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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 !

Last edited by MrBrside; 09/02/21 02:36 PM.

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

Now Mr Brightside.. coming out of my cage, and doing just fine.
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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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Don't chase people. Be yourself, do your own thing and work hard. The right people - the ones who really belong in your life - will come to you and stay.- Will Smith
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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?


"What is best for my kids is best for me"
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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.


"What is best for my kids is best for me"
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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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