GInger, Alison, Kind-- I don't know why I'm so reluctant to push the post-nup. I 100% agree it needs to happen, though for me it is dealing with the fear of him staying, not leaving-- that I missed an opportunity to get a favorable arrangement that won't be there in the future. That fear has abated somewhat in that he's still willing to sign it.

If I really think about it, and thinking about Scout's recent situation with Christmas, I think it is that some of the things I'm asking for and to which he has agreed, in principle, maybe are too slanted towards me. I think that the custody split is okay, even though I would get the children 6 nights out of 7, but I'm asking for a 50/50 lifetime split of his pension, which I wouldn't be entitled to under my state's laws absent a separate agreement. I spoke to two Ls about it. If we went to court, perhaps I could get 25%. We weren't married for the entirety of his time in the military, but we were dating when he was injured, he moved in with me afterwards, and I spent four years nursing him through all his surgeries. Anyway. Since the actual marriage certificate means so little to him, and if we were married on paper through all of that I would be entitled to more, I asked for half. We talked about it and he agreed. So maybe some of my reluctance is stemming from a feeling that I'm not being totally fair on this.... but then of course I'm not the one who cheated and lied and put us into a position of me wanting a postnup or needing to think about retiring with less assets or splitting custody of our children.

In any event, the three people IRL who know about this whole sad situation-- one of my best friends, my IC, and my executive coach-- are all very very set on me getting this done. So I just need to put on my big girl panties and do it. I'm thinking I might want to approach it less as a done deal that needs his signature and more as something we talk through together, even though we already did talk through most of it. His memory from that time is p!ss-poor and I wouldn't be surprised if he can't remember details.

And Ginger, thinking of it as a boundary-- something I need to protect myself-- helps me be more confident in making it happen. Thank you for this.

Originally Posted by AlisonUK
Have you told him that you will live with him and do some friendly co-parenting with the kids, but you are not yet ready to reconcile as his wife because you need more time? I think he thinks you're in piecing. There's so much murkiness here. And I also think you're afraid to be straight with him because if you said, 'I am not ready to work on a reconciliation with you because I don't trust you enough yet' then you think he's going to stop trying and run back to AP.

He doesn't have the language for the difference between piecing and where we are right now. I have told him explicitly I'm not ready to work on our M, whether it be MC or relaxing into happily planning for the future, trips next summer and new cars or whatever, until I feel secure that AP is out of the picture. He says she is. I say I don't believe that, at least not in his head. That is where we get stuck. I'm either dictating how he should feel or not trusting him and he doesn't like feeling that way. (And yes, I hear you that I'll never know 100%. I need to sit with that. It may be that not knowing 100% will not be enough for me and I'll need to be done. IDK at this point, I just know I'm not comfortable today, not being at 100%.)

here's where I am on it at the moment. I'm sorry he doesn't like feeling untrusted, and that I'm not all sunshine and rainbows. I think he would be perfectly happy to friendly co-parent with me. His idea is that we work on our relationship and our friendship and let the romance bloom from there. I'm not bought into this right now, because (a) I'm afraid to let myself get too comfortable with him in that role and (b) I absolutely refuse to sweep this all under the rug, and I don't see where in his timeline we deal with the hard stuff. Which he know we have to do.

Originally Posted by AlisonUK
My IC explained it to me like this - there's you, who needs healing, there's him, that needs healing. You aren't his job, and he's not your job. Then there's the third thing, the marriage, and that needs enthusiastic work from two healthy (or reasonably healthy but also human!) people who agree most of the time on what the work should be and what the marriage is going to look like.

My IC said the exact same thing. That right now he's processing his grief over ending the R with AP and wrestling with his identity and what it means that he cheated. I'm wrestling with my own grief and anger and loss. These are parallel processes that we really can't help each other out with. He can't get involved with mine because it is too difficult for him right now to see and support, because doing so means he needs to accept responsibility and it makes him feel too badly about himself to do that right now. I can't get involved in his grief processing because to me it is illegitimate and the fact that it exists feels like a dagger to me. (Yes, I know he has a right to this grief and all that. I just am not FEELING that right now.)

Maybe I share too much about the circles going on inside my head here. I'm questioning a lot. And my focus on the negative probably overshadows the day-to-day. In general, we are being friendly co-parents. We have stopped sleeping together, per my request, and he has respected that. (He told me one night he wanted to, and thought about initiating, then decided that was disrespectful and so did not.) We haven't fought since I posted last about it. The anger has subsided somewhat, but I know it lurks there and I need to keep processing it and doing so without letting it overwhelm me and take it out on him.

Ginger, LH-- I truly don't think I'm generally operating from a place of fear any more. I absolutely was, for a long time. This board helped me enormously through all of this, to let go of that fear little by little. When we returned from our trip and he said he wanted a D, that was truly it for me. I let go and was totally ready for him to be gone. I wanted him out.

I still am questioning whether or not I want him here. Little things come up that make me wistful, thinking of the life I had imagined on my own. While I was afraid before of being on my own, I'm not any more. I'm completely confident I would do just fine on my own navigating parenting, life, new loves, work-- whatever life throws at me. I'm a beautiful, Ivy-league-educated, successful, fun and funny person. I have great friends who care about me. I have a strong family network, even if they're far away, who will be there for me no matter what. My H is a ding-dong. AP might be 11 years younger than me but she's a shadow in every respect. She looks like a paler, plainer, dumber, washed-out version of me. She kissed his @ss all day long, and I don't and I won't.

In M2.0 (with H or someone else) I don't want to be a control freak anymore so that is something that I know I need to work on. Maybe a lot of what reads as me letting myself being walked over is me letting go and giving my H space to be a full partner, if he wants to and is able to function in that way. I don't know. But I have come to realize that while he's not totally correct that I ruled every aspect of our lives for most of our M, I did dictate much more than 50%. I think this contributed somewhat to the SSM also, in that I kind of viewed him as another person to manage rather than a partner. It is really uncomfortable for me to let go of control, and maybe I'm swinging too far in the other direction and getting pushed into things I don't want to do. I'm not sure.

I do love him, he is/was my best friend, but that doesn't mean I have to live my life with him or that I couldn't get over him. Ginger, you asked me if I'd have left him if it wasn't for the kids and the answer remains of course I would have left him. I could fall in love again. I just want to give my children the chance to have that person be their father.

LH, I did let go. He just didn't leave. I'm sorry if you don't believe me but I'm comfortable that there was a sea change in me, letting go, and that the fear left. My IC and I have talked a lot about it. The fear has been replaced by anger, now, which feels even more uncomfortable to me than fear. At this point, I kind of WANT him to leave if that is what is going to happen. I actually think some of my acting out in anger is partially to see if he will do it.

You are not wrong about me wanting to win. This is also something I've been working with my IC on. I have been very fortunate in my life and this whole thing hit me like a ton of bricks. I'm sure that a big chunk of my motivation for standing at first was drawn from that place. I'm exploring whether my animosity towards AP is rooted partially here. At this point, if he ran off with her, f him and it wouldn't bother me all that much. But the idea of her ever meeting my children still makes me want to poke her eyes out with a fork. So... not sure what that all means.

I want to be clear also that i was never trying to convince anyone that an affair makes a relationship stronger. That is garbage. H said that to me-- the A may be what saves our M- and that made me furious. However. That being said, I do believe in the power of post-traumatic growth. I also believe that perhaps it took something this big to shake me out of my SSM stage. You can't change the past. If we end up together and happy, was the A a necessary part of the path it took for us to get there? Could it have been handled differently? will it matter? it won't change what happened, and it won't change the fact that he was the kind of person who dealt with his unhappiness and anger by cheating. I believe that people can change for the better, and I believe in forgiveness. If I didn't think it was possible for us to build a better M out of the ashes of this one, I wouldn't still be here. And I know it is a long shot, given everything. But to me it is worth the try. For my kids if nothing else.

But I do take your advice-- and I think Alison's is on the same track-- try to work on my own stuff and just live. Zoom back up to the 30,000 foot view, relax, and stop trying to push the timeline faster than it needs to go. His process is out of my control anyway. All I can do is manage my own. And to the degree that i need to communicate that to him, like you say, Kind, maybe we do still need to set some regular opportunities to talk honestly about what is going on, whether modulated by an MC or on our own for now. But I do feel there is enough on my plate right now that I can just worry about me, and my biggest challenge will be doing that without being awful to H while I'm doing it.

And get that dang post-nup signed. smile

Last edited by may22; 11/13/20 08:22 PM.

Me (45) H (41)
M:13 T:17, D8 & D11
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
6/20 limbo again, back in contact with AP
9/20-present R attempt #2