Hi Alison,

I had a visceral response to this theory and needed to sit with it for awhile. At first, it felt really transactional and that it didn't allow for altruistic behavior or communication at all. After reading it a few times and sitting with it over the past couple of days, I see how altruism has a place here-- and not that altruism has any place in my husband's behavior or communication right now, nor my own. smile

And, regardless, I agree that my H is repeatedly saying some version of please help make me feel better. And it really isn't my job to do that. (His lane, Valeska-- that terminology helps me.) He needs to find his own way. And I know I also have a lot of healing to do, both in terms of dealing with the hurt and betrayal and anger as well as what I want or need myself for my own future.

I'm having a hard time grappling with the fact that I am going to need to do this all on my own too. Even though my H is here in his body, he isn't someone I can lean on to help me heal and process my own issues. It makes me sad, thinking about that. I know am actively choosing this path. It just feels lonely. I guess I'm alone either way. I get angry, sometimes, thinking of how selfish and weak my H is.

I see how separating would make all this so much easier. But to me, it still feels like giving up any chance at reconciliation if we split. And, I've spent some time on the negative side of this-- not my usual MO, as I usually like to focus on achieving what I want vs avoiding what I don't want... but in this case, I also think that there are a series of outcomes that I really, truly don't want, including AP moving out here and having contact with my children (still have the blind rage if I sit in this), and in the nearer term trying to navigate COVID whilst going through an S or D and with the outlets I'd have at any other time-- being able to spend time with friends here, ability to have say my mom come out and stay with me for awhile-- being gone, for now. My support system is very, very truncated at the moment. Some of my close friends here are also not taking COVID as seriously as we are, and I am also feeing those relationships fraying somewhat because of this.

So when I try to take that 30,000 foot view-- that if I keep chugging along and focusing on me, not making any big moves, etc.-- hopefully with time we'll move to a place where AP is more likely to be out of the picture, either because she's moved on or he's successfully worked to get her out of his head, COVID restrictions will eventually be lifted and I could rely on my support system for real support rather than phone calls, if we end up splitting. And possibly the time passing and space for us to each work on our own $hit will make the possibility of true reconciliation/piecing possible. I don't know. But focusing on the long game is helping me to detach and keep moving forward, one day at a time.

We have mostly had good days since I posted last, until yesterday. H was a bit of an a-hole and I called him out on it. He got really grumpy and yelled at the kids and stomped all around for the rest of the day/evening. Super touchy. He asked me why I'd been so mean all day and said "if you are going to just act like an @sshole, you should sleep somewhere else". It seemed to me so clear that he was just trying to deflect his own feelings of guilt about his behavior onto me. I truly had said very little to him, except telling him he was being an @sshole when he actually was. And he really shouldn't have yelled at the kids the way he did. He apologized to them (not to me), went to bed early and woke up grumpy again. I know I have to just let it be and not engage. It's hard, though. Like totally flipping the relationship dynamics of the past 17 years upside down.

Thinking of all you guys. xx

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