Separating or Divorcing, Part 3 (Part 2 is FULL)

205 comments:

  1. Here is a new version of my lost comment (it never appeared at the end of the last page), as I am having another difficult day and would really appreciate any support from my virtual sisters. So, two months ago my h revealed to me that he had been seeing another woman at work. A month ago he moved out to give himself "time to reflect" (he is living in the apartment the ow used to live in, before she moved to the other side of the country). Since then he "doesn't know" whether to stay or go and "doesn't have time" to think things over because he is so busy at work. He refuses to take time off to deal with this life crisis. I am struggling to cope with the shock of betrayal (he told me the bad news a week after a family vacation). Our daughter is 19 months old. I want us to try to work things out together. He "can't remember" most aspects of our life together (married three years, together for nine years) and can't give any reason why he went after this ow instead of speaking to me or trying to express himself with me. This week I am getting news from friends and families that they are expecting babies. I am happy for them, but it makes me feel so sad for myself and all the dreams and hopes and plans I had (I thought WE had) for having our own family. I am worried about my daughter and so exhausted from always being 'on duty', either at work or else doing the vast majority of the childcare. Today my h has taken her for the day to visit his parents (who are so disappointed in him). It's raining and I have no friends or family near to talk to. I feel foolish for hoping he might one day wake up and realise what is at stake. I don't know how long I can keep going like this. Some days are ok and I am trying to fit in self-care as much as I can, but every so often I just get a wave of sadness. Today is one of those times.

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    1. Of course you are sad. And confused, and in shock. He is a mess. And you are dealing with the fallout. The grief, the wrongness, the unfairness can be staggering. Let yourself grieve, I'm sorry you feel so alone, We have been there. We understand. I'm sending you hugs and praying you will find comfort and support!

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    2. Dear Selkie, I am sorry for your pain. We all know it too well. 2 months out everything is still so raw ...until your H gets his head out of his a#@ and faces the consequences of what he has done ...you need to focus on yourself and your child. You are stronger than you think as Elle has said in the past have an exit plan. You are right in saying that this was not your dream for the future , there is definite grief in losing that dream. We all have and we are all praying for you. You are not alone

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    3. Selkie, I'm giving you a hug. You are so early on post dday and separation. Of course you are exhausted and reeling and full time with a toddler is exhausting. Yes grieve. Just cocoon and snuggle up with your baby girl, Nap and rest when you can. Try, if you can, to turn your focus on you and what you need to survive right now.
      Your h is literally out of his mind right now. if you and he are talking or coordinating over your daughter, is it fair to ask if he is in IC? Willing to go to Marriage counseling with you? That he can't express reasons or the "why" tells me he needs help figuring this out.
      So back to you. Ask your IC to recommend a support group. See if you can find a local group of single or separated mommies out there for play dates and support (try Meet Up - I found a great social group for women in my spot on there). Do your neighbors have a teenager who can come be a "helper" for some babysitting rates? Like tidying, playing with your girl so you can nap? Do you belong to a church? Get help there. Don't isolate yourself. Id there family who might be able to travel to come stay with you. I can't tell you how much having it helped just having my sister around for a few days. Ask. For. Help. You don't have to go this alone.
      Let the waves of sadness come. Clear them from your body. Don't fight them. And keep coming here. You know we see you, we hear you, we stand with you.

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    4. Selkie
      Sadness is the emotion I was stuck in the first year! For me it would come and go. Your h apparently is stuck on the wall of not knowing what he wants. You on the other hand know what you want but it's not what you thought you would be doing! I'm so sorry for the pain and sadness you feel! We've all felt it too! You can't make your h mind up for him, I'm assuming he's a grown man, but you can get therapy for yourself. We're here to listen and be a shoulder to cry on even if only virtually...hugs and just take it easy on you...cry when you need to scream when you need to just breathe and take it slow!

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    5. Selkie,

      I agree with so much of what has been said. Two months is really early. I do not know your entire situation or if you have posted I am sorry I missed the details. I won't get into my story but I am 20 months out from dday 1. Dday 2 happened 5 months after dday one. My husband was not in contact but he had minimized what he had done. On dday one he never expected to tell me. And I heard the line I love you but I am not in love with you. He tells me now he did not know what he wanted. He had been living a life with a lot of lies, shame and depression. He did not know if he could change. I think that caused many more issues for both of us those first 5 months after dday. My husband is in the mental health field so that added some complications I guess you could say. Well after dday 2 things gradually started to move in the right direction. I started seeing a therapist and along with this message board/site it was so helpful. I found it to be just what I needed. Who knows if it would have gone better with us together but it helped me. It gave me the confidence and assertiveness than I had lost. I also liked having a person I could be open and talk with and receive validation and good advice.

      There were many highs and lows that first year after dday. My husband will tell me now and based off of his work experience than it takes 6 months to change habits whether it is alcohol, eating, fitness, relationship. He in his mind gave himself 6 months. But we really focused just on each other and dropped everything else except our kids and work.

      This is a lot to take in and that is why my therapist was so helpful for me. I also would say setting boundaries early on was key for me to feel safe at even considering trusting him ever again a possibility.

      I do not know your situation but I can say my husband was the broken one and suffered a lot. He takes full responsibility but this process of healing has been hard. He has had to face what he did and how as he said treated the person he loves most the worst. It is a lot for him to live with but those were his decisions. He is happier than he has ever been but it was not easy. He said he loves living his life without secrets and lies hanging over him. He wants me to know everything. This took a long time with many baby steps forward and lots of back and forth.

      For me I decided initially I wanted to try my hardest to work it out for us and our kids. I had no idea how I was going to do that but I knew that was what I needed to do. Don't worry about the end result though focus on you and your daughter and what you want and need from your relationship. I would suggest seeing someone together and alone. If he won't go get in to see someone for you. It will help you take care of you and be the most for you and your daughter.

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    6. Thank you so much, ladies. You make me feel less alone. I'm in a small rural village without much scope for meeting new people (also not ready to go public with othe situation yet). Managed to get to a lunchtime yoga class at work today... hope to get to more of that. Yes, my h is so lost and confused, but desperately stubborn. He is in IC dealing with issues from his early life- but only started going after he told me he wanted to separate. It's like he can't tell the difference between me and his life circumstances. We went to a mediator once last month and I think it could happen again. Fingers crossed. Thank you all. I'm taking your kindness to heart and your wise advice into my mind.

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    7. I'm in a bit of a similar boat. That same "I don't know what I want" BS. Except now h thinks he's in love with OW. Before it was friends but he connected with her. Then it was friends but he felt like a lover toward her (even though they only had sex twice on one occasion) Now since contact was cut off two weeks ago he's suddenly in love with her. I told him he has to leave if he's choosing her and if he wants to start talking to her again he has to GTFO of our house. He's back from work. And not at her house. Surprise. And he's suddenly going to therapy on Friday although for the past seven weeks he hasn't been able to schedule an appointment. I think for my h it's shame. He is disgusted with himself and guilty and ashamed so he is occasionally minimizing my pain and thinking that his feelings and mine are somehow equal (HA. HA. HA. TRY AGAIN BUDDY!) And I feel he's making and made the wrong decisions and because of shame and guilt just can't stop making the wrong choices. I've reconciled myself to the fact that he is NOT coming back and divorce is eminent. It sucks. I'm technically still young (32 not that I feel like I am!!!!!!! I feel like I'm about 1050 right now) and we have no kids. But we comfortably get by together but separately neither can financially make it alone. The OW makes significantly more money than both of us together but she's been fired so I guess we shall see. I don't hold out any real hope. He's too stuck on himself and I don't believe he has the vision or the emotional ability to see what is actually going on.

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    8. Selkie,
      I'm so sorry for what you're going through. Your husband sounds deep in the fog of an affair, that whole "well I went outside my marriage so I must have had a reason even if I can't figure out what the hell the reason was". It's crazy-making. This is the time for radical self-care. Can you find someone to give you some time away from mothering so that you can continue to get out to yoga classes, or walks, or lunch with friends or a movie. Mothering is exhausting enough without having the emotional bomb of a partner's affair to cope with. Do you have a counsellor to support you through this?

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    9. Every week I try to do two good things for myself, but it's hard to get time (I'm also working). I need to make it happen. I have seen a psychologist on my own who is great, but so far I have just talked about my h (our situation is consuming my thoughts these days!) Next time I hope to focus more on myself and look at how I'm coping and living, rather than how I'm trying to reach out to my h. I am starting to realise (thanks to you all here) that it is essential now for me to look after myself. There is no point waiting for someone else to do that for me. Thank you Elle and thank you all for being by my side.

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    10. Selkie,
      That is brilliant. Two good things for yourself each week. I love it. And yes, it is essential for you to look after yourself. It was always true but especially so now.

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  2. So I just started posting here and started my sorry tale on the previous board. I am trying to figure out whether to insist on separating with a view to divorce. I just can't trust anything he says. I've been waiting 12 months for him to get his act together. Not sure he is capable. He is saying he loves me, he loves our kid, he knows he needs to be a better person, make a gargantuan effort etc. All the right stuff but I just feel hollow. How many chances are too many? I have read so much stuff my head is whirling - from Chump lady - ditch the cheater, to sites that seem to suggest that what's happened is 50% my fault and I should be working myself to the ground to 'win him back' - plus everything in between. I think my friends, my IC think I should move on. What's stopping me? Why do I feel sick constantly at the thought of having to make a decision that is life altering for all three of us? Why does it have to be my decision? I'm not sure any of that even makes sense? I guess what I'm trying to say is, I feel stuck between a rock and a hard place - give up and deal with the trauma and mess and financial nightmare or stay and keep hoping and feeling like a doormat and a fool.

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    1. We have a saying on this site - of Elle origin, I' m sure - take the next right step. You don't have to make permanent decisions if you're not ready. Take small steps. Don't be overwhelmed, just figure out what the very next right step for you is, and take that step. Maybe it's seeing a lawyer. Maybe it's spending a day at the spa. Maybe it's writing him a letter or maybe it's asking him to move out. Focus on the next step. If your experience is like mine, eventually things will crystallize, and you will know what you want to do. You set the timeline.
      Either way there will be trauma and mess. But you will get through it, one day at a time. Because, whatever you decide, you are not a fool. You are a warrior woman with strength and integrity.

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    2. Dear Scared

      I understand- my H said all the right things for 1 year, but his actions were all wrong. It took me one year to come to terms with the situation that his actions were speaking way way louder than his words. Please be gentle with yourself we all arrive at the point of enough or making a decision simply when we do. There is or was no way to do it better or faster or more right - we all move through this process in our own way and in our own time. Please be kind to yourself and know that no matter what has happened in a marriage this is not your fault and you deserve a truly loving honest healthy relationship.

      I also felt really overwhelmed at making huge decisions about my life and marriage that were so different from the future I had imagined. And I'm still taking that process slowly. But the great thing about doing it is you have choices and power over the direction of your own life. You can decide what is ok for you and what is not, what relationships are healing and respectful and which are not. By just waiting for our H's decide stay or go, we give them so much power and influence over our life. It was really hard but it felt amazing when I actually started to make decisions in my own best interest!! For a long time, I held a space open for him and all the struggle he was dealing with and he really took advantage of that. Meaning he wanted to all the caring I was willing to provide wasn't able to provide caring for my pain and struggles in return.
      So eventually I can truly realized that I could not hold that space for him anymore. I needed to hold it for myself!

      One day at a time and we all have so much more strength than we realize. At least on this site there is a group of women helping each other with courage and compassion. You are not alone.

      Love and support sisters
      Becky

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    3. Scared
      Words are just words if the person saying them are incapable of living them. It's so easy to say I love you but for some it's not so easy to show their love. If you are the only one making the effort to win him back, what part of you does he need to win back. He should be trying to earn your trust back. He should be looking inside himself to understand what brought him to make the choice to cheat. If you have not had therapy now is a great time to start. I'm so sorry you're going through this and just know you're not alone nor the only one here that's scared! Even those of us trying to reconcile are scared we're not doing the right thing but it gets easier to decide if our h continues to do the hard work of becoming a better man. Hugs! You are not alone we're here for you!

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    4. Scared,
      Yes, next right step. It can feel overwhelming we feel as though we have to make huge decisions. But I bet you can take a look at what he's done (or not done) in 12 months and figure out whether you're heading in a direction that's good for you. And I bet you can figure out what you need right now in order to begin to heal yourself, to feel safe, to take care of yourself. And that's all you need to know.
      If you're not seeing commitment from him to deal, face on, with the issues that led him to betray you this way, then I doubt you're going to any time soon. Take care of you. Next right step. Maybe that's sitting down with a lawyer to understand what a separation would look like. Maybe it's a trial separation. Maybe it's just mapping out, in your head, what you want your life to look like one year from now, five years now, and then taking realistic steps to create that. We each walk our own path through this pain. There is no right or wrong way to deal with betrayal. There is what is right for you. Next right step.

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    5. Becky, I have come back to your comment for some comfort. I made a decision last night to not allow him home from his latest work trip os. He is staying in the same city as his AP and has done nothing to make me feel safe or secure (apart from a few words). Well, my spider senses turned on and I confronted him and after initial denial he finally admitted that he has been in touch with her. He emailed her to tell her he was sorry for everything. She apparently emailed back to say she was sorry that things hadn't worked out between them. I lost it and put in wheels a formal separation, including telling my son which wa devastating. I am gripped by terror. There is no turning back this time. He has lied/broken NC many, many times. We have been attempting reconciliation for 12+ months. I guess he truly did meet his soulmate since he can't get her out of his head and I'm clearly no prize. I feel like he wanted me to do this so he didn't have to be the bad guy. Why could I not save us? Am I doing the right thing? He is going to live os and travel back to see his son from time to time. I am so conflicted and terrified. I need reassurance that I can't be with someone who is so prepared to lie so easily and do so little to help me trust him.

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  3. As many of you may have seen on one of the other posts, my husband and I are getting a divorce. Also, as many of you probably know by following my story, it has been a two-year struggle from the first time my husband wanted to separate in November 2014, until he told me of his affair in January 2015 and numerous times in between where he would try, but had great difficulty committing to the marriage; he often threatened or asked for a divorce.
    So now? He asked for a divorce again and this time I said yes. To be specific, I said it is either divorce or you get into counseling. He feels like he has already done counseling and he also feels that counseling is not for him. Yet every day I witnessed him struggling, not only with work situations, family situations, but most importantly, for me, his relationship with his significant other… His wife. Here is the very strange thing… we are living together and working out the divorce. We are sleeping in separate rooms. Yet, as always, when we discuss divorce, we become closer. When we discuss divorce, we are able to talk freely and openly. We discuss our problems, we discuss the affair, we seem to be able to talk about anything when divorce is on the table. For this past week we have discussed particulars of the divorce; this past Friday and Saturday were brutal. We sat down at the computer, collected all of our financials, and determine exactly what would go where. We discussed everything within our home and where it would go - as you may know we've been married for 20 years this past August. And there's this. A tremendous amount of tears is being shared by the both of us. My husband was extremely upset yesterday. He simply could not stop crying. And with all this closeness, in tears, we are holding each other, hugging each other, holding hands, going to dinner and shopping together.
    We are not sleeping together, yet we will lay on the bed together and talk or take a nap. We are not having sex. I asked my therapist if it was OK that my h and I comforted one another with hugs, etc. The therapist thought it was fine. I do know though, I must keep my head on straight that this does not mean reconciliation. Also, I know strongly in my heart and in my mind that I cannot reconcile with him unless he gets some help.

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    1. Melissa, I so hear what you are saying. My stbx H and I have very calm and caring conversations about the divorce and feel even closer after. Its crazy making because, I have always felt this way, but for him, I think its because the pressure of the relationship is off. he just doesn't know how to open up or relate to other humans when there is emotional risk. My situation is different than yours in that my h has remained in touch with the OW and lied/obfuscated about it. Pretended like it wasn't clouding his thinking. So for me, hugs and other sops to his guilt/ego are off the table. They hurt me as much as they comfort, and I need to focus on detachment like its my new full time job. Despite all tat, our slow coming apart remains amicable. And I want it to remain so while being emotionally safe for me. You need to do what works for you emotionally too. And if that means hug, holding hands, etc. then so be it. Grief takes many forms.
      Bottom line is that you asked for what you needed. He said no. His comfort and avoidance are more important to him. You deserve better. Much, much love, SS

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  4. And here's another strange thing… As you may know we have no children. We have agreed to keep one another named as the beneficiary in our wills. Also, on his own accord. My husband wants to keep his life insurance, he has two separate policies, and continue to have me named as the beneficiary. We agreed that if either one of us wants to change our will we will notify the other. We have hit some bumps in deciding on our division of sssets, yet in general, it is gone quite smoothly - albeit emotionally exhausting as we know the end result. It is just baffling to me that two people who can get along so well and who obviously love one another, need to get divorced. And I say "need" as it seems to be the case. When I ask my husband, what will you tell people as to why we got a divorce? He said, because we no longer see eye to eye. He said what will you tell people? I said, I will say my husband had an affair and we attempted to reconcile, yet he refused to go to counseling. Elle, and others, you may recall that I felt as if my husband did not need to go to counseling, that some people can heal in other ways. I always knew that my husband would benefit from therapy if he really dedicated himself. I guess it took me this long to realize that he was unable, incapable, or unwilling to do that. He cries the hardest when I tell him that he is a good man. Or when I tell him that I love him and always will. I am not a therapist, but I do believe that he is suffering from a tremendous amount of guilt and insecurities that were present before the affair - and exacerbated after the affair. With that, he harbors resentment towards me, which at times turns into a rage. An episode of rage is what precipitated the divorce this time around. No, he has never struck me and these episodes are infrequent, but they are definitely the result of a build up inside of him which he is unable to express to me. And which he, and I, are unable to understand. He will later note, that I do not deserve that. I do not deserve to be spoken to in such a way. His answer? If he is not around me, he will not experience these periodic episodes of rage. As I explained to him, he will take that with him into the next relationship. He will not see it in the beginning, maybe not for four or five years, yet when he really becomes close to someone ... and therein lies my strength in knowing that he must receive treatment if we are to ever make it as a married couple.

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  5. One last thing… And this may help others going through a divorce. I needed to stop the anxiety and the thoughts going through my head, specifically while trying to sleep at night. The last three nights I have slept pretty well. I do believe it is because I found a statement and I built upon it, which has helped me tremendously. Divorce is a gift. I read that, believe it or not, on a law sight, discussing the division of assets. The statement really struck me. Divorce is a gift. I said, yes, I can see that. And then I would allow my imagination to envision a wrapped gift. The wrapping was a little dingy and not so bright ( this representing the anxiety, confusion and pain I am feeling.) As I unpeeled layer after layer of wrapping, I could see the bright light shining from within. The gift of opportunity, the gift of challenges, the gift of new beginnings, the gift of independence, and the forever gift of light and love. As I unwrapped the gift, I felt entirely encircled, supported, and embraced by light and love. I stood on the top of a cliff, or mountain, and looked out to the beauty below and around me. I felt the presence of love. Specifically, I felt like my sister was standing near me… She was the only one I felt that I knew and that was physically present, otherwise, I felt beings of love all around me. These are beautiful thoughts to have as you drift off to sleep. I made the decision to allow myself these thoughts when I was attempting to sleep. I gave myself permission to rest.
    I pray that this continues to work for me. And I pray that perhaps it will help some of you.
    No doubt I have very difficult times ahead, yet, I am doing my best to remain in the present moment and direct my attention to one thing at a time. Ladies, please hold me in your thoughts, prayers and meditations… And of course, I will do the same for you. Peace and light ❤️

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    1. Melissa,

      Those are great thoughts and tips. I love your use of Divorce is a gift and turning it into a mental image. Very powerful!

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    2. Melissa,
      I've often ached for you as you shared stories of your own pain as your husband bounced in and out of your marriage. So I can't say I'm surprised but I am sorry. I also think you're going to be just fine. You have such an incredible well of compassion for others so I'm also not surprised at your ability to hold your husband in his pain, even as he's largely responsible for your own.
      Did you read the online story this past week (can't recall where I saw it) in which a daughter talked about her father sending her mother her favourite flowers the day their mutually desired divorce was finalized? He attached a card noting how painful the day would be for her and he wanted her to know that he would always love her.
      It's something of a model for people who recognize that their marriage is holding them back from a richer life (and, frankly, I put you in that category. I suspect your husband is going to take his issues with him wherever he goes) but still acknowledge that divorce, even when it's a good thing for you, still hurts.

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  6. Melissa, that is such a beautiful, inspiring image.
    You know, every divorce is different. Some are incredibly bitter. But some are strangely intimate, specially when a couple has been together a long time. My mom told me that she and my dad held hands in the divorce lawyer's office. My ex and I have shared moments of closeness. I know a lady who, years after her divorce, is best friends with her ex, even though she has married again. Their grown kids tease them about it.
    I don't know. It seems to me, logically, at some point there has to be some distance, some separation, so that you can heal. And it is always a good idea to be cautious from a legal standpoint, of course. But.... when the wounds heal, I hope we will be friends. We were together for 25 years, married for 18. I hope the love will always be there, in some form.

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  7. OK, here is the update on my weekend. Pretty anti-climactic considering how worried I was. My stbx H shows up. I'm full of dread, fearing for my kids. We are all standing arond in the kitchen, trying to eat sushi, aware of the elephant in the room. My h starts making his prepared speech. My daughter rolls her eyes. My son looks at me, can see tears standing in my eyes, and mouths the words "I already know." My daughter looks at my H as he's talking about making the separation permanent and says "really, this is how you choose to start my Friday? I already knew this when you separated." And My son says " I know dad." But my h continues to plow ahead with his prepared speech, as if he's rehearsed the scene in his head and can't adjust to what is actually happening, no gnashing of teeth. I can hear Elle in my head talking about how our cheating Hs thrive on drama, as I watch him. My daughter lets him wind down and then says "Can I go get ready for the football game now?" and he says in this low, dramatic sonorous voice "you can go." and she comes back with "why are you talking like that?" and walks herself out. Honestly, her sarcasm was beautiful. My son sees me with tears and gives me a pat on the head and a little smile as he walks out. So apparently I was the only one delusional enough to hope there was a chance we'd get back together.
    So even though the kids were fine, my h still wanted to stay over like we planned. I allowed it. I sensed there was some leave taking of our home for him. He and I, similar to Melissa above, had a number of tearful conversations about the divorce, assets, stuff in the house. The thing I hated myself for was realizing how comfortable it felt to have him home. That the unsettled,restless feeling I get sometimes is me missing him. And for a bit I was thinking this just feels right. But then I challenged that. Just because it feels comfortable and familiar, doesn't mean it is magically right or good for me. That right now I would not take him back as he is. he has so much to figure out still.
    I sense that as he plows forward with the divorce, there is some level of "what the fuck am I doing?" in his hind brain. Oh well. No longer my circus.
    Had a great weekend with both kids, some amazing and bonding conversations now that everything is out in the open. Told both how proud of them I was and how they've handled everything. Got may nails done with my girl, watched a movie with my boy. Got some shit done around the house. Reached out to my old college bestie, who is coming out to visit me this weekend (just like you Becky, whose friend was there for you too!). And now I don't have to hid or pretend anymore.
    Saturday night I took off my rings. i've given myself to wear the diamond again as jewelry on my right hand in the future, but for now I am ring free. My ring finger is a little mutated by wearing the rings all those years and sometimes I can feel them like a phantom limb, remember how they'd spin and rattle when my hands got cold. Putting hand lotion on is a lot simpler now. :)
    I put away my wedding photo and a cross stitch with the date and hung some other art. Planning other cleanouts of closets and clutter (no bad juju, LLP).
    This morning, I met with a potential new design client. It went really well, and they are starting me with two small projects as a test drive. Really the boost i needed. More on that as it develops. (did I mention that he was attractive, well spoken, successful, has three kids, no ring and no wife photo in his office? “It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife” I'm really not serious. Need to recover myself first, but its fun to play in that way.
    I'm hopeful for my future and beginning to believe, more than ever, that I can make this work. Not just survive but thrive. I'm treating grieving, letting go and loving myself as my new full time job.

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    1. SS,
      I LOVE YOUR KIDS. They sound awesome. And hilarious.
      You too sound really good. I know that you know there will be peaks and valleys. Just like any new experience. Just like life. But I also know you're going into a new chapter and you're gonna be fine. Better than fine.

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    2. Elle, you nailed it. My kids are awesome. And hilarious. Comedy is one of our collective coping strategies. Definitely still ups and downs and more to come as we take apart the life we built together. But each day I am on my own and not dealing with him, the better I am. SO as much as I am sad and hurt, my own gut and body are telling me that this is the right thing, the healthy thing, for me.

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    3. SS

      I love your quote of Jane Austen! She's my fav. ❤️

      Becky

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  8. Response to Gabby from P2
    So yes indeed you are running through all kids of emotions as your brain tried to adjust to the new reality. Separation was tough for me, but not quite another dday, because a) I'd had enough of the trauma of living with his cheating in my face and b) I naively believed him when he agreed this was to be constructive, time for us to work on ourselves and then start trying to reconnect in new ways. And I slowly saw that the part b wasn't happening and my anxiety went through the roof. He's still in affair rainbow and unicorns lala land.
    be angry. That's real and it is one of the stages of grief. And you have plenty to be angry about. Just like I told my daughter this weekend when she said she was mad at him. You and she have every right to be angry.
    During separation I went from love to anger to hate to depression to denial to love to despair to anger. I love him, but fuck him, but I love him, but what an ass. Now that we are moving on to divorce, I am grieving the ending of our marriage, the past and future I thought I had. (and sometimes, to be honest, that my love wasn't enough to conquer all).
    While separated, we did still go to MC (for what that was worth), we only spoke via text or emails, but sometimes interacted on Facebook or WWF (again he has some delusion that we can divorce and still be besties). Once it became clear he was out for good, I basically went NC unless it was about business - money, the house etc or the kids and his visits schedule. Because it is better for me. Being around him hurts. So I do it as little as possible. it also lets me detach and act "as if" i am ok with my new reality (because fake it till you make it, does actually work).
    I was very quiet about the separation, like your husband wants to be. "He doesn't want to tell people until HE knows what he wants to do." This is controlling, shame driven BS. (sorry). Why does he get to be in charge of that decision. if you need to talk to eople to get the help you need, then you get to do that. I would be open with him about it (i.e model the honest and real grown up behavior you wish he could do) but he doesn't get to make that decision for you. I'm not saying rent a billboard, but maybe choose a couple of friends you know you can trust, so you can get some of the emotional support you need. I've really found that a couple of my friend have been critical to my survival so far. And knowing that people love you and don't judge is a critical component for healing and recovery. You get to decide what that looks like for you.
    And Gabby, don't reach out to or confront the OW. If your goal is to reconcile with your h, any action relative to the OW will be counter to that goal. Also, you can't hurt her like she's hurt you. It won't be nearly as satisfying as you'd like. Instead read Elle's post on here about the OW, she's got nothing you want. And imaging smashing her head with concrete blocks or sending her a Christmas card saying "thanks for all you've done for our family" but keep it a fantasy. Better yet. Don't waste your time and energy hating on her. She doesn't deserve the attention, and believe me, these crazy soulless, needy, wastes of skin thrive on attention. You deserve your attention so much more.
    And yes, Gabby, disappointment is my predominant emotion now. That and let disgust creep in inasmuch as it helps me let go of the love I was holding on to. But that's because of where I am in this process.
    Think for yourself, what is the next right thing. How can you take care of yourself? I invested in piano lessons. I go to reiki. I am the poster child for self care. Take care of you and the rest of the universe will follow.

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  9. Soulless. Needy. Thriving on attention. I know it's not nice, but I love that description.
    I'm glad the weekend wasn't as bad as you were dreading. I know it's not going to be easy for them, but it sounds like your kids have your strength, your humor, and your clear-sightedness.
    For mine it was a total shock. Completely out of the blue. I'll never completely forgive myself for that. But they have taken it in stride. I am so proud of them.
    During the divorce, I went through so many stages of anger, grief, insecurity. At first there was the incredible relief of being free of all the sordid deception and manipulation, the roller coaster of hope and despair. Then I started to process all the other emotions. For months I cycled through resignation, anger, grief, exhaustion, and back around again. I still have ups and downs, but I'm on a more even keel now.
    The ex, not so much. I'm still not sure how to deal with him.

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    1. Phoenix
      That describes the cow in our situation as well! The neediness was what broke the affair fog for my h but she just wouldn't go away! When I sent the text telling her we were so tired of her drama, she took offense and tried to make like I was the drama queen! My world is growing beautiful again now that the real drama queen has been silenced by the court at least for the present! Hugs!

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    2. So my ex, the Drama KING, has been trying his best this week to keep me tied to his emotional roller coaster.
      First there was the long, intense text conversation about us, about what he did wrong, about how our love and our marriage was so real and so right, but he screwed it up by not acting decisively to save our marriage. This segued into a conversation about how attracted he still is to me, and how I wouldn't even have to completely crook my little finger if I wanted to have sex.
      Then we moved on, within a couple of days, to severe depression. He said he was really sick. He bit my head off when I expressed concern and said bitterly that he was and always would be alone. Side note: he tells me he's getting cancer treatments. He's a compulsive liar, and I personally saw some texts in which he lied to the OW about going to the ER - I knew for a fact it didn't happen as he described. So I've tried to express concern while taking it all with a grain of salt - even the boy who cried wolf eventually met a wolf. Maybe he's sick, maybe it's a Munchausen Syndrome thing - who knows?
      Anyway, I left him alone when he rejected my "Olive Branch" sympathy, as he bitterly called it. So next, I got a text about what a wonderful wife and mother I am, how complete and happy I made him, how he misses it now that it's gone. There were fatalistic references to unfinished business matters, how I'm the beneficiary for his insurance, etc. He said he was too sick to come to our daughter's spelling bee. To give him credit, he doesn't usually bag on the kids.
      Then we had a few normal hours - he talked to the baby on the phone about her spelling bee win and consulted with me about Daughter 1's fever.
      Read on for the bombshell.....

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    3. (Part 2) Then, this morning, I woke up to the bombshell text: he says the OW is pregnant. Might be his, might be her ex-husband's. He has steadfastly denied a physical affair, but I didn't believe him, and assumed they had a sexual relationship. Now he admits to "one drunken night". Yeah, right. I'm sure there was more than that, and I'm relatively sure this kid will turn out to be his. This woman has been divorced for months. He also tried to make out like it was a very recent discovery, but I have reason to believe he's known for some time.
      A side note about the skank - she already has 4 (or 5?) kids by two other men, and she's not even 30 yet.
      So.....
      I haven't responded to his text. I don't have any plans to. I'd just as soon go NC for a while, as much as possible. But, as I often do, I wrote him a note that I don't plan to send. I'd like to share it:
      "Am I supposed to be shocked? I'm not. I've known for ages you had a physical relationship with that person. I am saddened, disgusted, and disappointed, though. This was the one final thing I had hoped you wouldn't burden the kids with. I'm not surprised about her, I know what she is. And she's never given a damn about the kids or me or anyone but herself. But I am seriously disappointed in you.
      Just another, more extreme example of you and the skank dishonoring and tainting our marriage and our family."

      Fortunately, I had already thought this through, and mentally prepared myself for this scenario, so it's not as much of a blow as it might have been.
      What bugs me the most is this: I want so much to leave this whole mess behind, to forget her existence. But if this proves true, I will be tied to her forever. She will be the mother of my children's sibling. She will be the mother of the grandchild my beloved in-laws wanted, possibly even the grandson I couldn't give them. She will have a place in the family, MY family, that she absolutely doesn't deserve. I will have to explain this to my girls, because I could never justify hiding from them the existence of a sibling. Their lives will be further disrupted, and they will be exposed to yet more instability and drama.
      I think I might finally hate him for doing this to our family. The poor, stupid, selfish a-hole.
      Dare I hope that the Drama King is just trying to stir up more drama? Dare I hope???

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    4. Phoenix. ... OMFG. just fuuking vomitous. I wish I could say or do anything to make this suck less. I'm so impressed with your response and your intent to treat your kids with honesty and integrity. She does not deserve a place in your family, and she doesn't have to have any more space in your world than you have to allow for the sake of your girls. You don't have to engage with her in the context of this baby unless you are concerned for their safety. Honestly. What a shitshow. Assume it is his until proven otherwise. Hopefully he will be smart enough to push for a paternity test. Just barf. I can't pantomime throwing up enough to show how I feel on your behalf.
      I can't even imagine.
      Just know that I have you and your girls in my prayers and sending big love your way. Again, I can'y say how impressed I am with how you are responding. I agree with and fully support the NC for a time. Take yourself out of the drama. Much love.

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    5. Phoenix,
      Well...on the bright side, you got this news when you were far better emotionally prepared to hear it. (I'm ducking. I don't blame you for throwing something at me.) But, seriously, this is HIS problem. Yes, if it is his, you'll have some peripheral dealing with it but don't overestimate your involvement. And please remember that you'll be a different person with a different (read: more distant) relationship with both your ex and his family. If it's a son (seriously? They think a boy is heir to their throne or something??), well, it was lost cause dragging them into the 21st century where girls kick ass.
      Phoenix, I'm so sorry you're dealing with yet another kick in the gut. But you are rising so far above this insanity, you'll barely be able to see it soon.

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    6. Phoenix - You husband keeps dragging you on to his roller coaster when each day you are trying to get the hell off the ride. Let him ride it alone. He is an awesome liar all along the way. I remember when he was going back and forth not sure - etc... I'm wondering if she wasn't pregnant already? I did not allow my son to be part of my Ex-H crazy life regardless if my children had half brothers or sisters. I was protecting my son. I did explain why the entire time my son was growing up. I thought any interaction did more harm than good. I didn't even care if I was given child support or not. He could keep his money, I would rather be desperate. All along I told my son when he turned 16 he could make his own decision about seeing that part of the crazies. He did choose to be involved at first. He finally told me later, mom, you were right, you did the right thing for us. Now he wants nothing to do with them and it is his choice. Wade cautiously into this water of the OW until you see how deep the water really is. Your H has lied so much to you. I'm glad you already thought this through. Although your text was great, why respond to his mess. I would probably say - Your mess, not mine, and have a great day. This OW sounds so toxic like radioactive material, she probably glows at night. You don't have to be tied to this bitch. You are the smart one. If you wan the mess to go away then make it so.

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    7. Phoenix

      What the??? OMG??? ahhhhh! Seriously, I don't know what to say..... i know this must feel like another hurtful blow to your heart! I agree with Elle,
      This crap came at a stage where you are in a much better position to handle it. All I can think is boundaries!!!! Yes, this is a very unwelcome additional way the OW will continue to be in the picture (when we all just want her to F off into the sunset), but you are not your H or her support team and can set boundaries that are good for you. You and your girls are beautiful and amazing and you all are enough and worthy of love and belonging and no baby BOY will change that. Hug yourself and your girls - you are enough

      I know this sucks and I'm with you!! Love and support sister
      Becky

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    8. Phoenix
      I find myself with no words except I'm so sorry for the new drama! The letter you drafted but didn't send was mild compared to the language swirling around in my head! What a total ahole! I'm sending up prayers for you to continue to be a lady who takes the high road! Just makes me sick to know he keeps hurting you with his crazy drama! Yep this is his mess and you don't deserve to be dragged into this crazy!

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    9. Phoenix, I feel for you and cannot imagine having to navigate this new path however I agree with everyone else here that this is not your problem. I feel very sad if indeed this baby is your husbands because some day in the distant future he/she will discover the truth about how they came to be. This has played out many times in my husbands family with adult half siblings meeting each other. The good news is that those adults often meet joyfully and without the burden of pain and hurt and anger that surrounded their existence. After all, it wasn't their fault they were born. Not a big comfort I know but as a person who has watched a few adoptions take place in her time and the connection of adults who never knew they had another sibling, time has a way of sanding the edges of ugliness. I am hopeful you and your children will live your life with integrity. There is no shame in telling the truth. If indeed this is your ex-husband's child, and this said child ends up interfacing with your ex-spouses family, your can simple tell your children that their father was unfaithful and the child is the result of that affair. (a good reason to educate your kids about birth control) Your children do not ever need to have anything to do with the child's mother. She will wreck havoc on your ex-husband's family and they get to enjoy that experience. You get to watch the show. Hugs and strength to you my friend. Perhaps you can recommend that your husband get a vasectomy as a gift to himself. This is not your reality show. Change the channel quickly. There is a lovely show on PBS about hummingbirds.

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    10. Phoenix I didn't see this coming!!! Although saying that nothing surprises me anymore... where are the responsible adults in that relationship to bring a child (if there is one) into this situation is madness but Phoenix it's his madness not yours .. you my dear are out of this constant drama you have removed yourself and are free from it... pat yourself on the back .. thank god for all your blessings, you are so far on your road of healing you can and will deal with this as much as you need to.. I don't think you need to worry about any of this .. crack on with your life and leave him and his nonsense behind you... gosh you must be relieved you have divorced this man.. Phoenix Carry on doing what your doing .. your such a brave heart seriously this is just another bump in the road drive around it and carry on down the road.. love you lots Phoenix xx

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    11. Thank you, Elle, Lynn, Becky, Theresa, Beach Girl, Sam - you've each given me some comfort, and something valuable to think about.

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  10. Hey everyone, not sure where I am but it feels mostly safe and OK. So good news is that I landed the new client! Small project to start but very likely to turn into ongoing work. Good stuff and good news for me, because I can put all money from my freelance practice away for vacation and retirement (and a safety cushion).
    I'm tired but getting on with things. My IC is so proud of how I am doing and supports all my efforts to detach, taking off my rings, taking down symbols of the marriage, rearranging things in the house (bits at a time, trying to be sensitive to my kids). I'm still sad sometimes, but also feeling more independent, more whole, every day. I still ruminate on how disappointed I am in him, in his choice to feed/not deal with his addiction (I don't even think he acknowledges it as that, and I'm sorry a few months of EMDR and therapy aren't going to make a lifetime of behavior go away overnight. My therapist agrees. Of course she's only got my side of the story, but I don't think I am off the mark by much). So now I remind myself that, I don't have to expend any more energy on him or trying to fix us. That I can focus on me, my life and my kids and making our life together awesome, safe, comfortable, fun, supportive, that I can set a better example for them about how to live life and be healthy.
    Today I get two fillings replaced and then have the first session with my STBX (soon to be ex) and the mediator. Dental drilling about sums up my feelings about this day.
    Also, my daughter was out with my credit card yesterday and it got declined. Now I need to ask my h if he's cancelled that without telling me. He knows our daughter uses my card as emergency backup for gas when she has no cash. So I am going to be annoyed if he did that without telling me. But it may also just be that he's been so depressed he's not paid the bill. I need to reserve judgement until I have the facts.
    My stbx has been so depressed, feeling like he is losing his mind, I am actually a little concerned for his safety. But like many addicts, I think he needs to hit rock bottom, and apparently, he hasn't arrived there yet.
    So wish me luck for a simple and speedy mediation, where we get through the steps and I end up financially independent and safe. I will not make any hasty decisions and I will not make any moves out of anger or bitterness or an intent to hurt. Just focus on my own and the kids' security and well being. I chose the mediator and I like her approach so far. Her goal is to have everything go as smoothly and amicably and fairly as possible. I will not shame my h about the affair by bringing it into negotiations unless I absolutely have to for leverage. But he's so guilty and talked so many times and to a number of people about doing more than the minimum, I don't anticipate it. Still, in the back of my mind, I am prepared to stand my ground.
    I wish I could get all of his shit out of my house now, but I know that is neither realistic or possible. I am starting to move things I find into boxes in the basement. After it is all done, I am going to have to have a sage bonfire down there, there's so much bad juju in that space.
    So the sun is shining. I had a great workout and made some new friends at the Y yesterday. I have a fantastic dinner to go to on Thanksgiving and will be volunteering in the early am. My life is good! And each day I am grateful for a new start. Love! SS

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    1. SS your new life is coming together and I was thinking of your strength through all this shit fest. You are making a new life already. Getting a new client is no small task either. Good for you.

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    2. SS, you are doing so great!! Burn that sage, cleanse that space. And keep cleansing your life, mind, and heart of all the dark, messy emotions. That's the best thing about an ending - it makes room for a beginning. Recovery can start. It's time to heal. You are so awesome!!
      Unfortunately, these men are at their weakest right now, because they drew more strength than they realized from knowing that they had us to fall back on. He will get depressed. He may try to draw on your strength, or regret letting you go. Be prepared to distance yourself from the emotional ups and downs he will experience.
      I hope the mediation went well. I am praying for the best possible outcome for you and your kids. Hugs!

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  11. Ladies, thank you for sharing - I can't write, not feeling up to it. Phoenix, your h sounds kookadoodke ... that baby could be anyone's and possibly there isn't even a baby!
    Still Standing - I pray to get where you are - one day I am sure. Sooooo difficult living under the same roof and getting along, while planning a divorce - although my IC has explained to me that he believes my h is terrified of counseling, of what lies beneath, and uses avoidance behavior as his defense- the ultimate- leave your marriage. Nonetheless, I struggle with "why?" - I know why from my perspective- because of his refusal to get therapy and his avoidance behavior- actually, now that I think if it - that's why - he just doesn't realize it. So flipping sad that he simply won't get the help he needs. And then I say - I will be free of the angst of his anger at times and his "running away" - that's all ladies :-(

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    1. Melissa, you are such a kind and loving person. Make sure you save some of that (most of that) for yourself. One of the reasons I am where I am is because I am not under the same roof with my h. When I think about how stressed and anxious, how physically ill, how unable to eat or sleep I was, because of the disrespect and the ambivalence and the continued lies and obfuscation, I'm not sure how I survived. being physically apart has helped me detach. And I will continue to actively work to detach. Because it is what is best for me. I think the sooner you and h can agree on separate housing, the better it may be for you. (that's just my opinion, based on my own experience, so take that with however many grains of salt you need).
      When I had to see him for the first mediation session yesterday, the tension, gut punch sadness and hurt remind me why I need to do this. As much as I didn't want it, the man I wanted him to be, hoped he would be, doesn't exist. Avoidance, fear of intimacy, inability to open up and be honest, even about day to day things, running away, blaming everyone around him for his unhappiness, farming out his relationship with the kids to me, his inability to admit he has an addiction, his limited ability to consider how his actions and choices. None of those things are acceptable to me anymore.
      So as sad as I am that things are ending, as much as I struggle with feeling like a failure, I have to remember something a friend told me, which is that only my h and I could have made our children. That this present time of things falling apart, do not, in fact, negate all the good times, that we were once both in love. Its just time for this story to come to an ending.
      I to struggle with why. Why he couldn't make the effort, why he couldn't face his issues, why he's copping out with "I love you but Im not in love with you." I may never be fully satisfied with an answer.
      One of his friends who is also going through a divorce, told him that for them this situation is like cancer, it built over time. But for the wives its like a heart attack. Out of the blue and terrifying. This. Really. Fucking. Pisses. Me. Off. Why? because it is an excuse. You don't magically fall out of love. You actively make choices, every day, that either sustain love and kill it. You the husband with "cancer" of te heart had an obligation to speak up, an opportunity to get help to try and get healthy before it got to this point. Such a lame assed bunch of bullshit. Angry a bit today.
      Cried in the mediation session at first. Had to walk out and compose myself. In a break he started talking to me about how he had emailed the extended family about Thanskgiving etc and wanted to tell me about everyone's responses. I said, I don't want to hear about it. Of course I expected everyone to be kind and sad and sorry, He still tries to plow ahead. I said, you need to stop. Once again, trying to offload his emotional excess on to me. Not my job anymore buddy. He just doesn't get it.
      So when I meet wiht the mediator one on one next time and she asks me why we are getting divorced do I say "because I don't like his girlfriend?" or do I take the high road and say, " I don't/didn't want the divorce and his version of my will be different than mine. I was open to reconciliation, but he rejected all offers. Not much I can do but make the best of it now." Thoughts there welcome.

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    2. Still standing
      I'm for telling the truth! He made choices and didn't see fit to make changes in his choices! I'm sorry but this is all on him! Stay strong as you work through the process! I'll be thinking of you!

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    3. SS, your mediator should know the reason for the divorce if she asks. I've never done mediation so have no idea how it works but is seems like a reasonable thing for her to know. You are one strong and admirable woman my friend. I see your head high as you navigate these new paths in your life. I've had to cut family members out of my life in the past and it was really hard for a few years but after awhile, not so much. You deserve so much better in life and I am hopeful you will stay your course and find your rainbow.

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    4. My h was full speed ahead with divorce just yesterday. After he said he wasn't in contact I went into his phone and found he was texting her again. Telling her how he loves her and never wants to speak about feelings by text again but wants to hold her in his arms and show how much he cares. Then there was a bunch of shit about soulmates and settling and he's just hanging onto the wifey until he can let her down easy. When he was JUST taking me out for the day. And on Friday we went for drinks and aps and then had crazy kinky sex afterwards. How can they do this? Then I searched our computer history because in the texts he said he was going to look at his finances so he could move out and there was our online banking and apartments in cities nearby where she lives. I wanted to kill him. I actually saw a small paring knife when I went to confront him while he did the dishes and I fleetingly imagined picking it up and just sticking it right in his shoulder! After a lot of back and forth and tears on both sides we dropped it. Then this afternoon I told him to leave and never come back. And he replied he was cutting all contact to try again and he didn't know if it would work but he was trying. Then I got a boo hoo shpiel about how he could loose me. AND her (REALLY YOU ASS HAT?! Do you think I GAF?!) and that he was angry because I can only see one side of things. You mean the side where you CHEATED and convinced yourself it was okay because I wasn't REALLY in love with you anymore?! Because NO. I DON'T see your side of things! Where you are some sad conquering hero and I'm the evil witch wife keeping you away from your one true love. That you've known for five months and fucked twice. Can you see my eyes rolling?!

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    5. Hi Anonymous

      Oh sister, I have been there... wanting to wring his neck, and completely overwhelmed by pain and anger and confusion (what the hell is going on here type feelings, feeling that everything is surreal). Based on your description, my H did some very similar things and the mixed messages of love and commitment between me and the OW were so so painful. I am sorry for how much I know you must be hurting, my heart is with you.

      Please take care of your self and be kind to yourself. Boundaries are hard, but try and use your anger to set safe boundaries for yourself and then respect them. (I know this is hard, it took me a year to demand respect and accountability regarding my boundaries. It was a very painful year living in an emotionally unsafe relationship). There will probably be back and forth so be kind to yourself through the process.

      I know when I was experiencing the day to day ongoing betrayals of continued contact with the OW it was so so painful and crazy making and I often could really see the risk of being "out of mind" and considering things I would never do in normal situations. These are not normal situations. Consider turning towards things like meditation, exercise, a good friend, therapy, journaling ect... to help you in the most desperate moments. I know I needed these type of things to make it day to day. Also we are here for you.

      Love and support sister
      Becky.

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  12. Hey, y'all, thank you so much for the support! The love, the indignation, the advice, and the humor all made me feel much better. You are the only people I can talk to about this right now.
    Let's see. Two shallow, careless, needy, self-absorbed people creating emotional distress for my kids and me.
    Same shit, different day.
    Everybody seemed to agree on this: Not my circus, not my monkeys. And you are right. I may or may not have to deal with this in the future, but I can set boundaries and limitations, and it can be a small, relatively unimportant thing in the grand scale of things. Except...to the extent that it hurts my children. But we've got some time before that has the potential to become an issue.
    I did some reading about paternity testing. There are some prenatal types of testing - and I allowed myself a moment of ghoulish pleasure picturing the one that involves a needle being inserted into the vagina - but at the end of the day, those methods are costlier and slightly higher risk, so I'm guessing they will opt for postnatal testing. Which means it will be a while before this is resolved. Which is fine by me; I am good at doing the Scarlett O'Hara thing; I will think about if and when I have to. And I can decline to be sucked back into that sordid, soap operatic, Jerry Springer world. And I can damn well keep my kids free of it for as long as possible.
    He and I have texted briefly and sporadically about kid issues. When he realized I was freezing him out, there was a brief burst of text apologizing and begging me not to hate him, saying he needed his friend. I responded by telling him there was no way I was talking him through this one, and he obviously hadn't considered the implications for me and the children. I told him I needed time and space and wasn't going to discuss it further. He said that on the contrary, he had done nothing but think and vomit and cry. And then he respected my wishes and backed off, which I appreciated, because I needed to get through one more very stressful day of work. And now I have a week's vacation, so I can deal with this. And I need to.
    I need to establish a timeline, so that I know how long a grace period we have. I need to find out who else is going to know. I need to clarify a couple of distasteful issues, such as why he thinks the ex has a greater chance of being the father. This is the monstrous, abusive stalker ex he needed to rescue her from, and yet, several months after their divorce, this guy has the greatest chance of being the father? Lord, they are such a couple of liars,
    And once I have gotten the basic info I need to protect my kids and me, I need to draw my boundaries. No, I'm not going to be drawn back in. No, I am not going to be his comforter and confidante. No, I am not letting myself in for one jot more pain and anxiety than I need to.
    I don't know when this poor kid is supposed to be due, but I've got a lot more time to heal and grow even stronger before this potentially becomes an issue. And that is what I am going to do.

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    1. You got your shine on and shit together. Stay strong because his vortex of terror and sucking you in is going to come ferociously. It sounds like his fog is getting less dense now that you let reality hit him in the face - he needs to own his shit. Doesn't it feel good that you are not in that mess? Stay focused on yourself and we love you. You are one strong woman Bravo!

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    2. Damn Phoenix, you sound strong and clear. Not your monkey, not your circus. You know you don't really need to clarify any of those issues except get your legal stuff in order well before this child is born so your kids get what they are due without him whining about how little money he has to support his growing brood. Geesh, maybe give him a box of condoms for Christmas? You go and have fun with your kiddos. Sending you a virtual hug.

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    3. Beach Girl, what an awesome Christmas gift idea!!!

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    4. Yes, Lynn, it feels wonderful to be free of that mess. Thank you!!

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    5. My mother told the OW - you can have him but that is all you will get (meaning none of his money)

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  13. From above, thank you Elle, and thank you Still Standing. I truly appreciate your responses. Elle, I will look for the article you referred to. Still Standing - I hear you about separate households - as my therapist noted, "you will know when that time must happen." Of late I/we have been handing it well - we know we love one another and need to move on. You said something SS that I too feel at times - like a failure, which is ironic because both you and I would be willing to work on our marriages, if our husbands would. Although I know I gave it my all and was willing to give more (just like you) - I know I am not a failure, yet ... and I know that what other people think of me is none of my business ;-) - still, it's my long-standing, working on changing need to be perfect in order to be loved ... so many emotions. I did get good news - I am able to COBRA my health insurance from the company my h works for at a fairly good rate for 3 years!!! (I started my own business about 2 years ago; I was so happy to hear that!). Love and light my friends ❤️

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    1. Melissa, congratulations on the insurance! That is excellent news!

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    2. Melissa, yes absolutely, you will know when the next right move is the next right move (if that makes sense). Go at your pace and don't second guess your process. When I look back over the last year, I would always choose to try, to be able to look back from where I am and know I gave it my all.
      Glad for the good news on COBRA. Always such a relief.
      Hugs

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  14. A strange thing has happened. I've lost my wedding and engagement rings. I feel horrible about it, but just can't remember how this could have happened. I know I was wearing them on Friday evening (even spoke to a friend via text to say I didn't want to take them off because I am still hopeful for the future). Then on Saturday morning when out walking with my toddler daughter at the beach, I noticed my finger was bare. I do take off the engagement ring at night, but the wedding band stays on apart from washing up or serious dirty diapers. I know I dealt with both these things on Saturday morning, so hope the rings are in the house somewhere. No luck so far in my search. I'm pretty sure they're not at the beach, because my hand was being squeezed to bloodlessness by my child and I don't think anything could have got past that! That was also how I noticed, as I had to release my fingers from her grasp for a minute to get feeling back. At first I thought they must be at home. Now I am starting to really wonder. I hope I didn't do something to them in my sleep on Friday night. I really feel worried and I want to find them. On the positive (surreal) side, my h came over to see our daughter and seemed concerned that the rings are missing. He even looked for them a bit. (He's still wearing his, but I am under no illusions as to his understanding of the promise it represents.) Has anyone else ever lost their ring before they were 'ready'? I'm not crying, but I do feel weird about it.

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    1. Wow, Selkie, that is strangely ironic. I'm sorry. I'm sure they will turn up.
      Maybe it's symbolic of letting go of the past to create a fresh new future, whether that means a new marriage with your h or a new future without him. The old marriage - good and bad - is finished, and it's time to start something new and better. You think?
      Sending you hugs this morning, sweetie.

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    2. Thank you, Phoenix. The way you put it is really comforting to me. The search continues, but in a less frantic way (because there is actually nowhere else I can look now- just revisiting every tiny corner of the (tiny!) house). I still want to find them, but do believe at some level that if it's not meant to be, then I will have to accept that. You are so generous to respond to me in the midst of your own complicated situation. Best of luck and strength to you.

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  15. Ladies! Hi. I'm not doing well emotionally and it's just passed 2 am and I need some sleep. Still Standing I think about you all the time and I draw in your strength all the damn time. Phoenix. My good god. Damn straight not your circus but what a bomb shell. This happened to a friend of mine- but she found out all in the same day- an affair and a baby coming. She packed her husbands bags that night, CALMLY kicked him out (how does that happen?) and never EVER spoke to him about it. That post affair relationship of course did not last. Now, years after the fact Her two teen children do interact with their much younger half sibling but everyone lives far enough apart now she never has To this day dealt with the AP. (Who she knew pre affair) it's much easier on her now that that woman is out of the picture with her ex husband, because they can see their dad without ant interaction with that woman . But he? The ex? His time is spent constantly juggling with half custody of his two kids from the marriage and the one with the AP. these guys certainly know how to fuck up not only other people's lives but their own too. The logistics are baffling. Hugs to everyone here. You all give me hope for myself no matter what.
    And to the new and frightened and still in shock, you will get through it one way or another. You Will. Xoxo

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    1. Steam, I hope you got some sleep. I am so sorry you are going through a rough patch. Your friend sounds almost super-human, but good for her!!!
      I have learned from past experience to prepare for the worst, but to know that it is almost useless to speculate on what will happen. Life is almost ridiculously unpredictable. I'm just going to float on my back for a while and enjoy my kids and my peace of mind. I'm blessed. I wouldn't be him - or her - for a kingdom.
      Hugs, honey - hope you feel better!

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    2. Steam, I'm here with you. be gentle with yourself and rest up when you can. I'm gifting you infinite, guilt free naps. I'm sorry to hear you are going through a rough patch. All of this infidelity stuff is such bs. And the separating, and the waiting in limbo, and the fighting through the trauma and the hoping and the despairing and all the goddammits. However this shakes out, you will still have you. And that's a pretty good deal.

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    3. Hi Steam

      Thinking of you and sending love. I hate the sleepless nights too, I am with you. Maybe try an herbal sleep aid or see your doctor if it's really bad. I know a few times I was so out of it and went several nights of not sleeping.... it did not even occur to me to take something to help myself sleep.

      There often seems to be a cycle of very painful and difficult periods and more positive periods. Remember to be kind to yourself and turn towards all your most healing self care actions. You will come through this period and all your sisters are here along the way.

      Love
      Becky

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  16. I have talked about the situation with my ex. I was right, she's much farther along - 25 weeks. By my rough calculation, that means late Feb-early March. According to him, they only see each other occasionally, so he just found out. According to him, she has not actually provided him with any concrete info about what his chances of being the father are, she just wanted to hear his reaction to the news. According to him, she got upset when he said his reaction was going to depend on the results of a paternity test.
    Notice how I keep saying "according to him"? I.am following the biblical advice: "Be wise as serpents and innocent as doves." Maybe he is being honest and open, maybe not, but I take nothing at face value.
    Sisters, I can't tell you how good it felt to realize that, even though this has the potential to be painful, I do NOT have to get sucked in. No matter what happens as a result of their actions, I will be okay. They can make me briefly unhappy, but they no longer have the power to torture and crush me. Every day, I am stronger and more free of that sordid, dirty little situation.
    (Interjection: that statement reflects on the adults in that situation, and in no way on the child. Children are blameless, bless his/her poor, sweet little heart.)
    So - I found out what there was to know, and now I will put it aside. He asked me if I wanted information/updates, and I told him only if it was important information that might affect the kids and me. Otherwise, no. He was very apologetic, and said he admired me. In all honesty, I am mostly feel sorry for him right now - although, if this does turn out to affect my kids, some of that anger will return, and will be forcefully expressed. He says he brought everything on himself. He's right, but at least he admits it. Now I'm just praying my kids will never have to know about this.
    Friends, you gave me so much strength. Thank you! Sending you love and grateful hugs.

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    1. Phoenix, I second what Still Standing said. Keep breathing. You can do this and you will have a clear view in the rear view mirror.

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  17. Phoenix, you are so completely kick ass.

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  18. Opened my new bank accounts today. Booked my Christmas weekend with the kids/visit to my sister. Possibly buying my replacement car tomorrow. Did some home repair! (Fixed a loose shelf and robe hook in the bathroom). Made some progress on my new client's project. Taking myself out to dinner before painting tonight. Moving right along..
    Had a nice fire, baked, cooked a lasagna, a real comfort day to take me out of a tiny bit of blues yesterday.
    And realized that now I have accepted that my marriage is over and his "stuff" is not part of my life anymore, I actually am not painfully lonely anymore either. I guess I don't miss what hasn't been there for a long time. I might even be ready to read Pride & Prejudice again.
    Hugs, SS

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    1. Ss you should be so very proud of yourself!!! Your strength is admirable lots and lots of love to you and your children.. xx

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    2. Hi SS.

      Question, when you say "taking myself to dinner" do you mean going to dinner alone? There are a few places I think I would like to eat alone, but I haven't done it. Thoughts????

      Also I recently re- read P and P and love it!! I firmly believe Jane Austen soothes the soul.

      Love
      Becky

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    3. Still Standing, you rock big time. We are all so much more capable than we know and or believe. You are our hero along with Phoenix and all those who make hard decisions every single day.

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    4. Elizabeth Bennett did not put up with any crap!
      Love me some Austen.

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    5. Becky, I go out to eat on my own quite often. If I am out for business or shopping etc, I always have a book and I will typically sit down, est and read. I also very often interact with folks around me if that's the vibe of the place I'm in. I'm pretty good company and enjoy eating out. The meals before painting class get me out of the house so I don't have to encounter the h. That's how i need it right now.
      Dinner with yourself is highly recommended!

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  19. All of these situations are FUBAR and it infuriates me that anyone has to put up with this. These are supposed to be adult men. Functional human beings. How does this happen that we are saddled with ridiculous teenage men children? I honestly feel I don't even recognize my h anymore. I've been reading that these men have always had the bad characteristics but that their partners brush them aside until all Hell breaks loose in the form of an affair or such. Terrifying that I could have predicted some such thing if I'd just paid attention.

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    1. Hi Anonymous

      Shout it sister!!!! I really makes me angry too!!! So many times in conversation I would just see my H turn into an adolescent before my very eyes. I spoke to my psychologist about this and he said about 40 percent of men never fully enter adulthood whereas about 20 percent of women never fully become adults. Anyway - yes a lot of us are in marriages with men who didn't full grow up. I know for me, we got together in our 20s and then over the following 20 year I grew up and he didn't. The good news is now I know and can reshape my relationship or have new relationship with a grown up!!!

      Love and support sisters
      Becky

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  20. Hey everyone, but of an up and down couple of days. Got my new car yesterday which is great but had to spend time with the h so not so great. I always have some emotional rebound when I'm with him or after. It still hurts. I still feel angry and betrayed and let down. And when he acts nice and normal I miss him, the good bits anyway. And then I need time to recover. Because I also realized that with him I felt off balance, less able to make decisions, more cloudy. And it dawned on me that this was how I felt most of the time. Under his cloud from years of being wrong or second guessing what I knew or worried what he thought or not bring enough. Wow. Why would I want to go back to that? I don't. But sometimes I also wrestle with justice. I don't want him to be better without me. I don't want them to be happy together. But not my problem any more. Not my story, not my concern and truthfully no bearing on my future life or happiness. I find I'm best on days when I don't have to see or hear from him at all.
    It's a sad state. But reality. He's toxic and I dont need that.
    So could use some hugs. Looking forward to a nice holiday tomorrow. Wishing you all who do Thanksgiving a wonderful day. And those who don't, you get a wonderful day too.

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    1. Love to you, Still Standing. It sounds like you are doing great. I know what you mean about being stuck in a cloud- only figuring out afterwards what hazy h is really saying (or in my case, not saying). But it seems to me that you have got some super-power cloud-defeating glasses! You are seeing things clearly. Will be thinking of you and of all the 'sisters' this weekend. Enjoy your new car- go for a spin and explore a new place (if the weather is ok!) Virtual hug!

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    2. Still Standing, you get a warm hug from Maui and some sand in your shoes too, all from me. Although I've not said this before, I was married previously and thought I'd never get over him. I had a year of living dangerously and came to my senses after that. I did not have kids so life was easier then. I want you to be happy to be you and I want you to know that regardless of how your ex feels or what he does, he has to live for the rest of his life with the knowledge that he was not a man of integrity. Toxic waste belongs in a dump. The other night after a hard day, I had many nightmares. I typically yell and cry out when I have these nightmares and my husband just held me and apologized. In the morning after he quit crying, he told me that every time I thrashed and yelled he would hold me and take my nightmare and turn it into a piece of origami and send it off to sea. I loved that visual and am sharing it so that you may also use it to send off those toxic thoughts. When I feel fearful of my journey I look at you and Phoenix and think to myself, I don't want to go there but if I do, I have some strong spirit warriors who have led the way. Wishing you a peaceful Thanksgiving.

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    3. SS a major trigger for me after DD1 was the guy who sat opposite me at work. I found out that he was having an affair with a single girl in our office who is ten years his junior. It became public after his distraught wife called to speak to the OW and beg her to back off and let him go back to her and their two young children.He ended up leaving his family and continuing his relationship with the AP. It was horrible for me to watch. They seemed so pleased with themselves. They jetted off on an exotic holiday and seemed to be flaunting their love and happiness. A couple of months ago they moved in together. Well, this past weekend they broke up. They perfectly demonstrated the statistics. It didn't last 12 months in the real world. I don't have facts but it seems she broke it off - issues with mistrust and dealing with her new ready-made family, plus his good salary wasn't looking quite as healthy post divorce settlement. Anyhow, not intended as a gloat (well, maybe a little bit) but more to say, the blogs may be right after all. What looks like happiness may not be real, or lasting.

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    4. Hey there, Still Standing. Some of the feelings you describe are so familiar. Seeing my ex used to fill me with confusing feelings. I didn't want to be around him. But I also wanted him to hold me, because I missed him so much. The reality of the situation was still sinking in. I cycled a lot too - man, I thought it would never stop! I would feel ok, then something would trigger me, then I would become increasingly angry and depressed. Then I would explode on him. Then I would feel ok again for a while until the cycle started again. I felt like a crazy woman, unable to control my emotions. But eventually the feelings became less intense. I know I still have a lot of recovering to do, but I'm on a much more even keel now.
      Honestly, what helped me a lot was distance. When he would be away on a business trip and I didn't have to see him as much, it helped. I needed peaceful time away from him. I needed to lick my wounds and get stronger, without him around to stir up those painful feelings. I still prefer to keep our interactions short, but if's easier to be around him now.
      Justice - yeah, I get that one big time. That feeling got less intense too, partly because I have watched him suffer a lot. At this point, I do want him to be happy - but NOT with HER. That just seems like a perversion of justice. But I have no control over that. I've thought my way through the worst case scenarios and I hope I am prepared, but I guess we'll see. What I have come to realize is this: the real worst case scenario is the one where he is depressed and miserable, and it makes him a poor father to the kids. They have suffered enough, and they need him very badly, so I know I don't want that.
      Keep going, SS, you are awesome. Dealing with the STBX brings up so many confusing feelings, but you are so incredibly emotionally and spiritually aware - you can already see that you are, in the long run, going to be stronger and healthier without his crap in your life.
      Hugs!!!!!

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    5. Thank you thank you thank you for your kind replies. I'm practicing asking for help when I need it and my sisters here never let me down or make me feel like I'm "too much" to deal with. I had a lovely Thanksgiving day, early volunteer work was just incredible. Loading prepared feasts into trucks for distribution to salvation army locations throughout the city. 5am start but made some great new friends. Then finished making two trifles (one with white wine whipped cream!!!). The dinner I went to was a splendid, international affair, and I felt very welcome and included,( not like the sore thumb, I thought I would be). Then shopping all night with my daughter. We actually don't buy a ton( I take cash and when it runs out, we are done) but we have festive coffees and enjoy the scene and some bargain hunting, buy the annual Christmas jammies. I got to bed at 5 am, a full 24 hrs after I got up. No naps. I definitely had a few rough moments, missing my kids, being regretful over my marriage, but I breathed into those moments and let them rise and pass. Now I am laying down with my dog and thinking about all my blessings. Including my new start in life. I'm a little afraid and I'm sometimes sad without a partner, but I remember that what I thought I had was only in my mind for some time. I hope you all had a Lovely day, holiday or no.

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    6. Unless h has a monumental break through in the next five Fridays he's planning to leave to be with the OW. I KNOW this is a mistake and I KNOW they will end up breaking up (he's only known her for five months and slept with her twice in one incident) but it isn't going to help me out once he's gone. I have to cut all contact with him once the divorce is settled because I know I can't handle the emotional side of it when he's gone. It's terrible because if he tried he could change but he doesn't want to and I have no choices.

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  21. Ss I'm in the uk and we don't do thanksgiving but I'll be thinking of you guys who are!! Ss you've come such a long way.. sending you big hugs xxx

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  22. Things are weirdly good with my ex right now. He is so grateful that I don't hate him. He sends me messages telling me I am wonderful and the best friend he ever had. And yes, I am touched. But I know we are in a holding pattern right now. My intention is to use this waiting time to do as much healing and strengthening as possible, so that I am prepared to deal with the worst if it happens. I am praying I won't have to deal with that harsh a reality. But if I do, hopefully I will be ready.
    I've been a little out of it this week, but I'm making it. Yes, I live in the southern U.S. and I'm gonna eat me some turkey and dressing today and cuddle me some family babies. Have a great day, y'all!

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  23. SS – Even though I’m only 2 months into a separation. I know what you mean with those mixed emotions. I feel our separation is only making the distance between us greater. However, I am having so many more days of thinking “what a loser” he is. I no longer cry. I don’t know why. Maybe I am just so over it all? Maybe something will trigger the water works, but sometimes I feel he has dealt me blow after blow after so many months, perhaps the tears have dried up. My sister in law asked if I want him back. Hmmmm. I reminisce about the good times over the last 30 years, the family life that I so desperately wanted for me and our kids, but then I think about what he did – all the lies, the cheating, the deceiving . He has to change big time and I can’t see him doing the work to make the changes and he doesn’t want to adhere to boundaries ie NO contact with his whore – so no. But, I don’t want to see him happy with anyone else! I want him to feel the pain he has put me through. Yes I am still so angry with him, but as I type this I am very calm. Weird, i know. But, I am going about doing my own thing and being a “single mum” with the kids. I’ve taken up exercising a bit more frequently, like my IC suggested, so I am working out 1 ½ - 2 hours a day when I can, and it feels great!
    Beach girl – I’d love to walk along the beach with you in Maui.
    Actually since the separation I am doing quite a few things that I used to do – exercise every day, cooking foods that husband never liked and the kids love the variety. (H was so set in his eating pattern – boring.), being extra social, which can be a bit of a struggle with the kids. I suppose I am re-finding the happy me and having a happy time doing it. I feel blessed I have lots of groups of friends from all walks of life, and enjoy the variety of their company. Husband does not have that many social groups and the more I think about it, he’s quite boring. It was usually we socialised with his friends, his family, so I used to catch up with my friends every so often, usually on my own. Now I’m catching up more regularly, even if it’s just for a cuppa.
    Sam. What did your husband say about you confronting the OW? I know SS and Elle don’t recommend it, and I haven’t yet….but I want to. My husbands (whore) is in another state, so I would have to call her. I’ve written out what I’d like to say. Sometimes I feel by me having my say, it would give me closure, but then I think will there ever be closure? I’m just annoyed that these horrible humans get to just walk away having made their kill and destroyed so much without any consequences. She’s not married, so I can’t even call her husband. Yes, I know she’s just a desperate ugly whore who was available. I’ve asked H what is wrong with her at her age (late 30’s) - she can’t find her own man. There’s plenty of fish in the sea – just keep away from my one.
    I also get annoyed with husband with his lack of time he spends with the kids. If he was a normal faithful husband, he would be coming home every night to see his kids who he says “are the most important thing to him ever” YET – he’s only moved out 5 minutes away, and does not see them every day!!!! Such a hypercritical piece of shit. I’ve even told him I will go so he can spend time with them, or lock myself in my room etc. Such a selfish person. I’m disappointed in him, that he is now, I feel, disrespecting his relationship with his own children by the lack of desire to see his kids!!!
    It’s all about him and his needs. How did these selfish humans get a place on this earth???
    Hugs to you all
    Gabby xo

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    1. Gabby, I feel where you are in so many ways. The waterworks flowed long and hard, especially as I came to terms with my marriage being well and truly over, but most of the time now I just feel tired or angry or just plain disappointed and, increasingly, now that it is safe for me to do so, utterly grossed out.
      And as much as I still love him (for me that doesn't magically stop - unlike him who filled my place with porn and sex workers and his latest addiction, the OW - bitter, bitter, bitter) I don't want him back as he is. Self-centered, entitled, sexist, hollow arrogance, expecting everyone to make up for what is lacking inside, not facing consequences, running from the hard work of saving the life we built together. But that doesn't mean I am not till hurting, or "over it" etc. it just means I'm tired of trying, tired of crying and tired of being in this in between state. And I get so deflated when I read about how long it takes to heal from this. And how long it will be before I am ready for a new relationship. Childish me stamps her foot and says "I don't want to wait. I don't want to be alone. He didn't wait." But the me that loves me, says "Slow your roll sister. You don't want to fin the right guy at the wrong time, before you are ready." Maybe it is now a fear of missing out, a fear of being "to old" to date once I am ready, fear of no one wanting a used up, old divorced mom lady.

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    2. SS Part 2
      Hard to believe I am only in my 4th month of separation. Was only supposed to be six and now it is forever. I still think I am in denial. How can he be doing this? How can he not see that I am worth fighting for? I think ultimately its because he is a coward. because admitting I am worth fighting for would mean really looking himself in the eyes and owning responsibility for all the harm he has caused, and admitting how much he cares for and relies on me. That's right, I'm not buying this I love you but I'm not in love with you BS. What a crock of self-serving, blame shifting, justifying shit. I think he's blocked everything and blamed me for so long, he can't see his way past the story his lying addict's brain is telling him.
      Exercise has been a life saver for me too. Feel so much better when I do and notice the lack when I don't. Keep at it. Love your body and your mind!
      The kids. Yes, he was in agony over not seeing them very often. Only comes Mondays for dinner here at the house with them (yes I am incredibly freaking gracious). But doesn't seem to do any work to see them or do things with them outside of that time. I've offered other days, to have them come on weekends. But both kids resist. They don't want their lives any more disrupted and frankly have their own social lives to pursue. But I scratch my head at his behavior. My h has such a hard time opening up and getting close to people that he doesn't know how to approach them now that he lives outside the house. Sitting in the same room with them, when hi lived here, is not the same as cultivating a relationship with them. And as they evolve into adults, he gets more afraid of them. Its the only way I can characterize it. He doesn't know how to relate to them as big people. Makes me sad for them and him. And I know he senses they are angry and disappointed with him. So he avoids. But I think it is his job to be the grown up and work hard to repair. But then if he understood how to do that we wouldn't be here, would we?
      Today's post is brought to you by the word "disappointment."
      I managed to get a buyer for the little sports car. $2k in my pocket, getting the money tonight. My h said I could keep it all, but part of me feels like I should give him half, but part of me says, he is going to be making gobs of money at the new job, most of which you will never see, despite supporting his career all these years at the expense of my own and despite my continued role holding down the family business of child rearing and household maintaining. so I am resisting that urge. I am going to need that money as a safety net. And I always try hard to make everyone happy and "OK" and sharing that money is just another part of it.

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    3. I feel 100% exactly the same. He loves me but isn't IN love with me. Because he "LOVES" the OW and if he lets her get away then he'll never know. He was 80% happy in our marriage but the other 20% isn't something he feels can be worked on. But he has 0% idea if the OW can actually make him happy beyond having sex whenever he wants. But "the rest is easy. It's easy to live with someone. Finding that connection is the hard part". Their world changing life altering love was the difficulty and the WHORE opening her legs for a married man that was the hard part. The rest is all easy. I'm not bitter than he's 100% throwing me away and our life away because once he leaves he is GONE. We will never speak again. We have no children so we have no reason to speak again ever. But he can't let her go because she MIGHT be able to give him 100% happiness. With her abusive ex hanging around and these 2 skeezey guys she hangs out with that are trying to be more than friends and move in with her and her 10 y/o kid and her loser family that tells her to do anything she can to get and keep a "good guy". This doesn't sound like a recipe for failure. Did I mention she left her marriage after they slept together even though he hit her and cheated on her for years? Really? I think it sounds like a healthy and successful relationship. Not based on lies and sex. It's REAL REAL TRUE DEEP LOVE. I'm so upset. He is DEFINITELY losing me and doesn't seem to realize. I think he doesn't know exactly what divorce will be like. Our life will be trashed and thrown away. We are both basically poor. Our house will be sold because neither of us can afford the place alone and I'm going to live in someone's second bedroom. He is relying on her to help him cover half his rent. And THAT is better than owning his shit and forgiving what happened between us and working to make ourselves and our life better. He's leaving in January. Pray for me. Pray for him to own his shit and turn himself around. Pray for me to not give up. Every day I wish I would die and I know I have to get through this somehow. But I don't want to b

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    4. Anonymous November 28
      I'm praying for you! I'm praying for the strength to know you have much to live for at a time when you are feeling so utterly betrayed of everything you thought you had in your life! I'm so sorry you're going through this but please just try to have some compassion for yourself. You're worth so much more than your messed up h is willing. I'm just so so sorry! Sending hugs for your pain.

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    5. Anon, it's maddening, isn't it. You can see how insane their reasons or logic are but they are so stuffed full of denial and justification, oh the crazy addiction chemicals and the high of the forbidden that they no longer exist in the same reality (if they ever did).
      That they pursue these crazy fantasies rather than the good in their real lives is so hurtful, so confusing.
      Be angry. But also look at what lies underneath it for you. Don't avoid that psin and betrayal and sadness. Let it out. Take care of you.
      I'm praying for you and that God will make clear the next right step for you.
      My final two cents. Why wait until Jan? What does that do for him beside let him keep control and disrespect you? What choices do you have that regain control (at least some anyway)? Do you have family that can come stay? Can you ask him to leave sooner if that is right for you?
      I'm so sorry this is happening. If you haven't already please go consult a lawyer. Your financial picture may not be as bleak as you think. Having g real info ( rather than the disaster stories we tell ourselves) can help ease the panic. And maybe you visiting a lawyer will help nudge him back to reality. Also look for community support through a local church and govt programs. They exist.
      And we are here too. I'm not saying the lawyer visit is a step toward divorce, but it is important to know the real picture. Most lawyers will give you the first consultation for free. Elle has an article on here about making your escape plan. Thus us wisdom even if you never have to use it.
      Your h had list his head up his ass. You deserve better. I'm praying that he snaps out of it and becomes the man you deserve. Much love, ss

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  24. Gabby your doing great to say your only 2 months into separation and let me tell you from experience I've gone through all the emotions you are.they are completely normal.. im so happy your finding you again. Its really exciting to find what makes you tick, doing all the things you couldn't when your h was around... I'm 7 months separated and I'm as content as I could be .. me and my boys are fine they have contact with their dad and it works for us all.my anger and frustration has subsided between me and my h so that's a relief I really don't like all the anger but I know it's what we have to go through to get to the other side.. I hear what your saying about your h not seeing the kids, I think you maybe need to arrange days he can see them .. due to my job my h has to come every morning to drop my youngest at nursery.. but if that wasn't the situation he would probably pick and choose when suited him which isn't fair on the kids .. sit down with your h and sort out when is best for you and kids...have him babysit whilst you go out and socialise!!

    As for the ow, gabby I'm glad I confronted her when I did? For me it needed to happen, i filled a gap in my healing by coming face to face with her and letting her know what she had been part of destroying .. to be honest since then she hasn't and doesn't have a place in my thoughts whatsoever.. as for what my h thought about it.. I didn't tell him all the details, I didn't feel the need as this was between me and her I didn't want to involve him like he was important .. he wasn't and I didn't care what he thought.. he never said anything to me I think it shocked him to the core because he never thought I would do anything like that.. so a wake up call for him that I am human and I do have feelings. I always said I wouldn't confront the ow however the second d day changed that and I felt she needed to face reality.. gabby you and your kids are priority now concentrate on them and less about the ow she's a nobody and because she lives in another state it's unlikely you will ever have to bump into her.. my h ow lived 5 minutes away so I knew I was going to see her one day..

    Gabby keep doing what your doing, big hugs to you and your children xxx

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  25. Hey everyone,
    I haven't written for a while. For the most part, things have been going pretty well. Calmed down. Trust has returned but at the moment--and this is three years after I first began to uncover the secret life my husband had been living throughout our 30+ years of marriage--i've suddenly been overwhelmed with anger and sadness.
    Does this ever end?
    I recently watched Divorce on HBO, which I enjoyed but also found validating. There was a session in the therapist's office in which the husband admits to having had an emotional affair.
    The scene reminded me of the many, many months I spent arguing that such an affair was just as damaging as a physical one. The scene brought it all back.
    I'm writing tonight because my husband and I were watching classical music on PBS. I hate listening to music on TV. His analysis made me furious, so precious, so precise in his comments about the musicians. I also know one of the things he enjoyed with one of his women was classical music.
    I've minimized the idea of triggers but here I am memories triggered. I am angry. He's probably confused. I don't want to talk about it. I don't think I should talk about it.
    So I'm writing to you, a better alternative, I think.

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    1. Lynn
      I certainly understand the triggers! With no warning they jump out and grab you and it's hard for h to understand even if I try to explain! My h has given up one of his favorite sports to play because it triggers the hell out of me knowing that's how they met! He understands enough for this trigger but there are times I just have to keep it in my head and deal with it by myself or like you...come to the place where there's always a soft landing and lots of love! Sending you hugs!

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    2. Lynn, my two cents? Don't stuff it down and don't leave him confused. Its good to vent here for sure. But I believe (just my opinion btw) that its better to get this in the open with him. And there are ways to do it so it is constructive for you both, rather than blaming or shaming, if that makes sense. Explain what you are feeling rather than coming at him. Example "I'm really upset right now because listening to this classical program has reminded me of X from the past. I'm still processing and feeling angry. You may be picking up on that from me. I wanted you to know, so you'd understand this is about the past and not anything going on today. I'd really appreciate a hug and changing to a different program." The gist is to state how you are feeling without blaming the other person and then ask fr what you need in order to feel safe/heard/loved.
      And yes, emotional affairs are just as damaging as physical ones. In both cases, energy is being siphoned away from the marriage. Things promised to you are being given away/ stolen away.

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  26. SS, I love the way you put things. You have a real gift for words. " breathing into those moments" - yes, that is what I do. And I also have to remind myself that the relationship I sometimes ache for did not really exist.
    Lynn, the triggers are so hard. My ex wears the shirt from the play we were in together, and gets sentimental over the ornament from our family vacation- and I don't bother to tell him that those things are, for me, tainted. I comfort myself that the feelings are, at least, less intense. I remember when I sat alone in my house and cried and screamed like a wounded animal, and I know I am so much better now, I am healing. But who knows how long I will be haunted.
    That being said, this was a challenging weekend. My girls and I have done a lot of bonding this year over "Gilmore Girls". It's such a mother-daughter show, and we've spent so much time together enjoying it. Warning - SPOILER for the show if you care to avoid it: We watched the new show this weekend. We made a day of it, buying special foods and planning for it. And it was, to some extent, spoiled for me. Main characters lied and cheated on partners and it was dismissed as no big deal. I sat there being triggered, and putting on a good face for the girls. We still had some fun, though.
    The next day, while they were with their grandparents, I sorted through all the family ornaments. It was harder than I anticipated. I cried over a 2014 ornament with all of our names on it. Then I moved on. Got them sorted. Set some aside for my ex to take with him.
    He is struggling with the holidays too. He came by to get some food that my daughter and I had cooked for his parents. I think he would've kissed me, but I looked down and he kissed my forehead instead. He apologized later by text and told me he loved me and missed me.
    The marriage is dead, there is no helping that. Too many betrayals I can never forget (not to mention the latest drama which may or may not be revived). But the love is still there, God help us. Painful.
    Recovery is a journey. I'm not sure where I'll end up.

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    1. Phoenix, I love how in charge you are. I don't know how you are so put together through all this, I'm in awe. That you can see you still love him and also that it is not safe or healthy to continue.
      I'm still so hurt, raw, angry, disapointed, still feel confused (how is he doing this?). And as much as I intellectually know that divorce is the right step, because he's a fucking mess, I admit to myself and my therapist that if he suddenly snapped out of it and wanted to try to work it out, I'd have to try. I don't know if that makes me weak or crazy or just stupidly generous, but I still love him. I still sometimes think about the boy I met in college who had so much fire and potential. But that boy never grew up. sigh.
      And I can't/don't want to deal with the hurt anymore. And he sucks at boudaries, doesn't seem to get what he's signed up for when pushing for divorce.. Offered to take care of the dogs while I am away with the kids this weekend, then asked if he could have the guys over to the house to watch the game. WTF? seriously? You moved the eff out. You rejected me and all of our life together. This. Is. Not. Your. Home. any. More. I call it cake eating. Yes his name is still on the deed and most of his shit is still here, but this is my space now. I don't need his bad juju stinking it up. or him calling his chippy from here. Just ew. So I haven't answered him yet on that, but my answer is going to be a no. Just bad boundaries.
      Trying to get work done with mixed results. Probably have a bit more on my plate that I can chew and swallow. And a busy couple of days coming up before travel. Oh and two sick kids home from school. And the cleaners coming tomorrow (yes I am spoiled, but the only come once a month to really get in the corners of the kitchen and bathrooms). But I'm tired and sad and just struggling. Thinking about him too much, spending too much time thinking, worrying about the future, will I have enough, will I ever feel "normal" will I find someone who values me for me, respect me, love me? Struggling. Need a reminder that I am OK, will be awesome.

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  27. Ladies, all of you, and especially Phoenix and Still Standing, thank you so much for sharing your stories. Since my husband and I are getting a divorce this is the only section I really come to anymore. Thanksgiving was so terribly difficult for me, even though I spent it with family. It was our first Thanksgiving apart and he is so much further along in the healing process than I. Even though we were across the country from one another, we were in touch via text and phone calls. One particular night, when I was having such great difficulty, I called him and he was very, very happy, excited and telling me all about how he was dancing in his seat and listening to great music with his brother at a bar. So painful, obviously I did not sleep that night.
    We are still living under the same roof and he is comforting me, yet I am recognizing now that it is not healthy. I see my therapist today and discussed with my husband this morning that I believe we are going to have to move apart and finalize the divorce while living apart. I need strength though, I am beginning to wonder if I am codependent. I certainly have anxious attachment style and it is in full bloom right now.
    I am operating on very little sleep resulting in high emotions and tears as I try to function throughout my day. I love him and hate him at the same time. I hate him for what he has done to our marriage and yet I still love him. And now, more than ever, he is been incredibly patient, kind, considerate and comforting. As he points out he still loves me, cares deeply about me and does not want to see me in pain. Yet in essence, he is done with the marriage. He says he's been unhappy for years. As I pointed out to him, those were the years of the affair. I reminded him that he told our marriage counselor that everyone thought we were the happiest couple in the world and she asked him what did he think and he too said we were the happiest couple in the world. This was in reference to the summer of 2010; one month later he started his affair, last him for over four years. It doesn't matter now, as he will not get the help he needs for himself, nor for us.
    Can anyone relate to codependence? Or anxious attachment? And do you have any suggestions for me… I meditate on a regular basis; I am currently on an antidepressant( I'm seeing a therapist and I am trying techniques to emotionally detach from my husband that I found on the Internet. Still, after no sleep all night I go to his room and he holds me and comforts me as I cry. I am truly so fearful of him not being here. I do not know? Will I be better? Or will I be over-the-top anxious? With no one to comfort me? Yes, I will talk to my therapist today, however I would like any input you ladies could offer. Thank you ❤️

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    1. Melissa
      The irony of my situation is the fact that my h ow was a marriage counselor/substance abuse therapist. She went after my h with every ounce of her emotional training! She tried so hard to convince him how much happier he was with her than when he was with me. Once she contacted me with her truth, my h was so relieved to not be living with her emotional blackmail. He thought good we're free to work on our relationship but then she started analyzing our relationship and concluded based on 6 months of us begging her to leave us alone that the reason why we stayed together was our codependency on each other and that in her opinion wasn't love. When we did get her out of our conversation with each other, we began to look at ourselves and how we felt about each other. For a short while I thought I was codependent but the truth is I have always been a very independent strong willed individual.. I owned and ran my own business for 12 years and achieved all the goals of my child development career while also supporting my h budding career as an engineer. So I had to separate the feelings of emotional attachment for the good parts of our relationship and determine whether I was dependent upon my h for my happiness or if the worst happened and I found myself divorced, would I be Strong enough for a life alone. This was the second six months past dday that I was processing the knowledge of the affair. For myself, I found my happiness did not depend upon my h but in fact my happiness comes from within my own heart. The relationship I have with my h adds to my happiness but is not dependent upon him! Once I figured this out about myself, it became easier to watch my h as he made the changes in his behavior that is leading us to a better relationship. The point I'm trying to make is that the ow in my situation put the idea in my head but it was up to me to research myself for the answer. I hope this gives you something to think about. Once you discuss it with your therapist! Hugs! I pray for your situation to become clearer!

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    2. Dear Melissa

      I am so sorry for all the pain and hurt right now and my heart is with you. My H and I have been separated 4 months now and while we have not officially decided on divorce, I feel certain that is the direction we are going. He simply can or won't do the work needed to heal this marriage and I won't betray and disrespect myself anymore.

      The first month he was gone was terrible for me, really a new and equally painful heartbreak as compared with the early post day period. I couldn't sleep, eat, cried, mind movies, ect... similar dday symptoms but somehow very different emotionally. I was much more able to practice self care and seek supportive people in my life than before. For example, I went and stayed with my parents for 5 days. As hard as it was self care helped a lot. This phase passed for me and it will pass for you too. Would it be possible to go stay with friends or family for a few days as he is leaving or have someone come stay with you. I know for me that was so nice. There have been ups and downs in the time since, but generally become better. Boundaries are really important for keeping me emotionally safe and they are still so tricky for me and I often fall for his countermoves..... and then later it dons on me how I was sucked in, but I am learning and get better about boundaries and making sure I am living from my own integrity.

      I don't know too much about the elements of codependency, but working with my therapist I learned that my H and I were "emotionally fused". Which was part of making things so so painful and the separation so painful. Is it too dramatic to say I felt my heart had been amputated. I came through this though and I'm learning much as Theresa described that my life and joy and struggles do not depend on him. I of course love my H very much and I know you love yours too. Although I have been thinking a lot about Brene Browns definition of love and elements from that definition that were possibly never fully present in our relationship and the things love can't survive. I do love him, but I also know this love has changed in some ways that I don't really understand yet.

      Take heart my dear, this too shall pass and all your sisters are hear for you.

      Love Becky

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    3. Melissa,
      I think you're doing everything you can right now to take care of yourself except -- and you clearly figured this out yourself -- physically detaching from him. It's like that old band-aid metaphor. Far better to rip it off than peel it off slowly. You need to be apart and you need to begin "replacing" him in your life with other pursuits -- whether more time with friends, new hobbies, indulging in the things you love or whatever. It will hurt. That's normal. (Frankly, what isn't normal is his response. I suspect this is going to hit him down the road so don't be surprised if he comes back in a panic wondering what the hell he's done. Though it's just as likely, I think, that he'll distract himself again with someone new. Either way...he's not healing but rather carrying his damage into something else). In any case, make yourself your project. Focus on you. He doesn't deserve you. He has shown himself careless with your heart. He's unable to give you the depth of relationship you crave. So while you may love parts of him, there are many parts that were lacking. And that's what you focus on. The things you hated about him. Put aside any of the good for now. Eventually you'll be able to look back and acknowledge both the good and the bad. But for now, focus on the bad. Appreciate the things you no longer have to deal with. Savour the ways in which your life will be easier, less drama, less uncertainty.
      And continue to focus on your issues around co-dependency or anxiety so that you don't carry those into any new relationships.
      This is the really hard part, Melissa. But that's okay. You're strong enough to weather it. And you'll emerge stronger still. You're such a passionate, incredible woman and you deserve a life free of someone who can't see how lucky he is.

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  28. Oh, Melissa, my heart hurts for you.
    In the long run, I'm sure, it is better to have a friendly relationship with your ex, especially if there are kids involved. But in the short run, I actually think it's a bit easier if he acts like a jerk. Some healthy anger and indignation goes a long way toward helping you get over him. You need distance.
    He's not doing you any favors, holding you and telling you he loves you. In fact, he's getting to feel very good about himself, He gets to feel desirable, and he gets to feel like a good guy. He has NOT been a good guy. He has lied and cheated, broken a lifelong commitment and betrayed the person he should have protected. "Not being happy" is not an excuse. The special little snowflake needs to realize that everybody has periods of unhappiness. Grown ups get on with it. They work in their lives and relationships. They honor their commitments. They do NOT stab their trusting partner in the back.
    See? I can work up some healthy anger in your behalf.
    I do not open up to people easily. I may never again get as close to someone as I was to my ex. I lost my partner and my best friend, and sometimes I am really lonely for him. But all I have to do is remember the things he did, the things he said, the way he dishonored and disrespected the most sacred relationship of my life, and I know that, even if I still love him, he will never be my trusted husband again. He destroyed what we had built. And he squandered his chances to rebuild.
    I still miss him. It's a loss. It will always be a loss. But I miss what I thought I had. I don't miss the reality of being betrayed and deceived.
    Distance. You can't heal while he's still there,
    You can't grieve and make a new beginning while he is still tethering you to the past.
    Sending you hugs and prayers, Melissa!

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    1. I love your 'special little snowflake' remark- sums up my h these days too. Melissa, I wish you strength. That man surely does not deserve you.

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  29. Hi Melissa, I can relate to codependent and anxious attachment. Alcoholic mom, sex addict husband. Both in denial, both (it feels like) chose their addiction over me. How not to rinse and repeat for the rest of my life.
    I'm sorry you are not sleeping well. I'm sorry you are hurting so much. Its all such a let down, isn't it? We believed in them more than they believed in themselves. And I struggle knowing he gave up on me, us, stopped believing in me, blamed me instead for his unhappiness. Mine too has been kind, patient, strangely sorrowful and yet forging ahead with divorce as if it is the only story he can tell because he's told it to himself for so long. But.
    We deserve someone who sees us and values us as we are. Who is willing to show up and be real and do the work of having a grown up relationship. We deserve to have a partner, not a child who depends on us to meet their impossible needs and then "acts out" when we can't do it. We deserve a partner who is mature enough to talk issues or conflict out, not run and medicate with alcohol or cigarettes or other humans or fill in the blank.
    I was so afraid of separation too. And, while he was pretending to be trying to save the marriage, I was insanely anxious. In hindsight because he was lying. It was a show he was putting on for himself and anyone watching, going through the motions because his heart or some other part of him is empty. SO will you be anxious at first? Yes. Will you be better, quickly, without the hurt and him in your face keeping the wound raw and jagged? Yes, I think so. I am now to the point where I go long stretches without thinking about him. And they are a blessed relief. Its hard to love someone so willing to disrespect me so.
    You will learn to comfort yourself. Don't turn away from the pain or fear or sadness. Feel it through, breathe it. Sit with it. The more you let those feelings have their way, the more uncomfortable you let yourself be, the sooner you will be through. I'm not saying quickly. No. But every difficult feeling you turn from or squash down, will find its time and another way to come out. Eventually, and so much worse, I think. Try reading some Pema Chodron. I think she's got a title along the lines of Becoming Comfortable with Uncertainty. Easily readable, each chapter is a short stand alone thing. I read it like a daily devotional. Fear comes from spending too much time in the future. be kind to yourself, just get through today. The next hour. The next minute.
    In the end you will still have you. You are freaking awesome. You will be so much more than OK. And you will still have bad days, you will still struggle or be triggered. Be OK with that, accept it as part of the process. You have a 100% success rate of surviving each day so far. I really believe that once you get clear in your physical space, you can really start to give yourself head and heart space too.
    Much love.

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  30. Phoenix and Still Standing, yes, we have different circumstances, yet often I feel you are sharing my words, my feelings. We truly are in this together.

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  31. Theresa, thank you so much for your thoughtful response. My issue is more of an anxious attachment style - amplified by my h's avoidant attachment style and God knows by his affair and our pending divorce. Thank you again.

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  32. Everyone going through a divorce, I found a great series of podcasts - surviving divorce. Sorry, don't have address off hand. I especially liked the one on rejection; I've listened to like six of them today while driving. If you have trouble finding them let me know.

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    1. Thanks Melissa. Some of that podcast is hard to listen to, but I think the presenter has some valid points.

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  33. Everyone, I am desperate for messages of strength and support. I've posted a few times as 'scared' but I can't seem to work out how to get my profile working consistently. No matter. I am in the depths of fear and pain. My CS admitted after initially lying and saying he had NC to having emailed his AP last week to apologise for what he's involved her in. I've never had a written apology, they have had many 'closure' discussions. She apparently emailed back to say she was sorry it hadn't worked out between them. By way of reminder, he is working overseas on the other side of the world from me and where she is and has been fOr the last few weeks. It's a trip that's been planned for a long time and I have been very anxious about it. He really did very little to make me feel secure and now this. I had told him that any contact meant the end of our marriage (there have been many DDs with broken NC - mostly phone email as she's on the other side of the world). I felt complete rage and followed through and said no more don't come home. That was Saturday. I have said it many times before but this time I told our son. It was painful and awful but I felt I had to stop the madness, the deceit, the disrespect and make the consequences real. And I guess this sis where all your last posts have resonated, I felt somehow I had to stop being a victim and stop being codependent - enabling him to keep hurting me by just sticking with it. The fear and the pain is overwhelming. I just want to lie on the floor and curl up in a ball, but I have to work and look after our son and manage his emotions around this. We have had several lengthy and difficult conversations in the last couple of days with him saying he wants to come back and fix things. Problem is I've heard it all before and I feel it's a huge risk. My health and wellbeing are really suffering. I can't eat or sleep and am struggling to focus on anything. He finally last night sent an text saying ok you're right. Enough is enough. I've changed my flights and I won't come home I'll be back to see our son in January. He said he would leave me alone. He added that this could be changed. I am bereft. I realise I thought somehow he would fight harder for us. He would get on a plane, have a list of things he would do to make things better. I wonder how I failed. How I couldn't offer enough for him to be motivated to do what's needed. I wonder if my rage and character assassinations finally pushed him away. I am such a jumble. I haven't replied. Our son is ten and can't understand why his dad would choose not to see him at Xmas and more to the point choose to live on the other side of the world to him. What am I to do? How will I survive this?

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    1. Scared,
      I'm so so sorry for the pain you're in. But please know that so many women on this site have been exactly where you are and they've come out (or are in the process of) the other side.
      You're doing exactly the right thing. You're setting clear boundaries around what you will and will not tolerate in your marriage. That's incredibly healthy. But I understand that it's also terrifying, especially when it's new behaviour. You have not "pushed him" away at all. He chose to go outside your marriage. You are simply making it clear that you won't be married to someone who won't respect you and who won't honour his own vows. It's that simple. And this is going to be hard for him to understand because he's accustomed to disrespecting you and you, ultimately, letting him. So he's probably testing your resolve to see if you'll stick with it.
      Please do. Do not back down. Get support wherever you can - do you have a therapist you can see regularly? Do you have friends and family who can shore you up when your strength and conviction are waning?
      Please also make sure you're practicing radical self-care. Remind yourself every day that you did not create this. Your "rage and character assassinations" were the product of his choice -- a deep betrayal of your trust and your loyalty. This is not about you at all. This is about his lack of character and lack of integrity. He needs to stop making promises and start taking action to show you that he's willing to do the hard work of becoming a better person and taking full responsibility for the damage he's done to his family. If he's not able to do that, then you are better off without him, no matter how much it hurts to heal from this. Otherwise, you're simply setting yourself up for a lifetime of this.
      Scare, you will survive this the same way we all do. One minute at a time. One breath at a time. You are stronger than you know.
      Perhaps when you do reply to him, you can simply say that you have made the choice to no longer allow him to disrespect you and your boundaries. That you are interested in hearing from him only if he's taken steps to seek help for himself. Of course, he will have contact with your son and it's up to your son to share his feelings with his dad, though I hope he's not so manipulative with your son as he is with you.
      Scared, hang in there. WE've got your back.

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    2. Scared..Elle has given you the best advice .. you will get through this step by step.. your h can't cope with the fact your now in control. You can only control your own actions scared not his or anyone else's.. keep posting here when you need .. we know what you are going through and we have your back .. xx big hugs xx

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  34. Wow ladies… I cannot thank you enough. You each gave me such a wealth of insight and compassion. And perhaps most importantly, you gave me strength and hope. I am blessed to know each one of you.

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  35. First full, 2 hour mediation session today. One on one first then we start negotiating the business deal that was one my marriage. I just want to be done quickly and cleanly. I need strength to rest the hooks he still set. My reiki Bob says it is in some ways for him to maintain control and to keep me as a back up plan in case his new bachelor life doesn't work out. God I hate him so much right now. Prayers that I can remain calm and level and not come off as the shrill, crazy ex. I want to be rational and fair and get what I need to keep me and the kids safe in our home and living a decent life. So dreading having to spend that much time with him. It always hurts and is at the same time falsely reassuring.
    Melissa, I was thinking about you and your situation last night. The context was my daughter was having a meltdown (and fairly so.) She was working on her senior project and lost the notebook that had all her dates. times of interviews and meetings and notes on people and conversations. The only person who could help her piece it back together was her dad, because he had arranged the meetings and they had taken lace with people a his former company (where he met the OW btw, barf). So I called him and asked him to come over with his laptop and help our daughter. So he's here and helping her. He putters and does some dishes. Lets the dogs out. Moves like a wounded animal himself, which gets me in a soft spot. It feels so comfortable with him home. And I know it is not good for me, so I go to another room and jostle my son along to bed. When he and our daughter are done, he slips out without a goodbye which was the right choice. So it made me think how much harder this would be if we had to cohabitate while taking apart our marriage. I think that I would still be desperately clinging to him for comfort as I was before separation, or doing things to try and convince him that we didn't have to do this. Because I do feel that way sometimes, but it is attached to a big "if only" and he seems incapable of the "if only." So it made me think of you Melissa and how your H is allowing himself to feel like the good guy and set his emotional hooks at the expense of your emotional well being. I am walking a fine line between giving advice and telling you what to do. I think physical space would be in your best interest. You will know when you are ready.
    It is much easier for me to remember all the bad, all the harm, all the gross entitled stuff he's done, all the disrespect, when he is not with me. When he is with me, I can't help but soften, inch toward forgiveness or at least a wish to, and I don't think I am ready for that. I really need to be mad at him in order to detach emotionally. Part of me wonders if he is able to do this crazy thing because he feels assured of my love forever, that he's kind of counting on it "just in case." or assumes something, I don't know, that it is a saftey net. I've always been the safety net. How will he feel the first time he learns I am dating someone else, I wonder? When what he thought he was keeping under glass is well and truly gone? I'm not sure it is even conscious on his part. Just more of the crazy. I want to not have to think about him or this or worry about the money or have his shit in our house in my face anymore. I want him to go away. he now sits on the shelf with my alcoholic mother and they guy who raped me. I wonder how he'd feel if he knew that. Oh and he's stopping therapy because his therapist is out of network and he can't afford it. I suggested that he find someone in network or through a church or a support group. Anything rather than going it alone because he clearly needs a shit-ton more help. But I've said it once and now wash my hands of it, except that I pray that God will keep working on him and not give up. For my kids' sake now. Just urg.

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    1. SS (and Melissa), It makes sense that we reach for the person we've always reached for when we need comfort. Even when it's that person who's created the pain. But you're right, it's not healthy.
      SS, maybe you can put on a certain bracelet or an elastic band or some other visual reminder to stay calm during mediation. To not take the bait (maybe draw a fish on the inside of your wrist?). You are doing such a great job with your kids and keeping yourself on solid ground. None of this is easy. But the right thing isn't always the easy thing. Which sucks.

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    2. Shit. I just posted under my real name. Haha. Maybe Elle you can change that or not post it?

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    3. I can't delete the name so I won't post it. No worries!

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    4. Phew thanks! It was a funny one about me setting up my Match profile. SO I will try and redo it. Going to mediation soon and wearing a bracelet my daughter gave me, to help me stay calm and remember that I am awesome. Update to follow. Hugs.

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    5. I know. I loved it! I hope you will try and re-post. And SS...good luck today. You'll be great. Breathe. You've got this.

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    6. SS
      What you have been through and your looking forward is admirable. Your my warrior and super woman. I don't think that I could healthy handle the path that you didn't choose to go down but nevertheless are marching forward. I have to be blunt again, your soon to be ex husband is a sick villain in all of this his mess to not see what a gracious, understanding and compassionate person you are. He has put you through betrayal hell for awhile now. I hope once you are free out of this betrayal/divorce prison/fog you can breath fresh air, see the blue sky and starry night and wonder like the cheaters "what the hell was I doing trying to love this man?". Im not an institutional religious person but a personal religious person and pray for you every time I see your post. You will triumph and you are a warrior and I have faith. Here is a cyber Purple Heart.

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  36. I feel so much the same way. I've been clinging and clinging because I really still love my h but he says he's not in love with me anymore. He has "strong feelings" for the OW and he needs to know if he can't find 100% happiness in a relationship with her. Which no. He can't. Because 100% happiness is all a fiction. Sometimes 80% happiness with 20% to work on (like he said about our relationship) is good enough. When you are married to your best friend you fill the other gaps with different fulfilling things. New friends, travel, new hobbies, figuring your thoughts and feelings out. But he believes that looking at other people that they are 100% happy in their relationships and he wants to find that elsewhere. (This will never work!) I only today feel I have accepted he cannot love me the way he says he needs to. And he's making a HUGE mistake running off to be with the OW after talking to her for five months and sleeping with her once. She has an abusive ex she's still dealing with and a 10 yo daughter with someone that isn't even the ex and a terrible family. My h even said that he doesn't expect the relationship part to be as good as ours because we connect so much and that makes me so sad. He's so obsessed with the sex and desire and brand new excitement feeling that literally nothing else matters to him right now and as much as I've tried to remind him and warn him you might not make it with her but if you choose her you will 100% lose me (we have no kids and I am cutting off contact once we are divorced). It just feels he thinks I might be waiting around for him. Or that it all blows up in his face and that's it. He IS alone. But I can't control him. I can't change him. I can't make him re-love me or whatever it is that he wants. He believes that this random skank he barely knows is in this for him and his best interests. That she isn't just a damaged and incomplete person hoping for someone to get her through. But it's not my circus. I have to deal with my own fall out and my own self esteem issues and try to rebuild something for me. He is messing up after a series of bad choices but he is making those choices on his own and I can't do shit.

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    1. Anoymous
      You are so right about no control over the choices he makes or the feelings he has! All you can do is control your own feelings and needs. Now is the time to take care of you and yes I'm sure it'll be hard at times but what I've learned from my experience is that this has made me stronger and more determined to be my own independent person in charge of my own future happiness! Hugs!

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    2. Anon,
      Like my mm told the OW, tell your H, you can have her but that's all you will get.

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  37. You are all amazing women. All I want to do is be asleep. It seems he has moved on pretty quickly and is talking about moving to yet another country, and maybe getting a job back here where his son lives at some point. He won't come back and see him at Xmas as "too much conflict" - in other words He doesn't want me to shout at him anymore. Who knows? Apparently my last conversation with him was a "watershed" moment for him where I convinced him that being with him was not what I wanted and that he was someone I shouldn't be around. True, but nothing I haven't said before - meaning I don't want to be with someone who lies to me and disrespects me and who doesn't demonstrate any motivation to do things differently. I have been saying similar for 12 months to try and get through to him that he needs to do things differently. Now he chooses to listen and walk away. Why do I feel this is my fault? That I'm not worthy of him pulling out all the stops? Why is he not on a plane right now coming here to see if he can change my mind? My conclusion is that he just doesn't love me or our son enough. Another day to get through.

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    1. Oh, Scared, honey, I spent a LOT of time sleeping last year. It was an escape. I totally feel you. "Watershed moment", nothing.
      Sounds to me like he's just trying to put his own slant on the situation, because you are making decisions and he is losing control. So he's trying to reclaim the high ground. And he's trying to make you feel guilty and responsible. These men know how to manipulate, and they are masters, not only of deception, but of self-deception. He wants to shift blame to you to make himself feel better.
      Don't buy into his warped version of reality. Deep down, you know better. YOU had the strength to hang on, despite trauma and terrible pain, and try to save your marriage. He was too weak to do whatever it took to save his family. He is not worthy of you.
      You have shown love, dedication, passion, and integrity. He has retreated into self-indulgence, blame-shifting, and immaturity.
      One day at a time, sister. One day at a time. You will get through this.

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  38. Ok so, recap of earlier. Part of my morning was spent distracting myself from worry about the mediation by creating my Match profile. So I'm not really ready to date, but in some ways it was an act of defiance, a separation or a looking forward to a happy (or at least more fun) future. I'm maybe just sticking my toe in. I am also learning pretty quickly what my "deal breakers" are. For example, I don't like when guys my age (or any age for that matter) have the age range of the women they are interested in listed as 25 to 55. Ew. Thanks for filtering yourself out of my search. Also, my age and never married? Ok no thanks Peter Pan. I've had enough of that already. Also, I am apparently attractive to men 15 years older than me. Maybe its time for a sugar grandaddy. Not serious. Really just taking a look, but taking my time.I need to make sure my skin is thick enough to handle dating, rejection (and probably some harassment, if recent articles hold true). But it was kind of a hoot and as my divorce progresses, I will be pleased to regale you all with my online dating saga. (Ps there were actually a couple of decent looking humans, who appear as genuine as is possible over an online dating profile, so there is hope.) I've also gotten myself involved with the local Team RWB chapter (thanks Brene Brown) and am doing sports and volunteering and made some new friends that way too.
    So. Mediation. I kicked ass. Kept calm. Gave her my version of things in the individual session while keeping to the high road. I didn't bring up his affair but I think she knew about it (saw him first) and was impressed with my fortitude an self care (her words). We hashed out child custody today. Pretty proud of how fair it was, helped by the fact that he has been on board with keeping my home as their primary residence. SO all good. I am bummed about Christmas because it will be so jacked up. But my kids comfort has to come first. and my daughter does not want to hang out "just us." But also I won't be hosting the whole family so it means I don't get to cook my usual feast, which I love to do. We will likely go to my sis in laws'. But I think I'm deciding to cook anyway. It won't feel like Christmas if I am not cooking a bird. So I will do it and it will all be there for the next day. I was accomodating and acted like an adult, without compromising on anything that mattered to me. So I get my son's bday for the better part of the day, then evening I get boxing day with the neighbors and he will get birthday time with the boy.
    Its all so weird, and I got a little mad later about Christmas being all jacked, but I will find new ways to make it work and the early part of the day, waking up, stockings, breakfast, opening presents, that all stays mine. I came out feeling remarkably OK. I also had about 15 new messages from match.

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    1. SS you rock my friend. Holding you in peace and fortitude as you create the life you want, need and deserve.

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  39. Still Standing: yes, the older man love us! One tried to pick me up at dinner a few weeks ago. I joke about being an "old man magnet".
    As far as online dating is concerned, watch out for dick pics! According to an online divorce group I joined briefly, apparently almost every woman who puts her profile on an online dating site eventually gets sent a picture of some guy's penis. Let me know if you get one! :-)
    The holidays are a bummer, but ours is working itself out smoothly so far. When we made our arrangements, I told him he could have first call on any holiday he wanted, except for Christmas Day. It made sense, because his family always celebrated Christmas on Christmas Eve. So he will take the kids to his parents on Christmas Eve, and they will celebrate, and then he will bring them home to me, and I will have them and take them to my family for Christmas day. He's letting me have the kids on New Year's eve, because they want to have a party at my house with some of their friends. I'm not much of a party-giver, and our house is in a state of transition because we are redoing the floors, but I'm going to give it my best shot, for their sake.
    My deal about the holidays is this: I just want it to be better than last Christmas. And it will be, because last Christmas I was drowning in a fog of pain and uncertainty, and now my course is clear. Last Christmas I was planning our January getaway, so that we could start anew. And I was bewildered by how he was pulling away from me. It was a miserable, miserable time. Now I am past all that, and farther along in my healing journey.

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  40. Well, Ka-BOOM!!!
    Last night my ex and I went to my daughter's band concert. It was very sweet, and we both got a little sad, but my daughter seemed very happy, and all was well.
    Then, in the middle of the night, I got a text from him saying that OW was "lashing" and I might get hit, and he was trying but he was sorry. OW has never contacted me.
    This morning, sure enough, I had a message request on FB. I was all set for some sort of vile message, but I wasn't worried or upset. There was no message. Just a picture. Of a baby. Yep, the baby that wasn't supposed to be due for another 2-3 months was born yesterday, and - I checked, I have my ways - he's pretty much full-term. So either she lied to him or he lied to me. I know which one seems more likely....
    It's a boy, of course. It's got a full head of hair, like my ex's side of the family. And it's got his favorite comic book character's name as a first name, and his middle name as a middle name. So it's either his, or she's trying to make it seem like it's his. I'm hoping for the latt baby to his putative father's ex-wife the day after he is born?
    Maybe it's because, as I type this, he is fast asleep in his truck in my driveway outside. He very occasionally parks there and sleeps in his veher but the former seems far more likely.
    I thought I had more time to get ready for this. This is going to be a tough day. Which is what she wanted, of course.
    What kind of woman sends a pic of hericle when he is too tired - or too drunk - to drive the hour to his apartment.
    Is this a joke or a nightmare?
    Pray for me, sisters. I'm going to be okay, but this is going to be rough.

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  41. It's his. It's definitely his. I went out to the truck and borrowed his phone, just like old times. I wish I had had time to see more, but I saw enough.
    Their texts are a mess. They swear everlasting love. They share pornography. They talk about marriage. They fight and say horrible things to each other. She sent me the picture in a fit of pique during one of their fights. But he was there at the birth and he definitely acknowledges the baby, although he told ME he didn't think it was his.
    It's here. I have to face it, the worst case scenario.
    I feel like they've stolen the last thing that was special, that was mine. The one thing I shared with him that she didn't. And it's a boy. I wanted to try for a boy after our second girl, but he said no, he was happy. And now, when it's too late for me… this skank has his son. And my girls' lives changed forever, again.
    Do you know what she said to him? When she threatened to send that picture? She said she would let me know that my girls were big sisters. She knows exactly what she will be doing to me and my girls, and she revels in it.
    And him. He has once again spun lie after lie about this situation. We are divorced, for pity's sake . Why is he still lying to me? Maybe he still wants my friendship, and is dumb enough to think this is the way to keep it. Maybe it's about finances. I don't know. My only comfort there is that he is lying to her too, constantly. I went far back enough in the messages to see that he was telling her he was places he wasn't, saying he was with our girls when he wasn't. This man is a mess. They so deserve each other.
    But I am in mourning over the last vestiges of our friendship. My best friend. How could I have been so blind? How could my trust have been so misplaced? Who is this man I spent 23 years with? The father of my children? Who the hell is he, anyway?
    I'm going to have to be strong, and relatively cool about this. I don't want to give them the satisfaction of knowing they have broken my heart again. But I can share my sorrow with you, sisters. Thank you for listening.

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    1. Oh, Phoenix! I am just so sorry. My gut instinct is to be pissed at both of them because you sure as hell deserve better than that. They clearly thrive on dysfunction. What kind of woman sends a picture of her child merely to hurt someone? We all know the answer to that. And we can be grateful that a not who we are.
      I know from how you've handled this so far that you'll continue to be strong and be the positive role model your girls need. Sending you a big hug and keeping you in my thoughts.

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  42. I'm crying like I haven't cried in months. I thought I was braced for this, but it hurts so much. They named the baby what we would have named our son.
    Hurting so much.

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    1. Oh Phoenix, This is unbearably cruel. I'm so incredibly sorry. To be honest, I feel sorry for that little boy. Imagine being born into such insanity. And you and I both know that the early days after having a baby is hardly the most relaxing. The stress is only going to grow and I fear this baby is going to absorb it on a cellular level.
      You, on the other hand, are removed from their insanity -- at least mostly. Please do what you can to detach. Be a mother to your wonderful girls whose own hearts are undoubtedly aching. The three of you can remind each other just how amazing your all-girl family is -- there's such power in women, such compassion and such wisdom.
      You've got this, Phoenix. You are tough as nails and you will rise again. Cry, rage, curl up into a ball. But know that you are better than this. You have staked your claim in yourself and your sanity. You have chosen you over cruelty and deception and lunacy. And you are giving your girls the incredible gift of seeing a woman who respects herself enough to walk away, even when it hurts like hell.

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    2. Phoenix
      I'm crying buckets with you as I watch you doing everything womanly possible to walk the high road! Omg! I can't believe how cruel that one woman is and like Elle, my heart hurts for that little baby boy that never asked to be born to two of the most selfish dis functional parents a child could possibly have and I thought the two of mine were pretty awful! You and your sweet girls will become closer and stronger together just as I was able to survive my parents with the help of my sisters! Just know we're all here ready to listen as you need to spit out the vilest of emotions you must be feeling! I'm so very sorry that asshole lies with no regrets about how it affects you and his first born children! One day at a time...just cry when you need to scream if you have the energy and please please take care of you!

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    3. My Dear Phoenix.

      This is unbelievably hurtful, oh sister I am screaming and crying with you. After I read this I had to take a minute just to get a grip and send you a prayer. The pain of this betrayal must have broken your heart wide open all over again. I am sending you love and holding you in my heart.

      Do your best to breathe through this pain and get your feet back under you. You are strong and courageous and you will pass through this fire and come out the other side. You are a woman of love and integrity and live your values, keep your boundaries strong for both yourself and your girls and take on step at a time.
      Remember when you said, not my circus, not my monkeys. Stick to it your H is responsible for all his own craziness.

      Hold and process your own pain and love your girls through this one day at a time. You are still rising Phoenix. Love and support and prayers
      Becky

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    4. Phoenix, I'm new here so I don't know your full story, but wanted to add my virtual hugs and send love to you at this time. And I wanted to thank you for being so compassionate as to respond to my comment with encouraging words. You truly sound amazing. An amazing friend, woman and mother. I don't know you, but I too am shedding a tear for you. It's such a cruel and difficult situation that you never deserved. Lots of love.

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    5. Phoenix, I responded but my post must have been gobbled up by the universe. Just know that this is hard, this is just hard and you will survive. You are a good mom to your kids and she sounds like an immature and hateful individual who is now the mother of a child who may very well grow up feeling unwanted and unloved. You have your integrity intact and you can be the honest, loving and compassionate mother to your children that you know you are. Sending you a warm hug and rainbow to hope on. I'll be in Phoenix in January for two weeks and will send warm and loving thoughts to you.

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    6. Phoenix, I'm not going to tell you that you are strong or you will get through this. I'm just sitting here in grief with you. I won't pretend that I know or feel what you feel, only that my heart hurts so much for you. The ultimate, final betrayal. The loss of the one thing left that felt special, just yours. I'm so, so sorry.
      When I found out my H was involved with a woman so much younger, and who wanted a family, the idea of him having babies with someone else made me want to throw up and die a little at the same time. I can't imagine how I will do if or when I have to face this.
      I'm going to tell you, reading what you describe about him, the everlasting "love", the marriage talk all reeks of desperation, a tragic pretending at something real, better, legitimate, healthy. What is going on there is none of those things, the fighting, the porn all make it clear that all they have is dysfunction junction. Fuck him, fuck her. What a broken, despicable, delusional pair of humans. Keep your distance, have as little to do as possible, block her on your phone. Don't give him once ounce more of your empathy or acceptance. Breathe, grieve deeply, loudly and unembarrassedly. Believe me when I tell you that the universe (or GOD, whatever is most meaningful to you) has something so much better in store for you. And that your girls will always have a model for rising above adversity, for self respect, for dignity.
      I know it hurts. Picture taking some of that hurt and forming a ball of energy with it. Hand it back to them. Its theirs, not yours to carry. And hand some to me, I can handle some for you for a while. All my love.

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    7. Phoenix,

      There are no words I can say that the others haven't. Just know that I'm crying with you and saying a prayer for you and your girls. Sending a gentle hug and a reminder to be gentle with yourself during this time. Take care.

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    8. Wow, Phoenix, that sounds so hard. What an incredible liar. And how stupid to lie to you about the due date. The ow doesn't sound like a loving mother if her first concern is to try to use this baby to hurt you and your girls. I am so sorry for the little newborn. And I wish you every ounce of spiritual strength that's going. Thinking of you and sending all the positive vibes I can muster.

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    9. I just wanted to add my thoughts for you to everything the others have said. To steal your dreams is so cruel. I can't believe how awful and thoughtless he is being, when he must know. Please take strength and love from all of us and remember your own beauty and your own values, and ultimately your strength and integrity compared to these terrible people.

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  43. Phoenix I'm hurting for you, placing myself in your shoes. You are an incredible loyal woman with a whole new life ahead of you.. I'm no psychic but I see your future with your girls to be a bright one.. Love you Phoenix xx

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  44. Hi Sisters

    I have been thinking of you all and reading your post of struggle and courage and sending you al love and positive energy. I have been struggling with anxiety and depression lately. I know it is just a recycling phase, but it sucks just the same.

    I had to tell my H again that it is either a relationship with me or the OW. He was once again trying to have both of us... it is me or her. At the end of the conversation he got all huffy left and I haven't heard anything from him. And it triggered for me another round of feeling rejected.

    Love and support sisters
    Becky.

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    1. Becky, isn't that awful when your mind and your heart are going different directions? Your mind knows that you are on the right track, insisting on respect, loyalty, and a real marriage, but your heart is howling with sorrow and loneliness. I'm sorry he's still stuck in this fog, and he's making you suffer for it. Mine is still trying to keep both of us, too, even after the divorce.
      I'm metaphorically holding your hand through this sucky part of the cycle. It's just hard. Sending you love and hugs!

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    2. Thank you Phoenix. I'm holding your hand too and sending love for all that happened this week.
      Becky

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  45. Phoenix. I am sending you and your girls much love. I wish I could be with you to give you a hug for support. You have survived so much already and you will survive this. Keep focused on you and your beautiful girls. Let that creep sort out his own mess.
    Love and peace to you Phoenix.
    Gabby xo

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  46. Phoenix, like Elle said not only detrach yourself but insulate yourself from this drama of lunacies. She is going to be vengeful in the hopes that your H will marry her. Having a baby doesn't mean you get the man. I see how much better you are than both of them. You made the right choice no matter how bad it hurts. I am hurting for you and he gave you the final blow. Insulate your children as best you can. Tell them the truth but protect their hearts as best you can. Take this as a sign a huge banner that you are the best and your H just proved it a million times over. This baby doesn't make it special and they stole nothing. This baby was conceived in deceit, lies from a vengeful crazy woman. There is nothing special about that. What if your X-in laws want nothing to do with this woman? If they do it won't take them long to realize how sick and twisted and manipulative she is. You have come so far and was just thrown off the building into a new world to finally know you did the right thing for you. Now take it and don't stop now. You are good enough plenty. You have just been in the fight ring too long up against the ropes. The bell rang your the real winner. Take your precious children, go home and lock the door.

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  47. My friends, your empathy and support yesterday were such a balm to me. There was no one I could talk to, except for you, and you were there for me. Thank you.
    I think I am on a more even keel today. Yesterday afternoon, I confronted my ex. I was pretty harsh. He still maintains that they do not have a real relationship, and that he does not really believe the child is his. Of course he's not being completely honest with me, but I'm used to that. He said that the baby came sooner than he thought it would, and he wanted to get a paternity test before told me about it. I don't know if that's true, but I don't know why he would lie. I don't know why he does anything. There's no doubt that he was deeply upset. There's also no doubt that he is deeply disturbed and conflicted - he did spend the night in my driveway. He was furious with her. He called her a bitch, and agreed with every thing I said about her - a woman with 5 children she cannot support, a woman who uses her newborn's photo as a weapon.. He has never done that before. He texted her immediately, in my presence, asking for a paternity test. He sent me screenshots of more texts last night, detailing their argument about it. Trying to prove that he does doubt the baby's paternity, and that he's insisting on a paternity test. Trying to prove that he is angry at her for hurting me. It felt good to see her called out for her hatefulness, and to see him stick up for me, but aside from that, it just made me deeply uncomfortable. Their relationship is very, very messy. She clearly resents me and doesn't trust him when it comes to me. It feels rather surreal, like the shoe is on the other foot.
    At this point, I'm not sure what I feel. I'll probably get hit with fresh waves of grief and anger in the future, but right now I just feel strangely empty.
    All their crazy drama aside, I just want the paternity of that child confirmed, so I know how to go forward. After all I have been through, I feel I am owed that. To know whether my children and I are going to be tethered to this mess forever or not.
    I want so much for this child not to be his, for so many reasons - some selfish, some not. He says to me that he doesn't think it is, but I think, deep down, he wants it to be. But what I want and what he wants - what she wants, for that matter - means nothing. The truth is what will matter. The child deserves to know who his dad is, and he deserves to have his dad involved. So we need to establish the truth, and then the adults need to deal with it.
    My own pain and heartache - and the potential devastating effect on my daughters - cannot even be processed until we know the truth.
    I told him yesterday that our friendship was effectively severed. Already, last night, I was taking that back. I know he's a liar. I know he's selfish and sex-obsessed and still emotionally attached to the skank. Best I can tell, he still wants to find a way to somehow have both of us. He's an emotional mess, and unpredictable.
    But - it's hard to just stop caring. He's still the man who was my companion and best friend for 22 years. He's still the father of my children, an incredibly loving father. He has been consistent and prompt with any money I have requested. He has been a good co-parent. I don't know if I will ever make sense of my feelings for him. But I never wanted to hate him.
    And so I'm trying to get myself back on track for my girls, work, and the holidays. Thanks for listening. Hugs to all of you.

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  48. Phoenix. - If you have one thought today YOU DESERVE REAL LOVE. Love LLP

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  49. Phoenix
    You are divorced right? Why is he sleeping in his truck in your driveway? Why isn't he over at her house? I'm just wonderitng?

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  50. Isn't that a good question, Lynn?!
    He has a drinking problem. It was a big source of contention for us, but for that alone, I wouldn't have given up on him. His favorite watering hole is in my town, and his new apartment is an hour away. So when he's had too many, he will text and tell me that he is "too tired" to drive, and can he please sleep in his car in my driveway for a few hours. Since I don't want him to hurt himself or anyone else, and since he is not actually asking to come inside, I allow it.
    Why isn't he with her? Usually, I don't know, and I don't ask. Remember, his official story is that they are not together. In reality, it's anybody's guess from week to week. But...at this particular moment, they seem to be fighting.
    Thank you for that one thought. It is a wonderful one!
    I got really low again last night. But today I was able to push it all to the back my mind again, and it was a good day.
    He is still apologizing abjectly, swearIng he doesn't want the child to be his, and berating himself for causing me so much pain. He also expresses his anger and disgust with her, and says he will never let her hurt me or the girls again. A promise that he will not be able to keep if the child is his.
    I can't even guess what he is saying to her. He is capable of incredible compartmentalization.
    I just want to finally know the truth about this poor baby, and then I can move on and plan accordingly.
    My 11 year old woke up yesterday morning and said she dreamed she had a little brother.
    Wasn't that a kick in the head.

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  51. I feel like I'm in a terrible limbo. I have every reason to believe that the child is his, but he refuses to acknowledge it. Instead, he keeps insisting he's going to push for a paternity test. Of course, I have no way of knowing if he's actually doing that or not. So I just wait helplessly. Maybe he's wrangling with her about paternity tests, or maybe he's already put his name on the birth certificate. There is absolutely no way to know.

    I know everyone here said to remove myself, to focus on my family and let him deal with his own craziness. And yes, that was my plan. The problem is, when I did that before, a couple of weeks ago, I ended up getting slapped in the face with a picture of a newborn I thought wasn't due until February. I'm afraid now, afraid that if I ignore this situation, it will bite me in the butt again when I am least expecting it. I want to have a plan, to feel like I have some control in a situation that is pretty much beyond my control.
    Thursday night, when he picked up the girls, I was suddenly overcome with the overwhelming fear that he was going to take them to meet the baby. Even though I knew that was extremely unlikely - it would devastate our coparenting relationship and he knows it - it took me a while to shake off the fear.
    I just hate feeling like I'm sitting here waiting for an axe to fall. Does anyone have any advice? I still haven't confided in anyone, so there is no one to whom I can talk.
    Hugs to everyone! God bless you, and this site - once again helping me to save my sanity.

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  52. Phoenix now is a good time to get yourself some counselling if your not doing so already... I understand your fear, I'm so angry that he is making you feel like this. You must carry on as normal I know that sounds ridiculous but with Christmas round the corner and I'm assuming your first Christmas without your h I would suggest recreating a Christmas you and your children will remember for years to come.. spend time with family and friends have some time to yourself to reflect on the year and how far you have come.. you have climbed so many mountains Phoenix yes there will be more but you'll overcome them as you always do with absolute grace..your not in that circle of madness anymore thank god for that.. one day at a time Phoenix .. sending you strength from the uk .. love ya lots xxx

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  53. Phoenix, honestly any advice I give you might be advice I myself could not/would not take in your situation but like our husband's unfaithfulness in the past, there is nothing you can do about this. Whether you ever find out if this baby is his or not, he will take the lead with regard to your girls. If he does, you will then get the opportunity to "deal" with that situation. If she files for financial assistance through her state, he will likely have the opportunity to demand a paternity test before having his pay check dunned. This is his problem, not yours but your heart is still invested in his life which is understandable. Loving an addict is hard, especially one who is not in recovery. The sad reality of your situation is that you do not get to decide what he can or cannot do when he has his visitation with the girls. I know this from my oldest son's divorce from a mentally ill woman whose family sees the world so completely different from us. During his divorce my grandson who was 2 at the time had a Guardian ad Litem who investigated both sides. She and her family told the guardian all kinds of lies and when the guardian came to my house to "hide and watch" the interactions between our grandson and my son and us, he was completely baffled because none of what they told him was true. My grandson's mother never had his best interest at heart and continues to fill his head with ugly lies but now that he is 10, he is able to hear some other versions of life that we present when the opportunity presents itself. You will also get to do that with your children. The other thing you will be able to do if they have adverse reactions to visits with their dad/baby whatever is to take them to therapy. In many states, the therapists can write court reports recommending modifications to the parenting plan if the children are adversely affected. He will do what he will do and you will deal with it. You have been able to separate the clouds in the past and I am confident you will be able to do that in the future. Just try to live in the moment and not anticipate what those clouds might look like. The feelings you have are real but the situations are not. Much love, peace and stillness to you today.

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  54. Phoenix why wait? Talk about it make a plan and define your boundaries. Protect your children. They will need time to wrap their head around this. I prepare them for the unexpected. Don't let the OW intimidate you. Make a plan together with your H. I get impression you think you owe him some type of loyalty or protection. You don't. When it comes to your EX you see timid. Maybe I'm reading too much into it.

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  55. Phoenix, I'm thinking of you every day. Your strength is amazing. I'm in awe of how you get through each day.
    I think maybe this feeling of limbo(which I recognize) happens when we hand our spouse or ex too much if our personal power. You don't have to wait for him to get his head out if his ass to do what YOU nerd to do. He just continues to hurt you and to set hooks to keep you in his world. Don't bite. Go as no contact as you can,(this is what I would need, it may not be right for you). If you have concerns about him introducing your girls to this poor baby, please consider telling him what you will and will not tolerate. Is an intro before paternity test results a no go? Then say so.
    I wish I could somehow make this go away for you. Mucu, much love.

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  56. Hey my tribe, I haven't updated in a while, so busy. But doing soooo good. I turned some corner recently. I'm not angry any more. I'm finally getting ok with the divorce. I actually see that thus is the best thing for us, for me. I want to work through it quickly, not because I am hurting but because I am ready to embrace my new life, the life I am already living.
    In our recent mediation session, it got tense, was about money and assets and we are both terrified. But he started going on about hiw hard he works and everyone takes advantage of him and expectations, yada yada, his old saw. I got so angry, said no one asked you or told you you had to do that. You made your career the priority and honestly we would have rather had more time. And how does your own family take advantage of you by spending the money you earn to support them? I was crying but calm, did not hold back. And I could feel him doing his same old shit, his blame game where I am somehow responsible for all that is wrong in his life. I thought this is old stuff, I don't have to carry this any more. And I knew, in that moment that I didn't want to live this way any more, that no matter what, I didn't want the marriage anymore. That my trying, or fighting for it was part of my codependent dance with an addict. I am done. And ladies, I feel so light. I'm so free.
    And I get Christmas and Boxing Day in the custody arrangements.
    I have so much more to share but wanted to post this shift in my mind and well being. For those walking thus path a few or many steps behind, there is hope. You will be so much more than ok!!!!

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    1. Still Standing, I'm glad you have turned a corner. As I have shared before, divorce feels to me like a series of revelations, and each one moves you forward a little bit.
      You are cutting through the crap. You are seeing things clearly. I'm so glad for you!! You are an amazing woman!
      Thank you so much for your words of support to me. They did me a lot of good.

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  57. Still Standing, I really needed to hear this today. After another lie and contact with AP, I finally gave up and we have separated. I am tortured by whether I am doing the right thing, what will become of me (and my son), how I will get through this. Usual beating myself up - could I have changed this? Why is she preferable to me? He initially said he wanted to fix it when I issued my separation request, but quickly seems to have moved on now that I've stood firm. Which hurts, and I realise that I was expecting a different outcome. Which hurts like hell. I thought (even though we have been attempting R for over a year) he would fight for us. He hasn't. Thanks for your message of hope. I need it.

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    1. Scared, I see you, I hear you and I feel you. "I finally gave up." no you didn't, you finally put yourself first, made it clear that you will no longer put up with abuse from a person who refuses to respect you. You have chosen YOU. "Am I doing the right thing?" I can't answer for you, time will tell. But my experience was that the separation was absolutely the right thing. After being terrified at first, I woke up one day and didn't have a panic attack, I felt like eating, I was able to concentrate on work for more than 15 minutes at a time. You will get there, be patient with yourself. Think of this as a time to reconnect with yourself and bond with your son.
      "How will I get through this?" one day, one hour, one minute at a time. Don't worry about all the terrifying future scenarios of poverty and privation your brain creates. They. Are. Not. Real. Are you safe right now? Do you have food, shelter right now? Be in today. Just get through today. (please consider reading "Comfortable with Uncertainty" by Pema Chodron. Easy, daily devotionals - sort of- that help you get comfortable with not knowing what is going to happen next, not being in control of everything, was a life saver for me.)
      "Could you have changed this?" This is not your fault. You can't make choices for other people and you can't fix his broken. Only he can do that if he has the will to.
      "Why is she preferable to me?" the short answer is, she's not. She's not real. He's choosing a fantasy, something cheap and easy. Please don't spend your valuable energy on her. So hard I know. it helped me to write her letters I never sent, getting all the spleen and vomit, all the dog shit I wanted to throw in her face, out of my head. But then let it go. Don't compare yourself.
      For the last stuff, why won't he fight. This is still or again, about him and not about your worth. Elle told me over and over "his inability to see your worth is his failure not yours." I needed to hear this daily so I wrote it on a note card and carried it in my purse. I wrote things like "you are brave", "you are beautiful", "you are enough" and put them on my mirror or under my laptop, so I could slide them out when I needed a reminder.
      Your path here is yours, its your process. If you are disappointed that he is not fighting for you, communicate this to him. What do you have to lose at this point? He may not be aware that this is what you wanted (I know, I know, how dumb can they be? Pretty freaking head up the ass stupid when it comes to emotional intelligence, otherwise we wouldn't be here, would we?)
      Are you seeing an individual therapist? I can't recall, but it is so helpful. If you can't afford it, consider looking for pastoral support through your church or someone who does a need based sliding scale rather than go through insurance. There are ways to get help.
      What else can you do to care for yourself? Besides your tribe here, who do you have in your life that can help you? Family, girlfriends? Don't go this alone. People love you and want to be there for you.
      And Scared, no matter where your path leads you, be open to a beautiful and abundant life. Its waiting for you. Whether your h wakes up and gets his head out of his ass and does the work to be the partner you deserve or you ultimately decide that he can't change and break out on your own, YOU WILL BE GREAT! So freaking scary, walking the high wire with no net. Guess what? You won't need the net.
      For now, hunker down with yourself and your son. Breathe deeply, look for tiny moments of peace in your day, stay in today. Know that we here are holding you and that you are loved.

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    2. Scared, everything SS said is so true. Read it 3 times (more if necessary) and internalize it.
      For me, a turning point was when I asked myself: would I want my children to be in a relationship like this? The answer was a resounding "no". I do NOT want my children with a spouse they cannot trust. I want them to value themselves, and have a spouse who values, loves, and respects them. A spouse who is loyal and honest. How can I expect my children to demand that kind of relationship, when I don't demand that kind of relationship for myself?
      He will try to blame you because otherwise, he has to admit his own responsibility. But you know better. He is weak. The fact that he is not fighting for the marriage reflects badly on HIM, not you.
      When people are "Scared", but they do the right thing anyway - that is the definition of courage. You are scared, but you are courageous. You are standing up for yourself. Keep doing that. You are worthy of love and respect, do not settle for less. You are worth 100 of that cowardly, selfish OW. Sending you hugs and prayers from the Heart of Dixie!

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  58. Phoenix, I wrote a post for you, but seems to have gotten lost in cyber space. (very likely user error as I was on my phone). But the gist is that I've been thinking of you, almost every day. Mad on your behalf, wishing I could come and hang out with you, make you tea and keep your ex out of your face.
    I agree with LLP that you don't have to wait. When I hear women hear use the term "limbo" I think of my own experience with that space and when I used that word. Looking back it was a signal that I was giving away my personal power, that I was letting my H control what was happening, when I could have established a boundary. Thinking about your girls and the unfortunate baby, what will work for you in terms of introduction? Does it only take place after paternity is confirmed and if a negative then never? Decide what you need and then communicate that to your ex. Don't wait for the next blow to drop, hoping it won't. Get yourself out of there.
    In your shoes, I would need to go more no contact than ever. This man likes to set emotional hooks to keep you in your old role, because it is safe for him. Don't bite the hook.
    I love you Phoenix. You are a marvelous woman. Your daughters will be good in spite for your crazy ex because they have you and your example and your energy. I know you want to protect them. I get it. But you can trust them to be wise too. A lot shifted for me and my kids when I let go of trying to protect them from my h's crazy. Their relationship is between them. I'm rambling now, but my point is that good things are in store for you and your girls. Don't wait to take action to carve out the safe space. And then focus on letting YOUR life unfold.

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  59. I know, I know. It is true. I'm letting myself get sucked in.
    I'm not going to give myself a hard time about it. When you love somebody for two decades, you don't just stop loving them. And we fast forwarded through our divorce, so we are still very much in a transitional phase.
    He calls me and texts me. He cries and tells me I am the most amazing person he knows, and he hates himself for destroying our family. He tells me she is hateful and he is still furious with her for hurting me. After all this, after all that she's done, THAT is what he faults her for . Sending me the picture. He says I am his best and only friend. He says I have saved him, repeatedly. He says he doesn't want the child to be his, but if it is, he's taking him away from her. Which is crazy talk, of course. He can't take care of the baby. Of course, she already has four other ones she can't afford, so I don't know how she's going to do it either.
    So I'm analyzing why I keep getting drawn in, and I think it boils down to three things. One, I still care about him, and it's hard to see him in pain. I find myself wanting to be his friend and give him comfort.
    Two, I am lonely, and the frantic words of love and praise, from the person whose opinion always mattered so much to me, are hard to resist. Still Standing said it - emotional hooks. I am his security blanket, and he is clinging tightly to me. I need to resist the urge to cling to him.
    Three: I haven't told anyone about this. Neither has he. We are becoming emotionally dependent on each other again because we have no one else to talk to about this overwhelming concern.
    Now I have to decide what to do about it. Because what Still Standing said about limbo struck a chord with me. Limbo probably means I am letting go of control. I don't NEED to be emotionally dependent on him, God knows. This is not good. I can feel that it is unhealthy. I'm thinking about what Sam said, about counseling. But counseling is hard for me; my insurance has made it very difficult, so I pretty much gave up on it. I'm considering going to a church pastor to talk things out.
    Lynn said I feel like I owe him loyalty and protection, and she's right. I do feel that way. I don't know if "timid" is the way to describe it, but he has definitely tied me to him with his constant affirmations that I am his best and only friend. I feel responsible.
    Y'all, I know I am rambling, but I'm talking this out and using you for a sounding board.
    I can't control him, and I can't control her, and I can't control the situation. We may never get the paternity test.
    But I can control my reaction to the situation.
    Right now, I am thinking that, until I see the results of a paternity test, the baby is not related to my children. I feel for the child, I even feel a little tender toward him, but I have to take care of my own children. I will not expose them to this crazy situation until I have proof that it is necessary to do so.
    I don't want to hurt my ex, but I have got to stop being the shoulder that he cries on, particularly about this. And I have got to brutally discourage my own inclinations to reach out to confide in him. I was doing really well with that last week, but this week I have backstroked quite a bit. I'm going to get a handle on myself. I have a good life. I'm going to live it. I'm going to love on my girls, and to be as kind and courteous to him as I can, but I'm going to resist being sucked into this emotional maelstrom.
    Thanks for listening, friends.

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    1. Phoenix
      Hugs! I'm so sorry for all the pressure you feel under! I wish I had the right words to help you release it all but all I have is an ear to listen with so just keep venting!

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    2. Phoenix you already realize what you need to do. You realize your weak points and the interdependence. You have a plan start small, a low cost change. Like I'm not going to talk to him for three days. I'm not going to let him sleep in my drive way anymore. Go small and build your way to the tougher ones. In the meantime get one of those DNA tests. Your crazy H can swab the babies mouth. Swab his mouth and send them in. I think it is about $100. While not as reliable it maybe a good indicator to start with. Do one selfish self care thing for you a week. You need to substitute HIS time for something else. I joined the chamber of commerce for my business and got involved. I go a literacy club for an hour. We just drink coffee and exchange books. There are so many retired teachers that do programs for the kids in our school. It is amazing what they do. One thing leads to another. The chamber president called and said can you fold tee shirts for the carnival? I said I have no make up on and no bra. She didn't care and we laugh about it. Even though I stayed I was determined to develop my own Interests and new friends. You can to just look at a different direction and make sure it is not facing Him. Figure out his moves that get you sucked in. Start to look a his patterns. It is not your fault you get sucked in. It is just a behavior pattern. Therapist negotiates rates. Mine charged $365. An hour and I got her to agree on $200 cash when I lost my insurance. He life is not your life. His children are your children that's about it. Maybe one way he reaches you is through the girls? Anyway you can do this. Just a temporary speadbump until you figure out your next move or countermove on him. You got this. You can do this. Your in my thoughts several times a week. You can't sprint forever just find your path and speed. You can I know it.

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    3. LLP, I always love reading your insights and advice. Always empowering, always no bullshit. And always about how to love ourselves better. Its a joy to know you.

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    4. Phoenix, this is all such great advice. And I know you know this. It's the doing that's hard.
      But you need to untether yourself from this drowning man. He's going to pull you down with him. And as long as he's holding on to you, he doesn't need to learn how to save himself. And it's in everyone's best interests if he does learn how to save himself.
      Your relationship with him sounds almost maternal. But he's not your child. He's your former spouse. Let him be a grown-up, if he's capable. And give yourself the freedom to discover what's around the corner for you. I suspect it will feel a lot like peace and ease.

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  60. Phoenix = Rising Strong!!!!!

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  61. Phoenix.. we are here for you.. always xxx

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  62. Phoenix,
    I wrote you a post in the middle of the night that got lost in cyber space, probaby for the best as I was rambling. First, let me say I am so, so sorry. Divorced or not, an affair child represents almost a second betrayal and the feelings that come with it are unique, even from the original betrayal. My heart is aching for you and many of those feelings and thoughts from your original couple of posts about the child echoed mine. Please know that you are strong, so strong. And that strength is what will make this shit storm manageable for your children and I know you'll use it to grow them. My H and I have my step daughter from his affair 50% of the time, 5 nights a week she sleeps at our house because her mom is on third shift, sometimes 7 when it's our weekend. I spent so much time (and still do honestly, reconciliation is even more of a beast with a baby and the necessity of continued contact) just pissed that this was my life and heartbroken over what it might teach my son. But, and I'm both proud of him and it breaks my heart at the same time, he adores that baby girl (we all do really, although resentment is a real and valid emotion, feel it and let it pass through you). It's a lot for a 5 year old to comprehend, but we've been as honest as he can understand and he's learned so much about compassion and gentleness. He understands the forgiveness concept. My heart breaks for your girls but I have faith that you'll use this to teach them, about responsibility, consequences, forgiveness and love. Hugs to you. You and your family will be in my prayers.

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  63. I feel better this morning. My new mantra is: "healthy choices". That means focusing on OTHER things and not obsessing about the ex, the OW, and the child. It means letting go of the worry and the stress. My ex is emotionally manipulative, sure, but I opened myself up for it. I let depression and uncertainty goad me into reaching out to him.
    I am committed to being a kind friend and coparent with my ex, but emotional distance is key. I've got to remember that. It's not surprising that this said, messy situation jolted me out of that mindset. But I'm back on track now. I am Phoenix. I've got to stop embracing those damned ashes.
    Happy Tuesday, my beautiful, generous warrior friends. Your support and empathy are a miraculous gift. Remember, you are heroines. You are worthy of respect and love.

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    1. Fly on Phoenix! I'm so proud. So glad to be here with you.

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    2. Yay, Phoenix. Back atcha.

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  64. you are my inspiration. I am only 5 weeks out and I think I have PTSD. Still have not accepted that it actually happened. It was so long ago but I just found out. He has been attentive but not ready to rip open his own scars yet I can't heal until he faces what was wrong with him and not simply what was wrong with us...

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    1. Browneyedgirl, You probably DO have PTSD. It's very common after betrayal. And you need help to get through this. Please find yourself a good therapist who can support you.
      You don't need to wait for him. You can begin to get clear yourself on what's happened and how you're going to heal from it. At a certain point, he'll either join you in healing or he won't. Either way, you'll be ready to proceed from there on the path that feels right for you. Don't wait for him. Save yourself first.

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    2. Brown-eyed Girl, I'm sure you are traumatized. Your beliefs about your marriage have been toppled and your whole world turned upside down. We empathize with you, completely.
      I think I was at about 5 weeks when I found this site. And like you, I think I was still in shock,struggling to believe it wasn't a nightmare. Be easy and gentle with yourself; your mind and heart have a lot of recovering to do. And like other cheaters, he absolutely has no understanding of how much damage he has done.
      We are traumatized, but we have an amazing ability to heal. Healing will happen, slowly. I told my husband early on: I will recover from this. It's up to you whether we do it together, but, with or without you, I will recover.
      And you will recover. But without his cooperation, your marriage probably won't. To heal the marriage, he is going to have to deal with a lot of pain, and he's going to have to own the damage he did and explore why. And it's going to make him feel really guilty and bad about himself. A lot of cheaters just don't have the strength and integrity for that.
      Still, if it was a long time ago, and it's over, and he's not a habitual liar like my ex, then that is all good news. I'm rooting for you! There are women on this site who have done it, whose husbands have committed to doing the hard work with them, whose marriages have been reborn stronger and healthier than before. I pray that for you.
      As always, Elle gives the best advice. You can't control his choices, but you can control yours. Start your own healing. Take care of yourself, let yourself process and grieve your loss. Talk and/or write about your feelings. It's a hard journey, but you will come out better and stronger on the other side. Don't make rash decisions- you have plenty of time to figure out your course. Just take one easy step at a time. Remember, you're not alone. We know what it's like, we understand the incredible heartbreak.
      Hugs, Brown-eyed girl! I hope you find some comfort and some peace today.

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    3. Thank you so much. We have been in MC together and he has also gone to IC. It being so long ago he says he blocked most of it out. It only lasted a month but right between Thanksgiving and Christmas. She was a relative and I was 8 months pregnant with our second child. In that short time he offered to leave me and buy her a house (although we had no savings and he was knowingly about to loose his job). Now he tells me he thought he loved her and that they had a future together. He only stayed with me for the kids. The second time they tried to have sex he couldn't get it up and that was the beginning of the end. The her husband found out. All these years later how can he not look back on what she did to us/me and consider her evil? I am in more pain about what he is saying emotionally than the sex. He is saying and doing all the right things now to make me feel he is committed to us staying married. He does feel guilty and I don't think he wants to go through the pain again. He ended up on antidepressants right after it ended and I never knew the real reason. Is it possible to truly have so much regret that you block out what happened in the past?

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  65. Today was DDay 2 for me. Or should I call it DDay 2.0, as I knew that my h had never stopped telephone contact with the ow after the first time... What I did not know was that three weeks ago she came back from the other side of the country and the two of them have been living in the same apartment since. I am so numb about it. Not surprised, just very fed up. I had a warm feeling of rage and certainty in the pit of my stomach after he told me this morning - right before my commute to work. Now, I just feel almost bored with the situation. I am afraid my emotions are in shutdown mode for the moment. So tired. He still "doesn't know what to do". I told him that I would not be able to tolerate this situation. (I feel he is waiting for me to deliver an ultimatum - I don't want to.)

    A little context - we went to mediation twice last week and I thought one of the sessions was difficult but really useful, honest and open. I actually thought we were making progress. Little did I know my h's supernatural powers of compartmentalisation. It is mind-boggling.

    I am going to my parents for Christmas with our toddler. My h does not even seem to mind not seeing his daughter for the first Christmas she is getting excited about. I cannot fathom how he can act this way. Nothing makes sense. He's not even happy himself with the situation and yet can't seem to get moving out of it.

    I know my task now is self-care and really stepping back from my h until he has the decency and courage to set himself on a better course. It feels hard and lonely on one hand, but on the other hand I am so weary of his ridiculous shillyshallying that in some ways it will be a relief not to have to deal with him for a while.

    Any words of advice or encouragement would be great. I am in a zombielike state here right now but I want to come back to life.

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    1. Selkie
      Use your time with your family to find a small piece of love! Make yourself and your daughter the center of your celebration. Your parents will help spoil her just as you both deserve to be spoiled! I'm so sorry for the pain you are feeling! Look for the little things to bring joy back in your life. Hugs!

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    2. Thanks Theresa, I will.

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  66. I just wanted to make a comment about going to counseling. We are 14 months out from DD. As soon has he disclosed the A i asked him to leave . He wanted nothing further to do with the OW and asked if he could come home with the first 24 hours. I left him come home with firm boundaries set...one of which was going to counseling, We stated counseling right away. He did everything that was asked of him; as did I. After about 8 months the counselor thought we would be OK on our own ,,,but we could go back and see her anytime. Wow ..we must be doing well I thought. Nothing could have been further from the truth, I became very stuck...filled with rage and my husband's issues were never dealt with. After 4 months of floundering on our own we are back in counseling with a new counselor. We are finally doing the hard work we should have been doing since DD.such as issues with my H that influenced his decisions. We have all found out how isolating it is when you are the betrayed wife. "So.....does anyone know a good marriage counselor?" does not often get brought up in polite conversation. Bottom line that I would like to share is : counseling is a must but don't hesitate like I did if you think you are not getting what you need from your counselor. The new counselor sees us both together and seperatly and has been a Godsend.He echos lots of what has been said in this forum...she care and self kindness being utmost. Thank you everyone on this sight.You have held me up more than you know, As Phoenix said..this place is a safe haven. .
    Gage

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  67. Selkie, are you sure your h and my ex aren't long lost brothers? Those "supernatural powers of compartmentalization" sounded depressingly familiar. Even after all the times I've seen proof of it, I still find myself surprised at how facile he is at presenting different faces to different people.
    I am so, so sorry you are going through this. I remember that numb feeling well. It was how I got through the initial shocks of Dday after Dday. Later, the grief and pain would set in. And the anger. I spent months exorcising that.
    You will feel it, and you will process it. And I will be praying about that for you.
    He''s shutting you out. He's pushing you away, Maybe you and your daughter are too real for him, and it's too painful for him to face what he has done to you and your family. It's much easier to lose himself in a fantasy world with a woman who doesn't have any qualms about living with a married man. He doesn't have to feel bad with her, because she is as guilty as he is. They can rationalize things for each other. But in the end, they are still building a relationship on lies, fantasy, and betrayal. That's a piss-poor relationship.
    I know this is going to be a difficult Christmas. You will be tempted to brood about the way it should be, with you and your h enjoying your daughter's Christmas wonder together. But I'm glad you have your family, and you will find such incredible joy in your child, even without that damaged man. Cherish that joy. Don't let him and his skanky friend steal that joy from you. You have support, love, integrity, and, best of all, your baby girl.
    And you're right, it will be a peaceful break for you. His absence is better than his lies, at least that's the way I always felt about it.
    Hugs, from one mythological heroine to another! He may not be okay, but you will be.

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    1. Thank you, Phoenix. I really appreciate your words. So so hard to believe that he could be so cold-bloodedly deceptive. It will be good to have a break for a while.

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    2. Selkie i sent a reply but it seems to have disappeared !!! I will try again. I am sorry for your sadness, my H whilst still in contact with the OW seemed to be under her spell, he wasnt the same person to me, he was mean and nasty i couldnt believe he didnt give a shit about anything, its they the OW has some sort of hold/control over them. It wasnt until he was forced to stop contact he came to his senses. Its not your fault its not you its him i hope he snaps out of it... I will pray he does. xxx

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  68. Hi everyone, popping up to say hello. Doing well. Mediation is going remarkably smoothly. I can sit in a room with my STBX and not feel ill or angry or sad. Do I still get chocked up talking about some things? Yes. Do I want to stay married? Nope. I don't want any more of that demented co-dependent dance we did all these years. Not saying that we didn't have some wonderful times. We did. But some of the broken stuff has been there from the beginning. he's even admitted that he brought issues into the marriage (gasp). But I don't know how to explain it, I don't feel numb. I just feel ambivalent. Like he can text me about business stuff and I can respond without any pangs. We've even laughed a couple of times in mediation. I think what I feel is almost that we've always been friends, and we've been just roommates for so long, that being this way is fine. I feel no tugs on my heart. We have child custody knocked out and the fixed assets like house and retirement funds sorted. Getting close on money, maybe one more session. Then a final review, then the lawyers write it up, then we wait 90 days, then we are done. I am so ready.
    Also been on two dates. So that's cool. Having a nice time having people be interested and enjoying laughing and talking and making new friends. And guess what, having boundaries with a healthy person is easy! and if people don't respect my boundaries, out they go.
    Rambling, but (i know this is weird) happy. It's hard to believe how badly I was feeling in Sept. but I was still in that awful limbo, getting mixed messages. Now I'm all clear and giving my onw life the green light.
    Wondering how some of you are doing, Melissa? Becky? And everyone. Hope your weekend turns up sweet! Much love!

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    Replies
    1. Still standing!
      You Rock! I'm so proud of you! I'm so excited for what is next for you no matter what it is, I know you have this!

      Delete
    2. Still Standing! This sounds like a wonderful Gift to Myself if I ever heard one. Fill your heart with love and have fun with the kids. A new year is almost hear and it will be one to remember. There is a Facebook post going around about filling a large jar with something every day that is a positive then reading it over on New Years Eve to reflect. A friend also puts movie stubs and things into her jar. Sounds like something for you and your kids to do to make your year fun. Hugs to you and thank you for sharing your journey.

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    3. SS

      Yeah!!! I am sure there will still be ups and downs, but it seems you have crossed a great divide and I am very happy and proud for you!!! Hugs sister!!!
      Becky.

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  69. Ss I'm so happy for you :) you sound so clear about what you want .. and the 2 dates lol you kept them quiet wow you go get em girl .. you truly sound like a different woman and I'm so so happy you have turned this corner.. it can be done and your living proof. I'm so pleased the mediation is helping the both of you. I think you have handled this separation extremely well the mediation sounds like it's been useful and I'm just chuffed for you ss.. sounds like your stbx is handling the situation maturely too which makes a hell of a difference when you can remain civil.. you've made my Saturday ss seriously I'm proud as punch.. love you lots xxx

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  70. Ok so in case anyone needs a humor break here are some adventures in online dating. I think one of the best things i have learned early on us that everyone who messages me does not need to get a reply. I can hit the no thanks button and move on and !!! Not feel badly about it!!! Thus is a big step for the little girl who used to have to make sure everyone and everything (even my teddy bear 's imaginary feelings) were ok. Feels good.
    So dudes online, if you have to tell me you are " Mr right" or a "nice guy" or " looking for love" in your screen name, chanced are you are not those things or really desperate. Ouch.
    Don't post a pic of your dog, post a pic of you. I'm not interested in dating your dog or a guy who doesn't like himself enough to post a real photo.
    Don't post a pic of you with a woman who appears to be your ex. That's just weird. In fact I don't need to see pics of you in bars with lots of ladies hanging on you, bug thanks for the big clues that you are not for me.
    It's one thing if you are posting a pic of you at the beach and you're shirtless. It's another thing to post a selfie of you shirtless in your bathroom. I don't ever want to hang out with you there.
    For the few guys I actually exchanged messages with, if I don't respond for a few days, don't constantly message me asking where I am and how I am doing? I'm not interested in "fixing" your needy.
    Don't talk about how mad you are that no women will respond to you because you don't make a lot of money in your profile. Women dont owe you shit. And thanks for the entitlement and maturity red flags. Dont start your profile with a list of all your requirements for a partner.
    And last but not least, thanks for posting the age range you are interested in as 22 to 60. Saves me a lot of time.
    There are some folks who are really just "nope.". On the other hand there are enough apparently decent humans on there to make a go of it. People who are smart and funny and educated. People who don't want to move in together after date one, people who aren't trying to bed you on date one, people with some real emotional range. People who are interested in getting know me. And honestly some really attractive men, allowing for the fact that we are all over 40 and not fitness models. ��
    Really funny observation about my preferences. I really like men with no hair. Mist of the people I am initially attracted to have the bald shaved thing going on. I think it just says confidence to me. Just out there with it. I also really need to see a good smile that reached the eyes. Doesn't matter if you are standardly handsome or not. Good smile is good shit. Intelligence ( not the same as educated - I went to college with some folks who were dumb as rocks) and humor. If I can read that and what hints at courage and vulnerability, you've got a first date.
    So far no horror stories. And for safety when I go on a date three people always know where and when I am going and who with ( one local friend, my sister, and my daughter who has required that I go on no dates without her preapproval). These folks get a text before and after. And of course, I only go to public places.
    Two dates, same guy, devastating smile. Having fun! And feeling more like myself than I have in a decade and more confidence and full of self love than at any other time in my life. Thanks in part to the excellent support, love and advice here.

    ReplyDelete
  71. Morning everyone, Once again I had a nice long post and lost it. I just need to stop trying to post from my phone, I think. At any rate, I was trying to infuse some humor into our collective day with some of my observations about online dating. (It was good stuff, I promise). I will try and recap.
    OK so guys online, if you have "mrniceguy" or "lookinforlove" as part of your screen name, I'm going to immediately surmise that a) you are not Mr. Nice Guy or b) you are in fact looking for sex, not love. Yikes, fellas. Simmer down. I've seen names like "startingover" (ok I guess, honest) "brokenheart" (run, run away very fast) and my favorite "thecumdr" (yes for real, thanks for instantly filtering yourself out of my search results).
    Guys who don't post a picture... why not? I mean I know connections are not or shouldn't be based entirely on looks, but I need to see what you look like and what your eyes tell me. Are you clean? Do you have most of your teeth? Do you have "meth" eyes? etc. Its information I like to have before talking to you. And no picture also screams low self esteem. If you are serious about meeting someone, put a picture out there, otherwise you are just a troll.
    More on photos, why oh why, would you post pictures of you with your arms around multiple women or with a person who appears likely to be your ex wife, or where another person is clearly cropped out, or even better, where they are still in the pic but with their face blurred. Or pcitures that are clearly you in high school. Why? This is your inline dating resume. Take the time to take some new photos. Not in your underwear, not with your shirt off in the bathroom. I have no intention of EVER spending any time in there with you. Just a picture that makes you look human, and not quite so desperate. And that is what I see in the eyes of so many of these men. Desperation,loneliness, hurt. So not ready to be online, but flailing anyway.
    Don't open your profile with how mad you are that no women respond to you because you don't make a lot of money. Women don't owe you shit. Maybe if you were less angry and entitled someone might hit you up. Don't open your profile with a 32 point presentation of what the future woman in your life needs to do and be to make you happy. Jaysus. Again, thanks for filtering yourself out. Don't be ready to move o=in together after three messages. Don't exchange two messages with me and then start freaking out when I don't respond and asking where I am and if everything is OK and did you do something wrong. Hello needy?
    No. Duck. Lips. Don't post a picture of your dog instead of you. Don't tell me I'm sexy in your first email to me.
    When I send you an automated "no thanks" that's a boundary, meaning Im not interested. Don't continue to like my photos and send me messages or come after me a little bit. I'll block your ass.
    Oh, and if the age range of women you are interested in is posted as 22 to 60, youre a pig. Thanks, once again, for letting me know who you are before I wasted any time on you.

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  72. Part 2
    But for all that, there are a few seemingly decent humans. People who took the time to get photos of just them. Smiling. Doing things they like. Talking about real accomplishments, how much they love their kids and enjoy time with them, and realistic hopes for the future like "let's take some time to get to know each other and have fun doing it." People with intelligence (not educated necessarily, I went to college with plenty of guys who were dumb as a bag of rocks). Men who seem to be able to connect with real feelings. People who are genuinely out there to try dating and see what happens.
    That's Mr. Two Dates, we hit it off. I said, I am really early in this process and need to go slowly. He seems to have responded really well to that and is letting me set the pace. We've had some great convos around emotional intelligence and he doesn't drink. Wow, what a relief, no pressure there (because I don't really either, I just used to feel like I had to in social situations, so nice to not and not worry about it).
    And I am using this time and process to reprogram my attachment style. Thanks to boozy momma, I am an anxious attacher. I don't want to do this anymore. So I am working with an "as if" scenario. How would I act if I was a normal healthy attacher with good boundaries. When I start to feel anxiety increase because we haven't texted for a few days, I remind myself that a) this man has indicated that he is interested in me and I need to trust that is so b) this man and I are under no obligation to each other c) that me messaging too soon or often is about my old habits/neediness and the gods honest truth is that I don't need this or any man in order to be happy. I am reminding myself that a slow unfolding is preferable to a fast, artificial race. And guess what? Its working. I'm not freaking out wondering if he's changed his mind (old SS) or doesn't like me after all (old SS) or if I have somehow failed or done something wrong (old SS). I now know that I am freaking awesome. I might be the best thing that ever happened to this guy. And my worth is about how much I love me and not whether I have or am in a relationship with a man. This venture has already been worth it, because I am taking what I have learned in the past year and applying it in a real life laboratory.
    OK so the post is less humorous and more introspective than the original, but I hope you all enjoyed it. Need to start thinking about buying my turkey, and the mince tart ingredients, and food for xmas eve and wrapping presents. Oh and all my clients woke up last week and need everything before the end of the year. Not a bad problem to have! Love and light warriors! Chin up!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Still standing
      Your post made me giggle! I'm glad you seem to be marching forward and I appreciate seeing the progress you've made for yourself! Being thankful for you having work to keep you busy!

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  73. Hello Sisters

    So I have been doing alright...... kinda struggling a bit with grief and loss and feeling my way instead of pushing feelings down. Christmas cards have been hard.... beautiful pictures of people I love and feeling the loss of my H and family and dreams we shared.

    Wanna here some bull from my H..... so he comes over to talk a few days ago and says in the new year he would like us to try and consider having a second marriage together, returning to counseling (although not moving back in together right away) etc.... But By the way, he is still in contact with OW and has plans to end it, but he needs to phase her out in his own time! Seriously?? Even after I have said several times explicitly she has to go forever completely in order for us to consider reconciliation!

    His idea sounds exactly like where we were before he moved out, but with even less transparency or accountability or even veiled respect for me as his wife and our marriage.
    It sounds like hey, now that I have crushed you and crushed every belief and expectation you had for honesty and faithfulness in our marriage let's build a second marriage with no actions of trust building and accountability from me.

    I love him, but who the hell does my H think he is!! What the hell kinda offer is this????

    Ahhhhhhh
    Becky

    ReplyDelete
  74. SS. I'm so excited for you, to see you being strong with humor! And the beauty of your now situation is you can date honestly and YOU DON'T OWE THESE GUYS ANYTHING, so if there's one thing that's a red flag, you get to walk away with no why's, if's or but's. You can just walk away and know there's plenty of men out there, it may take a while to find the right one, but it will happen.
    Love and hugs
    Gabby xo

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  75. SS, I enjoyed your post very much. I'm not ready to date yet, but I'm getting there. When I do, I'm not sure if I want to try online dating or not. It certainly sounds interesting…!
    Becky, I'm sorry your H is being such a dumbass Seriously, I can't think of any other way to put it. I know it's not funny though, and it's breaking your heart again. But I'm proud that my sister is strong enough and wise enough not to get pulled back into that mess. I know it's hard. I know you miss him. I miss mine, too,'even after all he's put me through.
    But if they can't give us the respect and honesty we deserve - it's not happening. It's not worth the pain.
    The OW is nobody's friend. That's a deal breaker. And getting rid of her - for good - is just the beginning of the journey.
    Sending you hugs tonight, sweetheart.

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  76. I posted some time ago in "Feeling Stuck".... but it never appeared. Last post there was Nov 3. I'm not separating or divorcing.....Ugh. Yep - I'm needy......

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    Replies
    1. You're not needy at all. At least no more than the rest of us. ;)
      For some reason, comments can't go over 200 or my blog platform refuses to publish them. So I"m going to start a new "Separating or Divorcing" page. Please, everybody, post there.

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