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Divorcing

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Unhinged posted 5/5/2021 10:40 AM

Divorce is on the horizon. I have very mixed feelings about this and, once again, I'm going back to therapy (something I should done a long time ago). There's a part of me that seems to instinctually rebel at the idea that my one and only marriage is coming to an end. On the other hand, there's a part of me that's quite relieved that this toxic marriage is finally ending.

One Saturday morning, hardly a couple of months past d-day, my STBXFWW (jezz) and I had a fight. I stormed out of the apartment, took a walk, and then found myself sitting on a park bench feeling as if I was having an out-of-body experience. By this point, I'd had enough of the blame-shifting, defensiveness, equivocations and all the rest of the shit storm. I wanted out.

And then I began to think about how this would impact my (then) four-year-old son. I was a stay-at-home-dad. I had dedicated my life to raising our son. I simply couldn't imagine blowing-up his little world. I couldn't imagine not seeing him every single day (okay, the occasional breaks were nice). I couldn't imagine navigating potential step-parents and holidays and all the rest of it. What really stopped me in my tracks, however, was that my wife was clearly falling apart and I had an obligation to ensure he'd be safe with her. I simply couldn't "pull the trigger."

That's not a solid foundation upon which to base reconciliation. Which was something SI members often pointed out to me, and each other, back in the day. Other members wrote that they knew they'd never feel the same about their WS and marriage and that letting go sooner rather than later would save everyone a lot of pain and trouble.

I don't regret trying to reconcile or having stayed married these past six years to a woman I knew I'd never completely love again. I hung on to whatever was there, whatever was left, whatever I could, and let myself sink into a depression that eventually drained joy out of me.
I've survived infidelity and I'm pretty sure I can survive divorce.

I have to admit, in many ways, I look forward to being free. Last summer, for no particular reason, I sent a text to an old SI friend I'd "met" many years ago when we both first joined SI. She tried reconciliation, too, until her XWH cheated again. Her replies were so rapid that I gave up trying to keep pace and called her instead. For the first time in over five years, this now XBW was happy. And I was jealous!

Anyway, here I am. Not really sure what I'm looking for, other than a few virtual hugs and more of that good ole fashioned SI wisdom.

Chili posted 5/5/2021 11:26 AM

Ah Unhinged - first off - "Crap." Not because you've moved towards the decision to divorce - but because this shit is just flat out hard. It will be a journey, but there's a ton of wise current and former travelers on a journey similar to yours here in D/S.

I do, however, think it's pretty wonderful you've really defined and recognized your own truth. I suspect that's what's so appealing about the idea of "being free" that you mention. Living an inauthentic life or just pretending at something is seriously sucky.

As one on the other side of D and NNB myself, I can tell you that it does mean everything to lead that authentic and genuine life. Of course that doesn't always = easy or carefree. In fact, the logistical challenges can be a real pain.

But it's pretty dang sweet when you go back to that park bench and take a seat. Instead of having out-of-body experiences (I remember those moments of disconnect) - it's like you're ultra present in reality.

Sorry - didn't mean to wax poetic.

You got this Unhinged. You are thoughtful and you are ready. Prepare for that roller coaster a little bit - it may hit you when you least expect it. We all have your back here on SI. Oh and here's one of those hug thingys:

(((Unhinged)))

(Keep posting.)

EllieKMAS posted 5/5/2021 11:34 AM

I've survived infidelity and I'm pretty sure I can survive divorce.
Yep you can and will survive divorce. The logistics of it and the process of it suck and it won't be easy for anyone, but once you get past the suck it isn't horrible.

I'll second what Chili says too - for me being divorced means getting to live authentically and having the freedom to make choices for my self and that is so very priceless and has profoundly changed my life for the better.

(((unhinged)))

You got this!

barcher144 posted 5/5/2021 12:54 PM

On the other hand, there's a part of me that's quite relieved that this toxic marriage is finally ending.


By this point, I'd had enough of the blame-shifting, defensiveness, equivocations and all the rest of the shit storm. I wanted out.

I've survived infidelity and I'm pretty sure I can survive divorce.

The great folks at SI are here to help, always.

Please be careful going down this path. I don't mean to avoid going down the path, just BE CAREFUL.

The person that you are describing in the first two quotes is likely to trigger a difficult divorce.

My best advice would be to start interviewing lawyers NOW (or yesterday) and get yourself a good one. Do not share any of this with STBXFWW... and then one day have her served.

Also, no contact is your friend. Go grey rock.

Phoenix1 posted 5/5/2021 12:58 PM

Going thru the D process sucks, but there IS laughter, sunshine, and fresh air on the other side. I hope, for your sake, your wife will be amicable throughout.

((Unhinged))

crazyblindsided posted 5/5/2021 13:04 PM

(((Unhinged)))

I've survived infidelity and I'm pretty sure I can survive divorce.

Yes you can! Sorry it has come to this but there is more on the horizon and a healthy and happy life ahead.

Karmafan posted 5/5/2021 14:32 PM

I don't regret trying to reconcile or having stayed married these past six years to a woman I knew I'd never completely love again. I hung on to whatever was there, whatever was left, whatever I could

D after R is hard: you feel as though you have failed at something you obviously believed in. But if you flip the coin, you can now move on knowing that you have done everything possible, gone as far as you could go. You truly got to the end of the line. Whatever comes next will feel like a natural progression from this point onwards.

Life without infidelity is raw and beautiful and precious. Everything takes on a new light, thereís joy to be found in the little things. You go back to being you, just an improved version. And you are, once more, the centre of your universe. And thatís priceless.

Good luck with your divorce and hopefully it will be as straightforward as it could be

(((())))


BearlyBreathing posted 5/5/2021 15:14 PM

Hi Unhinged. I know that to get to this decision, you walked across the hot coals. Yes, the process stinks. But there really is a different life on the side. When you wake up and realize you like yourself and you donít have to tiptoe around anyone else, when that gray cloud of suspicion disappears.

Get your ducks lined up, and best of luck through the process.

And of course (((unhinged))). Glad you are taking care of you.

Anna123 posted 5/5/2021 17:36 PM

Sorry the R didn't work out. You already know you will be fine, although it will be difficult.

After a little time you will be like your friend! Lighter, and knowing you took the steps you did to feel that you did all that was possible to save the marriage.

Take care.

rambler posted 5/5/2021 22:59 PM

Sorry to hear. Best wishes. You will surge and thrive.

jadedangel posted 5/5/2021 23:33 PM

When I went through my divorce, it wasn't really what I wanted...so I thought.

That was one of the few best gifts that my EXWH gave me.

Give yourself permission to grieve for your marriage if you feel so inclined but I think you will find the peace/relief once it is over the best gift to yourself too.

Good luck to you.

[This message edited by jadedangel at 11:33 PM, May 5th (Wednesday)]

stubbornft posted 5/6/2021 09:32 AM

I am sorry. Better days are ahead.

Bigger posted 5/6/2021 09:47 AM

I have often referred to the time I listened to Aron Ralston describe the process that made him accept and deal with self-amputating his left arm when stuck in a gully in Utah. It wasnít something he wanted to do, wasnít looking forwards to doing it and was hoping all the time that he wouldnít have to do it.
Ralston delayed his actions for as long as he could, yet he realized that he had to act while he still had the energy to do so. Had someone found him before he made the cut Iím fairly certain he would have pocketed the knife and waited for the tools needed to set him free Ė both arms attached.
But when push came to shove. When he had exhausted all his other options, he went ahead and did what he had to do. His desire to survive and live was greater than his desire to keep his arm.

Maybe Unhinged you have simply reached that point. It doesnít sound like you WISH for divorce. Iím getting a feeling that you would have preferred your STBFXWW (whew!) had fully committed to reconciliation the way so many WS here on SI have committed to reconciliation. But she didnít. You are still stuck in the gully with your arm pinned under a rock. You are now at the point where you realize you either act or something emotionally dies within.

Iím going to keep the message Aron Ramsey left in mind when I think of your situation. He doesnít regret cutting off his arm because that is what enabled him to live on. I suggest you consider the same attitude; at the moment D isnít necessarily what you want, but it definitely is what you need.

TwoDozen posted 5/6/2021 10:00 AM

So sorry to read your update unhinged

You helped me tremendously in my R journey as a voice of reason and it saddens me to read that R hasnít worked for you either.

Many of the things you mentioned above are the same feelings I have had in my relatively short 18 months since dday.

Wishing you strength for the journey ahead

TD

Bonetired posted 5/6/2021 10:20 AM

Just wanted to give you a hug and best wishes for a beautiful future (((Unhinged))).There is so much out there to discover.People waiting for you down the road to enter their lives.There is always a new surprise in a person's future they never knew could be possible.Like my father told me when I split from my husband."To the next adventure like a chapter in a good book.May it be a good one."

psychmom posted 5/8/2021 00:33 AM

((((Unhinged))))

We started this journey together, entering class of 2014. I have so many thoughts..... but none as important as simply telling you that you have always deserved the fairy tale ending. Iím so sorry that itís come to this.

Looks like the good folks on this forum will take good care of you, my friend. And maybe me, too, one day in the not so distant future.

demolishedinside posted 5/8/2021 06:49 AM

Unhinged,
When we all landed here, we knew our lives would never be the same. The way all of this changes us is something only those whoíve been through it understand. R is not an easy process. My therapist once told me that I would not have healed as quickly in D had I not stayed. I needed to know I had tried everything. You more than did that, friend. We came in here a mess, supported each other and many others. Now, you take your steps to get to peace. D sucks. We knew that, which is why we did all we could.

Now, you take the hard first steps. Once you get past the actual d, the real healing begins. You have many here to support you. You can and will not only survive but will find moments of joy on the other side. Iím sorry you are here, but you will be good again, friend. I know it.

Dem

Unhinged posted 5/8/2021 09:09 AM

Thanks for all the kinds words of support. SI never lets me down.

I hope, for your sake, your wife will be amicable throughout.
I feel confident that we will both be as amicable as possible. Of course, that's now. We'll see what happens as this all begins to play-out.

D after R is hard: you feel as though you have failed at something you obviously believed in.
Oh, I so truly wanted to believe it. My STBX did everything she could to make me believe in it, that she wanted me, wanted us. She had me convinced enough that when W2BHA encouraged (er hem) me to post in the PRS thread, I wrote about how far my wife had come and how hard she tried.

We never went to marriage counselling. At first, shortly after d-day, I absolutely refused. Once I'd felt we'd reconciled, however, I offered to go. Perhaps I could have scheduled a session myself. I don't know if that would have helped any (not all therapists are created equally). All I know is that I didn't try and that's on me.

I think we got married for the wrong reasons. A member here once wrote about "broken attracting broken." I think that's us.

Do I feel as if I failed? In some ways I do. I failed to accept that infidelity is something I could ever move past, get over, reconcile with for me.

I had my first experience with infidelity as a child. I'm pretty sure my father cheated on my mother was I about 10 years old. He will never discuss it with me because "it's very private," and my mother passed away many years ago. I do know that when they tried separating (I was about 15 or 16), and she moved out for a bit, he took full advantage of that opportunity. They finally got divorced after I graduated HS.

When I was 17, I was betrayed by my first love and one of my best friends. That, folks, left an indelible impression, a deeply ingrained tenet that infidelity is a deal-breaker, pure and simple, black and white, right and wrong.

I stayed for my son. That's the truth.

The way all of this changes us is something only those whoíve been through it understand.
Dem, I'm still trying to understand it all myself (big reason to get back into therapy). But yes, it changes us. It strips us down to the fucking bone, flesh shredded, and all our guts and foibles, vulnerabilities and foo shit strewn upon the very ground upon which stand, shaking, terrified and oh... so raw.

My wife was already contemplating a trial separation or divorce months before she finally decided enough was enough. After discovery, she told me she didn't think I loved her anymore and that she didn't think I'd care. I could understand that then and still understand and accept it today. Our marriage was already hanging on by a thread. Still, I loved her and would most certainly care that my wife was fucking another man.

And then came: "I thought this would finally give you the excuse you've been looking for to divorce me." So, yeah, even then, I understood. She'd had enough. Of course, ever since then she's adamantly denied that she ever intended to end our marriage. You know... that's not what she did. Sounds familiar, doesn't it? (still a little waywardness I suppose).

I think my STBX truly wants to believe that our divorce is mostly (if not all) my fault. She did everything to make it work and I fell short. She was right and I was wrong. That could be my own internal wiring misfiring, but I'm also smart enough and perceptive enough to read the writing on the wall (even if I really don't want to).

I'm no saint, folks. I have my own foo shit that, once again, I thought I'd dealt with, and I'm finally accepting that being conflict avoid and depressed at the same time is a fucked-up place to be (can't avoid the truth).

Change occurs when the pain of same exceeds the pain of change.

So, it's time for a change and I think we both recognize that the change we need to make is a divorce.

ETA: One of the things I realized over the many years of being on SI is that people who tend to avoid conflict first and foremost avoid the conflicts within. Avoiding my own internal conflicting views about infidelity and wanting to reconcile to stay for the kid created a road block to healing that I never anticipated. Now I have to figure out why.

[This message edited by Unhinged at 9:29 AM, May 8th (Saturday)]

Karmafan posted 5/8/2021 11:23 AM

Change occurs when the pain of same exceeds the pain of change.

This ^^^^^

psychmom posted 5/8/2021 18:22 PM

I will never fully understand the thinking of the wayward mind. The self- protection, selfishness, finding ways to make themselves the victim. Maybe the reality of their victimization of the BS is too much for many of them to handle. So they pull out the rationalizations and narratives that ease their conscience.

Because Iíve seen my WH say and do similar things. The way he often turns things back to him, choosing to believe if I ask for a D itís because ďYouíve wanted it all along and never fully committed to R the way I have.Ē 🤨. Thereís a rationalization for any move I make. Iím not sure how similar your experience is, but I wanted to share that I have an inkling of your frustration in the way your fWW is treating this situation. Itís maddening to listen to my H and realize his mindset now is similar to the f@cjed up thinking that allowed him to choose cheating as a problem solver.

Sending powerful positive vibes your way, unhinged. And youíre right about sorting out this:

One of the things I realized over the many years of being on SI is that people who tend to avoid conflict first and foremost avoid the conflicts within. Avoiding my own internal conflicting views about infidelity and wanting to reconcile to stay for the kid created a road block to healing that I never anticipated. Now I have to figure out why.

[This message edited by psychmom at 6:25 PM, May 8th (Saturday)]

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