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Divorcing but still screwing up

Neanderthal posted 7/23/2020 13:39 PM

How many of you chose to divorce, believe its the correct thing, and understand detaching is necessary, yet still make terrible life decisions?

I pain shopped the other day. Even though my marriage is over and divorce papers are filed. I know I shouldn't have but I did. I found out her AP lived next to us years before the affair supposedly started. This caused me to question the timeline. How do you guys turn that shit off? Cause it still hurt as bad as it did shortly after DDay.

My situation is kind of unique as a MH, and since my STBXW is also active on SI. This place has also sort of become pain shopping for me. Its hard not to read what people are saying about me. Again, I know I shouldn't care.
I know I should avoid her thread like the plague. But I screwed that up too. I felt I was being portrayed incorrectly and invaded her safe space for my own needs.

What other mistakes can I look forward to? Or any advice help me get ahead of the curve.

I'm trying to keep myself busy during down time, and I am actually looking at getting a dumb phone to keep me off the internet (pain shopping tool).

twicefooled posted 7/23/2020 14:29 PM

The only person that can stop the pain shopping is you.

I used a lot of distraction techniques for myself in the beginning. I understand the compulsion. I think it was probably helpful for a time (helped me tap into the rage to keep moving forward). But it became destructive and kept me stuck in the mindset.

Once I actively worked towards NOT pain shopping it started to become easier. Then one day I woke up not thinking about it first thing. Then the next day, and the next day. I'd get triggered, but would remind myself how much more peaceful life is without torturing myself.

BluerThanBlue posted 7/23/2020 17:17 PM

(1) Find a therapist. This year has been harrowing and you need professional help.

(2) When youíre tempted to pain shop or rehash things with her, ask yourself: ďHow does this help me effectively coparent my daughter?Ē Put a post-it note on your laptop and devices if you need to.

(3) Remember that you divorced, as you said, to get out of infidelity and thatís what youíre doing. You donít have control of the past, only the future.

(4) Getting defensive on or about her threads doesnít give you the emotional support or clear head that you need because youíre still focusing on what she says and does (and how other people react) instead of your own healing and self-improvement.

(5) Find a friend who will let you unload on text all things you want to say to her. That helped me tremendously. If that doesnít make you comfortable, write in a journal.

[This message edited by BluerThanBlue at 5:19 PM, July 23rd (Thursday)]

LadyG posted 7/23/2020 17:18 PM

I am trying to get Divorced. We married in September 1987 and was hoping to be legally divorced by September 2020.

Biggest mistake I made was not shutting STBXWH out of my life completely. We were separated but living together for 8 months before I found and bought my own place. Big Mistake No. 1, I should have moved out immediately and rented a room, but WH wasnít agreeable with that idea. He once offered to move out and did for a weekend. He had to have control.

Last June and July 2019, he was either very helpful with me moving or nasty, especially when OW was advising him. Yes, AP was steering our separation. Every time he was with her, heíd get nasty with me, threatening me with stupid messages. Threatened to put anything I left at our family home in the garbage bags and throw them out on the street. I had no idea that heíd been having this A even before I worked up the courage to tell him that I was leaving for good.

He harassed me constantly when I moved out. Dday was September 14, 2019. By September 21, 2019, AP played her hand and forced him to choose her or his family. WH chose ME. I absolutely regret letting him try to bully me into reconciliation. He came over on what would have been our 32nd wedding anniversary, September 26, and lied his way through it. Donít they all. I told him that day that I want to Divorce. Nothing he said made sense or changed my mind.

I hate that WH came to my new home. I hate that I allowed him to sleep over in my new bed. I hate that exAP knows everything about me. She was unbeknownst to me, stalking me and WH told her just about everything but also lied a lot!

WH even let AP drive my car around with her kids in it. I felt sick at the thought.

I screwed up my separation. I was being very honest and amicable. Thatís the only way to be with a narcissist.

We are still negotiating the financial settlement and WH refuses to Divorce still.

With my Lawyers help, I am determined not to screw up again.

SI has actually helped me. Sharing stories with other BSís has made me realise that I am not alone. When others share the crazy shit theyíve been through, I know that I can survive this 🙏🏼

Neanderthal posted 7/23/2020 17:57 PM

Thanks for the advice.

I already scheduled to go back to IC. Hopefully now that I have made a decision, I can focus on how to heal. I was spinning my wheels and wasting money.

I'll be grateful for the day that I don't wake up thinking about all this.

I used this forum as a way to word vomit. I allowed my emotions to flow. Early on it was tremendously beneficial. But I probably will limit that now. I don't want LD to have to read it.

I do talk to friends about how I'm feeling. But I have worn this conversation into the ground. I know they are tired of it.

I also don't communicate much with LD. I think folks here think I'm just a raging lunatic throwing around accusations and putting her down. Not that it should matter what strangers here think. I know LD doesn't think I've been abusive this year.

Also self improvement is very important. But finding my identity is important too. I'm struggling with that. So when folks on here accuse me of things, in my forum or hers, I do a double take. Am I supposed to fix that supposed issue too? Am I purposely harming her so she can't heal? I don't believe I'm doing that, but I'm not confident in anything. So it worries me. IDK if any of that makes sense. Lol

LadyG your situation sounds awful. No one deserves that. Fortunately our situation is very amicable. LD will be taken care of, and our daughter gets to keep her home. I'm young enough to make up the retirement loss, and I can build another shop. I miss my shop.

Chili posted 7/23/2020 18:43 PM

Others around here can probably be more helpful in co-parenting interactions since that wasn't my situation, but I will recommend a period of time to work hard on detaching. I think even people who share kids have to figure out pretty firm boundaries in order to get space to start healing.

It's not only physical separation, but working hard to get out of the mindset of the relationship/husband role and into that of Neanderthal. To learn how to stop ruminating and dissecting things. I had to not pine and wonder how he was or what he was doing. It takes time certainly, but it also takes practice. I thought I had pretty good coping skills, but I didn't really know hope to cope with this kind of crap. For me, I had to learn some new skills - IC had a lot to do with that. This D/S forum did too. Friends were really helpful too, but called me out on my shit when I got stuck playing tapes of the past. With one friend, every time I would say something about assclown she'd ask me what I'm doing for myself today.

I also had to shut down my desire to control or actually even see the narrative. I never looked at social media. People are going to talk and make up their own stories and say shitty things when relationships end. I've heard some really big whoppers second hand about my relationship through the years. As much as it hurt to not try and tell the truth, I had to let it go.

Have you read the fear vs. reality thread here? That's really helpful. It's difficult (but ultimately pretty exciting) to start planning things for just yourself. It had been a looong time since I had done that and it's like you get to turn a new page.

gmc94 posted 7/23/2020 21:17 PM

Boundaries. Boundaries. Boundaries.

My IC recently related a story about boundaries and how we feel about them. The gist was that when we are comfortable and confident in ourselves & our boundaries, we don't get bent out of shape when they are broken. We just address it and move on. No big deal.

An example: I have an office. It's MY office. No one is supposed to be in there w/o my permission. One day, I go into my office and someone else is there. When I am solid in myself and my boundaries, I politely tell them - I need you to leave. They leave. I get back to work.
When I am NOT solid in myself and my boundaries, I get bent out of shape. Maybe I speak in a harsh tone. Maybe after they leave I ruminate and get obsessive. Maybe I gossip about it.

So - what's the diff?

When I KNOW and feel my value and boundaries, I don't let others fuck with that. When I am ambivalent about my worth, my brain will go to the earth's ends to justify my anger or frustration or hurt or whatever.

It's tricky stuff.

You have chosen to separate your lives by D. There is nothing wrong with that. Yet, you are drawn to her thread, etc. The question is why? What is it that you seek by looking there? What is not solid in yourself/ your boundaries?

Yes, the whole maintenance man at her apt is a total screwed up mindfuck. And there is not a single inkling of a doubt in my mind that I would want a paternity test and that it would send me back into the rabbit hole (hell, I've been living that fucking nightmare for 2-1/2 years, as POSOW says she and my WH were fucking when we were newlyweds... he says 'only' the 10 yrs before dday... so which liar do I believe? And if I was the man, I would sure as shit want a paternity test).

Only thing you control is you.

phmh posted 7/23/2020 21:22 PM

I still loved my WXH the day we divorced. I didn't want to divorce, but I knew I needed to for my own self-respect and because it was what was best for me in the long run. I pain shopped at first; of course I did. But here's what helped me, and it's what helps change behavior - positive reinforcement and challenges.

In the beginning, I set goals for myself and rewarded myself for maintaining NC.

In the very beginning, it was seriously 6 hours of NC = buy favorite ice cream at the store. 2 days of NC = ridiculously expensive yarn so I could knit yet another fabulous scarf. 1 week of NC = massage. You get the point. Figure out rewards that work for you. Some people are motivated by taking a calendar and putting a mark on each day that you meet your goal (NC). You really don't want to see a blank day, especially after a good streak, and that can help you stay NC.

I also started a streak, and then wanted to keep it up. A friend recently told me she was in the hospital in a nearby city and she saw my WXH's name on a door there (he's a doctor; last I heard he was working in a city 3 hours away) - I was mildly curious about whether it was him at that hospital or another doctor with the last name; if it was him, is his AP also a doctor at that hospital? And then I thought - it doesn't matter to my life. At nearly 9 years out, it's more curiosity, but I currently have a 8+ year streak of not googling him and damn it I want to keep it that way and to honestly be able to tell people that I have no idea what he's up to now.

Your situation might be slightly different as you have a child together. But you can still use positive reinforcement and goals to get you to keep NC, which will help in your own healing.

[This message edited by phmh at 9:23 PM, July 23rd (Thursday)]

Buffer posted 7/23/2020 23:29 PM

Brother, you are you.
Your situation will ease, with IC for the pain shopping. And positive thinking on your part. You are not a abusive person, nor did you abuse LD during this process.
You suffered a betrayal that you couldnít recover from to remain in the marriage. You have faults, but look in the mirror you are human. Take care of yourself, and your little one. Talk about your problems to your pets they will never give bad advice.
Forgive yourself! Fuck those who give you shit.
One day at a time

Hutch posted 7/24/2020 00:39 AM

Hi N,

It never feels like this advice is sound but from having just experienced this myself, the best thing I can tell you is give yourself time to figure this out and take it day by day. I am the worst at this advice. I hate limbo. It gives me anxiety so naturally the long, drawn out process of separating, then filing for divorce, helping the kids through this mess, feeling immense guilt having pursued divorce and knowing I was hurting everyone, finally being divorced, and then figuring out this new life. Itís a lot for one person to process and emotions can differ each day.

Iím alone for the first time in 21 years. It is so damn peaceful and I find that comforting, but itís also quiet and lonely. I have to figure out how to be okay in those lonely moments and how to fill that time. I lost myself so add on figuring out who I am outside of marriage, and itís a perfect storm. Youíre going to ride through many storms and come out stronger, but at times, it will kick your ass too. But just like a hurricane that comes through, the bands are vicious, the center calm, tornados spawn, and when it leaves, you literally have the most beautiful day youíve ever seen. Youíre going to have many days like that and finally, itís a beautiful and peaceful day for all. Keep at it.

My ex still messages here and there. Itís strange to me to be honest. He asked about a recipe the other day. I ignored it. He then asked about our son and some details about college and I responded. I have decided that all communication will only be answered about the kids. I donít hate him. Iím fine being cordial when we are at functions for our kids. Iíll be fine when or if he speaks to me at those functions , but if I donít keep communication to that then I take 10 steps back each time and I donít want to keep going backwards. We divorced for many reasons. Those still hold true. Forgiveness , moving forward, and healing are necessities and those cannot be explored and accomplished unless there is space and a break from the source. Itís hard. Itís a hard thing to fathom not being part of that personís life no matter how toxic or destructive. They were in fact part of you so itís a task. But think of it this way. If you have an addiction to sugar and youíre a diabetic, walking into a candy store each day does not allow you to break the addiction. It feeds it. For now, try to keep communication about essential things; your daughter, divorce needs, any official business. The rest, donít engage but remember itís a marathon not a sprint. Every person who has or is going through divorce will tell you we have all engaged more than we should of. Itís a difficult challenge for sure. So you take it day by day.

I know you feel that youíve worn your welcome with friends when it comes to this topic. I know for me thatís not how Iím wired. My best friend lost her husband 10 years ago and she has bad days. She calls and we talk, she cryís, and she apologizes over and over for going down that rabbit hole again. I simply tell her I donít care. Iíll be here every time no questions asked. I donít care if it takes a lifetime because Iíll have the same conversation over and over until she is okay. Find that friend and if you donít, find it here. PM if thatís better and know thereís many who will gladly be that friend you need.

I promise you will be okay. Give yourself time to navigate this new life. And N, about how others think of you. Itís okay to listen and take what you need, but ultimately you and only you have to live your life. Care how you think and feel, and care about the person you want to be for yourself and your daughter. Those are the only two you need to focus on at this moment in time. The rest can wait.

[This message edited by Hutch at 6:25 AM, July 24th (Friday)]

Neanderthal posted 7/26/2020 10:42 AM

Thanks again for the advice and encouragement.

One thing I can't do is talk to my pets. They stayed with the house. I miss them, but I don't miss the dog hair everywhere. I talk to myself a lot though.

I am working on the boundaries. So far it's been a few days since I pain shopped or stalked LDs social media. I like the idea of setting goals and rewarding myself. I need to buy a calendar just to be able to mark off a successful day.

I worry about that I'm spoiling my daughter. During the time I have her, we usually do stuff that she finds exciting. I live in town now so we ride our bikes to places. She loves to explore. Or since I'm in an apartment with a pool, she gets to go swimming every visit. I've also gotten her a bunch of things for her room and closet. I want her to feel like it's a home, not just a place to visit.

I still choose the meals and require her to eat what I cook or buy. She's 6 so that's always been a struggle.

She has a stable bed time and sleeps so peacefully. I really worried about that. Would she feel safe? Feel loved? Does she believe I have her back? Those were fears I had and reality was the total opposite. Even the very first night, she slept like a log. It's been a month now, roughly 14 sleepovers and she hasn't woke up once and come to my room. She looks so peaceful.

I did read the fear vs reality thread. It's an eye opener. Fear can completely paralyze you if you let it.

66charger posted 7/26/2020 13:34 PM

The things you worry about when she is 6, will pale in comparison to your worries 10 years from now. Take lots of video, because time will fly and soon you will be buying her a car. Note. My Ds first car was a 65 Falcon. Coolest car at her high school, but the cost ballooned to 5 figures quickly. Dont do it.

In regards to the rest, you appear stuck with the question "Did i cause the divorce" when the real question is "Did I do everything to prevent it.

It is time to stop standing on your head for a WW who appears to care less. Straighten up and move forward. Forget all the remaining questions and the 5 stages of grief. Jump to the acceptance phase and move on. And for Gods sake, dont even read the other side. Nothing else can be done here, and nothing should. The marriage was not important to your STBX and it should no longer be important to you. Sometimes a marriage is not worth saving.

You have done your best, imperfect as it may seem. Accept it all. Instead of spending years with self doubt and spending thousands on counselors, buy yourself a Harley.

Life is an open road brother. You are about done here. Bypass the stupid stuff and start your second life today.

Strength and Honor

[This message edited by 66charger at 5:41 PM, July 26th (Sunday)]

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