Good Morning Hamburg

It’s good to hear from you. Really good to see your relationship is going great. And perhaps wedding bells in a year or two; how wonderful.

Things definitely sound less great for XW. She is still struggling and finding her way.

Originally Posted by Hamburg
What worries me (and why I feel guilty) is that I know when she is stressed, the kids are feeling the brunt of it. I do not know of any way I can possibly help but know she is in turmoil, and thus the kids are too.

Why are you feeling guilty? Something to look into.

You cannot control XW or the kids. You can influence; especially your kids. Gentle steering.

I’m not sure of your kids’ ages, I’m placing them at teenagers by now. At any rate, you can be open to discussing with them, their feelings and absorbing the brunt of Mom’s stress. Pass on some strategies to them for how handle, and not take on, such stress. All age appropriate of course.

Originally Posted by Hamburg
They frequently ask my GF to be their mom (I discourage this) and tend to cling to females who are not as controlling or demanding as their mom.

Seeking a female role model from a more stable and less stress inducing woman is perfectly normal.

I am inferring that when the kids are asking GF to “be their Mom”, they are looking to a possible marriage of you two. GF is nurturing to them, I’d suppose. I’d not discourage (or dismiss) their feelings, nor encourage “new” Mom either; more be who you and GF are, and let the kids express themselves as they will. (You sound kind of blessed with this, as some kids resent a new parental figure entering the picture.)

Originally Posted by Hamburg
I am happy and feel confident in my current R, but feel devastated that the kids have to deal with their mother and her drama and turmoil.

Uncouple these!

You have an irrational tie here, and in my opinion is a factor, or source thereof, in your feelings of guilt.

Be happy and confident in your current relationship. And how it encompasses your kids in this family unit. What you can control - keep your drama and turmoil minimized on your side of the street.

Separate item: The kids have to deal with their Mom and her drama and turmoil regardless of what you do, or do not do. You do not control nor create XW’s stress; you are not that powerful. She creates her own stress. (Same message for the kids as well. I’d guess at times they feel responsible for Mom’s stress and actions and reactions. Control - a good lesson to learn at whatever age.)

Definitely uncouple your feeling of devastated from all this.

Feelings are fleeting, extinguishing after the event or trigger that prompted them is removed, and remain long lasting only when we are reinforcing them. That reinforcement lives within the realm of beliefs and convictions. Think of love, and how it is more a belief than some squishy butterfly in your belly that flits away.

Devastation and guilty - you are reinforcing these within yourself. Seek out how and what. Not why. Not yet. See how and what you are doing. It is an irrational binding you need to sever. Some action, event, or thought inspires and reinforces these feelings. Find it. Then you can alter the chain of reinforcement, and craft a new and better one.

Along that path of uncoupling and crafting you’ll find understanding and the “why” of all of it. This is the landscape of the non rational, and counterintuitive. If you start digging and looking for why you get off track rather quickly. Best to start with how and what. (I wrote plenty of past posts on rationalizing these ties and the uncoupling of them. Not sure if you recall or not. We can discuss more if you like.)

Originally Posted by Hamburg
I wish there were a quick fix to things but alas just keep waiting for things to normalize for them.

Yes, there is no quick fix. The “quick” path is the one that has enduring healing. The example of role model and being a strong stable parent, is being observed and will be emulated. It does take some time.

Have a great day.

D


Now: Me54 XW51 S25 S23 S21 D20

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

Love the Sinner, Forgive the Sin.