Midlife Crisis: Support for Left Behind Spouses

Midlife Crisis => Our Community => Topic started by: HeavenlyFocus on May 24, 2021, 07:41:03 PM

Title: Best of Times and the Worst of Times
Post by: HeavenlyFocus on 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
Title: Best of Times and the Worst of Times
Post by: Standing Strong on May 24, 2021, 09:02:20 PM
Right here with ya HF,

-SS
Title: Best of Times and the Worst of Times
Post by: Curiosity on May 25, 2021, 08:39:59 AM
Staying with you through this process, HF.
Title: Best of Times and the Worst of Times
Post by: 5hilmerton on May 25, 2021, 05:46:30 PM
Following
Title: Best of Times and the Worst of Times
Post by: Father5 on May 25, 2021, 10:46:11 PM
Hi HF

I am following along!
Title: Best of Times and the Worst of Times
Post by: HeavenlyFocus on 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

Title: Best of Times and the Worst of Times
Post by: FaithWalker on 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.
Title: Best of Times and the Worst of Times
Post by: HeavenlyFocus on 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

Title: Best of Times and the Worst of Times
Post by: readytofixmyselffirst on 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)))))

Title: Best of Times and the Worst of Times
Post by: HeavenlyFocus on 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
Title: Best of Times and the Worst of Times
Post by: UrsaMajor on 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...
Title: Best of Times and the Worst of Times
Post by: HeavenlyFocus on 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

Title: Best of Times and the Worst of Times
Post by: Curiosity on 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.
Title: Best of Times and the Worst of Times
Post by: HeavenlyFocus on 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
Title: Best of Times and the Worst of Times
Post by: Father5 on 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.
Title: Best of Times and the Worst of Times
Post by: readytofixmyselffirst on 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))))
Title: Best of Times and the Worst of Times
Post by: HeavenlyFocus on 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
Title: Best of Times and the Worst of Times
Post by: HeavenlyFocus on 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
Title: Best of Times and the Worst of Times
Post by: Nas on 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.
Title: Best of Times and the Worst of Times
Post by: HeavenlyFocus on 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

Title: Re: Best of Times and the Worst of Times
Post by: marvin4242 on 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?
Title: Best of Times and the Worst of Times
Post by: HeavenlyFocus on 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
Title: Best of Times and the Worst of Times
Post by: HeavenlyFocus on 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

Title: Best of Times and the Worst of Times
Post by: FaithWalker on 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.
Title: Best of Times and the Worst of Times
Post by: HeavenlyFocus on 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
Title: Best of Times and the Worst of Times
Post by: HeavenlyFocus on 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
Title: Best of Times and the Worst of Times
Post by: Nas on 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!
Title: Best of Times and the Worst of Times
Post by: HeavenlyFocus on 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
Title: Best of Times and the Worst of Times
Post by: readytofixmyselffirst on 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))))

Title: Best of Times and the Worst of Times
Post by: HeavenlyFocus on 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

Title: Best of Times and the Worst of Times
Post by: Standing Strong on 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
Title: Best of Times and the Worst of Times
Post by: Curiosity on 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.
Title: Best of Times and the Worst of Times
Post by: FaithWalker on August 03, 2021, 07:45:38 PM
Sounds like a great vacation.  I love beach vacations.
Title: Best of Times and the Worst of Times
Post by: HeavenlyFocus on August 04, 2021, 07:57:31 PM
Thx SS, Curiosity, and FW for the continued support.

Quick journal update.  The past couple of days have been tough for me after I met up with someone from my W’s  family for lunch.  While visiting my W, they also wanted to see me.  What shocked me is this individual didn’t even know my W filed for D.   It turns out my W isn’t talking about our M with part of her family and I was completely shocked.

I guess it was 2 x 4 time reminding me of her brokenness and it made me feel sad.  I’m very clear on my boundaries but it is still tough to watch and accept at times the brokenness in her life.  Still moving forward but will have to work through detachment as she hasn’t completely let me go yet.   Very Frustrating

HF



Title: Best of Times and the Worst of Times
Post by: FaithWalker on August 05, 2021, 07:31:24 PM
Wow, HF.  Chalk it up to the crazy things that MLCers do.  So baffling.
Title: Best of Times and the Worst of Times
Post by: PJ Ames on August 06, 2021, 07:16:40 PM
Sorry about the weirdness with your w's family. That had to be a little awkward. And more than a little sad.

But you sound really good. Well done keeping your focus on your kids. I hope you've enjoyed watching the Olympics. If they awarded a gold medal in navigating a spouse's MLC, you would be on the podium. Keep up the good work!
Title: Best of Times and the Worst of Times
Post by: HeavenlyFocus on August 06, 2021, 08:54:18 PM
Thanks FW and PJ,

After a couple of days I am back in a better place.  Will continue my training as I work through the decathlon of MLCer land.

Hope everyone has a great weekend.

HF
Title: Best of Times and the Worst of Times
Post by: Tornup on August 07, 2021, 05:44:09 AM
HF- On your W not telling family of the pending divorce I have to say mine did the same. Not a word. When I asked why he said he was ok if no one ever knew. I said well then If you go out with OW it would look like you are cheating on me ? (Still)

What I realized in talking with him is he didn’t want to answer questions people would have. What happened, Why??? He doesn’t know himself and he doesn’t have the strength to address it in his own head much more to others or take responsibility for any of it, frankly. Almost like they want to hold on to their morality which clearly is in question!!

If anyones has ever come across old jewelry where you threw necklaces in together and you really want one, but it is so entangled you would spend hours trying to set it free and your not sure if you even can? That’s is how I look at my X and his brain and thought process. It’s to much work, so he just leaves it all entangled!!

Thanks for sharing your journey HF I just continue to learn and absorb so much from everyones stories
Title: Best of Times and the Worst of Times
Post by: HeavenlyFocus on August 07, 2021, 04:27:52 PM
What I realized in talking with him is he didn’t want to answer questions people would have. What happened, Why??? He doesn’t know himself and he doesn’t have the strength to address it in his own head much more to others or take responsibility for any of it, frankly. Almost like they want to hold on to their morality which clearly is in question!!

Thanks Tornup for your support.  This passage above fits exactly with where my W is at and has been over the past year.   After months living in the home and experiencing all the lies, I couldn't handle it any more.   She never admitted her EA/PA to me although I had proof.   It was tough to see her move out and have us sell our family I home, but it has been much better for me so I could detach.   

She eventually will have to address and be held accountable for her poor decisions starting with God first, her family/close friends next, and me last (if ever).

I continue to focus on my kids and am building my new life.   At least my W has appeared to reconcile with the kids and she appears to be doing ok with being the Mother that my kids need.   I am thankful for that.

HF
Title: Best of Times and the Worst of Times
Post by: HeavenlyFocus on August 16, 2021, 06:17:33 PM
Hi Everyone,

Journaling time: 

Things have been relatively quiet which I am thankful for as the kids have started school.   My W and I have mostly worked peacefully together with kids activities and she is making more of an effort with them which is really good.   My kids have settled into our school  and are getting love from both parents which is very important.

With me, I have started to develop some relationships with other guys and am going to have lunch with guy who is going through a separation with his wife.  Figured I can help him since his separation is relatively new over the past month.  At this point I am focused on my relationship with my kids, meeting new friends, work, and my relationship with God.  Overall I am feeling very fulfilled for the first time in a awhile.

As for my W, she seems to be in the same place but she has started to connect with some of her friends from our "married life".  This could be a good thing but for now I can only think about the current reality and detach.   Still haven't heard from her or the lawyers in over 6 weeks regarding the D.  I am ready to move on if she finalizes the D.   

As for any relationship discussions,  my boundaries are still the following:

1. W must go back to church regularly and seek out God in her life.
2. Any relationship would start with just going to church together. 
3.  Would then consider meeting for coffee and eventually going to M counseling (if she offers.  I will not ask again)

That's about all I can commit too at this point.  Will move forward without her in my life and just love on my girls.   

Hope everyone has a great week!

HF

Title: Best of Times and the Worst of Times
Post by: Curiosity on August 16, 2021, 07:50:46 PM
HF, you seem to be in a very good place, calm and focused on the things that are truly important and within your control. I love that you are finding some community around you - my friends have been among the greatest gifts of all of this.

Thank you for continuing to share your progress; the path to healing, regardless of what happens with your W, has so many things to teach us all.
Title: Best of Times and the Worst of Times
Post by: FaithWalker on August 19, 2021, 09:25:07 PM
Sounds like things are on a pretty even keel right now.

Those seem like good boundaries.
Title: Best of Times and the Worst of Times
Post by: HeavenlyFocus on August 22, 2021, 02:55:10 PM
Thanks Curiosity and FW for continued support.

Time for another journal:

Well, things have definitely been interesting in my world.  Interesting meaning some good things along me receiving a divorce settlement proposal from my W's lawyer.

As to the good things, my kids are still thriving at school and I had the absolute best week with them this past week.  Despite being busy every day with activities, we were able to have family dinner's 3 nights with everyone taking turns to cook.   I feel really settled in our new life and have had such joy over the past month.

As for W, she continues to focus on the kids well-being too.   She appears to be still struggling with her health but she is at least working on reconciling with our kids.   Very Important!    She also has reached back to her close friends.   She is still just a shell of herself from what I can see but she is trying.   I appreciate that.  There has been no monstering in the last couple of months.

As for the settlement, it is relatively fair although somewhat skewed in her favor.  My attorney and I will respond with some minor changes.  Not going to spend too much time discussing this on the thread as this is her D.   I won't fight it but I also wont' be the one the push it either.  She also hasn't brought anything up about the proposal.

Lastly, my continued focus is on me and how I want to handle this separation and apparent divorce.   My W is broken and I have accepted this.   I have continued to spend time reviewing old threads from LBS on HS.   I am truly appreciative of the examples that many of the LBS's have provided which provides insights into how I could/should handle things in the future.  I am more interested in how the LBS are handling things with their MLCers.

If my W does follow through with the D, I am not sure how I will feel.   I still think I will stand even after the D, but I am unsure for how long.   I'm know I will reach out when that time comes and would appreciate your insights.

Hope everyone has a great week!

HF   

Title: Best of Times and the Worst of Times
Post by: HeavenlyFocus on August 23, 2021, 10:39:50 AM
Quick question for the group?

My W still hasn't admitted to the OM in her life.   I know he was present in her life prior to moving out and I still think he is in picture although I truthfully don't know.  She has kept her relationship  secret for the most part from everyone that has contact with me.   I imagine she might be waiting until the D is finalized but it's weird to me that she would keep in hidden for so long.   I am prepared that she could go public once the divorce is finalized but just curious if other's have hidden their OM/OW for a long-time. 

I can't imagine having a secret life and I could never, ever do that my spouse or my kids.   Will see what happens in time as all truth will be revealed.

HF
Title: Best of Times and the Worst of Times
Post by: PJ Ames on August 23, 2021, 03:34:57 PM
My xw never admitted to her EA or FA that I know of. The last time we talked about it, she still said I was overreacting. I never publicized it either. For one, it was humiliating to me. And also, for a long time I didn't want to make it more difficult for her to return. At this point, I don't know if it matters anymore. My advice to you is to find someone else to talk to about it (clergy, counselor, and/or close friend) so you can process your feelings with someone else. But also to realize that your W's affair is not about you or the marriage.

I applaud you for standing post-divorce, if it comes to that. Hopefully it doesn't come to that, but you seem to be prepared if it does.

You seem to be calm and serene about all of this. If it's any consolation, you're handling things far better than I did. Keep up the good work and be good to yourself.
Title: Best of Times and the Worst of Times
Post by: HeavenlyFocus on August 23, 2021, 04:09:32 PM
Thanks PJ!

I’ve been going to my IC and have a strong support group with men’s bible study.  It kind of just blows my mind that It’s almost a year since I discovered the inappropriate relationship and there still hasn’t been any transparency.  I am at a point where I just have let go.  I just can’t imagine keeping a secret life.

HF
Title: Best of Times and the Worst of Times
Post by: Tornup on August 23, 2021, 04:28:38 PM
My XH said their was noone else. He just needed to be by himself. He took her on vacation 1 month after divorce was final. I think it was all EA until D. He still did not admit it until I found out he went on vacation and then he initially said I made him mad so he asked her last minute. He later said he lied. Guilt! He was ashamed.
Title: Best of Times and the Worst of Times
Post by: Treasur on August 23, 2021, 04:32:54 PM
I think the simplest explanation is that some bit of them feels some level of shame, that they know the truth is not a pretty story and it doesn’t reflect well on them. Not enough shame to do better but enough shame to hide it. At least for a while until they can make it look prettier perhaps. Or justify it to themselves enough. My xh did extraordinary backflips lying to me, his friends, his own lawyer, his psychiatrist, his own family, my lawyer, on legal documentation...even when it was blatantly obvious to everyone he was lying...literally right up until the last moment when the divorce was finalised. When he’d been engaged for months, while he was planning a wedding to this woman he claimed at various times either didn’t exist or was just a ‘friend’ or ‘wasn’t what I thought it was’ and calling her a ‘lying c**t’ a few weeks before he married her when he realised that she had stolen from him and lied to him ::) It is remarkable how often they ‘affair down’ but then our broken spouses are not much of a prize for any good quality sensible human are they?

Madness. You could not make this s**t up. But it is pretty common.
Fortunately, not my madness or my shame. And not yours either.
Title: Best of Times and the Worst of Times
Post by: HeavenlyFocus on August 23, 2021, 05:39:57 PM
He later said he lied. Guilt! He was ashamed.

 So true Tornup!  I know my W has extreme guilt and is ashamed.  I have moved beyond the anger but still cannot totally forgive until she is honest.

It is remarkable how often they ‘affair down’ but then our broken spouses are not much of a prize for any good quality sensible human are they?

Madness. You could not make this s**t up. But it is pretty common.
Fortunately, not my madness or my shame. And not yours either.

So agree Treasur!  One thing I have done well is not even bring up OM since my W moved out.  The truth is he is not worth it and I haven't spent time thinking about him at all.   I know I was a good husband and I am proud of how I have handled things in front of my kids.  No shame at all for me indeed!
Title: Best of Times and the Worst of Times
Post by: HeavenlyFocus on August 23, 2021, 07:53:22 PM
I just found this reviewing an old response from Don’tgiveup in 2011.  Very interesting perspective.

HF

Post from Dontgiveup

I had dinner with my friend last evening (the friend with ex-wife in MLC).  Our discussions always teach me something or make me realize something different, so I try to post in case it helps others.

Last evening we were talking about the differences in our MLCers and how those differences affect the LBS.  One example of this is our knowledge of the other man.  In my friend's case, his ex-wife told him early and often about the other man.  My ex-wife told me about another man one time....over six months ago.  I've never seen him and have not heard one word about him from her since then.  He may still be around....he may not....there may be someone else....I simply don't know.

My friend told me that in his opinion, my ex-wife is showing me more respect than his ex-wife has shown him.  He said he thinks that perhaps that has made it easier for me to detach.  I believe RCR has written that men have a tougher time forgiving an affair than women do.  My friend does tend to focus on the fact that there is another man.  I told him I don't focus on that.  He said he doesn't understand how I can keep from it.

So, I've realized that everyone detaches differently, and perhaps the interaction with your MLCer can affect that.  Has my ex-wife shown me more respect than his has shown him?  I'd probably have to say yes.

Some LBS have a REALLY tough time separating the behavior from the MLCer.  My friend would say he falls under tha category.  I read a definition of MLC over a year ago that helped set the tone for my understanding.  It called MLC "an EXTREME preriod of anxiety and doubt".  At bomb drop, my wife used both of those words (anxiety and doubt) when talking about how she felt.  I think that type of information early on started me on my path of detachment.

I don't know if any of that is helpful or not, but that's some of what we talked about.
Title: Best of Times and the Worst of Times
Post by: HeavenlyFocus on September 04, 2021, 09:43:27 PM
Hi Everyone,

Time for a quick journal.  Things have been relatively quiet as  most communication has been focused on our kids.

Monster did finally show up as W accused me of crossing  boundaries with communicating with her family. The truth is she is projecting and still not ready to accept what she has destroyed in her life.

I am still  standing but it’s  getting easier to let her go.  I don’t want anything to do with my MLC W.

HF

HF

HF

I
Title: Best of Times and the Worst of Times
Post by: OffRoad on September 05, 2021, 12:04:44 PM
Crossing boundaries with communicating with her family? What does that mean? She doesn't get to dictate who you speak to.
Title: Best of Times and the Worst of Times
Post by: Standing Strong on September 05, 2021, 12:42:30 PM
Sounds pretty normal to me...... it can mess up the narrative  ;D

Really though, if the family asks them questions (and they don't like the questions) and they find out you have been taking to them.... *BAM* you must be the problem.
Easy as pie.  :D

-SS
Title: Best of Times and the Worst of Times
Post by: JohnnyBravo on September 05, 2021, 04:50:30 PM
Just catching up on your journaling, HF. I may be about to cross that threshold myself, but no D filed yet. I'm planning on Standing, but that's easy to say now. No word of an EA or PA in my case, so I try not to consider it.

Hang tough.

JB.
Title: Best of Times and the Worst of Times
Post by: HeavenlyFocus on September 05, 2021, 07:32:56 PM
Crossing boundaries with communicating with her family? What does that mean? She doesn't get to dictate who you speak to.

Hi OffRoad,

I know she doesn't get the dictate but she thinks that I'm not allowed to talk with them.   Comes down to her facing the truth and the impact of her behavior which she is not ready to do.  I just politely responded once and didn't try to argue with her monstering.

Sounds pretty normal to me...... it can mess up the narrative  ;D

Really though, if the family asks them questions (and they don't like the questions) and they find out you have been taking to them.... *BAM* you must be the problem.
Easy as pie.  :D

-SS

Thanks SS,

Yes, her family will want to ask her questions and she isn't ready to answer.  Easier to blame me instead of confronting the truth.

Just catching up on your journaling, HF. I may be about to cross that threshold myself, but no D filed yet. I'm planning on Standing, but that's easy to say now. No word of an EA or PA in my case, so I try not to consider it.


Hang tough.

JB.
 

Hi JB,

I have proof that there was an EA and most likely a PA although she has never admitted to it.  Her apparent behavior stands against the morals in which she was raised.   Since she moved out, it's been easier to let her go and haven't thought much about the OM to be honest.   He is not worth my time and I have instead focused on moving forward with my life for my kids sake.   Still difficult but I am healing in time.

Title: Best of Times and the Worst of Times
Post by: HeavenlyFocus on September 17, 2021, 08:30:20 PM
Finally time to journal after a busy couple of weeks.

First the good:  My kids are doing awesome and my W and I continue to work together.   She has really put the kids first which is such a good thing.  My girls need their mother and it looks like she is stepping up and acting more like she used to.   I have accepted that my M may be over and I have to let my W be to figure things out but I am grateful she appears to be focused on the kids again.   Last year after BD she wasn't able to be the Mom that I know she can be.  Starting to see that again.  Good!

Next the Triggering Moment:  I haven't been triggered much lately and have been relatively a peace.   Recently this past week I was really triggered as my W held a birthday party for my D and had some of her friends holding a sleepover at a local hotel where she decorated the room.   It turns out it was the same hotel that I took W last year right after BD but before I understood what was going on.   When I saw the decorations, it immediately brought me back to BD and the horrible time last year.

Gratefully, it also helped me realize that I am in a much better place today compared to last year.   I seemed to recover after this triggering moment and am glad that I made it through the crazy time just after BD.

On the D front, it has been a month since I received my W's divorce proposal.  My lawyer ilwl be submitting a response over the next week.  I had most the response ready within the first week but wanted to wait until we go through my D's birthday.   W has not asked me about it all all which is interesting.   I am at a point where I will accept her divorce and let her go but I am committed to keeping to my vows until the end.

It matters to me how I handle things regardless of the outcome if she finalizes the D.

Looking forward to a peaceful weekend after such a busy couple of weeks.  Some quiet time tonight is so nice.

HF
Title: Best of Times and the Worst of Times
Post by: 5hilmerton on September 18, 2021, 05:25:37 AM
Hey HF,
Oddly enough my friend and i were just talking about MLC triggers.  Her BD 4/2020 and mine 5/2019.  She was telling me how what triggered her just added salt to the wound and she cried for a few days.  I was telling her that i was doing something in the kitchen and remembered how H and i used to do it together. I thought about it a while missing his presence and then continued the activity making it my own.

My point is, we all are so different but it does get easier and the pain grows numb.  The memories will never go away but eventually we can remember them with tougher skin if you will.

Have a wonderful weekend,
5hil
Title: Best of Times and the Worst of Times
Post by: HeavenlyFocus on October 01, 2021, 07:18:24 PM
Thanks 5hil!   My skin is getting tougher and I was looking at pictures over the past 10+ years as my D's birthday is this month.   There were so many good memories and I am thankful for the many of years of my M that were joyous.

Time for detailed journaling as I am making significant progress even as my M appears to be heading for D.

You see, I am super nice.  My family and friends sometimes think I am too nice.    Well over the past month, I really have started to detach and poked the bear a little bit with my W.   It started last week when she wanted me to take our D home from an activity when she had dinner scheduled during the week when she had our kids.   I texted her to ask what was so important that you need to spend the last evening away from our kids.   Well, that didn't go over too well.

The next morning my W followed up about lack of communication from my lawyer.   I responded and let her know that my lawyer would be responding soon.  I then thought about it and told her the truth that I had most of the response ready weeks ago but had held back because she appeared overwhelmed  (W admitted this on multiple occasions) and she couldn't tell some of her family about the divorce.    I didn't receive a response from her for a couple of days.

Then a couple of days later, she called me about contact I had with one of her friends.   She told me I crossed the line and then started monstering at me.   I politely told her I will not tolerate this hateful behavior and it was her friend is the one who contacted me.  I hung up the phone.   I then texted her and offered to talk later after she cooled down.  I indicated she has no right to belittle me and talk to down to me ever again.   Silence then occurred except for another follow up about lawyer communication.

My forum name is named heavenly focus because I have truly have focused on my relationship with God to help me through this difficult journey.  I still am standing for a healthy marriage but I can no longer accept her behavior.   I am done walking on eggshells and if she truly wants out of the marriage, I will sign the papers.   I told her although I delayed the response, I am ready to sign after she signs.  I then wished her all the best.

My heart aches for my old wife but I have come to accept her brokenness.  Will see how things go as the D may be finalized soon.  I am looking forward to my future and appreciate everyone's support and stories to help me through my journey.

HF


Title: Re: Best of Times and the Worst of Times
Post by: marvin4242 on October 02, 2021, 05:38:09 AM
HF thanks for the update. Sorry that you are dealing with this behaviour, but you sound like you are doing better and better. It must have felt empowering to be able to calmly shut down your Ws monstering while still giving her room to talk WHEN she stopped being inappropriate. That is some very high quality self care right there in my opinion.

I always come to the fact that accepting our loved ones are in turmoil and pain (I don't personally don't like to think as broken/fixed) and that we are powerless is maybe the hardest part of this experience. I know I still have to work on it. But for me anyway once acceptance arrives everything else follows. It becomes easier to detach, to leave my W to her own struggle, continue in my life and let go.

You sound like you are doing better.
Title: Best of Times and the Worst of Times
Post by: HeavenlyFocus on October 02, 2021, 07:46:26 AM
Hi Marvin,

Turmoil and pain is a better way to describe what our MLCers are going through.  Agree that feeling powerless is the most difficult aspect.  I spent years caring for my wife after life threatening complications.  I was her caregiver so letting go is tough but necessary.  Appreciate your insights and support.

HF
Title: Best of Times and the Worst of Times
Post by: JohnnyBravo on October 02, 2021, 09:44:37 AM
Sounds like you're hanging in there, HF. I haven't had any contact with my W since her texts about the lawyers, so no monster opportunities. Ours were supposed to have a phone meeting this past Thursday, and I got billed for a half hour, so they did. However, Thursday and Friday came and went without any contact from my lawyer, so I'm just waiting to see. IIRC it was about exchanging financial information. My lawyer hasn't actually shown me what she put down for her initial analysis, but I think she need's to see W's info first.

Heck, maybe they decided that W's lawyer needs to go back and talk to her. It's a dumb thing to hang my hat on, but I take some solace in the statistic that 10% of divorced couples reconnect later. I may not be a 1%-er, but I think I rate 10%. :)

As many others here, I've supported W through a few medical/injury issues, although these were much less severe than others here have related (torn ACL, the facelift...). The fact that we're here an not just giving up I think indicates some degree of compassion we have for our spouses. It definitely hurts that we can't help with MLC, and that they don't even want us to because they don't see the problem.

JB
Title: Best of Times and the Worst of Times
Post by: HeavenlyFocus on October 06, 2021, 06:00:35 AM
Hi JB,

Thanks for your support and try to hang in there as you think about and analyze your W's actions.  I have done that often over the past year but have finally got to a point where I have accepted reality that she needs to work through her issues.   Keep posting and responding to the stories on here.   Everyone's journey and feedback has helped me to take care of myself and work through my W's MLC.

Quick journal update:
I had a hard night last night as I went to a local football game and saw several friends from our past life together as a married couple.  Everyone was nice but I definitely feel the loss of my previous life when I catch up with friends from our married past.   I'm grateful I don't have to deal with this all the time but it did feel like a punch in the gut and a reminder of what I have lost.   

HF
Title: Best of Times and the Worst of Times
Post by: 5hilmerton on October 06, 2021, 06:14:47 AM
Hey HF,
in the beginning and when i finally got myself back to church i sat behind couples with 40, 50 even my pastor 62 years of marriage. At first the tears would roll down my cheek.  But now i just smile at how happy they are and always pray for their continued happiness.

 Even the loss of our social past will get easier.
5Hil
Title: Best of Times and the Worst of Times
Post by: HeavenlyFocus on October 16, 2021, 06:56:04 PM
Haven't posted in over week so thought it was  good time to update.   

My level of detachment has reached a new state.   This past week was interesting and challenging.  First one of my D's just got braces and my W was upset that I didn't let her now about the appointment.   It turns out I did let her know twice over the past month about the appointments and she must have not read the texts.  Not HF's fault.  :D

Then later this week my W was supposed to attend my daughter's game.   As it was getting near the end, she still hadn't shown.   She finally texts me and indicated she fell asleep.  I then facetimed her so she could watch the end.  (which my daughter played great to help the team win).  Watching the facetime call while she watched the end of the game through the phone was so surreal.  I could see the panic and struggle in her face.   I didn't have any anger in heart but only sadness to watch her struggle as she didn't look or feel well.

Following the game, she texted and wanted me to bring our D by so she could give her a hug.   At this point in my heart, I felt mercy for my W and wanted to make things ok with my D.  I know I can't control ultimately the relationship between my W and D, but this time it felt right to make sure the night ended well for my D.

What struck me during this experience is that I didn't go above and beyond in an attempt to save my M.  The HF 6 months ago would have been making the decision with the hope in saving the marriage.    This time is really was about making sure my D was ok and having compassion for W who really is struggling.

I can't imagine being in my W's shoes.   She has been so ugly to me over the past year and still hasn't told me (or others) the truth.  I hope that she can receive God's grace and find peace in her life.   I long for the return of my family but will make the most out the blessings I have today.

For now, limbo continues although I imagine the D will be finalized in the month or so.  Hope everyone has a wonderful weekend!

HF

Title: Best of Times and the Worst of Times
Post by: Standing Strong on October 17, 2021, 12:00:38 AM
Hey HF  :D

That sounds really wonderful: How you handled that.
Really fantastic, that you have that compassion and empathy..... no strings attached. Wonderful!!  8)

That must be heartbreaking, to see her struggle like that. Just more confirmation it wasn't you, how wonderful to hope for the best (for her) without regard for yourself. That's love.

So what was she like when she got to give that hug? Poor thing. I feel for you D. Has to be very difficult for her as well.

-SS
Title: Best of Times and the Worst of Times
Post by: Treasur on October 17, 2021, 12:09:04 AM
Did your D want to see her mother for a hug?
Title: Best of Times and the Worst of Times
Post by: HeavenlyFocus on October 17, 2021, 05:28:41 AM
So what was she like when she got to give that hug? Poor thing. I feel for you D. Has to be very difficult for her as well.
-SS

Hi SS,

I didn't get the see the hug as both girls went inside.  We had to pick something else up at W's place so I used that as the reason to visit.  My W did come out and brought our little dog.   I just stayed in the car and politely waved.   She did send me a thank you text following the visit which seemed sincere.

Did your D want to see her mother for a hug?

Hi Treasur,

Yes, my D voluntarily went inside to see her M.  This is something that I have to be careful about and watch to make sure it something she truly wants.  In the future, she may not always want to make amends if this happens again over and over.   It's been tough for me at times because both girls reach out to their mother and need a close relationship.  I've worked hard internally to accept that they need their mother and it's different than the relationship they have with me (their father).   Just trying to be the stable parent providing unconditional love.  I want them to have a close relationship with their mother although at times it hurts me as my W hasn't been truthful with me and the girls.

HF
Title: Best of Times and the Worst of Times
Post by: HeavenlyFocus on October 21, 2021, 06:20:19 PM
Quick mini-journal tonight.

Met with W to work on finalizing some of the D items.   Quickly the conversation turned again into our marriage and she started outlining all the things that I did wrong (didn't support her, controlling, etc).   I handled it well until the subject of last fall came up and I brought up her inappropriate relationships.   She still won't be honest with what happened.

I am better now after a full day to process.   Decided that I will reach out again so we can finalize a couple of the remaining items for the D agreement.   Will still offer to go to MC although I know it will not help at this point.   Just want to be able to tell my kids I didn't give up at the end of our M.

Realty check again today that the D will be final soon.   I still miss and believe in my W although I accept where she is at right now with her MLC.

HF
Title: Best of Times and the Worst of Times
Post by: JohnnyBravo on October 21, 2021, 06:25:42 PM
Sorry to hear about the impending D, HF, but it sounds like you are handling this pretty well. I certainly don't think I have the strength to negotiate D items directly with my W; I'm happy I have an atty for that.

JB
Title: Best of Times and the Worst of Times
Post by: HeavenlyFocus on October 21, 2021, 06:40:32 PM
Thx JB.

Most the things that are left deal with organizing holiday schedules and the kids activities.  Still will leave a couple of things for lawyers to finalize.  Not fun at all.

HF
Title: Best of Times and the Worst of Times
Post by: HeavenlyFocus on October 25, 2021, 08:51:22 PM
Time for a quick journal.  Too tired to put a lot of thought into this but wanted to share.

So my kids needed to pick up items at W's place and walked in with W and another M in the apartment.   This was after we had already made tentative plans to pick up the items and my oldest D had talked with W about coming over.   I don't know the details as I found out what happened after talking with W days later.  I just knew that kids were upset about something and told them I am here to listen if they need me.

I finally talked with W and called her out that she needs to own her past decisions and she has to be honest with our kids.   It was technically my custody so she can do whatever she wants.  I am at a point where I don't care anymore but she must be honest with our kids.   I can't control her behavior but I can stick up for kids.

Would appreciate insights into how to handle communication with my kids if their are similar events in the future as W is clearly still in replay.  Just focused on being the best Dad I can be and making sure my girls are getting the stability that they need.   As for the impending D, I am at a point where I am ready to let W go.   I can't take the dishonesty, especially with my kids.

HF
Title: Best of Times and the Worst of Times
Post by: UrsaMajor on October 26, 2021, 02:18:04 AM
HF,

IMHO (opinion of 1), all you can really do is to be the rock that your kids can lean on, to be there for them if and when they need to talk/vent/rant and to be able to pull that off without adding your own judgement/pain into the mix (NOT easy, believe me).

Example might be that D(oldest) comes to you and rants that her mom was there with some guy and gives the gory details. What she will likely need is someone to hear her, acknowledge and validate that she is feeling angry/confused/betrayed/let down but without the "Yeah, MLCW really has her head shoved up her ... fog... she is a beast... etc., etc." THAT part is not healthy and can really backfire
Title: Best of Times and the Worst of Times
Post by: HeavenlyFocus on October 26, 2021, 09:33:17 PM
IMHO (opinion of 1), all you can really do is to be the rock that your kids can lean on, to be there for them if and when they need to talk/vent/rant and to be able to pull that off without adding your own judgement/pain into the mix (NOT easy, believe me).

Thx UM.  Totally agree on being the rock for my kids.  I have rebounded emotionally and had a good time with my kids over the past couple of days.   I let my W have it regarding her not owning her poor decisions.  Will do my best to support my kids without adding my own pain when they come to me which they will at the right time.

HF
Title: Best of Times and the Worst of Times
Post by: Curiosity on October 27, 2021, 01:52:01 PM
HF, I just want to say that I have continued to follow your thread and I am so impressed with the strength and grace you have shown throughout this difficult process. Your kids are truly lucky to have you to rely on.
Title: Best of Times and the Worst of Times
Post by: HeavenlyFocus on October 27, 2021, 08:42:20 PM
HF, I just want to say that I have continued to follow your thread and I am so impressed with the strength and grace you have shown throughout this difficult process. Your kids are truly lucky to have you to rely on.

Thanks Curiosity!  I follow your thread too and appreciate so much all the support that you and others have given me.   All the heartbreaking stories have helped me through the acceptance process and given me the strength to move forward with my life. 

Significant Journal Update!

Well, my W and I have reached an agreement for the pending D and only have a couple of minor things to work out.   The events over the past month have helped me realize that it's time to finalize the D to protect me and my kids.   Not sure how I will feel once I sign and am officially divorced but I know I need to move forward and not look back with my life.   Will see where the wind blows and life takes me.   8)

HF

Title: Best of Times and the Worst of Times
Post by: AlvinTheMaker on October 27, 2021, 09:20:41 PM
The events over the past month have helped me realize that it's time to finalize the D to protect me and my kids.   Not sure how I will feel once I sign and am officially divorced but I know I need to move forward and not look back with my life.   Will see where the wind blows and life takes me.   8)

It seems you are now in a good place. A lot like me when D became reality.... Where the wind blows and life takes you.   To a good life, that I can say for sure.

Take good care of yourself and family.

Alvin
Title: Best of Times and the Worst of Times
Post by: Standing Strong on October 27, 2021, 10:11:29 PM
You sound really good HF.

I'm sorry it came to this, but you're going to be fine, and continuing to be a GREAT father.  :D

Just curious...... how does that work.... the D paperwork? It comes to you already signed from her, you sign and then it's over?
I've never seen how it works, have always been curious ever since my aunt D'ed her abusive H when I was a little kid.

-SS
Title: Best of Times and the Worst of Times
Post by: HeavenlyFocus on October 27, 2021, 10:40:29 PM
In my state here in the US, the lawyers prepare the divorce settlement decree which both spouses and their lawyers sign.   Then it goes to a judge.   At this point, I have 99.% accepted the reality.  I can't allow my kids to see this dysfunctional relationship.  Hope my W figures her life out someday.   

HF
Title: Best of Times and the Worst of Times
Post by: HeavenlyFocus on October 29, 2021, 06:42:48 PM
Wasn't planning on posting again this weekend but absolutely have to post about this.  My W's midlife crisis is complete.  She got a new car today although she doesn't even need one as her work provides her with a car.  Now the D settlement is agreed upon, assuming a possible public admission about OM will be coming.

Very sad but these MLCers don't always make the best decisions.   And it's not my circus anymore.

Hope everyone enjoys your weekend.   

HF
Title: Best of Times and the Worst of Times
Post by: JohnnyBravo on October 29, 2021, 07:55:18 PM
Sorry, HF.
Title: Best of Times and the Worst of Times
Post by: Tornup on October 30, 2021, 02:43:51 PM
HF- I don’t even think it can be called decisions. More like they are flying by the seats of their pants to get through each day. It does seem like it is a constant need of having something to look forward to whether a purchase, activity or a relationship change. The constant look for an outside source to make them feel better. We have no choice, but to let them continue down the river with a hole in their boat. They figure out how to fix the boat or sink. I’m in your same place. Just leaving the river and driving away in my car.
I’m so sorry HF. They truly are such a mess. It’s mind boggling
Title: Best of Times and the Worst of Times
Post by: HeavenlyFocus on October 31, 2021, 09:45:16 AM
Thanks Torn.  It truly is a mess but it's not our mess so looking forward to some more peace in my life over the next year.

This weekend I am started to totally focus on me and am going to start to take the focus on my W.   Going to put together some goals for myself which focus on my physical, mental, and spiritual health.   Over the past month, I have changed my diet and am starting to eat healthy for lunch and dinner during the week while allowing me to cheat on the weekend when I'm watching football with friends or by myself.   This amount of stress over the past year has taken a toll on me but I feel the stress is starting to diminish now that the D agreement is close and I will be able to move forward.

I also have been working out routinely.   I'm realistic that I won't be as dedicated as SS at the gym or Watcher running marathons (great job by the way you two) , but I want to get to a place where I am physically back to my optimal physical level in my life.   Eating healthy, getting good sleep, and the stress lessening should help in addition to the exercise.

Lastly, my biggest challenge is focusing on my relationship with God and being the light for my children.   Right now with 50/50 custody, I am having to counter my W's current state focused on material things and living in the moment.   It has started to rub off on my kids.   I anticipate there will be struggles with my kids over the next year and I will have to hold my ground to get them to understand that I will live my life different than their Mom and I will put God at the center of my life.

One fun note.   I originally hadn't planned on visiting my family for Christmas but the visitation calendar worked out so I am going to take my kids to Florida to visit my parents, siblings, and their kids.   Will have to fly back on Christmas afternoon but it's ok as my girls will be able to spend Christmas night with their mom.   I didn't want them to be away from either parent this first Christmas.   Also, flights on Christmas day are cheaper which made booking the trip possible.

Unsure of my cadence for posting as things stat to settle down in my life.   I am sure I will have more questions for the group as I transition to being D.   

HF

Title: Best of Times and the Worst of Times
Post by: xyzcf on October 31, 2021, 11:17:24 AM
Quote
Lastly, my biggest challenge is focusing on my relationship with God and being the light for my children.

Quote
I will have to hold my ground to get them to understand that I will live my life different than their Mom and I will put God at the center of my life.

When I read this I thought of the words "as for me and my house, we shall serve the Lord".

Today's reading and homily were about loving one's neighbor which has always been important to me.

What I show my daughter, in how I treat her father does have an impact for her.

Sometimes I get weary but I was also once told that my prayers for him, as his spouse, are so important. God hears our prayers for them and the example we give to our children and to others is that love that Christ has shown us.

As I left mass today, the following song was playing in my car by Danielle Rose "Bleed to heal" and these lyrics spoke directly to me:

This blood from my hands
And this wound from my side
I am bleeding to heal the wounds in your life
All the broken hope and broken homes and dreams torn apart
The blood that I shed
Is straight from the beat of your broken heart

Love with each step
Love with each breath
Love with each moment
Love the despairing
Love the pain that comes
Love the persecution
Love and be loved"

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yyb7GRDBWy8

It is not easy HF.

Good work on eating/exercising and taking care of yourself. Your Christmas trip sounds wonderful!
Title: Best of Times and the Worst of Times
Post by: HeavenlyFocus on November 07, 2021, 07:43:47 PM
Thanks XY for the encouragement.  Had a great evening with my kids as we watched church on-line as one of my kids was sick this weekend.   Good news is  my D's COVID and strep test came back negative when visited urgent care.

Pretty uneventful week over the past week.  Was able to spend time with my kids shopping for gifts which we will give to those in need through our church.   My youngest really enjoyed the experience and will continue to  focus on giving and serving others.

Things with W have been quiet and we were able to meet in person to plan out the calendar for the next 6 months.   She is still so focused on her own life and thinks the kids activities are taking too much time away from her weekends.   When she made a comment, I just looked at her and didn't say anything.  I know my kids activities are worth it.

Getting ready to start a new week.   Continuing to eat healthy, exercise, and get good sleep.  My goal is not put on the usual 10 pounds during the holidays.   Will see if I can do it.    :)

HF
Title: Best of Times and the Worst of Times
Post by: HeavenlyFocus on November 17, 2021, 01:10:02 PM
Good time for a quick journal.

Well, I ended up getting the non-COVID virus that my daughter had a week ago and I had to get tested this past weekend.   The good news is that my PCR COVID test was negative.   Grateful that I am feeling better and it was minor.   I still feel for all the people and families that have been impacted by COVID. 

I have had some time to reflect this past week as I was quarantined working from home.   I am getting stronger with dealing with my W and continue to reinforce boundaries as we work through co-parenting and paying for the kids activities.    Going to have a quiet Thanksgiving  with friends and I am really looking forward the upcoming trip with my girls to visit my family at Christmas.   I still have so much to be thankful for as I move forward with my wife.

Appreciate reading all of  your stories as you share you thoughts and emotions while you deal with your current/former spouses.  It really does get easier with time and the time that I have had this year has been a gift that I am using to make the most our of my life.  Hope everyone finds some joy this holiday season.

HF
Title: Best of Times and the Worst of Times
Post by: Tornup on November 18, 2021, 03:33:18 AM
HF- sounds all positive. Enjoy your Thanksgiving with friends!!
Title: Best of Times and the Worst of Times
Post by: Standing Strong on November 18, 2021, 06:05:57 AM
Hey HF  :D

The non-Covid virus..... those still exist? LOL!!

Glad things are going well. I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving  :)

-SS
Title: Best of Times and the Worst of Times
Post by: HeavenlyFocus on November 24, 2021, 06:51:49 PM
Thanks Torn and SS for your support.

Well, have to provide an update as my W passively invited me over for Thanksgiving.   I got a text asking if I had plans for Thanksgiving.   I waited over 3 hours and then sent a ? response.   I then followed up the next morning texting her why she was asking about my plans.    I never received  a response back the entire day.   Finally, I let her know that I did have plans in the late afternoon on Thanksgiving.    She then replied and texted that she was planning to invite me over for lunch on Thanksgiving.  I responded and let her know that the only way I was joining her at the same table was if we were both committed to our rebuilding our marriage.   She finally responded and indicated one of her divorce friends still spends thanksgiving with her XH.   Craziness  :o

There has to be boundaries as I move forward with my life.  I love my kids and can be cordial at kids sporting events and more important events as they get older.     But I can't sit around and play happy family at Thanksgiving while were are getting ready to sign divorce papers over the next couple of weeks.  She also wanted to know why I blocked her on Instagram.  I told here that our future communication would focus on co-parenting, and I was moving on with my life without her.    She ended the text thread by saying that I clearly have things that I need to work through.   "I have things to work through?"   She still hasn't been honest with our kids, her family, and most importantly me.

Sorry if I am rambling but I have had enough of her.  I am a patient person and have been there for her after BD while she was in the house and even still supportive after she moved out.   Detaching is hard but I know I'm taking steps to protect me as I move on.

Thanksgiving tomorrow will be hard being away from my kids, but I do have  a really fun time planned with one of my friends.   We are going to watch one of the NFL games at an exclusive sports club which will be really, really fun.    I will make the most of the day and am still thankful for all the blessings in my life.

Thanks for letting me vent everyone.  I am normally pretty balanced but this Thanksgiving communication with the pending divorce really frustrated me.

HF
Title: Best of Times and the Worst of Times
Post by: JohnnyBravo on November 24, 2021, 09:10:17 PM
Sorry this is such an unfortunate "landmark date" for you, HF, but it sounds like you're doing well with the boundaries. I don't know if it's the MLC immaturity, but my W had said something early on about always remaining friends with her exes. Those were dating relationships, not marriage, and she wasn't looking for a big settlement from them. I'm sure there are a few situations where a married couple may actually have an amicable divorce and remain friends, but for the most part I think that's a TV show fiction.

JB
Title: Best of Times and the Worst of Times
Post by: Standing Strong on November 24, 2021, 09:50:22 PM
Wow HF, what a conversation.  :o

Bravo on making your wants/needs plain. Seems like she struggled with that (not a surprise). That's really good, some pushback without being ugly or needy.

Any time they reach out is a good thing though. It may just seem like she wants to be friends and all that nonsense..... but I think there is more to it than that. A reach out is difficult, and emotional. A normal person may do that for the kids and whatnot, but she's not normal. Just as you are thinking about special days, part of her is also. When she says "you have things to work out", is she saying it to you, or saying it to herself (projection)? Reality comes in fits and spurts, what's probably happening is the reality that you will not be there for days like tomorrow, and she doesn't like it..... possibly compounded with the realization that THIS is the new normal. After all, her friends ex-H spends holidays with her, why not you? Why can't she have everything without cost? A good bonk in the head for her, and what you told her is spot on: "I will not be there unless we are going to work ourselves out"..... puts the ball square in her court.
Good job HF!!

-SS
Title: Best of Times and the Worst of Times
Post by: Curiosity on November 25, 2021, 01:28:36 AM
Good for you, HF - you are setting boundaries based on what you need for your growth and healing. Of course she doesn’t like those boundaries… even though you aren’t setting them in order to make her deal with some consequences of her actions, that’s one of the results, and they don’t like consequences. They want to blindly pursue their “happiness,” and they want everyone to be thrilled for them - even the people they use and discard along the way. You have instead chosen the healthy grownup path.
Title: Best of Times and the Worst of Times
Post by: UrsaMajor on November 25, 2021, 03:48:41 AM
Good for you, HF - you are setting boundaries based on what you need for your growth and healing. Of course she doesn’t like those boundaries… even though you aren’t setting them in order to make her deal with some consequences of her actions, that’s one of the results, and they don’t like consequences. They want to blindly pursue their “happiness,” and they want everyone to be thrilled for them - even the people they use and discard along the way. You have instead chosen the healthy grownup path.
(https://media.giphy.com/media/l3fZLxC6KrjxVsW5i/giphy.gif)
Title: Best of Times and the Worst of Times
Post by: HeavenlyFocus on November 25, 2021, 08:26:27 PM
Thanks JB, SS, Curiosity, and UM for your Ding, Ding, Ding Winner GIF!

I had a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday with my friends and feel good about where I am at.   Received a text from my youngest daughter letting me know how much she missed me.   Definitely a different Thanksgiving Holiday away from my kids but I am ok and at peace. 

HF