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Author Topic: My Story New Member But Same Struggles- help!!

N
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My Story New Member But Same Struggles- help!!
OP: June 15, 2021, 08:51:07 PM
Everyone has a story.  Mine is long and it’s similar to all of yours.  However, I’m nearing the final stages of my spouses MLC and I need some guidance.  The rebellious, anger filled, hurtful husband is finally growing into a calmer, more stable, kind man with an occasional smile. 

We have been separated for almost 3 years now and it’s been a long devastating road.  I really thought a MLC wasn’t really real nor did I think we were old enough for it but I am convinced that is his crisis.  I believe he’s between withdrawal, depression, acceptance but I can’t decide if he wants to finish with me or if he’s ok and becoming more stable on his own. 

He opened up communication months ago.  Sometimes up to 100 texts a day.  He is coming around more often and he’s def becoming slowly more comfortable around me.  The hard depression ended around October and since December 2020 he is slowly becoming more stable with me.  Of course there are times of depression that lurk through but very rarely now.  No more bars every night and re living his teenage years (thank god).  Even tho some of those bad habits have came to a halt, I’m still not finding a lot of relationship growth.  No dates, rarely any affection, and absolutely no talk about us moving forward.  He is beginning to let me know where he is going, what he’s doing, and who he is with so in ways I feel like he is starting to commit back to a relationship. I totally feel like I’m in the friend zone sometimes tho! 

It’s been so long and I’m just wondering do you think he has try intentions of actually becoming my devoted husband again or is he just lonely and I fill that void?  Since I allow this kind of behavior (doing whatever he wants) is he just pushing his boundaries and always will, never to commit to me again?  I’ve always thought that we had to become comfortable as friends almost then move into the relationship.  This friend zone has been going on for about 6 months now but it is progressing slowly.  Is this normal??  Is this how it should work?  Is he cake eating?  Am I allowing that or am I doing what I am suppose to be?  Any suggestions???
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« Last Edit: July 25, 2021, 04:25:25 PM by Thunder »

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#1: June 16, 2021, 02:38:40 AM
I'll add another question for you to think about....

What does green taste like?

Your Mid-Lifer is experiencing..... something.... but what is it and where does it lead? You'd have a better chance of tasting green... with your elbow.

There are a couple of questions that you need to answer in your own mind and they are NOT related to the person formerly known as "Husband" (I call him that because NO ON EVER has gone through a MLC and come out the exact same person as they were before the whole mess started - in other words, one does NOT make the trip to Hades and back without learning some transferrable skills)....

1) How do YOU feel about the R going forward? Are you able to grow forward and find a place in your heart/life for the person H is NOW or the person he will become?
2) Are you looking to have things go back to "the way they were before everything went to Hades in a handbasket?" (I caution you that, if you are, you have expectations that will NOT pan out - in order to get through an MLC and come out the other side, the Mid-Lifer is FORCED to grow and change.

I would VERY highly recommend going through the last few threads of Barbiedoll, Acorn, and SongandDance - they are all in the various stages of reconnection/reconciliation and they each have VERY different stories to tell.

Finally, the whole crisis cycle INCLUDING reconnection and possible reconciliation is an ultramarathon slog though deep mud. In the grand scheme of things, 3 years separation is not all THAT long.....

If you are going to go on an MLC-watching expedition, watch what he DOES and what he does CONSISTENTLY... THAT will give you a clue on how far his head is still in or out of his ... fog....

Better yet, keep doing YOU and allow H to find his own path out. He's going to need to confront and come to terms with a HUGE bucket load of guilt, consequences, and damage reparations and that is going to take a while..... you will not be able to push it along. Pushing him along the track is a great way to shove has head back into the tunnel.... This is HIS crisis and HE is the one that needs to do the work.

You need to decide if you have the patience to wait it out whole doing your own work and having your own life.... Sitting on the front porch in a rocking chair crocheting lace doilies and waiting for H to MAYBE finally  get his head out is NOT an option...
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Me - 58, xW - 50
Together 19 years - Married 17 at separation & 21 at D-Day
S - 14, D - 10
2 Dogs
BD#1 - August 2015
Atomic BD - 13 Dec 2015
House sold & separated - Mar 2016
Divorce final 30 August 2019

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

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#2: June 16, 2021, 04:26:53 AM
Thank you so much for your response!!  I agree with you 100 percent and I appreciate your guidance.  I have finally got to a place where I believe I can handle the outcome either way. 

The first year and a half was completely focused on mending our marriage but the last year and a half I’ve focused on repairing me.  I did everything that I was not suppose to in the beginning (begging, pleading,  I was sooooo pathetic).  The last year and a half is when I realized that relationship is over and gone.  We have to start new if there is any chance to move forward.  I think when I came to terms with I will survive and I have excepted the fact that he may never come back is when some growth began.   

I don’t have expectations anymore but I do have a little hope.  I see him slowly getting better and becoming whole again. He got rid of old friends that were with him in the beginning of the crisis and found new ones.  He’s poured himself into work and a little leisure activity.  He’s becoming “ok” in his own skin again.  There are times of back tracks but I do believe he is transitioning.  I am not desperate in knowing what our future holds.  I’m expecting the worst but hoping for the best. 

I just wonder if becoming friends is what has to happen before a relationship can build or is he trying to set a peaceful boundary then really be ready to meet someone new?  Throughout the entire crisis there has never been a time that he told me that he didn’t love me or want me.  His responses were usually “I don’t know how to fix it”.  I just can’t tell if there’s a concentrated effort on actually working on he and I or if he’s getting better individually and getting more stable to meet someone new and start over.  That’s def the easier route for him! 

It’s a lot easier to start new then face failures and  problems of the past.  Although, we don’t talk about the past!  I only focus on tomorrow.  I had to let go of the anger to move forward.
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« Last Edit: July 25, 2021, 04:28:45 PM by Thunder »

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#3: June 16, 2021, 05:15:57 AM
Quote from: Naverro
I just wonder if becoming friends is what has to happen before a relationship can build or is he trying to set a peaceful boundary then really be ready to meet someone new?

Well, let me answer your question with a question... First part (BOLDED Was it love at first site when you met H or did you have a transition period where you were starting to get to know each other, feel each other out (NOT LIKE THAT  ???  <snort!>), get a basic understanding of how each other "ticked" or did you walk into the wedding chapel 30 seconds after meeting and get hitched? You are no longer teenagers or young 20's full of raging hormones and adult relationships are often just as much based on the head and they are on the heart (or other lower body parts) so taking time is NOT necessarily a bad sign. Like I said, reconnection/reconciliation is a LONG process. It can be as long or longer than the "Time of the Tornado" while the Mid-Lifer has their head stuffed firmly up their ... fog....

Like I said, Acorn, Barbiedoll and Song's threads are a play-by-play description of 3 different women with 3 different types of Mid-Lifers (that are all similar in some ways) in 3 different stages of the R & R dance....

The Italics part - Yes, this may be a possibility too but the important part is to know that YOU will be OK, regardless of the choices that MLCH makes...

Reconnection and Reconciliation is a CONSCIOUS decision made by BOTH parties. The Mid-Lifer doesn't have the sole right s of refusal. Some Mid-Lifers have salted the land so thoroughly behind the that there is nothing left, even if they wanted to come back. The level of destruction was simply too great. Others have found that they piddled around so long that the LBS finally dropped the rope and moved on with their lives and is no longer avail;able. Still others have found their way back and fought tooth and nail to rebuild a R with their LBS and their kids... No 2 Mid-Lifers are exactly alike despite the scary similarities in their Crisis behaviours...
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Me - 58, xW - 50
Together 19 years - Married 17 at separation & 21 at D-Day
S - 14, D - 10
2 Dogs
BD#1 - August 2015
Atomic BD - 13 Dec 2015
House sold & separated - Mar 2016
Divorce final 30 August 2019

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

N
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#4: June 16, 2021, 07:37:26 AM
I’ve often wondered if I dropped the rope and moved forward if encourage more change in him.  You are right and I am definitely an enabler right now, I completely recognize that!  I just don’t know if he’s far enough in the crisis to be motivated to change?  I actually think it would spiral him farther out of control.  He’s still very fragile.  His actions seem to be very cautious but also consistent. 

A few weeks ago he mentioned a few times that  it was time for me to meet his new friends.  That would be a huge leap forward.  He mentioned it a few times then stopped.  Which tells me he is thinking about it but then isn’t ready for that yet either but maybe in time he will be?  Time will tell I suppose.  I know I should be grateful with progress and I am but I’m just not sure if I’m handling things now the way I should be? 

Some LBS’s seem to have spouses that have this huge reconciliation moment after a wake up and it’s a steady road you from there.  My situation seems to be longer with still no outward remorse.  He holds guilt, recourse, depression but he still is so unsure of why or what’s happened exactly.  He has made comments of “you know I haven’t been myself” but that’s the extent of it. 
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« Last Edit: July 25, 2021, 04:29:40 PM by Thunder »

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#5: June 16, 2021, 08:49:30 AM
Quote from: Naverro
I just don’t know if he’s far enough in the crisis to be motivated to change?  I actually think it would spiral him farther out of control.  He’s still very fragile.

And this is your responsibility why?

He is going to do what he is going to do, regardless of what you do...
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Me - 58, xW - 50
Together 19 years - Married 17 at separation & 21 at D-Day
S - 14, D - 10
2 Dogs
BD#1 - August 2015
Atomic BD - 13 Dec 2015
House sold & separated - Mar 2016
Divorce final 30 August 2019

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

N
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#6: June 16, 2021, 09:24:16 AM
Yes, I agree!  I guess in some ways I have dropped the rope.  I don’t ask him to return, what he’s doing, if he’s coming back.  Honestly, our next steps would be either reconcile or divorce. 

We’ve been married for 18 years and even through separation never spoke of divorce.  I don’t think that’s what either of us want but it seems to be a real possibility at this point.  Obviously I don’t want that and I have a hard time not finishing the crisis without giving the marriage every opportunity for reconciliation.  I’ve became very independent (never was before) but I don’t think there’s anything farther then I can let go of to still remain standing.  I’ve let go of everything else. 

I’m the beginning he blamed me for everything and turned everything around to my fault and in some ways I believe he still does.  He holds remorse but he is very silent about what for.  When anything disrupts him or he feels stress I am still his main target.  I am the reason he’s not living at home, I am the reason his life is the way it is, he is embarrassed if his life and it’s still partly my fault.  That’s why I’m not sure where he is exactly in his crisis.  I have came to the conclusion that he may never see it. 

He’s been in a really dark place but I do some light at the end of the tunnel.  I sometimes wonder if they get better without fully understanding what misery they’ve created.  He may always blame me?
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« Last Edit: July 25, 2021, 04:30:48 PM by Thunder »

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#7: June 17, 2021, 01:05:39 AM
As long as he is blaming you for HIS choices, he is still in the tunnel... TRUE healing comes when the Mid-Lifer accepts responsibility and the associated consequences for the actions they CHOSE to take.

While they are in the tunnel, the LBS is the second cousin of Satan and the root of all evil and every unpleasant thing that EVER happened in the MLC'ers life... His dog was given away by his parents when he was 6? That is the LBS's fault. She wasn't voted as the Prom Queen when she was in High School? That is somehow our fault. The Mid-Lifer went out, got drunk and got a DUI? that is our fault...

Now, keep in mind that NO ONE, let alone the LBS, was holding a gun to their head and forcing them to drink. It was THEIR choice to do so. You did not hold a gun to his head and kick him out of the house, He CHOSE to leave. You did not force him to stick his willy where it didn't belong. He CHOSE to do that. No amount of blame-shifting and historical revisionism will change the fact that the midlifer made CHOICES for which THEY alone are responsible. Of course, accepting responsibility for their choices means that the Mid-Lifer is going to be facing some negative emotions, negative feedback, and yes, they are NOT going to be smelling like a rose. After all, they made the choice which resulted in the consequences they are facing and, until they are really getting into the hard work of coming to terms with whatever demons were lurking around that caused them to not be able to keep their own bucket of "happy" filled and instead trained them to rely on others doing it for them, (meaning they are recovering from their crisis), the blame-game will continue.
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Me - 58, xW - 50
Together 19 years - Married 17 at separation & 21 at D-Day
S - 14, D - 10
2 Dogs
BD#1 - August 2015
Atomic BD - 13 Dec 2015
House sold & separated - Mar 2016
Divorce final 30 August 2019

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

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#8: June 17, 2021, 08:59:35 AM
Hello,

Quote
As long as he is blaming you for HIS choices, he is still in the tunnel... TRUE healing comes when the Mid-Lifer accepts responsibility and the associated consequences for the actions they CHOSE to take.

This is so true and necessary for him and you. If he doesn't come clean and take responsibility for his actions, he will not achieved the respect for you to be in a true marriage and will in all likelihood go back into the tunnel. The LBSer only role in this part is to create a safe place for them to be vulnerable. If you lose it and take the opportunity to get you pound of flesh, then they will shut down and no true accountability will take place. Even if the details hurt, you have to accept. This is not a moment of judgment or about your pain (trust me, he or she knows) but a time to get clarity and reality for both of you. That's healing. Now, don't accept male bovine excrement either. If it becomes a projection on you, then simply stop the conversation and state, "We are not ready for this conversation."

UM has given you a lot of great feedback. I strongly urge you to read the threads he recommended to give you further clarity. Another good thread is Finding Joy and she states it so well, "reconciliation will be hard, starting a new relationship will be hard, and being a single mother with a family will be hard, but regardless of the route, she is prepared to take on anyone of the three choices.

Keep posting and have a fantastic day,

(((((Ready)))))
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#9: June 17, 2021, 09:06:08 AM
I’m on a shorter timeline than you are, but in a similar situation in that my MLC W seems more present, checks in about her plans, makes small talk, seems to want to spend time together - but it’s completely platonic. There are talks about vacations and time with our families, entertaining in our home, saving for retirement - but nothing about our relationship or our feelings. She moved out for 6 months, but was here all day for 5-6 days a week even during that time - and she moved back in almost 3 months ago.

A lot of what you are expressing is very familiar, from the initial pursuing and promising to fix whatever they have decided we’re doing wrong, to reaching a place of valuing ourselves as an individual with passions, dreams, hopes, and fears of our own - not just as a spouse, but as an independent human being. Getting to that place, learning that whatever happens with the spouse, we will be okay and we will not just survive, but thrive - that is key to this journey. Some of us do that by completely removing ourselves from our MLCers (sometimes they vanish, sometimes they are too destructive for us to allow them to remain in our lives). Some of us detach emotionally even if the MLCer is physically present - occasionally, frequently, or even all the time.

Figuring out the boundaries is hard when they’re frequently or always present, and I surely have not managed to make it entirely clear, though it gets better over time. I think that reconnecting is always difficult, but when they never really left (or never went very far), sometimes you don’t know whether that’s what they are trying to do, or whether it’s just cake eating.

For me, I am assuming that unless or until she talks to me specifically about our relationship and wanting to commit to us and to work on our relationship and our communication - she’s not trying to reconnect. As UM said, reconnection is a conscious decision that both parties make - and until they can articulate it, they haven’t really made that decision (or at least, they aren’t committed to it enough for it to be believable).

For me, I remain open to reconnection, but I am not pursuing. I am living my life, on my terms, with full awareness of my own value, emotions, and what brings meaning to my life. That’s all any of us can do, regardless of our relationship status.

Agree that the threads mentioned by Ursa and Ready are incredibly valuable. I would also add Roo’s thread. I have many threads bookmarked, and I read all of those from beginning to end in the early part of this. I go back occasionally - not as much as I focus on just living my own life - but sometimes when things change, like when she moved back in, it’s helpful to go back and re-read. As my mindset evolves, I sometimes get something new out of a thread that I wasn’t quite ready to learn the last time I had read it.
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« Last Edit: July 25, 2021, 04:32:13 PM by Thunder »

 

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