Midlife Crisis: Support for Left Behind Spouses

Midlife Crisis => Our Community => Topic started by: strawberry on March 14, 2018, 09:07:55 PM

Title: Finally admitting I need support
Post by: strawberry on March 14, 2018, 09:07:55 PM
Hi everyone.  I believe my H has been in MLC for about 5 years, though at the time I had no idea what it was.  And reading some of the stories here, I think I'm getting off relatively easy.  Some monstering, but not constant. 

Statistics: Me: 43, H: 43, Married 15 years, No kids, 2 dogs, 2 cats, 5 chickens.

He came home from work one day in 2012 and told me he was unhappy and was going to stay on a friend's couch.  I felt blindsided, I broke down, we talked, and he ended up staying.

About 8 months later we moved from our home in the Southern US to the Pacific Northwest for his work.  The first year there was glorious.  We were both very happy.  He would hold me as we looked out at our beautiful view of the Olympic mountains and comment how lucky we were and how sad everyone couldn't be as happy as we were.  Then one morning in 2015 after he'd been sleeping in the basement due to insomnia issues, he told me he'd had a bad dream about getting a divorce and how nasty I was to him AND that he was leaving me.  He packed up and moved out for 2 weeks sleeping on various co-workers couches (he says.  I have no way to verify).  I was again blindsided.  He moved back in and things between us were either great or horrible for 2 years. 

We did marital counseling in late 2016 and again in mid 2017 which didn't really help.  Things continued to decline the rest of the year.  His chief complaint always seem to be that he simply was not happy and that he resented me for my chronic illness (more on that later).  He was moody and I was walking on egg shells.  He was unable to make a decision about if he was staying or going.  I tried to bargain, and find a compromise.  He though polyamory would make things better (and he had one of my 2 friends in mind.  Yes, I only have 2 friends.  I'm an introvert.), and I declined for a number of reasons.  I was open to the two of us thinking outside the box sexually, but I was not interested in a relationship addition. 

He accepted a new job about 2 hours transit from our home at the end of October, to start Nov 6, 2017.  The Friday morning before he was to start his new job I could tell he was nervous which was generally a sign that he had something he didn't want to tell me.  After breakfast he started mumbling to me about taking one of our dogs to work in his new office in the big city.  Now we have 2 dogs, both German Shepherds.  They are big, loud, and have been raised in the country.  In fact we bought a house on 5 acres in the country specifically for them.  They and 2 cats are our children.  I told him it was not a good idea.  He mumbled some more, which I did not understand but I felt he was working up the courage to tell me he was moving out again and I was tired of the cowardly behavior.  I sat up straight and said, "if you are going to go, just pack your bag and go. But you are not taking either of the dogs"  I didn't want him to go, but walking on eggshells had pushed me over the edge and the feeling that he was going to try to take one of my babies pushed me into a protective mode.  He did pack his bags.  He argued with me over the dog but finally relented when I stated that taking her was simply what he wanted and not in her best interest, which he could not argue against.  He hugged me and kissed my forehead and told me he still loved me just before he walked out the door.

A little about me and my flaws.  I have an auto-immune disease called Hashimotos.  The basics are that it causes the body to attack the thyroid which results in hypothyroidism.  You may or may not be surprised to know that the thyroid basically affects everything about your body.  I did not respond well to traditional treatment of T4 hormone replacement.  I suffered from mild to severe depression, extreme fatigue, pronounce brain fog (to including forgetting anything I'd told him already and losing words mid sentence), and weight gain regardless of what diet I followed (I followed a lot of fad diets).  I suffered all the symptoms of depression including crying for no reason, and lack of sex drive.  The worst years were between 2007 and 2009 (We've known each other since 1996, started dating in 2001, and married in 2003).  H felt helpless as neither he nor the doctors seemed to be able to help.  He has a bit of a knight in shining armor complex so being unable to help me was demoralizing.  His other complaint is that I have always had trust issues.  These issues didn't start because of him, but he didn't always help matters.  For the majority of our marriage, he had flirtations.  I don't believe they really ever crossed into EA or PA, but they did not help my self esteem.  However, my depression didn't really help his ego so I let it go. But he was aware that I was aware of them.

Around 2009, I asked my doctor about going gluten free.  She said it couldn't hurt and a lot of her patients felt better after going GF (why she didn't suggest it to me earlier is still a mystery).  It took about 3 months, but it was almost like waking up from a bad hazy dream.  I suddenly could think again, and I could get out of bed.  I won't give you all the steps, but basically, that first step helped me take control of my own treatment.  I got my medications changed and made some dietary changes that others think are extreme but work for me.  I still have hashimotos and will for the rest of my life but it doesn't affect me much.  I think though that finding my own cure further hurt my relationship because I saved myself instead of my H saving me.

His frustration with those years is valid, but he seemed to have not noticed that I'd gotten better.  He had been wonderful and supportive when I was struggling, but when I got better all the built up resentment surfaced.

The year or so before he moved out, H mentioned divorce as an option frequently.  Since he moved out, the only mention was when I told him I didn't want to be blindsided by being served without knowing it was coming.  He said he would not do that to me, but has made no effort to file.  We split our finances easily, and he gives me a pretty generous monthly maintenance payment (the new job nearly doubled his salary so he was feeling generous).  About 3 weeks after he moved out, I asked if we could "date" and still get together for sex.  He said there was no OW and I figured that as long as he was still sleeping with me, he would be less likely to look elsewhere.  Plus I was lonely.  The only condition I made was that he told me if he met someone else because it was not okay to put my health in danger.  He said he expected the same from me.  So for the last 4 months, we've met up every couple weeks (usually here at my home, once in a hotel near him) for a few hours of hanging out and being intimate.  He's far more affectionate than he has been in years.

Why I think this is likely a MLC.  He's moody and most of what he tells me doesn't really make sense.  He's unhappy and depressed but doesn't know why.  He loves me, but can't be with me.  He admitted to having an EA in April/May 2017 (long distance), but says the guilt was too much and broke it off. There is definite depression and possibly low T issues.  He is secretive and paranoid.  He won't tell me where he lives even.  His personality seems to have just shifted completely.  I see glimpses of the old him, but not often. But he texts me just about daily (I try to let him initiate all conversations and I'm about 90% successful).  Some days we just have a couple words to say and others, there are long conversations, pictures, and x-rated flirtations.

There is a part of me that worries there is an OW.  I've always had trust issues and I'm really working on just accepting that trust is blind faith, so I am trying very hard to believe that he is telling me the truth.  He does not make it easy though.  I just keep thinking that if he had another woman, why bother with me, especially right after moving out?  I know, I know, cake eating....When he left I asked him to do 2 things: individual counseling and get his T levels checked by his GP.  He has interviewed 2 IC and is planning to make a followup with one of them (had been planning to interview 3 and then choose but never found a third).  If he was just cake eating, why bother with the counseling?  Ironically, after reading some of this site, I'm not sure counseling is actually the best thing for him, but that's a discussion for another time.  He says he is still going to get T levels checked, but hasn't found a new local GP yet.

Anyway, I've rambled on a bit and there is a lot more but I think this is the main points.  The basic problem I'm having right now is I'm lonely.  I'm full of too many emotions.  I'm confused about what I should be doing.  I absolutely want my H to come home and be the wonderful husband I had for the first 10 of our 15 years of marriage.  But I also feel like I'm not getting any younger and maybe I should be looking to move on with my life because I don't even know the person I'm married to now.  Should I be talking to him every day?  Should I still be meeting up with him for adult play time or sending him the naughty pictures he requests every few days (I've got enough photos of him that revenge porn would be a bad move for him).  I just don't know what I'm supposed to be doing and I don't really have anyone to talk to about it.  No local family and we just aren't that close anyway. 2 friends (one that lives local, and one that is a 2 hour flight from me), both about my age, but have never been married.  They think I should file for D and move on with my life, but fully admit they really don't have the experience to know what I'm going through.  And I think they are tired of discussing it with me.  I had an IC but she and I both concluded that she wasn't prepared to help me unless I filed for D, so I stopped seeing her.
Title: Re: Finally admitting I need support
Post by: OldPilot on March 14, 2018, 09:24:33 PM
Welcome to the Board

You are in a good place.
Your H/W  is on his/her own journey.
You can not do anything to control this trip.
Come here and read or vent, we will listen.
Give your H/W space  he/she needs to heal himself/herself.

I would not ask him/her anything unless you can have no expectations.
Sometimes asking them questions will be thought of as pressure.
You do not want to do anything that can be thought of by your H/W as controlling or pressure.

Your need to start working on you.
There is nothing that you can do to help your H/W.

He/She has given you a gift.
It is time!!

Use the time wisely to make yourself a better person.
Look in the mirror to see what it is that you can improve.
Take care of yourself, breathe, eat, sleep, exercise.

Read some books on depression. Both for yourself! And for H/W.
Believe none of what he/she says and 50% of what he/she does.

Read the resources from this site.
The links that are in my signature.

Detach. - The single most important thing you can do

The detach link and HB's 6 stages of MLC(rewritten from Jim Conway) located in the resources above.

Developing Detachment



Keep posting and asking questions and we will try to answer them.

Knowledge is Power - Sir Francis Bacon
Title: Re: Finally admitting I need support
Post by: serenity on March 15, 2018, 12:07:59 AM
Hi strawberry,

Welcome to THS but I’m sorry you find yourself here. From what you’ve written I’d say your H is definitely having a MLC. They all seem to follow the same pattern at the start!

I don’t want to alarm you but there’s usually another woman lurking in the wings. We all thought our H’s were different but it seems that most of them do it but not all.

Your IC sounds awful and a bully! I have never found a helpful one but I know others’ on here have. So maybe try another that understands MLC or is willing to listen and be sympathetic to your situation.

Your H’s confusion and coming and going scream that he’s in crisis and doesn’t know who he is or wat he wants and it’s called a boomerang - possibly a clinger!

Most of us find that people/friends in RL don’t get it or understand and if I hadn’t experienced it - I probably wouldn’t either. My H has been gone for nearly 8 years and is still in crisis! He’s mostly been a boomerang and at times clinging. It’s the craziest and most heartbreaking thing I’ve ever experienced and we are still married! We got back together at the 3 year mark for a year but he was still deep in his crisis so was doomed to fail.

Here is the best place to ask questions and get help, answers and support. I would suggest that you try and see if there are any other LBS’s near you because that’s what I found to be a lifesaver - making good friends on here. Some virtual and some in RL. We all understand and can help and give you support.

Others’ will be along soon to offer more advice.

Take care of you as it’s a long and weary road.

Title: Re: Finally admitting I need support
Post by: strawberry on March 15, 2018, 07:23:01 AM
Thanks OP and Serenity.

I'm pretty sure I'm not going to be special and I know he at least had an EA, but according to him, she lived far away and this I believe.  I believe it's someone he started chatting with through one of the games he used to play on his playstation.  He was actively gas lighting me during that time.  He's not as good about hiding what he's doing as he thinks.  There could absolutely be an OW with him now in the city.  It would explain why he won't tell me where he lives or let me visit there.

At this point though, what can I do to find out?  Even if I wanted to snoop, I can't.  He changed all his passwords and moved out.  And asking him outright seems counter productive.  I do have a fairly good sense of when he's lying to me as he has a couple tells he doesn't seem to realize he has.  I could ask him next time we are face to face if he's seeing anyone, I guess.

One reason I don't think he is right now though is work.  He told me early in our marriage that if I ever cheated or left him, he'd just work himself to death.  He really loves his new job and is giving it everything he's got to prove they made a good choice in hiring him.  He was a little bit under qualified for the position (though he is a quick learner and definitely has the aptitude to do well) but they pursued him and made him an offer he felt he couldn't turn down.  Plus his old job was just making him more and more miserable.

He absolutely does not know what he wants.  His last visit was an all day spent at my house.  He told me near the end of that day that he really likes being free, but that he really also likes being here with me.  Mostly, he seems to be rebelling against the hum drum of ordinary life.  He craves the excitement of new romances, the tingly feeling of new "love" which we all know isn't actually love.

Should I ask him outright if there is an OW?

Should I encourage him to seek therapy for the depression/MLC?  It seems so few therapist understand MLC or even believe it's real that I'm afraid they will just encourage him to be selfish to his own detriment in order to "be happy".  Our marriage counselor did recommend he find someone with a phd since my husband is a little too smart for his own good and would not really respect anyone else.  Will they actually be better trained to know when their patient is lying to them?  Our marriage counselor sure wasn't able to.
Title: Re: Finally admitting I need support
Post by: Thunder on March 15, 2018, 07:55:32 AM
Hi strawberry (love strawberries, btw),   :)

No I would not ask him if he has a ow.  If he does he would most likely lie about it, so why even bother?
It is possible there is no one else.  My H's alienator was his work.  He even offered to work OT and holidays.  It was crazy the amount of time he spent at work.  I believe because then he didn't have time to think.

Snooping isn't worth it either, so I'm rather glad to hear you can't.   ;D

I don't think there is anything wrong with meeting up with your H.  He is still your husband.

It's disturbing he wont tell you where he lives, but that seems to be part of this crisis their little secrets and their precious freedom.

Maybe you could be a little mysterious yourself.
Ask him to please call you before he comes over to make sure your home, then maybe don't be home a few times.  Let him wonder where you went, or with who. 
Maybe meet him more at motels. 

I also would not recommend he sees a therapist or a doctor.  You're not his mother and right now he doesn't seem to want a wife, so allow him to do those things on his own.

Strawberry, I would just try to detach some from him and live your life.  Get out and do things, now that you're feeling so much better.  Maybe join some groups near by you and meet some new friends.  Or take up some hobby you enjoy that may involve meeting new people.  A walking group maybe.  Do you have any dog parks near you. 

Just don't put your life in hold waiting for him.  Make it as happy and full as you can.

Title: Re: Finally admitting I need support
Post by: Anjae on March 15, 2018, 08:53:26 AM
Hi and welcome, Strawberry

No, having a PhD is not going to make a therapist better at knowing your husband is lying. It would take a therapist that is well versed in MLC to know. 

As for not asking if there is OW. My opinion is, ask, since I am the type who likes to know what is going on. He may lie, but you have the right to know.

And, if by any chance, you are going to meet in in a motel (or be intimate with him in any way), you do need to know if there is OW. You will want to protect yourself and your health.

I confess I do not like the idea of meeting in motels. It is not up to the LBS to play games and pretend/create some sort of romantic/affair mood. But that could be because Mr J spend months before he left meeting OW1 on hotel bedrooms behind my back.

Agree on making your life as happy and full as you can. Just do things you like, be it read a book, go out, etc.

Title: Re: Finally admitting I need support
Post by: strawberry on March 15, 2018, 09:50:49 AM
Thanks Thunder and Anjae.

I'm working on detachment but it is hard when he's acting like we are still good friends.  I think for my own happiness, I'm going to need to be a bit less available even by electronic communication.

He does always ask before coming over, in fact we usually arrange our next visit at least a week in advance.  Because he's been traveling a lot for work, I haven't seen him in a month and don't know when I will see him next.  His next suggested date for me didn't work as I already had plans and I'm not changing my plans for him.  I guess he's got some more traveling coming up as well. 

I'm keeping as busy as I can.  I took up running last year.  Like others, I've lost a bunch of weight (60lbs), but it was deliberate as part of trying to regain my health and most of it I'd lost before he left.  I'm itching for garden season to start as that will distract me some as well.

Meeting people and making friends is a challenge for me.  I work from home so I don't get out too much.  Though my neighbors have really all become much more friendly toward me since he left.  I find that sort of strange and wonder if they just feel sorry for me or if they didn't like him. 

I'm also still very disturbed by his refusing to tell me where he lives.  It really could be hiding an OW or it could just be the MLC behavior of being secretive and paranoid.  Like a teenager that resents being accountable to anyone.  But he broke down in tears when he told me and our therapist about our EA.  I'm still trying to decide if was so emotionally distraught over that, would he be able to hide an OW at this point?  I guess it's possible.

There is a bit of projection on the trust issue.  He told me not long before he moved out that he couldn't be with someone that didn't trust him.  Thing is that I'd already started practicing blanket trust.  I was not looking for information even though he was being secretive.  I took what he told me at face value, even if my instincts were screaming not to (I'm not sure how good my instincts are).  But I realized in that moment that he didn't trust me though I was not giving him any reason not to.

I've read so much about MLC over the last year and am baffled that there is any debate as if it's real or not.  Given how scripted it seems, you'd think that all therapist would be very well versed, but the reading I did and my experience with the therapist I saw says they are not commonly trained to believe it happens.
Title: Re: Finally admitting I need support
Post by: Jay78 on March 15, 2018, 10:26:27 AM
I know that feeling of be introvert I only have my kids and a best friend who has two daughters and married. I was raised in east coast where crime is horrible as soon I was 17 I moved out of my crazy house and never looked back been on my own and life been good before BD I moved to Illinois for my W so W became my all and her family now I have  no one my mil and FIL never even called or ask what happen is sad how sides where made. Now am here trying to find an outlet an escape from all this madness.

I can tell you is a longer road for H they say in women is between 2 to 5 yrs MLC and men 7 to 10yrs the question I ask could I stop living for that long until W is ready again. And also to much damage done the hurt has been to bad.
We are here to vent away I know after writing I feel better.
Title: Re: Finally admitting I need support
Post by: Thunder on March 15, 2018, 10:40:12 AM
You know what I find ridiculous?  As therapists they had to have seen for themselves what these MLCer's do and say and think from LBS clients.  It's so script, yet they keep denying it's real.  Because it's not in a book it doesn't exist.

Mine kept saying.."Well, people change."   :o  I told her, yes people grow and change but not to the extent that they become complete strangers to us, after knowing them, living with them for years.  THAT is not just a normal change.

Maybe because we call it a midlife crisis, maybe if we called it an Identity Crisis they would go along with it.  I'm sure that's in their book...and really that is pretty much what it is anyway.

Well like I said, don't stick your head in the sand, but he really may not have an ow.  Mine never did, but I was certainly aware all along it was possible.  I think eventually you would see some kind of sign.
When you're with him does he text a lot, or hid his phone?  Is he trying different things in the bedroom that he never did before?

You can ask him if you want, but I'd be surprised, if he does have one, he admits it.  Most will lie their faces off.
Title: Re: Finally admitting I need support
Post by: sampsed on March 15, 2018, 12:24:16 PM
Following along with you!

I also suffer from a mild form of Hasimoto and passed it onto my son. 

I understand the depression, fog, weight gain and overall crappy feeling.

Luckily for me, I did respond to hormone therapy but a large dose.

Congrats for loosing 60 lbs.  Not easy when your system is fighting you every step of the way!

I am fairly new to all this and can't give a lot of advice other than listen to those with experience.

They are spot on and it will help you!  Give yourself time!  Accept mistakes when you make them and learn from them!

Come here for support!   

You got this!
Title: Re: Finally admitting I need support
Post by: Mrs.Smiling on March 15, 2018, 01:38:33 PM
Yes the secrecy of where they moved to. H told me he got his own place in a way like I was supposed to congratulate him. Won't tell me where...cause it's a secret...but OW knows..but of course...hasn't spoke about his own place since last week. But then I wouldn't listen anyways...I would just nod and say oh ok....
Title: Re: Finally admitting I need support
Post by: strawberry on March 15, 2018, 02:32:48 PM
He is secretive with his phone and "steps outside" if he needs to make a call when he's here, but has been for a couple years ago when he decided that me not trusting him was an issue.  Not trying anything new in the bedroom.  Really the only thing new is the naughty pictures.  He works in cyber security and was always sort of paranoid about what was on the internet.  No social media accounts, and was careful about photos.  Now he sends me some pretty interesting ones and asks for some in return.  I used to send him cleavage shots when he was on travel.  A little racy, but nothing x-rated.  Given that his libido was next to nil when he left, I took this as a good sign.  There are a lot of reasons for me to think there is an OW, but it just seems like if there were, he wouldn't be wasting time with me.
Title: Re: Finally admitting I need support
Post by: strawberry on March 16, 2018, 05:12:40 PM
I’m irritated today.  Texting with H last night, he mentioned he was out to dinner with his team from work and they had designated him the wine guy for all their team dinners.  Now here’s the first thing that irritates me.  He knows wine because I know wine.  I very much like wine, and have amassed a bit of a collection.  My education is far from complete but what he knows about wine, he only knows because of me.

Second irritation.  I grew up a city kid and would have loved to live in a high rise condo in the middle of a big city.  He grew up in the country and hated living in a sub-division of cookie cutter houses that were noisy and where you could see in your neighbors windows.  So when we moved to Washington State 4 years ago, we bought a big house on 5 acres.  Now, he’s living in the middle of downtown Seattle and I’m stuck out here in the country.  Don’t get me wrong, there are aspects of my home I like.  I like gardening, and I like the quiet.  And I never knew there were so many stars in the sky.  I have amazingly beautiful views.   I prefer running on trails to roads and there are lots more options for that out here.  It’s also ideal for my 2 dogs...but I’m a cat person.  He wanted the first dog and when we agreed to the second one, I never imagined I would be stuck with 5 acres and 2 highly active dogs to take care of on my own.  Financially, it would be hard for me to move anywhere smaller since the housing market here is going crazy and I’d still be in a remote county with little in the way of “cosmopolitan” entertainment.

Seriously though, how is it fair that he is now thoughroughly enjoying living my dream with dozens of fantastic restaurants and bars just steps from his doorstep with music and theater venues not far away and I’m stuck out here in the country living his dream.

For the record, I love my dogs (and surprisingly, my chickens) and I would fight anyone who tried to take them from me.  I’m just feeling crabby and sorry for myself today.  And a little overwhelmed by upcoming yard work on 5 acres....

Oh and I’m annoyed by how easy it is for him to make friends.  Do you know how hard it is for an introvert in the country to make friends.  Le sigh.
Title: Re: Finally admitting I need support
Post by: Thunder on March 17, 2018, 04:17:11 AM
Sorry strawberry.

I does just seem like they get the easy part in all this, doesn't it?  They just glide through life without a care in the world.

I used to wish in was the me in the crisis, with no responsibilities, but then I'm not sure I would care for the turmoil going on in their brain.  It has to be scary sometimes.
Title: Re: Finally admitting I need support
Post by: serenity on March 17, 2018, 04:32:14 AM
Hi Strawberry

I used to feel the way you do but I don't any longer.

It's amazing how they suddenly find new friends. My H was an introvert and didn't really have many friends.

He always seems busy and never at home and maybe he's doing fun things but I don't believe it makes him any happier in the end! My H told me once (during a lucid moment) that when he's out, he wants to be home and when he's home, he wants to be out. Those are not the words of a happy and content man!!

Despite my job, family and friends I do still struggle with loneliness BUT I have something my H no longer has! I have my lovely children and granddaughter. We have wonderful family times, days out and holidays. H has none of that. So as much as he runs around doing things and always seems to have women around him - I wouldn't want that and wouldn't swap my life for his.

Family is everything in life and to feel loved and give love is all that matters. I see his life as busy but superficial, hollow and meaningless. No real connections and no in depth relationships!

Hope that helps you to feel a bit better - trust me you're in a much better position.

Title: Re: Finally admitting I need support
Post by: Treasur on March 17, 2018, 04:38:49 AM
Crabby is fine, strawberry.

I guess what's interesting and useful to muse on is how you ended up together with a home/life/dogs that were more about what he liked than what you did. (Did something similar in our previous home, driven more by his job...then off he runs and I'm left with it all!) Which doesn't change the fact that you might have learned to like some of these things now...The really useful bit is what you think you'd like most next irregardless of H/MLC etc? What did you trade in that you'd like to reclaim? Or keep that was an unexpected pleasure?
Title: Re: Finally admitting I need support
Post by: strawberry on March 17, 2018, 03:21:26 PM
I guess the only thing I gave up really was career advancement, and as I mentioned a city life instead of a country life.  But climbing the corporate ladder never really appealed to me.  Rather it was just something to do when you're a woman and you don't want to have children.  Focus on work.  I discovered pretty early in my career though that I would rather work to live than live to work.  I valued experiences over advancing my career.  This allowed me to travel and obtain life experiences.  Advancing my career would have required moving to DC (which would have benefited both our careers) but then life would have been all about work.  When we got the first dog, it didn't feel like I was giving anything up since she was his dog and he took care of her and cleaned up after her.  But slowly, she became more and more my responsibility.  I love her to death (thus why I didn't let him take her when he left), but it's a lot like being a single mom with a child that never grows up.  I can't be gone from the house for more than 12 hours without making arraignments for the dogs.  I was okay with the house in the country because it was convenient to where he worked and gave me a lot of space to try the country girl life I was trying to embrace for him.   There are aspects of it I do like, but again, the responsibly of maintaining it doubled when he left.   I resent that he dumped all of his responsibilities on my and is living a very responsibility free life (he even pays someone an outrageous amount to clean his studio apartment, which was something he thought was a waste of money when he lived with me).  I honestly don't know what I want out of life now.  I guess that's the primary question I should be working on.  But right now, all my energy goes toward taking care of day to day responsibilities and making sure my calendar is as full of social activities as I can stand, or running.  I worry that my resentment will build to the point that I will just hate him.  The betrayal really sucks, but the stress of him dumping all his responsibilities on you is a real punch to the gut.  Part of me wants to prove I can do it without him and part of me wants to hide under the covers and pretend it will just sort itself out without me.

I have decided that I'm going to go ahead and register for some races at DisneyWorld in November.  It will be a bit of a financial strain and will be a little depressing if I can't convince someone to go with me, but it's an experience that brings me an immense amount of joy so I'm going to make it work, even if I end up spending the trip by myself.  Maybe I'll do all the character photo ops for a change :D
Title: Re: Finally admitting I need support
Post by: strawberry on March 19, 2018, 08:32:31 PM
I had an interesting weekend.  Not because anything especially interesting happened, but my outlook changed.  H was scheduled to spend Sunday afternoon/evening with me, but told me about half an hour before he was supposed to show up that he was being called into work that evening and only could stay about an hour.  I felt very little about this news.  I was neither upset nor happy about it.  I instead started mentally listing the chores (on my very long list of needed chores) to pick which one I would spend the rest of the day doing to occupy my time.

H's visit was a little on the uncomfortable side.  It seems that I'm usually the one that keeps our conversations going but the reality is that I'm perfectly okay with awkward silence.  Actually, it usually amuses me to people watch while saying nothing.  I've been working on only communicating electronically when necessary or as a response to him.  I can chit chat and be social with him on text, but he has to initiate it.  This is the first time I took that tact in person and he seemed a bit perplexed by it.

After he left, I had every intention of washing my car, but as I was sitting at my kitchen table having a snack, I noticed my neighbors were still burning things.  They'd been clearing an area of their property that the previous owner let get overgrown.  It was a shame because there are some nice views and a couple ponds in that area.  So I texted them that I was tempted to grab a bottle of wine and sit by their bonfire and watch them work, which resulted in an invite over.  What I love about my new neighbors is that not only are they super social, but they are extremely helpful.  in the 3 hours I sat and watched (and helped a little), I learned things about maintaining my own property that I had no idea about.  But the key thing I learned was, if it wasn't wanted, burn it.

In the last 24 hours this theme has really taken hold of me for both literal and figurative purposes.  I have a lot of overgrowth and debris that I need to take care of.  My country raised H was previously putting everything in a large mound on the edge and into the forested area.  Now that I think about that, it's weird.  His mother makes burn piles like this throughout the year and when they get big enough, she burns them.
 He should have known that it wasn't suitable as a burn pile based on it's location.  I have a nice firepit area, but it was a complete mess with storm debris, weeds, and the pit itself had about 7 inches of muck in it.  So today as soon as work was done, I set to cleaning the firepit area up and started burning anything I could put in there.

Figuratively, I'm more resolved than ever to discard any notions that I can't do this myself.  I'm burning the feelings of self pity.  I'm burning the jealousy over H living my dream while I'm stuck in his.   This is not the life I'd have chosen, but it's a pretty good life when I think about it and I am going to embrace it.  There are still a lot of things I need to learn to do but I'm feeling a bit more confident that I can either figure them out or get assistance from my neighbors (who cleared a path through the overgrowth between our properties yesterday so I could get over there easier).

I'm still standing for my marriage, but I'm standing for myself too and that's new.  I'm also writing this all down so next time I think I'm going to die with sadness, I can come remember that I'm going to be just fine.
Title: Re: Finally admitting I need support
Post by: Thunder on March 20, 2018, 02:40:13 AM
Nice post, strawberry.

Yes you can learn to do a lot by yourself, or by getting a little help from your neighbors.  Lucky you to have good neighbors.
The more you do for yourself the more independent you will become.  The stronger you will feel.
Plus yard work can be very therapeutic.

It's a good sign you felt very little over his news.  Shows you are starting to detach.   :)

You are going to make it through this strawberry.  We will help you.
It just takes that dreaded time.
Title: Re: Finally admitting I need support
Post by: LearningIamOk on March 21, 2018, 07:21:55 PM
Hi Strawberry! Glad you found us, sorry you have to be here. My xH has some similarities to your H. When he left, he wouldn't tell me where he living. When he bought a condo, he did tell me but I wasn't allowed to see it. He's moved 2 more times and now he doesn't think I know where he lives, but I do and I know exactly how far it is to his OW's (thank you MapQuest), 5 mins. He doesn't even invite our kids over and they are all adults who can drive.

He is also living my dream. I enjoy going to Broadway shows, concerts, museums etc. We never did any of that. He told me when he left, in a letter, that I would be better off with someone who enjoys the arts. Now my D35 tells me he and his OW go to Broadway shows, concerts, and comedy shows in the city, recently to Chris Rock, all the time! :( >:(

I also learned to do a lot around my house and yard on my own. I even took down a small tree with a chainsaw. He was shocked about that. I like figuring things out on my own. It gives me great satisfaction.

I loved your very positive post. You are definitely going to be one of the survivors on here. You are even going to thrive. I like that you are signing up for the races in Disney World. Even if you go by yourself, you will be with like minded people and the opportunity to make new friends is there.

Think about the things you did before you got married and start doing them again. I took up horseback riding again. I loved it, but I wasn't very good at it. I started listening to the radio while falling asleep. Something xH made me stop doing.

And something you and I have in common are the German shepards. I have had 3 in my lifetime. The last one was the best dog I ever owned. I love the breed. Smart, elegant and loyal. I don't have any dogs currently. They just cost too much money and I have had to put all of mine down. The 3 shepards and 2 mixed breeds and I just don't want to be put thru that anymore. It's gut wrenching.

You will get thru this. We Old Timers on here are living proof that you will.
Title: Re: Finally admitting I need support
Post by: strawberry on March 25, 2018, 09:37:03 PM
Thank you for your responses Thunder and Learning.  I am still feeling mostly optimistic after this weekend.

It rained a lot so I didn’t get anything new done outside but I did put some paint samples up on my wall and have finally settled on which one I want.  I have a single small wall inset are t paint and I tall accent wall that needs to be painted over.  I’m not actually a fan of accent walls but it was already there when we moved in and I don’t have any of the original white to paint over it with.  I’ve tried getting matching colors in the past and haven’t found it to work so I’m just painting the stupid accent wall a color I like better than brown (it’s not a pretty rich brown, it’s sort of mustardy). 

Having spent too much time in my head this weekend I’m really struggling with the concept of trust right now.  During our marriage my husband complained about my trust issues that I came into the marriage carrying with me.  It was a valid complaint.  I’ve been working very hard to practice blanket trust for a while now, but given all that has happened and his secrecy, it makes that very difficult.  Statistically, I know there is likely to be a PA/OW but he swore there was not when he left and assured me he would tell me if there was (We both agreed that any intimacy between us would need to stop if either of us met someone else).  Do I practice that absolute trust and take him at his word till there is actual evidence not to?  Or do I assume that the rest of the MLC crap is enough to assume he just is lying.  If he isn’t lying and I have not trusted him, there is no chance of reconciliation.  I’m not sure if I’m explaining this well.  I guess I feel stuck between a rock and a hard place because this topic is not just mlc related....It’s something I do need to overcome.  I can’t spend the rest of my adult life mistrusting everyone, especially if they’ve never given me reason to not trust them.

Im officially registered to run the 10k, and half marathon at WDW in November.   I had one friend who wanted to go already back out and side the races are selling out, it’s unlikely she will change her mind.  So I’m going by myself and I think I’m okay with that.
Title: Re: Finally admitting I need support
Post by: strawberry on March 27, 2018, 05:03:38 PM
Today’s has been a relatively interesting day.  H and I text daily.  We text like we are Good friends as long as I don’t bring up emotions or our M.  Most days it’s just “how was your day” sort of texts.  Today though he told me that he really needs to make an appointment with the IC he found because he’s “been feeling.....stressed” and by stressed, I assume he means depressed.  He’s been breaking out in hives and having a considerable amount of GI problems so he also made an. Appointment with his regular MD to test for allergies and have his T levels checked.  I pointed out that both the hives and GI distress are common symptoms of depression in men.  Given all the health issues I’ve had that have largely been cured by dietary changes, he asked my advice on things to bring up with his doctor.  Up until today, he’s been secretive about that sort of stuff and usually shuts down on me.  Asking for more thoughts was like the old H, not the MLC version.

About a month before he left, I found a 23&me sample kit in our out going mail box.  I never told him I’d seen the kit nor asked him about it but today sort of casually said he could have a dairy problem and if he’d ever done the genetic testing that I had done, it would tell him if that was likely.  He immediately sent me a screenshot of his 23&me results (it’s probably not dairy).

He seems to be opening up more to me lately, and trusting me with the personal information that he previously acted like was a matter of national security and I was An enemy spy.

I’m trying not to read too much into it.  But it was a pleasant day.
Title: Re: Finally admitting I need support
Post by: LearningIamOk on March 27, 2018, 05:51:08 PM
Hi Strawberry. I am glad you are registered for the WDW race despite your friend backing out. You will find people to pal around with there. And I am certain you won't be the only one attending solo.

I am glad that your H is letting you in to some degree. That doesn't mean that he is turning a corner. I am sorry that you have trust issues. Have you asked a counselor why you choose partners you can't trust? I didn't think that I would ever trust again. My boyfriend and I have been together for 5 years now. I trust that he is not, or would never, cheat on me, but I still worry that he would have an MLC and bolt. I don't know if I will ever get to the point of trusting ANYONE to that degree again. So, I have my home and he has his. I will never let myself become that vulnerable again.

I do love him and we have wonderful times together. He has also become a great source of healing for me. I found that I needed to be open to other people's thoughts and ideas. He is very good at cutting to the chase with things and seeing the bigger picture. He helps guide me to my own decisions on many things. He never imposes his beliefs on me.

I hope the communication between you and your H continues. It is comforting when they contact.

Please keep living your life "as if" he will never return and work on making you the best Strawberry ever. It will be an achievement that will serve you well.
Title: Re: Finally admitting I need support
Post by: strawberry on March 27, 2018, 08:04:28 PM
I'm definitely still doing my life as if he isn't coming back.  I painted one of the 2 walls that I wanted painted this evening.  The other wall will require me to stand on a tall ladder so I'll wait till a friend can come over and make sure I don't kill myself (still a little afraid of heights, I guess).  It felt nice to decorate that way I want without asking anyone's opinion or permission.  Last time he was over he seemed a little surprised that I had replaced the dining room rug and found one I liked for the living room.  He asked if I liked them better than the ones we picked out together.  I simply said yes, but was thinking to myself that the fact that they are on the floor is self evident that I like them better.

Mostly today I was just happy to see a glimpse of the man I remember.  Sometimes I think I'm imagining that this is MLC and maybe I was just horrible to live with.  Those thoughts don't last long usually, but it was nice to have a reminder from outside my head that he really is like a totally different person and the old person is still there somewhere.

Also, I was really proud that I didn't snarkily point out that running away from his life, and all his responsibilities didn't make him suddenly happy after all and what a shock that was.  It would have felt good, but been counter productive.  It's good to see that I'm getting some control over my emotional side.
Title: Re: Finally admitting I need support
Post by: Thunder on March 28, 2018, 04:22:57 AM
Yes, it's good to hear you are taking more control over your emotions.

You're going to be just fine, strawberry.  You sound like a strong woman.  Just don't doubt yourself.  You knew what was real and what wasn't.
Title: Re: Finally admitting I need support
Post by: Dumbfounded on March 28, 2018, 05:43:09 AM
Welcome to HS Strawberry. I am sorry you find yourself here but you sound strong and independent.

Your trip to WDW in November sounds like fun. I am glad you decided to go. I am a big Disney fan. I love it there.

I am 24 months post BD. Your H reminds me of my now xH. I believe my XH is struggling with a porn addiction and perhaps a substance abuse problem. But it is all a secret.  It is so sad to watch them struggle.
Title: Re: Finally admitting I need support
Post by: forthetrees on March 28, 2018, 12:15:15 PM
There is a simple blood test that tests for inflammation related to depression. Not sure if it´s readily available, but hey, it would confirm your suspicions.

Sounds like you are channeling the hurt/anger into something productive- the paint project. That will make you feel stronger as time goes by and if no one else says it, go ahead and give yourself an "atta girl!"

The trust issue could be a real sticking point for you but I think that MLCers use the whole ow issue as a chance to gaslight and manipulate. Yes, they will lie straight faced to your face. My thinking is that once they cross the morality line and know that they are no longer the "good" guy, they have nothing to lose by sampling the buffet of behaviors they once would have shunned. If your h is somehow not involved with someone, he would be in the miniscule percentage of MLCers. You don´t need to snoop on him. You can go forward knowing that the probability of there being someone else is extremely high and protect yourself accordingly. Time will answer that niggling doubt one way or another.
Title: Re: Finally admitting I need support
Post by: same33 on March 28, 2018, 01:59:49 PM
Hello strawberry. I'm just catching your story. So sorry you have to be here. But there is AMAZING support and advice on here. Big hugs to you and wishing you well!
Title: Re: Finally admitting I need support
Post by: strawberry on March 29, 2018, 02:07:09 PM
Nothing new to report but for some reason I am down today and wondering how long I can really do this for.  I don’t want to spend the rest of my life alone.  My mom was texting me this morning, totally benign day to day chatter, but talking to her always brings me down now (which I feel guilty about). My dad left her 30 years ago and she never dated or remarried and she is often bitter about it.  BTW, she says my dad had a MLC...if he did, he’s still in it.  I’m more inclined to think he just has a narsicistic personality disorder.  I haven’t spoken to him in over 20 years, and even now when he tries to “repair” our relationship, it’s all about how my life reflects positively on him as a parent (which is not really valid since he has had little influence over me since I was 12).

In positive news, I finalized my reservations for WDW in November and I managed to get bibs for the 5k, 10k, and half marathon.  I didn’t mention it before but this race weekend will be the one year anniversary of when H moved out......which is why I’ve been so adamant about going even if I’m by myself.
Title: Re: Finally admitting I need support
Post by: LearningIamOk on March 29, 2018, 06:40:54 PM
My thinking is that once they cross the morality line and know that they are no longer the "good" guy, they have nothing to lose by sampling the buffet of behaviors they once would have shunned.

FTT, this made me laugh. It is oh, so true.

Strawberry, your H is surprised by your redecorating because you are supposed to be right where he left you. Everything is supposed to go into stasis while they are in the Tunnel. You are showing your survival skills by having the courage to change things already, and that is messing with his head. Well done. He should be worrying about you and what you are doing/planning. And it does feel good to not need anyone else's opinion.

You don't strike me as the type to be alone forever or end up bitter. I work at not being bitter. It is hard tho' when you have your entire world ripped out from under you, but I do not want to be miserable thinking about what might have been and what was.
Title: Re: Finally admitting I need support
Post by: strawberry on April 08, 2018, 03:57:01 PM
Ugh, hormones.  This weekend has been an emotional rollarcoaster for me totally related only to my own hormones.

Highlights of the week:

I saw H on Thursday.  He came over for a conjugal visit, but this time seemed a little different.  We spent most of his visit on the couch cuddling.  He told me he doesn't come over just for sex.  I told him if that was the case, maybe he should consider taking me to dinner once in a while, but left it there.  I would have liked to ask him to spell out what reason he has for coming over.  The implication is that he likes spending time with me, but there is a part of me that would have liked to make him say that explicitly.

H's response to my redecorating and painting the living room: "did it turn out as expected" as if he knew I was going to paint.  He did not.  I'm not telling him anything I'm working on.  He will likely be annoyed that I'm setting up compost bins around the property, but I'm determined to do better at waste management than he's done in the last 4 years.

He again made a point of telling me he was seeing an IC....three times during his visit.  I'm still not asking any questions and really barely even acknowledging he told me.  I feel like he's setting me up here because if I don't have any comments, he tells me about it again, but I know if I ask questions, even about how it's going, I'll be told I'm prying and making him uncomfortable.  I can't win here, so I guess he's going to keep randomly telling me he's taking this step because I"m going to continue to avoid stepping in that trap.

A good friend from S. California visited me last weekend.  She is like a sister to me and even lived with us for about 9 months when she was in training for work about 9 years ago.  She was close with both of us as a result.  When H's MLC started 4 years ago (which I didn't recognize at the time), I think he fixated on her as an object of desire/love.  He at one point brought up wanting to "bring another woman into our relationship" and while he didn't initially bring up her name, within the last year he made it clear he wanted us to discuss it with her.  I said no (our MC told him it was a bad idea) and when I later told her what H had been thinking, she laughed and then asked me if I was serious and assured me that she would never do that nor would she consider any type of relationship with him.  She's actually pretty upset with him.  So when she came to visit last weekend (he can still see what's on my google calendar), he asked if he could come over and I told him no.  He did not complain but he asked if we had a good time on Monday after she left and sounded very sad.

I feel like my closest friend here is detaching from me.  Feels like she's avoiding me lately.  She is tired of me putting up with H.  She feels it's time for me to cut him out of my life and move on.  She acknowledges that D would actually hurt me since H is paying me far more in spousal support than the courts would order, but figures I can still move on with my life without it.  We actually have a friend who has been separated for 13 years (her H lives 2 states away) and only found out she had this husband a few months ago.  She dates and has had several boyfriends so we assumed she was single.  My friend views this as an acceptable model for my life.  I do not.

I've spent a lot of time alone this week which has resulted in way too much "thinking".  My H swore to me when he left that there was no OW and when we decided to continue having conjugal visits, we agreed we would, for health reasons at least, be honest if either of us found someone else.  I don't ask him if there is an OW since he'd likely lie.  I have no reason to believe there is an OW, aside from his new job.  His new job is definitely a mistress as he works probably 60 hours a week on average.  But I have a nagging feeling.....  Maybe it's just paranoia knowing the statistics on MLC and OW.  Or maybe it's intuition.  IDK, but I've got to find a way to stop thinking about it.  Problem is that I don't know if I could reconcile without him coming completely clean to me.  These things do always find a way to come out and I really REALLY don't like being blindsided.

And there, I've written more than I planned again.
Title: Re: Finally admitting I need support
Post by: strawberry on April 09, 2018, 06:58:12 PM
I spent the entire weekend essentially dark.  I didn't text my H, friends, or family.  I feel like depression could easily pull me in again...though not like last time.  Last time I had depression, it was chemical and related to my thyroid.  This time its just a profound sadness but I know why I'm sad.  I can point to things and say "these things make me sad".  I'm getting better at practicing gratitude and looking for reasons to be happy instead of sad, but this weekend I failed.  I ignored the text h sent me Friday night and on Sunday, because I didn't trust myself to say anything that wasn't self pitying. 

This morning though I decided I needed to snap out of it.  Ignoring H leads to him going dark on me as well.  So I made a polite response that I was glad he enjoyed the book he read this weekend.

This afternoon I decided to push one of his boundaries.  I'm not sure if it was wise or not but I did it.  H says he likes spending time with me but it's always on his terms.  I'd mentioned last week on his visit when he said he liked spending time with me that he should take me out to dinner more often then because I like going out and seeing places in the city.  So today I asked him if he wanted to take me to dinner on Wednesday.  Silence.  I asked if I'd made him uncomfortable by asking that.  He responded that he was uncomfortable but that part of him wanted to take me to dinner and he thinks its a bigger part than the uncomfortable part.  He still acts like me being in the city, "his city", is an invasion of his privacy.  It's one of the largest cities in the country, FFS.  It's not like we'd run into each other accidentally.  There is a part of him though that is at least recognizing that is irrational.

Anyway, I told him no pressure and he could decide.  He responded that it was a good thing he was seeing his IC today.   I'm not sure how many times he's mentioned he's in therapy now.  He's trying to be casual about it, but it's not really working.

So we will see if I have a dinner date on Wednesday or not...probably on Wednesday afternoon.  I'm not sure I did the right thing pushing his boundary, but I'm also not sure how long I can tolerate a one sided friendship.  I'm really not asking for much.
Title: Re: Finally admitting I need support
Post by: Reinventing on April 10, 2018, 12:00:35 AM
SB, as far as tolerating a one-sided relationship, the good thing to know is that one day it will be clear to you and you will know when enough is enough.

You might consider hiring a private investigator to find out if there is an OW. I always prefer knowing the reality of a situation.
Title: Re: Finally admitting I need support
Post by: strawberry on April 10, 2018, 06:14:24 AM
I actually have been considering it but if he found out, that would be the end, so I’m not sure if it’s worth it.  It comes back to the trust thing, I guess.
Title: Re: Finally admitting I need support
Post by: Treasur on April 10, 2018, 08:18:51 AM
Strawberry, no criticism or judgement but perhaps a challenge? You have a man who has to think hard about taking you to dinner as you ask...the issue is less about what he wants and much more about what feels healthy for you.

Looking objectively, you have plenty of good reasons to not trust him. His reaction to a PI isn't the important thing - but maybe it is more that you fear what your reaction will be or might need to be if you got new information. It is probably safe to assume that it is likely there is ow/s given the situation, but knowing is different isn't it? I wonder if hiring a PI is less the issue than considering quietly for yourself what you want, and what kind of new information or behaviour or changes in the current situation would change that significantly? Maybe your internal itch is less about a PI and more about your own boundaries and goals? Just a thought fwiw
Title: Re: Finally admitting I need support
Post by: strawberry on April 10, 2018, 04:19:36 PM
Thanks Treasur.  You are likely correct.  I'm just not entirely sure I want to know if there is an ow a this point.  I don't know if it makes a difference or not.  If there is an ow, it's not about me or our marriage, it's a symptom of his crisis.  Causing myself pain makes that harder to keep in perspective. 
Title: Re: Finally admitting I need support
Post by: sampsed on April 11, 2018, 02:51:55 AM
Being blunt here

If there is an ow dont you want to make sure you are physically protected?

This is your health that could be in jeopardy.
Title: Re: Finally admitting I need support
Post by: strawberry on April 11, 2018, 10:45:10 AM
I think the more realistic approach for me, is to cease being intimate for a while.  Hiring a PI feels like spying, which feels counter productive toward building a trusting relationship.

I feel like I have a little bit of a different perspective on MLC, because more than anything, I see depression in H actions and I’ve suffered depression.  I had real, chemically caused, can’t think rational, or behave normal depression.  For me it was a result of my Hashimotos and only after I finally got proper treatment and made some dramatic changes to my eating habits was I able to come out of it.  I remember though what it was like to live in a fog.  You don’t make rational decisions.  You have weird and unjustified paranoia.  And you have no choice in the matter.  You are ruled by you feelings and your feeling are lying to you.  Part of you knows something is off, but most of you thinks this is just reality.  It’s an illness.  I can’t hold someone responsible for vomiting when they have the flu.  Can I hold him responsible for making poor choices with depression when I know I did the same with very little control over it?
Title: Re: Finally admitting I need support
Post by: strawberry on April 11, 2018, 07:58:25 PM
Had the dinner date with the H tonight.  I actually looked up PI firms while riding the ferry over to the city, but listening to him talk, work is his mistress.  He doesn’t have even a second to spare for anything or anyone but his new job.   For the first time in his like, he has a job that isn’t just easy and natural for him.  He has to actually put in effort and it has him stressed out.  He also told me his IC is extremely blunt and he isn’t sure how he feels about that.  Overall the night was pleasant except for a few minutes when he asked me what I want for my birthday, which is several months away.  He knows very well that there is only one thing I want and I had a very hard time holdi the tears back in that moment.
Title: Re: Finally admitting I need support
Post by: strawberry on April 14, 2018, 11:30:43 AM
I think the absolutely pointless lying is what just stuns me the most.  Maybe I've finally found a boundary....  I'm debating a bit of no contact, but he's dog sitting for me this weekend and next so I feel like I also need to be nice.  I'm so tired of the alien in my H body.
Title: Re: Finally admitting I need support
Post by: strawberry on April 15, 2018, 04:41:01 PM
This weekend has been especially hard for me.  No real reason.  Caught H in another lie, which doesn't surprise me and yet still stuns me each time.  It's also been made really clear to me where I rank with my closest friends.  My friend who lives far away will take me call any time I call, listen to me monkey brain and give me her thoughts without judgement.  My friend who lives near me no longer has time for me.  In the more than 10 years that we've been friends, she has only dated one person and he lived in Australia.  She just wasn't really interested in being tied to another person.  But if she needed something, I (and/or H) would drop what I was doing to help, no questions asked.  She started dating someone in the last year and he recently moved in.  She even gave up a room in her house for his 6 year old daughter (she never wanted kids.  Doesn't dislike them, just didn't want to be a mom).  Now if I need help, she is generally unavailable.  I told her 3 weeks ago that I needed help changing some lightbulbs (13 foot ceiling with a ladder that requires 3 hands to set up and lock in place).  She finally stopped by to help today but only because she needed me to pick up her share from the co-op yesterday and I refused to drive a half hour out of my way to take it to her house and put it away for her.  And really, her boyfriend helped while she kept looking at her watch.

As I reading this vent, I'm realizing just how hurt by her I am at this point.  Ironically, her boyfriend is more friendly and supportive at this point.  It's ironic because he and I butted heads about 4 months into dating when he broke up with her because he though his daughter didn't like her.  His kid actually adores her despite (or maybe because) she is pretty strict about boundaries with the kid.  Turns out kids actually do like structure.  Who knew.  Anyway, H and I were friends for many years before dating. I really felt like I married my best friend.  Now I feel like I've been rejected by 2 of my 3 close friends.
Title: Re: Finally admitting I need support
Post by: strawberry on April 16, 2018, 09:28:43 PM
H is looking for a new apartment. He not only told me the name of the top two locations but even sent me a link to the webpage for his preferred location.  I guess he’s decided it’s okay for me to know where he lives now.  Progress?  Who knows.
Title: Re: Finally admitting I need support
Post by: Whyus on April 17, 2018, 12:34:53 AM
Hi Strawberry, just catching up with your thread.
it surely can be that your Hs Job ist the alienator here. He lives in the City, he has a lot of oportunities to meet somebody if he wanted so you will never really know. Ist the trust Thing again isnt it? Ist hard to trust a MLCer who constantly lies I know.
Please have no expectations but I personally think that your H sending you the links to his prefered Locations is HUGE!!! Just Keep on playing the Situation as you have been, your doing really well and those down days do happen to all of us but we know that we will come out of them stronger than before..
Ive always wanted chickens, im a Little jealous  8)
Title: Re: Finally admitting I need support
Post by: sada on April 19, 2018, 07:30:36 AM
Hi Strawberry, just letting you know I'm gonna read up on your thread today. So far what I've read brings back so many memories.  ttyl...
Title: Re: Finally admitting I need support
Post by: sada on April 25, 2018, 08:33:40 AM
Hi Strawberry,
Reading through your posts reminded me so much about my own marriage.

There is a part of me that worries there is an OW.
I get the worry & it’s a valid concern.

Posted by Serenity on March 15, 2018, 12:07:59 AM
I don’t want to alarm you but there’s usually another woman lurking in the wings.
Exactly right. There is nothing to be done if there is ow & sometimes it seems that for many mclers it is a part of the journey that they must go through. Just keep in mind that the ow is another symptom of mlc. If there isn’t one now, there might be one later & if that happens there is nothing special about her. It’s his mlc & his lies & his presenting himself as someone he’s not that get their affairs going. My h left for ow & set her up in a brand new apartment with brand new furniture throughout & signed a year's lease. After he came back to me he had another short-lived affair with ow2 within that year. Something that I am glad to have never monkey-brained about is the ow. I never blamed the ow’s. In my case at least, this betrayal fit squarely on my h’s shoulders.  Acknowledging this truth helped me to heal, because clearly, it was my h who was the common denominator. Both ow were single, 20+ years younger. He was the middle-aged married man out in these streets pursuing young, single, women;  both damsels in major distress. Try not to give this potential situation too much thought.

About 3 weeks after he moved out, I asked if we could "date" and still get together for sex.
I feel that you should trust your own instinct on the issue of ml. This is where each couple have their singular dynamic, history & circumstance & no one should feel they can say yes or no, except you.

Caught H in another lie, which doesn't surprise me and yet still stuns me each time.
You’re right to not be surprised. I feel that your h will come back to you & when he does he won’t remember half the lies he told you. It’s one of the hard roads to reconciliation --having to deal with the fact of them not owning up to stuff because they can’t remember all the lies they've told.

My friend who lives near me no longer has time for me.
This happened with my close friend also. She even blocked me on her phone for a while. What I had to accept is that not everyone has the ability to be a true friend & even friends have motives that are not always honorable. I would never have done that to her. What was telling was that she only blocked me after I told her about how my h was sounding like he wanted to come home. Fast-forward 3.5 years & 99% of the time when we speak it’s because she reaches out to me, & needs me for something. And every time I listen & I’m there for her.

Now I feel like I've been rejected by 2 of my 3 close friends.
My advice is to just stay true to yourself & don’t let anyone reduce the greatness in you: not your h & not your friend. Fake it till you make it, hold your head up. Come here & journal or pm, or rant when you’re bursting inside with needing to vent.

One of my favorite Maya Angelou quotes
You see, we may encounter many defeats, but we must not be defeated. It may even be necessary to encounter the defeat, so that we can know who we are. So that we can see, oh, that happened, and I rose. I did get knocked down flat in front of the whole world, and I rose. I didn't run away - I rose right where I'd been knocked down. And then that's how you get to know yourself. You say, hmm, I can get up! I have enough of life in me to make somebody jealous enough to want to knock me down. I have so much courage in me that I have the effrontery, the incredible gall to stand up. That's it. That's how you get to know who you are.

H is looking for a new apartment. He not only told me the name of the top two locations but even sent me a link to the webpage for his preferred location.  I guess he’s decided it’s okay for me to know where he lives now.  Progress?  Who knows.

Progress for sure, but remember to have no expectations, which is easier said than done. Don’t try to figure him out or 2nd guess him or his motives. What you've already seen is that he doesn’t know wth he is doing. If I know nothing else about all this I know that mlc is real. I know that the fog is real. So while we’re spinning around in circles, clutching our pearls & holding on for dear life trying to understand all this, they have already forgotten what they said or did to cause us to spin in the first place.

Strawberry, have you heard about the 180?  It’s sort of a guide. Not everything will apply to you but I feel there is priceless advice there.

1. Do not pursue, reason, chase, beg, plead or implore.
2. No frequent phone calls.
3. Do not point out good points in marriage.
4. Do not follow him/her around the house.
5. Do not encourage talk about the future.
6. Do not ask for help from family members.
7. Do not ask for reassurances.
8. Do not buy gifts.
9. Do not schedule dates together.
10. Do not spy on spouse.
11. Do not say "I Love You".
12. Act as if you are moving on with your life.
13. Be cheerful, strong, outgoing and attractive.
14. Don't sit around waiting on your spouse - get busy, do things, go to church, go out with friends, etc.
15. When home with your spouse, (if you usually start the conversation) be scarce or short on words.
16. If you are in the habit of asking your
spouse her whereabouts, ASK NOTHING.
17. You need to make your partner think that
you have had an awakening and, as far as you
are concerned, you are going to move on with
your life, with or without your spouse.
18. Do not be nasty, angry or even cold - just
pull back and wait to see if spouse notices and,
more important, realize what s/he will be missing
19. No matter what you are feeling TODAY, only
show your spouse happiness and contentment.
Show him/her someone s/he would want to be around.
20. All questions about marriage should be put on
hold, until your spouse wants to talk about it
(which may be a while).
21. Never lose your cool.
22. Don't be overly enthusiastic.
23. Do not argue about how s/he feels
(it only makes their feelings stronger).
24. Be patient
25. Listen carefully to what your spouse is
really saying to you.
26. Learn to back off, shut up and walk away
when you want to speak out.
27. Take care of yourself
(exercise, sleep, laugh & focus on all the
other parts of your life that are not in turmoil).
28. Be strong and confident and learn to speak softly.
29. Know that if you can do 180, your smallest
CONSISTENT actions will be noticed much more
than any words you can say or write.
30. Do not be openly desperate or needy even when
you are hurting more than ever and are desperate and needy.
31. Do not focus on yourself when communicating with your spouse.
32. Do not believe any of what you hear and less than 50% of what you see.
Your spouse will speak in absolute negatives because she is hurting and scared.
33. Do not give up no matter how dark it is or how bad you feel.
34. Do not backslide from your hard earned changes. Remain consistent! It is the consistency of action and attitude that delivers the message.
When expressing your dissatisfaction with the actions of the wayward party, never be judgmental, critical or express moral outrage. Always explain that your dissatisfaction is due to the pain that the acts being committed are causing you as a person. This is the kind of behavior that will cause you to be a much more attractive and mysterious individual. Further it SHOWS that you are NOT afraid to move on with your life. Still more important, it will burst their positive little bubble; the one in which they believe that they can always come back to you in case things don't work out with the OM/OW."

Michele Weiner-Davis

Title: Re: Finally admitting I need support
Post by: Dumbfounded on April 25, 2018, 10:10:13 AM
Love the Maya Angelou quote. So very true. 
Title: Re: Finally admitting I need support
Post by: shopgirl on April 27, 2018, 01:00:48 PM
following along. :)
Title: Re: Finally admitting I need support
Post by: LearningIamOk on May 01, 2018, 05:43:57 PM
The Maya Angelou quote spoke volumes to me. Especially the part about someone being jealous enough of me to want to knock me down. xH's OW threatened to do exactly that to me if I caused any trouble, she said she would knock me on my @$$ to my son, who was 30 yrs. old at the time.

I never considered that she could be that jealous of me.
Title: Re: Finally admitting I need support
Post by: strawberry on May 03, 2018, 10:24:22 PM
I took a vacation and missed some replies.  The trip was generally a good time visiting family for a week and the weekend with my other BFF.  I did my best to try not thinking about h. I even managed to go 3 days without texting him.  He broke our informal no contact with an early morning shirtless photo.  He’s sent me 2 more since them.  I have sent no photos back....well, none of me.  I think I sent some food porn from dinner one night.

Thank you Sada and Whyus, for your advice and thoughts.  The lies he tells me are stupid and pointless and I’m sure he forgets immediately that he’s told them.  It’s almost like a compulsion.  I am getting better about observing and collecting data but making no judgements or developing expectations based on what I see.

He is definitely moving to a new apartment and he texted me to tell me he added a renters insurance policy to our home and car policies and I assume he knows that gives me his exact address.  I’m not sure why he added it to our joint policy though.  Doesn’t seem like the logical thing to do if you are trying to make your life secret and private.  But I also realized he has set up a new bank account somewhere.  While we had a joint account, we also each had a separate individual account tied to it.  As I was the keeper of the finances (I work in the field so it made sense) I had the passwords to all the accounts.  He hasn’t changed his password and his account and his salary is still direct deposited to the same account but aside from the maintenance he transfers to the joint account the only activity I see now are bulk transfers to some unknown account.  This seems dumb to me.  Change the password if he’s worried about me seeing some thing.  Just one more wonky MLC thing.

My local friend runs hot and cold.  I don’t even know if she realizes that she shuts me out when I need her but has no hesitation if she needs me.  Like with h, I’m working on not taking it personally.

I have read the 180 and I’m probably 90% there. 

That is a great quote.  I’m probably going to re-read it frequently over the next few weeks.

I am happy to report that I am kicking some serious butt on the country girl living thing.  I went to turn my compost pile and I found that the center was super hot (a very good thing that I had never managed before).  Several of my friends and family members received photos of decomposing lawn debris in celebration.  I’ve mastered all my gas powered lawn tools except the chainsaw, which still scares me, and I now have a large bonfire pile in the works.  The garden isn’t going as well, but I had low expectations.  I used the old seeds I’ve collected from past years instead of buying new ones and didn’t expect great germination rates. Sadly, 2 of my chickens have disappeared.  Likely coyotes as they seem to a bit bolder this year according to all my neighbors.  But this means I can get new chicks next month after I get back from my work trip, and chicks are fun.
Title: Re: Finally admitting I need support
Post by: strawberry on May 05, 2018, 12:26:34 PM
It's been an emotional week again for me but for a change, it's unrelated to H.

On the H front, he continues to be chatty.  Sometimes he contacts me for necessary things and other times for nothing important.  He continues to send the occasional shirtless photo thought I have sent no photos of myself to him.  He's acting a lot like we are just really good friends....a bit like before we were dating.  This morning I woke up to a text that he had listed me as an emergency contact for his new apartment and was that okay.  He assumes so but thought it was polite to ask.  I laughed and said I had been putting him as my emergency contract on all my race applications so I guess I was impolite for not asking.  He then told me that he guesses he should give me his address if I'm his EC and later told me he would send me pictures of his new furniture (he took nothing from the house even though I now live alone in a 5 bedroom house with more furniture than I could possibly need).  So in the space of 3 months, we've gone from "you don't need to know where I live, it's none of your business to here is my address and some pictures of my new place"  I still don't know what it means and I'm not even going to try speculating.  I'm sure that will just lead to disappointment.

The rest of my week was consumed with the news that an old friend has a month to live and discovering the complete sh!tstorm he dropped me in the middle of.  My friend M is a man I met in the Navy.  We served together on shore duty.  Our crew was made up of very young new sailors (18-19 year olds) and older men who were about to retire (40-45 years old) and me and M, who were in our late 20s with some time at sea under our belts.  So naturally, we struck up a friendship since we didn't really identify with anyone else.  I was single at the time and he was married with 2 little girls.  Being a single woman in the navy, and in particular the field I was in that had only let women in about 5 years earlier, I was extremely careful to befriend the wives whenever possible to ensure them I was not a threat.  His wife, K, and I hit it off great and I became a frequent babysitter, favorite aunty to their girls.  M was an oddball and I know now had a lot of demons and their marriage was never good.  K eventually left him for the man she had been dating previously (also navy) and took her two girls with her.  K's new husband took orders first to Japan and then to guam.  They have spent the last 10 years overseas and M has seen his daughters very infrequently.  I think maybe a half dozen times in the last decade.  K disappeared off the face of the earth to me until a couple years ago when she joined facebook and reached out to me timidly.  I had to assure her that I did not hate her and we were still on good terms as long as no one expected me to take sides. While their marriage ended in an ugly way, in my view, they were both a fault and it was not a MLC adulterous affair or anything I should judge either one over.  M eventually remarried a girl named S and I adore S as well.  I got out of the Navy and stayed in my house near the base.  M&S took orders to various places including where I was living and we would all reconnect as we could.  Eventually, the distance resulted in the type of friendship where you talk once or twice a year, but it's like no real time has passed.

The last time before this week that I'd heard from M was a rather strange message about his family history tracing back to pagans in ireland and his family being charged with hunting the Fae.  I laughed it off because he was they type to have weird stories for attention.  That was about a year ago.

This week, I got a very brief message that simply said he was sorry to tell me this way but he's dying.  Given his dramatic flare, I responded with a "oh, really.  Do tell."  He said kidney failure and he would die in 23 days.  That seemed an oddly specific detail and at 43 I didn't see how that was a definitely fatal diagnosis at this point.   I spoke to him on the phone that evening and he was very out of it.  He kept changing what was wrong with him and slurring his words.  I asked where S was and he said she left him 9 months prior, but that his oldest daughter, C, would be coming to see him.

I reached out to K to find out if C was indeed coming out and she said they were working on it but it was going to be a financial hardship as C is an adult legally and so the Navy doesn't recognize her as a dependent.  However she said C had just gotten off the phone with a nurse and M was in comfort care and had maybe a month to live.  She was also hesitant to send her daughter to the US where she would be alone with her dying father, no drivers license, and no means of really supporting herself.

I then decided to reach out to S as I figured she might want a friend and she might be willing to help C which would ease K's mind.  Turns out he had ceased communication with him 3 months earlier and she had no idea what was going on.  We spoke on the phone and I had the unfortunate job of telling her what I knew.  She was devastated.  They were not divorced as M had said (hadn't even filed).  Both S & C were worried that M would die alone and were fretting over the state of his affairs.  C actually believed this to be her sole responsibility because she thought M & S divorced as well.

For the last decade or so I've tried really REALLY hard to not interject myself or my opinions were not asked, but in this case I decided to try to play family healer.  S & C have had no independent communication and I figured that needed to change.  I threw all 3 woman in a chat with myself and said, hey, you should all finally meet.  C initially bristled because like most 20 year olds, she doesn't think she needs help from anyone.  His youngest daughter is so angry with him that she won't even consider going.

C gave us the name of the hospital he was in and S immediately went to see him.  All she would say that night was it was bad and she needed some time.  The next day however, she contacted me and asked if I knew a girl named E.  I said no and she proceeded to tell me that for the last year her husband has had a 27 year old girlfriend who is driving his car and has medical POA and is making plans for his end of life as well as continuously talking about his daughters like they are her BFFs.  A quick check with C verifies that she has no idea who E is either and the girl is delusional.  That evening M agreed to sign a new POA giving S control over medical decision.  C is coming out but has asked Sarah to take her in as she does not want to stay at her father's place with him (if he goes for home hospice, which is debatable at this time).

S is a wreck, and I'm talking to her several times a day trying to be supportive.  M is acting like they were never separated now except E is still in the room, and no doubt hurt by this change in circumstances (though my level of sympathy for her is extremely low), which is causing S more stress because she doesn't know if she should tolerate the girl or send her away.  I really don't know what to tell her on this.

The whole thing is just emotional charged.  I'm mad at M for needlessly throwing his life away. I pity him because early onset dementia runs in his family and after talking with everyone, it does appear that he's been displaying signs for more than a year and no one put the pieces together.   Looking back now I also realize that he was a high functioning alcoholic back when we were in the Navy together and none of us really identified it then either.  So many signs were missed and a life has been wasted and several others significantly impacted.  I know there is nothing to be done, but it's hard not to look back and wonder if there were things any of us in his life could have done to steer him down a better path.  I briefly wondered if there were some MLC elements but I think this case leans far more toward more traditional mental illness combined with alcoholism.

My only hope now is that S can build a relationship with the step daughters she barely knows but knows so well (M was always talking about them to the point that his friends all felt they knew the girls personally).  S suffered a miscarriage and the death of a premie baby during their marriage.  She always wanted to be a mother but she has an extreme number of food allergies and was always fairly underweight so I think it was always going to be difficult for her to carry to term.

Tonight I have a some family coming to visit to celebrate Cinco de Mayo and play board games.  It will be a welcome distraction.
Title: Re: Finally admitting I need support
Post by: Nevertoomuch85 on May 05, 2018, 04:00:51 PM
Hi Strawberry. I'm following your story. I understand the struggle being an introvert. I only have two friends myself. I bet, like me, you are very loyal. Stay strong. My Irish is a workaholic too. I think it's a very good sign the way your H stays in contact with you. I will keep following. Lots of luck.
Title: Re: Finally admitting I need support
Post by: strawberry on May 09, 2018, 04:09:27 PM
I am extremely loyal to the few friends I have.  Most I consider family at this point, so I probably take it more seriously than I should when they aren’t as supportive as I want.

H continues to be extremely chatty via text....I mean like all day long, and most of it I still just chit chat.  I get a “Good Morning.  How did you sleep?” text promptly at 7:30 each morning.  I don’t know why but it’s like moving to his new apartment flipped a switch in him.  It’s not a sign that he’s looking to come home.  I just don’t get it.  I don’t know if he went with a 6 or a 11 month lease (and I’m not asking), but I did tell him he should go with the longer one.  Maybe knowing that I accept he needs the separation has removed some pressure he feels......or maybe he thinks we are just going to go back to being good friends like before we were married.  I don’t think that is a possible option for me though.  I do think D would be a hard stop for me.  I know it’s pointless trying to understand the MLC mind but, when he was a hyper-logical person before the crisis, the illogical behavior is even harder to deal with.  In the mean time, I’m somewhat enjoying the friendliness, while trying not to get used to it.  I know it could stop just as suddenly as it started.

Title: Re: Finally admitting I need support
Post by: strawberry on May 15, 2018, 06:30:13 PM
The chattiness continues.  All day long.  It's nothing deep.  Just two friends chatting.....but it's becoming painful for me because I just don't know why he's changed and I'm afraid I am going to start expecting the companionship to continue and he will yank it away from me at some point.....it's making it hard to detach, though I'm doing my best to treat my roll as more of an observer and not a participant.  I don't ask personal questions.  I try not to be "nosey" or apply any pressure.  On Friday, I start 10 days of travel for work and he's going to be housesitting on the weekends with a friend here on the weekdays.  Normally, he takes the dogs home with him and does not stay in my house (the family home) but this time he wants to stay here.  First he told me it was because he wanted to hike on this side of the water, but now he's asking if I want anything done around the house.  I have to leave at 4am on Friday morning and normally, he'd just pick them u Thursday night or come over on Friday after work but now he's concerned that the dogs will be alone too long.  Okay, so take a half day and come over earlier on Friday I said.  He wants to come over on Thursday night instead and work from home.  I'm curious to know where he plans to sleep Thursday night.  I'm making up the guest room for him.  We have continued to be intimate but I'm not sure I'd be okay with him sleeping in my bed right now.

I feel like when I get back something will need to change.  When I was seeing an IC, the only thing that I found helpful was that she told me I didn't need to decide what to do right away or put a timeline on anything except she said I needed to pick a date to re-evaluate what I want.  I picked my birthday which is the week after I get back.  I still have no idea what to do or what I want.  I know what I don't want.  I don't want to be his best friend ex-wife who he expects to watch him move on.  I don't have the capacity for that type of grace.

I've been reading The Happiness Curve by Jonathan Rauch.  I didn't really expect to see much new info in it as I've already read a lot about mid-live transition/crisis/malaise, but i heard the author talk on a podcast and liked him.  I'm about halfway through and so far two items have stuck out to me.  The first is that the U curve (of happiness/life satisfaction) is not only universal across all nations properly surveyed, but it's also observable in ape and chimp colonies suggesting that there is a biological component and not just an environmental issue.  The other thing is he keeps commenting on his case study examples as how their bad marriage contributed....well, I keep wondering how many had bad marriages and how many actually had good or great marriages but in the fog of mid-life whatever have re-written history to help themselves cope with things they've done.  or maybe their marriages went bad and their spouse left them because of their mid-live crisis.  It's a decent book so far though and I appreciate anything that brings the issue into common discussion, which the author freely admits is his goal.  Lets bring the topic out of the "closet" and make it less of a punchline because making light of a very serious issue serves no one.  The psychological community has done no one any favors by saying it doesn't exist just because it doesn't look identical in everyone....though after reading here, it does look remarkably similar across the board.
Title: Re: Finally admitting I need support
Post by: baf on May 15, 2018, 06:33:45 PM
5 chickens.

Strawberry, I was having a not so great night...pity party on the couch until I read that you have 5 chickens...that made me laugh and now I feel a bit better.  Thank you!
Title: Re: Finally admitting I need support
Post by: strawberry on May 15, 2018, 07:46:40 PM
I'm down to 3 chickens.  2 just disappeared a couple weeks ago.  I don't let them free range as much which means they yell at me quite a lot.  I've been spending a couple hours sitting on a blanket out in the yard each night this week so the dogs can run and the chickens can get a bit of exploring done.  They are very entertaining to watch.  They look like little dinosaurs running across my yard.
Title: Re: Finally admitting I need support
Post by: LearningIamOk on May 19, 2018, 09:53:56 AM
Strawberry, I like that your IC suggested revisiting what you want after a time. I would like to say that, even tho' you have decided on a deadline, you don't have to adhere to it if you aren't ready. You are free to move that deadline to another time in the future.

Take all the time you need to do what's best for YOU. We all deal with this differently. There is no recipe for success, sadly.

Keep working on yourself. You will feel it in your gut when it's time to make a move or decision. Until then, all you need to do is heal.
Title: Re: Finally admitting I need support
Post by: Nevertoomuch85 on May 19, 2018, 11:05:37 AM
I just want to touch on something you mentioned. Irish and I had a great relationship. 13 years of a very derps connection. I think we argued twice in the last year. We even held hands when we slept. In a switch of a button it was over. It's so hard to get a grip on. I just take it one day at a time. I also think the way your H texts you all of the time, that he has a derps connection with you as well. I hope he comes thru this soon. Best of luck.
Title: Re: Finally admitting I need support
Post by: forthetrees on May 19, 2018, 04:28:19 PM
If you´re aiming to use the chainsaw, take it to a pro for sharpening and a tune up and ask that person for a mini lesson. DO watch some youtube videos on safety and check out the US Forest Service safety info. You can get seriously injured in a flash. If you don´t know how to adjust the chain, don´t even attempt to use it.