Update and why being too friendly post separation can't really work.
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Old 02-28-2012, 10:18 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Update and why being too friendly post separation can't really work.

Hi folks,

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.
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Old 02-28-2012, 10:37 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Update and why being too friendly post separation can't really work.

A quote: "Don't under estimate the power to change yourself and don't over estimate your power to change someone else."

Focus on yourself, because that is all that you can control. It has been like this since the day you were born.

Being "amicable" is for helping yourself as you serve the other courtesy and respect. It is what you expect of you. A divorce is yet another event in life that we must deal with, as is death.

Another quote: "When you judge another, you do not define them, you define yourself."

Things happen in life that we can't undo. Good or bad, the memories remain. Live in the "now", because the past has already happened. Define what you want your "now" to look like, and live in that manner.

Remember, to serve others is to serve yourself.
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Old 02-28-2012, 10:39 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Update and why being too friendly post separation can't really work.

There are PA's, EA's, MLC's and then the Partners in Crime.

Having learned so much over this past year I have heard so many tell me about how one stbxw is breaking away from her marriage while a close friend, confidant, and partner in crime is doing the same.

My W made the decision to tell me about D right about a month after her sister was dumping another 3 year boyfriend. This same sister also works with her and certainly is no fan of marriage or understanding of what it takes.

Soon after hearing the D word and seeing this one sister show up at our door to help her, I told my W to pick a married sister to confide in not this one. To no avail.

I have a sister who shared with me she almost D her husband early in their marriage due to a friend who was doing the same thing. Cheerleaders of Divorce.
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Old 02-28-2012, 10:48 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Update and why being too friendly post separation can't really work.

Quote:
Originally Posted by This is me View Post
There are PA's, EA's, MLC's and then the Partners in Crime.

Having learned so much over this past year I have heard so many tell me about how one stbxw is breaking away from her marriage while a close friend, confidant, and partner in crime is doing the same.

My W made the decision to tell me about D right about a month after her sister was dumping another 3 year boyfriend. This same sister also works with her and certainly is no fan of marriage or understanding of what it takes.

Soon after hearing the D word and seeing this one sister show up at our door to help her, I told my W to pick a married sister to confide in not this one. To no avail.

I have a sister who shared with me she almost D her husband early in their marriage due to a friend who was doing the same thing. Cheerleaders of Divorce.
misery do love company
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Old 02-28-2012, 10:52 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Update and why being too friendly post separation can't really work.

Quote:
Originally Posted by This is me View Post
There are PA's, EA's, MLC's and then the Partners in Crime......Cheerleaders of Divorce.
Ha, funny you should mention that actually; the one traditional friend the stbx keeps up with - is having major marital dramas and thinking about doing the same.

That is why those values of mine I spoke of in my post - are now shot forever.
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Old 02-28-2012, 11:31 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Update and why being too friendly post separation can't really work.

WD, your story is so much like mine. The main difference is I have not given her the satisfaction of having a friendship with me. From what I can tell she is still trying to steer our relationship that direction but she believes (and has told mutual friends) that I am angry with her, she is quite wrong - I WAS angry at her but mostly myself, there is still a lot of disappointment, but I am mostly just indifferent towards her. When it concerns our child I have learned, and am still getting better at voicing my preferences and working to take charge that way, but even though I am detached, life post-divorce is still difficult even with the 180 at my disposal.
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Old 02-28-2012, 11:31 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Update and why being too friendly post separation can't really work.

Quote:
Originally Posted by This is me View Post
I have a sister who shared with me she almost D her husband early in their marriage due to a friend who was doing the same thing. Cheerleaders of Divorce.
Ha! I've used that term as well. A friend of her's at work split from her husband 16 months ago. That's the first time my stbxw hinted she was unhappy. Another friend of my stbxw's and me separated from her husband 14 months ago. She told my stbxw "I was unhappy and didn't want to spend another 10 years trying to be happy"... and guess what... my stbxw is using the SAME damn line with me. She wants to feel in love again. Essentially, she a person in the perpetual search of temporary highs. It's amazing how many people from co-workers to friends see this in her.

She wants to see if the grass is greener on the other side. Her friends are cheering her on, supporting her as a strong, independent women who made a strong choice. In my view, she had a loving husband, a best friend, someone who truly cared about her... and she threw that all away. She doesn't love herself, so of course she isn't happy... but that is her issue, not mine.

To my knowledge, she has not had an EA or PA, and we've agreed not to see of hook up with anyone else until we're both sure. Not sure if I trust her to honour that, but it doesn't matter anymore. Although I am far from ready, I am looking forward to dating again and finding an emotionally authentic and honest woman to share my life with.
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Old 02-28-2012, 02:17 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Update and why being too friendly post separation can't really work.

This is from a dumpee wife's point of view...
My stbxh threw every hurtful things he can at me after the separation. Meanwhile I was attending a church and was listening to all the married people's advice on how to fix my marriage. I did everything I can possibly swallow to show my husband what he is going to lose if he continues this path towards our impending divorce. I drove several hundred miles to be at his bedside when he was admitted at the hospital, made sure that my insurance will cover everything he needs, and the first thing out of his mouth was, "You really didn't need to be here." I plastered a smile across my face, and tried to let it all roll like water off a duck's back. He would invite me to dinner, and if I gave so much as a hint of wanting to talk regarding our situation, he would blow up on me saying, "This is why I hesitate about being friends, with you, I'm always worried that you will view it as a hope to reconciliation."
Then one day...a complete 180. I will be respectful whenever he called, but will never initiate communication. This drove my stbxh even angrier, wanting to punish me even more, until he thrust the last dagger which is our divorce which will be finalized in a few months.
Then he comes over to talk, telling me that he wants to be friends. WTF?! If he can't be friends with me during the marriage, what makes him think that I will be willing to accept his friendship outside of marriage? he was hateful, angry,arrogant and demeaning, and you know what? So was I..But...I was willing to give the marriage a chance because just like you WD, I believed in the sanctity of the marriage and Till death do us part crap.
The problem is, my stbxh thinks that I'm pining for him, that he is the most wonderful guy in the world and that's why I'm still wanting to save the marriage, and he saw that as a tool to let me know that I was the loser between the two of us.
He..completely....missed...the...boat...of what marriage is supposed to be.
I gave him an amicable divorce just like yours. Didn't asked for a single penny, didn't go after any of his assets even though the sharks (lawyers) were pushing to do so.
but I will never be friends with him for I am not as over it like I think I was just like you...
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Old 02-28-2012, 02:25 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Update and why being too friendly post separation can't really work.

Yea, Exes are not friends. If you have children, then exes are like family...you only see them when you have to.
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Old 02-28-2012, 02:36 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Update and why being too friendly post separation can't really work.

Me too! I have decided to do a hard 180. She already has most of out things. I don't know what is in her head,I don't trust her any more.As far as in-laws, my parents Invited her to a get together a month after the split.Her mom hates my guts for reasons that she created in reality and her mind. I am amazed at the lies created about me. I am not welcome to the house they share if "mom" is there.
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Old 02-28-2012, 02:59 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Default Re: Update and why being too friendly post separation can't really work.

Thanks for the comments everyone. This is the most serious backslide/uncertainty period I've had....I had a really great weekend but since Sunday night have been in a right old funk.

I'm going to get together with her later this week and get it all off my chest and kick this whole thing into "Phase 2" I reckon - I need to get out of this limbo land.
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Old 02-28-2012, 03:07 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Default Re: Update and why being too friendly post separation can't really work.

Quote:
Originally Posted by canguy66 View Post
"I was unhappy and didn't want to spend another 10 years trying to be happy"... and guess what... my stbxw is using the SAME damn line with me. She wants to feel in love again. Essentially, she a person in the perpetual search of temporary highs.
canguy - I've had the exact same line. That's why, despite the so far friendly nature of the whole thing, I need to crank it up a notch myself and tell her I need her to keep her distance from now on. It's going to be an interesting chat.

Once I pull myself out of this slide and get back to the positive self I've generally managed to be through all this, I am sure I'll be fine. I'm just having an off couple of days. I think the high of a really great weekend with old friends from out of town, followed by a tedious couple of days of work is contributing to this funk.
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Old 02-28-2012, 03:41 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Default Re: Update and why being too friendly post separation can't really work.

I realized last week that I have put myself in limbo. I have quickly pulled myself out. You can do it. So far I am doing okay, but she still keeps texting me about the kids... I wish I could turn it off, but they are OUR kids, not her's or mine. You can do it. If I can you can
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Old 02-28-2012, 04:00 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Default Re: Update and why being too friendly post separation can't really work.

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Once I pull myself out of this slide and get back to the positive self I've generally managed to be through all this, I am sure I'll be fine. I'm just having an off couple of days. I think the high of a really great weekend with old friends from out of town, followed by a tedious couple of days of work is contributing to this funk.
All part of the process, isn't it? I've been doing ok for the past few days, but am aware the roller coaster ride could start again. Thankfully, those moments are fewer and father apart, and aren't as rough. Unlike you, my stbxw and I are not in contact often. I suspect she may have someone else. If so, that will sting, but also provide the ultimate in closure (not that I have any hope of reconciliation now).

The hard part for me has been socially. I am very well known, liked and respected in my town, but have few close friends. I've always been a private person too. Working from home doesn't help, so after vacation I'm going to be working from my base workplace. Seeing other people and renewing contacts will be healthy and make me feel less lonely. Slowly, I am getting used to my own company again, but it's still rough to wake up alone and without my wife... keeping in mind I am missing the better memories, not the reality. Biiiiiig difference.

Hang in there.
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Old 02-28-2012, 06:15 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Default Re: Update and why being too friendly post separation can't really work.

I think partly they want to stay friends is to relieve their own guilt about what they have done. Especially when imfidelity is involved.
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