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Softcentre posted 4/6/2014 02:18 AM

Now I'm starting this divorce journey...and reading codependent no more...I could do with some company on my journey.

This is my story so far:

Married 1999. I was so happy,our video of our wedding day has me with a big grin on my face all day. But I was already ignoring some red flags: The Arse had told me early on in our relationship that he didn't get angry (classic passive aggressive trait)and didn't feel things deeply. I chose to disbelieve him, thinking he was responding to my telling him I was scared of anger because of my previous boyfriend. I should have believed him. I also knew that he was friends with all of his exes and many of his friends were women, but he did have long term male friends too. I missed that red flag. But looking back, I can see how he always had close female friends to give him ego kibbles.

From 2000 I don't know why, but he was distancing himself emotionally a bit. It might have been because he was already hiding debt on a credit card from me.This increased over the years, little by little. TBH right from the wedding night I realised that the emotional connection was just missing in sex (we were virgins on our wedding night) but he came too fast first time, so I became the sexual 'caretaker' unable to say what I felt emotionally for fear of hurting him. What I wanted to do was cry that night. I didn't, I stuffed it down and pretended everything was fine. Whenever we had sex I wanted the emotional connection. It was never there and I felt like a blow-up doll. I ended up dreading sex. I take my share of responsibility for that - I didn't know how to talk to him about it, I tried, but couldn't make myself understood. I got used to the emotional distance. Apart from that he was great. Kind, fun etc, but if we got too close emotionally, he'd shut down or passively resist/procrastinate. So I stopped trying after a while. 2002 One of my 'friend's' (let's call her The Mess) got overly flirty with him IN FRONT OF ME. I warned him off and he was careful around her (in front of me, at least). She went on to have an affair with someone else.

2002-2004 There was distance between us. I didn't understand why. Unknown tome, The Arse was starting down the road to internet porn.

2004-2007 We were spending more time together and I felt that we were more connected. I felt safer. We had our first child (me having told him I didn't want to have any if he wasn't 100% behind it & committed to us and didn't want to end up a single mother - could I not hear the concerns I had deep down? gah!). I now realise that The Arse had too close a friendship with a co-worker (lets call her The Diplomat). I don't know how close, but I'm sure they talked about our relationship. I'm sure they flirted a bit.

2007 onwards. Our son was newborn, not even two weeks old. We went out to the shops with me carrying our son in a sling. The Arse and I were stood at the checkout and he blatently flirted with the checkout girl like a dog on heat. It was so hurtful and disrespectful. When we left the store, I called him on it.He turned it all round on me and denied it. Massive red flag. I now realise that he was probably having at least an EA to flirt so openly in front of me. I suspect, either with The Diplomat or a friend of mine who I'll call Bouncy Girl.

I know now, for sure, that before I gave up my job & the housing that came with it, to become a SAHM, The Arse and Bouncy Girl were already in an EA. They started flirting with each other and talking about things they'd been emailing about, but pretended I'd just been out of the room when they'd mentioned it. They'd been exchanging inappropriate emails for a couple of months as well as flirting on the FB scrabble ap. A bit after we moved away, Bouncy Girl told him to rein it in when she could no longer ignore the type of comments he was making in the emails. He told her that I'd seen all of them and was fine with it. They continued playing scrabble,emailing a bit and meeting a couple of times over a couple of years (I believe nothing physical happened, because Bouncy Girl didn't want to become an OW). The Arse was also setting up fake email accounts and using it for porn...and also looking on craigslist for thrills.

The Arse changed to a more enjoyable job away from where he had been. Things got better between us.

2009 We decided to have our second son. Right from his birth, The Arse was emotionally absent from our son, in a way he'd not been with our first. He seemed tired. Shortly after the birth,he got a new job. He met Fat Bottomed Girl for the first time....they started being flirty from the outset

2011 I'm not sure I can believe The Arse on the timeline he gave me, but certainly by Early 2011 he wanted to have an affair with Fat Bottomed Girl,even though he denies that, his actions speak differently. He stopped paying into my private pension, he took up a very short term post where he was working very closely with her. She made her interest very clear and although nothing happened physically then, they were already stepping beyond an EA. By Nov 2011 it was a PA. I knew something was wrong but told myself I was being irrationally jealous and hated myself for it. The Arse was so very plausible and fielded all my questions and did the whole gaslighting thing.

2012 We went to a wedding. Fat Bottomed Girl was there. Apparently they thought they were so discrete and that I didn't know anything was up. They were wrong. Very wrong. I spent that day watching them flirt with each other and using my children to flirt. They had been seated next to each other, I was seated with both my children (incl highchair) between us. It was hell. The I had to go back to the hotel to look after the children, while The Arse went back to the party...he flirted with her all night. I'm grateful that one of our children was ill in the early hours,so he had to come and help when I phoned him...otherwise I have no doubt that they would have ended up in her room together.

I'm not going to go into all the ins and outs of it, but that was when I started actively looking for proof. Late Aug 2012, I found the first bit. I got us into MC. The Arse lied, manipulated and minimised and got the counsellor to help him in making ME change. Every time we went, I would have found something new, incl at least one broken NC. Finally, after 4 months,The Arse confessed to the full PA. During those 4 months, he never comforted me in my pain. He blameshifted, gaslit and trickletruthed.

2013 I thought we were in R, he was getting IC with our MC, but I kept finding new things: the hidden debt, the hook up aps on his phone, the secret email accounts. Feb 2013 he wrote a timeline and bought me a'forever love' charm for Valentines. March 2013 Fat bottomed Girl got back in contact. He stopped paying into our holiday fund that month. I knew something was wrong and got us back into MC with a different counsellor. She wouldn't let him manipulate her. He didn't like it.She told me I'd suffered trauma and he just..detached from me forever. He left at the end of April. I took it very hard after he left and tried to love him back. It didn't work, but he kept hoovering me just enough for me not to give up for a long time.

2013-2014 I've had counselling and been working on me. It's been a very long journey. I've found it VERY hard to detach and don't always manage it. I'm now relying on government benefits and some CS. Despite this, I managed to save up enough to pay off half the joint account overdraft (that I knew nothing about) and got The Arse to take me off the account. I've also saved up some to put a retainer down for a solicitor, but don't know how long that will last. I've signed the divorce petition.

I can now recognise that The Arse's treatment of me over the years, but especially after dday, has been emotionally abusive. I also recognise my own co-dependence and how that was part of things too. I'm not blaming myself, but I am working on myself so I don't get caught in the same dynamic again.

I'll only be able to post things after they've happened because I told The Arse about this site while in false R and I don't want to let him know things before they happen!

But will you walk with me in my journey?

[This message edited by Softcentre at 5:34 AM, April 6th, 2014 (Sunday)]

Nature_Girl posted 4/6/2014 02:46 AM

I'm here, Honey. I've walked this path, too. I have some hopeful news for you. When you start recovering from codependency, you will find that it flows over into other areas of your life. It is absolutely freeing. Liberating. Is such a relief to finally, FINALLY, trust yourself. Trust your mind. Your thoughts. Your instincts. Your reactions.

jackie89 posted 4/6/2014 07:26 AM

I will walk with you!

I may be little ahead of you by a little bit, but not much. I'm sure I'll stumble in my co-dependent ways too along the way, so I'll be right beside you.

It's going to be all right!

Softcentre posted 4/6/2014 10:51 AM

Thank you NG and Jackie.

I have some hopeful news for you. When you start recovering from codependency, you will find that it flows over into other areas of your life. It is absolutely freeing. Liberating. Is such a relief to finally, FINALLY, trust yourself. Trust your mind. Your thoughts. Your instincts. Your reactions.

NG,that's so good to hear.I'm in the early stages, but it's already getting better. I'm learning to recognise when someone is crossing my boundaries.

Actually, I need some help with that. The vicar in my church is trying to undermine me to the diocese. Before dday I was a priest in a different church (as a volunteer). I quit at dday and went to this other church while I worked on R with The Arse. Obviously that didn't work out. anyway, I continued going there with the children while I got myself together. The vicar there had no authority/line management etc, I'm just going there as a regular person. Some months ago I asked if I could minister there occasionally, or help out. He made it clear that "some people" {meaning him] are not comfortable with separated/divorced priests. OK, fine,got the message. Don't agree with it, but it's his church.

So I applied for a paid priest job somewhere else (I have an interview soon!). My old priest(where I was a volunteer) needs to be my referee. He's written me a glowing reference. They'll also have to get a reference form my diocese. Anyway, I just mentioned the job, in passing, to the current vicar (feeling happy). He stopped me in my tracks by saying he thought it was a bad idea and did I really think the diocese would give me a good reference? (!!) [well,yes, actually I did think that]...and basically implied he'd been talking to the diocese, concerned about me. Oh and he wanted to arrange to meet up to discuss my future.

I phoned to check with the diocese. I explained the conversation and my concerns,also explaining that the current vicar hadn't actually had a private pastoral conversation with me in over a year, just a couple of passing comments.The person I spoke to said she'd check it out and to phone back the next week.

The next week one of my children was seriously ill in hospital and I was in with him. Only my circle of friends knew, including the associate priest at the current church. He came for a quick visit and asked if he could put my youngest on the prayer diary. I said yes, but not to give details. At then end of the week my child was discharged.

The following week, I phoned the person at the diocese to double check whatthey'd found. Shestarted by asking howmy son was. Whoah! I asked her howsheknew? She told me the current vicar (not the person who visited me) had taken it upon himself to phone up the diocese and tell them! I told her I didn't know that he knew because I hadn't spoken to him. How dare he! I'm sure he was trying to undermine me further but using the 'pastoral concern' hat If I had felt they needed to know, I would have told them myself!

And this week he tried to get me to arrange to meet up with him. I evaded by saying I didn't have my diary with me. Truth is, I don't want to meet up with him. I feel that anything I say,could be twisted around to undermine me. I also don't want to give him the impression that he has any authority over me and my future (he doesn't). And he's also another bloody two faced smiling assassin, so he's difficult to deal with, without looking like I'M the problem.


[This message edited by Softcentre at 10:52 AM, April 6th, 2014 (Sunday)]

Leia posted 4/6/2014 17:00 PM

I'll walk with you too.

Concerning your church. I don't know about churches, but I do know political games, and right now your vicar is playing a game. You have to play better. Start by not meeting with him at all. A good IRL friend just happens to be the minister's wife. Her husband never ministers to a person of the opposite sex alone. Request a female secretary/friend/elder of the church to accompany you to any meeting with him. That way you'll have a witness or back up in case you need it. Don't say anything at this point to the church leaders until you have proof that you're being undermined. You've played this game before. You've caught a cheater. This is the same play with different actors.

Hope this helps and you get the job! I know you can do this too!!'

Dobegirl posted 4/6/2014 17:48 PM


I'm here and will walk with you!
Sending you strength sister!

[This message edited by Dobegirl at 5:49 PM, April 6th (Sunday)]

Softcentre posted 4/7/2014 02:17 AM

Thank you

I told the children (ds6. ds4) last night that I'm divorcing daddy.

Ds6 asked why. I asked him if he remembered why daddy left. He said that it was because daddy broke his promises to me. I then explained that it has been over a year and a half since I found out daddy had broken the promises, that daddy still didn't want to keep the promises about being married, that we can't make someone keep promises and be married if they don't want to, just like we can't make someone be our friend if they don't want to. ds6 then gave me an example of that with someone at his school.

We then talked through some of his worries:

- What about Daddy marrying someone else?
Yes, it could happen but it would just mean that he'd have more people in his family, it would just be a different way of being family

- What if daddy had more children?
That daddy has had an operation to stop him having more children. But that yes,Daddy could marry someone who has got children too. That would mean he'd have more brothers or sisters to play with and love him.

- What if Daddy forgot all about us?
[ugh, don't think this would happen but the thought of it..!] That divorce means that mummy stops being married to daddy but it doesn't stop daddy being daddy to them and doesn't stop daddy from loving them and seeing them

I asked them how they felt: sad, worried, disappointed.

I explained we could feel all kinds of things about this and however they felt was ok. If they felt sad,angry, hurt, disappointed or anything else, to come and talk to me and have a hug.

And we had lots of hugs. More hugs today as well.

Poor things. I think the worst thing about all this is seeing the hurt they're going through.

Softcentre posted 4/7/2014 02:37 AM

Leia- Yes,think I'm just going to avoid the current vicar. But I need to think of a 'No' response (given that I previously said ok to a meet up, a month ago, then found out what he'd been doing!) that he can't use against me,in case he presses the issue.

What I REALLY want to say is "Actually, I don't feel that we need to meet up at the moment" I'm not sure I have the guts to say it. I probably need to, though, don't I?

Caretaker1 posted 4/7/2014 05:40 AM

Soft centre please PM

Softcentre posted 4/8/2014 08:58 AM

I told The Arse I'd be filing and now the super-parenting has begun

Now, please don't be disgusted, but here in the UK, it pretty common for us to brush our teeth just once a day [bows head in mock shame]. Certainly that's been our family pattern and it continued over the last almost year since The Arse moved out. Suddenly this last week he's TELLING me that the boys now brush their teeth twice a day and wants me to enforce it. I have no problems if they want to brush their teeth in the morning too, but funny how this suddenly happens just as I tell him I'm filing, huh?

BTW I did ask him, in response if he wouldn't mind giving the boys a bath/shower at least once on the two nights a week he has them...Before he'd moved into his flat he blamed his parents saying they didn't want him using the bath for the boys? Strangely, they let me use it for the boys [shrug]. When he moved into his flat (with 2 bathrooms) 2 months ago, I thought he'd start bathing them...he didn't. So I'd been wondering how to broach it. Thanks STBXH for making that easier

Yesterday I took ds4 to the hospital ophthamologist, who gave him anew prescription for glasses. Texted The Arse today to let him know ds4 would be choosing a new pair today. Previously The Arse has shown zero interest. But suddenly I have him texting to ask what his new prescription is (as if he'd ever known the old ones) and whether his eyes are better or worse.

I replied: Oh, you've never asked about that before so I didn't think to write it down. The opticians have it. The opthamologist said that his astigmatism has improved.

I'm glad he's showing an interest, wish I'd known divorce papers would do that!

In everyday life he's: but when confronted with divorce he's:

[This message edited by Softcentre at 9:07 AM, April 8th, 2014 (Tuesday)]

Softcentre posted 4/8/2014 08:59 AM

Caretaker1 - I'm sorry, I don't do PM's with the opposite sex as a general rule. Working on my boundaries

norabird posted 4/8/2014 11:06 AM

I'm not blaming myself, but I am working on myself so I don't get caught in the same dynamic again.

I am right there with you sister. (((((Softcentre))))

Sadmumma posted 4/9/2014 05:51 AM

Soft centre. I will walk with you.

Softcentre posted 4/11/2014 02:23 AM

My lovely brother has lent me a laptop since The Arse left and took the family laptop with him. But I need to return it to my brother (I've had it almost a year now,whoops!).

The family laptop was bought using marital funds. The Arse insists he bought it preloved...umm, 2 months before it was made Sound crazy? Well yes, I didn't know he had bought it, didn't know he had it until after dday and still don't know how he funded it. At that point we had a laptop that I mainly used and a desktop that he mainly used (as well as the secret family laptop). A short time after dday, 'his' desktop got a virus and stopped working - he put it in the rubbish bin. A bit before he left, 'my' laptop was dropped and stopped working. So we both were using the family laptop.

Now The Arse also has a work laptop and a good salary. I'm on government benefits. So I texted him yesterday telling him that I need to return my brother's laptop and please can he let the boys and I have the family laptop.

So far, crickets. Just so I know when I see him tomorrow for child pick I being unreasonable?

justinpaintoday posted 4/11/2014 04:45 AM

Softcentre: Thanks for posting on the vulnerability associated with codependancy. Many people on tis sight suffer from this (myself included). Many are also walking this path with you as we strive to overcome the negatives associated with it.

Positive: Most codependants are compassionate, loving and well intentioned. These are the traits you want to maintain

Negative: We can be controlling and overly tolerant of unhealthy boundries that further diminish our self worth.

The great thing about codependancy is it is a treatable behavior with healing fully possible. Exciting to see you recognize the power of overcoming this in all aspects of your life.

ideservebetter45 posted 4/11/2014 06:29 AM

I wanted to say im sorry this happened. It happened when my dd was 5 and it just sucked. My ex played super dad for about a was a good show.. shows over.He sees her once a week.

Leia posted 4/11/2014 08:21 AM

So sorry you're getting the SuperDad routine. While my STBXWH has always been involved with the kids and a really decent dad, he stopped caring during the A and I was doing most of the work. Now, he is rearranging his work schedule, and going for 50% custody. I never worry about my kids when they're with him, however, I do wonder how long this is going to last. Like ideservebetter, I think that it will eventually end....

You're not wrong for asking for the computer. However, you probably won't get it. These WS's like to hold "stuff" hostage. It sucks, but that is just what it is. I know here in the US that many libraries have free computers to use. My library has desktops and laptops that can be used with a library card. Is that an option for you? It is a pain to always have to be tripping off to the library, but that is one way to get free access to the internet.

As for your current vicar, yes, that phrase sounds good. Be sure you don't let yourself into a situation where you're alone with him. From your description, he sounds like a bully and an political player. I see where you don't PM men on here, keep that same boundary IRL. If he violates that boundary, then report him. You found the guts to file for D, you can stand up to him, too!

Best wishes with the computer and the kids. Take care of yourself and hang in there.

Softcentre posted 4/11/2014 10:41 AM

Yeah, Leia, like yours, mine is good with the children when he has them, but it's often seems like out of sight out of mind.

Yes, am avoiding the vicar and will continue to do so.

The Arse came to pick the children up. He was pleasant...then mentioned that his solicitor was writing to my solicitor in response to the petition. Then he paused and politely asked whether we could meet up some time to discuss access (contact with the children). [I suspect that his solicitor has told him that I'm being quite reasonable].

He's also looking after the children for a bit longer over one weekend while I'm at an extended job interview, so I clarified my travel plans and he's fine with it all. He even wished me a good weekend.

No mention of the family laptop, but I've texted him to ask if he could bring it over on Sunday. No wriggle room, either he agrees or he doesn't.

Softcentre posted 4/11/2014 11:51 AM

Ok....need some help here!

The Arse has replied:

"This is tricky because I need my laptop. I'll ask around and see whether I can find a replacement for you"

Passive aggressive & entitled, much?

WeepingBuddhist posted 4/11/2014 12:20 PM

"Great! Let me know when you do so I can try it out before I give you this one"

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