I'm kinda stuck in a rut, or a bit of a funk or well who knows really. I'm hoping it is just because it will be 1 year since my XWW moved out in a few weeks and maybe its that, or maybe its the fact I just had a birthday and am not where I thought I would be, or possibly the fact that I have been informed that XWW is now back "friends" with the original OM again. Oh and his BS is phoning my XWW and telling her that I have been making contact and trying to find out what has been going on... Oh I don't know.
I'm just feeling like a bit of a failure, ok scratch that, a lot of a failure. Kinda I failed as a husband, that I wasn't enough for my Wife. Failed as a father in keeping my kids family intact. Just in general feeling pretty unworthy of everything I guess.
I mean on the outside sure everything is rosey, got my nice house, I managed to redecorate and reclaim my bedroom the other week after living in a room my XWW and OM designed. I drive my nice car, though the roof mechanism broke on friday and I couldn't get the top back up, luckily it wasn't raining. I see my kids pretty much every day, and have them all weekend. I have a good job and its fairly flexible with regards to kids as well.
Yet I still feel guilty over the loss of my Marriage, as though I am to blame. In fact I imagine that I do truely believe I am to blame in some way, as though I drove my XWW to be with OM. I feel guilty for asking for a Divorce when I didn't want a D, I just wanted her to stop seeing the OM, but her choice was to continue to see him and be with him.
Pretty much all of my friends are now either in the process of getting married, or are in long term relationships (yeah I have warned them, they all assume i'm just cynical, which I am!) I'm having trouble finding people to do things with, when i got with XWW I moved from another part of the country and left all of my close friends behind, I still see some occasionally but its usually too hard getting together etc. Also when I was with XWW I neglected to make any real male friends as the X did not like me going out, and I was required to watch the children whilst she worked, so I've ended up with only 1 real friend close to where I am.
I'm painfully shy it seems and lack self confidence in spades. I have no objection to going out and doing things on my own, cinema, gym, shopping, walks I just feel I should be interacting with people more. The fact that I prefer to stay in on my own, has lead XWW telling her family and friends that I am putting my life on hold waiting for her (i'm not!), and the advice everyone loves to throw out is "oh you want to get out there and meet someone new". No I don't I tried that, its a mess in the making and I'm fairly certain anyone sane would not touch me with a 10 ft barge pole at this moment in time, so I wouldn't want to date anyone who wants to date me, and if that sentance makes sense to anyone, its possible I'm not 100% crazy.
I do feel unattractive and unwanted, even though I've lost 3 stone and am technically in the best shape of my life, I look in the mirror and see a fat balding man (ok its shaved but when it grows you can see that it doesn't actually grow on top). I'm attempting to sort myself out, I've been to IC, whose sage and wonderful advice is to get back out there again as there is nothing wrong with you. (this came from the 3 counsellors I've seen), so I've reached the conclusion that counsellors in the UK don't really have any kind of clue.... So I've taken to reading more and trying to work stuff out myself, which leads to doing nice things for myself. Which I cannot seem to do because I don't feel that I deserve them and that I'm just wasting my time and everyone else's.
Due to an erratic schedule with the kids due to XWW's work, this means it is a nightmare to plan anything in advance or schedule classes or start any new hobby. I went to a fathers meeting last week, for single dads having trouble seeing their kids etc, I don't have that trouble and feel really guilty for even being there. Men who have not seen their kids in 3/4 years and I'm sat there complaining that my XWW holds access to them over my head and stops me from seeing them for 4 days...
Ok re-reading all that... there appears to be an underlining theme of me feeling guilty over everything, shame and guilt.. Ok I suppose that gives me some where to look at what is going on with me. I am still working on me and like to think I am a work in progress, I just get annoyed that XWW seems to be living her life with no guilt or consequences for her actions. OM despite treating my XWW like shite, and leaving his XBS numerous times, appears to be able to flit in and out of both of their lives without any consequences. My XWW wants to be "friends" with the guy who helped her trash our marriage and our kids family, but yet when given the chance to work things out with me couldn't do it. I thought I was at a stage where I couldn't give a shit about them, but it seems I still do. Perhaps more so, that the guy lived with my kids, got them used to having him around, and then just decided to leave, causing them more hurt and confusion...
Well thats probably a completely incoherent post, I'm sure I've written it better one of the numerous times before but I'll post this one anyway. No idea if i'm after advice or a kick up the arse really, probably take both though I guess..
Since IC isn't helping, have you looked into books on codependency? Since you feel guilty (when you should not), these might help you see that her problems were not yours to fix and that you are a victim of her selfishness and bad choices. Once you realize this, rather than stay a victim, perhaps they will help you restore or build your self-esteem.
As far as not having time to pursue outside interests, this may be due to your guilt feelings. She may have a wonky schedule, but that doesn't mean you always have to pick up the slack; let her find a way to take care of the kids on a more regular basis so that you have more time to yourself.
it will be 1 year since my XWW moved out in a few weeks and maybe its that,
Jeez, SP, I'm five years out and it was Year 3 before I started feeling social again.
Cut yourself some slack, you have a busy life and it's OK to cocoon.
You're still in recovery from this mess and will be for awhile.
Just accept that this is the stage you are at and try not to worry about your relative attractiveness. That will get you exactly nowhere because your self-esteem has been shot to hell.
It gets better but you have to take it in baby steps.
And one more thing. It's. Not. Your. Fault.
The only person who has failed is your ex.
In life there are many causes and affects for things that happen in our lives...
There are fucked up events and fucked up people that come and go from our lives...
You went through plenty of shades of hell during the whole A mess and now you have today and all the tomorrows to do what YOU want to do...
You can stumble through life with your dick in the dirt and fret about what HAPPENED.... What happened is what WAS... It isn't who you are or what you define yourself to be going forward...
I know I wandered around wondering (hence "wonderingbull") what I did or didn't do to cause the destruction that the ex's A wrought....
The bottom line is, inspite of any of your thoughts or feelings... You don't and didn't have the power to change other people's thoughts, feelings or actions... You can only control you...
Once I came out the other side of the ex's crazy making I look at where I am now and know... I dodged a bullet...
Eyes forward, chin up...
It's your life now... Your fuse is burning... What are YOU going to do with it?
Part of what kept me stuck (and what made me take too long to D) was that feeling of guilt/shame/it must be something about me. And honestly, it was SI that helped show me the folly of that thinking. Books, IRL friends (bar one or two) and IC didn't help with that. It was the drumbeat of repeatedly seeing it, hearing it, reading it at SI that finally knocked it into my thick skull that 1. it wasn't me and 2. I need to be proud of myself for getting away and surviving. You might be stunned to learn that I am now proud of my D. Proud of how I handled myself throughout the whole thing. I love being divorced and how it symbolizes that someone tried to ruin me and f*ck them, I didn't let it happen. Seriously, after reading and reading and posting and posting on SI I finally accepted that 30K plus people cannot be wrong.
OMG. Rebuilding my life. Was that ever hard. I didn't even know what I liked to do because I spent years where my life was all about the M and appeasing my m*therf*cking dirtbag xWH. I made some false starts. A few dates here and there that, why? They were clearly wrong for me and I wasn't ready. Made a few ridiculous purchases thinking I still loved old hobbies, when in fact I don't. It took me almost the entire year to rid myself of the shoulds/grasping for what was and seeing that I had the chance to re-define me. And it happened because I kept trying and falling flat on my face with utter utter failure.
It's easy for us/someone to say "don't be so hard on yourself" or "get back out there". Ahem. That's ridiculous advice in some respects. Yes it's true but wow is it hard to do because it's hard to break free of that type of negative feedback loop regretting the past/fearful of the dismal future that plays constantly through your head. Instead, I'd rather refocus it and say "just try new shit *today* and see what happens". And fail. And fail. And get so used to failing that you start to see that all it means is "well *today* this activity/person/job/situation/environment isn't for me". Be honest, do the best you can, make plans and if you have to cancel at the last minute b/c of crazy kid schedule then cancel at the last minute. There's no grade to recieve here, it's just life, it's just *today*. Go ahead and let it be messy *today*. For today I am happy to let myself be a glorious mess! And if you stay present-focused (worry about today only), eventually you'll suddenly look up and realize that out of that mess has arisen a you comfortable in his own skin. And when that happens you'll be surprised because you'll find that you've also made friends, found new hobbies etc.
I also know that it had nothing to do with me and the OM just happened to be handy and easy for her to manipulate.
Still its a major kicker to be left for someone else. And its the feelings of guilt/shame I guess that I am stuck with so am trying to work through that.
Plus the crazyness of the XWW is that she is attempting to tell people that because instead of sitting at home pining for her I was attempting to move on with my life this is why she stayed with OM. And only my asking for a divorce when she would not stop being friends with him is the reason we are not together. I mean I know she is crazy and just saying anything to justify her own actions, its just that sometimes it feels to me as though I have been conditioned to accept the blame in everything as then it is easier for me to face?
And Co-dependant, damn straight, I'm the poster boy for co-dependant behaviour, I've read all the books, understand the fundementals, but its the act of change I am really finding hard. I guess I put a lot of pressure on myself to get everything right quickly, when really I should be taking my time and allowing myself to progress at my own pace.
It's your life now... Your fuse is burning... What are YOU going to do with it?
I have absolutely no idea, and perhaps this is what scares me, see I knew before... Married, Kids, life together, weekends spent doing things as a family.... Now? Well there are no rules are there, there is no "this is what I am meant to be doing" So I guess its a major fear of the unknown, and the fact that I feel I should be doing something rather than not.
Thanks for the support though, I'll keep plodding along and trying to work my shite out and hopefully one day I'll look back and be on the other side realising what a lucky escape I had.