Last weekend my H and I were having a sort of relationship talk, and we were discussing his relationship with his OW. He insisted that when I served him divorce papers, that he went back to her seeking friendship, possibly more, but that he knew it would never work and that she had too many issues for a healthy relationship. I asked: "So why did you go back to her then, why didn't you seek someone new?"

And his response was "Because I knew I could control her."

So I have been digesting that little piece of information, not being surprised at hearing it at all - because everything with my H is an issue of control, his control, my control, who's control, freedom from control, you name it.

And then after pondering that, and knowing that my learning to set boundaries 2 years ago was the beginning of the end for us...because I was no longer allowing him control over me...

Then I started to think about how underneath his current pleasantness is a resentment about my conditions for his return to our home. I set most of these conditions out months ago, and he told me repeatedly no way would he ever meet them, yadda yadda.

Of course, now that he has seen that I was serious, and that I really was going through with the divorce, he has capitulated. Was I just playing a game of "Chicken" with this man? Apparently that's how he is seeing it...

I'm wondering...and thinking...and then I had this horrible thought:

He was angry at not being able to control me, so left, to gain control of the situation. When that didn't work, he tried to come back, but again, with his own terms and control. Aaah but then I didn't cooperate, I went the divorce route, which he couldn't control...so....Is he agreeing to meet my conditions and asking to move back home simply to attempt to regain control over the situation????

ARGH.

I do understand that he is trying to get control over his life, without help. He flat out confessed in a desperate moment that his life is unmanageable. I wanted to scream: STEP ONE! But I didn't!

So I know that this is an attempt by him to straighten his life out...without help of course. He's still trying to be powerful.

But I didn't really put any negative connotations to that understanding until now....

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Pain is a given, misery is optional.