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Author Topic: My Story MLC husband's real issues

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My Story MLC husband's real issues
OP: October 19, 2021, 03:24:09 PM
I am 41 and my husband is 43. He is going through his MLC currently. BD 7/2/21 moved out 7/8. The whole ILYBINILWY and an added bonus of "I don't want to be a dad and I don't want to a husband." He actually said that to our kids mind you...completely nuts. Our kids are 23, 23, 18 and 10.

I have filed for divorce. But what I wanted to post about are the personality traits of our spouse. In the beginning I would have swore my husband was a great spouse, father and person. But since going to therapy and really doing some in-depth soul-searching, I've realized a lot .

1). My H is immature (Peter Pan syndrome if you will). We started dating when I was 15 and he was 17. Dated through high school, had the twins one month after I graduated, moved in together and married all within the next month. He came from an affluent family and never had to really work or earn anything. We both went to college, worked and took care of the twins for about two years. At which time it was decided that I would stay home and take care of the kids while he worked. I loved- I mean LOVED being a stay at home. I was in my element. I'm a caretaker by nature and really felt I was contributing to our family by doing all the house and kid stuff. I raised the kids and welcomed two more. Continued to be a stay at home mom. I loved taking care of my H.

My H works for the family business and decided to work from home about 18 months ago. He just didn't feel like going into the office anymore. Worked from his recliner for 12-14 hours a day. Basically getting up to eat (a meal I cooked). Definitely depression. Then his dad was diagnosed with Parkinson's. Our twins graduated college and our middle was leaving for college. Definitely triggers.

Anyway- when he was hit with his midlife crisis he was unable to deal with it due to his immaturity. He can't communicate- not deep conversations or debates. He's easily riled when someone disagrees with him. Especially if our adult children take a stance different from his own. I cooked for him, cleaned for him, did the laundry, raised the kids (although he was there for the fun stuff and around). Basically i realized that he was stunted as a teenager and unable to 'adult'. Because I did all the heavy lifting adulting. He has no close friendships - because he lacks the desire to put in the effort. All the friends we had were my friends and friendships that I fostered and nurtured. Don't get me wrong- he can budget and run the business very well, but emotionally he is just immature. I never realized it until now because I forgave so much. I forgave and overlooked so much because I loved him and loved our family.

Now after some of the shock and hurt and pain is subsiding and I can start to think again...I'm seeing that he was really just ill-equipped to handle this phase of life. He has moved a state a way to work in that branch of the business. Ready to prove himself to his brother/business partner. He also has low self esteem which probably brings it's own set of issues. But he's off in another state ready to start over and in his words "chase my past and find all things I missed out on."

No affair. Just selfish and immature. I really was the go getter, roll up your sleeves and get dirty in a crisis kind of wife. Any hardships or difficulties in our marriage were waded through mostly because of my efforts. So now he's there. And I love him, but can't do this. He needs a reality check. It probably won't help, but I also realized I need someone in my life I can count on and that won't quit on me.

He's super focused on work right now and setting up his 'new' life there. Texts the kids maybe once a week. No phone calls or face time. Has been back twice to see them- the last time for 3 hours. I honestly think he doesn't know how to parent without me there to facilitate. Kind of pathetic. I worry for him. Starting over is hard. And right now it may seem like and adventure, but once the dust settles and reality sets in....I think he'll have a rude awakening. He still texts me to help him through the most mundane things and to talk like we are friends. I don't want to be friends. And I wouldn't be friends with someone else if they treated me like this. I think he texts me because I was his rock, his person and now he doesn't have that. He'll need to learn fast i suppose.

Anyway- that 's my story. But my original thoughts were...do MLC have a similar personality traits? Like if we did an honest inventory of our spouse and our relationship....what underlying traits are there? My H is probably a severe case and everyone saw it but me...because love blinds. But I was wondering if low self esteem and narcissism played a part in those spouses that walked away during the crisis?

thoughts?
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« Last Edit: October 20, 2021, 07:19:48 AM by OldPilot »

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Re: MLC husband's real issues
#1: October 19, 2021, 06:33:33 PM
Definitely my first thought is that you sound GREAT! I mean, I'm sure this doesn't feel great. Quite the opposite. But you've got such an amazing handle on the situation, and on maintaining your and your family's stability. It's wise that you've filed as that will protect your financial future (which is not a bad thing, even were he to cycle back). I know for my xH, I took the load of life management and just allowed him to "be", which did not serve his maturity. He said after he left and was living at his mother's, "I know I'll have to start paying my own bills, which is a hard pill to swallow." What grown man says that, y'know? That's maybe what you'd think being out on your own for the first time. But even when he had his own apartment when he was 19-24, he couldn't keep up with his bills and often I'd either handle his budget or loan him money to get utilities turned back on. He really never moved past that.
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MLC husband's real issues
#2: October 19, 2021, 10:49:19 PM
Wow Kelly,

You have the bull by the horns!! Wooooo!!

It is a shock to see things as they really are. Big terrible shock...... but you finally get to really "See". That's a pretty awesome thing.
I think you're right and he's in for a BIG rude awakening at some point. Such a shame.

Tagging along for the next exciting episode   ;)

-SS
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Together 25 years, M 23
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BD - 27th April 2019
Start of Shadow - Feb 2012

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MLC husband's real issues
#3: October 20, 2021, 03:44:37 AM
Welcome Kelly .  In many many ways you have described my H and my marriage.  I have been with him nearly 40 years and would also swear on 10 bibles that he was the best husband and father in many many ways . And I do mean the absolute best.  He has returned from his walk on the MLC wildside and in doing years of therapy , I am so shocked on what I have discovered about the way he thinks and functions. I always knew "something" was not all together right, but honestly I never saw so many things .

My husband is also very emotionally immature . He was raised in an extremely abusive home and has "trauma-based " thinking . I realized that developmental trauma as a child has crippled him emotionally and he never fully matured as a man his age should. He told many lies ( I thought he was the most honest man I had ever met) . Hearing the phrase "lying by omission" was a concept he never heard of and disagrees with. I was so shocked I wonder how many "omissions" have there been over the years? . I have noticed many fundamental "knowing" ...he simply missed.

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y. He can't communicate- not deep conversations or debates
.

Niether can my H. Its all very superficial . He has a deeply avoidant attachment style ...so any truly deep conversations that "might" make he feel criticised or "wrong" he will avoid at all costs . Of course this means I solve all the problems, carry the full weight of the relationship and he is my superficial passenger in life. And I never saw any of that?  . He can avoid problems like no human I have ever met. There is not one problem that he cannot make worse.  Is it any wonder he blew up, had a breakdown and destroyed everything? He had decades of issues to spew...all that he avoided and never dealt with.  I believed him when he said he was "fine" ...not always , but he would never be anything but "fine". He was far from it.  But , honest to god..I worked full time , have 5 kids and was BUSY . If he said he was "fine" ( for decades} I believed him. Wrong, he was never fine. He hid it all like a warrior, until he couldn't.

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He also has low self esteem
.

Yes. mine has almost zero self worth . No one would ever ever see that in my H. The absolute opposite is what he puts out into the world. I am told he carries extreme shame issues that he has kept hidden from me and likely from himself . I recently came across a Pastor called Tim Fletcher and he addresses the issue of shame in CPTSD , addiction and childhood trauma .  This is where I finally found some answers about my H .

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tfr-jBjQ9Wk

My H also had trouble parenting. If he says anything to any of my daughters he immediately searches my face to see if " he said the right thing" or I approve. He NEVER one time...not one time , disciplined a child in this house. The discipline he endured as a child was so extreme, so abusive that he could not be an adult and learn to discipline. He could only barely say "no" to them if I pushed him to do it. Made him look like a great dad and I was the "meanie".

My H came from an extremely abusive background. He is stunted in many many and only now do I fully understand much of it. On the flip side , he is an extreme "people pleaser" ( now I know what that is about) and he did EVERYTHING for me . He was incredibly good to me as a result and my kids had the best ballet room ( his garage), homemade Barbiedoll cases and every kind of "thing" you can imagine. They travelled the world, treated very very well and was the best "fun dad" ever. He made tons of money ( work addiction for distraction, validation, acknowledgment that he was "good" ) and he was a "family man". So, I did not see many many things . But he has never been an adult . If I left my husband , I am 100 % positive he would never cope . He would be in big trouble. It is a struggle to live with these damaged men in many many ways. He has deep shame issues and if he is unable to deal with that , nothing will change for him. 
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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.

K
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MLC husband's real issues
#4: October 20, 2021, 06:52:29 AM
Don't get me wrong- I was a complete mess for three months. Couldn't eat, couldn't sleep, spent countless hours scouring the internet for what the heck was happening to my H. I found that going to therapy for me, self reflection and an open mind helped the most. Open mind- in the sense that I tried to look at the situation from an outsiders point of view with no bias. That's a tough pill to swallow. I realized my own faults and how I contributed or enabled my H to be this way. No one is perfect and although we all feel like the victim...we have to be open to the idea that we did or allowed behaviors that contributed to this. And that sucks.

My H is a good man and I do love him. But when faced with a crisis...you get to see the real person. And in this case, mine quit on me. He couldn't handle it so it was easier to run away. And it wasn't even my crisis. That's the crappy part. He's having the issue and it's going to follow him...depression, anxiety, low self esteem...those aren't locational. And it doesn't matter where you are, you will have stressful situations and reality to deal with. So I'm not sure really what he's thinking...only that he was unhappy and stressed at home (which was amplified by midlife crisis triggers). And that mixed with midlife regrets and nostalgia became too much.

I wonder if spouses going through MLC are just not equipped to handle the crisis so they try everything and anything OR they just don't want to so they lash out. Like a fight or flight response. What's sad is that I really think underlying personality traits are magnified when in this situation. And although our spouses coasted through life and marriage being a relatively great spouse...when faced with a personal crisis they just can't and crumble. It's really hard to self-reflect and be accountable. For many of us wives...we were the accountable and grounded ones carrying the marriage. We never forced them to face a crisis alone. We didn't want them to have to. And now when they need us the most (which is so obvious to everyone but them) they push us away, hurt us or blame us. It's sad. Because they quit on us and our marriage when we never would have. We were their biggest supporter, their partner, their caretaker...and it's utterly gut wrenching to have that so carelessly disregarded.

Anyway, I may seem like I have it all together but far from it. i just know I need to be strong for my girls. Set a good example and try to navigate all this. I'm not sure I will ever get over it. It really sucks. I miss our family, my friend, my person. But I also know that we grow the most during the most painful moments. So I just gotta take it one day at a time.

It also helps to know that these are their issues. Not ours. And we didn't do anything to deserve this. This is a complete reflection of them not us. And although we love them (flaws and all) we need to see that we deserve better. Whether that be by moving on, trying to work through marital issues with boundaries and therapy, feeling and knowing that they are truly sorry for their actions (and trying to make amends and be better) or just loving and caring for them from the outside of marriage. Whichever path your relationship takes...just know that you deserve better and shouldn't have to settle. You don't need a partner that quits on you, causes pain or disregards you. And I know - sometimes that's the hardest pill to swallow.
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MLC husband's real issues
#5: October 20, 2021, 07:13:05 AM
Quote
For many of us wives...we were the accountable and grounded ones carrying the marriage. We never forced them to face a crisis alone. We didn't want them to have to. And now when they need us the most (which is so obvious to everyone but them) they push us away, hurt us or blame us. It's sad. Because they quit on us and our marriage when we never would have. We were their biggest supporter, their partner, their caretaker...and it's utterly gut wrenching to have that so carelessly disregarded

IMHO the fact that we are strong is part of the issue. They are dealing with low self esteem, regret, identity crisis…….My XH told me once that the fact that I was happy, that I could handle anything and everything just made him feel worse about himself. I became  the constant reminder he is a failure. IN HIS MIND, not due to ME or anything I said or did.

This is why if there is a OW/OM they often affair down. To feed their ego, but they need to build themselves up. They use bandaids and outside sources to try and fix themselves rather then face themselves. It truly is not you!!! It is them and only they can fix them. Hardest thing to knock into my brain. I spent a long time not flushing the swirling water of the toilet bowl of my life. Everything you said I have said. It is all so script for us all.
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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: MLC husband's real issues
#6: October 20, 2021, 07:19:20 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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K
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MLC husband's real issues
#7: October 20, 2021, 08:04:47 AM
The really sad part is I know right now my husband is throwing a tantrum. He's got grand ideas of being able to adult on his own and his own ego is fueling it or maybe it's his desperate need to feel control when he's obviously struggling. I'm honestly not sure he will be able to find another person. Partly because I'm his rock. And even though right now he's pissy and wanting distance...I do feel like common sense will set in, he will hit rock bottom or just hate being alone and come back. I'm filing for divorce so he knows there are consequences. And I kind of do hope he tries to date and find someone else because that will be a reality check on its own. That he has a lot of baggage and I was willing to tolerate and love him...baggage included. A lot of women won't. And he's easily frustrated and upset when he gets push back. So the first time a girlfriend pushes back or wants something deeper...he'll get mad but have to face facts. Most women don't put up with damaged me. Not women of substance or support. Sure he could find someone who just wants his money...but even then. I'd just have to feel sorry for him.

 Either he'll realize what he lost or not. And/or he'll come back and make a concerted effort to change and be better. But if and when he does come back- I'll have myself in order. I'll know what I want, what I'm willing to tolerate and what it will take to earn back a place in my heart. All of that will need to be communicated and as the LBS we need to be in a place to be able to express and be confident in our stand. And the only way we can do that is if we see our husbands flaws and our personal flaws that enabled him to be this way.

It's a crazy web we weave...for sure.
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Re: MLC husband's real issues
#8: October 20, 2021, 09:23:31 AM
Hi Kelly, as others have said welcome to the board. You sound like you are in a much better place than a lot of us were this early in the process and that is a credit to you.

I do want to point a few things you said in the last post that may be red flags. Take it as you will or ignore it as you want.

I'm honestly not sure he will be able to find another person. Partly because I'm his rock.

This may both be an indicator of what led him here and if he is ever to find his way out and you two reconcile I would suggest that this is not the relationship that you may want. He should be his own "rock" and you two should be supporting each other after you take care of yourself. This suggest a degree of dependency. What do you get out of being his "rock?"

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he will hit rock bottom or just hate being alone and come back. I'm filing for divorce so he knows there are consequences.

Do you really want him to come back just not to be alone? And I am a little concerned about filing divorce so he knows something. That decision is purely yours, you should do it because its something YOU want or YOU need, not in order to do something to him. Besides not being a good idea for you it assume he is anywhere where consequences matter. I think that ship already sailed, no?

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That he has a lot of baggage and I was willing to tolerate and love him...baggage included.

One of the few upsides of this experience is we get a chance to breathe and re-examine "the way things were" win a new light. It may be an interesting question to ask yourself why you were willing to do this. What was in it for you?

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Either he'll realize what he lost or not. And/or he'll come back and make a concerted effort to change and be better. But if and when he does come back- I'll have myself in order. I'll know what I want, what I'm willing to tolerate and what it will take to earn back a place in my heart.

This is a great view and place to be, but unless I am misreading it it contradicts the things quoted above. No?

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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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MLC husband's real issues
#9: October 20, 2021, 10:30:56 AM
Hi Kelly, following your thread and you're getting great advice and insight.

I see some small similarities that I wanted to comment on.

I'm filing for divorce so he knows there are consequences. And I kind of do hope he tries to date and find someone else because that will be a reality check on its own. That he has a lot of baggage and I was willing to tolerate and love him...baggage included. A lot of women won't.

I agree with what Marvin said that filing for divorce should be for you, to protect your family's financial well being, but not to show him consequences, because honestly he probably can't grasp the concept of consequences.

On the subject of his baggage and finding someone else, this may surprise you, but this thought may have already crossed his mind - I was really extremely puzzled by the fact that for at least a year before BD, my former H kept saying how lucky he was that I "put up with him." Not saying it to me - sweeping statements on social media about his amazing wife who "puts up with me." The last birthday card he gave me literally said, "I love that thing you do, you know the one...keep doing it" and then on the inside it said, "Putting up with me."

I now see that not only was it true that he saw me as his "rock" who "put up with him," that was an unhealthy and unsustainable dynamic. As Marvin said, in a healthy relationship there's interdependency, not just one sturdy rock. 
I believe my former H was actually keenly aware of what a difficult person he was to be in relationship with and was contemplating for some time whether anyone else would cater to him the way I always had (in my mostly subconscious attempt to be the perfect wife/rock so that he would always need me/want me and never leave). He was not looking to grow as a person or do any adulting on his own, he was looking to be "put up with" and taken care of like always, and he indeed found someone to "put up with him." There's broken people everywhere, and people will put up with an awful lot to get a desired benefit, be it a sugar daddy or just a warm body next to them at night.

I don't say this to scare you or discourage you. I just know I recognized a bit of my early post-BD self in your words. And I felt hesitant to post about this, but since you seem to be on good footing so early on, I thought it might be just a helpful word of caution. It's easy to think they're looking through the same lens as us, but they're not. Getting yourself set up for a life with or without him, as you seem to be doing, is the best way forward, because anything can happen - knowing you and your kids are okay no matter what comes is key.
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