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Author Topic: My Story Not So New: Moving into Year 4--Continuing the journey

M
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Link to old thread (hopefully I did this right). If not, can someone please tell me how to fix it.
https://mlcforum.theherosspouse.com/index.php?topic=11143.0

Exactly—we know the people they were when we married them. Now they are a shell of that person.  My Hs OW is beyond broken to keep chasing him as if he were the answer to all her prayers, and yet she told me how often they break up and fight. Sounds amazing!

And that silence after they run back in the tunnel afterwards is deafening. But like you say, we move on quicker and quicker.

Yes! He is most definitely a shell of the man he was. And, yes the silence after they return to the tunnel is deafening.

On a really positive note--I have been approached by the county to add to my current therapeutic services for kids. The contracting was completed last week, and I already have two new clients! I'm so excited because I would eventually like to go 100% private practice rather then working in a group practice (which is what I do now).  :)
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10.29.17 BD-Moved out to OW/A began in  6.17
3.5.18 OW moved away/H moved in with F
3.19.18  H moved home into spare room 
7.14.18  Moved to be with OW (another state)
9.4.18  Moved back-Living with Parents 
11.1.18  OW moved back.  H living w/her in D's basement room. 
11.18 - H started visiting on holidays
11.26.18 Call from H.  BIL died suddenly.
1.19 - H announced to my inner circle that he moved to sisters  inc all belongings
2.19  H volunteers to house and dog sit whenever.
Spring 19  H visiting house and doing chores on a regular basis
7.20 OW2 Confirmed  5 hours away 
Summer of 2020 Less help with chores
Spring 2021 - helping with chores again

4.83 Started Dating
8.10.85  Married

D -32 Married with 3 children 
S - 30 Married and is now a Dr.
3 Dogs-he left them all behind

C
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Following along...
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Attaching ... and yes, you linked everything just fine...

UM
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Me - 58, xW - 50
Together 19 years - Married 17 at separation & 21 at D-Day
S - 14, D - 10
2 Dogs
BD#1 - August 2015
Atomic BD - 13 Dec 2015
House sold & separated - Mar 2016
Divorce final 30 August 2019

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

K
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Link to old thread (hopefully I did this right). If not, can someone please tell me how to fix it.
https://mlcforum.theherosspouse.com/index.php?topic=11143.0

Exactly—we know the people they were when we married them. Now they are a shell of that person.  My Hs OW is beyond broken to keep chasing him as if he were the answer to all her prayers, and yet she told me how often they break up and fight. Sounds amazing!





On a really positive note--I have been approached by the county to add to my current therapeutic services for kids. The contracting was completed last week, and I already have two new clients! I'm so excited because I would eventually like to go 100% private practice rather then working in a group practice (which is what I do now).  :)

That is excellent and sounds super rewarding. Congratulations. The LBS spouses here continue to impress and amaze me.  :)
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Me - 51, xh - 52
Together 26 years - Married 24 at separation
D - 23, S - 20
No BD - gradually moved out into our vacation house starting 8.20

M
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Today is my birthday. I’m not looking to celebrate it or anything, just putting it out there for context. So here I am. Another year older and questioning so much of my life. Going into year 4 of this mess. Maybe I’m having my own little midlife transition?

I look around me and start to wonder what have I even accomplished? Yes, I have a fulfilling career. What I don’t have is my family. I mean, H is gone. Lost somewhere deep in the tunnel. My stepchildren seem to hate me. I don’t have my own children. I find myself thinking more and more about the future. I have good relationships with my siblings, but they all have their own spouses, children, lives. I guess I just find myself wondering if this whole standing thing is worth it? Am I wasting my life and my future on the hope that H will someday wake up?

I’ll probably feel better tomorrow. I’m sure this is just part of my own journey. Figuring out what I want from life (a companion to share my life with and a family) and what that means for my current situation. I know I’m not the only lbs with no children. I also feel a bit like I’m rambling. Trying to get my thoughts down I guess.
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M
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Well, my own MLT continues. It sucks. I'm struggling to not spiral into the tunnel. I'm sure this has been brewing since H's MLC, but my birthday seems to have really brought it into awareness. I felt a little "niggling" of disatisfaction prior to my birthday. I knew something was there, but I thought I was dealing with it. I talked to my therapist about it. I've been asking myself questions. I've been taking care of me. All the things. I should know the things--it's my job for heaven's sake. It's not unexpected for someone to start experiencing this. I KNOW this. It's a normal part of development. I learned about this during my specialized training. But...I did not know how hard it was going to hit me.

I talked to a close friend about it the other day. This is what I shared: it all feels so meaningless, so unfulfilling. What am I doing with my life? What am I accomplishing? Throw in some questions about God and faith and I'm a hot mess.  ;D Of course, she was very supportive and pointed out tons of ways that I am thriving. Then she asked me the question I've been asking myself: What would make my life fulfilling? What would bring meaning to it? And here is the crux of the matter--I don't know. I wish I did. If I did, I could do something about it. I could pursue whatever that it. Instead, I'm stuck with this horrible feeling of dread. This horrible nothingness. It feels so bizarre.

For example, yesterday all I could think about was throwing my computer and cell phone in a lake. How weird is that? I've never felt like that before. Or emptying my bank account on some lavish month long trip to the Maldives or something. I'm not that person. I'm responsible. I don't just do things like that. I won't do it either, but the thoughts are there. I'm having to implement all the skills I know to not run into the tunnel of MLC and do the nonsense my H did.

Whew--had to get that out. Hopefully someone will come along who has experienced something like this. EEK. I wouldn't wish this on anyone.
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C
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This is the crux of our journey exactly - who am I, what fulfills me and gives meaning to my life? For some of us, far too much of that was wrapped up in our roles as spouses or partners, and BD absolutely shattered the foundation on which we defined ourselves. So we learn that we have to find the answers to those questions as they relate to us as individuals, not as half of a partnership.

I think I had fallen into an MLT as well... some of it was getting to my late 40’s and feeling stagnant in my job - it’s a really good one and I like the people I work with and I am respected and I am proud of the work I do, but it had become a bit routine and isolated as I was working from home even before the pandemic. But for me, it accelerated when my W started her pre-BD changes. She got into a training program for a new career, started meeting new people (many 15 years or more younger than I am, and 10 years younger than W is). Where her previous career path had contained stress and negativity such that our home and marriage were a respite for her, now she was on a path to a fulfilling career with colleagues and new friends that she likes and respects. I encouraged it because of course I want her to be her best self... but I think subconsciously I felt like I was no longer as important to her and I withdrew on the surface - doing what needed to be done to keep the household running, but less interested in going out and socializing; I often encouraged her to go without me. But even though I was less likely to participate, I was seeking more reassurance from her that I was still her person. And I got it until BD2.

For me, the search was not long in duration, but wound through several ideas. First, it was just about not really changing but regaining an appreciation for what I already have and love in my life - If work didn’t provide satisfaction, I could find it in my home and pets and the activities of our life. But that wasn’t quite it; it wasn’t wrong, but it still focused too much on “us.” I needed to figure out “me.” So I thought about hobbies I could try, thought about my current interests, considered the way that I have always perceived myself. And I think that what really worked for me was when I thought about the idea of, “if you were guaranteed to be successful, what would you do with your life?” And creative writing was something that always fascinated me but that I had, for as long as I could remember, believed I could not do. My self esteem was decent even then, if a bit too tied up in my W’s esteem of me, but I was absolutely convinced I was just not creative; I just wasn’t passionate. I was one of those responsible, rule following, nose to the grindstone people who took care of the chores, and I supported and cheered on my spouse as she pursued her dreams.

Ultimately, my life isn’t that different. My job is the same, most of my hobbies are the same. For a little while, all I wanted to do was write, develop characters, explore scenes and dialogue and learn about the process. It was almost limerent the way it invaded my thoughts. That has cooled, and I don’t write every day - though I do write and learn about the process pretty regularly. So even on the days that look very much like my days before BD - they’re different because I am different. I am more present in what I’m doing, I’m happier and more content - I feel joy and passion and excitement and contentment; when I get angry or worried, I recognize those emotions.

For a long time I had based too much of my sense of self-worth on what my W thought of me, on how much I was able to build and maintain a happy home life, and it meant that my moods were tightly bound up in what she did or said - I personalized all of that. Now that I have things that are just for me, I am better able to understand that I am responsible for being the best me that I can be (and maybe more importantly, for being the authentic me that fulfills me), and my W has to do that for herself - and when we are each doing that, only then can we mindfully decide how those authentic selves relate to each other.

It’s a bit of a rambling response and more about the path from codependency to independence, and possibly on to interdependence in a relationship. There’s not much specific about finding your individual fulfillment and meaning... but as I think about it, I feel like that’s okay, because it’s such an individual process that mine may not resemble yours in any way. But what I can tell you is that it’s worth it - because even in the midst of navigating the fallout from a bomb I didn’t drop, I have found more happiness and self-esteem than perhaps I have ever had.
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This one is hard for me, because my midlife transition was so minor. I did more in my life than I ever thought I would. It's the peripherals in my life, that which I cannot control, that get me.

Did you ever have a dream of doing or being something? Anything you put off because *insert some reason here*? Or did you perhaps blindly go through life doing what you thought you should, what you were told you should, but that wasn't anything you really wanted specifically? Did you ever even think about you and your life, where you wanted to go and be? A lot of people don't. I didn't really either, I was just of the type that if a good opportunity presented itself, I didn't pass on it unless the pass was what I wanted to do. I am also content with less than some people. I don't need the latest and greatest car or clothes or expensive....well anything. I don't measure my worth by what I have or how the world in general perceives  me, and that is helpful.

It sounds like you do need to figure out you. What DO you want? Maybe you do want a trip, but not necessarily to the Maldives. Maybe you need to find a tree stump in the middle of nowhere and meditate. Maybe you need to create something. Maybe you need to go make some new friends who will play Exit games with you. Maybe you need to sit in your discomfort until you find what you want or need. Maybe you need to rethink how you live your life due to your stand.

A midlife transition, in my experience, presents you with something different, even if possibly expected, than you had before: kids grown and gone, lose a job, death of a loved one, retirement of you or your spouse, divorce,  disability, something. Some of those transitions can pile on top of each other because that's just the time when these things happen most of the time. Knowing what you are and want will help you get through. If you don't, that's when you start MLC  thinking "Facebook makes this look so great, maybe it will make me feel great, too" or "I gave up everything for everyone else, it's my turn".

 It does not have to be either/or. If you gave up something, pursue it now without harming anyone else. If something looks fun, do some research and see if it's really your kind of thing (I'm more of a national park than Maldives kind of person ;) )

Maybe you do want/need a bit of a change. It's not always a bad thing if not done impulsively . Your mileage may vary.
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« Last Edit: May 22, 2021, 10:49:37 AM by OffRoad »
When life gives you lemons, make SALSA!

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Recognise that ‘what on earth is the point of my life/me’ feeling all too well. (Fellow LBS with no kids and no real family left either)

Fwiw.....bc as OR says our mileage may vary lol....for a while, not only did I have no answer but even the big question was disheartening tbh. So I stopped asking myself....I brought life back to the moment, the hour, the day and focused on what was the point of that day/activity/interaction. And as I said on my thread, I strangely found (not my intention at all ha ha) that each small thing slowly started to become part of a slightly bigger something. I call it the drystone wall  :)....still a work in progress here though  :)

It may also be worth focusing less on what you want to DO and more on how you want to FEEL as you do it? My biggest desire was to feel Peace initially....so I did more of anything that made me feel Peaceful. Then it was idk Engaged I think....in the sense of a bit more curious and engaged in life around me as opposed to being rather semi-detached. Now, I think i’d like to feel Excited again so I am doing the same kind of trial and error process of seeing what makes me feel that way. Step by step, sorting as you go. And trusting that there is a rhythm, that you’ll find it and that it grows as you go.

Hope that helps?
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T: 18  M: 12 (at BD) No kids.
H diagnosed with severe depression Oct 15. BD May 16. OW since April 16, maybe earlier. Silent vanisher mostly.
Divorced April 18. XH married ow 6 weeks later.
Healing and growing found here https://littleplotbythesea.wordpress.com

"Option A is not available so I need to kick the s**t out of Option B" Sheryl Sandberg

 

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