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My Story My life after separation with a clinger
OP: March 28, 2021, 02:47:29 AM
https://mlcforum.theherosspouse.com/index.php?topic=11670.150

Starting my new thread in this journey

Thank you roo, barbie, marvin, treasur and offroad for your insights. In regard to detachement, I think everyone is different. Based on my experience, some can detach easily but honestly I cannot. Maybe I am not as detached as the others, but I am still proud of the progress I made. Like what offroad said, we cannot directly compare our emotional experience/detachment to that of the others. I think our background, traumas, FOO have a lot to do with how you work on your detachment. It is hard to focus on detachment when your emotions are at times overwhelming. The bad memories that kept playing in your head also trigger these emotions. Sometimes I am able to control them and calm myself down but other times I am overtaken by these emotions, thus I react to it. My H has been trying to reconnect in is own understanding of what is right. Sometimes it doesn't agree with my own understanding of what reconnection is, thus, we end up having a emotional disagreement. What I have noticed though, the things that I told my H in the past like him being so selfish in certain things, he tried to correct them. There are still incidents where he is still this very selfish person, but maybe this is also a process. What I feel at the moment, is I am happy at times when I have my time alone. Like today, my H went cycling and I know he will be out there the whole day. I used to be pissed off when he does that, but now, I am just happy I have my apartment for myself.

Regarding the conditions I asked him before, such as calling the other woman in front of me, I am not so much affected about it anymore. I feel like I don't care anymore. I feel like if he does that again, I know I have to prepare myself financially and I know that I can kick him out this time. The emotional disaster that comes with it if ever it happens again is maybe not as painful but I know I will be deeply hurt. But whether one starts with a relationship with a another partner or work on the marriage and start all over again, the risks are I think the same. At least that's what my therapist told me. There is always a risk.

There are things that still my H say and not do it. I don't know if he forgot about it or it didn't really matter to him. But this has been him ever since. He says things and not do it. And I would be frustrated. My H used to say something to me even before MLC and when I confront him about it after weeks or couple of days he would tell me he didn't say it and I misunderstood it. I doubted myself for so many years and i thought I was crazy or I imagined things. Yesterday, my H and I were planning to go cross country. And I told him where I wanted to go. He agreed and even checked the weather forecast. When we started driving I noticed he was driving in a different direction. When I asked him where we were going, he said a different place. I told him I told you this morning I wanted to go to this place and you agreed. He said to me, to my shock, that I never said it and I mentioned it last night but we never agreed. I was just stunned. I insisted myself, and told him the details of our conversation and he said, well yeah I maybe/was right and he had a different understanding. I just couldn't understand if he really forgot the conversation or it's part of gaslighting. But then I realized he does forget a lot of things when he forgot to load his huge bag that night when we passed by his apartment. We arrived in my place when he realized the bag was not in the car and that he left it on the street. So I don't know to be honest if being forgetful is part of MLC. Anybody with a similar experience?

Right now, my triggers have come down a bit. I am too busy with other things. But who knows how I feel in a the next days. 

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Me 45
H    48
Married 13 yrs no kids
BD May 2019 (I moved out Nov 2019)
EA or PA with ex gf (not sure), H spent 3 nights with the hoe during our vacation in July 2019, it was a friendly encounter according to H
H wanted D April 2020 but didn’t file it
Contact never stopped, H now wants to reconcile
Me not sure

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My life after separation with a clinger
#1: March 28, 2021, 08:14:42 AM
Attaching. There’s a lot of wisdom in your post. I think it’s important to recognize that detachment doesn’t happen all at once, and also it looks different for everyone, but it might also look different for one person when considering different relationships. So detaching from an old friend might look different than detaching from a spouse. And your version of detachment from your spouse might look different from mine from my spouse.

The other thing that resonates with me is about really knowing who you are and really knowing who your h is - the selfish bits, the forgetfulness, the deep involvement in his sport - and how you respond emotionally to those things. Truly understanding what a reconnected or reconciled relationship looks like requires this level of knowledge and acceptance, then doing the work to figure out if that relationship, faults and all, fits into what you want your life to be. I see you and several others doing that work, which seems incredibly difficult at times but also essential. Thank you for sharing here.
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My life after separation with a clinger
#2: March 28, 2021, 02:53:56 PM
Attaching. Thank you for continuing to share your story. I'm a few years behind you and your experience and questions are very enlightening.
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My life after separation with a clinger
#3: March 30, 2021, 04:02:30 AM
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In regard to detachement, I think everyone is different. Based on my experience, some can detach easily but honestly I cannot. Maybe I am not as detached as the others, but I am still proud of the progress I made. Like what offroad said, we cannot directly compare our emotional experience/detachment to that of the others. I think our background, traumas, FOO have a lot to do with how you work on your detachment. It is hard to focus on detachment when your emotions are at times overwhelming.
.

All very true Dragonfly . I also had extreme difficulty emotionally detaching from my H. It did not seem like the "right " thing to do .  Even though I went zero contact when he was out of the house , detaching emotionally was very very hard.  I have discovered that emotional detachment ( in reconnection) is actually a form of self-care in many ways.   I wish I could remember exactly how my therapist worded her advise to me ...but it was something about selfcare in protecting myself from "crazy".   Not to engage in fruitless argument that will upset me, put my blood pressure up and leave me very angry.  I do think of that advise and have often been able to not react to things that are bad for ME.  Perhaps it has some sprinkling of acceptance....that I can not change him , his perceptions, his avoidance etc. so to continue to "pursue" change is not in my best interest. It takes a lot of practise .  I found this interesting .

https://drkarenfinn.com/divorce-blog/unhappy-marriage/372-a-little-emotional-detachment-could-save-your-unhappy-marriage

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. I feel like if he does that again, I know I have to prepare myself financially and I know that I can kick him out this time. The emotional disaster that comes with it if ever it happens again is maybe not as painful but I know I will be deeply hurt.
.

If your H ( or mine) were to ever do it again, we will see and know the signs , won't we?.  We will trust our instincts just a little more.  I do not believe it would ever hurt as much as the shocking 1st time... For myself, I never ever worried about him doing it again. I never tracked him, traced , followed , questioned etc. . I could not stop it the 1st time and I have no doubt I could not stop it the second. In some ways , I would have had my answer ( end the marriage) if he chose to do that again and all the indecision would be gone. I have no time to waste tracking a grown man who will do what he wants .  It will never happen to me twice, I can guarantee that .

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But whether one starts with a relationship with a another partner or work on the marriage and start all over again, the risks are I think the same. At least that's what my therapist told me. There is always a risk.
.

I completely totally and utterly agree with this.  If I leave this marriage , I will never want a new relationship. No thanks ....the risks and costs are too high for me .  I believe I would be fine on my own at this point in my life and my focus would be on my kids and grandkids rather than another romantic relationship.

Quote
. I just couldn't understand if he really forgot the conversation or it's part of gaslighting. But then I realized he does forget a lot of things when he forgot to load his huge bag that night when we passed by his apartment. We arrived in my place when he realized the bag was not in the car and that he left it on the street. So I don't know to be honest if being forgetful is part of MLC. Anybody with a similar experience?
.

I also have this "gaslighting" issue off and on in my marriage.  But is it really gaslighting, because that is deadly and will make you absolutely insane.  I have several ways of dealing with this in my marriage ( now that it has happened many times).  Sometimes during a discussion, I grab my little notebook and write it down ...especially if I think it is important and he will deny it at some point. I do this while he is sitting there and he says " what are you doing?".   I say " writing down what we just agreed on ( and I read it to him ) so there is no issue about either of us forgetting. Silence.   Or , when there is a dispute or a disagreement about what was said ....I simply refuse to participate . I "detach" and remain silent.  This seems to make him doubt himself ( maybe you did say that and I forgot) and it passes with him usually agreeing he " may have not been listening properly" rather than viciously defending himself. Silence is golden at times. Or during a conversation...I re-play it sort of like a summary.  I even say " this is what we agreed on right? .  So do not end up arguing about who said what in a week. Right?" .  And I make him agree right then. It has solved 80 % of the issue . Whether it is true gaslighting or "forgetting"  or being distracted etc...I am not so sure at times.   Forgetfullness is indeed a huge part of MLC.  My H could not remember anything , nor could he make a decision. He constantly forgot things. I remember him coming home once and he brought coffee. He put them on the porch table.  He went into the house and made some phone calls etc and came out with 2 glasses of ice tea. He stared at the coffee and said " did I bring coffee home?" . Many many examples of this and some continues today.  He came in the house last week and left the truck running in the driveway!  . It is part of MLC brain apparently.
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Married April 1985
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Bomb Drop April 2013
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The Journey Of Reconciliation .. is for the brave .

Anger is like a candle in the wind ... it blows out the light of all reason.

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#4: April 04, 2021, 10:58:02 AM
Quote
I never tracked him, traced , followed , questioned etc. . I could not stop it the 1st time and I have no doubt I could not stop it the second. In some ways , I would have had my answer ( end the marriage) if he chose to do that again and all the indecision would be gone. I have no time to waste tracking a grown man who will do what he wants .  It will never happen to me twice, I can guarantee that .

I’ll keep this in mind. Sometimes I have the urge to check his phone. But then I think to myself for what. Like you said if I was not able to stop it the first time and even the second time I will never be able to prevent it the next time. And like you said, we know now what to do. In my case I guess there will be no more talk this time. It will be just between lawyers.

Detachment is I believe a big challenge for me. I do take care of myself a lot. I now know the things I like and I do them now whether my H likes to join or not. I say what I think. But to emotionally detach is something that to this day I haven’t mastered. The pain from the memories are hard to block and they affect me almost every time. At times I am able to brush them away at times I have to let it out thus it ends up with R talks with my H.

For the last couple of days now I have been camping with my H on a camping van for the first time which we both enjoyed. The other day, he went jogging by himself which was totally fine with me because I got to have my me time. He came back and told me he wanted to show me something. We went cycling there and he brought me to the menhirs which I have always been wanting to visit. I asked him to take a picture of me with the menhirs and he took it in a hurry because he wanted to show me something else. Now this is the part that I hate about my H, everything has to be rushed and combine in a short span of time. Almost all our travels in the past were so stressful for me because of this. Anyway, I looked the phtos quickly and I said I looked so ugly and ask him if he could do it again. He said to me well if you look ugly then you’ll always be ugly and I can’t do anything to change that. That was it. He said then we’d rather go back to the camping site. I went back and went for a walk by myself to cool myself down. He came back to the van and just stayed in bed with his phone. I went to bed without talking to him and he came to me and said he wanted to show me something on the phone. He acted like nothing happened until I pointed it out to him. Then he turned it back to me that I also insulted him by saying I don’t like his beard which he knew from the very beginning. And he started enumerated things that I said that hurt him. For me I feel like he always turns the conversation into him being the victim. Maybe I did hurt his feelings when I said I didn’t like his beard or I didn’t like that he shaved his legs but I also told him it’s his body and he can do whatever he wanted. So in the end he cried because he was hurt. He did apologize though for his comment. I am sure he would not say such insulting comments to his ow. What actually made me angry is the fact that he had so much respect for her and he protected her no matter what. The following day as we were driving to this place we wanted to visit I was just so disturbed. I opened up the conversation about the cheating and what he made me go through. My H up to this day denies this.
Like you Barbie all I wanted from my H is to be honest, to talk to me. To come forward and tell me exactly what he was planning with the OW and why suddenly he made a 180 degrees back to me. The only thing my H could tell me was that he thought the antidepressant he was taking for over a year at that time changed him. But I told him he was not in a trance he he decided to be with the Ow. He said at that time he didn’t think it was wrong. He was angry at himself and he didn’t know who he was anymore. He wished he could take back the decision he made then. He wished be could take way the pain from me. He said sorry so many times but I just cannot accept it right now. I haven’t totally forgive my H. This was a very hard talk. We ended up both in tears. I told my H I don’t until when I can stay loyal to him. At times I already thought of being a relationship with another man. I am tired of playing the good wife. So yeah the show goes on. My H never really talked about it except how he felt at that time. My questions will probaly remained unanswered. So now I continue the trip with him. We had wonderful moments I must say. There were just moments when bad memories were too painful.
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Me 45
H    48
Married 13 yrs no kids
BD May 2019 (I moved out Nov 2019)
EA or PA with ex gf (not sure), H spent 3 nights with the hoe during our vacation in July 2019, it was a friendly encounter according to H
H wanted D April 2020 but didn’t file it
Contact never stopped, H now wants to reconcile
Me not sure

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My life after separation with a clinger
#5: April 04, 2021, 04:59:54 PM
Hello,

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Based on my experience, some can detach easily but honestly I cannot.

Under the operations, you can't be detached because......

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For the last couple of days now I have been camping with my H on a camping van for the first time which we both enjoyed.

You are doing things with him as a couple. Now, I have never been in reconnection so my perspective is very weak and based on reading other threads. However, detachment is hard to do if you are in the process of reconnecting with someone else. I could be wrong bit detachment is more for replay when the MLCer is having an affair, monstering, and otherwise deep in the tunnel. This is the time to detach from their crisis and let them work through the process. Hopefully others will chime in as my knowledge and definitely no experience to relate.

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Now this is the part that I hate about my H, everything has to be rushed and combine in a short span of time.

I am guilty of this as well. I tend to be task completion so I can check the box. I forget that part of the process is to enjoy doing the task rather than bask in the triumph of accomplishing the task. It becomes more about getting things done and I start to rush myself and everyone around me. Until IC and we walked through how everyone around me was feeling about the experience. She said something very profound, people really don't remember an experience based upon the outcome, they remember how they felt and how you acted. Ooops. Even now with this as part of my psyche, I have to check myself.

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I am sure he would not say such insulting comments to his ow. What actually made me angry is the fact that he had so much respect for her and he protected her no matter what.

This is part of your journey and I believe that healing yourself first is essential to reconnection and ultimately reconciliation. To be transparent, I was told by my ex that she and OM was just an emotional affair. It wasn't until after the divorce that I found out that she had met him on several occasions, so there was a physical aspect as well. Had I known earlier, who knows what would have happened then? Just know I would have really felt betrayed. Can't say I would have been calm or measured. In fact that wound would have been bomb drop two had I known about it before the divorce.

However, this really isn't about OW. She never made any vows to you, she didn't marry you, your H did. In the beginning, I hated OM. Figured he was the bastard that stole my wife. In the end, he was just another object in my ex's life and for all I know, she lied to him as much as she lied to me. Yes, I still see him as a low-life scumbag; but I don't care what transpired between them- he could have been the very best thing ever- but he got the worst of my ex.

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For me I feel like he always turns the conversation into him being the victim.

From my perspective, this is passive-aggressive behavior to enable him to redirect the conversation elsewhere. To still remain in control. Once again, my opinion and nothing else.

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My questions will probaly remained unanswered. So now I continue the trip with him. We had wonderful moments I must say. There were just moments when bad memories were too painful.

As I posted on Barbie's thread, I truly wish I had an answer for you, some marvelous bit of wit, but I don't. Some people guard their hearts really well and just don't let people in, maybe they don't want to share the truth because the reality is too frightening even for them.

Songand Dance gave a great idea of treating it like a rope you have to gently pull. Maybe that's the best you can do. I really don't know. Just know that I hear you, I feel for you, and I am here.

Happy Easter,

((((Ready)))))
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#6: April 04, 2021, 11:34:12 PM
Ready

Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts. I really appreciate everyone’s opinion and love to hear others experience. You are absolutely right and you told ne before already not to give so much importance on the OW because she was just a symptom. I always remind myself of this when I start to think about that b!tc#. Sometimes it’s hard maybe because I am not totally healed yet and the fact the my H never said anything about her. He made sure she’s not dragged into the mud or the chaos he caused. Also I am very affected about her because my H already betrayed me with her during the first year of our marriage. He was secretly in contact with her on facebook. I accidentally found out about it when I saw he texted her he would have married her and not me if he could turn back time. That time, I just froze because we just got married in a church with my whole family attending it. That was a month after our wedding. To this day he still doesn’t think he cheated on me. He said every couple when they fight they say those things to their ex. I don’t know which planet my h comes from but he thinks this way. The MLC with OW was a second offence my h did to our marriage. I believe if the OW weren’t as obese as she is now, my H would have divorced me right away. So there, that’s the reason I am sometimes very much still affected with his hoe. Though I blame my H for the most part because he was the one who initiated everything. He was the one who chose to hurt me.

I read from one of the threads here about love languages. And I find it very interesting. I have certain expectations from my H after the chaos that he’s caused. But pf course those expectations were never met. His way of redeeming himself is going on holiday together. When I say I want to go on a camping van he booked it right away. There was a time when I said I want to go to Santorini and woke up this
Morning with my H researching about the place.  He said to me two days ago when we had this heavy talk about what happened that he’s been trying to make things better and he regretted what he did. He asked me if I could see what he’s doing which he meant going on holidays with me. I told my H this is just a bandaid. He thinks doing this is addressing the problem. I just don’t get the logic.

But yeah, maybe this is my H’s love language. This is his way of showing remorse. I probably need to have an open mind and an understanding heart. But I will not trust him like that ever again.  I know my H now. He says something and he doesn’t do it. He is still like that. There is one thing that is very concerning for me. I mentioned this before. When my H started MLC (before I knew it was Mlc) he became very forgetful. Until now he forgets a lot of things. Could this be really a part of MLC?
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Me 45
H    48
Married 13 yrs no kids
BD May 2019 (I moved out Nov 2019)
EA or PA with ex gf (not sure), H spent 3 nights with the hoe during our vacation in July 2019, it was a friendly encounter according to H
H wanted D April 2020 but didn’t file it
Contact never stopped, H now wants to reconcile
Me not sure

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My life after separation with a clinger
#7: April 04, 2021, 11:35:13 PM
I wish everyone a blessed and happy Easter. ready thanks again for your listening ears and open mind.
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Me 45
H    48
Married 13 yrs no kids
BD May 2019 (I moved out Nov 2019)
EA or PA with ex gf (not sure), H spent 3 nights with the hoe during our vacation in July 2019, it was a friendly encounter according to H
H wanted D April 2020 but didn’t file it
Contact never stopped, H now wants to reconcile
Me not sure

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My life after separation with a clinger
#8: April 05, 2021, 02:17:16 AM
Fwiw, dragonfly, I think there is a time when it might help to look at our spouses behaviour through an MLC lens and perhaps a time when we need to keep it simpler than that.

I caught my breath when I read what your h said about taking the photo. It sounded mean, cruel and unnecessary.
What would you normally do if someone said something like that to you? And if that is different from what you actually did, why is that do you think? If you could go back to that moment, would you have done something different?

Detaching is, as Ready says, rather difficult when you are engaged in a lot of interaction with someone. So, perhaps, you should not give yourself such a hard time about not reaching some hypothetical state of detached nirvana but just accept that you feel how you feel? And maybe focus on behaviour more....yours and his. Bc feelings and actions can be separated....one does not have to follow the other. And the behaviour that you find acceptable (in both of you) and your tactics for when you don't find behaviour acceptable or comfortable?
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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.
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My life after separation with a clinger
#9: April 05, 2021, 04:22:58 AM
Quote
You are doing things with him as a couple. Now, I have never been in reconnection so my perspective is very weak and based on reading other threads. However, detachment is hard to do if you are in the process of reconnecting with someone else. I could be wrong bit detachment is more for replay when the MLCer is having an affair, monstering, and otherwise deep in the tunnel. This is the time to detach from their crisis and let them work through the process. Hopefully others will chime in as my knowledge and definitely no experience to relate.
.

This is a brilliant observation and query. Why would we be detaching IF we are in some process of reconnection or reconciliation?  How does that make sense and why do we keep pushing detach detach deatch?   I struggle with this immensely and can add my thoughts or experience .  Firstly , there is nothing "healthy " about a marriage that has imploded by MLC shenanigans.  It is so shattered, so broken and damaged that it will takes years to repair..if it is even possible at all. To detach from a healthy, loving , mature marriage or relationship would make zero sense ....but that is far from what we have . We have 2 shattered , emotionally reactive and deeply hurt people ...yes 2 . My H almost destroyed himself with his own actions and choices. I love the analogy I see from time to time about adults with their inner child speaking internally from wounds not healed . (https://www.boredpanda.com/burning-man-festival-adults-babies-love-aleksandr-milov-ukraine/?utm_source=bing&utm_medium=organic&utm_campaign=organic) . I my case , I believe that we are so traumatised that our interactions seemingly rarely have an adult present. We are like 2 demanding , immature , wounded children reacting from our wounded inner child.  There is seldom an adult in the room initially and this makes a highly reactive, angry and impossible situation...worse.

The mistake I made was trying to heal my marriage as number 1 priority . Isn't that the purpose of reconciling?. I was wrong and it took me years to see that. We could never have evolved into a healthy marriage from 2 injured children. I needed to heal myself into my "adult self" before I could ever ever have the marriage I wanted . He would need to do the same work.  In order to do that "self work" , there must be a level od detachment to make space to do so.  I use detachment as a "space maker "  so I step away from continually being triggered and reacting from a wounded place from the past.  I use detachment for "pause" , for rest , for "thinking, learning, healing , processing  ME stuff...for my healing work.  Otherwise I am just a child in a cage fighting with his caged little boy. I detach to protect my recovery , to not react to him , to allow space to heal triggers etc.

In the perfect world, this is not meant to last forever. The hope is you grow together at some point as mature , healthy adults. Maybe yes... maybe no. Its hard to forecast the outcome. I use detachment as a tool of selfcare and to protect myself from the kind of crazy interactions that are so painful, so devastating and damaging ...until such time they are not. Detaching is understanding and respecting acceptance...I cannot change another person. I cannot change his reactions, shut down, perspectives, beliefs, interpretations or how he "hears thru
 his wounds".  I can detach , take care of myself , apply copious amounts of selfcare and refuse to allow myself to be combative, rageful, reactive and hurt by interacting with him.... who I cannot change anyway.  I can go to the beach with a lovely fat book , do yoga and soak up the sun and rest....or I can waste an entire day doing battle, yelling, crying , reacting to him. I am done with that .

some of the ways to practice compassionate detachment:

Refuse to engage in a conversation with someone who is being irrational, disrespectful, or hostile.
Don’t allow someone to affect your moods, thoughts, preferences, opinions, or plans.
Realize that you are not responsible for the shortcomings, failures, and poor choices of others.
Understand that you are not being selfish when you protect yourself from someone who hurts you. 
Accept that you can still love someone and need to protect yourself from him or her.
Recognize that you deserve to be loved, respected, and treated with kindness.
Focus on the opportunities you have for fulfilling your potential and creating the life you want.

https://incessanthoughts.com/how-to-detach/

 




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Married April 1985
5 children
Bomb Drop April 2013
Thrown out of house August 2013
Affair discovered November 2013 (i guessed who)
Home December 3 2013
The Journey Of Reconciliation .. is for the brave .

Anger is like a candle in the wind ... it blows out the light of all reason.

 

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