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Reconciling After Separation Advice


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9 minutes ago, SooSad33 said:

o, maybe what you can do in the meanwhile is find ways to 'vent'.  Get a journal going so you can 'release' all that is pent up in your head

This sounds like a good idea. Just some way to get it off my chest. I honestly feel embarrassed to speak to my friends about it because I don't think I would advise any of my friends that it is a good idea to try to work things out and some of the things that happened make me ashamed of our relationship.

10 minutes ago, SooSad33 said:

May just be too much damage done now .. that you may just have to realize, that your relationship is toxic.

I hope not. I know I've spoken a great deal about the negatives here but there are some great positives. When she is committed, I do feel like she is truly committed and she is a partner in the sense of putting in the work into the everyday things and she does make me feel loved. I do truly enjoy her company and being with her and doing things with her. I am also highly attracted to her and have always had a good sexual relationship with her. I think most of our values line up and we agree on most things. 

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Ohh k... then you feel free to work on it all, if you feel you two are that strong.  But remember that you count in all of this as well.

Let's hope that you two can work it all out... but do work on all that has affected you (especially during your BU, with your therapist).

All takes time.. I'm sure you have it in you to keep trying now, hope she has the same.

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3 hours ago, Twisted Fate said:

This sounds like a good idea. Just some way to get it off my chest. I honestly feel embarrassed to speak to my friends about it because I don't think I would advise any of my friends that it is a good idea to try to work things out and some of the things that happened make me ashamed of our relationship.

I hope not. I know I've spoken a great deal about the negatives here but there are some great positives. When she is committed, I do feel like she is truly committed and she is a partner in the sense of putting in the work into the everyday things and she does make me feel loved. I do truly enjoy her company and being with her and doing things with her. I am also highly attracted to her and have always had a good sexual relationship with her. I think most of our values line up and we agree on most things. 

I came back to this thread.  I saw you wrote me back. I continued to read about your doubts. And I was ready to say,  maybe you should walk away.  

Ending is hard and it hurts. It's real grief.  And if you really don't think she is capable of loving you, being faithful etc... then end it. It will suck but you will get over it.

Then I read your above post. So I'm going to tell you, as a sane (if that's possible) human being...

if I truly enjoyed my time with someone, I felt their love for me, they did do some of the work with me, I was attracted to them, their values and opinions matched mine and we had a satisfying sex life.....

I'd give it a shot. I'd forgive and if it blows up in my face, at least I know I did what i could.  I'm gonna be wreck if I let go now, what's a couple of months? If she's full of crap, it will come clear pretty soon, right? 

But you can not do it half way. 

Take time to listen to yourself.  If you can't forgive & move on, stop wasting your time.  you know what you are capable of accepting and what you aren't. if you aren't sure then get sure.  make a decision and stick with it.  

You are at a cross roads..  pick one and go with it. You both hurt each other and did things out of spite. immediately jumped in with exes and all that.  All that was, was the two of you hurting each other. 

You want her to jump through a hoop? figure out what that is. Tell her what you need.  Start working on the relationship or drop it. your indecisiveness will hurt you more. 

 

 

Edited by Lambert
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13 hours ago, Lambert said:

You are at a cross roads..  pick one and go with it.

This is really what its about. I guess I really do have to decide what I want, and that's to try to work it out. I really do want that and like you said above, I do have all these things that are reasons to keep me there and try. I'm going to choose to work it out, to try, to let go of the past. I'm going to ask the counselor about the canvas, maybe, or maybe I just decide its unimportant. I think the thought of anything from this time period lingering around bothers me. Its hard for me to let go of this past hurt because it cut so deep but you're right in the fact that I need to give it my all and be in there fully to make it work. Half-stepping won't work. Thank you!

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16 minutes ago, Twisted Fate said:

This is really what its about. I guess I really do have to decide what I want, and that's to try to work it out. I really do want that and like you said above, I do have all these things that are reasons to keep me there and try. I'm going to choose to work it out, to try, to let go of the past. I'm going to ask the counselor about the canvas, maybe, or maybe I just decide its unimportant. I think the thought of anything from this time period lingering around bothers me. Its hard for me to let go of this past hurt because it cut so deep but you're right in the fact that I need to give it my all and be in there fully to make it work. Half-stepping won't work. Thank you!

This sounds good.

About the canvas... I think you're using this as the physical representation of the problem.  

But you are the one attaching the significance to it. No one else. you can decide to let this go.  its a canvas of someone else's family or whatever.  It's nothing to you.  It's not your picture, it's not your family.  It's actually pretty much worthless to you. You can't sell it. You can't return it.

For all you know, the guy put it out for trash. because every time he looks at it, he thinks, your wife used him to soothe her broken heart when she was away from you. 

This guy did not win.  He was a pawn in your games with your wife. 

You can choose to frame this in a different life. You guys hit a hard time. This guy was there and helped your wife find her way back to you. 

Don't harden your heart over this.  Look at things from other perspectives...  this guy is the one that was used and hurt. He has a gift that was given to him.  that's it.

Many people get involved with separated people. Little do they know that the person is in fact not separated from their feelings.

You easily accept what you did, while the same thing, meant nothing. but some how it isn't the same for your wife.  These are insecurities in you, that you need to fix. She can't fix you. 

I have never been one to "get rid" of gifts from exes. They are mine and it is insignificant how I got them, especially, if the person is out of my life.

You have an opportunity to fix your marriage and in the long run, you may find you are proud of it- bad times and good. 

No offense but things are just that... things. Forget this canvas. You're making it more than it is.  At least as an outsider that is how it seems. You will never be in this guys living room. You should not care what he has or does. 

It's an excuse to hold you back and to keep your wife at arms length. 

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20 minutes ago, Lambert said:

About the canvas... I think you're using this as the physical representation of the problem.  

I think you're right about this. 

 

20 minutes ago, Lambert said:

But you are the one attaching the significance to it. No one else.

Also correct. I feel that it was "special" as it was thoughtful and not just some meaningless thing. She said that they were friends mainly but she could've seen something more there but didn't want a relationship at the time, that it was mainly just going to be some kind of friends with benefits thing but she backed out of it after they slept together.

26 minutes ago, Lambert said:

You easily accept what you did, while the same thing, meant nothing. but some how it isn't the same for your wife.  These are insecurities in you, that you need to fix. She can't fix you. 

Yes, I am not sure why it is easier for me to accept that. I guess because I knew my feelings and knew I wanted to work things out when I don't think she did, but in the end, I've got to confront my own insecurities.

 

27 minutes ago, Lambert said:

You have an opportunity to fix your marriage and in the long run, you may find you are proud of it- bad times and good. 

I honestly hope this is the case.

27 minutes ago, Lambert said:

It's an excuse to hold you back and to keep your wife at arms length. 

Again, I think you hit the nail on the head here. These are things just to keep pushing her away. I worked so hard to try and get the opportunity to work things out and now that I have that, I push her away. I'm not sure why I am doing that. Maybe just scared of getting hurt again. Thank you @Lambert Really helpful stuff here.

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54 minutes ago, Twisted Fate said:

I think you're right about this. 

 

Also correct. I feel that it was "special" as it was thoughtful and not just some meaningless thing. She said that they were friends mainly but she could've seen something more there but didn't want a relationship at the time, that it was mainly just going to be some kind of friends with benefits thing but she backed out of it after they slept together.

Yes, I am not sure why it is easier for me to accept that. I guess because I knew my feelings and knew I wanted to work things out when I don't think she did, but in the end, I've got to confront my own insecurities.

 

I honestly hope this is the case.

Again, I think you hit the nail on the head here. These are things just to keep pushing her away. I worked so hard to try and get the opportunity to work things out and now that I have that, I push her away. I'm not sure why I am doing that. Maybe just scared of getting hurt again. Thank you @Lambert Really helpful stuff here.

Happy to help. 

For what it's worth, I think your feelings are common. it's scary to put yourself out there again, even when it's what you really want. 

but if you want to grow and change, work things out etc, you have to be vulnerable and create the space for things to get better. 

There is no space for the future if you're stuck on the past. 

Edited by Lambert
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I think the advice you've been given here is extremely helpful and accurate.

Just one more thing to throw in there - it's probably very obvious (and something you've already done), but I always think it's helpful to take a moment to try and see things from her perspective. Especially in that time apart - just as you went to lean on other people to try and make yourself feel better, evidently so did she. However, she's back and wants to commit.

If she didn't have feelings for you, she would have stayed with those other people. You said she didn't fight for the relationship and just went along with it, but leaving a marriage is hard, even if it's something that you want. She was leaving her home, her family, and what she knew as familiar - she was likely also sad, scared, confused, unsure how to handle this new freedom and independence. She went to other people because she didn't want to be alone or know how to be alone. She clearly did not find it sufficient replacement for what she had with you.

What matters in the end is that you have both decided to try and make it work again. Instead of just focusing on how you feel about what happened and assume that your interpretation of her feelings is correct, try to have empathy for her feelings as well.

Again, I'm sure this is something you're already doing, but I believe an excess of empathy and compassion and forgiveness never hurt!

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So you allowed video games to be more important than your marriage/family and when she complained you ignored her feelings.  Then when she was fed up and left your knee jerk reaction was to tell her you want a divorce.    At what point did you decide she was more important than video games?  After she started having sex with other men?

 This was all very fixable long before she got fed up and checked out but you ignored the problem.  This is the easy part of your issues.

The big problem you have is your ego is hurt because she had sex with more people than you did while you were apart.  My question to you is how many is too many? 3? 5? 15?  She is a woman and obviously men desire her so she could have been with a lot more than she did in 9 months.  You see the number shouldn't and doesn't matter.  Was she a virgin when you met her?  How many men had she slept with before you got together?  

The thing you are allowing to mess up your second chance is your ego plain and simple.  Do you love her?  Do you want to be married to her the rest of your life?  Is she the best thing in your life?  If the answer is yes to all of those questions why do you care how many men she was with?   This is ego and being butt hurt.  I am not saying it doesn't suck and is not a hard thing to get over but you caused all of this to happen so how can you possibly punish her in any way for what you caused?  You cannot so if you want this to work out you better stop any recriminations towards her and apoligize for your recent transgressions.  

  She didn't do anything wrong but you are treating her like she did so do what ever you can to stop.  Work on the joint issues of the marriage and separately work on you being butt hurt.   She didn't cheat  and you cannot blame her for not wanting to tell you all the gory details of her time away from you.  If you focus on what you really want and accept that she has chosen to go all in again on saving the marriage you should start to see what is truly important, not how many men had sex with her.

Not easy bit if you don't the path you are on will lead you to her being gone for good and free to be with whom ever she pleases.

Lost

Edited by lostandhurt
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Try to think of her moving back in as a sort of probation period in her mind. 

You may be thinking "oh good,we reconciled and worked it out" but she's keeping her eyes open for the first sign of trouble.

She left for a reason and whatever attention she received while you were apart is still on her mind.

Hope it works out. But without some changes to address the issues it could fall apart easily because now she knows she'll be fine without you.

 

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On 4/6/2021 at 11:46 AM, Twisted Fate said:

I played video games that took too much of my time away from her and our family. She said she didnt feel wanted. I don't play video games any more. 

Speaking as someone who dated a guy who obsessively played World of Warcraft, who completely ignored me, you need to just move on from the past.  What she did were cries for attention.  Those people she hooked up with were giving her the attention you would not give to her.  

I guarantee she spent months trying to get you to stop before hand.  So I don't care what you have to do.  You let it go.  Stop thinking about it. Stop making her feel bad about wanting attention.  What she did while you were separated is not her fault why the marriage was failing.

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On 4/8/2021 at 3:06 PM, WMTH1234 said:

Instead of just focusing on how you feel about what happened and assume that your interpretation of her feelings is correct, try to have empathy for her feelings as well.

Thank you, that's good advice. I may have focused on how I felt at the time of separation and during the separation. 

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On 4/8/2021 at 10:15 PM, lostandhurt said:

So you allowed video games to be more important than your marriage/family and when she complained you ignored her feelings. 

Yes, this is accurate. 

On 4/8/2021 at 10:15 PM, lostandhurt said:

hen when she was fed up and left your knee jerk reaction was to tell her you want a divorce.

I asked for a divorce and then she left over some things that was bothering me at the time in the heat of an argument. I realized quickly that that was a mistake but damage done I guess and she chose to leave and talk to her ex.

On 4/8/2021 at 10:15 PM, lostandhurt said:

This was all very fixable long before she got fed up and checked out but you ignored the problem.

Agreed, unfortunately, I did not fix this.

On 4/8/2021 at 10:15 PM, lostandhurt said:

The big problem you have is your ego is hurt because she had sex with more people than you did while you were apart. 

Maybe? but i don't think so at least not consciously. I probably would be still upset over one. I only ran to someone because she had started talking with her ex. I didn't want to see anyone else, I just wanted my wife but wasn't an option at the time.

On 4/8/2021 at 10:15 PM, lostandhurt said:

Was she a virgin when you met her?  How many men had she slept with before you got together?  

Obviously not and I have no idea but maybe as many before from what I gather. She didn't really sleep around before hand which was something I always admired about her and maybe that's part of the issue, I'm not sure.

On 4/8/2021 at 10:15 PM, lostandhurt said:

The thing you are allowing to mess up your second chance is your ego plain and simple.

I don't know if its even my ego, although maybe it is. I seem to have a great deal of anxiety with regards to her sleeping with people while we were married even though we were separated. I don't blame her for leaving but introducing other people in the marriage makes it tough. Maybe, because I was still in love with her and wanting to be with her during this period.

On 4/8/2021 at 10:15 PM, lostandhurt said:

Do you love her?  Do you want to be married to her the rest of your life?  Is she the best thing in your life?  If the answer is yes to all of those questions why do you care how many men she was with?

Yes to all. I don't know if its the absolute number, just feels like alot, but probably if it was lower I'd feel the same. Its tough to think about her being with other men during this time period for me. Maybe I think she'll leave again, maybe its an ego thing. I'm not 100% sure. I just know its hard for me to cope with it and not sure exactly what I need to do to get past it.

 

On 4/8/2021 at 10:15 PM, lostandhurt said:

She didn't cheat  and you cannot blame her for not wanting to tell you all the gory details of her time away from you. 

Maybe I feel like she kinda did, I don't know. We had a fight, I asked for a divorce that evening, the next day she was talking with her ex, that weekend she went and saw him. I guess I resent the fact that I did some things in the heat of the moment (which she has done plenty) and I said some things I didn't mean or even want and it didnt matter that that was the case.

 

On 4/8/2021 at 10:15 PM, lostandhurt said:

Not easy bit if you don't the path you are on will lead you to her being gone for good and free to be with whom ever she pleases.

This is true and I'm hoping to find a way to move forward.

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On 4/9/2021 at 2:11 AM, Wiseman2 said:

Hope it works out. But without some changes to address the issues it could fall apart easily because now she knows she'll be fine without you.

Thanks @Wiseman2 She says she is not leaving again, no matter what. I think I've been trying to push her away, maybe scared that she would leave and she hasn't and even has done some things that are irrationally asked on my part to ease my mind.

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On 4/9/2021 at 9:53 PM, catfeeder said:

Might you be inventing new problems to distract yourself from addressing the ones that existed before she left?

Sounds like you're focusing on the least of your problems with her.

I think there are some definite problems that need to be addressed on her side that she still has but I think she is trying in the relationship and I think she is trying to be better. We are going to counseling to try and address those.

 

I just can't seem to find away around her sleeping with these men while we were separated.

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On 4/9/2021 at 11:46 AM, tattoobunnie said:

What she did were cries for attention.  Those people she hooked up with were giving her the attention you would not give to her.  

She said as much. She said she just wanted to be wanted and that she just wanted her husband to want her but he didnt. I did, of course, but I failed at showing her that.

 

On 4/9/2021 at 11:46 AM, tattoobunnie said:

I guarantee she spent months trying to get you to stop before hand.  So I don't care what you have to do.  You let it go.  Stop thinking about it. Stop making her feel bad about wanting attention.  What she did while you were separated is not her fault why the marriage was failing.

She spent 4 years asking me to get off the game. I want to let it go, just having a hard time doing so.

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18 hours ago, Twisted Fate said:

I want to let it go, just having a hard time doing so.

What's more important?  Your addiction to the game, or her?  The game is not real - it's doesn't make your life better. It only feeds into your dopamine release. 

4 years of begging? Oof. At that point, I would have lit your computer or whatever you use to game on fire.

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What I see is a lot of impulsive behavior on both sides.  You ignored her for 4 years so she was pretty lonely then you told her you wanted a divorce which basically gave her the go ahead to reach out to a man she knew for comfort she wasn't getting from you.  Once she started getting attention she was starving for she went overboard.  Hard to blame her and you know she had lots of options because there are a ton of men that would want to be with her. 

You are taking responsibility for your mistakes which is great but the past is preventing you from moving forward.

  I hope you see that this could be way worse.  She got a taste of how desirable she is and how well she would do out in the dating scene but she has chosen to try again with you.  Most women that check out rarely come back so you are lucky in that regard.

  So lets say you got the divorce, split everything, got a new place to live and then a few years went by and then you both decided to try dating again.  Would you be able to get past all the men she was with while divorced?  What if you met someone new and se had been dating for some time, would you be able to not think about all the men she had been with?  You see this is on your shoulders, not theirs.  Of course when the women is who you are deeply in love with it makes this way harder but it doesn't change the fact that you want this to work and should do anything to get this marriage back to a healthy place.

  Do some reading on the ego, I think you will begin to see where most of your issues are coming from and allow you to find a place in your mind where what is most important to you wins out over your ego.

Please read about your ego, it will help.

Lost

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You know what strikes me from this thread is that you ONLY suddenly decided you want your wife and your marriage when you realized that other men actually want her AND that she has options besides you.

That's not wanting a marriage or loving your wife. That's seeing her as a possession. Basically, you didn't want to play with that old toy, but now that others want it, you won't let it go.

Also, asking for the divorce sounds like a power play on your part that backfire and bit you in the arse and now you can't get over it. You lost control.

 

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51 minutes ago, tattoobunnie said:

What's more important?  Your addiction to the game, or her?  The game is not real - it's doesn't make your life better. It only feeds into your dopamine release. 

I stopped the game shortly after she left. Sorry if I was unclear. I don't game anymore, like at all. I realized my wife and family was more important to me. Before she left, I took her the computer and said we could move it or place it out for the trash man for all I cared, that I only wanted her and our family. She left anyway. I think her having gone seen her ex had a great deal to do with this. 

 

When I said I want to let it go, I'm speaking to the anxiousness that she slept around while we were separated. She did some pretty mean and spiteful things during that time period outside of this as well.

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20 minutes ago, DancingFool said:

You know what strikes me from this thread is that you ONLY suddenly decided you want your wife and your marriage when you realized that other men actually want her AND that she has options besides you.

Sorry, this isn't true and that's my fault for not explaining it better. I asked for the divorce and tried to back out of that the next day. I didn't know about any other guy or anything going on. It was an argument, it got heated and I went too far and tried to take it back but damage done I guess. I wanted her back from the beginning and I don't think of her as a possession. 

22 minutes ago, DancingFool said:

Also, asking for the divorce sounds like a power play on your part that backfire and bit you in the arse and now you can't get over it. You lost control.

I did lose control and said something I didn't mean at a point of frustration and anger and yes it bit me in the ass and yes I'm having a hard time getting over it.

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3 minutes ago, Twisted Fate said:

Sorry, this isn't true and that's my fault for not explaining it better. I asked for the divorce and tried to back out of that the next day. I didn't know about any other guy or anything going on. It was an argument, it got heated and I went too far and tried to take it back but damage done I guess. I wanted her back from the beginning and I don't think of her as a possession. 

I did lose control and said something I didn't mean at a point of frustration and anger and yes it bit me in the ass and yes I'm having a hard time getting over it.

I am referring to the fact that you ignored your marriage for 4 years while gaming.

You keep deflecting responsibility and refocusing on just the recent moment in time when in fact this ish has been going on for years. Where were you when your wife was screaming for your attention or begging you to step away from your gaming?

You are literally only jumping up and down AFTER she left you. I don't actually think you ever expected her to leave you because you took her that for granted. So yes, you are acting like an entitled kid in the playground who didn't want his toy until another kid started playing with it. 

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3 minutes ago, DancingFool said:

You keep deflecting responsibility and refocusing on just the recent moment in time when in fact this ish has been going on for years.

I'm not trying to deflect. I take responsibility for what I did. The marriage wasn't perfect outside of the gaming and there were issues that lead me to asking for the divorce in the first place and reasons I kept gaming. But let me be clear, I shouldn't have asked for the divorce and I shouldn't have been gaming and these were both very poor decisions and coping mechanisms from me and I fully realize and accept that.

 

I'm am trying to refocus because my issues don't come from the gaming or asking for the divorce, I imagine if my wife were on here then that would be what she would be focused on. What is preventing me from embracing the current situation is that she choose to leave and introduce people into the mix. Had she just left and not slept with other people or we had a trial separation or was willing to go to counseling or a myriad of other scenarios, I wouldn't be here with this anxiousness. As it is, I'm having panic attacks daily and am unable to be the person I need to be in this relationship because of these other men and what I am trying to find is some good advice on how to better handle the situation, accept it, be in the present, and not feel like I'm having a heart attack.

14 minutes ago, DancingFool said:

You are literally only jumping up and down AFTER she left you. I don't actually think you ever expected her to leave you because you took her that for granted.

Maybe this is true. I don't know. I do know that I didn't want her to leave and she did. Maybe it was her being serious about leaving that really opened my eyes. I don't know. There were a great deal of other issues outside the gaming during the marriage and I was frustrated and didn't know how to properly communicate. Whenever we tried to talk about anything that might be bothering me it lead to a full out nuclear war so I just generally avoided talking about things.

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