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How do you deal with the guilt of D?

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joeboo posted 6/8/2013 22:41 PM

I have not D'd but considering my circumstances it seems like I should. Many a fear, but mostly the guilt and associated emotions of dealing with a 20+ yr marriage that failed. I feel like I would be leaving her high and dry. She works, but it is part time at her choosing. I worry about what she would do with herself and how she would try to drag the kids down.

How do you deal with the guilt? Does it ever go away post D?

gma56 posted 6/8/2013 23:49 PM

How do you deal with the guilt? Does it ever go away post D?

((Joe))
This isn't your guilt to carry. You can't fix the marriage or her on your own and sometimes when a spouse breaks a marriage, it can't be fixed. I think kids are better when they have one healthy stable parentand I don't think staying together for the kids is ever a good reason. Kids know and that isn't what you want them to believe marriage is suppose to be, broken.

I feel like I would be leaving her high and dry. She works, but it is part time at her choosing. I worry about what she would do with herself and how she would try to drag the kids down
She's big girl that has made some very adult choices. You didn't fail her and you won't be failing her. She has failed you and herself. Only she can fix herself.

She will have to take responsibiliy for her own life. Just as you will. Yes, she will be working fulltime and possibly going to school at some time in the future.

I hope she will be the best Mom possible for the kids.

None of this is easy.
You will deal with the issues as they arise.

Hugs
Gma

TrustedHer posted 6/8/2013 23:55 PM

Edited to remove rant.

Joe, a good IC can really, really help.

Most of the guilt is not yours to deal with in the first place.

And the rest is mistakes you need to learn from. But often, we need objective people to see those mistakes, and their cause.

[This message edited by TrustedHer at 11:59 PM, June 8th (Saturday)]

phmh posted 6/9/2013 00:02 AM

I don't have any guilt.

I was a wonderful, fabulous wife.

He is broken and made terrible decisions (to sleep with someone else while we were married), to which there were consequences.

Those consequences include losing the most wonderful thing that ever happened to him.

Not my problem.

joeboo posted 6/9/2013 00:04 AM

I don't think staying together for the kids is ever a good reason.
They are adult children, which doesn't mean it won't hurt them, but my reference was more based on the fact they seem to be more responsible than her and I'd hate to see her turn to them for financial help which they would probably do out of some sense of their own obligation.

Edited to remove rant.
No worries. I actually read it before the edit and appreciated the perspective.

No IC. For whatever reason I have rejected the notion so far. Maybe it is time to reconsider.

joeboo posted 6/9/2013 00:06 AM

Not my problem.
I noted a sense of happiness in your post. It was a little contagious (thanks for the response).

wontdefineme posted 6/9/2013 00:07 AM

It is part of the process and confirmation you are a good person. Even though we know it is what must be done, divorce shouldn't be easy.

phmh posted 6/9/2013 00:14 AM

Joeboo,

I wish that I could adequately express the happiness that I feel since the D.

I actually did feel guilt at first. He was sexually abused as a child. He had terrible parents. He has a debilitating disease. He claimed to want to R. He needs me, right? Quite honestly, that codependent reason is why I stayed so long.

I was wasting my fabulousness and integrity on someone who didn't deserve it.

I am so much happier now. Several times a month, a stranger comes up to me and tells me how beautiful I am. That never happened when I was married, even though I was younger, and arguably hotter then. And it's not men trying to get into my pants. Middle-aged women stop me on the street to tell me I'm beautiful. WTF?

It's because I finally am truly happy on the inside, and it's reflecting that on the outside.

When you're stuck in a terrible relationship, you forget how wonderful life can be when you're only surrounded my wonderful, supportive people.

Life is far too short to make decisions out of fear or guilt. Too short to waste on someone who doesn't appreciate you. You only get to live once.

SBB posted 6/9/2013 00:24 AM

IMO my marriage failed because my husband was a failure as a husband and father - well before DD too.

I'm not D just yet but I can't see how I'll feel guilt - I DO feel guilt for choosing a father for my girls so poorly. That also existed well before DD but its definitely stronger since.

Its one of those things - a part of this shit sandwich we're all gagging on. Staying married doesn't mean we're not gagging on it.

HeartInADustpan posted 6/9/2013 00:31 AM

I felt zero guilt when I D'd XWH#1.

He and I entered a contract with certain expectations. Infidelity being a major deal breaker. He cheated, broke the contract and I left.

She made the choice to break your contract and chose to place the burden of consequences on herself.

Hang in there.

gma56 posted 6/9/2013 01:30 AM

They are adult children, which doesn't mean it won't hurt them, but my reference was more based on the fact they seem to be more responsible than her and I'd hate to see her turn to them for financial help which they would probably do out of some sense of their own obligation.

My kids were also adults and both handled the D differently. DSS did a few things for his Dad that he regrets but his Dad put him in a position no son should have been put in. He has now put boundaries in place concerning his Dad.

My DD (not her bio dad) hasn't talked to him in 5yrs after dday and will not let GS near FT. He's no one she wants GS to look up to and believe me GS idolized FT.
Yup more consequences.

If you feel comfortable talking to the kids explain they may need to have boundaries with Mom. She is going to learn to live within her budget. We all have changed our life styles due to D.

I agree with the others, now would be a great time to go see an IC and sort this out with guidance.
Hugs
Gma

stronger08 posted 6/9/2013 03:39 AM

Joe, as was said this is not your burden to carry. When people willingly enter into affairs they do it with the understanding that their M may end due to their actions. Yet they roll those dice and do it anyway. Its not your fault she crapped out. As for leaving her high and dry. The D laws of your state are written to assist her. I personally agreed to spousal support for one year while she got on her feet. According to my attorney she most likely would have been awarded it anyhow. And I ran this risk of the timeline being extended by the court. So I actually thought it was a good legal maneuver to offer a year SS without a fight. She took it along with the seemingly generous offer I made. But like most hurt BS I wanted my pound of flesh at first. That thinking stalled my D process and my healing for months. Thank God my attorney was able to talk sense to me. D needs to be approached as a business deal. You have to compromise and make concessions. And so should she.

Living in limbo is not fair to you or her. She also needs to learn that you are no longer responsible for her. She made the decision to cheat and so with it goes the consequences. You were not considered in her decision process. I had a 20 year relationship myself. It was damn hard to move away from that. Even with all the bullshit it was still something that felt comfortable to me. But once I found the courage to stand up for myself and move on my life is pretty good. Perhaps this feeling you have has nothing to do with guilt. It very well could be your own fear of moving on that is hiding behind guilt. I'm not gonna lie. D is one tough experience. But when its done it feels like a 1000 lb burden has been lifted off of you. Follow your heart and follow the law. Don't be over generous with her either. She gets what the law says she gets. No more, no less. Hang in there Bro.

bigpicture3236 posted 6/9/2013 13:05 PM

I had to stay until the kids were all out of the house due to my guilt of breaking the family...even though I know it wasn't me who actually did it. But, it was easy to see how destroyed the marriage was once no one else was here.
We had been married over 30 years and XH just threw it all away for his office OW. He never really showed the remorse that he should have or even cared about my healing. No one should stay in a relationship like that.
I know my kids could not wait for it to me over as they saw how much I was suffering. They are older, but kids really are smarter than you think. I think as long as you show them that you still love them and how 'happy' you can be, they will realize that, no matter what their mother says, everyone is better off.
Good luck

ruinedandbroken posted 6/9/2013 21:12 PM

I am so much happier now. Several times a month, a stranger comes up to me and tells me how beautiful I am. That never happened when I was married, even though I was younger, and arguably hotter then. And it's not men trying to get into my pants. Middle-aged women stop me on the street to tell me I'm beautiful. WTF?

I don't know what you look like phmh, but if you are how you seem here, I'm sure you are beautiful.

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