery (I am bald myself so definitely at least considered it at times) I would really think hard about the day I would talk about it with my kids (young and adults).


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I've read a couple of other posts and it helps me make sense of some of LH's takes, which I read with a degree of an edge to them. Its frustrating. So many of us go through the same thing by these WAS.

I mean this post:

https://www.divorcebusting.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=588545#Post588545

Is a cynical joke that I bet rings so true for so many and it was written 16 years ago. So much pain is created by the WAS - pain that I know creates depression, suicides, and generational harm.

Its gross and disgusting. I'm not sure how to stop it from happening again - and I believe I'll try again. Anyhow, just processing everyone's situation. Its not right; but that doesn't matter.

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Scott, thanks for posting this. I am in the camp of not really liking the term Midlife Crisis. Midlife Change to me is a better term. Because the person that goes through a MLC likely will NEVER go back to being the person the used to be. So many LBSs sit and wait for the MLC to end. It is a fool's game. It is like trying to find gold at the end of the rainbow.

However, LBSs spend too much time diagnosing their WAS. As if finding the reason for their walkaway behavior can be fixed and a cure can be found and you can turn things around. The bottom line for me is that regardless of reason, the actions the LBS should be taking are the same:

Detach.
GAL.
180.
Focus off WAS and onto self.

Cookie cutter? Maybe. But that i how you move forward after BD. No amount of diagnosing your WAS will make a difference.


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Originally Posted by ScottB
I'm not sure how to stop it from happening again
I am not sure if any of us can stop it from happening again. I did my best to be a better picker this time around. I am much more aware of the state of my relationship now. If it does happen again to me, I know I will survive.


Could you clarify what you mean by your statement "Degree of an edge"?


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Originally Posted by Ready2Change
Could you clarify what you mean by your statement "Degree of an edge"?

I can...LH when trying to drive a point home often comes off jaded as h3ll. Most of the time he's pushing extra hard because the LBS is not listening to the gentler kinder voices of reason. But once he cuts you, you can't stop hearing some of that bitterness when you read his words.

As to you Scott, it's not your place to judge every WAS/WS or MLCer after reading some threads. Yes they do often leave a hot mess in their wake. Some times tremendous amounts of damage. But broken people do broken things. Hurt people hurt people. And more often than not the worst version of that WAS/WS was always there, and the LBS either ignored the red flags or forget the behavior entirely until everything fell apart. Not to say we deserved any of it. But things are not as cut and dry as you're framing them. A common theme around here is that LBS try to turn WAS/WS into monsters because it helps them hold on to the anger, and it absolves them of any of their wrongs. It's really easy to be a victim and avoid introspection. It's really easy to be bitter and jaded. What's not easy is putting in the work to move on and move up. It's not easy taking a very serious personal inventory and fixing what's broken in ourselves when such crappy stuff happened to us.

It's a hard thing to accept that not all WAS/WS are irredeemable garbage people. And not all LBS are perfect angels and victims. While we all have similarities in our situations it's because people in crisis all behave in a similar pattern. For the most part though that's where the similarities end. Every LBS on here has a varying degree of culpability in the demise of the MR. Every MR has different underlying issues. Some of the WAS/WS have addiction issues, some have undiagnosed or untreated mental health issues, some have childhood trauma, some really should've just gotten some IC, some are straight up narcissists. But all of that's irrelevant once you've reached this point in the journey. Hanging on to what's been done to you will do you or any LBS no good. You're focus needs to be on you. And being the best version of yourself so that you're not risking this happening again. As the great DnJ likes to say "Be better not bitter."

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Originally Posted by wayfarer
I can...LH when trying to drive a point home often comes off jaded as h3ll. Most of the time he's pushing extra hard because the LBS is not listening to the gentler kinder voices of reason. But once he cuts you, you can't stop hearing some of that bitterness when you read his words.
Wow I'm jaded and bitter lol. Funny because I feel great! Look Way I get it, you're a WW and your H is a WH so I understand your defense of the WS. My advice is always predicated on two things 1. They are not coming back anytime soon and 2. 95% of them aren't worth having back anytime soon. It's that really that simple. You should NEVER try to keep someone in your life who is trying to walk out of it. As the great LH19 likes to say "READ MY TAG LINE".


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LH - I strongly suggest you slow down and re-read what I wrote.

Originally Posted by LH19
Wow I'm jaded and bitter lol. Funny because I feel great!
I never said you were bitter or jaded. I was explaining why SB reads what you write with an edge to it, as R2C specifically asked. If you had taken the time to actually read what I wrote instead of getting in your chest about things and thinking I was personally attacking you I said you COME OFF as jaded, AND I explained further why it seems that way to LBSs. It feels like bitterness, because you don't exactly sugar coat advice, 2x4s, and for some of these guys reality. Me being nice and you misreading it and getting up in arms over it isn't really helping my argument though.

Originally Posted by LH19
Look Way I get it, you're a WW and your H is a WH so I understand your defense of the WS. My advice is always predicated on two things 1. They are not coming back anytime soon and 2. 95% of them aren't worth having back anytime soon. It's that really that simple. You should NEVER try to keep someone in your life who is trying to walk out of it. As the great LH19 likes to say "READ MY TAG LINE".

I'm not entirely sure why you read this entire message as if I wrote it at you, like I was trying to counter something. You know how I operate. If I want to fight, I'm going to fight, and it will be directly and point by point. However, I think based on how you interpreted what I wrote you were feeling some kind of way and took that out on me. None of this was addressed to you or at you. But it's not the first time a man took what I said personally when it had absolutely nothing to do with him. And I'm sure it won't be the last.

As far as how I feel about demonizing WAS/WS we've had this conversation before. Making monsters of all WAS/WS is an easy way out for LBS to wash away all their sins, their faults, and have zero culpability in the demise of their marriage. Which leads them to being ACTUALLY bitter and jaded. It also does zero for them in helping them move up and move on. Letting that way of thinking go on lets an LBS stew in the anger instead of moving through the stages of grief which requires absolutely no higher thought nor does it allow room for forgiveness or any other method of getting over or through what happened.

What I said doesn't negate in any way what you say in these matters at all. Two things can be true. You can both realize you are a human with faults, and it takes two to make a marriage, and realize you're worth more than what you put up with. And in this case specifically, I think we all know she's not coming back nor would any of us understand why SB would want that. My points on the matter were directed to SB, not you. It's why I literally addressed that portion to him. You're so far past the point SB is in this what I said would have literally no relevance or baring on your life unless you wanted it to. If you interpreted it as such, I don't know what to tell you LH. That wasn't my intent, and I wrote it pretty clearly that that wasn't my intent in the first place.

If you do want me to actually insult you though I'd say keep talking about yourself in the 3rd person and I'm sure I can come up with something wink

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Originally Posted by wayfarer
LH - I strongly suggest you slow down and re-read what I wrote.
I just did and got the same thing out of it lol.
Originally Posted by wayfarer
However, I think based on how you interpreted what I wrote you were feeling some kind of way and took that out on me. None of this was addressed to you or at you. But it's not the first time a man took what I said personally when it had absolutely nothing to do with him. And I'm sure it won't be the last.
Probably not.
Originally Posted by wayfarer
As far as how I feel about demonizing WAS/WS we've had this conversation before. Making monsters of all WAS/WS is an easy way out for LBS to wash away all their sins, their faults, and have zero culpability in the demise of their marriage.
Most know their part in it. Scotty B will get there. IMO the punishment rarely fits the crime.
Originally Posted by wayfarer
Which leads them to being ACTUALLY bitter and jaded. It also does zero for them in helping them move up and move on. Letting that way of thinking go on lets an LBS stew in the anger instead of moving through the stages of grief which requires absolutely no higher thought nor does it allow room for forgiveness or any other method of getting over or through what happened.
This is really good stuff Wayfarer.
Originally Posted by wayfarer
What I said doesn't negate in any way what you say in these matters at all.
Good point.
Originally Posted by wayfarer
And in this case specifically, I think we all know she's not coming back nor would any of us understand why SB would want that.
Scotty B continues to be and is in love with a fantasy and I can't see it changing anytime soon.
Originally Posted by wayfarer
My points on the matter were directed to SB, not you. It's why I literally addressed that portion to him. You're so far past the point SB is in this what I said would have literally no relevance or baring on your life unless you wanted it to. If you interpreted it as such, I don't know what to tell you LH. That wasn't my intent, and I wrote it pretty clearly that that wasn't my intent in the first place.
No relevance you just know I don't go quietly. Probably one of my ex wife's resentments lol.
Originally Posted by wayfarer
If you do want me to actually insult you though I'd say keep talking about yourself in the 3rd person and I'm sure I can come up with something ;
LH19 spit his coffee. Not as funny as "build a bit'ch" though.


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LBS are often not some poor victim. They play a huge role in this mess. The one who pulls the trigger on the absolute end is always portrayed as the evil villain.

I learned from umpteen years on these boards that there are always 2 sides to a story.

I was probably more of a victim than most, but in the sense I knowingly married a cheater and a bad man, that this was going to be the outcome. I was with my ex out of a place of trauma and didn’t in my 20’s know what to do with that. I didn’t know how to deal with him. And our marriage was doomed from the day it began. And that is on me. I am an victim of myself as well

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Originally Posted by Ginger1
LBS are often not some poor victim. They play a huge role in this mess. The one who pulls the trigger on the absolute end is always portrayed as the evil villain.

I learned from umpteen years on these boards that there are always 2 sides to a story.

100%... and if the LBS does not do the work and figure out their part in the mess, the story will repeat itself. This takes time and a massive amount of self-awareness. It's hard. Always either to blame the other party for everything but there are always things we can do to improve relationship wise. I see this deep introspective missing in a lot of cases, especially in the surviving the D subforum.

And Ginger... I am also a victim of myself in many ways.

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I find this discussion fascinating.

While I agree that:
a marriage takes two
oftentimes the WAS/WS is vilified by the LBS (and this community)
we ALL should be on a perpetual path of growth and self-discovery

I also believe that there are circumstances where asking the LBS to take even up to 50% of the blame may cause further harm. Let's take cheating for example. Yes, the cheater may have been unhappy in the marriage. And the LBS may have been a poor partner. But that does not absolve the cheater of their actions. They chose to go outside of the marriage instead of working on the marriage OR leaving the marriage and then getting involved with someone. Asking the LBS to take responsibility for their part in the demise (in this case, the cheating) perpetuates this idea that they (we) somehow have control over another person's actions. As if there is something the LBS could have done to prevent their partner from straying.

Another instance where asking the LBS to take on responsibility can cause more harm is in the case of abuse. It has taken me nearly 18 months to get out of the fog and see how dysfunctional, and honestly abusive, my relationship was. I spent the greater part of those 18 months examining my actions, trying to become a better person, and doing a post-mortem on my role in the demise of my marriage. And while I found some areas for growth for sure, the majority of that time just made me feel worse and worse about myself. Because I must be such a truly, awful, terrible person if not keeping a tidy enough house or having a normal reaction to stress or not being able to turn on my sex kitten side a few months after having 4 babies in 5 years were all worthy reasons to be discarded.

If the LBS is able to stay the course of perpetual improvement for themselves and not for someone else, then encouraging that growth is great. But sometimes the LBS is already so beaten down (raising my hand) that spending all that time self-reflecting actually can slow the healing process down.

Two sides to every perspective I suppose.

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Of course there are exceptions, especially where there is abuse, addiction, and overt awful cheating like my ex who was cheating while I was pregnant and left me for her when our baby was an infant No excuses for that one.

And of course cheaters are not absolved of cheating. That’s never ok. However, I don’t think the cheating negates the mistakes of the LBS had in the marriage. They may be a victim of infidelity, but they are still guilty of their part in the breakdown of their M.

This is going to sound bad, but on my side of the street, I was probably one of those screwed LBS. short term marriage. Cheater all along, put up with a great deal, I should have been the one to left, but instead I went on to go through IVF and have a baby with this man. And the second his needs weren’t priority , he cheated ( and trust me, I knew he had to be some level of priority, so he was not neglected)

My side of the street is still my side. I knew who he was and ignored it . I hoped he would change abs eventually love me enough to treat me well and be faithful . That’s on me.

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Sage4, I hope nobody on the forums ever gives an LBS/WAS the impression they were even 1% responsible for their partner cheating on or abusing them. Misbehaving partners own their misbehavior.

I tend to see a pattern where a freshly LBS puts 90% of the blame for being left on themselves, but once they realize they can't "fix" the relationship, they put 90% of the blame on their partner. For most, growth lies in-between--accepting the role we played and accepting the role our partner played both in building the relationship and allowing it to fall apart. We can be better if we strive to be.

My XGF sometimes treated me harshly. Why did I accept that? When I had my "dream" family, why did I *still* neither address the clutter in my home nor let her touch it?



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Originally Posted by LH19
Originally Posted by wayfarer
I can...LH when trying to drive a point home often comes off jaded as h3ll. Most of the time he's pushing extra hard because the LBS is not listening to the gentler kinder voices of reason. But once he cuts you, you can't stop hearing some of that bitterness when you read his words.
Wow I'm jaded and bitter lol. Funny because I feel great! Look Way I get it, you're a WW and your H is a WH so I understand your defense of the WS. My advice is always predicated on two things 1. They are not coming back anytime soon and 2. 95% of them aren't worth having back anytime soon. It's that really that simple. You should NEVER try to keep someone in your life who is trying to walk out of it. As the great LH19 likes to say "READ MY TAG LINE".
I always find the tagline interesting considering Will Smith cried about his WW in front of the whole world while she spewed your oh so favorite WW babble. It's still a good line though.


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Maybe that came out a little harsh. Let me clarify a bit with my own story.

In my own situation, I am 100% to blame for the position I was put in. You know why? My ex and I were off/on for years pre-marriage. Grew up together. I know her better than anyone ever will. She treated me like garbage during that off/on time that went on for years. We had not spoken for a year or so. One night I get a call from her. I am watching the phone ring, I know if I pick it up we will soon be back together, eventually marry and she WILL eventually cheat and leave. I know this. I remember the feeling distinctly watching the phone ring. Guess what I did... I picked up the phone and guess what happened....

So who is to blame? My ex for being exactly who she is and who she always has been? Or me?

So now it is time to look back and examine what happened. So I did a bunch of work, learned a ton about relationships in the hopes that this will never happen again. I had some flaws that I never knew existed until I looked, I knew nothing about love languages, I did not press when there were obviously serious issues developing in our relationship, I knew nothing about what an actual good relationship was or what it looked like. Do I take all the blame for my ex going off and cheating? Of course not, that is not acceptable. But I do take at least partial responsibility for getting into a relationship that was likely going to fail spectacularly, ignoring warning signs hoping they would go away, definitely poor communication and in general, just staying in a poor relationship probably for comfort more than anything else.

As Sage said: "we ALL should be on a perpetual path of growth and self-discovery"

I agree there!

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Originally Posted by pinn
Maybe that came out a little harsh. Let me clarify a bit with my own story.

In my own situation, I am 100% to blame for the position I was put in. You know why? My ex and I were off/on for years pre-marriage. Grew up together. I know her better than anyone ever will. She treated me like garbage during that off/on time that went on for years. We had not spoken for a year or so. One night I get a call from her. I am watching the phone ring, I know if I pick it up we will soon be back together, eventually marry and she WILL eventually cheat and leave. I know this. I remember the feeling distinctly watching the phone ring. Guess what I did... I picked up the phone and guess what happened....

So who is to blame? My ex for being exactly who she is and who she always has been? Or me?

So now it is time to look back and examine what happened. So I did a bunch of work, learned a ton about relationships in the hopes that this will never happen again. I had some flaws that I never knew existed until I looked, I knew nothing about love languages, I did not press when there were obviously serious issues developing in our relationship, I knew nothing about what an actual good relationship was or what it looked like. Do I take all the blame for my ex going off and cheating? Of course not, that is not acceptable. But I do take at least partial responsibility for getting into a relationship that was likely going to fail spectacularly, ignoring warning signs hoping they would go away, definitely poor communication and in general, just staying in a poor relationship probably for comfort more than anything else.

As Sage said: "we ALL should be on a perpetual path of growth and self-discovery"

I agree there!

Holy crap pinn. The base of our story is pretty similar . You get it. I get you.

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Originally Posted by pinn
So now it is time to look back and examine what happened. So I did a bunch of work, learned a ton about relationships in the hopes that this will never happen again. I had some flaws that I never knew existed until I looked, I knew nothing about love languages, I did not press when there were obviously serious issues developing in our relationship, I knew nothing about what an actual good relationship was or what it looked like. Do I take all the blame for my ex going off and cheating? Of course not, that is not acceptable. But I do take at least partial responsibility for getting into a relationship that was likely going to fail spectacularly, ignoring warning signs hoping they would go away, definitely poor communication and in general, just staying in a poor relationship probably for comfort more than anything else.

Starting or staying in a relationship with the expectation that maybe the person will grow into the person you want them to be is definitely on the LBS. None of us should be in a R with someone we *hope* will grow into a different person. That is a great opportunity for a LBS to do some self-work.

And likewise, going back to LH's tagline side convo, we shouldn't be in a R nor fighting to save a R when someone is trying to walk away from it. That is another opportunity for self-work and growth. "Why am I am motivated to save this and make them stay? What does that say about me, my insecurities, fears or expectations? Where do I need to grow? Am I codependent? Needy? Or just in shock at the moment?"

^^ Both of these are on the LBS. Within their control as an autonomous human.

But there are ways of leaving that result in less damage. I don't think we see those people here because those people are working through the end of the M with some integrity and dignity, even if there are hurt feelings and some natural ill will for a moment.

So, the majority of people here are dealing with the more caustic ends to marriages. And most of them ARE dealing with infidelity and abuse (I happened to believe infidelity IS abuse, BTW). So the LBS might need more of any of these things FIRST: 1. time; 2. support that this isn't about you; and 3. gentle nudges to behave in ways that they will feel proud of 2 years down the road, BEFORE they are able to spend heaps of time on the self-examination table.

If the LBS is ready to dive straight in to the self-examination and can do so with the clear intention of self-improvement for their own sake and not for the reward of earning their spouse back, then by all means go for it. Otherwise, the vacillation from 'it's 90% all my fault' to 'it's 90% all the WAS/WS' is a pretty normal arc in the pendulum swing. As long as the LBS doesn't take Wayfarer's 'Path to Bitterness' by remaining stuck in the blame, then it's OK to vacillate as long as it results in healing.

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ooohhh, Sage!!! hearts to you, I'm so glad you're back and posting smile

I agree absolutely with this:
Quote
a marriage takes two
oftentimes the WAS/WS is vilified by the LBS (and this community)
we ALL should be on a perpetual path of growth and self-discovery

But in/re asking the LBS to shoulder a portion of the blame/responsibility for the demise of the M, here's my take:

-- first off, if you're married to a narcissist, I don't think you get to take any blame. The gaslighting in your case was/is extreme. I think you needed to remove yourself from the situation in order for the fog of his emotional abuse to clear and for you to see the light. Perhaps the process was the path you needed to take in order to get to where you are today. ((SAGE)) (And edited to add: perhaps the LBS per pinn and Ginger can take responsibility for ignoring warning signs before getting involved and/or staying with a narcissistic partner and work on improving their picker for next time around-- that definitely does make sense to me.) However, I definitely don't read ScottyB's wife as a narcissist from what I have read. I'm more with Wayfarer's interpretation on her.

-- second, the decision to cheat and the responsibility for the affair is always 100% on the cheater. Zero responsibility on the LBS. The WS may justify their actions to the skies-- SSM, MLC, whatever... but in the end, they, alone, made the cascade of decisions that led them to cheat. That's always on them. Not on you. I've heard you say before and completely agree that there are ways to end a marriage honorably. (as an aside, it sVcks to be an LBS, but I also think it sVcks to be the WS, who allowed themselves to become a liar and a cheater and justified it to themselves. It is a hard road back, I think, once/if the fog clears and you see your own behavior in the light of day.)

--third, assuming you have two relatively reasonable people in the M (no narcissists etc.), then of course both parties should shoulder their portion of the responsibility for the problems in their M prior to the A. I think if you can detach the cheating or wayward behavior from the circumstances within the relationship that may have contributed to the WS's affair-- hard to do for both parties, because the WS is clinging to that justification as a life raft to absolve their own choices, and the LBS often either vilifies the WS and doesn't look at their own behavior, or hyper-focuses on it and their role in "causing" the A (or pendulum swings back and forth between the two extremes). But if you CAN detach the two, go back in time before the A-- are there ways your S could have been a better partner? Are there ways you could have been a better partner? Can you put yourself in your partner's shoes and see how your own choices and behaviors-- while not cheating or lying-- might have been hurtful? Are there things you can learn from this situation that might lead you to be a better friend or partner to others in the future? I think the main point is that this is never a black and white situation (unless, again, one of the parties is a narcissist and unable to have a real relationship with another human being). And, don't be a victim or waste your time wishing karmic vengeance on your WS. I continue to love reading DnJ and WF on how to grow, learn, and forgive (for yourself) through the trauma we've all been through. None of us can go back in time and change the past. But we can all choose to learn and grow from our experiences.

Early on in our R process, my H felt like I did wrong (SSM) which caused him to do wrong (infidelity) and while he acknowledged that his wrong was worse than my wrong, he couldn't untie his choices from the SSM. He couldn't even talk about the A without tying it to the SSM. It was as though I forced him to cheat because of the SSM. Nopey-nopey-nope. Then we moved to him being able to take 100% responsibility for the A, but I was responsible for the SSM so we both were equally at fault for what happened to our M. I also refused this illustration. To me, we were each equally responsible-- 50-50-- for the problems in our marriage before the A. Yes, the SSM was on me, but it didn't appear in a vacuum, and he bears responsibility for his part in my disinterest and in his inability to communicate the depth of the problem to me. He then chose to cheat and is 100% responsible for that decision. At first, he didn't like this-- he turned it into this mathematical equation where he's 100% responsible for something far worse than what I'm 50% responsible for, so does that mean he shoulders 90% of the blame for where we are right now? I think that whole blame game is pointless anyway. We're both individually 100% responsible for our own choices, including our own individual mistakes and bad choices, and for our own individual decisions to stay and work on the M. (Which, to be completely honest, I probably need to own a little more right now.) He recently said to me-- I agree with you on the 50-50 pre-A responsibility and his own 100% responsibility on the cheating. But he thinks that he was more deeply affected by the problems in our M prior to his infidelity than I was. Which I do think is fair. I didn't miss the sex. I basically transferred all that physical touch to my children and felt over touched and pawed at all the time by them anyway. His primary LL is PT and he felt abandoned.

Also-- this is a hugely traumatic experience not only for the LBS but for the children as well, who bear zero responsibility for any of this are deeply affected anyway. It's all overwhelming. I see ScottyB as trying to navigate through this path for himself and for his kids and it just being hard. I think it is totally natural to question your own role in what happened and get angry with your WS for ditching. (FWIW, I also find that MLC post hilarious and sad.)

I think we should all give ourselves a break, especially those going through the hardest parts right now. It's okay to be mad. It's okay to be sad. It's okay to go through all these emotional swings and this is the best place to come and dump so that you don't act on emotion IRL. My recommendation to Scott would be to maybe read some of DnJ's thread and especially his recent posts on BL42's thread. As other posters above have said, you don't want to end up bitter and jaded. Resentment is like drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die. Don't do that. Figure out how to let it go.

You got this, ScottyB.


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pinn,

Originally Posted by pinn
My ex and I were off/on for years pre-marriage. Grew up together. I know her better than anyone ever will. She treated me like garbage during that off/on time that went on for years. We had not spoken for a year or so. One night I get a call from her. I am watching the phone ring, I know if I pick it up we will soon be back together, eventually marry and she WILL eventually cheat and leave. I know this. I remember the feeling distinctly watching the phone ring. Guess what I did... I picked up the phone and guess what happened....
Wow, what a visceral memory. I imagine it as a slow-mo cut in a Hollywood film. Of course, you didn't "know" then in the way you know now and even if you remember considering the implications you probably had a small part of you that hoped it wouldn't end up being the case, but that must be a real "wonder what would've happened if..." moment.

Originally Posted by pinn
So now it is time to look back and examine what happened. So I did a bunch of work, learned a ton about relationships in the hopes that this will never happen again. I had some flaws that I never knew existed until I looked, I knew nothing about love languages, I did not press when there were obviously serious issues developing in our relationship, I knew nothing about what an actual good relationship was or what it looked like.
Good point / lesson here though...everyone on this board can use our sitches as a learning opportunity for the future (better identify red flags, improve ourselves in areas we're lacking...etc.).

Originally Posted by pinn
Do I take all the blame for my ex going off and cheating? Of course not, that is not acceptable. But I do take at least partial responsibility for getting into a relationship that was likely going to fail spectacularly, ignoring warning signs hoping they would go away, definitely poor communication and in general, just staying in a poor relationship probably for comfort more than anything else.

The thing for me is everyone (LBS & WS/WAS included) has issues they should work one. No one is 100% perfect. It's a balance between recognizing your faults and contributions to the D, but also not putting the full burden of the sitch on yourself when it was the WS/WAS who chose to have the affair and/or walk away from marriage without a willingness to work on it.

Originally Posted by pinn
As Sage said: "we ALL should be on a perpetual path of growth and self-discovery"

I agree there!
Indeed!


Sage4,
Originally Posted by Sage4
And likewise, going back to LH's tagline side convo, we shouldn't be in a R nor fighting to save a R when someone is trying to walk away from it. That is another opportunity for self-work and growth. "Why am I am motivated to save this and make them stay? What does that say about me, my insecurities, fears or expectations? Where do I need to grow? Am I codependent? Needy? Or just in shock at the moment?"

^^ Both of these are on the LBS. Within their control as an autonomous human.
Not sure I 100% agree here. There a distinction between an dating relationship and a marriage. Imo, people should work to save a marriage because it's a vow and meant to be a commitment for life. I don't necessarily between it's a codependency to not want a D. That said, our MC for a few sessions did tell me "what does it say about you that you want to be with someone who betrayed you?", and that will always stick out in my mind. At the time while I didn't want the betrayal I also didn't want to "fail at the marriage" and get divorced. However, I now recognize if one person is hell bent on it ending there's usually not much a LBS can do to reason or "fight" it, and may be better off accepting and letting go.

Originally Posted by Sage4
the majority of people here are dealing with the more caustic ends to marriages. And most of them ARE dealing with infidelity and abuse (I happened to believe infidelity IS abuse, BTW). So the LBS might need more of any of these things FIRST: 1. time; 2. support that this isn't about you; and 3. gentle nudges to behave in ways that they will feel proud of 2 years down the road, BEFORE they are able to spend heaps of time on the self-examination table.
In regards to #2, I think that is an important point. The LBS is not without faults, which they certainly should work on, but unless there's a major issue it's often "not about you" and more about the WS/WAS. Again, accept your faults and work on them but don't necessarily put the burden of the affair/D on yourself because in many cases it's not.

may22,
Originally Posted by may22
as an aside, it sVcks to be an LBS, but I also think it sVcks to be the WS, who allowed themselves to become a liar and a cheater and justified it to themselves. It is a hard road back, I think, once/if the fog clears and you see your own behavior in the light of day.
Do you think they ever do see their behavior in the light of day? Or, do they just go on through life like that?

Originally Posted by may22
I think we should all give ourselves a break, especially those going through the hardest parts right now. It's okay to be mad. It's okay to be sad. It's okay to go through all these emotional swings and this is the best place to come and dump so that you don't act on emotion IRL. My recommendation to Scott would be to maybe read some of DnJ's thread and especially his recent posts on BL42's thread. As other posters above have said, you don't want to end up bitter and jaded. Resentment is like drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die. Don't do that. Figure out how to let it go.

You got this, ScottyB.
Well said!

Last edited by BL42; 09/16/21 02:36 AM.

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Hi BL,

Quote
may22,

Originally Posted by may22
as an aside, it sVcks to be an LBS, but I also think it sVcks to be the WS, who allowed themselves to become a liar and a cheater and justified it to themselves. It is a hard road back, I think, once/if the fog clears and you see your own behavior in the light of day.
Do you think they ever do see their behavior in the light of day? Or, do they just go on through life like that?

Good question. I think the conventional wisdom is that they have to hit rock bottom, have their fantasy new shiny life with AP fall apart, and fully experience the consequences of their behavior and decisions before they have the motivation to take the hard look within and figure out why they did what they did. Blu's husband took this path. I think a lot of other people never do. it's pretty painful to realize that your life is shredded and you're the one who is responsible. (Wayfarer wrote this incredible post on my thread a loooong time ago, about how painful it is to set your ship on fire, watch it go down and realize that the lifeboat you thought would save you is sinking and it is all on you. I might have gotten the details wrong but that image has always stuck with me.)

Anyway, for many probably easier to keep moving and blaming others. Regardless, I think the basic thing to remember is-- it is all out of your control, anyway. They'll do it or they won't, and it is a waste of your time and energy to spend a lot of time thinking about it. Spend that time and energy on yourself (and your kids). You deserve it.

I'm watching my H process all of this in real time right now, though he never took that final step of leaving and so didn't really hit rock bottom, though his turning point (he says) was finally being free to take that path-- he had an apartment all lined up and just had to sign the lease-- and he saw his life unfold and realized that wasn't what he wanted. He feels like that was the major turning point for him, but he also moped around for months after that still pining for his GD AP. And, it took months for him to finally even just accept responsibility 100% for his actions without blaming me for creating the circumstances that made him vulnerable to cheating. (eye roll emoji.) So all very slow, but I'd say he's definitely out of that fog now and grappling with the big hairy questions about why. I know he feels so much better about himself now than he did. It really did take a toll on his psyche to lie all the time, because that isn't who he thinks he is-- bringing his behavior into alignment with his values has really helped his mental health. I'd say he still has a lot of work to do in this area, though.


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Originally Posted by BL42
Not sure I 100% agree here. There a distinction between an dating relationship and a marriage. Imo, people should work to save a marriage because it's a vow and meant to be a commitment for life.
The problem BL is it takes two people to honor that commitment.

Originally Posted by BL42
I don't necessarily between it's a codependency to not want a D. That said, our MC for a few sessions did tell me "what does it say about you that you want to be with someone who betrayed you?", and that will always stick out in my mind.
Your MC is a very wise person.

Originally Posted by BL42
At the time while I didn't want the betrayal I also didn't want to "fail at the marriage" and get divorced.
Mainly because of fear. What will it do to the kids? Will I be able to find another person? Can I afford to life alone and pay child support?

Originally Posted by BL42
However, I now recognize if one person is hell bent on it ending there's usually not much a LBS can do to reason or "fight" it, and may be better off accepting and letting go.

Not "may" be better. Will be better.

Originally Posted by BL42
In regards to #2, I think that is an important point. The LBS is not without faults, which they certainly should work on, but unless there's a major issue it's often "not about you" and more about the WS/WAS. Again, accept your faults and work on them but don't necessarily put the burden of the affair/D on yourself because in many cases it's not.
BL you didn't cause your W to cheat on you. That was her choice and her choice only.

Originally Posted by may22
as an aside, it sVcks to be an LBS, but I also think it sVcks to be the WS, who allowed themselves to become a liar and a cheater and justified it to themselves. It is a hard road back, I think, once/if the fog clears and you see your own behavior in the light of day.
99% of the time they didn't allow themselves to become a liar and a cheater. It's who they are it's in there DNA due most likely to learned behavior. They think lying and cheating is normal.

Originally Posted by may22
I think we should all give ourselves a break, especially those going through the hardest parts right now. It's okay to be mad. It's okay to be sad. It's okay to go through all these emotional swings and this is the best place to come and dump so that you don't act on emotion IRL. My recommendation to Scott would be to maybe read some of DnJ's thread and especially his recent posts on BL42's thread. As other posters above have said, you don't want to end up bitter and jaded. Resentment is like drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die. Don't do that. Figure out how to let it go.
This will come in time naturally.
Originally Posted by may22
Anyway, for many probably easier to keep moving and blaming others. Regardless, I think the basic thing to remember is-- it is all out of your control, anyway. They'll do it or they won't, and it is a waste of your time and energy to spend a lot of time thinking about it. Spend that time and energy on yourself (and your kids). You deserve it.
Good stuff!


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I need to go back and catch up on all of the posts since Ginger's first one. But I tend to agree that rarely is the LBS completely innocent. Most marital problems, including infidelity, is a symptom of both spouses getting too comfortable, not trying, and letting the MR languish and/or take a backseat to other things in their lives.

However, being a less than perfect spouse in no way justifies walking away, cheating, breaking up the MR and the family, and divorcing. I tell LBSs here all the time as a reminder about the WAS being able to change their mind that they stood before God and witnesses and took vows of commitment and to work together to overcome problems to stay together! Death do us part, for better or worse, etc....or some variation thereof.

So for a WAS to say, "you aren't perfect so I am sleeping with someone else, leaving you, and breaking up our family" is counter to those vows...and NOT JUSTIFIABLE in any way.

But the LBS has to recognize their own shortcomings and work to improve themselves. Period. It may not save their MR, but it may save their next one! So sitting back, saying poor me what did I do to deserve this solves nothing!! Get working on yourself to become the best version of you that you can be. Once you've been through this, whether or not your MR survived, that should be one of the LBS' goals for the rest of their lives.

Ok, when I get time I will go back and read the rest of the responses.


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Originally Posted by may22
Early on in our R process, my H felt like I did wrong (SSM) which caused him to do wrong (infidelity) and while he acknowledged that his wrong was worse than my wrong, he couldn't untie his choices from the SSM. He couldn't even talk about the A without tying it to the SSM. It was as though I forced him to cheat because of the SSM. Nopey-nopey-nope. Then we moved to him being able to take 100% responsibility for the A, but I was responsible for the SSM so we both were equally at fault for what happened to our M. I also refused this illustration. To me, we were each equally responsible-- 50-50-- for the problems in our marriage before the A. Yes, the SSM was on me, but it didn't appear in a vacuum, and he bears responsibility for his part in my disinterest and in his inability to communicate the depth of the problem to me. He then chose to cheat and is 100% responsible for that decision. At first, he didn't like this-- he turned it into this mathematical equation where he's 100% responsible for something far worse than what I'm 50% responsible for, so does that mean he shoulders 90% of the blame for where we are right now? I think that whole blame game is pointless anyway. We're both individually 100% responsible for our own choices, including our own individual mistakes and bad choices, and for our own individual decisions to stay and work on the M. (Which, to be completely honest, I probably need to own a little more right now.) He recently said to me-- I agree with you on the 50-50 pre-A responsibility and his own 100% responsibility on the cheating. But he thinks that he was more deeply affected by the problems in our M prior to his infidelity than I was. Which I do think is fair. I didn't miss the sex. I basically transferred all that physical touch to my children and felt over touched and pawed at all the time by them anyway. His primary LL is PT and he felt abandoned.

May, very profound and well said. Though I do tend to disagree a bit here. SSM are rarely all one spouses fault. Maybe yours is in the rare category. But usually SSMs follow a similar path. The LD spouse starts avoiding, turning down, making excuses for not having sex. The HD spouse then gets bitter, angry, resentful and this causes them to behave in ways that further perpetuate the SSM. After all, the LD spouse is already struggling wanting sex, so when the HD becomes mean, short-tempered, stops helping with the kids and around the house, withdrawn, etc, the LD spouse now wants to have sex even less than they did before!

As the HD partner, I am always going to want sex more than my W. But what a difference the last 3 years since R have been. I dropped all the passive-aggressive, resentful behaviors over when she doesn't want to have sex. I remain the same upbeat, helpful, partner whether we had sex last night or whether we did not! And what a difference it makes. We now have sex quite regularly, but there are the odd time when she just isn't feeling up to it. But I do not let it change me being the best spouse that I can be! Our dynamic is 100% better because I don't act like a jerk about the occasional rejection.

Maybe your sitch was different, and he was 100% innocent in your SSM, but I find that hard to believe.


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“Less than perfect”

That is a very subjective perception.

Very few leave because things are “less than perfect”

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Originally Posted by Ginger1
“Less than perfect”

That is a very subjective perception.

Very few leave because things are “less than perfect”

I used that wording purposefully. As in there is no such thing as perfect, so WAS will always try to justify their actions because of their "not perfect" spouse.


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Originally Posted by Ginger1
Very few leave because things are “less than perfect”
Strongly disagree with this statement. It's called "Grass is Greener Syndrome"


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Originally Posted by LH19
Originally Posted by Ginger1
Very few leave because things are “less than perfect”
Strongly disagree with this statement. It's called "Grass is Greener Syndrome"


Often not that simple

My point being is LBS are not blameless victims

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Originally Posted by Ginger1
Originally Posted by LH19
Originally Posted by Ginger1
Very few leave because things are “less than perfect”
Strongly disagree with this statement. It's called "Grass is Greener Syndrome"


Often not that simple

Agreed. These situations are usually very complex. But there are elements to them of "grass is greener". Heck, I have even fallen victim to that thinking myself! When things with my W were rocky, I would look around at other women and think how they were "perfect". Again, there is no such thing as perfect! I think looking for the perfect spouse is akin to chasing pots of gold at the end of a rainbow.

Unfortunately when it comes to marriage I think many spouse live by the motto: "When the going gets tough, leave."


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Originally Posted by SteveLW
Originally Posted by Ginger1
Originally Posted by LH19
Originally Posted by Ginger1
Very few leave because things are “less than perfect”
Strongly disagree with this statement. It's called "Grass is Greener Syndrome"


Often not that simple

Agreed. These situations are usually very complex. But there are elements to them of "grass is greener". Heck, I have even fallen victim to that thinking myself! When things with my W were rocky, I would look around at other women and think how they were "perfect". Again, there is no such thing as perfect! I think looking for the perfect spouse is akin to chasing pots of gold at the end of a rainbow.

Unfortunately when it comes to marriage I think many spouse live by the motto: "When the going gets tough, leave."
Are pigs flying because I agree with Steve 100%? lol


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This is a great conversation but I know this thread will be capped soon so I'll start a new one:

https://www.divorcebusting.com/foru...flat&Number=2923616&#Post2923616

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