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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
#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 »
Feb 2015: BD. 
Dec 2017: Seriously reconnecting

H never left home.

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Rebuilding our marriage and family
#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 »
Feb 2015: BD. 
Dec 2017: Seriously reconnecting

H never left home.

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Rebuilding our marriage and family
#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.

 
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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

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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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#96: April 21, 2022, 09:52:52 AM
Hi all,

It’s been a while. 

It’s nice to visit HS and read a few posts!

I confess it is heartbreaking to see new cases. I’m musing if we need to hear some unpalatable but objectively true aspects in dealing with MLC situations sooner rather than later — preferably, in plain and direct words. 

How many people are standing on the assumption that the end of MLC is likely to yield loving marital relationship?   So LBS waits for the crisis to end…

If MLCer’s return is not covertly read into the concept of MLC stages and its outcome, I dare say it can be quite liberating and empowering in charting your own course and mindset.  Since that’s what I cultivated for myself and it helped me greatly, I highly recommend it.

In my sample of one, I would say that one of the first steps to living each day meaningfully and joyfully was to see the reality that our marriage was obliterated at BD and to cease to conflate the end of crisis with reconciliation.  In other words, unrealistic expectation was dialled down to near zero. 

Just my view.

Have a great weekend!
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« Last Edit: April 21, 2022, 10:13:25 AM by Acorn »
Feb 2015: BD. 
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#97: April 21, 2022, 12:25:50 PM
Quote
I’m musing if we need to hear some unpalatable but objectively true aspects in dealing with MLC situations sooner rather than later — preferably, in plain and direct words.

How many people are standing on the assumption that the end of MLC is likely to yield loving marital relationship?   So LBS waits for the crisis to end…

 I think we do a really good job of focusing on the LBSer and offering practical support concerning finances, self care, benefits of therapy, information about MLC and setting boundaries.

Many people write about how when they first came to HS, they were convinced that their marriage would survive and and then give their story of how they came to realize that this was not going to happen for them. I don't know of anyone who came here without looking for some kind of information to help "save their marriage".

I disgaree with what you are proposing.

The five stages of grief:

"The five stages – denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance – are often talked about as if they happen in order, moving from one stage to the other. You might hear people say things like ‘Oh I’ve moved on from denial and now I think I’m entering the angry stage’. But this isn’t often the case.

In fact Kübler-Ross, in her writing, makes it clear that the stages are non-linear – people can experience these aspects of grief at different times and they do not happen in one particular order. You might not experience all of the stages, and you might find feelings are quite different with different bereavements."

It takes time to work through these stages, time to heal, time to believe that our beloved is no longer the person we had loved for decades.

Standing, which is only one way for the LBSer to proceed in their lives, is a very individual decision and is based on the  beliefs of the LBSer. Cultural, familial, religious beliefs that are very ingrained in each person.

For some, marriage is a permanent sacrament. I am one of those. If I had been told, espeically in the early days,  what some members here believe to be true, aka, that MLCers do not come back and that marriages cannot be reconciled, that would have caused even greater shattering than already occurred.

Each one of us ultimately comes to our own conclusion about how we will live our lives, what our boundaries will be and what we are comfortable living with regarding the end of our marriages.

One of the things that is told to newbies is that their old marriage is over and that is true. Another thing they are often told is that this is not a marriage issue, which is also true but very very hard to comprehend, at least initially.

What you seem to be proposing, and please correct me if I am wrong, that we relay the "real truth about MLC" from the start to newbies which I presume is what happens on sites like chump lady. I don't see Hero's Spouse as that kind of forum. I actually would have been turned away if I had been given that kind of "advice".

I personally would never have benefitted from that. My own journey required me to explore my belief system and judge it according to what is right in my life.

It's not our role to question other's belief systems and their religious convictions.

 
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So LBS waits for the crisis to end…

It sounds like you feel LBSers continue to wait for the crisis to end so that their marriages can be restored. In the many years I have been on HS, there might have been a few people who got stuck there, but the majority of LBSers are focused on rebuilding their lives and there are many many success stories here of how wonderfully LBSers have healed and moved along in their lives.

Just my point of view.
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« Last Edit: April 21, 2022, 01:03:03 PM by xyzcf »
"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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Re: Rebuilding our marriage and family
#98: April 21, 2022, 03:18:07 PM
I tend to go with xyz on this. While we can make decisions about what path we'd like to eventually be on, especially in the early days, there is very little we can do with our mind that will immediately change what is in our hearts. And standing too, is a process. At any given time during the five plus years I was standing, I was standing for a different reason, that fit where I was in the process at that point. Relieving expectations is something we have to arrive at, and I think we can *want* to get there, and that that does matter (I think I'm agreeing with you on that, Acorn, if I'm understanding correctly), but the neural pathways that become what our actual beliefs and purpose in standing or not take time to be built. Just my opinion, but really, no one is doing it wrong if it's what feels right to them. Only if they were hurting themselves or those around them (which is subjective, especially when we're just reading one side of it here on the forum), should they really be challenged in changing.
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#99: April 21, 2022, 04:48:47 PM
Xyzcf and Ready, thank you very much for sharing your point of view, much of which I agree with. 

I guess my main point is that conflating the MLC outcome with that of marital relationship is unhelpful if that is the main reason for standing. 

For the majority of people, the reality of the situation necessitates some or complete dissipation of the said conflation over the years.  However, the emotional and financial cost can accumulate over those years and it can take quite a lot time and effort to recover.  Hence, my musing that tough love could perhaps be shown sooner rather than later.

It is no brainer that one has to be mindful of how/when certain observations and advices are shared, and 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. 
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