Still stuck in separation and trying to find a way out

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Blackbird11

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Still stuck in separation and trying to find a way out
« on: July 12, 2019, 02:42:54 PM »
Going into month two of in-home separation. I still feel like this is the right thing to do. I like having my own room, time to myself, and time alone with my toddler. However, this is still taking a toll on me.

I am very anxious and sometimes depressed. I am trying to do self-care (some exercise when possible, eating healthy, reducing caffeine intake, taking time to go out with a friend or just have a mental health break by watching some light/happy tv). I have also been going to individual T and joint T with uPDh. I still work full-time and actually look forward to work because it gives me purpose/something to get my mind off of things - at least for a short while.

But -- at the most recent joint session I got very angry and realized my uPDh is simply continuing to manipulate the situation. One week he is open to moving out, the next week he is not. One week he is fine with a divorce, a few hours later he tries to talk me out of it. He is love bombing me - sending me texts and emails proclaiming his love for me.

He has nothing to say to me when I say to him that he is manipulating and lying. He acts like he doesn't know what I'm talking about - and quite frankly, while the therapist is good, we don't have the money to keep going to these sessions if they're going no where. So I'm pausing them for the time being (will continue individual T however). 

I am starting to get very confused and I know it's all part of the PD process. I need to steady myself - so this is why I'm posting here. I really think that my next step should be getting him to move out of the house for a physical separation. I am not leaving my house. I have decided that.

This is going to be difficult - he knows I'm emotionally fragile and keeps pouncing on me with the guilt trips the minute I ask for what I want.

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notrightinthehead

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Re: Still stuck in separation and trying to find a way out
« Reply #1 on: July 13, 2019, 04:18:32 AM »
Seems like he knows how to play you to get what he wants. Quite a challenge for you to stand up for yourself. Stay strong!

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HotCocoa

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Re: Still stuck in separation and trying to find a way out
« Reply #2 on: July 13, 2019, 09:15:02 AM »
I'm sorry to hear what you are going through.  Brain fog happens when around pd's.  Be safe.
I also would add here, that it sounds like you are young with a very young child.  You need to save your money and speak to an attorney.
You are talking about things that can have large legal ramifications, one of the biggest is date of separation (this is what the divorce is based from in terms of money).  If his name is on the home you live in, you can't make him move out.  Are you currently using one bank account or have you gone to the courts to ask for spousal and child support?
These are things that are all considered in separation and divorce.  I would keep any at home separation very quiet, don't start talking with anyone about any dates, start going through any and all accounts that you can before heading to an attorney.  Good luck.
The smarter you become about narcissistic abuse, the crazier the narcissist will say you are.

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Blackbird11

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Re: Still stuck in separation and trying to find a way out
« Reply #3 on: July 13, 2019, 01:11:28 PM »
Trying to hang in there notright. He actually got me so angry the other day that I sent some angry text messages that I later apologized for. All he wanted was a reaction out of me and I gave it to him. This is becoming a very stressful situation, but I need to control myself so he can't try and present that as documentation of me being the one with an issue.

HotCocoa, I had an hour session with an attorney a few weeks ago.

They said exactly what you did - his name is on the house in addition to mine, so I can't kick him out. I have absolutely no savings and no money that isn't going towards bills (I allowed this to happen - although uPDh had a hand in helping to convince me to buy a house we couldn't really afford and here we are). So really it would take me years to afford legal representation if I tried to save - unless we sell the house and/or I ask family for help.

H is now seeing the house as his last bargaining chip, so he absolutely refuses to sell it right now.

My hope was that he would just decide to leave on his own and then we could proceed with trying to do most of the divorce ourselves while utilizing an attorney for the custody piece.

Our only asset is our house, and we are nearly going to lose money on it if it sells because of the unfinished projects started by uPDh. The best we can hope for is to break even. Neither one of us has savings. I have absolutely nothing to my name and nothing for him to want from me. He has no savings and nothing to his name. I want absolutely nothing from him but my freedom.

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1footouttadefog

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Re: Still stuck in separation and trying to find a way out
« Reply #4 on: July 25, 2019, 12:10:47 PM »
I think it's totally normal for you to be anxious at this point. 

You took major and serious steps to separate in house and seek joint and individual therapy.  I know for me such steps would indicate hope for the relationship. 

You are now at a new place other down the path in realizing the joint therapy is not helping and that he is still manipulating you and game playing. I imagine hope is being lost, and you feel it's time to deal with reality.  That is huge and it's hard and complicated and requires more toughbdecisions and there's a child involved.  This is not easy, be kind to your self. 

Of course this brings anxiety.  It also brings grief.  A hope has died, a bit more of the relation has died, you have lost more time and realize some of the past was a fraud as well.  I would be grieving the loss of an intact family for my child as well.  Again all huge life changes.

Be kind to yourself.  If it's safe to do so, shelter in place and work through all of this in your own time.  It's part of healing  and grieving.  Don't stress to the next step until you are doing so from strength, and have clarity.

If it's unsafe of course you expidite things and get you and the child to better circumstances.

I hope that with time and with the tools he will find a abnormal that does not involve you being his primary source of negative supply. 

I live on a separate floor of teahouse from spouse.  I go upstairs to cook and eat and that is about it.  Over time pdh got used to me not being there all tue tike.  He has found people outside of the house to foster and interact with.  He has gotten pretty used to not being allowed to come into my space to hang out.  He watches a lot of TV and YouTube these days.  It's more peaceful. Sad but peaceful compared to years ago.

We still have drama but it's mostly at Jr high school annoyance levels.  My kids will be up and out in a couple more years then I will begin the next phase.

I hopenyou situation can improve until you find your escape.
« Last Edit: July 25, 2019, 12:19:18 PM by 1footouttadefog »

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Arkhangelsk

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Re: Still stuck in separation and trying to find a way out
« Reply #5 on: July 25, 2019, 01:35:58 PM »
Hi Blackbird.

I am sending positive thoughts.  HotCoca had good advice, and I am glad you went to see the lawyer.  You need that date of separation in case your husband never consents to divorce.  In my state, you can get a divorce unilaterally ONLY after 2 years have passed beyond the date of separation.

But I am posting to plant an idea in your mind.  I want you to know I have been in exactly the spot you are in - seperated in a home that I deeply, deeply wanted to keep.  I finally filed for divorce after years of being manipulated and abused, when my kids were 2 and 4. 

Everything seemed impossible and I felt like I was losing the life I planned.  My house was a wreck because of partially finished projects, same as you.  The ONE thing I was sure of was that I was going to keep that house.  My ex knew it.  So he dragged out the process almost 3 years, before I finally got him to sign divorce papers.  Those years were miserable.  But I kept my house.  And I thought I won on getting him to finally consent to divorce and division of property, without going to court. 

But, he came back hard and we had a very messy custody battle.  I was in so deep on lawyer's fees, that despite having a good job, I was broke.  I ended up taking 30k out in credit card loans to polish up the house and selling it anyway - because I had to cash out to stop financial freefall.  I sold the house and righted the ship about 5 seconds before things got truly messy.

And you know what?  I do not miss the house.  Selling it and downgrading my monthly spend created emotional peace.  From where I sit now, I think it was probably a mistake to hold out.  I could have moved out in 2013, when I filed for divorce, instead of in 2016, when I finally managed to get divorced.  I might have had 3 additional years of really living my life.   I also would have had 3 more years of only 50 percent custody.  But they would have been happy years.

Because here is the thing - my life as a divorcee is AMAZING.  I am a happy, healthy mother.  I am a better employee.  I am a better everything.  I no longer spend all of my time trying to figure out how to very, very carefully walk on eggshells scattered across a tightrope of anger and manipulation.  I LOVE my life.  So I am sad for the woman that stayed for the house.  She gave up a lot.  I think she would have been happier in a crappy apartment. 

Also, as it turns out, I met a new partner.  That may be hard to imagine.  I certainly did not expect it.  But he had no desire to take on my old Victorian house.  So this house became a sort of anchor to the life I thought I had been building.  And once I was free of that marriage and that toxic life, all these new possibilities were in front of me. 

Chances are, this is pretty hard for you to imagine.  Your home represents a great deal of comfort to you, while so many things are in flux.  People gave me this same advice when I was were you are now - and I did not believe them.  I am mostly saying it so that if things get really, really bad you may have at least taken a moment to imagine what it might be like to find a little apartment to rent and get yourself out of the abuse.

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Spygirl

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Re: Still stuck in separation and trying to find a way out
« Reply #6 on: July 25, 2019, 04:00:28 PM »
 :yeahthat:

I agree with Ark,

While during the separation i could not imagine giving up some special "things" i owned(and my now ex knew it, so he was determined to keep them).

Through the process of the divorce, i also gave up on battling for my past life, my "former dream" if you will. That dream was dead with the marriage, and everything attached to it brought sadness and anxiety.
 
Over the last year, i have gained momentum and been disposing of the "married" physical memories. My mental health has become lighter with each passing month.

My property will sell at years end, all the knicknacks from the marriage, save for a couple antiques that i only loved, will be gone. Photos packed away to view in old age when i see how far i have come from this time.

This is the last half of MY life.

This is MY time to execute
 my dreams without criticism.

This is MY time to become my best self, for my self.

These are statements i would never have dreamed of making while in the FOG. I wish you the very best in your journey!





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Blackbird11

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Re: Still stuck in separation and trying to find a way out
« Reply #7 on: July 31, 2019, 12:58:26 PM »
Thank you all again for your words and advice. Reading your responses helps keep me grounded and focused on maintaining my separation.

Over the past few weeks, uPDh has tried multiple times to engage me in JADE-ing -
sometimes I fall for it but now I'm getting up to speed. I try to MC as much as possible.

He also tries to do "favors" for me and get me to open up to him emotionally but I maintain my boundaries: conversation limited to kid/house/schedule/things we have joint responsibility over and very high level conversation.

Last night he tried to text me about a "bad day he was having." He wanted to engage me as an emotional support system (or really just try to restart the drama triangle from the Stop care taking book!).

I responded basically with "are you having a medical emergency?" Then he got po'd by that response and asked me to clarify the rules of communication. I said that I believed we should only talk about the items I list above and that we each need to build support systems outside of each other during this time. He didn't like hearing that  and gave a passive aggressive response and  said he guessed he would talk about it with his T. After that I went to bed.

This morning was the aftermath of that exchange. I could tell he was in a bad mood during kid handoff before I went to work. He was giving me silent treatment at first but I had to communicate about a few things regarding our toddler. He gave me very short responses.

I had to do self talk to stay calm and not engage with him. I was very unsettled by the behavior and for the first time had the the thought: I'm almost ready.

I guess I have been fantasizing that he would wake up and realize what is actually happening: we have a poor relationship, we are both unhappy, and we need to sell the house and get divorced so we can go our separate ways.

What is actually happening is that he is in denial, still engaged in magical thinking regarding our finances (he asked if we could go on vacation!! We are separated and can barely pay our bills!!), and he is hell bent on NOT getting a divorce or selling the house.

I literally don't have any money I can put toward even a tiny apt. I am trying to avoid moving in with my uPDm but at this point I may have to do that. My concern is that if I leave the house uPDh will draw out thr divorce/house sale. But I realize I have to do what is best for my child. If leaving is best, F the house. I will get out.





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1footouttadefog

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Re: Still stuck in separation and trying to find a way out
« Reply #8 on: July 31, 2019, 02:55:07 PM »
Bam glad you are at the point where all options are on the table, ajdbyou are seeing his manipulations clearly.

It is at this point you are thinking logically and becoming emotionally disconnected enough to make decisions based on facts and not emotions alone.

The ads love to keep us in emotional turmoil so we habe trouble acting from a okace of strength. 

I hope things become clear enough fornyour to move ahead or stay with a feeling of determination and certainty.

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Blackbird11

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Re: Still stuck in separation and trying to find a way out
« Reply #9 on: July 31, 2019, 10:12:09 PM »
Thanks 1foot. During a text exchange today (initiated by him to check on where my head is at),  I had the courage to say I wanted us to find a way to physically separate. This is not the first time I have said this, but apparently when he read it he broke down sobbing at work and kept saying how much he loves me.

I am trying to stay strong but the guilt is very overwhelming.

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Arkhangelsk

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Re: Still stuck in separation and trying to find a way out
« Reply #10 on: August 01, 2019, 05:50:23 PM »
I am so sorry.

What is it that makes you feel guilty?  If you would care to explore that feeling?

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Blackbird11

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Re: Still stuck in separation and trying to find a way out
« Reply #11 on: August 03, 2019, 04:12:22 PM »
The day I posted I was feeling guilty about hurting his feelings. I still have it but not as strong now. Today I feel fear.

He is on a mission to try and talk me out of divorcing him. Today I was begging him to just agree with me that this is what's best. He said I should do what makes me happy but he'll never stop loving me and doesn't want it. He also made sure to get a few jabs in. He reminded me how much his family is going to dislike me if I do this. They do 't believe in divorce. I pointed the behavior out to him as examples of why I cannot continue the relationship.

I guess the conversation left off where it usually does - still separated, but I told him I'd let him know if there is any chance at all of giving it one more shot as he proclaims how awakened he is. He has apologized multiple times. He is in therapy. Overall he has been a lot better to be around. But all of these things don't convince me that I can trust him. Or that I can forget the miserable marriage I've been in for a handful of years.

So - why fear today? He's right. People are going to think less of me. Everyone puts him on a pedestal. He's so gregarious and generous to the outside world, and I've been so depressed and quiet and avoidant of everyone that it does seem like I am the problem. I shouldn't care about that but I do. Im trying not to. I know this was a tactic to get in my head. It worked.

Also - I will be living on such a small income on my own. Even though it will be small, his income would be even smaller - which means I'd probably have to give him money (I make more) to help as he'll be with the kid too and he'll have to be able to care and provide for them as I will.

So these things are scary to me.

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sad_dog_mommy

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Re: Still stuck in separation and trying to find a way out
« Reply #12 on: August 03, 2019, 07:44:13 PM »
What you are feeling is all part of his plan.   He WANTS to scare you into staying with him.  This is a classic manipulation.   
 
Here are a few questions to think over.   Is there any chance he has really changed?   Could the relationship start over or begin as new?  Do you really care what his family thinks???   

Whenever I felt doubt about ending my relationship with a PD I would remind myself that I had searched the internet for answers as to why he behaved the way he did and I found this support page.    I would re-read my posts and I would re-read my journal.  Then I would make a mental list of the worst things he had done and confirm to myself that I couldnít stand to live through those things again.   

Breaking up isnít easy. Listen to your gut instinct.   

You are not alone.   
Sometimes you donít realize youíre actually drowning when you are trying to be everyone elseís anchor.   

Not all storms come to disrupt your life, some come to clear your path.

Unconditional love doesn't mean you have to unconditionally accept bad behavior.

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Blackbird11

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Re: Still stuck in separation and trying to find a way out
« Reply #13 on: August 03, 2019, 11:21:32 PM »
Thanks Sad Dog Mommy. Im so grateful to this place. Helps me stay focused on my truth.

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Blackbird11

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Re: Still stuck in separation and trying to find a way out
« Reply #14 on: August 07, 2019, 01:20:41 PM »
Just sharing an update. I know I sound like a broken record at this point.

Almost 3 months into an in-home separation now. It took a month for uPDh to understand what the separation meant - that we would be spending time apart and sharing time with our child. So let's say 2 months in a sort-of separation. It's not official because we have to share the house.

Had a very difficult conversation with him last night. It was initiated by me stating that I would be bringing our child to a friend's party without him. He questioned why he's not invited. I said because we are separated and I don't feel comfortable attending parties as though we're a couple. He couldn't wrap his brain around the fact that I wouldn't want to go to a party with him right now. He then went into amnesia mode about being separated and what that means.

We got into another circular conversation where he started accusing me of cheating (AGAIN), tried to threaten me (if I divorce him I will be paying him child support and alimony - according to him), and accused me of being the abusive one. This was interspersed with him stating how much he loves me and cares about me.

He said he is changing and that I'm not giving him enough credit. I said if he was really changing he wouldn't be asking for credit. He said he didn't understand what change should look like, so I sent him Lundy Bancroft's list of signs an abuser is changing. Honestly I don't know if I should have done that but it's too late now. He has admitted to and apologized for abuse, so I guess I felt comfortable enough being honest with him on that front.

He got very upset and was sobbing and one point. He just wants me to agree to try one more time and can't understand why I won't. He sees my reluctance to move forward with filing for divorce as sign that there is hope.

I keep asking to sell the house. I said I would like a separate residence to figure this out. He said he won't sell the house until he sees divorce papers.

I repeatedly tell him that I'm not happy, and that I don't think we can save the relationship. Even though there is a small sliver of me that wants to think maybe he can change, the thought of having to reengage in an active relationship with him makes me nauseous. I didn't tell him that, but I keep repeating that I need to maintain the separation. I'm not ready to file for divorce yet. I don't know why. He is upset that I won't give him a straight answer and said that he needs to date other people because he is lonely. I told him I understand and if he wants to do that, I have no problem as long as he keeps it outside our home. I said I won't be dating because I'm not comfortable doing that. Then he got upset that I said it's ok if he dates.

I know this is not healthy for us to be going around in circles like this.

Thank you for listening.

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1footouttadefog

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Re: Still stuck in separation and trying to find a way out
« Reply #15 on: August 08, 2019, 10:28:17 AM »
So the man who wants you to work through things and go to parties together and who still loves you and cares about you , also threatens you with finamcial ruin and wants your blessing to date other women.


Sometimes they tell exactly who they are.  The question is why dont we listen and believe them?

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Blackbird11

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Re: Still stuck in separation and trying to find a way out
« Reply #16 on: August 08, 2019, 03:03:46 PM »
Exactly the same tactics he used to destroy the relationship are the ones he thinks will save it. I have told him this but it doesn't register.

I am just hoping he's going through the stages of grief and will eventually get to acceptance so I can move forward but my fear is that he will not get out of them and will continue to go down with the ship - so to speak - trying to "win me back" because he apparently still believes in the relationship. At that point I'm going to have to call it and just move in with my uPDm until I can get on my feet financially.

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Jsinjin

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Re: Still stuck in separation and trying to find a way out
« Reply #17 on: August 08, 2019, 03:53:53 PM »
All I can do is offer emotional support through the forum!    Know that i feel you are doing the right thing and I understand it is so tough to do.

Remember your toolkit and grey rocks and boundaries.    It's so easy for water to slip into the tiniest of cracks in a soft, wet, playful way and then the moment it freezes: craaack!   The PDs do this whether they know it consciously or not: be nice, dangle support and favors, come to terms and ask what they can do to improve, and once they flow in they freeze and split you wide open.

Stay strong and when you are in the moment, consider the important parts and big picture!
It is unwise to seek prominence in a field whose routine chores you do not enjoy.

-Wolfgang Pauli

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Blackbird11

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Re: Still stuck in separation and trying to find a way out
« Reply #18 on: August 08, 2019, 06:43:26 PM »
Thanks jsinjin! That's a good analogy and I will try to remember it. This situation is so crazy I can't even believe it's real. Unfortunately it is.

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cant turn back

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Re: Still stuck in separation and trying to find a way out
« Reply #19 on: August 09, 2019, 05:13:58 AM »
Blackbird, your situation sounds identical to where I was at 2 1/2 years ago: living in our home together, my declaration of wanting a divorce, going to some conjoint therapy sessions, couch sleeping, then separate bedrooms, ExH love bombing, then trying to scare me into changing my mind... depending on the day.. depending on the hour.  Accusing me of cheating (absurdity), telling me I would be the black sheep, like socially isolated, threats of what shared custody of our daughter would be like and that he might pursue full custody, threats that I would not get any spousal or child support (both turned out to be completely false), telling me he wanted to move on so he could find someone else and maybe have more kids...  My ExH was desperately clinging to hope that my failure to file for divorce (it took me 6 months to get up the nerve) meant there was hope.  After I filed, there was way less love bombing, and more antagonism (that was way easier for me to manage, less guilty feelings).  Of course I did the best that I could, I was so scared to file.  I didnít intentionally drag it out to hurt him, but I do wish I could have handled it more swiftly, it would have saved months of painful, heartbreaking hope that he was clinging to... delaying what I knew was inevitable... Like you I was nauseous at the idea of reconciliation.  All the horrible things he said to me... in the name of loving me, made me feel more and more repulsed by him.  Also, he made it clear that he would not be leaving our home.. heís still there, he bought me out in our settlement.  I think he thought there was no way I would actually leave. 
What you are feeling is all part of his plan.   He WANTS to scare you into staying with him.  This is a classic manipulation.   
EXACTLY!!!
So the man who wants you to work through things and go to parties together and who still loves you and cares about you , also threatens you with finamcial ruin and wants your blessing to date other women.

Sometimes they tell exactly who they are.  The question is why dont we listen and believe them?
EXACTLY!!!

I donít think your husband can go through the stages of grief as things are now, heís not going to reach acceptance. He believes there is hope so heís grasping at straws to find the right combination hoovering or love bombing or threats or fear tactics to get you to change your mind.  I know itís hard, I did it too, but I think on some level you have to make peace with what you want/need/your gut instinct and then proceed, knowing in your heart youíre doing what is right for you, and stop waiting for him to get on the same page and agree with you or give you his blessing.  My ExH showed me that what I wanted, my thoughts, feelings, desires were not to be respected and were less important than what he wanted, so I had to dig deep and steel myself to make my own way out.  It was the hardest thing Iíve ever done.  I still sometimes think ďOMG, I canít believe I did that!Ē

I am so sorry you are going through it.  Itís so very hard.  So many of us on here understand and have your back.