Have you met with a lawyer yet?
No. But I plan to in the next couple of weeks. Im on the struggle bus about it because, I thought we were in R. So its only been a little over a week since the shit hit the fan. He didnt think I would catch on that quick.....
Im gonna see what my options are...and be still for a minute. But when I move, he definitely wont be privy to what Im going to do.
We also spent time talking about how for most of the marriage she would blame me for when things could not be done or did not work out. She told me how rather than ask me, she would tell the kids a thing could not be done because of me. The kids (her girls and our boys) were told to not ask me for things because it would upset me, and to always ask her. She realizes that was wrong, and is trying to figure out where those thoughts came from. She acknowledges now that there has never been a thing she has wanted and asked for that I have not made happen. Still, she self-censored many of her wants out of some reluctance to approach me or to negotiate her wants with the competing wants and needs.
Meanwhile, I have been working to complete the book “what I love about you” (Marshall and Marshall) as a gift for her on Valentines. I had hoped that working on this would remind me of what I loved about FWW, and help to spark new feelings of love, desire, and respect. Instead, so far, I am struck by how shallow our M has been as far as our relationship with each other. Many of the questions are a struggle to answer because we have not done things that are very common for a M’d couple. For example, we tried a couple of vacations together early in the M and they were both terrible. We did not have fun together, and we would end up coming home early. Looking back I see most of this was FWW’s anxiety, unrealistic expectations, and being uncomfortable with me and no distractions. Another example is few friends as couples as she would be embarrassed that she was not smart enough around my friends, or critical of people we tried to be friends with. I am continuing to work on the book responding with how I felt at the times that were fun, and discounting what I now know about how she felt and perceived our relationship then. I hope I can complete enough that it will work as a gift. It certainly is ideas on where we could stand some attention spent on our M.
I am also trying to learn from my recent experience of not being as self-sufficient as I like to be due to my injuries. FWW, if she can be believed, very much enjoyed my wanting her to take care of me, to get things for me, even getting up in the middle of the night to get my medicine or a drink. Despite my injuries, we have had sex more times in the last 3 weeks (3x) than in any two previous months. I am continuing to ask her to do more things for me, to fix a snack for me even though I am to a point I am well able to take care of myself now. She talks about wanting to feel useful, valuable, and important, if I could only get her to understand that I value physical intimacy much more than a sandwich or drink.
I am also, very slowly and selectively, asking her to help with specific things that need to be done around the house and letting things go for a while (dishes in the sink, laundry on the floor) to give her a chance to address them. I have been frustrated that despite years of yelling at me about chores undone, she (to me) seems very slow to get to them. I do know that we approach chores differently. I like to get it all done and then be free to relax or recreate whereas FWW tends to move back and forth from doing work to doing other thinks (a project, texting, chatting, etc.). I can see that my approach of catching up all of the chores when I get up in the morning or home from work leaves her feeling guilty for not having helped, but that MY timing for doing the work does not fit her schedule.
The book you are working on is such a gift. WOW, Ats! It will be helpful for you as you move ahead, and set the stage for what you want the relationship to be in the future, although you may see some of the stuff of the past is not what you thought it was.
I had a thought about physical intimacy. Because of FOO issues, perhaps your wife is afraid of losing control of anything: her emotions, etc. Doing things for you, is a codependent thing...she does things for you, you will love her....BUT, emotional intimacy/sex is often about being emotionally and physically vulnerable and losing control. I don't know if that is making any sense.
As with household chores, I guess both of you just need to accept that you have different approaches to doing them, and neither is right or wrong.
I'm glad that you are on the mend. The concussion is such a pain. Just when I think I'm getting better, I have trouble focusing and concentrating. Very frustrating.
and the fact is, she has been giving you everything you had wanted...yet i still sense something not quite pleased in your post....you seem to dwell on the marriage as it was as opposed to concentrating on what it is now....whilst i know there is a huge history...she cannot undo what she had done in the past...but she seems to be redoing the present and not fitting into the "typical" mrs ats behavior of what it was....and i think its wonderful
my wish for you ats is that mrs ats keeps persevering....
here on the northeast we have been inundated with snow....i am done...really really done with this weather...we had been so luck with the past winters...it seems as though Mother Nature is making up for lost time....its so beautiful though...and so deadly....and basically a real pain in the ass...
I very much believe that with FWW and I that we selected M partners to complete growth and development that we missed in our childhoods. In my M I have learned I have value and that I am worthy of being loved just for who I am. I have learned to be comfortable with who I am, and how to change aspects of my self I am not happy with. So long as I am safe in my M in that FWW is no longer blaming me for the things she does not like about herself, and she is not seeking affirmation from OM, I would like to stay with her and provide the opportunity for her to complete her growth also. Ultimately I think this is best for me, for our children, and for FWW.
...perhaps she feels guilty about doing things for herself and feels she should be with you? Perhaps she doesn't know how to balance her own needs to what she perceives as your needs.
Iwam, it has always been valuable to me to see her progress reflected in your postings back to me. I often have trouble seeing the progress being so immersed in the situation and the day to day stuff. I do not think that I have ever disagreed with one of your reflected summaries after I had thought about it and reflected. My intuition with FWW is still re-calibrating after decades of being her whipping boy.
I hope your FWW can find a way to balance what she wants to do for herself and allowing herself to "let go" and enjoy the moments with you.
one of the things where she knows it is right, but it is not how she “feels”.
Sparks? didn't the fact she is doing all those things to care for you after the crash not make you feel good? She is loving you by doing all that.
She talks about wanting to feel useful, valuable, and important,
Me, I would love my wife with words. "honey, thank you for all you showed me in my crash, I love you for that, that is important to me. You are important to me."
Start romancing your wife. Do you kiss her at least 3 - 4 times a week? Not some peck.. but a real kiss? Do that and see what that gets you.
Fact is.. I know you have accepted what has happened. That was then and today is today.
You like sex.. guess what? So does your wife. You create the environment so she wants to have sex with you. Touch her often. With words, affirm her often. And no whining, begging or manipulations.. invite only.
if I could only get her to understand that I value physical intimacy much more than a sandwich or drink.
"when we get old, I will still want to get close to you by making love.. even at 90!"
"sex is just not sex to me.. it brings me far closer to you, a bond that cannot be broken between us... when we both make it that way."
She cannot define your sexuality. We men so often allow our wives to set our sexuality. You don't want to have sex wife? I do. We have a problem. Your choice, you want all I have to offer, then you love me with touch. If a woman doesn't realize this by her age, then it is a lost cause. Men want sex. But we cannot expect a woman to want to have it with us just because. We must show them how important they are to us, to romance them, do things that put them in the mood, be different, be exciting, be creative, make them proud of us, be responsible, dependable, all those things I know you can do.
I know what works.. It is what YOU do and how you say things and how you present yourself.
Pour her a glass of wine...
I think your Valentine's book is such a sweet idea. I hope your wife appreciates it. And, I am so happy to see you in such a good place in your life.
I have to admit, I can actually relate a little bit to what your wife says about balancing her time. For too many years in my marriage, I put my H last - after everything else got done & I not only expected him to be there, but resented him for not helping me out so that I could have free time. Eventually, spending time with my H just became awkward & not something I looked forward to. I see now how I should have handled things differently & recognize that I felt that way because we were essentially strangers at that point. I hope I would not be like that in a new relationship.
And - follow Tryn's suggestion - wine is always a good start!
In my world:
Not sure if I had told you that apparently OW finally moved on at the end of December & cut the cord with my X so she could be in a relationship with someone else. We shall see how long that lasts. My X has now started dating & I have to admit, I am upset. More upset than I would like to admit. Made the mistake of sharing this with him - of course he's willing to stop dating if we get back together. I know that would be a mistake and told him so. Just wish I didn't care about him anymore. Not sure why I do when the reasons for not being with him are so many...
Baby steps, I guess.
AND WOULD IT STOP SNOWING ALREADY!!!!
I hope she likes the book too, it has been a growth experience for me.
How much of your upset with WH do you think is that he (apparently) so easily moved to dating while he have not felt/been ready for that? I suspect that dating another person means more to you emotionally and as a commitment than it does for him. Is he still spending time with the kids? Is this still at your place or do you get some time for yourself during his visitation times?
...because we were essentially strangers at that point.
I feel this some when spending time with FWW, but have not talked with her about this. It has been years since we really did things together. When we were doing things together regularly 8+ years ago our kids were that much younger and a focus of many the things we did. I probably need to ask her about this, and work on plans for us to have some things in common to talk about.
Tryn, she does not need me to pour her a glass, just help opening the bottles. I have not been drinking at all since having my concussion, but we usually have a couple of drinks each night.
"sex is just not sex to me.. it brings me far closer to you, a bond that cannot be broken between us...
I have said almost these exact words to her, but her response is that she feels like I just want her for the sex. She does not like to be hugged, and will not kiss unless she has freshly brushed her teeth. Before dday I found disposable tooth brushing kits for her hoping it might lead to more kissing. She really liked them, started buying them to carry in her purse all the time...I never got any more kissing though.
Still, things are better. With the sex and other touching I am asking for what I want when I want it. She can still turn me down, but I am not waiting passively for her to initiate anymore. As for romancing her, there are things I do, but the problem is really her poor self-image and there is little I can do to fix that.
My X has now started dating & I have to admit, I am upset.
I guess what you may need to focus on is what your WS would need to do for you to consider R. Just stopping seeing the OW (or any other woman) may just have been the starting point. I know we still miss them and the good points. It's so very hard.
I told him to date as we were not going to be together. A few months ago he left his email open on my laptop while he was visiting the kids in my home (So - Ats - in response to your question - I rarely get free time. When he comes into weekends, which is about every 3 months, I will get one night - not even 24 hours to myself.), I saw that he was on a dating website and in communication with people. That didnt annoy me at the time, but I guess I was more concerned at the time that he was still communicating with OW that it overshadowed my displeasure with the dating.
Prior to that, I did think I would be upset when he moved on, but it would be something I could handle.
Now I know he is in regular contact with someone and he has admitted going out on dates, so maybe it just became more "real" to me and that's why I got upset.
Ats: I suppose you are right in that dating would mean more to me than him. I know he can't be alone for long, so I guess I'm not surprised, but just got used to both of us being in this special kind of limbo.
[This message edited by Allgoodnamesgone at 3:20 PM, February 5th (Wednesday)]
I don't think about stbx much at all these days but I still have moments where I hope she's miserable. Your post sparked something in me today so thanks for responding.
[This message edited by 7yrsflushed at 3:36 PM, February 5th (Wednesday)]
Please feel free to ignore this advice or correct me if my assumptions are in error. I think that with D (or permanent separation) there is some feeling that life is very unfair in that the one who put the most effort into being a good spouse and parent gets no reward while the lacking spouse moves on, apparently successfully, with their life. I saw this with FWW. She was jealous of her x remarried and being a Disney Dad when he wanted to be and bringing DDs back early if one were sick. I told FWW to live her life the way that she felt was right, not to be in competition with her x. He had issues, and over the long hall the truth would win out.
Her affairs were not her doing well, but over the last 20 years her relationship with DDs is much better than his. We have a good life (even including her A) compared to him. As we head to the future the success gap between her and him will only continue to grow.
Broken people rarely (never?) end up having magical and success full lives. It may look so in the short term, but working at living a good life, being a good parent and person will ultimately yield real dividends.
in the short term your x's may date sooner, remarry sooner, seem to have more money. In the long-term you will have happier and more rewarding lives.
Ats- like you said I just have to do what I think is right & not think about him at all.
The further I get out the less I care about things related to my former M and stbxw. As I stated before things are definitely much better for me but after living in chaos for so long I sometimes wonder when/if another dip is coming. Sort of like stuff has been good for quite awhile now, life should be throwing some speed bumps at me but stbxww was the speed bump machine in my case. Feels like phantom pain, I had surgery years ago and limped while I was healing. I limped for several months after I was completely healed out of habit until the Doctor pointed it out. Lately that's sort of how it is I guess. I know i'm good but there still some lingering phantom pain every now and then.
I also see x every day, even if it is for just an hour & that's not helping.
I remember that you started dating and your X did not like that at all. His reaction was very unfair considering what he did to cause the S. Does the way he acted about you dating have anything to do with how you feel about him dating? The way he acted is such a double standard and is sure to grate at your feelings a little bit. The double standard of the LTA is always a hard thing to figure out and has made me a little bit touchy about things like that.
Yes, x went berserk when I dated. And even though I have not dated since, he was texting me just a month ago how he would beat the crap out of anyone who came near me, etc.
Now that hes dating, he has stopped the threats, but who knows how he would react if I did date.
I dont think the double standard is what has me upset. But I did mention it to him . That im not happy about him dating, but im not threatening anyone. He never seems to get my point tho. Go figure.
I am not current with the situations but I did skim the posts. There are newbies to the tribe and some 'longtimers' hanging in here.
Ats: I admire you so much. Not sure how you were injured but you seem to be on the mend and are communicating with your FWW as well as making her a book “what I love about you” for her. This sounds like a difficult yet loving task... a Retrovaille type of exercise... very meaningful to your R.
I have re-read our Marriage Encounter notebooks a few time since Dday. This only made me sadder about his betrayal so I put them away.
Today is an anniversary... 44 years since our 1st date. We used to mention it and celebrate with a nice dinner. Today I am numb.
Tomorrow is an antiversary...6 years have passed since Dday. I am stuck... not healed; not in IC or MC... Haven't been since 2009. Never a good time... not a priority as FWH is working out East; his busy time of year.
Think I need a glass of wine...