Shouting At Traffic (venting).

Forgive me, but I need to vent. I've had a bad few hours and am stewing. I had my daughter staying this weekend, she's four and a half and I adore her. I was, and still am, distraught that she is caught up in all this. It's one of the reasons I'm so angry at my ex-, she did nothing to save our marriage, and put the protection of her own fragile self-image and ego before the welfare of our daughter. This morning I'm getting my daughter dressed and packed to go back to her mother (we live 15 minutes apart, I see my daugher every evening during the week, to spend a bit of time with her and put her to bed, and every other weekend she stays with me) and she's telling me how sad she is that she doesn't see me as often as she used to, sad that I don't live with her and mummy any more and that she misses me. She brings this up fairly often, and it's heartbreaking stuff at the best of times, but this morning was worse for me.

I said "I'm done" just over a year ago (27 Oct 2011 to be pecise) and moved out at the end of May this year.

My W would fight tooth and nail not to discuss the subject of our miserable sex life (it was a slow and steady descent, not one of those 'it was fine before we had a kid' situations). To raise the issue required a pitched battle, shouting, tears, days of serious emotional turmoil. She simply would not confront it. It wasn't even up for discussion. I asked for a divorce, she begged me to stay, that she would seek counseling or seek therapy, that she knew something was wrong with her (for the first few years she had me thinking that perhaps it was me). Of course nothing happened, she would't go and it wasn't up for discussion. And I was desperate not to leave my kid (In truth I first asked for a divorce ten years back and was put off in a similar matter, and life then got very complex, I stayed 'bottled up' for years). So a year later I ask for a divorce again, this wasn't easy for me, my daughter means the world to me, but this wasn't a happy marriage or a happy home (superficially though, we put on a great act). Again the same begging and promises from my W. Again nothing comes of it. So another year goes by and that's when I say "I'm done". Of course there's the same begging and promises routine. But I'm done.

My W and I were living together for 7 months after this and even went on winter vacation as a family. She was constant in her requests to try one more time and repair our marriage, and she did *finally* go and see an analyst. The first analyst she consulted was a bit limited and wasn't able to make much headway (although she did recommend my W read 'Hold Me Tight' which I found to be a pretty close to the mark read). She suggested my W seek another analyst. She did, she found one who deals with more trauma-related stress (my W had, it seems, experienced a few difficult to process events). She's had a few hours of EMDR therapy and she said it helped a lot. A couple of months ago she put her profile up on a few online dating sites. She admitted that she'd like to get laid and that she wants to practice being intimate. So this weekend she went on a date. We spoke on the phone Sunday night. She finds this guy attractive (earlier dates haven't been), which she sets as a minimum requirement (reasonable enough I guess). She seems hopeful, but she's going to see how it pans out.

So there you go. All it took was the courage to finally go and seek help, about 10 or so hours of therapy, and now she's ready to roll. Shame about the damage she's caused to her husband and duaghter's lives. But, ahh well, that's life I guess.

Just think of this as articulate screaming.
tthetree tthetree
36-40, M
21 Responses Nov 5, 2012

My stbx also started therapy AFTER I left. Yet, they simply couldn't summon the will to do so when we really needed them to. He has slept with several people without any issue since I moved out and has repeatedly pleaded for a reconciliation. Too little, too late, right?

It depends. Are you suggesting that YOU still have room in your heart to consider a reconciliation? If so, I think you should consider it, but with thoughtful, engaged work. Probably ask to go to therapy with him... to get someone involved in translating *to* both of you what is going on for the other. He may be the one with the biggest issues, but his handling of his issues where your were effected has effected you significantly. Have YOU moved on to other partners?

I do NOT want him back. There is no room for him in my life anymore. I'm only 25 and don't want to spend my life fighting a spouse for attention.

Understood. I followed up with more of your stories and understand your situation better. I misread the implications of your comment.

Tree -

Love your avatar... my favorite role for Sam Elliott is in "Off the Map"... he was the perfect actor to spend an entire movie *crying*!

In any case, I know this is a "stale" story, but I also know it will be the "story of your life"... the good news is that eventually it levels out.

My own daughters are now 33, 34, and in my case, I had the good fortune to see things coming and "encourage" my wife to "seek her bliss"... she left us as a cohesive unit (mostly) and only re-entered as much as she really wanted to... which was not minimal, but left me lots of room to raise my (ok... OUR) daughters mostly without her interference.

My wife's issues may not have been as deep as yours', but she did have some serious growing up to do and not being "burdened" by children may have made that easier for her.

She is now very squarely in our younger daughter's life, moving to live near her as she had her first child 2 years ago. She and her husband (now of many years) have "swooped in" and are trying to raise our grandchild... a little bit of overcompensation I think for what she missed out on the first time.

In any case, almost every time I've seen the father "do the right thing" in a divorce, and stick to it, no matter how hard/inconvenient/unjust it is, the result was good... and too often when father's give over to the too often unjust situations they end up in, it works out a *lot* less good.

I don't know the source of the quote, but it is my best definition of hope:

"Hope is doing the right thing whether you believe it will turn out well or not"

Keep the faith man!

- Steve

Understand you man, especially how your photo and my handle go together, but seriously you need full custody and give your little girl a loving and kind home, unlike that provided by your wife.

Do you really in your heart feel that it would have turned out the same if she went to therapy before? You can't really know, and just the fact that she didn't step up when you needed her to kind of says something, right?

Thanks for posting. What is EMDR therapy? And why do you expect to be seeing less of your daughter? Any updates since then?

EMDR - 'Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing', it's meant to help people get over traumatic incidents, it doesn't require them to talk, it's introspective.

I work as an expat, it is quite likely that at some point in the mid-term future that we will end up relocating to different countries. Hence why I expect I'll end up seeing much less of my daughter (I'm not going to put her in the middle of a custody battle).

My original intent had been to try and remain on close, friendly terms with my stbx, but I realise that that isn't really possible. An abusive dynamic had built up and it's very difficult to change that dance. Although there have been some moments of dark humour for me (a quote worthy comment from her was: "You'd make a good lover with a bit of coaching", with no flicker of irony). It's noticeable that she's avoidant with respect to getting the divorce details hammered out, but not insanely so, and she's functional enough to recognise it.

My daughter still keeps on telling me that she wants me to move back in with her and mummy. That mummy's sorry and won't hurt me again - not easy stuff to hear from a 5 year old. As for me, I'm depressed about this mess and it feels like it's taking forever to lift, on the other hand, I really do see progress in myself. This is serious stuff, it's not something I can shrug off in a few months, I don't think I fully comprehended how much I'd damaged myself by staying as long as I did.

Ouch. So sad. I was wondering what would be better, to leave now when the girl is 3, or wait until she's older? I read somewhere that separation before the age of 4 can be extremely damaging.

In many cases leaving before the child has memories of the family together can be best for the child. They don\'t know any other way the family has ever been so they don\'t grieve it as much, pagan.

EMDR is good for calling up and processing traumatic events that get stuck - it\'s often used if you have PTSD, and has been a reliable tool for this sort of thing for decades.

It\'s amazing that so many people will simply be so selfish and worried about their image that they aren\'t even able to see what they\'ve done until it\'s far too late. That part of the human race needs to be tattooed or stamped or branded or *something* so that it\'s easier for the rest of us to tell them apart.

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This is one of the first "stories" I read when I first joined. I couldn't remember who it was that was "shouting at traffic," until I wandered to your profile today.

Something about the pain of breaking up a family haunts me. And yet, as a child of divorce, I know that it can result in resiliency, awareness, empathy, open mindedness, etc.

I am confident that you are building a solid relationship with your daughter.

Thanks for that. I'm trying to do this right, but it's fairly rough at the moment. It's not easy dealing with someone who has fairly ingrained passive-aggressive behaviour (they clad their own interests and desires in the respectable clothing of the kid's welfare, and don't even realise how blatantly they do this). You're best off not engaging with them, but of course you have to when there's a child involved.

The thing is that kids just seem to *know* things; they are incredibly attuned, perceptive. Stay balanced, maintain and nurture your relationship with your daughter, and she will *know* how you love her and carry that with her forever.

Sadly, when my dad left, he literally left me and my sister, not just my mom. He, to put it bluntly, sucked at being my dad. It wasn't until later, as a teenager, when I made the effort (or rather was more mobile and could get in on the bus and hang out at his house), that our relationship began to grow. Lol. He's lucky to have me.

On that note, and looking back, he failed me and my sister on so many levels (ie. we'd wait hours for him to pick us up), but my mom never once maligned him. I thanked her recently for that. It allowed me to come to know my dad as he is and chose how i wanted my relationship with him to be. Good thing he's funny and interesting. Or I might have divorced him myself. :)

...This has been a are things going?

Well she banged the guy. She told me she wanted to f#ck him on the first date but didn't want to have sex in the car. It took a couple of days to process this and then the blind rage hit.

As mentioned, I was going every weekday evening to the house to walk the dog and put my daughter to bed. I was taking a burden off my W's shoulders and running myself ragged. I was just about getting ready to leave on the evening in question and she said one last thing that just tipped me over the edge. I lost it for a few minutes, some property damage ensued, I was as close as I've ever been to beating up a woman.

Clearly this wasn't good and I stopped going anywhere near my STBX. The anger's taken a while to subside and I avoid being near her as much as possible. Sadly this means that I'm only seeing my daughter once in the week now (my W leaves the house), and I have her every other weekend. This isn't ideal.

The rage is subsiding, things are improving a bit, but it's hard to have much respect for my W. It's almost like she's got a damaged empathy function; I really do think there's something almost sociopathic in the way some of our spouses behave. I've asked to accelerate the divorce process.

On the positive front, my love life is wonderful, I have a lover who enjoys me as much as I enjoy her, and when we argue, we argue with passion and say what we think with candour. My daughter still seems to love me, and soon it'll be spring.

Mine is almost certainly Asperger's...aspies actually have less"mirror neurons," and generally have a hard time understanding the feelings of others...not that they don't care, they just don't understand.
...Not that we're all dealing with aspies, of course... but I agree there's likely a commonality of low empathy in our sexually and emotionally distant partners...They either don't understand how much they hurt us, or they don't care how much they hurt us.

Just one thing......get used to it because you'll NEVER WIN!
Either you'll end up mad,going that way already by what I can see....or you'll end up alone!
Never declare war on a woman,you will win a few battles,inflict a few pains....but she's a specialist in the matter and for you it'll be a life of torture.....unless you let go!
Kids will always blame themselves for the failures of their parents,so you real job now is to let go of whatever negative thoughts you hold,(forget about your darlng wife who's ***** you loved so),and get all the positive energy into that little head of your daughter.....otherwise she'll turn out to be exactly like her mother,then you'll have TWO dragons to deal with!
You ex-wife is not to be scorned and blamed as you have been doing,dig into her past and you realize that she's a survivor of probably an experience that would've killed you,you saved her,but it might have been too much for her.......all 'Passive Aggressive' people are like that....I know,I've got one at home at the moment.

So I use positive energy to combat the desire to strap her to an aircraft carrier catapult and pull the trigger.....whooooosh! Haha!,but I know that she'll climb back on board,dry herself down and be waiting in my cabin for me,just so that she can say 'NO!'........or worse still,"Stop it!".
Positive energy will save your sanity,save you from going crazy,find a way to forgive....otherwise you'll be looking out from behind bars at your daughter for the rest of your life.....and I don't mean prison bars,just the bars that confine us into thinking in one way and one way only!

At the time I wrote this was the beginning of my rage. I don't feel apologetic about this, it's right to feel angry sometimes; not that it's a healthy emotion most of the time, but there's a place for it. I found it very difficult to comprehend that my ex could have spent years unable to touch, kiss or hold me, refusing to discuss the issue, while telling me she still loved me, and yet easily go and have sex with a stranger. It's hard not to hate someone who does that to you. The rage has subsided into anger. My ex is not the woman I thought she was, she's not the woman she thought she was. This is messy stuff. I doubt I'll ever be able to make sense of this. But I do know that how she behaved, wasn't right.

"In-to-me-see". What a clever and apt viewpoint. Thank you Brother AMM.

EMDR made me a LOT worse, but for those it works on, it works very well-usually people with an isolated trauma incident or incidents....
My suspicion? she's not nearly as okay now as she appears.

AMusicalMind: I'm aware of the behaviour you describe (intimacy avoiding, while able to be sexual with strangers), in fact you'll find I've stated such in comments I've posted on this board. I ended up finding out about it when I followed up on personality disorders (thanks GibbySan for prodding me in that direction). It certainly matches my W's behaviour. However, much as I can rationalize intellectually, it's still difficult to come to grips with this on a personal level, especially in the context of what went on in our relationship. I similarly have issues sometimes with the label changing and whole concept of personality disorders. I sometimes suspect that all we're doing is rationalizing and medicalising what is really just being a sh1tty, selfish person.

hylierandom: she does claim to have experienced some moderately traumatic stuff, but then again, there's been so many excuses and explanations given over the years that I don't know whether to set much store by yet another one. And she's so emotionally controlled and constipated, I wouldn't know whether she's in turmoil or found inner peace. This is especially so now, as I try and have as little to do with her as possible - as the 'hypnosis' wore off, I was beginning to see that she was still controlling, pulling the emotional levers, makes me angry now, so I try and steer clear.

Whatever you might say,whatever you can write down in your little black book...if you don't come to peace with it all,it'll drive you mad,create a hernia or cancer or other rage related symptoms and you'll be looking at your daughter from your hospital bed.....carry on ranting and complaining and before the end of the year you'll be ill!
So what,you got ripped off by a chick,look how much Paul Macartney had to pay just to get rid of hs last ****! Politicians rip us off and sodomise the economy,religion has been lying all these centuries,when the weather people tell you it's going to be sunny and it rains all day you've been dissed.....So ******* what!

Wake up! it's only another **** who took you for a ride.....GET OVER IT!...if you can't,I tell you she'll win,and not only that,she'll take all your money too,you'll be publicly humiliated,your daughter will inevitably takes sides with her and you'll end up a wrinkled old man who spends his time grumbling and shouting at people in the street for no particular a tramp that speaks to himself all day..........that's what'll happen if you don't let go!

I have many friends that've suffered due to a messy split up and they still are full of hate and will drive you mad,and she'll WIN!

And don't reply with,"Yes But"...find some help to get rid of hate and replace it with love.....DO IT!

BANDULU: I clearly haven't done a good job of expressing myself, because I don't recognise myself in what you've just written. I'm being honest about the turmoil and conflict and acknowledging it's there, rather than pretending that somehow I've found inner peace. But I really don't spend my whole time ranting and raging, check the comments I make on this board. In closing, I'm not looking for a win/lose deal with my W, that's not what this is about.

I exaggerated the symptoms that's for sure,I realize what you're saying and have been there with girlfriends,way before I had kids,had refusals from my darling ***** that then went and screwed my friends as I was out buying food for dinner.......had girlfriends seduce my best friend and then blatantly deny it,had a Mother of my first two boys,who was an air stewardess go shagging with the pilots as I was changing nappies at home....seen it done it,read the book,got the video.....and found the best way out,inner peace!

I get your drift no problem,but some women are hell bent on just destroying men,using them as voodoo dols to stick the pins of hurt and emotional uproar.I know this first hand as my older sister attempted to destroy me when we were kids....picking fights,blaming me for stuff so I'd get punished,then laughing as I cried......some female specimens are just pure 'Bad News',but as you say,we get hypnotized and used like putty........but we can never get them back because they're 'Narcissistic Perverts',and believe you me,they're like volcanos......just get as far away as you can!

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You hold a lot of anger that you need to let go of. It is doing nothing but creating hardship on your inside. You need to focus on your life and your little girls. My kids were crushed when our marriage fell apart but I make it a point to be with them as often as I can. They will always know how much their daddy loved them. My wife is living her life and I am fine with that. I dont ask what she is doing or who she is doing or anything that is going on with her. I dont care anymore. She had a chance to make our marriage work and she struck out. I will continue to love my children with all my heart and I will meet someone someday who actually loves me with all their heart and you will too!

I know what u were going through tthetree cuz im in a sexless marriage to and my husband and I are staying together for our two sons I love them so much and I dont want 2 hurt them any advice to give im all ears AngelBabyGirl35 msg me

I won't reply individually, although I should. But thank you. There's many things that have been good about leaving, it has been life changing to realise that I'm wanted. But it has also been devastating to have my daughter caught up in all this turmoil

that is what this site is have people to vent is unfortunate that all this has played out this way...and the daughter will suffer the most...

If she's gone from your life, she's gone. What therapy is doing to her, does she feel horny again, was it you, was it her --- who cares half a ****? (Btw, ILIASM-ers are perhaps the only bunch who can say "I don't give half a ****" with a proper valuation on a ****.) Just love your daughter, take care of her, enjoy her company, and take care of yourself.

Oh I'm happy that my W's gone from my life. What ****** me off is that she was willing to abuse and use all those around her, the ones that she claims to love, rather than risk any type of loss of face or emotional discomfort. I'm none too pleased that she did it to me, but I'm f#cking livid that she didn't give a sh1t about the fallout for our child. As I've mentioned earlier, in 2 or 3 years time it's very likely that I won't be able to see my daughter more that a few times a year. So, to repeat, I'm glad I'm not with my W any more, she's a selfish, abusive, manipulative, b1tch; in fact I regret that I ever met her and I'd be happy to never see her again. But my kid means the world to me.

Ok, now that this is behind us :-) channel your energy into figuring out how, despite your constraints, you can make life better for you and your child together. Best wishes!

An outburst partially triggered by bazzar's disappointment that my venting was far too reasonable and controlled, and quite a lot by the realisation that being 'controlled' and 'reasonable' was something my ex set great store by, and I don't as much - I think some passion's a good thing. I thought I'd say it how I felt for a change. But no, I'm not spending my days holding a beer can, hurling abuse at the pigeons in the railway station. On the flip side though, my SM experience still takes up a fair amount of my thoughts. Thinking, in my car, or walking the dog I'll still sometimes shout (quietly) "b1tch". I'm only human. Otherwise I'm usually pretty civil to my ex. Really, I am getting better. It takes a while.

I wonder how many of our spouses *want* to be let go so they have the permission to find someone they'd rather be with. Right now I'm of the opinion that, if I can't have my spouse, then no one else can, either. Sensible me knows I'm only hurting myself, but spiteful me wants him to be miserable, too. I see my spouse rising up out of our SM to land easily on his feet in a happier place, and me sinking like a stone.

I can assure you it's not that simple for her. She's not going to walk off into the sunset into happily ever after.

You are out, and that's better for you no matter what she does. You knew there were problems a long time ago and had the opportunity to leave, but you didn't.

Why don't so many of us leave when we know things aren't going to get better? Because we feel responsible at a very deep, fundamental level. Somehow we think we're super human enough to change the behavior of another or take the blame for the behavior of others. "I am so unlovable that I caused this problem."

At some point, if we are lucky, we awaken and find our way to happiness within or without our marriages. A few hours of therapy will not change a person and if she ends up having with someone now, that doesn't mean it will continue. Her problems are not over. Honestly, it would be better for her and your daughter if they were.

Again, it doesn't matter what she does. It matters what you do to let go and be happy in your own life moving forward. The best thing you can do for your daughter is to be happy and to accept your W as she is without blame, regret or anger.

Yes, you're right. I can let go of my wife. But not my daughter.

However, I do accept that the best thing I can do for my child is be a happy father.

That's exactly what I meant,if you're happy and seen to be happy by your daughter,she'll be happy too,happy for you and happy with you.....because she didn't ask to be your daughter,she just is.
And don't forget,kids always blame themselves for the conflict between parents,so it's our job as adults to crop the grass before they walk on it and avoid leaving the weeds.

If you're a happy man,well,as the old saying goes....The World Will Smile With You!

Mate, its entirely possible she wants sex, just not with you. Let it go. You are out and the 'why' for her wanting sex now is as irrelevant as the 'why' she did not want it before. Keep moving on. One life to it with passion, love and intimacy.

It's because I'm one of those idiots who thinks "if only I understood why... I could solve this". It's utter nonsense. I know this. But as I've said before "f#ck me, we're a bunch of idiots".

But yes, I have moved on. This is simply the fuming bitterness of a father, having to explain to his child, why it seems he seems to love her less, when nothing could be further from the truth...

Just my two cents - wiith kids, sometimes its not long explanations. Hugs, being there when you say you will and listening go a long way towards reaffirming that you love them and are reliable. If it helps, read my story "Conversations with my kids". Be welll.

"She admitted that she'd like to get laid and that she wants to practice being intimate." You don't know if it is true or false... I doubt it...

Lol... It would be really funny if it was not so sad... To me it seems passive aggressive... She did not want to be intimate with her husband.... now she wants practice... It is a show... If she really wanted,she would keep it to herself....

You're right. I don't know whether it's true or false. On the other hand, when we first met up, she was a promiscuous girl (I was equivalent). But my feeling is that she used it as a weapon against herself almost... she wanted to feel 'dirty'? And then she threw herself into paid and volunteer work directed towards helping women in abusive relationships (lots of useful ammunition to throw at poor horny hubby...). Again, I can form plausible hypotheses, but I've no idea really what was going on.

To defend her use of language, in british english, practice is used like 'practicing medicine', i.e. to put into practice. But yep, the irony is not lost on me...

Didn't get it at first. Checked youtube. Think I understand. As I've said, we're a bunch of idiots.

Who the hell has to "practice" being intimate? Refusers.

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Observation (not advice !!!!!)

The similarities between your missus finally seeking help - and getting it - seem awfully parallel to a refused spouse's reluctance to see a lawyer (to construct an exit plan).

Tread your own path.
PS -When I saw your post, and noted it was a 'vent', I must admit I was hoping for lots of foul language and wild accusations and bitter assessments of the spouse and suchlike !!!!! (Haven't seen that type of vent for a while. You disappoint me Brother T, Your vent was all too clear and sensible !!!!! lol.

She certainly did not want to confront her demons, but was forced [metaphorically] kicking and screaming to do so. Only to discover that it's pretty mundane fare in the grand scheme of things.

I apologise for not having gone for a creative rant. I can give a fair performance when the mood strikes me and I'm a few drinks down. I'll try better next time.

I'm impressed that you were able to make the move. I'm about your age and the thought of waiting until the kids are out of the house depresses me. Hopefully I'll be able to get up the courage to follow your example soon.

You are fortunate to be so close to your daughter. I'm really going to have to be careful...if I do go through with it I expect my wife will try to take the kids out of state.

Sadly, I've only a couple more years on my contract (we're living an expat existence, supporting two households). When that's over, it's likely I'll be lucky to see my kid more than once or twice a year. Hence the anger.


Thank you.