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Poppy704 posted 10/18/2019 13:12 PM

Not sure if this off topic or not, since itís part check in.

My divorce decree will be issues this week.

XH has chosen this time to pursue me, saying the divorce is a reset button that we can use to start a ďnewĒ relationship together. He is coming clean about things that Iíd always questioned in an effort to get a ďclean slateĒ. Like admitting that he cheated when we were dating and engaged, which heíd always denied when confronted and bullied me about terribly when I tried to discuss it. Iím struggling with this new knowledge, and how to not get bogged down in new resentments and anger, and continue to work on improving myself, because these events really launched our most unhealthy patterns that I still struggle to avoid post-break up, like avoiding conflicts, not setting healthy boundaries when Iím hurt/know Iím being lied to.

hikingout posted 10/18/2019 13:17 PM

Hi Poppy! Long time no see! I wonder about you from time to time, I am glad you checked in. I know you know who you are dealing with, I guess my question is in this new beginning, what is being done with his BPD? I just know that he has tried a lot of different tactics in the past, and you leaving took everything you had inside from what I could tell. I just hate to see things go backwards. It does say a lot that he is admitting things he did wrong, because I know that was part of the issues. Is he doing better with the kids?

Poppy704 posted 10/18/2019 13:31 PM

Hiking: He supposedly goes to therapy. But from what heís told me itís a new therapist that is mostly focusing on his obsessive behaviors tying into extreme ADD and I donít think he is honest with the IC. He continues to alienate me from my son, question my daughter and make her uncomfortable, pass messages etc. The last time he called me up to threaten me or tell an ominous lie was less than two weeks ago on my birthday.

I was with him from 14-34. There are things I miss, mostly the familiarity and being an intact family. So I listen to him carefully and but ultimately I believe it would be hugely unhealthy to get involved again.

hikingout posted 10/18/2019 13:40 PM

Oh, that makes a lot of sense Poppy. I especially would be concerned that he hasn't learned not to use your children as pawns. I also think it would be a big draw due to the familiarity and intact family, I almost cited those in my response.

hikingout posted 10/18/2019 14:42 PM

Hi Need2do, welcome to the forum!

Lostgirl410 posted 10/18/2019 23:25 PM

PreA issues, for those of you who have started down the path of working on them - what was your biggest one and what does that work look like to you?

Hiking,

There are two combined sets of issues that I believe all come together in the perfect storm in our marriage. Each may be separate, but the way they feed off each other tangles them in to one explosive chain of reactions.

First, I was raised in a household where there was very rarely any yelling. We sat down, and talked things out. H on the other hand, has zero qualms about raising his voice in frustration. Think - H yells at me, and I respond with a gentle voice. He yells louder as I get quieter. My heart starts racing, my hands tremble, and my flight response kicks in. I tell him I need to step away for a minute to gain composure, and he blocks my escape (such as standing in the doorway/holding my shoes or coat so I can't leave). I break down and cry. It frustrates him when I cry, so he screams at me to stop crying, or yells: "Why are you crying!?"

The second is a combination of my fierce need to have a feeling of independence, and his "Little Women" mentality. (He hates that term too, btw). I was raised to never have to be dependent on a man, and he was raised in a family where women have "their place."

Now, picture him yelling at me for mowing the lawn instead of folding the laundry because that was supposed to be his job. You see how all 4 build into one large ball of issues there?

I've been working on validating his feelings when he starts to yell, but applying boundaries at the same time.

Me: "I apologize you are upset about xyz, and would be happy to discuss it when we are both calm."

Him (yelling): "I AM CALM!!"

Me: "I understand you feel that way, however, I'm uncomfortable with your current voice level."

That's only one example, and just the very beginning of how I try to change the communication tones. We have started to establish communication change triggers, if that makes sense. If he starts one way, then I try to change the communication style to stop the reactiveness before it starts, and when he notices my negative communication styles kick in, he does the same.

I believe we had been married less than a year when he informed me I may never raise my voice, but that I taught him very quickly that a person doesn't have to actually raise their voice to yell. In other words...maybe his sound level is good at making me cry, but I can still make him feel about 2in. tall with sugary voice and a smile on my face.

[This message edited by Lostgirl410 at 11:30 PM, October 18th (Friday)]

hikingout posted 10/19/2019 11:35 AM

Lost girl,

I can relate to that. One of our (really my) pre A issues was if I had just a little more perspective and effort in negotiation more win-win situations. I just thought someone had to win. And often, I just let him win. I thought that was showing love but it really puts a martyr dynamic into the relationship that I never even realized was there.

So now I try and create more win wins. If he asks me to help him get a deal together for his business, then I will say I can absolutely do that if you can help me with some vacuuming and dishes so I have time to run tomorrow. I would never have done that in our Pre A marriage. I would have gone to bed late after working for him and gotten up at an ungodly hour to either do chores or run so I could do the other when I got home from work. I would have made it work without involving him because I didnít want to ask him to give up some of his time.

There are occasionally times when someone has to win. So we try and feel out to whom itís more important to, or what is best ultimately for our relationship. Those can be tougher calls that I would not have even put my hat in the ring for in earlier times. I was a doormat. But he didnít expect that or put me there, it was a role I gave myself. it really led to me not wanting to be married any more and craving the ability to do whatever I wanted without compromise. So while some of these changes are probably worse for him (though he doesnít express that, and I am not an unreasonable spouse) ultimately with out those change our marriage simply could not thrive. Understanding that was a rude awakening because these are things within my control all along.

I would have a hard time with the yelling personally, but itís good you guys are working in it. Yelling was something I never wanted again because there was so much of it in my FOO. It literally shuts me down, I disassociate the way you are describing. I am not a yell back kind of person, it would take a lot.

Lostgirl410 posted 10/19/2019 12:03 PM

It's funny how easy it is to fall into a pattern of obsessive giving. Always wanting to see people happy, always trying to help, and pleasing people at the expense of yourself really does create our own martyr complex. (Even, and maybe especially when we don't want to be outwardly recognized as such.)

I like that you say you think your husband wouldn't possibly be as happy now that he doesn't always "win." We have shared that same thought in our house, and I was assured that nobody wants a doormat for a partner. We think we're being helpful, but really we are giving up parts of ourselves that our partners recognized (and found attractive) in us from the beginning.

hikingout posted 10/21/2019 09:24 AM

Absolutely, eventually you find that you give up so much of yourself that you don't even know who you are anymore or what it is that you want. And, finding out you were the one who put yourself in that position? Well, I guess I wear a dunce cap!

hikingout posted 10/21/2019 14:14 PM

New question: What are you struggling with the most now?

TiredSoul2017 posted 10/21/2019 14:59 PM

Now that I am healthy and have been in IC for several years I think back about what I did and I am absolutely floored that I needed so much attention. I craved it. I risked my health and life for a "fix" of forbidden sex. I am disgusted with myself. I can't believe that was me.

BraveSirRobin posted 10/21/2019 20:39 PM

I'm struggling with balance. Right after D-Day 2, it was obvious that my BH had to take top priority in my life. A lot of other aspects -- work, friends, even our teenage kids -- had to run on autopilot. At a year out, there are bills to pay on that debt, both literally and metaphorically. Our children are going through some significant issues, and we need to be fully there for them. Our life is financially precarious. I want to support my BH's ongoing struggle, but I can't be there for him on the same level as I have been. That's hard to admit and to face.

HeartBreaker11 posted 10/21/2019 20:50 PM

I'm struggling with my moods lately. I have been really depressed and we haven't been able to find a good combination of medications to balance my moods yet.

hikingout posted 10/22/2019 08:07 AM

Tiredsoul - I can relate to that as I get further and further out the more I can't believe I did what I did. On the other hand, I know how it came to be.

BraveSirRobin - I can relate to that as well. It's just in the last few months I think I have found some balance back. So much was on autopilot that everthing was reactionary. I feel like in the last few months I see H and I becoming more proactive with working towards more concrete future plans, and the responsibilities of life have expanded again. For a long time, it had very much been do enough to get by in the other categories because of how much room the affair recovery took. It does get better. Though, I hate to hear your kids are having issues or that you have to figure out a precarious financial situation. Those things can be equally encompassing from a mental tax standpoint, it's not any wonder you would be struggling with that.

hikingout posted 10/28/2019 09:26 AM

Happy Monday - How was everyone's weekend?

H had been traveling last week, and I had a family event that I had to be at this weekend, and I missed H terribly the whole time. The family thing had so many crazy blowups and drama that by the time I got home, I felt like a wrung out dishcloth - emotionally, physically, mentally... I felt like coming home was the biggest comfort hug I could possibly get and we had a nice quiet day just throwing in loads of laundry, eating a simple but delicious dinner, and then finally "reuniting" and then I passed out at an indecently early hour. It was a good reminder that "home" is really only wherever he is, waking up this morning, I didn't want to have to leave him to go in to work, but Alas...

Anyway, hope you guys had a great weekend and had some comfort of your own.

[This message edited by hikingout at 9:27 AM, October 28th (Monday)]

HeartBreaker11 posted 10/28/2019 10:59 AM

I had a great weekend!

It started off on Friday night with taking my daughter to a Halloween dance at her school, which was a lot of fun. She even let me dance too (she is 10...very concerned about looking cool in front of her friends, lol).

My daughter suggested that my family have a friendly Halloween themed cooking competition. So we did!

My dad made Halloween themed drinks.
My mom made a Halloween themed salad (she carved faces into orange peppers and put the salad in there).
My daughter made "spooky spaghetti" with mozzarella eye balls and garlic bread that looked like mummies.
And I made dessert. I made cupcakes that looked like Audrey II from Little Shop of Horrors. :)

My brother and sister even came over and were "judges" and we all ate dinner together before they declared my 10 year old the "winner!" It was a really cool new family tradition that we definitely want to do again.

We also carved pumpkins, got nails done, and made Halloween shaped sugar cookies, which was a lot of fun. Great weekend with my kiddo and a good time with my family.

I've been working a lot on not seeking validation from men and I think I have been doing better about focusing on work/family.

hikingout posted 10/28/2019 11:07 AM

Being present while kids are around is so important. These are memories you and she will have for a lifetime. Also, I love all things fall and Halloween and that sounds like a blast I could even try with my girlfriends!

JBWD posted 10/28/2019 17:47 PM

Weekend was rough TBH.

Have been out of town for work since Thursday. Antiversary was previous Sunday (10/20) and each day carries a painful memory. This past Saturday one year ago was the day that I shacked up with AP. BW perhaps triggered, briefly texted about DDís school Halloween party (1 year ago) that we gutted through last year before I took a bag to move out. Truly awful memories knowing that I subjected her to this shit.

Those memories led to lots of nightmares and I have been flooding a bit.

The good- Work is on a remote island, and fairly easy schedule. Lots of time (Iíve been posting a little bit more, no?) to reflect/relax. Weather perfect, and I have been managing ok given the situation. Meditation out here has been glorious, and itís MUCH cooler than mainland California.

So, mixed for sure. Grateful for the work, the beauty of nature, able to talk to my kiddos still (FaceTime for my 42nd B-Day on Thursday!!) And my friends here and on the island.

hikingout posted 10/28/2019 21:06 PM

Ah, I get that. I think part of my funk in August was knowing dday anniversary was coming up. Time of year naturally bring back places and times that I do hope will continue fading as the years go by.

But dang, wouldnít mind to be on a secluded island for a bit! I have been burning the candle at both ends a bit lately as we readjust to hís travel schedule. Looking forward to thanksgiving break for sure.

JBWD posted 10/29/2019 20:14 PM

Great time in IC today, something I hadnít thought of- The nightmares I mentioned above. IC pointed out that that means I am more ready to face and deal with my acts of betrayal than previously. Yes Iíve been doing a lot and moving forward, but it was good to learn that the nightmares are actually a sign of loosening up some of the blocked up thoughts/feelings. Good way to work through that- Havenít had any subsequent since the weekend, but ready if I do...

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