Ok, deep breath. Here goes.

LJM

New member
Why does it have to be logical? Or understood by you? Are you spending your energy "dollars" in the wrong place right now?

What is it you want him to do instead? What would you be doing if you were a widow?

I am not divorced and haven't had to deal with custody issues. But I do have people like the dementia seniors that have good intentions but don't follow thru, flaky friends, etc.

I pretty much just figure X is all on me. And I consider any help from them "bonus" if it actually comes to pass. And then if they forget no skin off my nose. Because I have already made other arrangements on my own or asked for help from my "tried and true" family and friends who DO follow through.

Could learn to work with that is there.

Ex:

My mom used to call me to complain about my dad and he would call me to complain about her. She would get mad he would miss taking out the trash on time and the garage would stink up. He would get mad that she would "take over" his jobs if she took the trash out herself and made him feel useless.

I asked her why, as the caregiver to an Alzheimer patient, she was giving him the "time based" chores? Time means NOTHING solid to that kind of patient. Why wasn't she giving him chores that don't matter the time? Like washing the car or sweeping the patio? And those can either be super clean car or dusty car. Or super clean patio or leafy patio. But whatever his Alz brain is doing that week -- obsessing or forgetting -- no skin off her nose. Why is she wasting her time and energy fussing with him or calling me to complain rather than work with what she has?

She was surprised and said "Oh. I didn't think of it like that." And they worked out some other kind of chore schedule so mom does all the time based chores and dad does not time based chores.

I get that you wanted your ex to be a lot of things in the past. And he just wasn't. So maybe let those old expectations go. And before making new, realistic expectations of him as a coparent... give it some time to learn him in this context. While detaching from his personal life.

Maybe put your ADHD ex in the "wait and see" folder with "still developing expectations" rather than "tried and true" folder. Because you don't actually know yet if he's gonna be a "tried and true" coparent. And in the meanwhile, things still need doing. So if he comes through on something you ask for-- great! Bonus! Note the area. And if he doesn't -- no skin off your nose. Note the area. Over time you will learn what coparenting things he's good at and which part he stinks at.

Whether stuff he does in his personal life is "logical" or not --- how much does it really matter over here in YOUR life as his ex? How is that your business any more? That to me would be a more effective question to ask than asking "Where's the logic in him booking a vacation right now?"

You are going through a detaching phase -- and changing into being his ex. And not being involved in certain spheres of his life. While some things do overlap -- on the coparenting front.

Could ask yourself "What is CONCRETE here?"

He is having kid before school starts and again at half term break. Ok.

Is that good enough? What do YOU need? And which parts can come from him and which parts can come from other family and friends? Do you want him to take son some weekends to you catch a break? Or can you family/friends take kid so you get a break?

Can you make some parent friends and do trades? Increase your support network? Is there a single parent group at the school or elsewhere?

We used to have no extra money for babysitting so I'd trade in kind and take kids from other friends while they went out and then they'd take mine while we went out.

Not to be mean about it...

But if your ex has been half checked out anyway and not really engaging with son? I don't think son is gonna miss his not being present much because he never learned to expect different. He might even do better now that there's no fighting or arguing in the home.

But he will miss YOU not being present if he relies on you to set the household routines and you have your brain wandering off into whatever your ex is doing on his vacation in his personal life.

Have you talked to son about divorce? There's children's books to help with that transition.

Galagirl

I guess I need to give my kid more credit in his resilience to this transition period. I don't care what he's going to do during his time away, it was more about the timing of it. I worry that if we start the co-parenting routine we've agreed and it stops so soon afterwards our son might feel less comfortable in going with him when he comes back.

My ex is really sensitive to rejection in any form so its more concern around that.

Thanks for the kick up the butt - you're right. His future relationship with our son is nothing to do with me. I will stop wasting my energy on it eventually.

I have a small circle of trusted "Mum friends" and we do take each other's kids etc...kiddo was born 8 weeks prem so we didn't go out much at first and didn't make the kind of friends I have now until a year or two in. Family lived too far away to make trips to babysit.

Great example :) we tried the timed vs non timed chores once we knew more about ADHD thinking. It worked at first before one of us would run out of energy "dollars" and it would build.

I have an ongoing pain/fatigue condition called fibromyalgia. I'm mostly fine but get some days where I am just wiped so I know about how running on fumes feels. I'm one of the lucky ones where I can continue day to day life, work etc...with my symptoms under control.

I got a reply from the therapist I found. Its helping. I also realised after posting this it was said in haste so deleted it.

Appreciate the reply though!
 

GalaGirl

Well-known member
I got a reply from the therapist I found. Its helping. I also realised after posting this it was said in haste so deleted it. Appreciate the reply though!

Glad you found therapist and it helped some even though you deleted.

Your thread. You do what you want in it. :)

I worry that if we start the co-parenting routine we've agreed and it stops so soon afterwards our son might feel less comfortable in going with him when he comes back.

Isn't that natural consequence then that father and son would have to sort?

Father stops/starts routines.

Result: Son feels uncomfortable going with father because perceives father as flaky.

Natural Consequence : Now father has to spend time rebuilding trust/reliability with son to regain lost comfort. Made extra work for himself.

How is this your problem? Nothing dangerous is happening. It's just stepping back to let him be the parent when its his turn. You are all finding where the "new normal" is and it will take time.

My ex is really sensitive to rejection in any form so its more concern around that.

Again, his problem to deal with. He can seek a therapist, work on things with his son.

Not your job any more to help, facilitate, reduce, or manage his rejection sensitivity for him. Detach.

Not like you don't care at ALL... but stop acting like his "hands on" wife. You aren't that any more.

Thanks for the kick up the butt - you're right. His future relationship with our son is nothing to do with me. I will stop wasting my energy on it eventually.

Yup. Part of the detachment. Takes some time. And you know what? As you decline doing wife labor because you aren't the wife any more? Expect some surprise, but maintain your personal boundaries.

If there's actually something dangerous or unsafe, speak up. But this?

He's sensitive to rejection? Well, Dad, take care of your own rejection sensitivity then. DON'T mess up kid routines in the first place, then the kid doesn't get meh, and you don't have to feel rejected from the lack of kid enthusiasm. Mess up? Deal with the natural consequences then.

Kids that young are very honest. If kid has to learn about some new feelings? Buy the kid feelings books or cards so he learns to name them. Not a horrible thing to learn -- to articulate how he feels about things.

The quality of the relationship between father and son? It rests on the father right now. The kid is very young.

You don't have to be running that show for them. Stay mostly on your side of the street.

Galagirl
 
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tdh

Active member
My ex is really sensitive to rejection in any form so its more concern around that.
Not your problem. That is your ex's issue and you have no control over how your ex or you son feels. Trying to control it will also make your life miserable. To @GalaGirl points, work on what you have control over and go from there.

In each reply it keeps reading like you are taking on everyone's problem as your own to solve. No one can control the world not matter how big or small.

Also it seems you have been a bit gaslit based on the writing that everything was really just him reacting to you. You caused him to leave before...no he chose to leave and he blamed you for it. The truth is rarely as black and white as those but he appears to be taking no agency in any of your phrasing. Yet you seem to control him, your son, time and space...and is at least a demi-god that didn't answer the prayers of the relationship. Not really sure if you see that tone in your writing or not.

Now the hard truth is you will have your own shit to deal with and you do have to figure out what you "own" or now "own" post breakup. Other people's feels or relationships not with you is not one of those things. Everything else is kinda just is and needs to be dealt with
 

LJM

New member
Thank you for all of the replies.
Reading over what I've written and the outside perspectives from you all has really helped to ground my own thoughts about this adjustment period.

Putting everything aside this is just a separation of the romantic connection we used to have. A breakup like any other breakup.

@tdh I did consider this myself too, I did a little research around gaslighting there may have been some undertones of it but nothing extreme or intentionally malicious.

Truce called.

On a lighter note, I saw my bf tonight because its been a year of dating on and offline. It felt odd going out to mark that because of everything else going on however it was good to see him and we had fun. :)
 
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tdh

Active member
it was good to see him and we had fun.
Yeah! Fun was definitely called for.

It felt odd going out to mark that because of everything else
Poly will do that sometimes. When you have more than one relationship(s), any of them maybe great to good while the other(s) might not be.

Glad you had a positive date though.
 

LJM

New member
I'm devastated.
I went to delete my ex's account from my computer last night. I couldn't because there were audio files on there. I clicked on one thinking it was something we'd shared. It wasn't. It was a love letter to his gf. It said EVERYTHING I needed from him.

I know he'd done it because he did it on valentine's day. He came home after and told me he was sad and guilty because he didn't do that sort of thing for me anymore. I told him it was ok because we had other things.

I'm a fucking sucker.

I'd been doing ok. Starting to move on and sort things out. This has broken me. He came to get something today, before he did I told him what had happened. He brushed it off as if it was NOTHING.

This feels worse than finding out he'd cheated on me before all of this began.
 

Marcus

Well-known member
I'm devastated.
I went to delete my ex's account from my computer last night. I couldn't because there were audio files on there. I clicked on one thinking it was something we'd shared. It wasn't. It was a love letter to his gf. It said EVERYTHING I needed from him.

It's a risky road, snooping through our partners stuff. Sometimes we end up learning things that we wish we hadn't, and things that can't be unseen.

Someone going through my stuff and then having some kind of opinion about it would be a full stop red flag for me. In my world, those are instant walking papers.
 

LJM

New member
I wasn't snooping!

I clicked on the file because I thought it was something I had shared with my husband when we were together. It was on MY computer. I have never invaded his privacy like that. I was trying to delete his account. He has his own devices. He didn't need to use mine.
 

kdt26417

Official Greeter
Staff member
Sorry you found that, LJM. Well, I'm sorry it was there at all, regardless of whether you found it. It hurts when you find out your (ex) husband specifically took something away from you, and gave it to someone else. That's not poly, that's kicking you to the curb. Without even telling you so. The only silver lining here is that now you really know that it was best for him to leave. But I'm not sure you wanted that knowledge. I'm very sorry. And to think it happened right when you were trying to get on with your life. I don't consider that snooping, at all. And I don't think you were a sucker. You just tried to give him the benefit of the doubt. And then for him to now act like it doesn't matter. It matters. It definitely matters.
 
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GalaGirl

Well-known member
You are doing the right thing. It is your computer, not his. So if he doesn't want to back up whatever to another drive? You can remove his access to it and delete old files.

Unfortunate that you discovered this lover letter and it upset you. You had hoped it was a pleasant memory of you + him but it was not. IT was for his other partner.

I'll be honest. As you continue to clean the house and detangle? You might bump into other things like that. On the other hand, once the detangling and big clean out is over? You won't have those things pop out any more and you can really feel like you turned the page and are in a new chapter.

I'd been doing ok. Starting to move on and sort things out. This has broken me. He came to get something today, before he did I told him what had happened. He brushed it off as if it was NOTHING.

I can't help but wonder what did you want him to say? You two are broken up and separating things. He isn't the person to ask for emotional support any more. Esp not the person to ask to comfort you as you process grief.

Whether this break up is painful for him or not? He's not gonna want to share his feelings about it with you, his ex. That creates emotional and mental intimacy and you two are trying to distance, not grow closer. You both are trying to have firmer boundaries during the detangle.

So it makes sense to me that he doesn't want to get into it. It doesn't change the outcome any -- you are still broken up.

These feelings you are experiencing are valid, but he's just not the guy to share them with any more. :(

Can you find other people to support you during this breaking up time?

Galagirl
 

LJM

New member
You are doing the right thing. It is your computer, not his. So if he doesn't want to back up whatever to another drive? You can remove his access to it and delete old files.

Unfortunate that you discovered this lover letter and it upset you. You had hoped it was a pleasant memory of you + him but it was not. IT was for his other partner.

I'll be honest. As you continue to clean the house and detangle? You might bump into other things like that. On the other hand, once the detangling and big clean out is over? You won't have those things pop out any more and you can really feel like you turned the page and are in a new chapter.



I can't help but wonder what did you want him to say? You two are broken up and separating things. He isn't the person to ask for emotional support any more. Esp not the person to ask to comfort you as you process grief.

Whether this break up is painful for him or not? He's not gonna want to share his feelings about it with you, his ex. That creates emotional and mental intimacy and you two are trying to distance, not grow closer. You both are trying to have firmer boundaries during the detangle.

So it makes sense to me that he doesn't want to get into it. It doesn't change the outcome any -- you are still broken up.

These feelings you are experiencing are valid, but he's just not the guy to share them with any more. :(

Can you find other people to support you during this breaking up time?

Galagirl
There shouldn't be any more curveballs like that because we didn't keep anything from other partners at home. We hadn't reached that point of being comfortable with it yet.

I wasn't looking for emotional support or comfort from him. Some acknowledgment that he's sorry for fucking me over again would have been something but to say that it would have just been a backup and he didn't do it specifically because it was my computer just sucks. I feel so used and disposable. We had been getting on better outside of being parents again and working things out in terms of moving on. I have to share a car with him because its financially linked for some time yet. It was awkward at first but got easier.

Now I can't bear the thought of seeing him again in a couple of days.

I have a therapist and friends who are on hand to message.
 

kdt26417

Official Greeter
Staff member
He definitely owed you an apology. At the very least. Instead his response was to immediately justify his behavior. Not cool.
 

GalaGirl

Well-known member
I wasn't looking for emotional support or comfort from him. Some acknowledgment that he's sorry for fucking me over again would have been something but to say that it would have just been a backup and he didn't do it specifically because it was my computer just sucks. I feel so used and disposable.

I don't quite understand this sentence. Let me rephrase in my own words to make sure I get it how you mean it. Blue just to visually block it off.

On valentine's day 2021, he wrote his other partner a love letter from your computer rather than using his own devices or at least Google Doc so it would save on his Google account rather than right on your hard drive. You did not know he did this that way.
He came home and told you he felt sad and guilty because he didn't do that sort of thing for you any more. At this point in the journey, you were trying to make it work. So rather than tell him it did bother you and you miss those gestures, you told him it was ok because there were other things you shared together. Like you did emotional labor in consoling him through his upset.
Then later down? You broke up and were doing ok til time to clean your computer. While cleaning out the drive during the process of the break up, you thought it might be a memory of something between (you+him) so opened it. And discovered it was actually a love letter to someone else. So it changed your memory of Valentine's Day.
You felt upset about finding this letter. You feel used/taken for granted.
You told him you found it. He brushed it off like it was nothing.
You would have preferred some acknowledgment that he's sorry for using your computer rather than his own devices, or he's sorry that he took you for granted, sorry that this discovery came out like this and caused you some surprise pain. Like... acknowledge this is upsetting for you.
Instead he said something like "I didn't back up your computer because it's your computer, not mine."
Like changing topics and not acknowledging your upset -- which makes you feel used and disposable. And angry.
You had been getting on better outside of being parents again and working things out in terms of moving on. Better about sharing the car which you are still financially linked to.
Now this happened. So you are dread seeing him in a couple of days.

Is this more or less how it goes?

Galagirl
 

LJM

New member
I don't quite understand this sentence. Let me rephrase in my own words to make sure I get it how you mean it. Blue just to visually block it off.

On valentine's day 2021, he wrote his other partner a love letter from your computer rather than using his own devices or at least Google Doc so it would save on his Google account rather than right on your hard drive. You did not know he did this that way.
He came home and told you he felt sad and guilty because he didn't do that sort of thing for you any more. At this point in the journey, you were trying to make it work. So rather than tell him it did bother you and you miss those gestures, you told him it was ok because there were other things you shared together. Like you did emotional labor in consoling him through his upset.
Then later down? You broke up and were doing ok til time to clean your computer. While cleaning out the drive during the process of the break up, you thought it might be a memory of something between (you+him) so opened it. And discovered it was actually a love letter to someone else. So it changed your memory of Valentine's Day.
You felt upset about finding this letter. You feel used/taken for granted.
You told him you found it. He brushed it off like it was nothing.
You would have preferred some acknowledgment that he's sorry for using your computer rather than his own devices, or he's sorry that he took you for granted, sorry that this discovery came out like this and caused you some surprise pain. Like... acknowledge this is upsetting for you.
Instead he said something like "I didn't back up your computer because it's your computer, not mine."
Like changing topics and not acknowledging your upset -- which makes you feel used and disposable. And angry.
You had been getting on better outside of being parents again and working things out in terms of moving on. Better about sharing the car which you are still financially linked to.
Now this happened. So you are dread seeing him in a couple of days.

Is this more or less how it goes?

Galagirl

Not quite.

As a couple, the 13th meant more to us than Valentine's Day. As it was to be their first one, he went out and they had a video call together because we had our valentine's date the night before. This was my suggestion to him because he felt torn. I was perfectly happy with the setup.

He recorded it on his phone after they said goodnight. When he came in, he sat on our sofa and told me how guilty he felt about it.

I was genuine when I said it was ok because we had other things in our relationship that had grown with us. There were other gestures that meant more.

Nothing else was said about it, I didn't know what was in it - nor did I want to know. It was private between them.

He sometimes used my computer to backup his phone if he was wiping it etc...I had no idea anything like that was on my computer.

There have been several occasions since opening up where his actions - intentional or not have caused me grief and heartache. Emotional labor is correct however through reading and professional help I got a handle on it and was learning to communicate my needs better to him.

We broke up in June 2021.

I've been talking to a therapist online and had built enough strength to start the detachment process.

I had begun the process of removing him from devices etc...I tried to delete his account from my computer and I couldn't because there were files on the desktop. Yes I know I was dumb for clicking on one. We had agreed to keep any personal things relating to other partners separate so finding this on my computer and then hearing the things he said to her has taken me back to a dark place I have worked so hard to get out of.

He wasn't there for me when I was going through tough times yet was easily able to say to her that he would be if she was. This hurts.

Yes, I would have felt a bit better if he had acknowledged that it sucked for me to find it.

Yes. Hearing that and how he treated me at home makes me feel very disposable.

Yes. Now knowing what he said before he came home feeling guilty - that the things I had been asking for were echoed in his words to her changes the memory and puts a bitter taste in my mouth.

When I said we were getting on I meant it. We weren't talking about anything specific, just small talk and about our son. It was amicable.

I'm not exactly looking forward to seeing him in a couple of days. Its the day he's taking his stuff. A process that now feels much harder to do. I will be here while he packs it up but will be in the garden with my son.

Does that make it clearer for you?
 
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Rags

New member
Hi.

Apologies if this is the wrong place to post this - I don't really know where else to go apart from a therapist that I'm waiting for a reply on.

I was - I say was because I am newly separated from my husband - in a mono relationship with him for 13 years. We were, I thought, happy enough despite him having depression and anxiety. We had a child together, it was a rough time leading up to the birth but we got through it. When our son came home, he returned to work and I took up the role of Mum at home. As our son developed I noticed he wasn't engaging with him as much on an emotional level and found certain things stressful so I took on more responsibility while encouraging him to try and find his own rhythm with him. Unfortunately it didn't get any better as he got older (he's 5 now) and I was seen as the primary parent. This hit my husband hard and he retreated.


Shortly after having some health issues in 2019 and through some very strange conversations with him I discovered he'd been having an emotional affair with a mutual friend for a few weeks. They had been texting, flirting and exchanging photos. There were some smaller red flags before our son was born - he would look and imagine me in the feminine clothing he saw the women in - then tell me he needed me to dress more like that - I spent a lot of my 20s in jeans and hoodies because I was comfortable and saw clothing as practical rather than an expression of personality - some therapy has helped with that. I tried to change but kept defaulting back.

Instead of kicking him out, I looked at my own relationship with him and how we'd gotten to the point where he felt his needs could be met elsewhere.

We both went to individual therapy - him because he was questioning everything and me because I needed a place to vent safely away from home.

His therapist highlighted that instead of depression he might be autistic with ADHD and also polyamorous. This has turned out to be true. Mine helped me work through the anger and towards forgiveness.

I felt knowing this would help to understand why he wasn't emotionally available for our son. I wasn't sure at first but did ultimately decide to try polyamory.

We put in rules at first, some were to help with my triggers from before and some were to help with structure. He wanted to dive in because he felt natural to him and there was someone else on his radar and I wanted to wait. He said it wouldn't happen if I said no. I read a lot of blogs, books about polyamory before saying yes.

During this time he was unmedicated and impulsive so I got hurt a lot and lots of boundaries were crossed. Everything got reviewed and agreed again and it would be fine for a few weeks before something would happen and cause arguments.

Things didn't improve at home, he still wasn't engaging with our son despite lots of encouragement. His relationship ended and he met his current girlfriend shortly after. I had also found someone to go on a couple of dates with and we got on but kept it casual because he knew that my family came first. We're still seeing each other occasionally.

The arguments got worse when his girlfriend moved across country, his priorities changed. He told me he wanted equality at home so we tried to rebalance the relationship where he did participate more and I took a step back. It didn't work because I would routinely find him on his phone texting her when he should have been placing his attention elsewhere. We did have a date night and time set aside for him to spend with his gf - this just didn't seem enough. I would express how I felt about him being attached to his phone but his guilt overrode it.

I will say at this point I became so stressed that I would lose my temper in frustration. I would cry to release it or try and take some time alone. He would feel guilty so I felt unable to express it this way and went back to therapy to get a handle on it. I was told by him I had a problem and couldn't communicate effectively. I have not been the easiest person to live with or love during the pandemic. I do struggle to express myself when I'm really *up there* but can when I've calmed down / let it out / cried etc...he couldn't stand seeing me do it. He needed calm and rational, I needed honesty and support instead of lies of omission and guilt.

The NRE in their relationship is strong. His logic based thought process and my emotional one has caused us to butt heads too many times - the rules and boundaries we had became too trapping for him and I watched our son, me and my marriage suffer. He also attributed a lot of his stress and lack of executive function to being around me.

Conversations we would have would be heavy for me to listen to without emotional support. I could recall them perfectly before being told I had misremembered it.

He wanted to go and stay with his gf for a week or two every few months, I understood this and would have felt better about it if the equality was already there in my own relationship. Instead, he would try and tell me what he would do to step up just before he was due to leave. I didn't need it then, I needed to see it consistently so we could both take some independence away from parenting and responsibilities. Again, we would argue our viewpoint and get defensive.

The arguments became too much for him, he fell out of love with me and decided to leave. I have no fight left.

Now he's out of a relationship with me he says he can be the parent he knows he can be and we're going to be co-parenting once he's settled in a new place. He has made some effort to see our son.

It hasn't all been bad, we had some really good times. We started couples counseling and he quit after 2 sessions before leaving for good.

I'm struggling to understand if a) he was using his diagnosis and new found identity as an excuse. b) We'd been living a lie before all of this. c) I really am a controlling person who didn't let him get involved / making up the parts of conversations he couldn't remember d) we just grew apart when his priorities changed or e) open relationships are not for me after all.

This is also my first long term relationship and first love so the breakup feels much harder.

Thank you for reading if you have.
Hi LJM,

I was "that guy". I crushed on someone else too, but the day I realized it I told them both. I was very conflicted because I had an established marriage, two kids, but I loved both my wife and the other woman.

It's admirable that you've been so accommodating, and you should know that isn't how it should be. People can change, but it doesn't void their commitments. I committed to marriage before I never knew polyamory existed. My wife found out about it, and it resonated with me; I tried to use it as a crutch, and it didn't work. I chose my wife, and family because of the commitments I'd chosen to honor.

My wife and I talk about polyamory, positively, and I believe it is the right thing for us, but because of the pain I caused us it has been years of recovery. We are slowly deciding how to incorporate it into our life. Ethical non-monogamy is not a crutch or excuse. Polyamory isn't a convenient condition that allows you to be a bad person, all people can choose to manipulate others.

Don't think of your life before as a lie, don't blame anyone but your ex. He chose to be a bad person, it isn't your fault or the ideals of polyamory.
 
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GalaGirl

Well-known member
Thank you for more info. So it wasn't a letter, but a video call recording on the computer. I'm sorry stumbling on this has sent you back to the dark place you've been trying to come out of with the therapist.

We had agreed to keep any personal things relating to other partners separate so finding this on my computer and then hearing the things he said to her has taken me back to a dark place I have worked so hard to get out of.

He wasn't there for me when I was going through tough times yet was easily able to say to her that he would be if she was. This hurts.

I'm not in it so I don't have the emotions around it that you have. But reading this? I thought that from how you describe things, he'll have ADHD enthusiasms of the moment and then his actual follow through isn't reliable later down.

So he agreed but then didn't actually keep things separated if he's leaving his personal stuff on your computer.

And whatever he said to her in the video recording in Feb? Who knows if it's still holding water in Sept or if he's disappointing her now with his poor follow through. And none of that concerns you directly -- whatever is going on with his new relationship.

But I can see where hearing loving words in a video call recording when you were hungering for same back then would ding you some. Like "You COULD say loving words, I see evidence of it. So why not say them to ME? Or at least kind words when parting ways?"

And then maybe now you also regret you saying how it didn't matter there wasn't lovey valentine's things, there's other things. While true that there's other things... maybe also true that you still wanted nice words sometimes. So you are upset you played that down maybe.

It's a lot.

You are trying to finish breaking up and detangling. You are in a period of grief. All that "what could have beens" and "hoped but never came to pass" and "the ugh that happened" and "what could have been different"....

All that is a process to get through so you can then lay it to rest.

I'm sorry this opened up hurts that are still close to the surface up again though.

I hope talking here, to your friends, and therapist help you weather it out.

When I said we were getting on I meant it. We weren't talking about anything specific, just small talk and about our son. It was amicable.

I still think this is the way to go for the sake of son. Aiming for a peaceful truce. Even if getting there consistently takes some time and distance and healing. This break up is still really fresh/new.

I'm not exactly looking forward to seeing him in a couple of days. Its the day he's taking his stuff. A process that now feels much harder to do. I will be here while he packs it up but will be in the garden with my son.

Can you be somewhere else some of the time to reduce it? Have someone else be present like a trusted relative or friend?

Like if it had been you in the garden for 4 hours of moving/packing... Could a friend come to be with son in the garden so you can take an hour lunch break away?

Then you could go 1.5 hrs, 1 hour break for lunch, 1.5 hours rather than 4 hours straight?

Galagirl
 
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LJM

New member
Thank you for more info. So it wasn't a letter, but a video call recording on the computer. I'm sorry stumbling on this has sent you back to the dark place you've been trying to come out of with the therapist.



I'm not in it so I don't have the emotions around it that you have. But reading this? I thought that from how you describe things, he'll have ADHD enthusiasms of the moment and then his actual follow through isn't reliable later down.

So he agreed but then didn't actually keep things separated if he's leaving his personal stuff on your computer.

And whatever he said to her in the video recording in Feb? Who knows if it's still holding water in Sept or if he's disappointing her now with his poor follow through. And none of that concerns you directly -- whatever is going on with his new relationship.

But I can see where hearing loving words in a video call recording when you were hungering for same back then would ding you some. Like "You COULD say loving words, I see evidence of it. So why not say them to ME? Or at least kind words when parting ways?"

And then maybe now you also regret you saying how it didn't matter there wasn't lovey valentine's things, there's other things. While true that there's other things... maybe also true that you still wanted nice words sometimes. So you are upset you played that down maybe.

It's a lot.

You are trying to finish breaking up and detangling. You are in a period of grief. All that "what could have beens" and "hoped but never came to pass" and "the ugh that happened" and "what could have been different"....

All that is a process to get through so you can then lay it to rest.

I'm sorry this opened up hurts that are still close to the surface up again though.

I hope talking here, to your friends, and therapist help you weather it out.



I still think this is the way to go for the sake of son. Aiming for a peaceful truce. Even if getting there consistently takes some time and distance and healing. This break up is still really fresh/new.



Can you be somewhere else some of the time to reduce it? Have someone else be present like a trusted relative or friend?

Like if it had been you in the garden for 4 hours of moving/packing... Could a friend come to be with son in the garden so you can take an hour lunch break away?

Then you could go 1.5 hrs, 1 hour break for lunch, 1.5 hours rather than 4 hours straight?

Galagirl

It wasn't the "lovey dovey" parts that threw me back into a spiral. It was hearing him say that their love is strong enough to work through anything and if she's going through a tough time all she needs to do is let him know and he will be there to support her that really tore me up.

The week before he left the second time we were due to start couple's counselling. It got postponed because his elderly father was taken ill into hospital. The next night my ex woke up with a severe pain in his shoulder. I took care of him while we waited for the Dr. This went on for 2 nights. He went to hospital, came home high on pain meds and slept all day. No issue there. He was unwell. Once the meds wore off he went and had his regular video date with his gf. Again, no issue there, it meant I could get some rest because I was running on fumes. It was also half term so our son was home. I took a couple of days off work to be there for him.

The next evening after an already stressful week he said he wanted to talk with me about something. I asked him if it was important or could it wait? he said it was important so once everything was settled I sat down to listen to him. He told me his worried about his gf. She seemed to be struggling with some life decisions and he was concerned about her. I didn't close down, I showed him empathy and understanding. I knew she meant a lot to him and I didn't have anything against her.

One of his blindspots is he can't see the bigger picture. So he compartmentalized the accumulation of events that had taken place in these few days.

He then started to talk about her impending visit. He wanted to spend the entire week with just her 20 minutes from where we lived. I didn't agree it was fair on our son that he would be so close and not see him. He started to feel guilty about how easily he could do this and how our son wasn't his first priority.

This spiral leads him to question if he should have been a parent in the first place. We'd been here before so I knew how to handle it.

I specifically asked him if we could check in with each other in a couple of days to make sure I didn't go over the top and get overwhelmed by the stuff he'd said about our son. He agreed.

The following night we were going to hangout and watch a film, the couple's counselling had been rescheduled and some of the emotional stresses of the week had eased. We're just about to start watching it when he gets a text from his gf. He ignored it at first before seeing the words "existential crisis" on his screen. Knowing he was worried about her, I told him he could answer it. I went upstairs to see to our son, when I came down he had moved away from where we were sitting.

This was always a clear signal that he was talking to her. He arranged to see her the next night - a Saturday because there wasn't anything on the calendar. We didn't watch the film because after he'd finished talking to her he was exhausted again so our hangout got postponed.

There wasn't anything on the calendar because it had been a super stressful week and the weekend looked like a chance to rebalance things. Am I wrong to have wanted him around the night before we were due to start couple's counselling? Should I have put something on the calendar?
He told me he felt very blasé about the upcoming session. I told him I was going into it with positive intent.

I had a fairly good day the next day, some self care, time with my son while my ex was at work. I believed I had done enough to check in with my own feelings about the discussions 2 nights before.

Before he went out we discussed evening plans and he mentioned that his gf's existential crisis was a financial one. This hit a sore spot for me because he had only recently agreed to pay half the cost of their accomodation together from our joint bank account without coming to me first. Another impulsive action.

When I'm stressed or feeling rough my body language goes cold. This made him feel like I was being hostile towards him going out to help his gf. I wasn't, I was just exhausted.

When he left there was no affection in his goodbye to me. He put his hands on my shoulders and said "take care of yourself" I spent a really lonely evening at home. I'm normally ok with being alone at home - this felt different.

When he came in a huge wave of emotion hit me and I just started to cry. I told him it wasn't because of him - I had asked for the check in, we didn't have it so things have got on top of me after some personal processing. He felt like he was the cause because he had gone out and wasn't there for me. I asked him to hold me and he couldn't. I broke down. I needed the physical contact from him.

The couple's counselling session the next morning was raw. He left afterwards and stayed with his Mother for three weeks before his gf came down for the week.

This is why hearing him say those words to her hurt so much.

Eventually even trying to express my needs to him just sounded as if I was ranting at him. He just kept shutting down as if I was giving him a telling off.

----------------
Cut to today: I've been Mum all day. This is one of my happy places so I've been able to distract myself.
 

GalaGirl

Well-known member
I hope you feel better for airing that out.

I'm not sure if you wanted a listener or feedback on any of that. I do see that it hurt to hear those words.

You were giving a lot, and not getting what you needed back, and to hear him offer what you wanted from him to someone else? Well, it hurts.

Galagirl
 

LJM

New member
Just airing it out.

He collected his stuff yesterday and I'm doing the work I need to do to get back to where I was and continue from there.

He's not a malicious person, it was never his intention to hurt me. His way of doing things is based too much in logic whereas mine is emotion with logic - again not his fault.

I sent a perspective on it all to my therapist today so will draw a line on here too.

Appreciate the reply.
 

LJM

New member
Oh and I forgot to mention @GalaGirl the "Most skipped step in Polyamory" article was the one of the first things to read. So at least I know I was heading in the right direction. Thanks!
 
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