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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm 9 months out of my divorce and I'm struggling with forgiveness. On a cognitive level, I want to forgive. I know that when I can legitimately forgive, that i will find the peace I need. But emotionally, it's just the opposite and the emotions are stronger than my rational thought. At least that's how I feel right now.

I have made some progress...
1. I've found it easier to forgive her for the poor choices she made during the infidelity. She was in the Fog, addicted(she admitted) to the OM, and had too many depressive and anxiety episodes. This I've been able to forgive her for what she has done to me directly. Dissapointing that she didn't give our marriage a chance to rebuild and put forth real effort after the bomb dropped? Absolutely. But I've been able to forgive her for this.

2. I made mistakes in the marriage too. I own up to it and I am learning to improve myself to be a better person and a better husband. It's been tough, but I am now able to forgive myself. Finally!


3. "Abandoning her kids (she left them with me) and only communicates via video chat 2X a week and sees them holidays and summers living in another state.
This part(#3) I struggle so much with forgiveness. I am angry at her for doing this to our kids. I hate seeing my kids suffer when they miss their mom and have a meltdown about other things that I feel are compounded because of mom leaving. I want what's best for my kids. I want to protect them. But my EX's decision to stay far away (because living in my town creates too much anxiety for her?; out of sight, out of mind??) has affected them.
I know being angry with her is more detremental to me. I'm not happy like I should be and I feel my kids are noticing. It only harms me, not my EX. How can you forgive someone who is so selfish to put their needs before their kids and risk having your kids grow up with emotional problems? Is she that emotionally damaged (GUILT,depression,anxiety,etc.) that she thinks she's more harm than good as a parent who lives close by?!?
Maybe that's the way I need to view it? Is there a magic way of looking at all of this so I can move on?
 

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I'm not of the mindset that one HAS to forgive. That doesn't mean one remains bitter or angry or resentful. I'm moving towards indifference. I believe I've already found much peace at this point.

Some have defined forgiveness as no longer letting someone's actions affect you. Just like with you, the things he's doing in my child's life are the things I'm having the hardest time with. I'm moving past the things between us, but his choices are still affecting our son's life. And the major choice to walk away instead of even trying to work on things is the main reason for those changes in my son's life. Those are the things I'm having the hardest time with. I'm doing my best to work around them for my son, but I can't undo them or make up for them. I guess at some point, my son will make the decision to forgive us (or not) for not being able to be a healthy intact family for him, and for the things we do as single parents.
 

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I'm 9 months out of my divorce and I'm struggling with forgiveness. On a cognitive level, I want to forgive. I know that when I can legitimately forgive, that i will find the peace I need. But emotionally, it's just the opposite and the emotions are stronger than my rational thought. At least that's how I feel right now.

I have made some progress...
1. I've found it easier to forgive her for the poor choices she made during the infidelity. She was in the Fog, addicted(she admitted) to the OM, and had too many depressive and anxiety episodes. This I've been able to forgive her for what she has done to me directly. Dissapointing that she didn't give our marriage a chance to rebuild and put forth real effort after the bomb dropped? Absolutely. But I've been able to forgive her for this.

2. I made mistakes in the marriage too. I own up to it and I am learning to improve myself to be a better person and a better husband. It's been tough, but I am now able to forgive myself. Finally!


3. "Abandoning her kids (she left them with me) and only communicates via video chat 2X a week and sees them holidays and summers living in another state.
This part(#3) I struggle so much with forgiveness. I am angry at her for doing this to our kids. I hate seeing my kids suffer when they miss their mom and have a meltdown about other things that I feel are compounded because of mom leaving. I want what's best for my kids. I want to protect them. But my EX's decision to stay far away (because living in my town creates too much anxiety for her?; out of sight, out of mind??) has affected them.
I know being angry with her is more detremental to me. I'm not happy like I should be and I feel my kids are noticing. It only harms me, not my EX. How can you forgive someone who is so selfish to put their needs before their kids and risk having your kids grow up with emotional problems? Is she that emotionally damaged (GUILT,depression,anxiety,etc.) that she thinks she's more harm than good as a parent who lives close by?!?
Maybe that's the way I need to view it? Is there a magic way of looking at all of this so I can move on?

I can really feel your pain in this , and the anger.
I'm living it myself for what she's done to my beautiful innocent daughters growing up now breaking us all up.
I fkg hate her guts for it. That's how I really feel.
We both caused this and the original cluster fk overload that sent us both into a spin , was about getting work , a home , agead , for her in this area because she wouldn't move.
18 mths after moving in and a 5 yr hell to get it all , she rips us apart and moves out.
Yes I didn't handle the stress well , yes I did end up having a very, very hurtful EA . But she'd changed a lot too and also didn't tell me anything , she told me the opposite in fact .
But there were light bulb moments - big bell's , we we'd been lost , fkd up , and we were ready to return and we could have , just like any long marriage does and survives.

But now , my daughter and me will live like this !
For that , when I'm over there , living like THIS , to be with my own daughter ! It breaks our hearts and especially hers.
I exploded last week at her , she did do something but the explosion came from this , the anger at that.
Only 4 1/2 mths , but if this is gonna work , I have to find something. I thought I had it but now as time goes on and I watch my daughter having to live this , well !

Yours , there is something there for you . Like what's all the depression, anxiety, how bad is it all, what happens with her,what's it all about ?
Maybe she really does feel it's safer to be away from them.

Tell you something , I've considered moving away and just waiting until my D's 18 , 11 now.
Watching her having to house hop and deal, cope , live with all this . it's sickening , heartbreaking .
Maybe if I just wasn't around . She could just have a settled one parent up bringing with her mum.
 

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I'm not of the mindset that one HAS to forgive. That doesn't mean one remains bitter or angry or resentful. I'm moving towards indifference. I believe I've already found much peace at this point.

Some have defined forgiveness as no longer letting someone's actions affect you. Just like with you, the things he's doing in my child's life are the things I'm having the hardest time with. I'm moving past the things between us, but his choices are still affecting our son's life. And the major choice to walk away instead of even trying to work on things is the main reason for those changes in my son's life. Those are the things I'm having the hardest time with. I'm doing my best to work around them for my son, but I can't undo them or make up for them. I guess at some point, my son will make the decision to forgive us (or not) for not being able to be a healthy intact family for him, and for the things we do as single parents.

So hear you Angel , echoing mine above .

My trouble it on one hand , I couldn't give a flying fk about forgiving her for this pathetic cop out. she doesn't deserve forgiveness because this didn't have to happen to my Daughter.

But the trouble is , I don't know how else to shake this anger and if I don't it's just too hard being around her for my daughter.
 

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I never forgave my ex h for the way he treated me and 19 years have passed. I am passed the anger, actually I was pretty darn calm when I left. I felt at peace. He also abandoned his child we had together. It hurt the child(whom now is an adult) mentally.

I moved on and I never looked back. It was unforgivable the way he treated me.
 

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Trying to have a marriage with my ex took a big toll on me. Eighteen years with her, and ten of being married, has ultimately resulted in whatever "this" is. My kid is 11 too, and yet she doesnt seem opposed or upset about travelling back and forth every other week. So much to be grateful for, considering selfish actions of my ex. Forgiveness, is something that will have to come with time for me. So much extraordinary effort went to waste, and I was left with humiliation, and the feeling that the scumbag she is with now, is preferable to me. My "ego" gets in the way of forgiveness sometimes....
I do ultimately come around to the mindset that I am no longer struggling with an emotional vaccuum. I kinda dont know what to do with myself these days, and am trying to understand what "I" am, now, outside of the husband/family man role.
I felt used, by someone that hadnt the experiences in life to appreciate it. I can try to take a look back and see where I contributed to the problem.. but thats all on me and up to me, becuase she simply says that I was "wonderful". I dont know what to take away from that.
So, the weeks pass. Time hopefully will produce a sense of self sufficiency. It is hard for me to imagine reaching a point where seeing her and the dude that she had an affair with as something of value. They currently live like there was never a "me" in the picture, and its like I am left holding the bag for anger and resentment for the entire scenario...
I dont know.. I dont like to think about it anymore.
 

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Trying to have a marriage with my ex took a big toll on me. Eighteen years with her, and ten of being married, has ultimately resulted in whatever "this" is. My kid is 11 too, and yet she doesnt seem opposed or upset about travelling back and forth every other week. So much to be grateful for, considering selfish actions of my ex. Forgiveness, is something that will have to come with time for me. So much extraordinary effort went to waste, and I was left with humiliation, and the feeling that the scumbag she is with now, is preferable to me. My "ego" gets in the way of forgiveness sometimes....
I do ultimately come around to the mindset that I am no longer struggling with an emotional vaccuum. I kinda dont know what to do with myself these days, and am trying to understand what "I" am, now, outside of the husband/family man role.
I felt used, by someone that hadnt the experiences in life to appreciate it. I can try to take a look back and see where I contributed to the problem.. but thats all on me and up to me, becuase she simply says that I was "wonderful". I dont know what to take away from that.
So, the weeks pass. Time hopefully will produce a sense of self sufficiency. It is hard for me to imagine reaching a point where seeing her and the dude that she had an affair with as something of value. They currently live like there was never a "me" in the picture, and its like I am left holding the bag for anger and resentment for the entire scenario...
I dont know.. I dont like to think about it anymore.

Thanks for talking S . 18yrs married 10 , daughter 11 - ha we were 18yrs , married 12, D's 11 as you know too.
How long ago did you split ?
I know exactly what you mean about experience , maturity . All this last 6yrs of hell , was for her and my daughters stability - but look where that is now ! 4 1/2 mths and it still makes me crazy thinking about it . A smarter tougher girl would have come back from this , recognize the cluster fk we'd just been through and it's toll - gets me so wild , not good I know !

So what your daughters ok house hopping , staying , living in two sep houses and parents ?
Could you explain a bit more about it all for her please , this is my biggest problem with us right now. 4 1/2 mths and it's starting to sink in with her . She was surprisingly pretty good earlier on , though a lot of hurt and confusion inside . But this last 5-6wks , she's hurting bad and not coping with the stay overs , getting upset , it's just breaking my heart .
Just not sure how to make it better for her short of letting her off the hook and not having her stay . But then I'd never get to live with my girl anymore .
 

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Houstondad - wow, I could have written your exact post. It's been just over a year on my end since my divorce and my WW leaving the kids (she moved from TX to the UK to be with OM, and like yours talks a few times a week on iPad and then comes in every few months to visit).

I've also come to accept your 1) and 2), but it's the effect it has on the kids that I just cannot accept. Complete and utter selfishness.

Anyway, hang in there bro, and if you figure it out let me know!
 

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Jesus that's rough , I'm sorry for your situation.

I knew some men can do that but to be honest , until this last 6 mths I had no idea so many women, a mum, just leave their kids for the sake of that whatever it fkg is between their legs.

I use to rate women far higher than us blokes but so much for that - these days I think they're about 2 rungs lower again than us.

Your karma's gotta be coming to you , and hers too , hang in there.
 

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I'm 9 months out of my divorce and I'm struggling with forgiveness.
A lot of reading I did says you need to give a year of time for each 4/5 years of marriage to work through and get over the significant other. The old adage that time heals all wounds will come into play. The first year was the worst for me, but it does get better.


3. "Abandoning her kids (she left them with me) and only communicates via video chat 2X a week and sees them holidays and summers living in another state.
This part(#3) I struggle so much with forgiveness. I am angry at her for doing this to our kids. I hate seeing my kids suffer when they miss their mom and have a meltdown about other things that I feel are compounded because of mom leaving. I want what's best for my kids. I want to protect them. But my EX's decision to stay far away (because living in my town creates too much anxiety for her?; out of sight, out of mind??) has affected them.
This sucks, I cannot imagine my ex just picking up and leaving. She actually stayed close so that we could co-parent our kids. The kids took a while to finally work through the divorce, but they will come through, they are very resilient.

The best I can say, remember this: You can only control your actions, nobody elses. The forgiveness is for you, not her. Forgive her and let her go, you cannot change what she is doing. Be the best Dad you can be for your children and be the rock they can cling to in this storm.

Take care of yourself as well, your kids need you to be strong for them right now. Get some exercise, eat right, and get as much sleep as you can. Find a counselor you can talk with to work through the anger. It is rough now, but one day you will look back and realize that you were the better person and did the best you could.
 

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Forgiving does not mean you have to change your mind about how sh!tty your ex wife was, or how she acted. I dont know any person that would walk away from their kids and be satisfied with a video conference twice a week. That there, shows a sign of something else going on that is abnormal and likely good that she is gone... the toll it is going to take on those kids is HER burden and shame, and will have everlasting effects between them. What kind of everlasting effects are YOU going to have on them?

Your job, is to step up your involvement and reliability and express attention and affection towards them kids. Be an example of how this ugly situation can be gotten past, and given no power to affect your ongoing happiness. I wanted to provide my girl a place to come because the last eighteen years had proven a fking loopty loo trying to have a relationship with the ex, and I imagine it was going to be exactly the same way without me there at the marital home to be a buffer between the craziness of the ex and our kid.
I am still that buffer, but in a different house, and my daughter has expressed many times in may different ways, an appreciation for it.
Kids are going to need someone solid. Someone that pays attention to them, and remains that rock that she can have expectations of, and reliance upon.
After ALL the hell that consumed me for a year, that I still fight with to just drop that bag of rocks for good... I kept my relationship and attitude towards my kid as upbeat and close as I could. Im a big hug giver anyways, and know that being attentive and even listening to the crazy stuff that comes out of their heads at times means a lot to them.. My mom was this way, and it was magical. I feel the same way about myself, and aside from alllllll the garbage about my ex and that whole situation, I am determined to ensure that when my daughter is with me, that she knows what to expect, that she can talk openly, that she can express things and I wont judge her outside of helping her understand.

Her attitude and ability to have coped so far, I attribute to a divine hand of God himself, I certainly have absolutely NO idea how she is able to just skip on thru without a tear. Ive worried that she was holding things in, or acting out at school, but talking with her teachers indicate none of that. I think becuase of the newness of your situation that it is still so fresh, that there just hasnt been enough time living the new normal for it to be comfortable yet.
It WILL get there, and you must ensure that you are attentive and give lots of hugs, and play with them, and be that buffer.

Dont let yourself perpetuate the attention given to the actions of their mom. Dont highlight the sh!tty behavior. Often times our kids dont think about things the same way we do, and what is completely aggregious to us, is nothing to them..
Make your home a happy place to be. NEver let the actions and concurrent (after divorce) issues that go on in your ex's life have power to shut you down, and the kids will follow suit.
I only say these things, becuase I did the opposite enough to recognize that flaw.
 

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There is no magic it's a process. Look up the 5 stages of grief anger is one of the steps. It's healthy it's normal embrace it. The more you try to skip steps the longer you will stay stuck.

It's only been 9 months. Be kind to yourself. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I appreciate all of the advice, empathy, and experiences many of you have shared.
I realized just recently that the funk I'm in (not being happy) is being noticed by my kids. I try to hide it, but I'm kidding myself when it comes to my kids. Kids are pros at picking up on the subtle behaviors.
I've been exercising and eating healthy. I took up being my son's teams soccer coach (I've never coached before) and know that will be good for my son and me. But I need to do more for myself. I need to go to IC. I need to pick up more hobbies(finally going to look at purchasing a drum set. Bucket list check!). And I need to make more friends outside of my co-workers.
 

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I appreciate all of the advice, empathy, and experiences many of you have shared.
I realized just recently that the funk I'm in (not being happy) is being noticed by my kids. I try to hide it, but I'm kidding myself when it comes to my kids. Kids are pros at picking up on the subtle behaviors.
I've been exercising and eating healthy. I took up being my son's teams soccer coach (I've never coached before) and know that will be good for my son and me. But I need to do more for myself. I need to go to IC. I need to pick up more hobbies(finally going to look at purchasing a drum set. Bucket list check!). And I need to make more friends outside of my co-workers.
You're still to focused on her.

Almost there.

Being indifferent towards the crap she shovels your way will free you to live your life.



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EXACTLY what I am feeling about myself as of late.
Just dont know where to go from here.. Do I need to? Is my happiness simply a matter of attitude about my situation?
To ask someone on the outside, they would say, you have a house, you get to see your kid more than most divorced dads, you have food, job, making headway on debt........

and I surely am grateful...

But something is missing. I feel like I am treading water, and maybe that was necessary for me, for awhile..
I had originally no choice in the matter due to finances and I couldnt afford to get out much.

But OHHHHH that feeling of "what the hEll am I doing sitting around" is weighing heavily..

I'd like to take steps that are completely of my OWN interest and desire.. rather than admittedly living life and doing things to please others.. I am attempting to figure out just what it is that gives me that "im going no where doing nothing" feeling...
(Comparing myself to the ex's lightspeed motion into her new life, is so totally stupid of me, but its hard not to, and by comparison, I look at myself like Ive not come anywhere at all.)

My approach to living my life, as I have come to find out, has been to be agreeable to others, boss, wife, family, friends....
But throughout all that, I forgot about what it was "I" wanted....
 

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You're still to focused on her.

Almost there.

Being indifferent towards the crap she shovels your way will free you to live your life.
:iagree: And that's the key..It's not forgiving that's important. What's important is when you simply aren't affected by your former spouse and what they did. THAT is what will enable you to move on, not just physically or legally, but emotionally as well.

When you can go a day without thinking about your ex then you've arrived. And 9 months isn't long enough. For me, it took about 2 years. Only now, after over 2 years of living separately can I truly say that I'm actually SEPARATED emotionally.

Am I still pissed about what my husband did? Oh yeah. But I've accepted that it happened and it's not affecting my life now but getting to this place wasn't easy at all. My attitude is driven by the fact that my son needs a father as well as a mother. I concentrate on doing the best I can for him for the sake of my son. Being angry and vengeful at his father won't help matters at all. There's simply no point in it so I've let a lot go. I find I'm very pragmatic about it all.

But for that, you have to have the self discipline to bypass your own person feelings and anger in order to attain a good life for your child. It's not easy and it takes time.

You can't change your ex. You can only change and deal with yourself. That means working on your own life. Focusing on the kids is only half the deal. You need to focus on yourself and take positive steps to make yourself happy. That means making a life for yourself in any way you can. Good diet, exercise, making friends, hobbies..That all helps. You need to make yourself happy so that you can make your kids happy. A miserable person can't bring happiness to other people.

But it doesn't happen overnight.
 
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I'm not getting all these parents who just up and abandon these kids, especially the mothers. :wtf: These woman should have their parent card ripped up!:mad:

Women who abandon their kids outight are #1 on my list of scumbag mothers. #2 are the ones who parade a line of boyfriends in and out of their children's lives and behave like kids themselves. What is WITH these women? :slap:

My STBXH has behaved badly as a result of his alcoholism, especially to my daughter. For that I don't have any respect for him but he's an important fixture in my son's life and for the most part, when he's been sober, he's been there for my kids, especially my son. I'll give him that much. I think his heart is in the right place. Earlier in my kids lives he was a great dad so I'm willing to overlook a lot of the sins he's committed in the past 3 years.

My slate isn't clean either. When my children were younger I had problems myself and their father practically raised them. Maybe my attitude towards my STBXH comes from some of the guilt I feel about those years. We're pretty equal in our sins in many ways it's just that his sins have been more recent.

Compared to some of these "parents" I'm reading about here, my STBX is a friggin' saint!
 
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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
You're still to focused on her.

Almost there.

Being indifferent towards the crap she shovels your way will free you to live your life.
You're right. I am still allowing myself to focus on her and her BS. Yes, it's slowly getting better. The focus on her becomes magnified (especially when she sends crap my way) and other times it's less magnified.
Rushing out and getting a girlfriend to mask the focus, pain, anger is nothing but a band aid and I want to completely let go of her before I commit to a serious relationship.
Indifference? I agree with this approach. But how do I reach that attitude or way of thinking? I don't want to "pretend" that she's indifferent when my feelings or emotions say otherwise.
 

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Tell you something , I've considered moving away and just waiting until my D's 18 , 11 now.
Watching her having to house hop and deal, cope , live with all this . it's sickening , heartbreaking .
Maybe if I just wasn't around . She could just have a settled one parent up bringing with her mum.
Don't do that. Your daughter needs her father. Girls who are abandoned by their fathers often grow up into teenagers who sleep around. They are looking for the love and acceptance they didn't get from their fathers. You don't want that to be your daughter. At 11 she is right on the cusp of her teen years and this is a VERY important time for her.

And the woman you meet at 18 won't want to have anything to do with you. You just can't hit the "pause" button when it comes to raising your kids.

You don't HAVE to involve your wife in your relationship with your daughter. I don't know what kind of visitation schedule you have or how you interact with your ex when you pick up your daughter but you can have it that you have very little to do with your ex. You can just go her house and have your D waiting for you at a preappointed time. Drop her off in the same fashion and communicate via text or email. If your ex discusses ANYTHING other than your D then you shut her down.

Take control of the situation. It's empowering and it will help shelter you from the emotions you are feeling with regards to your ex.

When my STBXH was pissing me off I instructed him to wait outside my apt for my son. I sent my son out and he was dropped off in the same manner. My son is older so he actually arranges to see his father independently of me most times but your D isn't far behind at 11 years old. There will come a time when you will pretty much be out of the loop as your D becomes a teenager.

By then you'll be pretty much over your ex. I know you don't think it will happen but it will. It just takes time. You are only 4 months into this and that's nothing as far as time goes. Trust me on that. I was going through living hell 4 months after my H and I separated.

2.4 years and I'm good now but it didn't happen overnight.

You daughter has to adjust to this as you. This going back and forth is hard on her but just like you, she will adjust to it. If you make your times with her fun and special then she'll come to look forward to it. Try and use your emotions constructively and come up with things to do with her. At 11, she's getting to an age where you can relate to her as another person and not have to constantly babysit her. These are important years that will set her up for her teenage years. She needs you more than ever! Surely you must have something in common with her?

I've done all kinds of fun things with my kids. I still do. From 4 wheeling and camping to playing video games and watching movies. With my son, I try and plan something fun to do with him so I can connect with him emotionally. Try and find something that you and your daughter can share on your own that has NOTHING to do with your ex wife. It will be something you and her can share and enjoy during the time you spend with her.

A few things I have planned to do with my son is a trip up to NYC to see the USS Intrepid (a WWII battleship museum) and to take him to the boardwalk for an overnight trip to play video games. Try and plan to do something like that with your D so you can take her mind off what's going on with you and your wife. I think YOUR obsession with this is what's unnerving her and causing her to unstable emotionally.

You need to be her emotional anchor. ;)
 
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