I've posted before about my extremely amicable split from my stbx. A quick recap, she drove the whole thing; while she never said it, her reasons were basically the whole ILBNILWY/So empty/Nothing left to give crap. I went through some serious angst trying to save the situation, due to my ingrained "Marriage is Forever, through thick and thin" and "A family should be together" set of values, all to no avail. So I eventually said "The hell with it then" and agreed to everything and we got down to planning it together, with no lawyer involvement - it was easy to do, as we've always been equal earners, no money worries, no alimony or child support payments required, 50/50 parenting no probs, etc etc etc. We had been having general relationship problems, but I put them down to normal married life - she obviously felt a lot stronger and didn't have my values due to her own broken home upbringing, so she flaked.
Because I think the ILBNILWY/so empty/nothing left to give spiel is the biggest crock of horse poo ever spoken on the face of this earth, I did a ton of extensive snooping during the process to see if there was anyone else in the frame. What I found, rather than another guy, was her confiding in and surrounding herself with a new set of partying divorced friends, who no doubt had a big impact on solidifying her decision to jump ship. She seems to have largely embraced this new lifestyle - single friends, single divorcee friends etc. Regarding her (our) more traditional, long term married friends - she seems to have distanced herself from them.
We sold our house; I moved into a nice apartment, she is having a new place built and living with her mom in the interim; our daughter spends 50/50 time at each place. As far as these things go, the transition has been pretty good do far; we've both worked hard to ensure our daughter always comes first and have maintained friendly relations...I think we've done more talking than in any split in history. Despite me being the dumpee, I've been doing OK; keeping busy, surrounding myself with friends (taking a leaf out of her book, I've been doing plenty of partying of my own) and so on. Some parts of me have even enjoyed the downtime, and at times have been excited by future prospects.....but then other times, the reality check still continues to hit me.
But here's the rub - I know that probably sooner rather than later, she is going to meet someone else (and may well even be having the odd fling here and there anyway, due to this new partying midlife crisis lifestyle that she has chosen). I'm finding that it is bothering me more than it should. I think that continuing to be friendly with her is only likely to serve as an enabler for her - and is likely to turn her into a "Cake Eater". Seems I'm good enough to do the family time and even hang around with and have a beer together etc...but obviously no longer "cool enough" to be her lover. The fact that this is bugging me is obviously an indicator that despite all my progress and bravado etc...I'm not as over her as I like to think I am. And vice versa....the fact she wants to still hang out with me/go out to dinner on our own (and we've come close to "getting it on, one last time" on a number of occasions) and likes to call me up for a general chat all seems indicative that she's not quite as done as she likes to think she is.
The trouble with it all is that being the dumpee, I am really starting to feel like the "Backup Plan", and this strange limbo is not helping either of us really deal with the gravity of the whole situation.....and I think it is just setting myself up for a renewed slap in the face come the inevitable day when she seriously meets someone else (or even if she's decided just to screw around). As such, I am now thinking that on our next outing, I am going to sit down and talk with her and tell her that in order to properly move on, I need to cut much further away from her emotionally - no "dates", no calls, no real communication unless its about our daughter, etc. I think she needs to see it in the cold light of day as well - the way it is going on at the moment, I am still providing her the familiarity and emotional support that she has always enjoyed. She also still keeps doing things for me - I think a lot of that is guilt driven, but some of it is genuine thoughtfulness, however I think to continue on as we are is ultimately headed to a really big wreck down the road.
I'm starting to see it's true what they (i.e. most of you all on this board!
) say; being friends with your ex really drags out the healing process, and you even find yourself wondering what they are up to, jealous feelings and so on.
A question for anyone who has been through it - what to do about my inlaw family? I've always got on with them great - and they have been very supportive to me during this whole thing, always calling and asking how I am, helping me with this that and the other - I think they all feel that what she has done is wrong, and deep down I can see they are hoping we will resolve it (but I'm not so sure we can or will). Do you think it best I really should start distancing myself from them too? They love me and I love them...but the reminders of the good family times we have all shared together is starting to get to me a bit as well.
I tell ya, this divorcing business...even if its amicable, its crap. My heart really goes out to those in much worse predicaments than myself.