Not Really Knowing Your WS
Now that I'm not spending my energies in fruitless reconciliation with my WW, I'm spending time reconciling what I know and experienced in the past. Learning to trust myself again. I realized my WW, at least a decade ago, stopped telling me friendly stories about people in her life. When she was working, I only heard about the typical work stresses, not about interesting, fun, or engaging stories. Unless it was a routine conflict she was having, I heard nothing. I can't say exactly when that behavior started, but I realize now I lost an entire part of the normal sharing in a relationship. When I ask why? Now it's obvious, her friendly interactions were with other men, and she didn't want me to hear about these plates she was spinning.
This and many other realizations have forced me to see how little I actually knew about my WW. Her likes, dislikes, feelings on all manner of topics, all vanished into the affairs. I was left only as a place to bring problems. I was the man for support, the rest were for fun and relationship. More and more I see I was this one part of her life, kept in an isolated cell, and thrown the occasional bone to keep me from emotionally starving. Or rather, to keep me in my cell when I started rattling the bars.
I feel sad reconciling the reality of my life with my former delusion, yet it seems like actual progress and not rumination. These are old facts that are new to me because I buried red flags as quickly as I saw them. I'm sad, but glad to at least understand better boundaries and vision I can use going forward. Never ignore the red flags.
Anyone else experiencing any of these eye-opening revelations?
5 comments posted: Tuesday, October 31st, 2023
Darvo and the One-Sided Conversation
I keep learning lessons, gave my stbxw what she asked for in a divorce settlement draft, she's moving the goal posts, but that's to be expected of someone with low integrity. During a divorce discussion she asked if there was more to talk about and then went on to list her grievances, defended herself, and robustly claimed her victimhood.
My avoiding all marital talk caused my stbxw to revert to DARVO. I didn't even have to participate in the conversation!
I conceptualized DARVO as a conversational technique, but it's the way some waywards process opposition to anything that gets in the way of what they want.
2 comments posted: Monday, October 16th, 2023
That Moment When you Don't Like them Anymore
I found myself drifting into memories about the inequities and poor treatment I'd received throughout my marriage. It was a beautiful comfortable night outside, and I had otherwise been enjoying my evening. It was a few minutes of recounting the horrors and I realized, I don't like my STBXWW anymore! Her worldviews, her personality, her sexual ways, her voice, her morality and principles (or lack thereof), but mostly her treatment of me. If I could snap my fingers and she'd had no affairs and we were at our "best", I don't want that woman. This feels like a sea change for me, anyone else get struck and suddenly fall out of like with the entire person that was your wayward?
12 comments posted: Wednesday, September 20th, 2023
I've been getting angry at my STBXWW. We're no contact, this is internalized. I think about her treatment of me, from the infidelity, years of lying, false R, neglect and absenteeism from the marriage. The years of DARVO, over and over in that infinite loop leaving me somehow the responsible party. Her responsibility? She said she was sorry, now why can't I be a better man? I'm angry at myself for allowing the abuse, for not calling out the red flags when I first saw them. I could have saved myself at least a decade if I'd confronted her earlier.
After filing, anyone else get this rush of anger? It's not the take action kind of anger, it's a falling away of all the excuses, minimizations, and manipulation. While I lived with her lies, I didn't get a clear image of her as the unrepentant cheater that she truly is now and, likely, will always be. And so now, unmasked, I'm mad at her. She was awful, truly an awful person, and now she's an awful person taking me for what she can financially. I don't need to speak to her about how I feel, I've turned that corner.
The anger has given me fuel to think about my boundaries, where I failed to address my own boundaries, and where I couldn't have known they were being crossed and forgive myself. Now that I see her more clearly, I can see myself more clearly. I don't want any more IC, but I will likely need to talk this out with someone. I'm hoping this is a new stage and one that passes quickly. I am so fed up with all things past.
3 comments posted: Wednesday, September 13th, 2023
Too Soon for New Beginings
Since filing about two weeks ago I've been radically changing my lifestyle. Most of the pieces were already in place from the years of abandonment. Weeknight with the boys. A handful of hobbies. I'm accepting professional and social invitations I formerly declined. I'm enjoying my neighborhood, community pool, and weekday nightcaps. I live like I'm in a resort now. My children are putting me back on the schedule for all the things we used to do together, theatre shows, hiking, etc. In some ways it feels too soon to feel this good. I've been lonely for a very long time and think about companionship. I've been opening up toward women with starting conversations, making small talk, and just enjoying positive feminine energy. That seems a good enough start. Not sure if it's an admirable goal, but I want to get a good solid single life core before I invite any woman to join. The plan is to grow female friendships and acquaintances without getting into dating until I meet my own personal goals. Business is again a focus.
It all feels too soon and I'm wrestling with guilt. Three years since D-Day, I have red flags that my WW introduced near the beginning of our marriage an affair lifestyle, with a shift about 8 years ago toward WW prioritizing her 2nd life. I'm tired of that life, exhausted from thinking of all the rejections and neglect. I found that what I really insisted on knowing in order to forgive was the truth about her feelings toward other men and her state of mind through the years of affairs. The best she ever shared about her feelings, was her telling me one of her primary affair partners was impressive. Filing has made all that her life, it's not a shared life anymore. Two weeks out from filing and I'm ready to let go 18 years of companionship and family bonds. It makes me feel callous.
5 comments posted: Monday, September 4th, 2023
Not As Strong As I Pretend
I went to an odd book signing for an Ex client of a friend. An ex-con spoke and promoted his book. A to guide for getting life back together after prison. It was about a 30-minute read, the advice was all simply awarded and unoriginal. Yet, the advice was all solid. Simple, like only speak honestly. "Fake it until you make", I'd say, go through all the actions of success and you'll find yourself successful.
I'm trying to rely on going through the actions of success that will lead me to a divorce. My sleep is gone again, I have pages and pages of "things I shouldn't say to the STex". I was forced to take off the rose-colored glasses when, three years after dday, she was covering up cameras coming into the house. There really isn't a point in "coming to reason". She has made the choice to continue in infidelity. What is the point of saying anything. And yet I have these fake conversations playing out in my mind with her. To what end I don't understand. Thankfully, my inner voice seems to be pushing toward explaining all the reasons I can't go on in infidelity. The thing is, even as she is screaming the name of an old (or current) affair partner at me that I wasn't aware of, she is simultaneously denying being a liar. This is real, not inner voice. Someone said, it's simple, start telling the truth. That really is the core, there is nothing without that. So why do these fake conversations with a liar keep taking my time? I have to deal with a liar in real life, I wish I could stop dealing with her in my head. She's nicer in my head, but even nicer, she's still a liar.
I've given up enough of my life to falseness. I am trying to stay strong and get to divorce. Please pray I can stay strong, I've been manipulated into staying and I'm afraid. I'm running all my contact with STex through a friend first, who then goes, "its a good idea that may help you toward divorce, so send it" or "Shelve it". He's as emotionally and intellectually gifted as anyone I know, understands the law on divorce, as much as I resist giving up autonomy, this is helpful to me. I almost went around him last night, but stuck with my journaling. I wish everyone well on their journey, God Bless us All, really. We did not deserve this.
2 comments posted: Monday, August 28th, 2023
Step 1 Filed for Divorce - Step 2 ?
It's been three years to the month. Under an old handle, I received support and advice on SI, most of that advice I failed to incorporate. It took another incidence and lies to break the false spell of "reconciliation" I'd cast upon myself. Hopium I remember it was called. Everyone here is well aware that capitulation is not reconciliation. And yet, I'd capitulate and call it success, meanwhile the mounting weight of her lies has been crushing me.
Now, a new chapter, and all the lies she's told don't need to be answered. She will harm me financially, but it's the last harm I'll allow.
It's just a few days since filing and we haven't accomplished service yet, but I feel slightly better. Anything better is phenomenal. Really. I'm confused about a purpose and direction in my life. Sadly, serving my wife and family was my primary purpose. I have my business, which I'll work doubly hard to make up my coming divorce losses. That'll be something positive. My children have gathered around me, loving, and supportive. My friends are there for me and I'm making additional plans to fill some of my time. Though it's been lonely for three years, the idea of really opening up and communicating with a woman seems like a challenge. Professionally I see many women, but I enjoy the comfort of an overly-reserved professional demeanor. Maybe I shouldn't keep all the women in my industry on absolute professional terms. Women talk with me at the gym as well, but I've been projecting married/unavailable. There are times I want to wear my ring as a shield. I haven't, but I have been tempted. Very conflicted feelings about women. I'm feeling like my first step is to re-grow some female friendships, as a married man, those rightfully withered. My male friends are great, but sue me, even burned, I like the company of women.
I've been contemplating how I approach separation/divorce. I don't want my life now to be about her. Not sure I have any questions; I'm just floundering around with many contradictory thoughts and feelings.
15 comments posted: Monday, August 14th, 2023