I appreciate your time and you weighing in...

Originally Posted by Maika
but if I'm being honest I do wonder what's going to happen with OM2 in the future...
I know this question and I know how I pondered on it forever. The only real answer to this question is - I don't know. It may work out, it may not.

I would highly suggest that you stop asking questions that have no answers. I know it is hard to not fixate on these questions because they allow us to grieve in some way. You will get past these questions through your grieving period.
Objectively I realize no one can know what will happen in the future. I try not to dwell on it and do my best to stay busy with GAL, but my mind has been bringing it up a good deal lately. Hopefully time will help.

Originally Posted by Maika
i know exactly how it feels to have this happen and have zero control over it. All I have to say is that you have to take care of your heart because there is basically nothing you can do. I know that there is a terrible answer because there is no solution here. It is just embracing the reality.
It's the worst.

Originally Posted by Maika
Every time my kids came and told me about whatever they did there, it was like arrows piercing my heart. I dreaded the moment when my kids would come back to me because I knew I was going to hear all about what's happening at mommy's place with the new guy. But I swallowed it and never showed it to my kids. I would put them to bed at night and then feel all my emotions in my room over some sad music or just have a good cry. Most important advice - don't bury your emotions over this.
It is like an arrow piercing my heart. S6 doesn't bring it up at all, and maybe it's him trying to protect me (which has it's own implications), but D2 doesn't understand and will say "I went for ice cream with mommy, OM2 (they have pet name ExW gave them for him), S6, Ex-MIL" or "I went swimming with mommy and OM2 in Ex-MIL's pool!". I've just been swallowing it like you said and smiling and saying "Oh wow, that sounds fun".

Originally Posted by Maika
Make sure you give yourself time and space to feel them when no one is around. Your kids can't see this because they won't understand and it is not their burden to carry. Try and be the best dad when you're with them, and you have full permission to fall apart when they're not around - I surely did and over time I picked myself up and got stronger.
I haven't had any break downs lately, the last was a few months ago when the D settlement went through, but it still hurts at times for sure.

Originally Posted by Maika
yes, i felt that I had been replaced by a new shiny person. that she now fulfilled her fantasy of having a white picket fence house with a new guy, some cats, a big yard, a pool, and buncha kids blended in together as a new family. and I was left out in the cold. It's heartbreaking to see that. Like you're garbage that was just discarded with such ease and without any concern. that you didn't matter at all.
Yep. Exactly. It's heartbreaking and also bewildering. Like looking in at your life through a window of of house, except it's a different person in there.

Originally Posted by Maika
some of that may ring true, but only because your self-worth and self-value is right now in the deepest darkest parts of a dungeon. I had yank out my value from that place by being around people that loved me and doing things that brought me joy - that's why GAL is such an important component of this.
My self worth has rebounded a good bit. I've always had good self-esteem prior to BD, and I've got that back now. Plus, I've been doing GAL fairly well (adult sports league, coaching S6's teams, grad school, kids, friends & family...etc.)

Originally Posted by Maika
I knew that I had to be a rock for my kids no matter what happened, so that in the future, they would know that I am a safe place for them. Whatever that may transpire for the kids in the future, they know that you got them. You can't count on your exW to make that space for them, but you can do it. Kids will grow up and see the truth for themselves and see how you held it down for them and that might not happen until they're in the 20s, or not until they have kids, but they will eventually. Just be present and stable for them and give them all the love and attention when they're with you because that is the time you can control.
I am absolutely crushing it with the kids, which besides being the right thing to do and the best for them, has helped me quite a bit stay busy and kept my mind off the sitch. Hopefully that's helping them now and will pay dividends for them in the future (despite all they're going through).

Originally Posted by Maika
Part of me is still hoping things don't work out for them.

It's totally normal to feel and think that. Some part of you wants comeuppance, some revenge. You'll feel less of it over time.
Yep. There's no doubt part of me still wants to see Karma to come around on ExW. Maybe that's not healthy, and it's probably not best for the kids, but I can't help feeling it at times. Hopefully it'll dissapate over time.

Originally Posted by Maika
Part of the reason why I had these thoughts was because in a small way I wanted her to run back to me after realizing what she had lost - but that never happened. And it's okay to have that desire, but it will lessen over time when you shift perspectives. Instead of wondering if the new R will work out, I asked myself:

1. Do I want to be with her considering all that she's done?
2. Is she a healthy emotionally mature human being?
3. What is that I want from a relationship?

Once you shift focus to your own priorities and what you want, you realize that exW is not someone you want to be with right now. If she does the work, you might consider it, but for now that door is only very slightly open.
I don't want her back at this point, and don't even think I could want here back. The answers to questions 1 & 2 are a definite "NO", but that doesn't mean I don't lament the loss of an intact family or wish (even though I wouldn't take her back) she'd realize what she did and what she lost. Though, I suppose what's the point of that now?

Originally Posted by Maika
The only thing that I'll say is that I did spend more time than I should have on questions that had no real answers and trying to find clues to see if she's changed her mind, or try to really understand how she could make the decisions she made etc. And you can probably get a good approximation of those answers because you know her, but those answers don't really help you with anything. I do still struggle with them at times, but I remind myself that I am answer something that will not change a thing for me - mentally or emotionally. So, I reframe my focus back on to what my dreams and aspirations are and focus on that. Cuz I know that when I make my life better, I improve the lives of my kids and am a stronger and more attractive person to be with.
You're right. I shouldn't waste my time on trying to answer questions which can't be answered. I am going pretty well in GAL and improving myself & my future though. Would love to kick those thoughts popping up right out of my head for good!

Originally Posted by Maika
A small detail I forgot to mention about my decision to meet exW's lilmanboy - he was not an OM in the sense that they got together while we were married and she cheated on me. They met a year after the separation. If he was an OM in the traditional sense, I would not have met up with him. Small, but important detail.
Not here! They moved in together the month after separation, and I'm quite sure they were "together" while she still lived with me and the kids. Not sure if that hurts worse, but it seems like it does. I think I'd feel better if they met a year after separation, but who knows maybe not...I guess it doesn't change the result in the end.

Originally Posted by Maika
The last thing I'll add is that I am not sure if you've been to therapy. If you haven't, you should give it a try. I did a year of it and it was very helpful just to get all my thoughts out and have a neutral party give me new perspectives.
I did IC for 6 months and it helped, but the counselor started telling me I was doing everything that I should be doing and she didn't feel she could help me more, so I stopped. I was more in the sad/depressed mode back then, which I've worked through, but maybe I should pick back up at some point to address the thoughts of anger which is more often now.

Originally Posted by Maika
The other person who really helped me with my emotional and mental health and mindset is Peter Crone.
I bookmarked his sessions and will definite give them a listen...thanks for the referral!

Me:39 Ex-W:37
M:7 T: 9
S:6 D:3
BD/IHS/Confirm EA/PA: Feb '20
OM1 affair ends: May '20
W/OM2 & moves out: June-July '20
W files for D: Jul20
OM2 confirmed: 9/2020
Divorced: May '21