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Author Topic: My Story MLC husband, looking for help and ideas

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My Story MLC husband, looking for help and ideas
OP: May 15, 2021, 06:08:14 PM
Hi everyone, i wish you all a good day.
I am asking for help, ideas, comment, sharing in my following story with my MLC husband. I write it in outlines so we can track easily.

- 2013-9/2020: a marriage full of love (from my side), and lots of love/fight (from his side, his words).
he had 9-5 job, came home at 6 to dinner everyday. sex was perfect, communication was ok, lazy in household work, he supported 60% of family finances.
we have 2 kids (4yo, 8yo). he turned 40. i am 38.

- Sep 2020: he got into heavy poker playing more and more, went to work less and less, but i didnt know that.
the only thing i knew what that he came home later, skipped dinner, skipped household work more.
i felt like there was something outside that was dragging him out of the home but didnt know what it was. so we had more fights and relationship/sex got cold for 2 months.

- mid Nov 2020: in a fight when he came home late without a reason, i told him to move out, he went out that night.
next morning he came back and played with kids, didnt say much, i told him to get out again and we'll talk later.
he moved out for real. came home when i wasnt at home to take his things out.
i was angry with him and enjoyed my life without his presence for 1 month. and think of my mistakes, my anger, his mistakes, his anger.
and i made the decision to work on the relationship again, but i waited a while until i really wanted to do it, we kept complete silence during 1 month.

- mid Dec 2020: i called him to meet in a cafe, he was polite but distance, that's when i realized he was very different at those meetings.
then we had sex but he couldnt function, the first time ever in history, so i realize the lack of love at the moment from his side.
i told him to come home, but he rejected. then after a few days after my constant requests he came home for a few days but then left home again for real.
then he only came home at weekends and mostly played with the kids, did the housework, fixed things around the home, supported more financially.
but absolutely no emotional connection with me. after the weekend, he disappeared during the week days and i could never contact him.
he also quitted his job and fell in to very heavy poker addiction.

- mid Jan 2021: i found out that he rented a flat, lived there with a new 18 beautiful year old girlfriend that he got only 5 days after getting out of the home.
 girl was the total opposite of me: young, no education, naive, no work, always looked up to him.
and played poker heavily during nights and days. he still came home at weekends and left for week days, saying he needed time to make a choice between a life of freedom with that girl and a family life with me and kids.
and told me the classic: i love you but i am not in love with you.

- early Feb 2021: he came home for real, saying he quitted on the girl and started to build love again with me.
this worked for 3 months. he did perfect housework, played with kids, took me out on bike trips, said love me a lot, called me sweet nicknames, and spent much more money on the family.
for 3 months, he initiated lots of hugging, holding hands, a bit of kissing and sex. but one thing: sex was rare and always failed, and he told me the love feeling with me came back a bit and bit but was lost again and again during these 3 months
during this time, i was in deep sorrow since i found out about the young girlfriend, so i asked a lot of question during that period and pushed him into a lot of stressful conversation about love and his affairs.
so he was stressful, angry, still tried to love me. he also restrained from playing poker at home, but admitted playing outside of home a lot and earned a lot of money to finance the home from poker. no job.

- early May 2021: i went thru his phone and founded out he had been keeping the relationship with the girl friend, both emotionally and sexually. their talks showed that he loves her crazily and she just loved him a little, but she agreed to stay in a relationship with him.
we went to big fights about this, he said he never wanted to lose the family, but the love for me is gone. and said ok he quitted on the girl again.
he still tried to show me love, but sex still failed and he admitted he didnt feel love.

- mid May 2021: after many big fights, he said i dont want to work on love with you anymore, and he wanted a divorce. i said i dont want one.
he admits everything was his fault, i am a good wife, but he has no love left for me and the reason why he has not leaving the home yet is only because i asked him to stay.
he also shows many signs of MLC: losing weight heavily, stressful, no focus at looking for a job, always saying "i need to change", talking about he was full of life 10 years ago and he wants to work on being like that again, got angry at everything at home from dog to cat to kids. he also started playing poker at home right before my eyes days and nights, and i guess he connects with the girl again or hasnt ever really stopped with her because i know he loves her.
he still does the housework perfectly, plays with kids, supports the family financially, talks to me about general things, but absolutely no emotional connection with me
the last talk's conclusion as of yesterday: he will stay at home because i asked him not to leave, but no man-woman love for me, he just feels a family bond with me. but not sure if he should stay with the marriage or pushes for divorce. mostly he is considering two choices: MARRIED LIFE vs. LIFE OF FREEDOM, and he will tell me when he figures it out.
I am also having a mild health problem, and both my mother and younger brother may have to go to surgery this year and they're gonna need my help. he says he's gonna help me in these things too, out of compassion not love.

QUESTION:
I am an emotional shipwreck as of now. i will over come this sadness, and am doing all the self-care, kid-care, self-focus like all the advices here.
But now the question is clear: I am having a MLC husband, and the last nine month has destroyed me a lot. Now he's a heavy poker addicts, has a girlfriend outside that he loves, doesnt love me anymore, wants a divorce and only stays home because I asked him not to leave or put the heavy weight of raising two kids and maintaining the home on my shoulder.
So should i Stand and wait for his MLC to run its course? Or should i start looking for his replacement because my time of youth and beauty is running out (38yo)?
I still love him, about 30-40% of how i loved him before these 9 months.

I am not really looking for the answer from you because i know only i can answer that. But after i tell you the detailed story, i really need your judgements on probabilities of things, just the probabilities, like:
- this looks like more of MLC (temporary) or a permanent change in him?
- when his MLC is over, will the poker addiction continue and destroy him and things he have (family, relationships...)?
- does the love for me can ever come back when he keeps saying that he doesnt love me now everytime i ask and i know there's someone he loves now? to be honest his words was always like: i still love you, but the man-woman emotion is very weak and the family emotion is strong
- should a wife stand for a husband with gambling and love issues (very dead-end issues)
- and other things if you want to drop a few lines.

Thank you very much. Just writing this out already help me a lot. I really hope to hear from you.
A lot of love,
valentine4ever
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« Last Edit: May 15, 2021, 06:59:43 PM by valentine4ever2021 »

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MLC husband, looking for help and ideas
#1: May 16, 2021, 05:57:00 AM
Hi V,

Welcome to the board  :D Sorry that another person has to find their way here, it isn't a fun process..... but the people here have hearts which are are solid gold  ;D

He sounds very typical. No real red flags to me (beyond MLC that is).

They normally shack up with someone: Check
They normally take on at least one bad habit or vice: Check
They can't feel love: Check
They run away, come back and run away: Check

All LBS's will ask "do I stay or do I go?", and this can only be answered by you. Yes the clock is ticking, and it's a very difficult thing to deal with.
That being said, going to another relationship just because the clock is ticking will not fix the problem or make it go away. You have kids together, he's not going away.
Can he make it back? Yes. Can he be lost forever? Yes.
The best question (IMO) is: What was he like before and is that the person you really want to be with?
I'm guessing he has some damage from his youth? Does he come from a broken family?

His gambling as far as you know started last year...... he wasn't sliding at all before that? Getting grumpy, short, angry?
Any big jolts in his life the last couple years? Losing job, finances, death of someone he was close to?

What he's going right now is masking his pain and trying to cover it up. Sometimes it's a mortality question (in part), was he worried about turning 40?

If he's doing things at all, that's a good sign. He didn't just *POOF* with a vanishing act.
I'm sorry to say it, but that 18yo and him will have to burn out on their own. Nothing you can do there. Until he has doubts and begins to think/feel again, there is so little you can do beyond take care of yourself, work on yourself, take care of your kids and make the best life you possibly can.
How are the kids? That is the most important part. Since they are young, hoping they aren't aware at all.
Since there are kids, it will be easy to have resentments towards him in this area. It's not about you and it's not about them, it's all about him. Never forget that (not an easy thing to do).

Just a little insight: He probably can't feel anything, is probably totally numb..... only able to sorta feel anything when in the middle of something extreme. Hence the gambling, hence the 18yo. The thing is: There will come a day when these things can't cover up what he has to process....... and then it'll all come tumbling down. You can be kind and caring during all this, but until he is ready, nothing will make a difference to him.
It sounds like he has stabilized somewhat, but it's very early. There's no way he's ready to work on anything. He will lie to himself about it, and his twisted perception will make him think he's telling the truth. You are the one with their head screwed on, you're going to have to be the one who is rational and grounded.  During this time, your feelings will go dark to protect yourself but also so you can handle the situation. It's gong to be a long while. Take your eyes off him, put them on yourself and your kids. While he's checked out on you and the family, you're going to have to be totally checked in on yourself and them.

Deep breaths, go slow, and be kind to yourself. Only have to get thru today as best you can. Tomorrow will take care of itself.
Can't stress enough that journaling is very important. Come back and update your story as often as you can, it really does help.

-SS
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MLC husband, looking for help and ideas
#2: May 16, 2021, 07:35:02 AM
Thank you very much SS for your grand support. You really spend a lot of time on me.
All I talked about him was heart-breaking events. Still you say no real red flags? You must know a lot to say so, can you name some real reg flags for me to learn about?

He has liked poker a lot for more than 10 years. But during the marriage with me, he restrained from playing a lot because he still loved me enough to stop. But then he got imprisoned for 3 months back in 2018 because poker was illegal in my country. I got him out using a lot of money and connection, and he stopped for a while. But the suppressed feelings may be accumulated. Until Sep 2020 when he kinda lost his job and income, then he went to poker due to his suppressed addiction and for income also.

You say a lot of valuable things in "just a lot of insight...". Can you tell me some more insights: about how could these MLC guys turn into total monsters like this? You mention pain, why are they in pain? Why do you think he has stabilized somewhat?

I really hope for your further advice. Once again thank you so much on your valuable time here. I wish you all the best SS

Regards,
valentine4ever2021
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Re: MLC husband, looking for help and ideas
#3: May 16, 2021, 08:07:35 AM
Hi Val, I'm so sorry you are going through this.  It's very hard to understand what goes through their mind during this crisis, but remember a midlife crisis is about depression.  The depression makes them feel unhappy and they can be in a lot of pain.  I don't think anyone in their right mind would choice to feel this way, it just seemed to happen to certain people, for various reasons.
Their hormones just seem to go out of whack and they feel pretty miserable.

Fear of aging.
Some trauma in their childhood.
A lot of money problems over a long period of time.

Just try to remember it has nothing to do with you or your marriage, regardless of what he tell you.  I don't believe they love themselves at the moment so it's hard for them to love anyone right now...and that includes the 18 year old ow.  She is just there because she temporarily helps him feel better, but the depression does not go away and she is not the answer.  Try not to give her any importance, she could have been anyone so there is nothing special about her.

I have found the best thing I ever did was to stop talking about our relationship.  He has no answers for you so it will just frustrate both of you.
Just maybe be friendly and light when he is around. 

Now friendly does not mean treat him like a friend, he is not your friend right now, but friendly like you would be with a neighbor or a co-worker. 

Your job right now val, is just take good care of yourself and your children, in every way and let him figure himself out.  He will either come out of this or he won't, some don't, but you need to stay healthy for your family.

Standing is right, there just isn't much you can do to help him.  It will just takes time and him doing some inner work, which can take years sometimes.

I'm glad you found us.

{{Big Hug}}
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A quote from a recovered MLCer: 
"From my experience if my H had let me go a long time ago, and stop pressuring me, begging, and pleading and just let go I possibly would have experienced my awakening sooner than I did."

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MLC husband, looking for help and ideas
#4: May 16, 2021, 12:02:48 PM
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MLC husband, looking for help and ideas
#5: May 16, 2021, 12:08:26 PM
Thank you very much SS for your grand support. You really spend a lot of time on me.
All I talked about him was heart-breaking events. Still you say no real red flags? You must know a lot to say so, can you name some real reg flags for me to learn about?



Hi V,

Yes, no real red flags....... it's very, very typical (I'm sorry to say, and that's NOT to minimize what you're gong thru...... oh we know how TERRIBLE this is).  :)
So a red flag, a real red flag, is something irreversible....... they divorced you the weekend after bomb drop and announce an engagement immediately. A pregnancy is announced. They chop off their arm.  They decide that tattooing 95% of their body is a good idea. They sign up to colonize Mars.  :o

The general idea being: They're going to cause themselves a whole lot of damage. That's a given. No way around this. They're going to hurt the marriage and if the LBS lets them, destroy it as well. All they're really doing is blowing up themselves, and all the anger, hate and disappointment is them lashing out until they figure out the real problem (which is themselves). It isn't you he's mad at...... it isn't you he doesn't love...... it's himself.

That he has a previous addiction and has returned to it make a lot of sense. With that being said, I would ask if you have a plan to get by if he disappears entirely. He could lose it all. He could be arrested again. Or he could disappear. It happens are you going to be ok? Nothing should be off the table, the MLC'er will shock in what they are capable of.

9 Months in, he almost certainly isn't at bottom or anywhere near it. He has a long, long way to go. Years. It'll probably take some bad hits before getting to the bottom, and the bottom is a nasty, ugly place. This is why you're going to need to focus on you, getting stronger and be able to stand on your own. You can love him, have compassion for him, and hope....... but he will drag you down with him if you hold on to him (and I'm not saying giving up, no no no). Now is the time for you and your kids. He'll catch up later, or he won't. We hope that he will, but you're also going to have to be prepared in case he doesn't.

There's also no way he's going to be able to hang with that 18yo. She must have some serious issues to be hanging with a 40yo man. Just another broken person. Later on (probably much later), you will find compassion and perhaps even pity for her. Probably the same for him as well. Often times, these people who break, they were carrying around some really heavy, ugly things around in their life (in their past) and they just couldn't bear the weight any longer. They ARE sad individuals, and at their core....... just people. Although they want you to believe they are happy and have "found themselves" or "their soul-mate", it's all lies. They are tormented people. Broken people who become emotional junkies, just trying to patch over their pain instead of heal. The best we can hope for them is that one day they do manage to face themselves and crawl out of the MLC tunnel. It's up to you if you want to start again when he comes out, and there are ways to help promote that. All that is going to be your choice, the areas which you control: Which is yourself and yourself only.
It's going to take some time just to figure it all out and process your own emotions. Just go slow, no rash decisions, no outbursts with him. Give him time and space, and give yourself time and space too. Slow, slow, slow. Time is on your side, and now you have all the time in the world. Slow. Deep breaths.

You're going to be ok. Promise.

-SS
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Re: MLC husband, looking for help and ideas
#6: May 16, 2021, 12:22:26 PM
Hi V4E:

I am so sorry you are here, welcome to the club no one wants to join but we do anyway. You are and will get lots of good advice. But first and foremost you have to figure out where you stand. What I mean is this: is he having a full on MLC or is this relationship related? This is in no way a comment on your relationship, only you can answer this. Think of it this way: when someone is starting to have what we generically call “MLC” there is psychological event going on internally to them. It has nothing or little to do with you, you relationship. It is an internal crises. The marriage/relationship becomes the focus of the pain and a victim as they place the blame on you and their lives. This you can do nothing about, nothing you do will alter the course of this.

On the other hand if this is more relationship based then you have to make choices there, maybe try to engage etc. It will be hard for a lot of us to “remotely” diagnose this. I have seen quite a few people here (not saying this is the case with you) that are really having relationship issues but either cover that as “MLC” or don’t want to face it. But the issue is that won’t help.

If its MLC he will change, his behaviour will change. He will lose ability to show empathy (assuming he could before). He may become very self absorbed. This won’t happen all at once. Think of it as a slow process (what people will say is entering the tunnel). He will cycle, change his mind, get better, get worse. It will take time.

BTW if this is MLC you are looking at a VERY long time frame. This is very hard to hear initially, we have all been there. Think years not months. The first step is to stabilize yourself, protect yourself, start to detach and start slowly getting to a place where your well being is not tied to what is happening with him. This is what you need to do whether you decide to move on or to stand hoping he will recover one day. That is not for right now, you have time to decide. But you will need to protect yourself. If this is MLC you will need to get comfortable realizing you can’t “love” him back, “hope” him back. And its so hard to stop analyzing every little thing.

And one last thing: I have a different definition of red flags than SS (not that I disagree with his concepts, just the use of the word). A red flag is generally anything you see that should raise an alert. Everything he has done so far are “red flags” for your relationship. I would call SS’s “red flags” as deal breakers.
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« Last Edit: May 16, 2021, 12:24:09 PM by marvin4242 »
No Kids, 23 years at BD1 (4 years), married 21
First signs of MLC Jan '15
BD 1 Jan '17, BD 2 Mar, Separated Apr, BD 3 May,BD 4 Jun '18
First Sign of Waking up-Dec '17, First Cycle out of MLC Mar '18-Jun ‘18, Second cycle Jul '18-??
Meets OM Jan '17 and acts "in love," admits "in love" Jun '18, asks for divorce Jul '18

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MLC husband, looking for help and ideas
#7: May 16, 2021, 12:23:54 PM
Hello,

So glad to meet you but so sorry for the circumstances that we meet.

You mentioned that your husband likes to play poker and this intensified. One of the first things you need to do is protect your finances as MLCers can go through money like water over a waterfall.  In your current situation, you need to take care of yourself and your family to make sure you can support and sustain them despite your h.

I feel that MLC is crisis of identity and has less to do with age more with life transitions and your h has decided that his life path, the course of where he is going not longer satisfied him.

Quote
Fear of aging.
Some trauma in their childhood.
A lot of money problems over a long period of time.

The start can be of many issues. Even great success can trigger the crisis. Close death, serious illness to themselves, or immediate family can all create the circumstances for the crisis to erupt like a volcano.  Some may have been set you even met him.

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Just try to remember it has nothing to do with you or your marriage, regardless of what he tell you.

This is great advice. Because it has nothing to do with you, you can't talk, plead, or cry him out of this crisis.

Quote
Now friendly does not mean treat him like a friend, he is not your friend right now, but friendly like you would be with a neighbor or a co-worker.

Even better advice. You don't know him now and he doesn't even know who he is either so deep discussions to try and figure where he stands are fruitless and aggravating.

Quote
their talks showed that he loves her crazily

No, he loves being in love with her and the high it creates. Just like gambling, he seeks actions and activities that give him emotional highs to fill the empty void he feels about his life. Once again, this is all about him and his journey.

Now, it is your journey as well. Your journey to recover from the trauma that he has inflicted on you. You need to become healthy for you and your children. Be good to yourself- make sure to eat, sleep, and even exercise if possible. Just know that this is a marathon not a sprint and it is going to take a long time.

Enjoy your evening with your children,


((((Ready))))




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MLC husband, looking for help and ideas
#8: May 16, 2021, 04:54:02 PM
Dear SS, Thunder, Readytofixmyselffirst,
I am so happy to have three people like you, appearing in my dark times out of nowhere and totally understanding the problem I am going through.
A lot of what you said was true, even you are not here to witness the situation. So yes there must be a template, a model, a prototype of the MLC guys that all of them are just replicas with variations.

To clear some of the things you said, and to give you more information for giving me more ideas, advices:
- Yes we had relationship problems, but it's like other 10-year marriage problem, tiny thousand cuts, no really special mistake from my side (i've never cheated, stolen, lied... or done any big things to destroy the marriage). He admits by his words that I did nothing wrong and it's all his fault. (But I know in his mind, I am and the kids are the obstacles to his free life, I know)
- Yes he has a new tattoo that covers his left arm fully, and talking about having new tattoos coming.
- Yes he bought a new sport bike and started dressing up like those 20-sth riding around
- Yes, before the start of these MLC symptoms 9 months ago (going back to poker when he knew he's gonna lose his job, and i told him to get out of the home), he was and now still is a very disappointed and failing person in a lot of aspects in his life: He doesnt have a career like he wants, he doesnt look good like he wants, he doesnt save much money, he has fights with his wife, he hasnt done anything nice to his parents, his friends and relatives are all much more successful than him and they dont look up to him...

To say some of the good/bad things he is still doing around the home:
- He continues to tell me he is still choosing between leaving for a free life vs. staying unhappily with the family, this is just a temporary stage before that decision, give him a short time.
- He still takes kids out so they have some air in covid time, although i know it's partially he wants to escape the sight of me being around.
- He buys toys and plays with the babies and me, but at the same time shouts at them very angrily for everything little messy they do
- He cooks, does housework, cleans the house, bathes the dog and cat, fixes broken things around the home (very handy man)
- He told me not to show or talk about my emotion and love with him, it's my thing and i can find someone else to love/have sex if i want
- He still makes me hot tea, get the toothpaste gel on my toothbrush like he used to when we're in love, gives me foot/hand massages when he wants to
- He shares with me his highs when he wins a poker game.
- He asks if my mother and brother were ok with their health
- He plays poker online all the time while doing those things mentioned, and maybe texting the 18yo girl.
- He's gonna disappear during week days again though no work outside, and may still come home for dinner and sleep on time (7pm), temporarily.
... everything is mixed signals, but I understand, trying not to put up any hope about sweet things he is still doing or get too disappointed by bad things.

I am also using this thread as journaling, and hope that the advices/comments from you will give me more and more strength to go through all this. Thank you very much for being here with me right now.

I also wanted to ask one more new question: During this time, i know having rebound relationship(s) with someone for whatever purpose (sexual, short-term, long-term...) is a big distraction for me from all the pain I am enduring, e.g oxytocin/dopamine from sex/love with someone new will help me a lot. I still look young and pretty enough, so guys are still following me around, but havent done anything with anyone during the marriage. But during the last 9 months i was living a life very lack of sex/love most of the time and it's years ahead we're talking about, and this is driving me mad. So in general case of a LBS, how do they deal with the lack of sex/love in their life during these husband's MLC years? I have a high sex drive so sex is gonna help me alot, I really cant have no sex in years.

Thank you very much for reading up to this point. Please drop a line or a word to let me know i am not alone. I really wish you the best in your days, in your lives my friends.

Regards,
valentine4ever
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« Last Edit: May 16, 2021, 05:23:16 PM by valentine4ever2021 »

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#9: May 16, 2021, 05:33:05 PM
Hello,

Quote
I also wanted to ask one more new question: During this time, i know having rebound relationship(s) with someone for whatever purpose (sexual, short-term, long-term...) is a big distraction for me from all the pain I am enduring, e.g oxytocin/dopamine from sex/love with someone new will help me a lot. I still look young and pretty enough, so guys are still following me around. And it's years ahead we're talking about. So in general case of a LBS, how do they deal with the lack of sex/love in their life during these husband's MLC years? I have a high sex drive so sex is gonna help me alot, I really cant have no sex in years.

My personal advice is at this time, you need to avoid any and all relationships until you have recovered from the shock of all of this. Give it some time and then move forward. The key to all of this is learning how to respond and not react to his crisis. Once you are on firm ground, and set some boundaries considering him and his behavior, then we can move forward with other aspects of one's life. You also have children involved and all of this can be very confusing for them as well. So while you are getting grounded, you need to help ground them as well.

I hope this helps and use time right now to focus on just you and the children.

(((((Ready))))
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Re: MLC husband, looking for help and ideas
#10: May 16, 2021, 06:04:43 PM
Ah yes..."So in general case of a LBS, how do they deal with the lack of sex/love in their life during these husband's MLC years? I have a high sex drive so sex is gonna help me alot, I really cant have no sex in years."

This is one problem I had too, Val..and I believe it was for many of us.  You are very young so I understand, I can't tell you what to do, it is for you to decide and no one should judge you.
I can only tell you I found sex without love is different.  It may be a quick fix but weight how you will feel afterwards.  We are all different.

Everything you are saying reeks of your H being in a midlife crisis.

"He buys toys and plays with the babies and me, but at the same time shouts at them very angrily for everything little messy they do."

Yes my H, who loved our dogs more than anything, would get irritated with them and started shouting at them and say cruel things to them..this was just not him, they were so confused by his actions, so I told him calmly if he continued to abuse the dogs with his angry out bursts I would remove them and take them with me.  I lived apart from him at the time.

All you can do is refuse to allow him to take his anger out on them, in a calm way.
"If this continues it may be better for them if you don't visit them while you are so angry."  Then stick to it.

He either acts like a caring father, or he doesn't come around, that is a good  boundary for you and the choice is his.

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#11: May 17, 2021, 12:29:17 AM
Thank you Thunder and Readytofixmyselffirst. Your advices about rebound relationship/sex are very nice. I'll work on it.

Today, after 2 quiet days, we have a friendly chat, my husband is very stressful in choosing between married life vs. freedom life, and he told me two things:
- The man-woman love he feels for me is more than 0.
- He wants something between the two lives: Still being married to me meaning no divorce paper filed and he comes home to children and me anytime he likes and helps things at home. But at the same time, he rents a place outside and lives free as he pleased.

I think he wants me to be the safety net of marriage, but still wants his own place to live with the 18 yo and gambling and all sorts of crazy things. So I disagreed, saying he can either stay with me and build a family life from low quality to high quality, depending on life! Or he can move out and we together will file the divorce paper with mutual agreement. I dont stand for things in between where he can have both.
He seemed to be very disappointed and left home "for work", even though i know there's no job outside. Told me will come home for dinner and buy kids a few things to eat at dinner.

What do you think of what happens between us today? Or it doesnt really mean anything and there's gonna be days like this for years? Any comment, idea would be nice, that helps me getting by one more day feeling ok. This site has become a great support for me in the last few days.

Thanks endless times,
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« Last Edit: May 17, 2021, 12:32:03 AM by valentine4ever2021 »

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#12: May 17, 2021, 01:03:19 AM
Quote
I dont stand for things in between where he can have both.
Well done for being so clear with him about what is acceptable to you and what is not. Not an easy thing to do, but a healthy thing to do.

Now you will probably have to start the process of being clear with yourself about what that means in practice for you. And getting to a stage where you are not waiting for him to decide what happens next in your life and your kids life, but deciding for yourself based on the reality you see. When it stops being about what he wants and becomes more about what you need to live a sane healthy life.  Will it continue for years? Well, his crazy mess might....but it will continue to be in your life for as long and as much as you decide to allow it to be. Only you can decide how much of a safety net you need from the relationship or from his involvement in your life. Which is why we suggest not distracting yourself by jumping into another relationship bc things are complicated and messy right now. Too messy to add extra players  :) And it takes a bit of time to figure out your own path out of a mess bc you have different options, probably more than you feel you do actually  :)

Your h probably right now does want exactly what he says he wants. The safety net and freedom to do what he wants without consequences. That may or may not change; he will probably cycle and try hard to have both in some way if he thinks he can get away with it. Unfortunately that is not the reality of how adult life works, is it? The same tbh is true for you with choices and consequences and tbh only you can decide on your own answers to some of the questions you are asking here. None of this is about you, remember....you did not cause it, you had no vote but you also can’t fix or rescue him like you did when he was in jail. The situation is as it is currently and you get to choose what you do with it next.  (Don’t worry, we all asked the same unanswerable questions initially and we all slowly figure out our own answers.)

I don’t know if you have taken legal advice where you live or how vulnerable you and your kids are financially to your h’s choices. But I would encourage you to think about those things bc factually your h is a long standing gambler with no job prepared to risk another jail term who wants to rent another home and ow can be expensive toys.... ::)
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« Last Edit: May 17, 2021, 01:15:43 AM by Treasur »
T: 18  M: 12 (at BD) No kids.
H diagnosed with severe depression Oct 15. BD May 16. OW since April 16, maybe earlier. Silent vanisher mostly.
Divorced April 18. XH married ow 6 weeks later.
Healing and growing found here https://littleplotbythesea.wordpress.com

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

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#13: May 17, 2021, 01:48:09 AM
But I would encourage you to think about those things bc factually your h is a long standing gambler with no job prepared to risk another jail term who wants to rent another home and ow can be expensive toys.... ::)

you make it a very strong point for me here Treasur, thank you!
i will not say much to reply you because yes, your point is so strong! very much appreciate the idea.

best regards,
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« Last Edit: May 17, 2021, 01:49:53 AM by valentine4ever2021 »

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#14: May 17, 2021, 03:00:35 AM
Dear everyone,
I would like to add another question about money and housework:
- My MLC H is providing much more money than before the crisis: he used to cover 60% of family finance, now he's covering 75-80%. Right now after the talks, he just sent me a significant amount money for no real reason (he has no job but make good money from poker, as he said he's a good player)
- He was also lazy at housework, but now he fixes everything in the home and even redecorates the home and plans to do more around the house in coming time (changing the sinks, changing light system...)
- At the same time he's still fighting over Staying married with this family vs. Leaving for freedom.

You think this "more money more housework" is his way of paying for the guilts, or is a sign of attachment with the family?
I'm always very thankful for everyone who has read and replied me so far. I'm gonna pour a lot of emotions in here to keep myself balanced in life, as a way of journaling.
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#15: May 17, 2021, 03:09:11 AM
Imho, v, you will drive yourself crazy trying to guess why your h does what he does. At a simple level, it will bc it helps him feel better about his actions, avoid feeling bad or to get something from you he wants.
Better to focus on the what imho.
And what works for you. Or not.

If you currently find more cash and housework an acceptable trade off for an unfaithful husband with a secret life when he is not there, that is up to you. But I would encourage you to look at hard facts more than hopeful guesses right now whatever choice you make. And remember that attachment is not necessarily the same thing as love or a healthy relationship.

How are your kids doing? And how are you doing apart from what is going on in your marriage?
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"Option A is not available so I need to kick the s**t out of Option B" Sheryl Sandberg

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#16: May 17, 2021, 03:18:21 AM
Thank you for your opinion Treasur. You, strangely, always make things so clear for me, words i need to hear, straighten out a lot of things.
I really dont find the trade off acceptable. I just have no other choice than to take it, because divorce is somewhere on my mind but i havent arrived there yet.

My kids are doing fine, they're 4 and 8 and dont really know anything because dad is still around and mom is still smiling playing with them. But i know in 1-2 year the 8yo is going to figure things out in his way.
Apart from bad energy dealing with my MLC husband, my other things are fine: good health, good house, a nice garden, stable money, good freelancer job, healthy hobbies, a dog and a cat, appearance and youth, good maid, amazing healthy happy kids... That keeps me going well day by day.
In fact i made a list of the things i just told you in my phone and take a look at the good list few times a day, to remind myself of these beautiful things in my life.
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« Last Edit: May 17, 2021, 03:30:05 AM by valentine4ever2021 »

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#17: May 17, 2021, 03:40:35 AM
Good for you, v. It’s really important to remind ourself of the blessings as well as the challenges, isn’t it?

I hope my tone did not sound too harsh.  :) No judgment here....you are in the early days of having your family life upended and it’s perfectly normal to not be ready for certain decisions until you’re ready. It is a very personal balancing act for each LBS about what is doable for them and what is not. And you’ll know when/if you are ready.

Right now, you are still full of questions and uncertainty and trying to work out what you are dealing with, right? And you will find that there are more choices than a) take it bc I have no choice or z) file for divorce. That’s why taking your time to figure out the best way forward for you is so important....it might include divorce, it might not....and we will support you as you figure out what is best for you either way. X
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« Last Edit: May 17, 2021, 03:43:36 AM by Treasur »
T: 18  M: 12 (at BD) No kids.
H diagnosed with severe depression Oct 15. BD May 16. OW since April 16, maybe earlier. Silent vanisher mostly.
Divorced April 18. XH married ow 6 weeks later.
Healing and growing found here https://littleplotbythesea.wordpress.com

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

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#18: May 17, 2021, 03:46:26 AM
Treasur, absolutely no harsh tone. You always sound perfect to me. Thank you for that.
Funny how you put take it at a) and divorce at z), so clever!
Love xxx
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#19: May 17, 2021, 05:43:20 PM
Last night H and me laid down side by side and talked, about neutral little things unrelated to his choice between freedom vs. married life. He tried to hold my hand twice, and I let him do it but then withdrew my hand gently after a while and tried not to feel much about the hand holding. That was my work on detachment!
This morning I woke up and thought of how life has turned out this way? So bad luck! I know as people here say it's never the LBS' fault or nothing we can do, still a taste of pain and loss. And the life ahead, we've got like 30-40 years to live, for some here the number might be less, how do we navigate through uncertainty to achieve real balance?
Just drop some lines here, pour my heart out, and start a new day the best way I can.
Hope someone can hear. Thanks for all your support so far.
xxx
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#20: May 18, 2021, 04:25:56 AM
Lessons I learned along the way:

Resist the urge to do something in the quest to fix the situation. Cultivate your ability to be vs. to do when it comes to your spouse. Do invest the energy in self-care- nutrition, sleep, finances.

Resist the urge to find another relationship to bolster your own self-worth. Find ways to soothe yourself and bolster yourself that involve nature, new skills, female friendships. This is a traumatic event and you are likely in NO way ready to engage in a relationship with someone else.

Stop asking questions of him- you will likely get anger and/or lies as the response.

Go get tested for STDs as he was having sex with the GF.

Start an emergency fund that only you have access to. Start budgeting for the scenario that you have to do it solo.

Know that love will not bring him out of it- if that were true, he´d already be on the path to content.

Their pursuit of happiness is a self-defeating quest. Purpose in life is what brings people daily satisfaction. He has narrowed his choices to freedom and happiness vs. family and unhappiness. You rightfully proposed increasing the quality of the family choice. Until they realize that it´s not about happiness, you cannot "compete."

Relax about your ticking clock on your youthful appearance- remember, residents of nursing homes fall in love:) Take time to befriend yourself. Just as his pursuit of happiness is a fool´s errand, your pursuit of attention from someone else in your current emotional state is also one.

Know that you will get stronger and stronger over time going from surviving to thriving- really.
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#21: May 18, 2021, 04:52:00 AM
forthetrees,
I am saving your comments to read when i am teetering.

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#22: May 18, 2021, 07:14:35 AM
Their pursuit of happiness is a self-defeating quest. Purpose in life is what brings people daily satisfaction. He has narrowed his choices to freedom and happiness vs. family and unhappiness. You rightfully proposed increasing the quality of the family choice. Until they realize that it´s not about happiness, you cannot "compete."

That is excellent.

I say that all the time, the WORST, worst advice people give (and they repeat it thoughtlessly) is "you have to do what makes you happy". Worst advise ever.

I don't know who all has read Victor Frankl's book, "Mans Search for Meaning" but on a deeper level it explores happiness.

The underlying theme of the book was illustrating the people who could still find happiness and hope in such circumstances as a concentration camp. The difference within those people.

My soon to be XH, was the opposite, he was a man who could never find happiness. Never. And we lived a rather charmed life. I had gratitude every day for it.
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#23: May 18, 2021, 09:21:45 AM
Hello,

Quote
Their pursuit of happiness is a self-defeating quest.

It is and our culture is all about making yourself happy. We are bombarded by ads all the time that pull at our emotions. Your h is with a child. An 18 year old doesn't have the capacity to understand the consequences of her actions and this will not happen until she is in her mid twenties when brain development is completed. By the way, I bet her parents are just thrilled with your H as her "man".

So now that you realize your h is a broken man. How do you protect yourself? The first thing is that you develop and enforce boundaries. Boundaries are not to train, fix, or punish the MLCer. They are to protect you. Samples of boundaries are no discussions regarding OW. Not because of him and her, but the idea of having her occupy your brain and heart hurts you in the long run. Another is no sex as long as OW is on the scene. You are his wife and you are not going to compete with OW. He wants her, he can have her, but he can't have you at the same time.

Think about boundaries and how the boundary helps you detach. Detachment is cutting the emotional current between you and your h. It is not indifference, but an acceptance of multiple outcomes and you can live with any of them.

Just a reminder that this all takes time and you can go real slow before you take action.

You are doing very well and counting your blessings every day is a great way to develop a positive and growth mindset to get you past any obstacle.

Have an amazing day,

((((Ready))))
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#24: May 19, 2021, 06:10:39 PM
Dear forthetrees,
Thank you for your valuable advices and reassurance. I read again and again your 9 lines and try to learn and understand by heart, because I know they're all very true and useful. I'll come back to them time after time.

Dear Kim,
I understand what you say deeply, we're in much better place than ppl in concentration time or in sickness, in extreme poorness.. May sounds so cliche' but yes we're still so lucky and should be grateful for this life we're having, try to look for happiness inside. Thanks a lot for sharing.

Dear readytofixmyselffirst,
Yes, once again i'm learning about boundaries and detachment from you: no talk about ow, no sex, acceptance of multiple outcomes. All to protect myself from further pain and loss. Thank you very much for reaffirming such boundaries.

To update,
Husband is still at home, is sharing housework, kids' time, financial arrangements for living expenses, takes me out on day trip as friends and a little bit more, and I try to take things as friends and co-workers only.
He also asks to give me half of his earning this year and asks if I can help him manage his investments in equity market, both the principal and interests will go for the kids. The other half he keeps for himself for another kind of investment but also disclose the amount to me. And there might be more for other things or ow but he doesnt tell, I understand. So this is a guy who is still kind of responsible in terms of money.
I also know from his close friend who wants to help, that he's crazily in love with the 18yo girl but she doesnt really reciprocate, she just likes and enjoys what she can get from him in term of both feelings and money which is understandable at her age, and she's also seeing some other guy(s) because she is young pretty and has many choices.
Knowing all this, i am getting by, the heart is in pain back and forth, but good news is that the head's getting clearer each day knowing these truths and reading and thinking about what you all have said here. I really hope to hear more from you.

Thanks a lot,
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« Last Edit: May 19, 2021, 07:02:34 PM by valentine4ever2021 »

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#25: May 19, 2021, 07:08:11 PM
Hi V,

Just to throw this out there....... and I think it's good.......

OW is single. Young, pretty and single (which may worry you, or not)..... and she likes his money but probably not him too much.
Which means with almost certainty, she's going to break his little MLC'er heart. That's good. Not because we want hurt for our MLC'er spouses but because they need a good thump on the head.

It's said the most dangerous affair partner is a single one, and it's true. Nothing to risk (for them). and when the "high" of a new relationship ends...... that's it. They have no skin in the game. No repercussions. No ties.
All your H has is money, and money is finite. What money can buy gets boring. 
I think all this is good (for you), and they are on borrowed time already. I just hope it lasts long enough for him to do a little processing and so he'll also drop into a massive depression when it totally falls apart. That's what he needs probably.

Anyway, that's what I'd be on the lookout for...... and yeah, it totally SUCKS when they're home, dragging their rear ends around, sad out of their minds over some "lost love".  ::) Just like teenagers...... need a good kick in the pants to grow them the heck up.

You're doing good, keep it up.

-SS   
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Re: MLC husband, looking for help and ideas
#26: May 19, 2021, 09:41:25 PM
Standing you had me laughing at this one....so true!

"when they're home, dragging their rear ends around, sad out of their minds over some "lost love".  ::) Just like teenagers...... need a good kick in the pants to grow them the heck up."

 ;D
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#27: May 19, 2021, 11:31:15 PM
Thank you for your kind words, SS.
Yes my H's money is finite. He's got his own debt and no saving and no other place to live (except for renting maybe). Just gambling money and some freelancer job to pay for living expenses, but he's doing ok this year. And OW invests a lot in her beauty so she might want a lot more than that from him and/or other men. Anw i know, the whole point is even to detach from that fact and his relationship with OW, to avoid further pain for me.

Yesterday i was feeling fine. Today i feel bad. But i'm holding on to good things in my life as mentioned. I wish everyone a good day today and the day ahead.
Thank you for sticking up with me these days.
Love,
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#28: May 21, 2021, 01:39:43 AM
Dear everyone,
Today marks up the 6 months since i told him to get out of the home and he did, hence meeting the 18 yo, hence the desire for "freedom". Saddest period in my life, living without love. Luckily i manage to lose sleep for only about 4-5 nights thru out the whole period.

Today he said: "I am sad, but i am making good money, and i want to give it to you and the kids, you should take it." And then he transfers big money, equivalent to one year of living expenses, to my bank account. I dont know where this money comes from, but I know he doesnt use this money to pay off 1/3 his debt but chooses to send me.
What the hell do you think this means? Like still hurting me but making up for the hurt by money at the same time to feel less guilty?
Thank you very much for any idea about this weird money thing.
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« Last Edit: May 21, 2021, 01:41:30 AM by valentine4ever2021 »

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#29: May 21, 2021, 06:13:04 AM
Sounds like guilt alleviation to me... and maybe a bit of "paying up front" so he can show what a great guy he is.....

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Re: MLC husband, looking for help and ideas
#30: May 21, 2021, 08:39:51 AM
Hello V, just catching up and chiming in for the first time on your thread...

1) Bank the extra money. It doesn’t matter why he’s giving it — you bank that for yourself and your kids. Finances can get horrid and it’s good that there is extra coming in now. That’s for you and it’s an opportunity for you to see how you can use it (any, always) to provision for your family as if you are the head of it and sole decision maker now. I don’t mean to be dark but in some ways it’s like the h you knew has at least temporarily died or otherwise vanished. So you’re in control and you have the strength and savvy to continue to hold life together *well* for yourself and the kids, and you can do this. I am certain that you can. And if it seems like a weird creepy game, in some ways that’s true and what it is. Apply the money to savings and bills and to your and your children’s dreams and needs. You’ve absolutely got this.

2) Even a high-drive woman can go some long time without sexual interaction or engagement. You want to be sure your children and self are bodily and psychologically safe, and on whatever level, you’ll find that keeping yourself outside of any sexual engagement turns out to be not so much a sacrifice or diminishment as it is an act of provisioning care and safety for your children and self. There may be times when you can’t stand it, but pull through anyway: what happens as a result of your No to these engagements is that your relationship and appreciation of the children you nurture, becomes deeper.

The drive doesn’t lessen or go away. We transmute it into a different way of connection, one that is safe for our kids and bodily and psychological Self, and the intensity of sexuality becomes instead just profound platonic and familial and Self love.

It’s not what I expected or ever dreamt of, and earlier in my life I would have said no to this provision or substitution. But it’s been my best decision, even if I sometimes feel it was made “for” me or pressed upon me by outside.

My cares go out to you and your family, and *trust me* I *know* that questioning about sexuality. Just writing in to let you know it is not the be-all or end-all, and any perceived lack does not diminish you, your appeal, or your worth as a sexual woman.

It may be that now is a good opportunity to understand that your sex and sexuality, sensuality, is precious beyond any contemporary value, and can be mercilessly reserved only for the partner who values you above all. Just sit tight and pause, when this question comes up for you, and keep breathing, and know that the right scenario will present at the right time. It’s totally ok to keep all the cookies in the jar, for now.
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#31: May 21, 2021, 05:02:58 PM
Thank you very much Terra for the reassurance on this matter. I really appreciate every word you said, read three times already.
Now I have better foundation, to transmute the energy into something more profound for me and the kids. Thanks a lot for the help.
With love,
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#32: May 23, 2021, 05:48:39 AM
Val -
Attaching and following along.
I am also sorry that you found your way here, but you've gotten great advice thus far.
I agree with what everyone has said, and don't have too much to add.

One question:  If  his money to you/the family is from gambling, and gambling is illegal, is there any possibility that the government officials could come to collect that money (with or without back-"taxes")?  Just be sure that you're financially protected in that regard as well.
Ideally, you would want to aim to be self-sufficient in the event that you were to stop receiving money from him.  I don't know if his gambling money is "on the record" with the government, but if it's all under the table, I don't believe that it could be counted toward child support and/or spouse support in the event of divorce.  I'm not a lawyer, but something to find out I suppose.

Keep posting, we're here for you.

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#33: May 23, 2021, 09:30:38 PM
Thank you Seahorse,
I live in a third world country so legal is not very strict. 99% there's gonna be no back-taxes or collection and i'm really not worry about that. I also know the future is not bright especially financially because his income is mostly from gambling, and i'm working on finance myself.
He is still home and trying to make decision between staying vs. going. I feel like his head wanna stay and his heart wanna go, and he's more about heart than head at the moment. I'm still trying to move on independently, day by day.
Thank you for your presence here with me, everyone.
Regards,
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Re: MLC husband, looking for help and ideas
#34: May 24, 2021, 05:38:40 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
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#35: May 25, 2021, 06:22:40 PM
Thank you Old Pilot for your standard support :)
This is really a great place for support.

My H and I have a few talks recently. And I've gradually come to realize exactly what you've all been telling me so far:
- No matter what these MLCers say, they're not reliable words and can change in one second. So dont believe their words.
- No matter what they do that look kinda good, it may mean just to cover their tracks or to feel less guilty, no real good intention. So dont believe in or place hope on their good deeds.
- The bad things they do, well, are so clearly bad and damaging. No question about it.
And each talk does the same thing: hurt me. So I gradually find myself avoiding those talks. And avoiding coming near H. I grow more distant, it's of course no good for the marriage but also a good thing to me to stay away from the pain, so maybe no better choice for now.
He said he's going to make the decision between staying vs. going at the end of this month. Well I guess, those words are not reliable too and I dont really count on that. Even if he chooses to stay, he still may choose to leave not long after. I must go on whatever way!

What's left is the awful feeling of losing the "family" I love. I am trying to put my energy into work, study, play with kids, talking to friends, sleep well, eat well... But there are moments my heart really aches feeling the love of my life is gone. I am still holding on, for the sake of my two beautiful kids and myself. I hope you share these feelings with me.
Thank you very much everyone.
Regards,
V4
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« Last Edit: May 25, 2021, 07:28:19 PM by valentine4ever2021 »

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#36: May 25, 2021, 11:28:09 PM
I want to congratulate you, Val, for your instinct to distance yourself from things that hurt you and that you can’t control. Imho that is a very healthy self-protective instinct for any human being.

But I also want to acknowledge how painful and confusing it is to realise you are living with someone whose words mean nothing at all from one minute to the next and who does not seem to be hurt when they hurt you. How far from normal it is. Your ability to see what is happening will help you but it does not make it any less painful at this stage.

We do understand what an awful experience this is.
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#37: May 26, 2021, 05:35:29 PM
Thank you, Treasur, I know it's a step forward to be able to distance myself from things that hurt me and I cant control, like you said.
These days I am not a mess in the head anymore, but it's really painful losing love, losing family. Even if he stays the family's not ever gonna be full of love like before, just responsibilities. The pain is eating me up from inside and is so hard to take sometimes. I am making myself busy but still in so much pain. Like last night, H sat and played gamble online from 9pm to 4am, and I slept well alone in my bed while he was awake. But then I stayed awake since he went to bed and slept until morning. There have been many nights like this and will be more until he leaves, or until forever if he stays. The bed that was full of love for many years, now full of emptiness and loneliness. I know I sound like a broken love song right now, but it's really like that.

Please let me vent to unleash the pain and loss, thank you for your kindness everyone.
Regards,
V4
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« Last Edit: May 26, 2021, 05:45:22 PM by valentine4ever2021 »

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#38: May 26, 2021, 11:23:53 PM
V4,

Being in the opening phases of this ultra-marathon slog through the mud, you are already doing well... As far as venting, that is one of the functions here. We have all done it.

Like you have already discovered, words are only


and MLCH is lost in the fog.

It takes (yes, I know, it is a four-letter word) T I M E  for the LBS to adjust, to detach our emotional state from the rollercoaster of the Mid-Lifer and to regain control of our own lives. Doing things to distract ourselves (aka Getting a Life" or GAL) is part of that. In this time, we often discover (or REdiscover) things that we used to enjoy or try things that we have wanted to try but didn't. It is also a time of reflection on what we (as the LBS) want out of our lives and relationships going forward.

The most important part though in my experience is that we learn that, yes, life WILL go on and yes, we can still choose to be happy in our own right regardless of the choices (usually totally incomprehensible as well as reprehensible) the Mid-Lifer makes. Once we realize that, we are no longer dependant. We are truly detached from the MLC nonsense and can observe it from a place of tranquility and peace. Naturally, there are things that will affect us, usually regarding finances or so and if we have kids, it is virtually impossible to completely disconnect (different form detaching our emotions) from the Mid-Lifer but, aside from the occasional stumble, we are able to stand up straight, adjust that crown and get on with being the king or queen we truly are....
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#39: June 02, 2021, 11:32:27 PM
Dear everyone,
It's been a while. It's social distancing due to Covid here in my place so everyone stays at home. MLC H lies on bed all day playing gambling online, and went out occasionally to meet and have sex with the 18yo then came home for dinner. He doesnt hide that and thinks it's his right to do so because he's moving out soon. Last night he told me it will never work out between me and him, and told his friend he wanted to move out asap. Besides, he shows clear signs of severe depression, sad face, shouting, screaming, losing sleep... during the last 3 weeks. What stops him moving out right now has been social distancing, guilt, care for the 2 kids, and finance.

I have been ok during the last few days, but since last night when he told me there's no future between us I broke down again. The pain of losing the family is killing me. Today is a very bad day.
Please let me vent. I have no place to vent now and it's desperate.
Thank you for your support,
V4
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#40: June 03, 2021, 12:47:05 AM
I’m so sorry, Val. It is the worst of times, we know.....but we also know that bc it is so hideous, other days to come will never be quite as awful as where you are right now. That is the gift those of us further along the path can offer....and I hope you can hold on to that even if you can’t quite believe it. It’s normal and ok to be grieving for the family unit you had....with time i suspect you will find, as others have, that you keep a family but lose a disordered spouse, that your family changes but is not entirely lost just bc your spouse is lost. But I imagine it does not feel that way at all right now.

Is there a date for your h to move out? And if he doesn’t have one, do you? Or how to adapt to living in uncertain limbo while protecting you and your kids from the insanity of it. So, you might want to stop doing things like laundry and dinner....if your h wants to fire you from your wife job, you might find that there are quite a few things that are no longer your responsibility....let him cook his own dinner  :) Bc living like this is hard and tbh risky in lockdown with a h who does not care about increasing the risk to his family. And have you taken some legal advice even if you don’t want to. I’m not sure how the legal system works where you live. It’s not uncommon for these folks to talk a lot about moving out/on and to do very little practically to make that happen. I would be amazed if your h has a grown up plan.

In a strange way, it’s as if these folks - bc they are running on emotion turned up to 11 - kind of feel that saying the words is the same as action, like feeling divorced or wanting to move out for instance is the same as actually getting divorced or finding a new place to live::) but you are a mum and a grown up and a sane adult (if a battered feeling one) so you will have to live in the real world even though your h is not.

They are also imho staggeringly self-centred....like really weird teenagers, worse than teenagers actually, and your h is hanging around with another teenager in ow of course......so I wouldn’t pay too much attention or make assumptions about guilt or concern for the kids or covid even  ::).....money yes, these folks don’t much like grown up predictable consequences like bills and rent and legal fees and child support. Pay more attention to his actions than his words fwiw.....although he believes most of what he says in the moment so you do need to take it as some basic face value re big things like divorce or moving out....but also pay attention to the fact that this is not a good way to live for you or your kids.

But I am so so sorry, we know how hard this is and you might find that all you can do right now is baby steps and take each day at a time. Hell, at one point, I did it by the hour  :) And that’s ok....baby steps are ok, falling over is ok as long as you keep getting up.
Hug from here
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« Last Edit: June 03, 2021, 12:58:07 AM by Treasur »
T: 18  M: 12 (at BD) No kids.
H diagnosed with severe depression Oct 15. BD May 16. OW since April 16, maybe earlier. Silent vanisher mostly.
Divorced April 18. XH married ow 6 weeks later.
Healing and growing found here https://littleplotbythesea.wordpress.com

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

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#41: June 03, 2021, 05:36:33 AM
Hey V,

Oh yes, that is soooooo painful..... and soooooo normal too. While it is terrible and makes your mind spin how uncaring it is......... understand it is very typical. So many use those exact words...... it's like they call up the MLC'er hotline and ask what awful thing they can say today.

He's in full meltdown on the inside, trying his best to cover it up and project strength (of which he actually has none). He's using that 18yo to try and cover his own pain, which makes her the chump.

Right here is going to require strength, and you'll find it. It'll hurt real bad, but you'll find it.
They like to think that announcing that it's over is the same as D...... it's not, but they are trying to justify themselves. The thing is: they can't. They think they can in their twisted version of reality but it catches up with them eventually. Right here is where detachment comes in to play and you're going to be forced to detach or be destroyed. Don't worry, we all go thru this. As you face the prospect of detaching, you'll want to rail against it... but you'll be forced to face it and slowly begin to distance. Nothing to be afraid of, and you aren't losing him: you've already lost him: You'll find that as well (slowly). Deep breaths, go slow, be kind to yourself. This is a really, really long process and even though he's lost, you aren't. It'll be awhile before he truly calms down. During that time you're going to face and accept that which is unacceptable, and become strong. The fire in your heart may start to burn low and dim...... don't be afraid. It's not about the brightness, it's that you don't let it go out completely (and that's a choice).

Hold on, this too shall pass. You have friends here.

-SS
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#42: June 03, 2021, 06:45:59 PM
SS and Treasur, you dont know how thankful i am reading what you said. Makes me feel so less lonely in these endless lonely days. How come there are you people, with their own suffering weighing down their hearts, that can still find enough compassion and empathy to really care for some other unknown painful person halfway around the world? This gives me more hope in humanity and beautiful things in life.

Thank you for telling me to check up on logistics: finance, cooking, laundry, rent, legal... The lucky things are: my own finance is good (saving is enough to cover living expenses for 10-15 years without working), i pay a handsome salary for a live-in maid to help me with most housework and kidcare, and legal things here in my country are no big deal, so luckily not many stresses regarding these issues. I just have to do the mom's work with kids' mental development and deal with my own pain/loneliness, that's so much luckier than many LBSs here struggling to get thru the days financially. And I'm grateful for that.

I told MLC H yesterday: "You're getting lost and your mind is clouded by depression, but only one simple thing you should remember after all: In here there is a home, a woman and two kids who love you look up to you and need you, lots of people your age would die to have that. I'd hold up everything under this roof like that for a while until I cant anymore." I know words dont make a difference for these folks, but I still have to say it anyway before further detachment.
I also enroll in a 6-month course to complete a famous global investment certificate a few days ago, getting this done would help me a lot at work and further money-making and this keeps my mind occupied and prepares for the unknown future.
Another incredible thing is that, I have been a real good sleeper during the last few 7 months except for 4-5 white nights on bomb drops. Wonderful long sleep. Thanks to Saffron, I hope everyone here gives it a try for better sleep and mental condition.
https://www.nutraingredients-usa.com/Article/2020/03/03/Saffron-extract-could-improve-sleep-Study

Today starts well, much better than yesterday. Thank you so much my friends.
With love,
V4
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« Last Edit: June 03, 2021, 07:01:28 PM by valentine4ever2021 »

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#43: June 03, 2021, 11:26:30 PM
Good news on the financial situation, Val. I know it doesn’t take away the pain or shock but it is one less thing to be anxious about.

And i’m Glad that our posts helped you remember the truth that the world is full of good folks bc that is true even if the world feels like a rather unkind one post BD. :)
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#44: June 06, 2021, 06:40:48 AM
To update with my friends,
I have a streak of 4 good days. I have been focusing on study for my degree and made great progress. Mood has been good.

In talks with MLC H in the last few days, I pointed out that now I let him make his choice with no pushing, but his choice will define him as a person for the rest of his life:
- If he leaves for another girl, there's no turning back and it means divorce from me, ex-wife will hate him for being a cheater, his kids will hate him for running away from responsibilities, there's no denying that fact, his parents will be in pain, and he will live with guilt all his life.
- If he stays, we will work on him getting back on good tracks (though i dont really trust this)
I could say so because as I watched him sliding down to this low - gambling all day and going out once in a while for sex, I've lost a lot of respect and love in my heart to a point I dont feel I need a person like that very much anymore. Last night I took his phone and read his chitchat with the 18yo, she was pushing him to leave home for her, asked him for more money, and he was asking her to give him more time to make a decision, and she was kinda pissed off. I didnt feel much pain reading so, and still study so well today.

Just to update with you all that and tell you my mood has stabilized a lot. There may be one big hit coming if he leaves for real, but I guess I'll adapt ok.
Thank you so much for being with me at my bottom. I know there's gonna be more bottoms, but now I'm experienced and more equipped to deal with my emotions. And I've got you here with me.
With love,
V4
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« Last Edit: June 06, 2021, 06:42:38 AM by valentine4ever2021 »

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#45: June 06, 2021, 04:14:43 PM
Hi V,

I'm glad you're doing good.  ;D It's tough, and normally it's worse before better. I hope he starts to stabilize soon, but it's a long, long ways to go either way.

Just remember..... no manipulation, no guilting...... he has to figure out the consequences on his own and come to his own conclusions. The MLC'er will sniff out the wants of others and rebel against them (namely yours). He will try to use others and in turn be used by them....... getting burned until he figures out "hey, these aren't good people after all". It'll take some time.

You're doing good, keep going  ;)

-SS
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#46: June 07, 2021, 01:29:01 AM
In talks with MLC H in the last few days, I pointed out that now I let him make his choice with no pushing, but his choice will define him as a person for the rest of his life:
- If he leaves for another girl, there's no turning back and it means divorce from me, ex-wife will hate him for being a cheater, his kids will hate him for running away from responsibilities, there's no denying that fact, his parents will be in pain, and he will live with guilt all his life.

- If he stays, we will work on him getting back on good tracks (though i dont really trust this)
I could say so because as I watched him sliding down to this low - gambling all day and going out once in a while for sex, I've lost a lot of respect and love in my heart to a point I dont feel I need a person like that very much anymore. Last night I took his phone and read his chitchat with the 18yo, she was pushing him to leave home for her, asked him for more money, and he was asking her to give him more time to make a decision, and she was kinda pissed off.

So, OW is already asking for more money - she wants a sugar daddy and he wants a new thrill....

The part I put in italics above - This will be (guaranteed) seen by the Mid-Lifer as pressure - it is a sort of threat with nebulous consequences - I mean, the Mid-Lifer is not concerned a BIT about what others think r feel because they are TOTALLY caught up in getting their jollies and nothing else matters.

Having these kinds of "discussions" are usually pretty much a waste of time as they go in one ear and out the other at best. At worst, they give the Mid-Lifer another excuse (as if they can't think up enough of their own) to head off into the tunnel....

It can do the LBS a world of good to get this said and off their mind but, in the end, it may not be all that productive in terms of the R with the person formerly known as "Spouse."
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Divorce final 30 August 2019

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A "friend" will not "stand by you" no matter what you do. That is NOT a friend. That is an enabler. That is an accomplice.
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#47: June 07, 2021, 03:52:31 AM
Yes UrsaMajor, I totally agree with you. Just that during the last few days I got better a lot and felt like yeap this guy is turning garbage, maybe I wont need him as husband anymore. So instead of tiptoeing around his emotions as usual, I just frankly said what I think and get it off my chest. Because he's been working on running away but still able to come back home just in case, and I would like to establish a No on that.
I understand that we may no longer can go back to being husband & wife, and I accept that hard truth now, at least for more than 51% of my mind.
Maybe I'll get tougher in coming times, just because I'm tired of being weak in front of him and myself.
Maybe it's the way my story will go.
Thank you very much friends, I always love to hear from you.
With love,
V4
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#48: June 16, 2021, 05:30:45 PM
It's been more than a month since my first post in this thread.
I went thru a lot, these days MLC H sets his mind on leaving and he speaks of it once every few days. He's just trying to justify his leaving by fixing things around the house, giving me more money, buying things for kids... before he leaves.
Part of me is accepting this because I know there's nothing I can do or say can change his action. The other part is in very much pain because I am losing a husband, my kids (4 & 8 yo) are losing their dad, and I dont know how to keep the happy smiles on their faces being left-behind kids until they become adults.
But I'll try my best for them.
Drop a few lines for me friends, thank you very much.
Regards,
V
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« Last Edit: June 16, 2021, 05:32:34 PM by valentine4ever2021 »

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#49: June 16, 2021, 08:43:35 PM
Hi V,

I know it's hard. One thing to know is: They aren't gone until they're gone. Yes, they do often go....... no beating around the bush on that...... but they are not gone until they are gone. They may talk about it endlessly, they may threaten it, fantasize about it....... some will cross that line and some won't.

Mine threatened it, fantasized about, talked about it...... she's still here, although she disappears every so many months.
What are they looking for? Well, typically (IMO) they want you to push back or freak out so they have power and importance. So don't do that. If they go, they go.... nothing you can do about that. I would say, it's ok to say you don't like that decision but at the same time, it's their choice. You can't hold them in place, and you shouldn't try to hold them in place. Responsibility and the consequences of their choices need to be squarely in their own lap. They typically don't like this: MLC'ers don't want to be the bad guy and they don't want to be responsible for anything. If anything gives them pause, it's that. It sounds like he is fighting with himself because he's talking about, trying to convince himself that it's ok...... he knows it isn't (or he'd be gone already).

This isn't to say that him being there is the best thing either, that's a decision you will have to make for yourself as well. He's still in the early stages and has years to go. This is a tough area, and difficult times are ahead. Balancing assertiveness and kindness is not easy and most can only do one or the other. Again this will be up to you....... what do you want? It really is going to come down to that. What do you really want? And it could be too early for you to know what it IS that you want. That's ok too. Healing and getting stronger takes time, and pain. Detach and let time pass by on him, you have plenty to do for yourself now (and the kids). He will fly around in outer space, and he'll either circle in your orbit, or he won't. In any case, he is beyond your reach at the moment. If he crash lands later on, you'll hear the impact and can dig him out of the crater if you want to.

Keep moving forward, you're making lots of progress.....

-SS
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#50: June 18, 2021, 06:22:51 AM
Thank you SS for you kindness,
Just wanna understand a bit more about you, how long has your W been threatening to leave without actually doing it? Like years? During that time she still comes home almost every day or has disappeared for a while?
And us, the one who's still sane, we will have to live without a lover and a partner for many years without ever really knowing when loneliness ends, like is it the only choice for us in case we want to keep the family?
Thank you for your understanding and vision.
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#51: June 18, 2021, 09:45:38 AM
HI V,

Mine threatened nonstop, especially at the beginning. It took a good year before her threats to leave ("to run") quieted down...... but then it moved into a different form of running, which was to go away and "see her mom" every so many months. This has only increased over time and I suppose fulfills her need to "run". At last count (by my estimation) she is averaging 1/3 of the year gone...... which is a different pretense than most MLC'ers (they just go with no announced intention of returning) but the end result is the same: it's a *POOF* and they're gone. Is it temporary? Is it permanent? You never know. It is universal that they all have a strong desire to run away to one extent or another...... even if it's just as a fantasy and they never actually move a finger. They can never outrun themselves, so no matter what they do they are still in the same place (locked inside their own mind that they so wish to get away from).

For me, it's just over two years of W threatening to run, and then actual running. Does she know why she runs? Nope, but that isn't to say she isn't trying to understand. She's given me a few different explanations, none of which line up with anything she says previously...... so she's still searching. As a matter of fact, she gets back today and I'd imagine she will tell me something new which will be whatever she believes to be true today, and mean nothing tomorrow.
It is quite sad, to see our spouses so confused and lost. All we can be is a light that hopefully, someday leads them home, but stumbling thru the fog is their journey.

Do we lose a lot during their time away? Yes, but we also gain a lot too. Personally, I think what is gained is worth so much more then what is sacrificed....... but living without a partner, a lover, a confidant...... yup, it's tough. Not what anyone would willingly choose blindly. There are no guarantees, just hope. I can say however, that the loneliness does diminish somewhat as time goes on and detachment takes hold. As you get stronger, this only increases. It isn't the end of the world, just the start of a different one.

-SS
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MLC husband, looking for help and ideas
#52: June 20, 2021, 05:37:08 PM
Dear SS,
Thank you very much, understanding your problem gives me some good insights. I am learning to grow mentally strong like you during the last few years, because yes i've got years like this ahead.

During the last few days, MLC H decided to leave and told me he planned to leave this week. He was pretty cold, mean and brutal (not violent) to me about this, like denying all ties with family and me and our past together. Then out of nowhere and even out of my plan, I made a move telling him something, which was at first just me telling my negative emotion about him leaving, but then looking back i realize he perceived it as a major threat. He thought I threatened him that he would lose his legal freedom in case he moves out (which again I have to say just me telling my negative emotion leading to this side effect). So now he stays because he think he has to stay, because if he moves out there's gonna be serious legal issues for him. He even called his parents telling them I was threatening him and asking them what he should do, and father-in-law (old peaceful man) even texted me and said "please kindly be peaceful and forgiving even if you two break up or stay together". Yesterday he looked really cornered at a dead end and told me, "ok then i'll stay like this for a few years". I have to say I absolutely didn't mean to create this effect.

He still chitchats and meets with other woman occasionally (she was pushing him to rent a flat for them to live together and he was willfully agreeing to do it quick before my move). And right now he plays gamble online all night and day to make money. And play guitar all day during last few days. It's covid social distancing in my place so there's no place to go out except for OW's house or hotel or friends' house, so most of the time he's home.

I would like to ask a new question: Before this crisis and depression, he was kind of an artist with head on the cloud sometimes, and now in this depression he is still one (playing guitars a lot). So looking at the situation, he stays because he perceived and was scared of a legal threat that would result in him losing legal freedom if he moves out. Do you think there is any danger for me and kids about this?

For my side, him staying at home helps me a bit: The small kids still see father so they're ok no questions asked, he helps with what he can do around the house (not very willfully but not so bad), his finance is not spent in renting a house or in OW, and most importantly he is here that means he doesn't build a life elsewhere so that's more chance for our family to be family again in the very far future. I have a wish it could be just like this until he came out of MLC, but I am also aware that now he thinks of me as a terrorist, there might be dangers involved, and things wont not just be like this for long. Just that I couldn't think of anything better right now. For me, now i am detaching and putting efforts in me and the kids, moving ahead, making new friends and even dating a bit while trying to work out with myself I should divorce him or not. I still cook dinner for everyone involving him to join, do all the housewife's work with a maid, he has to do nothing, and we dont argue and dont fight, just low-tone talks.

Can my friends here give me advice and your thoughts on this, like you have been doing fantastically up to now in this thread? I am always so grateful to be here.

Thank you,
V
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« Last Edit: June 20, 2021, 05:55:42 PM by valentine4ever2021 »

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#53: June 20, 2021, 10:24:54 PM
Hi V,

Maybe this will help some, and maybe not....... each one is different.

What you're describing about the "threat" you posed to him: That is pretty normal for most of them. They twist things into what they need them to be. Often (but I assume not always) they have a need to be the victim. It allows them to justify themselves. So if you are "the big meanie who is holding him hostage", then that is the role he's trying to place you into. Don't fret, this is very typical. I think most of us LBS's find themselves painted as some kind of villain in the beginning (I was), and it is a very disconcerting place to find yourself. The MLC'er will also recruit others (like his parents) to take his side and further justify his twisted reality. After all, if they confirm what he's thinking/feeling..... then he must be right, right?  ???
It that kind of logic they need to keep doing what they're doing..... but don't think that other people can talk them out of it either..... if someone did, he'd just cut them out of his life. This is a very typical thing also....... this is why old friends and honest family will often be discarded in the early days of MLC and not be reconnected until the end. He will be looking for cheerleaders, only later will he understand these people didn't do anything good for him.

Now, you did do something very good, but it probably feels like you did something bad..... and that was to say what YOU felt about the situation. He didn't like that at all, and they never do, especially if it suggests that they are wrong. He will probably do one of two things: 1. Not care and discard what you say. OR 2. Consider it, even though he hates it.
It sounds like he is considering it, because at least for the moment, he's staying. This is good, and probably without that pause he would be closer to the door (maybe, we'll never know).
Running the clock is not a bad thing. He will go thru stages, and his descent will only last so long until he evens out. They all even out, but that doesn't mean climbing out of the pit.... they can stay down in it's depths for a long time. You just don't know what will happen until it does. Still, having him home and hoping that he evens out before leaving is a good thing.

Here is one thing to be aware of: He will interpret just about anything to be manipulation, and he will rebel against it. So while you stated your feelings, and that is good..... now he knows. There is no need to repeat it unless he asks. It's time to leave him alone. He will float all over the place. He will need to manufacture hostility to maintain the story in his brain about you. If this can be undone, that is a good thing. I my sitch (and I assume others) W needed to push my buttons to try and provoke me..... I never let her get under my skin. This made her very angry, but I would not be moved. I would not be angered. I would not show emotion. I would suggest that you do the same. It will frustrate your MLC'er...... until he realizes that you are not playing his game, and that you are not standing in his way. Just let him pass by. No resistance, just let him be. He will choose what he does, you have no power over this. Removing the conflict robs them of their power...... at least from coming from you. They may feed off something else, but you standing your ground is needed for respect. You told the truth, now get on with your life, your kids and do what you need to do. He has to see that you are strong..... he's expecting you to be a ball of mush without him. He's expecting you to be weak without him. He's expecting you to chase him. Deny him this narrative and focus on you. It will be hard, but you can make it, and you can do it without scrapping him off. You can still love, still hope, still hold..... while detaching and giving the time and space he needs to progress. It will probably get worse before it gets better, so as it gets darker.... just know that this is the way it has to be.
In time, you will continue to get stronger, and later you will reach a place (after many questions, and searching for many answers) if you will stand for your marriage or not. It's not something you need to worry about now, or about what will happen in the future. All that will come naturally in time, one step at a time.

Keep journaling, as often as you can. Get those thoughts, feelings and questions out of your brain, and out loud so they can be worked on. People here will help as best they can. Growth is on the way, and already happening in you.  :D 

-SS
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#54: June 21, 2021, 08:23:10 AM
Great thoughts from SS - I would agree with what he said. You have expressed yourself, now do the very best you can to focus on yourself, your own life, the kids. Know that he is completely focused on himself and will twist the details of your shared life to fit his narrative and to justify any selfish things he wants to do. He is looking for external sources of happiness and meaning in his life, not realizing that we each create those things for ourselves. He’s got to figure that out for himself, and you also have to figure out how to do that for yourself. It’s not always a smooth road, and you will have ups and downs - but the more you detach yourself from his crisis, the more you can take ownership of your own emotions.

I journaled here a lot earlier in my W’s crisis (or maybe transition), and I still read here and post fairly regularly, though a bit less often as the months go on. I still do a lot of thinking about the situation, and of course with a live-in MLCer there is a lot of awareness of them. But over time, we find our strength, we find our true, authentic selves - not the spouse, but the individual self. We realize that we are more than a spouse, certainly more than an LBS, and we move forward. Journal as much as you find helpful for your situation, be kind to yourself, and know that you have a support system here to lean on.
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#55: June 25, 2021, 07:05:00 PM
Thank you SS and Curiosity,
It's been one long week since I posted here and got amazing responses from you. I kept coming back here and read your reply for like 10 times for reassurance. It gives me a lot of insights and good feelings.

This time last week he told me he'd leave immediately. But after my "threat", he was scared and decided to stay to "get things done in a peaceful way" with me before leaving. But things with me take time: I don't file for divorce and he said he would never file for divorce without me agreeing on that because he was scared of my "threat", so he said he may have to stay here for a long while, but he wont surrender and will leave eventually. His version of the truth is that I am taking him "hostage" by a threat. So yes last week he's been staying at home most of the time during last week, playing guitar alone, gambling online all the time, went out three four times to work or meet OW briefly (3-4 hours out only) and usually chatted with her on phone until 2-3am every night. He has most dinners with me and kids, almost no contact with me, and maintains roughly 60-min interaction with kids everyday including shouting at them one moment and sweet talking to them the next moment.

Me, in this first week of living almost a single-mom's life, I moved to my son's room and worked there all the time, leaving H in our room alone to avoid contact. There are days I wake up feeling like $h!te unable to believe I am losing the happy family, there are days I wake up OK. I still take good care of kids (D4, S8), the home, cat and dog. I still eat and sleep well, make money, watch movies, read books, do skincare every night, but I am very sad and uncertain about the future.

There's this thing that friends here tell me to not do, but I did it anyway because I cant stand the absolute loneliness. So I started talking to an attractive guy online, we have so much in common to talk about (movies, books, life, philosophy...) and I can feel we start to have feelings about each other both mentally and physically. But we don't meet because he lives in a different city and I feel safe about it. I know this kind of rebound thing mostly goes nowhere, but it's really a nice distraction from all the pains I am going thru, and it makes me feel good and gives me positive energy to be fully functional everyday. Because I think if this MLC takes years, I cant just live without anything during that many years, I have to have some kind of fun at least as I'm still young and pretty. And the feeling of being wanted by attractive men brings me good vibe to live on I must confess. What's your advice and comment on this?

Thank you
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« Last Edit: June 25, 2021, 07:53:56 PM by valentine4ever2021 »

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Re: MLC husband, looking for help and ideas
#56: June 26, 2021, 04:42:41 AM
Repost from prior entry:

Resist the urge to find another relationship to bolster your own self-worth. Find ways to soothe yourself and bolster yourself that involve nature, new skills, female friendships. This is a traumatic event and you are likely in NO way ready to engage in a relationship with someone else. (Broken attracts broken and right now, you are broken.) You are doing the same thing as your H- looking for an external source of happiness. Instead, consider the harder path of finding internal contentment. Once you do that, you will radiate that calm.


Relax about your ticking clock on your youthful appearance- remember, residents of nursing homes fall in love:) Take time to befriend yourself. Just as his pursuit of happiness is a fool´s errand, your pursuit of attention from someone else in your current emotional state is also one.

Know that you will get stronger and stronger over time going from surviving to thriving- really.
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#57: June 26, 2021, 06:47:10 AM
Thank you forthetrees, you reply is like a wake-up call. Reading what you said suddenly I realize that the potential of divorce maybe the trigger that pushes me myself into the MLC of my own and I need to acknowledge this threat for myself. That's a scary thing because for my kids, one MLC parent is already damaging enough.
This is like a slap to my face. Which is just on time. And I need this.
I'll transform this piece of knowledge into some kind of energy to help me standing strong again on my own, for the sake of myself and the small kids. They need me to be strong and be strong for many years ahead, really.
Thank you,
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#58: June 27, 2021, 11:59:13 AM
Hi V,

Yup, FTT is right....... 100%.

This is something that so many LBS's go thru...... that hurt and the want for someone to fill it. It's not real. The thing is, it will change later (because it's not real).
There is something very useful to examine from it however...... your MLC'er........ you get a small taste of what their world is at the moment. The difference is of course that you can make the right decision and they haven't..... but you get to see what the "pull" is like. This is how you get to sort of understand in a limited way. See how it just snuck in there? Now multiply it 10 fold...... there's where your MLC'er is. That's how they got snagged..... but it isn't real, and it normally is temporary.

One thing to help examine it (your sitch)....... this is a guy who knows you're married right? And he's flirting with you? What kind of man is that? Just...... ewwwww.

-SS
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#59: June 27, 2021, 09:03:15 PM
Thank you my friends, I will think harder on this. The guy I was talking to doesnt know about my marriage, just light easy fun, it's my fault to go slightly off-track like that.

But this poses an interesting question and I would like to discuss with you a bit on this: Our MLC H/W started it all. But as a result, we LBS fell into pain, loss and surely some kind of depression ourselves - which in turn can be considered a mini-MLC in a good scenario (lasting for a few months then we get back firmly on our feet), or a full-blown MLC in a bad case scenario.

Now I'm just talking about the good scenario: a mini-MLC, because it seems to be most of the cases for us here, as I can see most of my wonderful friends here we can keep our heads clear most of the time, and still carry out our responsibilities with ourselves, kids, life and everything else, and you are even doing me a great favor by giving out love and support and I'm deeply grateful for that.

We know we are dealing with huge stress, some go in and reach for inner strength, but some might go out and reach for a distraction. Then...How about being fully aware of the pros and cons of the distraction, preparing for its consequences, and just allowing ourselves to be relaxing a bit. How about giving myself a "quantum of solace", like an emotional band-aid and just telling myself in advance this is just a band-aid that's all. No physical contact, nothing more than just talks and talks on hobbies (movies, music, books, gardening...), and I'll correct my fault on telling the new guy my marriage situation and let the chips fall where they may? How about just considering this an alternative of sort only for a few months, only to help me get back on track in a quicker and less painful way, without really cheating or lying to anyone. Then when the band-aid finishes its job and automatically fall apart, I'll be strong enough to carry on completely on my own?

I hold very dear all the advices you've been giving me about this, dont get me wrong, I go back to it each day and agree myself you're completely right and that's the best way to be. And I put so much credit on you that's why I'm bringing up this discussion with you to hear more of your precious ideas and, if necessary, to take more slaps in my face to wake up for real.
Thank you very much in advance,
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#60: June 27, 2021, 11:55:06 PM
We know we are dealing with huge stress, some go in and reach for inner strength, but some might go out and reach for a distraction. Then...How about being fully aware of the pros and cons of the distraction, preparing for its consequences, and just allowing ourselves to be relaxing a bit. How about giving myself a "quantum of solace", like an emotional band-aid and just telling myself in advance this is just a band-aid that's all. No physical contact, nothing more than just talks and talks on hobbies (movies, music, books, gardening...), and I'll correct my fault on telling the new guy my marriage situation and let the chips fall where they may? How about just considering this an alternative of sort only for a few months, only to help me get back on track in a quicker and less painful way, without really cheating or lying to anyone. Then when the band-aid finishes its job and automatically fall apart, I'll be strong enough to carry on completely on my own?

The term for what you are describing above is called an "Emotional Affair" and no matter how much lipstick you want to put on that pig, it is STILL a pig...

You are playing with fire...

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#61: June 28, 2021, 12:29:25 AM
Thank you UrsaMajor, for being straightforward and honest.
The biggest consequences of playing with fire are:
- I lose my dignity integrity and become a female version of the MLC H, which is something plain bad.
- A potential heartbreak from this new thing, while the old heartbreak is not yet over.
Can you name some more bad effects for me? Sorry I guess I'm young and inexperienced compared with most of you here (only 38yo), I really need to hear from you all as older brothers and sisters.

Really appreciate,
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#62: June 28, 2021, 12:47:15 AM
Can I name some more bad side effects?

How long of a list do you want?

(Been there, done that, got the scars and no freaking T-Shirt)

1) Regardless of what you tell OM (and that is really what he is function as sorry to say), it is an EA That means "feelings" are involved - guess what happens when you call a mulligan and say "Oh, no, you were just my emotional band-aid while I was getting over my husband's MLC.... " How would YOU feel if the shoe were on the other foot?

2) YOU yourself will have emotional "feelings" attached (you said that you already have some sort of "thing" happening there) so you are really sticking a knife in an existing wound and adding a little salt on the side. For some temporary "good feelies" you are storing up the bad feelies behind the dam and it WILL burst at some point. Then you get to pay back the whole thing... with interest....

3) By engaging in an EA, you are doing the "Escape and Avoid" yourself... You are avoiding dealing with the real $#!t that is happening by plastering it over with "Feelz." The problem is that those "Feelz" will NOT last - they are a temporary "high" but then mean old Mr. Reality kicks in and he is a REAL buzzkill

4) YOU and only you are responsible for your actions - you are also responsible for the consequences of your actions. You really want to take the responsibility (and therefore the consequences) of mind-firetrucking someone for the sole purpose of a few Feelz??

5) It is entirely possible that your EA is just a player who is taking you for a ride. xW's OM was just such a player... He saw a MHLF (Mom He'd Like....), humped and dumped and went back to his own Wife and Kids.... You are hooked up with an internet presence, nothing more... you have NO idea who is sitting on the other end of the keyboard... You could be talking to the next Jeffery Dahmer or the next Mother Theresa. You have NO way of knowing. Is that someone/something you REALLY want to invest time and energy in?

How's that for a start?  This is what we commonly refer to as getting the velvet-covered 2x4...
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#63: June 28, 2021, 03:09:51 AM
Thank you forthetrees, SS and UrsaMajor, you've been very frank and opened up my eyes to serious things that I haven thought of.
Thank you so much, damn I am so lucky to be here and have a chance to hear all of you.
Regards,
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Re: MLC husband, looking for help and ideas
#64: June 28, 2021, 04:30:39 AM
Individual counseling would be MUCH better than your internet band aid idea. And... you get some emotional growth out of the experience.
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#65: June 28, 2021, 09:44:56 AM
I agree with FTT, but I understand how you feel. I was 37 at BD, and within that year I was trying to roll with the breakup and maybe also find someone new. Had an old acquaintance I sort of crushed on for awhile. We have all of this love in us, and suddenly we are not allowed to direct it to who we want to receive it, and I get where it feels like relief to redirect it elsewhere. But ultimately I did feel out that this is not what I wanted to really do, and I wanted to leave room for my xH (and ultimately, this helped me heal).

If you search for Dr. Joe Beam's website and channel on YouTube, there's some great information on limerence and how it differs from love, which may help you understand your interest in this new person and how to redirect it into self-focus. But a personal counselor would be the best bet for working through this stuff.
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#66: June 29, 2021, 08:53:53 PM
I was 37 at BD and I am barely just starting to test the dating waters at 43.  My MLCer divorced me very quickly, 97 days start of divorce process to finish of divorce process.  I am very glad that I did not try to use someone else to move me along or to rebound with.  I have grown strong, and I have gotten to know the real me, and to be okay with being alone.  I know that I will be okay if I stay alone, but that I am healed and capable of a relationship too.  Yes, I do miss intimacy, but I will hold out for something real and true.

And, if the other person is a good person, they could get hurt by you when things are very much still up and down with your husband.  I wouldn't want to cause pain for another the way I have hurt.  For me, it's important to hold onto my values and integrity, and not become MLCer myself.
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#67: June 30, 2021, 02:27:20 AM
Dear FaithWalker and Ready2Transform,
I'm 37 also, going on 38 in exactly two months, so I am feeling kind of following your footsteps.
My friends here have been giving me similar advices, there must be good reasons. I am taking all of such advices and thinking hard on it, and kind of slowly turning away from what I've been falling into during last few weeks. My mood has been stabilized, I have just started new routines in my daily life (gym, yoga, gardening, kids' bonding, studying...) and I'll put most of my energy into it.
Thank you for the brake.
Regards,
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#68: July 05, 2021, 01:22:45 AM
Dear friends,
It's so strange I haven't been here for 5 days already, not feeling the urge to come here and write something. During the last five days I even forgot to write my own journal. I was busy decorating the home, playing with kids, taking care of my small garden, working out, making money... that I didn't feel a moment of pain. Moments of sadness and loneliness yes there were some, but that painful agony in the heart that I have to write it out no I haven't felt that during the last five days. Is this a big progress?

MLC H still stays at home, playing poker or playing game station or sleeping all night and day, maybe still scared of my "threat". However beside the monthly allowance, he made a few extra money transfer to the kids' account, telling me it's a gift from dad to kids. He doesn't meet the 18yo girl very often, partially because it's lockdown due to pandemic in my city, but also for example today is Monday he could go to her under the name of "going to work", but instead he just stayed at home looking so in pain and play PS all day. I pay attention to all of that, but his activities don't mean much to me or dont hurt me like they did before. I think I've already got stronger and more detached, thanks to all the good advices I've been getting from here.

I want to ask another question for my friends here, in order to understand about our future. Provided this MLC takes years, many of us will turn empty nesters as the kids go away for college or move out, mostly in our mid-50s. If the mid life crisis hasn't ended, it means many of us LBS will live alone (if the MLC person runs away or divorces) or will live with a detached and cold and stressful spouse (if the MLC person still stays) while we gradually get old and gray.
So what we can do to prepare for that? Any advice for the LBS who still have a few years before turning empty nesters to prepare?
Or if we're already such empty nesters, what we can do to make our lives better from mid-50s to 70s or 80s to make the most of life?
Thank you very much for your comment and ideas.
Regards,
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#69: July 05, 2021, 10:04:03 AM
I am one where my MLCer stayed home for 18 months then moved out, then filed for divorce when the youngest turned 18. In hindsight, I would not have standed (stood?) at all, but that choice is as individual as we are.

For me, my chance of being alone for the remainder of my days is very high. I have become unable to walk well, so don't go out much anymore. That being said, I think I have a good life. For several years after BD, I drove off road to see pictographs, geological formations, old dwellings, stage coach trail, etc. I went with a meetup group and it was a blast. I took weekends trips to some place I wanted to see. I went to escape rooms with friends, work colleagues, and/or my kids. I Geocached (treasure hunting with a gps). Went to events, hiked trails, drove long distances, made things, etc. I am never at a loss for something I want to do. These days, I craft cement stones out of soap molds and make kindness rocks. Work with my D to decorate the front yard. Yesterday we got the wishing well UV lights and UV painted fake leaves into the well. Looks like a radioactive wishing well at night. Sure, I'm a little strange.  We put in turtle stepping stones, and resin leaves and water colored rocks into the dry creek bed. The moat dragon is next. When I don't have help for doing things, I still crochet or scrapbook or sew or garden.

Find what you like and do it, with your kids, without your kids, with your H if he won't ruin it, without him if he will or doesn't want to go or you don't want him along.

You will have to decide, usually once a day, sometimes more often, is this kind of life ok with you? Are you good with the guy who isn't contributing anything emotionally to the relationship? Is he a good enough parent that he isn't damaging the kids? Will he be bringing home sketchy people? Is he a danger to the family? Can you have him being what he is (on any given day), do what you want and need to do to maintain your sanity and be ok?

The preparation for whatever comes next in your life is to decide how you want to spend it, whether your H comes along for the ride or not. If you want to travel, friends or family can be good for that. If you want to learn, taking classes can be good for that. If you want to create things then friends, classes, meetups/groups are good for that. And some of it is good all by yourself.

As a side note, there is a third choice: He leaves, he stays or you can decide if you are done. The third is also a valid choice should you get there.  All three take you to where you need to figure out how you want to live your life without an engaged partner. If he figures himself out, you will still know who you are and what you like and want, and if he still fits in with that you are still in a great place. You can't lose when you take care of you.
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« Last Edit: July 05, 2021, 10:09:05 AM by OffRoad »
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#70: July 05, 2021, 07:53:44 PM
My kids were 10, 13 and 15 at the time of Bomb Drop and now they are 16, 19 and 21.  During the school year they were gone with MLCer every other week from Thu-Sun and during the summer it was week on, week off.  (Except for my oldest who had his own F to go on visitations with), so I found things to do while they were gone.  It started out making plans to go have coffee with a friend, then I ended up getting into paddle boarding and do that with various friends.  I've gotten where I don't mind going out to a movie or to eat on my own.  Sometimes I go with my brother's wife or a good friend and do things.  And, it's not so hard here at home anymore without the kids.  I watch a show on Netflix, or catch up here with posts, (as I value friendships that I have made here or want to give back to newbies that are going through things), or turn the music up in the house and dance, or clean, or both.  Sometimes I will read a good book, or browse Facebook.  I also picked up a couple of side hustles to my full-time job, so I have a couple VIP groups and pages on Facebook that I post to, and sometimes Instagram as well.  I have made a little money at it, and I get a discount on the products, which is great.  I can still look fabulous at my day job without breaking the bank.

I have found plenty to do.  In the last year, I stopped standing and put my marriage to rest, so I have been on a couple of dates as well, but, they were pretty casual and friendly, nothing romantic yet.  But my MLCer and I have been divorced for over 5 years and he has been re-married for a little over a year now.

Definitely having a hobby helps.  I like to camp and paddle board and chase sunsets.  I love being out in nature, and I feel a lot of peace when I am out there looking at a waterfall or taking pictures of a beautiful sunset.  The paddle board was a little bit of an investment, but it has been the most amazing thing for me.  I can lay down on the board in the middle of the lake and just drift and I just feel alive.  Other times I lap the lakes multiple times or laugh joyfully into the wind as it tries to blow me across the lake and I dig in deep with my paddle and bounce over the waves.  I would love to find someone who shares that interest with me, romantically speaking, but know that if it is just something that I do, I will be okay as well.
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MLC husband, looking for help and ideas
#71: July 21, 2021, 07:48:36 PM
Dear friends,
It's been 17 days since I last wrote here and asked about being an empty nester in the future. I've got 2 responses from OffRoad and FaithWalker talking about their own fun activities in solitude and that moved me to tears everytime I read. Thank you very much for very touching personal sharings.
Jumping 10-12 years ahead I guess I'll be doing something similar to what you're telling  :-*
Regards,
V
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#72: July 21, 2021, 11:04:53 PM
What you have to understand is that children are ours on loan. Then they grow up to become well adjusted, capable adults if we did it right. If we really did it right, they come back to visit.  My D actually has moved back in with me after being at college for four years and  living across the continent for 2. She wants to save for a house and that is cool by me.

I have friends, but I'm old and cannot walk well. My chance of finding male companionship is pretty slim. Unless they just lost a wife they were taking care of and miss having that in their lives, the average male I know either wants to sit and not take care of anyone, including himself or is out there moving around (which is where I'd be if my body hadn't betrayed me). So I have an unusual situation that most don't have. Most people don't have to be alone, whether without romantic entanglements or without friends unless they choose to be.

But that also brings me back to having D here. I love D, we get along famously, but in all truth, I like it when she goes to take her brother back and stays several weeks. I can have dinner at 4, or not at all. I can spread cement all over the table and wait three days to vacuum it up. I can let the trash and recycling pile up and take it out in one fell swoop. Roomba can run free.  And I'm not tripping over her crafting items.  ;D  In fact, while she and S were here, I got very little done. It's hard to wobble out to the back yard with a sawz-all in hand to saw up the broken lawn furniture and when I'm alone, I just go ahead and do it at my own pace. When other people are around, it's...embarrassing? Like I feel the need to explain why it took me an hour to gather up what I needed, and another half hour to get out the door, and another hour to get the broken chaise lounge cut up, etc. It's not that they wouldn't help me, I just hate having to ask...for everything. Especially when I can still do it, just slowly.

Sometimes there is an advantage to having an empty nest. Kind of a freedom to do your own thing at your own pace. But in the meantime, enjoy your kids, enjoy your time with you. Don't shortchange the now for the fear of what the future will bring. I am beyond grateful that I did all that I did before I arrived where I am. I have memories to give me a warm glow and pictures to scrap book.

Make your now the best that you can manage. It will be worth it in the longrun.
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#73: July 22, 2021, 08:42:29 PM

I want to ask another question for my friends here, in order to understand about our future. Provided this MLC takes years, many of us will turn empty nesters as the kids go away for college or move out, mostly in our mid-50s. If the mid life crisis hasn't ended, it means many of us LBS will live alone (if the MLC person runs away or divorces) or will live with a detached and cold and stressful spouse (if the MLC person still stays) while we gradually get old and gray.
So what we can do to prepare for that? Any advice for the LBS who still have a few years before turning empty nesters to prepare?
Or if we're already such empty nesters, what we can do to make our lives better from mid-50s to 70s or 80s to make the most of life?
Thank you very much for your comment and ideas.


V - I am an empty nester.  I have two adult sons.  One lives about three hours from me and the other son lives many states from me.  I was unable to retire as early as I had hoped so I am still active in the working world. 

I am in good health and I've very active.  I ride a Harley, I bike, I run 5Ks, I kayak and paddleboard, I hunt and fish, I camp.........basically I enjoy doing lots of things outside.  My MLCer and I were very active together and I had to get used to doing some of the those together hobbies by myself. 

Over the past 5 plus years I've met and made some new friends that enjoy doing some of the things I enjoy, but there are lots of times when I end up doing things on my own. 

I like OR's advice......make your now the best that you can manage.  I think you'll find it gets easier as time goes on.   
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#74: August 01, 2021, 08:09:03 PM
Thank you very much about the prospect of a nice empty nest, duly noted.

Almost 6 weeks since MLC H perceived what i said as a "threat" and didnt dare to leave. That time also coincided with total lockdown due to pandemic in my city, so he has been staying at home 100% of the time, playing poker for about 18 hours a day and making decent money. I moved to son's room and let him live in our room alone, because being together in one room during lockdown is not easy at all with all the bad energy vibrating from him.

I keep minimum contact with him, kids have a few questions about but they dont mind much about the situation between mom and dad because they're too small. As I am jobless, I negotiated with him successfully and he has been covering 100% of family expenses by his money (from both gambling and construction work) for last month and this month, and he has agreed for this expense arrangement to last for a year. He tried to tell me once or twice "i am not in love with you" and I replied by "heard that, dont need you to repeat". Apart from that we have zero relationship discussions, all limited dialogues have been about kids, i take care of kids 80-90% of the time as he plays/sleeps and he spends sometimes with kids when he's awake.

About my state of mind, I've been recovering fine. I dont feel extreme agony anymore, and started to feel happy for the good things in my life with myself, kids, dog & cat, beautiful house and garden that we're having. I read books, watch movies, listen to music, work out, talk to friends occasionally, eat and sleep well. Just sadness sometimes when suddenly an old memory of the happy family altogether that we once had pops up. And sometimes emptiness as a result of being locked down with no lover for many weeks. But nothing's too seriously damaging as a few weeks ago.
Not much love left for him as I'm watching him degrading very quickly into an irresponsive gambler who plays online all nights all days and has a 7-month stupid affair with a 18yo (who was a secondary school drop-out and a drug user btw). He has lost 6 kg during the last few months due to white nights gambling and depression, his eyes and face are dark and he doesnt look like my dear husband of 8 years anymore. I think what I am holding onto in him right now is a money provider for the family, and a father to my small kids for this year and next year. Apart from that, I dont have more expectations. My plan about the future has less and less probability of including him, but I'm just afraid that a divorce will harm my small children a lot so I'm buying time a little. But all this must come to an end sometime in the future, because I dont want my kids to fall into the trap of gambling as they grow old enough to understand what their father is doing.

Lockdown will be over in 2 weeks and I guess at that time he will go out and meet OW more often. I'm preparing myself for it and will detach further.
Hope to hear your comments and further advices if you wanna share. Thank you very much my friends.
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« Last Edit: August 01, 2021, 08:11:29 PM by valentine4ever2021 »

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#75: August 01, 2021, 08:37:04 PM
Hi V  :D

I was wondering how you were doing. Sounds like you're making real headway towards detachment (good). It's not easy, but it can be done. Remember detachment isn't "Scrapping them off".

Ah, so you're seeing the broken shell of a person. Yes, it's heartbreaking isn't it? It'll be awhile, but it's not forever. It FEELS like forever, but it won't be.
If he's still on the decline, then he's still on the decline. If it's hanging out at the bottom then he'll stay there for awhile.
You're doing absolutely the right thing leaving him alone and not pressuring him. See how he is a phantom? *POOF* You'll find that's not a bad place to be all things considered...... he could be "Sharking Out!!" Or "Monstering".... a ghost is so much better..... AND he's still in the house. Very good. Time is your friend.
If he isn't being pressured, he may just hole up in there for a couple years. He has a lot to work out in the back of his head, being near the kids will also be good for him. Those attachments need to be maintained if at all possible, and 18yo will wreck herself all on her own....... you know she's "cheating" on him already right? He'll find out soon enough. He needs that slap in the face to toss him down to rock bottom, and he needs to figure this out ON HIS OWN.

On to you!! Be on guard (if you plan on standing) to not let your heart grow cold. You're getting into that time period where this will be a test for you. Abandoned and lonely, it is not an easy thing. Understand that your H is going thru the same thing, he's just handling it in the worst way possible. He will have to deal with that later, and it will be very painful. Don't follow his lead.
Someone here referred to the MLC'er as the "weird uncle" that is kept locked away..... that is such a good description. He's just a guest in the house until the aliens come back and return your H. Invasion of the Body Snatchers!!

I wouldn't be surprised if it's almost time for you to see a glimmer of the person you knew (if you haven't seen it already). This happens to give us hope, right when we need it most. When it happens, enjoy it for what it is, it won't last long..... but it'll let you know he's still in there.  :)

-SS
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W - 40
M - 43
Together 25 years, M 22
No kids
BD - 27th April 2019
Start of Shadow - Feb 2012

 

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