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Author Topic: My Story living is an opportunity

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My Story living is an opportunity
#10: October 14, 2023, 12:28:53 PM
Thank you very much KD, Treasur and Reinventing for your nice messages and advices. I did not sent the mail regarding OM yet. I give myself at least two additional days in order to response, not answer.

So did everything go according to the plan today ? Not at all ! I slept very bad this night so I did not have to fake tiredness this morning. And I did'nt deal with W in the morning, it was D16 and D14 who challenged me to go, they strongly wanted to see their cousins. So good training for me : I was successful in setting a boundary with our teenagers, explaining them that I wanted to go but I was not feeling good enought to drive such a long time. W only insisted for me doing covid test, and I did it finaly during the morning after attempts of sleeping. Good for me, I was not lying : by saying "I can't not drive in my current state" I was honest. Old me would have driven even with tiredness and bad emotional state, so it is a victory for me to have not driven, not tried to exceed my limits in order to please. I am happy about that.

I hope I will provide an healthier example to D16 in the future, as me she is pushing hard her limits and pushes herself too much pressure. D14 understood quickly me showing my limits.

Quote from: Treasur
Perhaps that was the real gift of your last accident, to not take this trip now.
you are spot on again, the gift was even higher !

With W my emotional state was not good in the morning : I felt compulsive needs to snoop and I was almost caught by W 2 times in the day. I want to increase my level of detachment and fully end the snooping. At this stage snooping brings nothing good to me, even if in the first months it was useful to get insights from W's thoughts. I know enough. Today is my day 0 of not snooping.

After that vagary, my day has been good : I focussed on many activities around the house and it felt good doing things, fixing things, washing things and removing weeds. Then I shared good quality moments with the children. W disappeared in the afternoon, she had the grace to take S5 with her so my heart was at peace. It appears she has finally made something I asked her to do 9 months ago : going to the public library and renewing the children's cards that she had blocked, before BD I was often doing for her. Small step but meaningful. In the evening W was up, strangely, and after my proposal of restaurant for Sunday we decided to get pizzas tomorrow from a new pizzeria.

Coming back to the response I will decide, there is something I want to clarify
Quote from: Treasur
His superior already knows there is an issue
For me this is a case of spiritual abuse, this priest is abusing his position with likely other women and likely breaking other Christian marriages. I informed the bishop in Jan this year but at this time it was only EA and OM's responsibility was not clear to me. The bishop asked me to keep him informed. Well I did tell him in April that we were better, and from what I knew, OM was out the game and not communicating with W. Only end of August I got small hints that OM was communicating again with W.

So my case of conscience is now here : I believe the bishop has to know who is really this priest and what he is doing. Does he know already ? I don't know and I guess you don't. But knowing that this priest continues to deal with married women even knowing the bishop is informed and after firmly resolving not to continue, I see another level of rottenness within this guy. Keep quiet may have consequences for other families, other marriages. Open my mouth may help other people. Even this priest may need treatments ?

I see clearly the advantage of let go & let God. I will ask in my prayers a clear sign to know what I should do, and to get the discernment to understand it : Serenity Prayer will help me.
Anyway even if I decide finally to send this mail, I want it to be my last controlling action.

Help please ! No story available from vanishers reconciling ? Is there at least one example of one vanisher disvanishing ? (I know I should write "reapparing", disvanishing sounds good to my gobblefunky ears)
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« Last Edit: October 14, 2023, 12:52:28 PM by FrenchHusband »
M 44, W43. Married 18 years, together 21
3 children D17, D15, S6
OM discovered Dec 22, BD Jan 23 (few days after)
W still living at home
Aimer, c'est donner sans attendre de retour et tout acte est prière, s'il est don de soi (Antoine de Saint Exupéry)
Love means to give without expecting return, and every act is a prayer if it is a self-gift. (thanks OffRoad !)

F
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living is an opportunity
#11: October 19, 2023, 03:09:06 AM
Hello all,

So at the end of the three days, I wrote to the bishop to inform him. I did not receive a big sign, the only sign I got is that I feel internal peace with this decision. I took the time to interogate my motives. What triggered the decision was the record of what happened in January when I confronted OM, the way he crawled when I threatened him to inform the bishop. Even if he promised me, I had felt very uneasy with his snake-like behaviour. That is why, in January, I had informed the bishop.

The bishop this time was very surprised, he told me. For him the situation had been clarified. Well, it wasn't.
From now I let God handle the rest.

Now I feel at peace. With W I feel more light and I jest with her, something I did'nt do for a while.

Tuesday during dinner I asked questions about her family and she did not answer, D14 rebounded with my question telling she wants also to know, then W shouted at D14. D14 was almost in tears and asked W why there are secrets, and she told W "you don't speak to us". At table I supported W, telling D14 that she should not intervene in our conversations. Then I told W that on the form I support her in front of the children, and on the substance I am agree with D14. I told her that she behaves as if she fell from the tree yesterday. That was not light, I summoned aslo W's FOO by recording her she has not to act as did her mother : abandoning the children. Well, a truth dart, I know, and W was not happy with it. I record it here, please don't imagine the worst : for all the other interactions I stay light, I don't react, and I give W a lot of space.
In addition to detachment, what helps me is the "grumpy aunt" policy and the "3 rule" that I have read here and there in the forum : no more eggshellwalking, I stay myself more and more, the new version of me that I want to be.

With the children, at work, and the parish I had many good moments in the last weeks. And I plan to have several other good moments in the next months. As a catechism animator in the parish, I got the grace to see many teenagers joining our group, some are not baptized and have not done any catechism until now. It is inspiring for me and for the older parishans.

Next week, there are school holidays. I plan to spend very good moments with the children and travel with them to see family and friends. W is not interested, she told me. Well I am so I will do it.
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M 44, W43. Married 18 years, together 21
3 children D17, D15, S6
OM discovered Dec 22, BD Jan 23 (few days after)
W still living at home
Aimer, c'est donner sans attendre de retour et tout acte est prière, s'il est don de soi (Antoine de Saint Exupéry)
Love means to give without expecting return, and every act is a prayer if it is a self-gift. (thanks OffRoad !)

R
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living is an opportunity
#12: October 19, 2023, 03:57:33 AM
FH, sounds good that you are acting more normal because that is a beginning sign of detaching.

One thing that stood out is asking your W a question, when you know that she doesn't want to interact with you and she is most likely lying anyway. This followed with her bringing out monster and your D14 being admonished.

Now that you see this pattern and because D14 is more important than W, perhaps you may choose to not question W, who is not going to give you a meaningful response now anyway, and focus on creating a stable environment for your children, in spite of W's instability.

You can't rely on anything W says or does right now. You are the only stability for your children.
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F
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#13: October 24, 2023, 02:53:40 AM
Thanks R for you answer, yes I am acting more normal. Until last week I was "do not go out from house because W might be seeing OM during this time". Now I switched to "let's go to holidays with childrend the more time available even if W is staying home".

You are right pointing out that I should not ask sensitive questions and not insist when there are no anwsers. But I disagree with you : W is more important for me than D14. I made the choice to support her, even in front of our children. Even when I know W is monstering or lying, even when I know she is not stable and not herself, I stay the same.

Nevertheless, I will follow your advice and step back further. Actually D14 gave me the same advice. We had two discussions about W's crisis, she beginned twice by asking "how are you dad ?", so I see she is worrying about me. I explained to her that I am fine and I have other sources of joy (including D14) and that giving without return is unconditional love. Main advices from D14 are : "do less with mom", and "that does not mean you should give up with hope". Sounds a lot to me like the vets here, not ? D14 saw me checking THS forum, so she asked what I was doing, then when we were alone I told her that I was "reading information on an anglophone forum with people living the same situation", and I told her that I do not want to share details with her, it is not her burden. Then D14 said this situation is a common one.

I am happy I had this discussion with D14, and I am glad I kept my line : not sharing details of W's wrongdoings.

Actually, I am so proud of our children. D16 is doing a lot of sport and she is also working a lot for school, preparing bachelor's degree and university competion. We are currently at my dad's place, and she studies in the kitchen and the living room, so she can participate to the conversations instead of being locked in a room.
Yesterday I cooked lasagne with D14, we spent a very good 1,5 hours togheter. Then when I accompanied S5 for his bath, she did she dishes and set the table without anyone asking her. Small things, ordinary things but so meaningful for me.

The one week holiday is welcome for all of us : the children and me are spending good time together, and I feel that W needs space and time without us.
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M 44, W43. Married 18 years, together 21
3 children D17, D15, S6
OM discovered Dec 22, BD Jan 23 (few days after)
W still living at home
Aimer, c'est donner sans attendre de retour et tout acte est prière, s'il est don de soi (Antoine de Saint Exupéry)
Love means to give without expecting return, and every act is a prayer if it is a self-gift. (thanks OffRoad !)

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living is an opportunity
#14: October 24, 2023, 04:29:22 AM
You are right pointing out that I should not ask sensitive questions and not insist when there are no anwsers. But I disagree with you : W is more important for me than D14. I made the choice to support her, even in front of our children. Even when I know W is monstering or lying, even when I know she is not stable and not herself, I stay the same.

Nevertheless, I will follow your advice and step back further. Actually D14 gave me the same advice. We had two discussions about W's crisis, she beginned twice by asking "how are you dad ?", so I see she is worrying about me. I explained to her that I am fine and I have other sources of joy (including D14) and that giving without return is unconditional love. Main advices from D14 are : "do less with mom", and "that does not mean you should give up with hope". Sounds a lot to me like the vets here, not ?


I want to wave a couple of small flags at you, FH.
Not bc I am saying you ARE doing these things. And recognising that words on a screen, particularly in a second or third language, are not always good at capturing the details of a picture.

But bc I am concerned about some of the social messages we send out to young women about their role in relationships. And bc a lot of LBS with kids here have walked that tightrope between the needs of an MLC spouse and the needs of their kids, what we model for our kids about what is ok and not ok.

First of all, your D14 sounds very smart and you obviously have a solid relationship of trust if she feels she can say these things to you. And I think you have another slightly younger daughter too, as well as a son? It sounds very wise to choose not to share some of the adult details of what is going on with your kids, well done. And yet the conversation is also a reminder that kids often see more than we think, that they are trying to figure out how to deal with things too, that they have their own questions about what is true or not, ok or not, safe or not. It has always amazed me here that there are quite a few times when even young kids have seemed to see realities that the LBS is still wrestling with, that ‘MLCer is not the same as they used to be’ or that ‘people who love you don’t act that way’……

And none of these tendrils of human connection are as black and white usually as they seem.

Like your point about unconditional love without return. Are there times when this is so and a marvellous human gift? Of course. Are there times when young women are sent the message that their relationships would be better if they just loved more/harder? Or that they are responsible for emotionally regulating others? Or that ‘real’ love is unconditional so it is not right to have boundaries that say No to how someone behaves towards you? Tbh, at least as I understand it, even God has boundaries…he may love you but he will step back and say No, Not Now, Not like this or Not If. I worry that our societies send such strong messages to girls and women about their obligation to emotionally manage others that I think as a parent it may be even more important to show how it is important and just as ok to do good solid self-respecting boundaries. To not encourage them to see it as their job to make not ok things ok. And sadly these implicit messages make them more vulnerable to abusers and predators which I am sure is not what you want for your girls as they grow into the wider world.

And that leads me to the issue of accidental gaslighting, particularly with kids. Gaslighting is essentially when we send the message that says oh what you saw with your own eyes wasn’t what really happened. Or the message that your judgment about it isn’t relevant. Both imho can be tremendously damaging to one’s mental wellbeing. And most LBS have been on the receiving end of that and know how disorientating it can be.

Is your wife really more important than your kids, FH? Bc she is an adult, no matter how dysfunctional a one, and they are not.

Is supporting your wife when she is monstering or lying or unstable or irrational in her behaviour- whatever that looks like - really more important than creating a stable sense of reality and respect for your kids? Or modelling how one balances compassion and self-respect when dealing with difficult behaviour from others? How do you expect them to know what is real or not, ok or not or who/what to trust or not? Who protects them if your priority is about prioritising your wife’s needs? I’m not saying you should attack or challenge your wife in front of the kids, of course not, but I am asking you to consider the implied signals that your ‘wife first’ approach might be sending to your kids.

And I’m not saying this is easy either. Or that I’m some big expert about kids. I hope that others will come along to share their own experience of dealing with this MLC stuff while also reinforcing and supporting their young humans. But I am saying I think that a couple of comments in your post made me feel a little concerned about the messages you may be unintentionally sending out to your girls. Jmo.
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« Last Edit: October 24, 2023, 04:40:04 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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living is an opportunity
#15: October 24, 2023, 04:30:02 PM
Treasur,

Very thought provoking post… incredibly hard to balance the message of unconditional love and boundaries esp when communicating that message to our kids and especially in terms of what it’s reasonable to accept in a healthy normal relationship, which I suppose most of us newbies are well removed from!
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R
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#16: October 24, 2023, 11:27:30 PM
FH and Treasur, yes, my comment about D14 being more important than W is that D14 is still very dependent on you, FH, and is a developing human being.

Since W is not a stable parent right now, your children only have you as a stable parent. Their positive development right now will be with one stable parent and, indeed, in spite of an unstable parent.

This puts a tremendous amount of responsibility on the LBS with children, and especially young children. The children's moorings are with the stable parent.

I agree about being cognizant of the message to girls and young women about healthy boundaries. In my opinion, this is one of the most important messages that we can teach daughters. I wish I had grasped the concept that boundaries were MY actions regarding the limits of what I accept in my life. I think if I had one thing to choose to teach my younger self, it would have been that.

If my younger self could have sat with my feelings, reflected, and then decided on accepting or rejecting X,Y, or Z for my life, I would have been way better off and not wasted so much energy on fruitless and unfulfilling things.

Times when I look back and see that I did have boundaries I am always thankful for them and view them as smart decisions for my younger self.

I'm not saying I would have never faced a spouse with MLC, because that had nothing to do with me in the first place, but I would have not taken on the burden of making things better, right, etc etc for things that were really not in my locus of control in the first place.

One solid boundary I had after bomb drop was not being the OW to the OW and I am thankful for that boundary every day. I was so hurt, devastated, and reduced to dust that I'm thankful I had just enough substance to not do that.
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« Last Edit: October 24, 2023, 11:57:54 PM by Reinventing »

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#17: October 25, 2023, 01:33:25 AM
Quote
I wish I had grasped the concept that boundaries were MY actions regarding the limits of what I accept in my life. I think if I had one thing to choose to teach my younger self, it would have been that.

Perhaps this issue is one that we older females see particularly, Reinventing, when we interact with girls and younger women? Idk. But I agree with you so much that how we ACT teaches young people so much more than our words.

I was very lucky for the first fifty years of my life in that I came from a family that did boundaries well and gave me the confidence to use them in my own life. What I found odd post BD is how very unlike myself I was  :)…..but it was a crazy and confusing time. Looking back, I think I was a bit of a novice in dealing with people in intimate relationships who are emotionally abusive. I think I thought - for a while - that my then h was metaphorically drowning and it was my job to try to save him. But, with more time, it became easier to see that the person who really was getting soaked was me, that what I thought was a life vest was more like a suicide vest that would blow me up too if I was close enough. It was a profoundly shocking thing to me to see how little my then h cared about the effects of his behaviour on me, my family, our friends, our home, everything we had created together over 20 years. I still find it odd tbh.

I wrestled with that issue of unconditional love bc I suppose my family boundaries to that point had been that love is unconditional even though people have the right to not like your choices or behaviour. I always knew that, no matter how much either of my parents disliked some of my choices or tore their hair out at my teenage stupidity, their love was immutable. In my post BD wrestling, I think I came to the conclusion that my love may be unconditional but the nature of a relationship IS conditional. I learned from friends who had adult children or family members who were addicts, for instance, that one can carry the same amount of love AND need to accept that the kind of relationship you offer changes when someone is unable or unwilling to behave with care and respect towards you. That what you think is the reason matters less than the pattern of their actions. And that this is not an easy thing to put into practice bc it requires swallowing some rather hard reality pills  :)

Again looking back, I think my love for the person who used to be my h was remarkably sticky long after his disappearance from my life and that much of that love was unconditional.  But my trust, my desire to speak to him, my assumptions about his intentions, my beliefs about who he is or what he was capable of doing…those all changed, all those working levers of a relationship. It got easier to see that some of my love was unconditional, but that a relationship with me wasn’t. Perhaps the shake up that comes with BD just makes it easier to see those boundary lines that were simply unspoken before then? Idk.

It has been years and I’m not sure I could honestly say that I love my former h now. He disappeared long ago and I don’t know him anymore; events suggested that perhaps I didn’t ever know him as I thought I did. Yet there is still a little something that means I do not wish him harm, that makes him a particular person on the planet to me, that allowed me not to respond in kind and that allows me now to appreciate parts of who we were. As I get older, I think my then h was very foolish indeed to treat that kind of unconditional love, regard and respect as if it were nothing of value…..I think perhaps I value those things even more when I see them in action. But I also see that it is likely that my former h came from a FOO where love and respect were both highly conditional and that truthfully he may never have seen them in the way I did and do. I suspect he still doesn’t or he would have felt compelled to belatedly acknowledge and apologise for some of the horror he unleashed on people who loved and trusted him even all these years later. Bc, as my gran used to say, if you really need to know what is in someone’s heart, don’t watch their mouth, watch their feet  :)
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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.


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

F
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#18: October 28, 2023, 01:09:07 PM
Hello Treasur, Biscuit, Reinventing,

thank you very much for your wise advices and the time you spent to write them. You are spot on for many things, Treasur, like always. Setting up boundaries is a new skill for me and I am already working on it, first for me and my relationships, and yes also to show example to our children.

Regarding the children, education is always a balance and I try to be the best I can do, however the situation is not black and white : I am not the 100% stable parent, W is not 100% unstable. Our coparenting together is working remarkably well considering the current level of our relationship, and I am fine with the choice I made some months ago. The relationship from W with the children is still alive even if it could be stronger and even there have been some disconnections. Strange as it may look like, W is often mirroring my words or my actions towards our children. And I do the same sometimes.

Now a bit of journaling : the holidays have been very good. We spent 6 days with my family, first my dad then my brother with his big family (SIL and 5 of their children). A lot of very good moments together, games together, walks, cooking. So very good holidays.
W has made the choice not to come, too bad for her.

When we came back, I had the pleasant surprise to see a slight reconnecting of W : she has used time to make many small things in the house, including washing my things and preparing a good dinner for us. This is again a confirmation for me that taking longest possible holiday time was the right choice.
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« Last Edit: October 28, 2023, 01:13:55 PM by FrenchHusband »
M 44, W43. Married 18 years, together 21
3 children D17, D15, S6
OM discovered Dec 22, BD Jan 23 (few days after)
W still living at home
Aimer, c'est donner sans attendre de retour et tout acte est prière, s'il est don de soi (Antoine de Saint Exupéry)
Love means to give without expecting return, and every act is a prayer if it is a self-gift. (thanks OffRoad !)

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Re: living is an opportunity
#19: October 30, 2023, 02:24:51 PM
FH-
I am very glad to hear that you had a nice time with family, they are the most important! Also glad to hear that W is doing things( small is ok too).
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BD 3/23
Standing
W Still at Home
M-47
W-46

 

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