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

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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

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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
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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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#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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#10: June 17, 2021, 09:12:44 AM
I hear a lot about your concerns for him and what you "allow" him to do. What about you? How do you feel about it? Does it make you feel good that he still blames you for things? How do you deal with that when it happens? Do you set proper boundaries for your mental and physical well being? Do you enjoy the friend zone, for now at least? 

You can stand for your marriage and stand for yourself, too. Dropping the rope doesn't mean letting him do whatever he wants and he comes and goes with no boundaries on your part. Even friends respect each other enough to treat each other with courtesy and kindness and it goes both ways.

Some people want their spouse back no matter what, even if they aren't a very good person. Some want reconciliation but only with proper boundaries. Some want reconciliation only if all the issues continue to be dealt with. What do you want? In your ideal world, what do you need from your H for reconciliation?
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#11: June 17, 2021, 09:59:43 PM
Thank you all so so much for your responses and replies.  I appreciate all of your insights.  It gives me so many different directions to consider and ponder.  I think I’m more confused now then I was starting this forum🙈. See I thought when I detached, stopped having any expectations, and excepting whatever outcome came from the crisis that’s what I was suppose to do?  I am still eager for reconciliation but I also have prepared for that to not be my outcome. 

From reading the MLC forums I understood that I have to begin to be positive, affirmative, and open the lines for healthy communication.  When I did that things became better between us.  Honestly, since December I am beginning to like my spouse again.  I also had a lot of growing to do!  I needed to let go of anger, stop looking for an apology that was never coming, and then see if I was still attached to him.  I have became more attracted to the person that he is becoming.  Does any of that make sense? 

Since December the blame game has almost stopped. There have been a few drunken blaming messages but there have also been a few drunken “I only love you, I wanna be with you” messages.  I try not to make much out of either of them either way.   

Maybe I have been misunderstood on the boundaries and rules of the crisis.  I thought that I needed to open positive lines if communication and validate.  It seems like when I do that then things become better?  If I try not to control him and he does as he wishes then things seem to grow.  That’s hard for me though!!  I think that’s why I’m having so much trouble. 

I went to stop allowing myself to become more attached if he is still in his crisis and no plans to commit.  I know you all don’t have a magic ball to tell me that but I think I need to learn healthy boundaries!  I’m so confused!!  Maybe I’ve had the crisis rules wrong all along?  He def has inner blame.  He tells me often “I can have everything but I have nothing.  I am so embarrassed of my life”.  I’ve thought more open communication, becoming more stable, no more bar scenes, eye contact, making plans and keeping them, reassurance of where he is and who he is with are all positive signs. 

He stays in most evenings now days alone then once a week plays in a men’s poker game.  I thought that relationship talk was completely off limits?  I have considered asking him about the relationship but I think he would respond with “can you not see that I am trying”?  I honestly think that’s what he would say to me.  Of course I would love a sure thing and I realize it’s not but I guess I feel like it is just going super slow and I read where so many have this wake up with such remorse.  He holds guilt I know that but I don’t know how inward it really is?   

I sometimes wonder if his crisis is completely over and he wondered in and out of my life for as long as I allow it.  He likes his freedom, he always has.  It sounds to me like I should just walk away and leave so I don’t allow it to drag on for forever.  I think he and I are both at points of ready for life to push forward.  He’s says to me that he is tired of always feeling bad.  Which again is probably my fault because I have always made him feel guilty of things throughout our marriage.  🤷🏽‍♀️🤷🏽‍♀️🤷🏽‍♀️ 

Edited for readability - UM
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« Last Edit: July 25, 2021, 04:33:27 PM by Thunder »

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#12: June 18, 2021, 12:57:35 AM
Thank you all so so much for your responses and replies.  I appreciate all of your insights.  It gives me so many different directions to consider and ponder.  I think I’m more confused now then I was starting this forum🙈. See I thought when I detached, stopped having any expectations, and excepting whatever outcome came from the crisis that’s what I was suppose to do?  I am still eager for reconciliation but I also have prepared for that to not be my outcome.

That is good to be OK with the outcome, regardless of whether it is the one you want or not.... No one can predict what the outcome will be because it depends on both of you and how hard you all are willing to work. It HAS to be a JOINT effort.... If one or the other is doing all the heavy lifting, it breeds resentment and will ultimately fail.

From reading the MLC forums I understood that I have to begin to be positive, affirmative, and open the lines for healthy communication.  When I did that things became better between us.  Honestly, since December I am beginning to like my spouse again.  I also had a lot of growing to do!  I needed to let go of anger, stop looking for an apology that was never coming, and then see if I was still attached to him.  I have became more attracted to the person that he is becoming.  Does any of that make sense?

Attached or attracted?  2 VERY different things... "Attracted" can form the basis of a new R because the old one is dead and gone. "Attached" (at least in the meaning it is used here) to the Mid-Lifer is where his or her emotional chaos state affects our own emotional stability...

Since December the blame game has almost stopped. There have been a few drunken blaming messages but there have also been a few drunken “I only love you, I wanna be with you” messages.  I try not to make much out of either of them either way.   

"Almost" only counts in horseshoes, hand grenades, and atomic bombs - as in "We almost hit the target." So, he is "almost" accepting responsibility for his choices.... And alcohol still seems to be an issue... Alcohol is an "Escape and Avoid" response. It is the deadening of the sense of one problem in favor of a different problem....

Maybe I have been misunderstood on the boundaries and rules of the crisis.  I thought that I needed to open positive lines if communication and validate.  It seems like when I do that then things become better?  If I try not to control him and he does as he wishes then things seem to grow.  That’s hard for me though!!  I think that’s why I’m having so much trouble.  I went to stop allowing myself to become more attached if he is still in his crisis and no plans to commit.  I know you all don’t have a magic ball to tell me that but I think I need to learn healthy boundaries!  I’m so confused!!  Maybe I’ve had the crisis rules wrong all along?   

Setting boundaries is NOT for him to help move him along in his crisis!  Setting boundaries is for YOU to regain control over YOUR life and YOU emotions... Setting boundaries is deciding to STOP stabbing yourself in the nose with a Bar-B-Que fork and actually STOPPING (metaphorically speaking)

He def has inner blame.  He tells me often “I can have everything but I have nothing.  I am so embarrassed of my life”.  I’ve thought more open communication, becoming more stable, no more bar scenes, eye contact, making plans and keeping them, reassurance of where he is and who he is with are all positive signs.

They are and, if they are consistent over time, they are even more positive but "sign- " or "stage-watching" is a waste of YOUR time and energy because, while they may be positive, they may also be temporary. Meanwhile, you have been watching, waiting, hoping, and ramping up expectations... then <BOOM!> another BD comes.... and it's back to the drawing board... Observe the signs and remember that "the trend is your friend" but don't go out and book that 2nd Honeymoon trip until you are satifsfied that the R (and your Mid-Lifer) is for real...

He stays in most evenings now days alone then once a week plays in a men’s poker game.  I thought that relationship talk was completely off limits? 

Like OR said, if HE starts it, you can take part unless/until he starts doing the Micheal Jackson breakdance and becomes either blaming or evasive. Then it is time to end it as OR noted.

I have considered asking him about the relationship but I think he would respond with “can you not see that I am trying”?  I honestly think that’s what he would say to me.  Of course I would love a sure thing and I realize it’s not but I guess I feel like it is just going super slow and I read where so many have this wake up with such remorse. 
And (with apologies to the original singer for butchering their song lyrics) "they say that waking up is haaaard to do.... and I know, I know that it's truuuuuue...."
This is NOT a sprint to the finish. It is a YEARS-LONG ultra-marathon slog through the mud. It took your Mid-Lifer his entire life (to the point of BD) to enter into the crisis. It is going to take LOTS of (yep - that 4-l3etter word again) TIME for him to heal and grow his way out of it...

He holds guilt I know that but I don’t know how inward it really is?   I sometimes wonder if his crisis is completely over and he wondered in and out of my life for as long as I allow it.  He likes his freedom, he always has.

He very well may be in a "Touch and Go."  Only time will tell

It sounds to me like I should just walk away and leave so I don’t allow it to drag on for forever. 

It is going to drag on for however long it drags on and YOU have NO control over it.... It is HIS crisis. It is HIS timeline. It is HIS "job" to get his head out of his .... fog... and get back to the job of being an H and father. His Crisis is NOT your farm, NOT your cows, NOT your male bovine excrement to deal with.

YOUR job is to live your life as best as it can be lived. YOU are the driver of YOUR car and your Mid-Lifer is in the rear view mirror. It is HIS choice if he wishes to put the pedal to the metal and catch up or to keep dilly-dallying around or to even take a different road. IF he chooses to get off the pot and on the stick, it is THEN your choice if you want to continue to drive together or not... This is the risk that the Mid-Lifer takes - that, at some point, the LBS decides that they are fed up with the nonsense and they grow on into a new life.

I think he and I are both at points of ready for life to push forward.  He’s says to me that he is tired of always feeling bad.  Which again is probably my fault because I have always made him feel guilty of things throughout our marriage.  🤷🏽‍♀️🤷🏽‍♀️🤷🏽‍♀️ 



Are you serious?

Did you put a gun to his head and tell him that he was going to feel guilty for something?

If he is tired of always feeling bad, maybe he needs to clean up his act so there is nothing to feel guilty about, eh?

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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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Re: New Member But Same Struggles- help!!
#13: June 18, 2021, 05:33:29 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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#14: June 18, 2021, 08:50:03 AM
Hi Naverro,

Thought I would jump in here with my two cents of knowledge from my own experience.  It sounds like you have been at this a long time and know all the drills of no expectations, detachment and letting go.   I am 5 years in and we are just now starting to put some semblance of a marriage together.  It’s a confusing road for sure.  Lots of hurdles on both parts.   My H was forced into making a get down on his knees true remorse and apology a few months ago when he was threatened with a lawsuit from a female employee.  For a couple of months he was filled with absolute remorse and guilt.  It was a semi break through for him.  We are now back to confusion and cycling on his part.  Which in turn has caused confusion on mine.  I started to get expectations that he fully grasped the damage.  In some ways he has, in others he has to be reminded by my boundaries. 

It’s a confusing process for sure.  I’m learning to detach at a moments notice.  We have had good R talks and we have had disasters.  Learning from the disasters.  I know the feeling of seeing the person we loved so clearly in front of us and then watching them disappear into the abyss.  It is hard and confusing. 

I now feel like he is putting together a puzzle that got tossed on the floor and broken apart.  Picking pieces up and trying them out.  Some fit, others do not.  It’s a long hard process.  He expresses his love for me often but sometimes his actions don’t always match his words.  I am a firm believer in consistent actions that match words. 

At this point I hope you can enjoy the good times when they come.  We went away together a couple of weeks ago and it was the best vacation we have had In 6 years.  He slipped back when we returned and right now seems confused and overwhelmed. 

I’ve taken the time to start working on my own trauma that I pushed away.  Not easy but I feel like it was necessary as I was harboring a lot of things I didn’t want to deal with. 

Lots of hugs for you right now, know that you are not alone.  I do understand the confusion.

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

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#15: July 24, 2021, 08:08:07 PM
Help!!!!  Something is changing and it’s happening at a rapid rate!  I need help!  The last 6 weeks my hubby has withdrawn farther.  He became very quiet and very focused.  He stopped coming by and only came when he had to.  He remained kind (no spewing) and continued communication with me. 

He has become more involved with the kids and with me but from a distance.  He has become more affectionate and he actually told me last week that I looked pretty.  I almost fell over (literally)!!  He hasn’t done either of these things in 3 years!  He took the kids to a place we use to go a few weeks ago and sent a message to me saying “this makes me sad not happy”. 

The last week or two tho he has sent me several messages with statements “you do know I miss my old life right” and “I wouldn’t have left back then if I wasn’t hurting”.  This week alone he has sent me 3 messages with the same words “I miss my old life”.  It has to mean something but what?  How do I respond to this?  Is this the next stage?  It’s something because it’s unfolding quickly.  He’s not checking in because he knows without a doubt that I’m standing.  I feel it and I know there’s movement of some sort. 

I’m not saying it’s the end of the crisis but I am seeing something different!!  It’s coming quickly to.  How do I handle this?  When he says things I’m very speechless and not sure how to handle it.  He has given me no signs of remorse or even questioning his position in 3 years!  I’ve had no relationship talks in many many months.  Is it time I approach it?  Do I keep letting it unfold?  Will this go on for forever?  Is this just another cycle?  My head is spinning right now.  It use to spin because he made me angry but I’m completely clueless on how to react?  Im trying to communicate back to him but I’ve detached so far that I’m at a loss for words.  I use to dream of a day for this to happen but now that it’s here I don’t have a reaction.  What is happening?  Anyone?
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« Last Edit: July 25, 2021, 04:35:28 PM by Thunder »

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#16: July 24, 2021, 10:49:49 PM
So take a deep breath. Take another.  It is my opinion that reacting immediately because something is "coming quickly" is a bad idea. You can deal with whatever is coming slowly, at your own pace, as it makes sense for you. What is happening could be something, or could be nothing.Words mean nothing, actions mean everything.

You are not detached. You might think you are, but if you were you would not be so panic stricken. A detached person simply deals with what is coming as it comes. He texts "I wouldn't have left if I weren't hurting" you can text "I'm sorry you were hurting. Have you been able to solve that?" See what he says. There should be no blaming of you, no anger.

Do you have your boundaries in place? Are you going to let him do this again? If no, that's a clear boundary. Boundaries are things like "If you blame me, I'll leave the room." "If you leave again, that's it. I'm not doing this again." "I'll need us to have some counseling to work towards getting back together." Trusting his words without knowing what you will and will not accept in actions is a recipe for disaster, imo.

But mainly, slow the roll. He can say anything a million times, it doesn't mean you have to act, text or do anything right away. If he has no patience while you find the right response,  he's not out of mlc or he's just a jerk. Period. Neither of those are good.

The above is MOO.
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« Last Edit: July 24, 2021, 10:51:19 PM by OffRoad »
When life gives you lemons, make SALSA!

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#17: July 25, 2021, 02:23:49 AM
Thank you so much!!  You have given me so much more to think about.  These messages started slower and fewer so therefore I wasn’t so rattled.  I have this overwhelming urge to make it better.  When the messages began I didn’t feel any obligation to say anything back but over the last 2-3 weeks it’s becoming very clear that he is continuing with this pattern. 

They all say the same things and have the same meanings.  He is clearly seeing his life as “before and now”.  I am at a complete loss for what to respond but I am going to have to come up with something quick.  I have no boundaries in line.  From the moment he left we made an agreement that he would not come back until he knew he was there to stay.  We wanted the kids lives disrupted the least as possible so didn’t want the back and forth.  That’s about it! 

He has always cycled around coming closer then moving farther away and he has always talked with me but he has had no recognition within himself until now.  I can’t keep leaving him silent though and expect him to keep opening up to me. I’m tehimh not to say the wrong thing but instead I say nothing at all.  I’m not sure if I should agree or disagree with him?  He has been working up to this moment for many months.  I’ve recognized the chance in him.  It is slow and steady but this seems to be coming all at one time. 

Maybe your right, maybe I’m not as detached as I thought I was.  I’m very confused on my feelings right now.  I’ve not had to question much on my feelings towards him because the opportunity hasn’t been there.  Therefore, it’s not been considered.  Clearly I wouldn’t have these overwhelming feelings.  I’m not sure how deep they are or if it’s just extreme excitement to hear and see movement.  We as LBS’s also have stages and we don’t move to the next one without extreme thoughts, pain,  and depth. 

I think back to when he left and I would have given almost anything in this world to have heard comments like this.  I’m not there but I’m probably not where I should be either.  If that makes any sense at all?

I have a sense that he knows where his journey will end..  I don’t recognize what he is doing now but I’ve seen him grow steadily over the last 9 months and become more stable and more comfortable.   He makes w keep forward then he eventually allows me to see the change within him.  This seems to be coming steady and strong and it’s me that is not prepared for it!  I don’t know if I need to agree, disagree, tell him the truth, ignore him??  This is a new place for me to be and it’s the first time I’ve wanted to have compassion towards him.  I’m sure the old will creep back through and this will fade away. 
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« Last Edit: July 25, 2021, 04:36:34 PM by Thunder »

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Re: New Member But Same Struggles- help!!
#18: July 25, 2021, 03:32:32 AM
Naverro:

There is nothing wrong with having compassion for your H, as long as that does not mean you lose your boundaries, or think you have to save him, or get thrown into a turmoil. OR words are golden advice imho. Start with “slow down.” Nothing that happens on a knives edge or has to be done “right now” is probably stable or permanent. And if everything hinged on one response or decision, well it is way too fragile for it to really work, no?

Whatever else you do just keep paying attention to your boundaries, keep checking in to make sure you are detached as you proceed. Try to attend to how you feel and what you need first and foremost. You probably know this but keep reminding yourself: you can help yourself but you can not help him or make things better for him, no matter how much you may want to. He has to do this on his own or its not real. You can only cheer him on from the sidelines.
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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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#19: July 25, 2021, 10:10:48 AM
This is not for you to "fix". If you want to respond, to anything that ends as a question like "right?"  you can say 'Oh?" Or " I'm not sure I understand what you mean?" If he texts "I miss our old life" text back " I miss our old life too".

The texts you have written here do NOT  say "I screwed up it was my fault I will do anything I can to make amends for what I have done" . Instead, they sound all about him. How HE was so hurt, how HE misses his old life. Nothing about how he hurt you or anyone else. It sounds like he is manipulating you into accepting what he did was ok because he was soooo hurting.  That is not any thing I would accept.

Tell us more about what is happening that might sound like he actually accepts responsibility for what he has done?
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#20: July 25, 2021, 10:21:53 AM
And whatever you do, whether agree, disagree, make SURE it is your truth. Imo, when you pretzel yourself and your answers, then you are not being your true self. The only caveat is to respond with kindness. You can disagree with kindness and respect. If the other person responds to your respectful disagreement with upset or anger, they are not being respectful of you.

As long as you don't just say "Sure, come on back. Do whatever you wants I'm just so thrilled to have you here I'll take any poor behavior".  Again, know what is acceptabe and what is not.
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#21: July 25, 2021, 10:57:04 AM
You know, you don’t have to do anything at all.
If you want to, you can listen. Or acknowledge his feelz....eg sorry you feel that way, that sounds difficult...
And you can be truthful in your responses....but you don’t have to share all of your truth.
But he is not actually asking anything of you right now. Or proposing anything. Just dolloping his feelings....
If that changes, you’ll know, Nav.
If you’re still confused? Chances are that you’re still dealing with a crisis person so no big change really.
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« Last Edit: July 25, 2021, 10:58:47 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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#22: July 25, 2021, 11:31:15 AM
Thank you thank you thank you for the responses!  I’m a very anxious person in general and when there is normalcy then things are fine but when I see change it puts me on edge.  I talk to no one about any of my situation.  You all are my lifeline!

No there is absolutely no remorse or any apology.  I do sense sadness with a small amount of self recognition.   Everything has always been my fault with a few exceptions.  The blame has gradually changed throughout the crisis but I do feel like he senses his part however he’s not owning it.  He is hurting but I sense that he still doesn’t know exactly why?  Is there always an apology?  I just don’t know that he will ever get there?  I am his bf. 

I believe I am the only person that he talks to about any of this so I see more then anyone else.  It’s been so easy to talk to him on casual things but I feel like I’m leaving him hanging because I don’t know how to handle this?  It isn’t slowing down either.  It started off slowly but is almost full speed ahead now.  He works 18 hrs a day, sleeps 3 hours at night, and is sad one minute then focused the next.  It’s crazy!! 

I’ve never been good at setting boundaries.  Mostly because by the time I figured out that this was a crisis things had gracious slowed down..  I’ve tried to leave him be and told him when and if he ever wants to work on things then to let me know because I’ll be here waiting.  He’s never given me any false hope.  The last and maybe only boundary I set was “if your not going to go to the commitment then don’t tell me that your coming to the commitment”.   That’s went well so far.  I need to really focus on things in that area.  I’m such a pushover and this will be very difficult for me.

Ok so answer with a question?  I can do that!  I’ve just left him silent because I don’t want to say the wrong thing.  I feel terrible for responding nothing because I feel like he’s pouring his heart out to me and I feel so cold hearted.  I know I don’t owe him anything but part of my own journey was forgiveness.  For so long I waited on a day to respond something back to him and I had it all planned out.  I’m to a point where I could say so many things but the emotional gut wrenching pain isn’t there so I’m totally at a loss for words.
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« Last Edit: July 25, 2021, 04:37:32 PM by Thunder »

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#23: July 25, 2021, 11:42:18 AM
I’d avoid questions tbh
If you struggle with anxiety, you probably know how questions can leave you feeling a sense of pressure.
Might be worth reading up about validation. When you acknowledge the feeling without agreeing or disagreeing with the content of what someone has said?
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T: 18  M: 12 (at BD) No kids.
H diagnosed with severe depression Oct 15. BD May 16. OW since April 16, maybe earlier. Silent vanisher mostly.
Divorced April 18. XH married ow 6 weeks later.
Healing and growing found here https://littleplotbythesea.wordpress.com

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

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#24: July 25, 2021, 12:19:11 PM
Treasur, thank you. 
Yes I def think he is still in crisis and still has a long way to go.  I think you may have just hit a spot with me right now.  I think your right and thinking it over more maybe I should just listen.  I’m always so eager to respond back and I def don’t have the right words for that right now.  Really thinking about it I don’t gather that he needs me to say anything back or that he is even listening if I did.   It’s his thoughts and he is just rambling them out to me.  He can be in a room full of people but yet seem a million miles away.  He’s deeply in his own thoughts right now.  I can remain compassionate even by not addressing anything back to that phrase.  It’s probably working on my own mind as much as it is his and that’s why I feel so anxious. 
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#25: July 25, 2021, 01:06:12 PM
What I am reading is that you need to get yourself in a less anxious state. Do you have an IC? Have you had any counseling at all?
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#26: July 25, 2021, 01:32:25 PM
I’m always in an anxious state over anything and everything.  I’ve always had a anxiety issues.  Panic attacks, hives, ulcers, and have trouble gaining weight since I was in HS.  I just don’t handle things well and I’m hyper in general.  I’m def not the easiest person to deal with.  I do believe that this crisis has forced me to handle things differently and believe it or not I've become way more relaxed then I’ve ever been.  I’ve tried anxiety meds and anti depressants but don’t like the feeling of that.  I did take some for the first year but I want to feel everything good or bad.  The anxiety meds are good for times of extreme situations but makes me sleepy on a normal day.  I know I sound like a crazy person…..I’m really not!  Good heart but def overreact. 
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#27: July 25, 2021, 01:47:14 PM
Well, if you have struggled with anxiety in the past, this situation must be particularly hard. The good news is that it is a great opportunity to dig deep on finding ways to manage your anxiety even better. What else have you tried other than medication? What seems to work best for you or not?

I can highly recommend a book called Anxiety Rx. One of the best and most down to earth books about anxiety I have come across as part of my own struggle out of PTSD, never having experienced anxiety before. Written by a guy who is a medic and a psychiatrist and a long-term anxiety sufferer....who tried all kinds of things and learned along the way. Can’t remember his name right now but you can find it on Amazon or some podcasts via a google search. Hers a YouTube link - see what you think https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=AZg_K1hjVPg
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« Last Edit: July 25, 2021, 01:54:46 PM 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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#28: July 25, 2021, 02:03:03 PM
This situation has been extremely difficult.  I don’t like to be out of control of any situation which my husband knows internally and since Jan 2021 has been very generous with helping ease my stress.  Little things that he knows will help ease my mind he tries to fulfill.  Although, I do at times thinks he enjoys watching me squirm.  I’ve never been a reader but I’ve read more books in the last 3 years then I have my whole life.  Writing seems to help a lot.  I always try to wait 30 minutes before I react because I know my emotions have time to settle somewhat if I can just wait 30 minutes.  I pray a LOT!  I have a passion for running but couldn’t do it the first year (too much sadness) but try to run a few times a week.  I don’t like to get below 110 lbs so I have to be careful with exercise.  I sometimes will just take a drive.  I listen to podcasts. I really sound like a hot mess but it’s really not as bad as it seems.   
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#29: July 25, 2021, 02:04:40 PM
I am order that book today and will also start that podcast today.  Thank you
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Re: New Member But Same Struggles- help!!
#30: July 25, 2021, 05:36:20 PM
This is not for you to "fix". If you want to respond, to anything that ends as a question like "right?"  you can say 'Oh?" Or " I'm not sure I understand what you mean?" If he texts "I miss our old life" text back " I miss our old life too".

The texts you have written here do NOT  say "I screwed up it was my fault I will do anything I can to make amends for what I have done" . Instead, they sound all about him. How HE was so hurt, how HE misses his old life. Nothing about how he hurt you or anyone else. It sounds like he is manipulating you into accepting what he did was ok because he was soooo hurting.  That is not any thing I would accept.

Tell us more about what is happening that might sound like he actually accepts responsibility for what he has done?

YES!
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