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Author Topic: My Story Aliens stole my W!!!!! Part 11: Mars Attacks!!!

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My Story Aliens stole my W!!!!! Part 11: Mars Attacks!!!
OP: May 03, 2021, 03:20:17 PM
Link to previous thread: https://mlcforum.theherosspouse.com/index.php?topic=11684.0

[Tuesday]
A couple days early...... but W is on the road the rest of the week starting tomorrow, so why wait?  ;D

Finally getting down to her core frustrations during our conversations. It' the same as always, it's just deeper and more honest. FINALLY!!!
Not that it's everything, just a huge item that she can't get over.... and it's the core of all her problems.
Drum roll please...... it's the career!!! Dunn-DuhDuh-Da!! Ding, ding, ding... we have a winner.
She finally admitted out loud that her career is the root cause of most of her issues. Jeez, I tried telling her this 14, 15 years ago? Never would listen. All that time: *POOF*. Well, better late than never right?
Do I think this is deep, complete understanding on her part? Oh no..... not at all. Just the surface...... but the 1st step is to realize it on some level, even if it's just no deeper than lip service to start.... all has to start somewhere.
Interesting thing is, this realization is putting things into motion that will be stoppable (IMO), and that's a good thing. It means one way or another, at some point or another, she's going to leave her job (GOOD). It will be very hard to let go of that, and with it.... all those years and sacrifice...... *POOF*. I do feel sorry for her (in a way) but I also know and have known this was never a good thing or her true calling.
Her body has been shaking even more than before, now it isn't just one arm shaking, it's both. That is very worrying, but this is MLC..... I've heard of all kinds of strange and extreme physical manifestations that MLC'ers experience. So, staying the course. All blame on me is totally gone, and she admitted to the IC that "I get it", which is so funny because I always did...... she couldn't see it..... and now she's left with only one place to look, and THAT is having insane effects on her. She can't take it all in at once, but I can see she's looking. What a terrible thing....... and she hasn't yet seen what it has done to anyone else (probably not for a long time still).

Another interesting thing is, she's getting really close to taking a period of medical leave..... the IC/MC is helping her draft papers to do it. That will also mean she will disappear for a period of months and go visit her mom. I embrace and welcome this. At this point, I think avoiding has left the building, she's burning out and breaking on the inside. Sleep is poor to gone, body is shaking, work is failing, there is so little lift for her to hand on to and if anything it's her commitment to job which is forcing her to hang on.

[I'm at it again... not hitting post......LOL!!!!]
[Thursday]

W has been on the road a couple days, and it's GREAT having a small break. I hope it's been de-stressing for her too.

She actually texted me last night..... which is good....... but the content...... not good. It was the results from a recent mammogram.
She's always hated having those done, and always with some stress and relief afterwards. This time it has come back with masses on both sides which need to be further tested.
Needless to say this freaked me out, and I called her instantly. She didn't want to talk about it (understandable) and wanted to go to bed. Do I believe that? Nope. I know it's probably nothing, but still..... that's very scary. So I just talked to try and distract her (as I have done the last two years), if it helped or not, who knows. She has a follow up scheduled in two weeks.
My analytical brain kicks in and tells me: She's getting older, the body is changing (as seen in MLC) so of course there's going to be changes going on in the boob area as well. Nothing to worry about.
Then the other part of the analytical brain kicks in and says "look at the immense stress she's going thru, this isn't a good thing".

[Monday/today]
Great weekend, and W hasn't brought up once her results. Not a surprise. Just not that emotionally available yet, and she's probably not wanting to think about it anyway.
We took the little dog for his 1st walk at the park last night. It was great. W can open up for that little dog, and it's nice to see her try to be herself. Like a fish out of water. Some times I wonder if she will ever be "herself" again. I certainly hope so.

I had someone leave a message on my windshield while I walked the other day. It was very odd. It complimented me on my looks, and then have encouragement to my situation.  ??? Very, very, odd. No one knows that I walk, or where I walk...... so it's not someone that "knows" (so few know). Just some person who has seen me and somehow....... know?...... guess?...... I don't know. Very odd. Their note said "new love is on the way" and not to despair. Maybe I'll post the contents of the note and people can tell me what they think.
So very odd. 

W is on the road again come tomorrow, and she's itching to go visit her mom (she's studying Spanish again  ::) ).
Her enthusiasm for the MC and doing the homework has diminished. I think because it was so difficult for her. I haven't been contacted for another session with the IC/MC.... but she's been on the road a lot. Maybe next week.

I'm doing incredible, even better than before. Walking like crazy, projects, work. I've found that being open, available and vulnerable not that different than detachment........ because there isn't much reaching back towards me...... and without connection, there isn't too much opening for damage (as long as you don't expect anything). Not a bad place to be. Doing my part, little nudges for her to do her part (but no pushing), and she seems happy to disconnect and let the world fly by.

One day at a time,

-SS
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Aliens stole my W!!!!! Part 11: Mars Attacks!!!
#1: May 03, 2021, 03:30:47 PM
So here is the note which I found on my windshield: (on torn out notebook paper, collage ruled spacing, neat handwriting, print not cursive):


"You have a beautiful and handsome form thought you may not see it yourself. You have some of the beefiest meaty calves I've ever seen, stunning. In this moment, you must be reminded of faith, in yourself + a higher power, education, anything really. You did not waste your time on your projects or endeavors. You are allowed to mourn the end of a dream, but don't despair. Dramatic change is on the way. New love is coming! You are doing your best, your past loved ones are proud of you."
[end note]

What do you make of this??
It's not from someone I know, it's not from W (she was out of state), and I've never talked to anyone while on my walk (but there's plenty of people who go walk there). There are so few people in "real life" that know this is going on, it's not from any of them (and none know where I walk or when).
What sorta freaks me out is that parts of it are things people have told me, parts are things that I have gotten while praying, and it referenced my calves which are my favorite part of my body...... you know what they say "flattery will get you everywhere"  ;) (Not really).  :P

Isn't that strange? Does it mean anything? Or nothing? I'm not leaning one way or another, just got my attention is all. There is no answer.

-SS
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Aliens stole my W!!!!! Part 11: Mars Attacks!!!
#2: May 03, 2021, 03:43:32 PM
Keep up the good fight SS ! Your love for your wife is inspiring.
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Aliens stole my W!!!!! Part 11: Mars Attacks!!!
#3: May 03, 2021, 06:03:14 PM
Interesting yet what a message!!
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Hi Standing, boy none of this is easy is it?

You are doing really good and I just pray your W eventually works her way through this dark tunnel of hers and makes some good choices about that high pressure job she has.  But only she can do that.

Ha ha...as far as that note on you car Standing, you may have a male admirer, dear.
"beefiest meaty calves I've ever seen" I don't think is something a woman would ever say.
 :)
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Aliens stole my W!!!!! Part 11: Mars Attacks!!!
#5: May 03, 2021, 07:14:36 PM
Are you sure you aren't writing notes to yourself in your sleep? Thought that kind of read like an astrology reading, except for the meaty calves.

Being me, I might say that often what we think is hidden from others is pretty obvious to outsiders. Maybe there is someone out there who plans on making a move on you when your W takes her trip. ???

Or one of the few who know your situation and are giving you a funny message. It was probably meant for the car two over...... ;D
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Ha ha...as far as that note on you car Standing, you may have a male admirer, dear.
"beefiest meaty calves I've ever seen" I don't think is something a woman would ever say.
 :)

I don't know T...... the women now days, I've had some jaw droppers thrown my way........ Getting checked out and then told "Big hands...... big feet......" and then a smile.  ::) Women can be obscenely forward.
That being said, yes that did occur to me as well. I've had lots of men hit on me as well, especially when I was younger.

I'd like to think with all the female runners that pass me by while I walk, and some of them being very very fit, it's one of them. Then again, there's lots of not fit women out there too.  :P LOL!!

Well, whatever it is..... I just take it as a compliment and keep on with life.

HA!! Offroad!! Meant for a couple cars over. LOL!! Now wouldn't that be funny. I actually hope that no one shows up near my car. I'm still married, still not interested in anyone except W. Better to not have to tell someone "Uh yeah.... thanks for the compliment, I'm flattered, BUT...........". That just isn't a fun conversation. Makes them feel awkward, makes me feel awkward, I'd rather not...... but a secret admirer, well that's just a little wind in the sails. It could be anyone, Lady Gaga or Sia could have put it there  ;) (not that it would matter).

-SS 

-SS
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Aliens stole my W!!!!! Part 11: Mars Attacks!!!
#7: May 03, 2021, 11:41:28 PM
Attaching.... loving the title of pt.11.   

So she's facing her own mortality with number of health issues.  Been there, done that, it's  scary stuff even if mentally healthy. This might very well be the 'progressive attack' that is either going to make her or break her... You know the drill. Just be there if needed and listen.     

Alvin.
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Aliens stole my W!!!!! Part 11: Mars Attacks!!!
#8: May 04, 2021, 10:48:19 AM
"Beefiest Meaty Calves?"  :o

You and Watcher can battle for the honors...

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Aliens stole my W!!!!! Part 11: Mars Attacks!!!
#9: May 04, 2021, 02:36:14 PM
BLEAHHHHH!!!!! I can't unsee that......
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Aliens stole my W!!!!! Part 11: Mars Attacks!!!
#10: May 04, 2021, 03:25:21 PM
I have better calves than that...... those quads are unreal though.  :o Yikes!!

-SS
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Aliens stole my W!!!!! Part 11: Mars Attacks!!!
#11: May 04, 2021, 03:28:00 PM
Um,

Ahhhhhhh hahahahahahahahaha!!! 🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣 I haven’t laughed that hard in a while.

*chefs kiss*
Well done.

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EEUUUUuuuu.

Ha ha  I bet your legs look a lot better than that, Standing. Those are gross!
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Aliens stole my W!!!!! Part 11: Mars Attacks!!!
#13: May 04, 2021, 04:25:11 PM
Your page  took a downward turn with those legs😂. It’s always fun to have a secret admirer so long as things don’t get creepy:). I agree that it read almost like a horoscope outside of the beefy leg part.  I also agree that while women can be forward, most don’t use that terminology!!
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Aliens stole my W!!!!! Part 11: Mars Attacks!!!
#14: May 05, 2021, 03:14:32 AM
BLEAHHHHH!!!!! I can't unsee that......
Your page  took a downward turn with those legs😂. It’s always fun to have a secret admirer so long as things don’t get creepy:). I agree that it read almost like a horoscope outside of the beefy leg part.  I also agree that while women can be forward, most don’t use that terminology!!
EEUUUUuuuu.

Ha ha  I bet your legs look a lot better than that, Standing. Those are gross!
I have better calves than that...... those quads are unreal though.  :o Yikes!!

-SS

Um,

Ahhhhhhh hahahahahahahahaha!!! 🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣 I haven’t laughed that hard in a while.

*chefs kiss*
Well done.

Courage

You all are more than welcome... My work here is done...

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Aliens stole my W!!!!! Part 11: Mars Attacks!!!
#15: May 05, 2021, 08:55:49 PM
Ha UM.....  ;D

You know, that picture is really impressive. I've been trying to guess what that person's bodyfat percentage is to be able to show that much definition. Must be mid-high single digits. That's so hard to achieve.

Wednesday Journaling:

Dun-DUn-DUN!! W let me know tonight that the IC has placed her on FMLA. This is wonderful. The term is for 4-8 weeks, no work. Fantastic!! Of course along with this disclosure she said that she'll be going to her mom's..... which is fine with me. I can assume that she will be on leave for 8 weeks, there's no way (I can  see) her cutting it short. I have to applaud the IC..... she could see W was melting down, gave her a chance to stop on her own, and when that didn't happen *BANG* forced it and didn't give her much of a choice. This is really wonderful, and I think probably the only person W would listen to on this subject (heavens knows I tried for years to get her to either stop or slow down.
Not that this is a fix, not at all...... it may even prolong her processing, but I really hope it turns out to be a good thing for her. It will be a good thing for me, I can use a break too.

Hopefully she will not take her laptop and totally unplug, but that's not something I control. She starts FMLA Tuesday, and I'm sure it'll be very shortly thereafter that she will leave on her trip. This will damage her career (in her eyes), but the die is cast, there is no turning away now. Her work has been notified, and that's that. It will be curious to see what she will be like toward the end of her leave, she may not be in a place where returning is possible, so I'm going to be a busy boy...... preparing to be the sole provider. Probably won't come to that, but I could see her damaged career not being the focal point once it's broken, and maybe, just maybe, once she has a taste of life without the stress of career, maybe it's hold will be broken (I hope).
Also not that any of this will fix us, but everything is a step towards the end, whatever that end may hold. I say bring it.

Already though, her demeanor has changed remarkably...... laughing and happy..... obviously a huge weight lifted (for the moment, and probably only for a short time)...... it's so nice to see some relief in her. She has struggled so long and been crushed alive. Yes, a season of relax and decompression, I so wish this for her. The price when it loses it's relief, the novelty disappears and she finds herself back to where she was anyway........  :-[ well, enjoy the moment my sweet.  :-* Your husband still loves you, even when you can't love him.

One day at a time,

-SS   
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« Last Edit: May 05, 2021, 08:56:53 PM by Standing Strong »
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Oh Standing, I'm sorry but you're right this may be for the best.  It sounds like her IC saw the pressure she has kept herself under.  A clean break from it may be just what she needs.

I don't understand why she needs to go to her moms for this break, but I guess there must be some reason for it.

Stay strong and take this time to decompress yourself, Standing.
Maybe a good break for everyone, huh?

Hugs
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Aliens stole my W!!!!! Part 11: Mars Attacks!!!
#17: May 07, 2021, 02:37:06 PM
No need to be sorry T...... it's good to have a break  8)
I'm happy and excited.

Minor Journal update:
W comes home at lunch (wow, it's been months since that's happened). I see movement in the corner of my eye..... and there she is...... peeking at me thru a crack in the door (it wasn't closed all the way). Creepy!! HAHAHAHAHAHAH!!

She's in a great mood, super happy. Monday is her last day before going on leave.... which is great. She chats for a moment and then announces she has airfare to her mom's. LOL!! That means when she told me the other day, she already had the airfare (which I already assumed). It's just so funny how that works. It's a game to me, can I guess the future (?)...... most of the time, yes I can. HAHAHAHAHAHAH!!
So Thursday she flies out, and she'll figure out the return later (which means in 8 weeks)...... heck, I wouldn't even be surprised if somehow it gets extended to longer.
The good news is, she's headed right to her mom's from what I understand. No apartment this time.  :D Hey you've got to take the positive wherever you can find it.

And there it is..... 'ol SS will get a couple month break..... what to do? I think maybe I'll try returning to the gym and see if wearing this dumb mask during a cycling class makes me pass out.  :P I will get to do a hardcore diet and super fat-burning program. So much easier when you're not cooking for someone else.
I'm coming for you 6-pack!! Your days are numbered!!

One day at a time,

-SS
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Aliens stole my W!!!!! Part 11: Mars Attacks!!!
#18: May 11, 2021, 08:28:55 PM
Journaling:

Today they must be playing MLC's greatest hits....... HAHAHAHAHAHAH!!

So W was to leave on her trip Thursday morning..... I've been slow dripped details of this latest outing over the last several days.
Of course none of it can be believed, so I take it all with a grain of salt and laugh at it all.

Yup, Thursday morning..... fly out....... with Tuesday and Wednesday as "off" days before her trip (which I'm assuming will be 8 weeks long).
Well...... she announced that those two days would be "Cleaning days" and put the house "clean to her spec"..... which is fine, but what a waste..... why clean it to a hospital grade and then leave for two months? What purpose does that serve? To do something nice for me? Because she's "feeling better?", just doesn't make any sense, but then again...... it's not my choice and not something I control. Knock yourself out if that's what you want to do. I'd still rather her take it easy AND at the same time, saying something and DOING something are two very different things. Intentions are not actions.  :P

Well, there was nothing to worry about. Today was her 1st day off work, and there was no cleaning. HAHAHAHAHAH!! All she did was do laundry and pack. Pack, pack, pack. Items she was "asked" to take down there that were suppose to arrive on Wednesday (tomorrow) all arrived today. Hmmmm (minor strangeness, nothing to be excited about)........ and the clues begin to stack in the back of my mind. Isn't it such a bummer that we learn to do this? Where it becomes natural and not even something you actively think about? I think that sticks, it's not how life should be.
Anyway...... I work all day, and she does whatever she's doing...... I'm happy she's not cleaning.
By the time I'm off work, I need to run to the store and pick up some bread for our dinner (I made this incredible soup....... incredible. So good she wanted it two nights in a row instead of spacing a night between........ Hmmmm, stacking...... but I'll get to that).
I get home from the store and she runs to where I am (unusual) and says "I'm such an idiot, you'll never guess what I did!!". Uh huh...... yeah, I bet I can guess what she did.....
"I booked the wrong flight...... I can either leave in the morning (a day early) or switch my flight but it'll cost $400 to do so"....... as if she's asking what I think or what should be done...... HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH!!
After listening.... I ask if she got her room (leaving in the morning means she'd have to stay the night before flying out of the county Thursday night)........ she looks down and quietly says "yes". And there it is....... not really asking what I thought, all the plans were already made.... and the rest of the day falls into place.... all that packing, the wanting soup tonight instead of tomorrow (when she won't be here).
For the next two hours I hear all about how dumb she is, what a stupid mistake, I can't believe I did  that....... on and on and on.
"I was going to clean all day tomorrow", "I didn't want to leave you with a dirty house"
It's all nonsense. All of it.
Not saying this is a big deal, it's not. Want to go..... go. I'm not twisting your arm. Why the deception even if it's not a flat out lie?
Such a strange chain of thought.
Now for me, this is great. An extra day of alone time, no wasted day cleaning for her, and hopefully she'll actually relax.

Still, it does stink to know that all of it was planned and executed long before I knew anything (Which is fine) but always framed like I had a say or opinion (which I didn't). So do what you want, but I know your tricks...... I'm no fool.

She also said she'll be gone 4 weeks....... HAHAHAHAHAHAH!! Yeah right!! I'll believe it when I see it....... there's no return flight, and even if there was, she could change it. 8 weeks or something like it. [shakes head] None of this surprises me, and all of it is laughable at how comical and ridiculous it is.
Next will be to see if she goes radio silent while she's gone (I'm counting on it).  ::)

I'm returning to the gym for a couple months..... no nightly workout W partner, so I'm going hardcore lifting and dieting while she's away. Looking forward to it.  8)

One day at a time,

-SS
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Aliens stole my W!!!!! Part 11: Mars Attacks!!!
#19: May 11, 2021, 09:03:58 PM
Hi SS,
Why does it always have to be complicated with these MLCers?  Hoping this time away gives you and your W time to decompress after the emotional counseling sessions. 

HF
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Aliens stole my W!!!!! Part 11: Mars Attacks!!!
#20: May 12, 2021, 01:57:42 AM
I have to wonder why being honest is SO hard for these Mid-Lifers....

It is like they fear the repercussions of their actions (which I am pretty sure they do) but at the same time, don't realize that there are much more severe repercussions once the lie comes out....

What causes less pain? The initial stab or ripping off the bandaid of a festering infected stab?
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Divorce final 30 August 2019

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A "friend" will not "stand by you" no matter what you do. That is NOT a friend. That is an enabler. That is an accomplice.
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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UM I think it's because they can't face what they are doing, so they have to make up a story, in their head, to explaining the reason what they are doing is not unkind.

They can't be the bad guy, you know?   ::)

Standing you're right, you saw right through it because you're not stupid and you have no fog in the brain.
Oh well I hope you can enjoy some time to yourself to do what ever you want.

How's the puppy, btw?
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How's the puppy, btw?

He's a happy little guy!! After taking W to the airport this morning........ I went by the Waffle House and got steak and eggs to start off my break..... little guy scored a T-Bone with plenty of meaty bits on it when I got home. His 1st bone.  ;D

W..... ahhhh W....... get to the airport, *BAM*, mask on.  ::) So no goodbye kiss, again (hey you can hope right? LOL!!) and it was so brief "thanks for the ride" super quick side hug and a "I'll see you....... I'll see you in awhile"..... and there's the last little piece. She could have said I'll see you in four weeks (like she said before) but no....... open-ended. HA!! I think it'll be 8 weeks. Tricks and more tricks. A twist of the mind.

Good news for me though, I registered for the Spin-Class for this evening and aerobics tomorrow evening.  ;D
Hit the ground running  :P

-SS
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UM I think it's because they can't face what they are doing, so they have to make up a story, in their head, to explaining the reason what they are doing is not unkind.

They can't be the bad guy, you know?   ::)

<snort!>

OK, the question was meant rhetorically

LOL

Naturally, the Mid-Lifer can NOT be the bad guy because that would mean taking accountability and being responsible... which is about as likely as a snowball in Hades...
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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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Aliens stole my W!!!!! Part 11: Mars Attacks!!!
#24: May 24, 2021, 08:59:58 PM
Journaling:

Well, I've slowed down a lot (and sped up in other areas) while W has been gone.
Have barely heard from her (no surprise) except for her to check on the dog  ::)  :P ....... who is doing just fine.  ;D LOL!!

On to me!!  :D
I'm getting double the amount of sleep now...... which is great. I assume it's because (just like before) all the hidden stress just finally hits you once you finally relax a bit..... the body catching up. That's nice. Feels good. I wish it wasn't this way, but that's not something I control......

I had a great experience tonight at the gym....... and once again it's my calves  ;D  8)
I'm lifting weight on the calf machine (1st time since returning to the gym), and I'm happy as can be. CLANG CLANG CLANG goes the weights. Start it at 250lbs..... phhhhhttttt..... am I even lifting? 300lbs...... still nothing....... max out the machine 350lbs, all the plates...... no problem. Just lift it and hold until the legs shake. Move it around for fun, don't let it drop. I hear a "WOW" from across the way. I figure it's just someone happy about something they did..... a moment later a young guy in his 20's comes up and says "You have incredible calves!! That's what I want, I'm working hard to get them".
I says thanks and smile.
The sound of shock was someone watching me do a full load with no issues at all. That's funny.
Yup, still got it. HA!!  8)

I booked a trip for myself after W gets back. Going to Vegas for a week. I really had hoped that we would do something together this year, but I think that's well out the windows after this latest trip of hers. Still, I'm going to have a wonderful time: Multi-day conference, a show or two, lots of walking, different food and all the pinball I can play. That's good enough for me.  ;D

What can I say, life is good...... I choose life to be good.

One day at a time,

-SS
 
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Aliens stole my W!!!!! Part 11: Mars Attacks!!!
#25: May 25, 2021, 08:38:43 AM
I always appreciate your updates, SS - excellent reminders of how important it is to detach and to truly live your own life on your own terms, and (particularly if they live at home or are clingers) to maintain an attitude of zero expectations from the MLCer. I find it interesting that you note sleeping better when she’s away... it may be that I sleep a little better when my W is away, though I do relatively well either way. But I do notice that my W sleeps poorly much of the time - could be a combination of things from the mattress (which we’re replacing) to the cats’ disruptions, but there are underlying issues related to stress, anxiety, and the like too. Early on I struggled with this, seeing it as a sign that if being here made her that anxious, maybe she shouldn’t be here. I have since come to the conclusion that the anxiety doesn’t have any deeper meaning about her investment in the relationship - things are unsettled in her mind and in her life, so anxiety is normal. I’m not sure that you have any anxiety around your situation, but even though you are in a place of remarkable acceptance and detachment, there is an aspect of your life that is unsettled and when you’re closer to it, it affects your sleep. Doesn’t mean the marriage is not the right thing in the long term, just means the uncertainty is a stressor, even though it’s a stressor you are handling very well.

Anyway... your updates always teach me something, whether it’s a specific lesson like this or just a reminder to keep thriving regardless of what the MLCer is doing. Thank you for that.
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Aliens stole my W!!!!! Part 11: Mars Attacks!!!
#26: May 25, 2021, 08:58:00 AM
Sounding good, SS.  You might consider MeowWolf in Area 15 if you go to Vegas. I haven't been to that one, but loved the one in Santa Fe, NM. It's an adventure.
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Aliens stole my W!!!!! Part 11: Mars Attacks!!!
#27: May 25, 2021, 09:44:50 AM
Hey Curiosity,

You know about the sleep...... I have a theory (could be wrong)...... I've read that people "sync" during sleep...... the heart-rates equalize, and if that's true, then I would suspect that other things also normalize and sync in ways we don't know about currently. Breathing? Maybe even brain waves. I'm certain we are aware of our partners state while in sleep, and if they are in distress we will share in it (and experience stress ourselves).
Are we a moderating factor to help "tame" their sleep? I don't think so. It would be nice if we could, but I don't think so. I have noticed the same thing you have with the poor sleep on their part, and tried the different things too: A new mattress, white noise, new sheets, adjusting the temp, etc. Lots of experiments. Each time they result in a short term boost to their quality of sleep until they get used to it and then they're right back to where they started (and even more frustrated). At the same time, I've noticed many, MANY, times where W is absolutely certain she didn't sleep a wink, and yet she was snoring all night. I can confirm via her fitbit that her REM and deep sleep cycles have taken a big hit on many nights but not all. This makes me think that what she processes and wrestles with while sleeping is awful and leads to draining sleep and not restful sleep. I think this is standard with all MLC'ers. Sleep deprivation in the presence of lots of sleep. Years and years of this. Terrible. Probably a contributing factor to their accelerated aging as well.
Our sleep is just collateral damage, as with so many other things.

-SS
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Aliens stole my W!!!!! Part 11: Mars Attacks!!!
#28: May 25, 2021, 10:32:27 AM
Interesting thoughts on syncing during sleep. It makes sense that there would be some of that, honestly. Also, your comment about how the new things (mattress, white noise, temperature, linens) temporarily help them before they return to their baseline restlessness reminds me of something I’ve read about how a financial windfall often leads to a temporary boost in happiness before returning to one’s baseline level. Similarly, a decrease in income or other factor making things more difficult often leads to a temporary reduction in happiness before people tend to return to their baseline. So overall, it seems like our baseline level of happiness, contentment, ease, comfort... it’s an individual, foundational thing about us that doesn’t really fundamentally change in response to superficial or external shifts. I think we LBSs maybe figure that out sooner than the MLCer, and we work on making real, foundational changes to find a new level of happiness/contentment after our worlds are rocked at BD, while the MLCer is making external, superficial changes and can’t figure out why that doesn’t help them. Admittedly, many of us try the superficial changes for a while too, but we get to that eureka moment eventually.
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Aliens stole my W!!!!! Part 11: Mars Attacks!!!
#29: May 25, 2021, 10:50:37 AM
It's interesting that you bring up sleep.  My MLCW had significant sleep issues waking up the the middle in the night prior to and after BD.   Overall, my sleep has been better since she has left the home.  I only have issues after stressful events which usually only occurs 1 or 2 times a month.  Then I sleep soundly the next night after the stressful events.  I can see my MLCW is stressed and looks worn out due to sleep issues as well as alcohol use.   I have compassion for her and yet know that I can't fix her.   Can only focus on my health with sleep, diet, and exercise.   Thinking this summer will be better as I work to lose the small amount of weight I put on since BD.

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Aliens stole my W!!!!! Part 11: Mars Attacks!!!
#30: May 26, 2021, 07:46:34 AM
Journaling:

I got a call from W last night. 1st call since she's been gone (you know how that is.... LOL!!).
Very nice, we spoke for a little more than an hour. Sounded more like herself, than in a long time. That was nice. She was also very frustrated with herself that she wasn't all better already...... "I thought I'd feel like myself already".......  :o
I guess that has always been a hallmark of hers: impatience.
I told her "it hasn't even been 2 weeks yet", she thought about that and agreed. Still, it was nice to her a much more familiar voice than I'm used to.
She said she's been relaxing, exploring (hiking), shopping and crafts. All good...... I could tell the disappointment in that, she's not all better...... she went down there with no work and no responsibilities, and she's still not really happy. To me, this is very good........ everything she could ask for and STILL, uneasy, unhappy, off balance....... but at least a little needed rest.
She wanted an update about life over here, so I gave it to her (who knows when I'll hear from her again) and I couldn't tell if it was because she was missing this life, or just wanted to put her thumb on it..... make sure it wasn't getting away....... she got a dose of both. I told her I was going to Vegas for a week....... she was surprised (silence)..... and then "I haven't been to Vegas in a long time"....... Yup, you haven't. Probably going to be awhile before you do. I told her all the things I'm going to do there, and I detected a little sadness in being left out. Well, what do you expect? Oh I know..... that life stops and waits. NOPE!!
She also discovered that she'll be missing a family dinner while she's out, and while she said that sounded nice....... I don't think she'll miss it...... still stuck in the idea that everyone hates her.

The funny thing was when I told her about Vegas....... she asked that it was in Aug (I didn't share that part) and I said yes....... she says ok........ BUT, that also confirms what I believed, that she will be gone two months and not return until mid July. (You going in Aug right? Cause I'm not going to be back until July). And so once again, having to read between lines and understand this double or non-speak....... which I'm thankful for....... understanding that which isn't said contains more information that what IS ever said. I often wonder now what our M would have been like if I had this skill 20 years ago. Or better yet, if I had understood and been able to just say "Stop this mind reading garbage..... say what you mean, what you want, all of it..... just freaking say it".

HA!!

One day at a time,

-SS

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Aliens stole my W!!!!! Part 11: Mars Attacks!!!
#31: May 26, 2021, 09:00:07 AM
And so once again, having to read between lines and understand this double or non-speak....... which I'm thankful for....... understanding that which isn't said contains more information that what IS ever said. I often wonder now what our M would have been like if I had this skill 20 years ago. Or better yet, if I had understood and been able to just say "Stop this mind reading garbage..... say what you mean, what you want, all of it..... just freaking say it".

HA!!

One day at a time,

-SS

Just food for thought, but the part of your quote I bolded - I think it may be of use to reexamine that part.  Your later statement says you're not going to do any mind reading.  But the bolded part is mind reading.  You don't "have" to read between any lines, and doing so might only serve to twist you up into knots trying to figure out what is un-figure-out-able.  We've all been there in trying to do that and it truly leads to nothing but more riddles and a lot of what ifs that don't help US or our emotional health.

That which isn't said can sometimes contain information, but when it comes to an MLCer, we even more so have no idea what that is.  So just be careful for your own sake.
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That which isn't said can sometimes contain information, but when it comes to an MLCer, we even more so have no idea what that is.  So just be careful for your own sake.

Funny, because I am here firmly reminding myself what IS SAID means nothing, much less reading between the things that mean nothing!

SS: this is wise words of wisdom for you, its hard earned experience. You are on your journey, its not ours. We are just walking by and commenting...

Edit: Honestly I’m not sure that it is ever a good idea to read between the lines regardless of the mental status of the person. But that’s just me
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« Last Edit: May 26, 2021, 09:45:21 AM by marvin4242 »
No Kids, 23 years at BD1 (4 years), married 21
First signs of MLC Jan '15
BD 1 Jan '17, BD 2 Mar, Separated Apr, BD 3 May,BD 4 Jun '18
First Sign of Waking up-Dec '17, First Cycle out of MLC Mar '18-Jun ‘18, Second cycle Jul '18-??
Meets OM Jan '17 and acts "in love," admits "in love" Jun '18, asks for divorce Jul '18

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Aliens stole my W!!!!! Part 11: Mars Attacks!!!
#33: May 26, 2021, 11:41:50 PM
That which isn't said can sometimes contain information, but when it comes to an MLCer, we even more so have no idea what that is.  So just be careful for your own sake.

Exactly..... Trying to "read between the lines" or figure out what is pointedly NOT being spoken is like... trying to taste green... with your elbow...
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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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Aliens stole my W!!!!! Part 11: Mars Attacks!!!
#34: May 27, 2021, 11:25:51 AM
HAHAHAHA you guys.......  ;D :) ;)

This is a game, and I'm not just playing it with W (I'll explain)......... maybe we're describing something (maybe I'm describing) something different.
So....... communication. Spoken, unspoken...... both exist. Me, I've always been very direct. Say what you mean, mean what you say, and say it. Don't say it verbally: I won't know it. Misunderstanding is fine, once someone is talking everything can be understood. Simple (to me).

W.... looking back and understanding now, had been communicating, but in a way I didn't understand. I took her (and everyone) just at their word and if someone had something else to say or add...... then they should SAY IT. Well.... people don't. I think that's one thing that I really, really like about what MLC has done is let me understand this aspect of people.

Example: Yesterday I was in a heated meeting, and there was a lady in the meeting trying to be helpful, she jumped in several times, said some things, and on the surface was very engaged. I could tell otherwise (And before it would have gone right over my head).
So afterward I pulled her aside and asked her about what she said. She repeated it, and her face told me something else. So I asked if what she was (really) saying was xxxxxxxxx. Her face lit up "Yeesssss!!", and then bla bla bla, more came out. Well, why didn't she say all that when she was talking? And why did I have to understand what she was trying to say, not what she was actually saying before she would then communicate "all the way"? I was just happy to find connection and afterward she was much much happier that her point of view had been completely expressed and communicated.

So reading between the lines, finding what is trying to be communicated (or withheld) so the dam will break and real communication can happen.
I've been doing the same with SIL, Mom, and ladies that I work with. HA!! This morning I was doing that over the phone with another co-worker over the phone (very nice gal I've known for a long time), and once again...... short and reserved during the conversation until I picked up on something (a frustration she was having) and then asked and expanded on it...... *BOOM* she opens up and talks about it for a good 20min. Happy Happy once it had all come out.... but did she outwardly say ANYTHING about what was actually bothering her.... NO!! She wanted someone to poke her on it.
So why.... why.... is this needed? The human desire that someone else will see something and draw it out? Everyone needs a poke? I don't know, but it's there. It's there in spades.
I don't think it's mindreading in the traditional sense, maybe a form of reasoning empathy? Something else?
I've noticed W is the same way...... leaving a lot out (MLC and pre-MLC) I just never had the sense to understand. Only face value, but not anymore.... and it isn't to say that there's always something else to be extracted...... sometimes there isn't, and the instinct says so when that's the case.
Anyway, I love it. Spill your guts people....... HA!!!
Is it the not knowing how to express yourself? Fear? Uncertainty? Judgment? Whatever it is, it's rampant. I think to see inside this is a good and useful skill, and I think the LBS (like the people here) become more and more direct (naturally) from the need to be stronger and assertive. Beating around the bush just isn't a thing for LBS's that work on themselves (I think)....... and that is a very mature and attractive quality we gain. Hmmmmm, maybe that's why I'm doing that now....... directly and assertively going after what others are not strong enough to say because I want to know what they're actually meaning? There's a thought. Hmmmmmmm. Is that mindreading....... I guess it sorta feels that way, but if it was mindreading then I'd be wrong a lot (guessing) and that hasn't been the case at all (not once). Empathetic fishing? No..... can't be that, my questions are pinpoint surgical. Ok, I don't know what the heck it is. Mindreading, at least that sounds impressive. HA!!

Journaling:
I had an old friend from high school pop up in my Facebook feed the other day. She's getting married....... again. This is #4 for her.  :o
Yikes!! Lots of wedding pictures, big ring, custom this, expressive that....... I felt so bad for the guy. Haven't talked to her in years, we used to be very close, but she is a user: A predator. Well, here's hoping she's ready to calm down....... like with so many things I didn't see or really understand before, oh I can see now. The need for external validation, excitement, happiness. Not saying she's had MLC or anything like that (I'm pretty sure she hasn't and won't)..... but the need so many people have for "something" to fill their life, and when it wears off...... they're on to the next new shiny thing to fill the void. It is quite sad, and in the process hurts a lot of people.  One of her pictures was the wedding kiss and it was commented "The kiss of my life"..... maybe for now, but you had the same kiss in the past too...... what happened to those kisses? Meaningless? I know she has accumulated large (LARGE - millions of dollars) assets thru her last two M's, and this guy looks like he has money too. I hope for the best, for her and this new guy....... history has a way of repeating though. I wonder if she actually feels love...... or just dopamine?

New eyes..... was the world always this way and I was just blind? Or does experience and maturity slant the world into something less romantic?
Gimme my rose tinted glasses back, darn it!!  :P  :P :P

One day at a time,

-SS
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Aliens stole my W!!!!! Part 11: Mars Attacks!!!
#35: May 27, 2021, 12:16:11 PM

So....... communication. Spoken, unspoken...... both exist.

No one's saying they don't both exist.  But in my opinion, in healthy communication, there really shouldn't be "poking."  And there shouldn't be people waiting to be "poked."
The work example, that may be different (without knowing context) but yes, sometimes you need information to get the job done. (I'd argue even there, if you have to constantly poke an employee or colleague to get required/necessary info out of them, that's a communication issue that really needs to be addressed.)

In relationships, though, marriage, partnership, if a person has something to say and they're not saying it, that's on them (provided they feel safe to communicate and they're just not saying what they mean.)  And playing guessing games with what is unsaid can be emotionally draining and lead to a disconnect in communication.
Healthy people communicate their needs and a marriage/intimate relationship especially needs that safe two-way explicit and overt communication of needs in order to remain stable and healthy.  JMHO. 
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« Last Edit: May 27, 2021, 12:17:43 PM by Nas »

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Aliens stole my W!!!!! Part 11: Mars Attacks!!!
#36: May 27, 2021, 12:32:52 PM
Then I am surrounded by unhealthy people NAS  ;D :D :)

HAHAHAHAHAHA!!

Seriously though.... I would say the majority of people I know fall into this category. I wonder why this is........ although to an extent I fell into this category myself in the past (not rocking boat). In the work environment I would assume it has to do with not rocking the boat..... this is see everywhere, from the bottom to the top of my organization. Lots of withholding and with it, frustrations..... which is so counter productive When people open up (without fear) it's amazing what can be accomplished.

In personal life, people seem so afraid to hurt anyone else's feelings that they don't say much, or just dance around issues.
You don't have this in your world? Sheesh, in mine it's normal. HAHAHAHAHHAH!!  ;)
No wonder I like unbroken people so much  ;)

-SS
 
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Aliens stole my W!!!!! Part 11: Mars Attacks!!!
#37: May 27, 2021, 12:37:09 PM
Again, just to reiterate, I see the lack of communication in the work environment differently than in an intimate relationship.  I think these are two different situations. 
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SS: FWIW I do find a significant portion of people I interact with outside of my close circle fall into that category of not clean and open communication Sometimes people mistake being nice and polite with not talking or sharing gently their needs and what hurts them. Its all about boundaries, empathy, self awareness and safety to be who we are and share it.

In my opinion if we emphasized that with kids, allowed them to grow up that way and be safe in themselves it would change. And life would be easier too. And honestly there would be much fewer instances of MLC.
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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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Aliens stole my W!!!!! Part 11: Mars Attacks!!!
#39: May 27, 2021, 02:43:48 PM
It’s interesting, the lack of open communication. There are many underlying reasons - some people are avoidant because being open makes them feel vulnerable or otherwise uncomfortable, some don’t communicate out of a misguided sense of wanting to protect the feelings of the other person or people involved, some do it intentionally to manipulate a person or situation, some don’t disclose things they feel aren’t relevant to the situation, when it turns out that that disclosure would have been helpful. Whether the underlying intentions are good or not, the effect is always miscommunication and distance. I think that the degree of miscommunication and the amount of distance it causes is magnified when the other person involved in the conversation believes that the noncommunicative person is being open and honest and forthcoming; so by reading between the lines, at least that person is aware that all is not as it seems. That doesn’t make the miscommunication any less unhealthy; and ultimately both people have to be open with each other, and neither should make assumptions or read between the lines - when in doubt, you should be able to ask for clarification. But, recognizing that an MLCer is inherently avoidant and not a good communicator, the LBS’ awareness of it is probably a good way to keep expectations at zero. It’s not a healthy situation, but it’s sometimes a bandaid that keeps things in perspective while communication remains poor.

And it’s true - in life, even outside of MLC, many or most of us do this to some degree, often with good intentions. And a little more openness, coupled with appropriate feedback gentleness or empathy, would probably be beneficial to all of us.
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Aliens stole my W!!!!! Part 11: Mars Attacks!!!
#40: May 27, 2021, 03:14:16 PM
I think it is magnified by MLC or Affair, the in my case, 1) The MLCer vacillating, so staying vague is beneficial to them, 2) Fantasy thinking that the OP is perfect for them because they are saying all the right stuff, so the LBS is not the right person bc the LBS is not a Mind Reader.

All bets are off when someone wants to be shady. 
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« Last Edit: May 27, 2021, 03:16:03 PM by Zion »

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Aliens stole my W!!!!! Part 11: Mars Attacks!!!
#41: May 27, 2021, 06:49:07 PM
Tossing this out there because it happens with my boss at work all the time. His words were " I really like the sky today. When there are no clouds the color is really clear." He THINKS he said "The sky is very blue." What someone heard was "There are no clouds today." What someone else heard what the boss doesn't like clouds. What a third person heard was that clouds make color murky. No one heard blue at all.

Sometimes people think they are conveying something because they know what they meant. They assume everyone else is thinking exactly the same way they are. It doesn't mean anyone else heard the same thing, and it can be frustrating for the first person because they thought they said what they meant and don't understand why no one understands what they said. When someone "pokes" them or seeks clarification, they finally see that what they were thinking is being verbalized correctly, and have no trouble expanding on it because it is now obvious that the person asking did NOT understand.

Communication is a fascinating thing.
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Aliens stole my W!!!!! Part 11: Mars Attacks!!!
#42: May 27, 2021, 11:17:58 PM
I inferred something rather different, SS, from both experiences you recounted, which was nothing about ‘mind reading’ or ‘poking’ at all. I think what you did was to make these folks feel seen. And that feeling seen encourages many of us to open up bc it feels safer and bc we feel emotionally validated by it.

But I would wave the big caveat flag that normal healthy relationship behaviours don’t work so well with unhealthy people.  ::) I think most LBS struggle with that for a while; we see things that seem like good tips and tools for fostering better relationships but hit our head against a wall of WTF trying to use them with people who are emotionally disordered or even abusive.

None of us come with subtitles, do we? And we have the right to speak up or not about things that are important to us. And an adult obligation to accept the consequences of being unheard or misunderstood if we do not. It seems to me that there is a normal set of assumptions that evolve in a normal long term relationship....that if you hated mushrooms last week, you still hate them this week  :)....as well as a shared need to adapt if that changes. But it is reasonable for me to assume your hatred of mushrooms for twenty years holds true until you say not....how exhausting would it be to live with everything as a clean unknown slate in a relationship, how irritating to be asked over and over about your mushroom stance  :) But it seems quite unreasonable (and impossible) to expect me to poke or wrestle your truth out of you and be blamed for not doing so or not being able to guess from your silence. And it seems to me at BD that this is exactly what happens bc we are dealing with an emotionally unhealthy adult who does not hold themselves accountable for their half of a shared communication.....
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I inferred something rather different, SS, from both experiences you recounted, which was nothing about ‘mind reading’ or ‘poking’ at all. I think what you did was to make these folks feel seen. And that feeling seen encourages many of us to open up bc it feels safer and bc we feel emotionally validated by it.

This is very true. I am a firm believer about providing “space” for others in any form of a relationship. But where does this cross over into infantilizing and enabling? Even with a “healthy” person (oh boy that’s a whole other can of worms) there is a limit to us leaving space for them vs “poking,” acting like they have no agency and are children who must be “coaxed” into telling us what is going on.
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Aliens stole my W!!!!! Part 11: Mars Attacks!!!
#44: May 28, 2021, 10:54:41 AM
I inferred something rather different, SS, from both experiences you recounted, which was nothing about ‘mind reading’ or ‘poking’ at all. I think what you did was to make these folks feel seen. And that feeling seen encourages many of us to open up bc it feels safer and bc we feel emotionally validated by it.


Ahhhhh....... see? T comes thru again!! Very astute and wise. Yes...... I couldn't formulate what it was, and "seen" is a great descriptor. Thank you T  :D
I like that a lot.

[Humor] So a person likes to be "Seen", does that make the person seeing them the "seer" - [bring out the crystal ball]  :P :D ;)

Great discussion.

-SS
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Aliens stole my W!!!!! Part 11: Mars Attacks!!!
#45: June 02, 2021, 09:06:15 PM
Journaling:

Still slowing down and speeding up  8) :P
Life is so good....... super busy, and good.

Tomorrow is our wedding anniversary...... 23 years. Of course she won't be here to be part of it, and I wonder if I'll get a call or text (and if I do, any mention on the day?). Maybe, or maybe not. Either way, it's ok and I'm ok. Still, it's one of those moments an LBS pauses for a moment, thinks about what was, what is, and what could be (or not). Bittersweet for sure, the wasting of time, except it isn't a waste at all. I'm going to do something good/fun for me, but what I'm not sure yet. Whichever way the winds blows I suppose. I went the the theater for the 1st time in over a year the other night.... I'd been dreaming about how wonderful some theater popcorn would be...... and it was nice but made me sick (too much oil, healthier body just didn't like it). Not doing that again.  :D

I've just about potty trained the little puppy. Oh boy that was time consuming...... three days now without a poop indoors. That's fantastic.  ;D

Something new which is interesting is the family has gotten really impatient that W hasn't come out of MLC yet. HAHAHAHAH!! I'm actually surprised that they've held on this long. My side of the family, her side of the family....... they're all grumbling and asking why I'm still here. On one hand, it's understandable. Up till now, it was my word which kept them all with some semblance of patience. Now, that patience (for them) seems to have run out....... now I'll be the crazy one to continue to hang on. This is a new dynamic (for me) but perfectly normal for anyone who has stood for any length of time. So I guess I'm part of an already existing sub-group of standers who is really alone (except for the people here).
It makes me question: How much do people love? Or is it just a matter of damage, pain and disappointment? When the tank runs empty for them, then it's empty? Well, for me the tank is not empty..... and I would hope that had it been me, someone would have still hoped and believed in me. When (my) mom started to not care and began second guessing the validity of standing, I knew time had finally run out for the family. That's ok, I'm still in it.... and I'm still the light, the strength, the glue and the hope. The winds may blow, the sea may roar, but I will not be moved. In the end, it was about two people not many, and in the end it only breaks when both have given up.

One day at a time,

-SS   
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Re: Aliens stole my W!!!!! Part 11: Mars Attacks!!!
#46: June 03, 2021, 03:55:26 AM
SS: that is a common experience, it is hard for outsiders (even sometimes family) to understand that idea, that you are willing to wait and be there for someone you love deeply. I am glad you are not letting it get to you, sometimes it can be tiring to hear it or have to explain again and again. I know at some point, like most, I simply stopped talking to most people about the whole thing.

I think its one of those things that they can’t get until they have “walked in your shoes.” Hang in there.
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Aliens stole my W!!!!! Part 11: Mars Attacks!!!
#47: June 03, 2021, 05:17:17 AM
Thanks Marvin,

It's not trying, to me it's funny as it was expected just the timing was unknown..... and now that timing is answered (in my sitch). It's understandable, but also a little disappointing...... it's not their M, so yup understandable....... and at the same time, a little  :o as this is family, not just mine but her's as well. You'd think that the MLC'ers side would hold out longer than the betrayed side but no, they actually gave up 1st. This isn't to say they aren't talking to her or anything like that, they shake their head and just accept that she is lost (with no expectation that she will recover).

Very interesting to me. What I also know is that someday when she does snap back into place (assuming she does), all these people will be the 1st to say "I knew you'd make it".  ::)
LOL!!

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Aliens stole my W!!!!! Part 11: Mars Attacks!!!
#48: June 03, 2021, 08:19:11 AM
Hi SS and Marvin,

I appreciate your discussion regarding Standing and how families and friends react to standing.   Although I am almost a year since BD and my W has filed, I am still standing for my marriage.  I have found the best approach is to communicate how I am moving forward with my life with family and friends while still standing for marriage keeping it mostly to myself.   The only person who ultimately needs to know I am standing is my W (not that it matters right now anyway)

My focus is moving forward while still leaving the door open with clear boundaries.   1)  Focus on God and bring our girls back to church  2)  Focus on self-healing and accept old marriage is dead  3).  Make commitment to IC and possibly MC  4).  Consider reconnection and rebuilding a new marriage

My W went through so much trauma when she was extremely ill over 10 years ago which is definitely one of the key factors driving her current crisis.  I have compassion for her but also have clear boundaries that need to be addressed.   Will my W even consider it, I have no idea.  I just know right now that she is not in a good place and am letting her figure things out.

HF
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Aliens stole my W!!!!! Part 11: Mars Attacks!!!
#49: June 03, 2021, 01:46:03 PM
That's wonderful HF,

Standing (I think) is the most difficult thing to do, and most people just can't/won't understand why someone would do it (Especially over the long run)..... and that's ok.

Minor Journal Update:
I did hear from W today (briefly), she was checking on the dog after I sent a cute picture last night (it was an opening that she could enter thru, and she did.... HAHAHAHAHA!!).
Anyway...... she asked how I was (I'm good) and I asked the same in return...... she said her hair has stopped falling out and her hands have stopped shaking..... and that she was feeling "more normal".
How interesting right? Not that I'm expecting any kind of break-thru, I'm just happy she has found some little bit of peace and hopefully it can last for a time (for her sake). It has to be terribly disconcerting to know you're out of control and not "normal". What a awful place. Well, when you're going thru hell.... KEEP GOING!!   
Makes me wonder what happens to an MLC when all external stress is removed and they are left with only themselves? Sorta like how you can cure diabetes if you can refrain from all sugar and carbs to reset insulin sensitivity. Just an interesting thought and question (with no answer). HA!!

My little hound-dog came across some wild rabbits last night on his walk. He's a small guy and didn't know what to think (with a snort)...... then discovered he loves them as they hopped away from him. LOL!! Big dog in a little body..... BAHAHAHAAAHA!!

One day at a time,

-SS 
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Aliens stole my W!!!!! Part 11: Mars Attacks!!!
#50: June 07, 2021, 01:21:35 PM
Journaling:

What a sad day...... I was looking thru YouTube and watched the new video on Affair Recovery only to see that Sam and his wife are calling it quits.  :-[
I know that channel isn't the same as MLC, but there's so many parts which overlap. So sad to see a couple work so hard, for years, and in the end just can't overcome it.  Of course you never know by watching what is really going on, but it seems pretty obvious that he (Sam) got to some point where he couldn't keep going..... and he's the betrayer. Big letdown..... and so unfair to the faithful W......... I always thought the worst outcome to MLC (IMO) is to make it to the end and then have the betrayer call it quits..... but it happens. (and for the record, I don't believe he had an MLC - but I do think he could be going into one now..... just in case anyone else watches that channel).

On to me!! HA!! 1st big family gathering since Covid hit... that was fantastic. Of course no W...... the family just avoids any questions involving W now, like she doesn't even exist. Not a surprise, but it's sad you know? Someone who was such a part, so accepted and so loved..... *POOF*...... like they never were. If she does work thru her stuff and we do make it thru........ there's going to be a long period before any of them really accept her again. Such a shame. As for her, she's doing her disappearing thing: No contact.

I've been very active in the gym and that has been wonderful. So much fun, and you know, it's sooooo easy when you aren't cooking for anyone else!!  :P
Been hitting the theatre and now I'm out of movies to watch. LOL!! It takes me back to right after BD and I went to the 1st movie by myself in 2 decades....... how sad and strange it was, and like all eyes were on me...... now it isn't weird, sad or different.... it just is. In a way I reflect on how good that is (growth), and in other ways about how the specialness is gone. No excitement, no tingles, no sharing. The thing I miss most is reaching into the popcorn and finding a hand there.  :)

One day at a time,

-SS


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Re: Aliens stole my W!!!!! Part 11: Mars Attacks!!!
#51: June 07, 2021, 07:02:31 PM
SS - I saw that and thought the same thing as you.  It felt like someone had died.  Very sad for them both.  They seemed like a success story.
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Re: Aliens stole my W!!!!! Part 11: Mars Attacks!!!
#52: June 07, 2021, 07:39:42 PM
SS - I saw that and thought the same thing as you.  It felt like someone had died.  Very sad for them both.  They seemed like a success story.

Did you catch all his verbiage in his videos the last couple weeks? He talks about being true to himself, keeping people at arms length when being honest with himself, different seasons of healing (implying that he has entered a new one - I guess one not involving his W  :o ), moving on to another relationship, remaining friends, not being defined by your actions/history/event, etc? I just cringed. So much justification and so much smoothing (wallpapering).
For all that knowledge about restoration, and being surrounded by knowledgeable peers in that area of expertise....... what a sad event. I feel so bad for his W. One last ultimate betrayal...... and sad for the kids too (notice he's like "oh we're going to co-parent, it's going to be fine'). I get it that he probably took all kinds of damage by being so public with his story, and feeling judged for years on end, but it also shows (if he's entering MLC) that the avoidance is so deep rooted in people. He also implies that his avoidance was always there, all these years of making videos...... so was it all a lie? Or is he rewriting history?
I hope he pulls thru it, whatever it is..... I think he is a good person, but harboring much damage beneath the surface.
Just a person, like we all are.

-SS
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Aliens stole my W!!!!! Part 11: Mars Attacks!!!
#53: June 07, 2021, 11:44:55 PM
On the family event, SS, it reminded me of the inevitable truth that life moves forwards whether we like it or not and that we humans have a great facility for adapting over time to a new normal. Which is probably sometimes both a strength and a weakness perhaps....and that it could be argued that sometimes, or for a while maybe, we LBS keep a past alive bc it mattered to us so much. Not forever, but for a while maybe, while life moves forward around us anyway. Actually I wonder if both LBS and MLC folks share that in a strange way? There are plenty of anecdotes about reappearing MLCers seeming almost unaware that a small child is now a teenager. And just as many perhaps of an LBS having those moments of almost surprise that their world has moved on and the MLCer no longer fits in it somehow.

I suppose, to me, the takeaway from both events (and I found Affair Recovery was one of the few places that seemed to ‘get’ the traumatic impact of betrayal even if by then, for me, the behaviour of reconciliation seemed like an unimaginable wisp  :) ) is that I guess I do think that we are defined by our actions. That we create our own life stories by what we do or don’t do.....and if we don’t  like the story, we need to take ownership of it - good and bad - in order to act differently to change its direction. I suspect folks in crisis do believe they are changing their story. And tbh as human beings that is their right. The fundamental flaw, it seem to me, is their willingness to hold themselves accountable for their actions and the effects of them.....it’s probably a pretty good guide that if someone is still blaming others for their unhappiness or alternatively seeing others as the solution to it, they are at best a work in progress. And tbh, galling as it is lol, I suspect the same is true for us as LBS.....at some point our healing needs to stop being about the initial nail, doesn’t it? (And I say this as someone who took years and a solid dose of PTSD to get to that point despite some HS vets trying very hard to prod me into doing so ha ha)

You’re sounding pretty good, SS, and I hope that is how life is feeling for you right now regardless of your currently invisible wife.
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Aliens stole my W!!!!! Part 11: Mars Attacks!!!
#54: June 08, 2021, 06:38:28 AM
Hello,

Quote
Of course no W...... the family just avoids any questions involving W now, like she doesn't even exist.

I think they do it out of respect for you. They see you doing well and moving forward and don't want to appear as if they are dragging you down. After all, if there was good news; she would have been at the event.

Quote
I suspect folks in crisis do believe they are changing their story.

I have been reading articles on how our emotions play just as much in our decision making process even when we think we are making "rational" decisions. While fear makes us more apprehensive and uncertain, anger makes us more decisive and more inclined to take risks. Since depression pervades throughout MLC and anger is one of the prevailing moods of depression, it provides a great connection that the anger stirs the decisions made by the MLCer.

Quote
Angry people are more likely to put the blame on individuals, rather than “society,” or fate. Anger makes people more likely to take risks and to minimize how dangerous those risks will be. Other researchers have shown that angry people rely more on stereotypes and are more eager to act. It’s an activating emotion: In lab studies, people shown angry faces crave a reward more intensely.

https://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2016/09/the-best-headspace-for-making-decisions/500423/

The anger that fuels the monster that lashes out at you justifies the OW, addictions, and other pursuits as the just rewards that they deserve after denying themselves for so long.

Now, I don't want to oversimplify that if we somehow end the anger, the MLCer is cured and we can all move forward. It is just one face of the complexities of MLC or just one layer of the many layers that enable one to make decisions that ultimately blow up their current reality.

Furthermore, there are many times when anger makes us decisive when we need to act quickly.

Now the biggest takeaway from the article for the LBSer is that we need to understand our own emotional state when making decisions and acknowledge how we feel is a driving force in how we act or react in a given situation.

Quote
You’re sounding pretty good, SS, and I hope that is how life is feeling for you right now regardless of your currently invisible wife.

I agree and have a quick question, when you think you are alone in the house, do you hear footsteps but don't see anyone? 

Have a great day,

((((Ready))))

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Aliens stole my W!!!!! Part 11: Mars Attacks!!!
#55: June 08, 2021, 07:21:00 PM
And just as many perhaps of an LBS having those moments of almost surprise that their world has moved on and the MLCer no longer fits in it somehow.

 I suspect folks in crisis do believe they are changing their story. And tbh as human beings that is their right. The fundamental flaw, it seem to me, is their willingness to hold themselves accountable for their actions and the effects of them.....it’s probably a pretty good guide that if someone is still blaming others for their unhappiness or alternatively seeing others as the solution to it, they are at best a work in progress. And tbh, galling as it is lol, I suspect the same is true for us as LBS.....at some point our healing needs to stop being about the initial nail, doesn’t it? (And I say this as someone who took years and a solid dose of PTSD to get to that point despite some HS vets trying very hard to prod me into doing so ha ha)



Hey T  :D

It's funny you say that..... I've been pondering lately about the LBS journey and what all it encompasses.... especially grow and what growth means in the larger scheme of things. That thing about the MLC'er not fitting anymore is a very interesting concept...... as it seems from reading about others journeys that they grow and heal until one day, they've had enough. Very interesting..... almost like it's a race. The MLC'er takes off in a sprint and tries to sever their connections (which they do - only to sometimes find they can't sever them all or overlook some obvious connections during their manic scissoring fit). If they aren't successful, then the LBS grows, becomes stronger, detaches and eventually finds that they are good all alone (or alone from their MLC'er anyway). Then a different form of scissoring happens - much to the MLC'ers surprise and sometimes horror. Is this accountability, growth and assertiveness? Self-preservation?  Hmmmmmm, I'm not sure. I wonder if it's something else: A needed step down the path which is designed to either snap that MLC'er back, or to finally let go. A crossroads of sorts. We do know it often takes this "snap" to get the MLC'ers attention, but we also know after this "snap" happens it's often too late and the door has closed. HA!!! Maybe it's not the snap they hear, maybe it's the door shutting and the lock turning. LOL!! Funny, but sad.
What do you think?

-SS
 
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Aliens stole my W!!!!! Part 11: Mars Attacks!!!
#56: June 08, 2021, 07:32:18 PM
have a quick question, when you think you are alone in the house, do you hear footsteps but don't see anyone? 


((((Ready))))

Hey Ready  :D

The invisible W has been anchor checking about once a week. So mostly invisible with a every so often "I'm here, are you there?". LOL!!
What would be so interesting to know (and there's no knowing), is how this thought process enters the MLC'er mind. Is it something that builds up until they need to know? Or is it like a record skipping and it just pops in there, with an urgency they can't ignore?

That anger and emotion you talk about, oh yes.... I agree. In W's case she runs very hot. So quick to anger (especially since shadow began). She has plenty to be angry about (lots of FOO issues)....... but I also know what she's like when she's not angry...... was a sweet, caring and wonderful person. How terrible how MLC and damage robs them of themselves. As large as it is, I wonder how someone could face all that and not have a total collapse. I can't even imagine having to do that, makes my head hurt. So glad I'm not all messed up.

-SS
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Aliens stole my W!!!!! Part 11: Mars Attacks!!!
#57: June 13, 2021, 01:07:51 PM
Journaling:

I decided to send little photos to W, just to remind her that life is good here..... and what do you know, she stated asking questions which culminated in her announcing yesterday that she will be back on Friday.  :D
This is a big surprise. I was expecting another month of her being gone. Hopefully she will continue to take time off instead of just going back to work, but who knows.....
I also discovered that MIL will come stay with us for a couple months in the middle of July, so maybe it was all planned (probably) and I'm just getting the memo now ::)
In any case, it'll be nice to have her around again, and it'll be great to see MIL for a while. As usual when she's returning, now she is talkative and texting "good morning" and bla bla bla...... always like that when she's trying to smooth things over.  ::)

And there it is: my break appears to be coming to an end. So much has happened with the month off, and I have lots of cleaning to do  :P

I'll be counting the days until my vacation in Aug though. I'll probably need it by then.  ;D

-SS
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Aliens stole my W!!!!! Part 11: Mars Attacks!!!
#58: June 13, 2021, 07:29:49 PM
Quote
What a sad day...... I was looking thru YouTube and watched the new video on Affair Recovery only to see that Sam and his wife are calling it quits.
.

WHAT??  Is this true?.  Years I have been watching him.  I can hardly even begin to believe it......But what about all the "stuff" he said?  The lessons, advice , growth etc?     Feels similar to another betrayal....
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Aliens stole my W!!!!! Part 11: Mars Attacks!!!
#59: June 18, 2021, 09:40:59 PM
Journaling:

W returned home this afternoon.  :)
Picked her up at the airport...... no hug, no kiss, no "I missed you"...... very robotic, and that is normal. No surprises.  :-\
Then we went and had a late lunch, early dinner at the Waffle House..... ohhhh that was good  :P
She seemed a little more like her old self..... and it turns out she is not returning to work yet (GOOD), and to double that up, when she returns to work it will be half time!! (GOOD). This would be wonderful if her work addiction could be broken...... not holding my breath, but we'll see.

Anyway, she seems like there's less stress and a little (little) more like the person I knew...... but still very distant.
Later when we got home, she did great with the little dog. It was nice to see her connect with the little creature. He was ecstatic to see her, and initially didn't know who she was...... not until he sniffed her  :D

Then...... to throw the monkey into the wrench......... she had a problem with her suitcase..... the lock on it was broken. She couldn't open it. She lays down and cries about the unfairness of it all...... how this always happens to her....... full blown meltdown, tantrum. Like a little kid. I was just like "really?"  :o The emotional immaturity is still there in full force, maybe even less control than before since she just came from a month off. Sheesh. I could scarcely believe it. Then I fixed it, and instantly...... *POOF* like it never happened.  :o
Blows my mind.

Oh these MLC'ers....... HA!!!

There was a lot of mirroring going on...... W: "Oh you're going to the gym again...... well I'm going to return to my Gym too!!". Great, knock yourself out. Always a competition, never wanting to be left out. Didn't notice how clean I kept the house, how well I took care of the little dog...... it was all "me me me". Not surprised, and it didn't take long at all for her to fall asleep (and she's been asleep about 5 hours now........ now it's actually time to go to bed). No surprises, funny how it's always so strange to be re-exposed to the twilight zone each time she comes back, and each time it's a  :o how do I forget what this is like? I think I'm addicted to normal. LOL!!
HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHA!!

-SS
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Aliens stole my W!!!!! Part 11: Mars Attacks!!!
#60: June 19, 2021, 06:38:27 PM
Journaling:

1st day with W back....... She slept and slept all night...... woke up tired, remained tired throughout the day. It has to have been 14 hours of sleep for her last night. I'm glad she got it, and she was so happy to be back in her own bed.  :D

Today she wanted to see her nephews and sister at the mall.... so we went. She latched onto the teenagers instantly and disappeared (mostly). HAHAHAAHAH!! SIL made the comment of "look, an Old teenager". HAHAHAHAHAHAH!! We had a good time taking, she asked if W had grown up at all yet....... I didn't even have to answer. LOL!!
Still, it was very nice...... and afterward we went to pawnshops and indoor flea markets (just the two of us). Had a really good time. There were moments (quite a few) where she seemed normal, and that was very enjoyable. She's still in there.

She's hooked into the dog which is great.... and good for the little dog too.  :D I suppose it's true that a new little animal can be beneficial for the MLC'er. I think besides the teenagers, she is only emotionally available to the little dog.

There was a few tense moments that were interesting...... we had lunch at the food court and I had Chinese...... I gave her my fortune cookie and for once she didn't read the fortune out loud and just crumpled it up and kept talking. I unwadded it and read it "you will have a new relationship soon". Ah...... yeah, I wouldn't read that out loud either. It seems we have a long way to go before there's any talk about that. Along the same line, we were talking about a young gal who was having some troubles in her M....... and how she is acting out (giving up and cheating)..... W wasn't aware of this aspect of the situation and got very quiet as she slowly said "oh that's.... bad". I didn't bring up this conversation, but I'm not shielding her from difficult things anymore either. Very interesting to see her morality conflict spin some wheels up top.

About time for the dog's very 1st walk with W. This should be fun.

-SS
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Aliens stole my W!!!!! Part 11: Mars Attacks!!!
#61: June 27, 2021, 10:41:41 AM
Journaling:

So much the last week and a half....... so much going on.....

Well, where to start. I've tried journaling a couple times, but there was always something right on the edge to include next and so I held off. HA!!! There's always something "next". LOL!!

W's work has come into question. They have demoted her, taken away her team, and it all seems to be hanging by a thread. I was wondering what would happen long term with her career, but I also knew all her energy has gone into preserving it the last couple years. I guess there less energy than I thought.
I feel for her, and at the same time, breaking this obsession for work would be a good thing...... and it would require some catastrophic event to accomplish. The next few days will be very telling. W is very stressed about it, I have no control over this area and I hope it all works out the way it needs to (actually I know it will....... it just may be very difficult, for her and in turn for me). I'm prepared to be the sole income, and at the same time I know this would put me in a bad position....... she can still go off the rails completely and it's not good to be the only source of income......... but, you're either all in or you're not. I'm all in, and I can't see tomorrow, so I'll let it worry about itself.... today has enough all on it's own.

W and I went to the movies yesterday...... that was very nice. It was the 1st time in at least a year and a half. Maybe the 2nd time since MLC began. I look at that as a good sign. Just a small little step.

W has also begun cleaning like she used to. Also a good step in the right direction. Is this some return of normalcy? Preparation before company? Something else? Who knows, all I know is it's nice to see and that's all there is to it. Take it for what it is and leave it at that. Give some positive reinforcement and go back to me.

There is much more approaching, more talk, a little more consideration (not too much), and all that is good. I think there is a significant danger for her at this time where her career could be lost and she's making sure she will survive........ so eyes wide open, no fairytales and rainbows (unfortunately).
She's been seeing her IC twice a week since getting back, so I know there's a lot going on there. What, who knows and I'm not probing.

On to me!!
My workouts are going great, hitting new highs almost every day. This is wonderful. Nothing getting in the way, nothing stopping me. Even with W home, I'm not letting my diet go to crap. 6 pack I'm coming for you!! Eating pretty darn clean, and keeping the macros in check every day.

What the future holds, no idea. I'm strong enough to go it alone or allow someone to come with (W). She's still so far away, and I hope getting better but I'm not waiting, not watching, and the clock keeps ticking. The race against myself continues and I think at this point...... I'm winning by a wide margin.
Not a bad place to be, at all.

One day at a time,

-SS
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Aliens stole my W!!!!! Part 11: Mars Attacks!!!
#62: June 27, 2021, 11:54:58 AM
Hi SS,

Sounds like a good update.  My W also struggled with her job performance in the fall when she was still living at home.  Seems like she is slightly better now.  This could ultimately help your W with her recovery as she can evaluate what she truly wants or can handle with her career.  Seems you are giving her enough support while still giving her the distance that she needs.

Wish you the best as you take care of yourself while supporting your W on her journey.

HF

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#63: June 27, 2021, 02:18:06 PM
I hope so HF  :D


Minor Journaling Update:
W had a moment of..... openness a little while ago...... mentioned some little comment/joke about being fired. I asked (lightly) if that could happen. She said that if she gets mad enough that she could quit. Hmmmmmm interesting.
She said she'd have to find something else if that happened..... that we need money. I mentioned, "or you could take some time off...... work on your dream......"
She perked up at this........ saying she would have some money........ and that she had been thinking about it.........
AH HA!! The truth is revealed!!
Interesting isn't it. Of course I'm paraphrasing....... but read between the lines.... oh yes. Mindreading...... maybe...... the truth was in there, just begging to come out.... just needing a nudge, or a hand.
So W is seriously thinking about giving up her career. Wow. I have prayed for this. It would be tough, it would be an adjustment (a big one) and a challenge.
Fascinating. Would it be good for her? Oh yes.... I have no doubt. Would it be good for us? Yup... without a doubt. Does it clear up the last couple years? Nope.... not at all. Absolutely puts us on a collision with the truth I think sooner than otherwise. Isn't that crazy?
Of course, it all depends on what happens tomorrow and whatever occurs out of that.

Tomorrow's a big, big day. Maybe there will be some direction, maybe not.
What I find really, really interesting is the change that seems (maybe I'm wrong) to be underway: What she wants and wants to do appears to be changing dramatically. I couldn't imagine her so willingly be able to accept that her career could be over and leave that behind...... but here she is flirting with it. Shocking. For so long this has been the center of her life. Nothing ever came close to it. Not me, not family, not hobbies or dreams...... nothing..... and all she's sacrificed for it: no kids, no real hobbies, dreams on hold, everything. I dare to hope that she has woken up to the reality that the modern conventional wisdom that a career is the answer to everything....... except now she's on the other side of the desk, and not only is she expendable, but they don't care one lick about her. That's a bitter lesson to learn when you've given everything. One lesson to learn among many needed lessons. Oh for her sake, I really hope she is learning, growing, becoming. Still a million miles away from me, and no end in sight......... but I hope. 

One day at a time,

-SS
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Aliens stole my W!!!!! Part 11: Mars Attacks!!!
#64: June 28, 2021, 03:32:16 PM
Journaling:

Well, the big day came...... and W went to work with both barrels blazing.
She got her position restored, everything apparently put right.

One one hand, this is a big relief. I won't be the sole breadwinner for awhile yet. On the other hand, it was a nice thought to have her home and break that addiction.
As it turns out, she now has a bad taste in her mouth and wants (for the moment) to leave her job in a couple years. She seems rather strong in this stance (for the moment). If she is realizing that the corporate world doesn't give a crap about you, then hey...... that's growth.
Perhaps this small dose of reality will be a stepping stone.... or maybe not. In any case, this crossroads went in one direction and not the one it was looking like. Not a big deal, and the twists and turns only sometimes go the way you think they will....... so I roll with it. Maybe this was the best outcome, I'll get to see it clearly in hindsight later.

Now to see if she actually steps back a bit like she keeps saying she will. I hope that's the case, but it's also her choice.  :-X

One day at a time,

-SS
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#65: June 28, 2021, 03:42:42 PM
How, exactly, did she get from demoted to "getting her position restored"? Most companies will just show you the door if you come in with "both barrels blazing." I've not seen that work ever.  I am very curious, did she tell you how she got her position restored? Maybe whomever demoted her had no power to do so, or the like? (Serious question, because I truly have only seen people who come in demanding things get fired unless they are already in a position of power, not trying to get one back)
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#66: June 28, 2021, 04:18:45 PM
Hey Offroad,

She's very, very good at her job..... and she was an HR manager for many years. They way they changed her position wasn't legal when it comes to FMLA and all the protected classes she falls into. So really, they hadn't thought too much about it and she was loaded for bear.

When she came home and gloated....... it was a side I've rarely seen....... and to be honest, not a side I really liked seeing. It is a cold, angry and ugly W. That corporate "take no prisoners", heartless side. I know she was just defending herself, and she can defend herself very, very well.
Not something I like....... of course she loves it....... feels powerful. Just a façade, a mask, a role..... or at least I hope so. It reminds me that deep down, she's capable of anything (without a hesitation or second thought). Very narcissistic and arrogant when in that frame of mind...... and very intelligent and manipulative.

-SS 
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#67: June 28, 2021, 04:27:07 PM


Hey Offroad,

She's very, very good at her job..... and she was an HR manager for many years. They way they changed her position wasn't legal when it comes to FMLA and all the protected classes she falls into. So really, they hadn't thought too much about it and she was loaded for bear.

When she came home and gloated....... it was a side I've rarely seen....... and to be honest, not a side I really liked seeing. It is a cold, angry and ugly W. That corporate "take no prisoners", heartless side. I know she was just defending herself, and she can defend herself very, very well.
Not something I like....
... of course she loves it....... feels powerful. Just a façade, a mask, a role..... or at least I hope so. It reminds me that deep down, she's capable of anything (without a hesitation or second thought). Very narcissistic and arrogant when in that frame of mind...... and very intelligent and manipulative.

-SS 
I’m really struck by the fact that you said you do not like the fact that she can defend herself very well. Can you say more about this?

I find a woman’s ability to defend herself to be a really important strength. It sounds like her company tried to pull a sneaky move and she turned the tables on them. When she came home “gloating” are you sure she wasn’t just proud of being strong enough to stand up for herself?
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#68: June 28, 2021, 07:27:23 PM
I'll let SS speak for himself, but I thought it was the cold,  angry and ugly W he didn't like. It just so happened his wife was defending herself, and the particular way she was gloating was unattractive. That's how I read it, FWIW.

Thanks, SS. If they were stupid enough to step all over FMLA, that was very foolish on their part. I didnt realize she had filed for FMLA and they demoted her based on her being gone, rather than her performance slipping prior to her leaving. I won't be surprised if they find some way to phase her job out, though. Good or not matters little when someone becomes a liability due to their attitude. I've  watched it happen many times. Maybe she keeps it together at work, but if she was demoted at all it sure doesnt sound like it.

I hope it works out for the best, however it lands.
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#69: June 28, 2021, 09:04:11 PM
That's very interesting NAS......... how things are read and how they are interpreted. Very interesting, and curious.

What I don't like is cold and ruthless. This is not an attractive quality, in anyone.
Of course I want W to be able to defend herself. There's a different between defense and being a shark smelling blood....... and to revel in it. Yeah, that isn't good. After her meeting, when she told me about it....... yes it was gloating.

W has (half) joked in the past that she would have been an outstanding Attorney..... she even thought about going back to school to become one. It's interesting how she can switch from being relatively kind and thoughtful (in her way) to being a cold, brutal cutthroat. In moments of her depression (in the years before and after BD) she would sadly call herself a b**ch. This was shocking to me, and I believe now that she was looking at herself thru the lens of the woman I love, seeing what she was now in these cutthroat moments (which evidently is all the time at work). It's sad. Tragic. I think as a person she could have gone either way (all in) and instead straddled the middle. I hope MLC will make her choose one side or the other. One is beautiful, the other is not.
 
This has also come with various other personality aspects in the past 10 years that surface occasionally: An anger at men. A predisposition to thinking things are stacked against her because she's a woman. A belief that there's a double standard in all things. Maybe there is some truth to this, but I have noticed this behavior and mindset has become more prevalent as time has gone on. This actually would be an area of discussion that would interest me greatly with the ladies on the board. What is true?

-SS
   
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#70: June 29, 2021, 05:43:16 AM
I bolded the part of what you said that struck me, so thank you for clarifying. Given the limited information we have about what happened specific to her and her employer, I don’t think I have enough information to further this larger discussion in the way that you requested. I mean, so many things come into play here, women in the workplace, office politics, gender inequality, the way women are perceived by others (a b!tc#, weak and helpless - when maybe it’s not either of those but the preconceived notions of others) and the way we view ourselves and how those views were formed (societal notions, FOO…)
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#71: June 29, 2021, 09:37:35 AM
I mean, so many things come into play here, women in the workplace, office politics, gender inequality, the way women are perceived by others (a b!tc#, weak and helpless - when maybe it’s not either of those but the preconceived notions of others) and the way we view ourselves and how those views were formed (societal notions, FOO…)

See, now this would be a fascinating topic...... and while there can't be a definitive answer to this, I think there is plenty of information to at least achieve a grasp of what this is about and what is behind it. It is a can of worms, so I acknowledge that right off the bat (and a hot button issue for many people - which actually enthralls me, because sensitive things means you're getting close to something of actual importance).

I can only speak from my experiences in the professional workspace, so this will be limited to what I have observed and read (and attempt to put them together). I'd love to hear a woman's perspective, not only for my own knowledge but in the way it could help me to understand W (as it directly correlates to her situation).
I work in what used to be a male dominated department (20 years ago), and it became female parity maybe 12 years ago and has been female dominated at least 6 years. This has been very interesting, to watch this evolution of workplace. I'm an observer of people, it's always held great fascination for me. People are interesting!!  :D
Anyway....... when I started, there was the usual talk of equality, treatment, etc...... but it was rather quiet. More of something hushed or unsaid (whispered). Now I'm not someone who likes anything improper to be hidden in the dark. Bring it out and correct that which is wrong. So I was happy when we reached male/female parity a while back. I thought it would improve things. In my field, it's all professionals........ licensed professionals,  bachelors and masters degrees  typically. Something I noticed a long time ago was the number of men applying to work was decreasing and the number of women was increasing. Great. You do the work, you get the degree, you get the job. Simple. Doesn't matter if you're a man or a woman. This is improvement. Fairness, and hopefully the elimination of sex as a factor in the workplace. Very simple to my optimistic mind.  :P

Later, we became a female dominated office. Now at a rate of 75% female, 25% male. This is top leadership all the way down to the bottom. Pervades the whole office. No problem to me: we're all just people. Now discrimination, pay disparity, all those terrible things we've been told for years should be over right? I mean, if a woman is assigning a salary...... then there is no pay disparity right? Women in leadership positions, there can't be tolerance for sexism, inappropriate comments, all the things we've had annual training on seemingly forever. Well, that's what I would have thought. I mean when you set out with a goal, there has to be a finish line or there's no reason to set out on that goal (to me).
To my great surprise, that talk about equality, pay disparity, sexism, that all that increased in my environment. The amount of anger increased in the women I worked with, and the amount of concern and fear with the remaining men increased. What is this? To my eyes, awareness became a catalyst for anger in substitution of actual event. This was madness (IMO). We didn't solve the problem, we made it worse. How could this be?

Then I began seeing/understanding other things that I had never considered. This wasn't just observation, I would talk with lots of the women, many of which I've know for many years. There was so much infighting, more than I've ever seen in the past. Lots of politicking, positioning, allying. This is not conducive to a professional setting...... and so much anger and unhappiness. I thought to myself, "is it the workload? Are people just burning out? I'm busy like never before, what is this?". So I went to statistics, hard data for the last 30 years in our setting. The workload was the same. Hmmmmm. Maybe the nature of the work had changed? Didn't seem like it, but I also couldn't prove that one way or the other. Unknown.

Then I noticed something really interesting: Happiness. A few of the ladies had babies in a short amount of time. They changed overnight. Oh they were wonderful people already: hardworking, driven, nice to me....... but angry in general, unhappy, unsatisfied, restless. Then a baby showed up..... *POOF*...... instant change. 180 degrees. Remarkable. In every instance I observed, their work became secondary and instead of working late, they were rushing the door at 5 (or before) because they so wanted to see their little one..... and they were HAPPY. Not burnt out, not angry.... happy. I was so happy for them. They found something special, meaningful, eventful and wonderful. How grand. Magical. I also noticed that with this group, the politicking, positioning, fighting among peers ended. Fascinating. The center of their world shifted, and I enjoyed stopping by to inquire about the kiddo only to have their eyes light up as they filled me in on the newest things. What a beautiful thing.

It was around that time that I also noticed something else: The unhappy women......... they typically come to us right out of school..... mid/late 20's. Most will stay into their mid 30's, and a few stay with us into the 40's or forever. I slowly began to see that the vast majority of these women were unmarried. Huh...... since they are professionals, maybe they're just waiting until later. That was my assumption. I hear all the time now that the "right" method is career 1st, family later in life, and you can have it all (which is a lie). Me personally, I wanted to marry young, and I did. Very young.  ;D And I'm so glad I did. The office is a virtual meat market, and I'm so glad I was never in that world. What a mess. The endless comings and goings of so-and-so dating someone for three months and then someone else.... on and on..... "we're in love!!!" (and then broken up a week later). It's like high school, except these are suppose to be mature adults. Nonsense.

Anyway, I noticed that as they grew older, they became harder, angrier, and more vocal about problems in the workplace (real? or imagined?)........ even women in leadership. How can your unit have these problems if you are the one in command? I was flabbergasted. My division begins and ends with me. There is no behavior, no action,  no movement I'm not aware of and keep tight reigns on my people. That I'm a man in this environment means I have to do it better, faster and perfect or else I will become an easy target simply for being a man (I've seen this 1st hand). I'm sure they would replace me with a woman if there was a reason to. As it is, I make the women above me look like a million bucks..... and so I'm useful...... but I can never let that slip. I'm very much looking forward to retirement in a few years........ it's not longer about the work, it's only about making people look good, and that's not how it used to be.

Our instances of being sued by former employees has increased 500% in the last four years, and all the suits are by women. I don't understand any of this.
Anger is on the rise, tensions are on the rise..... all the while, education (forced education) about how bad things are continues to increase. I've had four mandatory trainings in the last year about "white privilege", "male privilege", and "social justice", where I come out feeling like I've been taken to the head with a 2 x 4 and none of it is true. Propaganda. What it did teach me is: There is no goal line, the goal posts move and continue to move...... and so (I believe) women get angrier, and since the workplace is majority female, it reinforces itself. An endless loop.
Who are the ones which escape? The ones who get married and have babies. 

Well, I'm sure I've lit the fire for some...... but it's an interesting topic, is it not?
I think to some extent, my W is caught up in this...... her anger has been on the rise well before MLC, and the comments about "men" continue to increase...... how to deal with it...... I don't know if there's anything I can do about it..... except understand it more than I do now, and that requires the input of women. Heck, it'd be good to hear from the guys too and know what they see "out there".  8)

I hope for the happiness of all, and that all can have good and fulfilling lives.  ;D
Truth is required for all that.

-SS
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#72: June 29, 2021, 10:04:07 AM
Can I ask you to restate your stance in like one or two sentences?
Because I've ready your post twice and I don't think I'm following.  What I read in your response is that 1) you don't feel there's anything new for you to learn through training about privilege/social injustice/inequality/pay disparity, and 2) that women contribute more to office infighting and feel oppressed/angry/unhappy/even more litigious unless/until they get married and have babies.  And if they don't get married and have babies, as time goes on they just harden and become angry and bitter.
Please tell me I have misunderstood you.  I will be very, very happy to stand corrected.  :-\
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#73: June 29, 2021, 10:10:20 AM
I definitely have more to say later, but you really said a lot when you mentioned we, as women, are told we can have it all. IMO, we are told we can not just have it all, but DO it all, and if you don't aspire to something along those lines, you are "lazy".  I was a Girl Scout leader and for all those years, the message to the girls was "be a leader". I'm more about "Find what you love, do what you love, and it happens to be being a leader, cool. If it doesn't, cool". To use a politically incorrect saying, you can't have all Chiefs and no Indians.

From where I was standing, the message to girls was "Climb the ladder, be a leader, and still be feminine and look good all the time, be forever "happy"and attract a mate, because you are nothing without one". A woman was not allowed to have a bad day, be as forceful as a man (because then they are a b!tch) or heaven forbid, gain weight without massive judgement.

THAT is what my Ds generation was handed. Add to that, with so many spouses going wayward, MLC or not, the girls get to see that they cannot trust a man to keep a commitment. If they can't trust their own father, who can they trust? IMO, having trust issues puts you on high alert for anyone to dump on you, which doesn't make a person pleasant for the most part.

Those are part of my observations with my D. The whole baby thing is a whole other discussion and disparity in salary is not necessarily only gender (or race or whatever) based. Much has to do with personality. But that is also another post.

The above represents moo and in no way represents the thoughts or opinions of anyone else, ever.  :)  Your mileage may vary.
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Aliens stole my W!!!!! Part 11: Mars Attacks!!!
#74: June 29, 2021, 11:16:27 AM
That was beautiful OffRoad  ;D 8)

Yes! Super helpful...... to see what it's like to be a woman, from inside a woman's shoes.  :D
What you just said there, I can see or experience myself. Super helpful and insightful (and helps have a great appreciation).

That is very interesting: the whole wayward father aspect..... being on alert. That makes a lot of sense. I wonder how that works in reverse? Would it be the same? Or different? (I ask because W's mom ran off, not her dad). Of course both roles are so important to children and the roles are different.

All chiefs no indians, oh I totally agree..... and I find that so many people now days "feel" like they are a failure unless they are leading..... but the truth is, natural leaders are very much in the minority. It's impossible to expect everyone to be a leader of others.

Now I'm very curious what you think about babies and disparity.....  8)

-SS
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Aliens stole my W!!!!! Part 11: Mars Attacks!!!
#75: June 29, 2021, 12:11:38 PM
Can I ask you to restate your stance in like one or two sentences?
Because I've ready your post twice and I don't think I'm following.  What I read in your response is that 1) you don't feel there's anything new for you to learn through training about privilege/social injustice/inequality/pay disparity, and 2) that women contribute more to office infighting and feel oppressed/angry/unhappy/even more litigious unless/until they get married and have babies.  And if they don't get married and have babies, as time goes on they just harden and become angry and bitter.
Please tell me I have misunderstood you.  I will be very, very happy to stand corrected.  :-\

Hi NAS  :D
It isn't about knowing everything, it about being let down that after all this training, effort, cost and change......... what has it purchased? And was the end result that was sold obtainable..... or even what the issue was about to begin with? If we are talking about a tangible goal, which is real equality...... then (to me) that means the elimination of (professional) difference and treatment between men and women..... and to me, that would mean sex being blind. Equal treatment.
Equal treatment would mean, everyone is the same. If everyone is getting the same jobs, and the same pay, then everyone has equality. Equal opportunity.
Failure would be instituting rules that favor one group beyond another. That would be inequality. Separating groups into individual differing interests (such as sex) promotes inequality as the natural end result is getting the most for your group as possible...... inequality....... which is the exact opposite goal which was sold from the beginning. I think a great question would be: Was the known from the beginning (and was an agenda all along) or did it just evolve into what it is now?

The other question  "that women contribute more to office infighting and feel oppressed/angry/unhappy/even more litigious unless/until they get married and have babies.  And if they don't get married and have babies, as time goes on they just harden and become angry and bitter."
Well..... what I have seen about the happiness babies bring to the women I work with.... there's something to it or else I wouldn't have observed it. What do you think? I as a man have my own innate understanding from a male perspective and viewpoint...... that has very little to do with a woman's viewpoint, or at least the depth in which a woman experiences the world and major events within it (just as how OffRoad's wonderful post so illustrates expectations and pressures that are not apparent from the outside). What effect does a baby have on a woman's life, and how does that effect her outlook, satisfaction and happiness? How meaningful is it? The other side of that question is also valid: What effect (if any) happens to a woman who is not married and has no children over time as they age? Totally valid question and one we shouldn't be afraid to ask. We shouldn't be afraid of any question or it's answer. I can tell you what happens to men who are unmarried and have no children..... I know several who fall into this category. They turn inward, disconnect, and generally live peaceful and happy lives as they are forced to learn that they have no one to provide for or support. Some fall into a depression until they eventually accept life for what it is in the here and now. In this way, they are sad at what is missed and what is missing, but accept their reality and make the best of what they have. They live quietly with few or zero friends, and virtually no social connections whatsoever. Hermits. In time they learn to enjoy being hermits and it becomes their normal. Fortunately this is not too difficult or strange for the male mind as aloneness is not difficult, just not our 1st choice. Always on their mind however was what was, what could or should have been..... and then they go back to their day to day to occupy their mind lest it become idle.   

The litigious part, this I don't understand. What I do have is the stats where I work. What it means, I don't know. I would think there is something to it, or else it wouldn't be what it is. What is the reasoning for it? Why? Is this pervasive elsewhere? I think it would be interesting to know, and if it is the case..... why. If there is a rash of litigation from women in the workplace, and in environments dominated by women...... why is this? It was my understanding (and hope) that the whole reason for work and change in the workplace was to make everything inviting and equal to all. That would mean a great reduction in litigation. This would suggest otherwise, and if that's the case, then the whole experiment has failed. It would require examination and a change of direction, as doing the same thing and expecting different results is crazy. Or even better would be to understand the root issues and deal with those. If the resulting dissatisfaction has nothing to actually do with the workplace and is in fact a deeper issue, then that needs to be identified and dealt with.
Know what I mean?
Looking forward to your thoughts, I know you're a very intelligent and deep thinker.

-SS
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Aliens stole my W!!!!! Part 11: Mars Attacks!!!
#76: June 29, 2021, 10:46:54 PM
My oh my.... There's so much in what you wrote that it takes some time to digest.

The part I want and can address now is babies, or lack of babies as it's been on the table at my life.

I have got 5 kids. And I so much would have liked one more... Yes, kids have changed the life for me. Without them I likely would have become the hermit like soul you mention.

Ms.H does not have kids (apart of her 2 cats), but right now and for first time in her life she is having a baby fever.  The sad side is she is also acknowledging the high possibility she may never have any (all about genetics). We've had lots of talks about this, both on emotional level as well on the practical side.

One thing I had not thought before was that (at least in here) getting a baby can provide a  'safe get-out-of-jail' card from the spinning wheel they call work/professional career.  For example ms.H has worked 20+ years nonstop.  She would love to have a break for year or two, but its not possible without quitting her job and losing her position. OTOH,  mothers with  babies can do so, and many use the priviledge...   

Of course it is possible that father would take the baby absence instead of mother, but I think the percentage is very low, say 2-3%.... I think it is not so much about men not wanting to sacrifice their careers, but more on the practical side (somebody has to bring in bread and butter for the family, and often men have higher payroll than their partners). And likely emotional/hormonal side plays a huge role too. Mothers simply have a stronger bond with newborn, and thus they make the choice to 'stay at home' (which kind of leaves the men with no other choice than go back to work).

Just my 5 cents worth of personal observations/thoughts. And I acknowledge everyones personal mileage may vary.

Alvin
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Re: Aliens stole my W!!!!! Part 11: Mars Attacks!!!
#77: June 30, 2021, 02:06:53 AM
SS: I am having a hard time following what your thoughts are on this. I know many professional women, with and without kids, and I see no correlation between their “happiness” and having babies. Some with kids are stressed and in unhappy relationships, and some with no kids are in thriving relationships and careers. I do not see any innate “biological” pattern. There is so much cultural forces, specially in certain communities and groups, that only give value to women as “wives” and “mothers” that its not surprising if they start to have difficulty hearing their own voice. I am pretty sure that like all things in life there are as many different desires and choices as there are people. Any generalization tends to be from what used to be very strict cultural and societal roles of women, what is “proper” and right. And there are vast areas of US where the “role of a woman” is still in the house or as a mother and deviating to far from that is considered dangerous.

In fact in my career and in all my readings on this it has been shows statistically, not anecdotally, that women tend to make better bosses, team managers and leaders. From the studies it is not from the fact that they are “women” rather it is about innate people skills that men tend to not develop or have in their quest to be “masculine.” Some of these even have to do with emotional connection to others.

Here are a few interesting links in case you are interested:

https://www.inc.com/michael-schneider/40-years-of-research-proves-women-are-better-managers-than-men-because-they-tend.html

https://pausemag.co.uk/2020/04/do-women-make-better-bosses-than-men/

https://www.peoplehr.com/blog/2020/02/26/are-women-better-bosses/
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#78: June 30, 2021, 06:21:43 AM
I can tell you what happens to men who are unmarried and have no children.....

I'm still not following, but I did want to address this statement that was buried within one of your paragraphs.

"I can tell you what happens to men who are unmarried and have no children."
I think this type of generalizing you do about specific demographics is treading into dangerous territory.
You can tell us what happens to men you know who are unmarried and have no children.  You can't tell us about all unmarried men with no children.

Generalizing about any particular group leads to bias, divisive preconceived notions, and a complete lack of understanding of each other because, well, if we think we already know what is true of an entire group, why would we seek to learn more about anybody? 

I have an awful lot to say about women, babies, marriage and happiness, but I think I'll take it to my own thread eventually.  Oh, so many, many songs I can think of to accompany that post  ;)...
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#79: June 30, 2021, 08:52:20 AM
Quick journal entry:

Last night was really nice. W has been back at work part time for two days now.
I was a little curious if now that her career question mark appears to be at least mostly resolved or answered if she would pull away again...... to my surprise (so far) she is still hanging close.
She went on the nightly walk with the little dog, and as we walked she opened up. Great! She let me know about her struggles at work and wanted my opinion. How about that....... so I listened, reflected and then responded. I found her worries and desired remedies (for work) to be very reasonable, understandable and needed. It was nice to be included, and it's also obvious that she is searching, trying to figure out what it is she really wants. That will probably take some time, and I'm happy to see her working thru it.

When we got home she asked what I wanted for my birthday...... which is the 1st time (I think) in two years that she has spoken about anything like that. She had dropped off a gift last year, but asking, that is new. Not reading too much into it, it was just nice. Consideration. I don't need or want anything, haven't given it any thought.

I bought the little dog a new toy last night....... a dog version of Lambchop (from LampChop's play-along)...... the little dog was thrilled, beating up the little toy and trying to chew it's face off. This tickled W to no end. It's nice to see her laugh and relax..... and connect with the little dog.

A nice day. One day at a time,

-SS
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Aliens stole my W!!!!! Part 11: Mars Attacks!!!
#80: June 30, 2021, 09:04:51 AM
I have an awful lot to say about women, babies, marriage and happiness,
though this isn't my thread, i'd be interested in your thoughts... if SS doesn't mind.. hope it's not too late.

SS, you said you believe a man's perspective has very little to do with the depth of a woman's experience?  i think alot of feelings are common with both sexes....the pure happiness.. the worry over this immense responsibility... that their lives depended so..so much on us. i know my life changed dramatically.
They've brought me great joys... exposed the depths of unconditional love .. and some pain... which has given me strength.. even if it was unintentional  :)

it is an interesting topic
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#81: June 30, 2021, 09:16:21 AM
Fwiw, SS.....
Your wider ‘what is this?’ Question.....I agree with others that you run the risk of generalising about one factor eg gender and there is not sufficient information to consider multiple factors eg sector, history and culture of your business norms, country cultural norms etc etc.

It seems like an issue which interests you....do you know why?.

My take fwiw on the ‘equality’ issue.
First of all, one would have to be a fool or delusional (and I don’t think you are either) to believe that we have much equality in most of our countries currently. The pandemic imho shone a harsh light on the effects of choices and priorities and mindsets we have all invested in, to a greater or lesser degree, for decades. Not of opportunity, not of value, not of access, not of outcomes. And that substantial percentages of our societies - mine definitely, maybe yours too - feel either powerless or angry that they are not heard or, worse, that they have been conned in some way to do x but have not found y from it.

Secondly, my recent chats with my informally adopted teenager have been rather educational about issues that I - and maybe you - see from a different generational perspective when Equality was the go to word that was interpreted as Sameness. She would say that Equality is an old fashioned word that misses the point....that it is about how we make collective spaces that value and work with Difference....and that it is about much much more than gender. And that many of our collective spaces and institutions are places where we expect people to fit around as opposed to the other way round.

Thirdly, my own sense is that, even with the best hearts, we can be pulled into inaccurate and even destructive assumptions about people based on an observable fact....gender, age, colour, nationality, size, profession...list goes on. Even if you are an LBS or an ‘MLCer’ lol. Bc we are so much more than these things. True, that makes life - and collective spaces - a bit more complicated sometimes. Even a lot lol. But it also makes it richer with possibility imho.

Certainly I have found that having my own life slide off its plate so spectacularly has caused me to have to review my beliefs and operating assumptions about quite a lot of things...... :)
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Aliens stole my W!!!!! Part 11: Mars Attacks!!!
#82: June 30, 2021, 12:50:24 PM
Generalization.  I believe it has a cheerleader of sorts — Confirmation Bias. 

From Brittanica:

Confirmation bias, the tendency to process information by looking for, or interpreting, information that is consistent with one’s existing beliefs

//

Existing beliefs can include one’s expectations in a given situation and predictions about a particular outcome. People are especially likely to process information to support their own beliefs when the issue is highly important or self-relevant.


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#83: June 30, 2021, 02:12:54 PM
So Ive followed your threads for a while, and I will say that I know you dont mean to do this, but there is a ton of gender bias in your idea of women in the workforce.

As a middle aged woman, I will say this.   We were conditioned at a very young age, that we had to live a life of servitude.  Our purpose was to find a HUSBAND, have kids, maybe have a career, maybe find a hobby, but our purpose was nothing more than that.  Women these days, and girls (not underage, but not fully matured), are realizing that this is a mandate of the patriarchy.   And so with that, women are making choices on how they want to live their lives.   This is why the birth rates are dropping.   Younger women dont see a world viable of procreation.   And I dont blame them.   I would not want to bring a kid into this world right now.

So there will be women who will follow the script that they were taught to believe. There are woman who will fight the patriarchy, and there will be middle aged women who feel like they are failures as they didn't live up to those expectations.

Some women want to be a mom, a wife, a SAHM and are content with that, and there is nothing wrong with that.   There are women who want to live a lifestyle that is free from the responsibility of a child, and live for themselves.   Neither option is wrong

But painting all women with the same brush or expectation, is unhealthy.

And I know you didn't mean anything by this, but I am sharing the perspective of a woman who was taught that I needed a husband, kids, and a house with a white picket fence.   My biggest struggle with finally accepting that I was gay, was that I would never live up to this expectation which automatically made me feel like a failure.   And it took a lot of years for me to work through that, and accept that I am NOT a failure because of my lifestyle.

Only now, a lot more women are realizing that procreation and expectations around the role of a wife, were passed down to us by the patriarchy.
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#84: June 30, 2021, 03:37:33 PM
I rather feel like we have some smoke and mirrors going. Focusing on generalizations was not what was asked. While I completely agree that generalizations are exactly that, generalizations, it is possible to have an opinion and set the generalization into it's proper perspective.

For example, the generalization that women who have babies are happier. In my experience, not ALL women who have babies are happier. Some yes, some no. Some who have been waiting for a long time or thought they would never have any are often extremely happy (but then maybe only at first, and after several months of little sleep, not quite so much  ;) ). Now, could someone say that every woman he/she has seen who had a baby APPEARED happy/happier than they were before they had a baby? Sure. But that is an opinion based on observations with no actual facts of how the woman herself felt unless, of course, they observer asked and was told that the woman/women in question were happy/happier. And even that means they can only go by their observations and what they are told. I won't even go in to the generalized logistics of when you have a child with severe medical problems and the difference between being "happier" having had a baby with that outcome compared to accepting that this is what you have with loving grace.

For myself, when I was 16, I wanted to get married have 2.5 children and house and a dog. When I was 21, I discovered I'm really a cat person, not a dog person and children were rather annoying. When I was 32, my body was screaming at me that if I wanted to have kids, I'd better do it soon. So when I had my D at 37, I was very content to have a baby. I might have looked happier, I don't know. When I had my son at 40, he was a colicky child. I very much loved and wanted him, but can guarantee you I did NOT look happy being as I was living on about 3 hours of sleep per night for 8 months, and had to go back to work at 8 weeks. Did I want to stay home and raise the kids? I wanted one of their parents to stay at home and raise them, it didn't have to be me.

I have friends who do not want kids, never did, are happy not to have them. They are no more or less in general crankier than those who did have kids. I have friends who REALLY wanted kids, but could not have them. They are no more or less in general crankier than those who did have kids and though some still have some sadness that that desire could not be attained, they don't walk around in a funk every day. I have people I know (note they are not friends) who have kids and IMO are so self centered and entitled that they should never have had children also IMO.  They might look happy because they have their trophy child to put on display, I couldn't say for sure.

Children and how they affect your life is as individual as people are. If all you see is that people who just had a child are "happier" than they were, that would be odd indeed. I, personally, would have to question my perception if "all" or "everyone" were anything. It would make me think that I WANT to see something some way, maybe due to an unrealized desire of my own or because of (as Acorn says) confirmation bias or maybe even because while I don't actually have confirmation bias, I would like it if things were really as I see them-in this case that women who have babies are happier because that would mean there could be a solution for cranky women (which is ridiculous, just throwing that out there). Of course, then I'd have to research a solution for cranky men (yes, I'm just being goofy now).

So to answer that part of the question, from my own viewpoint, all "women" are not "happier" because they have babies. You cannot group people that broadly as there are too many variables.
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Aliens stole my W!!!!! Part 11: Mars Attacks!!!
#85: July 06, 2021, 12:35:27 PM
SO many great responses, I will chew thru them....... so many questions to ask in return :D

But 1st... journaling.

What a busy week!! A great week, but sooooo busy.

There's been some movement with W.
Oh she's still fighting her fight at work. Tells me little pieces about it here and there (which is an ongoing improvement).
I noticed a larger thing which is her using my terminology for various things...... what she calls the dog..... little things, but I notice it. She hasn't used my vocabulary since before MLC, so that was very noticeable..... jumped out at me.
Once again, her communication has shot up with texting where she is (I haven't asked her to), and that is noticeable as well. She has made comments about wanting to go with me when I go out to run errands (she hasn't actually gone with me, but the somewhat desire to do so is also welcome). At least she's thinking about it a little.
Not to say it's all roses....... she went berserk today when she discovered I took a couple hand towels to the gym.  :o :P ::)
I asked what the problem was and her response was "THAT'S NOT WHAT THEY'RE FOR!!!"........ my response "They exist to be used..... and they have". LOL!!
She ended the conversation with "DO WHATEVER YOU WANT TO". A whole lot for a nothing thing. They're not ruined, not lost, just not where she wanted them to be in a moment, and for the use that she wanted. Very irrational and overblown. 1st glimpse in a while of what she was like all the time before BD. Doesn't surprise me, they have to revisit all that they were from before....... I sure don't like that part. Was glad to have relative peace...... and I don't think I would give up peace now that I can remember what it's like.

I noticed something in me while she was very upset (and it wasn't really at me, it was at her sitch at her job), I was very attentive. Didn't take long to understand that nothing would make her happy or calm her..... so I left her alone. *BOOM* I wouldn't have done that before..... and honestly, I took too long this time. Good to remember for her next blowup whenever that is. She'll get over it, or she won't. How terrible right? So she stewed to  herself and once she didn't have an audience, she went back to work. I wished her a better rest of the day, and she responded "it won't be....... I'll expect the worst, and be surprised if it's better". What a terrible way to look at things........ expect a terrible time and you'll make sure it happens. I'm a happy person, glass half full...... and work to fill it the rest of the way....... I like that about me...... I can't imagine what it would be like to be so negative. What a terrible existence.

Well, I'm going to have a great day. The sun is shining, the gym is calling, and calories are very good so far. Sounds like a great day to me.

One day at a time,

-SS
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#86: July 07, 2021, 07:05:13 PM
Hi SS,

I’ve always heard that tantrums need an audience.  Best thing you can do is just stay away as she deals with her anger.  Good job with how you handled it and hope you have a great week.

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#87: July 13, 2021, 11:16:35 AM
Hey HF  :D

It's so good to see ya.  8)

I've been away the last week...... so much happening, I can't keep up.

Journaling:
W is back to work.... seemingly full time. This is not a surprise, her addiction seems to be coming back strong, even though she says the opposite. You know, "don't believe what they say, watch what they do"....... well her actions say she's going right back to her addiction..... with it, her sleep has gone down the tubes, her attitude is likewise way down, energy is shot....... Well..... it was really nice to see her (for awhile) more like "herself". It is my hope that some of that will be retained and at some point she will think "what am I doing?"...... time will tell.
A few nights ago she reached out and touched me...... it's been several months at least since that's happened, maybe longer. That was nice. It's so difficult for them. We have been spending more time together, and she's starting to talk more. So, some good and some not so good.

On to me!! I've started building a vintage stereo system. It's so much fun........ hunting for "junk", finding gems and diamonds in the rough...... learning to repair things. It's a nice little additional hobby to take up time and have some enjoyment.
My birthday is coming up...... that's nice and motivating..... there is only so much time left....... and I have to make the most of it. It will never come again.
So with that...... life is great. There's always something to do, always something new to see, always something that can be improved or someone to help. This is a charmed life, and MLC has no effect on it. Bring on the life!!  ;D

One day at a time,

-SS   
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#88: July 13, 2021, 02:18:40 PM
Nice to see you finding new hobbies, building different pathways in the brain, keeping life interesting and bringing meaning in new and different ways. It’s a pretty amazing feeling when you take on an activity that makes you feel those moments of joy and discovery.

It’s hard to see the MLCer spinning her wheels in search of that same feeling… mine is walking that line between prioritizing her own well-being and trying to seek out that external validation from work or friends. I hope that both our spouses realize one day that the external validation will never take the place of them truly finding meaning in what they’re doing for themselves. But as you have learned and shown by example, we can’t teach them this or find that meaning for them. All we can do is live our own truths, provide them a safe space to do their own exploration (as long as we can do that without compromising our own well-being) and find joy and meaning where we can along the way.
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#89: July 17, 2021, 10:23:53 PM
Journaling:

Another week goes by...... it's amazing how FAST time is going. It only feels like a couple days since by last journal, and everything is so rushed and compressed at the moment. All just a phase (like everything) and it too shall pass before long.

Hmmmm, what has happened in the last week..... well to start off, there has been a lot of movement with W. Also probably just a stage, but she has really been trying. Half the time I sorta discount it, and the other half I wonder...... but I don't wonder too long. There has been a lot more consideration than normal lately. There has been some chores and such that I've had on my list to to...... and she's done them so I don't have to. The other day, she actually joined me and the dog for the nightly walk. Today we spent the day other at her sister's house. She's talking a lot more. Oh the anger below the surface is still there, and her frustration with life, and the glass half empty is still in effect...... but for the moment...... it does seem like she's trying. I would assume this is her trying on this potential, and before long she will move on to another potential. Hopefully moving in the right direction for making a choice or coming to some internal understanding, but that is wishful thinking...... and I know it.

There is a wrinkle in all it though, which is my birthday only a couple days away. It's very possible that is triggering this behavior. The other day she came to me and announced she had got me a gift, and did I want to open it? No....... it's not my birthday yet. She has asked every day since if I want to open it....... no, it's not my birthday yet. Just a little odd, but I see it's on her mind. Once the birthday is gone, then I'll see if the behavior stays or disappears. No expectations. I really like this, and I'm enjoying it for what it is in the moment: something closer to what should be or maybe a reminder of what was....... not necessarily what will be. Just..... nice to matter or be considered...... and I'm sucking it up for all it's worth while it's here (which is why I haven't been on much lately). It can disappear in a instant. *POOF*
There were some real cringe moments at SIL's today. SIL and I just glance at each other and shake our heads just a little..... but still..... now she's hanging out and talking with the adults, not the teenagers. Movement is movement right?

On to me!!
I've been breaking personal records at the gym..... that's been really great. Maxed out the squat machine for the 1st time. New highs on the pec machine. Stronger and stronger!! Very exciting!!

Life is good, it would be nice if it could stay like this for awhile........ maybe a little slower if at all possible  ;)

One day at a time,

-SS
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Aliens stole my W!!!!! Part 11: Mars Attacks!!!
#90: July 18, 2021, 11:14:53 PM
Hi SS,
I read your updates and follow the progress u write about as much and as soon as i can.  Although there probably could not be a more extreme difference in our before and after lives your story gives me an inside view of time and progress.  I appreciate most of what you say and scratch my head on some of your thoughts and comments. I really do wish you the best, your story is full of the love that you hold onto with strength that only GOD knows where it comes from. Hang in there, deep breathes, in my eyes it's a journey most like Alice in wonderland and i hope to wake up soon.

Carpe Diem, one day at a time for sure, thanks for sharing.

5hil
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Aliens stole my W!!!!! Part 11: Mars Attacks!!!
#91: July 23, 2021, 05:09:13 AM
Has another week gone by already? Wow... yes it has. Incredible....
Thank you 5hilmerton  :D

Journaling:
Uggghhhh..... I feel like I haven't been journaling like I should.... things have been moving seemingly soooo fast.
I'm STILL in one of these rare moments where W is having a lot of movement (good movement)....... each time I think to myself "ok, by the next journal entry it will have all quieted down, or she'll relapse, or disappear, or something like that....." So strange that is hasn't...... it seems like it's so overdue but I'm not complaining. More of a concern that I will miss documenting something important.

It takes me by surprise when something changes...... and change sticks out like a sore thumb. This last week or two I noticed something that has been gone a really long time: W talking about her day, and asking how mine was (with real interest and listening). This has happened in some limited way in little short spurts during MLC, but it was always hollow, like checking boxes on a sheet, no real depth in it at all. You know, when someone is just going thru the motions.
Well, I noticed all of a sudden, *BAM* she's talking with me about her day, going into great depth about it, and asking about mine (and retaining information about what I'm saying). Wow..... I thought it was a fluke (and still could be) and then it happened again the next day, and the next, and the next...... that's when I noticed for real, after a little more than a week consistently. It was real nice, I wasn't getting my hopes up, it was just so strange, and then I realized how long it had been...... not two and a half years in MLC, it had easily started a few years before BD that I didn't think she was listening or interested or able to empathize (At all). No wonder why it felt and seems so strange: it's been at least 5 years since she's been this open in this area.

This isn't a *POOF* everything is better, she's herself now, or anything like that...... oh no, it's not.... and I'm on guard for it to disappear, I don't believe it can last until I'm proven wrong over time (Which I would really like to see and hope to see)....... but I realize something new, something I didn't understand or know (perhaps reminded once again): What something is like when it has been gone so long that you forget it entirely. It was a slide into her being closed off prior to MLC..... so gradual, so slow, so many years that by the time it disappeared I was already conditioned and numb to it's absence.... and then years passed before the "snap" at BD. To see (and I think it's real because I "feel" it now) something snap back into being....... wow it's so strange...... EEEEEEKKKKK, OOOOHHHHH,  UUUMMMMM.... something wanted and yet so long forgotten, not even on my radar.

Having learned thru this process that feelings and experiences need to be examined internally and personally.... this is something new, not in her but in me. What does this mean? As I look at myself and this aspect, this interaction and communication...... I see more about SS than I had seen before (since this piece was forgotten)...... and I better see a hurt that wasn't so visible before. A husband who loved, unable to help, unable to fix, unable to communicate because the W had shut down and wasn't accepting any attempts..... not even vulnerable enough to really share her day. I can look at that man and say "you poor thing, you didn't know what was happening", but I can also smile when I look at that man because he tried and held on far past the breaking point. All the way until he was numb and massively hurt, not for a lack of love but because there wasn't any returned to him and his only recourse was to burn brighter to try and light both worlds. I can be proud of that man, and I am.

Here in the present, I see a little more in this SS...... it is no wonder he/I is so taken back by seeing a little glimmer of something so long forgotten. It was the hope in all those years, and the reason to burn...... eventually forgetting all those little pieces I was burning for, and in time only burning because it was the only thing to hold to or really remember. I can look at this man and think "You poor thing..... you don't even really remember what it was that you were holding on for". How sad is that? Still, it was and is love and hope to keep that fire going, to hold the light on, to burn bright and continue to burn..... but I also see (now) how alone in the dark I was and that the fire probably didn't provide any warmth as I always hoped it was doing. Something more akin to a "Moth to a flame", not two people trying to hold a torch, not one person trying to light another torch that had gone out. That is quite a killjoy. It is bitter. I suppose that is why we burn though: To light the way, so they can find their way home. If that's not love I don't know what is. It is just so strange to see..... and to question not only what has happened to them in their absence....... but what has happened to us, what have we forgotten, how have we changed here in the darkness that we light.
 
It is so sobering to know and realize that you were more alone than you knew, but didn't know because you forgot.
Is that good or bad...... I could make an argument either way.

What a chunk to process...... no wonder I feel like I haven't been journaling. The gears are grinding.....

One day at a time,

-SS
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Aliens stole my W!!!!! Part 11: Mars Attacks!!!
#92: July 27, 2021, 05:59:08 PM
Journaling:

And another week goes by (almost)...... this time finishing up with W going on a business trip for the next four days.
Very cool.... nice to get a break although it hasn't been bad at all. Actually it's been pretty good. Starting to piece together a little better how she is since it's been more than a month since she's returned from her last trip and her behavior is mostly consistent (so far) and there is more movement in what I would call the "right direction".
Not to say she is out of the woods or anything like that....... her stress is building once again, sleep has gotten worse since returning to work, and I don't know if I mentioned her hair is falling out. She says the hair thing is new (like it had stopped and then started again) but I don't think this is true....... she's always shed a lot  :P
Still.... like before (in the beginning and before) I wish she could get some sleep. I hear her snore at night and that makes me smile, but she swears up and down that she's getting no sleep. The bags under her eyes is a terrible thing. Nothing I can do, but I feel for her.
She playing with the dog a WHOLE lot more. Her empathy is also way up (for the dog) and she's starting to do more and more things with her sister and her sister's kids (well, teens not kids). All this is good to see. There is still so much anger, disappointment although none of it seems to be directed or assigned to me. She's still getting just as much space as before, she is just communicating so much more now. As to me..... I seem to be more trusted now than at any point so far in MLC...... she vents, talks about her day and thoughts..... once in a while shows a little humor (sometimes fully, and mostly falling flat). She is avoidant with me on anything emotional or that could lead to anything too personal. No biggie, it's slow slow slow.... and that's to be expected. I'm on guard not to let it fall into "back to normal" or "sweeping under the rug"....... I'm not forgetting what has happened, nor will I let there not be an explanation at some point. There is still much to be decided and resolved. One curious thing is, while all is patched up at her work (as far as I know) she is dissatisfied, disillusioned,  and doesn't seem to want to be there anymore. Not what I was expecting after she fought so hard to put it all back together. Interesting. She talks about getting a different job, but I think we both know that isn't going to do anything. She's still going to IC every week (woohooo) and I'm not finding self help books around the house anymore. She has re-integrated herself back into the daily goings on of the house, and has been cleaning and doing laundry (just hers, I've always done my own). It's small things, but there's a lot of them (currently). Could all evaporate, but this feels more solid now. Consistent... and it's not talk, ideas, promises or musings...... she's just doing.
It will be interesting (someday) when she musters up the courage to want to really talk. I'm in no rush, nor do I expect anything like that any time soon. That's going to be very difficult.

On to me!!
I've increased my workouts to a minimum of 5 classes a week, sometimes hitting 6...... plus weightlifting days. Up up and away!! Feels good, looks good, and I'm getting looks. I like this very much. Best shape in so long..... but STILL no 6 pack!! Darn it!!! So frustrating!!
I setup a vintage stereo in my office..... 1st time I've ever had one. 1st time I've ran wires and all that stuff. It's not pretty but it sounds AMAZING!! I love it!! Now I'm listening to the radio once again (that was such a big thing for me back in my teens)....... Hmmm, that's interesting....... W went into MLC and turned into a teen....... and here I am hooking up a radio so I can listen like when I was in my teens......... that's a very strange thought and realization. Do other LBS's find themselves rediscovering things from their teens? We all rediscover ourselves (us minus our spouse) or is that the natural nostalgia that everyone experiences in their 40's and 50's? That's a little funny.

The little dog is happy as can be. He's a riot.... and it's so good to see W play with him, interact with him, and accept the parts of him that drive her crazy. That's so healthy. I can't really imagine her being this way until I could see it day after day, and it's gotten so much better in the last month. Needless to say, the dog loves it..... now he has a mom that is being really good to him, giving him love, spending time with him. It's good for both of them. I hope her connection is really deep, she needs that interaction and LOVE.

Three weeks until I go on vacation (alone). 1st trip since COVID. I can't wait  8)

One day at a time,

-SS
 
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Aliens stole my W!!!!! Part 11: Mars Attacks!!!
#93: July 27, 2021, 09:12:34 PM
Great update, SS! I love how you’re letting her be on her roller coaster, just living your best life… and it seems like she’s doing the work. Good for you, keeping the attitude that you aren’t going to just sweep things under the rug and fall back into the old routines - but also in no rush to push for any of the conversations that will need to happen eventually. I am about a year behind you, though still debating whether my W is having a true crisis versus a transition, and I have been having some of the same observations about her possibly just settling back in and trying to never address how she blew up our life as we knew it before.

I think the rediscovery of interests and hobbies and things from our younger years is at least partly due to our age… but the LBS journey at its best lets us find our real identity. Sometimes that means revisiting old parts of ourselves that maybe we outgrew, but maybe we just got distracted from them or never really fully explored them before. The difference between our journey and MLC is that we try to integrate these new or rediscovered parts of ourselves into the life we’ve been building all along, instead of blowing up the old and trying to start over.

I’ve said it before, but I think it every time you update - I am really impressed with how you are just going about the business of being your best self, under circumstances that we’re all facing but none of us signed up for, and I am thankful that you are sharing your story.
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Aliens stole my W!!!!! Part 11: Mars Attacks!!!
#94: July 30, 2021, 09:02:11 PM
Hi SS,

Agree with Curiosity on the the patience that you are showing with your W while still living your best life.   Hope you enjoy your upcoming vacation as time away is always good for the soul.

HF
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Aliens stole my W!!!!! Part 11: Mars Attacks!!!
#95: July 31, 2021, 05:51:40 PM
Thanks HF and C  ;D

I had FUN today....... with W  :D
It was "experimentation fun"   ;)

Today I was motivated to "do things".... just felt right after a couple crazy months at work. So off I went..... cleaning the garage, cleaning the kitchen, doing meal prep..... you know, productive stuff.
Anyway.... I made sure that ehhhhh, somewhere around half my list lined up with things W had asked for the past. I was going to be productive anyway.... why not see what happens?

After doing some things for me, I started doing some for W..... I moved a big printer out of her office/craft room that I have never been able to get to work. I really tried, just couldn't make the darn thing work. Anyway...... she had blamed this thing being in there as a problem, a stumbling block to what she wanted to do. So today I rolled it out of there, unannounced...... she was surprised and happy about it. Once it was gone, she was able to move her project a foot closer to the wall "See!! What a big difference that makes?"..... No, I don't see. There is no production benefit at all, but I smiled and let her have the moment. The moment didn't last long...... about 20 seconds later she needed to find a new stumbling block..... this time, her work computer. She knows nothing about computers, but I do...... there was something wrong with it, but I made a work-around and within 5 min, it was working again. She had been "stuck" since Thursday on this problem.... holding her in place. Now it was fixed...... and she needed to find a new stumbling block..... and she did, 30 seconds later. "My program isn't working"...... Ok, and yes there was a real problem again...... and again, I know how to solve it and do.
At this point I relieve myself and head out to run an errand, putting an end to my experiment and leaving her to deal with the new circumstances of not having those problems.

When I returned, she must have figured out whatever else was wrong and dealt with them and she was working away at whatever it was that she wanted in the first place. Good  :D
It occurs to me thru observation that my MLC'er is very easily stuck, and has a need for something to be in her way and oppress her. She doesn't fight the problem, she stops. I think the desire to stop and to have a reason to justify being stopped is quite strong.
I have no doubt that she will find something to stop her again at some point, but for a moment, she's moving. I think paralysis is natural in the MLC'er, and getting them to move, be active and engaged in something is important. I would imagine that paralysis would lend itself to hopelessness, and what good is that? I think hope for the LBS is necessary, and in turn hope for the MLC'er would also be equally important. Maybe now, for a little while, she can feel productive in whatever it is she wants to do and claims she's working on...... and I think that would feel a lot better than being stopped.
I expect nothing, will probably get nothing, and that's ok. It wasn't about getting anything to begin with.
I'm not broken.  8)

One day at a time,

-SS
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Aliens stole my W!!!!! Part 11: Mars Attacks!!!
#96: August 01, 2021, 09:10:32 PM
I guess I'm in a journaling mood  ;D

Really great day....... great weekend  :P

W has been in her room working on her dream most of the day. I guess taking out that printer inspired her to really work on her stuff. Wow. She showed me an updated website, and all these paintings she's put up for sale on it. I'm proud of her.  :-*
It really is a big step..... she's been talking about it for, sheesh, I don't know how long..... 10 years? That is really positive movement.
Another thing which was so funny, was...... she's been more active around the house the last couple months..... today she was doing something and I noticed because it's still so weird having her involved at all. She was redecorating a banister (what is it with redecorating? HAHAHHAH) and was straightening the drapes (They have to look a certain way).... she says "I always put these this way"...... um, what?  :o She hasn't touched the curtains in two and a half years..... not a care in the world about the home. In her mind, she has always fluffed them and tucked them "like this"..... except she hasn't. Three years ago, yes.... not since. It's like that time doesn't exist to her. Didn't skip a beat. Not a second thought. *POOF*
I guess the aliens are real..... maybe they let her come home on a holiday. HA!!

She spilled the sugar tonight and got real mad. I didn't rush to help. Her mess, she can put blame on herself. Of course she wanted to shift blame and I was waiting for it. It's funny how that works....... this is very unhealthy...... but when something is missing (according to her) or something goes wrong, it's "SS - what did you do with this?" or "Why did you do this?" and you can fill in the blank. I can prove she misplaced something, or the problem wasn't mine, but always something difficult for her to deal with. I've been hoping that when MLC is over, she will accept responsibility for her own mistakes, or the need to assign blame instantly. That has always driven me crazy. Well, after her outburst I was waiting for the sugar to be my fault. She got halfway there...... "why was it on top of the fridge?" (it's been on top of the fridge the last two and a half years - not a clue - LOL!!).

On to me!!
I've broken more personal records at the gym!! Now I can lift more than I weigh on pecs, maxed out the machines on the leg extension!! 700 calories in an hour in spin class!! Still no darn 6-pack!!  ::)   Will they EVER show up? I'm going to war on my body and the abs are laughing at me.

On to the dog!!
He's destroying everything he comes across. 1st the curtains in the bathroom. W then takes those down (why?), so then he destroyed the blinds the curtains were covering. HAHAHAHAHA!!
Daddy's little boy. LOL!!
I showed W a video I took of him being stuck in the tub at the beginning of the year (while she was away)..... super adorable, he was so small then. I wanted to see if she remembered it (I had sent it to her)....... she looked at it as if for the 1st time. She watched it several times in a row..... I asked "remember this?", she acted like she didn't hear me and continued to watch. I don't think she remembered it at all. How sad is that? Sad for me, what must it be like for her?

One day at a time,

-SS
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Aliens stole my W!!!!! Part 11: Mars Attacks!!!
#97: August 01, 2021, 11:14:32 PM
Glad you took that video of little puppins. Why WAS the sugar on the fridge, btw? Has it always lived there?

I have to say, your mention that your W shifting blame, some of them don't sound like blame, but written is different from spoken. I used to ask my H why he did something because I wanted to know, not because I was blaming him for anything. Though at the end I did have to ask what he did with x, y or z because he was sneaking into the house while I was at work and stealing things. Heaven forbid we should divide up spatulas like adults, you know... ;D

I do wonder if there is some kind of time warp going on. Maybe to your W it doesn't feel like three years have passed?

I'm going to share a little tip with you. Get six aluminum cans, cut off the bottoms or tops, attach them to a shirt in the proper place. Now you have a six pack. It can hold you until your own decides to emerge.  ;D
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Aliens stole my W!!!!! Part 11: Mars Attacks!!!
#98: August 02, 2021, 05:15:42 AM
I'm going to share a little tip with you. Get six aluminum cans, cut off the bottoms or tops, attach them to a shirt in the proper place. Now you have a six pack. It can hold you until your own decides to emerge.  ;D

Ooooo.... OR is going to be sitting with me on that bus to Hades! <snort>

Quote from: StandingStrong
It occurs to me thru observation that my MLC'er is very easily stuck, and has a need for something to be in her way and oppress her. She doesn't fight the problem, she stops. I think the desire to stop and to have a reason to justify being stopped is quite strong.

I concur - I saw this as well in my xW... I wonder if this is more of an MLC General issue or if the female MLC'ers are more prone? I don't recall too many stories from LBS's where the guy has been stopped by some incident - more often, they just blow things up and keep going in some random direction....
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Aliens stole my W!!!!! Part 11: Mars Attacks!!!
#99: August 02, 2021, 06:40:05 AM
I do think that the getting stuck thing seems to happen with female MLCers more often, though maybe men who are wallower types can get there? But yeah, it is sad to see it but essential to detach and let them work through it. Not meant as an instruction, SS, but an observation of what you already do at expert level. I know the emotion builds up in my W and can boil over if she gets startled or hurt. Last night, she’d been talking about grieving the things that have happened over the last couple of years, and one of the cats got startled and ran across the bed, and scratched her on the way. She broke down sobbing for a while, way out of proportion to the injury. So definitely, they are stuck in their own heads as they work out the questions of who they are and what they want.

Wishing you continued strength as you navigate the process, not that I have any doubt about your ability to keep on as you have been doing.
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Aliens stole my W!!!!! Part 11: Mars Attacks!!!
#100: August 04, 2021, 11:26:10 AM
Journaling:

Interesting things happening......
W has been opening up more about her work situation, it's not looking good. Essentially they have messed up big time, and shared confidential information about her medical issues like it was water cooler talk. Needless to say, she is furious but she's also in a jam: To fight will mean talking on her employer as part of the leaking is the HR director and the higher ups joined in. Her standing and position has been damaged to the point where she's going to be stuck where she is (they won't do anything to her as they are wrong and they know it, so they want her to sit, quiet and stuck indefinitely. Not a good spot..... and if she fights then she won't be able to move somewhere else (small industry and no reference). She really doesn't know what to do. That would be very difficult, and it's something only she can make. Either way, her career is over.
I am very proud of her today, last night she took the good step of ordering her 1st inventory of art. This is a BIG step in the direction of going after her real dream. She avoided this so long, so many years..... and it looks like it's taking this situation to finally move her toward what she should be doing. All good.

There is a flip side to it (of course), big changes, big stress... things come with that. She showed me her hands are shaking again. She says her stress is back to where it was before her last trip (ugh  :( ), also some calls in the night are happening again, and texting (ugh  :( ) but whatever..... not letting it bother me, not addressing it, not stressing it, only making things worse for herself later on.... two steps forward, one step back (as expected). I can see her getting a bit of success in her art and then quitting her job at some point. This would be good, and also could be disastrous. No sense in fearing that, what will happen, will happen. Forward!! Only forward!!
I think the rest of the year is going to be very telling as to the future. Big changes, big choices on the horizon. I see them taking form, but I can't see the shape of them yet.

On to me!!  ;D
I did an aerobics class with weights yesterday. I did it once a year ago, just tried it again for the 2nd time. I had the most weight in the whole class  8) and the whole time I was thinking "I gotta triple this weight"...... that'll take a bit of effort, it was a whole bunch of different muscle groups getting worked in new ways.... but it was fun!! Adding this to my rotation..... now 5 spin classes a week, two of these weighted aerobics classes a week, and three weight lifting sessions a week (need to make it four). This year I WILL create the ultimate version of me. That is exciting and worth the effort. Looking forward to it, and every day bring me one step closer.

On to the dog!! He has so many bones now....... 1st thing he does every night is find them all, and bring them onto the bed. He just wants to be where he can see both of us, and chew on his bones. What a good little dog. So simple, so honest. I'm glad he has a good and happy life.

One day at a time,

-SS 
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Aliens stole my W!!!!! Part 11: Mars Attacks!!!
#101: August 07, 2021, 12:56:14 PM
Interesting observation/thoughts that I'm rolling over in my head today........

The little dog, he's such a good little guy.  ;D
His world is so simple........ he goes from being sad and bored (while held in the bathroom - he's too young and destructive to be free all day), to being the happiest little guy once he is free. An instant change, sad and waiting to overjoyed and free. No delineation, no in-between: Happy/Not happy.

I finally realized and understood to a new depth that W is the same way, and has been long before MLC...... which is to say one way or another (happy or sad/angry), and not a lot in-between which I would call content/peace/existing (actually I suspect that she doesn't even like in-between). I didn't catch this before because I don't have big swings in emotion, I'm very very steady..... and if I do get to sad or really excited or happy, there is absolutely a large place in-between to traverse before getting there. My existence is very much rooted in the in-between, that's where I live. To be this way (for me) was to assume it is the same for everyone else - which it isn't..... those darn blinders!! After all, why wouldn't anyone want to live in peace and be content? And how could someone function without being in that in-between place?
I learn more and more how my blinders colored my perceptions of the world and of people. HA!!   :-X
 
How curious. I had always chalked up W to be "hot tempered" or "short fuse", which absolutely is a feature for some people (and because W would proudly exclaim that she was "hot fused", and I believed everything she said at face value. Why question someone you trust completely?)....... but I wonder, is instantly switching emotion to the extremes a mark of instability? I also thought that was just an efficiency of emotion that I lacked.....  ::) How silly right?

I've been a planner all my life, understanding that it takes preparation to accomplish anything you want to do, and preparation consists of time and effort to succeed (and even then it doesn't always work out  :P ). In W's case, while she has worked towards certain things slowly, generally speaking she's always been of the mindset of "I want this now", "Why isn't this working now?" and has a very short term slant to most things: abandoning things that take too long, require too much effort, or just aren't interesting enough to hold her attention. Very much the saying "One in the hand is worth two in the bush"...... whereas I'm the opposite: I play the long game and continue working on everything I start.
W has no planning of things like wanting to eat something in particular at some point in the future (days) or much thought given to what she wants to do in the near term....... it's mostly instant or spontaneous depending on whichever way her emotions are blowing in a given moment. The exception being she can decide that she'll want to do something, but then has to leave it spontaneous to a certain extent: example: She will decide she wants to work out and go the gym. It will then take two to three days to move on it ("now it's time"). 
To me, this has always been interesting to watch, but also somewhat alien. There is no consistency of purpose and long term drive to slowly wear down and accomplish big things..... Almost haphazard.

So hurray for the little dog..... I think he's taught me something about people, although I don't fully grasp it yet.
Somehow, connecting the dots about her nature, and my nature (on how I would "fix" because the in-between is normal to me, and as she would fly around outside the in-between I would try to help her get there). Fascinating, understandable, and dysfunctional....... HAHAHAHA!!

Your MLC'er........ before MLC........ were they similar to this as well? Maybe not irrational or unstable..... but quick? Would they flip their switches seemingly on a dime? All our MLC'ers become "quick" after BD (I think)..... but what were they like before? I suppose some would be "quick" to shut down...... a race to the middle to "clamp down" on themselves so they wouldn't swing out of control, and others would have no such restraint and rocket out to extremes (like mine)...... would you say this was the case with yours? Either way it should have been obvious to the LBS (or pre-LBS) especially now looking back in retrospect.

That also makes me wonder: As an LBS (pre-BD)...... were you the "grounded" one? Grounded being catching and reeling in your "swing for the fences" pre-MLC'er, or coaxing out of a shell pre-MLC "turtle"?

Deep thoughts today........ LOL!!  ;)

-SS   
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#102: August 07, 2021, 04:39:21 PM
Interesting thoughts, SS, and I would say that I am definitely the “grounded” one in my marriage. W is aware of the broken bits in herself and is trying to figure out why she can’t just BE. It must be a hard thing, to not be able to just exist in peace. I feel like often, their perspective is that you can’t know true joy unless you are capable of knowing true sorrow, and maybe that’s true. I think that for many of them, if they don’t see you outwardly expressing both extremes in a short period of time, they assume you are incapable of deep emotion. I think that it’s been important for me to realize and own that just because I spend more of my time in the contentment of the in-between, that in no way minimizes my capacity for emotions, from joy to sorrow, anger, and love.
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#103: August 07, 2021, 07:25:28 PM
That's a great point C,

I've heard that too...... the questioning of why no great swings of emotion (from W). So in her case, it's a reversal, not being able to understand not being in extremes of emotion. Interesting how perception works isn't it?

It could be curious to be able to see thru those eyes, and at the same time to be that out of control...... I'm not sure I'd want to. LOL!!
I very much like being the master of myself.  ;)

-SS
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#104: August 08, 2021, 08:46:58 AM
Hi SS and Curiosity,

Interesting discussion and I am definitely the planner who was grounded and relatively content with life.  My W on the other hand would always want things now and often didn't have the patience and discipline to see dreams through.   She always wanted to own her own business but never wanted to do the hard work for creating the business, saving money, and figuring out what business she wants to do.    At the early stages of her crisis, she blamed me for not being a risk taker.   I would definitely admit to not being a risk taker but I would be willing to take risks with a clear plan and $ to invest in the business.

Curiosity, your comment about sorry and joy really struck me.  I think I definitely a more grounded emotionally and content with life.   Have all my dreams come true?  No.   Was that ok with me?  Yes    My W on the other hand had unmet dreams in her mind and I was willing to help her.   It was just tough because she didn't want to develop the plan and take the long road to meet those dreams.

Interesting to think about as I continue to work though Contentment versus Complacency.

HF
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#105: August 08, 2021, 11:27:02 AM
Interesting discussion and I am definitely the planner who was grounded and relatively content with life.  My W on the other hand would always want things now and often didn't have the patience and discipline to see dreams through.   She always wanted to own her own business but never wanted to do the hard work for creating the business, saving money, and figuring out what business she wants to do.    At the early stages of her crisis, she blamed me for not being a risk taker.   I would definitely admit to not being a risk taker but I would be willing to take risks with a clear plan and $ to invest in the business.

This is funny (weird funny) because I could have written this, change the gender. I had the audacity to say I'd love to see his business plan. To ask what we needed to do to make what he wanted come true. He had no answer, and wrote me off as unsupportive. Can't win even when you wanted to help.
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#106: August 08, 2021, 11:53:56 AM
HF, so many similarities in our temperaments and tendencies relative to those of our MLC spouses. My w pursued her dreams, got through her training, was unhappy, so moved onto the next dream. She seems now to have found a career path that works for her, but even so, aspects of it are frustrating and unfulfilling. I think they have to get out of that mindset, in careers and relationships, that when you find the right one, everything will be perfect and easy all the time.
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#107: August 13, 2021, 08:49:49 AM
Yup, that's right C....... on and on thinking ONE thing will solve the empty hole in their heart. Perhaps addicted to the possibility of something and then once getting it, finding it wasn't at all what they wanted or envisioned.
 :)

Journaling:
Interesting week.
W has gone thru extreme lows and some good middle in-between area and a couple little highs.
The lows were the full-on crying, victimhood, hopelessness, tantrums. I know these need to happen for growth, and hopefully they will bear fruit. She did hit a milestone for her dream (which I'm very proud of her for) and her reaction was very subdued. She wasn't really excited, just kinda "bla". That's really too bad...... when someone of mine comes together, I'm ecstatic!! That's a big part of the payoff, hitting those pieces, getting one step closer, enjoying the journey and feeling good for progressing. Just feel bad that she either can't feel these things, or is just running thru them without stopping to see.
Other than that, she has been mostly more stable and like herself. More talkative. That's nice. All in pieces, a little here, a little there.

On to me!!
I'm going on vacation in a couple days. A week away for me!! Alone. That's good, and a little bittersweet. It would be so nice to share and experience with someone, but this is how it is...... gotta make the best of it, enjoy it for all it has to offer.  :D
It's easier to distance when they are being ugly....... but when they are getting better, (for me) I long for the missed opportunity...... for the new memories which could have been made. Well, I will have new memories, just solo. In that is a concern: To get used to being alone, to get used to just catering to yourself. Maybe that makes sharing even better later.
I will miss exercise this week, but I will get a ton of walking in. That'll be a nice change. If I can get 10 miles a day, I'll be happy. I'll get to eat at a White Castle  8) Really looking forward to that.

On to the dog!!
He's destroying anything he comes across. A happy boy. I hope this week draws them closer together, and hopefully she will walk him like I do every night, that would be good for both of them. 

One day at a time,

-SS
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#108: August 13, 2021, 10:56:48 AM
SS,

Enjoy the White Castles.  I live within 3 miles of one  but only partake a couple times a year.  Usually instigated by S20 and S22.  They are quite tasty but cause quite the stomach stir.  Especially for us older folks.

HD

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#109: August 14, 2021, 03:16:27 PM
Ha HD  :D
You're so lucky.... all we have out here is the frozen ones in the freezer section at the supermarket (those are pretty good, but it's not the same). Then again, maybe it's good they AREN'T out here where I live..... HAHHAHAHAAHAH  ;D

A quick little journal update that was very interesting.......

Last night as I went to bed, W was on her phone (as usual)..... anyway I asked what she was up to. She showed me....... she had been writing (which is nothing new, but this time she shared it)....... it was a long, long article about "being enough' as a woman. So interesting.
It was done really well, easily could be in a magazine. In it she talked about all the expectations of life and how she (and others) chase for that "next one thing" which will solve it all and bring happiness, and doesn't. She was talking about finding peace with yourself, and acceptance of who you are, what you have, and to be thankful for all of it. She talked about the want to have what others have and that these people you look to have their own wants (probably what you have and take for granted).
I'm summarizing.... but you get the idea. It was obvious in the writing that she hadn't fully grasped all she was talking about, but it showed that she is searching, searching, searching.

I think she's on the right track, and trying very hard.... and none of that has anything to do with me. She has to want to look, she has to do the work. All I can do is make the environment optimal for that and run forward on my own journey.
Anyway, I got a real glimpse of what's going on up-top (at least for a moment in time). That was encouraging...... and it must be so difficult for her...... being forced to grow, to mature, to change. She's looking for the answers, I hope she finds them. Very proud of her for the effort, it's easier not to try.

On another note..... LOL!!........ My mom came by to pick something up. I ran it to her car...... as I was preparing to do so W asks what I'm doing, I tell her. I ask "I figured you wouldn't want anything coming in when the house isn't perfect (I've been cleaning, but it's no where near what W does/can do)..... she gets a weird look on her face, and says "I need a shower real bad"...... that was a weird way to avoid mom coming in.... she needs a shower? Of course I know it's nonsense and she just can't face any of my family yet........ actually she's scared to death of all of them (and has been since BD). Mom would be the easiest of all of them. To see that deer in the headlights look, I didn't let her be there long, it was just a test. A long way to go.  :P

One day at a time,

-SS
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#110: August 16, 2021, 06:24:35 PM
Hi SS,

Glad to hear your W is headed in the right direction in trying to find peace and acceptance with who she is and what she has in life.  My W also struggles with this too.   Hope you enjoy your vacation.

HF
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#111: August 21, 2021, 05:03:22 AM
Journaling:

My vacation has come to an end..... oh it was GREAT!!  ;D 8)
Learned so many things, ate so many things  :P Time to get back to the gym, I had to have gained a few pounds but it was worth it.
W was texting and even called a couple times the 1st couple of days....... I guess that anchor checking thing. Kinda funny, and then it stopped (as expected).
I got home to a beautiful house, she had cleaned and cleaned. That was very nice, and much like her old self. She does appear to be making progress with herself. MIL is in town on her own vacation, arrived the day before me...... that explains plenty of W's behavior (wanting appearances to be the way she wants them) but hey, you take what you can get right?
The little dog was beyond excited to see me. He seemed to get lost on his walk, I hope he was walked while I was away, W says she did but his behavior seems to suggest otherwise. Well, I'm here to walk him once again so he's in good care.

It was so nice to get some alone time. It was a little sad at times, and such a waste to not have someone to share it with but I also made the most of it. I got a little over 40 miles walked over the 5 days, not too bad but it wasn't the 50+ I was hoping for. After doing 12 miles a day the 1st couple of days the body said "yeah that's enough, I'm going to stop ya" and proceeded to pull something that made my leg hurt the rest of the trip  :-\ Oh this getting older stinks!! You should be able to walk a million miles no problem, it's low impact!! Ha!

Met all kinds of interesting people on my trip: A single mom at a show (she seemed to think I was pretty great - LOL!! No lady I'm not playing hard to get, I'm impossible to get  ::) ), a drug dealer on the street ("You are one cool dude", HA!!), an airline exec who quit his job to drive Uber ("I make more money doing this"), a pizza mogul (and picked his brain), and a street performer from Brazil (She made more money taking photos with tourists than ANYONE I met on my trip..... HAHAHAHAHA). Just fascinating..... people that is. What their perception of the world is, and their opinions on people. Absolutely fascinating. All of them wanting and needing connection with another human. Show interest in them and their life and it's amazing how people open up. Once they know you don't want anything from them, or to use them, or trick them, *POOF* like a flower opening up for a bee. I do like that about people.

I got to do some great people watching. Seeing the tide of people as it ebbed and flowed, watching the expectations, hope and images people want to portray, and the disappointments of whatever it was that let them down. Vegas is such a unique and special place for all of that. You can instantly tell who just got there, and who is about to leave...... written all over their faces. It is fun to try and imagine what life they have come from, what is it they want to escape for just a while, and what they will return to when it's all over. People, I do love people.  ;D
I also watched the couples, how some were just so attached with that glimmer in their eyes..... and others who did not touch at all and didn't look at one another. How interesting. Personally I miss that touching and glimmer in the eyes, I remember how that felt and how special it is. How it makes even the mundane exciting  :P. It was interesting to me how rare it was to find in a place where there should be so much of it. I must confess it was a little sad that something so special, and free was in such short supply. Perhaps that is something so easily taken for granted that it takes the LBS experience to truly grasp, identify, understand and appreciate. Ha!

I'm glad to be home. This life is far more exciting and fulfilling than vacation. This is what counts, and what can be build upon.
Nice to have a rest and a break, and come back to reality.

One day at a time,

-SS 
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#112: August 21, 2021, 06:59:01 AM
I think a  change of location is always a good recharger and it sounds like you enjoyed your adventure. With the last 1 1/2 years and so much restriction, it feels good to be able to get out and about again.

It's also hard not to have someone to share those experiences with. Although I too have found that when I have travelled alone, I end up talking to people that I might not have if I were with other people. Thanks for sharing your contacts with others.

Quote
Personally I miss that touching and glimmer in the eyes, I remember how that felt and how special it is. How it makes even the mundane exciting 

I miss that too, still. So many many moments that I never gave a second thought to until they were not there anymore.

I am sure your pup is glad to see you home!

Thanks for your update!
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#113: August 21, 2021, 08:02:32 AM
You know right after bomb drip 5/19 we were on a planned vacation in Italy 9/19 to see my daughter and family and celebrate our 40th Wedding Anniversary.  We went out to dinner and my son in law leaned over and said to me "i only hope that some day your daughter will look at me with that same love in her eyes as you have for my FIL".  It's funny what you miss.

S.S. glad u got away and had time for yourself.  I just got back from 3 weeks in Italy.  Although i did not have any communication from H i had a pretty wonderful time with my family.  But a few days before my departure i was ready to be back home. 😊😊

Carpe Diem
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#114: August 21, 2021, 03:43:37 PM
Thanks for the excellent update, SS! Sounds like you made the most of your vacation and it recharged your battery, and now you are in a place where you appreciate home even more (not that you didn’t appreciate it before, but I think that a reset from time to time helps). It’s great that you can appreciate your connections with other people while still expressing that you miss the connection with your one special person. I get that, and I certainly appreciate the moments of connection with my w when I do get them, as you clearly do too.

The little dog is lucky to have you! (As of course, is your W.)
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#115: August 22, 2021, 02:25:27 PM
HI SS,

Glad you had a great time away and that your W is making continued slow progress.   One benefit that I have enjoyed since BD is that I have a much greater appreciation of my need for my own alone time.   Wishing you the best as your return back to normal life and continue to build a fulfilling life.

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#116: August 27, 2021, 02:21:28 PM
Another week gone by already??
LOL!!

MIL is in town for a 2 month vacation. Instead of staying with us this time, her and BF rented a place. Fine with me, but I do love MIL. I think she doesn't want to be around because of all that's gone on. Totally understandable. She knows what W is going thru better than I, she's lived it, and I'm sure she doesn't want me asking any questions (I wouldn't, I'm not at the BD stage anymore but she doesn't understand that).  :P
The interesting thing is: So W has gone to "see MIL" several times in the last couple years, more like 4 years...... hmmmm..... maybe five now that I think about it  :o ........ months and months away from home each year. Well, MIL is here and is W jumping to see her? Nope.
They spent some time together the 1st couple days she was here and then ZILTCH.... nada..... nothing. A couple nights ago I ask her "When are we going to see your mom again?". She replies "I don't know....." (with no real interest). Wow. After I asked she reached out to check on her, but that was just because I asked. Just amazing. I know we'll see her this weekend (maybe because I suggested it, or maybe that was going to happen anyway). It's just wild.
Puts a unique spin on MIL visiting, and W's "visits" to see "her". Not a lot of interest to see her now, and you'd think as she progresses there would be MORE desire to connect with family, not less. That obsession to get away in the 1st 2 years, that seems to be gone but was she interested in seeing mom, just wanted to get out of the house, or was it AP? Probably a combo of it all, but it sure spells her mom not really being an important factor if the current reaction is any judge. Fascinating, and troubling.
Other than all that, she continues to seem more and more like herself........ but of course distant and emotionally closed/guarded. Communication continues to increase, there's no indications of memory loss (good, that had seemed to come and go in little spurts there for a little bit in this stage..... whatever stage that is). 

On to me!! Back to the gym after my vacation! Except now you have to wear a mask...... BOOOOO, HISSSSS!!  :( >:( That really ticks me off. My calories per session is almost half from not being able to breath. Totally sucks. Gotta have oxygen for aerobic activity, there's no way around that.

On the the dog!! The little guy is even more full of energy than before. He's like a lightning bolt with four legs. I only wish he could be out all the time...... he pee'd on the rug this morning  ::) LOL!!

One day at a time,

-SS
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#117: August 27, 2021, 08:11:38 PM
SS,
if i can ask.... what do you mean by "she lived it" Also again if i may, before BD did your W have a good relationship with your MIL?

Thank you,
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#118: August 28, 2021, 01:56:22 AM
Hey 5hil  :D

MIL is an ex-MLC'er...... so she's very aware of what it's like and what people do in the throws of MLC. In her case, she ran away and never went home (only to regret it after 10 years when her ex-H remarried).

They did not have much of a relationship at all, until I pushed her to reconnect almost 20 years ago. It was a slow process, but they rebuilt their relationship over 10 years culminating with MIL's AP passing away and that's when W entered shadow (almost 10 years ago).
So they are closer now than they have ever been...... that has been a dream come true for MIL, and for W.

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#119: August 28, 2021, 04:12:18 AM
SS,
thank you so much for your response.  My S33 fears he will replicate his father's actions.  H was S's Hero and then BOOM off of the grid.  My S is the only one of my 3 children who continues to reach out to my H.

I have seen you refer to "shadow" what do u mean? Did you know about your MIL's MLC before you were dealing with your W's MLC?  Were u ever able to ask your MIL questions that helped you?


Apologies for all of the additional questions. I am so glad you have some knowledge of MLC before and after.

All the best,
5hil
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#120: August 28, 2021, 04:42:53 PM
Hi 5hil  :D

I call "shadow" the time before BD when they are in decline...... where the person we know fades. I know for some this is only 6 months, for some they are totally sideswiped and didn't notice anything, in my case I knew "something" was very wrong for years (and only got worse and worse as time went on)...... there was nothing I could do, I tried and tried, moved mountains really...... I didn't know there was nothing, NOTHING that could stop what was happening. It does make me wonder if all that action, all those attempts extended "shadow" and staved off BD for a time. Looking back, W was in "shadow" for 7 years. It was awful, and no I had no clue what MLC was before BD.

I did talk to MIL about it, and she was very candid about it.... told me things she's never told a soul about herself. Terrible, terrible....... but I learned a lot about what it is to be an MLC'er from her. In a nutshell, she destroyed her life, destroyed her family, betrayed her H, betrayed herself, betrayed God, and had too much shame to return. She tells herself lies every day just to be able to look at herself...... well, she did for years and years until she accepted the destruction that she caused and who she was. Still a lot of justification, but she knows it's all a lie. Just a paradox for her........ and just like her, W is in a paradox (and like the LBS too..... I know I have several paradox to work thru).   :)

Your son has plenty to be worried about..... he very well could repeat it. W was scared to death of it (I didn't understand at the time), and she had a front row seat to the destruction of her Mom and Dad...... didn't stop her...... her "replay" was almost like a retelling of her mom's life. The amount that she looked up to her, wanted to succeed where MIL had failed..... and above all wanted to have a relationship with her mom........ your son is very wise to be cautious. MLC many times is generational, and does pass from parents to kids. On and on. Personally I believe this chain is broken if there is reconciliation, but I can't prove it.

No need to say sorry, we're all here to help one another..... ask away  ;) If I can be of any help, that makes it all worth it.  8)

-SS
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Aliens stole my W!!!!! Part 11: Mars Attacks!!!
#121: August 28, 2021, 05:37:01 PM
SS,
thank you, thank you, thank u, i don't mean to make your thread about my reality.  I really do read everything you write and this time a bell is ringing.  You and your wife are so young, i am always amazed how you are traveling your journey.  If i may, how old was your MIL when the MLC took over?.

With what you know, have learned and are learning do you see where u might have influenced your W to recognize what was/is happening to help herself?  I ask this to understand if i would be able to see my S moving into a shadow and maybe create visibility to him of this change.

I know there are no true absolutes in our MLC reality but the Process Engineer in me must try to connect the dots.

Thank you so much,
5hil
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#122: August 28, 2021, 10:49:15 PM
Hi 5hil,

So the timeline of when MIL crapped out is a little fuzzy. I've tried to pin it down, but it's not an easy subject with FIL..... he did his best to talk about it, but he's remarried and the whole thing really destroyed him.
I know she was somewhere between 34 and 36 when she broke, and I also know she had gone into shadow for years before (being obsessed with career to the exclusion of everything else). In my mind, that puts her around 31 when she started. Her divorce was very fast, and she bolted without warning...... saying goodbye to to kids as they went to school and then *POOF*.

One odd (now I understand) memory is W saying one day "Today is the age my mom ran away...... I'm so glad I made it!!".....  :o At the time  I was like "of course you made it" (why wouldn't she?) HA!! Little did I know...... AND, she was in shadow at the time...... fading, becoming irritable, the obsession with work well underway. She knew something was going on, probably didn't understand it herself, but there was a major fear there that she had never shared with me (actually there was a lot she didn't share with me).
As for "did I see it?".... Nope, I was blind...... blinded by love, duty and the desire to be a good husband. Looking back, the signs were all there, I just wasn't educated in MLC. I thought I was dealing with a fully functional person...... I wasn't. Oh she wanted to be a fully functional person, and she hid it (and tricked me) many times when I'd point something out (which only made her hide it more). Her anger made me think it was my fault. Such is the downfall in shadow.


Here's all the scary stuff, don't worry, it'll end good.......
Looking for Shadow:
I would be on the lookout for distancing. For obsession. For dissatisfaction in all things besides the obsession. I would look for jumping from one idea to another in rapid succession, without pause..... looking for some way to be successful in a way they have not been successful. I would look for discontentment, restlessness, and for them looking for reasons to return to an obsession. If I suspected any of these behaviors, I would test it....... see if a mask slips. Pit that interest against something else, something they should want to do, or used to love. See if it takes precedence, or if they do attend/perform the alternative if it's a minimum effort type of thing where they want to get back to it ASAP or bail out early (such as if they let other people down to do what THEY want routinely), or if you see real uncharacteristic annoyance from being dragged away from what they want. If you see any of that, there's a problem, and it will only grow bigger and get worse. All this should be visible. You can only test it with observations of their actions and their reactions to expectations...... people in shadow lie to others and themselves. They are utterly convincing because they believe it themselves. Their mask will slip as they lose control over the projected image they seek to create (of themselves). This is what you look for.     

For you son..... once that fuse is lit..... some would say it's too late at that point. I don't agree. The root problem(s) can be dealt during shadow...... but it's not something someone wants to face nor can they be made to face them: They must be willing. In W's case, all thru our M, I knew there was damage there. I tried to help her, and I think she did get a lot of help and support from me (she's said so many, many times, even after BD)..... but it wasn't enough. There was so much she would not face, even when asked directly.
If your son thinks something is happening, or if you see something happening in him..... maybe he could be turned ahead of time. Maybe. I think a lot of it has to do with how early can it be caught, and are they willing to seek help. It would probably be one of the hardest things they ever have to do in order to choose help.
A good indication would be if he can honestly talk about it, or does he rush thru and skim over it.... trying to end the subject or avoid going into depth. Is there curiosity to understand? Or is there a judgment made in stone with no room for variation? Also, is there shame? That's a big one.
 
If your son is concerned, or gets concerned...... I would suggest he go to a therapist and work on his emotions and struggles. Dig all that out and resolve it well ahead of it becoming a problem. If he's married (or not), then having a frank conversation with him (and his W) (IMO) is a really good idea. Having two sets of eyes, with a spouse who wants to help CAN help. Anyway, just my 2 cents  :D I think if MIL or FIL had set us down and talked about their experience 20 years ago...... oh boy, W would have been in therapy way back then..... asked the questions she needed to ask, and resolve all that garbage that built up on the inside. I think if that had happened...... she would not have had an MLC.

On the good side (I see your concern for your son - very good  8) ), I think men have their MLC later than women (generally). At 33 I don't think it's too late for him if he's going to have a problem. Not at all. There's a couple years (at least) before he breaks down, that's just enough time to do some work and get some help.
The other bit of good news is: His age when his father broke. He wasn't a teen (or younger), he was an adult. The MLC "imprinting" factor  doesn't apply here. That drastically reduces the odds. 

-SS 
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Aliens stole my W!!!!! Part 11: Mars Attacks!!!
#123: August 29, 2021, 03:36:51 AM
AMAZING!!

Thank you for sharing so much and all of your insight.  I will copy and paste this for review over and over. My Son is married with a gorgeous son and wife. He does talk to his wife, his sister and myself openly.  After our conversations he often says "I am going to bring that up with my therapist". I know he is concerned and i believe he is working to stay in touch.  The BIG difference for us is my H "broke" in his 70's.  Elder crisis of an otherwise physically strong and healthy man. Although the age is not as common there are many of us walking the elder crisis journey.

SS,
Thank You and know i will always follow your journey as long as you write and i can read.
5hil
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Aliens stole my W!!!!! Part 11: Mars Attacks!!!
#124: August 29, 2021, 04:53:08 PM
Hi SS,

Glad to hear that you are doing well and your W continues to make slow progress.  Enjoy the time with your MIL visiting and appreciate your insights regarding Shadow.

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Aliens stole my W!!!!! Part 11: Mars Attacks!!!
#125: September 01, 2021, 10:58:42 AM
Journaling:

Almost another week gone by....... time just flies.

MIL is coming to stay with us here is a few days. We get to have her for a week or so. I think renting their own place just didn't turn out as nice as our place (HA!!). It'll be really nice to see them, and I'll be cooking for four.
W has been in and out, in and out of this grumpy, (extra) distant, mood all week. She hasn't been messing with the little dog hardly at all (poor little guy) so I have to take up the slack on that. She's been extra avoidant  ::) and seems happiest (with me) if I stay by her as she looks at Tick-Tock/Facebook videos for hours and hours on end.... the good part of that is she wants to share what she finds funny..... but I gotta say, IT'S BORING!! I feel for her need to escape and distract, but IT'S BORING!! HAHAHAHAHAH!!
Her sleep problems seem to be getting worse and worse. A funny thing is she wanted some Ginkgo and I got her some..... I asked her if she liked it, and she said "I think it's helping me remember". LOL!! It's kept on her nightstand otherwise she'd forget to take it!!  ;D

I'm continuing to notice that she is better (for a time) after each counseling session. It makes me wonder what she is learning, or what is being worked on. I'll never know, but it is curious how I see behavior adjust afterwards. I'm still whom she points fingers at, but I have seen more attempts to not automatically pin blame on..... I have noticed some eye rolls when I say something, that hasn't happened in a while, and it took my by surprise (going to call her on it the next time I see it). That's a lousy way to treat someone, and I know I'm still the scapegoat for at least some of what's going on inside. I know there's a lot of resentment in there toward me still, and I know that forgiving someone for resentments you hold (deserved or undeserved) is quite the feat. I hope she is making progress in that area (seems to be increasing to me - maybe she is starting to deal with it).

On to me!!! I weighed myself for the 1st time since returning from vacation........ I gained 10 pounds..... Oh no!! The scale says 8 pounds of that is muscle. Yeah, I don't know about that. I feel leaner than before, but 10 pounds?  :-[ Not what I was expecting. I'm dieting pretty good, now I'll diet even harder. Lifting weights last night, I'm stronger than before vacation. Maybe the body needed to rebuild? Hence the extra weight?

On to the dog!! He's received a bunch of new toys, but what he really wants is to play..... and the person he most wants to play with is W. I think he's trying to cheer her up. Good little guy.

One day at a time,

-SS
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Aliens stole my W!!!!! Part 11: Mars Attacks!!!
#126: September 05, 2021, 07:56:58 PM
Has another week gone by?

Almost  ;D
It's going to be 2022 in the blink of an eye.

MIL and her boyfriend arrived last week, it's nice to have company in the house once again.
It's very interesting how it effects W. Just like before, she is having to be more active and interactive.
This has the great byproduct of her collapsing at the end of the night. She's emotionally spent. Each morning I ask her "how was sleep?" and each morning she says "Good" (with a surprised look). Not a mystery to me, but it is to her. LOL!!
She's routinely getting nine hours (for the moment), and that is a wonderful thing to see.
I've been tossing a few jabs her way to try and goad her into a laugh....... no luck. LOL!! The other day I poked her arm like I would have in the old days....... she didn't jump (good) but I think she was surprised. It was natural to me, not forced, didn't even think about it until afterward.... which is really funny to me, and a bit comforting too...... all those feelings and doings, all in there still (mine). Nice to see those emerge for a moment, it's too easy to think that all that has evaporated.  :P it's hasn't, just dormant.
She took the little dog for a walk this morning (great) and it's nice to see her really try to be "normal". Someday she will be, and going thru the motions is very necessary.
The other night we were watching an old sitcom she evidently liked when a teen.... "Sister Sister"..... I've never seen it before. At one point the male lead was ribbing on the female lead about her talking all the time. W asks "I don't talk all the time..... do I?". I reply "You have your moments"..... HA!! Before MLC and Shadow, I could time every day an hour where she would unload everything about her day and what she thought about it. It's been so many years since that has happened, I simply hadn't thought about it. HA!! And here in MLC, you just want them to talk....... interesting how things turn upside down on themselves.
Tonight she had a minor meltdown in front of everyone. MIL and B just kinda blinked.... I know they are totally aware of what's going on, but for them to see it.... it has to be shocking to some extent. Of course W was oblivious to her behavior..... she was trying to keep herself under control, but simply couldn't. That anger, it's just uncontrollable at times. I wonder what she is processing that has so much anger associated with it. There's no answer of course, but compassion must win out. I had everyone laughing, and W just sat with that sour face.... what must that be like? To want to partake and find it so alien instead? It must be very lonely.... and miserable.

On to me!! Working and working out. I pulled a giant air conditioner onto a roof for the family. It was nice to see my aunts and uncles today. They were squawking "you're so thin!! And handsome  ::)"....... good to see family. Good to help family.

On to the dog!! He has even MORE energy...... how is this possible? He just goes and goes.... they should get rid of that rabbit and put an energizer battery on the little hound dog..... he keeps going, and going, and going, and going......

Oh.... and I invited W to go to a pumpkin patch event in Oct. She actually was like "yeah" and semi-positive about it. We did that once in the 1st year of MLC (which was a semi disaster.... HAHAHAHAHA) and it looks like round two may happen this year. Baby steps. Pull her forward....... actually after all that happened with her work this year, the chain of being alone for the holidays could be broken this time. How interesting would that be as well? Here's hoping  ;) :P 8)
I would expect that I will have a robot instead of a companion, but I'll take it. Inching forward......

Year three, right on schedule. Clearing that runway and looking for an arrival. What will the person getting off MLC-Airlines be like?
LOL!!  :P
That day is coming......

One day at a time,

-SS
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Aliens stole my W!!!!! Part 11: Mars Attacks!!!
#127: September 05, 2021, 08:15:26 PM
Hi SS,

Glad to hear things are going well.   The dog will eventually slow down but that will years down the road.  The pumpkin patch event sounds fun.  Hoping you and your W have a great time in October.

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Aliens stole my W!!!!! Part 11: Mars Attacks!!!
#128: September 12, 2021, 03:36:15 PM
Another week gone by? Again?
Almost   ;)
LOL!!

This has been a really nice week. It has been quite a while since I've been able to look into the recent past and notice a "cycle toward".
Been so long it almost seems like I had forgotten what that is like...... but it's nice to be reminded...... enjoy it while it lasts....
A few compliments, a few smiles, a few looks, and some real talk..... what little things can be so nice (and missed).
W has been more normal, than normal.....  :o :P :-X What a strange way to put it.
Tonight she brought home a bunch of chili and wanted to roast and clean them together...... so we did. It was very nice doing something together, and I think we both enjoyed it. It's been a long time since we've done something like that together. It's also been nice having the house to ourselves again. She's been more active with the dog this week, and I actually watched her have some genuine moments of joy with the little dog. Also nice to see. Good to see the person I knew emerge in little bits if even for just a while.
This week I've been having a lot of dreams each night.... normally I don't remember my dreams at all, unless there is something important in them. All of these have stared W (which also has not happened in quite a while). Last night's dream she was there in front of me, with the saddest eyes I've ever seen. I asked her what was wrong, and she just stared back..... sad as sad can be. That was the whole dream, and it seemed like a very long dream. Just interesting.... what we perceive, what we pick up on, and how we process it in the back of our head. Something is happening, what exactly I couldn't tell ya, but something is happening, something is changing. I sense it.
She's been repairing things at her work (good), and is opening up to doing things here at the end of the year. I wonder if the streak will be broken but I don't have my hopes up. She could up and go for the holidays once again on a moments notice. If she does, I know how to have a great time by myself.... heck, I'm used to it..... could be stranger to not be alone at the holidays  :o
I do hope this Covid stuff doesn't derail all the events come December. Last year they had limited last min engagements open up that I was able to latch on to (which was a great surprise blessing).

On to me!! I've exceeded the calories at gym classes with the stupid mask on vs. before with the mask off.... which is awesome. So much closer to hitting the goal of a thousand calories an hour...... I'm at 800 and climbing. One of the spin instructors shouted out what your watts on the bike translates to in ability....... I'm advanced, borderline pro..... for an hour anyway  ;D :P that's a good feeling but I feel like I should be so much better, I'm not even close to feeling like I've topped out or reached my potential.

On to the dog!! We bought him a new house to sleep in, and he destroyed it within 5 min of getting it.  ::) He somehow got into W's closet and wrecked it. His energy continues to astound. He'll be a year old in just over a month. W wants to chop off his equipment, and I've promised my little boy that daddy will make sure he stays a boy. HAHAHHAAHAHAHAH!! He's a rascal, an escape artist, and a little beggar and thief..... daddy loves him. He's such a little boy.

[update three days later, didn't hit post, again] A little  :o Story......
It was time to sign a new lease. Last year (maybe the year before too, I can't remember) it was a stressful thing....... will she sign? Or not? Doesn't really matter, I make enough money to lease the house with or without her. I'm fine financially without her. Seeing if she's comfortable enough to sign has been an indication...... so, always interesting to see.
This year like the others, she waffled on signing. I know enough to leave it in her court as long as I can. This time giving her two weeks, and not getting any response except "ok".
Well, today I push the issue, we're only a few days away from our current lease expiring....... she says "it's on the table"...... oh great! She did it! Why didn't she tell me, oh well, doesn't matter. Go get the lease, look at it...... she hasn't signed it.  ::) Who knows what she's thinking.... that I'd just turn it in only signed by me? So I take it to her, "you didn't sign it" and hand her a pen. She is irritated but signs it. Was that so hard? I thank her and go about a nice Sunday. We play with the dog and she zones out on her phone.
[shakes head]
At least we have a home for another year. LOL!!

One day at a time,

-SS
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Aliens stole my W!!!!! Part 11: Mars Attacks!!!
#129: September 12, 2021, 04:04:34 PM
Quote
enjoy it while it lasts....
A few compliments, a few smiles, a few looks, and some real talk..... what little things can be so nice (and missed).
W has been more normal, than normal.....  :o :P :-X What a strange way to put it.

Do enjoy these moments of "normal". You have a good sense that these moments will come and go. For me, the fact that they exist, is important because these are the indications that this person is still somewhere inside of them.

Your dream I believe is also important..because behind the mask, they are very very sad.

Crazy making about trying to get her to sign the lease....something that should just be a routine couple of seconds.....

The puppy is still a puppy. Eventually they "settle" and it will all be worth it.

Thanks for keeping us posted.
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Re: Aliens stole my W!!!!! Part 11: Mars Attacks!!!
#130: September 12, 2021, 05:12:30 PM
Hi Standing I agree with XYZCF, these young dogs are challenging, but they...in the end..are soo worth it. (if you can stand them until they mature a bit).
You will have a loving companion for life.

I'm at the age now where I will only rescue dogs over 2/3 years old.  Ha ha  I don't have the energy to match theirs anymore.

So another lease signed huh?  Some progress.  :)
 
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Aliens stole my W!!!!! Part 11: Mars Attacks!!!
#131: September 12, 2021, 06:51:16 PM
Hey, SS

I'm finally caught up! Thank you for journaling all of this. There are so many stories from everyone here it's hard to believe there could be yet another different one, but that's the way it seems to work out. Hopefully I'll be putting some positive advice to use some day.

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#132: September 15, 2021, 11:53:07 AM
Journaling:

Got a call from a close friend today, he was in tears and completely distraught.
W of 25 years telling him it's over, angry, emotionally flipping left and right...... a "dear John" style letter left for him to find which tore his heart out.

So I go about asking questions, trying not to jump to any kind of conclusion, trying not to color what it could be.
He's resistant to talk, he's in too much pain.

So I start talking, tell him a few stories, see what catches (hopefully none of them). He had been talking for months and months about some problems at home, and shortly afterward would say they were all worked out. Then the same thing again the next week. Over and over...... normally ending with "we had a talk and worked it out, everything good now". Poor guy. I know he's been trying hard, it seems whatever he has tried and continues to try only ends with a temp solution and then she blows up again (and he admits he's not perfect, but he's taking all the blame on himself). He finally did admit though "it's her.... it's all her" and explained that whatever he tries it's never enough, that he just can't win.

Heart breaking for my friend, hopefully not an MLC, but at the same time.... if it isn't (and probably isn't, what are the odds) then his M is probably about to end. Terrible. They are both 42, what a dangerous time for relationships.
He has her on such a pedestal..... very unhealthy..... and while he holds her in such regard, she thinks she is done. Ouch.

He asked if he could come stay with us........ boy I'd love to help, but introducing such a variable with a slowly recovering MLC'er....... um, no. Not a chance. Besides, MLC or not, everyone has to stand up to the issues in their life, learn and grow. Running away is not the answer for anything.
I told him to give her space. Defuse the situation. Get out of her face.  Give her room to breath. I hope he does. I hope they can get thru. Hard to know what you do in a "normal" R, how you handle that....... when the type of problem you're accustomed to is the extreme of MLC......

I think I'll lend him my set of divorce busting books....... I think Michele Weiner-Davis is fantastic for "normal" R's headed for D.

One day at a time,

-SS
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Aliens stole my W!!!!! Part 11: Mars Attacks!!!
#133: September 15, 2021, 01:25:06 PM
Boy, that's tough. W insisted that I not spend my birthday alone (I told her she could go to a friend's party out of town), so I went to visit friends I hadn't seen in a long time and stayed with them. They were excited to see me but boy, they had tons of their own family dynamics going on. You definitely need to protect your safe space right now.
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Aliens stole my W!!!!! Part 11: Mars Attacks!!!
#134: September 16, 2021, 09:48:52 AM
SS, I know you don't want to "color" your friends view, but if it is mlc and you send only the divorce busting books, he's going to go back to its all his fault. Those kinds of books are fine if you have two normal people who are both willing to do the work, but end up very lopsided and sometimes detrimental when only one is working at it. The "nothing I do is ever good enough" syndrome can really take esteem down to doormat.

You might consider giving those books AND some information on MLC if you have it, just so he could see that what he's got going could be not of his making and that improving himself where he thinks he needs it is still the way to go.
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Aliens stole my W!!!!! Part 11: Mars Attacks!!!
#135: September 16, 2021, 02:48:40 PM
Hi Offroad,

Great advise...... I tried to understand his sitch, he just wasn't willing to talk about it.  :-[ Not in any depth.
He texted today and said "it's all worked out" (again). So I called him, "what happened?". He says "compromise".... I said "Good! So you got something and she got something?"...... "No....... she's getting all she wants"......
Oh no...... that's not a compromise at all. I see he's way more attached and codependent than I ever imagined. My poor friend.
I'm guessing (and I hope I'm wrong) that it will all fall apart again, and not too long in the future.

Can't really help until someone wants help....... he also turned down the books. I suggested counseling (in the event it's a "normal" R), he also wasn't impressed with that...... "only if it gets to that point"....... um...... if she's saying she's done, it isn't at that point? He's trying to hold on for dear life..... I can understand that, but oh that so unhealthy. Even in a normal R you can't do that.
Hope it isn't MLC, but yeah I don't have enough info to even guess...... sure doesn't sound good. His voice was trembling as I talked to him. For being "all worked out" he was a mess on the inside.
I know I was codependent (loved too much), but not to this extreme, not even close. He has a ton of FOO damage, and since like attracts like, I'm sure she does too. Recipe for disaster.
Wow us men put all our eggs in one basket don't we? HA!!

Very sad..... but what can you do?

-SS
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Aliens stole my W!!!!! Part 11: Mars Attacks!!!
#136: September 17, 2021, 08:12:52 PM
Hi SS,

I recently started to talk a new friend who just separated from his W.   From early discussions, it's looks like his W may be a Chaos Kid and may be having a MLC but it's tough to tell at this point.  All we can do is listen and try to support others the best we can.   Just like so many people have helped me on this forum.   Maybe you can plant seeds to help him in the future.  Also hope things are going well for you, W, and the little 4 legged friend at home.   Enjoy your weekend!

HF
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Aliens stole my W!!!!! Part 11: Mars Attacks!!!
#137: September 19, 2021, 04:00:58 AM
Hey HF  :D

That is just so sad..... to see the whole thing happen again. So terrible that the cycle repeats with others.

Journaling:
I had a really great week with W. We seem to be doing more together, which is really nice. I'd like to think she's peeking out more and to a  degree, she is. We roasted and cleaned some green chili earlier in the week, we haven't done this in years. Then she got tired of it, and that was it (what was left went bad waiting for her to want to finished it). I was happy with that. Something is better than nothing.
Then on Friday, she went to a bible study  ;D this is something that hasn't happened in a very long time. I hope she starts doing this regularly, but who knows. Maybe she will, or maybe not. That is very positive though. There hasn't been any desire to go to church with me, and that's ok. She'll move at her own speed, in her own way. Figure out whatever it is she's figuring out.
This weekend I went and bought more green chili and showed her. To her credit, she offered to help prepare it, and we spend a couple hours making a HUGE batch for the freezer. Enough to late the whole year. Oh she complained a little while we did it, but overall she was really good (for her). Baby steps. By the end she was talking "we could make this bla bla bla..... or we could make this (to eat) bla bla bla"..... good to she her become more involved and see positive things for the future.
Still a lot of time leaving her alone (most of the time) and I setup Hulu for her to enjoy more things to zone out to (also important). She's gotten bored of Netflix and Amazon (LOL!!).

On to me!! I'm doing marvelous. No complaints. Wish I had done more exercise this week, but that's how it goes.

On to the dog!! He's gotten much more attention from W this week, and he loves it. Her affection and energy levels have been much higher with the little dog. That's great. Yesterday I watched her play with him, and there was a noticeable change with her attachment to him. She can't be away from him too long, and misses him. Very happy for the little dog. He is so healthy and happy.

On to my friend....... *POOF*....... his problems are "fixed" for the moment, so I guess that's that...... and I hope that it is.

One day at a time,

-SS
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Aliens stole my W!!!!! Part 11: Mars Attacks!!!
#138: September 24, 2021, 04:00:13 AM
Another week in the can (almost)  :D

Right on schedule...... W floats towards..... and then floats away....... it was nice to see a cycle towards for a change, this week she cycled away, right on schedule. Love it while it lasts...... :)

I have a new problem, nothing big, and nothing too pressing yet.....
The last two holiday seasons there has been no W. *POOF* She runs away to a different country. On one hand it makes things easy, and of course on one hand that makes things hard. This year the potential for that chain to be broken exists (again) and her to be home for the 1st time in MLC.  Wouldn't that be a nice  :D
I have no indication from her as to what her plans are, nor will I make an issue of it: what she does is what she'll do. I as an external influence will not manipulate or pressure her one way or another.
My family has decided to have Thanksgiving early so that an uncle we don't get to see often can be there. This is wonderful on one hand,  and a problem on the other. W has not seen my family since MLC began, and at times has been utterly convinced that my family hates her (the guilt talking). She is afraid of seeing them, isn't willing to see even one in person (Thus far). At the same time, her memory has popped back into being, so there is a strong element of her knowledge of "suppose to be there" going on. What a catch-22. Add to that, I don't know how my family would respond to her presence. I think they would try to put on a good front and a good face, but we're all human, and my family could crack, could break, and it may be easy to pick up on their uneasiness. MLC'ers are overly sensitive about what people think about them. The two together could be a recipe for disaster, and I don't know that she's ready for it.
The icing on the cake is this is the 1st holiday season without Grandma. In that way it will be different, she was always the glue, the last of her generation in our family. Her absence will very much be felt, and in that way it marks an important milestone in time.
Fortunately there is time. It can sort itself out, but probably not. It will be too early for W to escape. If she is not invited she will be hurt. If she chooses to not go she will be hurt. If she chooses to go, she'll probably be hurt. I know what I will do: The right thing..... invite her and let her decide. How strange that something so good could be filled with such questions...... but it's something we have to face at sometime isn't it? I guess the real question is how much lead time to give her. I'm thinking two weeks. Not too much to wrap her all in knots. Not too little for it to be a sideswipe. I think that's the best consideration I can give her. My family (and father in particular), I'll have to pave the way. There are hard feelings there, and she is only welcome at my request. How odd that the betrayed and abandoned becomes the defender as what appears to be strength passes from the MLC'er to the LBS.

On to me!!
I've broken another machine last night..... maxed out the leg press at the gym: 390lbs. Made a new all time high on the pec machine: 250lbs. Hitting all time highs burning calories at spin (800+ in an hour). All that is going great..... no 6-pack.... unbelievable.  >:(
I'm stalking that 6-pack...... hunting it...... I will catch it.

On to the dog!!
He is a tornado. Just as I think he can't have more energy, he has more energy. Now he has become this nocturnal creature, and I hear toy squeaking thru the night. Poor little guy, he wants to play (and does). Banging, slamming noises as he throws things around. A happy little creature...... I'm very blessed to know he has a charmed life.

Almost time for the gym..... again.

One day at a time,

-SS 
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Aliens stole my W!!!!! Part 11: Mars Attacks!!!
#139: September 24, 2021, 05:34:04 AM
That's a tough one with the family, but it sounds like you have the best possible plan under the circumstances. Between my BD and move-out, in a short span of time W told me, "I could be your wingman," "if SIL and I are still in town for Thanksgiving maybe I'll invite you over," and "you should probably go No Contact." I'm just assuming it will be too early in all this to hear anything about Thanksgiving, unless she takes that as an opportunity to boomerang. Thanksgiving is right next to W's birthday, so she may go out of town or do something else, for all I know.

For better or worse, the only family I have left is my stepmother and half sister. One of the silver linings of this MLC misadventure is that it has brought me closer to them. (W met them a couple of years ago.) Stepmom is old enough to remember a woman who was sent to electro-shock therapy for menopause, so she realizes that W could be going through a lot, and understands my desire to see this through.

As for the abs, have you tried planking? I seem to build up a bit of ab definition when I remember to do them. Apparently planks are better than situps for core strength, as your body is normally more-or-less straight when you need those muscles.

Good luck with everything!

JB
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#140: September 30, 2021, 12:32:21 PM
Another week in the can  ;D

This felt like a long week........ not like other weeks which seem to flash by in a blink.

Today MIL comes back for a couple weeks. That'll be nice. Before long she will return to the country she retired to...... and I'll be on watch to see if W goes out there for the holidays again.
W was out a couple days this week for her work. That was a nice break, but it left me the one to clean before company showed up. HA!! The funny thing is W didn't even bring it up (very unusual for her). She stumbled in late last night from her flight and went straight to bed...... but was happy to be greeted by the little dog. He does makes her feel special and wanted. That's nice. I think the only one she is really completely open and vulnerable to is the little dog. HA!!

I don't know if she noticed all the work that went into the cleaning, but she had one of those smiles as she said bye this morning on her way out the door to work. Interesting how you see these little things as time runs on. Just enough to give a little hope, and a little indication and small things are adding up on their inside. So slow though...... HA!!

About to go into October.... and that means Halloween!! YES!! I'm really hoping to visit a spook house this year. There weren't any last year, but this is a different year. That was one of the great things about MLC...... stopping to live and enjoy life..... and that means SPOOK HOUSES!!! HAHAHAHA.
Of course handing out candy is important too...... the kids need something good and fun for their childhoods. I look forward to seeing all the little princesses and goblins every year. Not expecting W to dress up this time like the 1st year of MLC (that was eye-popping HA!!), but it'd be nice......  :P

On to the dog!!
Each time I stop and look at him, he seems bigger, but he's full grown. A bundle of happiness, he's become much closer to being potty trained now and that is fantastic.

Going to be a fast month, I can feel it.

One day at a time,

-SS
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Aliens stole my W!!!!! Part 11: Mars Attacks!!!
#141: October 01, 2021, 02:37:00 PM
HA!! I journal with little significant to say and then you get one of THOSE nights.  ::)

I think that's one of the worst spots, when your mind can hamster wheel and you just have to tell it "shut up". LOL!!

W had hung out with her mom most of the night (good), after she had come home from work in a really foul mood....... once her mom went to bed I joined up with her and she wanted "some quiet time" i.e. "leave me alone". HA!! No problem. *POOF* I give her an hour or two and then go to bed, she's messing on her phone (as always), and so I climb in and turn on the tv. It'd be nice just to relax together. She jumps out of bed and says she's not tired and wants to go downstairs (which means hide in her art room and do whatever she does in there.... could be anything). Of course she wants to see what I'm going to watch 1st so she can roll her eyes at whatever it is.  ::)
So off she goes..... I watch my show and turn off the lights. Trouble is, my heart is beating fast.... sleep doesn't come. Now I've gotten pretty darn good at focusing on me and tuning out whatever nonsense is going on, unless something is "off". I just know.
Awhile later (maybe an hour), in comes W. Climbs into bed. She is restless. A little while later, I hear her crying. Of course I know her cry, and I know when she's trying not to cry. That's what she's doing. I ask what's wrong..... "Nothing"...... are you ok "Yes".
The best thing I can do at this point is to get up and give her space to cry. So I do. "Where are you going?" and I say to read..... can I get you anything? "No, I'm fine" (as she chokes up).
Such a shame.... and something that repeats every so often. There is no answer for why, but the hamster wheel will tell you all kinds of things. So I grab the hamster wheel and tell it to be still.... and go read for half an hour. When I return there is whimpering, but I fall asleep quickly. There is no forcing it, and no matter what is done it will not be enough. She will wrestle with herself, and maybe someday will open up. The opportunity for connection is always given, and rarely if ever accepted. I think THAT is one of the hardest things as an LBS. As to what she was doing...... beats me and I don't care. Not my decision, not my burden to carry. Her bag of rocks is either getting heavier or lighter...... her choice.
Cycle towards, cycle away.

I'm going to lift heavy weights tonight  8)
TGIF!!

One day at a time,

-SS 
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Aliens stole my W!!!!! Part 11: Mars Attacks!!!
#142: October 01, 2021, 03:09:45 PM
Sorry to hear that, SS. At least it sounds like you're better at stopping the hamster wheel than I am!

I can see that even if I ever get the opportunity to offer a connection, it will continue to be a long, slow road.

Have fun with the weights!

JB
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Aliens stole my W!!!!! Part 11: Mars Attacks!!!
#143: October 01, 2021, 05:33:45 PM
Sorry SS,
glad you have your distractions and the little pup.  I am so glad she trusts u and will still craw into bed with you.  As you know i watch the progress you and your W share since i cannot see the progress of my own MLC'r.

Its funny you have the hamster wheel i just have a brain that i cannot shut down.  But i have always been like that and the nights are really bad.  Before it was work and now it's everything else.  Luckily i can always find something to do.

Wishing you a great weekend full of positive distractions.

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Aliens stole my W!!!!! Part 11: Mars Attacks!!!
#144: October 01, 2021, 06:25:43 PM
Hi SS,

I have to say I really appreciate your patience as you deal with your W.   My W, who is living apart, seems to be struggling too and it's hard for me to deal with her for the limited time that we have been together over the past couple of weeks. As for connection, I can't imagine what it's like for our MLCers.   As hurt as I have been, I have compassion and mercy towards my W as she is very clearly lost.

Hope you rocked the weights and enjoy your weekend!

HF
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Re: Aliens stole my W!!!!! Part 11: Mars Attacks!!!
#145: October 02, 2021, 05:33:20 AM
SS I applauded the skills you have developed and your mindset. I know that it is SO hard to watch someone you love be in pain, be sad, and have to simply leave it to them. When we care for someone we let them into our hearts, we care deeply for their well being. But unfortunately when they are disordered none of it helps, and it can be SO HARD to let go of that, having to acknowledge and know that nothing we do helps, that we are powerless to help. And sometimes its hard to accept that us detaching and letting go is different than not caring, that it does not make us bad people. Nor will it in any way make us lose them.

You seem to have really worked hard and gotten to a good place. I hope people who are earlier in their journeys can learn from your experience and hard work, and can hopefully find your experience as a evidence that they can take care of themselves, detach and still care.

I also imagine it was a tough thing to witness yet again. Hang in there, maybe she can keep finding her way out of this.
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Aliens stole my W!!!!! Part 11: Mars Attacks!!!
#146: October 02, 2021, 06:40:20 AM
Quote
There is no answer for why, but the hamster wheel will tell you all kinds of things. So I grab the hamster wheel and tell it to be still...

To watch someone we love be in such distress is so hard, especially when they cannot share with us..is there an issue? Is it more of a depression/biological thing? Did something terrible happen? and on and on as we try to understand.

My question sometimes is how can they treat us this way? I know in my head why, but still do not understand in my heart.

Take good care of yourself.
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" The truth does not change according to our ability to stomach it". Flannery O'Connor

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Aliens stole my W!!!!! Part 11: Mars Attacks!!!
#147: October 03, 2021, 07:40:54 AM
SS- Your handling of the situation was perfection. I don't think I would have been able to walk away in the situation. Given that space. I have had a hard time with that with a MLC’r that lives apart. I wish I could have adapted that detach earlier on before it go to a point to totally detach. Thank you for sharing. Specially for the newbies. Telling someone to detach is one thing. Being shown in situations how to handle it is golden!!
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Aliens stole my W!!!!! Part 11: Mars Attacks!!!
#148: October 07, 2021, 07:58:04 AM
Another week in the can, and a thread winding down to it's end (150 within sight  8) )

This week has seen so many things, really good (for me) and a lot of cycling away with W.

On to W!!  :D
She's having a really rough time. Terrible sleep.... super poor. I feel very sorry for her in this area. Who can operate with only a couple hours a night (this is what she claims, and I generally believe her, but sometimes I think she is wrong).
She has once again seemed to lose the ability to hold her eyes with mine (not a good sign), and distance has noticeably increased.
Working late is on the rise, and success in my job seems to agitate her once again.
Plenty of movement backwards, but not a cause for alarm..... it has to happen. Hopefully she will figure out more on this trip in reverse. I look forward to her next cycle forward and more of the person I once knew. HA!! Hopefully it won't take as long to get to the net cycle forward. LOL!!
Her mom's visit will be coming to a conclusion next week. It will be interesting to see how her absence will affect W. It could be good, could be bad. I still view her presence as a moderating influence, but I can see it is also taxing. The desire to have a mother is very strong in W, and all the years which were lost due to MIL's MLC. I feel sorry for her, such a large chunk just missing, which was never meant to be void. How does that damage someone, and how do they come to fill that gap? I guess that is something she herself is trying to resolve. It can't be easy, it can't be changed, only accepted, forgiven and moved forward from. I wish her the best in this endeavor, I don't know how I would have approached it in her shoes.

On to me!!
Exercise has been great. MIL and BF I think are surprised at how committed and diligent I am toward physical improvement.
I had a wonderful success in a months long project at work which culminated Tuesday. Knocked their socks off.
W was not impressed, and could only compare how our results are so different. She seems to think it is easy, nothing could be further from the truth. It would be easy to be let down by not having a cheerleader, but I have to be my own cheerleader. I find that as LBS progresses the need, desire or acceptance of outside affirmation continues to wane. I wonder if there comes a point where outside influence is completely irrelevant. That is a sad thought. On one hand, it would imply strength...... but really it just says you are not vulnerable, and emotionally closed. I don't ever want to be that, but I can see how easy it would be to be seduced in such a way. Something to be aware of and on guard against.

On to the dog!!
He chewed up the molding in the bathroom again after W repaired it (like I didn't see that coming). He is a happy boy, and W has not talked about getting him fixed (I'm against that). W's interactions continue to be very genuine with him, but with her energy level dropping once again, I find that I'm the primary caregiver to the little hound. It's always nice to see him run to her, seemingly knowing that she needs interaction, and he is all too eager to provide. I think the little guy is a light in her darkness.

As MIL's visit comes to a close, it will be time to see if W runs for the holidays again. A couple months before that is answered. I know this is a dangerous time, and one that will be navigated or not. It's obvious her struggle continues, and relief has not been found. This is sad, and it will take as long as it takes. I hope she doesn't revert or give up. To my knowledge she has not attended counseling in a few weeks at least.... but I could be wrong. It seems obvious to me that there is frustration, and so much bubbling underneath the surface. The rolling of eyes has returned (as frustrating as that is), but there does seem to be some rudimentary understanding of being supported. The sad smile has also been in effect.
One small note about MIL: She sees W's behavior (which is far better than it was), but as W gets agitated and disappears..... MIL gives a sad smile. I wonder if she sees herself all those years ago, and how she treated her H. I wonder what realizations she is experiencing, and what truths and regrets are being revealed. Nothing she can do now, but healing does last (and take) a lifetime.

I need to make plans for my next vacation. I'd assume this will be another solo trip, but you never know.
Thinking about Florida and Universal Studios  ;D What a great trip that would be. It always helps having something booked and to look forward to. Feels like a form of limbo when there's nothing on the horizon. HA!! The anticipation is almost as good as the trip itself. 

Saturday we're having a big family get together (her family) so they can all hang out with MIL before she leaves. This will be the largest gathering since MLC began. I'm curious how she will be, and if she will collapse afterward. A larger, better emotional stability test..... and one I'm not responsible for!! HA!!

One day at a time,

-SS     
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Aliens stole my W!!!!! Part 11: Mars Attacks!!!
#149: October 07, 2021, 06:47:24 PM
Fascinating update, as always.  So her mother being there does not keep her calm, really. Does it do the opposite at all? How does your W get along with the rest of her family, in general?

I also have a question.
I find that as LBS progresses the need, desire or acceptance of outside affirmation continues to wane. I wonder if there comes a point where outside influence is completely irrelevant. That is a sad thought. On one hand, it would imply strength...... but really it just says you are not vulnerable, and emotionally closed.
Why would a person feeling outside influence is irrelevant mean (to you, anyway) that they are not vulnerable or emotionally closed? I can see where that COULD occur, but not where if A, the B MUST follow. Do you not think you can you can think outside influence from someone could be irrelevant to whatever situation you are dealing with, yet still recognize that their attempt at influence is important to them and act accordingly? Kind of like when someone tries to give advice before they know the whole picture. They have no influence because you know they don't know the whole picture, but you know they are just trying to help. I don't think that makes a person emotionally closed off, just discerning on what is important. But perhaps I am not understadning your meaning?
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Aliens stole my W!!!!! Part 11: Mars Attacks!!!
#150: October 08, 2021, 12:34:15 PM
Fascinating update, as always.  So her mother being there does not keep her calm, really. Does it do the opposite at all? How does your W get along with the rest of her family, in general?

I also have a question.
I find that as LBS progresses the need, desire or acceptance of outside affirmation continues to wane. I wonder if there comes a point where outside influence is completely irrelevant. That is a sad thought. On one hand, it would imply strength...... but really it just says you are not vulnerable, and emotionally closed.
Why would a person feeling outside influence is irrelevant mean (to you, anyway) that they are not vulnerable or emotionally closed? I can see where that COULD occur, but not where if A, the B MUST follow. Do you not think you can you can think outside influence from someone could be irrelevant to whatever situation you are dealing with, yet still recognize that their attempt at influence is important to them and act accordingly? Kind of like when someone tries to give advice before they know the whole picture. They have no influence because you know they don't know the whole picture, but you know they are just trying to help. I don't think that makes a person emotionally closed off, just discerning on what is important. But perhaps I am not understadning your meaning?

Journaling:
Well, I had an opportunity to talk to MIL for a moment today. They are leaving on Wednesday, and so I off handedly commented a wondering of "and I'll be on watch to see if W goes to be with you for the holidays"......... MIL responded with "Yes, she is working on that right now, she has to get it all worked out with her work first".
And there it is: The question is answered. Now I can make plans, there won't be a W this Christmas once again (unless something drastic happens). That is both a disappointment and a relief. It is what it is. Better to know than not.  :) 

I have gone ahead and booked my next vacation for the end of Feb  ;D ;D ;D
This time I'm doing it right, and going to visit come rollercoasters. I can't wait. A vacation of vacations!! Another thing to cross off the bucket list..... no MLC will stop me.  ;)
Now I have four months to get that 6-pack before hitting a water park. Great motivating factor. Do or die, "gonna diet like it's 19, 99!!" HA!! 

Hi Offroad  :D
I'll reply in the next thread, just so it doesn't end and get cut up  :D 

How about that.... another 150 in the can, and another thread comes to an end.  8)
On to part 12!!!

Lock me up Thunder!!  ;)

One day at a time,

-SS

New thread: https://mlcforum.theherosspouse.com/index.php?topic=11842.0
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Aliens stole my W!!!!! Part 11: Mars Attacks!!!
#151: October 09, 2021, 09:01:22 AM
Well, no one has lock this up YET, soooooo...

Sorry to hear about the holidays, SS. I'm amazed at your ability to take this all in stride.

JB
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H
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Aliens stole my W!!!!! Part 11: Mars Attacks!!!
#152: October 10, 2021, 10:13:07 PM
Hi SS,

Sorry to hear about your W's holiday trip but very glad that you already have plans to visit some fun amusement parks.   This holiday is going to be challenging for me as this will be my first holiday alone without W.   Our arrangements aren't finalized yet so unsure what my plans will be with and without my kids.   Looks like I need to be thinking about my own trip when I do have some downtime on my own.    Amusement parks, beach, or some skiing sound like fun.  Hope your trip planning goes well and you come up with a great trip.

HF

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W - 42
M - 46
Together 19 years, M 17
2 kids
BD - July 2020
W Left Home - January 2021
W Filed for D - May 2021

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Aliens stole my W!!!!! Part 11: Mars Attacks!!!
#153: October 12, 2021, 01:27:34 AM
It's time!

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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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