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DE,
I am already there and have been for some time. I know myself, and CANNOT become someone whom I am not, in order to forgive and stay with the man (CH) I thought I knew. When I realized I could no longer contort myself to even attempt reconciliation, I felt such relief—like a skank-sized weight had been lifted from my shoulders. I have been at peace ever since. I think I may also be able to forgive him at some point—as long as I am not forced to see him/live with him/be married to him any longer. I am getting closer to forgiveness…

Obviously, as I know my STBXH was reading every post, I could not inform of my detailed daily life, but I am definitely making progress and have been busy making preparations for a happier life for myself.

The anger has subsided and only returns when conversing with my CH. I also still cry sometimes—neither of which do I expect to disappear completely or any time in the near future.

I served him with divorce papers on Thursday, he signed receipt of them, and has moved back in to prevent more financial difficulties until the divorce is final. We had an initial realty consultation yesterday, and a realtor will be here on Tuesday for a photo shoot of our beautiful home as neither of us can afford it alone. I will be cleaning and decorating for the holidays one last time to stage the house for marketing purposes.

He sleeps in our college child’s room. I stay away in the evenings after work when I know he will be here. He has agreed to leave when I choose to be home.

He says he will let me go without a fight, as that is what I have requested, but even after signing the divorce petition, he asked me if there was anything he could do to change my mind. (yesterday). I have told him in so many ways that I do not want to/cannot remain married to someone who could do something like this to me (no matter what the “reason” or excuse). He was not really listening before now. I think maybe he hears me now.

We will have a 90 day mandatory waiting period and IF we come to acceptable financial terms before that time ends (which I think we can), we can divorce rather quickly. The big concern will be selling our house quickly enough and getting the asking price for which we are hoping.

Everyone,
Thank you for the support. This has been—and will continue to be—a difficult road, NOT of my choosing. I appreciate all of the kind words and self-help advice. The book suggestions have been invaluable!
I wish you the best in finding a way forward, I'm confident you can. It's so hard to accept change when you've built upur entire life around an idea and think you can trust it to keep growing.

Maybe he'll realize what he chose to take for granted and destroy. Maybe he'll become a better person, and I hope so, it's such a waste of a life to ruin everything you touch. But, you deserve so much more and I know you'll get it whatever you decide "it" is.

It will suck sometimes, it will hurt for a long time , especially for sentimental times like the holidays coming up and all the "firsts". Birthdays,anniversaries, etc.

Please keep coming back, we're still here for support and to help others. That's why I'm still here, I've tried to give back the support I received, the kindness I wish I'd received (I got quite a bit of 2x4s). I've got so much support , received lots of care and kindness since while rebuilding my life. It's helped fill that void for me, maybe it can help you too.

I won't congratulate you, it sucks to let go of the dream of a life you invested time, emotion and energy into. Instead, be brave, be bold and go forward fearlessly. You've gotten so much stronger and positive, and it's only the beginning. I was scared too, in your place, but it's been a few years now and I'm beginning too see how little I settled for before with someone who didn't value me enough to treasure everything I poured into our life together.
 

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Discussion Starter · #742 ·
Thank you for updating WW. I affirm you doing what is right/best for you. Harkening back to an earlier post, you are refusing a "choice" that was truly no choice at all.

As you continue move through this process, I hope youll do so as you have to date, with purpose and determination. I wish you continued healing and strength, especially through the holidays.

I hope you'll continue to update as you are able and if you start another thread in the divorce recovery forum, please let us know.

Solidarity Ma'am.
Thank you. I will let you know!
 

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Discussion Starter · #743 ·
I wish you the best in finding a way forward, I'm confident you can. It's so hard to accept change when you've built upur entire life around an idea and think you can trust it to keep growing.

Maybe he'll realize what he chose to take for granted and destroy. Maybe he'll become a better person, and I hope so, it's such a waste of a life to ruin everything you touch. But, you deserve so much more and I know you'll get it whatever you decide "it" is.

It will suck sometimes, it will hurt for a long time , especially for sentimental times like the holidays coming up and all the "firsts". Birthdays,anniversaries, etc.

Please keep coming back, we're still here for support and to help others. That's why I'm still here, I've tried to give back the support I received, the kindness I wish I'd received (I got quite a bit of 2x4s). I've got so much support , received lots of care and kindness since while rebuilding my life. It's helped fill that void for me, maybe it can help you too.

I won't congratulate you, it sucks to let go of the dream of a life you invested time, emotion and energy into. Instead, be brave, be bold and go forward fearlessly. You've gotten so much stronger and positive, and it's only the beginning. I was scared too, in your place, but it's been a few years now and I'm beginning too see how little I settled for before with someone who didn't value me enough to treasure everything I poured into our life together.
Thank you. I know that you understand.

For the first time ever, I HAVE BEEN dreading the holidays. 😔
 

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Thank you. I know that you understand.

For the first time ever, I HAVE BEEN dreading the holidays. 😔
It'll suck, but it will get easier to bear with time. Stick around, post when you need to vent or to know someone cares. I had many lovely ladies check in on me if they thought I sounded glum and it made me feel so much less alone.

Btw, many of us posting understand, I recognize other former betrayed spouses. We might sound hardass sometimes, but it's in an attempt to spare you some of what we've been through. Noone who's been down this road and has any kind of heart wishes this on anyone else.

It's been 3 years for me, I'm only now looking forward to the holidays again, though I suspect it would have been longer if I didn't have a special person in my life.
 

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My views on this are pretty entrenched. It is not that I did not struggle as well with making the decision to divorce.
I really cast a jaundiced eye toward the claims that folks who remain together have any semblance of a happy marriage.
I think I am fairly typical, average in terms of being able to let things go without holding much of a grudge. Maybe even a bit to forgiving.
But this particular offense so vitiates a relationship , that I cannot imagine what it would be like going forward.

Being alone, in a small efficiency apartment, with limited time with my kids was very scary and saddening. I had really loved my wife despite now recognizing her as a narcissistic abuser.

You may be scared atvfirst. With time you will start to see even more clearly how abusive your husband has always been and will be relieved to be out.
All I really needed to hear about your husband was that he had belittled you. The fact that it was in front of your children is even more egregious. Normal people, simply, do not do this.
Whenever I would doubt I had made the right decision, I had a number of truly abusive events I would harken back to. One was when my wife came in drunk at 2AM and awakened me to describe the physique of the man she had been with all evening. It was belittling at its finest,
If you have doubts going, think not only about the cheating, but the belittling.
Hopefully, you will tell your kids what he did.
 

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Thank you. I know that you understand.

For the first time ever, I HAVE BEEN dreading the holidays. 😔
May I make a suggestion? Up to this point, the holidays were celebrated with certain people and there were certain traditions and that's just the way it was...and you were happy. This holiday season IS going to be different: they won't be celebrated with certain people who were your "habit" and you won't be doing certain tradition, etc. So why not make this holiday season truly different? Invite new people...people you WANT to be with! Do new things--create new traditions that are meaningful to YOU.

The first holidays after I divorced, I spent the morning at the homeless shelter seating people at the free dinner and pouring their water or drinks (they could have juice or coffee or tea). I remember going in I felt so low and like my life sucked, and after having been there until about 2pm, I felt blessed. I blessed them and they blessed me. I also had a POT LUCK Thanksgiving and invited anyone who had nowhere else to go to come to my house--the only rule was to bring something to share. I made a HUGE turkey and left all the rest to everyone else. For Christmas, I asked the kids (they were young then) what they wanted for Christmas eve dinner, and they said that they HATED having to get all dressed up to eat a fancy meal--so they requested we eat spaghetti...with our fingers! LOL We put on t-shirts and got a plastic tablecloth (to clean up easier), and it was crazy and a little messy...but also memorable and fun. We also made a new tradition of going together to a couple stores and picking a family ornament that had the year on it, so that every year we had memories of picking that year's ornament.

My point is that rather looking at the holidays and what you're "not" doing or who you're not doing it with, find some things that you've always wanted to do for the holidays and never did: like go ice skating and get hot chocolate afterward...or cater a meal! Go be Mrs. Santa at a nursing home. Go to that fancy fundraising ball in that fancy dress! Take a sleigh ride. Whatever it is, pick a couple of things that are uniquely YOU and do them. It will make these holidays YOURS.
 

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Discussion Starter · #748 ·
My views on this are pretty entrenched. It is not that I did not struggle as well with making the decision to divorce.
I really cast a jaundiced eye toward the claims that folks who remain together have any semblance of a happy marriage.
I think I am fairly typical, average in terms of being able to let things go without holding much of a grudge. Maybe even a bit to forgiving.
But this particular offense so vitiates a relationship , that I cannot imagine what it would be like going forward.

Being alone, in a small efficiency apartment, with limited time with my kids was very scary and saddening. I had really loved my wife despite now recognizing her as a narcissistic abuser.

You may be scared atvfirst. With time you will start to see even more clearly how abusive your husband has always been and will be relieved to be out.
All I really needed to hear about your husband was that he had belittled you. The fact that it was in front of your children is even more egregious. Normal people, simply, do not do this.
Whenever I would doubt I had made the right decision, I had a number of truly abusive events I would harken back to. One was when my wife came in drunk at 2AM and awakened me to describe the physique of the man she had been with all evening. It was belittling at its finest,
If you have doubts going, think not only about the cheating, but the belittling.
Hopefully, you will tell your kids what he did.
Thank you. I think your suggestions WILL help me get through the dark days and the tough times.

Our (grown) children already know. They said they would support whatever decision I made.

They are truly amazing kids! I am so proud of them and love spending every minute I can with them. ❤
 

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Discussion Starter · #749 · (Edited)
May I make a suggestion? Up to this point, the holidays were celebrated with certain people and there were certain traditions and that's just the way it was...and you were happy. This holiday season IS going to be different: they won't be celebrated with certain people who were your "habit" and you won't be doing certain tradition, etc. So why not make this holiday season truly different? Invite new people...people you WANT to be with! Do new things--create new traditions that are meaningful to YOU.

The first holidays after I divorced, I spent the morning at the homeless shelter seating people at the free dinner and pouring their water or drinks (they could have juice or coffee or tea). I remember going in I felt so low and like my life sucked, and after having been there until about 2pm, I felt blessed. I blessed them and they blessed me. I also had a POT LUCK Thanksgiving and invited anyone who had nowhere else to go to come to my house--the only rule was to bring something to share. I made a HUGE turkey and left all the rest to everyone else. For Christmas, I asked the kids (they were young then) what they wanted for Christmas eve dinner, and they said that they HATED having to get all dressed up to eat a fancy meal--so they requested we eat spaghetti...with our fingers! LOL We put on t-shirts and got a plastic tablecloth (to clean up easier), and it was crazy and a little messy...but also memorable and fun. We also made a new tradition of going together to a couple stores and picking a family ornament that had the year on it, so that every year we had memories of picking that year's ornament.

My point is that rather looking at the holidays and what you're "not" doing or who you're not doing it with, find some things that you've always wanted to do for the holidays and never did: like go ice skating and get hot chocolate afterward...or cater a meal! Go be Mrs. Santa at a nursing home. Go to that fancy fundraising ball in that fancy dress! Take a sleigh ride. Whatever it is, pick a couple of things that are uniquely YOU and do them. It will make these holidays YOURS.
Thank you for taking the time to type all of this! I will take some of your suggestions and try to make some new traditions for myself. 😊

I guess I should have specified WHY I am dreading the holidays and the biggest reason isn’t because I won’t be spending them with the same people. It is because I WILL be spending most of them with the same people, I just don’t feel the same about one of them anymore and we already spend too much time together.

Our kids have very limited time back at home with us during holidays. I will not make or even ask them divide their time this year at least, which means I when I spend holiday time with our children, it will also with my STBX. Awkwardness is what I am dreading this year—for Thanksgiving and Christmas at least. There will also be sadness, and our kids REALLY do not want to deal with or witness any of that if possible. I am 100% certain of that.

ETA: It will just never be the same. 😔
 

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Thank you for taking the time to type all of this! I will take some of your suggestions and try to make some new traditions for myself. 😊

I guess I should have specified WHY I am dreading the holidays and the biggest reason isn’t because I won’t be spending them with the same people. It is because I WILL be spending most of them with the same people, I just don’t feel the same about one of them anymore and we already spend too much time together.

Our kids have very limited time back at home with us during holidays. I will not make or even ask them divide their time this year at least, which means I when I spend holiday time with our children, it will also with my STBX. Awkwardness is what I am dreading this year—for Thanksgiving and Christmas at least. There will also be sadness, and our kids REALLY do not want to deal with or witness any of that if possible. I am 100% certain of that.
Completely understandable.

As you work your way through the first holiday seperated from your stbxh, stay focused on the goal, a healthy, healing you. This too will be a learning experience, albeit an uncomfortable one, but that will be assuaged by the joy of seeing and being with your kids. They will be adjusting to the new reality as well, so it can be a bonding experience of sorts as you all sort your way through it. When you get this in your rearview, it will be yet another step forward into your new future.

So, use all of the new "tools" you have on board from reading, IC and posting here. Keep your internal conversations positive (tell yourself the things you'd tell a close friend in this situation, knowing what you now know), and breath. This too shall pass.

BTW Affairecare's suggestions were fabulous.

Happy Thanksgiving WW.
 
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You’re correct. It won’t be the same. Nothing is after divorce. And, yes, the first holidays, or birthdays, or first anything is difficult. Very. But you create a new life and a new normal and slowly things come together. I was extremely uncomfortable the first year after my divorce when it was time for family gatherings because I wasn’t interested in seeing my exH and his new wife so we started splitting time with our grandchildren. After the first year, it didn’t bother me — things felt more normal — but the first year is tough for many reasons. Holidays are always at the top of the list of why it’s tough. Family traditions I’d had for 45 years were suddenly gone. I thought my life would never again be good but it is and yours will be too. It’ll just take a little time. I wish you the best going forward.
 

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Discussion Starter · #753 ·
You’re correct. It won’t be the same. Nothing is after divorce. And, yes, the first holidays, or birthdays, or first anything is difficult. Very. But you create a new life and a new normal and slowly things come together. I was extremely uncomfortable the first year after my divorce when it was time for family gatherings because I wasn’t interested in seeing my exH and his new wife so we started splitting time with our grandchildren. After the first year, it didn’t bother me — things felt more normal — but the first year is tough for many reasons. Holidays are always at the top of the list of why it’s tough. Family traditions I’d had for 45 years were suddenly gone. I thought my life would never again be good but it is and yours will be too. It’ll just take a little time. I wish you the best going forward.
Wow! 45 years? I thought 27 was rough. God bless you.

So there is life after divorce. I hope that you have found both peace and happiness!
 

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Discussion Starter · #754 ·
Hope you have as good a Thanksgiving as possible WW.
Thank you. It has been a day of strategic avoidance. (He has moved back in to “save money” that will be needed for the divorce.) Every day is strategic avoidance. I try not to be home when I know he will be. It has been difficult and apparently cohabitating again is way more uncomfortable for me than for him. I am looking for a temporary place to live.

The next few days will be much harder, when our grown children and SOs will be there, and we will all be in the same place at the same time.
 

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Thank you. It has been a day of strategic avoidance. (He has moved back in to “save money” that will be needed for the divorce.) Every day is strategic avoidance. I try not to be home when I know he will be. It has been difficult and apparently cohabitating again is way more uncomfortable for me than for him. I am looking for a temporary place to live.

The next few days will be much harder, when our grown children and SOs will be there, and we will all be in the same place at the same time.
I’m really sorry you have to walk this terrible path, but if I can say… you are handling this like as well as I’ve seen. The emotional spikes make you want to scream and cry and tear down everything around you… but you held it in check and you’re in control. And you settle down and think rationally and your decisions are perfect. Well done. As crappy as it feels to be you right now, your strength is to be admired. You’re doing great WW.
 

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Wow! 45 years? I thought 27 was rough. God bless you.

So there is life after divorce. I hope that you have found both peace and happiness!
Thank you. And yes there is and yes I did. It wasn’t quick and for sure it wasn’t easy. A great deal of my life got left behind in the process and I had to totally rebuild but today I wouldn’t trade my life for anyone’s. It’s mine to do with as I choose and I very much value that.
 

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Thank you. It has been a day of strategic avoidance. (He has moved back in to “save money” that will be needed for the divorce.) Every day is strategic avoidance. I try not to be home when I know he will be. It has been difficult and apparently cohabitating again is way more uncomfortable for me than for him. I am looking for a temporary place to live.

The next few days will be much harder, when our grown children and SOs will be there, and we will all be in the same place at the same time.
Yeh, "strategic avoidance" just sounds uncomfortable....and tiring. Bleh.

Well, youre doing what you have to do to move forward. Hope you locate a temporary living arrangement asap.

As to, "apparently cohabitating again is way more uncomfortable for me than for him," He may be (probably is) hoping that close proximity will wear down your defenses/weaken your resolve and is willfully ignoring the fact that the ship called "chances for reconciliation" has sailed....for good.
 

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Discussion Starter · #760 · (Edited)
Hey WW, how was your weekend?
Some good. Some rough. It was a lot. I was very happy to see both of my grown children. The older one brought an SO and became engaged the day before!

We also buried the cremains of our beloved dog as a family and planted flower bulbs there that will come up in the spring—probably AFTER we have sold this house.

My STBXH was there the whole time, however, and that was hard. He wants to make conversation with just me and keep apologizing. Just his presence in my space makes me angry sometimes.
Then he asked me to go get coffee with him…lunch…I am not interested in dating him, but I feel like that is his intention. (Maybe long after the divorce and dating others I may change my mind, but right now, I have zero interest.)

I wanted to move out completely, but he is controlling me with that until the house is sold. He SAYS neither of us can take care of the house by ourselves. This is not true. I told him I could and he could move back out. He said that as long as he is paying the bills, he has the right to live here—which is true. I told him he could take care of the house by himself he says he DOESN’T WANT TO. So by deduction, I can reason that he will let the house go, so that we cannot sell it, or destroy something out of spite for a similar result. He says he isn’t vindictive anymore, but old habits die hard, so that is very difficult to believe.

I had been staying with different friends and family members a night here and there, but he came looking for me. No matter what he says, he just cannot respect my boundaries…so I have to be here to keep him out of my friends’ and family members’ business…and I don’t want to drag them into my mess anyway. But this is going to be hard. I need space and this isn’t it.

We had 2 showings of the house on Sunday. Have another one scheduled for Thursday. I hope this thing sells fast! I can’t do this forever. Meanwhile, we are dogsitting our oldest kid’s big dogs virtually until Christmas. So we have to tag team the dogs.

So I am stuck here for now.

I also learned that I have to sell the car that I love. I owe too much on it to refinance it and remove my STBXH’s name at a higher interest rate. ([email protected] shame….I had 0% interest!) So I will be getting something much cheaper and easier to manage on my own. 😔
 
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