Time for me to join the “180” -- it's my Christmas present to ME. I've been reading and lurking long enough.
I won't go into my story (my profile covers enough). But, I do have some current issues. And, without really knowing it, I’ve been practicing 180. Poorly, yes, but doing my own thing and not being totally open and accountable to WS. I have noticed that it puts him off guard and irritated. Oh well! So maybe my “poor man’s” version of 180 is why I’ve been able to survive his long-term A. It's like I took myself out of the M or at least he thinks that. I don't talk about our M, moan about it, or whatever with WS.
But do I feel depressed, angry, and lonely sometimes -- Yes to all. But I don’t let it show -- anymore and for some time now. Let me regress for a moment….. I joined SI years ago and then stopped for many years. I think I was in too much pain, and never really took the time to really read and connect with others. I’m still in pain but it’s a duller steady ache with much less Fog. Plus, not having my own computer at the time made it hard to really have any privacy, as I do now. Back to the present…..recently, my emotional strength and belief in my M reached its lowest and my push to work on me was not going well. I thought about SI. Expecting that the site probably no longer existed – I was both sad and happy to find it, once again.
So now to my “180” question....
As my profile says, my H is out of town. This is the 1st time for me to be w/o him during the holidays. I did not respond when he sent me a lame "Happy Thanksgiving" email and now what do I get today -- an even lamer "Merry Christmas" email. I mean with all the wonderful sites online – all my WS can come up with is a colored text email he did. Wow! I’d rather have a lump of coal--shit that is a lump of coal.
And, so, MY QUESTIONS ARE:
Do I reply? Do I wish him a Merry Christmas? (No, that’s not going to happen. I mean he’s w/OP…please.) What then? It's not like I’ve been truly doing my 180, like I want to now. So I haven’t really laid down my “ground rules” with this flaming asshole of mine.
So should I use this time that WS is out of town to slowly put some "180" compliant thoughts in emails to him? I know that in (past years) when I was real needy (in person) that emails seemed to be a place where he would open up. When not totally “fogged” in, WS has admitted that there are issues in our M and accepted some blame. Maybe, since there was less chance of any emotional outbursts (from me) or the time to read, again and again, what the other was saying. I don’t know -- it just seemed like we actually connected and talked in those emails. I think I've rambled long enough.
I hope you can give me some direction. I don’t want to misstep. So bring out the 2x4's (if you must) and let me have it. I need a firm “action/no action” plan in place now – as to how to interact with WS when he’s out of town and for when WS brings his ass home. Our life will experience major upheaval in 2009 that has nothing to do with the OP. We can either face this together or separately. I certainly want to give WS a chance but…. where to start without appearing like he has power over my destiny -- again. I’d rather let him think that our M is low on my list of priorities, as things stand at present with his A.
THANKS for listening! I know it’s Christmas and I certainly don’t expect you to be at your computers. I hope you’re all with family and friends. But when you get back, drop a line, if you can.
CakeEater WS/59 long-term East Coast affair since May 97
You're member 204. You registered in 2002. I'm going to assume that you have confronted him about his behaviour. That's truly one of the most critical points... he was faced with the reality he was creating, he couldn't escape it, and his choice was to continue the affair. I'm sorry... but what you have at best is a marriage of convenience. I don't doubt that you've put the effort into it, but based on your profile, his version of the marriage is "just something on the side" to make things a little easier for him.
It is possible (although very rare) to live a life like this and derive some comfort from convenience if that is what you wish. But if not, you need to move forward. Of course you're confused and tired from living in smoke and fog for so long. What do you need to do to get out of the hurt? If you interact with him what are you expecting to get back? Wishing him a simple "Merry Christmas" in a polite, grocery store cashier type of way is one thing, but opening up to him emotionally is only throwing him another string for him to pull. Journal it all out for yourself to vent if you need.
Try to think of some very simple concrete actions you can take to rebuild your self esteem. Take a class. Write a book. Volunteer. Consult your lawyer. Join a gym. Join an underwater boxing league, it doesn't matter. Do things for yourself to build up who you are.
Your insight is really so very timely. It comes at a time when.... MY EARS and HEART (I hope) are TRULY OPEN and able TO HEAR AND RECEIVE in order to RESPOND effectively to IT!!!
With that said, here's my "somewhat sad but true" responses to ?s you asked and answered...
You registered in 2002. I'm going to assume that you have confronted him about his behavior. That's truly one of the most critical points...
Not really, as my Profile and my 180 post say, I never really did it or held to it or really became a "true" student of 180. I left SI (as said in my Profile/this post) and have been lost in my own feeble attempts at "fixing" my M, ME, HIM -- pretty much every since. But, thankfully, NOW, I'm back and determined (for my own sanity) to do 180 (as I now understand it to be) the right way – this time for ME and really and truly for my own sanity! So to answer your understandable assumption... no, I really have not "laid" it out to WS or EVEN myself...but I'm working on it and one of the main reasons I wrote in this post and joined this "180" post group. As this statement of mine in my post says....
It's not like I’ve been truly doing my 180, like I want to now. So I haven’t really laid down my “ground rules” with this flaming asshole of mine.
Journal it all out for yourself to vent if you need.
OMG! OMG! Ser you are too cool on this suggestion!!!!!!!!! I recently started journaling again….. wow? maybe “great minds” do think alike…heehaw
Seriously though, with WS gone since early Nov, I was going thru my stuff getting prepared for when me/we? have to move. I came across my many hardcopy journals, self-help books, spiritual quotes, etc. WOW! Well sadly I stopped back then and went on to yet another of my many failed “attempts” to fix things – but finding these old journals has been quite an eye-opener. It's funny how I have shut my eyes to all the pain my WS has and is doing. Well not funny but...you know what I mean... Anyway, it started me on a path...I began to read more here on SI and other resources, and I kept seeing that Journaling really does WORK... it does help us to MOVE on to....wherever….
I'm learning not to worry about where I'm going but just to keep moving Forward... Fear of the unknown has crippled me tooooo long. I've allowed myself to become comfortable taking care of others and their pain (friends, family, WS.... you name it... who did I think I was? Dr. Phil...not…but secretly still working on this issue of mine)...always pretending (consciously or unconsciously) that mine life was not that bad or whatever that "thing" is that I do to avoid opening that "door" that I have long feared that I might have to actually walk thru.
BUT, today and over the last weeks...I have learned so much here on SI. And, while there are new members joining SI each and every day.... there is progress. HURRAH!!! And, my progress is that my fears are becoming lighter....I feel like the little caboose climbing the hill....I think I can, I think I can.....hey guys... LOOK... I know I CAN!
Well I'm off to take a rest from “heavy” thinking because.... and, not to end on a scary note but today... while journaling it became SOOOOO intense for me. Weird stuff?? I physically became nauseous, dizzy, my fingers and hands would not type....very scary? I guess the words, the memories, and feelings were all trying to come out soooooo much and ALL AT ONCE... you know that stuff that you don't even want to think about much less put on paper for FEAR that you might cause it to become true. Well that was scary and it took my body and mind over an hour to get back to "home plate" actually I think I'm still on third base….coming in to “home” soon. (That shit was scary! I hope I don’t have much more of that in me??)
HAPPY ENDING THOUGH.... I see “that” as REAL PROGRESS!!! . and, IT IS...just a little scary. BUT, it's all GOOD as the "hip" saying goes.
Ser, THANKS AGAIN, and THANKS to all the "unnamed" SI Family members who's Profiles and comments to each other that I have read here over the last 2 months. You will never know how much you have and continue to help ME when you help OTHERS. I hope to make you all as PROUD of me as I am of YOU!!!
PEACE OUT!!! (for now). Going to check out F&G... love that Forum
Join an underwater boxing league
Take care and thanks again! dremalou
Anyway, dremalou, I think the hardest thing it is for us to reconcile within our hearts is that we can't control the outcome 100%. You see... we can't control another person's choices - both you and he have to accept that for things to get better he would have to fix himself. He couldn't care less. No matter how herculean an effort you put into saving your marriage, if he's not in it, it's just you. Think of all the energy, effort, care, love, and so forth you put into this marriage as water. Think of him as a cup. You're tying to fill him with the water. But... that cup is broken... and it just can't be filled. There's nothing, at all, you can do with the water to fix this. All you can do is to control your own choices and reaction to the circumstances you are facing. The question is, whether you value yourself more than the final outcome.
Not sure if its the new ad making me a bit crazy or the holidays, or just ME!!
Haven't been able to focus on me for more than a minute. Consumed with thoughts of the M and how to "fix" it.
And here is the worst, I asked him to spend New years with me!! WHY, why would I do that? Well I can't take it back now so forward I go.
This is so hard.
I didn't know there was a name for it, but I hit rock bottom on 12/31/08 and knew that I would not survive unless I let WS go. He left me and our son for the OW, and it about destroyed me. Who wants a husband that deserts his family?????? NOT ME!!!!!!!!!!!!! I asked for him to stop calling me, which of course prompted calls...but I just tell him that Now is not a good time to talk and I will speak to him later, and I hang up. We are in the process of doing a Separation Agreement, which should be finished soon, and once the assets are divvied up, we won't have much to talk about except the visitation schedule. GOD BLESS my family and all my friends who have been in constant contact with me and have given me a rock solid foundation to get through this horrible awful time.
Although I truly believe my marriage is over, permanently, I am doing 180 so that I can be a good mother. I know that the children's welfare should always take precedence over the marital differences, but I was a MESS and how can someone that is an emotional and psychological MESS be a good parent??? I am taking control of MY LIFE and letting go of HIS LIFE. Kind of like the stock market crashing - can't do anything about it now, just need to wait it out. What's lost is lost, and I have plenty of time ahead of me to rebuild and regenerate.
LOVE TO ALL.
I'm sorry to read that. Make sure you read through the first few pages of this thread for some insights on how to take care of yourself. Also, if you haven't already, I encourage you to post in S&D - they're a very supportive group and have a lot of tactical advice to offer as well. Make sure you do consult that lawyer to draft up the sep-agreement. You need to protect yourself and the kids.
Know that his leaving has nothing to do with you. He's not running from the marriage, he's running from himself to a fantasy life he's built up. It had nothing to do with you - it's all about him and it always was.
Sounds like you've got a great attitude. You're gonna be okay.
This weekend is "his" weekend. Our girls want to go to a Winter Carnival at their school on Friday. They want me to go too and I want to go with them. I volunteer at their school when needed & he's not involved with their school at all. I'm going with my girls & he's going too & then will take them to his apt afterwards. How do I act towards him while we're there? Do I ignore him? Do I act happy, like all is right with the world?
I appreciate anyone's input.
Are you going to be hurt by doing this? Are the kids going to sense the tension between you?
Is this carnival a special occasion? Trying to make it to a special occasion for your kids such as their gold medal swim is important. Going to just another swimming practice together is confusing and a lot to ask.
He's still with the OW but wants to put up the happy family front? He's not doing this for you or the kids - he just wants what's easiest for him. This is a separation that is a consequence of his actions. Treat it as such. Playing happy family for your kids at this stage will be very confusing for them if you're separated and he's still full on in A. In time, when all of you have healed, you may find it easier to spend time with each other - but right now to be the best mother you can to the kids you gotta think of yourself and your emotional balance.
If you do go, you may consider bringing some friends along to dilute the awkwardness so that you're not 'forced' to interact with him. Try to maintain indifference towards him and focus on the kids. Stay a class act through it all.
I think there is the high road and then there is pie int he sky road.
Your girls nee to know dady left them and you for OP.
You don't harp on it, but hiding the truth creates future generations of hiding and lying. My Dad is in his 70s, adored WH and has survived me exposing WH's affair. In fact, my WH is almost my Dad's age.
it's all about James Hunter, now ;)
And here's the 180 link:
My H avoids conflict at all times. Currently he is living with a friend and varies between "would like to save the marriage but also likes living on his own, but ok will give it a go" to "really wants to save it and will be positive". We have dragged on in limbo for 9 months now.
His main 'thing' is threatening to leave (now when visiting).
He did this before I found out about the A, then when discovered he left for 'space' (ahem). In the space of two weeks he changed his mind 10 times. He has now left home 3 times, and refuses to come home because he may have to leave again.
Anyway, whenever he comes over, the tiniest weeniest problem sets off "Oh, I'll just leave shall I? Shall I just go?" Off he goes to get his shoes....
At first, he would threaten to go back to OW. As time progressed he stopped that but I would stupidly follow him out to watch him put on his shoes, and beg him to stay or whatever. Now his threats are met with a tired resignation, and now he has to bring his coat and shoes to me, in order for me to watch him put them on.
Now I just say 'Go on then', but then he doesn't go. It's not good enough, he has to have a fight or get me crying first. I am sick to the back teeth of it, it stops us sorting anything out. This is why he won't come home, he would not be able to clear off whenever he wanted.
Also, if he gets up, sometimes I'll say 'Oh, are you leaving?' He gets annoyed at that so he'll say he's going to the loo, THEN come back with his shoes.
Now I'm doing the 180, I would like to nip this in the bud.
I am thinking, at the first hint of the 'I'll just leave/shoe collecting/ pained expression/woe is me wailing' I will just say 'Oh, are you going, nice to see you and we'll give you a ring tomorrow about when to see you next.'
No nastiness, just politeness, as if you would with a guest.
Also, we all leave our shoes in the kitchen, as we live in the sticks and it keeps the mud out. So I'm thinking, when he brings the shoes, I say 'Sorry, I say this to all guests, could you leave your shoes in the kitchen?'
there is a possibility that doing this may mean he will leave about 2 minutes after he got here, and we have young children who love to see him. They are 5 and 8, how can I explain this to them. The eldest has told me several times he is fed up with daddy going on about leaving, so I think they would get on board.
I'm just fed up with the histrionics and manipulation. Sorry I've gone on so long.
Also, I do understand the 180 is not for controlling a WS, I'm just looking for advice on how to stop myself being drawn into his argument/leaving/crying drama. Thanks.
[This message edited by Baffled at 11:06 AM, January 8th (Thursday)]
I did this for one week after BS left me for OP, and now there seem to be problems in paradise...BS wants to talk, but I'm pretty busy, you see...
I guess it's easy now, because in our MSA it says that the OW cannot be near our girls for 1 year. I have to say when that time is up & if my WH/STBX is still with her & they decide it's time to introduce her - all bets are off at that time - I'm not sure what will happen. I know that I will NOT let them believe she is daddy's sweet, wonderful new girlfriend.
And I agree, protecting the kids is a good plan.
I let my kids figure out their dad is an abusive, self centered alcoholic.
Only once did I correct something one of them said, and it was really important b/c that child contradicted another child who shared a memory of the father's abuse. I felt that validating the truth was important - but they'd brought it up.
However, an affair, I don't know, he choose to leave the marriage. It's a tough call, and it is great you are putting the kids first. I hope XWH "gets" what a lucky man he is.
At some point the kids will put two and two together - maybe not till the late teens, but chances are they will figure out dates, etc and know.