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Author Topic: My Story MLC husband's real issues

K
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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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BD - 27th April 2019
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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.

Quote
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.

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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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#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?

Quote
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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#10: October 20, 2021, 12:10:03 PM
Quote
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.
.

Absolutely 100% true. They will always find someone ( with a different lens) who thinks they are gold.
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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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MLC husband's real issues
#11: October 20, 2021, 12:18:33 PM
Quote
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 have that same card from my XH and he in fact found a OW that put up with more. One that lost both her parents at a young age and wanted to just live a better life style and is putting up with and frankly enabling him. Allowing him not to address his issues and grow. Exactly where an avoidant wants to be….for now!
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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.

K
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MLC husband's real issues
#12: October 20, 2021, 01:11:05 PM
Thanks for your responses. I should clarify that I'm not filing for divorce to teach him a lesson. I'm doing it for me and for my children. We are first and foremost right now. Our security and our lives. I think one day he will realize he messed up and left something great. Do I care if he ever realizes that? No. But thinking it helps me cope just a little bit.

I also realize now that I took care of him and 'put up' with him because I am a care taker. And i don't like tension or fighting. It was always easier to just do it or take care of it rather than ruffle his feathers. And also because I loved him. We were childhood sweethearts and I fell in love with that immature kid...he just never grew out of it. And not all because of me and my catering. I also know that I like to be depended on - it gives me a sense of self worth. Which is something I'm definitely going to have to work on.

I am well aware of my flaws and parts of me I need to work on.

I also know that he could very well find someone else. And I am ok with that. It will hurt but we can't be together the way we are right now. Or maybe ever again. So I'm accepting of that as a possibility. And that's another reason for the divorce. It's a way of protecting me. If we were still married- I would personally feel obligated as his wife to help him, give him another chance, try to work on things. The divorce will give me a clear tangible legal separation from him. IT's something I need to process all of this.

My husband is emotionally immature and entitled. Part of his upbringing I suppose. He never had to earn anything. OR work for anything. Money was handed to him. A career path was handed to him even after he dropped out of college. His parents consistently bailed him out of any negative situation And he went from them and their house to me. And I somehow filled that role. Giving him my love without him having to earn it or work for it. A home and a family without him having to work for it. A marriage that he didn't have to work at. Believe me- I totally see my flaws and mistakes in this. I can't believe I did that. Or that I put up with that. But like I said - love blinds a lot. He was my first real relationship, my first of a lot of things and I honestly didn't know how off things were. By researching things and talking to people, I'm seeing that I was not in a healthy relationship.

My husband and I separated when were 21 and 23 and the twins were just 3. He didn't want to be a dad and do the family thing. We were separated 5 months before he came back. Saying he realized what he was throwing away and that he missed his family. Looking back- I honestly think he just couldn't hack it on his own. And his parents- for once- called him out on his crap and refused to help him. So it was easier to come back to the girls and I.

My H doesn't have any friends. None. One high school buddy that he calls every once in a blue moon. But no friends. I honestly don't think he is capable of a healthy relationship- not even a friendship. He doesn't like to be disagreed with. He doesn't try to see other points of view and he can't accept responsibility for anything negative. He's very negative and bitter- partly because of his self esteem issues. If he tears people down and points out their flaws then they come down to his level and he feels more like equals. And I think I was his rock because there was literally no one else. No one else to talk to or go to or confide in. By default. I know wives are supposed to be there for their husbands...but I was all he had. Like I said- definitely some baggage.

All this being said- I do want him to be well. I do want what is best for him. And right now, I think letting him figure stuff out on his own is the best course of action. No one can tell you need to change. You need to decide for yourself you need to change. Or at least self reflect. I know this is going to be a really difficult time for him. He is coping and numbing with alcohol and weed. Staying busy with work so he doesn't have to process. I want him to make friends and have support out there. It worries me the most that he is going through this with no one. He is overweight with no hobbies. Literally a workaholic. He has placed all his eggs in the work basket. He is dead set on using this chance to prove himself to his brother. To prove his worth. In reality he doesn't have to. He is an equal partner. It was handed to him with him not having to work for it...so maybe knowing that lowered his self esteem even more. I don't know. But i do know he is shooting for the moon with this plan. He setting an unattainable goal and that coupled with no friends, no family, depression, low self esteem, emotional immaturity and everything else...it all just boggles the mind.

It will definitely be a learning curve for him.

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MLC husband's real issues
#13: October 20, 2021, 02:09:46 PM
Um WOW!!!! You are lightyears ahead of most LBSs even a few years out.  Maybe because you have been his Mother and you were 100% aware and are now ready to leave that roll behind.  Take care of yourself and find a few path and maybe a true partner.

You are on the right path with your intensions!

The below shouldn't be your focus, though it shows your heart, as well as your tendency for saving him.  Taking are of himself, so he can show up for his family is HIS responsibility.  Taking care of yourself and doing some work around why you put up with his behavior and lack of partnership should be your goal. 

Kelly sounds really really BADASS!!!!


All this being said- I do want him to be well. I do want what is best for him. And right now, I think letting him figure stuff out on his own is the best course of action. No one can tell you need to change. You need to decide for yourself you need to change. Or at least self reflect. I know this is going to be a really difficult time for him. He is coping and numbing with alcohol and weed. Staying busy with work so he doesn't have to process. I want him to make friends and have support out there. It worries me the most that he is going through this with no one. He is overweight with no hobbies. Literally a workaholic. He has placed all his eggs in the work basket. He is dead set on using this chance to prove himself to his brother. To prove his worth. In reality he doesn't have to. He is an equal partner. It was handed to him with him not having to work for it...so maybe knowing that lowered his self esteem even more. I don't know. But i do know he is shooting for the moon with this plan. He setting an unattainable goal and that coupled with no friends, no family, depression, low self esteem, emotional immaturity and everything else...it all just boggles the mind.

It will definitely be a learning curve for him.
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MLC husband's real issues
#14: October 20, 2021, 03:05:54 PM
Kelly, I’m so impressed with how you’re navigating this. I see a lot of familiar things - not just in my own story but in several stories here… an MLCer who never fully grew up, who seeks validation yet always on some level feel like life owes them more than they have; an LBS who avoids conflict, who is a fixer and a caretaker and who happily takes on the role of the grown up. Sometimes we think they’re a little immature when they’re young, but they’ll grow out of it - and of course a lot of people do. And of course every story is unique in many ways, but the common elements are pretty remarkable.

The single most important thing I have done in this process was to turn my lens inward; to look not at how I contributed to the crisis, but at how our marriage really was and at how I really was. The second most important thing was to realize that my frailties didn’t make me a bad person but they did represent things I would be happier and more fulfilled if I changed… and then to actually make those changes.

No advice to add - you’re doing all the right things as best I can tell!
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#15: October 21, 2021, 03:36:07 AM
Na ja Kelly,

It will happen sooner or later to him.....



Better to happen when you are NOT acting as either parachute or cushion...
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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
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Divorce final 30 August 2019

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#16: October 21, 2021, 02:33:55 PM
Something interesting....

I talked to my therapist today who mentioned Grass is Always Green syndrome. And after looking into it a bit...I can safely say my H definitely possesses a lot of those characteristics.

We have upgraded houses about every 5 years in our marriage. This last time (5 years ago) we built a beautiful 6,000sqf 'forever dream home'.

My H always took us on bigger and better vacations, newer and better cars, toys etc. It seemed like a routine cycle. In looking at that - I think it was 1) because of his entitlement issues 2) because he was always in search of something better...and by searching for something better it was a project that for him to dive into and research. Partly because it gives him a mission or something to control...I don't know. Hard to explain.

So is probably shouldn't be all that surprising that low and behold right on schedule...year 5 in this house and he decides it's time for something better. Only where do you go when you have financial security, a beautiful home, and wife and kids that love you? Well...you see if starting a new life could be better. A life that is more focused on 'me' rather than 'us'. He is definitely in the research/project phase of the move. He has a fully furnished rental house for year. Looking at real estate and planning to buy a house when the lease is up. He's busy getting his car registered there and getting a new state license. All the normal relocation stuff. So definitely in the 'project' phase of finding something better. I just wonder how it will be when all the relocation stuff is done and it's time to 'set up a life'. Make friends, date, find happiness... Right now he is a workaholic and drinking a lot to cope. But eventually he is going to have to 'set up life' there or he's going to fail. And since he's a habitual quitter when things get tough...that kind of worries me. Mostly because I care about him but also because he is the father of my children and they deserve a dad that can figure his sh@t out. Guess we'll see.

Anyway... I thought that was really interesting. Especially since the kids and I have recently talked about how it felt like he was always searching for better with all the moves. I will say this is where the midlife crisis comes in. Because a rational and logical person would not think that starting over by yourself, cutting out your family and kids and leaving your life behind sounds like fun or something better.

Anyone's husbands have GIAG syndrome or glimpses of it in their marriages?
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Minor kids...
#17: October 21, 2021, 05:05:33 PM
I have a question regarding minor kids. I get that this is his thing to figure out and I'm giving him space to do that via a divorce (lots of reasons precipitated that). I don't talk to him unless it's about scheduling a visit. I have full custody at his request.

So my question is...do I send him photos and videos of the kids OR no? Like we went to the pumpkin patch...or halloween is coming up or she's in a volleyball tournament this weekend.

Not sure...like I want to because these were annual things that he took part in, but also I don't want him to feel anymore shame or regret.

thoughts?
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« Last Edit: October 21, 2021, 06:19:04 PM by Thunder »

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Minor kids...
#18: October 21, 2021, 05:53:41 PM
Yes, send him photos and /or videos of the kids.
He should feel shame and regret when it's self-created. You sending pictures doesn't mean you're creating the shame and regret. Yes, it can be overwhelming, but it's of his doing. Don't shelter him from his self-created shame.
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Minor kids...
#19: October 22, 2021, 03:09:47 AM
I still send xW pictures of things that the kids and I are doing (I take the pics so am not in them) and I am nearly ABD + 5 years and have moved forward with my life. I do it to show that the kids are not simply sitting behind their screens (computer or phone) when they are with me as she has often hinted at, that they are taken care of just as well, if not better with me than when they are sitting at her house watching TV or playing on their PCs....

Maybe it is the wrong thing to do - some might consider it passive-aggressive - but for me it is a way to keep xW informed about what is happening with the kids when they are with me. What she feels as a result is outside my realm of control.... Not my circus, not my monkeys...
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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
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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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Minor kids...
#20: October 24, 2021, 03:22:26 AM
I would be mostly focused on how it makes ‘you’ feel.

Whether he is guilty or not how do YOU feel sending these pics and having him (or her, UM) in your headspace?

I would always consider his reply to this and how it effects you.

 If he doesn’t reply how will you feel, if he replies with a thumbs up emoji how will you feel, if he replies with ‘thanks so much’ or ‘ok’ or ‘I miss them’ or something angry or something about him with OW how will you feel? Will he be in your head? Will you think about his response/lack of response for days? Is it having best of both worlds - being with OW and not missing out on what his children are doing? Will he really feel shame at this stage? Is he not still thinking he has made a good decision and this proves it as the children are still happy?

Interested to read RCR’s reply as I have not been doing that and it makes me feel better not including him. The children aren’t doing fun things to prove to him they are ok they are doing it as I am giving them a good life and I don’t need to prove that to him or keep him in the loop about it. (I can see that it is different for a father LBS.)

I do remember feeling like that Kelly and yes he is missing out big time but that’s his choice, for now.

We are all in different situations but I’d focus on how you feel now. You can’t ‘nice’ him back.

I am off to think through following RCR’s advice now so thanks for posting!
Rose 🌹
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BD1 - 2016
BD2 - 2017
BD3 - Sept 2019
MOW Mar 2016-Jan 2018
OW2 - Feb 2019, age 30
H left home Oct 2017 to stay with his parents
Bought a family Puppy mid 2018 - referred to as ‘P’

Link to advice by my mentor, Phoenix, on what to tell the children about H leaving - reply #33 (it had a glitch)
https://mlcforum.theherosspouse.com/index.php?topic=9313.30

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Day to day life of MLC-er
#21: October 24, 2021, 05:16:19 PM
I am curious of the day to day life of an MLC-er. For my H, he works 7:30-5 M-F. He is a co-owner of a family owned business and seems to be keeping his crap in order at work. A little work obsessed right now and then drinking a lot when he gets home. Lives away from us so not entirely sure of what he does on weekends and weeknights, but when he does talk to his kids he's usually at home cooking dinner or working on his laptop.

So my question is- do most MLC-ers keep it together enough to function fairly normally?
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Re: Day to day life of MLC-er
#22: October 24, 2021, 05:23:00 PM
This was definitely my experience. No one, outside of me and perhaps my 7 year old D at the time, would have known there was anything going on.  She kept a workplace affair a secret and worked her way up the ladder there. She also took care of the death of her mother and never seemed to blink an eye. I think they are extremely adept at compartmentalizing, as it is typically a skill they learned early in life. I, on the other hand, could barely keep it together!
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M=51
W=47
D=8
BD Feb 17 Thinking of divorce
Atomic BD June 17 Spying revealed OM at work
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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Re: MLC husband's real issues
#23: October 24, 2021, 06:00:18 PM
All threads merged - try to stick to one thread until 150 post - thank you for your cooperation.
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« Last Edit: October 26, 2021, 07:08:48 AM by OldPilot »

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MLC husband's real issues
#24: October 25, 2021, 08:54:16 PM
Attaching!

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Re: MLC husband's real issues
#25: October 26, 2021, 12:54:27 AM
I am curious of the day to day life of an MLC-er. For my H, he works 7:30-5 M-F. He is a co-owner of a family owned business and seems to be keeping his crap in order at work. A little work obsessed right now and then drinking a lot when he gets home. Lives away from us so not entirely sure of what he does on weekends and weeknights, but when he does talk to his kids he's usually at home cooking dinner or working on his laptop.

So my question is- do most MLC-ers keep it together enough to function fairly normally?

I think it depends on the person. My MLCer became a bit of a workaholic too and a few months after he left the house, he moved abroad and managed the whole move/paperwork on his own (I would've done all that kind of stuff when we were married) and has kept the same job for the last 3 years so he seems to be keeping it together...

There are other aspects of his life that are way off.. Or at least for me and other people who know him. Very radical changes in his life that if anyone told me 5 years ago this would happen, I would have laughed out loud and tell that person that he/she was totally crazy.. And yet, here we are. It's not so much the day to day, I haven't seen him since he moved abroad and have no idea what he does but it's around a number of actions over the past few years that have turned him into a person I don't recognize.

I think the best is to leave your H to it. He will do what he will do, there's not way to save him or protect him from himself. You really sound like you are in a great place so keep focusing on you and your kids.
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H - 44 (40 @BD1)
M - 44 (40 @BD1)
Together 15 years, M 8 @separation
No kids
BD1 - 26th Aug 2017 (Not happy, life has no purpose)
BD2 - 22nd March 2018 (Marriage is over, we want different things, confessed EA with someone 12,000 kms away although "she means nothing")
H moved in with parents 11th May 2018 (I asked him to leave as couldn't handle the EA rubbed all over my face)
H moved abroad 29th Dec 2018, not sure if OW will join him or if they are still in contact.
Confirmation H and OW are together, presume PA  - 3rd June 2019
H gets engaged with OW (we are not divorced) - Oct 2019
H "finally" asks for divorce - Aug 2020
H marries OW - March 2021.. We are not divorced!!!

"One of the happiest moments in life is when you find the courage to let go of what you can’t change

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MLC husband's real issues
#26: November 03, 2021, 08:34:22 AM
So here we are 11 months out from BD1 and 5 months from BD2. H is still living a state away in a rental. I filed for divorce but am still standing.

We had a decent talk last night. Lots of "I'm a loser. I really f-ed up. Maybe I'll just die." etc. I didn't blame or placate just listened. I really realized what a crappy place he is in. And although I have already detached...I'm really starting to feel confidant in my decision to let him be. I am at peace knowing this is his issue to work out. I could sense his insecurities and one thing that really hit me - was he said "I truly want to feel appreciated some day. I'm going to work on that and do good things before I die." I know he's talking about work and finding his worth and value in the company. It's just so heartbreaking to hear him or anyone for that matter...feel like they aren't worth anything of value.

Anyway- just thought I would post and confirm what most of us already know. And that is the fact that MLCers are really broken. I hope my H can find what he is looking for.
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MLC husband's real issues
#27: November 03, 2021, 08:52:39 AM
I just spent the last year having those talks and it got me nowhere. XH just moved in with someone he is living in fantasy world with. While I carried his emotional baggage. Worried for his safety. His peace of mind. Worry about your piece of mind. Easier said than done and all those on here that advise me are probably thinking……helllooooooo. That’s what we said!!!!

It takes a lot to walk away from someone you love, but they aren’t the one you love right now. If it is meant to be. If they find themselves and you are still open to a R then maybe then. I try to remember that I could never have walked away from XH or my family. I can’t live with or have a R with someone that doesn’t value me as much as I value him. It’s so very hard to let go. So HARD
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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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MLC husband's real issues
#28: November 03, 2021, 09:30:35 AM
Torn up- I completely agree. I know i will never understand why he did what he did. But I will always care for him. It makes it easier to know he's not just being an A$& and that he really is having issues. Doesn't take all the pain away but makes it a tiny bit bearable. AND the mean part of me is like...yay...your life sucks too! Welcome to the party jerk.

Anyway...I'm in full on growth mode. Focusing on my kids and myself and doing what's best for us while their dad figures his stuff out. It does get easier with each passing day. Faith and strength are all I have right now...so onward we go.
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MLC husband's real issues
#29: November 03, 2021, 10:24:29 AM
Just to chime in on this… my W moved back in, said she didn’t want to be separated, continues to say that our marriage is her priority. And still, every once in a while (and a bit more in recent days), I get this apology: “I’m sorry I’m such a mess.” There’s a lot of self-pity and wallowing, but ultimately, they have to own up  to the mess. It’s not who they are inherently, it’s what they choose to do. And if they want to not be “a mess,” they can choose to act in responsible and caring ways. In some ways, it tugs at your heart because this is someone you love who is clearly struggling. But it’s also frustrating because the solution is  in their hands, and they are too scared or weak or ashamed to actually take action.
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MLC husband's real issues
#30: November 03, 2021, 12:32:53 PM
It's crazy how some days you can be ok with detaching. Let them be them and figure their crap out. Then for the tiniest moment...worry, love, anger and hate creep in and you feel yourself losing it all over again.

ughhh.... day by day. Really wish we could just fast forward through the holidays...feel like it's going to be a rough one.
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Re: MLC husband's real issues
#31: November 03, 2021, 03:02:06 PM
Kelly the holidays can be very rough, especially the first ones, and I'm sorry.  All we can do is get through them, they do get easier.

But maybe the best thing to do is do something different for these holidays.  Make different traditions.  Change it up from what you and your family used to do.

Feed the homeless dinners, change how you do gift giving, maybe change were you always go, what you always do.  Maybe your family will have ideas.  It does help.

What ever of is Kelly, make something new that you H was not part and it will help you miss him less being 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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#32: November 14, 2021, 05:29:21 PM
I'm at a loss for the kids. I'm good with detaching and figuring out my feelings. But what he's doing to the kids is so unacceptable. He texts them once every few weeks. No phone calls or facetime. He moved a state away for work. During his last visit (over a month ago) his visit lasted a whole three hours. I'm just at a loss. Not really expecting advice...just venting and feeling sad for them. Especially our 10 year old who was especially close to her dad. It's been so rough on her.

Ughhhhhh. I hate this
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#33: November 15, 2021, 02:02:20 AM
This is just SO "MLC for Dummies - how to follow the script" with regards to the kids... Male Mid-Lifers seem especially prone to this as they seem to view everything associated with their "former" life as "the cause of their problems" so they just walk away... kids, spouse, work, everything....

Then, when they build this happy new life that they want and find out - Oh shock! - NOTHING HAS CHANGED and they are STILL just as miserable as they were before - the guilt sets in and they withdraw even further OR they finally begin to extract their head from their .... fog.... and may try to reconnect... but, the fact of the matter is, no matter how fast or how far they run away, there they are...

It is sad for the kids....
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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
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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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#34: November 22, 2021, 10:31:52 AM
You would think with my H a state away that I could detach more easily. I know that this person is not my H, not the one I married. But damn his actions hurt to the core. Just so much nonsense and craziness...no way of understanding which is usually the first part of processing. I just need to get away from him. And stay away from him until he figures things out.

He hasn't mentioned wanting to do anything with the girls for thanksgiving. Which really hurts the kids. Especially when his narrative is that we are divorcing and loves his kids oh so much. Yet he doesn't talk to them , text them or call them. Maybe a quick generic text every two or three weeks. Rarely visits and is really just an ass. Ughhhh. Last night our youngest was like "It's like dad has no emotions. He's not happy. He's not sad. He's just nothing." Which says a lot when a ten year old can see that. Speaking of our youngest D- she recently had to write an opinion essay for her class and it was titled "Not every Adult Should Be a Parent". OOOF! All the kids and myself are in therapy. But still- just makes me so angry that his actions  are hurting the kids. And he's just so lost in his foggy tunnel that he can't see it or doesn't want to see.

Anyway, just a rough week.
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#35: November 23, 2021, 02:15:57 AM
Nothing to add/advise.... Just

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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
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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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MLC husband's real issues
#36: November 23, 2021, 04:26:07 AM
My XH is a state away also and is touch and go.
Texting with kids here and there. In total escape, but no happier.
This song really resonates with me when I am at a loss. We cant fix them!
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=eHbNU9WuVgw
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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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#37: November 23, 2021, 01:01:42 PM
Just as I thought. H isn't going to make it back to see the girls for Thanksgiving and I'm to blame in his twisted narrative. Thank goodness the girls see right through it. Can't even imagine what the next few years is going to be like if this is the amount of effort he's going to exert. So sad.
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#38: November 23, 2021, 01:07:25 PM
I’m sorry, Kelly. It’s so hard to understand their choices, but it shows where his head is at that he can’t seem to make the effort to see his kids. I hope you and your girls have a nice holiday planned for yourselves. ((Hugs))
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#39: November 23, 2021, 07:03:23 PM
Thanks Nas

He texted me today saying the reason he didn't schedule anything with the girls is because I told him to stop talking to me, that I was too busy. I am busy, but he's referring to two weeks ago when he was drunk texting me at midnight and I had an early morning. I told him I had to go- busy day tomorrow. And that turned into 'Stop talking to me." It's really like talking to a child sometimes. Hear what they want to hear. Read what they want to read.

Frustrating.

The girls and I are headed back to my hometown to see my family (mom, grandparents, brother etc.) It will be a nice few days. It's always nice to get away for a bit.
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#40: November 23, 2021, 07:31:46 PM
I’m glad to hear you’ve got a nice holiday planned.

And yes, the twisting of our words can be crazy making if we give it too much energy. He’s trying to justify his actions by making you yo blame - you know the truth. Scheduling time with his girls has nothing to do with what you said or didn’t say to him… That is just a desperate reach on his part to justify his behavior.
Alcohol adds a layer of madness too - I hope the drunk texts don’t become a regular thing. Remember the rule of 3 (wait 3 weeks/dats/hours before replying to any messages that don’t require an immediate response) when replying to him for that very reason that he will use your own words to justify himself and gaslight you. Exactly 5 years ago, my former H had already been living 1000 miles away with his “new family” and his whole new life for 6 months when I moved to a new state to start a new life for myself, and he actually drunk messaged me repeatedly, and I responded every time, which gave him ample opportunity to twist all my responses. He was desperately grasping at straws - and even said my moving (to a less expensive area to get back in my feet) proved I “never loved him.” 🙄
They either project like crazy or just plain don’t make sense.
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« Last Edit: November 23, 2021, 07:34:16 PM by Nas »

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#41: November 23, 2021, 07:49:45 PM
Yep- I'm done with the texting games and had done really well until that night. Moment of weakness I suppose.

It's not hard to detach when he acts like this. Just frustrating and sad.
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#42: November 24, 2021, 12:46:15 AM
He texted me today saying the reason he didn't schedule anything with the girls is because I told him to stop talking to me, that I was too busy. I am busy, but he's referring to two weeks ago when he was drunk texting me at midnight and I had an early morning. I told him I had to go- busy day tomorrow. And that turned into 'Stop talking to me." It's really like talking to a child sometimes. Hear what they want to hear. Read what they want to read.



"I am sorry that you feel that way. We both know that is not what I said."
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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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#43: November 24, 2021, 01:02:59 AM
Quote
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.
From your first post.....
Bc that is exactly what he is doing, isn’t it? We say here not to believe much they say.....bc so much of it is lies, projection and just nonsense tbh.....like his recent text about it all being your fault  ::). But there are times in the midst of the crazy BS when their f’ed up truth gets vomited up  ::) What’s remarkable of course to a sane adult is how they whine about the inevitable and predictable consequences of their own choices.......
Nothing to do with you. Nothing to do with your kids. All him. And his inability or unwillingness to see that if you choose X you also choose X consequences....if you don’t much like them, choose differently, right? Nobody else’s job to tidy that up for you but you.

A little helpful reminder for your sanity, just in case you need it  :)
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#44: November 24, 2021, 03:54:48 AM
Ahhh, the old that’s not what I said. That’s not what I meant m. We have all heard it. Some how they can always turn it on us, can’t they?  Cant make sense of nonsense !
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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: November 24, 2021, 05:29:46 AM
He texted me today saying the reason he didn't schedule anything with the girls is because I told him to stop talking to me, that I was too busy. I am busy, but he's referring to two weeks ago when he was drunk texting me at midnight and I had an early morning. I told him I had to go- busy day tomorrow. And that turned into 'Stop talking to me." It's really like talking to a child sometimes. Hear what they want to hear. Read what they want to read.



"I am sorry that you feel that way. We both know that is not what I said."

This.

Although, from experience, when they’re drunk it doesn’t really matter. It’s almost like they remember the conversation a certain way and there’s nothing you can say to change their mind. Even with text exchanges, mine would delete written correspondence and insist what he “remembered” was the only truth. That’s why before he vanished  I kept all conversation to email and text that I could save, and didn’t engage or respond when he was drunk.

Good for you for setting a boundary and not engaging in his texting games.
Hang in there.
xx
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#46: November 24, 2021, 07:57:22 AM
What I don't get - is why doesn't anyone else see how crazy he's being? Or do they see bits and just aren't questioning it. Like the girls and I are completely floored by his words and actions. And  I get that he can sway the narrative anyway he wants with other people. But just his actions alone are hard to understand.

He left his family. With only a suitcase. Didn't take anything and doesn't want anything including us or the dogs. Moved to CO and doesn't visit or talk to his kids. Wants to start over.

If anything it's freaking childish and immature. Who just walks away from 23 years without wrapping things up. There is a way to dissolve a marriage and get everything in order. Running away wasn't it. That in itself is crazy and not like him.

I reached out to his old high school buddy that he still talks to on occasion and just asked him to look out for him since we were no longer in the picture. And he said that he seems fine. Seriously? So weird. Anyway...just another question to add to the many I suppose.

I never would have imagined all this craziness in a million years.
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#47: November 24, 2021, 08:31:52 AM
Quote
I never would have imagined all this craziness in a million years.

Well, you’re preaching to the choir here lol bc we have seen it and lived through it.  :) and that changes ones lens overall I think. I find it much easier to accept the reality of crazy WTF than I used to  :) And avoid it like the plaque tbh  :)

I suspect in RL others (most) make assumptions that someone did the necessary normal adulting behind the scenes unseen by them like a more normal end to a marriage or they (some) buy whatever superficial story the MLCer is selling eg grew apart/twu lurve left me no choice/deserve to be happy/horrible spouse  ::) Takes a while for the crazy to ripple out perhaps? And they often discard old folks for new shiny ones who don’t have a prior benchmark, I suppose, or who have very low standards or equally disordered ideas on normal....

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#48: November 24, 2021, 08:54:08 AM
Quote
And he said that he seems fine. Seriously? So weird. Anyway...just another question to add to the many I suppose.
oh, it takes a while, but it starts being noticeable. My own kids said he seemed fine. If he keeps going down this road it is harder to keep the make on. It takes a while, but I get messages from old friends and co-workers that ask what is up with him now.
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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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#49: November 24, 2021, 10:56:22 AM
Quote
And he said that he seems fine. Seriously? So weird. Anyway...just another question to add to the many I suppose.
oh, it takes a while, but it starts being noticeable.

Or it may not. There's a few things to consider. One, people see what they focus on even if it isn't there or isn't what they think they see. What appears obviously "off" to the LBS may seem perfectly normal to others.
And two, people are just not invested in the relationships of others (For good reason, it's no one's business really and non-codependent people with good boundaries know this). If you think about the couples you know who have broken up, it's more than likely been a mere blip on your radar. You might feel bad for one or both parties, you might lend an ear or support them, but it's not something you spend any amount of time thinking about or taking steps to try to "fix."

Social media especially would have us all thinking everyone cares about our relationship, what with all the likes and superficial "Aww, you guys are so cute" type comments when someone posts a photo. But in reality, it would be weird if others were that invested in or involved with our relationship. I love my friends very much, but when/if their relationships end, I don't feel any obligation or desire to try to intervene. I support them, and everyone knows I wouldn't cheerlead for anyone having an affair, but I also wouldn't take steps to stop an autonomous adult from doing anything.  There's just SO much that goes on between two people who are intimately involved that no one outside the two partners can know. It would be honestly overstepping for a person to actively intervene in the breakup of a couple when we can't know what has, is and will be shared between just them.

By the same token, look at the flipside: we wouldn't want anyone interfering in a new relationship we're just starting - trying to either obstruct it or push it forward - or trying to force us to be with someone we don't want to be with. It's the same thing when a relationship is ending, no one should be actively participating in any part of it. Recently my former trainer gave my phone number to a friend of his without asking me if he could. This guy called me out of the blue and then started texting me, even after I very politely declined a date. Then my former trainer, knowing I'd already turned the guy down, sent a text to both of us inviting us to go out with him and his wife. I contacted him separately and made it clear he better start respecting my boundaries. It was honestly obnoxious and weird. Anyone that invested in someone else's life or relationship status is suspect, imo. And this is not at all the first time I've been in this situation in the past years, though this one was an extreme overstep.
Now, if this guy had intervened this hard when my former H was leaving, I might've at first, in my broken despair, been okay with it, but looking at it with clear eyes, it would've been equally intrusive and weird.

It's so hard early on to feel like we're seeing a level of crazy that we could never imagine and yet no one else seems to see it. It almost makes us feel crazy - in fact, I know it did for me. The truth is others probably do see it, but it's not affecting their lives and they don't feel it's their place to investigate what's happening and/or step in. And that's actually a good thing, because, again, in "normal times" we don't want to be surrounded by people who interfere in our personal lives. Also, any outside interference in the case of MLC will likely drive the MLCer even further away, so it's a blessing in disguise that others don't get involved.
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« Last Edit: November 24, 2021, 10:57:33 AM by Nas »

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#50: November 24, 2021, 01:52:12 PM
My XH can look normal to others for long periods of time. He knows how to put on the mask, and most people have no idea how he ended the relationship. Also, that's what being "the bigger person" often does for you. No one knows unless they happened to be there during an episode of "YOU have caused me to be an unreliable, lying, gas lighting, stealing, cheating abandoning person, I have no fault in this at all". So if no one knows what happened, and the MLCer acts vanilla normal around the rest of the world, everyone thinks they are "just fine".

And maybe they are. Maybe they will be "just fine" as long as they don't have anyone around them who knows who they really are and/or what they have done to get where they are. There are a lot of disordered people out there who only take on Flying Monkeys as acolytes. That is where "detachment" comes in. Where you can look at what they are doing or saying, know that it just really is about them and not you, and think "Huh. How about that." Not get upset that they are doing crazy things, not care that no one else notices or cares, just working your way down your own path and giving yourself distance from the crazy train so you don't get run over.

You are being the strong and sane one for your girls. Take care and hope your Thanksgiving goes well.
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#51: November 24, 2021, 05:56:12 PM
I know with my W that she compartmentalizes her life and tries to hide some of the dysfunction from others.   I empathize with you as this will be the first year that my family will apart over the holidays.   Hang in there and I hope you and your kids enjoy your trip to visit your family.

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#52: November 26, 2021, 12:39:17 PM
We had a wonderful Thanksgiving with my family. Loved spending time with them, especially my grandparents. Something special about going 'home'.

Husband didn't text the girls until they texted him just before bed. Guessing it was a 'I'm not going to text them- they can text me' type of thing - which he has been doing a lot of lately. Anyway, we all just shook our heads at his replies. They were so impersonal and weird. To my D18 he texted

Happy Thanksgiving
Hope you had fun
I had steak and crab
love
dad

exactly like that. Like who texts that way!? And it sounded like my ten year old was typing it. Just crazy. Anyway, happy to be home today and watching football with the girls and decorating for Christmas.
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#53: November 27, 2021, 07:14:24 AM
Talked to H lastnight via text. Had some financial questions which led to the kids which led to us. Something he said stuck with me all night. He said I've been exhausted for a few years. And since July (when he moved out) even more so...Every day is a struggle and it takes so much effort to just get up each day.

My heart breaks for him. But I know I can't fix him. I told him I'd always be here and that he doesn't have to do this alone.

But I just thought how true it is the MLCers are broken. And even though at times it just seems like a nice excuse to behave like an as$...they really do have issues and are hurting.
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#54: November 27, 2021, 11:22:56 AM
My heart breaks for him. But I know I can't fix him. I told him I'd always be here and that he doesn't have to do this alone.

But I just thought how true it is the MLCers are broken. And even though at times it just seems like a nice excuse to behave like an as$...they really do have issues and are hurting.

I think this is an important insight sometimes, and something I definitely try to keep in mind when I can. But never at my expense and never without holding them fully responsible for their actions and decisions...

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#55: November 27, 2021, 05:34:36 PM
Marvin4242

Definitely not excusing his behavior! Just gives me a little more insight to how he is feeling. It kind of just makes the whole situation even more sad. hard to explain.
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#56: December 02, 2021, 08:52:05 PM
journaling

I'm only 6 months out from BD and although I've come a long ways (I'm not completely confused anymore...I know it's a MLC, it's not me or our marriage or our kids, these are his issues, his problems to figure out. I understand more in the sense that I'm not completely blindsided. I know this is not the person I married. I'm not sure who he is. I'm not sure he knows who he is.) I still feel overwhelmed. More so for my kids than for me.

I can honestly say I don't know this person. The person I married and loved would not do this, say these things or inflict so much pain. So I'm grieving the loss of my husband. My person and my friend. In a lot of ways it feels like he died. It's a very strange dynamic. Because as I'm grieving, I'm also pissed as hell that he would intentionally hurt our girls, so nonchalantly and without reservation. From my perspective- he just walked away. Told them he doesn't want to be a dad anymore. Moved away. But it's more like he put them on a shelf. And every few weeks he reaches out via text to play 'dad' with them. It's the weakest and smallest effort above NO effort. His texts are lame and short and superficial. And it's infuriating because he told them he doesn't want to be a dad- so just don't then. Leave them alone. Quit reaching out. It's confusing and irritating to me so I can't even imagine what it's like for the kids. My older three girls are just done. And it's palpable - he would have to be deaf or stupid not to sense it when he talks to them. ughhhh.

My therapist suggested no contact. Not to force anything or for his benefit. But for me. I can't continue to care and give and worry and wonder. I was doing great with detaching as a wife. But not as a mother for my girls. Especially for our youngest. I was trying to coordinate and facilitate the holidays and really its just to the point where he's going to be a disappointment either way. He can't function as a father right now- not even in the smallest ways so why push it. My girls are better off with him just being gone- out of the picture. Sending random stupid texts every few weeks. Because eventually they are just going to quit responding. They are adults. They have no obligation to him. So as of yesterday- I'm done. Christmas can come and go with or without him. And the girls and I are ok with that. I thought that Thanksgiving would be hard- the first holiday without him. But honestly it was fine. We had a great time. And the loser that he is- was sitting at home by himself. I'm sure he was 'numbing' all day.

I think the thing that gave me this final push into NC was he texted complaining about how lonely he is, how hard his life is, money stuff etc. And I was thinking to myself- what a jerk. Your life is crappy, 100%. So bad you wish you would die some days (all his words). And even still- you would prefer that life over a life with me and the kids. WTH!? Even in my darkest days following BD- I never wanted to die. Let alone feel that way on multiple occasions. So screw you, dude. My worth is more than that. I deserve more than that. I want better than that. And not just for me but for my girls. I want someone who chooses us, who values us, who lives to be with us.

That realization coupled with my therapist's advice was really what I needed this week. I am a caring person by nature. I want to help and fix and please and just make things better for everyone and everything. Small things. Big things. Help in anyway I'm able. Not just with my husband, but with friends, family, community, clubs, strangers etc. So not being able to fix or help him was really hard for me to accept. But I have.

I also went to lunch with a couple of friends today. And they were just blown away by everything that has happened. Like jaws on the table gobsmacked speechless shocked. And honestly somedays I am too. It's all just so unbelievable.

Anyway- just thoughts I have tonight. Proud of myself for making the hard decision to go NC and to stop worrying/wondering. His path, journey, issues- whatever you want to call them. But my friends today reiterated that I'm a good person. I have worth and value. And that it isn't diminished in anyway by my H or his actions. I knew that in my heart but to hear someone tell you that - it's really what you need sometimes. Because the amount of damage to the LBS's self esteem is horrifying. I've also realized how much my girls are watching my example. They are so proud of me for my strength, grace and fortitude through all this. Which is crazy because I felt like such a failure and some days struggled to even shower. But in the middle of all this chaos I've sold our homes, gone back to school (finishing my degree and graduating in May), have made career goals and life goals, single parenting, coaching volleyball, got a job, focusing on my well-being and health (have lost 60lbs)...it's been a crazy 6 months. But I'm so much more focused on my kids and myself. And that's huge for me.

 
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#57: December 03, 2021, 12:16:18 PM


I think the thing that gave me this final push into NC was he texted complaining about how lonely he is, how hard his life is, money stuff etc. And I was thinking to myself- what a jerk. Your life is crappy, 100%. So bad you wish you would die some days (all his words). And even still- you would prefer that life over a life with me and the kids. WTH!? Even in my darkest days following BD- I never wanted to die. Let alone feel that way on multiple occasions. So screw you, dude. My worth is more than that. I deserve more than that. I want better than that. And not just for me but for my girls. I want someone who chooses us, who values us, who lives to be with us.

 

I think sometimes the two opposing statements I bolded above are the hardest thing to wrap your head around when trying to get your footing.
Yes, a person who is truly severely depressed will come across as though they don't care. It's not personal - anhedonia is not personal. I don't know your husband or if he's truly depressed, but if he is, he's not choosing being miserable over being with his family. The depression takes over completely. He's not "not choosing" you guys. He's just not choosing anything, period, if that makes sense.

BUT, what's also true is you deserve to a life where you are not tied to the choices and behaviors and needs of another. He may be depressed and need help and if so, I truly hope he chooses to get that help. But in the meantime, since you have no control over whether he chooses to do so or not, all you can do is choose to live your life forward, practice self-care and continue to make good memories for yourself and your kids. Which is what you seem to be doing. 
You sound like you're making good, practical choices, and this early on, you really do seem very admirably logical and clear headed.
xx
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#58: December 04, 2021, 07:31:52 PM
A couple of things to note...

My H called one of our oldest D last night and was going on about how I should take all the girls to Rose Bowl to cheer on Utah. We live in NE. So she was confused. But he insisted saying I loved Utah and go Utes. She called and was like What? since we don't really watch any team but the Huskers. I mean we have football on and always root for the underdog because who doesn't love an upset. But weird. Then he texted me a link to buy tickets to the game and said Go Utes!  The only thing I could think of was 1) he's obviously been drinking and 2) I received a full ride to Utah when we were in high school, but I got pregnant with the twins and decided to decline the scholarship and stay closer to home so the parents could help with the babies. Have never looked back or regretted that decision. Not even sure if all the girls know that story. So I wonder...has he really regressed back to 18? Is he thinking I'm loyal to Utah? So weird.

And then this morning he texted me "I think I forgot my brother's birthday. It's tomorrow right? Or is it today?" Ummmm- his brother's birthday is 11/5. He's never forgot it. I didn't answer and he texted  "I don't know where my head is and why I can't remember this." So weird.

I was also thinking about past regression. And if he did regress back to late teens/early 20s...that's strange since we were together. We've together since we were 15 and 16. But on the other hand it does make sense. Maybe he's living out the bachelor dreams he never got to live because we had kids so young. He was ahead of me in school two years. He did go to school in Colorado but only lasted a semester before he failed out and came home. He couldn't cut it on his own. Didn't like it. Maybe now's he's trying again and trying to make it work this time. Not sure.

Anyway...just some thoughts. MLC is definitely a crazy ride.
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#59: December 04, 2021, 11:41:31 PM
It all gets a bit Alice in Wonderland, doesn’t it?
Imho part of our struggle as LBS is almost like training our brain to accept that two opposing things can be true about the MLCer....that they are an unravelled far from normal mess of a human AND that they are still responsible for their own choices and consequences bc that’s how life works. And how we learn although depressed MLCers of course are running hard to avoid having to do that very thing  ::)

Which is why Nas is probably quite right that he isn’t exactly ‘choosing’ to be as he is AND that you and your kids have the right to live a life which is not driven by his state of mind. Someone else’s unravelling really truly has nothing to do with you other than the extent to which you are collateral damage bc they were your spouse. It feels tremendously personal, of course, but it really isn’t. These little show and tells are a good reminder of that, but I wouldn’t waste a moment trying to figure it out. You can’t make sense if non-sense without feeling a bit nuts  :)

I was going to respond earlier about your comments about going NC. Unless you have a vanisher....and they seem to be a minority.....it is difficult to be completely NC if you have minor children or indeed before your financial affairs are completely separated after a divorce. Iirc RCR has some good articles about limiting contact though....being Dark or Dim. Others here talk about being ‘Grey Rock’ and there is a useful website called, I think, Out of the Fog which has some good tips for communicating with disordered folks. You did well to not respond to his texts.....what would you say after all, and it’s no longer your wifely job to remember birthdays is it?....but learning a bit more about different ways of handling contact might help you think about how you want to manage your own boundaries moving forward. Bc your youngest is still quite young and you may end up having to communicate as a parent. And bc his crazy is self-evidently not going to magically disappear just bc he ran off to find his new ‘happy’  :)

It’s a strange experience, that’s for sure  ::)
But as Nas said, you sound like you are doing pretty well in a weird horrid situation, so well done you!
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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.
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#60: December 05, 2021, 07:30:43 AM
I think regression does play some role early on, but I would caution against thinking too much about it.
I'll share this with you: before and around BD, my former husband played a song called "Bent to Fly" over and over and over and over. The lyrics are about a young man leaving home.
He ranted endlessly about how he had wanted to go away to college and his mother made him go to a college within a few hours driving distance of his childhood home. And he vacillated between being over the top angry about that (decades later) and commenting that it turned out to be good because his father died just after he graduated from college and he had all those years closer to home where he saw his dad more. There was a thought process going on there that I couldn't have had any real idea about and still don't.

His affair partner is a woman he went to high school with - not an ex-girlfriend, just someone a grade below him who shared friends in common and he knew all through school.
The day he left me (after being an emotionally abusive live in for way too long) he was humming "Bent to Fly" the entire time he packed his things. He had a brief stint of moving home to his childhood bedroom before quitting his job and moving over 1000 miles away with his affair partner. For several months at first, he lived in a tiny apartment on a college campus, across the street from a fraternity house - it was the college he'd wanted to go to but didn't because his mother didn't want him to. It's the college his girlfriend (OW) did go to.

So in early days I watched him doing a complete rewrite of his life, erasing me, choosing instead someone he knew before me, making the choices he wished he'd made before he met me. It absolutely crushed me in ways I won't describe because I don't want to remember those feelings, honestly. But I'm sharing with you to say I understand, and that no matter what, it's not about you. He was with you back when he was young and he may look like he's trying to take a "do over" but it's not a reflection on you or the life you had with him - it's a purely pathologically self-absorbed tunnel he's in where he can only see himself.  It took a while for me to see that it wasn't about me and his actions weren't at all normal (my therapist at the time said it sounded like a complete breakdown - it's normal for people to have regrets from time to time, but this is something more akin to psychosis).
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#61: December 06, 2021, 01:50:25 AM


He's off in the fog
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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

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