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Almost 7 months now...and she's having a rough time

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7 months ago, she took our two daughters and left me after 13 years together. Many of you have read my posts and offered your support as I tried everything I could to get her to come back to me. I have changed my life; I am back in school, have a new job and even seen a few other women. It has been the roughest time of my life, but has gotten easier for me...but not for my daughters or for her.


Last week she was suspended from her job for something there's no doubt in mind that she's not guilty of. I know as well as anyone how much her job as a nurse means to her and how much she cares about her patients (she works in a nursing home.) She is suspended for a week without pay, she may return to find she has no job, along with the other nurse that was in charge on the night of the incident being investigated. She's also afraid of losing her nursing license.


She called me last week and told me about all of this and asked if she could drop the girls off at my house while she went and filed her statement. She knew I would be at school and always leaves the girls at home by themselves (my oldest is 12 and takes good care of her little sister and the house.) I didn't really see her reason for asking me this, but consented nonetheless. When she told me what happened, I was less than sympathetic...I believe my actual reply was "wow...that sucks. Good luck with all of that." Didn't even occur to me until later that she just wanted someone to talk to.


She picked them up later that day and called me in the evening while I was at work. She told me she had taken our girls bowling, but my oldest had started to cry and said she wanted to leave. She told me she had no idea why my daughter was acting this way and asked if I would talk to her. Apparently, when she was taking my daughters to the bowling alley, she also picked up her sister and brother-in-law; this upset my daughter because


a) the last time she had went bowling, it was with her mommy and daddy as a family


b) her mother had said some time before something about driving them all the way down to town to see me being waste of gas, but her sister lives only a few blocks away from me.


I talked to my daughter for a bit and called her mother back to tell her what was wrong. She apologized, promised to make it up to our daughter and told me that she was having a really hard time right now and just wanted to be with people.


The next night, I went out for a beer after work and started to think about my ex, her worries and how bad I really felt for not being there for her. I decided to call and check on her, and we ended up having a 2 hour conversation about everything from the girls, her job, even our relationship. We decided that in spite of everything that's happened in the past 7 months, it appeared that we were still used to being there for each other. I told her that I would be here for her if she needs me. I also told her that in spite of things I may have said before, I would never really be over her, that I still missed her and that because she was the mother of my children, she would always be the most important woman in my life. I told her that it didn't seem things were getting any easier for our daughter, she agreed. She also told me that she sees what I'm doing with my life now and sometimes wonders why I couldn't have done all of this for her. I told her I would have if I would have known I could lose her...and that everything I'm doing is because of her.


We took our daughter school shopping the next day and went out to eat. She had no appetite at all because of all the stress, but thanked me for everything. I'm fairly positive that she won't lose her job and that a week from now we will be right back to where we were last week...a tentative friendship for the sake of the girls...but for now I feel the need to be here for her.

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I went back to some of your first posts on the forum. I think you've made some amazing strides in your own personal improvement. You should be very proud of yourself for that.


One thing that you need to realize is that it rarely works to try to change your life for the sake of your partner. You have to change your life for yourself. That's the only way to truly make changes that last. Stay the course and no matter what happens with your wife you'll end up ok.

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dare, I went back to read your old threads and I was a bit confused, are her daughters your biological daughters? I am amazed, you really have come a long way as avman posted, there were problems it seemed from both ends, some missed connections, but you seem to be doing very well now. You are very supportive to her and that is great. It is unfortunate about her work, but remember you cannot save her, she needs to deal with that on her own, you can be a shoulder for her, but no more. Proud of you!

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Yes, they are our daughters together. Another reason to help her, as she is taking care of them...I will help her any way I can. I haven't told her this, but I already have my September rent and bills in the bank, everything else I make this month is being saved in case she should lose her job. I will make no moves toward getting her back, only remaining in her life as someone she can trust and count on. Since she's left me, I have done and said a lot of things to hurt her and make her feel guilty for the decision I know she felt was right to make. No longer...I can see now that she still needs me as much as my daughters do.

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I read a few of your old posts, and not quite sure I have the full picture, but it seems to me that you want your ex back. It also seems to be that you have done a lot of the things your ex wanted before she left. And it seems that recently, you have been developing a better relationship with your ex than you had before, with some ups and downs.


If you and your ex do get back together, remember that you will be starting a new relationship, not going back to the old one. There ishistory there, and things will never be at step 1, but you will need to retrace many steps that you once had thought were in your apst. I'm not saying it will happen, but if it does, know that it will take time to build something new. We don't meet someone and agree to marry them the next day, usually. We take some time to get to know them and develop bonds with them. You have a few old bonds, but many of them got strained. You would need to develop new ones.


In the interim, you seem to be doing ok. You seem to be trying to and are pretty much doing right by your ex and children. Frankly, you seem to have come back toward being "the man" you should have been.


Don't let your ex treat you as anything less. At some time, you were not what you should have been, and it might hjave been deserved, now it's not. With b above, it should never be a waste of gas for your children to come see you, I would make her know darn well that is not called for and that you should never be bad mouthed in front of your children by her. It's not right. Today may not be the day to do it, and it should not be done in front of your kids, but it should be done. She should show you some resepct in front of your children, and you should demand it.


Otherwise, nice job getting yourself back on track. Keep it up.

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She went back to work yesterday. As it turns out, she really WAS in danger of losing her job; someone else working the night in question was fired; she was only reprimanded and put back on the schedule. I was the first person she called with the news yesterday.


She dropped the girls off a few hours later, along with a DVD she rented for me. To my surprise, she came in with them, closed and locked the door behind her and made herself at home. We talked for a bit, she made herself something to eat and even proceeded to straighten up my living room a little. We all watched a movie before she went to work; on her way out she thanked me and told me to call her if I needed anything.


Besides the fact that she seems more comfortable around me, I'm not really getting any sort of sense that she wants anything with me. We're taking the girls to a ball game tomorrow, though, and I intend to enjoy it for what it is. It would be nice if she were to spend the night, or invite me to do the same, but a few days' vulnerability and appreciation on her part isn't enough for me to risk being shot down again.


Yes, I do want her back. I've been around and around about that, and have always come back to the same conclusion. Things will never go back to the way they were...and I don't want them to. But it deoesn't seem she's quite moved on, and she doesn't seem to be any happier without me. I have done a lot with myself since she's been gone and the only thing missing now is her to share it with. I'm not sure exactly how she feels at this point or how to proceed, but I do know that it doesn't feel over just yet.

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Well... I guess that's why they say it's not over till it's over... It's a good sign for your relationship with her in general (not speaking romantically) that you were there for her in her time of need. You didn't take the opportunity to do any number of nasty things you could have done. I know that no matter how much someone says they'll be there when you need them, until they actually are, you don't believe them. But once they are, it really says a lot for their character.


Everything is about trust and you are rebuilding that trust. Piece by piece. No one knows where it will go, but as long as you are doing the right thing, you can always be proud of yourself.

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So, you are getting your life in order, and she seems to appreciate that. You have been there for her, and she looks to you for support. It sounds very much like you are getting back to being good friends, and that includes having some trust between you.


Good friends is one thing, but it's not lovers. Being good friends is part of being lovers, in most decent relationships, but it's only part. There is another big part and that's sex and sexual attraction. I think letting her know you have some apprecation for her aas a sexual creature is something you should do soon. Just making a comment about her body and that it's desirable, in an offhand way, might do.


Yes, you don't want back to what you had and neither does she. You want back to something better.

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Right now, a sexual relationship with her seems like a pipe dream. I believe that my drunken "booty-call" a few weeks ago is a pretty good indication for her of my intentions, but the last time we went out together without the girls, she told me on no uncertain terms that we were just going out as friends. She told me she didn't "want anything right now", so I'm not sure what else to do; the slightest advance on my part could undo anything that's happened lately...

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A move is not what I was suggesting. If by the booty call you mean you call to her when you were drunk and looking for sex, I am not so sure that was a mistake, but it might have been. Letting her know she was not the first call could also be good or bad. Both depend on how she reacts in the long term. In either case, she is not having really bad reactions to you.


A while ago when you felt money was an issue and she treated you like a wallet, and you stood up for yourself, she did not take issue with it in the following days. Indeed, things have improved since then, or at least it seems so from your posts. You kowtowing to her probably does not help, but you standing up to her did not hurt. In short, you being more like "THE MAN" helps.


This also helps all the way around in your life. I'm not trying to put you down, but I think you realize you were not the man you should have been before she left. Her leaving probably made you realize that.


Making a move on her is not something you should ever do prematurely. If you do it before she wants you, a woman will think you are an oaf. If you make her wait a little bit once she wants it, well then you are just golden. If you make her wait too long, frustration sets in and she is angry at you, and that might not work. So, you never want to make a move before she wants it, and never want to make her wait too long. Knowing when it is the right time is about reading her body language, mostly.


The issue here is you staying out of the friend zone. Most things I read that you have done are good stuff and show you as being the MAN. Par of the conversation last weekend seem a little mushy, but I cannot judge whether they are good or bad. If I had one wish for you it would be that you had not basically declared you were waiting for her. We want what we cannot have. So sooner or later, she needs to have an idea that she should either jump on you and what you now offer or she risks someone else getting you.


In the interim, while you should not make a move, she should have some hint of an idea that you are a man with a physical desire to see her naked in your bed. When I went out with my wife on one of our first dates, she caught me looking at her breasts. I was looking, she saw me looking. And then she asked if I liked them. No what could I say? No, and not only was it not ture, but it could hurt her. Yes, and I could seem like well apporaching an oaf. I looked right in her eyes and said firmly "Among other things." The way this happened, there was no doubt that I saw her as a sexual object, a woman I wanted physically. If you remove all signs of your desire for her, then you risk being "figuratively castrated."


Now, the way to do that may be that when she comes over you look at her rear and tell her she looks good in what she is wearing. She would know you were checking out her a__ and appreciating it. But that's not a move, it's just you appreciating her as a woman in a physcial appearance way, and it clearly indicates you have physical desires for her. Do you see what I am saying?


You can do this without even saying anything, just let her see you looking at her with some desire in your eyes. And if she complains, then act like you have no idea what she is taling about. Until she seems to want you to look again.


You're doing well, it seems. Since the break up, you got your b__ls back. Just make sure she knows that they remain in your pants.


Good luck.

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I don't know. My inclination would be to abstain from anything even remotely sexually suggestive. That includes predatory looks. I do think someo compliment is always nice if warranted. Such as, "You are looking great", "Your hair is great"... etc... To let her know you still find her attractive. But I would keep it in the non-sexual arena for now. There is still a lot of trust left to fix before then.

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I don't know. My inclination would be to abstain from anything even remotely sexually suggestive. That includes predatory looks. I do think someo compliment is always nice if warranted. Such as, "You are looking great", "Your hair is great"... etc... To let her know you still find her attractive. But I would keep it in the non-sexual arena for now. There is still a lot of trust left to fix before then.


Predatory? Yikes, I would not want to ever be predatory. Suggestive, not that now either. But a "you look really good" as my eyes were not just on her face, that I would do. A "you look nice in that ____" as she walked away from me, so she knew exactly where I was looking. Those remarks I would make. And then I'd try to act as if I was guilty but wanted to act innocent.


That's not sex, that's letting her know that you are a man and that you see her as a sexual object. It need not and does not include an intent to act in the near future. And I would not act in the near future with any such intent.


And I would not, until things were headed in a sexual direction ever remark that any of her body parts were desirable or be suggestive that we do something.


The reason to do this kind of stuff is to make sure she does not friendzone you, a clear danger when you act as "just friends." There is nothing wrong with checking her out, which is all this is, so long as you are not doing it in a gauche manner.


When you being dating someone, do you check them out and get seen checking them out? In most cases, yes, and I know I do. Does that mean I would do more? No way, unless she pushes me to do so, as my wife did when she asked if I liked her breasts. When I went out with a woman, I did so because somewhere in my mind I saw us naked and having sex, and I never ever hid that. But suggest it? No, and if a guy did, I bet he set his chances of getting back a few months. Women want to see the desire is there, but they also wnat o know you can control yourself.

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I agree... when Dare and his wife are dating again, I think those types of responses will be much more valid.


A "You look good" while looking at a girl's chest is not just suggestive, some women are (surprisingly enough) offended. Especially when you are just getting over a traumatic split and are trying to repair the bridges of trust and friendship.


I do not believe that the "friendzone" effect is especially valid after a multi-year relationship. In a new one, yes. But in a case like this I feel that mature, up-front, honest communication (verbal) is more appropriate. If things get lighter (as they are not now) and flirtation naturally enters the interactions... then is the time to make the "you make those jeans look nice" comments...

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Thanks guys...but I think I went ahead and sunk that ship over the weekend.


We spent the day together on Friday; we took our little girl school shopping, watched a movie and had dinner at my house and she left right after the girls went to sleep. She didn't say much, she moved whenever I stepped within 5 feet of her and I don't recall seeing her smile even once the whole evening. She looked like sh*t when she showed up, too...dressed like it was laundry day and didn't even run a comb through her hair.


I had been thinking that we needed to talk about our relationship; we had been spending a lot of time together lately and it was starting to confuse our daughters. Even our three-year-old had starting to say things...trying to get her mommy to kiss me, trying to get me to come to her mommy's house, saying things like "I like Mommy. I like Daddy. I like Mommy AND Daddy." Not only the girls, it was confusing the hell out of me as well. So I called her.


I asked her if she was at all attracted to me. Her reply..."well, you're not ugly. But I just don't think of you that way anymore." She proceeded to tell me that she had fun with me as a friend, but didn't see us being together again. She said again that she hadn't felt "that way" about me for a long time. I asked if she ever missed me; she told me not in "that way." I didn't even bother asking in which way she DID miss me. I did, however, ask her if there was anything I could do, any way we could start over, not just for my sake, but for the girls as well. She said she didn't think so. She began to cry as we talked, but there was no hostility, only sadness...as though she was genuinely hurt by telling me this. She told me she was sorry, I told her not to apologize; I just wanted to hear the truth and she gave it to me. We told each other good night and hung up the phone.


We had been spending a lot more time together lately, but it was me who was making the effort and the plans, she would simply agree and show up. She would only call when she needed something from me, never just to say "hi" or invite me to do anything. We had talked before about a concert on the 16th, she called me the night after we talked and asked if we were still going. I told her that I would probably just try to find a date.


As far as I'm concerned, Friday night's conversation is the official closing of the books on "us". It was the first time we have talked about our relationship and the breakup thereof without fighting, but her answers were still the same. We will not be together. I won't be calling her anymore and will only take calls from her that concern our children. I knew things would never and shouldn't ever go back to the way they were, but hoped at the same time that we could build something new by spending time together. But all that was accomplished was a little false hope for me and my little girls to cling to.


Hello NC, my old friend.

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Well.. I don't know about NC, unless you really need it. I mean... you can let go with love. It definitely sounds like there isn't really animosity... just sadness. It's good to move on. You never know what the future may bring but, keep being good to yourself and your children and good things will come.


I think you are right to limit your contact with all of you together though, that is probably causing unnecessary confusion for your kids. Hang in there...

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Ive read a bunch of your posts. I reall ythink you need to just stop seeing her. Have her drop off thr girls and have her not come in. If she cant care for the girls then have them come live with you. stop giving her money for every little thing. but more importantly just stop seeing her.


It seems in breakups if one person still has feelings and the other doesnt then there will always be probelms. When you werte dating she was not so she pulled you back in insticntively. But when you bit, she pushd you out again. SHE WILL ALWAYS DO THIS. whe you get to a certain point theres no turning back and i think that point is reached with you guys. Move on, have her drop off your daughtwers, and find someone you can care for. Then you will find happiness

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Dare: WOW! Your last few posts rang true with me and made me feel a lot like my own sitch. Don't worry my friend, I did the same thing. The whole "booty call" and her acting as if we were just friends. It seems that they want someone in thier lives, just not us.


I still haven't gotten over that, so I applaud you. When I read about her stating she felt that way for a long time, I felt shivers up my spine and sadness in my heart. Exactly what I was told.


So, we can have sex, TWICE. Once in the AM, after you balled your eyes out about us having it and then seemed to have no problem in the AM, and then in the aforementioned AM.


I cannot see why they do this. I feel so bad for your little girls, but you can only try to make things comfortable for them. I mean, what else can ya do?


Also, if they know how they feel, then why act more than friends?


Mine was kissing me and then said, "watch the tongue". HUH? Don't kiss me then.


Who knows? I'm rambling. Thanks for your posts.

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I've recognized that "point of no return" now, and have been keeping my distance; not only have I not been calling her, but I've been ducking calls from her like crazy. Six missed calls yesterday alone. She started calling me a couple times a day after she told me that we wouldn't be together. I've been waiting for her to go to work and calling our daughter to see what she's been calling for. First it was to find out if it was okay with me if my daughter started going back to taekwondo. I asked her to tell her mother that it was okay.


The next day, the phone calls began again and were again ignored. When I finally talked to my daughter, she said her mother wanted to know if I would help pay for her taekwondo lessons. Told her I wouldn't be able to afford it, and told her I was sorry. She said it was okay, she really didn't want to go anyway, it was her mother's idea. When she saw her mother the next morning, she relayed my message again...and I was pretty sure she would have no more reason to call me after that.


Yesterday, she started hammering me with calls. I think she recognized the fact that I was avoiding her because she began to leave voicemails, which she almost never does unless it's important. The first two were just her telling me to call her back, the last one was wanting to know if I wanted the girls over Labor Day...I already have them over the weekend and there's no need to call me to ask that; my little girl can just call her this weekend and tell her to leave her.


Seems she's reaching for excuses to call me and I think in order for me to come to terms with the finality of everything, I need to be a part of my childrens' lives while having as little to do with her as possible. I've gone NC on her before and it's always the same outcome: call after call, trying to keep me in touch. I don't know anyone who keeps in constant day-to-day contact with their ex, even with children involved.

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Dare: I keep in touch with my ex-wife all the time now. It is strange, because we HATED each other, at first. Now, I talk to her about my last 2 ex GFs. Funny huh?


We do have kids together and if her husband was not her husband, I would totally hang out with him.


Know that there is someone who knows how you feel. For me, I think it is the total sadness of it all, when it finally ends and you know there is nothing you can do.

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By the end of the day of my last post, she had tried to call me 11 times in less than 24 hours. When school let out, I got a call from my daughter's cell phone; when I answered, she told me her mother wanted to talk to me. She asked why I hadn't answered my phone, I told her I was really busy and if she needed something to just leave me a voicemail. She proceeded to ask a question that I had already answered days ago and another that my our daughter already knew the answer to. I was not rude, I answered her questions and said goodbye, she seemed a little pissed.


She's only tried to call me a couple of times this weekend.

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