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Newest Member: lrpprl

Divorce/Separation :
I never wanted this

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BoundaryBuilder ( member #78439) posted at 6:59 PM on Saturday, July 2nd, 2022

a part of him was begining to think of our kid as a "terrible person when our child had normal - age appropriate - tantrums for dealing with boundaries and not getting what he wanted

Projection much? Throwing tantrums because your boundaries stood in the way of him getting what he wants is EXACTLY what STBX is doing! Except his tantrums aren't age appropriate. Good heavens, he's acting like a self indulgent man child.

That and his utter lack of remorse honestly makes me see STBXWH as awful, and I wish he would have shown this side of himself before we'd married or had a kid.

You're seeing behind the mask. He may never show remorse, may never admit that his selfish behavior destroyed your family. Maybe he's just not capable of true introspection. Maybe he'll turn his back on your son. That's ALL on him and trying to control that outcome or prod him in hopes of getting ANY "closure" prolongs the pain. Know it's challenging to maintain grey rock when you're the go-between for son's visitation, but untangling him is futile. Minimal conversation with him from now on will help. Finances and kid only. No emotion.

This may sound harsh, but one crucial part of healing and moving on from a betrayal of this magnitude is to see him for who he really is - who he has been all along. A person doesn't simply wake up one morning and do what he did out of the blue. He wasn't possessed by a pod creature. He doesn't have a brain tumor. OW didn't cast a spell. This is who he is. The rose colored glasses will come off. You'll remember red flags you discounted. Behaviors you spackled over. How you made your needs small to accomodate his needs. Whether the outcome was D or R, we ALL went through this reckoning. I know I did.

You have a good head on your shoulders. I'm confident you'll sift through his BS and find your own truth about the marriage. Use the divorce as a motivator to really understand the unhealthy dynamics in your marriage. Not to untangle him, but to untangle YOU. To be free. To come out on the other side of this stronger. Which is so important because you must be the sane parent. The safe parent. Looks like he may not be able to step up. And, eventually it's a good thing to work with your therapist to "fix your picker" as they say - take some time to process your marriage, learn to spot red flags in relationships, set appropriate boundaries, etc. so your next relationship is healthy and strong - with an emotionally mature fully reciprocating human being. That is my hope for you. You are young! There's a fuller, calmer and more self actualized future ahead of you. Doesn't feel that way now but you will get through this. And, I predict you will not only survive, but you will thrive.

[This message edited by BoundaryBuilder at 10:34 PM, Saturday, July 2nd]

Married 32 years w/one adult daughter
ME:BW 63
HIM:WH 65
13 month texting EA with high school X who fished him on Facebook 43 years later
PA=15 days spread over final 3 months
D-Day=April 21, 2018
Reconciled

posts: 126   ·   registered: Mar. 4th, 2021
id 8743171
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BlackRaven ( member #74607) posted at 6:03 AM on Sunday, July 3rd, 2022

Kanashii

I'm so sorry about all you are going through, but I see you are a strong woman with a good sense of self-preservation for yourself and your son. Good for you. Your story sounds similar to mine in many ways.

When his anxiety and depression got worse he latched onto the OW as she made him "feel better" and "she understood him."

I was married for more than 25 years when I learned my husband wasn't who I thought he was (turned out he was a SA among other things with multiple betrayals.) He voluntarily entered inpatient treatment to the tune of $60,000, then lied to them for more than half his time there (until I found some things in his google history and he was afraid I'd let them know so he told them) Anyhow, the point of all this is twofold. 1) Try to remember his actions, not his words or promises. And, 2) my ex was diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder and Narcissistic Traits. A lot of what you are sharing about your H sounds like BPD - the cutting, the self harm, the looking to others for a sense of self. (The book Walking on Eggshells is a good resource) The lack of remorse and blaming others like the children for their unhappiness sounds like narcissism. (Dr. Ramani has great videos). Unfortunately, neither of those things are really fixable. Borderlines can learn coping tools through DBT therapy, but they will always be broken to some degree. Narcissists are who they are.

Someone in an earlier post mentioned boys needing their fathers. I'd argue that boys need healthy male role models, and it sounds like there are others in your family who may be able to offer that better than your H. That's not to cut him off completely, but good boundaries and supervision will be key.

I moved in two steps. First I filed for legal separation because I wanted to protect my assets and our daughter's future and I didn't know if my ex would be sued by his gf (an employee). Then, after a false attempt at R, I divorced.

It looks like the law in NC would allow you to take a similar path. You can quickly obtain a legal separation, and then a year from now convert that to a divorce. You also have the option of suing the OW.

Although adultery is not a ground for an absolute divorce, it is a ground for legal separation, called "divorce from bed and board" in North Carolina. If your spouse has cheated, and you'd like to legally separate from your spouse without ending your marriage, you can request a divorce from bed and board, using adultery as the grounds for your request. (N.C. Gen. Stat. § 50-7.)

In North Carolina, the most common ground for divorce is based on a separation for at least one year. So long as the couple lived separate and apart for the full year and did not resume their marriage (or cohabitate) during that year, the court will grant the divorce. You must also be a resident in North Carolina for at least six months before filing for divorce for the court to accept your case. (N.C. Gen. Stat. § 50-6.) While adultery by husband, wife, or both may destroy a marriage, but you can't use it as a ground for your divorce in North Carolina.

North Carolina is one of only a few states that permit a spouse to file a civil lawsuit against the spouse's lover or anyone who interfered with the marriage. Spouses need to file this lawsuit outside the divorce court in the regular civil court system. These lawsuits fall under two categories: "alienation of affection" and "criminal conversation."

Good luck. Please take care of yourself. Find a therapist to help you with your trauma. and do some self care.

posts: 335   ·   registered: Jun. 17th, 2020
id 8743207
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 Kanashii (original poster new member #80132) posted at 5:20 PM on Sunday, July 3rd, 2022

BlackRaven: That does sound very similar. When his in-patient therapist called to get information from me on what my STBXWH had been doing she apparently thought - because STBXWH never gives a straight story - that we had been separated for 4 years and that marital issues had been going on for a long time. Imagine her shock when I told her we'd only been separated about a month because he walked out on us and about his drinking a whole bottle of wine by himself, twice, (against his own therapist's recommendations+against friend's telling him to stop), in the space of the 11 days that he'd originally stepped out on me and our son. This was made even worse as he was a teatotaller who despised the thought of alcohol or drugs. While he admitted he had an affair he didn't say how long it went on, when he'd confessed or that he refused to stop seeing OW and ended up at her house after promising me to never go there. There was so much more that she did not know that she kept asking about to get a history of his behaviors that I would not be surprised if he does get a BPD diagnosis at this point. My STBXWH told me that he didn't want me "intervening" with the therapists as it makes it "awkward for him to talk to them." Guess I'm a big meanie now for telling the truth when asked? rolleyes

My lawyer says that because STBXWH did step out and I told him I understood it as him separating from me that it counts as legal separation. It is too early to put paperwork in for more specifics on what will go on during the separation as he is going to be inpatient until the summer ends.


BoundaryBuilder: I'm noticing a lot that I've had to put to the side for STBXWH. He never liked hearing me be the slightest bit irritated or frustrated as it "made him feel guilt" or upset him, yet he didn't want me to work it out in another room as he'd feel like I was "leaving him" and going to abandon him. He didn't like watching me do housework around him as he'd feel guilt he wasn't helping, would tell me to sit down/not do it, and that he would help with it in a bit. The things he'd promise to help with never got done, and I'd end up doing the chore a bit later in the day or week. He never wanted to go out and do things as a family and only wanted to stay at home when he was home from work.

When it comes to fixing my picker, I've been with my STBXWH since I was 12 years old. I'm now in my mid 30's, so basically all of my teens and twenties were with him and only him. I've never had to try to pick anyone else in my life because we were always together. What I feel like I need to work on more is being comfortable being a single mother without needing someone else around. I would prefer to raise my son by myself than to accidently have him get hurt by some other man who I connect to out of being uncomfortable being single.

Me - BW Mid 30's
Him - WH Mid 30's

D-day1: Christmas Night 2021
D-day2:6/5/22
Separated.

posts: 34   ·   registered: Mar. 23rd, 2022   ·   location: United States
id 8743236
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TurnedTurtle ( member #65603) posted at 5:35 PM on Sunday, July 3rd, 2022

I've been with my STBXWH since I was 12 years old.

Wait, 12???? What kind of relationship can a 12-year old really engage in?

"Secrets have a cost, they're not free, not now, not ever!"

posts: 178   ·   registered: Jul. 27th, 2018
id 8743241
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BoundaryBuilder ( member #78439) posted at 6:19 PM on Sunday, July 3rd, 2022

What I feel like I need to work on more is being comfortable being a single mother without needing someone else around. I would prefer to raise my son by myself than to accidently have him get hurt by some other man who I connect to out of being uncomfortable being single.

Of course. The key word was "eventually". You may never remarry or have another long term relationship. That's okay. Whatever works for you.

Being with only one partner since youth does present unique complications when that relationship ends. You've been "we" for so long - definitely take time to be "you" without him.

He never liked hearing me be the slightest bit irritated or frustrated as it "made him feel guilt" or upset him, yet he didn't want me to work it out in another room as he'd feel like I was "leaving him" and going to abandon him

Wow. That sounds really controlling. You were expected to stuff down negative emotions because those emotions "upset" him. His emotions took priority over your emotions. Stuffing down your feelings for so many years must have taken a toll on you. Some deep dynamics to explore there. I suspect the deeper you dig the more buried feelings (resentments?) you'll unearth. Perhaps being with only him for so long you were kind of like the proverbial frog being boiled in the proverbial pot of hot water - whatever he did felt "normal" because that's all you knew. Sounds like he did put himself first. Remember, a relationship post-mortem is for YOU. Untangling him isn't our job. Or your responsibility. That's his therapist's job. I'm not surprised he lies to the therapist. Interesting that he mentioned "separated for four years." Hmmm. Isn't your son four years old? Okay, enough arm chair theorizing. I hope this helps you Kanashii. That's the goal.

[This message edited by BoundaryBuilder at 7:14 PM, Sunday, July 3rd]

Married 32 years w/one adult daughter
ME:BW 63
HIM:WH 65
13 month texting EA with high school X who fished him on Facebook 43 years later
PA=15 days spread over final 3 months
D-Day=April 21, 2018
Reconciled

posts: 126   ·   registered: Mar. 4th, 2021
id 8743247
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 Kanashii (original poster new member #80132) posted at 8:19 PM on Sunday, July 3rd, 2022

TurnedTurtle: Basically childhood sweethearts/best friends that grow up together, have crushes on one another, and say that we didn't need or want to date anyone else because we were happy together. Went to middle school, high school, and same undergrad (different majors) for college. I've actually known STBXWH since I was in playschool, but we didn't get crushes on one another until we were around 12. We're only 3 months apart in age. Our shared history is what makes it feel like the OW made him a pod person. He kept saying he was still happy with our "we" which we've been for over half our lives. For him to go from "I want no one else" to "I don't know why you're upset I'm in love with someone else" is especially painful.


BoundaryBuilder: We already knew that he'd stopped seeing me fully as a partner/friend and instead viewed me as the boss of the relationship when I was the one working full time and he couldn't get a job. No amount of telling him "I'm happy with what you're doing at the home" made him happy, and I'm not sure if he ever really worked on it in the therapy he went to back then as he still kept building emotional barriers between us and refused to talk to me about how to make things better. This was also around the time he started refusing to go out on dates with me and demanded that we stayed home instead - probably because he was upset he still wasn't working or doing the types of things his father wanted him to do. I recently (right before the affair began) started to see STBXWH pull further away emotionally when I refused to cater to his need to not have negative emotions and called him out on the no win situation he was creating of not wanting to see me upset yet not letting me go elsewhere if he didn't want to see it.

I'm guessing OW validated his being overly sensitive to negativity as they both have the same type of trauma history, and the OW definitely lacks boundaries. STBXWH always said he gravitated to me and our close family friend because we were "stable" and he did not have that at home. I guess at some point he did not like knowing that I wouldn't fully coddle him because I was too busy being a mom to a real child and had my limits with catering to him. He told me I wasn't as nice as I used to be while recovering from a high risk pregnancy, which lead to a 3 day labor with our premature child, and then lacking sleep in the first month because "STBXWH needed to work" and I was the only caretaker for our boy day and night. STBXWH acted like the victim to me being upset when I told him the why's (lack of sleep, still physically recovering, being expected to cook/take care of the apartment with a several week old who just got out of NICU, etc) because he then felt I was blaming him and I was "being even meaner." Honestly, I think his "I always support you mask" started to slip during the pregnancy and my calling him out on his double standards just made it slip further.


...typing all of this makes me realize that my STBXWH was right. There is nothing I could have done or said that would have not made him go after the OW. In a lot of ways he resented me expecting him to grow up, not project his anxieties on to me, and to not look to others to validate him in his work. While helpful, it definitely hurts to see I was the only one trying to make the marriage work as equal partners.

Me - BW Mid 30's
Him - WH Mid 30's

D-day1: Christmas Night 2021
D-day2:6/5/22
Separated.

posts: 34   ·   registered: Mar. 23rd, 2022   ·   location: United States
id 8743266
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EllieKMAS ( member #68900) posted at 10:41 PM on Sunday, July 3rd, 2022

What I feel like I need to work on more is being comfortable being a single mother without needing someone else around. I would prefer to raise my son by myself than to accidently have him get hurt by some other man who I connect to out of being uncomfortable being single.

You are amazing Kanashii. This is exactly the attitude to have right now!! Get separated, get divorced, and take your time to heal and get to know YOU. Work on boundary setting and really do some digging into what you want and what your emotional needs are and how to effectively communicate those things. Taking your time on this will help you form a rock-solid foundation upon which to build your new life - the investment of time here will do nothing but good things for you and your boy.

I am so sorry - I watched my mom struggle for years with divorcing my sister's dad, who was very disordered. I marvel at her strength in doing so. The D was over pretty fast but the coparenting was a nightmare. Hang in there and take the legal steps you need to to protect your kid, whatever that looks like. I think your head is very much in the right place and you're gonna come out the other side of this in such a better place than you even know right now. It'll suck for a while getting there, but will be worth it, I promise you.

"No, it's you mothafucka, here's a list of reasons why." – Iliza Schlesinger

"The love that you lost isn't worth what it cost and in time you'll be glad that it's gone." – Linkin Park

posts: 3516   ·   registered: Nov. 22nd, 2018   ·   location: CO
id 8743275
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BlackRaven ( member #74607) posted at 12:17 AM on Monday, July 4th, 2022

What I feel like I need to work on more is being comfortable being a single mother without needing someone else around. I would prefer to raise my son by myself than to accidently have him get hurt by some other man who I connect to out of being uncomfortable being single.

Yes!!!!!

posts: 335   ·   registered: Jun. 17th, 2020
id 8743278
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 Kanashii (original poster new member #80132) posted at 5:26 PM on Wednesday, July 6th, 2022

EllieKMAS & BlackRaven: I don't really feel amazing, just angry/upset and not wanting to put my child through more than he should since none of this situation is his fault. I learned through therapy today that a lot of what is pissing me off about STBXWH's behavior is similar to things that has angered me about the family expectations that were on me (and still are) from growing up.

Everyone (parents, aunts/uncles, and now STBXWH) expect me to be able to fix all the physical/emotional things that go wrong, but if they do not like what I have to say about their current behaviors and the surety of things getting worse they get upset and try to use guilt to make me fix things the way they want them fixed. Guilt trips just make me angry now (it's been that way for 20+years), and I get very irritable when someone tries to make themselves a victim when they caused the situation in the first place. That my STBXWH told our four year old that he needed to "take care of mommy when she's sad" infuriated me because the reasons I'm sad are all caused by STBXWH. I now have to repeatedly tell my son that he did nothing wrong, he does not need to make mommy feel better, and that I can and will take care of myself. I do not want to bring another person in to my life who would make my kid feel like he has to deal with the same stuff I did at age 9.

It's going to be hard (and scary) to figure out what and who I am by myself after 20+ years as a "We" and not just "me." I also don't trust myself at all to not get put in the same situation again, as STBXWH used to listen to me and didn't expect me to fix things for him until we got married. We were together 10 years before marriage and his behavior only started changing after the first year of marriage. That would suck to connect with someone else only to tie the knot and have them change their behaviors slowly to this same issue again.

Me - BW Mid 30's
Him - WH Mid 30's

D-day1: Christmas Night 2021
D-day2:6/5/22
Separated.

posts: 34   ·   registered: Mar. 23rd, 2022   ·   location: United States
id 8743562
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