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Contact with the WS after D

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Jehuretired posted 4/12/2021 12:50 PM

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

This ^^^^^. Sorry, but I did this over and over with my first husband. I nearly had a nervous breakdown before I had the courage to stop and go NC for MY sanity. If you are certain you are done here, then a clean break will hurt once and done.

BetrayedGamer posted 4/12/2021 14:00 PM

To josiep and others,

I have no f&&#$# clue how I am going to feel on May 2 (assuming she's all moved out as planned), what I'm calling H-D1 (healing day 1). Will I be relieved and have my energy level back? Will the anger and hate finally surface fully? Or will I be crushed by loneliness and sense of permanence, ending up a crying meatbag on the floor all day? I don't even know how I'm going to feel a couple hours from now. So I really am not in any position to respond to every piece of advice as right or what I'm going to do. I do read every response and take them to heart. I respond with my feelings at that moment, I'm not and can't be in too much of a planning stage right now.

I do know I intend on that day to put her out of my mind. I intend to rebuild the nest so to speak, move some furniture around, make some space for my brother to move in, make the place look like mine. I just can't promise that's how it will go down on day 1, 10, 30. Too distracted with the current issues, spending the last few days seeing the SD, worrying about running into the FiL this weekend, etc. Yes I'm expecting to have NC when she's gone, but I'm not going to focus on that, I'm hoping to not focus on her at all.

[This message edited by BetrayedGamer at 2:02 PM, April 12th (Monday)]

Phoenix1 posted 4/12/2021 16:07 PM

Yes I'm expecting to have NC when she's gone, but I'm not going to focus on that, I'm hoping to not focus on her at all.

Change your thinking. Focusing on NC is not focusing on her. It is focusing on you and your path to healing.

None of this is easy, and you can expect the rollercoaster of emotions to continue until you emotionally detach. There is a reason we say it takes 2-5 years to heal. It's different for everyone, and you are going to slip here and there. It's normal. We've all been there. When it happens, recognize it for what it is and climb right back on the NC horse.

Yes, she is likely bad-mouthing you to everyone in her circle. Expect it. You can't control anyone else, only your reaction to them. If someone relays any lies directly to you, respond with the truth (calmly and civilly). Blood is thicker than water, and your FIL is likely going to believe whatever his daughter says. Be occupied doing something else when he comes over if you think there might be conflict.

Keep the focus where it belongs. On you.

josiep posted 4/13/2021 12:46 PM

My heart is breaking for you and I wish I could do something to help.

Listen, you are not going to get over this easily. You are much too good of a person - you would never have treated another person the way she has so it has rocked your world and turned your life upside down. The betrayal is beyond comprehension and for people like you who would never dream of behaving that way, it hurts even more deeply. I get it, believe me, I get it. And please understand that my words are only to help spare you some of the pain.

You said you aren't in the planning stages but in a sense, thinking about how you'll act and what you'll do when your FIL comes over is planning. And that's what we're trying to help you get away from because that's a painful way to live. It's your house and if you want to lay naked on the sofa all day, you are allowed to. Not that you'd do that, I was just throwing out an extreme and absurd example to illustrate that you have the right to do whatever you want to.

Please don't be afraid to see your FIL. When he arrives, stick your hand out and say "Hi FIL, I've always been so glad to see you and never imagined the day would come that it would feel so awkward. Would you prefer I stay out of the way today or would you like me to give you a hand?" Or words to that effect. Chances are he knows the truth because she did it before but he's her Dad so he has to be on her side, so to speak. But that doesn't mean he'll necessarily act ugly toward you. Then, go from there. If he's warm and kind, maybe you can end up enjoying the day and getting to say a fond farewell. If he's a jerk about it, get in your car and go somewhere with your dogs. But the point is, you get to hold your head up high and just face it head on and then deal with whatever happens. I suspect it'll all be OK. But regardless of how it goes, in a few short weeks, he won't be in your life anymore so it won't matter.

And anyone who would believe crap stories about you isn't someone you should keep in your life so don't worry about what she tells people. You know the truth and your good friends and family know the truth about what kind of person you are and they're the only ones who matter.

BTW, I'm 4 yrs. out. For the first 2 years, I could barely compose a sentence and I hid in my house. Year 3 I honestly don't remember much about but the pain wasn't consuming me like it had been. And Year 4 I can begin to feel a bit of healing starting to take place. But the biggest change I've made in my life is not caring so much about what other people think about me. Here's who I am - don't like me? Then bugger off. So if you don't like what I say, tell me to bugger off. It's OK, I promise it's OK. :)

josiep posted 4/13/2021 12:52 PM

Hey, here's an exercise for you.

Sit down with a notebook or an online questionnaire and write down all your favorite things.

What do you like to do with your free time?
What's your favorite color? Sports team? College team? TV show? Movie? Rock Band? Country Music?

If you're like me, I had a hard time answering those questions because I rarely thought about myself or what I wanted. It was a wakeup call for me, big time.

Then maybe make a Bucket List for yourself. Where do you want to visit in the next 10 years? What new things do you want to try? ( sky diving? parasailing? wood carving? tai kwon do?) Do you like your job? Your career path? If not, what can you do to change?

Do you have a garden? I've been growing lettuce and beets and tomatoes on my patio (I live in FLA) and it's just been so much fun.

Anyway, that's the kind of stuff you can steer your brain toward in the coming weeks.

BetrayedGamer posted 4/13/2021 15:24 PM

FiL and I had a good relationship. He reminds me so much of my Grandfather...strong, silent, superpowered handyman skills, always kind. He really did become a 2nd dad for me.

Is it bad I'm ashamed to see him? I know I haven't done anything to feel shame, but I don't know what's in his head that she's planted there. I know he won't be a jerk (not in his nature) but I read eyes and body language very well, I'll know if he's upset with me.

Also, the MiL may show up on MO-D. She's the complete opposite...blunt, no filter, overbearing. However I did have a good relationship with her. If anyone could be sympathetic it would be her. But she's just as likely to bite my head off. MO-D I'll be in my room with the door closed anyways so should be able to avoid her.

Charity411 posted 4/14/2021 10:05 AM

I think it's important to keep your step daughter separate from you ex when making choices about what to do. She's 14, which a really sensitive age. Don't lump her in with her mom and assume she hates you. At that age they want to become their own person, and they resent it when you do that.

In my experience with my own daughter, she needs to know her only value was not just being your wife's child. She wants to be loved for herself. She doesn't want to feel expendable. Find a way to keep contact that doesn't involve your WW.

So if the dogs are a good way to express that, go for it and don't involve your ex. Don't wait for the DSD to contact you about it. See if you can make a standing dog hike a few times a month and honor it no matter what. She is the collateral damage of your ex's actions. Feeling valued by you will mean a lot to her. A male role model she can count on will help her through the damage her mom has done. But whatever you do, do not bad mouth her mom to her. I guarantee you she does not want to be in the middle.

BetrayedGamer posted 4/18/2021 14:38 PM

Update on the FiL.

So he did come by on Sat to pick up some stuff, radio equipment as he is a HAM (amateur radio operator). STBXWW and I both got our licenses shortly after the wedding. We had an antenna set up here for a base unit. I borrowed a ladder and took it down, placing it in the garage so FiL could easily load it into his truck. I didn't have to do that, but he's in his 80s and I didn't want him to climb a ladder, or carry the thing from the backyard. I waited in my room while the FiL and MiL were here, neither came up.

However he did text me a thank you, and we talked a bit over texts that he would stay in touch and help me with any radio questions or issues (he left me one hand held radio). It felt really good that, whatever he was fed from the STBXWW, he still wants to keep contact with me due to a shared hobby.

grubs posted 4/18/2021 17:18 PM

It's not surprising that the FiL wasn't buying stbexww's pitch. He's known her much longer than you and is used to her pitches. You've been in her families lives long enough for them to get an independent reading on who you are. Any sudden shift in reality that doesn't match your behavior isn't going to fly. I would keep the distance though for your own sanity.

BetrayedGamer posted 4/21/2021 03:19 AM

Well, things took a strange turn over this last week. I've also completely gone opposite most of the advice here, although I can sort of explain why (on the bottom).

So on Fri she had the day off, so we sat down to go over the final divorce paperwork. I was nervous about that day as I set the "deal" up so I'm pretty much protected, and probably getting the better deal. Worked it out so I'd keep the house, we'd agree to do a quit claim deed in the future, we'd keep all our own debts (I get the worse end of that by keeping the home equity loan) and then all I'd owe her is 105k for the remaining equity. I'd pay that out of my retirement, but she'd agree not to touch any further retirement accounts, and I'd agree not to go after income disparity (which would have gone in my favor). I do end up with the better deal as I'm keeping a home with a ton of equity and low payments in a neighborhood that averages much higher than what I'm paying now. She agreed and signed everything without any fuss.

So in passing I happened to mention how long it took me to do all the paperwork, looking up all the accounts, printing, driving to the court, etc. that it's been 6+ hours of my time. She offered to buy me dinner that night while she's out running errands with the SD. After we finished the paperwork, before I left to the courthouse, she brings up this big conversation about remaining friends. I reluctantly agreed, although when I said, "the affair makes it hard for me to make any promised" she absolutely freaked out and said I shouldn't call it that. Then she didn't want to talk about it anymore.

Anyways after the court trip (and her running errands and picking up dinner for all of us) we ended up having a "normal" family night, sitting down for dinner together and watching the latest episode of Falcon & Winter Soldier, as we were all caught up watching the previous episodes separately. It was weird, and bittersweet, to have a moment like that.

This "friend-fest" feeling between the two of us carries over into Sunday. SD ends up leaving to the bio-dad later that day. She has Monday off, so we end up having a game night, playing a card game we've played a lot together. Some bottles of wine and snacks get opened, and we're laughing and joking together like nothing is wrong. Both a little drunk (she more than me) and the conversation goes into keeping contact with people in her family, mainly keeping a relationship going with the SD. Then she brings up "gaming" together in the future, that's when I bring up the "affair" again and how that is sort of in the way of us being gaming buddies. Then all hell breaks loose.

For the next 2 1/2 hours we have THE conflict conversation. I'm crying a little, she's balling pretty much through the whole conversation. She's pretty much backed into a corner and I explain I know for a fact the affair was going on since Jan. She starts confessing she hates how much she hurt me, but that her and this guy have a "special connection". She agrees to answer any question I have and be completely honest. So I find out, she decided the marriage was over end of Jan, well into the online affair. She hasn't told anyone about her relationship with this guy, other than the SD. She doesn't have as many people "on her side" as I imagined, especially the MiL and FiL. I guess the MiL said some things to her that got her upset. As I've already had the FiL extend an offer to keep in contact, I feel as if I'm winning on that front.

So yeah I'm totally playing this wrong by going along with the "friendship" angle, but I have a couple of reasons for it, at least in my mind now. First off, it's a bit of an emotional tradeoff. I know I'm trading a few moments of pretending things are "normal" and enjoying her company for more pain down the road. But honestly this last month with her in the house has been such torture that I'm willing to make that trade a couple of times. The 2nd thing is that I feel as if I'm building up guilt-equity. The more I get her to enjoy being around me, the more I make her laugh and smile, I think the worse her guilt is going to be down the road. I know that really doesn't mean much in the grand scale of things, but I feel better about it. I feel like the more I am noble and kind, the more I show she's making a mistake...not because I'm hoping for R because that's pretty much impossible atm...but because I feel better making that case anyways.

I know I'm going to get posts telling me I'm doing everything all wrong, but I don't really care. I'm feeling better about the position I've put myself in now. Perhaps next month I'll feel the opposite. I'm back to the ignoring/avoiding her mode, and I suspect it will be like this going into the last week (next week) before move-out day. But I don't dread any more days leading up to May 2nd, these final days are just distraction days for me now. What I'm dreading is May 2nd, my first day in the house with her permanently gone. I'm both excited about the prospect but also worried I'm going to take an emotional turn for the worse.

Marz posted 4/21/2021 03:39 AM

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.

Typical blame shifting. Part of the cheater script.

Why would you keep your life tied to this?

Thereís a huge difference between taking the high road and being walked on.

[This message edited by Marz at 3:39 AM, April 21st (Wednesday)]

grubs posted 4/21/2021 05:42 AM

Nothing extremely surprising there. She can't very well talk to friends and family about the soulmate thay she's found online, that she's never met, and that is extremely younger. Even in the fog she knows that's not going to go well. She is likely pitching a fell out of love story which is not going to ring true. By keeping it a secret she hides her straying and the story that they met after D will be pitched.
While the 180 and detaching is for your protection, it also cleanly starts to detach you from her life. She's starting to see what that means. Of course she wants to be friends. Most WS do. That allows them to keep the best of both worlds. All the positives go to her to your detriment. Like the one signature says, don't light yourself on fire to keep her warm. Just by detach and move on. she's going to end up with plenty of guilt when her fantasy crashes down around her. By all means continue the relationship with the SD and fil. Your stbx doesn't need to included for that to happen. Her inclusion will only slow your healing.

BetrayedGamer posted 4/22/2021 22:32 PM

Things have been slightly better since we had the big "talk" the other night. Since she knows I know just about everything from the A, and I've pretty much exposed her gaslighting (as well as her admitting it hasn't worked on everyone), it's almost like the tension between us has lifted a bit. As I've said in other posts this is not a natural state for her, I think it stresses her out to be the sneaky and underhanded one. She's also not very good at it (I've found out all sorts of things she didn't want me to find out, a lot of which she doesn't know how I did it).

It's funny, ironic, that I know more about her affair than anyone else (except maybe the SD who's she's been completely open about the affair with...what great parenting). So it's entertaining to think she's going to continue to be hiding it from other people well after she's gone from my life. The fact that the MiL is not happy with the D is another satisfaction to me, because I won't hear about it from her in the future, the STBXWW will.

She's put a lot of effort into being nice and being friends. I go with the flow, giving her advice on the upcoming move, talk to her about stuff, basically in a not giving two Fs mood about it. I'm still in the middle of deep depression, dreading the first week alone (not so much being "alone" but how my emotions will rollercoaster) but all I show to her now is I don't care, don't let the door hit you on the way out.

messyleslie posted 4/23/2021 00:44 AM

Every once in while my ex tries to engage me in some sort of discussion about our marriage or the affair or whatever. I have participated a couple of times and it does nothing but make me angry. I believe nothing he says so nothing he could say would make me feel any more closure or anything and I don't want to spend any more of my time getting upset over it all, I just feel tired of it. It won't change what happened, nor will it change that divorce was the outcome.

I'm not interested in hearing any more apologies or explanations - at this point they only serve to make him feel better about it all. He is trying to make himself feel like he is taking responsibility and making amends or whatever. And honestly - no. You broke it, now you have to live with the shattered marriage at your feet forever - you don't get to pretend to fix it and pretend that we are okay.

My mom used to tell me that I just needed to get mad. I think for so long my anger turned into bargaining. I would be sooooo hurt and soooo mad and I would convince myself that if x y z happened then it would be okay - and I probably did this after our divorce too. That if he got healthy, and was able to be supportive that I would have a friendly relationship with him and we would be the type of exes that went out to dinner and celebrated holidays together. And maybe that will be true in the future, but at some point my anger just turned into disinterest in spending any more energy on the relationship.

I'm sorry you are going through this. Its such a roller coaster.

BetrayedGamer posted 4/23/2021 13:05 PM

I know that, by playing with the fire of doing "friendship" things now, all I'm doing is burying the anger and resentment for a later date. I think those will surface the days after she moves out. Whether those feelings evolve into disinterest I'm not sure, but probably.

I do feel that I'm in control now. There's no more secrets, nothing more she can do to damage me that hasn't already been done. I also feel that I'm creating a wedge...during the "talk" there came up an implied question about possibly overlapping lives (me and the AP) down the road. She didn't really say it but it was implied by another question. I told her that's the elephant in the room, that friendship is fine but it stops where he starts. I don't expect an ultimatum like that to fix anything now, but I think it creates a wedge, where any growth (which is already unlikely) with the AP will sacrifice any friendship with me. It feels like a win-win to me, it can push her out of her fantasy world, or it can push me into more of a NC role. I don't really care either way, which is a nice place to be.

HalfTime2017 posted 4/26/2021 14:47 PM

BG - gently 2X4

I think you still have some sort of hope that one day, she realizes what she did, messed up, and comes crawling back to you. That is the way it reads from your writing. All the hand wringing with the WW, time spent with the SD, and talks of the dogs.

You can wish, work your agenda and all the family angles and hope all you want. Those things may or may not turn out the way you want. Maybe the WW learns soon after move out date that the online BF is a fake, but all those things are keeping you in a mess and depressive state.

What happens to your depression if she suddenly tells you that they are going to move in together, or get engaged? YOu are working an angle that no one suggest. You are still hoping that she will eventually learn from all the goodness that you provide and all of a sudden changes to some remorseful being begging you to return. That's not going to happen and even if it does, what does that say about you? You have some codependency issues that you need to address.

She has already made up in her mind that it wasn't an affair. How dare you call it that. What happens if she does come back and says that you cannot talk about her affair and you cannot call it that. Is that enough for you? That's some serious mental gymnastics that you have to do to live with this shit.

Work on yourself. Work on your dependency issues. That is what's healthy. Stop worrying about their dogs, her SD. YOu will be healthy and will find love again, just like anyone does after a D, if they really want to. The important part of it all is to find it when you are healthy in mind and body. Right now, you're not healthy in mind.

Stop trying to do things that will make her realize what she's missing. Stop trying to control the outcome. Move yourself ahead and get mentally healthy. She may never admit to the wrong. NEVER. Where will that leave you?

grubs posted 4/26/2021 16:01 PM

I think you still have some sort of hope that one day, she realizes what she did, messed up, and comes crawling back to you.

BG, Along those lines, her purchasing a house is a pretty final statement of where she is mentally. She sees no chance for you as a couple. There's not much room for a whoopsie in that.

BetrayedGamer posted 4/26/2021 16:16 PM

It's not really about a focus on R or the potential for R. I really don't know how I'd feel if that option was even brought up in the future.

I've been ugly in breakups before. At best, I didn't feel any better, at worst I actually burned a bridge that didn't need to be burned. I can't focus on me when she's here in the house (less than a week left) and the A is still under my nose. So I accepted her attempts at friendship. I'm presenting the best me possible, because I feel better when I do that. If that adds to her guilt down the road, so be it. During the two heart to heart talks we've had, I ended up admitting to some snooping that I did. Explained to her what I read, the dates on the messages, blowing her "not an affair" argument right out of the water. The other thing I did is put up boundaries. When I'm exposed to the AP I'll pull away. A FB status and FB goes away, bring him up on a phone call and the phone calls go away. If anything I'm trying to set up NC in the future as an organic thing, not a "petty revenge" thing, although I realize I'm completely justified there as well.

May 2nd comes and I'm not thinking about her anymore. Will be focusing on re-nesting in the house, maybe even some OLD. If she initiates friendship things, I'll go along until I don't feel like going along. Any pain happens then I pull away. I could very well end up months from now dating again and completely uninspired to have any C with her. But I'm more comfortable letting it play out than planning a whole NC campaign against her.

BearlyBreathing posted 4/26/2021 16:30 PM

I get playing nice until the formal S/D. sometimes you donít want to poke the hornetís nest and you want to play to their sense of fairness.

But once you are D/S, you are just picking at the scab whenever you communicate with her. Itís not a campaign of NC. Itís owning your own healing. Every engagement with her will be one more hit on the hopium pipe and one more scab ripped open. Itís weird at first, but NC gets you out of the HABIT of her. You are used to her. You need to get used to not communicating. It takes a little time, but you will find once you get to that place, healing accelerates.

Whatever you do, I wish you peace and serenity after May 1st!

BetrayedGamer posted 4/26/2021 19:35 PM

I get what you are saying BearlyBreathing. I feel like we're both on a goodbye tour right now. We've actually had better times over the last week and a half than we did over the whole pandemic (at least on a non-physical level...not sure if she'd ever do a FWB type thing). Two fridays of drinking and having fun with games. Also both nights ended with talks, more honesty than the last 7 years now that I think about it.

She mentioned she was stressed about moving out. Although that was obvious low hanging fruit I could have laid into her, all I said was, "your future is rainbows and unicorns, mine's a black cloud". Honestly though, I would not trade places with her for anything. I'm heading for guilt-free healing, financial security, new frontiers (although not my choice, I can still feel a bit excited about it). She's heading for loneliness, heartbreak, and tough financial times. I actually feel sorry for her, how messed up is that!

[This message edited by BetrayedGamer at 7:36 PM, April 26th (Monday)]

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