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Not doing so great

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MNDad posted 7/28/2020 09:03 AM

Hey all,

This past week, I had my hearing and just like that the marriage is now officially over. Probably a land speed record in terms of court filings I guess - filed in April, finalized in July. We stipulated to everything. Judge even commended us on the ability to craft an equitable agreement for everything.

After the hearing, I called my ex. We had a few logistical things to arrange, and after those got ironed out I asked her how she was doing. She started crying, and I dropped it.

A few days later, she stopped by my apartment to drop off some stuff for the kids. While there, I saw that she was in a different vehicle. I asked who's car that was, and she sheepishly said the name of a man I've never heard before. I asked her if he was my replacement, and she awkwardly laughed and left. I watched her get in his vehicle and drive away.

And just like that, all that hurt and pain came flooding back. The 22 years together, her numerous affairs, the sadness of it all...it just came flooding back to me. I'm finding it tough to pull myself out of this spiral.

I've talked to my therapist. I've talked to a few close friends. But I'm still just numb from a few things. The marriage being officially over for one, but also the idea that she's already moved on. This is the second guy she's seen in the five months since our uncoupling started. I know I can't use her as my yardstick to measure my own life and progress, but damned if this doesn't hurt.

I know I don't want her back, I don't want that old life back. But I feel just...stuck. For so long, I've identified myself as being married man. And now that's gone. I still have parts of me that are there - Dad is alive and well. But when the kids are not here, I just sort of feel empty and hollow inside. I've made attempts to fill that space. Exercise helps. Therapy definitely helps. I've got a few hobbies - cooking, making cocktails. But it doesn't seem like enough. I've never had many friends and it's not helped by the fact that I don't live in the town I actually work in. All my work friends live an hour away. The ex was my social outlet and that's dead now. I'm making small inroads towards making friends at the gym, but like I said, slow going.

I'm just wondering if this is it for me. I'm just going to exist in this space of hurt and angry for the rest of my days on this planet. It seems for as much work as I've put in these past few months - losing a ton of weight through exercise, cleaning up my eating habits, moving to my first apartment alone, becoming a better father - I've still got so much work to do and the light that was once at the end of the tunnel, it seems so far off now.

JanaGreen posted 7/28/2020 09:26 AM

I'm slammed at work so just have a quick second but I wanted to say that I hear you and I can definitely identify with those feelings at first - my ex was out fucking half the town and then had a girlfriend before we even filed, and I was drinking alone at the house at first. Eventually I got my footing. But tbh even drinking alone and watching Netflix with the cat was an improvement over being gaslit and verbally abused so there is that.

I ended up reconnecting with old friends and making new ones. It took time. I'm much happier now, and I think you will be too. Big hugs to you, this ain't easy.

AmIStrong81 posted 7/28/2020 09:40 AM

I'm feeling exactly the same, although (as far as I know) there were not multiple affairs in my case. I too feel like everything has moved at the speed of light, D Day 31st January, house remortgage went through last week (with me buying ex out). I still feel like I'm falling and am struggling to find my footing. I've actually had the authorisation to apply for the decree absolute and have not done it, not because there is any way back, but I just feel like I needed to stop and catch my breath. My whole life was built around my ex and my children, so I still feel a little lost when the children are not here. Like you, my ex was my main social outlet, and, as recommended, I am trying to find things to do during my time alone to help me grow. I am incredibly grateful that gyms have now reopened and I have decorated as much of the house as possible. Lots of people on here says it gets easier in time, and I just keep on clinging to that.

Thumos posted 7/28/2020 09:42 AM

I'm just wondering if this is it for me. I'm just going to exist in this space of hurt and angry for the rest of my days on this planet.

I very much doubt that will be your fate but only you can decide.

Do you see what was really going on in the anecdote you relate about your ex?

She was showing you AGAIN who she really is. She went from tears on the phone call to chuckling about her new beau in a few daysí time.

This is her second sexual partner in five months ó all within the time span of when you filed and settled, and during a pandemic.

This girl gets around!

had you remained married to her this is what she would still be doing, only with you locked in a hellish limbo with her.

Now you are free of her, so be free of her. This is who she is.

EDIT: and having God knows how many sexual partners while you were married and least one that led to your breakup.

Not to be too explicit here but she has willingly co-mingled the genital microbiomes of at least three other men aside from you in her vagina in less than half a year ó and thatís just the ones you know about. If youíve had sex with her before the D was filed and then after during the process, that means you shared their genital microbiomes too.

Gross.

If you were just starting to date this woman on a blind date and she laid out her sordid history for you, would you stick around or run for the exits?

[This message edited by Thumos at 9:50 AM, July 28th (Tuesday)]

JanaGreen posted 7/28/2020 09:52 AM

She went from tears on the phone call to chuckling about her new beau in a few daysí time.

GOOD FREAKING POINT!

These shallow rapidly shifting emotions - just like my ex - these people are so hurtful to the folks who form attachments to them. You are well rid of her.

ThisIsSoLonely posted 7/28/2020 09:52 AM

MNDad, I don't mean to make light of your post, but your hobbies made me smile:

I've got a few hobbies - cooking, making cocktails.

I love the fact that making cocktails qualifies as a hobby! I never saw it that way, but if I were ever to venture out onto OLD I would definitely list that as a hobby of mine!

Hawke posted 7/28/2020 10:43 AM

No, you are not destined to feel like this forever. It sounds like you are doing a lot of the right things to move on, but it takes time. You are grieving, and it's a complicated kind of grief because of how she treated you and the fact that she is still around (and you have to communicate with her about the kids). My ex moved from our home into a place with OW. I found it easier to move on the less I interacted with him.

I remember that hollowness when the kids aren't there. And not having a social life. What kind of a custody schedule do you have? Mine is currently week on/week off. It is jarring to be a single parent one week and a single person the next. I've learned to embrace it and largely enjoy both parts of my life.

You mention cooking and making cocktails, but those are usually things you do for friends, so tricky if your friends live far away. I rediscovered my love of the outdoors and have started hiking and kayaking and meeting people through outdoor pursuits.

MNDad posted 7/28/2020 10:50 AM

Do you see what was really going on in the anecdote you relate about your ex?

She was showing you AGAIN who she really is. She went from tears on the phone call to chuckling about her new beau in a few daysí time.

I hadn't even considered that until you pointed it out to me. You're right. When people show you who they are, believe them. And here she is, doing her same BS again.

I know that I'm far better off and that I no longer have to live in that marriage. Sleeping alone for most of the past two years because she was gone, being gaslight and told "he's just a friend" or "my job is hard, I need to get out with the girls."

In my head, I know I can do so much better. But it's the emotional component that sometimes gets a hand on the wheel and takes me for a wild ride.

MNDad posted 7/28/2020 10:51 AM

I love the fact that making cocktails qualifies as a hobby! I never saw it that way, but if I were ever to venture out onto OLD I would definitely list that as a hobby of mine!

I got into it by watching some YouTube videos and I know hitting the bottle during this time isn't great, but I figure one high quality mixed drink every now and then isn't going to be the end of me. It's a fun little diversion at times. A different type of cooking.

MNDad posted 7/28/2020 10:55 AM

No, you are not destined to feel like this forever. It sounds like you are doing a lot of the right things to move on, but it takes time. You are grieving, and it's a complicated kind of grief because of how she treated you and the fact that she is still around (and you have to communicate with her about the kids). My ex moved from our home into a place with OW. I found it easier to move on the less I interacted with him.

Right now, it's a week on with the kids and then a week off. I've got a 7 year old son and a 10 year old daughter. One of the shining parts of this has been getting much closer to them.

I've taken some steps to stop seeing my ex as much now. We're no longer doing drop offs of the kids' electronics. I just went ahead and bought duplicates of their stuff here. Not cheap, but considering the savings to my mental health, it's worth it.

I remember that hollowness when the kids aren't there. And not having a social life. What kind of a custody schedule do you have? Mine is currently week on/week off. It is jarring to be a single parent one week and a single person the next. I've learned to embrace it and largely enjoy both parts of my life.

This has been really hard for me. Like I mention, I work remotely and so my office is in another town a hour from here. So no work friends I can just pop in on. And since I've been busy working and then being Dad, and I'm naturally a bit shy, making friends has been rough as hell. I know it's early though, and I just have to keep plugging away. I did get invited to a birthday party for a lady that befriended me at the gym. So it's not totally hopeless. It just feels that way from time to time.

MNDad posted 7/28/2020 10:56 AM

I'm slammed at work so just have a quick second but I wanted to say that I hear you and I can definitely identify with those feelings at first - my ex was out fucking half the town and then had a girlfriend before we even filed, and I was drinking alone at the house at first. Eventually I got my footing. But tbh even drinking alone and watching Netflix with the cat was an improvement over being gaslit and verbally abused so there is that.
I ended up reconnecting with old friends and making new ones. It took time. I'm much happier now, and I think you will be too. Big hugs to you, this ain't easy.

Thank you, it's nice to hear from folks that have made it out the other side of this mess. I know I'll get there eventually, but some days I just wonder what the hell...

Thumos posted 7/28/2020 11:11 AM

My two cents for what it's worth: Lay off the sauce. Cocktails are fun, so I'm not saying don't enjoy them.

But do an experiment where you don't drink for a week. Then extend it another week. See how you feel. Alcohol is a depressant and interferes with sleep, metabolism, your brain, and your organs like heart, kidney and liver.

At some point, you might also try in a social setting not drinking and just relating to women that way. Especially if you are asking one out or flirting. See if you can do without liquid courage. I bet you can.

I was never a heavy drinker before my WW's affair. I never drank to the point of being pass out drunk, or even sloppy, but the past few years I drank MUCH heavier than I ever had before. Again, not sloppy drunk. But inebriated many evenings.

And I drank the hard stuff, which is also something I'd never really done much before. I became a bourbon afficianado, whereas whiskey or bourbon had barely touched my lips in the years previous. I finally concluded last year that booze was a crutch for me and that I was self medicating and I cut waaaay back.

Great decision.

Here's something else I want to say: Practice solitude. Practice being alone and enjoying being with yourself. You're stronger than you think you are. I'll probably get in a bit of trouble for saying this, but I really think men are better at this. That's why hermits and mountain men are primarily a masculine phenomenon.

One thing that has helped me the past 3.5 years is that I travel for work a lot. And for a week or more at a time on a business trip, I've had to be alone in a hotel room or Airbnb somewhere. Late last year, I was away from home for more than two weeks. I didn't realize until recently this was a bit like a dress rehearsal.

Now, granted, I had two advantages in this: After the little sojourns I could always return home. And during the business trips, I was surrounded by colleagues and activity, sort of a built-in social life.

However the most interesting part of this experience over time has been how very little it bothered me to be away from my WW. I didn't miss her, and it gradually dawned on me this was because my feelings for her had diminished so much after D-Day and her behaviors and words in the months and years following D-Day.

I now know that separating from her won't cause me a tremendous load of grief because I've spent the past 3.5 years grieving. I will miss my children, but we'll be working out 50/50 custody so I will see them all the time.

Other than that, I am comfortable being alone and even enjoy it.

[This message edited by Thumos at 11:19 AM, July 28th (Tuesday)]

Thumos posted 7/28/2020 11:18 AM

Read The Way of the Superior Man.

It's for men of all ages.

Some of it might come across as a little cornball New Agey, but just read it and think about what he's really trying to say and really asking you to do.

It's a very short book.

MNDad posted 7/28/2020 11:20 AM

But do an experiment where you don't drink for a week. Then extend it another week. See how you feel. Alcohol is a depressant and interferes with sleep, metabolism, your brain, and your organs like heart, kidney and liver.

At some point, you might also try in a social setting not drinking and just relating to women that way. Especially if you are asking one out or flirting. See if you can do without liquid courage. I bet you can.

It's certainly food for thought. I've noticed I've also become a bit of a bourbon expert. That really wasn't the case when I was married. I haven't had a drink since last Thurs, so I'll just continue doing that the rest of the week and see how it goes.

Here's something else I want to say: Practice solitude. Practice being alone and enjoying being with yourself. You're stronger than you think you are. I'll probably get in a bit of trouble for saying this, but I really think men are better at this. That's why hermits and mountain men are primarily a masculine phenomenon.

I'm admittedly terrible at this. I'm not sure what it is, but when I'm here in my place alone, it's like I can't figure out what to do with myself and I end up with all this pent up energy. I'm able to release it by hitting the gym, and I don't mind doing that, but sometimes it's just this feeling of all I do when I'm alone is work and gym, work and gym. I mean, that's great in a way because for so many years I was a couch potato. My body thanks me for getting things in order. But on the other hand...it's a bit empty too. I do read a lot of stuff online, so it's not like I'm just alternating between sitting at work and then lifting heavy objects at the gym, but I'm still trying to round out the rest of what makes me tick.

I know I enjoy a lot of things, it's just trying to transition them to a hobby. That's been the hard part. I've only been living alone now for about a month and a week. I guess I'm just impatient.

MNDad posted 7/28/2020 11:22 AM

Read The Way of the Superior Man.
It's for men of all ages.

Some of it might come across as a little cornball New Agey, but just read it and think about what he's really trying to say and really asking you to do.

It's a very short book.

Thanks, I just checked it out from my local library (ebook version). I'll check it out!

Thumos posted 7/28/2020 11:27 AM

when I'm here in my place alone, it's like I can't figure out what to do with myself and I end up with all this pent up energy.

Then go do stuff.

Take short road trips. Check out the best "triple D" dining experiences that with in a few hours drive of where you live. It's all listed online.

Take up rock climbing.

Start drawing or take up a musical instrument.

There's a lot you can do with all that pent up energy.

Spending time in the iron temple lifting is vital and crucial. Keep doing that.

FaithFool posted 7/28/2020 13:14 PM

22 years here as well, and an unknown body count.

Dude, you're only just out of the gate here, not gonna lie, this is going to take some time. The first year sucked. Years 2 and 3 sucked even harder.

I switched to boxed wine at some point, while also doing three really strenuous yoga classes a week.

My mom died.

I drank with the new age philosophers - Pema Chodron, Eckhardt Tolle, downloaded a shitload of meditation music including Ravi Shankar's endless droning sitar meditations.

For comfort I revisited Steinbeck 'Travels with Charlie' - if you haven't read that one, get it, it's awesome.

I moved several times after selling the House of Pain before finding my dream rental in a beautiful vintage mansion in the best neighbourhood. Planning on buying a house with a friend on the east coast next year when they let us out again.

My x, who could never handle being alone for five minutes, trolled endlessly for more strange and wound up getting involved with the kink and polyamory crowd. Ran into him a few years back and he was crying to me about how he even fucked that up with lying and shit. Damn, I'm SO happy not to be chained to that trainwreck anymore!

I'm 12 years down the road now and retired. I fly solo by choice. Went back to school, got an MA for the hell of it, put out a CD of original tunes and started playing live again, something I used to do full time back in the day. What a blast! Made a bunch of new younger friends who keep me on my toes.

Would I like to have a playmate? Sure. Has one dropped into my lap? Nope. Am I OK with that? Sure am. Because I've fallen in love with the one person on the planet who'll never let me down.

Alcohol - yeah, I've dialled that down to the point where abstinence is my default, but I'll have a few in social situations. Weed is legal where I am and hallelujah for that!

I tossed the laundry off my weight bench and have been kicking ass and taking names in that department. Biking is my cardio and it gets me out into the world in a beautiful way. Ultimate social distancing exercise.

You'll figure this out but there'll be days that suck. The trick is to sit with it and process the feels before letting them go.

There really is no way out but through.

[This message edited by FaithFool at 1:16 PM, July 28th (Tuesday)]

DevastatedDee posted 7/28/2020 13:36 PM

Here's something else I want to say: Practice solitude. Practice being alone and enjoying being with yourself. You're stronger than you think you are. I'll probably get in a bit of trouble for saying this, but I really think men are better at this. That's why hermits and mountain men are primarily a masculine phenomenon.

Lord have mercy, you and RIO have me regularly questioning my gender identity, lol.

Regardless, this is good advice. It comes naturally to me and is probably why I didn't have as hard a time when I left. It's a superpower if you can develop it. You cannot fuck with someone who isn't afraid to be alone. Learn to be alone and revel in it, if you can. If you like dogs and don't have one, this may be a good time to get a furry friend for company. You won't be without love if you have a dog.

[This message edited by DevastatedDee at 1:36 PM, July 28th (Tuesday)]

Thumos posted 7/28/2020 13:50 PM

I work remotely and so my office is in another town a hour from here. So no work friends I can just pop in on.

I also work remotely and have for years. Go to a coffee shop, although that's harder to do right now with the social distancing.

MNDad posted 7/28/2020 13:59 PM

I also work remotely and have for years. Go to a coffee shop, although that's harder to do right now with the social distancing.

I like this idea. I've never really thought of that before. Would def be a change of pace for me in a good way. Thanks!

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