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Making amends

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Pippin posted 9/6/2020 13:39 PM

Well, here is what I think is going on. She wants justice. It's a very human impulse, to want justice. But I think she is seeking justice for what you have done through punishing you. And WantstoRepair: there is no amount of punishment that is ever going to make up for what you have done. No amount of punishment that will give her back her sense of safety, years of her life spent with someone who was betraying her. When you interact with her, even if it's in a limited way, she tries to pack in the punishment. Lashing out at you when you make attempts to improve (it will never be enough), punishing you by financial ruin (even if it also ruins her and the children), making impossible demands that you can't meet (to prove how horrible you are). The drive for justice makes her behave in a hateful way. I'm sure she is not a hateful person. She is an unbelievably hurt person trying to set things straight in the best and only way she knows how. The best thing you can do for her, and for you, and for your children, is to be truly NO CONTACT with her. File for divorce, get a mediator, offer her as generous a financial settlement as possible, do not give up your time with the children or they will think they are unimportant to you but make the times clear and use the app and whatever. No contact. You need to fix yourself and you can't do that with her punishing you. She needs to not be put in positions where the urge to punish is so blinding that she can't see past it to what it does to herself and the children.

I think the Divorce forum is rational and helpful, even to waywards. You might post there when you need specific strategies for maintaining minimal contact. Don't ask why she behaves the way she is behaving. She's not an evil or irrational person. She's trying to make sense of her life in this way and the kindest thing you can do for her is to not present any opportunities to keep doing it.

Godspeed, WantstoRepair. You have a life worth redeeming and you need to find a peaceful place where you can get to work on it.

wantstorepair posted 9/6/2020 14:33 PM

Thank you Pippin.

EvolvingSoul posted 9/6/2020 18:25 PM

Hi there wantstorepair,


She now says she wants a court hearing. I cannot afford the 5 figure costs that will be her and my lawyers and want to pursue the a separation agreement that can then be turned into the divorce decree and have it happen for a fraction of the cost and in less than three month’s probably. I cannot get on her page though about this and do not know how to settle everything down and have real conversations about the way ahead. I very much want to give her what she wants and needs and will give all i can in a divorce settlement, I just don’t want to take this to court. I even said I’d rather pay her the money that we would otherwise spend on lawyers.

If you have the money to give to her instead of the lawyers, why does it matter to you who gets it? She wants to do this in court. At this point she is likely adopting the "NC=No New Hurts" strategy and wanting her only contact with you to be through lawyers so that she can protect herself from the ongoing ruptures that seem to come with interacting with you.


You may not like the idea of lawyers getting money, but honestly if it's going to go to them or to her, it's going to go away from you, period. So ask yourself, why does it matter so much?.

AintGonnaLose posted 9/7/2020 01:05 AM

Wantstorepair, you sound so much like my WS I’m going to have to call you out a little.

Pippin, I know at first glance, from Wants’ perspective, it sounds like his BS wants revenge. But please, take it from someone who has been accused of this for 3 1/2 years when nothing could be further from the truth.... it’s entirely possible that the only issue in this situation is Wants’ defeatist attitude and excuses, and whatever is fueling his inactivity.

On d-day, I made a vow to myself when I decided to try for reconciliation, that no matter what happened, I wouldn’t let it make bitter or vengeful. I’ve purposely tried to not be reactionary, and to be willing to do and give anything I asked of him. It didn’t make a difference. He told me within 2 weeks of d-day “I knew when I was driving home that day that you were never going to forgive me for it and I was right.” He hadn’t even told me the full truth yet, and he was guilt tripping me for not believing him, telling me I was looking for a reason to leave him. Anger, defensiveness, a complete lack of empathy. I was going to go into more detail about how he treated me, but it’s not something I need to dwell on. You can see a recap of the last 3 years in my recent post history. When I was on the verge of a breakdown from all this, paranoia to the point of transient episodes
psychosis that got so overwhelming I would shut down mentally (I later learned I was dissociating. Sitting still, not speaking, the thousand yard stare), he told me I was “sitting there with a look of hatred on my face.”

Ever since d-day, everything has been about how it affects him. He may say all the right words about knowing he’s responsible, but when it comes to him actually taking responsibility for his shit by doing something about it he’s never responsible for anything. He thinks that just because he says the words “I take responsibility for what I did,” I no longer have any right to expect anything of him. When I do, it’s further proof to him that I’m holding something over his head. This has compounded to the point where his shitty attitude and negative expectations cause 90% of our conflict. He will literally start an argument with me when I haven’t said a word, and somehow see himself as the victim of the whole situation. He’ll start to tell me something, then make some sort of negative mind reading prediction, “and I know you’re thinking _______ but....” and defend himself. If I try to tell him no, that’s not at all what I was thinking, he’ll argue with me about that! Then when I get frustrated or angry, he’s moaning about how I’ll never forgive him or I’m always criticizing him. He’ll treat me like shit verbally and emotionally, but any attempts I make to address that are unfair to him. It’s ridiculous. Anything he says about how badly he messed up sounds more like pity party than remorse.

Which is exactly what you, wantstorepair, sound like to me in your posts. You keep coming in like you’re seeking help, and you’ve been given some sound advice several times. Yet every time it’s “I should” and “I’ll try (sometime, maybe in the unnamed future)” and never any “I did” or “I’m trying.” Where’s the follow through? What have you DONE so far to try to make amends? Or have you been like my WS, not doing because “what’s the point? It won’t do any good” or “it’s never enough.” or whatever reason anyone can come up with. The only actual reason for someone who claims to know what they should do not to do it, is entitlement. It’s just not important enough, and while they know it’s what everybody else, morality, conventional wisdom, believes they should do, on some level they believe it shouldn’t apply to them.

So, do you REALLY “want to repair?” Even if it was too late for the marriage you could be repairing yourself. The vibe I get from you is more “I’m sabotaging because I actually want out, I’m just trying to convince everyone that I’m a decent person trapped by unfair circumstances who genuinely wants to repair, but my mean and punishing BS and whole army of other excuses make that impossible.” And you’re trying to convince everyone else so you can seize on any affirmation to convince yourself. If this isn’t true; I apologize and I’m more than willing to believe you, but right now I’m not convinced you want to repair anything.

nekonamida posted 9/7/2020 06:45 AM

WTR, so why can't you come to an agreement? Is it like when your BW asked for a custody schedule and you made a completely different one to argue over because it was more convenient FOR YOU? Is what she's asking for vastly different from what you want or are you nitpicking over little details because you don't want to experience any inconvenience? Why does being S first even matter to you? Don't you see why your BW DOES NOT want to do that because it extends the process for her of having to deal with you, your control, and your rigidity?

I'm not buying at all that you're dealing with big issues like her wanting a crazy split in her favor because I know your BW and I know your recent behavior surrounding D issues. I can tell that the whole S first to D is something you're doing for control because your reasons for it make no sense. You still have to come to an agreement for S. You still will need to deal with those issues later if you D later. Still going to spend that money on lawyers if you still disagree. And even if there is some small benefit, maybe getting those months back of her life are worth more to her than the money.

I don't know what the answer is unless you're willing to honestly lay out each and every thing you disagree with in the settlement for a third party to help you make a judgment call on if it's something worth contesting on, something worth compromising on, or if it's something you're pitching a fit over in order to get your way. At this point, it does not sound like you are capable of thinking it through yourself.

wantstorepair posted 9/7/2020 09:56 AM

Aintgoingtolose,
Thank you. There is certainly no need to apologize, however your assessment that I am sabotaging things because I really want out is not correct. I have thought a lot about that, and know in my heart that is not what I want or am trying to do.

That being said, everything you describe about he acts towards you as well as the dissociative states you get into describes perfectly what is happening here. Her disassociation is more than I can handle - in those times I think "ok, things are doing okay and my actions are not hurtful and this is progress..." and then it comes out days or weeks later that that time I thought was positive was actually the exact opposite, and that emotional blindside crushes me and I cant handle it and get frustrated and angry and then everything spirals out of control. I am not blaming her by saying that! I understand disassociation as a defensive mechanism and know she inst doing it to screw with me. The blame is on me for not recognizing it for what it is and allowing myself to let down my vigilance at acknowledging the full depth and breadth of her pain that is there always.

SO what have I done? I am in IC - now the truth of that is I have not been completely open to my C with all the details as our conversations seem to wander as he digs down in certain things I say. I am emotionally stunted and everything that elicits all but the most basic emotion freaks me out, and I have been all over the map in IC and so far it has not helped me to make any breakthroughs. And now my IC has medical issues and has left and I am being refereed to someone else via tele medicine. very frustrated and angry at having to start over and try and make any ground because I know I need help.

I mediate and read constantly trying to get answers and frame my thoughts and understand what she is going through and how I should act. I don't trust myself or my own judgement and feel absolutely paralyzed with making any good decision anymore. I do wnat to make the right decisions, and be good for goodness sake, and yes for her to be on the receiving end of my good actions and decisions would be great. I know there are no guarantees that no matter how good or pure my actions are are that it will get a positive outcome, especially with her: I do not control her emotions. I say that knowing full well that I do get frustrated that "nothing is ever good enough". It is hypocritical and I do not know how to stop that destructive hurtful thinking.

I have stopped drinking completley. I have not had a sip since 17 July. I went to AA, but yes have not gone to the meetings regularly. I have read the big book and am trying still to work on steps two and three about a higher power and letting go of control. I study it daily and try and frame my thoughts and subsequently my actions to those goals and principals.

I have seen a lawyer and have also written up a separation agreement that if we could agree on could be quickly tuned into the divorce decree. I have given her an exclusive use of the marital domicile agreement and have stayed away in order to give her peace. I am trying give as "generous" of a settlement as I possibly can. When I wrote it up and gave it to the lawyer he said I am being harder on myself than any judge would be. After hearing that I thought great, I will leave it as is and give it to her - still willing to change things if she wants something different. We can never seem to have that conversation though.

Her needs and wants are what matter here and anything I put together should be of her design - again my decision making is bad and she is the one who is owed, not me. I will do all I possibly can to make amends or at the very least give what I can and stop taking. I dont want to take anymore.

Yes, I want to repair. I appreciate and am trying to take everyone's advice and apply it to our situation and my thinking and actions. Desperate for something to stop hurting her more and making this worse.

Helping her repair, whatever that is even if it means not me, is what is important. I need and want to repair me.

The reality is I feel so lost and confused every single day that my actions falter. Just doing things to see what sticks seems crazy to me and like that is not caring for the outcome of my reactions on her which has been routinely bad...so I am constantly looking for the what to do that is right for her so that at least I wont do something that hurts her more.

Am I full of shit? yes. that is part of what created this mess. am I lying and just using words now? no. Action, the right and good actions for her benefit, are all I am trying to focus on on and stop my destructive self from hurting her more.

All I want to do is for her to have better, to have peace, to be able to try and heal. I will literally do anything to do that. I just don't know what to do and even when she tries to tell me I don't understand and screw it up and hurt her more.

wantstorepair posted 9/7/2020 10:23 AM

Neko,

I dont know how you know her, but if you really do then yes you know what she is a good person. a genuinely good and caring and loving person who I don't think is vengeful. She is hurting, badly, and wants relief from that pain and suffering.

Why cant we come to an agreement? I have no idea. Litterally if she could describe what she wants in a settlement I would sign it. anything. anything. becasue I owe her. not the other way around. It just seems like we cannot ever get there.

Court seems pointless because if it goes to that point where lawyers are involved and doing all the haggling my response to my lawyer will be, "okay, whatever she wants."

Evolving soul stated earlier why i car about the money - I don't really. My only goal is to make this as painless on her as possible and get her what she wants. I have throughout our marriage not given her the decision. More than anything in the world right now I want her to have this decision for herself without me controlling, manipulating, coercing or taking it over for myself to decide for us. It seems like the last good act I can possibly do and I want to do that for her.

Your question about why S first: my lawyer explained to me that in our state since we have already lived apart for over a year, the divorce could be settled in mere months, especially if there is a signed separation agreement in place that takes care of all the details so that things do not have to be decided upon by the judge, which will take a lot longer, not be in her control, and cost a lot more money. So it seems to me that that is the most efficient path to getting her the divorce on her terms the fastest and with the least additional pain and hardship. If that is wrong please tell me. I am trying to be pragmatic and keep my emotion out of it, because I am an emotional child and my emotions do not serve my decision making well, and more than anything I do not want her to be hurt by more of my bad decisions.

I do not want to nitpik over little details. I wont. I will say it all right here:
-I think she is the better and morally grounded parent and should have 100% legal custody of the kids; I have proven that I am not easy to make decision with and would like to alleviate her of that stress, fear, pain by giving her the decision making authority. That isn't me giving up the kids, it is trying to look out for all of their best interests as I have proven to not be a good dad though my cheating, lying and abuse. Yes I want to see them and be with them on a visitation schedule, and am willing to be as flexible as I can to make that happen so I can still be a part of their lives.
-without going into the numbers here (she knows what they are) I have already offered a financial settlement that has me taking 75% of the marital debt, the other 50% of the military retirement (50% is hers by law), and a monthly alimony payment for life. I am willing to adjust those numbers as she sees fit.

"Is what she is asking for vastly different from what you want...?" The problem is Neko, I don't know what she is asking for. I have no idea what is agreeable to her. What ever is agreeable to her is what I will sign.

I literally have no idea what to do right now, or even how to approach the lawyer to get a process started because it seems absolutely pointless me proposing things that she isn't willing to entertain or at least give a detailed counter proposal to so that something can be drawn up.

I want this to all be in her favor, for her, defined by her, controlled by her, for her.
just tell me where to sign so I can stop hurting her more.


EvolvingSoul posted 9/7/2020 14:16 PM

Hi again wantstorepair,

These statements

She now says she wants a court hearing.
I very much want to give her what she wants and needs
Are not compatible with
I just don’t want to take this to court.
Everything else is defending your position as to why you do not want to settle your affairs with her in court.

I get it. It isn't the way you would prefer to do it. It's okay to not want to take it to court. But it's the way she wants to handle it. If you are sincere about giving her what she "wants and needs" then let her choose the venue.

nekonamida posted 9/8/2020 08:01 AM

Agreed with ES. Plus why did you push back on her proposed custody schedule before? And how can you say you don't know what she wants when she worked out a custody agreement with you? WTR, respectfully, I just don't believe the narrative you're pushing because it flies in the face of everything else you've been posting.

There is no reason for this to be an expensive legal battle UNLESS you disagree with what she wants. And so far you keep disagreeing with what she wants so I can see why she wants this hashed out in court. You can tell us over and over again that you want to give her what she wants but in the moment, how can you stop yourself from your knee jerk reaction to argue with her? You haven't been able to so far. It makes sense that she wants to skip the dramatics of a mediation session where you might bully her into accepting something else and go straight before a judge. Just go along with it and stop trying to change her mind or control her.

[This message edited by nekonamida at 8:02 AM, September 8th (Tuesday)]

MrCleanSlate posted 9/8/2020 08:36 AM

WTR,

Back on July 16 there was a thread "Abuse and Threats" that you provided an excellent response to. I sent you a PM to tell you what a great response you posted, but I see that you have still not read the PM that was meant to be a positive reinforcement for you.

Kind of telling. You see what you need to do, you understand, yet you are stuck and not moving forward.

Desperate for something to stop hurting her more and making this worse

You can't do that until you find a way to really work on yourself.

Small steps. Stop trying to fix everything at once. You can't. Commit to working on fixing one thing at a time.

Go look up that thread and think about the words you wrote back then.

AintGonnaLose posted 9/8/2020 09:08 AM

Wants, is it possible she’s making things more difficult because she’s dragging her feet? As in, she doesn’t really want to go through with it? My WS, who has treated me very much like you treat your BS, has had me at the end of my rope so many times that i wondered if the only way to get his attention was through handing him paperwork. The only thing that has stopped me is the knowledge of what my motives would be if I did, not knowing how I would react if he went along with it, and fear of caving in and solidifying the emotional power he had over me.

I think you should consider that maybe she actually doesn’t want to separate, that what she wants is for you to get your head out of your ass, stop hurting her, take some kind of action to be the person she knows you can be. She fell in love with you for a reason. She put up with your shit for as long as she did for a reason. In my case it’s because I haven’t gotten to the point where I can say with confidence there’s nothing worth saving, and no hope left. Whether that’s out stubbornness, or idiocy, I don’t know.

But the point is, maybe she’s hoping for a change in you, not the situation, and she’s stalling a little, because she’s sad to see you going along with it. You say you want to do what’s best for her, you want to stop hurting her. What if what’s best for her is for you to stay WITH her and stop hurting her? What if, by allowing the divorce, you would be causing her pain for the rest of her life? You say you aren’t sabotaging because you want out. What if she doesn’t either? What will you do then? Because she’s been fighting for herself, the marriage, and both for and against you for long enough. You’ve put this all on her for a long time. If this is the case, she needs YOU to fight for it. “Whatever she wants” seems like you’re being reasonable and giving, but it’s really a cop-out. One I’ve heard over and over from my WS because he doesn’t want to take initiative or responsibility. Maybe time you take matters into your own hands. What do YOU want in that scenario?

Work on yourself. Love her. Take action. THAT its how you make amends.

[This message edited by AintGonnaLose at 9:11 AM, September 8th (Tuesday)]

Bulcy posted 9/8/2020 12:47 PM

Wants,

I'm a little confused. I took from the original post that you want to reconcile with your BS. I and others commented and advised as such. It then comes to light that you are rapidly heading for D. Can I ask why you want to make amends? Do you think there is a chance of R? I was a little confused also regarding the offer of whatever she wants she will get, yet you seem to be at an impasse. I think that has been covered by the posts above, but it still seems a bit strange. Hopefully for you both this will get resolved.

I do not have any experience of S or D so will not offer advice, but it seems from what you're saying it is inevitable that lawyers will be involved. Hopefully you are being genuine in your words of giving her what she wants/needs. That should make the process quicker and less painful for both of you.

LLXC posted 9/8/2020 12:54 PM

How do you make amends to the one you hurt for your awful transgressions and horrible, selfish choices?

I guess by amends I mean change, change and try and be a better man and more caring and supportive and emotionally intelligent so at the very least I stop adding to her pain with every interaction we have

She now says she wants a court hearing. I cannot afford the 5 figure costs that will be her and my lawyers and want to pursue the a separation agreement that can then be turned into the divorce decree and have it happen for a fraction of the cost and in less than three month’s probably

What. On. Earth. IS this? You are asking how you can make amends. You say you want to be supportive and caring. You also say she is frustrated. You then say that she has asked you for a court hearing.

It is not rocket science. Give her. The fucking. Court date. You want to prove to her you are not a liar and are trying to be a good man? Go to. Fucking. Court. Take the loss. Sp ypu are put money. You broke her heart again and again.

If you truly cannot afford it - and that is a big "if," because I wonder if it is more that you do not WANT to spend the money on court fees - then show her why you can't afford it and figure out something else she might be amenable to instead.

However. If truly you want to make amends, well, you can't do that. Bit it would certainly help if you wpuld just give her what she asks form

Wants, is it possible she’s making things more difficult because she’s dragging her feet
.


I am not reading anywhere that his wofe is making things difficult. To me, it reads like his wife is saying what she wants and he is not doing it. She is frustrated.

wantstorepair posted 9/8/2020 15:13 PM

Nekonamida,

If I recall correctly she had given me a proposal, then I did something wrong and she revised it and took back more visitation than I thought was proportionate to what I had done wrong. My complaint and request to have some time put back spiraled into an argument and there was no resolution nor final agreement of the document, and we haven't been able to get back to one since. I defended and justified and argued, and pushed too hard for what I thought I deserved. I ruined that opportunity.

wantstorepair posted 9/8/2020 15:14 PM

MrCleanSlate,

I just went back and read it...thank you helping me keep perspective and for your kind words. I apologize for missing your PM and not responding before now.

wantstorepair posted 9/8/2020 15:20 PM

Aintgoingtolose,

I suppose that is possible. I hope it is. But I have to change so much to be worthy of staying with her. I do not want to guess, assume, or manipulate or deny the reality of how she feels. I do see your point and hear it echoed in her words that I am being lazy by dumping it on her. Aint i desperately want to do the right thing and change so that maybe, just maybe what you say is how she feels and there is a way she would want me back, that I could earn a way back.

I am struggling with taking charge because I have no idea what to do and am so afraid of making the wrong decisions, which I have done literally every time, but I see your point that my inaction and fear of failure and looking for guarantees is hurting her more.

How do i find the balance between acting as you say and taking charge, and being deferential to her and her wants and needs by trying to find out what they are?

wantstorepair posted 9/8/2020 15:24 PM

LLXC,

Yes I am fighting it all because I don't want a divorce in the first place. You are right about all of it. I am going to call the lawyer and move this forward so she has what she has said she wants, not what I want to bend it to.

AintGonnaLose posted 9/9/2020 00:44 AM

What do YOU WANT? Without the “whatever she wants” BS. This seems to me to be a way to shirk responsibility while convincing yourself you’re being selfless. I realize I may be projecting here, but just about everything you say I’ve heard from my own WS. It’s never about wanting to do what’s best for me, it’s about framing everything in a way that he can tell himself it’s not his fault. Yes, I know you have admitted to all the terrible things you have done to her and called yourself names. My WS does that too. But with him it’s more “Woe is me” than “what can I do to make it right.” It’s not humility, it’s an excuse for inaction and something to manipulate me and deceive himself.

I am struggling with taking charge because I have no idea what to do and am so afraid of making the wrong decisions, which I have done literally every time, but I see your point that my inaction and fear of failure and looking for guarantees is hurting her more.

This is exactly what I’m talking about. From what I’ve read in your post history, you know that you have been wrong and unsafe many many times. It’s not that you blundered into these situations. You’ve been selfish and manipulative and fought her on things.


How do i find the balance between acting as you say and taking charge, and being deferential to her and her wants and needs by trying to find out what they are?

I don’t mean taking charge of her, the relationship, or the situation. You gave up that right a long time ago. I’m talking about taking charge of YOU. Figure out what it is that YOU want, and take responsibility for it. By acting on it. You have two choices. What is more important, her, or your pride? If it’s her, then why are you asking us how to make amends? Try asking her, hearing her out, and actually doing it this time. I imagine she won’t trust it, because if you’re as much like my WS as you sound then you’ve said that in the past, and never delivered, and/or fought her on whatever it was she told you. But tell her you don’t want the divorce, and regardless of what she says or does, set about doing something, anything, about fixing yourself. Don’t do it for her. Don’t do it hoping to get something out of it. Do it because it’s the right thing to do, because you’ve realized that you need to change. Back off her. Stop fighting her, stop manipulating her, stop with the excuses and the defeatism. Give her her court date, but let her know the door is still open if she wants to change her mind, that you’re willing to make amends if it’s possible, then leave her alone and start making yourself a safe person because it needs to be done. If she’s done, she’s done and it will be clear. If she’s not, let her come to that conclusion. Your focus should be on fixing whatever is was that got you into this mess. Have you gotten to your real “why’s” yet? I know for a fact that my WS would benefit from doing that if he would do it the right way, which is with the goal of being painfully honest with yourself and taking full responsibility for messed up thinking, messed up choices, and messed up coping mechanisms. So far he won’t. Fear is the only reason not to. If that’s an issue for you, do that “why” first. I’ve done why’s myself over different behavior long before I ever found this site. It is painful but it’s freeing too. It’s something everyone on the planet should do on a regular basis.

[This message edited by AintGonnaLose at 12:49 AM, September 9th (Wednesday)]

Rose2206 posted 9/9/2020 07:58 AM

Hi,
I am a WS myself. It sounds to me like you feel like you have no self worth. (it's been over a year of separation you said?) With what I am hearing, you should def. be looking for a different counselor and promise to yourself to be open and honest with them. Otherwise they cannot help you!
Your instinct seems defensive.
(I was as well not too long ago and I catch myself now before I act on those feelings/ thoughts and replace them with the right and better way).
However. It seems maybe counter intuitive to "give up". However, the reason WHY it seems like that, is selfish thinking. You are making it about yourself, even tho you may believe you're not.

Stop for a moment and really look at the situation and you BS. Have you read about how she is feeling at this time? The trauma you have caused her?
When I read about it and talked to other BS it turned me inside out.. It took me a lot longer to flip that self centered switch as I'd like to admit. But bottom line, her needs are all that should matter to you right now. And just saying that you do care, is lying to yourself if you have a motive behind it. (obviously I do not know you so I may be totally wrong).
It is okay to hope for R. But it can not be your goal. (This as well, I wish I would have learned sooner). Your BS is asking for a D. Give it to her however she wants it. Be the person that is no longer self absorbed. And if it means to loose everything. Well she lost everything due to your actions emotionally.
Do it because it is the right thing to do.
My BS asked for strict NC. In the beginning I wanted to give it to him but I did not respect it fully. I had many moments then of "failing" and txt or called him anyways. I even drove to his house to talk. (not with bad intentions, but bottom line, I put my own needs above the ones he told me he needed bc I told myself I know better). WRONG!!!

When I finally turned the corner, I was able to look at the bigger picture from an "outside perspective". I have been honoring NC since and it is one of the most difficult things as I have his number memorized so deleting it does not help.. when I am down I want to call him.. BUT, so far I have been managing not to do that because HE NEEDS NC. So, that is what I must give him.
Same applies to YOU. Give her what she tells you she needs. Then dig deeper and really think about what she is saying. Think about it without being self absorbed. Think what is best for her.
Shame can get in the way of that. It did for me. Shame and self hate. Pity. Poor me. I relied on others to get me out of that hole... the truth is, the only person that can make you do the right thing is YOU!

Your kids, it is also up to you what kind of dad you are going to be. You can't change yesterday. But you CAN start today. BE that dad you know they deserve! To step away with custody eyc seems like the right thing for YOU right now as it takes that "of your plate", but bottom line, is it really the best for them?! I doubt that.
Drinking, I think you need to be proud of yourself for stopping!!! Alone for that reason, go to counseling and AA. The key is to stay sober now. Do not fall back into that. And the temptations will come for sure. Do not give in when those moments occur.

That being said,it is the time You need to focus on you. Not in a selfish way. But to really work on yourself to become a better person. Each day. Try to be better than yesterday. With each decision you determine which path you choose. Take care of yourself. You are still a human being. Shame get in the way of that too.

I hope all the comments will help you. It is harsh and though to look at yourself critically like that. This forum has helped me very much so far and continues to do so. I hope it will do the same for you
Wish you lots of strength!

Bigger posted 9/9/2020 09:32 AM

Just to go back to the original question about amends.

I think our perception on making amends is mainly based on what the old drunks used to do when doing their AA 12 step program. I think it can be beneficial for those that plan on making amends to read the 12 step program and see what is said about amends in their 8th step.

For one I think it might be good to ponder why it’s the 8th and 9th steps. That’s quite far in recovery… Already have 7 of the 12 under your belt and the required actions cover 2 whole steps out of the 12. Read the first 7 steps and try to apply them to your behavior when in infidelity. Any sponsor in AA will point out you can’t make amends without completing the first seven. I won’t go into the God and higher power debate – if that stops anyone from real 12-step then there are plenty of pages explaining why and how the Higher Power does not need to be a deity.

Then there is the understanding of where and whom you make direct amends to and where and who you make indirect amends to.
Then there is the understanding of what amends are. They are not apologies or asking forgiveness. They are admitting that you recognize you have done wrong to that person, displaying a willingness to make things better and showing/portraying that you are making clear changes in you and your behaviors.
You could do this to your wife and not once in the conversation are you entitled to ask forgiveness or expect an acceptance or forgiveness. You can expect insults and anger, but if you are making amends in the correct mindframe you endure them and then walk away – but from then on show actions that reiterate you mean what you said. Not only when she’s looking and totally irrespective of if you remain married or not.

In other words: If you are making amends, they might be directed at a specific action you did to a specific person, but the change is for you. If this ends in D and some years from now you enter a new relationship your changes – your amends to your then ex wife – are the key to why you remain faithful to your new partner.

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