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Divorce/Separation :
Can 2 separate places ease tensions after Failed R?

Topic is Sleeping.
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 Superesse (original poster member #60731) posted at 9:37 PM on Sunday, March 24th, 2024

This is a hypothetical kind of question for people like myself who suffered intimate betrayal on top of struggling with a slew of other marital incompatibilities, but who nevertheless hoped if they'd grant their WS some interim time to try to R they could build back to a better place after the cheater would "do the work" on their issues as they tearfully and remorsefully promised to do.

When, after much time has elapsed, it becomes clear that the fW spouse wants to perpetually rug sweep, despite the BS repeatedly asking for their person or their home to be respected, so they can tolerate just being IHS roommates, yet the BS sees few attempts from WS at respecting the same - little everyday things like picking up their clothes, like listening and comprehending...(you all can fill in the blanks, I'm confident!)

When the BS is the homeowner like me, I feel like the usual advice to "leave" isn't an option, unless the situation were to be truly dire. But the grind of no real progress in all this time, does have me pondering....

I'd like to hear what degree of Separation is likely to prove more helpful to really both parties (for example, does one increase the degree of IHS limbo versus move the FW Spouse right out of the house to reduce the level of friction, perhaps on a short-term trial basis) or just quit hoping and waiting for a miracle and file for Divorce? The analogy of being a frog in the pot of boiling water seems appropo to this question....Ribbit...Ribbit....

I'm aware that most of the time, there are legal issues which could make going out and getting another place unadvisable. But let's assume the house was rented and/or there are no kids at home, or as in my case, there's been a legal post nup signed which divided marital assets.

Since that legal shift which took place 10 years ago after D-Day 2, my approach to this M became "R was never realistic. Even our MC advised him to continue with IC but that never happened, so I can either D now or see if WH can honor little agreements we've made while "we" attempt to get through our older years as well-meaning-if-incompatible roommies in my house. Perhaps the little changes if he can make them, will help me recover my trust enough to attempt R..."

Lately, it looks like stronger consequences for his continued disregard and presumption are going to have to happen. But I ain't moving!

Edited to add that years ago, my old country doctor told me he knew of a couple who lived separate together, he on the second floor and she on the first floor (just like we are doing for years) and said "you'd be surprised how many marriages were saved by separate residences..." I guess that was back in the good ole days of fewer options?

Anyone care to chew on this?

[This message edited by Superesse at 2:50 AM, Monday, March 25th]

posts: 2071   ·   registered: Sep. 22nd, 2017   ·   location: Washington D C area
id 8830595
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leafields ( Guide #63517) posted at 6:40 AM on Monday, March 25th, 2024

When I got my own place, my nightmares stopped after about 6 months.

I tried to R, but the other stuff was just too much. I didn't want to spend the last 20 years or so of my life with the way my XWH treated me.

Our house was small, so there would be no upstairs/downstairs for us.

BW M 34years, Dday 1: March 2018, Dday 2: August 2019, D final 2/25/21

posts: 3567   ·   registered: Apr. 21st, 2018   ·   location: Washington State
id 8830637
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The1stWife ( Guide #58832) posted at 7:54 AM on Monday, March 25th, 2024

Why continue to do what you are doing?

Clearly you are unhappy.

He’s not doing what is needed.

You are leaning towards ending this relationship.

Why do you want to stay in an IHS arrangement when he’s not living up to his promises or your expectations?

Are you feeling guilty if you decide to divorce? Do you think you are selfish or mean by divorcing him or trying to instill a certain standard of living?

You deserve better.

Survived two affairs and brink of Divorce. Happily reconciled. 10 years out from Dday. Reconciliation takes two committed people to be successful.

posts: 13970   ·   registered: May. 19th, 2017
id 8830640
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 Superesse (original poster member #60731) posted at 2:02 AM on Tuesday, March 26th, 2024

I may have chosen the wrong forum for a theoretical back and forth about what possible help a Separation after this much time post-infidelity might be at age 70+++. I take it it's time for me to pass judgment on this sorry M and unilaterally decide he will never change enough to be a respectful partner for me, if he hasn't started by now, so best to quit hoping for some last-ditch effort that wouldn't cost him a dime, and throw in the towel on 26 years of trying to keep this going.

I posted this poll-type question to hear what others think about whether or not a BS taking action towards finally ending the M might "get the boulder out of the road" as it were, and perhaps let the BS confirm at last that the oft-promised WS change is not realistic.

Guess I answered my own question here, I should have D'd 10 years ago. Instead I gave 1 too many chances, and now it is up to me to give up.

posts: 2071   ·   registered: Sep. 22nd, 2017   ·   location: Washington D C area
id 8830756
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leafields ( Guide #63517) posted at 8:13 AM on Tuesday, March 26th, 2024

I guess where my experience diverges is the fWS. My XWH didn't make it to fWS status.

My XWH is a diagnosed covert narc, so my experiences can sometimes have a different perspective than others.

As part of the NPD discard, my XWH wouldn't answer direct questions because he didn't want to answer. The hard part was realizing that I wasn't worth the breath it took to answer.

He would never respect any boundaries the it was always about him.

I'm so glad that we D. Life is so much now without XWH.

BW M 34years, Dday 1: March 2018, Dday 2: August 2019, D final 2/25/21

posts: 3567   ·   registered: Apr. 21st, 2018   ·   location: Washington State
id 8830779
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 Superesse (original poster member #60731) posted at 4:20 PM on Tuesday, March 26th, 2024

As somebody on another thread posted, infidelity is just one aspect of the larger picture about a person. We see this playing out so often here. I think the decision to quit really boils down to the point in a marriage with someone like this, where you finally have enough evidence to tell you that M with them has been, is now and always will be "all about them." But hope dies hard, right? Especially when there are diagnosed issues, whether NPD, ASD, BPD or even undiagnosed whatever.

I've learned that it makes little difference whether they're deliberately refusing to give up their selfishness, or they just do not possess the mental capacity to see their actions from anyone else's perspective. The adverse effect on the spouse is the same.

Back in 2003, after D-Day 1, which hit 4 years after we married but just months after I'd mortgaged my prior home to buy us a farm, I was told by several therapists not to try so hard to diagnose him and not to "label" a complex human being. I don't like being labeled, either, and I felt empathy enough to work with the broken man I married and was in debt with, to see if he would really "do the work." That never happened. A graduate neuroscience course I took in 2009 taught me almost all behavior is learned and thus can be unlearned if the motivation to change is strong enough. So I've spent the last 10 years after D-Day 2 watching and waiting for observable signs of change in his restrictive self-focus and "blindness" to others (to me or even to our dogs), still not seeing much outward change other than not "acting out" for several years. Meanwhle, a zillion irritating reminders of the entitled mindset he either inherited or learned, I'm not sure which.

Most people will say it's way past time to shake things up and make some change happen. I agree, but that is exactly where I'm stuck!

If this place weren't already solely in my name it would be tempting to just pack up and move myself out. But he is not going to stay in my house if I'm gone! (He'd go for that.) He waived his spousal rights to this house 10 years ago after D-Day 2, so he has been staying "at my discretion" the way my lawyer put it. He has paid the utility bills and bought food and gas, but I pay all my taxes and hefty insurance on the property, including his place of business. (We are not partners in that business, and I put that in the Agreement. Yet I feel I'm a default partner whenever delivery trucks come rumbling down the driveway to deliver parts. It's pretty intrusive, but it buys groceries...)

The issue I'm chewing over is how to shake things up in the kindest way to have him move 100% out of the house, since I see he's way too comfortable with this IHS, while still letting him continue working down in my farm shop that he uses for his business base.

We have a camper, but no water or sewer hookups for it. In 2020 he broke our agreement that he would not bring another secret phone into my house, so the day I found him with that, I kicked him out to the camper, set by the house for his bathroom access, supposedly on an emergency basis. That lasted 6 months, and he was fine with that set up, too.

I frequently have said he should start looking for a place to rent or take the camper to a nearby campground and live like he wants to live: solo. No reaction. Yesterday, I checked out local rentals after hesitating to make that call, because honestly, it feels like a bitter defeat after an epic battle. And then I told him about them. No verbal reaction but I could see his face redden. Today I showed him some listings I found for him to choose among. He did at least give them a moment's consideration. I'm pitching this as temporary.

This either will get me some space and peace, or it may be the beginning of the end. I foresee a future as an old lady sitting out alone on the land, nobody around, unable to drive at night...feels like a hollow victory at this stage. Why the heck can't he wake the F up.

[This message edited by Superesse at 4:21 PM, Tuesday, March 26th]

posts: 2071   ·   registered: Sep. 22nd, 2017   ·   location: Washington D C area
id 8830816
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crazyblindsided ( member #35215) posted at 5:38 PM on Tuesday, March 26th, 2024

I think it would ease a lot of tension. Sounds like you have been in limbo for years. It is so peaceful to get rid of the dead weight. I would absolutely do it and enjoy these next years as YOUR YEARS to do whatever it is that makes you happy. It will be a victory however you look at it because you get your life back!

fBS/fWS(me):51 Mad-hattered after DD (2008)
XWS:53 Serial Cheater, Diagnosed NPD
DD(21) DS(18)
XWS cheated the entire M spanning 19 years
Discovered D-Days 2006,2008,2012, False R 2014
Divorcing

posts: 8834   ·   registered: Apr. 2nd, 2012   ·   location: California
id 8830827
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 Superesse (original poster member #60731) posted at 7:44 PM on Tuesday, March 26th, 2024

Thanks crazyblindsided, I remember you from the bad old days when we were posting on ICR. Glad one of us moved on, at least.

If my SAFWH were still to be doing some of his sneaky crap it would have been a no-brainer to file D. But like he keeps saying, he has somewhat changed, so I don't believe that kind of sneaky crap is still happening - but we've been there before, too. After multiple D-Days spread years and years apart with"safe" behaviors in place the whole time, I cannot rely on what he says anymore about his own psychological growth, I can only go by his measurable, observable actions that might show me his thinking and responses differ from back then.

He is still so much a child in his emotional development, which I know was partly caused by childhood sexual abuse he suffered (that came out 22 years ago by me digging and asking him about his FOO.) So I sort of pity his inability to"get it" to the point it's coming to me issuing him an eviction notice, like an adult child who needs to get his own space.

I suppose I'm just getting cranky in my old age (turn 73 tomorrow!) but the cumulative effect of his "not getting it" has really worn me down this winter. Every day, even this morning again, his interaction with me seems to confirm how my existence here in my own space is considered basically "wallpaper in the room of his life."

Stupid little example: I'm working intently on a spreadsheet on my computer in the shared den space. He comes in the kitchen door and immediately launches into a speech about something, with no awareness that I'm trying to concentrate on my database. Where I worked, if you did that to your co-workers a few times, you could get written up or asked to leave! Respect, you know, how about trying "hey..." and waiting to see if I can listen to your interruption?" So I say this. Next day, same old same old. That's petty, I know.

But I keep saying I should jot down these space-invading incidences to remind me why I'm so tired of this IHS even without current Infidelity. I could write a book and many of the examples would be clear ill-mannered or inconsiderate behaviors. Insisting on using my shower on the 1st floor when there is a jacuzzi tub shower upstairs next to his suite...It always seems explainable if I think of it like: he carries a fixed mental picture of a cardboard cut-out "wife" who will always be ready to drop everything and wipe his nose at age 65. (I don't yet suspect frontero-temporal dementia, because he has always been sort of this way.) Sort of spoiled...like my dogs....

[This message edited by Superesse at 8:01 PM, Tuesday, March 26th]

posts: 2071   ·   registered: Sep. 22nd, 2017   ·   location: Washington D C area
id 8830849
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TheEnd ( member #72213) posted at 10:40 PM on Tuesday, March 26th, 2024

I separated from my WS after DDay 2.

For me, it was the best thing I did. The space, the peace, the ability to focus on myself and my healing were priceless. I was sad of course. I cried... a lot. But that was a perk too... I didn't have to hide my tears. I didn't have to modulate my mood to accommodate him in anyway. I've written this a few times here but my healing went into turbo mode once I was away from the source of my pain.

It helped him too. Not that that was my aim at that point. But it was pretty much his rock bottom. He lost weight. He looked like a ghoul for a while. He upped his therapy to twice a week. He learned to cook for himself and clean up after himself. He developed a deep appreciation for having a partner, a home, etc. And he mourned its loss openly. He developed a humility that I had never seen in him before.

It was a positive experience in my world.

posts: 622   ·   registered: Dec. 3rd, 2019
id 8830874
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 Superesse (original poster member #60731) posted at 11:37 PM on Tuesday, March 26th, 2024

TheEnd, great that your Separation produced those results in him. Humility, exactly what I do not see in this man. And if I ever really will, I think it may have to come after he moves out of this farmhouse.

Humility was not a family value where he came from. His grandparents owned farmland which his father inherited, and then after we were married, he inherited half of a large chunk of money when his brother sold what he was farming which had been left to the 2 sons. His father told him not to reveal to me that he had inherited, nice. But later, the year before D-Day 2, he did transfer enough to our joint bank account to completely pay off our mortgages. It's another reason I feel a little twinge of guilt if I have to end up moving him off land he mostly paid for (even though at the time we bought our place, we only relied on me dipping in to my home equity. He had no savings but had a job, so we qualified for the loans based on my refi and his income.) But yeah, his whole family thinks they are sort of royalty in their district. So he comes by it from modelling FOO attitudes.

I just this afternoon did a drive-by to a couple of these rentals I found. Starting to sink in...what will my life be like? What will his be like? The doggos? All so entangled. Change is tough at my age...

I think the camper option is out, for 2 reasons: their monthly rent is almost as much as renting a house in town, I learned. And it hit me that if he used a camper we' e had for a few years, it might not be easy for me to establish a date of Separation, should it come to that. I just recall the discussions on that with my lawyer 10 years ago. Not that I'm planning to D, but may as well have that date established, since we have been hanging out together so many years after I got the deed to this place.

posts: 2071   ·   registered: Sep. 22nd, 2017   ·   location: Washington D C area
id 8830884
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 Superesse (original poster member #60731) posted at 7:00 PM on Wednesday, April 3rd, 2024

Update! fWH seems to finally be taking more seriously this idea of separate residences as a solution to our daily grind.

Today, he actually called a friend of his who just bought a little house and garage from the widow of that man's former boss - who coincidentally was my fWH's main customer!! And my fWH actually ASKED if he'd be interested in renting out the house (I believe the guy bought it as an investment and for its 3 car garage. He's also a mechanic like my fWH). And to my surprise, the man said he WOULD be interested in renting it!! Woooo.

Folks, I've got the willies...so many years I've been saying to him "this isn't working!" and been praying for a amicable solution, and just wanted you all to know that he finally got moving and got some positive response, after I couldn't find anything he'd have liked for rent in our area and I had been feeling so stuck.

It's too early to say what or when if this works out, but I'm sure I'm going to need some SI encouragement down the line, when it hits me that he didn't or couldn't do the work needed for me to ever really trust him again. Plus just for us to be compatible...LOL. That was a tall order right there. So weird to feel relief and yet....

posts: 2071   ·   registered: Sep. 22nd, 2017   ·   location: Washington D C area
id 8831970
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leafields ( Guide #63517) posted at 7:19 PM on Wednesday, April 3rd, 2024

Glad that things are moving along. That is good news about the rental. While it might be a little scary now, it's another step toward freedom.

BW M 34years, Dday 1: March 2018, Dday 2: August 2019, D final 2/25/21

posts: 3567   ·   registered: Apr. 21st, 2018   ·   location: Washington State
id 8831974
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 Superesse (original poster member #60731) posted at 7:52 PM on Wednesday, April 10th, 2024

Mini-Update for anyone still reading (thank you Leafields!)

Just got him to agree to rent a 10 x 30 storage locker so I can start moving out furniture that we had allocated to "him" 10 years ago were we to D. And because rental housing around here is scarce and mostly small spaces, I realized I didn't need the furniture to become another roadblock to getting moving, literally. We are both dragging around with a bug that came on wicked after all this talk about separate residences, isn't that the usual story. So I'm feeling really low in many ways, sad but resolute that if nothing changes, nothing at this point will ever change unless I kick start it. Just made 1 call to a new storage locker facility in our nearby county seat, lo and behold snagged one of their few really large units, so he cannot say his stuff won't fit!

And I'm emphasizing that I need some furniture moved out of the remaining rooms in this old home that need major renovation, if I'm ever going to get this house finished (so I can sell it whenever I want to downsize. I'm so stuck, otherwise.)

Still waiting to hear why my lawyer's paralegal has not returned my call for a quick consult, just to make sure I'm doing this all right.

He's been told again that things need to change. I don't really think it's real to him, to be honest.

posts: 2071   ·   registered: Sep. 22nd, 2017   ·   location: Washington D C area
id 8832969
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leafields ( Guide #63517) posted at 6:29 AM on Saturday, April 13th, 2024

Hope you kick that bug soon.

I don't really think it's real to him, to be honest.

He probably thinks that he got away with it for so long all these years, that all he needs to do is go on the down low and it will eventually pass, and he'll be back. It's amazing how some people will manipulate like that.

When things start moving out, you'll probably feel like you've lost a ton of weight from off your shoulders.

BW M 34years, Dday 1: March 2018, Dday 2: August 2019, D final 2/25/21

posts: 3567   ·   registered: Apr. 21st, 2018   ·   location: Washington State
id 8833420
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 Superesse (original poster member #60731) posted at 4:56 PM on Saturday, April 13th, 2024

Thanks so much, Leafields. I'm still coughing and what not, but just swabbed the 10 by 30 foot concrete floor of his new storage locker rental, and in a few minutes, we are going to start loading up storage totes of his old sports gear he never would part with, as he hasn't opened the totes in 15 years or more, and they are stacked 5 high in the main storage bedroom!

It's the first boulder to rumble on off the mountain....feels so weird.

Had a dream this morning that I had a smaller place and was dating a new guy who sort of reminded me of how he looks (please, girl! Will you never learn!!) But the guy washed his dishes and silverware, put them in a little dish holder in one of the sink compartments, all without being asked, and I marvelled at that, and thought "Not like my EX!" EX being my CURRENT fWH!! Who incidentally, did start washing his breakfast pot and silverware this year - after leving them for me for 25 years... That dream told me that if I'd see any concrete improvement, I'd be all over it...but no, again today it's Ground Hog Day, with him allowing the dogs to bark and carry on as he invades my morning sleeping area and somehow cannot see how the older dog will want to come up and be petted by him and that will guarantee setting off the crated puppy to barking, out of sibling rivalry. He honestly cannot remember things like this from one day to the next. Yet the barking and howling noise and uproar is beyond tolerating, we can't hear each other or finish a sentence, until they quite down.

Our dog trainer even was telling him the same message yesterday. She instructed: "You need to be aware of what the dog is likely to do; you know it wants to jump or whatever." Just like with me, he was quick with his excuse: "I was listening to you!" So he cannot pay attention to spoken words and perceive any visual thing simultaneously. Nor can he retain that info for next time. Major brain issue which has been my life for waaaay too long, but seeing how it works with dog training too, makes it clear it is a mental deficiency he suffers from and remains in denial about.

I think I'd better get away before it all gets worse. He's almost 66....

posts: 2071   ·   registered: Sep. 22nd, 2017   ·   location: Washington D C area
id 8833442
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leafields ( Guide #63517) posted at 6:35 PM on Saturday, April 13th, 2024

Wow - so he's actually moving stuff? I'm surprised. I thought he'd drag it out longer, but this is good news.

You need to be aware of what the dog is likely to do; you know it wants to jump or whatever.

Expect a dog to want to act like a dog and do doggie things? What a concept.

I'm sorry he's so hard-headed. He isn't likely to change at this point in his life.

BW M 34years, Dday 1: March 2018, Dday 2: August 2019, D final 2/25/21

posts: 3567   ·   registered: Apr. 21st, 2018   ·   location: Washington State
id 8833450
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 Superesse (original poster member #60731) posted at 7:29 PM on Saturday, April 13th, 2024

Well we just took his pick up truck bed full of plastic totes to his storage locker, and loaded them in. It is a start, because you don't know how long I've wanted that dead weight stuff out of my life (he has kept every sports jersey or race car cap anybody ever gave him - and he worked in that industry). I even performed a final damp mop of the brand new concrete floor which the builders had left muddy tracks on, because I don't like dragging plastic totes over grit; it wears them out (been doing this storage locker thing on and off since 1975!) And no harsh words. One tote was labelled "wedding linens." Some nice towels that have never been used. I felt like " and good riddance." Interesting, feeling my reactions.

I'd bought the larger totes and loaded them up with his XXXL clothes years before D-Day 2, basically not long after we married in 1997 and he moved into my little 2 bedroom house. Had to rent storage then, too.

Feels like it's finally turning back a notch towards some degree of sanity for me.

I'd like to aim for the kind of relationship that doesn't burn every bridge: casual friends with a shared travel history? (I actually know some widows or divorcees who have man friends they will never marry!)

Some advice given on a thread in General yesterday was very helpful to me: plan to (towards a) divorce, just do the next step, until the final decision is simple: sign on the dotted line - or not; make it easy for yourself to go either way. I think that is smart advice.

[This message edited by Superesse at 8:01 PM, Saturday, April 13th]

posts: 2071   ·   registered: Sep. 22nd, 2017   ·   location: Washington D C area
id 8833453
Topic is Sleeping.
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