Separating/Divorcing Page 9

199 comments:

  1. Still Standing 1July 29, 2018 at 6:20 PM

    Here we are... page 9. I love a fresh start. :)

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  2. My heart is breaking ... Jo I received your post from Page 8 - even though it won't post because the page filled up. I wanted to put this out there that it was read ... because I posted once on another page that filled up and I was left feeling a little deflated for days that it was left out in cyber space somewhere and no one replied.

    Jo - I don't have any words ... the lump in my throat is too huge to speak ... just know we're here!

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    1. Thank you so much, Kimberly. I know I would have felt deflated, too, had no one responded. Most people don't have any words for me, and they also say their heart is breaking, that they are so sad, that they don't know what to say... they all truly believed my h would wake up, get his shit together, and rebuild trust with me. They really thought, until recently, that we would make it. Two of my close friends made the same comment - they find it quite difficult to find any redeeming qualities in my h.
      Thank you for being here for me and the other women experiencing this loss. I hope I'll be able to look forward to what's next for me instead of getting stuck in what might have been. This just sucks. It hurts.

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    2. Jo - I read your posts and my heart was truly breaking for you. I wanted to rant and rave about what a fucking asshole this man is ... and how cruel and horrendous he is ... and how I'd love to come help you dig a hole. But I realized that you already knew that. You already feel that.

      I was talking to my son yesterday about the horrible people in the world. He suggested maybe we should put them all on a deserted island and let them fight it out.

      I tend to think that boy is very VERY smart!

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    3. Jo,
      I'm so sorry for the pain you're in. Everything you're feeling, everything you're saying to him, is completely valid. He really does seem to want to make choices without having to experience any negative consequences from them. It's the epitome of immaturity. I'm glad you're seeing that too and unwilling to go along with it.
      I think that no matter how things turn out for all of us here, there's pain. But I know too that for those who hoped to rebuild a marriage, it's particularly excruciating to realize that's not going to happen. As you note, it takes two people committed to that. He's not willing to do the work. It's his loss, Jo. He might not realize it now but his unwillingness to examine this disconnect between making poor choices and not wanting to deal with the consequences of them is going to continue to bite him in the ass. But...his problem. Not yours.
      We're all with you through this. Your sadness is palpable but so is your strength.

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    4. Most of my friends were surprised that we got a divorce. They thought we were so happy. I thought he was happy with me. Couples have disagreements and work it out. But you put another female in the mix, that female will set your husband to deciding everything and nothing is your fault. Don’t get me wrong. It’s his choice, but they sure help them out with it. That way the husband can play the victim. Now I sit here in this dingy old motorhome whole the asshat continues to text me about how good he’s taking care of the pets and how cute the baby Oppssums are. Really? I have an old man next door who knocks on my door all hours of the morning and continuously looks in my car. Someone was looking in my bedroom window during the night. My car has to get new shocks. My poor dog has to stay in his crate while I’m working because a kennel outside is not allowed. (I had my own home but let it go due to my trust in this man) No privacy whatsoever. I have strict rules to follow via my “landlord”. So is he just and idiot to think I’ll be his “friend” when he’s taken everything from me? Must be.

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    5. Tashiak,
      I'm so sorry for what you're going through. You might want to consider blocking your ex for awhile if his texts are upsetting you. Hearing about opposum's while some creepy neighbour is violating your privacy sounds like too much. You are under absolutely no obligation to be your ex's friend. He made his choice.
      And re. the neighbour: Have you called him out on his behaviour? That's absolutely not okay.

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  3. Damn, SS. You got to the peanut butter first AGAIN! :-)
    Is anyone else having trouble seeing posts? I have posts coming through on my email that I don’t see here, on page 8 or on page 9. Elle, any insight from our fearless leader and invaluable coordinator?

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    1. This stupid blog platform refuses to publish posts after about 200 so I have to create a new page. I don't always notice when we're running out of space. If I had the money or the time, I'd move this to a WordPress platform. Alas, at the moment, I have neither.

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    2. Well, duh, I should have figured. Thanks, Elle. I really don’t know how you do everything that you do.

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  4. Anyway, I am going to go ahead and respond to Jo, whose post came through on my email, although it’s not yet visible to me here:

    Jo, wow. You are a powerful writer and a powerful woman. Your strength, your anger, and your anguish practically drip off the page.
    Yes, talking and writing will help you process the reality of the situation. If you’ve been reading our posts, then you know that it’s going to take a lot of time to get through that process. But once you turn your formidable will and intelligence toward rebuilding and reinventing yourself, there will be rewards. There will be relief and peace to be had when you can relax your hyper-vigilance. God, it felt good not to wake up each morning and immediately wonder what was on his phone. I was exhausted from living with pain, always braced for the next blow to fall.
    Obviously you still love him. He seems weak, manipulative, selfish....but for a strong woman with a good heart, love doesn’t die easily. Damn right you shouldn’t be ashamed of doing everything you could to save your marriage and honor your commitment. You have been true to yourself, and you’ve held to your standards. But now...you can pull the knife out of your back and start the healing process.
    He is probably going to vacillate, but you have the right idea. Close the door, minimize contact, and turn your face to the future. Grab a tiger, Jo. Let’s ride.

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    1. Still Standing 1July 30, 2018 at 2:46 PM

      Phoenix, how are you after your difficult weekend? Thinking about you.

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    2. Phoenix,
      My original reply was interrupted by a bad internet connection, so I doubt it posted. I'll retype it as best as I can here. Damn!

      First of all, I have admired the symbolism and strength of your name for quite some time. Hell yes, I want to grab a tiger and ride!

      I used to believe Lennon & McCartney: "all you need is love." Now I realize, however, why and how "sometimes love just ain't enough," to quote an 80s female rocker. You're right; I do still love my h. I wish I didn't. I wish I could hate him, but I doubt I ever will. I hope I'll love him a little less each day. I can feel my fingertips closing around the knife, preparing to pull it out of my back. I need to make a clean pull, though. I need to remove it without causing more damage - no jagged extraction. I cannot, I wil not, bleed out. I need to reinvent and rebuild, as you suggested. I, too, am exhausted from the pain and protecting myself from the next lie/betrayal/deceit. I need to survive so I can find that peace and relief you mentioned. Then I'll be able to thrive.

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    3. All you women make me so incredibly proud to be among you. The solidarity, the wisdom, the humour. You are tiger-riding warriors.

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  5. Hi jo, I’ve not seen your post but trust that myself, Phoenix, ss1, gabby and Ann have been through separation and divorce. Phoenix has hit the nail on the head. She is further along than me so can give you sound advice. I’m 10 weeks post divorce and I don’t look back or have any regrets in fact the only regret I have is why I didn’t do it sooner : ).. I’ve realised on this site that their are men who mess up and work really hard to right their wrongs then their are men like my ex who will continue to mess up. You’ll know which one is yours and you will act upon this accordingly.. we have your back here jo whatever your decision I fought long and hard to save my marriage and their is no shame in that I know I walked away having tried damn hard to save it. The days and weeks following my divorce were a little like trudging through mud I just wanted to get through the hard stuff now however I’m waking up I’m a very different mood, I’m free from all that shit, a weight has lifted and I can enjoy being me and finding who I am and what I like..each day is a day towards a healthier and happier you .. hope this helps a little jo xx

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    1. Hi, Sam.
      I reposted it, so hopefully Parts 1 and 2 will appear here soon. Thank you for responding. I have read many of your posts, and even though you state you're only 10 weeks post divorce, you have much strength and encouragement to share.

      Yes, I agree with you regarding the two types of men described here that betray their wives. I had believed that my h was one of the hard workers, but I was wrong. I was so wrong. I didn't want to see him as he truly is. I didn't want to believe he was selfish, immature, weak...

      Reading about your experience -- going from trudging through mud to being free as if a weight were lifted -- gives me hope to experience the same. I look forward to waking up in a completely different mood, just as you and Phoenix have described.

      Thanks so much, Sam. :)

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  6. Still Standing 1July 30, 2018 at 2:03 PM

    Hey friends, to make a technical note. When our posts on a certain page get to a certain number (typically at or near 200) the page stops displaying them. Depending on the OS and browser you are using, you may be able to click a "load more" option and see the excess posts, but I don't think it works on mobile devices. SO you can continue to post on a full page and if you are subscribed, they will show up in your inbox, but they may not show up on the actually web page for you anymore. So we get a new page to chat on when the old one gets full. :)

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  7. Still Standing 1July 30, 2018 at 2:43 PM

    Jo, I read your posts from page 8. And I had to shake my head at your h's behavior. It reminds me so much of my ex. Its like that all have the same play book they are referencing. "How to be a Cowardly, DumbAss Chicken Shit and Send Mixed Messages While Inflicting Maximum Hurt" by Stupid Shit Cheaters Say.
    Mine had to manipulate me into throwing him out because he was too cowardly to just say he wanted to leave. So I had to ask him to move out when I couldn't take it any more.
    And the weird tidbits they throw you to string you along, because they still don't really get how much they rely on us for emotional stability even when they think they are in control and "know what they are doing." Its just affair fog craziness.
    You are absolutely right. You are not silly for trying and fighting. You can hold your head up and know you did everything you could. And now it is time to think about you and what you need.
    And yes, he will try and do "nice guy" shit to make himself feel better, never mind that it hurts you more. They are used to us taking one "for the team." well your are a team of one now and he can suck it. And yes, he doesn't get the benefit of any of your services or planning etc any more.
    This is so hard and so sad and you are going to be hurt and angry and you are allowed to feel all of those things.
    I had a good friend tell me, "I know you are sad and don't understand why he can't choose you or fight for you. But you deserve better and I bet he's going to wake up and realize he's made a mistake. And when he does, I bet you wont want him anymore." And do you know? She was 100% right.
    It's a complicated mess or I miss him and regret that he had not the strength to fight, but I also know how bad he is for me and that as much as I know he is working on changing, he still lies and manipulates and can't just be real. And I Dont. Want. Him.
    You are going to be Ok Jo. I promise. Better than OK. Saddle up your tiger and ride. And when you are tired, we'll rest.
    In the meantime, when you feel ready, think about next steps. Is it consulting a lawyer for advice? Is it getting the rest of his shit out of your home? Is it you getting to a therapist who can be in your corner during this process? What is the next right thing for you?
    hugs XOXO

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    1. "I know you are sad and don't understand why he can't choose you or fight for you. But you deserve better and I bet he's going to wake up and realize he's made a mistake. And when he does, I bet you wont want him anymore."

      This - right here - is where I'm at. I'm battling with do I want him anymore.

      He keeps asking me what's wrong - if I'm ok - and all I can say is "I'm fine." Because I keep envisioning Hawaii and all of its fissures steaming, waiting to break open and spew hot lava. That's me. I'm a fissure gently releasing steam (aka breathing) out of fear that when the anger starts it will be devastating to all involved.

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    2. Pitch perfect, SS1. And written by one who, sadly, knows. Glad this site can bring all of us together.

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  8. Part 1 (didn't show on page 8)
    Even though I have been reading your posts here on Separating/Divorcing for a little over a year now, I had always hoped and prayed I would never add to it from the “divorcing” perspective. Well, here I am. I don’t know where to begin. I am still experiencing a full spectrum of emotions although the limbo I’ve been experiencing is now coming to an end.

    My h of 20 years told me last week, after being separated for six months, “I don’t think this is going to work out.”
    “What do you want to do?” I ask, full knowing the response.
    ---silence---
    “Since ‘this’ is not ‘going to work out,’ what do you want?” (I thought his phrasing was shitty and cowardly. He wouldn’t say “divorce.” We’re husband and wife, not boyfriend and girlfriend.)
    ---silence---
    See, ladies, I am the decision-maker in our relationship. I am the responsible one. I am the one who takes care of the difficult shit. I am also labeled as “controlling,” “negative,” and “no fun,” just to list a few ways my husband sees me due to his lack of care, responsibility, and maturity. He waited for me to bring up the word “divorce.” I wouldn’t. If he wanted it, he would have to ask for it. He would receive no help from me.
    “I think we’re mature enough and care enough to have a dissolution,” he finally states, tears in his eyes. I don’t agree, but what can I do? He knew I didn’t want that. He knew I didn’t want the separation. He knew I wanted to work and fight and save and… all the things he was too weak to do. Maybe he simply didn’t want to do the work instead of not being able to do the work. I don’t know. It doesn’t matter. It’s over. My marriage is over. My h couldn’t/wouldn’t do the hard work. He couldn’t/wouldn’t rebuild trust. He couldn’t/wouldn’t open his eyes and his heart to my pain. He blamed me for the affair. He accused me of being selfish and disrespectful. He never owned his choices. He never accepted responsibility. He expected me to change.

    So, I knew long before the three hours of our most recent conversation that he didn’t want to be married to me anymore. I’ve known for quite some time, but since he led me on and continued to give me (false) hope, a diminutive fire burned deep, deep inside me. Silly woman, I think to myself. Wait. Stop! No, I’m not “silly.” I’m not “silly” for loving him and fighting for him and my family. I’m not “silly” for trying every last damn thing I could and not giving up on what I wanted. I’m not “silly” for never being able to trust him, although I loved him and prayed for the strength to trust him again.

    I am in training right now, out of state. My h assumed I wanted him to drive me to the airport. I almost choked on the water I was drinking as he asked about my plans. Our kids will drive me to the airport; you will not. What the hell would make him think I would WANT HIM to drive me anywhere, especially since he recently announced “this” is not “going to work out”? Save the nice guy routine for someone who’ll actually buy it. Don’t try to be accommodating, sincere, or whatever bullshit you think you can pull. I am so done. Fed up.

    Our daughter leaves for college in less than a month, and my h and I planned to drive there with her and help her move in. The student/parent orientation is a two-day event - an overnight. I sent a text to my soon-to-be-ex husband (that is so odd, that phrase which will now be my new normal) telling him to get his own hotel room. “I don’t know what that would accomplish,” he texted back. What is wrong with him? I told him there was no way I was going to share a bed or a room with him. Get off your ass, bud; make your own arrangements. WTF was he thinking? I don’t think he realizes what the word “divorce” means. He’s clearly confused. He clearly wants to appear as the caring h. He’s not. He hasn’t been in a looooong time.

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  9. Part 2
    We went round and round again for several minutes… rehashing the same argument about how he can’t be married to a woman who doesn’t respect him (yes, I laid into him for that one several times) and how he believes I will never trust him. I had difficulty trusting him because he continued, for almost 2 years past d day, to LIE, MANIPULATE, GASLIGHT, and REMAIN IN CONTACT with her. ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME? He started to defend himself again. I put up my hand and said, “Stop. Just stop. It doesn’t matter anymore. You’re finished with me. You’re finished with our marriage. You’re finished with our family. Stop talking. Stop hurting me. You keep breaking my heart and causing me pain. I’m done. I can’t keep doing this, especially now. Don’t talk to me. Don’t call me. Don’t even text/email me unless it deals with the kids.” Then I turned away and walked into our house. Our house. Not anymore.

    I realize I’m typing away, sharing pieces of the last week. Some of it may not even make sense, but I needed to share it. I needed to get it out. Maybe if I tell enough of my close friends and family, maybe if I share my story here, maybe I’ll get this pain, disappointment, and loss out of my heart and mind and body and soul. I don’t know. Thank you all for listening.

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    1. Dear Jo
      I've been reading, but unable to reply until now. I'm feeling your pain and frustration, as we all seem to have the same story from our husbands. Your husband seems to be such a mirror of mine. I too got the idiot husband who "said" he wanted our family and marriage and to work on us, only to find he was still in contact with his whore....and other women he was "talking to". His mental capacity to see the right in anything was gone - and so was he, and now he has gone for good - and good riddance! Jo. you will feel so many emotions as you distance yourself from your husband. I've gone no contact as I was just so fed up with all the shit that spewed from his lips. Come here and vent as often as need, as we are all going/been through this and feel your pain, and can offer a shoulder to cry on, or a hand to lift you up.
      Hugs
      Gabby xo

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  10. JO, wow. Powerful words. Hang in there. I hate when our partners disappoint us and act bewildered. He told you how he feels about your marriage. He doesn't seem to care about you or your point of view. Your words here are powerful despite your heart breaking. You need to take care of you and that means letting that baggage go to his alley cat.

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  11. Jo thank you for sharing, you so did the right thing by turning away and walking into the house. Your h sounds very similar to mine too, he manipulated me, his kids anyone who will give him the chance. He will try to pull me into his bullshit if I let him, I don’t let him anymore. Just the other day he tried to tell me the divorce that i instigated and finalised was not real lol I mean does this guy get any more stupid???? This was his way to engage me in conversation but like you I said stop!! I don’t need to have these conversations anymore we couldn’t communicate in 17 years of marriage so we sure as hell ain’t gonna communicate now. Your right your h is a typical gas lighter, a weak pathetic man who cannot and will not be clear on his behaviour and his actions so jo this is where you must be clear as you have by telling him about separate rooms at the hotel, he will try and sleep with you jo given a chance, mine has even after the divorce, he just makes me sick sometimes he has no respect for marriage or divorce.

    I think now is a good time to get yourself a therapist jo, work through your options with a lawyer. Get what you can out of him because trust me he will leave you with nothing if he can. Once he realises your not playing ball he may turn nasty. Once they lose that control it is all they have and can’t function without it.. keep us posted jo. We have your back .. lots of love xxx

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    1. Jo - Sam A's right. In my case anyway. My ex has turned nasty with finances so don't trust them. Get what you can with the help of lawyers.
      Hugs
      Gabby xo

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  12. Jo that Is just torture. To watch them be SO weak, to depend on US to be the decision makers, to save themselves from looking like the bad guy. And after having the guts to BE the bad guy, really, how hard can it be to be a better man? My H is much the same and it's taken this long (d-day 1 2013, d-day 2 2016) to FINALLY step up and stop treating me like an obstacle. It's funny for years i have said he has never said a mean word to me, and that's true. But sometimes his behavior towards me has been crazy making. Since his smaller slip which I found in early June this year he is working VERY hard at treating me differently. Will it stick? I'm not sure, but he knows that if he fucks up again, I will NOT leave a crack in the door that he can peer through or easily swing open. NO, he will have to KICK that damn door down, not even knowing if I would be waiting on the other side. Who knows if he would have that in him?

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  13. First things first: Elle, you love musical theatreFirst things first: Elle, you love musical theatre?! I knew you were special.
    SS, Thank you for asking about my weekend. I have not been on top of my game for the last week. I used to love the beach, but for the last two summers it has seemed to make me broody. I had some good times there this last week, but I also battled several depressive episodes.
    Sunday was the the day the kids were to go over to our old house, where their grandparents now live, and be there while their grandparents finally met their little brother. Don’t get me wrong; I was very glad that it was happening. I love my in-laws, and it broke my heart that they did not get to meet their grandson for the first year and a half of his life. I have come far enough that I had no trouble being happy for them. But… this also meant that the skank was coming to my old house for the first time. The house where I lived with my ex for most of our marriage, and where we raised our kids. When I sold them the house, I knew this would probably eventually happen, and I was as ready for it as I could be, but I wasn’t looking forward to it. The thought of my ex and our kids and my in-laws in that house with her and her child was a difficult one, and it was made more difficult by some of the concerns I’ve had about my younger daughter recently. She is idealizing her dad, and his girlfriend. My poor baby.
    Still, I was ready. My daughters came to church with me on Sunday morning. We had a lovely morning, and I felt at peace. Then my ex called and asked if I could drop the kids off at the house, because he was running late. That was OK too, I knew the skank would not be arriving for another couple of hours, and I liked the idea of giving my in-laws a hug and signalling again that I was OK with everything.
    What I wasn’t ready for was the sight of the birthday cake in the kitchen, decorated in honor of her 30th birthday. I knew she had a July birthday, but I didn’t know when, and it hadn’t occurred to me that they would be celebrating it. In our old house. I also could have done without the age reminder, considering how sad I’d been feeling that week. I am 48, and I never gave a damn about my age until my so-called true love and best friend started sleeping with someone in her twenties. I shouldn’t care now. I’m still working on that.
    So anyway, the damn cake threw me into a tailspin. I hugged my in-laws, got the heck out of there, and then texted my ex and lambasted him for setting me up. He swore that that had not been his intention, that he had not realized I would go inside, and he apologized profusely. It was about 24 hours before I could acknowledge and accept his apology. I went home and curled up into a ball for a couple of hours. Actually managed to escape my thoughts by taking a nap. Then my wonderful brother, who is visiting from out of town, came over as planned, and I spent the afternoon with him and my mom. It was a great afternoon. By the end of it, I could not believe how much better I felt.
    Incidentally, for those of you who are still In the earlier stages of this process, I do not recommend the “lash out at your ex” technique. I broke that cycle a year ago, because I realized it was definitely exacerbating things. I stopped engaging with him that way, and it made things so much better. I never regretted that decision. So I probably shouldn’t have let him see my feelings on Sunday. C’est la vie.

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    1. Phoenix,

      THIS. JUST. ALL. SUCKS. I don't know how you do it Phoenix. To deal with all the crap of infidelity, then pile on it a baby that you have to deal with the rest of your life?

      You handled everything beautifully I think - considering! I haven't kept in touch with my STBX's family at all since he, for years has bad mouthed my family and written them off. It is probably not the best thing to do - but I was never really close with them so whatever. It is all so in your face - even if you don't want it to be and that is so unfair!!! You can never really get away! It takes such strength to make it to where you are now.

      I am 48 too! But - I am in the best shape of my life, I finally know my style and love my clothes and how I look, I feel confident even though I am going through so much - and I don't feel 48. It is just a number. My STBX.s GF (if they are still together) is really young. All his stupid GF's are young. I am 4 years younger than my STBX so I'll always be younger than him so what the hell.

      You are an inspiration Phoenix! It will always be a struggle I think while we have young kids with these dumb guys. Keep trying No Contact! Like you said - it's the only way to heal!!!

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    2. Phoenix. Omg. You are a warrior. That is just entirely messed up. Thank god for your brother. It’s one thing for your ex’s family to accept this situation. Graciously like you. But a cake? I really wonder if i had a kid and they did this and left a wife and family in the dust, would i be so accepting? Would i actually celebrate this? Geesh. I was considering an invite to my husband family’s get together.I like most of his extended family. His immediate family is wacko. While they was putting together the casual affair (putting all the pressure on ME NOT HIM) i stepped back, and i asked others for input as the crazy unfolded. I realized if i was new to this family i would probably be caught up in the planning and be excited about it. But after years of being micromanaged to the “inth” i am done. None of them have reached out to me for two years. A few know how far he went off the edge (because i lost my mind on D-Day 2 and told) and— nothing from them. . Why do i want to celebrate with these people?? I won’t offer up why I’m skipping it but if asked, i will tell them the truth no matter how uncomfortable it makes them or me

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    3. Hey Ann
      My ex would bag my family and friends for years, and even though his parents were useless - I never bagged them - until D Days - I let loose and told him all the truths I could see.....and he had the cheek to tell me to stop being critical!! WTF?? loser. Good riddance to them all.
      Like you, I love my style of clothes. After years of criticism from the ex on what I wore, how I look, I am very happy with my choice of clothes. My ex and his parents are very materialistic people and think clothes make a person. He didn't like it when I said, you can wear the most expensive clothes, but you are still a lying cheating bastard. Clothes do not cover up the fact you are a cheater.
      I am so happy for you that you feel good about yourself!!! and so you should. You are still so young at 48. I hope you have many happy days.
      Hugs
      Gabby xo

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    4. Phoenix I was thinking about you on my run yesterday and how awful spotting that cake must have felt. And how similar some parts of our stories are. The younger skank, the stupid inability to admit he was wrong. I was just right there with you in feeling "ew" blindsided about that cake. Thing is, those are his parents, and they can be lovely people, and still have the weak, doing the best they can, coping strategies that also helped shaped this man. You can love them and still see that cake as them trying to make sense out of a shocking, weird, complex situation. And even if they do know that the young skank is why your marriage came to an end, are they the kind of people to rock the boat and refuse to meet her or that sweet baby boy? They are stuck with her for good or ill, just like you and are, in whatever way they can, trying to make sense of it, make the best of it.
      So it sucks. and I'm sorry you had to go through that. And fuck that 30 yr old walking bag of daddy issues.
      And thank God for a good brother and for your resilience, which helps you bounce back a little faster each time.
      Sending you all the hugs.

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    5. Phoenix,
      Every time you post, you remind all of us why you deserve your moniker. You continue to rise.
      I'm glad you were able to find solid ground beneath you after such a destabilizing experience. And maybe you can't see it yet but the gift you're giving your girls -- the freedom to feel their own feelings about their father/brother unencumbered by the pain he's caused -- is generous and compassionate and so...motherly.
      No matter that there's a cake or anything else "celebrating" this woman, she will constantly live with the stamp of infidelity hanging over her relationship and the birth of her son. It's there, like a tattoo. I think that would suck hugely. Having to lie to people about "how we met". Yuck. But...not your problem.
      Glad you rose above, as you always do.

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    6. Phoenix. I wrote this last week and my phone ate it so forgive me outdated response. Omg. You are a warrior. That is just entirely messed up. Thank god for your brother. It’s one thing for your ex’s family to accept this situation. Graciously like you. But a cake? I really wonder if i had a kid and they did this and left a wife and family in the dust, would i be so accepting? Would i actually celebrate this? Geesh. I was considering an invite to my husband family’s get together.I like most of his extended family. His immediate family is wacko. While they was putting together the casual affair (putting all the pressure on ME NOT HIM) i stepped back, and i asked others for input as the crazy unfolded. I realized if i was new to this family i would probably be caught up in the planning and be excited about it. But after years of being micromanaged to the “inth” i am done. None of them have reached out to me for two years. A few know how far he went off the edge (because i lost my mind on D-Day 2 and told) and— nothing from them. . Why do i want to celebrate with these people?? I won’t offer up why I’m skipping it but if asked, i will tell them the truth no matter how uncomfortable it makes them or me

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  14. It’s been bugging me that I’ve been dragged down by anger and sadness and resentment again, when I had hoped I was past most of that. But really, I think it’s just another phase. I’ll move past it, like I always do. I saw him Wednesday at a school function, and that helped. He was subdued and miserable, and unable to give any straight answers about his job or health situation. I was reminded that I am so much better off, out of that mess. Ready to shake off my melancholy - what kind of Phoenix rolls around in the ashes?
    Jo, thank you for the compliment on my pseudonym. I wear a Phoenix necklace that my mother gave me. I hope you will let us know how you are doing. Rebirth is messy, painful, and protracted. But we would never trade the new life for the old. We see too clearly, with our clearer vision, how false it was.

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    1. Hi there Phoenix
      Hope you are feeling better. Thinking of you as we go through this downward slope in our days, and hoping for happier times.
      Hugs
      Gabby xo

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  15. Phoenix I know it might appear to be all smiling all happy families, but I’m pretty sure it’s far from it. He’s got involved with a much younger immature skank of an ow who has 4 kids if I remember rightly. It’s hardly going to be a mills and boons ending is it my love? Like you said he looked miserable and that’s what he will look like till the end of time. Sad but true. You dealt with this situation much gracefully than I ever could but this is you Phoenix beautiful and lovable even at 48 which I might add is just a friggin number I’m not far behind you honey and we’re kicking ass pretty good from where I’m standing. And I’m pretty sure if you wanted too you could pull someone half your age, wouldn’t that be nice even if it was just for the night lol : ).. it’s been 12 weeks since I last had sex with my ex this was prior to divorce, so I’m clearly having moments of pining for anything male : ) I’m kidding I’m ok actually ask me again in 6 months time ..

    Phoenix you know I love you and you have paved the way for me and others on this path of reinvention. I’ll continue to listen to your wise words and kind heart and I know I won’t go far wrong.. big hugs my love xxx

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  16. Once again, y’all have made me smile. My tribe.

    Ann, truthfully, I feel the same way about myself. I’ve never been as confident or as comfortable in my own skin as I am now. I’ve never liked myself more. The only issues I have with aging are the ones that were foisted on me by Mr. Midlife Crisis, and I’m doing my best to shake those off. Thank you for the encouragement!
    Sam. Sigh. It’s been over a year for me. It’s been over two, of course, since I let my ex touch me - not that he didn’t continue asking, the dog. And I’ve only had one semi- serious boyfriend since. Did some messing around earlier this year, got myself kissed last month - but on the whole, things are pretty slow in that department. And I don’t like it one bit. I can’t regret being picky. And of course I want to be a good model for my girls in that area. I also don’t miss the emotional complications. But damn - sometimes I wish I had a FWB!
    Gabby, we’ve got some joy coming our way. Big or little, but it’s due! :-). What goes down must come up.

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    1. Fwb sounds good Phoenix : ) it’s funny you refer to your ex as a dog as today I was so pissed of with my ex h being a mean man I found a quote online about types of men pigs or dogs I say both lol.. made me laugh anyhow . Big hugs xx

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    2. Yay! Club 48! I feel great about myself most of the time these days too. Well unless that anxious attachment systems gets set off. Ug. And honestly, I wish I was having sex more regularly. Aand by more regularly I mean at all. Nothing since my sailor and I broke up and honestly not for three months before that. Yikes.
      From my own experience with this, the less you have the more crazy you get about it at certain times and it can cloud your judgement. For real. I track my cycle with an app, so I know when I am going to ovulate. I get truly, hair raisingly "frustrated" during those times and consider the possibility with men I other wise would not give a second look. Its like puberty all over again (maybe that's what perimenopause is; puberty in reverse.) So I have the app to remind me that its just ovulation time and that in a few days I will feel less crazy and so don't do anything rash. When I was having sex regularly it was a non-issue. My PMS was not even as bad. Kooky stuff.

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  17. A bunch of drama got stirred up with my H this weekend and i am heartbroken all over again. Part of me hoped that his attitude would change with the separation, but it hasn't and it was exceptionally hard to hear the BS that still comes out of his mouth. He declares that I am not "letting his love in" and we should let "love get us through this."{insert eyeroll here} He is a true love addict. I can't knock it into his head that he f*cked up and no amount of romance will take the place of accountability (for not just cheating but generally being an irresponsible, self absorbed child in the relationship) and lack of humility. He then insisted that all I want is that he be the only one to change. Truly gaslighting and counterblame..... Except a big part of me still loves him and still consider him my best friend. I miss him and he misses me. But his is a big fat, self absorbed idiot and I have to admit that he is not husband material. I can't stop crying and thinking "if only he would get it..." When am I going to "get it"? He isn't going to change! Talking to him is like talking to an angry, spoiled teenager who wants me to be his mommy. I need to move on. I am going to start getting the legal stuff underway. But I can't get over how stupid he is being. Why can't he see it???!!!

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    1. Mbs I so understand your frustration I wished and still question why my ex h just couldn’t get it, why wasn’t me and the kids enough .. 3 months post divorce I am just glad I made that step and started looking after me. Your h sounds identical to my ex mbs childish, emotionally immature unable to consider my feelings and so on.. it doesn’t sound like he will get it anytime soon so you must start making plans like you said getting your financial affairs in order is so important. When they realise you mean
      Business that’s when you really see their horrible side so be prepAred for that. Mbs you have some really difficult decisions ahead of you but trust me once you’ve made a start the rest will become easier things just fall into place. And you will be in a better place than you are now. Take care mbs we got your back xx

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    2. Hi MBS
      I feel your pain and frustration. Your husband will not change, because he doesn't want to, as he doesn't see his wrong ways. It will do your head in trying to understand them - mine is so immature when it comes to love and relationships, being a husband and father- that there is just no logical explanation that an adult can carry on this way. I really think my stbx can not handle the life of being a father or married life, as some of the things he has done make me question his mental stability! So I think he has regressed to how he felt as a teenager, when he was carefree and "mommys boy" - comfort and no responsibility.
      Sending you hugs as you progress to the stage of legal stuff.
      Gabby xo

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    3. Thank you Gabby and Sam. You are both so right. I just need to hear it over and over again. My therapist tells me I do alot of second guessing of my instincts and needs.That's probably because I am a third (of 4) child. I keep holding in the back of my mind, "what if he is right?" I keep trying to see if there is some truth to what he says, and I keep hitting a brick wall. It is clear to me that he is very adept at avoiding dealing with stuff, including making up stories about me and my feelings and actions. Anyway, it is so hard to trust oneself. I did go to our city's family court and signup for a workshop on divorce legalities, so I made the first step and it wasn't as hard as I thought it would be... That's a good sign that I know do the next right thing.

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    4. MBS I'm so sorry. I can remember when my ex was in this phase. So sure he knew what he was doing and all absorbed in his own drama, sooo dramatic. I wonder that I never saw it before.
      Him putting the blame on you for "not letting love it" is complete bullshit and an abdication of his responsibility for being transparent, accountable and working on his shit. These cheater so often want us to just "get over it" without doing any work. So sad that he's showing you who he is. And he may never "get it" and that's not your responsibility or fault.
      You need to focus on and take care of you MBS. I wish I could hug you and give you a cup of tea in person.

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    5. MBS, I know. I know. It really tears you up when you have to face the fact that that person, YOUR person, is not who you thought he was. And he won’t put you first, and he doesn’t have your back. But that bond is still there...
      For me, decisive action felt necessary. My ex would have teetered on the fence indefinitely; I pushed him off the damn thing. I never seriously looked back. And yet, how many hours have I spent mourning, crying, howling, burning with rage? Even when you let go, even when you pry his fingers loose from yours - it’s still hard to let go. Especially when so many things - children, family, twenty plus years of shared experiences- still connect you.
      But still, I don’t regret. He was ripping me apart. And it wasn’t going to stop. These days, even when I’m bad off, I’m better than I was with him.

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    6. Oh gosh Phoenix. What you said is exactly right. Every word of it. I almost think he likes this push-pull. I am recognizing that it is up to me to give the push. Thanks SS1--the virtual hug and cup of tea means alot.

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    7. MBS,
      I'm so sorry for the pain you're in. It sounds as though he is unhealthy for you. He's trying to pull you into his own dysfunction, while minimizing that the problem lies in his behaviour. He cheated on you. He IS the one who needs to change. Not exclusively but mostly. If he can't/won't see that, he is telling you, as you note, he's not husband material. Maybe he can remain a friend. But maybe, MBS, just maybe, you need to free yourself of this millstone around your neck.

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  18. SS1 update part 1
    On the dating front, I’ve taken a break after putting myself out there with my policeman crush. Because I want to process what I’ve learned and also because I know on some levels it is a distraction from my grief, and an external source of validation yada yada. The thing I learned most recently is this: I’ve learned over long years/a lifetime to mistake an activated (i.e. high alert for survival) attachment system for love. Thus the intensity of my crush on the policeman, because he was never really emotionally available, but putting out exactly the mixed signals that kept me strung along and feeling in danger (the dynamic so similar to my ex). So as much as I believe it is feelings for this specific person, it is more likely that they send me into survival mode. And makes me begin to wonder if I ever knew or know what love really feels like. Especially in the wake of betrayal, because I thought I was loved, thought I loved, but maybe that’s not what it was. Maybe it was surviving in an unhealthy attachment that caused a lot of drama. FML. So I don’t much have the energy to even think about going back to online dating right now. It requires a lot of energy to put into boundaries and assessing and saying no. Just exhausting and I am trying to focus on me, my life and growing my business. But I am also sometimes sad, feeling more grief that is ready to be processed, often excruciatingly lonely, and frankly, missing having a sex life.

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  19. SS1 update part 2
    Re-enter the picture the sailor guy I was dating last summer and fall. Although we had remained in touch as friends, I avoided initiating contact or seeing him because I know myself (well enough at least) to recognize that I would still be uncomfortable/attached/sad and didn’t want to put myself through that. But, he works at a company that is a design client of mine. I finally had to do an onsite meeting there. I was surprised at how much affection I still felt for him when we met face to face. I won’t go into details, but he is still a thoughtful and considerate person. And I could tell he was thinking “damn, you look good.” And I was thinking “damn straight I look good.” Maybe that was my imagination. Bu the seemed so eager to interact. Though maybe he just wanted to feel that I wasn't angry with him and that's all it was. More recently he invited me to go sailing for the day, an offer that was too irresistible because I love sailing and have really missed it. I went Sunday. It was just me and him and I have to admit, we had a great time. He let me steer rather than going on autopilot, because he knows how much I like it. He played music from my favorite band. He noticed and commented on how helpful I was getting the boat ready. I believe I was looking particularly cute and he was looking cute too. And he always smells good, even when he’s sweaty. Not sure how he does that. I think he may have felt something like regret for breaking up. I know he enjoyed the day too. We came back and grabbed margaritas at the marina bar. I made him laugh. We cleaned up and closed up the boat and he commented on how nice it was to be done so quickly. He walked me to my car and I thanked him for an awesome day and was honest and said how much I enjoyed spending the day with him. And he hugged and kissed me. He talked about how he still owed me a dinner to celebrate my first half marathon (back when we were dating) and how he’d like my help with his website (that I built for him) etc. And I got ready to go and he hugged and kissed me again. And on the drive home he dictated several texts on the status of traffic ahead, allowing me to change routes and save 20 minutes. I could tell he was feeling something like I was feeling. And he sent me some more messages yesterday as we exchanged photos from our sail.

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  20. SS1 update part 3
    And now I need to wait and try not to think too much. I think a lot of different things about this situation. When he doesn’t have his guard up, he’s sweet, thoughtful and I like how I feel with him. I’m not too old or too ugly. In fact, I feel the opposite. And while it is not the insanity of my deranged attachment system, it does feel nice and add in that I am physically attracted to him, his cute little butt, nice shoulders, long eyelashes and amazingly good smell. And he wants something of the future nomadic life that I want. But. BUT. Is he even going to think past the momentary reconnection and act on it? I don’t know if he is that courageous. And though I am not into playing games, I am also very cautious about putting myself out there again with this man, unless he makes some kind of decisive move. And we’d really have to talk about where I think things went off the rails the last time. And he’d have to be willing to let his walls down. And in addition, I’d really need to look at letting him into my life more. I really kept him separate from my home, family and friends. I think he felt that as a red flag but we never talked about it. I’m sure, now, he was bothered that I never introduced the kids. But if he’d brought it up I could have explained my caution and maybe had the chance to do something different. So many buts and ands. All of which is conjecture. He may be thinking or feeling none of those things. Sometimes you think you know, though.
    And while I think I could make something work with this person, I think I could make something work with a lot of people. Maybe I need to think about not losing so much of myself in a relationship. I’m a little like Alice in Wonderland, who receives the strange advice to remember who she is. Only to find herself at the Mad Hatter’s tea party. That’s what dating feels like sometimes. And today, I am feeling a little bit of feelings hangover. Don’t want to do anything rash. And just tired of not knowing what it is I should be doing.

    (sorry for the three posts. I was over character count and split up the post at the wrong place. ) XOXOXO

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    1. SS - I’ma tell you something I’m sure you already know (because we are wise women who aren’t always good at taking our own advice). There is nothing so attractive to a man as a woman he can no longer have. We saw the pattern with our exes. Remember? You step forward, he steps back, you step back, he steps forward. You’ve left him behind and you’re doing fine - and now you suddenly look really good to him. “Seller’s Remorse”, if you will. And we feel it too. That ex-boyfriend looks better from a distance.
      So be sure you aren’t too influenced by that dynamic.
      Being alone has its downside. But it can also be great. It is definitely good to take a break from the Merry-go-round.

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    2. Phoenix, thanks for the reminder. While I know this, I sometimes lose site of these lessons learned. I also walked through mentally all the reasons why we are not together. Not the least of which is his complete inability to show up emotionally. While I would entertain the possibility of getting back together, he'd really have to convince me that he was capable of doing something different with his fear, be strong enough to handle some tears from me from time to time, etc. I got some great advice to let myself have the nostalgia and have the openness to the possibility without needing to A) have anything happen or b) do anything myself to make it happen. Its an idea that resonated with me because it is something I practice in meditation often, when it comes to other feelings and cravings. I don't need to create a story or desired outcome. It is really a game changer. And your words helped me get there.

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  21. Sam, honey, the divorce is still so new for you. You sound like you are really holding your own. I pray that you continue to move forward with your life and your healing!
    Steam, it’s funny, but divorce hurts you in so many unexpected places. The family and the friends can really add to the sense of betrayal. It sucks that they have not reached out to you.
    I don’t really fault my in-laws. My MIL wouldn’t even meet the skank at first. She’s definitely showed loyalty. But the skank has her grandson, and I’ve told her myself that they have my blessing to move on. The cake was tough to take, but I’d be a hypocrite to fault them at this point.
    I have fallen back into a somewhat obsessive thinking pattern. I am trying to shake loose of it. My daughters are my Achilles Heel. They are my best reason to shake it off, but their involvement with the skank and her family is what keeps pulling me back in. I have to master this, I have to beat this. I’m so much better, overall, but I’m still wounded inside. How to heal?

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    1. Phoenix
      How do you do it? Giving your blessing like that? My ex is a piece of shit and so are his parents. I will never give any blessings to any of them for anything.
      The up coming Christmas holidays are going to kill me. What used to be always OUR family holiday (I no longer will go as his family are there), the whore will be staying where we always stay with MY kids. They don't want to go because she will be there, but then they say "this has been our holiday for always, why should we miss out on it?" so they will be going with the effing bitch and even now, it's killing me. This bitch has been wanting my husband for ages. Their "friendship" crossed the boundaries of marriage on so many levels, but they are both at fault as they were flirting with each other for many years. So totally disrespectful and selfish.
      The ex does things that I smh at. Here he is telling all his family and friends how good a father he is, how he's still in the kids lives...blah blah blah bullshit! They need to speak to me. He is such a disappointment, but, because he has always done what he wants, when he wants, that's his selfish life and his story and no matter how many times I called him out on his behaviour, he ignored me, thinking he knows best. Just recently, I was at work and could not get to pick up one of the kids from their work. It was very late at night, and ex's response was "I'm too tired to come and get you". A 10minute drive and the lazy piece of shit couldn't do it for his own child. So being with his whore takes precedence over his own child. Yet, there's been so many nights I've been there at all hours to drive them to and from events, parties etc to ensure their safety (they are not old enough to drive). I know just recently we've been talking about how we are the "safe" parent, well, we are also the "always there reliable parent", and the kids know I will always be there for them and never abandon them, and a friend said "the a-hole ex knows that too so just uses you to be the parent whilst he goes off into fantasy land with his whore". So this among other things shows me and the kids he is not a good parent. They know what he's like....but he's still their dad. I actually apologised to them for choosing such a weak pathetic person to be their father. Now I have to forgive myself for choosing such a piece of shit as a husband and father to my kids - my kids are my life. Phoenix. How do we heal from this -granted, you have it worse than me with the skank - baby around, but having skank whore in our kids lives is taking the betrayal and all the shit around it to another level it's involved the kids in their dad's horrible life.
      Hugs
      Gabby xo

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    2. Gabby, I'd like to tell you what I am seeing here, if that is OK. I think Phoenix's ability to give her permission or blessing to the family to move on is about boundaries, personal accountability and personal power. Boundaries because at the end of the day, those inlaws are not really responsible for how Phoenix might feel about the situation. They, like her, are collateral damage in this shitty circus that is burning down. Any dynamic where someone has to choose what they do or who they interact with relative to the fear of causing emotions in someone else sounds co-dependent to me. (which is different than considering if choices have a direct and material impact on someone's well being).
      For personal accountability, Phoenix is taking/claiming responsibility for her own happiness and well being and in so doing is reclaiming her power. Which is kick ass tiger riding at its finest. :)

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    3. You said that beautifully, SS1. And it really can help having someone outline what's happening because it just looks, from the outside, like others are capable of spiritual generosity that feels impossible for us. But yes, focusing inward rather than outward (what do I need right now, what can I do for myself, etc.) is key to being able to handle this shitty circus. We can stand in the centre of the storm, relatively confident that we're rooted and aren't going to be swept up.
      Or, to stick with the tiger metaphor, we can ride that crazy tiger and stay on.

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  22. Gabby, you feel like a soulmate right now.
    I think I have it worse it some ways and better in others. Having a child who connects my kids - and me - to the skank for perpetuity is, indeed, horrible. And makes it much harder to heal and move on. On the other hand, my in-laws still consider me family, so I haven’t had to deal with that heartache. I guess that’s why it was easier to give my blessing. My MIL has been so loyal and loving, and she is housebound, with very little to give her joy. I was angry on her behalf when knowledge of her grandson was kept from her. She has suffered the pain of our divorce and the death of her mother in the last two years - I can’t begrudge her any pleasure or comfort now.
    You have the sorrow of watching your children suffer because their dad neglects them. I have the pain of watching mine embrace the skank and her family. I suppose mine is the better scenario for the kids, but that makes me feel even worse when I can’t control my negative feelings.
    And we both feel guilty. I haven’t vocalized it to my kids in so many words, but I do fault myself for picking such an unstable person to father them. So much emotional and financial damage has been done to them. Like you, I blame myself for what my bad choices have done to them.
    When I hear you cry “my kids are my life”, it hurts my heart. Yes, yes, yes. The kids were the reason I powered through the pain and the trauma. They are the best and brightest part of my life. And those selfish jerks couldn’t even leave me that. They had to give my kids a sibling and pull them into their sphere, where I am excluded and disregarded. I’m just rambling here, Gabby, but I’m trying to work through all these negative feelings. Your kids on holiday with them, in your family place, with her trying to fill your spot - it’s a cruel travesty. I say “trying”, because of course she can try until the cows come home and she couldn’t come close to filling your shoes. She wouldn’t know how to start, because she doesn’t have your character, your compassion, or your moral compass. I hope you’ll have made a lot of healing progress by then - and I hope that you are able to make plans that will give you some joy to balance the bitter. And you never know...Christmas is over 4 months away. A lot can happen between now and then.
    I am trying to break the chains that bind me to the past. I’m certainly much better than I was a year ago. But I am still prey to obsessive thought patterns. My wounds are deep. Sometimes I can forget them, but other times they ache, and I sorrow and seethe. And I marvel at the cruelty and selfishness of cheaters, who know little - and care less - about the enormous damage they inflict.
    We’ve got to beat this, Gabby. We’ve somehow got to purge this poison from our system, so that we can stop suffering for the sins of others. I don’t know how, exactly, but surely we can get there eventually.

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  23. Gabby and Phoenix, I don't have the same situation but some of the feelings resonate though likely yours are so much stronger and deeper. Feeling at fault for picking an unstable person (but how would I know at age 21?) Also recognizing what Phoenix said about feeling even worse when I can’t control my negative feelings in the face of other people not seeing, acknowledging or knowing the extent of the shitty behavior. It is especially hard that my kids are (rightly so, and in no small part thanks to me) still viewing their dad with adoration. And while he is taking his role with them seriously and we split time, they don't fully understand the situation so they view me as being mean to him. His ugly side slides under the radar for most people and it sucks sometimes. But I guess it could be worse, he could be a bigger a$$. But still, I understand the seething rage that comes with the injustice of the whole situation. Most of the time I am a big girl and suck it up and try to carry on with grace and class. But for my own sake, I have decided to take more advantage of venting with people who don't have a stake in a relationship with him--my sisters, my coworkers (careful complaining rather than venting to maintain professional boundaries), and here... of course. It helps.

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    1. MBS - I kept so much bad inside for so many years because of my husband being an utter critical ass hole, that when I got the chance to vent - I exploded. Talking has helped me see things clearer and just not having it build up inside me any longer. Part of that was always having his back and supporting him as you should in a marriage, but I was doing it when just I knew of his betrayals to me and our kids. No more covering up what this shit has done....and it's amazing how so many of my friends have never really liked him. Saddens me to think I fell in love with such a two faced shitty person - Narcissist to a T.
      Your kids must be young? After our first separation I didn't tell my kids anything...and they still viewed their dad with love. Second and final separation - I told them the truth. I will no longer cover for my ex for anything. He is solely responsible for the choices he made to destroy me and the kids and our family life. He doesn't have the relationship I have with our kids - he's too busy pursuing his whores and pandering to his mommy and daddy. Despite the venom I inflict in my writing about him, I am actually quite calm about life - just not when I think about anything around him. But as I move further in time away from him, it confirms to me more and more what a pathetic human he is and I'm glad to be away from all his bullshit.
      Hugs
      Gabby xo

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    2. SS1, Phoenix and Sam A
      I often re read how you are wanting a relationship and missing the sex.
      Please know your worth. You are some of the most amazing ladies I have (yet) met and I just want you to know I don't want you getting hurt, by being vulnerable and lonely and looking for a companion.

      I'm coming from a different mind set/place than you, as I am not ready to meet a man. I do not miss any of the closeness and honestly, the thought of having sex actually repulses me. Maybe it's because of my husbands betrayal cut deeper than I really realise and the knowledge that he was screwing around with affair partners, one night stands and prostitutes really repulses me that I don't want to go there. Plus adding to the fact that after our last baby was born and even when we had amazing hysterical bonding sex, he was not willing to give up a female friendship for our marriage, a part of me died, and sex became so frustratingly boring and he was such a shitty lover, maybe it's damaged me more than I realise. Is it worth a trip to a therapist? I don't know as I have no intention of having an intimate relationship ever again. I walk past men in the street and no one really jumps out at me - if we go on attraction at first sight. I make myself busy with kids, work, pets, girlfriends and life I really am too tired to even think about a partner. Has anyone else that's had a divorce feel like I do? Have you not wanted to meet someone, then all of a sudden you have and been happy? Not sure on this trust thing again. Ex always travelled for business and got up to betraying me whilst away, so that would be a trigger, and if I had another relationship and they were heading home after being with me, how do I know they are really going home and not to visit someone else? Just interested to get feed back -
      Hugs
      Gabby xo

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    3. Hey, Gabby. For 6 months after the divorce I felt the same, I didn’t even want to think about men. My clueless ex was so sure I was seeing somebody - but the very idea repulsed me.
      Eventually I opened up to the idea that maybe all men weren’t untrustworthy- I’d just picked the wrong one to trust. So I started considering the idea. But it was still another 2-3 months after that before I went on a date.
      And now...I don’t know what I want. I don’t just miss sex, I miss being kissed and touched and held. And I miss sex.
      But I also like being alone. And I also wonder how I’ll ever really trust someone again. And like you - I’m not really greatly attracted to anyone. I’ve had one boyfriend, I’ve dated at least 3 others...but I don’t feel really drawn to anyone. I’ve been on hiatus for months now, no end in sight. I got kissed at a bar a few weeks ago and I thought: “Oh yeah, wow, I MISS that.” But I don’t want to date that guy.
      Hysterical bonding. I remember that. Good times...NOT. :-)
      In so many ways I am emotionally stronger and healthier than I’ve ever been. And yet I know I’m damaged. And I don’t know how deep or how lasting that damage is. Two years sounds like a long time to be divorced, doesn’t it? But remember, I pushed that divorce through in 2 months.
      I guess a FWB sounds attractive because it sounds like companionship and physical intimacy without the commitment and risk. But of course, real life doesn’t usually work out that neatly. Somebody always gets hurt.
      I don’t know...I guess we take it one day at a time.

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    4. Gabby,
      None of us, of course, are required to want a relationship. And I suspect that you've gone into something of a survival mode with regards to the betrayal -- a way of protecting yourself as you heal. And there's benefit to that. Getting involved too soon can absolutely bring a lot of baggage with it.
      I suspect though that you have a lot of love to share with someone who deserves it. So my wish for you is that you'll keep your heart soft enough to, one day, make room for the person who can love you back. Not a requirement for a rich meaningful life, of course. But it can add colour to our lives.

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  24. Gabby thanks so much for your thoughts and concern. It warms my heart. Please be reassured, I am not feeling desperate or out there cruising bars just for a quick screw. What I am really missing is that kind of closeness and intimacy in the context of a safe relationship. The human touch and kissing, but the mental connection that goes with those things when attraction and affection line up and are mutual. Its just nice. And I experienced that in a really good way in the first 6 months of dating my boat guy. Which very much allowed me to reclaim my sexuality and reconnect with healthy desire. My self esteem is intact enough that I am not seeking sex as validation for my hurts, because we all know what a shitshow that turns out to be.
    I think where I differ, is that I never felt angry or jaded about ALL men post my ex's affair and our divorce. I know to many great people and have too many wonderful friends to believe that. I also know that all good people have flaws and try to see everyone as lovable but with clear eyes. There are definitely men I get an instant "nope" with but I'm also fine seeing someone attractive, letting myself feel that attraction but also letting myself not do anything about it.
    I think not being attracted to anyone, while your pain is so fresh, while you are still angry, while this BS is still in your face, is a very normal and healthy response. You've still got things to sort and feel through before you have room for thinking of someone else again. Just give yourself time and remember that no feeling is forever. We need to be patient and compassionate with ourselves.
    And Phoenix, I know it is semantics, but the word "damaged" conjures up images of the scratch and dent section of the appliance store. It suggests something almost permanent. And I don't like how that feels for you or any of us. We have been hurt, but we are magical, powerful, unbroken, indestructible beings. We can heal, all the way. Love you gang!

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  25. In other news:
    The ex and daughter went on a long trip to SC to visit family on his side. Long road trip. They got back Thursday night and my girl talked my ear off about the trip. They basically fought non stop after about the second day and she needed to detox. I'm always careful to let he know that she can vent but that there are some things and subject that it is not appropriate for me to respond or engage about other than to have empathy with her feelings. My ex must have been in an especially manic state, perhaps fueled by anxiety about seeing relatives where he feels insecure/judged/just family history. Because he rehashed a lot of old stuff about the affair and our marital history with her (shame driven conversations, trying to make her responsible for making him feel OK, just all kinds of wrongness) and then to boot started telling her about all kind of shit from our relationship from before we were even married. Which she then asked me about. I was in a tough spot. Some of it is stuff she just shouldn't know and frankly, our relationship, especially before we were even married is just none of the kids' business, nor is it appropriate for them to know. So I handled it, but I also didn't confirm everything he told her, because in my opinion, she did not need further trauma. I need to continue to be the parent she can trust and rely on and this past stuff has no bearing, tainted as it is, by his fucked up perspective. So anyway, I was feeling pretty heated about this (not at her, at him of course).
    As expected the next morning I got this weaselly text from him wanting to do an emotional dump offload on me because he was feeling so emotional from this trip, under the guise of wanting to share so we can co-parent. I I stopped him dead in his tracks. Let him know that she had shared some of the conversations from the trip and while them discussing their relationship was OK, I let him know that I was angry and that it was inappropriate for him to share about our past, pre marriage stuff. And thta I was not prepared to go into it with him then. His excuse? It just came out. And then he proceeds to try to pull me into the conversation anyway. And I said "I need to cut this short. I have a busy day and don't want to expend the energy on this. Thanks for understanding. And left it at that.
    I'm celebrating asserting my boundaries with him. Yay boundaries! I did not get sucked into caretaking or any of that old bullshit. And. as I thought through things, I will have nothing further to say to him on the subject. I can't control what he does or does not say to our kids, but I know by and large they are going to trust me and my perspective over his.
    I was, for a time, second guessing my decision to not confirm all the details of what he told her, but I think in general it was the right thing. Though 19 she is still my child and needs to be protected from further harm or trauma from this demented bullshit. The fact that she can relate and empathize first hand to how being raped caused some unfortunate sexual acting out is tragic, but it doesn't mean she should be exposed to the gory details of how that affected the early on again off again dating relationship with my ex. Fucking fuckhead. So I will do a gut check with my therapist and then not bring it up with him. Because that is buying in to and rewarding his dramatic bullshit.

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  26. the other, other part that is gross and helpful is that she shared some repulsion she felt at some of the stuff he told her. She said based on some of what he said she had the impression that he had been dating, but just meeting random different people in bars. Because in her words "I think he goes to bars a lot." I expected to be sad or feel pain and I just don't. I feel kinda grossed out by this guy. Because it looks to me like he has transferred his sex habit from jerk off joints (god bless LLP for that hilarious name) to hook ups an done night stands, which I am sure he justifies in his mind as OK because he's not paying for it. Thus my description of the news as "helpful" because it makes me even more sure that he is fucking bat shit crazy and to use my daughter's words again "just doing the same sad and sorry shit with a different mask on." I can only respond to her with "i'm sorry this is happening" or "Im sorry he told you that. You are allowed to tell him when he's talking about things that make you uncomfortable or you don't want to discuss." not perfect on my part but the best i've got. I always wrap up any of her venting about her dad with "you know he loves you and is doing his best."
    But wow, filled with zero regrets about the divorce at least as far as it relates to myself, right now.

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    1. Oh SS1,
      You handled that so well. I don't know if I could have had the same composure that you did. STELLAR parenting moment!!He, on the other hand....
      Honestly, you are being TRIED! Give yourself huge props for not losing your mind in this. So hard when it's our kids and that protective instinct kicks in but also that she's sorta grown up and needs to learn to navigate this stuff. You are teaching her boundaries, which will serve her well in any relationship she's in but especially right now with her father.
      And yes, reminding her that he's flawed but that she's free to feel her feelings about him, whether good or bad, is something so many divorced parents struggle with.
      And absolutely yeah -- this guy and his bar-trolling is so NOT your problem. Amen for that.

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  27. Ss1 you handled that conversation really well and it just shows just how far you have come. Your right to not get into it with him I’ve learnt that it solves nothing, upsets me and wastes my time so well done on that..

    I’ve too just come back from my climb which was amazing by the way I’ve posted the adventure in the latest post. So my ex had the kids I always worry what he has said whilst I was away. So anyway to cut a long story short my sister is gay and is marrying her partner. I hadn’t told my ex it’s none of his business anc I know his take on gay people. So my youngest woke up this morning we were having a chat about my travels and he then tells me about how if a woman marries a woman they will go to hell, my youngest has obviously told him about the marriage which I didn’t mind. My little one got teary and said he didn’t want his Aunty going to hell. How was I going to handle this one? So I just said that god is very forgiving of everyone and that all we can do in life is be kind to others everyday and that everyone makes mistakes And no one is perfect.. i hope that helped him it seemed to but what a twat for telling our 5 year old that but to be honest it didn’t surprise me I knew he would behave like this I can read him like a book so I won’t be ringing or texting him as this is exactly what he wants I will continue to prepare my child for life the best way I know. Thank fully I’m with my children the majority of the time so he can’t brainwash them with his narcisstic and homophobic views but it just confirmed what a complete an utter plonker he is and I don’t regret anything especially the divorce. Good riddance : )


    Gabby I’m in no need for a man trust me if I need a cuddle I have my children and my girlfriends who give great hugs, if I need an orgasm I have great fingers : ) .. a relationship is the last thing on my mind seriously and it sounds like it’s yours too. It’s early days gabby and when the time is right you and I will be ready. That’s it don’t look into it anymore than you need. Enjoy this moment right now. Lots of love ladies missed you .. xxx

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  28. As usual, several of our stories seem to be running parallel to each other. SS, I’m sorry that your daughter had to deal with all that. Thank God that you and she have the kind of relationship in which she can turn to you and get support. I’m so glad that she can open up to you and share, and that you have the fortitude to listen to her and to give her affirmation without lashing out at her dad - no matter how much he may deserve it. You are her safe haven.
    Sam, what a terrible thing for your little one to hear. I’m glad you had the opportunity to address his fears and give him reassurance. You will provide a sane counterbalance, indeed. If the subject comes up with your ex, you might ask him exactly what fate he believes that God has in store for adulterers…?
    For our part… My children were with their dad on Friday night and Saturday night. They came back on Sunday afternoon. But although they spent the weekend with him, for some reason he decided that Sunday night at 11:00 PM, on a school night, was the perfect time to call and finally tell them he had cancer.
    Oh, and did I mention that he did not bother to communicate with me about it at all, either before or after?
    My older daughter was devastated. Although she has recently been coming to terms with the fact that her father often lies, she completely believed him. I don’t blame her; who wants to entertain the notion that your father might lie to you about something like that? My younger was bewildered, and saddened, but as usual she squashed her reaction, and was overshadowed by her sister’s more dramatic response.
    I am on my way to work after about 3 1/2 hours of sleep. At my older daughter’s insistence, and heartbroken for them, I caved on my lifelong policy of strict school attendance, and let them stay home from school today. Normally it’s: “no fever, no vomit, no absence”. But I didn’t have the will to fight on this front any longer, when all I wanted to do was support them.
    I’m not sure what he was trying to accomplish, but he has forced my hand, and he may not like the result. Now that he has involved the kids in this, to their emotional detriment, I have no choice - I MUST ascertain how much truth there is to this illnes. And I know no other way to do that but through a lawyer, This is an option I have avoided since the divorce, but now he has left me no other choice.
    I am coldly, bitterly furious and disgusted.

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    1. Phoenix
      My heart is aching for you and your girls.
      These exes of ours!!! I would like to write what I think at this moment, but I don't think it would be printable.
      As not only am I seething with your pain, I am angry, upset, anxious as I just received a letter (from my lawyers) from his lawyers that he wants to sell our home. Where we will all go??? No one knows. I have never hated anyone as much as I hate this a-hole of an STBX husband. I just want to crawl into a ball in bed and cry - yet I can't even do that as I have my kids to look after. I have NEVER been able to just forget about it for a day, to just spend the day crawled up in my pain, as it has always been up to me to do everything, which I do for my kids, but ex has just walked away from everything!!! Maybe it's a good thing I've had to keep going, because if I stop, I don't think I could get myself out of this hole... and you are right Phoenix with our lives seeming to run parallel, and Sam A - those sucker punches keep coming, if not to us, our kids. WTF is wrong with these selfish, selfish, exes??
      Hugs
      Gabby xo

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    2. Oh Gabby, I'm so sorry. I know how important a home can feel to us as a place for escape, for regeneration, for comfort.
      What is your lawyer saying? I would imagine you would be able to negotiate a period of time during which you could find somewhere else that offers the promise of that same comfort?
      I know you're overwhelmed. But remember...Next Right Step. You don't have to go the whole trip. What requires your attention right now and that you can address. That's all you need to focus on.
      Give yourself time to sleep. Swap childcare so you can take some time. Whatever you can do to nurture yourself, do it. We're happy to share ideas if you need them. But please...you are running on empty and you need to refuel.
      Shift focus from Asshole-Ex back to you. He's going to be an asshole cause that's who he is. But you don't have to give him any more energy than necessary. He's an obstacle. But not an insurmountable one. Focus on what you and your kids need right now. Tomorrow can wait.

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  29. Phoenix I’m just wondering why he’s decided to tell his daughters now, and without consulting you first. But again these knee jerk reactions just keep coming with these ex h of ours, have they ever been rational?. I know your utterly disgusted with him and are wise to seek a lawyer. I’m sure all will be revealed in time, continue to be vigilant. I hurt for you and your girls Phoenix although your divorced the sucker punches keep coming but your strength and expertise in this situation will get you through. Love you lots Phoenix keep us posted xxx

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  30. Gabby, I’m so sorry. What do your lawyers say? What rights do you have? Can you keep him from selling, or are you able to buy him out of it? As a person who moved out of my marriage home and into a new, smaller place, I can tell you that that was a great choice for me. I was really ready for a fresh start. But that may not be where you are.
    It upsets me that you feel that you have no time or place to be weak, to curl up and grieve. Is there no respite for you? No times when your kids are elsewhere, when you can lay down your burden? You need to find some peace. This morning, I will pray for your peace, for you to have some time and space for yourself, and for this process to be expedited so that your world can stop shaking underneath you, and you can find your feet and start to feel better. I so want that for you, and for all of us - healing and a peaceful mind.
    Thank you for your words of support, and Sam, thank you also. I’m not sure why NOW was chosen. I could ask him, but I would have no guarantee of getting the truth. When I spoke to him yesterday, he said that he just badly needed to get it off his chest, to tell them. Because he is dying, or says he is, or believes he is, who knows. He claims he sent me several messages throughout the day that day, and I never responded. Well, our messages do get dropped a lot, but when he didn’t get a response from me, he should have realized I did not receive the messages, and that is what I told him. And I had it out with him yesterday afternoon. I wanted to see him face-to-face, but he didn’t seem to have the nerve for that. We talked on the phone. I hadn’t planned on it, but when it came right down to it, I just fell back on my overriding characteristic, which is to be straightforward and direct. I reminded him of past falsehoods, and I told him that I needed to know the truth, one way or another. There was more, of course, but the upshot of it was that I required him to verify this illness for me. He was resistant at first, saying that he was sick and miserable and defeated, and didn’t want to deal with this, that this was just for me, and he didn’t want to do it. I told him that I could and would make things easier for him if I only knew the situation for certain. And that that, connected by our children as we are, it was never just about me. Anyway, after some wrangling, he said he would get me something in writing. Do you hear that sound? It is the sound of me NOT holding my breath. But we will see…
    I’m not giving up this time. It’s like I told him, the girls are involved now. That is a game changer.

    Who are these people? How do they continue to hurt us and anger us and tie us up in knots? Why do we still care for them? earlier I used the term “damaged”, and someone pointed out that that term implied some permanence. I don’t remember who, feel free to speak up, I can’t scroll up at the moment. It was a good point. I suppose I use the term “damaged“ because it feels permanent, or at least semi--perminute. But of course, that is not what I want. I want to overcome, I want to reclaim myself, my mental and emotional health. I want to reclaim my own life story.

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    1. Hi Phoenix
      I don't have any time to myself to do nothing. There is always something that I have to do each day - kids, work, pets etc so it's unfortunately no respite for me from life. I am feeling utterly exhausted, both mentally and physically and I too can't wait until I reclaim myself. I suppose just like everything else, it's time. Time that seems to be passing by too quickly as I prepare my children for adulthood - boy they grow up too fast. Phoenix, even when they are all out of schooling, I will have to find extra work to pay for my retirement. Cost of living sucks. I just feel there will be no getting off this treadmill!
      Sam. So glad you had a good hiking experience. Time away needed for you. xx
      Thanks SS, Phoenix and Sam A for replying when I was asking about relationships, sex etc.
      Funny, after I posted that, that night I had a dream I was cuddling some man - who? I have no idea - didn't see his face, it was a split second and it felt nice, warm and secure. Ohh well.
      Hugs to you ladies
      Gabby xo

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  31. Gang, I'm here, reading, such a busy week. Packing up to move my girl up to college AND a banner work week. Just crazy. Sending you all hugs and love!!!! I will write more soon. xoxox

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  32. Phoenix--"i'll get something in WRITING"????? like you, i am not holding my breath. and like you i ask "who are these people"

    Sam, i posted a congrats to you somewhere, not sure if my phone ate it, that's happening a LOT recently. So my apologies for looking like I am not here. I am HERE, and although I am out of the separating and divorced realm right now, I often wonder what tomorrow holds. I will give my H huge credit right now. He seems to have taken an unspoken vow to make me happy. I'm extremely happy with it even if I don't completely trust it, and although nothing tells me that anything is "off" sometimes I wonder if I have taxed my intuition to the point that IT is what is off.
    I hope every day that another shoe will not drop although it does not dominate my every minute.

    Kudos to you brave courageous and finally getting free sisters!

    MBS my gosh, you sound like me, the "why wont he" "if only he". I get it, how many chances do you have to give. I am SO glad you recognize it. I once had a BF who hated breaking up, and felt relief at being taken back, and he would slide into his cranky, critical cruel self when I would take him back. He promised everything just to win, And did nothing but ignore it when he was handed the trophy.

    Gabby--Hugs, many of them to you, and SS1 you're not just ON the ball you are DOMINATING.

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  33. Just need a place to vent for a minute. I haven’t been on In a while. I need to read through what’s been going on here....

    I’ve had little or no contact with my STBX. He was gone from like June 1st through the beginning of August. He stays at our stupid neighbors house when he comes to see the kids, rents a car. Takes kids out to eat, sometimes watches a movie at the house - bla bla bla.

    We have one joint account - he keeps complaining that it’s always a low balance and/or no money in it. This is after he gives me less every month. Says it’s ruining his credit...like I give a shitaboyt his credit?! He sends me money on PayPal now-because the bank transfers took too long. I haven’t been subbing all summer-i don’t have a lot of money - let alone money to keep in that account. I pay some bills with it. I did open my own account - but I still use the joint account for paying some bills.

    So today he closes it-without my OK or my agreeing. Just closes it. Took the $26 that was left that I needed - I was using the card today to get stuff for our college girls. Just used it at Walmart and dollar tree! And BTW-the money in there was from my direct deposit from my part time job! I have bills set up on auto withdrawal
    On that account - as well as direct deposits from my jobs.

    I am soooo Fucking mad that he can just up and close an account that I have my name on without consulting me and the bank allows that!

    I hate him even more. Of coarse it’s no big deal to him. Just open my own account! It’s not that hard Ann.

    I have to change 2 direct deposits so I can get paid.

    I have to cash get auto withdrawals for 2 bills.

    What a complete asshole!

    When the kids go back to school and things are settled-I am meeting with a Suoer Lawyer.

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    1. Hi Ann
      I'm so sorry to hear of what you are going through.
      The sooner you get on to the lawyers the better.
      What a complete bastard your stbx is!!
      This is financial abuse....something I am also going through at the moment.
      Has anyone read any of Shannon Thomas' books, one that I am interested in is "exposing financial abuse"?
      Ann. it's not easy and just adding extra stress on you, to have the financial worry of not knowing if you'll have enough money for life - bills, food, petrol...I hope you have other people who can help support you until you get back on your feet.
      Thinking of you and sending hugs
      Gabby xo

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    2. Ann - why not file for a legal separation? That would get the child support issue started before a divorce. AND ... it's probably something you could do on your own. I was able to pull the paperwork from our local bar association for both a divorce and a legal separation. I would not advocate filing pro se for the divorce ... but the legal separation is just paperwork.

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    3. Ann - why not file for a legal separation? That would get the child support issue started before a divorce. AND ... it's probably something you could do on your own. I was able to pull the paperwork from our local bar association for both a divorce and a legal separation. I would not advocate filing pro se for the divorce ... but the legal separation is just paperwork.

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    4. Kimberly,

      Idk. Because he’ll see it as a threat - like I mean war - that I am coming after him. He’ll be even more mean and nasty and come after me. I’ll see this Super Lawyer and go from there. He said he wants this done yesterday. I know the tax money he supposedly had in his savings for the mediation is probably gone......why does it cost money to get away from such an asshole! It should be free!

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    5. Ann,
      I'm sorry I'm late weighing in. I've been away. But yes, I agree with what the others are saying. He is not proceeding in good faith -- he is determined to make this as painful for you as possible. So you need to have someone in your corner who sees what he's doing and won't tolerate it.
      Good luck. Can't wait until you're rid of this asshole.

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  34. Ann, you need to chase up the divorce lawyers and get this fast tracked through. In the mean time if you have such a thing as child maintenance who sort out how much he should be paying per child per month then pursue that. You need to use every bit of support possible , from family, friends short term loan from the bank just to see you through so your not going short. I know how you feel my love my ex is doing exactly the same to me I’ve borrowed money from family and friends just to survive, taken agreed payment breaks from my mortgage there are ways to get by you just have to be savvy. Cut back where you can which I’m sure your already doing.

    we’ve established he’s ‘a complete asshole’ Ann so don’t be surprised when he plays these games he’s throwing you crumbs when you deserve the whole loaf which you will get in time but right now you need to be calm, patient, determined and focused as things will probably get worse so be prepared. However things will eventually ease and get better. 3 months on from my divorce he’s tried everything to screw me over but I just work round it for example he said he couldn’t have the kids whilst I attend this wonderful retreat, I said it was because of his affair that I got to meet you lovely ladies and he still says no thinks I’m meeting another man the sad sack!!! He’s pathetic and I now realise why I divorced him things become clear, you see that person for whom they really are. When you don’t live them anymore you can think straight your not mentally tied to them, it’s so freeing . I have space in my head to focus on surviving and making it work as a single mum you can and will do it Ann. Your ploughing through keep going..

    When I initially filed for divorce but was unsure of what to do a friend of mine said ‘you will get signs’ I didn’t know what she meant until I got one sign after the other which basically cemented my decision about divorcing him.. there’s only in front now Ann so no looking back!
    Take care my lovely friend XX

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    1. Sam A, the irony of your ex worrying that you are meeting another man. You are a single woman and he was acting like a single man before you were divorced. Dog in the manger much?
      What you say about things homecoming so clear after the divorce and you begin to live away from them is so true. Your head really does clear when you get away from the old dynamic and, for me< I can see how emotionally manipulative my ex was, how unbelieveable selfish and how little he valued me. Had a recent conversation with my sister where she said she'd disown me if I ever went back with him. lol. She gave several examples over the years where she had been stunned at just how selfish he was, now that it is safe for her to tell me. Yikes. And I can see she is right. And especially now, he's gone off the deep end, and still using the same shitty old coping strategies, trying to change, but with an ill qualified, enabling therapist (who also counsels his mum - conflict of interest and probably not appropriate from a therapeutic sense) and without much willingness to really admit that he is responsible for this fucking mess he's in.
      Even if I end up homeless, I am sooo much better off without him. I am actually free to be myself and like myself so much more now that I don't have the full time job of having to be a failure to make him feel better about himself. Phew.

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  35. Phoenix
    How are you going?
    Hugs
    Gabby xo

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  36. Ann, you've gotten some good advice. Your STBX's behavior is definitely aimed at mind-fuck and to get a rise out of you, so he can continue (in his mind) justify and label yoou as the unbalanced one. Don't take the bait. Continue to come here and vent to us, but don't let him see you sweat. You can calmly tell him that the next time he changes financial arrangements or anything that is joint, in any way, he needs to check in with you before acting. Get to a lawyer who will advocate for you asap. they'll be able to tell you what he should be paying you in terms of support until everything is formalized, and make sure it happens.
    He's a complete asshole, but you and your money are going to be safer without him having access to them. Ask friends and family for help, running kids places, with upkeep at home, as a place to cry or get hugs, whatever you need.
    And Ann, If you haven't yet mapped out a budget, I'd recommend you do so. There are lots of resources online that help women going through divorce think of alll the things you'll need to pay for so yoou can A) map out a plan and save for tbigger things (like that car insurance premium) and B) so yoou know how much to fight for in terms of child support and alimony.
    I'm sorry your ex is being such a dickhead. But to be expected at this point, based on his behavior to date. Hang in there! And come back here and let us know how you are getting on.

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  37. Ss1 we have so many similarities in who we’ve become and who are ex h have and always will be.. I have so much head space to think about myself for once without worrying if and what he might think etc etc, yes my ex was very emotionally manipulative too and I guess all my friends and family would have the same to say about him and I can vow I would never take him back ever never ever..

    These men have never been ‘good eniugh’ For us hence why they sought out the ow who were/are clearly on par : ) .. thank god we are out of it ss1...

    Lots of love xxx

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  38. Hi, friends! Gabby, thank you for checking on me.
    How are you and your kids doing this week?
    Ann, You got some really good advice. I especially like what Kimberly said about pushing through the legal separation. They all like to manipulate, but yours seems especially obsessed with being in control, and using petty, manipulative tricks. Don’t let him throw you. Document everything, communicate by email whenever possible, and carry on. It drives him crazy that he can’t control you the way he did, but eventually he will run out of nasty tricks.
    Sam, I remember when I was going through that stage. My ex would get furious if he thought I was seeing somebody while he was keeping the kids. Which was laughable, considering how often I was with the kids while he was with the skank. We went through some bad times where he threw temper tantrums because he knew or thought he knew that I was with someone. The very worst episode we ever had sprang from that, although he pretended it was something else. They do NOT like the taste of their own medicine.
    But it passes.
    I feel like my emotions are close to the surface these days. I seem to get teary very easily, for happy or sad reasons.
    I’m worried sick about my daughters, and the emotional crap they will not talk to me about.
    My refrigerator is broken. I spent all Sunday night cooking meals for the week, and I am keeping them in the refrigerator at work. I’m trying to fix it myself with the help of YouTube videos.
    I’ve been flirting half heartedly with a couple of guys, a kiss here, a meal there. I think it’s half hearted on their side too. We are all just lonely,
    I have had some fun nights out with my group, though.
    There is a long-distance college ex-boyfriend I’ve been talking to a lot this week. I’ve been kind of blowing him off for about a year and a half. But over the past few days I’ve been talking to him a lot. Probably not a good idea. He is long distance, and I don’t really trust him. But I do enjoy the conversations. Loneliness again.
    My kids picked up lice from a friend and passed it on to their little brother. I’m sorry for the kid, but in my experience, life is harder on the mom then the kid, so… not too broken up about that. Be more fun, of course, if SHE had lice. Petty, Phoenix. Petty. :-). Oh, well.
    Happy hump day, sweet ladies!

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    1. Hi Phoenix
      I'm sorry to hear you are feeling lonely. I'm awake half the night - (worry - it never leaves). If you get lonely, you can always call me! I can't get to the retreat this year. Really sad about that, just can't scrape the money together.
      I have had a crap couple of days. Ex was to take one of the kids out shopping then dinner. He wanted them to sleep over, they didn't want to, so when he picked them up and only drove a minute, he returned them because he was shitty they weren't staying with him! A young adult does not want to have a sleep over at daddy's house. So here he goes again, dumping all his problems he created on me. Lucky my child came inside ok, just getting jack of him and all his crap. He is truly showing the kids why he is not a good person or father....and to top it off, he messaged me to tell me we have to be out of the house sooner than I hoped, or the banks will sell - so it can be prepped for sale....and he's been looking for places for us to rent. Always trying to control me. The kids and I are so over him and his financial betrayal. So I got his crap that he hasn't bothered to take (he's had a year to get it) and put it on the porch. I don't care if it gets wet, sun damaged or stolen. I told him to come and get it. Not my problem any more. I have been more than reasonable having his stuff even in the house still.
      Phoenix. It seems as soon as ex walked out, so many appliances broke down in the house that we just haven't been able to fix. How did you go with the fridge? It's amazing how we adapt to what we've got to work with. At times I feel like I am living in the 18th century with having to cart water here and there because of broken plumbing.
      Nothing wrong with being petty. Let me be petty too in the hope skank gets lice also. Happy to give you moral support.
      Hugs
      Gabby xo

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    2. Gabby, I wish I could say anything to make it better or to take away your anxiety. And I'm sorry your ex is such an asshat. The less you have to do with him, the better. Really just carve him out of every corner of your life, if you can.
      The cheek of him looking for a place for you to live. I suppose that is motivated by guilt or him trying to make himself feel better "look I'm taking care of them" but as you know its all self serving BS. I love that you put his shit on the porch, lol. Good for you!
      I hope you are looking on your own for your next place. Even an apratment, chosen by you, without his interference, is a chance for a fresh start. Free of associations with him. A chance to claim your own space (and have a landlord responsible for fixing the appliances!) A chance to find your feet and move on a bit more. I'm sending out all my positive hopes for you to find a lovely, safe place to land.

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  39. Phoenix I love your humour : ) .. I’m well impressed that you cook up meals for the week (how organised are you? ) then fixing the fridge I love your ability to conquer on regardless.. I guess we can’t rely on anyone but ourselves Phoenix. I hear your lonely honey but at least your getting out and mingling your alleviating sone of that loneliness I’m super impressed. Getting teary is fine Phoenix I was teary this morning with anger as the ex h just can’t help himself, I asked him for some money for food I’m broke and there is nothing worse than waking up in the morning thinking how and what to feed the children ( yes it’s that bad) anyhow I asked him and nothing text a few times and nothing so I rang him told him how much I hated him and wished him dead and voila he transferred it through. I swear I don’t know who’s more crazy me or him.. he absolutely thrives on me getting angry the sicko..

    We have been stuck with these psychopaths for so long it’s going to take time to totally remove them from our mind and soul.. honey if you need to cry then do so whenever you feel the need.. I know you worry for your daughters honey, they have you right beside them helping them through the emotional rollercoaster .. I just hope it eases for you all

    Phoenix I wish you could come to the retreat : ( I would love to give you a hug in person) .. your a little superstar .. keep smiling my friend and don’t stay if here too long we miss you xxx

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  40. Gabby it’s such a shame you can’t make the retreat it would have been
    So good for us women to meet face to face but I’m sure there will be others. It angers me how childish these men really are, they don’t stop at anything and do realise the damage they are causing to their children, makes me sad. You do right not to play ball gabby I think I’m his case being fair doesn’t get you anywhere, looking out for you and your kids is priority. I hope you find some suitable accommodation soon so you can start a fresh and why would he be looking at accommodation for you? You are so brave gabby and getting stronger every time I read your reply’s.. keep going my warrior friends.. big hugs xx

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  41. Y’ALL, I FIXED MY FRIDGE!!
    Took a few days to figure it out, and to find and purchase the right part, but I did, and it works! I’m so proud. I got lovely reactions from my mom and brother; they are my biggest cheerleaders. I can’t wait to tell my Dad; he was stunned when I started mowing my own lawn.
    Sam, I can think of few things I would like more than a hug from you.
    I really don’t like hearing that finances are that bad. And I don’t like hearing that you still have to do emotional dances with the ex when you should be moving on. I’m doing it too, of course, because of the kids - but not for FOOD. That is just wrong. My sweet girl, is there anything you can do about that?
    To answer your question - no, I am not organized. I am the opposite of organized; I have ADHD. Which means that I work at being organized, a lot! :-). After 48 years, I’ve learned some tricks. But it’s a lifelong struggle. It also means I have the power of hyperfocus - a monstrous wave of energy and will that enables me to do such things as cook 5 meals in 2 hours and fix a refrigerator. It’s a lovely gift that helps me and my similarly disadvantaged brethren survive our horrendous procrastination tendencies.
    Thank you for your supportive words, as always. Take care of you, friend,
    Gabby, love, if she did get lice, no one has been kind enough to tell me. She probably didn’t, but I can dream. Thanks for dreaming with me!
    I’ve got the same issues as you, re: the retreat. After letting my ex blow the finances for the kids the way he did, I won’t be justifying any large expenses for myself for at least the next ten years. But I can’t wait to hear the stories! They will tell us all about it.
    I hate that you are having so many issues with the ex, the kids, the house, and so forth. So many changes ahead, no wonder you can’t sleep. And like Sam, you’re having to deal with the ex manipulating and controlling things. It’s so hard to get on with healing when you keep having to deal with him that way. I am praying that you will soon see your way clear to living a life in which he is firmly relegated to the fringes and is rarely seen or heard. I want you to be able to move forward, finally start shedding all the pain of the past and building your own life.
    Love what you did with his stuff!! :-)
    Hugs to my amazing ladies!

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    1. Phoenix.
      You legend!
      Hugs
      Gabby xo

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    2. Hey Phoenix, maybe you can moonlight as a refrigerator repair person. Just think of the lonely, single guys with malfunctioning fridges you might meet. ;)

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    3. Oooh!!! Great idea!
      But I don’t know if I want a guy who can’t fix his own fridge. I’m so much better than that now…:-)

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    4. Phoenix!

      Congrats on the fridge! Great Job! Haha!

      I have done so much on my own. He was never around anyway. He was home recently to see the kids - the downstairs toilet wouldn’t flush-wouldn’t fill
      With water. He told me to wait for him to have money and then we could call a Plummer. It only took a little troubleshooting to figure out it needed a new fill valve - cost $8. I fixed it that night. I don’t need him and his $. The guy can fly a 767 jet - but has to call a Plummer for a simple problem? Scary.

      We can do it all - we always have!!!

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    5. Your so right Ann, we can do it all .. well done you xx

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    6. Phoenix, this post, with you fixing the fridge is incredible. And everything you say about ADHD is me. While I have no official diagnosis, this has been my MO my whole life. I literally just immersed myself in a design project for three days and it was all i focused on. but whammo! did it come out amazing!
      But I too, have come to see that as a gift. A visit from my unpredictable super power. And I now have strategies that help we get things done like a regular person when I am having trouble focusing.
      We can do so many things for ourselves. I remember the first time I used my own power drill to fix the towel rack in the bathroom. I was so proud and also like "suck on that, ex!" ;)

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  42. Hey Phoenix, lovely to hear from you. And well done on fixing the fridge, if getting things done is what you do then that’s a good thing I need to take some tips. I’m not as careful with money as I should be I’m
    Learning as I have no choice as you say the stupid ex likes to dangle that carrot and that really pisses me of but I won’t let it define me no bloody way. Other than winning the lottery I don’t see any short term changes to my finances. I’m leaning on friends and family when I need to and a very good friend of mine who has also been betrayed lent me the money for my flight to the retreat which was so kind she knew how badly I wanted to attend. I guess it’s a struggle for a lot of single parents out there isn’t it Phoenix, it’s just part of my new life but I, you gabby we will get through this and we will be just fine.

    I was so lucky to be invited to a kundalini yoga workshop with my friend yesterday, anyone done any of this stuff? Omg did I have a blast it was bloody exhilarating like climbing mount snowden or taking a pill I’m guessing never done it but I guess it’s that euphoric feeling you get when your high. the workshop was so much more than yoga it encorporated chanting, dancing and crazy breathing techniques I’ve never experienced but boy did I feel good afterwards. They are husband and wife who travel the world she sings whilst he gives an inspirational talk through incorporating really difficult yoga positions.. he’s called jai Dev Singh if anyone wants to look him up. I had such a wonderful day with my friend she too is inspirational and honestly in our 3 hour car journey to London I talked a lot about this site and you wonderful ladies, you really are a big part of my life, it’s crazy but true :) ..that’s another one of my bucket list ticked and I’m hoping to continue with it as I loved it so much. I just can’t believe how much I’ve learnt to love myself and reconnect with my body mind and soul.

    I’m really positive about the future I’ve comr so far in my journey with you guys behind me every step of the way and I’ll be forever grateful.. xxx

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    1. Sam A this sounds amazing. I am so glad you are grabbing the life you want by the horns. Reconnecting with yourself can be really uplifting, empowering. Hugs!

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  43. Sam, I’ve never heard of that! It sounds amazing! I’m going to look it up. I’m so excited that you are doing things that bring you joy! And I’m so glad you are going to the retreat. You are one of the main people I am counting on to tell me all about it.

    So y’all, I saw the baby again yesterday, for only the second time. He’s a year and a half now. Ex was dropping off the girls before taking him home, and I asked if I could come out and see him. It’s important to me to know him, because he is family to my girls. The girls and I played peek-a-boo with him and made him laugh. It was a good moment. I can’t help sending them mixed signals sometimes, so I’m really happy they were able to see me interacting positively with their brother. Fortunately, I love little ones and it wasn’t much of an effort.

    I’ve been chatting with an old college boyfriend. I kept him at a distance for a while, but I’ve rather let down my defenses lately. He is very ardent, claiming that he has compared every woman to me and wants very much to see me again, although I have stated that I am more comfortable as friends. I have been enjoying his conversation and his positive support, but I have reservations about him. Also, I don’t want to hurt him. So there’s that.

    Gabby, I hope you’re having a better week.

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    1. Phoenix, you are amazing. This is such a wholehearted thing you are doing for your girls and frankly, for this innocent boy. I hope you are proud of how you are handling this situation.
      As for the old college beau. I think as long as you are clear with him and yourself about boundaries, it's ok to enjoy the companionship. I'll just add a word of caution, that depending on how much he pushes to see you, I'd be concerned about his ability to respect those boundaries? There's a reason you have reservations. Listen to that.

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  44. Hey SS1
    How ya doin??
    Gabby xo

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  45. Morning friends! popping up to say howdy! I have been insanely busy, but that's a really good thing. New freelance projects. Lots of volunteer stuff. and lots of good times with friends. Its honestly interesting to reflect, with my life so full of good things, that I was once afraid to be on my own or afraid of what would become of me. Lots to respond to and fill you all in on. I've gotten to a really good place in terms of keeping the unavailable men in orbit and at a distance where they belong. My ex is truly a non factor, other than co parenting and occasionally haggling over money. Some big things coming up relative to my son; driving lessons, license, auto insurance and getting him a car, since we got my daughter one. I just simply can't afford all these things. And frankly its ridiculous to expect me, the low earner, to maintain and insure three drivers and automobiles. I'm hoping the ex will be open to taking on that burden for our son, since I carry our daughter. it is not specifically discussed in our agreement, so open for negotiation IMO.
    Oh and I've had an absolutely wretched case of poison ivy. Takes a while after exposure to "bloom" and peak and I've had it pretty bad. Just turned the corner yesterday and managed to get through with epsom salt baths rather than steroids, which make you feel like trash.
    Oh! and in other news, new man on the horizon. Someone I know from volunteering, asked me out, out of the blue. I couldn't go because I was moving my daughter to college. But. We went to an ax throwing event together (yes that is a thing, sooo much fun). And we are making plans to go out tonight. He is not at all my usual type which is entirely in his favor. So nice. Has a great smile. Oh, and is 11 years younger than me!!! yikes. I've decided I'm not worried about that if he's not. all my friends that know us both have been very encouraging of me to go out with him. And, frankly, he's the first man in a long time to ask to come into my life (as opposed to the others where I feel like I am working hard to convince them to be in my life, if that makes sense.) So more to follow. I can't wait for the retreat in a few and my epic road trip with Sam A! I wish there was some way we could do pictures privately to share with you. :)

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    1. Way to go SS1. You sound like your life is full of happiness. I am SO glad for you. You deserve it. And with the new guy. Just go with the flow and enjoy every minute of it. You have a lot of energy, and being younger, he may just be able to keep up with you!
      SS1 and Sam A - I wish I could be there with you both on your road trip. Sounds like awesome fun..and I'd be interested to hear your choice of music SS1. Have fun and take care
      Hugs
      Gabby xo

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  46. Sam A or someone on here was recently talking about budget and managing their limited money? If you are struggling making ends meet, I'd recommend getting or using a budgeting app. I started using YNAB (You Need a Budget) when I first separated, because I was so afraid I was going to mess everything up and we were going to end up homeless. Well that app is amazing! You track incoming $, give every $ a job and you plan for and save for bigger expenses so they are not a crisis. I'd post a link to it, but its an affiliate link and that doesn't feel right (i.e. I get a free month when you sign up). So instead just google search it. Although there is a small annual fee, you get the first 36 days free, so you can really see it in action through a couple of pay cycles. I'm really diligent about tracking any time I buy something and it has been a game changer. I plan, I have money for things we need and I can plan for quality of life goals. It is very freeing because I know where I stand financially. Anyone who is struggling with a diminished budget as a newly separated or divorced person, would do really well with this tool. Any questions about it I'd be happy to answer...

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  47. Ss1 great to hear from you, thank you for that budget app, I’m happy to try anything that might help me save money : ).. so pleased you’ve been busy work wise whilst enjoying time with your friends it’s all about balance isn’t it honey, you seem to have it nailed.
    Ooohhhh the new man, 11 years younger too how lovely. I like the sound of this guy!! Hope you have fun tonight..

    I’m so looking forward to our road trip ss1 I am over excited like you won’t believe. Lil old me taking a vacation to the US to be with my secret sisters. I’ve been told I’m crazy but you know what I am : ) when I told my counsellor about my trip she was overjoyed she said she had never met anyone like me! I took that as a compliment lol.. life’s for living right ladies, I certainly feel alive right now. It’s the first time in ages I actually feel fulfilled,

    Love you guys xx

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  48. Hi, SS! I so wish I could join you and Sam. Dedicate a moment or two to me! :-)
    I have tried budget apps. So far, I haven’t been able to maintain. I am good at many things, but for some reason, budgeting blows my mind. So much time, so many details, so much maintenance. The apps should make it easier, but somehow they don’t. I’m sure it’s me. Maybe I will give yours a shot; I need to do something. Last month, the first month of school, totally kicked my butt. And ex hasn’t paid CS in months, although he says he’s started his new job. Crossing my fingers that I will see some money soon.
    My older girl is learning to drive. It is a nerve-racking experience.
    She seems so fragile sometimes. The other day, she burst out and asked me if her dad really had cancer. All I could tell her was “I don’t know”. She loves him, of course, but she doesn’t trust him. This is a good thing, because he can be untrustworthy, but it is also a bad thing, because it hurts her so much. It hurts my heart, and I love her so much.

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  49. This old college boyfriend has thrown me for a loop. SS, thank you for the very wise advice. He lives about 10 hours away, so we have some natural boundaries. But he says he’s willing to fly down here at any time. And I get multiple messages from him every day, telling me how much he cares and how crazy he is about me. It is very confusing to me, and a bit overwhelming. The thing is, I really do enjoy talking to him. And I don’t enjoy talking to many people that much.
    I instinctively distrust a man who is constantly making declarations and postulating romantic scenarios. He is very respectful; whenever I express discomfort he backs off, and he tells me he will be whatever I need him to be. But he seems to have it firmly fixed in his mind that we are somehow tied together by destiny. Seriously, romance and drama galore. Not my thing; I am cynical and down-to-earth. And I am used to men who have the same reservations and barriers that I do. When a man is this effusive, this openly adoring, what does it mean? Is it insincere, is it foolish? Can it be for real? I am baffled.
    Any insights, sisters?

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    1. Phoenix - I'm feeling really raw right now -- which might be why this sounds so harsh - but I really truly want to kill your Ex ... I pray that he doesn't have cancer because your girls and his son need him to be around but at the same time I pray that it's a painful demise for all of the pain that he has inflicted on so many.

      From a legal standpoint - I am not sure where you are in this grand world ... but in the states, you can ask that he give his medical providers permission to talk to you about his medical care. I'd DEMAND that he do so. All of them. Every single person that he's seeing currently or within the last 6 months.

      He owes you that much.

      My heart bleeds for your daughter. Coming of age is hard enough without all of this bullshit.

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    2. Hey Phoenix,

      I am sorry - I’m late in replying to this - but this guy sounds like my STBX husband when he had his eye on his latest victim. He would be over the top romantic and promise all these things to the girl or woman to make him seem like a knight in shining armor and just a great guy - Including his old college girlfriend - while we were still married, and of coarse she ate it all up and loved the attention - even though she had a boyfriend and divorced her husband for cheating on her. The whole internet/social media thing creeps me out now and I am not on it at all. So many people use it to cheat and lie and make these false personalities! Plus - this guy is 10 hours away? You don’t need that! He sounds like a big fraud to me-I would be very careful Phoenix! Just my take on it. I don’t mean to offend you or be negative! Hope everything else is OK!

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  50. Phoenix, I have a tiny insight and I could be WAY off the map. People with addiction issues, especially alcoholics have this thing about grand gestures, and I should know the name of it and I can't remember. one of My first husbands declarations was that he was going to buy me a classic Mercedes Benz. My narcissist BF declared he was going to build me a HOUSE. Guess who ended up buying both on her own? ON the OTHER hand, if a man is really into you, he won't pull this "i need my space" bullshit all the time and will make time for you, as a matter of fact few things could keep him apart from you. I think it just takes time to tell the two behaviors apart. I don't trust them now either, so I am relieved that I am not dating, I fear I'd be sucked right in to the man with the most issues. HA, that is my MO.

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  51. I remembered--Grandiose thinking! Grandiose declarations! You can look it up, I have fallen hook, line and sinker more than once.

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  52. Phoenix all I can say is trust your gut! Your a wise woman with great intellect and you won’t let this new bloke or any other pull the wool over your eyes.. you are a realist and nothing wrong with that. If your not feeling it and it’s not natural then maybe he’s not the one. People keep telling me that when I find the ‘one’ it should feel natural whatever that means not that I’m not looking anyhow, I’m quite happy loving myself right now and who knows what the future might bring : ) ..


    Phoenix It’s sad that we have to prepare our kids for their fathers letting them down but it’s our reality.. my ex does the same to my eldest giving him false hopes and I have to keep telling my eldest that unfortunately his father lives on planet cuckoo and not to take what he says has the truth, he’s not consistent with anything in his life, he let’s people down.

    Sometimes I just don’t have the answers to these men’s behaviours, maybe my psychology degree will give me a better insight : ( ..

    Lots of love Phoenix, me and ss1 will definetly hold you and all the other women on here in our thoughts on our road trip .. we’ve come such a long way together xxx

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  53. Hey girlies, hope everyone is well, not much action on this feed for some time.. I need updates on you all from time to time : ).. I’ve had an incredible week I started university on Monday and what a great 1st day I had met some lovely people and I get the feeling I’m going to bloody love this year, because it’s all about me and me only, without sounding selfish i think I deserve some fun too.. looking out for everyone else’s needs have made me forget About my own.. I had an emotional on Friday as I left my workplace of 9 years I did an incredible goodbye speech even if I do say so myself lol, I was so emotional but I got through it and everyone commented on how brilliant it was. I made the whole staff team weep even the one who are tough nuts to crack so I must have got it just right. I left there with a bang and a Much braver happy and confidant woman.. it’s funny a few of my colleagues will say ‘ you always land on your feet’ which I don’t agree with I think I create opportunities in my life and work bloody hard to ensure I get what I want And need nothing has come easy. So my next adventure awaits now ‘the retreat’ I’m super excited I have some last minute things to do before I fly out of the uk to be with somd wonderful women.. I’m in cloud 9 at the moment and I don’t ever want to come down : ) . I’ll kero you posted.. thank you for listening .. lots of love to you all xx

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    1. Good for you, Sam A! Glad that your new project is starting well and with such energy. Wishing you a very happy 'new year'!

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    2. pt1/2 Gabby

      Hi Sam A
      I am looking forward to hearing how your uni life goes. I am so proud of you for taking this step. You are awesome. I'm still happy to be your first client/patient. x :)
      Did you write your work departure speech down? I would love to hear it one day. It's funny how people perceive things, how your colleagues remarked "you always land on your feet"... Do they know you have been tossed around and have spent many years doing things tough, and you are so right. It's through YOUR sheer hard work and determination for you to be where you are today. I wouldn't call any of us lucky with what we have gone through. Maybe, the only thing we can be lucky about is getting out of a marriage with a narcissist and a very dysfunctional emotionally devoid person.
      AS for me. I am good, really. I am alive and breathing, but having some triggers lately and I've been feeling a bit crap (the chatter in my head). I'm annoyed that 1 year into our separation I have been finding myself a bit depressed and on a bit of a downer!!! I lack a lot of confidence in myself - never really been a confident person, happy yes, but not confident. I feel a bit stuck in this. I don't know if it's because I am working all crazy hours and added with the worry of if we'll have enough financially etc, which is not allowing me to sleep and I am just exhausted. Actually, as I write this, I am answering my own question. I KNOW I have to spend more time looking after myself, but just finding it difficult as it seems things are breaking down around me and I need to work to get the funds to fix them - bit of a never ending cycle. So many things have broken when my marriage broke down and he walked out a year ago. I don't know why the universe is dumping all this on me at the moment - everything breaking...and now my car has to go in to be repaired. I know they say negative thoughts produce negative results, but really?? House appliances breaking down, car breaking down... I would not be wanting these costly items to be breaking, so not sure how I feel about that thought process.
      One of my triggers is when the kids go to see their father and whore skank is there. It pisses me off. I am their mother! She has my husband - she's not getting my kids. One slept over on the weekend after they vowed they never would whilst she was there (she travels for work) and this really cut me up. I had visions (the chatter in my head) of them being all chatty and best friends. When they came home, we all had a talk (after I was in tears) and they all assured me, that they do not like her and will never like her after what she did, and are only around her because they want a relationship with their father. The also assured me they have my back and love me, which is a blessing. But. I know how the ex works. He's extremely manipulative and is slowly easing the kids into being around the skank for a lot more family things. As I have said before, it's bad enough your marriage ends, and to know your husband has not only been having multiple affairs, and then to leave you for someone else, but then have MY babies, my kids, be around whore skank, is just another stab in the heart.

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    3. pt2/2 Gabby

      Despite this downer I am feeling, I have had some of the most incredible moments in my life that have happened since ex walked out...and I have been able to share them with my kids. So for those moments I am ever so grateful. They are memorable for us all, and ex wasn't part of it!!! I have to go back and reflect and remember these good times. I know there are better times ahead, just gotta wade through the crap to get there.
      I have decided to start to put away some money as I would love to get to next years retreat. So ladies. Make this retreat the best so Elle books another one next year. If it will always be the last weekend in September, that's a good date to work with.
      Ann (the pilots wife) how are things going with you? Am I getting confused? Are there more than 1 Ann?
      Phoenix. How's things with you? Any update on the ex. Have you been able to ascertain if he is really sick?
      Safe travels my dear friends for those meeting up this weekend
      Big Hugs
      Gabby xo

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    4. Gabby,
      Oh how we wish healing was a straight trajectory from done to happy. It ain't. It's ups and downs and rounds and rounds. But pay attention, like you're doing, to those moments of joy because they become what you use to pull yourself forward. Hang on to them. Remember them. Cause when you're down, they remind you that sadness is temporary, just like happiness. Life holds it all.

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    5. Thanks Elle
      I am hanging onto those moments of joy. They remind me I am capable of creating wonderful moments and memories with my kids (that he doesn't get to experience) as I ever so slowly write the new chapters of my life.
      Hugs
      Gabby xo

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    6. Gabby, I'm feeling so far behind on posts. So much going on, but I wanted to sen d you a big virtual hug. I can't imagine the pain of having to deal with the OW in my children's lives. Its going to be hard enough when they meet just a regular girlfriend. So for you to be saddled with the OW and constant painful reminders seems just so unfair.
      I'm going to say something really challenging and I'll hope you'll forgive me for putting this out there, but one of the best things you can do for your children is give them space to love their father (even if he's a twat, even if it means they have to be around the OW) without making them responsible for your feelings or hurt over it. I think you are down about all these things (of course because it sucks and is painful) but in part because you are wanting to control things that you just can't. I'm sad to see so much of your thoughts and pain revolving around your stbx. Even your moments of joy and creating your memories with kids has an aside about how he won't get that. And while that is true and it is OK to feel that way, my hope for you is that you'll get to a place of pure unadulterated joy, where he's not even a blip in the rear view mirror. Hang in there Gabby. You are doing great and these moments of down and sadness, often mean we are processing more and ready to let some things go and move on.
      As far as the things in your life all breaking down, I can relate. It's just been non stop with care repair, broken windows, school fees etc. Is there not someone in your life you can ask for help? Not just financial, I mean maybe you know someone who knows how to fix things? No shame in asking for and receiving help when we are down.
      I hope by the time you are reading this that you are on the upswing and feeling a bit better. xoxo

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    7. Thanks SS1. Yep. I know all you say is true. I could pour my heart and thoughts out here, but I wont. It would be pages.
      I know I spend too many hours (trying to) sorting out my thoughts and feelings in my head. Distractions are good, but they don't really solve anything. They just take your mind off the issues, and bury them for a while...it's time to heal, but it's taking me a bloody long time - even wit me busying myself with life etc.
      Yep, triggers sending me back a few steps.
      It doesn't help seeing friends my age, with kids my kids age, going off on trips celebrating their anniversaries etc. I am so happy for them. They are my good friends and lovely people, but there's such an stab in my heart thinking, this could have been us.
      It really sucks having your kids around the skank. This skank that was happy to break up a family for her own selfishness gets time with MY kids. With this years in between Christmas/New Year break, skank will be on what used to be our family holiday. The kids don't want to miss out on what is our created tradition, but it's not ours anymore as skank will be there. I hate not being around my kids and especially for memorable events. They grow up too fast as it is, and now because of two very selfish people, I don't get to be with MY kids, and SS1 - yes - this really sucks.
      Hugs
      Gabby xo

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  54. Gabby I so hope Elle does another retreat next year so we can meet up, it would be lovely to share stories and stay up all night into the early hours talking about life and our experiences of narcisstic men : ) I feel like we have so much in common.

    Talking about my speech yes I wrote it all out onto paper as I knew I’d be emotional. Many of my friends/colleagues cried at my speech because they said they had seen me come so far which I thought was sweet. Some know of my previous and others don’t but your right I wouldn’t class myself ‘lucky’ I’ve had to make some really difficult decisions Amd live by them but like you say getting rid of my ex was the best decision I could ever make.

    I’m really sorry your feeling down gabby, but I can understand why and I’ve yet to experience my kids around another woman not sure my ex has the balls but I’m guessing one day he will have to go public. it seems that men don’t take long to remarry after divorce. I can only imagine how your feeling gabby I know Phoenix has had a lot of experience in this area so I know she will give you great feedback. As for your confidence I’m just thinking what has boosted my confidence these last few months and I think stepping out of my comfort zone helped me tremendously like for example climbing snowden, camping with girlfriends, taking up kundalini yoga totally changed my outlook on life, try googling life force academy gabby they do free trials of this type of yoga, granted it might not be for everyone but it does no harm to give it a go, it’s so inspirational. that’s my philosophy right now! Also starting my uni course has helped me in so many ways in moving forward whilst living in the moment, this is key gabby I loved a quote I saw recently that went something like this. If you are depressed you are ‘Living in the past, if you are anxious you are living in the future, if you are at peace you are living in the present. I’ve learnt to change my mindset and live in the present moment. Honestly gabby no word of a lie my gearbox went last week and for some reason it didn’t phase me, along with starting uni, leaving work and planning for this retreat the gearbox seemed kind of minor. I’ll deal with that when I’m back from my weekend away, one step at a time honey. Focus on those memorable moments and make more of them both with your children and also for you. What could you try out of your comfort zone???that might just get that Adrenalin running.

    Things will get better gabby, the only way is up now and your walking that ladder.. let’s keep going together. Love you lots my lovely friend you along with all my other warriors will be close to my heart this weekend xx

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  55. Sam, I am so proud of you!!!! This is going to be The Year of Sam, my friend! You are going to be amazing!
    Gabby. Strange how our struggles seem to parallel each other so often. Sometimes I feel like I’m finally leaving the past behind. And then I seem to get sucked back in. Yesterday my ex and the skank and the baby’ brother went to my daughter’s play. It was the first time the skank has ever been to the theatre that has been so much a part of my life, with my kids. And oh God, I was back in hell. And hating him, hating him so much. I actually did well yesterday by keeping busy and refusing to think about it. But this afternoon, when I realized the kids and their dad were planning Halloween again with the skank and her kids, I just went over the edge again.
    When does it end? When does it EVER END?
    When do I ever get to forget all this. When do I ever stop having my face rubbed in it?
    You see, my kids DO like the skank, thanks to my initial restraint and their dad’s careful manipulation. They like her and they love her kids. And I don’t know how to stop feeling destroyed by that.
    I don’t want to be so torn up, so angry, so full of hate. Often I can control it. But sometimes it just takes hold of me, and I wonder, why am I like this? Why can’t I heal?
    I have a man practically standing on his head for me right now, planning to come to town next week and spoil me, take me to dinner, cook for me, be with me. And I appreciate him. I just wish I could cut this knot of pain and bitterness out of me and throw it away.
    I’m sorry, Gabby. I’m not much help. All I can say is that I feel for you, you are not alone.
    And no, he still has not proven that he is sick. The jackass. He does say that he will start paying child support again next week. Gee, that would be nice.
    Hugs to my sisters.....

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    1. Phoenix,
      Yes, I think it will be the year of Sam.
      And while I KNOW it's hell, the fact that your kids like the skank is a good thing. The more adults in their lives that they feel cared by, the better. I know you know this. Just a friendly reminder that what you did for your kids -- allowing them to open their own hearts to this skank -- is the height of love. You will always and forever be the mother who gave them that gift. She will always and forNEVER offer them anything close.
      What's more...wait. Because her true colours might come out at some point (kids become a lot less lovable in their teens) and your kids might need a soft spot to land.
      As for child support, why is this voluntary on this part? WTF!

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    2. Dear Phoenix
      I can feel your pain through your writing. My heart is aching for you. The audacity your ex has to bring his skank to your child's play just shows how these 2 only care for themselves. They probably think "one big happy family", and I know you want to be careful for your kids sake, (You are a SAINT) but you have to look after YOU. I don't know how you'd get around this. Perhaps TELL HIM skank is not welcome around your kids things, school, sport, activities etc. They have your kids when they do, leave the "family" things just for your kids immediate family - you and ex. There is no need for her to be there. I'm sure your ex is capable of arriving and seating himself!
      Unbeknown to me at the time, my exes skank has come to a few of my kids sporting events, and only that they were at public places and other parents and children were around, I didn't say anything, (I can hear Elles voice saying "don't say anything").
      I actually asked my lawyers to put it to him to not bring skank to any of the children's things.
      Yep. You are so right with "our faces being rubbed in it". But what do you expect from these low life scum people? They have no moral compass and no care for anyone but themselves as they have proven by them betraying us. Sorry Phoenix. I am just so angry with these exes and their skanks.
      As for your man.
      Is he the friend you have written about previously? perhaps you could do with a night out and someone fussing over you. You deserve it. Enjoy and let us know how it goes.
      Big hugs to you Phoenix.
      Gabby xoxoxoxox

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    3. Phoenix, I'm so sorry this is just relentless. it just keeps coming back. I know you are wondering why you can't heal, but I bet, if you really look back, that you'll see that you are. Can you imagine even a year ago, not killing her if she showed up at the theater? And look at your timeline for bouncing back. Would you have been curled in the fetal position for days vs now you are basically functioning. Please give yourself credit for the progress you've made and your amazing ability to shield your kids from your pain. As someone who grew up being responsible for the feelings and well being of the adults in my life, I can assure you that you are giving them a tremendous gift.
      And I'll tell you, if I had the OW in my face and in my kid's lives, I'd be in hell pretty often too. So I hope you are being kind to yourself.
      Yes, your ex is an idiot. I'm afraid his "illness" is more likely to be Munchhausen than reality in my armchair opinion. And I bet he believes his own story. I also concur with Elle, why does he get to pick and choose when he pays support? Don't you all have a signed divorce decree which outlines his responsibility? You could go to the state and have his wages garnished and while I know you don't want to create hostility, your children deserve every fucking penny he owes. Ok sorry, that's my soapbox. Many many hugs and I hope you are feeling on the upswing today. XOXO

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  56. SS1 update part 1:
    So my friends, I feel like I've owed an update here for soooo long. Where to start.
    Well life is pretty good. I’ve been doing just tons with my veterans group, have made some lovely friends and gotten to do some pretty cool things. Right now, the group is putting on the Old Glory Relay: a single US flag started off in Boston on 9/11, traveled down the east coast and then is heading west to finish up in San Diego on 11/11 (Veteran’s Day). I participated with a whole crew when it came through my city, was interviewed on local news (such a laugh) and when it was my turn to carry the flag, rode with it 8.5 miles on my bike, up over a huge bridge across the intercoastal waterway. I am not making this up when I tell you that a bald eagle flew up over me as I rode. I also had a police and fire escort, along with my teammates in the chase van. I later ran the last leg of the day with the team, about 4 plus miles and finished with handing off the flag to the next runners. By the time it is done, the flag will have been carried across the country and handed off over 40,000 times. It was an incredible experience. I could not be prouder of the work we do to help veterans reconnect with their communities as they transition back to civilian life.
    I had a strange, (but good) encounter with my ex. One day he was over, as per usual to visit with our son. He was concerned that he and I had not checked in for so long. He still feels awkward about how things are, but I was able to tell him truthfully, that it wasn’t awkward for me at all. And he was worried about me being OK. And again, I was able to tell him truthfully that I really was. That while I am still afraid about my financial future, I also know that people in my life will not let me end up living in a cardboard box. But that more importantly, I was not walking around in pain anymore. It’s really true. And I didn’t feel any resistance to letting him know that and feel some relief. It was an act of forgiveness that I didn’t know I was ready to make. We talked about attachment stuff and how sad it was that we brought such broken shit from our past, but that we did the best we could. I’m still baffled that he could think or had convinced himself that I didn’t care for him, but he’s figuring it out and, its also just not my problem anymore and my self-worth isn’t tied up in it anymore. He got a tattoo and I’m sure its part of claiming his story. And while I want that healing for him I also secretly am miffed that he got a tattoo, just as I did. But I remind myself its not about me. And mine is still cool and I can get another if I like. ;)

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  57. ss1 update part 2:
    Other news, I am regularly seeing my young man. I may have mentioned that I was asked out by a man about 1o years my junior. He’s very sweet, makes it clear where things stand (no high panic guessing by me), makes plans with me, has no issue so far articulating things like he’d like to see me again, that he’s thinking about me etc. He’s taking his time over sex (but there’s been plenty of smooching, which we both enjoy). I don’t feel like I need to be anything other than myself so far. I am, watchful. I’m always concerned with how much people around me are drinking. I’m trying to pay attention to any reservations that might come up. But I’m also making sure I don’t run away just because something nice is happening. He seems, so far, like just a decent guy. And not at all my usual type which is in his favor for sure. So for now I’m just going to enjoy going out and spending time with him. We are having dinner and going to the theater this Saturday and then a hayride and cider fest with the veterans group on Sunday (that’s how we met).
    And then, of course, meeting up with Sam A and our long road trip down to NC. I’m still kind of amazed at how we hit it off. Despite not having a radio, I loved that trip. We talked non-stop for the first 6 hours. I got a speeding ticket, but, on the plus side, Sam got to hear a real, deep Virginia accent. You all were missed this weekend and came up in our thoughts and conversation often in terms of “we wish they were here.” It was an intense weekend for me emotionally, but also really good. And as I noted on the most recent post about the weekend on the front page, I’m just blown away at how strong and compassionate all the women on here are. You are all my heroes.
    So now what? I feel like I am on the cusp of another change. Like someone has tossed a puzzle into the air and then slowed the film down to slow motion. I can see all the pieces suspended in the air. I don’t know where they will land, exactly. But for the first time, ever maybe, I am not afraid of that. I feel like I am in the right place and seen plenty of feathers at my feet assuring me I am on the right path.

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    1. SS1
      I am So happy for you. Who cares that he's 10 years younger. Its funny how our society perceives it to be good for a man to have a younger woman - but not a woman to have a younger man! You go for it.
      And he sounds like he has more maturity than our stupid OLDER exes.
      The veterans relay sounded amazing. I bet you feel so good to be part of that, with all those happy memories and the eagle to fly over you....that's gotta be sign. Actually reading that gave me such a place of peace in my heart for you having that experience.
      Am I the only one here who doesn't speak to the ex? SS1 do you think your ex is lonely/having regrets? is that why he's talking of his concern you two haven't checked in, and then getting the tattoo etc? (Too bad if he is).
      You are on such a fantastic path SS1 - keep on it.
      Sending hugs
      Gabby xo

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  58. Hey, y’all. Sorry for the dark post; i’ve been in a dark mood this week. It will pass, of course. I have a feeling the holidays are going to be rough this year, but I’m hoping I can stay as positive as possible.
    The ex-boyfriend is coming to see me this weekend. We have been talking and texting several times a day for weeks now. My friends here shared wise words of caution, which I have taken to heart. He is driving 10 hours from Virginia and has gotten a hotel room here, to stay for three nights. It is understood that I will not be staying there with him; in fact he intentionally got a room with a living room area, so that if I did end up coming over there for some reason, we would not be sitting in a bedroom. We are going to dinner Friday night, and on Saturday he’s cooking for me at my house and we are watching football games. The goal is to spend time together and see if we click. No commitments, no obligations. I am the cynical and suspicious person that my ex has made me, but he has gone to a lot of effort to convince me of his respect and his straightforward intentions. So...we’ll see how it turns out.
    SS, You sound very peaceful and happy right now. I can’t tell you how glad I am.
    Elle, Thank you for your encouragement. He hasn’t been paying child support because he hasn’t been working regularly. And I’m sure I should have pressed it, but I didn’t. It would have taken a lawyer, to prove that he was not too “sick” to work, and I wasn’t ready to go there yet.
    After he told the kids about the cancer, I did try to contact my lawyer. I haven’t heard from him, and think he may be on vacation or something. He is a good old friend, but if I do go the lawyer route, I may need to try someone less personally involved. I really don’t want to go to a lawyer, but it purely pisses me off that the ex might be lying to our kids about cancer. Also infuriates me that he thinks he shouldn’t have to give me any evidence, when I’ve been single-handedly supporting our kids for six months.
    Gabby, I know you understand. Your message gave me comfort. I am also feeling a lot of anger at these men and their skanks. And what I really want is to stop thinking about them. If I could just do that.
    Love to all my sisters here.

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  59. Hi my friends!
    Just checking in.
    Gabby thanks for hearing me. Please know that what I wrote, as we learn over and over here, is as much about my own "stuff" as it is about my care and concern for you. If it is not right or not for you, please feel free to set it aside. The last thing I want you to take away from it is that this is not a safe place for you to come and vent your heart out. If I've made you feel that it is not safe for you, I'm truly, heartily sorry. Know that I just want to see you happy and free from this asshole.
    As far as your question about my ex Gabby, I honestly have no idea what is going on with him. I'd like to tell myself that he sees me having an excellent life and is a wee bit jealous. I'm only human. I've tried not to have those kind of check ins with him on purpose. They always leave me drained or irritated but also serve as reminders of why I'm not with him. A recent talk about finances showed me he's as tight fisted as ever and can't seem to get it into his head how completely fucked I am after the alimony runs out. He can only see the piles of money he gives me now and feel resentful that I am successfully saving while he is choosing not to. He's not seeing it as his choice. He's struggling at work to make deals happen and that impacts his income. He's always one step from a disaster. I've learned to take that with a grain of salt. I think that catastrophic thinking is a long term hangover from childhood abuse and neglect. I just have to not buy into it. I also, when he starts to wallow about his money fears have no compunction about giving him a reality check. "Dude, you make a healthy six figures. Your earning potential long term is significant. That lump retirement sum you just referenced as my net worth is not likely to shift a whole lot for me over the next few years. So stop getting yourself all worked up over a disaster that's not happening." So I think he's having regrets but not really, at least to me, owning that he made this mess for himself. He went on to say well lets stop talking about money now that we are both thoroughly depressed. I responded with 'I'm not depressed. I've pretty much come to terms with my financial reality and am doing my best to plan for and manage it." That shut him right up. I'm wasting zero of my empathy on this guy. (I'm still clearly miffed about it tho.) Money really is one of my big fear/weak spots.
    Phoenix, I am absolutely dying to hear about your weekend. I so hope it went well and you had a lovely time being fussed over and felt safe and that everything is awesome. :)
    I'll update you on my new young man soon. He's such a cuddly bear. I love it.
    Hope everyone is doing well. I'm not working nearly enough. But I recognize that I go through these cycles and I'm just trying to be patient and work myself into a more productive frame of mind... XOXOXO

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  60. Hi SS1
    All good. You haven't offended me.
    I understand where you are coming from and I value your experience and thoughts :)

    I know what you mean about finances. This has been my major concern as my ex, like the sounds of yours, makes good money and in years to come will be a very wealthy man. He told me this whilst we were still married. But I believe his toxic work place, the bosses have altered his contract to reflect something different to what he told me and my lawyers are unable to therefore get the truth. He's screwed me over financially which I am really annoyed about. When we first got married and I had more money than him and put more into the house/marriage, I never once blinked an eye, or doubted doing this, as I knew it was for "us". Yet, here we are now after years of me being a mom and working part time, after years of supporting him in his career and personal life, helping his shit parents, I am being tossed aside and not acknowledged and his whore skank will benefit from his career (that I helped him achieve for the benefit of US/family) whilst she's done nothing. It makes me so angry, but the courts can't do anything about it. Ex is just a low life piece of shit. Unfortunately, there are too many women in our situation that have been supporting the family from home, whilst their husbands have been supporting from work, and when the marriage breaks down, there's no recognition for the wives for their contribution to the family or the years after the marriage has ended, because of the cheating husbands (etc). I too have family that will not let us be homeless, but this is not their problem -and shouldn't be. It's just too easy for my ex to walk away and start his "new life". This is where so many problems in the world start - this never ending cycle of financial abuse, other abuse and people are not being made accountable - leaving it up to welfare and others to help. Despite ex earning a really good wage, he is financially useless, and has not been telling me the truth about where his wages go, transferring money without any references - I was never "allowed" to see his employment contracts, so never knew exactly what he made. It's a mess.
    I'm having a good week, so don't want to harp on it too much -and it still has to be sorted with the lawyers.
    Anyway.
    Sam A - Happy belated birthday
    Phoenix - update please
    Selkie - how are you?

    Hugs to you all

    Gabby xo

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  61. Hi everyone! How is everyone!? Despite all of us being sick and me not being allowed to run for a bit (how will I stay sane) I am doing pretty well. working hard, very busy with volunteering and seeing my new young man. I've written just a ton today in other posts and other places so I'm kind of mentally fried. I was just thinking about you all and hope everyone is doing OK, that your exes and STBXs are being less horrible, or insane and keeping up with their responsibilities.
    And Gabby thanks for your note. Glad to hear you were having a good week in spite of ex shenanigans. Honestly we go numb to it after a while. I'm very fortunate that my ex isn't intentionally messing with my head and being good (if grumpy) about paying what he has agreed to. He recently agreed to buy my son his car when the time comes so I won't have to take on the car payment. I'll still have to cover the insurance but it's a good compromise. Still trying to work on my focus and productivity. Still need to make more money. I'm just taking it day by day. Anywho. Thinking about you all. Drop a note soon, even if its to let us know you are upright and breathing. XOXO SS1

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  62. Hi guys, I’m still breathing : ) thank god!
    All good here I’m cracking on with essays and reading around the subjects. I have a ton of essays and exams in January which will keep me busy the next few months. I’m truly loving being a student the experience is exhilarating, I feel alive and free.

    I’ll come back when I have more time just showering my lil one and getting him into bed.

    Lots of love xx

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  63. Hi mbs I’m really sorry to hear that you are struggling. There is so much going on for you and so many emotions screaming of your post. Mbs go and find a quiet place, lie down and close your eyes, I use a really good app called calm. Use your breathing to let go of all the emotions and struggles. Give yourself 10 minutes that’s all it takes for you to feel human again. Please give it s go.

    Mbs are you currently living with your h or have you separated? It sounds like you need some space away from him and his shannanigans. Is it time to make some decisions mbs? Your right you can’t fix him, he is what he is, he’s proved he can’t/won’t change. What’s the next step? I’m certain once you make that next step some of the emotions and struggles your battling with will not seem as BIG. I was where you are mbs, for many years and my ex h was exactly like yours. It would be one drama after another and he would step back and quite happily let me deal with the aftermath of his actions. Honestly mbs I know you say your not at peace with ‘ending it’ and I understand that. Separation is a process a long drawn out process of many steps and hurdles to overcome. I could never have seen myself separated let alone divorced so I didn’t look that far ahead I just took a step every time I was able to and voila I’m here at such a content place in my life. I’m free from the drama, the circus, the lack of empathy, the blaming and it feels really good. It’s very hard to focus on anything else in life when your dealing with a narcisstic individual because as you know to well mbs its all about them. There is no way In this world I would be doing a masters now if I was still with my ex because I wouldn’t have the head space to deal with such an intense course that requires such an amount of independent study. Divorcing my h has paved the way for so many great opportunities and I’m only 6 months post divorce. I feel like a new woman. it was absolutely the right thing to do and I have zero regrets.

    Mbs try the meditation, see a counsellor if at all possible and start reaching out for support. Remember it is temporary and you will be ok, but there are some conversations And decisions to be made and your the one who is likely to be making them.

    Sending you all the strength you need mbs .. you got this in the bag .. big hugs xxx

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  64. Hello all, After some weeks of tectonic plate shifting under the surface of my conscious mind (thanks, hypnotherapy!), I am feeling calmer and more detached. Mostly.

    No big conversations with h since my return from the summer vacation in my own country (where I plan to return in a few months... if I find a job...), so it was wierd that this evening, I got a strange question from the h.

    (He had called over, as arranged, to spend time with our 3-year-old daughter. (His EA with a work colleague began when our baby was 6 months old and turned physical when she was 16 months old.))

    Speaking of how to make things easier for our child at handover time (she's been crying a lot in recent weeks whenever one parent leaves), he said he had no ideas. I suggested some practical things. Then asked if he had any future ideas, reminding him of my plan to leave (with our child) in a few months' time.

    Surprise question: "what are your feelings for me?"

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  65. I said "what are your feelings for me?" He said he is feeling confused about the future (yup). I said, "why do you ask me?"

    I think he is trying to see whether he still has an in with me.

    I told him that he was not the person for me to confide in or trust with my feelings at this point.

    He took this to mean I feel nothing for him.

    I said, "No. I am refusing to tell you how I feel. It could be love afraid of rejection, hatred, or just that you have become an irrelevance to me. There are so many possibilities."

    He left like a downcast puppy.

    I actually feel next to nothing. But I am a bit scared that my energy is going to be siphoned away again into a pointless swamp of indecisiveness... if I engage with his unfair question.

    Any comments welcome!

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    1. Hi Selkie
      You are one of the most level headest person going through all this -on your own in another country away from your family. I take my hat off to you!
      I agree with all Sam A and SS1 have said, so I will just let you know I am here to support you. I hope you get to move back home with your family so you can start to have some support for you and your daughter.
      Hugs
      Gabby xo

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    2. Thanks so much, Gabby. It really does help to know I have this great virtual support from you and all at BWC. Hope things are improving for you as well. Time for a new season to begin.

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  66. Hi selkie lovely to hear from you it’s been a while. The hypnotherapy sounds interesting what did that involve and how many sessions did you have?

    Firstly can I just say how well you handled answering his question. He has no right to put you on the spot, what did he think he was going to gain from it (maybe he needed his ego boosting?).

    You did brilliant to not engage selkie, the fact he can clearly see you are getting on with life and doing well without him has hurt his pride. You are thinking more clearly and making decisions for you and your daughter selkie you’ve come so far in your healing journey don’t let him suck you in and confuse you again. He’s done nothing for a long time to show you he deserves or wants a second chance so you have no reason to give him one. Personally I think you should continue to keep contact with him simple and don’t engage in any thing other than arrangements for your daughter. It’s great news your planning to go to your home country, You deserve happiness selkie and I’m sure having that family support will help you. I’m so proud of you selkie you been busy looking after you and your well being continue with that and you will grow from strength to strength..

    Big hugs honey your doing great xxx

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    1. Thanks, Sam A. Nice to get your words of encouragement - I don't feel very organised! My 'plan' so far is to move back... probably stay with family while I try to find work/ preschool, etc. Just wish I had a clearer vision of what I want from the future. I do know I can't stay here any longer at least.

      The hypnotherapy was really good for me. At the end of the summer I found a EMDR practitioner (got idea from Elle - thank you!) and had a go. The idea is to reactivate the brain's own healing mechanisms (as it normally does during REM sleep).
      Briefly this is how it worked for me:
      I told the outline of my story so the therapist could see what the 'trauma' related to (being betrayed by my husband).
      She then asked me to focus on part of a little stick (think Harry Potter style wand, but smaller!) and follow it with my eyes as she moved it from side to side.
      During this, she was echoing things I had said and making a few provocative comments to get my brain working on what it had been avoiding (too painful) in a safe space.
      She would stop frequently to check how I was feeling and to see if I wanted to talk things through with her or take a rest from it all.
      Really interesting dreams after that first session! I hadn't dreamt properly for ages, being sleep-deprived from stress plus having a wakeful young child.
      I went to two other sessions (not so many dreams after those) and started to feel that things were shifting in my inner self. I was feeling less panicked about the future/ distraught about the past, and starting to be prouder of how I have been managing with this totally unwanted situation.

      After those, the same person offered some hypnotherapy. As far as I can see (because I tend to drift off to sleep during it), it is a mix of guided meditation and suggestion.
      First she asks me if anything specific is worrying me or if I want to focus on something in particular. Then she talks me through a body relaxation and I am free to doze off or not, as I wish. I think the hypnotherapy part involves her feeding me back things I have said to her about my situation and adding helpful and encouraging suggestions, e.g. "you have good friends and you are a good friend. you are finding your way forward"...

      I hope this quick overview helps. I am certainly finding hypno/ EMDR useful for me.

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    2. Wow that sounds amazing selkie, totally up my street. Dozing of was something I used to ask for in my therapy session it felt so good.
      Well done for making that step selkie, it sounds like it’s been amazing in more ways than one. Here’s to moving forward and concentrating on the here and now : ) xxx

      Delete
  67. Hi, all!
    MBS, I hope you’re feeling a little better. It’s a hard thing, starting the grieving process. It’s a journey that eventually leads to a healthier, more peaceful place - but it hurts so much while you’re getting there.

    Selkie, honey, your answer was perfect. He’s forfeited any right to know your thoughts and feelings. It’s a shock when they realize their security blanket isn’t there anymore.i admire you for drawing that line and refusing to get sucked in. He doesn’t like lying in that bed he made, but he’s stuck with it. And it’s not your problem anymore.

    Sam, I’m so proud and excited for you as you explore and conquer new challenges!

    Gabby, I hope you and the kids are not having to deal with too much drama.

    SS, still enjoying your new relationship?

    The ex-boyfriend who was knocking at my door has slowly and steadily pushed his way in. No one is more surprised than I am. He’s been down to visit me twice. He checks my car and fixes things in my house. He sends care packages with chocolate and other small gifts. We talk every morning and night, and often throughout the day. He is constantly telling me how beautiful, how wonderful I am. He loves to talk and loves to listen. We share interests and ideas and enjoy spending time together. He wants to take me on trips. He wants to marry me one day.
    In short, it is lovely and intense and a bit frightening. Because I am phobic about trust and commitment. He says we will go at my pace. I am both happy and extremely nervous.
    Still dealing with the kids spending time around the ex and the skank, but I’m trying to work through those feelings. The ex has started paying child support again, and has even made a back-payment on what he owes from the last few months.
    Life is full of surprises.

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    1. Hi Phoenix,

      Thanks for your kind words. I do feel stronger these days than a few months ago.

      Your boyfriend sounds great! Enjoy every moment and yes, definitely take your time. :D

      Delete
    2. Phoenix! So lovely to hear from you. The new thing with the old boyfriend sounds lovely and frightening. I totally get it. I remember doing some reading a couple of years ago about statistics around rekindled old relationships and how they have a higher success level because you each see each other as the younger version of you. It's a very positive feedback loop. I hope you are enjoying every minute of it and trying not to worry too much about what ifs and what thens. And I'm so glad things with the ex are to some degree settling down, that he's making payments etc. Hopefully less drama all around.
      So glad things are going your way.

      Delete
  68. Wow Phoenix .. you don’t know how happy I am right now after reading your post, I have a smile from ear to ear. You finally sound like you’ve turned a corner and life is treating you well. The boyfriend sounds like an absolute delight, it must feel like such a refreshing change! Honestly this has given me hope for when I am eventually ready to go out there and date again. I always feel that you pave the way the way for me Phoenix : ).. please don’t stay away for too long I know your busy with your new man and I guess that’s much more important right now lol but I miss your feedback and updates.. keep us in the loop. Lots of love Phoenix you’ve made my day xxx

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  69. Thanks for all your words of support and encouragement. I do see a therapist and I try to practice mindfulness. I decided to really focus on breath when I was feeling at my worse, allowing the grieving to come and regulating it with conscious breathing. It helped alot. It is now something I try to do when I am feeling overwhelmed and stuck. Awhile back, I had proposed to the H that we do something called discernment counseling. It is a 5 session process to determine whether to end the relationship. He brought it up last week and I realize that I am now alot less interested in doing that. I like that he doesn't live here. I am okay that he has the kids half time. I like my space. I love that I don't have to live with his drama. The only problem is that we still share a very close friendship---as long as we don't talk about the affair or his behavior. I don't know if I want to stay married though. I don't know if I should continue with the counseling that I suggested. He told me today that he wants to move forward with it because he does't like the temporary place he is living in and he is miserable.. not that he wants to make things right with me but because he feels sorry for himself, basically. I can't imagine he is going to get to where he needs to be for me to stay with him, unless he gets trauma counseling so he can deal with his childhood neglect. He is getting some therapy but I think it is making him more self centered. Anyway, we won't do it until January so I have some time to think.

    Selkie, your H sounds alot like mine. I am so glad you are finding your footing. You are doing amazing.

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    1. I hear you, MBS.

      I was also interested in discernment counselling, but I think that ship has well and truly sailed now. Conscious breathing is a great idea. I will try that too - so hard to think of it when you're in the middle of a stressful moment, but that is part of the challenge.

      My h had another strange thing to say to me last weekend after a conversation where he was praising my motherly abilities to our daughter (trying to sidle away from her question as to why he was leaving to go back to his own house). At the door, he said to me: "There are different kinds of love. I love my parents but I don't want to live with them."

      So now I feel I am being equated with his parents in his eyes.

      I think if you and your h have a real friendship, that is a positive... but how can you be friends with someone and betray them? (I am asking myself this question too, because my h and I also get along well... apart from that MAJOR event.) It doesn't make sense to me that I still appreciate aspects of his personality/ humour.

      Time to shore up the boundaries for me I think!

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    2. Hi Selkie
      I think you need to handle the friendship with your husband with how you are feeling. Only you will know.
      This has always been my no go zone. Being friends with the ex. I couldn't after all the years of lies, betrayals, deception etc to then turn around and be friends, even though we have kids together...and the fact he is such a control freak and wanted us to be friends whilst he carried on with his affairs and numerous female friends. His recent actions since our 2nd separation have confirmed why I never can be friends with him again, but I do admit - sometimes, I feel if he walked in the room, I could converse just like old times. Completely weird, I know, and is it because 30+ years with this man, I still have memories of how it was??? I really don't know - and it takes all my strength to not fall into the trap of letting him off the hook by talking to him civilly. (I have not uttered a word to him since he walked out -except get your shit out of my house). Yesterday he was in the car picking up the kids and it just felt like for a split second "oh....he's about to go out with the kids" and I nearly said "hi" but kept on walking and then he started talking stupid to one of the kids and reality slapped me awake and reminded me how much of an idiot he is.
      I did get annoyed reading what your husband said about different kinds of love. It sounds like he's saying LOVE on his terms! You deserve so much real love Selkie.
      Hugs
      Gabby xo

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    3. MBS so many of the things you write remind me of that limbo time with my ex. He wanted to come home, but it was because he missed being with the kids, missed our home and nothing at all about wanting to make things right with me or that he regretted hurting me or losing me. I know its because he was still angry with me, still blaming me instead of looking at his own part in the mess. Still blows my mind.
      And your words about therapy making him more self centered. Holy shit yes. For mine, its just another mask or persona he has put on, the sensitive guy who understands all about trauma. But now everything is about that and about him and his. even his daughter rolls her eyes at it. His therapist is a trauma specialist and has done a ton of EMDR. But she's also got some serious blind spots. His sister and I even had a chat and she referred to that therapist as a world class enabler. From his sister! And that was certainly what I saw playing out when I was still in "trying to save my marriage" mode.
      My ex and I are friendly, even friends I would say, as long as we don't talk about affair stuff. But I still get triggered when he talks about travel for work or having plans that take him away for the weekend. Not fetal position triggered. Just a quick tightening of my stomach, just a little dash of fear. But it passes because I try so hard to note it and and let it go. It's old stuff at this point.
      But. For you, your situation. You can be friends with the man, be ok with where things are and know you don't want to be married to him any more. That's OK. (I often joke that I'd take a bullet for my ex, we've been through a lot together, but I don't need to be married to him). You can take your time with this process and think and feel it all the way through. He's miserable? Tough shit. He can deal with being uncomfortable for a while, while you figure things out for yourself. The out I gave myself was that nothing is permanent, not even divorce. If he got his shit together and could be a loving, giving, affectionate, supportive person AND said he was sorry and tried to make amends, then I'd consider it. But as you say above, this seems unlikely. I have a better chance of Yoda showing up and telling me its time to go to Jedi camp.
      For now MBS, you can watch and wait and get on with building a life for yourself. If he wants to show up and is capable, he will.

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    4. Selkie, I know it is confusing when you can like aspects of someone who has also deeply hurt us. But that's because people are complex and no situation is all black and white. Every one of us has good qualities and not so good qualities. Friendship, just like marriage, is not a magical shield against someone letting us down or hurting us. In fact, I think kind of the opposite. When we let people get close to us and matter to us, we are more vulnerable to be hurt by them.
      His comment about "There are different kinds of love. I love my parents but I don't want to live with them." is, in my opinion, a shitty, passive aggressive jab at you for not fixing his mess. He's hurt and now extra butt hurt that you won't take him back so he's in the process of retelling his story to fit whatever his narrative is that suits his ego.
      As you say, boundaries. You can get along and know he's still not where he needs to be.

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    5. SS1 Part 1
      Hi friends, how are you? I'm not sure how I am. All over the place. Its been a strange time feelings wise for me. My one year divorce mark and I'm Ok but definitely recycling the sad, did I waste my whole life, kind of Qs. And feeling just some sadness when I see people who just kind of take care of each other and realize, I'm not sure I ever had that. And fall is hard, seasonal change and daylight savings is stupid. And I am burnt out from all my volunteer stuff. Not just too much on my plate. Too many plates. Too many, many plates.
      I'm still dating my nice new guy. He's safe. He's thoughtful and affectionate. Treats me like I have value. Let's me know he's thinking about me. Planned a nice treat for my bday. But. Something still is missing for me. I'm trying not to over think and just give myself time. This is different for me. Maybe I just don't know how to feel about a guy who doesn't withdraw or disguise his feelings or doesn't have something for me to fix or who doesn't leave me feeling less than. I need to give myself time to sort that out and let things happen. At the same time, right now, I know he's way ahead of me in the feelings department and I don't want to set him up for hurt. We have so much fun together when we are together. But I also don't have that feeling of excitement. I'm afraid I've made a trap for myself. So many people are cheering us on in our mutual friend group. So many people agree he's a great guy that I just tried to stay open to it. I'm not sure how much of what is going on with me is fear of a nice thing? Seasonal mood stuff because nothing is good right now and I know that's all my head.
      Trigger warning: one of my challenges is that the sex hasn't been amazing. It's fine. It's very sweet and personal, and he always makes sure I'm taking care of. But there's not a whole lot of the thing I like most. And although we can talk about that, there are also just plain old physical limitations. On the one hand I know that sex can improve as you get to know each other and communicate and people can definitely learn new tricks. So I'm trying to be patient and let that happen over time, since we don't have a lot of opportunities for privacy at the moment. So I maybe just need to be patient. At the same time, I'm just not physically excited by him. (And I know that can change too). I've talked to my therapist about it (she's aces btw) and she agrees its OK and indeed wise for me to wait and let things unfold, especially since this young man is just not that experienced. The patient, secure attached person would work with that because he, himself has value beyond that. So that's the route I'm trying to take. But it also feel s weird and counter to what our culture teaches us.
      ...

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    6. SS1 part 2
      At the end of it, I'm just trying to be OK with things as they are, enjoy someone who wants to spend time with me and treat me well, and try to be patient with myself in the meantime. I just feel guilty about not feeling the same as him. Not totally sure I am doing the right thing. There's still so much I don't know about who he is. And I think, he's a bit of a late bloomer. After returning from Iraq, he's been kind of lost for a while and maybe finally starting to figure out things he wants and that he deserves to take care of himself. (Very relatable). But as with all things, I don't need to make any decisions right now. And I need to figure out things to do that don't involve going out to eat and drink all the time. I'm really struggling with that. Its counter to my budget and health and in my current state I really lack the self discipline to resist eating and drinking when those around me are, so I tended historically to avoid that. Now I can't and I really need to sort that out for myself and talk it through with him. I've been stuck at the top end of my healthy category and the holidays are coming. I know Im fine either way but I also worked damned hard and suffered a great deal getting to a healthy weight. I don't want to let my self care slip in that area because it affects my head in so many negative ways. I want to be supported in my health goals, so I really need to talk with him about that to. Not as his responsibility, but as in, I need to change what I'm doing, how do I do that and we still do stuff together?
      Anyway, would love thoughts, feedback, reassurance that what I am doing is not nuts or just hugs. XOXO

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    7. SS1,
      Groan...that was always my pattern. If someone liked me, I was immediately suspicious that there was something undesirable about them because why would someone like me more than I liked them unless they were defective in some way? If found guys who liked me became less attractive to me than guys who kept me on my toes. I'm not sure how to get around that. I think that, maybe, it's possible to have both. Someone who feels safe but who excites you in healthy ways. But you don't need to know it all now. Nor are you responsible for HIS feelings. That's on him. You owe him honesty, that's it.
      So...maybe take your time. Take it for what it is. Try to limit expectations. Focus on what matters to you right now -- keeping yourself healthy. Sounds like you're a bit lost in this right now so that says it's time to re-centre yourself.
      Wish I had an answer but I think this is something that will become clear with time.

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    8. Hi SS1
      Great to have support of friends cheering you on, but remember, this is YOUR relationship, YOU are investing time and energy - NOT your friends.
      Anything different from your ex that is good, surely is a bonus, but you have to feel right about it. How many boxes does the new guy tick, the boxes that he doesn't tick are they deal breakers to you? Lots to think about.
      Hugs
      Gabby xo

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    9. Thanks Gabby and Still Standing S1 for your kind responses. I was not on the site for a few weeks so am only reading them now. Really appreciate them.
      Yes, people have so many aspects to them. I do believe one of the most important ones is how they treat others. SS1, if your new guy is thoughtful and 'safe', that could be a good experience for now. Nobody knows what the future holds (maybe later you will want something more edgy - or maybe he will reveal a different side of himself...) Wishing you well in any case.

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  70. Hey SS1, great to hear from you, I hope writing it all down has helped lighten the load a little. Elle’s response is spot on, things will play out and become clear with time. However if you want my 2 cents on the matter I’m kind of inclined to say don’t stick around because you don’t want to hurt his feelings. From what I’ve read I’m not feeling like your getting what you need from this guy. SS1 you left a marriage because you didn’t want to settle for anything less than you deserve, you’ve come so far in your healing and strength to settle for mediocre. Trust your gut honey you know what’s best for you, your so kind and loving and I just want the best for you : ).. love you lots my friend xxx

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  71. Thanks Elle, we had a very nice day together today and I'm feeling less wound up. I made up my mind to go into our time together looking for the nice things, for things to appreciate (i.e. gratitude) rather than being afraid of the nice things or looking for things that weren't perfect. I can just let things play out. And when I talked about wanting to be healthier, he took me for a healthy lunch instead of the pub. He's listening. I talked about how this is a tough time of year. He asked me what he can do to help. I said, give me permission to be sad, to not always be upbeat and a robot. He gave me permission to be sad and ask for help when I need it. He's listening. I need to pay attention to that, because that's pretty good stuff.

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  72. Hi All,
    I really need some words of encouragement. It's 4 months + separated with my H.
    Things are going so well for them- H & Co-worker. I'd tried not to think about it but i can't control my mind. I feel hurt and sad knowing that my H treated her very well. He even argued with his family just to be with this OW.
    The question keep pop out in my head " Should i give up? Should i still a little bit longer?" Will i be OK?

    Lost_AA

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    Replies
    1. Lost AA,
      I'm so sorry. I know this is so painful.
      But, yes, I think it's time to move on. You need to focus on your healing, not on his future but your own. And yes, you will be okay but you have to make yourself your priority.
      Please find a counsellor (if you haven't already) who can support you as you heal from this. Keep posting here -- there are so many women who are moving forward in healthy ways. I'm sorry you need to be here, but glad that you found us.

      Delete
    2. Lost AA, I'm so sorry you are having such a tough time. 4 months is still so new. I was still really reeling then and very afraid to be on my own.
      You don't deserve what's happening and I'm so sorry you are struggling. I know it seems like things are great for them and he's treating her so well, but I promise you that it is not all it seems to be. It is built on lies and one way or another, this will come back to them, even if you never see it. They are very damaged people, how happy can they be?
      I second Elle's advice. Please find a counselor. Please look to your own health and future. Your focus now needs to be on you. You will be fine, I promise.
      If you have not already, do please speak to a lawyer to understand what your rights are. Focus on getting through each day one at a time and be patient and kind to yourself.
      I know it is so hard to control your thinking. It hurts so much and we obsess about them. When your mind starts playing out those stories try to interrupt it by picturing a stop sign, you can even say "stop" out loud. Some women on here wore a rubber band on their wrist and would snap it when their thoughts ran away with them. Try to find some strategy that works for interrupting those thoughts.
      Try to reach out to people in your life who are able to support you. Family, friends, a church leader if that is for you. Don't go through this alone.
      Hang in there Lost-AA, We're here for you.

      Delete
    3. Hi Elle,
      I have yet to find a counselor as this is not so common in our country. Elle, i feel glad i found this page as i feel so much better to read all the post and comment. I feel people here know "us" better as to compare to those not going through this pain. We all easily "click" on how we feel.

      Hi Still Standing 1,
      None of us here deserve what we been through now. Heartbreak, struggling, anger..etc.
      Something happened yesterday which pissed me off. Forget to mention we actually work in same company. Yesterday i bump into the OW at the corridor and she roll her eye on me. I was like " Why on earth you want to do this to me?" You already with him? What had i did wrong to deserve on this? Ain't that you already win?
      "Some women on here wore a rubber band on their wrist and would snap it when their thoughts" -Seriously? Probably this is a good idea or something that i should try also.

      Thanks for being here for me even though we are apart and we don't really know each other. I feel so warm to be here everyday.

      Lost_AA

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    4. Lost_AA,
      I'm so glad you find this site helpful. And I'm sorry it has been hard to find a therapist to support you through this.
      Keep reading and keep posting. It really helps.

      Delete
  73. Hello my lovelies, I just wanted to wish you all well, on the eve of my Thanksgiving Day holiday. I'm so blessed to know you and to feel your love and support across the miles. I hope tomorrow brings you peace, tiny miracles and small moments of joy.

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  74. SS1
    Thanks :)
    Sending love back to ya -and everyone else.
    Hugs
    Gabby xo

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  75. I just realised. DD was last month and I forgot all about it! I suppose because I've had so many of them, they all morph into one. That's gotta be a good thing right, forgetting that day?
    Hugs
    Gabby xo


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  76. Hi friends, Forgetting is a good thing Gabby. :) I think it means that these difficult times are getting smaller in the rear view mirror. I hope so. I just want for you to be happy. I want us all to not be hurting anymore.

    I wanted to share with you a lovely story. As you know, I've been having a tough time lately about my ex dating and finally (??we'll see) being over the OW. Just ouch city. And new guy has been super kind, patient, supportive. I knew, even though I was emotionally all over the place and felt like running away, that it was old stuff and old pattern sand I needed to just sit tight until I got settled again. And so we've still been spending time together.
    So one amazing thing is, we were in his room smooching etc after a nice evening out. He asked me to do something for him and although I was enjoying cuddles, I just wasn't emotionally there. I was tired, I had my period. I just wanted to keep cuddling and smooching. So I said, can I say no? Because its so hard for me. And he looks at me and says you can always say no. And I know he really means it. Wow. Such a universe apart from my ex.
    Then we were out at a veteran's event on Sunday. It was sunny but cold and we were all walking around outside. He peels off to go to the restroom. Comes back holding a paper cup of coffee (or so I thought). As he was walking up, the group, including me, started teasing him about not bringing enough for all of us, etc. Then he walks up and hands me the cup. It's tea he got for me at the visitor's center! And he brought cream and sugar in case i wanted that too. Ladies, I almost fainted. He knew I was cold. He knew I liked tea. He thought I might like to warm my hands on the tea and drink it and feel warmer. He brought cream. He was concerned for my welfare and comfort. I realized that this man is 100 times the man my ex will ever be. He's not a world beater, but he gets up every day and takes care of his business. And he is unafraid to show his feelings. And he brought me some fucking tea. I notes, in that moment, my own surprise, pleasure and gratitude. Because my ex walking up would have had a coffee for him and nothing for me. Truth. This has been my experience for years. New guy just wants to see me happy. And I hope I never lose my ability to be grateful for someone making a kind, thoughtful gesture like that.
    So things have shifted for me a little. I let myself feel gratitude and affection in that moment. I gave him a spontaneous hug. I made sure to thank him again later because the tea was just what I needed.
    So. There's a couple of happy stories. I hope you all are hanging in. Don't pressure yourself to be perfect this holiday season. xoxo ss1

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    1. Love your stories ss1, and how thoughtful of him to get you tea, so simple yet so effective. My faith in men has been restored forever : ) .. I’m so pleased your seeing your ex for what he is and being grateful to your new guy for wanting to take care of you. Love you lots my friend xx

      Delete
  77. So i sent my H this message: I was reflecting on the time on sunday when I thought your affair partner was in the car across the street. Just so you know, I am not going to be edged out of living my life any further. Your and this woman's behavioir have already taken too much from it already. If she and I are going to be in the same space, she is the one who needs to feel ashamed and hide. I will not go running in the other direction.
    In an ideal world, you would avoid her and go the other way if you were alone but that if we were together, you would support me and offer solidarity by standing with me despite your own discomfort. However, it is obvious that won't happen. Therefore, I ask that should there be an incident where she is near when we are both together, that you calmly make your own exit and spare me further humiliation and disempowerment by allowing me to carry on the way I choose without your making a scene about it. I hope that we do not have an actual run in like that, but the least you can do is allow me to maintain my dignity and pride.

    His only response: [that ] sounds blaming to me.

    WTF?!

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    1. MBS, I wanted to make sure I replied to your post. I was so mad on your behalf when I read what his response was. Not one acknowledgement of how hurt you are, angry or how uncomfortable that situation must have made you. His response is just all shame and self defense driven.
      I don't recall of of the details of your situation, but it sound like, in this case, he is not willing to own how his actions have hurt and continue to hurt you. Is he doing any kind of work on himself? Going to therapy? Are you two in couples counseling together with someone halfway decent? Maybe that person can help you navigate these more challenging situations and help guide him past his shame to where he can recognize that your needs might have to come first for a while>
      MBS I'm sending you a big hug. WTF indeed.

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    2. Hey MBS
      I agree with what SS1 has said. You haven't asked for anything unreasonable, so to your h - WTF? He needs to make you a huge priority and do everything to show you, you are his priority.
      Hugs
      Gabby xoxox

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  78. Hey there, friends!
    Gabby, I’m tickled to hear that you forgot D Day. Hopefully it will become more and more forgettable!
    SS, I really enjoyed your stories. I’m glad your New Guy gives you the respect and consideration you deserve. We know better now what patterns of behavior to look for, don’t we?
    I’ve had my ups and downs, but for the last week I’ve really been focusing on pushing the negative thoughts out of my head. We had to go through Thanksgiving, and at least two of the skank’s kids have birthdays around this time (including my kids’ brother), so there have been lots of potential triggers. I’ve been making a conscious effort to AVOID thinking of the things might upset me. So far, so good.
    My new long-distance boyfriend has been down to see me four times, and will be here again this weekend. On the plus side, he is extremely attentive and caring, and will bend over backwards to accept me the way I am. He is generous and thoughtful, and always doing things for me - he would definitely bring me some fucking tea. Incidentally, I think this should be our new yardstick for acceptable male behavior - as in: “Yeah, sure, he’s hot, but is he the kind of guy who would bring you some fucking tea?”
    He has also experienced betrayal, so he knows where I’m coming from there. On the minus side, he’s still long distance, and he’s got a lot of unresolved issues with his ex and his kids - his divorce is much more recent than mine.
    So....one day at a time. Stay warm, sweet friends, I’m sending you hugs! I have something else to share, but I’m out of time so it will have to wait.

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    1. Phoenix,
      You're something of a rock star around here. Thanks for popping back now and again and hanging with those of us who knew you when. ;)
      Seriously, so glad that things are going pretty well. Ups and downs is progress, I think. It's...life.

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    2. Hi Phoenix
      So lovely to hear from you and I am so happy for you that things are going nicely with your new man.
      If anyone deserves some peace and happiness and someone to fuss over them - you do.
      I am sorry to hear you have had to deal with triggers. Unfortunately the stench of skanks does take a while to dissipate - does it ever leave forever? Only time will tell, but, geez, you are amazing. Having triggers, yet working so damn hard to avoid thinking of things that set you off is hard, but good work, but don't forget, as you know and Elle has said, life is ups and downs, and don't forget to give yourself time to be upset and angry if need be.
      Big Hugs to you Phoenix
      Gabby xoxoxo

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  79. Hey Phoenix I’m so pleased to hear from you .. you always leave us hanging : ) .. dong leave it too long .. hugs my friend xx

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  80. Hi Phoenix, So glad to hear form you! And yes, the new test is "Would he bring you some fucking tea!?"
    Glad life is moving along for you. And that your new guy is attentive and caring.And as we all know, those unresolved issues with the ex and betrayal can take a long time to heal and grow appropriately faded with time.
    I realized I have been spending too much time ruminating on my ex and whatever his current nonsense is. A lot of the lovely folks on here have advised me to give him less of my time in the physical world, and I realize that I'm happier when I am also giving him less time and energy in my head too. So I am too am trying to interrupt those negative, spiraling thoughts about him and his impact on my life.
    My young man came and helped me with my yard on his day off yesterday. I had only asked for help with some of the leaves (and when I say asked I mean he offered eleventy billion times and I finally said yes) He comes over about 10:30 and has rented a back pack leaf blower and we get to work. I siad let's just tackle the front so I can do Christmas lights. six hours later, he and I completed the whole damn acre (lots of lovely oak trees). Wow. I can't tell you what a relief it is to have that done. I was going to hire someone to do some of it, but then had to get 4 new tires - cost was about the same. And he verbalizes to me that he just wanted to help because he knew this job was a big worry to me. He was right. It was both a big worry and a big relief. Another shining example of him looking out for me. It's so weird. I've been trained to accept less than crumbs and believe I don't even deserve those, fr so long. I kinda almost feel guilty about it. But I did take him out and treat him to dinner and drinks at our favorite spot. So. I am trying to just enjoy the moments and ease my guard down a tiny bit more.
    Sam A, I know you are busy busy, but let us know how you are getting on soon. XOXO my lovelies!

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    1. Hi SS1
      What a lovely man, to come and help and spend all that time with you tidying your garden. Gives me hope with the men of the world.
      Hugs
      Gabby xo

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  81. I’m so pleased you accepted his offer of help Ss1, it’s a step forward. He sounds like such a nice guy..

    Yes I’m very busy and stressed with my uni work and I’m just being tested for dyslexia, I had an assessment with a specialist last week and she believes I am dyslexic so once that’s been confirmed the uni will provide me with a mentor to help me with my studies. It makes sense in some ways that I may be dyslexic especially when it comes to certain aspects of academic work. So let’s wait and see..

    Onto something else : ( I did something really naughty yesterday........... I slept with my ex ... the first time since the divorce (I initiated it) I can just see you all shouting at the phone right now .. what can I say I needed sex and I’m human. The bigger picture is he’s been trying to win me back in spits and spurts since we divorced but I’ve held him at arms length as I saw no change in him, then more recently he has sought counselling and had a few people close to him die and apparently he has woken up. I know I know what your all saying I was/am saying the same thing too, I want to see actions not just words. So anyway he came over yesterday and he chatted I listened, his counsellor must be pretty good as he was talking sense for once. He told me why he thought he might have started the affair and why he kept justifying it to himself to carry on and is now working on that to prevent him doing anything like that in the future. Like I said he was talking a lot of sense he has clearly been thinking about his behaviour. So anyhow the more he talked the more I softened. Talking is something we never did and it always surprises me how much it helps to know what he is thinking.

    Anyhow.... the more he talked the more I was able to understand. He spoke about the kids and how he has ‘fucked up’ big time and how he will wait untill im ready and if I don’t take him back then he will have to accept it. He also spoke about not wanting to go into old age alone etc etc everything he spoke about I had also thought about..

    Then quite randomly I asked for a massage as I knew where it was going to lead ( I’m so calculated) I know. It just felt ok to do so. Crazy I know but those of you who know me know I like taking a risk... I’ve no idea what happens now. I have to make uni my priority and cannot jump back into anything right now. I think my next move is to stand by and watch what happens. I’ve not given him any guarantees although like my niece said to me last night when I told her , he probably thinks everything is back to normal now I’ve given him the green light.

    But I’m still in control I’m in the driving seat and I will only accept what I feel is right for me. Gosh I know I’m going to have mixed reviews on this one.

    Fuk me why is life so complicated?? Nothing is ever clear cut. I can’t wait to hear what you guys have to say. I’m waiting with baited breath ..

    Comments .. : ( be kind lol xxx

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    1. Hi Sam A
      Firstly. Glad you are getting tested and sorted out with any issues - whether it be dyslexia or not, and how wonderful that the uni will be able to offer assistance. Keep making uni a priority over your ex. Anyone who has the guts and ability to go back and study, I so admire...and when you have qualified, I will be your first patient/client, so the pressure is on!!!!
      Geez Sam. When you said you did something naughty, I was thinking after the last post from Elle of "gift guide for the ow", I had all these juicy thoughts of "what did you send to the ow, please tell"!
      Sleeping with your ex. Well. You are a single lady, so you can sleep with whoever you want, even if that is your ex. Just make sure you are using adequate protection. (mother Gabby speaking).
      As for the emotional side of it all Sam, I really don't know how I would feel if my ex came back wanting me and the kids again - as I'd probably tell him to "go jump", so all I can say to you is - don't commit to anything. Look out for you and your boys first. Ex never thought of you when he was off with skank/s, so what now he has had an epiphany, he wants everyone to get on board with him?
      And it sucks. Life is hard. Hard because basically people (exes) are selfish egotistical shits.
      Big Hugs to you Sam A
      Gabby xxxooo

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  82. There's been a lot of talk about Christmas and tiredness. SS1. We have both agreed to being tired. I think for me, the worry of the financial future of the unknown does cause me mental exhaustion. I do feel stuck at times with my procrastination!!

    I have been looking to see what ex and his skank are doing on social media. I can hear Elle's voice chastising me!
    Two things that stand out.
    One is how old and tubby he is looking. I'm sure he still does, but he spent a fortune on products for "youth" and hair regrow...and it hasn't been working. That made me feel good and have a chuckle to myself. He would criticise me for years saying "if you ever get fat, I'll leave you" amongst other words. I have put on a dress size since having kids and menopause - I am a size 8-10!!!!
    And, Skank is "weird looking". That's what the kids said when they first met her, and now seeing pics, geez, I agree - another chuckle.
    The 2nd is the time he spends doing things with her over the kids - his own flesh and blood!
    Ex has said previously (when we used to talk) on numerous occasions, this has nothing to do with the kids. I called it bullshit then and I still will call it bullshit now. You see, life with kids is busy. But, despite him believing in his head his own shit, he doesn't really care for his kids. He does the minimum, a drive to school, a dinner here and there, but in terms of spending time -that's non existent. They don't want her around, and can't understand why he just can't come and spend time with them (without her) doing something. He really is enjoying leading a life of a man with no kids. Instead of being present in his children's lives - such as being with them at their weekend sporting games (that I am at every weekend), or helping to drive them to training etc, or taking them to a park, he will be sleeping in, or going off with his skank to dinners and shows etc - Selfishness personified!!!! This really pisses me off. Not only have I been tossed aside, but the kids have too. They know they come 2nd to skank whore, they're old enough to see it. I just don't get how this "man" who once adored his kids, has placed the importance of skank over them. (Yes, he did adore them, but he really wasn't the best father going around). So it seems men/people will only put in the effort on their terms with who they want. Which brings me to another talking point. A good friend who always looks immaculate (her husband is a bit ocd about tidiness etc) has been having problems where her husband is just not interested in her intimately at all. It's been going on for years, and her anguish has fallen on his deaf ears, until now she want's a separation, and he's trying his best to win her back, but she say's she's lost interest. She hasn't asked him if there's someone else.
    Why are there so many people willing to give up on marriage and not prepared to work on being a better person? Why is everyone getting bored of married life, commitment, the hard times that there are with families. There just seems to be so much dysfunction around the world. Just a talking point, as there seems to be so much unhappiness in the world with relationships - and kids who bring so much joy in your lives, seems to also be a driving apart factor for some parents.
    Hugs
    Gabby xo

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  83. Thank you mummy gabby, that’s really good advice. I really appreciate it. Your right about the emotional side of sleeping with him it’s opened up a can of worms I thought was well and truly closed. It’s never as simple as just sex as there is so much water under the bridge. I felt safe keeping him at arms length. I feel a little unbalanced and vulnerable now and I hate that.

    I’m going to put all my energy and concentrate on uni I’ve got essays and exams in January so I really need to focus. Thank you so much for your advice gabby I wish I’d have left well alone. : (. On one hand I guess I was flattered by him wanting me back and on the other hand I was like why!!!! Go of and marry whoever do whatever you want to now your free and single. I don’t get it at all why not just go make a life with someone else. I was happy living life on my own. He clearly isn’t, men cannot stay on their own for long I reckon if I dodged his efforts for another 6 months he would have given up and moved on.

    Love you lots gabby xx

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  84. P.s I did tell him we are better as friends. I’m no good in a relationship especially this one we are not good together, even without the affair things weren’t great. I hope I’ve convinced him, Let’s wait and see. I think if he’s completely honest with himself he doesn’t really want me he just can’t bear to see me with anyone else but over time he will learn to accept that this is what happens when grown ups separate people move on. Maybe we just needed this last episode to really work out what we both wanted : ) everything happens for a reason . Live to you all xxx

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  85. Got the morning after pill as I was smack band in middle of ovulating wtf ., pls pray it works ..I’ve been so fucking stupid not doing it again .. now I’ve got s presentation to do .. catch ya later x

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  86. Sam A, I was going to say what Gabby did and that is you are single and can sleep with who you want. But I'm sorry you've gotten yourself in a bit of a pickle.
    Please be careful about this man. I know he's in therapy and saying some of the right things, but he's also shown you in the past just how dangerous he can be and sex is never, ever "just sex" especially when two people have a long history. I know in that moment, you felt closer to him because of the intimacy of conversation, and in some ways he's safe or at least familiar but the bottom line (that my therapist keeps drilling into my head), is that character, fundamental character, is very hard to change. Your ex is unlikely ever to be a significantly different person. Unless he is showing you that, which I'm not hearing is the case.
    I'm also going to share with you from my experience around sex and ovulation and hormones while single. If you aren't having regular sex and you are ovulating, you will, for a few challenging days, be feeling like you want sex in the extreme and find yourself looking at people you would not normally give a second thought to. I use an app to track my menstrual cycle, so I get an alert when I am close to ovulation. I watched this "danger zone" happen with my hormones and sex drive month after month. I made sure that I made zero decisions about sleeping with anyone while that was going on. Too many opportunities for regret. Now that I am in a relationship, it's game on. Please look at this from a position of self care. You don't need this kind of drama in your life. Pay attention to your cycle, kepe yourself out of harms' way and o, by all means, take care of your own needs during that time.
    Also, I am going to say something a little challenging. I think this is your pattern with this man. We've talked about it at length and you two have "fought" or had issues and reconnected through sex without resolving any of the underlying issues. Now that you are divorced, consider this an opportunity to break this pattern. Don't try and be friends with your ex until you can be sure you won't go to bed with him again. Please consider making that a boundary for yourself. Keep him at more of a distance until you can break that attachment.
    And now I'm going to get a little preachy. Please, for god's sake, go out and get some condoms and keep them in your bedside table (and keep some in a container n your purse - I have some in a change purse). Don't count on men to have them. And even though you may commit to yourself not to sleep with anyone for a while, we're human. It can still happen. Be ready so you can be safe. Not only do you have to worry about pregnancy, but you need to be concerned about STDs. You know where this man has been (and probably don't know some of where he's been too). And with any new partner, even with that sexual history convo you should be having, you still need to use a condom every time. Sam it may not have crossed your mind because he's safe and familiar, but you are both single people now. Safe sex is a must. You may want to consider going and having an STD check done. Please, please take care of yourself. Speaking from my own experience, people are ignorant, even about diseases they have. They may opt not to tell you because they are "not having symptoms" but they can still pass things on to you. Single women in their 40s have one of the highest acquisition rates for herpes. Please, please, please take care of yourself. I'm not trying to be harsh or scare you. I am really, very concerned for your safety. Saying prayers that everything turns out all right.
    I know sometimes we need to do these things to ourselves to learn something. Be good to yourself Sam. XOXO big hugs.

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  87. Thank you ss1 I needed to hear everything you have said. I’ve been in turmoil the last few days feeling sick and nauseas from the morning after pill and extremely angry for going back to a place where I feel so hurt and emotional. I had dealt with these emotions and sleeping with him just brought them all flooding back.. your so right when you say this is a bad habit that we had forever in our marriage sex was used to make things better but never really solved anything. I’ve had lots of time to think and reflect on what I did and if I got anything from it’s not to do it again. My boundary was that he didn’t come in the house when my eldest wasn’t home. As I knew the temptation would be there and it worked up untill saturday : ( when my eldest went out and I let my guard down. Silly mistake on my part but a lesson learnt. I intend to be good to myself again ss1 thank you for the reminder .. gosh I’m so grateful to have you and the other warriors by my side .. love ya loads xxx

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    1. Sam a hugs and kisses. You'll feel better once those hormones wear off. I wish I could be there and bring you a nice hot cup of tea, (maybe with a shot of whiskey like my Nana used to do "for medicinal purposes").

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  88. Hi, my friends. I started working on responses to Sam and Gabby yesterday, and had to stop. It has been a difficult 24 hours with my daughter. Please know that I am thinking about you, and you’re in my prayers.

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    1. Hey Phoenix
      I hope your daughters ok.
      Thinking of you.
      Hugs
      Gabby xo

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    2. Hey Phoenix,
      I'm so sorry to hear you're having a difficult time with your daughter. We're all thinking about you and her and wishing you both strength and clarity. Please let us know how you're both doing when you've got the time/space in your life to do so.

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    3. Phoenix, so sorry to hear about the rough go with your daughter. Sending all my best juju your way..

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  89. Love you Phoenix, hope you and your daughter are safe and well. I’m my thoughts always xx

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  90. Gabby, it sounds like you are still dealing with a lot of grief and disappointment in your ex. It is indeed incomprehensible to us that they would do to their children what they have done. Even now, it is hard to wrap one’s brain around it. And the disillusionment with people in general, the cynicism we feel as we look around, as we hear all the stories and see how often people lie, betray, or just give up on their partners - it can put you in a dark place. Even when I’m not in that dark place, I feel the strings binding me to it, and how easily I can get pulled back in. Gabby, I pray that you will experience things that will lighten your spirit and give you hope. And that you and your kids can make sense of all this somehow.

    Sam, Sam. Oh, honey. If I were there, I’d fuss at you, hug your neck, and then I guess we’d just drink. You’ve gotten wonderful advice from everyone, so there’s not much to add. It seems to me that it is best to cut the cord completely. But you must steer your own course. I understand the physical and emotional cravings as well as anyone. Just remember that you are a beautiful, strong, incredibly warm, and gifted woman. So do what is best....for Sam.

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  91. SS, I love what you said to Sam.
    Thank you, Elle and Gabby, for responding to my quick note. I’m very worried about my girl. She is moody and impulsive, confused and anxious. She is acting out a bit and making some poor decisions. I’m going easy on her, trying to maintain her trust so that she will keep talking to me. I’m also working on getting her some help.

    My ex saw my boyfriend’s car in my driveway Monday morning. And so last night, for the first time in a while, he lashed out. After forgetting to communicate with him about a problem with our daughter, I got a slew of angry, paranoid, threatening texts in the middle of the night. I suppose he was drinking. He apologized today, Now I have a troubled daughter, a brooding ex, and an extremely pissed-off boyfriend. Woo-freakin’-hoo!

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  92. Hi Phoenix, all in a days work hey honey. I mean how many days do we have when we don’t carry the weight of the world on our shoulders. Your ex will calm down eventually as will your boyfriend. Your daughter sounds very much like my teen boy I give him the space and time to work through his emotional outbursts however I’m like you I want him to keep coming to me to talk about anything.

    As for the episode last weekend I am now over it, done it, reflected on it and I’m back on track thank god. It was a blip and I learnt a lot from it.

    Phoenix I’m holding you to that drink my lovely, me, you, gabby, Ss1, selkie and not forgetting our leading warrior Elle who is my hero even more so now I’ve met her in real life she’s gorgeous : ) .. love to you and everyone else..

    Xxx

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