Separating or Divorcing? Page 5


  1. Hey its a fresh page! So I've been writing out my story because I've been meaning to for a long time. There's so much I want to share and so much background. And I've been reading Brene Brown again and her stuff on how speaking shame, telling your story, takes away some of it's power. So I have been writing a bunch and working on my story. I want to share some of it here, but it might be really triggering for some folks. I've also got my own blog (!!) but as of right now, I am the only visitor, lol. So it's just 100% weird with lots of poetry and swearing. But also I just did a little piece on infidelity (based on my recent comment in the you don't want to go back post) and have directed any poor souls who land there, to come here. So I'm wondering, is it Ok for me to post my story here when it is all done? Its going to be a whole giant lot. Maybe I cna do a short version here (the cliff notes) and the full thing at my own blog. Thing is, I have stuff I have been wrestling with sharing but feel ready to share, but I want to do it here with the folks who have seen and known me the longest. What do you think?

    1. SS, I'd love to hear your story and I'd love to read your blog. I suspect we are all wrestling with hard things so thanks for the heads up. I have days when life itself is a trigger.....

    2. SS please do post your story even if you have to do several posts broken up - I read Brene's most recent book too and I agree with you - I have felt shame for so many months, but it's really not our shame to bear, it's CH shame. I just posted my convoluted story on the "The Power of BWC" post a few days ago to respond to Gabby. For some reason none of the posts on here trigger me - it's things outside of this blog that do. Here it is healing.

    3. Your blog address please?
      I would like to read your story also.

  2. I'd love you to share your story here ss, when your ready xx

  3. SS - I, like all the women here, have your back on this one. We all have a story to tell, and yes, the telling can be a release and on the road to healing.
    Gabby xo

    1. I would love to read your story, too, but I think "Cliff notes" here and full vetsion on blog might work better. I usually access the BWC blog at night on my smartphone (tiny screen, tricky to scroll). I save links, names of authors, videos etc to my email so that I can check them out in more detail on my computer during the day. That's just my personal preference though- other readers/ contributors may feel differently!
      Looking forward to your story in whatever firm it appears.

  4. Hi ladies. Long time no comment. Yes SS please share stories are our life line!!!!

    Love Becky

  5. I also have some things to share. You all may remember that my H and I have been separated now for 10 months. I have done a lot of hard work and was consulting a lawyer and moving towards ending a unhealthy relationship that was very very decayed/dead. When the worst happened..... my H fell asleep driving and had a terrible car accident! I was altered by the police to come to the ER in the middle of the night and have spent the last 3 days in a fog of doctors nurses specialists surgeries etc .... at the ICU. We have passed over some big hurdles and things are trending in the right direction. And I am very lucky to have both his family and my family here and we are all supportive of each other.

    But the OW is rearing her head and it has been so so hard and painful!! She has been texting me begging to see him and say he wants her there that they are together and love each other that I am aweful for blocking her. I am just keeping him under my control. All the horrible things. She even tired to gain access to the ICU and one of the doctors took me aside and said "a young girl was here claiming to be your husbands girlfriend". I almost died!! Luckily he sent her away recognizing she was not part of our family. Anyway....ahhhh. I have tried so hard to not respond and be calm (although I give her a few swats via text). She is only 22 and has no clue on life..... ahhhh. This has just been so hard and this interaction has brought back so many of the mind movies and fears ect. From the early days.

    This has been quite the curve ball when I thought I was starting to see what the next chapter would be for myself.

    Love and support sisters

    1. Oh Becky, what an ordeal. I think you are doing good by acting as the reasonable adult in the difficult situation you find yourself in now. I would not allow the OW in his hospital room either. Sending you thoughts of support.

    2. Oh Becky, I don't know that I can add anything beyond what Phoenix says below. Be proud of yourself for handling this situation with dignity and class. what an awful, awful thing. And to have the OW show up... well there really is no bound to the selfishness and cluelessness, is there? I can't believe she has the gall to text you directly and to show up at the hospital. How mortifying for you and the doctor. This 22 year old child is so broken. Of course this is bringing up the past panic and mind movies, because the triggers are right in your face.
      I'm so sorry and so angry on your behalf. What a mess.
      I'm thinking of you and sending strength your way. Your squad here has your back. Does family know and can you enlist their help to shield you from this girl? Or at the very least can they stand with you when you have to deal with her? You don't have to handle all of this alone and I'm glad to hear you've got family around you. What about your H? I'm not sure what level of communication you had before the accident or if he is in any shape to make decisions. Is it possible it wasn't an accident? Mine certainly had suicidal ideation throughout his affair. Just sliding that out there out of concern.
      I wish I could be there to hug you and punch the stupid OW in the neck. Or at least glare at her intimidatingly if she tries to talk to you. All your sisters are standing with you. Just close your eyes and picture that. Many hugs!!!

    3. Thank you sisters. I needed this dose of support from the sisters who really understand. Both families know about the affair and no one supports it or cares 2 cents about the OW, but there a lot of different ideas about what it means to give support to me and while they are good intentions none of them actually feel that supportive.... which was why I reached out here and why I am keeping an appointment with my therapist tomorrow.

      It has been a painful scary hard week. With tons of conflicting feelings. I am trying to be very present and not add suffering to the pain by being my head too much!!!

      I will know that army of sisters are with me. Love and support sisters

    4. Oh Becky, my heart is reaching out to yours. It is difficult to imagine this young woman with no boundaries thinking she has any rights to be present in your lives at a time like this. Depending on how long your spouse is hospitalized you may need a restraining order to keep her at bay. Like SS just said, all your sisters are standing with you. Close your eyes and picture your silent army with open arms, ready to hold you in a safe place.

    5. Becky
      I reiterate all that has been said. Thinking of you and sending you supportive hugs. Love to you
      Hugs xo

    6. Becky how are you today? I cannot even FATHOM this. How is your husband? Maybe she'd like to take on his bathroom issues. Real life has a way of weeding out the weak

  6. Becky, what an ordeal! I know you have to be there for your H at this time, because you are a good and loyal person, but what a lot of conflicted feelings you must have right now. And of course you have a childliish, selfish OW thinking only of herself. I'm so sorry that you are having to deal with that trauma, on top of everything else. I'm glad you have a support system, but damn. What an awful turn of events.
    I devoutly hope that his recovery will continue to progress, so that you can get out of crisis mode and make some decisions that are good for you. And so that you can get some distance from the toxic OW situation. I'm thinking of you and sending you hugs. Keep us posted, please!
    SS, you are a gifted and intuitive writer, and I would like to read what you've written.

    I had a bit of a breakdown last week. I found texts between my daughters and the skank. They were planning a birthday party for the ex together. The texts were happy and perky, and they even traded "love you" comments. Friends, my heart cracked wide open. The pain was intense. I cried for hours. I felt unbelievable hatred for her, and for my ex. I felt betrayed by my own children, which was horribly unfair to them, of course. My old depression monsters began to get hold of me. I wanted to die. I knew I couldn't, but I wanted to.
    Eventually I got my equilibrium back. I managed NOT to say anything to my girls. I did get my ex on the phone. I did some cursing and crying and yelling. I told him that I had been more than reasonable about the girls seeing her in their dad's presence, but that I DID NOT WANT THAT WOMAN TEXTING WITH MY CHILDREN. He agreed.

    I still get sad and angry when I let my mind go there, but I'm feeling better. I'm doing a play, and still seeing a sweet guy. Eventually I'm afraid I will have to take this up with the girls. I pray that God will give me the wisdom to do it in a way that doesn't hurt them.
    Hugs to my sisters!


    1. Phoenix thanks for the encouragement about doing my post (s) about my story. Its going to be long and some parts will be difficult, but I think it will be good to do what Brene Brown says and own my story.

      The happy perky love you comments must have been a knife to your heart. O my god I can't even imagine. I would be feeling like "not only did this bitch steal my husband now she's trying to steal my girls." Eff that.
      I can so understand all the emotional places this has taken you. And of course, you recognized right away that your girls are not betraying you. Little people are so soft and adaptable, they are just doing what they think they need to do to make everyone happy. They have no idea who this woman is or what she's really done.
      I'm glad you are still here. The world is a better place with you in it. I'm glad you found your feet, you are strong. It just gets old sometimes doesn't it?
      I'm glad you stood up for that boundary of no texting. Im glad you are doing things that feed your soul. As far as taking to your girls, take your time, try writing it out first? That often works for me.
      Sending you hugs and strength too.
      Much love! SS

    2. Dearest Phoenix
      OMG, I think that would send pretty much all of us into a breakdown moment!! I am sure you reading those texts was aweful and I am so so sorry that the OW has that contact with your children. I know your girls are so precious to you and I hope and pray that your H will be respectful and work with you on boundaries for this issue that feel right for you!!!!

      I love though that you described your heart breaking wide open!!! I thought YES our hearts have to break open, we can't close down, lock out, or gloss over this pain!! Cracked wide open is the only way to come through all this wholeheartedly!!! Phoenix I think our ddays were at a similar time and your courage and grace and faith have been such an inspiration to me!! I think you are amazing. Continue on with your courage and heart sister, I am right behind you!!

      Love Becky

    3. Oh Phoenix
      I feel so much for you after reading this. The damn cheek of this bitch! What an absolute horrible thing she is, to not only have your husband, but worm her way in with YOUR children. Credit to you for keeping things so civil with your children dealing with this thing. You have amazing strength. I know if it was me, I probably would have lost it.

      I hope you don't mind me sharing this. Part of the reason I took my h back is I never wanted my kids to have to deal with a bitch/whore my husband hooked up with if we stayed separated and divorced. Even if in time it was someone who had nothing to do with the initial affairs and even if we ended up divorced. I don't have much in life. My children are my world and that would probably break me. When my father hooked up with this whore, I was young and didn't understand, and was taught respect elders etc...As soon as I became a teenager/adult and learnt what went on - I no longer had a moment with my fathers whore, which I'd only met a few times when I was young. I very rarely see them, but as an adult I would not betray my mum one inch and to me if I was being nice, talking to my fathers whore -that would be betraying my mum. My mum never said a bad word about this time in her life when I was growing up and even though I am nice to most people in life - I have no intention to be nice to people like this. How can you be nice to people who intentionally hurt you just to make themselves feel good? I hear it often how it's said to heal and move on you have to forgive etc. Nope. I don't think I can forgive - ever. I know I have so much anger and disbelief in me for how we have been treated, but I feel if I forgive - I've given in and it's accepted, perhaps like letting h off the hook (as Elle has posted about 8 June). Sorry for the ramble - I just had to talk to you as I know you would understand. Phoenix. You are in my thoughts.
      Gabby xo

    4. Thank you, Gabby. Your mother must be a very lovely person, with more self-control than I. I wish I could have kept all negativity out of my reactions, and I'm doing better, but....I definitely let negative things slip sometimes. Then I feel terrible, and I try to reinforce to my kids that they don't have to choose. Of course, I want them to take my side, as you have your mother's, but I know that at their age, their father's opinion is so important to them. So I try to be understanding. But it is very hard. Only you and the others here really understand how hard. I have struggled with the idea of forgiveness a lot. At first I was sure I would eventually forgive. Then I became less sure. Now I just don't know. When I think of the sheer selfishness it takes to pretend that a marriage and a person just don't MATTER....and how do you forgive someone who has never expressed an ounce of regret? Who does not even acknowledge that wrong has been done to you? I don't know. Like you, I still struggle with so much resentment. I know that the resentment and anger hurt me - and sometimes my kids - more than they hurt the guilty ones. But I'm still working on how to let it go.
      Hugs to you, Gabby! May we one day find peace.

    5. Phoenix, sorry to be coming to this conversation so late. I can't imagine how awful that must have felt. And I bow to your grace you showed.
      You did the right thing by dealing with this via your husband and reiterating your boundaries around this.
      I had a good friend go through this and I remember her wailing "the woman who broke up my son's family is going to be the one reading him bedtime stories!!!!". It was excruciating for her.
      Today, she's remarried and her son has two half-brothers and my friend feels like she's right where she belongs. Painful absolutely. But maybe not wrong.
      It's the hardest thing in the world, I think. To be there for our children, to put their well-being ahead of our righteous fury. But that's what we're called to do. And to model self-respect, which you're doing.
      You're beginning to soar, Phoenix.

  7. Becky I'm so sorry for all your going through, hope your h makes a full recovery. Everything happens for a reason and in time you'll see what that reason is.. stay strong and remember to look after yourself in and amongst everything that is going on .. big hugs dear xxx

  8. Sending hugs to each and every one of you. Sending strength to make it through the day, hour by hour. This site makes me realize I can and will get through what I didn't think I could. I am so glad to know there is a safe place to come when I need it.

  9. SS, you summed up my thoughts very well. And my language! Bitch, indeed, and finally getting what she's wanted all along - to be me, to have my family. A knife to to heart, yes. Thank you for your words and encouragement. You are right about my babies; they want to please everyone. Especially their dad. I get it. I'm taking this one day at a time. Sometimes it feels like I'm living in a nightmare. Other times, I feel like maybe I can stand it. I can't imagine the future right now. At this point, I feel like I am so much more healthy and healed where my ex is concerned. I don't miss him or want him back. He has caused me so much heartache, and I have attained so much distance, that I have really been able to leave those feelings behind. But the mess he has made of our kids' finances, and the permanent tie between my kids and the skank, with her child, are still holding me back and causing me stress and pain on a daily basis. I resent him and the skank so much, that they have fixed it so that most of my torment now comes through my own children. It is hideous. I struggle with depression, but I still find joy in my daily life. There are many things to be thankful for, if only I can get past some of these feelings. I hope you are moving forward too, and I look forward to reading more about your journey.
    Feeling Lost, I'm glad you find hope and comfort here. It has been such a solace to me, a place to vent, to share ups and downs - and to truly be understood. Hugs!
    Becky, yes,, our stories had a similar time frame and ran parallel for a while. I also found encouragement and strength through reading your posts. I know we have to suffer to get through. I know our hearts have to break open to heal. Some days I handle that better than others. We have come a long way, sister. And now we are both dealing with setbacks. It feels like the waves keep rushing at us. I hope we both find a place of peace again very soon. I am worried about you, and the situation in which you are stuck. I hope he has made progress, and that you can move in a more positive direction soon. I hope you are protected from the selfishness and hurtful actions of the OW. These women are idiots. They will never see how monstrous they are, because they don't want to see. Becky, you are so strong and beautiful and loving. I hope you get to make some good decisions for yourself soon, instead of being dragged down by the bad decisions of others. Sending you hugs and prayers - update us soon!
    Stay strong, sisters! One day at a time!

  10. Hi Sisters

    So an update - my H is still in ICU, it has been one step forward and 1/2 step back so it is slow going. We are looking to move him to some longer hospital care and then rehab. With good rehab ect. He should completely recover.

    This whole process has been exhausting and it has been really strange to be back in the role of wife after being displaced for 2 years!! Also, it has been very painful because my parents and some friends while trying to be protective of me have wanted me to distance myself or provide less support and involvement. This has been so hard because it seems like everyone is questioning and trying to undercut my position and value in my marriage. I know they don't mean it but it hurts!!

    My thoughts have been to get him out of the ICU be a friend to his family and then take the next step, which very well may be less active involvement.

    Also I kinda keep my radar up for the OW she has been mia for a while and I knind of expect her to pop up again.

    I need and nap and I'm going to take one. Love and support sisters

    1. Oh Becky, what an exhausting ordeal. Do take care of yourself. And please don't be afraid to tell your family on both sides exactly what you need from them. They will either step up or not, that's up to them. But you can state your needs. You can't, however, control what they think about how you're responding so do your best to just let that go. There are going to be a lot of opinions. As my mom used to say, "what other people think about me is none of my business."
      Nap. Self-care. Boundaries.

  11. Elle , your mum sounds like a very wise lady, I love how she passed down so much wisdom .. wish in turn you pass down to us btw .. much appreciated xxx

  12. Elle, I don't know how your friend did it. I just don't. Depression, anger, and brooding a daily thing, Don't know how to handle all these negative emotions. Having trouble sleeping. Just spent a week at the beach with my mom and kids, but it was marred by this depression. I'm obsessing and can't seem to stop. My resentment and hatred are getting worse, not better. I'm trying to be nice to the ex because I need him to repay the kids' oollege money, which he lost....but I don't know how much longer I can keep from exploding all over him. Father's Day, indeed....
    I'm sorry. I've tried to be strong but I'm losing it. Trying to keep from alarming and upsetting my mom, my kids, and the sweet guy I've been seeing, but I don't know how long I can hold it together. Pain. Rage. Obsessive thoughts. It's like stupid D-Day all over again.

    1. Phoenix,
      I suspect there are others who would look at you and say "I don't know how she's handled this." You just do. What's the other option, right?
      Maybe you're trying to hard to handle this "right" and need to let go of that. Maybe, because you're a kind-hearted decent soul, you're pushing away the hate and trying so hard to be all Dalai Lama about it when, really, you just need to hate this situation, hate your ex, hate the idiot he cheated with. I sometimes think the more we try to not think something, the more obsessed we become. Give yourself permission to just hate what's going on. Write about it. Find your most unforgiving friend (or post here) the absolutely most vile things you can imagine about your ex and this situation. Get it all out. I used to go running and I would imagine coming home and finding the OW naked in my house. I would imagine her panicking and running out of the house. And then I would imagine getting in my car and shining my headlights on her as she ran, naked, down the road. I would imagine accelerating just enough that she thought I might run her over. I would imagine her fear. I would imagine her body jiggling as she ran. And it always (even now!) made me giggle. Am I a homicidal maniac? Nope. But I can sure think like one.
      See what you can imagine, or what characteristic of your ex is particularly annoying and that you're SOOOOO glad to be done with. And then focus on that. Until you can see nothing but whatever that is. A figure of speech? A nervous tic? A muffin top? Man boobs?
      See if giving yourself permission to be nasty makes it all a bit less of a obsession and more a part of your new life. Not a part you will ever like, but a part you can tolerate. A part that will simply become the new normal.

    2. Phoenix, I'm soo late in my reply. But I wanted to make sure I said hello, I hear you and you are completely kick ass, even if you don't feel like it some times.
      You've gotten so much good advice here from everyone. I think Elle hit the nail on the head about giving yourself permission to feel the negative feelings. There's so much BS positivity culture out there, telling us that anger, depression, hatred, loneliness are "bad" and we should not let ourselves feel them. That's crap. One of the big lessons I learn and am continuing to learn (from meditation, from my reiki bob) is that when you fight a feeling, it gets bigger, it takes over. Instead, when you have a thought like "I'd like to smash his head between two concrete blocks for doing this to me/us" welcome it. Invite it in. Label it. "Oh, there you are anger. Come on in and have a seat." When I label it, when I make space for that thought to fully form and to sit with how that thought or fantasy makes me feel, it allows me to complete it and then it rises and passes. So if I let myself be angry enough to picture smashing his head between two concrete blocks, I actually feel better and can let the thought go. I'm not actually going to smash anyone's head. But I can recognize that I feel that angry and its OK. When I try to fight it, think "Oh, I shouldn't think something as awful as that." it just gets bigger. It spins in my head until it gets its way.
      I think the same is true for loneliness or depression. Both are legitimate states of being. Both are signs from our bodies and minds and hearts that some rest and reflection is needed. My reiki bob tells me that when these things come up, enjoy them. Doesn't that sound nutty? I really had to think hard about what that meant. But when I get depressed or lonely, I now welcome it as a time to spend one on one with myself, in deep quite and moving slowly. I think for me especially, depression is my heart's way of saying "enough. I need a rest." Unplug, do the minimum. Let the dishes pile up. Look at birds. Listen to music. Depression for me is when beautiful things are most poignant. I only experience that kind of piercing beauty when I'm depressed. it could be something as simple as watching a bee bumble from flower to flower, getting on with life and it is so achingly beautiful in a way that it could not be when I am not sitting under a shadow. So I've learned to see that even depression has something to offer. I hope that makes sense. I've rambled, but more than anything wanted to let you know I'm still here and thinking about you and sending love and support.

    3. SS,
      I've never identified the feelings of depression in that manner before. I thought about myself:
      -at least I'm feeling something, not just numbness
      -music is more moving
      -a kind word to me is magnified
      -the warmth of morning coffee is so comforting
      -the texture of my throw is soothing beneath my fingers
      -the stars and moon are breathtaking
      I will try to consciously think about these things next time I'm feeling low. Thank you!

  13. Phoenix. I'm sorry for the pain you are feeling. I have to post here, as I've been through a separation and at times I still feel separated!!
    I too have had a bad week, with things constantly on my mind and feelings of hatred and resentment to my h. The latest blow. H is taking his mom on an o/s trip. He did mention it to me first that he wanted to take her whilst she's able to - I was not included in this trip, not that I would go with that bitch, but when I said "what?? and what about me?" H said "you can come too". The after thought knowing damn well it would be hard for me to up and leave the kids etc. So here we are trying to heal and he's putting me second again...and that bitch of a MIL of course gladly accepted and never called to see if I would mind etc. Now I know some people would think I'm mean. Stuff them. I've had to put up with so much shit from his parents. I feel so deflated. And to top it off - I've asked for more transparency, especially with h mobile - which he will not give me. Surprise. His answer is he needs some privacy in his life and he's in contact with lots of people during the day and he doesn't want to be scrutinized over every number. No matter what I said and explained that in order for me to trust you again, I need proof. So h reckons he's not in contact with his whore, but then what's he got to hide? Yes. I have had enough, but I have done the math and to leave would be impossible. Totally stuck. I just need your support.
    PS - Despite taking care of myself, keeping busy, work, fitness - my head is in a complete dark jumbled mess. It's just shit.
    Gabby xo

    1. Gabby,
      You're feeling the way you are because the situation is inherently wrong. Don't second-guess your feelings -- they are telling you that this is not okay.
      I remember a pre-marriage course we had to take (my husband was Catholic) and the instructor drawing a triangle on the chalkboard. He then proceeded to make it clear that any marriage that is a triangle (the third person is a parent, a child, an affair partner, work, addiction, etc. etc.) is not going to be healthy. A marriage is between two people and in order for it to remain healthy, it needs to be a priority for those two people.
      Your husband's invitation to his MIL, while it's perfectly understandable that eh wants to spend time with his mother while he can, was disrespectful of you and your role as his wife. This isn't about power. It's about respect. If he had come to you, told you what he wanted to do and why and then asked if you could respect his desire to do this, I suspect you might have (grudgingly) said "fine".
      Or maybe not. Either way, you were not consulted. And that's not okay.
      Are you two in counselling? This is a typical problem in lots of marriages, even those without betrayal. But our goal post-betrayal is to learn how to have a healthy marriage. And that means new behaviours. It means making ourselves uncomfortable as we figure things out.
      But you are not wrong to feel this way.
      If he wants a marriage with you, absence of cheating isn't enough. He needs to be a supportive respectful partner.

    2. Thanks Elle
      I am in IC, h won't go back to MC, even though that was part of the condition of me taking him back, and the transparency with phone etc. was also part of the condition.
      He won't go back to MC as he said he is all about moving forward and not looking back. I know he is being disrespectful and just basically and absolute arse hole, and I know I can't make him go. So as I've said below to Sam A - I now am about to start putting into place things that will enable me to get on with life with me and my kids without him. that may take a year, or so, but hoping I can ride it out that long and in between just tune off of him and concentrate on me and my happiness. It's obvious him not wanting to be transparent is - he still has shit he's hiding. He just doesn't know how to be a decent person anymore. It's obvious he's not wanting to heal this marriage and the more I look at him the more I want to vomit and smash his ugly smug face!!! (sorry - just had to let that out)
      Gabby xo

    3. Gabby,
      I also want to smash his ugly smug face on your behalf. I get so sick of the "don't look back" bullshit, the "we can't live in the past" nonsense. It's nothing more than evading responsibility for the damage he's caused. Imagine telling that to someone you hit with your car. "You can't live in the past." "You need to focus on the future." So I won't be paying for your therapy or your new legs or in any way taking responsibility for what I did.
      You're right. You can't make him go. But you can put in place consequences for not going. I'm glad you're moving forward without him. I hope you've spoken with a lawyer to determine how to ensure he doesn't drain your finances or hide anything else from you. It would be wise to draw up something of an exit plan so that when you're ready to leave, you're in the best shape possible, emotionally, physically and financially.

    4. Hi Elle
      What consequences would you suggest for not going to counselling?
      Depending on what consequences, I know how he'll react, and I'm now trying to bide a bit of time to get some finances and me in place for an exit plan.
      Gabby xo

    5. Hi Gaby, I am angry on your behalf. If a H cheated and wants to stay married he has to give up his privacy (even though that must feel like they are being treated like a child too bad). Let him know he has to give you access to his phone and to go to MC because both are your requirements of reconciliation. My H IS doing those things and even with that I still struggle with whether or not I want to stay in this marriage. I have MIL issues too (I think you & I have commiserated about them before). I can tell you if my H did that he should be worried that I would be using the time he was away with MIL to meet with my attorney...

    6. Phoenix, you are so strong. Does your attorney know that H squandered the kids college funds? I think I would be using that important fact in a custody hearing. Is it possible that your H created a silver lining for you? That his irresponsibility regarding their education can give you more legal control over how much time the kids spend with the skank?

    7. You get to set whatever consequences feel right for you. If staying in the marriage was reliant on him agreeing to go to counselling with you, then perhaps he moves out until he's willing to reconsider. Or perhaps he sleeps on the couch. It's not so much the specific consequences as the inevitability of them, the setting of boundaries. And of course, he's going to react. We've talked a lot on this site about counter-moves. See if you can google some posts. Whenever we set boundaries -- especially when we haven't historically done that, or we've been wimpy about it -- we will get counter-moves. Counter moves are designed to get you to back down. They might include cries of "but that's not fair" or arguments about false equivalence ("well I would never demand you give up your privacy"). They might include anger/aggression -- door slamming, name-calling, etc. They might include sulking or pouting. You likely know which counter move your husband favours because he's probably been doing it for years, every time he doesn't like what he's being asked to do or not do. So brace yourself for it. Then...set your boundary/expectation and don't back down when he responds with a counter move. "I cannot stay in this marriage if you won't agree to see a counsellor with me so we can learn how to heal from your infidelity and how to communicate in a healthy way going forward." Don't listen to his excuses, his arguments, his rationale, his pouting, or whatever. Try and remain detached while he rants and rails. And then repeat. "We need to learn how to have a healthy marriage and to move past the betrayal in a way that helps us heal. If you refuse to do that, then I cannot stay in this marriage/sleep in the same bed with you/whatever consequence you decide." And He's deliver up a whole bunch more counter moves. Let him exhaust himself. Walk away if necessary. Go for a walk. Whatever you need. But do not back down. Decide in advance what is absolutely non-negotiable for you and then state it calmly and confidently.
      he wants you to forgive a devastating betrayal. You are simply asking him to join you in learning how to deal with it and how to have a healthy marriage. That's it. If he won't do that, he is showing you what your future with him looks like. And it looks a whole lot like the past.
      Hang in there, Gabby.

    8. Gabby, a little post of support. I know you are stuck financially right now. But keep focused on your escape route. Work toward that goal of independence and also keep your eyes peeled for the unexpected. I've found in the last year plus, that good or fortuitous things happened just when I needed them. I don't think it is magic. I think it is all about mindset. So when you look for good things or opportunities, we tend to see them.
      The whole counter moves thing is spot on. And I really had to fight to stick to my guns when it came to boundaries with my ex and his mum. Its hard and people don't like it when we aren't our old docile and compliant selves. You go Gabby! I'm so proud of you!

  14. Phoenix, I am sorry for your pain. The money that is gone for your kids education is not worth the cost you are paying personally. There is an old saying that continues to pop up in my head when I obsess about money related things. My mother taught me this before she died. "If money can fix it, it isn't a problem. All the money in the world won't cure my cancer and I am going to die. I am happy that I got to see my newest grandson before I die." If your kids want to go to college they, with your help, will find a way. Please do not destroy your soul and your essence by wallowing in something you have no control over. I know this is easy for me to say but believe me, I've been dirt poor. I've had money. Having money did not protect me from my husband's behavior. Sometimes we just have to start over again and again and again. Life is not fair. You do not have to be strong. It is ok to feel angry and sad but it is only hurting you and your ability to move forward. I'm finally learning this truth. My husband has a friend who was divorced years ago and the friend's son received many thousands of dollars for his Bar Mitzvah which was earmarked for college. When it came time for college, the son found out that his own mother had raided that college fund and spent every penny. That son is now an attorney. His father helped him get loans. Oh, and that son still has a good relationship with his mother. The Dad still harbors resentment and hate for his ex-wife. It is sad. You deserve so much better. Like the truth about infidelity, you did not deserve what you got and your kids don't deserve this either. Just take it one day at a time. You deserve the sun, moon and stars. Sending them your way in hopes that you catch one or two.

  15. Oh Dear Phoenix! Take a breath and know we are with you, know your pain and rage and how terribly unfair and hard life can be. I know it is so hard and you have a lot of responsibility, but please think of self care and set aside some time for yourself. Try journaling as place to let out your anger or so something physical,
    Kick boxing;) or walking, gardening anything really. For me mindfulness meditation was a life saver for both pain and anger!!! I think I remember you are Christian, (right?) so am I and i really love meditation. Also the Christian approach of contemplative prayer is really peaceful. Also, are you seeing a therapist or anyone? For me my therapist has been a life saver.

    Your H has made so many aweful choices that have been painful and unfair to you - I'm sorry and wish I could kick his butt and garnish his paycheck to repay the college fund. Grrrrr.

    I know the road often seems long and lonely and many times, I have thought oh.... I'm over that or this... only to have things recycle. I have to remind myself healing does take time and little by little with an open heart and staying present healing will come. Love yourself, love your girls and your mom. We are with you.

    Love and support

  16. Gabby it's time to take back control of this situation, you are in the drivers seat and you get to choose your next turning. Sounds like a serious conversation needs to be had, tell him what you need and if he doesn't comply he will have to face the consequences whatever they maybe. I know your h moved out for a while gabby does he still have a place elsewhere? If not use this time and space whilst he's away with his mum to think about what you want from him upon his return. I worry your resentment and anger will only end up hurting you. Take some time out for yourself consider your options. Lots to think about gabby. P.s I have a bitch mil . Wonder if there is any connection between bitch mil and damaged sons .. I'm thinking definetly .. take care gabby sending you love xxx

  17. Phoenix, I totally understand the obsession. I don't get depressed per say, although I can feel a bit down and damn do i OBSESS. that for me, is the worst feeling in the world. It wastes all my time. My H REALLY seems to be on the right track. He even goes to therapy alone now which is a miracle. I never thought this day would come. But I obsess--is he finally going because he is contemplating or has had some sort of setback which he has not told me about? i cannot see how he possibly could. Timewise, back before d-day number 1 I thought there was absolutely NO chance he could do this. we both mostly work at home and when I am gone, well there's just not enough time to tend to an affair. Little did i know that he was into hookers--UGH. took no time at all...and they never call the house. So I wonder if he could possibly be doing this again when I am not around or not looking. My biggest problem now is obsessing. I can't stand the thought of him pulling one over on me again. Even though he shows NO signs, I wonder. and I wonder when I will stop this crap.

    And Gabby? That is just BS on your husbands part. Mine too had a thing at the start that he had no privacy, and that he had an e-mail set up for his sponsor and just for himself. It was later I found that THAT was the e-mail address he gave his most ardent whore, who has never written.
    The reality is, there are ALWAYS ways for them to hide it. I have full access to my H's phone and I am embarrassed when I feel the need to look at it. But every now and then I do. The reality again, is that he might have a throwaway phone, but if he does, I want this to be as HARD as possible for him. I don't want him to be able to pay through paypal or his bank account, I want him to physically need to crawl under the radar to pay for it. If he ever starts up again, it will be the hardest thing he's ever done. and I hope it hurts. but it would not hurt as bad as if I kicked his butt out of the house. This time i would not even send him a follow up text to tell him to eff off. lol Becky, any shrink I am sure, would back you up. So will we.

  18. Thanks Sam A
    Yes I know I have to take control of this situation. For me that's easier said than done. I hate confrontations - (even when I am right), and at times when i have confronted h, he talks me down and gets angry etc (narcissistic traits), and his refusal to see my pain and be accountable when I've questioned him many times, have just made me give up until it boils over again. But, I have decided to go to a new IC, even if h doesn't want to go to MC. My new IC is great, and like others that I have seen, have told me, with H unwilling to do any work on the marriage, our marriage is doomed. I suppose it's really what I have known, just not wanting to admit, not wanting to throw away 30 years, but I can't do this on my own. I'll be going to my IC and working on me, and I suppose I now have to seriously start to make plans in the future for a life with just me and the kids - even if that's a year away by the time I start to sort things out. Hurting like hell, but I see no other option. I don't ever know if I'll get over the anger and resentment towards him and his pathetic cowardly ways and betrayals. Only time will tell. So I'll just put more effort into things and people that treat me with respect and give me enjoyment. H and his "mommy" aren't going until later in the year. I wonder if Elle or anyone else can share any insight and experiences into h and their toxic parents/ mothers - that still rely on their kids financially and MIL who ignore and disrespect us daughters in laws. How are you going Sam A? thinking of you often and wishing you all hugs and happiness
    Gabby xo

    1. Hi Gabby

      I have felt so similar, my H also has a lot of narcissism qualities and it took me a long time to really see them for what they were and it hurt so so much. His complete unwillingness to hold my pain, be accountable, and be connected to what was actually happening was so heartbreaking to me. It took almost 1 yr of weekly therapy for me to really see more clearly, come to terms with his unwillingness to do the work, and fully truly know I deserve better and can build my own better life. And yes it did and does hurt like hell,but it is a pain that will eventually bring you where you need to be. I know it is aweful but stay in the pain even if your H won't.

      It also took me a while because I was doing a lot of work to honor my 15 year marriage and not "throw it away". Eventually I knew that I did and was honoring my marriage very meaningfully, but my H just wasn't and it takes 2 to have the type of relationship I want and deserve.

      Things are pretty hard right now with his accident and things for me got a bit side tracked, which I have been pretty mad about at times! I hate it when life is so unfair. But I have not lost sight of how I want to live my life. Even though, I'll spend some weeks giving my h suppprt. Also very sadly so far it does not seem like even this accident is going to push him into embracing the work.

      Hang in there Gabby focus on you, stay with the hard things and the joyful things. We love you and support you.

  19. Sounds like a plan Gabby, taking care of yourself can only ever be a good thing.. as for me I'm ok thanks, I've gone of the idea of having another child think it was a flying thought but reality is very different you guys were right when you said it's probably not the right time I can see that now and I totally agree.. I'm in the process of changing my job instead which is still very challenging as I've been in the same job for 8 years do interviews and filling out applications can be extremely nerve wrecking but it's the kind of adrenaline rush I need, I really think I lost a lot of my confidence the last few years that 'no fear' Sam seems to be fearful of everything and I hate that.. I was reading an article the other day about seeing the world through our children's eyes they have no fear, take risks and see life through innocent eyes I want some of that back in my life hence the job change think it will be a good start. Me and h getting on ok, he's still sleeping on the couch which is totally working fine with me. We've had some time on our own recently which I really enjoyed.. the affair seems a distant memory some days don't even think about it until he pisses me of. But I think we can both diffuse the situation better now, I don't go back to the affair like I used to it was draining and of no help whatsoever.. we're going away with the kids this coming weekend I'm just hoping for an easy relaxing family holiday but that never happens with a moody teenager and a h that doesn't know how to handle him can be a bit of a nightmare. I may have to book in some me time when we return lol.. I'm positive about life at the moment just because I'm putting me and my needs first for a change.. wish me luck I've got an interview tomorrow I'm seriously nervous .. I'll let you guys know how I get on .. sorry for the very long update : ) lots a love xxx

    1. Sam A - thinking of you and sending you all the best of luck for this job change interview.
      Sending love to you across the miles

      (just getting a bit emotional at all the genuine caring love here from you all)
      Gabby xo

    2. Sam A, Buy your husband the book about teenagers called "Mom and Dad, get out of my life but first can you drive me and Cheryl to the Mall" or something like that. Buy a guy with last name Wolfe. It's fantastic. It's hilarious. And it does an incredible job of reminding us parents not to take ANYTHING that teenagers say and do personally. You might want to read it to each other. It's hilarious. And it will really help.
      Congratulations on the job interview. Whatever happens, I hope you'll give yourself a ton of credit for just putting yourself out there. That's huge. I'm always so proud of my kids for taking chances, more than if it's easy for them and they succeed. I admire people who have the courage to just try, especially when they've taken such a beating from betrayal.
      Yay you, Sam A. Keep us posted.

  20. Gabby, I hate that you are stuck in such a difficult situation. But I am so proud that you are taking every positive step you can to take care of yourself. We do support you. You deserve to be put first by your husband. He clearly does not understand, and does not want to understand, what you need to heal from the trauma that he has inflicted.
    I understand so well the darkness, the anger and despair. We make such firm resolutions and reason things out so well, but sometimes those negative emotions are just overwhelming. We have such ups and downs.
    Sam, I am so impressed with you! You are boldly taking action to make positive changes in your life. You are amazing!!

  21. Thank you, friends. Your words mean so much to me. Hugs!!!

  22. Cheers guys .. your words are so touching.. interview went great .. just waiting on a response I'll let you know .. eeeek hate waiting: )

    1. No matter what, Sam A, I hope you can see this as a victory. It takes guts to put yourself out there, all the more when you've had such a blow to recover from.

  23. I got the job : ) a great boost to my confidence.. xxx

    1. Ignore my comment above. Or rather, add to it my congratulations. I'm so thrilled for you. Yay you!!!!

    2. Sam A!!! Yes. Congratulations!!! So happy for you!!


    3. Sam A, way to go! Embracing change and moving forward! Congrats!

    4. YEAH!!!!!!!!!!!
      I am so happy for you Sam A.
      Gabby xxxxxxxxxxxoooooooooooo

    5. Well done, Sam A!

    6. I love when one of you shares something we can all celebrate - congratulations Sam A!

    7. Congrats Sam A!!! fantastic!

  24. Thank you lovely ladies.. I am chuffed : ) xxx

    1. I'm so happy for you! You'll rock this new job!!

    2. "chuffed" OMG I haven't heard that for ages. My nana used to say this all the time!

  25. I feel so blessed to be part of this supportive group. Thank you from the bottom of my heart..

    We've just returned from a long weekend away with the kids.. we had some testing times but I knew we would. Spending every minute of every day together was tough going. One night he said something that hurt me and I had to walk out and go for a coffee to calm down. We didn't discuss it but I feel that lately this is becoming more common he makes flippant remarks about my family, my job anything he can think of and I'm getting fed up. I saw his vulnerabilities laid bare whilst we were away his insecurities, his immaturity, his neediness etc and I watched from afar and thought to myself can I really be with this man long term.. my answer is probably not. We returned home yesterday and as I was reading an article in the paper I saw that they were looking for extras for this Bollywood movie coming to my home town me being methought it would be an excellent opportunity my h didn't share my enthusiasm to which I just responded by telling him how miserable and negative he wAs a reflection of how shit he must feel
    About himself . Anyhow I filled in
    The form and have a casting on the weekend which I was thrilled about I told him and again he just dampened my spirits .. I'm going ahead as I'll never stop doing anything because of his insecurities it's my life and I'm going to live it I'm not hurting anyone. He's just giving me so much ammunition to shoot him down at the minute.. I'm guessing he's very insecure about me changing jobs and now this, he's seeing me out myself first and clearly can't deal with it. I'm
    Not sure what we do from here to be honest the more he pushed the more I will pull it's who I am never one to listen to negative people. I'm wondering if we really are very different people with different lives that can't meet in the middle..we will see but I'll let you know how I get on with my casting lol so excited about that.. as for him well he will just have to revel in his own insecurity .. he needs help .. xxx

    1. Sam, I am late to the party, but congratulations on your new job! I am so happy for you!
      Most of these men who lie and betray do have deep insecurities. Sometimes they hide it well. I knew my ex had insecurities, but I was stunned when I realized the depth of them. I will never understand where it comes from. But like you, I've gotten better at recognizing it.
      Yesterday would have been my 19th wedding anniversary. I was melancholy much off the day. My ex texted the night before to tell me that he was going to spend the night and day drunk, and I'd be better off to block him for 24 hours. Then this morning he called and told me he loved me. I don't know truth from emotional manipulation anymore, so I don't even try to distinguish. I just know that, until he restores the college money to the kids, I will never trust him.
      Today is the one year anniversary of the divorce. I don't think he realized that.
      By this afternoon, he was himself again, and we had a very pleasant conversation about child-related isssues.
      I accepted that the skank might be at the party he throws for my daughter, with her kids, and may give a present. I requested that she NOT help plan the party in any way - no skank-made cake or decorations - and vetoed the idea of the skank taking my daughter for a manicure. Hell to the No. Maybe by next birthday I'll be further along. My ex said he would respect my wishes.
      Ex still has not told my beloved in-laws that they have a grandson (he is so disfunctional), but it is coming soon now. I think that will be my next big hurdle.
      Hugs and kisses to all of y'all - hoping you will find joy and strength for the daily challenges you face.

    2. Sounds like you are blossoming Sam A, coming alive and doing a whole lot of reconnecting with yourself and it is making your h supremely uncomfortable. The dysfunctional people in our lives don't like it when we step out of our normal roles. (Note Elle's post above about boundaries and counter moves).
      Absolutely live your best life. He'll either show up or he won't, but you will be great regardless. Sometimes, we outgrow people because we change and they can't or simply won't. Sounds like your h has a lot of growing up to do. Being around someone who is insecure and needs you to bolster his ego can be exhausting and just bad boundaries.
      I can't wait to hear how your casting call goes. Kick some booty!

    3. Sam A,
      Good job doing some 'just you' things! June 21, 2010 'myth of the soul mate' in these blog archives is one I re-read often. It motivates me to start and continue my 'just me' activities. I try to shift my thoughts from 'all that stuff in my life I don't like' to how much I like my new 'me'activities and praise myself a bit for my progress, etc.. Sounds a bit self-bloating but, hey, we can sure self-demolish so why not build ourselves up? Yes, keep us posted on casting. Eek, sounds fun!

  26. Thanks Phoenix and still standing I appreciate your wisdom and kind words .. you lovely ladies here at btw really are the best xxx

  27. Thank you truth .. your absolutely right xxx

  28. Hi all, been a while. Here's the update. Divorce stuff all signed, should be final at the end of Sept. Part of me is thinking yes! And part of me is still just like wow this wasn't supposed to be my story.
    I've been dating a really sweet man, so far so good. Taking it slow and just letting it unfold. He's considerate and thoughtful and affectionate. I have to remind myself that I can accept kindness without owing something or paying a price. It's been so nice
    So nice to be seen and valued as I am. But unexpectedly, my daughter is scared I'm going to fall in love and leave her or not want her anymore. She's actually told me she's jealous. I'm so grateful she's talking to me about how she is feeling. I've tried to be mindful about not spending too much time with my new guy vs being at home, try to time my absence with their time with their dad. And they only know I'm seeing someone. No I introductions, as it is waaaaay to soon. But I think her fear goes deeper. Abd at the root of it is the reality of her father leaving for the ow and my own deep fear of abandonment from my own childhood. Yikes. You try to do the best you can and you still pass on the crazy. Part of me us like dammit can I not have one thing that is easy and everyone is ok with it? The inner five year old has a tantrum. ... Tired.
    Add on to that my suspicion that my ex is talking to the ow again (why I should give two shits I don't know but I am still pissed about it) and this suspicion is confirmed by my daughter. Apparently her dad felt the need to tell her that they were "talking" again , not dating or anything, just talking (as if anyone believes that bullshit) because there's no one else he can tell. More of the same shit. I got such a bad feeling. I fucking hate him. For hurting our daughter with this again and for hurting g me and for being so pathetically weak. And her, just ew. If I have to share my children's future lives with this bitch there will be hell to pay. Why can't she just stay buried?
    Meanwhile, with a child going off to college, money is getting tighter. I know I can handle it, I'm just tired if handling it.
    I need a hug. Tell me what an idiot I'm divorcing. Tell me the best way to handle the ow showing up in my life is with dignity and spitting in her food when no one is looking. And maybe mailing her a bag of dog shit. And that I'm allowed to have someone nice in my life.
    Thanks friends. So glad to have you when I'm feeling low. It's rare these days but the ow and my ex are such triggers. What a matching pair of entitled asshats . Sorry for all the swearing. It makes me feel better.

    1. Still Standing,

      First of all, you are inspirational.

      You ARE divorcing an idiot - and what a prize the ow will get in your STBX - just think about it in that framework. When you are required to be around him/them because of the kids you will take the high road - you will always look great and be a great parent, and when you are ready let them see an amazing man treat you well which will be healthy revenge. I am right there with you -- I think I would rehearse a well placed snarky comment to the ow when no one else is around. Swear all you want on here as far as I'm concerned and no need to apologize!

    2. So, I'm responding to my own post because I am actually bouncing back pretty quickly and had a really important insight (signs that I am a healing person and really trying to own my "stuff"). So Saturday I had literally 10 hours in the car driving to the vacation spot in Maine. Lots of time to think and reflect and look at scenery and do some driving meditations.
      So item 1: why am I letting myself be afraid of this stupid, broken entitled girl? (i.e. the OW). I am so much more powerful than her. Remember when I started to feel sorry for her? I still feel sorry for her. She is broke AF. She's "talking" to an broken, emotionally unavailable man who has lied to her about so many thing already and with whom she is going to repeat the sad "not enough" stories about herself that she learned from her absent dad. Tragic. I want to tell her to run. Run!!! Don't break yourself over this man, you deserve better. And also, I am stronger than her. She is going to need to be afraid of me. If she ends up in my life, I will probably end up laughing in her face, because they both are their own "reward."
      Item 2: My ex "talking" to the OW again is a start reminder to me of why I left. It is a validation. This is the big realization. This would have been dday #3. I have zero doubt in my mind, that together or not, he would be "talking" to her again right now. Us being together was no barrier in the past, and it wouldn't have been now. And I would have been experiencing all the trauma of betrayal again, only worse because I would have been trying so hard to be the perfect wife worth staying for. So. I am reminded that I made the right choice by leaving. Because he's weak and he sucks and he doesn't know how to do anything other than medicate with alcohol and human bodies.
      So. They can have each other. They are karma for each other. Even if they marry and stay together until he's old (not too far from now), they will always be a bottomless pit of not enough for each other. But maybe their co-dependent will find a balance. Good fucking luck with that.
      You can hear how mixed I am about this. But mostly what I know is that I would have survived dday three, but I'm so grateful to myself for making choices that make it so I don't have to. I'm so much better off without him.
      What's a bummer is that I was actually starting to soften toward him, feel some forgiveness, maybe even believe he was on the road to being a better person. Now I just need to work on accepting that he may never and that I can minimize how much he and his chippy are in my life. My kids will have my support and love regardless of the relationship they ave with their dad and his "girlfriend."
      In short, the idiot I'm divorcing would have just been putting me through dday three and I'm glad I'm not around to participate.
      I'm glad to get this off my chest and get on with vacation (two weeks at a beautiful lake in the mountains btw. Those of you following along at home may recall that I spent a week her last year in August, during the first week of separation. Its a good spot for healing.)
      And the OW? Whatevs. She needs to be afraid of me. I'll wish her good luck with the mess she's signing up for.
      And for you all? Much love. Thanks for being here. Thanks for being people I can count on in the trenches of my dark days.
      On a brighter note, my new guy is clearly missing me and Ok with showing it. Wow. How low had my standards gotten that a person who shows his feelings is super refreshing? Also he's got a cute butt and a great smile. ;)

    3. Still standing
      Yes in my book you're divorcing a real idiot and I'm sending you a virtual hug! I'm sure when the time comes that you're having to be around your x and the scum bag, you will model dignity for your daughter! I'm sure it's going to be tough but from what I've come to know about you from this blog, is that you value teaching her morals and you're doing a great job of it! I also find swearing to be soothing! I pair my weed digging with all my good ones and I'm cutting out the pain of the past! Yep you're right they are a couple of entitled assholes! Hugs!

  29. Hi SS
    So good to hear from you. No need to apologize here for anything! Let it out here. I wish I was close to you so I could give you a hug, go out for dinner. a movie - just to get your mind off all this. You have a friend in me, albeit miles away, but I really think of you often, as you have been such a strength and inspiration to me - I just wanted you to know that. Our kids. My h doesn't realise what he did how it affects the kids. Yes idiot husband. We are a family and yes you betrayed them too by putting their family life, security in jeopardy all for your own selfish needs. (they still don't know he's betrayed me. I'll tell them when they reach adult age). I feel so much for your daughter. When I started going out with girlfriends (other mums) when we separated, the kids reacted differently to previous times when I went out with them. I know it's a bit different now you are dating, but I just said to my kids - "you have your time going out with your friends - that's all I'm doing, having time with my friends, and I'll be home as usual" and I always came home at a reasonable hour. At least they had one parent to be the parent and they could depend on! Is your daughter dating, or going out with girlfriends? Maybe try an approach like what I just described? She has every right to feel insecure and unsure but you sound like you have a good relationship with her and are such a switched on mum, just keep reassuring her, maybe if out on a date, text a couple of times to let her know that you are thinking of her etc. Can you make some time just with you and your daughter? I suppose kids just want to know they are still special to you and you are thinking of them. So back to your dating. It must be nice to have someone paying you some attention and being sweet. Enjoy. You deserve it and as for your idiot husband - what a fool to let you go. It's hard not to feel angry because it is still so raw and new and not how we wanted this to be. My husbands been back since Jan this year, and I have so many mixed feelings going through me at the moment. I think Beach Girl was having a bad time with mixed feelings too. My h refuses to go to counselling or be transparent. He's just such an arsehole - but would I feel different if he was working on our marriage? I honestly don't know. I am really, really hating him at the moment. He is so full of shit. But I'm slowly getting myself together because I can not live with him for the rest of my life with him the way he is. So SS. I applaud you for finding someone else and dating slowly. Heck why shouldn't you? Your idiot ex can't see how wonderful you are - glad someone else can. As for your husbands OW. I hate her too. And I'll spare a piece of karma I want dished up to my husbands whore all for your husbands OW.
    SS. Don't forget to look after yourself as you are going through this shitty time and feeling tired of it all. Breathe, take a bath with music and watch a comedy with the kids. TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF.
    Big Hugs to you
    Gabby xo

  30. Still standing you made me smile with your post.. great to hear your doing well and hey congrats on the new man.. sounds like he is exactly what you need. Let your h soon to be ex continue to dig that grave you my dear have much better fish to fry : ) .. he's going backwards whilst your pushing forward, my guess is you will be mighty fine him on the other hand will stay flat on his face .. forget his antics .. over the head ss, as for the ow she not worth the shit, spit or anything else for that matter.

    Continue communicating with your daughter, like you said she's feeling a little confused, she will soon be of having her own little life which means you must have yours too.. keep us posted ss keep them spirits high . Good things are happening .. lots of love xx

  31. Thanks everyone, for the kind words and hugs and being here with me. It's funny but 'inspirational" is not one of the adjectives I'd choose to describe myself (funny and winsome, caring, probably) but you know what BrownEyed Girl? I'll take it. Every one of us on here is inspirational. Everyone who writes, everyone who reads, everyone who is out here surviving and (eventually) thriving, showing up, making it through day by day or minute by minute. I have been inspired by everyone here, so I guess I get to include my self in that too. Thanks for that BEG.
    Theresa, I admire your kindness so much. I'm not always responding to all the posts, especially from the new arrivals, but I can see you do that, without fail. What a gigantic heart you have. I hope the people in your "real" life see that in you. Thanks for validating my feelings.
    Gabby! Thank you for the good advice. Drawing a parallel with her own very active social life (and the tremendous trust and freedom I extend to her - because she deserves it, because she has done nothing to show me she can't handle it) may help her see that I can care about new people and it not be a threat to how much I care about her. I may even need to go back to Love 101 and try to help her understand that love, when it is healthy, only multiplies, it doesn't subtract. And let's be real, I care about this guy but I'm not "in love" with him. That takes time. And I can be mindful of making sure she knows she and her brother are still top of the heap for me. For her, its me being emotionally available, and being present and not distracted when we are spending time together. And, letting her have her teen angst when it rears its head. And Gabby thanks for throwing some karma juju at the OW. I honestly think she's got that piled up in spades. So effed up. I know her (in a weird emotional way), I understand how broken you can feel when you aren't sure that you matter because the people who raised you never gave you that. And in my best moments, I feel a great deal of compassion for her. She's got all the karma she can handle and then some. I just also want her to go away. And I recognize that this is beyond my control and I am trying not to waste any more energy fretting about it. And I took a bath last night - good advice. Thanks Gabby.
    Sam A. How I love your sometimes magical turns of phrase. You summed up two important things for me. One that my ex is stuck, not moving, doing the same old, while I am moving forward. I forget sometimes, how far I've come. Thanks for the reminder. Two is this beautiful line of poetry: "As for the OW, she is not worth the shit, the spit or anything else for that matter." Brilliant!
    Good things are happening! I am on vacation at a beautiful lake with my kids and their friends. There are birds and little red squirrels. Its quiet and so, so peaceful. It settles everything. I can spend all day on and in the water. Things are moving. I have happy ideas and excitement for when its time to sell my house in a few years. I know that I will have someone in my life who values me, however romance turns out, because I value me. Wow. Not saying I'm not afraid sometimes. I am. Even wit this new guy. But now I can recognize when it is "old stuff" afraid vs "clues from the present moment" afraid. I don't even wish to be braver anymore. I'm as brave as I need to be. it helps, its easier to be brave, when you have a circle of shining bright sisters holding you up. xxxooo

    1. Still Standing, I'm a little late to reading all of the new posts but I love what everyone has said. You just keep your eyes focused on the future and all the wonderful things you get to do that are new and fun. Old scars are just proof of your strength. If you happen to see a Wonder Woman cape that fits, please buy it to remind yourself that you belong to this wonderful club of other Wonder Women! My best to you, now and forever.

  32. I don't know the first step to take for looking into a divorce but I think it's time to start. I'm just more than 2 years post d-day and I still think divorce is what I need. I can't stay focused on the two of us staying together. I can't find the positive in it. I have lost respect for him and now even the little things about him make me angry. I don't have the patience or tolerance any more. When we go a week without sex I automatically assume it's because he's found someone new. I've talked to him repeatedly about my desire for more sex and to stay connected. He always SAYS the right things but his actions do not back up his words. Where do I start? ~ Lost in Reality

    1. Anonymous, in my state, the courts and many attorney's are big on peaceful divorce, especially if you have kids. Look online for family law attorneys where you live and see if you can make appointments to sit down for a "free" consultation. Most of our local attorney's give at least 30 minutes free. Has counseling helped at all? Maybe it has clarified your need to divorce?

    2. Anon there is absolutely no harm in checking out divorce procedures if that is what you really want, is there any chance you could have a trial separation? The fact that everything he does makes you angry tells me a separation might be needed to give you the space and time to think about your future clearly. If it's not possible for him to move out of the house immediately then maybe a separate bedroom or in the couch for him as that will still give you some breathing space. Counselling for you is another option talk through your worries and fears, we all have them
      Following betrayal, finding ways to work those fears are vital for moving forward. Taking care of you is another necessity, divert your attention from him and concentrate on you, meet a friend, do something fun, challenge yourself anything to make you feel good inside. This is his problem not yours you are enough and always have been. Please remember that at all times .. take care and let us know how you get on xxx

    3. Two years of counseling - individual and couples. He won't delve into his past - won't explore why he did it. He just says he won't do it again and he's not going to relive the past. I'm frustrated and concerned about his firm decision to not "go there" in his head. Instead we only counsel on how to communicate better. I don't think that's enough to make us whole. Thank you for the info on the free consultation. I'll look into it. ~ Lost in Reality

  33. I need some virtual support please,sisters. After a year of humming and hawing, including (2 months ago) a strong emotional plea for us to try again, my h has just told me now that he wants us to separate and he doesn't see any point in going to couple's counselling (we went to one session, where he said he wasn't sure if he wanted to be with me or not).

    I am so sad. I know that I cannot live with him the way he is right now (selfish, moody, navel-gazing, with zero empathy or imagination) but I feel so upset and hurt that he wants to discard me and our 10-year relationship without even TRYING to figure out what went wrong.

    He broke up with the ow 2 months ago and has planned a mountain vacation alone for next week. This week he is with us, spending quality time with our 2-year-old.

    I know I should have seen it coming, but I feel in shock.

    I feel stronger and wiser than him. I think he has no idea of the effects this separation could have on us, our child and our extended families. Grief is filling me.

    Any support would be really welcome. I feel very sad and disappointed.

    1. I totally understand why you would be sad and disappointed Selkie, maybe this is him being honest with you, he doesn't want to go to counselling a clear indicator that he doesn't want to get the help he needs, you say he finished with the ow 2 months ago that's fairly recent I'm guessing he's still caught up in the affair fog and can't make up his mind which way he wants to go. Selkie you must be strong right now for you and your child, you must take control of this situation and start calling the shots, don't sit around waiting for him to dictate what he does/ doesn't want that should be your decision. Selkie if he hasn't left the house already I'd ask him to go, why drag this out any longer than needed, you can both make arrangements for him to see his child. This is gonna hurt like hell Selkie but you have to be confident that you will get through this and come out the other side in a much better place. Make sure you surround yourself with friends and family to help you through, don't be afraid to ask for help. You will be just fine Selkie. Keep us posted .. sending you strength right now xx

    2. Selkie, I'm sending you a big virtual hug. It's times like these when we sometimes just need an empathetic friend to sit with us and hold us. You ARE strong & wise and you're putting your focus into your toddler. Take control of the situation as best you can - maybe YOU file the separation? Be good to yourself.

    3. Dear Selkie,
      I am very sorry for this sadness you are going through. Remember YOU ARE NOT ALONE, all your bwc friends are here with you. I understand disappointment and fear of what the future holds. You are strong enough, resilient enough, YOU ARE ENOUGH! Hang in there. Try to find comfort in anything beautiful your eyes can focus on. I told myself many, many times 'the sun always rises and it is beautiful'. Sometimes I was chanting it in the dark.
      Sending you love and hugs. Keep us posted as you feel to.

    4. Thank you Sam A, Brown Eyed Girl and Truth. Your thoughts and support really do help.

      I moved country to be with my h, but I do have good friends there. I'm currently in my home country on vacation & seeing my family (my h just came over this week to spend time with our daughter).

      Even though my family are great, don't want to move back here without some kind of plan (work, childcare, accommodation etc). I want to come back in a position of strength.

      I'm planning to go back to his country and use the next few months to get my ideas together and maybe get some clarity with my h (or not). At least our daughter will have her familiar minder. I will go to my regular job and start looking for another one in my own country.

      It is sickening and I do feel frustrated with myself for not "ripping the Band-Aid off".

      This is the best I can think of for now.

  34. PART 1 of 2: Anonymous, I applaud your decision to move forward and staying true to your boundaries. Two years of hoping and waiting for someone to change is DEVASTATING AND EMOTIONALLY EXHAUSTING. Therapy can’t fix all of us couples broken by an affair, but it definitely can’t work if one isn’t even willing to participate. You should feel strong and proud that you are staying true to what you need from him and holding him accountable to those needs. If he can’t meet them, get your walking (or running!) shoes on and head down your new path and see what new great things life has in store for you.
    I’m in a similar situation as far as facing divorce. My H refused therapy at first and then finally caved and went through the motions. I was so full of hope. I’m embarrassed to admit I have even posted here about how you can make it through after infidelity. However, things really weren’t changing. After years of stagnation, he’s finally admitted that he has only stayed because of my threats to turn our children against him. My kids have witnessed so many horrible fights that they figured it out and I’ve said some horrible things during some of my rages – but they were all based in the truth. He’s also admitted that he tried, but he will never have those romantic love feelings for me again. I do believe he’s sorry for all the pain, he’s overcome with guilt, etc… But I do believe he’s also sorry that he didn’t leave before moving on because now he’s not free to out of “respect” for me. It’s all so weird – I can’t say we are friends, but the pain and anger towards each other is gone. We are both sick of the fighting and resigned to the fact that we will never be together in that manner again.
    The last D-Day was over four years ago (I suspect there is much in that time that I don’t know, though), but he only fully moved out about six months ago. I sadly admit that we are all happier. I didn’t want to be. He’s not coming back, this I know. I don’t even want him back, this I know. I have even dated. However, I have refused to file and he won’t until I am okay with it. I need help as my fear in not filing is mostly based in the fear that once I do, he’ll end up with her. It’s not talked about much on here other than in Phoenix’s (who is a STRONG ASS TROOPER – SO MUCH RESPECT!!) story – but what have others done when he’s ended up with her? With him having moved out, I’m back to being obsessed if he’s talking to her, are they secretly seeing each other, etc… I have regressed horribly in that manner. I have no way of knowing. It’s consuming me again and I hate it. I just want to be free of this.

  35. This comment has been removed by the author.

  36. My comment was too long, so I had to break into 2 parts and mistakenly posted PART 1 OF 2 twice!! Here's PART 2 OF 2!

    PART 2 OF 2: He admitted to me previously that he loved her. She loved him. I read many messages – hell, I would have worshipped him too if I were her because he was this incredible man to her that he’s not capable of being with me. I’m past blaming myself – this is all on him. There were multiple D-Days and my last contact with her was that she would stay away and allow us our chance to reconcile (she was also grossly misled about the situation after the first D-day – which is in NO WAY an excuse on her behalf, I’m just being honest that he wasn’t honest with either of us.) I believe they believe their love is real. Maybe it is, who the f*ck knows?
    I’ve made it clear to him that we can be friends as long as he doesn’t end up with her. I’ve made it clear that I will say horrible things about her to the children if he ends up with her. They will take my side on this. Can I live with this though? To fully heal, do I need to just walk and let the cards fall and deal with how they land? Do I want to live my life hating him if he goes back to her and devote myself to carrying around that anger and hatred? I may be right in my feelings, but it’s still a massive burden for me to carry. Do I just let them be and maintain my absolute distance from her and just do my best to co-parent with him? My children are a senior and junior in college, so I don’t have to worry about her having a hand in “raising” my children. Do I indulge myself and insult her to my children like I am prone to and like I want to do, or do I let them decide for themselves with the facts they have? I am certain that if the kids rebel against her, he would stop the relationship because I do know that, despite all that has gone down; he will not risk alienating them. He would (so far he has) give up his “great love” to keep them happy.
    I’m sorry if I’m all over the place… And from re-reading my own post, I can see I’m pretty certain that he wants to be with her. However, I do know I hold some cards in this and I need to know how to play them. I said it earlier, I just want to be free of this.

    1. Anon my first thoughts to your post is, why are you not concentrating on yourself right now? Sounds like your spending way too much head space on your h and what he might/ might not be doing. Whether he ends up with the ow or not is out of your control and always has been. If I was you id be planning the next chapter of your life, you've accepted that you don't want him back, although from your post their are still a lot of feelings for this man which I can understand. Maybe some counselling would help to move you forward, letting go of some of your fears relating to the ow.

      Anon you have so much to look forward to in your life and if you could remain friends with your h that would be ideal for you and your children. You've been through a lot these last few years anon and now it's time to start concentrating on you. Let us know how you get on .. take care xxx

    2. Anon, I agree with Sam A. You deserve to have your own life. Make it a good one. You don't have to socialize with your spouse and his girlfriend but you really cannot tell him who he can see and when. I suspect that once you are divorced, you will only be forced to deal with him and his "other" at your adult kids' graduations, weddings and holidays. Those are in the future and this is now. Be good to yourself.

  37. Anon Part 2 - your post rang a bell with me because I was a child who grew up in an affair home, from age 11-18. I don't mean to sound harsh but you are using your children to get back at him. It is the cards you refer to. I can only speak from my experience. My mom never talked about HER hurt, HER fears, HER pain. I wish she would have it would have helped me understand more. She never said anything bad about my dad during the affair, separation, divorce then remarriage. I figured that out on my own due to his continued selfish acts. She didn't need to say a word. It took me a awhile but he showed his true colors when I spent time with him. The OW was my mom's best friend so my sister visited my dad and the OW on the weekend. She came back confused and sad. Your kids will automatically rebel against your H and the OW because they will see your struggles, pain, hurt and fears. They know their mom is a good moral person and right there is your edge. Talk to your kids about your feelings as stated above. Tell them how hurtful it would be to you. If my mom would have said that to me - shared and connected, I might not be as messed up as I used to be. Just my opinion but to answer your question - Let the cards fall as long as you tell your children how you feel about it, not bitter, angry but being authentic. No, you begin your new life. A relationship build on deceit won't last. Maintain your distant, that is the past and you aren't going that way. Yes, tell your children how you feel about her. My mom said nothing and ended up being a very bitter woman towards life. It is up to him how he acts when his children find out he is a dirt ball coward who destroyed their mother. What he says, he is sacrificing for his great love is bull shit talking. He is using them as an excuse to the OW because he knows she is shit. Your kids soon will be out of college and get their own life. He will be left in the dust, trust me on this one. Your kids are not stupid but I can't say enough to have a very frank, real conversation with them. If you think already had one then have another one, and another one as your life changes. I know in my heart, my kids would come to my rescue because they love me. They know my devastation. I held nothing back from them. It was a life lesson of sorts. If my H needs rescuing, I'm pretty sure they wouldn't come to even wipe his butt. They are civil to him and tell him they love him but when push comes to shove, and I know my kids, they won't lift a finger and that is fine with me. He devastated them too. I hurt for you and your children. He didn't do this just to you but your kids too. As a kid, I didn't tell my mom what I really thought about dad much of the time but I knew I could never rely on him nor did I want to.

    1. Thank you ladies who responded. You are all so right in your words. I need to admit to myself that this part of my life is over and I haven't fully done that. Even with him out of the house, I see that I'm still concerned with and concentrating how to keep him in my life, with my conditions and worrying that he's going to decide to go against them. As you all say, I should be focusing on me and what lies ahead for me. And I need to be focusing on cutting him out of my everyday life. He's not mine to depend on anymore. I think my fear of him ending up with her is based in that whole "I won, she lost versus she won, I lost" mentality. Nobody wins in this. LLP, you give great advice about having honest talks with the kids. It should be so obvious - at the end of the day, all this is happening because of dishonesty. I will need to work on keeping myself calm and neutral when I speak of it, but it's the most mature route to take. I just know how easily my insults come out when talking about it; they are a product of my pain. If he ends up with her, so be it. They can't be my problem anymore. I can't let them occupy any more time than they have. Maybe they make it, maybe they don't. I need to not care. I guess this is opening my eyes to how I may have separated with him in theory, but not in my heart. And I do have great children who will support me always, so I have to focus on that blessing and what lies ahead!

  38. SS Part 1
    Hey friends, its me SS (I'm adding a 1 because there's a fellow Still Standing around here too and I want there to be space for both of us). I'm the SS who's divorce is almost final.
    I need your help. I, right now, have no fucking idea what I am doing.
    if you read above, you'll see that I had made some peace, met a nice guy that i've been spending time with. He's nice to me, kind, thoughtful, considerate, very affectionate (he rubs my feet for chrissakes!) and we just have fun together. I haven't been thinking about or worrying about if it is a long term anything. I'm just trying to stay in the moment and let things unfold.
    And before vacation, I found out my stbx was back together with the OW. Ouch, pain and disappointment, with myself (for thinking he might be trying to be a better person) and him for the obvious.
    So I get home from vacation and my stbx asks if I can come visit him to talk. He's been in a serious motorcycle accident while I was away but he didn't want to tell me and worry me and the kids while we were on our trip. (!!!???).
    So I go to his place. I know he can't get around and has a concussion so I offer to bring him a sandwich for dinner. He accepts. So I get to his place. Its my first time there. He's a little weepy because concussions and almost dying do that to you, I guess. He admits to me that he was driving the bike drunk, which I had guessed. And he admits, finally that he's an alcoholic and that he's made a commitment to not drink any more ever. He's getting in to a 12 step program. He's seeing his therapist. A lot.
    And he realized, when he was in the hospital that of all people, he could still have called me and I would have showed up 11 hours later (about the time it would have taken me to pack up and head home from vacation). That he realizes he's blamed me for years for things that weren't my fault. That his heavy and binge drinking changes his brain, changes what he values and acts like rocket fuel to his narcissist tendencies. And that he's sorry for everything. That he's broken it off with the OW for good this time because he sees it as a function of the addiction. We had this serious honest long talk. We talked about what he wanted to tell the kids and he told them both his accident involved drinking and that he was committing to not doing that anymore. Accountability being part of the recovery process. He asked to stay at the house with me and the kids to recover. I declined this but as a compromise offered to have him visit more, be here more, but sleep at his own place.

  39. SS part 2
    So I'm not going to lie. I felt this little tiny surge of hope. He used expressions like, "I feel like I am just waking up." "I'm not who I was a week ago." But the also is not being clear if he wants me or not. He said "I know you are in a new relationship and I know I pretended I didn't care but I've been jealous."
    I told him I wanted to be with someone that truly wanted me. Nothing less. I'm trying not to make any decisions. I feel frozen like I'm afraid to move.
    In a separate conversation, I told him it was all confusing, I didn't know what to think and that for the time being I wasn't making any decisions or changing anything. I told him I want to see what he does. He got tearful, and said he hadn't asked me to do anything because he has no right to.
    I did talk to my new guy about the accident and my stbx admitting to being an alcoholic and that I hope he follows through. But haven't yet talked to him about the conflicting feelings I'm having. And I am. It so hard. Things were going so nicely and now I don't know what to do. I'm giving myself the luxury of not making a decision. Like we tell lots of new arrivals here, I don't have to make any decisions before I'm ready. I do owe it to the new guy to let him know about how confused I am because he deserves to decide if he wants to risk sticking around or not. That's only fair right?
    I trust my ex but I don't trust him. I feel like we've been here before. Where I've told him he turns into an asshole when he drinks. (How did I never label it as alcoholism? just because his behavior wasn't exactly like my mom's? everything makes so much more sense now. but is it just an excuse?) And he's cut back in the past only to have it ramp back up. Recovery takes a long time and I don't want to be his "rescuer". That never works. He needs to rescue himself. And this is the third time he's "ended" it with the OW. Why should I believe this time is any different.
    I've been churning on this info for a week.
    There's no guarantee or need for me to end up with either guy, right. But the old pull toward my ex is strong. Is that the old codependent hooks or is it because I still care about him, or both? Why does this finally feel like the change I was looking for a year ago when we separated? WTF do I DO!!!???
    Its funny, when I was dating, I had this abundance mindset. Where there were lots of potential people that I could be happy with, so that if things didn't work with one guy, I knew I would eventually meet someone else nice. Why am I so afraid now? Is it because I feel like there is the specter of a chance of saving a ship I thought was sunk? Or is it because as the child of an alcoholic, the idea of finally being chosen feels an awful lot like finally being enough?
    And I'm afraid all around of missing out, choosing wrong. I feel like things are moving along too fast and I need time to watch and see how he acts. I don't need to decide. I don't need to decide rightnow.
    Advice, insight, hugs, holy shits! all welcome. Love you guys! SS

    1. Still Standing 1, I think I would 'be curious' about who the stbx is once he is sober. Will you like that man? Only time will tell. I think it is going to take a while until you can even begin to assess that. I agree with Gabby - it is good for your kids that you support his sobriety (consciously avoiding the comfort zone of co-dependency).

  40. SS1 just when I thought your situation was on an even keel you drop another anchor. I'm confused too I'll be honest I don't know what I would do either other than give it time to unfold before you make any decisions. Like you said dealing with his alcoholism will take time and effort on his part and that has to be his priority. Once he has control over his alcohol intake maybe then he can think about his marriage and whether he can give you what you need and deserve. You have summed the situation up pretty well ss, there will be co dependant issues going on here on both parts as there will be feelings running high. Your h accident may well have put things into perspective time will tell. From where I'm standing you don't have to do anything just yet apart from watch and listen. You get to choose what happens next ss. I want you to be settled and at peace whether that is with or without your h we shall see. I love a happy ending : ).. stay strong my love all will become clear .. xxxx

  41. Hi SS1
    I feel muddled for you too. Of all things to have happen, just when you were getting on with life, after your H was the one who wanted out - now he's getting emotional and sentimental and he can "see the light". Did his accident shake his brain into maturity - into place? With the concussion would that be considered a type of brain injury? If so, would he relapse?
    I don't blame you for having mixed feelings and having a bit of hope still existing. (I am still living with a bit of hope too, so I get you here)). But why did he and the ow break up? Who broke it off? Has she visited him and been there for him since the accident? With your new guy, as to how much you want to tell him. You have to ask yourself questions like - how exclusive are you, how intimate are you? Do you speak/see each other daily, text daily, is it mostly a friendship? I really think you need to continue to be honest with him. In our marriage, we hated the lies, and you can't start a new relationship with lies or secrecy. That's not the way we women work, and we won't stoop to our husbands levels. Of course you don't have to divulge all your thoughts and feelings until you sort them out yourself, so take your time on this one. The divorce isn't finalized yet. You sound like you have such a kind heart and it sounds like you want to help your STBX get better at least for your kids - they will benefit. And SS1. We all have husbands that have problems - and we all want our h to admit to them and fix them. Half the battle is for them to understand that they do have problems and take the steps to fix themselves - at least yours has finally reached this point.
    You sound happy with your new guy, so keep going - don't change that. I understand what you mean with being afraid of missing out or choosing wrong. With your STBX, yes, he is working on himself, but it will not be an overnight fix showing results. Your STBX needs to prove to you that he's changing and continuing to work on himself, and this needs to be shown over many months. He's let you down plenty of times before - please take all the time you need. You call the shots now. Take care
    Big Hugs
    Gabby xo

  42. Hi Sam A and Gabby, Thanks so much. The best advice I've gotten about my situation is 1. stop trying to be responsible for everyone else being ok and 2. Stop expecting men (or anyone else for that matter) to think or react like I would.
    My relationship with the new guy is pretty close, we talk every day, see each other a couple of times a week and have even gone away for weekends (with all that you'd expect that would entail). I talked to him last night with some trepidation but he hit the nail right on the head by responding "you must be feeling really confused." Yes. And then he continues to hug and cuddle with me and says he's glad I came over to visit. I'm having a hard time processing this because I would be a little concerned about the specter of a stbx making even the slightest reconciliation noises. On the other hand, as my reiki Bob pointed out, he's a guy and he's probably choosing to just go with the flow. Its not like I said I wanted to go back to my ex or not see him any more. Still I have to admit, it was not the response I expected, lol. I do tend toward the dramatic at times, I freely admit. So now I'm dealing with some anxiety. I've got to get back to being comfortable being uncomfortable for a while again. And not make any sudden moves. And wait and see what happens.
    I asked my stbx about where he was getting into a support group or 12 step. I may have sensed a little defensiveness. He's still looking for the right one. I'm wondering if he will follow through and admit he needs support to get through this or if he will do his old thing and assume "he can handle it on his own." I'm looking to see how he is once the shock of almost dying wears off.
    In the meantime, some days I feel like it is almost inevitable that we will come back together and then days like today, I feel myself more drawn toward the new guy, who is really teaching me how I deserve to be treated. I want both, and know that while I can't have both people, I don't have to compromise on how I wish to be treated in the future. And this next insight kills me, but if you've read "Not Just Friends" there's the part where she talks about the wayward spouse being on a pendulum and swinging back and forth between the loyal spouse and the affair partner. I can see myself being pulled in two directions and I'm grumpy that I see that parallel. The big difference is that I don't feel like I owe my STBX anything and my relationship with the new guy is totally allowed.
    My stomach has been off for days. On the other hand I ran my first 10k last saturday with my volunteer group and was happy with my race and finish. Good stuff. Still painting. Still working. Still trying to take care of myself, though I've been a little off my game lately.
    Thanks again for the support. Man am I beat today. Going to eat some food, drink some tea and take a nap. The lawn will still be there tomorrow.
    Hugs hugs hugs!

    1. Still Standing 1, whenever you feel yourself drawing a parallel between someone who is separated and in the process of divorce dating and a wayward spouse cheating - SOTP - the big difference is the LYING, the breaking vows and deceit. You are not lying to anyone. A wayward spouse is lying to everyone...

  43. Part 1:
    Anon, you talked about not wanting to file for divorce because your ex would end up with the 0W, and your children would spend time with her. Thank you for your comment about me, BTW, the moral support feels great!
    You got some great feedback from the others. From my perspective, I will tell you that yes, the situation will be filled with pain. And extreme bitterness and anger. I have been dealing with a lot of that over the past few months, as my children met the OW. They are in love with their half brother, and they call her other children their "siblings". She has participated in holidays with them. And I won't sugarcoat it; sometimes it feels like hell. I did some backsliding, I cried and I yelled and I cursed. And I wondered, for the umpteenth time, if I would ever be free of this evil and sordid situation. I walked a line with my children. I tried never to criticize their father, because I did not want them to feel like they had to choose between us. I did speak negatively of the OW, and identified her as someone who had attempted to be petty and hurtful toward me. I told them that I was not comfortable with them becoming close to her, but that I expected them to always be respectful and obedient, because that is the behavior they are to exhibit toward all adults.
    There was conflict between my girls and me. They did feel torn. They love their daddy, and they love all the little children of the OW - she has five. But they also love me, and my pain was painful to them. I had my good days and bad days. I even met their baby brother, because I wanted to know him, to know that part of their lives.
    Letting go is hard. And to an extent, when you are divorced, you have to let go of your children. For part of the time, anyway. And you have to let them go to people that you do not trust, people that you may even actively hate.
    But I do not regret my divorce. Not for one minute. My ex is still trying to waffle back-and-forth, still trying to say that he loves me. And I am so glad that his lies and manipulation are no longer a major factor in my life. I don't have to worry about where he is, or what he's doing, or if he's telling the truth. I am not constantly stressed out by his drama.
    A few weeks ago, we had an incident. It was very unpleasant. He harassed me over the phone, and then came to the house. Because he still had a key, I called the police. My brother and the police sent him away. The children had to know, and it was very difficult for them.
    Since then, we have been working on recovery. I got new liocks. My ex and I have been very distant with each other, but polite. He has reached out a time or two, but I try to follow my new boyfriend's excellent advice: don't engage. We have worked to make things as normal as possible for the children. I deeply regret that it happened, because of the effect it had on the girls. But on the other hand, the effect on me was wonderful. It was yet another steppingstone away from him. I still resent him and her, but those overwhelming feelings of helplessness, hatred, and pain have eased considerably. Ever since that incident, I don't feel nearly as tortured by the idea of the girls being with their daddy, and being exposed to the OW. I know my journey isn't over, not nearly, but I have taken a really big step. I have gone through another stage of the suffering, and I have taken another big step toward letting go.
    I feel so much better.

    1. Phoenix, you are a bigger person than I think I could be in that situation. Although I may not want the CH back, I would want the OW to suffer. I think I'd supply her with proof that the 'man' she thinks she 'won' is still professing love for his ex-W. What goes around comes around, doesn't it?!

  44. Part 2:
    So, anonymous, it will hurt. It will hurt badly. And then, it will heal. Maybe not completely. But if your path is like mine, you will eventually experience a sense of ease and freedom from the feelings that enslave all of us who have been betrayed.
    She is a bitch. I will never respect her. But my goal is to get to a place where she doesn't matter to me. And I can finally say that I am making progress toward that point.
    Do what is best for you, anonymous. Try to be honest with your children, but not unnecessarily so, and try not to be too harsh about their dad in their presence. They will thank you for it. Don't try to turn them against anyone. Let them make their own choices.
    What is our worst fear? That our kids will become fond of the OW? Perish the thought. It's possible, and we don't want that. But as time goes on, it will matter less and less. My fourteen-year-old daughter said it well (while rolling her eyes). She said, "You're my MOM. No one will replace you."
    It is very honest to admit that at least part of it is a "win-lose" mindset. But our real triumph comes when we reach the point where we just don't give a damn about that skanky OW anymore. We are free from a bad marriage and free from the chains of pain and resentment, and so we win. Period. She is a cheater shackled to another cheater. I will never envy her that.
    God bless you, sweetie. It's a journey. Many steps. It feels endless sometimes, but we will get there.
    Let me share one more thought. My dad, who was betrayed by my mom 25 years ago, and is now at peace and happily remarried, said, "I was okay when I reached the point where I no longer loved her and I no longer hated her."
    May we get to that blessed place!

  45. Still Standing, I finally had a chance to catch up on your posts. I know you want the best for your STBX, but I'm sorry that recent events are destabilizing you again.
    For my part, based on my personal experience, I am deeply suspicious and doubtful about "life-changing events" and revelations. In my marriage, it was all part of the roller coaster. My ex was arrested for DUI right after we decided to separate the first time, and he claimed that he was seeing everything differently. His behavior and attitude seemed to change significantly. But the drinking didn't stop, and neither did contact with the skank. And hey, just last week he was careful to mention to me that he was speaking at an AA meeting... but when I saw him the next day, I swear he smelled like alcohol.
    That doesn't mean people can't change. But it takes more than talk. Our ex-guys are good at talk. And manipulation. And control.
    Speaking of that, nothing brings them running back like a new guy. They do NOT like seeing us move on, and they don't like realizing that our emotional lives don't revolve around them anymore. It actually drives them kinda nuts. They are used to being validated by our love and attention. Even if they think they don't want us, they don't like it when WE take the choice out of their hands.
    As usual, you seem to have your head on straight. I respect that you are making the new guy aware of your conflicted feelings - I would do the same. But aside from that, you don't have to do a blessed thing. Your STBX has done nothing but talk. It's up to HIM, if he means business, to do the hard work of changing his life and earning you back. And there is plenty of work to be done. Maybe it's just me being a hardass, but I wouldn't even inquire about his progress. If he really folllows through, you'll know. Time will tell.
    I pray that you find your joy, Still Standing. Without him, right now, and with him later ONLY if he proves himself. That's my perspective, but I may be biased, as I said. You know your situation best.

    1. Thanks Phoenix, I am suspicious and deeply conflicted. I wonder why now, what about this rock bottom is different than so many others? And I get mad when he acts all sad because I went away with my new guy for the weekend. WTF does he expect? that I am going to drop everything and welcome him back with open arms after he basically told me to go eff myself for two years? And I do wonder if now he thinks he wants me mostly because I am with someone else. The story line all seems to fall together. Him worried I was going to take my new guy on vacation with the kids. Him starting up with the OW again. Him drinking and wrecking his bike. Him being remorseful over everything. I hate being suspicious but Im not buying it yet.
      At the same time I cant deny the pull of being able to save my family for my kids and all the others the divorce would impact. But I'm having a hard time conjuring up what a better life would look like with my ex right now. Im seeing things that look like him doing his old, arrogant "I've got this." and 'I know better than everyone" shit. Like he's pretty cocky about not wanting to drink anymore and yet hanging out with friends who are all drinking when they play frisbee golf. Not yet joined a support group like aa etc. which for me is a non starter. You get some help in therapy which is like the lecture portion but a group is like the lab portion. I learn so much here in this group therapy, that I never would have figured out or understood just from one on one therapy. OS I am afraid I am seeign some of the same old same old.
      At the same time, I feel all the risk of choosing new guy who is a ton of unknowns. The relief of thinking about not having to deal with alimony or selling my house. Any security I feel there is an illusion I guess. I feel like I am misleading my new guy, even though I have told him I am confused. I feel like maybe I should take a break from both men. But that's not what I want either. I like new guy. We have sucha nice time together. Its easy. We laugh. (I know we are still in that happy early phase where we are both on our best behavior). But dammit. I'm walking around angry and crying in turns because I feel like getting back with my ex is almost inevitable and I'm not sure its what I want. But thinking about not, makes me feel selfish. Thinking about staying makes me feel weak, like I'm letting myself down. Problem is this child of an alcoholic can't make everyone happy.
      STBX has done nothing but talk. And call the lawyer to put the filing on hold. He told me. He does need to earn me back. Thanks for the reminder. My real conundrum is, is it fair to be with new guy, while I am watching and waiting for my ex to do what he is going to do? Part of me is not at all confident that he will really change. But part of me wants him to succeed. At least to be a better person for his kids, but not sure what it means for me.
      New guy has a sailboat. We go sailing often. I like this new addition to my life. I had this tiny little daydream that when it was time to sell my house, I could take some of my portiion of the sale and put it into a bigger boat with new guy and we could spend summers sailing north and winter sailing south. The work I do can be done anywhere. (If you want to see what living on a boat long term coul look like, go on to youtube and look up "SV Delos" they've been sailing aroudn the world for 9 years!) So I had this nice little fantasy that made me feel ok about selling my house. And now this idea that I might be able to save this place for my family makes me feel a little tied down honestly. Its hugely ironic given where I was a year ago, clinging desperately to this house. So I am where I have been. Nothing to feel guilty about, as long as I keep being honest with everyone. And no decision I need to make just yet. But man am I feeling the pressure. I need to pay attention to be determine if that pressure is coming form me or someone else.

  46. I am trapped. I don't want him here like he is. I want the husband I used to have before this all started. I want the man that I married, twice (renewal vows). I want the affection and love... I don't want this man that has returned. Yet, I am stuck here with no way out and no way to provide for myself and my kids.

    1. Hey anon 8-19. Im flailing around in my own crazy time right now. But I wanted you to know I hear you. I know that trapped feeling and the fear you can't provide for yourself or your children. Things wil not ever be quite what they were. Your world has been shattered by someone you trusted.. First and foremost, take care of you. Do what you need to feel safe. Get some help through friends, family or a therapist or all of the above. Do what works for you. I know you are scared and feeling stuck. I promise one thing. No matter what happens you are going to be ok. You are allowed to feel sad and weak, but you are stronger than you know. Go slowly. Be kind to yourself and come back here and tell us whats going on with you. We'll do out best to help. And no matter what there's always support here. Hugs

    2. Still Standing 1, your words are so kind and made me feel so much better today as I sit here and cry. More financial pressure is making this jail of mine even worse. He demands that he controls the money, and yet... it is really bad. Utility Shut Off bad...

      I hate what has become to this and I am so sick of being trapped. I am sick of this jail I have locked myself up in by trying to make a marriage work. I hate the fact that he doesn't even seem grateful I did stick by him and try to work it out. This is all about the kids... we are together for the children, not eachother. Its killing me.

    3. Anonymous, what can you do to put yourself in a batter position to be in control of a bit more? Can you work or go back to school? I just think how empowering that would be to do something that makes you happy and give you the clarity that you are staying (or leaving) because you want to not because you need to.

    4. Anonymous, I hate that you feel so trapped. Remember, having an emotionally healthy parent who loves them is the most important thing for the children.
      Ask yourself this: "In 20 years, do I want to see my child in a marriage like this?"
      Use that as your guide. Your children are looking to you to learn how to make good choices for themselves. Set them the best example you can.
      That misery, that desperation can be overwhelming. But see if you can come up with a step-by-step plan to get yourself to a better place. You may be trapped now, but maybe you can get yourself to a place where you have more choices, one step at a time...?

  47. To all of you warriors who read and post on this site:
    I am 2 yrs. post DD #2 this week. In those 2 yrs., I have quit my toxic job, broken my collar bone in a way that required surgery, lost my Dad to the great beyond, started a new career, quit drinking (off and on – now off), and have currently been hospicing my Mother for the last 4 months. Through it all, I have depended on this website as a compass and barometer to help guide me through the storm. I have often thought of posting, but until now, I never felt the right words bubble through my consciousness and rise to the surface.
    I realized this morning, while paging through the various sections of this glorious site, that I wanted to say thank you. Thank you to all of you who have shared your stories. You have helped me to weed through my own over-grown garden of heartbreak, devastation, loss of faith in humanity (let’s just say it: men), rebuilding, reconciliation, resilience, and resurrection (not always in that order). While I realize that there is no conclusion to this journey, I do feel like I have left the scorched earth phase and can see green growth happening within and around me. You women warriors have been a sisterhood of shared sentiments and a wisdom that has helped to keep me centered and sometimes sane.
    I would like to offer a special shout out to Elle: Queen of all things warrior, Phoenix, and Still Standing 1. You have been the three wise women for me whose words and wisdom resonate and percolate. You have taught me that there is no right path. You have caused me to ask myself difficult questions, and you have spoken your own truth with compassion and empathy for all of the others of us to sift through and learn from. Thank you, Elle, Phoenix, and Still Standing 1, for your fierce, take no prisoners, kick ass response to the horror of infidelity.
    Elle, there have been times that your words have caused the earth to move under my feet and my level of awareness to expand in ways that often feel like a growth spurt happening right before my eyes. Thanks to you and this site; I am kinder to myself, to my husband’s pain, and to my never-ending process of healing. In your care and maintenance of this site, you have given the rest of us a gift that has no bounds.
    I send love and strength out to all of us who have found this site, no matter where we are in the many manifestations of the healing of our hearts. I hope that others will continue to find this priceless gem of internet sisterhood that we never had hoped to need. Thank you one and all, I hold you in my heart and in my soul.
    White Stripe

    1. "While I realize that there is no conclusion to this journey, I do feel like I have left the scorched earth phase and can see green growth happening within and around me."
      Sister, you have some serious wisdom going on over there yourself, and a way with words.
      I am honored beyond measure to know that my words have inspired you. And you just returned the favor. Thank you. It means so much to me today to read this message.
      I hope you will share again as you continue your process of rebuilding. It sounds like you have so much to offer. It also sounds like you and I are on a similar timeline. Friday will be my two year D-Day anniversary. Hang tough, White Stripe! This journey is full of ups and downs, and there's no end in sight, but we have already proved that we are Survivors.

  48. I've been crying randomly. I haven't been there for a year. I'm going for an easy run and taking my sunglasses so people won't thunk I'm nuts for running and crying. I hate this place I'm in right now. because I am undecided I can feel myself be more guarded with new guy, not completely showing up or telling him what's on my mind, guarded. And guarded with the almost ex too. Because I don't trust him and I'm afraid he only thinks he wants me because I'm with someone new. Dog in the manger. And I'm having a tantrum about it. Everything was fine. and now this. I know I will be OK. I know I won't always feel this confused. I know once I make a decision and act I will feel better. I just don't feel like I have enough data. And meanwhile, I feel like I am not being fair to anyone, especially new guy. Fuck. Just fuck it all. SS at 21 would have gotten in her car with a tent and just...left. Run away from it all. Not really a grown up option. But man would I love to be tenting in the Rockies right about now.

    1. SS1
      I'm sorry you are in this place of "undecided".
      I am so angry with your STBX! You hear of this all the time. When us, the betrayed spouse has met someone else and is finally starting to find happiness - who should come sooking back??? The cheating husbands. I ask myself this all the time? Where were our husband's when we were the one's doing everything - the house stuff - the kids - the marriage - life? They were with their stinking whores checking out of all marriage/family responsibilities. Were they worried about our happiness then? NO!!!!! I want you to be happy too and there will be days when we are happy and days when we are angry and sad and still in disbelief and still with questions. Your new guy. Has he been married? What happened there? Please continue with your new guy if he is making you happy - go camping, go sailing. You have every right to be happy, and as I've said previously - your husband NOW wants to start working on himself? Well let him do that and then you can see if he's making an improvement, but this will take months on his part. You aren't committed to anyone really at the moment. You just owe it to yourself to be happy.
      I wish I could write more but I have to go and get everyone ready whilst my h is away for work!
      Gabby xo

    2. SS1, hope you had a good run and cry. Your situation is tough. The only thoughts I have is that more people than you know get divorced and remarried so even if you do get divorced, your soon to be ex will have ample time to get sober, get counseling, and get his head screwed on strait. Time won't change that. You have been very strong and have good boundaries and the beginnings of a new, calmer life. He is probably looking at you and saying to himself, "I want some of that" but his life is chaos and confusion. If he can get himself to a better place, stay in that place and make amends to everyone, maybe, just maybe, he would be worthy of a second chance to grace your life. In the mean time, you are clearly moving forward and not backward in your life. Grab for happiness and calm if that gives you strength and comfort. Sometimes, we just have to let others, even our loved ones, figure it out without our help. It is OK to feel undecided and it is understandable to feel conflicted about this situation but what he has given you to this point is words. Not actions. Not change. Just words. You have blossomed into a flower without his help. You, my secret sister, you have done this and you can continue to do this. Much love

    3. Thanks Beach Girl. You are so right. I'm sure he's looking at me like a place of calm while he struggles with his "awakening". I can't fix this for him and despite old, co-dependent tugs to do so, I don't want to. I don't want to repeat old stuff with him. Sometimes I think I see the glimmer of a possibility of something different. We are certainly talking in a more open and honest way. But. But. I am still waiting for the other shoe to drop... will he drink again, in what ways do I feel I am being manipulated or expected to step into an old role, will the OW show up again when he can't stand being lonely? Just all these things. And I can't help thinking that some of his shift is around him learning I was seeing someone regularly. It sure seems that way. And I guess that can wake you up. But I don't trust it.
      He's been spending more time around for the kids lately, with my agreement. But I think at least some of it is because he misses home and wants to spend time with me. Sometimes its awkward, often its just calm and ok.
      And I feel torn. But it is too soon for me to do anything.
      And when I see new guy, I just feel happy. I like being with him. He's sweet and thoughtful and gentle and a whole bunch of other good things and, I recognize, we have no shared history and therefore no shared baggage. So I know it is not fair to compare a new, light and fun relationship with and old one still beaten up with new and old hurts. So. I'm just giving it time.
      Some days I feel a strong pull to new guy. Some days a strong pull to old guy. Some days I just want to sit still and not think. I decided yesterday I am not going to feel guilty or punish myself for being unsure about who or what I want.
      I'm concerned for my son, who must be confused by his father's increased presence and that I am not leaving the house like I used to when he comes around (at least not as much, I don't skip painting or my volunteer stuff) and even if he's not overtly thinking about it, it must raise hope of a reconciliation in his teen age heart. And at the same time, I am still going out with new guy and he knows that. I'm confused. How much more is my boy going to be like WTF?
      I don't need answers. Cause there aren't any right now. But commiseration is good. First day of high school and I'm going to make sure I have some mochi ice cream in the house for the boy when he gets home...
      Hugs everyone. thanks for the support.

  49. Hope you felt a little better after your run ss, Ride it out my friend, time will tell and your decision will hopefully be a little easier. It's a tricky one ss I'm not gonna lie I know I'd be in the same predicament if I was in your shoes. Going back to what you know seems easier in some ways than stepping into the unknown, however from what you've discovered about your h the last few years also makes you more aware of his behaviour and actions. Ss your really good at taking care of yourself so continue to do that, Pain is power ss and I truly believe that something beautiful will be waiting for you at the end of this difficult time .. keep us posted . Lots a love xx

  50. Thanks Gabby and Sam A. The run helped. Therapy helped and my therapist is saying what you all are saying and I keep telling myself, that it is too soon to know anything and I don't have to make any decisions about my ex right now or for months. She even challenged me. Asked "How long were you single waiting for him to figure his stuff out?" It was almost a year before I stuck my toe in the dating waters (and found pretty quickly I was not at all ready, lol). So almost a year and half after dday 1 before I was ready to move on and found a decent person. And in that time I really worked on myself. So I don't need to cave to my adult child of an alcoholic thing and make some impulsive decision now. In fact, I need to ignore that impulse and wait for things to become clear. I need to not worry about "missing my chance" because that is BS. If he really wants me, he'll be willing to wait, work on himself, get well and truly sober, and then fight for me.
    Thing is, his turnabout has cast a shadow over my happiness. I am finding it difficult to fully relax and engage with new guy. I'm worried about the potential hurt we might both experience down the road. I'm not sure if what is happening is fair to him, if I am being fair to him. I need to figure out how to get back in the moment and not worry so much about what happens.
    and haha I'm listening to alt-j and they lyrics are "fuck you....I'll do... what I wanna do." Perfect! Right now I want a cup of tea and maybe a biscuit.

  51. Ok ladies. Just needing to talk to people who understand. My h tried calling me today, I didn't take the calls, as I didn't hear them at first and he never left any messages. Turns out his father's in IC. I only found out when he came home and told the kids and I overheard. I pondered for over an hour as to how I should respond - if at all. Taking into consideration his parents never came to visit our children when they were in hospital a few years ago, or called to see how the kids and I were doing after their son fucked us over (sorry for the expletives) AND on my h part, him not showing any remorse or comfort to me over the pain he has caused. So I caved....and I'm mad I did. I went into the bedroom and said "I'm sorry I missed your call, you should have text. I'm sorry your dad's not well. How are you?." To which he responded "I'm sick - stay away..Yeah whatever" so I left leaving a few expletives. Why the hell did I bother??? Just makes me hate him even more, and made me think, has he called his whore to get comfort? What if his father doesn't make it and passes? I don't want to go to the funeral. I don't want to comfort my husband when he's in pain - where has he been for me? But this is not me. I've always been there to help and support people (and his parents) many times - except since when we separated, I've become really good at looking after me over him and his parents. I'm torn.
    Gabby xo

  52. Gabby, whatever you do, don't regret your impulse to reach out to your h. It takes the strength of a good person to reach out to someone who has wounded us and rejected us. And even a good person can't always find the strength. It doesn't matter how he responded. Your gesture showed your heart. Rising above the hate is always an achievement.
    That being said - you know the value of taking care of yourself, too. Keep your boundaries. Decide just how much support you think is appropriate for you to give, and then draw the line. Don't make yourself comfort him if it's not where you're prepared to go. Figure out another way to show support. You don't have to go to extremes of hate or self-sacrifice. Find your middle ground and maintain it, with your head high. You are a good, loving, giving person. And you are not a doormat.
    This may not be much comfort, but if he IS seeking solace with the whore, remember that it's because she is NOT a good person, and he doesn't have to admit he's a dick when he's with her. They are a sick little echo chamber, reassuring each other with lies and rationalizations.

    1. Gabby, I second what Phoenix says. Don't ever regret being kind (or using expletives as needed, I think they are a legit method for releasing emotion. I always feel better after a good cuss. I get that its not for everyone though).
      You can choose to be kind to people who haven't earned it and as Phoenix says, you can also choose to take care of yourself in that context too. They don't have to be mutually exclusive. You don't need to offer emotional support that makes you vulnerable to more hurt. You can, if it works for you, offer support in other ways, like dropping off a reheatable meal; tangible, kind and then get out of harms way!
      I'm wrestling with guilt and codependent patterns with my ex right now, so I'm wondering if I see this in your being torn too. What I am working hard to internalize and act on right now is that I am not responsible for others and their emotions or for making them OK. I am not responsible for my ex's pain or anger or shame or his sudden desire to try and reel me back in. I can't make this right for him. Only he can do that. Anything else is disempowering to me and disempowering to him. You, likewise, are not responsible for your husband's emotions or his "ok-ness" in this situation or his shitty response to your kindness (it probably made him feel guilty, but that's his stuff, not yours). You are not obligated to go to a funeral if it is not good for you. The only thing you are obligated to do is to take care of you.
      And Phoenix's point about the "sick little echo chamber" is pure genius. And so true. It is a completely unhealthy escape from reality. Screw them and by that I mean focus on you and not whatever sick dance they may be doing. They don't deserve your energy.
      Take your time and breath. Hugs Gabby!!!

  53. SS1, you awesome warrior woman you. You're a better woman than I am. I wish I had the grit to run out my frustration, but I'm a marshmallow. Singing, writing, a glass of wine - that's my jam. The angry song sounded good! Sometimes I listen to the Violent Femmes when I'm burning, and yell right along.
    Honey, I hope you are feeling better this week. How are things with New Guy? Are you "back in the moment"? You deserve some joy. Grab it with both hands. New Guy is a big boy; as long as you're being honest with him, try to stop worrying. Things will happen how they happen. I know, I'm one to talk. I'm the worst at making my emotions do what I want them to do.
    Give us a yell and let us know how you're doing, when you can. Hugs!!!

    1. Part 1
      Phoenix, thanks for the hugs. Let's agree that we are both "better women" in our own ways. And marshmallows, especially when toasted, are pretty great. :) Singing, writing and a glass of wine sound heavenly. I bet the breathing while singing is not that different than the connected breathing while running. Its the oxygen that counts. I sing, but only in the car with the radio turned up. Running has become a lifeline for me. I don't do crazy distances or tons of events. It's really a time to get outside and connect with my body. I need the open sky above my head to create space in my head. My trail runs along a river and I truly enjoy seeing the seasons play out, year after year. Right now I am seeing the return of herons, normally solitary (and reminders to me that you can be alone and be a total badass) who are gathering for their mating season. So running is less about discipline and so much more a form of self care. And I reckon all of us on here as earning our Masters in that.
      Violent Femmes = 100% YEEEESSSSS
      So things with New Guy are good. I had this slow realization over the last few days that this situation, to a large degree is not pf my making. That I am not responsible for making a soft landing for my ex or for protecting New Guy from my truth or future hurt. Like you say he is a big boy and is making a choice to be with me right now. I also recognized that relative to my ex I am standing in the puddle (recall the metaphor from Elle's therapist about unlearning codependent habits. First you walk through the puddle and you're like "damn I did it again". Then you are standing in the puddle but at least you are noticing that you are in it. And finally you start being able to notice the puddles ahead and you can choose to step in or around them). So I realized that a lot of my turmoil and angst was because I was having this strong urge to fix this for him. That for a lot of reasons, I was stepping into my old role of being responsible for everything and everyone. That we were engaging in the old dance. And I realized that by being nice, by passively agreeing that there was a possibility of reconciling that I was easing the pressure on him to focus on his own healing and sobriety. I am enabling. Shit. And feeling like I had to reconcile because of all the people around me who want that and because of the story that tells. etc. Thing is, I'm not at all sure I want that. I was just being swept along. And I felt guilty about being with New Guy. What kind of bs is that?
      So. I realized that I entered into a relationship with New Guy believing that I was free to do so. I owe my ex nothing and my continuing a relationship that is good for me is Ok too. Especially, since it is going to take time and a great deal of effort and amends before I believe my ex is really committed to change. he's got a lot to prove.
      Here's another point. He mentioned to me that he talked to his lawyer to put the divorce on hold. I didn't resist this so I passively agreed to it. Dammit. And after thinking I realize it feels a little manipulative. Not in a malicious way. It just keeps me hooked in to my ex and in a way begins to de-legitimize my new relationship. But I also recognize that it keeps my ex hooked to me. Because on some level I don't trust him to do the hard work, to have the stamina or commitment to fight for me without that hook. I'm also afraid it keeps us locked in the same old co-dependent dance. I was more than OK with the divorce going through before. I almost feel like we need to just to be truly free to come back together in a new way or not. It is terrifying.

    2. Part 2
      The other thing I think about is how nice things are with New Guy. I spent time with him and Sunday after he was away for the weekend (I really like that he still does all the things that feed him - like going to his boat - even when I can't join him - I stayed home because it was my son's last weekend of summer before high school) and I was so genuinely happy to see him. I just let myself feel that. We made a dinner out of random stuff in his fridge and watched formula 1 racing (which I actually like). and it was just .. nice. Pleasant, fun. And we smooched a bunch and I just enjoyed myself. I gave myself permission to enjoy being with him, instead of worrying about my ex and what will happen and will he be hurt or who do I choose. I told all that stuff to sit down. Given how I grew up, I am always waiting for the other show to drop, for the price of kindness or love to be extracted. And so far, with New Guy, there is no other shoe. It is his choice to be kind or thoughtful or affectionate and I don't owe him something as a result of it. I'm trying not to engage in storytelling and magical thinking and just see what is good for me right now. And right now stuff with New Guy is really good. Stuff with my ex causes a lot of inner turmoil and he has a lot to prove and make amends for so I am not changing anything any time soon. I'm also giving myself permission to think about the divorce and what I want to say to my ex about it and where we are with it. I know I am wrestling with the idea that if I am truthful about my ambivalence and concerns about the dynamic it creates, it will scare him away. But that is not a healthy basis for a future together. If he gives up in the face of that, there's my answer to some degree. I need to work on detaching from him again. (I can see he is making an effort. He is a much better communicator and much more in touch with his feelings and expressing them. And using new vocab around boundaries that I know he is learning in therapy. I'll give him credit there. He goes every week and sometimes does two hour sessions with EMDR - some serious trauma back there in his childhood. But also in some ways using emotion to 'manage" my behavior. Like he told me he was sad and having a hard time compartmentalizing around me going away with New Guy. I just nodded because it is his job to deal with that not mine. His choices put him in a position where I was moving on with a new guy. So he gets to deal with the consequences. I release myself from any guilt I may have felt around his feeling sad.)
      And enjoy my New Guy for now. I am trying to find the right balance of sharing what is going on with me and the ex and not talking about him all the time or making him a major player in my relationship with new guy. Its a tough one because there are no models for what is good, so I am just winging it. I am feeling so much better when I focus on what is good for me vs trying to keep everyone safe from their own pain. Work in progress over here. I still have moments when I feel like a flag in a high wind, but more and more I feel like I am on solid ground. I've taking a course about letting go of being responsible for other people's feelings and there are some great mantras that I repeat to myself when I feel the codependent tugs.
      I release myself from old contracts and agreements.
      I am not responsible for others anger or pain. I am only responsible for me.
      I am allowed to choose what is best for me.
      And then there is my regular meditation: May I be free of suffering and the root of all suffering. May I be happy. May I be healthy. May I be safe. May I be at peace.
      (The root of suffering is attachment and expectation, in my opinion). These are much nicer things that I say to myself than I used to. My internal monologue used to have a lot more "shoulds" in there.

    3. SS1, New Guy sounds wonderful!
      I love to hear you express your thoughts. You have such a wonderful way of looking at things. I'll bet, like me, you sometimes have difficulty holding to your truths when the emotions get the better of you. But you come back stronger than ever. Love your meditation, and your reflections on the badass heron, I'm always seeing symbolism in things like that too.
      And I love that you are not letting him manipulate you or make you responsible for his unhappiness. My ex tries to do that all the time. Stay cool. Don't engage. You are forging a life, an identity, and a happiness that are not dependent on him.
      This Marshmallow thinks you are fantastic! I'm raising my glass of red wine to you.

  54. I'm so angry, but I'm crying again!!! We are separating again. He's going to move out. He reckons he tried - but he hasn't. When we went to MC he was lying, and he wouldn't go back. So many broken promises. So many lies. So much debt.
    The kids are at school and will be home soon. He doesn't have the passion for me anymore, but he has this fucking social media shit where he talks to all these young women and sends them love heart emojis. He's fucking 50 years old and wanting to be around single 30 year olds!! I hate his fucking guts.

    1. Gabby, I'm so sorry.Y You deserve better, so much better than this. You are allowed to hate his guts and be disgusted at his selfishness and childishness. Im so sorry. Sending hugs and strength your way.
      Dare I suggest at this point that he is doing you a favor? This person does not, as he currently exists and behaves, deserve to be in your life. Maybe when he is out of the house and away from you, you will begin to feel like you can breath again. Take care of you. You must be feeling so many things. I hope someday, relief is one of them. Hugs sister!

    2. Thanks SS1.
      Thanks for replying. You know what I am going through.
      Well the tears only lasted for a bit.
      He's moved out.
      I Know I am better off without him (and his dysfunctional parents). No more lies, no more crap. I suppose I just have mixed emotions - anger, sadness etc that he has broken our marriage and our children's family. But he is one mixed up man who does not want to admit he has mental health issues and get counselling.
      So he's moved on from his long term affair whore and has others lined up. Classic narcissist - keeping long term whore hanging in there with limited contact, but just enough as a back up plan.
      I've started telling my girlfriends who are horrified - pissed off for me but very supportive. At least I chose good girlfriends. He didn't want me to tell the kids he cheated, but I did, because he's been controlling me for too many years and he doesn't get to control me anymore. They need to hear the facts. The older kids are angry with him, but still want a relationship with him which of course I encourage.
      How are you feeling? How are things with you?

      Sam A - if you are reading. I'm thinking of you and hope you are able to have happy days and happy memories of your mum.

      Gabby xo

    3. Oh, Gabby.
      Of course it is for the best, but that doesn't keep your heart from aching and your anger and grief from burning. I hate so much that you are going through this.
      You have been through so much. You have given so much. And your h seems to be all about himself and his ego. There is still so much to be gotten through, but, day by day, you will get through it. It will get better. Hang on to that hope. And there are bright spots - it really is such a relief, such a cleansing thing, to be free of all the lies and manipulation. Make your life good, find your joy. You deserve it. It's awesome that you have good girlfriends. And yes, YOU are in control. No more bargaining, no more pacifying. You can do what you want to do. Take charge and do what is right for you and your kids. He will probably try to reel you back in somehow - mine still does, all the time. Just keep your head and don't play his games.
      Go, Gabby! This is a new chapter. You will make something amazing out of it!

    4. Gabby,
      A loss hurts and needs to be grieved even when that loss will ultimately make way for better in your life. So let yourself grieve. Sometimes we need to grieve the fantasy of what we thought our life would be more than the reality that it was. Either way, pain is real and the only way past it is through it.

    5. Hi Gabby, I've been off line due the storms and just catching up on reading posts. I just want to give you a great big hug and tell you something to make you laugh through the tears. You are strong and you will be happy again in your next chapter.

    6. Hi Gabby I have been reading, I'm sorry your hurting right now, take your time and grieve your loss, this is huge for you and your children. You will need your children right now like they will need you, support each other through this difficult time. In the short term take care of you surround yourself with your wonderful girl friends, laugh, cry, do whatever is necessary. I suppose some arrangements will need to be made regarding the children and financial matters but other than that I'd keep contact with your h minimal I have a feeling once the dust settles he will realise what an ass he is being and beg to come back. This is your time to figure out what you want and need, I envisage good things to come Gabby, keeping you in my thoughts .. lots of love .. keep strong my dear xxxx

  55. Hey everyone, I talked waaaay at the top of this page about sharing my story and sharing the full versions from my blog. That was back in June. I’ve been circling around doing it, coming close and backing away, because, well, I’ve been a little scared. I’ve finally gotten the nerve (thanks to the right timing and a gentle nudge helping me believe that it will probably all be ok).
    Thing is, I grew up in Dysfunction Junction with an alcoholic mother who was also a serial cheater. There was a ton of silence and denial in my house. And I was the caretaker. It was my job to make everyone, especially mom, OK. I don’t think I can put my finger on a specific event, but I know she used shame and disappointment as a motivator. And now, even now, or maybe after years of reliving it in marriage, especially now, I get literally paralyzed when I have to communicate something that may cause others to react with anger, pain or disappointment. I am so afraid of hurting people with my too much or not enough-ness. It’s the big theme I have been wrestling with in therapy an on my own and in my relationships.
    Lots pf people already know my story and still love me. I am going to share here because I think it may help others (and honestly, more so, it will help me too) because it’s a step I need to take in my growth; opening my mouth to communicate uncomfortable things and owning my shit.
    I’ll give the cliff notes here and a link to my blog where there are three longish posts with the sometimes-gory details:
    We’ve noted dysfunction junction. Alcohol. Lots. Cheating mom. Lots. I learned some super co-dependent survival skills. I went to college and was raped at age 20 by a guy who had been one of my best friends all through high school and college. Met my future husband shortly thereafter. He was the first guy I felt safe with. He was my friend first. When eventually we started dating, my history made things complex. He had a history but I wouldn’t find out about it until after d-day. We eventually got married and thought we were going to do so much better than our parents, convinced we hadn’t repeated their mistakes when it came to love (note the irony here please). And then two babies and shit just got away from us. Shortly after I returned to work after my second child I got involved in an inappropriate friendship with a man at work and ultimately cheated physically too. I was a hot fucking mess. There were a lot of things going on but ultimately it was my shitty coping skills and low self-esteem and it was what I had seen and absorbed growing up. I ended up and came clean to my husband. We worked things out and were together for 12 more years until my own dday came. I think you all have seen bits of that story from my posts and comments. Girl from work (29 to his 46 – gag) oh and sex workers for five years prior to that and kind of a bit of a porn habit. Trickle truth, waffling, carrying on the affair while living with me. Pretending to do marriage counseling, then telling me he was going to see the OW for her birthday. We separate. And start working through divorce and we get almost done and I am moving on and dating. He wrecks his motorcycle if a drunken fit and hits the proverbial rock bottom. And starts making noises like he regrets not working things out and I am confused as fuck. And here we are today.
    You can read the unabridged version starting at . There are Episodes 2 and 3 which complete the bits above. There is lots of other stuff on the site. It’s all really for me. I currently have one reader and it is the friend who encouraged me to start it. Ps if any of you venture there, almost all of the photography and graphic stuff is my own work. And I do some, um, writing, exploring and connecting with my sexuality. It’s clearly marked, not real in any way, just be warned.

  56. SS1 Update part 1
    So much is going on right now. Things are still nice with new guy, but with the shadow cast over them. With my ex circling and trying to make amends I find it hard to be completely present and now. And I panic every time he wants to make plans that are more than a week in advance. And I have a super hard time talking about things that I believe may make others unhappy or disappointed, so I am not sure I've made my level of confusion clear. This worries me.
    I recently had to coach my daughter thru a very difficult situation. I'm proud of her and how she handled it and grateful she reached out to me about it. She has a friend, at another college, who is in an abusive relationship and possible complicated with substance abuse. This girl has zero boundaries, as you can imagine and relies on my girl to "keep her safe". Invited herself up to stay with my girl and my girl was getting embroiled in trying to rescue her friend. Thank goodness she came to me for advice. I got my daughter to understand that she was in danger (the abusive guy was 100% likely to follow the friend and has already put a person in the hospital when they tried to intervene), that she could not and should not attempt to rescue her friend, that her friend needed to get her ass to a shelter and stay there and provided campus resources and the national hotline. And I drew a line in the sand: she had to tell her friend not to come visit and if the friend was going to come, I was going to go pick my girl up and bring her home. I was not going to risk having her around this violent person. And then I had to let her go handle the situation as best she could. I hadx to inform my almost ex because I believed our daughter to be in danger. We had a couple of discussions. In the end it worked out. My girl successfully handled the co-dependent friend and the situation is resolved. My almost ex spoke to me afterwards in a way he never has before, appreciate of who I am and the fact that my relationship with our daughter made her feel safe to come to me n a crisis. It kind of blew me away and made me see that maybe things could actually be different/better. Freaked me out.
    But I still spend time with new guy and everything is just nice, easy , comfortable, happy, fun (I know, I know... new relationship vs old). And I finally get the balls to tell him I am going up to college for the football game with my girl, but the ex has the tix and we are all going up together. He seems unfazed and I get to spend the day without guilt for not telling him how the day was actually going to go down.

  57. SS1 update part 2
    During that trip I see both new and old in my almost ex. He's got a weirdly self conscious trying to hard way of greeting visitors from the away team. It's almost like "look at me, I'm the good guy" Makes me a little uncomfortable, because its awkward. But I let that go because that's his stuff not mine. But it made my teenage son uber duper uncomfortable, as you can imagine. (I can remember being mortified by my mom on a kajillion occassions). And my son, bless him, spoke up and said " can you not do that, its embarrassing me." And my almost ex did not respond with empathy. It was more a defensive speech about how it wasn't about him (my son) and he wanted to make the vistors welcome because he wants our college to have a good reputation blah blah blah. I waited a moment and reiterated what my son said," I think -son- is saying that it is making him uncomfortable." And my almost ex said, Ok I'll stop if it is making you uncomfortable" There was a caveat I can't recall but he did stop. I remember thinking I felt like I was managing two teens and how much I didn't want that job.
    There was another incident where my almost ex had lined up a tailgate for us to visit. Unfortunately it was loud, packed, dripping with alcohol (which did not seem ideal for a dude in recovery) and completely not right for my son who has some social anxiety. He ended up having a little bit of a melt down and I suggested we go to a food cart instead or head back to our car to sit for a bit as we still had a good bit of time before the game. My son felt awfully, said I feel like I am ruining this for everyone (can I just say, that I loooove that my kids share this way with me) while the almost ex was off taking leave of the tailgate host. When we got back to the car, my son sat inside to get some air and me and almost ex sat outside. He confessed to feeling sulky and having a "why do I bother" feeling. I shared with him what my son had said about ruining everything and he said that really helped. Then he asked if I was OK with him walking around just to cool himself down. I was fine with it. But in general having the feeling that I do not want this to become my job, why can't things just be fun,lol? The day got better. We all enjoyed the game. And of course my daughter and I had so much fun together. I think overall it ended positively. As we were driving home and boy child was asleep, the almost ex mentioned that he had recently had lunch with a mutual acquaintance who had made his same "mistake" and worked things out. I didn't dive in to that because of the risk of the boy overhearing, but there's stuff to unpack there.
    Oh and I successfully let my MIL know that some co-dependent offloading of angst she attempted with me wa snot OK. She was upset that no one told here we were going away for the day and it ruined her whole day. Not my responsibility lady and trying to make me feel guilty about it, making me responsible for your bad day is bullshit.
    So, here I am still as confused as fuck. New guy, who is so sweet, I can't even, wants to plan a weekend around a boat show (sailing is his thing). It's at the beginning of October and I am freaking out. I'm afraid to let him spend money on me because I don't know where I am. I'm afraid that the almost ex is going to ask for the second chance any day now and I'm not ready. I haven't seen enough change. And no real dealing with the alcohol thing, actual more maneuvering around shame is what I am observing. Poop.

  58. SS1
    Wow. You have been through so much. I have read your blog. I hope you continue with your healing and get to a place of peace. Please be open with the new guy. Whatever his story is, I hope he is open with you too. As for your husband - he has a lot of work to do.
    Thinking of you with hugs and support.
    Gabby xo

    1. Thanks Gabby, I'm grateful for your note (and yours too Sam A - thanks for visiting my blog). I think really, when it comes down to it, if you're human you've been through a lot. Everyone on this site has been through a lot. And when I get bent about my mother in law, I try to remember that if I had had her alcoholic parents and a narcissist mother who'd give Mommy Dearest a run for her money, I'd be codependent AF too (cause I am and am still a work in progress there).
      It was scary to share my story. I worried (just a bit) that it was going to shock and disappoint my friends on here. But then a wise person (ahem, Elle) told me that I am no less betrayed for having cheated myself and my experiences on "the dark side" may give me an insight that can help others on here. And you know, since I shared my whole story, I feel so much lighter. Its just like Brene Brown says in her book Rising Strong (can't wait to read her new one btw!! just our yesterday) that when we are being authentic and owning all parts of our story, then we are living wholeheartedly. I had to let go of worrying about what other people think (and that's still an evolving skill for me). Posting that story was a really vulnerable moment but an important step for me toward using my voice and owning my shit. And I am slowly doing better. Telling new guy that I would be spending the day with my almost ex (when I was afraid it would make him unhappy) was a huge step. Telling my MIL that what she had done was not OK (and letting go of the need to make her understand because you don't get it until you get it) was a big step for this silenced little girl. So I'm putting it all in the win column with the full recognition that there's still more work for me to do. Like training for a long run. When you get started, just doing a couple of miles sucks, but you are still doing them. it takes time and practice to get up to longer distances. You just keep at it. And you give yourself a rest some days too.
      Gabby, How are you? How are you feeling? I'm sure you must be feeling so many things, grief not the least among them. But I hope that some things have eased up and you've got some breathing room, that you are enjoying the time and space to be just you without your H and his BS stinking up the joint. Hugs and support back at you! SS1

  59. SS 1

    Thank you for this post and sharing, it speaks to me! Putting things down in the win column while acknowledging the work to be done.... ahh so great. I have a tendency to be too hard on myself and only give myself a win when it's all done a perfect.... uhh no... it will never all be perfect and done. It's about letting go a bit and recognizing progress and challenges along the way. Also as I'm thinking of getting back into running, I love the running analogy.

    Thank you. Love and support sisters


  60. Ladies I have been gone the last few weeks after undergoing a fairly major procedure for a fairly minor muscle repair. I have an abdominal wall that is apparently paper thin, like my mothers, who suffered with hernias her whole life, Ive gone through my share but this time it led to the condition i dont know the medical name for but was called by my Dr a "fully blown abdominal muscle" Ouch. All those stitches and no real cosmetic value--lol. I am planning on wearing a waist cincher anyway to see if i can pull a little vanity out of this after all.

    Still Standing 1, i just want to share two chapters in my life similar to yours--not to lead you one way or another, but just to lay it out as I dont think I have told this story here.

    Story one was my first husband who i married very young, and true to my history (an alcoholic father), i had married an alcoholic. Now alcohol is a progressive disease so i forgive myself for not seeing what his college drinking would eventually lead to in our 10 or so years of marriage. The day that slayed me was the day I thought i was pregnant--and his words "if you are, I am out" hit me so hard that i slapped him across the face. He worked for the government, he went on assignment and was busted I believe that very same night for being falling down drunk on the job. When he came home he told me he had blacked out, but he needed to tell me that he may had slept with someone. He really could not remember (would not have been his first blackout). I can't remember how he was fast tracked into inpatient therapy. but it was while he was there that I knew, without a doubt that i was DONE. I would support him at family group nights and the like, and attended the partners therapy included in the cost but I would not remain married to him. He had put me in danger quite a bit near the end, behind the wheel or in ridiculous situations (picking bar fights in NICE bars and restaurants), and once hitting on one of my best friend who, God Bless her, IMMEDIATELY told me. Again I do not remember the time frame, but it was not long after he was out of the house and in inpatient that one morning, he showed up at the house in a suit, with a dozen roses, and proclaimed that he was sobered up, stepping up, wanted to come back and start a family. A true alcoholic grand gesture (i had heard and seen so many grand gestures over the years, but I never caught on to the fact that they were just a bullshit way to shut me up. I, a young fool had moved on to something (a guy) which ended up being not very serious, and that boy was in my bed the morning my STBX showed up. Didn't phase him. He didnt care--water under the bridge and all that, and we could start fresh. But for me? It was too late. My mind was so made up. He remained sober and we saw each other for about 6 months? a year? (its been so long i can hardly remember) I did go to his one year sobriety meeting with him, but i could NOT get the feeling back. I actually wanted to at times and I could not. We even took a couple of vacations together. But even without alcohol, The fact that I was now singing, with some people i had met at one of my al-anon groups and I was studying yoga brought out old behaviours in him. He was always a bit judgy--a bit " I know whats right" and now he thought That i was obviously lost, and searching for happiness in the wrong place (singing and yoga) because i failed to work with a sponsor or go to as many meetings as he did. Eventually things tapered off over a few years and it got to the point that his new girlfriend was unhappy that we continued to be casual friends and he cut ties with me. The only thing that I know now is that my once freeloading husband is now an EXTREMELY wealthy man, got remarried and to this day, as far as I know, has remained sober. It's been at least 25 years Continued next

  61. I still have moments that I wonder if it would have gone down this way had we got back together. He was dead serious about his sobriety and although it still shocks me, I really am proud of him. Our last correspondence was a couple of years ago and sadly it was unpleasant.

    So although I believe that your husband could change, he is not showing the fire that my first husband showed when he decided he was going to sober up.
    It became the most important thing in his life. I was still quite young at the time though and to be honest, I was left alone a LOT while he spent almost every night at work or at meetings. I am not so sure that i would have been such as asset to have around, as where I once felt 2nd to the bottle, I now felt 2nd to AA.

    A few years later after a couple of relationships I meet current husband, who again, didnt look like much of a drinker. He brought beautiful bottles of wine over, taught me to make a great martini and we were never supposed to be serious. AFter 8 years together his drinking started to spin out of control and it was around this time that he got his first hand job (unbeknownst to me until last year, but I had a feeling). He had been cutting down on drinking again and again only to have it ramp up again and by 2013 i again had just had it. Right before my December D-day---he came into my office drunk and weeping begging me to help. It was the only time i ever said "no, I cannot help you, you have to help yourself" I find a couple months later he had just paid for sex a few miles from our house. That D-day he vows to quit and chose a path different than AA. Drank twice that I knew of and other times I knew nothing of for exactly one year.

    He refused to go to AA until D0day 2 in June 2016. I kicked him out that D-Day (it was a set boundary). He had been drinking and hiding it successfully for 18 MONTHS with extreme strategic planning. I only suspected it a few times, but it was never an overwhelming feeling. and he simply denied or gaslighted me. I just knew something was wrong. He at that point threw himself into both AA and SA (or SAA) with a vengeance 90 meetings in 90 days. Got a sponsor for each program and although i had NO plans on taking him back he was doing so well. We were not seeing each other, not even speaking on the phone but I knew what he was doing as we did text. But as soon as life started to get busy again, he began to lag. A boundary for me was at LEAST a meeting a week, preferable one for each addiction. But H has a case of terminal specialness, and has decided he's just done with drinking and he'll go to his meetings when he has time--or when i go to mine. I don't think he's drinking, and I'm damn sure he is not screwing around, or he'd be out, but he is slacking so so hard and using his obsessive personality to focus on things other than booze, scheming and whores.
    While i was laid up and recuperating the last few weeks he did nothing but cater to me physically, fed me, bathed me, a few plants died, but in the larger scheme, the world went on without me controlling it or him. But I fear for him, his demons, the one s that allow him to choose booze and sex are heinous. He, after a stupid argument,which should not have been an argument, admitted again that any question that I have, or statement "you seem to be a little scarce, you're really holed up in your office" hits him as nothing but criticism and he lashes back at me. It's not often, but it's very hard to feel the same sort of love that I used to feel for him. Because even though he took care of me, he's just not taking care of himself. Skips meetings (why? taking care of me), Isolates (why? so pour his obsessions into projects to keep him away from his vices).

  62. Part 3 Wrap up
    In short, he is acting a bit like your husband SS1 although we are still in the same house. I remember during his 90 in 90 phase when i felt that there might be some hope for us after all, my IC told me not to trust him, that no matter WHAT he was doing now, he was looking at a LIFETIME of change, and not to trust anything under a year of full participation in a program, with a sponsor, etc etc etc. He has so much shame. He still does not believe that he has done bad things, he believes that he is a bad person. It's not my responsibility to talk him out of that, but I hope that he will find his way back to the programs and people who can help him get over that because i will support him 100 percent in that. If he can't, I cant find a lot of long term hope for us.
    I am sorry this seemed to turn into the Steam Story, but I think in short what I am trying to say is that if your STBX stops drinking he might and it might work, or he might and it might not. i would say it's a roll of the dice, but I'm not sure. I think the signs are pretty clear when you look closer.

    Now you just keep kicking ass. thanks for your inspiration and letting us see your strength in what you might sometimes think is weakness. HUgs to you always

  63. Steam, thank you for sharing your story. Others stories all still help me feel like I live a secret "normal" life touched by addiction and infidelity. Sad but true.

  64. Steam thanks so much for sharing your story. It helps me to see that I don't have to make up my mind any time soon. And that my concern that he is not tackling his sobriety with a degree of seriousness that I feel is called for is a legitimate one. Wow you have been through the ringer Steam. I hope writing it out helped.
    There are a lot of balls in the air for me right now and your story has reminded me that it will take a lot of time to unfold and sometimes you just have to roll with it. That sometimes you won't know the outcome until much later.
    In other news the almost ex is trying to open up and trust more connect with his feelings. He actually cried in front of me yesterday about being scared relative to the drunk driving charges etc etc. I made sure to keep the comfort offered the same as I would to a platonic friend and didn't try to swoop in to fix it either. This is a real consequence of his actions and he needs to feel the pain of it.
    He also asked if maybe we could go on a date sometime over text. Then said OMG I can't believe I hit send, just ignore me. It was cute and I laughed. But I also know I am so not ready for that. I did say that it was a good idea and would be a necessary part of the process for us to get to know each other again, but that I wasn't ready for that right now. I also said, this is just my opinion but you need to focus on your own recovery and healing first. The rest was just a distraction from that. I'm trying to be gentle with him, because being vulnerable is hard, very hard. But at the same time stick to some kind of a boundary. Plus, I'm in a one on one relationship with new guy so entertaining dates from my ex would not be at all appropriate. Weird times indeed. I feel like he's got the cart several miles ahead of the horse... I feel like he's got some timeline in his head for reaching a not mutually agreed upon goal. That's just in my head though. One of the many stories I tell trying to make things make sense. I may not ever know if I am doing the right thing. But I'm trying to do the best I can with what I know and the skills I have right now. Its the best I've got. Chances are there are lots of "right" things.
    And that LIFETIME of change you talk about, I see my sister struggling through that every year with her H who is in recovery but never went to AA or anything similar. Its a struggle. And I'm wondering how this latest stressor (lawyer interaction and the dd charges) is or is not going to trigger my stb/almost x relative to his numerous numbing strategies.
    So that's my brain dump today. Thanks again Steam for taking the time to share your story. There are some insights that I needed.

  65. Sometimes I feel guilty that I don't come here for longer periods of time. Sometimes, when you are trying to rebuild your life after divorce and infidelity, you get very involved in the present, and planning for the future, and you spend less time analyzing the past. Hell, you don't even want to think about the past. But eventually I feel the pull to come back, to see how friends are doing, to share the parts of me that can only be understood by the sisterhood of the BWC.
    SS1, I found your blog! I'm not finished reading it yet, but this is a weekend with no kids, so at some point this weekend I am planning to sit down with a glass of wine and YOU.
    Updates: my ex, the Drama King, wants to buy my house. I have mixed feelings about that. The idea is that his parents will live here, and when he has the girls, they can all stay here. Since he lives an hour out of town, I can see where that would help.
    But inevitably, that means his skank would end up coming here. I had to wrestle with that for a while. I have no problem with my daughters' brother, that precious baby boy, being here. But the skank, in the house where I conceived and raised my kids, where we were a family for 12 years, where I lived and loved and laughed and screamed and cried?
    Sometimes it bothers me, and I still despise them both. But truthfully, it becomes more distant with time. I need to move into the girls' school zone, and I would love to skip the whole "putting the house on the market" thing, if he will buy it "as is". And the girls are thrilled. So - let her have the 65-year-old house and the 47-year-old cheater. I'm on to bigger and better things. Well... I'm probably buying a garden home, so I guess I'm on to smaller and better things!
    Anyway, we'll see. With the Drama King, one never knows. He told the girls for the last two weeks that he was finally going to tell their grandparents about their brother. Still hasn't done it. He still occasionally talks about his cancer - who knows? And then, two weeks ago, he texted me and broke the news that he was marrying the skank. Read on....

    1. Hi Phoenix, so pleased to hear from you. Try not to feel guilty about how or when you visit BWC. Its a come as you are kind of place, right? And being very involved with the present and moving on sounds completely normal and healthy. But Iknow what you mean about feeling a little guilty. For me it takes the form of "am I giving enough back?" which is silly and a "should" in disguise. I should be writing more or responding more. But really, its OK to do what I can and accept help and support when I need it.
      I love that you call your ex the Drama King. I call mine the Waffle King, lol. I wonder if their kingdoms abut.
      Oh the house stuff. Its hard to think about strangers even, being in your beloved house, changing things, it not being your house any more. But to add that the skank would be there. That's hard, but I agree with your take, that it doesn't have to be all bad. It sounds like there are a lot of positives for you and your girls in that set up. And in the end it may surprise you how not being in the space where you loved and lived and laughed and screamed will free you from that past. Having your own space that is 100% just yours, your new slate. I'm in the fortunate position where my stbx is paying me a substantial amount so I can live in and maintain the marital home for the next four or so years to keep things stable for our kids. Basically, it feels to me like he is paying me a good salary to finish raising our kids. He was so hands off and out of the picture until his DUI accident in August. Now it is in our agreement that either of us can buy out the other at the end of that period. Truthfully, unless my mom kicks it and leaves me a surprise pile of cash, there is no way I could afford this giant barn of a house. So it is very likely that the Waffle King would buy and keep this house, which is very much my house at this point (as far as I'm concerned). And it gives me a weird feeling in my tum. I think on some level it s about boundaries? I don't want him in my literal space. I know it is silly and its the place we built together. But the idea of him hosting Christmas here, when Christmas is my thing, hurts a ton. On the other hand, I've got myself a nice little plan for what to do with my cut of the sale of the house (or the chunk from him buying me out). I will use half to get a tiny house (or maybe just storage) to hold most of my shit. The other half I will invest in a large cruising yacht and live most of the time on the water. Sailing up and down the coast (winter = south and summer = north).
      Its 100% nuts that your ex has not informed the grandparents about that baby brother.

  66. Part 2
    So, after the ice water had settled in my veins, I asked "when". He said soon. Then he started to yammer about how she was his best friend, and how much he loved her, and how much she loved the girls.
    Now, I don't engage with him much these days. I keep things impersonal. It has been an excellent decision. But I have a tipping point, and using that skank, my daughters, and the word "love" in the same sentence is my tipping point.
    So I engaged.
    First I typed out a message full of emotion and invective. Didn't send it, though, because showing him emotion gives him an advantage I don't want him to have. Instead, I sent this:
    "Oh yeah, she's a peach. Honest. Kind. Unselfish. Would never lie or cheat or cause anyone pain. Respects other people's feelings, and the sanctity of marriage.
    If we are going to maintain a civil, respectul co-parenting relationship - which I assume is what you want - then do not talk to me about that woman. Especially in relation to our girls. I don't want to hear that crap. I've already expressed that, loud and clear. I'm not sure why you are choosing to disregard that simple request, but stop. Just stop. Unless you are just trying to needle me...?
    It would be nice if you avoided the subjects of friendship and love as well. I am understandably cynical about those subjects, especially coming from you.
    My past has been trashed, but I will enjoy my future. I know I'm better off. I will be stronger and happier.
    All I ask is that you protect our children, and show a little courtesy and respect for their mother. And give the girls their college money back.
    You can be a really wonderful dad and a good co-parent, and I am trying to hold onto that. Help me with that. Do right by the girls, and we'll be okay. And I won't talk to you about how wonderful my boyfriend is, and gush about our love and friendship, and how much he loves the girls. And you can refrain from rhapsodizing about that woman to me. Fair enough?"
    Yeah. That was the mild version.
    His response....

    1. Marriage. to the skank. Just shhit. Its so crazy how he still is seeking your approval and acceptance of his "relationship" with this person who helped him trash your family and marriage. Its just so broken and co-dependent. Even with the divorce long finished, he's still relating to you in old, very not ok ways. Just nuuuts.
      I love what you wrote to him. I was jumping out of my chair with a "woo hoo, you go!" "and give the girls their college money back." yeeessss! Its amazing to me how much these guys don't get that their affair was and is not a legitimate relationship. Even my stbx, while acknowledging my need for freedom and to pursue what feels right ot me right now, to see where it goes, cast his affair under that umbrella. He apparently had to see it through to see if it was something better. Um, wow. Fuck you dude. Not the same by a long shot, not least because you did things in the wrong order. Usually you end one relationship before starting another.
      I love how powerful your letter was, all full of boundaries, expecting that you be treated with respect and outlining what you will and will not tolerate.

  67. Part 3
    Fortunately, he wasn't drinking, or it could have turned ugly. Instead, he responded, all hurt and huffy, by telling me she was going to be his wife and their stepmom, and that I should grow up. And use her name.
    Yep, you heard it. Drama King, who can't tell his own parents that he has a 9 month old son, just told ME to grow up. Did you need a laugh today? There you go. You're welcome.
    My response:
    "I don't choose to use her name. She never used mine or gave me a shred of acknowledgement or respect. I have absolutely none for her. That's just the consequences of her own actions.
    And when YOU embrace someone who has done you harm, someone you despise, and let them be around your children regularly, then you get to tell me to grow up. Until then, I can handle this insanity any way I want.
    You and that woman have put me through hell, repeatedly, and you've changed my family forever. And I'm dealing with it, and I'll be fine, because I've got strength and self-respect that you can't take away, and I'm better than all this sordid mess. So do what you want, that's your prerogative, but don't try to paint it pretty for me. I know better, because I've been at the receiving end. I won't listen to it. And that's my prerogative.
    Or hey, we could put it this way:
    You don't tell me what you think of her, and I won't tell you what I think of her."
    Then I changed the subject to practical matters. And he followed my lead.
    He let. It. Go.
    Anyway, I haven't heard any more about it, and he hasn't said anything to the girls. Truth, or another ploy to get under my skin? Who knows? He's been trying to force an emotional reaction out of me for weeks. I think he's realizing, with a nasty shock, that I really don't care about what he does, or if he marries. I only care about my kids.
    A man with a tender ego, a drinking problem, and low self-esteem, married to a working mom of five who is young enough to be his daughter, whose family doesn't particularly like him...and both of them liars and cheaters? Yikes. I don't want my babies anywhere near that mess.
    I don't want her to be stepmom to my kids. But there are silver linings.
    If the worst happens, I am free. I have nothing left to dread.
    I get the fun of needling him by refusing to use her name, a stand I richly deserve to take.
    I get to watch them implode, hopefully while munching popcorn.
    And I no longer have to worry about tiptoeing around his feelings with MY friends or dating activities. There are friends I haven't seen in a year because HE didn't like them or want them around the girls, and I was being respectful. But once he gives them a skank for a stepmom, all bets are off.
    AND I've thought of a GREAT wedding present, if and when the happy event occurs (cue evil laugh).
    That being said - I will watch myself around the girls. I never disrespect their dad to them. They don't need to feel that kind of angst, and conflict of loyalties. They know we still make all important parenting decisions together. They know I don't like her, but I don't rub their faces in it. To them, I usually call her (Brother's name)'s mother.
    Sorry for the ramble, but if you made it through, thanks for listening!
    I hope to hear what is going on with y'all. Please touch base! Hugs!!!!

    1. I like the way you wrote to your ex, Phoenix - there is a great power in using civil language to convey iron-core strength. I'm sure your self-control and clear writing must be very frustrating to a person who is seeking an emotional reaction- good job!

    2. Phoenix, you are one tough cookie and I am thrilled to hear your story of maturity in the face of evil. Your kids are so lucky to have you and your restraint is admirable. May you live long and prosper as living well is the best revenge.

    3. "that I should grow up and use her name." Just wow, the irony. People who haven't been on the receiving end of an affair just don't get it. I was at a graduation party this summer. The parents had divorced, at least in part because the husband had gotten involved with another woman. It was an exit affair, he was out either way, I think. But it is a shitty way to go about it. The ex wife has recovered, but I think not completely. She had to be at her own daughter's grad party not only with her ex husband (ok that's co parenting) but also with the woman who helped break up her marriage and who is now engaged to the husband. just wow. And I was sitting at a table with some neighbors and one of them said. "It's about time, long past due. She needs to get over it." About the ex wife and her not wanting to be around the OW. It's been a long time, but knowing what I know, I get that she doesn't every have to be OK being around those two together. And guess what? I spoke up. I said "Should she really be over it? Regardless of what you think you know about how much they used to fight or how bad it was, she has to share her daughter's graduation with the woman who, from her perspective, helped end her marriage. When exactly should she be "over" that? Yes it is in the long past, but there is no one right way to recover from something like that." and it actually started a really good conversation at that table around infidelity and how its presented as no big deal, but just because its common doesn't mean it isn't devastating. Anyway. The long point I am trying to make is that the Drama King just. Doesn't. Get it. You know this already. But his willful ignorance is a little breathtaking.
      There are so many good things in your response. And so much strength. You don't deserve any of this, but man are you ever shining your light.
      I'll sit and munch the popcorn with you! I hope if and when the time comes, you will share the evil genius of the wedding gift. Maybe a box of extra small condoms?
      And you are right on about your girls, as always. They still need to be able to love and respect their dad. So you don't talk shit. I don't either. Even when my kids start it. I'll usually respond with "sounds like something you need to discuss with him."
      Sending you all kinds of hugs. Thanks for the update. I love hearing how you are doing. SS1

    4. Phoenix
      I'm so sorry you have to deal with this in such an ongoing basis but I'm proud of how you wrote this to your x. I've watched S you take the high road and that can't be easy given your circumstances. I'm sending hugs!

  68. "Using civil language to convey iron-core strength." What an awesome way to put it! I don't know if that was accomplished, but I have always admired people who can intimidate with excessive courtesy, logic, and a good vocabulary. I aspire....
    And yes, you hit the nail on the head. I've given him too much advantage by sharing my emotions. He is not my confidante; he doesn't get to know what I'm feeling. He's lost that right, and I won't give him that much control. Thanks, Selkie! I hope you are doing well.

  69. Phoenix I always love reading your posts, you have stayed true to yourself and your girls throughout your exes misfortunes. He really is a sapp of a man, wanting a reaction from you in any way he can. Your response to his bullshit was spot on my love, although I did worry that his intellect wouldn't stretch that far to grasp any of what you said. He is deeply emotionally immature and needs to 'grow up' . Now back to you Phoenix it's music to my ears to hear your pushing forward? carving out a new life for you and your girls. You have kept every bit of your self respect in tact Phoenix I love your looking out for you. You have come soooooo far my dear don't forget that, your an amazing lady who deserves peace and happiness and I'm certain that's exactly what your getting right now.. your living your true life with integrity and I salute you.. keep moving forward.. lots of love Phoenix..

  70. SS1 update part 1
    OMigosh gang, so much to catch up on. So, you know or may recall that I was in some agonies about how my stbx was sad and sorry after his DUI wreck and wished he had worked things out and wanted to put the divorce on hold. And I was getting sucked back in. And it had cast a shadow over my happiness with my new guy. It had also imbued a new dating relationship with a level of seriousness that was not appropriate. I went from enjoying spending time with someone I had fun with and who treats me well, to having to think about "is this someone Is could see myself with long term" and so on. And frankly, I just don't have enough information yet. I also don't have enough info on whether my stbx is really changing and if it’s enough. Only time will tell in either case. I do know that I don't want my old marriage. At all. (I see it often on here, where our standards raise and what we would have accepted shortly after D-day will no longer fly with us.) A year ago, just separated a month, I would have been thrilled with this sudden change of heart and probably thrown myself into fix it, save the marriage mode. Now, (and its very likely got something to do with the fact that I am dating a really nice, uncomplicated guy) I'm not really interested. I'm not saying I'm a closed door. I just need to see some things happen. This time does feel a little different that other attempts to come back. He's been two moths sober, but not, as far as I know, gotten involved in a support group. This is a problem for me. I grew up with an alcoholic who was always going to "do better." So, I'm not buying that you can just white knuckle it when it comes to addictive behaviors (and he's got the whole fun bag of tricks).
    So anyway, couple weeks ago now, stbx brings up the divorce again. He's checking in because I keep saying things like we both have as much time as we need to figure this out. And I let him know that I am ambivalent about it. That on the one hand I am scared and part of me doesn't want it, but another, saner, louder voice tells me that it is keeping us hooked together in unhealthy ways. That if things are going to work out, it is irrelevant if we are divorced or not. That I wasn't closing any doors, but that I needed some time to let things unfold.
    it was a good conversation. The next day he followed up by saying I think maybe you need some closure. That finalizing the divorce would but an end to this chapter for you and that you need some time to find what is going to be good for you. It was quite a revelation and 100% correct. I do think I need this divorce for closure. No matter where things go in the future, I was feeling controlled by the divorce being placed on hold and it felt like a little manipulation, an attempt to legitimize my new relationship. And that it kept the old patterns between us intact. That as scary as it is, and part of me is screaming no, that I do actually want the divorce to go through. Complicated. Weird. But it’s the clean slate I want. And I think will be good for us both. It was a big deal and I felt very grateful and about as open to him emotionally as I had been in a looong time.
    Still cautious, but now at least I don't hurt when I am around him. I'm not walking around angry all the time. Not that I was actively angry, but about him and the OW, it rose to the surface easily.

  71. SS1 update part 2
    I still sometimes see him acting in old immature ways. And still being controlling. For example, now he's trying to be much more involved with our son. He comes to the house to spend more time with him. I am open to this because it is good for my boy and no longer hurtful to me. But it is still draining. And when I go out, he's around more to see it. Less privacy for me. And one thing is way off balance and I don't quite know how to fix it. When I go away for the weekend, my stbx will come here and stay with my son. (My son has some social and other anxiety, doesn't like to leave the house, so we haven't been doing the every other weekend thing.) Which means that my stbx is of necessity all up in my business, but it doesn't work in reverse. He can do whatever the eff he wants on weekends and I don't need to know. I don't want to know, but I don't get the same degree of privacy in return. This weekend it blew up a little because I was going out with my guy and the STBX asked me, right in front of our son, if I was going to be staying out. I hedged because I did not want to have that conversation in front of my son. before the DUI, I would stay over at my guys house for the night occasionally, my son was aware but I would not rub his face in it. (Keep in mind he's 14 and his grandma lives here and never leaves at night). He also knows that if he needs me for anything, he can text and I'll get home. He's also expressed to me that he doesn't like his dad sleeping over all the time, as he likes some alone time with his friends. I get it. I have large personal space needs too. So long story short. I didn't like how this convo with eh stbx was going down. It felt invasive and controlling. After I left, I sent him a text to that effect. He didn't like it and came ate me with "I thought we had agreed to coordinate when you were going to be out and if I hadn't asked I would not have known that our son as going to be alone. We had agreed to communicating in advance. How am I supposed to coparent in this situation? " Kind of a dramatic response. I did not come back at him with a "two months ago, you gave zero shits whether I was out and he was going to be "alone." I use quotes because gramma is there. And I said look I agree we need to co parent. My plans for the night are not solid just yet. I also need to balance that with some degree of privacy. Our son has expressed that he is OK for short stays i.e. I’m not gone all weekend, and he sometimes likes the alone time. This did not seem like a situation that needed discussion or intervention. ... and he conceded.
    It’s a pain in my ass and I don't want him in my relationship. So maybe I need to get more serious about the every other weekend thing.
    Part of me is just pissed that he's done this turnabout. I was fine and happy with my life and the new direction and then he pulls the biggest Waffle King move yet in this saga.

  72. Part 3
    In other news, my MIL is barely speaking to me. Honestly, what a relief. She’s a codependent mess and makes everyone around her responsible for whatever is happening in her life. I know she’s old and set in her ways and that weird selfish that old people do. But she’s really become a target for my displaced anger (like if she had not been such a disaster maybe her kids wouldn’t be either). I know this is neither fair nor rational, but she triggers the hell out of me. I’m working on it, being patient with myself, but man, does she get my goat.
    So, a few weeks ago, I went with my son and stbx to visit daughter at college for the day and for the big football game. Was actually an OK day (I think I wrote about it above?). Well, I guess no one had clued the MIL in on the fact that we were going. (I don’t really feel the need to keep her apprised of my movements, especially since she is a nosy busybody that traditionally has been all up in my grill). So, the next day, she had clearly been stewing and gotten herself all worked up, feeling wronged, and felt like she needed to “stand up for herself” by coming at the first available target. Guess who the lucky winner was?! Me! She unloaded when I was in the middle of trying to fix an electrical problem in my kitchen (this is her in a nutshell btw, no situational awareness and zero shits given about whether it is a good time and she cares nothing for your response, she just wants to offload the emotional package). She was really upset that we were gone all day and no one had told her. She likes to know these things and feels it is common courtesy. And she does her best to let me know when she is going to be out (which is like twice a year tbtw). Blah blah blah. All with this hurt, self-righteous tone.
    I felt pretty heated, but I responded with “I can’t do this with you right now.” And walked to the basement to deal with the circuit breaker. But when I processed for a bit, I was pissed. She had no right to dump that on me and honestly, if she can be mad at anyone for not letting her know, shouldn’t that be her son, rather than his ex-wife? No. I was just an easy accessible target for her angst.
    So I went back and told her that what she had done was not OK. That I did not accept responsibility for her unhappiness. And that I am not willing to be accountable to her for my movements. I then asked her in what way she was harmed by us going away for the day. Well, apparently, her daughter had come to visit for the day and MIL was wondering where we were and the daughter said “oh they are up at the college.” I guess the old lady felt hurt and left out. I get it. That’s her old stuff. I can see feeling hurt in that situation. And so she was hurt and her whole day was ruined. All because we didn’t tell here we were away for a day trip. I responded with it’s a shame you let that ruin tour day, but the only person responsible for your bad day is you. She looked at me like I had two heads.
    But she also came back at me with how she thought moving here she was going to be part of a family and that we didn’t have a relationship anymore and she can’t move anywhere (hellooo trying to make me feel guilty). I said yeah, none of this is quite working out how we expected, but we’re all doing the best that we can. No on is expecting you to move out. That’s ridiculous. But also know that I will not take responsibility for you and your happiness. And offloading your angst and unhappiness on me is not ok with me. And I walked out. She’s avoided me since then. Hardly speaks. A couple times I’ve had to convey things to her and she’s had a miserable salty face. Even turns away in mid-sentence or when I greet her. I remain normal in my affect with her. Try to be kind, but am absolutely fine if she wants to avoid me and sulk. Its tiresome and childish and the more I see, the more I have empathy for my STBX growing up in that shitshow. No wonder he never felt good enough. So that’s progress for you.

  73. Part 4 Something nice.
    Quick story. Was sailing for the weekend with new guy. Sailing, btw, is the new love of my life. What a gift from this person, in addition to just how kind and thoughtful he is. So we sail down to a nice urban harbor town and stay overnight. We cook on the boat but go out later to see the town and have a drink. (We walked over 15 miles, the two days we were there). Anywho, he was excited to take me to a place because Edgar Allen Poe had had a drink there. As you can imagine I was expecting a dark, kind of subterranean place. Well, turns out is was screamingly loud, lots of lights, and stuffed to the gills with already very drunk people. Basically, not my scene at all. And the music, so loud it hurt my ears. I think I froze or fight or flight or something, but I was truly uncomfortable.
    He’s at the bar trying to flag a bartender, and he looks around to ask what I want. And instantly sees I’m not OK. He asks. You OK, do you need to get out of here? I said yes, I think so. But I still couldn’t move. The exit was down this narrow passage and streaming with people. So he grabbed my hand and led the way. I was a little sad and embarrassed. He said, hey look the record shop is still open, let’s pop in there. It was late, quiet and stuffed with vinyl. A good place for me to regroup. After a bit of poking around I was able to make a joke and then said. I’m Ok, should we go back? And he said let’s find somewhere less crazy to go. And we had a nice night and a good sleep on the boat.
    Next day, I realize, OMG, he was taking care of me!! He wasn’t hurt or upset that I didn’t want to stay at the Poe place. He was just concerned that I was OK. And his suggesting that we go to the record store was so I could regroup a little. How nice is that? And new, for me. I made sure to acknowledge it the next day. “I saw what you did there, thanks.” Good stuff all around.
    I also steered the boat through a narrow channel, navigated by the chart and backed it into the slip flawlessly. Good weekend!

  74. PS thank gourd for running and the change in the weather.

  75. Great insight into your life ss, I'm loving how you are managing to keep your feet firmly on the ground with mil, stbx and the new guy. i can see why you like spending time on the boat with the new guy he sounds like the opposite of your stbx (a breath of fresh air).

    I was initially really excited when you told us your stbx wanted to reconcile but I'm kinda steering towards the new guy at the moment just because of how he makes you feel. I love that your happy ss god you deserve it after all you do, I mean not many women would have their mil live with them, that requires some recognition on its own. I have faith in you ss and I know you will hold out for as long as necessary before you decide what you want. Continue to enjoy your weekends away, don't let stbx get in the way of your happiness, like you said he gets to do whatever on his weekends of. He will use counter moves to make you question yourself, that's what men with little maturity do, let him figure it out for himself. Exciting times ss, keep us posted lots of love xxx

  76. SS1 = I'm so proud of you.

  77. Hey, y'all, I'm in frantic, middle-of-the-week mode, but I just want to say "thank you"! So many of my old friends spoke up to offer me support, and it made my week. Selkie, Beach Girl, SS1, Theresa, and Sam, your words mean so much to me. Some days we need all the support we can get! SS1, loved your story about the wedding! And glad you are drawing boundaries too. I haven't been sailing in years, but I love it.
    BTW, DK finally told his dad about the baby. Who knows what's next?
    I've got to run, but I'll check in later. Have a fantastic rest-of-the-week, sisters!
    No Drama, No Waffles!! Yeah!!!

  78. Thanks LLP and Sam A. I love your point about the counter moves. Some of his waffling is definitely that. I think he's genuinely remorseful, I really do. But I lived too long with an alcoholic mother who was always going to "do better" so much so that it was a collective eye roll when she was "on the wagon again" , so I'm not buying into his believe that he can stay sober on his own. I'm also not going to lay out a roadmap of conditions he needs to meet in order for me to consider reconciliation. He needs to get there on his own or it won't be legit. But his moves definitely had me questioning myself.
    Even recently, I can tell he was letting his thoughts run away with him and was saying if down the road things changed, he would really want to maintain the house for the kids, but he would need time to get that financially lined up. Basically, he was fishing to see how serious my new relationship was. Our agreement is such that he pays me sufficient support so I can afford to stay in our family home with the kids until my son goes off to college. His question was really about, if I decided I wanted to remarry, he would want the opportunity to buy me out of the house, which we both jointly own and have the option to do at the end of the agreement or if my marital status changes etc. So I had to internally shake my head because he's making a lot of assumptions and fishing for info at the same time. I'm not even remotely contemplating changing my situation and the last thing I want to do is move away from my son. But in addition to being the Waffle King, he's also got a flair for the dramatic. I tried not to answer directly because where I am in my relationship with new guy is none of his business, but I did let him know that in general, I am not planning much further ahead than next weekend. Too much uncertainty.
    The thing is, I know I could make it work with my ex. It would be some work on my part. And I just don't know if that's good enough anymore.

  79. Ss it seems like your stbx is on wobbly ground and wants reassurance from you, the woman he hurt so deeply. I agree ss you most likely could make it work with your ex but my question is whether he could make it work?? his life must feel very uncomfortable right now watching his stbx wife spending time with a new man it must be absolutely killing him inside, if I was him I would be fighting tooth and nail for you, using every trick in the book to win you back. Instead he is talking like he's already lost you. Where is the fight in this man, I respect that he's giving you space to figure out what you want but I kinda want to shout at him to 'fight for you', Before it's too late. Ss I guess your future will depend on what stbx does or doesn't do. Continue to live for the day ss, your right not to plan too far ahead. Keep us posted my love .. wanting the best for you xxx

  80. Sam A, you've hit the nail on the head, as you do so often. "where is the fight in this man?" If he's fighting for me, its an invisible fight that I can't see. I'm not going to let him and his waffling be in control of my future though. I waited sooo long for him to show up and he still hasn't. His sidled up along side me a couple of times and done a sort of "please make it easy for me to come home" kind of thing, but I guess my standards are higher now. I think I deserve someone who's willing to show up for me and fight for me.
    I'm not gonna lie, on this very rainy Monday, I'm a little sad about it. I fought so hard for us, so many times and looking back, I don't know that he has. Ever. Maybe its a love language disconnect, but I don't see it. Makes me tired and if I'm not watchful, makes me feel not good enough. Which is complete BS.
    Still, all in all, I'm doing good. And there were some absolutely perfect moments out on the boat this weekend. I was sailing and in charge of the boat and there was good wind and we were heeled over going at least 6 knots (which is pretty good for that little boat). The sun was sparkling on the water but it was not blisteringly hot and the storm clouds from the tropical storm coming up the coast were grey and under lit in that perfect fall day kind of way. Right then, it was all good. I reckon that's plenty.

  81. Hi gang, so tired today, lately. Just drained. Not unhappy. Just a lot. The stbx is just sad and overwhelmed. And as Sam A pointed out, not fighting for me at all. I think, I realized that he is much better at suffering than he is at fighting. Like we are finalizing the divorce, I have the papers that finish it, to print and sign. And he sends it to me with a note about it being surreal. he knows it is the right thing bur surreal and how he felt a lurch in his gut etc. I have no response to that. I'm not going to comfort him. He made this. He made choices and I'm supposed to feel sorry for him now?
    He's been under the weight of a lot of legal drama. Again all of his making. Was worried he'd lose his license over the DUI. But white male privilege worked in his favor (to his credit he was nothing but respectful and cooperative with the officer involved etc) and he got off with some fines an no suspension. SO no impact on his ability to do his job. So one less thing for him to enjoy worrying about.
    And then he fills me in that his old employer is suing him over his non-compete. and possibly facing disciplinary action with the new employer for violating the terms of the non compete. Apparently, new employer said do not, under any circumstances, do x, y or z. Well he at the height of his "i am indestructible, and can do no wrong" mania (think affair fog and booze I guess) went ahead and did x and then hired the guy from old company who helped him do x. Completely unethical and not at all shocking really.
    But now he regrets it. The new company has lawyers on it and its not the worst they've ever had to fight. But this shithead has put all of our financial stability and security at risk over his egotistical bullshit. There's an outside chance he loses his job over it and then old company sues him personally. I told him that if it looks like that is going to happen, all joint assets (like home and retirement will be made over to me exclusively. I'm no going to screw him over, but I'm also not going to let some mega corp walk away with my effing house over his nonsense. He's agreed to this plan. Its ironic and has given me a laugh that the divorce turns me into an offshore safe haven for our assets. Ridiculous. I'm also angry that he's put us at risk with this crap.
    Its unlikely, but he's going to worry about it because, as I've noted above, he is most comfortable when he's suffering.
    And since I've realized or recognized that he's not got any ability to fight for me, I'm beginning the work of letting go again. And investing in my self and what makes me happy.
    I can be kind and I can be compassionate, but he has a looot of growing up to do. Makes me tired.
    Just a big ole vent from me.
    Hugs and kisses everyone.
    PS Phoenix - which wedding story? The one with the wedding picture on the train tracks - where I fit into my wedding dress? I reread that after your note. I still love that song for processing my angst and my own stuff is a damn fine piece of writing. :) Hope you are Drama free these days. xoxo

  82. SS1 - I meant the wedding story where you spoke up about infidelity. The courage, and the conversation. I have been reading your blog, but I haven't read everything yet....
    We have much in common. Depression, life-long. Rape - also a friend. I know we are not supposed to rate these things, but I don't think mine was as awful as yours. Bad, though. One OD in college, again, not as bad, because I didn't have drugs serious enough to really hurt me. No ER required. Dysfunction in my family, check - infidelity and divorce, but no alcoholism, thank God.
    Yeah, life is ironic. I'm glad you are ready to protect your assets, and he is willing to let you. His suffering attitude reminds me so much of my ex during and after the divorce process. He kept saying things like: “This is not how it was supposed to be.”
    Since I closed him out completely a couple of months ago (aside from necessary communications), he has withdrawn as well. There were a couple of forlorn texts about how he needed to talk to his friend. I responded, in as neutral a way as possible, that when we talked we only ended up hurting each other. I was in full self-protective mode, and determined not to show my feelings to him anymore. And it seems to have worked. He is civil and distant.
    Unfortunately, I’m still experiencing the feelings, even if I don't show them to him. I’ll be really sad or really angry for a day or two at a time, obsessing about the past. I don’t know how normal that is at this stage.
    After he told me he was getting married (haven’t heard any more about that, but I’m braced), I decided to finally sell my engagement, wedding, and 10-year anniversary rings. They’ve sat in my jewelry box for a year and a half now, ever since we separated. They’re not extremely valuable, but money is money. They are engraved with things like our wedding date, “ONE”, and “Together Forever”. Broken promises, profaned memories. I got a couple of estimates and then finally mailed them off to an extended family member who is a jeweler. I thought it would feel good to get rid of them.
    It didn’t.
    They were a part of me for so long. Before giving them up, I held them, one by one, and recounted to my mother the circumstances involved in receiving each one. I cried. They were mailed 3 days ago, and I still miss them.
    Then I had a phone conversation with the ex about Halloween weekend, and he mentioned that my younger daughter might want to come to him that Saturday because she wanted to trick-or-treat with “the kids”. The skank’s kids. The ones my older daughter already blithely calls “siblings”. We had been having a perfectly pleasant conversation, but suddenly I was enveloped in an uncontrollable tide of rage. After we hung up, I yelled and cursed him for several minutes, and the black mood lasted for hours. So much rage, so much bitterness. I know I’m only hurting myself. Why can’t I let go of it?

  83. I mean, really, what the hell? It’s been a year and a half since I asked for a separation, 15 months since the divorce was final. God in heaven knows I don’t want him back. He has asked often enough over the last year, begged even. I never even seriously considered it. I was not about to go back to that nightmare of pain and uncertainty, and I knew she was never really out of his life for any length of time.
    So why am I still sometimes wracked by the grief and the anger? Why do I still hold on to hate and resentment? I’d like to let it all go, and sometimes I think I have reached that point. But so far, I have always found myself backsliding. At what point, I wonder, does this stop being a normal processing of my feelings, and start becoming unhealthy, obsessive behavior? One excuse I have is that I really rushed my divorce, and I'm processing a lot of stuff post-divorce. And there have been a lot of things, like the baby, and my kids seeing her, that have help the wounds open. But really... something's got to give.
    It just feels like every time he lets her touch my life or my kids, it's another betrayal. Like he's spitting on the memory of our marriage, the marriage she helped him destroy. And every memory I have now is tainted. And that child - God bless that innocent baby, but his existence feels likes a mockery of everything I once held sacred. We had children together. It was an experience sacred and special to us. And how quickly did he turn and have that experience with someone else, having the boy I wanted to have, naming him the name I would have used. The most precious experiences of my life, tarnished and made cheap. Will I ever again be able to recall my daughters' births without thinking of that?
    You see how deep the bitterness runs. How unhealthy it is.
    You see that I am not so strong, sometimes.
    I just can't figure him out, or how I feel about him. Sometimes I miss our friendship and closeness, and he seems to be going out of his way to be thoughtful. Other times I'm convinced that he gets passive-aggressive pleasure out of causing me pain. He has made extravagant announcements of his love for her on FB. But I know how often he has lied to her. I know he spent months telling me he loved me and would do anything to have our family back. While she was pregnant. I know that he continued to lie to both of us. It's like the man has a split personality. I cannot figure him out. He has been out of work for months, but he keeps paying whatever I ask for support and expenses. Is he buying my house to help me or to hurt me? What happened to the college money?
    Who IS this man?
    Sometimes I think I will go mad. Thank God for my daughters, my family, and my job.

    1. Phoenix just stop right there and take a breath or two, I imagine everything your experiencing right now my love is absolutely normal, you've had tons to deal with this last 15 months divorce, your ex having another baby with ow, your daughters meeting her and her kids and worse actually liking them, I mean I'd be pretty surprised if you weren't thinking and feeling as you are.... BUT let's not forget the positives here which are your away from this man who lies, cheats, and drinks to mask all the pain he's caused to you and everyone else around him, he's damaged Phoenix to a degree he will never be content and happy in his life. I'd be thankful that this skank of a woman has taken him of your hands my love. She's done you a favour. (Good luck to them and their skanky life right)
      Phoenix You are continuing to heal even with the days your feeling bitter, your healing. I don't think you rushed into divorcing him Phoenix I think whether you divorced him 3 years down the line or straight away makes no difference you would be still dealing with with these emotions It's absolutely normal. Let's recap here You had years of marriage with this man your beautiful daughters together, I don't think their is a stronger attachment than the one you have with your husband who fathers your children so I don't think you can put a time frame on
      How long it takes to stop feeling the way you do, and by trying to do so your doing yourself a disservice to your self and your marriage. I understand how getting rid of your rings must have felt but again you are so thoughtful and sincere about doing that, you have waited till the time is right for you, you can't get rid of memories good or bad and they will always be with you. Treat yourself with the money raised from the rings, you deserve a treat right now Phoenix some self care, a hug from a loved one to let you know your doing just fine. Phoenix concentrate on today and don't look too far ahead we only have today to focus on. I'd also be tempted to seek a therapist to discuss some of the issues your faced with just to help you continue to move forward with your life with the extra issues of the ow, baby and ex husbands antics. Overall Phoenix you are doing absolutely brilliant!! Your so sincere and cool in your approach to situations I really do need to take a leaf out of your book. Let us know how you go . Lots of love my dear xx

    2. Phoenix, I think Sam A has nailed it. "He's damaged to a degree he will never be content or happy". Because he's drinking and cheating to mask his pain.
      I get the missing him, and the friendship and the closeness. It's especially poignant when we do things "as a family" still like go to visit my daughter at college. And sometimes he's so thoughtful and trying hard and sometimes I just see the old arrogant mask. I actually wonder sometimes if he is always trying a face on and if there's a real person underneath. I don't think he knows. And I wonder if your ex is the same. Which is how they can be such Janus faced chameleons. Saying and doing conflicting things. And it is hard when we get hooked into our old feelings and stories. Its Ok to take time to grieve and let them go and feel bitter on the way. We have to pass through those places over and over.
      Don't be hard on yourself for feeling what you are feeling. It means you are doing the hard work of healing. And holy shit do you have a lot to heal from. I looked at your words "going out of his way to be thoughtful" and " pleasure out of causing me pain" and I bet both are true. They are not mutually exclusive behaviors. In fact, I'd see them as different sides of the same coin.
      You are still processing soo much, be gentle with yourself. Be patient.
      I'd say if you are worried about the bitterness being or becoming unhealthy, then you are probably OK. I'm wondering if there is some way to reclaim or reframe those tarnished experiences and make them all yours again? Or take the whole lot and give it a viking funeral. Set it on a boat, set it afloat and set fire to the whole damn thing!
      I think one of the things that really helped me was my ex apologizing. I think he's truly sorry and full of regret. He didn't apologize for everything and it was not what might be termed a "fulsome" apology. But. I know he's got regrets. Even if he can't step up and do something about it. It has helped me to accept that he is doing the best he can, and to work with him together for the benefit of our kids, to even accept help with stuff at the house (like gutters and chimney - which saved me a ton of money). It doesn't sound like your ex has made any kind of apology, or if he has, his further actions have negated them. I can imagine feeling pretty effing bitter in that case. I was. Angry and bitter, until he had his magical DUI wake up call. And I still sometimes get mad enough to visualize beating him with a crowbar (i'll talk about that trigger later). My only advice Phoenix, is do what you have been doing. Detach. Stop trying to understand the motives of a crazy person. The less time you spend with or on him the better. I know, when you share children, it is very hard. He's still tossing out hooks, trying to keep you engaged, to feed whatever sorry part of his ego that feeds. Him making you upset, let's him know you still have feelings, keeps you as part of the safety net. He doesn't deserve that much of your energy.

  84. Ss1 i totally get what you are saying, the fact that he is happiest when he is suffering, where is the logic in that, there is none. I'm so sorry he has put your financial assets at risk and sorry he is not able to fight for you and your marriage. He's giving you no option but 'to let go' and I think that's the healthiest thing to do ss1. Give yourself some time, this must be exhausting for you my love, meditate, get back into your running which I know you love, lose yourself in you. The rest of this shit can wait. Lots of love ss1, thinking about you xxx

  85. Lordy do I love you guys so much. I'm very tired and needing my bed. but real quick, I'm away all day Saturday to visit my girl, but have lots to write back.
    Phoenix, you are doing so well and its still so hard. Its ok to feel and be not so strong. I'm breathing and crying reading your post. Yes to all the hurt. I promised my daughter my wedding rings which are away in my safe, because I couldn't bear the idea of them going away (because they are my story but also because no one deserves that bad juju). Of course you grieve them.
    I think, Phoenix, that the 2 to 5 years to recover thing? I think that applies to us too. Whether you stay or go, right? And you add in the divorce and there's a timeline to that too. Don't be hard on yourself for feeling bitter. Its the path. Feel it. Its they way out because you see it and know you are standing knee deep in it and know you don't want to stay there.
    I'm climbing in the tub and listening to The Lark Ascending by Ralph Vaughan Williams. Its the most achingly beautiful violin piece ever. Try that and a glass of rose.
    Sam A, thanks for your wisdom and commiseration. And thanks LLP and Theresa (and Becky - I know you are out there) and everyone who shows up to give us love.
    Hugs and smooches.

  86. Hi guys, I need to vent,

    Things haven’t been great prob since I got married some 14 years ago but like many here I just plodded on had two children and made the best out of a bad situation. Wasn’t always bad we have had some good times along the way but the bottom line is I believe my h is incredibly immature and not responsible enough to be a husband and take care of our little family. I had counselling many times over the years usually to deal with his dramas that I end up getting sucked in to, and many counsellors having met him feel he stopped maturing at maybe 18 years old he’s now 38. It’s incredibly sad for women like me who marry and realise years down the line the man I married has a deficiency of maturity and responsibility for his actions. I see much of my h in some of your h on here especially women like Phoenix and ss1 hence why I can relate to you both very well. I’ve had so much happen over the last few years losing both my parents and dealing with his betrayal has left me with huge anxiety issues and feelings of dependency on him that’s maybe why I’ve not been able to completely let go. We haven’t lived together as husband and wife should properly until our youngest was born 4 years ago it was then I found out about his affair we worked hard to repair that and then I was faced with d day 2 this was last may .. he’s been back and forth since then but we haven’t managed to pick ourselves up from that not sure we can. I lost my mum 8 weeks ago a huge loss to myself and my kids. I’ve had to deal with many emotions that grief brings but I’m also dealing with how I feel about my marriage because I’m not happy per se, I live a life completely separate to my h that I love but my life with him I detest on most days. He doesn’t give me what I need emotionally. I’ve come to realise having lost both my parents that life is very precious and I’ve put 15 years of my life into this man and this marriage ( if you can even call it that) and I feel like I’m at the end of the road and there’s just a snippet holding it together which could snap at any time. So my friends I think I’m saying it’s over I’m pretty sure my marriage is over, my next step I presume would be to finalise that with dare I say it divorce. It’s a word I don’t like very much it’s something I never thought I’d be contemplating but I’m here with a clear head, I’m
    Not emotional or angry I’m calm. I doubt I’m
    Ever gonna get him to agree or be on my side on this one again because he doesn’t have the emotional capacity to do it so it looks like I will have to front this too, I’m going to suggest we try to talk this through it’s worth a go I suppose. That’s the adult way to do it but I’m dealing with an adult with a child like brain so how do I put my side forward ???.

    I had to make a decision either way I was just biding my time until I was strong enough to be able to think clearly. I’m not sure I am but I guess I will never know till I try.. I know I’ve stayed for the comfort of not unsettling the children, upsetting him but never thought about what I wanted and deserved and it’s a lot more than I’m getting now. I know this is not going to be clear cut so I anticipate difficult times ahead. I hope god makes this next stage of our lives easier for all of us to handle. Pls feel free to jump in with any comments ladies and thank you fir listening I’ll be in touch with updates as and when they arise.. I’m starting some cbt sessions on Tuesday which I think will be hugely beneficial .. love you all it’s xxx

    1. Sam A. Nobody can fault you for taking your time to sort out how you feel about your life and your marriage. Biding your time in order to think clearly has brought you to this post. You will know when it is time to call an attorney or mediator or whomever you need to call. If your kids know that mom and dad can't live together anymore but they both love you and it isn't your fault they will be ok. None of us from "broken" marriages or families where open and honest communication was modeled realized until way late in life what we missed and some of us were able to give our kids a great life despite our family of origin deficits. The honesty I've seen demonstrated by women on this site who divorce or separate, especially around their children is amazing. Times may be difficult in the future but take them one day at a time. That is all we can do. Much love.

    2. Oh Sam A, so much going on for you. I'm so, so sorry about the loss of your mum. We're never ready for that when it comes. That's hard enough without all the rest you've got on your plate.
      I'm not sure what your husband's backstory is, but when there is trauma and/or addiction I've read that the person stays stuck, doesn't grow or mature. SO if addition started at 18, they don't continue to "grow up" until they beat the addiction. Or if trauma happens in childhood, very often the individual stays stuck in childish ways or with childish coping strategies. And we all know that things that are acceptable to do when you are five are less acceptable when you are 35.etc.
      Sam A if you are clear that you are unhappy and can't get what you need or deserve from this man, you are allowed to know it is time to be done. I would suggest you talk to legal council (if you haven't already) just so you can get clear on your and your children's rights and this process where you live. Then get your thoughts clear on how you want to approach this with your H. And then sit down somewhere, where you can talk it through without the kids around. Sam A do you have any concerns for your physical safety about having this convo with him? Think that thorough too and line up whatever support or back up you need. Gather your friends and family, pastors or other supports. Its tough and scary as hell. But you will land on your feet.
      Your children will benefit from a happy, healthy mum who models self respect and self care. I'm sorry this is where you are and not where you expected to be and that it is so hard and scary. Know that any time you are choosing yourself, you are on the right path.
      "Sometimes the fear won't go away, so you have to do it afraid."

    3. Hi ss1 it’s interesting what you wrote about getting stuck as far as I am aware he hasn’t had either a trauma or addiction just a very controlling mother and physically abusive father so I guess that does lead to trauma of some kind.

      As for being afraid to leave him, I do wonder sometimes what he would do if I filed for divorce, would he make it difficult for me and the kids by not financially looking after us and not helping with childcare. I think or should I say I know he would rather die than see me with someone else so I wouldn’t chance it by doing anything until I was divorced. Again that comes down to his lack of maturity and ability to handle adult situations. No one wants to see their spouse with another partner I’d find it very hard but I would deal with It in. I don’t know how long we carry on for like this? I’m trying not to let this situation bring me down in other areas of my life, it doesn’t affect my whole life just a percentage of if or as much as I let it. And right now I’m continuing to grieve my loss of my mother and concentrate on getting better and going back to work.. looking forward to my first cbt session tomorrow. Thank you ss1 great to know I have you guys behind me xx

    4. Thank you beach girl for being so understanding, your right separating is never easy and needs to be in our own time. God will give me the strength and guidance as to my next step .. thank you my love xxx

    5. Sam A, that physical abuse from his father is exactly the kind of trauma that halts emotional development. That poor little boy had to just survive, probably all the while believing he deserved what was happening. Absolutely counts as trauma. His parents sound like a real treat. (BTW not saying he isn't responsible for his actions and choices as an adult. He is. But sometimes looking at someone's childhood and the bs they went through, helps you understand and have compassion with why they are are they way they are. Understanding that, however, doesn't mean we are required to keep them and their toxicity in our lives. We can love people and know they are not good for us and choose to keep them at a distance (my mum, right now my stbx) or cut them out completely.
      And Sam A I hope I didn't sound like I was rushing you to leave. I'm all for whatever you decide is best for you. I just want you to be safe when that happens. And for the record, if he tries to make things difficult for you financially, you've got legal recourse. And you agree to how childcare is divided and the courts will enforce it if he's not doing what he agrees to. Hopefully his love for his children will stop him from behaving like a complete asshat.
      Just take your time, as you have been. You are on no timeline but your own. Take care of yourself in the wake of losing your mother. And believe that better days are ahead.
      Good luck on your CBT session.
      I read recently that people in their 60s and 70s are among the happiest based on surveys and reports in a study (happier by far that folks in their 20s, 30s etc). The theory is they've both worked through their shit and learned not to sweat the small stuff, with a healthy dose of "we've got today so let's make it a good one." So we all have that to look forward to. I plan on being a kick ass, life loving senior. (When I'm traveling the world in my boat or camper, I'll stop by and see you all!)

    6. Thank you ss that’s a great insight and I appreciate your comment so much.. you are someone I admire greatly you talk absolute sense it’s like music to my ears.. lots of love .. I’ll let you know how my cbt session went a little later when I have some time .. xxx

  87. Sam, I am so sorry about your mother. I cannot imagine dealing with such a loss. I wish I could hug you and cry with you.
    I'm glad you vented. You are always so quick and generous to support others. And I know you need support as much as any of us.
    This is a huge, scary step you've been contemplating, and I can sense how much you want to take the plunge, and yet how reluctant you are, mostly because of the kids. We've been there, we understand, and we are your cheerleaders no matter what you decide. I would love to see you continue to develop and explore options, and maybe eventually be with a person, a person with whom you can share an honest, deep, adult relationship. But divorce is hard, really hard, for everyone involved. I love you, sweet friend, and I pray that you will be confirmed and confident in the decision you make. And I know you have the strength to follow through with whatever you decide.
    Be happy, Sam. Find a life that makes you happy.
    BTW, how is the job going?

    1. Thank you Phoenix I love that I have my own cheerleaders : )
      You give great advice and I respect you for that, your always so thoughtful and sincere in your approach you always make me feel so loved ... I’ll hopefully find a way through this one day, but right now I’ll just be happy that I have you and so many other women on here who give me that helping hand when I need you. Loads Phoenix xxx

  88. So... a wedding present . If they get married.
    At first I figured I'd take my dog for a walk, scoop up whatever she produced, box it, and send it right along. Juvenile, but appropriate.
    Then I wrote this. I figure I could print it on some really nice paper and frame it. They could hang it in the living room. Or I could engrave it on a plaque, or embroider it on a pillow.
    My original document has their real names on it. But for our purposes, I will change the names to protect the guilty. Let's call her Skank McTrashy. And we'll call him, oh, I don't know....Dick?
    Rules for How to Treat Dick's Wife
    By S. McTrashy
    1) Pretend she she doesn't exist. Treat her husband as if he were single.
    2) When you do acknowledge her existence, behave as though she has no feelings.
    3) Encourage her husband to complain. Believe everything he says, and don't ever try to find out the other side of the story. Sympathize, and tell him that he deserves to be happy.
    4) Always remember: she doesn’t matter! Her hopes, her dreams, her faith, her trust, her future, her family - they mean nothing and should be disregarded. She is completely unimportant, just something to be kicked out of the way. Don’t EVER think of her as a real person- she’s not.
    5) If he decides to lie to her, deceive her, or sneak around behind her back, do your best to assist and enable him. Rationalize and condone his actions. Enjoy the fiction that you are both romantic, noble victims - even though you are the ones screwing her over.
    6) Pretend to care about her kids while doing everything thing you can to destroy their family. Pretend HARD.
    6) If you should have a falling-out with him, get even by lashing out at her. Make sure it's something that really hits hits home, emotionally. Don't let her see it coming. If he calls you on it, act innocent and say that you didn't think it would hurt her, because after all, Rule #2.
    7) Never apologize. Dick's wife deserves no respect.

    Congratulations! YOU are now Dick's Wife! You have set the standards. May you be be treated accordingly. Good luck!

    1. Phoenix, if you could rig that bag of poo to burst into flames on opening, that would be epic. I love your rules for "Dick's Wife". "Embroider a pillow" omg, I'm dying.
      I used to comfort myself with the knowledge that as much he lied to me (and himself, ahem) he lied to her too. Given the risk I often fantasized that he passed on a scorching case of herpes to her. I think that makes me an awful human, but maybe it just makes me human.
      At least right now, with her out of my life (and I realize there's always a risk she reemerges given the pattern so far) I can think of her with pity and some compassion (and revulsion and a crow bar) but I do feel sorry for her. Imagine loathing yourself so much that you are willing to take what little this man had to offer all while sacrificing your values. I know she knows it was wrong. But fuck her anyway. And fuck Dick's Skanky McSkankerson Trashboat. He's already cheated on her by courting you while she was pregnant. That's all the wedding present she deserves.

    2. OMG you go Phoenix on the letter and I think she should open it at her bridal shower like SS1 embroidered on some pretty pillow or blanket and then try to explain it to her guests. Karma.

  89. Here's a song

    Olivia Newton-Johns "Back With a Heart". I hope this will be me some day.

    Gabby xo

  90. Hi Sam A
    I can relate so much to what you have said. It's devastating isn't it to have to face the reality and actually saying "my marriage is over". I wish I could be with you to support you through this emotionally traumatic and draining time. Sending you strength and many hugs.

    I'll just tell you how I am feeling now. Not sure if it will help you. I haven't posted in a few weeks as I just wasn't up to it. My head has been in a messy blank space of anger, disbelief and sadness - not all the time but for many weeks. Day by day I am feeling better, but still have so many ups and downs emotionally.
    I thought we too had a good marriage, and in a way we did, but also, I was the one making all the sacrifices to try and keep the peace and a happy home. I would have loved my marriage to have worked, but I just couldn't go on doing all the work alone with an emotionally mentally immature selfish husband.
    Now 6 weeks into our 2nd separation and I do not want to talk to him (actually haven't spoken to him since he moved out) and I have removed myself from all contact with his family and I have only contacted him via text a few times re kids or house matters. Our kids are old enough to contact him on their own. I felt at this point in time I had to do this for my own self worth and I don't want to converse with someone who has time and time again been a complete arse to me. He's been enjoying the single life and I am 99% sure he's been either back to prostitutes or has got himself someone new. I know the kids have said he hopes we'll be friends etc. Are you effing kidding me? I can't see myself ever talking to him again. "friends" don't do things to hurt each other. I let friendships go if they are toxic, and he made our marriage toxic - so I let him go by not having any contact with him. Also for me, it is also a way of reclaiming my control of my life as for many years he has been controlling telling me "don't say this/ don't do that". I am concerned with what the future will be like financially for the kids and I. I still morn the loss of my marriage and family for myself and my kids. As for him. I am in a state of anger and hatred towards him. (I've made an appointment to see the IC). He is just getting worse the older he gets, and even our older kids are disgusted in him and the comments on social media back and forth between him and his harem of whores (he has many younger female friends - they're all whores to me). I can't believe this man I once loved now repulses me..but SS1, I understand where you are coming from, as somewhere deep down (really deep), I still live with a bit of hope - this also annoys me and I don't know why I feel this hope when I have such repulsion toward him.

    Gabby xo

    1. Me too, Gabby. Thought we had a good thing. Everyone always looked at us and was like you guys are so good together, you guys are such good friends. blah blah blah. I had one friend literally tell me she wished had our relationship. Careful what you wish for sweetheart.
      right now you are hurt and angry and that space you are making for yourself is a very good thing. I did the same thing too, when it became clear that the separation was not "constructive" as the marriage counselor advised but was just his chicken shit precursor for divorce, but he was too cowardly to say it straight out.
      You are right, friends don't do things to hurt each other, or they make amends when they do. Your h sounds like he's just deep in denial and entitlement. I'm so sorry he can't see what he's losing.
      I'm glad you are going to IC, good for you Gabby.
      You can't help the hope. Mines a very distant one and the more I see of him doing the same old, the less I need it. It says something when your kids are disgusted.
      And be nice to yourself about the bit of hope. We remember these men when they were boys with promise, when we believed the same things and wanted to build a life together. Somewhere they lost themselves. There's a lot there to mourn. Give yourself time and compassion.

    2. Gabby, thank you for your post. Even though I'm still with my husband, it gives me such strength to read about how much courage and self-compassion it takes to set and stick to boundaries that help us heal. I've read every single post on the divorce/separating thread to encourage me along this path. And WOW, SS1, "We remember these men when they were boys with promise, when we believed the same things and wanted to build a life together. Somewhere they lost themselves." WOW, that hits home big time for me. It is probably the one thing that gives me courage to stay the course when I have triggers/melt-downs and doubts about my choice to stay. As long as he stays his course and makes good decisions, I'm going to work on my inner demons. Come back and share your ongoing wisdom. We all need and benefit from your input. Big warm hug to you today.

  91. Gabby, thank you for your post, I know we share similar experiences with our h. It’s good to hear you now have the space to breathe and think about what you want going forward. A separation is never a bad thing as long as you both learn something from it whether it confirms you don’t want to be with him. It’s goid to have you back on here Gabby missed your wisdom keep us posted .. big hugs xx

  92. Aaand .. he's drinking again. I had it from his own mouth. He told me, as if expecting accolades and affirmation, that he had had one beer to see how he felt. And there was no no "urge or compulsion" for more. We were in the car with my son, driving up to see my daughter in college. I was stonily silent. What else am I supposed to say in the car in front of my son? "oh congrats for being an arrogant idiot." The risk he took and is taking. How can he have identified alcohol as the source of all his behavioral problems and now treat it as if he's not actually an alcoholic, he just shouldn't drink. WTF is that?
    And from where I'm sitting, if he's telling me about the one, there has probably been more. He's so stressed about money right now. The arrogance of it, of him, is breathtaking. And he was talking about something else and saying shit like, well I'm not the same person I was then. And I'm thinking you're no zen master either... It's like he's all an act sometimes. No substance. I blame childhood trauma, but I don't know if he knows how to be real sometimes.
    And then sometimes he's really kind about stuff or things I'm worried about re the kids. Its crazy making. Like I know he's not a bad guy, I know he's doing his best, but sometimes I can't stand who he has become. Like he's a stranger.
    And then today he asked me to call him. And I know he's been moping and I was so afraid he was going to ask me something about us, or something from me emotionally. And I realized how much I don't want to get back with the guy he is right now. That was an eye opener. Turns out it was just about money. That was a relief. but also a really interesting gut check for me.
    What with the beer and I know he's smoking again too (only an issue because he lied to me about quitting - or made a big deal about how he doesn't need it since his DUI wake up call) I'm just waiting for the next shoe to drop. If/when it does happen and the chippy is back on the scene, I'm not sure how I will respond. Maybe with more distance, with less of the tentative friendship we've established in the last few weeks. Who knows. Maybe I'll just laugh and embroider them a pillow. Meanwhile, while I try to prepare for the worst, I'm going to try not to anticipate the pain. And go sailing as much as I can before the river ices up.

  93. Honestly ss1 I totally hear what you are saying, I feel exactly the same towards my h, he’s nice in some ways but idiotic and annoying in others.another thing my new therapist asked me today was What am I trying to do to him, hurt him, get revenge or hate him probably all 3 in a weird kind of way but that balances out with caring, loving and feeling like a wife too. it’s terribly hard.

    Ss1 I thought it was interesting to hear that you was dreading the phone call just in case it was about the two of you or him wanting something emotional from you, i know it wasn’t either but how do you think you might have reacted? Just in case at some point he does ask I’m guessing he might when he realises that your way past the point of going back, he’s still not making it clear what it is he wants from you, which in turn must make you feel confused about the whole situation. In my opinion he’s treading carefully too carefully just in case his feelings get hurt, (god forbid that happens) he can’t make himself totally vulnerable towards you, his issues not yours.. ss1 you have a strong buyoncy aid surrounding you to keep you safe. You’ve handled this situation incredibly well and I know whatever the outcome you’ll be more than fine you’ll be great.. enjoy your days out on the river my love .. take care and keep posting I love to hear your thoughts xx

  94. SS1, I’m sorry about the drinking. I know it’s no great surprise, but it’s still another disappointment. Of course, in our situation, you get to the point where each disappointment just makes it easier to disengage.
    Sam, the conflicting feelings make things, really tough. You don’t stop loving them right away. It’s a process. That long attachment keeps snapping back into place...
    Unless, of course, they keep sawing at it. Then eventually it snaps. And you realize that you really, really don’t love them anymore. You don’t even like them.
    I’ve been struggling a lot. Selling my rings brought me down. And my kids keep having birthday parties and stuff with the skank’s kids. It tears me up. The whole situation still tears me up whenever I let myself think about it.
    So I’ve gotten more and more brusque with the ex. On Monday I had to spend 2 hours around him at an appointment for my daughter. I was very civil, but no more than that. For him, I guess, it was the breaking point. He finally seemed to come to terms with how much I really resent and dislike him. So he arrogantly informed me in a email that night that he was blocking me, and we would only communicate through email. He said that I was “snippy”, and he was tired of my bs. Oh, and I’m “pretentious” because I use my maiden name and my married name.
    He upset me that night, because I was already feeling low. The next afternoon I sent him an email telling him that I didn’t appreciate his insults, and didn’t believe them. I’m not pretentious for wanting to embrace my original name while still keeping the other name as a bond with my kids. And I’ve got every right to be snippy, after the unholy mess he’s made of my family. I told him he could block me if he wanted, but it was childish.
    I haven’t heard from him since. He’s trying to freeze me out. I wouldn’t mind, except that it puts the kids on the spot, in the middle. So today I sent him another email, broaching some kid-business. He hasn’t responded. And he’s been discussing stuff with the kids that he used to run by me first. So he’s stopped pretending. He wants to punish me.
    I had a melt-down today when I asked my daughter about future visits, and she brought up more birthday parties. I kept it together for her, but them I called my mom and cried for ten minutes. The baby they had together is about to be one. The holidays are coming up. I found a pic on daughter’s phone of the last birthday party - my baby girl sitting next to the skank and her son, laughing.
    Y’all, I just don’t know how to cope sometimes. I’m losing my temper and crying more easily, and I’m falling apart in front of my kids. I want so much not to care, but my kids in that situation just hurts me so bad, and I can’t let them know. And now the asshole is playing mind games. Looking for more ways to hurt me.
    Feeling defeated.

    1. Dear Lord Phoenix, he's sooo childish. I mean, I know you know this, but just wow. He's so mad you aren't being the long suffering, pining ex wife. He's lashing out because he's so very hurt that you are brusque and business like because on some level he thinks he's shit. That whole "pretentious" comment? That's about his insecurities. Jackass indeed.
      Let him block you. and good riddance.
      These parties and holidays and such are all going to hurt. Let your temper come. Let the tears come. Let the kettle boil over. Call your mom and cry.
      I'm so sorry Phoenix. You deserve so much better than this. None of it is OK. Manage what you can (you) and let go of what you can't (him and his childish games). It so hard I know.
      The only other thing I can say Phoenix is disengage from this man. Don't bite when he sends hooks with insults sailing your way. We all know you can send him back home butthurt and in flames, but maybe better even to not respond at all? How infuriating to him if he gets zero response from you? You can still rage to all of us, but don't let this man have any more of your precious time or energy.
      I'm so angry for you Phoenix. I want to just shake the Jackass, aka Dick. Its just awful what he continues to feel entitled to put you through.
      Remember that you are loved. That the skank is never going to have a place of importance in the lives of your girls that come seven close to who you are for them. and I promise you this; the truth comes out. When your girls are grown and you don't have to think about birthdays and bullshit anymore, one day they will come to you and surprise you with what they know and how much they appreciate you. And very likely by then the skank will have moved on to mess up other lives. And you, such good things will be going on, that mr and mrs Dick won't even be on your radar.
      Love you Phoenix. XOXOXO

  95. My husband's affair was emotional (but hand-holding, hugs, coffee, dinner, criticizing me, planning a life together, ready to exit) and coming up to four years on D-day1 (three years D-day 2 - chatting and wanting to 'extricate himself properly.' His was a depression, poor boundary and ego stroking affair.He was the saviour to the OW and another woman he had an inappropriate friendship with. Since then I've discovered porn use deception. Now I've discovered that he's been having inappropriately close friendships with two women (like an alcoholic, we agreed he couldn't have one to one friendships/intense discussions) during the times when he's been out at work and at an acting evening class (stupid, I know).I found some texts which, while not an affair where getting much too intense (from her side), he'd deleted his own stream. I feel like a dagger has been plunged through me again as I found out he's been discussing our marriage and my feelings with these women who are both single, not known to (and have no loyalty to me). He does the exact thing he knows hurt me before. He had already done something the week before to hurt me (coming home at 2.30 am with no contact.) so he was on the couch and we were seeing what next. (He is just signing up to depression course and finally working on self). Then I find this out and the deception that went with it. He wanted to have friendships and 'share', he knew that he'd gone too far and then just blanked them, but, once again NEVER TOLD ME ANYTHING. I'd already come to the realisation that he is severely affecting my mental health even now, there is nothing safe to build our marriage on. So I'm here to ask, for now, this will be an in-house separation. Has anyone any tips or suggestions as to how it can work? No spare room in house as such (cabin in back garden), 4 kids nearly 10 to nearly 17) who we can say something to about taking a step back to see about our marriage. I'm so angry (even though) I've had pleasant conversations even yesterday) that I will be in 180 mode to start, little contact and having my own life but it is so hard facing into the possibility that he has destroyed our family life together. This is just the first step but if you have any advice I'd love to hear it.

    1. Oh dear, FoH, its just the same bad behaviors and the same steps down the same slippery slope. What a mess he's making. An dhow awful for you. I'm so sorry. He needs to get into therapy, stat. I'm recommending a book for you called "Taking Space: How to Use Separation to Explore the Future of Your Relationship". Its a really helpful guide to structuring a separation (even in in house one) and making sure you both have goals and focus for the time you are going to take. How to handle communications, defining goals, setting a time frame and what your options are when you reach that time frame (i.e. are you getting somewhere and want to take more time, do you want to reconcile or is it time to move toward divorce.) It was an incredibly helpful guide for me as I was staring down the barrel of a separation I did not entirely want. You might even wish to consider adding marriage counseling with a person who understands how to guide a constructive separation.
      He's got some deeply challenging issues around boundaries and needs for validation of his ego from external sources. In my opinion, he needs more than a course on dealing with depression.
      I hope the space you take will allow you to breathe and not feel like your mental health is being destroyed. Choose you FoH!

    2. Foh I’m really sorry he’s let you and your children down again, I’ve been in your place and it’s soul destroying. Foh it sounds like your being quite reasonable with your h in the circumstances, he’s broken boundaries and betrayed your trust, can you really follow through an in house separation? With no spare rooms? Will you be able to have the space you rightly deserve with your h living under your roof. Personally I would be considering him moveing out of the house if that’s feasible that way you have the freedom and peace to look after you and your children, quite frankly he’s a grown man and he can take care of his own well being foh. This is tough love foh, your not his mother, I feel like your taking way too much responsibility for him. These are his issues not yours and he’s clearly telling you that he has no intention of changing so what are you going to do about it?. Weigh up the pros and cons of a controlled separation, talk it through with a Counsellor and make your decision. I hope this has helped. Today is the day you think about you foh. Stay strong and let us know how you get on ..big hugs xxx

  96. Phoenix my love, I’m so sorry your h is being such a ‘jackass’ how dare he!!!!
    I mean this guy really has got a cheek, is he not satisfied with his miserable little life? Clearly not. This guy knows he has fucked up big time and it’s obvious he still has feelings for you. Anyone who goes to great lengths to hurt an ex hasn’t yet got over the break up/divorce. Phoenix you have to see this man for what he is, don’t let him hurt you anymore, your free from his bs, you’ve moved on, it’s such a shame he hasn’t. Please concentrate on you for a minute what do you need right now, maybe a good cry on the phone to your lovely Mum, a hug from your children, dinner out with a friend or whatever it maybe. I understand that your having a hard time of it lately Phoenix, but you will get through this, I don’t even need to tell you that because you already know. The situation is still very raw and you and your daughters are getting used to this new normal or abnormal whichever way you want to look at it. I can only imagine what it must feel like to have your children be part of the ow life, I’m guessing it’s like someone stabbing you with a knife and twisting it. Your hurt is valid and it’s ok to let your kids see your pain, they are most likely wondering why your being so rational about the whole thing. Give yourself some time Phoenix time to hurt and time to heal wish I could be there for you to give you a great big hug.. I’m always thinking of you my love, you touch my heart I’m so many ways with your grace and strength.. little steps .. lots and lots of love xxxx



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