Hi guys,

I'm really thinking about everything you have all posted here. Blu, I know I'm an overanalyzer. it is who I am. I will research online for hours before buying ANYTHING. It is really important to me to know that I am making the right choice for me and my kids. TBH if I *don't* look at it from every angle, I know I'll have regrets in the end. D is hard. I know it. I believe there is something better on the other side for me, absolutely. But I believe in marriage. I believe in the vows that I made. Even though my H has turned out to be a total $hithead, unfortunately he is the father of my children and it simply isn't all that easy for me to wash my hands of him and walk away. it goes against a lot of what I believe.

I still haven't made a decision. At this point I want to focus on what is good for me, in this moment, and that is getting a post-nup agreed to and signed. (Wooba, thanks for this idea to still move forward with a post-nup-- having that security no matter what, in this moment where he's feeling like he's feeling, is really important to me going forward.) All this other stuff can wait. I am in no hurry. He is pushing a little, not a lot, because apparently he really liked this apartment and needs to tell them by tomorrow. Too bad, so sad. I have been very patient and if he isn't willing to give me even a fraction of that patience back, then, this is all easy.

I know this is going to sound like I'm defending him, or defending my inability to make a decision, but I do want to point out that kicking someone out who is saying he doesn't want to leave is a lot harder than not taking someone back who has already left. At least, it feels like that to me, from where I sit today. What is the difference, really, in letting him prove through his actions with him in the house rather than once we are separated and traumatized the children? MWD in her books consistently say in-house separation is better than leaving, as long as you can handle it. The DB coach I had said the same thing.

The cage door is open. He has an apartment waiting for him. The only thing I can say to him that would make him go is that I am choosing D and promise to be friends with you, that I'll work with you through this D as a team sport and we'll all be happy on the other side. I know if I said that he would say OK and take the apartment. But. I can't say that honestly. I will NOT be friends with him. D is NOT a team sport. I will prioritize the children absolutely. But we will not be friends. And honesty, to me, is a core value. I will not be inauthentic to who I am and what is important to me, even if taking that path is harder and more painful. I have said all along I can't be the one to pull the trigger, but I know there will be a time when I'm ready. I do see that path in front of me right now. I can't say that I think it is the best choice for me and the children, authentically, today. But nor do I need to make that choice today.

We have had a few conversations in which he says he feels like I'm the one arguing to S and he's the one defending the M. He said it feels like I've been the lifeboat supporting our M for a long time, and he's been trying to sink it, only focused on himself and his selfishness. Now I'm realizing that its all been about him and my needs matter, at the same time that he is choosing our M, and he feels like I'm sticking a knife and ripping a giant hole in my lifeboat before his is blown up. Can't we wait until we row ashore for me to let go? (Scout, was it you that called him an emotional vampire? I feel like this shows that so clearly... he takes and takes and takes until I say I can't anymore, then he asks for just a bit more.)

SamCal, I haven't. I really don't want to until I'm absolutely sure. You're right, too, that 24 hours (or 48 or wherever we are right now) is a very, very short time. His actions since he made the decision and told me what he is choosing have been consistent, but that is a drop in the bucket. I don't know what he would be doing right now if she'd responded. Perhaps it would have given him the fuel he needs to take the apartment. What he is saying to me is that it has never been enough, his feelings for her, to actually leave. And when it finally came to the precipice, where we are as close as we have ever been to actually divorcing, all he had to do was take that final step, he couldn't do it. And so he knows he can't. He can't leave me and the girls. (probably more correct to say, the girls and me... he can't leave our family.)

Blu, I know I've said there is improvement every time. And it is honestly very true. He has steadfastly refused to say any of these things he's saying now, even knowing it was what I needed to hear. And I don't believe he is a cold-eyed manipulator who knows what to say to reel me back in. If he was, he would have said all this $hit before. To me, the question is less does he mean what he says right now, but more does he have the strength of character to actually act on it or not (all evidence points to not). And/or, is he saying this now because he feels it but tomorrow will go back to FEELING something else again? Just like we shouldn't be taken in by their negative spewing, nor should we be taken in when they swing the other way.

I'll re-read Sandi's rules. I feel I am continuing to work on my detachment and not letting him or his A hurt me. My emotions aren't getting pulled in this time, or at least not to the extent they have in the past. If I choose to stay, it will not be in reconciliation. it will be in continued DBing, not for him, but for me, while I see what he does. While there is a part of me that is happy to hear these words from him, finally, I know they aren't enough. They mean nothing without the actions to back them up. He's saying he wants the chance to show me the actions. I need to decide if it is worth the strong possibility of yet another fail.

Me (45) H (41)
M:13 T:17, D8 & D10
4/19 BD #1 ILYB
8/19 BD #2 Long-distance EA
12/19 BD #3 Actually 2 year PA
2-5/20 R attempt #1
6-7/20 limbo again, back in contact with AP
8/20-present R attempt #2