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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
#110: April 25, 2022, 10:20:37 AM
I remember, Acorn, the first time you posted about that as one of your own realisations in reflection.
It struck me at the time like a wet haddock in the mush (in a good way) bc it was so very logically obvious but I hadn’t ‘got’ it. Yet you expressed it so clearly that I did get it....and it came as a kind of relief to me tbh. It is obvious, isn’t it? If someone else’s crisis is not caused by me/our marriage, if they are separate things, why would I see a resolution of someone else’s crisis as necessarily involving me/our marriage either. Apples and pears. And yet tbh for the longest time I did. I had a model in my head that went something like....him resolving his crisis = him returning to a normal person = him returning to being like the person I knew who loved me so much = our marriage being restored. Now, I guess I see a lot of potential slips between cup and lip at each stage of that rather linear process  :)

Why was it a relief to me then? Hmmm. I think it let me give myself permission to stop trying so hard to build a bridge to something I couldn’t understand and self-evidently had no control over at all. But with a kinder eye towards why I tried. I have no idea if my xh has in fact now resolved his crisis in his new life or how close or far he has circled round back to the kind of person he was. I hope he has - I loved him too much for too long to wish him to be mired in that kind of self-destruction and unhappiness - but I can see the two things as separate things now in a way that I could not for a very long time bc you shared a hard-won reflection of your own.
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T: 18  M: 12 (at BD) No kids.
H diagnosed with severe depression Oct 15. BD May 16. OW since April 16, maybe earlier. Silent vanisher mostly.
Divorced April 18. XH married ow 6 weeks later.
Healing and growing found here https://littleplotbythesea.wordpress.com

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

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Rebuilding our marriage and family
#111: April 25, 2022, 11:27:48 AM
Thanks for circling back on this topic, Acorn - and you’re right, that bit of nuance is extremely important. Also, it’s important to remember that that message can be conveyed in a very neutral way, and therefore it can and should be a part of the conversations we have here. And while it is necessary for the MLCer to get through their crisis if the marriage is to be restored, getting through the crisis does not mean the marriage will be restored. Conversely, if the marriage is not restored, that doesn’t necessarily indicate that the MLCer is still in crisis. This is inherently a difficult thing to hear, especially while someone is dealing with abandonment and betrayal… and it’s probably not the first thing an LBS needs to hear. But you are absolutely right that conflating the two situations is not helpful and likely impedes the LBS’s growth and healing.
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#112: April 26, 2022, 12:08:16 AM
I seem to be having semantics issues. If the original thought was "End of MLC" <> reconciliation or restoration of relationship, I don't see where anything written here conflates those two, but perhaps I am missing it being as I never expected "End of MLC" = reconciliation or restoration of relationship. I just wanted the reconciliation or restoration of relationship part. The MLC seemed to explain WHY it happened. I wanted to know if there was a checklist of things I could do to fix it. :P

Unless someone posts "once he/ she gets over his/her mlc, we'll be together again", I would have no idea if they conflate end of mlc with their relationship. The ones that do conflate the two are usually in the "I want my relationship back no matter what" camp and nothing people say really changes their mind. They still have to get there when they get there if they get there. No amount of "tough love" will get them there on someone else's timeline.

While I acknowledge the validity of End of MLC does not necessarily  = restoration of relationship,  it is equally valid that End of MLC COULD = restoration of relationship. Who am I to know? I suppose it's why I prefer "You don't control other people. Take care of yourself. If they come back, you'll be in a great place for that. If they don't come back you'll be in a great place."

Words to the effect of "Your spouse could come out of MLC and still not come back so don't put those two things together" would have left me feeling like "What's the point of even trying, then?" when I first got here, and while true(in my case there was no point in trying), I was not ready for anything that direct until xh's move out 18 months later.

So backing up, Acorn, might you explain to me why you conflated the two, as it appears you might have? What was it that gave you the idea there was some kind of guarantee(?) that at the end of mlc, you'd get your relationship back. I mean, you did, so there's that though perhaps it is quite different. But is there something inheritly flawed with choosing to stand for your marriage, hoping it will be restored when mlc ends as long as the stander keeps moving their life forward for themselves no matter the outcome?

I'm sure I'm just not getting it for some reason.
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Re: Rebuilding our marriage and family
#113: April 29, 2022, 04:57:06 AM
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While I acknowledge the validity of End of MLC does not necessarily  = restoration of relationship,  it is equally valid that End of MLC COULD = restoration of relationship. Who am I to know? I suppose it's why I prefer "You don't control other people. Take care of yourself. If they come back, you'll be in a great place for that. If they don't come back you'll be in a great place."

I'm with you on this OR.

However perhaps what we should take into account is that conflating the stages of MLC crisis and relationship is a subjective process.  Each of takes on board what we are told when we join and each of us adapts to suit us at that time.  However that is always a moveable feast.  Yes we have had LBSers on here who have been adamant that the MLCer will return when "it's all over" and they have refused to look at themselves in the process.  Yes we have had LBsers on here who have advised a "kick them to the curb" approach.  However the advice will always be given subjectively and equally received subjectively.

So if some LBSers choose to conflate the stages with the relationship and believe beyond all doubt that the MLCer will return once "it's all over" then that is their choice; I don't think it's because of the advice they are given, it's because that is the narrative they choose to tell themselves.

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But is there something inheritly flawed with choosing to stand for your marriage, hoping it will be restored when mlc ends as long as the stander keeps moving their life forward for themselves no matter the outcome?

And here's the rub as as far as I am concerned.  I was initially so convinced that when H came out of his crisis he would begin to value our marriage and me again, heck he really did all the "right" things for connection and then it stopped.  Now 9 years on from BD (and I've only just realised that in writing this that BD anniversary was last month), we're living separately in 2 houses and living our lives but we're in regular contact and getting on much better.
Technically and legally we are separated. But he still refers to me as his wife and he is seeing a therapist weekly.

Is he at the end of his crisis - who knows?  I just know that I am in a great place right now. Yes I have been standing but I know now that my narrative is different and evolving and not controlled by any expectations
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Reconnection started 2017 and still going with no sign of reconciliation.

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#114: April 29, 2022, 06:18:51 AM
That’s a very good and honest point made, Song, about the narrative we choose. And that it is our right to do so. And that it evolves.

I also think that - and perhaps this is more of an issue for those of us a few years on from BD - it can be a tricky balance to not force our current narrative on someone else, particularly in those first few months/years, and also avoid unintentionally feeding a narrative which might be unhelpful or damaging to an individual as well as an unknown outcome. Bc tbh we can’t know a whole bunch of things with any certainty, either about our own situation let alone someone else’s. The best we can do I suspect is try to step back enough to see the patterns and trust our own instinct in the moment. But gosh, I think most of us here remember that stage of flailing around looking for some kind of certainty when the world as we knew it has been tipped on its’ head.
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T: 18  M: 12 (at BD) No kids.
H diagnosed with severe depression Oct 15. BD May 16. OW since April 16, maybe earlier. Silent vanisher mostly.
Divorced April 18. XH married ow 6 weeks later.
Healing and growing found here https://littleplotbythesea.wordpress.com

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

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Re: Rebuilding our marriage and family
#115: April 29, 2022, 01:15:52 PM
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it can be a tricky balance to not force our current narrative on someone else, particularly in those first few months/years, and also avoid unintentionally feeding a narrative which might be unhelpful or damaging to an individual as well as an unknown outcome.

Exactly.  The outcome of what happens with our MLCers is unknown.  Our own personal outcomes are essentially unknown but unlike an MLCer we learn to begin to shape our own individual outcome which has to be flexible because of other external and unpredictable factors.

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Reconnection started 2017 and still going with no sign of reconciliation.

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#116: April 29, 2022, 01:58:23 PM
You know, on further reflection, I wonder if the first step for most LBS is to accept the uncertainty of any outcome at all involving their spouse. From ‘will they turn up when they said they would to pick up their kids’ to ‘will they lie about x or do y or blame me for z’. Maybe that is in reality what enables us to begin to detach from their actions and shift our focus to other things, that acceptance, the ability to say idk? Sounds simple but, as we all know all too well, it is not an easy step and takes most of us quite a long time.....
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T: 18  M: 12 (at BD) No kids.
H diagnosed with severe depression Oct 15. BD May 16. OW since April 16, maybe earlier. Silent vanisher mostly.
Divorced April 18. XH married ow 6 weeks later.
Healing and growing found here https://littleplotbythesea.wordpress.com

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

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#117: May 07, 2022, 08:54:51 AM
Thank you, Curiosity, Treasur, OR, and Song!

…..

Happy Mother’s Day to all the mothers on HS!

While I was out walking early this morning, I spotted a little bunny, peacefully tucking into its early morning feast of spring greens.  As I approached, it panicked and then ran right into a wild rose bush and got hopelessly tangled in it.  What else for me to do but gently remove all the dead thorny branches so that it could escape and go find its mommy. 

This brief encounter with the helpless baby bunny reminded me of my own precious children who were bewildered and heartbroken because of H’s emotional abandonment of them at BD.  They didn’t know which way to turn — just like that little bunny — because their mom (yours truly) was rather wrapped up in her sadness and then her obsession with fact finding mission into the land of MLC. 

I regret that I took my time turning my attention away from H and his crisis and redirect it toward the needs of our children.  O, how desperately they needed my attention, love and nurturing — my heart aches when I reflect upon this.

I sincerely hope you do not take as long as I did to leave H to his crisis and redirect my attention to the needs of our precious children. 

My sincere good wishes to the mothers on HS and their children.  (((((((HUGS))))))

……

A few have asked via private communication if my H changed for the better after his crisis. 
I’m sorry I do not have enough time right now to do justice to your query right now — My house is about to be invaded by our children this weekend.  I will try to answer that next week. 

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« Last Edit: May 07, 2022, 09:01:01 AM by Acorn »
Feb 2015: BD. 
Dec 2017: Seriously reconnecting

H never left home.

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#118: May 12, 2022, 05:34:31 AM
Is he better (I assume you mean ‘a nicer human being’) than he was before MLC? 

I used think so but I realized that it was only because his replay behaviour was so atrocious that any minor decent gesture from him looked quite angelic in comparison. 

In many (most?) aspects, H is mostly back to who he had always been before the crisis — his character traits, values, social interaction style, taste in the arts, and his fondness for dad jokes.  And dad jeans are back, too.  ;D

One notable difference from his pre-crisis era is his outlook on life that is more relaxed, positive and outward-looking.  I guess that is a reflection of his inner peace, which is the result of having resolved his FOO and identity issues. 

(I’m going to veer off a bit here and mention that he didn’t have any significant baggage outside of his MLC issues to contend with — for example, marital woes, health problems with him, me and kids, financial and professional difficulties, troubled children, personality disorder or other mental condition/illness, etc.  I wonder if the absence of other significant life troubles made it easier/simpler for him to focus on resolving his MLC issues.  Just a thought…)

Is our relationship better, compared to pre-MLC era?

I don’t think it’s better or worse.  It’s just ……. different.  My assessment could change as time goes on, of course.

H and I fully accepted quite a while back that the bell of the crisis period cannot be un-rung.  Therefore, a new relationship is being forged by  purposefully investing our attention, time and effort in us.

We do not regard our reconciliation as an expected or inevitable byproduct of the end of crisis.  H and I made a choice to commit to marriage, being well aware of the enormity of the undertaking.  Making that choice was over a considerable period of time and as evidence mounted that we could make it work. 

Sample of one. 

Have a good day!
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« Last Edit: May 12, 2022, 05:41:27 AM by Acorn »
Feb 2015: BD. 
Dec 2017: Seriously reconnecting

H never left home.

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Rebuilding our marriage and family
#119: May 12, 2022, 09:51:14 AM

(I’m going to veer off a bit here and mention that he didn’t have any significant baggage outside of his MLC issues to contend with — for example, marital woes, health problems with him, me and kids, financial and professional difficulties, troubled children, personality disorder or other mental condition/illness, etc.  I wonder if the absence of other significant life troubles made it easier/simpler for him to focus on resolving his MLC issues.  Just a thought…)

Is our relationship better, compared to pre-MLC era?

I don’t think it’s better or worse.  It’s just ……. different.  My assessment could change as time goes on, of course.


Not to minimize the significance of the rest of this update (it was all absolute gold), but these are the parts that stood out to me most as someone who is on the path of reconnection. Things are a little different when there are underlying complications (in the case of my W, some anxiety and depression that are familial and that were present to varying degrees throughout her adult life). So, while it’s essential to remember that every story is a sample of one (and that reminder is always appreciated, Acorn), the presence or absence of complicating factors might substantially impact how complete their healing is.

And the other point, about how the relationship is now, is really food for thought. My experience at this point is that I feel fundamentally different, and therefore to me the relationship feels fundamentally different. I’m not sure it looks all that different from the outside, though. It’s not constant hearts and flowers and romance; it’s not even the exhilaration that sometimes comes when you truly connect with someone new. But it is open communication, honesty, mutual respect, genuine acceptance, and love. It’s not that the rest of the world melts away when we’re together, we each see how the other is walking though this world, and we offer support when the other person needs it and independence when they want to navigate something on their own. It’s the kind of thing that might have almost seemed cynical to the more idealistic version of me that I used to be, but it feels more solid and sure and real than anything else.

Thanks for always offering such valuable insight, Acorn. Even though it’s always a sample of one, it’s always relatable.
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