So, starting the last couple days of February through the first week and a half of March, I began spending my nights nearby at a family member's home while they were vacationing in the Caribbean. The routine consisted of my W dropping the kids at school in the morning, me picking them up and taking them home. Sometimes preparing dinner with them if she was not back from work and other times leaving shortly after she got back. Communication was primarily limited to the children. I did not reach out to her via text, phone, or otherwise unless she contacted me first.
Now, I coach youth sports that my son plays which is part of my GAL. Flag football season finished up last month and we were rolling right into baseball season. So, I take my son to games and practices about 3 times a week. My boy is a phenomenal athlete and he and I share a natural connection due to our love of sports. My daughter is there occasionally as well until my W can pick her up after work. The coaching helps me remain social with parents of the other kids and gives me a sense of purpose in life to lead these young men and teach them good sportsmanship and teamwork.
Opening day was the first weekend in March after I brought my son home, my W asked me to stay to review details on a fairly lucrative job offer she received and a comparison on what we may do about health insurance for the family. We went through that and had a positive and productive discussion.
I also play indoor volleyball once or twice a week with a regular group nearby. My W really loves volleyball and was one of the primary reasons I started participating, but doesn't have much interest in going anymore with all of her other interests right now. I enjoy the competition and exercise while being able to interact with a mostly positive group of people. I usually take my kids with me to play with kids of other families. On one such occasion, we didn't get home until almost 10pm and my W told me that was controlling since I didn't communicate what time I would be dropping off the kids, it forced her to sit around at home all night. I responded with validation, but I think she is just looking for opportunities for me to enable more of her wayward interactions.
Staying with the kids for 10 nights in a row with less assistance from me seemed to take a toll on my W. According to my son, they were getting dropped off at school barely in time as typically my role is to dropoff. Two times, my W turned the wrong way out of the community heading towards her work rather than school. I think she is juggling so much that the fog, lack of sleep from smartphone addiction, OM contact, divorced BFF issues, separation home, new job offer, and stress of the children is catching up with her. As such, she seemed to look for more opportunities to get into arguments with me. I remained calm, validated when I could, and did not participate in these attacks.
Compounding the situation was the ex of the divorced BFF got married last Monday morning to a woman he met in November and only 3 months to the day after his D was finalized. The BFF was traumatized and of course my W was the support system as the BFF stayed over at our house 3 nights in a row. Fortunately for me, I stayed elsewhere. However, the toxic negative influence was in prime sight for my W to continue the vilification of me.
My W actually unknowingly did me a favor last week by changing cell phone providers. She removed herself from our joint account and opened her own with a new carrier. Now, I have no way to check her phone and text records. This is very healthy for me as it completely removes that temptation.
This time away in the evenings did wonders for my psyche as I didn't have to watch her dive deeper into the abyss of the smartphone fantasy world. I am feeling a new sense of freedom of not getting so personally and emotionally attached to her words and actions. I remain optimistic and am not allowing the current state of the M and A's to consume me.
I was planning to stay away until last Sunday, but my W wanted to go out on Saturday night with her divorced BFF and meetup with OM#2. She kept texting me asking what time I could come over to "babysit". That was probably enabling behavior to agree to spend the night at our house with the kids, but at this point, I didn't really care what she was going to do, because I have finally come to the realization that I cannot control her, only myself. My W spent the night at her BFF's apartment and I took my kids to church the next morning.
Now that we are back sleeping under the same roof. This past week's highlights were a possible promotion for my W at her current job. She is strongly debating whether to stay with her employer of almost 15 years with great benefits or jump to the higher paying job that is a longer commute and less flexible on hours. I listened to her, reviewed a comparison of all compensation she put together, and gave her some insight on things to consider. In no way did I try to sway her one direction or the other. I am not trying to control or influence her choice at all.
My wife texted the next day asking if I could attend the closing on her separation home. I asked if I would have to sign anything and she said yes, but couldn't tell me what. I told her I need more information before I'm comfortable signing. She said this is my opportunity to throw a wrench in her plan to separate. I did not respond. However, my thought was this could be an opening for me to negotiate something I want for the relationship in the future. Namely, asking her to agree to attend a marriage intensive with me at some point in the future. Not sure what others think of this and I really don't know the appropriate time to attend such an event. Would it be better to go sooner than later. I think not until the multiple A's have fizzled out and perhaps several months after she has felt physical and emotional space in her separation home. Nevertheless, she hasn't brought it up again, but she will before the closing on April 1st. In the meantime, she has rented a storage unit and began buying furniture for her impending move.
Also, over the past week, my son had 3 baseball games which my W attended. She spent 90% of the time staring and pecking at her phone, only to look up when my son was up to bat. She didn't sit very close to the other baseball mom's that usually took and interact throughout the game without fantasy distractions. There are so many positive influences near us that could be a boon for supporting marriage, but my W wants no part in engaging with them. Instead she chooses the toxic divorced BFF and a female co-worker of mine that is on the verge of divorce as her two primary points of contact for support and venting. I guess it justifies her current actions as WW to only interact with those that don't contradict her current views, decisions, and actions.
On Wednesday we were supposed to have our follow-up marriage counseling session, but I had already canceled it last week. My W asked the time of the appointment and seemed surprised and possibly mildly upset that I canceled it. I told her that we never talked about our individual goals, so I didn't feel it was an appropriate time to continue the therapy as we are not currently moving in the same direction. She said she wanted to keep the sessions going to work on our communication with each and the kids. I think she liked the sessions because the counselor is pro divorce and she is hoping that I will go along with that and eventually change my mind. I said to my W "I understand how you feel, and I accept the fact that you feel that way, and I hope someday you will feel that way about me again" and left it at that.
This wraps up a fairly detailed history on where I currently stand. I know I have applied so much pressure to my W, that it will take a monumental effort and amount of time to work through this. I do reflect back on how things could have been different today had I not pushed, pried, spied, tried to convince, etc. from the start. Sometimes we just don't know what we don't know. On to daily updates...
Me:41 W:39 S:9 D:6 T:20 M:16 PA:8/22/18, BD:11/6/18 PA discovery & IHS:12/3/18, W moves:4/2/19 R’ville:9/27/19, I give D docs:3/1/20 W home:4/5/20 (due to CV-19), W NC w/OM:4/13/20 6/1/20