Midlife Crisis: Support for Left Behind Spouses

Archives => Story Threads 2021 => Topic started by: Tornup on June 22, 2021, 09:00:09 AM

Title: Love and insanity
Post by: Tornup on June 22, 2021, 09:00:09 AM
My story- I was married for 29 1/2 years. We lost a teenage daughter to cancer in 2009. My husband went into depression but hid it well. When our oldest daughter got married in 2013 there began to be moments of disconnect. By 2017 he was totally shut off. No communication. Disconnected. I told him to go to therapy or we would need to divorce. He said he could not talk about it and he chose divorce. I moved him out in to an apt. Signed a 10 month lease. This was jan 2018.

March 2018 in found an old phone which showed 3 EA’s starting in 2015 to 2017. One EA was unreciprocated  and was with someone he traveled and worked closely with. All were coworkers under him. He has a high level position. I was able to talk to 2 of the women and the unrestricted EA stated she knew he was troubled and just allowed him to message her hoping at some point he would get help, but was worried he would kill himself. The other 2 EA the women reciprocated but they were all just messages. When the EA went physical with a kiss he stopped those and totally focused on the one not returning affection. He states it was an escape from his head and thoughts. To me that is insanity. I had already contacted a lawyer before the phone and he asked me not to divorce and he would seek help. He did. We dated and he seemed to start getting to a better place. He moved back home and he quit therapy end of 2018. We bought a second home for his work in a diff state. He travels a lot, but 2019 went OK. 2020 started out good, but then COVID. I went to working at home and he stopped traveling.

He started disconnecting and In June 2020 I found a new message from hourly subordinate that had been coming to him on complaints of managers. He apparently turned it into a friendship and messages her he missed her and hoped to see her. He said it was the only message. I told him he had to go back into therapy. Once in therapy they had him also to tmdr therapy and that dr said she didn't think he wanted to get better. Most focus was on the death of our daughter as they felt that was the origin of his depression and then escapism came after. In October he decided from Therapy I was his trigger. After finding the phone he couldn't look at me anymore without feeling disgusted in himself. He was on a trip and said he wasn't coming home. He also had been cutting. He asked for a quick divorce as he felt he was drowning  and needed to totally disconnect without responsibility. I did a uncontested divorce and he agreed to all my terms which were a lot and more than i would get thru courts. Including weekly support for 13 years that covers all my expenses and mortgage and full equity in our home.

I then discovered he was seeing the subordinate and took her on vacation right after the divorce . He is still seeing her 7 months since BD. He has ED and is unable to consummate the relationship, so i know she is using him for his money and status . He has no friends and is disconnected from his family. He wanted to remain friends. I have recently went no contact as I felt the friendship was all one sided. He said that he held on knowing my calls would come every 2 weeks and he didn't know how he would survive with out them. Our oldest daughter is remarrying in sept 21 and I told him I would see him then and we will see where we are, but it was unhealthy for me to continue a friendship that I was not getting anything out of. Specially after he left and lied about having this relationship. I struggle as he is clearly mentally unstable. He also has the classic MLC signs. New sportscar, low self esteem but in high position where women now look up to him, loss of daughter and father within 3 months.

Not sure if no contact is right, but I still want my family and I am trauma bonded and feel I need to disconnect and he has to come to a realization that he needs me or doesn't?
H-54
W-58
Married 7/6/1991
Kids d-30 s-28 d-14 deceased
Moved out for space-jan 2018
BD1-march 2018 found phone
EA ow1-49
EA-ow2 57
EA- ow3 58
Moved back-Oct 2018
BD2-October 2020
OW-46
Divorce filed-Dec 202O
Divorce final-Feb 2021

Edited for readability - Paragraph breaks - UM
Title: Love and insanity
Post by: readytofixmyselffirst on June 22, 2021, 11:56:44 AM
Hello,

I am so sorry that you are here, but this is a great place for the support you need. First of all, I am glad that you took care of finances as MLCer can go through money like water.

Quote
All were coworkers under him. He has a high level position.

Just know he is playing with fire on this one. If you are in the US, any of these situations can turn into a potential lawsuit.

Quote
He has ED and is unable to consummate the relationship, so i know ahe is using him for his money and status .

Yes, she is and from what I can gather, all of his "extra" relationships are all about escape. This is all about him and deep internal pain. I can't imagine the loss of a child and know that I deeply feel for you as well.

How are you coping? I know you have covered the financial issues, but you need help to deal with all of the trauma inflicted by his crisis. Make sure you take care of yourself emotionally, physically, and spiritually. Self-care is essential as the crisis can continue for years and this is a marathon not a sprint.

Keep posting and know that this is the place to document your journey to recovery- with or without him.

((((((Ready))))

Title: Re: Love and insanity
Post by: forthetrees on June 22, 2021, 01:45:49 PM
Please consider the book When Someone You Love is Mentally Ill. If love could solve his issues, you would have already "cured" him. Unfortunately all your concern will not make him whole; he has to want to seek help and do the work that comes with it. If your well being is being sacrificed because he opts to not get help, does your sacrifice benefit anyone? The Serenity Prayer comes in handy here as you cannot control situations that are beyond your purview. Letting go of the outcome is very hard. You have your own work to do - the work of accepting that you cannot alter his path and furthermore that you are not responsible for his path. Free will is a beautiful concept and unfortunately he is making choices that have and may blow up in his face. You too have free will. What will you do with your choices?
Title: Love and insanity
Post by: Tornup on June 22, 2021, 03:09:27 PM
He is playing with fire with the subordinates and I have no idea why the unreciprocated woman did not turn him in. I told her I would have been in HR day 2. He got her promoted and also I think she enjoyed being in the high up circle. I did a blog on everything and it was turned in to his boss but it did jot have our names. It did say he had multiple affairs, but I did not say workers. He got called in with his boss and a lawyer, and they said that they were told it was employees and he denied. I asked if they told him if he was he needs to stop and he said they did not. I cant not imagine in the mee too era they didn't? He did say he was going back to therapy. We shall see. He is already in cc debt. 4 months ago all bills were at “0” when we divorced. I am trying to move on and try to get back out in the world. Work from home since covid and my company is not bringing up back in office. Little isolated for over a year.  I will check out that book. I have read many. It does help. Education and understanding the situation when they cant not explain is everything

I am going to do therapy as soon as my new insurance takes effect. I was dropped from his and was not notified in time to not have a gap
Title: Love and insanity
Post by: UrsaMajor on June 22, 2021, 11:46:07 PM
For the company to ignore this opens the company up to discrimination lawsuits as well so not only is HE playing with fire, now that the company has been informed, so are they if they take no action...

Getting help for ourselves as needed is key to a) self-care, and b) self-preservation so good on you for getting things underway, even if you have to wait for your own insurance coverage.

In my tagline, there are some links to some of the resources available here on the Web Site.

As Ready already said, I am sorry that you needed to find us but glad that you were able to - you have gotten an invitation to the party that no one ever wanted to attend and it is the beginning of an ultra-marathon slog through the mud, especially if one chooses to stand... Standing though does NOT mean "standing Still" or waiting... and it sounds as if you are taking charge of your own life - hats off!

UM
Title: Love and insanity
Post by: Tornup on June 23, 2021, 04:45:55 AM
Um- Thank you. I will check out those resources. I have made my self financially secure and now trying to get my life emotionally secure to move on. It is a shock so late in life to think of starting over. Trying to live in the moment and not look to far a head.
Title: Re: Love and insanity
Post by: OldPilot on June 23, 2021, 06:05:33 AM
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.
GAL.

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.
http://mlcforum.theherosspouse.com/index.php?topic=4.msg380#msg380

Developing Detachment
http://jamesjmessina.com/toolsforcontrolissues/developdetachment.html

http://www.midlifecrisismarriageadvocate.com/self-focus_releasers_detach.html

http://www.livestrong.com/article/14712-developing-detachment/

RCR has asked everyone to keep to one thread until  that thread is 150 posts

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

Knowledge is Power - Sir Francis Bacon
Title: Love and insanity
Post by: Tornup on June 23, 2021, 10:52:10 AM
Old pilot- More good information. I am like a sponge as all others in trying to heal and move on. I appreciate all the information.
Title: Love and insanity
Post by: stillbaffled on June 23, 2021, 05:39:17 PM
Tornup - you have landed in a place that will offer support,  compassion and wisdom. 

Post as often as you wish.  There are many folks here that will lend an ear and offer you advice.  Take what works best for you and your situation. 

My sincere condolences on the loss of your daughter. 
Title: Love and insanity
Post by: Tornup on June 24, 2021, 02:34:07 PM
Thank you Still Baffled,

It is a rough road when you are dealing with multiple issues. Depression, MLC, Diabetes T, low self esteem and Low t. He has also ED.  Appears now he has a issue that may need surgery. How is someone with all these issues and unable to have sex able to not only start a relationship but keep it going. When they get there systems balanced out do they just assume that is from the new woman? Do they ever hit rock bottom or just continue to exist and only exist. I know he is not happy. Manipulating the subordinate he is seeing to not ask deep questions, but as he states. I only give her the least amount of information to get by. Does everyone just find it is easier to just move on with life as if they didnt exist? My hardest thing is letting go of someone that is clearly mentally struggling. When you are a loyal person you want to help and although I cant save him I find it hard to not check in, but I know I need to stop. I have went no contact and I hope with only this one woman in his life he will start to see the disconnect from his family and all those who cares. 



Title: Love and insanity
Post by: Treasur on June 24, 2021, 10:53:40 PM
Quote
It is a rough road when you are dealing with multiple issues. Depression, MLC, Diabetes T, low self esteem and Low t. He has also ED.  Appears now he has a issue that may need surgery.

Part of the process of detaching (and it takes most of us a while) is being able to firmly replace the YOU with a HE in the above.
And to see that YOU have your own issues right now probably....that he gives not a whit about....so your caring is not reciprocal...perhaps your own depression, anxiety, weight loss, sleep problems etc from having an unfaithful spouse who is treating you like an inanimate object or simply unpleasant to be around, and the uncertainties of a life upended.
You can’t do much about HIS stuff....but you can do something about your stuff.
I am so very sorry that you are in this situation and we absolutely get how very confusing it is to unpick the habits, many of them quite normal, that comes from a long marriage.

There’s a lot of debate at times on HS about NC.
Imho I don’t think I have seen a story where NC helps them ‘see’ anything like you mention at all.

You decide on what kind of contact - about what, how much, style - because of what is best for YOU (and your kids if that is relevant) not bc you are trying to influence or punish someone else.
And there is a spectrum from lots to none....complete NC is relatively rare imho other than for those of us whose spouses vanish and want none, or in cases of extreme emotional or physical abuse when the LBS is concerned about their safety. So, you may find it helpful to worry less about ‘going NC’ - pretty impossible with a live in and if you share kids - and more about how to begin to emotionally detach from the impact of what your h says, does or what you think his issues are and focus on what you need to feel just a little bit better in yourself? And please don’t feel bad....we all go through stages of finding this hard and confusing, learning by trial and error tbh. Jmo.

What kind of interaction do you have with him currently?
And how do you feel about it? Or how useful or not is it? What is your honest objective in those interactions and how often do you achieve it? How high is the cost to your own wellbeing?

Start small perhaps by trying to use a bit of a ‘detached observers eye’ on your own behaviour and reactions....this might help you to see some ways in which you can adapt your behaviour and expectations to fit the current realities?

So, for instance, if I think about myself post BD, my biggest struggle was to accept that my then h simply did not care....about a whole bunch of things, big and small. I kept feeling shocked by that and kept behaving as if he did/should....when an objective POV would say that, for whatever reason, the reality was he behaved consistently like someone who just didn’t  ::)....so we were on different pages and I kept feeling hurt and shocked until I changed my expectation to the exact opposite! In fact, I think I remember literally having to repeat to myself ‘he does not care’ lol until I got the message  :)....gosh, it was a long list lol, a dying cat, stolen money, my cancer, selling a house, my mothers dementia, death threats, possessions......but when I did, MY behaviour changed and I got hurt and confused much less. Actually I think I remember being shocked by a couple of random events when he did seem to care (a bit) as that by then seemed rather peculiar and I cared less if he cared or not if that makes sense  ::)

Fwiw I found Acceptance....with a capital A....of the observable factual reality of what was happening around me helped much more than anything to do with using a speculative lens on my h. I know how people behave when they value and respect other humans, when they care about the consequences of their actions on others, when they can be trusted to tell the truth as they see it, when their responses are rational and make sense in a given situation even in difficult situations....this was not it. I may not ever entirely understand why my xh behaved as he did....but accepting that it was actually happening was a useful first step in figuring out what was necessary for me to adapt to the reality of it including all the bits I had no control over at all.  :) And deciding that I refused to be responsible for anything that I did not know about or got no say in  :) Again, jmo.
Title: Love and insanity
Post by: Tornup on June 25, 2021, 04:35:33 AM
Thank you for the response Treasur-

We are NC as of a week. Last conversation we had I realize I ask and talk all about him. He never asks me anything. After a 2 hour conversation I said do you have anything you need from me or want to know. He said No. I said we have talked for 2 hours about you and you have nothing your curious about to ask me? He said that normally I tell him what I am up to. I said still? Not one thing?
At that point I realized what am I getting from this? He wants to be friends, but it is one sided. I feel like his mother and dr. I am talking to him about the OW and his depression and work. I told him he fired me from that job. He is seeing someone else ( who he refuses to talk to beyond surface level or as he said I answer with the least I can get away with) I told him I initiate calls not him.

He said that he doesn’t feel it is fair for him to call because he left , but that he just tries to hang on until I call. He says that he knows usually within 2 weeks I will, so he just tries to hand on and he doesn't know how he will do if he doesnt get my calls. He said I ask all the questions he needs to be asked and he reflects on them when he gets off.

I told him I wanted to be friends, but I am not getting anything out of the friendship back. That it would be better for me to detach more and move on and we could talk in a fee months when our daughter gets married and see if we are ready to resume a friendship. I feel we still dont know what it is like to not be in each others lives and maybe we need to see what that is like.

I did message him a very nice ( more than generous considering the years of lies and betrayal) message after the call so we could leave it on good terms. It was all about him and the reply I got was all about him.

I called him back and said this is exactly what I am
Saying. You couldn’t come back with anything about ME? It was still about you. This is exactly why we have to break away as it is not healthy for me.

My text message to him

Signing off. Please make sure and go back into therapy. I really want to see you work through everything and be happy and most important I want to see you back, but better. You are an amazing person and you need to get back to you. I'm so proud of all you have accomplished in your life and I know the past 12 years indiscretions are not a true reflection of who your core being is. Thank you for being a voice of reason for me for decades. Prove to yourself and your family that you can rise above this and come out stronger. I know you can. I will be glad to hear from you when it happens. Love and Happiness is what I wish for you. When I am old and grey and sitting on my porch of my beach house come by and have a drink and we will catch up. Thanks for being my best friend for so long. I will truly miss you. I really would not have replaced you for anyone else in the world. Good Bye  💔

His reply

Your kind words I do not deserve, I'm a terrible husband, friend, parent, I don't think I've ever been good at anything, you were just always able to cover , It does hurt to know I failed you again

Title: Love and insanity
Post by: Treasur on June 25, 2021, 05:16:24 AM
I presume that these conversations and text messages were more than a week ago? (You might want to muse on why you sent/had them....what did you expect/learn/get from them? And no need to share your conclusions here, my friend, unless you find it useful....not at all uncommon that you might find some of your underlying motives, if you are really honest with yourself, may not be quite so shiny or straightforward. )

Which goes to the issue of contact.....we call them relationship talks here and suggest avoiding them bc they are rarely useful for either you or your marriage.....did talking about OW, his depression or his work (again not uncommon) give you anything useful at all? It might have made him feel momentarily better....being listened to is always nice lol....but did it do anything useful for him either or change his behaviour? Probably not. So, if you have some kind of contact, you can choose to not be prepared to get into discussions about certain things. His work? Perhaps. OW? Er, nope....she’s not your ow or friend is she? Not your circus. And helps you stay out of the infamous drama triangle that these folks and ow types seem to like so much  :) The weather? Covid? The news? Things your kids are doing? A broken door in the house? A movie you’ve seen? Maybe....you get to choose. There’s a lot of space between NC and just listening to them talk about themselves......

Your instincts sound pretty good about just how one-sided these interactions are. Again, common experience here. And usefully, once you see that, you can choose how much or how little you are prepared to offer.

His ‘mr sadz’ is pretty textbook too. Sounding as if something just happened or like a big boy did it and ran away lol. And of course he will keep doing what he’s doing until he holds himself responsible for his own actions....that is up to him. I suspect from what you wrote that your h needs and expects some contact from you every so often....not uncommon again.....but it is entirely about HIS needs as you say. Like a comfort blanket of some sort. Again you get to choose if you want to offer that or not.

The tough truth.....and I could have written in the past you wrote, probably did early on...is that he ISN’T entirely an ‘amazing’ person at the moment and 12 years is a long time of ‘not being yourself’. This may not be ALL of who he is, but it is PART of who he is. Same with my former h or others spouses here, sad but true....the behaviour comes from somewhere, even in crisis, and they find it acceptable enough as a way to deal with things to keep doing it. The current reality is actually closer to what he wrote....he IS by normal standards right now a ‘terrible husband, friend, parent’ based on his behaviour. And your xh not your h bc you are now divorced. That’s true. But not enough to change his behaviour as yet....so it matters enough for him to see or even feel sad about but not enough for him to do something different right now. And that may be a very painful reality for you to accept, I’m sorry...... But imho doing so may be necessary for you to detach a little and to let him to figure out if he wants to be a better one of any of those things and act accordingly without anyone else’s help. There is imho something in that old phrase about the truth setting you free in the sense of giving you more options....we just forget to mention how tremendously painful it can be to look at it sometimes.
Title: Love and insanity
Post by: Kimber on June 25, 2021, 08:09:11 AM
Your kind words I do not deserve, I'm a terrible husband, friend, parent, I don't think I've ever been good at anything, you were just always able to cover , It does hurt to know I failed you again

I would get nearly the same response when I would take the time to write thought out, meaningful emails in the beginning.

I just stopped writing. It wasn't worth the effort and I wasn't even sure he was truly reading and digesting.
Title: Re: Love and insanity
Post by: marvin4242 on June 25, 2021, 08:12:34 AM
Your kind words I do not deserve, I'm a terrible husband, friend, parent, I don't think I've ever been good at anything, you were just always able to cover , It does hurt to know I failed you again

I would get nearly the same response when I would take the time to write thought out, meaningful emails in the beginning.

I just stopped writing. It wasn't worth the effort and I wasn't even sure he was truly reading and digesting.

Tornup you are getting great advice from posters above. Only thing I wanted to add is same of this. I wrote my wife a detailed e-mail in the early days, and she admitted a year later that she had never read it.
Title: Love and insanity
Post by: Tornup on June 25, 2021, 08:24:27 AM
Marvin, Kimber, Treasur
I think he is a cover Narcissist with BPD. I think that he runs from his issues and can move and and forget people. He does not have a relationship with his siblings or mother or have any friends. Right now the only person he has is the OW which has and continues to be based on lies. I have been the only person he has ever opened up to and obviously not enough or we would not be here today.

I realize that if he truly wanted to be in my life he would make the effort. Hence the reason I cut off communication. I need distance. There is a part of me trauma bonded to who he was and that man never existed. 30 years is hard to let go of and realize that it was not all real. I totally agree that who he is showing is who he is in weak and stressful life situations and he is not brave enough to work hard enough to get through it and change.

I am a strong person weathering many storms. 2 home fires, home invasion rape, cancer myself, death of my daughter to cancer, parent brutal divorce ( mother cheated) parents death, brother imprisonments due to alcoholism and drugs. My XH knowing all I have endured it does make you wonder how he could hurt me in this manner. The only conclusion is that he just doesn’t care about me.

I’m starting to realize I may have to be ok with being the longest relationship he has ever had and that maybe that was the best he was capable of. Hard to almost be 60 and this is where I am. I am fortunate to be financially secure, in decent shape and still a decent looking lady which is helping  keeping my self esteem up.
Title: Love and insanity
Post by: Kimber on June 25, 2021, 09:28:13 AM
My XH knowing all I have endured it does make you wonder how he could hurt me in this manner.

I have thought the same.

he only conclusion is that he just doesn’t care about me.


Yes and no. They are broken. Something happens at this point and they fracture. Long held issues that were never dealt with rise to the surface. They can't love anyone in the state they are in.

Also, too, I believe they are going to people who give them the worst advice. I often wonder if any of these men or women receive advice from anyone who tells them to get their sh*t together and get back to their families.

My husband, prior to his crisis, was surrounded by single people who had no frame of reference and nothing to lose in their own lives. How could they possibly dispense wise advice or relate to what he was experiencing? Some had everything to gain ($) by alienating him from his family.

cover Narcissist with BPD

Seems to be a lot of that here. I am fairly certain my H is a fragile narcissist. We had a good thread going about it at one time.

Title: Love and insanity
Post by: Tornup on June 25, 2021, 09:53:55 AM
Kimber- I had not heard of fragile narcissist, but my XH could definitely be in that category. He lives in his sadness. He has never to this day said A unkind word to me. He did hold in small things through out our lives and decide that was the reason to leave. He never feels good enough !

Although he rose to a very prominant position I do not think without me he could have got there, but in the end resented I worked, cooked, cleaned, paid bills, took care of taxes and family events. I think my strength made him feel weaker. I do know that things that he could have said bothered him when they happened would have changed everything. He is unable to voice in a relationship unhappiness or disappointment. However he is able to voice frustrations with anyone and everything outside of our relationship. He has always seemed to hate everyone, yet to most he seemed sweet and kind.  It is all mind f’ery now that I can look back. It  makes it hard to know what to do. I guess I have decided my best bet for me is to distance and move on like there is no hope. If he came back now there is to much damage. I think it would take years of separation and a concerted effort from
Him to make another try worth it after so many years of him not doing the right thing and the betrayals
Title: Love and insanity
Post by: Tuesday on June 25, 2021, 10:45:10 AM
Tornup,
I can so relate to your continued efforts to make your husband the man YOU thought he was.  I have done this for a LONG time,  My kids, my friends, to some degree my clergyman, they all see that my H was not nearly the person I thought he was or wanted him to be, even before the MLC.  But then when he was ready to drop the mask of being so diligent and good, he executed his free will and choose to throw his reputation/character/morals-- to the curb and engaged in a lot of distructive behaviors, with a great deal of emotional abuse dished out on the side to both me and our children.  Not horribly mean-- but just enough to let us know that he came first and we should be grateful for whatever attention he paid us.  Many times in my marriage, he would say to me (as ridiculous as it sounds now, 'When you are acting right, we get along fine.")  That of course, meant that I was doing everything he needed to have done, and I was doing it with a 'winsome attitude',  You mentioned covert narcissism, yep, my H is one, or at least that's what my therapist thinks.  He checks all the boxes.  The point is this..... you are worth so much more than the crumbs he throws you (I'm reminding myself of this, as we speak. LOL).  I know you already know this, but sometimes, it's nice to hear. 

With me, it really comes down to this---some deal breakers occurred at the onset of all these behaviors, but the trauma bond or fear of failure on my part kept me dragging this out for years now, because I kept waiting for him to come around and be who I thought he was----when he made it plain he had no desire to do so-----not in words, but actions.  As they tell you here, look at what they do, not what they say.

I do not post much, but I read.... I read the posts of all these new people coming onto this forum every day.  There are so many.  It's mind boggling to me how many people are hurting , CONSTANTLY, because the adults they married have blown up their lives,  betrayed them, rattled their faith in themselves and everyone else...... all because of their inability to voice that they needed help in a more productive manner. I often feel that I was pulled into all this because, well, my H couldn't handle his problems and made them my problems to ease his own pain.  Maybe it isn't a selfish move on many spouses' parts, but for some, it is, in IMO.  Sort of a " I'm hurting, so I need to make sure you are hurting too" kind of thing--- hence the BD and chaos that follows.  In my case, I had spent a lifetime 'fixing' him, so maybe the BD was his way of letting me know I needed to "fix' this for him---because he hasn't really tried to, not in any significant way. Perhaps it's that way for your too, to some degree.  It sounds as he has let you carried the load for a very long time......

The people here on HS offer so much good advice.  It's difficult to give up being a placeholder in your spouse's life, but when you don't, the second guessing and sleepless nights and continued rumination really do a number on you.  One of the best things I learned here is the importance of being kind to yourself, because you are probably not going to ever get support from your exH.  Also, get on the receving end of therapy with a truly committed therapist who specializes in PTSD.   With everything that has happened to you (And I can relate because I have a lot of FOO issues and past trauma as well), that time in therapy is really the most beneficial thing you can do.  And keep yourself busy, really busy,  Walking, gardening, decluttering, all these things have mentally kept me afloat this past year  (Thanks, Treaur... because you have inspired me with your talk of nature, I spent a hour in the garden this morning).  For months after BD, I strugled to sleep, often staying wake all night, ruminating and replaying and  trying to change things I could not change, until I heard my H telling my D how he slept like a baby every night and that was the tipping point for me.  I suppose we all have one........

I hope you find peace, because even though you have gone a week or so without contact, I know it's difficult to function when caring about him and overthinking,  but trying your best not to do so.  If there is any comfort, I guess it should be that the fact that you have stood by him through all this and that speaks volumes about your strength of character.  Just remember, because you do the right thing doesn't mean he ever will.........
Title: Love and insanity
Post by: Tornup on June 25, 2021, 11:44:03 AM
Tuesday- thank you so much for taking the time out for your reply and wisdom. Yes, I find I have issues not going to sleep, but now that most my days I dont let it consume my waking hours once I fall asleep I tend to work it out in my sleep waking up many times in the middle of the night . I think what has helped me so far is looking back at all the res flags and realizing the issue was there he was just able to control it until the death of our daughter and his father 3 months later. 

Besides his inability to communicate I noticed that since he left he is hiking with the OW. Said he always loved it before we got together. I said then in 30 years I would think you would bring that up?  It was pulling teeth to get to know him through the years. When I moved him out in 2018 and went to his apartment I noticed he refolded them all  his jeans to create a crease down the middle and I used to cuff socks together and he took them apart and folded them.  When I asked he said that is how he likes them. Again, never said a word for 30 years. I don't think I would have taken the time to re do them all, but maybe after laundry change it. Either was it was hurtful that I had been “doing it wrong” and he never said a word until he moved out. If he couldnt express that how was I to expect him sharing more important things.

He is 4 years younger at 54, but now that the mask is off and he is trying to put it back on. I feel it will always be slipping and the hiding of the demise of this marriage to the OW who he lies to already will continue to bog down the new relationship. I hate all this most for the family aspect. I am sure that is what we all fight for is our family. I cant imagine wanting volunteering to start over in life in our 50’s . I have often asked him when you look ahead at the holidays and you are sitting at a table of a family that is not yours. They are all telling stories you were not there for and talking about people that you dont know nor will you because they have passed “ how does that make you feel” he said really sad. Yet, they continue .   :( 
Title: Love and insanity
Post by: Tornup on June 25, 2021, 06:49:42 PM
My XH has a very high level stressful job he accepted in 2016. He was to relocate to a new state. He was able to stall that until 2018. We purchased a second home where he lives now that we are divorced. However, his job requires travel to 5 states periodically. One state is where we lived and I currently live and where his EA and current subordinate OW is. He drives after a full week of work 5 1/2 hours on friday night to come down and then spends Saturday with her and drives back Sunday. So they see each other 1 day a week. How long can this be kept up? Anyone else experience anything like this? Seems exhausting. OW also works nights and he is days. So, even when he is in town for a week he cant see her during the week. I sometimes wonder if that was purposely picked due depression and keeping the mask on as well
Title: Re: Love and insanity
Post by: Ready2Transform on June 25, 2021, 08:50:14 PM
Quote
How long can this be kept up? Anyone else experience anything like this?

Mine spent several years driving back and forth between Kansas and Illinois. They were both married during this time, but the last year or so both were separated (xH lived with his parents during that time). I counted a lot on all of that travel and lack of time together ultimately being the undoing of the relationship, but it was not. That's not to say it's not possible, but from other cases around here, it's not unusual for the distance or lack of time together to not be a barrier for things to last. They're not like normal people. And a lot of that "bonding" they do is usually through texting, like teens (at least that's what it seems like).
Title: Love and insanity
Post by: Tornup on June 26, 2021, 12:07:03 AM
ReadyTT- I agree. I don’t think it is a barrier for the relationship. I think he may have picked that to have to not fully dedicate. One day a week you can maintain the white knight and bombing much easier. My question is how physically can you keep up with driving over 10 hours every weekend. Also, financially. The money spent driving and eating out has his him in cc debt. However, it looks like that this like you said keeps the fantasy. I assume at some point they have to make a decision to go all in on the relationship and not be a part time thing? It is exhausting thinking about it for me

I asked my RH once about the drive. He said the drive down lets him clear his head. He has to focus on where he is going. He said it actually gives him  a state of calm. He said the problem is driving back home. He said when he leaves is when he feels he is driving away from and leaving his family. So driving here to her , hit driving away from us.

Very interesting and also for me I think how does he drive to where his family is and see her every weekend, but not his kids or grandson. It’s all very sad. He has seen his grandson once in 8 months. They used to be very close. The escape from all reality it the most frightening aspect of it all
Title: Re: Love and insanity
Post by: Ready2Transform on June 26, 2021, 09:50:32 AM
ReadyTT- I agree. I don’t think it is a barrier for the relationship. I think he may have picked that to have to not fully dedicate. One day a week you can maintain the white knight and bombing much easier. My question is how physically can you keep up with driving over 10 hours every weekend. Also, financially. The money spent driving and eating out has his him in cc debt. However, it looks like that this like you said keeps the fantasy. I assume at some point they have to make a decision to go all in on the relationship and not be a part time thing? It is exhausting thinking about it for me

I asked my RH once about the drive. He said the drive down lets him clear his head. He has to focus on where he is going. He said it actually gives him  a state of calm. He said the problem is driving back home. He said when he leaves is when he feels he is driving away from and leaving his family. So driving here to her , hit driving away from us.

Very interesting and also for me I think how does he drive to where his family is and see her every weekend, but not his kids or grandson. It’s all very sad. He has seen his grandson once in 8 months. They used to be very close. The escape from all reality it the most frightening aspect of it all

Nodding along with all of it. My xH met the OW in a hobby of theirs - French and Indian War reenacting. So fantasy and being "personas" that were different from reality was always part of the relationship. I still have no clue how he is able to make his life work, but he has lost a lot materially. He had no problem bankrupting me though on the way out, which is why I always warn LBSs to protect the finances. No matter how the outcome goes, you'll be saving your family a lot of suffering if you put that first.

The driving for my xH was such a part of it too. I assume it allowed him to be in his head with only the thoughts he wanted (no responsibilities). And the motion, literally, made him feel like he was moving somewhere in his life. It's all so very weird. There is no way to predict of course whether he'll ultimately realize how futile it is before it's too late, or run full force into the craziness (mine did, and that was really unexpected to me). But I hope for your family, it's the former. They seem so oblivious to what's really at stake.
Title: Love and insanity
Post by: Tornup on June 26, 2021, 10:05:34 AM
Ready TT-Yours realized or ran more into the craziness? I am financially secure with my own job/ career and an amazing settlement I asked for and he agreed to. I did the divorce in 30 days uncontested with my lawyer and he never hired one. He is basically almost paying me my salary again for 13 years. Doubling what I make. I also asked for the house and all equity. I will remain as his beneficiary on all 401k and insurance and got half 401k. Lawyer said best settlement she has ever seen.

I am just at a place now where I am ready to move on and it doesnt scare me to fall out of love and let go of the future I planned or thought would be. I really feel although he has alway detached from people and and compartmentalize that he will have a hard time letting me go. I think he allowed me in where he has not let others. It will be interesting to see how the story evolves in 5-10 years.

Sounds like we have so many similarities in our men and our stories.

Title: Re: Love and insanity
Post by: Ready2Transform on June 26, 2021, 11:28:07 AM
So glad you got that settlement! That's fantastic. :)

Mine is still running, ten years past BD. He and the OW married. Divorce settlement with me never reached, but I kept the house and my business, so it's as much of a win as I would have hoped for. There's been a lot of drama, and still periodically is some, despite living in different time zones, sharing no kids or anything that would keep us tied. Certainly not the person who was my best friend for decades prior. But our stability keeps us grounded, and live keeps moving forward. :)
Title: Love and insanity
Post by: Tornup on June 28, 2021, 04:45:21 AM
Had a conversation with my ex MIL on the phone last night. My oldest daughter is getting married. She has a wedding shower July 10th and X MIL is giving an excuse that the 8 hour drive and stay in a hotel would be to much and she is not coming. She is headed on vacation soon after that? Her vacation is traveling in with a sleeper trailer?? I know my daughter will be upset and can’t help, but know this is another loss from the marriage ending and the awkward situation we are in due to then divorce and my XH MLC.

I talked to her a bit about her son and his mental state. He refused to have any connection with her and ignored her calls and messages. He has told me he doesn’t want anything to do with her . I did not tell her that. I did however tell her that he in therapy came to conclusions to leave me and not talk to her, but that I was struggling to get my own answers and hadn’t dove into the issues with her.

I feel that my XH in this runway relationship where he doesnt have to deal with REAL life at some point this OW will have to have more? I assume that will soon become him maybe introducing her to his one brother that he has chosen to slightly stay in contact. If he doesn’t then she will start to see the RES flags of his isolation. I feel that he will use that to connect with his mother. He will be using his mother to help verify something with the OW.

All I know is I could tell my xMIL could not get off the phone quick enough. It is hard to lose your H and your H family due to no fault of your own. It is brought on a lot of anxiety thinking HOW DID I GET HERE? 

H-54
W-58
Married 7/6/1991
Kids d-30 s-28 d-14 deceased
Moved out for space-jan 2018
BD1-march 2018 found phone
EA ow1-49
EA-ow2 57
EA- ow3 58
Moved back-Oct 2018
BD2-October 2020
OW-46
Divorce filed-Dec 202O
Divorce final-Feb 2021
Currently: No Contact by my choice for sanity and for him not to cake eat


Title: Love and insanity
Post by: Tornup on June 28, 2021, 04:48:31 AM
Ready to T-
How long has he been married? What kind of drama? That is interesting since there are no ties?
Title: Re: Love and insanity
Post by: Ready2Transform on June 28, 2021, 09:29:09 AM
Ready to T-
How long has he been married? What kind of drama? That is interesting since there are no ties?


First off, I'm so sorry about the situation with xMIL. I remember that feeling of the relationship change, and it was awful. My xMIL and I weren't particularly close, but to have a wall go up where suddenly there wasn't a freer flow of conversation as though I was just a stranger was surreal. Good excuse for some self-care to let yourself process through it all while the monkey-braining of what will happen with your xH and her in the future turns on (and I remember that too).

As far as I know, marriage has been 6 years, and they've lived together 8. I originally typed out a lot of the minutiae that went on through the years, but know that you will reach a point at some point where you don't actually care about doing that anymore (and believe me, I never thought I'd stop telling the story!). Long version: hit my threads in the archives, 2012-2014 for the juicy parts of the clinging years and the divorce. Short version: tons of back and forth from him between victim mode and monster. She's a drama queen and the two of them together were especially volatile in the early days before they divorced their spouses, but periodically I'll hear from one of their creditors trying to find them or I'll get identity thieved in some super specific way, and I'll know they're up to tricks. They've both done a ton of weird and troublesome things, physically, emotionally, financially, and legally, totally out of character for what I knew him to be since he was 18 years old. Sometimes it's directed at me personally, sometimes monstering to connections/institutions we shared in common about me. All while I do nothing to him, don't reach out, don't care.

But yet, the family embraced her and I became persona non grata. The FOO issues really present, and that's what it is - but it's still hurtful. 

Just remember - everything you're perceiving about the situation is real, but don't run yourself ragged trying to stop a moving train. You get run over that way. Get off the tracks, move to safe ground, and let it go. It will crash at some point or continue to drive in circles. But you are good. And in some way, like with your xMIL not coming to the shower, that's ultimately going to be a good thing. You and your daughter won't have to have the anxiety of dealing with her or have this situation with your xH in anyway upstage your D's big day. The loss will be a gain when it gives you more peace than what it takes. Big hugs!
Title: Love and insanity
Post by: Tornup on June 28, 2021, 10:02:40 AM
Ready2T-

I think once the wedding is over I will have a much easier time detaching fully and moving on. Having him leave right after her announcement of being engaged and setting the date has been hard. Small wedding with 35 people all family while everything in the family is broken is a major anxiety driven stressor. I hate that I cant enjoy the wedding, but wish I could just skip it. My XH would love to skip it. It just is so sad and I feel so bad for her, so I just hope that she enjoys her day despite the mess we are all in.
Title: Love and insanity
Post by: barbiedoll on June 29, 2021, 07:11:48 PM
Quote
Anyone else experience anything like this?
.

Similar situation .  When my H left home he also quit his job ( that was so shocking , to say the least). He quit everything . He went 5 hours away and worked building a new house with his brother.  He was pain next to nothing and I was very fortunate that I had a high paying job and could manage without him. He stayed up there all week and drove back on weekends ( sometimes).  And he went to OW's house who lives in same town as I do.  He never came to see me or his kids . Never saw any of his grandkids  for months.   But the curious thing is that he rarely saw the OW from what I can tell.  He lived at home for a good 6 months and I had no clue he was having an affair...he was never "missing".  So she settled for crumbs apparently and then she was thrown back in the dumpster he found her in.  Maybe it was a "text-affair" !.   It is also interesting to note he has not spoken to his brother since all this happened . No idea why . His reasons are really just BS in my opinion.  You will never make sense of the actions of a man in MLC.  My H is utterly shocked at some of the things he did.
Title: Love and insanity
Post by: Kimber on June 30, 2021, 07:31:33 AM
You will never make sense of the actions of a man in MLC.

Isn't that the truth? Also, they seem to be completely unaware that they have become a complete caricature. My H acts like the things he says and does are completely revolutionary. Even stranger, his behavior is something he would have ridiculed or had trouble understanding had he witnessed someone else doing it, say, even, two short years ago. Puzzling.
Title: Love and insanity
Post by: Tornup on July 01, 2021, 01:36:48 PM
Well, my x has dipped again in his MLC depression. He decided that since he left me and I stated I needed distance it wasnt fair to contact me, but I am the only one he feels comfortable talking to. So instead he cut for relief. I told him although he has a new GF I understand that relationship is an escape and he doesnt talk to her on serious matters. He has told her he has struggled with depression, but has not gone futher.

 I told him that I was getting a dr list for him to choose from to go back into therapy, but that although I am trying to distance to heal and move on , that does not mean that if he is in a suicidal or cutting desperation point that he can not call. He can always call me if he gets to that point, but at some point it will be difficult for me as he did leave me and replace me with someone else.

I find it odd that he left because I wanted to talk to much and now I am the one he wants to reach out when he needs to talk. He said I am a security blanket. That is exactly how I feel. The fact that the depression is no better to me shows that leaving a 30 year relationship and divorcing was not a good choice on his part, but you cant reason woth a depressed mind
 
Title: Love and insanity
Post by: Tornup on July 06, 2021, 01:59:26 PM
The 30th wedding anniversary blog. I emailed this to my XH. Will it even sink in? Things that make you go, hmmmm


https://madisonhaleyarnold.blogspot.com/2021/07/family-is-everything.html?fbclid=IwAR3BfW1wtTHtHPwk1vGfUIbGYhHJsDQRHO-YhyEmmNR2YswOPwlD5s7sWqc&m=1


Title: Love and insanity
Post by: UrsaMajor on July 07, 2021, 01:25:47 AM
The 30th wedding anniversary blog. I emailed this to my XH. Will it even sink in? Things that make you go, hmmmm


https://madisonhaleyarnold.blogspot.com/2021/07/family-is-everything.html?fbclid=IwAR3BfW1wtTHtHPwk1vGfUIbGYhHJsDQRHO-YhyEmmNR2YswOPwlD5s7sWqc&m=1

What did/do you hope to accomplish by sending him this? What expectations do you have?

An MLC'er is only going to see pressure and a guilt-trip here.

To be blunt, if he has a Monster streak in him, you probably want to batten down the hatches and prepare for heavy seas because this will very likely poke the Monster with a cattle prod. If he is a vanisher, <poof!>  he will really disappear...

He already knows he is a walking twatwaffle, he already has the latent guilt (whether he has compartmentalized it or not is a different story but it is there), he is engaging in "escape and avoid" behaviours, he is already trying to either deny accountability or justify his behaviour by blaming you... By basically shoving the Barbeque fork up his nose here, these behaviours will be reinforced...

(https://media.giphy.com/media/E2USislQIlsfm/giphy.gif)
Title: Love and insanity
Post by: Treasur on July 07, 2021, 03:31:31 AM
Ok, Tornup, that was a mistake. (We’ve all probably done something similar  ::) )
But it’s done now so might as well use it as an opportunity to learn something useful, right?

 
Quote
but you cant reason woth a depressed mind
So, why did you try?
Don’t worry, you can climb back up on the horse lol....but managing your own reactions usually needs us to see the gap between what we say and what we actually DO. And to understand what is useful to us and what is not. (I actually used UM’s phrase about sticking a fork up my nose as a screensaver for a few months to stop me doing just this kind of thing  :)...bc, whilst I didn’t understand WHY, I knew it was futile  ::) )

Any LBS here would read that post and agree wholeheartedly.
Bc we value the things that the writer values.
It’s a tough truth to accept that our spouses did not when they left. Bc if they did share our POV, they would have behaved differently. Right now, that is how it is. It might not have been how it was, it might not always be that way....but it is the truth of how it is now. And that is a hard pill to swallow, but it helps us invest our energies wisely when we can get to that point.

I would humbly suggest that you are a real human being, not a comfort blanket.....
And that this person is no longer your h but your xh....so your obligations are different now bc of HIS choices.
Quote
I told him that I was getting a dr list for him to choose from to go back into therapy...
Why is this your responsibility as his XW?
Is he unable to use google bc his fingers have dropped off?
Or has he lost the ability to speak so can’t make phone calls?
Nope....thought not....
if HE reaches a point where he feels bad enough that HE decides he needs help, he’s an adult and he’ll decide to find it.....or decide to press on without it. (And again, please don’t let me make you feel bad...been there, got the T-shirt lol....but it will probably be more useful for your healing to reflect on why you are still trying to control or fix things that are beyond your control and ability to fix in the spirit of horses and water etc.....)

Quote
although I am trying to distance to heal and move on , that does not mean that if he is in a suicidal or cutting desperation point that he can not call....
Why is this your responsibility as his XW? Or are you the kind of mental health professional that someone would need if they reached this point?
I understand the desire to be a decent human. If my xh contacted me in this kind of distress, I would be as kind and respectful as if any other human did so. Probably. Which would mean encouraging him to find the professional help he needs and calling the emergency services if I thought his life was at risk. But I am no longer his wife, not his therapist and not a comfort blanket for emergencies. Neither are you.

Quote
at some point it will be difficult for me as he did leave me and replace me with someone else.
Yes, he did. That was his choice. Choices come with consequences in RL. Consequences are not punishment, just the law of cause and effect. If you leave and divorce your wife, one consequence is that this person is no longer your wife or on your core support team, surely? And i’d guess that your xh has been as much use as a chocolate teapot when you have needed emotional support, right?
And what IS the point when it will become sufficiently difficult for you?
Bc setting those kind of boundaries is your responsibility, my friend, not his. If you are not ok with being a comfort blanket or a kind of imaginary wife when it suits him, the only person who can decide where the new lines are is you.
But does it suit you?

Quote
I find it odd that he left because I wanted to talk to much and now I am the one he wants to reach out to
Bc, put simply, your xh gets to have wife/xw bc it suits him to do so in a given moment...so he doesn’t need a boundary  ::)
But does it suit you?
Title: Re: Love and insanity
Post by: marvin4242 on July 07, 2021, 03:46:23 AM
Quote
although I am trying to distance to heal and move on , that does not mean that if he is in a suicidal or cutting desperation point that he can not call....
Why is this your responsibility as his XW? Or are you the kind of mental health professional that someone would need if they reached this point?

TornUp: UM and Treasur have said a lot of great things, please read and re-read their posts. When I saw your last post I struggled with what to post, because as they have said it just sounds like you are in a lot of pain and still trying to control the uncontrollable. You can only control your reaction and your actions.

But I wanted to underscore what Treasur said here: IF HE IS truly suicidal or cutting desperation YET he refuses to seek help for what is driving him to that point exactly what is it you think YOU can do? In addition to Treasur's great point you are also NOT the person who is trained and qualified to help someone in that state. The only thing that can be done is to get him held against his will and/or get him to a specialist to take over. So please maybe consider none of this is yours to control and maybe even if you don't hear that you have to accept you NOT the person to help.
Title: Love and insanity
Post by: Tornup on July 07, 2021, 05:45:01 AM
Marvin, Ursa , Tresur-
I agree with ALL!!!!  He has stated I am his security blanket. I got the listing of doctors as a last effort to push him to help. I know I need to let go. He continues to be kind. He will answer any text or call. Will talk to me for hours when I am distressed at any day or night. That has been confusing. He financially has gone above and beyond. So, I think I am trauma bonded.

I know I need to stop letting his insanity occupy so much space in my head. I just have to let go. I don’t know why I can’t stop trying to help and make sense of it all.

My logical side wants to have closure and there really is never going to be closure. I am tormenting myself and allowing him to torment me with the small kibbles he throws out to keep me attached. I wish he was cruel. Would be leas confusing.
Title: Love and insanity
Post by: Nas on July 07, 2021, 06:00:15 AM
I think when a lot of us started posting here, we were really trying to figure out what was going on and exploring several different avenues. I know that when I first joined this forum, I also got a book called Depression Fallout (At the time there was and immensely helpful companion website by the same name with a forum similar to this. I don’t know if it’s still in existence but at the time it was so helpful to me).

The hole we sometimes fall into is trying to figure it all out and fix it all by ourselves. We take on the responsibility of saving someone else while at the same time becoming experts in a subject that even the experts are not expert in, if that makes sense.

Reading that Depression Fallout book taught me how my husband‘s behavior had changed me also, and it also spurred me into immediately getting back to having my own therapist. And then having the multiple sources of support both in real life and online is what really helped me. The urge to continue to try to “reach” him will be strong for quite a while because you still feel like his go to person, his life partner, the person with whom he makes decisions and face his problems. Unfortunately, his decisions mean that you no longer have that role. As others have said, he’s still having it both ways and that’s not fair to you.

Posting here and learning from everyone is great, but if you haven’t already, I would strongly urge you to also seek a real life therapist. It’s just another great tool in your tool kit to help you detach, resist the urges to try to get him to see things the way you see them, and help you break the trauma bond.
Title: Love and insanity
Post by: Tornup on July 07, 2021, 06:20:51 AM
Nas- I am so ready to start therapy. Due to the timing of divorce and not getting the information “cobra” in time I had a lapse from when I was removed from XH insurance and starting mine. My insurance starts 7-15 and as soon as I get my insurance card the first thing I will do is start therapy. I understand that I am my own worst enemy.

I think I have gave him to many passes due to the death of our 14 year old daughter and followed by the sudden death of his father 3 mths later( which started his depression and MLC )I think for my children and even myself I have been trying to avoid a tragedy coming from
A tragedy, but we are there aren’t we. Not by my fault, but by his weakness and inability to do the work for himself and his family.

I need to release myself from that obligation. I think this is my week. Anniversary yesterday and Birthday tomorrow. I think using the last blog as my last contact will be a good thing to try and keep me from breaking the non contact.

It will be a new anniversary in a way. I cold turkey quit smoking in 2006 on my mothers bday and anniversary of my fathers death. Anytime I thought of picking up a cigarette I felt guilty with their attachment. My marriage and anniversary and specially the 30th was so important to me. I think making that the no contact date will some how give me back some power over the situation that I feel so powerless in.

I can only hope
Title: Love and insanity
Post by: Nas on July 07, 2021, 06:29:51 AM
I can’t even fathom the loss of a child. And part of what you’re experiencing may be the fact that the only other person who can understand the loss, your loss of your child, is a person who is inaccessible to you.
So of course when he wants to access you (for his own purposes, to suit his own needs, with no regards to yours) you’re inclined to want to respond because you crave that connection to the other person who understands your loss. That is such a complicated and complex situation to work through. I am so glad to hear that you will be getting a therapist to help you with that.
I’m so sorry for what you’ve gone through.
xx
Title: Love and insanity
Post by: xyzcf on July 07, 2021, 06:35:34 AM
Hi Tornup,

Our marriage ended just before our 32nd anniversary. Like you, family is the most important thing for me. We have one daughter and the destruction of this family continues to cause me great pain. That's ok, that is how it should be. I also have a spouse who remains in contact with me, although he doesn't share anything about his "issues" the way yours does.

I read through the really great posts that people have written to you and found a line written by treasur that jumped out at me: treasur wrote:

Fwiw I found Acceptance....with a capital A....of the observable factual reality of what was happening around me helped much more than anything to do with using a speculative lens on my h.

I had dinner the other night with two LBSers, we were all here back in 2010 or so when HS first started. They live in my area and we were good support for one another.

We talked about how much time we used to spend trying to figure out "why?" and looking at our spouse's every action and wondering if it meant anything. When spouses continue to have contact, their actions can be rather confusing. I receive the most thoughtful and beautiful gifts...that is his love language so it's not surprising really. What is important is that I don't take his "gift giving" as a sign that he wants any kind of real relationship with me.

That rejection of me, of our family is something I have struggled with.

Finding a good therapist was the key for me.....she was not a traditional "talk" therapist but rather specializes in trauma/PTSD and her focus was on helping put the shattered pieces of me, not back together, no but into something new. It is a work in progress  :).

A long time marriage like ours is impossible to wipe away, the love we had and may still have for our spouse doesn't end because they ended it...and I actually understand why you would still be there for him if he needed you. Those ties are very real and those years were very real.

Remember this is not about you and not about your marriage. This is his crisis and unfortunately we are "collateral damage" .....as our kids are as well.

I do agree that it is useless to try and talk to them/make them see what they are missing or do anything else to try and influence them in any way.

Let him go is a mantra that I had to use over and over again.....the more I let him go, the healthier I became.

I had a wonderful life with him. I am grateful for the 32 years we spent together and yes, I still miss him...and that's ok. When he reaches out, I respond back and that works fine for me. Each of us finds out own way to deal with things over time.

As treasur so aptly wrote, Acceptance is the key......there are many things in life that we do not have any control over. I am so sorry that you lost a daughter.....those things that happen in life, we wonder why? Eventually, as we pass through all the stages of grief, we can get to a place of peace.....with our spouses, the way to reach that peace is to let go and accept that this is who he is now.

Those 30 years were real Tornup, do not rewrite history or go back and find any fault at all with your life together. No marriage is perfect but MLC hits and rather than have the opportunity to work out whatever "issues" there were in the marriage (and in reality the "issues" are what they are experiencing as we see by the reasons they give to leave us), try to find acceptance and invest your energy on building a life without him.

Title: Love and insanity
Post by: Tornup on July 07, 2021, 06:48:59 AM
XYZCF- I know you all are right. My XH has done some Pscyh  things that I think have complicated things. Including a one sided emotional affair for 3 years. Despite the woman telling him to stop she was also being his friend/ co-worker. I think with the loss of our child and some clearly life and job threatening behavior I have found it hard to let go. Not wanting my children and frankly myself to have another tragedy. 

Also, there is a financial aspect to this. He agreed to alimony that covers mortgage and expenses for 13 years and so I am also trying to protect that for myself. I feel he is headed to total destruction financially and losing his job if he cant pull it together and that affects my life dramatically.

I think I have to stop worrying about the financial aspect and worry about my mental aspect of the situation
Title: Love and insanity
Post by: xyzcf on July 07, 2021, 07:28:44 AM
It is really really hard to let go.

But doesn't that make sense? You were together for 30 plus years, you did not want this to happen, your dreams for growing old together are gone and yes, there are financial aspects as well.

Unfortunately you cannot stop his destructive path. Many MLCers do end up losing their jobs. The financial worry is definitely a real concern.

Quote
I think I have to stop worrying about the financial aspect and worry about my mental aspect of the situation


The hard part is trying to deal with our mental health issues that are a result of what happened but also are dependent on previous life events. Anxiety, depression and several physiological health issues result from the stress of what has been thrust upon us.

The therapist I worked with specializes in mind/body work. There is a lot of information these days about the connection between stress and our physical and mental well being. Dr Bessel von der Kolk's book "The Body Keeps the Score" outlines this really well and several programs are being developed and offered that recognize the effects of trauma on our physical and mental health.

Because this is not a marriage issue, a therapist that wants to look at what went wrong in your marriage may not be the most helpful. It is what is happening right now, to you physically and emotionally and how you can change that, that is important.

You are in a time of significant "dates" and those times are always harder for me, anniversaries, birthdays, special occasions.....those memories of what was are encoded in our brains....you cannot wipe them away.

You mentioned in one of your posts that you have difficulty remaining asleep...and we know that sleep is really important. I found Bach Rescue Sleep Remedy which you can get at a health food store and some pharmacies helpful. If I would wake up, I'd spray it under my tongue and it really worked to get me back to sleep.

I do believe that exercise also helps...especially walking and would encourage you if you do not already have an exercise routine to try and walk or join a class. I also find yoga really helpful.

Of course the support from others who "understand" also allows us to find some peace and acceptance. Unfortunately most people who have not experienced MLC will not get this. Often even our family members will not understand why we continue to care about these men who have hurt us so deeply.

It is not easy to "let go"....in no way do I expect that you can just say let go and it will happen..once again it is something that happens gradually.

Quote
Anytime I thought of picking up a cigarette I felt guilty with their attachment. My marriage and anniversary and specially the 30th was so important to me.


I too was a smoker (two packs a day) and although I understand the connection to addiction, our marriage and intimate relationship is not quite the same. You never should feel guilty about the attachment you have to your spouse. Marriage joins two people together "as one flesh" ..even if you do not have that religious belief, marriage is a deep intimate joining together..that is what it is meant to be.

He left and that leaves you still having an attachment  because you did not choose this.....this feeling is normal.

I am in contact with several LBSers from many years ago....many are in another relationship but they still have feelings and some attachment to their spouse. You spent more than 30 years together....you learn to live with that attachment but you also learn to not allow it to destroy you or hold you back from living.

I have to go to my exercise class.  :) For our 30th wedding anniversary he gave me a sapphire eternity band with a card where he had written "thank you for the best 30 years of my life. I cannot wait to spend the next 30 years with you". We did not make it to 32.

I wear that band still, as a reminder of the love we had, the man he was. It was real, it was deeply important to me and always will be. It doesn't mean I am not able to enjoy life now, but he is just a very small part of that life now.

Take good care of yourself.
Title: Love and insanity
Post by: Treasur on July 07, 2021, 07:30:42 AM
And I hope you can do what you need to do with a tremendously kind eye on yourself, Tornup. Thirty years is a long time in any lifetime...just as xyz says, it is normal that it isn’t easy to detach all the strands easily, so normal. Xxx
Title: Love and insanity
Post by: Tornup on July 07, 2021, 07:51:33 AM
———————————————————————————————-
I too was a smoker (two packs a day) and although I understand the connection to addiction, our marriage and intimate relationship is not quite the same. You never should feel guilty about the attachment you have to your spouse.
__________________________________________________

I meant this as a form of attaching a date to no contact. If I attach it to something important as I did cold turkey quit smokey tied to a significant date it may make the differance on not wanting to break the contact.

I clearly need to be complete NO CONTACT. I also have still been trying to save my marriage. So when people say it isn’t a marriage issue to me it has been. From
BD to divorce was 4 months. I did it to secure me financially, but I did not want to. I also dont think now he would have gone through with it, but at the time I felt I needed to secure my future financially since his mental state was mot reliable and my self respect did not want to stay with someone who was telling me they needed to leave to “save themself”  I did not know there was a OW.

I am 8 months out and feel betrayed and in shock at the level of deceit they spew to protect them selves from
Facing their own reality. What is crazy is the few times I have seen him I am no longer attracted to him. I think my ego is severely bruised and after putting up with so much it is almost a “ how dare you leave me”

Of course also, they have no pain. They can be with the OW and they believe they still have the love of the W and have both options. They cant possible relate to the feeling of being cut off from all feelings. They have no idea how we feel
To no longer be loved by them because they still have our love.

I went through this one other time in my life, but was in my early 20’s and it took me 10 years to move on. I am just so fiercely loyal . I am terrified of wasting years on this. I am turning 59 tomorrow. I dont have 10 years to throw away.



Title: Love and insanity
Post by: Nas on July 07, 2021, 07:54:44 AM
KUDOS to you, TU, for having that foresight and strength of mind to so immediately think of your own needs and protect yourself financially in whatever way you needed to.
Please don't discount how huge it was for you to take this step.  It proves you are already much stronger than you realize.
Title: Love and insanity
Post by: Tornup on July 07, 2021, 08:05:51 AM
Thank you NAS- It is one of the things that I am most proud of. That I had the fortitude to protect myself financially and got him to agree. The settlement was quite extensive. However, with that said it also to me shows he is not thinking clearly. I am also the beneficiary of his life. If he dies ( even if remarried) it is in the divorce decree that no one can benefit from his death but me. I am the sole beneficiary? Remainder of 401k, insurance policies, home etc

He also transfers weekly 1k to my account and will for 13 years. He has no choice to think of me each week. Not sure with NO CONTACT if he will turn to anger on this. No connection, but having to pay weekly.

My parents had a nasty divorce and put us in the middle for the remainder of their days. I think that trauma is aiding in my inability to let go of fear of that.

The crazy thing is when my XH asked me to marry him I told him I do not believe in divorce. If you have issues with me you have to tell me. Dont wait 30 years and let things build and then walk out and not give the marriage a chance to resolve the conflicts. He did just that. It’s like I for saw my future
Title: Re: Love and insanity
Post by: Thunder on July 07, 2021, 09:19:08 AM
Hi Tornup,

You have been getting some wonderful advice from people who have felt the pain, and confusion, you are feeling now.

We all were left in shock and disbelief.  After 9 years I still remember the first few years after BD.  Worse time in my life.  We were together close to 30 years.

I just wanted to say...when you said..."Of course also, they have no pain. They can be with the OW and they believe they still have the love of the W and have both options."

Please don't believe that.  He could be in more pain than you think.  His depression proves that.  Maybe he's not happy with you, but I highly doubt he is happy with her either, because he's not happy within himself.  Inside there is a lot of turmoil going on.  He is fighting his demons and until he does some inner work, they aren't going away.

Is there anything you can do to help him?  Nope!  Unfortunately he has to do this all on his own, and it may take him a long time to get there.

My best advice is Let Him Go.  Stop being an option for him.  You deserve better.

It's hard to do because you will feel by really letting go he will move more towards her, but he may anyway.  You can not control what choices he makes.  No matter what you do.

Detachment will come Tornup, it will just take you time.
A therapist can help you get there.  I'm glad to hear you plan on seeing one soon.

Title: Love and insanity
Post by: Tornup on July 07, 2021, 10:38:40 AM
Hello Thunder-
I 100% know he is unhappy and depressed and crying and a mess. That it all his disgust with himself. There would be some relief in knowing some of that was due to what he has done to me, but depression is selfish and he cant see past his self pity. I also agree as my blog stated that he has internal work to do and until that is done he will never be happy. I think he has fought these demons and insecurities all his life and out daughters death pushed him to a new level. Your insight is spot on!!
Title: Re: Love and insanity
Post by: Thunder on July 07, 2021, 11:01:46 AM
RCR has an article on just that subject.

There's a lot of good stuff in her articles on depression.

https://www.midlifecrisismarriageadvocate.com/mlc_overview_depression_blind-to-destruction.html
Title: Love and insanity
Post by: Tornup on July 07, 2021, 11:56:24 AM
Thank you Thunder- I love to absorb anything I can
Title: Love and insanity
Post by: Tornup on July 08, 2021, 08:07:26 AM
My ex emailed, not called or texted, but emailed from his work email the below for my birthday this morning. Left his work signature on the email. Felt very cold. This is someone who considers me his security blanket for his survival while he has a GF that he doesn’t talk to about serious things so he can keep the relationship light and uncomplicated. I have never not responded, but feel I should start! Any advise?


Wishing you a happy birthday.
Title: Love and insanity
Post by: xyzcf on July 08, 2021, 08:17:31 AM
In my case I would write a simple  “thank you”. . Do what feels right for you. Happy birthday!
Title: Love and insanity
Post by: readytofixmyselffirst on July 08, 2021, 10:21:15 AM
Hello,

Quote
I just hope that she enjoys her day despite the mess we are all in.

You nailed this, it is her day. Make it her day. It's going to be a small affair and you can go out of your way to put all of your energy that you are wasting on the silly ex and put it on her. Step up for the one that wants you to be a part of her life and embrace your opportunity to be the real adult in the room when she needs the support.

Quote
My best advice is Let Him Go.  Stop being an option for him.

When he divorced you, he fired you from the responsibility of being his support system. He may be depressed and he may be torn up inside, but those are his issues that he needs to resolve on his own without using you as his support system. Yes, he is using you. If he contacts you and want to dump all over you his woes and discomforts, stop him and let him know that you will talk to him about the children, the weather, sports and good movies, but his issues are no longer your issues and if he feels this way, he needs to seek guidance and support from someone else.

Quote
This is someone who considers me his security blanket for his survival while he has a GF that he doesn’t talk to about serious things so he can keep the relationship light and uncomplicated.

So if you know this, why do you sustain it? I am going to be very transparent, I tried to be super husband during my wife's crisis and it got me nowhere, but exhausted and hurt. So, I am not speaking to you from a position of authority, but someone that has gone down the same path and fell of a cliff. The more you can let him go and focus on your own healing and why you still feel the need to be his emotional support despite everything he has done to you.

Quote
I can’t even fathom the loss of a child.

Neither can I and between the issues of your parents divorce, the loss of your child, and his crisis, you need to face and resolve your own trauma. Your journey to recovery is more important than vain attempts to save the drowning man that is only going to pull you under as well.

Be good and kind to yourself now, get well, then make choices- standing is not sitting still,

((((Ready))))

Title: Love and insanity
Post by: Treasur on July 08, 2021, 10:33:30 AM
My ex emailed, not called or texted, but emailed from his work email the below for my birthday this morning. Left his work signature on the email. Felt very cold. This is someone who considers me his security blanket for his survival while he has a GF that he doesn’t talk to about serious things so he can keep the relationship light and uncomplicated. I have never not responded, but feel I should start! Any advise?


Wishing you a happy birthday.

First of all, happy birthday, Tornup.
I hope you spent it with people who really appreciate and value you as a human being, who want to make you feel loved and celebrated  :) if not, I hope you did something to celebrate being you anyway.

Advice? Remind yourself that he is your ex-husband. (I suspect in your head you may still think of him as your h - as Ready said most of us have stumbled along in similar shoes for a while - but facts are your friends right now) then remind yourself again bc expectations are ticklish things....
Then get the mind monkeys off your plate. Say a polite thank you, a meaningless emoji or nothing at all. Just like you would if some random acquaintance or not very well known work colleague sent you a bland HB message.
Then remind yourself again that he is your xh and a ‘cold’ email is of no significance at all compared to his other actions and betrayals that have shown clearly that he is not currently either your h or your friend....
Then go about your day.....and leave him to his....

PS in a strange way, your xh has been relatively honest that he sees you as a security blanket right now. Which means that, from his POV, he gets something he likes from contact with you. Which means that if you decide to limit or change the kind of contact you have with him bc you decide it is better for you if you do, you may well see him flail around trying to get you to dole out more contact....a few mr sadz emails, a bit of drama, some weird pop ups. We call these ‘anchor checks’ here....it is not about love or appreciation or anything about your needs....it is literally checking to see that the security blanket is still available if he wants/needs it. Might help to be forewarned about that if you decide that you do not want to be a security blanket for a troubled xh who is in reality now someone else’s boyfriend.....
Title: Love and insanity
Post by: readytofixmyselffirst on July 08, 2021, 11:45:58 AM
Hello,

Have a happy birthday and eat a big piece of cake! Enjoy and embrace the day!!!

(((((Ready))))
Title: Love and insanity
Post by: Tornup on July 08, 2021, 01:03:40 PM
Thank you all. Tresur- you are so right. I have decided since an earlier conversation a week ago I sent him dr lists, I said I no longer wanted to be in contact for my own healing ( unless he felt He was suicidal and of course myself or anyone would answer that call) I also sent him a bear of our daughters with a favorite poem from one of her books. Told him that he could sleep with it and I hoped it brought him comfort.

I am not going to respond to the birthday message. I will leave my dr list and bear of comfort be my last contact. He needs to help himself. He has not been a friend to me and has frankly been disrespectful to me and our marriage. This day, my birthday is my day to decide to cut the cord and move forward.

Where he goes from here will be his choice and if he is ever to re-enter my life his actions and words will need to match
Title: Love and insanity
Post by: Treasur on July 08, 2021, 01:12:23 PM
I have a great deal of admiration for you, Tornup.
None of this is easy after a long marriage and, while your xh may have been away with the fairies for a couple of years, the reality of divorce is relatively recent for you.
You may not always feel like it but you are doing remarkably well all things considered, so keep doing you  :)
Title: Love and insanity
Post by: Tornup on July 08, 2021, 03:41:36 PM
Treasur- I read all the MLC stories and think we all should have super hero capes for weathering these Mind Blowing changes to what we thought were our life partners. It is a true testament to the strength of the partners that make it through. The trauma is real! 8 months since he left I am just starting to see that I will make it through with or without him. Looks like without!!
Title: Love and insanity
Post by: beyondblessed on July 08, 2021, 05:10:24 PM
Treasur- I read all the MLC stories and think we all should have super hero capes for weathering these Mind Blowing changes to what we thought were our life partners. It is a true testament to the strength of the partners that make it through. The trauma is real! 8 months since he left I am just starting to see that I will make it through with or without him. Looks like without!!

Happy Birthday, Tornup!  You sound strong and though this path through hell isn't what any of us would have chosen, it will make you even stronger and more determined to make your own way without him.
Title: Love and insanity
Post by: Tornup on July 08, 2021, 06:29:44 PM
Beyond Blessed- I am starting to see that now. The change from 4 months to 8 months has been dramatic. I am not sure what lies ahead, but I can see I will be in the ahead. For a while that was not even a vision. I would have bet a million dollars that this would not have happened to me or my marriage, but here we are. I have weathered many a storm and I will make it through. Only the strong survive. I am one of those.

Next chapter!
Title: Love and insanity
Post by: FaithWalker on July 09, 2021, 05:42:26 PM
Happy belated birthday T!

Great advice from folks yesterday.  I hope you are doing ok today.
Title: Love and insanity
Post by: Seahorse on July 09, 2021, 05:57:50 PM
Tornup -
Following along and happy belated birthday.
Sounds like you're getting stronger with each passing day.
Cant' wait to see what your new chapter holds. -- You truly are one of the strong ones; sure to survive!

Sea
Title: Love and insanity
Post by: Tornup on July 10, 2021, 12:49:15 PM
Seahorse & Faith Walker-

Thank you. I am hanging in there. My daughters wedding shower was today and with it comes all the new hopes and dreams of young love. Seems strange to have these monumental moments and know that a few months ago I would be recapping the event with her father shortly after it’s conclusion.

Today instead he is on a vacation that he left on the day after my birthday and 2 days after our would have been 30th anniversary with his hourly subordinate girlfriend. I think that is actually a good thing. It has made the NC so much easier. I am no longer feeling sorry for the depressed MLC covert narcissist. I am now between disgust, anger and headed toward mehhhh.

Moments like today still make me ponder on how we got here, but in the end we didn’t get here. He chose the path that I have to decide to move forward from. With the wedding in 70 days I have the ability to have the longest run with No Contact and to be better separated from the situation by wedding day. I wish it was behind me so I could just not have that unknown and the anxiety it brings, but at least I have some time to gather my scrambled rocks and be in a better place to not throw them, but to stand firm on their base.
Title: Love and insanity
Post by: Seahorse on July 10, 2021, 03:09:44 PM
Good post tornup (auto correct to turnip!)  :D

Be prepared, however, that you may have to have contact given that it is your daughter's wedding and things may pop up.  If you do, don't consider that a failure in no contact, but rather an opportunity to demonstrate your confidence and strength.  This is a tough time, and you're right...  it probably will be easier when the wedding is over.
Title: Love and insanity
Post by: Tornup on July 10, 2021, 03:51:45 PM
Seahorse,
 He has all but been an absent in his kids life but by text. I wish at times I could drive off and escape life as he has. He has no reminder everyday I or his family is missing, because he is not around anything related to his family. My adult son still lives with me. I am in the family home with the dogs surrounded by our life.  Living our life. He has escaped it all.

I am involved in all my daughters wedding things. Shower, dress, decor and planning. He has only had to reply to her on paying for things. I can’t imagine leaving and starting a new life with a stranger and have that one NEW person replace my family and be the only person I not only SEE in my free time, but only person now I TALK to.  He has literally wiped out his past life. I find myself being a little jealous as I am sure that makes it much easier. No reminders. He was a great father until he wasn’t.

 I’m proud as My children still reach out and try to stay in contact with him. I told him that at some point if he doesn’t make that same effort that they will not. What is crazy as the first real break he had was when the same daughter married in 2013. It was at that moment he realized his youngest daughter would never marry. When the same daughter told us she was engaged to be married again is when he started the EA that he left me for. I am wondering how he will handle the actual wedding. Since this time he cracked before the event. Will surrounded by family at the wedding JAR anything or push him further into the abyss?

The wedding will be the first time in 10 months he has been around family. I feel he will start to see his entire past life pass before him. What that will do is soon to be seen. 






Title: Love and insanity
Post by: Seahorse on July 10, 2021, 05:13:08 PM
tornup

It's a difficult situation to be in. 
Will your H's ow be at the wedding?
The reason that I ask is that I doubt that he'll miss his old life much if she's there.
I suspect he will feel pretty isolated and lonely, but it won't probably make much of a difference in the long run (as far as jarring him into reality right now)..
Title: Love and insanity
Post by: xyzcf on July 10, 2021, 05:21:00 PM
Quote
Will surrounded by family at the wedding JAR anything or push him further into the abyss?

The thing that is difficult for us “rational” LBSers Is that it is hard for us to comprehend that none of their former life or family life matters. They have left that totally behind and if it affects them at all, which I don’t think it does to be honest, it will be at some deep level that they can wall off any feelings about. They compartmentalism this, and can shut it down to mean nothing in their lives as they are today. If they get through their crisis, they may realize some of what they have done and even those who get through their crisis cannot remember much if anything of those years.
A theory that has been discussed is that they revert to an “ earlier” stage in their lives, before they met you, before they had children so they do not see themselves in the roles they once had. In a sense, they are living in a time before they even knew you.
In any event, if you can, stop trying to figure any of it out. The consistency of how the MLCer leaves behind their families is shown in story after story and somehow it just isn’t possible for us to understand .
Try and focus on the wedding and the good of that. He just is not capable now to feel much if anything.

Title: Love and insanity
Post by: Tornup on July 10, 2021, 08:45:29 PM
Seahors/ xyzcf
The OW will not be included or be at the wedding. She has not be introduced to my daughter. She does work in my sons office, but they do not talk any longer and the situation is awkward. The relationship is in hiding and not be disclosed. X makes sure they go to restaurants that no one they know will see them.

The whole MLC situation is so crazy. I am just moving ahead and am going to treat life as if he no longer is a part of my life. I think with his personality I think you are absolutely right. He is just discarding not just the marriage but the life and starting over. I dont think he will ever do the work to come out of this.

With myself not reaching out to him and staying connected I see him diving further into this alternate reality. It will be a long tome before he realizes he has nothing in common with the OW and that she is using him for his money and status. He is going into debt at this point on his love bombing. 20k in 4 months. He will soon need to slow down and make life decisions. Keeping up with OW relationship is making him broke and affecting his job and by his own account an escape from his head and that isnt even working.

He seems to have some self reflection but he said he has no idea where he is going. He just feels lost and in limbo.
Title: Love and insanity
Post by: Seahorse on July 11, 2021, 06:29:36 AM
I am so glad that their relationship is still not disclosed to the public.
I'm sure that will make this wedding much easier to get through -- for everyone (except your husband).
The affair will get out -- it always does (my son's classmate's family saw H at a restaurant with ow before anyone knew.  His classmate told him (and I'm sure others in the school)).
I am fairly certain that your H will be miserable at the wedding -- his consequences.

I'm sorry that your son is awkward at work with her.  Not fair for him.
And yes, they do blow through money like crazy.  I am happy that your finances were protected well and protected early.

He is lost and in limbo.  I'm sorry.
Title: Love and insanity
Post by: beyondblessed on July 12, 2021, 01:15:02 PM
Beyond Blessed- I am starting to see that now. The change from 4 months to 8 months has been dramatic. I am not sure what lies ahead, but I can see I will be in the ahead. For a while that was not even a vision. I would have bet a million dollars that this would not have happened to me or my marriage, but here we are. I have weathered many a storm and I will make it through. Only the strong survive. I am one of those.

Next chapter!

Good girl...you don't have to see the whole staircase to take those first steps towards your new life.  5 years ago, I was just divorced, too.  Now, I am happier than I've ever been and recently engaged to a wonderful, caring, devoted and loving man.  My point is, life goes on.  It may not be the life we first envisioned, but as long as you still have a vision and goals for yourself,  it scarcely matters what has happened in your past.
Title: Love and insanity
Post by: Tornup on July 13, 2021, 04:48:30 PM
Such a strange week. Having my first Birthday and wedding anniversary (30th )as single. I had another abandoned spouse friend come into town. We went out a few weeks ago and help each other through venting. We met 2 brothers in their early 40’s and we are in our 50’s a few weeks ago. This week one of the brothers met us for drinks. I ended up having a one night stand with him. He is 15 years younger.

There is no relationship. We were friendly. After 6 years of not having a physical relationship with my x due to ED there was part that was relieved and part that am in shock that I would go there with no intention of a relationship.  Maybe I needed to detach where I felt I couldn't come back. Maybe I wanted to have someone else show interest. Maybe because he has someone and I don’t. I’m not sure, but certainly strange after being with the same man for 32 years.

It is the other womans bday a week after mine and X I believe has paid for her to enroll in school courses and bought her books. They are on a new adventure every weekend and eating out. 2nd vacation in 5 months. The amount of money he is spending seems like more  than the 30 years he spent on me .  He paid of this week 15k in CC charges. I think he pulled from his 401k. The fact I sacrificed so much for this man and someone else is getting rewarded that did nothing to help his get where he is. It’s just a very sad thing.

It is very apparent he is being the white knight and buying her affection. I am amazed that a man so low on self esteem is not feeling lower self esteem due to this. It is just a crazy train!!

Just in a very strange place. Feel I am detaching and also losing love for him and at the same time. I feel lost and wish I could just have my old life back. Yet, know it is not possible. i don't know who he is or where he is going.  Not sure what direction I am headed. Not sure what or where I want to go or do. I may be for the first time not be really in pain, but just a hollow indifference with some sadness.

H-54
W-58
Married 7/6/1991
Kids d-30 s-28 d-14 deceased
Moved out for space-jan 2018
BD1-march 2018 found phone
EA ow1-49
EA-ow2 57
EA- ow3 58
Moved back-Oct 2018
BD2-October 2020
OW-46
Divorce filed-Dec 202O
Divorce final-Feb 2021
Title: Love and insanity
Post by: xyzcf on July 13, 2021, 09:13:05 PM
I sometimes compare the feelings I have for him sort of like an onion. There are layers and layers of feelings and indeed love still for him. How can there not be after 32 years? Over time, a layer is peeled back but it took many years and will take many years still  to uncover all that happened, all that I felt about what happened.

I disagree with beyondblessed that "it scarcely matters  what has happened in your past"..for me it matters a great deal and always will and the LBSers I know, no matter how long it has been, it still matters to them, even when they are in another relationship...it still matters.

This week is 12 years since BD and it is often a very difficult week for me. I went to visit a friend in Florida for a few days, had some beach time, some boat time and I feel better than previous years. I have a very busy week AND there has been a great amount of acceptance in the past year and a need to feel happiness and joy again.

You said "I may be for the first time not be really in pain, but just a hollow indifference with some sadness."

There is no timetable for grief. Each of us will deal with the sadness as we need to...I don't believe trying to hurry it up or deny it's existence is actually very healthy. I know that I have always been able to look back and see that I had made progress....my therapist describes it as concentric circles, even when things have happened and I feel like I have gone backwards, I never return to the original place where the darkness was so painful and so intense....these concentric circles (kind of like a slinky, the toy that walks down stairs) might allow me to regress a bit...but you don't return to the beginning. Our body's ability to heal, to be resistant is quite incredible and we learn how to deal over time.

We rebuild what has been destroyed. It is not the life I thought I would have and not the life I would choose but it is what I am living now...and really, it is in my control how I wish to live. I do not have any regrets with how I have dealt with all this, the years that were so painful are pretty well a blur now...I allowed myself to have as much time as I needed to heal.

Acknowledge what you feel for those feelings are real. As you know, you cannot change what has happened, you cannot change him. But your feelings are valid and need to be carefully taken care of so that eventually you will be stronger than you have ever been before in your life.
Title: Love and insanity
Post by: Treasur on July 13, 2021, 11:25:35 PM
Quote
Just in a very strange place. Feel I am detaching and also losing love for him and at the same time. I feel lost and wish I could just have my old life back. Yet, know it is not possible. i don't know who he is or where he is going.  Not sure what direction I am headed. Not sure what or where I want to go or do. I may be for the first time not be really in pain, but just a hollow indifference with some sadness.
Which all sounds tremendously normal, Tornup.
And a time to remind you that a) your actual divorce was just months ago b) thirty years is a long time in a person’s life and c) life has likely been rather difficult since your first BD in 2018.
Bc all of those facts are part of the flavour of where you are now and the kind of wounds you are healing.

Like xyz, I also experienced a surprising number of layers over time. Well, they surprised me lol. What she describes as those concentric circles was absolutely my experience as well. And yes, even if I feared I might or felt stuck, I never quite went back to where I was before each turn round a given circle  :)
It’s a strange process and I found myself in strange places too.

Grief and disbelief and uncertainty and acceptance.....as an LBS, grief is more complicated than if they a spouse had just died imho....and the grieving includes not just grieving our spouse and old life but perhaps parts of who we used to be when we had not experienced some of the things we now have and did not know what we now know. My past matters to me too. I found I couldn’t just slough it off, even if living in the day was easier....imho part of healing was working out what to do with it, and when, if that makes sense.

What I can see from how you write is that you already have ‘an observers eye’....that very healthy ability to say ‘oh hello, sorrow/anger/indifference’ and calibrate it somehow that we need to feel what we feel and move on with our day anyway. I don’t know if you had this before this life experience, but It is a gift as you move forward through some trial and error rebuilding of your next chapter. But tbh my biggest feeling is how very well you are navigating this so far based on the facts of where you are.

My only advice - and it may not apply to you at all - is that, whilst a kind of numb indifference is part of the winnowing process, there is a version of it where we just feel numb. And if we live that way for too long, it can slide into a kind of disassociation that is not so good. A place without pain but also without life energy in it. I experienced that as I slid into PTSD and it was a jolly weird place. You don’t sound even close to that, but maybe keep an eye on it just in case....a good trauma IC can help....mindful things that give you immediate joy can rebalance it too....it’s just working out your own tipping point of dark and light, life and death metaphorically.
Title: Love and insanity
Post by: xyzcf on July 14, 2021, 05:18:20 AM
Treasur, you "summed" it up so very very well.
Title: Love and insanity
Post by: Tornup on July 14, 2021, 05:39:26 AM
Treasur- I agree on not getting stuck in the blank space. Finally got my new insurance card and am going to contact a counselor to talk to. I want to avoid any depressional state from creeping in on me, however I think it is almost impossible to not have some level of depression with the trauma inflicted.

I am questioning my choices on the one night stand. At 59? Not something I have ever done in my life, but also dont want to risk my morals and character due to how he has left and made me feel. I have always been confident and I want to use this as just taking control and distance from him instead a brief lack of control.

It is a strange place to be single at 59 and working from home. You look at the future and try to determine how you will be able to meet your new person if there ever will be one, however with the dalliance I feel I have the ability if I want now, so maybe it indeed served a purpose.

A friend said absolutely do not feel bad. That person and your actions came about for a reason. You are moving forward and helping yourself to detach from someone that is hurting you. It is all forward motion. I feel that is true. I am self reflective enough to not go down any destructive path to no return.

H-54
W-58
Married 7/6/1991
Kids d-30 s-28 d-14 deceased
Moved out for space-jan 2018
BD1-march 2018 found phone
EA ow1-49
EA-ow2 57
EA- ow3 58
Moved back-Oct 2018
BD2-October 2020
OW-46
Divorce filed-Dec 202O
Divorce final-Feb 2021
Title: Love and insanity
Post by: Nas on July 14, 2021, 05:50:49 AM
I am self reflective enough to not go down any destructive path to no return.

Well, there you go. It’s not like you’re out every night of the week picking up questionable men and not being safe. You had a one off with a man you’d previously met. It doesn’t sound like it’s something you would normally have done, but you’re human and you didn’t hurt anyone. I like the way that you are using it as a catalyst to see that there are options no matter what happens.

I think you sound good, TU. You sound grounded and logical and like you have a firm grasp on putting yourself first. I’m glad you’ll be able to get an IC for yourself now to continue your journey of self-awareness.
Title: Love and insanity
Post by: Tornup on July 14, 2021, 06:24:39 AM
Thank you Nas,

I agree. I don’t plan on it again and he and I will remain friends. I think I needed it to move on. I was starting to feel I would never be able to let go or see myself with another. This gave me the break and freedom from that block.

I am looking forward to speaking with a professional to get some more clarity on the situation. I have just over 2 months before I will have to sit at a wedding table with my X. I am putting all my focus on ME. I have stripped myself of my own self compassion with so much focus on him at least up until 12 days ago.

These 12 days have been very self reflective and my energy has been on ME. I need to keep that going. I am ready to free up the anxiety waking moments. To sleep well again. To not feel the need to know how he is destroying his life and allowing someone to take advantage of him. I think because we sacrificed so much to build this life it is just so hard to see him not only throw it away as is as a couple but to allow a stranger to walk in and live it.

I think the craziest thing is the effort on his part to plan all these adventures and the thought process. I feel that was never done for me. In 30 years. Maybe because we had kids. Now that we can afford to do all these things he is free to do it but not with me.

What I do know is I think I was just a take charge stronger person always. He apparently needed someone that needed a father figure so he can save them and feel important.
I cant cower and not be the strong person I am just to make a man feel more manly? He has to be a man on his own. If that means picking someone weaker than I guess I may have never been the right  one. That is the craziest thing to think about now. Maybe we were never meant to be

H-54
W-58
Married 7/6/1991
Kids d-30 s-28 d-14 deceased
Moved out for space-jan 2018
BD1-march 2018 found phone
EA ow1-49
EA-ow2 57
EA- ow3 58
Moved back-Oct 2018
BD2-October 2020
OW-46
Divorce filed-Dec 202O
Divorce final-Feb 2021
Title: Love and insanity
Post by: beyondblessed on July 14, 2021, 08:51:48 AM
Tornup...maybe it would have been better to advise you to keep and cherish your memories, but leave the past to itself.  You cannot change one bit of it...it's been and gone.  Live for the todays and tomorrows because anything else is futile.  And please do not let your memories keep you from moving forward and making new ones for yourself.
Title: Love and insanity
Post by: Tornup on July 14, 2021, 09:03:49 AM
Beyond Blessed- that is definitely where I want to be. I don’t know why I can’t let go of the financial destruction and someone else benefitting from my decades of my life. It’s a hard pill to swallow and I do tend to control and losing control is something I need to relinquish.

So many things to reflect and navigate to move forward.
Title: Love and insanity
Post by: beyondblessed on July 14, 2021, 12:47:56 PM
Tornup, I can totally understand where you are coming from, and the one thing that might help is to change your perspective a bit.  The AP may seem like she "gets" the life you built, but it does come at a cost to her.  She has paid and will pay in ways that may not ever be apparent because truly, we like anyone else outside their relationship, have no idea what goes on behind closed doors.  Your xh is not now the man you knew him to be.  He is now a man capable of lying, deceiving, manipulating, betraying, and abandoning someone to whom he once vowed his love and undying devotion.  Now, today as you know him, do you think the AP has really won a prize catch in him?  Uh, I don't think so.  She has just settled for man that walked away from everyone that was his life for 30 years, without a second thought.  That has to be a very tight rope to walk for her, knowing that his emotions run that shallow and those bonds aren't that tight for him.  Dancing on eggshells, not much of a life.
Title: Love and insanity
Post by: Tornup on July 14, 2021, 01:07:28 PM
Beyondblessed- you are so right. She is a trouble employee which is how he met her. She came into complain over and over. She has been dating him for 8 months and he can consummate the relationship. She is using him for his money. If it is ever exposed what he has been doing and he loses his job I am sure she will not be sticking around.

I also know he does not communicate and I know that has got worse and I don't believe  she will be able to bite her uneducated and immature mouth for long. TBH

I got a great settlement and she will probably send him to bankruptcy if he can’t stop buying her. I need to just block out all that is them and focus on all that is me. Trying very hard to do so. Being left during a pandemic right before the Holidays has been a hard transition. Going into work and seeing people would have been an easier transition.

What’s the saying? It is what it is!!
Title: Love and insanity
Post by: Tornup on July 14, 2021, 03:30:50 PM
Beyondblessed- you are so right. She is a trouble employee which is how he met her. She came into complain over and over. She has been dating him for 8 months and he can not consummate the relationship. She is using him for his money. If it is ever exposed what he has been doing and he loses his job I am sure she will not be sticking around.

I also know he does not communicate and I know that has got worse and I don't believe  she will be able to bite her uneducated and immature mouth for long. TBH

I got a great settlement and she will probably send him to bankruptcy if he can’t stop buying her. I need to just block out all that is them and focus on all that is me. Trying very hard to do so. Being left during a pandemic right before the Holidays has been a hard transition. Going into work and seeing people would have been an easier transition.

What’s the saying? It is what it is!!
Title: Love and insanity
Post by: UrsaMajor on July 15, 2021, 01:20:45 AM
Two tings....

1) the AP has latched on to a male (can't really call him a "man"in my book) that has cheated on his partner/spouse of 30 years or, as BB put it
Quote from: beyondblessed
He is now a man capable of lying, deceiving, manipulating, betraying, and abandoning someone to whom he once vowed his love and undying devotion.
She can either choose to ignore that fact or she can choose to fear that he will do it again or she can choose to have some Schmoopie-Fairy-Tale psychosis that "she will be different."
2) I'm currently Reading "Accidental Saints" written by Nadia Bolz-Weber (for those unfamiliar, she is a recovered alcoholic and drug abuser turned Evangelical Luthern Church of America (ELCA) pastor with more tattoos than most bikers and a mouth like a trucker but the Holy Spirit burns hot) and she writes exactly what BB said below
Quote from: beyondblessed
leave the past to itself.  You cannot change one bit of it...it's been and gone.  Live for the todays and tomorrows because anything else is futile.
Title: Love and insanity
Post by: Tornup on July 15, 2021, 03:58:04 AM
UrsaMajor-
Maybe that is my issue. Maybe I think she will be different. Maybe that is exactly my struggle. Maybe I think he was faithful and good until he wasn’t and maybe he will be long enough for this relationship (due to age) before he steps back into the bad habit he has now created. Also, not sure she knows he is a cheater. I think he told her from the beginning he was separated. Either way his habit is created. So, can he break that?

Right now every moment they have is an adventure. That has to come to an end. What will then be?  I guess it all comes down to not wanting him back the way he is, but wondering how the man he was turned so bad. How they cut off and move on without missing their kids, grandkids, dogs and yes their wife.

I think the one thing that will always baffle my mind is that loyalty, devotion and love don’t come easily. These lost souls leave that to go find what they had.  My biggest struggle is not having him in my life as a partner, but having a x partner that so freely disrespects me now and his family without what appears a thought. Then I think maybe he does. Maybe that is why he keeps so busy with these adventures as he states “ to occupy and distract his mind” she is a total escape from the life he left.

In the end he is creating a new life, but not a better life. One new person can not replace a family. In the end as I have said before he will be sitting at a holiday table with a family that is not his and he has no history with. I think that is the saddest vision I see. When I want to think where is the Karma. That is it! 

H-54
W-58
Married 7/6/1991
Kids d-30 s-28 d-14 deceased
Moved him out for space-jan 2018
BD1-march 2018 found old phone with messages
EA ow1-49 subordinate manager
EA-ow2 57- unreciprocated subordinate manager
EA- ow3 58 subordinate manager
Moved back-Oct 2018
BD2-October 2020
OW-46 subordinate hourly
Divorce filed-Dec 202O
Divorce final-Feb 2021
Title: Love and insanity
Post by: beyondblessed on July 15, 2021, 06:20:46 AM
TornUp...unless or until he fixes what's broken inside him that's made him choose to do these awful things, nothing else about him will change.  She didn't win a changed man....at least not changed for the better.  She's got herself a booby prize.
Title: Love and insanity
Post by: Seahorse on July 15, 2021, 12:57:44 PM
Tornup
I think you ask the same question we all ask/have asked.
I think you feel the same things we all have felt.

You may or may not ever get any answers to your questions.
I know, after 4 years, that I still have had none.
And yes, I thought my husband’s wedding vow was forever, but I suppose that his forever ended when MLC started.

This doesn’t bring you any console, I’m sure.
But it does make you understand that it is a process; which we can never understand.
It’s is so unlike anything that is fathomable to us. 
So we do the hard work to become stronger.
Whether they will ever do that work or not remains to be seen…

I’m sorry that you’re going through this.
Title: Love and insanity
Post by: Tornup on July 15, 2021, 01:57:45 PM
Beyond Blessed- you are so right. I don’t think he has the strength to ever go through the pain. I think he has to look into the life saving mouth to mouth necessitation  he had to do on our daughter and  he cant  go through it and blames himself for not saving her. It is to difficult to be around any of the remaining family as we are the reminder she is gone. He is just to weak.

Seahorse- I know It is his journey. I wish he just would not lie to me. I can’t understand trying to emotionally keep me in his pocket. I think he would welcome detachment. He is trying to escape his life. I will never understand how he has all this time to go on trips and never could with me. It is so hurtful specially a day after my bday and 3 days after 30th anniversary. It’s like he still felt he should celebrate but with someone else. It is also her birthday week.

I think just a rough week for me. I am looking for some concern for him for my sanity, but it appears there is none. Baffles why he cried every time I talk to him on how he is still in pain.  The only other thing that would be worse is if he gets married on this trip. I think that would be the final blow.

Hard to not recognize the man that exists, but he is truly gone.
Title: Love and insanity
Post by: Seahorse on July 15, 2021, 02:36:18 PM
Tornup

They (MLCers) lie because they cannot stand to face the person who never would hurt them.  They lie because they're so embarrassed about what they've done and are doing.  They lie because they can't face themselves.  It has little to do (IMO) about keeping you in his back pocket.  It's more about not being able to face you. 

You're right in that there are probably reminders of your daughter there when he sees you as well.

They push us away so ferociously, and replace us so easily.  They spend and they need to charm and impress which is why they travel so much.  My husband also never traveled with me but started traveling several times monthly with his ow just a few months into his MLC.  It was devastating because she was going all the places that we had talked about going.  It's pretty script, so try to accept it for what it is - a painful part of their journey.  So many of us had our spouses leave when we were in the hospital, in surgery, in chemotherapy.  I think it's another part of running from mortality is the inability to consider that we (and they) could die or become terminally ill.  Too much to process...
Title: Love and insanity
Post by: Tornup on July 15, 2021, 03:46:40 PM
Seahorse

Everything you said is spot on. I know it all, but still have these days where I just cant grasp it. I think it is just I am not being given any reprieve from his shenanigans that I just can never quite get through one shock before the next comes.

I’m exhausted by it all. They must run on pure adrenaline to be able to work and run around the US like a teenager. I feel the fog they are in carries over. I feel in a fog. I feel sometimes I have no idea how this is reality and when is a new normal coming. They found an unhealthy way to cope and we the LBS have to go through the pain in a healthy, but more painful way.

 H-54
W-58
Married 7/6/1991
Kids d-30 s-28 d-14 deceased
Moved out for space-jan 2018
BD1-march 2018 found phone
EA ow1-49
EA-ow2 57
EA- ow3 58
Moved back-Oct 2018
BD2-October 2020
OW-46
Divorce filed-Dec 202O
Divorce final-Feb 2021
Title: Love and insanity
Post by: beyondblessed on July 15, 2021, 04:26:58 PM
Tornup....you, your xh and your family have been dealt a great blow by the loss of your daughter, and for that I am truly sorry.  My xh and I had several miscarriages, the loss of his father, and the loss of a joint business venture all within the last 5 years of our 16 year M.  It was too much for his weak emotional and mental state of being and development.  He couldn't be strong for himself,  so there was no way he could be strong for me.  He could not process those losses, so he let them grow and fester until he could no longer stand himself and that started his runaway escape.

It is not us they are trying to escape, but we they do not possess the emotional or mental fortitude to look beyond us as the problem because in their screwed up thinking, they'd be happy if only WE made them happy.  We are the closest to them, so their unhappiness must come from us.  The caveat, though, is that happiness comes from inside of us, we cannot generate it in another person.  The other person can most certainly add or detract from it with their behavior, but it has to be present to begin with inside of them.

When someone is trying to escape,  the only thing they are thinking about is how THEY are going to survive.  They cannot focus on anything else.  They escape (abandon) and avoid (lie, gaslight, manipulate) as a means of that survival mode.  The cycle repeats on and on, until the person chooses to stop it.  There is nothing anyone else can say or do because it all boils down to choices that only that person can make.  That is why you cannot take anything he says or does personally.   This is all about him and how he is choosing to live his life.  It is a shame, but it is his life to live.  We who are left behind are just collateral damage.  And, even though it is extremely difficult,  especially in the early days, we must learn to let go, see this for what it is, and live out own lives, too without them.
Title: Love and insanity
Post by: Seahorse on July 15, 2021, 04:29:49 PM
I'm so sorry that you're feeling overwhelmed.
Your last sentence resonates, and you also hit it spot-on...

They do cope with it in an unhealthy way, but we deal in a healthy, growing way (albeit more painful).
Which would you choose?...  I can't imagine being as lost as our MLCers.  I'd so much rather go through the difficult course, learning and becoming a better human. 

Beyondblessed also has some great thoughts. 
Title: Love and insanity
Post by: Tornup on July 15, 2021, 04:54:23 PM
BB & Seahorse
It’s funny ( not in a haha way) my xh has actually said. I’m sorry I should be stronger, You deserve better, surviving is all I am capable of now, my issues and failures ruined everything connected to me. So, seems like he does have some recognition that he is a problem within himself.

Wish when they can recognize they have an issue they would get the help they need. Apparently running is easier than facing their demons. Seems like losing those closest to them would just add to the confusion and pain.

I think with losing his daughter and father 3 months later and then in a high demand/pressure job with a lot of cristism all was to much for him. Just like you mentioned. Having this escape life is some reprieve from the pain.

H-54
W-58
Married 7/6/1991
Kids d-30 s-28 d-14 deceased
Moved out for space-jan 2018
BD1-march 2018 found phone
EA ow1-49
EA-ow2 57
EA- ow3 58
Moved back-Oct 2018
BD2-October 2020
OW-46
Divorce filed-Dec 202O
Divorce final-Feb 2021
Title: Love and insanity
Post by: Tornup on July 16, 2021, 07:25:42 AM
Looking back at life and red flags I realize that my xh always had to have something to look forward to. Even 2 weeks before he left we were looking at lake homes and he told me to put a bid on. We moved every 8 years and took job opportunities in new states. He always wanted a different car every 1-2 years. I drove the same care for 15 years and I believe he had 8 cars in that time.

Right now he has 2 brand new cars. A sports car and new jeep truck. Going on vacation 2 times in the 5 months since we divorced and a planned adventure every weekend that is like a mini vaca.

Looks like he is putting OW through college now and paying for books and tuition. In the white knight mode.

All signs of looking for outside sources to bring hope and excitement. Such superficial sources to bring that, when they have left behind the family that should bring a great source of hope and love.

The hardest part of it all is the focus being all on someone who was a stranger a year ago and now they are the only person. I watch my grandson while school is out. When he comes over and I see him I feel pity for the moments my XH is missing with him.  I see and hear so many stories of men who leave and never look back.

My XH was a good father and grandfather until he wasn’t. When I asked him how he was going to repair these relationships he said “ I don't know” when I asked him who do you care about “ just the 4 of you” ( me,  d30,s28,gs6) I said not your GF he said no. She just occupies my time ( I don't believe this) one time I said why do you want to remain friends with me. He said “ I hope I can come out of this and you will be proud of me and like the person I am”

Hard to know what is manipulation and what is really self reflection on his part. All the words that don’t make sense with the behavior is exactly why I had to go NC and detach. You could understandably go insane trying to figure out the minds of these very confused and lost souls.

H-54
W-58
Married 7/6/1991
Kids d-30 s-28 d-14 deceased
Moved out for space-jan 2018
BD1-march 2018 found phone
EA ow1-49
EA-ow2 57
EA- ow3 58
Moved back-Oct 2018
BD2-October 2020
OW-46
Divorce filed-Dec 202O
Divorce final-Feb 2021
Title: Love and insanity
Post by: Tornup on July 18, 2021, 04:06:59 PM
One thing I can not seem to find a similarity on others stories is multiple EA at the same time. My X was chatting in 2016 and emailing multiple women at the same time. 2 of 3 reciprocated and 1 not. The 2 reciprocated ended after a kiss. The unreciprocated he tried to kiss and she rejected. This kept the limerance with her going for 3 years.

Then in 2020 he started a new one. The one he is now dating. I feel he may have other ones he is also chatting. Am I contributing to the me too issue in not reporting him? It is starting to weigh heavy on me.

I feel he has a predator behavior happening in his escape from his depression. His first therapist when he quit told me I should commit him.

Anyone else have any similar experiance?
Title: Love and insanity
Post by: xyzcf on July 18, 2021, 04:50:27 PM
Overtime, there have been several different stories of "addictions". One MLCer had several affairs with girls in Thailand and he spent a great deal of time there (and mega money!)

Since MLC is sometimes referred to as "the mother of depression", they will continue to do whatever to try and fill the emptiness inside...running and running and doing the most bizarre things.

Best not to try and look at him so closely. Truly, I never figured out many of this things he did and continues to do but I just know that none of his actions were the way he once was.

Acceptance and move forward on your own.

Quote
His first therapist when he quit told me I should commit him.

I don't see anything "different" in him than the thousands of stories I have read over the past 10 years. They do things that are not understandable. There was a guy who wrote about his own MLC, it was called Newman's Story and reading things like that helped me greatly to get a better understanding of their crisis. It is several pages long and I cannot seem to bring it up by searching for it...perhaps another member has the link.

There are lots of references to it in the archived threads but I don't know how to unlock them.

Of course there will be "differences" in each specific story and I know I searched for a story that was the same as mine (with a happier ending of course aka he comes home and all is well)...it is more in the general things that they do and say that helps to see patterns, not in the specifics.

Keep asking though as the more you seek answers in a way it helps somehow to put some of the pieces together. However, ultimately the important pieces to put together are your own.

Title: Love and insanity
Post by: Tornup on July 18, 2021, 05:26:58 PM
Xyzcf-

My X is doing this as a high executive to all women working under him. My children work for the same company. I have a high level anxiety that his predatory behavior will explode as he is playing with fire to escape his pain, but my adult children will be humiliated in return.

I luckily left the company 10 years ago. We all worked for the same. With that and decades at the company out roots are deep in many states and the humiliation of this coming to light keeps me up at night. I will try and google that story you shared.
Title: Love and insanity
Post by: Tornup on July 18, 2021, 06:00:17 PM
I was able to find part of Newman’a Story. I am posting here to also share with others.  I am going to post the paragraphs Newman wrote just after he 'woke up'  Just to remind all of us what this crisis is all about.
—————————————————-
I left and came back many times feeling completely unsure of my life. On one such occasion I was supposed to be headed back to the Other Woman’s house after a property division talk with my wife, when I woke up. I was driving at the time and it came on me that suddenly. I wailed out loud with a loud groan that seemed to come from my stomach. Followed by questioning: What am I doing here? WTF have I done? How could I have done this to the most important person in my life? How could I have hurt her like this? And who is this woman that’s been in my bed?

Tears filled my eye sockets and I really didn’t know what they were because I hadn’t cried in 40 years. It was hard to see the road from the sports car. I drove 15 more miles in years to a dive of a motel and took a room where I could be alone and cry the rest of the night. The next morning I spent several hours writing my thoughts into a “dear jane” letter to my affair partner and thinking about life from the bottom of life. By nine the next night a thought occurred to me that I was hungry. That perhaps I could get pizza and go out to my Wife’s place with it and a bottle of wine. I found the pizza and wine and drove 25 miles out to my Wife’s place. I started to feel “chicken” as I got within a mile or two and then remembered that my wife used to put a lamp in the window whenever I traveled and only turn it off when I got home. So I decided to go around the long way to see if I could see a lamp burning. If there was a lamp, I would drop in; if not, I would keep on driving. When I crested the hill all I could see was a single light. It was from the window. I stopped sharply in the middle of the road with my chest pounding with fear and excitement. It had been a year since I last looked for the lamp in the window.

I called her from my cell and said “I’ve got pizza: I’ve got a bottle of wine”. She asked “where are you?” I said up the hill – look out the window. She pulled up the shade and I flashed my head lights. She said “well come in”. I did. I haven’t left again since and never saw the Other Woman again since that night. I wake up gradually in the mornings and my waking from MLC was that way too –gradually. I awoke in an instant, but it took several months to actually become alert.

During this time my mood cycles became seriously intense but it was different, it had changed. was no longer cycling between feeling good and depression; now I was cycling between depression and sheer panic. When I wasn’t feeling consumed by guilt and regret and remorse, I was consumed by panic in fear of saying or doing something that would cause me to lose my wife and our marriage. By being in such a state of fear I kept stumbling over my own intentions. Wanting desperately to save my marriage I was doing everything to nearly destroy it. I would lash out in utter anger and the next day be crying at her feet for forgiveness. As we continued to talk and try to work things out the guilt/panic cycle increased to almost hourly. In the end my wife tells me that I
would leave the room angry and enter it again in remorse. She never knew from moment to moment weather she would be dealing with Dr Jekyll or Mr. Hyde. Our marriage restoration was often confused by periods of ambivalence. Both of us wanting to stay committed would waiver on the side of ambivalence, questioning “should I stay or should I go?” It’s easy when things are going good: not so easy when they are not. I wanted the whole thing to just be over! She needed to understand.

Men, you will not only know this you will understand this – you said things and did things that you have no recollection of. You would swear on a shoulder height stack of bibles that you didn’t say or didn’t do certain things during your midlife crisis. These things are literally not in your memory; they are gone. The best thing for you to do is to stop denying it. You did it and she has razor sharp
memory of it. She was there; you weren’t. If there is a time to get over your need to always be “right”; this is it. You may have said things yesterday that you will swear today that you didn’t say. This doesn’t mean that you have lost your mind it means that you are normal in the process of recovery. Accept it and move on. A year from now you can laugh about it.

My wife had many questions about my time away. She needed to understand in order to fill up the missing pieces of her life. Regretfully I was the only one with her answers but I did not remember. I was desperate to give her what she needed but I was desolate of the resources.


My Day of Emancipation – October 12th
And The End of My Midlife Crisis
Some days are remembered for the good things wrought in them and marked as special days on our calendars to which we give special attention to our reason for celebration. But for me, I will never forget October 12th; it marks something far greater than independence – it marks my Day of Emancipation and deliverance from the turmoil of approximately 4 O years of Midlife Crisis. It marks the beginning of my Year of Jubilee! What is Emancipation? The Encarta Dictionary calls it: An Act of freeing – the act or process of setting somebody free or freeing somebody from restrictions. It also means Being Freed – the condition or fact of being set free or freed from some restriction.

October 12, 2004 was my day of emancipation, and today I celebrate this day as though it were Christmas or New Year. Sometimes the idea of being led can seem so profound. I never immediately saw the significance of the morning a month past this day, when my wife came to me saying “yes” to renew our marriage vows. She said: “I really feel this is our new beginning.
When we renew our vows.” So what does October 12th mean to me? It was the second half of August that year, when driving away from my wife’s place to my dingy motel room after discussing our property division, that I woke-up from the cloud of MLC. I had only driven 10 miles down the road when it hit me completely unexpected. Perhaps it was the radio playing that forgotten song – Everything I Own by Bread: I don’t really know. But suddenly I woke up! A groan rose up from the deepest part of my belly and barely formed the words to say – ”what have I done? I’ve hurt her. I’ve hurt the only one I could ever truly love. I betrayed her. And who is this woman that has been in my bed? She means nothing to me! My God what have I done!” And as I moaned these words tears
began to form in my eyes and I didn’t even know what they were; I hadn’t cried in 40 years. I could barely see the road from my midlife sports car.

I drove the remaining 15 miles to my motel room with these tears swelling my eyes and trying to regain composure knowing that my stop there was to be brief as I returned to my girlfriend’s place. My heart was hanging near my belt. I called her saying that I would not be coming home to her. I thought the conversation was only a few minutes but I understand now that it was 22. I don’t know what I said; I don’t really care. But that night I stayed awake all night and all of the next day thinking about what I had done and writing a Dear Jane letter to my girlfriend. I was ending it
right then and there. I thought about Phoenix and our life… You taught me how to love
What it's of, what it's of You never said too much But still you showed the way And I knew from watching you Nobody else could ever know The part of me that can't let go
And... (Bread)

Beginning marriage recovery ends nothing for a man in midlife crisis. I began immediately to move from covert (hidden) depression to overt and open depression compounded by guilt and much remorse. This would cycle to the feelings of abundant joy only to find their way back again. An MLC man knows what to do when depression hits – up the self-medication! But I didn’t have that
option any longer at my disposal. When I was severely depressed, all I could think of was MJ and how I missed her. When I was overjoyed all I saw was Phoenix and how I loved her. I placed dozens of phone calls through to MJ while feeling depressed (none of which I remember to this day).

In my constant cycling I came up with what I considered the optimum solution to my dilemma – “why shouldn’t I be able to have both of these women?!!!”. Feeling the importance of this Light Bulb Moment I brought my solution to Phoenix with most earnest sincerity. I told her that I was “in love with MJ” and “why shouldn’t I have both of you…” Knowing both my sincerity and earnest, Phoenix knew that she needed to detach. Her only response was “which furniture are you going to want?” and announced that she was leaving Monday for California and was not sure she would ever return. Knowing that I had really messed up with this demand I was much more quick to realize that not only was my suggestion sincerely earnest but was also completely off the wall. I realized that I did NOT have my $h!te together and if I did not hurry up and “get it together” I was going to lose her and everything worth living for. I replied “give me two weeks” .

What I meant was “give me two weeks to get my life sorted out (believing in a small miracle happening here…). What she heard was “give me two weeks to pick between the two of you” . This misunderstanding was to cause us the most severe hurt, pain, and confusion of our lives that would span many months of personal turmoil. She detached and she left that Monday for California. She didn’t want me to drive her to the airport but had her friend drive her instead. The Two Weeks passed rather quickly as I immediately cycled back to depression. We men can only put up with about 3 days of depression before we take action. I forced that ‘sucker’
down and began self-medicating big time! I hit up all the old friends I had hung with in MLC and planned a big get-together about 600 miles away. I started consuming great amounts of Bacardi creating a fourteen-day liquor bill that is not to be believed! Unless I drank myself to sleep I just could not sleep – Bacardi became my sleeping pill. My mix was ‘grapefruit juice’ – the worst thing for a midlife man. For over a year-and-a-half straight I had only slept roughly 2 O hours per night and NOW was no exception! Sleep deprived and drunken sleep took its toll in many telephone calls to my affair partner during these two weeks – all of these just prior to passing out from too much Bacardi. I do not recall any of these calls.

In the back of my mind though was the fact that Phoenix was in California and I seemed to be out-of-sight; out-of-mind as far as she was concerned – she had detached big time! I wasn’t even too sure that I was occupying much of her headspace at all anymore. This bothered me in sober moments to the extreme! Not only had she detached, but she had seemed to have ‘gone dark’, so much so that other men were beginning to show interest in her for themselves (I coulda killed them!) I KNEW that if I didn’t ACT and do it NOW then I was about to not only be left behind but I would lose her too. But then – those were the sober moments – I would apply the solution – upping the antidotes to this depression with more selfmedication. By this time I was consuming P of a 42 ounce bottle of Bacardi every day plus several Breezers. I kicked off my day by downing the left-over’s in the glass from the night before in order to delay any hangovers.

Somehow in this cloudy darkness I found the need to go to California to get my wife. En-route though I intended to stop for a couple of days at the party event. I rang Phoenix and told her I was coming but that I would be stopping in Vancouver, BC, on the way to get together with my buds and party-it-up. I think I told her that MJ was on the party list of attendees too. Phoenix seemed surprised but welcoming of the idea so –this became my plan.

As the time neared though that I should depart, my sober moments also increased and along with these the midlife depression. But these times were good because along with them was time to think. To think about the matters I now realize are part of midlife transition, I evaluated my past choices and compared them with the present. I projected current choices upon my future. The one thing that was continually present was that I could not imagine my life without Phoenix in it,
even though my actions and words were depicting completely the opposite. I knew it would take a Quality Decision to completely cut all contact with MJ and to give the remainder of my life exclusively to my wife. But I missed MJ and it was driving me crazy mad.

This period of time between your wife and your affair partner is what we men in the Men’s Forum call “Stuck in the middle”. It is a time of extreme feelings of withdrawal. (Heroin withdrawal would be easier than this.) We fluctuate between being committed to our wives and marriage (our true character speaking) and feeling the endorphins of new-found love. We know that we compromise our selves in this ongoing relationship but somehow the feelings outweigh the alternatives. ‘Feelings” suppressed for years, now refuse to be silenced and dictate our logic – the caboose is pulling our train. I feel dearly for any man ‘stuck in the middle’. What I was to learn much later on was that what I/we was missing was not the OW in our lives at all – it was the feel-good feelings that she provided as an antidote to our depression – woe to the man who wakes to this after divorce and the time is too late! There are many and I could post their private stories if they gave me permission.

But I was ‘one bright boy’! Not only did I miss my affair partner I also filled Phoenix
 on on these feelings – whoa! Thank God she realized who was really me, and differentiated between my words and the one who cycled into the Alien.

Men, sometimes you feel trapped by these words that you speak – your profession of ‘commitment’ to your new relationship and your words to your wife. But really Bro’ – don’t be. If you realize at any time during this transition that you have just messed up or are about to mess up by holding to your word, then back up for a minute. Don’t get stuck holding to words said right now; matters are confusing and these are NOT times to make LIFE decisions. This is a time to appraise former decisions. New decisions can wait. The fact is – you have already decided years ago, now go with
that! The piper-to-pay is too huge if you decide otherwise. But DO correct the problem issues in your current marriage through counseling and other resources. While picking up my wife in California she began her series of what was to be many, many questions. A lot of which I had no answers to. I became weary of these and wanted to just say “get over it”; I resisted this temptation, but not very well. Being ‘who’ she is, my Phoenix never has asked what my affair partner looked like, the size of her breasts, her hair color, or any of the like. Instead she asked me ONE QUESTION to which the answer was required in order to save our marriage. She asked: ”how is it that you could compromise your character in order to be with MJ?”

Although she expected this answer immediately I am still seeking answers for it today. I’ve written hundreds of postings on forums in reply. I still seek the truth to that question today. So I ask you – what is it that compromises your character today that enables you to be with or flirt with being with another woman? The answer to THIS question will pull you through.

But this question was just the beginning of the end for me. I was cycling through MLC like the Madman of Gadara being torn by a legion of demons. Her detachment during my cycling drove me mad but she held firm. I did NOT want to talk about things – I wanted the entire issue over with and behind us. She, on the other hand, needed to understand. I was fighting against her need to understand with my need to get over it and get on with it. Then one day it occurred to me – if I answer her questions by talking truthfully and freely then she will get her need to understand met
and I would get my need to have it over with met! Big Light-bulb moment yet again! Sheeeeeeesh!

We started committing MANY hours every day to this process of asking/answering questions, talking freely, and communicating our feelings. But often in my cycling these conversations went awry. I seemed to be cycling between two characters – one that loved my wife and wanted her above all else, and the other that just wanted to be rid of her constant questioning. Between being happy with her and extremely irritated with her. Between being content with her and being sad with her. Between being understanding with her and being extremely angry with her. It began to seem hopeless to us both and our marriage was ending. There was nothing remaining in me that I could do. I had simply become this ‘person’ that was out of control, irritated, angry, loving, caring, and merely a caricature of the person I once knew that I was. Trying with all my might to save our marriage; I was tearing it down with my own hands. I had no ambition to even live. My cycling increased from ‘daily’ to hourly to every 20 minutes, In the end I would leave the room angry, irritated, stubborn and destructive; then turn around to enter the room in regret, remorse, and loving and caring. On October 12th I hit Rock Bottom. I could do no more. I gave up. I went into my private den and shut my door. I was empty, destitute, and without feeling.

I had set this guy aside nearly two years prior. I wanted nothing to do with Him and I did NOT want him controlling MY life.

This day though I was angry and empty. If I could hate anyone for my Nowhere life it would be the Nowhere man! I cussed at Him and swore at Him for his fault in my life. I was angry and bitter that He directed me here. And in my rage I fell face-long on the floor before him. {And this morning with  ears filling my eye sockets I can say He didn’t forget me} As I spilled my bitter angry rage before the one I thought was not listening. My tears soaked the carpet as my rage emptied out on the floor and like Jacob; I wrestled with God intent on bringing Him down.

This wasn’t about infidelity, betrayal, or about my wife – it was about Him and me. At first I might have faulted my wife for making me feel this way but not anymore – I went straight to the source. It was YOU god that made me this goddamned way and it is YOU that is at fault here!!@#$$##@! And as my rage filled the carpet with tears I poured out every hurt and deed I had done in my midlife foray until I could say no more. Then… Earth shattering silence

Then reaching for the journal I had set aside two years prior I dusted its cover. There was nothing left of me. The last words I wrote to Him in my journal were – “what about ME? When is it MY turn? From now on it was going 'to be me' - All about me. Journal in hand I saw the ripped pages of my first infidelity. I saw where I went wrong

My face again fell to the floor without compulsion, without rage, but empty, lost, alone… and to the One that made Himself Nowhere for two years my soul and heart was bared. I felt washed, clean, empty, restored. I sat back in my chair and in a moment of time I saw where He once gave me my wife as a gift. I said aloud, I don’t feel like I’ve been treating her as much of a gift right
now. Then out of – not nowhere – but, someone, I heard these words in my heart and mind – “I’ve given you to her as a gift too”. ………………………I broke. Perhaps you’ve never been broken; perhaps you have. And perhaps your ‘religion’
doesn’t help you believe in a God that is real in the here and now. But I do. I didn’t  for a while or – well, I really didn’t care. But that aside, midlife is too important to NOT have what is real – I do. And it sure aint from anything I’ve done but here it is.

This is what October 12th means to me
A new man
Is there someone you know
You're loving them so
But taking them all for granted?
You may lose them one day
Someone takes them away
And they don't hear
The words you long to say...
I would give anything I own
Give up my life, my heart, my home
I would give ev'rything I own
Just to have you back again
Just to touch you once again
Title: Love and insanity
Post by: Tornup on July 21, 2021, 11:15:05 AM
Today has been 3 weeks of NC. The longest I have gone is 2 weeks. I also never replied to his Happy Birthday email. A first of no reply. I feel a lot more calm in NC, but also feel a little sadness. I can see how easily getting off the hamster wheel can make things more clear. You can start to focus more on the lies, gaslighting and manipulation. With that focus it seems a little easier to not only detach, but move on.

There is a part of me that doesn’t want to give up hope. That I know he is ill and not himself, but then I still come back to a few things. He is able to hold a high level job. He showers and goes on vacations with SOMEONE ELSE. He is perfectly capable then of getting help. It’s not my job to keep trying to persuade him to get the help he needs.

I think some sadness is in the realization that I think I can let go. Once I do it is the end of something that I still feel should not have ended, but here we are. It is not my fault. I can’t help that he didn’t do the work.

What I do know is I am amazing!! If he is so stupid to not appreciate how good he had it then that is his loss. He can not replace me. I am irreplaceable. I have re-found my self worth. My beauty! INSIDE and OUT!!  He is a lost soul that I have tried to save. He knows I did everything I could and I know he will regret it in some capacity. In his only capacity.

I no longer regret anything. I stood by a deeply flawed man while he hurt me over and over. I believed in him. His core being!! I tried to save my marriage and family. I can live with all of that. I am not embarrassed  by trying so hard. I don’t feel like a fool at all. I’m proud of my dedication and loyalty.
I’m a prize. Not all those who play a risky game get a prize. Sometimes they lose. My XH lost.

H-54
W-58
Married 7/6/1991
Kids d-30 s-28 d-14 deceased
Moved out for space-jan 2018
BD1-march 2018 found phone
EA ow1-49
EA-ow2 57
EA- ow3 58
Moved back-Oct 2018
BD2-October 2020
OW-46
Divorce filed-Dec 202O
Divorce final-Feb 2021
NC- June 30, 2021
Title: Re: Love and insanity
Post by: Ready2Transform on July 21, 2021, 11:27:42 AM
Yay!! So much good processing. And truth!! You are seeing clearly. It's hard, and painful, there's no lie in that. But it does get better. You're well on your way. :)
Title: Love and insanity
Post by: OffRoad on July 21, 2021, 12:18:02 PM
I no longer regret anything. I stood by a deeply flawed man while he hurt me over and over. I believed in him. His core being!! I tried to save my marriage and family. I can live with all of that. I am not embarrassed  by trying so hard. I don’t feel like a fool at all. I’m proud of my dedication and loyalty.
I’m a prize. Not all those who play a risky game get a prize. Sometimes they lose. My XH lost.
Where IS that "LIKE" button? ;D
Title: Love and insanity
Post by: beyondblessed on July 21, 2021, 02:43:24 PM
Yes Tornup, my dear, YOU are the prize and no doubt,  he already has serious regret and considerable guilt for his actions.  Thing is, those are both selfish emotions that do nothing for either of you.  Now, remorse is an entirely different emotion.  Remorse expresses sorrow and acknowledges the wrongs that have been grievously committed.  There many come a time when he us truly remorseful and repenting, but only if or until that time comes, keep bulldozing your path forward.  You didn't break him, it's not within your power or your job to fix him.
Title: Love and insanity
Post by: Tornup on July 21, 2021, 03:26:18 PM
Ready2T, BB and OffRoad,
I feel very strong! The best part is I don’t feel I need any more answers or even the day of enlightening remorse anymore. I see all the damage done. The inexplicable pain and selfishness of the situation. He has had guilt and regret. You are absolutely right and that stopped nothing.

I am good to move forward!! I guess we will see what the future holds. I don't see a future that includes him and that is the moving on part. At least I don’t see it now. I guess with enough time and distance and some amazing revelation on his part who knows. I would never say never to anything in life, but I am thinking he may need to have a televised event telling the world what a fool he was for me to ever believe him.

Now that might get my attention! 🙂
Title: Love and insanity
Post by: beyondblessed on July 22, 2021, 01:59:06 AM

I am good to move forward!! I guess we will see what the future holds. I don't see a future that includes him and that is the moving on part. At least I don’t see it now. I guess with enough time and distance and some amazing revelation on his part who knows. I would never say never to anything in life, but I am thinking he may need to have a televised event telling the world what a fool he was for me to ever believe him.

Now that might get my attention! 🙂


Who knows, Tornup, maybe in a few years he will have some stunning revelation.   Do you have years to just wait around for it, even if it isn't likely?  There are some people who have been in this spot well over a decade, still holding onto their past relationship with the MLC'er.  I can't imagine letting that amount of time go by, still clinging to the notion that ONE person on this Earth is worth the angst and destruction they have already previously caused you. 

It takes time to heal from the shock of the betrayal and a ton of growth through self love, but once you get to meh....it is much easier to see the forest among the trees.
Title: Love and insanity
Post by: Tornup on July 22, 2021, 05:26:35 AM
Beyond Blessed-
I don’t have anymore time! I feel the bulldozer has come through and cleared the forest and I am breathing the fresh air and the open possibilities of tomorrow. I really don’t see ever going back. I didn’t think that was possible. My last post was more of a comical response of it would take the movement of mountains to take him back and moving mountians is impossible.

I don’t feel anger towards him and I do not feel sympathy anymore. What I feel is HOPE for myself. I am off for the next 2 days on vacation. I am going to lounge in my pool and relax and enjoy this one life I have and embrace the ever evolving ME! I missed ME. I forgot how much I just enjoy myself.

I dont need to worry about what tomorrow brings. I am going to live TODAY. I don’t have that empty pit of loneliness encompassing me anymore. I am not worried about will I be alone forever. If I am meant to share my life with someone new they will enter my life without me looking. I am going to work on healing me and becoming my best me again.

When someone worth sharing my life with comes around I will be the best version of me without any of the open wounds that could derail my happiness. It is like a rebirth. Don’t know how I got here from the depths of despair, but happy to be here!
Title: Re: Love and insanity
Post by: Ready2Transform on July 22, 2021, 10:14:20 AM
You had me at "pool"!!  8) ;D

Quote
Don’t know how I got here from the depths of despair, but happy to be here!

When you're willing to "let go" and focus on yourself, even when it feels bad, it's a miracle how life, your brain, source, God, the Universe, whatever you want to call it - will be a cooperative component to get you closer to how you really want to feel. We say it around here like it's easy to do (and we all know it isn't), but it really is the secret sauce to healing. So glad you've discovered it!
Title: Love and insanity
Post by: xyzcf on July 22, 2021, 06:48:27 PM
Quote
There is a part of me that doesn’t want to give up hope. That I know he is ill and not himself, but then I still come back to a few things. He is able to hold a high level job. He showers and goes on vacations with SOMEONE ELSE. He is perfectly capable then of getting help. It’s not my job to keep trying to persuade him to get the help he needs.

The one thing I know about MLC is that “getting help” is something that rarely happens. Not impossible. Many who do not know them as we did think they are fine. And many believe themselves to be fine.

You are right. It isn’t your job to try and fix him in any way.

I often compare this to the teenage years when they can be impossible and eventually as time goes by, they become something very different. They don’t need therapy to get through adolescence but the people around them, the people who love them need a great deal of patience and acceptance for them.

Life goes on, we find out our own way and grieve what once was. Remembering who they were with warm and good memories.

We do what works for each of us and we know what is best in our own situation. You have a really good idea of what you need and how you can find a good life for yourself. You are doing well.
Title: Love and insanity
Post by: stillbaffled on July 22, 2021, 08:06:11 PM

What I feel is HOPE for myself. I am off for the next 2 days on vacation. I am going to lounge in my pool and relax and enjoy this one life I have and embrace the ever evolving ME! I missed ME. I forgot how much I just enjoy myself.


I have played this song many, many times in the last 5 plus years! 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2ll1DrlZgqk (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2ll1DrlZgqk)
Title: Love and insanity
Post by: Tornup on July 24, 2021, 07:21:31 AM
Well, my story took another unexpected turn. A few weeks ago right before going NC I sent a list of Psych doctors via email to my XH and also packed up one our daughters ( passed away from cancer 2009 at 14 ) Boyd’s bears with a copy of a poem from one of her favorite books ( the poem in the corner she had written FAVE) I enclosed a small note that said. Here is one Madison’s favorite poems as you can see. Also her Boyd’s bear. Try sleeping with it. Love to you my friend. ( The poem referenced the love you give a friend is the love you get)

I never heard if he got the bear and my bday and our 30th anniversary came and went and he did email me a generic bday email, but still nothing on receiving the box. Last night
I received a message that he got the bear and that he sleeps with it and that as far as his mental health he has good days and bad days.

A phone call than took place for 4 hours. He had many mental breakdowns on the call. Total crying breakdowns. Said getting the bear was very emotional and that he ddin’t know the words to send and so he waited and then as days went by he just never got back to sending a note. I asked if it was because he was worried a conversation would take place he couldn’t handle ? He said No. it was just very emotional and every time he went to send something nothjng smit was to hard for him.   He said the last few weeks were some of his worst. Many times he thought of calling. Once when he didn’t know if he would make it through the night and other times just to talk. He states that I cross his mind often and he just wonders what I am doing.

I asked why he never followed through with the calls and he said that he left me and feels guilty needing me and feels it’s not fair to me. Since asking for the divorce which I gave him in 90 days he has always said he doesn’t see a future with us together, but he doesn’t want a future without me in it. Last night I asked if he ever thinks it was a mistake or that he ever wishes we could try and repair. He said yes. Sometimes he does. This is a first.

However I said choose. Choose me or her. He said I choose to die then. I said no. You live,  but which do you choose? He said. HER. I said why. You said you don't love her. You think she may be using you for your money. You know your kids will never accept her. Why do you choose her. He said “ because you are making me choose and that is where my head is”  I said why?    “He said I can’t explain it , but the best I can say is she lets me just be “ I said in what way?
He said “ if I am down she says Im here if you want to talk. If She gets angry I shut down and stop talking to her and she backs down. She knows I cant have sex and she doesn’t bring it up except an occasional question you still going to the doctor”  I said. This is a new relationship with no sex and with a depressed man that is manipulating what she can talk or ask and you don’t question if she is in it for the right reasons? He said YES. It crossed my mind!

This was 👁 opening!!! He isn’t with her for love or even lust. In fact when I asked if he still gets butterflies or is excited to see her he said NO I have never felt that way. He said I know I can not be by myself and I can not handle any pressure. I look in the mirror and I don’t see me anymore. I dont know who I am or what I am doing. I don't know how much longer I can hang on.

I said “so do you feel that when you are with her that she only knows this version of you, so she doesn’t question it?” He said “YES! When Im around anyone that knew me before. Even work people I feel they all notice I am not the same person. I feel like a stranger to everyone I know. I feel like a stranger to myself. It is hard for me to reach out by text even to our kids to ask them how they are. I am trying to get there. It feels awkward to be around anyone, but she never knew me from before and is accepting me  so far as is”

How sad that this version of him. The sad very depressed version is all he can handle being and that he will choose this person over his family. He still says it would not be his choice
to not stay connected and friends with me, but he understands after all he has done that it is my choice. He did say he has been calling doctors on my list to start again in therapy.

I’m again so torn between the love and sanity after coming so far. I really don't know if total detachment from someone so clearly  broken and only has one person in his life that is allowing him to stay in his detached escape while she uses him for his money is the right thing to do .  He still says he loves me, but  he can not handle the baggage basically of what he created still.

I’m confused because NOW he is stating he thinks about. Me, loves me, has thoughts of could we get back together. These are things that were not being said before. but yet he picked her. So, do I let him live his journey no matter how detrimental it is to him and our family? Do I leave the door open for him to contact me? Do I say the door is closed and you made you choice?

 I don’t think NO MATTER WHAT if I close the door and he has a revelation that he would ever tell me or contact me. Is that the door that should be closed?  I am back to clearly this is a man in TOTAL crisis. That I have loved for 3 decades. Do I just walk away.? 

He is calling me next week with a clearer head for us to make a decision on what our relationship will be going forward. Friendship or No friendship. I think it is all my decision. I honestly don’t know what to do. I can’t imagine not having him in my life at all, but I don’t know what I should ask for to remain in contact. Do I roll the dice and tell him as long as he is in a relationship in any way with OW there is no place for me?
That may seem to be the only option and I will have to let him  make it or break it.  I need insight as I  am clearly torn between love and insanity at this moment.

H-54
W-58
Married 7/6/1991
Kids d-30 s-28 d-14 deceased
Moved out for space-jan 2018
BD1-march 2018 found phone
EA ow1-49
EA-ow2 57
EA- ow3 58
Moved back-Oct 2018
BD2-October 2020
OW-46
Divorce filed-Dec 202O
Divorce final-Feb 2021
Title: Love and insanity
Post by: xyzcf on July 24, 2021, 09:07:35 AM
He is in crisis and his actions are very similar to many many others. The more you understand about MLC the easier it will be. This is not about you or how he feels about you. It is not about the OW.
Quote
So, do I let him live his journey no matter how detrimental it is to him and our family? Do I leave the door open for him to contact me? Do I say the door is closed and you made you choice?
Yes, you let him live his own journey.  Only he may be able to figure it out or not. You cannot do it for him.
Giving him an ultimatum of making him choose you or you close the door is only if that is what you truly want to do.  Even if he were to “choose” you he could leave again the next week. He does not sound like he is anywhere near through his crisis.
So as we always say, continue to live your own life “ as though he is never coming back”.
They are a mess and we cannot help them.


Title: Love and insanity
Post by: Imokay on July 24, 2021, 09:26:19 AM
I’m confused because NOW he is stating he thinks about. Me, loves me, has thoughts of could we get back together. These are things that were not being said before. but yet he picked her. So, do I let him live his journey no matter how detrimental it is to him and our family? Do I leave the door open for him to contact me? Do I say the door is closed and you made you choice?
 I don’t think NO MATTER WHAT if I close the door and he has a revelation that he would ever tell me or contact me. Is that the door that should be closed?  I am back to clearly this is a man in TOTAL crisis. That I have loved for 3 decades. Do I just walk away.? 
He is calling me next week with a clearer head for us to make a decision on what our relationship will be going forward. Friendship or No friendship. I think it is all my decision. I honestly don’t know what to do. I can’t imagine not having him in my life at all, but I don’t know what I should ask for to remain in contact. Do I roll the dice and tell him as long as he is in a relationship in any way with OW there is no place for me?
That may seem to be the only option and I will have to let him  make it or break it.  I need insight as I  am clearly torn between love and insanity at this moment.

I’m so sorry. This is such a tough place to be. I’m reading your story, and while I’m earlier on the timeline into this crazy ride, I feel similar.  I have found writing out my feeling in letters has helped. I probably won’t actually send any of them, but at least I was honest with myself through writing it down. For me, as long as the OW are even a thought, I’m out. I need to distance myself from my Hs life and hope he can see things for himself.  I wish you the best!!!!
Title: Re: Love and insanity
Post by: marvin4242 on July 24, 2021, 09:51:27 AM
I’m again so torn between the love and sanity after coming so far. I really don't know if total detachment from someone so clearly  broken and only has one person in his life that is allowing him to stay in his detached escape while she uses him for his money is the right thing to do .  He still says he loves me, but  he can not handle the baggage basically of what he created still.

My opinion only. Brief version: absolutely right thing to do.

Longer version. From following your store you are not detached, you do not seem like you are living your life comfortable separately from him. Detachment is not no contact or not interacting with your H. It is about getting to a place where you have no demands, needs, wants, and your life (emotional and otherwise) is in no way entangled with his. I believe IF you can get there, and there is NO HARM in you interacting with him you can then sit on the sidelines.

But this still means accepting that you CAN NOT help him, you CAN NOT rescue him, you CAN NOT tell him what to do or force him into “healing.” To me everything you wrote above is the opposite of detachments, and its still all about you trying to make things ok for him (and by extension for you). And its about you maybe not accepting at all that you have no power, and its really not your place nor your job to “tell him” anything.

Also on a more practical level you are divorced, no? So isn’t it a bit disrespectful and infantalizing to make demands of someone who has said they want to leave, has left and who’s life is now separate from yours?

I would suggest until and unless you really get to detachment all the other questions you raised are kind of moot.
Title: Love and insanity
Post by: Tornup on July 24, 2021, 10:41:35 AM
Marvin-  I feel detached and without pain until I talk to him. I can see that is mot actual detachment. His utter despair than pulls me back in.  Also, no I did not feel disrespectful since we are divorced. He is the one that has said he couldn't live without me. I have said over and over that if he wants to let me go I am ready and he always says he can not make it more than 2 weeks. It wasn’t a divorce of I don't want to be with you, but a divorce of I cant look at you and live with myself. However., I see your point and he is not thinking clearly and I am and it is a bit disrespectful as he made a choice and I should be respecting that decision despite what he says now. With that I have continued reassured him of the man I know him to be and have tried to help him to get back there. If that has changed I have told him to tell me so I can fully move on. I need to reevaluate my actions obviously

I think that was my reason to force the issue. Which one? You can’t have both. If he chooses her than she should be enough. I am definitely not over the shock of the abandonment and divorce that has been only 8 months. However, I am much further than I thought I would be. I know I can live each day without despair. Even though alone I dont feel alone like I did in the first 7 months.

I now know he is worse than he was when he left. He is beginning to face the destruction and loss of his family, but he has no where to go with it. He has disconnected from all his family and the OW is the only person in his life. That relationship is an escape. I have been his life line. I DO realize that I can no be that.

When he calls I will tell him that I have to move on and he must live his life as he chose. Letting go of a person breaking down in tears that you have never witnessed in 30 years is much more difficult than I thought.  He is a diagnosed  major depressive and all you see and are told is DON’T abandon them. The fear of suicide I think is what has always kept me from totally disconnecting and even though I can go NO CONTACT on my end  I feel I could never not answer his call.  The fear if I don't it could be life ending for him. That I think has been my biggest mind battle.
Title: Love and insanity
Post by: Treasur on July 24, 2021, 10:56:44 AM
Fwiw, Tornup, I think you need to take a very deep breath. Then another one  :)

What you are experiencing is that your emotions and your choices are still being affected by the rollercoaster of HIS emotions. It’s easy to see that from over here in the cheap seats bc we are not emotionally involved in the same way you are. What I hope you can see is the difference in your own posts....and the differentiating factor of him saying some things and then a 4 hour phone call. Which I would humbly suggest had a lot of emotion and confusion, but practically speaking, achieved no constructive change in the situation at all.

Please don’t beat yourself up; it’s a normal part of the LBS experience. Most of us remember phone calls or conversations like that. I certainly do.  ::) We often say here that MLC trumps divorce (at least for the MLCer) and you are living proof of that bc your divorce was so quick. It just means that, divorced or not, you are still dealing with a fractured irrational and disordered person in crisis when you interact with him. And this is likely to be so for years, not months. I suspect that part of your brain has accepted that he is in MLC probably and part of your brain is still expecting him to think and behave a bit more like the person you knew and be open to logic for example. You will need to decide for yourself what you see in front of you. And if it is MLC, it could continue this way for a very long time. And nothing you do will make any significant difference to his rollercoaster at all bc it isn’t about you or your marriage. Those are just collateral damage. Sorry.

My answer to your question? I would encourage you to release yourself from any artificial deadline. Bc tbh it is illusory. A creation of his rollercoaster and your emotional reaction creating your own rollercoaster. You don’t actually have to do or decide anything at all, Tornup. You can do nothing or simply accept, and say, that you don’t know the answer. Bc in reality nothing has really changed so you don’t need to decide on big doors right now, only how much of the dysfunction you are prepared to let in through your windows. And why. And you have nothing to work with really bc you are still dealing with a crisis rollercoaster, so it could all change in a heartbeat as others here have experienced. Which is why we say to believe nothing that they say and only half of what they do....at most lol.

Factually speaking, you are now divorced. So you might want to consider what you think are sane and sensible boundaries as an xw rather than a wife? The current information available to you is that a) your xh is in a bit of a pickle and feeling rather sorry for himself, b) that he is saying ILY type phrases while c) confirming his intention of continuing to choose to be in a relationship with someone else instead of you. For whatever reason, and for however long....these things are the current observable facts. Does that look like how someone who loves you and is capable of a healthy relationship with you behaves? What seems like a sane and sensible response, which prioritises your wellbeing and your life, to those current facts?

Hope our view from the cheap seats helps.  :)
PS take another big breath  :) trust me, the sky is not falling in, nothing huge has changed and you are likely to face numerous versions of this kind of situation again with your xh bc so far he is behaving like a pretty classic clinger. Which is, sorry to say, likely less about love for you and more about some need he felt at the time....you might find it helpful to muse calmly on what your gut tells you he was trying to get from you in that four hour conversation as if you were looking at it from your own high up cheap seats. And if you want to provide it. Or not.

And of course, you are not over the shock, dear girl. Or the pain. Or the feeling of helplessness at watching someone you love take a sledgehammer to their life and yours. Or a feeling of concern or fear or responsibility. All perfectly normal feelings a few months out from a very long marriage with an imploding spouse. Even now, I remember those feelings and they are truly awful to wrestle with.

But that is why we are encouraging you to take a breath, accept all those emotions as completely normal....bc you ARE normal, not an MLCer  :)......AND understand that feelings are NOT facts. Bc that is the difference between reacting and responding. And we all tend to make wiser choices when we can create a bit of a breathing space to be able to do the latter. More frontal cortex, less hind brain  :) I was a jolly slow learner lol, so it took me about two years to notice my own red flags.....if I interacted with my then h and came away from it feeling more confused, feeling more helpless or more anxious? I’d just had an MLC conversation. And they never produced anything useful at all  :) and the cost to me was quite high for so little return  ??? What are your own red flags telling you?
Title: Love and insanity
Post by: Nas on July 24, 2021, 10:58:37 AM
It wasn’t a divorce of I don't want to be with you, but a divorce of I cant look at you and live with myself. With that I have reassured him of the man I know him to be and have tried to help him to get back there. If that has changed I have told him to tell me so I can fully move on.


My husband is the exact definition of “I can’t look at you and live with myself.“ As such, he vanished into the ether without even bothering to divorce me. Disappeared, changed his phone number, moved somewhere unknown, changed his email address. Absolutely vanished.

Please be careful of falling into the trap of him playing on your emotions. He knows you love him, he knows that you are concerned, and he is definitely taking advantage of that. If he couldn’t look at you and live with himself, he wouldn’t hear from him. He wouldn’t be telling you that he can’t live without you. No doubt he does feel guilt and shame, but he also knows that you have concerned for him feeling that way and therefore he can use it to his advantage in a way.

His words and actions don’t match up and trying to figure out why will only cause you emotional turmoil. At this point, I would take everything at face value. You asked him to choose, he chose her. Now let him live with that choice. He does not get to have the benefits of a wife who cares and finds him doctors and lends him a shoulder to cry on.

If you feel fine when he’s not around and then emotional and confused when he is around, there’s your answer. Detachment means that you still feel OK when he is around because you completely understand that his behaviors are not about you and there’s nothing you can do about them. Detachment is not trying to figure out if there’s an alternate meaning to what he is saying or an alternate meaning to what he’s doing. Detachment means that he does what he does and it does not affect you because you are living your own life that is separate and apart from him.

You’re on your way. Detachment takes concerted effort. But if you put the work in and continue to focus on yourself, you will get there.

xx
Nas
Title: Love and insanity
Post by: Tornup on July 24, 2021, 11:13:27 AM
Treasur- I fully realize I am on the crazy train and dealing with MLC irrational behavior. The suicide talk is the problem I cant get past. I understand I seem all over the place and if I was disconnected I would not be reactive as I am. I clearly have more work to do. Although, I know I took several steps back. One thing I do know is this… I am not a crumpled mess today. I am not beside myself in pain. Although he traveled from his state to my state as we talked to spend Saturday with the OW I am not affected with non stop thoughts of what they are doing. I think that is because for me and interaction he has with anybody is not real. There is a weird comfort in knowing it is not me. It’s him and she has no prize at this moment as well.

Nas- you’re also right. I also feel this upcoming wedding has some factor in the need to be in a good place for our daughter and maybe once that is past and no need for in person contact and organizing of the event will allow more disconnect.

You know it dawned on me.  Maybe he is staying connected to me because he wants to keep a foot in the door to his old life while he escapes and lives another. Maybe me closing the door and making him put both feet in the life he chose will actually help him live his reality. Live the life he chose and bring him closer to choosing the the home and life whichever that maybe. There is no place like home and by his own admission no place feels like home anymore.


Title: Love and insanity
Post by: Treasur on July 24, 2021, 11:41:38 AM
Quote
Maybe he is staying connected to me because he wants to keep a foot in the door to his old life while he escapes and lives another. Maybe me closing the door and making him put both feet in the life he chose will actually help him live his reality.

Ah, UM will come along with one of his clever Ding Ding gifs  :)
Yup...just so.
Bc that is how we humans learn, isn’t it?  And sometimes some of us need to take several punches in the face from the consequences of our own actions before we learn lol. And we really can’t protect someone from the effects of their own choices. But that is how RL works, isn’t it?
And, more importantly, it will be healthier for you to live YOUR reality. Painful as it is to accept.

On the suicide thing....quite a few folks here have experienced that kind of talk from their MLC ex/spouses. The best advice is the standard kind of advice tbh.....accept that someone making that choice or not is beyond your control AND take it seriously so if they talk about it, say that you will need to contact the appropriate body to do a wellness check on them bc you are concerned by them talking that way. That tends to weed out those who are just doing it for a kind of attention whilst reassuring yourself that you have acted if there is a genuine risk.

Don’t know if you feel this, but I wonder if the coming wedding might also be a slightly illusory roadblock in your current POV. The reality is that a) you will attend as recently divorced parents I assume, so no amount of magic tap dancing can make it the same as it might have been before these things happened, and that is a sad thing for you i’m sure and perhaps an uncomfortable one for him and maybe other people, and b) nothing you do can slap a temporary fix on him like a bicycle puncture to ensure he won’t behave like an MLCer on the day. And c) your daughter probably has some of her own feelings and concerns about it/him, maybe you.....have you talked to her about it? All you can do is do you.....be civil and calm, and don’t let your xh distract you from being your daughters mother. The rest is out of your hands, my friend.
Title: Love and insanity
Post by: Tornup on July 24, 2021, 11:48:48 AM
Tresur- I have actually called the police for a well check. He is also a cutter. As far as the wedding I have talked with my daughter and this has been a dampening on her happy event and I have tried to get through and support her even throwing a bridal shower even at a time It was painful to be happy about any wedding.

I am mad that he has made this event difficult for us all to enjoy, but have come to acceptance, but still due to family only and a small event knowing all eyes will be on us as we were the couple everyone respected and wanted to be in our family, so everyone is in shock and it’s hard.
Title: Love and insanity
Post by: Nas on July 24, 2021, 11:54:35 AM

You know it dawned on mw. Maybe he is staying connected to me because he wants to keep a foot in the door to his old life while he escapes and lives another. Maybe me closing the door and making him put both feet in the life he chose will actually help him live his reality. Live the life he chose and bring him closer to choosing the the home and life whichever that maybe. There is no place like home and by his own admission no place feels like home anymore.

This may well be true… In fact, it likely is true. But you will know that you’ve reached true and full detachment when you don’t think of it in these terms. When you think OK, I’m living my life and he’s living his, but the contemplating whether or not it will cause him to have to face himself won’t be a thought in your mind because you’ll be fully detached and it won’t matter to you whether or not he faces himself for any reason other than wanting him to be mentally well as you would any other human. Because realistically we have no control whether or not someone else ever decides to face themselves. We have no control over whether they continue to stay in their new life for whatever reason, either because it fits them better, or because they are too lazy or filled with shame or stubborn to leave the new life, or because they are complacent, or any other of 1 million reasons.

A lot of us in the early days were consumed with the thought that one day they will realize what they have lost/given up and face a reckoning. Detachment is also when you understand that they may or may not ever face that reckoning and it’s out of our control.
Title: Re: Love and insanity
Post by: marvin4242 on July 24, 2021, 12:01:32 PM
TornUp: only thing I would like to add to the great posts above is this. Maybe stop trying interpret, help and be a support network for you XH. Start by taking his actions at face value and maybe stop listening to the words. He is very confused, conflicted and none of it is yours unless you make it yours.

If you don’t listen to his confused words and look at his actions only what does it say?
Title: Love and insanity
Post by: Treasur on July 24, 2021, 12:03:53 PM
I’m truly sorry, Tornup, that it’s so hard for you and your family. How could it not be? But I hope on the day - and it has been the experience of others who hopefully will come along to cheer you on - that somehow love and joy smacks the bum of pain and sadness in the moment. Bc life goes on in all of its glory even if these MLCers create a sharp left hand turn in it for a while.

My former h was suicidal, self harming and under psychiatric care for a couple of years if I remember rightly. For most of the first year, I was terrified for him. But you know what? He wasn’t terrified for me at all....and in the same time period, i’d Just lost my dad, lost my mum to dementia, had cancer, got knocked down by a bus, got death threats from psycho ow (which was how I realised that there was one, and that his day to day misery was perhaps not quite as he’d portrayed it lol), was frequently dealing with suicidal thoughts and got crippling PTSD.....plus dealing with all the practicalities of an MLC divorce full of WTF and months of being ghosted.  ::) I don’t remember my then h expressing any concern or worry about me at all. Not once. Worrying about my h did nothing useful at all....for him or me tbh....but deciding (eventually) to worry about my own wellbeing did. Whatever it was that happened to my then h was simply way beyond my influence.....and if two decades of genuine love, trust and support was not enough to prevent his going into crisis and blowing his/my life up, it eventually seemed a bit illogical to me to think that my doling out more of the same would make any difference at all.

There’s a point for most LBS when we decide to invest in places where we get a return....in others who love us, in those that can use our support, in the good things we can grow in our own lives or tidying up the rubble. Tbh I think they key thing in that shift is really deeply accepting in our bones that there is nothing at all that we can do or say to affect their path one way or the other. And I guess that is harder to do with a clinger who pops up looking for emotional support from you that truthfully they have already discarded.
Title: Love and insanity
Post by: OffRoad on July 24, 2021, 12:21:45 PM
But do you have to LOCK  the door? As I have always thought of it, what we had is gone. He divorced, he moved on, so I moved on. This does not mean he might not get his head on straight and our path might cross again. As he is now, NC is good by me, but should he ever acknowledge what he did, have remorse for his actions and  seek to make amends, I would listen.

I have walked so far that the door isn't even visible in the distance. I didn't need to close it, much less lock it. If he happened to find that door and travel my direction and eventually find me, I'll deal with that then. My metaphoric door doesn't need to be closed. I just need to keep enough distance ahead that I don't deal with a daily dose of mlc npd.

But then, I'm also one for appreciating what I have in the now and not trying to place expectations on the future anymore.

So you can ask him to choose, or you can walk your own path no matter what he does. If you make him choose, he may feel he can never come back, even if he gets his brain together. If that is good for you, that works. If you don't make him choose, instead YOU choose that if he is with her, you are elsewhere, then he would feel like he stI'll has an opening at some time inthe future. If that is good for you, then that works.

But the main point here is why are you waiting for him to choose you or her? Do you want someone who you are forcing into a decision? How do you think that will pan out if he still wants both? Set your own boundaries. "If you want to be with her, I will not be able to speak with you."  Or whatever you decide works for you. But don't make it him deciding you or her. Make it you deciding and him reaping the consequences if he cannot work with your decision. Oddly enough, it's different.
Title: Love and insanity
Post by: Tornup on July 24, 2021, 12:25:30 PM
Marvin- his actions show he is escaping, lost and confused. His words tell me he is escaping, lost and confused. However, I have not seen him 60 plus days. So, physically I have not seen him in action. With that said I have not seen him in 60 days. So, maybe that is the reality. He can live without me, his own children and grandson. The only one he spends his off time with is the subordinate OW. That relationship cant be disclosed or he would lose his job. The continued risky behavior is going to get him trouble. He has been lucky, but luck is going to to run out

Treasur- you’re right he did discard me. He get’s very hurt when I say that. He is always very loving to me in his words, but his actions say I’m not worth his time. As I am the reminder of all his failures. I just need to remember where he is spending his time. It doesn't matter if it is because he is escaping his reality. It is still a choice and his choice is not me . I have to stop trying to excuse that away due to mental illness. 
Title: Love and insanity
Post by: Tornup on July 24, 2021, 12:33:17 PM
Offroad- We actually had that conversation also.  I said if you chose her I can not be the OW. I am sure she would not be all to happy you have a side dependent relationship with your XW.

I also told him that I could not trust or accept him back now, but I could see with our history and friendship that if the clouds cleared and we struck up a friendship that maybe organically we would find our way back into  a new relationship with 2 new people that learned a a lot about triggers, communication and appreciation for what was lost and regained.

I said that could only come with separation and distance to let go of the pain and betrayal of the current relationships demise. So, maybe that is the answer. Let him continue his journey and I continue mine and if it is meant to be and he returns and I am still open than it was meant to be. If not it was never going to be repaired.
Title: Love and insanity
Post by: OffRoad on July 24, 2021, 12:47:42 PM
Offroad- We actually had that conversation also.  I said if you chose her I can not be the OW. I am sure she would not be all to happy you have a side dependent relationship with your XW.

I also told him that I could not trust or accept him back now, but I could see with our history and friendship that if the clouds cleared and we struck up a friendship that maybe organically we would find our way back into  a new relationship with 2 new people that learned a a lot about triggers, communication and appreciation for what was lost and regained.

I said that could only come with separation and distance to let go of the pain and betrayal of the current relationships demise. So, maybe that is the answer. Let him continue his journey and I continue mine and if it is meant to be and he returns and I am still open than it was meant to be. If not it was never going to be repaired.
Then I am confused. If you had this conversation, is it that you don't seem to be able to stick with your side of not being the OW because he calls and is sad? Sending the bear is a set up for him to respond, no matter the reason you sent it.  You aren't maintaining your own boundary?  Would that be accurate?

Because yes, if he's still with her, he's still with her. He's not with you or even trying to get back to you. He uses you for his own ends when he feels bad. Separate journeys unless/until the MLCer realizes what they have done and seeks to make amends OR you are able to detach and be his friend without expecting the same in return. You cannot coerce it. You can still be polite when you say you cannot talk (I'm sorry, you should be discussing this with her), but be really, really dim to NC. Complete forever NC  is very close to impossible with children, even grown ones. JMO.
Title: Love and insanity
Post by: Nas on July 24, 2021, 12:49:57 PM
TornUp, I’m going to say this in the way that I am viewing it as an outsider. You recently lost your 14-year-old daughter. I honestly cannot even begin to grasp the magnitude of that loss. And your ex-husband’s response to you losing your 14-year-old daughter is to add a huge mountain of more pain on top of that, in service of attempting to ease his own pain.

Looking at it from that view, now how do you want to approach him? Because you seem very invested in helping him overcoming his pain. Meanwhile, you’ve experienced the same exact pain and his response has been quite the opposite.
Title: Love and insanity
Post by: Tornup on July 24, 2021, 01:13:54 PM
Offroad- the bear was sent before the conversation. The bear was sent because of his continued struggle with our daughters death. I was trying to send comfort and share something of hers that he doesn't not have access to. I did expect a response. As anyone would. It is hard for me to part with anything that is tied to her. Even with her own father. When I sent the bear there were not boundaries. It was he can call when he needed to. I sent him a message that the box was coming and I hoped it would help.

Nas- yes, we did both lose the same daughter.  I am apparently much stronger and experienced a lot more tragedy in my life that I feel made me able to handle the loss and process it better. This was his first family loss followed by his father 3 mths later who had a heart attack over the stress of losing our daughter.

I cant imagine having my first major family death being my daughter and my dad. Also- my daughter lost her life at our home. He did mouth to mouth while I did chest compressions. He feels responsible for her death. He is not . She could not be saved. However, I have much empathy for his struggle with having to do mouth to mouth on his own daughter. It is one thing to lose a child it is another to be in the position to have to try and be then one to save her
Title: Love and insanity
Post by: OffRoad on July 24, 2021, 02:25:40 PM
Thank you, I  understand now. Again, no matter the reason, sending someone something is a setup for a response (they might or might not respond, but definitely would have no need to respond if nothing was sent), but if you had no boundary about speaking to him at the time, then it would not matter at that time. I think I have the time lines now.

Having a daughter die or find her deceased in front of you is beyond a threshold for trauma. Trying and being unable to save her would be worse. If his way of dealing with it was to run away from you to someone else, it was a reaction that is broken and you can't fix it. You can't not be you, you can't not be the other person in the room while trying to save your daughter, you can't keep other people from dying in his life. All you can control is you. If he has broken ways of dealing with bad things that happen in his life, he needs to find his way. I have never thought it a good idea for an LBS to try to be their MLC spouse's therapist.

If speaking with him is harmful to you, then there is a boundary. You have to decide if it is dim, dark or NC. If you can not care who he is with and what he is doing (detach), you can choose to be his friend, though make no mistake he is currently unable to be yours, imo. Do what is best for you. Your well being is just as important as his well being.

The above is MOO. Your mileage may vary.
Title: Love and insanity
Post by: Tornup on July 24, 2021, 02:53:59 PM
Offroad- yes, it is the million dollar question. What can I deal with. I think there is a part of me that feels I don't want our daughters death  also to be the death of us. I feel I want to go No Contact, but leave the door open for if he needs to talk.  I know him and I feel it would take a lot to call. Due to this I think it could result in the detachment.

I did tell him on this last call that all 30 years that we spent together that he was always looking for the next thing to look forward to. Whether taking new job opportunities, moving states, new cars. When we got to where we are we didn't have our normal move every 8 years. He did switch cars I believe 8 times in 10 years.

I did also tell him he reached a peak in his job, amazing house, kids, dogs and supportive wife and that wasn't enough. I think even if then perfect woman ( which there isn't one) was to come his way he cant get back there. The fragment of the family I feel will eat at him forever (just knowing him) and that is why you try to fix what you have after decades together.

He said last night he already regrets everything. I guess he just has to finish the journey and I need to get off his road and go on my own road.  Maybe the fork in the road may come back together or maybe it will just lead us further apart. Time will tell
Title: Love and insanity
Post by: OffRoad on July 24, 2021, 03:28:01 PM
That is interesting. Always looking for the next thing. Maybe the thing that will be 'better'? Maybe the thing that will make him feel  'fulfilled'? Maybe not feel like why is the rest of the world happy and I'm not?

It's something I wonder myself. My xh has massive FOMO (fear of missing out) to the point he didn't know when to leave a party or he'd insert himself in someone else's plans. Like he always was on the lookout for something 'better',  no matter how good he had it.

But your H actually sounds like he just cannot face himself right now, and looking at you is a reminder of himself. He wants to not be him right now. Maybe that is all mlcers......
Title: Love and insanity
Post by: Tornup on July 24, 2021, 03:50:35 PM
Quote
But your H actually sounds like he just cannot face himself right now, and looking at you is a reminder of himself. He wants to not be him right now. Maybe that is all mlcers......

I think your right. When he said when he looks in the mirror he doesn’t know who it is. That is heartbreaking 💔. Also, I think he has ever truly known who he was. He has pretty much love bombed and mirrored who ever he was with. I would often hear my own words repeated as his own in conversations.

I truly feel if he stays in his current job he wont be able to recover. He travels to all the states we lived when our daughter was alive and it is torture to him. Also,The higher the position the more criticism. Right now he can’t handle any criticism. His self esteem is non existent .

Just like how he is keeping busy every second of his free time. It is wearing him ragged. He told the OW he couldn’t keep driving every weekend to see her ( 5 1/2 hours each way). He couldn’t sustain it anymore. He told me that he is completely exhausted. Yet, he stayed home last weekend and he said he couldn't handle being alone. It almost killed him. She told him that she would move to his state and move in. That is pretty presumptuous of her IMO. He told her “well your girls are here” . She said “Yes, that is something to consider”.

He clearly just got divorced and is depressed and is in no way ready for a move in and the fact she asked instead of him asking makes it more clear she is looking for a free ride. IDK. Maybe that is exactly what he needs. Then reality of what it would be like to live with her day in and day out and support her fully as she would lose her job. Again, a lot for her to presume.

Offroad: fixed quote
Title: Love and insanity
Post by: Nas on July 24, 2021, 04:02:45 PM
Quote
But your H actually sounds like he just cannot face himself right now, and looking at you is a reminder of himself. He wants to not be him right now. Maybe that is all mlcers......

I think your right. When he said when he looks in the mirror he doesn’t know who it is. That is heartbreaking 💔. Also, I think he has ever truly known who he was. He has pretty much love bombed and mirrored who ever he was with. I would often hear my own words repeated as his own in conversations.

I truly feel if he stays in his current job he wont be able to recover. He travels to all the states we lived when our daughter was alive and it is torture to him. Also,The higher the position the more criticism. Right now he can’t handle any criticism. His self esteem is non existent .

Just like how he is keeping busy every second of his free time. It is wearing him ragged. He told the OW he couldn’t keep driving every weekend to see her ( 5 1/2 hours each way). He couldn’t sustain it anymore. He told me that he is completely exhausted. Yet, he stayed home last weekend and he said he couldn't handle being alone. It almost killed him. She told him that she would move to his state and move in. That is pretty presumptuous of her IMO. He told her “well your girls are here” . She said “Yes, that is something to consider”.

He clearly just got divorced and is depressed and is in no way ready for a move in and the fact she asked instead of him asking makes it more clear she is looking for a free ride. IDK. Maybe that is exactly what he needs. Then reality of what it would be like to live with her day in and day out and support her fully as she would lose her job. Again, a lot for her to presume.

It may well be that he can’t face himself and you’re a reminder of that, but I do think it is risky to view it this way. He seems to have no problem “facing you“ when he needs a shoulder to cry on, someone to talk to you about more than superficial issues, an old friend, a familiar soft cushion, a person to get him a list of doctors and treat him with kid gloves.

I just want to caution that you seem to be doing a lot of supposition. You don’t know if he is depressed like he says. As you’ve seen in some of the comments to you, often times the woe is me story is not really as it seems when they are off living their other life. You don’t know if it’s torture for him to visit all of the places that you lived with your daughter. And even if all of that is true, none of it is enough to make him change until he wants to. There are example after example of these guys spending a decade or more in a life that we as their former partners would swear they couldn’t last a month in.

As for the moving in, that’s all conjecture as well. It’s very similar to the situation where my former husband was having an affair, she told him “hey, why don’t you move here“ and he did, and I thought my God, he’s moving in with this woman while he is in emotional turmoil, not even divorced yet, telling me he thinks the move is going to “put him in the ground“ and he’s moving in with three kids when he’s already said that the idea of kids gives him insane anxiety and he can’t handle children’s noise or chaos. And yet here we are years down the road and he is still there.

He’s going to do all kinds of things that he may or may not actually want to do, but you are going to drive yourself crazy watching him and wondering why he’s doing it and thinking that the person you knew for so long would never do that. Because they indeed “do that”, and then they do other things and each thing seems crazier than the next, but they still do them.

I’m not sure if I already asked you this, but do you have your own therapist? Because I do understand why your heart breaks for him, but honestly my heart breaks for you. And there does seem to be some codependence here that needs to be worked through. To hear you say that his pain of giving mouth-to-mouth to your daughter is more traumatizing than your identical experience of being in the same place at the same time doing chest compressions just shows how much more emphasis you are putting on him than yourself.

I also wonder, and I mean this question to be helpful, are you possibly focusing on his trauma and pain as a way to avoid your own? Again, I just cannot even grasp the magnitude of losing a child and I understand that you say that you’ve gone through tragedy in your past that you feel makes you more equipped to handle this, but as someone who’s gone through a lot of tragedy in my past, I can say that old tragedy doesn’t negate new tragedy. And every trauma needs to be worked through.

So just a few things for you to think about. I hope it came across helpful in some small way.

Offroad: fixed quote
Title: Love and insanity
Post by: OffRoad on July 24, 2021, 04:44:07 PM
Tornup, I can feel your empathy for your XH. What you should most be concerned with is you at this time. What is good for you and what you can handle.  He is responsible for himself now.

It's ok to have empathy. How you feel and how he feels are not necessarily the same, though. Be careful that you don't ascribe how you would feel to him. Also be careful that you keep your best interests above his. Take care of yourself for now.

Hugs.
Title: Love and insanity
Post by: Tornup on July 24, 2021, 05:24:19 PM
Thank you Off road- Nas,
My XH has been diagnosed with depression and has been in therapy and medicated. He does quit every time he leaves me. I do not think I am focusing on his pain to avoid my own. I worked through my daughters death. He has not. I am not in therapy, but have made calls to start, but so far cant seem to find one who has openings. I am going to work through my trauma bonding on him.

I agree. I think he will continue to do and say things that confuse and shock me. I do feel the last 3 weeks were my best when I had no contact and I need to get back to that. I made a huge mistake with the phone call. It always reminds me I have no idea who this person is. The utter despair, pain and crying always tugs at my heart strings and makes me feel I can’t abandon him, yet I think I know deep down I must.

I have always been a strong confidant woman and this has surely confused me to my core being. I think it is going to be a long road for him as our daughter passed in 2009. He has yet to find a way through except in unhealthy ways and even his drs doubt he wants to help himself. He likes to punish himself with pain. If I send a video of my grandson to him he says he will watch it over and over to punish himself. It brings him pain to see everyone else enjoying themselves and he can’t seem to join in. Also, some of my well care check have been when he has been in on business travel and him going to the school grounds of my daughter and wanting to kill himself . I feel I do know that the traveling is detrimental to him.

 I feel he may never work through the trauma and will be forever running. I have always been a swimmer. We are obviously in two different sports. Land and water never mix well.
Title: Love and insanity
Post by: Nas on July 24, 2021, 05:52:53 PM
The utter despair, pain and crying always tugs at my heart strings and makes me feel I can’t abandon him, yet I think I know deep down I must.


Oh TU, you’re certainly not abandoning him. You’re  honoring his choice. And you’re putting yourself first. Which means living your own life, meeting your own needs and not being pulled back in to focus on him when he made the choice to 1) betray you to ease his own pain, 2) add more stress and trauma on top of your existing grief and 3) no longer be part of an equal interdependent marital partnership.
Title: Love and insanity
Post by: Tornup on July 24, 2021, 06:04:48 PM
Nas- you’re right. I also realized he is here in town this weekend . Out call took place with him driving here.  He has driven here many times in the past 8 months to see the OW. He however has not wanted to see his family.

He is in depressed selfish state that he chose. I think I do need to leave him in the hands of himself and his OW. After much thought and help from all the posts today I think I am not helping him at all. I am feeding his desire to escape.

I will leave him to live his reality.
Title: Love and insanity
Post by: Nas on July 24, 2021, 06:20:21 PM
I’m really glad that you are open to all of our comments as attempts to help. I still see a lot of self-blame in your last post. “I am not helping him,” “I am feeding his need to escape“…
Please do not take on any responsibility for any of his behavior. you are not doing anything “wrong.“ You are trying to deal with something very difficult and confusing.  Nothing you do is going to affect him - he’s an adult who is responsible for his own actions.  He’s going to do what he’s going to do no matter what. That’s why it’s best that you just focus on yourself and do what’s best for you. Your actions will not positively or negatively affect him right now, or maybe ever.

I do realize that people suffering from extreme depression act differently. If I haven’t already suggested it, the book The Depression Fallout is really helpful as well.
Title: Love and insanity
Post by: Tornup on July 24, 2021, 07:17:39 PM
Nas- I am familiar with that book. You know what a while back when I learned about the OW I looked her up on FB. I was amazed at an almost 50 year old woman had such immature FB likes. How to catch a man and keep him , etc. as their relationship progressed I would periodically check her likes. ( I know horrid and unhealthy) her likes grew to engagement rings, real estate, travel. It was like a road map to her future she could now see with a man who has money.

Today I am blocked. I realize in my conversations with my XH and trying to open his eyes ( again I know my bad) that he must have told her early this morning something, because  he was delayed in leaving he would have gotten there later by 2 hours which I assume brought on a slew Of questions.

Apparently I was thrown under the bus. I feel completely betrayed by him once again. Someone I have been helping for years. He is only out for himself. What ever it takes to survive. He obviously is not telling her he asked to stay friends. Begged to stay in contact. I assume he has made me out to be something quite different to her.  What a fool I am !

He is making it very easy now to let go and move on. I am not going to be disrespected for trying to stay by him and help him. He obviously needs none of that. What a difference a few hours makes.
Title: Re: Love and insanity
Post by: marvin4242 on July 25, 2021, 03:41:15 AM
Today I am blocked. I realize in my conversations with my XH and trying to open his eyes ( again I know my bad) that he must have told her early this morning something, because  he was delayed in leaving he would have gotten there later by 2 hours which I assume brought on a slew Of questions.

Apparently I was thrown under the bus. I feel completely betrayed by him once again. Someone I have been helping for years. He is only out for himself. What ever it takes to survive. He obviously is not telling her he asked to stay friends. Begged to stay in contact. I assume he has made me out to be something quite different to her.  What a fool I am !

He is making it very easy now to let go and move on. I am not going to be disrespected for trying to stay by him and help him. He obviously needs none of that. What a difference a few hours makes.

I know this is very hard. I do need to ask this however. Please take a look at the three bolded parts above from what you wrote. We all know how hard this is, and I have a lot of empathy for what you are going through. You are on the other hand acknowledging what may help and then immediately disregarding it. You know it is counter productive (for you and maybe for him) to try to “open his eyes” but you do it anyway. Have you asked yourself why?

You know he is disordered, he will lie, not make sense, and essentially is unreliable.Yet you are surprised you were betrayed. So knowing the first part why were you surprised by the second? Have you asked yourself why you ignore what you know in a sense?

And the last part. Do you really want his actions and disorder to be what decides what YOU DO and how YOU make decisions? Or is it better if you firmly took charge of your own emotions, your own life and made ACTIVE decisions for yourself based on your needs? Otherwise you are still tied to the back bumper of an out of control car going off the cliff being dragged behind without any agency. That would indeed be incredibly painful.
Title: Love and insanity
Post by: xyzcf on July 25, 2021, 05:50:15 AM
Hi Tornup,

    I spent many many hours “analyzing” and talking to other LBSers about what certain actions of his might or might not mean. Searching the internet, reading books to try and get an answer to how this person I love could have changed so much.
You are being given many points of view and good information but only you know what works for you regarding your interaction with him. And sometimes, even when your head tells you one thing, you heart doesn’t always agree. You were together over 30 years. He is a tremendous part of who you were, your family, the challenges you have faced. So many electric circuits that still exist with any memory, occasion, hearing about his life or contact that you have.
   Each of us progress at our own rate and in our own time. And as you go through your own journey, things will change from one day to the next. Setting boundaries that are too rigid might make you feel bad if you have an occasion where you don’t follow your own set boundary, causing you to feel worse than you already do.
My therapist suggested to me that I could choose from one time to the next if I wanted contact with him or not and that this could change from one time to another. She gave me permission in a way and allowed me to then feel like I had control of my own life, without ever shutting him off.
   I also learned how to deal with my own feelings and reached a comfort level where contact with him did not throw me the way it once did. This was also my choice for I feel that his crisis is something that he did not have any choice in avoiding. Many people disagree with me and that is what is good about a forum such as this for there are many many views about why this happened and why they do the things that they do.
   Take all the advice given to you and decide what feels right for you. I have found that in life, when I quiet my mind and listen to my inner self, even when sometimes it doesn’t make sense, if I follow what my inner self is telling me, there are no regrets to how I proceed.
You can heal and be whole again, and find joy and happiness again. Your first BD was only 3 years ago and that is not very long in MLC years. Along the way, he will do more things that will upset you but as you learn how to change how you see what he is doing, you will be less affected by what he is doing.
   His desire to “talk” to you about all that is going wrong in his life is something that you may feel you would like to decrease in that you cannot be sure what he is saying today is what he will be thinking tomorrow and it’s hard not to get drawn in to his dialogue and his confusion.
I guess I am saying there is no need to make it a totally black or white rule with regards to interaction with him. You care deeply about him and his mental well being and so it is difficult to separate your own needs from things he does that may cause you pain. Eventually you will figure out what is tolerable and what is not.
   Trust your inner voice Tornup. It will guide you to do what is right in your own situation.



Title: Love and insanity
Post by: Tornup on July 25, 2021, 05:57:22 AM
Marvin-
 I am open to any and all suggestions on how to move forward, but at this point what I feel is that my XH is in a relationship with a subordinate in a company I was in upper management for decades, he is an executive and my kids all are in management. He could be termed for this.
The fact this immature 50 year old woman now has most likely details of our personal lives is disturbing. It is disturbing that she has even a small glimpse into his mental instability.

It does not slip my mind that I am the one that is appearing unhinged even by my last post. I am to some point. I don't like this person involved with my personal life. She is a moment that will pass or a event that can destroy. I know I cant stop it, but the fall will effect my children and all of us. We are a huge fixture in this business and the fallout if it comes out or if he comes to and tries to exit and she retaliates has me shook to the core. 
Title: Love and insanity
Post by: Tornup on July 25, 2021, 06:14:30 AM
Xyzcf- thank you. That was really good information. I have thought long and hard. I think my best course of action is to advise him my concerns on this woman knowing intimate details and the fallout if the relationship ends. Our last conversation he said that the relationship with her he felt was just something that will run its course until it ends. He also stated that he cant be alone in his thoughts and he is in this so it is just easier to stay in it as he already started it and she is allowing him to be in whatever state of mind he wants to be. Of course she is. He is a great meal ticket.

That is a lot to risk for all of us. I will answer a call if he extends it and I will listen. I feel I can not share anything with him personally anymore as I do not want anything I said reaching her. He does use whatever is needed for sympathy and I think he is using his mental illness to keep her at bay and also to manipulate her to put up with instability . Much like he does to me. 

When he had the unreciprocated EA I found some messages that he made up stories to gain her sympathy. Stories that were tied into our daughters death. When he got really desperate with me towards the end and was trying to deny the OW he also told me stories of meeting up with  parents of children who had died to help him move through his pain. Never happened. He was on a date. I knew then how desperate he was that he thought if he tied a story into our daughters death that I would have to believe that?? Right??

He is very sick and I just want to protect myself and my children from humiliation and there is very little I can do, but control what I release to him. The fact we all have worked for this business our whole lives complicates the situation. Everyone knows all of us. I left the company, but I am still well known. This would be a huge issue if it came out. The fact he knows he could lose his job and this could humiliate the kids is hard to fathom why he cant get out, but I have to find away to lesson the blow of what may happen.
Title: Re: Love and insanity
Post by: marvin4242 on July 25, 2021, 07:08:41 AM
It does not slip my mind that I am the one that is appearing unhinged even by my last post. I am to some point.

Sorry if it came across as I was implying anything like this. I am not. You are completely and validly upset with what is going on. Your reactions and feelings are very much a result of the insanity of your H. I was more trying to say in order to get yourself into a better spot, and to not be thrown around and further hurt try to examine the motives and thoughts you have. In no way am I saying you are not in the right here fwiw.
Title: Love and insanity
Post by: 9393roo on July 25, 2021, 07:23:22 AM
Hi Tornup, 

I wanted to pop in here with my 2 cents because I see something very similar to your story.  My H and I and his brother all started our business together, we all worked hard at different aspects.  We grew it very large and many employees knew us personally.  We were like family to many.  MLC changed all of it.  My H had an affair with an employee in in different state.  My BIl left the company 3 years ago with lots of anger and I started to get out of my duties and started to think of what life was going to look like on my own. 

I was humiliated with my H’s behavior.  He turned from company “dad” to company “creepy uncle”. A potential sexual harassment  lawsuit was filed to make my humiliation deeper.  I would fret over how people viewed me and our family.  I started to realize that I had no control over anyone’s perceptions of me because of my H’s actions.  I started to learn to hold my head high and separate myself from what he was doing.  Employees would try to talk to me about him and I would have them go talk to him.  He ruined so many relationships, it was very sad to watch. 

I guess the point I’m trying to make is, you can’t step in and cover up what he is doing.  He needs to deal with the fallout on his own.  Protect your finances and your children, but other than that you have no control over what people think of him or you.  I learned that we were very co dependent in this aspect.

Hold your head high.  Know that it’s him doing damage to himself.  We are 5 years in and my H is just now starting to repair the damage he caused.  Some of our employees still talk I’m sure, I just don’t care.  I know the real story.  Let go and let him fall.  He needs to learn to deal with the consequences of his actions. 

On a foot note.  My BIl and family came over for dinner last night.  They are moving to  a new town today.  We were all giving hugs and my H and BIL hugged for a long time and both started to break down crying.  It was a moment of true forgiveness between them that I had nothing to do with.

You can only control yourself, the rest is expended energy.  I know it’s hard and shocking to see the person who was respected by so many fall.  He needs to fall on his own so he can figure out how to get back up on his own. 

Hugs to you as you go forward on a journey you never asked for. 

Roo
Title: Love and insanity
Post by: Tornup on July 25, 2021, 07:37:29 AM
Marvin & Roo-

 I appreciate all your input and advise truly. I am really at my wits end trying to determine the best way to handle. Since he moved to our condo in another state when we divorced I do not see him. He is here in town where OW is this weekend. I have asked if we could meet up. Maybe we can come to some decisions with boundaries. Maybe he will ignore my request as he I am sure is mentally drained and exhausted.

 I just need off the crazy train and I need to let him know where I stand and the view from my seat. Will it make a difference? Who knows. What I do know is he does respect my opinion and he often says that he cant see the damage he is doing until after. He says “Why cant I see it before??” He says when I point things out or give him pause to think he says everything I say is what he needs to hear and he is able to reflect on it.

I just don’t ever know what is the right thing to do, but at this point I am concerned for myself and my kids. Financially the only concern is if he is fired That would also affect my alimony. So, there is anxiety in that. His actions still have a financial and emotional affect on me and I have to figure out how I can minimize it  to the best of my ability even though I have no control over what he does or how he handles his life.

Title: Love and insanity
Post by: Treasur on July 25, 2021, 09:18:06 AM
I’m with the others here, Tornup.
Nothing wrong with you except trying to squeeze your head into someone else’s reality which is not yours.

I honestly think that the biggest battle we LBS have is to wrestle with our own head. To decide for ourselves what is solid safe ground for us and what is not, what we believe and what the observable facts are, what we can control and jhow to manage our fears about what we cannot.

You are obviously a smart, strong, confident woman and it is a bit of a mindf**k to no longer feel that way in this situation. Was to me too  ::) But it does mean you have skills and tools in your toolbox which you can dust off and use which is a good thing.

Imho these MLC situations are like a puzzle when the answer is not at all what we think it is. The answer is green or 42 or Fish.....the kind of answer that is hard to get to rationally from where we are. But once you get it, things become easier. But en route we have to winnow out some of the old answers that part of our brains think make sense bc they did before.


Quote
I have asked if we could meet up. Maybe we can come to some decisions with boundaries. Maybe he will ignore my request as he I am sure is mentally drained and exhausted.

 I just need off the crazy train and I need to let him know where I stand and the view from my seat. Will it make a difference? Who knows. What I do know is he does respect my opinion and he often says that he cant see the damage he is doing until after. He says “Why cant I see it before??” He says when I point things out or give him pause to think he says everything I say is what he needs to hear and he is able to reflect on it.

If I look at this bit of your post, I can see some possible errors in your thinking, like a computer glitch.

You still believe that there is a functioning We....and that asking your xh for input about what you should do will be useful.
You still believe that you know how he feels and that these feelings are relevant to your choices
You still believe that his understanding the effect or risk or your opinion of his actions will alter his behaviour in the way you want.
You still equate what he says with rational expectations about what he will do.

All of these beliefs are unlikely - currently - to be true.
The observable facts of your situation suggest that. What we know about MLC suggests that.
I have no wish to be unkind.....but my suspicion is that you are at heart someone who likes rationality....which of course is why this current situation is so very confusing.
Bc there is none. Or not one that you yet ‘get’, although the very fact that you are wrestling out loud here suggests you will if you choose to. Which is why we are showing up like spare brain ‘hard drives’ while you work it out lol.

If you believe your h is in fact in MLC....depression + insecure sense of self + dysfunctional coping mechanisms...

You still believe that there is a functioning We....and that asking your xh for input about what you should do will be useful. There is no We now. And your xh is only capable of seeing Me. And his Me moves around from moment to moment depending on how he feels. And he will lie and manipulate the truth to feel better or avoid feeling worse. All of which means his words are useless. And his input is unreliable and self serving. There is currently an ocean between his view of the world and yours. He can’t/won’t move towards yours, so any shared conversation will be about him trying to move you towards his. And I would humbly suggest that this is not where you want to go...and tbh YOUR boundaries are not HIS responsibility to create. He can accept them, ignore them, challenge them, try to squeeze round them.....but it makes no sense at all to try to create We boundaries when there is no We and what you need are Me boundaries....and with a calm eye, I suspect you will see that he is pretty good at creating Me boundaries for himself when he wants to without any kind of negotiation with you bc that is what MLCers do. They are remarkably self-centred in a way that we don’t encounter much in normal life lol.

You still believe that you know how he feels and that these feelings are relevant to your choices. His feelings move around all the time and are turned up to 11. For him, feelings in the moment are facts. And actually, if you really knew how he felt entirely, none of this situation would confuse or surprise you. And his feelings are about Him, not you or your kids or anyone else. Other humans have become objects in his own play, there for what they do for him or make him feel as opposed to being people in their own right worthy of some equal respect. Or he would not be doing what he is doing. Both of these things make him an unreliable source of useful input for you. And why rationally would you expect the person who has created the problem to be involved in telling you what YOU should do to navigate your bit of it? Do you think he is a wise source of advice for anyone right now?.

You still believe that his understanding the effect or risk or your opinion of his actions will alter his behaviour in the way you want. There is an author called George Simons who has a great phrase about dealing with disordered folks, ‘it’s not that they don’t see, it’s that they disagree’. (Or don’t care enough about what you care about). I don’t think I have seen a single story here when an LBS has been able to reason anyone out of a crisis. Not one. More often, we have been shocked and shocked again by the things they do, the entirely predictable consequences that seem to come as some kind of big surprise to them. Or that they blame us or someone else for. For that to ever change, someone needs to figure that cause and effect link out for themselves. Some do, some don’t....but your rational words are a waste of breath to a person in MLC. And again, if he really respected your rational opinion, he would not be doing what he is doing. He may have in the past....he may even say he does now....but his words and actions do not line up, do they? Bc actually, right now, whatever he is getting from doing what he is doing makes a kind of sense to him.....but not to you. He may like being able to access you as a source of support or reassurance.....but he does not respect your opinion. Or care about your needs. And you can’t control his head only your own.

You still equate what he says with rational expectations about what he will do. You have plenty of evidence to suggest that his words do not stack up with his actions. The only way to change that which you can control is to stop expecting that they will. Or in a way that you will understand. That may not always be so, but it is how it is right now. And every time you have an expectation which is disappointed, you will feel hurt, confused or angry. None of which helps you much usually. It might be helpful every time you think we’ll, he is doing x bc he thinks or feels y to try replacing it with I don’t know....to get really tough with yourself on what are facts and what are assumptions or inferences. So, for instance, you know that he did not prevent the divorce. That you are divorced. That there is at least one ow that you know about. And that he is living elsewhere. These are facts. But how he feels, why he is with ow, the nature of the relationship, his mental health, whether he was intentionally disrespecting you when he did x or y etc etc.....all assumptions or inferences. But getting Real about observable facts will help you, Tornup....if nothing else, it will restore your sense of sanity  :)

I hope unpicking this a bit is helpful.
I can see so clearly....probably bc I spent a goodly time where you are right now....that your current beliefs are quite possibly fundamentally flawed. And that this is not serving you. But that you have the mental robustness to adapt them to fit this new not so normal normal.

If you need off the crazy train, and you are genuinely ready to climb off it, then do so.
And the way off is to exclude your xh’s thoughts and feelings and behaviour as relevant information for YOU right now in determining the best way for YOU to move forward from here.
Title: Love and insanity
Post by: Tornup on July 25, 2021, 09:59:35 AM
Treasur- amazing advise and I will take it. I think I need time and distance to stop considering where his thoughts and actions are at. I went 3 weeks NC and that served me well. One conversation and I get all jumbled. I guess I just need to step out of the sandbox and quit trying to dig for shells that aren’t there.

 Our castle fell apart and maybe I am still trying to put it back together. There is a moat around it and I just keep falling into it. I don’t know if I need to drown for it to end or what my issue is.

I guess I will throw myself into work, health and fitness and try to continue to transform myself back to the strong woman I was. We only have this one life. I cant save his at this point. I can save mine. That is what I have to do. I KNOW IT!!! I just have to DO IT!!!

I know I am further along than I was and Although these set backs give me anxiety surprisingly they don't make me sad. Now they make me MAD! I think that I can use to my advantage. Sad made me feel bad for him. Mad makes me feel empathy for me.

Thank you for that detailed feedback. It is truly amazing!!!
Title: Love and insanity
Post by: Treasur on July 25, 2021, 11:13:10 AM
Ah dear girl xxx
Yes, you are further along your own recovery path than these last few days felt. It’s a blip not a destination, I have no doubt of that.

Baby steps are fine, you know.
When in doubt, focus on whatever you do that leaves you feeling more centred in the moment and calmer at the time. For me, it is usually fresh air and muddy fingers  :)

I’ve been thinking about what I posted (while making a chocolate ganache cake for my uncles birthday tomorrow  :) ) Worried that I had been a bit too blunt or a bit too skewed by my own filters from a few years out.
We all learn as we go, Tornup. Every single LBS here. And we learn through trial and error, sure enough, but we never slide all the way back...it’s more like a slow upwards spiral with a few lurching blips down and up again imho.

I don’t believe I still have PTSD. But I get PTSD blips when I get triggered and freeze in just the same way. Not all the time, but now and then. But I am not in the same place on the spiral I was....I can look at it more objectively, I know what’s happening, I know what I need to do and I know that I have done it successfully before. So it never lasts as long or goes as deep....Bc I learned as I went. That’s the spiral in action. You never end up in exactly the same place as you started.

One of the very confusing things about this thing we call MLC is that it affects both us and our marriages so much. In a life-altering way usually.
Yet it isn’t actually about either of those two things. Effects rather than causes. (Which is why your xh is not magically fixed now he has the divorce he said he wanted  ::) )
Takes us a while to sort through the mess to see things a bit more clearly, that’s all. (Probably takes them longer bc their overriding impulse is to run rather than look it in the eye, whereas most LBS eventually realise that’s the only sane way out  :) )

The reality too is that there are few reconciliations...not none but few.
Bc an MLCer has two separate tasks if they were to get there.
First, to repair their own broken pieces and become a functional decent kind of adult human who holds themselves responsible for their own behaviour again (assuming they were one before lol). Big job including some stuff packed away for years probably.
Second, to show up willing to do a lot of work to try to repair the family relationships they broke or walked away from. Additional big job that didn’t exist before MLC and largely created by them.
Some may never do either.
Some may eventually do the first but not the second.
A pretty small number may eventually try to do both. (And of course some LBS will reach a point when the damage is too much or the years too long bc life moves forward in all kinds of ways)
Looking at how big both jobs are that kind of makes sense to me tbh.

It’s important I think for we LBS to accept that the likelihood of effective reconciliation is very low.
And to not conflate an MLC spouse ‘getting better’ with a relationship being restored as an automatic next step.
They are separate things.

So tbh, practically speaking, the win win is to rebuild a good life that largely excludes your ex/spouse. Or has nothing important n it contingent on what they do as a minimum I guess. Hence, the gradual process of detachment. If they don’t recover, you still have a good life. If they recover but don’t want to repair the relationship with you, you still have a good life. If they do both, you have a good life as a foundation to build something on together perhaps.

At this stage though as an LBS, you’re in a kind of triage and stabilisation process for the first year or two usually. Stop your own bleeding and clear your airways, protect yourself from new injuries where you can, prioritise what needs care and a bit of time to heal the essentials. A good IC will help with this, ideally someone who understands trauma imho. Then I think we go into a kind of LBS physio process  :) and you might find a coach or a buddy or a different kind of IC will help at this stage. How you feel is normal. Your challenges are normal. We all wish it were possible....but in RL you can’t jump from ICU to running a marathon even if you want to or think you should  :)
Title: Love and insanity
Post by: Tornup on July 25, 2021, 11:46:45 AM


Funny thing is he said he didn’t want the divorce. He just didn’t see surviving unless he left. He also just said he was just trying survive. Now he has it and is worse than he was before and sinking further down the rabbit hole and losing himself, but your right. You can’t reason with them or make then see the destruction. Can’t believe anything they say. They have to work it out themselves and honestly I am starting to think he doesn’t have the strength to do it.

I also agree building a NEW life for myself. Actually have no other choice. I do realize the times I am NC it is a lot leas chaotic for me. I need to just start embracing my time and new evolution. This is where my life ended and I have to give up the need to control the uncontrollable.

The hardest thing about this all for me is having such a good life and then losing my daughter and now my H due to tragedy. The loss of control of your own life is soooo difficult. But that life is gone.
Title: Love and insanity
Post by: UrsaMajor on July 26, 2021, 02:23:39 AM
TornUp,

just a couple of things as the advice and questions that you have already gotten are quite correct....

My mom was a clinical psychologist in both public and private practice for many years and one of the things that she was adamant about was that, if someone is truly suicidal, the place for them is inpatient therapy and she was a professional. She realized that, if one of her patients was really serious, there was not going to be ANYTHING that she was going to be able to do about it because she was not physically present with the patient 24x7.

The second thing is that, despite the fact that your kids are in the company and somewhere up in the ladder, the fact that xH has chosen to do the mattress mambo with a subordinate is HIS choice and his alone. If he ends up suffering the consequences for his actions, that is 100% on him and has NO reflection on either you or your kids.

Finally, he has divorced you. He wants to have his own life with OW. Let him have it. You have been fired from the position of his personal saviour and replaced with OW. Let her do her job of rescuing him. His mental stability is no longer your responsibility (actually never was but that is a different story) and the ONLY person that can be responsible for HIS mental health is HIM...

And, for what it is worth, it is time to start a new thread as this is post # 150

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