Separating or Divorcing? Page 5

105 comments:

  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?

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    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.....

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    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.

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

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

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  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.
    Hugs
    Gabby xo

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    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.

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

    Love Becky

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  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
    Becky

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    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.

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    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!!!

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    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
      Becky

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    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.

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

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    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

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  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!

    Phoenix



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    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

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    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

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    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.
      Hugs
      Gabby xo

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    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.

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    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.

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  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

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  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.

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  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!

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  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
    Becky

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    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.

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  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

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  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.

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    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.

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    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.

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    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!

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  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.
    Hugs
    Gabby xo

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    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.

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    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)
      Hugs
      Gabby xo

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    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.

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    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.
      Thanks
      Gabby xo

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    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...

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    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?

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    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 then...zip. 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.

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    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!

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  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.

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  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
    Becky

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  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

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  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.

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  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

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    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.
      Becky

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  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

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    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

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    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.

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  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!!

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

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

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    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.

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

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

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

      Love
      Becky

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

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

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    5. Well done, Sam A!

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

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    7. Congrats Sam A!!! fantastic!

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

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

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

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  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

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    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.

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    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!

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    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!

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

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  27. Thank you truth .. your absolutely right xxx

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  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.

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    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!

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    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. ;)

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    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!

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  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

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  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

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  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

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    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.

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  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

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    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?

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    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

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    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

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  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.

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    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

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    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.

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    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.

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    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.

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  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.

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  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.

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    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

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    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.

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  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.

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    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!

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  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.

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  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

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    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).

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  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

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  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

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  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!

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    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...

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  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.

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  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!

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