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Author Topic: I think I'm just a step away from divorcing.  (Read 430 times)
SamwizeGamgee
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« on: January 10, 2018, 09:23:48 AM »

I am using this board as a place to talk, maybe just say a few things.  Pardon me if it's not necessarily a useful post overall.
I am not one for angry break-ups or impulsive bailing out on a marriage.  I am not taking this lightly.

I first remember first reading about Borderline Personality Disorder three years ago.  Since then, I've put myself to work to study, learn, and heal.  I have looked at myself closely, too closely maybe.  In a lot of ways I am to blame for the demise of a 20 year marriage with five kids.  I have corrected many of my behaviors, and even after that, I am left to see that I can't go past a mark that makes my marriage intimate, positive, or uplifting (and perhaps not even survivable).  I have always felt this marriage was wrong, toxic, and harmful, but I didn't know how to get off the train, so to speak.  I think I have processed years of ambivalence, debate, introspection.  I have gone through the loss and grieving of a failed marriage.  I have worked on this issue with a therapist. I think I have a healthy perspective on myself now.  I have grappled with, and found answers to, my tough questions; what to tell the kids, tell God, tell myself, tell parents.  I've studied, fasted, prayed, in consideration of marriage and divorce. I'm a distance runner, and I have worn away hundreds of miles, actually thousands over the years, as I ponder marriage, divorce, and the eternally troubling idea of doing what's right at this point.

Problematically, as I've gotten better, so has my life, and my wife.  That should be good news, but, the improvements in every day life have just been a gloss coating over the pathology underneath.  I used to wish my wife would have one more big rage, to be my proverbial last straw. 

That said, I have gone through a process of trying out different solutions. When I think of using my skills and staying married, it still evokes a feeling of something in between drowning, being buried alive, and making the best of life while on death row.  When I think of divorce, even with an acceptance of financial hardships, the kids suffering, courts, custody, legal abuse, the hurt we would all go through, I still feel an uncommon energy, exhilaration, almost giddiness, at the prospect of one day being not in this marriage that is damaged to the core.  I feel that I'm ready and willing for the fight.  As costly as it may be, and as lousy as I will feel before and during. 

I can't stay undecided, I can't continue like this.  It will never be a good time for divorce, but, I feel really that I have to do this to save my life.  I can't explain it better.

Thanks for reading!
I wish you all peace and freedom from the FOG.
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livednlearned
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« Reply #1 on: January 10, 2018, 10:52:17 AM »

When I think of using my skills and staying married, it still evokes a feeling of something in between drowning, being buried alive, and making the best of life while on death row. 

I read this and thought, wow -- how awful. But I remember feeling that way, too. Except mine was a burning building, everything on fire. If i could just keep a small space from going up in smoke, could I make it work... .

Have you thought about doing EMDR? It almost seems like PTSD type thinking is going on for you, where you have some clarity, but you aren't sure which parts are the clear ones, and which ones aren't.
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SamwizeGamgee
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« Reply #2 on: January 10, 2018, 11:03:06 AM »

I will investigate that.  At the T office I visit, they do practice EMDR.  And I have been exposed to many life situations that are prone to inducing PTSD, but, I've been mostly asymptomatic to the best of our determination.  At least PTSD is not a driver in my life.

Among other high-stress vocations, I was a firefighter / EMT for years in a very busy district.  I have been in burning buildings surrounded by everything on fire.  It's a surreal sense of being very alive, very mortal, very thankful for gear and comrades, and very lucky.  I guess I wouldn't make the same associations in marriage to a fire scene, but, I think we understand each other's feelings.

I have to slip into humor: If I need EMDR to process marriage, wouldn't that mean I need a divorce?

Thanks for your support, consistently.
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ForeverDad
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« Reply #3 on: January 10, 2018, 03:18:16 PM »

I can't stay undecided, I can't continue like this.  It will never be a good time for divorce, but, I feel really that I have to do this to save my life.  I can't explain it better.

There will never be the 'right' time to divorce.  Yes, you do want to time it to avoid at least some of the sabotage and blaming.  For example, filing just before a major holiday season — think Winter Break holidays — would have her blaming you endlessly to any and all for being Mr Evil at that time of year.  Also, you want to be prepared legally and, as best you can, emotionally for what is to come.

What triggered my separation was when I called the police (that magic 3 digit number) and raised the conflict to a whole new level, legal involvement.  Yes, I almost got carted away.  However, thankfully my preschooler saved me, he clung to me and shrieked when I tried to obey the officer and hand him over to his angry mother.  At that point neither officer wanted to intervene.

Do you remember what the last of the five stages of grieving a loss is?  Acceptance.  The stages can proceed in a mishmash of orders but eventually you get to Acceptance.  I knew, just as you do know now, that I had tried for years my reasonable best to make a success of my marriage but I couldn't do it alone, nor with my mate kicking and screaming along the way.  Once you have Accepted you've tried hard enough and long enough without substantive positive results, or as you so eloquently expressed "to save my life", then proceed without any guilt or misgivings on a course toward the only solution left.

Frankly, once you are away from the midst of this dysfunction and unhealthiness, the time and distance will allow you to breathe again and enjoy life again.
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livednlearned
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« Reply #4 on: January 10, 2018, 04:32:34 PM »

I have to slip into humor: If I need EMDR to process marriage, wouldn't that mean I need a divorce?

The EMDR is to work through this:

Excerpt
a feeling of something in between drowning, being buried alive, and making the best of life while on death row.

 Smiling (click to insert in post)

I am wondering if there is a layer to work through first, so that when you do make a decision, you won't be surprised to find that some of that drowning feeling comes with you. That seems to be part of what is stalling you, the uncertainty about whether the potential chaos, conflict, and sadness of divorce will be worth it to feel better, without knowing if those drowning feelings are necessarily something that will come with you.

Sometimes, when the bad stuff around you goes away, the drowning, buried alive, living on death row feelings stick around. Or they just get triggered by other things that are less aggravating, but in the same family of triggers.

With me, both the marriage and divorce were such that the trauma was eventually laid bare. I could access raw emotions for a period of time, and did work to heal those wounds while they were open. It was an awful experience and at the same time, it was like an accelerated boot camp in healing, if only because the emotions overwhelmed my usual cognitive defense moves.

My therapist said this at one point, that being raw is not something we can easily make happen. When it does happen, if you have the right kinds of support, you can make a lot of progress.

EMDR seems to be focused on helping people to access trauma-based feelings when it's safe.  
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« Reply #5 on: January 10, 2018, 06:43:12 PM »

Sam, I know exactly what you are feeling.  The decision you want to make is immense.  You want to divorce.  You aren’t willing to waste any more time.  Whether or not you admit it, you probably have a lot of loathing for this woman to whom you have given so much... .with nothing to show but stress and anxiety and sadness.

But divorce is so scary... .and the first steps involve breaking the hearts of your children.

I’ve done it.

I remember being amazed at the people who mattered to me coming out of the woodwork to support me.  My uncle had some early talks with me (his ex wife had BPD) and I will always remember him saying to me “God wants you to be happy.  God doesn’t want people to live like this.”  I also remember asking him how long things were “bad” after his divorce.  He said that “... .it was really hard... .but the other side is AWESOME.”

I can tell you a year after divorce that the other side IS awesome.  My health has improved immensely, I enjoy a very low stress/low anxiety personal life, my children love me and appreciate me, and I’ve watched my ex do exactly what she always did, part 2.

Good luck.  The hardest part is telling your children, followed by telling your spouse.  It was easier to tell her than the kids.  I actually told my kids with my parents (they LOVE my parents too) present to provide third party support for the children.  I had not planned it that way, but it worked well.
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