Down on one knee…

So with the big eclipse coming up, there are some strange happenings going on.  First off… she has the boys and has been planning a trip to an area to view 100% of the eclipse since April.  She has been telling the boys all about it and building it up, getting the boys all excited.  All of a sudden, today, she sends me an email saying she might not go to where she has reservations, and instead drive and extra 8 hrs so DH doesn’t have to deal with all the traffic alone with his twin 3 yr olds.  Why do I care?  I have no fucking clue.  This is just a rant.  I just don’t get why she can’t see that this POS doesn’t do shit for her unless she comes to him.  He comes down about once every 3-4 months for a short weekend, and never when she has the boys… and yet she thinks its ok to just move them in with him… they don’t even know the POS.  How long until reality hits them in the face?  How long is she willing to be used like this?  If you knew her, you’d be shocked at how she’s acting.  It is so unlike her to be so oblivious.

I wish I could talk to her the way we did when we were friends… I wish I could show her what she’s doing to our boys.  If it was just me… I’d have no problem moving on… ok… that’s a lie.  But it would be easier.  I am still a believer in the idea of your children take priority, and you do EVERYTHING you can to stay together.  They deserve that much at least.  I am getting to the point where I can look myself in the mirror and say with complete honesty that I did all I could.  I know she can’t.  I’m still holding on… but the good thing is the pain is a whole lot less.  I accept where she is… I hate it… but I accept it.  I also know that we are still worth it.  So I continue to stand.  Right now I might be standing on one knee… but at least I’m still upright.

And the Award goes to…

Me for being asshole of the month!

Sometimes I just can’t help it.  It happens so naturally.  The problem is when I’m an ass to my boys.  I get them every other week, which, when you break it down, 6 months out of the year.  That sucks.  So when I lose my shit on them, especially for a stupid reason, I regret it and continue to beat myself up for it for at least a day or two.  Hence this post.

So, my first nomination came when I went to pick up the boys for my week… I was excited to see them but was not happy that the MIL was dropping them off… so instead of giving my boys a big hug as they were walking up to me, I told them to go get their bags from her car.  “X” – Strike one

The second nomination came on the last night of their visit with me 2 wks ago… We had been staying up late watching movies or playing games all week… and the little one had really been acting up… so I told both of them that we would be going to bed on time that night… Holy crap!!  You would have thought I had cut off an arm or something the way they complained and whined.  And they wouldn’t stop!  I let them do this for about 5 mins and then I had enough!  I blew up on them.  I felt taken for granted, felt unappreciated… I felt like most single parents feel.  The problem was I blew up on them, and they didn’t deserve that.  “X” – Strike two

The clincher happened yesterday…  We had gone to a friends cabin for the weekend near Yosemite National Park… It was a total disconnect weekend.  No phones, no iPads, no TV/Movies or Video games.  Just board games, card games and books.  They complained a little at first, but not too bad.  The weekend went great!  Then it was time to clean up… that’s when it happened.  Whining about everything.  It was non-stop.  I was already a little stressed because I wanted to make sure I left my friends cabin in better shape than we found it…  and the final straw came when I asked for help to do one last walk through and they complained about that!  I went off the handle!  And not just a little.  I was in prime form.  I was still pissed when we got in the car and started the drive home.  After about 20 mins I had to pull over and apologize.

I think of the story with the father having the son hammer nails in a board, then pull out the nails and do it again and again.  The father explains to his son that every time he is angry, it’s like he’s hammering a nail in the board, and every time he apologizes it like pulling the nail out of the board.  The problem is that even though he apologized, there is damage done that can’t be undone, just like the nail hole.

So, with the damage I did this month, I am the UNDISPUTED winner…  Luckily my boys are loving and forgiving, and I hope that in the end I do more good than bad in being their dad.  Only time will tell.  I never asked to be a single dad… never thought I would be in this position… And I am doing the best I know how.  I am working with my counselor to be less reactive to prevent things like this from occurring again.

Good People do Bad Things

So lately I’ve been listening to Marriage Helper Radio and Dr. Joe Beam.  I REALLY wish I had found this resource sooner… oh well.  Anyway, there are a ton of articles and podcasts for people like me who wish to save their marriage and who are victims of infidelity.

Why do I bring this up?  Because I recently listened to a podcast of his title “Why should I stay married after my spouse’s affair”… and it hit home.  My wife is a good person who is doing the most horrible thing she could do.  But I still believe she is a good person deep down… I believe she will come to regret what she’s done to me and the boys… and I hope she will have the courage to ask for forgiveness and the strength to work through this mess so we can have the marriage we were always supposed to have and restore our family.

I saw her yesterday when I picked up the boys… she looked so beautiful.  She really hasn’t changed (in my eyes) from the girl I fell in love with 17 yrs ago.  We talked a little, but nothing serious.  Not the best interaction, but definitely not the worst we’ve had either.  She is starting to be a little more honest with me, which she hasn’t done since this all started last year April.  She volunteered info on her traveling so we could make better arrangements for the boys to go to her next week.  Normally she wouldn’t say anything or have her mom pick up the boys… so I see that as a positive.

I think the affair fog / limerent halo effect is starting to wear off… which is why she’s been more open to talking with me.  In the heat of all of this, all coms were through her mom or text… she wouldn’t even pick up the phone to discuss our kids.  It was a crazy time… glad that at least that part is over.

I know  that none of this means she’s coming home… but as the hopeless romantic that I have always been, it does give me hope.  I will always have that hope.  My friends and my counselor all think I’m crazy… I’m sure some of you do as well… But that’s why this is called Standing Man… I’m trying to stand for my marriage… how long I will continue to get up after getting knocked down is a mystery to me.  All I know is right now, I continue to stand back up.

Please continue to hope for my wife to wake up and be willing to come home.  Continue to hope for me to have the strength to continue to stand back up, and, if/when the opportunity comes, to have the strength to walk with her while we reconcile our marriage and family.

Changing focus

As far as weeks go, this last one may have been one of the best I’ve had with my boys since my wife left.  It started off with a road trip that should have taken 4 hrs, but turned into 6.  Now, I love to drive but I hate traffic… it stresses me out and I am probably one of the worst role-models for my kids in that state… I am one of those A-holes that swerves in and out trying to get one car ahead and then curses out the next guy that does it to me.

For some reason tho, that didn’t happen.  I just sat there comfortably and either listened to the radio singing the songs that played if it was one we especially liked or just sat quietly and accepted that no matter what I did, I could do nothing to change the situation.  Much like I recently did with my wife and marriage.

Did I hope for the traffic to open up?  Of course I did.  Was I putting life on hold and freaking out about it… no.  Funny how little life lessons can be turned into big life lessons without even realizing it.

Do I still want my wife back and restore my marriage and family?  Of course I do.  Do I have any control over her actions?  Of course I don’t.  Can I convince her to come back?  No.  Would I if I could… I don’t think so… Not anymore.  I’m not playing that game.  I’m open for her to come back.  I still love her just as much as the day we got married… even tho she has hurt me deeply.  But that doesn’t mean I will dance for her.   Those days are over.  Looking back over the last 16 months at what I’ve done for me and how I’ve changed… I bring a lot more to the table now than I did then.  I’ve put (for lack of a better word) systems in place that allow me to maintain the positive changes I’ve made not only with myself, but in my relationship and actions with my boys.  We are much more active now than we were before, and we seem to be enjoying each-others company more.

And the best part is that these “systems” could include my wife if she chooses to come home or be adaptable to whomever chooses to be in my life.  Or not.  They are only dependent on me.  Everyday I am getting more comfortable with me.  I still have a long way to go, but when I look back, I am pretty impressed with how far I’ve come.

 

 

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.

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!