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Losing hope in limbo

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Prayingforhope posted 3/6/2014 06:25 AM

I have a picture of my family, the five of us, front and center in the room I rent. I see it every day when I wake up and every night before I go to sleep. It holds a special place and a painful place in my heart since it was a family portrait that used to be up in our house. A friend that knew about my A held that picture up to me once and reminded me I was risking EVERYTHING with what I was doing.

Back in those days I really didn’t believe what I was doing would ever impact my family. The same old wayward crap reasoning, i.e.” as long as no one knows then no one gets hurt”. Not true then and certainly not true now that my BS knows every detail about my LTA.

So the photo came down from our house along with every other photo of me and my wife together. I repurposed this one to my new home (we’re separated) to remind myself of the damage I have done and the goal I am pursuing with every ounce of energy I have. My hope, the hope I pray for every day, is to get even the tiniest chance at R with my wife and to rebuild our family. I would NOT squander that gift and with the humility, remorse and new behaviors I have discovered over the last four months since DDay, I am ready, willing and able to be the selfless loving husband and father my family needs.

But it doesn’t matter.

I’m a wayward who has put in limbo by his BS and every day my hope dwindles. The photo seems more like a relic of a time gone by than anything that could exist in the future. I’m in the dark at all times, I have no idea what my wife is doing with her life, her health, her friends, her feelings, anything. Every day I get a little bit better at emotionally detaching from her, but it’s tough, SO TOUGH, as she is the only woman I have ever loved.

Our mutual friends that know don’t help at all. One will give me hope that “it just takes time, keep doing what I’m doing to protect my BS and take care of the kids” and 5 min later another one will put me in a complete panic by telling me “Your BS is preparing to make war with the bloodiest D you can imagine. So watch out and get ready with your own lawyers.” The emotional roller coaster of these friendships is also something I have to detach from – I can’t take the ups and downs of everyone voting about the future of my marriage and family.

So after 4 months we’re absolutely no where getting worse. My BS won’t talk to me, she can’t be in the same room with me, we have a single MC session once a month to check in, and I made the mistake of inviting her to something I was doing with the kids this weekend where she just killed me, reminding me she “has no interest in any outing that involves me”. This all makes sense of course as my actions in the LTA were horrific. The details she has access to (over a year of emails) are enough to emotionally kill a person 20 times over. Obviously she doesn’t want to “play family” in the state she is in.

But can I imagine that she will ever want to play family again? As the days roll on and we get farther and farther apart it’s getting harder and harder to imagine how she would ever be interested in R. I’m not dropping any balls mind you, my actions are rock solid consistent and every single promise I made to her (5 pages worth) during the separation are intact and will remain intact. However, at this stage in the game I find myself praying less and less for hope at R and more and more praying that when she finally decides to start the D, we can do it amicably and spare the kids the horrors of a bloody battle.

I’m NOT giving up – exactly the opposite as I reminded myself this morning that losing hope has nothing to do with my RESPONSIBILITIES to care for my children, my family and most of all, to keep my BS safe. I just needed to share that this feels like my darkest hour as nothing I do seems to make any difference to my BS and I really wonder how long the limbo will last.

BrokenButTrying posted 3/6/2014 06:43 AM


I will soon be in your situation, we are preparing for a trial separation in the next few months.
I know there are painful times ahead so I feel for what you are going through.

Distance yourself from those friends, they aren't helping. Keep this in mind;

How would your BW feel if you weren't doing everything you are at the moment? What would her reaction be if you gave up, stopped working on yourself, trying for R and just walked away?

Although it seems hopeless today, my betting is that she would actually be devastated.

You are on the right path, keep on it. Are you keeping a journal? I find it so helpful when talking to BH isn't possible. My journal is set out as letters to him. He can read it whenever he is ready.

sinsof thefather posted 3/6/2014 07:18 AM

pfh I have no real answers for you but wanted you to know that you've been heard. I agree with you that you are better off not hearing the opinions of mutual friends. For you own sake, I would ask them not to tell you about your wife's future plans at this point because at four months out they'll probably be changing daily anyway. Your wife is on her own hellish journey on that roller coaster of emotions and could change her mind and plans minute by minute at this stage. If I remember correctly you know she's seen a lawyer so she probably does know her rights and divorce strategy - but that's something a lot of bs's do and doesn't mean she's definitely going to follow through with it.

I also seem to remember that you have plans in place to discuss the future with your wife at the six month point - I'd wait until then if I were you and hear it from her in person. It's true that sometimes this is just a deal breaker and you do have to prepare yourself that that may eventually happen, but I'm glad that you are not thinking of giving up your goal of being the best man you can be for yourself, your wife and your kids whatever happens in your marriage. That is the best gift you can give to yourself...and to your wife and boys too in the long run. It is a shame that the strict no contact means that your wife is not actually getting to see these changes but sadly that is out of your control - although for all you know, she could be getting reports from those same mutual friends..and that could be a good or bad thing. Who knows? Like you say, you are in the dark. But you just have to keep plugging on pfh for yourself first and foremost.

I'm sorry you're having such a hard day.

Prayingforhope posted 3/6/2014 07:26 AM

Thank you both for the reply and for listening. Yes, I keep a journal and like you it helps a ton just to get it all out...

Correct, we agreed to a 6 month trial separation so somehow that is the first real check point we'll have on where our marriage will be headed.

I don't think you can really time box emotions, as you both know well, but it will be important for us actually to talk at the 6 month mark so we share what the next step is.

And yes, I really can't imagine what would be happening if I just left the marriage and walked out forever. It never crossed my mind EVER but from reading the other forums, I can understand how that would only make this situation 100X worse...

flayed posted 3/6/2014 10:36 AM

BS here, hope you don't mind.

Please try to remember that it's not over until she says it is. Right now keep focused on your path of healing and pray for the courage and strength you need to keep you on it.

Are you exercising? My IC recommended that to me as a physical way of getting my emotions out and dealing with them, and that might be helpful to you too.

Is there any way that your priest or IC would be willing to give say monthly reports on the progress you are making to your BS? Is that something she would be open to receiving?

May God give you strength, courage and grace on this difficult journey.

Prayingforhope posted 3/6/2014 11:02 AM

Hi flayed, thanks for the response. I'm always grateful for BS responses for the simple reason they help me grow my empathy for what my wife is going through.

To your questions:

I started Yoga 3 months ago and it really helps a lot. I also have gotten into the odd habit of taking looooong walks and talking to myself. This felt odd to me when it started by my IC encouraged it and I just do it now.

I also used to play a lot of golf, but I am scared to get back on the course just yet because it feels like the "old me". I can't describe where that is coming from since I never did anything bad around a golf course, but somehow it was part of my facade in the past...

I love your approach on my BS getting some updates from IC or my priest, but thus far she has explicitly stated she wants to know NOTHING about my process. As you can imagine, this doesn't help my hope levels either but I just have to stay focused on the positive things, avoid the negative triggers and wait. It's not over until it's over and that is the most important thing right now...thanks for reminding me.

Random thought - I am so looking forward to tomorrow as I have my priest and a 2 hour special IC session we scheduled to make up for the vacation I took. I need to keep digging!

harrypotter posted 3/6/2014 12:39 PM

I agree with a lot of the above posts. It's not over yet and if you want this then you are willing to see it through. I know you are just venting off some if the fears and emotions that come with these tough times and having been there in certain ways myself I feel for you! One thing I have learned is to be there for the anger when it comes, don't let your fears of losing your family and her overcome you if this happens. It's hard not too at least for me it has been at times. But, offen if you can listen absorb and except some form of healing can come out of those moments. It's in moments like these that I have had some of my biggest realizations and although painful they help be become better and more commuted then I maybe ever thought I could be. It's hard as you know I just give you some encouragement.

flayed posted 3/6/2014 15:37 PM

I can understand that because she isn't able to communicate with you (yet) that she would not be open to hearing about your progress from YOU. But perhaps at the next monthly MC session or at the six month re-evaluation marker you could find out if she is willing to hear about your progress from a professional 3rd party (priest, IC)?? Just a thought, and maybe her answer will still be no, but my philosophy is you never know unless you ask. I keep praying that the smallest inroad will develop or open up for you.

Prayingforhope posted 3/7/2014 14:45 PM

That's a good idea and it certainly couldn't hurt. I will ask her if 3rd party input from my therapist would be useful at the 6 month check mark. Thanks for that idea.

nevergiveup10 posted 3/8/2014 08:25 AM


I know how you feel, being in limbo makes every day a struggle. It's hard for me to focus my mind on anything other than my BS and family.

My buddy in AA keeps telling me the obsessive thoughts stop when I decide they will. Sometimes I have to just say "stop it" to myself and move my mind to something else.

You've seen my struggles, we were really at the brink of calling it quits about 2 weeks ago. I think it scared us more than we realized it would. My BS took a leap of faith and I feel like we've moved to the next level in our R. She talks about our future, our contract for me moving back in, etc. We're both going outside our comfort zones to accommodate the other.

It was really tough before this, I felt like we had gone back 3 or 4 months and was detaching. But... I didn't give up, I kept faith in our bond and us. I know you are hurting right now, but you'll never get the chance if you throw in the towel. Good things can happen and you're getting emotionally stronger with every passing week.

Try to focus on other things like work and hobbies, right now it feels like some more time needs to pass so she can sort things out for herself. Be happy that you haven't gotten the Axe yet, it could always be worse...

It's not over till its over, I'm sure your efforts aren't going unnoticed. All in good time

Prayingforhope posted 3/9/2014 09:37 AM

Thanks Never for the good thoughts and shared experience. You know, while I am losing hope I have to admit I am never going to give up. The hopelessness feels like something I just have to accept and deal with, even more so since I caused this disaster. Almost like the knot in my stomach I've had for four months...I just have to keep getting used to it.

That being said, I will never give up. I am working in every way I know on myself, my relationship with my kids and trying to protect my BS.

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