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Old Jan 20, 2023 at 02:18 PM
  #241
 
Your wife was drinking alcohol, taking xanex and antidepressant meds. Thatís very bad! Plus she has been encouraged to blame you and develop a victim mentality by these other women.
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Old Jan 20, 2023 at 11:47 PM
  #242
 
It is very hard to deal with people having victim mentality.
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Old Jan 21, 2023 at 06:42 AM
  #243
 
RDMercer, in even skimming your posts I felt so moved. As if I was reading a novel since you have been posting longer than I. And like some novels, I had to pause and skip to the end to see what the character is doing now. Lol. I will read more in depth.
But this post really resonates with me like as if I wrote it.
I see your longing. I can tell how you have worked with everything in you to work it out with your wife.

No matter what happens for you, you need to know that you are valuable. There are few like you. Kindness and self responsibility and equal partnership are very hard to find. She should be fighting to keep you.
As my husband should me.
I am going back to read more of your story.
(Grins )
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Old Jan 21, 2023 at 05:07 PM
  #244
 
Thanks aBarryManilowsong.

I like that username.

Well.... This is difficult.

An attractive, intelligent woman has reached out to me to make sure I'm ok. She disclosed she went through a separation two years ago and she wants to support me.

I've known her through work for years, and met her husband numerous times. I had tried to support both of them in their careers. She ended up in a capacity where I talk to her, through work, about once a month.

Did I notice she was pretty? Kind of, much like I'd notice Henry Cavill is handsome. I'm married and have ALWAYS had strong boundaries up.

I have a huge network through work. I had tried to help her and her husband build professional connections when they arrived in this city about 7 years ago.

I have had absolutely ZERO unnecessary interactions with her over the years.

Then she called me recently, told me she knows I'm a good person, has seen me with my kids for years, knows I'm a devoted dad, told me I was the only one in her life that believed she was capable and could do more, that my support and being a reference on her applications got her started in her career. She said, You're smart RD, and a good dad, and looking after people matters to you, and you always try to find the balance between maintaining standards on the job and looking after the people around you and people see that.

Holy. Moley.

A female non relative under the age of 80 had something good to say about me, and has checked in everyday for a week. Possibly dropping hints... "Maybe we'll get a chance to talk after work sometime, I hope I get to meet your kids, maybe you could come over and meet my new dogs, maybe we could go out for a meal and talk about work and just talk."

Or I get a text on my work phone after hours that just says "hi".

My affection and positivity-starved codependent self ran all the way here to keep from interacting with her!

Because holy crap, is this ever flattering.

And acting on these immediate feelings is certainly a huge mistake.

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Old Jan 21, 2023 at 08:33 PM
  #245
 
The fact that other people including your sons see you as a good caring man that is struggling and being treated badly is important for you to pay attention to.

Your wife is not happy and no longer wants the marriage. Your wife has been consistently expressing that to you. You canít fix or change her.

Itís nice that this other woman offered her support. Yet, you are a private person and taking her up on sharing your private problems can be risky, especially if she is a work college.
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Old Jan 21, 2023 at 08:42 PM
  #246
 
You're right, I absolutely am a private person. I recently asked for 3 days family leave to address and prioritize some things at home. My manager was dumbfounded. No one at work had any idea there were problems at home.
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Old Jan 21, 2023 at 08:49 PM
  #247
 
The other thing you shared about yourself is your ability to be ďprofessionalĒ in that your work is your work and your private life is separate.

Someone that embraces a victim mentality begins to expect people at work to cater to their personal struggles and even resent it if work colleges donít cater to their emotional needs. Yes, people can be nice and friendly at work, but that doesnít mean itís suddenly ok to mix private issues with work colleges. Your marriage is your private business and not something a job or employers should be expected to work around.

Yes, because you have been an adult professional and just now asked for time off and that surprising your boss is a good sign that you have done well at keeping work separate. Your coworkers donít need to know your private affairs.

There is nothing wrong with being a private person especially at work. People who share too much come across as having poor boundaries and being insecure with low self esteem.

Last edited by Open Eyes; Jan 21, 2023 at 09:14 PM..
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Old Jan 21, 2023 at 09:29 PM
  #248
 
All I'm saying is, an attractive woman paid me compliments and offered to be supportive and was suggestive of casually meeting outside of work.

I'm pretty beat down by life right now.

I'm thirsty for attention like I was walking across death valley. And an attractive age-appropriate woman paid me sincere compliments and asked for my time outside of work.

I'm codependent. I LIKE sharing my time with someone!

So, I'm just chilling here, on the Forum, instead of talking to her.

Just keeping my head in the right space, you know?

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Old Jan 21, 2023 at 10:22 PM
  #249
 
Yes ((RD)) I can hear that. You do need a live caring person you can talk to. Itís nice that this woman complimented you because your wife has been picking you apart, even making up things you never did. You do need an adult you can talk to.

I am not criticizing you for wanting that or needing that. My only warning is this be careful if this nice woman is a work college. You can meet her for dinner to socialize.
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Old Jan 21, 2023 at 10:52 PM
  #250
 
I think you may benefit by attending an alanon meeting. There will be people there that understand the loneliness you are experiencing. Also others who know what itís like to have a partner that uses alcoholXanex to escape feeling and that s distant and can be condescending and moody.
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Old Jan 22, 2023 at 06:53 AM
  #251
 
@RDMercer, your gut instincts are correct and I caution you to be very careful around this female colleague who is flattering you. She is coming onto you and is clearly interested in more than just friendship. Her hints are not even subtle - they are obvious come ons.

You are in a very vulnerable place, coming out of an unhealthy long-term marriage and with your codependency. You've been through a LOT, and need time to heal and be with your children. Your children are going to need support through the divorce process. They should be your primary focus, not a new woman. I am not saying or suggesting that's what you're thinking, because clearly your reaction is to come on here to write about it. I am just simply cautioning you to be very careful. I would decline her invitations.

I think looking into your codependency would help as well and getting support for it. The last thing you need is to get involved in another relationship where you find yourself once again, to be codependent. Learning about this condition and working on loosening its grip on you would really help you at this time. I encourage you to seek a professional's help or a support group around this.

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Old Jan 22, 2023 at 06:45 PM
  #252
 
I agree with what others have said. This is absolutely not the time to get your heart involved with another woman. Accept her friendship at work, but nothing more.

If there is the possibility of a romantic relationship in the future, you want to come to each other whole, not burdened down with going thru a divorce. You need time to grieve your marriage.

If you started a relationship now, the dynamics would just be wrong, and could be very hard to shift down the road. She may want to nurture and mother you during your time of need. And that may be very appealing. But once the grieving is over, you may be stuck in that dynamic. You want a relationship where you are both whole and the nurturing is equal.

And you've potentially thrown away what could be a fantastic relationship in the future for a short term relationship of seeing you through your divorce.
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Old Jan 23, 2023 at 09:35 AM
  #253
 
Wow RD, I panicked a little reading about the woman at work, but it sounds like you realize your own proclivity towards needing to be needed. You're doing the right thing to keep her at an arm's length, but it's also okay to take the moment to absorb that you are still a visible, valid human being.

That thing I said about salt and pepper shakers earlier, and then about being an individual... As a codependent myself, my thought process has been that if you can't find contentment alone, you won't find it in a relationship. It sounds like you may already have come to that conclusion yourself.

Have you read any literature like Codependent No More? If you haven't, it's a good read for sorting out the mind. There's a free download somewhere online of the steps workbook that goes with that book. I found it very helpful to "work the steps". It can give a lot of insight about motives and habits.

Stay strong!
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Old Jan 23, 2023 at 12:27 PM
  #254
 
Trying!

Got-Dang it can be hard to be responsible and mature!

But I know I need to settle my mind before I act on anything.

Nice to feel like someone noticed me though.
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Old Jan 23, 2023 at 03:14 PM
  #255
 
Hang in there! One year + into my codependency work, I'm at a point that even if I was out of my relationship, I would not allow myself to get into another relationship. I need to learn more about me, what I really want, what I really need, rather than focus attention on another person. Make sure you know who you are before jumping into anything.

And it's okay to just go out and have fun if that opportunity comes up for you. I'd surely avoid that with any people from work though . And of course the real danger is if you run the risk of getting too deeply attached too soon.

The other night I was lying on the couch watching a movie and I backed myself as far as I could into the couch and wrapped my arms around myself in a hug. I miss that secure feeling of being held and loved. I get it. I can think of nothing I want more than to be part of a pair, which is why I know I'd screw it up at this point.

But hey, enjoy the feeling of having someone notice you, I know what you mean there to. I think my unhealthy marriage has squeezed me dry. I'm a 50 year old woman with my natural, original hair color, whose got the same build as when she was a teenager, but my dragging life shows on my face. Not much of anybody noticing me anymore. A few months ago at the grocery store, a young guy in his twenties came hop skipping by me in the produce section- you know that thing guys do when there's an attractive woman around? I think when he got around me and realized that I was old enough to be his mom, it ruined his day. Fortunately, he was young enough that the look on his face was funny and not hurtful.

Lots of fish out there. Go swim free for a little while. Find out what kind of fish you really are.
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Old Jan 24, 2023 at 01:03 AM
  #256
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by RDMercer View Post
Trying!

Got-Dang it can be hard to be responsible and mature!

But I know I need to settle my mind before I act on anything.

Nice to feel like someone noticed me though.
You need a person that is capable of providing you with a comforting presence. Unfortunately, a lot of people donít know how to be a comforting presence for others and instead respond by sharing their problems.

You have been lonely for years now always thinking things could improve. You need a kind presence that can comfort you as you face important realities that are hard to face.

Being a responsible adult doesnít mean you canít have emotional needs. When a person is in an unhealthy relationship they end up sacrificing their own emotional needs for their partner. An unhealthy partner tends to have the relationship revolve around their needs.

From what you are sharing of your wifeís behaviors towards you and your children, she is demanding all of you to enable her and become codependents.

When you described the time you had with your sons while your wife was away, you comforted each other the way most guys comfort. A little tackling, joking, hanging lights you had healthy fun together.

Then what happened?

Think about it RD. Things turned unhealthy and the three of you were suddenly expected to be lonely codependents. Your wife doesnt have the self awareness to see how her behaviors are affecting her family. No, she has come off of unhealthy advice telling her she is THE victim. She is freshly mirroring these influences towards you from women who donít know you. Sounds like there might be a narcissist in that group project her issues instead of helping your wife see HER own part of the problem. Part of that is using alcohol and Xanex to numb herself. Not healthy, not good and she functions and doesnít act drunk so you think there is no problem. You have much to learn, and you need to have comfort as you begin to recognize the reality.
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Old Jan 24, 2023 at 02:12 AM
  #257
 
Wow. You're insightful.

Why yes, there is a narcissist in her new group of friends. One who has a burned up and burned out, used up, trail of people behind her.

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Old Jan 24, 2023 at 11:57 AM
  #258
 
My concern for you is how you are too willing to accept blame for what is unhealthy. This is part of codependent behavior and enabling and too easy to manipulate.

Your good hearted at your core and this makes you vulnerable. You have a tendency to think others have your values when they donít. That is what contributes to the ďcrazyĒ you experience. This is why your sons want to live with you and not their mother. They are safe to be themselves with you. Yet when your wife is around you give in and become her codependent enabler.
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Old Jan 24, 2023 at 10:20 PM
  #259
 
They want to be with me, not her, because they can be themselves. But when she's around, I cave in and become her codependent enabler.

Wow. That is completely true.

I'll think on that.

Today was a bad day. My wife has been really, really hurtful with things said to our oldest. I'm floored hearing from him and his siblings about things Mom has said to him over the years. She really singled him out.

She also told them very sexist things when I wasn't around.... If you're in a bad relationship count on it that it's your fault, because 99% of the time it's the man.... Try to grow up. Men are mostly just toddlers.... It's always the man's job to pursue the woman and make her feel wanted..... Women don't date men, it's your job to date women.

Nice things for teen boys to be told.

This stuff was around a little bit before, but she's turned the volume all the way up on this topic since surrounding herself with single friends.... Toxic single friends who openly say things like, You don't need a husband, you can always find men to do things for you. They'll do it just for the HOPE of something in return. You can always find them.

TRIGGER WARNING.... BIG TOPIC BELOW...

I've carried a fair load for a long time. Lots of people do. Lots of people carry bigger loads than me.

But for all those years, there was nothing I could plan for or look forward to. Not a trip, not ... not.... Not anything. Even a meal, I'd have to go by myself, or make and eat it by myself because she wouldn't go to the restaurants I wanted to go to. Like... There was nothing. If there WAS something, an outdoor Christmas event say, she wouldn't go, or would cancel last minute. This resulted in The Choice... take the kids or stay home with mom. Either had consequences.

I reached a point where, caring for kids, spouse, zero positivity, worrying about house/money/cars, and looking after elderly family, I just didn't want to be anymore.

I wasn't thinking of hurting myself, but I did think... If I could make it 6 more years and go from natural causes that would be good. My youngest would be out of school at that point, and my life insurance would look after everyone. My insurance is worth more than I'll be able to give them anyway.

My sole role was caregiver and provider. I just wanted to see that to the end and be done.

When my wife got work, I thought... Ok, we have a way forward, maybe we CAN do something for enjoyment... Maybe I can be hopeful.... Two months later and she announced divorce.

Now some days it feels worse. Just slog through with even less income, and do it without the hope of having a partner. I love my kids so much. And even though the fighting was so bad, I deeply cherished the good moments with my wife. Without her I am 100% only a caregiver and provider.

I'm so exhausted in every way, and I feel increasingly invisible. I feel stretched so thin in every direction that you can see through me.

Yes, I'm on meds for depression. It's far worse without them.
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Old Jan 25, 2023 at 03:46 AM
  #260
 
She doesnít like the oldest because he stands up to her and speaks up.

You are never going to get a loving relationship from this woman. Itís not your failure either.
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