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Author Topic: My Story JohnnyBravo's story

J
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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.

Triggers:
*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.

Counseling:
*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.
GAL.

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.
http://mlcforum.theherosspouse.com/index.php?topic=4.msg380#msg380

Developing Detachment
http://jamesjmessina.com/toolsforcontrolissues/developdetachment.html

http://www.midlifecrisismarriageadvocate.com/self-focus_releasers_detach.html

http://www.livestrong.com/article/14712-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?

-SS


 
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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.

HF   
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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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JohnnyBravo's story
#10: August 31, 2021, 01:05:15 AM
Hi JohnnyB,
so glad u are able to share and release your thoughts.  Reading posts and following others has been crucial for my Journey forward.  Ask your questions the guidance and wisdom of those who are walking this same Journey will help you navigate through step at a time.

5hil
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JohnnyBravo's story
#11: August 31, 2021, 02:27:48 AM
Welcome JohnnyBravo . I am happy you found us as you try to navigate a very painful journey . Sounds like MLC has come to roost and this is the best place for support and understanding . Can you talk a bit about your wife's childhood as many (including me) believe mlc is linked to unprocessed childhood trauma. Sounds like you are doing many of the right things for yourself.
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Married April 1985
5 children
Bomb Drop April 2013
Thrown out of house August 2013
Affair discovered November 2013 (i guessed who)
Home December 3 2013
The Journey Of Reconciliation .. is for the brave .

Anger is like a candle in the wind ... it blows out the light of all reason.

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JohnnyBravo's story
#12: August 31, 2021, 04:57:30 AM
Can you talk a bit about your wife's childhood as many (including me) believe mlc is linked to unprocessed childhood trauma.

Hi, Barbiedoll, and thank you. I've been reading Larry B.'s info on chaos kids and divorce (thought that doesn't specifically relate to MLC), and W's childhood was generally a mess:

  • W was youngest of four girls. Oldest was thought to be daughter of a different man. (Mother dating two guys, got pregnant by one, married the other one for better financial prospects.
  • Parents didn't discipline the kids. Oldest one (or two) would domineer. W would have to stand up for herself at times.
  • Older ones would take W out in their convertible when cruising for guys, when W was young. (Data point, not sure if that matters.)
  • Mother was bipolar; depressive states would have her lying in bed, manic states would have her singing and getting religious. (W and I were both raised religious, but are now atheist/agnostic.)
  • Two oldest sisters had forms of mental illness or personality disorder, but W and other sister seemed OK. (During the pandemic I was worried about W acting in bipolar ways, but I didn't say anything about that, which was apparently the correct choice.)
  • W believes mother had affairs, or (less likely?) parents were possibly swingers.
  • Father did some very touching things for W as a child and did attend graduations, but was generally absentee. Parents would not attend W's school events, or would forget to pick her up from after-school activities. W would get a ride with friends or take public bus home (and that was a pretty long way in high school).
  • Parents eventually got divorced; I forget what age W was then, probably teens.
  • Chaos continued to adulthood. W had to miss some college (although eventually graduated) when she cared for one sister's kids. Mother died in W's 20s, father lost house, and for some period W had to live in her car or couch surf.
  • For some time, W followed her "good" sister around (contract assignments) and lived in different places, working and/or going to different schools. I don't remember when W finally settled back down in her home city.

I'll be curious to see what happens around Christmas. W had stopped celebrating because her oldest sister would insist on hosting and then be overblown and domineering about it. W finally started celebrating the holidays again when we got together, and we did quite a bit of decorating for Christmas. W did maintain some ties with her older sisters and we would pick up her father to come over and visit occasionally, but cut ties with the sisters when they got crazy again. (Oldest one died about two years ago, father died a little before that.)

(Between BD and final move out, W said that if she were still in town at Thanksgiving, she may invite me over for dinner. But also said at another point that I should probably go "no contact." Don't believe anything you hear...)

Thank you.

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JohnnyBravo's story
#13: August 31, 2021, 05:09:28 AM
Question: Any suggestions for dealing with relationship "business?" W is still on my insurance. She burned up the few hundred $ in our HSA going to the women's clinc, which isn't a big deal. I did get an email from our prescription service saying they couldn't send the next shipment until a bill was paid. (Probably her hormones.) I forwarded that, and said, "Looks like there's an outstanding balance, and I didn't want you to miss any shipments." She replied that she paid up, and that she scheduled time with an atty (which she later postponed).

Now, I received a letter from insurance saying her doctor has moved out of network, and she'll have to pick another one. Should I bother telling her? She'll certainly find out next time she goes, and she'll have to pay the copay/deductible at time of service, so I don't feel any financial liability here.

Changing gears: I was reading the Affair Down topics, and found other MLC signs:
1) After our counseling, W said she was broken, and I was the first "grownup" she has ever been in a relationship with. (This aligned with one of the topics, but I have to look it up again. Perhaps on the Affair Down itself, i.e. wanting someone lesser.)
2) W later said that she could go out with me as my wingman to help me meet women. That aligns with wanting me to date to ease her guilt of departure/affair.

I've also read more about detachment and understand it better, and now realize that it meshes with other processes I'm working.

Thank you all,
JB
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Re: JohnnyBravo's story
#14: August 31, 2021, 09:28:40 AM
Hi JB,

It sounds to me like your W's hormones may have a lot to do with her crisis. 

When my sane, beautiful, religious mother went into menopause she went off the rails for a few years.
Her and my father had the most loving, close relationship before that, for years. 
When she went into her crisis she said she hated him and if it weren't for us kids he would leave him.  She couldn't stand being around him or having him touch her.  She started dressing different and went out with her friends dancing almost every night.
She never had a drop of alcohol until this happened, but she started drinking when she was out.

Now if you knew my mother you would have been completely shocked by the change in her, we all were.

My dad got upset with her but never stopped her from doing what she wanted.  He stayed pretty quiet.
After a few years (wish I could remember how many) she just got slowly back to normal and she told me she loved my dad very much and never felt closer to him.  They remained happily married for over 60 years before she passed away.

I'm only telling you this because it's not always a bad childhood that can cause this crisis.  There are various reasons.

I believe my H had issues with his hormones that put him in crisis. 
It happens and unfortunately, no matter what the reason is, there is nothing you can do to make it better or fix her, she just has to go through this.
You sound like you are doing a number of good things for yourself.  Good for you.

I agree with you, her wanting you to meet someone else is probably to take some of the guilt away for what she is doing to you.

Best answer for her being a wingman for you I think would be..calmly...

"I am a married man, I don't date other women and I'm certainly not going to commit adultery."  Then walk away.

Nothing else.  Shows her you have respect for yourself and your marriage.  Put the guilt back where it belongs.

As far as telling her about the medical announcement, I would think a very short text or email saying...I was informed your doctor is no longer in network.  Nothing else.  Short and sweet.  Unless you know her address you can just take a copy of the letter and mail it to her...and say nothing.
If that is the case, send her any changes she needs to know about by mail.

That way you are not initiated any conversation.  Let any contact come from her.

Stay strong JB, this is all very hard to go through, but you are going to be ok.
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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
#15: August 31, 2021, 10:41:49 AM
Quote
I'm only telling you this because it's not always a bad childhood that can cause this crisis.  There are various reasons.

I second this. They didn't used to call it "the change" for nothing! ;) And that's not to just single us women out - andropause in men is a real thing, too. If those issues are present AND they have the chemical shifts, that's a pretty good recipe for a full blown crisis. But any or all of the factors can cause the "perfect storm".

Those hormones start changing, which effects neurotransmitters, which effects a lot of systems in our body - including how we think. Different factors for each individual dictate how that manifests, and to what severity. Your wife is in treatment, which is the best case scenario. It will just take time to see where that leads.

I'd also follow Thunder's advice on contact. If you can just forward her the letter, I'd do that. Maybe even just scan and email with "FYI" as your note (if that's normal vernacular for you). Just don't go overboard with explanations that are out of character. It's like they smell that you're trying to keep a conversation going, or "control" something.  ::)

 
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#16: August 31, 2021, 11:54:26 AM
I wanted to mention that from what I see, MLC can often mimic certain personality disorders. (It makes me wonder if they were just keeping the disorder under wraps or at bay until whatever causes MLC surfaces and they cannot any longer, but that is my own thought). In my XH, he mimicked Borderline Personality Disorder to a considerable degree (and I really think his mother has BPD, so that could be a factor in what he observed for all his life).

My point is that I found Out of the Fog  and BPD family good resources for how to deal with my MLCer. Since much of what he was doing was similar to the behaviors of BPD, it helped me to understand not only that it was not about me, but showed me ways I could interact when necessary and keep it as calm as possible. (mine was an 18 month live in)

You seem like you have a good handle on this. If you remember that what she says is more about her than you, it makes it easier to ignore things that make no sense. Like you'd actually WANT to have your W as a "wingman".  :o
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#17: August 31, 2021, 01:36:28 PM
Hi Johnny,

I just wanted to welcome you as I havent had a chance yet. You are in good hands with all of these lovely people. I was in your shoes a few short years ago. In the words of Johnny Bravo " That's enough about you let's talk about me" remeber this line from the show when your thoughts start to wonder to MLCW.
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Re: JohnnyBravo's story
#18: August 31, 2021, 04:26:36 PM
For sure I would tell her that the Dr. is no longer in-network as there is no guarantee that she would know upon going there. They will ask if her insurance has changed, she will say no, they will take the regular copay and then upon billing find out that they are not getting what they thought they would.

If you are going to take her off your insurance please oh please give her ample time to find an alternative.

Re: the credit card- just because you have the physical card does not mean that she can´t use the number. I would put it in writing that there are no authorized users going forward.

It appears that you need not spend any more time pondering if she´s in MLC, take that emotional energy and spend it on yourself.

Sounds like you are going no contact in a healthy way. The longer that goes, the more equanimity you will experience.
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#19: August 31, 2021, 04:27:55 PM
Another question up front: W texted me asking if I have had a chance to have my atty contact her atty.
  • I told her who my atty is a couple of weeks ago
  • I suggested a collaborative atty to her, but she didn't confirm that this is who she went to

I don't want a divorce, and don't see why it would be on me to initiate this. Should I just ignore the text? Tell her I don't want the divorce, and she needs to have her atty contact mine? (I'll ask my atty for advice as well.)

With that out of the way, thank you all for the continued support. I'm glad it SOUNDS like I have a good handle on this, but I'm still freaking out a bit.

Thunder and R2T, thanks for the advice; I'll just mail the letter to her.

OffRoad, thank you for suggesting the BPD Family page; I've got it open and will check it out. 

Father5, thank you for the JB quote... The only one I really remember is, "Name? Johnny Bravo. Occupation? Johnny Bravo."

JB

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Re: JohnnyBravo's story
#20: August 31, 2021, 05:17:40 PM
If you are going to take her off your insurance please oh please give her ample time to find an alternative.

Re: the credit card- just because you have the physical card does not mean that she can´t use the number. I would put it in writing that there are no authorized users going forward.

Thank you, forthetrees.

The credit card was under a different number, and I did call to cancel it. As for insurance, I won't leave her hanging like that. Health and car insurance aren't big expenses for me. I was going to cancel the car insurance and have her get her own, but it turns out that they need to hear that from her. I told her that she could just tell me when she has car insurance, and I'd send her the info to take herself off of my policy.. Same for health insurance. I'd rather she have the opportunity to get better. I won't cancel it until she tells me to, or I have a divorce decree in hand.

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#21: August 31, 2021, 05:48:04 PM
Hey JB,

Something to understand in the here and now is: She's moving fast, and she's mirroring. I know all this is very new to you, that's ok.... we're all new at some point, and the beginning is very disorienting.

Contact right now is very hazardous. It puts you on her mind, and makes you a target. You want to get OUT of the firing line. Disappear. Time to fly under the radar (as much as you can).
She's already ran away...... there's no need to reminder her that you're there (I'm know this sounds counter-productive, it isn't).
She is mirroring, which means as you take actions, she will match the action or try to "one up" it. Example: You get an attorney, so she gets an attorney. It' brinksmanship. To unravel this is to stop moving. Deescalate. Silent running. Pressure equals stress, and stress equals a more out of control MLC'er (who just wants the stress to STOP). As long as you're visible, she will pin all her stress on you. Since she has ran away, now is the chance and time to figure out that the stress isn't tied to you. That will take time, and time is what she needs.

It sounds like she is high energy...... so she's going to have to wear herself out.
Time for you to run the clock, that's what's in your favor right here. Run that clock and stretch it out. There's lot of work to do on you, and in turn it will hopefully help her to work on herself. It may not happen, but that's what you have to work with.

I very much agree with the others: hormones. MLC or not (hard to tell just yet, that age really complicates it) there is nothing to do except become a ghost (which is mirroring her in reverse). She will come out of it later or she won't.... and it won't be any time soon. Don't fret, there's lots to do on yourself.  ;)

Take the best care of yourself right here. Get sleep, eat good, exercise, get busy with a hobby (or two, or three). Eyes off her, and onto you. I know that's hard, especially at the beginning..... it can be done. So many questions, so many feelings.... there's going to be a lot more of that, and it has to happen. She's going thru the same thing, but she'll never tell you that.
Remove the stress, disappear. Let her approach, and when she does, be kind and be quick..... she'll re-disappear all on her own. As bad as it is for you, it's a lot worse for her (but she'll never let on about that).

Keep writing, do it every day if you need to..... there's a lot to get out and ideas/feelings to consider. Has to happen.

-SS
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#22: August 31, 2021, 07:03:12 PM
A comment on hormones vs. MLC: W couldn't even tolerate birth control pills or an IUD, so she could be very sensitive to level changes.

Thanks again for the support, everyone. I am thankful to have found this place.
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Re: JohnnyBravo's story
#23: August 31, 2021, 07:13:34 PM
I agree with SS.  Do nothing, initiate nothing.  Yes ignore the text.
Truthfully I wouldn't talk about anything that has to do with a divorce, including her changing insurance.

If she is serious about a divorce let her do ALL the work.  Don't make this easy on her.
They push us to get it going, don't.
 
Of course protect yourself, financially if she does file....and have a good attorney on your side.
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#24: August 31, 2021, 08:24:00 PM
 Thank you, Thunder. The insurance talk was at least a month ago. And as for divorce, I'm thinking she's a grown up, and can ask her atty how to file or take the next steps. As you state, she doesn't need me to do any of this, it just makes it easy for her.

I'll prep my atty with the requested docs and tell her to hang tight.
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#25: September 02, 2021, 06:44:51 AM
I have my most lucid dreams when I wake up in the early a.m. and fall back asleep again. This morning, I dreamed that W and I were snuggled together in bed, and it was good. Then I had a brief one where we were in bed, I put my hand on her, and she shoved it away. I woke up anxious, but then thought back on the dream, and it's clear that it wasn't W who pushed me away, it was a completely different person. I'm hoping that means I'm making progress towards separating MLCW from the one I married, and that it will help detachment.
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#26: September 02, 2021, 06:47:10 PM
Well, I ignored W's Monday text about having my atty contact hers. Came home to a more vicious one tonight, that if I didn't do this, she'd assume we're out of contact and would talk through attys. I replied that she should have hers contact mine. "I understand you need to do this and I won't fight you, but I won't start the process." I kinda blew up SS's advice to lay low, but I have to make her do the work here.

But, it ain't over 'till it's over. Really does suck, though. I'm going to stand strong and be open to her. Whether it's hormones or MLC, I know the real W is in there somewhere. She was just really naieve thinking this would be like ending a regular dating relationship, and that's probably the MLC immaturity talking.

On the plus side, I have something else to be nervous about: I took my first drum lesson at School of Rock, and am joining their adult band program. I'll have something to learn, and new people to meet.
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#27: September 02, 2021, 07:44:33 PM
JB,

Sounds to me like you did very well.
At the beginning, threats are very, very common. Some are very real, some are fantasy, she won't know the difference. Mine threatened daily for three, maybe four months. Was she serious? Oh yes, deadly serious. In her mind running and D'ing was the most important thing in the whole world...... and every day when I went home from work, I half expected it to be empty and her moved out..... or served with papers. Each time the doorbell rang the thought entered my mind. Each time I received a message at work saying "someone is here to see you", the same thought. It was terrible.

Threats you see makes them feel powerful, and it's also an outlet for their anger. You are the punching bag. As personal as it is, and as much as it hurts, it's not personal. This is a damaged person. Weakness here only emboldens them. Restrain and respond...... emotionless, calm, strength....... they will expect what they deal out to be returned in kind, or with sadness/tears/begging. You will have to deny them this. It may confuse them, and make them madder. Stand tall and do not bend. Your strength can bring a measure of respect (later).

This is a dangerous time for D to happen, and it very well could. You did the right thing by not making it easy. She has to pull the trigger, if she tricks you into going along then she can put all the blame on you (in her mind). Make her be the "bad guy", it's one of the few defenses you have at this moment, and not a sturdy one at that.

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#28: September 02, 2021, 08:52:02 PM
Thanks, SS. Sometimes I feel like Randy in A Christmas Story: "JB lay there like a slug. It was his only defense." But I'm working on channeling the Gunslinger from Stephen King's Dark Tower series. (Which is one of my favorite books/series*, and when I introduced W to it she couldn't stop reading them.)

It also seems ridonkulous that her atty would tell her to tell me to tell my atty to contact her atty. Atty's don't need third parties to carry messages. Unless W deleted the email with my atty's name. Tough nougies.

A funny bit for SS: My W watches Charmed, too!

*Well, at least until King wrote himself into the series. That seemed pretty weak.
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#29: September 03, 2021, 04:45:17 AM
I think there was a missing message from W about this. That would explain the second message not making sense. The VM on my new cell phone sucks, and I think she's occasionally sent texts in the past that never made it through, although that's very rare. Could have gotten her spun up unnecessarily. Oh well, we're at where we're at.
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#30: September 03, 2021, 05:49:10 AM
Quote
I have my most lucid dreams when I wake up in the early a.m. and fall back asleep again. This morning, I dreamed that W and I were snuggled together in bed, and it was good. Then I had a brief one where we were in bed, I put my hand on her, and she shoved it away. I woke up anxious, but then thought back on the dream, and it's clear that it wasn't W who pushed me away, it was a completely different person. I'm hoping that means I'm making progress towards separating MLCW from the one I married, and that it will help detachment.

I found I have a lot of dreams in the first 6 months or so that would wake me in anxiety. Seemed like I would dream what I thought was happening or wished was. Good and Bad. It was like my subconscious was working through things. At 9 months post BD they are lessening, but I still wake up at least once a night. Just not as much anxiety.

Hang in their JB. The first months are just so hard and devastating as you try to make sense of something YOU CAN NOT MAKE SENSE OF!!  Read, walk and listen to music in the really rough moments to get out of your  head. Exercise was my best friend!!
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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
Oct 2021- XH moves in OW4
https://mlcforum.theherosspouse.com/index.php?topic=11796.

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Re: JohnnyBravo's story
#31: September 03, 2021, 07:38:21 AM
JB there is no need to tell her she needs to do all the work.  Just don't help.

Keep your cards close, my friend.

The other thing I did was never refer to the divorce as "the" divorce, it was "his" divorce.  I took no responsibility for it.
There was no "we."

Hang in there and keep giving her lots of space.  She may file, or she may not.  Let her figure it out.
Your job is to just be ready if she does, and in the mean time live your life and take good care of yourself.
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#32: September 04, 2021, 06:59:11 PM
Boy, was doing pretty well, and then had a breakdown for a few minutes. Have to remember it's the MLC doing this, not W.

That aside, something made me go "hmmmmm."

Background: When W and I lived in our previous city (W's hometown), we were involved in a roller derby league. We became close friends with two other couples in the league, "B" and her husband, and X and his wife. W has other friends back there that date back to her 20s, but B considers W to be her best friend. B has used air miles to fly W back there help B out with things or visit on occasion. (B got divorced a year or two ago, and got into the poly lifestyle, for what that's worth.) At any rate, the six of us used to hang out a lot together, go on local trips, and go on a camping trip every Labor Day weekend.

During the BD, W made two key points:
1) "B said that she looked my house up, and if I waited until now to sell it, I would have made $200k instead of $35k. So, I want $200k as a settlement." (W sold her house to move in with me when we were engaged, because we knew we would eventually move away. The house was her only source of savings/investment.)
2) "B said that she knows someone who got divorced using lawyers; the lawyers got 1/3, the H got 1/3, and the W got 1/3. Let's not use lawyers, I'll take 1/3, and you can keep 2/3." (technically, $200k or 1/3, whichever was greater.)

Note that we live in a community property state (B does also), so 1) has zero basis in reality as a divorce settlement (and wouldn't in any parallel universe, for that matter), and 2) is nuts unless you fight tooth and nail via the attys. In a collaborative divorce with easy negotiations, the two attys total would cost $7-10k. I'm not a Rockefeller, but $10k is a lot less than 1/3 of our assets, even post-marital.

Needless to say, I got the impression that B was instrumental in this whole thing, and I was pretty pissed about it. B is successful, follows all of the "good" causes, but is also an emotional train wreck, and W knows this.  In an email to W a while back, I said that B gave her bad advice, and probably wants us to split so we'll be as miserable as she is. W didn't comment on that. I unfriended B on Facebook, just because.

X and his wife know that I don't want to split up with W; I spoke with X after BD for advice/sounding board, and he was the one who suggested that W was MLC. Fast forward to yesterday. The remainder of the gang has still been going on the camping trip since W and I moved away. I got an IM from X yesterday, saying he wished I could have come up for campfire and cigars. Later, he IMs me saying, "B says she misses you and wishes you were here."

DOUBLEYOO TEE EFF?  If B instigated this or supported W's idea to leave, why would she say that? I can imagine W looking up the value of her old house to find out what she missed out on, but I can NOT imagine her making up the thing about lawyers. Did B really tell her both of those things, or is W just using her as a scapegoat for someone else? Did W tell B that *I* wanted the divorce, and B thought she was being helpful? B should still be smart enough to know that item 1) is a sham. (Unless she thinks I make way more than I do.)

I know there's no answer to this, as W may have told any story to anyone. It's just really confusing, and I thought you kind folks could use a good story for Saturday night. 

On the plus side, I just ordered gear for my new hobby. I'm definitely going to need it to blow off stress.

Have a good weekend, y'all.

JB
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#33: September 04, 2021, 07:20:24 PM
It is so hard when we shared friends and they don't  want to "pick" sides.

I would not be taking legal advice from your wife. You can do a lot of the work yourself and perhaps a mediator would be cheaper.

I do not believe that she is entitled to what the value of her house would be worth now. She may be able to make a case for what the value of the house was when she moved in with you.

It is also difficult when the person who worked along with us to plan for both of our futures becomes self centered and focused only on their own lives.

None of this is fair and we have to work around it and make sure that we get the best settlement possible. You only get one chance at this usually so sometimes it is worth paying an attorney to make sure that you are protected.
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Re: JohnnyBravo's story
#34: September 04, 2021, 07:48:15 PM
Oh JB please don't listen, or be concerned, about any of this nonsense you are hearing.  That's what you pay your attorney for.

You attorney can guide you, according to the laws as they stand today.  They are experts in divorce, and the laws, as to what is acceptable and what is not. I would not listen to anyone else.

Let him/her research all this and advise you.
All sounds a bit strange to me.

As far as I'm concerned no one else should be involved in this accept you, your W and the attorneys.

Keep it all business.
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#35: September 04, 2021, 07:48:59 PM
Thanks, xyzcf

The rule here is, you keep what you had before marriage, and split the combined assets accumulated after marriage. I immediately consulted with an atty after this started, so I'd know what I was in for. W was strongly against attys when we started, ostensibly to save money, but maybe for some other reason. (From how she has acted, I think she wants this to be like any other breakup, except with the addition of a cash payout. Sounds like MLC immaturity.)

I spoke with a mediator first, but they said we were too far apart for mediation. I tried to explain to W that I have a 401k, and she gets half of that as a 401k. "I don't want that, I want cash." If she wants cash, she gets half of the 401k value minus taxes and penalties. She doesn't understand that (and I don't want to learn how to figure it out), so she needs her own atty to explain that to her. I didn't have the heart to tell her that her car is half mine...

A friend of mine suggested that even if she files, we may never close because her atty will get tired of dealing with her. That would serve me well as far as not getting a divorce, but it really hurts me to see W this out of touch with reality.

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#36: September 04, 2021, 07:51:08 PM
Oh JB please don't listen, or be concerned, about any of this nonsense you are hearing.  That's what you pay your attorney for.

No worries, Thunder. That's exactly why I retained an atty. I don't know where W got these ideas, but I'm not on board.

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Re: JohnnyBravo's story
#37: September 04, 2021, 08:03:34 PM
JB you are right in you thinking.

It is very rare cash settlements are made in a settlement.  There are taxes and other legal ramification that go into this.

I imagine her attorney will explain this to her.

Just sit tight.
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#38: September 04, 2021, 09:21:48 PM
Agree with Thunder.  Hang in there JB.  MLCers don’t think rationally and it appears your W is lost and confused.  I feel for you as my W is in the same state. 

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#39: September 04, 2021, 10:04:29 PM
I live in a community property state. When xh finally filed, it was going to cost us a lot more that 10k for attorneys,  and we didn't have a whole lot. Since I didn't care about support,  we did do it ourselves and I traded my half of his 401k (I was a SAHM for the majority of our marriage ) for his half of the house. I had already divided the money into his account and my account, so we each kept those. The minor stocks we had in our own names we kept. I kept everything I had owned until we were married because I never mixed that with marital assets. So it can be done,  but not if someone is making up stuff as they go along. (Yeah, I had a spreadsheet.)If you do a do it yourself divorce, it doesn't have to be equal. As long as you both agree,

An MLCER lies. They make up their own realities. She can ask for anything she wants, but that doesn't mean you have to give it to her. Just be aware that if you do have to go the atty route and she does fight for her half, plus any spousal support she might be entitled to, and especially she requests that you pay her attorney costs, it might cost you more than $10,000 for attorneys and fees. That is an FYI based on my own experience with my divorce and experience working for a family law atty for a few years. Your state and miles may vary.

As to B, unless you directly ask her and know she is telling you the truth, you can't trust that she is taking your Ws side or even said anything regarding your split.  The value of the house could have been just conversation. "Hey, did you know your old house is worth xxxx now?" Your W can probably still do math.  :)

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#40: September 05, 2021, 07:13:01 AM
Boy, I've been reading through some of the other stories, and the parallels are remarkable.

Low self-worth: I was cleaning up my desk and found the wedding anniversary card that W gave me last year. (Anniversary is late Oct.) It was a Dia de los Muertos halloween card that basically said "I'll love you 'till death and beyond," but she signed it to her favorite husband from Wife #1. I'm sure I replied with something indicating that there would be no Wife #2, but I wonder how I felt about that at the time. That would be after a lot of pandemic isolation stress. I wonder if that was a subtle BD (or prepping the ground for one). It's both disturbing and reassuring to know that it would have been too late to do anything at that point anyway.

Also low self-worth: W works later than I do, so I would usually make dinner. At some point before moving out she sadly commented that I always made dinner. I had felt that way internally at times, but never let on (verbally, anyway). I think I said something like, "My job is just mentally exhausting, yours is both mentally and physically exhausting, and I'm home earlier. No problem."

I also found a Valentine's day card with a "normal" (non self-deprecating) signature. I hope that was the most recent one, but I never write the years on these things...

I had something else, but I forgot what it was. I'll blame the paint fumes. (Finishing everything so I can eventually sell the house and find a smaller place.)

Hope you're all having a great weekend, and thanks again for the listen!

JB
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Re: JohnnyBravo's story
#41: September 05, 2021, 07:41:20 AM
JB I was just rereading your story.

I have 2 questions, if you don't mind. 

You two have only been married for about 5 years, right?

Also you owned your home before you got married, is that also right?
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#42: September 05, 2021, 08:25:08 AM
Hi, Thunder

You're half right... W and  I have been married for just under 5 years. We were together for 5 years before marriage.

We moved to a new city for my new job, and bought the house together (i.e. both on the title) about a year after moving here. (Closing was on our wedding anniversary, as it happens.)

So, when I talk about selling the house, that's only if we do get divorced. It's too much house for me to take care of for just myself. If we don't execute the divorce and she moves away with her sister, that will make things awkward regarding the house, to say the least. But I can figure that out when I get there. There's a place available that I like, but I'm sure more will be available in the future, and I have a big pile of firewood that I'd like to enjoy this winter.

Even though we've been married for a short time, our relationship was longer, and even more so for me. (I was enamored of W at first meeting, but waited a year to ask her out because I was on the rebound.) Neither of us had been in a relationship longer than 12-18 months before, and for me, at least, it felt like we had finally found each other. 

Thank you,

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Re: JohnnyBravo's story
#43: September 05, 2021, 08:47:45 AM
Oh ok, thank you.

I understand. My H and I were together for 7 years before we were married.
Although they don't factor that in, in a divorce.  Only the actual years legally married.  Anything under 5 years usually no alimony is given.

Guess it's too early to do much of anything right now until you see what she does, which may be nothing.  Just gather information.

I know one thing I believe is true in most cases, is your 401k amount that would be split would only be the portion you put in while married, not the whole dollar amount.

Well see if she takes this any further.

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#44: September 05, 2021, 09:20:13 AM
Johnny Bravo- ahhhh, the cards. My X used to write the sweetest things. My last Bday before BD he signed it. Wishing you the best birthday despite me. 3 months before BD. 😢
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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
Oct 2021- XH moves in OW4
https://mlcforum.theherosspouse.com/index.php?topic=11796.

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#45: September 05, 2021, 10:54:32 AM
Tornup, that's a tough one. Hugs for that.

Thunder, you're correct about the 401k and the alimony. One of the reasons I retained an atty was the alimony concern. I was worried that I would have to file before 5 years to avoid that, but per the atty it's not a hard line. Especially since W has worked the entire time. (Plus she's living with family, so she doesn't have a real expense burden.)

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#46: September 05, 2021, 04:55:55 PM
So I got Chinese takeout for dinner last night, from the place we've always gone to down the road. (That's probably why I had a bit of a breakdown last night, but that's still strange, because there are other times I've gone there after W moved out and was OK.)

W and I would always complain that the fortunes in the fortune cookies weren't really fortunes. "People like you." (not a fortune.) "You have a good attitude." (not a fortune.)

I open my fortune cookie today, and the fortune is, "Your path is arduous but will be amply rewarding."

Holy crap.

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#47: September 05, 2021, 05:22:32 PM
I was looking at a great picture today of a fortune cookie fortune...... it said,

"Finally I got out of that cookie"

 ;D

-SS
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#48: September 05, 2021, 07:14:51 PM
Have you ever got more than they were suppose to give, so you open them all up until you find one that fits? That’s me!!! Haha
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Oct 2017-total disconnect
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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
Oct 2021- XH moves in OW4
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#49: September 06, 2021, 10:40:26 AM
Well that's interesting. Just got a text from the person I call "B," saying she still considers me a close friend and has no ill will towards me. (Assuming W told her what I said about her advice.) B says that she guesses we are both very lonely right now, and that she will try to bring W back up there, and feels that W's family will help support her as well. Maybe W is taking this harder than I thought, but who knows. She still shows all of the signs of MLC from what I've seen here, and I don't know what her friends are seeing. (I also told B that I understood that she was being a friend to W, and that's what W needs right now.)

Perhaps I said too much, but I replied to B that I can only speak for me on the lonliness, I'm still hoping that W and I can reconcile, and that I believe in W and won't give up on her.

It's a long day already...

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#50: September 06, 2021, 04:11:38 PM
Just blabbing here... (Sometimes I feel like Kurt Russel/Jack Burton in Big Trouble in Little China: "This is Johnny Bravo in the LBS Express, and I'm talkin' to whoever's listening out there.") :)

I wonder how soon W and her sister will move out of state, or if they really will move, or if W will stay behind. W has the best job she's ever had, although she probably can't really consider that right now, or isn't aware of it. If she moves, she'll be starting over.

There are some big dates coming up in roughly one-month intervals: Our wedding anniversary, her birthday/Thanksgiving, and Christmas. Even if she pulls the trigger on filing, it won't be complete until after at least two of those things occur. I'll be curious to see what happens, or how I react, for that matter. I'll be involved in a big, critical review meeting when our anniversary hits, so I'll have something to keep myself occupied.

The next traumatic thing I expect will be her cat dying. She's had that cat for almost as long as she's had me :), and one of the statements that surprised me was, "Maybe I can get my sister to take the cat." Now that I know about MLC, that looks like a real sign: regressing to less responsibility. The cat can be annoying, but is incredibly cute, and deep down inside, W really does love the cat. Unfortunately the cat is at the far end of her expected lifespan.

Another thing W flipped out about was living in too big a house. We bought this house with expectations of entertaining people. W said she couldn't make friends here, but she really just didn't want to put the work in (and the friends she did make just didn't seem to be the right ones). She said that all she wanted was a small apartment or townhouse in town, and she had "sacrificed too much" by living in a big house in the suburbs. (In our one post-separation phone call, I did say that if she wanted to move downtown, we could move downtown. I realize it isn't my fault, but in one of my previous careers the company wanted me to move to our Maryland office. I didn't because I was on my own, and all of the apartments were out in the suburbs and not near anything to do. I wish I had listened harder and considered that when we first moved here and W wanted something closer to town. But, she agreed at the time that the houses in that area were small and not what we wanted.) The other funny thing is that for the year before our wedding, we lived in my 550 sq ft apartment. The fact that we survived that tells me that we can make it on the other side of this, if we can get there.

I've been reading Standing Strong's journaling, and just got to the part where he takes his first solo vacation. That will be tough for me, as traveling well together seemed to be our superpower. W enjoyed out-of-the-way places, kitchy motels, and tolerated (and even enjoyed!) my museum interests. I'm going to figure out some kind of trip after that review meeting in October. I would have considered going away this weekend, but I'd like it to cool off a bit more, and I'm still working on attaching my old luggage to my "new" motorcycle.

For the rest of the day I'll finish collecting all of the documents my atty asked for (she's clear that I don't want to do this, but has to be prepared to respond if papers are filed). It seems like family attys are pretty backlogged these days, presumably from pandemic stress. I've also been cleaning out a lot of extra stuff. It's unfortunate that it took this crisis to begin working on this, but I realized that I have a bunch of "hobbies" that are really stacks of supplies that I never get around to. Plus a bunch of stuff that I've collected over the years that has no real purpose in my life. I'm selling the good stuff on ebay, and tossing or donating the rest. Especially if I do wind up moving to a smaller place, I won't be able to drag all of this stuff with me.

Anyway, I guess that's all I have. I'm going to go grill a couple of burgers and steam some local corn. (I see many outside of the US on the forum; it's a holiday here today.) I hope you're all doing well.

JB

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#51: September 06, 2021, 04:36:15 PM
Hey JB,

Just a little note on the "it's too big a house"....... that's probably responsibility/pressure.
A big home means a lot to clean, cleaning is effort, effort is stress. Mine did the same thing: "I'd like to move into a tiny house" (you know one of those 100sf one room trailer looking things)  :o..... "We need to get rid of stuff, I'm suffocating", and then proceeds to watch me get rid of my extra things while she buys more nick-nacks which serve no purpose except take up MORE space!!  :o

Hey, there's nothing wrong with "hobbies" that are just boxes of stuff that never get used!! That's what I do!! HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH!!
It's been a great savings plan.... all this stuff is worth a lot more then when I bought it!!  ;D ;)

-SS

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#52: September 06, 2021, 05:12:37 PM
Parallels, SS. W used to watch tiny house shows. (But noted that the entire house probably smells like the bathroom.)

One mutual friend that I consulted heard W say our town was "suffocating." His response was, "That's why you go someplace else on vacation. Not get a divorce."

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#53: September 06, 2021, 09:16:29 PM
Thunder,

I saw (from a while back) on SS's thread that you asked about MLC dropping pet names and only using your real name after BC. My W did that. (I forget the specific timeline, but BD seems about right.)

A day or two before W finished moving out, I called her by some pet name, maybe Babe, to punctuate a comment. (We had a goofy one we used more often, but Babe was in rotation.) She repeated it sort of with memories of the past, I said one or two more others, and she came over and put her hands on my shoulders. It kills me that the old W is/was so close to the surface but felt compelled to go anyway.

In her recent emails (generally one sentence), I don't recall her using my name, and she signs with just her first initial.

JB
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#54: September 07, 2021, 03:55:34 AM
Ironically, my xW complained about the house too - "too cluttered, suffocating, etc." Her apartment now is smaller than the townhouse we had but it looks like a flea market with so much "stuff" everywhere. In comparison, I got rid of loads of stuff and downsized significantly....

Whatever floats her boat...

Just goes to prove another case of "I just need an excuse, even if it doesn't reflect reality... "
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Re: JohnnyBravo's story
#55: September 07, 2021, 06:05:56 AM
My STBXW (4 years since she said she wanted a D and still not done) has taken to signing with her first initial as well.  However, for the last three years, it has been "Best, STBXW"  So, that's a change of some curiosity.   Looking back at old cards from her, she always signed off with just her first initial.    ???
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BD Feb 17 Thinking of divorce
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Still home.  Threatened to leave several times and has asked me to leave about a dozen. 
Says divorce proceedings will start Jan 18.
She has scheduled mediation Feb 7,  2018
I moved out March 16, 2018
Several mediations, mostly instigated by me.  Foot dragging by STBXW.  Nothing filed. Yet.
5/2019 STBXW filed D behind my back despite signed agreement to mediate.
I retain attorney.
STBXW still hasn't told me and no further action.
Elephant in the room has been addressed.  No further action atm.  Weighing my options.
12/16/19  She files financial paperwork.  Divorce proceeding.

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#56: September 07, 2021, 12:31:19 PM
Just babbling during a long teleconference...

Disillusioned, I hate to say it but I take inspiration from your long-delayed D. I'll take any odds I can get for this to work.

I still wonder why W's mutual friend said "I'm sure both of you feel very alone." I have no idea what W told the friend, but there was no appearance of expecting loneliness when she departed. If she's really lonely now (and we know that the MLCer is depressed, even if they won't/can't admit it), W could turn this whole thing off and work out a path forward together. But I know she has to work out herself first.

I've been reading some threads and there is talk of MLC entitlement. Boy was that the case. Not only in what I "owed" for a settlement, but other things prior to BD. When we received our first pandemic payment, I told W I was thinking of donating my half to a food bank (my work was uninterrupted, and W was able to go back to work after the first/shorter shutdown). W practically begged me to give her my half (and I did) for her facelift. I wonder if I shouldn't have, but I've got the good job, and probably would have given her the money anyway. (She had been contributing to our finances all along, and for a while was probably paying much more than she should have, so I didn't mind.) This was also when we were lying in bed for "snuggle time," so I was a bit more susceptible to suggestion. :)

I can't remember if it was the first or second check, but when i said the checks were going to too many people, she said, "Poor people get to take vacations too." I was thinking, "We're not poor," and "You want to go to Europe." (Another sign I've read of MLC is that the partner wants to take vacations by themselves. I asked W if she wanted me to come on this one, and she said no, it would be to reconnect with her girlfriends. I understood and was fine with that.)

Even at the third relief check, she was surprised that we didn't qualify for one. That was also before BD, and in retrospect I think the $$ signs lit up in her eyes. (I said my take home pay was lower than it could be because I was saving for our retirement, and she laughed, which seemed out of place. Now I know why.)

I also see that some couples used to shop for Christmas ornaments together. W and I always bought ornaments from our travels. We split them up when we divided our stuff. It will be sad to see some missing this year. I wonder if W will have any feelings or memories from putting them up.

That reminds me, FB showed me a memory from our first road trip together, 10 years ago. I assume I tagged W in it (or she posted it, for that matter), so she probably saw it come up as well. It wasn't a picture of us, just the scenery outside of the hotel. It was nice.

It also bothers me reading about MLCers who come out on the other side broken and selfish. "I'm who I want to be, I'm free, and that's all that matters." There are MLC counselors who promote this freedom.

Thanks for listening to my (good and bad) reminiscing. Now, back to reading.

JB
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#57: September 08, 2021, 04:46:59 PM
My blather for today...

I know I've got a long way to go on detaching, because I'm always relieved to get home and find I don't have a text or email from W. Basically because I'm afraid it will be bad news. But in reality, they have been short and to the point (but still sort of bad news). On the other hand, I do recover more quickly from these, so that's something.

No word from my atty yet about being contacted by W's atty. Tomorrow will be the big hump day. W has Thursdays off, so that's when she does most things. Funny thing is, she doesn't start work until very late in the morning, so there is plenty of time to do things before work (especially an email to an atty). But, she doesn't. I've only seen her do one "big" thing on a work morning, and it was very time-sensitive. I guess I could look on the bright side and think that getting divorced isn't time sensitive for her.

I'm also starting to plan some trips. I wanted to plan a motorcycle ride right after a big review we have coming up, but we need to be around the week after to follow up on questions and action items. That will be the week of our anniversary. Did I want to be away that day on purpose? Do I really want to be here? Again a sign that I'm still bargaining.

I realize now that W actually underwent a lot of growth while we were together. The first years we were together, I swear that on my birthday, she would stop at the supermarket on the way to my house and buy my gifts . Later, though, she came up with well-thought-out gifts, spending more money than she should have. I hope I appreciated those enough. It makes me sad to think that maybe I didn't. Although I did take really good care of her when she was ill or injured, and tried to do a lot of smaller things (and vacations) for us.

I've been reading Standing Strong's journal, and just got to the part where MC starts. It's a real page-turner (or screen scroller). Kinda scares the crap out of me. Not just what could be coming, but also the fact that this takes years. And the fact that W and I went to an MC session that just reinforced the D, because I didn't know any better at the time. I see questions about "Why Stand?" as well. Meeting W was an amazing event in my life. I feel like a lot of people have let her down over the years, and I don't want to be one of those people. We both went to religious schools but wound up as atheists (or spiritual, or whatever the trendy term is these days). I don't even remember the specific vows for a civil ceremony, but when we got married I knew there was no such option as the "rainbows and unicorns" package. "For better or for worse" is still a thing for me. We both thought that meeting and marrying "later" in life would be a huge plus, but I guess there's no stopping the MLC.

Plus, for some stupid reason I didn't kneel when I proposed. Making it to the other side gives me a chance to propose again and do it right.

On the plus side, every day without a divorce motion is more time on the clock. I also saw Shopgirl's story, and that looks arduous but encouraging. (Especially because in some respects W acts more like the man in our R: brash, no interest in therapy, stuff like that.) One day at a time.

I did schedule a trip to see family for Christmas, so that's something. It will be the first time in a while I won't get a tree, or at least a live one, since I'll be gone for a bit. I'm taking the train so I can see the scenery.

I also had my first drum lesson today. 45 minutes where I (almost) didn't think about W at all. This will be good. A few of the classic breakup songs have enough energy that they're actually strengthening. I'm thinking "Separate  Ways" by Journey, and "Since You've Been Gone" by Rainbow. (I really want to play Don't Stop Belivin', but that's a bit more complex.) The nice thing about this school is that in addition to rudiments, they'll just let you play along with a song or two to build enthusiasm. I tried Bad Company's "Can't Get Enough Of Your Love." Classic rock. How hard could it be, right? WRONG! Popular bands didn't become popular for nothing. My electronic drums arrive tomorrow, so I'll be putting some time in there.

Well, that's enough venting for today. Thanks for the eyes, everybody.

JB
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#58: September 08, 2021, 08:50:22 PM
That's great JB  :D

You're making good progress already!!

Right on man!

-SS
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Re: JohnnyBravo's story
#59: September 09, 2021, 06:43:25 AM
JB none of us were perfect.  Just keep in mind there is nothing you did or didn't do to cause her crisis.  Because it had nothing to do with you or your marriage.

It's an internal crisis within them, and as someone pointed out, it would have happened to her no matter who she married. 

She will eventually need to do some inner work to fix the chaos inside and you can't help her with that.
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#60: September 09, 2021, 07:40:58 AM
Thank you, Thunder.

I keep forgetting that I need to read all of the instructional articles; I could save you all the trouble of giving me advice. :) I've already started putting up post-it notes around my monitor with key points and responses, like a telemarketer. If W ever shows up in person, I'm going to have to yank them all down in a hurry.

SS, I'm glad at least one of us thinks so! ;)

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Re: JohnnyBravo's story
#61: September 09, 2021, 08:06:43 AM
You are no trouble, JB.

I think it's pretty normal for all of us to start looking back to see if we may have done things differently to maybe prevent this from happened.  I did it too.  But it wouldn't have changed anything.

Not to say we can't all improve in some ways.  It will only improve our lives and relationships going forward.

You are doing good, even if you don't think so.
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#62: September 10, 2021, 02:17:18 PM
Well, I found out why I haven't heard from W's atty yet: Friend of mine who is still FB friends with W told me that W posted on FB about paying $377 for a consult with an atty, only to be told a week later that they have too many clients and can't take her case. W asked if that's unethical. Personally I think it is, and I feel bad for her. I just hope she maintains her anger at the atty and doesn't redirect to me since I'm ostensibly the one making her use an atty instead of us just filing ourselves. (I also told my friend it's probably better if I don't know what's going on.)

Also met with our local real estate agent today to see what I would need to fix up in the house if I sell it. (Agent knows about our separation.) She mentioned that SIL is looking at jobs in DC, and that W has it easy now because she has SIL to complain to. I did mention that W was planning to move with SIL, but the agent was upbeat. "Well, just give her some space and see what happens."

At any rate, kinda stressed. I don't want a D, but I don't want W to get ripped off or have undue trouble. And I know it's not up to me to worry about W, but I do.

Gaaaaaa. I could use a hug, but none of my huggy friends are anywhere near here.

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Re: JohnnyBravo's story
#63: September 10, 2021, 03:38:05 PM
{{{BigHug}}}   ;D

I'm glad you are being proactive.
There is nothing wrong with getting information on your house, from a realtor.

No it's not your job to worry about her right now but she is your wife so I understand.
It may not matter to her but it matters to you.

Just keep doing nothing, as far as the D goes.  This is hers to figure out.

Here's another one...{{{BIG HUG}}}
Hang in there!
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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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#64: September 10, 2021, 04:36:15 PM
Thank you for the virtual hugs, Thunder!

(Even for here, that would be unusual professional behavior; attys I spoke with were up front about availability. They could have just refused her case.)

It also occurred to me that W's FB post serves as a public announcement of our split; previously, she had only told a few people in private. Now, her FB Universe will be asking, "why do you need an atty?" I'm not watching, but I'll be curious as to how this goes. I think I mentioned before that we met while participating in a volunteer organization. I don't think this gives too much away (and it's not like anyone will be looking for me here), but it was a roller derby league. So, all women with a few males in support roles. I volunteered as a referee, and was head over heels for W from when we first met. But a) I knew I was on the rebound, and b) I knew I could only ask one woman out in the league, whether she said yes or no. It's not a dating pool, so I had to be sure. A year later, I asked W out, and the rest was history. (After the couple that founded the league, we were sort of a "royal couple" there.) I was the head referee for several years, and was well respected as level-headed, by-the-book, but fair. Everyone knew I was intent on doing the best job that I could. (I was also in charge of a few other key items.) We still have a number of mutual friends from this time. Not knowing what W is saying about the whole thing, I wonder if this will start to raise questions in people's heads.

Funny story from that time: There were a few other women in the league who I think were attracted to me, and one in particular had kind of a "teenage crush" on me. W told me later that she was mulling over my date invite, and told the latter one, "Johnny Bravo asked me out, but I'm not sure if I should say yes." The response was, "YOU BETTER GO OUT WITH HIM!!!!!!!!!!" :D

Taking a breather and feeling better,

JB
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« Last Edit: September 10, 2021, 06:02:37 PM by JohnnyBravo »

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JohnnyBravo's story
#65: September 11, 2021, 01:10:28 AM
I know it’s a weird way to have to think but if your w is in MLC, i’d be cautious about assuming that the FB thing is the truth particularly as it seems a bit odd in RL. As does the FB post imho. It may be true, it may not. Bc these folks lie and tell strange stories and half-truths to an extent that is very strange to observe for a normal person and it takes a while as an LBS to get that. We kind of have to retrain our brains after years of assuming their normal honesty to a kind of neutral assume nothing until verified independently mindset, I think.

So, I wouldn’t waste any energy or sympathy on it......in the greater scheme of things it probably doesn’t matter as much as you think.....if she does get a L you’ll know when you get papers or a L contacts your L, right? As Thunder says, until then, do nothing but focus on your own plans and necessary self protection.

Spare hug from me too, JB  :)
You’re doing darn well for early on in this strange experience  :)
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« Last Edit: September 11, 2021, 01:28:16 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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Re: JohnnyBravo's story
#66: September 11, 2021, 01:26:18 AM
JB: been following along your story. Just a thought: the attorneys may have met your wife, talked with her about what she “wants” or what she was saying, and after a group review decided to pass on her case. If you wife is not making a great deal of sense and the attorneys are ethical they may not have wanted to get involved in a case that can’t be resolved easily and just bill.

I know that in the past there was NO WAY any good attorney would have been able to work with my wife to finalize a divorce (which is one of the reasons I have not pushed for it). Besides the irrational demands (based on the law as of the state) I do not believe she would have been able to fill out the basic information sheets or even get back with information in any kind of timely manner (as you can see in story after story here and elsewhere).

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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

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#67: September 11, 2021, 05:52:36 AM
Thank you, Treasur and Marvin

Thank you of the reminder of "don't believe anything you hear, and only half of what you see." Based on my personal interactions with W, I can entirely see an atty not wanting to get involved. (Marvin, I just filled out all of that stuff, and that was a slog. Most of the assets were in my name so hers would be simple, but she'd still have to list her assets. W can fill out business tax forms, so she could do this if she was rational.)

Fortunately, I haven't received any texts or emails from W since this, so still quiet on the LBS front. I haven't received any FB messages from mutual friends either, so they may just be letting this ride. (Or unfriending me, but I can't control that.)

Given all of the activities W was involved with in her 40s (when we met), I wonder if she was already in some kind of transition and I interrupted it. But, it's not like she stopped doing any of that stuff just because I was there. Not really relevant to the here and now anyway.

Thanks again,

JB
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« Last Edit: September 11, 2021, 05:56:45 AM by JohnnyBravo »

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#68: September 11, 2021, 01:37:31 PM
Question: What does FOO stand for?

I remember seeing a link in Resources that said "acronyms," but I couldn't find a list.

Thanks!

JB
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Re: JohnnyBravo's story
#69: September 11, 2021, 02:17:24 PM
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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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#70: September 11, 2021, 02:19:52 PM
AH, Thanks! Now I do remember seeing that somewhere.
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#71: September 12, 2021, 08:33:25 AM
Today is the three month anniversary of BD. But I'm not counting, riiiiight?

FB popped up a "memory" this morning of the yard sale we had at W's house so she could sell it and move in with me. I'm sure she'll get it too, since I would have tagged her. That was one of her complaints (at MC), that she "sacrificed too much" to live in a big house in the suburbs. She "just wants a small apartment with nothing to take care of." Of course, what you and I know is that a) she was miserable in our old town, even with her old friends, and couldn't wait to leave, and b) she "sacrificed" that to gain a partner she cares about and who cares about her, a life of financial security, and the opportunity to focus on a job she loves.

Other brain vomit: W had looked up our star sign compatibility; it was actually pretty close to our personalities and her other complaint, going back to the extrovert/"partier" vs. introvert/"homebody." When she originally showed me this, she said it was helping her understand our dynamics. Now, I assume she's using it as the reason for departure. W also watches tarot card readings on YouTube, and does her own. If she heals, she will have to realize that she is responsible for her happiness, not outside forces. It could be that star signs can align with personalities, but it's still two people  with brains who can choose to accept that or work within it.

Sometimes I wonder if this isn't MLC or menopause, and she really does want to go for rational reasons. She liked to party with the girlfriends when we met, and she wants to go back to that. In my view, as you get older, that "partying" should grow into something more substantial. She may not have that view. But, she really does fit right in with the MLC/menopause script. As folks have already mentioned in my thread, mature and rational people don't just bail without trying to work on things. (Especially to the tune of, "I love you, I'm leaving, and I'm demanding a specific cash payout.") I think she may have been trying in her own way, and I didn't see it, but at the same time I can't read minds. W was never afraid to speak her mind before. I do think at least one friend has been an enabler in all of this; as Ursa's sig says, "friends don't enable, they tell you when you're being stupid."

All of that seems like immaturity, no matter the source. At least the LBS response in any of the above is the same: Give space, validate, work on detaching, and stand if you want to.

The future will certainly be interesting. I have no idea what SIL's timeline is for moving, but if W is going to move with her, she'll need the divorce settlement. If she keeps having problems with attys, that will draw things out. Even the normal process takes a few months. But, I'm trying to predict the future here. I know I have to focus on taking things as they come. Easier said than done, just like anything else here.

Thanks, all. I see some new (to me) threads popping up, but I should probably take a little break from wallowing in LBS/HS land. Except for the mirror work, I do want to understand that better.

Cheers,

JB


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JohnnyBravo's story
#72: September 12, 2021, 03:25:55 PM
Hey JB,

Wow, three months already. Time flies when you're having fun right?  ;)
Good job on getting thru one of the hardest periods of MLC.  8)

It's good to take a break every so often too...... I think everybody does, normally right before a growth spurt. All good.

-SS
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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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#73: September 13, 2021, 06:54:17 AM
In SS's journal thread, they got a puppy, and it led me to think of a crazy question:

W has a cat that is at the end of its estimated lifespan. (No health issues, but at the far end for the breed.) What if Cat (not her real name) gets ill and W asks me to go with her to have Cat put down? Or W shows up with dead Cat and asks me to bury her?

W got Cat about a year after we met (rescue kitten with abandonment issues, family moved and couldn't/wouldn't take her). Cat has bonded with me, but W is definitely her person.

Not sure how to do this with kindness, but it seems that SIL should be W's partner through that when it happens. If W wants me to bury Cat in the  yard like we had originally planned, I could tell her that I'm planning on selling the house, so that might not make sense. (I think Animal Services will take pet remains.)

At the same time, this seems like a (temporary) connection opportunity.

This reminded me of other Cat things. Cat would kinda/maybe hang out with me when I got home from work, but when W got home, hoo-boy. Cat would follow her around, meowing for attention, to the point that W would yell at her. I think this got worse as we got closer to BD (and after). I bet Cat knew something was amiss with W. I'm sure Cat is still doing that to her. Cat makes me look really good in the view of being "low pressure!"

Also, sometime during the pandemic (can't remember exactly when), Cat started eating less, and I eventually noticed a big bulge on the side of her jaw. Turned out to be an abscessed tooth. W hadn't even noticed, and felt bad about not being aware of Cat's condition. Not sure if this was part of MLC fog, as W has sort of been "ignorant" of some things for as long as I've known her. But, it definitely seemed to be worse later on. In the weeks after BD, I had mentioned my work title, and W hadn't realized I was promoted to that postion. (OK, it's a title promotion.) I'm sure I would have said something about it at some point, and it was months and months ago.

Have a good Monday, everyone.

JB

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#74: September 13, 2021, 07:49:04 AM
Hi JB,
I can tell your brain is swimming with the what ifs as at some point many of us will do. I am an active rescue pet owner and lover of three wonderful dogs. As far as your cat a pet owner has so many options when it is time for their loved ones to cross over the rainbow bridge.  I will say as much as my H loved his rescued dog there is currently no attachment.  I do believe these type of events and the reaction of the MLC'r may differ from how they would have responded before BD.  It really will not be until these types of events occur that you will know how your W or yourself will respond.I

5hil
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#75: September 13, 2021, 08:22:16 AM
5hil, that's a good point. Between BD and moveout, W said that she might see if SIL will take Cat. That really surprised me, and in retrospect was an indication that this is about W and her MLC, not about me. I know I'm not in the most stable place yet myself, so I try to at least consider what may be coming so I'm not totally taken off guard. Yet much like the "idiot proof device" yields better idiots, I'm sure whatever happens will be something I didn't consider.

Thank you.

JB
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« Last Edit: September 13, 2021, 08:25:08 AM by JohnnyBravo »

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#76: September 13, 2021, 11:00:37 PM
Hello Mr Bravo
I’ve had time to read your stitch.  Whew it makes me cringe to think about those first few months (even the entire first year).  It’s pure misery.  You are remarkable!  I’m so impressed with your poise and calmness.  I was complete spaz and did everything wrong in the beginning.  I remember all those sleepless nights, anxiety awakened dreams, and then dragging through the next day because your exhausted from the night before.  It’s gets better.  Time and god is your best friend. 
I can read that your still unsure about it being a MLC.  I was to!  Actually, I didn’t even realize for the first 15 months.  That’s a long time to!  I really didn’t think it was a real thing.  I didn’t think we were old enough for it either.  I was wrong!!!  I think it’s very difficult in the beginning to know for sure that it is a MLC (just my opinion).  It takes time to really realize it.  For me, it was almost like once my H moved to a different stage then I could look back and then determine how the situation fit.  I think there will come a time where you will know.  I of course wish I had known sooner but that’s how it goes…..
Detachment was hard for me to!  You have to think I was almost a year and a half in tho.  It’s training your mind, not your heart.  Time has a way of helping that to.  I still don’t think I’m great at detaching.  I’m better then I was but not as good as I should be. Validating helped my situation.  Now I’m not sure anyone else on here would agree with any of that but I’m a warm person that likes to show kindness.  It wasn’t easy for me in the beginning because I was so angry but I still validate and I find progress in validation.  Each situation is different but yet the same so it’s trying different things to see what works best for you and making yourself feel better.  I always smile, never speak of anything negative, and no matter how much I don’t want to be, I am encouraging (even if it’s something I don’t like).  Ugh! 
Mr Bravo you are in my prayers and I will be keeping up with your thread.  I wish you happiness and success ahead. 
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#77: September 14, 2021, 08:45:45 AM
Thank you, Naverro.

Keep in mind, I can type and cry at the same time, so I'm not always full of poise and calmness... :) I can respond to a text or email from W if I think about it for a minute, I handled a phone call OK a month or so ago, but if she showed up at the door? That would be dang hard. I could avoid big displays of emotion, because we've already managed that as she moved out, but I'd be reallllly nervous. I'm trying to at least be like a duck: calm on the surface, paddling like crazy underneath.

I've had the benefit of two previous big breakups where I did all of the wrong things, and I'm still not sure how I managed to avoid that this time. Still wasn't perfect, but I did pretty well.

I just posted to a friend's FB timeline for her birthday, and saw W's photo among her friends. Still makes my heart race. She's beautiful, and I love her. I still have a long way to go for detachment, but I just try to remember that I need to be strong for me, strong for her, and strong for us. Good folks on the forum here remind me of that.

Thank you for the prayers as well, Nav. Positive vibes headed your way.

JB
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« Last Edit: September 14, 2021, 09:29:11 AM by JohnnyBravo »

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#78: September 14, 2021, 09:48:04 AM
Johnny B-
Quote
I'm trying to at least be like a duck: calm on the surface, paddling like crazy underneath
I like this. 10 month in for me and I mostly can stay calm, but then triggered by things affecting grown adult children and then I am like a shark above water looking for the swimmer. Congrats to you for staying calm under pressure.

I think this situation brings out our own unresolved issues and I am finding I have work to do there. I can’t imagine the FB triggering for you. My XH is not on any social media. If he was I would have to disable it for a bit. Seeing their life play out in any form would make it harder to detach.
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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
Oct 2021- XH moves in OW4
https://mlcforum.theherosspouse.com/index.php?topic=11796.

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#79: September 14, 2021, 09:57:03 AM
Tornup, I stole that duck analogy from a race car or motorcycle driver (can't remember who).

I unfriended W on FB for exactly that reason, I just see her face in a few places. A friend told me about her lawyer misadventure, but I asked them to kinda keep me out of the loop. (This was a friend of mine who is also friended W.) I asked her to just unfollow, which is what I should have done, just to not show too much abandonment.

So, at least I don't know what she's up to in general. I don't even know if she's spoken to the mutual friends who are still a couple; I imagine she's sticking with the divorced or single ones for validation.

JB
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#80: September 15, 2021, 09:02:29 AM
Some blather for today...

You know what's stupid about being an LBS? (Aside from EVERYTHING...) I no longer enjoy some things that W <i>didn't</i> like. Fer instance, there's an old TV show I watch on Saturday nights. W wasn't into it, but didn't hate it either. She did tell me that SIL watched shows like that all the time, in particular this one. Now, I find I don't like it as much since W isn't here to <i>not</i> like it. Maybe because I associate it with W and SIL, and it makes me sad to think of not having them around.

I realize that this close to BD and separation, I need to lay low and stay off of W's radar. Given W's talk of D and lawyers, I go home dreading I'll see a text about a new lawyer. (Can't have my personal cell at work.) When I get home and there isn't a text, I feel bad that W isn't contacting me. Good grief. (And it's also silly for me to be worried about something that hasn't happened yet, i.e. a text message. I'm working on having faith instead of fear.)

I have the classical station on, and they just played Adagio for Strings. That's they music they use in movie soundtracks when the hero dies in slow motion. Great.

I wonder if I should get a St. Jude medallion. Patron saint of lost causes.

Does anyone here also visit the FB page? I try to direct people there to the forums here, I think the discussion here is much more thoughtful and beneficial, and the guidance better, but I understand that people find the FB format easier to use. It just seems like a disaster over there sometimes. "I'm standing, but I'm dating." Sure thing, bud. (I found the FB page through this site, but thankfully someone pointed me back to signing up here.)

I keep giving thought to "why stand?" or "why not just divorce?" in case anyone asks. Especially W. For one, W gave me a Valentine's Day card that basically said, "Thank you for knowing everything about me and not trying to escape." I'm not going to run now and make a liar out of her. For two, after our disaster of an MC session. W told me, "I'm sorry I'm broken. If I can't make it work with a wonderful man like you I can't make it work with anyone." If W knows she's broken, there's some hope. (Maybe a month later I asked if she was going to therapy (no), and said, "you don't have to be broken." But she needs to realize that the remedy starts with her.) There wasn't a box to check for the "rainbows and unicorns" marriage option on the license. I won't give up on her just because she's broken.

Enablers pi$$ me off.

Here's a funny one for today: I'm right handed, so it's taking some work to get my left hand to swing a drumstick in a coordinated fashion. Note to teenage JB: When you start doing "that thing," alternate hands. It will pay benefits in the future.

That's all I got for now. Thanks for the read and for the support.

JB
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#81: September 15, 2021, 09:57:05 AM
Quote
You know what's stupid about being an LBS? (Aside from EVERYTHING...) I no longer enjoy some things that W <i>didn't</i> like. Fer instance, there's an old TV show I watch on Saturday nights. W wasn't into it, but didn't hate it either. She did tell me that SIL watched shows like that all the time, in particular this one. Now, I find I don't like it as much since W isn't here to <i>not</i> like it. Maybe because I associate it with W and SIL, and it makes me sad to think of not having them around.
Yes!!! I had many shows auto record and I can’t watch them. I just delete. It is very strange, because I enjoyed then, but I think we enjoyed specific ones together and talked about them, laughed together perhaps. I found it makes me sad and is a reminder now of what is gone. Like a trigger.
Quote
I keep giving thought to "why stand?" or "why not just divorce?" in case anyone asks. Especially W. For one, W gave me a Valentine's Day card that basically said, "Thank you for knowing everything about me and not trying to escape." I'm not going to run now and make a liar out of her. For two, after our disaster of an MC session. W told me, "I'm sorry I'm broken. If I can't make it work with a wonderful man like you I can't make it work with anyone." If W knows she's broken, there's some hope. (Maybe a month later I asked if she was going to therapy (no), and said, "you don't have to be broken." But she needs to realize that the remedy starts with her.) There wasn't a box to check for the "rainbows and unicorns" marriage option on the license. I won't give up on her just because she's broken.
This also!!! I have had my XH say the same thing. I dont know why you put up with me, don’t stop loving me, I don’t know why I can see my mistake after and not when, etc.  I did go through with a very quick divorce and I hate that I did, but he financially agreed to so much and his head being unstable I had to protect myself financially. You can’t make sense or nonsense. That is the bottom line. I find it interesting that the female and Male script is so similar also. Just goes to show MLC is real if anyone doubts it. IMO
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« Last Edit: September 15, 2021, 10:00:16 AM by Tornup »
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
Oct 2021- XH moves in OW4
https://mlcforum.theherosspouse.com/index.php?topic=11796.

J
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#82: September 15, 2021, 11:07:40 AM
Hey, Tornup... Don't even get me started on the shows that we both actually <i>liked</i>. "How I met your mother..." Can't watch it. (Although Ted and Robin getting back together in the future does give me some hope, I guess.) Any Star Trek series? Nope. Letterkenny? Bzzzzzzzt.

I'm hoping I do get the opportunity to say my blurb to W, but she will have to ask.

Fortunately, I'm in a "good" position regarding a potential D. We're both on the house title, and on the mortgage, but I pay all of it anyway. All of our accounts are separate, so I'm not in any jeopardy. Unfortunately, that may make me look like a colossal D-bag to our mutual friends, since it would look like I'm holding things up by not doing it for her. But, that is not possible in our state, there is no way to contest a divorce. If the friends ask, I give them the response above.

JB
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#83: September 15, 2021, 11:36:29 AM
JB- I filed 30 days from the days he left and it was final 60 days later. I did all of it and was uncontested. He gave me the house and all equity and I just refinanced it under my name. I also asked for alimony that basically pays for mortgage, taxes and monthly bills and he agreed. So, I could sell and buy a house out right and just bank the money he sends. He really did right by me. He gave more than that including half 401k and if anything happens to him I am the sole beneficiary of the rest and all policies a s noone but me can profit from his death. He agreed! MLC is real!!
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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
Oct 2021- XH moves in OW4
https://mlcforum.theherosspouse.com/index.php?topic=11796.

J
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#84: September 15, 2021, 11:37:24 AM
I keep giving thought to "why stand?" or "why not just divorce?" in case anyone asks. Especially W. For one, W gave me a Valentine's Day card that basically said, "Thank you for knowing everything about me and not trying to escape." I'm not going to run now and make a liar out of her. For two, after our disaster of an MC session. W told me, "I'm sorry I'm broken. If I can't make it work with a wonderful man like you I can't make it work with anyone." If W knows she's broken, there's some hope. (Maybe a month later I asked if she was going to therapy (no), and said, "you don't have to be broken." But she needs to realize that the remedy starts with her.) There wasn't a box to check for the "rainbows and unicorns" marriage option on the license. I won't give up on her just because she's broken.

Enablers pi$$ me off.

Speaking of which, the divorce idea was at least partially enabled by our mutual friend who recently got divorced. I get the impression that their divorce was "easy," but they were together since the beginning of college, and that friend has had a bunch of issues that probably helped it along. I'm hoping she doesn't come down here to help "escort" W through the process. I also wonder if W will ask, "J went along just fine when S divorced him, why won't you do the same?" Well, J is nice enough, but he's probably last on the list of my friends who I'd want to have my back in a bar fight. Just sayin'.

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#85: September 15, 2021, 01:01:36 PM
On the ‘why stand’ issue fwiw....
The famous (or infamous) Dr Phil has an expression about earning your way out of a marriage. Often I know that is meant in the sense of both people trying some kind of MC before they rush to an affair or a L. And as we know, most LBS here agree with that but most of our spouses have already chosen not to do so  ::) and we have no voice in that.
But I think, and it’s a very personal thing, that there still may be a solo process for the LBS to mentally earn their way out, to reach a point where they can make some kind of peace with the end of their marriage. Where they can feel they did their best to balance their commitments with the need to protect themselves. Where they can feel able to respond and accept reality as they see it rather than react and flail around in confusion or anger or pain. And most here who are a few years out will say that you tend to know instinctively when you have reached that spot. Perhaps that is why we stand, at least for a while.
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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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#86: September 15, 2021, 01:29:29 PM
Thanks, Treasur

I was thinking about it more, and given this is really something THEY are going through (and I emailed myself a great post by Ready describing that), it makes sense for me to let W go if she decides to, but not for me to give up. If W had cancer, or was disfigured in a car accident, I would be by her side. I can't be by her side IRL for this, but I can be there internally. Given the specific dynamics of MLC, I eventually may have to stop, but that keeps me going for now.

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Re: JohnnyBravo's story
#87: September 15, 2021, 06:29:58 PM
JB I understand what you are saying, I've heard that comparison a lot, over the years.

But I honestly can't compare the two.  If our spouses ended up with cancer or disfigured in a bad accident, that would be nothing they chose to physically have happen to them. No choice was made.
Of course I would hope any decent person would stay with them through those ordeals.

But even though they did not ask for this crisis to rear its ugly head, they are still responsible for the choices they are making, We can't lose sight of that fact, they are not helpless.
No one is holding a gun to their head telling them to cheat, or abandon their family.

These are choices they will need to live with.  They CAN ask for help.  Most realize they are broken.  They know something is wrong.
I know the fog and the confusion doesn't help any, and it makes it very hard for them, but we still need to hold them responsible for their actions.  Their not mentally ill.
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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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#88: September 15, 2021, 07:22:37 PM
Fair point, Thunder.
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#89: September 15, 2021, 07:29:16 PM
Quote
If W had cancer, or was disfigured in a car accident, I would be by her side. I can't be by her side IRL for this, but I can be there internally. Given the specific dynamics of MLC, I eventually may have to stop, but that keeps me going for now.

In mental health issues, depression, bipolar, schizophrenia, OCD, eating disorders, anxiety, OCD, addictions, PTSD etc the individual doesn't choose these things to happen to them. All of these conditions create havoc and cause family dysfunction and relationship issues.  I do not believe that there is much "choice" by the individuals affected by these conditions. I also don't think anyone chooses to have a MLC.

Genetic, hormonal, FOO, stress, a predisposition perhaps that lead to catastrophic implications...and we are the casualties of their conditions.

The sudden and dramatic change in them is very evident to see. I do not see this as intentionally trying to hurt another...I do see it as someone who is deeply hurting.

The LBSer ALWAYS has the choice to write their spouse out of their lives.

I would hope that if I were the one in crisis, that he would not write me out.

And that to me is standing. I am willing to go the distance with this. I have witnessed and read too much not to understand the "pathology" of his crisis. So I stand because I would want him to do the same. If he had dementia, would I still remain his wife? I would.

There is a movie I watched a long time ago called "Fireproof" which is a Christian movie about a marriage that was in trouble. It was kind of hookey at the time I watched it but it sank in and made a deep impression on me.

There was one phrase that stuck we me "you never leave your partner behind in a fire".

You are not alone to feel the way you do JohnnyBravo and many will disagree with me.

The time for remorse, for accepting responsibility for what they have done can only come if they work through their crisis and if they truly do, they will do that.

Not all will manage to come out the other side.

The amount of "time" really is irrelevant as well and the risk is high. It is possible to live this way. Protecting yourself from harm can be done while still showing love to the MLcer.

Haven't changed my outlook on this and it's been many many years.

You do what feels right for you. Somedays you will want to give up, others you will be convinced that standing is the right thing for you. You can change your mind. But you will come to realize what is your view, for your situation is unique and none of us can really say what this is for you or your spouse. Do what is true to who you are and allow yourself to look at what it is YOU think is right and then follow that. Your inner self will guide you.

Might I add that your BD was only June 2021. Way way early on in this process to make a firm decision of what you need to do. Many of us were still on the floor at your stage. Please don't ever feel you need to rush any of this.
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« Last Edit: September 15, 2021, 07:33:33 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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#90: September 15, 2021, 08:28:07 PM
xyzcf, thank you for reminding me that I have a funny notion of patience. I know that I won't be drumming Don't Stop Believing any time soon, and that's "easy" in some sense, because it can be done with learning and practice.

On the other hand, I expect to have this LBS thing wrapped up by next week... Not gonna happen. I bookmarked the link to RCR's "MLC Takes Time" page; I need to write that on a post-it and keep it out.

Thank you too for your thoughts on illness vs. choice (for lack of a better summary), I appreciate it.

JB
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#91: September 16, 2021, 09:53:55 AM
I'm going to post some thanks for a change this morning.

In the early days of this, after BD and the pointless MC attempt, I thought my path forward was just to accept this and facilitate the divorce. W wanted to do this ourselves with no attorneys. I'm thankful that all of my friends said, "No, I know you care about her, but get yourself a danged attorney. It's the only way to be fair." That was enough to slow me down a little bit. Even though I first considered mediation, I'm thankful that those words of my friends inspired me to not just accept W's concept of a settlement, which then drove me to going with separate attorneys. I guess I owe thanks to W (or W's monster) for being so insistent on that settlement as well.

Even though my IC had the opinion, "She's done, your marriage is over, but you can consider collaborative divorce attorneys," that too slowed me down a bit. Instead of going with the "shark" attorney, I found a collaborative attorney who was probably a better therapist than a "qualified" one. She understood that I just want to protect myself, and explained that I'm in a good position and don't have to preemptively file to protect myself. I'm thankful for that.

In turn, that gave me time to find out about MLC, this site, RCR's articles, and the experienced folks on the forum. I'm thankful that you all explained that even though I can't "fight" a divorce, and may ultimately have to accept it, I don't have to instigate it. It's on the one who walks away to do that. And, thank you for the concept of "earning" a divorce.

And an enormous thanks to those here who have reached out privately to provide support and guidance even while going through their own journey.

I probably spend too much time re-reading everything that's posted and sent to me, but it does give me hope that at least I'm not totally screwing things up, and have even done OK, and that there's time to keep steering my ship onto the right course, even if my ship is the only one I can steer.

I think I've posted before that Thursday is W's "action day." I didn't hear anything last Thursday, so fingers crossed I don't hear anything bad today. Given that her first attorney turned her down a little over a week ago, I don't think she'll be able to get another consultation for another week or so. I'm thankful for the delays that give me time to heal and grow.

Cheers,

JB
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Re: JohnnyBravo's story
#92: September 16, 2021, 11:10:31 AM
JB I think you have really done such good job for being so early in this.

I have truly admired your ability to listen and research and have not had knee jerk reactions, or been defensive.  Believe me in the first year that is really hard.
I'm not sure I did that good the first year.  Ha ha

If sometimes the vets come off here sounding a bit harsh, it's because we have seen so many people go through this and we only want to help you, and others, not make the same mistakes we made.  Big one was R talks, never a good idea. 
We do care about you. If you hear things that do not pertain to you, or you don't agree with, just disregard them.  Everyone's situation is unique.

I agree with everything you were saying but I'm not sure about the collaborative divorce attorney because I know very little about them.  I've read they pretty much have the ability to decide what the divorce agreements will be.

I'll have to read up more on them.
I went with a Family Practicing attorney and she was good.  Not nasty, which I would never have wanted, but she fought for everything to be fair, equal.

Anyway just keep learning and keep doing what you are doing.  You are doing good!    :)
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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
#93: September 16, 2021, 03:13:56 PM
Thank you, Thunder. I do appreciate the advice from the vets, and I believe I can hold steady on the "no R talks" rule. (Easy right now, because W is only talking about attorneys, but I suppose something might leak out of her around the holidays that I need to not fall into.) Admittedly, I'm still focusing more on the idea of a positive outcome rather than the acceptance of ANY outcome, but will hopefully grow into that.

At least Ursa hasn't clobbered me over the head with a meme. Yet.

"Collaborative divorce" in this state basically means that the attorneys for both parties belong to this list of attorneys that have worked together or have training in this area (also includes mediators and divorce coaches). When I was asking about mediation and they said we weren't a good fit, that intake interviewer gave me a list of other attorneys that they had worked well with in the past from that list. That said, my attorney is a Family Law attorney with a lot of experience, partner in her firm, several accolades (that I know nothing about, being an engineer), and “'Attorney of Year' for 2021 in Family Law Mediation and Collaborative Divorce." Which I have to assume is good. So, I think she'll fight for a fair settlement.

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#94: September 16, 2021, 03:58:14 PM
I got home and no nastygrams yet! Small Victories! :)
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#95: September 16, 2021, 08:13:58 PM
I keep giving thought to "why stand?" or "why not just divorce?" in case anyone asks.

If making complex issue simple, In the end it is just a personal decision, and you learn to live with. Nothing more, nothing less.

If you end up standing you will discover ups and downs with it. 

If you end up divorcing you will discover ups and downs with it as well.

In the end it boils down to not what your core values and beliefs are, but what you want them to be (that is where the inner growth happens, travelling from A to B)

The only thing that holds is that either way you will eventually make to other side of this, and rediscover the joy of life and living. For some it happens fast. For others it will take years.

Alvin.
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At time of BD.... Me: 43, XW: 41
Kids: G19,G18,G14,G12,S5
Together - 20½ Years, Married 19 Years

BD ("I don't love you"): Feb 2019, 
BD2 ("I don't want to fix this marriage."), Mar 2020
D filed May 2020, D finalized Dec 2020
I have moved on, and am in new relationship.

Lessons from Stoicism and REBT helped me to exit the chaos zone and become a better person. 

"Happiness and freedom begin with a clear understanding of one principle: Some things are within our control, and some things are not. - Epictetus"

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JohnnyBravo's story
#96: September 17, 2021, 12:18:51 AM
<...snip...>
At least Ursa hasn't clobbered me over the head with a meme. Yet.
<...snip...>
JB

Don't worry, you'll get your turn at some point....

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Me - 58, xW - 50
Together 19 years - Married 17 at separation & 21 at D-Day
S - 14, D - 10
2 Dogs
BD#1 - August 2015
Atomic BD - 13 Dec 2015
House sold & separated - Mar 2016
Divorce final 30 August 2019

Survival Instructions for Newbies
Site Map
 
A "friend" will not "stand by you" no matter what you do. That is NOT a friend. That is an enabler. That is an accomplice.
A REAL friend will sit you down and tell you to your face to stop being a firetrucking idiot before you ruin your life and the lives of those around you.

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#97: September 17, 2021, 08:03:31 AM
HA!

Thanks, bud.
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#98: September 17, 2021, 08:51:34 AM
JB- I have to say your calmness, composure is crazy sane so early on. I had not found this page until 8 months in of the 10 mths I am at now. Wish it would have been earlier. Of course when I look back months 2-4 were actually my easiest. Maybe shock or denial in what was happening. Whatever you are doing to get to this great place of clarity of what you need to do to handle this MLC craziness is impressive.
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« Last Edit: September 17, 2021, 08:55:42 AM by Tornup »
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
Oct 2021- XH moves in OW4
https://mlcforum.theherosspouse.com/index.php?topic=11796.

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#99: September 17, 2021, 10:06:17 AM
Thank you, Tornup.

I'm a bit concerned that I haven't processed enough grief and am still in denial, but maybe realizing that there was a problem a couple of months before BD helped. Maybe I burned some up ahead of time. (And keep in mind I seem sane in text, but am a bit shaky IRL.) For a month or two, I expected to come home from work or a business trip to find W and her stuff gone. When I said that in our MC session, she replied, "That's not who I am." But is telling me we're done while we're sitting in a bar, and that I need to give her a bunch of $$ any less hurtful? It took a number of days to move her out, and every time I came home to see another big pile of stuff ready to go in the front room it was another whammy.

I don't know what that all means, but as some have said, maybe it's too early to really know where my head is at. There are definitely times when I think W will suddenly come to her senses, show up at the door, and we'll fix things, so I know I have a long way to go.

Thanks again,

JB


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JohnnyBravo's story
#100: September 17, 2021, 12:24:01 PM
JB,

I also thought my STBXW was going to magically return.  It took me about 6 months to realize that was not going to happen.  Facing that I most likely will never know what is going on inside her head is hard.  Especially for an engineer who is paid to fix things.

HD
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W52
M55
Together 29 Married 24 (22 @ BD)
S22 S20
BD 9/29/19 (Moved out while I was away for weekend with no prior warning.  I was shocked)
Served D on 10/19/20

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#101: September 17, 2021, 08:07:36 PM
Hi JB,

I am a little over 1 year since BD and I still am in the grieving process.  Every day I am seem to get a little more settled and have accepted that it's my W's crises and I have to let her figure things out.  Very tough to accept but it is getting easier.

Like HD, I also am paid to improve/fix things but my W's crises is something that I can't fix.  Can only focus on my own life.   Working on getting a life and I'm starting to see how my new life could be without my W.  Strange but making slow progress.

Have a great weekend!

HF
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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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#102: September 18, 2021, 08:57:53 AM
Thanks, fellas.
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#103: September 20, 2021, 10:30:01 AM
Well, a quiet weekend for the most part. Did a bit of monkey braining about W given it was the weekend, but reminded myself that she was probably still spending a lot of time playing games on her phone like she did before (she took that up to help quit smoking). I assume/hope she's also still living with her sister, so at least her sister can keep an eye on her (and be the bad guy). A couple that are mutual friends took a vacation to a place we used to go, so it was bittersweet seeing those places again.

Went out to Top Golf with some friends from work on Saturday night. I still haven't reached 100% "having fun on my own" mode, but at least it's some progress and a distraction. One couple knows what's going on, and at least have slowed down on the "you'll be a great catch for someone else" talk. Just not interested.

No word from W so far, so I'll assume that no news is good news on the D front. I sent documentation of my pre-marital finances to my atty, so I'm ready to defend if needed. I reminded her to just hang tight and wait to be contacted. I assume it would take another week or two for W to schedule a consultation, as most attorneys seem to be pretty busy these days, and the obstacles may slow her down.

Thanks,

JB
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Re: JohnnyBravo's story
#104: September 20, 2021, 12:35:39 PM
You know JB, it could IF she IS looking she may be having trouble finding a reputable attorney who will agree with what she wants.

They may be telling her, her portion (since you have been married, 5 years) of your 401k is usually not given in cash.  It is put in a retirement account for her, which she will pay very high taxes on if she takes it out before age 59.

They may be telling her she is responsible for half of any debt you have, which means the credit card she used she will be liable for.

Her new car is half yours.
Her voluntarily selling her house before you were married has no bearing on anything, unless possibly she used some of those funds to buy the new house you purchased together.  But they will look at what funds you put in also.

She is young and healthy and will not get alimony for a long time.  They will expect her to keep working to support herself, eventually.

Oh, blah, blah, blah...I'm not saying this is what is happening, just a possibility.

Best case scenario, she is in a fog and just doing nothing....expecting you to do the work for her.  Some do that.

Sit tight, you are making all the right moves right now for yourself. I'm glad to hear you are getting out with friends and keeping your attorney updated.  I know none of this is easy but it gets easier with time.  Keep going...my friend and just pray for the best outcome.

Hugs
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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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#105: September 20, 2021, 02:18:27 PM
Thank you, Thunder.

The fog would definitely be the best case, but I imagine W has at least enough gumption to try again, and if not one of her enablers will probably keep her going.

I do think the wall of reality is a possibility; Treasur and Marvin had similar thoughts. She won't get a chance to explain that she wants a big sack of cash until she has a scheduled consultation, and that's when they would tell her it doesn't work that way.

Time will tell...
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#106: September 21, 2021, 01:25:21 PM
I keep typing and deleting this because I don't want to dwell on it, but:

Thunder, your comment about debt reminded me that the first lawyer said W would be responsible for half of the house debt too. For some reason that didn't make sense to me, but it IS a shared debt. (Both names on title and mortgage.) We owe half of what the house is worth, so if W gets half of the equity and half of the debt, she gets zero net from the house. Half of the equity would be a huge chunk of her desired settlement. I wonder if the attorney told her that.

W's enabler's husband left their house, and I'm not sure how the enabler bought her husband out of his share. (In their market, I'm sure the house is worth waaaay more than the mortgage balance.) That might be how W thought she could get her dream settlement. I wonder if W will reject the enabler over this.

That's my monkey braining for today. At least by writing it down, I can get it out of my system. Have to practice drumstick control tonight.

JB
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« Last Edit: September 21, 2021, 02:17:07 PM by JohnnyBravo »

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Re: JohnnyBravo's story
#107: September 21, 2021, 02:24:08 PM
KB I didn't mean to stress you out.  I'm sorry if I did.
Let me explain a little.

When my H, of almost 30 years, decided he needed a divorce (I was 63 at the time and retired).  I was in shock and had no idea what to do.  The good vets on here tried to tell me to try hard to put my shock and confusion aside as best I could and use my head.  If he divorced me I had to get information on how to financially protect myself. They saw too many hurting LBS's, over the years, too destroyed emotionally to do what they needed to do and ended up on the short end after the divorce.

So I ended up at the library and found a few books on what women in the divorce process should know and I can't tell you how good that information was.  I learned things even my lawyer never told me.

Like Old Pilot says, knowledge is power.

You W just may never go through with this divorce, but just be ready in case.  Know your rights because she will not be thinking what is best for you.

You only have to use the information if you need it.   :)
I hope this just helps you.
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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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#108: September 21, 2021, 02:37:54 PM
No worries, Thunder. You're not stressing me out at all. (I can do that just fine on my own!) :)

I'm actually glad that you pointed this out and made me think about it. If my interpretation is correct, it puts me in a much better financial position and makes W's proposed settlement just plain crazy. But like you said, I may never need to use the info, and that's my hope.

I now know that this was MLC-talk, but: At BD, W told me what she wanted for a settlement, and then said something like, "because I contributed to the marriage too." It sounded really unlike her, even compared to the other things she was saying, like that statement was pre-recorded. Could be the monster, but sounded more like her enabler coached her to say it.

Thanks,

JB
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« Last Edit: September 21, 2021, 02:58:24 PM by JohnnyBravo »

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Re: JohnnyBravo's story
#109: September 21, 2021, 03:42:10 PM
JB thank you.  I DO remember the stress, believe me.   ::)

Yes I thought her expectations were a little crazy.  Maybe she has the wrong people in her ear.  But I think any lawyer would tell her no one comes out on top and gets exactly what we want, there are compromises on both sides, as long as it ends up fair, that's ok because you both contributed to the marriage.

I too hope you never need to use the information, JB.
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A quote from a recovered MLCer: 
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#110: September 22, 2021, 12:55:29 AM
JB,

I can tell you from my own personal experience that xW's lawyer wanted her to go after my retirement and have an "equitable distribution"  and xW's TGF's convinced her that was the way to go... I told her that I was willing to forego all the discovery and so on and we would each just keep our own retirement funding but no, she wanted her money....

In the end, it turned out that she owed ME 30k Euros out of her retirement because she earned MUCH more than I did for the first 1/3rd of our marriage (although the bills were split 50/50 plus I paid my own degrees out of my salary) and was sticking money away in a retirement fund that she didn't tell me about....

All the $$$ that she imagined went up in a puff of smoke....
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Me - 58, xW - 50
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#111: September 26, 2021, 02:57:27 PM
Ursa, what does TGF stand for? (I assume GF is Girlfriend...)

I put out the halloween decorations today. (It seems early, but the neighbors are already at it...) W was the big halloween decorator. She had made some cute decorations, some of which we tossed when she left. (I'm wondering if we shouldn't have, but they were easy enough to make again.) There was one set that she did want me to save for the house, that we both worked on. I wasn't going to put them out, but decided to anyway. The neighbors like them, and in case she decides to do a drive by, it will be a little connection. (While we were packing up her stuff, she said she might do the drive by, but I doubt it.)

I've been fixing the landscaping in the front of the house, and was sieving out gravel and re-laying it on weed block fabric. One section I had to work on is at an angle, and after the wheelbarrow got about half full of gravel, it fell over. So, I put a block of wood under the low skid, and started again. Then it fell over the other way. At that point, I needed to come inside and cry for a minute. Before BD, I would have thrown a temper tantrum at the wheelbarrow, but haven't done that since then. I've never yelled at people, only things, but that's something I need to fix. I was doing it more often as the pandemic dragged on, and I feel bad about that for W's sake. After BD, when she said she expected me to be angry, I replied, "That's why I get mad at the stupid little things, so I can handle the big things." At least I'm learning to take a breath instead.

Well, that's it for now. No news is good news.

JB
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Re: JohnnyBravo's story
#112: September 26, 2021, 03:42:19 PM
Garden cart- less likely to tip:) Weed cloth is a fraudulent product.
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#113: September 26, 2021, 04:40:39 PM
Garden cart? Shoot, I already have two wheelbarrows... :)

I've heard about the weed cloth fallacy; I use it as much to keep the gravel from sinking into the dirt as for weeds. They had plastic under there before (from 30-40 years ago), and I wanted something that would let the water through. It does keep weed roots from getting too deep so they're easier to pull out, though.
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#114: September 26, 2021, 11:59:02 PM
TGF = Toxic Girl Friend - read my Tagline about enablers and accomplices..... Toxic Friends are the Mid-Lifers best buds because they are the quintessential enablers and accomplices but at the same time, for the exact same reasons, they are the LBS's worst enemies....

I used "Weed Blocker Cloth" under gravel in a couple of different places with very (so far) good results. Like you, I needed something to let water through (also like you, there was a plastic sheet there before so the water pooled) and to keep the gravel form vanishing into the dirt and leaving the paving stones sticking out. There are several different kinds available (at least here in Germany) and the one I had is like a thin felt. We'll see how long it lasts but also, it does make it easier to pull up what weeds do grow....
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A "friend" will not "stand by you" no matter what you do. That is NOT a friend. That is an enabler. That is an accomplice.
A REAL friend will sit you down and tell you to your face to stop being a firetrucking idiot before you ruin your life and the lives of those around you.

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#115: September 27, 2021, 06:20:06 AM
Thanks, Ursa. My W does have a TGF, who thinks she's still a good friend to me as well.

If she wanted to remain friends with both of us, she would have stayed out of it.
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#116: September 27, 2021, 06:30:57 AM
Thanks, Ursa. My W does have a TGF, who thinks she's still a good friend to me as well.

If she wanted to remain friends with both of us, she would have stayed out of it.

Na ja... or told MLCW to get her head out of her .... fog... But then she wouldn't be W's friend anymore because MLCW would have cut her off too.....
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Atomic BD - 13 Dec 2015
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Divorce final 30 August 2019

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A "friend" will not "stand by you" no matter what you do. That is NOT a friend. That is an enabler. That is an accomplice.
A REAL friend will sit you down and tell you to your face to stop being a firetrucking idiot before you ruin your life and the lives of those around you.

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#117: September 27, 2021, 11:24:51 AM
My weed blocker works just fine. Until enough dirt settled on top of it that the weeds can grow. ;D ;D. That is the part they didn't tell me, that it doesn't take very long for organic matter to settle in between the rocks.....And that if you use bark, once it started to break down, then it become something for weeds to grow in. If I blow it around once a week with a leaf blower, no weeds. Go figure.

And wheel barrows and rocks... ugh. I understand the concept of wheelbarrows and they work really well for a lot of things, but that tippy thing they do if you aren't on perfectly flat ground with a perfectly balanced load..... I feel for you. There have been times when I wondered if I could make a tripped wheelbarrow into some kind of garden art.
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#118: September 29, 2021, 05:48:17 PM
Well, I was hopeful a couple of weeks ago when W's first atty turned her down. But I got a message from my attorney today that she has been contacted (by a different attorney, I assume) and they will be talking tomorrow. I know this is just one step in the process and it isn't over yet, but I'm very sad.

JB
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Re: JohnnyBravo's story
#119: September 29, 2021, 07:49:21 PM
Well, I was hopeful a couple of weeks ago when W's first atty turned her down. But I got a message from my attorney today that she has been contacted (by a different attorney, I assume) and they will be talking tomorrow. I know this is just one step in the process and it isn't over yet, but I'm very sad.

JB

JB I am so sorry. No matter how much you know things it still is painful when confronted with the crazy stuff. I still have tinges like this and this is still early days for you. And this is a big one. Completely get feeling sad.

Hang in there.
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JohnnyBravo's story
#120: September 30, 2021, 02:18:07 AM
What Marvin said.... You are, unfortunately just out of the starting gate. Sounds like PSTBXW (Possibly Soon To Be) is in quite a rush. That is kind of typical of a high-energy type but that can just as quickly fade away once there is real work to do.... My xW was in a real rush as well and it still took her nearly a year to get all the paperwork submitted that the court asked for - they even sent me a nasty-gram because the paperwork hadn't been submitted. I just politely replied that I had submitted everything required and if they were lacking documentation for the Plaintiff, they should contact her attorney....

Doesn't make it any easier though...
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Me - 58, xW - 50
Together 19 years - Married 17 at separation & 21 at D-Day
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Divorce final 30 August 2019

Survival Instructions for Newbies
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A "friend" will not "stand by you" no matter what you do. That is NOT a friend. That is an enabler. That is an accomplice.
A REAL friend will sit you down and tell you to your face to stop being a firetrucking idiot before you ruin your life and the lives of those around you.

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#121: September 30, 2021, 06:43:53 AM
Thank you, Marvin and Ursa.

Even if we get divorced that doesn't mean we're done for good, but it's a line I'd rather not cross.

I imagine it's either her TGF driving her forward, or SIL wants to move to the east coast and W wants her money to get established there (while moving and then still living with SIL). That was her plan, anyway.

W's two closest GFs were at our (courthouse) wedding; I know at least one of them is being supportive, but I don't know to what degree (i.e. if it goes beyond to encouragement).

Thanks again,

JB
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#122: September 30, 2021, 07:01:42 AM
JB, I'm sorry for what you're going through. I've been reading through your thread and so much of it makes me remember a lot of those feelings I wish none of us ever had to feel.

I wanted to touch on the friends issue because it's come up a few times. I would not fixate too much on the toxic friend premise. People tend to gravitate to situations that benefit them or fit them, so unless your wife has a friend who has been actively manipulating situations and telling your wife "You HAVE to get rid of your husband and create a new life," then it's likely these "toxic" girlfriends are just gravitating to your wife because she now fits the "going out, having fun" place they are in or want to be in.

Your wife is a grown woman with agency and is responsible for all of her actions and decisions. Even if these friends were/are also your friends, they know they can't repair your marriage so they're fitting themselves into the situation where it benefits them most - in this case, it's by your wife's side because she's the one now seemingly able to be available to them for fun and the illusion of a low/no responsibility lifestyle.

We all would love it if the people in our lives would hear about our breakup and move heaven and earth to try to change the leaving spouse's mind, but in reality, people aren't that invested in other people's marital status. And that hurts A LOT at first, but eventually you'll find it stings less and you won't see these people as having any role in this.

I consider my best friend's husband a friend of mine also. They don't live all that close and she has three kids, two on the spectrum, so she's stressed and really busy. I live alone and am single. If she told me she was getting a divorce and was suddenly wanting to hang out, I'd hang out with her because 1) she's my friend, 2) I'm single and lonely lol, and 3) I can't control her choices and I'm not responsible for her choices. I'm not toxic in any way, shape or form, but I would be happy to get dolled up and hit a bar with my friend, and wouldn't consider it enabling.

I did, like many of us, get mired in resentment towards some people who seemed to be supporting my former H's unilateral decision to end our marriage and stewed over how they didn't know any of the other destructive things he'd done/was doing, and how could they just sit back and watch this happen, how would they feel if it were to happen to them - but in the end, they had no control over it, were living their own lives and weren't that invested, and they didn't mean me any harm.  Our story seems so huge to us (and it is) but to most others it's like, "Oh, that happened. Moving right along..." I hate to say it that way, but it's just reality. You have so much else going on, I'd just hate to see any time or energy directed at anything that really in the end doesn't matter, that's all I'm trying to say. 

It's all really difficult and it all SUCKS. Hang in there.
xx
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#123: September 30, 2021, 07:17:57 AM
Thanks, NAS.

I know that the one GF is potentially toxic based on years of experience. Everything that is right for her is right for everyone else, by her insistence. So yes, I could see her manipulating the situation.

W's other friends I imagine just as you describe, just happy to see their good friend in town. I would just feel better if I knew one of them had said, "Are you sure you thought this through?" but there's no obligation for them to do that.

Thanks again,

JB
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#124: October 01, 2021, 06:33:58 PM
Hi JB,

My W has also been hanging out with enablers but she is still having some contact with her close friends that would hold her accountable. I would feel better if I knew that one of her close friends talked to her recently on the eve of our divorce, but I have come to a point where I have to let my W go to figure things out.   She most likely will follow through with the D and I will be ok no matter what.

Hang in there as it will get easier.

HF
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#125: October 03, 2021, 10:59:09 AM
Just a vent for today: We're all facing the holidays, and Halloween is a big one for W. This weekend, she would've been putting up a whole bunch of decorations. I'm not much for Halloween decor for myself, but it's sad to see the house without that stuff.
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Re: JohnnyBravo's story
#126: October 03, 2021, 11:20:14 AM
Just a vent for today: We're all facing the holidays, and Halloween is a big one for W. This weekend, she would've been putting up a whole bunch of decorations. I'm not much for Halloween decor for myself, but it's sad to see the house without that stuff.

JB fwiw the first year of "rituals" is usually the hardest. Sadly there is no way "around" only through.

Don't know if this will help at all, but something that worked for me was to try to "reclaim" things that we did together or that my W used to do that I used to enjoy for myself. I don't mean just doing what she did etc. But I would ask myself "what does this day mean to me, what would I would have done."

And as much as it seems it may be just going through motions do what you would do. I particularly remember the first Christmas. It was a bittersweet exerise, but it was powerful. Looking back I think doing that helped me get through a lot of things.
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JohnnyBravo's story
#127: October 03, 2021, 12:11:50 PM
Holidays I always did up huge. Decorated every room for xmas. After my XH left last November I got rid of most my large trees and went to smaller pre-lit pencil trees. Put them all up with no ornaments. I still had decor all over, but different with little effort. I still am not sure how I pulled off xmas with my kids and grandson so soon after BD last year, but it was good. Maybe I was in such shock. Maybe this year it will actually be harder.

Hallowen decor is not happening here at all this year. I do have a lit mummy I out outside the door. Maybe I can manage that. I think reclaiming holidays is big. They are so important to out family memories. It is one of the saddest losses to not have those , but finding a new way to create memories that will be just as special.

JB- you are doing so well with your handling of everything so far. Keep journalling as you are healthily moving through this process . It’s always good to see. Heck I think I am learning from you and I am further down the road.
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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
Oct 2021- XH moves in OW4
https://mlcforum.theherosspouse.com/index.php?topic=11796.

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Re: JohnnyBravo's story
#128: October 03, 2021, 12:23:27 PM
Don't know if this will help at all, but something that worked for me was to try to "reclaim" things that we did together or that my W used to do that I used to enjoy for myself. I don't mean just doing what she did etc. But I would ask myself "what does this day mean to me, what would I would have done."

I've tried a little of that, but it's too soon for me for some things. Some things I just won't do, like I don't think I'll ever go back and use the rest of the dance lessons I've already paid for. (We made it to one lesson before Covid shut things down, and W never wanted to go back "because the bars are closed, and if we can't go out to dance what's the point?" I now realize that was some shadow right there.)

Christmas is my big one, and W had actually stopped celebrating it until we got together. I'll put up decorations, and certainly the lights outside the house, because that was my thing. I'll be visiting family for the actual holiday, though, so no tree for me this year. I'll be gone too long to maintain it. (and no fake tree for me.) But, I'm taking the train cross-country, which is something I've wanted to do.

Without the tree, I probably won't put out my Lionel train set, either. I had wanted one for a while (my father had one), and W got me a starter set before we married that I have expanded quite a bit in the years since. That will be a tough memory to beat.

Tornup, thank you. In reality, I'm probably still in denial.  ;D Compared to many others here, my scenario doesn't seem as bad in some regards. I think the part of W that loves me stayed a bit closer to the surface, even though MLC is clearly in control right now.

JB
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JohnnyBravo's story
#129: October 03, 2021, 01:26:20 PM
My mother in law bought us a Christmas decoration every year after we got married with the date on it...1977 "your first Christmas together". The first Christmas after BD, we put up our real tree and a few hours later it came crashing to the floor breaking many of the decorations, including some from both our childhoods.

The next year, I did not put a tree up but the following year I decided to buy an artificial pre lit "skinny" tree and moved it into my family room so I could see it all the time instead of a large tree in the bay window of the living room. I was not going to be here at Christmas but in the US, the time between Thanksgiving and Christmas is like one total celebration. Taking out the decorations was tough.

I have done quite a bit of travel since BD and I started looking for Christmas decorations from every place I travel to. Not the tacky ones, but exquisite ones. The Venice glass one is a favourite. They are my souvenirs but more importantly, they are my tradition and interspersed with the decorations from my childhood, the ones from my marriage, the ones my mom made from plastic canvas and now my daughter has taken on the tradition that her grandmother had of getting me a decoration each year...."my tree" has become very special once again.

Your cross country train travel sounds wonderful!

Quote
Compared to many others here, my scenario doesn't seem as bad in some regards.

You know JohnnyBravo, yes, our situations are all very different but the pain and hurt is just as intense no matter how things may look.
And the holidays make it more difficult than regular days.

It is very good that you have made plans...really important that we do that.

You may not want to put out your train set, or maybe just a piece or two. I decided a long time ago that he was not going to rob me of the things I enjoy.
 
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« Last Edit: October 03, 2021, 01:28:56 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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#130: October 03, 2021, 04:08:55 PM
I have done quite a bit of travel since BD and I started looking for Christmas decorations from every place I travel to. Not the tacky ones, but exquisite ones.

This was actually "our thing." Although we were just fine with tack ones. W has some of them, maybe they'll spark a memory some day.

JB
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#131: October 08, 2021, 06:32:32 PM
I could call this "journaling," but I'm not sure it's worthy of the title.

Today marks the three month anniversary of W completing move-out. No news from the atty regarding the meeting from a week ago, but I assume they're exchanging the financial info. Come to think of it, I haven't seen what my atty put together, but I'm not curious enough to ask. (And, she would need W's info to complete it.) No other contact from W, but I guess it's too early to determine if she's a real vanisher or not. I've been monkey-braining a bit about why the big rush for D, but it doesn't really matter. (Safest bet is she wants the cash before her big move to the new city that will be the solution to all of her problems...Not.)

A mutual friend from back home (the supportive one) checked in to see how I was doing. Made me wonder if there's anything going on with W that I should know about, but I'm sure my stepmom would have said something. And it's not something I need to know. I told him I found a support group for this and didn't want to over-burden him, but that our anniversary would be tough.

Saw the new Bond movie tonight. 1) I never thought a Bond movie would be such a flippin' tear-jerker, 2) if James Bond has a hard time letting go, I don't feel so bad about myself, 3) closing scene has good words for the LBS.

One other thing that I'll share here, since you are my therapists now (hah!). I had a friend in undergrad, we were both in the same major and worked on a couple of projects together, and we both chose the same (other) school to start grad school, so we shared an apartment there for a couple of years. Over the last 20 years he had a job doing something related to what I'm doing now. We were in touch occasionally, but I knew he was befallen by an unusual medical issue a while back, and the last couple of emails I received from him were strange. I realized this week that I hadn't heard from him in a few years, so I searched his name. Found out he died of "Multiple System Atrophy" in May of 2020. Not the kind of thing I would post to FB, since no one there would know him. My stepmom had met him back when I was in grad school, so I did tell her. Sad to hear of his passing. He was a smart guy, and did some interesting things. And young. (My age, anyway.)

In summary, I'm still here, I realize W could be a bit of a jerk sometimes over the course of our relationship, but I love and miss her anyway. (Like I'm not a jerk myself, amirite?)

Have a good weekend, all.

JB


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#132: October 08, 2021, 06:53:25 PM
Jerk would be the last descriptive we would use . But I catch your meaning. You sound solid and I am glad you are out and about , to the movies and such. Hard hard journey, this LBS thing.  Sorry to hear about your friend, must have been rather shocking.  I am rooting for you and I do follow along. Expect some ups and downs emotionally and gently ride thru them ..it will happen . You certainly are not alone in your journey , seems this MLC thing is almost epidemic .  I wonder why that is ? Just a reminder ..this is her crisis and internal unrest. Nothing at all about you, who you are or how you loved .
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The Journey Of Reconciliation .. is for the brave .

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Re: JohnnyBravo's story
#133: October 09, 2021, 04:30:48 AM
JB sorry to hear your W found a lawyer and seems to be starting the process.   :(

I have no idea why she seems to be in a big rush, I would guess she still thinks she is going to get a big windfall.  Hopefully her lawyer is talking to her about the reality of her situation.

I hope your lawyer knows she only gets half of what was put in your retirement account for the last 5 years.

My H saw a lawyer right away too, his mind was made up.
Some of them just go for it, while others drag their feet, and then some file and never go through with it.  Just depends on the kind of crazy they are.  ::)

JB I just want to suggest please, if your lawyer is getting things ready, put your business hat on for 10 minutes and read what he is proposing.  Just so he is not missing anything and that you are in agreement with him. 

I know you are sad over all this but you do sound better.  Getting through the holidays is rough the first year, but you'll make it through.
You have all of us supporting you.  :)
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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
#134: October 09, 2021, 06:52:56 AM
JB- So very sorry to hear of the loss of your friend. It’s always so strange to have someone cross your mind and the. Seek them out to find they have passed.

My XH wanted a rushed divorce as well. However, I did it. It still pains me that I handled it all and got it done in 90 days for him, but I had to protect myself financially. I know now mine rushed because he had told the OW he was in the process of divorce and he felt pressure to follow through. I also feel he didn’t want to physically cheat on me. There is some decency check in there 🤪😜

Keep moving forward. You are doing so good. I felt I did best the first few months as I was in shock and just on auto pilot. Things coming at you and you are just getting through it. I had so much to do with  the divorce that once it was done everything came at me with  a reality check. Take care of you and YES check everything if any type of settlement is drawn up!!
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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
Oct 2021- XH moves in OW4
https://mlcforum.theherosspouse.com/index.php?topic=11796.

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JohnnyBravo's story
#135: October 09, 2021, 08:59:57 AM
Quote from Jack London: "The proper function of man is to live, not to exist. I shall not waste my days in trying to prolong them. I shall use my time."

Barbie, I follow your thread and am amazed at your perseverance. I appreciate your comments and support. The pandemic seems to have had a huge impact on relationships in general, so I'm sure it's been a trigger for MLC as well. (My W thought it just accelerated our inevitable demise, whereas I don't believe we have any reason to call it quits.)

Thunder (and Tornup), never fear; my atty has won awards in family law, so I'm sure I'm in good hands. Over the course of this, I've evolved from "OMG, I need to make sure W is set up to be on her own," to "In what parallel universe do quitters win the big cash payout?" I'll never say that to W, of course, or even my atty. But now I can blame things on the atty and be deferential to W, i.e., "Well, I know you wanted that, but the lawyer says it's this, and she seems to know what she's doing, she's done this a lot..." :) I've also provided my atty with documentation of my pre-marital assets.

Tornup, sometimes I wonder if my W wants this so she can come clean with a new relationship. (I don't know if there is an alienator or not, but a) it's common for MLC, and b) some of W's reactions would seem to point that way.) I'm sure she would have told at least a close friend, and they'd consider it odd if she was apparently so sad (to them) about ending this. Divorce-wise, I have an advantage in that our finances were basically separate, so I don't have to worry about protecting myself as much.

Thank you all,

JB
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JohnnyBravo's story
#136: October 15, 2021, 04:52:58 PM
Well, it was a quiet week, no news from the lawyer, and then my stepmother just emailed and said that W posted her plans on FB. She asked if she should forward the post to me, and I said no, but we might talk about it when we talk this weekend. I know that W wanted to move away with her sister (or back to her hometown), and if she does that, she does that. Easy for me to type that nonchalantly, but it's still a jolt to my system, because I still want the old W back here by my side.

At least the radio silence from W is better than monstering. Next hurdle is our anniversary in a couple of weeks, and then her birthday. I'm assuming she won't contact me about our anniversary, and I certainly won't contact her.

On the good news side, the instructor for my adult band class added more songs to our playlist. He put me on drums for Superstition, which is one of my all-time favorite grooves, so that will be fun to learn.

Also, I was walking across our office campus this week and a really attractive woman smiled at me. So at least that's a bit of a morale boost.

Thanks, all.

JB

(Update: I made it as far as the kitchen and then had a bit of a breakdown. Oh well, baby steps.)
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« Last Edit: October 15, 2021, 04:59:36 PM by JohnnyBravo »

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Re: JohnnyBravo's story
#137: October 15, 2021, 05:38:26 PM
JB, yes these things are a jolt as you say or impact us for a while. Its very hard for our emotions and psyche to adjust to this new version of a person we knew so long ago. All we can do is just let ourselves feel what comes, but remind ourselves this is not the same person we knew. So grieve these upcoming dates, because it is a loss. But also be kind to yourself.

Keep doing things for yourself, honestly every little bit adds up in ways that aren't always obvious. I remember how many triggers and waves I had the first year, then less the next, and less the next. It really does keep getting better if you keep working on yourself.

And what a great thing to not want to hear about it. In fact do you need to talk about it at all? Does knowing what your wife is doing in any way matter or help?
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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

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Re: JohnnyBravo's story
#138: October 15, 2021, 06:28:23 PM
Thank you, Marvin. It does help knowing I'm not alone, and not the only person who has to go through this.

And what a great thing to not want to hear about it. In fact do you need to talk about it at all? Does knowing what your wife is doing in any way matter or help?

My heart does want to hear about it, but my head realizes that it wouldn't help me any, or change anything. My stepmom replied, "OK, I just asked because she laid out her plans on FB." Thanks, mom. Still not helping. :)

The strange thing is that a few minutes after that email, I received a FB password reset request email. It seems legit, no strange links, and I didn't try to reset my password. I'm overthinking, but it makes me wonder if W is just posting that to try to get a response from me, and tried looking at or getting into my FB page. (I unfriended her after she moved out.) I understand coincidences, but that's a big one. And as they say, don't believe anything you hear, and 50% of what you see. Weird.

It's a little early in the season, but it's cool enough out, and I've got a ton of firewood, so I started the fireplace to keep me company.

Thanks again for writing, Marvin.

JB


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Re: JohnnyBravo's story
#139: October 15, 2021, 07:15:37 PM
I completely get it, I think a lot of us in the early days have an almost compulsion to “know” even when we understand it’s a negative experience. Also i remember how hard it was to keep telling people to NOT share anything. And having them still say “but I only am telling you xyz because you should know.” I had to start putting my foot down firmly.

I know for me the long periods where I could not hear from, hear about, nor interact with my wife was so helpful. I wouldn’t realize how much easier it was until I would spend some time with her or being exposed to her “plans” which honestly would constantly be contradictory. It still is the same to this day, but I am so removed from her that what once would drop me to my knees is now just a momentary pause.

Keep going your own way. Remind yourself whether you stare obsessively at what she does or look completely away will not make any difference to what she does. But it will make a world of difference about how many blows you will take.

Enjoy the fire!
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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

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Re: JohnnyBravo's story
#140: October 15, 2021, 07:29:42 PM
Quote
On the good news side, the instructor for my adult band class added more songs to our playlist. He put me on drums for Superstition, which is one of my all-time favorite grooves, so that will be fun to learn.

WOOHOO!!! This is news we need. What a fantastic GAL activity! Music heals. It engages your brain (and body) in a way that will refill a lot of those neurotransmitters that the grief from all of this LBS stuff depletes. Keep it up! Plus, it's good to know if we ever form an HS band, we've already got a drummer. :)

Quote
At least the radio silence from W is better than monstering. Next hurdle is our anniversary in a couple of weeks, and then her birthday. I'm assuming she won't contact me about our anniversary, and I certainly won't contact her.

Good that you already have a plan of NC. I honestly regret the times in the first year before divorce that I tried to reach out to my xH on those days, hoping to make some sort of connection with him. Instead he disappointed me (or worse, turned it into a monster event) and I still kind of get triggered by those things when I think back on them. Don't let her ruin your day (and future days) like that. Self-care as needed, but let yourself honor those days in a way that feels good to you. A nice meal on your anniversary, even if it's with friends or a good movie at home by yourself isn't a bad way to process through. Sometimes we're not ready to ignore things altogether, and that's okay too.

Quote
The strange thing is that a few minutes after that email, I received a FB password reset request email. It seems legit, no strange links, and I didn't try to reset my password. I'm overthinking, but it makes me wonder if W is just posting that to try to get a response from me, and tried looking at or getting into my FB page. (I unfriended her after she moved out.) I understand coincidences, but that's a big one. And as they say, don't believe anything you hear, and 50% of what you see. Weird.

Your gut is probably spot-on on this one. Some of us have experienced this, and still have to keep an eye for it, even after years. Just be mindful that your spouse is not the same trustworthy person they used to be, and keep your devices and accounts as secure as you need to.
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JohnnyBravo's story
#141: October 16, 2021, 01:57:22 PM
I think I've been interested in the drums since my teens. A friend of mine has played for fun since our early 20s, and he taught me a couple of basics back then, but for some reason I never moved on it. About once per year for the past 20 years or so I've joked that I was going to start an '80s cover band called "Everything But The Hair." Once W moved out, I realized it would be something to focus on and a way to meet new people. Plus, I can burn up depression with some good breakup songs like Journey's Separate Ways.

Funny thing, one of the "reasons" W gave for leaving was that I'm an introvert, and she's an extrovert. I would normally agree, as I'm shy around new people. However, I'm in RCR's Detach and Thrive class, and we recently had an assignment to take online personality tests. I came up as an extrovert, took another different test because "that couldn't be correct," and came out extrovert again! I just need to figure out how to get "over the hump" with new people. I think not being so self-conscious will be a big step in that direction.

JB
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JohnnyBravo's story
#142: October 16, 2021, 11:53:43 PM
Maybe you were an introvert before, and LBS-hood has turned you extrovert?

Anything is possible!! Growth!!  ;)

-SS
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W - 40
M - 44
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No kids
BD - 27th April 2019
Start of Shadow - Feb 2012

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JohnnyBravo's story
#143: October 17, 2021, 07:22:52 AM
You're being a little too generous there, buddy... any LBS extroversion I have is more like desperation born from nothing left to loose, kinda like Janis Joplin's version of Freedom.  :o

If I were truly an introvert, I wouldn't have dressed up in W's roller derby uniform and sang karaoke to "Whatever ** Wants, ** Gets" for a talent show. (Like censoring her derby name would make this story untraceable.)  ;D Or been a ref. Or sang Sexy Thing to W in a bar.

Talk about MLCW gaslighting or memory loss...

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« Last Edit: October 17, 2021, 08:04:05 AM by JohnnyBravo »

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JohnnyBravo's story
#144: October 17, 2021, 07:31:04 AM
Oh, well yeah.... that doesn't sound like an introvert at all. LOL!!

-SS
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JohnnyBravo's story
#145: October 17, 2021, 10:48:19 AM
I talked to my stepmom, and I told her that knowing W's plans (from her FB post) wouldn't change them or help me heal, and she understood that. She said that the posts were remarkably detailed for something you'd put in "public", so it's probably a search for validation, or trying to get a response from me through my stepmom or mutual friends. If W really wants a response from me, she can text or email.

The post was updated Thursday, so that would be reasonable timing for the Friday password reset notice I got. I got another one late last night. Nobody who is trying to crack/hack my FB account would do that, so it still makes me go hmmm.....

Still, it was a surprisingly emotional weekend for me. At least I have a big weeklong review meeting at work to stay busy with. It's the final milestone of a ten-year project.

Right now, I'm going to go wax my car. :)

Cheers, all.
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Re: JohnnyBravo's story
#146: October 17, 2021, 05:14:20 PM
Quote
I think I've been interested in the drums since my teens. A friend of mine has played for fun since our early 20s, and he taught me a couple of basics back then, but for some reason I never moved on it. About once per year for the past 20 years or so I've joked that I was going to start an '80s cover band called "Everything But The Hair." Once W moved out, I realized it would be something to focus on and a way to meet new people. Plus, I can burn up depression with some good breakup songs like Journey's Separate Ways.

 ;D ;D ;D at the cover band name! But bravo (no pun intended) on really hashing out some good ways to put energy moving in the right direction.

Introvert/extrovert is all a bit too black and white to me. I am considered an introvert by a lot of my friends, but truthfully, I don't think I am. They tend to think of it more as reclusiveness or being a hermit, while I'm able to be happy and social in situations I choose to be in. I just happen to spend a lot of time on my own (I work for myself, I live alone...it's just a thing!). Being able to be happy in your own company isn't necessarily introversion to me, just like attention seeking and extroversion are the same. Healthy application of both is the ideal, IMO.

Plus, many of us were best friends with our spouses before all of this, so we had a stable social group - it was "us"! That's not something you can just comfortably replace overnight (unless you're an MLCer. ;) ). Taking time to get to know yourself and establish a solo identity now can help you find a tribe, if you choose, later.
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Re: JohnnyBravo's story
#147: October 17, 2021, 06:41:41 PM
Introvert/extrovert is all a bit too black and white to me. I am considered an introvert by a lot of my friends, but truthfully, I don't think I am. They tend to think of it more as reclusiveness or being a hermit, while I'm able to be happy and social in situations I choose to be in. I just happen to spend a lot of time on my own (I work for myself, I live alone...it's just a thing!). Being able to be happy in your own company isn't necessarily introversion to me, just like attention seeking and extroversion are the same. Healthy application of both is the ideal, IMO.

This is the core of W's problem. The introvert/extrovert thing came up in our one try at couples' therapy. W said I was happy with just her, while she needs other people around. Of course I'm happy with "just W," but more to the point, I'm happy with myself and can occupy my time if I need to. (Of course, that was easier before my world was turned upside-down, but I digress.) W isn't happy with herself. Despite saying she was alone here, she had friends, but they were never the "right" friends. And she also said (at various times) that I was her best friend, just like you say; so why doesn't she want to stay with her best friend? She also forgets how miserable she was having to plan everything for her long-time girlfriends back home. I pray W can figure this out somehow. Sooner would be better than later, but she'll probably have to move somewhere and realize that "there she is." If she ever does.
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JohnnyBravo's story
#148: October 19, 2021, 02:46:19 AM
The introvert/extrovert thing is just another set of smoke and mirrors to justify her actions.... and is one of those excuses like "the dog is too fat because you don't feed him right" or "you don't cook Bratwursts correctly" or "you don't vacuum the house right" that go into the WTF file of "Strange stuff that MLC'ers say to justify their actions" (there is a thread somewhere here with some of those phrases).

If one looks at the psychological aspects, introverts tend to gain energy when they do NOT have to deal with other people (are alone) and they expend energy when they are in social situations while extroverts tend to gain energy from being in social situations with people and expend energy when they are left to their own devices alone. I personally think that no one is 100% intro or extro.

xW had a similar Litany - "We never DO anythign together" while ignoring the fact that, for nearly any suggestion I'd make, it was either turned down or cancelled because she "didn't feel good" and she wouldn't make suggestions on her own.... Now that she is wallowing along in her own life, I am going to concerts (now that COVID is allowing them  since I am immunized), going out to eat, doing things with my kids when they are with me.... She is ... wallowing along at home and occasionally going out with one or the other TGF but not very often... Now the excuse is that she doesn't have the money (since she is taking the kids to the Maldives for 2 weeks over Spring Break next year.....::) )
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Atomic BD - 13 Dec 2015
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Divorce final 30 August 2019

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A "friend" will not "stand by you" no matter what you do. That is NOT a friend. That is an enabler. That is an accomplice.
A REAL friend will sit you down and tell you to your face to stop being a firetrucking idiot before you ruin your life and the lives of those around you.

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JohnnyBravo's story
#149: October 19, 2021, 06:05:28 AM
Hi JB,

I had the same discussion with my W who is definitely an EV and I am more on the introverted side.   Truthfully I don't think it matters as all relationships have a combination of IV/EV dynamics.   Whether EV/IV, there has to be respect in our own individualities and we are to be there to support our spouse through the marriage.  Just because someone is an EV doesn't give you the right to stray from marriage and not live up to your marriage vows. 

You are doing a great job of letting her be to figure out her life.   It's tough as I know we miss our old W's, but they ultimately have to figure things out on their own.   Hope you have a great day!

HF
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JohnnyBravo's story
#150: October 19, 2021, 06:35:31 AM
The introvert/extrovert thing is just another set of smoke and mirrors to justify her actions....

...snip...

xW had a similar Litany - "We never DO anythign together" while ignoring the fact that, for nearly any suggestion I'd make, it was either turned down or cancelled because she "didn't feel good" and she wouldn't make suggestions on her own....

Yup, just like her having tattoos and me me only having one little one was an EXCELLENT reason to crater a marriage.  :D I had exactly the same experience as yours. "Why don't we go out to a bar this weekend?" "I'm not eating carbs so I can't drink, and if I can't drink I don't want to go out." First thing she does after moving out? Goes to a bar.

I agree with both of you that intro/extro is a spectrum. And, I think that's one of those things to have a balance of in a relationship, rather than a match. i.e. it's important that we both didn't want children. That's a major life trajectory. The IV and EV is more complimentary. (And our friends thought we were a good match, so I think we had a good balance there.) I wouldn't want to marry someone who was just like me, wouldn't be much of a point. I'm already with me all of the time.

Time for a new thread... https://mlcforum.theherosspouse.com/index.php?topic=11847.0
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« Last Edit: October 19, 2021, 06:42:11 AM by JohnnyBravo »

 

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