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A form of reconciliation.

Pages: 1 · 2

unsearch posted 10/12/2020 18:43 PM

Iíve been visiting this site for years. Iíve never posted because my story is old news, and so many of the people here are going through hell. Iím writing now in R forum in search of some advice and in hopes of returning the favor. Iíll never find a more sympathetic audience. Please let me know if the post should be moved elsewhere.

The year leading to D-day followed the usual pattern. One possible exception is the nature of the arguments in the final months. They were unbelievably cruel on both our parts. W threw punches a few times, but I pinned her arms to her sides until she stopped. Losing W was unthinkable to me for most of my life, but I started considering D. I didnít actively pursue it, but it became the elephant in the room.

D-day was 13 years ago after 27 years of marriage. We were still in our 40ís, having married early. One DD was in college, and the other was finishing high school.

I moved into a spare bedroom. I was hurt and confused about a lot of things, but D wasnít one of them. There wasnít a marriage left to save. I didnít feel anything for WW, not even anger. I just wanted her out of my life. I wanted to feel clean again. Even the timing made sense. It was as if our family had served its purpose. DDs were leaving to start lives of their own, and so was I. Had everything gone according to plan, we would have been just another blip in the D statistics for 2007.

DDs, especially our youngest, overheard the arguments and were in pain but not surprised. Itís not easy to watch your parents fall apart, regardless of your age. They asked for MC (I donít think they knew, or know now, about A), and I agreed. It seemed like a small concession, and I thought it would go a long way toward protecting our future relationships.

WW and I had a grand total of one joint MC session. The therapist asked WW to IC and referred her to a psychiatrist. After a few meetings, she was diagnosed with bipolar (BP) disorder. HIPAA constraints kept me from learning the details. All I knew was what I gathered from the paperwork and what WW told me, and her story changed daily. The truth is that I didnít care. I was disposable one day and was supposed to be her confidant the next? Life doesnít work that way. I didnít actually believe her until they started her on healthy doses of lithium and olanzapine. BP did explain some of the stranger episodes throughout our marriage, though.

Treatment turned into a real nightmare. I decided to stay until WW was stable because her care would fall on DDs, and they were nowhere near ready for such a thing. Itís hard to describe my state of mind. So much had happened in a relatively short period that nothing would have surprised me. Godzilla on Main Street wouldnít have gotten a second glance. I treated it like a job and stayed as clinical as I could. It wasnít that horrible. Weíd been married 27 years, she was the mother of my kids, and at the end of the day, she was a human being in genuinely terrible shape.

I lived independently for a while but didnít try to date because I was exhausted, and the whole idea seemed sleazy. We have an old rocking-chair. WW would sit in it wrapped in an afghan her mother made and silently watch me come and go. Sometimes she had a vacant expression, depending on the day, but she usually looked lost and helpless. It was impossible to believe she was the same woman who was screaming bloody murder at me a few months previously.

They adjusted her meds several times over the following year, and a person I hadnít seen in a long while gradually reemerged. When sheís not in a BP cycle, sheís cheerful and energetic. It turned out that BP runs in her family, and she was furious no one ever told her. She started trying to make things right with a kind of desperation that damn near broke my heart. There was nothing she wouldnít do, stuff I would never ask of anybody. Whenever I asked her to stop, this inexpressible pleading look would come into her eyes. Even the memory of it hurts. Iím nobodyís idea of a saint, but to walk under those circumstances would have been inhuman.

I still have access to her devices, but I stopped monitoring them years ago; she brings them to me now when she has problems. Sheís on maintenance doses of lamotrigine and risperidone. I stopped counting her pills (BP patients are infamous for going off their meds), but I keep an eye on the bottles, and I receive an alert when refills are due.

FWW says she loves me, and I believe her. My feelings are hazier Ė something like ďwe have a shared history and an obligation,Ē which wouldnít look too good in a Valentineís Day card. Sheís sensed it, and weíve discussed it a few times. Itís nothing Iím proud of. I just donít know how to force myself to feel affection. I understand her situation rationally, but my reptile brain remembers that thereís an enemy in there somewhere. Itís not that I hate her, and weíre not miserable. We talk and joke, and I have no problem if she wants to run errands with me or have a drink together, but Iím a little more content when sheís not around.

DDs are well into adulthood, and one is married. My relationship with them is solid. They often visit (and they now know about BP, which is a godsend). FWW and I are financially secure. We live on a quiet street in a house with two dogs. Thatís what Iíd be throwing away if I pressed for D. It would be cruel and stupid, and Iím too old to believe Iíd magically meet the girl of my dreams and ride off into the sunset.

Iím okay most of the time, but once a year or so, I revisit the whole train wreck and wonder what Iím doing with my life. Thatís how I found this site. Iíve looked through the healing library without much luck, and many of the R posts puzzle me; itís as if weíre all reconciled to different things. I think scars sometimes heal into a kind of deformity. Iím reconciled to that.

Weíve had our worlds turned upside down in different ways. Iím hoping to communicate with those in a situation similar to mine. Iím a poor resource for those dealing with cold-blooded cheating (I hurt for you guys, BTW), but I have a ground-level view of BP and mental illness in general, and I can offer some insight on reactions to antipsychotics and mood stabilizers.

Thanks for sticking with this post. Iíve never told the whole story before, and Iíve rewritten it a dozen times searching for the right language. I hope it makes sense.

Lionne posted 10/13/2020 03:20 AM

Perfect sense and very similar to my story although I am the BW.

My story is in my profile, not recently updated, but the short of it is that my H became a monster, I could do nothing right, I trickled through discoveries of porn, EAs and PAs. Strip clubs were a big part of his life unbeknownst to me, I had to do an internet search to figure out what a lap dance was. When I finally had had enough, before I knew anything about the PAs, I insisted he get to a psychiatrist. He was then diagnosed with BP although the "2" type. Meds helped his attitude but not the porn addiction. He's been in recovery, working steps halfheartedly, attending meetings, which, if nothing else, remind him that he really did all that. He has slipped/relapsed with porn, and very ugly porn, several times.

And yet I stay. My bottom line is any inappropriate or secret relationship with RL women. I have a plan for leaving if it's needed.
If I were 50 and had had a crystal ball I would have left then. By the time I found out, my retirement plans were set, my plans for the many trips we'd take, the comfort of knowing that we have enough money to live debt free and comfortably. If I divorced I'd have to give up a lot, as would he. I feel I sacrificed enough in this life, and don't want to have to compromise or juggle family holidays and visits as well as giving up half of the income and savings.
We aren't living in silence or anger. I'm just too tired to live that anger. We have common interests and activities, enjoy spending time in our home, yet in many ways, live separate lives. We rarely eat together, both of us have dietary restrictions that make common meals very difficult, don't share the same taste in TV. So we go our separate ways there.

I do feel affection and some pity for him. He did so much damage and I know he is regretful and remorseful. We both realize that the comorbid diagnoses are "reasons" for his officious behavior but they aren't excuses. Many mentally ill people remain faithful. He tries every day to show that he is sorry. I have no doubt he "loves" me, in what ever manner he is capable of that emotion.

I have no doubt he'll take care of me when I get old and sick and I will do the same for him. He had a (minor) heart attack in July. I have a bunch of non-lethal health conditions that undoubtedly arose partly from the stress of my life. These are no small issues, of course.
I am not unhappy. I am happily anticipating our son's marriage, just celebrated the marriage of the other, and I suspect grandbabies may come along soon.

My marriage has cheated me out of many things, including a normal sex life. He rejected me, often cruelly, and I have developed a very distorted view of sex. I am sad that this has been my reality but there isn't anything I can do about this aspect of my life and my past.

My eldest son is an alcoholic, thankfully, in strong recovery. He used alcohol to self medicate as he was also diagnosed with BP disorder. It took a year to work out the right medications, hampered a bit by my son's medical knowledge, he is a nurse. So yes, a good thing that your daughters know about the condition. My sons love their father, treat him as a good friend that sometimes needs taking care of. I am the parent.

I think scars sometimes heal into a kind of deformity.

I don't think I have ever read such an apt description. Thanks for this.

[This message edited by Lionne at 3:21 AM, October 13th (Tuesday)]

survrus posted 10/13/2020 10:10 AM

Unsearch,

Your situation is common, so don't feel alone. A grey recovery often happens.

Did you remove the OM from life completely or does he still live nearby, what were the consequences for him?

I would tell your DDs about the affair, they may already know something but are protecting WWs secret to protect your feelings, and might feel guilty about doing so.

Unhinged posted 10/13/2020 11:27 AM

Hey there, unsearch. Welcome to SI.

I don't have any personal experience with BPD nor do I know of anyone close to me who suffers from BPD. However, there was a member here on SI a while ago whose story I followed very closely.

She was a WW who, like your WW, was diagnosed with BDP in the aftermath of d-day. She came here, for help. She posted often. There were times when she was clearly struggling and the things she wrote were heart-breaking to read. Her BH, then had an affair of his own, making them both mad-hatters (each can wear their Wayward or Betrayed "hats").

Of all the "reasons" I've learned about for why people engage in affairs, bi-polar depression stands out as the only one that makes any sense. It doesn't justify infidelity, of course, but it certainly offers up a reasonable explanation for self-destructive behaviors.

I applaud you, sir, for sticking with your wife and helping her to find a path forward. I'm sure it's not what you signed up for when you married her and I'd imagine that your WW struggles with that thought every day of her life.

Iím okay most of the time, but once a year or so, I revisit the whole train wreck and wonder what Iím doing with my life. Thatís how I found this site. Iíve looked through the healing library without much luck, and many of the R posts puzzle me; itís as if weíre all reconciled to different things.
We're all unique individuals with our own unique stories and exigencies. In many ways, we are all reconciled to different things and to different people. Still, we're all human and humans tend to be very predictable creatures. While the stories may all be unique with unique individuals, the themes remain constant.

If you're looking to discuss BPD and reconciliation specifically with members who've been there and done that, I'd suggest starting another thread with that specific goal in mind (or I could have the titled of your thread here changed).

Cooley2here posted 10/13/2020 11:36 AM

My husband cheated early in our marriage when I was a stay at home mother. Even though my friend told me I did nothing. This was not a case of shoving it under the rug. I did worse than that, I ignored it it as if it had not happened. I had no recourse. I had given up a college education for this man. Once my children were in school I went back to school and got a job that I absolutely love. I provide my own health insurance and my own retirement plan. What it did was make us even. Neither of us have power over the other. Of course that did not stop things from going pear-shaped a couple of times later in our marriage. At one point I just did not love him anymore. I waited it out and the love that came back was the adult kind. I no longer worshiped the ground he walked on, I look at him as a regular person. In his case his business was driving him crazy and he wanted out of everything including the marriage. I told him to wait it out and he did. What we have found is that there is no perfect relationship. Thereís just life. If someone has been egregiously mean to you then you have to do one of two things. You let go of it. I mean really let go of it or you decide to be honest with them and say this is how we will live but I donít love you the way I used to. You need to be kind to yourself.
As you saw on the news Jeff Bezos left a perfectly nice woman, and four children, for a woman he met on a business deal. He stopped wearing conservative clothes and became Mr. Hollywood. I donít know what impact this has on his ex-wife because sheís been nothing but gracious about it but he left four children as well. The only reason I bring that up is because people get on with their lives one way or the other. If you canít stand being married to her anymore to her do her a kindness and leave. Neither of you should live in this suspended animation. On the other hand if you can truly forgive her and get on with your life then do it. Life is too short.

sisoon posted 10/13/2020 14:33 PM

Some random thoughts ...

You've described where you are. Where do you want to be?

It looks possible to me

...that you're still pretty detached from your W. I think a good IC could help you figure out what the obstacles are and decide whether you want to dismantle them or not.

...that you're in an arms-length M. Once a year that bothers you. Is it really once a year, or do you just recognize it once a year? Is that too close or too far away?

...that you've settled for something comfortable. How do you feel about that? (Real question - I don't under-rate comfort.)

...that you haven't dealt with your responses to your W's cheating. The fact that her BPD might have caused it doesn't help you heal. All it means is that her brain wasn't working right, and meds pretty much solve the problem. What did you do to process your own grief, anger, fear, and shame over her cheating?

unsearch posted 10/13/2020 20:24 PM

Thank you, everyone, for responding; I was afraid my post was a little too off-putting. Some of your replies made me wince, but thatís what I was hoping for.

Lionne: I teared up reading your story. Iím lucky in a way because my FWW was honestly remorseful, and, as long as she stays on her meds, is easy to be around. Itís obvious when sheís been off them for more than a week or so. I absolutely agree with your reasons for staying. Weíve worked too hard for our situations and planned too long. D in 2007 would have been endurable, but Iím not willing to tear my life (and the lives of FWW and DDs) to shreds now. At the same time, any hint of future infidelity, and I wonít hesitate. I canít tell you how sorry I am to hear of your son Ė thatís been my worst nightmare.

Servrus: I love the phrase ďgrey recoveryĒ and intend to steal it. OM is out of the picture, but I donít know much about him other than that he was a coworker. FWW left her job when treatment started.

D-day was odd. I think the extremes of our earlier arguments anesthetized me. We were completely calm. I told her what I knew, she stonewalled (which wasnít unusual for her), and I eventually said it didnít matter because I was filing for divorce. We could have been discussing lunch. Your point about DDs hit hard; Iíd never thought about that. I hope they donít know. FWW and OM used their vehicles at job sites to meet (FWW has a degree in horticulture - they worked for a landscaping company). I worked out of our home at the time, so they couldnít meet there. Maybe Iíll take DDs aside and talk individually.

Unhinged: I appreciate your kindness. I do believe FWW went through hell on my account; I had a front-row seat. Even after 13 years, Iím not sure I could comfortably read the other BPD WW posts. I saw a post when I was lurking suggesting BS read ďWayward SideĒ posts for perspective, and I was homicidal in five minutes. I DO NOT understand those people. Iíd like to communicate with those in ďgrey recoveryĒ to steal Servrusí term. Regardless of how we wound up here, I think we have a lot in common.

Cooley2here: I agree that we have to accept the hand thatís dealt us. I think FWW and I understand each other and our situation, and I believe sheís happy. To leave now would cause more destruction than I could live with, and, at this stage of our lives, Iím not sure either of us would recover. I think youíve handled your situation with grace and strength.

Sisoon: Those are solid questions, and theyíre not easy to think about. I think they get to the heart of why I finally posted. Iíve toyed with the idea of IC, but Iíll have to research therapists thoroughly. The A is a topic that brings an anger reflex in minutes, and my control isnít the greatest. The struggle hits me in late summer because of D-day. I canít remember the date; I just remember the timing and the feel of the air.

unsearch posted 10/13/2020 21:01 PM

Everybodyís responses forced me to think about what Iím actually asking.

I think Iím as healed as Iím going to get, but I slip into the doldrums around the anniversary of D-day.

Does anyone else in perpetual grey recovery experience that? What do you do when that happens? What are your tricks for getting past it? Iím tired of having to stare it down once a year, but maybe that just comes with the territory. Iíd love to know what you guys think.

Do you miss the old connection?

I remember times when I would lie next to FWW and think I was lucky. The sense of love was astonishing, and the worldís been a colder place without it. I understand the difference between infatuation and profound love, we were married for 27 years before D-day, but maybe Iím still expecting too much. I donít know why in hell I canít feel more for her. I need to reset my expectations.

Do you guys love your FWS? How do your current feelings differ from how you felt before the whole A tidal wave? What boundaries do you put around your emotions?

Iíd appreciate any input.

Unhinged posted 10/13/2020 22:48 PM

I think Iím as healed as Iím going to get, but I slip into the doldrums around the anniversary of D-day.
That seems to be pretty common. Spring was always my favorite time of year, probably because I was born in March. Plus, that's when the NHL play-offs start. D-day was April, 5th (the play-offs were to start that night). This past Spring marked five years after d-day and I still felt it. Not as much as years past, but still.

Trauma leaves a lasting impression. There's really no way around it. We feel the feels and slowly purge it as well as we can, I suppose.

Do you miss the old connection?
In some ways, yes, I miss the woman I thought I'd married. In other ways, though, I don't miss the old relationship we had. It wasn't a great dynamic.

Mostly I miss the illusions I had about my wife. I think we all see what we want to see and "rug sweep" the rest. When that rug gets pulled out from under our feet and we get to see what's under that rug, our perceptions certainly change.


I think you've got a lot to unpack here, unsearch, and that's perfectly okay. You've come to the right place to do just that. And while you're asking questions and mulling over replies, getting into the nitty-gritty of it all, keep in mind that the journey itself is often enough the greatest reward.

BlackRaven posted 10/13/2020 22:53 PM

I can't speak to the BP, but when I read your post, I hear a man who perhaps hasn't dealt with the betrayal and the trauma of the A, and of your wife's condition. Might you consider EMDR?

Good luck

william posted 10/14/2020 07:36 AM

I also, after d-day- slipped into a marriage that was really just 2 people sharing a place and co-parenting.

when we get married we signed up to love each other and spend our lives together but after one person has betrayed the marriage, broken the bond, and the loves gone does that become lifelong prison sentence? is that sustainable? does mental illness change those answers?

Lionne posted 10/14/2020 08:15 AM

Thanks. My son is doing well. He just got married to a woman who also has a bipolar diagnosis and is a recovering alcoholic. She is tapering her medication because they want to get pregnant. He understands that he needs to be extra support and both of them look after each other, BP people get into the mania and think they are fine, stop taking medication.
For me the mania is most frightening. They engage in risky behavior because they think they are invincible. Of course, the depression makes them potentially suicidal.
I love my husband but I'm not in love with him. I'm very sad that this is my life, but it is. When I get in a funky mood I treat myself to a massage or a piece of "good" chocolate or I buy something. Exercise helps, especially the "dance" type, it's a great mood elevator, covid has put a damper on that.
Mental illness changes all that happened only in that it's a tiny bit easier to understand that his actions were not about me.
I don't think it's a forever thibg in some marriages. There is a lovely post running currently that celebrates a marriage that has healed. In my case, the lies that persisted forever, as recently as a year ago, the frequent slips with very ugly porn, have completely erased the hopium that I was addicted to. I just gave up and resigned myself to always have a wall between us. I am in self protective mode and I don't anticipate that changing.
Addiction is an illness, in some cases exacerbated by mental illness. I wouldn't stay if he were still abusive. But I'll never entirely heal from the past and won't take the chance that I will be hurt again.

Thumos posted 10/14/2020 09:01 AM

does that become lifelong prison sentence?

Is this a rhetorical question or are you struggling with thinking this?

No one is obligated to shackle themselves to the very source and fountainhead of their pain after betrayal.

HouseOfPlane posted 10/14/2020 10:19 AM

unsearch

Do you guys love your FWS?
Sounds weird, but I'm not a big fan of words and language regarding love. Whatever it is I feel sounds so...small and incomplete when I convert it into words.

An anecdote: I deployed for a year away from my family. To this day (10 years later now) one of my fondest life memories is of standing out in the African night, say 2:00 AM, with my satellite phone and talking to my wife. I could imagine this thin electronic connection, up to the stars, across the constellation, down to the others side of the world. She could talk to a fence post, so I'd mostly just listen and ask questions. There were times when we ran out of things to say and we'd just let the static hang. That was enough.

Is that love? What I felt escapes words.

william posted 10/14/2020 10:45 AM

Is this a rhetorical question or are you struggling with thinking this?

it was something that did cause me some struggles but i guess the divorce decree resolved them

but they were more questions for OP.

[This message edited by william at 10:47 AM, October 14th (Wednesday)]

1492 posted 10/14/2020 12:11 PM

I think we all share a pain that bonds us together, no matter how or why we got here. I also donít leave because of the financial security and our family. When I was in my forties that decision was easier make, now I just want peace in my life. I gave up long ago what I hoped for in the aftermath and try and find peace and comfort in other things in my life. I have friends that have not been through these traumaís and there lives arenít all sunshine and roses either, just different kinds of trials. We are probably not unique in our life struggles, but can find comfort in one another. Taking one step at a time.

WalkingHome posted 10/14/2020 13:12 PM

There are hard lessons in life. Professionally, I spent 20+ years in a job where it was my job to pull people out of their worst days...burning buildings, shootings, wrecks, aircraft crashes, lost in the jungle...you name it.

I failed to save them about 80% of the time. Yes, about 80% of the people I put hands on, died due to their injuries, exposure, smoke, or were murdered before I arrived.


I took that hard...very hard. I eventually accepted that there were certain truths that I couldn't change-

1. People put themselves in bad places and in bad situations. It isn't your fault they chose to go do adventure tourism in a place full of violent savages or to run off into the wilderness without telling anyone where they were going.

2. You can't save people from themselves.

3. If you try to save everyone, you will both fail and die with them. Know when to say when and don't become part of the problem or die with a person who made their own bad choices to get themselves into that situation. Never let them kill you.

4. Learn to leave the past in the past and move on. Bounceback in a lifestyle and a mindset, not a word. Be where you are, look forward as you are moving that way. This includes leaving people in the past and not looking back at them.

5. Lastly, just let it go and walk. Sunk cost will sink you. Sometimes, you just have to cut the dead weight away and move on. It is sad, to feel like a failure...but you can't save everyone. In the end, you can only really save yourself.

You are not dead yet and you have life ahead. Stop trying to save others and save yourself. Cut away the dead weight and walk into your future, clean, clear, and free. The things you are carrying are not yours to carry and you can't fix what you didn't break.

It will kill you to try.

Notthevictem posted 10/14/2020 17:20 PM

Feels good to get your story out, don't it?

It sounds an awful lot like you retreated and put up some pretty big walls around yourself.

Do you miss the old connection?

Eh, I don't think the connection that I thought we had was really there so much as in my head. If it was, then she wouldn't have cheated. Do I miss believing in that connection? Yes, I do. But once you take a shit, you don't put it back in. It's a flush it or leave it for future discovery decision at that point.

Do you guys love your FWS?

Maybe? I think the type of love changed. Then again I was probably ideologically poisoned by disney on what love is to begin with. Just like how some folks are raised to believe that farts aren't a healthy part of living.

Honestly, it kinda sounds like you're looking for some magic words that will lead you back. No one here has that kinda power, but I'll try and you tell me of it works:

Stop holding back; allow yourself to love your wife. You need it; she needs it; your kids need it.


Updated for mispelled words.

[This message edited by Notthevictem at 5:21 PM, October 14th (Wednesday)]

sisoon posted 10/14/2020 18:02 PM

A couple of smaller matters -

Do I love my W?

Yes. I always knew she had a dark side. For over 20 or 30 years I knew it was related to being a CSA survivor. I always liked and loved her despite her darkside. Maybe it's that light is now shining on her dark side, so it's not as dark as it was. (That's just a hypothesis....)

Do I miss the old connection?

No. It was based too much on my W's hiding an important part of herself.

But here's why I'm really writing.

First, I think what I'd call your core is telling you that you can have a better, more joyful life, and your core wants it. IMO, wanting is often the first step in getting.

Iíve toyed with the idea of IC, but Iíll have to research therapists thoroughly.
Sorry. Bear with me, but I think that's so wrong, I laughed.

If your gut is saying, 'I want to change,' what you need is a guide.

There isn't a lot of effective research you can do. You can look for someone with certification that required a lot of introspection and good supervision as part of the program - psychoanalysts used to have to get psychoanalyzed, for example.

You can look for someone who has a goodly amount of experience and/or maybe even good reviews. You can look for someone recommended by a friend.

But the only valid test is to work with someone to find out if you like the style of confrontation, if the IC says stuff that gets you insight, if the IC's confrontations help you make the changes you want - or not. You've got to meet and go through a session or 2 before you'll know if the person can help you. And you have to keep monitoring to see how you're doing.

Unsearch, brother,

R is not the only way to find joy. It's not the only solution. You've got decades of bonds between you. You've gone through hell together. Your W looks like a good candidate for R, as long as her meds work and she stays on them. It's good to have R as an option.

But both R and D seem to offer you a life, as opposed to an existence. You've probably got a lot of years left, and I urge you to grab them and get as much out of them as possible.

Doing a lot of research on therapists prevents that. Grab an opportunity. Spend a few weeks or a month or 2 looking for an IC, and then go for it. Have some faith in yourself to recognize an IC who can help you.

And if you post here about your experience, you'll get good feedback.

BTW, my first therapist was in training in Transactional Analysis. Despite her lack of experience, she was a great therapist even then, in part because of TA's trainee program, requirements, and supervision. (10 years later, she was a leader in TA.)

The research I did was to tell an experienced TA person that I needed someone cheap.

*****

I'm not saying it's easy to find a good IC - rather, I'm saying it can't be done at arms length. I'm saying finding someone who will help you requires getting into a trench with a candidate IC. You may need to fire 1 or more before you find someone who is right.

[This message edited by sisoon at 6:03 PM, October 14th (Wednesday)]

sshawness posted 10/14/2020 18:15 PM

unsearch, I don't have a lot of advice for you as I'm just about a year post D-day. But I want you to know that your story really moved me.

Even the timing made sense. It was as if our family had served its purpose.
I'm about 1-1/2 years away from being an empty nester after raising 5 kids. This describes so perfectly how I have been feeling. Thank you for putting it into words.

I do hope you'll further consider IC. It's never too late - I've just begun working through some childhood traumas from 40 years ago, and I have felt a benefit.

You have been a loyal and committed husband and father for a long, long time. I think everything you are feeling right now is completely understandable and normal. You deserve peace, and I hope you will continue to search for it.

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