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Divorcing a Ghost

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Waits posted 4/25/2013 17:16 PM

My original story is here:

It's been just over 2 months since D-Day and the day my stbxw left. I told her not to contact me 2 weeks ago, she hasn't. Truth is, she never really made an attempt anyway. She just vanished out of my life without warning into the arms of OM.

So, The divorce papers are ready for me to sign. Part of me doesn't want to sign them. Giving up on it, letting it go. It hurts it hurts it hurts, all I need to do is let it go but I'm conflicted. A part of me doesn't want to let it go. Her go. Even though she let go and doesn't want to come back.
I know in my head that I don't want her back but I can't let her go in my heart. This step makes it truly and completely final and a piece of me doesn't want to accept that, or can't accept that yet. I do have an appointment set up for Wednesday to sign them.

I feel like I'm completely alone. I feel that I'm doing this divorce by myself.
I told her not to contact me, she is doing that, very well. Following instructions. She wanted a divorce from D-day, this is exactly the plan she put in place. No remorse, no apologies, no closure, no nothing.
I feel like I'm divorcing a ghost.

She may as well have died. It's like our life never existed, it was all a dream. No contact from her, from her family.
I'm crushed. I'll never be the same again, this has changed me forever and I don't know exactly how yet. It will unfold in time. Time that 4 letter word on everyone's lips. She vanished into her fantasy world and I'm closing up the shop.

I have no ground under my feet, nothing to hold onto and a part of me is truly gone forever. I can feel the emptiness inside me, it begs to be whole again. I feel as if I'm dreaming or in a trance, vaguely aware of the world around me. I long for something solid to hold onto, something that will shake me from this dream. I long for the part of me that's been torn out unceremoniously. Left to the dogs. Shivering on the wet pavement gasping for breath.

I find no solace. No comfort in anything really, not for very long. I forget a lot of things all day long. I'm scattered and listless. Energy sapped and drained out. I have no idea how long this will last either, this stage. No way of knowing when change will come. I only know that it will come. Change is the one thing I can trust, the one thing I can count on. Always lurking behind me with a knife in one hand and flowers in the other. You'll never know which one he'll hand you, only that you have to take what's given.
So strange this feeling. It's all consuming but unknowable. It can't be explained or understood unless experienced. There are no words to do it justice.

I'm on zoloft, I'm in therapy but nothing much helps me these days. I'm trying not to make sense of it because there is no sense to be made. I'm haunted by it though, haunted by detached memories of a life that no longer exists. It's all so strange.

Heal&Deal posted 4/25/2013 18:43 PM

First, sorry that you find yourself in this position. It sucks. It really, really does.

Divorce is a legal transaction, it no more or no less seals your fate than a marriage certificate did. Getting it signed, sealed, delivered allows you to not be responsible for your WW's decisions. Being in financial or legal ruin can only make matters worse. Make sure your lawyer reviews the decree thoroughly and listen to his/her advice before signing.

The disappearing act is hurtful; however, benefit is that you may be able to avoid a drawn out and expensive, financially and emotionally, legal battle. I paid an attorney an excruciating amount of money for over a year to get my divorce finalized.

You are not alone. There are many, many people who have walked the betrayed spouse walk, the abandoned walk, the divorce walk....and the recovery walk. More importantly, they stand by here on SI to help you through this.

You have suffered a huge loss. Your daily life has changed. Your expectations for your future have changed. This is big and an emotional and physical response is to be expected. Be gentle and patient with yourself. It gets better. Really it does.

Biggest of hugs to you.

[This message edited by Heal&Deal at 8:22 PM, April 25th (Thursday)]

PurpleBlueBella posted 4/25/2013 20:16 PM

I am so so sorry you are hurting. I have no advice, I am right here with you.


nowiknow23 posted 4/25/2013 20:21 PM


tesla posted 4/25/2013 21:38 PM

I'm so sorry, Waits. You are only 2 months out from D-day and already divorced. You are still in shock...there is a book that really helped me "The journey from abandonment to healing" it talked about this initial stage...shattering. I recommend giving this book a look.

homewrecked2011 posted 4/25/2013 21:51 PM

It is unbelieveable because you are a real person with feelings and integrity and common sense.

A "normal" wife would have said, "Let's go to counseling, something is wrong here". Then she would committed herself to 6 months counseling. THEN if that didn't work, she would have asked for divorce. THEN she would have given herself 6 months to heal. THEN she would have looked for someone else.

Something is broken in her from long before you came into the picture. You are seeing the "bloom" of the root that is messed up in her.

It's way too soon for you to figure all this out. Please just try to get thru each day the best you can.

I recommend Love Must Be Tough --- a book that is a real easy read---that quickly shows how you can possibly wake her up.

I also get insight when I read the WS forum page on the SI site. It helps to explain the mindset of these people from the voice of WS who are trying to recover.

Additionally, if you look at major celebs whose spouses had affairs it is so easy to see that the broken person is the one who cheated:

Tom Cruise
Tyger Woods
Jesse James

You get the picture. Their wives, it would appear were pretty stable people, and these men did their own thing regardless of the beautiful and rich person they were married to. Regardless of their marriage vows, because they are broken, just as your spouse and mine.

It is so so so sad. It is so shocking. Did you out her to her family & the W of affair partner?

Affairs are like mushrooms, they flourish in the dark and dry up and die in the light of day (or the light of exposure to everyone).

One lady on the Ws section said she would have stopped the affair if she knew how....

[This message edited by homewrecked2011 at 9:56 PM, April 25th (Thursday)]

h0peless posted 4/25/2013 22:57 PM


I'm about 9 months past Dday with an extremely similar story (no diagnosed mental illness for my ex though) and I can promise you that it does get better. At two months out, I was still putting my boxers on backwards most mornings. At three, I was remembering to eat breakfast. It just got progressively better. Someday, it will get to a point where you only think about it a few times a day, then only in the morning when you wake up, then you might even miss a day... You will get there, it just takes time.

Eventually, you will realize how big of a favor she is doing you by being a ghost. If she isn't in contact, she can't pile on any more hurt. NC helped me get better.

Waits posted 4/26/2013 00:11 AM

Thank you all for the support. I know getting divorced quickly has its benefits but it doesn't make it any easier now.
She told me a month ago that she was upset but doesn't let herself "go there". I wish I had that ability right now. I can't not think about it. I try.
I actually have feelings and she really doesn't.
Tesla, thanks for the book recommendation, I just downloaded it.
Homewrecked, it is unbelievable. I've read lots of other stories about WAS and a lot seem to include this 'normal' behavior you talk about. The hardest thing to deal with is that literally one day we were fine, the next she was gone, without warning or discussion.
She really manipulated the situation the way she wanted. She moves into her new place next week.
I did not reach out to her family, they did not reach out to me. I have no idea what story she told them but I doubt it's the truth. I did contact the OMs ex girlfriend about it. Trying to find out why he would do this. She was shocked and sad, she emailed the OM and told him is reputation would be ruined.
Which prompted my stbxw to send me an email pleading with me not to tell her employers or future employers what a horrible person she is because it won't help me feel better. All of a sudden she wanted to 'Stop hurting each other.' Yet she made no mention of I'm sorry. Only trying to protect her own ass and her fantasy from. Crumbling down around her.
That's when I told her never to contact me again. I refused to reply to her , please do me a favor and dont tell anyone email.
I just don't understand how she lives with herself and sleeps at night.

All your comments made me feel better tonightt and for that I thank you all. I was on the floor in tears before.

SBB posted 4/26/2013 00:32 AM

I was on the floor for a lot longer than two months out.

(((Waits))) I promise it won't always hurt this bad. I posted a very similar thread when it happened to me.

I remember being kind of pissed off when they told me it wouldn't always hurt this bad. I thought: "Of course it will - my whole fucking life has imploded - I AM going to die of heartbreak!!".

Yet here I am almost a year out from that day and they were all right. It hasn't hurt that bad for many months now. And I am still wildly alive. More than ever, in fact. And so much happier.

Giving me up was the kindest thing he had done to me in 5 long years. It is always the kindest move of an Unremorseful Wayward. You'll see that in time.

But that is for later - right now you are hurting and hurting bad. I know it friend. Please know you're not alone - not by a long shot.

Soon this won't be something that is happening, it will have happened. And you're going to not only survive it - but thrive. You'll be amazed at both
Surviving it and also at how long you put up with less than you deserve for so long.

You deserve better. You will have better. Just got to make it through this agonising bit first. One second, one minute, one hour, one day at a time.

Keep reading, keep posting. You will heal. I promise you that.

Amazonia posted 4/26/2013 05:57 AM

My XH was kind of like that. He actually moved out a few days before I found out about the affair, and only told me when I started insisting on marriage counseling. After that, he went totally silent on me. He wouldn't pick up the phone if I called, wouldn't respond to my texts, didnt open the emails I sent. The first 6 weeks or so, his stuff was all still in my house, so constant reminders.

Meanwhile he essentially moved on as if we had never been married, just went back to what his life had been in the past, before me.

It was bizarre and painful, but ultimately, I think it helped me too, because it made it really easy to go NC and focus on myself instead of him.

I had to do all the heavy lifting on the divorce, but the nice part was that since he wasn't willing to admit he'd ever even been married, he was also unwilling to admit he was getting a divorce - he never hired an attorney, didnt look up his rights, didnt fight me on any of the paperwork I sent to him to have signed and returned. He totally rolled over. (I should have taken him for spousal support! )

I know it hurts. I'm sorry. But there is hope and there will be better days ahead. I promise.

Waits posted 4/26/2013 15:50 PM

Thank You All! All of your posts have helped me so much. Taking lots of deep breaths. Trying to focus on the future and moving into a new apartment in the fall.

Reading this forum and the books recommended to me. I know intellectually I'll be fine someday, but it will be a while.

Wednesday I sign the papers. The same day she is moving into her new apartment. I think I'll be free and clear legally 2-3 months from now.

For now, one hour at a time.

Waits posted 4/26/2013 23:19 PM

I am so angry right now. I've taken to hitting the mattress to get out some anger. It appears out of nowhere, I was doing laundry and all these thoughts about the OM came rushing into me. I want to lash out at both my WS and the OM. Tying so hard to take the high road and let her new relationship explode on its own.
I want to scream. The movies of them in my mind make me so upset.
I feel that they got off so easy, it's maddening. It really is. My skin crawls at the thought of them. I hate that they're together, I've been so damn civil, tried so hard to keep my cool. I'm fraying at the edges. I am so hurt, the anger is really the pain and hurt I feel. Instead of sending emails I'll regret I write here, trying, trying to stay with NC. It won't do any good, she isn't there anymore, so in the fog. I'll just end up fighting with an emotionless robot again. An unapologetic, remorseless sociopath. Oh this drives me crazy, our home has become my asylum. Wow I need more distractions. A lot more.

SBB posted 4/27/2013 00:22 AM

Rage walking and rage cleaning really helped me. I'm no longer in the home we shared (thank fuck!) but I'm in the same area so I used to trigger a lot.

Try not to focus on the OM - if it wasn't him it would be someone else. He's just the next victim.

monster is a parasite that needed a new host. I was no longer a willing participant in his destruction of me so he choose to go on to destroy someone else.

As I said, it was the kindest thing he had done to me in 5 years.

((Waits)) The root of all anger is pain. I had moments where I was seeping with rage, then the tears came, then the rage etc.

All pretty normal. Be extra vigilant with yourself during the rages. Do not make any contact whatsoever - you will regret it no matter what you say.

Breathe through it friend. You are giving birth to your new life - suck on the happy gas when you need to and hold onto the walls or floor when you need to.

We're all here holding you up - this dip on the damned rollercoaster will pass and you'll be on an upswing again soon enough. The dips lessen and don't last as long as you get further along.


Waits posted 4/29/2013 12:42 PM

Thank You stongbutbroken. This weekend was a total blur. I was up really late last night and I emailed my WS a link to a cover song I recorded.

I shouldn't have sent it to her. I emailed her again today saying "I should not have sent that".
I didn't hear back from her, I told her she didn't need to reply.

Oh well. 1 weak moment.

Removed link.

[This message edited by Waits at 7:15 PM, April 29th (Monday)]

SBB posted 4/29/2013 17:02 PM

Dust yourself off and get right back on the NC wagon. We all fall off - it takes a while to realise you're causing yourself more pain. Once you do NC gets a lot easier.

I visualise any contact as ego kibbles for him - that stopped me in my tracks.

Its a great song - I've been listening to the album since it first came out. I realised I was listening to a lot of sad love songs in those last years of my M. Adele's cover of Bonnie Rait's "I can't make you love me" was the soundtrack to my post-DD agony.

Lean into the pain when it gets bad. Remind yourself that it won't always feel this bad. Make sure you take good care of yourself. Stay away from booze, get as much sleep as you can.

You're going to get through this. Keep reading, keep posting.

We all know this black pit of despair.

I have also sent you a PM.

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