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Author Topic: It's my life, now I'm owning it.  (Read 665 times)
SamwizeGamgee
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« on: October 10, 2018, 03:35:09 PM »

I don't really have a main point.  But, I have a couples counseling appointment set for tomorrow, and I need to talk to my BPDFamily people to get your support.  This couples counseling has been my deadline of sorts to finally come out in the open about how much I don't like marriage and have internally decided to consider divorce.
I will finally get my truth out. My story.  I've been keeping it in for too long.  I've been caretaking, empathizing, and eliminating myself to convenience my wife for far too long.  It's time to make something happen.  I can't say that I've decided to get a divorce, but, I am saying I'm coming out with honesty now.  And that will probably hurt and damage a lot for my uBPDw. 
I posed the question to myself what would a healthy man do, and I think this is what would happen.
I plan to hang my truth, my life, out there - and go with it.
My wife's commonly a waif / hermit BPD type, and high functioning, so I don't expect serious legal and mortal threats, right away at least.   
I think the relationship is toxic, unrecoverable, and sooner or later, my survival is at stake.  Emotional survival at least. 
I think my wife has been on her best behavior for a long time, and I commend her.  I see good in the past, but the bad overwhelms it.
I've got my feelings and thinking sorted out pretty well. There's never a good time to do this, so, I might as well jump.
In the military I learned to base decisions on "what is," and only once we know enough of what is.  I think I'm there.
Just sharing, and telling someone who gets it!
Thanks [virtual] family!
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« Reply #1 on: October 10, 2018, 04:45:11 PM »

Be prepared for extreme Denial and/or Blame Shifting.  Or begging and/or demanding you try again.  Hopefully the counselor will be a moderating influence.  I can't think of a better place to broach the subject.  Will you give the counselor a quiet heads up beforehand?  I ask because if the counselor is caught off guard then a Blamefest could occur.

You're not blaming, just stating where you are, but automatic Denial could kick in with her as an overreaction.  The two older children won't be directly impacted by the domestic court outcome but the younger children will have court orders concerning them for years to come.
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SamwizeGamgee
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« Reply #2 on: October 10, 2018, 08:47:11 PM »

Thanks for the reply Skip. I have told the assistant a general summary of the relationship layout, to prepare her for the type of visit I expect.  I don't know if the word trickled up to the T.  This is my first time meeting with this practitioner.  I will see if I have an opportunity to confer privately.  Nevertheless, I won't go into the session leading with "I want out."  Rather, I'll describe as honestly as possible the evolution of my experiences and feelings.  It's harder to argue and blame me into changing how I have felt and what I have been through.  I'm telling my truth this time.

I have spent the last three years in training for this kind of thing.  I can better predict and identify projections and blame.  I am also better able to identify and articulate my feelings.  A main point of these proposed sessions are a result of me being aware and able to champion my own feelings.  Finally.

I don't know how it will go, but you're right, there could be a whole lot of crying, anger, twisting, and she's definately what Splitting would describe as an emotionally persuasive blamer.  She may win over the T based on her emotional intensity and perrsuasion if she uses her superpowers.  I expect that by now I can see it happening, and stick to my truth in spite of it.  I'm afraid I'm an empath of sorts, so it will be hard.  But, I have to remember that I've been staying married for 21 years mostly because I don't want to hurt my wife's feelings.

In a way, I think that I've set the table for a win / win for myself.  If she has a businesslike attitude when faced with a possibe divorce, we might be able to hammer out an honroable peace, maybe even stay married with some redifining of the relationship.  If, on the other hand, she goes into rages, blame, and dysfuntion, I'll have my smoking gun evidence that this needs to end - even if its the hard way.  She has been on excellent behavior lately, I think she can sense how utterly far I have gone from her emotionally.  It's like everyone who drives the speed limit when a cop is behind them.  She's been on her best lately, and yet I still can see the blame shifting, the willful helplessness, the passive aggression - all with the guise of being a doting mother and idylic wife "waiting for me to decide" as she says often.

I've been on the backside of catch-22's so often, now it feels like one is working in my favor.  She can cooperate, and get a separation that is calm and ends up benefiting everyone's health.  Don't cooperate, and it fuels my drive to get to a safe palce and share custody with the kids so they have a haven part of the time.

I feel calm, so that means I've left behing so much of the wishy-washy ambivalence about what to do that has haunted me for years. 
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« Reply #3 on: October 10, 2018, 09:10:38 PM »

It's likely she will choose to obligate or guilt you (F.O.G.) saying divorce is bad for children.  For all I know that may be so if the family dysfunction is minimal.  But here's a reference that gives a different perspective.  There is an upside to standing up for yourself, it has ramifications and sets an example for the children for their future relationships.

Excerpt
Living in a calm and stable home, even if only for part of their lives, will give the children a better example of normalcy for their own future relationships.  (They'll probably get married some day, wouldn't you like them to make healthy choices and not picking what they've known so far?)  Staying together would mean that's the only example of home life they would have known — discord, conflict, invalidation, alienation attempts, overall craziness, etc.  Over 30 years ago the book Solomon's Children - Exploding the Myths of Divorce had an interesting observation (the earliest quote I could find) on page 195 by one participant, As the saying goes, "I'd rather come from a broken home than live in one."  Ponder that.  Taking action will enable your lives, or at least a part of your lives going forward, to be spent be in a calm, stable environment — your home, wherever that is — away from the blaming, emotional distortions, pressuring demands and manipulations, unpredictable ever-looming rages and outright chaos.  And some of the flying monkeys too.

All the children are in school most of the year with one or two graduated or about to graduate.  If she's not working and you're not independently wealthy, then she ought adjust her mindset to find a job or career.  It's not like she has to care for babies and toddlers.  She has free time in the middle of the day for 9 months out of the year.
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« Reply #4 on: October 11, 2018, 09:28:32 AM »

Excerpt
It's likely she will choose to obligate or guilt you (F.O.G.) saying divorce is bad for children. 

Hey Sam, Beware of F-O-G.  It's unlikely she will take responsibility for her role in the state of your marriage, which means she's likely to shift the blame to you in order to get it off her plate.  Your counselor should be able to help sort it out.  I admire your courage to stand in your truth, which can only be a positive for you.  Good luck!

LuckyJim
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« Reply #5 on: October 11, 2018, 09:36:35 AM »

Good luck, SG.

I understand the long ambivalence. I think we all could see you working up to this resolution. It's tough when you pull every trick out of the bag that you have to make things work, and yet, it just doesn't work. And so many of those tricks involve self-sabotage and self-denigration - sort of a steady whittling down of who you are. I don't think you have anything to feel bad about. You have done what you can, and more than you should have.

Keep this as a point of reflection in the days ahead, something to remind you of how you can have clear, healthy thought ... sort of like a compass.
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« Reply #6 on: October 11, 2018, 12:45:43 PM »

I'm back!

Thanks everyone for the support. We just got back a little bit ago from our appointment.  I feel calm.  Which is good.  I don't feel quite like I got to unload my burden (something I want to do eventually, maybe just on my own), but, I feel very proud of myself for being able to go into this appointment without the fear and wobbly knees - and most importantly, without succumbing to my inner politician / people-pleaser mode in which I would have softened my stance (that stance being sure of myself, my feelings, and my reality).  I did that last year, in a one and only previous couples visit.  That one went nowhere.

I think the T did a good job for a first visit inventory.  Again, I didn't get into describing my details of now being able to identify that marriage has been decades of verbal and emotional abuse.  But, I was able to fearlessly say that fear had been a major factor in marriage - which sounds odd when I write it.  Fortunately, the T didn't let anything digress into a blame fest, or make things single-focused, or take sides.  I'm glad I didn't cave.  In fact, I had none of my previous tendencies to make sure my wife got her point across, make sure that she's having a positive experience.  She wasn't ready to hear what I said, but I think the T gets a gist that past hurts have run deep.

I can sense a formative change in me these days.  I see that a lot changes when I get to that point of self-awareness, and confidence in my truth.  I am ready for whatever may come.  Well, I can't say I'm ready, but, I'm mentally and emotionally accepting whatever may happen.

I'm partly expecting the T to underestimate the possibility of personality disorders, and abuse.  But, I am okay with that.  I know what I know.  I can stand on that.  I don't need another witness.  I also note that I don't feel like I need to get out all the details and "prove" I suffered abuse. Or, convince anyone at all why I'm not happy. Nor do I need to win someone to agreeing that divorce is a real option, and I believe necessary. And I certainly don't need to try to say something to make my wife figure out that she's the problem, which was never my goal, but, sometimes I do think it would be useful for her to take a look inside. 

I'm also willing and able to take feedback, and I know I can do a lot of things better. I will certainly not dismiss any advice given during these sessions.  The T was up front that he tries to save all relationships and marriage if possible.  I can accept that this time around, because, well, I know what I know.   I also have been walking around with a saying in my head that I will be judged by one, and one only (meaning God).  I picked that idea up when I recently got tattooing done.  I don't recommend that to everyone, and certainly not as self-discovery therapy, but, it made a difference to me.  Kind of deep there. But, anyway, the point is, I can stand being judged, disbelieved, dismissed, and misunderstood, and I nevertheless know who I am.  Whether it's uBPDw, T, or any one else.  I'm good on my path. 

We ended the session. The T had us pick short term goals for these next visits.  She went first, said she wanted to learn to be more supportive and help me.  I said I wanted to work for an honorable peace, whether we stay married or not, we have kids and a life together, and I wanted a working peaceful relationship.

As I think about it, she did try on some familiar roles.  She did make herself out to be the benevolent, supporting, martyr of my depression, sort of thing.  Tinged with a little false coloring of acceptance.  It's fine. I've walked these streets before.  After we got home, she had an outing planned with some friends which is good for her.  She offered to stay out longer today since she didn't want to cause me anxiety being around her. She offered to let me be around the kids without "fear."   I guess that me living in fear of BPD translated differently in her head. 

I feel exhausted for some reason, like I want to just go take a nap now, but also like dancing.
Maybe I'll go sit on the porch and do nothing for ten minutes.  ;)

Thanks for reading, and supporting.  And, getting it. It would be lonely and confusing without knowledge of BPD and friends who "get it."
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« Reply #7 on: October 11, 2018, 01:29:47 PM »

Nice that you are processing this with so much awareness, SamGee.

 

Thanks for catching us up.

LnL
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« Reply #8 on: October 11, 2018, 01:49:58 PM »

Apologies Forever Dad, I don’t know why I said Skip in my reply! Sorry! A lot in my mind?
And, wife is working part time and started her own business.  That’s been great for her. And, good financial support for herself too.
Anyway, thanks all, again!
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« Reply #9 on: October 12, 2018, 09:31:25 AM »

Excerpt
She offered to let me be around the kids without "fear."   I guess that me living in fear of BPD translated differently in her head. 

Hey Sam, I wonder whether she is lobbing the "fear" term back at you because you raised it during your counseling session?  If so, it could be sort of a passive-aggressive way of getting back at you.

Your counseling session sounds like it was step in the right direction.  Have you scheduled another session?  Has your W agreed to attend?  The reason why I ask is that my BPDxW had a history of dropping out of therapy sessions, citing various excuses that were just a way to avoid taking responsibility for her actions.

LJ
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« Reply #10 on: October 15, 2018, 10:53:04 AM »

I really get a vibe like she's playing her version of the blame game somehow.  Making it as though I'm the crazy one, needed time and help, living in fear because of my alleged anxieties.  It's under the surface, but, I sense there's some passive aggression involved when she reacts, and makes it look like I'm the guy with all the problems.  Your observation is insightful.

We are going back Wednesday.  I am very interested to see how this goes.  As we go deeper into my story, things will get uglier. I'm not holding back my truth any longer.  I can't imagine things will look very pleasant.  After that, we'll see if there's a future.  Currently though, she says she like the T, and we'll go. 

The T is doing his job, and probably considering or assuming that there's regular problems between and with both of us.  I don't think this is a normal relationship problem.

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« Reply #11 on: October 15, 2018, 12:46:40 PM »

Hey Sam,

It sounds like you're off to a good start when she says that she "likes the T."  You'll learn more when the going gets tougher.  I woundn't project too much about how things may play out in the next session, because you'll find out soon enough.  I wouldn't be surprised if your T has encountered similar r/s problems, even if your problems may seem unique, or not normal, to you.  I admire you for taking steps to stand in your truth, which can only be beneficial to your self-esteem, from my perspective.

LuckyJim
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« Reply #12 on: October 16, 2018, 09:12:53 AM »

Thanks.  The T is very perceptive. He's an older guy with decades of experience is several fields.  I suspect the T is nobody's fool.  Even if he's not looking or trained in treating mental disorders, I'm sure in couples therapy, he's gotten to work through plenty of variety.
For all I know, he's seen through this whole thing and has already typed up his report laying out how things really are.
I have reached the point though, that I no longer need someone on my side.  In the unlikely even that my wife - being the persuasive blamer - swings the T to her "side" and becomes her advocate, I can withstand that.  I won't drag things out after that happens. 
I feel like I understand things that were hidden years ago. I can navigate these waters now.  I don't like being in these waters, but, I have gotten more aware of them.
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« Reply #13 on: October 18, 2018, 08:39:45 AM »

Update: Had the second appointment yesterday.  It went fine, as in too fine. I think the T probably has us on a standard couples therapy path. We talked about emotions, category and intensity, and we have homework focused on listening for meaning.  All good, and since my wife is the mother of my children, and I'll have a relationship with her forever for that reason, I think anything we can do to learn and improve is worth it.  However, I feel like this is missing the main issue.  Plus, it's making me feel a little more insane since she's on excellent behavior and no one, no one, knows the hell I have walked through.  I feel like I'm being painted as the anxious, emotionally closed guy with the problem.  And yes, when she's in the room I'm emotionally closed.  I heard it called "medium chill" or "grey rock" before on various BPD groups.  And that's what I've learned in two decades of misunderstanding, manipulation, and blackmail.  It's sort of a self-fulfilling diagnosis at this point.

I'm not emotionally dramatic, I do a poor job advocating for myself usually anyway.  The T hasn't led the conversations about anything past or future - which I kind of respect since we can work on learning good communications without stepping on eggshells and blowing up the past.  But anyway, I feel like I'm treating a headache while bleeding out from a gun shot. In perspective, with us ding our homework and patterning things like restating, listening, thinking, and getting aware of feelings, will be an advantage if I get to the point where I call in the artillery strikes (the truth about my feelings of ending the marriage).

To sum it up, I'm feeling good about having help with our communications framework. But, I'm a little down feeling like this is missing the mark, and could come back and hurt me later when my wife twists it around.  This is another test in living my truth.
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« Reply #14 on: October 18, 2018, 11:53:49 AM »

Hey Sam, I can understand why you are feeling a little down after the second session.  I found couples counseling w/my BPDxW to be a frustrating process because so much went unsaid.  Our T later confided, in individual counseling, that he knew that he was missing something.  Having suffered years of abuse, there was only so much that I felt comfortable sharing in front of my Ex.  Like you, I was emotionally withdrawn w/her in the room and had to express myself with metaphors in order to get my points across.

I wonder whether your T would consider seeing each of you individually to get more background, now that he has met with both of you together? 

Those w/BPD can sure put up a good front when they need to.  It's still early in the game after two visits, so I wouldn't give up the ship yet.  It's possible that subsequent visits will prove more productive.

In the meantime, I admire that you are taking steps to stand in your truth, which is the path towards a more authentic life.

LuckyJim

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« Reply #15 on: October 19, 2018, 04:20:26 PM »

Samwize,

Echoing what Lucky Jim said. Our MC did eventually see us separately as well as together. And eventually MC was the one to suggest this website and other BPD resources to me. I don't think you will ever have that grand moment of being heard. You are speaking/living your truth, and that is the process of being there for yourself, comforting yourself, hearing yourself. For me, I am trying to let go of the expectations that others will validate or see my hardship.

For so long, I believed that one day, my xw would see how awesome I had been all those years for her, see how pretty much no one would have stayed by her side through all of the ups, downs, sideways that she lived. I learned in counseling that that was never going to happen. Basically, even if she did acknowledge that I had suffered, she would immediately dismiss it or diminish it, sort of like - what more do you want, I acknowledged that you have had a hard time? The discomfort of seeing her own actions, her own self is too intense to ever get there. So I have had to let that go. Even having the MC know what was going on and validate my experience didn't bring as much relief as I had hoped. I had to start doing it moment to moment for myself.

You are walking down a hard road, takes a lot of bravery and strength. But I think that you have those traits and are learning the process of being there for you. My heart is with you on this journey.
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« Reply #16 on: October 20, 2018, 09:28:26 PM »

Thanks for the support and understand - I am pretty certain the world won't understand or support.  I was thinking to myself yesterday that if I was going through this experience a year ago, I would be very distressed and probably very depressed.  However, I've come past that point now. Now I can see everything around me and weigh it out against my own self, my own truth.  I can stand on that now.

I get it - for some reason hopping that my wife, or someone, will recognize what I have been through, what I felt and suffered.  That's a lost cause. Instead, the closest I got was last year when my wife says, somewhat judgmentally, that she has forgiven me, and hopes that one day I can forgive her.   In my mind and heart I know I have forgiven her (I struggled with that idea recently, but cleared my conscience of whatever lingered), but meanwhile, that doesn't mean I'll go near a rattlesnake once I've forgiven it for biting me.  But, I think she likes to remind me that she has forgiven me, and then turns it in sort of a self-righteous twist that the onus is on me to fix the relationship now.  She's said several times that she's just waiting for me to decide (stay or go).  Again, not her fault, right?

I'm not sure this MC will pick up the BPD vibe.  He might just be going down the standard couples cures - like communications, leaving the past behind, skills like that.  Which is great.  Like much of the good advice around here, and many other places, we have to take what works and leave the rest. If we develop the skills to have a more effective communications pattern that would be good - whether we fix the marriage or split it. 

Thanks again to everyone. Peace, and good life to all!
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« Reply #17 on: October 21, 2018, 03:41:57 PM »

I recall about 20 years ago when my then-spouse's abuser stepfather was in his last days in the hospital, that his daughter flew 3000 miles to 'forgive' him.  She had run away from home at age 16 because of him and never looked back.  But when she heard his last days were upon him she returned to forgive him, she felt obligated to.  Me?  These days I'm inclined to grant forgiveness when I believe it is deserved or appropriate.  I mean, that poor lady felt she had to forgive him for his years of abuse.  Had he really changed his ways?  Someone saying "I'm sorry" as though a deathbed confession fixes everything doesn't carry much weight.  I see things now that if forgiveness has too high a price to one's self then maybe "Let Go and Move On" can apply.

Just a perspective I've come to have since 'forgiving' someone may come at too high a price.
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« Reply #18 on: October 25, 2018, 03:27:29 AM »

Excerpt
I said I wanted to work for an honorable peace, whether we stay married or not, we have kids and a life together, and I wanted a working peaceful relationship.

Hey Sam, as you said on my thread we are totally in the same boat right now. I just want peace in any form. Thank you so much for starting this topic as I'm finding so much of help to me in it.

Seconding LJ about seeing your T individually. Our T was first my individual T, followed by marriage T, and now sometimes both. The first few marriage sessions were like yours - we would address things like communication issues but I wasn't ready to cart out stuff like how she once tried to get D2 to pee on the floor so I had to clean it. I was polite, controlled, and extremely PC. Then towards the end of one session I started to bring those things out. I guess I felt ready, especially since I had already discussed them in individual.

So my main point is please do keep on the counseling and you will probably find the space to raise some of the real issues. It's a big leap from "She doesn't accept my opinion in arguments" to "she hit me in the face and stole my credit card". The T really needs to know about these things if he's to help either of you.

~ROE
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« Reply #19 on: November 07, 2018, 12:55:05 PM »

Three down. So far so good, though uninspired so far. We have been doing good groundwork kinds of things like practicing listening, restating, identifying feelings etc.  The visits have been somewhat educational, and I am grateful for them.  One can never go wrong with practicing fundamental skills.
However, I also feel like I'm in kindergarten.  I've learned this stuff, after so many years with living on the eggshells, being manipulated, and suffering living with a uBPD partner - and most importantly having walked back into a healthier state of being.  All my past experience has made me really work on the fundamental skills. So, I agree with the MC.  But, I feel like I'm being treated for a headache when in fact, I've got a metaphorical gunshot wound.
Our next appointment is in a few days. the MC warned us that hurtful / emotional things might come out with this next session.  I appreciate the sense of direction, that maybe he knows it's going to get worse before it gets better. After what I've been through, and where I'm at right now, I'm ready to talk domestic abuse, suffering, and mapping out an end.
Things seem to be moving very slowly.  All the while, my wife is on best behavior.  Because of that, I have moments of leaning towards just forgetting the whole personality issues, disorders, and divorce option. Like I'm lulled into a passive state of acceptance, since I have learned a lot of survival skills.
I have a demarcated line in my mind though, one from which I won't shy away or back down. If we get into territory where I can talk about my feelings (past and present), or how much I have suffered - then I open up with  out reservation.  That should make some waves.
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« Reply #20 on: November 07, 2018, 03:03:56 PM »

All the while, my wife is on best behavior.  Because of that, I have moments of leaning towards just forgetting the whole personality issues, disorders, and divorce option. Like I'm lulled into a passive state of acceptance, since I have learned a lot of survival skills.

Is that your goal?  Just to survive?  That would be a continuation of a pretty miserable life.  (You know that once the sessions end then her on-show behavior will fade sooner or later, probably sooner.)

I'm not saying post-marriage life would be all roses and lipops.  That part is totally up to you.  But at least you wouldn't carry a persistent anchor on your shoulders.

Edit:  I call my years near the end of the marriage and in court as the Lost Decade.  I came out of it with worse metabolic health that I'm still struggling to resolve.  But if I had done nothing then I'd still be in the thick of it.  I had to admit she wasn't improving, really she was worsening.  So change was up to me.  I had to get off the increasingly scary roller coaster.
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« Reply #21 on: November 08, 2018, 10:37:27 AM »

Bullet: comment directed to __ (click to insert in post) FD, well spoken.  
I made note, last week even, of her patterns of behavior, that remind me that she simply is who she is.  In this case, we have a debit account specifically for groceries and household consumable stuff.  Every paycheck it gets replenished and that's our budget for groceries.  We both have separate and joint other accounts.  She works now and also has her own income.  It's worked for years.  We eat fine, we both have pocket money.  Nevertheless, I heard her tell the kids we have no money for food, and dad (I can't recall if she said I spent it all, or didn't put enough in) won't give her (my wife speaking) any money for food.  I could see an 8 year olds version of real concern or fear that we were going to starve in my kids' eyes.  

That's just a drop in the bucket example, and probably a stupid one, since I can explain that we will always have enough food.  But, it was a reminder that the blamer is going to blame.

This morning going into work, a thought solidified in my mind.  She's always going to be "the one."  Even if someone waved the Forgive and Forget Fairy Wand, and I went forward with a fresh start, no memories, she would still be "the one."  She's the one who brainwashed and caused the alienation of D17; the one who methodically killed sex and intimacy over the span of the marriage; the one who killed my spirit and  dragged me through so much pain and suffering.  These scars I have inside, the invisible ones, are from living with her.  

The MC emphasizes being in the now, and the next now when it comes.  He instructs us to forgive.  And I do, and I have.  Nevertheless, forgiving, forgetting, and starting new is _no requirement_ to re-enter a toxic relationship.  

She can act nice.  She has actually gotten some good habits now - I think from me modeling things I've learned here.  But, she will always be "the one."
As you said, change is up to me.  I felt for a while now that it's not my duty to just survive marriage, though I'm capable of it.
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ForeverDad
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« Reply #22 on: November 08, 2018, 11:11:44 AM »

The MC emphasizes being in the now, and the next now when it comes.  He instructs us to forgive.  And I do, and I have.  Nevertheless, forgiving, forgetting, and starting new is _no requirement_ to re-enter a toxic relationship.

Does a person have to forgive?  Does a person have to forget?  Those who can't quite cross those bridges, probably me included, who have some skepticism that any apologies (if we even get any) are sincere, real and lasting have gone so far as to Let Go.  Is that enough?

I'm not trying to be a spoiler.  I know we all have different levels of handling issues.  If a person can't deal with the full concept of "forgive, forget & restart", maybe the person can "Let Go & Move On (& not Repeat)".
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SamwizeGamgee
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« Reply #23 on: November 08, 2018, 02:19:34 PM »

I hear you.  I am understanding of what the MC is saying. I bet in 9 of 10 couples, there's some grudges, or heard hearts, with which forgiving would help the r/s. 

For me, in my experience, I don't mean to hold on to something that I'm not forgiving, but one would be wrong to think I'm walking back into a close relationship with uBPDw.

And, I have already been through my wife "forgiving" me of things.  Usually that's her way of bringing something up, to grind it in my face again.  And I believe some of the things she is forgiving me of, never happened, happened only in her feelings, or have been so far manipulated and re-hashed that they are no longer true.  She also seems to be "forgiving" me in order to show how good she is, and then expect to draw me back into a close r/s.  The self-righteous vibe is strong, but maybe she's unaware, or I'm too sensitive.  I can't explain it quite right, but it gives me the feeling of being blackmailed and manipulated.  No thanks.
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worriedStepmom
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« Reply #24 on: November 08, 2018, 03:52:54 PM »

What I hear from you is that you are ready to leave this marriage, but you are going through this process to get some kind of closure?
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SamwizeGamgee
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« Reply #25 on: November 08, 2018, 09:18:38 PM »

One of my interests when I started this effort to do MC was to create a safe space to work on dissolving the marriage.  I am not resolutely determine to end it at all costs, but, I think the majority of my mind is made up that this marriage has to end, sooner, or later.  I think I'm working on making it more like a negotiated settlement rather than an all-out war. At least those were the thoughts in my mind when I set the first appointment. 
I was perhaps wanting to aim this towards a collaborative divorce, as described in Splitting.  And, since I'll have a relationship of some form with my kids mom forever, my desire is to have it be constructive and peaceful where possible.

I do accept that I may yet decide to stay married, and keep my quiet thoughts to myself.  But, that would be driven by the same fear that has kept me playing along as the ordinary husband, just getting by for the past 21+ years.  I know what I want.  I don't quite know how to get there.  I'm afraid of hurting my wife's feelings, and giving her motivation to manipulate the kids even more.  I think starting this MC process was to make a place in which I had enough safety, courage (and a witness), to get my truth out.   

To do that, I think I have keep stirring up an inner anger to motivate me to change.  It's hard to change the status quo.  I live a lie, it works out quite well for my wife, and we carry on.
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RolandOfEld
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« Reply #26 on: November 08, 2018, 11:16:25 PM »

One of my interests when I started this effort to do MC was to create a safe space to work on dissolving the marriage.  I am not resolutely determine to end it at all costs, but, I think the majority of my mind is made up that this marriage has to end, sooner, or later.  I think I'm working on making it more like a negotiated settlement rather than an all-out war. At least those were the thoughts in my mind when I set the first appointment. 
I was perhaps wanting to aim this towards a collaborative divorce, as described in Splitting.  And, since I'll have a relationship of some form with my kids mom forever, my desire is to have it be constructive and peaceful where possible.

I do accept that I may yet decide to stay married, and keep my quiet thoughts to myself.  But, that would be driven by the same fear that has kept me playing along as the ordinary husband, just getting by for the past 21+ years.  I know what I want.  I don't quite know how to get there.  I'm afraid of hurting my wife's feelings, and giving her motivation to manipulate the kids even more.  I think starting this MC process was to make a place in which I had enough safety, courage (and a witness), to get my truth out.   

To do that, I think I have keep stirring up an inner anger to motivate me to change.  It's hard to change the status quo.  I live a lie, it works out quite well for my wife, and we carry on.

I am 100% on the same track as you on every item above, Sam. It's a great point that the lie works great for your wife, but not for you. I think all my wife wants from me anymore is that lie: successful marriage, unbroken home, stable husband, and everything that comes with that. There's no real love for me as a person. I've decided that its better for my kids to see me happy and in a real loving relationship with someone other than their mother than unhappy in this half-life I've been leading. It gives them a model for happiness, albeit one outside the traditional mom and dad stay together one.

That said, I think you and I are doing the wise thing by not deciding and exploding everything all at once. I admire the careful and strategic way you are negotiating the situation. I don't think real life always plays out like the movies where people just scream they want divorce and move out in a week. When two people spend decades integrating their lives together, that's not something you can rip to pieces in a month, especially with kids involved.

What is the MC's view? Does it feel like they are trying to work towards a reconciliation or a separation?

~ROE
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ForeverDad
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« Reply #27 on: November 09, 2018, 08:16:32 AM »

What I hear from you is that you are ready to leave this marriage, but you are going through this process to get some kind of closure?

Closure, or even an equitable outcome, is up to you.  Based on the history, you probably won't get it from your spouse.  You'll have to be the one to grant yourself Closure or the outcome you wish.
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Dragon72
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« Reply #28 on: November 09, 2018, 09:28:48 AM »

I was, am, very much of the midset that I wanted an amicable separation if it came down to that and was biding my time in the marriage, being an "inoffensive" husband and tolerating my wife, all the while dreaming of a life free from her and wondering how to initiate a split. 

I participated willingly in marriage counselling sessions, but I think that MC was really the beginning of the end for my wife. She could not handle the concept of being even in part responsible for the marital difficulties and, with hindsight I can see now that she began to look for things to pin on me to make me out to be wholly at fault and ultimately evil.

So she started to call me out on my perfectly innocent parenting by suggesting indecency, until a week or two later she whisked our son away, moved out, denied me access to our son and accused me of sexually abusing our son.

Yesterday was 3 months since I last saw my son.  It's been 2 months since she cut off phone contact.

My point is that stuff can escalate pretty rapidly.  I thought she was high functioning.  But I now see that the marriage counselling was really the catalyst that resulted in the nightmare that ensued.

As an update, my lawyers are now encouraging me to press criminal charges against my wife for parental alienation and denial of my son's rights to see his father and my rights to see my son. 
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« Reply #29 on: November 09, 2018, 10:22:01 AM »

Excerpt
I'm working on making it more like a negotiated settlement rather than an all-out war.

Hey Sam, that sounds like a reasonable approach, but those w/BPD are often unreasonable, so be prepared for anything, as Dragon72 suggests.

In the words of Admiral Farragut, "Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead!"

Keep us posted,
LuckyJim
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    A life spent making mistakes is not only more honorable, but more useful than a life spent doing nothing.
George Bernard Shaw
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