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Contact with the WS after D

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BetrayedGamer posted 4/10/2021 14:11 PM

This is a question of the peeps without biological children involved, which obviously creates the need for contact with the WS. I'm looking for opinions on whether contact with a WS is ok, or not healthy, and how others have handled it.

I've been thinking lately of what things will be like after the STBXWW's move out date (May 1st). Will she defriend me on FB (she hasn't yet)? Will she block my number? Will she send friendly texts or just delete my number? Also, I don't know what I want...I know I'll heal faster with NC.

Today the issue actually came up. The stepdaughter just had to put down a sick dog at the other household, and they already put another dog down earlier in the year. She's upset that her life is going from 6 dogs at the beginning of the year down to 2 (2 put down, 2 staying with me). So we had a conversation about them being able to borrow the dogs on occasion. It's a good reason to keep contact IMO. I just don't know how it will affect me.

BearlyBreathing posted 4/10/2021 15:47 PM

I donít have kids but my ex and I still co-own a piece of property from when our house burned down, so there is very limited amount of communication. We keep it VERY business like - polite but not friendly. When we split, I took our cat. When the cat became ill I let him know so he could say goodbye to her.

I donít really regret it, but it also did me no good. He did not react as quickly as I wanted (although to be fair he showed up and supported my decision to put her down and stayed beside me while she died). But it mostly made me sadder that we had had so much together but he threw it away. And I realized we are not friends. I donít have him blocked (due to the property and a lawsuit we are part of, we have business to conduct) but I am looking forward no longer having anything to do with him. Distance is so important to healing. And you should block her on Social Media. No good can come of seeing any of that.

Any interaction I had with him when we were closer to our S/D just caused me either pain or felt like a hit on the hopium pipe. It was NOT healthy for me. So maybe keep a relationship with your step daughter but limit anything with the STBXWW. NC really is a magical thing once you break the habit of being in touch with them.

How old is the DSD?

phmh posted 4/10/2021 17:24 PM

NC (no contact) is absolutely the best way for you to really move on and start a new life.

Keeping contact with her is just a way to stay stuck in the past and unavailable to a future partner. Maybe, in 5 or so years when you're truly to indifference, you could start a friendship again, but at that point you probably won't want to.

When we were divorcing, my WXH was envisioning a future where we'd get together for dinner parties, like in the show Californication (which he was watching at the time.)

I am so glad I said no. He did contact me for a while after the divorce asking for naked pictures, but I told him he needed to stop and he eventually did.

I'm healed and indifferent now, in large part because I was able to fully heal because the wounds were not constantly being ripped open by contact.

When people mention him now or I tell stories, I think of him only with pity and disbelief that I was ever married to him. My life is immeasurably better now. And I have standards for the quality of friends that I have. He falls miserably short. Would not add anything to my life.

Really think about how this impacts you. Don't give up your future happiness in order to assuage her guilt; so she can point to your friendship as proof that what she did really wasn't all that bad.

BetrayedGamer posted 4/10/2021 18:10 PM

Stepdaughter is 14. We went on a long walk with the dogs today, this will be her last weekend at the house (going to be with bio dad next 2). Didn't want the walk to end, knowing it was going to be my last time with her.

I did say to her I was sorry for whatever I did to make them hate me. She was quick to say she doesn't hate me. I let her know she is always welcome to come over and play with the dogs, she can take the bus from her HS next year and see her bestie, who is a block from me. Also now the STBXWW wants to be able to borrow the dogs for a weekend on occasions.

The entire rest of the day STBXWW treated me like her best friend again, showing me pictures of the new house, talking about her work, new Marvel shows, everything we used to talk about before this all happened. I don't know how to take it, however I am not taking it as any malicious intent, she simply isn't that clever. I do think she fully intends to stay friends after she moves out, and I'm not sure how I want to handle that. I really don't think I can make a decision on it until she's gone and I have time to process it.

messyleslie posted 4/11/2021 00:50 AM

If I didnít have kids with my ex I would not ever talk to him again.

There is a line in a song that goes ďI can feel you smoothing me overĒ and then later ďIím just a wrinkle in your new life, staying friends would iron it out so niceĒ and that is exactly how I feel about it.

I donít want my ex to ever feel like he gets the privilege of having a relationship with me. If I was friends with him he would be able to tell himself that we are okay and that Iím over it. And I donít ever want to give him that.

I want to get to the indifference point, but Iím not there yet. But when I am, why would I ever spend any of my precious energy and time with some one who hurt me so badly and who had such low integrity. I have high standards for friends and he would not make the cut.

And he will never get to walk around thinking he did a bad thing but now we are cool.
No thanks.

Marz posted 4/11/2021 06:12 AM

Unless you want to stay tied up in this no contact is your best path.

This should be your choice not hers.

Karmafan posted 4/11/2021 08:34 AM

I let her know she is always welcome to come over and play with the dogs, she can take the bus from her HS next year and see her bestie, who is a block from me

I think itís lovely that you did that. You are obviously very fond of her, and it must have been excruciating to know it was your last walk together. But she is 14 and can make up her own mind, so I hope for you that she will want to keep in touch.

With your STBXWW on the other hand, you need to go NC. Itís brutal I know, but itís the only way. The push/pull dynamic will only harm you BG. Itís easy for her to be friendly now because she has fundamentally checked out and is in a much better place mentally. But donít be fooled and mistake it for something else.

You said it yourself, your true healing will only start the day she moves out. For that to be true, you need to remove her from your life. Thereís truly nothing she can add to it.

travels posted 4/11/2021 08:46 AM

Going NC was the best decision I have ever made.
You do have trickier situation with your stepdaughter, though. Do you want to remain in her life, and she in your life?
If so, some contact will be needed with her mom for a few more years.

NC helped me move on and stop thinking about him.

Anna123 posted 4/11/2021 09:27 AM

.I know I'll heal faster with NC.

Not just faster. You will heal fully. Keeping in touch with cheater is like keeping in touch with a zombi. IMHO, no dog borrowing either.

You let the 14 year old know she can visit, that was perfect.

BetrayedGamer posted 4/11/2021 10:44 AM

Damn I know you all are right.

It just feels good to be around her when she's "normal", when she acts like she did before D-day. When she reminds me of the W I was in love with.

I also can't understand why I'm so terrified of MO-day (move out day). I know it will be the start of the healing when she's gone, but I guess thinking it will be the last day I see her...I don't know, it's so confusing.

josiep posted 4/11/2021 10:59 AM

Bluntly, it is none of your concern what she does after the move is final. She doesn't care a whit about you. You owe her nothing.

Your offer of the dogs was very kind. Why are you being kind to her? Are you hoping deep down that she'll change her mind? Are you trying to control how she views you or what she says about you? That's a recipe for disaster and the only way to avoid it all is NC. Total and complete.

You also went from having 6 dogs to 2. Did anyone shed a tear for your loss? Did she offer to let you see the 2 that she's taking?

I'm really sorry to be so blunt but she's playing you, knowing you're a good person and using every trick in the Cheater 101 Handbook to come out of this smelling like a rose.

You won't be well until you view her as someone you used to know.

Your DSD has you number. She can contact you herself when she wants to see the dogs. Her desire to see the dogs will start to fade as she settles into her new life/house/routine. Do not take that personally - she's a teenager and just adapting to the changes that have been forced on her. But unless she expresses a desire to stay in touch with you, I think you must also let her go. FOR YOUR SAKE.

So, if you go NC, what will your life be like? Yes, you'll have a huge black hole facing you everyday. What are you planning to do to fill that black hole of sadness, anger, the sense of unfairness and the quiet of living alone? You should be figuring out how to fill that black hole, not worrying about your EX's desires, actions, thoughts or beliefs.

Ideas to get you started:
Remodel, paint, rearrange furniture
Take a course - work related or a new hobby.
Join a sports team.
Join a card club.
Join a church.
Join the VFW.
Start going to a new state park every weekend for a long walk with the dogs on new and exciting (for their scent) trails.
Volunteer at the Humane Society.

I'll be contacting you for a progress report next week.

And for heaven's sake, don't be home when she's there. Come home after work and get showered ad changed and head out. Go sit at McDonald's and drink coffee but get out of that house and do not tell her where you're going. Not one word. You are not friends. I don't want to use the word enemy but for lack of a good word to express the reality of the situation, she is essentially your enemy now.

crazyblindsided posted 4/11/2021 11:58 AM

I agree with those who say NC and block all social media. You will heal a lot faster that way rather than picking at the scab. Iím one who has to have contact because of kids but I would also not want to talk to him again. Everytime he contacts me it involves some sort of lashing out and blaming me. As someone else said maybe you can be friends years from now but I think it would be wise not to have the contact right now.

[This message edited by crazyblindsided at 4:18 PM, April 11th (Sunday)]

BetrayedGamer posted 4/11/2021 13:22 PM

So the lose of dogs from 6 to 2 is the DSD (2 at the other household passed, and my 2 healthy dogs which are staying with me).

I know the advice here is sound, I also know how I'm feeling. I don't think I'm going to commit to anything right now, just take things day by day until the MO-day.

Here's where I'm at...I feel as though if I take the high road, I don't deliberately go to NC and leave it to her to initiate, then maybe down the road she'll see the crap she put me through and maybe there will be a R someday. But I'm also not going to base my life on that either.

There is a lot to look forward to post MO-day (other than the obvious no more EA in my face). I get the bedroom and bed back. I get the living room back. I do plan on redoing/rearranging a lot of the furniture, as my brother will be moving in sometime next month. By splitting the bills we'll be living way below our means. I can't promise I'm going to have the "exercise and join lots of social groups" recovery, but I know recovery will happen at my own pace. I may not adopt NC right away, but I do intend to not be the initiator.

[This message edited by BetrayedGamer at 1:22 PM, April 11th (Sunday)]

Anna123 posted 4/11/2021 14:07 PM

It just feels good to be around her when she's "normal",

Yes that is normal. You are a good person that bonded to her. It is a tough process untangling. I remember it well. All of the texts I started to answer, then deleted, all of the times I wanted to share some little moment that he would have related to, some idea for our son etc. And I had to stifle it. I am glad I did.

It will be natural to want to communicate and it will be unnatural to have to stop yourself. Over time it will reverse. That seems like a sad thought now but it just won't matter anymore. Any time I was tempted to communicate or respond, I used to review the things my cheater did, the times he was cruel etc. to remind myself why I was not responding.

As far as move out day, go ahead and be sad. It marks the goodbye to plans, and a way you saw your life, (which is actually already out the door).

In the end it is a learning process, realizing they never bonded the way we did.

Phoenix1 posted 4/11/2021 22:25 PM

Xhole tried to stay in my life so much after the D that our oldest DD used to joke about it saying he and I were "biffles," as in BFFs. I had my reasons for being civil, but the reality was that he had ulterior motives. His last OW had dumped him and he needed a new financial host he could latch onto. IOW, he was simply biding his time, playing Mr. Nice Guy, hoping I would welcome him back. There was no way in hell that was going to happen, but he was pouring on the Prince Charming act hoping otherwise.

Finally, just as I predicted, as soon as he found a new victim that fell for his con job he miraculously dismissed me from his life (thank goodness, he's annoying). We now have NC (our kids are grown so no need) even though he lives five miles away with new wifey. The peace this NC has brought into my life has been wonderful. Who wants to be friends with someone who stabbed you in the back? Civil, sure. Friends, no way.

Make NC the goal, and beware of ulterior motives when the nice act is played. The step daughter knows how to reach you. I would nix the dog borrowing, if it was my decision, and let step daughter come over to visit them, if she wishes, and leave it at that.

grubs posted 4/11/2021 22:36 PM

The dog borrowings not going to be good for the dogs either. Go NC. Outside of the SD visits. Disconnect social media. Ignore any contact not D or SD related. Anything else allows her to cake eat and just hinders your recovery. Post divorce I've had fewer than 10 contacts with the ex for no personal reasons outside of the dogs passing on.

Cheatee posted 4/12/2021 08:06 AM

If there is a way to remain in contact with stepkids, everyone benefits.

But I found it extremely difficult to maintain any kind of contact with my ex. I would hope to have at least a civil relationship with my ex, since we have a daughter.

But she remains furious at me for selfishly focusing on my own pain, rather than on her "cry for help," as she refers to her affair.

Cheatee posted 4/12/2021 08:06 AM

If there is a way to remain in contact with stepkids, everyone benefits.

But I found it extremely difficult to maintain any kind of contact with my ex. I would hope to have at least a civil relationship with my ex, since we have a daughter.

But she remains furious at me for selfishly focusing on my own pain, rather than on her "cry for help," as she refers to her affair.

josiep posted 4/12/2021 11:04 AM

Here's where I'm at...I feel as though if I take the high road, I don't deliberately go to NC and leave it to her to initiate, then maybe down the road she'll see the crap she put me through and maybe there will be a R someday. But I'm also not going to base my life on that either.

You are not taking the high road. You are consciously planning out your actions because you have an ulterior motive. You want her to see you as a good guy and be sorry for what she put you through. That is not taking the high road, that's codependency 101 and it will not end well for you.

Every single moment you spend thinking about how she will perceive the words you utter or the actions you take, you are prolonging your pain and setting yourself up for disappointment.

I'll also go out on a limb here and say you have some trust issues. You don't trust the collective wisdom of the people here at S.I. Instead, you're going to keep doing the same old stuff and expecting a different result.

But I get it. I was you once upon a time. But I guarantee that if you do some reading in the Healing Library and maybe follow a few of the sagas stories from S.I. and watch the transformation of those who did ABC and ended up XYZ, perhaps you'll begin to believe.

For me, it was reading "Marriage on the Rocks" by Janet Woititz. I started sobbing halfway through the second chapter and felt like someone had cut my head open and was writing from the thoughts and memories in my own brain.That was in 1983 and I remember it like yesterday.

That said, I have one more observation. Actually, it's a rhetorical question. Can you explain why you come to S.I. and post about your situation and get so many wonderful replies from a variety of people (i.e., a smorgasbord that you can choose from because we know not everything suits your palate) and then just follow your own feelings? The feelings that haven't served you well to date? Are you hoping that one of us will encourage you to do as you have done and then you can glomb onto that answer like a guiding light? Oh, I get it. I do get it. We all get it.

Except you. Some of us are harder nuts to crack than others. And you'll have to do better than this to break my record. I stayed with my Rat Bastard for another 34 years.

BetrayedGamer posted 4/12/2021 11:05 AM

Oh man I wish I could relax with this shit...3 more weeks.

So I find out next Sat my FiL is coming over, to take the trailer and also take down some HAM radio equipment. He and I had a very good relationship, I did with both in-laws, mainly because both of my parents passed last decade.

Now a little bit about the STBXWW. She claims she's an introvert but when she gets talking about someone she likes or hate she turns full on pro salesperson. She is a very convincing and persuasive person when she wants to be. I know for the last 7 years hearing about her first Ex, I was convinced he was the devil incarnate. Although I've also met him a bunch of times and he really isn't nearly as bad as she made him out to be.

I know she's telling everyone stories about how horrible I am/have been. She's making her life out to be 7 years of misery, even though the "bad times" really only started about 6 months ago. She's so driven to cover up her own guilt that she's pilling on to no end.

The SD lives in the same house with me half the time, so she's seeing through it, and we had some great bonding time this weekend. The problem is the in-laws are just getting what the STBXWW is feeding them. I am torn what to do this weekend when the FiL shows up. I do want to say a goodbye but I wont be able to stand his glare if he looks at me like some monster. I'm thinking the best course of action would be to stay in my room, only engage if he asks to see me.

It's like it's not enough to blindside me with an EA and divorce, now all these connections I formed in the last 7 years are being severed/turned against me.

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