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My Detaching Guide

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Chili posted 3/7/2018 22:30 PM

I haven't been here for a while, but popped on tonight just to check in. Thought I would post something I wrote a few years back when I was struggling to detach and move forward....maybe someone here can take something from it. Detaching was so hard during all that mess.
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So this is my own personal guide I have been using to help me detach from assclown while my heart was far from detached, but I just KNEW I had to be done. As in done done. No waiting for him to get his head out of his ass – no plans for the future with him. At all. Ending a relationship without infidelity in the mix is hard enough. I took lots of guidance from the 180 which is well described on this site. However, I needed to put together some of my own tricks to get into MY own mind and out of the mindset of the “relationship.” Here’s some top-10 thoughts (and I use he for the pronoun only because that applies to my situation):

• Try really really hard not to spend too much time diagnosing him. I think it can be helpful to have an idea if you're dealing with some kind of personality disorder for divorce negotiations. But you can also get stuck there in their head instead of yours. It's tough. Especially if you are a fixer (read co-dependent if you are into that sort of thing), or a researcher, or a self-actualized person. The tendency to diagnose people who have hurt us is overwhelming. It also helps us put all this mess into a box somehow. Ah ha – it’s because he’s ______. Now, it all makes sense. Remember that addiction and infidelity and crisis behavior can all look like a lot of different things. Is my assclown NPD, PA, Clinically Depressed, have FOO issues, Cross Addicted? Maybe. Maybe not. But so what. It’s all still his shit. Diagnosis = asshole. And if he does need help and has some sort of issue, he’s also choosing to do absolutely nothing about it, so that makes him an immature asshole as well. And not my problem.

Maybe you will feel better if you have a moniker to repeat to yourself to explain him to you. But really, what you are doing is spending way too much time thinking about him and his self-created mess and trying to make it right and explain all of it. What about that helps you focus on YOU and your future? Not much. Hey – I spent lots of time there myself and I regret that I almost got stuck looking to “figure him out.” It’s better for me to just say to myself: he is screwed up on so many levels which I no longer care to explore and I do not have to deal with that anymore. And if it helps – and if he’s still with AP – he’s her problem now.

• Speaking of not having to deal with it anymore…this one has been invaluable to me to create mini-mantras throughout each day. There was a post not too long ago here about “Things You Won’t Miss About Your Spouse.” This is along those lines. One of the things that brilliantly flew out of my mouth sitting across from assclown on Dday was “What exactly is it that you bring to the party that would make me want to put up with this level of bullshit?” Think about that one. We have decided that their infidelity and/or how they chose to deal with that is a dealbreaker. So, what else is a bonus about getting rid of your variety of assclown? Since most affairs are rooted in their own bullshit – I would gather your assclown is also not that emotionally healthy or mature in general. For me, it’s all sorts of things that will make my life richer and fuller. Pick your poison - his laziness, his lack of financial responsibility, never wanting to get out of his comfort zone, over-drinking, never wanting to have new adventures, his only interest being tv …on and on. Dance joyfully at never having to deal with his annoying habits. Retrain your brain when you start missing x about him to knock out a jig that you won’t have to ever put up with y again.

• Get a posse. A big one like I did if you need it. At first, I only shared with my closest 2 girlfriends and my IC. As time went on, I added doctors, lawyers, SI, more close friends. You might need someone at your church – your family – whatever works. Do not try to do this alone. Do not worry yourself with his “reputation." I brought a lot of people into my party in the later stages as my story unfolded and I realized that this whole situation was hopelessly done. (Be ready for the shock factor if they come in a little later). This is absolutely the time for preaching to the choir. They need to love and support you and your decisions unless you need a serious 2 x 4. Which I lined up for every time I was about to cave and contact his ass. But everyone knew what I wanted to do and they just helped keep me on that course. Laughter has been the best for me. I was sarcastic and snarky and laughed right straight at him (virtually) for weeks.

I caution you though – you might find out some friends just can’t do it. (which might lead to more weeding out of your address book, but it’s not a bad time to do that too). They don’t want to hear it. Or don’t understand infidelity AT. ALL. I have one friend who was totally triggered by it – guess what she’s been doing herself? Remember to keep good boundaries. Spread the ick around your posse – you will be able to tell if you are burning someone out.

• Each time I wanted to be angry with assclown or share something with him or ask him what the hell happened or why he did it…I called a friend, posted on SI, journaled or found another way to get it OUT – just not to him. He does not get the gift of seeing my emotions anymore. He saw all of them – mostly the hurt – and he really didn’t or couldn’t give a shit. That’s private now. The ONLY thing I said to him after I knew I was done was “talk to your attorney or talk to my attorney.” Period. No responses to his texts. No responses to his desperate voicemails. If you are truly NC, they will try and work you. Resist. No matter what you hear. It is SO hard. Especially if you want to give him a piece of your mind. Know this though - it is absolutely, positively driving them crazy when you don't respond. Especially if they are at all narcissist-y. Just because you don’t get to see the reaction in person doesn’t mean it’s not there.

• This one goes along with not diagnosing him, but really try hard to stay out of his head. What is he thinking? What is he doing? What is he telling people? How is he managing ____? Is he with her? The tendency will be to imagine everything being just perfectly peachy with him, but most likely it's not the skittle-farting unicorn land you imagine. I didn’t see or talk to assclown for 6 weeks and when I did finally see him at the attorney’s office he looked a mess. But really – none of it matters. Try hard to remember he is not your concern anymore. He is a big boy douchebag and will figure it out or he won’t.


• Try to remember who you were in that moment of your life when you had it all in front of you and could be anyone you wanted. You get that chance now. It’s just you (besides those responsibilities we have). In some ways, it may be easier to manage them without assclown. Who do you want to be? What do you really dig doing that you put aside because of this relationship? Did you have something you enjoyed that they didn’t or just hated or were resentful of? Give yourself permission to figure it out without any guilt. It’s amazing how good that feels. For me, I have always been a huge dog person – loved working them in the field – going to events – having them in my life. I put that all aside with assclown because it wasn’t his thing and really it was too much to worry about a dog when I always had to organize my life around him and he got all my attention and…well…vomit. For me, I had an unexpected offer of a puppy come into my life and after deconstructing the idea - I said what am I doing – I want this – this is brilliant. I will figure out how to do it. Big duh moment for me. I’ve had a few. Like, “Oh, I can do THAT now. Wow. They are fun moments. Really. One of the things that became apparent as I moved through the disentangling with assclown is that he really forgot who I was. Don’t let yourself forget.

• Don’t let fear drive you. This one is so hard. What is my life going to be like without him? What are my holidays going to be like? Will I ever be able to x,y, or z again? What if I never find anyone else? Will I ever be loved again? It will fall into place. Really. Day by day you’ll find yourself making decisions for yourself that are healthy. Remember – if we want it and allow ourselves to be open to it – we will all find another love in our life. For me, I know I have to heal from this trauma. I might want it. I might not. Again – it is not the time. Give yourself a break. I know I’m not ready because someone flirted with me over tomatoes in the grocery store and I wanted to bash his head in…figure that’s a sign I’m not quite there yet. However, that does not mean I don’t have tons of love in my life (this bs just served as a reminder how deep it is) from dogs and friends and godchildren and family. Embrace THAT love. Having a partner in your life journey is an amazing thing, but it doesn’t define WHO you are. No matter what anyone else says.

• Remember anything can change at any time. At any point in this process, assclown could have woken up and done _____________ (insert your favorite ACTION) here. But he didn’t. We will be done legally with the paper we have between us. I will no longer be forced to have this guy in my life. Does that mean he will never be in my life ever again? Probably, unless he gets some kind of healthy at some point. Does it mean he never will? No. Could we be friends again in the future? Dunno. Could we even date? Reconnect? Get married? Maybe. Again – dunno. What I mean is – this is absolutely positively what I have to do NOW. Here is the set of circumstances you were given. There is no room for what if, might be, could he possibly…Mine gave me absolutely nothing to work with (he might argue, but again, only words), so in my mind – I had no choice.

• Try hard not to do anything you might regret down the road. It’s hard to check yourself on this one, but really, trying your bestest best to not be ugly, hateful, full of revenge, childish, impulsive, manipulative or basically…tacky…will only help you move forward more quickly. You won't still be attached to the pain by your actions. And you won’t have that moment months or years from now where you are embarrassed by yourself. I know this because when I broke up with my college boyfriend, I threw all of his stuff out the third story of my dorm room while blasting some highly dramatic music for the benefit of the rather large audience that had gathered to watch the crazy chick lose her mind. Even though most college-age people are kinda borderline in general, I still cringe at this memory.

• Remind yourself that what you are doing is protecting yourself. At the very least, you have this right. No matter what your situation – your assclown did not protect you. Now, as a direct and realistic consequence for THEIR choices, you find it necessary to…divorce, obtain custody of the kids, remove financial support, air his funky laundry publicly – whatever the action may be. By protecting myself, my assclown is and will be in a world of hurt. It just is what it is. I did not wake up one morning, get a bee in my bonnet because I was feeling pissy and decide to screw him over or punish him.

I got a text from my IC that I read every day or so: “Remember cause and effect. He put in motion a series of events that had real world consequences. He didn’t respect you and he also doesn’t respect himself or the agreements you made. He is the only one who can change that by new choices to modify behaviors and thinking."

End of story. This is what I have to work with and in that framework, I gotta do what I gotta do. Also remember that wherever he ends up is also not your fault. With AP, without her. His kids not wanting to see him. Without a place to live. In jail. Some of these are rock bottoms for people who don’t what I call: “deal with their shit.” I still struggle with this one. Remember that all of his choices are still his. And now, whew – yours are yours alone. You got this.

[This message edited by Chili at 10:53 AM, June 14th (Friday)]

ninon posted 3/7/2018 23:24 PM

I'm new here and really needed this tonight. THANK YOU!

SuckaNoMore posted 3/8/2018 01:26 AM

Nice post thanks.

BeanLaidir posted 3/8/2018 05:07 AM

Awesome...and just what I needed to read.

Thank you!

Trust55 posted 3/8/2018 06:21 AM

Thank you for the post. I needed this information. I am striving to be a lady though my divorce.

JerseyCowgirl posted 3/8/2018 06:39 AM

I am so glad you posted this again. When I was new here this post of yours struck me so deeply that I printed it out. It became my bible during my low times and I am sure it will help others.

I hope you're doing good & great to hear from you again.

juki posted 3/8/2018 06:57 AM

Hey Chili! Nice to see that you're past everything. You helped me back in the day, when I was still in the thick of the shitstorm. I also just came back to SI recently.

Great guide. I love the quote from your therapist.

Focusing on my future, what I want it to look like, who I want to be, and taking the steps to get there, has been my go-to motivator when nothing else could get me through the muck.

Thanks. :)

Charlee posted 3/8/2018 07:41 AM

Thanks for sharing!

truthsetmefree posted 3/8/2018 08:13 AM

I just asked the Universe for some guidance yesterday on this very topic. I’m always asking the Universe but I was really asking yesterday.

Thank you for this. It’s a really good post - very well written - and it has really helped me.

squid posted 3/8/2018 08:29 AM

Great post. Copying and saving so I can keep re-reading it.

marchmadness posted 3/8/2018 09:16 AM

This would make a great addition to the healing library.

justbreathe74 posted 3/8/2018 10:29 AM

Diagnosis = Asshole

I love it.. thank you for sharing!

Chili posted 3/8/2018 11:07 AM

Hey Newbies and Old-bees ((((Juki))))!

Anyone struggling with this stuff is welcome to PM me anytime. I also saw a thread where you can vent things you want to say while you're trying to stay NC. Brilliant. Sometimes you just need to get that gunk out of your head and into the universe.

[This message edited by Chili at 11:12 AM, March 8th (Thursday)]

Papillon posted 3/8/2018 16:52 PM

Thank you for this Chili! You are brilliant, wise and funny. I may adopt the name assclown for my WH. So accurate. Not sure I’ve jumped into the divorce boat yet, but definitely circling it.
And diagnosis = asshole is correct and makes me laugh. I have been referring to my WH as an adolescent asshole because he is chronologically 56 but his 33 year old soulmate “makes him feel so young”. I can’t even. Grown ass man acting like a f’n teenager. I digress.

Married28years posted 3/8/2018 17:45 PM

Perfect timing for this post. I really needed it today. My assbag has been playing Mr. Nice Guy with my attorney and I was afraid she was falling for it. He told her yesterday that his "intention was to allow me to live in the house" REALLY??? I'm paying the mortgage and all of the bills??? He has been out screwing everything in town and spending every dime we make on porn and sex and he is going to ALLOW me to continue living in the house..... I soooooo needed this detaching guide today. You are a wise woman, Chili! Thank you!

BTW- the attorney isn't falling for the nice guy routine, just lulling him into a false sense of security....

Chili posted 3/8/2018 20:26 PM

he is going to ALLOW me to continue living in the house.....

Married28: Bwwaaaa! The benevolent assbag has spoken. Such delusional crazy-making. Just keep picturing your attorney smiling and nodding agreeably. That's her job. (And take some joy that she is probably internally rolling her eyes as well.)

12and20years posted 3/10/2018 22:03 PM

Omg- thank you so much- I have copied and pasted this so I can look at it on my phone ! My friends keep telling me- concentrate on you- stop thinking about him- and you covered every way he creeps into my mind every day! Thank you! Thank you 🙏

mitz66 posted 3/11/2018 22:40 PM

I definitely needed to read this today. I have to say out loud to myself every time thoughts of xwh come to mind "They did you a favour, you are better off!" I really like your detaching guide and will use them. I am 10 months out and I get frustrated that I am not further ahead. Your list is going to help me move forward.

mitz66 posted 3/11/2018 22:40 PM

I definitely needed to read this today. I have to say out loud to myself every time thoughts of xwh come to mind "They did you a favour, you are better off!" I really like your detaching guide and will use them. I am 10 months out and I get frustrated that I am not further ahead. Your list is going to help me move forward.

Leilehua posted 3/11/2018 23:24 PM

Thank you for sharing.
Brilliant post!
I needed to see this tonight.

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