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My Story Best of Times and the Worst of Times
OP: May 24, 2021, 07:41:03 PM
Hi Everyone,

Well, I'm ready for my new thread.   Brief summary below and my updated title is based on a Tale of Two Cities.   I feel right now that I am personally heading in the right direction although I'm still in so much pain grieving the loss of my W and marriage.  She really was someone that was so beautiful on the inside and out.   I have been rather private and reserved during my first thread.   May start to open up more as I work through the pending D.   Thanks to everyone for all your support.

1. July 2020: BD with ILYBINILWY, caught EA
2. Aug-Sep 2020: Lying about whereabouts begins with PA
3. Oct 2020 - Dec 2020:  Trying to detach with some success but can't take the continued lying
4. Jan 2021:  W moves out.  Devastated
5. Feb 2021 - April 2021: Separation with mostly gaslighting.  Continued detachment
6. May 2021:  W files for divorce and we sell home

Previous Thread
https://mlcforum.theherosspouse.com/index.php?topic=11644.0
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« Last Edit: May 24, 2021, 08:03:56 PM by HeavenlyFocus »
W - 42
M - 45
Together 19 years, M 16
2 kids
BD - July 2020
W Left Home - January 2021
W Filed for D - May 2021

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Best of Times and the Worst of Times
#1: May 24, 2021, 09:02:20 PM
Right here with ya HF,

-SS
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#2: May 25, 2021, 08:39:59 AM
Staying with you through this process, HF.
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#3: May 25, 2021, 05:46:30 PM
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#4: May 25, 2021, 10:46:11 PM
Hi HF

I am following along!
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#5: May 26, 2021, 09:26:58 PM
Thanks SS, Curiosity, 5Hilmerton, and Father for following.   Great time for an update.

Well, it's been over 3 weeks since she filed and I have noticed a change in Force.   Since filing, My W has  struggled even more while I have detached and have gone rather dim.  I have always been the sweet and giving husband even after BD when I tried to win her back.   Now, I am at a point where I'm ready to let her go in my heart and it's authentic.   The only way I would even consider going back is for her to start seeking out God again and then wanting to go back to counseling.   She has to face her actions and and be all in on our marriage.  Until she does, I am done.   

The one positive note is she did take our kids to church this past weekend and both kids said that my W doesn't mind if I go to the same church.   I carefully explained to my kids that we won't be going to church as a family until their Mom wants to work on the marriage.  Until then I will go to the a different church location although a satellite church that's apart of the main church that they attended is an option.  Would be nice for my kids to have continuity even if we went to different locations.  I couldn't stand to see my wife every Sunday if she follows through with the divorce.

No word from my W's attorney after 3 weeks.  I am meeting with my attorney this week and will see what happens.   The next couple of weeks could be very interesting.  For now, I will detach and get settled after moving.

HF

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#6: May 31, 2021, 04:20:22 PM
Attaching

My LBS friend's xhusband decided to bring his affair wife to the Church where we attend (and she works at) a while after their D, and to add insult to injury, came back on my friend's former wedding anniversary.  She has no choice to attend a different church, they do.  I am highly offended for her.

I love my Church, but would have to decide if I could stand to attend at the same service as my MLCer and his new wife.  Previously, the answer would be a resounding no.  Now, I would just have to see how it felt if the time came.

Church was the one place I always wanted him by my side and was very shattered that he wasn't.  Sharing our faith together in worship was a very intimate moment for me, when I felt close as husband and wife, sitting in a row with our family all together.  I don't think that even now I could be in attendance with them, even though she is not the affair partner.
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#7: June 01, 2021, 09:00:38 PM
Hi FW,

Can’t believe your friend’s XH would show up to church on your friend’s wedding anniversary.  What is it with these MLCers who only think of themselves?

As for my W, she is lost and so far from God right now.  Truthfully this breaks my heart even more then the lying.  My W has the most Godly parents who have been so loving and supportive. I’m sure it’s been hard on them to see their daughter struggle. I too miss the closeness that I felt with my W had kids when worshipping at church.  Think being away from church during COVID had an impact although the MLC behavior started prior to COVID.

Quick Journal Update:  officially moved out and I have settled into the new place with my kids.  We had a fun Memorial Day weekend and made some progress with unpacking.

Interestingly, I feel more detached in the new place. Gone are all the bad memories and I now have a place for new memories.   

Moving forward in my life and not looking back.

HF

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#8: June 06, 2021, 06:39:23 AM
Hello,

I am glad you are settled in to your new place and doing well with the kids.

Quote
Since filing, My W has  struggled even more while I have detached and have gone rather dim.

Of course, your wife is not well. Until now, she has always perceived you as the driver of all her negativity. Now that you are gone, she still feels the same way. This doesn't put you in a better state of mind; it makes things worse.

Quote
Moving forward in my life and not looking back.

This is great and you have the right perspective to totally let her figure her life out on her own. You have to focus on you and the kids and build a life around them.

I hope you have a fantastic day,

(((((Ready)))))

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#9: June 06, 2021, 06:47:38 AM
Thanks Ready for your continued support!

Quick Journal Update:  Well, it continues to be a bumpy ride communicating with my W.   Trying to set boundaries with our joint custody and she's been putting the kids in the middle regarding paying for things and asking for my help while kids are with her.   We obviously have to work together to co-parent but there is has to be boundaries in place and respect regarding each of our individual lives.   I am encouraging more proactive communication and trying to put the negative marital feelings aside.   Really want to do what is best for my kids.   Hoping my W can reciprocate in time.

As for my kids, they left our new place very Happy this week after our first week together.   Can tell the new environment will be good for them and they have got the chance to make their new bedrooms their own.   Really provided joy for me this week to see them happy again.

Hope everyone enjoys the rest of your weekend!

HF
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#10: June 07, 2021, 03:21:06 AM
Of course, your wife is not well. Until now, she has always perceived you as the driver of all her negativity. Now that you are gone, she still feels the same way. This doesn't put you in a better state of mind; it makes things worse.

I'll use the chance to expand on this...

It makes things worse because she can no longer "shift the blame" of her emotional state to you. This means that SHE has to take respo0nsibility and THAT is a HORRIBLE feeling for the Mid-Lifer. They have run so fast for so long to run away from this responsibility (of their own emotional well-being) and to have it right there with them all along now staring them in the face without anyone else to blame for it (the old "No matter where you go, there you are" thing) is a REAL buzz killer.... They are then confronted with the trail of death and destruction they have left behind and have to face the bitter hard truth - no one was responsible for this other than themselves...

Depending on the individual person, they may choose to find someone/something else to blame and start the whole cycle anew... Others may actually figure it out that they are responsible for themselves and seek help. There is, unfortunately, no way to know who will do what in which circumstances and it is useless to either speculate or expect.

One thing that is for certain - using the kids to communicate (triangulation) is an absolute no-go. It is NOT their job to be the communication conduit. She has the responsibility to communicate directly with you, NOT them...
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#11: June 17, 2021, 10:23:06 PM
Thanks UM for expanding on how her inability to shift blame to me leads to her having to take responsibility for things in which she doesn't want to.  It's been interesting to say the least my interactions with my W at this time. 

Journaling:

Going to provide one update.  My W and I did finally agree on paying off  the debts  that we owed and it's a very big relief to be debt free.  I had to give in on a couple of things that I really had no business paying for but it was minor in the grand scheme of things.  We paid 50/50 and now are both in a better position.   My W still seems to be so focused on herself that I can see she is struggling.   Enough about her for now.   Wanting to focus more on me and my current state.

Over the past 10 days, I really have been focused on detaching.  Although I have said the right things and really tried to detach, the truth is I haven't been very detached over the past couple of months.   In my heart of hearts, I still deep down was hoping she would come to her senses.  Well, recently I have gone back to and reviewed the threads from multiple men and women LBS's to truly understand the full journey.   Reviewing the stories of the strong LBS spouses documenting their struggles through BD, Separation, Divorce (Often), and eventually movement forward to a new life.

This has helped me to process my current situation and truly start to accept that my wife is broken, my marriage is fractured, and we can't fix it until she can resolve her own issues.  In fact, I am at a point now where I don't want her back anymore.   This person who she has become is not good for me and my kids.

The only thing keeping the door cracked open is if she turns back to God to heal herself, confronts the destruction she has caused, and slowly over time works to reconnect.    Her parents have been married for 50+ years and still have reached out to me from time to time telling me how much they love me and are praying for our marriage.   Until my W follows though with the D, this leaves the small chance that she could eventually turn things around.

For now, my complete focus is on the my own life and my kids.   No more reacting to Monster, no more expectations from my W, and  I will continue to do what's right as I work things out if my W continues to pursue and eventually finishes the D.  Not pushing the divorce but I also won't fight it if she wants to move forward.

For everything that I have done to care for and support my W during her extreme illness, I cannot accept her behavior anymore.   I'm done taking any negativity from her.    I deserve to have someone who completely loves and respects me.    It's been great to read the stories and see LBS's finding other people to have relationships with that bring joy, love, and peace in their life.  I want that in my life and plan to find it again.

Thanks for all your stories.  They really are helping me to detach.

HF

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« Last Edit: June 17, 2021, 10:50:26 PM by HeavenlyFocus »
W - 42
M - 45
Together 19 years, M 16
2 kids
BD - July 2020
W Left Home - January 2021
W Filed for D - May 2021

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#12: June 18, 2021, 06:29:05 AM
Thanks for the update, HF. Glad to hear about the financial progress, and more importantly, about how well you are doing. Recognizing your own worth, being clear about your boundaries and priorities, and truly seeking to live by your values… all are essential to healing from this.
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#13: June 18, 2021, 11:00:58 AM
Thanks Curiosity!

I guess the most difficult part of this is dealing with the monster and the confusion that my W currently has.   I am moving towards acceptance but still have a hard time when she monsters at me and blames me for all her issues.   Detaching is helping but it is still difficult.   Following other's journeys and seeing their spouses react in similar manner has helped some.   Just trying to live my life with integrity and focus on me for now.   Not sure I can even get to forgiveness at this point until my W confronts the damage she has caused.

HF
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#14: June 18, 2021, 11:28:30 AM
HI HF,

    I to struggle and want to find forgiveness (whatever that is). You sound grounded and calm and that will always work for your benefit. You are so right that she has to be willing, and until she is you should keep your eyes on you and the kids.

  You were always there for her when she was upset. She is giving you monster because she isn't getting the reaction she wanted. It is liable te get worse so protect yourself and your thoughts.

  Take care of your self HF ! You are doing great certainly better than I was at 1yr.
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BD1 March 2018 - I wish I could give you more of what you need
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#15: June 18, 2021, 04:01:04 PM
Hello,

Quote
Not sure I can even get to forgiveness at this point until my W confronts the damage she has caused.

First of all, there is a good book called "Forgiveness is a choice" and it is a good read. However, it takes time and you need to heal until you are ready to take that step. In my situation, I still haven't forgiven my ex and she has even apologized to me. Each of us are on our own timeline and road to true recovery. You can't rush it and you can't fake it. I do agree that even if she doesn't come back to you; you do need her at some point to accept responsibility for her actions. Just know that can take a long time. In the meantime, expect monster. Even when they get what they want; they will still project and blame you for everything. Just separate yourself and think of the times when a teenager in the middle of a temper tantrum swears up and down how much they hate you- it's just blame and frustration for not getting their way. While it hurts to hear it; the words are really meaningless.

Have an amazing weekend and Happy Father's Day. You deserve it!

(((((Ready))))
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#16: June 18, 2021, 04:37:38 PM
Thank you Father and Ready!

I am taking my kids out for dinner for Father’s Day on Saturday night and it’s actually my W and my 17th anniversary.  Will be nice to be with my kids to celebrate which will take the sting out of my first anniversary away from my W.  It will be strange but I will make the most of the it.

HF
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#17: June 21, 2021, 10:38:30 AM
Well, my 17th anniversary passed without any excitement or drama from my W.  I had a great dinner with my girls and even heard from my in-laws.   There are still supporting me from afar which is reassuring as I continue on my journey.  I had a fantastic date with my girls going shopping and out to dinner to celebrate Father's day.  It was so fun that I wasn't even sad about the anniversary.  Funny how I came here devastated and now I am feeling better focused on my own journey.   My W did send me a text wishing me a Happy Father's day.   I just responded with a polite thank you and let her know that I enjoyed celebrating with our girls on Saturday night (our anniversary)

No expectations at this point.  Moving towards a fulfilled life with or without a significant relationship.   Now have a trip out of state for one of my daughter's competitions.  Will be interesting to see how things play out.  I am looking forward to this trip and will have my own time to rest and reflect.

Have  a great week everyone!

HF
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#18: June 21, 2021, 10:42:08 AM
HF, you really sound like you're on firm ground and taking great care of yourself.  I'm so glad you had a nice Father's Day with your girls.
Have a great trip and good luck to your daughter on her competition.
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#19: June 23, 2021, 09:37:47 PM
Thx Nas for the encouragement!

Journaling:

Well, I am enjoying my trip away from home to watch my daughter in her competition.   I also went to a sporting event and am playing golf tomorrow.   Working a little bit in between too.   

As for my inner thoughts,  I am currently focused on two main things 1)  My next steps in my life (Excluding Relationships)   2)  Do I continue to Stand?

First on my next steps.  I am setting goals for myself.  1).  Job promotion  2). Exercise and Eat Better (Doing well with exercise, ways to go with eating better) 3)  Expanding hobbies (starting with golf)  4)  Developing social strategy for the fall (Family life took up most of time previously)  I'm overall excited about the changes in my life.

As the same time I'm asking the question:  Do I continue to Stand?   With my wife filing, it really has caused me to think about whether I should stand.   I have thought about two things to help me answer this.

1.  Reading old threads from this forum.   It has really helped me to see the journeys and the strength of the my fellow LBSers as they work through their own struggles with their MLCers.   I see so many similarities in how MLCers act and also the various ways that the LBSers have handled things.  I also have to laugh  at SS's thread talking about the Charmed TV show and all the other comments about other TV shows.   My W started binge watching shows and some of them were dark and not uplifting while she lived at home.   I couldn't stand to watch some of the shows and could see how her inner turmoil was driving her TV programming.

2. Achieving Clarity in spite of Uncertainty:   Marvin's thread outlining the difference between clarity and uncertainty really helped me put things together.  I absolutely have clarity that my W's MLC is primarily being driven due to her chronic health issues that started just before college as well as her life threatening complications that she experienced over 10 years ago.

You see my W almost died and had a near death experience.  She has only talked about it with me 1 or 2 times and she described to me feeling empty and numb over 10 years ago immediately following surgery.   In some respect, I can see that we both needed counseling as her near death impacted our marriage and  both of our life lives.  The lack of being independent after college (we started dating as she completed college) as well as the underlying anxiety/depression following her extreme illness ultimately triggered her MLC.

I accept and completely understand her MLC.

Now what to do?  Hmmmmmmmm?  Well, I have decided that I will still continue to stand in the interim until the divorce is final or until she goes public with an OM.  I have heard from her parents as well as from one of her close college friends.   Although they won't say it, I know they are worried about my W.    For now, I will focus on GAL and leave her be.   She will need to show signs of wanting to reverse course, go to church, MC, and get rid of all communication   with Other Men.

If she reaches of point of no return, then I will let her go.

Will keep you updated on any progress and am working to not read into any actions or behaviors from W at this point.   

HF

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« Last Edit: June 23, 2021, 10:25:31 PM by HeavenlyFocus »
W - 42
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Together 19 years, M 16
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BD - July 2020
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W Filed for D - May 2021

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Re: Best of Times and the Worst of Times
#20: June 24, 2021, 01:14:59 AM
Hi HF:

I wanted to say you sound like you are doing pretty well all things considering. It hasn’t been that long yet and you are finding a firm footing, sorting out what you need, what is best. I can imagine its not easy, and there may be ups and downs but keep going.

These are great questions you are asking. For me I always remind myself I don’t have to make any decisions until I absolutely have to. So as you are saying in a way just sit with these thoughts. Are there any immediate pressures to make any decision at this time?
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#21: June 24, 2021, 05:28:12 AM
Hi Marvin,

The only immediate pressures I had were selling the house and paying down debt which is done.   Now I am content slow rolling the divorce and see what she does.  If she moves fast with the D then the decision to move on will be easier for me.  Realistic this most likely will happen but still a small chance she has some second thoughts.  Her behavior is shocking to many of the people who were close to her.  If she does change course it will start with others first. I understand she would reconnect with friends and her parents first.  Any efforts to reconnect with me would be later.

Just trying to give her space and focus on me for now.  Not sure I know how long I will stand if she does have second thoughts.  When she almost died, I prayed for healing and promised God I would always take care of her.  Still willing to stand for the long haul as long as boundaries with OM are met.  Inappropriate contact with OM needs to end before I would consider trying to reconnect. 

HF
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#22: July 03, 2021, 01:43:44 PM
Time for a journal update

Well I returned from a trip out west to watch my daughter in her competition.  Since it was my wife's week, i stayed at another hotel and only saw my girls briefly which was ok.  I was able to have my own time going to a baseball game, playing golf, and watching the F9 movie which was completely mindless but fun.

The thing I was most proud of was that my W and i were able to remain cordial and just cheer on our daughter.  First time we texted in awhile that didnt have to deal with the D.  It was also interesting that there was one night where there was drama with some of the other mothers at the competition and she started texting and seeking emotional support from me.  I did provide some support but backed off.  Need to keep my distance.

After returning, my wife did ask for some documents for her lawyer.  She also hasn’t been feeling well and is still struggling.  It’s tough for me to watch but she has to figure it out.   I am moving on with my life and have detached as much as possible at this point.  Taking my girls to the beach in a couple of weeks and can’t wait to get away.

HF

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#23: July 03, 2021, 03:17:59 PM
I would like to see the F9 movie too but my vacation companions chose Cruella and The Hitman's Wife's Bodyguard instead.  I might have to go see it by myself this week lol.

I'm glad you were able to make the best of the trip out West.

I'm glad that things remained cordial. 

I hope that you have a fantastic trip with your girls to the beach!  I love the beach, so I'm thinking how could you not have a fantastic trip, lol.
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Survival Instructions for Newbies

The Apology Every LBS Deserves

My Journey

"Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass - it's about learning to dance in the rain."

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#24: July 04, 2021, 08:01:22 AM
Thanks FW,

The girls and I saw Cruella and they absolutely loved all the fashion displayed in the movie.  Thanks for the support and I hope  you enjoy the rest of your holiday weekend too.

HF
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#25: July 10, 2021, 04:23:57 PM
Time for another journal.  Well, I had a great week with my girls as they were really busy with their sports activities as they enjoy the last month of summer here.  We also had some quality time together over the 4th which was really nice.  They are both thriving which makes me feel really good.

As for the MLC W, she has been cordial but somewhat distant.   No monstering at all lately.   I am still managing most of the planning for the kids school/activities but she is at least still working on things with me and spending time with the kids 50/50.  She still looks worn out and appears to be struggling.  Just letting her be and giving her space.

With me, I am doing pretty well.  My kids, job, and relationships with my close friends are going well.  I kind feel in a transition phase where I am stuck as the divorce is pending.  I have accepted that my marriage is almost over and yet I'm not at point where it is time to totally let go.  Until the divorce is finalized or my W publically comes out with another relationship on social media, I will continue to stand for my marriage.  Most likely both will happen with the divorce being finalized first and then public disclosure after.  I have stopped following her on social media although she still follows me (and my family)  :o 

I am thinking about planning a trip for myself once the divorce is final.  Will give me a chance to get away to say a final goodbye to my marriage and gain more closure.

I eventually long for a healthy spouse where God is always at the center of our marriage but want to focus on self-healing first.  Still baffles my mind about my W's behavior but I will be ok.

One more week until the beach.  Can't wait!

HF
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#26: July 10, 2021, 04:41:04 PM

I am thinking about planning a trip for myself once the divorce is final.  Will give me a chance to get away to say a final goodbye to my marriage and gain more closure.


HF

Don’t underestimate the power of this. I took a trip to a specific place in 2018 - at that point, I had not been standing for sometime. But the trip with the specific purpose of letting go of my marriage was really significant for me. I felt different afterwards. I reclaimed the place for myself (it’s a place we used to vacation together that always felt like home to me and I really would like to live there. But knowing that I can at least go back eventually, even for just a visit, and associate it with my own happiness and peace instead of sad memories feels empowering.)

I think a solo trip just for you is a fantastic idea. I hope things continue on a steady course for you. Enjoy the beach!
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« Last Edit: July 10, 2021, 04:57:46 PM by Nas »

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#27: July 12, 2021, 01:46:58 PM
Thanks Nas!  I have a couple of places in mind and some of it just depends on what I want to do over the next year balancing a trip with my kids, seeing family over Christmas, and saving to buy another house vs choosing to continue rent.   Fun to think about and plan.

Quick Journal Update:  I did hear from my good friends that one of their family members saw my W and kids at Church on Sunday morning.   This is a really good thing for my kids as they need consistency in their life right now.   It's also good for my W as she works to deal with her own issues.  Want her to find peace in her life even if she follows through with the divorce.

Beach time is almost here.  Just trying to have a productive week of work before vacation.  Have a great week everyone!

HF
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#28: July 13, 2021, 09:37:03 AM
Hello,

Glad to hear about the updates and how you are doing. I think it is such good news to hear your daughters are thriving.

I also am glad that you are taking the time to take care of yourself and the vacation for you will be great. When you take care of yourself, you are in the best position to ensure that your kids thrive. Helps you thrive too!

As far as your wife goes, remember that she fired you from your job. In my situation, she filed for divorce right after OM filed. If there was any stand left in me at that point, it was all gone by the end of the divorce. I know people on the forum will tell you it's just a piece of paper. However, I remember signing the document that killed my marriage and scanning it back. It was so painful and just so impersonal at the same time.

Now, my wife also moved a thousand miles away and that really helped with detachment.

I hope you can continue to detach and most importantly- you find peace and bliss within yourself. You are a good husband and a fantastic father. Your wife's choices and actions have nothing to do with you as a man, husband, or father.

Keep going strong and be good to yourself,

((((Ready))))

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#29: July 30, 2021, 09:41:02 PM
Thanks Ready for the continued support.

Well, I haven't journaled in awhile due to 2 key things.  #1)  I had an absolute fantastic time at the beach   #2) Not much has changed with my W.

I absolutely loved my vacation.  It was so great to see my family who I hadn't seen in over 18 months since COVID. (Almost everyone is vaccinated)  It was the absolute perfect beach vacation with great weather and my girls had a great time.  It was so needed to have a week long trip without any stress.   :)

Also, I am becoming more detached from W.  My main focus is making sure my kids are OK and they are both doing well.  School starts in a couple of weeks and they both seem to have enjoyed their summer and are ready for school.   We also have been watching the Olympics which has been so much fun.

As for my W, things have been relatively quiet.   I haven't heard anything from the lawyers since documents were exchanged in early July.   There has been some positive news in that my W did go to church on her own and she also reached out to her closest girl friend.  We were best friends with a couple prior to BD and W distanced from them following BD.  The couple (including her best friend) have stood by me.

What does mean?  Absolutely nothing as this point.  I have followed enough threads to understand  that I can't read her mind or read into any small positive steps.  Is it good that she went to church? Yes   Will she need to reconcile with her best friend before even thinking about reconciling with me? Yes

Does this mean she wants to reconcile with me?  I have no idea.

For now, I am focused on my relationship with my kids.   If W does want to reconcile, she will need stop the divorce and commit to work on the marriage.  I will not ask her to.  It needs to come from her.

It is her journey and  I will be ok.   Thanks to all of you for your stories and guidance.

HF

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#30: July 31, 2021, 05:55:19 AM
That's very good HF  :D

On both counts that is encouraging. Environment is important, and (to me) shows where their head is (in a moment).
To me that either speaks of doubt or consideration. Both of which require thinking (good).

I think you're handling that really well, hoping but not expecting. Noticing but not hovering.

I'd be curious to see the frequency of this "thinking". If she's anything like mine, this fluttering back and forth to gather thoughts, feelings and opinions is a very good thing. I like to think when they start making some decisions they try to confirm it, reinforce what they are already (sorta) deciding. Slow, slow, slow.... but starting to hang around positive people? Oh yeah that's good.
The church visit is really so good. A lot of them avoid that like the plague...... actually takes a lot of strength and the desire to search for them to go that far.
Still, slow slow slow.

You're running ahead, maybe she's starting to feel left behind (good). Keep going, that's how they are dragged forward.
She can still crap out here, but that would be her decision.

Look at all that strength!! [Pats you on the back]  ;D

-SS
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#31: July 31, 2021, 07:36:10 AM
Great update, HF! I’m so glad you were able to spend time with family. Your healing and growth are truly inspiring.
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#32: Today at 07:45:38 PM
Sounds like a great vacation.  I love beach vacations.
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