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Author Topic: My Story Pro Wisdom Needed

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My Story Pro Wisdom Needed
#20: October 09, 2023, 09:10:22 AM
Hello,

Let's tackle the first one.

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And if I date there will always be this part of me that knows if she came back I’d go.

So why date? You are not mentally ready for a new relationship and I don't think it is fair to play with someone else's feelings thinking you are available. I did not date until the divorce was done and I was just as done as well. From the cheap seats, dating will not only hurt you, but could strain your relationship with your girls as well. Just as they are confused by their mother's actions, they will be just as confused by yours if you enter the dating pool too soon.

I know that going on a date after being rejected by your ex is a great confidence booster. Just being desired again is a great feeling. Unfortunately, you are still strongly attached to your your wife regardless of her actions.

You are in the middle of a divorce and she is flip flopping on her demands. Now is the time to focus on protecting yourself and your daughters. Your marriage may be all about love, but divorce is all about business. If you are not careful, you can end up on the short end of the stick- especially if you try to please her and "look like the good guy".

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It's brutal to go through this, no matter what circumstances, and some circumstances can make it worse, which is why you have to put yourself and your kids ahead of whatever sympathy you have for what she may be going through.

That is why now is the time to protect what you have rather than concern yourself with what you may get in the future. As Nas stated, you are young and both your girls are getting older. In fact, they are the same age as both my daughters were when my ex entered her crisis. Lots of things can happen and you have to be open to any option that comes your way.

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I feel for you, friend. Advice that I found frustrating and that am now repeating: this is your life, this is your choice. You get to decide what is best for you. You get to decide how you want to live, and who you want to be.

Another great point, now is the time to regain your power and pull yourself back up. I remember in the beginning of her crisis, it seemed everything was going her way. She had the power, she was doing what she wanted to do, and I was the miserable one that couldn't do anything right and was the sole reason why our marriage was failing. It took time, but I realized that I had choice and there is a big difference between standing for her and standing for yourself.

Hang in there my friend, support your daughters and yourself.  I know how hard it is right now and I do truly feel your pain. It is unmeasurable and just drains all of your energy. You can save a lot by not focusing on her at all and taking care of yourself and your daughters.

Have an amazing day,

(((Ready)))
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#21: October 09, 2023, 03:21:53 PM
My simple advise on making decisions is checking where you are. You wonder if she is coming back? Not ready to date !! Should I stand body and soul?? Yea, until you feel differently. I get it. I was married 30 years. It’s debilitating. I am almost 3 years post BD2. This has been going on for me since 2008. That is 16 years!! So don’t wait. Focus on you. That’s hard. There is no magical answer. Time… time makes it easier, but one thing that really did help me was to focus on the bad my MLCer was doing, had done, was saying… focus on the bad. It really does help with detachment. It helps with not glorifying the relationship and the MLCer. It just takes a lot of time and therapy and good friends to talk to also.
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There is almost something harder about someone being alive and having to lose what you believed to be true of them than someone actually dying.

We long to have again the vanished past, in spite of all its pain

Married July 1991
BD1 2018 Jan moved out I filed for Div/ H stopped it
Oct 2018 moved back
Oct 2020 BD2
Feb 2021 Div-29 1/2 years
July 2021 Married OW

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#22: October 10, 2023, 12:18:41 AM
I am very sorry for your loss, ichoose. Or more accurately, your losses bc most of us lose a lot of things in this process, not just the spouse we loved so much. Big loss changes our lens on ourself and the world; much as we long to go back to a time before we knew what we now know or have seen what we’ve now seen, we can’t and that’s a kind of loss too. And imho some of those losses - and indeed some as yet unseen gains - are still lost or won even in the rare cases here of eventual reconciliation…..some of life’s toothpaste simply won’t go back in the tube once squeezed to this degree....that’s a hard thing to accept and work with, isn’t it?

A lot of folks here could have written, probably have written, much of what you wrote here. That honest belief that ‘our’ relationship was different, that deep shock that our best friend we trusted most in the world could do what they did, that utter bewilderment about how to respond and what to do next. And the answers to so many of those questions are personal and take time to figure out for each of us.

I agree with a lot of the other posts.
Your first job is to find some way to accept that this IS happening and that it is life-altering for everyone touched by it. That it isn’t magically going to go away, that what you are seeing is some part of the blended character of your wife, that she is not clinically insane or incompetent in making choices or devoid of agency or responsibility. This is simply her way of dealing with her own inner discomfort, crisis or depression….and that is bringing up parts of her character in how she is dealing with this that you perhaps had not seen before. Or, with time, as many of us do, you may come to see that these are parts of her character with go-faster stripes that you have seen small glimmers of but excused or adapted around in the course of a long partnership bc they did not create this kind of tornado. Imho finding our own way to accept that what we are seeing is what is really happening and that it is happening bc of the other person’s choices is a really hard process for most of us. Sanity saving eventually, but very hard.

Wrt to your other questions….I would suggest you be guided by the principle of Seek To Do No Extra Harm. To you, to your kids, to other humans. Dating as a sticking plaster can cause harm bc there is a real human on the other side of the table or bed. This kind of mess is rarely improved by adding another human into the mix….and the kind of women interested in dating a chap in your current situation often bring their own baggage imho. You don’t need that and most of all your kids don’t need that. Focus on stabilising your own life ship, and your kids’ ship, before you invite new passengers or jump onto someone else’s ship for a long cruise.  :)

Go slow and steady. Do your best with what you can control. Protect you and your kids from the damage the best you can. Find small new pleasures in this new world where you can.  Let yourself grieve your losses. Try to use a kind eye with yourself bc you will make mistakes in this new unfamiliar land and it will not always be easy or straightforward. Let yourself learn who you are other than a husband or partner. Trust that you will know when/if it is time to release yourself from your own vows or how to adapt them to the fact that your wife no longer values them or has broken her half of them, that you will work out with time what this version of your once much-loved wife is to you in your heart and what role if any she plays in your future life.

It can be so frustrating to hear people keep talking about Time…and truthfully, it is also about what you do with the Time….but that does not make it any less true. Time allows us to evolve if we let it, to slowly find a different way of living and being from who we used to be. But you have to decide to allow that evolving to happen….and that can be scary bc we don’t know where it will take us, and painful bc it involves us  letting go of what we are trying so hard to hold onto. Only you know when/if you are ready to let that evolving begin, to allow Time and different kinds of days to shape a different kind of life. And we get it, we know how strange and difficult and painful it can be to let go of an old life that you do not want to lose in search of a new one that you can’t see yet. It’s quite a brave thing actually, almost an act of faith. But, put simply, until you feel in your gut that you are ready to see where evolving takes you, you are practically speaking not ready to date and not ready to make other big life altering decisions that you are not forced by circumstances to make.  :)


One of the most strange, but surprisingly useful, things I found out in my own journey is that there is a real difference between hunting something down vs allowing it to come. It’s a different kind of energy altogether, like apples and pears. Fear and a need for control and safety tends to make us hunt for things; it’s how our brains are naturally wired. Allowing things to show up, sitting with it and then deciding what to do with them is a slower process with a different skill set, and it requires us to make peace with some level of not knowing where evolution is going to take us and learn to live with some level of uncertainty about a whole bunch of things. But it is less frantic and more solid feeling somehow. Jmo.
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« Last Edit: October 10, 2023, 12:34:24 AM 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.


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

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#23: October 10, 2023, 10:04:15 PM

And how can I trust anyone when my partner and best friend can do this to me.
....
And if I date there will always be this part of me that knows if she came back I’d go.


Hello,

I am so sorry you are now member of this club.

As response.... This is some of the work you need to do on you. Hurt people hurt (self and others),  and right now you are all open wounds and bleeding to death. 

There is no magic potion here besides

1) exiting into "safe zone" - take your eyes and mind away from your partner, this will stop new emotional wounds and stop bleeding).

2) once in safe zone, start focusing on PIES & GAL. This is all about getting started with recovery. If you are not familiar with acronyms PIES equals physical, intellectual, emotional, spiritual - it is all about rebuilding you and becoming best version of you. And GAL, getting a life, is all about creating enviroment that nourishes recovery.

3) and last but not least, give it time. Life will be good (one way or another) some day. But getting there will be slow,  hard,  and there will be moments of cry, tears and failures. But you will get there eventually and reap rewards regardless of the survival of your relationship

Take good care of yourself,
Alvin
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« Last Edit: October 10, 2023, 10:08:00 PM by AlvinTheMaker »
At time of BD.... Me: 43, XW: 41
Kids: G19,G18,G14,G12,S5
Together - 20½ Years, Married 19 Years

BD ("I don't love you"): Feb 2019, 
BD2 ("I don't want to fix this marriage."), Mar 2020
D filed May 2020, D finalized Dec 2020
I have moved on, and am in new relationship.

Lessons from Stoicism and REBT helped me to exit the chaos zone and become a better person. 

"Happiness and freedom begin with a clear understanding of one principle: Some things are within our control, and some things are not. - Epictetus"

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#24: October 12, 2023, 06:09:31 PM
Thank you all so much for your wisdom.

My concerns are what do I do. I need to stay positive and confident and have faith. How can she have confidence in us and come back if I seem desperate or weak or insecure. I know we are meant to be together. And I know that she loves me. She has not given me the ilybinilwy thing at all. She hasn’t said she doesn’t live me. SHE CANT. and the fact that she is still trying to make me jealous when I know her friends list is private to others but not to me.
So that is my confusion personally. Is why is she trying to make me jealous? And what do I do. Is she looking for a reaction or drama ? Do I give it to her to show I care? Probably not.

Or do I ignore it and move like I don’t notice. Keep hitting the gym and going to church and trying to stay on the positive. Having faith in our live even through divorce. She said at the beginning of this how can she talk to me about my feelings she doesn’t trust me with them. How can she when mine aren’t in control.

So wisdom?
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Thank you,
ICF
BD 4/20/23
M 35
H 34
D 15
D 10
T 14 M 12

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#25: October 12, 2023, 11:14:34 PM
She is living in a fantasy land and you are living in reality. That's why she could be trying to make you jealous, so she can have multiple people vying over her, or she may not remember that you can see her friends list.

Either reason, it doesn't matter because your response is the same. To try and take your eyes off of her and focus on your healing.

She fell out of love with herself and is looking for easy ways to boost her dopamine levels. This fantasy land helps boost those levels, but not for the long run. So she has to keep trying another new thing to get another boost.

You may not feel like the stable one, but you are. You are in pain, grief and loss, but you are in reality.

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#26: October 13, 2023, 02:02:54 AM
Dear ICF, it may help you to understand that your confusion is likely a mirror of your W's turmoil and confusion. It's a kind of transference and countertransference - some therapists use it to gauge what's going on with their clients. But you are not a therapist,  you are a person caught up in the rudder of a boat careering out of control. It won't help you to stay that entangled because 1) she probably doesn't really know what she wants from one minute to the next, or day, or - add timeframe depending on the cycle length 2) and everyone will keep saying this, you need to triage yourself to get onto dry land (to keep my boat theme running  :) ). No one can give you a formula for this, we all found our own way. A good support network, IC, exercise, and boundaries about what you will accept / not accept are good moves.

Your thinking will likely dramatically change over time. At the moment, you are reacting to an onslaught of crazy, and it is near impossible to be clear headed in these situations. You are still in the WTF zone (not sure we ever quite leave it, but yours is very fresh) and I'm sorry to say, things may likely get worse. This is why people will keep telling you to focus on yourself, get yourself stable - stable for you and your loved ones - and then you can better assess your situation. Ask yourself - was our marriage mainly good up until this recent BD?  Was it me that changed? If yes, and no, then who you are was/is good enough, no need to start making false changes in reaction to a crisis.

There will be a introspection for you, that's all good an positive, but that will happen gradually at your pace. For now, know it's NOT YOU, but you need to keep healthy for you and your kids. It's so hard. So sorry you are here.
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« Last Edit: October 13, 2023, 02:06:44 AM by KayDee »

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#27: October 13, 2023, 11:28:38 PM
She has deleted EVERY picture of us from 21 years from her social media. Is this another attempt to hurt me? Is this a coping mechanism?

My friend says it’s her way of moving on. But with everything else and all the breadcrumbs and things she tries to make sure I notice.

There’s a side of me that wants to believe we will be okay some day. And she’s just in crisis. But others don’t necessarily believe me or see what I see. They also don’t know the love we had. People often tell me to just accept that she is gone forever, but the fact that she is SO different and has all the signs of crisis makes me believe that’s what it is. And I don’t know what to do?  I know I can’t ask her or talk to her about any of it ( which after two decades I should be able to talk to her) but we all know she’s not herself right now.

This is my woman, my best friend, my wife. I can’t just give up and I don’t know if she wants me to fight for her because some things say she may act out because she wants me to fight harder and prove it but she just gets more angry when I talk to her about anything. Or do I ignore it and not give her any reaction?

I love her so much and this life is so much pain without her.
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Thank you,
ICF
BD 4/20/23
M 35
H 34
D 15
D 10
T 14 M 12

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#28: October 14, 2023, 12:33:15 AM
PWN, she deleted all those pictures because she is in crisis and is rejecting herself, which includes her life up to this point. You are part of that life she is rejecting.

The reason she is rejecting her life and is spending time and energy building a new fantasy life (new car, new house, new job, new hobbies, new partner, new, new, new) is that she thinks this will help her feel better.

She fell out of love with herself and blames her current life for her feelings of discomfort. So she thinks outside things, new things, will be the fix.

They aren't the fix, but she has to try them to find out and it takes a looooonnnnggg time for that to happen.

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but she just gets more angry when I talk to her about anything.

This is called "monster". Any time you challenge the fantasy life she thinks is going to solve her bad feelings, she will react with monster to defend the fantasy life. You have to be wrong, because if you were right, then she has to look inside for why she is feeling bad about herself.

You are an innocent bystander of a person in crisis that is rejecting themselves. Part of "themselves" is you and so they have to reject you as well.

It is excruciatingly painful to watch and experience the person you love and trust reject you as part of their crisis.

You didn't cause it and therefore you can't fix it.
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« Last Edit: October 14, 2023, 12:45:19 AM by Reinventing »

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#29: October 14, 2023, 01:08:51 AM
I am so very sorry for your obvious pain and distress. As Reinventing says, we remember what that is like and we get how confusing and heart-wrenching it is.
It will not always feel how it feels today, but we understand just how awful it is right now.

My ‘wisdom’ fwiw is unlikely to be what you long to hear and I’m sorry for that. But it is what can help you keep your sanity, calm yourself and be a decent parent so it is worth saying.

I think you are hanging your beliefs on a couple of hooks that may be less useful than you think. And we have all done it, at least for a while, so it’s understandable.
Your belief in your own shared love ‘story’ and your belief that there is something you can do that will change her path and your belief that if your wife is in crisis, this is not the ‘real’ her so it will all be ok in the way you want eventually.

You may turn out to be right in some of those beliefs with time.
But
Those beliefs are at odds with the evidence in front of your eyes.
And they are at odds with how normal life normally works
And they are at odds with most of the anecdotal evidence in the stories shared here.
I’m sorry.
Denying that does not change current realities, incomprehensible as they are. But it does weaken your ability to deal with them in a way that safeguards you and your children.

People don’t file for divorce bc they love you. They file for divorce bc, rightly or wrongly, they believe that they will be happier with a new life that does not include you. Sure, beliefs and feelings can change with time and events, but right now that is what is happening in your life. And whatever your beliefs are about the inherent love between you or that this is not what your ‘real’ non-crisis wife wants, your beliefs are not currently what your wife believes. You can’t fight for her bc you would have to fight her to do so. You can only fight for yourself, for your own future and that if your children…..and doing that is likely to mean fighting some of your own default beliefs.
I’m sorry.

This is life altering, we know. And something that is big enough to cause most of us to re-examine every inch of who we are exactly bc it challenges so many of our firmly held beliefs about so much of our life to date. I am not saying that you have to change those beliefs entirely…..I am suggesting that you have to stop owning your wife’s beliefs though and focus on just your own. That seeing how life and experience lets some of those beliefs take on a new shape is likely to be part of your life for the next few years as you heal and recover from this truly awful experience you never wanted for yourself or your family. Seeing that it is not all an either/or as it seems now but sometimes a both/and with what we believe. Understanding that not one LBS here did our best thinking when we were distressed and reeling in shock, and we get better. To work out how to live with the reality that bad things can happen to good people and not all of them are in our control…..but how we live despite them is in our control.

We often say here to ‘live as if they are not coming back’. Bc often that is what happens. Very few marriages survive this; it would be a fairy story to pretend otherwise. And those few that do take years and are built on salted ground by two previously broken people which is not an easy thing to do either. I suspect what you have shared here about photos and your wife’s social media activities are performative in the same way….she is ‘living as if’….and time will tell how that works out for her.

You need to figure out what your own version of ‘living as if’ looks like. As a parent, as a stbxh, as a man, as a human being who has survived the worst and found a way to live well despite that. You can hope for the best, but still need to live through the worst if that make sense. You can still love your wife but respect the presenting reality that she does not feel how you feel. You can still quietly treasure the life and marriage you had without her involvement, keep the photos you have without the ones she erased, even keep a small mental door not entirely closed to the possibility of reconciliation at some unknown future point.

But today you need to look the pain in the eye, acceot that what is happening is currently actually happening, listen to advice from your lawyer, let go of your wife and start the small steps of living as if you are an unmarried parent and no longer a man with a wife.

What does that look like to you, my friend?
Where and how do you want to live as if?
What are the foundations of the next chapter of a story that does not involve your wife?

Hard wisdom, I know….hard won and hard to swallow….but it is honestly the wisest kind of wisdom that I have. That you find a way to accept the real reality of where you currently are and that this starts with focusing on the next chapter with just you and your kids as the heroes and heroines in it. And we understand that this is easy to say and hard to do after decades of marriage or, as in your case, when you started a shared life before you were really even a full adult yet, bc so much of life has been built on a We not a Me. So it takes time and some trial and error to work that out.

Leave your stbxw to her own next chapter….don’t look, don’t think about it, let her choices lead her towards her own life lessons….you have enough to do to figure out your own. And it begins with baby steps as it did for all of us after that first giant step of accepting that how it is IS really how it is.
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« Last Edit: October 14, 2023, 01:35:49 AM 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.


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

 

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