Author Topic: Mirror-Work Newbies, Read This!  (Read 42584 times)

Offline RollercoasteriderTopic starter

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Mirror-Work Newbies, Read This!
« on: May 15, 2011, 01:07:37 PM »
I am going to streamline this thread to add some of the important information for newbies—both technical as well as advice. I don’t want this thread to get bogged down with posts; I’d rather have it point to resources. So if you think you have something that is important to add (such as a link to a resource or post), send me a Personal Message and I will consider it. But consider that many additional important bits of information can be provided through Topic Threads without being referenced here.

Here is a list of the contents (posts) of this thread. This may change.
  • Survival Instructions for Newbies
    The newbie advice basics such as what to read, what to do and what not to do…
  • Resources
  • Advice for Advising
    This is really about how to approach with gentleness.
  • The Mentoring Program
    This links to the thread about the program in the Information Board and copies some of the posts.
    I am also including a copy of the Personal Message I send to each person when I assign them a mentor.
  • The Mission Statement
    This is also posted at the Information Board in its own thread.
  • Board Welcome
    I send all new people who register a welcome message. This is a copy of that message with the Display Name guidelines included.
    It points to some of the posts above and to the Technical stuff in the Information Board.
  • Charging Neutral
    A post by Kikki—ShantillyLace originally put it here, but since I’m cleaning this thread I needed to reorder the posts.
« Last Edit: April 07, 2013, 08:46:17 AM by Rollercoasterider »

Offline RollercoasteriderTopic starter

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Survival Instructions for Newbies
« Reply #1 on: March 11, 2012, 04:14:17 PM »
Survival Instructions for Newbies
This post is about instructions rather than information. In depth information about some of the instructions can be found throughout the articles. I have listed some starting resources at the end of this post.

    Self Care
    • Get enough sleep. Not sleeping? Try meditating to either help you get to sleep or to give you some rest.
    • Eat well. You may already be losing weight rapidly. Eat!
    • Breathe. I know, you think this is something your body does without your reminding it. But in your present panic and anxiety mode, your breaths are probably too shallow. Breathe slowly and deeply.
    • Give your MLCer space and take your own space for solitude.
      • Take a hot bath, go for a walk
    • Get A Life (GAL) away from home. Socialize and spread your wings.
      • Go to the Gym
      • Take a class
      • Go out with friends
      Physical & Mental Health
      • Get Support by talking to a pro-marriage counselor or minister
      • Do you need to see your physician? Antidepressants are beneficial for some people.
      • Alternative Care: Hypnotherapy

      MLCer Communication
      What to AvoidWhat to Do
      Do not share this website.Read about MLC
      (A few starting resources are listed below)
      Do not tell him he is in a midlife crisis.
      (MLCers do not believe they are in MLC)
      No Beg-n-PleadingDetach
      No crying in your MLCer’s presence
      No Pressure
      No Questions
      (Questions are pressure)
      No discussing the affair
      No relationship discussions
      Do not bring up divorce
      Do not defendListen.
      (Some of your MLCer’s complaints are valid.)
      Do not blame or accuseValidate
      (I’m sorry you feel that way.)
      Do not allow your MLCer to engage you into an argument. Walk-away, hang up, delete…
      Protect your finances
      (You may need to remove yourself or your MLCer from various credit card accounts.)
      « Last Edit: November 03, 2012, 03:53:39 PM by Rollercoasterider »

      Offline RollercoasteriderTopic starter

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      Resources
      « Reply #2 on: March 11, 2012, 04:18:01 PM »
      Resources
      Articles
      BE SURE TO READ THESE TWO LINKS
      All articles on the main site can be found quickly by going to the
      Article List tab from the menu-header on the main site.
      That list only has articles for the main site, not the Blog.
      A list of all blog posts can be found in the Blog Articles. The link to this is at the top of the Articles List.
      The articles on the Main Site are divided into four Resource sections.

      • Standing
        This is a mini section introducing the concept of Standing
      • MLC & Infidelity
        Informational articles about Midlife Crisis & Infidelity
      • Mirror-Work
        Inspirational and instructional articles encouraging Mirror-Work
      • Standing Actions
        Instructional articles about interacting with your MLCer

      Unfortunately the organization of the Archives at the blog are automated by the Wordpress system and I have not figured out how to set up a system that will organize them in a better way (like by categories, months, years…), so they are simply chronological. I’ve tried or researched various site map plugins, but nothing has worked—it has to organize well and be compatible with the Wordpress template design, version and other plugins and no luck so far. :(

        The Hero’s Spouse Main Site Articles

        Love AnyWay Blog Posts
        FAQ and Article Guide
        This is sort of like an FAQ page, but not quite. I built the questions based on google searches that point to The Hero's Spouse and below the questions I have listed various articles on the main site and blog and occasionally the forum where answers may be found.

        Important Forum Threads
        A view into MLC from a MLCer
        A view into MLC from a MLCer Part II

        I think this should be required reading! It is an excellent hindsight explanation from a former MLCer. He does not defend or deny his actions and he has since done his Mirror-Work and was thus able to explain his actions and motives in a way that is not understood by someone in the midst of their own midlife crisis.
        The first link is to the entire thread, post #1 is Part I. The second link is to Part II which is post #89.

        Books
        You can find many more external resources at my Links & Books page. But to avoid overwhelming you, here are the places to start.
          Books
          • Men in Midlife Crisis By Jim Conway
          • This Is Not The Story You Think it Is By Laura Munson
          • Divorcebusting By Michele Weiner Davis
          • I Don’t Want to Talk About It By Terrence Real
          • Codependent No More By Melody Beattie
          « Last Edit: September 01, 2014, 02:15:55 PM by Rollercoasterider »

          Offline RollercoasteriderTopic starter

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          Advice for Advising
          « Reply #3 on: March 11, 2012, 04:18:54 PM »
          Advice for Advising

          Although I prefer to focus on the positives—what to do—rather than the negatives of what not to do, sometimes those negatives need to be addressed directly. So if you are advising other Standers or if you are the friend or family member of a Stander, from the Stander’s point of view here are some things that we don’t like to hear and that are not beneficial–at least not if we are Standing. Though it is true that we sometimes need to be asked the tough questions, these are not appropriate, though I will address exceptions.

          The Don’ts
          • He doesn’t deserve you.
            I wanted to be married to Sweetheart and though not highly insulting, this comment was directed negatively at the man I love and loved.
            Though true, his actions were not deserving, love–the agapé type, not eros–is not something we earn.
          • You deserve better.
            This is especially terrible to say when the implication is that the person should get a divorce. Divorce is not better and they don’t deserve it.
          • Since you want him back, you don’t respect your Self.
            This is really saying I can’t respect you for wanting your spouse back. Self-respect is more important than external respect from others.
          • Since your spouse is in a sexual relationship with someone else it proves there was something wrong in your marriage.
            This implies it is the betrayed spouse’s fault.
            Infidelity has many causes and reasons and many have only to do with the betrayer and not their spouse. No spouse is perfect, but infidelity is often evidence of something wrong with the betrayer, not with either the marriage or the betrayed.
          • Your spouse is clearly in-love with this new person, so reconciliation is hopeless.
            Men and women caught in the addictive cycle of in-fatuation believe these things, but they cycle and those are not solid feelings; some cycle constantly.
          • Obviously there was something wrong with your marriage; people don’t cheat unless there are serious problems.
            Not only is this ignorant, it unintentionally assigns a level of blame on the betrayed spouse for their partner’s choosing to step outside the marriage. Infidelity has many causes and reasons and many have only to do with the betrayer and not their spouse.
          • Don’t insult their spouse.
            Yes, that person is committing adultery, but your friend loves that person. Your friend chose to marry and create a life with that person. When you insult their spouse you are indirectly insulting your friend.
            It’s not your job to love their spouse or understand why they love that person; just be their friend.[color]
          Exceptions & Gray Areas
          In my time coaching on forums I have only seen 2 situations where I was familiar enough and felt that divorce would be better. In both situations the Standing spouse (unknowingly) described their spouse’s as Narcissists. MLCers often display a higher than typical level of Narcissistic attributes during the crisis, but the histories described in each situation implied long-standing emotional and verbal abuse that sounded like Narcissism. I’m not a Psychotherapist and I did not meet the MLCers, so my judgment was based only on the words from the Standers and I did not tell either of them they should not Stand; that was and remains their decision.
          What if this is a marriage with a long-standing history of domestic violence? Often such victims do not think they deserve better and to hear that they deserve better can help them to believe it. There is also a gray area. I have stated that I am more concerned for the Stander—the person to whom I am giving direct advice—than their spouse. Others have said the same thing. Some say it more boldly; I don’t care about him; I care about you. So how do you approach these exceptions and gray areas while maintaining compassion for the person you are trying to help? How do you ask and say these tough things without scaring away the wounded bird?
          Wrap them in validations, exceptions and statements of concern for the individual you are addressing and use a soft tone. When I suggest scripts I may overwrap them because my tone isnot coming through the text, sometimes the words I add may be implied with your tone. What you want to avoid is sounding harsh, sarcastic, or though there is a correct answer to your question. These statements are not meant to be facts but ideas to stimulate thinking and thus introduce them as such.

          Instead of I don’t care about your MLCer, I care about you…
          I know you love your husband and so when I say this I am not trying to insult him and I’m not trying to imply I feel he is worthless. But right now I care about you, not him. That doesn’t mean I’m not concerned for him. But he’s out there—away from my direct influence. I can only see him through you. But I can see more directly that you are hurting and reaching out and I have been where you are now.

          Instead of you deserve better.
          I’m concerned about you. I know things have recently become worse, but from what you have said [or if you are a personal friend with history: I’ve been watching you two for a long time and] this situation is not new. There are new pieces, but the mistreatment is long-standing. You deserve better and I don’t know of you are aware of that. You’ve been accepting this abuse for so long that it seems like it’s become acceptable or normal. It’s not. It’s dangerous.

          Instead of are you sure you want to Stand?
          I’m not trying to imply whether you should or shouldn’t by asking this, but it’s still important to ask because this is going to be part of your mirror-work. Are you sure you want to Stand? Maybe you are not ready to ask that yet, but someday you need to look in the mirror and ask the person looking back if this is still what they want. So I’m not asking you because I want to know or because I think there is a right answer, I’m recommending that when the time is right that you ask yourself.


          Soften the Approach
          People have know-it-all radar. You don’t know there situations, you only know how they seem to you—which may be how the situation also seems to other detached and external observers. But to avoid sounding as though you know things with certainty and the other person is some poor misguided idiot, add maybe-language that leaves room for error or wrap the difficult portion in I-statements that clarify them as only your opinion or point of view, thus acknowleding you could be wrong.
          • It seems like…
          • Maybe it could be…
          • I don’t know, but…
          • Perhaps…
          • Consider…
          • Do you think that maybe…
          • To others it looks…
          • I don’t mean to…but…
          • I’m sorry but…
          • Sometimes I just don’t think he…[color]
          I know some of you may want to be blunt. Great, but that is not always going to enable the wounded bird to trust you. Earn trust first. Study the person you are addressing—read their story threads—so you can determine if they are a person who responds better to bluntness versus a softer approach.

          Things to Recommend and Do
          There are a few things that are so important that we would not be doing our jobs if we did not introduce the concepts. Encouraging the actions that go with the concepts can be gradual, but the concepts need to be brought up even if they are hard to hear and if the person is not ready for the actions. I’ve addressed what to do for the New Stander in greater detail in the Instructions for Newbies; these are what to advise as an adviser.

          Detachment
          It is never too early to begin the gradual process of Detaching. But that it is a gradual process is key and thus we need to understand it is a slow process that has ups and downs and each person moves at their own rate. Encourage without bombarding and without chastising for failure.

          GALing (Getting A Life)
          This is not as important for immediate introduction as Detachment, but it can be introduced immediately; but many are not ready to actively GAL and GAL is different for each person. Socializing outside of the home with friends like I mention above is not a requirement. Being a hermit where you never leave the house is not healthy and some GAL activities should eventually be outside of your home, but GAL is about picking up your life rather than focusing on the roles you have been living. Yes, you are someone’s parent, spouse, child… but you are also someone. GAL is about being you not someone else’s someone.

          Thought Stopping
          I know it is not easy and as with Detachment and GALing it is something to learn and apply gradually. But stopping the negative thought processes can help a person in the earliest moments after Bomb Drop, so it is important to introduce it early even when the person doesn’t believe it is possible because they won’t get out of bed and all they want to do is figure out how to fix things and get their spouse back at any cost.

          Redirecting & Reprogamming Thoughts and Beliefs
          The Meditation Challenge

          These are the techniques I began using within days after Bomb Drop. They are great for daily life and so may be introduced and continued at all stages. Like everything else, the use of these is not to be insisted, but because they can have an affect when used, it is important to introduce them early.

          Reassure & Redirect
          Left Behind Spouses often think the situation is their fault; if only they had done or had not done something, if only they had been a better spouse, if only BLAH BLAH BLAH. Life is filled with if only’s. Gently reassure them and continue to reassure with gentless rather than insistence; it takes a long time to believe.
          Go at a pace that is acceptable to the person you are advising. I know that you think they should maybe speed things along and be better by now. You are probably right, but redirect in a manner they will accept. Push gently, otherwise they may stop accepting your help. Self-Focus is the most important part of each person’s journey, but in the beginning they just don’t care and will shut you out when you do not take their concerns into consideration. They want to know about MLC and how to fix it, save their marriage and why this is happening. It does not matter if you think those things are not important; people will cling to those concerns until they get some answers and validation for having the concerns.

          Promote the Unconditionals
          Validate anger, but discourage demonization. Bad-mouthing with negative names and labels may release some negativity in the moment because it may help a person feel more worthy, but in the long-term it is unhealthy because the increase in Self-Worth is an invalid inflation since it is based on being at the expense of someone else rather than based within an internal foundation. Most of you get the basics of the Unconditionals, but do not associate name-calling with the high-level of negativity it creates. I know he’s acting the part of a$$hole right now, but that is his present behaviour, not his character.
          Insulting one person makes it easier to insult others and is a barrier to empathy. This is true for all players. You do not have to like alienators, but hating them is not going to help. Some of your friends have been or will someday be alienators; some of you have been alienators. Alienators are no less worthy of the Unconditionals than are the betrayed.


          Different Situations
          What about relationships that are relatively new—5 years or less and/or where the couple is not married or when the one or both partners are younger than typical MLC age. Cohabitation in a long-term relationship feels like marriage, but if the relationship started only a few years ago, what are the differences? What about shorter-term relationships without children?
          My mind automatically wonders if this relationship began with the person already in MLC—early stages before it was detectable?
          If there are no children, does the person want to risk Standing and losing child-bearing years?
          Without a years-long investment is this person certain they want to continue investing?
          These are the same questions and comments made about deserving, Self-Respect, and are you sure? They may feel different when the questioner comes from a long-term relationship. But are they? Is one relationship more valid or worth more because the couple have been together for 20 years rather than 5 or because the couple have children who will be affected and damaged or because the law recongizes the union?
          The questions are still valid. But again, wrap them in validations, exceptions and statements of concern for the individual you are addressing and use a soft tone.

          Instead of you are young, are you sure you want this relationship?
          You need to think about what you want. What do you want out of a relationship and what do you want for your life. I don’t know the answers and I’m not implying them by my questions, but I think you need to think about the tough stuff. Is this person someone who will partner with you in the life you want or are the sacrifices too great? Are you risking your youth and possibly child-bearing years while you Stand? I believe in Standing, I did it and I took the risk, but I had to accept the risk.

          Instead of…
          You don’t have a lot of years invested, are you sure you want this relationship?
          Do you really know this person? She may have been in MLC when you met?

          I’m not trying to challenge your judgment. Your partner may be as wonderful as she seemed in the early days. And yet maybe, just maybe that was part of in-fatuation. I know we are a bunch of Standers and so everyone thinks we are just supposed to support Standing and permanent relationships, but we also have to know when a relationship never really was permanent; it was not what we thought. I’m not saying she manipulated and lied by pretending to be something she isn’t. I’m saying that we are different; we become different in the early years of new relationships. We become the person we have always wanted to be. But the person we were before is who we are and we need to integrate that person into the US if we are to be permanent. So ask yourself if yourt partner will be able to integrate her past Self with who you want her to be and with what you want in a relationship.
          « Last Edit: November 03, 2012, 04:08:24 PM by Rollercoasterider »

          Offline RollercoasteriderTopic starter

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          The Newbie Mentoring Program
          « Reply #4 on: March 11, 2012, 04:19:26 PM »
          The Newbie Mentor Program

          The Mentoring Program is FREE to newbies who have posted a story thread and have responded to me that they are interested in having a mentor—I send each new poster a message asking if they are interested. Mentors are available if you are not new as well, but you will need to send me a personal message. By assigning a mentor to new posters we streamline welcoming posts and initial assistance. New Mentees are assigned a mentor and corresponding usergroup. This mentor will follow the new poster closely for 6 weeks. This program will help you adjust to the community and can jump start your socialization.

          I manually assign new posters and send each a Personal Message notifying them of the assignment. The assignments are set up using the subscription function, so once set, the expiration will be automatic. These can be extended upon request or you can request a Mentor change. Extensions may be with a different mentor if your original mentor is overbooked. Please notify me if you would like an extension.

          If you are not new and would like a Mentor, send me a Personal Message with the subject: I want a mentor.

          Mentors have been selected from their history of advising others on the board. They are or were Standers like yourself and have experienced their spouse’s midlife crisis—most are going through it now. They are familiar with the stages of MLC and typical MLC traits and can guide you through your initial panic and anxiety toward detachment.

          Being assigned a specific Mentor does not mean another Mentor will not post to you. It simply means that there is a person whose job it is to check on you and answer your questions. Sometimes we get so busy reading one thread that we miss others. Your Mentor will check on you as a priority and you can go directly to that person with your questions.


          Quote from: Covenant for Life
          Do we receive a Mentor because we are new to the forum or new to MLC? Though I have not been on the forum for very long, my MLCer has been in MLC for quite some time. …I have been dealing with this craziness for over three years.
          New posters who start their own story thread will be asked if they are interested in having a mentor. We have Mentors who specialize in helping Left Behind Spouses in the early and most raw stages after Bomb Drop, as well as Mentors whose specialty is guiding those who are further along in detachment (which usually means they are more distant from Bomb Drop). Mentors are available for those who need them, regardless of how long ago their MLCer dropped the Bomb.

          Quote from: Covenant for Life
          What will the role of a Mentor be?
          Below is the list of General Mentor Duties which is posted on the Private Mentor Board.

          Mentor Duties
          • Introduce yourself to your mentees.
            You may do this by Personal Message or on their thread.
          • Be reasonably available to offer support and guidance.
          • Continue to check-in on them—either via their thread (and post) or by Personal Message if they are not posting.
          • Encourage them to continue to post to their story thread.
          • Be familiar with the site articles for referencing.
          • Direct them to resources on or off site and suggest other threads—such as another LBS with a similar situation.
          • Answer their questions—even if the answer is I don’t know.
            Even better, help them discover answers to their questions
          • Encourage Self-Focus and Detachment.
            But recognize that they don’t want to hear that they aren’t detached over and over again—that is one of the biggest complaints.
          • Share your insights and experiences.
          • Validate.
          • Accept their process to recovery and help them to accept it.
          • Let them know of any restrictions for availability or contacting you
            So if you aren’t around the board on weekends, just let them know when you introduce yourself.
          « Last Edit: September 21, 2014, 02:10:56 PM by Rollercoasterider »

          Offline RollercoasteriderTopic starter

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          Re: Newbies, Read This!
          « Reply #5 on: March 11, 2012, 04:21:38 PM »
          The Mission Statement
          Welcome to the online community for MidlifeCrisisMarriageAdvocate.com. This site exists as an educational and supportive community for the purpose of surviving a spouse’s midlife crisis and/or infidelity regardless of whether the marriage survives or not, though it is based on that as a goal. Not all community members are Standers; it is for each individual to choose whether to Stand, or whether to step down. Not all community members share religious beliefs; this is a community for all Faiths; please be polite and respectful.

          Mission Statement
          • To provide information, advice and support on how to Stand for marriage to men and women experiencing midlife crisis and infidelity in their marriages.
          • To prevent divorces.
          • To reduce the overall rate of divorce.
          • To encourage an alternative to divorce.
          • To encourage personal growth and loving of one’s Self.

          This is accomplished by…
          • Offering a community for non-judgmental support.
          • Teaching and encouraging Agape and Forgiveness for all people and all situations.
          • Providing resources for continuing development and education.
          • Offering individual Coaching

          We make no judgments; all are welcome. This is a place of love and support, not a place to degrade and insult others—including your MLC spouse.
          Though heavily influenced by Christianity, people of all Faiths are welcome.
          Though most of us are heterosexual, we do not discriminate based on sexual orientation.
          « Last Edit: November 03, 2012, 04:11:14 PM by Rollercoasterider »

          Offline RollercoasteriderTopic starter

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          Re: Newbies, Read This!
          « Reply #6 on: March 11, 2012, 04:44:46 PM »
          Newbie Welcome Message
          Quote from: Newbie Welcome Message
          Welcome, though I am sorry you find yourself here.

          I want to introduce you to this forum and how it works as well as where you can go for survival resources.
          I'm sorry if this message is late. I guess I should not call it maternity leave anymore—it's been over a year since we got our first baby, but I am now very busy with three toddlers/babies who I am adopting and at times I am able to get welcomes and mentor assignments complete only every few weeks.

          Is The Hero's Spouse the Right Place for You?
          Though all are welcome here, please consider whether your situation fits this site. This site is for midlife crisis and/or infidelity in marriage. The site articles are specifically geared toward midlife crisis situations and the mentors are versed in MLC—as that is what they are dealing with.

          • Are or were you in a committed marital style relationship?
            The Standing techniques are based on having been in a long-term co-habitational relationship. Dealing with a boyfriend-girlfriend relationship has different dynamics, especially if it has not been long-term, or if it has been long-distance for a large part of the relationship or you have not lived together.
          • Is your partner in the 38 – 56 MLC range?
            There are outliers who are older than 56 and some in their earlier 30s, so being outside the range does not mean it cannot be MLC. But if your partner is in their 20s it is not MLC; perhaps they are having a Quarter Life Crisis or this could be a natural part of their maturation. If your partner is in their early 30s it could be a late QLC, early MLC or a natural part of their maturation.
          • Has your partner displayed at least some Key Components and Symptoms of a midlife crisis?
            Many and possibly most of you who come to this site are uncertain whether you are dealing with MLC—and most of you who are uncertain describe textbook cases of MLC. Most of you are typically afraid that this is just a case of falling out of love and not MLC. That's not how it works. Long-term committed relationships don't just end like that—often there is an affair going on or they are waiting to start an affair—which likely means it is already an Emotional Affair. Some of you are worried that it's depression and not MLC; Midlife Crisis is a depression; some qualify as Clinically Depressed and others do not or they may slip through detection due to their depression being covert. Some of you are worried because your MLCer seems milder—less or no Monster. Not all MLCers go wild and Monster; some are more Low-Energy.
          • Has your partner's behaviour changed from what had been their norm?
            If your partner has always or usually displayed some of the Key Components or Symptoms of midlife crisis, then it's not MLC; it is more likely immaturity—we see this most often in cases where the partner is outside of the MLC age range.

          If You Answered No To Number 1, 2 or 4
          The Mirror Work articles apply to everyone including you, but the other sections are specific toward MLC and may misdirect you if you try and understand your situation through them. Most posters will usually assume a situation is MLC by default and offer you advice that does not fit your situation. In addition it may confuse others who may read a non-MLC thread and a mentor's advice that does not seem to conform to general advice for MLC.

          The Newbie Mentor Program
          Have you heard about the Mentor Program? It is a FREE program for newcomers. Each new person who starts a story thread may have a mentor to guide them through the first few months. I will send you a Personal Message asking if you would like a mentor—since not everyone who is assigned mentors has continued to participate, we now only assign mentors to those who specifically let me know they want one. Having a mentor ensures that your posts won't get lost in the daily log of posting because it is someone's job to make sure to check on you. The heading above is a link to my description of the program. You can also check out the Mission Statement and Instructions for Newbies through the links in my signatures.
          As a newly registered member you have a week of free access to the Coaching Archives where you can read coaching by me with others whose situations may be similar to your own. If you would like access beyond the free trial or you would like the greater privacy provided by the private forums, please subscribe to the private side of the boards for full access. Read here for subscription information and pictorial instructions for subscribing.
          Coaching Archives
          In addition, I have put the first few months of public coaching sessions into a pdf E-book: Left Behind! Dealing with Midlife Crisis and Infidelity When You Don't Want A Divorce Volume 1, Issue 1
          It is for purchase as a pdf e-book for $9.99 at the Store. I will release subsequent issues every few months or year.
          Naming Guidelines
          I am repeating these guidelines which were included in the Registration agreement because we have a lot of newcomers who do not fully read these rules.

          For privacy and security purposes, personal names--including surnames--are not allowed as your display name on the forum. It does not matter if the name is not your name since no one can tell the difference. Some MLCers have been able to discover their spouse’s threads because of this. Personal names that are not your own are not allowed out of fairness—we don’t know whether it is your real name or not.

          This is a flexible rule in that some names are uncommon and may be flowers, months, deities… I also am not nitpicky regarding a name that is most likely an alias such as a celebrity name. So if you want to call yourself Bill or Hillary Clinton or George, Laura or Barbara Bush, be my guest! Clark Kent is also acceptable—though we are all Super!

          I recommend selecting a positive name that shows your goals or emotions rather than a name that reflects pain and damage.

          Instructions for changing your Display Name are here.


          How to Get to Reconciliation
          That's the big question, isn't it? I am sorry to disappoint, but I do not have a system or formula to offer you. What I can do is provide information about MLC to help you understand what is happening and perhaps even a little bit of why. This is a place of support where LBS's share not only their stories, but also their successes—personal, but also Standing successes and so you can learn what works from each other—though what works in one situation may backfire in another. This is a place where we can support and guide you as you find your own way.

          Perhaps Ready2Transform put it best:
          Quote from: Ready2Transform
          The consistencies I've noticed across the board for reconnections, no matter what the contact type or energy level of the MLCer are:
          • The LBS becomes confident in themselves
          • The LBS sheds any codependent tendencies
          • The LBS finds strength in their intuition
          • The LBS finds the strength to speak freely in their own power to the MLCer, unaffected by any potential outcome
          There is no technique, tactic, or formula more potent than strength, [self-trust] and honesty. It's unrealistic to say we do not affect them at all - we are the most important relationship of their adult life, no matter what the outcome. But underlying everything, I have seen from all of your examples that if I know who I am, if I know what I believe, and if I let that be my voice - not my husband, an expert, or even family and friends, as well meaning as they are - what others refer to as miracles will happen in my life. I believe that is the magic of our community, and if anything is to be stressed to newbies, that is it.

          Where Should I Start?
          BE SURE TO READ THESE TWO LINKS
          All articles on the main site can be found quickly by going to the
          Article List tab from the menu-header on the main site.
          That list only has articles for the main site, not the Blog.
          A list of all blog posts can be found in the Blog Articles. The link to this is at the top of the Articles List.
          The articles on the Main Site are divided into four Resource sections.

          • Standing
            This is a mini section introducing the concept of Standing
          • MLC & Infidelity
            Informational articles about Midlife Crisis & Infidelity
          • Mirror-Work
            Inspirational and instructional articles encouraging Mirror-Work
          • Standing Actions
            Instructional articles about interacting with your MLCer

          Unfortunately the organization of the Archives at the blog are automated by the Wordpress system and I have not figured out how to set up a system that will organize them in a better way (like by categories, months, years…), so they are simply chronological. I’ve tried or researched various site map plugins, but nothing has worked—it has to organize well and be compatible with the Wordpress template design, version and other plugins and no luck so far. :(

          Love AnyWay Blog Posts
          FAQ and Article Guide
          This is sort of like an FAQ page, but not quite. I built the questions based on google searches that point to The Hero's Spouse and below the questions I have listed various articles on the main site and blog and occasionally the forum where answers may be found.

          Important Forum Threads
          A view into MLC from a MLCer
          A view into MLC from a MLCer Part II

          I think this should be required reading! It is an excellent hindsight explanation from a former MLCer. He does not defend or deny his actions and he has since done his Mirror-Work and was thus able to explain his actions and motives in a way that is not understood by someone in the midst of their own midlife crisis.
          The first link is to the entire thread, post #1 is Part I. The second link is to Part II which is post #89.

          BE SURE TO READ THIS THREAD
          Survival Instructions for Newbies
          This thread is a sticky thread near the top of the community forum. It has the main pieces of advice for newbies and a bunch of links to articles at the main site. So it gives you the read these first recommendations. The second post in this thread is Advice for Advising. I know you are new here and you may not feel like you can offer advice, but maybe you can or maybe you will in the future. This post is really just a review of how to cushion our language so as not to offend others.
          There is also a sticky thread at the top of board which will direct you to a board where I have posted additional resources[. These used to be stickied on the  main board, but this became too cluttered and I moved them to their own board, but kept a single sticky post so you can find them easily from the main board. This board is read-only. There you will find resources for learning about

          • MLC & Infidelity
          • Self-Focus
          • Standing Actions
          • Reconciliation Stories
          • The MLCer’s Perspective
          • Ask the Mentor
          I have not made those links because the links may change as the threads fill up and are locked, but we connect continuing topics, so you should be able to click on the current thread and navigate back to the original.

          About the Ask the Mentor thread… This is a place where you can go to ask general questions—like an FAQ—or let people know you would like some attention over at your own story thread. A moderator may come along later and split off your questions to merge them to your own thread or to create a Topic Thread from your question. It’s not just for the mentors, anyone may come along and answer a question.

          Progress
          A quick word about Progress in MLC. Newbies think and want progress to be about emotional and relational improvement. If you are dealing with a Midlife Crisis, that is not how it works. That sort of progress comes later. MLC gets worse before it gets better, but if that is the case forward motion in the MLC tunnel—means that getting worse can be part of how a midlife crisis progresses. It does not mean your situation is worse in the sense that your chances are diminishing. Sorry, but your spouse's behavior and attitude becoming worse is just part of what you are going to be dealing with.


          How to Tell Your Story
          So you are new to the forum and you want to post your story, but it's so long and there are so many details that are important. Will anyone want to read through your novel?
          No. But not because it's long. They will wander after a few sentences because your story is practically identical to their story and most of the other people reading the board. People want to read your story, but they don't need the moment by moment details of the last 2-5 years of your life. They need to know about you as a person. How you feel, where you are stuck, how you have started to heal or why you haven't. They need to know what is different and a few specific elements that can help us know what type of MLCer you have.

          I wrote a post over at the blog to help you figure out what to include and what to leave off—and that other stuff you leave off, you can tell us about it in a later post.
          Read the entire article: How to Tell Your Story

          How Can I Support the Site?
          Some people support by subscribing to the private board even though they don’t need to privacy. This is great because those who do need privacy can benefit from having you post to them—the private board moves slower since fewer have access and so they need all the support you can offer.
          There used to be a donate button, but now that there are items for sale in the store at minimal prices, you can support the site and get something in return! Available in the store is the first volume of the coaching archives (mentioned above) for $9.99 and a few other articles ranging in price. There are a few for $4.95 which are also available for free, though the versions for sale have been updated and may include sections not on the main site. And there are a few articles not available for free that you can purchase for $8.95.
          Check out what's available at the store here.


          But just as important is sharing. There is a lot of stuff for free on here—the articles and the main forum are free. And if you aren't interested in the items at the store or subscribing, hey that's fine! I think that the most important thing everyone of you can do to support the site is share it and share how it has helped you. I know that you may not want to talk about it on Facebook or Twitter where the outside world may see (and if you don’t care, then share it there! But how about just one friend that may be going through this? If you know one person, share it with them.
          You can still spread the word if you don’t know one person. If the articles have helped you, I am asking you to comment on my Testimonials page—it's brand new. If you are too new, come back to it later.
          My goal is to help people and to do that they need to know I'm here!


          Would You Like Personal Coaching?
          Would you like some additional support beyond what you are getting at the forum? Or maybe you don’t feel comfortable posting your story for others to read. Skype: All coaching is through Skype or by phone if Skype is not an option. Each session is 60 minutes.

          You may request coaching by completing the Coaching Request Form.


          The Blog : Love AnyWay and Social Media
          Don’t forget to check out the blog, Love AnyWay. You can read posts right on the site or subscribe to receive notices of posts (and a small excerpt) in your email and receive the personality disorder reviews from my popular article series Affair and Midlife Crisis Personality Dynamics, with special bonus additions available only to subscribers.
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          Check out our tweets and follow us on twitter!

          Technical Stuff
          Technical stuff is in the Forum Information Board. There are How To’s…
          • How Do I get People to Post on my Thread?
          • How do I start a thread?
          • How to Quote in Posts
          • How To Report Technical Problems
          • How to Search and How to Search Threads Started by A Specific User
          • How Do I Change My Display Name?
          • How Do I copy & Paste a Link - Link to my old thread?
          …and other information to help you get started or learn about the forum.
          • What’s that mean? Acronyms
          • Coaching & Subscriptions
          • Forum workings
          • Mission Statement
          • Posting Guidelines: Starting a Topic (Thread)
          • Registration Agreement
          « Last Edit: June 05, 2015, 09:45:55 AM by Rollercoasterider »

          Offline RollercoasteriderTopic starter

          • Administrator
          • *****
          • Posts: 2482
          • Gender: Female
            • The Hero's Spouse
          Charging Neutral
          « Reply #7 on: November 03, 2012, 05:15:49 PM »
          Charging Neutral

          I'm not sure how I came across this, but the e-book is called 'Break free from the affair'.
          http://www.break-free-from-the-affair.com/
          As with all things - MLC is not as simplistic as a garden variety affair (if there is such a thing), but I thought there was a lot of valuable information there. It also talks of a great technique called Charging Neutral.Where you're able to say things, but with the emotion removed.
          Charging neutral
          Be neutral instead of communicating fear, worry, angst or anger.

          Calm
          Be neutral with both voice and body. Don't speak with a charge in your voice.

          Send messages that express a truth.
          Intended to spark a reflection and possibly action in the other person (in MLC though, don't hold your breath or anything!). The message bypasses the defenses of the spouse. Finds it difficult to defend themselves. The truth cannot be ignored.

          Stand in the shoes of your spouse.
          Imagine and feel what it's like.

          Do not use 'I'. It's about him. Message refers to actions, behaviours or dynamics of the spouse. Refer to truth about spouse, life or situation.

          Examples
          • It must be easy to lose yourself with her. You don't seem to think much beyond your R with her. You must wonder how long that can continue.
          • It is very normal to throw yourself at another person when you feel so empty (really? )
          • It is very easy to question a marriage when prince charming comes along.
          • You can throw away an old pair of pants when you get a new one. But, the new one also becomes old.
          • Your need to fill your emptiness is overriding your integrity
          • It seems to me that there is this great hole in you, and you think the other person will fill it.
          • Do you ever wonder whether she is as great as you think she is?
          • You seem to give all your energy to her and not have much left.
          • Do you really know what you are doing? Any doubts?
          • It seems you are more and more out of control of your life.
          • Do you ever think about the kind of model you are to your children?
          • There must be quite a battle within you.
          • Sometimes it seems you do nothing but run and don't know where you're running to.
          • You seem to put your eggs all in one basket without consideration for long term consequences.
          • You know these feelings you have for her will fade don't you.
          • You must feel like a teenager sometimes, I wonder if that is how you really want to feel?
          • You seem to skip along the surface of life. Once I was enthralled by that but not any more.
          • A part of you wants to commit to her, a part of you wants to commit to our marriage.
          • A part of you wants to be close, another part pulls back and stares into space.
          • Hey, you're muttering under your breath, shutting down, walking away, rolling your eyes and I'm really tired of the game.
          How you present the message is as important as the message itself. Keep it short and sweet. No lectures. Speak and then let silence prevail.
          You are making comments - not inviting conversation or argument.
          If they defend, explain or attack: I respect your thoughts. But I don't agree. I don't care to argue about this. I was just making an observation.

          Online OldPilot

          • Moderator
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          • Posts: 11374
          • Gender: Male
          Re: Newbies, Read This!
          « Reply #8 on: January 07, 2017, 05:20:16 AM »
          There is a forum here called FORUM INFORMATION
          When all else fails try reading it.
          Click here to find it

          http://mlcforum.theherosspouse.com/index.php?board=4.0


          Also the Resources board.
          http://mlcforum.theherosspouse.com/index.php?board=34.0


          Or if none of that works PM me! :)

           

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