You can fool some of the people some of the time…

But she can fool me all of the time!

Wow… got a total kick in the gut today!

The last 3-4 weeks have been so different from the 5 months prior.  She and I have been talking more and, for the most part, really getting along.  Our conversations have been pleasant and positive… we’ve laughed and it seemed like every conversation we had was more involved than the last.  It seemed like we were getting closer again… almost like friends… without calling ourselves friends.  We were in total sync… anticipating what the other was going to say… laughing before the punchline cuz we knew where the other was going… It almost seemed like she was testing the waters with me…

Then she pulled the rug out beneath me…

She’s moving out of state to live with the POS.  I was hoping beyond hope that they were having trouble… and then this.  She wanted to talk about how we could work out visitation since I insist on having AT LEAST 50% custody.  We agreed to a 2 week visitation schedule to start with, meaning we’ll each have the boys for two weeks at a time.  (Hope that makes sense)

It’s not like I was expecting her to say that she wanted to get back together and try and salvage our marriage… but the way we had been talking, I  thought it might be reasonable for her to ask to go for a hike the next time she was in town… or to catch a bite the next time I was up her way… or some other excuse for us to start spending time together.  But for her to say she was moving in with him… OUCH!  😦

The strange thing was the way she said it… not mean… not cold… it was calm and gentle… like she was trying not to hurt me… even though we’ve talked about it before.  I sort of feel like she’s trying to make sure that the door is slightly ajar for her to come back if she needs.  :/  What’s worse is I feel like she’s doing this because she’s gone this far and she has to see it all the way through… come hell or high-water… she has to see.  I don’t think things have been all that great for her and the POS.  They’ve not been spending as much time together though they could have.  The boys haven’t seen him since early May…  My Spidey Sense is in high gear over this news… and sadly… There is nothing I can do to protect her.

Maybe this is a good thing.  I’m trying to tell myself this anyway.  She’s still open to talking to me, and our conversations have been nothing but positive… not negative is the more accurate description.  We’ve been laughing together and overall enjoying our short time communicating.  With her being around this POS full time, maybe the real POS will begin to show and she’ll see him for who he really is… a selfish POS who doesn’t want his family let alone hers!  What really gets me is that my boys are gonna be collateral damage… and he could give a shit! And I can’t protect them… not completely anyway.  I can be the rock for my boys… but I can’t stop the damage he could do to them if they get attached.

All I can hope for now is that his true colors show, and that she realizes that she was duped.  That she sees that what we had was real, and is worth working for.  That our family, though broken now, is strong enough to withstand this struggle and come out even better than before,  That is what I hope for.  That is what I believe can happen.  That is what I know will happen.  I don’t know how I know… I just know.  God give me the strength to hold on.

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WTF!

Is the world against marriage?  Is the world against commitment?  Is the world against forgiveness?

I ask this because I had an appointment with my counselor today… He kept challenging me on why I was holding onto hope to save my marriage.  If I understood what reconciling would entail.  If I understood what life with broken trust would be like, and other questions like that.

Here’s the deal… I have no fucking clue what trying to reconcile will be like.  NOT ONE!  Does that mean I shouldn’t even try?  What the fuck is wrong with people?  This guy is supposed to be a marriage and family therapist, and his first instinct is to tell me that I can’t save my marriage?  That I should just walk away and let the divorce take place.  That because its going to take a lot of work and there is a chance it may not work, I shouldn’t even try?

For those of you who don’t understand what I’m doing, let me tell you this…

NEITHER DO I!

I have no clue what I’m doing.  I have no clue what the outcome will be.  I have no clue if my wife will even come back to give us a try.  I HAVE NO FUCKING CLUE!

Just because I don’t know doesn’t mean it’s not worth the risk.  My wife is worth the risk.  My family is worth the risk.

Hope, Faith and Trusting the Unknown

If you’re lost in the middle of the ocean, does it really matter which direction you choose to go?  Is there really a right or wrong direction?  That’s how I feel right now.  Only I’m not just in the middle of the ocean… I’m in the middle of the ocean in the middle of a storm with ZERO visibility!  Oh, yeah… my compass went overboard too.

A close friend recently asked me why I’m holding onto the hope of reconciling when she shows no interest in coming back… and I had no answer.  I literally had nothing.  Just a feeling, that I can’t put words to.  He pressed me to say something… and my answer… Because she is my wife.  I married her and chose to have kids with her and committed myself to her, for better or worse.

I just never thought worse would mean this.  I never thought she’d fall for another man and file for divorce.  I never thought she could be so mean to someone she once loved.  I never thought she would ignore her kids and be so eager to leave them for a week at a time.  I never thought a someone I thought I knew so well could become a completely different person.

People would suggest that she had just changed… or maybe this is who she really is and she hid it from me.

HOW THE FUCK DOES SOMEONE HIDE SOMETHING LIKE THIS FOR 15 YEARS?

I spent nearly every day with her for that long.  I think you would get to know someone pretty fucking good in that amount of time… AND NO!  You can’t hide who you are for that long.  I also don’t believe that a person can change who they are… not their core person… not like that.  I just don’t believe it.  I have felt that in my soul since this first started last year.  Then I cam across Marriage Helper and Marriage Radio and Dr. Joe Beam.  He has a few podcasts that talk about LIMERENCE.  I found this about 2 months ago… and it just made sense… and it gave me hope.  Here is the link: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/marriageradio/2017/02/07/the-3-phases-of-limerence-being-madly-in-love–the-dr-joe-show

As I was listening, I was like “HOLY FUCK!”  That’s her.  That happened!  Could this be right?!  Is there really a chance?

That is all I’ve really wanted… JUST A CHANCE!  A chance to love my wife the way I always should have.  A chance to have her love me the way she should have.  A chance to show my boys that LOVE takes work… and when you work it you can overcome anything.

By the way she is acting, she seems to be on the downward side of limerence.  We actually talked on the phone for 40 minutes the other day… part of it was to discuss the boys.. but at least half of the time we were just talking about stuff.  Nothing of consequence… but we were talking and had a couple of laughs… and most importantly, we didn’t argue.  We didn’t have any disagreements.  It was all positive… We hadn’t had that since I don’t know when.  She even wished me an early happy birthday (it was the next day).  Then on my birthday, she sent me a birthday text.  Again… It doesn’t really mean anything… but when in the context of the cold and mean communications we’ve had prior, to the point we had almost no contact for 1.5 months, it has to mean something.  What exactly that is I have no clue… so I continue to hope.  I hope she is falling out of limerence with this POS… I hope these positive conversations lead her to seeing me the way she used to… I hope that she decides that we are worth the risk and the work… I hope I get a chance to win my wife back and get my family back.

so for now… I continue to hope.

 

 

 

Hopeful (or Hopeless)

My wife and I swap kids every week.  This last time I got the short end of the stick because of my my son’s birthday… She wanted to be with him as well, and asked if I would be willing to give up some time so she could… and I said sure.

I’ve been reading other blogs and listening to some podcasts and I see a lot of similar advice for people in my position… the main one being “Be Calm, Be Strong, Be Gentle.”  The reason I bring this up is I have been intentionally trying to be more amenable to her requests without rolling over or allowing her to bend me over.  Since I’ve been doing this, our conversations, either through text or in person, have been more pleasant.  By no means is it at a level of even hinting that she is open to the thought of maybe trying to reconcile… but our interactions have been pleasant, which is better than the vitriol she had been spewing towards me earlier this year.

Yesterday, when she came by my place to get the boys, she and I had a few minutes to chat.  We were talking about my oldest son’s tutor… and how this woman can talk… like incessantly… and doesn’t know how to read body language clues that indicate the conversation needs to come to an end because I need to get going!  We both shared our experiences and had a good laugh.  The same thing happened two weeks ago when I dropped the boys off to her… and I really didn’t think anything of it except that it was nice to laugh with her again.  And yesterday it happened again.  Again… I’m not thinking were are ready to reconcile… but it gives me hope that we may be moving in the right direction.

Another thing that caught me by surprise was that she noticed a small chain I recently started wearing.  It was under my shirt, but I guess it showed a little in the back.  It caught me by surprise, and I found it interesting that she asked about it, wondering if it was my dad’s.  I just said it was a chain, and I liked how it looked.

I know… this all means nothing.  I know this.  But it gives me hope.  I always look at the little meaningless things she does… and wonder why she does it.  Is she beginning to vacillate?  Is she beginning to remember the good times we had together rather than focus on all of the negative?  Is she possibly seeing me in a new light?

Only time will tell.  Only she really knows whats going on.  She still is at arms length… we don’t even hug anymore when we swap kids… though it seems like if I tried she would.  But at least our interactions have been, and hopefully will continue to be, positive.

My hope is that if we can stay this course, she may begin to open her heart to me again… to remember how much we loved each other… to see how much I still love her… and to realize that what we had/have is stronger than we both realized and that our family and marriage is worth the work.

Sometimes I think hopeful and hopeless are really the same word… just spelled differently.

Helping hands

I just got off the phone with a friend who went through what I and many others are or have already gone through… an affair.  For me, it started with my wife getting involved in an emotional affair, though I didn’t recognize it at the time.  Before it turned physical, as far as I know anyway, my wife declared us separated… like that made it OK!?  It only took her another 9 months to file for divorce, but that is another post for another time.  Anywho… this friend, we’ll call her BB, went through the same thing I’m going through.  Her husband had an emotional affair which then turned into a full blown physical affair.  He left his wife, got an apartment, and was making plans to divorce BB and move to another state with his AP.  The main difference between her situation and mine, is that her husband went to marriage counseling where my wife refused… but there are so many other similarities that I use her as a sounding board for whats going on between my wife and me.

She is one of those people, much like most of the people I’ve been in contact with here, that is supportive without judgement.  Sometimes all I need is someone to say it’s OK that you feel this way… It’s OK that you want to save your marriage…  You’re not wasting your time holding onto hope to save your marriage and your family….  Even if it doesn’t work out, you did what you could…  It’s not a waste of time…  The 15 yrs you were together wasn’t a waste of time…  Hold onto hope…  Have faith…  Don’t give up yet.

When I am in my dark space and the voices of negativity and despair won’t shut up, I write it down here, or I call BB or another friend, who happens to be a pastor, who helps me understand what faith and hope really are.  Though my pastor friend “K” has suggested that I have a right to divorce my wife because of the infidelity, she supports me and prays for me to have the strength to endure these trials and for my wife to open her heart to me again and open herself up to working out what went wrong in our marriage and save it and our family.  I would like to ask the same of you if you feel so inclined.

 

Changing

This weekend was an emotional roller coaster for me.  One minute I’m up and happy, the next I’m down and out of control.  The shitty thing about this roller coaster is that there are very few flats and straights… its almost all up and down… and its my own design.

I have decided to close the ride for a bit and redesign it.  I have decided to stop putting so much importance into things I have very little to no control over.  Don’t get me wrong… saving my marriage and my family are of the utmost importance… but I really only have control over the family part, which is me and my boys.  I have no control over her or her actions.  I do, however, have control over my actions… and recently my actions have been to allow her into my head and run me up and down the ride… which is why it is temporarily out of order!

For Father’s Day, my step-mom gave me and my brothers (I have 3 blood and 1 step) a picture of my dad, who passed away last October.  It’s a classic picture of him sitting down, hands clasped together, ready to impart some of his hard earned wisdom.  I looked at the picture and realized I am in control of this fucking ride, and I’m tired of the ups and downs.  I am tired of feeling guilty for her actions.  I’m tired of feeling guilty for doing the best I can for my boys in the position I’m in.  I know I’m gonna fuck-up.  I know I’m gonna kick-ass.  I know sometimes I’m just gonna get by.  I also now know that that’s life.

Do I still want my wife back?  Absolutely.  Do I think it will happen?  I do.  Do I think the pain that I have gone through and the difficulty of reconciliation will be worth saving my marriage and family?  Of course I do.  Do I think she feels that way?  It doesn’t matter.  I do.  I am in control of my actions, not hers.  I will wait for her until I don’t want to wait for her anymore.  I can not tell you how long that will be.  I can tell you that I will be in better control… maybe not complete control… but definitely better!

Season of Firsts

So this weekend is my youngest sons birthday, and it’s his first one where we will not be together as a family.  Last year, though separated, we still celebrated together… so this is the first one where we are really apart.  To be honest, I am nervous!  I don’t really do kids parties.  Is there a guy who does?  Anyway… He’s really excited because I was intentionally pro-active and sent the invites out and got all of the RSVPs… and all of his close friends are coming.  We are planning a pool party with pizza and water-balloon games with prizes and everything.  He’s turning 9 so the prizes were a little hard to pick since we’ll have kids ranging from 8-12yrs.  Finding toys and games for tweeners is hard!

Mad props to the moms out there who get this stuff done!  (Boy, that shows my age! haha)

Why am I telling you this?  I have a couple of motivators.  One is that I need to start acknowledging the things where I am now stepping up and performing where, in the past, I had let my wife do all of the work.  Another is I am realizing the things I had missed; The fun of putting it together, the joy you see on your kids face when it all comes together, the satisfaction of seeing it all come together, the excitement of planning a fun day, etc.

This separation has forced me to acknowledge a lot of things where I didn’t step up, where I let her do all of the heavy lifting.  Its forced me to become a grownup.  Sadly, it may be too late for her to see, but one can hope.

I remember when she first left, I was trying to do things that I thought she would like and appreciate to try and win her back.  It took a few months of futile efforts to realize she wasn’t interested and that what I was trying to do was not to make me a better man, but to make her see me as a better man (if that makes any sense)

Since I came to that realization, my focus has been on what makes me happy and what makes my boys happy.  What I also realized was even though me and the boys have a lot of things in common, they don’t like all of the things I do… so I have also learned (and am trying to teach them) how to compromise.  The only way we are going to get through this is together… and I told them in no uncertain terms that WE WILL GET THROUGH THIS!  One way or another, we will be OK.

I don’t tell them about how I feel for their mom… I don’t want them knowing she is the reason our family is not whole.  I have wondered about how they would feel if we tried to get back together.  Would they be scared? Excited?  Nervous? All of the above?  I don’t think she and the POS are doing well right now, but that by no means that she’s thinking about coming back either.  I can (and have) drive myself crazy pondering that!  I often let those monkeys run loose in my head for days at a time.  I must say that writing them down here helps keep them at bay.

I am rambling now, so I’ll sign off.  Wish me luck for the party tomorrow, and if you can continue to support my hope that she soon opens her heart back to me, and that she opens her heart to reconciling our marriage and restoring our family, I’d greatly appreciate it.

Shooting Myself in the Foot

I wonder if that’s what I’m doing.  I am trying to stand for a marriage that she wants nothing to do with anymore.  I say trying because I am dating someone… have been dating someone… and my wife knows it.  I wonder if that knowledge helps her justify leaving me for another man.

I started serious dating 6 months after she left me.  I used most of that time to reflect on what I did and didn’t do which led to where we are.  I went to counseling.  I evaluated myself as a man, husband and father and I didn’t necessarily like the answers that were revealed.

Through my dating I discovered that I was actually a pretty good guy.  I wasn’t this worthless goo-for-nothing guy that my wife didn’t want anymore.  I was funny.  I was a gentleman.  I was complimentary.  I was someone that these girls wanted to go out with.  Now some of them were obvious mismatches.  But some were pretty compatible.  The problem was that I didn’t know what I wanted or needed.. other than I did not want to get into a relationship.  I wanted someone to go out with, go to dinner and a movie, go on a hike, to a concert, etc. I was dating two girls… D and B.  Neither one was like my wife.  I do believe because I did some work on me that I no longer compared them to my wife, like I did to the prior girls just a few months before.  Anywho…

I was very open with both of them about my willingness to take my wife back, that this was not a relationship and that I was dating other people… and this was on the first date.  Talk about being clueless in the dating scene!  haha.  Yet at the end of each date, I walked them to their car, gave them a hug, told them I had a nice time, and that I’d like to see them again… and they both said yes.  After the 2nd date with D, about a week later, she told me that she did not like me dating other people, and after a little talk about expectations, we decided we should just be friends.  I saw B the next night, cuz she had another date earlier that week.  It was interesting because she went on that date knowing she liked me, and basically told the guy before hand, and to his credit, took her out anyway with the thought that he could win her over.

Can you smell the testosterone?  haha

Anyway… so because D and I were no longer seeing each other, and B declined a second date with the other guy, we ended up just dating each other.  We started going out every week and then a couple of times a week.  It has continued to evolve, and now I find myself in the role of the asshole.  She loves me.  I do love her… but not like I love my wife.  I can not give her all of me because I can not give up on my wife.

Here is the crux… I feel like I should break up with B because I am not over my wife.  I feel like I should break up with her because I am trying to stand for my marriage.  I feel like if there is to be any chance with my wife, I can not be seeing someone, even though she is.  Don’t ask me to explain, cuz it doesn’t make sense to me either… It’s just how I feel and we all know emotions are wonky!

So that’s why I feel like I’m shooting myself in the foot.  If I stay, I could end up hurting B IF my wife comes back comes back.  And right now, that is a BIG IF!  If I go, I will definitely hurt B and possibly myself IF my wife doesn’t come back.  Most of the advice I’ve been given is to just take it one day at a time.  B is definitely helping me get past a lot of the mental anguish my wife put me through… and continues to put me through.  B is a great woman who deserves more than I can give her right now.  But, selfishly, I don’t want to let her go either.  She is good for me.  She has brought joy back into my life and I to her.  She has helped me feel good about me again.  I’m not afraid to be alone, but I do prefer having someone to share my life with.  I just didn’t expect to find her outside of my wife.

Random

I’ve been reading a lot of other blogs about divorce and reconciliation… sadly, there are a lot of us going through this BS!  In a way, there is this camaraderie that builds as well… whether you want out or to save the marriage… I’ve yet to see someone not be supported and encouraged in whatever path they’ve chosen.

For me, when I read that someone has hit their limit, my heart breaks.  I start wondering how long I can hold onto hope and will I eventually stop wanting to save my marriage and my family?  I have been fighting this battle for damn near 14 months… and she has not shown an ounce of remorse or regret.  She has consistently shot me down when I ask if she’s sure of this path she’s on.  So we are still on the path to divorce, and all I can do is make it as inconvenient for her as possible.  My hope is that if I can stretch this out far enough, it may be that she comes around to wanting to reconcile before our divorce is final.

The scary part is reading some of the painful stories associated with reconciliation.  The biggest being the loss of trust… in everything they do and say.  I hope I’m strong enough, that we’re strong enough to fight through it.  I know my goal… I think I’ve done a pretty good job of keeping my eye on the prize.. though I have strayed here and there.  Even with that though, I have never given up the hope of reconciling.  I’ve played scenarios in my head where we are together and she does something out of (what used to be) the ordinary… and I question if she did that with him.  Does she still think of him.  How will it be the first time we are intimate again?  All these things start rolling in my head and soon its got spiraling out of control into a depressed state.  It scares me to think that I’ve waited all this time for us to possibly fail again.  I hear the success stories… how the couple became even stronger together and their marriage is even better and how their love is stronger… and I so desperately want that!

So I wait.  And hope.  And fear.  And read.  There are some amazingly strong people out there who, whether they know it or not, help me hold onto the hope that she will come back and together work to save our marriage and our family.

 

The Perpetual Torture of WHY

Why, why, why… you know the why’s… why did she do this… why did she leave… why is she ignoring the impact on our family… why is she unwilling to work on our marriage… why did she allow this to get so far…  The WHY’s are endless.

What’s more torturous than the WHY’s regarding her???  The WHY’s regarding me.

Why didn’t I see this coming… why didn’t I do more to show her I loved her… why didn’t I give her what she needed… why did I act so weak and defeated when she said she wanted to leave… these are endless as well.

Even though I know the WHY’s are bullshit and un-answerable, they always seem to creep into my head… especially late at night.  Those quiet hours are the worst.  They never shut up, and then the anger and frustration builds up and it’s a downward spiral.

When I finally realize what is going on in my head, I have a few podcasts I listen to or some books with highlighted passages that help me get perspective.  They don’t give me any answers… so I’ll settle for perspective.

In the meantime, I will continue to hold onto hope that she may want to give us another chance.  To give our family another chance.