False bottoms and turning the corner - Talk About Marriage
Life After Divorce Divorce is complicated, and change is never easy to cope with. Use this section for help and advice on living life after a divorce.

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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 02-09-2017, 09:41 AM Thread Starter
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False bottoms and turning the corner

Someone posted an illustration of the way recovery from divorce actually takes place. It is a long uphill slog with many valleys along the way. I can totally relate to that. Recently I have been thinking about my own recovery (still far from complete and a work in progress - as will probably always be the case). There were many times when I felt I had finally turned the corner. I felt as though I had made a 180 degree turn and instead of plunging head on into the abyss, I was finally starting my ascent. The reality was that, while the change in direction was real, it was in fact only a minor course change. Instead of falling directly into the depths, I had only changed the angle of my descent. It was a false bottom. The change was more like 1 degree and not 180 degrees. Along the way there were plenty of rest stops, places where it seemed I had gained a foot hold. But this was only a brief respite and soon that foot hold gave way allowing the plunge to continue, another false bottom.
As I look back I now see that each of these events (there were far more than I can keep track of) was simply another lesson along the way. Some people unfortunately, cling to that foothold and refuse to let go. IMO, they stunt their own recovery. They do things like jump into LTRs or remarry immediately, desperately trying to recreate what they recently lost. They fail to learn the lessons and continue to make the same mistakes over and over again and again.
As my own progress has continued, I have made many mistakes, hopefully learning something along the way. One of the things I have decided is that I needed to change my view of my marriage and divorce. In the immediate aftermath, I considered it all a failure. I have since come to understand that it is only a failure if I allow it to be. I needed to look at the whole thing as a success. Even the divorce and how it all went down. The real success comes as I continue to evolve and improve, learning the lessons along the way.
Now I am starting to develop a sense of gratitude (something I was told would happen) towards my Ex and what she did. She freed me from an obligation I was not able to free myself of myself (mainly due to societal and familial expectations). But now I truly do have a second chance at life. I am in firm control of my life and where it goes. I can become a failure by wallowing in self pity and blaming her for everything, or I can become a success by taking firm control of what happens to me moving forward on the basis of the lessons I have learned.
So keep turning corners away from disaster and towards success, accept the respites you are given but don't cling to them, take control of your life and become the best you that you can become. Don't settle for comfort, especially when it comes to your self.


At the center of every moMEnt of my life is ME!
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 02-09-2017, 12:27 PM
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Re: False bottoms and turning the corner

Excellent post Ynot. I also felt like you that my marriage was a failure and it was probably one of the bigger things that I struggled with. It took talking with a counselor to realize that I never failed in my marriage. I was a great husband and father, and it is was her who failed when she lied, cheated, and stole. So once I changed my attitude I understood that I did all I could and I was well within my rights to have boundaries of what I would tolerate from a spouse. As time went on I began to think of the absurdity on her part and even somewhat pity her for her choices. She was with me during the harder times (my schooling, starting a family, and building a highly successful career) and got divorced before she got to enjoy any of the benefits of those sacrifices. I got the nice house, the high salary, exotic vacations, and more time actively parenting my kids the way I want to; which is far more than she gets. I also got the ability to take more control of my life and live it the way I want. Divorce isn't necessarily bad, it's just a change and an adjustment. As long as people realize that, then the recovery goes pretty quickly.
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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 02-09-2017, 12:37 PM Thread Starter
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Re: False bottoms and turning the corner

it is hard at first. Looking back, it all makes sense. I married a very independent woman. She always had her own ideas about how her life was going to be (and mine unfortunately). Much of the freedom and many of the choices she had at the end were the result of the same sort of hard work mentioned above by Bananapeel. It ended badly and I am just now coming to accept my part in just how badly it ended. But now I too get to enjoy my own freedom. I am no longer burdened by supporting her freedom and choices, and instead get to enjoy them myself. I always felt like the junior (paying) partner in our relationship. I had her on a pedestal from the get go. She took as much as I gave, which was human nature, I guess. But again, I have taken her off that lofty place and know going forward to never again place some one there.

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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 02-09-2017, 03:20 PM
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Re: False bottoms and turning the corner

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ynot View Post
Someone posted an illustration of the way recovery from divorce actually takes place. It is a long uphill slog with many valleys along the way. I can totally relate to that. Recently I have been thinking about my own recovery (still far from complete and a work in progress - as will probably always be the case). There were many times when I felt I had finally turned the corner. I felt as though I had made a 180 degree turn and instead of plunging head on into the abyss, I was finally starting my ascent. The reality was that, while the change in direction was real, it was in fact only a minor course change. Instead of falling directly into the depths, I had only changed the angle of my descent. It was a false bottom. The change was more like 1 degree and not 180 degrees. Along the way there were plenty of rest stops, places where it seemed I had gained a foot hold. But this was only a brief respite and soon that foot hold gave way allowing the plunge to continue, another false bottom.
As I look back I now see that each of these events (there were far more than I can keep track of) was simply another lesson along the way. Some people unfortunately, cling to that foothold and refuse to let go. IMO, they stunt their own recovery. They do things like jump into LTRs or remarry immediately, desperately trying to recreate what they recently lost. They fail to learn the lessons and continue to make the same mistakes over and over again and again.
As my own progress has continued, I have made many mistakes, hopefully learning something along the way. One of the things I have decided is that I needed to change my view of my marriage and divorce. In the immediate aftermath, I considered it all a failure. I have since come to understand that it is only a failure if I allow it to be. I needed to look at the whole thing as a success. Even the divorce and how it all went down. The real success comes as I continue to evolve and improve, learning the lessons along the way.
Now I am starting to develop a sense of gratitude (something I was told would happen) towards my Ex and what she did. She freed me from an obligation I was not able to free myself of myself (mainly due to societal and familial expectations). But now I truly do have a second chance at life. I am in firm control of my life and where it goes. I can become a failure by wallowing in self pity and blaming her for everything, or I can become a success by taking firm control of what happens to me moving forward on the basis of the lessons I have learned.
So keep turning corners away from disaster and towards success, accept the respites you are given but don't cling to them, take control of your life and become the best you that you can become. Don't settle for comfort, especially when it comes to your self.
I did not see my marriage as a failure because I was conditioned that my feelings and emotions did not matter, hence I could not have failed at anything...

Sense of gratitude.... I read this and the light inside my head went up!! I should be grateful that ex is a POS, because if he had not been a POS I would still be married to him. Even if I was unhappy. I was conditioned that my emotions/feelings did not matter. Sometimes, when I am truly upset I forgive myself for believing that I was worthless and unlovable.

I kept an image in my mind of a sad, lost, crying, little girl (often happened when I was a child) all alone. I hug this little girl and tell her/me that all my feelings are valid. I matter.
I know understand this psychological damage from childhood propelled me to marry a very twisted individual; which in turn, made me believe God had planted me on this earth to make ex h happy. Ex h had a very damaged childhood and I thought I was his salvation....

Will I ever recover? I hope so. I am bitter towards marriage or anyone even insinuating (he) is in a relationship with me.
Example, I like hanging out with my friend A LOT~ we have a lot of fun together. He wants to think we are in a romantic relationship... I do not. I should just accept that he is my boyfriend but I simply CANNOT!!! It is rather stupid, I know. BUT I CANNOT! I am like @FeministInPink's real estate guy.....
I also feel I should not accept I am someone's girlfriend until I am fully healed. I do NOT wish to depend on anyone ever again (the hurt talking??)

My friend and I, we joke a lot together, he sees me as this really strong woman who needs to bring some walls down, so he pushes me a little to bring these walls down... in his own stupid playful way...

He called me his "Mexican trophy" (we were walking around the neighborhood and happened to walk by a Catholic church with a lot of Mexican-American patrons)
He simply said he wanted to show me off to my people ( I am just now accepting I AM MEXICAN and being proud of my heritage, ex husband, hated anything Mexican related and I was manipulated into disliking my own heritage ... I know, it is lame...)
I let go of his hand and walked away from him... I do not know why I did it. He then started joking around and made things better... He also tries to speak Spanish to me and calls me Mexican American pet names, he is not of Mexican descent. If anything, when this ends, I will be grateful to him because he is helping me love my heritage and background.

However, I feel most of the psychological baggage I have is due to my childhood, yes my marriage made the baggage a lot worse.

It is rather stupid, I know. BUT I CANNOT! I am like @FeministInPink's real estate guy.....
Sometimes, when I get depressed, I get tired of being a depressive a$$hole and stop myself.

I say Left, but mean Purple
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 02-09-2017, 05:04 PM Thread Starter
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Re: False bottoms and turning the corner

@ne9907, that is one of the great things about being broken completely. You probably did not even realize you were broken to begin with.

I know I wasn't. I had gone thru life with limited self esteem, I was afraid of women, I thought I had to do things for them to like me. I never knew which way to turn or what to say. I had assumed I was just shy or lacked confidence. The reality of what was that I was trying to live up to their standards. If I met a woman and we meshed, it was typically just because our mutual needs just happened to coincide. When those needs, no longer meshed, the relationship fell apart and I was devastated. Until the next I found the next one.

With my wife that was actually what happened. I got to be her white knight. I rode into rescue the damsel in distress, the single mom valiantly trying to raise a child by herself. I came into the relationship with a steady paycheck and a career ahead of me. The problem was I didn't want the career. I wanted to live. I just didn't realize it. I became trapped in my own mess.

I doubled down on my career and got promoted in short order. About the same time we got married. With the promotion came a move away from friends and family. But I hated my life. I felt like a trapped animal. At first I blamed my job, so I took a different one. Then another and then another. I realized that I hated working for some one else.

So I started my own business. As long as things were going well, I was meeting her needs. When things weren't going well, well, she wasn't happy. I told myself I loved her and kept trying to satisfy her needs. I gave up things that were important to me. I stopped going to breakfast. I stopped hanging out with friends. I gave up much of what made me me in order to satisfy her. I became even more unhappy. Eventually I got to the point where I felt as though I only existed to satisfy every one else.

That was when it ended. I was totally broken. Had I been weaker I would have killed myself. I thought about - a lot.

But it took being completely shattered for me to realize that I needed to fix me. Things are moving along. At first I tried to rebuild who I had been, until I realized how obsolete, incomplete, and unusable the old me had been. Now, I am building myself to be bigger, badder and better than I ever was before.

As for marriage and relationships, I can relate to FIPs Real Estate guy (BTW I am in RE myself). Presently I am very guarded over letting anyone in. I am very proud of who I am becoming and do not wish to allow anyone to influence who I will become, until I am happy with who I have become. Perhaps then I will allow someone in to see the real new me. Until then I am still too much of a work in progress to let someone get in the way. So, I make friends, if they work out great. if not, so long. Same with relationships. I don't mind engaging and test driving the new me. I make it very clear up front where I am at and what my expectations are. I am not interested in being corralled into someone else's drama at this point in my life though.

At the center of every moMEnt of my life is ME!
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