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Author Topic: My Story JohnnyBravo's story

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My Story JohnnyBravo's story
OP: August 29, 2021, 09:01:02 PM
Hopefully this is the right place to do this... Starting with the facts.

Me 53
W 52
Together ten years+
W had a hard time meeting decent men when we met (and I couldn't understand why)
Married 2016
BD June 2021; stated that we had a good run, but it has come to an end
Moved out July 2021
No children

Alienator: Not sure. Would not have had time for a physical affair while still living at home; would have to be waiting in wings. If there is one, I would suspect one of two co-workers, unless W has met someone in a bar.

*Hitting age 50 seemed to be a big concern, but moreso was hitting perimenopause right before the pandemic. There were several emotional breakdowns that I'm not sure I handled well. (My understanding of perimenopause was that there isn't any right thing to say, so I tried to listen.) Also true that I started disregarding her emotional needs during the pandemic.
*Close friend recently got divorced and became a swinger/poly; may hold some allure, but W knows this friend is a train wreck.
*W's closest/longest girlfriends are all divorced or single

MLC complaints:
  • *I spend too much time working on projects/what I want to do and ignoring W (somewhat true, but some projection; historically true of W as well.). Didn't say this until BD.
  • *I'm an introvert, W is extrovert; I spend too much time looking at my watch when we go out to bars. Both are true. Second part is something I need to work on, but the first part seemed to make us a good couple.
  • *No control over finances: True, but W never asked. I told her after moveout that I'd be happy to have regular finance discussions to set priorities.
  • *I don't communicate. Somewhat projection. I do ask how her day was, and listen when she vents; just not sure I was asking the right questions. (and this wasn't a complaint before.)
  • W says she has no sex drive, wants me to be able to get what I want. (this was when her hormone prescriptions were in flux, so I chalked it up to that.)
  • *Can't make friends in this town: W will make limited efforts to make friends, and insists it's on the other person to make the effort. Also, she HAS made friends, but they're never the "right" friends.
  • Feels alone here. True, but somewhat of her own doing per above. Also forgot how alone and miserable she was when we left our last city; her close friends never made plans to go out, she had to do all of the work.
  • *Unstated complaint: we are politically different (she has swung hard liberal with some specific counter-beliefs, I am libertarian.)

Living arrangements: I am in house, W moved in with nearby family member.

Contact style: W contacts for legal items, I contact for specific items (i.e. "this medical bill needs to be paid.") I sent one long email about the legal process, but otherwise short and to the point. W started with phone and text, but has gone to terse email.

Reasons to suspect MLC (symptoms from here and other sources):
*Recent (6-12 mo) drive for weight loss (She got to a healthy weight, but is determined to get to a weight that I would deem excessively low; she looked great where she was at BD.)
*Recent teeth whitening, facelift
*Recently got a new car, and the best job she's ever had
*Recent interest in taking a traveling gig job (i.e. months away from home)
*Bragging about girlfriends who have multiple boyfriends
*Didn't come out and say, "I love you but I'm not in love with you," but seemed to in a roundabout way.
*Also didn't say marriage was a mistake, but "we made the best decision we could at the time"
*Insists that I "owe her" financially (friend suggested unrealistic basis for divorce settlement); wants cash only, not the usual divorce breakdown.
*Seems confused, some mood cycles.
*Can turn off emotions, although she has been able to do this to some extent in the past
*Anger and irritability
*Chaotic childhood
*Plan is to move away to a new town (it's this city's fault she can't make friends)
*Recently began much more heavy posting of selfies.
*Some items do seem to be immaturity or narcissism. But, from what I know of narcissism, she didn't have these traits until recently. She does hate narcissists enough to potentially be one herself, although that is recent too. There are clear signs that W doesn't accept responsibility for her situation, which would be immaturity, but could also stem from MLC. Also gets most of her news from FB and YouTube. Once she sets on an idea, she isn't open to alternative explanations.

Legal action:
W was wholly against lawyers, and wanted us to file divorce and settlement ourselves. However, I could not agree to her terms (and every friend I have said "get a lawyer."). We were going to try mitigation, but they said we were too far apart on terms for mitigation to work. I have retained a collaborative lawyer to protect my interests, but specifically said I do not want a divorce. W was supposed to meet with her lawyer two weeks ago, postponed to last week, but I haven't heard anything since. (W never filed a petition at the outset.)

History of mental disorders:
*Mother was bipolar, disorders in some siblings, but W has seemed stable to this point.

*I could tell something was up before BD, and talked to a counselor through work to get marriage counseling ideas. (He doesn't believe there is a such thing as a MLC).
*W agreed to try but didn't think it would work. Unfortunately, the one counselor we could book was terrible (only one with an appointment within months, left phone on, had just moved offices and was disorganized). Immediately sided with W, which I learned later is typical of counselors who aren't marriage supporters. Her solution to me was, "Well, it sounds like you know what you have to do."

About me:
*Been taking Larry B. and Michele W-D classes; I'm often in good shape, but do have occasional breakdowns.
*I'm Standing; W is the love of my life. (Not sure if that means I'm not detaching, but I am separating W from her MLC being.) I've considered going out and looking around, but at this point nobody compares to W.
*Too soon to see if anything is working. Have basically been no-contact unless things come up.
*I'm trying to learn more about myself and how to build a better relationship when (optimist) we reconcile.
*Cleaning up my hobby hoarding tendency, trying to focus on things that are important
*Looking at taking classes to do something I've never done before, to give me something to focus on.
*Goal is to ride this out and reconcile on the other side, but also to get myself strong enough to maintain my composure if I see her or talk to her.

I know I'm not at that last one yet because I wound up stopped next to her at a stoplight today. (The coincidental timing and actions that took amazes me.) I didn't engage or say hi; I stayed back a bit when I recognized her car. I suppose that's better than freaking out, but I kinda freaked out on the inside.

No further insights.

Thanks for listening!
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« Last Edit: September 05, 2021, 07:56:37 AM by Thunder »

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Re: JohnnyBravo's story
#1: August 30, 2021, 07:44:34 AM
Does sound like she´s on the MLC journey, sigh. The best you can do for yourself is to protect your finances, focus on your health, both mental and physical, and avoid questioning her as the odds are it´ll piss her off and you´re likely to get lies in response, whether it´s a biggie question or an insignificant one. To protect your credit you can draw up a paper that states the date that she moved out of the house, have her sign it and share that with the credit card company. If she is an authorized user on your card, you can then remove her, BUT... don´t be a butt and do it without warning. She needs time to get a card in her own name. If you don´t separate the credit cards, you will be on the hook for any debt she rings up.

For your well being: exercise, meditation, music, hikes, being in nature, eating healthy food, getting adequate sleep. Check out the Deepak Chopra guided meditation library for meditations that will help you fall asleep. SLEEP is critical. Without it you will spiral into a state as desperate as hers.

You will know that you are making progress when the urge to snoop on her activities subsides. You can safely assume that she´s up to extracurricular activities. Thus, if she does boomerang back, take precautions for STDs.

If you are in a small town, have a consult with the best divorce lawyer in town. That way she cannot hire that person and you will have safeguarded yourself from getting financially flayed.

Yes, take responsibility for the flaws that you brought to the marriage but know that this is not how loving mature adults address concerns. She has internal issues to address and that is why you cannot really affect the timeline.

Moving in order to make friends is not likely to solve her complaints about having friends as wherever you go, there YOU are.

Be compassionate to yourself. Try to remain neutral towards her in that you avoid lashing out. Make your boundaries and expectations clear- you need to decide what they are first. Remember, resist the urge to DO something. There is GREAT value in doing nothing. This is the time for you to focus on you. Standing is for you to take the time to heal your shattered being whether or not your marriage reconciles. If she comes back, you want to be emotionally strong. If she leaves for good, you want to eventually attract another emotionally strong person, NOT a broken person. So, have the restraint to avoid seeking female company while in your broken state.
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me 51
H 51
M 27
BD 1/15/ 10 then BD 8/21/10
D final 8/13

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Re: JohnnyBravo's story
#2: August 30, 2021, 08:16:18 AM
Welcome Johnny, I have moved your thread to the Community board.

We don't allow real names to be used, for privacy reasons.
I'm assuming the name you chose to use is not your real name.  Is that correct?
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A quote from a recovered 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."

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JohnnyBravo's story
#3: August 30, 2021, 09:48:24 AM
Johnny Bravo is a popular animated cartoon series so, safe to say it's an alias.  ;D
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Re: JohnnyBravo's story
#4: August 30, 2021, 10:21:08 AM
Thanks Pen.  I figured it was some character.  Ha ha

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A quote from a recovered 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."

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Re: JohnnyBravo's story
#5: August 30, 2021, 10:28:13 AM
Welcome to the Board

You are in a good place.
Your H/W  is on his/her own journey.
You can not do anything to control this trip.
Come here and read or vent, we will listen.
Give your H/W space  he/she needs to heal himself/herself.

I would not ask him/her anything unless you can have no expectations.
Sometimes asking them questions will be thought of as pressure.
You do not want to do anything that can be thought of by your H/W as controlling or pressure.

Your need to start working on you.
There is nothing that you can do to help your H/W.

He/She has given you a gift.
It is time!!

Use the time wisely to make yourself a better person.
Look in the mirror to see what it is that you can improve.
Take care of yourself, breathe, eat, sleep, exercise.

Read some books on depression. Both for yourself! And for H/W.
Believe none of what he/she says and 50% of what he/she does.

Read the resources from this site.
The links that are in my signature.

Detach. - The single most important thing you can do

The detach link and HB's 6 stages of MLC(rewritten from Jim Conway) located in the resources above.

Developing Detachment

RCR has asked everyone to keep to one thread until  that thread is 150 posts

Keep posting and asking questions and we will try to answer them.

Knowledge is Power - Sir Francis Bacon
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JohnnyBravo's story
#6: August 30, 2021, 01:28:45 PM
Hi Johnny,

She is on the tail end of your typical MLC territory, a late bloomer...... something you said caught my eye: You mentioned "perimenopause" a couple years ago.
Why did you think this?

Also, together 10+ years, that puts getting together around 42 (for her).
What was her history before you? Previously married? Do you know how she dealt with 40?
You also mentioned hormone prescriptions, she's on HRT? Hysterectomy?


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W - 40
M - 44
Together 25 years, M 23
No kids
BD - 27th April 2019
Start of Shadow - Feb 2012

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JohnnyBravo's story
#7: August 30, 2021, 07:01:31 PM
Thank you, everyone.

Thunder, I did pick Johnny Bravo from the cartoon series, and was surprised it was available...

I will take credit for this being my best breakup yet. I've only had two other breakups that affected me strongly, and both times I did the begging and pleading, talking to their friends, family, etc. This time I've done none of that, and have only talked to two mutual friends (more for insight; one was divorced twice and is a smart, reasonable guy. He was the one who thought this was MLC, I didn't think of it myself.) At BD, W was shocked that I wasn't angry. I'm more sad, and feel compassionate towards her because a) she can be naieve sometimes, and b) she doesn't realize things like "no matter where you go, there you are." In fact, I met W when I was on the rebound from one of those relationships. When I met her (she was leading a group activity that I joined to make friends), it was love at first sight. However, I knew I was in a bad place, and waited a year to ask her out. She was worth the wait. Which is funny, in the sense that there's no reason that can't happen again with someone else, but right now I don't want it to. It's just hard to think of the 9+ years of good memories and the things we hadn't done yet.

I haven't really asked her anything; maybe a month ago (the last time we talked on the phone), I did mention a few things I would have corrected in our relationship, but not in a "come back and we'll do this" kind of way. I'm thinking the worst, but based on her nervous laughter response to a couple of statements, I assume she's fooling around with someone. I'm hoping it's a coworker and not random guys, but I'm trying to ignore that. I do have occasional urges to find out what she's doing, but I mostly assume ignorance is bliss. The family member she is living with likes me, and I imagine would be pissed if W is sleeping around right after leaving, but I'm assuming W wouldn't care (and family member is probably not the type to get involved in things like that). I do worry more about things happening to W (STDs and the like) than the fact that she's not with me. I'm also hoping her close (and reasonable) friends would steer her away from dangerous behavior, but they live far away.

I do have a highly rated family attorney retained. W was supposed to consult with an atty last week, but I haven't heard anything yet. She could be setting up her retainer and getting ready to file, but someone on the FB group that led me here said that MLCers have a hard time keeping thoughts together, and she may have just not done anything. I'm prepared to defend, but do not want and will not initiate a divorce, and told my atty that. W may have also had a dose of reality when she found out that her settlement demand is unreasonable. The other thing that may work in my favor is that W has a history of not following through with more complicated things. I don't think she would have separated if she couldn't just move in with family and had to rent an apartment.

Forthetrees, "doing nothing is the best thing to do" is exactly what I've been telling myself. Thank you for the reinforcement. And also thank you for suggesting I stay away from female companionship. I keep wondering if that would help, and while the nights are lonely, I realize I would hate myself for it.

OldPilot, the detachment will probably be the most difficult thing for me to do. (And it seems to be at odds in a way with some other self-help techniques, but I'll have to work that out.) For working on me and giving me something to focus on, I'm taking a trial music lesson this week.

StandingStrong: In summer of 2019 or so, W began having hot flashes but didn't realize what they were. When she figure it out, she started with herbal supplements. They worked great at first, and made her frisky again. When that stopped working, she finally went to a doctor, and they prescribed the hormones. When she was getting used to those, she was an emotional roller coaster. Judging by the insurance statements lately, she's been hell bent on getting the levels correct. Could be doing that while she's still on my insurance. She was never married before, and when we met she made comments to the effect that she had a hard time meeting worthwhile men. (I was shocked by that.) She seemed to be OK with aging then, but was in a big group activity where she was busy and had a lot of friends, so it may not have worried her as much.

The only thing I'm worried about right now is our house. Both our names are on it, but I pay for it. If I have to refi I'd like to do it now while rates are low. I'd also like to sell as a) it's too big for just me, b) requires too much upkeep (which was one of her complaints that I wish I had listened to sooner), and c) I'd like to move closer to people (also something she wanted that I didn't realize was  good idea). I guess it's too soon to make that decision, and I have a lot of firewood I'd like to burn up over the winter. Selling could also force the divorce by taking her off of the title, which I'm trying to delay. (We don't have any mixed finances to worry about; I had given her one credit card from my account, and she gave that back when she moved out.)

I think that's it. Thank you for all of the support and insight, everyone.
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JohnnyBravo's story
#8: August 30, 2021, 07:24:30 PM
Side note: I unfriended W on FB, since it was tough seeing her pop up all of the time. She hasn't unfriended my friends or family, though. She has also used photos from our vacations as her background picture. (She also hasn't deleted or untagged me from her photos of us, but I don't think she'd take the time for that.) I have no idea what that means or if it means anything. One of the traits I've read about MLCers is that they will show off their affair, but W has done none of that, if she's involved. Before I unfriended her, though, she did post photos of her out having fun with girlfriends.
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JohnnyBravo's story
#9: August 30, 2021, 08:38:17 PM
Side note: I unfriended W on FB, since it was tough seeing her pop up all of the time. She hasn't unfriended my friends or family, though. She has also used photos from our vacations as her background picture. (She also hasn't deleted or untagged me from her photos of us, but I don't think she'd take the time for that.) I have no idea what that means or if it means anything. One of the traits I've read about MLCers is that they will show off their affair, but W has done none of that, if she's involved. Before I unfriended her, though, she did post photos of her out having fun with girlfriends.

Hi JohnnyBravo,

I actually deactivated my FB as I needed to detach.  I still keep up my instagram so I can follow my kids but I also defriended my W on instagram.   She still follows me though.   :o   My W deleted me from photos but still follows my family so she hasn't totally let go.  Although I know there was a PA from snooping last year, she still have never admitted to it.   She also hasn't posted anything publically to date.

I wouldn't read anything into it.  I have been focused on me and protecting my heart so the break from social media has been good for me.

Also, I loved the JohnnyBravo name.  I tried to post a GIF of JohnnyBravo earlier but not sure if it will get approved.   

Wish you all the best.

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W - 42
M - 46
Together 19 years, M 17
2 kids
BD - July 2020
W Left Home - January 2021
W Filed for D - May 2021


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