Author Topic: My Story Reassembling - is there a manual?  (Read 1585 times)

Offline Milly

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My Story Re: Reassembling - is there a manual?
« Reply #10 on: April 07, 2018, 05:45:55 AM »
Good post, MD. I was reading it last night and decided to leave it open to reread this morning.

This following quote of yours:
"I think about that moment and then the "needs" became slowly more "needy". Problem is, I realize there were many times I began to enable his behaviors. Many times it was just easier not to battle him. Other times, it was because I convinced myself he had a rough upbringing.

None of this matters in the MLC scheme of things - I know it was not something I could have stopped. I never was looking to fix XH, but I certainly facilitated some of his behaviors. I accepted his issues."

These words you wrote were me exactly. I accepted my H's issues and probably facilitated his behaviours. I know this now. Would it have made a difference if I had stood up to him? I do think that maybe yes. A bit like a parent that puts their foot down. It's hard to do because they will not be happy about it at first. I do believe that by facilitating my H's behaviour, I allowed him to become a bigger mess for himself. But maybe not, who knows.

Regarding not wanting to pursue your H with all the money he should be providing, I totally get how you feel. I feel like this, too. In fact, if I could afford to live without his financial help, I would and just be done with him completely.

I have asked myself if this is being a doormat. At times yes, because I feared him getting angry and hating me even more. Now, I just want peace. I know that nothing will make him want me more. Now I want to live without angry emails, repercussions because I demand maintenance, lawyer letters to try to achieve it, and then it's a circle that keeps repeating itself.

I get it. If you can afford to be without his contributions, do it. In fact, then he'll be totally responsible for his own life.  And for most MLCers, if left completely to their own, they are going to make a huge cock up of it, emotionally and financially. I would love to say to my H keep all your money, because I know he will either go completely bankrupt or he will have to wise up like we did at BD, and readjust his life style.
Married 1989, together since 1984 
BD May 2014,
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OW Physical Affair. He and she said she turned 34 the month of BD. She turned 50 last year.

Offline MourningDoveTopic starter

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Re: Reassembling - is there a manual?
« Reply #11 on: April 07, 2018, 07:21:06 AM »
Milly - I have done a lot of thinking over throughout this. I got plenty of scenarios thrown at me by well intentioned people, when they found out my XH had moved out.

Lots of opinions regarding XH. He was not "easy" to deal with. He was intense by many people's standards at times. I liked that about him - his passion. Once he left, there were plenty of "arm chair" therapists who had assessments. Those who know me well saw when I tripped into a more enabling relationship with him. But, they also agreed with my own assessment. I never went into it wanting to change him or fix his issues. He was actually working on them in the early part of the marriage.

It was the client taking us for money that lit the first little fuse, but his M's death brought MLC rolling in.

I own my own failures and really had to look introspectively. I beat myself up for way too long. I allowed his MLC behaviors to change who I was. I had things of my own to fix.

I think it is revisiting these things and being honest with myself that has helped propel me forward.

If I move on to a new relationship someday, I in many ways hope I go into it with the ability to accept my partner's flaws and while some might annoy me, that part of me - that acceptance, that I hope I can maintain. But, on the flip side, I hope I am also much more aware of those moments where I did facilitate things by ignoring or allowing certain behaviors to happen, even by simply not addressing them. That cannot happen again.

It is not in the hopes of somehow avoiding problems or escaping another MLCer. I have no idea what the future brings in terms of "who" might enter into my life for the long term. I do know more than ever I am only in control of my own actions and reactions. It was maybe a benefit to all of this MLC madness.

Offline Mrs.Smiling

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Re: Reassembling - is there a manual?
« Reply #12 on: April 07, 2018, 07:33:04 AM »
Quote
"I think about that moment and then the "needs" became slowly more "needy". Problem is, I realize there were many times I began to enable his behaviors. Many times it was just easier not to battle him. Other times, it was because I convinced myself he had a rough upbringing.

I can also agree with this statement. The more that I have looked back at his behaviors, his childhood, his compulsive need to lie. I did nothing about it. I resorted back to his "childhood". How awful it was for him. I enabled his behavior. I think that Mr. Smiling and I both agreed on that one day earlier after this last run away.

I thought by him going to counseling it would help him start healing from his past. What I didn't realize is, as much as he went, he truly was not ready to accept his past and the present damage he has caused. So when he said counseling "became too much". I knew he wasn't ready. For years I enabled him. I look at it now and think, if I didn't enable him as much as I did. What would he have been like? Would he have still be in the position he is now? Probably. His started a little bit after his D passed away at an early age.

I also agree with the financial aspect. If I didn't have to depend on a portion of his income, I wouldn't be financially dependent on him and I could let him be to his mess...But I'm working on that issue now.
For the time being you just have to do what's right for you. What will work for you..
We all do.

Smiles :)
Be the best version of yourself... there is no other

Offline No expectations

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Re: Reassembling - is there a manual?
« Reply #13 on: April 07, 2018, 02:59:47 PM »
Following along, Dove.  I always look forward to your posts.
Married 10 1/2 years, together 17.  BD 9/2016, 2nd BD 10/16.  H moved out 10/16.  2 AS's from my first M.  Me 55, H 49.  OW 23.

"And once the storm is over, you won't remember how you made it through; how you managed to survive.  You won't even be sure if the storm is really over.  But one thing is certain; when you come out of the storm, you won't be the same person that walked in...that's what this storm is all about."

"The trick is to enjoy life.  Don't wish away your days, waiting for better ones."

Offline MourningDoveTopic starter

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Re: Reassembling - is there a manual?
« Reply #14 on: April 08, 2018, 05:42:17 AM »
I had a busy day at the gallery yesterday.

Miss Management had scheduled her S originally. I knew that would not last. The rest of the staff are on vacation this week. I didn't care if I had to work. I like the gallery and there was a community event going on, so traffic is usually pretty steady, even with cold weather.

Sure enough, a couple of weeks ago, she called me and said he couldn't work after all. Then on Thursday, she asked me if I could work later. I pushed back. I hadn't made plans, but I was not going to let her know that. She said her S could maybe come in and help later in the afternoon and he could lock up. Fine. I was prepared for that not to hold either.

Her S came in. He is really a very sweet young man. But, at 22 he is like a 10 year old because she controls him. When I got to work, she had been there and left him a bunch of post its. Some with things to do and another on his snack in the kitchen. Not instructions. The post it was on a couple of pieces of fruit, telling him that was his snack. It made me laugh on one hand, but I must admit it also saddened me. How is this kid ever going to function in the real world?

He came in and worked along. He is afraid to do anything without being told. He wanted to know what to do. He kept asking me at every turn. Then the phone rang. His M was working her other job. She forgot her dinner. He needed to bring it to her. I could see him panic. I told him to go and I would stay to lock up. It added another hour and a half to my shift, but it was busy and I don't mind the bustle. It was a manageable crowd.

My coworker and I had made loose plans to go to the movies if his STBX actually was going to stick to her plans and stay home. It was her weekend for their S. But, as has been the pattern, she wanted to go out and party, as it was a Saturday night. My coworker called mid afternoon and as I told him, his S is his priority and I know how much he loves that kid.

At the end of the day, I stood there flipping the sign staring at the Main Street. I was heading home to a quiet house. It wasn't a bad thing. I was looking forward to going to the movies, but it was not ruining my day. I knew D was having a great time in Florida and S was working on his antique tractor project at XH's. The kids were happy, as far as I knew.

I stopped at the grocery store and grabbed something to prepare for dinner. A text came in. It was XH. He sent me a photo of D and SIL. He "wanted to share". He then said he would drop off a check for S's schooling this week. I wasn't in a mood to have a conversation with him. I already had seen the picture - BIL sent it to me earlier. I simply sent a "Okay, thanks".

D is on her way home this morning. She seems ready to come home.

The sun is out and while it is cold, it feels like one of those car rides where I am going to crank the heat up and roll down the windows to take in the fresh air. I know I will get plenty of crazy looks. Let them look. Maybe they have never truly experienced the cold fresh air coming in. LOL ;D
« Last Edit: April 08, 2018, 05:49:17 AM by MourningDove »

Online Mortesbride

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Re: Reassembling - is there a manual?
« Reply #15 on: April 08, 2018, 05:54:28 AM »
Sometimes an unexpected free day to yourself ends up being better than a planned day. :)

Offline MourningDoveTopic starter

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Re: Reassembling - is there a manual?
« Reply #16 on: April 08, 2018, 05:01:40 PM »
I picked D up at the airport late this afternoon. I was greeted with a huge hug and an "I love you". She was chatty on the way home.

I heard about how she finally beat her uncle at Scrabble - a game she is very good at, but he is amazing at it. BIL shared the score with XH and his response, which in the past D would have taken as her F teasing her, did not go over well. D said her F said it must be that D either cheated or his B let her win. D was not amused and said considering he has not been much of a F, his jokes are not funny right now. Apparently, BIL was not amused either. And D knows how XH's family is very competitive - there is no way my BIL let her win. He would be gracious and tell her she won fair and square.

XH continued his stupid comments with finding out that D drove the pontoon boat for the first time and hit the dock lightly. He made fun of her for that. SIL and BIL did not take that well and said she did incredibly well, considering steering something like that is not exactly as easy as a car.

BIL was visibly upset D was leaving. He had a couple of health scares the past few months and SIL said he is seriously considering quitting his job and truly retiring to spend more time with the kids. He used his special privileges to go into the security area and make sure D was on that plane. He waited until she took off. He texted her when her flight was supposed to arrive. SIL texted me and said they missed her terribly already and want to come up and visit soon.

Yesterday, it seems they took D car shopping. I knew this might happen. They have no children of their own. D was not comfortable with this and felt awkward as if she was being a bit of a brat if she expressed anything. They started showing her cute sporty cars but BIL decided based on where she was going to school she needs a safe vehicle that has 4 wheel drive. He will research the heck out of this. D asked me how I felt about all of this. I said I know they will not do this without talking to me. I can't stop them and I guess why should I? As long as D does not expect these things, and they are not using this as a bargaining chip of some sort, I really have little concern. I told her my only concerns might be how the cost of insurance and fuel economy. D said she also knows this will cause a rift with some of her cousins. I said that is not her problem. The others have never reached out to BIL and SIL. My kids have always been close to them.

That lead to the next part of the conversation. D said BIL and SIL both said that none of the other family members took time to reach out to them. There was jealousy amongst the siblings and XH's parent's divorce drove a wedge. XH tried for a long time to stay in contact with them, but SIL and BIL said I always opened our house to them. They said I was the one who invited them to family events. I guess I never really thought about it. I was the one who did, but it was not something I gave any specific thought to, as it was a sincere invite. I always liked my SIL and BIL.

As we drove home, D said SIL and BIL sent home a gift for me. It was a very simple, thoughtful gift. Something that had a significant meaning to all of us. It was a jar of Strawberry Butter. D was not really sure what it was about. I knew. It had to do with one Thanksgiving and that year I had learned how to can pears from our orchard. I sent home several jars of them home with them, as my BIL loves canned pears. I have not done them since that time. They knew I would understand that this Strawberry Butter came from a small farm stand and was unique.

D then surprised me with something that was a much more introspective thing. She has developed some OCD habits in the past couple of years. They have been somewhat noticeable and they lead to panic attacks and anxiety at times. We have been working through them. I had my suspicions about what was bringing them on, but it was a bit of a sticky point. She has been doing better. The physical therapist is all about mind and body healing, so he has worked with her.

On her trip she took a couple of self help books with her. She said she journaled a lot. She realized that she is a great deal like XH in some ways. She said some of the OCD is what makes her a good student, but she was quick to see that it is not always healthy. She said after a week of real reflection, her OCD went into overdrive and the anxiety arrived on the scene when XH decided to start going out nights and essentially quit being a father. I let her talk it through. I wasn't going to pile on. She is right. What came out of her mouth next was so important. She said she realized that this is her need to control her life because she had no control over the rest of her life that seemed to be falling apart. Her lightbulb moment was her need to control these things was causing her stress and she really needs to let go of that need for control. She realized she needs to embrace a bit of rolling with it and let go of the anxiety. She asked me to help her accomplish this.

By the time she had gotten that part of the conversation we had arrived at home. I got out of the car and embraced her. S drove in as we were hugging. He joined in and gave his sister a kiss on the head. He then asked what the hug fest was about. I said I was just happy to have her home safely. He knew better than that, but knew enough not to push. He picked her up with a bear hug and then she played like she was annoyed with him.

S said he was able to get his antique tractor completely finished and is ready to bring it home. He then told me how XH only buys Ben and Jerry's ice cream for himself. I shrugged and said that was a bit of a surprise, as XH used to stick his nose up at it. But the next thing S said made us all stop and start laughing. Apparently the dog only gets Ben and Jerry's as well. The comment was XH said it was "only the best for his baby". S shook his head and said he thinks the air must be thinner at the lake, because his F is really beginning to sound nuttier by the minute.

MLC is nuts. I have no idea who this guy XH is. I will keep my healthy distance when I can.
« Last Edit: April 08, 2018, 05:04:46 PM by MourningDove »

Offline UrsaMajor

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Re: Reassembling - is there a manual?
« Reply #17 on: April 09, 2018, 12:27:37 AM »
Quote from: MourningDove
After having gone through this MLC thing, I just know being needed on occasion is fine. I want to be desired and wanted, but not in unhealthy ways. I don't want to fill a void for someone. Add to their life is a different story, just as I would hope that I can some day have someone who doesn't complete me, but adds another layer to my life.

THIS!

This is EXACTLY why these people go into MLC - they expect someone - ANYONE - to fill that void. We are NOT supposed to encourage them or support them, we are supposed to FILL them... and when we can't, it all breaks loose....

The Car story was also cute.... as was the "Lightbulb Moment"
Me - 54
MLC - 47
Together 20 years - Married for 17 at separation
S - 11
D - 7
2 Canines (each of us has one)
BD#1 - August 2015
Atomic BD - 13 Dec 2015
House sold and separated - March 2016
Mid-Lifer is initiating D

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Offline MourningDoveTopic starter

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Re: Reassembling - is there a manual?
« Reply #18 on: April 09, 2018, 08:25:10 AM »
UM - We cannot fill their void, nor can we fix their FOO issues.

This morning I said a prayer for my nephew and tried to shake off some anger that bubbled up. I will let myself feel it and then I will redirect it to something more positive, but right now, I am going to allow these feelings.

I have not seen my nephew in 20 years. He was there when my S was born, but they moved far away and neither of my kids have ever met him. He was 12 the last time I saw him. His younger B, S has met.

I vividly remember the last times I saw him. He was a sweet kid who was XH's God son and namesake. He was the oldest of the nieces and nephews that would follow. Back then, XH was aware of his family's need to hide things, to their detriment. That desire to put on a facade and pretend that they were perfect.

It was not something XH subscribed to. It was not until his parents both entered back into his life that XH adopted their ostrich mindset. It was to get their approval, no doubt.

My nephew was a brilliant, vibrant kid. He liked building things. XH and I were in the midst of building a doll house for my niece and he was mesmerized by the small furnishings XH and I had made for the house. The little lights we put in the house, etc. My BIL was not happy his S was into the dollhouse. He interpreted it as too "girly". XH and I both said it was not the dollhouse the kid was fascinated by - it was the craftsmanship. My nephew would go on to building model cars as a teenager. He had exceptional hand-eye coordination.

During that time, my nephew was struggling with school. They lived in a wealthy city that had good schools, but in a state where any extra help parents needed to pay for. I remember the fight XH and I had with my BIL and SIL. We had promised to take my nephew to the arcade for the day. His parents said he could go but only if he could find the phone number in the phone book as we were not sure of the hours and would have to call. I watched as that kid excitedly ran to the phone book and yet, he could not find the number. It was as clear as day. He could not read. His parents said he was just being lazy. We begged my SIL and BIL to get him the help he needed - tools to help him thrive. We argued what kid would be lazy about finding a phone number to an arcade. XH and I both taught at that time and worked with several tutors for our students. We suspected my nephew had dyslexia. They told us to butt out. It infuriated XH. We tried for years to push them to get him help. They didn't want to pay for the tutoring. They could well afford it at the time, which made it more tragic. The money was there as were the resources - they could have gotten him help. They made a choice well within their control.

So, it was no surprise to XH and I that my nephew went down a dark path. My FIL tried to say he could go into the Navy and that would straighten him out. I begged to differ, as the admission to any armed forces was not like it was when FIL entered. My nephew had learning issues that led to him dropping out of high school. By then there he had gotten into drugs. Had he gotten the right help, maybe the Navy would have been an option.

As time rolled on, my BIL and SIL wrote their S off. I understand the embarrassment, to a degree. I understand the need to have tough love. But I will never understand the depths to which my BIL, SIL and the rest of XH's family would go.

My X SIL - who I still speak to regularly, reconnected with my nephew fairly recently via FaceBook. He had gotten his life together. He had some health issues in the form of heart problems after years of drug use. I did not friend him on FaceBook, only because he had posted some seriously raw posts about his family. They were brutal truths - things like saying he was never good enough for his family and that the facade was all show. I didn't think it was the right place to air those truths. I didn't need fuel as I was going through the divorce and felt that reconnecting him at that time would be a bad idea via FaceBook. That said, had he called me or looked me up, I would have met up with him to see how he was.

He had never reached out to any of the family looking for cash, etc. My SIL said he had been clean for quite some time and I did see pictures of him - he looked amazing and happy.

D came home last night and asked me if I had heard. She said she doesn't believe XH nor S know. After she told me how this came out, I am staying out of it. My nieces were also friends with my nephew on FaceBook. They saw a post that he had died mid March. They asked my SIL. She looked into it and confirmed with the local powers that be in his state, that he had in fact died. She called my BIL, her X and told him, as he is not on FaceBook. He called sane BIL and told him that as the second oldest he should call my eldest BIL and see if this was true. Sane BIL called and got a huge cup of "mind your own business" and then both my BIL and SIL said to tell X SIL to mind her own business.

D said how effed up it all is. She said my nieces were upset and all my X SIL was trying to help them with their grief. It has set off another rift in XH's family.

When I went to school this morning I held it together, but on my way home, I felt tears coming down. I was a combination of angry and sad. I thought about that sweet little kid I knew and wondered what if they had given him the necessary tools instead of pretending all was fine. What path would he have taken?

It was not a need to stay lingering in the "if only's", but I thought about it for a bit. The lessons I took from it were that I have opportunities to try and give my kids and my students tools my nephew was not given. Whether or not they use them is their own choice.

I pulled my one photo of my nephew out. He is about 8 in the photo. A kid with a gleam in his eye and full of promise. I decided to add it to my collection of family photos I am have been putting out. I am not going to push his memory to the back of my mind.

As I was walking the dog, and really processing all of this, XH texted. He was stopping by to drop something off for S. He said he was driving a red truck. He is either delivering something or his SUV is in for repairs again. I was not far from the house and yet, I texted him back and said to put it in the garage. I had left the front door unlocked to the house, but I was not telling him that. He drove up as I was only several feet away from the house. I let the dog linger and sniff the blades of grass and I kept an eye on XH. He went to the garage and looked at me. He looked as if he expected me to come back to the house. I didn't.

His presence was not upsetting. The man I knew is no longer inhabiting his body. I don't really know this guy. I do know he has become his parents. He so wanted their approval and once they showed back up, he became them. Had they not reentered his life, I wonder if he would have gone so deep into MLC. But, that is only a quick thought. It doesn't really change anything. His FOO issues took over and are clearly in control. What all of this information about my nephew did was just confirm my X's family (minus sane BIL) will stop at nothing to protect their fake world.

They can keep their pretend world. I want no part of it. I pray my nephew is finally at peace.
« Last Edit: April 09, 2018, 08:28:27 AM by MourningDove »

Offline UrsaMajor

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Re: Reassembling - is there a manual?
« Reply #19 on: April 09, 2018, 09:18:39 AM »
Dove,

I am so sorry to hear about your nephew.... and about his family's reaction to it...
Me - 54
MLC - 47
Together 20 years - Married for 17 at separation
S - 11
D - 7
2 Canines (each of us has one)
BD#1 - August 2015
Atomic BD - 13 Dec 2015
House sold and separated - March 2016
Mid-Lifer is initiating D

Survival Instructions for Newbies
Site Map
 
A "friend" will not "stand by you" no matter what you do. That is NOT a friend. That is an enabler. That is an accomplice.
A REAL friend will sit you down and tell you to your face to stop being a firetrucking idiot before you ruin your life and the lives of those around you.

 

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