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First & Worst Holiday - Father's Day

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betrayedafter20 posted 6/21/2020 12:51 PM

Been a while since I posted. This week has been hard because the last 16 years preparing to make my WH's day special and we always had a great time. Often we did a lobster boil.

Over two months out and WH still hasn't invited me to see his apartment. Everyone has seen it but me. We had agreed that the transition would be together as a family and "friendly". That we would be sharing holidays together at least for the time being to get the kids used to the idea of separation. I take it personally and think the kids must notice that he has made a point not to have me even stop by. And the kids have only been there once!

I asked him about it two weeks ago and he just shrugged it off, "oh, you'll be over soon, place is shaping up" what is that, embarrassment, shame, or hiding? Says there's nothing to see - he works until 7 lately and then eats and crashes on the couch at 9:00. He did this when he was home so I believe that.

Another 2 weeks rolls by and still no offer to have me drop off kids and see the place and having not idea how to navigate Father's Day under these new circumstances I got upset. I had the idea that the kids and I would put together a basket of things he might need for his place for Father's Day - but I had no idea what he needed or what to surprise him with since he didn't have the courtesy to let me see it.

So I texted him how I felt, told him he needs to invite us (at least the kids) into HIS world now, to let them know he wants them to be part of it. Instead, he comes to our house almost daily (partly for work) but comes and goes as he pleases, when it's convenient for him. He does come and do yard work and fix things around the house on the weekends or tinkers with DS#1. But I told him he's sending the wrong message to the kids and there needs to be consistent visits at his place. I allowed him to stay for dinner a few times since the separation - I told him if we were going to do this "friendly" then reciprocity would be normal - why has his mother, stepdaughter, and my boys been invited for lunch or dinner and not me with the kids???

You can guess what he said. "you're overreacting". "You're nuts and over the top with your reading into everything". NARC response.

So today here I sit alone because he picked up the boys and they went to my stepdaughter's new house (we all went there together the day after they moved in). But I wasn't invited this time. It hurts. And I am wondering if that was her choice and she didn't know whether or not to invite me - or if she gave him the choice and he said he didn't want me there.

He finally agreed that I could come and pick up the boys at his place afterward to bring them home, and I could come in and we could open his gifts together. I had given him different options and he chose that.

Gee, thanks. he says "this is hard for me too".

I just feel left out. It's ultimately his day but it still hurts - I was the one for so many years that made the fun on this day and it's the first one, can't we ease into this before a complete dropoff??? an invite to the lunch? Meanwhile DSD is texting me asking me how to cook the hanger steak for him??? sigh.

Tuesday DS#1 turns 16. I should be spending my time alone coming up with a plan to decorate the front yard for that day or something. And we need groceries. Instead I'm going out and I'm going to go to lunch somewhere outside ALL BY MYSELF. Bloody Mary with my name on it..

hardtomove posted 6/21/2020 13:11 PM

What are you looking for. First of all stop him coming by whenever he wants to. Make a schedule and stick to it. Going to his place should not be on your agenda. fifteen year old is old enough to speak up.

Thanksgiving2016 posted 6/21/2020 13:53 PM

You need to detach. You are divorced. No more holidays together. Work out your holiday schedule now and save yourself some grief. He will only share them if it benefits him such as you cooking for him and he doesnít have a date. He doesnít need to be hanging at your house or vice versa.

Chrysalis123 posted 6/21/2020 14:56 PM

Change the dance. You are playing the pick me dance with a man you divorced and he is intentionally jerking your chain.

Once someone shows you who they are believe them. He has showed you over and over. ((((Betrayedafter20)) I know how badly this hurts.

So...time for chapter 2. Do not tell him you are doing anything.

1. New boundaries- he is not allowed to hang out and come and go as he pleases. You are not allowed to come and go at his place. What's good for you is good for him.

2. You follow your separation agreement exactly. He deals with the kids by himself. The kids deal with him by themselves too. You are not part of this as their relationship with him is their business.

3. You develop new routines and traditions that never involve him...pretend he is dead.

4. Let the kids see the real him...not the one you are trying to force to behave. I know this is hard..but it is what it is.

5. You never chat with him or share your feelings. Shields up. Don't let him know about your hurts...he is divorced from you. Go dark with a hard 180.

6. Develop activities for yourself, and attend counseling or read books to help you completely separate from him.

Bit by bit you will do this and adjust to your new normal.

betrayedafter20 posted 6/21/2020 19:08 PM

Thanks all. I know I need to toughen up and turn away. To clarify - we are not even close to divorced yet - papers have not even been filed. Dday was in February and Separation just began two months ago. We have nothing official drawn up yet for an agreement - so all of this is entirely new.

I think I'm the one that wants to take the lead on all that stuff but I'm overwhelmed with so many things I can't seem to move the foot to the next step.

I did go this afternoon to pick the kids up and was invited in to open dad's gifts. It was totally fine and I was comfortable.

I think the worst part for me was the fact that nobody even considered the option of me being invited to DS's house for the occasion. Even the kids were surprised I was not going - I mean just last week we had all gone over there together to see the house in the same car. I didn't tell them I wasn't invited, just said that I wasn't going along today.

When they returned WH said he didn't think about it appearing the way it did to the kids, and when he was there he knew it was awkward and agreed that at least for the next few holidays (until we are divorced I suppose) we should try and do a few things together.

your responses however, have given me some food for thought. Maybe making clean, new habits would be better in some ways than a gradual thing. IDK.

the coming and going - is a tough one because we are still partners in our business. We pay "self rental" so all his supplies are in our garage. Even more tangled is that he doesn't have a PC yet at his place so he comes in to bill customers etc. on our Quickbooks but then leaves right away. I think the stopping by will be much less once we get him a laptop so he can be doing his billing and estimates at his own place.

Chrysalis123 -

3. You develop new routines and traditions that never involve him...pretend he is dead.

4. Let the kids see the real him...not the one you are trying to force to behave. I know this is hard..but it is what it is.

5. You never chat with him or share your feelings. Shields up. Don't let him know about your hurts...he is divorced from you. Go dark with a hard 180.

Thank you for this concise instruction.
#5 is absolutely my biggest weakness.

I will start with some boundaries. I did tell him last week he needs to send me a text at minimum to let me know when he's coming to the house and make sure it's okay.

Really appreciate the bolstering and the kicks in the head, Y'all.

messyleslie posted 6/21/2020 19:13 PM

Are you separated with the intent of getting back together? Or to get divorced?

If itís to get back together then I can understand being hurt that he isnít reaching out more, but really thatís confirmation on where he is right now. And the second best answer to a yes is a no so you can stop wasting your time.

If itís to get divorced than you need to release the need to be part of his life. Itís not your job to make Fatherís Day special for him. He can get nothing and not be celebrated and feel the weight of you not being his wife. Also he shouldnít be coming and going at your house - just life his apartment is his and he isnít inviting you, your house is yours and you need to invite him.

Iím sorry itís a hard day.

traicionada posted 6/21/2020 20:53 PM

Letting go isn't easy but it is key to regaining control. Coparenting requires civility, not friendliness

Carissima posted 6/22/2020 00:49 AM

It's hard but you have to get used to the fact that you're not a family any more. You're two individuals who share children (and a business) and have to interact on a certain level because of that. Your ex has every right to never invite you to his home, because that's what it is and you have no right to to demand it. Sad as it is, this is your new normal.
On another matter, does he still have keys for your house, your home? If so, it's time to take them back. That's your safe place and you need to make it yours.

heisasadcliche posted 6/22/2020 16:14 PM

What Chrysalis said. Especially #5. Totally worked for me. 8 months since I realised he wasn't even trying to R- people here said NC as a way to cope/move on. Divorced, financial agreement done quickly and firmly, my solicitor was great, and starting to emerge from the shock/grief/heartbreak/ rage cycle into a more calm and hopeful place. Even in UK lockdown. Good luck. 'Live the life you have imagined'

betrayedafter20 posted 6/22/2020 21:22 PM

feel the weight of you not being his wife

messyleslie - I (in my head am headed for divorce as I believe he is as well) so I like this a LOT but I don't want to set an example for the kids that we shouldn't be thinking about our parents on those special days so I am still prompting them (a little too young to be doing it completely independently especially spectrum kiddo). But for future occasions I will step out as much as possible. I gave him my own gift as the mother of his child and as a gesture for his housewarming/parting gift.
Indeed, way too emotionally involved as I passively aggressively wanted to mark my territory. I even said in the card "I hope you can tell people proudly one day this was a gift from your wife". Not kidding. (ducking for swats upside the head from the vets here) Thank you.
you have to get used to the fact that you're not a family any more
Carissima - I'm not sure I agree with this 100%. I'm digesting this suggestion but value this perspective. But your input is very well received and I am pondering this.

July 4th is coming. Since my last post I was invited with the kiddos to a party. historically we all went together as a family. They extended the invite to WH (optional per my choice as they understand the situation). We are all mutual friends but they "know what he did" but he doesn't know how much they know. There is also a business relationship with the husbands and I don't want that to be disturbed as it benefits my family (though the other H has very high moral standards and I know is disappointed). I shared with WH that he was invited and that we would have to discuss how the day would look.

It will be interesting to see how this pans out. I know he will be ashamed to face them but also we promised the kids to do some things together.. I think I am hoping and pretty sure he will opt out.

tomorrow he is coming by for cake to open presents and sing to the 16 year old. Don't judge, my dude needs that normal for this one anyway. Baby steps

Chrysalis123 posted 6/23/2020 09:36 AM

I gave him my own gift as the mother of his child and as a gesture for his housewarming/parting gift.
Indeed, way too emotionally involved as I passively aggressively wanted to mark my territory. I even said in the card "I hope you can tell people proudly one day this was a gift from your wife".

The good news is you have insight into yourself and your motivation. Maybe explore your "whys"....Why did you do that? Dig deep.

Have you considered the mixed messages you are sending to the kids with this type of behavior and how it may affect them...for instance false hope or extra pressure to not upset you or their dad etc. ?

betrayedafter20 posted 6/23/2020 16:56 PM

Have you considered the mixed messages you are sending to the kids with this type of behavior and how it may affect them...for instance false hope or extra pressure to not upset you or their dad etc. ?

Chrys -I'm not sure I understand completely what you mean about mixed messages and extra pressure. They didn't see what I wrote on the card, only that I gave their dad a nice gift for Father's day as I always have in the past, this time however for his new apartment. Isn't that an example of extending grace despite the fact that we are going our separate ways?

Or, Do you mean by us trying to be friendly you think they will worry about a time bomb going off with too much interaction? If that's what you mean, it is something to consider. I'd like to think we will get past the button pushing point - but... maybe I'm not being realistic. the purpose of the separation was to remove the eggshell walking for all of us and perhaps staying too involved creates a potential minefield. Please clarify.

I think it's clear to the kids there is no hope for R, we were both forthright with them that it was a permanent change.

I'm thinking about what you wrote. I will continue to reflect and dig deep. But I don't think there was ONE reason I did it. Truly, I part of the motivation was to let him know I am embracing that we are done and this item was something I would definitely not have bought for my home. even a dig, in a way. "I'm done with you, enjoy your place"

But yes, another reason, I guess was hoping - down the line he won't be bad mouthing me or hiding me from his future relationships - that he will look back with regret - and be able to say nice things about his STBXW to his AP or whomever comes along and that I was a huge part of his life for a long time.. (territory?) I know I have to not care.

perhaps-I'm still on some level seeking more respect from him than he gave most of the time - but I will not get ever 100%.

I felt like such a fish out of water that whole week so who knows how it all played out in my head. I think I was just trying to get through it somehow without having a complete meltdown (which I ended up sort of having anyway).

Thanks for all the input.

Chrysalis123 posted 6/24/2020 07:11 AM

I just read your profile. I am sorry you went through cancer treatment more than once and suffered tremendously, while your ex was being unfaithful multiple times: lying, sneaking, plotting, gaslighting, lying about reconciliation, PA for 4 years, manipulating you, guilt tripping you and disrespecting you, stealing time and resources from the family, and subjecting you to life threatening STDs without your knowledge while you were/are health compromised.

To me it is alarming that you are giving him housewarming gifts....why? Why do you want anything to do with this person? He is not your friend, he is unsafe, and he has repeatedly chosen to betray you in the worst possible way.

Your kids are absorbing everything. Much of it subconscious.
What are you teaching them about healthy relationships?

josiep posted 6/24/2020 08:54 AM

I hope you're in counseling. And I hope you read this in the spirit in which it is intended: to help jolt you into taking action to get yourself out of infidelity and on toward your new and wonderful life.

Because I'm going to tell you how other people might view what you're doing. And the part that's important for you to understand is, YOU don't get to control how other people view what you're doing. You are constructing all of your behaviors and words to create an atmosphere of your choosing, to cause other people's thoughts to be such and such. And I'm here to tell you, from painful experience, that you are setting yourself up for more pain down the road.

Let's review the facts. This man is a lying, cheating, immoral prick. No one can deny that fact. Fact #2 - for some reason, you love a lying, cheating immoral prick. (If I knew the reason for this, I'd have saved my own life much sooner so don't argue, just accept the fact). Fact #3, this lying, cheating, immoral prick has decided he doesn't love you anymore and is doing everything he can to get away from you in some regards but also manipulating you to let him have his cake and eat it too with the kids and coming to the house whenever he likes. And, this is just my opinion, but I believe that Fact #4 is that you hope that by being nice and "forcing" him to do certain things that he'll start to love you again.

So the most important fact here is, you're not working on yourself, trying to sort out your own pain and anguish, heal from the trauma. Instead, you're spending all your time plotting and planning ways to force him into still being part of YOUR life. Whether it's physically or emotionally or in the eyes of others.

I'm very afraid this is going to end very badly for you if you don't change this trajectory. You've received very good advice on this thread and you also got very good advice on your previous ones. That advice hasn't changed nor will it because it all comes from personal experience and knowledge learned the hard way. The other fact for you is: the people giving you advice (or let's phrase it as "ideas for healing" since I don't like the word advice in this situation) are sharing their own experiences. We're not reading your story and saying "oh, my, that's an unusual situation, let me think about ways I can give her ideas to help herself and her children." Hell no. What happens is, a whole bunch of your 70,000+ friends read your post and IMMEDIATELY know how you're feeling and know for a fact what will help get you to the other side with a minimum of pain and agony. We're not just pulling this stuff out of thin air; we know because we lived it and we've watched it happen over and over again. These things follow a pattern and these situations all have more in common than not in common. Your situation is no more special that anyone's. It might be a little different from other in some ways but it's not special at all; sadly, it's the same old story of cheater, cheater, liar, liar.

In closing, I will make one comment. I can't believe you bought that jackass a gift to celebrate his new apartment, to celebrate that he left you and the children, to celebrate his new wonderful life that will be so much happier without you in it. I can guarantee you he might someday use your gift to tell a new conquest he's trying to win over how crazy is ex-wife was and that he had to escape it to survive and that, in the end, you agreed with him so much that you even bought him a gift. THAT is how he will twist your kind gesture.

He is not a good person. He's playing with you. He doesn't care at all what happens to you. He has left you. He has moved on without you. He doesn't want to live with you.

Your children can see all that with their own eyes and you are not fooling them by pretending to be all nicey, nice. They're probably hating the togetherness because they know it's fake.

Please, please, please, read the words of advice that have been offered to you and really try to sit and absorb their message. Either that or let him move back in and consider yourself in an open marriage cuz that's essentially what you're announcing to the world. I know that's not the message you think you're sending but that's the message people are hearing.

betrayedafter20 posted 6/24/2020 20:04 PM

LADIES!!!! thank you.

Chrys -

Your kids are absorbing everything. Much of it subconscious. What are you teaching them about healthy relationships?
INDEED. Heard. Resonated. Thank you for the kind words. I have been through a lot. And for sure, I would have been in no condition or strength emotionally to entertain the possibility that we should separate despite the hints and messages I was receiving in between affairs and his faking being husband the great. It was what I needed to believe at the time. Truly, I have gone around this with my IC - This is happening now, because I am better equipped to handle it with the cancers (so far) behind me.

Josiep:

you're not working on yourself, trying to sort out your own pain and anguish, heal from the trauma. Instead, you're spending all your time plotting and planning ways to force him into still being part of YOUR life.
First - I am in IC and also being treated with anxiety meds. I am working hard on making new, positive habits. Yes, too much wine sometimes. Give a girl a break. lol

2nd - NO. Yesterday he was here for a little while to celebrate the 16 year old's birthday. I go into complete anxiety whenever I have to be in his presence now. By the end of the two hours (his mom was here as a buffer) I felt like I hated him. To be clear. I IN NO WAY WANT TO RECONCILE. In fact have consulted 2 attorneys now in anticipation of filing and making that first move, just a little frozen. Any plotting or planning is/was intended to show the kids that a divorce can be okay with minimal damage if the parents can just get along and the lying cheating POS can be kind and acknowledge what an ASS he is. Which he was doing quite well with at first and as many said, it may wear off (the regret/temp remorse). And I'm seeing it, because Im pretty sure he's now having conversations again with AP and so his behavior is going back to what it was before.

Perhaps to your point - on some level - do I want him to still love me? Maybe. So that he will PINE AWAY for me when I leave him in my dust. But you are so right. I cannot control that and need to stop trying.

We're not reading your story and saying "oh, my, that's an unusual situation, let me think about ways I can give her ideas to help herself and her children." Hell no. What happens is, a whole bunch of your 70,000+ friends read your post and IMMEDIATELY know how you're feeling and know for a fact what will help get you to the other side with a minimum of pain and agony.

Powerful, and comforting. ((70,000+ friends))

a couple things to understand about my adjustment to all this:
I am a believer and have been taught in the last few years and in our faith-based counseling about repeated forgiveness and effort and biblical submission as we try and rely on each other's efforts supported by faith.

I understand now that since he is/was not faith motivated - it is moot. I'm on my own and God gives me permission.

2nd - WH's family of origin's examples - parents and stepparents ALL remained "friends" for the sake of the family their whole lives. I remember thinking it was weird when I met them all. But they all do it and are comfortable. So it is my WH's expectation and hope (not that I have to agree). Part of this is a cultural difference, at least he says so - he was born in France. I am 100% American, WASP with very, very traditional values so the marriage may have been doomed from the start... lol

Please, please, please, read the words of advice that have been offered to you and really try to sit and absorb their message.

I am, and I will. I promise. Thank you so much for taking time to respond.

betrayedafter20 posted 6/24/2020 21:29 PM

He might someday use your gift to tell a new conquest he's trying to win over how crazy is ex-wife was and that he had to escape it to survive and that, in the end, you agreed with him so much that you even bought him a gift. THAT is how he will twist your kind gesture.

UGH. Reality check....

Bleu posted 6/24/2020 21:41 PM

You have a lot of ideas for healing.

It helps to create the must needed distance by turning to yourself.

What will you do this week for you? Just you, not your kids not your house, just you?

josiep posted 6/25/2020 10:03 AM

ny plotting or planning is/was intended to show the kids that a divorce can be okay with minimal damage if the parents can just get along and the lying cheating POS can be kind and acknowledge what an ASS he is.

First, thank you for taking my harsh words as I intended, to jolt you, not to hurt you. Youíve already received more than your lifetimeís share of hurt and I would never intentionally add to it.

Itís my opinion that you should quit trying to orchestrate how your kids view all of this. First of all, and I speak as a wise old crone, LOL, oftentimes when we try to teach our kids a lesson, they learn one but maybe not the one we intended.

But letís get back to you. What are u doing for you? In your effort to show your kids that divorce neednít be a bad thing, theyíre also learning that infidelity is no big deal. And in doing so, Iím afraid youíre stuffing your feelings and living an inauthentic life. I wonder what will happen in a year or two when your heart and mind are so far apart that they get divorced. I think that would mean total breakdown.

He has no right to come to your house. Period, end of statement. You will not heal as long as he continues that. He can go to the library to use a computer. Or a friend. Or a relative. Or a friend. Or a whore. Anyone other than you.

He should take the kids and keep them overnight. Everyone has to face the new normal at some point and the sooner the better. Meanwhile, thereís your chance to go out at night with some friends for pie and coffee or to Bible study or to get your hair done. Or to go sit at the beach/shore and listen to nature or whatever will help renew you and find the girl you once were.

I think all 70,000+ of us would encourage you to go NC with him about everything but kids and finances and to handle those 2 topics via email only.

I know itís hard to buy into this notion. Believe me, I DO know. But for your sake and the sake of your children, itís crucial.

And, gently, you canít protect your boys from this. But if youíre fine, theyíll be fine.

I have more to say but Iím on my iPad and youíre probably ready to start bleeding from your eyes so Iíll stop for awhile. 🤣😇

betrayedafter20 posted 6/25/2020 22:02 PM

Josiep. All WELL RECEIVED. no bleeding eyes.. Jolts are welcome and I can filter out what I may not agree with or be ready for :D

In your effort to show your kids that divorce neednít be a bad thing, theyíre also learning that infidelity is no big deal.

I really think the kids know that the infidelity was the dealbreaker. That said, I had this long paragraph typed to defend my position - but I'm now chewing on this a little more.. Oh wise one. lol
He has no right to come to your house.

Unfortunately, he does. It's more complicated than separation and divorce. We own a business together and our company "rents" space in our garage and office to run the business. So until we figure out how that will be handled, we are still business partners and he has every right to come here and pick up his materials or store tools, etc. So what I'm doing now is setting boundaries as to his communicating to me when he wants to come and do things. Meanwhile, we have the EIDL loan so may invest in a laptop so he has no reason to come here in the evening randomly to type up an estimate or invoice. This will for sure minimize random stops.

What I'm really pushing him on right now is the taking the kids at his place. It's not that he doesn't want to necessarily - I think he thinks it's embarrassing because it's so small and he doesn't have much to entertain them with . So just tonight I hammered home how we need to establish regular days and routine visitation, period and it' doesn't matter what he has in his apartment he has to just do it for their sake they need an expectation regularly.

I felt his resistance but he said "okay" so I will continue to enforce. I was very unemotional about it today. He hates it when I'm like that and so I'm trying to build more confidence to be that way..NC as much as I can.

I just texted him I was looking into getting a PC so he didn't have to come here every day for estimates or invoicing. It was well recieved. Thanks again for the support

josiep posted 6/27/2020 13:43 PM

Well done.

I hope the weekend is going well and that you're feeling strong and empowered. How I wish I had a few million dollars to build a commune type of place where spouses suffering infidelity could come live with their kids while they sort out what to do. It could be a bunch of little houses in a circle around the main meeting hall that has a dance floor and a tumbling mat and punching bags and a swimming pool and a dog yard and an enclosed cat patio with climbing posts, etc. Everyone living there could pool their talents and I think it would be wonderful.

I, of course, would be the Queen and live there permanently. And I would get to carry a big stick and have the right to use it on any WS who dares go beyond the space we set up for them to see their children or have consultations with their BS.

Maybe I should write to HGTV with my idea.

But I digressed. I hope you're doing good. Hugs to your boys from the Internet.

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