Originally Posted by IronWill

As far as whether we've all dropped the rope fully - well then we wouldn't be on a forum called "Divorce Busting", would we? laugh

I came here hoping to bust my D.

I've stayed because I am becoming a happier and healthier person.

I'm not going to insist I've dropped the rope -- it certainly feels like I have, but every once in awhile the rope is tested and it isn't completely slack. I do feel like I'm thinking more clearly about making life decisions in my best interest (and that of my kids).

Originally Posted by IronWill
Have you read Manly Marriage Revival? I think it's a great secondary/companion read to DB - and more importantly it distinguishes some subtle differences between "alphas" and "leaders". Just a suggestion smile

Thanks for the recommendation... I like the idea of distinguishing "alphas" and "leaders"

Originally Posted by IronWill
Originally Posted by Unchien
Even though this person has more or less abandoned me emotionally for the past 2 years, labeled me with some awful terms, and taken zero responsibility for her contributions to the failure of our MR, I still feel like she has this power.

Re-read what you wrote here, U - and I think you'll start to get at the crux of what is bothering you.

Why do you feel your W emotionally abandoned you?
What did she do?
How did you react to what she did?
What life-changing or significant events happened during those 2-plus years on her end that caused her to view you differently from what she saw you as before?
How did you respond to those significant events?

Put yourself in her shoes, try to see yourself as she saw you during that time. I'm not talking about the hyper-sensitive reactions/interactions during that one incident near BD, or the letters or that kind of thing, but previously to that. List it out if it helps - doesn't even have to be here if you're worried about anonymity. Write it all down on paper if you like - every single little thing it could have been. I did it - it may help you too.

This gets so complicated.

It's easy to think myself into a pretzel, or to start assigning fault. The fact is, I contributed to the failure, and so did she. I've talked about the disruptive move we made 2+ years ago, and how we both struggled to handle it. It ripped our MR apart. Had we not moved, maybe we would still be together, but all those subtle sub-surface issues would still be there. I don't look back anymore and think how great things were. I think about the little red flags. Maybe it's my way of moving on. Maybe it's the only way I *can* move on.

I don't think my W has asked how I'm doing and asked a follow-up question since we moved. That's what I mean by emotional abandonment. No interest in my inner world. Little to no interest in spending time together. Of course I contributed, but also... we moved, and she was depressed (she admitted that to me), and her way of handling this was to shut down and slowly build up resentment. We can't undo the past.

I know that I invested way too much time and energy trying to "fix" things. Trying to please her, tiptoeing around, never feeling good enough. What should I have done? I could have been a stronger person.

She likely feels like she did the best she could too. I'm sure she feels moving was an enormous show of support for our MR. But that's not how relationships work. They take constant attention and care, and appreciating the other person.

So many little things along the way. I would buy her flowers and she would complain I didn't tell her I was stopping at the store. I would watch the kids whenever she wanted to go away for the weekend. I would do the laundry and she would complain that I didn't put everything back how she wanted. Nobody is perfect. She resented me. I can see it now. How could I have fixed it? Maybe with extreme self-improvement. Or maybe she just really didn't want to move.

IDK... trying to ascribe reasons for our failing MR's feels pointless after awhile. Of course I could be a better person, and work on self-improvement, and try to win her back. But at the end of the day, perhaps things were never meant to work out. What attracted us to each other in our 20's and 30's did not sustain. We have 3 kids. Goals change. It's okay that things didn't work out. I've spent years confusing "love" with "trying to please my W" and the fact is the love part disappeared awhile ago. It's okay. The woman I loved is gone. She's still a good person, and a good mother, but I think I can forge a happier life as a single dad. I'm looking forward to it. Her goals in life are not mine, and I've set aside my own goals for far too long.

or maybe these are all messages my brain is creating in order to cope with it all.

See what I mean about the pretzel?

Originally Posted by IronWill
Originally Posted by Unchien

So my Aha insight, I hope, is, well, why should I care what my W thinks about my choices? Why does her opinion carry more weight than my own?

Because deep down (somewhere on some level) you still do want this to work out. Just like I (deep down) want mine to work out.
But we can't say that or think that because we both have to be prepared for any possible outcome. Spending too much time thinking about R would be for naught if it did not end up working out. So we keep ourselves occupied and protected - as we should.

Actually I think one of my big NGS flaws was to think the opinion of my W mattered more than my own. And women in general sometimes. And I am still recovering.

Thank you for the feedback. You are constantly challenging me and getting me out of my patterns and grooves -- which is what this is all about =)