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12 year marriage, flip - captain's log (week 1)

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May 16, 2016
7 upvotes

My original post is here: https://www.reddit.com/r/askMRP/comments/4ig04z/12_years_married_wife_wants_divorce_now_flips/

So in the past week a few things have moved forward:

  1. GYM - Joined the gym on Sunday, and havent missed a day doing the starting strength program w/app. Honestly, it has set the tone for so much. Dropped 4 lbs and the strength is moving up more quickly than I could have anticipated. She's noted a couple of times how impressed she is with me going every day, so there is a level of acknowledgement there.

  2. MAP - Developed my initial MAP on Tuesday after reading the Mindful Attraction Plan. Having a plan that addresses the reds and some weaker areas has been a freeing experience. Finally, have the roadmap forward - regardless of what happens with the SO.

  3. NMMNG - Halfway through the No More Mr Nice Guy - holy shit, this is me in many ways. I was hoping to finish this off by now, plan is to knock if off this week.

  4. Work Life Balance - Working on my career/work related vampire, and have finally established work hours. Managed to stick to it all last week, and I'm excited about how this is freeing up my evenings with some balance. I'm having another heart to heart with my boss this Tuesday about restructuring my job to get a better balance.

  5. In Home Counselor Fired - Got the in home counselor (my wife's new boss) out of my home, had the conversation with him regarding the dual relationship issue that he had created with my wife. He agreed that employing her and having her/my family as a client was not appropriate. This whole thing is strange as my wife did not want me telling him that we were putting the divorce on hold, she got very strange and inquisitive about what I was going to say - yet she didn't want to participate in the conversation. Let's just say the entire thing is still off, and I've stopped worrying about this at this point. To the guys last week that said negativity is not going to help - totally agreed, and now I'm focusing on the go forward plan for myself and my boys.

  6. SO FLIP - The SO says that she is still unsure if she can continue to try to fix this or not. She flipped on Wed (when I told her that I was firing the in home counselor/her new boss) stating that she wanted the divorce again, and then later in the day decided that she would continue to try. I was able to maintain my frame the entire time letting her know that I was around and available to talk (didnt travel last week) about whatever she wanted.

  7. DATE NIGHT / LEADING - Took her out on a date last night - first time since February. Managed to have a really pleasant, low pressure time together - we did a good job of catching up on a variety of things, tabling the current relationship challenges for much of the night. She did say last night that she was enjoying herself, and overall - I think we both did. The night ended abruptly however when we got home, as she did not want the end of night kiss. The alcohol kind of kicked in for her, and I backed off as it got a bit negatively charged from her side as a result of my advance/her going cold/then wanting to do an end of night selfie?!!? At that point, it was time to say good night before things escalated negatively. I had more to drink than I wanted (as is typical when we go out) although not nearly as much as her. Managed to hit the gym in the morning, and by the early afternoon my energy was surging again.

  8. GO FORWARD w SO? - This evening she was back to saying that she's really not sure if she can do this. Again. We had discussed a decent couples retreat for a weekend in June while her parents watch the kids, and then a few days off for some fun somewhere. I asked if we were onboard for June or not, and she said she would look around for more couples retreats. I'll be doing the same. Any thoughts on this idea of a couples retreat or is this a total waste? I think we will try to get to this mini vaca / couples retreat before making any final decision.

  9. PRIOR FEEDBACK - Prior thread feedback, some of the comments were spot on - such as me being an absent husband and father over the past few years while I plowed myself into work. In the past four months, I've been much more connected to my boys, and available to my SO as we worked the details of the divorce - up through the point when her father told us we were being premature/immature. Since that conversation, I've been digging hard on what I can do to improve - last week's post opened up some new resources and ways of thinking that I'm digesting as quickly as possible. I am doing my damndest at the moment to ramping my energy and executing my MAP while working on the resources that you have highlighted in the sidebar and in response to my prior thread.

Bottom line - I still struggle with how best to engage with her while maintaining my frame without being completely knocked off of center. I haven't seen any loyalty tests, although I'm sure there are a few that have been thrown out there. Any pointers on what to look for there? Shit/fitness tests abound around here, and I'm doing just fine handling those. This has caused her to be incredibly frustrated with me, and she has expressed more than once that she doesn't know what 'has gotten into you.'

I'm at the point now where I'm good with however this turns out. I am exceptionally concerned for my boys, and I've opened up to the fact that it may/likely is best for them to live with divorced parents as hard as it is to say. As I work my plan, I guess it will become obvious to me.

For me, the goals are simple - cut the reds, keep jamming at the gym (and eating a ton), pound out the pages of resources (NMMNG this week) keep deepening my connection with the boys, and continue to be more of a leader around the house.

Any blindspots you see? The couples retreat idea? Thoughts on how best to engage with the SO that continues to rattle back and forth? I've neglected myself, her, and my boys for so long - I just wonder how much runway is left...

Thanks for the kick in the ass, in advance. Last week's comments were very helpful.


Post Information
Title 12 year marriage, flip - captain's log (week 1)
Author wtf2016rp
Upvotes 7
Comments 23
Date 16 May 2016 02:38 AM UTC (4 years ago)
Subreddit askMRP
Link https://theredarchive.com/post/207425
Original Link https://old.reddit.com/r/askMRP/comments/4jj994/12_year_marriage_flip_captains_log_week_1/
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MAPframeliftNMMNG
Comments

[–]Chump_No_More4 points5 points  (0 children) | Copy

This whole thing is strange as my wife did not want me telling him that we were putting the divorce on hold, she got very strange and inquisitive about what I was going to say - yet she didn't want to participate in the conversation.

If this behavior isn't setting off alarms bells, then you need to ask yourself "why the fuck not?"

The night ended abruptly however when we got home, as she did not want the end of night kiss.

Of course not, this would be cheating on her new love interest.

I am exceptionally concerned for my boys, and I've opened up to the fact that it may/likely is best for them to live with divorced parents as hard as it is to say. As I work my plan, I guess it will become obvious to me.

I'm a strong believer that one of the greatest lessons parents can teach their children without ever saying a word is by showing what healthy, loving relationship between parents actually looks like. Love is an act of deliberate will. Loving requires effort and discipline. When either parent is not committed and/or making an effort, believe me the kids see it everyday without a cross word ever being spoken. It creates an aura of negative energy that permeates their lives and makes them ill physically, emotionally, and spiritually. The greatest act of love a father can give is not subject his children through that hell.

And yes, when you reach a critical mass of self awareness, self love, self respect, and healthy self interest, it will all become ridiculously obvious what you MUST do.

[–]PurpleVeteranRed Beret2 points3 points  (11 children) | Copy

1) The gym is for you, not for her validation. You've made the initial commitment, now keep carrying through.

5) Good riddance on the counselor, but I'd be a bit worried about her reactions. It could just be that she's embarrassed by the dynamic and how that makes her appear professionally, but certainly something that time will bear out.

6) Her flipping is normal here. You're making big changes quickly, and she's recalibrating as she tries to figure out if they are genuine. STFU, work on your frame, and don't get drawn into the drama.

7) Over60 suggests that Date Night is rewarding bad behavior, but there's nothing wrong with having a small escape from the kids and chores. But don't get drunk. Be the leader, keep your emotions and your tongue under control.

8) That said, I would consider a couple's retreat a bad idea. It won't be the romantic getaway or a quiet place to resolve your differences that you imagine. You are better off keeping her a bit off balance while you continue to improve yourself and focus on your MAP for a few months.

Honey, I know we spoke about getting away, but with all of this hanging over our heads, I really want to focus on us as a family. I am getting work under control, but I also have to figure some things out for myself, and I need a little time to do that. Let's not rush into any huge decisions right now.

[–]PurpleVeteranRed Beret1 point2 points  (5 children) | Copy

That said, I would consider a couple's retreat a bad idea. It won't be the romantic getaway or a quiet place to resolve your differences that you imagine.

To expand on this... what will end up happening is you will talk and negotiate what the relationship should be, and what you both need to do to fix it. Any promises you make during a retreat will simply be so many words.

From your posts, it's clear that her hand is already on the door -- she's planning how to leave you cleanly. Now, your FIL bought you a little time to try and fix things. You can use that time to negotiate her back down from the ledge, but that won't change her feelings, just make the process longer and harder on both of you.

Instead, you need to stick to your MAP. Don't promise to make changes, just do them. Don't worry about being a better husband, but about being a better man. Keep spending time with your kids -- take them to the park and then McDonald's or Dairy Queen some night this week. These things will benefit you no matter what your wife ultimately decides.

And consult a divorce lawyer separately.

[–]wtf2016rp[S] 1 point2 points  (0 children) | Copy

Booked the attorney for later this week. Had been avoiding this for no good reason....marching forward.

Agreed on being a better man.

[–]wtf2016rp[S] 0 points1 point  (3 children) | Copy

Volunteering at my kid's school on Thursday for the whole day, and then I'm taking them out for dinner. She can join if she wants for dinner... On the divorce lawyer, we agreed to not engage with lawyers unless mediation failed. At this point, I'm thinking an initial consult is something that is overdue...adding it to the plan this week.

[–]PurpleVeteranRed Beret0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy

Volunteering is okay, but what I'm talking about is getting to the park and playing catch / frisbee / basketball / tag and connecting with them. Memorial Day is coming up, maybe plan a day at the beach or something that gets you all out together.

[–]FRedington0 points1 point  (1 child) | Copy

You really need to see a divorce lawyer NOW.
The lawyer can give you advice on what to do to minimize your losses in case she pull the trigger first. He can also prepare your filing papers in case you see things failing irretrievably before she files, then pull the trigger yourself. He can help you prevent her from looting the marital assets before she pulls the trigger.

Get the advice. Get prepared for worst case.

[–]wtf2016rp[S] 1 point2 points  (0 children) | Copy

Meeting with an attorney on Friday

[–]wtf2016rp[S] 1 point2 points  (4 children) | Copy

Fair enough. Hadnt thought about it being a reward for bad behavior, but I get it now. She's going to be pissed on this I'm sure, and I like the proposed explanation.

As for the STFU guidance, she continuously points out that we dont have a connection, and that she lost the feelings for me a long time ago. This is the piece that is tripping me up, as I would like to reconnect, but it invariably ends up going sideways. Is the path to march forward on the MAP - keeping the interactions with her light but admittedly distant as I work through my shit. She has been exceptionally interested in anything I'm doing for myself, whether it be the gym or seeing a counselor on my own...I've shut down those conversation as of early last week...

Additionally, she finally visited a counselor on her own today (this is a big step for her) and she's now attempting to be more active as well. All within the past week...coincidence?

[–]SepeanRed Beret2 points3 points  (0 children) | Copy

I had such a bitchy, mean, contemptful wife once. Now she leaves me cute notes in my office and always snuggle up to me. Build the attraction and the affection and connection will come. In the beginning when you alpha up it will in some ways feel colder and more distant; you're being cocky and doing your own thing while she's calling you an asshole who only wants her for sex. It will build up until the Main Event, but after you pass that everything calms down and you'll begin the reconnecting.

[–]PurpleVeteranRed Beret0 points1 point  (2 children) | Copy

She continuously points out that we dont have a connection. [...] I would like to reconnect, but it invariably ends up going sideways.

For now, STFU > DEER (Defend, explain, excuse, rationalize). The fact that she's interested in these changes indicates that she's not completely checked out. Keep her a bit off balance... a mix of AA / AM and "I'm focusing on improving myself and being a better father" will go a long way. This is the foundation for establishing frame and the 12 levels of dread.

Additionally, she finally visited a counselor on her own today

She sees you putting in an effort, and doesn't want to be the one who caused the marriage to fail. Just keep doing what you're doing -- one week of progress is nothing, you have 12 years of inertia to overcome.

[–]wtf2016rp[S] 0 points1 point  (1 child) | Copy

AA AM? What does this stand for? Still a bit of a noob.

[–]SexistFlyingPig0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy

amused mastery.

Think about a small child telling you you have to do something. Would you argue with the child with any degree of seriousness? Or would you engage them in an amused way? You are a master of the situation, and the child's behavior amuses you. Hence, Amused Mastery. (AA is agree and amplify)

[–]PersaeusRed Beret1 point2 points  (3 children) | Copy

Suggest you not drink at all when your in or going to be in the presence of your SO. You would not go into combat with the buzz on.

Given your situation, your next read should be WISNIFG....until then STFU.

The couples retreat is likely a blue pill trap. Work on you. She will follow your leadership or she won't.

[–]wtf2016rp[S] 0 points1 point  (2 children) | Copy

It is next on the list after NMMNG. Hadnt had any alcohol around her in weeks until this past weekend. Thanks for the kick in the ass, I realize now that it was a mistake to be drinking around her. It also invoked old tired patterns that clearly are broken.

[–]FRedington0 points1 point  (1 child) | Copy

Start now.

[–]wtf2016rp[S] 0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy

Just finished nmmng last night. This is the next book, starting tonight.

[–]BluepillProfessorMod / Red Beret2 points3 points  (0 children) | Copy

I think you are the first person to actually use the Captain's Log like I intended and envisioned when I wrote up the posting guidelines. Weekly updates of your story. Details. Linked to the last story. Good work!

This has caused her to be incredibly frustrated with me, and she has expressed more than once that she doesn't know what 'has gotten into you.'

HAHAHAHAHA! What happened to my little bitch who walked around shell shocked all the time.

I just wonder how much runway is left.

I don't think I have ever seen a woman leave a man who is embarking on a MAP and working to improve. Women have no problem jumping off a stationary train. They won't jump off a moving train, however. A girl might get hurt doing something like that! Like if that train ended up going somewhere pretty cool. That would really hurt a girl!

[–]SepeanRed Beret1 point2 points  (1 child) | Copy

I asked if we were onboard for June or not, and she said she would look around for more couples retreats. I'll be doing the same. Any thoughts on this idea of a couples retreat or is this a total waste?

Don't ask like that.

And don't go. Not only it is pointless in terms of fixing anything, but you are at a point where you should be breaking off and STFU or she acts pissed at your A&A, which is a lot easier at home.

There'll be a lot of pushback from her on your new behavior. She'll call you an asshole, blame you for only wanting her fir sex, etc. Don't worry about it, it is just standard shit testing.

Lift and lead.

[–]wtf2016rp[S] 0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy

I'll let her know that the June thing is off, and that we'd be better off working on some things separately.

[–]wtf2016rp[S] 0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy

Roger that

[–]BluepillProfessorMod / Red Beret0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy

couples retreat

I think that MOST "couple's retreat" is Blue Pill Hell and does far, far more harm than good.

I know the people involved in this group:

http://www.marriagehelper.com/

This is a Christian based marriage counseling thing which I have found to be largely compatible with MRP. They have regularly "couples retreats." I doubt they will help but I don't think they would hurt like the other options.

[–]wtf2016rp[S] 0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy

Well gents, she just informed me that she wants the divorce to move forward today. Good thing I'm meeting with the lawyer tomorrow, and we'll be meeting with our counselor on Saturday - topic will be how to break the news to the kids. I dont think she's flipping or flopping again on this 'decision'....



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