New Beginnings
User Topic: Talking to stbxww emotionally harmful?
Member # 37468
Default  Posted: 10:27 PM, April 21st (Sunday)

So I've been feeling kinda depressed lately. It mostly got better recently, but I still keep having these memories and feeling sad or lonely. I am not conscious of the exact reasons for these feelings, but D-day anniversary is only a few days away and the weather is becoming much more like it was on D-day last year.

However, I wonder if I'm making it worse by interacting with STBXWW too much. It's not a lot of interaction, but lately (maybe because I've been feeling lonely) I've chatted with her a bit over text, or stayed over for a few minutes when I dropped off our daughter. Things have been friendly and drama-free, but I wonder if I'm just making it worse for myself by engaging with her at all. Again, not that she's doing anything 'bad' right now.. I just wonder if it would be better for me to back off.

Emotions are so powerful. She was my best friend through so much stuff (a lot of it bad, but I didn't associate the bad stuff with her; we helped each other through it, I thought...). Logically I can tell myself that I should stick to business even if she's being nice, ESPECIALLY with a divorce very close to being finalized (the divorce is going well--if I keep my mouth shut, there's not much risk, but who knows what could happen if I engage with her).

It was easy to not talk to her when I was upset at her and felt abandoned by her, but now the warm feelings are coming back and it's not easy.

I also think I was feeling a little isolated even when I was doing well, it just wasn't at the front of my mind.. I mostly felt peaceful, like I was regrouping or something.

Maybe I'm just typing some of this stuff out for myself, because it does sound a little silly (of course I shouldn't be talking to her, right?), but if anyone wants to give me their thoughts that's cool too.

ETA: Also let me know if this belongs in divorce/separation, but I feel like it's a legitimate NB topic.. it'll be a potential issue for a long time.

[This message edited by ProbableIceCream at 10:30 PM, April 21st (Sunday)]

Me, 32. DD, 8. DS, 6 (deceased).

Posts: 845 | Registered: Nov 2012
Member # 37946
Default  Posted: 10:33 PM, April 21st (Sunday)

You answered your own question. No, you shouldn't be engaging with her. NC is for your emotional protection. I know it's hard. My x tries to act like everything is fine and chit chat with me sometimes. But I always end up feeling like crap. Because even though he's over it and moved on, I haven't. So all those little interactions just make me miss him and feel sad. Emotions suck sometimes, lol. I think you're better off to stay NC until you feel emotionally healed. Believe me, I struggle with it too. But we can do it!

Me (BS)- 36
Just keep swimming, just keep swimming- Dorie

Posts: 293 | Registered: Dec 2012 | From: Southeastern U.S.
Member # 37468
Default  Posted: 10:35 PM, April 21st (Sunday)

S3512, thanks. I guess what I'm looking for here is feedback from people who have been in the same situation, and reassurance that NC is a good thing and will help with some of the bad feelings. Your reply gives me both. I appreciate it.

Me, 32. DD, 8. DS, 6 (deceased).

Posts: 845 | Registered: Nov 2012
Member # 32554
Default  Posted: 11:35 PM, April 21st (Sunday)

You gotta learn to detach, my friend.

Me = BS (Stay-at-home-mom)
Him = EX-d out (abusive troglodyte NPD SA)
3 tween-aged kids
Together 20 years
D-Day: Memorial Weekend 2011

Posts: 9856 | Registered: Jun 2011 | From: USA
Member # 37468
Default  Posted: 11:48 PM, April 21st (Sunday)

I really want to detach. I think I was on the right track before this. I feel better making the decision to get back on track again.

Me, 32. DD, 8. DS, 6 (deceased).

Posts: 845 | Registered: Nov 2012
Member # 35229
Default  Posted: 11:57 PM, April 21st (Sunday)

I didn't even need to read the thread.

Yes. Yes it is. You are now harming yourself.

Detach friend. It's the only way to move on.

I may have reached a point where I'd piss on him if he was on fire.... eventually!!

Posts: 5619 | Registered: Apr 2012 | From: Australia
Member # 37455
Default  Posted: 11:58 PM, April 21st (Sunday)

Watching Mom and Dad get along was really confusing to my kids. DS was 3 and DSD was 8 at the time. They wondered why D was the only solution if they could see us 'get along'.

From my stand point, all the emotional energy I invested in that relationship was wasted. There was NO possibility of R and sometimes I would find myself in the same position as my kids.

Detach and move on. As little contact as possible.

BH 51, WW 42
DS 23(Mine),SD 21,SS 20(Hers),DS 9 Ours, DGS 3, DGD 1 mo
D=Day #1 5/04EA (Rugswept)
D-Day #2 3/10/12, TT til 3/13/12
Married 10yrs
I have no love for a friend who loves in words alone.
― Sophocles, Antigone

Posts: 3031 | Registered: Nov 2012 | From: midwest
Member # 30346
Default  Posted: 6:05 AM, April 22nd (Monday)

At one point you realize that being "friends" is emotionally hurting you...or...sets you back a step or two.

I have the problem that my WS wants to be friends with me, and actively pursues a "friendship" with me. He thinks I'm ridiculous for NOT wanting friends.

It IS confusing. When our S was recent, probably the first year, if we spent time together...I later went into a "dark place". One of my friends pointed it out to me that whenever I spent time with him (for a family function or something), I slid backwards. So, I learned to keep my boundaries very tight with him.

I'm doing my best to be "civil" with WS, but NOT friends. It is best for ME. It is a struggle sometimes, because WS admitted to wanting a friendship with me, and, as usual....pushes me.

You will notice a pattern, your mood changes if you spend too much time with her. YOU have to change that and protect your own boundaries. No one else is going to protect your boundaries for you.

me...BS, 43 years old, 2 small kids
WS, 41, multiple gay affairs
M 15 years, together 17

"For whatever we lose, like a you or a me, it's always ourselves we find in the sea" ee cummings

Posts: 4187 | Registered: Dec 2010 | From: South
Member # 37468
Default  Posted: 6:57 AM, April 22nd (Monday)

That's what I thought... I think I was more apt to talk to her when I was already feeling a little off, and talking may have just made it worse. So I'll stop doing that. Not that hard when I know the benefits.

Me, 32. DD, 8. DS, 6 (deceased).

Posts: 845 | Registered: Nov 2012
Member # 36839
Default  Posted: 8:03 AM, April 22nd (Monday)

Our timelines are very similer with ddays last summer and my seperation/filing at christmas. I can tell you the thing that was the most good for me was ending the chit chat. In the first couple weeks I tore myself up trying to be friendly but once I went into a business only relationship things really got better. I was able to relax, focus on myself and my healing and make some new friends. It's still a balancing act because like you have kids to consider.

Go NC, and don't feel bad about it. Down the road when you are fully healed and have moved on you might have a more "normal" working relationship. But I wouldn't ever get to personal with her. My xWW and I coparent very well and are on good terms, but it's business. The marriage is over, now you need to focus on your self and your kids.

My D was final recently and since NC I can tell you that I feel not just like my old self again but in a lot of ways better. I still have a lot to learn about being a single Dad but without the emotional strain of xWW I know look forward to my new life.

BH (32)
DS - 7, DD - 6

Posts: 461 | Registered: Sep 2012 | From: Fort Worth,Texas
Member # 18281
Default  Posted: 12:49 PM, April 22nd (Monday)

NC will protect your emotions. Do it!

Love stinks yeah yeah(J. Geils)

Posts: 5866 | Registered: Feb 2008 | From: tulsa
Member # 14833
Default  Posted: 12:59 PM, April 22nd (Monday)

The ex in my case didn't appreciate at all the NC I imposed... I knew I had to do it for myself so that I'd have a future outside of limbo...

Once I was comfortable without any contact at all I became peaceful with myself... The detachment became almost effortless...

NC=detachment=no new hurts...


The secret of life is enjoying the passage of time...

James Taylor

Posts: 5984 | Registered: Jun 2007 | From: A better place
Member # 37542
Default  Posted: 1:17 PM, April 22nd (Monday)

I'm struggling with NC also. I can definitely tell the difference in my overall mood when I honor NC vs not. Every time I break NC, and I'm the one initiating contact 95% of the time, I feel like complete crap after. I never get the comfort or reassurances I'm craving from my STBX, just more pain and frustration.

I truly believe NC = no new hurts. I tell myself this over and over every time I find myself wanting to hear his voice.

BS (Me)
Married 2 yrs; Together 6 yrs

D-Day 11/14/12
Limbo 1 month
False R 2 months.
Status: Divorce on hold

Posts: 228 | Registered: Nov 2012
Member # 36726
Default  Posted: 1:56 PM, April 22nd (Monday)

PIC - Dude I struggle with NC too. I see her at events, she texts me stuff, etc. etc. But it is very easy for me to remember the anger, the hurt, the pain for me and my kids. I know if I talk with her and she hits a nerve, I go off on her. Nature of the beast. Better off with NC as it means I don't have to engage her at all. You answered your own post and you know what you need to do my man.

BH me 46
WW her 38
DDay 8-17-12
2 kids (12, 9)
Filed for D 9/14/12
Divorced 4/17/13
She - engaged 5/13 married 9/13

Posts: 583 | Registered: Sep 2012 | From: PA
Member # 36258
Default  Posted: 7:24 PM, April 22nd (Monday)

I too feel like you sometimes when I drop the kids off or when she picks up the kids, I sometimes want to chit chat with her. I am pretty good at not doing it now. Even through text she sometimes want to know what I am doing and I just simply don't respond to the stupid text. The only things I will exchange with her is pictures of our kids. I would send a few and she would do the same back. Even that pushes my feelings to the extremes.

Posts: 342 | Registered: Jul 2012 | From: St.Paul Minnesota
Member # 37468
Default  Posted: 8:00 PM, April 22nd (Monday)

I'm starting to think random non-emergency texts don't need to get sent. Maybe stuff like coordinating scheduling. I don't know. I'll see what works for me.

Definitely don't need to send her a text saying "DD did really well in school today!" or the like. I can record the info in case she asks for it, and we can discuss it during meetings. And she can talk about it directly with DD.

Me, 32. DD, 8. DS, 6 (deceased).

Posts: 845 | Registered: Nov 2012
Member # 34485
Default  Posted: 10:02 PM, April 22nd (Monday)

PIC, I'm sorry you are struggling with this. Count me in too. When we first separated I still kept contact with XWH but that was during the tornado of emotions. After the divorce we didn't have any children to have to keep contact so there was really no reason to.

I think it's more me craving the contact even to the extent that his voice felt comforting. But, I felt like crap like I was the one expecting the contact. Now even if he texts I feel like crap if he doesn't ask me how I'm doing or anything.

I think he only wants to keep contact so he can feel like he's not such a bad guy. I got news for him.

I too know in my heart I'm more stable when I don't have contact, though I go from missing him badly to being really angry at both of them. Little things throw me in the dark place too like a mutual friend of ours said he ran into XWH and OW out at dinner. I acted fine on the phone but when I hung up it made me weep knowing he was out doing the things we used to do together. I know NC is better but still have a hard time believing that is my life now. Wishing you peace.

Me BS 54
Him WH 55
M 32 yrs - together 40 yrs
Kids 0
D-Day 12-18-11 (WH didn't want to R)
Divorced 6-21-12 Done!

If the grass is greener on the other side....water your own lawn.

Posts: 239 | Registered: Jan 2012 | From: Midwest
Member # 37468
Default  Posted: 11:07 PM, April 22nd (Monday)

Thanks, BS50. I was thinking after reading your response about how validation plays into these things. (e.g., WS wants to feel like a good person.)

Jung used the term "defeat of the ego" quite a lot when speaking of grief and depression, which I see as something that would lead to validation seeking. (In my case, I think my WS became very depressed and desperate, found someone who inflated her ego, and found this to be so precious she would or could not let go, even knowing the consequences to her.)

On the BS side: I think when you become vulnerable to someone and trust them to the point where they can shred your ego to bits (and then want validation in return?)... then you are vulnerable, literally. You can't both be vulnerable and fully protect yourself. You can be cautious about who you trust, I suppose.

Who knew this stuff was so deadly serious? I guess the risk of suffering is the price we pay for attachment. I still feel like it's worth it.

But not with someone who is so careless and who lacks remorse. Life is too short.

Me, 32. DD, 8. DS, 6 (deceased).

Posts: 845 | Registered: Nov 2012
Member # 16953
Default  Posted: 6:06 AM, April 23rd (Tuesday)

I know many folks here say they are "friends" with the X. I really don't fall into that line of thought. Friends do not intentionally go out of their way to hurt you. And that's just what they do. Infidelity is one of the worst emotional abuses one can inflict on another. You certainly can be civil towards an X. But true friendship ? I don't believe that's possible. And if that's the case you certainly need to get a better circle of friends. Just my .02 cents anyways.

You cant eat soup with chopsticks.

Posts: 5749 | Registered: Nov 2007
Member # 37468
Default  Posted: 10:06 AM, April 23rd (Tuesday)

Yeah, she may talk like she's my friend (sort of), but she sure didn't act like it last year. She seems incredibly self absorbed.

Fortunately she leaves me alone when I don't talk to her and she doesn't try to get money from me and is not asking for spousal maintenance. Also is fine with me being the primary custodial parent as long as she gets to see our daughter at least occasionally.

So yeah, I wouldn't say she's my friend.

Me, 32. DD, 8. DS, 6 (deceased).

Posts: 845 | Registered: Nov 2012
Member # 25753
Default  Posted: 4:12 PM, April 24th (Wednesday)

try 2 avoid can be hard.i've caved myself.i think it just sets you back a little from truly moving on.

If i can do it anyone can .My hpd wife was my only friend for 13 years....don't let the fear of being alone ruin your life....people will come ray

Posts: 77 | Registered: Oct 2009 | From: memphis,TN
Member # 37468
Default  Posted: 9:49 PM, April 24th (Wednesday)

So I've been back to keeping to myself for a couple days (or a few? i've lost track). I feel much calmer and all the sad scary stuff feels a lot farther away. And I've been very productive at work.

It's really the attitude--if I have to communicate with her about my daughter, say, it's not that bad, because I'm keeping it brief and going back to my life afterwards.

Me, 32. DD, 8. DS, 6 (deceased).

Posts: 845 | Registered: Nov 2012
Member # 9280
Default  Posted: 3:40 PM, April 25th (Thursday)

Well done,, I like your attitude
Keep up the NC, it really does work. FR

me: FBW
D-Day May 2005
divorced December 2009

Posts: 136 | Registered: Jan 2006 | From: UK
Member # 36258
Default  Posted: 1:04 PM, April 27th (Saturday)

Like someone here told me. If what you did made you feel like crap, Next time you know you should not do it again next time. I danced with my X once at a club and I will never put myself in that situation again. I was horrible for days. But some people don't know until they have hit the truth. I hope you did.

Posts: 342 | Registered: Jul 2012 | From: St.Paul Minnesota
Oh the Irony
Member # 12354
Default  Posted: 6:56 PM, April 27th (Saturday)

I think at the stage you are in now, you do need very strict boundaries. I don't totally agree that you need No Contact though when you have a child. No kid, yes total no contact. Kid, it depends upon what you want the situation to look like a few years down the road.

It does change over time. I'm almost 7 years out and my ex and I are quite friendly now and I'm very comfortable with it. And it's great for the kids to see how we get along, work together for them, etc.

I do agree too much friendliness in the beginning is confusing with a child that age.

I don't think a minute or two of chit-chat at pick-up is a horrible thing though. You probably don't want to do family dinners or anything!

I have always been somewhat open about talking about my kids with him--I want to know special things that happen at his house, so I've shared special moments that happen at my house.

Be careful, but do think about what you want co-parenting to look like a few years down the road.

Two gorgeous boys, 14 and 8.
D-day Sept. 15, 2006.
Me, BS 43
Him, WS 50
Her, OG (Guess she is 27 or 28 now! 19-21 at the time...)
Separated. Divorcing. Happily working on myself.

Posts: 735 | Registered: Oct 2006 | From: thankful for truth
Member # 37468
Default  Posted: 11:52 PM, April 27th (Saturday)

Irony, that's good advice. I have been thinking a lot about how I want things to be for DD.

I think just keeping things businesslike, like we are coworkers, is best for now. It can be friendly. Our daughter sees that we're friendly to each other, and I think that's helping her.

We also went to a joint session with a psychologist to see if there's anything we can do to help our daughter that we're not already doing, and also the psychologist is going to see her at least a couple times. Stuff like that I'm okay with. But I just don't want to be doing things I don't need to that cause my feelings to go back into 'oh everything's back to the way it was' mode.. that hurts.

(Edit was: yeesh, I accidentally put my daughter's name in for a second towards the top..took it out.)

[This message edited by ProbableIceCream at 11:53 PM, April 27th (Saturday)]

Me, 32. DD, 8. DS, 6 (deceased).

Posts: 845 | Registered: Nov 2012
Member # 38899
Default  Posted: 5:31 AM, April 28th (Sunday)

I am dealing with the same thing here. I also noticed I talked to the ex more when I was feeling isolated and low. What I found happening though, was he was getting the impression that I was opening up to him and possibly willing to R. Ummm. NO.

It also made me backslide from firm boundaries, and everyone wound up confused.

I couldn't move forward in my life with him in it, in any way, other than co parent.

I don't want to share my life, How I spend my time, plans for my future,ect.. with him. That led to very controlled conversations, that I felt I had to censor what I said. It was awkward, and I know he does it too, but he is used to "withholding information", lol. (Lying!)

Sheese. I need to make a new best friend! :)

[This message edited by Safeguard at 5:32 AM, April 28th (Sunday)]

"since your actions don't match your words, excuse me while I stop believing you."

Posts: 143 | Registered: Apr 2013
Member # 34678
Default  Posted: 6:29 AM, April 28th (Sunday)

I can't talk/see my XH because it takes a toll on me also. Just hearing about stuff from my children hurts me also.

I finally turned a page when I made the decision that XH NEVER gets to see me. I don't even go outside when the children are picked up. We communicate by email.

Maybe later we can chit chat, but it was hurting me SO SO SO bad.

NC=no new hurts.

Thank God you got custody of your child!!!!!

Keep Calm and Happy On!

me BS 52
him - 46
married 15 years DIVORCED 10 31 12
children - ds15 ds12
d-day 12-19-11
I gave a 24hour ultimatum then went to attorney next day
Divorce filed

Posts: 2250 | Registered: Jan 2012
Oh the Irony
Member # 12354
Default  Posted: 10:36 AM, April 28th (Sunday)

Be gentle with yourself because it is a process.

I thought at first that we could go do something together as a family. Like attend something and have a meal together. NO. PAIN. I realized he deserved nothing of MY emotional life and it got much better. Businesslike and about our kids. Me giving him good information about the kids also meant that I got good information about the kids--but some people won't be so fortunate. Some people are dealing with SUCH nasty people that no matter how civil they are the situation can't be helped.

So you do have to feel your own way. My mantra for years was "kids and finances".

Now I could go sit down in a restaurant and share a meal with the four of us--no big deal at all. He might irritate me sometimes, but I'm sure he would do it a lot more if we were together!!

I'm happy with my life and that helps a great deal.

Two gorgeous boys, 14 and 8.
D-day Sept. 15, 2006.
Me, BS 43
Him, WS 50
Her, OG (Guess she is 27 or 28 now! 19-21 at the time...)
Separated. Divorcing. Happily working on myself.

Posts: 735 | Registered: Oct 2006 | From: thankful for truth
Topic Posts: 29