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On the benefits of total separation from our ex partners
#11
(08-12-2018, 12:22 PM)Jim Wrote: Hi Tam. Thanks. It seems almost an act of spite or despair but I think I'm at that point.

LATER. Made a start. Moved a large proportion of the stuff into a cupboard in one room. The trouble is it's not just 'hers' it's a kind of ours because of all the memories. It's a previous life that looking back starts to look like a dream or another world.

It's really hard man I know believe me, but you're doing the right thing and once you start, it's like a ball rolling down hill. Keep that momentum going and purge and clear everything that reminds you of anything you ever did together. The past doesn't exist except in our heads, and the future isn't here yet. There is only the now. Now you are you, not us and you want your surroundings to reflect that.

Two additional resources I will link to here that helped me with the physical and mental separation of things.

One is a book: "The life changing magic of tidying up" https://www.amazon.co.uk/Life-Changing-M...0091955106

Essentially, don't have anything in your house that doesn't bring you joy when you look at it or pick it up. Generally here they mean things but you can apply it to people and feelings as well.

The next is "The Minimalists" - https://www.theminimalists.com - they have a great documentary on Netflix, three books, a podcast  and lots of freely available stuff online. They make a very, very strong case for living in the now, not the future or the past, getting rid of keep sakes and mementos that don't genuinely bring you real happiness (not nostalgia). They have both been divorced as well and understand how we cling on to things that are mentally holding us back.
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#12
Mr Sandman - you wrote: Jim - "Sorry, but for you there is no more 'ours', it's over!" That's probably true and so is the rest of your post. The trouble is - as you'll see from another thread I started - I am still waiting for the paperwork to prove it. Even without the paperwork I would say it's more likely than not after all these months. And you're right - it's holding me back. Just getting the stuff into one room yesterday felt better.
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#13
(08-13-2018, 12:02 PM)Jim Wrote: Mr Sandman - you wrote:  Jim - "Sorry, but for you there is no more 'ours', it's over!" That's probably true and so is the rest of your post. The trouble is - as you'll see from another thread I started - I am still waiting for the paperwork to prove it. Even without the paperwork I would say it's more likely than not after all these months. And you're right - it's holding me back. Just getting the stuff into one room yesterday felt better.

And that's the important thing Jim - I didn't mean to come across as too abrupt - two years after splitting from my cheating wife I'm still dogged by the thoughts of 'what if?' and 'what might be?' - purging my life of her has just helped me stay in control a little bit...

(08-13-2018, 11:53 AM)Tamagoto Wrote:
(08-12-2018, 12:22 PM)Jim Wrote: Hi Tam. Thanks. It seems almost an act of spite or despair but I think I'm at that point.

LATER. Made a start. Moved a large proportion of the stuff into a cupboard in one room. The trouble is it's not just 'hers' it's a kind of ours because of all the memories. It's a previous life that looking back starts to look like a dream or another world.

It's really hard man I know believe me, but you're doing the right thing and once you start, it's like a ball rolling down hill. Keep that momentum going and purge and clear everything that reminds you of anything you ever did together. The past doesn't exist except in our heads, and the future isn't here yet. There is only the now. Now you are you, not us and you want your surroundings to reflect that.

Two additional resources I will link to here that helped me with the physical and mental separation of things.

One is a book: "The life changing magic of tidying up" https://www.amazon.co.uk/Life-Changing-M...0091955106

Essentially, don't have anything in your house that doesn't bring you joy when you look at it or pick it up. Generally here they mean things but you can apply it to people and feelings as well.

The next is "The Minimalists" - https://www.theminimalists.com - they have a great documentary on Netflix, three books, a podcast  and lots of freely available stuff online. They make a very, very strong case for living in the now, not the future or the past, getting rid of keep sakes and mementos that don't genuinely bring you real happiness (not nostalgia). They have both been divorced as well and understand how we cling on to things that are mentally holding us back.

I saw that documentary just last week and I thought of some of the people here and the journeys we've been on, I think it relates closely to the stoic philosophy also, being in control of our physical environment rather than our physical environment being in control of us....
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#14
It's really worth the time to watch and when you get the opportunity, the books.

I read "Fight Club" recently, then rewatched the film. I think the documentary is a genuine way of actually being the way things are described.
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#15
Hello Tam. Sorry - I didn't see your post to me earlier. I don't know if I just missed it or it didn't come up. It's all good stuff. I have been a compulsive de-clutterer all my life. It's arguable I have tended to go too far rather than not far enough. For example, throwing out CDs or in those days cassettes that I thought I didn't want and then wishing I hadn't. That said, most of the time I never regretted it. I can only think of 2 or 3 I ever bought twice. That's a really good point about things that bring you joy - and that comment about nostalgia not being real joy but by implication something else. I would like to hear more about that.
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#16
(08-13-2018, 06:24 PM)Jim Wrote: Hello Tam. Sorry - I didn't see your post to me earlier. I don't know if I just missed it or it didn't come up. It's all good stuff. I have been a compulsive de-clutterer all my life. It's arguable I have tended to go too far rather than not far enough. For example, throwing out CDs or in those days cassettes that I thought I didn't want and then wishing I hadn't. That said, most of the time I never regretted it. I can only think of 2 or 3 I ever bought twice. That's a really good point about things that bring you joy - and that comment about nostalgia not being real joy but by implication something else. I would like to hear more about that.

My personal situation is baffling and thinking about it almost continuously I still can't come to a definite conclusion if I should be moving on or not. It seems to be a situation unlike anything on the forums or in blogs. For all I know it's already ended but the paperwork is lost in some regional divorce unit. It's a bit weird like somebody I used to know and still love has changed into something hard and slightly crazy in her outlook. She's done it to the kids so I have lost them too. But it's starting to feel like sad as it is I am better out of it because I can't do anything to change it. It's really hard throwing it all out because it's like I am eradicating a large proportion of my past as if it didn't happen and nothing I did counted for anything. The silent message I am getting from my wife is that I don't exist and maybe never did in the shape of things I remember. Throwing it all out seems to make the wish come true for her. Like I agree it didn't happen and I don't exist. Sorry guys - gone right into the heart of things there but all comments welcome because I haven't got a clue.

LATER: Clearing stuff out off and on all evening. Isn't much stuff gives me 'joy' at all. It sticks out when something does. Like a nice surprise.

I think we're better off clearing too much rather than too little. Very, very few things are really irreplaceable and if it's really sentimental, take a picture of it and look at that if you want to. I got rid of all my music when Spotify came along, now I listen to far more than I ever did!

I saw the other post you made about not being able to move on because you feel like you're stuck in limbo, but it's just paperwork you're waiting for - the reality of the situation, you being on your own now (maybe only for now), isn't going to change.

The past doesn't cease to have happened, because you change your environment. I had many happy times with my wife, I loved her more than anything and she made me laugh like nobody else ever has. Those memories are true and those feelings are real even if she subsequently had an affair and blew up my life and family. I don't want to be reminded of her any more however and I want to shape my life to suit me as I am now, not who I was 2 years ago.

For me this was putting my own mark on my home (which we shared and I was out of for 18months). Some things I cannot change, some I can. I had a giant mural painted on the back wall for example (this one https://www.instagram.com/p/BlVR4QRAMlF/...by=snub_23 ), I couldn't change the kitchen but I could empty it and buy new plates, cutlery and a coffee machine (she didn't like coffee). The bathroom needed replacing so I gutted that and built it how I wanted it. The bedroom had many memories so I gutted that back to brick as well. New bed, new furniture.

Life keeps on going, the world keeps spinning.
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#17
This is great advice.  It feels harsh to me, reading it, but I know it's the right way to go.  I'm very good friends with my ex's sister and especially her sister's ex husband. I think I could drop the sister but the ex husband is one of my very best friends and went through exactly the same thing with her sister when they split up.

I'm currently stuck with my ex because her and our kids still live with me in the family home (it's been 11 weeks since we split, 4 since I uncovered her affair).  She seems to have accepted that she can't buy me out or take over the mortgage so we've got to sell, with her renting something ASAP to get the ball rolling (I'll stay on, finish the house and then sell it, or buy her out even).  But even I accept that she needs to find the right place - they're my kids after all and I don't want them living in a hovel or a cruddy area.

I was considering keeping a joint account for the kids for us both to contribute to, including my maintenance - is that a no no?  Also, the bills. I currently pay about £2,500 a month to cover mortgage, bills, food, cars, diesel etc.  She contributes her child benefit (which I'm about to get taxed on) and she buys some shopping herself using cash (I thinks this is a BS way to do it because she spends £100 on food we often don't need. She's poor with money).  She spends a lot on the kids but not sure where the rest of it goes.  I've paid 3 lots of bills since we split up.  I want to ask her to start contributing.  She earns an average of £1400 a month according to her accountant.  She's living in the house for free.  But at the same time, I don't need the money and would be paying it anyway. And I don't want to create conflict where the currently is none. I need her on-side. I need her to move out without putting up a fight and agreeing to childcare proposals.  What would you do?  I'm sure she'll argue that she spends money on the kids and I don't see it.
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#18
If she intends to live there then she needs to contribute to bills, Cable tv, internet etc etc. She needs to contribute to council tax as she is costing you 25% a month on that alone.

You have been very fair but she needs a push to get moved. Be careful because she will have unrealistic expectations when it comes to what she can and can't afford to rent. With 2 kids and on low income support she will get £400 month to pay towards rent. You'd be surprised as to just exactly what benefits are on offer.

I actually went to the job centre and sat down with one very nice lady and found out exactly what was on offer for her because like you i wanted to ensure my kids were going to be well looked after.

It does seem to be though that she is having her cake and eating it at present and without sounding harsh you need to be straight with her. If she wants to stay in the house then she needs to pay half of everything or she gets out, the gravy train ride is over
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#19
(08-14-2018, 10:12 AM)Tamagoto Wrote:
(08-13-2018, 06:24 PM)Jim Wrote: Hello Tam. Sorry - I didn't see your post to me earlier. I don't know if I just missed it or it didn't come up. It's all good stuff. I have been a compulsive de-clutterer all my life. It's arguable I have tended to go too far rather than not far enough. For example, throwing out CDs or in those days cassettes that I thought I didn't want and then wishing I hadn't. That said, most of the time I never regretted it. I can only think of 2 or 3 I ever bought twice. That's a really good point about things that bring you joy - and that comment about nostalgia not being real joy but by implication something else. I would like to hear more about that.

My personal situation is baffling and thinking about it almost continuously I still can't come to a definite conclusion if I should be moving on or not. It seems to be a situation unlike anything on the forums or in blogs. For all I know it's already ended but the paperwork is lost in some regional divorce unit. It's a bit weird like somebody I used to know and still love has changed into something hard and slightly crazy in her outlook. She's done it to the kids so I have lost them too. But it's starting to feel like sad as it is I am better out of it because I can't do anything to change it. It's really hard throwing it all out because it's like I am eradicating a large proportion of my past as if it didn't happen and nothing I did counted for anything. The silent message I am getting from my wife is that I don't exist and maybe never did in the shape of things I remember. Throwing it all out seems to make the wish come true for her. Like I agree it didn't happen and I don't exist. Sorry guys - gone right into the heart of things there but all comments welcome because I haven't got a clue.

LATER: Clearing stuff out off and on all evening. Isn't much stuff gives me 'joy' at all. It sticks out when something does. Like a nice surprise.

I think we're better off clearing too much rather than too little. Very, very few things are really irreplaceable and if it's really sentimental, take a picture of it and look at that if you want to. I got rid of all my music when Spotify came along, now I listen to far more than I ever did!

I saw the other post you made about not being able to move on because you feel like you're stuck in limbo, but it's just paperwork you're waiting for - the reality of the situation, you being on your own now (maybe only for now), isn't going to change.

The past doesn't cease to have happened, because you change your environment. I had many happy times with my wife, I loved her more than anything and she made me laugh like nobody else ever has. Those memories are true and those feelings are real even if she subsequently had an affair and blew up my life and family. I don't want to be reminded of her any more however and I want to shape my life to suit me as I am now, not who I was 2 years ago.

For me this was putting my own mark on my home (which we shared and I was out of for 18months). Some things I cannot change, some I can. I had a giant mural painted on the back wall for example (this one https://www.instagram.com/p/BlVR4QRAMlF/...by=snub_23 ), I couldn't change the kitchen but I could empty it and buy new plates, cutlery and a coffee machine (she didn't like coffee). The bathroom needed replacing so I gutted that and built it how I wanted it. The bedroom had many memories so I gutted that back to brick as well. New bed, new furniture.

Life keeps on going, the world keeps spinning.

Hi Tam. As you might have noticed de-cluttering/removal seems to have coincided with a period of intense self-examination. I don't think it's coincidence. More like the two things are connected.
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#20
(08-14-2018, 11:30 AM)danwel Wrote: If she intends to live there then she needs to contribute to bills, Cable tv, internet etc etc. She needs to contribute to council tax as she is costing you 25% a month on that alone.

You have been very fair but she needs a push to get moved. Be careful because she will have unrealistic expectations when it comes to what she can and can't afford to rent. With 2 kids and on low income support she will get £400 month to pay towards rent. You'd be surprised as to just exactly what benefits are on offer.

I actually went to the job centre and sat down with one very nice lady and found out exactly what was on offer for her because like you i wanted to ensure my kids were going to be well looked after.

It does seem to be though that she is having her cake and eating it at present and without sounding harsh you need to be straight with her. If she wants to stay in the house then she needs to pay half of everything or she gets out, the gravy train ride is over

We have three kids and the thing that kept me sane in in the first couple of weeks was establishing the benefits she was entitled to.  £950 for child tax credits and child benefit.  I realised we might be able to cope.   Housing benefit is more complicated because she owns half the house.  If I buy her out, she'll have far more than the £16k threshold.  But to be fair, with maintenance, benefits and her earnings, she'll be taking home £3k a month.  She should manage on that.  And with more time to focus on her work, that could be a lot higher as well.  

I agree about the bills, but I think I'll give her a few more weeks, at least until the kids go back to school.  It'll be worth it to keep it friendly.  I accept that there are no houses nearby to rent at the moment.  But it is amazing.  When I came home from travelling in 2007 and lived with her at her mums, after less than two weeks she insisted I go and get a job because I couldn't expect to live at her mums for free.  At the time, she knew I wanted to go and do a course to get me into a new career (it was the reason I'd gone travelling in the first place) and I just needed a few weeks to get sorted.  I ended up back in my old line of work and was unhappy for years because we started a family just a few months later and I became stuck.
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