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

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


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



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Good Morning BL

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Have a great day.

D


Now: Me54 XW50 S24 S23 S21 D19

Oct 8/17-BD, Moves in w/OM, Leaves Kids
Me49 W46 S20 S19 S16 D15
M26 T29
Dec 9/17-Legal Separation
Oct 3/18-W Files
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BL, keep up the good work and be kind to yourself mate. Its all normal, the ups and downs. You know I struggled last week a bit, but just as you experienced, I am feeling pretty bloody positive about things and I can feel another shift in the right direction. Its like 2 steps forward, 1 step back, but thats net forward progress, just takes time.


Me: 40 W:41
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BL - all of what you are experiencing/feeling sounds 'normal' given the circumstances.

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

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

your GAL activities sound amazing!!


ME47 XH44, S28 S24 S19

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

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

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

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

Originally Posted by DnJ
Good Morning BL

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Me:39 Ex-W:37
M:7 T: 9
S:6 D:3
BD/IHS/Confirm EA/PA: Feb '20
OM1 affair ends: May '20
W/OM2 & moves out: June-July '20
W files for D: Jul20
OM2 confirmed: 9/2020
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Vacation - Just returned from a fantastic two week beach vacation with the kiddos. We swam in the ocean, jumped over waves, built castles in the sand, enjoyed the pool, mini-golf, arcade, ice cream, boardwalk rides, dolphin sight-seeing boat tour, and took S6 to a preseason professional sporting event (our team) as well as a monster truck ride (he's really into them right now). What a blast! It was exhausting at times but well worth it! I would've preferred a partner in all this - ExW and I used to be a well oiled machine about taking care of vacation logistics and prep, but we a lot of fun and it was great bonding.

Two minor items...

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

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

The major news is...ExW is moving!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Me:39 Ex-W:37
M:7 T: 9
S:6 D:3
BD/IHS/Confirm EA/PA: Feb '20
OM1 affair ends: May '20
W/OM2 & moves out: June-July '20
W files for D: Jul20
OM2 confirmed: 9/2020
Divorced: May '21
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Originally Posted by BL42
Yeah...as much as I have thoughts of Karma now, it wouldn't be good for the kids (or me) to demonize ExW 5-10 years from now. I'll need to work through that anger as you mention.

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

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

Me: 40 W:41
T: 14 M: 11
S: 5

BD & OM Jun 2020
W moves out Aug 2020

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

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


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Hey BL!!

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

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

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

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

I'm around if you have any specific questions.


No one is coming to save you!

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