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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I thought I would start a journal of my marriage/separation as I seem to be reaching some sort of turning point. Not sure which direction it's going to go at this point. Please bear with me and feel free to offer opinions, advice, whacks on the head.

Brief background:

Married 25 years.
  • I just turned 54. My STBXW will be 49 this Spring.
  • Two kids age 14 and 12.
  • STBXW entered MLC between age 40 - 42. Full blown by 43. Personality change, new friends, new appearance. Very attractive to begin with - but has had cosmetic surgery (breast and lipo) various facial procedures (laser spot removal, regular BOTOX). Vigorous workout schedule at club with personal trainer.
  • STBXW had EA in 2008 which morphed into a PA in 2009 for four months. POSOM1 subsequently re-married (2010).
  • I discovered EA in 2010 - stbxw allowed me to believe it was "just" an EA.
  • Enter False R 2010.
  • During last summer, unbeknownst to me, stbxw's toxic friends were introducing her as "single" to different men (usually younger).
  • stbxw became infatuated with one particular guy (referred as OM2)
  • Separation Sept 2012
  • STBXW moved out Oct 2012
  • STBXW confessed to PA with POSOM1 AFTER she moved out.
  • In mediation. Initially I had primary custody, have been 50/50 since Dec 2012. Mediation process has been adversarial and has created a lot of bad blood between us.
  • stbxw has been hooking up with POSOM1 while pining after OM2. POSOM1 has remarried and has a young child. (POS cheated when he was married to his first wife and had a 3 year old and a 1 year old. A REAL POS).
  • stbxw has blamed me and marriage for her unhappiness. However, she remains unhappy 4 months after separation.
  • I have been trying to move on. Focussing on kids. Trying to detach, somewhat successfully but have recently had a relapse.
  • have been dating casually, nothing serious as not interested.
  • stbxw had never shown any remorse or any sign that she appreciates any of the pain she has caused to me or to our family.

So that's a brief history as I move into my 6th month of separation and 5th month since stbxw moved out of our joint/matrimonial home.
 

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Sounds to me like a clear case of someone not being happy with themselves. If you are not happy with yourself you will never be able to make any one else happy. For her to be doing that much with her physical appearance is a big sign to me (this coming from a 40 something year old woman who is perfectly happy with her lines and wrinkles and soft curves).....I am happy with my inner and outer being --- clearly she is not.

I am sorry you are going through this - and I know how bad that lack of remorse feels, that is the hardest part of it all to me!

Kudos to taking it day by day......
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Recent development and why I am starting this journal.

As stated above, my stbxw has never expressed one bit of remorse for what she has done to me, or to our family. She has expressed regret - but in the form of feeling sorry for herself more than anything. She has been acting "foggy" for about 5 years.

As stated above, she has been pining after OM2 (13 years younger than her) while having clandestine hookups with POSOM1 (12 years younger, married again with a newborn). STBXW was in serious deluded fog about OM2 and probably crossed a line in thinking he felt the same. So I think she is finally realizing that her dream of becoming soulmates with OM2 and watching the unicorns fly into the rainbows every night have been dashed. So, does that make me "Plan B"? Likely.

This past weekend, my stbxw texted me to please call her. I responded with a simple "what's up". She then called me, and for the first time since I discovered her affair - came as close to expressing remorse as I have ever seen. She even acknowledged lying, and not being honest during our 3 previous MC sessions. She then asked if I would be willing to go through MC again - except this time - I would choose the MC. My stbxw would attend with whomever I chose. On the weekend, she confirmed, twice, that she meant it - and that she is serious about taking "one last shot" at seeing if we can salvage anything.

Now here is the honest truth. At this point, I don't know if I want to expose myself to any further damage by my stbxw. I don't know if I could ever live with her - knowing what she did. BUT, that is part of the problem for me. I have NEVER heard my stbxw explain what she did or why she did it, or even an apology for why she did it. Everything I know is from my own observations and deductions. I have been stuck in the detachment process because I have not ever had a sense of closure for her betrayals. I really need to hear from her mouth what happened.

I also have to be honest and admit that there is still a part of me that loves my stbxw (or at least loves the good memories of her). And physically, I am still attracted to her.

So this is where I am at right now. I'm sitting on the fence or perhaps deluding myself. For my own benefit, I want to go through a process where my stbxw will talk, openly, about her affair. I want to go through a process where my stbxw will be held accountable for some of the choices she made. A part of me really needs this.

I also recognize that there were pre-affair problems and I need to understand, fully, what my role was in creating these conditions. I know that I have my own accountability in allowing our marriage to get to a point where my stbxw considered cheating as an option.

So as it stands, I discussed this with my IC - who is open to this for the same reasons I am open to it. She sees this as a way to get some form of closure, no matter what happens for the end result.

She is going to give me recommendation for MC. I am also getting a recommendation from our mediator as well as researching myself.

My ideal MC would be somebody who doesn't rug sweep. Our previous MC all took the stance that the "past is past". My wife NEVER mentioned her affair during any of the sessions and none of her lies were ever discussed because the "past is past". I think that's bullsh!t. I want MC to examine the past and ask for each of us to take accountability for what happened. I want my stbxw to explain her affair. Where, when, how often. These are all details that are important to me, for reasons I don't even understand.

I want her to come clean with everything and for her to be HONEST with me. I know things she does not know that I know. So it is important to me that she admits these without prompting.

I know it sounds selfish, but I need the MC as a way to get closure on a lot of unanswered questions. If something good comes out of MC, all the better - but I will have to deal with that possibility if and when it happens.
 

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Wow....

I'm discouraged with your therapist.

This overture by STBXW represents an opportunity for you - to grow.

This entire time, you haven't stood up to her once. You've just hoped to fix things by being nicer.

How's that working for you?

And, now you want a chronic blameshifter and serial cheater to take responsibility for your pain?

Do you realize how codependent that is?

I would definitely encourage you to pick out a good counselor. Check out Angie's list or some other resource and find one with a backbone - who understands codependence and recovering from it.



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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Conrad: The co-dependence is interesting and is something my IC has been working on. Definitely have spent too many years focusing on my stbxw vs myself and that has been a focus of our sessions. I have two therapists, btw. One is a psychotherapist (mentioned above) - a woman. The other is a psychiatrist (a man) - have been meeting with both weekly.

My interest in the MC is out of a curiosity that i cannot shake regarding my stbxw's affairs and her lies about them. It's hard to explain. Some people can just say "it doesn't matter" and move on. I'm not one of those people, unfortunately. I need to hear some truth from my stbxw. That doesn't mean she takes responsibility for my pain - but it does mean that she admits to her affair and her lying. She hasn't done that - and it continues to bother me, 4 months post DD2.
 

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Conrad: The co-dependence is interesting and is something my IC has been working on. Definitely have spent too many years focusing on my stbxw vs myself and that has been a focus of our sessions. I have two therapists, btw. One is a psychotherapist (mentioned above) - a woman. The other is a psychiatrist (a man) - have been meeting with both weekly.

My interest in the MC is out of a curiosity that i cannot shake regarding my stbxw's affairs and her lies about them. It's hard to explain. Some people can just say "it doesn't matter" and move on. I'm not one of those people, unfortunately. I need to hear some truth from my stbxw. That doesn't mean she takes responsibility for my pain - but it does mean that she admits to her affair and her lying. She hasn't done that - and it continues to bother me, 4 months post DD2.
And what is exactly is her admitting to something you already know she has done going to do?

What you should be working on is alleviating your "need" for her to be accountable.

If you were right with yourself, you would give to sh!ts less about her validating your feelings.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Conrad and spun: What you're saying has an element of truth, for sure. But i'm not looking for validation or her opinion. I'm looking for facts. There are still a lot of unanswered questions. I do not already know what she's going to admit because she has never admitted anything.

I've known this woman for over half my life. And the majority of it was very good. That's why I seek answers. I'm kind of stuck at a certain point in the re-building process (MY rebuilding process). Need to tear everything down down first and part of that is getting some truths out in the open.

As for her childhood - yes it was bad. VERY bad. Abusive father, helped her illiterate mother escape the relationship. I suspect that there was some physical abuse of my stbxw and her siblings too. Mother then abandoned her and her younger siblings for several months during which they had no idea where she was. My stbxw had to live with friends while her sister and brother lived with relatives. Both siblings got into trouble as adolescents (gang for the brother including a stint in youth detention - drugs for the sister). As long as I've known her, the MIL has been a mistress to a string of married losers. My stbxw is the only one of their entire family (extended she has over 10 half brothers and sisters in addition to her siblings) who has done well and had lived a "clean" life (until her affair). In fact, my stbxw has been responsible for her Mom and sister and brother her entire life. Still supports them. Still sends money home monthly. I believe that's why her MLC (which began the year her Dad died and she turned 40) has been so pronounced.
 

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I'm not surprised about the abusive childhood.

You do realize that she has one serious case of PTSD.

The right brains of PTSD victims simply believe... to the point of terrifying fear... that any mistake they admit will be followed by swift and severe punishment.

You can see how this would quite easily lead her to become the blameshifter with which you are familiar. ANYTHING other than owning her part makes emotional sense to her.

And, these young emotionally abused parts of his personality are about 5 years old - or younger.

How does a 5 year old deal with taking responsibility?

What I'm telling you is there was no earthly way she "could" function as an adult in a relationship with you. For it to work, you would have to acknowledge this is who she is and decide to enforce boundaries and help her "re-parent" herself.

Emotional 5 year olds have this habit of saying things they don't mean. And, while it can be hurtful to their partners, they likely don't mean about 80% of what comes out of their mouths - just excuses to avoid responsibility in the current impasse.



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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Conrad: My stbxw has always been admirable. From abject poverty (literally grew up in a one room shack - her mom was the third wife of this abusive a-hole). No running water. My stbxw helped her Mom to escape when she was in first year of college. Despite this, maintained grades for scholarship (which was the only way she could have gone to University in her country). Graduated and became a trader for a large investment bank (which is how we met - as I worked for the same investment bank). When we married she gave up her career to move to my country and re-started her career (with my support). My point being - she has always been somebody who has been responsible, high achiever - brutally honest. Then it was like a switched turned. Still maintained a facade at work and with friends - but started leading a double life. Which I enabled, in my cluelessness.

That's what I'm dealing with. Unanswered questions about my stbxw's complete change during her MLC (or maybe it' not a MLC - maybe it's the real her). As well as my own guilt/regret about enabling her by not setting boundaries or being honest myself about her GNO activities.

Anyway, this past weekend is the FIRST time she has actually acknowledged any regret or admission that she has been living a lie.

So I'm starting this journal to relate what I'm going through.

Appreciate your input and anybody else's. This is a learning experience for me - and tough. I don't mind being slapped in the head. Ultimately it helps to think things through.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
What I'm telling you is there was no earthly way she "could" function as an adult in a relationship with you. For it to work, you would have to acknowledge this is who she is and decide to enforce boundaries and help her "re-parent" herself.

Emotional 5 year olds have this habit of saying things they don't mean. And, while it can be hurtful to their partners, they likely don't mean about 80% of what comes out of their mouths - just excuses to avoid responsibility in the current impasse.

This is pretty profound. Because in a sense, when her own Dad died, she transferred a lot of her resentment to me. In fact, my attempts to set boundaries were met with resistance and accusations that I'm acting like her father, not her husband. My IC thinks I stepped out of the role of husband and into the role of "domineering father" - which only reinforced my stbxw's detachment from our marriage.
 

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This is pretty profound. Because in a sense, when her own Dad died, she transferred a lot of her resentment to me. In fact, my attempts to set boundaries were met with resistance and accusations that I'm acting like her father, not her husband. My IC thinks I stepped out of the role of husband and into the role of "domineering father" - which only reinforced my stbxw's detachment from our marriage.
Now you're observing what happened.

These are the real answers.

Who cares what she says?

Love yourself enough to realize this.

Then we'll decide what to do about it.



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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Now you're observing what happened.

These are the real answers.

Who cares what she says?

Love yourself enough to realize this.

Then we'll decide what to do about it.

Honestly, a part of me still loves my stbxw so still cares what she says. Now I am sure that part of that is denial. But my stbxw's transformation was so radical and so sudden that a part of me thinks it was a true mental health problem. Eg - my wife had post-partum after our first child and went through periods of depression - that lasted almost two years. But she came out of it. I have no illusions that we can go back to what we once were. But something in my stbxw seems broken.
 

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Honestly, a part of me still loves my stbxw so still cares what she says. Now I am sure that part of that is denial. But my stbxw's transformation was so radical and so sudden that a part of me thinks it was a true mental health problem. Eg - my wife had post-partum after our first child and went through periods of depression - that lasted almost two years. But she came out of it. I have no illusions that we can go back to what we once were. But something in my stbxw seems broken.
And your insides ache to fix it for her.



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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
And your insides ache to fix it for her.
I don't know if I can fix it for her. After 25 years of marriage, the majority of which we helped each other - it's hard to say - given what's happened the last few years. She has to fix herself first. We are not planning to get back together and we will both continue with IC during any MC. Upcoming March break, I will be taking the kids away - my stbxw will be probably be flying home to visit her Mom and sister/brother.

There are no illusions of a quick fix. This MC, if it happens, will simply be to see if there can be any possibility of reconciliation.
 

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In the meantime, "waiting for them to decide" is a form of enabling in itself.

Be careful.
C-man,

This makes you plan B, and allows her to fence sit.

Begin moving on with your life. 180 for YOU.

She will never know what she is losing as long as you are waiting in the wings to pick her back up.
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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Update:

I decided to take a break from the site - found I was spending a lot of time on it - probably too much - so thought I would take a break and what was a short break extended into a longer break.

A lot's gone on in the past couple of months. I did a lot of skiing (with and without my kids) - which for me is therapy. Went on a great vacation with the kids to Mexico. Also met somebody I really like and we've been dating steadily. So life is definitely on the upswing.

I'm not over my stbxw by a long-shot (in the sense that there is still a lot of pain/anger/sadness that I need to work through - as well as her continued "delayed adolescent" lifestyle which affects how we deal with the kids) but my new "friend" (divorced 2 years) understands the stages/process and she is extremely understanding - a good woman (and attractive too). And being with her makes me realize more and more what a dysfunctional relationship I had before. I've only known this person for a month and a half and there's already a level of trust/honesty which don't think I've had for years.

The funniest thing is that my wife found out I am dating and her reaction was typical - inviting me for lunch - calling/emailing at odd times. She showed up as a "match" on a dating site I had subscribed to (which I have now de-activated) - and her profile was a scream and a half - complete with a photo that I had taken and that used to be one of my favourites (quite hot - in her workout gear but I had photo-shopped it - not even sure she knows that). I read her profile and just shook my head. Reads like a teenager who has just moved out of the house. Just shows how messed up she is and how I'm well rid of her. At the same time, I still worry about her sometimes (a hard habit to break after 27 years (including 25 years of marriage). A part of me still views her as sick and broken - but then I remind myself that it's no longer my job to fix her. I've got a lot of hilarious stbxw stories from the past 2 months which I'll try to post at some point.

I'm entering my 8th month of separation, 7 months post DDay2 - so not beating myself up over any relapses. Still in IC weekly and all advice is that time will heal all wounds. Truly believe now that I will look back at this in a year or two and I will be thankful this happened no matter where I am.

I'll try to post more details later...
 
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