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  #41  
Old 07-14-2011, 07:00 PM
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What NYCindie said!

If you do start seeing a councelor together, you will very likely discover that there are some deep seated resentments (for both of you), that go back many, many years. I have had to learn an entire new way to communicate with my husband and we've been married 20 years. Frankly it pisses me off that we didn't get help sooner.

Go in with an open mind and no expectations. Tell the councelor where you are at and let your wife do the same, then let the councelor do his/her job. I had divorce paperwork filled out and ready to file the day I made the appointment with the councelor and I told her as much at our first appointment.
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  #42  
Old 07-14-2011, 07:01 PM
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It sounds like you two need to change it up big time. Maybe you need a different job and she needs to get herself one so she's not in the house all day. You both made choices together. They are no longer working and she, in her unhappiness has broken loose. Were there signs before now?

It sounds like you are done. Leaving it to her to divorce you seems a bit cowardly to me. If you're done then leave. Get yourself a place and go. Sounds like she has raised your kids, so they will be fine. Find a place they can visit when you are home and figure out your seperation agreement.

The other choice is to fight for what you have built and get about making the huge changes you need to make. Starting with your job for satarters, maybe move into a smaller place. I dunno, you would though. You don't need her to start, but I would tell her what you are planning. If she agrees she will say so if not then you know you are done.

If you ask me she went to see her boyfriend because she needed a day off, not a day with the kids and you. If she stays at home all the time, why would she want to do that with you when she can go and have a life out side of the home? That's not very interesting to her I bet. Same old same old. Blah Boring.

Look, the hard done by bit IS going to get you divorced. Its not very inspiring or confidence building to her I imagine. You two sound like you have become far to reliant on each other and need more independence. Our culture says that we should set things up as you two have done. I think that was what was meant by sexist. It DOESN'T work for most people. Why? Because its a trap that leads to those in it loosing their minds and wanting to break out. This is what I have noticed anyway.

I bet if you created independence within your marriage she would have little reason to go out and find someone interesting and independent to be with. He is simply an image of what she herself would like to have I bet, who she would like you to be also; self realized, self suficient, doing interesting personal things and goals. So give it that to her and give it to yourself. It doesn't mean breaking up, just changing up the game.
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Last edited by redpepper; 07-14-2011 at 07:05 PM.
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  #43  
Old 07-14-2011, 07:13 PM
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Default The Healing Separation

Okay, well if you are set on separating, let me share something with you called the Healing Separation. I wanted this kind of agreement with my ex, but he just wanted to move immediately to divorce. I think, if there is hope of healing the relationship, the Healing Separation is a good direction to consider, or at least incoporating some elements of it into your negotiations:
The Healing Separation
By Bruce Fisher, Ed.D. and Robert E. Alberti, Ph.D.
On October 20, 2003

A Healing Separation is a structured time apart which can help a couple heal a relationship that isn't working. It can also help revitalize and renew a relationship that is working. The Healing Separation is designed to transform the basis of a love relationship, moving it from neediness to health. A successful Healing Separation requires that both partners be committed to personal growth, and to creating healthier relationships with themselves and each other. Such a framework will allow them to carve out a new and more fulfilling relationship than they've known in the past.

The Healing Separation, like the old-style "trial separation," involves living apart for a while, with the decision as to whether or not to end the relationship put off until some future time. Unlike unplanned and unstructured separations, however, the Healing Separation is a working separation, in which you and your partner dedicate yourselves to investing in your own personal growth. If you can create a better relationship with yourself, that can allow different and healthier relationships with others.

Sometimes your work during a Healing Separation may be on "the old relationship," and sometimes it may be on "the old you." The Healing Separation is a creative way to strengthen both partners and build a new relationship without dissolving the partnership. Each partner agrees to the following goals for this separation:
  1. To provide time and emotional space outside of the love relationship so I can enhance my personal, social, spiritual, and emotional growth.

  2. To better identify my needs, wants, and expectations of the love relationship.

  3. To help me explore my basic relationship needs, and to help me determine if these needs can be met in this love relationship.

  4. To experience the social, sexual, economic, and parental stresses which can occur when I have separated from my partner.

  5. To allow me to determine if I can work through my process better apart than I can in the relationship.

  6. To experience enough emotional distance so I can separate out my issues, which have become convoluted and mixed up together with my partner's issues in our relationship.

  7. To provide an environment to help our relationship heal, transform, evolve into a more loving and healthy relationship.
Some structure and awareness can help improve the chances of success of the healing separation. Unplanned and unstructured separations will most likely contribute to the ending of the relationship. This healing separation agreement attempts to provide structure and guidelines to help make the separation a more constructive and creative experience, and to greatly enhance the growth of the relationship rather than contributing to its demise.

Key Elements of the Healing Separation Agreement
  1. Length of separation (Most couples have a sense of how long a separation they will need or want. It may vary from a few weeks to six months or longer.)

  2. Time to Be Spent Together (A healing separation ideally should include some quality time together on a regular basis.)

  3. Personal Growth Experiences (Ideally a healing separation would include as many personal growth experiences as feasible, practical, and helpful.)

  4. Relationships and Involvements Outside of the Relationship (Ideally a joint decision and compromise should be made concerning social involvement, romantic, and sexual relationships outside of this relationship.)

  5. Living Arrangements (Experience has shown that the in-house separation, with both parties continuing to live in the family home, results in a less creative experience. It seems to dilute the separation experience and keeps both parties from experiencing as much personal growth as is possible with separate living arrangements. It may not give enough emotional space to the person who needs it.)

  6. Financial Decisions (Some couples will decide to continue joint checking accounts, savings accounts, and payment of bills. Other couples will completely separate financial aspects of the relationship.... If there is any chance for [significant] disagreement, each person could take out half of the assets and open separate accounts.)

  7. Motor Vehicles (It is suggested ownership and titles not be changed until a decision has been made about the future of the love relationship.)

  8. Children (It is important when a couple does a Healing Separation to minimize the emotional trauma for the children involved.)

-----------------------------------------------------------
Adapted from REBUILDING: WHEN YOUR RELATIONSHIP ENDS, by Dr. Bruce Fisher and Dr. Robert Alberti. Published by Impact Publishers, Inc., PO Box 6016, Atascadero, CA 93423-6016, www.impactpublishers.com or phone 1-800-246-7228.
Author's Bio

BRUCE FISHER, ED.D. (1931-1998) developed the "rebuilding" model of divorce recovery nearly 25 years ago. Founder and director of the Family Relations Learning Center (Boulder, Colorado), he personally trained thousands of individuals and therapists in this approach, enriching the lives of hundreds of thousands worldwide. Popular divorce therapist, author, teacher, clinical member of the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy.ROBERT E. ALBERTI, PH.D. is a psychologist, marriage and family therapist, Fellow (Psychotherapy) of the American Psychological Association, clinical member of the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy, and author/co-author of several books, including million-copy bestseller YOUR PERFECT RIGHT. His work has received international recognition as the "gold standard" for psychological self-help.
Source URL: http://www.selfgrowth.com/articles/Alberti1.html
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An excellent blog post on hierarchy in polyamory:
solopoly.net/2014/10/31/why-im-not-a-secondary-partner-the-short-version/

Last edited by nycindie; 07-14-2011 at 07:17 PM.
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  #44  
Old 07-14-2011, 07:16 PM
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Just wanted to add, YOU ARE NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR HER HAPPINESS. That's bullshit so stop playing the martyr here. No one is responsible for her happiness but her. She is trying to figure that out after years of putting it aside for you and her kids. Give her a chance. One day taking off with her boyfriend does not mean she isn't figuring it out. Slow down! Take a breath! Get threw your anger and gain some perspective before you nail the coffin.
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  #45  
Old 07-14-2011, 07:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by redpepper View Post
Just wanted to add, YOU ARE NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR HER HAPPINESS. That's bullshit so stop playing the martyr here. No one is responsible for her happiness but her. She is trying to figure that out after years of putting it aside for you and her kids. Give her a chance. One day taking off with her boyfriend does not mean she isn't figuring it out. Slow down! Take a breath! Get threw your anger and gain some perspective before you nail the coffin.
^^^ Yes, this! I said something similar to this earlier, basically. You may be reacting a bit rashly at this early stage. Don't throw the baby out with the bathwater.
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The world opens up... when you do.

"Oh, oh, can't you see? Love is the drug for me." ~Bryan Ferry
"Love and the self are one . . ." ~Leo Buscaglia "

An excellent blog post on hierarchy in polyamory:
solopoly.net/2014/10/31/why-im-not-a-secondary-partner-the-short-version/
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  #46  
Old 07-14-2011, 07:33 PM
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A quick caution, RC.

Ultimatums are really scary. Your plan is reasonable in that it sounds like what you need to process things. But it could come across as aggressive or a threat. When my first wife (also poly) pushed me with an ultimatum, my reaction was to call her on it and walk. To this day I still look at ultimatums as something where if someone will push like that, I'm going to do what I can to mess up their plan and not give them what they want no matter what. I have learned this about myself in the meantime though, so I don't let myself get into ultimatum situations though because my self-destructive streak will push the button.

If you need that plan, I'd advise phrasing it so it has fewer teeth. Let me comment on the plan as is and then suggest a revision...
Quote:
Originally Posted by RobertCourage View Post
1. The objective is to take a few months to let her figure out what she wants to do to be happy without me constantly in the way.
Me in the way? Dude, self-depricating. Not cool. You're her husband, the primary bread winner, and the father of her kids--so don't sell yourself short. I know your ego is beat up right now, but resist the urge for self-flagellation (unless you're secretly Mel Gibson or you're into that).

Quote:
Originally Posted by RobertCourage View Post
2. I will still live home. The kids will know nothing. But we are not operating as a couple any longer. This means she does not have to answer to me nor I to her.
Answer to? Ugh. Authoritative and controlling. Being controlling or wanting control is a common reaction when it feels like things are getting out of control. One of the themes you'll hear here and in "normal" relationship forums is that relationships are a balance. Try to let yourself think in terms of balance rather than control.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RobertCourage View Post
3. We will not have sex. She can do what she wants and I will do what I want.
Two thoughts here:
So you're not ok with sex right now. Understandable. I don't think you need to set up a multi-month sabatical in stone. You might think it's needed so you can emotionally distance yourself, and if that's the plan, it's your call. You might consider internally making that decision without telling the wife that she's cut off. (Yes, yes, I know that's not communication, poly folk. See rule #2 that every situation is different.) You may decide later that sex is ok. But either way, if you tell her no sex, you're really forcing her unto T more.

If your intent is to open yourself up to the possibility of "doing what you want" (i.e. sex with someone else), then I'd suggest you state that explicitly instead (see, poly folk, communication! ). I would expect that as a traveling executive you've had many opportunities, and it says something about how important your marriage is to you that you haven't indicated previous forrays. (Heck, a forray may just show you how freaking complicated poly life can be and raise sympathy for the wife. Just sayin'.)

Quote:
Originally Posted by RobertCourage View Post
4. Again, the kids will know nothing,
Good to clarify. Not necessary to repeat.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RobertCourage View Post
5. We will assess progress at some point and determine if we extend the separation, eliminate the separation or just divorce.
Reasonable. I suggest you pick a specific timeframe though. Concrete goals have concrete action easier.


Here's how I would suggest almost the same thing to reduce ultimatum stress and allow a little more flexibility:
1. We need to take a few months to adjust to changes in our relationship.
2. The children are important, and their security is paramount. We should remain mindful of them during this adjustment, but they not be privy to details.
3. We will share our home while each of works on being independent, happy, and healthy individuals.
4. We will assess our status in [TIMEFRAME] and determine how best to proceed at that time.

I feel this retains your objectives but will be less stressful for you both.

As I said in my post above, you need to take care of RC first. Then the wife. Then the kids. If this is what RC needs, go for it. Just do so calmly and deliberately. There's a lot of love in you, or you wouldn't hurt like this. We just want you to find the best way forward.

*hug*
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  #47  
Old 07-14-2011, 07:49 PM
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Thanks to all who responded. You are all very knowledgeable and reasonable. The issue is that I am not reasonable right now. My self-esteem is in the toilet. My feelings are crushed. I cant think straight. And you what, I am fucking angry. Very fucking angry. So with anger comes ulitmatums and demands. Maybe I just know deep down inside its not going to work so I am just cashing out now before I get hurt more. So I really don't care about pushing her away or ultimatums. I am guessing thats it

Right now all i care about is my kids. Period. I don't have any more energy to put into this.

Again, call me a victim. Call me an asshole. Call me a sexist. Call me whatever the fuck you want. It doesnt change the fact that she is fucking someone else right now as I sit here typing this.

I will take your timing suggestions under advisement. I can tell her I want to separate tomorrow or the next day just as easy as today. That is true. In fact, I am going back to work monday. And I will not have to see her for 3 days straight. maybe thats what I need. 3 days to get the fuck away from her and all of this shit.
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  #48  
Old 07-14-2011, 07:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by redpepper View Post
Just wanted to add, YOU ARE NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR HER HAPPINESS.
Agreed. And she is not responsible for your happiness. RC's happiness is RC's job. There's a reason I rewrote your "answer to" line as "independent... individuals." You can be a loving and caring man and she can be a loving and caring woman without needing the other to be happy. Instead, you can be happy and share your happy with each other. This takes a lot of pressure out of relationships.

One the best lesson on relationships I learned just from watching my stepmother. She'd tell my father about some event that interested her. When the time drew near, she'd putter around getting dressed and ready. At some point, she'd say, "I'm leaving for [EVENT] in tem minutes if you want to come along." If my father forgot and wanted to come along, he'd get ready, and she'd wait for him. If he had no interest, she'd give him a kiss and head out.

My father was born in the 40s and she in the 50s. It really stressed him out that she could go off and do stuff without him. He had grown up with the image that a couple had to always do things together. (This seems to translate into sitting on a couch until one of them runs away never to return as RP noted.) My stepmother would come home after her event and be glad to see him and have stories to share. Eventually he learned to appreciate that her freedom gave him freedom, too. (But I will admit that as a kid of about 11 or 12, it was kind of amusing how forlorn he would look for a while when the wife would go off without having to have husband along.)

So I grew up with that image of independent but loving individuals. It works for mono (them--as far as I know but highly likely) and for poly (me). My "job" in relationships isn't to maintain the happiness of my partner but to celebrate it when it's there and comfort when it's not.
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  #49  
Old 07-14-2011, 07:57 PM
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Well said S. Thanks for having the time to say it. I wrote my post on a bus. Not enough time but was thinking what you posted. Asking for needs to be met, requiring some attention to details, expressing emotions and setting boundaries come across differently than ultimatums. They come from a place of working together, not "my way or the highway."
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Old 07-14-2011, 08:10 PM
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Thanks for responding while on a bus. I do appreciate it. So what u r all suggesting is.

1. I define my own happiness and she defines hers. And it's ok if either of us do that independently? That sounds rational. But why should I not fear that she is running to him and away from me. She wants sex with him and not with me. Those are hard facts and real concerns for me.

2. I have patience to wait this out and not force the separation so soon. This means I would need to find a whole lot of inner strength that I am not sure is there.

I am trying. I hope u all see that. But I am only human. And this goes beyond all things I have ever felt. I can only hope that as I sat here wondering what she is doing with him that she is making some kind if progress towards her goals. I can't wait forever.
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