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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
#100: April 21, 2022, 05:15:11 PM
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the main purpose of that would be to encourage LBSs to direct their focus on themselves and children (if you have them) and not confer the responsibility for your own joie de vie and contentment on another person’s crisis trajectory.

I very much think we do that. When people ask for the number of reconciliations, some members state very clearly that there are few. When people ruminate on their MLCer's  we do "suggest" that they focus on their own needs including seeking legal advice and filing if necessary for their financial safety. Or to go no contact if their spouse is causing the LBSer lots of anxiety and problems.

Each time a newbie tries to get an "answer" about what is likely to happen, I do not see others giving them false information, but rather direct them to ways that they can grow and heal.

 
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Hence, my musing that tough love could perhaps be shown sooner rather than later.

Ok, maybe this is my own response to the use of the term tough love for an LBSer.

Many LBSers have been diagnosed with PTSD. The trauma of having one's life blown apart is immense. Lots and lots of therapy to heal from this trauma and other issues that are revealed from this life's experience.

To me, this is not a "tough love" type of work. It is a work of encouragement, support, understanding and sharing that it gets better.

Especially since we are not in the LBser's living room nor do we know all the circumstances of their lives.

I never really liked the term "2x4"'s although I get why sometimes it might be helpful for an outsider to point out patterns that they are seeing in the actions of the LBSer...but again...individuals with a variety of situations and the need for someone to understand the pain that they are experiencing (because the outside world just wants you to get over it and find someone "better"), that to me is the value of having people further along in this journey as they share their thoughts with newer members.

We have debated for many years, what number of crisis are 1) resolved and 2) result in reconciliations and there is no way to measure this because there are too many variables.

When the site first started, RCR's calculations were that a MLC lasted about 2-3 years. She changed that over time to 2-7 years. But we have now seen MLCers who continue to be in crisis much longer than that and indeed some who may never resolve their crisis.

Telling people straight out that no, it is highly unlikely that your spouse will return or come through their crisis (which doesn't mean they return to the family) would in my mind be a cruel thing to say, especially because we just don't know.

For those of us with a strong faith, we can trust that whatever the outcome, God is running the show and His will will prevail.
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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

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Nas

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Rebuilding our marriage and family
#101: April 21, 2022, 05:19:54 PM
Very, very early on in my time here, someone  made the comment to me that I should win the prize for having one of the worst MLCers in terms of behavior. And that was before most of the real craziness had come to light. The trajectory of my life has certainly not gone the way I thought it was going to even in those foggy early days when my heart was broken in a million pieces. I cannot imagine how much worse it might’ve been had I not been told on this forum from day one by Ready2Transform and Medusa that my H had recoupled and was gone most likely for good.
I certainly did not want to hear it the first time I heard it…or the first 50 times I heard it. But I definitely needed to hear it. And after I moved 700 miles away, I was so grateful to them and others who told me what I didn’t want to hear - I was grateful every day when I looked out my window at my beautiful new view and started building my new life as “just me.” I was grateful that they gave me that truth bomb (that truly at first felt like a bomb) every time I did something new in my new city or met someone new and didn’t spend time pain shopping by listening to gossip or looking at social media or trying to decipher my former H’s insane troll logic.
I’m grateful because in the time between BD and my cancer diagnosis, I was able to have a little time for me - where I was remembering that I matter and my needs matter, instead of solely focusing on him and the heartbreak and the cruelty, and I have memories during that time that I really do cherish.

It is true that we are all different and that it does take time to get your footing. If I could give anyone a word of caution though, I would say try as hard as you can to stop focusing so intently on the insanity, don’t waste time trying to read into your MLCer’s words or actions and take time for yourself to live your life. I only got that brief window before my cancer diagnosis and if I had spent that time focusing on what was instead of what a future without my marriage could be, I really don’t think I would’ve survived.
Just my sample of one experience.

ETA: I would be very curious to see how many LBS are actually diagnosed by a professional with PTSD. I don’t mind saying that I strongly dislike the colloquial use of the term. Diagnosed PTSD is a serious concern that needs to be dealt with under professional guidance. I was diagnosed with cPTSD due to the way the rapid succession of end of my marriage, an advanced cancer diagnosis and my parents’ deaths reawakened severe childhood trauma (meaning I was not diagnosed because of BD alone) and my understanding is that when a ptsd diagnosis is given, treatment for ptsd is then offered in the form of EMDR, CBT, etc. Most active members of the forum don’t discuss being in such treatment (but that doesn’t mean it’s not happening). Talk therapy is actually not useful for PTSD, or at least I was told that very emphatically by more than one provider when I was diagnosed, and my journey with it has been brutal and often overwhelming. It’s not an easy journey by any means and it’s not a diagnosis I would wish on anyone, nor is it to my understanding something that is self-correcting or “fixable” by just riding it out.
Regardless, if a person is diagnosed with PTSD and is under the care of a professional, that gives them the tools they need to handle hearing a tough truth on this forum. I guess I don’t really understand the idea of not telling people the reality of the situation they’re finding themselves in. Even RCR herself says most don’t come back.
Every single person can choose to have hope that they will reconcile, but that’s a personal choice.
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« Last Edit: April 21, 2022, 05:42:14 PM by Nas »

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Re: Rebuilding our marriage and family
#102: April 21, 2022, 08:00:01 PM
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If I could give anyone a word of caution though, I would say try as hard as you can to stop focusing so intently on the insanity, don’t waste time trying to read into your MLCer’s words or actions and take time for yourself to live your life.

Amen!!

You were an incredibly strong LBS, even in the beginning though. I think you got to acceptance and started your own inner work at a speed that I wish I'd been able to. And I agree - the realities of this should never be sugar-coated. I think we're all in more agreement than not.
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#103: April 22, 2022, 06:45:23 AM
Thank you very much , xyzcf, Nas and Ready2, for taking time to post your responses.  Much appreciated! 

….

I, for one, appreciate the terminology ‘2X4’ —© UM — and the judicious usage of it.  I regard it as a ‘medicinal’ form of support.  It can taste bitter but may do a lot of good for you if you take it onboard when applicable.  Nas has given us a good example of it. 

My view is that, in general, LBSs on HS have more than adequate emotional intelligence, maturity, strength and discernment to take in 2X4’s/tough love and learn from them.  Timing is important, of course. 

Have a great weekend, everyone!
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Feb 2015: BD. 
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H never left home.

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#104: April 22, 2022, 07:12:32 PM
Interesting discussion… as is often the case here! I think that I’m general, this forum finds a good balance between gentle, caring reminders for the LBS to focus on him/herself and the kids (if applicable), and the judiciously administered redirection or 2x4 when needed. I know that I got almost obsessive with my overthinking early on, and the feedback I got was always helpful in getting me back to my own journey. I haven’t felt like there was any shortage of reminders to protect myself; in fact, I have been advised to proceed with caution regarding what very clearly feels like genuine reconnection.

None of that is to disagree, Acorn… I think the reminders to focus on oneself and leave the MLCer to their own journey (whatever that might be) are essential. And I also think it’s very appropriate to say that there is no guarantee the marriage will continue, and to reinforce the importance of the LBS building a life for himself or herself without relying on the MLC spouse or partner. That’s been a consistent message from longtime members here, whether they are healing MLCers themselves, LBSs who have reconciled, those who have reconnected, and those who have moved on. I think the specific details of what “protect yourself and focus on your own path” will look very different depending on the spouses and the marriage, but generally speaking I feel like the level of diplomacy versus the perhaps harsher truths is pretty nicely balanced here.
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#105: April 24, 2022, 11:41:56 AM
For my 2 cents, I don't think any of this is one size fits all. It depends on the person, where they actually are in their grieving process, their particular personality, etc.

There are some that come here so distraught, all they feel is their pain and are incapable (at first at least) of hearing anything about protecting themselves, etc. They are too overwhelmed to get there just yet.

Some come with ONLY the goal of restoring their marriage.  Nothing else will do.

Some just want to know what happened, why their world blew up.

It takes a different way to get each of these types of people to where they can see that the only person they can do anything about is themselves. I personally believe telling people it is a good idea to protect themselves and their finances is never harmful. Telling them right away that most mlcers don't come back might be--that can wait for the dust to settle in their lives.

Timing can be very important.
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#106: April 24, 2022, 12:02:51 PM
There are some that come here so distraught, all they feel is their pain and are incapable (at first at least) of hearing anything about protecting themselves, etc. They are too overwhelmed to get there just yet.

Offroad I have to admit I was one of these. For over a year from BD, my H had full access to my account. I was so scared to block his access from account to push the triggers that he may repel me even more. I didn't understand what was going on at the time of BD. I wished it was a nightmare and then I woke up in the morning realizing it was real. I thought my story would end differently. I thought my h was different. The whole thing was so hard to process and digest. Your world suddenly turns upside down. But one thing I really appreciate was the understanding from the veterans. The reassurance that I was not crazy. Some I must say were quite pushy with their reminders but at that time I was very upset. I didn't understand. Looking back,  I now understand why. I was delusional that my H would come back to his original self. I could not accept the reality that was in front of me. In my case my H came back and I thought we were reconciling until I realize we were not. I could not live with a man like that. A man who was so self absorbed. I still don't know how my story would turn out but I am trying hard to focus on my self and how I can move forward. I learned to not monkey brain anymore about what my H is doing or who he is with. Though there are times, my mind sometimes drift to that direction but this time I am aware. Healing I think is a very long process and I have to admit I am still far behind.
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Me 46
H    48
Married 11 at BD 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 seeing suspected OW2 (divorced with two kids) and 2 years older than him, H didn’t file the D
Contact never stopped
6/21 H moved in with me; kicked him out 01/22
H stopped contacting, wants a Divorce (suspected to be back with OW2)

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#107: April 25, 2022, 12:09:01 AM
I must admit that I agree with Off Road on this and the importance of trying to meet people where they are at a given time. Plus of course recognising that if I didn’t know what was going to happen in my situation, I surely don’t know what will happen as an outcome in yours lol.

If we have a job here, I suppose I think it is to reinforce other LBS’s strength in dealing with the situation they find themselves in.  Sometimes to suggest ways they might find it; always to cheer them on when they do. Like metaphorical physiotherapists  :)  Looking back, that meant different things to me at different times.....feeling reassured that I was not crazy, feeling a little less alone, feeling that even though I was alone in RL there were people on the planet somewhere who cared about my small successes and that I kept going, people who could be kinder towards my many failures than I could at the time. Feeling heard and seen, I suppose, put most simply. Bc the feeling of being erased, bereaved and threatened simultaneously was horrific for me and I was completely out of my depth with it. I needed a kind village and I was very fortunate to find one here and then later in RL.

Healing is a long process, Dragonfly, and sometimes a strange one in my experience. I think most LBS here would say or have said that they felt ‘far behind’ against some invisible notional clock. Again, in my experience and from others stories here, I think the clock is a fallacy. And not often a very helpful one. Not many folks here would seem to experience it in that kind of straight line Broken...Not Fixed...ah ha, Fixed kind of way. One sort of evolves towards it, I think, and tries to balance faith that you will get there without an end goal of what being there looks like. Just exactly what you say you are currently doing. The devil, and the angels lol, of healing is in the micro-detail of the process I think now. An hour, a day, a few weeks, months...and those moments when you are surprised almost to notice that your thoughts and feelings and being in your skin feels better. That you feel stronger in some way. As fellow LBS, we can offer and encourage and validate and even nudge......but that process is a very personal one with some common elements perhaps but also some parts that are more unique. Jmo.
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« Last Edit: April 25, 2022, 12:18:29 AM by Treasur »
T: 18  M: 12 (at BD) No kids.
H diagnosed with severe depression Oct 15. BD May 16. OW since April 16, maybe earlier. Silent vanisher mostly.
Divorced April 18. XH married ow 6 weeks later.
Healing and growing found here https://littleplotbythesea.wordpress.com

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

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#108: April 25, 2022, 03:21:10 AM
Just adding a few words to this discussion, I definitely agree with OffRoad and treasur on this.

I found HS after I had already been in this mess for about 3 years, this place helped restore my sanity.  And I am definitely with those who say that things need to be said slowly, when people are ready for it.

I came here wanting to restore my marriage, I was put straight right away that this wasn't a "save your marriage programme".  But, crucially, this was the one place that showed me I wasn't nuts for believing in my marriage and my family.  And that I wouldn't be nuts if I did take him back, if that had been an option. 

Again, crucially, this was all done whilst emphasising the importance of taking care of myself and my children, financially and otherwise.

I struggled to understand the concept of detachment, but slogged on anyway, slowly, VERY slowly, getting there, or at least some semblance of "there".  I was probably the most terrified person here, looking back.  But I kept going, one foot in front of the other. 

I disagree with the idea that people wouldn't find support for standing here, I think just the opposite.  There are many other sites that will tell you to kick them to the curb, that they never come back, all that.  This was the safest place I found and I still believe it is that.  I was't thought nuts for having hope, even whilst being taught the difference between hope and expectation. 
 
As the years have passed the lessons I have learned here have benefited me in all areas of life.  I can't say that I am standing at this point, but neither am I "not standing", if that makes sense.  I'm not in another relationship.  I have built a life for myself and my now grown children, one I am proud of, even if it looks nothing like what I had imagined my life would look like at this age.

My former H lives another life that has nothing to do with mine, or my children's, really, and I can't say one way or the other if I would be open to anything with him, on any level.  I don't think about it as it's not something that is on the table as an option.  Should it ever become so I will deal with it then. 

Realising that we aren't the ones that are nuts, that this absolutely unbelievable thing actually did happen, is the great gift of HS, I think.  And learning to see it for what it is, not to excuse it, as well.  I, like so many others, did excuse a lot of behaviour because I just couldn't believe that my sweet, lovely H would ever behave like that.  Learning to see it for what it is, in our own situations as treasur says, learning that it is OK to become angry about it, learning not to be a bitter witch as well, all that has had huge benefits in so many areas. 

So much of that comes with time, and more of that than we could ever imagine, I think.  I don't think there is any way to skip going through all the stages ourselves, any more than an MLCer can skip anything. 

It's like that saying that I used to hate -- if you get hit by a car on a pedestrian crossing, the car may be completely the one at fault, but it's still you that has to learn to walk again.  And here we can help each other to do so. 
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#109: April 25, 2022, 08:40:12 AM
Thank you, everyone, for your valuable contributions! 

Warm and empathetic welcome and the advices regarding self care, paying attention to financial security, working on detachment, etc. are invaluable and immensely helpful to the newcomers and not-so-new members.  This is documented on every single thread, and it’s wonderful that many have shared gratitude for the welcome and sensible advices.   I add my voice to the chorus!  (Really, there is no need to be defensive as we are all on the same side, Team HS, here.) 

……

If I may circle back to my original post, please.

My main point was that conflating MLC stages with that of relationship is unhelpful to LBS.  (I see this conflation as a significant hinderance to no expectations and a true detachment, where you count no marital relationship dividends on the outcome of your spouse’s crisis.)  I hope you can see this is a matter that is quite different in character from oft-repeated and valuable messages such as ‘live as if they are not coming back,’ or ‘they seldom come back.’

I was musing aloud if that conflation should be one of the things LBSs need to be aware of, sooner rather than later. You know, a case of ‘take your time but please hurry.’

Of course, any sensible adult would know to mind the timing and the specifics of the situation, and to deliver the message with clarity and empathy. 

Wishing you all a good week!
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« Last Edit: April 25, 2022, 08:41:42 AM by Acorn »
Feb 2015: BD. 
Dec 2017: Seriously reconnecting

H never left home.

 

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