Ginger,

Yup. He is EXTREMELY self-centered. Probably something he's always struggled with somewhat but magnified a thousand times during the A. My belief is that he's maxed out emotionally and simply doesn't have much if anything to give outside of focusing on himself right now. (Much like how I want to be!!) He'll put the kids first (in his mind that is what he is doing right now by recommitting to the M), both in little ways and big, though sometimes I think he has a hard time disconnecting what he wants the kids to want vs what they actually want. But, he's a good dad. And before the A, he was a good H and I felt like he prioritized me.

He has asked and has implemented things I need, but small things. Like small ways to show me he's committed. He's wearing his ring again (and remembering to put it back on after surfing), making an effort to make eye contact, smile, be present. Acts of service have always been my primary LL and he's been doing that quite a bit as well, making meals, cleaning up, unloading the dishwasher, making me a drink, giving me an unsolicited backrub, going grocery shopping. Bigger things I want-- like saying to me that he doesn't give a rat's @ss about AP anymore-- that he won't do. He is pretty explicit that he isn't going to say anything just because he knows I want to hear it, unless it is true, and that we can't fast-forward to that place. He has to get there authentically. Of course he wants me to help him do it (by being nice and fun and not bringing up the A) and I don't know that I can. So we're kind of in a bind there.

He's doing other things that I think he believes are what I need right now, like getting estimates from contractors to renovate the MBR, because it is something I've wanted to do for a long time now and he thinks it is a symbolic way for us to refresh the space (plus he said he feels like so many things have been on hold for us because of the A that he wants to get back to moving forward in our lives together). This is positive I think generally, but it probably wouldn't be the number one thing on my mind if I was asked what I needed right now to heal. I basically want emotional safety and to believe AP is gone for good. He's given me his phone password and told me she is gone for good, but I don't think I can get to that place and actually trust it without time. Just like he can't get to the place of having her gone for good from his head without time. And in the end what I really want is that second thing to happen, not just the first.

Which all leads me back to-- he does his own work, I do mine, and I can't really rely on him for more than the little stuff right now. I just need to accept that and not worry about it so much, I think.

Gigi,

What you describe I feel, a lot of the times. What do I have to lose? I've said over and over that it is worth TRYING and I know even if I do open my heart back up and have it broken again that I'll survive. What is stopping me is a few things-- one, feeling stupid, two, being tired of shoving down my own needs yet again for my H, I feel like it is just setting us up for a lifetime of him thinking he can walk all over me, three, I feel tapped out at the moment and don't feel like being his emotional crutch anymore. I feel like svcking it up and being fun and planning this trip just subsumes my own needs to his, again, and I'm just not prepared to do that at this exact moment until I feel a little more secure in the direction we are headed.

I also consider his behavior a weakness. I have lost a lot of respect for him through this whole process. He has always been someone who was decisive and truthful and definitely didn't mope around like this. It is really not an attractive look.

Maybe I can think about what I need to see from him, behaviorally, and hear from him in order to feel OK giving him more of what he wants. But all in all I just want to keep the focus on me for awhile rather than him for awhile. I've never really done this before and I want to exercise it like a muscle.


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