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Author Topic: My Story Rebuilding Rebuilding our marriage and family

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

H never left home.

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Nas

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Rebuilding our marriage and family
#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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M
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Rebuilding our marriage and family
#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
July 2021 married OW (find out May 2022 after 10 mths)
Oct 2021- XH moves in OW ( already married, tells nobody)
Feb 2022- XH is fired from job of 38 years
https://mlcforum.theherosspouse.com/index.php?topic=11796

Leave him 100% to his own devices and crisis ...100% shut it all down.  Bow out..its not about you !!! (Barbi

t
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Re: Rebuilding our marriage and family
#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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A
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Rebuilding our marriage and family
#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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« Last Edit: October 18, 2021, 08:31:25 AM by Acorn »
Feb 2015: BD. 
Dec 2017: Seriously reconnecting

H never left home.

A
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Rebuilding our marriage and family
#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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« Last Edit: November 03, 2021, 08:22:25 AM by Acorn »
Feb 2015: BD. 
Dec 2017: Seriously reconnecting

H never left home.

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Nas

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Rebuilding our marriage and family
#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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m
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Re: Rebuilding our marriage and family
#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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No Kids, 23 years at BD1 (4 years), married 21
First signs of MLC Jan '15
BD 1 Jan '17, BD 2 Mar, Separated Apr, BD 3 May,BD 4 Jun '18
First Sign of Waking up-Dec '17, First Cycle out of MLC Mar '18-Jun ‘18, Second cycle Jul '18-??
Meets OM Jan '17 and acts "in love," admits "in love" Jun '18, asks for divorce Jul '18

M
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Rebuilding our marriage and family
#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
July 2021 married OW (find out May 2022 after 10 mths)
Oct 2021- XH moves in OW ( already married, tells nobody)
Feb 2022- XH is fired from job of 38 years
https://mlcforum.theherosspouse.com/index.php?topic=11796

Leave him 100% to his own devices and crisis ...100% shut it all down.  Bow out..its not about you !!! (Barbi

N

Nas

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Re: Rebuilding our marriage and family
#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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