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Our Community / BRAND NEW MAN 13
« Latest by Dumbfounded on Today at 07:44:41 AM »
Oh Lordy, don’t let a Sour Pineapple Queen ruin all your fun times!! Lol!  ;)
Our Community / When Tragedy Ushers in a Blessing Pt 1 & 2 Merged
« Latest by shopgirl on Today at 06:56:17 AM »

I would be happy to answer any question I can for anyone who asks.  To your points below -

1. Yes, I had finally completely detached.  It took me a very long time to do so - even though many times along the way, I thought I had.  Truth was, I hadn’t.  When I finally did, it was as if a ton of weight was lifted off my shoulders and I could breathe.  I wasn’t worrying about him at all - in fact, unless he was coming around to bother me, I wasn’t thinking much about him at all.  It was peaceful and for the first time since all of it started, I started really living.  I started making future plans that didn’t include him.  I started to feel like a normal person again.

2.  Oh yes.  He started trying to come back in late 2019.  I didn’t entertain the thought, or let him know I was entertaining the thought until the beginning of this year.  I knew he had a lot of work to do.  I knew I had a lot of healing to do (now that the major inflicting of pain was over), and I found it best to do so on my own.  At that point, he still couldn’t handle the level of pain he had caused me and the kids.  It wasn’t until we started counseling (Sept of 2020) that I really started seeing him gain emotional strength and saw he could handle shouldering our pain and hurt.  Also - his pain and hurt (self inflicted, but very, very deep) was too much for me to handle on top of my own and the kids.  I knew it was best for us to heal on our own at that point.  When the time came that I saw he was desiring to help me and the kids heal and wanted to know the depths of our pain (he told me that he needed to hear it.  He needed to understand all the damage he had done, because it was helpful to him to gain even more clarity about the destruction and hurt he had caused).  It was then that I slowly and cautiously started opening up to him.  The kids followed my example. 

*Also, I think it’s important to note that almost a year ago, he wrote letters to everyone in our family & friends apologizing for his behavior, taking all blame of what he had done and thanked them for stepping in to help and support us when he stepped out.  He then called them all individually and read the letters to them, and then sent the letter by mail as well.  He did not tell me about any of this until much later.  I only just found out a couple months ago. 

3. Yes, counseling was all him.  Truthfully, I went into it thinking it would be one and done and I wouldn’t go back.  Then I decided I would because it could help me heal (still wasn’t planning on us being together, and I was very open about that in counseling).  I didn’t suggest anything for him to do to “prove,” “earn,” or win back his family - I figured that was something he needed to come up with on his own if he was truly serious about it.  He wanted to come back home at the end of 2019.  We started dating at the beginning of this year, even though I held my cards close to my chest, and didn’t commit to anything at the time.  We started living together again in May of this year - only 2 months ago.

 From 2019 till this year, I really needed my own safe space to retreat to.  When the healing and pain got really dark, I needed my own home.  I needed a place to retreat to and rest.  I was thankful for it.   In 2020, he turned his location on in his phone so I could see where he was at all times - I didn’t check it because I didn’t care, but it was important to him that he was totally transparent.  He’s never turned it off.  If I call and he is with clients, he excuses himself and sends me a text letting me know that he’s with clients and will call me back.  He never lets it go to vm without texting me (his initiative).  He started making lists in 2020 of how he planned on being more intentional in our relationship, and what he wanted our relationship to be in the future, and then without me being on board, started implementing those qualities as a friend without pressuring me for more.  As he was doing this, I was making progress with my healing, and not thinking much of a relationship with him.  I had enough on my plate at the time without taking that on too.  I knew it hurt him, and I felt bad about it, but he never quit.  Slow and steady, he kept pace. 

4. Marriage counseling has been a gift.  I’ve come to realize in the early days of it, it’s not a good session unless you leave frustrated, mad and shaken in your spirit.  When we started diving in to the root issues - pre-mlc issues - wow.  That’s when the real work began.  The first few months it was all about mlc, once that was all out on the table, our counselor dug in deep.  That was painful and there was (more than) a few times that he and I independently thought about not returning.  We stayed the course.  I can’t say enough good about counseling.  We have decided that for at least the next year, we will go once a month - we have a standing appointment, so we don’t ever have to worry about scheduling (again, all him).  But we’ve also decided after that, we will go once every 6 months just to “check in.”  We’ve both gotten so much out of it. 

5.  Oh yes.  I’ve come a long way, but still have work to do.  I remember reading that reconciliation isn’t what most people think it’s like (fireworks, newlywed, etc), I remember being slightly disappointed reading that and thinking that I would at least be excited to have my husband back and my family in tact again.  I am happy that we are back together, I am happy that my family is in tact, but the emotions are so different than how I thought they would be.  Firstly, I’m still exhausted from it all.  I have learned to protect my peace at all costs because I need it to keep healing.  I’m humbled by our reconciliation.  It’s hard to explain, but the gratefulness is so deep that it exceeds anything that “excited” could make me feel.  The bond we have is so thick and heavy.  We’ve been through hell and back, and came through it as best friends.   We respect one another as individuals so much more than we did before.  If you would’ve asked me pre-mlc if we had a great marriage, I would’ve said “absolutely!”  Pre-mlc marriage doesn’t compare to what we have now.  It’s not perfect, but the emotional intimacy and friendship we have now is leaps and bounds better than what we had.

Ursa,  thank you!  Yes, rebuilding is definitely where we are.  That’s another thing I look at with fresh eyes - when we are with our kids as a family.  It’s been 5 years since we’ve had that and when we are able to all be together (our son is stationed in TX), I’m so grateful.  I never want to take it for granted.  I’ve seen how our reconciliation has impacted and influenced our kids.  I see how there’s such a depth and bond we have now.  This aspect is one I know not everyone experiences, and frankly, I wasn’t planning on having it myself.  I’m grateful.

Xyz, Yes, it’s so very real.  H has actually spoken with some friends I had made on here answering their questions (to the best of his ability) because he wants to help others going through this.  He isn’t setting out looking for it, but he is open to answering questions if asked.  That has been healing for him, to think that out of this he can help someone, and it’s been healing for me to be able to listen to his experience and mindset during that time. 

Our Community / •• Calm the crazy; Life after divorce
« Latest by STP on Today at 05:47:03 AM »
I got kissed and it wasn't my gf.

S21 was supposed to go with me to a Led Zeppelin tribute concert last night but informed me he'll be busy packing. I went with MM instead. We met with some other friends including my realtor/yoga instructor DS suffering from poison ivy rash. The show was great, loud and enjoyable. I've probably seen them 6x now. Another woman friend attending, SL is a tall 6'1 blonde of Danish descent I've known 5 years. I'm Danish/German as well. SL dated my buddy JS a bit last year until she had to run from all his talking. I've known since the day we met, she likes me. Shes 9 years older but still looks great and JS confirmed it. Anyway, MM had us in the front row and my ears were getting blown out so I went back rows to film a song and SL, who hung on me some of the night, sitting next to me and casually touching me a lot, came to say goodbye and kissed me on the cheek. She then ambushed me with a kiss on the lips. I didn't make a big deal outta it. No one needs to know. The last friend RH who did that, I told on to KA and they've not been seen together since.

XW texted me with a photo of S21s house. I thanked her for guiding him and helping with the purchase. He is my most successful son. I'll go check it out on Sunday with KA. Same city as XW and my other sons, just 12 mins from me.

KA and I had a wonderful nine day trip to CO with her D8 & mom last week.  It was a family reunion for her with sister and husband, brother and wife and their two adult kids. Every day was an event: Seven Falls, Royal Gorge, Cheyne Mountain Zoo, Pikes Peak and the Garden of the Gods. There were times when D8 was VERY irritating with her phone/tablet addiction and I am glad to be away from her awhile! JW messaged me while I was on vacation just to ask how my vacation was going.

Tonight KA and I are going to a winery for improv comedy. Tomorrow is my sports shirt party. Looks to be smaller with just over a dozen attending.

Has another week gone by already? Wow... yes it has. Incredible....
Thank you 5hilmerton  :D

Uggghhhh..... I feel like I haven't been journaling like I should.... things have been moving seemingly soooo fast.
I'm STILL in one of these rare moments where W is having a lot of movement (good movement)....... each time I think to myself "ok, by the next journal entry it will have all quieted down, or she'll relapse, or disappear, or something like that....." So strange that is hasn't...... it seems like it's so overdue but I'm not complaining. More of a concern that I will miss documenting something important.

It takes me by surprise when something changes...... and change sticks out like a sore thumb. This last week or two I noticed something that has been gone a really long time: W talking about her day, and asking how mine was (with real interest and listening). This has happened in some limited way in little short spurts during MLC, but it was always hollow, like checking boxes on a sheet, no real depth in it at all. You know, when someone is just going thru the motions.
Well, I noticed all of a sudden, *BAM* she's talking with me about her day, going into great depth about it, and asking about mine (and retaining information about what I'm saying). Wow..... I thought it was a fluke (and still could be) and then it happened again the next day, and the next, and the next...... that's when I noticed for real, after a little more than a week consistently. It was real nice, I wasn't getting my hopes up, it was just so strange, and then I realized how long it had been...... not two and a half years in MLC, it had easily started a few years before BD that I didn't think she was listening or interested or able to empathize (At all). No wonder why it felt and seems so strange: it's been at least 5 years since she's been this open in this area.

This isn't a *POOF* everything is better, she's herself now, or anything like that...... oh no, it's not.... and I'm on guard for it to disappear, I don't believe it can last until I'm proven wrong over time (Which I would really like to see and hope to see)....... but I realize something new, something I didn't understand or know (perhaps reminded once again): What something is like when it has been gone so long that you forget it entirely. It was a slide into her being closed off prior to MLC..... so gradual, so slow, so many years that by the time it disappeared I was already conditioned and numb to it's absence.... and then years passed before the "snap" at BD. To see (and I think it's real because I "feel" it now) something snap back into being....... wow it's so strange...... EEEEEEKKKKK, OOOOHHHHH,  UUUMMMMM.... something wanted and yet so long forgotten, not even on my radar.

Having learned thru this process that feelings and experiences need to be examined internally and personally.... this is something new, not in her but in me. What does this mean? As I look at myself and this aspect, this interaction and communication...... I see more about SS than I had seen before (since this piece was forgotten)...... and I better see a hurt that wasn't so visible before. A husband who loved, unable to help, unable to fix, unable to communicate because the W had shut down and wasn't accepting any attempts..... not even vulnerable enough to really share her day. I can look at that man and say "you poor thing, you didn't know what was happening", but I can also smile when I look at that man because he tried and held on far past the breaking point. All the way until he was numb and massively hurt, not for a lack of love but because there wasn't any returned to him and his only recourse was to burn brighter to try and light both worlds. I can be proud of that man, and I am.

Here in the present, I see a little more in this SS...... it is no wonder he/I is so taken back by seeing a little glimmer of something so long forgotten. It was the hope in all those years, and the reason to burn...... eventually forgetting all those little pieces I was burning for, and in time only burning because it was the only thing to hold to or really remember. I can look at this man and think "You poor thing..... you don't even really remember what it was that you were holding on for". How sad is that? Still, it was and is love and hope to keep that fire going, to hold the light on, to burn bright and continue to burn..... but I also see (now) how alone in the dark I was and that the fire probably didn't provide any warmth as I always hoped it was doing. Something more akin to a "Moth to a flame", not two people trying to hold a torch, not one person trying to light another torch that had gone out. That is quite a killjoy. It is bitter. I suppose that is why we burn though: To light the way, so they can find their way home. If that's not love I don't know what is. It is just so strange to see..... and to question not only what has happened to them in their absence....... but what has happened to us, what have we forgotten, how have we changed here in the darkness that we light.
It is so sobering to know and realize that you were more alone than you knew, but didn't know because you forgot.
Is that good or bad...... I could make an argument either way.

What a chunk to process...... no wonder I feel like I haven't been journaling. The gears are grinding.....

One day at a time,

Our Community / When Tragedy Ushers in a Blessing Pt 1 & 2 Merged
« Latest by xyzcf on Today at 04:32:58 AM »
Thank you Shopgirl for coming back and sharing your story. You both have had to do a lot of difficult work. This has resulted in a family being reconciled so thank you for sharing that it is possible.
Also - when he finally broke down and spilled everything - what he had done, went through, thoughts that were in his head - it’s amazing at how they all follow the same script.  There’s no way he knew what he “should” say - but almost word for word, described his experience exactly as you’ve read here what the wayward spouse goes through/thinks/does. 
MLC is real and the similarities are uncanny thank you for describing this so well.

Let us know how you are doing in the future
Our Community / Clearer vision with Clington
« Latest by UrsaMajor on Today at 04:13:34 AM »
Whilst I don’t think, I’ll get an actual vocal apology. At the moment I’m getting a lot of actions proving things…example I made a sarcastic comment regarding him sleeping in the same bed as ow due to them still living together until the house is sold. And he makes a point to show me he’s sleeping in D9 bed.

So whilst I won’t get the vocal apology. It seems I’ll get changed behaviour

Actions talk, BS (words) walk.... Or, as we say here SO often, look at the consistent actions and NOT the words...
Our Community / Clearer vision with Clington
« Latest by sachat3 on Today at 04:03:58 AM »
Whilst I don’t think, I’ll get an actual vocal apology. At the moment I’m getting a lot of actions proving things…example I made a sarcastic comment regarding him sleeping in the same bed as ow due to them still living together until the house is sold. And he makes a point to show me he’s sleeping in D9 bed.

So whilst I won’t get the vocal apology. It seems I’ll get changed behaviour
Our Community / When Tragedy Ushers in a Blessing Pt 1 & 2 Merged
« Latest by UrsaMajor on Today at 03:27:21 AM »
Hi Shopgirl!

LONG time no read. I am glad to red that things are working out for you now! I have also merged your previous Thread so people have a bit of the background

I'll pose the question about changing the icon to pink/purple... (reconnecting/rebuilding)  although it definitely reads like the latter...
Our Community / My life after separation with a clinger
« Latest by Dragonfly33 on Today at 02:05:42 AM »
You are not clueless and you are not crazy. Because your H won't tell you the "whole" story and there are so any different versions of the truth it forces you to accept your "version" of what happened. In my situation, I saw the two of them together and and it was not a great picture. Since I had scant details, my imagination created my "reality".  The point is that if he can't be open and honest to you about OW, what else is he being less than transparent about. Trust comes from being friendly and reliable. Your H is being neither to you and your needs. That's how I would respond to my therapist.

Thank you ready. I keep telling myself I am not crazy. But after being manipulated for a long time, you just need that justification that you are not crazy. I'm not sure if you understand what I mean. It's so hard to explain. Even though I had evidence my H had an affair, he continues to deny it and it makes you feel crazy. It reduces you to someone who doubts herself. My H now tells me everytime we talk about it, he was cheating and he was the one at fault. But deep inside I know he says this to shut me up or probably the advise of his psychiatrist. He used to tell me before his psychiatrist told him to do whatever he wants and not feel guilty about it. Probably what pushed him to see the OW. He also said, his psychiatrist told him to tell me the truth that he was planning to see the OW but it seemed to me that he encouraged him to see her. Perhaps I am wrong, it doesn't matter now because it happened already. Now my H refuses to tell me what his psychiatrist told him because he wants privacy. He is so obsessed about this privacy thing just like his mother who I think has an affair with someone in France. When she goes there, she doesn't want anybody from her family including her husband to know where she is and who she is with. She is also unreachable unless she emails them.

However, if I walk the aisles with her, look at the things she likes, discuss her issues at work, and engage in both chit chat and the deeper issues about us, I am present. We still have our spats and disagreements. Like any couple, we are still working on our marriage to make it better.

This is what I have been telling him. But he seems not to understand it. I have told him countless times even before BD that he is physically with me but really not with me. Now it has even gotten worse. We just don't have anything to talk about because I gave up. I gave up trying to wake up a person whose intention is not to wake up.

When your H complains of being tired, ask him, "Do you approach your triathlon training with the same mindset? If no, then why do you see the time with me as tiring?" Once again, boundaries need to be set, if he is doing something with you, he needs to interact and be with you, not just there. Otherwise, you might as well be alone.

Honestly, this is so embarrassing. My H has been telling me all the time he doesn't want to be intimate with me because he is so tired and stressed. He said we have to wait until his tiredness and stress will go away. Which makes me ask myself, how come you can cycle for 7 hours on the weekend and swim and run for kilometers during the week but you are too tired to do anything with me. I know to ask this question is useless because he will have another stupid answer to every question I ask.

Once again, the relationship cannot be all about him. There needs to be open communication, sharing ideas and thoughts, and intimacy. Without that, both of you are just two people in the room.

These are almost the exact words I told him. But it's like talking to a wall. He will say, I will consider it and think about it.

You know what you want, can he meet your expectations? What aspects of the relationship you can live with, live without, and in some instances modify for the marriage? It's a lot of work, but the work does pay off when you are with someone that enhances your own life.

Right now, I cannot live with the kind of relationship we have if you call it a relationship. Definitely with his mindset right now, he is not ready to meet any expectation I have. The only thing he does, is promise he will do it. Which I know will never happen because that's what he is.  Maybe he has always been like this even before BD and I have been really frustrated in the past because of this behavior. The question would be is he willing to change and if not, can i accept him just like that?

Take the time to think and process. You have your own internal issues as well as the issues with your H. Just as he needs to work on himself, you need to really look at yourself as well. As you resolve your issues, you can become healthy to sustain yourself-without anyone. Instead of focusing on the vase that is broken (marriage), fix the one that can be salvaged first (yourself). Then if you want to, then you can focus and build a beautiful vase because you are coming from a place of great strength.

I know I have so much that I have to work on myself. And I hope one day, I'll get to that point where I will learn to love myself and be the better version of my former self. And hopefully I will learn to trust myself that I will be ok alone regardless of what will happen to my marriage.
Our Community / BRAND NEW MAN 13
« Latest by UrsaMajor on Today at 02:00:07 AM »
"Now there really is no more family."  I disagree - you and the boys are family together with your Mom.  You don't need some woman to make it a family. You are there with your boys making memories and addressing their needs - that is what family does. 

Congrats on the dermo success and driving school and cheers to S18 being beyond comfortable with you.  That is a big deal.     
EXACTLY! It may not be the traditional "family" but it is still a family with you and your sons... No need for another Sour Pineapple Queen to spoil the fun...

Family are those that stick together to get things dermatologist appointments done and driving school completed... THAT is family... What xW does is not really "family." At best, one might call it a bit of caretaking but nothing more than that...

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