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#894821 12/01/00 11:02 AM
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Like some have said - everyone comes from a different situation, each person is different.<P>My marriage has been hurting for about ten years - actually more now - I have absolutely no desire to regain my marriage as it was - my husband has said flat out - he will never change and that my hopes and dreams are not what he wants - so I have decided to move forward with my life - each case is different.<P>I have good memories, but really not very many from the 10 years. <P>J

#894822 12/01/00 11:37 AM
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That's awfully harse K when you don't know every situation. <P>I don't wish to debate with you, but my marriage was very emotionally abusive - according to your comments - I should stay just because he MIGHT some day want reconcilliation or I might change my mind and fall in love with him again? I am mature enough to know my own mind and heart - thank you - and I am done - I have no desire to return to such an emotionally draining and painful existance. The love for my spouse died a long time ago - this last episode was simply the last straw. You ask if we did reconcile, by some miracle, could I live with what I am doing - and the answer is yes. The only thing we do have between us right now is the marriage certificate. We are still friends - I don't hate him, I just don't want to be married to him any more.<P>My husband is the WS - he does not want to improve his habits, honor our vows, he believes he has a right to a private life and his girlfriends and has said as much in counseling, and I have known this about him for years - believes friends can sleep together and it's perfectly normal and ok. Even our counselors - and we use a very excellent team - have told me - he will not change - he has no remorse, no understanding of what he has done or is doing to me/us and he has no desire to work out a healthy,commited union. They have actually almost reached the end of their rope with him as he is so 'dead' emotionally. He does not comprehend what committement is or understand that lies and secrets are bad for a marriage - he thinks they are a good thing. But - being who they are - they persevere in hopes he will 'wake up' at some point. <P>My H is very controlling and I will never allow him that control over my life again. Reconcilliation is not an option for us as I have changed and he wants me the way I was - where he can control me - never again.<P>You really shouldn't generalize so much and lump everyone into the same situation. Each marraige has it's own dynamics - some succeed and some don't. You can't force someone to love you because you want it....and abuse is abuse and unhealthy no matter how it is inflicted - so please don't generalize and presume those that don't agree with you are ignorant, nieve, or incompetant.<P>Sorry if I was harsh in any way - I follow your posts, but if people post something other then 'save the marriage at all costs' oriented - you tend to be judgemental.<P>J<P>I congradulate those who has found there way back, if that is what they truly want, but i have no desire to return to my situation - it was unhealthy.

#894823 12/02/00 12:02 AM
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CJack,<P>When I started to see this OM I too was certain I did NOT want to get involved ... I wanted only recreational companionship - fun ... I felt I had been in a cave and hybernating for 1.5 yrs and just wanted to get out and join the world again ... I only wanted a friend ... a male friend.<P>Well, things started out that way ... we spent lots of time getting to know each other ... emails and talking every day for months ... then at a certain point we started to become intimate ... it was like a run away train ... once we were intimate our feelings (at least mine) were totally out of control ... I was smitten ... I was so into him and knowing him, that's all I could think about ... aftr 20 years with the same person, getting to know someone else is so facinating ... the more I knew the more I cared. And then there is the way he treats me, being complimented and paid attention to and have someone listen to every word I said, simply overwhelming. My Love Bank had major deposits and I thought I had closed the acct.<P>Do you get my picture, CJack? I just want you to see how easy it is to get involved, even tho we (you and I) have made up our minds not to. I see why they say we shouldn't, our intentions are good but we under estimate how needy and vunerable we are. Just be aware, okay Hon?<P>Love,<BR>Jo

#894824 12/02/00 12:14 AM
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<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by PLEASE HELP:<BR><B>cjack,<BR> <BR> Don't be like everyone else and stand strong on your values. The fact that you're here at ALL tells me you're SPECIAL. Don't listen to the people who tell you to give them up. ESPECIALLY your divorced friends (or STBD) here at MB or in a bar of ALL places (who's thinks totally clear half in the wrapper anyway?) [Linked Image from marriagebuilders.com]. Misery loves company. Just because they couldn't pull their marriages out of the "fire" doesn't mean YOU can't!! I bet NONE of them even HEARD of MB and haven't put forth half the effort you have. You'll feel better about yourself in the end.<BR> Also, you seem like a very intelligent guy. How did you miss that OBVIOUS fishing expedition your W went on telling you it was over with OM? I think you missed her "Reaching" out to see if there was anything there with YOU. WHY ELSE WOULD SHE TELL YOU of all people?????? [Linked Image from marriagebuilders.com]<BR> You said " I don't love my Wife anymore"<BR> I think you're kidding yourself on that one. [Linked Image from marriagebuilders.com] And, either you do or you never did. Isn't THAT what we try and convince our WS?<BR> FRANK</B><HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P>Well, you've certainly given me a few things to think about! Thanks Frank (and the others who agreed with Frank) for the thoughts. Now I'm more confused!<P>Really, though, I HAVE given up on the marriage. I feel kind of ashamed to say that, since there are people here who have dealt with far worse than I have, but everybody has their breaking point, and I've reached mine. There's a line from a Patty Loveless song that sums it up:<P>"He said you don't even know who I am,<BR>You left me a long time ago,<BR>You don't even know who I am...<BR>So what do you care if I go..."<P>I've ignored those people who told me to give up. I've shrugged off the people who told me she was lying to me. I didn't listen to the people who said she was using me. I fought, and fought, and fought, and for what? She has let me down at every chance I've given her. <P>The divorce will most certainly happen. She filed the request for the hearing today. That's okay with me. Even the Harleys will tell you some marriages can't be saved. I have fought off that notion will all my might. I'd tell myself "no, not me...I'm an MBer! I'll get her back one way or another! She'll never divorce me because I just love her too much!" I just feel like I've been in denial for the past year. And I feel like I've let everyone here down by giving up...doubly so by looking at another woman!<P>But even if my STBX has given up the OM (and I don't think she has), even if she comes crawling back...will I take her back, knowing that I will go through this all over again? No. That is for sure. <P>Thanks again for the advice. I don't know what I'll do about OW (seems funny saying that...I've only known her for a few days), but I'll keep you all posted.

#894825 12/02/00 12:29 AM
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genesforme:<P>I'm not for "saving the marriage at all costs". But if you want to save your marriage, then I'll always advise you to do things that don't compromise your efforts, like dating.<P>If you are truly FINISHED with your marriage, hold no love for your spouse, and there's no chance that you want to return to the marriage---I don't have a problem with dating, per se. But that's after you have emotionally recovered from the aftereffects of your marriage breaking up. That (typically) takes up to two years. <P>So, your counselor's advice of waiting a year or so to date is wise. It's based on observation and collection of a lot of data. Every "atom" on the planet is unique, but I can synthesis water from oxygen and hydrogen with regular frequency. People are unique as well, but they follow very predictible patterns when their marriage breaks up. Some of these patterns and behaviors lead to success down the road. Quickly getting into emotionally-involved relationships within a 2 year timeframe (post divorce/sepration) does not lead to success, and most of these failed relationships cause additional emotional trauma.<P>I use "generalizations", genesforme, because they are more helpful for someone trying to internally sort out these issues then then relying on their instincts. The generalizations come from a compendium of similar situations---you, me, cjack, Jo, Lor... Your situation, for example, might work out for you. But I would advise you NOT TO DO IT---not because I think you're ignorant, nieve, or incompetant; but because the odds of it working are pretty strongly against it. And the cost of it not working out is pretty high (emotionally). And the cost of you waiting (or cjack), is actually not that high (even though you may want to have children with a new husband---and I remember having the same concerns when I was dealing with my wife's affair).<P>I'm sorry that I come off sounding like a crotchety old know-it-all at times: it's not meant to be personal. But it's my opinion based on psychological findings and studies, that there's an appropriate cooling-off period after a long-term relationship has ended. And that's it's pretty universal, regardless of individual circumstances.

#894826 12/02/00 12:30 AM
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cjack:<P>If you've truly given up your marriage, then you only need to wait for a year or so...<P>Cheer up!<P> [Linked Image from marriagebuilders.com]

#894827 12/02/00 12:41 AM
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<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by K:<BR><B>1. It's not over until it's over. Divorce is final. But then...<P>2. It may not even be over then. Most affairs die within 2 years after being "outed". If you're faithful to your marriage, you should be trying to keep that 2 year time frame in mind, and protect YOUR love for YOUR spouse (ex or not) by whatever means necessary (Plan A, Plan B).<P></B><HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P>So what you're saying seems to be that I should remain "faithful to my marriage" for the next two years, whether I'm actually married or not?!<P>When is the point when I can move on, then? Seems like I'm looking at around July of 2002. [Linked Image from marriagebuilders.com] What do I do during that time...join a monastery? I'm sorry if I'm coming off as angry but I am. I've devoted everything to this marriage, and it's all been repaid with lies and pain. So rather than move on with my own life, I should sit at home, pining away for a wife that I don't even like anymore?<P>I'm sorry to vent, but most of you seem to be saying "never, ever give up your marriage." Some of you seem to think this is already a full blown affair, but its only a few kisses at the a bar and the possiblity of a future date. I don't mean to rationalize, but comparing what I've done to what she's done is like saying standing on a beach is swimming in the ocean.<P>I'm just really frustrated at this point. The message I'm getting is: "Deny yourself any kind of emotional feelings for anyone else for 2 years because there is actually a snowball's chance in he** that your W still loves you even a little and might, might maybe want to get back together with you."<P>I don't know if I can do that.<P>p.s. I just read the responses you wrote while I was compiling the above message. Thank you for being patient with me. I appreciate the support, I really do. And I don't want a relationship with ANYONE right now. I'm just a little weak, very human, and even a little impatient!<BR><p>[This message has been edited by cjack (edited December 01, 2000).]

#894828 12/01/00 01:10 PM
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cjack:<P>The "two-year" rule that I quoted is the guideline for how long affairs can typically survive. So if you discovered your wife's affair 18 months ago, and you're now going into divorce, I would have recommended that you take extraordinary precautions to protect whatever remaining love you have for your spouse for an additional half year. Of course, you profess to have no love left. I can't remember your timeline or the details of your story (sorry), but this is a common occurance when you stay in Plan A "too long" in a situation in which you're dealing constantly with the affair.<P>The other two year rule is the one in regards to reestablishing another serious relationship after ending a marriage. So, while I wouldn't urge you to join a monastery for two years, I would encourage you to have no "solo" opposite sex dates for 12 months after your divorce. Go out with your women-bashing guy friends. Go out in groups. But don't form any attachments. And then after that, I'd suggest that you not run out and attempt to marry the first woman who shows up for the third date with you---you should take it slow, and use what you've learned here to be selective AS WELL AS to demonstrate your considerable husbanding skills.<P>

#894829 12/01/00 01:13 PM
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So where do you draw that line? Obviously the entire **week** that my H and I "separated", me jumping in with Navy Man and him jumping in with the "pre-facelift Roseanne Wannabe" were too soon. Resilient and Lor are/were in the same boat of a WS "moving on", they were tired of their needs not being met and so they turned to an OP, but they both still had feelings for their H's, albeit numb ones. Seeing someone else in that situation could be debated on this board for months. <P>But when your divorce is final in a matter of weeks, the WS is with someone else, there aren't feelings left, what is the problem? I love a good, healthy debate, and I'd really like to hear where the line is supposed to be drawn. I'm sorry, but this is like thumbing your nose at somebody because they had sex before they were married. I wouldn't try to rebound into another serious relationship, and I would be up-front about where you're at in your life with this person, but what's wrong with going out with somebody else? Is he not supposed to attend the get-together at Allison's because he's a GUY and there are going to be WOMEN there? Should we have a Men's Only and Women's Only Forum? WHERE IS THE LINE DRAWN?<P>I'm not trying to disrespect anybody's opinion, I'm just trying to understand the philosophy.

#894830 12/01/00 01:20 PM
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I give up......cjack - only you know you and your life, goals, and plans.....do as you feel is best for you. <P>I am a scientist that deals with statistics everyday. Statistics are just that - assumptions based on a large volume of information where some large number of circumstances fall into an average - it doesn't mean that that average is 'normal' just a common occurance. Life is life and is quite dynamic - and random and unique. My experiences have rarely been within the average - just the way my life is.<P>I have no plans to run down the isle - in fact - I probably won't marry again - I have grieved - and grieved and grieved..... I am done now - it took a year - my pain is gone, I accept the situation for what it is - I am not fooling myself or holding onto false hope (something I did for the last 15 years or so), I am no longer numb, I am happy - even without this new person in my life - I was at that point several months ago - before we decided to date, I wanted to give my husband and my marriage every last shot - I did. It has come to conclusion. I really am ok with it - it is sad at times, but I'm ok. I wish him the best and really hope he finds the right person - he will - and I will be happy for them. Everyone should have someone. I was not his someone. - He feels the same way - by the way - he says that he is not surprised there are other people - other then the ones we choose - that will meet our needs better. And yes - he knows about him. You see - I am open and honest and that is what I need most from my significant other - which he can't/won't give.<P>I have been on this board about 10 months now but not posted much lately because I know I am a MB drop out/flunky/one of those failures that occur on the left side of the bell curve...lol - whatever, but I am truly happy for the first time in many years. I come here because I enjoy reading about the progresses of the people I have come to know and hope everyone else manages the right side of the curve - success. I am happy for those that succeed and sad for those who are on my side of the average, but life trucks on and people survive.<P>The best information I have taken with me from this site though is what an EN is - always knew I had them, just didn't know how to summarize it - the information here is wonderful for those starting new relationships also - I hope I make better choices and decisions in the future because of what I have learned - it has been invaluable. I appreciate your position and information K - My situation just doesn't fit the model for success. <P>ok - rambling....sorry.....<P>J

#894831 12/01/00 02:00 PM
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cjack, just want to try to clarify something.<P>Notice, I said try, not sure I can. If you wait (whatever the time period), it is not for your w but for you! You are hurting and want "someone" to soothe you, much like our WS wanted. I too felt like any "cheating" I could do was a drop in the bucket. Now, I'm glad I focused on becoming stronger.<P>In my case, our marriage is doing great, so I'm doubly glad I don't have to deal with any WS issues like Lor said. But regardless, I kept my integrity and protected my inner core.<P>We are hurting and "needy" and likely to hurt and be hurt. I think it would be less dangerous to turn to drugs or alcohol, though I wouldn't recommend it.<P>It does come down to the same issues our Ws faced poorly. You want relief now, but you also want to lay the ground work for a great long-term relationship whether with your w or someone else. Do you think those goals are compatible right now?

#894832 12/01/00 02:40 PM
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Quickly now, cause I have some work to do...<P>genesforme: What kind of science? Though I'm a lay person, I've always been fascinated by science. Amateur astronomer in high school, read lots of popular science books (Sagan, Hawking, etc.). Just curious!<P>Schizzo: I think what I've done with this situation is to finally focus on myself. For all these months, I've been focused on my WS, and how to win her back. I lost track of my own needs during this time. As I indicated in my initial post, I had turned down several opportunities to stray from my path. This time, I conciously gave in to temptation. Not to get back at W, but for my own self. I had been feeling pretty down, and this reminded me that I'm not a bad-looking guy, that I can still attract the opposite sex, and that I'll have a good chance if and when I have to start dating again. <P>I'm also trying not to over-think this whole thing. I mean, all I've got so far is a phone number and a vague agreement to go out "sometime" with this woman. Not exactly a hot and steamy affair just yet!<P>As far as laying the groundwork for a relationship...not a chance. For the near future (the next year or so), I'll follow the lead of the divorced friend who took me to the bar. He's been burned badly in both his marriages, so he doesn't get attached to anyone, period. As soon as they mention the word "relationship," or "committment," he heads for the door. He just dates...that's it.<BR>

#894833 12/01/00 02:57 PM
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cjack - <P>I am an animal biologist/behaviourist - specialized in genetics - particularly reproduction and inheritance genetics. I am currently working - in addition to my other work - with an oversees University studying genetic deviation in isolated herds of equines from national populations of the same species -....eeeks - that is a mouth full. It's a conservation and preservation group - they are trying to identify rare/endangered species.<P>I love my work.....thanks for asking...

#894834 12/01/00 03:15 PM
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cjack,<P>Aaargh, I hate when I write something and I'm not clear. I think it may be partly a male/female thing.<P>When I mentioned laying the groundwork, I didn't mean starting a new relationship at all.<P>I meant healing from the hurt, learning to be on our own, focusing on other things...<P>I guess you still believe you can handle casual dating. I know guys can better than many of us gals. But I think having casual partners cheapens relationships, making it more difficult to make the transition later to deep intimacy. IMHO.

#894835 12/01/00 03:21 PM
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Ok, I won't spit this time. I'm always starting over with better behavior.<P>ANd Genesforme, even though it appears like my marriage is going to survive, I've been all over that bell curve myself, not exactly a shining example of MB principles.<P>Cjack, your plan, other than not being currently divorced is ok, I just wonder if you don't underestimate how potent it is when someone--a new person!-- is finally nice to you. <P>Problems I see in this discussion of not-divorced betrayed dating is:<BR>1) We all like to think what we do, or have done is the right thing and we like to justify it. <P>2) Some of us have been on sides, both WS, BS, BS turned WS, WS, turned BS (I've been all of them) and the learning curve was nasty enough that we'd like no one to follow in our shoes and I personally would share any meagre learnings/insights I have had.<P>3) Dating feels better than mourning. There's the fantasy of someone new, there's a self-esteem boost, and someone seeming to care about you feels miraculous. But, as any psych or counselor will tell you, grief must be processed to heal. It takes time. Interrupting the process postpones or hinders healing. You take your marital baggage into the new relationship. The OM asked me exactly how long I planned to be a martyr...that tells me I wasn't giving out healthy vibes, even though that relationship was fun & he was in general very positive & upbeat about himself, me & what might lie ahead for us. You can be hurt more than you already are. And, quite honestly, although I was sorry that my H was hurt by my relationship with the OM, I didn't feel much regret for it until the last couple months...once I really didn't contact the OM any more and the withdrawal let up.<P>4) The other factors besides infidelity: the marriage has been miserable for both and all love lost, alcoholism, drugs, gambling, abuse, and multiple, on-going infidelty. Yeah, get out of the marriage if that is your choice.<P>5) A long Plan A is miserable. That's probably why Harley suggests 6 months. I stayed in it too long, through too many separations--I believe I'm one of the poster girls for doing so and not going to Plan B, but instead going for the divorce & careening into another relationship to strengthen my decision.<P>6) Working alone to save your marriage makes you vulnerable...and there are people, male & female who like to be white knights...and there are some who are predators...and they don't wear signs...and with your gut instincts riled by a WS you won't necessarily be able to tell. Just like a BS thinks badly of an OP for dating MP, you have to consider why your OP has chosen a person who is not legally available for a permanent relationship. Don't pull the blinders on. One of the insightful people here (remember this, Terri?), when I talked about how wonderful the OM was, asked, if he's so great why isn't he already in a relationship...gee, because I was "the one" he was waiting for. Saying something like that out loud...er...onscreen ought to catch your attention that maybe there's a couple wild cards in the game.<P>WHERE TO DRAW THE LINE:<BR>There are a thousand considerations, but like the others have said:<P>1) Not every marriage can be saved, but if you have any feelings for still wanting to save it, don't date. <BR>2) If you're sure you are done (like I was) or have found someone you want to be with, start the divorce proceedings. You don't lose anything by waiting for the divorce to be final. If the OP won't wait (and mine didn't, but he said he would), it's likely the relationship wasn't destined for success.<BR>3) If your spouse is divorcing you, again, why not wait to have anything more than friendship until the divorce is final? Give yourself that time to heal, and you start life post-divorce as a person of integrity.<BR>4) You're an adult, entitled to make your own decisions, including strokes of genius AND mistakes.

#894836 12/01/00 04:24 PM
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Thought I would put my two cents here for what ever they are worth. There are a couple things I have learned from my wife's affair, my drinking habits and the way our marriage was. <P>1. It is easy to attract someone and have an affair or poor relationship (assuming your divorced).<P>2. It takes a lot of work to have a meaningful realationship.<P>3. The level of satisfaction you will get out a relationship is directly related to how much work your put into the relationship.<P>4. In order to have a good relationship, you need to be a healthy individual first.<P>5. In order to become healthy, you need to work on yourself first.<P>So I guess based on what I know, if you want to one day have a meaningful relationship, hold off on dating woman you have met in bars with your women bashing friends. Work on your self. Wait to see what happens with your divorce. Work on yourself somemore. Be open to the possiblility that your wife and you may still have a meaningful relationship. Don't leave the marriage being angry and blaming your wife, but understand it takes two people to make a marriage work or to allow a marriage to fail. <P>Getting into the a divorce or another relationship with the attitude you have now will likely result in your spending the rest of some more years hanging out with your divorced buddies and going through a series of meaningless relationships, until you come to know what I know. <P>Just some thoughts.<P>Tim

#894837 12/01/00 05:24 PM
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Cjack,<BR>I'll relate my dating experiences. I am divorced, 10 months today. I waited till after I was divorced.<P>My first date was a month or so after the divorce. It was dinner and listening to some music group. She was divorced with 2 small kids. After initial date, I called her a few times to set up second date and she put me off and finally stopped answering my calls. So that was the end of that.<P>The second woman I dated was about 4 months after divorce. She was single with no children, slightly [Linked Image from marriagebuilders.com] younger than me(14 yrs but whose is counting). We dated a month and then she sent me an email saying she didn't see the relationship going anywhere more than friendship and she wanted more.<P>I never kissed the woman goodnite or even held her hand. So no harm , no foul.<P>The third woman I dated was a blind date fix up. This occured 7 months after the divorce. Well something clicked and we started seeing each other as much as possible. She was divorced with 2 kids. <P>Things got hot and heavy between us and I started having serious thoughts when she lowered the boom and said we should break it off. She said she saw things in mean that she didn't think would work in a long term relationship. She felt that I placed my kids #1, which I do and that her kids would be #3 while she would be #2.<P>I agreed that my kids would be #1 with me just like I expected her kids to be #1 with her and that it would take time for them to be equal. She didn't think it was possible, so we ended the relationship.<P>This knocked me right back to where I was when I realized I was getting divorced. All the same fears, nobody loving me, being alone for the rest of my life, etc, all came racing back. It was painful, I felt this huge void in my life.<P>It has taken almost a month to get back to where I was before meeting her. I can't imagine what would have happened to me if this had occurred right after or before my divorce.<P>So my advice to you is slow down. Don't be a in a rush.<P>Some advice I got was NOT to date for the following reasons: 1) to show up ex-spouse.<BR>2)To help yourself heal. You must do this on your own.<BR>3) that a relationship is required to make you whole.<P><BR>So my advise is to back way off.<P>Bob

#894838 12/01/00 06:25 PM
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<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by cjack:<BR><B>What do I do during that time...join a monastery? I'm sorry if I'm coming off as angry but I am. I've devoted everything to this marriage, and it's all been repaid with lies and pain. So rather than move on with my own life, I should sit at home, pining away for a wife that I don't even like anymore?</B><HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P>What do you do during that time? You work on yourself. Find your balance and fix the things that you are responsible for so that when you are stable and ready, you have something of value to offer someone of value. A fling is just a fling. Do you want to throw away that snowball's chance in h*** or a future you that is wonderful to pursue your immeidate needs?<P>Listen, I am with you on this. I feel cheated too. I feel like I went through all the motions and did all the right things only to be "rewarded" with someone who didn't give a crap and feels not the slightest bit of remorse. There have been potential guys (oh, have there been potential guys!) and I have checked them out, but I know that they are only "Good time Guys". <P>There is nothing wrong with a good time, but at what cost? I really think that you should nurture yourself. When I started looking at the whole thing, I saw the ways that I was co-dependent and started working on breaking those patterns so that I wouldn't have that kind of relationship again. THAT is more important to me than having fun.<P>And yes, I go out with guys, but they aren't kissy types of dates. So, you can have a happy medium.

#894839 12/01/00 07:17 PM
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Yep, you are cheating. <BR>You are married. That is the one thing that is real clear.

#894840 12/01/00 07:17 PM
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<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by schizzo:<BR><B>cjack,<P>I guess you still believe you can handle casual dating. I know guys can better than many of us gals. But I think having casual partners cheapens relationships, making it more difficult to make the transition later to deep intimacy. IMHO.</B><HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P>Well, after reading some of these posts I'm beginning to have doubts! [Linked Image from marriagebuilders.com]<P>I don't know if I can do the casual dating thing, but I'd like to give it a try. BTW, my STBX went to court today to request a hearing...looks like we won't even GET a hearing until at least March of next year. Here in AZ, you can do your own divorce, but the lawyers get first dibs on court dates! [Linked Image from marriagebuilders.com]<P>I'll have to disagree with you about casual dating cheapening relationships, though. I've known a couple of people who seem incapable of casual dating. They are always looking for a "relationship," and they are often disappointed when they don't find that "special" person. My friend I mentioned earlier tells his dates up front that they shouldn't expect anything out of him, except to go out and have a good time. He hasn't gone beyond casual dating in 4 years, and he's one of the most genuinely happy people I know. <P>I don't know when I'll start dating anyone, but I'll be looking for a middle ground when I do!

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