Pickle, my H and your W seem to be twins in how they see this whole OP thing. Cake eaters to the max. Sunday afternoon my H and I had one of our talks. I promised myself that next time he brings up R talk, I will keep quiet, but did notÖ..This is how it went (summarized):
H: I feel so stuck. I made a mistake. I am in a gray zone. You canít accept our situation. Why canít we have a legal S but still live together. For our Dís sake, so she still has 2 parents. Need the piece of legality to know you have accepted the end of our M.
Pickle, sounds familiar, eh?
Me: What for? So that you can pursue OW without guilt? I donít need a piece of paper. I accept you donít love me. I donít accept that your never did, nor that there is no hope for us. ButÖno way will I live together with you while weíre S and you are pursuing OW. That will be too painful for me. If thatís the case, lets just D completely and live our separate lives, and I could move on. Another thing: How abnormal could the situation get? Us being together with you pursuing OW Ė what will that teach our D? How will she feel about that? That it is acceptable to have that kind of situation? She will learn to be cynical before her time.
He also kept on saying that it was all his mistake, that at first he blamed me for everything but at the end of the day, realized he was just justifying his actions by saying itís my fault, and that ultimately he had to face his own mistakes (wow, that sure seems like a moment of lucidity!). I asked him then about how mature adults are supposed to handle their mistakes. Arenít we supposed to try to correct them? Arenít we supposed to suffer the consequences of our own mistakes? (In other words, donít make other people suffer from your mistakes!)
Pickle, just sharing this with you because these were my reactions to a very similar situation. Maybe the wrong thing to say or do, I dunno, but I think it made my H see a few things my way. He did not commit to anything during our convo, but since yesterday, I have noticed a change in him. He has suddenly become friendlier to me, called me up a couple of times these past 2 days, did not pursue the S topic.
One thing I would say to you though: Control your anger. And be careful on how you talk to your kids about this. I do not believe in lying to them, but neither do I think they should be exposed to the whole sordid details.
My D has known from before, and she is only 12 years old. I struggle in my interactions with her to make sure that she does not think bad of her Dad and at the same time letting her know that this is not an acceptable situation. I speak to my therapist on the best way for me to deal with her and she agrees that being honest with her is good if she seems able to understand. And she seems to, but what do I know? I can only pray that she is not being damaged too much by all this. She has asked me not to leave her Dad, and that she believes all of this will pass, even the pain, and that Dad is allowed to make mistakes as he is only human! I told her that I will try but may only have tolerance for up to a certain period or wrongdoings.
The way you are thinking of explaining to D17 is too inflammatory. If I were you, when you are ready to be honest with her, I would say tell her something to the effect that her Mom has changed and wants to leave the M because she has fallen out of love with you, she is interested in another person, and that you still want to keep the M and will keep on trying.
Me:49 H:45 D:12 M:14 T:18 Bomb: 6/26/10 EA: 9/3/10, fizzled out slowly, now ??? 11/5/11 Retrouvaille Finally piecing.... Its peaceful at last, but we got a looong way to go