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Wayward Side :
Old tale of infidelity and breach of trust... Looking for hope!

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MIgander ( member #71285) posted at 1:08 PM on Wednesday, June 15th, 2022

How are you today Spaceman?

WW/BW Dday July 2019. BH/WH- multiple EA's. Back at it again- bantering w the younger woman. Lied about blocking phone calls and deleted texts. Carried on with her. Financial infidelity again- who says you only cheat with lovers?

posts: 899   ·   registered: Aug. 15th, 2019   ·   location: Michigan
id 8740301
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 Spaceman (original poster new member #80138) posted at 2:25 PM on Thursday, July 14th, 2022

I think it is time for update. It has been a (good) month since last time I wrote here. Let me say thank you to all for support, ideas, as well as challenging my views. I should listen to good advice more often :)

Actually, today is kind of special. I am moving to a new place - with a help of a friend-of-a-friend found nice, quite big apartament close to kinder-garden of my kids. Very much preoccupied with moving stuff and decorating the kids room.

In the mid-June I went for the first longer road-trip as a single parent. I knew it will go well, but still was quite nervous before start. But apart of kids arguing like crazy about cookies (:D) in first 15 minutes of the trip, it was really, really great. Have to give the credit to them - both of them are amazing travel buddies :) We visited few places, stayed at my parental home for a while, enjoying country side and catching up with cousins. By the end of the trip, I even shed a single (no-pun-intended) tear at how nice it was :)

After the vacation (10 days), I gave kids to their mum and went for a short holidays myself. Met my childhood and university friends and we went for a short foreign bro-trip. Bit of sightseeing, bit of drinking, bit of sports, silly conversations in the bar. Great time.

As for the divorce and house, i finally met with a lawyer and we are preparing all the necessary paperwork. I gave heads-up to my ex, but it did not went well. Same threats as before. It is kind of partially bad judgement from my side as well, should have listened to advice to exchange only via e-mail or texts. I also appears that her relationship with a colleague moves ahead pretty fast, as they are doing things around the house, etc and she intentionally told me that if she will want, she will move in him into the house. It is just a terrible trigger. It was stupid for me to start a convo on this, but ok - this was the only episode in last month or so. It went so well because of having no other contact than about the kids. I must say that I have built resentment towards her regarding the house issue (especially about how our communication has gone), this is something for me to deal with. But with all the work done, it seems to be easier task. Still, it is really sad sometimes to see where we (as people who had so much future ahead) are right now and how I contributed strongly to all that. I think my weak spot is letting things go and still have to work on that.

But apart of this one episode - do not want to be a complainer - I think i am slowly dealing with my anxiety and somehow I can already envisage some future (further than next day) unfolding in front of me. IC helps a lot and in general - meeting friends and trying to have my own life back on track occupies my mind these days.

I am definitely aware of my behaviour patterns much more now (sometimes it feels like I would be watching at myself from the outside, hard to explain the feeling). It is great that I have not fully lost positive, happy-go-lucky side of me.

Ok, have to carry on with moving and unpacking :)

posts: 42   ·   registered: Mar. 23rd, 2022   ·   location: Poland
id 8744623
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Bigger ( Attaché #8354) posted at 4:56 PM on Thursday, July 14th, 2022

Spaceman

Without knowing how it was presented then her comments about moving a new man into the house can have one (or both) of two purposes:
It can be a warning about what’s going to happen, understanding that as a father it’s going to hurt you that another man is assuming a role as some proxy-father.
This is tough for us men but honestly – and think this through – if your children’s mother is going to have another man in her life it’s to YOUR advantage that he is as kind, caring and loving to your children as possible. If you do your bit he won’t replace you as "dad", but you WANT someone there that is going to be a good co-parent.
Unfortunately (or maybe not unfortunately…) you don’t have any say on what man she invites into her life. You should however be observant about how he interacts with your kids.

The other purpose can be spite. To hurt you. To let you know you have been replaced.
If that’s the case… well… there really isn’t any catch-back. The best you can do is simply say something like "I want you to be happy. If you think you will be happy with Peter then fine, after all I have no say in your private life any more".
Do this and you disarm the barb. You remove the sting from the jibe and she can’t hurt you. Not in a way she sees and get’s feedback from.


One issue I want to address:
I’m a former cop and I worked some sleazy parts of town. Including where the working girls were. I do not believe in the "happy hooker" myth. OK – there might be the one in a million that has been turning tricks as a career that is open about it, proud of her work and perfectly happy with her choice. But my experience was that these were abused women, often with substance issues, tired, broken families, trafficked… The vast majority would much rather be working a clean, decently paid job rather than risking their lives going down in the laps of strangers in some dark car or entering sleazy hotel-rooms. I never met a single woman that told me that this was their career of choice and their aspiration.

You talk about kids – not sons – so I’m assuming at least one is a girl.
If you are OK with prostitutes – would you be OK with your girl selling her body once she’s 18?
I’m guessing no.
Each and every hooker you used is someone’s daughter.
This line of thought is the reason I have never purchased sex and also why I avoid porn.

"If, therefore, any be unhappy, let him remember that he is unhappy by reason of himself alone." Epictetus

posts: 11156   ·   registered: Sep. 29th, 2005
id 8744646
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doninvaun ( member #75329) posted at 3:43 PM on Friday, July 15th, 2022

Good to hear you're doing ok spaceman, vacation with your kids sounds awesome. Good luck with your new place.

posts: 67   ·   registered: Sep. 3rd, 2020
id 8744888
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 Spaceman (original poster new member #80138) posted at 5:21 PM on Monday, August 22nd, 2022

A time for an update.

Life has been kind to me in the last month or even more. There has been a steady progress in the last two months and anxiety/stress has went down to something that I can manage quite well. Still work in progress, as I feel that stressful situations raise my anxiety levels very quickly. Now looking back at the time from November to approx. April and my mental/physical state then - I realise that I went through some really tough times with probably an emotional trauma/depression/anxiety with some self-destructive actions thrown in (mostly due to self-blame).

But that is understandable and I know how to manage and treat it. I try to repeat it everyday: "Be kind to myself" :)

Kids are at my place two or three evenings and nights per week, I bring them to kinder-garden almost every day. We also spend Friday's evening and Saturday until late afternoon at my place - and it is just the best of the times. We usually do some local sightseeing, cinema nights, try to play boardgames, etc. We are withing walking distance to kindergarden, so it is also quite bit of fun - my daughter rides a bike and son his scooter - so we take these morning walks together.

Not easy at all on my own (same for my-ex), but being dad is by far best part of my life.

Financially these are tougher times, no doubt. But in all honesty, I feel many times better than the last two years while being at home. It is incomparable, if I speak about my emotional comfort and awareness of what is going on with myself. I believe that same can be said about my ex. I also understand that if in 2020 and 2021 since A discovery, I would had done at least 30% of the job that I did in last 10 months with myself - probably our marriage and family would have been saved. But i was not able to comprehend the scope of the damage and my own role in it. I did my best at the time, but my best was just a tiny fraction of what was actually necessary.

Have resumed meeting with friends, my hobbies, bit of socialising and going out. I finally see some future for myself and that also warms the heart. With all the lessons learned I still try to be very attentive to the way how I communicate with others, not to fall in the old ways.

I have finally let go the the need that my ex would be nice towards me. It bothered me for a very long time, but now I have accepted the fact that she simply is very cold and borderline impolite on the occasions that we have to exchange on things - I can not do anything about it. I am polite towards her and that is totally fine. It does not bother me anymore - I know what I did, where I was wrong, what good qualities I have and , for most part, am slowly becoming fine with who I am. Now, when the dust is settled, I know that my cheating and not being a good partner does not define me as a person. It is my own history, I really hope that I drew the right lessons and unfortunately learned the hard way. Who would have thought that letting it go is such a hard thing to do :)

Few weeks ago I woke up and had though that I have not drowned in guilt for a while now. It just feels that I am becoming (kind of) healthy version of myself.

Last, but not least. Guys and girls, for the lack of bigger words - thank you for the support, kinds words, as well as for challenging my convictions. It was (and is) all really helpful :)

[This message edited by Spaceman at 5:39 PM, Monday, August 22nd]

posts: 42   ·   registered: Mar. 23rd, 2022   ·   location: Poland
id 8751480
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ohmy_marie ( new member #469) posted at 2:29 PM on Wednesday, August 24th, 2022

You sound well. Strong and hopeful. I'm happy for you! Love, Marie

BS & WS. Married

Every opportunity lost can be traced back to the failure to adapt. --Bernard Branson

posts: 37   ·   registered: Sep. 5th, 2002   ·   location: USA
id 8751843
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jhg10 ( new member #80700) posted at 5:09 AM on Wednesday, August 31st, 2022

The fact that most or all of the people on this topic are searching for forgiveness is reason to grant it to yourselves and move on. Most people justify infidelity by blaming their spouse and refuse to accept there failures.

posts: 2   ·   registered: Aug. 24th, 2022   ·   location: Las Vegas
id 8753086
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 Spaceman (original poster new member #80138) posted at 11:20 AM on Tuesday, September 13th, 2022

The fact that most or all of the people on this topic are searching for forgiveness is reason to grant it to yourselves and move on. Most people justify infidelity by blaming their spouse and refuse to accept there failures.

That is probably true. Forgiving yourself is a task in the size of a mammoth. It is so much easier when somebody else grants it :) On a serious note, understanding your own actions and consequences does not always automatically lead to forgiveness. At least for me it is like that - it is very hard to forgive oneself, especially what considers robbing children from having full and healthy family. But at the end of the day, drowning in guilt is a self-harm - not only for oneself, but also for others. Defining fatherhood as the my main value really helped me to move on forward to make the best possible outcome for my children especially.

3 WEEK UPDATE

Memories of the past often creep up ('why I had to be right in certain situations?'; 'why I reacted on our conflict(s) in that way or the other?''why I had problem with enforcing clear boundaries'?), but now I try to view them from the perspective 'what I learned from this' and 'which part of my behaviour I have to pay attention'. IC helped a lot processing all of this.

I try to keep the contact with my ex to a minumum - we are cordial what considers kids, but still lot of tension. I am partially accepted the fact that for her I will always be the person who cheated her and brought her to a depression - I am a bad person in her story and that is true (and in big part of my own story as well). But she just can't help being rude towards me in-front of the kids whenever we discuss something more sensitive (kids financials, house,) - last time it happened this morning. Wrote an e-mail that I can not accept that and I will start recording our conversations if she will continue to speak to me like that in front of the children.

My anxiety level has decreased, but still - exchanges like this brings my stress level really high. I noticed that I am also slightly nervous around other people (that has never been an issue) - that is the physical impact of the stress of last 12 months or so. But it is manageable to the level that it does not visibly affect my work performance.

The house negotiations have stalled and we have disagreements regarding child payments (especially taking into account that essentially we have 50/50 arrangement). But that all will be solvable, I guess. At least my lawyer has a sound strategy.

My ex is still together with her colleague she met around or divorce time, she is slowly introducing him into the kids life. I trust her on that to make a right choice and seeing that she is not forcing that, I believe she will make the right choices. Though there was a bad aftertaste regarding my son's birthday - I thought that it would be good to do something together. So she said that I can invite her and the kids for common breakfast and then give our son the gifts at my place on Saturday. The kids told me that actually there will be birthday party with family on Sunday. So I politely explained my point of view: "That for big events in kids life like this would be good that we both are present". It did not lead to anything - she said that I should feel lucky that she is there with both of kids in my place. In the end it appeared that her boyfriend was there. For me it does not feel right when it comes to the parent's presence in these key events - i.e.we both should be there (I literally do not have a problem with her boyfriend and I made explicitly clear to her). On the other hand, i also understand that she wants to move on with her life, so maybe that is her way of doing this. It is just feels that she is explicitly excluding me because it would make her feel uncomfortable (which I get but then the big picture is the kids wellbeing; or maybe i am making it too much about me-me-me?). How other divorcees deal with that?

To finish on the positive - I took my kids for a end-of-summer vacation just before a September and we had so much fun. It was an intensive summer in many ways, but now back to reality. Daily transport of kids to kinder-garden, gymnastics trainings, Tuesday/Wednesday/Friday nights in my place and so on. That brings me lot of satisfaction in my life and motivation to move forward. So all in all, one step back, but two forward. So there was a progress after all :)

[This message edited by Spaceman at 12:35 PM, Tuesday, September 13th]

posts: 42   ·   registered: Mar. 23rd, 2022   ·   location: Poland
id 8755015
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ChamomileTea ( Guide #53574) posted at 4:12 PM on Thursday, September 15th, 2022

It sounds like you're doing really well overall. It's a real accomplishment to keep going in circumstances where there's not going to be an obvious reward for getting the job done. Many WS just give up and go back to their old patterns once R is off the table. It speaks well of you that you can see beyond that. smile

The kids told me that actually there will be birthday party with family on Sunday. So I politely explained my point of view: "That for big events in kids life like this would be good that we both are present". It did not lead to anything

I do think you might want to adjust your expectations here though. "Big events" would be things like weddings, hospitalizations, graduations, etc. For birthdays and holidays, it's more typical for there to be two celebrations. Try thinking of it in terms of whether the event can be recreated. You can't throw another or an extra dance recital or school play, but you most certainly CAN celebrate a birthday or a good report card in any manner you choose.

BW: 2004(online EAs), 2014 (multiple PAs)Married 38 years; in R with fWH for 7

No one can make you into a liar but you.

posts: 6181   ·   registered: Jun. 8th, 2016   ·   location: U.S.
id 8755389
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 Spaceman (original poster new member #80138) posted at 8:49 AM on Tuesday, September 20th, 2022

ChamomileTea, thanks! With cooler head and some time removed from the day, I see that my ex also had a point in there (+ what you said on managing expectations). Now when I look at it, maybe it was a subtle attempt of myself doing me-me thing / trying to hold what is gone.

[This message edited by Spaceman at 8:49 AM, Tuesday, September 20th]

posts: 42   ·   registered: Mar. 23rd, 2022   ·   location: Poland
id 8756165
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 Spaceman (original poster new member #80138) posted at 4:16 PM on Monday, November 14th, 2022

Two months have passed and it is time for update. Life has been decently good, with plenty of time devoted to my two kids, as well in being kind to myself. Been going out, eating healthy, reading ("Shotgun Lovesongs" by Nicholas Butler is an amazing book) and getting back in shape.

There are times when feeling of loneliness creeps in; but to be honest, for absolute majority of the time I feel really comfortable on my own. I might be ready to et out there and meet someone in a few months; but that thought is bit scary, as I still tend to be in the past from time to time. And I do not want to drop my worries and anxieties on a person that does not deserve it. Let's see, baby steps....

Specifically last two weeks have been a 'one step back' I suppose. Two issues:

1) I feel that often I am ruminating way too long on the past (not in a good way) along the lines of "how it all could be different...". It is just spinning wheels at this point;

2) My ex is very close to moving-in with her colleague in the house that we built together. I think I have somehow even processed the importance of 'house' and are semi-ok with this, but the fact that it happened (introducing with kids, house, etc) literally in less than a year after us breaking off, is really huge trigger.

From good things, I am closer to understanding the reason why our relationships became so toxic over time (biggest issue besides cheating). Or to be more specific, of my contributions. All leads to me having the avoidant attachment style. When looking to my family history and my past relationships together with IC, certain pattern emerged - me being stereotypical avoidant-dismissant. Despite the fact that I am really outgoing and independent, it has always been a problem for me to open up/let in other people. It mostly comes from my parents (as great and supportive they have been) being really closed emotionally and I suppose that these patterns repeated in myself. I recently talked with my sister and she has similar struggles. However, when I observe myself with my kids, this is not an issue. But that is probably that the dynamics differ when it is partner.

And over the years it escalated to downright extreme closing off from my partner. So here is the question: any book to recommend, specifically dealing with the avoidant-dismissant tendencies?

Thank you once again :)

[This message edited by Spaceman at 4:22 PM, Monday, November 14th]

posts: 42   ·   registered: Mar. 23rd, 2022   ·   location: Poland
id 8765112
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