Ok I'm here and I'm hoping the handful of us that are out there will follow. Granted I know Steve is here already. I'm probably going to post in rapid succession just so I can establish a decent thread here that's easy enough to follow should some one show up a while down the road. Basics, the recon list with my answers, and where I'm at right now.
First up the basics:
Here's my original thread: https://www.divorcebusting.com/foru...ain=62699&Number=2878654#Post2878654 Timeline: H38 Me 37 T 8 M 4 D17 H's from previous relationship D18 from my previous relationship EA started in mid Oct 2019 became a PA in late Dec 2019 Late Nov 2019 ILYBNILWY IHS H planned to leave MR for life with OW In Apr 2020 OW dumped H Mid Feb 2020 Covid lock-down Mar 13, 2020 - H couldn't leave no matter how much he wanted to April-Jun 2020 H slowly let go of leaving the MR ASAP and started trying with me without ever saying as much July 2020 H returned to MBR, and finally said ILY Piecing since
This is the requisite piecing disclaimer since sandi doesn't seem to be around to make sure it gets posted:
Originally Posted by sandi2
"If anyone is coming here from Newcomers or MLC or any of the other forums... and you think that the advice here is different...it is.
It is different. DO NOT take advice from Piecing and apply it to a newcomer situation. Do not apply it to god forbid an MLC situation.
Piecing is when both parties are (or say they are) committed to working on the relationship and even then? Give it a few weeks or months to see if that is true.
This is the WW recon list. I had a WH but I'm guessing it's a pretty universal list. Just sub she for he and her for him.
1). Consequences! And taking a hit with hard, maybe a painful loss of some kind. Well he told his family. I can say disappointment is a kind way of explaining their reaction. Both of our girls rejected him for a long time. Friends just avoided him entirely until the A was over. He had to show his face around my friends and do so knowing exactly what they thought of him and his actions, and that all their spouses knew. The freedom he had he threw out the window on his own. Even passing up on out of town work opportunities early in the recon simply because I said I wasn't ready yet. He checks in all the time. He's explicit about where he's going and who he's going to be with and I'm always invited even though I decline more often than not.
2). Realizing the connection between her decisions with the consequences/loss. 3). Accepting responsibility for her decisions...and for every loss, and every hurt she caused those she loves and who loves her. 4). Accepting and dealing with the consequences, without blaming anyone but herself.
Ugh, this took longer than I would've liked. But he got there eventually.
5). Making a conscious choice to end her wayward direction and turn around. I don't really know how to answer this. I wish H was the one who ended the A. I think I would feel better about things in general if it wasn't ended because OW decided months too late IMO that the A was fruitless and she wanted to be with her long time bf. I think he made a conscious decision to reinvest in the MR after he mourned the A. But it does hurt knowing that even if ending things crossed his mind he was so much further gone than OW that he really didn't see things ending the way they did.
6). Seeking guidance and/or spiritual counsel to guide her in how to cleanse her heart of the wrong attitudes, selfcenterness, resentment, rebellion.......whatever she carries that is unhealthy. I genuinely don't know how to answer this. H discussed these things with the people he loves and trust the most and they all did their best to advise him in the right direction and things he needed to correct. But we aren't particularly religious and he's still not participating in IC. 7). To be remorseful. If necessary, even seek spiritual help, pray, whatever......to feel remorse for the destruction her decisions and feelings has caused her H. She has to feel true remorse in order to emotionally reconcile and heal properly. He is absolutely truly remorseful. 8). To completely forgive her H for everything in the past. To release the blame,anger, and hurt she held throughout their M. This took more hard conversations to get there than I would've liked but we got there.
9). To be wiling to do whatever it takes for the MR to heal. Absolutely, minus professional counseling. Which is a hurdle I'm not sure how to get past. He has such vivid memories of being "attacked" and "put down" in DC. But none of that actually happened. It was a very traditional DC session. She asked for some back ground with both of us present. Assessed where we were both were at separately. She then sat us down together to talk about what DC looks like going forward and then we began to discuss our positions. There was nothing pointed in any of it. He's holding on to this "memory" and using it as a basis for why he won't seek IC and isn't ready for MC. A lot of his memories from the time period of the A are foggy or not really based in reality. While a lot of it has cleared up on it's own with time this one particularly memory is just stuck.
10). To agree and cooperate with the H's choice of transparency plan (accountability), sending a NC letter, having any medical tests, ending any friendships out of his request, (and of course, any contact with OM), place of employment, giving him requested information, attending MC, or anything else the H may request in order to ensure the success of their reconciliation, and the safety of the MR. This was easily agreed upon.
11). Accept/agree, without resentment, that she is in no position to give her H any "conditions" to her going back into the MR. And, to accept without resentment, that the greatest level of work in piecing the M back together, must come from her. I was very worried about this. H spent so much time comparing me to OW and dissecting our M and relationship history that I was sure this was going to be an issue. But it wasn't much to my surprise.
12). To accept that it will take time for her healthy emotions to be restored. To realize and accept she cannot measure the success of their progress by her feelings. We had to have conversations about this. More than once. But H does understand that fully now. 13). To be informed, and accept, that she must go through withdrawals from her AP, and could experience depression. She needs to understand this is normal, and not a sign that she will have never have feelings for H. We talked about this at length before he even had any inkling of trying to rekindle what we had. I had been a WW. I knew what this felt like.
14). And the hardest one of all.........learn to forgive herself. This has been a journey. I think for some things it's taken him longer to forgive himself than it took me to forgive him.
So where we are at. I guess piecing like any other time in a MR has it's ebbs and flows. With the new house a lot of time, energy and focus is going into that. It's big undertaking, especially going from an apartment to a house with a decent sized yard. I know I'm not focusing as much on my healing either. And I can feel the anger and sadness rear their ugly heads when I take the time to think about things for more than a couple minutes.
Right now one of the things that's getting me is house related. As much as I love the house and the significance of how gung ho H was about making this happen sometimes I feel angry about the lost time. I get frustrated that all of this should've happened 2 years ago but he was dragging his feet because he was already checking out of the MR. I get frustrated that we should have a baby in this house but as everyday I'm closer to 40 than I was the day before and our girls are one day closer to 20 I know any baby in the house won't be ours. I'm trying accept that. I'm trying to be ok with that. For some reason, that stealing time from me seems to be the thing I keep getting hung up on. I keep letting the whole mess go little by little but this seems to be a big hiccup in my giddy up.
I don't even know that I'd want a baby right now if we decided to try. I'm really enjoying the freedom I have not having a infant or even a school age kid. Still I feel like he and OW robbed me of that dream. I wanted the wedding, house and baby. I wanted that nursery to decorate. I wanted the chance to do things "the right way" that I never got the first time around. And I'm happy with where we're at. I'm happy with him. This is what I want. And like I said I don't know that I want that baby any more any way, but I can't shake the anger over feeling like he stole something I can't ever get back.
I'd love to hear you expand on that last paragraph. How much of it is the feeling that time is running out on the chance? I know that was big for my W, she wanted to try back 8-10 years ago and I wouldn't entertain it because of the state of our MR.
M(52), W(53),D(17) M-20, T-23 Bomb Drop - Dec.23, 2017 Ring and Piecing since March 2018
The conundrum lies in how young H and I had our kids. I was barely 19 when my daughter was born and my H was 21 when his daughter was born. So at 37 and 38 we are nearly at the end here. D18 will be 19 in September and D17 will be 18 in March. One of my very best friends from childhood just had a baby, which is part of the reason I think I'm struggling to move past it. Her H has 2 kids from a previous relationship. She was pretty unsure about kids until she hit her 30s, and then she met her H and he wanted at least one more. So the idea of having a baby at let's say 39 isn't completely crazy but when you have a 20 and 19 year old, a newborn seems pretty out there.
Honestly we had a pretty tight window, and do think we've passed it. I think if this was something we were going to do it would've had to been done like immediately after our wedding at the latest probably 2 years ago. Which was the plan. And honestly it was a plan I didn't think he'd ever get on board with. He was pretty adamant that he didn't want any more kids. I told him I was. I wanted a houseful of them. That wasn't EVER going to happen with my exH, but I'd be satisfied to have one baby with a person who loved me and would be a dedicated parent. It would be a refreshing change. We circled the issue over and over. I resigned to no more babies about the time we got engaged. I didn't want to be in a marriage where he felt trapped by a child. And I didn't want a child who would ever so much as have an inkling of being unwanted. So I let it go, I grieved my dream, and accepted that my new dream would need to be enjoying in my 40s all of the stuff I missed in my 20s because I had a little one and no money. Shortly before the wedding, however, he kind of woke up one day and was like ok lets focus on saving to buy a house and then we can have a baby. It was the strangest thing. Then as we got closer to the fruition of that that's when he started getting weird and distant. That was about a year before the A.
He never said that had anything to do with it. I don't know that I believe that. And it was his plan at that point. Not mine. I walked away from the idea. I can say that adds to my angst over the situation. Like he purposefully ran out the clock so he could get his way. It's very likely that wasn't ever his intention. The likely explanation is it was just a perfect storm for him struggling with growing older and less wild, struggling with me, struggling with our MR and running into his ex, and the baby clock like other things in our life just happened to be part of the fall out.
I also understand with how bad my depression was why he probably felt like having a baby with me was crazy and he wanted to back out and just never said it. But this is one of the very few things I don't bring up in regards to the A. I brought it up once in the middle of the A. When it was an EA and he was in deep denial his whole thing was she has a bf and she wants to have kids. When he was preparing to go I flat out said "so do you plan on giving her the kids she wants?" He said something to the effect of " I don't know I don't plan everything years into the future like you." I said well she just turned 35 you don't have time to make that decision you need to know now. I find it funny that you keep telling me you have all these conversations with her about this new life you're going to build together, but neither of you thought it would be prudent to bring up the kid conversation seeing as her body is literally running out of time." He kind of stared at me blankly and I said "I'll forgive you for all of this some day, so I can have some peace in my life. But if you give her kids I'll never forgive that." And left it at that. I am not always as enlightened as I would like to be. Frankly I can be down right nasty if I'm pushed far enough.
I leave the kid thing totally alone because I know it's my hang up. It just doesn't feel like something H needs to fix for me. I already let the kid thing go once. And I would never have wanted to bring a kid into the mix when we were falling apart at the seams. I know that I want to enjoy my 40s. I don't want to do 3am feedings or cleaning up blowouts. I don't want to do school drop offs or PTA meetings. I've done all that. And I think with what little sanity and resources I had with my exH I did a pretty d@mn good job. I read her books every night. I volunteered as much as I could. I was present as much as I could be. I devoted hours upon hours of my life to sell cookies, making projects, and running all over the planet for birthday parties. Home work, applications, editing papers. All of it. She's an amazing kid. And I'm so proud to be her mom. But motherhood is the one thing in my life I excel at that I never really felt like I was an imposter at. It's the one thing I've never lost interest in, or deeply doubted myself (all parents doubt themselves). Motherhood is something I'm phenomenal at and I wanted at least one more opportunity for it. And as much as logical me doesn't want to do this in my 40s. Emotional me is p!sssed that even if I wanted to I can't. It's just too late.
Thanks WF. I think most of what you said is pretty typical. The biological clock is real and even women that said they never wanted kids feel it and suddenly want a baby. As evidenced by your friend! So I think it is natural at this point in your life to be struggling with the idea of not being able to have kids. Though I believe we are all provided, eventually (with patience) what we crave. I have a feeling in a few years when your daughter has kids you will find your maternal instinct turn into being a grandma. And you are going to be a phenomenal grandma!!
And it is interesting this comment from your husband: "I don't know I don't plan everything years into the future like you." This is TYPICAL WS thinking!! Or lack of thinking. They are literally leaving moment to moment, feeling to feeling. I find it interesting because he had previous said this: "he kind of woke up one day and was like ok lets focus on saving to buy a house and then we can have a baby." HAHA! That is planning years in the future! Oh, the contradiction of the wayward mind!
My wife is a planner. To minute details. Long lists of things to plan even the smallest event or function. Yet in the middle of your waywardness she became haphazard and took on a "I'll wing it" mentality. She knew she wanted a job, wanted an apartment, and wanted a divorce. However, the steps necessary to get there was all unicorns and rainbows. "I'll find an apartment!" Uhh....how are you going to afford that? "I'll get a job!" Uhh, are you even looking? "Oh we can get this quicky online divorce for $200!" Uhhh, our state is much more complex when minor kids are involved.
Nothing was thought through and planned like she used to, and like she does again now. I guess that is why dealing with a WS is described as dealing with an alien. It is so surreal. It is like someone has taken over their body.
Anyway, I have digressed! I did want to point out: "I am not always as enlightened as I would like to be." All I can say to that is that despite so many today trying really heard, you really cannot fight biology. Those natural hormones that say "reproduce!" are real, and come on stronger at various moments throughout the biological processes of growing and aging. So the mind can say "I shouldn't feel this way" but the body can be screaming "But you DO feel this way!" So I wouldn't be too hard on yourself.
M(52), W(53),D(17) M-20, T-23 Bomb Drop - Dec.23, 2017 Ring and Piecing since March 2018
Yeah I really did think the biological clock thing was a myth. I can say if you have a terrible partner like I did for the majority of my 20s it is a mind over matter thing...lol. But like you said biology. It wasn't safe for me to reproduce with exH again. He was an unsuitable father. So maybe you're right my mind and body may have had some congruency there.
And I can say once I was free of him and I hit 30, when I hadn't thought about another baby for years I got baby fever. I can genuinely say I don't have it any more. So my logical mind and body are in agreement. I held my friend's sweet tiny little bundle of joy and for years every baby I held I immediately thought "I WANT ONE!" When I held her and all I could think was "I'm so glad I don't have to wake up with her."
I think that's where my anger at myself in this lies. I don't even want this any more. I want to travel. I want to day drink. I want to do all the stuff 20 years do but with the money 40 year olds have...lol. But I still can't convince myself that H and OW didn't steal this thing I wanted so bad from me...it just sukks and I hope it's something I can move through with time.
Wayfarer, that's all understandable! It's kind of where I was when my wife came to me 10 years ago. One if her good friends had got pregnant after years of trying and not having success, and she got the bug. Our daughter was ~9, and I couldn't see having a baby that would almost 10 years younger and then be 60 when the child graduated and went to college. But more important our marriage was not good and I couldn't see bringing a child into that.
M(52), W(53),D(17) M-20, T-23 Bomb Drop - Dec.23, 2017 Ring and Piecing since March 2018
You suppressing your feelings won't lead to healing, if you are that bothered by some of the thoughts of your time being robbed by your husband, you and him need to find some quiet time and discuss, what and why it's bothering you. If you don't it will lead to resentment and anger. And the worst kind bottled up resentment and anger. You have a right to feel the way you do. And it's ok to feel that way. What I hear you saying, is you don't won't to bring it up, because you think it will cause a problem between ya'll two. But you keeping it in, is causing a problem for you, which in the end will, end up being a problem for the both of you. The best way to heal is to talk about the problem in a logical and safe place.
Healing is, "giving up the fight, of trying to change the past". In your mind you are grappling with trying to understand what the outcomes, "WOULD HAVE BEEN" IF your husband would of made different decisions.
If you believe in the LORD, the universe, lets look at both sides of this equation.
You husband could of not had an A and got you pregnant and you both could both be happy with a beautiful little buddle of joy.
Or you could of gotten pregnant and the reality was, you said it yourself you were depressed. And having a baby could of lead to more depression.
Or you could of gotten pregnant found out your husband was having an A and had a hard pregnancy. Or, Or, Or.
In the world outside of feelings, we are faced with a reality that our brains and hearts tend to run from and run back to thoughts of blame and pain.
That road of, "what if" is a painful one to drive down, and us LBS in Recon can stay there for a long time. I'm still going down there sometimes, but I have found ways to get back on my path. Healing is clean and a straight, neat little box, it can be dirty and painful.
M:37 W:37 T:11 M:10 S17, S13, S10, S4 BD:06/28/17 OM confirmed 07/20/17 Recon the M 10/29/17 Working hard:2gether
Onward and forward
This process is not a sprint it's a marathon! Patience, Patience, Patience.
It's not so much that I'm swallowing the feelings just to keep the peace. Trust me that's a big 180 of mine. I'm keeping this part to myself because I don't know that it concerns him. It concerns me being "crazy" for lack of a better term. Because I can logically understand all of the things you listed. I have acknowledged all of those paths and more on my own. Even in a more existential/spiritual way I feel like everything happened as it should. We needed to fall apart to come back together. The house we have now is the house we were meant to have. The paths we are on now with our careers, our kids, everything is as is should be. It all fits. So even on that level I know we could be no where else but here. However some lizard version of my brain or maybe it's the 20 year old petty brat, I have no idea, can't get past seeing that time and that dream as stolen instead of seeing it as things are and they way the should be regardless if most of me sees it another way.