Moving Towards Me And Away From We.

So, now I understand what you all have been saying about me continuing to live as WE instead of ME. I finally get it.  And I had asked some of you to cut me some slack as I move through the emotional extreme highs and lows that come with a divorce.

See, I am grieving.  I am grieving the loss of a marriage.  The loss of a family unit.  The loss of what WE are/used to be/could have been.  All of those emotions are like living on a roller coaster, day in and out.  It is INCREDIBLY hard to mentally, emotionally and spiritually detach from what you've known to be 'normal' or 'typical' for over 10 years with your spouse, but especially so when you have kids.

I finally see what you all have meant when you said that I was still living with the WE instead of ME or I.  But it took yesterday's events, at the end of the day, to finally 'hear' or 'see' what you all have been saying.

So, my STBX and I had our first divorce mediation session yesterday.  I was so scared, afraid that he would try to take my kids away from me, that he was going to push for sole custody, etc. that I had worked myself into an over anxious state and extreme paranoia.  I was an emotional mess the other day.  Thank you to those who helped me grieve and were willing to understand my pain and yet offer nothing but words of support and advice.  THANK YOU.  

In the days prior to our meeting, I had worked so hard on spreadsheets showing our assets, debts, nets, and budgets.  I did this all on my own.  Did my STBX do anything like that?  NO.  He didn't even know what documents he was supposed to provide, even though it had been spelled out to him in black and white.

Our session was trying at best.  I swear he spent the majority of the time LEARNING about our finances vs. coming up with a settlement that would END the marriage.  What a waste of time and money.  He had no clue how much things cost, nor did he even know where his OWN money was going from his OWN paychecks!!!  He didn't know how much was in his stock or 401k, nor did he even know he HAD to provide that information, let alone where to find it.  GOOD GOD.  Seriously?  

So, when I've said to friends that I married a child, THAT is what I mean people.  I married a 40 year old child who's not paid a single bill on his own in 9+ years, nor shown any interest in our marital or his own individual finances for 9+ years.  But, he is MORE than happy to throw me under the bus and proclaim "but she kept everything from me.  i asked and asked and asked, and she refused!!"  Which is what he's told me, and probably told our mediator, as well as his parents and anyone else that would listen to his BS victim statements.  I made sure to tell her this, and she quickly saw the light.  THANK GOD.  


So despite sitting there in silence FOREVER, waiting on him to come up with what he wanted (which was the house, as i expected and had told both my attorney and mediator about...) I finally 'heard' my ancient and tired and cranky attorney (probably not the best choice of attorneys in hindsight, ugh) tell me that I needed to be thinking about where I want to live, not what mattered to HIM or even the kids.  She told me this our first visit, but I was still unable to 'hear' what she was saying.  I wasn't ready to accept that yet.  But yesterday and today, I did.  I left our session with a sense of relief, FINALLY realizing that this was my chance to recreate LIFE for ME.  Not him, not our parents, friends or colleagues.  BUT FOR ME.  


We ended up coming up with a temporary solution, in order to pare down the conflict that is ensuing.  

I am going to find an apartment for a short term lease, less that six months, that we will rotate in and out of while the divorce is in process.  I can find this apartment anywhere I like, it is completely up to me.  STBX will pay the rent and we will split the bills, or whatever that means.  

The kids will stay where they are, in the current marital home, and nothing will change for them except for the fact that we both will not be here together anymore, unless we agree to it.

STBX will have the kids Wed/Thur and I will have them Mon/Tues.  We will then alternate weekends, with our time ending at 3PM each Sunday.   

That is all I have to report.  

Thanks for ALL of your support, even if if some of your words were met by me with tears.  

txmusicgal txmusicgal
36-40, F
8 Responses Jan 19, 2013

TXgirl.. I am not sure what Dave is trying to say because he says he has also been in a unhappy marriage and he disagrees with my statement that you only have one life to live so enjoy it.. maybe he gets 2 or 9 (maybe he's a cat) but most of us only get one and there is no reason to be unhappy. I think I will stop reading his post as they are not normal or positive thinking. Good luck to you.

yeah, he's just trying to make an argument for argument's sake. i've thrown everything at him, and yet he is still judging. he doesn't deserve anyone else's time and attention. that's what he wants.

moving on.... ;)

I ask this not to defend your ex but to sanity check my own problem.

When you say he says he asked about the finances - did he?

I actually went and moved all the accounts to my name only once (after the cars got repo'ed)....for which I was promised that if I did not switch them back there would be a divorce in my future. Now this was not recently...or I might have accepted the challenge. We were only about 7 years into the marriage and we had very small children and I was in a position far from here. I fortunately had enough in my 401K account to pay off the one truck and get it back. We have since been very careful to not have car payments - usually by me forking out more of my retirement...or in one case my inheritance.

Either way I have learned not to ask....much. I had pretty good credit when we married - it's totally FUBAR now. Asking begets evil, ignoring with a watchful eye produces a strained peace.

Not that I expect you would do this. More to the order of - if H came home at some point in the past - prior to your finding your way here and you had been paying all the bills but earning less than half of the income, but you found yourself in this position (I.E you covered it all up until it became an emergency and then you got mad because you were caught.)....would you have viewed my moving all accounts to my name only as she did?

You see it would be my expectation that I bring home my check....or it auto-deposits in the tech world we live in now. And then at some point in the week we discuss what gets paid and what there is left and plan something within that. Together.....not, I have my check deposited, and then the other pays what she wants to -ignores what she wants to, and only when we are on the verge of total money meltdown does any inclination to discuss occur on her part. Is that view that antique?

Back in the day Wolfy, when my missus expenditure got out of control (for reasons I'll not elaborate on here) I came up with this solution.

I told her she could spend whatever the **** she liked, as I would liquidate assets for this to happen, on one condition. That being, if she wanted say $10,000, then we would liquidate $20,000 of the joint assets, she would take $10,000 and so would I. She could do whatever she ******* liked with her $10,000 with no complaint from me, and I could do whatever I liked with my $10,000 and would brook no interferance from her.
I undertook that I was prepared to follow this path through the cash we had, the share portfolio, all the way to when we got down to the house. I suggested that if it got down to the house, then we may as well divorce and split that after cashing out.
Away we went.
As I recall, we ran through about $80,000 doing this, then she got her act together and started to spend within her means. By then, we still had $X in joint assets, she had nothing in her name, and I had $40,000 in my name alone.
It worked.
Mind you, about 2 years later, we split anyway, but I was $40 grand to the good in the eventual split up.

wolfy -

my stbx has NEVER asked about finances, since the first year we were married. i've never tried to keep anything from him ever. in fact, all of our checking accounts are linked, and he had my password, so he could see everything i could. however, he never showed any interest, until recently, when he started trying to assert himself.

you need to try to find out more for yourself as far as finances go, and start trying to protect yourself. the more you can find out now, the better off you'll be. you don't have to question him directly, but try to go behind his back. sounds sneaky i know, but try to do it without him knowing.

if you have questions, let me know.

My current plan is hinging on the fact that when my gates are open we will simultaneously be at the point where the least real property to be divided will exist. (no fault state -even distribution -half of not much is going to be the starting point) In the meantime I have learned the behavior that signals she is scrambling....and that signals me to check those back channels...

yeah, watch those signs for sure. but our state is also community property and supposed to be a 50/50 split. but 50/50 doesn't also mean "fair and equitable". you really need to keep that in mind. never settle for a straight 50/50 split. you want what you need to help you start life over. if you can find financial info now, it will save money in the long run if you have to do a formal discovery process in court or through attorneys.

(and sorry for thinking you were a woman!! :) oops.)

All I need are my tools and one vehicle....she can have the rest. (which at that point will not even include a house).

I can re-build my life from there quite successfully - (I sell furniture I have built for prices that are nearly equal to my weekly salary, and these transactions are off the normal record). There is little to no cost (other than time) for materials as the wood is gathered from trees I either fell or that are felled by others/storms etc. My mill was an investment in myself for the very purpose of making a side business that could re-coup my life. With her health being what it is, it was already likely that I would have to make enough income without her supplementing it - as I will admit she has done. We contributed - with me earning roughly 70% of our total adjusted gross to where we are. My side biz has the potential to more than equalize the other 20%.

2 More Responses

HUGS AND MORE HUGS to you.. you are on your new path. I to have just started my "new path" and it truly does have many ups and downs. But stay strong and lean on friends we will get through it. We have to for "me" and for our children but most of all not for him or the old "we". as for @daveshipley "divorce is never the right solution but merely an escape" you are so WRONG.. I can not even start on just how WRONG you are. but that is another post totally.. until you WALK in others shoes DO NOT judge them do not tell them they are escaping...AND do not tell them how their kids will feel. I am a child of divorce at a young age to a father that I now at 40+ can say was not a good man. My mother divorced him and remarried a wonderful man that I call my father. I was raised in a very nice, clean, healthy loving home with two loving parents. Which I did NOT have before the divorce from my father. So unless you have walked the walk DON'T talk the talk.
If you need a shoulder or a friend email me and we WILL get through this stronger and wiser and THAT is a FACT..

thank you OMW!!

You are welcome.. let me know if I can help you at all...

i will. thanks again. :)

Texas gal.....divorce is never the right solution but merely an escape... one that you may rightfully deserve, but does not make it right and the kids will always carry with them as their personal experience that their parents divorced when they were small.. Granted your husband has serious issues with laziness and withholding of love, but marriage is what it is - it's friggin' hard with its ups and downs and occasional deep valleys. I don't think you're receptive currently at seeking the truth, but I hope at some point you choose to seek Him above for truth and wisdom.

How can you be sure that the Lord didn't speaketh directly to Sister Tex, and you weren't copied in on the memo dave ?????

NEVER the right solution? Even in the case of abuse? Even in the case of one spouse declaring themselves a homosexual? Even in the case of serial infidelity? Never?

Thanks bazzar, change and hope for your comments.
Yes in ALL cases, divorce is not the right solution, even in the examples you give. Everyone knows how rampant sin is and no one's marriage has not been seriously affected by the sin of our spouse at one time or another and we ourselves have acted just as sinful. So what's the solution? WE NEED to get ourselves right before God. Our SPOUSES NEED to get right before God. As we can't forcefully change our spouses, we need to pray for them and be a good example ourselves. It may be necessary to separate from our spouses especially in cases where personal safety is compromised. Bottom line is that all of us need to stop sinning and get right before God as only those who love God with all of their hearts can also love their spouses properly. God bless you guys :)

Petrushka - the "truth" is not exclusive to me by any means but indeed to be had by anyone wanting to sincerely know God. I encourage you to sincerely seek God and if you do, you will certainly find Him. God bless you sir.

dave - if you haven't lived in in it, how can you speak against it? if you only look at this from a biblical perspective, then you've not done your biblical homework.



This is fact.

Go read up on it.

And I am not divorcing lightly. And again, if you haven't been in it, don't comment on it. Because you don't know what you speak of. You are only quoting what you think is right based on your biblical skewed sense of right/wrong.


Tex, you GO girl! I agree with you, and with Petrushka, 1000%. And with EIH, Change and Bazzar. BIUT NOT with Dave. Sorry to say this Dave but you are your own worst enemy - and you are not helping advance Christianity by our comments either.

Amen TMG... I'll let him walk in my shoes anyday...

As most of the comments following mine were not constructive and merely attacks, I'll forego adding to the conversation but will only add these verses and a link that is left at your option to learn
These verses refer to those that do not seek after God's truth and the Gospel of His Son:

Romans 1:28 Furthermore, since they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, he gave them over to a depraved mind, to do what ought not to be done. 29 They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, 30 slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; 31 they are senseless, faithless, heartless, ruthless. 32 Although they know God’s righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them.

Here's a message that some of you will have wished you paid attention to before it was too late and thought was only foolishness:

God bless you guys - I hope to see all of you in Heaven one day.

Dave.. let's take your words..."I'll forego adding to the conversation" why didn't you stop there.... No instead you added more that has NOTHING to do with what she is going through... If you think "we" I will add myself to this are being so sinful then Please I beggg you to walk in my shoes a few days. I am a very God loving female who has talked to God about what is happening in my life and I believe God has lead me out of the marriage I had/have.. But if you think that I am sinning then please let me ask you if God put you on this earth to tell me I am doing wrong. Because the God I know says Luke 6:37
"Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven.
I think you are judging us and If you read the bible you are quoting then you to should know this.
SO to TMG I'm sorry for using your post to tell Mr. Dave how I feel but I hope he now gets the point. If not I will be glad to send him a Bible. Maybe his is old.
Good luck TMG. and God does love you..

Dave, if in "all cases divorce is not the right answer," then why do most religions allow divorce? The Catholics, of course, believe that divorce is almost never the right answer, and so for them, it is a sin. If you are a Catholic, I get that this is your point of view. But apart from them, most religions permit it. Many of them have religious ceremonies for divorce. The Bible (if you have read the book) does not have anything bad to say about divorce. Can you point me to some verse that says "thou shalt not divorce your spouse, ever"?

Where are you getting your certainty that this is what God wants?

Amen icancount.... Please show me also Mr. Dave.....

With every post someone takes this off on a new tangent but I'm ok with that...but perhaps not txmusicgal...

So now to answer you about judging: Actually we are to judge but only after we judge ourselves first. If you're interested in learning what the Bible actually says about judging then look at this article

To potato - Does the Bible really have nothing bad to say about divorce???
Then how do you reconcile these verses?

1 Cor. 7:10 To the married I give this command (not I, but the Lord): A wife must not separate from her husband. 11 But if she does, she must remain unmarried or else be reconciled to her husband. And a husband must not divorce his wife.

Romans 7:2 law a married woman is bound to her husband as long as he is alive, but if her husband dies, she is released from the law of marriage. 3 So then, if she marries another man while her husband is still alive, she is called an adulteress. But if her husband dies, she is released from that law and is not an adulteress, even though she marries another man.

Matthew 19:3 Some Pharisees came to him to test him. They asked, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any and every reason?”
4 “Haven’t you read,” he replied, “that at the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female,’a 5 and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh’b? 6 So they are no longer two, but one. Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate.”
7 “Why then,” they asked, “did Moses command that a man give his wife a certificate of divorce and send her away?”
8 Jesus replied, “Moses permitted you to divorce your wives because your hearts were hard. But it was not this way from the beginning. 9 I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for marital unfaithfulness, and marries another woman commits adultery.”

Luke 19:18 Anyone who divorces his wife and marries another woman commits adultery, and the man who marries a divorced woman commits adultery.

Instructions for Christian Households

21 Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.

22 Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. 24 Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.
Ephesians 5 (New International Version)

25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her 26 to make her holy, cleansing[b] her by the washing with water through the word, 27 and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. 28 In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29 After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the church— 30 for we are members of his body. 31 “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.”[c] 32 This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church. 33 However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.

Elements of a Covenant Relationship

Covenants are the fruit of a loving, faithful relationship. The vows we exchange at our wedding reflect a relationship already bound by steadfast love and faithfulness. The degree in which these words have meaning comes in direct proportion to the unconditional love that dwells within our heart for the one to whom we are repeating them.

Covenant partners take responsibility for their actions. As partners in a covenant marriage relationship, we are responsible for our actions. An example would be to remain “sexually pure” in our thoughts and actions towards our spouse.

Covenants are based on freedom of choice. Covenant marriages are not built on coercion, deceit, and manipulation. Wives, submission is freely given and grows from respect, not fear and manipulation. In like manner, husband, choose daily to love your wife “as Christ loved the church.” You must freely choose to love and honor her in spite of the fact that you may not “feel” like loving and honoring her.

Covenants are rooted in actions based on choices, not feelings. Our feelings are forever fluctuating. Therefore to build a covenant marriage on feelings is to build it on shifting sand, which cannot support the foundation of marriage.

Covenant partners nurture their relation-ship. Our marriage will grow as we build up one another in love. This takes place when we value our spouse more than ourselves. As we experience the unconditional love of Jesus Christ, we are able to love our spouse as He loves us. Covenant partners administer unconditional love, forgiveness, and reconciliation while providing comfort and hope to their partner.

Covenants are based on commitments freely offered A covenant is built on selfless love, freely given and freely received. As strange as it may sound, a covenant marriage is one in which the “tie that binds” the couple together is a commitment freely offered with no strings attached. Paul said it well: “Love never fails” (1 Corinthians 13:8).

The Sexless Marriage Trap

We often find that when we write about one side of the issue of low sexual desire in marriage, as Brad did in his post, The Sexless Marriage Catch 22, those who find themselves on the other side comment and ask questions. In order to understand low sexual desire it is important to always remember that both husbands and wives can and do suffer from this. It is definitely not exclusively a woman or wife issue. Just as both women and men are vastly different in many ways, so can the reasons be for low sexual desire in marriage. Brad talked about wives who are not having sex, today I want to address some hang-ups when it is the husband who is not having sexual intimacy in their marriage. Lack of sex in marriage is a real issue for the wives married to these men.

Sexual Desperation

Fact: Married couples are not designed to go without sex for any long duration of time. God’s word is actually quite clear on this:

“Do not deprive each other of sexual relations, unless you both agree to refrain from sexual intimacy for a limited time so you can give yourselves more completely to prayer. Afterward, you should come together again so that Satan won’t be able to tempt you because of your lack of self-control.” (1 Corinthians 7:5 NLT)

The reason for Paul’s abundant clarity in this message is probably because sexless marriages were an issue even back when he with writing. Paul says it as clear as possible; “If you stop having sex, make it only for a short period of time.”

Dave - please read this last part, clearly quoted in the Bible:

“Do not deprive each other of sexual relations, unless you both agree to refrain from sexual intimacy for a limited time so you can give yourselves more completely to prayer. Afterward, you should come together again so that Satan won’t be able to tempt you because of your lack of self-control.” (1 Corinthians 7:5 NLT)

"Instructions for Christian Households"
"Elements of a Covenant Relationship"
"The Sexless Marriage Trap"
"Sexual Desperation"
Miss txmusicgal - These are all excellent posts that you should actually be making stories so that they are not just buried here. There's not a single word here that I would disagree with. And yes, I'm familiar with the verse that speaks to not depriving each other. I have many female friends whose husbands are sinning with regards to this and for myself, my wife withheld sex as well.

Your latest posts have definitely caught me off where are you now mentally going forward with your circumstances?

Thanks for posting these terrific messages and truth. If every married person were to re-read this every morning, I think we'd be much further ahead in society in almost every way.

dave, i hope you see that the verses you are using are insignificant to what we all are on this board for. we have fought against a refuser for years, if not decades, and are tired of living without the intimacy that we deserve and that God intended for us to have.

The verses you are quoting are simply "shaming" verses in my opinion. You are chastising those for choosing divorce (including me) because of what the bible says about commitment and fidelity. You are essentially telling people to just "pray" that God intervenes in their marriage and that God will save them. But to be honest with you, that is just not fair to anyone, no matter what the Bible says. My last post, citing (1 Corinthians 7:5 NLT) says clearly that no man or woman is to deprive one another of sexual relations. And that is what this board is about.

You are entitled to your opinions, but you are not welcome to chastise me nor anyone else on this board for choosing divorce or separation. If God truly intended for us to live in unhappy and dysfunctional SM's for the rest of our lives, why did he create man and woman? Or man and man or woman and woman for that matter?

You need to understand how insensitive your posts are when you are attacking people, again, including myself, for choosing to leave a very unhealthy marriage for something that allows them to be free, live the life they choose and to be happy. THAT is what God wants for ALL of us. Not to be stuck in a SM for the rest of our lives, beating our heads against a wall, trying to understand why one's spouse doesn't give them the love and respect they deserve.

As for me, my husband filed for divorce without telling me. He took my seeking legal advice as a threat and went ahead and filed without letting me know.

He is a staunch Christian, raised in the Church of Christ. He told me right after we got married that he felt like sex was "taboo" and that doing intimate/i.e. sexual things with me made him feel "bad". THAT is going against the covenant of marriage. HE chose to break it a long time ago, not me. I have been both the man and the woman in this relationship. Both the father and the mother. The breadwinner and caretaker. I have stupidly enabled him to do nothing out of what I thought was a true commitment to marriage. I supported him financially and emotionally, never strayed, never cheated, gave him two beautiful children. But I was basically living my life alone for the last 9+ years. With no intimacy on any level. He is afraid of intimacy, afraid of emotional and physical bonding, and is passive aggressive and avoidant.

We had our first mediation session Jan. 17th, and came to temporary orders assigning days to each parent while we go through the divorce. Living together during this process was too much to take and I couldn't handle it. Our kids are staying in the house, and we are rotating in and out on our assigned days and weekends until we reach a final settlement. We go back to mediation on Feb. 13th. I hate to do this to my kids, but I cannot live like this anymore. We will remain committed to them, and co-parent the best way we know how. But, we will NOT get back together, ever. And, that is for the best, for both of us. We were never a good match, and staying together this long has been nothing short of a miracle.

Please adjust your attitude when posting on this board. Do not chastise. Do not push some religious organization for your own self-interest. Do not judge what you have not been through. Read, reply, but do not do it out of spite or hate. If you cannot do that, then you do not belong on this board. Many of us have already flagged you for spam and inappropriate comments. I urge you to stop now.

Txmusic... Thank you... Amen.. x100... I am proud of you.. you will make it. You only have one life and you deserve to be HAPPY.. enjoy it.. read my post from tonight on my move..

Thanks txmusicgal for your fulsome post. I'll need some time to think about how to respond. I think your last paragraph was more of an emotional response based on my disgreement with you than anything I legitimately said. But that's ok - I'm really not that offended as I don't shy away from controversy.

I really hope you don't think I'm sharing my views with you out of self-interest because if I really didn't care about you, I wouldn't have given you the time of day. I'm only saying all of this because I want to steer you in the right direction and want the best for you and say this as a warning to you. Later on when you're standing before God, pointing fingers at your ex-husband won't cut it. You also need to be careful of worldly advice such as what onmyway113 gives "You only have one life and you deserve to be Happy".

I'll respond to you again soon. Enjoy your Monday.

Dave -

This is my last and final response to you sir. From here on out, I will either block you or completely ignore your posts.

"Later on when you're standing before God, pointing fingers at your ex-husband won't cut it. You also need to be careful of worldly advice such as what onmyway113 gives "You only have one life and you deserve to be Happy". "

This is the judgment that you are choosing to dole out. THIS is the attitude you need to stop.


And, most importantly:


I dont know what Dave has been drinking but his sense of reality is all fouled up.

Txmusicgal - I wish you of luck with everything.

21 More Responses

To help your kids adapt easily to their new home, include them in decision making about how their room/s are furnished. If you can afford it, buy them new (second hand is fine) furniture and new sheets etc. Let them choose small things to enhance their room/s- such as bedside lights or wall devorations. By letting them take ownership of these details, you are helping them feel as if the new home is something they have some say in. . . .

At home, ask them to help you decide which clothes and toys will be at your house and which will stay with Daddy. Make the experience light hearted and FUN for them. This will be a HUGE challenge for you as your heart will be breaking - but it is worth it if it helps the kids to adapt more easily.

Consider starting a new family tradition with them - such as "we play board games on the first night they stay with me each week". Or "we call into their favourite icecream shop for a cone on the way home to Daddy". Such traditions are VERY reassuring for kids and help to make the transition from one house to another easier.

Love these suggestions! Thank you!

Congratulations on your plan! It sounds similar to mine, and I have to say (have already said) that it is great. You can get used to the new life. Your kids can get used to their new life. You get two days a week "off" to go out and get laid! You can go to the gym, see movies, hang out with old friends, get out of town for a weekend retreat You can stop seeing your stbx on a daily basis. Either he steps up and takes his responsibilities to the kids seriously, in which case he becomes slightly less useless, or he decides he wants to be a deadbeat, in which case he is out of your life even further.

Your job here is to get started rebuilding yourself in a healthier place, to make sure your kids are disrupted as little as possible, and to stay calm and take the long view. Your divorce will go better if you are the calmer, bigger person.

This isn't what you wanted out of life or your marriage, but if you can make things right by the kids and maintain your dignity, it will all be good.

Thank you!! It's a weird plan, but one I hope will cause as little disruption and psychological trauma as possible for the kids. It is a transition for sure, but necessary to make a true separation happen. I couldn't even think about moving on until we weren't living in the same space all the time though this.

The kids will adapt, but they really wanted to know where daddy was this weekend, why he wasnt here, etc. As simple as it seems to be able to tell them that there are now 'mommy' and 'daddy' days, our oldest (almost 5) is VERY inquisitive and smart. Darn. ;) He knows more than we think he does. What do you recommend here? I hate lying to him. :(

Personally, I don't believe in lying to the kids. They will figure you out. And it sounds like soon enough you will be divorced, and they will certainly know then. On the other hand, I'm ok glossing over things, and a kids "why" is not the same as that of an adult.

Your kids probably picked up the tension from before, and the enhanced tension of your past few months. This change of schedule probably enhanced that, and they are worried. I think you should do a bit of research and reading on broaching the subject to the kids, decide of you are doing this conversation alone or with dad (better of you are both "on message", and deliver some version of "mommy and daddy both love you. We will always be your parents and always be here for you. Any time you are worried or upset, come talk with us, and we will try to make it better. One or the other of us will always be here, and as we work out the schedule, we will make sure you always know if daddy is taking care of you or mommy is taking care of you. ". I would try to keep the focus on them, and what they are doing, and what they are worried about. At least with my kids, they like to know well in advance what the plans are for the next weekend, and who is going to be there for which bedtimes. they ask about where I was, but more as a matter of curiosity, I think.

thanks tater. i'll do some further research on the issue.

First big hurdle - "losing the kids" us now put to bed.

Count your wins as they occur.

Tread your own path.

Yeah, really freaked out over that one. I think I gave him more power than he deserved. ;)

Breathe and keep moving. You have learned some very valuable lessons about yourself in the process and I reckon recalling these lessons will keep you grounded as you continue through the gauntlet. Hopefully now that you have a workable temporary arrangement with a view towards something more permanent later, you can begin to let go of whatever emotional energy about your stbx and concentrate on your new horizons. Be well.

Thank you Lao. Really. I know you meant no harm with earlier comments at all. I just wasn't in a place to truly understand them or hear them properly. What I am finally realizing is that I have to be stronger than I think I am, simply because I am. Make sense? This relationship has not put out my fire, just my own respect for self and my own needs. I have beaten myself up for years and questioned all the WHYS of my marriage (and life to be honest) only to realize that I have been seriously undervaluing my own worth, sanity, and purpose on this earth. Living in a SM has been perhaps the most emotionally draining experience of my life. But somehow, I pressed on, desiring children, a successful career, a stable financial life and a fun life at that. However, I was always doing these things ALONE. I never really had a partner that cared enough about me or my needs for so long, that I began to devalue ME. Make sense? So, although I wanted out, I wanted to stay. Even though I knew I was being used and taken advantage of, I stayed. And, even though I knew my life nd marital relationship deserved more, I HOPED it would change, tried my damnedest to make it change, etc. So, letting go of my marriage, when I knew it was the absolute right thing to do, even when some were telling me to fight for it, has been the greatest challenge of all. I do not give up or give in easily, and I certainly don't go down without a fight. Clearly, a character flaw of mine ;).

I think I finally see that living in his toxic, dysfunctional SM has never been healthy, and would never be if we were to stay together. And that honestly, I was abandoned a long, long time ago. So, I guess my STBX actually did me a favor by filing first, because it gives me a way out, even if I also filed two days after him.

The most important takeaway to this, as i finally see it, is this:

I can get out.

Tx, those of us who walked the gauntlet do understand. Hence knowing that you can move past preconceived limitations cultivated over time in the SM and participation in the dysfunction. Be well Tx, keep on moving - nearly there.

thank you lao. :)

tx you will be fine and your kids will be fine. Unlike Dave, I have been in your shoes and know exactly what you are going thru.

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