Midlife Crisis: Support for Left Behind Spouses

Archives => Story Threads 2021 => Topic started by: Standing Strong on December 06, 2020, 12:01:10 AM

Title: Aliens stole my W!!!!! Part 10: Rockin' around, the MLC tree have a happy holida
Post by: Standing Strong on December 06, 2020, 12:01:10 AM
#10 already.....

Previous thread: https://mlcforum.theherosspouse.com/index.php?topic=11538.150 (https://mlcforum.theherosspouse.com/index.php?topic=11538.150)

Awwww, and the last discussion was getting really good.  8)

We were getting into our fundamental schools of thought (which is really cool), and shows how different we all really are.
No need for conflict (if anyone was thinking that), the exchange of ideas is GREAT!!

I readily admit I'm a little unorthodox  :P 8) ;) - ok, I bend the rules.... a lot.  ;D

Journaling: I've got to start a new thread, so time for an early journal entry.

I get a call from SIL today...... I love SIL . Magnificent women. I can't give her enough praise (in part for things I've listed in the past having to do with her MLC'er H).
Anyway, she calls me looking for W. Apparently she has been calling and texting her all week with no response. Yup, pretty standard. I ask if she knows where W is..... and the answer is "No" but she instantly guesses where. So W didn't tell her, and didn't tell MIL either (once again). SIL gets heated (not at me) and asks a very direct, very honest question: "Aren't you tired of this already?". Well sure. Of course I am to some extent, but that doesn't matter. Being tired changes nothing, so why be tired? Tired is a choice! LOL!!
One of the things I admire about her is she's a very direct and no-nonsense woman.... which actually proof that MLC enhances an LBS before her H broke down, she was very mellow, sweet and a little shy. Still a very loving person, but now she is strong, assertive, just much better all around. Her sweet and loving nature is undiminished..... still there, just joined with strength now. Her faith completely untouched by what she had to endure....... and it had a purpose. Making her, and giving her the strength to forgive and love.
In many ways, I admire her.

So to be asked "Aren't you tired of this already?" was quite the question. It had a lot of implication in it. W's whole family is afraid (and has been the whole time) that I would walk. That is one of the difficult things about being an LBS isn't it? What other people think. The people you love, and that love you. How even for another LBS to watch, know and understand.... and still wonder "how can you do this?". Well.... it is what it is, and that's all there is to it.

As for me, I'm doing great!! Started walking a lot more again with W out. Diet is tightening after some holiday eating (not too bad), still at the weight I was before (but it hasn't gotten better, LOL). So much work being done, and life is a little easier with all this extra time.
I've decided that if she doesn't come home before Christmas, the tree isn't going up. There is a drive-thru Christmas light display that I will do by myself. If she does come home, we'll put up the tree and do the drive-thru together.

There is one thing that has me a little on edge however, one wrinkle: I've known the end of year is important...... I don't know why, but it is. The year is melting away and almost gone. I know that as people we like things to be solid, that we need assurance and confirmation that everything will be ok. Personally I've found that the whole MLC/LBS experience requires a lot of faith. And without getting too religious (I know some are and some are not), I don't know how anyone could get thru it without faith. For me, without it, I wouldn't have made it this far..... that question from SIL would take on a different dimension: "Why are you standing? How long can you stand?", instead of the answer inside me which is "My place is here, and I have a role to play, this is not an accident".
Which actually brings up a question I would have for other LBS's....... (and yes, it does have to do with faith, and God - not meaning to offend anyone)......
For me, I 100% believe there is a reason that I am where I am. That is has purpose. Do you feel the same way?
I believe that if I abandon my purpose, that whatever plan (I'm not privy to) will not come to pass and that my place is right here. To do my part, until choice is removed. Blameless. Granted that is not a fair position to be in, and the cost is very high. Very high..... but in the scheme of things, life is short and objectives which we are not aware of are always building to something. Do you find yourself in this place?
HA this may sound like one of those "Crazy Covenant Keeper" things, but actually it's very different.
I've talked to other men who have had an MLC wife (who happen to be Christian) and some others who held on for the sake of holding on. In both cases they held on for dear life for whatever reason...... in the end, it all blew up (some taking years and years, just extending the end result). Good men. Men that believed in loyalty, honor, sacrifice, family, promises and vows...... but I notice that all that, all of it, is stubbornness and for the sake of preserving something which doesn't exist (which admittedly is a VERY difficult conundrum to be in when you're a good man).  I don't feel that way at all.... I did (at first), and now I don't (haven't for a long time). What I know now is much deeper: that all are loved and that the end was the plan from the outset. MLC was assured before I married my MLC'er so long ago. So why would I be paired with someone like this? Why is that right? It's simple:: I could take it.... AND it could be used to make me into what I needed to become. It doesn't matter what she does, or what damage is caused..... what matters is what happens in the end. Does this person turn out ok? Or not? We have such short vision, and so concerned with our own wants, dreams and expectations that the real plan, the master plan can't be seen from the weeds and the trees. To go forward requires faith, and faith is not solid, not concrete and not assured..... except in the end it's the only way to be assured, to have something concrete, and something solid to hold on to. At that point, there is nothing that isn't possible and the plan is all that matters - even when we can't see.
Know what I mean?

Oh look at me, rattling off like some weirdo. HAHAHAHAHA.
See? It isn't just the MLC'er which bakes when there aren't distractions.  ;)

One day at a time,

-SS
Title: Aliens stole my W!!!!! Part 10: Rockin' around, the MLC tree have a happy holida
Post by: xyzcf on December 06, 2020, 07:24:59 AM
Quote
that all are loved and that the end was the plan from the outset. MLC was assured before I married my MLC'er so long ago. So why would I be paired with someone like this? Why is that right? It's simple:: I could take it.... AND it could be used to make me into what I needed to become. It doesn't matter what she does, or what damage is caused

I get this...even though I struggle and question God,” could there not have been an easier way to obtain whatever the end result will be?”

He smiles at me, He wraps his arms around me, He sends people into my life at the exact right time to support me and He asks me to trust Him.

So simple, yet so hard. Trust Him. 

I may never know what purpose this has and as humans, we want to know why. We shy away from pain, and this is so deeply painful.

We have been betrayed, rejected, abandoned and our spouse has turned their backs on Him. We “ get” a small sample of what Our Lord went through. He goes after the lost sheep. I need not worry.

It is hard to put this into words. God asked me to do this. I can argue and beg to have this “ thorn removed” but this isn’t just about me. And God makes sure that I am strong enough to handle it.

There is plan, God’s plan which I can get pretty angry about ( and not just because of MLC but all the other injustices and illnesses and terrible things that happen in the world ).....I know this to be true. God created  everything. Because I believe this, because I cannot deny this, because it is something that is embedded in my soul...this is what I am meant to do.

Thank you for expressing it so well.
Title: Aliens stole my W!!!!! Part 10: Rockin' around, the MLC tree have a happy holida
Post by: Curiosity on December 06, 2020, 09:00:39 AM
This is a really interesting topic. I was raised Catholic and my family still is, though I always questioned the presence of a God and doubted the structure and rules of organized religion. I would classify myself as an atheist, I guess... though I struggle with that because I want to believe there’s some sort of higher power or purpose, something larger than us. But I just... I don’t. I mean, I believe in doing good works because that’s the covenant we make with each other by coexisting on this planet or in our country or city or building together. I believe in the awesomeness of nature and the universe.

So why do I stand? It’s because my promise to my W was a lifetime commitment to be in this life together. And I keep my promises when it is at all possible for me to do so. I don’t know what that means in the setting of her moving on with someone else because she hasn’t. But I know that for me, and in this situation of a spouse who is psychologically fractured in some ways, my promise to her is what keeps me going on this path.
Title: Aliens stole my W!!!!! Part 10: Rockin' around, the MLC tree have a happy holida
Post by: tadsa29 on December 06, 2020, 09:33:31 AM
I'm the same as you Curiosity - raised a Catholic but have no faith myself now.

I am actually a little envious of those who have posted who really do have strong faith because they seem to draw enormous comfort from their beliefs. 

My standing has everything to do with my believing in my marriage, believing in my H and feeling 100% certain that he would never have hurt me in this way if he wasn't extremely damaged in some way.  I came away from another forum site as I was being bashed for my views - I had pointed out that H and I only married 3 years ago despite being together for 23 years prior to that and the view was that we obviously weren't commited in the same way as couples who said "I do" in their early days.  Because of our lack of faith, we just hadn't deemed marriage as important to us - there was certainly no denying our commitment to one another.  We actually decided to get married after my H's major surgery - we wanted to show the world that it didn't make a difference to us whether he had a "bag for life" or not.  I do hope that I don't find similar views here as I don't want to alienate myself in any way!
Title: Aliens stole my W!!!!! Part 10: Rockin' around, the MLC tree have a happy holida
Post by: Curiosity on December 06, 2020, 10:22:06 AM
Tadsa, one of the best things about this community is that, no matter our histories or our own beliefs, we share a deep understanding of each other that makes for common ground despite our differences.

I share the envy you have for people of deep faith. I have seen people use their religion as a weapon against people who are different in some way, but more often and especially within my family, I see people who draw great comfort from their faith, and whose faith guides them to truly care for and offer service to others. And it is a beautiful thing.

My W and I, as a same-sex couple, didn’t have the option of marriage so we had been together for about a dozen years before getting married. In some ways, it strengthens my belief that the crisis version of her isn’t the person I knew... which is not to say she will ever be that person again, having fractured in this way. But it reminds me that we have chosen each other many times over our lives and she was an active participant in that choice. And that gives me strength to carry on and to see who we both are on the other side of this terrible journey.

Hope this wasn’t too much of a hijack, SS... it was intended to further get into why a person without a deep faith might continue to stand. I really appreciate the discussion.
Title: Aliens stole my W!!!!! Part 10: Rockin' around, the MLC tree have a happy holida
Post by: Standing Strong on December 06, 2020, 10:35:50 AM
Oooooh, how interesting Curiosity and tadsa29,

Thank you for sharing!! I have a question for the two of you that I have wondered and have no answer for (and it's a little off-topic if you don't mind) and it has to do with Catholicism.
I was raised in the Church (Pentecostal) but other than my immediate family, all family located close to us was/is Catholic.

Something that I noticed as I grew up, and especially now is my relatives that are similar age to me (and their children - all of which are also Catholic), they aren't practicing Catholic. I really noticed this when I was a teen but I didn't think too much of it because youth and all that. I assumed (incorrectly) that as they matured they'd turn more into the older parts of the family and be deeply religious. Didn't happen. I think they modestly keep an awareness about it for the sake of the older parts of our family, but when they pass away (as they inevitably will) then I will be essentially the sole holdout. This is very sad to me, and a little distressing to some extent because I deeply care about them.
In the case of my 1st cousin, in her youth, she was insanely beautiful........ which itself brings it's own set of problems. I know she has been thru a lot, there's a lot of damage and trauma there...... what that is, I don't know, I can only guess, but it's not pretty. What I do know (with what brief talks we've had on personal history) is that this had a profoundly negative effect on her views of religion and faith. Since where I live is predominately Catholic, I know a lot of Catholics (LOL), and I know a LOT of "Catholics" in name only (if you know what I mean). Not to judge, that's not my place, and knowing the reasons for why a person chooses what they do is knowledge I will never posses. Everyone is at their core is still just a person.
So I wonder as I think about my contemporaries in my family (my age and younger), is their distant attachment and knowledge just a byproduct of the time we live in? Or it is something else? What I hear over and over again is the opposition to organized religion, and I can't say I blame them. It also is a big factor in the perceptions of current and ex-MLC'ers that I've talked to. Me personally, I'm indifferent about organized religion. Community, teaching and fellowship is important, but for me the identification of a specific church or something like that is not. I don't worship to be in a fraternity, secret organization with a secret handshake or anything like that. What has consumed me over the course of my whole life is knowing God personally. The two people who hold the most fascination for me are Enoch and Elijah.... two "regular" men who knew God well enough that they were taken by him. That tells me that it is possible to know God well enough to be placed with him, but how? These two did not have a church to attend (or at least what we think of as a church..... right?). I think that goal was the ideal of what organized religion was about: getting there...... to that point.... knowing God. If it was possible them, it is possible now, and THAT is exciting!! Know what I mean?
So I guess my question is (and I'm really asking for understanding): In your case, brought up Catholic, and then fading away...... was the reason for that your experience in association with the Church? Or something else?  I know a lot of people who hold God responsible or some event, and have a gulf in their life where they don't allow themselves to be open to him anymore..... and yet when I talk to them, ask questions..... it becomes very obvious, the yearning, the back of the mind knowledge that they (usually) want to find their way back, but either don't know how or are so hurt/angry/prideful/shame that they don't believe it is possible. Does that make any sense?
Well, just curious..... I've seen it a lot, and it's not something I understand. If that's too personal, I understand.  :)

-SS         
Title: Aliens stole my W!!!!! Part 10: Rockin' around, the MLC tree have a happy holida
Post by: tadsa29 on December 06, 2020, 10:56:20 AM
Not too personal SS!  It can be a really difficult subject to navigate though because I am deeply aware of other people's beliefs and have no wish to try to change anybody's mind or cause offence.

Nothing major happened in my background to stop me believing.  And whilst I don't believe in organised religion this is not my reasoning either.  I started to question the existence of God when I was about 13 I suppose.  Up until that point, I had blindly believed what I was told, undertook my first confession and my confirmation as that was what was "done".  Part of my questioning came from seeing others who were Catholic / Christian in name only, people who condemned others and as far as I could see, did little to help their fellow man.  I saw others who had no faith who were kind, considerate and looked out for other people.  All of sudden I realised that it wasn't God who "made people good".  Rather, it was an innate part of someone's personality. 

I have always believed in the teaching of do unto others as you would have them do unto you.  I believe that the world would be a better place if everyone were just a little more kind.  I try to live my life this way and am an extremely loyal friend and wife.  I wouldn't hurt a fly and hope that I would always help others in need regardless of age, colour, sexual orientation or indeed any "label" that society attaches to individuals. 

I just believe that I am responsible for me and that no higher power is looking out for me.  This may seem bleak to someone who does believe but it is MY truth. 

I hope that this doesn't offend!
Title: Aliens stole my W!!!!! Part 10: Rockin' around, the MLC tree have a happy holida
Post by: Curiosity on December 06, 2020, 11:07:00 AM
SS, interesting questions. And I’m not sure of the answer, or even if there is an answer. Something that seems true for me is that faith is often an all-or-nothing issue. That doesn’t mean it can’t be shaken or damaged, that doesn’t mean it isn’t nuanced. But I feel like the people of faith in my life KNOW, as you do, that there is a God (and often, as you say, feel that they know God personally). And for the people in my life who KNOW... even when things happen to pull them away from their faith, they have tended to find their way back. For people like me, who grew up with people of faith but always questioned the existence of a being we couldn’t see or touch, the hold of religion has always been more tenuous. Part of my struggle was specific to Catholicism and the idea of any human as infallible. I always felt like I wanted to know the underlying facts and reasoning, and I didn’t feel like there was room for those questions.

Not sure that adds any clarity to the discussion. I will say, though, that despite my personal skepticism, some of the very best people I know are absolutely guided by their faith - and they also find great comfort in that faith, particularly when situations beyond our understanding (like MLC) arise. It’s not easy for any of us, but I feel like the idea that this is God’s plan for you and it is also God’s plan for the MLCer to go on this journey... that must make it easier in some ways to leave it to God and to not cycle quite so much. Personally, I spend more time than I should trying to figure out these things that are beyond my understanding. Which can be a fun intellectual challenge in some ways, but which can also be counterproductive. (And please know that I am not minimizing the difficulty of MLC on a person of faith... I know it’s still a major trauma. )

Great answer, tadsa! I can’t put an age on when I began to question... I just did the sacraments because it’s what my family did. I went with the flow because I didn’t necessarily know God, but I also didn’t know there wasn’t one. As a kid, my W was asked by a friend whether she believed in God. And she said something like, “yes. I mean, not really, but yes.” And the friend was stunned, but in the young mind of my W, belief in God was something that you talk about because it’s what everyone else does. And that’s how it was for me, I guess.
Title: Aliens stole my W!!!!! Part 10: Rockin' around, the MLC tree have a happy holida
Post by: Father5 on December 06, 2020, 07:34:20 PM
  I for one have rebuilt my life several times. Being an alcoholic I was introduced to god in AA ( court ordered) . It was the first time I said a prayer, I was 18 years old.

  I continued to drink for 7 more years and eventually quit for a New Years resolution. That was 23 years ago.

  I always said prayers to myself and kept it to myself. I would Mtn Bike or surf or Snow Board and would always admire his work. I had a good relationship with him but I never had to rely on him.

   I had what I considered a charmed life after getting sober. I used to ask him what I did to deserve this. Yes I changed my life around but I wasn’t the best human being when I was a kid. My life was so good I used to pinch myself.

  Then MLC hit and I was shattered into a million pieces. I had no answers no rational and no experience in dealing with anything like this.

  The only thing that picked me up and got me through was him and my kids. I was a shell of a man, I was broken beyond what I thought I could handle on my own. I was thinking the worst thoughts and I was the lowest of lows.

  Somehow leaning into him for the first time was the only thing that got me through the day. That somehow some way I was able to get through certain things.  The hurt in my life didn’t push me away it drew me closer.

  I am closer to God than I ever have been but I don’t like church. I like being surrounded by nature and being present in What  he has created. It brings me peace.

   

 
Title: Aliens stole my W!!!!! Part 10: Rockin' around, the MLC tree have a happy holida
Post by: Standing Strong on December 07, 2020, 06:43:56 PM
Journaling:

Just a little something today..... interesting.

I heard from W this morning. It's been a few days, and I figured she had cycled away (probably did)....... anyway, she lets me know that she's had an accident.  ???

She says she fell and busted her head open.  :o
She says she had to get stiches and sends me a picture..... sure enough, her forehead is bandaged. She says she had a plastic surgeon do it so it won't scar so bad.  :o 

Now what is true and what isn't? Doesn't matter, but it sure is  :o
I ask when it happened and how..... she says she slipped getting out of the shower and banged her head...... slippery tile...... YESTERDAY morning.

Well..... who knows..... but what I do know is, it had to be traumatic, AND a scar on your forehead isn't the most attractive thing in the world.
Could it give her a jolt? No idea, but I guess it can't hurt.
Why didn't she call me when it happened?  ::)
[sigh] our MLC'ers..... they are a strange bunch.

She went dark a little while after..... but at least she told her mom she's down there today. Before long she'll be over there, and that's good.

Took next week off work..... SOOOOOOOO looking forward to it. 10 days of just doing what I'd like to do. That's sounds like heaven: Diet and exercise.

One day at a time,

-SS
Title: Aliens stole my W!!!!! Part 10: Rockin' around, the MLC tree have a happy holida
Post by: FaithWalker on December 08, 2020, 12:57:36 PM
I am sorry to hear about your wife's fall, SS.  I hope she recovers well.  I don't understand why she waited to tell you. 

My H did something similar actually before BD, but I am not sure when exactly it was.  He thought he was having a heart attack and wound up in the ER.  He did not call me.  It was a bit humiliating at the time actually because his boss called me to check up on him and I was still at work with absolutely no idea that he was in the ER.  Looking back of course now I have to wonder if he was already starting to check out of the marriage at that point.  And it hurts.  If I thought I was having a heart attack, he would have been the first one I would have wanted to reach out to and know was by my side.

Anyway, I'm so sorry if it stings that she didn't get ahold of you right away.  Maybe in her case it was embarrassment over the fall.  But for some reason, it seems that MLCer's thinking is just totally skewed.
Title: Aliens stole my W!!!!! Part 10: Rockin' around, the MLC tree have a happy holida
Post by: Curiosity on December 08, 2020, 01:17:03 PM
A somewhat different but related anecdote: during the EA, but a few months before BD1, my W had an injury and broke a bone in her foot. It was right after Christmas last year - a Christmas at which OW (who I thought was just a friend) was at our house and during which I felt like a third wheel at their holiday celebration. Anyway, she misjudged the position of something, and she came down hard on her foot. No surgery, but she had to not bear weight on it for a couple of months and she couldn’t drive. So I ended up driving her to work every day. And I remember that when it happened, she just absolutely broke down sobbing. And only part of it was the pain of the fracture, a lot of it was her emotional status related to the EA and her overall crisis. It has happened on a smaller scale once that I can think of since BD2 - a minor injury which leads to her absolutely sobbing until she can barely breathe. Beyond that... she cycles between depression in which she reaches out to me to vent her complaints, times where I don’t hear from her at all for a day or two so I have no idea of her mental status, and times when she seems almost like herself in terms of her overall happiness and talkativeness, but she doesn’t talk with me about anything of real substance.

Anyway... just a way of saying that yeah, I think that when they’re in this fog, injuries and their reactions to them can be really strange and not what you would expect.
Title: Aliens stole my W!!!!! Part 10: Rockin' around, the MLC tree have a happy holida
Post by: Treasur on December 08, 2020, 03:15:45 PM
One of the sad strange things about people who start letting lies seep into their life is that in order to hold on to our sanity we have to start, at best, to treat everything they say as coming with a question mark. Which is an odd way to interact with anyone for a long period of time. And of course it stifles our normal unthinking responses to events that in more normal times we would have responded to quite differently.

As you say, Standing, there is an odd whiff of some kind of fishy smell about this. No idea why, no idea what is true or not...but it sounds off in some way. I guess that probably with time the truth will seep out somehow; it usually does. But you seem to have found a level of detachment now that keeps you off whatever her strange rollercoaster is....
Title: Aliens stole my W!!!!! Part 10: Rockin' around, the MLC tree have a happy holida
Post by: Finding Joy on December 08, 2020, 08:51:37 PM
Ditto, what Treasur said.
Title: Aliens stole my W!!!!! Part 10: Rockin' around, the MLC tree have a happy holida
Post by: HeavenlyFocus on December 09, 2020, 04:50:36 PM
Thx Standing for sharing your story and for the wise words from Treasur.  My MLC W has been lying to me since September and still hasn't admitted the truth which has made our interactions very odd.  I continue to detach and it will be interesting to see what happens when MC does start.   Standing, glad you have a week off and hope you enjoy your peaceful time.   
Title: Aliens stole my W!!!!! Part 10: Rockin' around, the MLC tree have a happy holida
Post by: Standing Strong on December 13, 2020, 09:28:34 AM
Very wise (as always) T.... thank you  :D

Journaling:

I'm on my vacation/break... oh it's nice to just do what you want to do. Needed a break  8)
Blood pressure down, sleep up, diet strict, all good things.
Now if it just wasn't so cold I'd be out there walking 4 hours a day.  :P

I checked my phone and W has arrived at MIL's finally. Haven't hear from her in over a week, but it's comforting to know she finally made it.
Oh course that's not without it's own drama....... she still has the phone not updating (I can only see the general location as she connects to new Wifi networks, so she must think I can't see anything) and late yesterday it had not changed location but close to midnight it did. Well, whatever. She got there, that's what matters. She was a week late in doing so but that is an improvement over three weeks late last time. Baby steps. LOL!!  :-X

I'm going to see if I can lose 5 pounds in the next two weeks. Not sure if that's possible, but I'm going to make a go of it.

Two weeks to Christmas, unbelievable. Time sure flies.

One day at a time,

-SS
Title: Aliens stole my W!!!!! Part 10: Rockin' around, the MLC tree have a happy holida
Post by: FaithWalker on December 14, 2020, 06:14:51 PM
Enjoy your time off SS.

The sneakiness with the phone is very telling.  I remember my then H trying to explain how he suddenly needed to lock his phone "for work".  Ya right, uh-huh, sure.

Title: Aliens stole my W!!!!! Part 10: Rockin' around, the MLC tree have a happy holida
Post by: Standing Strong on December 14, 2020, 09:11:07 PM
Haha FW,

Yeah they think they're so sneaky and sly don't they?  ::) :P :-X
Really silly.

I talked to my mom today (talk to her every day since BD......... in some ways, like this..... MLC has been a real gift. Know my mom better than at any time in my life)....... and she asks a very interesting question, at a very interesting time.......

So, as an LBS, we go thru our own cycling and figuring things out. Finding what we believe, tossing what we thought we believed, grow, strengthen, improve, mature..... all good things. For me (and I think all of us) I will get stuck on a question, and it can take a long time to really dig into it, resolve it, and sometimes (often) it's in layers.
Well...... I've been working on a question for a while, one of those big ones: "Why am I doing this? The real why.". Isn't that a loaded question? Cuts to the meat doesn't it?
Tonight I'm talking to mom, and I'm updating her...... she has been really unhappy about W running away again, and how she behaves. Well, she hesitates..... and I say go ahead, no question is too much (I've probably already asked myself it anyway).... so she asks "why do you do this? Do you love her? Is it about keeping your marriage? Are you afraid of divorce? Why do you keep going?".  Ahhhhhhhhh, what a question.... and one that isn't easy to answer, but it's one that I have been asking myself a lot recently...... not because I have any intention of stopping..... no no no...... the question is WHY.
As I haven't been able to truly answer the question yet, I don't have an answer, not to myself, not to mom. I know what I did believe, before.... I know what my ideal is, and I know that the ideal is gone (which is a totally different thing to ponder, what that means, what the ramifications are).
So why do I keep going? I think what is so hard about that question is to define why I keep going also means defining what could end that going. Where is the red line. Up till now, my answer would be: "There is no red line", but as we get stronger, and more honest, the truth is there is a red line. Not something I want to look at, not something I want to admit, but processing dictates that maturity and growth means admitting that it is there. Self-worth says it's closer than I want to know..... and the line has drawn closer without me looking for it..... it must have legs.  :P
What I do know is if anything, I'm more durable than ever before (and I was VERY durable to begin with). So it's not a question of wearing down.
I do know is that I can be hurt, but not wounded anymore..... so I'm stronger.
I do know that I'm not afraid of divorce...... it's not something I welcome (at all).... and I'm still morally opposed to it...... but I'm not afraid of it anymore. I know if it comes, it's not my doing. I'm free, I'm blameless. What has really changed is that I'm not just unafraid of divorce, I'm not afraid to tell her to hit the road IF the red line is crossed (which I'm still not sure where it is). That's a big change...... and if that were to happen, it's NOT my fault. Action -> consequence. THAT is growth...... not the growth I had imagined, not the growth I would willingly choose, not the growth I had dreamed of....... growth of capability, and assertiveness. I hope I never have to use it.
And then the question remains: "Why do you do this?". Turning that over like a coin in my hand........ Why? Is it love? Yes, but not completely. I do love my wife... I love the woman I married, and I dreamed of her real potential which was always there but always partly hidden (by damage). I always wanted her to be healed, I sure tried, but I just couldn't do it. She couldn't allow it. Is it the marriage? Yes, but not completely. I love the ideal of marriage. I love what it represents, I love the idea of two people always sharing, helping, loving and trusting each other. Two are better than one. Of course MLC has dispelled that ideal. Is it duty? Yes, but not completely. Being the type which will go down with the ship is a great trait, and one that is so ingrained in me. It's almost romantic..... no, it is romantic. If there is one thing which does define me is it loyalty and devotion. Once upon a time I really think I had that in return (for a time) and I hungered for it again, for many, many years. The ideal of duty has ruled much of my life, and now I am forced to grow and realize that people cluster around people like me because we are a rock, and we don't retreat, and we can be counted on to die on that hill (sometimes a hill not worth taking). Maturity and growth is teaching me that you can't take every hill, and some objectives are not worth the cost and resources. Time and effort are finite, not unlimited as they once were. And then the heavy hitter: Is it because of God? Ahhhhh Yes..... the prime factor. The one which overrules all in my life. The only one which can truly order me to take that hill, and I will...... no matter the cost. All other considerations just melt away when I think about him, and the answer is: "I will do whatever he commands", but there are times the order is unclear..... and I realize that as I sit in this LBS foxhole, I am waiting on his orders. They do come, and when they do, I act. In-between, I ponder, I listen, I wait. Sometimes I think the next instruction should have come already, but I am not in command (thank God), and the order to advance may come, or the order to fall back..... I hope for an advance, but I don't always get what I THINK I want, or what I THINK is best. The truth is, I don't know. I don't have enough information to think.
And so at last the answer comes...... "Why do you do this?"
For him.

One day at a time,

-SS
Title: Aliens stole my W!!!!! Part 10: Rockin' around, the MLC tree have a happy holida
Post by: Curiosity on December 14, 2020, 09:29:42 PM
SS, that was absolutely beautifully stated. It makes me wish I had that underlying faith to guide me through the challenging times. I don’t identify with that part of what you said, much as I wish I did, but every other word resonates so deeply. Why do we stand? Partly because of who our spouses are or were, partly because of what marriage means to us, but largely because of who we are at our foundations. Which isn’t to say that the decision to stand is inherently better than the decision not to... but for some of us, the only answer to “how can you stand?” Is “how could I not?”

I aspire to find your level of grace and acceptance. I cycle and process and take it personally more than I should. And it doesn’t make me any less committed to my stand, but it makes the process emotionally more difficult than it has to be. Please know that your words, your thoughts, your attitude... all are inspiring to those of us seeking greater detachment and inward focus.
Title: Aliens stole my W!!!!! Part 10: Rockin' around, the MLC tree have a happy holida
Post by: Finding Joy on December 14, 2020, 09:42:10 PM
Your words have been beautifully written and I relate to so much of what you wrote.  God has a plan for you one way or another!
Title: Aliens stole my W!!!!! Part 10: Rockin' around, the MLC tree have a happy holida
Post by: MantellyExhausted on December 15, 2020, 07:05:20 AM
SS, great post!  It's a great question, "what's my why?" 

I think the answer changes with time.  Right now, 6 months in, it's because I love her, I took a vow and I know this person isn't her.  I also know signing a piece of paper isn't going to change how I feel.  Now, I also understand that those feelings will change with time....

Isn't it interesting though....as the MLCer "may" be coming out of replay or getting closer to coming out of replay, we as the LBSers are becoming stronger and more detached.  If we were programmed robots, we would be programmed to meet right at the spot of coming out of replay/becoming detached.  But we all know life doesn't work like that. 

That's why I feel like us LBSers hold the power.  If and when they come out of this, will we be at a spot in our lives where we want them back?  Hard to fathom now, but I've seen it get there from other stories I've read
Title: Aliens stole my W!!!!! Part 10: Rockin' around, the MLC tree have a happy holida
Post by: FaithWalker on December 16, 2020, 09:01:30 PM
Definitely beautifully stated and resonated with me, even though mine has married and crossed my red line.

But I also haven't started the dating process.  Definitely trying to follow His lead, although I don't always get it right.

I think I am the stubborn calf that Jennifer Rothschild speaks about...

"The Lord is my Shepherd; I shall want my own way.
He will make me lie down in green pastures, but I will keep getting up and wandering off to eat dead grass.
He'll pull me to quiet waters, but I will refuse to drink.
He ends up dragging me along right paths and I dig my heels in the whole way.
So, when I end up in a dark valley, I am absolutely terrified because I am not sure He is with me.
I think He is, but, I am so self-absorbed that all I can see is the dark.
His rod and staff don't comfort me; they drive me crazy and I resent them.
He prepares a table before me, but I clamp my jaws and refuse to eat.
He anoints my head with oil and I buck and kick the whole time.
My cup would overflow if I would just be still, but I am bent on my own way.
Amazingly, His goodness and mercy still follow me all the days of my stiffed-necked life and despite myself, I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever...but, by golly, I will choose my own room!"



Title: Aliens stole my W!!!!! Part 10: Rockin' around, the MLC tree have a happy holida
Post by: Treasur on December 16, 2020, 11:26:19 PM
Smiled at this, Faith  ;D

I think most LBS who are Standing reach a point - maybe a series - when we find our own big Why. What matters of course is how clearly you can see your own answer to that Why; doesn't matter if it is the same or different to anyone else's. And it requires some big booted brave honesty to look at it. Imho, I suspect that some of the real choice and nature of Standing starts here....perhaps it becomes more of a choice than a reaction, idk......and of course, allowing for it to evolve too as we move forward.

Thank you for sharing your reflections, Standing, and I hope that the process has given you a sense of peace with where you are at right now.
Title: Aliens stole my W!!!!! Part 10: Rockin' around, the MLC tree have a happy holida
Post by: Standing Strong on December 17, 2020, 10:56:33 PM
HAHAHAAH FW, that's awesome  8)

Journaling:

Keeping busy and enjoying my days off. They go so fast!! Wish I could take a month off..... HA! Wish I could retire!! LOL!!

Tonight I get a text from W. It's been almost 2 weeks since I've heard from her. Which is very interesting, you see I was missing her a lot earlier today, and was VERY tempted to send her a photo of the birds. I didn't. I believe we are their mirror, and wouldn't you know it...... late tonight she texts.  :)
We have a nice back and forth. She says that she's been totally lazy and spent the whole time pretty much resting. I can believe that. She's in bed and sends me a drawing she's done. It's very pretty...... a winged women (naked) face down on a tree stump. It's pretty, but sad.
It looks familiar....... I compliment her on it and tell her it looks very familiar to me...... but I can't place it.
She is very curious and wants to know what it reminds me of........ I just said I don't know (LOL)..... but she pushes...... then it comes to me...... it looks just like her. I tell her, and she says it's how she feels. Well, that was obvious.  ;) but it is a glimpse into the MLC'er mind. Sadness, despair, collapse.
She eventually gets tired and goes to sleep.... but is was nice to hear from her.
Still no word when she'll return, and that's ok. Enjoying my time off  ;D

One day at a time,

-SS
Title: Aliens stole my W!!!!! Part 10: Rockin' around, the MLC tree have a happy holida
Post by: Standing Strong on December 20, 2020, 11:35:15 PM
Journaling:

Haven't heard from W, so I've been busy having a good time!!  :P

Yesterday was our anniversary (we have two), and this was the less important one. I reached out to check on her (not mentioning the day). She responded quickly and I asked about her head..... she sent me a picture, and it appears to be healing well. I'll see it for myself soon enough.
No mention of when she's coming back. It's funny how when an anniversary is due, that's when she runs. There's a connection there, so no reason to bring up that stress. Expectations...... even now, they are poison.

Well..... tonight I check the tracker, just to see if I can get a heads up....... (a little voice told me I needed to), and what do you know...... it updates close to the airport!! Same city anyway. Ah ha!! She's moving in the direction of coming home. Makes me wonder if her plan is to just show up like she's doing to other people.
I have a lot of cleaning to do.  :P HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA
We men are so messy aren't we?
I know what I'm going to be doing tomorrow.  :D
Either I'll get a heads up tomorrow, or the door is going to open and *BAM* she'll be there...... if it's the door opening, I guess that's suppose to be a surprise. What will be a surprise is the house will be very clean (I started today, slightly). OOph.... I need to wrap the presents too.  :-X
HAAHAAHAHAHA!!
This is very amusing to me. I was soooooo on vacation.  ;D

Glad I had some rest, I'm energized once again. My reserves replenished.

One day at a time,

-SS
Title: Aliens stole my W!!!!! Part 10: Rockin' around, the MLC tree have a happy holida
Post by: HeavenlyFocus on December 22, 2020, 10:23:31 AM
Hi SS!

Glad you are energized and may have your W home soon.  I am still learning how to deal and cope with my MLC W so your patience and optimism working on yourself and dealing with your relationship has ben uplifting for me.   Hope you have a wonderful holiday!
Title: Aliens stole my W!!!!! Part 10: Rockin' around, the MLC tree have a happy holida
Post by: Standing Strong on December 22, 2020, 06:28:53 PM
HI FW..... it is a lesson in patience isn't it?
LOL!!  :D

Journaling.......
The more things change, the more they stay the same!!

Last I had wrote, it appeared that W was going to be on her way back.... not because she told me, but because she was moving towards the airport.
Well... it occurred to me that maybe she would just hang out by herself for a bit once again (who knows), but it DID get me cleaning.... so that was very good. Got a ton done in the last two days.
Well yesterday I see she has moved somewhere new, not near the airport.... and I realize that I may have more time than I thought. Sure enough, today she returns to her moms. I'm not snooping, I'm trying to have an early warning, and make sure I'm done doing things around the house.

Well, the crafty MLC'ers.... they aren't so crafty.  :P W texts and wants to see how I'm doing, and what's going on. Mmmmmmm right..... I know better (and that's funny to me). The back of my mind is saying "just go ahead and say it"..... then she says that she'll be extending her trip, she's not ready to come back. All that small talk/text to get to that. LOL!! I tell her that's good, and I hope she's enjoying time with her mom. She's shocked and asks that I'm not mad? Nope. I let her know that there's nothing going on here, no Christmas displays, no parties, even family isn't getting together like normal.... that I'm happy she gets to do something better (which is all true). That seems to put her at ease, and suggests I go to her sisters for Christmas..... oh and BTW, can you get presents for the kids? LOL!!  :-X ::) You see that's what it was all about really........ the announcement that she would be gone (once again) for Christmas (and I'm guessing New Years too) and can you save the day by taking care of Christmas? Once I said yes (I've already taken care of it, she just didn't know) then she was ready to go and have dinner...... "I'll chat with you later".... and that's that.
No expectations. I thought from the outset she would be gone.... and I wasn't disappointed. There was always room for a surprise to the upside, and that hasn't happened. Maybe next year.

As for me, now I have even more time!! Hurray for me!! I'll use it well, and make the most of it.
I have a nice Christmas present for me, and if the mail wasn't delayed I'd be playing with it already  8)

Too bad about no Christmas displays. That was really nice last year (alone), and I was looking forward to it this year (unavailable). 

One day at a time,

-SS
Title: Aliens stole my W!!!!! Part 10: Rockin' around, the MLC tree have a happy holida
Post by: MantellyExhausted on December 23, 2020, 06:23:52 AM
With the MLCers, it's "hope for the best, expect the worst" mindset that we get into.  I'm personally hoping for some decent weather on Christmas Eve and Christmas day.  I'd like to go for a long LONG walk.  Crank the music and just enjoy me. 

She wants you to be upset with her and push her away.  See SS, I am a horrible person and don't deserve you.  Move on with your life.  Then you do the exact opposite.  I guarantee you got her thinking....

Holidays suck and I don't even celebrate Christmas. 

SS, you are so strong and such a leader to so many people on here.  Especially the men. 

Remember, "good things come to those who wait"
Title: Aliens stole my W!!!!! Part 10: Rockin' around, the MLC tree have a happy holida
Post by: Finding Joy on December 26, 2020, 11:14:14 AM
Wishing you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!  You seem content enough even with your wife gone!  It shows how far you’ve come!  You have been an inspiration in how you have treated her and handled yourself Standing! 
Title: Aliens stole my W!!!!! Part 10: Rockin' around, the MLC tree have a happy holida
Post by: Curiosity on December 26, 2020, 11:34:21 AM
Seconding what several people have said here. I am so impressed with how you navigate your W’s crisis. You have detached and are leaving her to it; being present and loving but also not focusing on her too much at all. I know that I am detached from the outcome to a large degree but still way to focused on her and her actions and the possible underlying reasoning. And it’s all futile, I know, but being able to really just drop the rope is such an impressive thing.

Title: Aliens stole my W!!!!! Part 10: Rockin' around, the MLC tree have a happy holida
Post by: Standing Strong on December 27, 2020, 12:11:45 PM
Thanks C, FJ, ME.... they can be such a weird bunch can't they? Hope you all had a great Christmas  :D

Journaling:

Another Christmas in the can. We made it!!  8)
HAHAHHAHAHAHAH
Hey, that's an accomplishment. No matter what you really want, no matter what you end up getting....... time stands still for no one. Not the MLC'er, and absolutely not for us.

After a quick phone call from W.... didn't hear from her again. Interesting how we can be skeptical with our MLC'ers...... I know I am now. I find that so sad, but experience has taught me to be so. Not because I'm negative (oh no), but because this life, this reality has forced me to look at things the way they are and not the way I want them to be...... I still want my idealized, romantic, version of what I always fantasized about...... but unfortunately it currently isn't that at all.
Christmas morning the phone rang........ went across the house to grab the phone... it's W.. Oh good. How nice. Instantly I'm thinking "is it as nice as I hoped? Is it genuine?". What a series of thoughts to go thru before even hitting the answer button..... but the reality was revealed as we began to talk and I checked the phone. I see she messaged 1 min before calling. Yup, not abnormal..... this weird MLC thing..... she often messages and then calls immediately.... like she needs an instant response, like a panic. Ok, not un-normal. Ah, and here's the truth..... 2 min before her message and call, MIL messaged. So what really happened is: MIL messaged and then mentioned to W that she messaged me (W is with MIL), that send W into a fever to hurry up and make contact..... after all, she can't be left out, she should have been 1st, so "quick-quick-quick find SS" and check off that to-do box...... and that's what she did. It wasn't about me, it's all about her. Doesn't bother me, it doesn't surprise me, and I pretty much expect it. "Is it as nice as I hoped?" Nope. "Is it genuine?". Nope. It's REPLAY. BAHAHAHAHAHAHAH.  :P :-X

My Christmas present (from me, to me) showed up. I'm going to be jamming. Big keyboard, one I've dreamed about for years and years. Going to be able to do incredible things, and new projects with it. A sound designer's dream. Years and years of fun ahead. So whatever W is doing, I can go into my own little world and whip up something new, unique, fun and meaningful. Take those feelings and channel them into audio. How cool is that?

Oh right.... W. LOL!! As we're talking, she mentions not working this next week. That's good! It also means she's not coming back before New Years.
The more things change, the more they stay the same. I hope she has a good time, I hope she rests, I hope she bakes...... and if she gets one out of three, that's a success. As for me, all I set out to do will be a success, and that's a choice. What a great year 2021 is going to be, no matter what.

One day at a time,

-SS
Title: Aliens stole my W!!!!! Part 10: Rockin' around, the MLC tree have a happy holida
Post by: Standing Strong on January 01, 2021, 12:42:25 AM
Happy New Year!!  :)

Journaling:

Well there goes another year...... New Year's to me is very special because I proposed at New Year's..... done on purpose to make every new year very special..... and it was (for me anyway). It does make me wonder...... are men more romantic than women? Or is it just that the in the case of MLC'ers and LBS's, that the LBS is normally the romantic one, and in "normal" relationships is isn't like this at all? I wonder. Looking back, I'm positive I loved more, and I think most LBS's would find the same thing if they look hard enough (and honestly enough)..... which isn't to say it's really the MLC'ers fault, they are damaged.
Well.... 23 years ago (and an hour) I proposed. Has a way of bringing some reflection.  ;)

I did hear from W today, and a few days ago. She has been chatty when reaching out. That's nice. Mostly normal, but a little squirrely (as usual). Tonight she sent me a picture of herself to show how well her head is healing..... and I've got to say, looks good. The interesting thing is: She had a lot of makeup on. This has been the case for a while now. I wouldn't say caked on or anything like that, but she's put in some time on it. When she was newly in MLC (shadow too) I figured it was just a side effect of getting older and fighting it (and it is). Me? I like makeup just fine, but really I like a more natural look..... less is more (or even none at all). You don't have to look perfect. W on the other hand has always looked much younger than she is...... until the last few years anyway. It was always so easy for her, and then it wasn't anymore. Seemingly suddenly to me, probably not to her.
Well..... I got the photo and noticed something right off the bat..... the eyes. I've noticed more lines and such the last few years...... it's noticeable, and with MLC we should expect some real aging...... well, there it is...... deep lines below the eyes. Woah..... the makeup isn't hiding it, but it is hiding everything else.... and I could tell she put some real time into it..... but there is it..... clear as day. Poor thing. That has to be very difficult. To look so young, and then.... not. Still a beautiful woman, but she's not going to pass for her 20's anymore. Maybe not pass for early 40's either (and she just turned 40). That has to be very unfair, to go thru hell on the inside, and to also see it creep out into the outside. Double whammy.
She was talking in depth about her mom aging...... and it makes me wonder if part of it is projection (maybe). MIL is an ex-MLC'er.... and the thing which always stuck out to me was the eyes. There's a look to them..... and the lines underneath. Well, W now has the lines underneath to match, one look and I was astonished because I instantly though "that's just like MIL". Wow.

Well, on the positive side..... outside physical changes means something is happening on the inside. Cook baby cook. I do find it.... hmmmmm..... ironic(?)..... devastating(?)...... sad(?)...... something...... that I look much younger than I am, and am actually getting better looking, and poor W is falling apart. Makes me sad for her, it's not like she chose this (not really), her damage wasn't a choice but she's paying for it (and whatever she's chosen during this)...... I have to admit I have compassion for her, maybe a little pity (and I've never wanted to pity anyone - we are who we are by choice). I wonder what I would be like if the situation was reversed...... what I would look like..... what I would act like. The thought is not an attractive one...... and would someone still love me? Also not an attractive thought....... and I'm not sure the answer would be a good one. The reality is, most people would write me off. That would really suck. If I went nuts, who would stand by me? I know my mom would..... funny that that's who W has ran too, and is clinging to. When the world turns bad, who would we run to? What if that person isn't around anymore? What if they are bad? What if they were a part or cause of the problem? What happens then?

Well..... an interesting night. Lots of thoughts, lots of questions...... lots of memories: of good things, of not so good things, and mostly of missed opportunities for good things which didn't happen. I think back to all the many years of waking up my W right after midnight to wish her a Happy New Year, remembering that proposal and wishing that she would have stayed awake to make a new memory. I did..... every year.

One day at a time,

-SS
Title: Re: Aliens stole my W!!!!! Part 10: Rockin' around, the MLC tree have a happy holida
Post by: Thunder on January 01, 2021, 09:34:08 AM
Happy New Year, Standing.

I found what you said ironic.  How these MLCer worry so bad about their looks, and put so much time and effort in trying to look young, they actually end up looking older.

I think it's the inner turmoil that ages them.  Stress is hard on your body.

Where as, once the LBS calms down and starts taking good care of themselves..they usually end up looking better than they have in years.

Go figure!
Title: Aliens stole my W!!!!! Part 10: Rockin' around, the MLC tree have a happy holida
Post by: tle on January 01, 2021, 09:55:35 AM
SS I feel you on the making the holiday special thing. We got married on New Year’s Day. Our thoughts were that we would be awake every year when our anniversary day rolled around. Start it with a kiss and always have the day off to celebrate! Seemed so romantic but now rethinking it! Last night was the first one without him and it hurts.

I hope you have a great New Years Day and the year brings lots of joy and peace!
Title: Aliens stole my W!!!!! Part 10: Rockin' around, the MLC tree have a happy holida
Post by: Standing Strong on January 01, 2021, 11:54:49 PM
Journaling:

Well that didn't take long  :D

Interesting thing to write about tonight.......

W is a little chatty today...... a little back and forth...... she offers to do a video call tonight....... so I call.... no answer. LOL!! Not surprised, no big deal.
She calls back really late, and she's upset (I can tell), we talk for a bit... and it's nice to actually see her (1st time on this trip, so more than a month).
After the warm up, she gets down to the real conversation (as always). She tell me that her anxiety is really bad tonight..... so I offer to talk to her..... she's happy to hear that and accepts. So off I go, talking about everything under the sun.
After a bit, she stops me and asks me to pray. It's been a really long time since she's wanted this..... I'm happy to do so....... and I do.
It's a general prayer. When it over, she asks me to pray again.... this time for her. I'm happy to do so...... and I do.
Then she asks me to pray for protection for her. And so I do........ this is the 1st time she has asked for this.... but I'm happy to do so.
It's nice talking to her, and then something interesting comes out...... she begins describing what she's going thru..... what it's like...... she talks about feeling like she's on the outside looking in on herself (ahhhhhh, I know about this...... and it's the 1st time she has described it.... not going to let it go to waste).... so I begin asking questions. She says it's like watching TV, and she is the main character. That she feels like she's in a fog..... that when she speaks to someone, it's like they are far away, sorta. She finds it difficult to explain. I ask if it's scary...... she says yes, a little. That she is watching, and not like she's really in control..... like it's someone else.
How creepy would that be?
We begin talking about a lot of different things, the past, memories..... and it becomes obvious very quickly that there are gaps once again in her memories.
I take the opportunity to drill down and explore....... some things she has zero recollection about...... some things she can vaguely remember parts of and parts not at all (same memory - some pieces there, some not). She vocalizes her frustration: "Why can't I remember? What is wrong with me?".
She then expounds on what her mind seems like: it's in a "fog"..... I ask if it feels like being lethargic..... she says yes, sorta. She says it's like moving in mud. Everything in slow motion.
The "fog"/"mud" in combination with disassociation...... makes total sense. I already knew this, but she finally put words to it. Fascinating.

Before she went on her trip, her memory was laser sharp...... in some ways even better than mine. I knew it was going downhill right after she left, I could tell the moment her connection and communication went down the tubes. This doesn't bother me, it was expected. Gotta go down in the pit in order to cook bbq.

Tonight did confirm to me though that she has been running disassociated, for who knows how long..... since the beginning I'd suppose (or even before that). We all know they do their worse while in this state. We also know they "peek out" every so often, get scared by what they see and jump back in. I wonder if tonight was a peek out. I think it was. It was obvious she was afraid..... praying for her three times was evidence of that. She had a few laughs with me, and that was nice. They are so neutral for so long, it's easy to forget they actually liked you at one point. Well, my poor W..... who knows what she has seen, and I'd guess she will disappear as fast as she appeared...... but it was nice to see her for a moment. I hope she finds her way out, I hope she's closer to the exit but I'm not fooling myself either, she'll be in there until she isn't..... and that's that.

One day at a time, one year at a time,

-SS
Title: Re: Aliens stole my W!!!!! Part 10: Rockin' around, the MLC tree have a happy holida
Post by: marvin4242 on January 02, 2021, 06:37:42 AM
Hi SS, happy New Year. Hopefully New Year not same as the old one!

It is interesting these moments of some degree of clarity. It does sound like she is describes bits and piece of what is going on within her. And I would say that is a better sign. It at least creates small openings for her to gain some insights. I think its great that you can just listen and observe and not jump in to "help." It is a challenge for anyone to see a loved one struggle. But sounds like you have a very firm footing and that is great for you.

I had many many hours and days of my wife having insight into what was happening. She would even use words to describe things that were perfectly fitting. Then the insight would disappear and the eyes would return. This is part of the cycling. She did this a lot during the first 1.5 years. In one or two occasions she even was almost lucid, and on one she started therapy on her own volition. But sadly as everyone warns none of it stuck, she simply dove head first into the tunnel. And here we are four years later. And you know what, for the past few weeks she is sounding much more lucid again. As a data point she was doing great and was acting like her old self and very connected one week, and the next week she walked in after a visit with her sister and calmly announced that I should make my own plans for the dinner and she wanted a divorce and went off for another 1.5 year ride into the sunset.

Enjoy the bits when she is like this. But as always keep your guard up. Its a good idea no matter what. If one of these cycles starts heading her to healing you will be fine and ready. If it doesn't then you will still be fine and won't get hurt.

Enjoy the present and keep in mind this is a crazy ride.
Title: Aliens stole my W!!!!! Part 10: Rockin' around, the MLC tree have a happy holida
Post by: Standing Strong on January 02, 2021, 08:04:34 AM
Yup, great advise Marvin  :D

That's what I'm steeled for...... it's all just a moment in time. Passing thru wherever we happen to be..... going to wherever we happen to be going next.

It is interesting.

-SS
Title: Aliens stole my W!!!!! Part 10: Rockin' around, the MLC tree have a happy holida
Post by: Standing Strong on January 02, 2021, 12:49:08 PM
Journaling:

Have to write it down before I forget anything.....

Just got off the phone with W....... again. Last night she called back after an hour and wanted me to pray for her again..... three times again. She couldn't sleep, something was bothering her bad.

This morning I get a text telling me good morning.... and then she calls a few hours later. BIG R talk.... and unlike any other up to now.
Lots of clarity...... she even admits she's having a MLC...... admits to depression, anxiety and even though she hates to say it.... MLC.
I didn't have to say any of it, just came pouring out of her. Talked for two hours, and all of it, every topic was initiated by her, no parroting.

She talks about everything she's going thru, and that it's her.... no deflection, no blaming, no projection. Her.
We talk about what can be done..... how to help one another, and what we both want, how things have changed in both of us.

She talks about how to lead her forward and how she needs it..... not to be given options, not to be given choice, but to be lead.
She talks about affection and how to deal with her about it... why she is adverse to it and how to help her overcome it (wonderful).
She talk about working together, communication and how we can work on this.

We talk about "we" and "I".... she is keen to rebuild the "we" and explains how she has pushed away for years, and how she has run (and why). She sees how work had become everything, to the exclusion of the R and M.

Then she talks about recommitment...... she wants to, and knows it will be a lot of work...... she wants help when we run into trouble with it and lay out a plan to involve our IC's if it comes to that but to also try on our own as much as possible, and she wants to sit down and write it all down, create rules and expectations for one another and a commitment from both her and I to follow everything we mutually set out to do
We setup up a "down payment" on this set of rules and outline just two things we each want and expect (small) and end up talking about how we have had our missed the last two years and what could have been done better, and how to try again with a better outcome. She realizes and admits that nothing I did was the cause and during this time that she wasn't even trying..... she's sorry this was the case but her heart just wouldn't let her try. Everything I did was met by a snide comment/feeling inside her and she would discard my attempts out of hand. This was not fair or right and she feels terrible about it.
She expresses her desire to make something new, and build a new marriage........ including putting her ring back on at some point in the future - she is not comfortable in asking for it, that I would do it when the time is right and everything is ok....... and with it a new ceremony and new vows to mark a new marriage.
She knows she has run, that she has missed important dates and holidays....... she knew the whole time, and the funk was so bad that all she could do is run.
She has hope and feels the future has promise..... and she wants to put God at the center of our life once again.

This is good...... and it is words. We will see what the future brings and if actions follow. I hope so...... but I have also known that the end of the year was important. The year passed and there was no earthquake...... well, the earthquake was today, just took a couple days extra. Temper my expectations, but I do hope. Lot's of 1sts in there today.

One day at a time,

-SS
Title: Aliens stole my W!!!!! Part 10: Rockin' around, the MLC tree have a happy holida
Post by: MantellyExhausted on January 02, 2021, 12:59:31 PM
Wow, SS!  Amazing news!  I think she probably wanted to tell you that last night but didn’t have it in her. 
You’re right...for now, they are just words, but it certainly is a step in the right direction. 
What will your approach be when she gets home?  I’d say keep going with being your best self and maybe she will join you in one of those long walks.  Good stuff 😊
Title: Aliens stole my W!!!!! Part 10: Rockin' around, the MLC tree have a happy holida
Post by: Curiosity on January 02, 2021, 01:26:10 PM
Great news, SS! Obviously you know the significance... they’re good words (great words suggesting a lot of insight, even), but they are just words - not action, and not even promises. Still... you are an excellent example of letting her go and giving her all the space she needs to do what she needs to do, and being as safe for her as anyone could possibly be.

I always appreciate your updates, whether she is cycling toward you or away. You maintain a positive attitude and focus on yourself rather than her, and you do it in a way that seems to be without the slightest bit of hurt or anger or resentment. You’re about 13 months ahead of me (my BD2 was late May 2020), so I am still trying to get there. But your posts are always an inspiration.
Title: Re: Aliens stole my W!!!!! Part 10: Rockin' around, the MLC tree have a happy holida
Post by: marvin4242 on January 02, 2021, 03:33:02 PM
That really does sound a good amount of clarity, I am so happy for you. As always just keep hopes high but expectations low, do your best not to get drawn in. And my one suggestion is as long as she had clarity keep turning her focus on herself. Just acknowledge whatever she says about your or the relationship, but gently nudge her back to her own issues. And if you can see if she will engage in high quality therapy about how she feels.

It will all pay dividends if she is ready both for her and ultimately for both of you.

Title: Aliens stole my W!!!!! Part 10: Rockin' around, the MLC tree have a happy holida
Post by: AlvinTheMaker on January 05, 2021, 12:31:12 AM
This morning I get a text telling me good morning.... and then she calls a few hours later. BIG R talk.... and unlike any other up to now.
Lots of clarity...... she even admits she's having a MLC...... admits to depression, anxiety and even though she hates to say it.... MLC.
I didn't have to say any of it, just came pouring out of her. Talked for two hours, and all of it, every topic was initiated by her, no parroting.
....
This is good...... and it is words. We will see what the future brings and if actions follow. I hope so...... but I have also known that the end of the year was important. The year passed and there was no earthquake...... well, the earthquake was today, just took a couple days extra. Temper my expectations, but I do hope. Lot's of 1sts in there today.


This is great news....Though my journey is heading to another direction (my choice), I'm so happy for you two.  No doubt it is still a long road ahead of you two, and likely many twists and turns. But hopefully the two of you would pull through the behemoth together.

Whether the moment of clarity lasts or not... who knows. I've read and heard too many stories, so I'll share your view.  It is just words untill some day it may be more. 

Alvin.
Title: Aliens stole my W!!!!! Part 10: Rockin' around, the MLC tree have a happy holida
Post by: Standing Strong on January 05, 2021, 07:38:24 AM
Alvin!!

Hey buddy! Long time no see. How are you doing?

-SS
Title: Aliens stole my W!!!!! Part 10: Rockin' around, the MLC tree have a happy holida
Post by: Standing Strong on January 07, 2021, 05:16:12 PM
Journaling:

The last week has been extraordinary.....

Almost difficult to believe the change is so extreme..... talk multiple times a day, she is receptive, she wants to make plans, just a complete 180.

And consideration and concern...... Take for instance, last night I had a special event (Christmas Light Display)..... she called right before I needed to run out the door. It was a video call, and I'm putting on warm clothes.... she asks "are you cold?" (with concern) and I tell her I'm about to leave.... "Where are you going??" (more concern) and I tell her. I can tell she's a little sad she's not here to go as well (we used to do it together). She expects to be asleep before I return but wants to talk again. So, if she's awake we'll talk and if not.... goodnight. Well, a couple hours later I figure she's asleep.... but no... a little while later she texts and wants to know if I got home safe...... she had stayed up just to make sure I was safe. Wow... how cool is that? Very different.
She has admitted she is homesick, and misses..... everything. Well, being away finally had a positive effect..... only took several weeks a trip and several trips.

Well..... as for me..... I had a great time at the Christmas Lights last night.... love doing it every year, brings me happiness like nothing else really. My cup of tea I suppose, and I won't miss it  8) HA! With everyone scared of COVID, it was empty..... more lights for me!  ;D

Just over a week and she'll be back.... looking forward to it.

Oh...... interesting twist..... she wants a dog. She's talked about this before, I'm a little torn. On one had, I love animals. We've never had a dog. It would be something new, and I know that dogs are good for healing.... she still has depression and withdrawal to go thru. Maybe a little ball of fur would be good for that, but then again I don't know. Has anyone had a MLC'er where a therapeutic animal was positive for them? I'm leery of this being a cycle and then we have a dog, but I also realize that there is positive aspects as well. Just not sure. I told her we'd need to think about it.

One day at a time,

-SS
Title: Aliens stole my W!!!!! Part 10: Rockin' around, the MLC tree have a happy holida
Post by: Hoosier Daddy on January 07, 2021, 05:43:29 PM
SS,

Sounds very promising.  I would be dog proofing the home ASAP but you are more seasoned than me.  No expectations right?.  Need to see some consistent growth before you bring a pup into your lives.

Your story does give me hope.

I am praying for you both. 

HD
Title: Aliens stole my W!!!!! Part 10: Rockin' around, the MLC tree have a happy holida
Post by: 9393roo on January 07, 2021, 06:28:31 PM
Standing, I got a dog 2 years into my H’s MLC.  The best thing I’ve ever done for me and it turns out for him as well.  He loves that dog like crazy and I believe she has helped in healing.  A dog doesn’t judge them.  Just be prepared to have it be your responsibility.  When my H was deep in the fog he would forget we even had her.  Be prepared for lots of cycling when your W comes home.  This is hard not to have expectations.
Title: Aliens stole my W!!!!! Part 10: Rockin' around, the MLC tree have a happy holida
Post by: OffRoad on January 07, 2021, 07:32:12 PM
When you are sure you want to have the responsibility of the dog, that is when you should get one. We had 6 guinea pigs everyone else PROMISED they'd clean up after. Nope. Not D, not S, not H. It would get so bad we'd have flies in the summer and then I could have flies, continue to ask, be promised and have nothing done, or clean it myself. Yeah, I could only stand flies for about a day. I realize that is my shortcoming, I couldn't deal with flies until someone who promised to clean it would do so, but when I said Yes to the Guinea Pigs, I knew this would likely be the result. It's why I said No to a dog.

I'm glad she is calling you and wondering about your days, SS. Does she have any plans for return, or is it just as it goes?
Title: Aliens stole my W!!!!! Part 10: Rockin' around, the MLC tree have a happy holida
Post by: HeavenlyFocus on January 07, 2021, 09:24:30 PM
Hi SS,

I think the Dog may be a good idea and could be helpful but I think you have to go in with the expectation that you may have to care for the dog more at times when she is cycling.  My W loves dogs and has been one of her joys through the MLC.   
Title: Aliens stole my W!!!!! Part 10: Rockin' around, the MLC tree have a happy holida
Post by: AlvinTheMaker on January 08, 2021, 05:44:30 AM
Alvin!!
Hey buddy! Long time no see. How are you doing?
-SS

Doing all okey with lovely ms. H right by my side  ;) 

-k-

Title: Aliens stole my W!!!!! Part 10: Rockin' around, the MLC tree have a happy holida
Post by: Standing Strong on January 08, 2021, 12:32:27 PM
Oh..... I was going to ask the group a strange request and see if you've run into this before...... I was a little  :o but it also made a sort of sense too.

W has been much more open and communicative..... which is good. She's also been much more open about what she's going thru, not totally, but MUCH more than any time in the past: She's able to accept and communicate that she is having anxiety..... so for example, she's called because she's having major anxiety and sometimes when we're talking at night she'll also tell me that she's having anxiety right then and try to explain how much of it is happening in that moment. This is good. I suspect however it's much more than that..... it's just what she is able to perceive in the moment..... but still, not complaining, it can't be easy to admit that something is very wrong, not to others and not to yourself. I give her a lot of kudos in getting to that point.

Well.... getting to my question...... she wanted to talk about what we want from each other. The issue of affection came up. She understands I want affection, and she admitted that she needs affection too (wow). This has been a terrible area in our R...... ever since she went into shadow all those years ago, it has been very difficult for her.... just little things: hugs, kisses..... things that shouldn't BE difficult..... but when your emotions shut down, well.... how can it be for you otherwise? Well, she says she needs affection..... that's not a problem.... I'm very affectionate  :-* . Anyway, I bring up that in the past, affection makes her run for the hills..... and I have let her get away. There's no forcing affection on someone. She had to really think about that (could tell it was difficult for her) and then she admits...... "Yes, you're right..... I do run away and have for a long, long time". I ask what I can do about that...... after all, you hug someone and they pull away...... what DO you do with that? She thought long and hard about that..... quite a struggle, then she quietly says "don't let me get away". I'm very surprised...... what if you say "stop" (which has happened). She thinks long and hard again...... "If I say stop..... then I guess stop is stop..... stop should be stop..... but short of that...... grab me and don't let me go. I need to be held, everyday".

Hmmmmmm..... on one hand, it makes sense. Gives me images in my mind of that film Aliens when Ripley finds Newt and has to hold her until she calms down and knows it's safe. But the other part of me, the gentleman says "Um..... is that right? Is it forcing? I've never forced my W to do anything..... and is that part of the problem? Well... it's an interesting question. One that will be tested, and I'm already thinking about it too much. Guess that's something that needs to be worked on (in me). Not a question or idea I had expected, but then again..... what is? LOL!!

One day at a time,

-SS
Title: Aliens stole my W!!!!! Part 10: Rockin' around, the MLC tree have a happy holida
Post by: Nas on January 08, 2021, 12:45:55 PM
My initial reaction here is, okay, so if you initiate and she says stop, you stop.
She needs to get to a point within herself where, if she wants to be held, she doesn't say "stop" while being held.  That's on her. 
I would very strongly agree with you that to do otherwise if she says the word "stop" would not be right.

If she's saying stop when she means don't stop, then she needs to figure out why.  You can't have a healthy relationship with unclear communication or game playing (not suggesting in this instance she'd be consciously playing games by saying stop, but there is a reason why she's saying stop and she needs to sort that out for herself).

Just my quick first impression from my first read of your post - others will say more...

ETA:  I forgot to add, you commented that you've never "forced your wife to do anything," and leaving aside your question of whether that was a problem (my opinion, this statement deserves a longer discussion, but no one should be "forcing" their partner to do anything) - that is a very, very different issue than "forcing" affection on someone.  I would not equate them in any way. 
Title: Re: Aliens stole my W!!!!! Part 10: Rockin' around, the MLC tree have a happy holida
Post by: Thunder on January 08, 2021, 01:18:48 PM
Oh my dear Standing they are sure crazy making, aren't they?  :o

Typical cra cra MLCer thinking.  If I say no don't listen to me.
Then if you didn't listen somehow it would be your fault.

Standing I have to agree with Nas on this.
Men are taught stop means stop out of respect for the woman.

You would never force yourself on your wife or anyone else, you are not the bad boy.
If her fantasy is that, then she will not find it with you.

Standing it's good you two are talking about things but she has not been in her MLC that long really.  Her opening up is good, just be a good listener.  "Ah huh...Oh that's good."
Maybe dial back the relationship talks a bit.

Let her know about all the fun things you are doing, and ask about hers.
Just light conversations....and maybe a prayer together at night.

Just my 2 cents, Standing.  :)  You are doing really good.
Title: Re: Aliens stole my W!!!!! Part 10: Rockin' around, the MLC tree have a happy holida
Post by: marvin4242 on January 08, 2021, 02:47:04 PM
SS: I am going to share something personal that may help you. Due to my history and upbringing I used to have a lot of problem with physical contact. Not in a clinical or fearful way, I enjoyed hugs and physical contact. But when my wife would hug me after a little bit a strange discomfort would rise and I would have to stop. We used to talk about it, she understood why, and she would not take it personally. But when I asked for help she used to hold me and when I became uncomfortable she would say “not yet, you are not full yet.”

This was a very worked out and careful agreement. This was in context of my therapy and when she was a fully healthy individual. I would say there is something there she really needs to look into in therapy first. If and when she discovers and processes it THEN you may be a helpful agent to help her work it through. But before ANY of that not only is it a bit strange to put that on you, it also may actually backfire for her. Whatever happens for her may be trauma related and trauma has to be handled carefully. Specially with whatever else she may be struggling with.

Good luck.

Title: Aliens stole my W!!!!! Part 10: Rockin' around, the MLC tree have a happy holida
Post by: Standing Strong on January 12, 2021, 01:18:06 PM
Thank you Marvin  8)

It's interesting topic for sure.... For me, affection is very natural, but I am good friends with an ex-MLC-F who described something very similar to what you're saying..... uncomfortable with touch (which drove her H's crazy).
I think that exercise your W would do is really good. The "you're not full" made me laugh  ;D (and I think very wise on her part).

Journaling:
The calls every day continue, and she seems to really be taking notice of everything she's missing...... and doesn't want to be left out.
The talk about a dog has gone away for the moment (good) and I'm really looking forward to trying new things. I think that a stable diet of NEW is what's needed at this point. Both for me, and for her: take us out of the normal comfort zone, and make some new memories/interests.
I'm putting down what is on the menu for activities and not asking her for input really, just giving the option to join in. So far, she's eating up what I'm putting out..... I think that was a big problem before: Too much negotiating, she wants to be lead. To that end, I'm putting together a trip for later in the year to see some new things..... the Ark Encounter is on my list so I think a nice trip to that area of the country would be great, and maybe an amusement park as well (we'll see if COVID allows or not). Well, she could retreat after getting back (or not) but I'm going!! HA!! One way or another this going to be a banner year!!

As we talked last night, the subject of getting back to lifting weights came up.... I selected the next program we will be doing, and I explained why (we'd both list it) and she was "ok". I think it's going to be this way for awhile..... she in her shell, and sticking her head out to see if it's safe (and not missing anything) and me charging along. I think that's the point..... could be wrong.

One thing that I want to do is return to church (in person). The COVID has taken that away for too long, and life needs to return to "normal".

Time to start making plans for another trip  ;D Getting that cooped up feeling........  :P
This would be my 1st in-person, traveling since COVID started. How exciting!! Where to go? What's open?? LOL!!

-SS
Title: Aliens stole my W!!!!! Part 10: Rockin' around, the MLC tree have a happy holida
Post by: Standing Strong on January 13, 2021, 08:27:01 AM
Journaling:

Five days until W is back........ but changes to document from my last journal entry.

I had decided to plan a vacation, so at the next call with W I told her my plan. She was good with it, and she wants to go  :D
Looks like our 1st vacation together in years is (basically) setup for April. Still have some things to talk about when she gets back (details) but she was very accepting and willing. That's good. My plan of at least one new adventure a year (shooting for two) won't be deviated from. Solo or not, really looking forward to this trip, a couple bucket list items on it  8) ;D

When we prayed last night, for the 1st time, she also prayed..... which is to say, I prayed out loud, and then she did. For I don't know how many years, I would be the only one who prayed out load. That was really, really good. I made a comment afterward that it was very good, and she quietly replied "I'm trying". Yes, she is. Her prayer in large part revolved around forgiveness, forgiveness when you don't deserve it, and loving unconditionally. Trying not to read too much into that, what will come will come.
She let me know what she talked to her IC yesterday (I wasn't aware of her talking to her while on this trip, and I think yesterday must have been the 1st time in a while)..... she said that she updated the IC on our recent talking, changes on our attempts at working together/communication and asked for help when we run into problems as we "work on the M". I think this is good, but there are some yellow flags in there for me..... and that may just be me. "Working on the M"..... yeah, I don't know what I think about that. It does need work, but the problem isn't the M. It does have to be rebuilt at some point, but I'm not sweeping under the rug, and she's not out of MLC. So that's a challenge......  I don't like the idea that from her perspective "the M needs work", and "there's something not right with me" (but has difficulty with the "me" part). Perhaps this is normal, I'm not sure. On one hand, I do feel what any LBS would be tempted by: The desire to fix and move forward. The false promise that there is a reset. False, false, false. The bad root is still there, and it has to be pulled. Is it time for that? I think not.

Another item which was given voice (again) was the desire to purge.... to eliminate the excess "stuff" in the home, and to reorganize and redecorate.  ;D I know us men don't understand this need, or what it means to a woman. W wants to go (together) and clean out each closet, one by one, and toss everything not needed or used. This is a great idea. She's talked about it for years, but hasn't gone after it. Perhaps this time will be different, perhaps not. I feel like she will actually do it this time (maybe) and wanting to do it together is a good development (IMO). Following that, she wants to paint the walls, and replace furniture. I know what she wants: a simpler, brighter, "happier" environment. Less cluttered. Makes me wonder if this is tied to subconscious processing. It also makes me wonder if this will be tied to the withdrawal and depression areas of development (I think there's a good chance). Not like it's a weekend project, it'll take several months to accomplish if not a year or more.

Well, I embrace it.... and if there's "working on the M" thrown in there too..... well, that's good also.

Seems like so much, and then I break it down, and really it's not that much. Eat that elephant.... one bite at a time,

One day at a time,

-SS
Title: Aliens stole my W!!!!! Part 10: Rockin' around, the MLC tree have a happy holida
Post by: Standing Strong on January 16, 2021, 09:56:48 PM
Journaling:

W got home tonight.
Pretty interesting, but short.

Got to the airport, took her bag and off we went. No hug, no kiss (well, mask..... LOL).
We got to the car and off we went........ see looks at me and says "did you miss me?" in a small voice...... and it was a real question. I detected some concern in it.
This surprised me a little. And I said yes, but I also noticed how detached I felt... which took me by surprise to finally realize it. If I can sense it, then she can too..... so yes, she should be a little concerned about it..... and maybe I should also.

So we get home, and the birds go nuts. They're so happy. she spends a moment with them, and she's ready for bed. She's been traveling for 24 hours, and up for 36 hours. I grab her and give her a big hug. She hugs back and smiles after.
She's very happy to be home, and mentions all the things she's missed..... especially the bed. LOL!! Nothing like sleeping in your own bed.
Then she wants to watch part of a show as she drifts off to sleep..... and asks for a back rub (which she gets). *Poof* off to sleep.

I can tell she wants things to be as she knows them.
Time is coming fast that there will be a BIG talk. I can feel it. We are tip-toeing around it..... I can tell.
Well, it will come when it is ready..... but it is inevitable. I know this.
Strange that I have become so detached and I'm barely able to even see it. I think this is why there is concern in her.... and not just a little. She's very concerned, I can tell.
And now the truth...... I don't need her. It would be nice to rebuild, but I'm not longing for it. I'm not yearning for it. I'm on my own two feet, completely. That doesn't mean I would give up, wouldn't abandon, but something BIG has changed. Me. There is no pursuit. Zero. That has me thinking it should be a little distressing, but I don't feel it. I'm not ugly, not cold, not indifferent...... just, void.... and not void where there is no emotion, I still feel, but somehow, feeling for her is shutdown. Not in a "I don't love her way", I know I still love her. I know it. I don't FEEL it. What a strange place this is. Very twilight zone. My life is moving, very quickly I might add..... she doesn't seem to be a part of it at the moment. How odd is that? A little scary as I write that. It absolutely isn't what I had planned or intended on doing. Not even a choice I have made.... what is it? Now THAT part is not scary. Not at all. I have not chosen to feel (or not feel) this way, so I'm not concerned about it. Which means it's normal, and part of the process. What is the purpose of this? I'm not sure.

Hmmmmm..... time to explore deeper...... this is quite strange.
I sense that she can lose me here.... but not like before. In the beginning the choice was there to be lost as the damage and bad behavior was pushing me away thru pain. I chose to stick it out then, and I did. Hopefully the right way. I think I did it right. Time passed and I grew stronger. I chose to stay, and I did. Hopefully the right way. I think I did it right.
The questions which have plagued me the last few weeks has revolved around "what is left?". This is a VERY difficult question to grapple with. Like all the other major LBS questions we have to face, this one has been a wrestling match (with myself). The answers aren't pretty but it's not the answers of "what's left" which are hard.... those are actually easy to figure out. The hard part of understanding those answers is weighing them out to make a choice with them. I have no fear of rumblings, musings, thoughts and ideas that have no choice associated with them. Don't bother me at all. Choices however have life altering ramifications and those freak the heck out of me.

The question of "what is left" is difficult because the prospect of rebuilding is on the way.... or at least the choice to go down that road is. In the beginning I took this for granted..... "Of course REBUILD!! That's what this is all about!!". LOL!! Seems almost a lifetime ago. So much has changed, and I have changed, grown and grown up. The question of "what's left" is here because I have answered for myself "what is lost?".... and that was a hard question to answer, but it had no choice associated with it. So no fear, no worries, just realizations. The realization that what I really wanted, what I dreamed about, and my fantasy of what a marriage is, was wiped out and destroyed.  Obliterated. It's not coming back, it can't be repaired, those years are all gone. What is left? What good things can be salvaged..... hmmmmm..... wrong word. What can be built anew, from scratch, that has lasting value and can be real? There's a good question. What CAN be built from scratch, that has lasting value and is worth the cost? What was can't be built. My fantasy can't be built. What a conundrum don't you think? No wonder why MLC'ers and LBS's both run and try to recreate something which can't be built. The truth is it can't be built with anyone...... not the way you want it to be. You can be strong and you can include someone in your life, but in the end it's still your life. Not a "we" life, not an "us" life, just A life. Nothing wrong with that. I have to admit, it was much simpler, prettier, and more intoxicating with the pre-MLC blinders on. HA!!

So I look at this woman asleep, and I think "what is left?".  How interesting that when I write the answers come....... What is left is a life (if chosen to rebuild), just not how I had envisioned it. She can't save me just as I can't save her...... what is lost is my romanticism, and the knowledge that she is just a person, not wonder woman.... and maybe I'm not superman either (although I thought I was). Can it ever be "it's you and me against the world baby!"..... "Bonnie and Clyde!!" ever again? I don't know. I somehow doubt it, but never say never. There is hope. Always hope.

One day at a time,

-SS 
Title: Aliens stole my W!!!!! Part 10: Rockin' around, the MLC tree have a happy holida
Post by: Curiosity on January 16, 2021, 10:40:10 PM
Wow, SS... I have read a number of posts here that have made me think, learn, grow, evolve... but this post feels like it distills the LBS journey down to the absolute essentials. Being about a year behind you, I am still at a place where my detachment is about protecting myself from pain. But the introspection about what you have lost, but also what you could still have... that is deeply thought provoking and inspiring.

Thank you for sharing your journey, and I am happy that your W is back and that you are healed such that you can manage the effects of her crisis so admirably.
Title: Re: Aliens stole my W!!!!! Part 10: Rockin' around, the MLC tree have a happy holida
Post by: marvin4242 on January 17, 2021, 09:14:54 AM
SS, I can imagine this must be such a melancholy realization, and at some level may be sad. I get what you are saying, I remember a similar moment. But it’s such a sign of your strength, healing and growth. You didn’t ask for this to happen, but you have faced it with strength, love and kindness.

It feels like a loss to know that romantic idea can’t exist anymore. But truth is it didn’t exist before, we were just happily enjoying the naivety of not knowing. It is a little bit like a child discovering their parents aren’t superhuman.

But you sound in a great place. There is no need to make any decisions, the options are in front of you. And with your emotional clarity comes the ability to choose, not be compelled as we find ourselves in the early days. The best part is whatever you decide will be an owned decision, made with eyes wide open.

I personally think in a lot of ways a relationship rebuilt and love regained with everything you know now is perhaps even more valuable, amd I am sure it is much stronger and fully held. And if at the end if it’s not regained that choice is also made with eyes wide open, and without resentment and anger.

Thank you for sharing and you are such a powerful voice for others who are struggling.

Hang in there.
Title: Aliens stole my W!!!!! Part 10: Rockin' around, the MLC tree have a happy holida
Post by: HeavenlyFocus on January 17, 2021, 05:22:04 PM

So I look at this woman asleep, and I think "what is left?".  How interesting that when I write the answers come....... What is left is a life (if chosen to rebuild), just not how I had envisioned it. She can't save me just as I can't save her...... what is lost is my romanticism, and the knowledge that she is just a person, not wonder woman.... and maybe I'm not superman either (although I thought I was). Can it ever be "it's you and me against the world baby!"..... "Bonnie and Clyde!!" ever again? I don't know. I somehow doubt it, but never say never. There is hope. Always hope.


SS,

Your post has given me so much to think about my own situation as I am only 6 months in since BD.   With my W's MLC, there is so much for me to ponder as I truly have lost myself during the recent years with my W's health challenges.   

Thank you for your voice and help as I struggle in my own situation.  Wish you the best as you try to get settled with her back at home.
Title: Aliens stole my W!!!!! Part 10: Rockin' around, the MLC tree have a happy holida
Post by: Standing Strong on January 19, 2021, 06:00:20 AM
Thank you Curiosity, Marvin and HF  8)
You guys are great.  :D

Journaling:
1st day with W back...... she has just hopped into life like nothing has happened. I know this isn't unusual, but it is something to see. Just a trial to see if they'll be accepted or attacked. I'm sure the expectation is that one or both would happen, and their hope is to rug sweep and keep going. LOL!! Can't say if the sitch was reversed I'd be any different (thank God that isn't the case... what a terrible place that would be).

Anyway...... something else popped in today which kinda made it all real in a different way....... W mentions it's the anniversary of the death of the person who set all this in motion. 9 years. Shadow began 9 years ago..... funny thing is, this death, this person..... she hasn't talked about it really at all during this time. Today she's like "oh yeah, BTW, can you believe it's been 9 years?". Um.... yeah.... of course our perspectives about that time is radically different. To her, it's been nine years with some drama heaped in there. No connecting dots, no understanding. For me, it's been nine years of confusion, pain, lack of understanding, a detonation and then growth/rebirth. A very full nine years indeed...... and it's not over.  ::)
Well, just one of those moments which can dumbfound you, and go right over their head all at the same time. I'm sure there will be many more of those moments ahead.

For me, it's nice to see someone (more of her anyway), that I haven't seen in many years. Another puzzling thing...... really threw me for a loop...... during this MLC...... she's not a patient person...... she gets frustrated quickly.... well, this was magnified to a MASSIVE, MASSIVE, degree during MLC. To the point of if ANYTHING wasn't the way she wanted, she'd throw up her hands and quit...... stomp around like a child..... sulk...... it really, really, really, sucked. Hated that. Years and years of that. Eggshells. Impossible to please. Impossible.
Anyway, today the TV remote stops working...... to me this is no big deal, you fix it or work around it and move on. W hasn't been around for a couple months, I haven't had to deal with that personality nuance (which has been really nice). So the remote blows up, I'm laughing at it, and offer that maybe we need to buy a replacement remote. "What do we do until then?". She begins searching for a cell phone based remote to use right now.... I say why not use the expensive remote I had bought you? (Years ago, when I was trying to make her life easier, help her relax...... I had bough her a super nice remote to control everything in the bedroom, for Christmas. The box is still next to the bed, never used, never opened). She says "where is it?" and begins searching..... LOL!! It's right here..... I hand it to her... "Oh, there it is......." (I've looked at the box, passed by it every day for three years - how can she have not seen it?). LOL!!

Well, the remote fights her.... and I see the frustration building. Uh oh..... I forgot about this. DOH!  :-X
And then she doesn't blow up..... instead she puts it down and smiles. De-arming herself.
Ok..... I haven't seen this.... like ever. I can't even hardly believe it. And then it's over. We're watching something, and that's that. LOL!! Hey, improvement... I'll take it.

2nd and 3rd days back:
More evidence of patience in W...... been watching for more areas that she would instantly blow up, and it hasn't happened. Huh, now that's just so weird. I mean, I could get used to that, heck I'd hoped for that exact thing for years. Has it happened? Hard to believe. Makes me wonder if this is what they talk about with the MLC"er becoming a better version of themselves. Didn't know what that meant, maybe it's this? Just interesting.
She keeps trying to grab on to Christian things.... wants to watch Christian movies together (and we have). The desire to only consume "clean" music and TV is very strong in her right now, very strong. Interesting. It's like she's done a 180 and running in the opposite direction as fast as she can. That's great, but you can overdo it..... anything which resembles a mania makes me a little nervous like "is this real?". I think that's normal to question, and time will tell. Absolutely there would need to be some calming down on this direction, it's not sustainable. I also think whatever she is processing, she's trying to get away from as fast as possible. Doesn't seem to want to talk about anything of substance (And I'm not pushing her - at all). Just being myself and letting her come to me. She wants to be involved in all kinds of things which have had ZERO interest to her the last few years...... she even went with me to the grocery store last night.... she HATES the grocery store...... just to be with me. Oh course the experience was a little strange.... she followed me around the grocery store like a little puppy.... always behind me. I kept looking back, looking to see if she was there.... she was. Why aren't you walking next to me? Stop, slow down, see if she'll pull up next to me. Nope..... follow, follow, follow, right behind. Ok. Weird. Self-esteem is shot? I wonder.

Well, writing it down so I don't forget anything. Curious how long this stage will last and where it goes.

One day at a time,

-SS
Title: Aliens stole my W!!!!! Part 10: Rockin' around, the MLC tree have a happy holida
Post by: Standing Strong on January 19, 2021, 09:56:11 AM
Awww crap.... I forgot to log a detail......

W keeps pointing out what she's doing around the house. She is doing more than she has in the last couple years..... and each time it's "look.... see what I do around here?" and "there's so much I do that you don't realize".  :o

She hasn't done ANYTHING in two years (maybe more) around the house..... with the exception of cleaning the floors twice in the middle of the night during an MLC mania.

Soooooo odd...... anyway..... for completeness, needed to log it.

One day at a time,

-SS
Title: Aliens stole my W!!!!! Part 10: Rockin' around, the MLC tree have a happy holida
Post by: HeavenlyFocus on January 19, 2021, 06:33:23 PM
SS,

When my W was living in, she would also do this from time to time and talk about everything that she was doing making the same comment.   Not sure what it is with MLC, but their fog seems to leads to this behavior.

HF
Title: Aliens stole my W!!!!! Part 10: Rockin' around, the MLC tree have a happy holida
Post by: Finding Joy on January 21, 2021, 07:34:33 AM
SS, it sounds like you’ve reached a new level of detachment and self love.  That truly is when it becomes dangerous for them.  You have truly been a model of love and grace in your marriage!  Praying she keeps waking up!
Title: Aliens stole my W!!!!! Part 10: Rockin' around, the MLC tree have a happy holida
Post by: Standing Strong on January 21, 2021, 08:58:56 AM
It's Wednesday already?
Sheesh.... time flies..... time for weekly journal......  8)


Lots of small things I'm seeing..... little surprises that I guess I never really considered an MLC'er would do but it makes sense that they'd have to do.

For instance.... rediscovery. The other day W says "Wow, you have big hands"  :o They're the same hands I've always had. Did she forget? Never notice? Just strange.
Lots of little weird things like that.
The other day she actually cracked a joke, I don't know how long it's been since that's happened. It wasn't fake..... I laughed at her making a joke not the joke itself.

On the ME side, I'm making changes with this new connection, reconnection, whatever it is....... leading. This is what we're doing, *BAM* we do it. And I'm asking more from her..... like in the past, I would cook dinner, or lunch or whatever, take care of the birds at the same time, you know.... do lots of things and she relaxed. I was trying to ease her burdens and show love thru "doing" (which didn't "DO" anything.... LOL). Now, I'll be making dinner and say "can you take care of the birds?", "Can you do this - or do that?". If I'm doing something to help/serve us, then she can do the same at the same time. No more free rides. If she cares, she can show thru ACTIONS, or at least help. I'm demanding help, but I'm not ugly about it. Just putting my foot down.
She's been complaining about the garage for years, and I had done a TON of work in there (and it's not complete). Well, I wanted us to start working out in there..... so I grab her yesterday and say "come with me", and out to the garage we go. "You have two hand, select two things from this shelf...... what you grab either goes somewhere else (inside) or it goes in the trash...... we will do this everyday until the garage is clean. You get to know that with every day there is improvement, and movement towards this goal we both want". I grabbed by two things, and she grabbed three. Today we will do it again. Tomorrow we will do it again, and the day after. Not putting this stuff off to "someday" ever again. Not going to put up with complaining, not going to just do it all myself and ever get slammed for the end product not being up to her desire.

Then there's ME...... I had put on 8 pounds since Thanksgiving  :-[ at my last weighing (last week). Yesterday I weighed again..... all 8 pounds are gone.  ;D
Diet is back in order, and as soon as the garage is ready, daily workouts are on the menu once again. 6 pack you are MINE!! 10% bodyfat, you're next!!  8)

This year is important. There is no rushing her or her healing. No making that go faster. My goals, dreams and projects..... I have control over that, and they're not going to wait for ANYONE (not even me). So forward and onward...... eat my dust..... but please, don't eat my dust.

One day at a time,

-SS
Title: Aliens stole my W!!!!! Part 10: Rockin' around, the MLC tree have a happy holida
Post by: Standing Strong on January 25, 2021, 12:36:41 PM
Mini-Journal:

I guess I'm going to mini-journal for a bit while things are changing rapidly. Have to record everything....... no loss.

W's change is going so fast, well, it seems fast to me.  :P
The amount of clinging is almost uncomfortable at times. I know it's what a "normal" R has in it, but it's weird to be pursued.
She's hanging on every word I say... wants to do things together almost non-stop.... at times it's difficult to have room to breath.
This has had some unexpected effects on me...... stress is up, blood pressure is up (stress). That's not good, but really..... could there be any other way? There has to be re-engagement at some point.
Trying to combat this with more exercise (which is helping), so take something bad, turn it's energy into something good. I'm fine with that.
Restarted my daily walks (no matter what) and started an intensive weightlifting program (both by myself), and that has been AWESOME. I have a sore chest right now, and tonight some sore arms to match.

W has started touch again after so many years of none. This is very welcome, BUT there is no deep talk.... and I'm not pushing or probing. That will come when it comes, but until then.... touch has it's limits. I still sense there is much beneath the surface, being avoided. I take it as simmering, and I will not let it pass BUT I will give it the time it needs to come out on it's own. If I asked what I'd like to ask, I'm certain there would be denial..... so there's no need in asking.
She continues to talk about her ring....... and is very engaged in the "good girl" aspect what she clung to for forever. Still think she just thinks she can snap back to what she was...... nope. A lot of figuring out still to do on her side (expected) but if she needs to be in this aspect to figure things out (Which makes sense) then have at it. I just hope she doesn't get stuck here. It's not a bad place to be stuck, but it's not the end goal, and it's not something I will accept. How strange, this is what I wanted when this all started.... "please go back to what was", and now I don't want that..... I want a lot more.  ;)
I can imagine this is confusing to her.... I'm not all over her. She has to chase, I'm not. I don't want to, I'm not going to. I will provide positive reinforcement, but not more than that. She gets little rewards for being thoughtful, but I'm not moving mountains anymore..... well, that's wrong. I'm moving mountains.... for ME...... and that's on full display for her to see. What she thinks about that, I have no idea.... but she's chasing.

Continuing to be leery about her wanting to get a dog. Still think it's a bad idea, but I could be wrong. Want validation that she is steadfast in it first, but that is impossible to prove..... and so I'm leery of a dog.  :P

One day at a time,

-SS
Title: Aliens stole my W!!!!! Part 10: Rockin' around, the MLC tree have a happy holida
Post by: Standing Strong on January 26, 2021, 07:27:06 AM
Micro Journaling:

Something very interesting happened last night, and different.
W and I worked out for the 1st time since her vacation (so 1st time in 3 months), and it was good. Got her over some kind of mental block. She tried to squirm out of it, but I was steadfast and once we started she had a great time.
Then we were going to watch a show and all of a sudden she gets very talkative........ *BOOM* she's off to the races (good). What she says takes me by surprise: It's her plan for the next few years, and for life. Essentially her goals, what she wants to do with her life, what her dreams are.... etc. It's a sound plan, a good plan and realistic. It can work. Included in the plan is me, and us. She acknowledges that I have my own dream too. Anyway, it was nice to hear something that wasn't a  :o fantasy, or a "I'm doing to do this" without anyway of actually doing that. So she has a plan, and I'm in the plan. That's good.

Then another "Hmmmmm" moment: I'm getting ready to pray and I ask her if she has any special requests. She says "Hmmmmmm...... Hmmmmmmm.... Hmmmmmm" I can see she wants to say something, why doesn't she say it? Why is this so hard, it's prayer? She then asks for prayer for the father of a "friend" in the other country that MIL lives in (a suspected OM). Ahhhhhhhh, I see. She didn't want to say his name. I've seen this before too. Well, I've seen a lot of weird behavior around this person over the last couple years. Brought back a lot to me, connecting dots about avoidance of this name. Then she asks for prayer for the two of us.
For me this is further confirmation. There is no reason for saying this name to be so difficult if there isn't a reason. Her eyes unable to keep connection during this time. Well, at some point, it'll come out. I can imagine it would be difficult to admit...... of course I already know. Does she know I know? Part of me says yes, and part of me is expecting her to be shocked when it's revealed and I say I know. Still, "discovery day" is yet to come and I still don't honestly know how I will react. She is still praying and talking about forgiveness and that things happen for a reason.

I still maintain that the end of the year was a decision and a turning point, tonight her revealed plans seem to confirm that, and she's taking steps to accomplish these plans (actions), actually she was already well into the actions for her plan and just bothered to share with me last night. LOL!! She's calling her dream "Plan B" and when her job peters out, or she has had enough, she'll have her "Plan B" going and can leave it. That's good. The difference between her and I is that my job has always been my "Plan B" and not my "Plan A". Just an interesting thing I observed too.

Well, just writing so I don't forget anything.

One day at a time,

-SS
Title: Aliens stole my W!!!!! Part 10: Rockin' around, the MLC tree have a happy holida
Post by: HeavenlyFocus on January 26, 2021, 07:54:15 PM
SS,

I really appreciate your patience and glad to hear your W is starting to develop her plans that are realistic.   I also am encouraged that your W is starting to open up and that the truth may be revealed in time.

It is still fairly new into my W's MLC journey and my W hasn't told me the truth about the OM which I have pretty clear proof.  For whatever reason, she is not ready to face it so I will also be patient and let her work out her own issues.   

Wish you the best as your relationship keeps moving in a positive direction.

HF
Title: Aliens stole my W!!!!! Part 10: Rockin' around, the MLC tree have a happy holida
Post by: Standing Strong on January 26, 2021, 08:54:06 PM
Hey HF  :D

That does seem to be a reoccurring theme with MLC'ers isn't it? The inability to come clean. Is it guilt? Shame? Disbelief of what they've done?
Very strange. I've had ex-MLC'ers long after their MLC was concluded still in complete denial and self-delusion about some of their actions. In one sentence admitting multiple affairs, and in the next sentence holding steadfast that they never committed adultery.  :o
Funny how that works.

-SS
Title: Re: Aliens stole my W!!!!! Part 10: Rockin' around, the MLC tree have a happy holida
Post by: marvin4242 on January 26, 2021, 11:23:22 PM
Very strange. I've had ex-MLC'ers long after their MLC was concluded still in complete denial and self-delusion about some of their actions. In one sentence admitting multiple affairs, and in the next sentence holding steadfast that they never committed adultery.  :o

I would offer that their MLC was not concluded at all, more that they had settled into a version of it as a permanent state.

Something definitely is in flux with your wife. I truly hope she is finding a footing from which she can start healing. Just keep your detachment and let time tell you the truth.
Title: Aliens stole my W!!!!! Part 10: Rockin' around, the MLC tree have a happy holida
Post by: Standing Strong on January 27, 2021, 03:14:36 AM
Good point Marvin!

I had chalked it up to permanent damage, or limbo..... but yes, I could absolutely see it as a non-escape version. What a terrible existence that would be, but we'll never know (maybe fortunately).  ;)


Another (minor) observation last night (interesting). W had fallen asleep, I had crept away to brush teeth, read and get ready for bed. A little time goes by and I hear voices...... ? ......... did the TV get loud? Those darn commercials!! Except it wasn't a commercial....... I realize it's W on the phone, late at night. I wouldn't call this a trigger for me anymore, it was a solid part of her behavior the last couple years: Talking in the middle of the night to the wee hours in the morning, hiding, etc. I take a moment to note of what is different, something is different....... door is open, she has the phone on speaker phone (another change). It's her sister. Ah..... how interesting!! SIL is wonderful, and during this whole thing was pushed away by W. SIL had complained to me several times "I want my sister back". At one time they were very close, during MLC, W couldn't take her calls, take weeks to respond, and was annoyed by her sis (even contemplated cutting her out of her life  :o ). Well, there she is, talking it up..... and I put some dots together: since coming back from vacation, she's been talking to her sister every couple days (maybe more that I'm not aware of and don't need to be aware of).
I hop into bed and say hi to SIL...... with a smile on my face I tuck myself in and start drifting off to sleep...... SIL has her sister back.  :D

One night at a time,

-SS
Title: Aliens stole my W!!!!! Part 10: Rockin' around, the MLC tree have a happy holida
Post by: FaithWalker on January 27, 2021, 06:51:56 PM
Interesting indeed SS
Title: Aliens stole my W!!!!! Part 10: Rockin' around, the MLC tree have a happy holida
Post by: MantellyExhausted on January 28, 2021, 04:59:01 AM
The hiding of the texting and the phone calls is so bizarre.  Even when you know there is an OP in the situation, they still feel the need to make seem like there isn’t.  And they keep doing it even once you’re detached from the situation.
Keep showing her the way from the darkness into the light.  You are leading her.  Keep doing your thing! 
Title: Aliens stole my W!!!!! Part 10: Rockin' around, the MLC tree have a happy holida
Post by: readytofixmyselffirst on January 28, 2021, 06:23:50 AM
Hello,

Quote
W keeps pointing out what she's doing around the house. She is doing more than she has in the last couple years..... and each time it's "look.... see what I do around here?" and "there's so much I do that you don't realize".  :o

This is actually great news. If she didn't care how you thought or wasn't concerned about anything she was doing, she would never mention it. Now, comes the hard part is how to recognize her work, praise her for it without her feeling you are being fake or condescending which is how many people with low self-esteem and value often take the very praise they seek.

Quote
I hop into bed and say hi to SIL...... with a smile on my face I tuck myself in and start drifting off to sleep...... SIL has her sister back.  :D

Man, what a happy moment- especially when you dread who she might be talking to and then to have the happiness that she is talking to someone she should be talking to.

Keep going strong and working out. I wish you the very best and keep being the positive force in both yours and your wife's life.

(((((Ready)))))
Title: Aliens stole my W!!!!! Part 10: Rockin' around, the MLC tree have a happy holida
Post by: Standing Strong on February 01, 2021, 12:04:32 PM
Thanks Ready, ME and FW  :D

Interesting times for sure.

Journaling:
W and I got away for the weekend.  :D
We went on the road to see our niece play basketball. It was great, had a good time. Went shopping. Staying in a hotel.
W had a bad week at work last week, and getting away was good for her (me too). I thought being trapped in a car for hours would lead to a big R conversation, but no...... didn't happen. She had hinted at it, but when the time came...... I don't think she was ready...... and I'm not going to force it. It'll come out when it's the right time.
She was a little more normal, and a little more reserved all at the same time...... and a bit cranky (MLC or not, they're still just people..... so that's ok).

She's making more plans for the future. Missing some of her goals and commitments already, but she's trying.
Our workouts are going great.... I feel great...... some more body improvements. So much further to go.
She keeps buying workout clothes.... "how do I look? You like this?"...... shoes, clothes.... on and on. She may get really buff just putting on clothes and taking them off!!  :P :-X ;) Is that an exercise?

Funny also how I'm noticing so much more....... there is cycling (even though she's trying NOT to cycle)...... and I have some genuine feelings of compassion that are actually feelings rather than "knowings". Last night I kissed her on the head (1st time in a long, long, time). She got so happy, for a moment.
So much holding back.... but there is no "get on with it!!" from me..... LOL!!
Cook baby, cook.

This morning she put one of her magic potions on me. Some cream that goes under your eyes and tightens it all up. I went from tired eyes, to not tired eyes in 15 seconds...... amazing!! What else is she throwing on her face I wonder? LOL!!  :P

One day at a time,

-SS
Title: Aliens stole my W!!!!! Part 10: Rockin' around, the MLC tree have a happy holida
Post by: Standing Strong on February 10, 2021, 08:38:30 PM
Overdue for a journal entry..... better write before I forget  :P

It is a slow time for my MLC'er....... doesn't seem to be much of anything going on...... which in some ways is very nice.
I can't say this is a bad place to have a pause in, but it's not a place to stay forever either and I hope she's not getting too comfortable.

Activates are on the increase...... we went out of town together for a weekend a couple weeks ago, we did a cooking class online last weekend, working out every night together, and now we're scheduling our 1st real vacation together in three years. That's really good, but is it moving forward...... I don't think so. It's soooooo similar to what it was like in the very early years of shadow. She is accepting, willing and yet guarded of all her deep inner bits.
The more I've learned as time has gone on is to understand how the MLC'er has walls they either built during the M, had them built before the M, or a combo of both. Now I can see that much clearer. I knew it before but had always thought they would come down over time.... LOL!!!!..... never expected more walls to be built!!  :P And what is a wall? Protection. How sad that someone can be so guarded that they have to protect themselves from their spouse. It isn't the spouse which is a problem, it's THEM.
Walls: How these are disassembled, I don't know. I don't think she knows either. I hope therapy helps in this area, but I know it will be very slow, it's already very slow. I think the difficult thing to think about is "what if they are unable to break down these walls?". What do you do with that? I know the me of before would be very happy: To have relative peace, reduced conflict (hers)....... but really that's about it..... and I'm not the same person as before, I want more and will not settle for less (in the end). Still, I have faith that all can be healed, and all can be made better than before. I know this is possible, I just can't "see" how this is done from the present location. Interesting place to be, but not a bad place. Thankful for the whole thing, but it's a long ways from over. I can see that from this place, not one wall has come down from before BD...... and now I have a few walls because of MLC. Does that mean my walls have to come down 1st? I think they do  :( LOL!!

The problems she had before have come back to the fore..... she seems to be trying to figure them out, this time with more effort and contemplation than she has in the past (shadow and before). I hope she can figure it out this time...... I guess it really is now or never (HA! "Now", what a relative term.... now could be the net two years or something else entirely). She'll either get it, or she won't.... but she seems to be trying to.

As for me, I'm doing great. Here in this calm area it's nice to have more peace and someone who is semi-there instead of totally gone. Every so often I have to look over my shoulder just to make sure something hasn't changed, but no....... the peace continues.

One major thing she is struggling with is her career right now. Does she want it? Or something else? This is critical, as I see it now.... her obsession with work has  been so detrimental to us and to herself. She has spent so much of her life in work, all her "best" years...... and it really means nothing. This is very difficult for her. On one hand she can see this, and wants to leave it behind. On the other hand, she sees what she has spent and doesn't want it to be for nothing. I think what she ends up choosing will be a major determining factor in what happens. It certainly will have a major effect on what I choose in the end. All this time, almost the whole M, everything else has taken a backseat to her career. I can't blame her for this, I understand this drive well. I even fell for this same thing for several years, and then I snapped out of it. What's important isn't work, not to the exclusion of all else. Life just passes you by. Here at 40 for her, finally I think she's starting to understanding this. What she does with it..... who knows. I wish it could have happened a lot earlier. So much life, just passed by. I waved at it the last 10 years, and couldn't do anything to stop or change it. Waved at it as she spent our lives so carelessly. Finally I'm waving no more. That is such a blessing, and powerful. How sad it takes something like this to snap us out of it, but grateful to be snapped out. I'm ALIVE!! I can see!! 8)

One day at a time,

-SS 
Title: Aliens stole my W!!!!! Part 10: Rockin' around, the MLC tree have a happy holida
Post by: FaithWalker on February 11, 2021, 01:05:56 PM
I can really empathize with the walls.  Early into BD, I read a book by Henry Malone called Shame:  The Identity Thief.  There was a part in the book that just really struck me.  About shame and walls.  And how it kills intimacy between a couple.  I'm not sure I ever saw his true self and I'm not sure if he saw mine.  We both had walls constructed.
Title: Aliens stole my W!!!!! Part 10: Rockin' around, the MLC tree have a happy holida
Post by: Standing Strong on February 11, 2021, 10:19:04 PM
Hi FW,

Sad isn't it? They are a victim and they can't help it. What a terrible thing to be damaged and not know what it's even like to be "normal", but wish for it endlessly.

What did you do with your walls?

-SS
Title: Aliens stole my W!!!!! Part 10: Rockin' around, the MLC tree have a happy holida
Post by: FaithWalker on February 12, 2021, 06:52:38 PM
Hi FW,

Sad isn't it? They are a victim and they can't help it. What a terrible thing to be damaged and not know what it's even like to be "normal", but wish for it endlessly.

What did you do with your walls?

-SS

I sure hope they are coming down.  The first thing that I did was to deal with the toxic shame in my life, the shame that said that I'm not "enough".  I've tried to remain open and vulnerable as there is strength in vulnerability.

I haven't tried loving anyone else but I don't think it was because of walls in place, just more focusing on my healing and having hope for restoration for many years.
Title: Aliens stole my W!!!!! Part 10: Rockin' around, the MLC tree have a happy holida
Post by: Standing Strong on February 14, 2021, 09:16:33 PM
Happy Valentines Day fellow LBS's  :D

Never really made too much about today. Well, really I was the only one to ever make anything about it (in our M). Normally I'd cook something nice, get a little gift for W (normally pretty romantic) and she would always downplay it, like we never did anything about Valentines day.  ::)

This time, super simple: No gifts, no cooking......I ordered pizza and had a cheat day from the diet. She took it easy all day, and so did I. Nice day, nice weekend.

I've been tinkering with a concoction of vitamins to help with MLC. Not that she would take them in the beginning of MLC, but she is willing now. No trickery involved, I tell her what every pill is that I give her. Helps a lot with our exercise routine in a big way, but there's more in there just for MLC. After a month of use and a few missed days of not taking it...... I can see some major differences between the two. Very interesting. More research still to do but the early results are promising. Not a cure, but quality of life (for her) is greatly improved. Maybe some peace will help her process. Maybe it'll help her avoid. LOL!!
I've discovered that she is ticklish once again. Nice to she her laugh, giggle and be (a little) playful without blowing up. Oh that was terrible in times past..... tickle her, she'd jerk and then get mad....... later unable to be tickled at all. Is that something all MLC'ers go thru as well? Not being ticklish anymore? Or just with us? Unknown. I do know the sensation of fun or joy is something not allowed with us, which I think is why mine would get so mad. Well, anyway..... a new change.

Today she spent time showing me her jewelry making, how she does a bracelet..... start to finish. To have this happen, I sat down next to her the other day (uninvited) and watched. Didn't say anything. She was a bit..... hmmmm.... guarded? Uneasy? Something. I was in her space. Once she had done one, I went away and left her alone. Evidently this had some sort of impact. Today she invited me to see..... and she did the whole thing again (like it was the 1st time ever) and proudly told me every step (I've also seen this several times before - but that doesn't matter). Showing interest in their interests and praising their effort. She was very happy. There's something almost childlike about it, an odd observation...... but this is how the way is paved..... and if there is a way back, it's in things like this (I think).
Perhaps someday she will have some interest in what I like (beyond TV, which she is very accommodating with now). Just small, small baby steps..... and hopefully someday a bigger step.

It feels like what I'd imagine rehab to be: Like you're helping someone recover from something. I've been around a dementia person before, and in some ways it's sort of like that. For instance, we're going thru something right now where she remembers something and mentions it...... but she remembered it days or weeks ago...... but she doesn't seem to remember remembering it last time..... like it's the 1st time she's remembered something. I can ask her about something and she remembers it...... and then later will bring it up as if it's an original thought. I'm just happy all memories appear to be accessible now. The real question is are the emotion part of the memories also being accessed? I would say yes, but to a lessor degree then normal. If it was a 1-10 scale with 10 being perfect emotional recall, then I'd say it's a 2 or 3 and once in awhile a 4. Still, this is big improvement, not complaining.

We're about to get a little dog. He's all picked out and ready to come home. Oh boy this is going to be a big adjustment. I'm leery, but it would appear (to me) that she needs something to have empathy for. It's not me and it's not the birds at the moment. This was her choice and her heart is set on it. I figure someone will know what they need and seek it out when they need it..... so I'm not going to stand in the way of it. I held it back to make sure it wasn't a momentary, passing fad idea and it doesn't appear to be so. Maybe a little snuggly dog will help coax her out of the shell. Hope so. Happiness, joy and love begets more of the same. Hope it transfers to others down the road but this isn't about me.  ;)

On to me!!! Burned 1400 calories in exercise yesterday...... woooohoooooo!! Then threw it all away in pizza today. LOL!! I'm getting big (in a good way) arms bigger, chest bigger, back bigger, legs bigger...... no darn 6 pack!! BAH!!! All in good time, all in good time.
I think W has a little crush on the muscle freak on the exercise video.  ::) The funny thing is, he's a roid'ed out gym rat (and doesn't seem too bright), always showing off how much weight he's lifting as we go thru the video (vs. the other guys on the video)........ the funny thing is, on most exercises I can match him pound for pound (most not all) and on some exercises I lift more than him. He's a professional and on the juice...... I'm not. W always, ALWAYS sees it and asks how much I'm doing when I lift more than him. She's watching. She's comparing. Sheesh. At some point I'm going to hit my Arnold look. What will she think then? Who knows. Maybe I'll have to get dumb to attract her..... HAHAHAHAHHAHA!!

One day at a time,

-SS
Title: Aliens stole my W!!!!! Part 10: Rockin' around, the MLC tree have a happy holida
Post by: Standing Strong on February 18, 2021, 09:00:57 PM
Guess I'm past due to write......  8)

I love to journal..... it's like a moment in time, frozen. One in a while I go back to see who and where I was. Just an interesting thing and something I really enjoy.

I've had a busy and good week, and sooooo looking forward to the weekend.
I continue to cook new things..... tonight I made white gravy with bacon grease. Finally I can make rue with no problem  8) Gravy, Gumbo, the sky's the limit. lots of fun and tasty, but I can't say it's very healthy. Gotta live a little every so often even if it's bad for ya. Nothing six miles of walking can't make up for.  :D

It has become harder to leave my MLC'er alone...... she seems to want me around more and more. To what end I don't know. Maybe to become more comfortable with each other? I constantly get the impression she wants to tell me something and then pulls back...... and I don't want to mind-read, so I tell myself to get on with something else, but it's not like I'm trying to mind-read either. Well, whatever. It's a bit funny and I have fun with it. I'm not serious about much now days.

The house has laughter in it once again (regularly). At this moment, typing, I hear W's laugh from the bedroom. Parts continue to emerge from her, and little steps back too. The other night she ran away and closed the door.... which is fine. Doesn't bother me one bit, and I could care less about who she's talking to or what about (she later told me on her own anyway). She has opened up more about her IC. It would appear that has also taken a more "easy" feel to it as well..... no doubt because of the improvement of late..... and no doubt that's why she's more open about it. Nothing heavy, nothing deep, nor do I expect anything like that (or anything at all for that matter).

I did have a moment the other day when I was looking around the kitchen and realized that I'm still doing everything like I have the last few years. It was a reminder to me that where I am is not the goal. Funny that a few years ago I would have thought it was or could be, but it's not. It does make me wonder what a typical R looks like..... what it really looks like, and not the fantasy I always had in my head of what it "should" be. LOL!!!
People help one another right? HAHAHAHAHAH. Well, someday I'll have help. Real help. I wonder if most other LBS's end up feeling like caretakers of a sort for awhile. It would make sense..... keeping the lighthouse lit, even in calm waters....... caretaker. Hmmmmm, interesting (passing thought).

I almost signed up for a fitness improvement competition.... but I don't want anyone using my pictures to sell protein shakes...... LOL!!!
Still..... it's tempting. I love things that motivate me to work and do things. Very positive. Maybe it would help me get that 6 pack I keep chasing.
Decisions, decisions.

Just shy of two months until a vacation. I can't wait. W is becoming more resistant to it (for whatever reason), but I am resolute. If somehow she backs out, I'm going anyway. I'm also making plans to hit an amusement park later in the year. I don't know where or which one, but I've made a promise to myself and I'm going to keep it. The future is bright, and it's something I make for myself. Not too shabby. Maybe I'll fit in a Vegas trip in there as well.  8) COVID eat my dust.

One day at a time,

-SS
Title: Aliens stole my W!!!!! Part 10: Rockin' around, the MLC tree have a happy holida
Post by: Hoosier Daddy on February 18, 2021, 09:10:36 PM
SS,

Any updates on the puppy?
Title: Aliens stole my W!!!!! Part 10: Rockin' around, the MLC tree have a happy holida
Post by: PJ Ames on February 19, 2021, 09:57:28 PM
I'm with Hoosier. Puppy update please!

On the caretaker thing... Speaking for myself, I think I was a caretaker. For one thing, somebody has to do the dishes, right? Also, I looked at my w as someone with an illness. Taking care of her and holding down the fort seemed like the normal, natural thing to do for someone who was not well and whom I loved.

Hope the vacation plans work out. Man, it feels like it's been winter for a year.

Stay strong, Standing!
Title: Aliens stole my W!!!!! Part 10: Rockin' around, the MLC tree have a happy holida
Post by: Standing Strong on February 20, 2021, 10:12:39 AM
Hi HD and PJ  :D

The puppy came home last night. It was suppose to be last weekend but the snow that hit us shut down the roads.

Very cute, very small, little dog.
This is our 1st dog...... really, it's W's 1st dog (ever) and that's what really matters.
Meant to be a cuddly, emotional support creature..... 1st night was nice (and yeah, it's just the 1st night.... we'll see) but W was layering affection on the little animal like I haven't seen her do before except with her sister's babies when they were born so long ago (and since too, one of the few areas in her life where she displays real affection). So the little dog was very happy, and she stayed up all night with it, comforting it.
It cried every couple hours, and she would reassure it (keeping it in a carrier next to the bed while we tried to sleep.
Going to be interesting teaching it to be potty trained..... we haven't done this before, and even though I grew up with dogs, they were outside dogs. New for me too.

Well, a new adventure, and new things.... just what an MLC'er needs (and me too). Nice to have a new member of the family and I hope this little creature helps her heal, process and bring her out emotionally. She has already voiced a few times that he will "love her unconditionally" which seems to be a reoccurring theme for her this last year. What that means I have yet to understand. To my knowledge, no one that loves her has expressed anything but unconditional love for her...... but there's something in there that is telling her something else. I figure it's self judgment altering her perception, or something like that. Well, the little creature will love her unconditionally and if she can accept that from a creature maybe she will come to accept it from others as well. Time will tell.

Very cute little puppy. He's hit the lottery, going to have a very happy and spoiled life.
His little whines and cries are pitiful.  :P He knows how to tug on your heartstrings. 

One day at a time,

-SS
Title: Aliens stole my W!!!!! Part 10: Rockin' around, the MLC tree have a happy holida
Post by: HeavenlyFocus on February 20, 2021, 11:19:05 AM
Great news about the puppy.   We have small little dogs that our inside dogs and my W actually had one of them designated as an emotional support dog so the dog can stay free to her current apartment.  Overall, I think you having a dog can be a very good thing as long as you are not stuck taking care of dog by yourself.  Hope you and your W enjoy the puppy and good luck with potty training.

HF
Title: Aliens stole my W!!!!! Part 10: Rockin' around, the MLC tree have a happy holida
Post by: Standing Strong on February 21, 2021, 06:23:11 PM
Hey HF!!

How are you doing?

Minor update:

Today was the second full day with the puppy. We haven't gotten much sleep.  :P
HA!! He is very cute and adorable...... and smarter than I had hoped for. He's gotten pretty good at peeing on a potty training pad, not bad for one day of effort. He's perfect so long as he's with someone. The moment he's alone..... it's like the world is ending. LOL!!!

W has been very good and affectionate with the little creature, only losing her temper once in the middle of the night from all the crying and howling.
She's bathed him, cleaned up after him more than me, and really been after it. I'm genuinely surprised, but it's early too. We'll see. Overall, this is very promising.
The little animal loves his new life.  :D So spoiled and happy.

I'm just hoping for some sleep tonight, but having to let them out for the restroom every three hours makes that a little impossible.  :P

One night at a time,

-SS

Title: Aliens stole my W!!!!! Part 10: Rockin' around, the MLC tree have a happy holida
Post by: Standing Strong on February 25, 2021, 08:52:32 AM
Journaling

Well, coming up (soon) on a week with the puppy. He continues to be adorable and a lot of fun..... and a lot of cleaning up after...... but he's worth it.

Lots of observations with W. She has surprised to the upside (most of the time) but there are some weird thoughts to go with it.
She loves the "good bits".... the snuggling (especially) and the cuteness. She has been good about cleaning, and general things.
I had an odd thought the other day..... which was this: You know how you read about how some women want a baby and think it will solve problems? Of course a baby doesn't solve problems, but the thought occurred to me that the same could be happening here with this little puppy. Well, I hope that's not the case..... but after a few days of it being here (and keeping us up at night) she confessed that she was having some misgivings about the little dog, but that I was bonding so well with it  :o
There are times at night when she's holding it, and both of them are falling asleep together...... it really is one of the most "motherly" things I've ever seen from her.
She's always felt/said that the "mother" part of her brain never turned on, and that she thought it was really weird. As a man, I can't really understand this. I can imagine, but never really know what it is she's talking about...... or know how difficult this would be. If the little dog is helping stimulate this shut off area..... GREAT!! Of course, if it doesn't and that's what she's hoping for.... it could be a crushing disappointment for her. Can only hope for the best.

On the other hand...... I also see her running back full tilt into her job this week. This is a little disheartening, but I'm not showing it. It's her choice. Actually she's shut down quite a bit in the last week. Hey, two steps forward and one back... or sometimes one step forward and two back. That's how it goes.

On to me!! I've gained 5 pounds of muscle.... and lost none of what I wanted to lose..... BAH!!! I guess going the wrong direction isn't bad when it's all muscle.... but still!!! BAH!!! Time for more cardio.

-SS
Title: Re: Aliens stole my W!!!!! Part 10: Rockin' around, the MLC tree have a happy holida
Post by: Thunder on February 25, 2021, 09:43:48 AM
Hi Standing,

Do you by chance have a crate for the puppy?  Usually they get used used it at night pretty quickly.  Just put a piece of your worn clothing it with it so they have your scent and maybe a little stuffed animal.
They will cry or whine for awhile, or a night, but then they settle down and will sleep in there very nicely for you.
I just found the more you pick them up every time they cry, they will keep doing it.

Sorry if I'm telling you something you already know but I've had many puppies.
Crates are great for them, it gives them an enclosed place to call their own that sometimes during he day the will go and nap in it.

Good luck.  Puppies can be a lot of work.  Now I get my adult dogs from the rescue places.   ;D ;D

Title: Aliens stole my W!!!!! Part 10: Rockin' around, the MLC tree have a happy holida
Post by: Standing Strong on February 25, 2021, 11:30:54 AM
Hi T  :D

Yes, he does have a little crate....... he does cry, although he's getting better (slowly).
The hard part is waking up every three hours for him to use the bathroom.  :-X

LOL!!!

He's super cute, such a burst of life running thru the house.

-SS
Title: Re: Aliens stole my W!!!!! Part 10: Rockin' around, the MLC tree have a happy holida
Post by: Thunder on February 25, 2021, 02:06:17 PM
Ok sounds like you have it all taken care of, Standing.

He will get easier in time and in the end you'll have a pal for life.   :)
Title: Aliens stole my W!!!!! Part 10: Rockin' around, the MLC tree have a happy holida
Post by: HeavenlyFocus on February 25, 2021, 02:55:48 PM
Hi SS,

I would imagine any focus by your W outside of herself is a good thing so glad that she and you are bonding with puppy.   It can be struggle initially getting the puppy trained but in time I think you will be grateful to have the little guy in your home.   Also keep up the good work with your workouts and staying healthy.

I'm still learning to take things slowly with my W as she is still away in her apartment.   Continuing to focus on my mirror work and let her figure things out.

HF
Title: Re: Aliens stole my W!!!!! Part 10: Rockin' around, the MLC tree have a happy holida
Post by: marvin4242 on February 25, 2021, 05:13:18 PM
SS: this may be a training no-no (I am admitting I am NOT a dog person), but have you considered putting puppy pads down in the crate for overnight? I have a friend who is a dog trainer and I know she did that with her puppies until they could "hold it" overnight.

As for your thoughts: well who knows why she wants a puppy. My wife, a year or so before the first BD, rescued a puppy. She was not a dog person. We talked about it and I brought up that point. She said she was sure. Three months later that puppy found a very nice home with a friend who is an absolute dog lover (she has an amazing home). What is funny is that almost 4 years later she now has another puppy with the OM. And she even has mentioned to me how she resents having to take of the puppy, that it is "his dog."

It is what it is. She may actually find the dog therapeutic. She may decide to leave all the care for the dog to you. As long as you love the dog, and are enjoying having a puppy that is all that counts.

Great news on the muscle. Let us know when you hit "Arrrrnnnooold" terrority!

 :D ;D  8)
Title: Re: Aliens stole my W!!!!! Part 10: Rockin' around, the MLC tree have a happy holida
Post by: Thunder on February 25, 2021, 06:40:37 PM
Well I found that most dogs won't poo in their crates.

If his crate is too big then your dog may feel there is enough space to defecate in the corner rather than going outside. ... dogs don't usually like going to the toilet in an area they enjoy sleeping in.
Title: Aliens stole my W!!!!! Part 10: Rockin' around, the MLC tree have a happy holida
Post by: Standing Strong on March 03, 2021, 11:34:04 AM
Time to journal  :D

It's been so busy...... It would be nice (in some ways) if time would slow down.

The puppy is doing great, and growing before our eyes. His little personality is coming out and his puppy nature is shining thru.
Just like any animal, you give it food, love and safety and they will thrive...... hmmmmmm, people too I guess  :P

W is a bit all over the place. I don't get the feeling she's working on herself at all for the moment.... I could be wrong. There should be times of rest, so I'm not concerned about it. She's moved into a spot she is familiar with, and comfortable...... but it will not bring her joy, or contentment..... how she starts to move again. I don't know..... but that's on her to do. Time is ticking. Her job obsession is running at full tilt right now. She comes home exhausted with nothing to give except a workout (which she can't really sleep without).
She sorta pulled away from the little animal (somewhat), she doesn't like his sharp nails and sharp teeth (and hyper energy). I don't think she likes that the puppy gets along so good with me either. I make sure to give her lots of space with the puppy when she's home. She needs to bond with it. Last night I got him to act good (got him sleepy) then put him into bed with her. She loved it. He was all hers, and passed out he was just the way she wanted him to be (a cuddly little creature). Well, progress or not I hope she feels love. It's hard to tell. What HAS been a let down is she promised to come home at lunch and help with him. This has not happened but I'm also not surprised. She is very good about helping with him during the night and before/after work though, so that is nice. He is HER dog after all.

The other day something a little funny happened, and I let it be a wake up call: She was in front of the mirror and said she was "tired and old looking". Unlike all the other times in the past I would have protested, I didn't say anything. She waited for me to disagree..... I didn't. Then she points out "you didn't disagree with me?!?!".... no I didn't. If she's going to tear herself down, I shouldn't always be there to boost her fragile ego. Maybe she'll learn to stop saying bad things about herself. Or maybe she'll realize she is tired, and she isn't 20 anymore.... and use what she has left properly in the right areas of life. HA!! That's a tall order isn't it? LOL!!
Lots of flecks of MLC that pop out like "the dog likes you more" (well, she is really strict with the dog - he's just a puppy). 
Her desire to help has gone way down, her ability touch has gone way down (not that it was anywhere near normal anyway) and her desire to go on a vacation has pretty much disappeared (I may be going alone the way it's looking to me). Back into her job full tilt (late almost every day this week), and most things are superficial at the moment. The only thing is the conflict that I could see before, it's not there. Just completely absent. Like a version of W-lite but hollow zombie (in a new way which is now mostly peaceful/positive vs. the previous hollow/zombie negative version). Good in a way, still wayyyyy off.   :-X

On to me!!! Gained 5 pounds, dropped 5 pounds. This weight fluctuation is driving me nuts, but the lifting weights continue to go up up up, and the muscle keeps building.... no real complaints.
W is still obsessed with her body getting muscle now. On and on in front of the mirror after each workout..... like it grew in a last hour. LOL!!! I have to push her on nights she wants to be lazy, but is always glad afterward. I think she's at the best physical/muscular condition she's ever been in (which is good), what she will do with that or what reason she wants it, is unknown. Maybe an area of accomplishment and happiness to help offset whatever her other emotional troubles are at the moment. I think everyone needs a bright area in their life...... and I hope this is one area for her (and without other motives, but I'm not in control of that. Just glad to be a part of something positive).
HA!! I maxed out my hand weights last night...... 60lbs on each hand. Can't go higher than that with the adjustable hand weights I have..... guess I'll be buying some more weights once these get light. I now exceed the pro guy on the screen for almost every exercise  ;D 8) :P and that's pretty cool.... no where near where I want to be, but I'll get there. I'll be so strong by the time I complete my training. My shirts are all tight and stretching in nice areas. W just watches in silence with big eyes as I pick up big weights. LOL!!!

I have a cooking class this weekend, can't wait!! More Cajun cooking for me!!

Another week in the can. Time passes so fast.

-SS
   
Title: Re: Aliens stole my W!!!!! Part 10: Rockin' around, the MLC tree have a happy holida
Post by: Thunder on March 03, 2021, 12:04:53 PM
Hi Standing,

Just keep in mind she is only into her crisis for two years now, so you may not see much improvements or changes for awhile yet.

I started seeing improvements at about the 3 year mark, and that was S L O W movements!

You're doing good, giving her space and not having any expectations.
Keep doing you!   :)
Title: Aliens stole my W!!!!! Part 10: Rockin' around, the MLC tree have a happy holida
Post by: OffRoad on March 03, 2021, 12:48:58 PM
Hi SS,

This is a real question because I was left a bit confused. Comments like "The puppy likes you better" results in you trying to fix the bonding between your W and the puppy by relaxing it into basically a stuffed animal for your W to cuddle. Comments like "I'm tired and old looking" do not result in your saying "Strange you should say that. I was noting that it looked to me like you are in great physical condition. "

Why is one different than the other? Why is the puppy bonding (without any effort on her part, BTW) more important than confirming that her workouts (with her effort) are worth something? Did I miss something from the outside, here?
Title: Aliens stole my W!!!!! Part 10: Rockin' around, the MLC tree have a happy holida
Post by: Standing Strong on March 03, 2021, 03:27:17 PM
Hi Offroad  :D

Yes there are bits missing, I can see why that would be confusing.  ;D
You're right...... she wants a living, breathing stuffed animal....... to love and love her back unconditionally (her words  :D ). It's a puppy. A blur of energy and playfulness. Don't get me wrong, she likes (some) of the other stuff, but it's the cuddly she really wants. She's very clear about that. That type of bonding has been very problematic for her, always..... and the puppy and her need to bond: it's her dog.  :)

How is her face different..... well, she gets a lot (a lot) of positive reinforcement daily from her workouts. She shows off, I comment on the changes (which are substantial and good). When she's sort of mean to herself though (like the "tired and old") weather I agree with her statement or not, I shouldn't be an emotional crutch....... she does it on purpose, where I can hear, and assume I will jump in to debunk her statement. This isn't healthy. A person shouldn't poke holes in themselves on purpose with the expectation that someone will fly in to make them feel better about themselves. Very co-dependent. I don't poke holes in her... it's one thing for something to go wrong or something hurts someone and then you comfort them...... it's another thing to over and over make negative statements about yourself with the need for someone to argue with you about it. Very unhealthy. There's no resolution and no end. I do know there is a self-esteem issue here, it was there before, it is here in MLC. I wonder if she can face whatever it is if I'm always disarming it? I've disarmed it for 23 years...... maybe I was wrong. I thought it was loving (it certainly was done with love).

That did make me laugh...... but it was understandable and due to my not explaining. You know how you can layer someone in positive things and then once in a while you leave them alone to see if any of it "sticks"? That's what this is. How does someone repair their self-esteem when they have their tough exterior that projects something completely opposite of what is inside? Not mindreading.... she's told me a couple times (over 23 years!!  :P )

-SS

P.S. Hi T!! :D Three years!! Drop in the bucket right?  ;) Yeah I know..... only two years in. There's more in the tank  :P
Title: Aliens stole my W!!!!! Part 10: Rockin' around, the MLC tree have a happy holida
Post by: OffRoad on March 03, 2021, 03:47:54 PM
Ha! Isn't that funny. When you said she said she was "tired and old looking", I never once thought you (she) were talking about her FACE. When I look in the mirror and might think I am tired and old looking, I am thinking about my whole BEING. I carry myself old, hunch, have no pep in my step, that kind of thing. So my response to "tired and old looking" would have been "why would you say that?" if she wasn't carrying herself "old". I would never have assumed it was her being "mean" to herself, but simply stating how she felt right at that moment.

Some days I feel jowly. Some days I feel wrinkly. Some days I feel decrepit. I thank the powers that be that I have friends who can call my wrinkles "laugh lines", my jowls cushions for when I fall asleep at the computer and when I feel decrepit, they say "weakened, not ruined".  ;D

Perspective. It's a funny thing. Thank you for explaining your viewpoint.
Title: Aliens stole my W!!!!! Part 10: Rockin' around, the MLC tree have a happy holida
Post by: Standing Strong on March 12, 2021, 09:03:03 AM
Another week has gone by? Really?
 :)

Journaling:

W continues this season of fluctuation. Her interests and priorities are all over the place (even more than usual that is) and avoidance has taken root once again.
I had us scheduled for a cooking class, and she *poofed* 5 min before it was to begin. So I did it alone, and she was happy eating it later.  ::)
Well, I'm gong to do another cooking class this weekend. I like it, I'm going to do it. She can join in or go POOF.  ;)

Also going thru a "the world revolves around me" phase (again). She has been very inconsistent about coming home on time, most nights getting here at 6:30 instead of 5:10. It's that work obsession, it's in total control again. Burning herself out, and she can't even see it.
The other night she came home at a decent time, and I was out walking (which I've hit head on again with all this good weather). She was all put out and hurt that I wasn't here when SHE wanted. We still worked out together, but it was late (like most nights now). She skipped three nights last week..... exhausted..... so I worked out anyway. She can join, or not, her choice and her gain or loss. No pressure, just a firm option.
Seems to go back and forth between interest and something else. I'm not biting when she is showing a little interest..... not catching me with that hook.... get some better bait. This frustrates her, like I should come salivating like a dog on command...... oh no, waaaayyyyy past that. When I do bite (because I want to) it just ends up with her playing some blocks game on her phone for hours (with a chick-flick on the tv) while I try to talk with her.  ::)

Speaking of dogs... the little puppy is healthy, happy and growing like a weed. His energy continues to increase and his little nose has developed....... now it's sniff sniff sniff...... everything. Happy little creature. Smart little creature..... W has taught him to sit, lay down and shake hands.

Vacation is right around the corner (less than a month away), and W is hesitant now. This time hiding behind that we may not find someone to watch the birds..... and there is truth to it. Her dad (he normally takes/watches our birds) has been hiding out since COVID hit, not coming out...... we haven't seen him in a year and a half. Very sad. So needless. Anyway, this is just the excuse she needs...... I may be going alone...... which is fine. I'll have a good time and she can decompress, or blow up.... whatever she needs. I'm going to have a break one way or another though. I gave LOTS of time in advance and was very patient. Just unfortunate. It would have been good for her and us (IMO)...... maybe she'll pull a rabbit out of the hat and surprise me. Now that I think about it..... her big push to be with family has fizzled out completely. Not a surprise, she tries this, she tries that, always starts out strong, always runs out of steam. Not a surprise.
As spring and then summer approaches, I'm expecting W to announce another trip to "see her mom". Not a word about this yet, but she's gone every June(ish) so far, why would this year be any different?  ::) Well, it's on my radar. She's burning herself out fast. I just shake my head and keep on with what I'm doing. Doesn't bother me one bit, but other people are just flabbergasted that this is still going on..... HAHAHAHAHAH, it still had so far to go!!! HAHAHAHHAHA!!

On to me........ doing great. So busy, and busy always helps.  ;D
I'm so thrilled that the weather and sunlight is so much better now. Walking every day at least 3 miles, soon I'll be back to 6 and then maybe get back to 10.
This year: 6 pack!!! No stopping!!! I can now beat the TV muscle guy on every exercise, and by a large amount. This body is strong. Makes me think what my max potential is, just have to work and find it  :D Probably take years to get there but hey, it's taken years to get here.  :P
Once the mask trash is over, it'll be time to return to the real gym. Looking forward to that too. Spin class and machines. [Arnold voice] "I peek up the weight and poot it down. Yeagh"  8)

A month away from 2 year BD anniversary, how time can fly when you're having "fun".......

One day at a time,

-SS
Title: Aliens stole my W!!!!! Part 10: Rockin' around, the MLC tree have a happy holida
Post by: FaithWalker on March 12, 2021, 09:59:03 PM
You are in a great place SS.  Keep it up, you are doing fabulous.  W seems all over the place, as usual.
Title: Aliens stole my W!!!!! Part 10: Rockin' around, the MLC tree have a happy holida
Post by: Standing Strong on March 16, 2021, 07:43:28 AM
Hmmmm, I'm a little early this week........  :)

Well I was right, W mentions last night that MIL is going to be having surgery "soon" and that she's stressed out about it.
Put into my MLC decoding ring, that means "here's a heads up that I intend to go see her soon and I'm clearing the way for my next trip". When I asked when this is happening, she wasn't sure just "soon". I put a positive spin on it and said that "this was a good thing right?", that "it needed to happen and is good for MIL?". W just affirmed her concern and wasn't sure if it was good or not  ???
Anyway....... seems clear as a bell to me. Lining up another disappearing act. Actually it'd be nice (for me) to have a break and I'd make the most of it.
Work has picked up, and my walking has picked up...... daylight savings or not daylight saving, whatever change last weekend has put my walking into overdrive. Doubled my distance in the last couple days  8)

If I have to move my trip/vacation, then I'm going to add an amusement park to my excursion (when it happens). That by itself would be worth it. I haven't been able to find someone to watch the birds so both of us going somewhere is in real jeopardy........ not the end of the world, just a little disappointing AND maybe it's for the best in the scheme of things. Have to be flexible and fluid. W is showing no desire to go anywhere with me now. Makes me think that if she goes and "Sees MIL", she'll come back all gung-ho (again). Not that it will matter, she'll be out of leave and I'll be left to my own plans (Again). I think I'd move my plans to the end of the amusement park season and visit two parks along with all the stuff I had originally planned. That would be an EPIC trip.

Last night too, W was a little open and showed me a new skincare thing she's trying: An expensive anti-aging face cream system. Five products applied one after another every night. Wow, that's involving. Written on each is "anti-aging" and the booklet is all about fighting getting older. I have to admit, I had compassion for her as she put this stuff on her face and I read the material. She is having a really hard time with getting older, a really hard time. She's fighting it tooth and nail. She was talking (and hoping) that this would "erase any wrinkles, and if it does it's worth any price". Poor gal. Don't know what that's like, it's almost a panic (IMO). She doesn't know, or rather doesn't care at the moment that a flawless face isn't what makes a woman beautiful....... but I'm not high on the list so none of that matters. Just a little sad to see, but she'll go thru the motions until she's forced to admit defeat. That's either soon or years away.  :-X

On to me (again)!! I picked up a rare keyboard I'd been trying to find for years...... *poof* scooped it up. Very happy and fortunate to get lucky like that. More playing piano for me!!  ;D Music is such a joy, and I get better all the time. Getting to the point of writing music and not just playing it. Super cool, and a great outlet for emotion and inspiration.
I was able to equal my previous (years ago) best on the bench press last night.... it wasn't that hard. Now on to my all-time best from 10 years ago. I'm going to get there, and beat it!!  8) I find that I'm the complete opposite of W: Age isn't limiting me, if anything, I'm the strongest, thinnest, best I've ever been (she is too, but doesn't seem happy about it). I would have thought that "oh crap, I'm in my 40's now....." but that's not the case at all.....  now it's "ok you're in your 40's now SS, time to get moving!!"   :D and I am motivated like never before. Positive, positive. Time needlessly lost as an "us" but time gained as a "me". My value continues to increase at a rapid rate. Not such a bad thing.

One day at a time,

-SS   
Title: Aliens stole my W!!!!! Part 10: Rockin' around, the MLC tree have a happy holida
Post by: Standing Strong on March 16, 2021, 07:01:30 PM
Small update to journal........

I contacted MIL to check on her and see if her surgery is scheduled...... it isn't. She seems to have several steps to do before she can be scheduled: Covid shots which aren't available there, and an MRI scan. Doesn't line up at all with W's "soon" claim. She didn't have anything to add beyond that, and I know she has to be a bit evasive.... W is her daughter and she's in a weird position. Still, it was more information than I had before, and it lends weight to my theory that it's all just a cover for a trip later when she's all burnt out (or whatever). Not surprising, and at this point not even  :o to me..... I expect nonsense (LOL!!).

Well, had to write it down so I can look back later....... and shake my head  ;)

Another day at a time,

-SS
Title: Aliens stole my W!!!!! Part 10: Rockin' around, the MLC tree have a happy holida
Post by: HeavenlyFocus on March 16, 2021, 07:42:05 PM
Hmmmm, I'm a little early this week........  :)

Well I was right, W mentions last night that MIL is going to be having surgery "soon" and that she's stressed out about it.
Put into my MLC decoding ring, that means "here's a heads up that I intend to go see her soon and I'm clearing the way for my next trip". When I asked when this is happening, she wasn't sure just "soon". I put a positive spin on it and said that "this was a good thing right?", that "it needed to happen and is good for MIL?". W just affirmed her concern and wasn't sure if it was good or not  ???
Anyway....... seems clear as a bell to me. Lining up another disappearing act. Actually it'd be nice (for me) to have a break and I'd make the most of it.
Work has picked up, and my walking has picked up...... daylight savings or not daylight saving, whatever change last weekend has put my walking into overdrive. Doubled my distance in the last couple days

Hi SS,

I need one of those MLC decoder rings!  lol. Trying to figure out our MLC spouses can be challenging and I am encouraged by your balancing act of detaching while still loving your W.   Hope you can take the gift of "me" time  and enjoy it.

HF
Title: Aliens stole my W!!!!! Part 10: Rockin' around, the MLC tree have a happy holida
Post by: Standing Strong on March 16, 2021, 11:24:15 PM
Hey HF  :D

It used to be I didn't know what she was talking about because I took it all at face value....... just like I did before MLC. Didn't trust anyone more than I trusted W.
Her word was gold........ and then it turned to lead, but I still held on to it like it was gold.  :P Old habits I guess.
Now days, I've learned to read between the lines, and to look at actions instead of words. When things don't make sense, there's a reason. Subtract all that you know to be true and look at what's left. What a mess it always is.  ;) but at least it's the truth. I think the most terrible thing is when you hold on to something which isn't true but can't see that it isn't the truth. I was guilty of that. I suppose that's what happens to the MLC'er too: unable to see the truth and holding on to a lie. Same as us, but inverse (if that makes any sense). Still, I'm very happy that I live and love in the "hear and now" and not a fantasy of my own making (I'm such a romantic).  :-[

What a process eh? Like learning about when they're talking about you, they're really talking about themselves thru the lens of comparison. Fascinating.
I just hope they heal, all the MLC'ers that the good LBS's here have paired to. Of course, that the LBS's would also heal too. What a thing to be hurt by those you love the most...... but they couldn't hurt you if you didn't love them..... just speaks to the type of person all the LBS's are.  :D

What I ponder now is limbo, how they get stuck in it, how the LBS gets stuck in it (easy to do), and is it possible for the MLC'er to be in limbo if the LBS is able to escape from it? Interesting thoughts, that'll make for interesting dreams.  8)

-SS


Title: Aliens stole my W!!!!! Part 10: Rockin' around, the MLC tree have a happy holida
Post by: HeavenlyFocus on March 17, 2021, 05:00:41 AM


What I ponder now is limbo, how they get stuck in it, how the LBS gets stuck in it (easy to do), and is it possible for the MLC'er to be in limbo if the LBS is able to escape from it? Interesting thoughts, that'll make for interesting dreams. 

-SS

My W's word was gold too and I've finally come to accept that she is not the woman that I married right now.   At the same time, she appears to be struggling with her next steps to either commit to working on the marriage in time or moving on without me.  I honestly thought she was ready to move on but our last two interactions indicate she may not be.   At the same time, I am trying to only focus on me and bring myself out of limbo.   Maybe she will come along in time, maybe not.   All I can do is focus on me and pray for healing for the both of us.   Interesting things to ponder for sure.

HF

Title: Re: Aliens stole my W!!!!! Part 10: Rockin' around, the MLC tree have a happy holida
Post by: marvin4242 on March 17, 2021, 05:52:26 AM
SS: thanks for the updates, sounds like your W is cycling, which sadly is to be expected. But glad to see you are still firmly focused on yourself and sticking to your guns. And developing ones too! :)

HF: it is very confusing as they are confused. And important thing to keep in mind is the timescale. This process will take YEARS, not months or weeks. It is very hard to hear, specially early on. There is no point looking at day to day changes of mind or small changes in behaviour. They can cycle and cycle. The only trend line that matters is over multiple years. For those deciding to stand the hardest part may be if they don’t separate from the small time scale movements. On top of everything else the whiplash is a killer.
Title: Aliens stole my W!!!!! Part 10: Rockin' around, the MLC tree have a happy holida
Post by: Treasur on March 17, 2021, 06:10:42 AM
Quote
What I ponder now is limbo, how they get stuck in it, how the LBS gets stuck in it (easy to do), and is it possible for the MLC'er to be in limbo if the LBS is able to escape from it? Interesting thoughts, that'll make for interesting dreams.

Do you feel in limbo currently, Standing?
Title: Aliens stole my W!!!!! Part 10: Rockin' around, the MLC tree have a happy holida
Post by: Standing Strong on March 18, 2021, 07:34:18 AM
Hi T  :D

No, I don't think I'm in limbo, but it is a subject that is very interesting to me (on both sides of the coin).
I think it can be very easy to fall into limbo, and so it comes up in my mind rather often just to make sure that it hasn't snuck up on me (which it can). That and the realization that processing and limbo can look/feel so very similar to each other. One moment you're processing some item either with yourself or your MLC'er and the next your fixated on it for no good reason and you already have the answer (to me that is/can be limbo). Process, and keep moving, no dallying.
That by itself (IMO) can be a big challenge. Stuck is limbo, limbo is stuck...... but processing is pausing to think. Sorta resemble one another (from a 1st person perspective).
Know what I mean?

I think limbo also lends itself to self delusion too.... which further complicates it.
I'll use myself as an example, as it's the only example I have (LOL!!): So the LBS (typically) will want to be "Busy" from the beginning and thru the whole process. Busy is good, busy is needed. Work is required to improve, and so we are busy. Busy can be a mask too, and a crutch. We keep ourselves busy to distract ourselves from ourselves and our situations..... but we have to be busy to keep moving forward, it is effort..... but the inner work is (mostly) done in peace, in silence, to delve deep into ourselves. Hard to do when you're busy, and once you enjoy the feeling of busy it's hard to stop doing it (especially when it yields positive results on the surface).
I mean, we can do a bunch of improvement work: physical, professional, detachment, etc....... but the "core" work, the inner work, busy or not is that limbo? Or a form of it? Can we hide from ourselves in plain sight under the guise of "getting better"?

I know that most LBS's come to a spot some time after "Busy" where they find who they were before their MLC'er spouse (typically) or some point in the past where "they" were lost (maybe changed?). This seems to be very empowering for most, and they are happy and excited regardless of the pain their MLC'er bought. That's great, that's improvement. I've gotten there, and I hope past that as well. The truth is, that happy point is a moment in the emotional past. Right? It's regression to a point before all this damage and the events leading up to it. Wonderful. Now there's a new problem: That regression point and the "hear and now" are very different dates on a calendar. Have you gone back 5 years? 10? 20? Right? You still have to "come forward" to this moment in time. Now there's a feat. Let's say some (maybe most) LBS's don't want to do that (It would be completely natural - pain is laying in wait along that path, ready to ambush). After all, I feel good now, the best in years, why come forward? Is that limbo? The lure for many is you have a do-over, but is this true? It is a tempting thought, very attractive..... but this is thru the lens of emotional regression (1st person perspective). The more I think about it, the more it seems inescapable to me that there is no do-over possible from this point and the need to "come forward" into the current time-frame is what is needed. The problem is pain, and to come forward at it's core means acceptance of loss. True acceptance of loss.... depth. Who wants to do that? So much easier to be busy, improve, grow, rediscover and feel good. But maturity, moving from one stage of life into another doesn't mean turning a page and starting a new chapter, it's beginning the next book in the series. That to me speaks of finishing the book and putting it down. Doesn't mean the story is over, but how hard is it to put that book down, the only book you've known and loved, and trust that the next one will be just as good? Is that limbo?
I mean, dropping the rope is one thing...... emotional detachment which allows your MLC'er to regress to their prior damage/breaking without holding on to them. Freedom by love, for love, because of love. What a hard thing to do, but it isn't the end... is it (dropping the rope)? Limbo absolutely exists prior to rope drop and even after, although most think that dropping the rope means you've done everything....... except bringing yourself forward to the finish line: Existing as you would have been NOW had there not been something or someone who had derailed your potential as the best version of yourself unimpeded into this very moment "naturally". I'm only beginning to understand what I would have been had I not been clamped to someone who was so broken and needed so much for so long..... and yet, I was meant to be that full person regardless, and that full potential person was meant to be clamped to someone to enrich the lives of both....... and so the journey to be that whole, fully realized, fully matured to the "here and now" of my years...... that is now a prerequisite before the possibility of being "clamped" to anyone........ although I still have my vows, promise and honor to my prior commitment (interesting how that too is an inverse for the LBS vs. the MLC'er - mirror image, mirror image).
I think from that place, yes.... not a do-over but a continuation can happen; from the "here and now" and not from the emotional regression/rediscovery point. Everything from before this point, points to this point. If you're in motion towards it, then it isn't limbo, and if you're still.... it is limbo.... and "busy" isn't movement. Very interesting......

Hmmmmmm.... guess I was in a frame of mind to do some LBS spelunking.  8) HA! Deep thoughts.... or not.  :P

-SS
   
Title: Aliens stole my W!!!!! Part 10: Rockin' around, the MLC tree have a happy holida
Post by: Treasur on March 18, 2021, 07:59:59 AM
Quote
guess I was in a frame of mind to do some LBS spelunking.
That made me chuckle, Standing  :).....not even sure what spelunking is, but I get what you mean. And tbh, often others thinking out loud can be helpful for folks to read bc sometimes it prods their own doesn't it?

Yup, limbo probably has some layers....or different bits maybe. Limbo in some bits of life and not in others perhaps. And limbo can serve a purpose just as you say. I think most of us instinctively know when we are in limbo or something else though bc it feels different.
Title: Aliens stole my W!!!!! Part 10: Rockin' around, the MLC tree have a happy holida
Post by: Standing Strong on March 23, 2021, 10:09:27 AM
Journaling:

Another week rolls by, and lots of observation......

The puppy is doing amazing. He's so big, doubling in size since he arrived. I heard his 1st bark yesterday  ;D
W has bonded with him a lot, and as long as he's not in the way of getting ready for work or her decompressing after work..... she has great affection for him.
There is a bit of mind reading here, but I think she (in part) likes him so much because she has a "blank slate" with him. She's been bad with me, she's neglected our birds (and they get mad at her), but this little dog..... it's starting from square one, and the little dog loves her very much. Anyway..... I do think this has been very good for her, and finally she has been pretty responsible for something around the house. Good - Good.
He hurt himself (nothing serious) a couple days ago, and she was in rapid motion...... wanting to fix him. Ha!!! She wouldn't move like that for me...... but it was a genuine emotional response.... and that is good to see.

I see burnout in her mounting. She went full-tilt into her job since returning from her last trip in Jan....... lots and lots of burnout. It won't be long until she goes on another trip to run away. I guess I'm happy that the causes of her stress isn't focuses on me, but it's too bad she is still unable to see that SHE is the factor every time. I guess we'll see in time.

We bought her a new piano this weekend, and it gets delivered today. I'm hoping that this will inspire her to have another outlet for her stress and emotions..... she's been playing more, but still locked into playing songs over and over from when she was young..... like she is going back and reliving and reliving...... I think there's some processing going on there that only music allows her to focus on...... and some happiness that she only experiences when playing.

On to me!!! I just passed 2000 miles walked since I started tracking with a FitBit.  8) Quite an accomplishment!! Didn't even know I was coming up on that, it just dinged with an award and so I celebrated with a double cheeseburger and onion rings. HAHHAHAHAH!! Gotta have rewards. Now that the sun is out and the temp is better, I'm walking a lot more once again. W has been too burned out to lift weights every night, but I'm staying on track.

My vacation plans have fallen apart..... couldn't get someone to watch our birds, BUT it turns out for the best....... by delaying a few months I will still go to the same place but will be able to add two amusement parks to my trip that would have been closed otherwise. These two were on my list of places I've always wanted to visit, so it's going to be a great vacation that turns into a fantastic one. I can live with that. It also means that almost certainly I will be going alone. W will go on another trip to "see her mom" and once she returns I'll be going on my trip. She won't have the time off to go on two trips back to back. That's a little sad, but it's not my fault. Just have to live anyway.

The MLC'er perspective continues to make me laugh and  :o
Late last week, I did a WHOLE LOT of cleaning around the house. Not for her, but because it needed to be done. Still.... she's been much more stable (in ways) and I though maybe she'd see it. Seemed like she'd see it. Nope. HAHAHAHAHA!! She walked right thru it, BIG cleaning. Not a peep. This didn't really surprise me, and didn't bother me either (it wasn't for her). Then this morning, 5 days later (and dishes have piled up a little), I'm down in the kitchen making a protein shake for breakfast..... W comes in and says "you're cleaning!! Oh good!!"  ??? Um.... I wasn't cleaning..... just making a shake.... and the kitchen was dirty..... well, whatever.  :P  A day in the life. Maybe I just need to keep things dirty and drink more protein shakes  ;)

One day at a time,

-SS

Edit: Oh, I forgot to add....... vitamins....... I stopped giving her vitamins for a little over a week. Just a break for her (she doesn't like taking them)... and I gave me a chance to see if there would be a change if she wasn't on them.... I felt they made a big difference while she was on them, so the test is to see the difference while she is off them. To my surprise, it has made a big difference but not in the way I was expecting. Her mood didn't crash like I thought it would (her moods drastically improved when I got her back on them), instead her energy levels, motivation and sleep quality took a really bad hit. Very interesting. Not what I thought would happen. I asked her if she felt any different from when she was talking them...... she says "No". Then I mention that her energy seems much less....... she thinks about it for a moment and says "yes"....... but no desire to take vitamins (after complaining about not having any energy). LOL!!   
Title: Aliens stole my W!!!!! Part 10: Rockin' around, the MLC tree have a happy holida
Post by: FaithWalker on March 24, 2021, 08:48:31 PM
Your wife will be missing out.  Amusement parks are awesome!  I just finished writing about one we are visiting on Sunday for S16's birthday.

Interesting about the vitamins.  I know I don't have near as much energy when I don't take mine.
Title: Aliens stole my W!!!!! Part 10: Rockin' around, the MLC tree have a happy holida
Post by: Standing Strong on March 24, 2021, 08:58:44 PM
Small update to journal:

I get a text from W's therapist...... she wants to see me.
Very interesting.
She asked W if it'd be ok to talk to me, and get the ball rolling on something. Hmmmmm, what could this be? I really don't know. W has put out so many thoughts and ideas (none of which have stuck)..... so I really don't know.

A little bit of excitement, a little bit of trepidation, and a whole lot of curiosity. Maybe this is about starting marriage counseling? I think that would be the strongest possibility...... if so, that would imply (to me) that she has reached a point where the counselor thinks it's a good time to do so. Well, I guess I'll find out very soon. Not expecting any insight or words of wisdom.  It would be nice to hear something along the line of "you're doing a good job" but I'm not expecting anything.

I told W she got a hold of me, and that I'd be meeting with her in the morning. Of course W already knew, but said nothing, just nodded. Then she was all cheery, kind, and much more like herself all night. Funny how that works. I would expect that, but at the same thing, that behavior is more than anything else able to make my hamster run around it's wheel.  :P LOL!!

Me and her counselor..... one on one. I'm not sure I've read about this happening before, not this far in..... and right at the two year mark, which is a danger area. It does have me curious....... does this mean discovery day is getting close? Well.... if it is...... bring it on. Let it come. No hiding, no avoiding..... straight down the middle. Damn the torpedoes and full speed ahead!!

One day at a time,

-SS
Title: Aliens stole my W!!!!! Part 10: Rockin' around, the MLC tree have a happy holida
Post by: Kind18 on March 24, 2021, 09:22:32 PM
Do you have a trusted friend or your own IC you can talk to beforehand?

I wouldn’t go to any such meeting because I don’t want to reconcile... but if I did want to, I’d go in with ZERO expectations.

I would not agree to doing marriage counselling with her IC. If that’s what gets proposed, I’d find someone independent.
Title: Aliens stole my W!!!!! Part 10: Rockin' around, the MLC tree have a happy holida
Post by: Standing Strong on March 24, 2021, 09:58:05 PM
Hey K18  :D

It's ok..... I picked her IC.  No concerns about it being any kind of ambush. We had agreed a while back that when it came time for MC (eventually) that both our IC's would be in attendance (and conducted by both)...... just to be fair.

I just find the timing interesting. If she's finally at a place where MC makes sense....... I had told her I was all for MC "when the time is right, meaning: When your IC says we're ready, not before".
Then again, this may not be what she wants to talk about........ it's the only thing I can guess at for the moment though.
No expectations, and I accept that a surprise is absolutely possible (maybe even likely?). HA!

-SS



Title: Aliens stole my W!!!!! Part 10: Rockin' around, the MLC tree have a happy holida
Post by: AlvinTheMaker on March 25, 2021, 10:12:32 AM
My oh my, the plot is thickening.... It will be interesting to see what's cooking.
(and yes, surprise is more than likely)

Alvin.
Title: Re: Aliens stole my W!!!!! Part 10: Rockin' around, the MLC tree have a happy holida
Post by: Thunder on March 25, 2021, 10:18:39 AM
Standing what ever it is I hope it will be a positive, in some way.
Title: Re: Aliens stole my W!!!!! Part 10: Rockin' around, the MLC tree have a happy holida
Post by: marvin4242 on March 25, 2021, 03:04:24 PM
SS: I a a bit confused, why do you mean by “I picked her IC?” Generally no therapist will work with a patient if their spouse “picked” the counselor. Unless you mean you two discussed the choice when she picked.

Also I hope its about starting MC, but I would like to just be the voice of caution and be ready for anything. If it was something positive I would have guessed your wife would have engaged you directly. There are very few areas a therapist can go when they meet with their clients spouse without the client present. Will your wife be there?
Title: Aliens stole my W!!!!! Part 10: Rockin' around, the MLC tree have a happy holida
Post by: Standing Strong on March 25, 2021, 03:28:07 PM
Journaling:

Got back from seeing W's IC...... very impressed by her.
I received more info than I could have hoped for (no rules broken).

The IC says "it's time"........ WOW!! Ok, this is unexpected and exciting.
Now the MC will begin very soon (within weeks).

Much to process from the conversation, the mind is racing (that hasn't happened in awhile).
The big takeaway is that W wants to try, and hasn't written off the M (or is that giving it a new try? She had written it off before. Something like that).
The IC says she is confident that at this point (but not the prior two years) that a salvage is possible. That's encouraging.
Said that I did the right thing backing off, but that time is over (interesting). Reengagement and elimination of disconnection via reconnection. Sounds good, but this is MLC....... I think there's going to be a LOT of bumps that aren't expected..... still...... I embrace it. I have more than my share of bruises already, what's a few more? I also have to keep in mind that W is the client, all these sessions are for her..... not me. Geared for her, helping her, all that jazz. I could tell (and am not surprised) that there is a lot of gaps in her knowledge of what's going on. She's only had one side, and this isn't a competition..... not about me being right, it's about healing, understanding and communicating.
The best thing she said was that there wasn't a lot to fix with "us"...... and that was very unusual in her experience. Normally people come in destroyed with irreparable damage and she doesn't see that here. Hmmmmmm, that's very interesting isn't it? I'd have thought there would have been a wealth of accusation and dirt to clean. She also gave a few hints about what to do..... and in essence, it was "draw her out...... it's time". Huh...... that kinda blew me away...... that's what I did in the beginning, to release her stress, then backed off once handed over to a pro........ now I'm back there again? I guess all things do come full circle. It will be so strange to re-engage. I've been happy in my little detached bubble.....   
Time to roll up the sleeves once again. This is going to be a new learning experience.

One day at a time......

-SS
Title: Re: Aliens stole my W!!!!! Part 10: Rockin' around, the MLC tree have a happy holida
Post by: marvin4242 on March 25, 2021, 03:31:01 PM
SS: that is excellent news, congratulations. Your work and approach seems to be paying off. Onward!

Don’t forget to keep focus on yourself and take care of yourself as you jump back in.
Title: Re: Aliens stole my W!!!!! Part 10: Rockin' around, the MLC tree have a happy holida
Post by: Standing Strong on March 25, 2021, 03:38:11 PM
SS: I a a bit confused, why do you mean by “I picked her IC?” Generally no therapist will work with a patient if their spouse “picked” the counselor. Unless you mean you two discussed the choice when she picked.

No, I did pick her... and thank God I did. At the time, she wouldn't have anything to do with the effort needed to get an IC....... and at the time, I took a lot of yelling from her about who I picked...... that I had "set her up" and "this isn't MC!!"....... I just took it, and in a couple months she had eased in (once she knew I wasn't manipulating her - it really was all for her and not about me). I think she wanted that rubber stamp for D right after BD, and this is not what this IC was about (got a marriage-friendly, and Christian IC). This person just jumped out at me (at the time), I knew this was the person for the job. W is so specific as to the type of person she will respect and listen to. There's no way she'd have listened to a man (for one), and there's no way she'd listen to a woman who is less "successful" then she is. Kinda narrows down the field under such constraints drastically. And there she was...... *BOOM*. Not only was she the right person for the job, there wasn't anyone else who fit the bill. I was so bless and am so thankful that I found her. It was meant to be....... regardless of what happed to me, it was best for her.

-SS
Title: Aliens stole my W!!!!! Part 10: Rockin' around, the MLC tree have a happy holida
Post by: Curiosity on March 25, 2021, 03:39:32 PM
SS, wonderful news, and as always the way you are approaching it seems spot on. I’ve been reading through your story in preparation for my MLCW to move back into our home, which is happening this weekend. You seem to have learned all the lessons of detachment and living your life on your terms, while keeping your love for your W at the forefront. I cycled through a lot of anger, hurt, and resentment but I think I am starting to find that love and empathy back at the forefront, probably just in time. Just wanted to let you know that your story has continued to be an inspiration and I am very happy that the news is good and that you are taking it with a full understanding of all that it means.
Title: Re: Aliens stole my W!!!!! Part 10: Rockin' around, the MLC tree have a happy holida
Post by: marvin4242 on March 25, 2021, 05:07:38 PM
No, I did pick her... and thank God I did. At the time, she wouldn't have anything to do with the effort needed to get an IC....... and at the time, I took a lot of yelling from her about who I picked...... that I had "set her up" and "this isn't MC!!"....... I just took it, and in a couple months she had eased in (once she knew I wasn't manipulating her - it really was all for her and not about me). I think she wanted that rubber stamp for D right after BD, and this is not what this IC was about (got a marriage-friendly, and Christian IC). This person just jumped out at me (at the time), I knew this was the person for the job. W is so specific as to the type of person she will respect and listen to. There's no way she'd have listened to a man (for one), and there's no way she'd listen to a woman who is less "successful" then she is. Kinda narrows down the field under such constraints drastically. And there she was...... *BOOM*. Not only was she the right person for the job, there wasn't anyone else who fit the bill. I was so bless and am so thankful that I found her. It was meant to be....... regardless of what happed to me, it was best for her.

-SS

It does sound like you picked well and they are doing good work. I am more puzzled as this would be considered borderline not ethical for a therapist to work with a client if the client is not the one willingly working with them. I know whenever I have tried to offer advice I always will give the person a few names then I have nothing to do with the selection, nor will any therapist talk to me about engaging. The contact has to come directly from the patient.
Title: Re: Aliens stole my W!!!!! Part 10: Rockin' around, the MLC tree have a happy holida
Post by: Thunder on March 25, 2021, 05:46:44 PM
Standing that does sound pretty positive.
The fact that she feels your W has not written off the marriage and wants to try is good do hear.

I'm not sure what exactly she meant by you backed off but now is not the time.
What the heck does that even mean.  Ha ha ha
I don't imagine that means to overwhelm her. Possibly maybe she sees some doors that are open the weren't there before.  Huh

Well apparently what you were doing was having a positive effect on her.
I guess just keep the course and keep doing you.   
Title: Aliens stole my W!!!!! Part 10: Rockin' around, the MLC tree have a happy holida
Post by: Standing Strong on March 31, 2021, 09:52:19 AM
Thanks Curiosity, T and Marvin  :D

Journaling: (Sunday)

Things move so, or not at all, and then things move, move, move......

A slow weekend, with a twist...... for the most part, W was exhausted from the week and stayed in bed almost the whole weekend. Poor thing, just pooped out...... except for a couple really big stand-outs......

She played with the dog, for hours and hours..... teaching him to behave, new tricks, and just loving on the little dog. He's a happy boy. What strikes me is, there is love and joy there. It's very good to see....... her outside her own shell. Her connecting. The dog is safe. The dog loves her. There is no history there. Very easy for her, and she gets to be the hero and loved in return by the little animal. All in all, it's really nice to see. Amazing actually.
At one point, she expressed the option/desire to work from home here in a week so she could help with the dog during the day. Will that stick? Probably not, but in that moment, she had a genuine desire to be closer and help more. That's nice.

The other big thing........ she started playing new music on the piano. This is tremendous. She's been stuck playing the same things, over and over from her childhood....... processing in some way that I don't understand. Like a skipping record. Tonight new music was heard for the 1st time in years. WOW....... and there was joy in her once again. On and on she played, and better than she has in a long time. Her technique was back, the speed was back, it's like SHE was back..... hopefully not for "one night only".... LOL!! As I've used music as a gauge to see where she is, that it changed dramatically is a good sign. Not that she's fixed, oh no..... maybe working thru one thing and I'd assume on to the next thing. Good, good.

We took a drive tonight (her request) and while it was like pulling teeth in the beginning, eventually she loosened up and started talking. Never got too deep, and nothing about us...... but I did talk about some problems others are having in the family and she was keenly interested in that. Hey, if I was having troubles I bet I'd like to hear about other people struggling...... could make me feel more normal and not the only broken person in the world. Well, that's what I hope anyway.

Still.... she's hiding behind that wall (or walls) she has up...... I like to think of it like a castle....... big moat, drawbridge, tall walls many feet thick, towers, courtyard and keep..... just like in the fairytales. I'd like to think she's taking little peeks over the wall and ducking back under when she's seen. At least she's not bunkered down in the keep...... and still a long way from lowering the drawbridge and walking out over the moat. Progress is progress.
I wonder what she's afraid of? Invading Mongols? Flying monkeys? The wind? Pollen? LOL!! Maybe they just like to see if you're still out there and wonder if you'll run away if they wait long enough.

Journaling (Wednesday)
She's had a couple really good days...... cycling I guess. The strange thing is how the cycling is so different, it's calm, it's quiet, it's slow......... it's like..... "oh right, you're receptive today, and yesterday.... must be cycling closer". Blink and you'll miss it, but it's so smooth it's easy to miss now.
She has wanted to be closer (which is to say there is some level of interest).... she is happy to have me close by while she plays her phone puzzle games.

Another swerve...... now MIL is planning on visiting in July or Aug....... so does that mean W is still going to do visit? Or MIL will be here soon enough that she is going to hunker down? The timing is really crappy..... I still plan on vacationing sometime in Aug. Guess I may end up being a humbug, but I promised myself that I would vacation each year and I intend to keep it.
W asked about our vacation last night  :o and wanted to know if we were still on. Um, hello? I've only brought it up a few times with no real response. Now two weeks before we were due to go, NOW she wakes up? LOL!!! Just shake my head. Now she wants a long weekend. We'll see.

I'm going to meet her IC again  (one on one) tomorrow. That will be interesting. Maybe get an idea when MC will start, but I'm in no rush. Slow and steady wins the race.

One day at a time,

-SS
Title: Aliens stole my W!!!!! Part 10: Rockin' around, the MLC tree have a happy holida
Post by: HeavenlyFocus on March 31, 2021, 11:45:49 AM

W asked about our vacation last night  :o and wanted to know if we were still on. Um, hello? I've only brought it up a few times with no real response. Now two weeks before we were due to go, NOW she wakes up? LOL!!! Just shake my head. Now she wants a long weekend. We'll see.

I'm going to meet her IC again  (one on one) tomorrow. That will be interesting. Maybe get an idea when MC will start, but I'm in no rush. Slow and steady wins the race.

One day at a time,

-SS


Hi SS,

Glad to hear she had a couple of great days and was thinking about the vacation again.   With the MCLers, you can never know what to expect.  I am learning to be flexible and not assume anything with making plans and communicating with my W.   Also good that you expectations for the meeting with the MC are  where they need to be.  Cautiously optimistic while not looking to speed things up.   This is where I am at right now with my W and MC.   Nothing that I can do at this point other than stand and wait while focusing on me.

And definitely go on the vacation for your well-needed break. 

HF
Title: Re: Aliens stole my W!!!!! Part 10: Rockin' around, the MLC tree have a happy holida
Post by: Thunder on March 31, 2021, 01:14:01 PM
Standing I think you have a very realistic view of what is going on.
Which is healthy for you.

YES they cycle so much and we need to not pay too much attention to it, for it changes in a heart beat or from day to day.  Expectations need to be held at zero.
Just..ok that was a nice day....and let it go.

The only one thing I am apprehensive about is MC.
Only because in all the years I have been here, f it is truly a midlife crisis, never once have I seen it was a marital problem.  Most of the time it is not the marriage or the spouse, it is an internal problem with the MLCer.  Their demons to work though.

So I am pro IC for them to work things through, but how do you repair a marriage problem when there was none, except in their head?  That to me that is putting the blame on the marriage and that is what MC's are for.

Unless of course, if a person does think there were problems within the marriage that caused this....which sometimes is the case, then fine MC may be able to help.

Hope you can get to go on a great vacation, Standing!   8)
Title: Aliens stole my W!!!!! Part 10: Rockin' around, the MLC tree have a happy holida
Post by: Standing Strong on March 31, 2021, 03:20:57 PM
Hey T,

I suspect (just a guess) that it would help her bring stuff to the surface. I'm not looking at it as an opportunity for fixing "us" until it becomes evident that that's what's happening. I wonder if the IC has reached a point where there's less to extract until I become involved again. Just a guess. If that's the case: Great. I can play ball. The sad thing is, all along I knew there was stuff in there, but she wasn't in a place to talk about it. I guess it's taken all this to be forced to deal...... so on that hand, I'm thankful. Better now than never. and there's no way she'd ever have true peace without dealing with it.

I think the tell (for me) is I had to sign papers saying my involvement is "complementary".... which means it's all for her. That tells me that it isn't really MC...... more like "IC plus" (for her). SO...... if it's the best for her..... if this is what she needs..... then I'm all for it. A little faith that the IC is right. I'm not busted up, but I know she is. How she heals, how she processes..... well, I don't know what is most effective or what is needed but I'll do my part.
No matter what happens, I'll get to learn more and see more..... and that will be helpful..... if not for me, than someone else.

Wooooo HF!!! I need a vacation!!  :P
HAHAHAAHA!! It's been a year since I had one....... they sure do make a difference. If all else fails...... then Orlando is the fall-back (another item on my list, and isn't governed by Summer operating schedules). Things do work out for the best, so I'm not worried..... just anxious to relax  8)

-SS
Title: Aliens stole my W!!!!! Part 10: Rockin' around, the MLC tree have a happy holida
Post by: Standing Strong on April 01, 2021, 01:43:11 PM
I just got done with W's IC (one on one) again......

Very interesting. We talked less than last time, but this time I got to pick her brain (a little) about the professionals view of MLC.  ;D
Always wanting more info...... always taking a peek behind the curtain.

Well...... like all professionals I've met..... she was not impressed by the term "MLC"..... which is hilarious (to me)...... but I explained that I'm a lay-person, not a professional and I only have my thoughts, perceptions, observations to work with........ to this she said something which was right on the money...... aligns directly with MLC, and (IMO) discredits the professionals hesitancy about MLC.  She said "your W has things in her past, and because of these things..... she has been on "autopilot" all these years until the "breakdown" (which is BD)" and continued "She is for the 1st time, "alive" and making her own decisions". 
Ahhhh haaaaa.....  Well, that is almost perfectly in alignment with that we see/think about MLC. Very funny (to me).
I agreed with her, and explained how I had come to a similar conclusion. She was very surprised by this..... like I had figured out something profound without help....... and then I explained that I understood that with this "aliveness" I realize that she can choose something else........ she seemed startled, and then sad and said "your marriage? Yes..... that can happen".
She's seen this before, I think it was unnerving that I was speaking her language...... and now it seems she understands that it's not me, and not the marriage (which is good). In a week we will have our 1st joint IC/MC..... and continue with W's IC, and also work with me 1 on 1 to help W. I like this. A three pronged approach. She believes all of it can be fixed, and everything can turn out ok........ she did say some things which very much stood out to me..... she talked about  betrayal, about forgiveness, and about starting something "new" (i.e. a new M). Yup.
This tells me discovery day is incoming sooner rather than later. I do think she is right about communication and that it needs to be fixed and bridged..... but that isn't the cause of this MLC. That there is so little to "fix" in the M (or so she says) also points to the M not being the cause or continuation of MLC.
We spoke a little about the night of BD..... and my observations. This was very interesting to her, and went over memory loss..... this seemed to have her concerned. I think she's going to learn quite a bit about MLC before this is all said and done...... and I will too.

If her estimation is right, and the MLC'er is on "autopilot" prior to BD (or at least my MLC'er)....... this introduces a lot of questions. Really takes me back to right after BD when I questioned (and many LBS's question) of "are they dead?". Of course we know they aren't, but the personality that we knew..... that is gone or changed. So if they were on "autopilot", all that time before BD (which is hard to fathom) then it (autopilot) would resemble what they become, but what they become would also be more. That actually lines up with many stories I've read.... and that, is fascinating. 

I have come to a place where, I know I've done my best. I know I continue to do my best, and I know there isn't anything I can or could have done differently. In this, I have peace. No matter what happens, and what W chooses, does or doesn't do..... I did my best, and am blameless. I can walk, or she can walk, and I know that I did good. There is nothing to lose at this point........ oh there's money, proximity and those things, but they have no real value to me. They're all replaceable.
What does have value (to me) is meaning. What is this, what is that.... and what does it mean? The answers to those questions is what really matters, and what will decide EVERYTHING. I think those answers are on the way, and to be honest that has me a little concerned. It's easier to fill in the blank with what you want or what you can imagine....... instead of the truth in all it's gritty, inconvenient, glory.
Exciting and perilous times.

One day at a time,

-SS 
Title: Aliens stole my W!!!!! Part 10: Rockin' around, the MLC tree have a happy holida
Post by: Curiosity on April 01, 2021, 02:31:24 PM
SS, thanks for this update. It’s really interesting how few therapists believe in MLC by that name... but when you talk about the origins of it and the underlying damage, BD, and what resolution would include - all of those things make sense to them. I’m glad that your W’s IC was able to get beyond the name of the crisis and talk through the actual situation with you (and you with her). It sure seems like this IC understands the underlying process and decisions to be made.

The evolution we go through is interesting, isn’t it? I remember your early threads really resonating with me - your W has different FOO trauma than mine, but we have been together almost 20 years, are in our 40s, pets but no kids, a life that was set up based on both of you contributing financially. And it’s really empowering to go from a place of not knowing what your life would look like without your spouse, to a place where you know that even if things have to change, you will be fine (really, better than fine) regardless of what happens. By removing that sense of needing the marriage because it’s all you have known, you can really look at your life and decide what you want it to be, and decide whether your spouse fits into it and how. And she can decide that too, but that asymmetry that happened at BD that makes the LBS feel so powerless is gone.

I really appreciate your updates!
Title: Aliens stole my W!!!!! Part 10: Rockin' around, the MLC tree have a happy holida
Post by: Standing Strong on April 01, 2021, 09:06:20 PM
Hi C,

Hey, I like that..... Hi-C.... remember that stuff? I loved it as a kid.  :D

It really is such a turn isn't it? The evolution of the LBS over time...... it's a great and terrible thing. More great than terrible, but the unthinkable becomes possible and even accepted, that which was unthinkable and unacceptable. Very odd. Makes me think about never judge until you've walked in someone's shoes...... I remember being somewhat judgmental when I was a kid..... being taught that certain people who were in what would be considered "odd" situations for the time.... like they had done wrong or something. As I got older and I moved away from home, these thoughts faded away, and now..... you really don't know what someone has gone thru. The single divorced or long separated person..... who knows what they have endured in their love for someone else. Puts a very different spin on many characters I've met thru life. What started as black and white became shades of grey, and now the truth is revealed: There is black, white and grey. I guess that's one of the many blessings  of getting older: if you do it right, you become wiser.  8)

Tonight W was asking about my meeting with her IC...... LOL!!! I never ask her, nor do I talk about mine, but she sure wants to know...... HAHAHAHAH.
I told her part of it, all true of course. I let her know that next week will be the 1st joint session. Of course she already knew this and didn't say anything...... I said I was looking forward to it (I am), are you? She says.... "yeah, I guess so"......  :o ...... this IS what she wanted...... and now she's very lukewarm about it. So interesting. Typical MLC. Not surprised, just amused. She wanted to know more..... I let her know we talked about communication (also true). This had a puzzled expression in her........ LOL!! I have to admit, this is fun. I don't know what she is expecting, but there is some obvious stress and doubt in this, and so we change the subject to something lighter..... COVID. HAHAHAHAHAHAH!!

There is joy in all things, we just have to find it. Humor is everywhere.

-SS
Title: Aliens stole my W!!!!! Part 10: Rockin' around, the MLC tree have a happy holida
Post by: 5hilmerton on April 06, 2021, 02:06:27 AM
Following your journey my BD was 5/19.

5hil
Title: Aliens stole my W!!!!! Part 10: Rockin' around, the MLC tree have a happy holida
Post by: Treasur on April 06, 2021, 02:25:58 AM
Quote
The evolution of the LBS over time...... it's a great and terrible thing. More great than terrible, but the unthinkable becomes possible and even accepted, that which was unthinkable and unacceptable. Very odd. Makes me think about never judge until you've walked in someone's shoes.

I have a great deal of admiration for your character, Standing.....your optimism, your pragmatism, your ability to focus on your own goals, your grace in tough times, your humour. I don't know how much of that was how you were before, but it jumps out in what you post here.

I suppose I wonder sometimes how it is to live with such an unreciprocal partnership as you do now, just bc that is the reality of how it seems to be, or what would tip the balance for you or where you feel it is taking you. But of course I have not walked in those kind of shoes so my POV is limited.

But I do like and admire your spirit  :)
Title: Aliens stole my W!!!!! Part 10: Rockin' around, the MLC tree have a happy holida
Post by: AlvinTheMaker on April 07, 2021, 05:57:39 AM
It really is such a turn isn't it? The evolution of the LBS over time...... it's a great and terrible thing. More great than terrible, but the unthinkable becomes possible and even accepted, that which was unthinkable and unacceptable. Very odd. Makes me think about never judge until you've walked in someone's shoes.

It's a long and complex road  (and IMHO I was one very lucky guy to fall with REBTian psychology so early on).

As hindsight, I would say that I see the ±1-10 years from BD as the 'negativity blackhole' where lack of freedom (and stress created by what I considered unthinkable and unacceptable) reigns and accumulates on both sides.

The healing stage (if any ever) is basically learning from the past, learning to overcome irrational beliefs that fed the beast and replacing them with rational ones that feed the sanity and restoration. 

Alvin.
Title: Aliens stole my W!!!!! Part 10: Rockin' around, the MLC tree have a happy holida
Post by: Standing Strong on April 08, 2021, 05:18:51 AM
Journaling:

Just got thru my 1st joint IC/MC....... wow, that was tough. It was deep, and good.
Restarting communication is not easy, and it's not safe..... but it is needed.

I witnessed a lot of emotion on both sides, and both sides struggled......... woooo, I struggled more than I though I would..... but that's good. Very good!!
Straight up the middle, no going around, no going over or under......... right on thru.

The scary thing is: This type of communication will rock us to the very foundations.... and that is good. It has to all come tumbling down, and then see what is left. Ohhhhhhh yeah..... scary........ but in it will also be the truth. Scary, scary (in a way). Uncomfortable, that's for sure.

What is fascinating was detachment (in me)...... it was obvious to the IC, and to W as well: Getting me out of detachment, oh boy that's hard. So easy to be in your protected bubble...... and W in her's as well.  To have communication, real communication would mean her walls have to come down (and mine).... and that realization was VERY scary to her (and me too). It will take so much work to accomplish, but the process has started. To go from surface kindness and overture to reaching in and opening up (on both sides). That she could express honestly that her defenses are all up (and that she doesn't trust me at the moment) was very nice to see. It was very obvious that she was questing if I was safe..... I stated that neither of us is safe to the other one........ that was a watershed moment (I think). It surprised her, as if the concept of her not being safe to me was a huge surprise. Kinda floored me....... you think that you're safe and I should be with no defenses? Really? HAHAHAHAHAHHA!! It's not a one-way street, but it appeared that the initial perception (of hers) was that indeed.
So much to be learned.

Another thing which jumped out and smacked me in the face is mirroring. It was SOOOOOOO evident. What I was thinking/feeling/experiencing was what she was. She would talk, and it could have been me talking. I talked and she nodded in agreement and surprise. I think this was a shock to both..... I knew this already in theory, but to be there and participate and confirm.... it's a different thing altogether.

She wants a drag-out, deep emotional dive...... which is very difficult for men. It makes me think of a lot of desires here, which have been expressed by many LBS-W's.
Very interesting isn't it? 
It points to the impasse that men and women find themselves in: The man wanting one form of connection and not providing what is wanted by the woman, and the woman wanting another thing and refusing to move until it is met. Disaster ensues until the stalemate is broken..... and who blinks first? Answer: The LBS.

Another interesting point that I found was her desire to NOT use anything like "MLC" or "broken" or "wrong" or anything which could be considered "blame" on her (which I wouldn't want to do anyway)...... but W was emphatic in this. The fear, the anger at being seen as "wrong" or being "categorized"  was very strong in her. Very interesting. I can certainly understand the desire to not be broken, looked down upon, or anything of the sort..... to want to lay blame evenly even if that isn't the case. The truth is "something" happened two years ago (and long before then too), I am very keen to see how this will be framed in her mind. It has to be framed, it has to be placed on the table and examined (carefully). To that see unfold will be very interesting..... and with it: accountability........ but carefully, slowly, deliberately. I'm in no rush. This is an onion with many layers to be peeled back and undoubtedly with many tears (like an onion).
I'm excited to see this new work begin, but I know it's not a race and there will be starts, stops and fits. I'm less scared of her answers and more afraid of mine.

We have homework for the next two weeks...... R talks!! LOL!! You know how difficult those can be..... but this time there is a new spin: Both will talk..... not just a beat-down session.

[update] She came home last night, and I had written my share of the homework, and she answered that she had also done hers (right on).  Then she wanted to know what I thought of the session. I expressed how difficult it was and she apologized for laughing at me during it (At one point where I struggled). I let her know that was the best part of the whole session...... she asks why, and I let her know that I got to see her smile, hear her laugh, and for a moment the defenses were down. It was very nice. Then I asked her what the best part for her was........ "when it was over" (LOL) and then what was the hardest part (for her)...... and she ran away. HAHAHHAHAHA!!!! Well, you gotta start small. I think this will be the hardest part...... two way communication. Getting to the point where both will share and be vulnerable. I know I can do it (with effort), but I know she will struggle far more. That has been the problem for so many years..... reaching out, and no attempt to reach back. The IC is aware of this, I hope she can help in this area. What a thrilling thought to think of W trying to reach out in return but time will tell.
Time for the LBS to lead....... and it could end in failure..... but even then, a failure it wouldn't be, because they have to learn, and in failure all people learn. A second or a third, or more would gradually improve the attempts...... and they have to be healed and become open. No delusions that *boom* they can get it right on the 1st attempt. No, I'm expecting failure right out of the gate, and that's ok.

One other thing that I see, and maybe it's important to healing and forgiveness....... trying. Here at the beginning of this part, she trying. She's NOT speaking my language, she's not reaching out in the way I would choose, nor is she reaching out as much as I'd like....... but she is struggling. I think the LBS has to take that into consideration, have some compassion and appreciation for what it is. If this can be done, it's a starting place. If they continue to try and to struggle, that can (and should) bring some feeling back to the LBS. It's a compromise, and probably not fair.... but we are the one's who are healthy, whole, rational and not broken. Gonna lead her out, gonna drag her out, gonna make sure she is out of the fire.......... and then choose. What a tall order.

Exciting times,

One day at a time.....

-SS
Title: Aliens stole my W!!!!! Part 10: Rockin' around, the MLC tree have a happy holida
Post by: 5hilmerton on April 08, 2021, 08:48:38 AM
Wow SS I am glad i chose to follow your journey you and  (Ready) always impress me with your guy comments.  I was literally exhausted after reading your post.

I ask with caution on my part...are you leading or pushing your W before she is ready even though she is going to MC? My question is not meant as a challenge i am just trying to understand your thought process. 

5hil
Title: Aliens stole my W!!!!! Part 10: Rockin' around, the MLC tree have a happy holida
Post by: readytofixmyselffirst on April 08, 2021, 10:38:37 AM
Hello,

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I ask with caution on my part...are you leading or pushing your W before she is ready even though she is going to MC? My question is not meant as a challenge i am just trying to understand your thought process.

Very good question and I am going to try and answer based upon Standing's post.

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she apologized for laughing at me during it (At one point where I struggled).

From my perspective, this was very big. This was done on her own without the therapist present. She cared how Standing felt and was sorry that she may have hurt his feelings. In situation, we went to counseling and suffered through silence until the next session. In my circumstances, the sessions were more like a production for her to justify and prove a point than to work on our marriage.

The other aspect was

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To have communication, real communication would mean her walls have to come down (and mine).... and that realization was VERY scary to her (and me too). It will take so much work to accomplish, but the process has started.

Standing is not doing the pushing. It is the third party counselor and that is different. Just as I stated above, Standing is not approaching the counseling to place blame at the feet of his wife. In fact, this knowledge was clearly exposed by his wife and she set a strong boundary in regards to this:

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I found was her desire to NOT use anything like "MLC" or "broken" or "wrong" or anything which could be considered "blame" on her (which I wouldn't want to do anyway)...... but W was emphatic in this. The fear, the anger at being seen as "wrong" or being "categorized"  was very strong in her. Very interesting. I can certainly understand the desire to not be broken, looked down upon, or anything of the sort..... to want to lay blame evenly even if that isn't the case.

Often people go to the therapist if they are in front of a judge. They then think the therapist is going to determine who is right and wrong and who gets the blame. If Standing were to approach therapy in this manner to prove his "right" over her "wrong", it would shut her down and guess who would have not completed her homework assignment?

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One other thing that I see, and maybe it's important to healing and forgiveness....... trying.

Yes, this is critical for any relationship to be successful. It is the little things that count and the fact that both are willing to fail for each other is a stronger commitment than just having a marriage. Everyone makes mistakes and when you create an environment where mistakes are okay as long as we learn and grow from them, it becomes a much more loving and caring place for everyone.

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but we are the one's who are healthy, whole, rational and not broken.

Are we? We suffer from a lot of trauma and need to heal as well. In the early stages of my journey, I was far from being healthy, whole, or rational. The other thing is that I always see my self as a work in progress- continuous improvement. Monitoring my financial, social, physical and mental health to make sure that if there is a major need in one area, I can put my energy to addressing it. Of course, things get a bit more complicated when several areas need attention. LOL. It is part of work-life balance and I don't think you every achieve true balance, but your are always working towards not letting an area overwhelm you and take you completely out.

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but she is struggling. I think the LBS has to take that into consideration, have some compassion and appreciation for what it is. If this can be done, it's a starting place. If they continue to try and to struggle, that can (and should) bring some feeling back to the LBS. It's a compromise, and probably not fair....

I agree with the fair part. But what if the MLCer is not struggling? What if they just want to return and pretend nothing happened? "You know that time when I left you and slept with another person? It was a mistake and let's just drop the whole matter." I know I wrote about mistakes being good. Mistakes are trying to improve the relationship and things don't go to plan. Like a gift that doesn't quite hit the mark or a dinner that isn't that good. A misunderstood comment. Sleeping with another person is a breach of trust and the perpetrator of the affair knows their action will deeply hurt their partner. That is not a mistake, that is intentionally murdering the marriage.

And until there is acknowledgement of the crime; there is no accountability. Without true and honest accountability; there is no true and meaningful reconciliation. You don't have to be in a rush, but there has to be a point where this is addressed and resolved otherwise the LBSer is subjected to living in a meaningless and unhappy state of purgatory.

Just my opinion and I am very happy on how your counseling is going. I am going to take some points and use them to build my current marriage.

Have an awesome day and as an educator, I hope you get an "A" on your homework,

((((Ready))))


Title: Aliens stole my W!!!!! Part 10: Rockin' around, the MLC tree have a happy holida
Post by: 5hilmerton on April 08, 2021, 06:46:25 PM
Yep like i said Ready you and SS are amazing teachers.

 SS i could not sleep one night and since i have always liked your comments and advice i decided to read your entire thread. Although our BD are close our situations are extremely different. My H left 12/19, but before that when he started talking strange and so out of character for him i suggested speaking to a professional.  Well that was slam dunk absolutely not!!! 

Thank you both for allowing me to get a guys perspective and allowing me to ask questions.  SS i am so glad you are so strong and patient.

5hil
Title: Aliens stole my W!!!!! Part 10: Rockin' around, the MLC tree have a happy holida
Post by: Kind18 on April 10, 2021, 08:11:22 PM
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And until there is acknowledgement of the crime; there is no accountability. Without true and honest accountability; there is no true and meaningful reconciliation. You don't have to be in a rush, but there has to be a point where this is addressed and resolved otherwise the LBSer is subjected to living in a meaningless and unhappy state of purgatory.

I agree with this. While I understand the desire to respect her boundaries, I’m very cautious that your wife is willing to accept responsibility for her actions.

Perhaps you should talk about this with the counsellor individually and seek their guidance.

My ex’s inability to be accountable for anything and everything in her life is actually what eventually led to the failure of our marriage. A lot of veterans say that when someone is actually ready and committed to reconciling you’ll know - because they will be completely humbled, will admit to and apologise unreservedly for what they got wrong.

If she’s walking in and straight up setting boundaries to avoid accountability, I see a huge red flag.

Sorry. Just being honest.
Title: Aliens stole my W!!!!! Part 10: Rockin' around, the MLC tree have a happy holida
Post by: Father5 on April 11, 2021, 09:40:28 PM
Glad to read your post SS. I pray for all of you often and hope you are at peace with this process. Good luck my friend.
Title: Aliens stole my W!!!!! Part 10: Rockin' around, the MLC tree have a happy holida
Post by: Hoosier Daddy on April 21, 2021, 11:50:22 AM
SS,

All ok?  Hope you check in soon.

HD
Title: Aliens stole my W!!!!! Part 10: Rockin' around, the MLC tree have a happy holida
Post by: Standing Strong on April 22, 2021, 12:26:38 AM
Hey HD  :D

Still here, just a crazy couple of weeks.  8)
Been meaning to write but kept getting interrupted. LOL!! Mean to answer questions that were asked too.......  :P

Journaling:

I can understand what people talk about when they describe getting tired, frustrated and quitting once people start opening up and trying to connect.
W is so very frustrated, the reconnection MC attempt and exercises are so incredibly difficult for her....... and I've gotta admit, they're no calkwalk for me either. Still, it's been very eye opening to peer inside the MLC'ers head once again. Can't say I've missed it, but it is fascinating as ever.

Something I didn't know (but makes complete sense now) is how twisted in comparison she is....... meaning, anything and everything is twisted (by her, internally) into something bad about herself. What? Why? It was shocking. I can say something, and *POOF* she takes it personal and feels bad. Like I could be cleaning (which I've been doing by myself now since BD) and she will feel bad (or at least says she feels bad) for not doing it or at least helping. Almost like she is helpless with no motive energy to do anything.... locked in place, escaping into her phone. Weird (to me). Or like I'm optimistic and hopeful..... and she doesn't feel the same way, and so she feels bad about herself: angry that she doesn't mirror what I am..... that something is wrong with her, or that she is "not as good" as me.
Well, that's a terrible place to be. Just trapped inside yourself, probably hating yourself..... or something. She describes her mind as "Alcatraz".  ???
Not a good thing. Comparison, in all ways.
Her memory has either twisted in a new way, or just a way that I wasn't aware of previously. In MC, she maintains that "this" is only 6-8 months old. Meaning in her mind, BD happened 6-8 months ago.  :o Um, no........ in just a couple days, it'll be 2 years. She also maintains that she was in control the whole time (no breakdown) and that it was all to "teach me how hard her life was to clean the house".  :o HAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAH!!! OMG!!!!
I guess it's a lot better than missing memory altogether, but wow...... that is quite the twisted perception........ I'd assume it's to reduce guilt..... what a story to tell yourself. Not surprising.

I can tell these MC reconnection exercises are good, but oh boy do they take a toll (on her). Just like after BD when I would "stir the pot", she would vent, and then collapse...... the same is happening once again. We talk, and then she collapses. That was very good and healthy in the beginning, I hope it is now as well. I don't feel the "need" to do it like it was in the beginning........ but the IC/MC says it's time..... I'm giving it my best shot. If I had to guess, it isn't me taking damage this time with R talks..... it's her. She has been more guarded after intense question and answer sessions. She has also admitted she is guarded against everyone, she believes everyone wants something from her, and that she has "issues" that she's dealing with. Well, all in all, that's good to be honest about it. The day after any of the more intense talks, she is so distant. During the talks, she bites her lip as she chooses what to say. What is going on in there? Poor thing.

Now for the not so good and the bad.......
Being more defensive and guarded, she has pulled back in general when we aren't doing the exercises. I think this is understandable. She's taking a lot of fire, not from me, but from herself. She is melting down on the inside. Her obsession with work continues, but it's becoming more critical. Her energy has diminished so much, everything has been put into her work, and now that energy level is failing and her work is in jeopardy. If things keep going (in her) as they are..... she's going to have a major breakdown at some point in the not to distant future. In a way, I think this would be very good. Since her whole identity and reward system is wrapped into her career....... maybe that would signal a descent to rock bottom..... or maybe not. Her IC/MC says she will either stop on her own, or her body is going to stop her. That's very concerning. Knowing W, she will run at full throttle until her body fails and then what? She'll lose everything she has worked for....... but it would get her to stop...... heavens know I've tried to get her to stop for years and years. She wouldn't. I do know she is making plans to do something else at some point. That would be healthy and positive.
Something that is very evident is the total lack of emotional connection so far. It's all logical. Absolutely mimics what others have written about their spouse asking questions and turning over possibilities in their mind, but zero emotion.
She also is avoiding a lot. To me this speaks to whatever she has done during her MLC. She's not ready as of yet to talk about anything like that, probably can't even admit to herself yet. She bites her lip, bites her lip, and pauses constantly during MC and R talks. So hesitant.

Right now she's on a business trip for a couple days (a break for me  ;D ) but wouldn't you know it...... radio silence.  ::) Not a surprise, and I'm happy to give her some extra decompression time (She claims that's what she wants and needs - and I believe her). Still, it's completely opposite what the IC/MC has told us to do.
In some ways, she's further along than I thought. In some ways, she's not as far as I had hoped....... but at least I know. Communication is a great thing. The hilarious thing is, she claims that is what is needed...... but she is struggling so bad with it, and I'm doing great with it. The accusation about me being the hang-up on communication is totally false, and now I know for sure that I wasn't the hang-up before either.
The worst part is, it's so hard for her, so frustrating, so draining...... as it gets deeper, and the topics get worse....... I wonder if she will fall on the sword and quit. While I'm not perfect and have my share of mistakes, misunderstanding, and whatever else..... the bulk is laying at her feet, and she knows it. The M is wrecked by her: her unrealistic inhuman expectations, and her defenses. It also is becoming so clear in MC that she is so broken despite her desire not to be broken, and that her issues stem from areas that have nothing to do with me yet are redirected onto me. That's a whole heck of a lot to digest when you know you're wrong and someone has only loved and treated you wonderfully. So much struggle on just surface items, it's almost a distraction from the real issues that are not my doing (not almost, it is). To face that, while losing your grip on the one thing you're trying to hold on to (career)....... I don't know how she's going to manage it. She claims she can't be the wife I want and be herself..... whatever that means. I think it means she is in transition and doesn't even know herself at the moment...... so how could she be anything to anyone else? I hope that will pass as she figures out more, but it also points to the possibility of making a different choice, which of course has been present from the beginning.
How much damage is there, how many bad choices have been made, can she face them without giving up, and what will be left in the rubble afterward.......
The rest of the year is going to be very interesting.

Oh, and I'm doing great.  8)

One day at a time,

-SS   
Title: Aliens stole my W!!!!! Part 10: Rockin' around, the MLC tree have a happy holida
Post by: AlvinTheMaker on April 22, 2021, 03:07:32 AM
Hi Standing,

you've really got a whole lot going on there.   Just remember to take good care of yourself as you can easily loose focus in the sitch.


She claims she can't be the wife I want and be herself..... whatever that means.

Uh, I think I heard this from my XW during one of those R talks we were never supposed to have.

As retrospective view from thousand miles up, the logic behind this line of thinking is that she is likely feeling that you are having or setting expectations of how the wife and marriage should be,  and she feel she cannot justify those expectations if being true to herself.   This is coming from place where Inflexible demands (I must/should etc) to self/others reign and create things like shame (which nourish anxiety/depression etc).   

Is she right or wrong?  Who knows, it's all about personal opinions and perspectives.

The above possibly begs the question...  Have you challenged your beliefs of what your wife or marriage should be alike - let's say she would like to have something like open marriage or loveless marriage or commit herself to work/career instead of home? I recall you did discuss these with your therapist way back, but I don't know how deep you went.   Have you gone through everything you belief in there, and weeded out the irrational beliefs?  You can't change her, but you can change yourself -  the less rigid you become, the happier life you will have (regardless of what happens between the two of you).   

This of course is just my advice from the cheap seats at thousand miles up ;)

Alvin.
Title: Aliens stole my W!!!!! Part 10: Rockin' around, the MLC tree have a happy holida
Post by: Standing Strong on April 22, 2021, 09:21:43 AM
Hey Alvin  :D

Very interesting. I think you could very much be on to something with the perceived expectations part. She has mentioned this in MC...... what it means stumps me, as so little is asked for....... the expectations are her own that she places on herself.
I know for me, there isn't much to challenge on what a M is, or what a wife should do........ I've backed up all the way to the red line in easing expectations over the years, to go further would mean there is no M (something in name only), which is unacceptable and I would say "no" to. I hope that isn't the case, as it would mean even the absolute minimum is too much........ I can say with certainty there is nothing demanded and so little expected, she literally has been given so much space and so much slack in the rope, that she's running around virtually free (especially during MLC). 
Perhaps she is thinking about what she "should" be, and that is too much to process or be able to see for some point in the future..... that's very possible...... but it's not expected now (and I've said as much to her - to which she shakes her head, like she can't accept it).

Very good observation, and I think you're spot on. It's too bad that in some areas the MLC'er can process or be reached to some extent, for her this isn't one of them (currently)..... and there's a lot of guilt on her side about this area...... she's talked for years about "being a bad wife", many years, even before shadow.
Is it possible she is incapable of this role? Yup. Which would be so sad, it's not like there's a whole lot to it. Being a spouse is wonderful thing: To care about someone else and allow yourself to be loved in turn.

-SS
Title: Aliens stole my W!!!!! Part 10: Rockin' around, the MLC tree have a happy holida
Post by: OffRoad on April 22, 2021, 12:07:59 PM
A lot of women grow up believing that a "good wife" has an immaculate house, all the chores done, always looks like she stepped off of a magazine, and never has a bad day. June Cleaver. The Enjoli commercial with the bacon (if you don't know it, go watch it. )

What was your wife's mother like? In fact, what was your mother like? Your W could be competing (in her mind) with another "wife" figure, and that's just not who she is. Like, if anyone expected me to have a spotless house, good luck. I'm always creating something, building something, painting something, fixing something. I think my house is spotless 8 times a year, for two days only. If I were compare myself to the person who is never at home or doesn't do crafts or hires other for all of their work, I'd come up short. But since I actually do believe "a creative mess is better than tidy idleness", for me how I live works just fine as long as it isn't out of control or in every room of the house.  But for someone else, they would come up short in their own eyes and project that belief onto others. OR they might actually come up short in their spouse's eyes, or someone else's eyes.

And in truth, how often does anyone thank their wife/husband (whomever does the bulk of the housework if it's not equally shared) for the family having a clean home and clothes, or doing any of the things they just do because they need to be done? I can't speak for anyone else, but for me it was never.  And I do mean absolutely never. I always thanked my xh for working hard or if he did anything around the house. Maybe other families are different.

That's my experience, especially with my mlc/MLT friend. What will everyone else think? And I tell her, most people won't think anything of it at all. What does SHE think? She hides who she is because what will someone else think if she isn't perfect? It takes a terrible toll on both mental and physical health.

You sound like you are moving right along, SS, with your W trying hard to catch up. Congratulations to you both for giving it your best.
Title: Aliens stole my W!!!!! Part 10: Rockin' around, the MLC tree have a happy holida
Post by: AlvinTheMaker on April 23, 2021, 02:02:21 AM
OffRoad has got a point.... 

And speaking of personal experience....   What if  it is not "another  women" figure that she is comparing herself against, but you - "better-spouse-than-me". 

Remember all the times you have cooked for her ?  Remember how many times you have gifted her?  Kissed her?  Showed her love....  Now mirror it all?  How many times has she cooked for you, gifted you, kissed you, showed you love....   If you start comparing who does what, you pretty quickly may realize that there has been no 50/50 share or even anything similar in your relationship for a long time.   It feels awesometo give from all your heart , but if your partner is having any selfworth issues, then the inbalance will start chipping over perceived selfworth.  If you are treated like a royal,  given everything on silver platter, but you feel "fake and unworthy within", the whole thing will explode sooner or later. 

As hindsight (and lesson learned)... a good marriage/relationship not about giving all you can.   It is giving some, and giving your partner a change to give some as well, and then keeping the system running and in sync. And yes, it can be challenging.  It takes communication, it takes practice, it is all about changing 'established patterns' mindfully.  Consider it tearing down few bricks from your own wall - as hiding behind endless (romantic) giving is one way to create a protective wall around yourself.

But if going back to current sitch.... the best you can do is  focus on you and improve yourself - pretty much what you have been doing  (but think the words I wrote above and apply if necessary). And let her have the rope and get the genie out of bottle in her own time and way - whats eating her can be pretty much anything, and until she can express it aloud, anything written here is just speculation (and likely to bark up the wrong tree).

Alvin.
Title: Aliens stole my W!!!!! Part 10: Rockin' around, the MLC tree have a happy holida
Post by: Finding Joy on April 23, 2021, 06:52:00 AM
Is she a perfectionist?  Good points were made in some of the comments.  To me not accepting your own flaws and being willing to show who you really are is a major sign of insecurity.  So she needs to value herself and be brave enough to love an accept herself before any real progress can be made.
Title: Aliens stole my W!!!!! Part 10: Rockin' around, the MLC tree have a happy holida
Post by: Standing Strong on April 24, 2021, 05:56:53 AM
What great points Offroad, Alvin and FJ  8)

@FJ
Yes, yes yes yes...... Perfectionist. Thru and thru. It's funny that you say that (The timing): Last night as we lay in bed, I was falling asleep and she was looking at photos on her phone..... looking thru moment in the past she had taken (a good thing). Anyway, as she was scrolling thru an showing me things (Asking if I remembered them - yes) one photo was a diagram. I asked what that was, and it was a personality evaluation/assessment she did for work. She does one of these pretty much every year (she loves them, has done many different assessments, and they are expensive). I think she does it to try and understand/validate herself. This one was circular with colors working their way out from the inner middle of the circle out to the edge (the outer edge being 100%). There was different colors for different quadrants of the circle: Red, Green, Blue and I think purple(?). Anyway, red was the largest and most active section with two values maxed out or almost maxed out. I asked what these were, she replies (with glee) "this one, the maxed out one is for perfection, the other one that is almost maxed out is Power".
So yes, and she isn't shy about it either. Perfection. That's her badge of honor she wears on her chest. Loves it, and hates it.... but she loves it more than hates it, that's for sure. Of course it's destroying her as well.  The cost of perfection is and always has been too great.

@ Alvin
Yup, yup, yup...... comparison. I'm sure she feels "less" when it comes to being a good spouse. She's said so for a very long time, maybe since the beginning. Always in competition, always trying to be on top, in control, "better". The thing about it is: we're different. What I'm good at, she will never excel at, and what she's good at, I already know (nor wish to) be better than she is. I've always seen M as a compliment to one another..... I'm not sure she has. Oh she can say it, but actions say otherwise.

@Offroad
That's very interesting. Hmmmmm.... I don't know what (in her mind) is the "perfect wife". She has wanted the perfect, spotless, immaculate home. This wasn't for me (although she'd say it was), it was for her. Impossible, to achieve. I tried for years to help in this...... never, never was successful. Nor was she. Huge energy, time, and effort to never accomplish her standard. She could only accomplish it by driving herself crazy and burning herself out. It was TERRIBLE.
She's just like her mom. I could draw out her mom's life, draw out W's life, and you could swap them back and forth and not tell much of a difference......... which is strange yet predictable since the mom abandoned them during her own MLC. W always wanting to exceed and succeed where her mom had failed (career). Big mommy issues, which W either hasn't been able to admit, or is actually unaware of. I've tried talking to her many, many times about it. Shuts down (in her own way).
My mom on the other hand is kind, patient, understanding, a home-body. Very good person. I'm very much like my mom. I don't know that W has any desire to be like that - but she was always wanted her approval and has never thought herself "good enough"...... but that is fairly standard between MIL's and daughters isn't it?

What a difficult thing the question of "who am I?" is to the MLC'er. I can't imagine being this age and not knowing the answer to this basic and core question.
I had answered this in my teens, and refined it in my 20's. What a terrible feeling it must be. On one hand, I so want her to answer this question. I want her to have peace. The question being answered (eventually) also means finding out who this person actually is....... which hopefully is a version of the person you loved and once knew...... I think normally this is the case........ but it doesn't have to be. For the ones who are drastically different and were an "Act" (a self-delusion) how hard would it be to rediscover attraction (as most do) for their spouse and work up the courage to show back up and say "here I am, I'm totally different than what you and I thought I was....... can you love me?". The potential rejection plus accountability for damage wrongfully inflicted is just a bridge too far for so many. For the LBS who finds themselves in this sitch, what a choice to make, right? Oh look, it's a new but similar person (in ways) to someone I knew. Do I love them?
I'm starting to understand that the person I married, was a self-actuated persona created partially by choice, partially by expectation, partially by desired self-projection, and partially by a defense response to great damage..... and that if she is successful with MLC, then she will be what she would have been had all those "Coverings" not been there. That's a different person. Similar, but different....... and if I was to take this person (post-MLC) and throw it way back there..... would she be chosen (by me)? Now THERE'S a big question...... and the MLC'er answers it first!! Oh boy!! If anyone knows the difference in change, and be frightened by it...... it's them. No wonder they run.  What a contrast. I could take myself (now) and throw me back to the beginning..... I'd be chosen. I'm the same person only better. Change that though, and put the choosing into question....... then it would be a very scary prospect. Compound that with the question of if all the time spent has been false, and if so, what a lie has been foisted on someone you love AND self. What cost has been paid by both. No wonder they run.... and hide.
My, my.... what becomes clearer as time goes by.

One day at a time,

-SS
Title: Aliens stole my W!!!!! Part 10: Rockin' around, the MLC tree have a happy holida
Post by: OffRoad on April 24, 2021, 11:34:04 AM
You bring up a fascinating point, SS. You say if you were to put you back to the beginning, you would still be chosen. But WOULD you have been chosen by the W who did not have all those "Coverings", as you put it. We're you maybe chosen because you were part of her "perfect" scenario, another "covering", if you will. Do you ever wonder if she finds out who she is, if maybe that person way back when would NOT  have chosen you? In your case, I doubt she would not have still chosen you, but for some of us, it's a sadly valid question.

If my XH were now who he was always supposed to be (though I don't think he's gotten where he will end up yet), he quite possibly would never have chosen me. In hindsight, my xh had mirrored people all his life, because that made him acceptable in their eyes by his estimation. I'm a go getter, I plan on sliding in totally used up, completely worn out, having taken everyone on the ride who wanted to go. And for a long time, I thought that was who my xh was too, but it appears I was wrong. I am about the experience, he is about how he appears. Would a person who is only about his appearance and how he measures up to other people (should that be where he ends up) want to be with a non conventional, don't care how I appear, did you say spelunking, person? Maybe, maybe not. Maybe I'm not who he would have liked if he'd have been his real self. I just don't have enough hubris to assume I would have been chosen had he been the real him. So that makes it scary for the LBS side as well.

JMO. I don't have an MLCER who wants to come back, mostly a vanisher. I'll likely never know.
Title: Aliens stole my W!!!!! Part 10: Rockin' around, the MLC tree have a happy holida
Post by: Standing Strong on April 24, 2021, 03:32:55 PM
Yes Offroad, I've thought about that a great deal over the past couple years, although I didn't understand it then as I do now.
Back then (right after BD) my thought (self-fear) was that the "worse" outcome would be to make it all the way thru their MLC, and then not be chosen at the conclusion....... which I still think would be a very crummy outcome on one hand...... but not the end of the world (took at lot to get there).

So yes, that is a primary question of MLC: IF they can successfully navigate and emerge from MLC - what will they choose at the end? Who are they, what were they suppose to be, and does that person hold attraction for you and want to have a life with you? That is a terrible, scary and relatively powerless place to be isn't it? To a degree however, it is a comfort: Even though they may have not really been "themselves", this persona was who they wished they were..... I.E. this was the person they most wanted to be, and that "person" choose you. So it was completely "real", in a sense.

Fast forward to post-MLC, and it's either stay, go, or not complete the journey. I'd rather them complete it, find peace, find themselves, and know the truth (no matter what that truth is). The only way to know, is to get to the end though (and many won't). So getting to the end, no matter what, is a blessing on many levels.

On to "would they choose you, as their real self, back in time?". Well on the LBS side of that question, I think here is where the advantage the LBS has is..... which is...... the LBS has control over themselves, their responses, and their choices (with either a clear mind or at least a clearer mind than the MLC'er). Paving the way is part of it, growing attractiveness is part of it, improving strength is part of it. I mean, the light is kept on by the LBS. If that light goes out: stick a fork in it, it's done.
When does this LBS quitting happen? During the deconstruction of the persona we knew (which is gradual and not instant).
Since the LBS has known the core parts of this person, it's a form of courtship all over again: both during the deconstruction and disassembly, and at ground zero when only the foundations of the person remain (and hopefully they haven't ran away to hide as they are torn down). Since they remember everything that happens during the deconstruction, there is the advantage. They end (and begin again) with the question "can they love me?" and "am I loveable?". If love is shown thru the process, then they can come to the positive answer. If love is not shown during the process, then they can come to a negative answer.

Then comes the hardest question to answer of all: attraction. Will they be attracted to me when this is over? You (the LBS) will already answer the question (during the disassembly) on your side of "Am I attracted to this (new) person?". I think most LBS's answer is "no" and stick that fork into it.
More than likely, given the chance the MLC'er will choose you again: They knew what they were getting from the get-go, and you stayed true to what you were. The best version of themselves (MLC'er) could hope to get was you, so yes indeed you were the prize.
What they settle for afterward (The failed MLC'er) is always something less (Affair down, Marriage down, job down, life down) , because they are diminished. They fall short of what they wanted to believed they were...... and so the LBS goes onto a pedestal and shouldn't be bothered by someone so much lower than they. Again why paving the way is important: to assure and value so all things are equal at the end and they can approach.

I've talked to many ex-MLC'ers...... universally they speak of their discarded spouse in such high regard. Always in esteem beyond what they see themselves as, and always with regret. I think at the end, they revalue themselves lower, always beneath the LBS and just pick up life from there.
They projected and wanted to believe they were an 8 (in line with the LBS) and emerge from MLC as a 3 or a 4. Revalued. Diminished. Unworthy...... but steady, confident and stable in their new place. No longer saddled with the burden of being something they never were to begin with.

Which brings us back again to that question: "Would they have picked us in the beginning?". This time from the MLC'er side: All things equal. In many cases: No. Our value was always higher, and they only snatched us with the best version of themselves they could conjure up. In their base mind, we are/were out of their league. Of course, thru the passage of time and the M, we know what their core is..... and if that's the part we loved, then stripping off all the other stuff changes nothing. If however we loved the "stuck on bits", then there is no future. They will know this, and so should we.
Showing that the "core" is what we love and what we value, is what brings them back up to us (IMO). In the end, all things must be equal and not unbalanced. There must be equal value to be had. Left to themselves, their conclusion will be their offer is of much less value than ours.

One day at a time,

-SS   

P.S. Of course this is from the perspective of a clinging boomerang MLC'er, not a full blown vanisher MLC'er. I don't understand vanishers at all, beyond that they are tormented far beyond what a boomerang will experience. 
 
Title: Aliens stole my W!!!!! Part 10: Rockin' around, the MLC tree have a happy holida
Post by: OffRoad on April 24, 2021, 06:22:39 PM
Thank you for your response, SS. That sets my mind to wandering on a multitude of levels, especially having a mostly vanisher. There is no way for me to show a vanisher anything. He cannot know anything about how I think or feel unless I stalk him (I'll pass on that, thanks). I had been nothing but courteous and kind on the few interactions we had years ago, and yet he acted like he'd catch fire if he touched anything I touched. The reverse is also true, I can only know what the kids choose to tell me, which is their perception and may or may not have any base of reality of how their father really thinks.

I hope all keeps going well for you and your W.
Title: Aliens stole my W!!!!! Part 10: Rockin' around, the MLC tree have a happy holida
Post by: Standing Strong on April 24, 2021, 07:33:59 PM
Well, you tickled my brain Offroad, I hope I could return the favor  :D   :P  ;)


Ahhhhhhh... one post away from 150........ gotta beat T to the punch.....

-SS
Title: Aliens stole my W!!!!! Part 10: Rockin' around, the MLC tree have a happy holida
Post by: Standing Strong on April 24, 2021, 07:35:30 PM
Well, you tickled my brain Offroad, I hope I could return the favor  :D   :P  ;)


Ahhhhhhh... one post away from 150........ gotta beat T to the punch.....

-SS

I couldn't help it.... 150!!!!

Lock me down!!!

On to part 11.... and I have just the title for next week.  :-X

One day at a time,

-SS
Title: Aliens stole my W!!!!! Part 10: Rockin' around, the MLC tree have a happy holida
Post by: PJ Ames on April 24, 2021, 10:42:55 PM
Looking forward to your further adventures!
Title: Re: Aliens stole my W!!!!! Part 10: Rockin' around, the MLC tree have a happy holida
Post by: Thunder on April 30, 2021, 03:41:42 PM
Hello Standing dear, I don't want to lock your thread up until you have had a chance start a new one so you can link your threads up.

No rush, when ever you are ready.   ;D

Hope you had a good week.

T
Title: Aliens stole my W!!!!! Part 10: Rockin' around, the MLC tree have a happy holida
Post by: Standing Strong on May 03, 2021, 03:21:23 PM
Hi T  ;D

Link to new thread:
https://mlcforum.theherosspouse.com/index.php?topic=11770.0 (https://mlcforum.theherosspouse.com/index.php?topic=11770.0)

Now I can be shut down  ;)

-SS