[This message edited by yearsofpain25 at 11:58 AM, June 14th (Saturday)]
I agreed with BIL that a BBQ would be nice. The whole family will be there. There will be three very awesome dads there if you don't mind me saying.
Right now I am confused. Are you 'Not divorcing' during the waiting period to see if there are changes? Or are you divorcing? Because in my mind, those are different things.
So far it has been a fairly decent week and OM isn't winning this weekend. I won't allow it. As a matter of fact I'll never allow it. I'm moving forward towards d with some stumbles along the way.
How is the family BBQ moving forward with D?
Your actions are all over the place.
You are sending mixed signals. See it for what it is. And it is pretty common. However, if you are divorcing then you probably need to send a more clear message with your actions.
Taking off the tattoo. You made the appointment, you did it. Dealing with the significance is something entirely different. Maybe it's not even the significance to you.
I've been around long enough to have seen a BH/BW just be DONE. Whatever line in the sand was crossed and all steps from that point are in the extrication of the relationship.
I'm just not getting that read here. You are ready to remove the tattoo's(without informing WW), to assert your need for space, but all for some lobster tail on the grill with the entire family? It doesn't jive. For me at least.
I noted you didn't inform your wife about the tattoo removal. You have a right to take whatever steps you need to towards divorce. Finances and kids is all you owe her for communication. Totally with you there. But how does that change if you engage in family events? Does it? Does she know that? Does her family?
Are you trying to enjoy the times with the family while you can? Are you rubbing your WW's nose in it? Both?
And as much as I believe WW has really fucked up... why expose her, and more importantly the kids, to family-like events that build hope if there is none? Fair or not, this is her family and if you are set on divorce some of those relationships will change if not end.
I don't say it because it's fair. You shouldn't lose your best friends and support because they are her family. That sucks. But at some point you need to see BIL suggesting a BBQ is not neutral move. And over time, that non-neutrality is going to creep more and more into these relationships.
We all make our own path. I lived with a compartmentalizer(my mom was a pediatric burn unit nurse- back in the old days) and some people are pretty good at boxing it and keeping it on the shelf. Don't do that to yourself. None of it is easy, but I do think facing up to and getting that IC appointment is an important step for you. You need a safe place to deal with the losses you have suffered.
You said you don't want to deal with IC now. Okay. So set a time when you will be ready and hold yourself to it. It will hurt. But it will also help.
[This message edited by redrock at 1:56 PM, June 14th (Saturday)]
Your wife's affair put you and your entire family through enormous stress. You don't need to worry about what messages you send to her. I'm sure she understands if she's really understanding of what she did.
It's understandable that there are many moments when you feel reconciliation isn't worth it. That feeling may never change and you may well go through with the divorce. Until then, there will be mixed messages. Such is life.
My point, perhaps, not well stated is that this BBQ was not suggested by BIL for 'enjoyment' alone. And by attending those actions are different boundaries then those SWAT claims to maintain.
And I will state that, as an individual- it is my opinion, if you are not ready to talk to WW, then why BBQ with her? Whether or not a WW should understand, I don't agree with the policy that compartmentalization for the sake of enjoyment as has already been visited at the Memorial Day BBQ is a healthy choice.
I know I am in the minority and I will step away from the thread.
I could be wrong.
I am pro-reconciliation, but only if it results in a M that is a happy one for both parties.
I also have an uncanny gift to see the future. There are really only 2 probable futures for you:
1) You and the new SS17 (I will call her SS17 2.0) FWW happy, happy, happy, and reconcile and do not D or reconcile and enter a new M. OR
2) You and SS17 2.0 D and co-parent the kids. SS17 2.0, who will be a catch, will M again, as you probably will. SS17 will be happy, you will be happy, and of course the kids will be happy. Why not, they will have 2 Dads. Did you see that one coming? You will have them EOW and 1 or 2 evenings in between. New Dad, the step-dad, will be there to play catch, help with homework, teach them morals, teach them sports, and so on the rest of the time. If the new family goes to the lake, New Dad will teach them to waterski. I have seen this SOOOOO many times. I have a hunter friend who had his 7 year old son taken hunting for the first time by his step-father. Then there is the little girl who was taught to ride a bike by her step-dad. Another girl was taught to apply makeup by her step-mother. And the list goes on.
One downside to future #2 for your kids is that statistically they will have to deal with step-siblings in one, if not both, of the households. Yeah!
If there is ABSOLUTELY NO WAY for future #1 (remember, it requires you both be HAPPY), then future #2 is the next best probable future - but not the one that you would want because you would be sharing your kids with another Dad. (Would you really want your kids to live with a step-father who ignored them?)
If future #1 is in ANY way possible, you will have to stop feeling sorry for yourself and fight for it! That is what I had to do.
The only reason my M survived and is happy is because I was raised to believe that a M is a Commitment, a Commitment to do WHATEVER it takes for the M to be a HAPPY relationship for both parties. As I told my D and son-in-law to be, Love is what brings a couple together, but Commitment is what sees them through all that life throws at them.
Here is my situation. My FWW had a 1-1/2 - 2 year EA turned into PA. During part of this time I worked out of town during the week, home on the weekends and we had an infant/toddler D. I found notes and cards, went into detective mode, found letters and trinkets. D-Day was 08/30/88. Back then there were no digital cameras or cell phones, so unlike you I did not have naked pictures to deal with. I did have to deal with ILYBNILWY (I love you but not in love with you) and having read love letters from FWW and AP declaring their love for each other. I also had to deal with my daughter being told to call him ------daddy. Oh, I did get "remorse" in the form of "I am sorry that you found out."
On D-Day my wife cried, said she wanted to save the marriage, and we had HB. I had FWW set up a meeting with the AP for 9/1/88 (49th anniversary of the start of WWII) without telling him why. At the meeting (and he was very surprised to see me there) I told him the game was up, he cried, he begged me not to tell his wife. I told him that if there was ANY contact between FWW and AP, I would turn over (copies) of everything I had (love letters, cards, gifts, and pictures - none were naked or risqué) to both his wife and kids. He thanked me. He had a lot to loose. His wife is a pillar of the community, and his kids were in high school and college. He would have lost his wife and kids immediately. My wife saw the he had instantly chosen his wife and kids over her.
After that, we found a MC. We did not know to ask about his experience with infidelity, which was nil. There was also TT, some broken NC (none physical) and some other issues, some pretty harsh. Sound familiar? But I was, and am, Committed to building a happy M, and FWW saw that. We did not have good guides (like SI) and we made mistakes in the reconciliation process and so there are some remaining scars. I came to SI to learn how to remove them, and we are both working on it. The process is not comfortable for FWW, but she pitched right it.
So, if you see M as a Commitment like I do, and you want future #1, set your sights on that and communicate (communicate, communicate, communicate) with SS17 2.0. It does not mean that you will move back in to the main house right away. You will probably move on separate, parallel tracks for a while. But with a common goal, those tracks will eventually converge into one, a new and better one.
[This message edited by ReconciledGuy88 at 11:23 AM, June 15th (Sunday)]
Memorial Day was different we were trying to R. The papers have been signed and we are just waiting for a court date. This whole thing sucks and maybe I am sending her mixed signals. I don't know but I'm muddling through this mess the best I can. She is the mother of my kids and were going to be seeing each other for many years to come.
I never wanted to be here. I never wanted to take this path. But I was put here not by any action or choice of mine. But I have to live with this. I'm doing the best I can in a shitty situation.
I'm doing the best I can in a shitty situation.
"Oh, why do my actions have consequences?" ~ Homer Simpson
"She knew my one weakness: That I'm weak!" ~ Homer Simpson
I also think that collectively we forget that WW's family IS your family in your situation and that you have every right, and IMHO should, hang and be with them as much as you can. They have shown you just as much support as WW and continue to do so. They have not been trying to influence you, as far as we know, and should will hopefully continue to do so.
Speaking for myself, I know that sometimes these hallmark holidays, like Father's Day, can be a bit triggerish. My father was "present", but not really. Spending time with other dad's and families can sometimes make you forget about your own FOO, even if just for a moment.
So from this dad to you, hoisting up my 3rd beer of the afternoon in a salute to you, enjoy your day. Enjoy those gifts. Most importantly, enjoy that family of yours. ALL of them.
But SWAT....you have a great life ahead of you either way.
Happy Father's Day.
The general vibe I'm getting is "I want to be with her, but I cannot be."
I hate to make the water more muddy, but I wonder if you are really sure of your decision at this point. Why are you choosing D? Is it because this is what is best for you? Or was it to salvage some self esteem maybe? Maybe you feel that the circumstance calls for D, and even though you "... want to hold her and wish everything was different...", but you have no choice to D because you HAVE to D based on the circumstance?
Someone else commented on your head and your heart pulling you in different directions. I think this is so true. I almost prefer to call it a civil war -- your heart wants to stay but your head says no way.
Look, I believe you do not HAVE to do anything you don't want to, regardless of the circumstances.
I want you to be very honest with yourself with this next question. I don't even care what the answer is, this is strictly for you:
Do you see a possibility of leading a happy life with your WW in the future? If so, do not rob yourself of R because of some sense of duty to circumstance. Just as you can call off the D at any time, you can also initiate a D at any time. But if you D, and your WW remarries, your option for R is no longer on the table. Meanwhile, the D option is always on the table if you pursue R now. Something to think about...
[This message edited by saturnpatrick at 9:20 PM, June 15th (Sunday)]
The general vibe I'm getting is "I want to be with her, but I cannot be."
yes this is what this seems like SWAT.
I really understand what you are doing: you feel you deserve to be able to do ANYTHIGN that brings you some peace and happiness after all this. If that is a family bbq with WW, then that's what it is. I've said it before and it's common: we seek our waywards as medicine for the wounds they themselves inflicted upon us. Even if it's in the periphery, they are just there, at the edge of the bbq, or living in the basement, or we hear their voice about the kids everyday, or by continuing traditions with family. I reacted VERY similar to what you are doing now, in my first marriage with my exWH. I mean, some of the parallels with your situation and mine are almost uncanny. You might be very different, so take that for what it's worth, but I am afraid you will exist in a perpetual limbo - and things will divert back to status quo by default rather than a deliberate decision by you(as happened in my situation).
You really have gotten no space from your WW as of yet in this situation. Yes you were in DC but that was in DDAY trauma mode. No space is okay, if that's your intention. But is it your intention?
Being separated for 3 years I was convinced of the end of our marriage. I can say with time and distance, my fwh getting it changed. We did continue to go to family functions to gather while separated.
I think going with what you need is right. Swat it is okay to still love her and hate her actions and selfish nature. This situation is not black and white, there are shades of grey in regards to your feelings. Maybe for now being on this track is where you need to be. However, maybe your heart has a secret wish she will straighten out and you can be reconciled. For me letting go of my ego and realizing people knowing my fwh felt guilty and dirty, diseased. You appear to be a very program, this has certainly all been a hit to your soul. But remember this is her sickness and humiliation not yours. Be proud at your willingness to work it through and your knowing when to let go. Be okay to know you can change your mind if you see something you didn't before.
I think is more natural to be conflicts, then it is to be all hate. Just sit still and watch, you will know what to do. There is no hurry.
[This message edited by PricklePatch at 10:21 PM, June 15th (Sunday)]
The facts are that you have a few months of separation required before you can divorce. It will give you time to assess the true damage and recovery potential/non-potential.
Sometimes there are too many voices adding to the conflict too. Just remember we don't have to take our own advice in your situation, so gather intel here, and trust your gut. It hasn't let you down, and you have good instincts, regardless of how OM has thrown you for a loop because you've trusted him for so much of your life.
Some people are just evil. Now you know he's one of those 'some people'.
btw - speaking of him - pathologically berzerk people don't deescalate on their own. He's still got some hatred that's decades-old for you. He needs some serious serious help.
Why would you only have every other weekend with your children? You work twelve hour shifts, take the time with your children that you deserve on your days off. Go for joint physical custody.
There are many futures you can't see. I am remarried with my kids half time, and the more stable parent.
[This message edited by wonderpets at 11:41 PM, June 15th (Sunday)]
My opinion? You're not going to divorce her. You are hurt and angry and humiliated...but you are in love with your wife. And she loves you. She's messed up in a million different ways...but she loves you. I think you are probably sitting back watching her actions...and that will determine what action you take...D or R.
You're a very smart man, SWAT. And a wonderful father. I hope yesterday was a good one for you.
..that feeling you get in your stomach, when you heart's broken. It's like all the butterflies just died.
Her family has been my family for thirty years. They have been my foundation and showed me what family it supposed to be like. My parents divorced due to infidelity(dad) I never knew my father their divorce was finalized while I was an infant. My mom did a great job of raising me, but she couldn't be a dad. That was my FIL. D is going to take a lot away from me.
Since I found out the story has changed and she kept telling me lies. I know she was minimizing and hiding the truth to protect herself. I've said it before. We all want to be seen in the best light. No one wants to admit they did something bad. They will admit to the least amount of wrong doing that can be proven. Until they are presented with more evidence, then you get a little more and so on. TT is brutal. It hurts so much. How do you continue to do that to someone you are supposed to love?
So that is where I'm at. I know I'm conflicted right now. It sucks for me as well. I'm working on it and I do appreciate all of your help. I check here frequently and it gives me hope when I see everyone supporting each other.
Reading your most recent post takes me back. Not the details but the general "Why?" and "How could she?" and listing off all the ways she has hurt you. I can totally feel your pain.
I like to compare the healing process to a broken leg. Once injured, it hurts like hell, but each day it heals a bit more. You can't speed up the healing, but healing doesn't stop either. Each day you will be a little better. Hang in there.