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Now what?? Al, any suggestions? #168468
10/16/11 05:00 AM
10/16/11 05:00 AM
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hydin Offline OP
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Hi Al, It was suggested in my other post that I post a questions here. Not sure if this is how it works or not.

Recap, W filed 3/11, lived in house until 9/15 then she moved to "dog sit" for two years for a couple in a house a mile away. S 17 with me full time. When I travel for work she stays here... kind of... She cooks S 17 dinner, leaves for 4-5 hours and comes back after 11pm to sleep only. She has been very friendly until the legal paper work started for her side the first week of Sept. She insists she does not want to reconcile (last asked in June, She has said it several times, last time when she got the legal paperwork). She has refused to discuss reason for leaving until that time. She had said to a collaborative divorce counselor that it was because I went through her stuff and I kicked her out of the bedroom (I did go through her stuff for something she said she did not have (bra) and she then changed it to she said it did not fit..., she was sleeping in another room for two weeks, then put pillow on bottom our bed... I put it out in the hall after she said she did not want to go to a company trip with me..)

Here is my issue. She has left the house. I want to reconcile very badly... much work done on my side of street. Read my assignments from you...

No contact in the last 2 weeks except texts. I don't even know her current address. She comes over when I am out of town. This week in town all week. I took my ring off last week. She has hers on. Do I put mine back on? Do I sit with her and son at church? I have not been pursuing her since she left. Part of me thinks she wants me to. she has new job, full time that she loves. I got her gift from S17 to celebrate her getting it (tools to fix computer, her new job). Part of me wants to distance myself and detach since she has been basically living as my wife until a month ago, she is just now really separated from S17 and I. Other part says if I don't communicate she will think I am not interested.

She is two weeks late with her legal paperwork. I wonder if I should I let her do it in her own time or do I enforce the due date and move on with the divorce? She is very angry since the paperwork on her side started. She has said she does not want to disclose things in legal documents that are seen by others. The financial stuff I need. The questions is what she is concerned about. She has a different reality than I have on our history. Now writing it down and swearing to it may be causing her to pause. But I am projecting that on her. What to do?


me 54 stbxw 52 m 26 (plus one??) t33
d 23, s 22, s 20
ILYBIDLY 1/11 S 12/10 d filed 3/11 w left house 9/11, back in house to live only 1/12 to 11/13. d final 10/13
Re: Now what?? Al, any suggestions? [Re: hydin] #168572
10/16/11 06:45 PM
10/16/11 06:45 PM
Joined: Aug 2010
Posts: 908
Northwest Washington State, US...
AlTurtle Offline
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AlTurtle  Offline
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Joined: Aug 2010
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Originally Posted By: hydin
Hi Al, It was suggested in my other post that I post a questions here. Not sure if this is how it works or not.
Sorry this hasn't been a place where I monitor new posts. Well, I fixed that and will respond to your piece here, and I am glad you posted this.

Originally Posted By: hydin
Recap, W filed 3/11, lived in house until 9/15 then she moved to "dog sit" for two years for a couple in a house a mile away. S 17 with me full time. When I travel for work she stays here... kind of... She cooks S 17 dinner, leaves for 4-5 hours and comes back after 11pm to sleep only.
I assume you have been living together for 17 plus years before this? I often ask this question to try to figure out how much of the stuff she is getting away from was done with you and how much was done with others. Makes a difference in the healing/reconciling process.

Originally Posted By: hydin
She has been very friendly until the legal paper work started for her side the first week of Sept. She insists she does not want to reconcile (last asked in June, She has said it several times, last time when she got the legal paperwork). She has refused to discuss reason for leaving until that time. She had said to a collaborative divorce counselor that it was because I went through her stuff and I kicked her out of the bedroom (I did go through her stuff for something she said she did not have (bra) and she then changed it to she said it did not fit..., she was sleeping in another room for two weeks, then put pillow on bottom our bed... I put it out in the hall after she said she did not want to go to a company trip with me..)
Ok. Now you are looking for clues to what she is/has been going through. Kinda in the dark, it sounds. Well, that is a starting place.

Originally Posted By: hydin
Here is my issue. She has left the house. I want to reconcile very badly... much work done on my side of street. Read my assignments from you...
Ok, you want to rebuild. and badly. You've probably got a lengthy list of stuff you've done in the past that somehow you are going to a) learn to do better and b) make amends for somehow. Does she know you are working on your side of the street? I wonder.

Originally Posted By: hydin
No contact in the last 2 weeks except texts.
When trouble is in the air, I strongly suggest you use text only for making or breaking appointments or for sharing decisions. Text is tragically too narrow a bandwidth medium for connecting or particularly for reconnecting, I fear.

Originally Posted By: hydin
I don't even know her current address. She comes over when I am out of town. This week in town all week. I took my ring off last week. She has hers on. Do I put mine back on?
I'd wear your ring until you are clear that you are no longer going to put energy into this relationship. Putting it off or on as a signal to her seems kindof silly and manipulative.

Originally Posted By: hydin
Do I sit with her and son at church?
I don't know about your church relationship with your son. If you typically go to church with him, I would continue and let her decide to go. If she's there first, I would be really ready to ask her permission to sit nearby and be ready to be turned down.

Originally Posted By: hydin
I have not been pursuing her since she left.
I am thus assuming that you've been controlling, pursuing and invasive for years. Just a guess. Well, this would be a starting place.

Originally Posted By: hydin
Part of me thinks she wants me to.
I would listen to that part, smile, and tell it that you've learned better than to pursue her.

Originally Posted By: hydin
she has new job, full time that she loves.
Great. Hooray for her!

Originally Posted By: hydin
Part of me wants to distance myself and detach since she has been basically living as my wife until a month ago, she is just now really separated from S17 and I. Other part says if I don't communicate she will think I am not interested.
This is a common puzzle. To protect yourself from the pain of her abandonment or from temptation to express more anger at her or on the other hand to act in a way that suggests that you don't care, when you do. I tend to answer it by a) being clear even to her that you want to mend your relationship and b) don't do anything that looks like pushing or trying to manipulate. (Actually my four rules of what to do when he/she leaves.)

In your situation it appears that it might have been better to apply those rules some time ago, but we are not handed time machines in this life it seems.

Originally Posted By: hydin
She is two weeks late with her legal paperwork. I wonder if I should I let her do it in her own time or do I enforce the due date and move on with the divorce? She is very angry since the paperwork on her side started. She has said she does not want to disclose things in legal documents that are seen by others. The financial stuff I need. The questions is what she is concerned about. She has a different reality than I have on our history. Now writing it down and swearing to it may be causing her to pause. But I am projecting that on her. What to do?
If you want a divorce then press on. It you don't then I suggest dragging your heals in a kind fashion. Let lawyers do the pushing, not you, if you can. Actually it sounds to me that she is probably a "private" person who doesn't want to put up dirty laundry in public.

I am assuming you want to mend the relationship. You have, I think, some great advantages. The contact with S17 (which will only last a little time longer). Her coming over to cook for him. You probably also have a nice imago match with her. And your church/faith life. You also have a growing awareness of what you have done and maybe are still doing that needs permanent fixing.

If I were to focus, I would research why she isn't talking cheerfully with you and fix that. Very hard to make progress when she doesn't share. But be clear you can do a lot about that. My starting guess is that in the past you have been a person who sucked to talk to - at least for her. Gotta clear that up. Your S17 can probably help. Either he also sucks to talk to by this time or he has a lot of experience with the details of how you have sucked. The term "sucks to talk to" refers to a whole lot of little habits that are unpleasant for your conversational partners.

Good luck.


Principles are simple. Applying them is a tough U-Do-It project. Go 4 it!
Al Turtle
(NA) Re: Now what?? Al, any suggestions? [Re: Gucci Loafer] #169198
10/18/11 02:41 AM
10/18/11 02:41 AM
Joined: Aug 2010
Posts: 908
Northwest Washington State, US...
AlTurtle Offline
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You and I have pretty different styles, Gucci. Glad you share your theories.


Principles are simple. Applying them is a tough U-Do-It project. Go 4 it!
Al Turtle
(NA) Re: Now what?? Al, any suggestions? [Re: AlTurtle] #169290
10/18/11 02:40 PM
10/18/11 02:40 PM
Joined: Feb 2011
Posts: 1,398
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TC_Manhattan Offline
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Originally Posted By: AlTurtle
You and I have pretty different styles, Gucci. Glad you share your theories.


Who is Gucci, and what are his theories? (This seems a 'non sequitur.')

(NA) Re: Now what?? Al, any suggestions? [Re: TC_Manhattan] #169292
10/18/11 02:47 PM
10/18/11 02:47 PM
Joined: Aug 2010
Posts: 9,007
The Farm
Jayne241 Offline
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I believe Al is referring to a post that had to be removed due to membership verification issues. Sorry for the confusion.


42.
Re: (NA) Re: Now what?? Al, any suggestions? [Re: Jayne241] #169395
10/18/11 06:54 PM
10/18/11 06:54 PM
Joined: Aug 2010
Posts: 12,611
The Dark Side of the Moon
AntigoneRisen Offline
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Gucci's post was moved here to Other Topics. It was off topic for this purposes of this thread. Please carry on.

Last edited by star*fish; 10/19/11 11:08 PM. Reason: edited to add link

Critical Thinking: The Other National Deficit

"That which can be asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence." - Christopher Hitchens
Re: (NA) Re: Now what?? Al, any suggestions? [Re: AntigoneRisen] #169771
10/19/11 05:38 PM
10/19/11 05:38 PM
Joined: Aug 2010
Posts: 908
Northwest Washington State, US...
AlTurtle Offline
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AlTurtle  Offline
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Northwest Washington State, US...
I plan to keep this thread on the topic and concerns expressed by hydin.

I have nothing to do with subscribing to the forum or rules or such. Nor do I wanna be involved. Thanks all.


Principles are simple. Applying them is a tough U-Do-It project. Go 4 it!
Al Turtle
Re: Now what?? Al, any suggestions? [Re: AlTurtle] #170058
10/20/11 02:43 AM
10/20/11 02:43 AM
Joined: Jun 2011
Posts: 197
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hydin Offline OP
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Originally Posted By: AlTurtle


I assume you have been living together for 17 plus years before this? I often ask this question to try to figure out how much of the stuff she is getting away from was done with you and how much was done with others. Makes a difference in the healing/reconciling process.


We have been together 30 years, married 26.


Originally Posted By: AlTurtle
Ok. Now you are looking for clues to what she is/has been going through. Kinda in the dark, it sounds. Well, that is a starting place.


We did the standard power struggle stuff. We both held our own and did the same tactics to each other. Worrying only about my side of the street, I knew we were not getting along and that we needed to rekindle the relationship again. We had lost our friendship. Focused too much on the kids and being parents vs keeping both our relationship as a couple and as parents. I see that now. I made the mistake of thinking when the kids were grown there would be space for me again. Two years ago she told me I would never be more important than the kids. I should not have waited and taken action by improving myself then.

Originally Posted By: AlTurtle
Ok, you want to rebuild. and badly. You've probably got a lengthy list of stuff you've done in the past that somehow you are going to a) learn to do better and b) make amends for somehow. Does she know you are working on your side of the street? I wonder.


She knows I have been going to a men's group with Imago counselors leading the group. It is once a week and the men keep each other working on their side of the street. She knows I go each week. I have volunteered what I was realizing and learning with no expectation every month or so for the first 3 of 4 months (started April). We really have not communicated much since then (July). She moved out in mid Sept to house sit for friends for 2 years. She has moved her clothes (except what she does not wear or summer stuff) but has kept the empty boxes where they were. If you look you can't tell she has moved much. Closet racks are now less full but no gaps. I noticed the empty when changing a light bulb.


Originally Posted By: AlTurtle
When trouble is in the air, I strongly suggest you use text only for making or breaking appointments or for sharing decisions. Text is tragically too narrow a bandwidth medium for connecting or particularly for reconnecting, I fear.


I will start calling instead. How often is enough/ too much?

Originally Posted By: AlTurtle
I'd wear your ring until you are clear that you are no longer going to put energy into this relationship. Putting it off or on as a signal to her seems kindof silly and manipulative.


That is why I asked. I asked the men's group too. They raked me over pretty good.... To be true to myself I am putting the ring back on as a sign of hope. I am putting it back on because that is where my heart is with no expectation from her. She has been wearing her rings non-stop since filing in March.


Originally Posted By: hydin
Do I sit with her and son at church?
Originally Posted By: AlTurtle
I don't know about your church relationship with your son. If you typically go to church with him, I would continue and let her decide to go. If she's there first, I would be really ready to ask her permission to sit nearby and be ready to be turned down.


We go to the same mass (Catholic) but drive separately since I stay and teach and she leaves after mass. I usually get there first or S 17 does. If I am sitting she comes and sits. If she is sitting first they save me a seat. S 17 is always in between. When we wish each other "Peace" with a handshake or sign of affection, W ignores me and I usually reach over and offer my hand. Recently she has been very artificial and sarcastic with her "peace be with you". That is why I am wondering if it is better to sit somewhere else. She sits with legs tightly crossed, arms tightly crossed and a stern look on her face. No eye contact with me at all during mass.


Originally Posted By: AlTurtle
I am thus assuming that you've been controlling, pursuing and invasive for years. Just a guess. Well, this would be a starting place.


I have fractured the marriage by being controlling, passive aggressive, pursuing and giving the silent treatment. You got it.



Originally Posted By: AlTurtle
This is a common puzzle. To protect yourself from the pain of her abandonment or from temptation to express more anger at her or on the other hand to act in a way that suggests that you don't care, when you do. I tend to answer it by a) being clear even to her that you want to mend your relationship and b) don't do anything that looks like pushing or trying to manipulate. (Actually my four rules of what to do when he/she leaves.)


So I should again tell her that I want to mend the relationship and realize I have work to do? Tell her I expect nothing from her. That I just wanted to clearly share where I was? I will reread your paper. I have several times already. That is why I am not chasing and I am getting a life with S 17. Lost weight, more active. In much better mood. I LOVE myself for the first time in as long as I can remember. I really like the new hydin. Work notices changes, everyone notices I am much more easy going. Her threatening to file then filing was a 2x4 to my head. Started hard work on myself in January. I am still doing it.


Originally Posted By: AlTurtle
In your situation it appears that it might have been better to apply those rules some time ago, but we are not handed time machines in this life it seems.


How do I get enough contact with her without pushing to let her witness the new me? Is that even possible?

Originally Posted By: AlTurtle
If you want a divorce then press on. It you don't then I suggest dragging your heals in a kind fashion. Let lawyers do the pushing, not you, if you can. Actually it sounds to me that she is probably a "private" person who doesn't want to put up dirty laundry in public.


I think that is most of it. I also sense that she has said things to others that she may have exaggerated and now is faced with swearing to them. I could be wrong. Some history has been rewritten but I expect that. It is true for her. It is her reality. It makes sense that she wants to divorce me, no matter the details. I have not been a great husband.

Originally Posted By: AlTurtle
I am assuming you want to mend the relationship. You have, I think, some great advantages. The contact with S17 (which will only last a little time longer). Her coming over to cook for him. You probably also have a nice imago match with her. And your church/faith life. You also have a growing awareness of what you have done and maybe are still doing that needs permanent fixing.


I very much want to fix things. I am excited about how things could be with work. I do not want the old relationship. Want to start by dating... sometime, It looks like it will be after the divorce if at all. I will be fine if we never do. I prefer to be married to her (prefer it a lot) but I will be fine if I become a single dad (S 17 will be with me, she volunteered that in May.. I am in the house with S 17.

[quote=AlTurtle]If I were to focus, I would research why she isn't talking cheerfully with you and fix that. Very hard to make progress when she doesn't share. But be clear you can do a lot about that. My starting guess is that in the past you have been a person who sucked to talk to - at least for her. Gotta clear that up. Your S17 can probably help. Either he also sucks to talk to by this time or he has a lot of experience with the details of how you have sucked. The term "sucks to talk to" refers to a whole lot of little habits that are unpleasant for your conversational partners.


I need help with the "how" here. How do I research? When I have asked for her reasons for the divorce she responded in June " we are getting along so well now that I do not want to tell you and ruin the type of relationship we have. I don't want to hurt you" In July I asked what issues I needed to work on (requested homework from men's group), she responded " I can't change". She has also said there is no chance of reconciling a couple of times, because " she can't change". Her counselor seems to have given her that line. Two other church members went to the same counselor (at the Catholic church no less) and used the same line with their husbands. Or maybe she does not think she can change so it is not worth it. That makes senses too.

Al, thanks for taking the time and interest in my situation. I have not had over 20 minutes of being down. I really took the wake up call to heart and opened myself up to the fast needed changes. Once they started it felt so different and exciting to be the new Hydin that I have kept at it. I wonder many times a week how I can feel so upbeat and comfortable with myself when I am going through a divorce I do not want. The answer is I am being (trying to ) be true to myself and that makes life more fun and easier. I took to heart the explaination fo frustration in your chart/papers. It keeps me centered and in check with reality. I have cut the reactivity way down. Just don't have to be right all the time anymore and don't always have to comment on things. Life is much easier. You and your work have played a HUGE part in that. I can't repay that, so I am spreading the word so others may benefit before they get where I am.


me 54 stbxw 52 m 26 (plus one??) t33
d 23, s 22, s 20
ILYBIDLY 1/11 S 12/10 d filed 3/11 w left house 9/11, back in house to live only 1/12 to 11/13. d final 10/13
Re: Now what?? Al, any suggestions? [Re: hydin] #172001
10/25/11 10:58 PM
10/25/11 10:58 PM
Joined: Jun 2011
Posts: 197
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hydin Offline OP
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hydin  Offline OP
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Joined: Jun 2011
Posts: 197
Al, did I do something wrong?


me 54 stbxw 52 m 26 (plus one??) t33
d 23, s 22, s 20
ILYBIDLY 1/11 S 12/10 d filed 3/11 w left house 9/11, back in house to live only 1/12 to 11/13. d final 10/13
Re: Now what?? Al, any suggestions? [Re: hydin] #172537
10/27/11 08:28 PM
10/27/11 08:28 PM
Joined: Aug 2010
Posts: 12,611
The Dark Side of the Moon
AntigoneRisen Offline
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Hydin,

I'm sure you've done nothing wrong, and Al will get back to you when he can.

~AR


Critical Thinking: The Other National Deficit

"That which can be asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence." - Christopher Hitchens
Re: Now what?? Al, any suggestions? [Re: hydin] #172627
10/28/11 02:27 AM
10/28/11 02:27 AM
Joined: Aug 2010
Posts: 908
Northwest Washington State, US...
AlTurtle Offline
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AlTurtle  Offline
Retired Therapist
Joined: Aug 2010
Posts: 908
Northwest Washington State, US...
Originally Posted By: hydin
We did the standard power struggle stuff. We both held our own and did the same tactics to each other. Worrying only about my side of the street, I knew we were not getting along and that we needed to rekindle the relationship again. We had lost our friendship. Focused too much on the kids and being parents vs keeping both our relationship as a couple and as parents. I see that now. I made the mistake of thinking when the kids were grown there would be space for me again. Two years ago she told me I would never be more important than the kids. I should not have waited and taken action by improving myself then.
Ok. Good thinking. Lots of clues. If she is comparing you to her kids, she's seeing you as a burden not as someone who enhances her life. But good data. And you can't start back then. No time travel allowed.

Originally Posted By: hydin
She knows I have been going to a men's group with Imago counselors leading the group. It is once a week and the men keep each other working on their side of the street. She knows I go each week. I have volunteered what I was realizing and learning with no expectation every month or so for the first 3 of 4 months (started April). We really have not communicated much since then (July). She moved out in mid Sept to house sit for friends for 2 years. She has moved her clothes (except what she does not wear or summer stuff) but has kept the empty boxes where they were. If you look you can't tell she has moved much. Closet racks are now less full but no gaps. I noticed the empty when changing a light bulb.
Glad you are going to that group. They giving you advice and understanding. Hmm. She's not moving very fast, is she.

Originally Posted By: hydin
I will start calling instead. How often is enough/ too much?
Wait. Are you primarily the Clinger or the Avoider. Gotta get some handle on that issue of Reliable Membership. Before you start calling. Link to my stuff on this.


Originally Posted By: hydin
I asked the men's group too. They raked me over pretty good.... To be true to myself I am putting the ring back on as a sign of hope. I am putting it back on because that is where my heart is with no expectation from her. She has been wearing her rings non-stop since filing in March.
Men's groups can be such a valuable input.


Originally Posted By: hydin
We go to the same mass (Catholic) but drive separately since I stay and teach and she leaves after mass. I usually get there first or S 17 does. If I am sitting she comes and sits. If she is sitting first they save me a seat. S 17 is always in between. When we wish each other "Peace" with a handshake or sign of affection, W ignores me and I usually reach over and offer my hand. Recently she has been very artificial and sarcastic with her "peace be with you". That is why I am wondering if it is better to sit somewhere else. She sits with legs tightly crossed, arms tightly crossed and a stern look on her face. No eye contact with me at all during mass.
Sounds as if she has different views. She will sit with you but displays that she doesn't like it. You can't fix her problem. What do you think it is? Why would she sit near you and act unhappy?


Originally Posted By: hydin
I have fractured the marriage by being controlling, passive aggressive, pursuing and giving the silent treatment. You got it.
Hmmm. Why'd you do that? Who taught you to act like that? Did it work for him/her/them? Does she have any or much reason to believe you would be any different in the future? Why would she put up with you doing that for so long? This sounds all like Master/Slave/Passive Master stuff. Read my papers on this to get grounded in that issue of control. Share with the guys.

Originally Posted By: hydin
So I should again tell her that I want to mend the relationship and realize I have work to do? Tell her I expect nothing from her. That I just wanted to clearly share where I was? I will reread your paper. I have several times already. That is why I am not chasing and I am getting a life with S 17. Lost weight, more active. In much better mood. I LOVE myself for the first time in as long as I can remember. I really like the new hydin. Work notices changes, everyone notices I am much more easy going. Her threatening to file then filing was a 2x4 to my head. Started hard work on myself in January. I am still doing it.
Really good awakening. Might tell her you want to build an entirely new relationship, for you and someone, hopefully her.

Originally Posted By: hydin
How do I get enough contact with her without pushing to let her witness the new me? Is that even possible?
I dunno. Might be useful to start the kind of contact I mention in When to Fold Em.

Originally Posted By: hydin
I think that is most of it. I also sense that she has said things to others that she may have exaggerated and now is faced with swearing to them. I could be wrong. Some history has been rewritten but I expect that. It is true for her. It is her reality. It makes sense that she wants to divorce me, no matter the details. I have not been a great husband.
This is a real problem for lots of people. When the move apart they tell there friends a lot of crude and perhaps self-serving stories about their other partner. Then their friends get to believe 'em and refuse to understand and support why they change and want to reconnect. Awkward.

I would suggest that you keep in mind that she really wants to divorce the person you have been, for so long. The person that she didn't stop. Lots of grief there. She would probably like the person you are working to become. Keep working at it.

Originally Posted By: hydin
I very much want to fix things. I am excited about how things could be with work. I do not want the old relationship. Want to start by dating... sometime, It looks like it will be after the divorce if at all. I will be fine if we never do. I prefer to be married to her (prefer it a lot) but I will be fine if I become a single dad (S 17 will be with me, she volunteered that in May.. I am in the house with S 17.
Tough but probably won't work. You guys are RC and thus divorce is often a really big problem. Annulment sucks but may be better than staying stuck.

Originally Posted By: hydin
I need help with the "how" here. How do I research? When I have asked for her reasons for the divorce she responded in June " we are getting along so well now that I do not want to tell you and ruin the type of relationship we have. I don't want to hurt you"
Ok. Perhaps you've come across as so fragile that you can't take it. She has to lie or keep secrets to protect you. Not good. Men's group can let you know if you come across weak and fragile. Have to get some "balls", if that is the case.

Originally Posted By: hydin
In July I asked what issues I needed to work on (requested homework from men's group), she responded " I can't change".
Ok she believed you are hopeless. Well you can prove that isn't so.

Originally Posted By: hydin
She has also said there is no chance of reconciling a couple of times, because " she can't change". Her counselor seems to have given her that line. Two other church members went to the same counselor (at the Catholic church no less) and used the same line with their husbands. Or maybe she does not think she can change so it is not worth it. That makes senses too.
Interesting. All people change all the time, I believe. I imagine she is saying, "I can't change from wanting things to be better. I can't go back to our sucky relationship and he wants me to. I can't go back."

Originally Posted By: hydin
Al, thanks for taking the time and interest in my situation. I have not had over 20 minutes of being down. I really took the wake up call to heart and opened myself up to the fast needed changes. Once they started it felt so different and exciting to be the new Hydin that I have kept at it. I wonder many times a week how I can feel so upbeat and comfortable with myself when I am going through a divorce I do not want. The answer is I am being (trying to ) be true to myself and that makes life more fun and easier. I took to heart the explanation of frustration in your chart/papers. It keeps me centered and in check with reality. I have cut the reactivity way down. Just don't have to be right all the time anymore and don't always have to comment on things. Life is much easier. You and your work have played a HUGE part in that. I can't repay that, so I am spreading the word so others may benefit before they get where I am.
I hear you. Good for you. Keep going. Keep plowing ahead.

By the way, what was the form of reactivity that you used to get into? Temper, grief, silence, etc.? Remember I think you can't change yourself in abstraction. You can only learn specific new behaviors to replace specific old behaviors. (I believe you can learn new theories that point to specific actions.)


Principles are simple. Applying them is a tough U-Do-It project. Go 4 it!
Al Turtle
Re: Now what?? Al, any suggestions? [Re: AlTurtle] #172664
10/28/11 11:56 AM
10/28/11 11:56 AM
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Originally Posted By: AlTurtle


By the way, what was the form of reactivity that you used to get into? Temper, grief, silence, etc.? Remember I think you can't change yourself in abstraction. You can only learn specific new behaviors to replace specific old behaviors. (I believe you can learn new theories that point to specific actions.)


I was a master of the silent treatment. We both were. When it came time to end an argument I would always ask if we could talk if I was the one wanting to reconnect. If she wanted the silence to end she would normally wait until I returned from a business trip then act as if things were fine and we had never argued (usually involved her initiating sex as a sign of being ready to stop the silent treatment. No resolution of the conflict. I realize now that this was the worst thing we both could have let happen. The ignored issues just added up behind the silence. We would act as if nothing happened. If I tried to talk about the reason for the friction she would get frustrated.

I was the clinger... she the avoider. W listen to books on tape with headphones in almost none stop. Watches movies alone. Does Sudoku puzzles with the headphones in, while watching movies with others or when riding in the car. W is always doing something while doing something else. Never just sits and watches TV or movies, she does something else too. I reacted with frustration because I felt ignored when this happened. She was avoiding me... I see that now.

Thanks for the links for the various questions.... I am off to start my assigned homework. Your work is so valuable. I keep referring folks to your website. What a great source of understanding. You make it so simple and non-threatening that it is easy to see personal issues without getting defensive. That is a great gift.

Hydin


me 54 stbxw 52 m 26 (plus one??) t33
d 23, s 22, s 20
ILYBIDLY 1/11 S 12/10 d filed 3/11 w left house 9/11, back in house to live only 1/12 to 11/13. d final 10/13
Re: Now what?? Al, any suggestions? [Re: hydin] #172694
10/28/11 03:10 PM
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Originally Posted By: hydin
I was a master of the silent treatment. We both were.
As you move along, figuring this out, and fixing your parts, one twist you have is that you think you were the Clinger and used a Silent Treatment. This doesn't seem very common to me and thus is interesting. My guess is that both of you have a very strong Type 2 Communication problem: your communication system would collapse into silence when a disagreement would appear.

Originally Posted By: hydin
No resolution of the conflict. I realize now that this was the worst thing we both could have let happen. The ignored issues just added up behind the silence.


The solution is to retrain one or both of you into having a reliable communication system that would peacefully handle any topic. My guess is that there was/is so many topics that you consider conflictual topics and thus "off limits" that your relationship would collapse under the enormous silent weight.

Originally Posted By: hydin
I was the clinger... she the avoider. I reacted with frustration because I felt ignored when this happened. She was avoiding me... I see that now.
I think this is to your advantage in fixing this problem with her or whoever. I am dismayed at how little chance an avoider has at initiating and fixing this.

Well, go forth and continue doing your best. "Our Best Today, Better Tomorrow."


Principles are simple. Applying them is a tough U-Do-It project. Go 4 it!
Al Turtle
Re: Now what?? Al, any suggestions? [Re: AlTurtle] #186435
12/08/11 04:41 AM
12/08/11 04:41 AM
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Hi Al, I have been reading and working on the above. I am stumped at one thing.... W continues to feel unsafe talking with me.. (I am projecting that but she will not even begin anything but polite chatter). She is coming back in to the home unexpectedly since the owners of the house she was going to "house sit" for 2 years have a son who is graduating from college and has not found a job. When she told me she was returning to our home I asked what changed. This was in front of my boys. She insisted that she told me and everyone that this was the plan from the start.... I just let it drop but both boys has since told me that they had not heard she was coming back until she told us last week. I have had several issues where she is insisting that she told me things that she hasn't. I can't seem to gain her trust to open even a little bit. We discussed holiday plans last night and I was careful no to leave things general. I told her what I wanted to do and asked how that matched her expectations. She was fine with my plans but did say that she was off the week I had planned the trip for. I specifically asked her it that week was a problem before I asked my boss for time off (year end close is hell). She did not tell me anything about her vacation time then. I am committed to be working the week the kids are off and she is working now.

I told her that I thought we did not know each other anymore and I wanted to develop some sort of relationship going forward. Her response was " Well, we will see after I see your settlement offer.

How does one balance being open and trying to be safe when the next step in the process is likely to be getting a court separation agreement to formalize the separation? I fear it will be seen as me being controlling. In the entire separation period, now 8 months, she has never admitted any fault or expressed anything she might have done differently. I am beginning to believe she is "Just Done" and I should now just do the business end of the divorce and give up on reconciling. I do not want that but I also have to protect myself at this point. With no legal agreement both of us could spend what we want on anything with no recourse from the other. She also is coming and going from the house (that s 17 and I have always been in and the one she left)with no notice or consideration. When she arrives she takes over cooking meals etc. I find myself walking on egg shells and I don't like that feeling.

sorry to vent. Not sure what to do... I am trying not to push but I know fear going legal will not help get her to feel safe.

Help!!


me 54 stbxw 52 m 26 (plus one??) t33
d 23, s 22, s 20
ILYBIDLY 1/11 S 12/10 d filed 3/11 w left house 9/11, back in house to live only 1/12 to 11/13. d final 10/13
Re: Now what?? Al, any suggestions? [Re: hydin] #188397
12/14/11 01:45 AM
12/14/11 01:45 AM
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bump


me 54 stbxw 52 m 26 (plus one??) t33
d 23, s 22, s 20
ILYBIDLY 1/11 S 12/10 d filed 3/11 w left house 9/11, back in house to live only 1/12 to 11/13. d final 10/13
Re: Now what?? Al, any suggestions? [Re: hydin] #189006
12/15/11 11:28 PM
12/15/11 11:28 PM
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AlTurtle Offline
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Sorry to take so long at getting back to you. I missed you posting completely till someone drew my attention to it.
Originally Posted By: hydin
W continues to feel unsafe talking with me.. (I am projecting that but she will not even begin anything but polite chatter).
This seems as if this has been going on for quite a time. I'm glad your focus is on her feeling unsafe and on puzzling out what to do.

I was working with a fellow last weekend who not only did not think his partner was unsafe, but believed if she said nothing that she was feeling safe. He'd never heard about how Freezing and Submitting are signs of panic. His partner was in terror and he had no clue. Talk about scaring your partner away!

So let's assume that she is panicked (1) about chatting with you and that her panic makes sense (2)(to her Lizard). My guess (3) then would be that she's either felt panicked most of her life about talking (her Lizard has lived in unsafety for years - even before meeting you) or that more currently her Lizard is focused on you. Either way at some time in the beginning of your relationship she probably thought of you as a "source of safety," who later disappointed her by becoming a "source of threat". And since she still seems to be holding back, my guess is she believes you haven't changed much.

By the way, walking on tip-toes is a sign of panic on your side and that, too, will scare her Lizard.

Originally Posted By: hydin
How does one balance being open and trying to be safe when the next step in the process is likely to be getting a court separation agreement to formalize the separation?
I really don't know what you are saying here. Your job is to work to make your lizard safe and her's as well. Being open, in the long run, makes for safety, but in the short run can be terrifying. What are you open about?

Since it has been so long and since there seems to be no movement toward sharing more and more openly, my guess is that you will probably have to go through with the "legal" stuff. Ugh.

Of course you could take her behavior (fear of talking - still) as a sign to more vigorously "visibly get your act together."

Originally Posted By: hydin
I fear it will be seen as me being controlling.
What's the fear here? People may interpret things any way they want. The issue is to be a source of safety and to give her sovereignty. I wouldn't waste any time trying to manage what she thinks. I would focus on what you do.

Originally Posted By: hydin
In the entire separation period, now 8 months, she has never admitted any fault or expressed anything she might have done differently.
Well, at least you haven't heard it if she's focused on her part. I would not focus on her part.

Originally Posted By: hydin
I am beginning to believe she is "Just Done" and I should now just do the business end of the divorce and give up on reconciling.
Could be. I recall if she's there, she's made a decision that you will never change. She may think you are "hopeless." I would focus on changing your behaviors to break up her belief.

I shared this the other day. Could be there are 50 things that you need to learn to be a great partner. You could work on them all. But perhaps she currently only cares about 10 of them. If you focus on those 10, you get great rewards. If you focus on 10 that she doesn't care about, you will only get tired and no rewards. Cool thing is to find out which those 10 are and focus on those. Provides more reward.

Originally Posted By: hydin
I do not want that but I also have to protect myself at this point.
Well, the rule is to protect yourself, first, so that you can be a source of safety to her also. You may have to work on legal agreements that seem fair to both. Not easy. Some lawyers are not too helpful with this.

Originally Posted By: hydin
With no legal agreement both of us could spend what we want on anything with no recourse from the other.
Not sure what you mean. I would always prefer boundary agreements between friends to be better than legal agreements. But if you can't get respectful boundary agreements going, then you may have to use legal, attorneys, court, etc. to do it for you. Seems not the best way to go.

Originally Posted By: hydin
She also is coming and going from the house (that s 17 and I have always been in and the one she left)with no notice or consideration. When she arrives she takes over cooking meals etc. I find myself walking on egg shells and I don't like that feeling.
Sounds ugly. Don't blame you for feeling bad.

Originally Posted By: hydin
sorry to vent. Not sure what to do... I am trying not to push but I know fear going legal will not help get her to feel safe.
No problem with venting to me. I encourage you to vent to safe people.

I am fascinated that you two seem to know so little about each other. I guess I need to read back over your postings to see where you are. Usually I focus better when people talk or write to me regularly.


Principles are simple. Applying them is a tough U-Do-It project. Go 4 it!
Al Turtle
Re: Now what?? Al, any suggestions? [Re: AlTurtle] #189061
12/16/11 05:03 AM
12/16/11 05:03 AM
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Hydin, to add to what Al has written, you can go ahead with the legalities while working on Safety. FOMC is very reactive so I was very cautious with proceeding with moving forward on the legalities. I researched options and suggested collaborative approaches to FOMC and asked him what he thought about them. I did not do anything unilaterally and I sought his agreement at every stage in the process. The approach I have used has been extremely slow and tedious, but I believe that we have agreements that we can live with while keeping the process as safe as possible for both of us.


we: me44 + my husband Pookie :9: + S9 + D6
Re: Now what?? Al, any suggestions? [Re: flowmom] #189412
12/18/11 04:22 AM
12/18/11 04:22 AM
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Hi Flowmom, Unfortunately that was my first choice, the collaborative route. I set up the appointment with the counselor (that guides the process in my state) and when we met with her she asked W the reasons for her wanting a D. When W explained her reasons the counselor said we were a 6 out of 10 and most couples she saw were 10 or 11 out of 10. She, without prompting or any interaction with me asked W to wait 30 days before hiring a lawyer and just think about the D. She told me no relationship talk during the 30 days. I agreed. W cut it to 3 week wait. That was Monday, she saw counselor on Thursday, went to first lawyer Friday am and stayed until divorce was filed. Came home and told me, after I cooked dinner for my kids since she had a headache... She waited 4 days and filed with a litigator. He is pretty crumby and slow so it is not being rushed. He did send me emails on Good Friday at 6pm, got it on Easter morning while checking phone waiting for a table for a family brunch, with kids and W. Next email was their first settlement offer... which he sent to me by email at 5:40pm the friday before the fourth of July three day weekend. Nice guy.

I am thinking I should get things moving on my end legally. We have no separation agreement in place.

I am keeping hope alive but need to also start a new life.


me 54 stbxw 52 m 26 (plus one??) t33
d 23, s 22, s 20
ILYBIDLY 1/11 S 12/10 d filed 3/11 w left house 9/11, back in house to live only 1/12 to 11/13. d final 10/13
Re: Now what?? Al, any suggestions? [Re: hydin] #189455
12/18/11 04:30 PM
12/18/11 04:30 PM
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Northwest Washington State, US...
AlTurtle Offline
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Originally Posted By: hydin
Unfortunately that was my first choice, the collaborative route.
Yup. That collaborative stuff is great but only seems to work when you've got a collaboration going on. And, of course, that is the goal. But when moving toward a separation or divorce, I fear there are often only shreds left of any collaboration - shreds and dreams. Now is a time for "getting your feet on the ground," "breathing for a while," and then "gathering together the lessons and wisdoms" available from your past. Can take quite a time.

Originally Posted By: hydin
I am keeping hope alive but need to also start a new life.
Yes. I encourage you starting that "new life" which includes forgiving yourself while learning all about how you "screwed up" the last one. It may be a temptation to focus on your partner's failings, but I would encourage you to reap the benefits of studying and fixing yours.

Good luck.


Principles are simple. Applying them is a tough U-Do-It project. Go 4 it!
Al Turtle
Re: Now what?? Al, any suggestions? [Re: AlTurtle] #190024
12/20/11 04:54 AM
12/20/11 04:54 AM
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hydin Offline OP
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Thanks Al. I have been working really hard on myself for a year and it is paying off. I realize where I failed in the marriage and I am working on those spots. I have also spent a great deal of time reading your articles and listening to your podcasts, you work in the yard with me each weekend. I have realized that both of us are to blame for the break up. I also know that my opinion of what "she did" doesn't matter and amounts to stories I tell myself. I have stopped projecting what she is thinking. I realize it makes sense to her and that she must feel it is more painful to stay than to leave. I have read, reread and reread "what to do when he/she leaves". I have given her tons of space. I don't avoid her if she comes into a room I am in but I do not push her at all. I have only brought up reconciling a few times since she filed. She has said each time that there is no chance. I do wonder if she is waiting for me to fight for her. I am just being the best man I can today and better tomorrow!

My Atty suggested replying to my Wife's settlement offer. My wife sent one in July but had not done the financials. She just got them in (2 months late) the first week of Dec. Since she sent her settlement offer in July, she has gotten a full time job which should reduced the alimony. I am struggling with sending her a response to her settlement offer or delaying. Since there has been no discussion of working on our relationship, I am leaning toward sending it to her. I think it will either seal the divorce or be a cold slap of reality to her. Any suggestions on how to make her feel safe when doing this?

Thanks for your help.
Hydin


me 54 stbxw 52 m 26 (plus one??) t33
d 23, s 22, s 20
ILYBIDLY 1/11 S 12/10 d filed 3/11 w left house 9/11, back in house to live only 1/12 to 11/13. d final 10/13
Re: Now what?? Al, any suggestions? [Re: hydin] #190846
12/22/11 06:28 PM
12/22/11 06:28 PM
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Originally Posted By: hydin
I think it will either seal the divorce or be a cold slap of reality to her. Any suggestions on how to make her feel safe when doing this?
Gentle, firm, kindness. Let the attorney take the heat. They get paid for that. Still you have to be firm. Her lizard will only fear this if she has become used to you being wishy-washy, unfirm, etc. No time like the present to develop kind firmness.

Good luck.
Al


Principles are simple. Applying them is a tough U-Do-It project. Go 4 it!
Al Turtle
Re: Now what?? Al, any suggestions? [Re: AlTurtle] #192004
12/31/11 03:21 AM
12/31/11 03:21 AM
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hydin Offline OP
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Hi Al, interesting Christmas for me. Hope you had a wonderful one! Mine was different, not bad. Wife told the kids not to buy us gifts for both of us this year but didn't share that with me. I did not care since my list was going to be "buy me a recipe book that has recipes in it you like". I can get that done other ways. She also bought all the kids and herself I phones with big data packages with a 2 year contract (in my name). I paused and told her that giving them just the i phones was a surprise but that was it. She was handling the phone stuff. No need for me to do or say anything since it was a done deal. She made decisions and took control. I noticed many things that I had "forgotten" when seeing our marriage in hindsight over the past two weeks. It was a good reality check.

Spent 4 days taking the kids to St. Louis to see my parents and family. Wife did not come. She was on vacation and home just this week from a new job. I asked her about this week at the end of November and she gave it the OK. I made the plans then found out last week this was her only week off. I did not change plans because I couldn't due things I have to do next week but I don't think I would have shifted weeks anyway. The old hydin would have shifted things around for her and then been pouting for a couple of weeks and ruined the trip. As it was the trip was the best ever. No stress. Tons of laughs. The dynamic was totally different. Part of that was the changes I am still working on making having an affect and some of it was not having my wife there, making each decision more difficult (both our faults). I think the kids really noticed the difference. Now I wonder what to do here. Part of me wants to ask her if she is moving out (the part that wants to get on with life) and part of me wants to talk to her and see if the week alone may have made her think about things. I am really leaning toward saying nothing and just moving on. That does scare me. How does one know when to talk about the relationship? She never was the one to bring anything up. I think that is why I am scared... if I don't bring it up will she think I don't care? Does she want to know I still care?


me 54 stbxw 52 m 26 (plus one??) t33
d 23, s 22, s 20
ILYBIDLY 1/11 S 12/10 d filed 3/11 w left house 9/11, back in house to live only 1/12 to 11/13. d final 10/13
Re: Now what?? Al, any suggestions? [Re: hydin] #192104
12/31/11 06:23 PM
12/31/11 06:23 PM
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AlTurtle Offline
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Originally Posted By: hydin
Spent 4 days taking the kids to St. Louis to see my parents and family. Wife did not come. .... Tons of laughs. The dynamic was totally different. .... I think the kids really noticed the difference.
Keep up this good work. I think you are discovering that being in each other's presence kicks off some bad dynamics. So you think of being separate. And being separate ... well, no bad dynamics. The long range goal is to "be together" and get the "benefits of being separate," no bad dynamics.

Originally Posted By: hydin
Now I wonder what to do here. Part of me wants to ask her if she is moving out (the part that wants to get on with life) and part of me wants to talk to her and see if the week alone may have made her think about things. I am really leaning toward saying nothing and just moving on. That does scare me. How does one know when to talk about the relationship? She never was the one to bring anything up. I think that is why I am scared... if I don't bring it up will she think I don't care? Does she want to know I still care?
I think that part of getting older involves learning the right gesture or phrase for each tricky situation. In this case I think of something like "Honey, I care about you, but our relationship and its future puzzles me. Can we make an appointment to share our thoughts about where we are going?"


Principles are simple. Applying them is a tough U-Do-It project. Go 4 it!
Al Turtle
Re: Now what?? Al, any suggestions? [Re: AlTurtle] #199984
01/22/12 04:15 AM
01/22/12 04:15 AM
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hydin Offline OP
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Hi Al, It has been a crazy month. I won't give details unless needed. W is very withdrawn. She must not feel safe at all with me. S 19 was arrested and W found out at noon and did not tell me until she got home at 5. Refused to ride the two hours with me so we drove separately. She is very on edge lately. Her mom was over today. Seems when her parents are around she is really tense. I get along great with her parents and we interact like we always have. I was outside when her mom left and asked her to visit S 17 more... they were normally coming by to stop in almost weekly until D was filed. They have come by when I was home 4 times in 9 months. S notices. I told her that I would make myself scarce if that made them more comfortable. She said there was no need and went on to tell me that they invited me to the family Christmas dinner and also on the cruise they are taking their kids and grand kids on in May but W said not to... Not sure why she mentioned this... I let her know that I was still hoping to get a chance to start over in the marriage and I wanted her and her husband (I have always called them mom and dad...) to know that. Said nothing more and let her know that I was expecting nothing. She said that W and I "were like oil and water". That hurts me. I was hoping they would at least see hope. Maybe I am really blind. W is doing stuff like making decisions we both should make due to the D without me (decided to divide up Christmas ornaments for the kids before we divide them between ourselves - I said we needed to talk about that then dropped it). I am thinking of pushing things along with the D. Might be the best thing for all involved. One thing that still is bouncing around in my head is that she is waiting for me to fight for her. I have not discussed the relationship since July. Trying not to cling. I also am feeling like I need to bring up the Catholic expectations on marriage and divorce. Self serving? or just so I feel I have done all I could to save the marriage and keep our family together and have no regrets. Once I do that she can't say she didn't realize or know.

My changes have been dramatic. Kids, friends and work all notice and mention the changes. I am happy. I don't get the sense she has noticed or sees the changes. Maybe too little too late? Trying to keep marriage and family together but I can't do it alone. Our issues were minor compared to most. At least in my mind... which doesn't matter.

I could use some help with all of these thoughts.


me 54 stbxw 52 m 26 (plus one??) t33
d 23, s 22, s 20
ILYBIDLY 1/11 S 12/10 d filed 3/11 w left house 9/11, back in house to live only 1/12 to 11/13. d final 10/13
Re: Now what?? Al, any suggestions? [Re: hydin] #201109
01/25/12 04:08 PM
01/25/12 04:08 PM
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Sorry to take so long to respond. Been far from reliable Internet. Will be back next week.

I think your last thought was great. I think you do need help with all the thinking and observations. I strongly suggest a good counselor who can walk through this with you. I doubt anyone online (the bandwidth of connection is so narrow) can be of much help - not with the bustle of thoughts you have.

If we were to chat, first thing I would do is slow you down, to take on one problem at a time and learn it well. Life sometimes doesn't arrange for thoughtfulness. A good counselor's office should.


Principles are simple. Applying them is a tough U-Do-It project. Go 4 it!
Al Turtle
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