Detain & Torture and 007
For those who have read through Linda MacDonald's book, you may be familiar with the "Detain and Torture" that she describes in her introduction. For those who aren't, here is an excerpt:
4. Make a bungled, haphazard effort to save the marriage.
This option is usually chosen by a well-intentioned partner who is clueless about the depth of the damage caused by his/her unfaithful behavior. In his or her efforts to calm the hurting partner, the betrayer often says things like, "You should be over this by now" or, "I said I was sorry!" or, "What else do you want me to do? I can’t take it back."
The rely-on-my-own-judgment approach usually magnifies the pain and leads to a more drawn out blood-letting of the marriage until it dies.
I call this the "Detain and Torture Option."
I have been in something between this one and #3 (which is the "Negligent Homicide" description). It sucks. Really sucks.
That leads me to the new Bond movie. If you haven't seen it and don't want it spoiled, read no further. What I'm about to write speaks of the ending. Last warning: if you don't want the new Bond movie spoiled...STOP READING NOW
**** Spoiler Alert ****
Hopefully, that was enough to get those who don't want to know the time to hit the back button. For those of you still here, here it comes:
In the last act of the film, Bond learns that he has fathered a child. He also still cares deeply for her mother. In the end, he sacrifices himself for the two of them.
As I watched, I was moved to tears. Not because of Bond's sacrifice, but because I don't think I would ever do that again. For my kids, certainly. For my wife...not so much.
Not that I don't care. It's not that. It's more along the lines of "I've already given myself up. I've already died from the A. And has there been any semblance of gratitude? Nope. Not a thing."
That's what moved me. No "Thank you for multiple chances and not giving up." No "I don't deserve this." No "How can I help you?" Nothing.
It sucks to come to this realization.
54 comments posted: Monday, October 11th, 2021
Sometimes I'm So Confused...
New MC session again today. It's as if last week never really existed.
Session started with MC saying that she didn't actually check in with me at the end of the last session, knew that Mrs. Cap had thrown a lot at me, and wanted to know how I was doing.
Told her that I felt pretty beaten up and downhearted. Felt like I got blindsided by things that I never knew were issues and that I got painted as the villain. Said that, deep down, it felt like we were right back to where we were pre-A.
MC said that was what she was afraid had probably happened. Mrs. Cap told the "story" that I had left without saying anything. I corrected it to say that I did leave, I did tell Mrs. Cap that I was leaving. When asked where I was headed, I answered "Not sure. I just need to get away and process things." Mrs. Cap then had an a-ha moment and remembered that I did, in fact, say that I was leaving for some alone time.
At one point in the session, I brought up how I wasn't able to talk about painful issues because Mrs. Cap runs away from them and how that further destroys any semblance of connection. Mrs. Cap said "I won't run away, I want to be able to support you."
MC asked "what was that look about?" [Because yes, I flashed a look]
I said "That's odd because last week you said that you didn't feel safe discussing anything with me unless we were in session, and just one week before that, you made the statement that you aren't willing to talk about anything. So that look was one of 'I don't believe a word that was just said.' Basically, I'm not a believer in that statement."
MC said "That's fair. You have good reason not to trust what has been said."
MC then looked at Mrs. Cap and said "There is a lot of pain still in him. The only way this gets resolved is if you are willing to sit, to listen, to not be defensive, to not make excuses, to be willing to not use his pain against him. You need to simply be present, to hear his heart speak, and to recognize that you caused it. You can't say 'yeah,but...' You can't say 'well, you...' And you can't say 'that was the old me.'
Then, the MC went on to say that if Mrs. Cap has actually changed, then her actions need to show it. She can't just say "but I'm different on the inside" because the same bad actions with "different" motives are still bad actions.
Mrs. Cap finished up the session saying that she was sorry for how she held me out as the bad guy last week, that she didn't mean for it to go that way, and that she was glad that I was willing to come back and share. Then she told the MC the EXACT thing I posted last week...she can't go that long between sessions again. I just shook my inner head (because I couldn't ACTUALLY do that in session).
Had to table the discussion about our sex life until 2 weeks out. MC suggested that we go back to 90 minutes because 60 leaves too many loose ends.
12 comments posted: Monday, October 4th, 2021
Too Long Between Sessions
A very frustrating MC session today. It has been 8 weeks between sessions for us (and I don't know how many weeks between IC session for Mrs. Cap...I go every 2 weeks for mine) because of COVID, delivering a kid to college and just a general lack of actually making it a priority (Mrs. Cap, not me, I asked every few days if she rescheduled).
Eight weeks is definitely too long for her to go in between sessions. Today, I was back to being the villain in her story. She's too afraid to talk to me because I voice opinions on things like bad drivers and people making non-sensical decisions. She won't be physically affectionate and pursue me because I have "objectified" her sexually (nevermind that we only have sex once every 10-12 weeks and she always has an excuse as to why she wants a "raincheck"). And she doesn't feel like connecting because I don't say "I love you".
I'm tired of being the villain. I'm tired of the round and round about how horrible I am as a husband. I'm tired of always being the scapegoat.
31 comments posted: Monday, September 27th, 2021
Sad & Frustrated: A Dialog
Today was a very long day. I generally try to have 10 business/client meetings throughout my week. I did 5 of those today. A week after getting over COVID. I'm exhausted mentally, physically, and emotionally.
It's been several weeks since our last MC session (we were 2-3 weeks between, but COVID canceled our session last week & it isn't on the calendar for the next one yet). I would say that there has been a fair amount of growth since we re-started MC earlier this year. Tonight's dialog is a good example.
Getting home after 8, my wife could see that I was clearly worn out. She also asked if I was sad about anything. I told her yes, I'm sad. She asked if it was about her. I said more or less. She asked what that meant.
Me: Three of my five meetings today all told me the infidelity stories in their lives.
Mrs. Cap: I'm sorry. Ill bet that was hard.
Me: It was. The hardest part is not being able to show empathy. I'd love to be able to say "I'm so sorry. I know that must have been hard on you." but I can't do that. I have to sit there with my poker face on. Otherwise, I know that they will be able to read it all over my face as well.
MC: I'm sorry that you can't connect with your clients because of what I did.
Me: I know. It's just one of those unintended consequences.
I will say that Mrs. Cap handled that 1000x better than she used to. A. she had an actual conversation about it, and 2. she didn't find some way to blame me or to defend herself. Definite progress there. But, onto the real purpose of my writing this evening.
I hate those unintended consequences. It just sucks that there are so many things that we as the BS have to deal with, all because of the choices our WS made with absolutely no regard for us whatsoever. It's frustrating and all part of that sandwich we are force-fed. Just once, I'd like to have life say "you know what Cap...I'm giving you a break on this one." Maybe there are breaks I don't know about or realize. But dadgummit, I just want that break shown to me at some point.
Yes, I'm tired. I'm exhausted, really. I need to sleep. But today took a lot out of me.
17 comments posted: Thursday, August 26th, 2021
Well, No $#&!...
Did you ever have one of those moments where you were just as blissfully unaware as you could possibly be and then *pop* something just shows up in front of you that you were DEFINITELY not expecting?
Someday, I hope that unexpected thing is to walk out my front door & see a briefcase with $10M in cash and a note that says "You deserve it." That's one of those things I'd love to just have "happen".
Today, however, I got a strange one. My youngest started Tae Kwon Do about 6 weeks ago at our gym. Tonight, he tested for his yellow belt at the TKD studio. The kids tested in front of a panel of judges. And who was one of the judges?
My wife's AP.
Well, no $#&!...
Good news, though. I didn't want to get up and leave. I didn't care what I was carrying. Didn't even give him the stink-eye.
I just sat back & enjoyed watching my little guy do every punch, kick & block to the best of his abilities.
And in the end, he was awarded the yellow belt.
[This message edited by CaptainRogers at 6:45 PM, August 5th (Thursday)]
14 comments posted: Thursday, August 5th, 2021
Today's Session: Unbelievable...
Years ago when I was teaching my marketing students, I told them that the perfect answer to questions like "How are sales?" or "How is business?" is to respond with "Unbelievable."
Could be unbelievably good, could be unbelievably bad. Who knows? But it's unbelievable, regardless.
So, that's the word I use to describe our MC session today. Unbelievable. In this case, unbelievable in a good way.
I discussed how being "opportunistic" in discussing things comes across as minimizing whatever I have brought up to tell me how I should be better at approaching conversations.
This eventually moved into a conversation about my hesitancy to discuss anything because for 20-something years, the typical response has been to minimize and steamroll.
The MC turned to Mrs. Cap and asked if that was her recollection. To my utter amazement, she answered "actually, it was probably worse than that."
Mrs. Cap then went on to describe in detail how she would look for a weak spot and then exploit it to the Nth degree, finding ways to tear me down and crush my spirit.
I was shocked. For the first time in however many years, I wasn't the only one in this reality. Not only could someone else see it, but she flat out confessed to DOING it.
She talked about how she did everything she could to tear my self-confidence to the ground and that she recognized that her affair absolutely razed anything I had built up over all the years.
She owned it. And not just from a minimized "I did some things that weren't right..." perspective that is her MO. This was an "I've come to understand that everything I was supposed to be as a wife...I did the exact opposite...and I did it on purpose..." confession.
She had great sorrow in her eyes. She apologized in ways I've never heard her apologize before. Specific. Owned. Heartfelt. Recognizing the depths of the knife stabbing over and over and over.
For the first time in a long, long time, I truly felt seen. This wasn't a "poor me, I was a bad person" thing. No, this was an "I have hurt you for such a long time. I can't begin to even ask forgiveness. What I have been was such a horrible person and I can't begin to imagine just how deeply I have caused pain, not just from the A, but in all the years prior."
I must have had some look on my face, because the MC said "What are you feeling right now? Because it looks like shock."
Yeah. I am shocked. Because I never thought I would hear anything like that.
At one point, we had discussed the Codependent/Narcissist scale that goes from -5 (CoD) to +5 (Narc). My wife said "For most of our marriage...I'd give myself a +5...or more...especially when I was stramrolling him about everything." I'm better now. More like a +1.5.
What!?! She RECOGNIZED that behavior?
That was the point when the session ended & the MC said that we will pick up from there the next time.
So, yes, today's session was unbelievable.
39 comments posted: Thursday, July 29th, 2021
I'm Not The Thought(less) Police
So we are currently between sessions, but I have brought a few items to my wife's attention that I just need to vent a little about.
I did bring up her comment a few weeks ago that she made about inviting one of my friends from out of town to go workout with her. I didn't have to remind her that she went on workout dates with her AP. She said that she was sorry, that it was only a joke and that she was thoughtless with her words.
Just over a week later, we went to a concert for a country band we haven't seen in 30 years. We were having a great time until she decided to talk about how great it would be to be a groupie for them. I just turned my head and looked at her. And she continued to talk about it. How great it would be to go from town to town and enjoying all that time with the band and how she would really love to wait for them at the bus after the show. When we got home. She couldn't figure out why I wasn't interested in talking much.
So on Saturday, I finally had time to bring it all up.
Cap: You know when you asked why I was quiet when we got home and I didn't answer you?
Mrs. Cap: Yes
Cap: Do you have any idea why that would have been?
C: Why don't you go look up what a "groupie" is.
MC: [after finding the definition] Oh my. I'm so sorry. I didn't mean that I wanted to travel with the band and have sex with them. I guess I didn't know what the word meant.
C: How are you almost 50 years old and have no idea what that word meant?
MC: I guess I'm just thoughtless. I didn't mean to bring up old wounds. Just tell me when it happens. I need you to do that so I can learn.
C: [inside voice...I'm not the thought police...how about you just think about what you say before you say it...you're a grown ass woman for crying out loud...]
37 comments posted: Monday, July 19th, 2021
Session 10...I think...
It had been a few weeks between sessions this time and this one was a little different than most from the past. We did more of a "check-in/check-up" type of session where a couple of things were explored, but not a great deal of depth.
One piece discussed was the blow up I had on the Sunday following D-Day v1.0. Yes, I exploded. I instantly Hulked out, punched a hole in a door, and spent 20 minutes spewing more swear words than I had in 20 years.
I talked about how I wish that hadn't been my reaction, that I wish I had responded in a more calm fashion and how I replay that 30-45 minutes daily in my mind, even 4 1/2 years later.
The MC asked me what I wish I had done differently. My answer was hard for Mrs. Cap to hear. I said that I wish I hadn't said anything after seeing her text to AP that said "Heartsick. Miss you." I wish I had simply gone to the bedroom, packed a few days worth of things and just left. Would I have come back? At some point. But what I really needed was to cool down.
Mrs. Cap didn't say anything at that point, but I could tell that there was emotion. It could have been from just remembering how traumatized she was. It could have been the thought of what she did potentially leading to me leaving. Who knows?
She did say that my response that night is what caused her anxiety to explode and wouldn't allow her to do anything R related until this past January.
Interestingly, the MC actually called her out on that saying that anxiety is a mask and an excuse that people use to not do something that is hard for them. Not that the MC was saying anxiety doesn't exist, but saying that not addressing the anxiety and the issues surrounding it allows the anxiety to stay and be used as an excuse. Basically, the MC told Mrs. Cap that the event may have caused the anxiety, but she is the one who hid behind it instead of taking a healing path. I found that to be a very interesting part of today's discussion.
I did open up again and allowed emotion to come out. Next week, we were tasked with bringing anything else that we needed to still talk through, A-related or otherwise. My list is long. There are one or two that I feel OK with bringing up (such as her joke about inviting my buddy from out of state to go workout with her...a thoughtless, insensitive joke; the trust issues I still have because aof a lack of transparency on her part) but the hardest thing that I know needs discussed from my perspective is the "I've never really loved you" statement. To this day, it still haunts me. Not because it was said, but because in the 4 1/2 years since, I've watched the actions and have seen that, while Mrs. Cap says those words aren't true, her actions pre-A, during, and post-A all tell a different story, all pointing to those words being absolutely true.
That one is going to be a hard one.
Overall, a good session today. Here's to next week.
34 comments posted: Wednesday, July 7th, 2021
SI & Friends: The Way Through...
As I have seen several topics recently on the sadness of SI being necessary and how to get through the betrayal of infidelity in a "better" way, I can think of nothing better than the reliance on friends IRL, as well as the collective wisdom of those here on SI.
While I know that many here haven't told anyone IRL, I told many. In particular, I told those whom I knew would be major support players in my story.
The first person I told was the church elder in charge of leading our small group. I asked for guidance on walking through that thing I knew nothing about. I reached out for that support literally minutes after finding out.
From there, I reached out to a couple of other friends whom I knew would be assets. What I didn't know is that one of them had been through an even more tragic story himself. He was a great support for me in those first few months.
About 2 weeks after D-day v1.0, I found SI. In the 4 plus years since, many of you have comforted, encouraged, and swung needed 2x4s that have helped all along the way.
So that answer that several have posed questions about: healing starts with yourself; find those who will walk that path with you, those who will sit with you in silence, and those who will speak life into your current situation. This is a wild rollercoaster ride and I appreciate every single one of you who have been on it with me.
And yes, that even means you, Unhinged. What an ending to last night's game. I do know that it's totally my fault. Rox are 4-0 when I've been at the game this year. I'm starting to rethink those seats I have for the Cub series in August...
Hope you and the young 'un enjoyed the time at the ballpark. Thank you, my friend.
6 comments posted: Friday, July 2nd, 2021
Session 9: Back to the Wall
Spent today's session talking about my wall and the lack of emotion shown through most of my day.
If you've seen the movie For Love of the Game, everytime Kevin Costner's Roy Chapel starts to pitch, he shuts out the crowd with the phrase "clear the mechanism". That allows him to focus only on the hitter and the catcher, closing out anything else that would be a detriment to him emotionally.
I have cleared the mechanism for years.
We got into my unwillingness to share. The MC asked if it was from any sense of fear. Nope. Not from fear. What about guilt or shame? Nope. Not any shame or guilt. At least not my own.
I stopped sharing things because I kept getting shot down. For almost 3 years, anytime I wanted to talk about something that dealt with my emotions, I was told "not now" or "I don't have time" or "I have to do X"...or just completely and totally ignored as if I didn't even speak.
The MC looked at my wife and said "He TRIED to connect with you?"
Mrs. Cap said "Yeah, but I wasn't able to handle it."
The irritated part of me says "No, $#!+ Sherlock. You were too busy being wrapped up in yourself that you couldn't see anyone else." I didn't actually say anything, though.
The MC then asked "Well, when do you think you were finally able to handle it?"
Mrs. Cap: Well, not really ever. Maybe back in February. But not really because I turned down a conversation yesterday because it was too close to bed (about 9:15pm).
Counselor: What has been the issue?
Mrs. Cap: The 40 minute tirade he had when he punched a hole in the wall.
Counselor: And that was back when he first found out?
Mrs. Cap: Yes
Counselor (to me): So you haven't been able to share anything, really, the last 4 1/2 years and because Mrs. Cap couldn't handle hearing it?
Counselor: So you just stopped trying to communicate anything at all about a year or so ago?
Counselor: That makes complete sense. I can see exactly why you would put up that wall and not ever want to come out. There was no safe space for you at all with Mrs. Cap.
Me: Definitely no safe space.
We finished up with planning to discuss "The Event" (when I turned into the Hulk) at the next session. I will be anxiously awaiting that.
Before anyone asks, yes, I did display emotion today. As always, I tried to hold it back, but it did escape. Interestingly, Mrs. Cap did reach over a couple of times to hold my hand while we were sitting. There were a couple of tears from her as well. The ice cold exterior did crack slightly.
17 comments posted: Monday, June 21st, 2021
Session 8: Real Remorse...I Want To Know You...
Today, for the first time since D-Day v1.0, I saw remorse. Real, true remorse. Not only for having the A, but for how she has/hasn't responded for the past 4 1/2 years.
These weren't crocodile tears. It wasn't some show. This was real, heartfelt, and specific. Mrs. Cap apologized for lying and hiding things those first 15 months (she had never really owned that). She apologized for blowing me off when I would tell her what was needed for healing. She actually apologized for never truly confessing & asking forgiveness.
She finally...after 4 1/2 years...finally read "How to Help Your Spouse Heal". And she apologized for not reading it, for not being able to see ME when she read it, until recently.
And from there, she said that she wants to know me, wants me to open up, wants me to see that she is safe. Time will tell. Track record for 27 years isn't great on that. Swears that she is a totally different person, even from a year ago.
Now, I just have to take that step & be willing to be known.
22 comments posted: Wednesday, June 16th, 2021
Session 7: You Don't Know What to do With That
Today was more rubber + road = reality. Last session, I was left with a question: What could Mrs. Cap do to make it safe to come out from behind my wall.
In short, my response was that she needs to stop putting a spin on things, trying to put herself on a pedestal while stepping on me to get there.
In particular, I brought up something she said in session #2 when she was telling her story. In her telling of the A, she said (and was very adamant about it) that there was "nothing sexual".
Today, as part of my "safety" ask was for truth to be spoken without spin. Was there physical penetration sex? I have no idea. But there was plenty discussion of what was being worn, what was purchased at Victoria's Secret, looking forward to me being out of the picture so they were free to have sex, etc. That isn't "nothing sexual".
I shared how that spin, coupled with expecting 100% disclosure of anything and everything in my life leaves me feeling treated unfairly because I'm held to a different standard.
I also brought up that I really don't feel like I can ask for anything because everything I've brought up over the past 4+ years has either been ignored, conditions get attached, or I'm told "no" outright. I spoke about how that feels like continued rejection, how it feels unfair, and how it leads me to feeling unwanted and unloved.
Ultimately, I expressed that everything that I want from the relationship, everything that is being held back from me...was freely given to the AP. And that is the source of the underlying sadness, that layer that is just below the surface, that sometimes makes its way to my eyes.
She was expressionless. Sat there with cold, dead eyes like a great white shark (I love sharks). Totally void of emotion.
Our counselor looked at her and said "Cap just gave you everything you've asked for. He just sat here and shared his heart with you. He has laid all of this out, been vulnerable with offering you his heart...what are you going to do with it?"
She adjusted on the loveseat a little, was totally without expression/emotion...and started defending her actions.
The counselor cut her off and said "This isn't about you...this is about Cap. He just offered up everything you've asked for. What are you going to do with it?"
Again, she sat speechless.
Counselor: You don't know what to do with that, do you? You don't know what to do with knowing that everything you have withheld from your husband, you gave freely to another man. You don't know how to hear his pain and respond, do you? You don't know how to say "I hear and see the pain that I've caused...and I'm sorry." You don't know what to do with it.
Mrs. Cap: I don't know what to say because it will just make Cap angry when I tell him that I've already worked through it.
Counselor: But you didn't work through it WITH him. You worked on you, but you never brought it back for a connection.
Time's Up. Let's schedule the next one with more time. There is a great deal that needs addressed here, both within the A and in the rest of your history as well.
Tough spot to end, but there were things laid out on the table that needed to be.
As we exited the building, Mrs. Cap looked at me, said "I'm sorry for all the pain I've caused. I love you deeply. I hope the rest of your day goes well." There was some emotion for her that was below the surface, but not allowed to come out.
Maybe this is that next difficult step for us. Her feet continue to be held to the fire, and she gets away with nothing with this counselor. I am blessed.
20 comments posted: Tuesday, June 1st, 2021
Session 6: The Wall
Today's session started with a question: 1-10, how connected do you feel?
Zero. Same answer from both of us.
Needless to say, the counselor was shocked. Completely showed in her face. She asked the obvious follow-up of "Why?"
So, she got the story from 6 weeks ago or so of my wife asking me why I didn't tell her about a ticket I got 9 months prior. Actually, it wasn't so much asking as it was a lecture on why it was irresponsible of me to not tell her, especially after she had gotten one.
From her telling of the events, she was loving, kind and felt compassion towards me because she understood why I would keep it hidden.
When it came time for my rendition, I expressed my feelings of being judged and rejected during her lecture. I also presented the events of the following day when I brought up those feelings, only to have them dismissed because she "reflected on it and hadn't done anything to be judging or rejecting". Yep, total invalidating.
After the "presentations", the counselor asked me why I had a wall up, why I felt that I couldn't share my real self. I simply said that it was because it wasn't safe, that my real self had been rejected so many times for so many years, that I simply was in protect mode. It wasn't safe because in being "known", the same old Mrs. Cap came out to lecture and humiliate, just like she had done for so many years.
The counselor looked at me and said "There is a lot of pain that you're holding back, isn't there?"
"Pain from all the years of being treated that way?"
"And all the rejection..."
"Especially the more recent past."
Then she gave me a question to think about. She asked "If Mrs. Cap could just do one or two things to make it safer, what would those be? Don't answer, just think."
She then told my wife something that I had never heard a counselor say, but it made 100% perfect sense. She said "It's perfectly fine to go knock on the wall and ask if he's ready to come out to play. Do not beat on the wall. Do not try to demolish the wall. Just knock. And if the answer is 'no' then sit down against the wall and wait.
And above all else, defend his wall."
My wife was a bit stunned at the statement and asked what it meant.
"If somebody comes along and tells him that he needs to tear it down, that he needs to get out there and do XYZ with his wife, you tell them that it's perfectly alright with you that he is back there because Cap is protecting himself. And when he's ready, he will come out. But nobody gets to force him out."
First, I think my wife was shocked that the counselor didn't scold me for having the wall. And on top of that, I think she was more shocked that she was told to PROTECT my wall.
The counselor finished up by saying "true compassion is seeing someone who is hurt, knowing that they are protecting themselves from more hurt, and defending their right to do that...even though you are the one who hurt them."
Then she said "When Cap is ready to tell you what those 1 or 2 things are that would help him feel safe...do them. No excuses. Just do them.
Feet...meet the fire.
49 comments posted: Tuesday, May 25th, 2021
This week's MC session got rescheduled two weeks out because of a couple kids who were sick. But that doesn't mean that there weren't positive changes noted this week.
I have a new weekly radio show that will debut this weekend. Today, I was live on the station talking about it.
And my wife was listening. She never listened to my other shows. Said it was a waste of her time. But today, she listened.
And she sent me a text during today's show to let me know she was listening.
And...get this...she was ENCOURAGING!
There is still a lot of work that needs done, but she does seem to be making changes that are positive.
8 comments posted: Friday, April 30th, 2021
Session 5: Listening is a Skill
"Short" session today (1 hour instead of 2) that covered some of those basics of active listening. This week, I was the listener and my wife had the opportunity to speak. Her topic of choice was a statement that I made twice in the last couple of years.
For those who have been through the standard MC work, you know that active listening is all part of that communication work that is done. This is the first counselor, however, that I have seen putting the emotion behind the communication into focus. It isn't just hearing the other person and repeating it back ( like at a drive through), but it is also touching the emotions through the entire process.
So, today we covered the statement that I made to my wife that she was solely responsible for the current dysfunction in our relationship.
As you probably know, active listening does not allow for discussion, defense or debate. It is simply listening to the speaker, hearing their emotional response to an event, and allowing their feelings to be expressed and validated as feelings.
The feelings my wife expressed were those of hopelessness, judgment, and being treated unfairly. She felt that it was unfair that I would lay the dysfunction of our relationship at her feet. She felt that it was being thrown before her as a judgment and that she didn't see how she could be put "in charge" of something (my feelings, for example) that she has no control over.
I told her that I could understand how she felt treated unfairly by having the burden of being solely responsible for an entire relationship's dysfunction placed on her. I acknowledged the feeling of hopelessness at being told that you are placed in charge of something that you truly have zero control over.
No defending. No discussing. No debating.
Next week, we open some wounds and discuss. No, not discuss, but whatever it is we did today. I have some apprehension about it. A lot, actually. This will be a rubber meets road moment. I honestly don't know how she will respond. For four years, she has dismissed, minimized, blameshifted or just flat out ignored whatever I had to say about the A.
I will be interested to see how she responds next week.
24 comments posted: Monday, April 19th, 2021
I Feel Like a New Person
Seriously. Totally, 180° different. Yes, it is baseball season and that always makes me a bit happier (even if the northsiders are headed for a 70 win season if they're lucky). But there is a weight that has absolutely lifted, and many of you know what it is. My. Wife. Is. Different. Now.
I know that I have said those words before, only to see them totally dissolve and for her to go back to her "default" position. But with her most recent IC and with our new MC, there truly is change in the air. Both the IC and the MC are with the same group. The IC isn't at the same level of "fame" as the MC, but I can see that she has gotten my wife through a great deal of roadblocks she fought against (or simply refused to see) for a long time. And those following other threads already know the rockstar status the our MC has attained as well.
On my end, I have started back with my own IC who came recommended by the MC. Gotta give mad props to him as well. A month into sessions and I will give him that rockstar status as well. We have worked on things from my past that started as an 8 year old in ways I hadn't worked on them before.
Today, we did a visualization exercise where I walked into the game where I booted a ball as that 8 year old. And before the coach laid into him for losing the game, I stepped in, let the little guy know that I was there for him, that errors happen to everyone, that I knew how bad he felt for not fielding that ball, but that there would be more opportunities for him later, and that he would come through for his team.
We then (the 8-year old and me) went back to my "safe, spiritual place". Now, when the IC asked where that place was, and I told him, he said that he had never had anyone in his 30 years of practice go where I did.
1060 W. Addison St.
As if no one here could have guessed that.
Overall, my head is in a good place (where several have pointed out that is hasn't been for quite some time). I finally see what I believe to be true progress in R. True desire from my wife to own things (instead of blameshifting & minimizing, at least as often as she used to), true desire to begin making amends (where there was none before, only a superficial "I'm sorry" and an attempt to rugsweep), and a true desire to be a team player (rather than paying lip service and then steamrolling me).
In reflecting back on the last 6 weeks or so...I see hope for a good future where there had previously been none.
I like what I see thus far. It looks good from here.
13 comments posted: Tuesday, April 13th, 2021
Session 4: Getting to the Heart
After taking last week off, we did another double session today. This one was a little more "groundworky" as the counselor laid out the cycle in which we need to be thinking rather than the cycles we typically use. She used my wife's "abandonment" issues as the example.
Apparently, a few months ago, I had come home, dropped off the groceries, then went on another couple of errands. In that time, I either told the kids where I was going or I didn't. Couldn't tell you one way or another. I generally tell them what I'm doing, but that day it may not have happened.
My wife gets home, doesn't see me there, asks the kids where I am, they say they don't know. About an hour later, she is headed out and I'm coming back from my errands. She makes the assumption that I was angry and avoiding her (not actually asking the question) and behaves accordingly.
The counselor steps in to acknowledge the abandonment feelings and then asks the question...did you ask Cap what he was doing?
What did you do in response?
Made up my mind that if that's the way he wants to live, then so be it, I'll be by myself.
Do you think that you may have been wrong about his thoughts and why he wasn't at the house?
I don't know.
Let's explore this...
So, most of today's session was spent on retraining thought patterns. The entire purpose is to lay the groundwork for the big "discussion" coming in a few weeks. The counselor was quite straightforward to say that this week and then our next session in a couple of weeks will lead to having the discussion that we haven't yet truly had...how did the A affect Cap?
The counselor looked right at my wife and said "You have not wanted to hear this part, you have not been able to hear this part, but this is where it is leading. You need to sit here, listen to what effects all of this has had on your husband, and you need to FEEL what it has done. This isn't a punishment. This is for bringing you closer together. It HAS to be addressed. You cannot overlook this anymore. You have said that you want to heal this relationship, so this very hard piece is coming up. I will help you with correcting bad thought patterns. I will help you with whatever you need help with. But you have to face this."
A pretty interesting and, shall I even say, bold move for the MC to lay those cards on the table. She is direct and doesn't take any crap (from either of us, I will add.). Too many are the "touchy-feely" variety who wouldn't have said "we are going to do X...this is your notice." Did I mention that I like her?
In a similar vein, we also covered something from this week. My wife has an ear infection. Ultimately, I am the catalyst. She sleeps with earplugs because I snore. The earplugs have led to compacted earwax and viola, an infection.
So, on Sunday, my wife had asked me to look in her ear to see if I could see anything. She said that it was sore, like when you get a pimple on the inside. I looked and said that I could see a red spot, but couldn't see if it was a pimple or not.
Tuesday morning, my wife says that she didn't sleep well because she woke up at 2:00 and was dizzy. I said "well that sucks, were you able to go back to sleep?" She said "yes, around 4:00."
Apparently, yesterday, she went to the urgent care to find out that she has an ear infection. She dropped off her prescription in the early afternoon, then picked up the ear drops last night. When she went to get the drops she said "I'm going to the grocery store, be back in a little bit." I found that odd, but whatever. Didn't let my mind go down the "who is she meeting up with" rabbit hole. That's progress!
Anyway, she comes home and asks one of the kids to put the drops in her ears. Never does she say anything about going to the doctor, getting the prescription, none of it.
Today in the session, she brings it up as to how I wasn't demonstrating care for her. The counselor said "Did you say anything?"
Then how would Cap know that something was wrong?
I asked him to look on Sunday, then said I was dizzy Tuesday morning.
And how was he supposed to know from that? Did you make any requests?
How did you feel?
I wanted to tell him.
So how did you feel?
So, let's look at this. You made a request for Cap to look at your ear, and then you made a statement about being dizzy. But you didn't tell him that you went to the doctor, nor did you tell him about the infection, nor did you tell him about the prescription.
Why didn't you tell him?
I didn't want to bother him.
Wede you afraid that he would say the he couldn't take care of anything?
No, I knew he would take care of whatever I needed.
So you knew he would take care of you, but you didn't ask for anything, and then you felt abandoned.
Do you see that you abandoned yourself?
More and more things are being pointed out and addressed like never before. Yes, it does sometimes feel like I'm simply sitting in on her individual sessions (especially today...I think that in the 2 hours, I may have had 5 minutes of talk time; the rest was the counselor and Mrs. Cap).
I see progress, I see a plan, and I see changes actually taking place in behaviors.
27 comments posted: Thursday, April 8th, 2021
Session 3: An Interesting Twist
Another good session today. Did I mention that the MC is good?
Finished up my trauma story. Filled in blanks that my wife left out. She did not interrupt. That was a big change from the last time we were in counseling. I brought up the controlling & critical spirit as a form of abuse. The MC agreed that it was years of emotional abuse and asked how I felt about it. I said that it may have been abuse, but that I wasn't going to play the victim card. My wife sat in stunned silence. She hadn't ever thought of herself as being abusive. We will probably talk through that at another session soon.
Walked through a concept that the MC called the 3 circles. I have a yard to care for, my wife has a yard to care for, and then we play on the playground together.
Around those 3 circles was a larger circle called trust/security. She described the outer circle as being necessary for each of us being willing to come out to play.
As is typical, we discussed how we are each responsible for our own yard (thoughts, feelings, actions), and we are each responsible for playing well with one another on the playground.
My wife brought up her belief that I have been trying to make her responsible for my yard. She described how I would say things like "If you would make an effort to pursue me, I would respond."
The MC told her that I wasn't putting responsibility on her for my yard, but that I was laying out my boundaries for the playground being safe enough for me to come out. While my wife as trying to say "Cap isn't following the rules, so I won't pursue him." the MC made it clear that I am taking care of my yard, but as long as she is swinging a sword on the playground, I'm gonna play in my own sandbox where it's safe. The MC made it abundantly clear that Mrs. Cap MUST put down the sword (blameshifting, criticism, selfishness) before everything will be safe enough for me to even consider coming out to play.
All this takes place and then MC goes back to drawing on the whiteboard and talking about that Trust/Security circle that surrounds everything (yards & playground). She says "Cap does X, and part of that trust is broken (erases a finger width). Then Cap does Y and some security is shaken (erases another finger width). And then Cap does Z and some more trust goes away (erases another finger width). "
Now, at this point, my wife is shaking her head, agreeing with it all. Now, the circle had about a 24 inch diameter. So far, about an inch and a half or two inches has been erased. That sets the stage.
The MC then says "and then infidelity takes place" and erases 3/4 of the circle. My wife's eyes got the size of saucers and tears started. The MC asked "Had you never thought that infidelity had such an impact on your relationship?" My wife stammered and didn't really say anything.
"Everything before the infidelity, all 22 years, was a blip compared to what infidelity does to a relationship."
Stunned silence again. And more tears.
The MC talked her through a great deal more and we also covered our trigger/response cycle and started to discuss what we needed to do to break it.
Have I mentioned that I love what this MC is doing with us? I am starting to believe that my wife has done some actual & real work with her IC that has broken down some of her interior walls which has allowed the MC to bust through those exterior ones. While the internal "changes" never showed up in our daily lives before, the MC seems to be able to bring it out and get it put into action.
The flame of hope continues to grow.
57 comments posted: Wednesday, March 24th, 2021
Twice in Two Days...
You never know how much some simple words will encourage someone. Yesterday morning, I had a friend speak into me about what I've dealt with and how much just seeing me encourages him.
Then today, another friend posted this on Facebook:
behind the walls I built to
keep pain out,
Yep. Nothing else I could add.
3 comments posted: Thursday, March 18th, 2021
Session 2 Plusses and Minuses
Had a 2-hour session today with the counselor. She is quite good. My wife spent the entire time "finishing" her story (that she had started and had gotten to the place where her mom passed). In all, she covered most of our life together. She tried to skim over her A, started by saying how horrible the marriage was, how she had checked out, then had an emotional thing with a guy."
Counselor stopped her right there and said "What emotional thing?"
Took my wife a little while to say that she had an affair. Still referred to it as "emotional" though eventually she came back to say that they did "kiss each other on the neck". Still minimizing it, of course, but at least she said something. She also skipped over her 15 months of hiding that it was more than text messages and "a couple calls" until right at the end of our session when she said "oh yeah, it wasn't until over a year or so later that it was discovered that it wasn't just emotional, but that we met up." again, downplaying everything. But, she did admit to having it because I didn't think she would.
In fact, about halfway through she (my wife) stopped and asked why I didn't share about it. I told her that it was her story to tell and I wanted to see if she would tell it.
Next week, there are some things that I will come back to add things that were either skipped or skewed (i.e. she told the counselor she didn't want to talk our pastor about me not being a good husband because she was "protecting" me...of course when she told me this after D-Day v1.0, she said she didn't go to the pastor because I was "the golden child" and couldn't do any wrong, so he wouldn't believe her). So, there are some things to be corrected/added to.
At one point, the counselor stopped and asked if I was OK. She could see some of my anxiety-induced tics (shaky hands, eyes moving around the room, etc.) and asked if I needed anything. Told her that I was OK, that I was just listening for what was said and what was skipped, and was remembering what I needed to add later.
On a couple of occasions, the counselor did stop my wife and remind her that the trauma associated with infidelity is one of the worst forms of trauma a person can receive. Mostly that was when my wife was trying to downplay the infidelity.
Another interesting note was that my wife recounted traumas such as our #5 in the hospital in 2011, again in 2012, and when she was hospitalized in 2014 when she was pregnant with #6 and had H1N1, Influenza-a and Pneumonia. She recounted being "alone" and dealing with everything by herself. When the counselor asked where I was, she said "at home taking care of everyone else". The counselor then read off the times when I was there, being supportive in the background, and asked "Do you see that Cap was there, holding everything together and trying to keep things normal for everyone else?" Sheepishly, my wife said "I guess." Counselor then asked "are you thankful that he was doing those things so you could focus on the thing in front of you?" Her response "yeah".
Then came the classic...the counselor said "Can you turn and look at him to say that you appreciate all he did and how he has been there in the background supporting you through virtually every trauma in your life?"
She made every excuse in the book as to why she couldn't say that she appreciated what I've done and how I've been there for her. Took her 5 minutes of arguing with the counselor to actually look at me and say "Thank you."
Overall, there were some interesting things that came out. My wife did say that she was ashamed of what she did and that she wouldn't allow herself to get there again. She said that her "a-ha" moment was last summer when I told her that I had no doubt that, given the opportunity, she would throw me under the bus in a second and never look back. She said that she was taken aback by that and used it as the "I need to get into counseling" start.
So, some interesting things learned, glad to see that the MC wouldn't let her just gloss over her "emotional thing". Also found out why she won't say her AP's name. Bad memories. She said that when I used my buddy's name (which is the same as the AP) in a story, she felt physically sick and wanted to throw up.
An asshat would make sure to tell a story about my buddy every day. Glad that's not my MO. 😁
32 comments posted: Wednesday, March 17th, 2021
It's been a while. A long while. A long, long while. Since what? Since I was willing to be emotionally vulnerable with my wife. Like...close to 3 years, long while.
This weekend, we chatted a little. Not about anything I would classify as deep. This week at counseling, we are finishing my wife's story (I purposely did not mention her A because I wanted to see if she would go over that part, what details she would leave out etc.) and then going over some conflict management things (because that's what counselors do).
My wife brought up an issue from about 8 or 10 months ago. My guess is that it was the "conflict" she had chosen for the discussion this week. I listened. No interruptions.
Paraphrased. Asked clarifying questions. Ran the gamut of proper listening activities. She felt heard.
Then she brought up a political issue and asked my thoughts. I told her my opinion and how I will handle the situation if it arises in my world. She thanked me for "sharing" myself and said that she felt really connected.
Now, I am completely befuddled by this, thinking that I hadn't really shared anything that she didn't already know about my opinion. This wasn't something deep and meaningful to me. But she felt like we "connected".
Move ahead to today. We are back in the bedroom before dinner. It is already cooked, just staying warm in the oven. I'm on the loveseat. She sits down on my lap, facing me. She gives me a hug, then looks at me. She says "You look sad."
...now, my mind goes into fast thought mode...do I fake a smile...do I acknowledge and say "no"...do I tell her the truth and say "yes"...do I distract and say something about dinner...
So, I looked at her and said "I am." I chose the opportunity to be willing to drop my walls and open up (she has commented many times about my walls). What response did I get to being willing to share?
She just said "Oh..." and then got off my lap and walked away.
So, why do I ever drop my walls? If the response to me being willing to be vulnerable is for her to separate from the situation and run away, then why do I even bother to share anything? One day she is "so happy" that we are connecting (over nothing of depth in my world), then why does she run away when I actually open up to share what is really part of me?
Am I doing something wrong? Am I reading things wrong? I was the one cooking dinner, so there was nothing she needed to do. And when she got up, she walked into the bathroom, blew her nose, and then walked out of the room. Didn't say anything. Didn't look at me. Nothing. That was it, nothing else spoken about any of it, like that short exchange just never happened.
I have a number of thoughts on this, but I need to know if my perspective is "off". The major feeling I have is that she knows why I was sad, didn't want to address anything, so she figured out how to change the subject as quickly as possible to avoid everything. It would be the same response she has everytime I try to open up about her A and the effects on me. She either tries to take control of the discussion and steer it back to a "well, you..." blameshift or just shuts it down and walks away because she doesn't want to hear it.
So, help me understand...
107 comments posted: Monday, March 15th, 2021
I just have to vent here a little bit. One of my business partners can be extremely petty and short sighted. Yesterday she "took a stand" against a colleague joining us in our office space.
We have 2 empty offices and a conference room that could have accommodated this colleague. The same colleague was willing to pay $250/month and all she wants is a place to have mail delivered and a phone to ring. She doesn't plan to come into the office more than a couple of times a month. We are already paying for the phone ($25/month) that is currently unused.
On top of this, the colleague has said that she would like me to purchase her book of business when she retires. That would add between $250-$300k to my annual income.
But my partner has some strange idea that, if the other colleague joins us in the office, drama will follow her. So, she says "absolutely not". My other partner says "I don't see allowing colleague to use the office as any plus to us, so I'm a no as well." He is the senior partner, so his vote carries a little more weight.
I get nominated to tell the colleague the answer is "no" because I have a good relationship with her.
Her response: well, if they don't want me in there, I won't be able to sell to you because I don't want my clients anywhere near them or profiting them in any way.
Thanks, partners. Because you couldn't see that we would be getting $250/month that was straight profit (because we are already paying for the phone) and because you have some stupid, petty issue that you won't discuss, you have now taken at least $3M out of my pocket over the next 12-15 years.
I am so pissed off about people being so petty that they can't see the positives in the long run...🤬
10 comments posted: Thursday, March 4th, 2021
Session 1 is in the Books
Had our first MC session in a bit over 2 years. Typical first session full of "getting to know" us. I like the demeanor of the counselor. Thus far, she seems to come across the same way she does in her books/videos/seminars. She talked about the importance of being fully engaged (all in, if you will) in righting wrongs of the past hurts, owning our choices, making amends where applicable, and building the relationship from the ground up.
As she put it, the old relationship was like a house that was falling apart. Some people try to build a shiny new addition and just stay in that part. We, however, will be burning down the entire house, hauling it away, and starting from the foundation.
This has been almost the exact word picture I have painted multiple times. I have told my wife that she burned down the house and instead of sorting through the debris and building from the floor up, she just wants to install new trim and pick out the paint colors.
Next session in 2 weeks. We will see how it goes as my wife continues to tell her story. She got up to high school when her mom passed. Next session starts with that and continues through where we are now. I am waiting to see if she mentions anything about her A. I didn't fill in that part of my story. I want to see if she will and, if she does, how she tells it.
13 comments posted: Tuesday, March 2nd, 2021
MC This Week
After about 6 weeks of "waiting", we are scheduled for MC this Tuesday. I am going in with an open mind, hoping that the counselor will practice what she preaches. We are seeing a nationally known counselor who has spoken on many radio programs, has written several books, and who has put together (with her husband) a "marriage intensive" seminar series, and various other marriage-related workshops/small group studies. Total sidebar...I know her brother-in-law and his wife from our time living in the Chicagoland area.
I have read several of her excerpts on infidelity and have listened to a few radio interviews. She talks a good game about holding the wayward's feet to the fire and the heavy lifting of re-establishing trust being on their shoulders. We will see if she really does that in her practice.
13 comments posted: Saturday, February 27th, 2021
Back to MC
A bit over 2 years ago, I called off our MC sessions. In the final couple of sessions, my W had said that "there is nothing wrong with kissing another man" and then proceeded to accuse me of abusing her (long story short, the MC asked if I raised my voice...she said no; MC asked if I stormed out of the room...she said no; MC asked if I did anything to her physically...she said no; MC looked at me, looked at her, looked at me again, looked at her and asked "well, what DID he do?"; her response...he stopped talking about what we were discussing.). So, I put a stop to the MC sessions. No sense in going back to that MC when those stories are being told about me.
Here we are, just over 2 years later. I was asked if we could go back. I was told that she spent 2020 working on herself and the "deep issues" that she has. I was told that she is "different on the inside" even if I can't see it (there's a theological issue I have with that, but I just let it go).
But I agreed to go back. I will actively participate if it is going to be useful. If it becomes a "Cap doesn't do this or that" session, I will be done. If she doesn't bring up her infidelity, I will be done. If she tries to minimize it or shift the blame to me, I will be done.
I don't need to know how to communicate better. I need a spouse capable of empathy. I need a spouse capable of actually accepting responsibility without adding "but you..." at the end of it. I need a spouse capable of showing love, of atoning, attuning and attaching.
I will not waste my time or money. I will make an effort IF there is anything worthy of receiving it.
Otherwise, this will be a one and done.
I go in peace.
74 comments posted: Monday, January 18th, 2021
Struggling in A Season...
Here we are, smack dab in the middle of A season. For those who don't know my backstory, my wife started flirting with the contractor who was hired to remodel our master bath in late October 2016. She moved to full blown A starting on Christmas Eve, and continued until I caught her in early January 2017.
For whatever reason, I'm in absolutely terrible headspace the last few days. Maybe it's the overall stress of life right now. Whatever it is, I am NOT in a good spot.
Today is one of those days where I wish I had walked out that door on Jan 6, 2017, and never looked back.
Need to clear my head. Boom therapy would be awesome right now. Wish I lived far enough outside of town that I could take care of that. Range is open tomorrow. Guess we will see about it then...
[This message edited by CaptainRogers at 6:23 PM, December 25th (Friday)]
26 comments posted: Friday, December 25th, 2020
Boulevard of Broken Dreams
I walk a lonely road
The only one that I have ever known
Don't know where it goes
But it's home to me, and I walk alone
I walk this empty street
On the Boulevard of Broken Dreams
Where the city sleeps
And I'm the only one, and I walk alone
I walk alone, I walk alone
I walk alone, I walk alone
Sometimes this whole show leaves a very lonely feeling. Sometimes, life grabs you by the head and drops you face first into the loneliness. Sometimes, you just sort of wander in aimlessly.
Tonight, a couple of things hit me. Hard, actually. And then this Green Day song came to mind.
Have you ever felt that, despite the progress you've seen overall, despite the small (and not so small) a-ha moments that you've seen, that you're still alone on the journey?
Feeling that way tonight. I was asked to be part of a panel discussion on what makes a marriage work. I'm the "money" guy, getting to talk about being on the same page financially. I did the panel last year, so I know what will get thrown out there for the panel to talk about, including infidelity.
Last year, I sat alone on the panel. This year, my wife has been asked to join us. She doesn't want to do it. Now, she doesn't know that anything infidelity-related will likely be asked. She has a variety of other reasons. She doesn't want to be seen on TV (this particular church broadcasts live on Sunday mornings). It is almost an hour away from home (rather than the 12 minutes to get to our regular church). She has developed a massive anxiety issue about crowds. The list goes on.
The pastor's wife who is putting the panel together is trying to encourage her to participate. One of the things she told my wife is that it would add to the credibility of what I have to say. My wife looked at me and asked "How in the world could me being there give credibility to what you have to say?"
I responded "Well, it makes me more human in the audience's minds. If my wife doesn't care to show up and support me, why would they need to listen to what I have to say?"
Her response? "Well that just doesn't make any sense."
It was at that moment that the years of loneliness came rushing to the front. All the years of not being supported. All the times where I said "I'd appreciate it if you would come." that were all met with "I have something else that I need to do." Speaking engagements. Staff talent shows. Goofy improv things with students. Baseball games in my 20s. Softball games in my 40s.
Always an excuse to not attend.
Yeah, I'm being a "poor me" and have turned inside right now. Suck it up, Buttercup.
But that lonely road is truly lonely when the one you thought wanted to be a teammate...really doesn't understand what being a teammate means.
And I walk alone...
38 comments posted: Monday, October 26th, 2020
The 7th Commandment...
This is the week. The week of preparation for our Adult Sunday school class. I've been the "even" guy, but next week, my teaching partner is out of town, so I get to teach "Do not commit adultery."
This isn't a canned curriculum that we are using. I get to write the lesson all on my own. There's some fun research!
Today, my wife learned for the first time that I'm teaching the class, not just sitting in. She thought that, since I had the evens, I would be sitting through the class as a participant. Today, I got to tell her that no, I am teaching next week as my partner is out of town.
So, although I didn't think that this far out I would be feeling the stress of planning the class...well, I am. I know that I'll be able to "get through" teaching it. I've been on panels that have discussed marriage issues and infidelity has been a topic. I know how to switch into teacher mode and then let it all out after class.
But, boy am I feeling the stress of playing the lesson.
Thanks for listening to the stream of consciousness. We now return you to your regularly scheduled program.
38 comments posted: Sunday, October 11th, 2020
Her Bags are Packed...
Because she's going to see her dad for a week! Yeah, that was a little misleading...but when are headlines ever REALLY truthful? 😁
I am happy for my wife that she is doing this. She has needed time away to relax and reset herself mentally. She is taking a few of the kids with her, but the travel isn't as difficult since the youngest is now 6 (he was 2 1/2 the last time she had been back to see her dad, who is now 88). There is a pep in her step that she hasn't had in MONTHS. I've tried to get her to go several times the last two years, but there was always an excuse. Too hard to drive. Too expensive to fly. No one available to get me at the airport. Too much anxiety to travel. What if...what if...what if...
But she has mostly decided that she is going. Still a week before she is planning to leave, so anything could change. But, the non-perishable food is packed (she is planning to drive), she is seeing just how helpful the kids are compared to 3 1/2 years ago.
So, she is finally taking the trip and I am happy that she is going. Not because I want "space" but because it's important for her to be able to see family, to be able to just enjoy herself without thinking "I have to do this, I have to do that." To be able to relax.
Hopefully, she is able to enjoy her time.
[This message edited by CaptainRogers at 3:30 PM, September 26th (Saturday)]
13 comments posted: Saturday, September 26th, 2020