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I'm having trouble getting over a divorce that I initiated. A summary of our 9 years together goes like this: Our first year was great. Then I started an old habit back up - online gaming. Most nights I let her go to bed alone, while I stayed up playing on my computer. I'd play other times as well. She blew it off at first but then started confronting me about it. At the time, all I heard was nagging. I resented her for it. I was too hooked on the game, emotionally immature and proud to do anything but get pissed at her. I started looking forward to her being gone, so I could do as I wish, without any "nagging". I eventually stopped gaming but I still had resentment towards her; everything out of her mouth at this point was "nagging". So I let her go everywhere alone, I didn't want to go. This went on for most of our 9 years together. I know this is where I went wrong in our relationship and dear God have I learned a lesson about "watering the grass". I was such a fool. But somewhere in there, there was a point of no return for her. By the time I began trying to patch things up, it seemed too late. By then, nothing I did would please her. If I bought her flowers, she'd gripe at me for buying the vase with the flowers - "we already have too many vases". She'd complain next week that I never buy her flowers. Every time I tried to do something I thought would make her happy, she'd just gripe at me for something else. There was no making her happy. If I was sick, she'd get mad at me for "sitting around doing nothing". She'd turned on my family - who had never wronged her, not even once. My mother loved her like a daughter. She accused my mother of loving my sister's kids more than ours - which was certainly not the case. I was at a complete loss. She didn't want to go to counseling. She enjoyed emasculating me - and that was the one thing I trouble keeping my cool over. We were in a death spiral and it just seemed to feed on itself. She wanted me to change to meet her needs but at the same time wouldn't give me a chance. Every time I tried to sit down and talk things over, I would apologize for the things I'd done, ask her "what can I do to make you happy?" All she could do is whip out a long laundry list of every way I'd ever offended her. No admission of any guilt or promises to try on her part.

 

In our 7th year, I finally decided that something needed to happen. We work it out or get a divorce. I felt like the environment at home was too toxic for our kids. I stalled the divorce 2 or 3 times - it took 2 years to finalize. I didn't want my kids to see us living this way but I also didn't want them to live in a fractured family. We finally went to counseling. I took my lumps but she didn't like what the counselor was telling her. It was the one and only time - I could never get her to go back. She didn't want a divorce, in spite of her behavior. I asked her why she didn't want to divorce me. She would never give me an answer. Obviously I wanted to hear that somewhere deep down, she still loved me and we had a chance. With that, I followed through with the divorce process.

 

Our divorce was final on June 16th of this year. I felt fine at first. I had moved in with my brother. Since things have cooled off, it's been a little easier to remember the good times. Then the grief hit. What had I done? I'm hurting for my kids, questioning myself, kicking myself for the way I had been in those first years before things went bad. I'm filled with regret. Then I find out she's already seeing someone. I'm so jealous and hurt over that. Not to the point of acting a fool, thank God but enough to keep me up at night. I'm a mess and my counseling appointment is 2 weeks away. I would have never believed that it would be so hard on me, even though I was the one initiating..

 

Thanks for reading my wall of text.

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Now that you are out of the situation, it's easier to let go of the resentment and remember the good times, but you made the right decision. This thing went toxic and with a wife who was unwilling to change there is absolutely nothing you could have done. As hard as it is for all involved, it's better for the kids if they don't have to grow up in a home with parents who resent each other.

 

I'm so sorry for your pain. It's natural to feel the way you are feeling. Her moving on so quickly is unfortunate. There's no way she's worked through her baggage already. I feel bad for the guy she's with. She's a walking emotional time bomb.

 

We all make mistakes. Sometimes those mistakes cost us dearly. Forgive yourself for the things you did when you were struggling with your gambling addiction. Be grateful you realized what was going on and made necessary changes. Even though it wasn't soon enough to save your marriage, your future will be better as a result.

 

Give it time. It won't always feel this way.

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i think maybe see if your counselor can see you once a week cuz you're struggling so hard. sorry to hear that it's tough right now, but i think u did the right thing. any relationship is a two way street and if she wasn't going to work at the marriage, then it was over. maybe she didn't answer why she didn't want the divorce because she liked your financial provision. maybe she was not reciprocating your attempts of trying to make things better because she already found that other guy behind your back. i think it's very early for her to have found someone, and i think you're only finding out that she's dating now because the relationship is out in the open.

 

you described a marriage where u didn't do much activities together and even slept apart. i think she would've had plenty of opportunity to see someone else.

 

whatever happened, happened. don't drive yourself nutz trying to figure out if she was having an affair. move on. you have to find your own happiness. someone who will appreciate the new you.

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Sorry that you are going through a tough time but for what it's worth you did the right thing and it's probably one of those things that feels hard at first but gets a lot better with time.

As someone whose parents got divorced, you did the right thing because it is a nightmare to live in a house where your parents fought, or living in a family where your parents resent each other. Trust me it's a whole better environment for your kids.

 

Her moving on so quick is unfortunate but it has nothing to do with you or your shortcomings. I'm pretty sure she's not in a place that is ready for a relationship either.

 

Go easy on yourself for the time being.

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It's normal to feel the full weight of the failing/dead marriage after some guy shows up.

It will pass.

 

Concentrate on yourself and don't repeat hard-learned mistakes.

Do not get into any relationship for at least a year! (Rebounds are almost always a disaster!)

 

For your next wife: read Gary Smalley's "If only he knew"

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Hey Matrix... You live and learn. Right? Okay, this one didn't work. It's not the end of the world. You screwed up - she screwed up - it's over and done with. It hurts. You have kids - stay in their lives. Do the right thing. Find another woman. Stay out of gaming or other habitual things that interfere in a relationship with your woman, but discern between what's healthy for you and what is not (ie... You like to ride a bike or work out every day and she complains about the time you spent riding a bike or working out - well heck... That's exercise, it builds stamina and makes certain aspects of a relationship even better). Computer games... Waste of time and energy.

 

Move forward with your life and stop beating yourself up with the past. What happened... happened. You can't turn back the clock. Hang in there and I wish you the best.

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i think maybe see if your counselor can see you once a week cuz you're struggling so hard. sorry to hear that it's tough right now, but i think u did the right thing. any relationship is a two way street and if she wasn't going to work at the marriage, then it was over. maybe she didn't answer why she didn't want the divorce because she liked your financial provision. maybe she was not reciprocating your attempts of trying to make things better because she already found that other guy behind your back. i think it's very early for her to have found someone, and i think you're only finding out that she's dating now because the relationship is out in the open.

 

you described a marriage where u didn't do much activities together and even slept apart. i think she would've had plenty of opportunity to see someone else.

 

whatever happened, happened. don't drive yourself nutz trying to figure out if she was having an affair. move on. you have to find your own happiness. someone who will appreciate the new you.

 

You're right, for her, staying together seemed to be more about money. We both do ok, so our combined incomes afforded a comfortable lifestyle. She could immediately see that going away, working the numbers post divorce.

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It's normal to feel the full weight of the failing/dead marriage after some guy shows up.

It will pass.

 

Concentrate on yourself and don't repeat hard-learned mistakes.

Do not get into any relationship for at least a year! (Rebounds are almost always a disaster!)

 

For your next wife: read Gary Smalley's "If only he knew"

 

Thank you for the book recommendation. I will definately give it a read.

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Sorry that you are going through a tough time but for what it's worth you did the right thing and it's probably one of those things that feels hard at first but gets a lot better with time.

As someone whose parents got divorced, you did the right thing because it is a nightmare to live in a house where your parents fought, or living in a family where your parents resent each other. Trust me it's a whole better environment for your kids.

 

Her moving on so quick is unfortunate but it has nothing to do with you or your shortcomings. I'm pretty sure she's not in a place that is ready for a relationship either.

 

Go easy on yourself for the time being.

 

That's really my one consolation - my kids seem to be doing ok (at least when they're at my house). It's a relief to have them out of such a toxic environment.

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Do not get into any relationship for at least a year! (Rebounds are almost always a disaster!)

 

I have a desire to get out and meet people. I've lost almost all my old friends over the years, so zero network outside of family and work. I've signed up for some meet ups (country/western dancing / outdoors type stuff) and have so far avoided dating sites. I'd like to meet some other women - it would be nice, I think, to be in the company of a woman that doesn't hate me. Not even in a carnal sense - just to be able to talk / go places etc... In my experience, dating has typically always led to a relationship - how can I separate the two? Does this even make sense?

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Reread this post if you have remorse. The marriage sounds like a train-wreck and you did the right thing. The counselor will probably reinforce that.

We were in a death spiral and it just seemed to feed on itself. I felt like the environment at home was too toxic for our kids.
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I have a desire to get out and meet people. I've lost almost all my old friends over the years, so zero network outside of family and work. I've signed up for some meet ups (country/western dancing / outdoors type stuff) and have so far avoided dating sites. I'd like to meet some other women - it would be nice, I think, to be in the company of a woman that doesn't hate me. Not even in a carnal sense - just to be able to talk / go places etc... In my experience, dating has typically always led to a relationship - how can I separate the two? Does this even make sense?

 

Please be careful! Get out there to build non-romantic relationships.

By nature, women are nurturing, they can pick up sadness signals a mile away.

 

You're vulnerable and it won't go unnoticed.

 

Now you know one of the main driving factors behind second and third marriage failures.

 

A year's nothing! Just have fun..., no sex!

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I read your words knowing the end before I got that far...

 

You screwed up, realized it and tried to make it right but she wanted to punish you continually for your mistake. The thing about an apology is that all you can do is offer it to the person you wronged, it is up to them if they accept it. She didn't and made things worse by going out of her way to teach you a lesson and punish you.

 

You did the right thing by seeking the divorce as she was unwilling to forgive and work on the issues in the marriage.

 

So she is dating some new guy. It hurts right? It keeps you up at night wondering what she is doing and with who. This is perfectly normal but don't let it control your life. I seriously doubt she is in a good enough place to be dating and will more than likely be hurt by several guys out looking for sex.

 

Your job now is to be the best single dad you can be. Don't be "Disneyland Dad" but be there for them. When you have them be there and I don't just mean be in the same room, be there!!! Get involved in their lives, go to the park and throw a Frisbee or football, find fun things to do together. Basically put yourself aside when they are with you and make being their father your number one priority always. They will feel it and respond and in a few years your will feel blessed by the relationship you have with them.

 

No dating and no meeting women even for friendships. You will end up using them as an emotional crutch so concentrate on rebuilding old friendships, making new ones and staying close to family. Find new hobbies (not online), stay well dressed and clean shaven, go for walks after dinner with the kids and by yourself and find an exercise routine you like to do and do it!

 

Leave regrets out of this. Mourn the death of your marriage, allow the pain and sorrow to come and then go but don't dwell on what you cannot change. In time you will feel better and before you know it a year will have passed and then you can think about dating.

 

You did mess up but you also tried to make it right. Many don't and that is what should be regretted...

 

Lost

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I've really made a mess of things now. I was doing ok. I started playing bass again - something I quit doing when I got married - just to stay out of bars. I started going to the gym and started going back to Muay Thai training - which I had dropped while we were in the divorce process. I was set to move on. Something in the back of my head was telling me I hadn't tried hard enough for the sake of my kids. Against everyones advice and assurances that I did the right thing, I wrote a 3 page letter to my ex wife. I thoroughly apologized for everything and asked for forgiveness. I got a lukewarm response - saying she was confused and that she doesn't think we could start over - but the door wasn't completely closed. I read "How to Win Your Wife Back" by Gary Smalley. I took it to heart. If I could be the man I should have been, things will work out and we'll have our family back - happier than before. I tried to be that man outlined in the book. I knew she was seeing someone but she seemed open to the idea of reconciliation after talking with her a few more times. Tuesday night I had picked up the kids from daycare. It's not really my day to get them, but my daughter has gymnastics at 5pm and she isn't able to get her there in time. Afterwards, I brought the kids to her house. She got home and we stood in the kitchen talking. She warmed up and told me that she really wanted the same thing I did - to have our family back together. I asked about this new person she was seeing - she told me it was nothing serious at all. I thought I could manage that. I left happy and hopeful.

 

She got the house - it's kind of big and a bit much to handle on her own so I had asked if there was anything I could do for her - per the advice from the book I'd read. She said yes, there was a wall outlet she wanted to relocate. I happily told her that I would pick up the kids from school and go to her house after work - get the kids fed, homework done and I'd take care of the outlet. In the course of our previous discussions, we even had plans this weekend to do lunch - Myself, her and the kids. I get to her house yesterday, got the kids situated and started on the wall outlet. I went to the trashcan to throw something away and lying there on the top of the trash was a used condom. After our talk, that I thought went so well the previous night, she had her boyfriend over - for obvious reasons. I finished the job I said I'd do for her. I texted her and let her know what I'd found, that it's killing me and I don't know what to do. I knew she was seeing someone and I knew that was probably going on. I thought I could be a bigger man. I said nothing to her when she got home - the kids were around. But I went home and let lose all kinds of rambling text messages. Nothing bad but just letting my feelings lose. I let her know I was willing to give it everything I had to make it work but not when things like this are going on. I told her that if it was nothing serious, she'd tell the guy to get lost instead of jeapordizing us working things out. I felt betrayed and had to wonder if she was just going to take advantage of my efforts to get back with her. I'm a trainwreck and I'm sitting here at work - I cant get it out of my head and I can't get anything done. I also can't stop texting her. She's not answering now - maybe that's a good thing. I think I'm back to day 1 in the healing process. I don't know how I get myself into these messes.

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First, I am really sorry for your discovery.

 

Secondly, take deep breaths and stop texting her. No more texts. She's messing you about, and for the time being you need to only communicate with her about the children. Continue to be there for them, but I would not advise trying to have reconciliation talks while your ex wife is actively seeing someone. I would think anyone serious about reconciliation would remove the third party from the equation, wouldn't you? She may have ulterior motives for stringing you along. You've got to be very careful in your communication with her.

 

I am sorry. Keep posting those feelings here. Take care.

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Sorry to hear this. But these books don't tell you about what to do about those nasty bf condoms.

so I had asked if there was anything I could do for her - per the advice from the book I'd read. I went to the trashcan to throw something away and lying there on the top of the trash was a used condom. I knew she was seeing someone and I knew that was probably going on.
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Matrix,

 

STOP everything you are doing right now!!!

 

Stop texting her, stop focusing on making her happy, stop trying to fix things, stop being there for her and most importantly stop acting like you are still a couple.

 

She has a bf and it isn't you. I know you didn't want to accept the fact that they were having sex but deep down you knew it to be true.

 

If there is any hope you just about killed it with her. Don't get me wrong I totally understand your reaction(s) but you need to think twice and then again before you do anything in her regard.

 

Stop all communication with her right now. You are only acting and looking needy and desperate. Do you think her bf looks that way to her? Everything you are doing is EXTREMELY unattractive and is only hurting you more.

 

Every text and phone call not returned is just that much deeper in the hole you are in emotionally. Stop it right now.

 

Pick up your children when you are supposed to but do not engage her in any discussion. Be polite and business like and if she tries to talk to you about it ask her if it can wait a few days while you figure out what you want to do.

 

The Gary Smalley books are good if your wife is receptive and your ex seemed to like having you around but not for what you wanted. You were around to be her husband but not her lover. Things have changed, she has moved on at least physically and the sooner you accept that the better for your emotional well being.

 

Please heed my advice, the path you are on is destructive.

 

Lost

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Matrix,

 

STOP everything you are doing right now!!!

 

Stop texting her, stop focusing on making her happy, stop trying to fix things, stop being there for her and most importantly stop acting like you are still a couple.

 

She has a bf and it isn't you. I know you didn't want to accept the fact that they were having sex but deep down you knew it to be true.

 

If there is any hope you just about killed it with her. Don't get me wrong I totally understand your reaction(s) but you need to think twice and then again before you do anything in her regard.

 

Stop all communication with her right now. You are only acting and looking needy and desperate. Do you think her bf looks that way to her? Everything you are doing is EXTREMELY unattractive and is only hurting you more.

 

Every text and phone call not returned is just that much deeper in the hole you are in emotionally. Stop it right now.

 

Pick up your children when you are supposed to but do not engage her in any discussion. Be polite and business like and if she tries to talk to you about it ask her if it can wait a few days while you figure out what you want to do.

 

The Gary Smalley books are good if your wife is receptive and your ex seemed to like having you around but not for what you wanted. You were around to be her husband but not her lover. Things have changed, she has moved on at least physically and the sooner you accept that the better for your emotional well being.

 

Please heed my advice, the path you are on is destructive.

 

Lost

 

If only you were here to give me a swift kick in the ass, it would be perfect. I have snapped out of it and stopped the texting, outside of some kid related stuff. Thank you for bringing up the needy thing - God help me, I hate looking needy/desperate. You could say I checked out for a while after that happened. I've kind of leveled off and accepted it - started feeling a little better yesterday afternoon.

 

I'll not be doing anything else for her - that's his job from now on. I've learned my lesson with this and I don't want to have to feel that again. I'm trying to evaluate the real reasons why I went down this road. Was it really for the kids? Do I actually miss her? Or worst of all, and the most likely, is it because she's seeing someone now and I'm jealous. That's kind of sick. All I can say is - I've had to wait almost 2 weeks to get in to see a councilor - next wednesday can't get here soon enough. You guys have been a great stand in (even if I acted against the advice) - and there's something therapeutic about posting it and being able to read it over.

 

Yeah and the Smalley books are up in the attic now lol.

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