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Discussion Starter #1
I'm into month 5 of separation and I'm more confused than ever.

I see my son between 10 and 11 days per month. For now, I am visiting him in his mom's house to minimize the disruption on his life.

When I'm there, we seem to get along OK. Not exactly intimate. And we definitely don't discuss our issues. In all honesty, I'm afraid to rock the boat too much and destroy the precious time I have with my son.

But on the other hand, I haven't seen any samples of the madness that led me to believe I was dealing with a personality disorder. She's been reasonable. Willing to compromise. No outlandish accusations, no angry outbursts, no harsh judgments. We've had fun laughing about cute things our son is doing.

This confuses the heck out of me. She seems to be a completely different woman from the seemingly insane person I have lived with for the last several years.

She asked for permission to take our son to see her family in Missouri for a month. The last time I questioned a trip of that length, she created a narrative in her head that I had "forbidden" her to see her mother. So I am reluctant to say that I am not OK with her taking my son away from me for a month. On the other hand, I am going to be working on Thanksgiving Day, so we wouldn't have a family gathering anyway. She left for Missouri today.

Last night, my son was extremely upset and kept begging me to let him come with me. Tears abounded. I feel like such a bad father right now. It was almost as bad as that scene from "Hope Floats," where the father is leaving his daughter behind.

There were a couple of other things that happened over the weekend that bothered me. Ever since the bizarre incident with me sleeping on "her" bed while she was out of town, I have been very fearful of violating her boundaries. And she has asked me not to be present in the house when she's not around as long as we're separated. The house is in both our names, but I am respecting this boundary for now.

So with her being out of the state for a month, I asked her to sign a paper reiterating the fact that we had an understanding that I was permitted to enter the house in case of fire, flood or other emergency. She refused to sign it. She said, "Of course you have a right to come in here in an emergency....what's this all about?"

So I told her that I had previously expected I had a right to sleep in the bed we had shared, but I caught a lot of grief over it. She told me she couldn't believe I was bringing up an argument from the past. She said it was "done and over with." She said that argument was a "matter of respect." (I couldn't agree more, but I felt I was the one who was disrespected)

I also asked her point-blank if she intended to return from Missouri. I've been asked by more than one person if I had spoken to a lawyer about this Missouri trip, so I don't think it was unreasonable to ask the question. She became very offended that I would even consider asking the question. She said the last few visits have gone better, and that we've acted like "friends," so she couldn't believe I would question her intentions.

Finally, as I was preparing to leave, she pulled me aside to say, "I know you don't believe this, but we're both going to miss you." She also said that our son has been struggling with my departures a lot and has been asking why "Daddy can't live here any more." And she said, "I don't know what to tell him. I can't very well tell him you left because you don't WANT to be here...." This comment disturbed me because it was an indication to me that she still thinks this is some kind of mid-life crisis or something. It seems to indicate to me that she still hasn't accepted the fact that this is a result of HER behavior.

I'm just so emotionally worn today. My emotions are completely done. I don't think at this point that I could ever feel love toward her again. Not to mention the fact that I still worry about weird things I shouldn't have to worry about, such as whether I can enter my own house if an emergency arises.

On the other hand, if I walk away, I want to walk away knowing I gave it my best. And my son's cries as I got in my car to drive away will haunt me forever.

I just don't know what to do. I can't go back to a loveless marriage where I feel like I'm always going to be judged about things like which bed I sleep in or how I clear my throat to talk on the phone. But I also don't want to destroy my son. I don't want to give up if it's not the right thing to do.

I just feel so lost tonight.
 

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hurtinohio, I am going though the beginning of this hell, I am on one month, I have been through emotions that almost killed me and sometimes still try. Im already trying to move on with my life a little but its hard, im always planning my next move, my wife plays games, I have 3 little ones and I cant believe u are on 5 months and it still is hard. Do you think it might be time to completely detach yourself from her emotionally???, not even think about what she is thinking??? Im already trying to do this in one month because I cant handle it anymore.
 

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Your wife is ok now because the part that was making her crazy was removed. I'm not saying that was YOU, but definitely the dynamics of your relationship.

I've been there. You would have thought I was a lunatic when I was with my ex. When I left him, I was a new person. I was happier too. Calmer. He compliments me now...amazed that I'm married and holding it together and how calm I am. lol.
 

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I just don't know what to do. I can't go back to a loveless marriage where I feel like I'm always going to be judged about things like which bed I sleep in or how I clear my throat to talk on the phone. But I also don't want to destroy my son. I don't want to give up if it's not the right thing to do.
This part made me sad. She picked on those things because she wasn't happy with you or the relationship. At all. That won't change. :( Is it possible to pick your child up and take him somewhere so you don't have to hang around your STBE? I don't think it's good for you to be confused like this.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
She's not owning a thing.

I'm going to be blunt:

Are you incapable of telling her what you are and are not ok with - without timidly hoping for her approval?
Yes, I am. I want to be stronger, but our background makes me feel timid....

When I wanted to take our son on a bike ride last summer, she threatened to "take him and run away" someplace where I couldn't find them. She also threatened to call the police on me.

That threat made me desperate enough to read through some e-mails on her computer to see if she was telling her friends that she was about to take him and leave.

In the process of reading those e-mails, I found some very flirtatious e-mails from my ex-brother-in-law. When I confronted her about those, she accused me of spying on her, changed her e-mail passwords, and then she and the ex-BIL taunted me by sending me a message via HER e-mail address.....as in "hurt, I know you're reading this, so...."

Then, she accused me of bugging the phones and her mom even called the police to come do a "welfare check" and see if the family was OK. I believe this was a veiled attempt by her mom to send me a message that they could have the police on my doorstep any time they wanted to.

She went to our family doctor and told him I was spying on her, that I was bugging the phones, and that I had gone "crazy." This is a big deal for me, because I work in an industry where I am required to pass ongoing psychological evaluations. This was not only a threat to my reputation, but a threat to me career.

Once, when I tried to tell her I wasn't OK with the way she was talking to me and that I was going to take a walk until she calmed down, she stood in front of the doorway and forbid me to leave. She was practically daring me to lay a hand on her so she could accuse me of abuse.

So yes, you could say I'm a little timid. A desire to take my son on a bike ride led to accusations of abuse, a visit from the police, and threats to take my son away from me and to potentially ruin my career.

But none of this madness has occurred since I moved out. That's what is so confusing. But as you can tell from the above anecdote, I've been "taught" that if I take a stand for myself, things spin out of control very quickly.
 

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Perhaps you have sent her a message by being gone.

She may be triggered simply by living with someone else. It's not impossible. So, she's now on best behavior when you're around.

But, as you know from the ridiculous "Serve Day" circus, she's still not above lying through her teeth to play victim.

What I would do is buy a Voice Activated Recorder and keep it on me at all times. Then, with genuine cool and dispassion, start standing up to her.

If she does follow-through and call the cops, you have a transcript of what actually happened.

That will cool hotpants and her mom down really quick.



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Discussion Starter #8
Perhaps you have sent her a message by being gone.

She may be triggered simply by living with someone else. It's not impossible. So, she's now on best behavior when you're around.

But, as you know from the ridiculous "Serve Day" circus, she's still not above lying through her teeth to play victim.

What I would do is buy a Voice Activated Recorder and keep it on me at all times. Then, with genuine cool and dispassion, start standing up to her.

If she does follow-through and call the cops, you have a transcript of what actually happened.

That will cool hotpants and her mom down really quick.
Do you realize what you're saying here? That my only real option is to keep a recording of all activities with her for possible later litigation?

If my only hope of staying married without getting arrested is to keep an airline-style "flight deck voice recorder" black box on me at all times, then what does that say about the state of my relationship with my wife?

When things go this wrong, is it ever possible to get it back to "normal?"
 

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Do you realize what you're saying here? That my only real option is to keep a recording of all activities with her for possible later litigation?

If my only hope of staying married without getting arrested is to keep an airline-style "flight deck voice recorder" black box on me at all times, then what does that say about the state of my relationship with my wife?

When things go this wrong, is it ever possible to get it back to "normal?"
Wouldn't you be a fool to give her an opening to hang you?

Yet, you timidly seek her approval.

What harm would come from standing up to her to see what happens - while protecting yourself?

Do you think there are "honor points" for letting her destroy you?

Yet, you are curious.

And, you cannot deny it.



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Wouldn't you be a fool to give her an opening to hang you?

Yet, you timidly seek her approval.

What harm would come from standing up to her to see what happens - while protecting yourself?

Do you think there are "honor points" for letting her destroy you?

Yet, you are curious.

And, you cannot deny it.
i need you (more, i think you've already posted a couple times) in my thread i think
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Wouldn't you be a fool to give her an opening to hang you?
My choice is not between letting her hang me or not. My choice is this: Do I believe she has made a signficant change and therefore try to stay and save my marriage? Or do I accept that this is just a part of the "cycle of abuse" and continue with my plans to terminate the marriage.

Yet, you timidly seek her approval.
Again, I'm trying to keep things calm for now. I want to see what her mindset is when she returns from Missouri. Yes, we do need to talk about some things, and I do need to assert myself. But my gut keeps telling me that the Missouri trip may be a catalyst of sorts. Either she'll come back even more brainwashed by her family and her insanity will be on full display. Or else a month with her family will make her realize how nuts they are.

Either way, I've been biding my time until she returns from out west so I can then confront some of these things.

Do you think there are "honor points" for letting her destroy you?
Not at all. But if I do end up walking away, I want it to be with my head held high, knowing I did all I could have done. If nothing else, my religious beliefs don't allow me to easily walk away unless I've done everything humanly possible to make this work.

I don't want to be a doormat. But I also don't want to be the one who gave up too soon.
 
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