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Doing Things Differently

If you want to achieve a different result, you have to do things differently. And that's what I'm trying to do.

My STBX is coming for 6 days to pack his stuff and say goodbye to friends and family here (including mine). When we spoke on Sunday, he said he wanted to spend time with me, to talk in person, even to spend Christmas together "for old time's sake!" OLD TIMES??? We weren't married 20 years ago, we're married NOW. He is living in some sort of fantasy world where everything is fine between us, even though he completely sabotaged our marriage and betrayed my trust by checking out emotionally. He didn't just refuse sex, he refused to fight for me or the marriage. For years...

In any case, after he has done exactly NOTHING to work on our marriage for the last 8 months, leaving me to take all the emotional risks and make the hard decisions about whether we should stay married, why would I want to spend time with him? It was me who decided we should separate, me who served him divorce papers. At no point has he fought me on it.

I realize, thanks to the good people here, how manipulative he is and how easily I've fallen for it in the past. NO MORE. I told him we could spend one morning making decisions about any household items that are still in question, and that's it. We aren't hanging out or talking or spending %$$%$@!! Christmas together. I need boundaries. I need to say goodbye and not have to worry about his emotional issues EVER AGAIN.

On another topic:

In the meantime, Señor Spanish Sex God suddenly freaked out completely about the growing seriousness of our love affair. Up until now we've been in a bubble of hurricanes and vacations etc, and now that we are back in real life, we will have to see if this romance has potential for more, or not. After weeks of being madly in love and sharing mutual fantasies about marriage and babies etc---in other words, all the stuff you are NOT supposed to talk about in a fling---suddenly he can't decide if he needs to be free to seduce lots of women (which would be appropriate for a guy his age), or if he wants to see what could happen with me. My feeling is, if he needs to be single right now, he should be. And maybe I should too. Who knows?

SSSG is 11 years younger than me, and still reacting to his own (very ugly) divorce last year. Really, both of us are in divorce freakouts, which has been nice in a way because we understand each other. The main difference, beyond where we are in it, is that I have so much more life experience and that in reality, I have to start seriously deciding if I want to have kids before it's too late.

Within 24 hours, he went from "can we have an open relationship?" to "I can't have a relationship with you right now but I love you and want to be there for you through your divorce" to "OMG I am so stupid and young and confused! I really want to be with you but I freaked out and I expressed it the wrong way and destroyed this amazing thing we had. I am in love with you and this is the first real relationship since my divorce and I freaked out."

The ball is in my court. And honestly, I may just be too tired to play ball until this visit from the STBX is over. I totally understand the freak out, all men seem to freak out when things start getting serious (in my experience, anyway). But is this a red flag that should send me running in the other direction?? It was fun, but do I really have the emotional bandwidth to invest in a real relationship while I'm in the middle of a divorce? Especially with someone who might not be ready for a real relationship at this point in his life?

All this sudden drama helped me realize the following:

1. I can't be on anyone else's post-divorce or other rollercoaster right now. I'm on my own rollercoaster and that's all I can handle. I'm a tough cookie, but after the worst year of my life, I need to put MYSELF and MY feelings first---for once!!!

2. The end of a 5 week relationship is nothing compared to the end of a 10 year one where we were married.

3. I'm deeply heartbroken about my STBX not fighting for me at all.


I don't want to make the same mistakes, or waste emotional energy I don't have to spare. So I'm trying to do things differently. One step at a time...
nyartgal nyartgal 36-40, F 11 Responses Dec 13, 2012

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you see the red flag and it is waving at you ... please dont do what i did. im now with my second refuser.

Thanks for this:
"He didn't just refuse sex, he refused to fight for me or the marriage. For years..."
So often we forget that taking no action--IS an action. It is an action that shows no motivation to change, improve or respond to your partner.
In my marriage I am often the 'bad guy' b-c I scream, swear or generally "do things' like have affairs, etc. because I cannot stand to me inactive and not moving towards or evolving into something.
It sure sounds like you out grew your H long ago and he became a refuser b-c it was the only way he knew how to get some control. That is exactly what my passive aggresive H does and it's a matter of time before we move on.

Your analysis is spot on. I did grow out of him, and he was the first to point that out. He is textbook PA and now that I understand it better, all of his behavior has become completely transparent to me as pathetic attempts to manipulate me and have control by stirring up my feelings. I'm not falling for it anymore!!

it seems like many of our refusers have skipped out of life.. as we the refused have joined into the human race...

Hi NYartgal. If you haven't read it, I would really recommend "Eat Pray Love" by Elizabeth Gilbert. Beautifully written - in my top 5. She had a very intense affair post-divorce with a young man before her famous 'road trip'. An absolutely wonderful account of her spiritual journey.

The chances of El Cordabes being the tight dude were just as good as if you had been 'out' a day or 5 years.
If it don't work out, you just nod sagely and say "re-bound romance" and move on.
If it does work out, you thank your God.

Meanwhile, the last rites of Mr Yesterday need to be played out - if you want.

Do you so want ? If not, then don't do.

Tread your own path.

I just want to get through his visit and move and then be DONE FOREVER with his head games and bullshit. I can't wait for January and a new year on the calendar. I am so done with this one.

Good luck to you and I admire your determination and courage. I'm in the "thinking about asking for a divorce" stage right now.

Thank you! It's hard but the promise of happiness and freedom is an amazing beacon---I just keep looking towards the light to keep me moving forward. Good luck to you!

Glad your roller coaster was great and had a soft landing -- best scenario.

I am a fan of the rule of big things- "one big thing a year" - so talk of arraignment or kids in the same year as a divorce is a violation of such a rule. Rule are made to be broken of course.

best to you - kids with this man based on your clock and his angst?-- sounds iffy to be honest. Kids are of course the best pets you'll ever have - but it is long slog - the depth of that truth only known to those who have made it.

We had our first when she was 36 and second when she was 41 - worked out fine

Let's just say I have NEVER stuck to the 1 big thing a year. I haven't even stuck to one a month! For reasons I cannot explain or understand, my life is filled with an intensity few others could survive. Luckily, I can (usually) manage it.

We were just fantasizing about the kinds part---one of those crazy, in-the-moment, in the whirlwind of a love affair type things. Which is both his and its appeal: I never had those kind of primal, "plant your seed in me" type feelings about my husband, and I'm not attracted to the 21st century technological "Frankenbaby" choices of egg freezing and ***** donation, etc. If I'm ever going to have a kid, I want it to be the product of love, or at least sex, if possible. A one night stand or short affair is better than some guy I'd choose out of a book...for me, not saying what others should do, of course.

your comments about infertility are interesting and I know you said 'not what others should do' & you are not being cruel, but believe me no one who uses those technologies ever 'wanted' to pick donors or be in sturups spending thousands of dollars...it toally sucks...but why they do it:
a woman over 38 on avg. has a 20% chance of concieving with Invitro Fertilization vs 5% or> on her own
a woman over 35 using donated eggs increases chances of preganancy avg. 60% using eggs from a younger donor (25 or younger)
I hope this isn't anything you'll have to look into--but as a woman who tried to have children past 35 I spent $60K & none of it worked. I had a child at 32 and was lucky I guess. Forgive me for being the feritlity police here--it's a thankless job but feel compelled to do so LOL. thanks.

I totally understand that no one does fertility treatments for fun. And maybe later I will look back and wish I had frozen my eggs. But even if I had $60K to spend on something I might never need or use, which I definitely do not---I don't know if that's how I want to spend it. I never particularly wanted to have kids before, so it seems crazy to suddenly become obsessed with my fertility. Who knows anyway until you try?

I have a friend who conceived with a ***** donor, and she is very happy. And I'm happy for her! But I would never do that, it just holds no appeal to me whatsoever.

Oh nyartgal, I feel for you. It gets crazy all that emotion in that first relationship or two after the divorce/separation. Breathe. Go for a walk. Admire a pretty sunset. Take care of yourself. Then be cautious. Very cautious. Keep your personal investment and your energy commitment to less than his at this point. Date others. Let him come back around to you if he's going to. He's setting off red flags of 'too much too soon' all the sudden and you need to cover your heart before he becomes a ticking time bomb waiting to explode all over it.

I am speaking as one who has been there. And I will tell you, it gets better. But cover your heart, always. Someone else - no matter how loving they are - will not do it for you. When someone starts acting nutty about the way things are going you have to protect yourself. When they get out of control, no matter who they have been or what they have said in the past, they will not protect you during their spiral.

You can't stop his spiral either. Only he can, if he can. He also might have to go with it and not be able to stop it for now. So take care of you.

Thank you, this is fantastic advice. I do need to protect myself right now, I've never felt so raw and exposed. What a year! 2012 was the WORST. I'm very used to toughing it out and sucking it up, and suddenly my trusty shell is gone---and it's really scary to be this sensitive with no protection.

I know SSSG and I probably aren't built for the long term, but I'm so glad we had this affair. He is an amazing man and I felt things with him I didn't even know were possible. At least I know they exist! My feeling is, there is no rush for either of us to commit or make big decisions right now. If we an keep having fun in a more casual way and not get too involved, then great. But if it's going to be painful, I can't do it.

And as you can probably guess, there are also a fair number of women who aren't exactly paragons of rational calm when things start getting serious. Tricky stuff relationships. I do hope it works out for you, whichever path it follows.



I fully recognise the feeling of, well ... for me it's closer to bitterness, about an ex who took no action try and save the marriage, beyond begging and empty promises. It kind of underlines how important it really was for them.



Good luck on your journey.

Ha! I've never dated a woman but I certainly know plenty, and yes, we also freak out.

I guess personally I am not the "freak out" type. I spend a lot of time alone processing my feelings, and I'm very logical and pragmatic in how I voice them. Maybe I should freak out more. I'm very conflict-averse, maybe I should be more volatile and throw plates and crap like that.

I totally understand your bitterness. I'm probably angrier than I realize. Mainly I just feel hurt, and tired.

Very impressive and inspiring story. Sounds like you have all of your cylinders working healthy right now. Taking care of business, had a fun tryst, ability to see it for what it is now, yet hey maybe someday... Good luck you are well on your way!!

Thank you. I feel very calm, at least. This too shall pass! Thanks for the well wishes...

As before, breathe. That is why you called him Senor Sex God and not Senor Love God. I recommend some time to sit with your pain and untangle the ball of mixed thoughts and feelings you carry inside. Be well.

Agreed. I told SSSG there is no rush, and there isn't. Right now I need to take care of me, so whatever that requires, I'm doing it. I'm putting me and MY feelings first. What a concept!

It seems you have your head on straight. Both you and Señor have to get through your post divorce states. Drama just adds to that mess I'd think. But is nice to have a companion along the journey of life.. Wishing you the best..

Thank you. I can see clearly that we need to do exactly that, and maybe it's better for us to do that separately and check back in later. I'm kind of a fatalist, I guess. If things are meant to be, they will happen. I can't control the outcome of anything that involves more than just me---that is abundantly clear. People do what they want in the end.