This is what I am doing; 50/50 with kids, we agreed to not file for d until BS has a job and insurance, so I am supporting the family, I am being respectful to her boundaries, we are mostly staying NC expect kids and finances, IC (both of us) I am sure there are other things, just can't think of them.
My problem is as I heal myself, I feel like BS needs my help to heal. Maybe I am projecting? As I write this, I feel like this is my problem not hers. Is that the case? Is my guilt keeping me stuck in feeling like I can actually help her? Guilt, me thinking that I can control this still?
I am working on rebuilding her trust in me so we can co parent our kids. Is that all I really can do?
Separated transitioning to D
It sounds like you are doing exactly what she needs. Keep up the good work.
The communication is an issue. She triggers, calls me about it, and I just freeze up because I don't know where the boundary is anymore. It's gets really hazy. Then I will say or do something the next day that I think will help, and she gets upset.
I know we are less than a year out from the last of the TT, and our one year anti-versary was yesterday, so lately it's been hard for her.
In my effort to be *concise*, I often come off as blunt and harsh. Sorry, don't mean to be offensive.
For example, on Saturday she asked again when AP #1 reached out after the A was over. I have narrowed it down to 6 -7 years ago via email, but without any hard evidence, it's just my estimate based on my memory of what else was going on. She then told me that I don't care because it is not something that is important to me, but it is important to her, so it's another example of me not caring.
It used to be that she was angry, but the last few have been that she was hurting.
ETA, when she calls and says stuff like its important to her, and not to me it kills me. I keep thinking if I can just give her the right answers or the ones she will finally believe that we could somehow move into the R column. Again, she has not said that, and she has said over and over that there will never be R, but I always think that if I could just say the right thing, things would change.
[This message edited by badchoice at 2:00 PM, April 2nd (Tuesday)]
I would caution you not to confuse the "need to help her heal" with the "need to remain close in any possible way." For instance, my BH and I have been closer and more emotionally intimate in the past year than at almost any point in our marriage. We have been turning to each other with every thought, insecurity and feeling which passes through our heads (at least I have). This is very hard to turn off now that he has decided to D. As BAD as going over A details feels, at least we are emotionally close to the BS during the process. However (as I am trying to tell myself) part of the D process is putting distance between yourself and the BS.
I think it would be very tempting to keep working on the "healing" in any way possible- especially if there were a chance of R.
i would say be there if they reach out, but don't push yourself into her emotional life even if it is "for her own good."
I have in the past, but it is on my list for IC today.
BS and I have also discussed boundaries about this in the past too. On Saturdays call, BS asked if we could talk about it before starting, and I said yes. I was just not expecting it to be on the subject of AP contact from years ago.
During the conversations I just freeze up, not knowing what to say, it reminds me of after Dday when I was still lying, trying to lie my way out of it. Afraid to say the wrong thing. I don't know what to do. She gets emotional, I get emotional, and then she says something that upsets me and then I get cold and distant.
I get what you are saying. I have been working hard at NC, but sent her a text yesterday that crossed the line.
The last month has really been a step towards detaching. But then a wave a guilt comes in after a day of feeling ok, because something triggers me.
[This message edited by badchoice at 3:19 PM, April 2nd (Tuesday)]
She has asked when AP #1 saw me, after NC and got my email address, and when AP #1 sent me an email that began our EA. I can only give her what I think the year was, but BS is not convinced that I am right or being honest.
I don't blame her for feeling that way. I lied for so long, to everyone, about everything. I have lied so much that I am not even sure if I have the time frame right. My BSs memory is different than mine, she remembers everything. I have blocked out so much, mostly rugsweeping in the past.
My IC says that when I don't have a strong emotional touch point with an event, it is much easier to forget. I was in such an emotionless shell for many years, I barely remember anything.
She just doesn't believe me. I understand that. I was an emotionless robot after Dday last year. I lied to her face as she crumbled. Then once I started to get in touch with my emotions it was all about me, and my sadness over what I was losing, she looks at what I did in the past, and even though she sees some progress from me, she still sees that person from a year ago.
I see setting up some boundaries in this area as a good thing for you and her. I am curious as to what your IC is going to recommend. I don't think you stop answering questions, however email maybe a good format at this point for the two of you.
My IC said to look at my boundaries, and decide how productive these conversations are.
Productive for BW if she just needs to vent about some triggers, or productive for me if I feel like I can contain my emotions while the conversation is happening.
The thing she asked me to understand is that no matter what I say or do, I will not change BW's perspective of who I am. It is not something I can fix or control, that is my challenge in this.
understand is that no matter what I say or do, I will not change BW's perspective of who I am. It is not something I can fix or control, that is my challenge in this.
Exactly, which is why I said I think at this point it is really her healing that is needs to happen, and I don't know that you can help with that. You may need to let go of the outcome with this.
For me, when R was off the table, I made a promise---to my XH and to myself---that I would do whatever my XH needed to help him heal. Whatever it took. If he had needed to ask me questions about the A, even after we had divorced, I would have answered them. I felt like I owed him anything.
It turned out that what he needed was simply to be away from me. He and I were cordial when we saw each other at work; there was no animosity in our interaction. He just, basically, needed me to leave him alone. And I kind of needed that too, for my own sanity.
I admire your willingness to be there for your BW, to take care of your family the way you are despite the eventual divorce filing, and to be asking the question of how to help her.
It may be that your BW keeps reaching out WRT the A talk because she too might think that if only you say the "right" things, it can help her heal. She might also be looking for that lightbulb moment where it will suddenly all make sense to her and she can start to move on & heal (in whichever direction that takes the marriage).
Trouble is, I don't know if that's possible.
Divorced and remarried to XBH
The response that you mentioned....
During the conversations I just freeze up, not knowing what to say, it reminds me of after Dday when I was still lying, trying to lie my way out of it. Afraid to say the wrong thing. I don't know what to do. She gets emotional, I get emotional, and then she says something that upsets me and then I get cold and distant
If BB has a question or would like clarification for something that you have done, then yes.....as TG said. Email. Email gives you a bit of *distance* and doesn't subject BB to the freeze, cold, distant, *I'm gonna lie* response that has become the pattern. And the questions should be geared towards figuring out what her *real* life was.....
IMO, she shouldn't be talking to you about her triggers. Clarification questions, yes. Triggers, no.
Actually, your IC is kinda wrong. Changing BB's perspective of you will take time and work, but it is possible. BB doesn't have to see you as a liar forever. Consistent actions over a long period of time are key. I think that the important thing to focus on right now is to *say what you mean, and mean what you say* and keep whatever agreements are made between the two of you, come hell or high water.
TG, letting go of the outcome. yes, I think 2 weeks ago i finally (85%) let go, but with the dday anniversary this week, all of these feelings have come up (for both of us). My IC reminded me that I spend a lot of time reacting to BWs feelings, but foget to process my own. She reminded me to work on my feelings more.
heartbroken, that is where I want to be, answer any questions she may have, but she is still in the no trust, doesn't believe me. That is where I think the disconnect is.
gonna, bb has fond feelings for you as well.
Actually, your IC is kinda wrong.
she actually said it more like you said it. If her feelings about me are going to change, it will take time, and she will have to change them. It isn't something I can control. That is most likely a more accurate way of saying it.
doesn't subject BB to the freeze, cold, distant, *I'm gonna lie* response that has become the pattern. And the questions should be geared towards figuring out what her *real* life was.....
That makes so much sense. I really connect the freezing/cold look that I still get sometimes when I start to panic because I don't know what to say - to the right after Dday feelings until yesterday or the day before. I can really get how seeing me react like that can be a huge trigger for bb and bring her right back to dday. I will work on this.
disgrace, thank you.