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Author Topic: My Story Deciding to stand and how to really detach?

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My Story Deciding to stand and how to really detach?
#40: July 19, 2021, 02:14:54 PM

I just struggle with keeping him close as a friend  and detaching so that I can move on. How have others handled this???

I checked in with my x every 2 weeks talking to him about his depression and girlfriend. I had to totally go non emotional. If you cant it is impossible. You can only do it if you are not going to be triggered. It was weird the first time I was answering or discussing OW with him.

For me I was able to, but then I decided it wasn’t a good choice after all. They have nothing to give back. I told him from now on if he needs me he can call. I will always answer, but I need some distance.

Mine stated he feels guilty needing me when he left. As he should. If you can not shut off your emotions then you might need to totally detach until you can.

Not easy being a friend with someone you feel
More than friends for. It is such an amazingly loving gesture that they dont appreciate now and you are not sure they ever will. You have to do it knowing it may not work out in your favor
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« Last Edit: July 20, 2021, 04:45:53 AM by UrsaMajor »
H-54 W-58  Married 7/6/91 Kids d-30 s-28 d-14 deceased
D30 marry & issues for H that deceased daughter would never marry ‘13
Summer ‘15 pulling away/work 7 days a wk
August ‘16  H turned 50 & promotion requires travel & H stalls on move to new state. ‘17-major disconnect
 Jan ‘18 forced H move out due to non communication & refusal seek help. H rather div. then talk about it. Talked to atty.  Husband stopped Div.
BD1-march ‘ 18 found phone-H in therapy
EA ow1-49,  EA-ow2 57, EA- ow3 58 not reciprocated by OW ( 3 years) all mgrs under H
Bought second home Sept ‘18 due to H job
Moved home-Oct 18
BD2-October 20 Nov 20 H move to 2nd home in other state
OW4- 46 subordinate at work
Divorce filed-Dec ‘20   Divorce final-Feb ‘21
August 21- H moments of regret and wants family back.

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Deciding to stand and how to really detach?
#41: July 19, 2021, 07:01:35 PM
XYZCF can probably help some with this but in truth, you might be his friend, but he is not yours. Would your friends treat you in the way he has treated you? If the answer is yes, you need new friends.

Whatever you do, you do because it is what YOU want, not because you expect him to reciprocate or even care at all. But because it is who YOU are and what YOU need to do. Unless you are polyamorous, asking and being told about a GF/BF with your SPOUSE is hurtful at best, cruel on their part and to yourself on your own part. If you cannot just sit there and not care one way or the other about his escapades, you are not detached. If you are detached, the average person does not want to hear about their significant others new significant other. It a recipe for hurt feelings.

If you want to be his friend, set boundaries on what you can talk about. The kids. The weather. A great hiking spot. The cool yard your neighbors have.  Your new crafting hobby. How many miles you ran last week. Keep out anything that would be hurtful to you. Expect nothing. Decide if you like giving without getting anything in return, or if what you do get in return is enough.

If you want to detach, go live your life. If he brings take out, enjoy. Then go watch a movie by yourself if you want. Or talk to him about the neighbor's yard if you want. Or kick him out and say it's late, you need to retire for the evening. But do it because it is what YOU want to do. Because it give you joy, because it is part of who you are, because you have zero expectations.

Figure out what works for you, then do that. If it doesn't work, change it.  Keep adjusting until you get to a place where you feel comfortable.

You can move forward with your life, and still stand for your marriage if you want. Just don't stand in the way of a person who has no regard for you. Side step, move away, deftly avoid, whatever. You matter.
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« Last Edit: July 19, 2021, 07:03:18 PM by OffRoad »
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Deciding to stand and how to really detach?
#42: July 19, 2021, 10:19:45 PM
Quote
Figure out what works for you, then do that. If it doesn't work, change it.  Keep adjusting until you get to a place where you feel comfortable.
What very good advice!

I think the ‘friend’ thing is a blind alley that we LBS create for ourselves tbh. (And some MLCers throw the word around to keep us in a place they want us, a kind of gaslighting, bc as OR says this is not how a ‘friend’ behaves is it?) Often that blind alley is made up from some beliefs of our own....sometimes some rather uncomfortable truths....that we are afraid of their reaction if we don’t, that we believe we can ‘nice’ them back, that we care about their feelings more than our own, that it is a kind of control mummy thing even, or a strange kind of ‘look how nice I am and you are not’ victim look. Lots of reasons which each LBS has to figure out as they begin to detach......

Depends so much on what ‘being a friend’ means to you, and how you learn from the trial and error if your own experiences so far. Like the R conversation you described where you did something you probably knew was a bad idea before you did it, did it anyway, ended up feeling awful. We’ve all been there  ::)....and slowly, we learn to stop doing what hurts us or is futile.  :)
But imho i’m not sure - at least initially - that one CAN detach and ‘keep them close as a friend’. Or why you think that is what you are ‘supposed’ to do?
One can be civil. One can refuse to get involved in drama. One can choose to stop rubbing their nose in how awful they are. One can stop asking them for things they can’t/won’t do. One can stop pressurising them for support or help. One can choose not to scream and shout, or not say rude things on social media, or not set fire to their clothes or take a brick to their car  :) All a kind of ‘friendship’ imho  :)
But detaching is inherently about reducing their significance in your life, emotionally and practically. Excluding them from your head and your day to day good stuff (bc they tend to spoil the good stuff lol). It is about caring less and caring differently and caring from much further away. None of which is how I behave towards my friends.

It’s even possible I think to make the case that, if our spouse really IS in crisis, that the kindest and most respectful thing we can do is remove ourselves from the equation and let them go on whatever messy path they are determined to choose for themselves. And that by protecting ourselves and getting on with our own lives, we show a kind of detached friendship by limiting the scale of the damage they might create and have to deal with later. That we remove ourselves as a ‘problem’ or emotional obligation.

But, practically speaking, anyone who is as self-absorbed and angry and indifferent to others as these crisis folks seem to be make poor quality friends for anyone. And their behaviour to us is not within spitting distance of any kind of friendship at all. Jmo.
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« Last Edit: July 19, 2021, 10:29:02 PM by Treasur »
T: 18  M: 12 (at BD) No kids.
H diagnosed with severe depression Oct 15. BD May 16. OW since April 16, maybe earlier. Silent vanisher mostly.
Divorced April 18. XH married ow 6 weeks later.
Healing and growing found here https://littleplotbythesea.wordpress.com

"Option A is not available so I need to kick the s**t out of Option B" Sheryl Sandberg

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Deciding to stand and how to really detach?
#43: July 24, 2021, 08:42:32 AM


But, practically speaking, anyone who is as self-absorbed and angry and indifferent to others as these crisis folks seem to be make poor quality friends for anyone. And their behaviour to us is not within spitting distance of any kind of friendship at all. Jmo.

This resonates with me, I keep forgetting my H is no longer my H. The respect and love are diminished, he doesn’t care about me like a friend does. It’s difficult to remember as  he continue to do odd chores for me when he picks up the kids or will send me a random text here and there-. Like the dinner the other night, he’s offered to do some family outings with us. It’s tempting, but I’ve mostly declined. It’s just enough contact to keep me hooked-I feel this is all just out of guilt.
 I’ve drafted a letter telling him that this contact needs to stop, but I haven’t had the strength to send it. I’ve told myself I have the summer to think about the type of contact I can handle, but I already know I do much better when I don’t see him.   We LBH spouses seemed to be damed if we do, and damed if we don’t!!?! Who knows, right!!!!?!?
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Deciding to stand and how to really detach?
#44: July 24, 2021, 11:20:03 AM
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I already know I do much better when I don’t see him.   We LBH spouses seemed to be damed if we do, and damed if we don’t!!?! Who knows, right!!!!?!?

No need for big letters or declarations, my friend. Words are largely wasted on these folks tbh. And circumstances evolve. If you feel it is better for you right now to not do certain things with him, just keep saying ‘no thanks’ as you are doing.....if that changes, you can respond differently.....he’ll get the message about boundaries better from your actions than your words. And you get to do what is currently best for you without any of those exhausting crazymaking R talks  :)
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T: 18  M: 12 (at BD) No kids.
H diagnosed with severe depression Oct 15. BD May 16. OW since April 16, maybe earlier. Silent vanisher mostly.
Divorced April 18. XH married ow 6 weeks later.
Healing and growing found here https://littleplotbythesea.wordpress.com

"Option A is not available so I need to kick the s**t out of Option B" Sheryl Sandberg

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Deciding to stand and how to really detach?
#45: July 27, 2021, 02:31:15 PM
I’ve had a set back and am really struggling today.  I thought I was doing well but H decided to come over last night and we talked about where we were at. He is very clear that there is no relationship between us. He says he loves me but doesn’t want to be with me. As much as that hurts,  I was able to handle that okay. The problem is he really wants to do things as a family-like have dinner together once a week or so and even he suggested he and I get together once a month or so, just us. I couldn’t help it and really lost it at that suggestion.  I find it’s so frustrating and self-centred  that he thinks that he can continue to say painful things and that I know that the other women are still around and he wants nothing to do with me physically or emotionally but yet he wants to be around me for the sake of the family…  I know a few of you have commented on this already, and I honestly thought I could do it, but I’m just so confused on how to heal and pretend at the same time.  There was a lot more to the conversation, but this stuck out to me at the most difficult part for me to deal with. I told him I’d think about it, but as much as I want to I don’t think I have it in me.  What do others think?
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Deciding to stand and how to really detach?
#46: July 27, 2021, 02:59:54 PM
Each of us has to do what is best for us. I would NEVER do what you describe. Not that I couldn't, I just would not after having tried it once. Others can and have. The bottom line to either is still getting your self detached from the situation, imo.

For me, I played "happy family without the actual family part" once. That was a one and done thing for me. XH did not get to reap the joys of showing how what he did was just fine and dandy and see, we can all be friends. No. Not for me. I was not teaching my children that one half of a marriage can unilaterally blow it up without any effort to make it work, and that was ok. He was NOT  my friend. So for me, dim/dark was the way to go, and for me I did that for the sake of my kids. They need to understand, that wasn't normal, a decent human being does not behave like that.

But that is me. Other people do differently and they can weigh in. The only recommendation I have for you is that if it is hurtful to you to do, then say " No." Or "Not now". You can change your mind later. But take care of your own emotional health right now.
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« Last Edit: July 27, 2021, 03:01:12 PM by OffRoad »
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Re: Deciding to stand and how to really detach?
#47: July 27, 2021, 03:18:50 PM
I know a few of you have commented on this already, and I honestly thought I could do it, but I’m just so confused on how to heal and pretend at the same time.  There was a lot more to the conversation, but this stuck out to me at the most difficult part for me to deal with. I told him I’d think about it, but as much as I want to I don’t think I have it in me.  What do others think?

I am a bit confused, why would you pretend? Why would you go along with a distortion or a lie? To what end?

Can you clarify your thoughts? Is it because you think you should or you have to? I personally believe you can be honest, be true to yourself, and still be kind. You don’t have to pretend or lie even if you are trying to stand, do you?
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No Kids, 23 years at BD1 (4 years), married 21
First signs of MLC Jan '15
BD 1 Jan '17, BD 2 Mar, Separated Apr, BD 3 May,BD 4 Jun '18
First Sign of Waking up-Dec '17, First Cycle out of MLC Mar '18-Jun ‘18, Second cycle Jul '18-??
Meets OM Jan '17 and acts "in love," admits "in love" Jun '18, asks for divorce Jul '18

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Deciding to stand and how to really detach?
#48: July 28, 2021, 05:47:41 AM
Been there, done that, played the game, and got NOTHING good out of it... In fact, quite the opposite...

That is simply your H trying to show to the world that what he did was OK. "See, Imokay is even fine with it! We're still "friends" and playing the happy family game."

What a load of
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Me - 58, xW - 50
Together 19 years - Married 17 at separation & 21 at D-Day
S - 14, D - 10
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Atomic BD - 13 Dec 2015
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Divorce final 30 August 2019

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A "friend" will not "stand by you" no matter what you do. That is NOT a friend. That is an enabler. That is an accomplice.
A REAL friend will sit you down and tell you to your face to stop being a firetrucking idiot before you ruin your life and the lives of those around you.

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Deciding to stand and how to really detach?
#49: July 28, 2021, 06:11:49 AM
I agree with Marvin, and as you stated, You don’t want to pretend and you shouldn’t have to pretend. This is your life also. What he wants really doesn’t matter anymore. Especially if he is still saying hurtful things and is still seeing other women. You can be cordial and kind, but you do not have to go along with this delusional let’s play happy family request.

I also agree with Ursa. I’ve never seen this work out for any LBS. It’s just my personal opinion, but I think not only do they request this kind of thing to ease their guilt, but it also is a very, very selfish way for them to be able to slowly ease into their new life while still getting drips of their old life, kind of best of both worlds so that the transition into their new existence is easier. I know that’s hard to hear, but I’ve seen it over and over. It’s extremely selfish on their part, and it’s a way for them to feel good about it and not face consequences.
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