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3 weeks after the divorce...


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I'll just be short and to the point with this one... Three weeks ago, my wife divorced me... we were together for almost 8 years (married for 7), and we had 1 daughter together, plus her son from a previous marriage.

 

Before our final hearing, we were both sitting on the benches outside of the courtroom crying harder than we've ever cried before (I can't really speak for her but I know that I was, and I've never seen her face so flush and full of tears either).

 

While we were sitting there, she told me that she still loved me...

 

During the hearing when they were reading off the decree and asking us the usual yes or no questions before everything was finalized, we were so upset that we were both choking on our words and tears during our replies.

 

Two days after the divorce is final she tells me in a phone conversation that it wasn't easy for her and that she had to walk into the courtroom and do something that she didn't even want to do.

 

Everyday since the divorce, my emotions come out... I can't get over it right now... I cry at work, I cry at home... When I pick up my daughter the only time that I see her smile is when my wife (ex) is sitting behind her computer texting or chatting with someone, other than that her face is emotionless. It's only been 3 weeks, and she makes it look so easy, like the last 8 years meant nothing...

 

On top of that, what she said to me in court and afterwards during our phone call made me think that she wanted the possibility of dating down the road. I'm not sure what to make of everything, I just hurt...

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she makes it look so easy, like the last 8 years meant nothing...

 

Don't compare your insides to anyone else's outsides.

 

Its only been three weeks. Take this time to work on you. Go to counseling, exercise, be with your children. Most of all, be with yourself even if it's sad, uncertain and feels empty right now. From this, a new you will begin to emerge.

 

You can do this,

Raoul

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Symphony,

 

I suppose that I got cynical as I went through this. I stopped listening to what she said and ony watched what she did. That told me all I needed to know.

 

People babble. People lie, to themselves and everyone else. And I'm no psychologist. So I pay attention to what they do. I can see behavior. I can hear words but confuse their intent and even meaning. So for me, behavior is all.

 

Divorce is traumatic. Even if you want it, its a violent end to a long-term thing, thought to be forever when it was undertaken. And so its emotional when it ends.

 

Best if you don't ascribe or interprret anything you heard. Take this time to work on you, emotionally, sprirtually, physically, professionally - in every way. Take the time you were investing in her (and the divorce) and invest it in you. Any hope you have of 'down the road' rests with you being the best person you can be for yourself.

 

You can do this,

Raoul

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Thanks so much for the words Raoul.

 

I'm, so far, doing a good job, although sometimes my emotions get the best of me. I went over the other day to discuss my will, life insurance, my upcoming deployment and our real estate that we owned (house). I tried to bite back the tears, but a few of them came out. Sometimes, I wish that I could just be angry, tell her to enjoy her new life, be pissed about everything and move on... God, it's so much easier when you're angry.

 

I'm holding on, and I shouldn't be... EVERYONE is telling me that it's the stupidest thing to do right now... I know this. Last night was the icing on the cake though... I went to drop my daughter off after spending the evening with her... I couldn't pull in the driveway to let me daughter out because there was another vehicle in it... As soon as I got my daughter out of the car she said "Daddy, that's Tom's car..."

 

Tom is her new boyfriend... I guess...

 

Anyways, it quickly made me realize that she's moved on, and so now, it's time for me to as well...

 

Oh well I suppose, it's sad... I thought that forever meant forever, I wanted to believe the words that came out of her mouth when we sat accross from eachother on those court benches... I wanted to believe her when she told me that she'd still try to work on things even if the divorce came along... Maybe she lied to herself because of how emotional the moment is... I don't know. I just know that she's moved on and that I'm on that path too.

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Symphony,

 

You've seen it through. Now, come as close to cutting her off as you can. With children in the picture you obviously can't push that but so far. But keep the list of things you will deal with her on to the shortest list you can and be clinical in your dealings with her.

 

You need do no more than the letter of the law under the divorce. So do that and no more.

 

For your daughter, doing your best for her means assuring that you coordinate with your ex. But here too, you can keep it brief. I mostly use short texts to my ex to make sure that our 3 kids are getting what they need from the both of us.

 

Other than kids and some things about the divorce, I have no contact with my ex. What she thinks of me is none of my business. And what I do is not her concern.

 

Take the time you were investing in her and the divorce and spend that on you. Slowly and imperceptibly at first, you'll regain your strength and find yourself. That builds and gathers momentum as you vector away from her. A strong, vibrant, healthy man is a better father, a better guy for himself and even a catch for the right partner down the road.

 

Go do something you've always wanted to do (sky dive, beach trip, etc.), just for the Hell of it. Then do another. You're still in there, you just need to clear the pipes and you'll start to feel it.

 

It takes time, effort and persistence. I am in no way 'there'. But I am stronger than I was and will be stronger and better tomorrow.

 

Peace & strength,

Raoul

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Symphony, I feel your pain. 1.5 years post divorce, I still feel it.

 

Here's my advice, for what it's worth: Take stock of your feelings and translate those to action. Whatever tore you apart is fixable, if you want it to make the necessary changes. Show her that you're making them or have made them. Not for her, for you, because you don't want to make the same mistakes again.

 

Be kind to your daughter and ex-wife. Very kind.

 

Whatever brought your marriage to an end must've seemed hopeless to her, and you at some point - your relationship needed a hero and nobody stepped up. Was it pride? Denial? Anger? Laziness? Thoughtlessness? Cruelty?

 

Do you want to win her back or move on? Perhaps you should try the Getting Back Together forum if you want her back. There are probably better strategies there. We're all here in this one because our strategies failed and hope died.

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I think the biggest thing is that their was fear and thoughtlessness on my part (I can't speak for her part in things)... When she wanted it to work, I wanted to take a step back and evaluate things... She wanted an on the spot answer (this was about 2 months before our divorce date) about whether or not her and the kids were going to move back in the house. I was scared, I tried to take it slow and just give myself some time to think... she kept pressuring me for an answer on the spot and so that's where my thoughtlessness came in.

 

I started acting thoughtless... that's my fault... long story short, the day that I made up my mind and went to tell her that I wanted nothing more than to have her and the kids in my life, it was 1 day too late... she made up her mind the previous day that she was done waiting for me to give her an answer. Two weeks later, we were divorced and I never cried so hard in my life... my whole world, destroyed. I mean, not that it wasn't in ruins before where time and effort could fix it, but now it was smashed.

 

Anyways, I think that the biggest thing is that she knows that I would be here for her... that I would be willing to work on things, and on me. So I guess for her, in her mind (I don't know, I can't really speak for her so it's really just an assumption) she can do whatever she wants because she knows she's got me by the tail. So it leaves me one option in the end. Move on, work on me, take everything that I did wrong in my marriage and apply it to my next potential relationship, whether it's with her or someone else.

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Symphony, I think you're on the right path.

 

There's a book that has helped me a great deal in recognizing what went wrong in my marriage - Uncoupling. It's not a 'relationship' book, it's a sociology book, really. It was very difficult to read, but if you want some insight, it might prove to be helpful.

 

In the end, it does, briefly, talk about the ONLY way to win back the initiator, if it's possible at all - moving on and personal growth.

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So it leaves me one option in the end. Move on, work on me, take everything that I did wrong in my marriage and apply it to my next potential relationship, whether it's with her or someone else.

 

I know that this is easier said than done. You are a brave soul. Best of luck to you.

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Thanks for all of the kind words everyone, it really means a lot. I know that I have imperfections, fears, flaws, and personal stuff that I need to work on for MYSELF and no one else.

 

So here is my plan...

 

I was seeing a counselor for myself awhile back, and stopped because I was afraid that they were going to kick me off of my upcoming deployment in May. So what I'm going to do is start seeing a Chaplain on a regular basis (about once a week), this way I can start to work on things for me, and I won't be flagged for seeing a therapist on base (They're essentially the same thing, just one doesn't have a negative impact).

 

I'll work on ME and focus on me and my daughter the most. I know that I have some built up resentment right now towards my ex-wife and at the same time, I would like for us to keep our promises to eachother when we said that we would still continue to try and work on things... But I know that at least now it's an unrealistic promise since she is seeing someone else. I have a lot of resentment for a lot of things... and I'm not saying that I was an angel, but it just seems that every major promise that I was told has since dissapeared since she's been seeing this guy and that's what upsets me. But I digress...

 

Anyways, like I was saying Here's the game plan:

 

-Work on ME! Continue to work on ME!!!

 

-Make my daughter the most important thing in my life and my number 1 priority

 

-And last but not least... Pull my head out of my a** and get back to life as normal... (going out, having fun, anything but moping around work and the house).

 

A few questions though... I've seriously been thinking about selling the house that we bought together and just getting a 2 bedroom apartment for my daughter and I. Thoughts? On one hand it's difficult for me sometimes to be in that house... everything about it is us, but on the other hand if I sell it and move away it kinda' would make me feel like a failure.

 

Another thing... The first 2 weeks after the divorce I would pick up my daughter and my ex-wife would open the door for me and allow me to come in and pick up my daughter... same thing when I would drop her off... I would come in, help my daughter take her jacket off and give her hugs & kisses before I left. Now it's the exact opposite... I get to stand outside in the cold, and quickly tell my daughter goodbye because her new boyfriend is always there. It hurts a bit that she's being so cold that I can't even help my daughter take off her jacket and give her a big long hug like I used to before. Is this something appropriate to bring up to her, or should I leave it be and swallow my pride?

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Unless you need to decide on the house right now, take your time. I'm still in my house. Part of that is for my kids. I want them to have the home they were born to as a place of familiarity, consistency and stability. Yes, there are 'ghosts' here, but nothing I can't live with. The bigger question is the finances. I will put my 3 kids through college without my ex's help. I will need to get the money somewhere. But I'm giving myself a year to work that through.

 

As for how she treats you. Let it roll off you as best you can. Treat her as you would a business contact that you must do business with but would prefer not to. Be cordial but brief. Don't confuse your memories with where you are now.

 

Focus on being a great dad and a good man. You no longer have to worry about being anything to your ex.

 

You can do this,

Raoul

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Just one piece of advice. You have to close the door on any possibility to reconcile. I say this simply because you will never truly get over her and the last thing you need is your ex having her foot in that door. You could meet someone down the road that could be the best thing that ever happened to you and she may decide to play that to her advantage. That's my two cents and all the best to you.

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Raoul,

I know what you're saying, but I would rather deal with her... ya know what I mean? I'm letting it roll off of me as best as I can and I leave with a smile... but that smile goes away when I get in my car and drive off... I can't help but be ultimately hurt, (and pissed) because another man has stepped in and all too easily filled my shoes. It really hurt the last time I dropped my daughter off, and he's sitting on the couch playing Guitar Hero with my step son... Seriously, that was my thing with him! I know that I'm probably getting too pent up with my emotions, but it doesn't make it hurt any less right now.

 

CS,

I know that you're saying to close the door, but the main point is, is that I want that door... If there's an opportunity to have my family back then I'm all for it. I dont have a plan or anything on getting back together... my only plan is to work on ME, and to spend as much time with my daughter as possible. I start seeing my counselor again on Monday morning, and the goal is to work on ME. If she see's change great... But the promise to myself right now is that I will continue to go to counseling... not for a few sessions or a few months but until EVERYTHING is out, and both myself and the counselor feel satisfied. And like I said, maybe she'll see it, maybe she won't... I'm not holding my breathe.

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Raoul,

I know what you're saying, but I would rather deal with her... ya know what I mean? I'm letting it roll off of me as best as I can and I leave with a smile... but that smile goes away when I get in my car and drive off... I can't help but be ultimately hurt, (and pissed) because another man has stepped in and all too easily filled my shoes. It really hurt the last time I dropped my daughter off, and he's sitting on the couch playing Guitar Hero with my step son... Seriously, that was my thing with him! I know that I'm probably getting too pent up with my emotions, but it doesn't make it hurt any less right now.

 

You will always deal with her but less as a (former) spouse and more aas the mother of your son. Yes, that's hardand it hurts. Seeing 'guy #2' will get easier if only because you get used to it. You can get used to things that you don't like. Who knows how long he'll be around anyway?

 

I don't see my wife's 'guy' as any competition for me so far as being a father is concerned. But I know each situation is different. Give it some time and see how you feel.

 

Again, work on you. Be the best Dad and man you can. Other things will beging to take care of themselves as you do that. As a second 'again', don't compare your ex's outsides to your insides. You've no idea what she's feeling. Don't even try to do that. But don't imagine that the exterior you see is all there is.

 

Best,

Raoul

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Thanks Raoul, right now I need to just be really conscious about not setting myself up for failure (i.e. complaining to her about broken promises, etc.), because I just end up getting hurt.

 

It's true though, I do need to place all the focus on my daughter and I, and so far I feel like I've done a great job doing that. I started seeing my counselor again and I've been spending as much time with my daughter as I can get. It's just her and I, and we have a blast

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