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My Detaching Guide

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TryingT posted 3/13/2018 15:09 PM

Thank you for this. I'm circling the drain of divorce right now and it sounds like we were married to the same man:

Pick your poison - his laziness, his lack of financial responsibility, never wanting to get out of his comfort zone, never wanting to have new adventures, yes – his love of tv …

ForOurFamily posted 3/14/2018 10:08 AM

Here is why I'm having problems detaching, even though she carried on a full blown relationship with the OM since May. DDay for me was in June, she said it ended, needed contact still for work. (he is a customer, she is outside sales).

Affair discovered by his wife in December, they paused, then resumed in Middle January, found out again by his wife on March 1st now in the holding pattern again as he tells his wife he never loved mine and wants to make things work.

She started to doubt Marriage real soon in the process, late June, just 2 weeks after DDay. False recovery in early July, to 2nd week of July saying it just wasn't working, she was hurting, heart hardened, affair had nothing to do with our issues, issues were from last 5-7 years of marriage. Denies still involved with other man throughout until I had my 3rd DDay in December.

Sorry, back to why I cannot seem to detach properly at the moment. I was doing so well through January and February with my 180, etc. Divorce process started in early January, said she thought about it, was best for her to get divorced, so she can be happy and in turn kids would be better off with a happier, healthier mom. The reason I get stuck is that she brings up that none of our issues had to do with affair, she shows no remorse for it and didn't even consider the 2nd go around in January-March an affair because we were getting divorced, still living in same house. She says the reason she wants divorce is so she can be happy, that she lived a life of someone that wasn't true to herself when she got married. We have been together 17 years, married 14.

She brings up how we grew apart, how we couldn't communicate, we aren't compatible, not right for each other, etc. She just doesn't want to be with me even if she can't be with OM. She sees me as great dad but essentially a roommate, a friend. Instead of making me mad, it makes me defensive and I automatically go into explain mode, why she is wrong about that, that we did have true love, that I wish she would have just given me a chance to prove this was right, independent of her affair, to step away from that and give the family a chance again.

So you can see where I get stuck here, I go from detachment and working on myself to getting myself stuck in her manipulation. My counselor has identified by what she does and says as being a master manipulator and by blameshifting and projection, she is able to keep the pain away from herself and never get to what is truly hurting inside.

I have the hope sickness, that if she just would do this or that or think this or that, we could be alright.

What's crazy is what holds me back so much is that when I look at her sometimes I still see what she could be, the great wife and mom and could be. I look at pictures on social media of family friends and instead of thinking, wow, I could have that with someone who really cherishes and respects me for what I can give to them, I see, why doesn't my (current) wife want this! Why? I don't need her to have fun, I enjoy life on my own and with my kids and I don't see a problem getting someone in the future but it's like I have this notion that I still have to take care of her, that I need to snap her out of this. Thinking of her alone and depressed in the future, makes me sad, even though she doesn't care what I think, has told me to stop worrying about her, stop caring for her, to MOVE ON!

What more evidence do I need to move on, yet, in my head, I still think she's actually thinking about things right now, like she did when OM's wife first found out and what I found out, what she was thinking of, was a way to get a lawyer, speed up this process and find a way to get back with OM.

Sorry this is so long but last but not least, reason this caught me off guard was it seemed we were at a point in life where things were getting better between us communication wise. The kid were growing up and doing a lot more on their own (10 DS, 7 DD). We were doing things as a couple or with couples more. Then the perfect storm hit in May. And to just add a disclaimer here. The OM she had an affair with, she had an EA, well I thought it was only an EA but now doubt that, with him in Late 2009. She had thoughts of leaving me and my 2 y/o DS then. She had started a new territory in her sales job last year and he just happened to be on a site that was in her territory and the rest is bad history. Many have said they never relinquished contact but from the evidence I found, there was indeed years of a gap between contact. The thing she was most thankful for this year at Thanksgiving (text) was him coming back into her life.

I should know damn better, I deserve better but yet I am back in a spin cycle, thinking she's actually thinking over things even though she said she doesn't see anything changing and we chug along toward the last few months of the divorce process. Thank you all for listening.

PeriodicZen posted 3/21/2018 10:40 AM

Thank you for this post. I have been dealing with what looks like a false R, and your post appeared at the exact right moment to help my resolve and this situation.

onelesschild posted 3/21/2018 18:50 PM

I disagree on the not diagnosing.

My ex and AP accused me of all kinds of things, tried to convince other, including my kids. I used to spend all my time trying to explain and defend, but finally I realized: nope, they're nuts (borderline, bipolar, NPD) plus liars so I just learned to discount all of it and not respond. I would picture in my mind--they live in delusion land and I live on earth. I might hear little sounds and screams from over on their planet but I knew it wasn't real.

Also, learn when NOT engaging makes the most sense. The combo I had to deal with were so crafty, so evil and had so much time on their hands that I knew I was never going to beat them and it was better not the poke the tiger because their response would be nuclear. Figure out what is really important, what your goals are, and direct all your energies toward those.


A couple more suggestions:

Change the contact name for the ex in your phone to something like loser or goodriddance or anything that might make you laugh or not feel anxious.

I had a super good SI buddy going through divorce the same time as me and her ex was just as nuts and mean. To avoid reading emails from our exs that were just abusive and didn't contain info, I would forward my emails from my ex to her and vice versa, and if there was anything I needed to know or that she did, we'd tell each other.

Write emails and stick them in your draft folder. Just writing is often enough.


Peterpan1 posted 3/23/2018 18:27 PM

I m angery an a bit buzzed but this is good! I'm tired of feeling scared of life with out her she has never been a good wife she has been manipulative from the beginning for 25 years I have put her first. And this is what I get a five year affair. Well f her. I'm so angery she doesn't care about me all she cares about is herself. Since d day 7 weeks I have been trying to get her to understand how to love someone... She honestly doesn't know how... That's not something you can teach someone. I think she kind of wants to but she doesn't know how. Im fed up with trying to teach her. I gave her 6 months to figure out how. In 4 months one week I'm done
F it. I figured out to day I would rather be lonely and happy versus married to someone selfish. 4 months one week and I have independents day for me. I nursed her through two hip replacement surgery's. They wouldn't replace her hips until she was crying every night from the pain... I now know why... Because after all that pain the pain of surgery is a relief.. I think it will be the same for me put up with the pain for 6 months and after that devorce Will feel like being freed from prison...

zerovisibility posted 3/31/2018 17:45 PM

Chili, this was very helpful for me today. 15mos after Dday, I discovered that he has crossed one of my boundaries again. God knows how many more times he did before today. This time, he firmly believes he did nothing wrong and wouldn’t even call it a slip when the evidence of pornography was right there on his phone. And by his definition, the explicit images were not pornography. I’m just exhausted at this point. Stumbling upon your post gave me hope that things can be a whole lot better, if he wasn’t in my life. Wish me luck with what lies ahead. I simply will no longer deal with the lies, secrecy, and deception.

Chili posted 3/31/2018 19:48 PM

Hang in there Zero - I hope you can detach to the point where you can get off the roller coaster. Always being on edge wondering what they're doing is indeed exhausting. And some people are capable of sucking the life force right out of you.

Nothing wrong with getting off the ride for a while and focusing on you to make yourself healthier.

I do wish you much luck - but mostly I wish for you a sense of being grounded in your own health and self-care.

Take good care of you.

Dragonfly123 posted 4/1/2018 03:43 AM

Chilli,

This really is a great post and funnily enough the immature WH you describe could easily be mine. I have been feeling so sad the last few days, not depressed or anxious but just deeply sad, the kind of sad where you could cry at any moment, it just lurks within you, a heavy heart sad but you put on a brave face, dust yourself down and get on with the day. I've been learning to deal with those moments by remembering all the reasons why he was not the perfect spouse, in fact far from it. And I remind myself that my children and I do not need permission to do things now... we're even thinking of attending a little festival in the summer, (something my WH would never have done) as despite being so small both my babies love watching bands. I'm not so strong at the NC thing ATM but having young children makes that hard. I'm pretty bad at wondering how he's feeling about it all. He dropped the kids off yesterday and I caught him just sitting in the car and staring at me and my babes as we laughed and cuddled. When I see that I get confused and lose my away a little but your post is fantastic!!! Thank you for taking the time out to write it x X x

Lawyerman posted 4/1/2018 16:35 PM

Thank you Chili. Just what I needed to read tonight and I will read it again every day until D is final.

I especially like the not trying to diagnose bit. Had a really tense conversation with WW tonight about something and it was really just emotional blackmail on her part. I can avoid this particular situation in the future but have fallen for it a couple times. Lesson learned.

I'm early in D but it feels like she is this whirlpool of anxiety, anger, love, false promises and fear that is desperately trying to drag me back in by any means she can. She is so angry with me for doing this that it borders on hatred but then she is so desperate to get me back she will do anything (aside from heal her state of mind) to get me back.

lettingo posted 4/3/2018 22:27 PM

Thank you Chili for this post. It is really helpful. I am 18months past DD and D is in progress but I find myself still obsessing from time to time on the "what ifs" and the "if onlys".

FOF - I feel your pain. I also get defensive when he tells me his reason for cheating is that "his feelings for me changed". What I have come to realize is that he is NOT the person I want to love anymore. He doesn't deserve my love anymore. Do you think your W deserves your love? When people show you who they are, believe them.

[This message edited by lettingo at 12:15 PM, February 26th (Tuesday)]

Honestgirl posted 4/4/2018 06:38 AM

I was looking for advice to get my ex out of my headspace and came across this post. I love it. I want to print it and keep it with me at low times. I hope someday not to need reminders like this. My XH is taking up too much of my emotional energy lately. I don't think about him until he pops into my consciousness through a text or when I have to give him his monthly tithe.

I will be setting up autopay for his ransom money but I can't avoid his texts because we have kids. Most texts are about when he is picking up or dropping off our 14 year old but they are often laced with hoovering or teasers. He'll add some stupid comment that is unnecessary but meant solely to get me to text back. I don't reply but then there he is in my headspace again.

How to I defend myself against these emotional ambushes? I have read many places that if they can still push your emotional buttons, even if they don't get to see it and enjoy it, you are still not over them. I know he is still just trying to maintain a connection but I get derailed every time. I want to stop thinking about any aspect of his existence. Is this possible?

Heart posted 4/4/2018 06:53 AM

Thank you for sharing. This is great for those moments when one might backslide. So many good points. I have always been the fixer or the healer so it is quite an adjustment just to be "me"now.

EyesOpened50 posted 4/10/2018 08:19 AM

A really powerful topic and thanks for sharing your thoughts and advice! I moved out once and couldn't honestly detach and subsequently went back weeks later but it's just the same! I feel I'm the one doing the work, the stressing and feeling the real pain plus not actually moving forward - it's that fear v's reality situation! I only wish I'd found SI on or before D Day as like most people I've made all the standard mistakes plus rug sweeping for years - it could be resolved but it takes two to do the hard work!

I_Do_Exist posted 4/10/2018 11:47 AM

Brilliant post, Chili. I love it.

Thank you.

Chili posted 4/12/2018 14:40 PM

Honestgirl - I think you're asking a lot of yourself with things still ongoing and sharing kids. I mean, what does "still not over him" mean really?

You are not reacting back to him - that is brilliant. You've already won with that.

So he's still capable of being an asshole and is immature enough to do that in texts about kids? - that doesn't say anything about you. You have to read those because you share these children. Shame on him for taking advantage of a captive audience.

You'll always have to acknowledge some part of his existence because of those kids. To pretend he doesn't exist or that he can still be an ass or get in your headspace is a little unrealistic.

I think you can get to the point you may be able to just roll your eyes at him or laugh or shake your head.

Look, it's been 6 years since I've spoken to my ex, but I bet he could still find a way to push my emotional buttons if I got enough texts from him that I was forced to read.

It all depends on how you react, how much of your headspace you give him, and how all that prevents you from moving on with your own life. That's the key, no?

And I think you're doing a jam up job. So there.

ninon posted 4/12/2018 15:01 PM

Honestgirl,

(((hugs))) I'm really struggling with this, too.

One thing you can do that might help is to switch from text to email--that way you choose when to look at your account, rather having your ex in your back pocket effectively. If possible, you can also arrange for a friend to read (i.e., screen) all his messages, so you only get the essential information. That might be cumbersome with coparenting stuff, but might be worth it, in the short term at least.

Simplicity posted 4/12/2018 15:31 PM

LOL! Every time this thread pops up, I think of that Dua Lipa song, New Rules.

Chili posted 4/12/2018 21:19 PM

I've got new rules I count 'em.

Simplicity posted 4/12/2018 21:23 PM

^^

ohforanewme posted 4/13/2018 01:00 AM

Hey Chili

This thread is a true masterpiece. It, and so many of your other posts that I have read lately are so insightful and helpful.

Would you mind if I nominated you as "sage of the D/S forum". There seem to be a few in JFO, and then Wayward certainly has a few that might qualify over there, but your thoughts here are so helpful to all of us D/S souls.

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