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New Beginnings Post Reply     Print Topic    
User Topic: Baggage claim
Pass
♂ Member
Member # 38122
Default  Posted: 10:53 AM, August 23rd (Saturday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Hey y'all,

It's been almost a year and a half since I left The Princess. I started dating WAY too early, but am finally at the point where I feel like I can handle dating. I've had some recent dates that I actually enjoyed a little, and am feeling much more confident. Divorce is still a long way off because we're still trying to hammer out the separation agreement.

I come with some other baggage too:

- Lifelong depression
- Social anxiety
- ADHD
- A suicide attempt two and a half years ago
- Weekly appointments with my shrink about above
- Years of emotional abuse from The Princess
- Financial difficulty
- No child-free weekends (and I like it that way)
- Epilepsy (totally under control with meds)
- Sleep apnea

Before I meet with someone, I always tell them that I'm not divorced yet - because it wouldn't be fair to let them think I'm single. I tend to talk about my kids a lot (because they're just so damn cool!), so they know that I'm a devoted dad right off the bat.

However, I'm not sure when would be the right time to tell them the rest. One woman asked me out on a fourth date during our third date, and I felt it was the right time to have the "baggage claim" discussion. Poof!

Another woman made it fairly clear to me in the lead-up to our second date that we would be having sex. I didn't want to feel like I'd conned her, or done it under any false pretences, so I sent her an email that told her all these things. We still went through with the "festivities", and a couple other dates after that. My baggage didn't scare her off, but she was - I hate to use the word "crazy", in light of my issues - fucking nuts. She ended up going on a huge rant, and threatening to call it quits over the fact that she was "getting a friend-zone vibe" from me (that I was thinking of HER as a friend), so I let that happen. I don't think it had anything to do with my baggage.

While I think it's immoral to not let them know I'm still married, I just don't know when to tell them the rest. Ideally, I'd like someone to get to know me, so that they realize I'm worth all that baggage, but I don't want to be dishonest.

The Princess spent our whole relationship accusing me of dishonesty - and cheating of course (because apparently that's what she thought married people did - and so I always felt like I was the naughty child of the marriage. I don't want those feelings again: I want to feel equal and be honest.

So when should I do the baggage claim?


Loyal spouse: Me; Disloyal spouse: The Princess
Two sons: Now 11 and 14
DDay: Nov 15, 2012
Separated: Mar 2, 2013 after 17 year marriage, now divorcing!

The best thing about hitting rock bottom is that everything after that looks fucking fabulous


Posts: 2110 | Registered: Jan 2013
caregiver9000
♀ Member
Member # 28622
Default  Posted: 12:01 PM, August 23rd (Saturday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

- Lifelong depression
not unless and until the depression impacts your relationship... assuming that at that point you are in a relationship.

- Social anxiety
Only if you are in a social situation or invited to one that you aren't prepared to handle.

- ADHD
If it comes up in normal conversation. How you cope with it, what about it makes you interesting, your opinion on how it is handled in schools/kids, normal conversation. This is not a disability or flaw that must be disclosed.

- A suicide attempt two and a half years ago
only in a deeply intimate committed relationship. This is such an emotional share that too soon and it will feel like an overshare and inappropriate.

- Weekly appointments with my shrink about above
As a conversational piece about how you spend your time in a conversation about your schedule. I think that a weekly commitment to dealing with your emotional health and/or issues is going to be a positive as long as you don't drag out the list to prove you NEED to go.

- Years of emotional abuse from The Princess
The less you talk about your last relationship, the farther your new relationships will go. Just sayin.

- Financial difficulty
If it impacts your ability to date and do certain events that you might wish to invite a date to go on, then I would mention a tight budget without going so far as to bring up your credit score. If you get to the point where you are financially going to mingle (live together) then your financial bottom line is more relevant. But not to a date or even a committed relationship unless you are mixing financial responsibilities.

- No child-free weekends (and I like it that way)
Definitely. Up front and disclose how you make time for an adult partner in spite of that schedule.

- Epilepsy (totally under control with meds)
Whenever this came up under normal conversation? If she saw you take your meds or you had a reason to discuss this relative to a movie or book you both read?

- Sleep apnea
Prior to sleeping together assuming you don the darth vadar mask.

All of this is just my opinion, others may disagree.

[This message edited by caregiver9000 at 12:03 PM, August 23rd (Saturday)]


Me: 44, independent, happy, despite co-parenting with a lower muppet
FT "Stretch" (and Skew!) ;)
DS 13 DS 10
S 5/2010
D 12/2012

Posts: 5861 | Registered: May 2010 | From: a better place
Amazonia
♀ Member
Member # 32810
Default  Posted: 12:18 PM, August 23rd (Saturday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Um, Pass, are you telling women about all of this in the same breath?

Maybe start by spreading it out a bit.


"You yourself deserve your love and affection as much as anybody in the universe." -Buddha
"Let's face it, life is a crap shoot." -Sad in AZ

Posts: 13801 | Registered: Jul 2011
Sad in AZ
♀ Member
Member # 24239
Default  Posted: 3:01 PM, August 23rd (Saturday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

My opinions? Take it really, REALLY slow when dating. Become friends first. Then, only divulge what will impact your dating. For instance, is it possible you could have a seizure? Let her know what she should do.


As you become close with someone, you can have further discussions.


I solemnly swear that I am up to no good.

Posts: 20292 | Registered: Jun 2009 | From: Upstate NY
better4me
♀ Member
Member # 30341
Default  Posted: 4:40 PM, August 23rd (Saturday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I think learning about "when" to tell these things is all a part of learning how to date again. Intimacy is just as much about letting people see/know details about yourself as it is about being physically intimate. And intimacy takes time. Let things be revealed as you feel safer revealing them. I don't think they have to be said prior to having sex. There really isn't a "rule" about this, you just have to figure it out for yourself. This might be a good topic to explore with your therapist??


DDay 11/17/2010 BW:52
Divorced

Posts: 3213 | Registered: Dec 2010 | From: Iowa
Kajem
♀ Member
Member # 36134
Default  Posted: 4:50 PM, August 23rd (Saturday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Pass,

My friends gave you great advice.

I'll ask a question, because I struggle with this ( I'm not dating) how often does the princess's words invade your headspace?

The longer I'm alone and focused on me, the less I hear XH's words in my head. The stuff he said is no longer relevant in my life. I'm almost to the same place with XSO.

Take your time letting people know your 'secrets' (for lack of s better word) they need to earn your trust first. And that takes time. And spending time getting to know someone is what's important.

K


I trust you is a better compliment than I love you, because you may not trust the person you love, but you can always love the person you trust. - Unknown
Relationships are like sharing a book, it doesn't work if you're not on the same page.

Posts: 5282 | Registered: Jul 2012 | From: Florida
Pass
♂ Member
Member # 38122
Default  Posted: 5:35 PM, August 23rd (Saturday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I'll ask a question, because I struggle with this ( I'm not dating) how often does the princess's words invade your headspace?

Not as often as they used to, Kajem. Hardly at all. The feelings of inadequacy still make somewhat regular appearances, but I think more of that is the negative thoughts my depression and low self-esteem cause. She didn't cause those things, just totally capitalized on them. When I think about her in relation to my future, it's more about the red flags I ignored from her - and will never ignore again.

I do appreciate what y'all are saying about keeping these things private until they need to be discussed. That does sound like a nice option, which would give someone the option of getting to know and like me before being assailed by these things. And I appreciate how you're thinking of my best interests in giving me this answer.

However, if you had been going out with a guy for a while, developed a relationship, become sexually active, how would it make YOU feel to find out about these things later? Would you feel betrayed, conned, lied to?

We've all been betrayed, and I don't want to make anyone else feel this way.

Better4me, that's a good idea of something to bring up with my shrink. I'll do that, but I would still love to hear more of your opinions.

Thanks!


Loyal spouse: Me; Disloyal spouse: The Princess
Two sons: Now 11 and 14
DDay: Nov 15, 2012
Separated: Mar 2, 2013 after 17 year marriage, now divorcing!

The best thing about hitting rock bottom is that everything after that looks fucking fabulous


Posts: 2110 | Registered: Jan 2013
yestopants
♀ Member
Member # 41631
Default  Posted: 12:42 PM, August 24th (Sunday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

However, if you had been going out with a guy for a while, developed a relationship, become sexually active, how would it make YOU feel to find out about these things later? Would you feel betrayed, conned, lied to?

No I would not. This is part of getting to know someone. I have lots of "baggage" too that I have worked hard to address (which it sounds like you have too). I think at this point in life (not that i'm old) but who doesn't have stuff? I know that when I go out with someone they will have a list too what I'm interested in is how they have handled what's been thrown at them. I also don't expect to learn that in a few dates.

just my 2 cents but I'm new to this too and am currently on a break. Dating was so much easier when I was in my 20's ugh.

[This message edited by yestopants at 12:43 PM, August 24th (Sunday)]


Me: 35
STBXWH: 38
2 amazing kids DS DD
almost Divorced!

Posts: 283 | Registered: Dec 2013
nowiknow23
♀ Guide
Member # 33226
Default  Posted: 12:48 PM, August 24th (Sunday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

However, if you had been going out with a guy for a while, developed a relationship, become sexually active, how would it make YOU feel to find out about these things later? Would you feel betrayed, conned, lied to?
No, I wouldn't. Can I flip this question around for you, Pass? If you were the one finding out about similar things from a woman you were developing a relationship with, would you feel betrayed/lied to/conned? Or would you feel like you were getting to know them better and better?

I just don't think someone you are dating owes you their complete medical, mental, and emotional inventory all at once. It's an organic process, getting to know someone. Things naturally unfold as trust is earned and intimacy increases.


You can call me NIK

"If you carry joy in your heart, you can heal any moment."
- Carlos Santana


Posts: 25774 | Registered: Aug 2011
Pass
♂ Member
Member # 38122
Default  Posted: 1:15 PM, August 24th (Sunday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

No, I wouldn't. Can I flip this question around for you, Pass? If you were the one finding out about similar things from a woman you were developing a relationship with, would you feel betrayed/lied to/conned? Or would you feel like you were getting to know them better and better?

See now, that's the kind of thing my shrink does all the time. He starts with, "I'm going to turn that question around on you..." and then makes me realize I'm being a little ridiculous.

Of course I wouldn't expect a woman to reveal all that to me. I would understand that some things are just private until she feels comfortable enough to reveal them. Maybe all those years of being treated like a lying, cheating piece of shit (BY a lying, cheating piece of shit) had more effect on me than I thought?

Thanks for that, guys.

However, I would still love to hear from more people, no matter which way your opinion lies. Please feel free to give your opinion!


Loyal spouse: Me; Disloyal spouse: The Princess
Two sons: Now 11 and 14
DDay: Nov 15, 2012
Separated: Mar 2, 2013 after 17 year marriage, now divorcing!

The best thing about hitting rock bottom is that everything after that looks fucking fabulous


Posts: 2110 | Registered: Jan 2013
Pass
♂ Member
Member # 38122
Default  Posted: 1:16 PM, August 24th (Sunday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Dating was so much easier when I was in my 20's ugh.

Dude, you got that right!


Loyal spouse: Me; Disloyal spouse: The Princess
Two sons: Now 11 and 14
DDay: Nov 15, 2012
Separated: Mar 2, 2013 after 17 year marriage, now divorcing!

The best thing about hitting rock bottom is that everything after that looks fucking fabulous


Posts: 2110 | Registered: Jan 2013
nowiknow23
♀ Guide
Member # 33226
Default  Posted: 2:02 PM, August 24th (Sunday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

See now, that's the kind of thing my shrink does all the time. He starts with, "I'm going to turn that question around on you..." and then makes me realize I'm being a little ridiculous.
I'm gonna call you on the word ridiculous, Pass. Reframing or reorienting the question helps to see if what we expect of ourselves is out of alignment with what we expect of others. Not ridiculous - just out of alignment.

Maybe all those years of being treated like a lying, cheating piece of shit (BY a lying, cheating piece of shit) had more effect on me than I thought?
Yeah, years of "programming" takes time and lots of effort to uncover and correct. Some of that work can be done on your own, but some of it (like this, I think) requires you to be in a situation where the specific faulty belief is exercised. And then, hopefully, exorcised.


You can call me NIK

"If you carry joy in your heart, you can heal any moment."
- Carlos Santana


Posts: 25774 | Registered: Aug 2011
Pass
♂ Member
Member # 38122
Default  Posted: 10:01 AM, August 25th (Monday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

exercised. And then, hopefully, exorcised.

Oh yeah, dude. I'm definitely working on that muscle group!


Loyal spouse: Me; Disloyal spouse: The Princess
Two sons: Now 11 and 14
DDay: Nov 15, 2012
Separated: Mar 2, 2013 after 17 year marriage, now divorcing!

The best thing about hitting rock bottom is that everything after that looks fucking fabulous


Posts: 2110 | Registered: Jan 2013
norabird
♀ Member
Member # 42092
Default  Posted: 10:08 AM, August 25th (Monday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Apart from divulging the info on the divorce, and your schedule with your kids, there's no need to talk about all of this right away unless it comes up naturally in conversation. I think the more you make progress on your depression, the more distance you have from the suicide attempt, the less you will feel that it is the most defining thing about you that everyone needs to know--because it's not! I had an eating disorder in my late teens for instance; it will usually get mentioned at some point as I keep dating someone, and serious partners will know about it because it does still faintly inform how I approach certain things, but in the same way as they know some other story about my coming of age...a piece of a larger puzzle, not the one defining feature.


Sit. Feast on your life.

Posts: 4196 | Registered: Jan 2014 | From: NYC
doin just fine
♂ Member
Member # 10041
Default  Posted: 10:27 AM, August 25th (Monday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Dating was so much easier when I was in my 20's ugh.
Dude, you got that right!

I don't know what you guys are talking about. Way easier in my 40's. It's like high school, but backwards.

And I agree with nora. I think the only obligations you initially have are to disclose your not-quite-yet-divorced status and your obligations to children. As for the other stuff, I'd only disclose if it came up organically, or perhaps if the "dating" is proceeding more towards a "relationship."


Posts: 441 | Registered: Mar 2006
Newlease
♀ Member
Member # 7767
Default  Posted: 11:06 AM, August 25th (Monday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

I agree with the people who say to let it come out in a gradual organic way.

For instance, I'm not sure how long I'd been dating SO when he told me a story about a friend of his dating a "crazy" woman who was bipolar and off her meds. That opened the door for me to mention that I haven suffered from depression all my life, but that it is managed with the help of medication. Then I asked him if that was a problem. It made him think about the situation in a different way.

It is just a part of getting to know someone and becoming more intimate. I like to say that everyone has baggage at this stage of life. You just have to find someone who's baggage is compatible with yours. Eventually, if you work on it together, you can combine the baggage to a manageable size.

NL


Even if you can't control the world around you, you are still the master of your own soul.

Posts: 7744 | Registered: Aug 2005
Pass
♂ Member
Member # 38122
Default  Posted: 8:26 AM, August 26th (Tuesday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

So the consensus seems to be that I would need to disclose my schedule with my kids - if only for date scheduling purposes - and (of course!) the fact that I'm not divorced yet. Everything else should be revealed organically, as it comes up, instead of being blurted out as one ten-pound sack of disfunction on the third date.

I meet with my shrink tomorrow and will discuss this with him. Of course, I still feel as though I would be hiding things by doing this, but am willing to believe that it may just be a symptom of my years of depression, low self esteem, and emotional battering from The Princess.

Thanks again. Y'all are the best!


Loyal spouse: Me; Disloyal spouse: The Princess
Two sons: Now 11 and 14
DDay: Nov 15, 2012
Separated: Mar 2, 2013 after 17 year marriage, now divorcing!

The best thing about hitting rock bottom is that everything after that looks fucking fabulous


Posts: 2110 | Registered: Jan 2013
Pass
♂ Member
Member # 38122
Default  Posted: 8:55 AM, August 28th (Thursday), 2014View ProfileEdit MessagePrivate MessageHomepage

Just in case anyone else is wondering about these same issues, I thought I'd report back on what my shrink had to say. He basically agrees with all of you, that (with the exception of my divorcing status and childcare schedule) I should let these topics come out as they naturally would - and not as a large stack to be thrown on the table at the second or third date.

I had mentioned to him before about how whenever I tell people about my depression, they always have a friend or relative with depression - or have it themselves. He asked me what I thought of these other depressives who had never let me know they had it. Did I think they were bad people for not telling me?

And the answer is, of course not. They didn't tell me because it was none of my business, and it didn't affect our friendship, work relationship, whatever.

When he told me this, of course I spent a few minutes trying to come up with a reason why it would be different for me - why I would be a bad person for doing the same thing they did. The only partial answer I came up with is that these things are really at the forefront of my mind at the moment, because I'm in the process of getting better, so it feels like I'm hiding a huge part of who I am. He said these are illnesses, and they are not who I am.

Hmm.

I'm still slowly learning that I am really not a worse person than most, and that I'm not held to some artificial higher standard. I'll get there some day!

[This message edited by Pass at 9:58 AM, August 28th, 2014 (Thursday)]


Loyal spouse: Me; Disloyal spouse: The Princess
Two sons: Now 11 and 14
DDay: Nov 15, 2012
Separated: Mar 2, 2013 after 17 year marriage, now divorcing!

The best thing about hitting rock bottom is that everything after that looks fucking fabulous


Posts: 2110 | Registered: Jan 2013
Topic Posts: 18

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