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Author Topic: My Story Rebuilding Rebuilding our marriage and family

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My Story Rebuilding Rebuilding our marriage and family
OP: August 06, 2021, 11:54:51 AM
Oops, I forgot to thank FW and Torn for reading along in my last thread.  Thank you!

To anyone following along, welcome!

The last thread ended with me advocating for children, young/teenagers/young adults.

I also expressed my regret that I was a bit tardy in getting to the business of focussing on myself and the kids.  O well, what matters is that I did eventually take my eyes off H and turned my attention to me and our children, who were in deep distress at having been emotionally abandoned by their father.  H was such a devoted and dotting father until he did 180 on them.  No wonder they were in shock and didn’t know how to cope with their grief.  Helping and being there for them became my priority. 

I left my H totally to himself and his crisis.  I was willing to listen if he wanted to chat about himself and his crisis but I did not give any diagnosis, advice, lectures, and other sundry know-it-all cr*p (well, I’m not his mom or therapist), and as long as he respected my boundaries. The boundaries were: NO OW (after I found about about A) and NO disrespectful behaviour.  Get involved with OW again, I know a really good divorce lawyer.  Disrespect me with your angry outbursts, I walk out the room. 

And I got busy with my life — my kids, my job, my friends, my hobbies and my walking.  San H.

Sample of one.

My last thread: https://mlcforum.theherosspouse.com/index.php?topic=11619.0;all
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« Last Edit: August 06, 2021, 12:07:34 PM by Acorn »
Feb 2015: BD. 
Dec 2017: Seriously reconnecting

H never left home.

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#1: August 06, 2021, 12:05:57 PM
Acorn, sticking with you in this next leg of your journey. I have learned a lot from your sample of one lessons during my time here. I am grateful to you for continuing to share your story.
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#2: August 06, 2021, 01:22:34 PM
Acorn- I went back to your beginning threads and read through. Wow!!! So much good information in your story. Thank you for sharing so much through the years for is newbies to go back through and learn from.
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H-54 W-58  M 7/6/91 Kids d-30 s-28 d-14 (dies 2009)
2013- moments of disconnect start
Aug 2016 promotion requires travel   
Oct 2017-total disconnect
Jan 2018- moved out H
Mar 2018- BD1 found old phone 3 EA ‘17-H in therapy
EA ow1-49,  EA-ow2 57, (EA- ow3-58 not reciprocated)
Sept ‘18 -2nd Home in new state H new job
Oct 2018-H moves home
Oct 2020 BD2 does not return home from B trip
Nov 2020 H move to 2nd home in other state OW4
Div filed-Dec ‘20   Div final-Feb ‘21
Oct 2021- XH moves in OW4
https://mlcforum.theherosspouse.com/index.php?topic=11796.

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#3: August 06, 2021, 07:17:21 PM
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Survival Instructions for Newbies

The Apology Every LBS Deserves

My Journey

"Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass - it's about learning to dance in the rain."

"Don't become a container for bitterness.  It's a toxin that destroys what it's carried in."

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#4: August 07, 2021, 06:48:40 AM
Thank you, Curiosity, Tornup and FW!

To clarify: I wrote, ‘I did not give any diagnosis, advice…’ etc.  I should have said ‘I stopped giving any diagnosis, advice…’

Looking back, I can tell you that I was every bit as nutty as my H for some time after BD.  When I first came across the concept of MLC, it was a Eureka moment.  ‘Now I got him pegged,’ I had thought, and proceeded to educate him about his ‘condition.’  Not only did I try to teach him, I also made a well prepared verbal presentation on all the wrong choices he was making. 

Not only was he unappreciative of my stellar efforts at helping him, he reacted  contemptuously and angrily.  And then he moved on to total indifference and simply ignored me with blank eyes and silence.  Yeah, my hubris and condescension were breathtaking; I would have ignored me, too.

When we were well into reconnecting, I apologized to him for my arrogance and rudeness.  He was a good sport about it.  He said, ‘consider it forgotten.’

O well, you live and learn, don’t you. 

Have a great weekend!
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« Last Edit: August 07, 2021, 06:51:10 AM by Acorn »
Feb 2015: BD. 
Dec 2017: Seriously reconnecting

H never left home.

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Nas

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#5: August 07, 2021, 07:55:58 AM
Thank you, Curiosity, Tornup and FW!

To clarify: I wrote, ‘I did not give any diagnosis, advice…’ etc.  I should have said ‘I stopped giving any diagnosis, advice…’

Looking back, I can tell you that I was every bit as nutty as my H for some time after BD.  When I first came across the concept of MLC, it was a Eureka moment.  ‘Now I got him pegged,’ I had thought, and proceeded to educate him about his ‘condition.’  Not only did I try to teach him, I also made a well prepared verbal presentation on all the wrong choices he was making. 

Not only was he unappreciative of my stellar efforts at helping him, he reacted  contemptuously and angrily.  And then he moved on to total indifference and simply ignored me with blank eyes and silence.  Yeah, my hubris and condescension were breathtaking; I would have ignored me, too.

When we were well into reconnecting, I apologized to him for my arrogance and rudeness.  He was a good sport about it.  He said, ‘consider it forgotten.’

O well, you live and learn, don’t you. 

Have a great weekend!

Thanks for sharing, Acorn. I can also share that I too very brazenly informed my husband that he was having a midlife crisis. And I’m certain I did a bit of moralizing and lecturing in my desperate attempt to gain control of my out of control world.

Do you know what I learned also happens when you tell someone who cares only about themselves and views you as an object that they are having a midlife crisis? Congratulations, you’ve just handed them a tailor-made excuse and justification for all of their rotten behavior.  ::)

It’s funny you use the word arrogant because I literally said that to my former H at one point. In the first few weeks after BD, I informed him he was having a midlife crisis and then also later apologized for arrogantly telling him how he was feeling, as if I knew more than he did how he was feeling. I mean it was like a tornado of emotions in me and I was jumping from taking all the blame to desperately trying to figure it out and back to taking all the blame. And this was before I knew the extent of what he was really up to. All I knew at that point was that he had turned into some kind of robot with massive pupils and no facial expressions.
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« Last Edit: August 07, 2021, 08:00:10 AM by Nas »

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#6: August 07, 2021, 08:59:36 AM
Do you know what I learned also happens when you tell someone who cares only about themselves and views you as an object that they are having a midlife crisis? Congratulations, you’ve just handed them a tailor-made excuse and justification for all of their rotten behavior.  ::)

You’re so right abou this NAS. My h tells me every time we talked about what he did and the whole affair, he would tell me he had a MLC and he didn’t know what he was doing. Lol 🙄🙄
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Me 45
H    48
Married 13 yrs no kids
BD May 2019 (I moved out Nov 2019)
EA or PA with ex gf (not sure), H spent 3 nights with the hoe during our vacation in July 2019, it was a friendly encounter according to H
H wanted D April 2020 but didn’t file it
Contact never stopped, H now wants to reconcile
Me not sure

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#7: August 07, 2021, 06:43:43 PM
Hey Acorn

Welcome to your new thread.

Rose 🌹
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Married 15+ years with 2 children
BD1 - 2016
BD2 - 2017
BD3 - Sept 2019
MOW Mar 2016-Jan 2018
OW2 - Feb 2019, age 30
H left home Oct 2017 to stay with his parents
Bought a family Puppy mid 2018 - referred to as ‘P’

Link to advice by my mentor, Phoenix, on what to tell the children about H leaving - reply #33 (it had a glitch)
https://mlcforum.theherosspouse.com/index.php?topic=9313.30

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#8: August 14, 2021, 01:43:57 PM
Thank you, Nas, Dragonfly and Tornup, for sharing your thoughts. Rose!  Good to see you, and welcome to my thread!



H and I had an interesting conversation in regards to his ‘troubled period,’ as he called it, while gardening side by side the last few weeks.  We used to have a beautiful formal French garden which became quite informal (an understatement!) and wild over the last few years.  Turbulent MLC period may have had something to do with it. ::)

Among other things, we chatted about the process of overhauling the entire garden and how much time and effort we are investing in order to have a lovely garden again.  We’ve been pruning, weeding, pulling out weeds and diseased shrubs, planting new ones, etc.  Two busy bees. 

He was quiet for a while (thinky time) and then he commented how his ‘troubled period’ was like getting rid of the old garden and planting a brand new one, though the new plants were similar to the old ones and the garden layout was almost identical to the previous one.   But he chose each plant with much care and planted all of them himself according to his own design.  And it was the hardest work he had ever done… 

This is not the first time he shared with me his individuation/finding himself process.   

I had(!) to ask him a question.  ‘After you resolved the issues to your satisfaction, did you feel the need to go back to some of the ‘escape from myself’ activities or the mental state of the ‘troubled period’  so that you could say a final goodbye to them and close that chapter for good?’

He looked at me quite puzzled and said, ‘why would I do that?  You have either resolved the issues, or you haven’t.  If you have, there is no temptation to go back.’

…..

Who would have thought we would literally ‘rebuild’ our garden as well as our marriage and family! 

Sample of one. 

Have a great weekend!

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« Last Edit: August 14, 2021, 02:54:40 PM by Acorn »
Feb 2015: BD. 
Dec 2017: Seriously reconnecting

H never left home.

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#9: August 14, 2021, 02:15:37 PM
Acorn-
It must be so nice to get a logical response that is layered in reality. I can remember asking my XH on needing to go back to escape coping mechanism and getting a drawn out response on he didn’t know how to explain it, but he isn’t trying to hide anymore. He is facing reality. He shortly went right back to escaping mechanisms.

I think your H simple and to the point with the puzzled look has to be so comforting. The voice of clarity!! How sweet it must be
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H-54 W-58  M 7/6/91 Kids d-30 s-28 d-14 (dies 2009)
2013- moments of disconnect start
Aug 2016 promotion requires travel   
Oct 2017-total disconnect
Jan 2018- moved out H
Mar 2018- BD1 found old phone 3 EA ‘17-H in therapy
EA ow1-49,  EA-ow2 57, (EA- ow3-58 not reciprocated)
Sept ‘18 -2nd Home in new state H new job
Oct 2018-H moves home
Oct 2020 BD2 does not return home from B trip
Nov 2020 H move to 2nd home in other state OW4
Div filed-Dec ‘20   Div final-Feb ‘21
Oct 2021- XH moves in OW4
https://mlcforum.theherosspouse.com/index.php?topic=11796.

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#10: August 14, 2021, 07:59:59 PM
Acorn, I so appreciate your sharing of your reconciliation and rebuilding story, and the wisdom you have gained along the way (as well as the lessons and wisdom gained by your h). It may be the story of one person and one family, but some themes are universal, or nearly so. I love the analogy of the garden, and also the conversation about the need (or lack thereof) to revisit their points of crisis.
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#11: August 29, 2021, 09:39:15 AM
Thank you, Tornup and Curiosity, for sharing your experiences and thoughts.  :)

……

H and I have been working side by side in our garden for a while now (our summer project) and it is turning out to be quite the talk-fest.  We chat about anything and everything, from the mundane to our innermost thoughts. 

Yesterday, we were excitedly talking about the sudden appearance of tender new growths (almost overnight!) on trees and shrubs that were severely pruned back in the last few weeks. That led to us discussing apparent ‘suddenness’ of what’s been unfolding in Afghanistan and how the degree of suddenness seems to be in the eye of the beholder. 

We agreed that, in some life events, the suddenness is total and complete to the people involved in them and to the observers.  In other events, they are viewed as inevitable, even anticipated, by some with deep insider knowledge, but a complete shock to others.

Well, that convo eventually arrived at sharing our personal experiences from 6.5 years ago.  What happened then was a nuclear BD to me but it was an inevitable collapse of dam for H. 

I said to him I did not see those fracture lines in his ‘dam’ at all and it seemed to me that he did a 180 on me and our kids overnight.  He explained that, for quite a while, others saw what what he let them see and he wanted to see for himself also.  It’s not because he wanted to hide the state of disquiet in him from me, it’s just that he did not know why/what was bothering him, how to dispel it, or had any words to describe it.  He thought he was going crazy and wanted to cling to sanity by maintaining normalcy, albeit superficially — kind of ‘fake it till you make it.’ 

Based on what he shared over the years and he articulated clearly yesterday, he was not wilfully withholding communicating with me about whatever was brewing inside of him.  He just did not have the words for it and he was clinging to ‘normal’ by his nails and trying desperately to climb into it. 

I would like to note that our conversation did not evoke any emotional discomfort in either of us. I think that’s a positive sign of healing. 

Sample of one. 

Have a great Sunday!


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« Last Edit: August 29, 2021, 09:44:45 AM by Acorn »
Feb 2015: BD. 
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H never left home.

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#12: August 29, 2021, 09:50:03 AM
Following along (as always)....... love reading about your story.  :D

-SS
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M - 44
Together 25 years, M 23
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BD - 27th April 2019
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#13: August 29, 2021, 04:48:28 PM
Well, that convo eventually arrived at sharing our personal experiences from 6.5 years ago.  What happened then was a nuclear BD to me but it was an inevitable collapse of dam for H. 

I said to him I did not see those fracture lines in his ‘dam’ at all and it seemed to me that he did a 180 on me and our kids overnight.  He explained that, for quite a while, others saw what what he let them see and he wanted to see for himself also.  It’s not because he wanted to hide the state of disquiet in him from me, it’s just that he did not know why/what was bothering him, how to dispel it, or had any words to describe it.  He thought he was going crazy and wanted to cling to sanity by maintaining normalcy, albeit superficially — kind of ‘fake it till you make it.’ 

Based on what he shared over the years and he articulated clearly yesterday, he was not wilfully withholding communicating with me about whatever was brewing inside of him.  He just did not have the words for it and he was clinging to ‘normal’ by his nails and trying desperately to climb into it. 

Thank you Acorn,

Your sample of one has been so helpful to me as I continue to work through the collapse of my W and our marriage.   In hindsight, I can see some of the fractures in my W and how she was trying to keep it together until her dam Collapsed.   Don't know if I'll ever insights from her as she is still running away in her crises but you and your H's story is so helpful.

HF
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D Final - Jan 2022

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#14: August 29, 2021, 09:13:43 PM
Quote
He explained that, for quite a while, others saw what what he let them see and he wanted to see for himself also.  It’s not because he wanted to hide the state of disquiet in him from me, it’s just that he did not know why/what was bothering him, how to dispel it, or had any words to describe it.  He thought he was going crazy and wanted to cling to sanity by maintaining normalcy, albeit superficially — kind of ‘fake it till you make it.’

My XH said something similar. He knew he wasn’t right, but thought he would be able to pull it together, but it just got worse and he was embarrassed to tell anyone that he thought he was going crazy. He let it go for years until he cracked and started using bad coping methods.

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H-54 W-58  M 7/6/91 Kids d-30 s-28 d-14 (dies 2009)
2013- moments of disconnect start
Aug 2016 promotion requires travel   
Oct 2017-total disconnect
Jan 2018- moved out H
Mar 2018- BD1 found old phone 3 EA ‘17-H in therapy
EA ow1-49,  EA-ow2 57, (EA- ow3-58 not reciprocated)
Sept ‘18 -2nd Home in new state H new job
Oct 2018-H moves home
Oct 2020 BD2 does not return home from B trip
Nov 2020 H move to 2nd home in other state OW4
Div filed-Dec ‘20   Div final-Feb ‘21
Oct 2021- XH moves in OW4
https://mlcforum.theherosspouse.com/index.php?topic=11796.

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#15: August 30, 2021, 09:52:12 AM
Thank you, Standing, HF and Torn, for following along!

…..

I feel obliged to add that I try not to guess what’s in his head and just stick to what he tells me and proves with his actions.  (I can just about hear UM’s ‘don’t try to taste green with your elbow’  ;D) My tendency in the early days of LBS-hood to conjecture or assume what’s in another person’s head, make prognoses, or credit myself with the power to change another person has been quite diminished.  I’m hoping to keep it that way. 🤞

Tornup, just to clarify:

According to my H, ‘I think I’m going crazy’ period was around 6-7 months, though that was plenty long enough for him — because of the excruciating pain — to describe it as ‘for a while.’   He said he was mostly happy, content and enjoyed life until that period.  No wonder he was bewildered about his descent into emotional upheaval and felt that he might be going ‘crazy.’  It was such an unfamiliar territory for him.
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« Last Edit: August 30, 2021, 09:54:03 AM by Acorn »
Feb 2015: BD. 
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H never left home.

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#16: August 30, 2021, 01:36:30 PM
Hey Acorn,

Just curious..... that whole "I think I'm going crazy" period, W did that for a bit and said that too (repeatedly).
I'm wondering if he described it to you while it was happening. In W's case, she described it as "loud" and "many voices".
Would be interesting to know how a male MLC'er describes it. Did he?

-SS
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M - 44
Together 25 years, M 23
No kids
BD - 27th April 2019
Start of Shadow - Feb 2012

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#17: August 31, 2021, 06:40:45 AM
Just curious..... that whole "I think I'm going crazy" period, W did that for a bit and said that too (repeatedly).
I'm wondering if he described it to you while it was happening. In W's case, she described it as "loud" and "many voices".
Would be interesting to know how a male MLC'er describes it. Did he?

Hi SS,

Disclaimer first:

 I cannot guarantee my recall accuracy.  I must confess I have forgotten a lot of details surrounding H’s crisis, particularly the earlier times.  As I heal and move forward, my memories of the MLC era seem to fade and disappear.  H is the same way.  Not sure why.  You would think it was one of the most memorable events in our lives!   

….


if I remember correctly, H did not mention ‘going crazy’ in those months leading up to BD. He was very quiet, brooding, distant and withdrawn.  It’s only recently that he shared with me the words, ‘I thought I was going crazy.’

If I may, I would like to put forward my view that how much/little or what the crisis person says has more to do with the said individual’s personality traits and background/history than their gender.  (I admit I went with quite the troglodytic approach to forming my opinion — a general impression.  Look at the bright side; I am not so deep in the cave that I think my opinion equals objective truth.  ;D)

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« Last Edit: August 31, 2021, 06:41:51 AM by Acorn »
Feb 2015: BD. 
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H never left home.

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#18: September 01, 2021, 02:24:37 AM
Attaching now that I am back from vacation
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Me - 58, xW - 51
Together 19 years - Married 17 at separation & 21 at D-Day
S - 14, D - 11
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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#19: September 05, 2021, 10:04:33 AM
Happy Sunday!

Thank you, Big Bear, for following along! 

I love gardening.  I don’t mind the benefits of gardening with H — he does all the heavy work. ;D  However, I would be amiss if I did not mention another benefit — he occasionally talks about his crisis.  Another shared moment, another brick in rebuilding.

S1 had a minor traffic accident a few days ago.  No one got hurt.  Phew…  It was his fault and he had no qualms taking full responsibility for it.   That led H and me to a conversation about our kids taking/not taking responsibilities for themselves, and how some of our insights into their maturity level can be gained by looking at this factor alone.  We shared some examples of our own experiences of taking/not taking responsibility in the past and how it seems to be in our nature to pass the buck when unpleasant consequences are in our faces.  He said, ‘Yes, I’m a good example of that.  I realized after a while that the first step out of the deep hole was to take full responsibility for digging it.  I’d say that was the turning point of sorts for me.  Mind you, the temptation to stop at realization and not to take it further was very strong.  It’s easy to read the book cover.  But it takes a lot of time and effort to slog through a tome that is all about you.’  Not verbatim, but pretty close to it. 

This conversation prompted me to reiterate my view that LBSs and MLCers/WASs/cheaters are fully responsible for their choices. 

By all means, keep and cherish your love, empathy and understanding for your spouses if they are suffering, and if that is your choice (it was mine), but I personally wouldn’t be proactive in reducing their responsibility on their behalf.  Understanding the background (e.g. MLC) for their choices does not somehow grant them diminished responsibility.  I think we can sometime confuse or amalgamate these two aspects.   

It’s bad enough when MLCer/WAS/Cheater shoves off their culpability to someone/something else.  It’s even more perplexing when LBS does that on their behalf.

The question to ask is about ourselves, and to take responsibility for the way we think. 

Why do some LBSs appear to be keen on reducing the accountability of MLCer/WAS/Cheater for their choices by attributing some or all of it to other factors?  (Please see below for examples)

What do you get out of that?

I have asked myself the exact questions and the answers were not pretty.  However, it was a necessary step in my healing.

….

With apologies to Dr. Rosenberg — [……] are added by me:

We deny responsibility for our actions when we attribute their cause to factors outside ourselves.  [We deny MLCer’s/WAS’s/Cheater’s responsibility for their actions when we attribute their cause to factors outside himself]

# Vague, impersonal forces—[He left because he was in the ‘fog’]

# Our condition, diagnosis, or personal or psychological history—[He is having an affair because he is in MLC/depressed and confused]

# The actions of others— [OW manipulated him]

# The dictates of authority—[his counsellor said he should leave marriage if he is unhappy]

# Group pressure— [He wants D because he hangs around with the divorced]

# Uncontrollable impulses—[He could not control himself in the face of temptation]



These are not easy to wrap one’s head around.  I emphasize that the purpose of understanding the meaning of responsibility is not about sticking it to MLCer/WAS/Cheater.  But it is about clearly seeing who is responsible for what and refraining from diminishing personal responsibility for oneself or one’s spouse — and doing so without anger or vindictiveness; but with love, empathy and understanding in your heart.

I suggest that understanding ‘responsibility’ is crucial in seeing reality and moving forward with both eyes open. To deny or lessen your own or other’s responsibility is to deny reality.

I do not think it is a coincidence that H started healing when he completely stopped blaming other people/things/conditions and took full responsibility for his choices and started to look within himself for whys. 

Looking back, the same can be said for our relationship.  We could start seriously reconnecting when both of us stopped blaming factors outside of ourselves — while recognizing extenuating circumstances — and took full responsibility for the way we each behaved and reacted. 

Sample of one.

Enjoy your long weekend!





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« Last Edit: September 05, 2021, 11:18:01 AM by Acorn »
Feb 2015: BD. 
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#20: September 05, 2021, 11:15:42 AM
Looking back, the same can be said for our relationship.  We could start seriously reconnecting when both of us stopped blaming factors outside of ourselves — while recognizing extenuating circumstances — and took full responsibility for the way we each behaved and reacted. 

Hi Acorn,

This is so critical.  There are extenuating circumstances that led to my W's MLC and some things within our marriage that were impacted by the circumstances.  I have tried to really focus on my life and take responsibility for my own behavior.  Leaving my W to figure out her life.   Time will tell if she eventually confronts here own behavior or choices or just continues to blame me.   Grateful for your continued story about how you and your H have taken responsibility and moved on with life.   

HF
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#21: September 05, 2021, 12:43:02 PM
As usual a very insightful and helpful reflection. Thank you as always for sharing.

Quote
He said, ‘Yes, I’m a good example of that.  I realized after a while that the first step out of the deep hole was to take full responsibility for digging it.  I’d say that was the turning point of sorts for me.  Mind you, the temptation to stop at realization and not to take it further was very strong.  It’s easy to read the book cover.  But it takes a lot of time and effort to slog through a tome that is all about you.’


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I suggest that understanding ‘responsibility’ is crucial in seeing reality and moving forward with both eyes open. To deny or lessen your own or other’s responsibility is to deny reality.

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I do not think it is a coincidence that H started healing when he completely stopped blaming other people/things/conditions and took full responsibility for his choices and started to look within himself for whys.

In the marriages that I have seen that have survived MLC, there has been recognition of what the MLcer did while in crisis and an acceptance of their personal responsibility. I don't think that there could be a marriage without it.

There are also, as in my own case, the complete lack of ownership for anything. No dialogue, no explanation and certainly no discussion at all about what went down. Nothing, absolutely nothing. In earlier years, I tried to open up a dialogue between us. After being met with stoney silence, I stopped for it was causing me more pain that he would not interact with me at all on this.

So my personal opinion is that unless the MLCer resolves their crisis AND wishes to return to their marriage, as with all other things related to MLC, you cannot force someone to accept or admit responsibility for their actions. Those who have vanishers are certainly not able to connect in any way.

My priest very early on after BD, after he spoke to my husband summed it up well. "There is a complete disconnect between Mr. xyzcf's heart and his head".

 
Quote
Understanding the background (e.g. MLC) for their choices does not somehow grant them diminished responsibility.  I think we can sometime confuse or amalgamate these two aspects. 


I agree, it doesn't diminish responsibility. For some LBSers , it can help to find a way to move forward and do what they need to to find a life without their spouse.

I am going to use an example from my own personal history. I have a heart blockage and I don't tolerate medication that is needed to lower my LDL. I am a nurse and I worked in CCU. I have researched and explored all that this means and what I need to do to slow down the progress of this coronary artery disease. I have recently seen another cardiologist for a second opinion. I continue to learn all I can about this disease. The more knowledge I have, the easier it is for me to make the lifestyle changes I need to slow down the progression. I will also reluctantly start an injectable medication every two weeks, if I can tolerate any side effects from it and if not, that is sort my last thing that I can do.

I am like this in every aspect of my life. I want to find out as much as I can and that frees me to proceed.

So I think, based upon other threads that speak to this idea of wanting to know what causes MLC and how it progresses, I think there is a misunderstanding that this is not a healthy way to proceed on our journey.

Thus, and this is my own personal belief that I don't really understand this statement:

Quote
Why do some LBSs appear to be keen on reducing the accountability of MLCer/WAS/Cheater for their choices by attributing some or all of it to other factors?

I am not reconnecting even on a tiny level with Mr. xyzcf regardless of the contact between us. Thus, the issue of responsibility has no place other than my own inner work looking at how I can become a better person because of this experience.


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#22: September 05, 2021, 12:57:32 PM
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I do not think it is a coincidence that H started healing when he completely stopped blaming other people/things/conditions and took full responsibility for his choices and started to look within himself for whys

Then there are the ones that seem to take responsibility. Mine says it is all him. He changed. He doesn't know how to get out of where he is. So, he just ruminates things in his head over and over with no solution except self pity. He can see he has issues, insecurities, guilt,shame …. All of it, but wont work through the toughest aspects to deal with better coping. He would rather run and start a new life that is not as good. That he is still not happy, but that he doesn't have to be reminded of all his mistakes and pain.

I have brought up that you take all that with you, but he doesn't see it that way. He sees it as not having to look into the other persona's face that he did it to anymore. In the end I guess it is just an inner strength that some have that they are able to move past the cover and others just would rather try and keep the book shut. Regardless of whether the they have peaked at slime
of the chapters or not.
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#23: September 06, 2021, 11:49:15 AM
Thank you, xyzcf and Torn, for reading and commenting on my thread.  It’s lovely to read what others think. 

I hope I can type because my fingers are aching from pulling out the last of the ivy ground cover in the backyard. ( >:(!!!!!!!).  H is working today (on public holiday!) and I was determined to finish by myself what we started some time ago.  Never, ever plant ivy in your garden.  Grrrrrr. 

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So I think, based upon other threads that speak to this idea of wanting to know what causes MLC and how it progresses, I think there is a misunderstanding that this is not a healthy way to proceed on our journey.

If I may, please.

My view is that LBS’s information gathering on MLC is very helpful, especially in the beginning.  (I’d say to newbies to go for it.)  All the MLC info you collect gives a name to the unbelievable changes — seemingly overnight — in our spouses, and that is a good thing.  You want some plausible answers to reduce the bewilderment factor. 

After a certain point, though, you (general ‘you’) heal a bit and are encouraged to change your focus — ‘eyes off MLCer,’ ‘mirror work,’ ‘personal growth,’ etc.  You proactively change your focus, and then, hopefully, you experience favourable changes in yourself. 

The following quote by a Canadian writer encapsulates my thoughts which I have in my collection of lessons:

“What you focus on grows, what you think about expands, and what you dwell upon determines your destiny.”

Just my opinion. 
…..
Torn, from my sample of one, I saw that H’s awareness of what he had done was the first step of a thousand mile restitution journey.  That took place after he more or less resolved his issues.  May your H take another step, and then one more, and keep going. 

Enjoy the rest of the day, folks!
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#24: September 06, 2021, 12:44:32 PM
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After a certain point, though, you (general ‘you’) heal a bit and are encouraged to change your focus — ‘eyes off MLCer,’ ‘mirror work,’ ‘personal growth,’ etc.  You proactively change your focus, and then, hopefully, you experience favourable changes in yourself.

I agree Acorn.  We are amazingly resilient beings and healing occurs and we find ourselves in a different and hopefully better place.

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#25: September 06, 2021, 12:57:49 PM
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Torn, from my sample of one, I saw that H’s awareness of what he had done was the first step of a thousand mile restitution journey.  That took place after he more or less resolved his issues.  May your H take another step, and then one more, and keep going


🤞 I know its a long process and longer for the ones that fight it. Your story gives us hope. Thank you for continuing to share it
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#26: September 06, 2021, 02:08:19 PM
Ok, I bagged up all the ivy.  10 huge garden bags of it.  Good riddance!  I don’t want to see any more ivy for the next decade. 

Continuing from where I left off.

After some time has passed, LBS may come to the realization that she really need to wean herself off cherry picking her crisis spouse’s words and actions and reading the tea leaves in order to make them fit into MLC concepts and stages. 

It is my view that stepping back from constantly bathing your brain in MLC concept and stages may help you see reality.  MLC lens can distort what you see or see what’s not really there.

With more healing and detachment, LBS might even come to see that MLC may or may not be the only possible explanation for what is going on with her spouse. And you consider the possibility of other mitigating factors, such as marriage that has been dysfunctional for many years, clinical depression, complicated grief disorder, personality disorder, substance addiction, habitual lying, serial cheating, etc.  Add MLC to the mix and things get complicated.  People are complicated, too.

Just my opinion.  Sample of one.

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#27: September 06, 2021, 02:24:48 PM
Excellent discussion, as always. It’s entirely possible - and essential to reach a place of healing - to realize that no matter how much fog was present, no matter how many enablers they were surrounded by, no matter how many extenuating circumstances existed… the actions taken and the words spoken were because of choices made by the MLCer. And yes, both people have to realize that and own it and accept it. And further, it is just as important to recognize any frailty that may have been present in the relationship before BD, to recognize that that frailty lies in choices made by both people, and for both people to work to do better, whether in a reconciled relationship or in their future relationships. Early on, taking responsibility can feel like shouldering the blame for something that you either didn’t cause, or at least you alone didn’t cause. Moving forward, though, taking responsibility feels completely liberating, because it means you are in control - not of everything, but of your own path forward, of your own response to whatever might arise.
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#28: September 07, 2021, 02:55:30 AM
Torn, from my sample of one, I saw that H’s awareness of what he had done was the first step of a thousand mile restitution journey.  That took place after he more or less resolved his issues.  May your H take another step, and then one more, and keep going. 

Enjoy the rest of the day, folks!

This is one of the points that I think gets forgotten about often... The LBS is so enthusiastic and fearful that the Mid-Lifer just might begetting their head out of their .... fog... that we (the royal collective "we")  might forget that the REAL work for the Mid-Lifer can ONLY get started once they have dealt with and begun resolving their own internal issues that brought them to that stage in the first place. Anything else is really a "false start" and more akin to a cover-up rather than really dealing with the initial causes of the issue to begin with.....

It’s entirely possible - and essential to reach a place of healing - to realize that no matter how much fog was present, no matter how many enablers they were surrounded by, no matter how many extenuating circumstances existed… the actions taken and the words spoken were because of choices made by the MLCer. And yes, both people have to realize that and own it and accept it.

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#29: September 07, 2021, 08:04:53 AM
Thank you, UM, Curiosity and HF (apologies for omitting you in my previous post) for sharing your thoughts. 

…..

The LBS is so enthusiastic and fearful that the Mid-Lifer just might begetting their head out of their .... fog... that we (the royal collective "we")  might forget that the REAL work for the Mid-Lifer can ONLY get started once they have dealt with and begun resolving their own internal issues that brought them to that stage in the first place. Anything else is really a "false start" and more akin to a cover-up rather than really dealing with the initial causes of the issue to begin with..... 

You put your finger on an important point, UM. 

I’m willing to bet my 10 bags of ivy clippings that any significant amount of work done on the issues by MLCer are, more often than not, unseen and unheard.  Those little changes LBS observes in MLCer’s mannerism, interaction level, interests, a little smile here, a few words there, are not all that meaningful, I suggest.  Arn’t those fluctuations just part of being human, not necessarily any sign of working through issues? 

Moving forward, though, taking responsibility feels completely liberating, because it means you are in control - not of everything, but of your own path forward, of your own response to whatever might arise.

You nailed it, Curiosity.  I couldn’t agree with you more! 

If you do not fully own your feelings, behaviours, decisions, and everything else that springs forth from your own mind and body, you have little agency to fix it, either.   Such common sense but sometimes it goes AWOL. 

….

I would like to pay tribute to HB on my own thread  (Her passing was mentioned in the thread, ‘Rest In Peace: When someone dies.’)

Her wise guidance in the turbulent times after BD was invaluable in charting my own journey. 

Thank you, HB.

Rest In Peace.


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#30: September 18, 2021, 10:41:10 AM
Happy Saturday!

I was grocery shopping yesterday.  Suddenly, I heard a lady barking at someone with intense irritation, ‘Don’t stop the cart right in the middle the aisle.  Are you blind or stupid, or both?’  I turned around, fully expecting to see a hapless child being verbally abused and humiliated in public and shaking in his boots upon hearing such toxic invective.  It was her partner…. He sheepishly responded, ‘sorry, honey.’  I was stunned... The couple appeared to be in their 50’s.  When I came home, I made a beeline to my computer to look for some articles on Violent Communication in my folder, ‘Life Lessons.’ 

Becoming acquainted with ‘Non Violent Communication’ and, it’s opposite, ‘Violent Communication’, was a sort of turning point in my manner of interacting with others, and also one of the main reasons I completely stopped shooting ‘truth darts’ at H.  I’m not talking about stating and applying my boundaries to protect my dignity.  ‘Truth darts’ as I practiced were a shining example of Violent Communication and they further eroded the precious little bit of relationship that was still in existence between H and me.  Refraining from Violent Communication and changing over to Non Violent Communication has had a positive impact on my relationship with my H, especially as we were starting to reconnect.   I can see how that change was no brainer.  When you choose to communicate violently, you reap the consequences —nothing good…

Back to my ‘Life Lessons’ folder.   

I found the following article on Violent Communication in the folder — most likely a NVC training site.  I do remember editing it slightly to personalize it for me and my situation. 

Violent communication is communication that limits liberty, denies recognition of needs, diminishes the worth of a person, and/or blocks compassion.

Violent communication is often the result of using manipulative or coercive language that induces fear, guilt, shame, praise, blame, duty, obligation, punishment, and/or reward.

Violent communication happens in speaking and listening (and in thinking, through self-talk or imagined conversations).

Common ways that violent communication occurs are through:


- Moralistic judgments and evaluations of others

Typical examples include insulting, putting people down, labeling, criticizing, or diagnosing.
 
- Denial of responsibility for our own feelings, thoughts, and actions


 Typical examples include blaming our feelings, thoughts, and actions on others, vague and
impersonal forces, authority, policies, rules, regulations, social or gender roles, or uncontrollable impulses instead of our own choices and needs.

- Demands

Typical examples of demands include an implied or explicit threat of blame, punishment, or reward.


- Blocking compassion

Typical examples revolve around intellectual understanding that leads to trying to “fix” a situation
by providing feedback that advises, one ups, shuts down, educates, corrects, explains, or interrogates a person.
 
If we speak violently to others, they may do what we want by our inducing fear, guilt, shame, praise, blame, duty, obligation, punishment, or reward.


When you try to control others this way, the questions to ask yourself are:

What are the costs in terms of the relationship between me and others if I communicate this way?
How ‘good’ is my goodwill? 
Is it self-serving?


Sample of one!  And, yes, I’m rather keen on NVC. 

Have a great weekend!
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#31: September 18, 2021, 07:28:14 PM
S says that his MLCer F speaks to him like a drill sergeant.  Sadly, this type of communication is all too familiar.

And not to ignore the plank in my own eye, I have been guilty of it as well.
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#32: October 02, 2021, 01:37:17 PM
Thank you FW. 
And not to ignore the plank in my own eye, I have been guilty of it as well.
You and me both!

…..

H and I have been spending a lot of time together while planning a long trip out of the country. We chatted  a lot and solved a lot, if not all, of the problems in the world.  ;D He also asked me some questions in regards to my mental landscape during the turbulent period.  Naturally, the topic of detachment came up.  We had quite the conversation on the topic and it prompted me to consider more deeply about some important components of my detaching process. 

When my detachment was in its incipient stages, I became aware that there were some prerequisites before I could make any meaningful steps towards healing and attaining peace in my centre. 

At the top of the list was that I had to accept the truth.  Not ‘MY truth’ as per trendy psychobabble, but objective and indisputable truth.

Objective truth was that our marriage of nearly 3 decades was no more. 

Objective truth necessarily precluded me from making assumptions about what was going on in H’s head, analyze his words and behaviour, or predict the future.

Objective truth shone a bright light on my cognitive biases. After I had read various concepts on MLC and its supposed stages, my mind forged a pathway through which I processed H’s behaviour to fit in with what I had read — rather warped and blinkered thought process. 

Objective truth was that compartmentalizations of pre-BD H and post-BD H was really me performing an Olympic level mental gymnastics to find excuses for H’s unacceptable behaviour and denying his accountability.  Objective truth is that a person is the total sum of everything that emanate from him. 

Acceptance of reality.  That was the beginning of detachment with love and empathy. 
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#33: October 02, 2021, 02:17:49 PM
Acorn- your post could not have come at a better time. I needed to read every word of it. Thank you
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#34: October 02, 2021, 02:24:35 PM


At the top of the list was that I had to accept the truth.  Not ‘MY truth’ as per trendy psychobabble, but objective and indisputable truth.



I love that you made this distinction. I hear the phrase "I'm speaking my truth" all the time as a shorthand for people to verbalize what they want to be true while avoiding what is actually true.
"My truth" (code for "my feelings") changed multiple times early on, but THE TRUTH never did.
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#35: October 02, 2021, 02:32:33 PM
Quote
At the top of the list was that I had to accept the truth.

I think that perhaps as a defense mechanism, it might be hard to accept the truth, but eventually the LBSer will see it and more importantly feel it.

Quote
Acceptance of reality.  That was the beginning of detachment with love and empathy.

Acceptance of reality. I agree wholeheartedly! I also think "acceptance of reality" might be a better phrase to use than "detachment". Not sure why, it just makes a bit more sense to me.

Lovely as always to hear your thoughts Acorn!
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#36: October 02, 2021, 03:39:42 PM
Yep, that's my big hurdle (more like a Berlin Wall): Acceptance of reality. Good words, Acorn.

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#37: October 03, 2021, 12:48:40 AM
I would say "acceptance of reality" is what happens in the head and that "detachment" describes the emotional healing that comes with acceptance of reality.

Once we accept reality, then we detach and turn our focus, energy, and time on ourselves and not on them because we accept that we can't change what they choose to do and be and that the marriage as we knew it is over, whether a new one is built from the ashes or not.

Essentially it's not what should be, it is what is. It's not what we hope it to be, it is what we are actually experiencing. It's not a dream life, it is this precious life we have to live.

We fully learn that the only person we can control is ourselves.
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#38: October 03, 2021, 02:38:59 PM
Great discussion, and Reinventing, the way you describe detachment as the emotional healing process that comes after the logical acceptance of reality makes so much sense. I think that this whole process, both the acceptance of THE truth rather than MY truth as well as the detachment, is the very heart of our journeys… and I think that for each of us, the distance between THE truth and MY truth has a lot to do with how long it takes to really get started on that journey.
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#39: October 03, 2021, 03:46:41 PM
Great conversation!! I think it is easy to get lost in the “my situation is different” also. When you can see your situation in everybody’s story, but you still deny you are in that total circumstance. I have had to really face reality this week and realize my XH is in a much deeper crisis than I wanted to admit and not only am I not helping him by hanging on, I am most likely hurting him. So, If it is hurting him and for sure hurting him. Detach detach detach!!! It took me way to long to get to this conclusion.
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#40: October 17, 2021, 10:10:28 AM
Thank you, Tonr, Nas, xyzcf, JB, Reinventing and Curiosity, for reading and adding your observations on this thread.  Much appreaciated! 

……..

It appears my husband is (and has been for a while) where he can share with me how he felt and thought during his crisis without getting triggered and revisiting the place of deep despair.  He acknowledged that he recognizes I’ve been at that healed place longer than he has and that he can see he may share his crisis experiences without worrying about hurting me or our relationship.  He also told me that he feels compelled to share his experiences with me, his wife/best friend of decades. 

So, he talked about what he had to do before he could even think about digging himself out of the deep dark hole he was in — Acceptance of Reality.  I nearly fell off my chair when I heard those words.  He was surprised at my reaction and asked why.  I told him ‘acceptance of reality’ was the trumpet call to me to climb out of my very own black hole.  We agreed that it was up to each individual to respond to that call.  Or not…

We wholeheartedly agreed that Acceptance itself does not get you or your loved ones very far, if at all, but acting on it and changing your behaviour will.  We talked about how easy it would have been to stall at accepting reality, and how much internal work was needed to actually change our mental state and behaviour to be accountable for that reality.  He gave an example: the acceptance of the reality of his adultery, intense drinking, addiction to buying ‘things,’ would not have made  much difference to him, me, or our relationship if he didn’t do anything about it.  ‘I had to translate that into action.’ 

I should add that this is all in hindsight.  He is now able to look back and put words to his experience.

Just a sample of one.

Have a great day!


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« Last Edit: October 17, 2021, 10:11:41 AM by Acorn »
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#41: October 17, 2021, 05:49:16 PM
Thanks for the update, A.
This is a topic I’ve been thinking of a lot. It reminded me so much of something I read recently as I was having a panic attack trying to come to terms with some things around life and the future and treatment and next steps. It fits so perfectly I just had to share it:

“When we practice acceptance, we’re just saying one thing: yes, this is happening. That’s it. And paradoxically, that yes then frees us up to start changing the situation or changing ourselves in relation to it.”

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/inviting-monkey-tea/201902/accepting-reality-feels-unacceptable

“To accept what is offers us permission to finally be authentic with ourselves, to fully be in our own company. When we can say I accept that this is the way it is—even if I hate it and don’t know what to do about it—then we can at least be in the truth, which ultimately, is the most empowering, brave, and self-loving place from which to create our life.”
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#42: October 17, 2021, 06:15:28 PM
Quote
   He gave an example: the acceptance of the reality of his adultery, intense drinking, addiction to buying ‘things,’ would not have made  much difference to him, me, or our relationship if he didn’t do anything about it.  ‘I had to translate that into action.’ 
what was that action that made the difference?
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H-54 W-58  M 7/6/91 Kids d-30 s-28 d-14 (dies 2009)
2013- moments of disconnect start
Aug 2016 promotion requires travel   
Oct 2017-total disconnect
Jan 2018- moved out H
Mar 2018- BD1 found old phone 3 EA ‘17-H in therapy
EA ow1-49,  EA-ow2 57, (EA- ow3-58 not reciprocated)
Sept ‘18 -2nd Home in new state H new job
Oct 2018-H moves home
Oct 2020 BD2 does not return home from B trip
Nov 2020 H move to 2nd home in other state OW4
Div filed-Dec ‘20   Div final-Feb ‘21
Oct 2021- XH moves in OW4
https://mlcforum.theherosspouse.com/index.php?topic=11796.

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#43: October 17, 2021, 07:41:18 PM
Actions speaking louder than words, as well.

I caught a radio programme the other night in which the speaker reiterated that when we cannot change our circumstances, maybe the first step is to change our perspective. It struck me as wise, and I am still contemplating how that fits into my current ...circumstances. Maybe it is a sidestep from acceptance of reality? Or a precursor to it?

Always good to see your updates, Acorn; so glad you and your h are doing well.
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#44: October 18, 2021, 08:21:21 AM
what was that action that made the difference?

He stopped affair, drastically cut down on drinking, stopped spending $$$ on frivolous distractions, etc. In short, he was taking actions that reflected his attitudes and lifestyle of pre-BD. 

I must say that he didn’t spend much energy on narrating how he owns this and that.  Besides, what’s the point of stating the obvious?  Facts are there for all to see.  Words of admission and intentions are kind of redundant, in my opinion. It would have taken only a few minutes and even less number of calories to state what an ass he had been or what he was planning on doing.  What really counted for him and me was his deliberate and consistent actions over a long period of time until those actions became a way of life and part of him. 

“When we practice acceptance, we’re just saying one thing: yes, this is happening. That’s it. And paradoxically, that yes then frees us up to start changing the situation or changing ourselves in relation to it.”
//
“To accept what is offers us permission to finally be authentic with ourselves, to fully be in our own company. When we can say I accept that this is the way it is—even if I hate it and don’t know what to do about it—then we can at least be in the truth, which ultimately, is the most empowering, brave, and self-loving place from which to create our life.”

Ha!  Here I was writing a whole post about ‘Acceptance.’  The above quotes are the dictionary version of that.  Acceptance — It’s a start.  It’s has a great potential.  It’s the hard work that comes after that will make any difference to one’s life, isn’t it. 

I caught a radio programme the other night in which the speaker reiterated that when we cannot change our circumstances, maybe the first step is to change our perspective. It struck me as wise, and I am still contemplating how that fits into my current ...circumstances. Maybe it is a sidestep from acceptance of reality? Or a precursor to it?

Or, widen our perspective? 

In the beginning of LBS-hood, it’s easy to restrict LBS’s perspective to a tiny pinhole view where ‘MLC’ explanation becomes the mother of all explanations for the (ex)spouse’s change of heart and his actions.  Who knows, focussing on ‘MLC’ diagnosis as the root of most things we don’t like about the errant spouse and our situation, pays some kind of emotional dividends to LBS.  Maybe the false assumption that the end of MLC heralds the return of (ex)spouse plays some role as well? 

Just my view. 
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#45: November 03, 2021, 07:59:28 AM
I did not think I would have anything more to share on HS, seeing how far removed we are from H’s crisis days. 

But then, H’s ‘tool box’ made an appearance. I thought it was important enough for me to record it. And because I’m tired of auditioning what to pack in my suitcase.  (Do I really need to take 6 pairs of shoes? Feel free to wade in with your opinions, ladies.  ;D)

We have been busy preparing for a long stay overseas.  There are a thousand and one things to take care of before we leave.  H is making sure that the house is ready for the winter and everything within and without is in tip-top condition.  I smile and sigh with contentment as I see him tackle one task after another, accompanied by his beloved old toolbox, which he bought more than 3 decades ago just before we got married.  You should see it. It’s such an ugly thing — it’s bright orange, the lid doesn’t close properly, it weights a ton.  But H wouldn’t trade it for anything!

One evening last week, we were talking and chuckling about his battered old toolbox.  Our conversation took a very different course when he started reminiscing about his ‘emotional tool box’ as he was trying to get out the hole he dug.  (By the way, he does not blame anything or anyone else for his ill choices.  No mention of the fog, impulses, temptations, infulences, situations, etc. Not even a hint.  If I was allowed to choose only one indicator that he is completely out of his crisis, it would be his taking 100% personal accountability — no blaming, no excuses.  Zero, zilch, nada.)

He shared with me a maxim that you cannot use what you don’t have.  You need to proactively look for the emotional tool box you did have before the crisis.  He explained the ‘tool box’ analogy this way:

It is not enough to find the tool box — you need to open it and examine what tools are within it. 

Even that is not enough — you grab the tools and start using them. 

Most importantly, you continue to use those tools until they become another set of hands for you. 

In my view, H’s tool box included many useful tools.  Before his crisis, he was emotionally mature, responsible, reliable, analytical, practical, persistent, and an ‘action over words’ person.  The tools/traits/maturity were rediscovered and utilized. 

Our ‘tool box’ conversation lasted over 3 hours and the above is a distilled version of it.

I had thought a lot about his ‘tool box’ explanation since then, and his sample of one adds a bit of flesh to my theory that he was able to extricate himself from his crisis and the mess he made, only because he already had what he needed within himself.  If he had been emotionally stunted and relied on others to prop him up (consciously or unconsciously) before the crisis, I do not believe he would have dug himself out of the hole.  There is no miracle.  Just a lot of hard work with the tools you already have.  Sample of one, of course. 

Back to packing my suitcase(s).  How many pairs of shoes…
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#46: November 03, 2021, 08:35:17 AM
Only 6 pairs of shoes, Acorn? That's my definition of "roughing it."  ;)
Thank you for the update. It's so generous of you to share your H's words with us, and IMO what he said is so important: you cannot use what you don't have. If you didn't have a solid emotional toolbox before the crisis, it's not going to just appear to you like a reward in a videogame - "collect enough gold stars and you'll earn an emotional toolkit." Wouldn't that be nice. But just like anything else, you have to apply yourself and make a concerted effort to learn what you don't already know. Otherwise, I'd be better at math!
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#47: November 03, 2021, 08:40:42 AM
I had thought a lot about his ‘tool box’ explanation since then, and his sample of one adds a bit of flesh to my theory that he was able to extricate himself from his crisis and the mess he made, only because he already had what he needed within himself.  If he had been emotionally stunted and relied on others to prop him up (consciously or unconsciously) before the crisis, I do not believe he would have dug himself out of the hole.  There is no miracle.  Just a lot of hard work with the tools you already have.  Sample of one, of course. 

Thanks for the update. And I just want to say in my opinion this is GOLD and is the core of why the idea that MLC is just a "process" and you just stick it out is flawed. This part is critical to whether someone going through MLC has a chance to find footing and start finding a way out or now. And I fear many don't have the required "tools" once the house falls down to even start.

So its both hopeful and a note of caution. I know I can not tell you whether my wife, who was very self aware and had a lot of tools before all this, has the right ones to ever recover.
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#48: November 03, 2021, 09:03:10 AM
Thank you for sharing. I think that all is so true. I think also when they slip they tend to then loose some identity or maybe question it and then hide behind the stronger spouse. I can look back and see where my XH started asking my opinion on so many things. When he left I think those cane back to bite me. He said “ I have never been strong, mature, self reliant, moral etc… you just were always good for covering for me.

I think for many they have a hidden insecurity that they have to find out the cause for. My XH had so many go traits. I actually looked up to him as the voice or reason. In the end he was fighting insecurities and mirror those around him to get through. There is a deep sense of not having a personal identity. At least with my XH.
I find those that make it through…there thoughts are such an amazing piece of a puzzle to have
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H-54 W-58  M 7/6/91 Kids d-30 s-28 d-14 (dies 2009)
2013- moments of disconnect start
Aug 2016 promotion requires travel   
Oct 2017-total disconnect
Jan 2018- moved out H
Mar 2018- BD1 found old phone 3 EA ‘17-H in therapy
EA ow1-49,  EA-ow2 57, (EA- ow3-58 not reciprocated)
Sept ‘18 -2nd Home in new state H new job
Oct 2018-H moves home
Oct 2020 BD2 does not return home from B trip
Nov 2020 H move to 2nd home in other state OW4
Div filed-Dec ‘20   Div final-Feb ‘21
Oct 2021- XH moves in OW4
https://mlcforum.theherosspouse.com/index.php?topic=11796.

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#49: November 03, 2021, 09:33:00 AM
Just wanted to add in experience, it was so unbelievably heartbreaking when I took an honest assessment and realized my former husband did not have the kind of tools beforehand. It took me a while to get there and the realization was almost another BD, but a necessary BD I hit myself with. As I was packing up to move states and rebuild, I distinctly remember tearfully wrapping up a specific item and then unwrapping it and putting it aside to donate instead of take with me, and I actually said out loud to myself: sometimes we have to break our own hearts with the truth. Reality can be very painful to face sometimes, for both MLCers and LBS.
(sorry for the gloomy follow up)
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#50: November 03, 2021, 10:19:04 AM
Acorn, thank you so much for continuing to share, even beyond what you had anticipated. This information is so important - both your words, and the discussion prompted by them.

They can want to heal, want their lives back, and even be looking for the tools to help them get there. But if the tool that they actually need is one that isn’t in their toolbox, they will continue doing incomplete repairs until they actually go out and find those proper tools.
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#51: November 03, 2021, 11:19:00 AM
Ditto with Nas on the shoes  :)
I have been known to take four pairs just for a long weekend.....
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#52: November 03, 2021, 12:46:13 PM
Several pairs of shoes in a variety of colours ( I love colour co-ordination) and put quite a few of those in H's suitcase too!  You carried the marriage and walked those emotional miles - he can now carry those shoes with gratitude!

I like the analogy but fear that following his stroke, my H has lost some of his capacity to regain or develop the emotional tools he didn't even know he had!  :o ::) ::) ;D
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#53: November 03, 2021, 01:44:40 PM
Thanks for continuing to share Acorn.  It does mean so much. 

Quote
Several pairs of shoes in a variety of colours ( I love colour co-ordination) and put quite a few of those in H's suitcase too!  You carried the marriage and walked those emotional miles - he can now carry those shoes with gratitude!

I love this analogy! 
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#54: November 03, 2021, 06:46:50 PM
I like to travel light so have learned to take everything in black and white but that is usually for a shorter trip.

I wanted to add that the LBSer also needs "tools" to be able to rebuild their marriage. I would suggest that the most important tool is the ability to forgive their spouse.

I also believe that an important tool is to be approachable..if you are still wanting a relationship with them.

I think it takes a great deal of courage for the MLCer to approach their spouse and family to attempt any kind of reconcilation. The LBSer's openness is one tool that might allow the MLCer to approach and start the process of reconnection.

It is not a guarantee, but it makes sense to me regardless of what the outcome will be.
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#55: November 04, 2021, 08:05:52 AM
Acorn - Thank you for sharing, indeed.
Interesting thought about the toolbox.
My husband has never been “handy” so his metaphorical toolbox is probably quite empty.
Perhaps his rusty tools that he does have can be dusted off and used for his good at some point.

Enjoy your trip.
I hope that it is wonderful for you both.

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#56: November 04, 2021, 08:12:15 AM
OK, I know I am going to Hades for this but .....

Acorn, you have perfectly described the major difference...

Either the MLC'er HAS tools in their box or simply IS a tool....

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#57: November 04, 2021, 11:09:21 AM
Well I definitely don't think my H has the tools, and never did. But I also knew this prior to BD. I think he has (DEEP DOWN) a kind compassionate heart. But a mature, responsible adult? Not quite. I personally have no clue how to navigate that. It's easy to say, "He needs to do the work." Much harder in practice.  Especially when he is a stage 5 clinger.

As always, thank you for your insights Acorn. I know both you and your H have done the work. And it is paying off.

As for the shoes, bring them all. I usually pack a second suitcase dedicated to shoes. A girl needs options.  ;)
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#58: November 05, 2021, 03:13:10 AM
Especially when he is a stage 5 clinger.

I think I found a picture of him!

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#59: November 06, 2021, 06:03:38 AM
I’m barefoot except when shoes are explicitly required. So I usually wear one pair for traveling and pack *maybe* a second pair — the opposite of the traveling pair. If I travel casually, pack the elegant pair; if traveling elegantly, pack the flip-flops. I don’t like baggage claim or waiting, I prefer to make the most of whatever destination from the moment I set foot on the ground, so always travel light and with intention to bring back more than I carried in.

;) Travel light. One casual/comfortable pair, one more dressy/formal. We were born without shoes and it’s possible we really don’t need as many as we wind up with!

About toolboxes and tools, h had an impressive 3-car garage full of the best, and he used them expertly. I loved that about him, and that it wasn’t just for show or status. He knew how to do all the things, like no one else I ever knew.

I visited him one summer after he’d made off with ow2. Guess where the tools and toolboxes all were?

Nowhere to be seen. Not a single tool or toolbox in sight, not even in the new garage.

I own a set of screwdrivers and a claw hammer, a set of small jewelry pliers and such, a knife sharpening stone, a pocketknife, a pair of embroidery scissors, and a ton of ink pens. I hope those wool be enough for me; lately I feel I travel a little too light in the toolbox respect too.

I hope your away trip is full of wonderful amazements, good food, and the best of good times. (((HUGS)))
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#60: November 06, 2021, 07:16:09 AM
Wow, thank you for ‘wading in’ in your wellies/gum boots about the shoes!  I have decided on 4 pairs.  I usually travel incredibly light but this upcoming trip is for several months, covering 2 continents.  So, I think I’m doing well with just 4 pairs. 
 
Thank you also to many who shared their insights on this thread.  I would like to let you know I read every word very carefully and appreciate them. 

…..

If I may clarify:

My post was mainly about H using his pre-existing tools to resolve the issues that sparked his crisis. 

Yes, he also used those same tools to recompense and rebuild the relationships he had broken during his crisis.  However, there had to be prerequisites to reconciliation that were the matter of the heart, not of the ‘tool box’ — love, kindness, compassion, forgiveness (cancelling of debt and no settling of scores) and, above all, the desire to reconcile.   And on both sides. 

Sample of one.

Have a great weekend, everyone!
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#61: November 19, 2021, 05:51:56 AM
Thank you, Nas, Marvin, Torn, Curiosity, Treasur, Song, Roo, Xyzcf, See, UM, KIT and Terra, for reading and commenting on this thread!

…..

Hello from a sunny place! 

Another noteworthy string of conversations, important enough for me to document here.

We’ve had a lot of time to chat while travelling to a place for an extended stay.  Long layovers and extra long flights were conducive to unhurried and focused conversations. 

The purpose of this trip reflects our adjusted attitude toward our place in the world we share with billions of souls.  Previously, we had talked many times about the trend, ‘It’s all about ME!,’ that has been unashamedly trending for many decades around us and in which we willingly participated.  My marriage, my partner, my family, my achievements, my job, my worth, my thoughts, my opinions, etc., etc.

Nothing wrong with any of these, except when the ‘MY’ aspect overwhelms everything else and life is all about I, me and myself. 

I’m thankful we could converse more deeply about this topic while travelling.  It was another brick in our bonding and rebuilding process, the chief tool being the act of conversing, more than the topics, though very interesting and important.  We tried to practice focussed listening, considered answers, and seeing each other’s point of view without judgement or making assumptions.

H and I discussed the goals we had been pursuing in our adulthood.  Happy marriage and family, nurturing and educating our children, professional achievements, financial security, a comfortable home, hobbies, etc. 

We heartily agreed that personal pursuits such as listed above are worthwhile and important.  We also agreed that we were quite deep into them and that we now need to expand our horizon beyond ‘ME and US’  before we grow too old and feeble to do it.  Hence, this trip.

It is worth noting that H’s and my personalities seem to have changed very little over the crisis years but we made some adjustments to our attitudes and perspectives, especially in regards to how we see ourselves in relation to the world around us. 

It is also notable that my husband mentioned his ‘crisis’ as being a transitionary period, during which ‘I, me and myself’ was taken to the extreme, and by the end of it, that intense focus on self started to diminish and the awareness of others and their humanity came into sharper focus and expanded well beyond his past scope of it. 

There have been many discussions on the definition and causes of emotional and psychological crisis, which we commonly refer to as ‘midlife crisis.’  Some say ‘fear of aging and/or death.’  Some say ‘identity crisis.’  Some say ‘to tackle FOO issues or childhood traumas.’

For my H, ‘it was an existential crisis gone rogue and I did a lot of damage to the people I loved most.’ — his words.

I can see in hindsight that FOO issues were the flame starter, not the main fire, of his crisis which had to be resolved before he could embark on defining his own identity and purpose in life.  The ‘age’ factor comes in, too — not the ‘gee, look at that number on my birthday cake, waaah!  I wanna stay young forever!’ kind, but that he lived long enough and accrued a fair amount of life experiences to ask all the questions that had been simmering inside of him for a while. 

Sample of one.

By the way, I took only 4 pairs of shoes. 

Have a great weekend!


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#62: November 19, 2021, 06:10:23 AM
Quote
kind, but that he lived long enough and accrued a fair amount of life experiences to ask all the questions that had been simmering inside of him for a while
Such great insight. Did he share what the questions he needed to ask and answer were?  Sounds like such a healing and emotionally connecting trip for you both.
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Jan 2018- moved out H
Mar 2018- BD1 found old phone 3 EA ‘17-H in therapy
EA ow1-49,  EA-ow2 57, (EA- ow3-58 not reciprocated)
Sept ‘18 -2nd Home in new state H new job
Oct 2018-H moves home
Oct 2020 BD2 does not return home from B trip
Nov 2020 H move to 2nd home in other state OW4
Div filed-Dec ‘20   Div final-Feb ‘21
Oct 2021- XH moves in OW4
https://mlcforum.theherosspouse.com/index.php?topic=11796.

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#63: November 19, 2021, 07:56:16 AM
Glad to see your update, Acorn. Thank you.
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#64: November 29, 2021, 12:42:00 AM
Thank you very much, Torn and JB!

Did he share what the questions he needed to ask and answer were? 

As I have an aversion to making assumptions about what is in another person’s head, I will answer your question with what my husband shared with me many times during and after his crisis.

He asked himself the usual identity/existential questions.  Some of them are:

- Who am I really?

- What is the meaning of life?

- What is the meaning of my existence?

- Do I really believe in God or was I brainwashed?

According to my husband, the process of defining the above questions, plus many more, was like walking up to the starting line. That was the easy part, though it took considerable time and pain.  (‘It was a walk in the park, compared to what came next.’ — H)

Again, according to him, his real challenge and battle lay in the pursuit of the answers to the questions he posed to himself.  Wrestling with those questions took most, if not all, of his emotional energy for a long time.

I hope I have adequately answered your question, Torn.
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#65: November 29, 2021, 03:19:42 AM
Thank you Acorn, I think those same questions could very well be the same questions that started the escape as well, no??  First they make them run and then they make them evaluate?? Very interesting. Thank you for sharing
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« Last Edit: November 29, 2021, 04:20:02 AM by Tornup »
H-54 W-58  M 7/6/91 Kids d-30 s-28 d-14 (dies 2009)
2013- moments of disconnect start
Aug 2016 promotion requires travel   
Oct 2017-total disconnect
Jan 2018- moved out H
Mar 2018- BD1 found old phone 3 EA ‘17-H in therapy
EA ow1-49,  EA-ow2 57, (EA- ow3-58 not reciprocated)
Sept ‘18 -2nd Home in new state H new job
Oct 2018-H moves home
Oct 2020 BD2 does not return home from B trip
Nov 2020 H move to 2nd home in other state OW4
Div filed-Dec ‘20   Div final-Feb ‘21
Oct 2021- XH moves in OW4
https://mlcforum.theherosspouse.com/index.php?topic=11796.

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#66: November 30, 2021, 06:36:03 AM
I think those same questions could very well be the same questions that started the escape as well, no??  First they make them run and then they make them evaluate??

Hi Torn,

Are you asking about my husband or wondering about MLCers in general? 
Maybe they are rhetorical questions? 
I can’t tell.  Sorry…

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#67: November 30, 2021, 07:11:00 AM
Sorry, I seem so clear to myself 😜🤪 Just a “in general”  that those very same questions may be asked by the MLC’er when they feel they need to escape their life and then need to be asked again to come through the crisis??
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« Last Edit: November 30, 2021, 07:12:36 AM by Tornup »
H-54 W-58  M 7/6/91 Kids d-30 s-28 d-14 (dies 2009)
2013- moments of disconnect start
Aug 2016 promotion requires travel   
Oct 2017-total disconnect
Jan 2018- moved out H
Mar 2018- BD1 found old phone 3 EA ‘17-H in therapy
EA ow1-49,  EA-ow2 57, (EA- ow3-58 not reciprocated)
Sept ‘18 -2nd Home in new state H new job
Oct 2018-H moves home
Oct 2020 BD2 does not return home from B trip
Nov 2020 H move to 2nd home in other state OW4
Div filed-Dec ‘20   Div final-Feb ‘21
Oct 2021- XH moves in OW4
https://mlcforum.theherosspouse.com/index.php?topic=11796.

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#68: December 01, 2021, 02:33:20 AM
Thank you for the clarification, Torn! :)

Quote
those very same questions may be asked by the MLC’er when they feel they need to escape their life and then need to be asked again to come through the crisis??

You don’t truly know unless the person in crisis tells you what’s in his head  — presenting consistent contents over many convos, not some thought that momentarily popped up and then fizzled out in 5 seconds to be never seen again. 

One can speculate on what’s going on in another’s mind until cows come home but all it accomplishes is strengthen LBS’s confirmation biases and hinder detachment, I believe.  (Ask me how I know about it. ;D)  Speculating is like a colourblind person with both arms in plaster trying to taste green with his elbow (© UM) There is no way UM can come up with a suitable GIF for this one, haha!

Just my view. 
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#69: December 01, 2021, 03:28:03 AM
Speculating is like a colourblind person with both arms in plaster trying to taste green with his elbow (© UM) There is no way UM can come up with a suitable GIF for this one, haha!

Challenge accepted.....


YUM YUM!  GREEN!
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#70: December 01, 2021, 04:51:08 AM
Speculating is like a colourblind person with both arms in plaster trying to taste green with his elbow (© UM) There is no way UM can come up with a suitable GIF for this one, haha!

You challenged him and he rose up to meet it! Snap!

 8)
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#71: December 01, 2021, 05:46:03 AM
Awesome GIF UM!   Made my day this morning.

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#72: December 01, 2021, 06:04:27 AM
Well done, UM. That image both amuses and disturbs. 😂

Thank you for the clarification, Torn! :)

Quote
those very same questions may be asked by the MLC’er when they feel they need to escape their life and then need to be asked again to come through the crisis??

You don’t truly know unless the person in crisis tells you what’s in his head  — presenting consistent contents over many convos, not some thought that momentarily popped up and then fizzled out in 5 seconds to be never seen again. 

One can speculate on what’s going on in another’s mind until cows come home but all it accomplishes is strengthen LBS’s confirmation biases and hinder detachment, I believe.

I just wanted to add that not only can we never at any point truly know what’s going on in another’s heart and mind, often we LBS say a lot of things to the MLCer/WAS early on that inadvertently feeds them lines they then repeat back over and over to manipulate and play on the LBS’s sympathies. I would believe absolutely nothing unless and until any AP is gone and they show unmistakable signs of growth in themselves. Jmho
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#73: December 01, 2021, 06:25:10 AM
I agree, Nas. It takes some time and distance to step back and see things from a non distressed mind of our own as a LBS. Once we can do that then we realize we truly are not playing on the same team. We just have to sit in the dug out and let them complete their own game which may have many extra innings we did not anticipate. I have never been a fan of baseball ( for what it’s worth) The games are very long and boring……LOL ⚾️⚾️⚾️⚾️
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H-54 W-58  M 7/6/91 Kids d-30 s-28 d-14 (dies 2009)
2013- moments of disconnect start
Aug 2016 promotion requires travel   
Oct 2017-total disconnect
Jan 2018- moved out H
Mar 2018- BD1 found old phone 3 EA ‘17-H in therapy
EA ow1-49,  EA-ow2 57, (EA- ow3-58 not reciprocated)
Sept ‘18 -2nd Home in new state H new job
Oct 2018-H moves home
Oct 2020 BD2 does not return home from B trip
Nov 2020 H move to 2nd home in other state OW4
Div filed-Dec ‘20   Div final-Feb ‘21
Oct 2021- XH moves in OW4
https://mlcforum.theherosspouse.com/index.php?topic=11796.

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#74: December 17, 2021, 12:38:54 AM
Thank you, UM, Marvin, HF, Nas and Torn, for reading and commenting. 

UM, that GIF is priceless!   Thank you for the laughs. It illustrate very well the futility of trying to figure out the motives and intentions of another person.  The sooner LBS lets go of that pointless exercise, the more they can focus on living life well.   

Nas, you mentioned an important point which I have seen in my own situation. 

I would believe absolutely nothing unless and until any AP is gone and they show unmistakable signs of growth in themselves.

AP and all other crisis choices/behaviour needed to be gone, before my H could focus on his inner self.  Looking at his issues was a diagnostic process, the first step.  Having the ‘diagnosis’ does not heal a person.   Healing from his issues was quite something else — a long, painful and arduous process.  But his desire and will to heal was indomitable.  I think you would understand that…. ((((((HUGS))))))

Sample of one.

…..

While auditing my ‘Life Lessons’ folder that I started soon after BD, I came across the following story, which I would love to share with you. 

I remember fondly how the story encouraged me to change how I viewed my situation and live with gratitude for the countless blessings in my life —to focus on ‘what’s left’ and not on that ‘broken string.’   

Here it is:

Many people regard Itzhak Perlman as the world's finest violinist. Perlman took up violin after contracting polio as a child. He since has barely shuffled along in his braces, clumsily swinging his caliper crutches in a monumental struggle just to get onto the concert-hall platform. An assistant carries his precious violin for him. Perlman is the only violin virtuoso who has to sit to play.

Perlman was only a few bars into a violin concerto with the N.Y. Philharmonic Orchestra when a violin string broke. He waved his bow to the conductor to stop. Perlman refused to get up and get another violin. Instead, he removed the broken string from his instrument and signalled the conductor to begin again. Perlman then played the entire concerto on the three remaining strings of his violin. Enthusiastic applause greeted him at the concerto's end. When it had finally died away, Perlman said to the hushed audience, '“You know, it is the artist’s task to find out how much music you can make with what you have left. Sometimes life is best played with what's left.”

Wishing you a great weekend.
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#75: December 17, 2021, 01:56:39 AM
THAT is an awesomely inspiring story regarding Perlman!
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#76: December 17, 2021, 09:37:03 AM
What a wonderful and insightful story! Thank you for sharing it.
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#77: December 17, 2021, 03:44:10 PM
Thank you Acorn for sharing this story.  I needed especially today.

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#78: December 17, 2021, 04:13:20 PM
Love that story, A, and also love that you keep a “life lessons” folder. 😉
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#79: December 17, 2021, 06:56:04 PM
Following your story. Sounds like some positive steps. I will keep watching with best wishes and hopes for you.
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Im always reminded of that 80's movie.. War Games.. The best way to win is not to play the game.

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#80: December 17, 2021, 10:22:41 PM
Thank you for following along, UM. Curiosity, HF, Nas and Pacman!   I’m glad you appreciated the Perlman story.  I find it very inspiring and encouraging. 

…..

I just noticed the following tagline, Pacman, I would like to comment on that, if I may, please.

Quote
Quote form a MLCer "From my experience if my H had let me go a long time ago, and stop pressuring me, begging and pleading and just let go I possibly would have experienced my awakening sooner than I did." Hope this is true!

My hope is that this person eventually came to realize her statement was about blaming another person for her tardy ‘awakening.’ 

She may have woken up (if she says so), however, I suggest that she is still lying in bed and not doing much if she did not attain enough emotional maturity to take 100% accountability for what happens in her own mind-scape and still passing the buck to her H.   Accountability 101. 

I am wondering aloud if crisis and the accompanying craziness end for most MLCers but emotional growth does not necessarily happen.  (Just a little musing on a lazy Saturday.) 
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#81: December 18, 2021, 12:51:48 AM
Acorn thanks for the update and sharing your experience as always. I was reading your insightful comment about the quote and something struck me. That applies more to us, the LBS, than the NLCer. The sooner we  let go of understanding, controlling or “fixing” and “helping” our MLCer the sooner WE may experience OUR awakening.

I think that fits your comment about taking full responsibility.
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#82: December 18, 2021, 01:37:27 AM
Thank you for following along, UM. Curiosity, HF, Nas and Pacman!   I’m glad you appreciated the Perlman story.  I find it very inspiring and encouraging. 

…..

I just noticed the following tagline, Pacman, I would like to comment on that, if I may, please.

Quote
Quote form a MLCer "From my experience if my H had let me go a long time ago, and stop pressuring me, begging and pleading and just let go I possibly would have experienced my awakening sooner than I did." Hope this is true!

My hope is that this person eventually came to realize her statement was about blaming another person for her tardy ‘awakening.’ 

She may have woken up (if she says so), however, I suggest that she is still lying in bed and not doing much if she did not attain enough emotional maturity to take 100% accountability for what happens in her own mind-scape and still passing the buck to her H.   Accountability 101. 

I am wondering aloud if crisis and the accompanying craziness end for most MLCers but emotional growth does not necessarily happen.  (Just a little musing on a lazy Saturday.)
That is a very insightful way of looking at it. Thank you. We tend to see only what we want to see I guess.
This whole situation has been about blame so far. So I see where you are coming from.
Not to hijack your story.
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Im always reminded of that 80's movie.. War Games.. The best way to win is not to play the game.

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#83: December 18, 2021, 02:39:58 AM
Marvin, by Jove, you are right!  Thank you for placing the mirror where it belongs — in front of LBS.  What LBS’s ‘awakening’ entails would make an interesting discussion. 

Pacman, ‘hijack’ away!  Any thread can be a place of discussion, I believe.  As long as we are learning and growing, who cares what thread we use, eh!

We tend to see only what we want to see I guess.

If I may ask you a question, Pacman, what did you want to see in the quote?   I’m really curious!

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#84: December 18, 2021, 03:02:25 AM

If I may ask you a question, Pacman, what did you want to see in the quote?   I’m really curious!

I guess hope is what I saw out of it. Hope that one day we could reconnect.
That one day she might see out of her current affair idiot and realise that we had 23 years together. Some great time and some crap times.
But that is what life and marriage are about. Enjoying the best of times and working through the bad.
But I feel that society in general has become throw away and that when things get too tough it's easier to walk away.
The whole narrative that everything was horrible and so bad that she had to choose to have an affair and leave our family with 2 new grandchildren (5 months and 6 weeks old) has me absolutely dumb founded.

At the moment the "grass is greener".
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Im always reminded of that 80's movie.. War Games.. The best way to win is not to play the game.

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#85: December 18, 2021, 05:11:11 AM
I find that same hope there.

(Thunder has that quote in her .sig, so I hope people aren't just noticing that statement now because Pac is a newbie. As am I.)
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#86: December 18, 2021, 05:49:32 AM
Quote
Quote form a MLCer "From my experience if my H had let me go a long time ago, and stop pressuring me, begging and pleading and just let go I possibly would have experienced my awakening sooner than I did." Hope this is true!

It’s kind of interesting if you read it more than once, because it almost has the introspective view of the LBS or MLC’er that has made it through the worst, right?? All you great minds saying focus on you, turn your head to their shenanigans. They have to work it out and you have to work it out, but that work is done separate and you both have to do it separate or you BOTH impede what the future will be. Move forward or stay stagnant. IMHO
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Mar 2018- BD1 found old phone 3 EA ‘17-H in therapy
EA ow1-49,  EA-ow2 57, (EA- ow3-58 not reciprocated)
Sept ‘18 -2nd Home in new state H new job
Oct 2018-H moves home
Oct 2020 BD2 does not return home from B trip
Nov 2020 H move to 2nd home in other state OW4
Div filed-Dec ‘20   Div final-Feb ‘21
Oct 2021- XH moves in OW4
https://mlcforum.theherosspouse.com/index.php?topic=11796.

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#87: December 18, 2021, 06:03:47 AM
What LBS’s ‘awakening’ entails would make an interesting discussion. 



I'd really welcome this IMO very important discussion.

As to the tagline/hope - I remember that quote. I believe it's from Denjef, who shared her story of her own *MLC while also standing for her marriage as her H had an *MLC. (*everyone MLCer is different and MLC is not a "diagnosis).

Here's what I'll say about hope. Hope is great. Hope is necessary. But finding hope within yourself is very different than finding hope by looking at others. It's very, very natural to look at others for "hope," but what it really gives you is a baseline for comparison and a general idea that something is possible.  It's very important to come to a point where you hold hope in yourself (yes, hope that you might reconcile, but mostly hope that you yourself will be okay) because what happens in someone else's life will never dictate what will happen in our own lives. It does give us a bit of hope to hold onto, but that needs to be balanced with the actual reality of our own lives. Otherwise, we end up trying to jam the basic square pegs of our own situations into holes shaped like...I don't know, what's the most complex shape in the world?

Sometimes a square peg is just exactly what it looks like, a square peg. Sometimes viewing things wholly through an MLC lens distorts them unnecessarily and makes them more complicated than they really are.  I say this with empathy because we all do it and it only really ends up wasting precious minutes of our lives, and we don't know how many of those we have.

I seek out and read stories all the time of people who have lived for decades with triple negative breast cancer. They give me hope because they show what's possible. But they're not me and I'm not them. I can read their stories, but I have to walk my own road, because what they did might not work for me and it could be really catastrophic if I just did exactly what someone else did because it worked for them. For example, when I was first diagnosed, I was given a choice between two treatments. One was standard of care, proven to work in a majority of cases. The other was a clinical trial. I ended up on the standard of care and read many stories of survivors who went through this treatment and were thriving, and I thought since I was doing the same thing they did, I'd be fine in no time. But the treatment didn't work for me. But it worked for so many, and it was supposed to work for me, and for that reason, I didn't protest when the doctors kept me on it even when I said I felt the tumor was growing. And my cancer progressed, and then we changed course, but by then, damage was done. That's an extreme analogy, but just to say that every single situation is different and you can look to others for hope, but be careful not to compare at your own expense.

Sorry Acorn, talk about a hijack!
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#88: December 18, 2021, 06:58:20 AM
Gosh, I feel for me I thought I was there so many times, but then a trigger would happen and nope!! For me it was pure exhaustion in the situation, time and stop loving him more than me. That was the biggest turn for me. I had put H before me for so long it was hard to change that focus.

Also, when I lost my D14 I learned to look at people who had it worse. Suffered more before passing or living with never a moment of clarity or peace. I am not an overly religious person, but I do believe that what is going to happen is going to happen. That our lives are predetermined in a way, so it helps to give up trying to control what is uncontrollable.



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EA ow1-49,  EA-ow2 57, (EA- ow3-58 not reciprocated)
Sept ‘18 -2nd Home in new state H new job
Oct 2018-H moves home
Oct 2020 BD2 does not return home from B trip
Nov 2020 H move to 2nd home in other state OW4
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#89: December 20, 2021, 02:44:07 AM
Thank you, Marvin,  PacMan, JB, Torn and Nas, for following along and taking your time to respond on this thread! 

….

Thank you for graciously indulging my curiosity, Pacman.  :)

I can tell you I also saw ‘hope’ initially, and I stopped begging, etc., erroneously assuming that I had some influence on H’s crisis trajectory and that a rosy future of our relationship was somehow baked into that trajectory.  That’s hope gone rogue and crossed over to quasi-fantasyland.::)  From my personal experience, I believe that it may help LBS move forward with more vigour if they unhitched the crisis outcome from the relationship outcome. I suggest that proactive and purposeful unhitching does help with seeing the reality, detachment, and, therefore, healing, as it helped me.

Back to ‘hope’ — As Nas kindly explained, using her exquisitely vulnerable personal experience as an example, I believe hope can be positive and therapeutic, as long as one does not cross into the realm of delusional thinking via contorted extrapolation.  Delusional thinking is  explained as ‘a false belief that is resistant to confrontation with actual facts.’  Yes, cherish hope, by all means, but with both feet firmly planted in reality.  (By the way, Nas managed to cram so many important and insightful observations into her post.  I’d say It’s worth reading carefully and read it again.)

There was one silver lining in changing my behaviour, which was based my faulty assumption that I had the power to influence H’s crisis, is that I eventually realized how degrading and pathetic it was to beg, plead and cling.  I asked myself, ‘lady, where is your dignity, eh?’  Eventually, I got with the real programme — H could not hide his contempt for me, his eyes were firing hatred at me, and then I became nothing to him, just a piece of furniture.  Why would I beg anything from someone that does not want me?

About accountability:

When I settled down a bit, the importance of taking full personal accountability for yourself and not putting the blame on your condition/diagnosis/personal or psychological history, the actions of others, group pressure, the societal trends, etc came into focus.  Once your eyes are open to this, you can not unlearn this vital lesson.   You immediately recognize when you are passing the buck to something or someone else.  You recognize with more alacrity when someone else is passing the buck — funny that.

Meandering post as H and I celebrate our wedding anniversary.  We talked about how precious each day is, how important it is to not forget the lessons we each have learned, and to live in gratitude. 
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« Last Edit: December 20, 2021, 03:06:05 AM by Acorn »
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#90: December 31, 2021, 04:11:57 AM
Good afternoon!

Our family is scattered on 3 continents at the moment.  The first time ever our family has  been apart for Christmas and New Year’s eve.  This is how life goes, eh!  Kids grow up, become independent, leave home, make their own way in the world and purse their own dreams.  We are grateful that our children (early to late 20’s) are spreading their own wings with such enthusiasm and determination, yet keeping a strong connection with each other and us, their parents. 

To mark the end of 2021, my husband and I together composed a message for our children, expressing our deep love for and appreciation of them.  We wished them God’s blessings and offered some very gentle life advices.

H sent it off to the family chat group and, behold, he had attached his personal reflections!  I am quoting a small part of it as it is similar to what he shared with me very recently.

“When I reflect on my life, especially the last few years, I see a winding path with ups and downs, some rocky parts and (extreme) dangers on the way.  As you have witnessed, my faith was weak and at times it often seemed to be completely gone.   However, even at those times I was not alone but see (in retrospect) that God was with me and He was graciously carrying me…”

He went on to express his deep gratitude for their love and patience throughout the ‘turbulent years.’  He marvelled at how they did not lash out at him in contempt but unfailingly showed respect for his dignity, even though he behaved appallingly.  And that they taught him many life lessons. 

I think our children would really appreciate his post scriptum.

…..

Wishing you peace and joy in the new year. 


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« Last Edit: December 31, 2021, 04:15:58 AM by Acorn »
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#91: January 07, 2022, 11:29:58 PM
Happy New Year!

I have been thinking for some time that there was one important piece that was still needed to put into place in our family rebuilding.  I could not define what that was.  I could not even start to guess.  While communicating with our 3 children (early to late 20’s) incessantly via family chat over the Christmas and New Year, this missing piece showed itself.  I felt the next level of peace settling in my heart and witnessed the same happening with H and our children. 

As I have written previously, H communicated to them how much he appreciated that they showed respect for his dignity and did not trample on it, even though his behaviour, especially toward his own family, was atrocious.

One child after another replied to his ‘appreciation’ message.

D told him that H taught her about intrinsic dignity in everyone, no matter who. S1 and S2 affirmed the same.  (They joked that H used to go on and on about ethics, and how some of it must have rubbed off on them.) 

Each child told him in their own words that they could plainly see his immense struggle and that he was not ‘right’ internally.  That realization gave them the grace to give him space and pray for his healing.

What I gathered from all this is that H has been sure of their love for some time; now he has seen that they respect him as their father and teacher.  That greatly added to H’s sense of gratitude and peace.  I see and feel it. 

So, affirmations of respect was that last missing piece.

I feel in my centre that the final piece of re-knitting our family has fallen into place.  All the things (and there was a lot!) H shared with me regarding his crisis experiences in the last few weeks while on holiday are not significant or journal-worthy to me any more.  I’m putting all that into the the basket of ‘that’s how life is’ and move on.

I wanted to journal this important milestone in our family.  Perhaps, it is my last post?  (Never say never, though. ;D)

In case this is my very last post on HS, I would like to gently suggest that we recognize intrinsic dignity of everyone, especially our crisis spouses, and refrain from denigrating, infantilizing, scoffing, vilifying, moral superiority complex, and other actions and attitudes that block us from affirmative living and relating.

Wishing you peace and joy in 2022. 

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« Last Edit: January 07, 2022, 11:38:12 PM by Acorn »
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#92: January 08, 2022, 07:47:48 AM
Thank you Acorn for these words.

Quote
Each child told him in their own words that they could plainly see his immense struggle and that he was not ‘right’ internally.  That realization gave them the grace to give him space and pray for his healing.

My daughter and I have talked about this. That she can also see that something happened to her father and that he is not the man either of us knew, helped to verify that I wasn't making this up or denying reality. We both still see it and I have always seen MLC in this light. Something is really broken in him.

 
Quote
I would like to gently suggest that we recognize intrinsic dignity of everyone, especially our crisis spouses, and refrain from denigrating, infantilizing, scoffing, vilifying, moral superiority complex, and other actions and attitudes that block us from affirmative living and relating.
[/b]

"Love one another as I have loved you".

This spouse, this father of our children, this man I love, this broken human being, this person who has hurt me so deeply....yet  respect for him as a human being frees me to continue to love.  When I first came to HS and read RCR's words about unconditional and agape love I shook my head for this was not the way the world views what he did. But I learned that it was more healing for me to accept him, the man he is and leave him in God's hands. My part is only to love and that I can continue to do.

Happy New Year and may God bless you and all those you love.
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"Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see" Hebrews 11:1

"You enrich my life and are a source of joy and consolation to me. But if I lose you, I will not, I must not spend the rest of my life in unhappiness."

" The truth does not change according to our ability to stomach it". Flannery O'Connor

https://www.midlifecrisismarriageadvocate.com/chapter-contents.html

N

Nas

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#93: January 10, 2022, 06:18:52 AM
Acorn, I hope you’ll pop in from time to time, but let me thank you here for your posts and for sharing your sample of one observations (that imo often contain important insights that are applicable to many). Your wise words have been an invaluable part of my healing journey and I thank you for the time you’ve given.
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#94: January 10, 2022, 11:23:54 AM
Adding my hopes that you will drop in occasionally with updates, but whether or not you do… thanks for all of your perspective, insight, and wisdom, all of which you offer with kindness.
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#95: January 12, 2022, 06:01:54 PM
I also hope that you will visit from time to time.  Very happy to see everything falling into place post-mlc for your family. 
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The Apology Every LBS Deserves

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