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Separated and hating it

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a1234567 posted 5/10/2021 09:18 AM

So, my DD was pretty recent. The thread I started in JFO is still on the first page if you want the whole back story, but basically I found out my wife had an 8 month affair two years ago. She never told me until confronted and never stopped contact with OM. Based on the facts, I felt and feel that I want to D. We have been separated since I found out and I will probably be filing this week or next (based on my lawyerís availability).

When I step back and look at my situation rationally, I feel really good about my decision to leave. But I just miss her SO much. Despite the deceit, WW was doing a wonderful job of caring for me (at least materially) and running our household. Iím slowly running out of food in the refrigerator that she either bought or prepared for me. Sheís a great cook. She used to do all our grocery shopping, all my laundry, all the cleaning and gardening around the house. Iím perfectly capable of doing it all, but every new task I have to add to my day is just a reminder that Iím alone again and it hurts so much. I feel it like a physical pain in my stomach. I got a hair cut for the first time in a year last week (Iím finally fully vaccinated). No one in my life noticed, except WW when we met to discuss how to separate our property.

Itís so hard to think that the same person who spent her days cooking for me and running my household and noticing the little things about my life is also the same person who cheated on me and lied to me about it for years. I feel like such a fool for missing her so much. Itís fucking embarrassing. I donít want to tell my friends who are rightly furious with her.

I got some good advice in my original thread: take care of myself physically, set some goals for myself with hobbies I like, etc. I am doing IC, which I hope will help, but I just started. I donít really know what I need out of this thread other than just to share. Maybe let me know if you can relate.

Sanibelredfish posted 5/10/2021 09:37 AM

What youíve described sounds like a heavily codependent relationship. I recommend that you talk to an IC about becoming less codependent. You will benefit from it in future relationships.

a1234567 posted 5/10/2021 09:47 AM

I donít necessarily disagree that we did have a codependent relationship, but Iím curious what makes you think that from what I shared. From my perspective, I did a lot of stuff to help her get around her poorly treated depression and anxiety, which in retrospect could certainly be described as codependent, but Iím not really sure what I shared originally points to that issue. Would like to know what youíre seeing that Iím not in the original post.

Sanibelredfish posted 5/10/2021 10:38 AM

What youíve described in your original thread and here is basically the definition of codependency on both of your parts (just in different ways).

A codependent is someone who cannot function on their own and whose thinking and behavior is instead organized around another person, process, or substance.

While you can technically function without her, it is apparently very painful to do so. I think you miss having someone there to do those things for you, not necessarily her. Is that love or convenience?

That said, repeating that level of codependency could undermine a successful relationship with anyone. Hence my suggestion to talk to an IC about it. If you are truly codependent (I think so, but am not an IC) and address it maybe your next relationship will be healthier.

Codependency was an FOO issue for me, and once I understood why it was problematic I started working to address it.

Hutch posted 5/10/2021 11:02 AM

I understand the thoughts about co-dependency and agree in some cases, but also disagree in some. It's hard for me to definitively say this is the case and here is why. I think in marriages couples set what the roles are and how their marriage works for them. If both work then most roles are shared (at least it should be). But some family dynamics are setup where one person takes care of the home and the other works outside of the home. There's nothing wrong with that. And in other relationships some choose to do those types of tasks like cooking, cleaning, laundry etc., because they enjoy it. For some it's actually their love language.

I would much rather address how you're hurting. To that I say give yourself time. Even in the worst of marriages (mine) and those that needed to end and should have long before they did (mine), there can still be adjustment periods. Being alone can be a mix of relieving but also lonely. For those who have the rug pulled out from under them (you), it's particularly hard. You will absolutely miss those things you enjoyed and being taken care of, regardless of having the ability to do so on your own, will take time. Be kind to yourself and know you will get there.

Chili posted 5/10/2021 11:12 AM

Not having read your other threads, I don't disagree that there's probably some co-dependency issues going on here.

BUT.

The first stages of separation and divorce and no longer being around that person every day is just going to feel like you're having to shuck off the known for the unknown. Even healthy relationships are interdependent - you rely on each other for all those things that marriage brings on a daily basis.

No matter how much infidelity makes a relationship untenable - there are just things we're going to miss about the life we built with that person.

So you have to retrain your brain like you're re-learning a new golf swing - you do it with mental and physical muscle memory. There are real, practical losses that you have to grieve, but you are forced to figure out independently now.

I'm kind of glad you're done with the food in the fridge - as much as you might miss it - you'll have to find a way. And it's frankly, probably just triggery. Now each time you make a favorite meal for yourself and freeze half, your strength grows. Each time to take yourself out somewhere to a nice meal or event, you'll know you've got your own back.

Don't get me wrong. It all sucks. And feels lonely. And kind of unfair. And frankly, I understand the pull to wonder if there's any possible way to "get back to normal" because the new abnormal thing is pretty horrifying at first.

If you are truly done a123, then you have to intentionally practice every single day with small things. I'm a long-time mega cheerleader for detaching here on SI and it will be your best friend. No one noticed your haircut? That had to feel sucky, but you noticed didn't you? Didn't it feel great to go out and take care of something? Doesn't your head just feel better? You have to be your own cheerleader right now. (Well, really you have to be the one to do that throughout your life, but that's one of those co-dependenty things for another day).

Maybe ask your IC for some tips and tricks for getting out of your own head? I had lots of mantras that I would say to myself when I started feeling puny. I would mutter them under my breath each time I had to take one of those leaps of faith.

a1234567 posted 5/10/2021 11:34 AM

I have to say, @Sanibelredfish this response feels misaligned with what I shared. I specifically say that I am perfectly capable of doing all these tasks on my own, just that doing so makes me miss the person that used to do them. Maybe I didn't communicate clearly, but I don't mean to say I find the tasks unmanageable, or even that each one is excruciatingly painful. Just that each is a reminder of the person I'm missing. I agree with other commenters that delegating duties between partners is not in and of itself unhealthy, though it could certainly go that way. Also just to reiterate, I am already in IC, I agree with all that it's a good idea. I have every intention of discussing what I could do better in my next relationship in that context.


I would much rather address how you're hurting. To that I say give yourself time. Even in the worst of marriages (mine) and those that needed to end and should have long before they did (mine), there can still be adjustment periods. Being alone can be a mix of relieving but also lonely. For those who have the rug pulled out from under them (you), it's particularly hard. You will absolutely miss those things you enjoyed and being taken care of, regardless of having the ability to do so on your own, will take time. Be kind to yourself and know you will get there.

Thanks @Hutch, I know this is true, just hard to make myself ok with it. I appreciate your kind words.

@Chili Thank you for your whole post this is a useful perspective. To be clear about the food, I've been done with most of it for a while, and have been cooking and getting take out, etc. Again, it's just a reminder of the abruptness with which my life has changed, without me having a lot of say in it. I think you're right though, I just have to retrain my brain to deal with the unfamiliar that is in front of me. I have another IC session this week so I will discuss then.

HalfTime2017 posted 5/10/2021 12:38 PM

Its still early days for you A1-7. Look at some of the other posters on here, it will just take time.

Best thing to do during these early days since you are going the D route, is to focus on rebuilding you. Start working out, finding new hobbies and spending time with those around you that matter, like family and friends to get your mind off of things.

There is no fast way out of this unfortunately, it does take time, but during this time, if you could try to sleep better, eat better, and get in shape, it will help you once youre on the other side. Just take it easy on yourself

Shehawk posted 5/10/2021 14:21 PM

I am truly sorry you are going through this. Divorce is one of life's most stressful events and adding in infidelity just makes it worse.

I think people in the best of relationships are interdependent. I think it is healthy to rely and e.relied on and healthy to trust and be trusted. Each person adds something and the sum of the wholes is more than each person individually. Note I did not say halves because I am not half a person.

Unfortunately I didn't have that...not the trust part. From what you said you didn't either.

There are some decent meal box services, great daily specials at ice places. I use certain kitchen appliances that cook healthy stuff (like a pressure pot quick cooker (oatmeal, rice, dried bean/lentils s, Hardboiled eggs, a blender that can heat (smoothies, healthy soups, nut mlks) and a countertop oven (baked potatoes). Good thing from my perspective is I don't catch my blender cheating.

You have been heard and I am just sorry you are going through a rough time you didn't say I do to go through.

a1234567 posted 5/10/2021 16:07 PM

There is no fast way out of this unfortunately, it does take time, but during this time, if you could try to sleep better, eat better, and get in shape, it will help you once youre on the other side. Just take it easy on yourself

@HalfTime2017 people keep telling me there's no quick way through this, but I could really go for some special dispensation. Just like a cosmic fast forward button maybe?
Anyway in seriousness, thank you for your post, I am trying to stay motivated to exercise. I've been doing lots of walking, trying to build from there. Sleep has been hit or miss, but I am working on it.
You have been heard and I am just sorry you are going through a rough time you didn't say I do to go through.

@Shehawk, thanks for this. It felt really good to read. I also appreciate your practical tips about food! The meal box thing is not a bad idea. I actually used to be a pretty good cook, but a year or two ago my WW got really into cooking and was better than me so I just started doing other chores instead. Got to get that part of my brain working again! Thing I like about those meal box things is they encourage you to try new stuff, I tend to find a few recipes that work and then cook them to death.

Finally, LOL at

Good thing from my perspective is I don't catch my blender cheating.

jb3199 posted 5/10/2021 18:27 PM

Again, it's just a reminder of the abruptness with which my life has changed, without me having a lot of say in it.

Exactly. You may have had the time to initially process what is happening to your life, but you have barely had any time to mourn the loss of your marriage. It wouldn't matter if you decided to reconcile either; there is loss, and it takes time to work your way through it.

Just don't be the guy eating cold dog food out of a can with a spoon....okay?

Tigersrule77 posted 5/11/2021 07:02 AM

I am perfectly capable of doing all these tasks on my own, just that doing so makes me miss the person that used to do them.

I can completely relate to how you feel. When I first separated, I used to miss having someone to talk to about what was on TV or something I'd seen in the news.

I expect that you too will make new friends, build relationships and it will fill the hole. But it takes time. BTW, if you find the fast-forward button, you'll be able to rent it to others and live in luxury the rest of your life!

a1234567 posted 5/11/2021 09:53 AM

you have barely had any time to mourn the loss of your marriage. It wouldn't matter if you decided to reconcile either; there is loss, and it takes time to work your way through it.

This is just it. I don't mean to be overly dramatic, but if feels like a death. This person who has been a huge part of my life is going to, in the best case, be someone I can have a cordial meal with every now and then, and in the worst case is just not going to be in my life at all anymore, and the sense of loss is enormous. I've been grieving it, but it's hard to even imagine the end of the pain. RE: The cold dog food, LOL, and I am for better or worse a more snobby eater now than I was before. WW was a really good cook, so if I don't have the energy to make something good, it's gonna be take out. Hot food all the way grin

@Tigersrule77 Thanks for sharing. Hearing from people who relate helps so much. Most of my close friends are in (as far as I know) very healthy long term relationships, so even though they have all been wonderful and supportive, it's just not something they can truly relate to.

Butforthegrace posted 5/11/2021 09:58 AM

When I first separated from my cheater, I also felt alone and oddly displaced. My tactic was to remember that, before meeting my cheater, I had been a happy single man with a fulfilling life. I went on a search to find that man again and rekindle my relationship with him.

a1234567 posted 5/12/2021 08:35 AM

@Butforthegrace I think you shared similar advice in my JFO thread, and I really like this framing. I am looking for that man. I have a few leads as to where he might be. Will share when we reconnect wink

Hutch posted 5/12/2021 11:08 AM

@a1234567

How are you holding up? Iím sure youíre feeling like youíre on a merry-go-round that wonít stop turning. Keep posting and expressing whatever youíre feeling at that moment.
Divorce has many stages along with the sadness of your marriage ending. Know youíre supported here.

AnnieOakley posted 5/12/2021 11:59 AM

A1,

Iíve not read your other thread so will just add my opinion on this one.

I did not want to D, but I just couldnít get off the lethal plain of flatness. It literally was no longer ďfairĒ to me or my ex. But whoís keeping score of the fair total, right!?!

Everything you describe sounds completely normal. If you were swinging from the chandeliers and gushing about how wonderful and fabulous every single moment was...we would caution you about the seemingly inevitable crash and how you are not dealing with the real emotions.

Good for you with the IC, for me I did it in fits/starts for a time period. One was finding someone that I really connected with, another I quickly realized that when we got down to some hard emotions about the infidelity, divorce, etc. I wanted to run! I finally pushed thru that and maybe only went a few more times. I think I just needed to process it professionally. Friends and family can help (do reach out to a trusted confidant) but I got tired of talking about it and we all know it eventually becomes exhausting to them as well, unless they have experienced infidelity (and even then!).

Finally the advice about getting physical exercise, meeting w friends, new hobbies all is sage advice and makes sense. But you also need to get comfortable with being alone too. Dealing with the hurt is a solitary job, but of course not to the extent of isolation. Fine line. I always knew I was an ambivert, but CV19 just reinforced that. But there were times during and after D, I would not see friends for a month or two. I was focused on me and I had to put my mask on first.

Eventually the contact w the ex should be greatly reduced. She will be a constant visual trigger. We have enough of those without further torturing ourselves.

You deserve better.
☮️

src9043 posted 5/12/2021 18:59 PM

I have followed your story and no doubt, you moved quite rapidly toward ending your marriage compared to others on this blog. Consequently, it is quite reasonable for you to feel down and lonely. I, on the other hand, went through years of hell with the ex-WW. When the marriage finally ended, I was exhausted, angry, and disgusted with her. There was some sadness and a tiny bit of regret, but my overwhelming emotion was liberation. You just haven't had the time to go through the necessary stages of grief.

You indicated on this present thread that your WW is still in contact with the OM. I don't think you previously mentioned that fact. That should give you additional fuel to push through with the divorce. Any WW that experienced regret would have gone NC after the physical part ended. Do you know, for a fact that it did end two years ago?

Again, stay on course and don't be deterred. If there is to be a reconciliation, I would only entertain it after the divorce is final. I think it would a mistake, but if you are convinced that she can be a loyal partner from that point forward and you wish to give it another go, you can always consider that alternative. Please take care of yourself. Exercise, eat right, lay off the booze and drugs, and most importantly, spend time with family and friends. When you are ready, start dating and see what is out there. Be careful not to hook up with another cheater. Easier said than done.

[This message edited by src9043 at 7:02 PM, May 12th (Wednesday)]

a1234567 posted 5/12/2021 19:20 PM

@Hutch thank you for checking in! The last couple of days have been noticeably better. Iíve been getting more exercise which I think helps a lot. I have not slept super well, but Iím eating well and only feeling really sad for short bursts, so thatís honestly a pretty big improvement. In this moment as Iím typing, Iím by myself and I actually feel happy. I talked to a lawyer today with my wife and it went well. I think sheís going to stick with letting us get divorced uncontested, which is so much nicer (and cheaper!). I am prepared for actually filing for divorce and showing up in court to feel really bad. I am also leaving the house over the weekend so she can pick up a bunch of things, and living in the house with her stuff missing is probably not going to feel great either. Iím braced for that. But at this very moment, Iím doing ok.

@AnnieOakley thank you much for your compassion. It is good to be reminded that itís normal to feel bad at these times. I am trying to get comfortable with being by myself. Today thatís going ok. Weíll see how tomorrow is.

@src9043 itís possible I didnít mention that she had stayed in contact with OM in the other thread. Heís a bartender at her favorite bar. She continued going there and even taking me there long after she claims the affair ended. I donít know for a fact that it ever did, though I suspect she must have stopped seeing him during covid simply because we barely left the house. I do think she was keeping her options open with him, consciously or not. But yeah, the continued contact with him when she claims she was sorry and trying to find a way to tell me is actually a big part of why Iím not interested in R. Her actions never said she was sorry until she got caught.

I agree with you. I can imagine a possible R post divorce, but I think itís unlikely. And I absolutely will not be subsidizing her life and therapy while she tries to figure out why she treated me so badly. Thatís her problem to fix. I mostly feel lucky that it seems thatís as deep as the rabbit hole goes with her (though I obviously canít know for sure). What I do know is sheís behaving exactly like the woman I thought I was married to would behave if she found herself in this position. I donít know if thatís more or less upsetting? That I basically knew her and yet she was still capable of doing this to me..

phmh posted 5/12/2021 20:12 PM

It's been so long for me (D final 9 years ago) that I don't remember the details, but I remember begging the universe for a fast forward button also. It seems so unfair that it takes time! However, because you don't have kids together, and because you acted so decisively, I believe you will get there quicker than average.

I know I posted on your JFO thread, but I can't remember what I shared. Essentially, life gets so much better. My SO treats me better than WXH ever did (I have gone back and read my old blog to make sure I'm not just making this up.) I am happier than ever, and neither the me of 10 years ago (prior to D-Day) nor the me of 9 years ago (within a week of divorce being final) could ever believe how good things could be.

But I (vaguely) remember going to Trader Joe's and buying a ton of frozen meals because I just didn't feel like cooking (prior, and since, I always cook from scratch at home). I (vaguely) remember going to basketball games and looking at every guy in the crowd, thinking there is no way I would ever date that guy, while my head felt filled with cotton (now, I watch the game and don't notice anyone in the crowd). I (vaguely) remember the anger and oversharing with everyone about how unfair my situation is (now, people who've only known me the past 5 years don't realize I was ever married). Definitely cut yourself some slack now. Your mind and body are reeling. But you will heal.

And I (vividly) remember my counselor telling me, "I'd so much rather be you than him." I didn't believe her. But she was right.

What an opportunity you have for yourself to craft the life that you should have been living. To find a true, honest, faithful life partner. You are still young enough for her to be someone that you used to know, and one day you will look back at some of the ways she treated you, and be amazed that you ever tolerated that. Because your new life now can be filled with people who love you and treat you right.

It seems daunting, but you do it one step at a time, and before you know it, you've been divorced for nearly a decade, your life has morphed into something amazing, and you seriously can't ever remember what it was that made you want to be with your ex spouse in the first place.

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