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Relationship With X

John Bendix

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surfjon ...


My final agreement should be prepared and ready for signing close to that date also. For me it is nearly one year since he left.


Their is some closure in knowing that, or maybe it is that big nebulous threat dissipated that feels so good.


Glad to hear that phase is coming to an end.

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Hi Guys -

Its been a while since I posted on logged into ENA. I have subscribed to this thread and have been reading all the posts regularly. But I haven't really been checking into ENA all that frequently. I think I needed to step back from alot of the pain and suffering that I see around. I felt it kept me back a bit, and kept me thinking of the EX and some of our situations. Its been 17 months since we separated. No divorce as yet. The last conversation I had with the EX about a divorce was about 3 months ago. She didn't seem too thrilled with the conversation.


At the moment, divorce or no divorce makes me really no difference. Its not that I am into the dating scene in any big way or in any rush to get remarried. All will happen in due course and over time.


Over the past 4 - 5 months, the EX seems to have mellowed down quite considerably. I don't see any anger, brashness/rashness in any of our interactions. We are polite, gentle in our conversation. We are being most cooperative in our interactions (only based on our daughter)... She too acknowledged that she has mellowed over the months. Hey - she even took me out for lunch about 3 weeks ago. We haven't spoken about "us" at all.


I entirely subscribed to this thread as my EX was displaying the exact traits I see all around. I cant understand the sudden cooling down. Again, she nor I have spoken about getting back.. I cant quite figure it out. She is behaving like the person she was years ago. When some of my friends or family begin speaking ill of her, I actually don't like it. I think I have forgiven her for everything. I don't think we can get back. I think the feeling of having forgive somebody is very liberating.


So this is my update... Sorry for not chiming in sooner from time to time. Work has been hectic. I have been dating occasionally and that is refreshing. A lil sex now and then is helpful But at this stage, I don't want anymore. I feel very settled and comfortable living alone and at most times quite enjoy being alone. But, I think internally, I have forgiven her. I spend every weekend with my daughter and the time is precious. My 4 year old reciprocates every bit of love I show for her. Our bond has become incredible.


John / M E / Surjon / Scourn - you guys have been wonderful support. I think its now time I actually start getting in here and really support other. The 17 months emotional rollercoaster is over for sure. I cant remember the last time I felt bad, low or even pangs of guilt for the end of my marriage. I think of the EX fondly and have happy memories of our times together.... But that's it.


Thought i'd write a few lines today. I was one of the first members of this club and I would like to keep my membership




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After a period of reading these posts and thinking over and over about the similarities, I've decided to write a short fictional scenario. Please read this and I will give you my thoughts about why I did this at the end. The fictional "you" in this story is not me or one of the posters here, it will become clear as you read who the "you" might be.


You are a person who has had happiness elude you in life. You have learned as a child, that the attention given you by others is more sympathetic and dramatic, the more they feel sorry for you, the more pity they feel. You have watched others, friends and family, use this tactic to become the center of attention, to draw attention and comfort to themselves. Growing up this has become a learned process.


As an adult, this same process seems to work pretty well also. You are deeply insecure, and something within you you, needs to feel like you are more than you are. It has become such a pattern in life, the tall tales, the drama and victim role, that now you have come to believe that all those stories really are you, they really did happen to you. You no longer know that it was someone else's life that inspired those tales of grandeur. Without a conscious decision, in subtle and unnoticeable way, you have become pathological in your belief of this history and drama you have created.


You have found yourself in life where you should be happy, but you can't put a finger on it. You are unhappy and you go for that comfort and pity from your peers who are like minded in how they view this world. They are a comfort zone, they always accept your troubles as truth. You rail and rant about your life and this unhappiness needs a focus for the drama to take on more clarity and reality. Your focus is your spouse. Maybe in the beginning one of your peer group or family resented your happiness and success and helped sow those seeds of discontent. They are your biggest cheerleader in this journey of discontent.


You have lived for some time telling your tales of misery, your supporters are now very vocal in their concern for your "happiness". How can anyone live as you live, how can you survive with your daily misery caused by this horrible person who is your spouse. Your peers put more pressure on your to rectify this, you must leave this intolerable life. The drama has escalated, and you are in the full glory of the center of this self-created maelstrom.

This drama has taken on a life of it's own, it has become a defining theme for you and you are riding this through like a small life raft down the rapids. It is exhilarating in the attention given you, the sense of control, you feel empowered, you have taken your life back. That focus of your discontent, now seems less of a person, more of the object of this discontent.


You go through the drama of the separation, the divorce, your demands are given credence in the greatest detail. You are in the full glory of your role as victim, friends and mere acquaintances alike are updated on a continual basis of your drama and you have painted your spouse as a most unwilling, unkind and unfeeling person. Everyone is filled with sympathy for your plight. You are continually cared for and checked on by your "well meaning" peer group.


Finally it is finished, it is resolved. You have gotten all you stated you needed to be "happy".


You feel deflated, you are confused, where is your happiness? Your peers have bored with your life and drama. They have helped you achieve what you wanted, why are you still unhappy?


You still crave the adrenalin of the drama but the big moment has passed. Your discontent and anger is still there, boiling under the surface. To you, this anger has a face, a focus and you just know that that ex of yours is responsible for this ongoing unhappiness in your life. You continue the drama, you continue the role and in some degree there are those who will always enjoy this, they remain in you life, you continue to receive the reward of their attention. And the drama continues.


This is, sadly, the story of my ex. Change the scenarios, change the genders, could there be some common theme for many of the irrational ex's here? Given the distance and hind sight of where I am now, it is easier to see. Knowing this, knowing that he can never see or understand this, has dissipated my anger. His is the greater loss, not in that I was such a prize, but in that he will be doomed to repeat this scenario again and again.


The more important question for me, will I see my role in this drama? Will I see how I chose not to acknowledge this as it played out? Will I be more aware and proactive in my future?


Damn straight I will be .... this was a life lesson, it is not wasted on me.

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tigger ...


I kinda thought I might be doing that, their stories rang so true and I spent most of late last night rolling this over in my mind, who are these people, what is it like to be them?


It's scary to be them, I think, they are very frightened people who compensate in irrational ways. They create a wake of emotional destruction and they just don't get it.

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Excellent post. That is exactly the way my ex has played out the whole role as the victim in the destruction of our former marriage.


In my case her childhood was filled with resentment toward her father, for reasons she would not tell me. As our marriage reached the ten year mark I think she repeated that cycle and affixed the source of her pain to me. When I would ask why she felt that way about her father her only response would be "oh, you don't have any idea!"


At the end of the day, I honestly thought her actions such as building a support network against me of our mutual friends, her family, and my friend she had the affair with was just a knee jerk reaction to the residual pain she has from her childhood. I had always treated her with dignity and respect and never got a valid explanation of her reasoning for destroying the marriage.


I pray for the day that I will be set free as the source of her internal pain.


Benga, thanks for the update.

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I think M.E.'s post is significant for many reasons. the point that I find very significant, Scorn has hit on. The Support Network that everyone uses. In the case of the Walkaway Spouse, This network is an invaluble tool for them to justify their actions to their peers and themselves.


Little does the other spouse know that their perceived deficiencies are being discussed for years may seem in the beginning to be an act of camaraderie. Sharing war stories, so to speak. My spouse does this and does that and it may even be something done in comical way. But the more the spouse gets into downgrading their life and their relationship with their spouse, the more vocal the support network can get. As M.E. has described, "You do not have to put up with that", or "You do not have to live like this", or "You do not deserve that", or "You have a right to be happy", have been repeated verbatium back at the other spouse.


Michelle Weiner-Davis even speaks of the support network of well meaning friends and family who may be getting "tired" of listening to their friend or family member complaining and want to sse them stop the suffering. By bouncing their complaints off of the support network, the spouse finds the justification for planning their move to get away from their perceived source of all of their unhappiness and suffering, their intimate partner.

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I glad things have calmed down for you. I'm sorry that I did not respond to your post right away but got caught up in M.E.'s observations.


I try to remember that those who do not get really bothered by the scenarios that we went through, could be closed down themselves. Being so closed down there is no place for compassion (feeling of connection to others). The emotional wall used to protect their already vulnerable state, forbids compassion from creeping in at all. It seems from the outside that they do not let things bother them as if they had their emotions under control. But there is a huge difference in dealing with accepted emotions and denying that they (blocking them out) are even present. In the latter, the emotions will be stored inside of the wall and be turned into pain. If that accumulated pain is not effectively dealt with (accepted), it will surface again in some bout of emotional, and if allowed to get non-stop momentum, mental dysfunction.

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It has always seemed to me that dealing with any situation head-on and objectively is the best way to procede. Being objective is the part that most of us have trouble in seeing what is what.


Looking at the relationship that we have with the X, before, during and after the dissolution of the relationship from a objective point of view is difficult because of our egos. If we are objectively viewing our ourselves and see the dysfunction that our incessant thoughts and thus created emotions can create, we can gain a perspective more suited to the resolution of our inner conflicts.


By seeing our thoughts and emotions for what they are and not allow them to become our identities, we can better deal with the circumstances. We find it much easier to gain acceptance of what is. To me, this is the key to dealing with the whole world and not just intimate relationships.


I have learned first hand, in dealing with my X, that by not letting my thought-to-emotion-to-thought cycle dominate my decison making processes and reactions, the situation becomes becomes much more clear. When you break the cycle, and for most of us this takes alot of time, the unpleasant emotional reactions we feel, subside. I am learning to accept my X (more and more) for who she has become without the egoic need to judge. This may indeed be the road less traveled.

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Well, Yesterday, May 15 2008 will be as significant a day for me as was the date of December 3, 1988.


I was married December 3, 1988, we both signed the big beautiful traditional Jewish marriage certificate, it was cool day in winter when I was 20 years old and embarking on what I envisioned to be a life-long partnership with a girl, we drove into that cool day, headed for North Carolina, heads full of dreams and hopes.


Yesterday, May 15 2008, we both signed a very different sort of agreement, the one that ends our 20 year marriage, the "death certificate" of "us".


As I sat there, I felt oddly calm and sort of at peace for the first time in a while now.


A wedding day signifies the end of ones being "single" and the beginning of ones being married, a pretty big day in ones life!!


And just as importantly, the day one signs a divorce agreement and the judge signs off on it, it is the end of ones being married and the beginning of one being "single" again.


As I got on my motorcycle, I then rode along the ocean and the beach where I started surfing some 30 years ago and imagined myself at 11 years old, waiting for a wave to come and give that free ride and that feeling that I would always be young and free and alive. I could almost see the boy that was me sitting out there waiting. I sort of felt like it was a new beginning yesterday.


Yesterday, as I paddled out, I realized that although I lost my partner and my kids don't live with me full time anymore, I am still a complete person and I have a new life I've embarked on and lots of love to give and people to meet.


I want to thank all at ena here, I'm deeply thankful and touched by all the folks here that have taken the time to read my posts and to post me back with advice and similar experiences. I can truly say that without the support here, I would be so bad off right now, maybe worse. But thankfully, I made it here and now 10 months after the split, I'm divorced and feeling pretty good. The journey has been hard but I've learned alot about myself and others, both good and bad. I've made mistakes twice and still might again, but I've learned to accept myself and others and not judge too much, to listen better and be a more compassionate man.


To my friends who were here before me.......thanks for your advice and strength, I'll try to be here for the newcomers who stumble in here, that's such a bad time and I really leaned on everyone back then, I hope I'm able to give some comfort like what I received.


To my "peers", who staggered in here towards the middle and end of last Summer.......

I hope you find resolution and closure like I did, I hope too that you find the strength and control of ego and will simply "accept", I wish you peace and a future filled with love and self-respect.


To the newcomers..................

Keep posting, keep living, learn to accept what has happened and move on, be happy in your own skin and with who you are, the one you lost was just one, you are complete on your own and will eventually be happy again, you really will.


Thank you all and off we all ride on............


I'm excited for my first "single" weekend, I'm planning to take some solitary time for myself and reflect on what my future holds for both me and my kids.


It took time to adapt to married life, it'll take time to get back to being single again too



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You have a new relationship with your X. I hope that this makes dealing with her easier.


I know that you see how difficult it is for me to deal with mine and you only know bits and pieces. But this is an extreme situation that I hope no one else has to go through so much.


I hope that you continue to pass on your experience and wisdom to those who come here.


Take care.

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Surfjon, Man I envy you right now and look forward to the day I will have my own freedom from this. It is so good to hear about someone that is as far along as you and I hope you and your ex can stay as civil as possible to each other. Hug your kids for all of us and give us a thought or two when you are paddling on out.



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Hi there Surf - I read your post and reread it a several times. You have come such a long way. I remember the time you got onto this board and I see you now. Well done to you. Time is wonderful and a fantastic healer. I am sure you would agree now. I guess when you got on here, it would have been difficult for you to really understand how your emotions, feelings of longing, guilt etc would ever subside. But hey, months later, it is very very different. You are a different person today and well done to you.


As John said, you have a very different relationship with you ex now. Besides your kids, you have no ties (shared memories at best)... You are independent, and single. I know its scary at times - I know that feeling well, but its a new beginning. There are wonderful things in store for you in life and have faith that good things will come by you often enough. Be alert enough to identify them and be smart enough to make informed & objective decisons.


Cheers to you bud... For whatever its worth, really proud of what you have accomplished for yourself....



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Thanks you guys, it was a weird weekend, I heard from my attorney that the courts signed off on everything Friday morning.


She (my now "ex") called me yesterday morning crying saying how she wasn't celebrating, and how she was able to remember the good things, I slipped up and called her "baby", and started to get really sad so I had to go.


She sounded really down..........


In an odd twist, I realized Friday the girl I've been dating for 2 months is just not right for me, we ended things Friday also. Too bad, I started to fall in love with her but too many red flags and unstable behavior. She's on Adderal for ADD and I just can't deal with the erratic mood swings and meanness when she swings the wrong way.


After being so battered about for the last 10 months, I really don't need anything like this!!!


Thanks again to all!!



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Divorces are very hard and it is quite common to have nostalgic and very sad moments when the divorce finally comes thru. There are frequently memories of coming to the courthouse to get a marriage license and being really happy, then ironic to come to the courthouse again to get the divorce.


There are even lots of 'courthouse step' reconciliations where people come right down to the very end, meet up at the courthouse and decide they want to try again because of these nostalgic feelings... but those reconciliations almost never work out because once that nostalgic moment is over, they are right back with the same problems they've always had.


Anyway, congratulations! once the nostalgia passes, you will be freed to start your new life. It is also wise not to rush into another relationship because you are lonely. It sounds like the girl you were dating had her own set of issues, so best to keep looking til you find a nice person.

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I concur on the nostalgic feelings being there but they, as with all emotions, are fleeting. The problems are still there when the feelings go away, this is true and also true with any other emotional feelings that may occur. This maybe something to keep in mind along the way in your relationship with your X. To me, it is best to see this process with every event in our lives not just intimate relationships.


While waiting for a nice person to come along, I do not see anything wrong with having "relationships" of all kinds of people. They do not have to be intimate. It seems if we are looking for something specicfic, we cannot find it. Our full attention is on that person or thing we seek (ego is always seeking something) and we have no room to see the rest of the world. When you lose your car keys, it is the only thing that your attention is on and it seems as if it is taking forever to find them. Those moments that you spent looking have been considered by you a waste of time and so you were not really living in the only time that exists; the present moment.

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IF you check the newest posts on the divorce threads, you will see some similiarities that persist when one partner wants out of the marriage at all costs.


It is an on going phenomenon with many of the same underlying circumstances that the one being left behind finds themself in.


It would interesting to see how the relationship changes at each stage of the dissolution of the marriage.

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Today my X called me to state, not yelling this time, that she does not like the fact that the Attorney General's Office of Child Support is now garnishing her wages. She told me that this is setting up a nightmare for her boss.


I told her that since it was in the final decree, that she signed, that child support (the bare minimum) would be deducted from her paycheck (up to 50%), and it was out of my hands. She has switched employers twice (final decree 2 years old) without telling the Office and her employers have disregarded MANY letters from the Child Support Office. Her boss has not withheld money from her check one time. She (mailed to the State) has been late with her payment all but once, over 30 days late 5 times, and one payment was 5 months late. She still owes me one year of her share of medical payments and does not care to pay.


She told me that since our youngest (15) does not want much to do with her, why should she pay anything? And that she has alot of bills and hurting for money. I asked her to pay with some of the $50,000 I had to take out of equity (re-finance) in our house. I even postponed child support until I payed her as not to put a burden on her. She told me that she does not want to touch that money.


Then, out of the blue, she broke into the things she considered wrong in our marriage. I told her that not going to rehash what has happened. She was not interested in working on the relationship then so why bring it now except to justify her actions to herself. Maybe to try and rid herself of some guilt and remorse. I told her that she is capable of doing that without me. I told her that I was sorry that she was so unhappy and felt forced to walkaway. I told her I tried for months to renew our relationship and work on myself, her, and the problems between us but she refused to accept my attempts or even take notice. She agreed that I showed her compassion while she was going through all of this but could not accept it at the time.


She agreed that what is in my book is probably truthful but she cannot remember alot of it. Though she denies ever being depressed or emotionally unstable. The doctors that said this were just trying to make money by giving her hormonal therapy. The gynecological endocrinologist did extensive blood tests for months and found little estrogen, progesterone, DHEA, and testaterone, in her system. Her regular gyno told her this a year earlier but she refused to even fill the prescriptions.


And she said that there was no major problems in our relationship but just alot of little things. The same ones that most of us in the "Club" have been complained about.


I told her that I still loved the woman that I married, think of her everyday, and will always care for her but she dissolved our marrige for self absorbed, and to me, exaggerated and contrived (after she felt that she had to get out), reasons. So things are as they are now.


I explained to her how she could renew her relationship with her sons but she she has to accept where she is now and then move towards change. Change in her. Her way is not working so she continues to blame it on me. She still does not get it.


The phrase, "I think thou dost protest too much", keeps running through my head.

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Hey Buddy,

Man the club just keeps growing around here. Not to many just like us but they will find their way. I hope you ex does try and rebuild her relationship with her boys over time. Wouldn't that be at least a somewhat good ending to the story!


My stbx came unglued at me yesterday because the insurance on her car expired because I didn't pay it. We discussed this 2 months ago and she said "fine I will get my own coverage" I reminded her twice when it would expire and yet I am the bad guy. She had the balls to tell me "you know we are still married" I wrote her a letter asking that she never tell me that again as our marriage ended months ago the day she fell in love with another man.

It looks like her life isn't going as happy without me as she had thought it would. I truly hope she finds happiness some day. My son deserves a happy mom that is content with herself.


John have you ever thought of what you would say if she wanted to work things out with you. Just asking because it has crossed my mind a few times.



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My ex wife is still in the anger stage of the whole blame game. This is why I ended contact with her via a restrainting order.


The whole hormonal issue, you touched on, really hits home with me. My ex had to have a hysterectomy due to cancer related issues and the doctor perscribed her hermonal therapy. I know she stopped taking them (although she chose to hide it from me) and that is when our relationship started to desolve.


I am more aware now as to why our marriage ended than I was a couple of years ago. It was just gut wrenching to know that I chose to stay right by her side through good times and bad times, just as I vowed to, and accept that I would never be a father. I just wanted to be a good husband and make it all OK for her and just be content with that, but, I never thought I would become the cause of the pain she carries inside of herself.


Instead, she chose to seek a new happiness with another man (that was my friend) to fill that void in her life.

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And I did even though she said she wanted to be as far from me as possible for I was the cause of her misery. At times I soul searched and questioned whether or not I was, in fact, that.


Not the cause (well in your X's mind) but the person she could irrationally pin the blame on.


As for filling the void, that void is self created by the ego. An ego that feels it is lacking in some way. When it obtains what it feels it has been missing, it creates another void and the dysfunctional cycle continues as I am sure her's has.




I really have no longer any need to project into many possible futures. Things have worked out. Everything is the way it is.

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I wonder if one was a fly on the wall ..... I wonder if she feels better following one of her outbursts? Not being around her right now, that would only be a guess, but I'd lay a small pile of cash down, saying she does. These rants serve her in some way. Yes, they alleviate her guilt and sooth her ego, but I wonder if in her state of mind, that an outburst may help bring her chemistry in balance for a short period of time.


I lived with someone, my ex, who needed that release. it is very destructive, and the tough part is that in time the need to release becomes greater, the outbursts more frequent. His were angry just stopped at the border of violent, but there was always that implied threat.


What drives her may be different but she is exhibiting a very similar pattern. They seem to be coming in fairly regular intervals, do you think any quicker?


Like a boat, these outbursts, leave a wake. I'm sorry that you are experiencing this.

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