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Author Topic: My Story My new Normal 4.0-Nothing is normal anymore.

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My Story My new Normal 4.0-Nothing is normal anymore.
#140: May 06, 2021, 05:47:06 AM
Roo-
I just read through your story. I cannot tell you how many times I found myself nodding in agreement. I am approaching year 4, and while my H does not live at home, he’s been back and forth during the last four years. So many similarities it’s a bit frightening.

I wanted to let you know how encouraging your posts have been. They way you have been able to detach, the lessons you have learned and shared, as well as your own growth has really helped me. I find myself questioning myself many times on why not simply move on? Why am I standing for this man and this marriage? What I do know though, in those moments when H has clarity, there is a wonderful man still in there somewhere. He’s hidden most of the time, but he is there. Who knows what will happen in the future. Maybe I’ll stop standing, but not today.

Also, I read your rockstar and fixer story. That is soooo spot on for us too. H is always needing external validation while I use to spend a lot of time trying to fix stuff. Thankfully I’m not doing that anymore.🙂
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#141: May 06, 2021, 09:18:05 AM
Quote
H is always needing external validation while I use to spend a lot of time trying to fix stuff. Thankfully I’m not doing that anymore.🙂

From one recovering fixer to another,  good for you!

As we are working on putting things back together it’s been very tough to break this dynamic.  We spent the first 30 years before BD in this relationship.  I got my validation by needing to be needed (fixing) and he got his through other needing validation from others.  As I have spent the last few years dissecting our marriage I’ve realized that this dynamic is very codependent.  Breaking the chains of codependency has been difficult for both of us. 

In trying to repair my fixing ways I’ve realized that my relationships with my children, parents and friends have started to change as well.  I was always the one everyone went to to fix their problems.  I’m learning to put up some boundaries to stop fixing.  I’m realizing my fixing has created others to become dependent on me.  Turning and taking care of myself is my focus now.  It’s confusing to many people but is making me feel so much better about having control of my own life. 

It’s very true that MLC is a journey for both the MLCer and the LBS.  Both parties need to take care of their FOO issues in order to have a honest, truthful relationship.  I hope we both can get there.  I see movement that way, but time will tell. 
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Husband 55
Me 55
Kids 3 sons 29, 27, 25 1 daughter 20
BD #1 Spring 2016
BD #2 Winter 2017
married 33 years.  Together 35
H never moved out except 3 weeks after BD #1
OW 30 year single mom employee-He says EA only I don’t believe him.

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My new Normal 4.0-Nothing is normal anymore.
#142: May 06, 2021, 09:23:58 AM
Also wanted to add that this book is a good resource for fixers. Stop People Pleasing by Patrick King. 

I ordered it on Amazon last summer when my 2 kids were living here.  They sent me a text telling me my book arrived.  They both said “Why would you order that? We like your people pleasing ways🙂”.
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Husband 55
Me 55
Kids 3 sons 29, 27, 25 1 daughter 20
BD #1 Spring 2016
BD #2 Winter 2017
married 33 years.  Together 35
H never moved out except 3 weeks after BD #1
OW 30 year single mom employee-He says EA only I don’t believe him.

C
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#143: May 06, 2021, 10:59:51 AM
This discussion of codependency, and your descriptions of the rockstar and the fixer in particular, have really hit home for me. Maybe it’s odd, but I don’t tend to be the fixer in my FOO relationships - there’s an Instagram account I follow, the.love.therapist, who posted about roles we can take on in dysfunctional families. I tend toward the “lost child,” who flies under the radar, learns not to rock the boat, doesn’t express wants or needs; with bits of hero/golden child and also peacekeeper. In my marriage, though, I have definitely been the fixer, the caretaker - my W needs external validation and I need (or needed) to be needed.

Codependency is such an insidious thing sometimes. Even some months after BD, I was still in denial about the extent of my role in our marital dysfunction. I owned some responsibility for having become somewhat disengaged in my life, which was true, but I still saw my willingness to be the caretaker as a positive thing. And honestly, without the shock of BD I’m not sure I would have recognized just how much of my own individual identity I had lost sight of. It’s not even that I changed myself or that I sacrificed things I wanted to do or lived a dramatically different way than I would have otherwise, it’s just that I defined my worth based on her, on the marriage, on how she felt about me.

So as I have said elsewhere, I don’t know that I will ever thank my MLCer for dropping that bomb, but I do appreciate the value of the journey, and I’m not sure I would have really understood how much of a journey I needed to take, and how much work I needed to do, without the shock of the bomb drop.
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#144: May 06, 2021, 11:23:37 AM
I have done a lot of work with my own therapist to dig into my "people pleasing/fixing" stuff. It's weird because I did get the book co-dependent no more and I don't think I actually fall into that, nor does my own therapist, but who knows. Ultimately, I did try to make everything "perfect" for H so as not to rock the boat. If he was having a bad day, I would completely try and fix it. It is a bit of a slippery slope because of course, we want to support our partners if they are having a bad day. But I got to the point where I would fixate on fixing it if he was having a bad day. (I'll come back to that in a minute).

I've learned, through therapy, that this is my own FOO stuff to deal with, My mom is incredibly emotionally unavailable. She's an air head. To the point where she literally got on a train in London while leaving her purse, wallet, cell phone, passport, etc, on a bench. So scatterbrained. She was exactly like that growing up and I'm the oldest of 5 kids. So it fell on me to take care of my siblings. (This then morphed into making things perfect because my dad would come home and be upset that my mom had gotten distracted and nothing was done. I can't tell you the amount of times I would come home from school and frantically pick up the house, get on my mom's case to get dinner ready, help my siblings with their homework, etc so that it wasn't a hot mess when my dad got home. Because if it was, then he would get mad. Cue people pleasing/fix it tendencies. Easy to see how all of this evolved.

There was a bit of grief for me when I realized my mom would never ever be emotionally available. I've worked through that and gotten to a place where I can have a relationship with her that doesn't leave me hurting. But it's not the relationship I want. I'll never have that because she's not capable. Here's an example, when I first found out about the EA, I went to my parents' house for the weekend. I remember sitting on the floor of the guest bedroom crying. My mom came in, walked past me to get something from the closet, and then walked out. She had no clue that what I needed was simply a hug. Bottom line--I know why I developed some of the things I've developed and I'm working to change those.

One of my biggest successes in this came during our first long T & G. H and I were camping. We had taken his motorcycle and all our gear. One morning the motorcycle wouldn't start. H was in a panic. Admittedly, we did not have cell phone service, the campground was super rustic and empty, and we were about 30 miles from the nearest town. On the flip side, rangers do drive through the campgrounds once a day so I knew someone would be along at some point. H was in this anxious state trying to get the motorcycle started. I asked him if he needed any help. He got upset and short with me. I remember so clearly saying to him, "There's no need to get upset with me. I'm asking if you need help. It's not my job to make you feel better about this situation. I'm not doing that anymore. If you decide you need some help, I will be down at the lake fishing."  And I walked away.  (Caught a really nice fish too by the way  :)) It felt good. Have there been times during T & G's that I start to fall back into those tendencies? Yes. Am I aware and working on it? Yes.

While I hate that I was put on this journey I never, ever wanted to take, I'm taking the time to do some massive work on myself. I'm going to be as healthy as I can be, whether H ever figures himself out or not.
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#145: May 22, 2021, 04:28:52 AM
Finally caught up. Better late than never hey 🤷🏽‍♀️

Roo, what your sharing so is monumental to us all. We may not need it in the present, but I’m sure we I’ll in the future. Thankyou
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3 children together D3 D6 D8 (D1 D4 and D6 at the time of BD)
Together - almost 8 years

BD & MLCer moved out - November 2017
OW discovered - December 2017
Moved in with Ow - November 2019
Ow met children - December 2019

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#146: May 23, 2021, 07:32:08 AM
Thought I would update, journal this morning as the last few days have bought some more movement in my reconnection journey. 

I have seen it on here a few times that reconnection is like watching paint dry.  I will agree with this on many levels.  Sometimes when we sit and watch things we miss the change, walking away and coming back to things brings on a whole new light.  I recently remodeled my kitchen and chose a paint color that is mix of grey, blue and green.  The first day the paint first went on the wall I was obsessed with it.  I immediately started to picture in my mind all the accessories I was going to add into it.  I looked at it several times that day.  The next morning, I woke up early went into the kitchen and it was a whole different color.  Nothing I chose the day before would have fit with it.  As the day progressed and the light changed, so did the color.  What I thought was a calm grey, turned into a deep blue and then a different shade of green as the sun began to hit it differently.  I had different friends and family come over and say things like. “I love that green color you chose” or “Wow look at that blue!”  I was always conflicted about what color to label the paint.  Now, I have learned to love the changing color.  I accessorized keeping all aspects of the change in mind.  Looking at it from different perspectives, angles, and time of day, I have learned that every day brings change.  Sometimes it is minimal and hard to see, sometimes it is bigger.   That’s what these last few months have felt like to me as I believe we are starting the slow process of serious reconnection.

My H and I have hit a calm spot as we each move forward on our own paths forward.  Right now I feel our paths are parallel.  Quietly we are moving ahead.  I will take calm and quiet any day over the insanity of the last 5 years.  A few updates from what I have seen from my H and how I am progressing as well. 
My H continues to see his therapist weekly.  I cannot express how much of a godsend this therapist has been.  He is helping my H with some tough Foo issues.  My H respects him greatly and is doing the work he needs to do to deal with all the pain.  He has therapy Friday mornings over zoom.  He must do them from home and then he goes to work.  I usually make it a point to leave the house when he is in therapy.  When he first started therapy, he wanted to talk afterwards.  I found this extremely hard as I was dealing with my own hurt over so many things.  We were a bad combination.  I finally made the decision to tell him that we needed to get through Fridays without talking about him or us.  If it was important enough to discuss on Saturday, we could try it.  He agreed.  The first few Saturdays he would struggle.  Some weekends were horrible as he was starting to process his sessions.  This went on for 6 weeks and then things began to change.  I found out later that at the guidance of his counselor he stopped talking to me about his sessions.  He told him that I had my own things to get through and piling his problems on mine was not fair.  This changed so many things.  My H started to see that he was hurting me as he was sharing his pain.  He started to take responsibly for himself and it has been a game changer.   I see many of the good things my H used to be coming back.  He is calm, he is kind and his concern for the well being of others is begging to show once again.   One of the biggest changes I have seen is his concern for me.  I am starting to feel noticed again.  He calls throughout the day to just talk.  If I am quiet or withdrawn, he asks me what is going on and if he can help. He lets me know if he is going to be late coming home, He checks in when he travels.  After feeling invisible for so long, this is hard to get used to.  During his touch and goes in the last few years there would be weak attempts at fake concern, this feels much different.  I remain cautiously optimistic.  Watching as he does the work and makes the changes and learning that looking at him in different lights and perspectives always brings something new.

I continue my own path forward.  I have decided to start a new job venture that I am very excited about.  I am busy and happy.   As my H and I move forward together, my biggest struggle is to stay away from the codependent traits that I had to painfully shed the last few years.  I am finding that after 35 years with my H and raising 4 kids I did completely lose myself to everyone.  I am learning to like myself and get to know myself again.  More importantly I am learning to trust myself and my abilities.  I have been dealing with aging parents and continue to do work with kids in foster care.  Two groups of people where I can put my fixing tendencies to good use!  I have learned that being calm is truly a gift.  While at the height of MLC I was so reactive and sitting right next to my H as he rode the ups and downs on his wild ride.  I realize now just how damaging all of that was to me. 

We both have a long way to go in reconnection, but for the first time it has felt honest, pure, and real. I am no longer waiting for the other shoe to drop, because I know if it does, I will be just fine.

There is light at the end of this MLC tunnel.  It will change everything about you and your relationships with not only your partner but everyone around you.  Looking at things from a new light, a new perspective with a calm quietness has brought me peace.  Peace in the end is the best thing any of us can strive for. 

May your Sunday be filled with peace and calm. 

Roo

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Husband 55
Me 55
Kids 3 sons 29, 27, 25 1 daughter 20
BD #1 Spring 2016
BD #2 Winter 2017
married 33 years.  Together 35
H never moved out except 3 weeks after BD #1
OW 30 year single mom employee-He says EA only I don’t believe him.

C
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My new Normal 4.0-Nothing is normal anymore.
#147: May 23, 2021, 08:38:05 AM
Roo, thanks for this update - as always, much of your journey seems familiar. I am cautioning myself to remember that at only 14 months post-BD, my W and I both very likely still have a lot of work to do, and she is not at a place of committing to the marriage even though she is often talking with me about home improvements and travel with family. The reminder that the real work of reconnection can’t even begin until both parties are open about actually rebuilding the relationship, and even then it is a long journey.

The kitchen paint sounds beautiful, much like the analogy. Wishing you continued calm along the way, and ongoing opportunities to engage your fixer tendencies in a healthy way.
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#148: May 23, 2021, 09:27:34 AM
Roo -
Catching up and enjoying the reconnection process with you, and more importantly your strength and growth through it all.
Keep up the good work, and thank you for posting so we can see what the process might look like.

Sea
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Re: My new Normal 4.0-Nothing is normal anymore.
#149: May 23, 2021, 02:55:05 PM
Do tell, what´s the brand and name of the paint?
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me 51
H 51
M 27
BD 1/15/ 10 then BD 8/21/10
D final 8/13

 

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