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Divorce/Separation :
How to deal with divorcing a remorseful WS

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AnOminousMan ( member #79091) posted at 6:33 PM on Saturday, August 28th, 2021

I wouldn't say he got it bad.

I was more hoping that the fraud would be a death knell to his employment in the financial world.

While my heart breaks for your pain, from what I've read, I don't worry about your recovery. You seem to possess a great deal of mental strength and conviction to your principles. A lot of BS never stop allowing their WWs to continue to abuse them. Its painful to read.

I think that one day you will heal enough to be able to laugh at the POSOM. Because he is a joke.

My prayers are with you my friend.

[This message edited by AnOminousMan at 11:51 PM, Saturday, August 28th]

If you love me, you will keep my commandments. (John 14:15)
My story doesn't really matter. I had it way easier than most.
The only thing that matters is can you stare into the mirror and like what you see.

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 MrFlibble (original poster member #76085) posted at 9:30 AM on Sunday, August 29th, 2021

Nah, people like him just find another tit to suck on. Like MLM scam, or selling overpriced useless insursnce to a bunch of 90 years old grandmas. They are just trash, nothing more. But enough about the looser

Also, thank you for your words of support. It really means a lot to me, especially right now.


I am leaving in an hour to meet with my STBXW because we are taking our kids to a birthday party. Should be fun

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beb252 ( member #78948) posted at 11:19 AM on Sunday, August 29th, 2021

I am leaving in an hour to meet with my STBXW because we are taking our kids to a birthday party. Should be fun

Should be interesting...

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 MrFlibble (original poster member #76085) posted at 6:41 PM on Sunday, August 29th, 2021

It wasn't. Just a standard chaos, screaming and some tears. And don't let me start about the children there laugh

But it was fun, I feel pretty great right now. Having my kids around always gives me a surge of energy. But it's sad dropping them at her appartment and not home. It will take some time to get used to it.

Not much said between me and my STBXW, but she wore a dress she knows I like. I noticed but didn't comment on it

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beb252 ( member #78948) posted at 10:09 PM on Sunday, August 29th, 2021

Not much said between me and my STBXW, but she wore a dress she knows I like. I noticed but didn't comment on it

Must have been hard on her when you usually comment on it but not today. There must be a lot going on in her mind during that period.

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clouds777 ( member #72442) posted at 11:04 PM on Sunday, August 29th, 2021

You are not divorcing a remorseful spouse. If you were, she would not use guilt to get you to do what she wants.

If she were remorseful, she would be doing what you ask and giving you space to heal. She is acting instead like a regretful spouse who regrets losing what she had and wishes she could take back her bad decisions because she doesn't like the consequences FOR HER.

I did divorce a remorseful spouse. He accepted the D and made it easy. He did not try to make me feel guilty, and he knew I felt guilty enough. He also knew it was all his choice and never mine.

So, currently you are not divorcing a remorseful spouse. You are divorcing a continually selfish spouse who regrets her choices that led to consequences that she does not like.

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Dude67 ( member #75700) posted at 11:21 PM on Sunday, August 29th, 2021

Agree with clouds. WW has been fighting D so hard because in the end, in her mind yes, she messed up badly, but she didn’t have sex with the POS so this can be gotten over.

She doesn’t appear to comprehend, at a deep level, the amount of pain caused by the long term gaslighting, lies, TT, and the trust broken and the irretrievable nature of the broken trust for mr F. She might say she gets it but she really doesn’t. WW probably thinks that such an extreme measure, re D, isn’t warranted - maybe something less punitive in her mind. Probably never will really get it. Just a lack of true empathy.

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TwoDozen ( member #74796) posted at 8:50 AM on Monday, August 30th, 2021

Havnt posted for a while but just wanted to drop in and say I find myself in a very similar situation.

Divorce wasn’t nescesary for me so we are officially single, own separate homes, no joint banks etc anymore.

WGF is consistently and persistently trying to win me back, with kind gestures and continual messaging, I have asked her to stop but it doesn’t last long. I also get the dressing up when I’m dropping kids off, wearing the stuff I always liked. Finding excuses to be somewhere at the same time etc.

I like you came to realise that this is and always was a dealbreaker. I like you try to squeeze myself into ignoring my core truth but in the end I twistied myself in knots. I like you still have a very amicable relationship "as freinds" with XWGF and I’m starting to realise this isn’t going to work for me, she can’t let go, I can’t let go of the pain.

Anyway, don’t have real advise for you Other than to say, I get it brother. It sucks.I wish you strength.

I will be following as the advice here is just as relevant for me as it is for you.

Play stupid games ; Win stupid prizes

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 MrFlibble (original poster member #76085) posted at 10:01 AM on Monday, August 30th, 2021

nekonamida, I had been thinking about your post for a while because I wanted to give you a proper answer. Sorry it took me a while to respond.

Let me ask you this - is this what you would do if you were in her shoes? Let's say you were the one who severely hurt her. Every day she looks at you, she feels pain. Every day she feels the burden of what you've done to her hanging over her. Yes, you're sorry but it's not enough. Yes, you're trying to do right but it doesn't make it any better for her. The only time she breathes is when she is away from you. So, what would you do? Would you fight tooth and nail to keep her trapped in the marriage knowing it's painful and unbearable for her? Or would you move forward and make the separation process easy on her by playing fair?

Here is where I struggle to give you an answer. I would never be in this position, so all this is pure speculation, but I would be probably doing what she was doing, at least partialy. But I wouldn't fight tooth and nail to keep her trapped. She often asked what I want or need from her and I had given her lots of mixed signals so I am to be blamed for this mess as much as she is. It's hard to do the right thing when the person who should call the shots tells you opposite and conflicting things on a daily basis. I am sorry if I made it seem like she constantly pushes me without letting me have a breath, that's not what was hapenning. Yes, there were times when she disregarded my request to let me be, but they were infrequent and there was no ill will, just a confusion. Now she does what I ask without a second thought. Much to my surprise to be honest.

For a few weeks now she has been easy to deal with, she doesn't push anything on me. She listens and reads my moods pretty well. I don't have to spell it for her, when she senses I am not in a mood to deal with her she takes a step back. Is this real of is it just a plot to soften me? I have no idea, time will tell. But I take it for now for what it is and hope she won't fall back into her old selfish ways. In the past I heard lots of me, me, me and I, I Is. That's gone now, I hope forever.


If you have chosen differently than what your STBX is doing now, think about it. What is the defining factor?


Selfishness. Simple as that. She has a very prominent selfish streak, and many people around her were enablers (including me), so she basicaly never had to face this. I think it has to do with her childhood. And me. I had always made my goal to cater for her needs. Big error on my part

Perhaps that you would put her above yourself?


Yes, see above

Why do you think it is such a struggle to put you above herself?


You mean for her? Learned patterns. It's hard to overcome them in a few months. She obviously struggles with this a lot. She has to consiously overpower her thoughts and decision withing herself. Her IC helps her with this, but imagine having to put almost every of your decisions under a microscope, put it apart and find a resolution that's in contrast to your personal set up. It must be tiring, right? But there can not be any personal growth without it. It needs to be done, so she does it, every day. And she will do it for who knows how long until she rewires her brain. But how long will it take? Few years? 20 years? Forever?

Why do you think your STBX would be able to live comfortably knowing that you are hurting as long as she gets to stay married and not have to face D? How do you think she sleeps at night knowing she hurt you, continued to hurt you, and would be fine with hurting you indefinitely if it means she doesn't have to hurt by facing shame, guilt, and consequences for her actions?

Trust me, she's not living comfortably. She hates herself for what she did to me and our family. If she could take it all back she would in a heartbeat. But that's not how life works, you can't just get back to your last saved position and not jump from that cliff. What is done is done.

She's back on Xanax, sleeping only few hours a day. She's mess, and has been for a long time. Now the tables have turned and I am the one who is more put together. She's dealing with shame, guilt and severe consequences. But so are our kids and I will probably never forgive her for putting them through this. That's one of the reasons why I decided to not R

I don't think this is really a question of how to D a remorseful WS because D'ing a remorseful WS doesn't involve the situation you have described. Many a WS on the wayward forum have or are in some process of D. They haven't lashed out. They haven't lobbed friends and family at the BS as a way to shame them back into the marriage. They would prefer not to D. They make that clear. But they aren't guilting their BS with it. Because they understand that hurting their BS and then asking their BS to just suck it up and deal with the pain for the rest of their lives is as selfish as it gets. It's not all about them. Interestingly enough - when we hear about D'ing a remorseful WS on SI, it's typically a boring thread with a few posts about how the BS is holding up and not much else because their WS makes it easy on them. They don't need to be asking the questions that you are asking.

Again, this is all about that struggle withing her that I told you above. She wants to be all those things, but she has to force her way against her default mindset. I fully understand that my STBXW is not the most remorseful WW there is, but the times when she IS as remorseful as she can be, give me enough to pause me in my path towards divorce. Does that make sense?

That said - what you're really asking is how to feel less guilty in response to someone who is guilt tripping you.


Maybe, how can I tell the difference? She never told me things like "You are breaking the family apart", never (ok, maybe a bit before Dday) blamed me or said it was my fault she strayed.

You can do that by acknowledging that what they're asking of you is unfair. You can do that by accepting that you can't set yourself on fire to keep someone else warm. You can do that by acknowledging that some times people have to accept the consequences for their actions and protecting them by throwing yourself under the bus IS NOT helping them. It's showing them that they can get away with poor behavior at your expense and further enforces the attitude that your pain and suffering is "not a big deal" given you're able to push it aside for them. When you can see the reality of your situation, only then can you stop feeding into the madness. Only then will it get easier for you.

Thank you, me and my STBXW both understand that what she was asking of me was unfair. No diagreement there. I stopped enabling her, she's being called out when her selfish side makes an appearance (by me, her therapist, her sister). The feedback she gets is instant and she admits she often feels dejected, but is glad we are doing this. As for my pain and suffering, she absolutely knows it is a big deal, she doesn't try to mitigate my pain by pretending that what she did wasn't all that bad. Because it was and we both know it.

Sorry if this was not what you wanted to hear.

PS I am glad you asked those questions because it helps me to get this all out in the open and I belive it might help YOU to give me a better advice

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Kindern ( new member #78441) posted at 3:18 PM on Monday, August 30th, 2021

Just a question for context.

This party you went to MrFlibble, was it organised prior to your separation or is your intention to co-parent events your kids attend by doing things as a family?

I know the kids need time to adjust and it’s early doors but at the same time your stbxw will keep up the subtle attempts at winning you back. Stuff like wearing that dress you like adds up. Believe me.

Total NC is off the table due to the kids but that kind of thing will eat at you. In my experience it’s almost insidious because you can’t call her out on it easily (she can just deny her choices as being influenced by your preference and drawing attention shows it’s working) but on the other hand it always gets to you. Are you going to be exposed to a lot of this subtle actions?

Family dinners with your favourite meals. Family Christmases with thoughtful gifts. I barely weathered my "won’t give up on us" ex’s more passive attempts to win me back. Things such as picking up my hobbies, dressing to my preferences and watching/reading the shows/books I loved. It burns you out fast if constantly exposed to it and being a family for events will constantly expose you to it.

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AnOminousMan ( member #79091) posted at 6:50 PM on Monday, August 30th, 2021

Mr F,

Here is where I struggle to give you an answer. I would never be in this position, so all this is pure speculation, but I would be probably doing what she was doing, at least partialy. But I wouldn't fight tooth and nail to keep her trapped. She often asked what I want or need from her and I had given her lots of mixed signals so I am to be blamed for this mess as much as she is. It's hard to do the right thing when the person who should call the shots tells you opposite and conflicting things on a daily basis. I am sorry if I made it seem like she constantly pushes me without letting me have a breath, that's not what was hapenning. Yes, there were times when she disregarded my request to let me be, but they were infrequent and there was no ill will, just a confusion. Now she does what I ask without a second thought. Much to my surprise to be honest.

For a few weeks now she has been easy to deal with, she doesn't push anything on me. She listens and reads my moods pretty well. I don't have to spell it for her, when she senses I am not in a mood to deal with her she takes a step back. Is this real of is it just a plot to soften me? I have no idea, time will tell. But I take it for now for what it is and hope she won't fall back into her old selfish ways. In the past I heard lots of me, me, me and I, I Is. That's gone now, I hope forever.

Yeah, it seems like she's not overtly pressuring you anymore, choosing instead to appeal to you by no longer acting selfishly and respecting your wishes. I would say that kind of pressure is really only in your own head. It's the pressure you feel to reconcile with her because you think she's acting like a better person. You should just enjoy that fact without pressuring yourself to feel like you should be rewarding her for her supposed progress. That's not your problem anymore.

Who knows how long this new her will last. But if she acts like a better person for long enough, putting her family before herself, maybe one day she will actually become a better person. It still won't be your problem and you still won't be obligated to reward her. So you will need to learn to shut down any guilty feelings you have about not going into R, regardless of whatever improvements she makes. Not your problem.

Selfishness. Simple as that. She has a very prominent selfish streak, and many people around her were enablers (including me), so she basicaly never had to face this. I think it has to do with her childhood. And me. I had always made my goal to cater for her needs. Big error on my part

It all makes sense now that you look at it from afar, huh? People usually downplay their spouses' negative personality traits, romanticizing and pedestalizing them. Which makes complete sense. They are usually quirks in the people we love balanced out by their good qualities. If they weren't a BS would have addressed them long ago.

But then they cheat and the BS realizes that those "quirks" were actually giant red flags that showed how deeply flawed their spouses were all along. It is difficult to tell the difference before a betrayal. After all, not all selfish people are cheaters but all cheaters are selfish people.

You mean for her? Learned patterns. It's hard to overcome them in a few months. She obviously struggles with this a lot. She has to consiously overpower her thoughts and decision withing herself. Her IC helps her with this, but imagine having to put almost every of your decisions under a microscope, put it apart and find a resolution that's in contrast to your personal set up. It must be tiring, right? But there can not be any personal growth without it. It needs to be done, so she does it, every day. And she will do it for who knows how long until she rewires her brain. But how long will it take? Few years? 20 years? Forever?

There is no end date to a betrayer's introspection. Now it must always be a part of their decision-making process. Once you have stepped into that realm you cannot rely on your own instincts anymore. Because it was their instincts that led them down this path in the first place, allowing them to give themselves permission to cheat. They cannot, and should not, trust themselves or their instincts ever again. Just like how an alcoholic can't just have one drink.

Going forward, before she does ANYTHING, she should always ask herself, "Is this decision in the best interests of my family?"

Trust me, she's not living comfortably. She hates herself for what she did to me and our family. If she could take it all back she would in a heartbeat. But that's not how life works, you can't just get back to your last saved position and not jump from that cliff. What is done is done.

She's back on Xanax, sleeping only few hours a day. She's mess, and has been for a long time. Now the tables have turned and I am the one who is more put together. She's dealing with shame, guilt and severe consequences. But so are our kids and I will probably never forgive her for putting them through this. That's one of the reasons why I decided to not R

No doubt her pain is real. But if she chooses to wallow in it, she will still be choosing herself over her family, selfishly focusing on her own pain rather than improving things for her children's sake. To be truly selfless, she needs to let you go and do what she can to make the best of a terrible situation. Hopefully, her therapist has told her as much.

Again, this is all about that struggle withing her that I told you above. She wants to be all those things, but she has to force her way against her default mindset. I fully understand that my STBXW is not the most remorseful WW there is, but the times when she IS as remorseful as she can be, give me enough to pause me in my path towards divorce. Does that make sense?

That said - what you're really asking is how to feel less guilty in response to someone who is guilt tripping you.


Maybe, how can I tell the difference? She never told me things like "You are breaking the family apart", never (ok, maybe a bit before Dday) blamed me or said it was my fault she strayed.

One could just as easily argue that her subtle attempts to show you she has changed with the end goal being reunification of the family (while respecting your wishes that she does not overtly try and pressure you into R) is her acting in the best interests of your children. I won't judge her for that, but it is another thing to add to the list of "not your problem". I would say leave it unless you start to see the selfish side come out and then act accordingly. You will be able to tell the difference between good-faith gestures and emotional manipulation.

Thank you, me and my STBXW both understand that what she was asking of me was unfair. No diagreement there. I stopped enabling her, she's being called out when her selfish side makes an appearance (by me, her therapist, her sister). The feedback she gets is instant and she admits she often feels dejected, but is glad we are doing this. As for my pain and suffering, she absolutely knows it is a big deal, she doesn't try to mitigate my pain by pretending that what she did wasn't all that bad. Because it was and we both know it.

She should feel dejected. Maybe if it happens enough times she can start to self-regulate. Then she can stop putting her selfish thoughts into words and deeds before needing to be told. Maybe if she self-regulates enough she can start to reduce the frequency of her selfish thoughts. I would like to think that this is possible if she continues to work on herself and, since you have children together and cannot go NC, I pray she reaches this point for everyone's sake.

If you love me, you will keep my commandments. (John 14:15)
My story doesn't really matter. I had it way easier than most.
The only thing that matters is can you stare into the mirror and like what you see.

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 MrFlibble (original poster member #76085) posted at 7:27 PM on Monday, August 30th, 2021

This party you went to MrFlibble, was it organised prior to your separation or is your intention to co-parent events your kids attend by doing things as a family?

Kind of both.

It's a birthday party that sort of became a social gathering for our group of friends, so it's every year in late August. We dress up a bit, it's rather silly tradition but I like going there. I am not going to avoid my exW and I am not going to let her disrupt my social life. Most people there were as much as my friends as they are her's.

The second part is I refuse to become a half-time parent so there are many more get-togethers like this one to come. Our kids want us both there, so I plan to keep going to recitals, playdates and BBQs and home parties.

I have been exposed to her "subtle" hints for a while now, and I mostly ignore, but there is still some work to do, no doubt. That's partialy why I opened this thread

I just need to learn to not let it all get to me.

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Dude67 ( member #75700) posted at 7:52 PM on Monday, August 30th, 2021

Now that you’ve moved to D as a finality, what are your mutual friends saying to you and your WW about it, assuming of course you know what they have conveyed to your WW?

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 MrFlibble (original poster member #76085) posted at 9:51 PM on Monday, August 30th, 2021

Can't sleep (I'm alone in the house, kids are with STBXW) so I am reading some of the stories in this section. Some of it is pretty brutal

First day of pre-school wednesday morning, so another face-to-face with her.. need to prepare for it.

I also turned down that London job. Too much traveling and time away. Few another oportunities on a horizon, so who knows where I might end up. But it's still the same field so it doesn't solve my problem.

Sorry for turning this into some kind of personal diary. Please ignore it if it bothers or doesn't interest you

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nekonamida ( member #42956) posted at 10:09 PM on Monday, August 30th, 2021

Mr. F, I believe we have a very different concept of what remorse looks like which is why we disagree. I believe that remorse is consistent. IME, functionally there is no concrete difference between someone putting on a good show with the occasional mask slip and how you've described your STBX - someone who some times shows remorse or does it in her own way. Without reading her thoughts, I don't think anyone could know for sure which she is but if her efforts to work on herself are sustained well after D, at least she may become a better person and her actions will consistently show it. Not just some times in her own way. Unless there is a diagnosis you haven't disclosed, there is nothing that distinguishes her from a remorseful WS in terms of capabilities. Simply her own continued choices aimed at self preservation and not-so-sublte validation seeking (such as wearing the dress). I'm not the only one who sees it.

For a few weeks now she has been easy to deal with, she doesn't push anything on me.

Just to be clear - this is a few weeks of good behavior after months of poor behavior. And even then, I have observed some small slippage from your posts in this thread. From a functional behavioral standpoint, what's the difference between her and someone putting on a good show? It's too early to tell. It's too soon to know. Maybe this is her turning point and maybe this is her capitulating temporarily while she recoups and gets a new game plan together that will blindsided you in the future much like she has before. The best indicator of future behavior is past behavior.

Trust me, she's not living comfortably.

I wasn't clear with that question. I'm not talking about how she is living now. I'm talking about her hypothetical life if you dropped the D and stayed married to her. Was she struggling to sleep, eat, and on meds before you made it crystal clear to her that you would D her? Stressed, anxious, and normal stuff from the shaking of the marriage post DDay is normal but I bet if you called off the D today, she'd magically sleep, eat, and stop needing the meds. While you would stop sleeping, stop eating, and would get on meds. Point is - your STBX is someone who can see your pain and in an ideal world would ask you to keep feeling it if it meant that she would be more comfortable. That is her selfishness at work. So if deep down in her heart she would wave a magic wand and make this trade off with you, her selfishness still prevails. Any attempts at reunification even if it's making a bid for validation with her clothes is this selfish streak seeping through which is proof that not much has changed yet. She is doing something differently but deep down she is still who she is at this time.

Maybe, how can I tell the difference? She never told me things like "You are breaking the family apart", never (ok, maybe a bit before Dday) blamed me or said it was my fault she strayed.

Guilt tripping isn't just anger and blame. It's, "Woe is me", begging, and having meltdowns around you. It's throwing herself at you so that you have to be the one to feel like the bad guy rejecting her. It's what she did with your family - playing the victim and getting then to aid her in putting that pressure on you.

I'm assuming your STBX is an adult woman with average intelligence and a normal psychology makeup which includes her selfishness. Tons of people are selfish. Tons of people cheat. Neither is indicative of a mental health issue. Point is, there is nothing MAKING her act this way. There is nothing to suggest that she isn't the one driving her own actions of her own free will. So what distinguishes her from other waywards who act in similar selfish and manipulative ways? Why do other posters have to take a harder line with them but when it comes to your STBX, we should excuse her because she's trying in her own way? Why does she get a pass on things she did in recent months because the last few weeks have been good for her? How are any of us supposed to make a good determination about Schrodinger's sweetheart here? And why does she get the benefit of the doubt that she's more like other remorseful WSes who have been posted about despite those BSes saying your STBX acts differently than them?

Honestly, I bristled when you said things like, "I know this isn't what you want to hear," and stuff about how maybe I can give you better advice now. I don't go into this "wanting" to hear anything other than maybe a BS giving more pause and consideration even if it means stepping outside your comfort zone and I think you did that. But I don't think anyone can truly help you until you're ready to consider that maybe your STBX isn't so well intentioned and maybe the things inside of her that lead to her cheating are still running the show. Simply adapting to something more subtle and playing on your desire to still see some of the woman you married in there.

It seems to me that you give her a lot of credit for small victories and perhaps that allows you to overlook or "get over" some of the bigger things she's done. If I were you, I'd still be pissed that she ran to family and friends in an attempt to change my mind about something like that because to me, it's very manipulative. It's not just something that can be easily forgiven and forgotten after a few weeks of better behavior. I'm aware that people just don't work that way. They're not simple and they're not linear. They're not all good or all bad like that. No matter how good she seemed, I'd still have my guard up and be watching for signs of the other shoe to drop. I'd be making sure that my boundaries were firm and I would never linger or give her opportunities to manipulate me. To some extent, I think you're doing this by things like noticing she wore your favorite dress but choosing not to address it.

AnOminousMan is right. This isn't really a you vs her battle. It's a battle with your mind. If you're always giving her the benefit of the doubt, why wouldn't you feel bad? Poor STBX is out here as remorseful as she can be and she's doing everything she can to get you back while you're being such a meanie about it with your boundaries and therapeutic separation. However that's not reality. Your STBX isn't a victim and she has proven herself to still be the woman who cheated on you even recently. We can't give you good advice if you're not willing to advocate for yourself by acknowledging that you're right to feel the way that you do and act the way that you're acting. You're not being a jerk. You're protecting yourself from a serious and harmful threat in your life. Your STBX's tears, Xanax, poor health, and drama will never change that nor do they don't make her less of a threat to your happiness and well-being. Until you're ready to put down the shield and take one up for yourself, it doesn't matter what anyone says to you. You will continue to make yourself feel bad.

To be clear - I'm not asking you to DO anything. I don't expect you to DO anything even if you decide right this minute that our concerns and observations of her have merit. As soon as you take the rose colored glasses off, the illusion will dissipate on its own. The guilt will subside. I have a strong feeling that subconsciously you know that she is unsafe because your ACTIONS are those of someone who feels unsafe. You're separating. You're digging your heels in response to her. You're shutting things down when you see an old pattern about to play out (like with the dress). You're keeping boundaries. But clearly if you feel bad about it then your mind hasn't caught up to your gut yet.

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AnOminousMan ( member #79091) posted at 11:04 PM on Monday, August 30th, 2021

Can't sleep (I'm alone in the house, kids are with STBXW) so I am reading some of the stories in this section. Some of it is pretty brutal

Turn the lights off, close your eyes and count sheep. Go to sleep; you need it.

nekonamida has again posted some really quality stuff which I'm going to add on to later but, in the meantime, stop reading horror stories from JFO and get some rest. Stop pain shopping.

Have a good night.

If you love me, you will keep my commandments. (John 14:15)
My story doesn't really matter. I had it way easier than most.
The only thing that matters is can you stare into the mirror and like what you see.

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beb252 ( member #78948) posted at 11:08 PM on Monday, August 30th, 2021

Sorry for turning this into some kind of personal diary. Please ignore it if it bothers or doesn't interest you

If making this as your personal diary, it is fine. If it helps you in your healing, you can do so. This is your page. I personally like how you detail things in your life.

All the best!

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 MrFlibble (original poster member #76085) posted at 9:47 AM on Tuesday, August 31st, 2021

nekonamida , thank you for your great contribution.

As you can obviously tell, consistency is an ongoing struggle for my STBX. But in my mind it doesn't lessen or diminish her positive words and actions. For me it means that she has many obstacles to tacle, but she tries. It might be that this outlook is all wrong, but that's how I feel. I am also constantly struggling, often it's about my expectations of her. I realize that changing someone's core mindset won't happen overnight, it takes time and I believe the ups and downs are expected. As I said in one of my posts above, it's a constant war between her what is her current mindset and who she (I hope) wants to be.

Just to be clear - this is a few weeks of good behavior after months of poor behavior. And even then, I have observed some small slippage from your posts in this thread.


Yes. But see what I wrote above. It's a start of a process, albeit a slow and painful one. Or maybe I am just still blinded. Time will tell


I wasn't clear with that question. I'm not talking about how she is living now. I'm talking about her hypothetical life if you dropped the D and stayed married to her. Was she struggling to sleep, eat, and on meds before you made it crystal clear to her that you would D her? Stressed, anxious, and normal stuff from the shaking of the marriage post DDay is normal but I bet if you called off the D today, she'd magically sleep, eat, and stop needing the meds. While you would stop sleeping, stop eating, and would get on meds.

She's been mess practicaly since Dday, on various levels depending on my response. The more I detached the more desperate she was. So yes, a lot of that struggling was because she was losing something (me, me, me) and because of how she hurt me or our family. She says the opposite, obviously, but I see it for what it is. If I would tak back the D today (absolutely not happening) I believe many of those symptoms would, at least to some degree, go away. But again, the struggle between her selfishness and empathy. Or just a pretty decent show.

When it comes to me, I am doing OK either way. If she somehow magicaly get me where she wants me (thus stopping the D) it would not break me. I have learned over those horrible months way of dealing with it. But still it's pretty draining and I would prefer to not go there.

Guilt tripping isn't just anger and blame. It's, "Woe is me", begging, and having meltdowns around you. It's throwing herself at you so that you have to be the one to feel like the bad guy rejecting her. It's what she did with your family - playing the victim and getting then to aid her in putting that pressure on you.


That's absolutely what was happening, to a T. "Woe is me" was, and to some degree still is, her default game. It's very manipulative and I am sorry I fell for it so many times. I have learned to recognize when it happens and call her out on it. I did some personal growth too, after all. I told her right after that family and friends fishing trip that it was a very low blow and she apologized profusely.


I'm assuming your STBX is an adult woman with average intelligence and a normal psychology makeup which includes her selfishness. Tons of people are selfish. Tons of people cheat. Neither is indicative of a mental health issue. Point is, there is nothing MAKING her act this way. There is nothing to suggest that she isn't the one driving her own actions of her own free will. So what distinguishes her from other waywards who act in similar selfish and manipulative ways? Why do other posters have to take a harder line with them but when it comes to your STBX, we should excuse her because she's trying in her own way? Why does she get a pass on things she did in recent months because the last few weeks have been good for her? How are any of us supposed to make a good determination about Schrodinger's sweetheart here? And why does she get the benefit of the doubt that she's more like other remorseful WSes who have been posted about despite those BSes saying your STBX acts differently than them?


As I said, many people around her (including me) became enablers and yes men. So we can also be partialy blamed for her actions, because if you don't run into a wall doing something wrong, and you repeatedly get rewarded for your behaviour, why would you change your ways? Don't take this as me taking blame for her choices, but I am confident I played a crucial role in spoiling her rotten. Now it's up to her if she wants to do the work and change, or just pretend and fall back on a first possible chance

Please don't take it as some kind of attack, just a genuine interest - when you say

"Why do other posters have to take a harder line with them but when it comes to your STBX, we should excuse her because she's trying in her own way? Why does she get a pass on things she did in recent months because the last few weeks have been good for her?"

When does it come from? Do I really give you a impression I excuse and minimise her behaviour and give her passes? Because I feel I have done a lot when it comes to giving her severe consequences. Or maybe that's my rose-coloured glasses talking again, maybe I didn't put them down, just slid them down my nose so when I look at things with corners of my eyes I still look right through them

But clearly if you feel bad about it then your mind hasn't caught up to your gut yet.


Something to think about.

Turn the lights off, close your eyes and count sheep. Go to sleep; you need it.


Wish it were that easy. But great advice overall

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Dude67 ( member #75700) posted at 3:31 PM on Tuesday, August 31st, 2021

Mr F - and still, her IC hasn’t come up with anything other than "I don’t know why I did it?" So, your WW admits that she was selfish and that’s as far as the introspection goes?

And yet maybe that’s exactly the case. Are/can you be satisfied with that at the end of the day?, Or, does it really not even matter at this point?

posts: 176   ·   registered: Oct. 21st, 2020
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AnOminousMan ( member #79091) posted at 4:46 PM on Tuesday, August 31st, 2021

Mr F,

I think the point nekonamida is trying to emphasize is that right now your STBXW's cooperation tells you nothing about how remorseful she is. You are taking some comfort, perhaps too much, in the fact that she is no longer desperately begging you to not go through with D. That is to say that she is, at the present time, no longer actively abusing you.

Your STBXW, as you have noted, is selfish and has been for her entire life. If she is going to change for the better it will require years and years of conscious effort on her part. As it has only been a few months, she has barely started her journey.

There is also the possibility that she is faking it. One of the things I have noticed here is that there are some cheaters that, from what I can tell, are not remorseful but get trained by their BS on how they are supposed to act in order to R. They may say they understand. They do everything their BS asks. They may do everything that is recommended on the Wayward board if they are a member. But they still maintain a belief system that shows that they really don't get it at all. They are outcome-driven. I think that we could say that your STBXW currently falls into this category.

That isn't to say that she can't become a better person, with a lot of work. It's just way too early to tell and the fact that she is no longer actively abusing you (preying on your masculine instincts to try and get you to save her is emotional manipulation) does not buy her much credit in my book. She needs to do a lot more for a lot longer. She hasn't even earned you feeling pity for her at this point. She is still a liar and a betrayer. She just isn't lying and betraying right now (probably).

You are a good guy who loves his family. Expect that to be used against you by her. She may not even know she is doing it half the time. It doesn't matter. You have to be vigilant, almost cynical when dealing with her.

I guess my overall point is that I think nekonamida was picking up on the fact you were giving your STBXW more credit than she deserves for no longer acting badly. And she's right to say that if you took back your STBXW her "issues" would likely vanish, or greatly diminish, overnight. Her wallowing in pain could a ploy to get you back. It could also just be someone wallowing in their pain because they lack the skill set to overcome their self-loathing. Point is, her motivations don't matter. You still need to stay the course.

And as for the dress... Let's not make a mountain of a molehill. There's probably something to it but it's not worth noticing or thinking about. Don't allow yourself to be consumed by thoughts of her. That's what she wants because she knows if she can remain at the forefront of your mind she will eventually wear you with her "new and improved" behavior.

She needs to embrace the process of making positive changes in herself without having her motivation to do so being based on her desire to R with you. You will know that she has truly changed when she is at peace with your decision to D.

You are doing the right things. Stay strong.

[This message edited by AnOminousMan at 4:54 PM, Tuesday, August 31st]

If you love me, you will keep my commandments. (John 14:15)
My story doesn't really matter. I had it way easier than most.
The only thing that matters is can you stare into the mirror and like what you see.

posts: 104   ·   registered: Jul. 8th, 2021
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