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The Cliff to jump, is coming up soon……..

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  • #111425
    Nan
    Participant

    I have posted before about my relationship dilemma. Interesting that all these young people on this forum are in the same or similar quandary I am in now, as an old woman. The summer is coming to an end, and that was my deadline to make some changes in my life. To jump over the cliff and start anew. Becoming anxious as the first barrier to my leaving is fast approaching. I will be leaving on a cruise family vacation in a few days. The fake smile and pleasantness will be a chore, and need to happen, in order to have a somewhat peaceful vacation, The best thing is that a couple we have been friends with since high school are coming along. It will take less focus on me, and allow my spouse to laugh and carry on with them. My heart isn’t here, it is with another. Then, i will then travel to take son back to college with a second care to bring all his items that don’t fit in his car.
    Then, we will be alone. The way to leave, the discussion (screaming match?) or just the letter drop will be a last minute decision. After 35 years, I want out. I realize I have been surrounded by boyfriends since 15, a college husband, more boyfriends and wild times and then marriage again. I had gauged my self-worth with the fact I had boyfriends/husbands.
    Since my husband doesn’t know of my unhappiness, it will come as a major blow to the old man.
    My question is:
    Should he ask me: ” Are you happy? Do you still love me?”, what do I say? Do I spit it out and watch the stun come over him, or do I defer, mumble some encouraging words and continue the farce? It may be asked in the presence of others around(on the cruise, in a restaurant or public place? ) or he may be man enough to actually ask me in our home privately. He has never been one to talk of any thing threatening to us in decades, as he might be afraid of what I would say?
    Just spitting it out would entail all the tears, drama, begging, etc? My cowardly thoughts are to drop a letter on the table while he is at work, and leave with a few belongings and the dog. This has been eating my soul for over 2 years now. I have been unhappy for about 10 years or more, but the last 2 years have been more intensified due to the love And adoration I have found with another.

    #111428
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Nan:

    Welcome back! He didn’t ask you such questions for many years, is that so? You are preparing to the possibility he suddenly does ask you that…? Well, you want the cruise to be peaceful, this is your plan, so if he asks you these kinds of questions in front of others, tell him with a smile (since you will be in the habit of wearing a smile), that you will discuss this with him in private.

    Then if he brings it up in private (if), then tell him you will talk about it with him at home, after the cruise.

    You titled your new thread “The cliff to jump, is coming up soon”- I am thinking you have been on a fall for a long time now, only pretending you are on solid ground. Pretending, like that smile you plan on having during the cruise.

    It is like going to the dentist knowing it is going to hurt, so you postpone it and postpone.. anxious and afraid the whole time, having nightmares, preparing but … not being able to do it. You finally, after 10 years of needing to and 2 years of intense anxiety, you finally go to the dentist- and my goodness, it hurt just a little, way less than you thought and you are out of the dentist’s office pain free with a beautiful, authentic smile!

    anita

    #111435
    Nan
    Participant

    Yes, I need to pull that band-aid off quickly. The reason I thought it might be asked, was that it came into my head, that if that was questioned, would I back down and keep the lie going? Or would I say “No, I don’t love you anymore and haven’t for awhile”, and wait for the sh— storm to happen. His M.O. has always been to be in a public place, so it suppresses any real reactions from me. Was just thinking what if that occurred? I will keep that Mona LIsa smile going, as I am well-practiced in that. I have all the practical things in place, just need to get over the next hurdle of college placement, come home, and make the concrete plan of when and how. Thank you for your thoughts! Read over again the Bridges of Madison County, and Eat, Pray, Love again. Being mindful and forcing myself to stop negative thoughts that invoke fear. Getting better at it! One of the good things is that R-1 is calm, loving and never pushing. He states to me that I will KNOW, when the time comes.

    #111437
    TriangleSun
    Participant

    What do you think will make you happy? Jumping from boyfriend to husband to boyfriend didn’t seem to help your self-worth. Doesn’t leaving your husband for a boyfriend continue the cycle? And the same thing will happen to the next “old man”? At the same time it almost reads like you cannot stand him anymore and that isn’t healthy either. The question is there something deeper that seems to be the problem?

    #111438
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Nan:

    His M.O., yes, I remember now. You did write about it, public places. I wish you this: to live authentically, to no longer have to pretend, to no longer live like a prisoner but to have dominion over your body, over your life, to be with whom you want to be with and not with whom you don’t want to be with.

    I wish you stop living in fear of R-2’s reaction, from fearing that upon you leaving him he will commit suicide or somehow punish you severely, all hell will break loose. As if he has so much power. You referred to him in the original post on this thread as an old man, but from all your posts and threads, he is this threatening, scary person, maybe bigger than life and you walk on egg shells, plan and prepare and pretend, as if… he is a formidable SS guard and you are an emaciated war prisoner planning meticulously your escape.

    This is still puzzling for me, your fear of him. Nothing of what you wrote about him makes the fear reasonable to me. I don’t see HOW he is as dangerous as you seem to believe that he is.

    anita

    #111515
    Nan
    Participant

    HI Triangle Sun: My plan is to live single for at least a year and explore my self. The “boyfriend” I speak of, is the first deep love I had and married for one year in 1974.. My first post-(Past/Present/Future) months ago explains all the background. I don’t expect to be like I was 40 years ago. I may see him every month for a few days, but that is the plan for now. There is lots of history on my first post. I am pretty independent these days, as no favors or indulgences are done for me. I do so much for everyone here before myself. R-1 and I arenow in our 60’s and we have grown into maturity and a deep understanding of what went wrong and how the lies and manipulations that tore us apart as a naive 19 year old and her 21 year old husband. I am married 35 years now to husband 2, and this is where it is.

    Hi Anita: MY sentimentality( and/ or guilt) does guide me erroneously sometimes or most of the time. I think the deep fear will come from the verbal assault that will come loud and vicious. And then the collapse into despair like a wounded animal. I think I fear the words of ” You f”ing whore, You selfish bitch, etc”. I know I am not a whore, I have cheated on him this one time now 33 years later and with R-1, who was an old love that was taken from me..I didn’t go looking or trolling for strangers. I will not bring up R-1 in any conversations, though he may feel that is the ONLY REASON I would leave the marriage. Maybe I have a small concern that maybe he is right? SO, I think I fear this. Echoes of my mother’s voice, coming back? The fear that this is true? No one can give me courage, I must take my own courage and forge through. The danger is that R-2 can break me down with his words and actions that I may think have a seed of truth, and doubt myself. I anticipate a divorce wont come easy, because he might want to make sure I am destroyed financially or legally, in order not to find peace for myself. I am ready to remain in the limbo state of separation for years if need be and however long it takes. I contemplate the single life, the apartment, the selling of this old house, my career, traveling freely, etc, in order to remain focused on the future, and not let the present drown me.

    #111518
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Nan:

    Have to get off the computer and would like to read your latest post attentively when I am back. As for now I saw that one line of what you expect him to say, the verbal assault. He spoke to you like this before and otherwise disrespectfully and I don’t like it or him for it. Not at all. I strongly dislike how he talked to you and if he collapses like a wounded animal, as you predict, then the wounding will be his own words, his own cruelty and disrespect of you!

    Later:

    anita

    #111550
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Nan:

    It is you who will have to live through leaving R-2 and therefore no one has the right to tell you what you should do or to criticize you for choosing to stay or to leave R-2.

    These are my emotions on the issue: it is not right for the good, lovely woman that you are to have spent so many years with R-2 who disrespects you, devalues you and sounds like a despicable man to me. I would like you to be free of him, to live away from him, be it alone or with R-1 who treats you well. Your choice.

    Your responsibility is to promote your own physical and mental well being and whatever it takes to do so, do it. I just wrote this to a not yet eighteen year old. It doesn’t change, this principle, when you are sixty or over sixty. It is always the same responsibility.

    anita

    #112417
    Nan
    Participant

    I am back from the family vacation, and it was acceptable and some pleasant times. Of course, it seems that R-2 took his cues from the couple we went with. The husband adores his wife of 20 years ( his 3rd wife!) and was very sweet with her. He was always making sure she was comfortable and was attentive to her needs. I think R-2 was copying the behavior. He seemed to actually pay attention to me, as far as asking if I wanted drinks or what we could do next, see shows, hang around the pool, etc. It was odd to see that. He actually thanked me on the way home for the myriad details I took care of, for this trip to go smoothly. He is acting unusually kind and I am unclear what to make of it. As for my heart, I am getting anxious, as the first barrier I had was the vacation to go well, and not have undue trauma and emotion while out of town. Now, for part 2 barrier. getting son to college at end of August. That is coming up and then I will be face to face with what next to do……….R-2 is already talking of a vacation in first week of October. I am back at work today and feeling a little numb.

    I am aware I am all alone on this, as R-1 has found out that wife refuses to sign papers for final divorce and/or agreement to sell the house (2 years of separation so far), and he still lives in the marital home shared with his grown sons. It doesn’t seem that there is any forward motion, as he cant pay for marital home and for a separate apartment. Wife lives for free with female friend, so no skin off her nose, and can delay as long as she feels. It also seems that she is waiting for R-1 to take a “misstep” so she can then demand more (the entire house signed over to her) due to her stress and hurt. It sounds like the sons are planted in the house, to watch and report his activities, as well as living off of him. She does want him to suffer and “pay” for her anger and hurt, as she sees it. I think that is what feels so sad right now. I know in my heart, I will need to proceed all by myself and only have myself for my own mental support. Phone calls from R-1 daily are nice, but that doesn’t go far enough for me. He has stated that if having to choose between me and the house, he will walk away from it all. I insist he stay, as I think that is the game his wife is playing, to see who blinks first, for a home that only has 2 more years of mortgage and then will be free and clear and worth quite a few $$.
    My confusion at the moment is where is all this R-2 “niceness” coming from? I always feel emboldened when good and mad at him, but this is different. Just waiting to see, if R-2’s “vacation glow” will fade and we will be back to old tricks again.

    #112420
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Nan:

    Welcome back from your vacation.

    On your 1/27/16 thread, your first here, you wrote about you and R-1: “We have been communicating for 2 years now and have had a few meetings face to face. He is recently divorced in the past few months, and I am still married to second husband for 35 years. I dont want my current life. I want my first husband deeply and with my whole soul. We were so young, so lied to, and it was a big mistake.”

    Almost 7 months later, you found out that R-1 is still, to this very day, your latest post, not divorced. The protagonists of the story you told January 2016 have been Nan and R-1. Since then, R-1’s character lost his charm and appeal. He is no longer the knight in shining armor. He is a man in his own trap, not having what it takes to free himself. Let alone take you with him into a happy ending of freedom.

    See, the story changed. It is not the same. It is not about the two young lovers anymore, two young lovers separating by your evil mother, fighting for their love later in life.

    What is the story about now? If R-2 is nice to you from now on, like he had been on the vacation, will that be okay with you? Then there will ne no need of separation?

    The story changed and needs re-evaluating. Re-evaluating…?

    anita

    #112509
    Nan
    Participant

    I think I resent the change of personality that came about during the vacation. I resent that I had to tolerate years of feeling like I am lesser than him. It seems that was how he was able to cope with his unemployment and bankruptcy 10 years ago, by making me feel like the “little woman”, even though I continued to rise up the career ladder, and took over all payments, in order to keep the life stable for my young son at the time. He recovered but the rules never changed. I was still paying everything, because he stated I dont save money. He is a good saver, but it almost feels like hoarding sometimes.

    I feel leery as to what is the motivation of this change? As we both get on with jobs and just the 2 of us being in the home, it may change back to the original behavior. Not sure if he is just relaxed post-vacation or what. I dont feel love for him anymore, just a tolerance and pity for several years going back now. I see his dependency on me growing daily. I hate being the “mommy” all my life.

    As for R-1, his naivete’ has put him in his situation. He also went through bankruptcy and lost over a half million dollars in stocks and investments during the 2008 crash. This exacerbated the anger and hate from his wife, and escalated the destruction of their relationship from the fine lifestyle they had before. He works 6 days a week now, and pays the house bills. He doesn’t have any significant nest egg, so is very concerned to just walk out and lose his interest in the house. Interestingly he has never asked for assistance or a dime from me, though he knows I am at a high level job and make a comfortable living. He refuses even as I had offered a small sum for an emergency that came up, and always insists on paying for all expenses when we are able to meet up.
    My warning signs are the financial situation that R-1 is in, as well as some of his passivity with the family. I guess there is a downside to “too much calm” sometimes, huh? His attention and words are sweet, and I am being as rational as possible with the reality of all this. I have told him “talk is cheap..” He has stated he will walk away from all of it, pick me up and let us disappear off the grid, if I asked him to. Very tempting, but I laugh it off and say what next after that? Life is complicated on both sides, and it isn’t that easy. I am seeing that I cant depend on anyone, just me. And since my heart is numb towards R-2, it feels kind of sad to think I would just hang out here til I die?
    I feel I wont marry again, to anyone. I will want the freedom to walk away from any relationship, without all the strings attached. Once married, men start to relax and not make the effort as much after the first few years.

    I do love R-1 very much, but wont become so connected, that his problems become my problems due to a married legal status. Who’s kidding who? It will take years for me to go through all the legal steps of divorce myself, in order to protect and not lose all I worked for. I just want to be free to live my own life, not be responsible for coordinating R-2’s life and his increasing dependency on me to take care of everything, right down to the dental appointments, laundry, cooking and packing his lunch. It would be great to have a decent apartment and live my own life, without having to say where I am going, or having the phone ring 4-5 times when I am out shopping, etc, for the day. The way I am feeling right thismonet, is I could just get in my car, grab my dog and do a “Thelma and Louise” but without the Louise. Apologies for the long answer, just good to type out my gut!

    #112558
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Nan:

    I want to read your thread with a fresh brain (I missed it for a while, it being on a second page with many new threads on the first page)- and will do so tomorrow, Wednesday morning. Do want to read your latest thoughts and feelings very much- you mentioned Thelma and Louise, my other favorite movie- my goodness, we are into the same movies! Till the morrow-

    anita

    #112648
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Nan:

    If R-2 is and has been so dependent on you, he should have been NICE to you all these years of his dependency of you. This is why I don’t understand you feeling pity for him, pity and concern for him having to live without you (if you leave). I would understand the pity and concern if he was nice to the person he depends on, but not when he was dismissive, looking down at, and being so rude and crude with you.

    I don’t understand this point. I thought at one point that it was fear of him that keeps you with him. Fear, pity, concern… can you explain it to me? I would like to understand what it is that keeps and has kept you with R-2 all these years.

    R-1 told you he will go off the grid for you but when you got together last he cut the time with you short to go back to his family business as he was so close to divorce then (I thought)- only he is in the same place now that he was then…still not divorced. So why did he leave early then and how is that congruent with the sentiment of going off the grid so to be with you?

    Also, all these months, did you see an attorney regarding your own considered divorce? I wonder because you are concerned about losing everything… how can you lose everything?

    I am quite clueless at this point: “The Cliff to jump”- what is the destination to jump to: Is it R-1? Is it freedom from R-2? What is it???

    anita

    #112683
    Nan
    Participant

    HI Anita,
    I think my attitude comes from the caretaker role I have always had, since young. I am a nurse and it was natural fit to always take care of others, and felt pleased when there was a way I could serve others. Looking at this from afar, it was the role I had with my mother, and all relationships. Always sweet, nice and able to make everyone comfortable as the “Pleaser” role I needed, to validate my worth.
    I overthink too much and visualize the disruption and actually torture myself with the idea of hurting another soul. But the lie is wearing me down. I have periods where I just feel very strong for a little while, but it dissipates as the conscience takes over. R-2 was always entertaining and had lots of friends around. Every day was a party! In the last dozen years or so, we moved away from the friends and only have each other since then, except for the few times we traveled to see the friends. No one comes up here anymore, and no one calls anymore. Out of sight, out of mind, it seems. That is how things changed. As long as there was an event, a party, a gathering, a dinner with others, I never had to think very deeply on my unhappiness. I kept a good mask on for all these years. I had always felt that depression and anxiety wasn’t going to work for me. I was always more of an optimist and would just brush those thoughts away. He is realizing the wife is manipulating his life and knows he only has the asset of the house to work with.

    R-1: I let him know of my disappointment and sadness that he cut the trip short, due to his obsession with the guilt and insults he might taken to heart, and thought he really was a bad man as graphically told to him by his sons. I told him talk was cheap and he realized he cant please everybody. Who was more important, them or me? He corrected his thoughts and was absolutely wonderful, attentive and no traumas going on the next time we met. He has realized his errors and has been very sweet and kind and all about making me happy. Will update the rest in a little while.

    #112692
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Nan:

    Didn’t know you were a nurse. You’ve been care taking of a difficult, grouchy, ungrateful patient, R-2. And you imagine he will fall apart without you. You mentioned before that he might commit suicide if you leave him. And you seem to think that he will not be able to function without you: do his laundry, pay bills.

    I think he will be just fine.

    I wonder how you will feel when you realize he is just fine without you.

    It is a combination then, of you seeing R-2 as weak and seeing him as dangerous, vengeful. See the two views of him? A weak baby and a vengeful monster.

    What if your freedom is going to be from your care taking role? From the role of placing yourself second and third to others…?

    I like this concept, freedom from your care taking role in life. Freedom to be YOU. It is not easy to change a role like this- it has given you a feeling of safely so far. There will be anxiety in changing roles. But you had anxiety all these years, from early on (I remember your reply to a post on trichollomania).

    I see the attraction to R-1 as imperfect as he is. At the least he does not require you to take care of him. Like you wrote, he never asked you for money, refused an offer you made to him to help him, and paid for everything when you met. Good. Being in a relationship with him will not mean you taking care of him- and that is the most important thing about you having a relationship with another man- let it not be a grouchy, ungrateful patient, teasing and giving the nurse a hard time.

    Well, Nan is a Nurse, Nurse Nan.

    Till your next update. My goodness, I can imagine you jumping off that cliff- at this point I see the cliff as the role I hope you abandon and leave behind with R-2.

    Am I closer to understanding you???

    anita

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