Author Topic: MLC Monster Resources: About MLC  (Read 100203 times)

Offline RollercoasteriderTopic starter

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MLC Monster Resources: About MLC
« on: April 15, 2010, 08:10:58 PM »
Many of you come here and start a thread and somewhere on your post comment that you either don't know where your MLCer is in the stages, or that maybe he or she is in Depression or Withdrawal. So before you look through the resources and try to place your MLCer somewhere within the stages...
If your Bomb Drop was less than a year ago, your MLCer is in Replay.
If your Bomb Drop was within the last 18 months, your MLCer is in Replay.
If your Bomb Drop was within the last 24 months there is still a good chance that your MLCer is in Replay.

None of those statements hold true for all circumstances, but they do for most. Bomb Drop is either the start of Replay or comes soon after the start of Replay.

And regarding Withdrawal...
That is in many ways the most confusing to understand as a stage--I personally don't recognize it as something separate from Conway's (and thus HeartsBlessing) Stage 4: Depression or what I call Liminality. MLCers Escape and Avoid during Replay and many of you are interpreting this as Withdrawal. That is why it is poorly named--they withdraw throughout the crisis--just like Depression permeates the crisis.
Liminal Depression is the place where their avoidance attempts fail and the mask they have been wearing finally crumbles. But then what? They cannot return to the world without some sort of identification, that mask was who they knew as the person in the mirror. The other work of Liminality is to select which crumbled pieces to keep and use to rebuild the Self. Then they are reborn and they may seem to withdraw again or to continue withdrawing because they are uncertain of this new Self. It is built, but will it work? Will they like this person? They may eventually test this new Self in the world and this testing may or may not include new Replayish antics—afterall, it is testing. The MLCer may continue to return to Liminality to edit the new Self and then again test a newly born persona. This may happen many times or it may not.

But in most MLC situations it takes a few years before they enter Liminality for the first time. Go ahead and learn about the stages, but the only stage that most Newbies need to understand with a present focus is Replay.


« Last Edit: October 24, 2011, 04:16:33 PM by Rollercoasterider »

Offline RollercoasteriderTopic starter

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Re: Resources: About MLC
« Reply #1 on: May 04, 2010, 07:35:44 AM »
Midlife Crisis, Stress and Depression
http://www.teamtechnology.co.uk/tt/t-articl/midlife.htm

Female Infidelity and Pre-MLC
Scroll to post #128
http://www.infidelity.com/forum/index.php?s=d973e35000aa9c56a8145de12d0b86a4&showtopic=481&st=120&p=10252&#entry10252

Crisis Or Just Stress? Cornell Researcher Finds The Midlife Crisis Is Less Common Than Many Believe
http://www.news.cornell.edu/releases/March01/midlife.crises.ssl.html

The Disquiet in Men
http://www.thedisquiet.com/

A Journey to the Wilderness of the Soul
Chapter 14 - Part 2: Humility: Stilling the Warrior
http://mensightmagazine.com/columns/manhood/chapter14.2.htm

Depression in Men
Real men don't need help, right? Think again.
http://www.mcmanweb.com/male_depression.html

Those Aren’t Fighting Words, Dear
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/08/02/fashion/02love.html?_r=2&pagewanted=all
« Last Edit: May 04, 2010, 07:40:28 AM by Rollercoasterider »

Offline RollercoasteriderTopic starter

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Re: Resources: About MLC
« Reply #2 on: May 04, 2010, 07:39:25 AM »
Mark Smith: Family Tree Counseling
Divorce Destroyer
http://familytreecounseling.com/fullarticle.php?aID=12

Divorce—A Mistake in Thinking
http://familytreecounseling.com/fullarticle.php?aID=11


Offline RollercoasteriderTopic starter

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Re: Resources: About MLC
« Reply #3 on: May 17, 2010, 07:15:38 PM »
The Stages of Midlife Crisis
Overview

http://www.midlifecrisismarriageadvocate.com/mlc_overview_stages.html

In his book Men in Midlife Crisis, Jim Conway applies Elizabeth Kübler-Ross’s stages of grief with adjustments to Midlife Crisis.


Stages of Grief: Kübler-Ross1
  • Denial
  • Anger
  • Bargaining
  • Depression
  • Acceptance
Stages of MLC: Conway2
  • Denial
  • Anger
  • Replay
  • Depression
  • Withdrawal
  • Acceptance

According to Conway, Midlife Crisis ranges on average from 2-7 years. The crisis often begins slowly, beneath detection from outside sources. Anger follows in the failure of Denial. This then leads to the Avoidance that is Replay, ensuring the transition becomes a crisis. Denial attempts to maintain; midlife avoidance pursues lost youth via regression, falsely creating greater distance to death.

The application of stages is useful, but also has the negative effect of false security in the idea that they create a predictable map. Each person’s journey will have similarities as well as great variation. The early stages are most similar, with greater divergence deeper in the Midlife Tunnel. Archetypal themes are the predominate forces driving the crisis in the beginning; but as each person progresses, his personal lost fragments surface, yielding divergent pathways.

There is also a danger in viewing the stages as ordered steps in the process. Literal terms for the stages, such as those used by Conway, can be confusing when describing emotions and conditions which are not isolated to the stages they reference. Midlife Crisis is about Denial and Depression; both of these permeate all stages. Overt and Covert Depression are an overarching theme of the journey. Neither of these is isolated to certain stages. The same is true of Anger, which is often an outward expression of Depression. And as for Acceptance, acceptance of what? Some think that their MLCer is in Acceptance because she seems to accept that the marriage is over—often at the beginning of the crisis. An MLCer may seem to have accepted that the marriage is over and everything is your fault. But is that the stage called Acceptance? Just like there are many things to deny, be angry at or depressed about, there are many things to accept and the stage or phase called Acceptance refers to a specific set of things and type of acceptance.

Replay is Conway’s only metaphorical term, so named because at this point the midlifer seeks to return to his lost youth, reliving such experiences “One More Time.” This fantasy phase invades all areas of life. For some it is re-experiencing previously fulfilled dreams to prove youthful vigor and capabilities, for those whose dreams were unfulfilled, the youthful regression may be even more severe. It is a different type of Denial—rather an escape in which there is an admission of midlife and aging, yielding an attempt to flee the inevitable through youthful regression. Many midlifers in Conway’s Replay stage spew venomous anger and hatred at their spouses. This anger differs from Conway’s label of Anger which refers to general anger with God and life; the victim’s why me? cry at the unfairness of life.

In his book In Midlife A Jungian Perspective, Murray Stein identifies three stages of a Midlife Transition.3


  • Separation
  • Liminality
  • Reintegration

Since a Midlife Crisis is a Midlife Transition of catastrophic levels, the transition stages must be a part of the Crisis stages. I will use the stages outlined below. These are not a Map, but rather a loose structure for the process of growth. The phases cycle and recycle throughout the Midlife Journey. For this reason the main phases may be viewed as a loose order, but the subphases are synergistic characteristics rather than ordered steps.

Pre-Midlife: Accommodation

  • Separation
      • Rejection & Refusal
      • Resentment
      • Replay (Covert Depression)
  • Liminality or Liminal/Overt Depression
  • Rebirth
  • Reintegration

Separation may begin with Rejection & Refusal, but these do not end to allow for Resentment which in turn does not end to allow for Replay. Replay is the result of the integration of Rejection & Refusal and Resentment. Replay is Covert Depression—a denial of depression—which leads to anger as rage or stoicism with outbursts of rage. It is a snowball effect, with each characteristic adding to the others to create Separation. I call the Depression stage both Liminality and Liminal Depression because it makes it something less dangerous or frightening—rather than something wrong as is commonly considered; instead it is a time for self contemplation where a person retreats inward.

A midlife transition is the bridge between Accommodation, the life before midlife, and Individuation, the life path following midlife. It is liminal; the MLC phase of Liminality is a midlife transition. Separation is a mini phase of preparation for Liminality and its MLC characteristics may not be present; Rebirth and Reintegration are the acceptance and experience of the anxiety that comes from leaping without turning backwards into avoidance again. They are mini phases of preparation for reentrance into the world and Individuation. In MLC denial of the transition leads to a prolonged Separation phase which may be longer than Liminality. Growth and development—progress—is a function of Liminality.


  • Kübler-Ross, Elisabeth. On Death and Dying. New York: Macmillan, 1969.
  • Conway, Jim. Men in Midlife Crisis. Colorado Springs: Cook Communications Ministries, Rev ed., 1997.
  • Stein, Murray. In Midlife. Putnam CT: Spring Publications, 1983.
« Last Edit: May 12, 2011, 10:20:28 AM by Rollercoasterider »

Offline RollercoasteriderTopic starter

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Re: Resources: About MLC
« Reply #4 on: May 17, 2010, 07:18:43 PM »
Separation
http://www.midlifecrisismarriageadvocate.com/mlc_overview_separation.html

  • Separation
      • Rejection & Refusal
      • Resentment
      • Replay (Covert Depression)

Separation refers to the splitting of the Persona or Identity from the Ego. For the Midlifer in Crisis, this stage is extended and may be the longest of the three. The superficial fears of aging—growing children, dying parents, futility of life, send the MLCer into Rejection & Refusal manifested as futile attempts to stave off the natural process of aging: increased exercise, weight loss, new hobbies or activities, concern over thinning hair. The motivation is not a desire for a healthier lifestyle to benefit the Golden Years, but rather fear of death and dying. The person in crisis is trying to prevent the inevitable.

Youth is painfully visible on the distant horizon—almost within grasp. The Midlifer applies glue to the Persona-mask, prolonging its bond to the Ego. But the cracking of the mask continues, giving way to Resentment.


Rejection & Refusal
To deny is to refuse or ignore a consciously intolerable reality. There are various types of denial; the two most relevant to MLC are listed below.

Simple Denial: This is the characteristic I refer to as Rejection & Refusal. It is Rejection & Refusal of an unpleasant fact or feeling and a preparation for later stages of Midlife Crisis leading toward Reintegration and an acceptance of one's Self. Denial is often a subconscious act wherein the person does not acknowledge his fears and issues. Rejection & Refusal is a conscious form of denial requiring thought; it is an action taken to avoid something and thus initially there is at least a superficial recognition of what is being avoided; the person must acknowledge what it is he is rejecting and refusing to face. This conscious action cycles with unconscious denial.

Denial of Responsibility: Transference of attention away from oneself, this type of denial is comprised of several methods.


  • Reduction
    There is an acknowledgement of a problem, but with a reduction in significance. A person denies the severity of emotions, facts and behaviours, including denial of any negative consequences of the impact of his choices and behaviour on others and a refusal to consider the negative consequences. This prevents empathy and is an attempt to evade feelings of guilt.
    Ex. Divorce won’t hurt the children; they’ll get over it.
  • Justification
    Excusing behaviour as acceptable reactions to external events and conditions such as the behaviour and choices of others.
    Ex. I have to get a divorce because she is so angry with me.
  • Projection/Blaming
    Acknowledging behaviour or emotions while transferring the cause and thus blame to an external source. This is an attempt to create an enemy as a protection from feelings of guilt.
    Ex. She made me angry.
    Ex. She is crazy.

Following a significant life-changing vent, a person may be flooded with emotions and fears. Shadow fragments may surface regardless of whether the event is considered positive or negative. A person may feel overwhelmed. Though Rejection & Refusal is often a necessary and normal defense mechanism that enables a person to deal with problems in smaller, more manageable increments, it includes the risk of becoming caught in a cycle that progresses toward the more harmful forms of denial. It seems that it is the simple form of denial—Rejection & Refusal—to which Jim Conway was referring when he labeled his first stage of Midlife Crisis as Denial. The more harmful types of denial are components of Replay behaviour.

Resentment
Rejection & Refusal eventually fail to stop and reverse aging or whatever it is the person fears and is thus avoiding. Upon recognition of this failure, the person adds Resentment to the building crisis. Resentment is the form of anger that originates from a feeling of inferiority and low worth; anger at God is resentment and is consequent of feeling powerless. He is angry at God and angry with life and as he ferments in the emotion of anger. Since MLCers often doubt their faith, they deny their anger is toward God and project it toward his environment and others—the spouse in particular.

Failure of Rejection & Refusal leads to Resentment. If Rejection & Refusal had successfully convinced a person that his issues no longer exist—such as a belief in the reversal of aging—there would be nothing to feel Resentment towards. But the depths of MLCer fears are for stark realities that are unstoppable: the march of time and surfacing of the Shadow.

Resentment is the Why me? cry of the victim. He is upset at the unfairness of life as younger and more vigorous men can do more and have the vast potential of their lives ahead, whereas the MLCer feels his greatest years are behind him. His body is breaking down, his children are becoming more independent and his wife has separate interests. He wants to be the Knight in Shining Armour, but such youthful hero days are no more. What he will learn through his midlife journey is that Kings are leaders; the knights work for them. But this is not a lesson that can be learned through mere intellectual understanding; life is to be experienced.

The Shadow is starting to surface and the MLCer is afraid—many Shadow fragments are characteristics that are seemingly opposite to the personality of the individual. Each MLCer is a unique individual and what is opposite for one is not for another. A normally quiet and subdued man may suddenly show emotion outwardly, whereas a man whose emotions were normally public may become more quiet and introspective. These opposite behaviours do not mean one is in a crisis and the other is not, all behaviours are relative to the individual. Often the opposing forces are fighting each other internally causing confusion and fueling Resentment as the person attempts to continue to repress his Shadow. But the Shadow is persistent and refuses further repression. The MLCer fears he is losing control and possibly for his sanity. This yields the urge to escape and abandon which brings on Replay behaviour.


Replay
Life’s Bachelor Party

Traditionally the night or a few nights before his wedding, a man has a Bachelor Party which often involves naked women and copious amounts of alcohol. Much or all of this is done with the knowledge of his wife-to-be. This is his final night of irresponsible youth before settling into maturity.

At midlife a man looks back at his waning youth and decides to hold on a little longer. He sees what appears to lie ahead in his future and determines the past, which is about fun, has greater appeal. In the years since his wedding, he has come to associate marriage with maturity and responsibility. Since leaving his one-night Bachelor Party he has had a taste of that future he sees ahead and it’s more of the same—Aging and Responsibility. “What about me?” he says. “When do I get to have fun again?” He fears that if he waits until retirement age for fun, he will be too old. He wants his fun now. His body is dragging him into old age and he needs another final fling.

But like the man who is about to be married, the MLCer who does not talk divorce or permanent separation is perhaps aware that eventually he will have to continue on the journey piloted by his body. So when he steps back to that life, he wants the original cast in place.

But addiction to the Bachelor Party is an unforeseen consequence. The naked women don’t leave at the end of the night, and the alcohol keeps flowing. Hooked on the fun, the last fling becomes a perpetual party that eventually spirals downward. As the vortex sucks him into its whirlpool, the MLCer thinks he’s having fun. He doesn’t want this life to end. He has buried the happy memories from his former life and he wants them to stay that way. He may begin talking divorce. He’s addicted to the fragile illusion of youth, and refuses to let it go.


Covert Depression
Replay is Covert Depression in which Midlifers attempt to avoid the physical and emotional pain of Overt Depression which forces them to face their Shadow and integrate their buried fragments. It is not a subconscious denial; the behaviour is a direct reaction to something acknowledged. It is rather an avoidance which may facilitate additional subconscious denial as Replay behaviour produces emotional highs which the MLCer interprets as success in his attempt to reverse aging or avoid other issues. Replay behaviour needs the other characteristics—Rejection & Refusal and Resentment—for functioning; they are the fuel of Replay.

Men often handle depression in the opposite way that is expected—by acting out rather than turning inward; they seek to blame. The alienator, alcohol, drugs, youthful running etc. are forms of avoidance. Like an addict, he needs the Replay fix to keep him from the Liminality where Overt Depression sets in.

Replay brings in the fog. This fog is an MLC requirement, and like Liminality, it serves a purpose. He must go through this; it is unavoidable. But a person in his right mind would not behave as he is and thus the fog serves the purpose of burying his guilt until another time when he can handle it. But he is not insane and is thus accountable for his actions. He is confused; sometimes he will be aware of this and others not, but the existence of a reason for bad behaviour does not make it excusable.

Replay behaviour is an angry avoidance manifested as an attempt to prove sustaining youth. It is a backlash, an I’ll show you reaction to God and anyone who stands in his way. He is still resentful, and continues to reject and refuse. It is with the addition of Replay that MLC becomes recognizable. Bomb Drop usually occurs with Replay and the affair begins. In the absence of Replay, Midlifers in Rejection & Refusal may effectively hide their fears from everyone, including themselves. Behaviours may be changing, but in the beginning the changes may be dismissed amidst preoccupations with everyday life or as moodiness, stress or irritability—particularly if the MLC catalyst was a significant life changing event. Cracks in the persona began to form prior to Replay which expands the cracks eventually causing the façade to crumble and a previously stable man seems crazy. The way is open and the Temptress beckons with promises of sex yielding true love and the Devil comes out to dance.

Bargaining is a 3-page chapter in Elisabeth Kübler Ross’s book On Death and Dying1; as an emotional stage in dying it is an attempt to bargain with God for more time. A realization and fear of death is an issue in MLC, but unlike those who are dying, this is usually an emotional fear that is not in process; the MLCer has time to dwell on the idea of death and dying, whereas the person who is dying is having a direct experience—a realization of the fear—with less time for dwelling. Often the MLCer is experiencing doubt in a God who is now failing him, thus bargaining would be futile. Instead the MLCer tries to postpone the inevitable without God’s help or blessing—sometimes as a rebellion directed against God.

Bargaining is also short-lived for a terminally ill person as death looms close and their condition continues to deteriorate. But Replay for the MLCer creates an emotional high and feels successful. A crash follows, but not for months or years and those who crash sooner use Replay as a drug to create and maintain their high.

The dying person hopes to buy more time, possibly with promises to accept the inevitable (death) after a specific event or accomplishment; ex. the birth of an expected grandchild. Bargaining sets a self-imposed deadline, whereas the MLCer refuses to bargain and instead attempts to cheat time through evasive tactics. The dying person attempts to postpone; the deadline for the MLCer is never.


  • I’m never going to die.
  • I’m never coming back/home.
  • I’m never going to grow up.
  • I’m never going to be older.

But it in truth, the MLCer is running away from his Self—the Shadow Self revealed beneath the crumbling façade. He fears the Shadow; he wants to escape it and is yet simultaneously intrigued. What would happen if I…

  • Slept with another woman [often a specific person]?
  • Experiment with drugs?
  • Drink until I forget?
  • Climb Mt. Everest?
  • Learn to rock climb?
  • Ski out of bounds?

Like a teenager, he wants to test and push the boundaries. The Midlifer is faced with his own mortality and fears the loss of his vitality; risky behaviour in which a person tempts death or security can facilitate a feeling of aliveness. Blame and projection toward the spouse is natural as the spouse tries to stop the Replay behaviour.

A regressive youthful lifestyle of physical activity and socialization attracts woman who are younger or themselves seeking a regressive lifestyle (alienators) and may yield temporary gains in physical fitness. But the repercussions of adulterous and regressive behaviour—the effects on spouses, children, coworkers, friends etc.—will yield greater dissatisfaction, unhappiness and depression. The typical reaction to these consequences is to avoid more, sinking deeper into the fantasy life which will only continue to yield the unpleasant consequences. These in tandem with the opposing regression behaviour create a repetitive pattern of cycling behaviour common to MLC.

Replay will continue until he not only realizes that it is not making him happy, but also that it is making him feel even more lost—that his life is becoming worse. Like an object requiring external force to alter its course of motion, the unpleasant patterns in his life will continue until challenged either externally or internally. When each quick fix he tries fails and he runs out of quick fixes, he can go into Liminality. But even then he may jump or climb out of the pit to attempt additional quick fixes. He needs to run until he's too tired to keep running and too battered to pick himself up when he falls.


  • Kübler-Ross, Elisabeth. On Death and Dying.
« Last Edit: May 12, 2011, 10:25:51 AM by Rollercoasterider »

Offline RollercoasteriderTopic starter

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Re: Resources: About MLC
« Reply #5 on: May 17, 2010, 07:19:33 PM »

Liminality

http://www.midlifecrisismarriageadvocate.com/mlc_overview_liminality.html

Liminality is Overt Depression, a time of facing the Shadows repressed during childhood. These may be beautiful traits stamped down by criticism or unacceptance. Or they may be those fears and angers. There is gold within the Shadows, embrace the gold and release what is not gold. But he must face all of it.

The Shadows strip the Ego away. It is a drowning under water and a fiery incineration. The great fear is for nothingness—complete annihilation, or that only those Shadows locked so tightly will be left—those things that were meant to remain hidden.

Indigo is the colour associated with the Third Eye. It is the Psychic Center and represents Inner Knowing, Inner Vision. It is a different way of seeing. It is the door to Madness—a door which is best left open. To fear it is to risk falling in without a guide or preparation.


Transition is Liminal
Depress: (Verb) To press or slow down, to decrease the activity of something.

A doctor uses a tongue depressor to press down the tongue; alcohol is a depressant, slowing down the central nervous system. Liminal Depression is an act of Depressing and to depress is to be in Deep Rest or Hibernation. Perhaps it can be better understood in the context of a transition that is not a crisis. Though Liminality may be frightening even when a transition is not a crisis, its depression is not the prison of hopeless despair that is Clinical Depression. It is a reflection and the person not in crisis, the person who though tentative and possibly frightened but who is not avoiding, sees their reflection wavering as water ripples around them and pauses for consideration. Though Liminality may be a time of unknowing, it is also a process of discovering and can be peacefully exciting. It is what people seek at the top of Everest, in nature hikes, runner's highs, temples and monasteries. It is the peak experience brought down to physicality.

Liminality is also risky. It is that time when you must ask your Self whether to continue a path of safety which no longer contains your life force or to give it all up, sacrifice or risk your job, the respect of your peers, your family…and leap. What must a person give up to climb Everest? Will the gains be worth the losses? Yes, joy is a choice, but that does not mean there are no regrets. Leaping is an act of courage.

Midlife crisis is a loss or absence of courage. That is not to say that a person in a midlife crisis has not been courageous in other aspects of life; soldiers are no less prone to midlife crisis than civilians. But it is an absence of courage in facing one's Self, in accepting feelings and emotions or integrating the past replete with either toxic or healthy shame and guilt. MLCers try to avoid the gift, the blessing offered in the journey.

Liminality is that space between, between time and between physicality; existence may not seem real or solid. Liminal experience may be through the standard five senses, but the other senses, those that we deny and do not understood are often enhanced. It is a different plane of awareness and experience.


Reality Bites…hard
Liminal Depression is a consequence of Replay behaviour. Replay spending results in bills and losses of things that are no longer affordable—not merely Replay luxuries such as the sports car, but also the loss of former possessions and savings (house, car, pension etc.). Financial losses can be significant, but more devastating is the loss of Self and potential, the loss of marriage, health, self-worth due to losses and guilt, and the loss of escape as Replay no longer produces a high. Everything leading up to Liminal Depression was preparation; the real work begins here.

Liminality is the means to reintegrating the Shadow fragments. Liminal Depression serves a purpose. There are times when we need to go down within ourselves for self-contemplation and growth. This may be a time of withdrawal into quiet solitude, but for not all people withdraw and there are those who will continue to manifest their depression through escalating anger; as the depression worsens, his behaviour may become more erratic and volatile.

Society views this depression as negative. This is not the disease of Clinical Depression; rather it is a dis-ease manifested as grief; the MLCer falls to rock bottom, the home of the Shadow. This is the place he has been avoiding through out this crisis and thus there is a likelihood that he will hang on the chasm’s ledge and try not to fall. The depression gets deeper with the Liminality phase when the old Self dies to create a new Self—Ego-Death. The MLCer has no Self; he is suspended in nothingness. It is no wonder they cycle by running back to Replay behaviour. The start and end of stages are transitional places where the MLCer exhibits characteristics familiar to both stages. The cycling gradually diminishes at a rate that is dependent upon the degree of wounding buried in his Shadow. Those with greater wounding have more to avoid.

Once a person is in Liminal Depression and has fallen to Rock Bottom his returns to Replay behaviour are without his metaphorical skin; he is like a molting crab and highly vulnerable; Liminal Depression is a more comfortable place in this condition. Liminality is the wine dark sea of Chaos, 40 days in the desert, time in the Wasteland. The Depression you will notice during this phase is more intense than any previous depression within the crisis.

Some MLCers have more awareness of their confusion than others. This recognition can create a petrification of fear like a deer in the headlights, in Replay the MLCer may recognize the vehicle, but in Liminal Depression, without Self-identity, he doesn’t know what he is running from. This is the scariest phase for many MLCers. Liminality forces him to face his shadow and he may have realized the devastation he has caused around him and fear there is no return. He may have no desire to return, but even so, the option to return was a security. This lack of Self-identity with the addition of a recognition of the devastation he has caused is understandably the time of the greatest hopelessness and despair.


When is Liminality?
What is a good indication that they are in or are approaching Liminality?
I don't know. There are many, but sometimes it means something else.
As Liminal Depression approaches, an MLCer may exhibit more anger and lash out more as he tries harder and harder to avoid being depressed.
Some, instead, may exhibit signs of more classic-overt depression.

General Indicators of Depression

  • Shame and fear of admitting weakness
  • Impatience, irritability, and restlessness or decreased activity
  • Anger and hostility toward family, friends, and others
  • Substance abuse
  • Changes in sleep patterns
  • Feelings of sadness
  • Loss of interest or pleasure in activities
  • Changes in weight or appetite
  • Feelings of guilt, hopelessness, or worthlessness
  • Inability to concentrate, remember things, or make decisions
  • Constant fatigue or loss of energy
  • Recurrent thoughts of suicide or death

Many of these are common to MLC in general—changes in interests, feelings of guilt, hopelessness, inability to concentrate, substance abuse, sleep changes, anger… This is because Replay is Covert Depression and Liminality is Overt Depression. So look for what changes. Many believe that the break up of the adulterous relationship brings on Liminality, this notion is false. I am not saying that it will not bring on Liminality, but many MLC adulterous relationships continue through depression; though the dynamics of the relationship will change.

MLCers find new friends and new activities. Sometimes these become permanent and beneficial life changes, but many of these changes are temporary and will not survive Replay. Is your MLCer still involved with the same new friends or in his Replay activities, or has he lost interest?

An MLCer may display some of these symptoms to his abandoned spouse and others to the alienator. He may try to hide the fact that he is depressed from his spouse because she may feel that since things are not going well in his new relationship, he will come home soon. Instead, he will show his anger and irritability to her. He may feel the challenge of trying to keep up energetically with an alienator and friends who are much younger and as he tries harder and yet fails to meet his own standards his shame and feelings of worthlessness may surface.

It is important to understand that what you see may not be what others are seeing. You are seeing the act he wants you to see and others are seeing a different act. Few if any are seeing him Be.

« Last Edit: May 12, 2011, 10:24:03 AM by Rollercoasterider »

Offline RollercoasteriderTopic starter

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Re: Resources: About MLC
« Reply #6 on: May 17, 2010, 07:21:02 PM »
Rebirth & Integration
http://www.midlifecrisismarriageadvocate.com/mlc_overview_rebirth-and-reintegration.html

In the previous post I said that Liminality is risky because it is about sacrificing the safe and secure path as well as the respect of others. But Liminality is not the action; it is the process of consideration that leads to the decision to leap.

Depression Or Anxiety?
It is not an either or but one following the other. According to James Hollis, depression is the pressing in of the soul's purpose and a stagnation and defeat of life, whereas anxiety is a path of potential growth.1 But in saying this he does not mean to say that depression is bad or negative and that a person should avoided or suppress it. It is true that depression which a person refuses to release will lead to stagnation, but depression embraced—liminality that sits within the quiet cacophony of solitude and fears can be a guide through.

Anxiety is the next place on the journey; it is that point where you choose to leave the Liminal abyss and begin to climb; it is the new path, new outlook, new goals--a direction away from Accommodation toward the path of your bliss. Anxiety stands before the exit from the dark night of the soul because it brings guilt when it breaks the hope and expectations of others by removing the burden they have piled upon one's back.

Depression that is not Liminal is stagnant; Liminality is an embrace of stillness and anxiety is about action. But anxiety that is a product and result of valid progress must come from within and is brought on by forward motion—the anxiety is not the initial force acting on an object—the MLCer. f=ma, Force equals mass times acceleration. The mass that inhibited movement was the fear and stubbornness of the MLCer, the mass that works with acceleration is about the can be potentiality. Acceleration is the rate of increasing velocity; it is about motion and is the place of anxiety in the formula. The decision to change—to leap—brings anxiety; the decision to regress and avoid brings Covert Depression (Replay), the decision to stop and avoid brings Overt Depression, and the decision to stop without avoiding brings Liminality.


  • Hollis, James. Swamplands of the Soul: New Life in Dismal Places. Toronto Canada: Inner City Books, 1996. Page 72.
« Last Edit: May 12, 2011, 10:28:23 AM by Rollercoasterider »

Offline HeartsBlessing

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Re: Resources: About MLC
« Reply #7 on: May 18, 2010, 11:48:16 PM »
Dear Friends,

What is to follow is the original posting of the Six Stages of a Midlife Crisis that I wrote when my husband was going through his MLC. It was also based upon what I'd observed within other people's situations at that time.
I wrote this set of stages back in 2002.

They were only meant to be a guideline, not an absolute way the MLC'er navigates through the tunnel.  In my mind back at that time, I felt it helped to know how to recognize where the MLC'er was, based on the descriptions.  I fleshed out what I'd seen, and what others had seen, and it helped me to bring these together.

Each stage can be navigated by itself, consecutively and several stages CAN run together, depending upon the person going through.
One other thing to remember; they can also be run OUT OF ORDER, in a number of combinations with the exception of Acceptance.
Depression is always present throughout the crisis even though there is a STAGE of nothing BUT Depression.
Replay is the LONGEST stage, and therefore the MIDDLE of the crisis, it is usually when the Midlifer drops the bomb on the unsuspecting Left Behind Spouse.

Back in 2002, there was not much at all known about MLC, and most of the time we were on our own, learning from trial and error....it's not much different now, but there are MORE resources in this day and time than there were when my husband was going through the tunnel.


Disclaimer:
The times that accompany these stages are APPROXIMATED time...I should, actually leave the times off, as I KNOW from personal experience, they are in NO WAY accurate.  Each person and each crisis is different...my own transition lasted 6 years, and as of this year, I've been out nearly two.


This was the ORIGINAL disclaimer I wrote, you can see even back then, I KNEW no one crisis was the same, they were ALL different:
"Hi Ladies and Gentlemen,

I have delivered on my promise, having written out the descriptions of all six stages of a Mid Life Crisis.

You should be able to see your Mid Life spouse in these descriptions if you will look back hard enough, and hopefully there is enough description to allow you to look forward somewhat.

I write these for the "understanding" parts of this, and it is TOTALLY from the Mid Lifer's point of view, it does NOT include "lessons" or anything else.

The lessons you are to learn are contained on my "Sermon Thread"

Also, I cannot pinpoint exact times, the times I post are for approximation, only, everything hinges on the MLC'er and the willingness to face his/her issues, ok?"

Each stage will be on a different, consecutive post.  RCS has said she will put it up at the top as a "sticky", so I will lock this topic when through, if  I can.

The "Sermons" thread I speak of will contain the lessons each person is to learn out of this crisis, and interestingly enough, it is the SAME for the MLC'er. :)

Have a great day! :)
« Last Edit: May 19, 2010, 04:35:10 AM by Rollercoasterider »
Our marriage survived His MLC, with the help of the Lord.
I have learned that true strength is built through the trials we endure.
There is hope as long as you love your MLC spouse, and, are willing to learn the  life's lessons that are set before you as a result of this crisis.

Offline HeartsBlessing

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Re: Resources: About MLC
« Reply #8 on: May 18, 2010, 11:51:09 PM »
1st Stage of a Mid Life Crisis

DENIAL



The word Denial should speak for itself, as the person in this stage denies their feelings pretty strongly. In a Mid Life Crisis, however there are several things that are denied; one is the fact he/she is getting older, and their bodies either don't work as well as they used to or don't look as good as it used to, and they feel "used up", but are even trying to fight that feeling. They don't want to face the fact they are "wearing out" and they can't do the things they used to do anymore. They had always, up to this point, felt they were still in their prime or youthful, and was ignoring the aging that was sneaking upon them.

When it finally hits home, they panic and some consider using plastic surgery to enhance the illusion-or going on a buying spree for new clothes that don't exactly fit someone their age-and usually end up spending a great deal of money on other things. All in a effort to "buy-off" the aging process-it only leads to the next stage-Anger.

They look at their children, and in their mind's eye, they are STILL small, never mind they are now teen-agers that are on the verge of growing into adulthood, and so therefore they attempt to treat the young man or young woman as they did when they were three or four years old--only the teen is probably about 13-18, and starts to rebel against being treated like a small child, which increases the confusion of the Mid Lifer-they go on to try and make up for lost time, only to find rejection at the hands of their teen-agers, and though they are hurt, they react in the only way they know how-Anger

Then there's the spouse of the Mid Lifer-he/she doesn't look the same as she did-as the Mid Lifer ages, so does the spouse, and we cannot help what heredity does to our looks; but their spouses are also a REFLECTION of them, how they have treated them, what they have given or with-held, and they begin to deny what they are seeing, thinking if they had it to go all over again they might have married someone else and been happier than they are now-never mind it's not true- and that leads to the next stage--Anger

This stage is mostly quiet storming inside their heads, no one knows what they are thinking, only that they have become withdrawn somewhat because of their minds being so active, and they are not talking, so no one has any clue what's happening until the Anger stage begins. If asked, they will tell you they are fine, and if you listen closely, their answers are a little short-tempered; because they just want to be left alone to think it all out.

It could be as short as a month or as long as six months to play out this stage.

I have not included being unhappy within their jobs in the stage of Denial, because I don't think dissatisfaction with the job begins until the Anger stage-To be totally honest, I didn't see my husband's dissatisfaction really come to the surface until the tail-end of Replay, although it showed while he was IN Replay-in small spurts 
Our marriage survived His MLC, with the help of the Lord.
I have learned that true strength is built through the trials we endure.
There is hope as long as you love your MLC spouse, and, are willing to learn the  life's lessons that are set before you as a result of this crisis.

Offline HeartsBlessing

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  • Let GO, Let God work on your MLC spouse :)
Re: Resources: About MLC
« Reply #9 on: May 18, 2010, 11:54:12 PM »
 2nd Stage of a Mid Life Crisis

ANGER



While the Mid Lifer is in the stage of Denial, it is actually preparing him/her for this next stage, it seems be a "set up" or the seeds of Anger are actually planted by being in that first stage.
Regardless, the anger begins to set in, reality hits somewhat and the Mid Lifer begins to be really angry at the "lot" he/she has been cast in this life. And they have a tendency to forget that others have the same problems-they begin to be selfish, lashing out at others, not caring how much they hurt the people that are closest to them, even lashing out at their bosses, not caring if they are fired or not-it does NOT matter to them, and they really don't even know WHY they are angry. The irritability alone wears on them and they react with MORE anger-not really understanding it, but just going on with it, thinking they are saying what they really feel for the first time in their lives; walking all over anyone who stands in their way.

They begin to think "run-away" thoughts, angry at their perception that they are "stuck" in the same dead-end job, year after year, after year; angry their children have grown up without them, angry their spouses aren't what they think they ought to be, angry that life has dealt them such a cruel blow, angry because they feel "stuck" and "trapped" in the life THEY chose in their youth. Angry because it dawns on them, that they ARE growing older, and there's no stopping the aging process.

They begin to think if they could just CHANGE their life, they would be happy, but even the thought of change, makes them angrier. They look for outside sources to blame for this unhappiness they feel inside, and guess who gets the "brunt" of that anger-their husband/wife-the one who has seen them through many things during the marriage.

Their anger takes the form of small criticisms to begin with and gradually gets bigger and bigger, and the fights escalate into possibly throwing things against the walls, making impossible demands-their spouse begins to walk on "eggshells"--the withdrawal gets worse, they can barely speak to one another without a fight breaking out from the "sane" spouse saying or doing the wrong thing.
It begins to feed their justification and reasoning, and most will find a "friend" and develop that friendship, never dreaming it will escalate into something out of control-the Replay affair. Others will begin to take drugs, drink, continue with their quest for youth, and search of self....etc.

So the next stage-Replay and the Anger Stage OVERLAPS, just as Denial and Anger did-each one has the seeds of the next and the one before.

And all of the angry outbursts gradually sets things up for the next stage---Replay

The anger stage can last from 3 to 9 months. 
Our marriage survived His MLC, with the help of the Lord.
I have learned that true strength is built through the trials we endure.
There is hope as long as you love your MLC spouse, and, are willing to learn the  life's lessons that are set before you as a result of this crisis.

 

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