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My Story Newbie here: my story
OP: October 02, 2019, 11:57:12 AM
My story starts exactly 2 years ago when I discovered my H was having an EA with a married woman, 30 years younger who lives on the other side of the country. At the time, I did not understand that he was in MLC, but I probably should have given all the weird things he did. He changed overnight: lost weight, changed his wardrobe, tried to leave his salaried job to become a "youtube influencer," got a tattoo, bought a motorcycle, went from kind and thoughtful to cold and distant almost overnight, etc.

Anyway, I discovered the EA, and did everything you shouldn't: raged, begged, pleaded, etc. Finally I asked him to leave as he didn't want to work on the marriage. Since that time, we have had some communication and are generally amicable.

Fast forward to the beginning of May this year when he asked if we could try again. I was hesitant but decided to give it a go. It went well for almost 4 months. He has cut all contact with the Alienator. He told his children (my step kids) why I asked him to leave. He seemed super devoted, thoughtful, connected, etc. It was like my "old" husband was back. Then a month ago he told me his adult children don't like me. I tried to validate his feelings while also letting him know we could work on healing that relationship (before I asked him to leave 2 years ago, the kids and I got along fine. 2 of them lived with us for 7 years). Following that conversation, he became distant, detached. He told me if we reconciled he was afraid his children would not come see him (they all live in other parts of the country by the way). So for 2 weeks he was very distant, then told me he doesn't feel "connected," and left again.

That's my long story made pretty short. I'm struggling to understand the sudden attempt to return home followed by the swift departure. I see it as very fear based, although I doubt he would see it that way.  I'm doing my best to remain calm and consistent. I am proud to say I haven't ranted, vented, or reacted in anger to him. I did cry when he told me he was leaving. Otherwise, I've tried to implement all the things I did the first time he left. I am devastated though, because I did get my hopes up pretty high. :-(

I should also add that he is getting ready to turn 59 next week. His youngest child left for the marines last October, was home for the summer, and left for college 5 days before my H told me he was leaving again.....
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Re: Newbie here: my story
#1: October 03, 2019, 03:56:25 AM
Welcome Surviving, your H is struggling to stay at home, it's as if they have a foot in both camps at the beginning. They are being pulled to leave and guilt tells them to stay.  My xH stayed home for 18 month before he left and I could see the internal struggle.  MLC won out of course and he left.

I don't know how many of the articles you have read on MLC but start reading to full understand the process.

Posting here kept me sane for a long time. The people here know what you are going through and are so supportive, they become like family.

OldPilot will be along soon to welcome you with links to some resources to help you along.

How's the YouTube Influnencer thing going for him ;)  They do the most amazing things :o  Hope he has millions of subscribers ;D They all go from wonderful husbands to cold and distant people, it's all part of the MLC as sad as that is.
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« Last Edit: October 03, 2019, 03:59:19 AM by Savoir Faire »
"And when they ask you about me and you find yourself thinking back on all of our memories,
I hope you ache in regret as the truth hits you like a bullet and you find yourself replying: ""She loved me more than anyone else in the entire world and I tried to destroy her."  He failed by the way. 
http://mlcforum.theherosspouse.com/index.php?topic=8412(Denjef's thread)

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Re: Newbie here: my story
#2: October 03, 2019, 04:00:56 AM
Welcome Surviving,

I'm sorry you find yourself on this situation.

Could you give us a little more information, so we can better assist you. 
How long have you two been marriage?  Were either of you married before, it sounds like your H, him having children.

I see by your profile you are a male, is that correct?

I have a question, he said his kids don't like you.  Is that because you asked him to leave because he was having an EA with a married woman?  Were they aware of the EA?
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A quote from a recovered MLCer: 
"From my experience if my H had let me go a long time ago, and stop pressuring me, begging, and pleading and just let go I possibly would have experienced my awakening sooner than I did."

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Re: Newbie here: my story
#3: October 03, 2019, 05:01:50 AM
I'm a female. I better correct my profile. :-)

We've been married for 9 years this coming January. I have not been married before. This is his second marriage. He was married 20 years to a very abusive woman.

He does not know why his children don't like me. They won't tell him. I haven't asked them. I am assuming it is because I asked him to move out. He did tell them he had an affair and I was very hurt, which is why I asked him to move out. They did not know about the EA at the time. He told them before he decided he wanted to come home. It surprised me that he did that, but he told me that was "the right and fair thing to do for you. The kids didn't know what happened."
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« Last Edit: October 03, 2019, 05:03:39 AM by Surviving2019 »

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Re: Newbie here: my story
#4: October 03, 2019, 05:05:41 AM
Actually, I can't figure out how to change my gender on my profile. Any one know how or who I contact?
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Re: Newbie here: my story
#5: October 03, 2019, 05:07:24 AM
Welcome to the Board

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Detach. - The single most important thing you can do

The detach link and HB's 6 stages of MLC(rewritten from Jim Conway) located in the resources above.
http://mlcforum.theherosspouse.com/index.php?topic=4.msg380#msg380

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

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

http://www.livestrong.com/article/14712-developing-detachment/

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

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

Knowledge is Power - Sir Francis Bacon
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Re: Newbie here: my story
#6: October 03, 2019, 05:07:36 AM
How old are you, surviving? How big a gap of time was there between his divorce from his first marriage and you two meeting? And how do you know his kids don't like you or indeed that his first wife was abusive other than what your h says? Anything else you think we should know about your situation practically or emotionally that might help us to support you better?

We are all very sorry that you have to be here but glad you feel able to speak about your situation now. And so sorry too for the pain of this double betrayal.
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T: 18  M: 12 (at BD) No kids.
H diagnosed with severe depression Oct 15. BD May 16. OW since April 16, maybe earlier. Silent vanisher mostly.
Divorced April 18. XH married ow 6 weeks later.
Healing and growing found here https://littleplotbythesea.wordpress.com

"Option A is not available so I need to kick the s**t out of Option B" Sheryl Sandberg

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Re: Newbie here: my story
#7: October 03, 2019, 05:08:52 AM
Actually, I can't figure out how to change my gender on my profile. Any one know how or who I contact?

I changed it for you, it is in your profile.
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Re: Newbie here: my story
#8: October 03, 2019, 05:20:41 AM
How old are you, surviving? How big a gap of time was there between his divorce from his first marriage and you two meeting? And how do you know his kids don't like you or indeed that his first wife was abusive other than what your h says? Anything else you think we should know about your situation practically or emotionally that might help us to support you better?

We are all very sorry that you have to be here but glad you feel able to speak about your situation now. And so sorry too for the pain of this double betrayal.

I'm 42. There was a 2 years between his divorce and when we met. His children won't speak to me at all.  We did hang out a few times this summer (after he had returned home and the kids were in town visiting). It was fine--we were all civil. However, they won't speak to me if their father isn't around. This is not how it was when we all lived together. Example, my oldest step daughter turned 25 this summer. I texted her happy birthday (same as I have for years). No response which is not normal for her. Same with my stepson when he has his birthday on Monday.

As for his ex-wife, she most definitely was abusive. She's quite mentally ill. I'm a therapist. The pathology of her diagnosis does include a lot of emotional abuse and manipulation. I would often times pick the kids up from her house if their dad was out of town because she would be emotionally abusive towards them (Calling them names, telling them to kill themselves, telling them she was going to kill herself, etc etc). Same things she would text my h even when we were married until he finally got a cease and desist letter from his attorney. Then she started in on me: lots of emotionally abusive text messages and emails. She destroyed some things at my house (we have a security camera). I just ignored it and honestly, she stopped after she didn't get a rise out of me.

He did share with me that he is afraid that his kids won't come visit him if we reconcile: that he felt he almost "lost them" during the divorce and he doesn't want that to happen now. I feel like I have listened to understand his fear. At the same time....they didn't abandon him. We all hung out together when they were in town this summer. They are adults and live in other parts of the country. They call their dad everyday to talk. They all have really good relationships with their dad, and love him very much. His fear is real, the reality that his children will reject him is not.

Not much more I can think of. We live about 2 blocks from each other. He wants to "be friends." After he left the first time, I put up some massive boundaries: I was civil and kind, but I let him go and do his thing while I got busy with my own life. Same thing I feel needs to happen again, unless I'm missing something as a return and then leaving again is new to me....
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Re: Newbie here: my story
#9: October 03, 2019, 05:30:08 AM
If it helps, return and goes are not uncommon at all.
Nor is them saying they want to be 'friends'....while often not behaving like that at all.

What do YOU want righg now, surviving? Do you have a plan?
And what are you finding most challenging to deal with currently?
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« Last Edit: October 03, 2019, 05:31:31 AM by Treasur »
T: 18  M: 12 (at BD) No kids.
H diagnosed with severe depression Oct 15. BD May 16. OW since April 16, maybe earlier. Silent vanisher mostly.
Divorced April 18. XH married ow 6 weeks later.
Healing and growing found here https://littleplotbythesea.wordpress.com

"Option A is not available so I need to kick the s**t out of Option B" Sheryl Sandberg

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Re: Newbie here: my story
#10: October 03, 2019, 05:35:47 AM
I'm sorry Surviving, that makes it hard.  Him feeling he has to choose between his wife and his kids.

I guess my first reaction was, you are married and the kids need to accept that.
If the can't give him any reasons for not liking you, then I'm afraid that is their problem.  They are not young children.  You are not just friends, you are his wife.

However until he knows the reason, I'm sure that is a real fear he has.

Well I guess you need to decide what is best for you.  He will have to make his own decisions. 
I personally, would not accept just a friend relationship with your husband, that is allowing his children to control him, but again this has to be your choice.

We will support what ever you decide.
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A quote from a recovered MLCer: 
"From my experience if my H had let me go a long time ago, and stop pressuring me, begging, and pleading and just let go I possibly would have experienced my awakening sooner than I did."

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Re: Newbie here: my story
#11: October 03, 2019, 06:44:57 AM
What do I want? That's the question. I want my h to return home. When he was back for those few months, before his fear got in the way, it was like the man I use to know was back. I feel like people will know what I mean by that. The man that I fell in love with and married. The man he's been for the past 18 months of so is not the man I knew. Bits of the "old" H started appearing last February, then he came back at the end of April.

However, I don't want him to come home until he has addressed his fears and overcome them. I don't want to go through this rollercoaster of emotion again.

I would agree with the "wanting to be friends but not treating you as a friend" statement too. I know how he treats his friends and that's not how he's treating me at all.

My plan right now is to keep doing what I'm doing: working, enjoying my hobbies, traveling, spending time with my friends, improving myself. What happens after that? I don't know....
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Re: Newbie here: my story
#12: October 03, 2019, 06:46:38 AM
I'm sorry Surviving, that makes it hard.  Him feeling he has to choose between his wife and his kids.

I guess my first reaction was, you are married and the kids need to accept that.
If the can't give him any reasons for not liking you, then I'm afraid that is their problem.  They are not young children.  You are not just friends, you are his wife.

However until he knows the reason, I'm sure that is a real fear he has.

Well I guess you need to decide what is best for you.  He will have to make his own decisions. 
I personally, would not accept just a friend relationship with your husband, that is allowing his children to control him, but again this has to be your choice.

We will support what ever you decide.

I 100% agree with you. It also makes it a little difficult for me, because I can empathize with his feeling that he has to chose between me or the kids. It's also very frustrating because that's not the reality: he is creating this situation in his mind. There is plenty of room for all of us. And I can't fix it or make him see that. *sigh*
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Re: Newbie here: my story
#13: October 03, 2019, 09:33:35 AM
It's not unheard of for an MLCer to return on the same timeline as yours. But then they often leave again. It's pretty rare for an early returner like this to stay put. At least that is the impression I get from others' stories on here.

I agree the situation with the kids is likely a product of his own mind. I'm not sure I would validate it because whether it is him or them, you didn't do anything to bring it on. I would refuse to engage with such talk at all and just tell him if he has those concerns he should discuss it with his kids because as far as you are concerned the door is always open for them and they are welcome in your home any time. And then zip your lips after a brief statement and don't engage about it again. Put it back on his head.

I got a lot of "you hate my mother" talk out of H around the same time in his timeline. All a product of his imagination. It passed eventually.
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« Last Edit: October 03, 2019, 09:36:04 AM by Not Your Monkey »

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Re: Newbie here: my story
#14: October 03, 2019, 09:54:14 AM
All a product of his imagination.

And, whatever the causes of it (I believe it is depressive dissociation as a coping mechanism in response to papered-over, unresolved early trauma stirred up by more recent grief and stress they can't handle -- this increases cortisol, which lowers testosterone, and so on and so on...), delusion is what we are dealing with here -- and it brings us so much WTF :o :-\ ::) :o.

One way I have put it is, my X didn't leave *me*. He left the person his messed up mind told him I was.
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Re: Newbie here: my story
#15: October 03, 2019, 09:58:00 AM
Welcome here Surviving, and I am glad you found us.
That would have to be hard to have him leave and then come back and leave again.
The two years that you were separated - you said you were amicable and in frequent contact - who initiated the contact ?
Did his adult children realize why you separated ? That there was an affair ?

My heart truly goes out to you as not only do you have to deal with his MLC fears but also him seemingly having to choose between you and his children.
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Me 53
H 51
AD 22 from previous R
Known H since 1993
Together since 2000
BD 06/21/2017
OW High School Sweetheart lives 4 hrs away

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Re: Newbie here: my story
#16: October 03, 2019, 11:09:34 AM
He often initiated the contact, unless it was about the house or our dog, in which case I would initiate. Like if I was out of town and needed someone to watch our dog, he was the first one I asked. Or if I needed some repair with the house, then I would ask him.

There was an emotional affair with a married woman who lives across the country. The kids did not know about it. The youngest was still living with us at the time (he was getting ready for his senior year when I asked my h to leave).  They are aware of the affair now as he told them when he decided to come home.

It is very hard because I really enjoyed him being home. I also didn't just lose my husband during this, I've also lost my step kids which is very hard. I love them very much. I would love to repair things with them, which is also hard when I don't even know why they are upset.
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Re: Newbie here: my story
#17: October 09, 2019, 01:16:33 PM
We did hang out a few times this summer (after he had returned home and the kids were in town visiting). It was fine--we were all civil. However, they won't speak to me if their father isn't around. This is not how it was when we all lived together. Example, my oldest step daughter turned 25 this summer. I texted her happy birthday (same as I have for years). No response which is not normal for her. Same with my stepson when he has his birthday on Monday.
I also didn't just lose my husband during this, I've also lost my step kids which is very hard. I love them very much. I would love to repair things with them, which is also hard when I don't even know why they are upset.
What would you tell a client who came to your office asking about this situation with their step children?
You can certainly think about that answer in your head, but it may be more beneficial if you post your answer.

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Little support from those that Stand
#18: October 11, 2019, 06:05:54 AM
I could use some support and/or words of encouragement from those of you that are standing. My H made a move home for a few months, then retreated back into the tunnel. I've been reading and have also been told he may be going back and closing all those doors before finally coming out of this crisis. It seems like he's doing that. Before coming home he had cut off lots of the younger ppl he met during his MLC. He was pulling back on his social media. He reconnected with his friends from years ago--the ones that are closer to his age. Now he seems to have swung back to the behaviors during the beginning of the MLC. I know it can get worse before it gets better. Yikes....Hoping this means he is closing those doors.... I'm holding onto that tiny bit of hope.  He has told me this script that he "tried everything to see if there was an us" in those 3.5 months he was back.  Yep...that's definitely enough time to heal the damage that was done by the EA and running from home.  ::)

Before he came back, I was really very invested in my own life, and just being warm if he initiated contact. I'm trying to get back to that spot. I so wish I had known that prior to him returning home. I'm also so hurt that I simply want to be done. I probably need some time to regroup and lick my proverbial wounds.

He recently asked me if I thought he was "broken."   :o  We had a fine conversation about it, although I don't expect anything to come from it. I sometimes feel like I'm walking on eggshells with him. There are so many things I want to say to him. So many thoughts and feelings. I tend to bite my tongue as I know he's not at a place to hear these things. He wants to be "Friends" too but really doesn't act like a friend at all. *sigh* I know this is typical, but it doesn't make it any better.

(*I'm also going to throw in a slight vent here: I own our home which I purchased prior to our marriage. It's in my name bc his credit was so terrible after his divorce that he couldn't get on a mortgage. We never refinanced because... I dunno...why? So, I have this house to take care of, and it kind of makes me angry that he just ran and left that responsibility to me. Just found out last night that I need a new liner for the chimney which is a pretty penny. Sometimes I feel a lot of anger about fixing things around the house when he's just living in his gross little apartment where the super will come fix anything.....end vent*). 

I don't really know what I'm looking for by posting this: maybe just some words of wisdom and/or support. It's good to know that others here understand MLC. Of course there aren't many ppl in my life that understand it. They all just say he's selfish and I deserve better (both true, although I do know it's more complicated then that).
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« Last Edit: October 11, 2019, 06:48:15 AM by Surviving2019 »

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Re: Newbie here: my story
#19: October 11, 2019, 06:57:34 AM
I've merged your two threads. Please stick with one thread until it reaches 150 posts. It relieves a lot of pressure from the Mods to try to track all the various threads...
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Me - 58, xW - 50
Together 19 years - Married 17 at separation & 21 at D-Day
S - 14, D - 10
2 Dogs
BD#1 - August 2015
Atomic BD - 13 Dec 2015
House sold & separated - Mar 2016
Divorce final 30 August 2019

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

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Re: Newbie here: my story
#20: October 11, 2019, 07:00:53 AM
We did hang out a few times this summer (after he had returned home and the kids were in town visiting). It was fine--we were all civil. However, they won't speak to me if their father isn't around. This is not how it was when we all lived together. Example, my oldest step daughter turned 25 this summer. I texted her happy birthday (same as I have for years). No response which is not normal for her. Same with my stepson when he has his birthday on Monday.
I also didn't just lose my husband during this, I've also lost my step kids which is very hard. I love them very much. I would love to repair things with them, which is also hard when I don't even know why they are upset.
[/quot

What would you tell a client who came to your office asking about this situation with their step children?
You can certainly think about that answer in your head, but it may be more beneficial if you post your answer.


I’ve thought a lot about this. My own therapist flippantly told me that many people lose step children and need to simply move on. This isn’t ok with me.

I would probably tell a client that it would be normal to be feeling grief about this loss. I would also probably ask them if they wanted to contact their step children and to think about the pros and cons of that. I think in my case, the cons would be that it would really make my h angry. It may also further alienate the kids from me.
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« Last Edit: October 11, 2019, 07:02:34 AM by UrsaMajor »

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Re: Newbie here: my story
#21: October 11, 2019, 07:22:07 AM
I agree, it is a great loss.  After pouring years into children and looking at them as family, it would be odd not to grieve them.  Admittedly, I have already begun to prepare my heart for the day one of my children decides to live with their father.  The loss would be overwhelming.
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Married 21 years
Husband is 44
Me-40
4 kids 7-16 years old
BD-October 2018-ILYBNIL, wants a divorce, this after I found out about OW 1(EA), OW2(PA) no longer together. 
April 2019 He got an apartment and moved out.
Oct 2019-Apologized for a years worth of monster behavior.  Still wants to start divorce this Spring, is distant, but friendly.  Tries more with kids, but superficial.
2020-He has continued to help out when asked and be polite.  I do think he questions his choices at times.  I do not believe he has OW.
Oct 30 2020-He wants to get back together.  I am unsure.
August 2021-He has shown very gradual progress over the last 1 1/2 years.  I did allow him home on a trial bases and in another room.  We go to counseling, I do not currently allow touch.  So far so good.

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Re: Newbie here: my story
#22: October 12, 2019, 11:04:29 PM
Surviving, MLC is the gift that just keeps on giving.  I haven't seen two of my four children for five years due to the manipulation of XH. 

The only thing you can do is keep living your best life and hope that one day they will see the truth of it all.  The pain is absolutely horrible.  I can live with XH being gone but why he had to take the children as his possessions, I have no idea.  Jealousy is the only plausible reason.  They are not great parents before BD, maybe the guilt drives them to tell the lies about us which keep the children away.  Mine are about the same age as yours, so many years of their lives I will never get back.
We can't change their reality or what our H's told them, only life experience will do that for them.

((((((((Hugs))))))))
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"And when they ask you about me and you find yourself thinking back on all of our memories,
I hope you ache in regret as the truth hits you like a bullet and you find yourself replying: ""She loved me more than anyone else in the entire world and I tried to destroy her."  He failed by the way. 
http://mlcforum.theherosspouse.com/index.php?topic=8412(Denjef's thread)

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Re: Newbie here: my story
#23: October 14, 2019, 05:25:01 AM
Oh I am so sorry you haven’t seen some of your children. That must be heartbreaking. It is a very hard and unfair thing that we walk through. I continue to hold hope that one day my stepchildren will have an epiphany and contact me. It’s a tiny bit of hope but it’s there. It’s so much more than simply losing a spouse: it’s the loss of a whole family. I think that’s the part many people don’t understand. Just the partner is bad enough but throw in the rest of the family....
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Re: Newbie here: my story
#24: October 14, 2019, 11:11:53 PM
All part of the journey Surviving, I hope today has been good to you :)
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"And when they ask you about me and you find yourself thinking back on all of our memories,
I hope you ache in regret as the truth hits you like a bullet and you find yourself replying: ""She loved me more than anyone else in the entire world and I tried to destroy her."  He failed by the way. 
http://mlcforum.theherosspouse.com/index.php?topic=8412(Denjef's thread)

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Re: Newbie here: my story
#25: October 15, 2019, 05:55:00 AM
Thank you!

I have been told countless times that since they are not my biological children, u shouldn’t be feeling the loss. Sigh. I really had a good relationship with the oldest and youngest. We lived together for 7 years. I opened my heart to loving them, teenage angst and all.  ;) To be cut out of their lives is so very painful.

I am having a better day. Thanks for asking! Very busy at work which really helps. I find that I do better when I’m busy.
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Re: Newbie here: my story
#26: October 15, 2019, 07:45:47 AM
That's hurtful, Surviving.  Would they tell an adoptive mother the same thing?  Of course not.  :(

You don't just love biological children.
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Re: Newbie here: my story
#27: October 15, 2019, 11:13:08 AM
That's hurtful, Surviving.  Would they tell an adoptive mother the same thing?  Of course not.  :(

You don't just love biological children.

Yes, it's super hurtful. My own therapist told me that they aren't my kids and lots of people lose step-children. Even my H has said very hurtful things like, "they are my kids..." I basically ignore him because he's in crisis so whatever. It's the other people that are hurtful. Friends and family just telling me they aren't my kids so why should I care? Because I opened my heart and life to them.
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Re: Newbie here: my story
#28: October 15, 2019, 11:20:48 AM
Not sure I care much for your therapist trying to minimize the loss of your step-children because they are not your own children.
It is hard to lose anyone that you invested emotions in and that has been part of your for so long.
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Together since 2000
BD 06/21/2017
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Re: Newbie here: my story
#29: October 15, 2019, 01:56:02 PM
Not sure I care much for your therapist trying to minimize the loss of your step-children because they are not your own children.
It is hard to lose anyone that you invested emotions in and that has been part of your for so long.

Me either. I know she's just wanting me to move on. She's told me for the last year that he's not emotionally available in the way I need him to be. I completely understand that. I also understand that he is capable of being that way because he has been in the past. He's in a crisis. She poo poos the idea of an MLC though and just tells me he's emotionally immature, deeply wounded from his FOO issues and first marriage, and that I need to move on. I think the comment about the kids was also an attempt to get me to move on with my life and stop standing for the relationship.
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Re: Newbie here: my story
#30: October 15, 2019, 08:11:59 PM
Therapists who want you to move on make me angry!! Some of their own stuff must be coming up for them to suggest such a thing.

I had a therapist who was like this and I ditched her fast.  it's best to find someone who is pro marriage but who will also listen without telling you what your life would look like if you did what they say - how the he!! would they know what any person's life looks like, they are not them and unless they are psychic, lives can take many directions.  We need support for what we think is best, not disapproval for hanging onto what we believe is best for us.
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"And when they ask you about me and you find yourself thinking back on all of our memories,
I hope you ache in regret as the truth hits you like a bullet and you find yourself replying: ""She loved me more than anyone else in the entire world and I tried to destroy her."  He failed by the way. 
http://mlcforum.theherosspouse.com/index.php?topic=8412(Denjef's thread)

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Re: Newbie here: my story
#31: October 16, 2019, 06:46:05 AM
100% agree.

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Re: Newbie here: my story
#32: October 16, 2019, 07:25:58 AM
My stated purpose, to my IC, was to stay married.

She has challenged me, my perceptions, my beliefs, my fears.  We have argued.  I've called her out on things as well.  LOL  She has supported my stand, she has supported my desire to quit.  Recently, after W filed for D without telling me, my IC said "Are you still married?"  My response was "Yes."  She said "Then start acting like it.  You took your ring off over a year ago.  Put it back on.  You need to forget the past and get on with the present.  If you want this marriage, and you think she's having an MLC (IC is NOT not a HUGE believer... :)) then that means you are the only sane one.  That means you are the only one that can save it, if anyone can.  Address the fact that she filed 4 months ago by lying to you and not telling you.  Get it out in the open.  Let her know how you feel."

Admittedly, this goes somewhat contrary to the advice on HS.  And that's happened frequently.  But, it galvanized me to stop being a passive observer in this MLC mess.  The D was filed 161 days ago, and nothing further has happened legally.  Me and W are speaking more, and she recently said she had hope we could co-parent effectively, where before, there was none.  I wear my ring all the time.  I've been supported and vilified for that decision, but I'm fine with it.  Due to D9's soccer, we see each other 3 times a week, and frequently, although not always, sit next to each other and chat.  Last year, that never happened.  She knows I'm wearing the ring, but whether it makes her curious, angry, or she just doesn't care, I wouldn't know:  she hasn't addressed it.

You don't need to stay with a therapist that doesn't support you.  My first therapist, a male, advised divorce after our second session.  Maybe he was right, but it didn't suit me at the time.  So, I left.

If I do divorce, it will be done with no regret, no anger, and no resentment.  I will have given myself TIME, and I will know I did everything I could for me, my W and my D.
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M=51
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D=8
BD Feb 17 Thinking of divorce
Atomic BD June 17 Spying revealed OM at work
Still home.  Threatened to leave several times and has asked me to leave about a dozen. 
Says divorce proceedings will start Jan 18.
She has scheduled mediation Feb 7,  2018
I moved out March 16, 2018
Several mediations, mostly instigated by me.  Foot dragging by STBXW.  Nothing filed. Yet.
5/2019 STBXW filed D behind my back despite signed agreement to mediate.
I retain attorney.
STBXW still hasn't told me and no further action.
Elephant in the room has been addressed.  No further action atm.  Weighing my options.
12/16/19  She files financial paperwork.  Divorce proceeding.

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Re: Newbie here: my story
#33: October 16, 2019, 08:25:46 AM
S19 - I am here and attaching.

As for a therapist....I got lucky.  Mine told me the marriage is gone.  Let it go.  I mis-interpretted her and told her I wasn't quitting on my marriage and I didn't want to talk about quitting anymore.

She then told me she wasn't say divorce or date or quit or anything like that.  She just wanted me off the subject of marriage because right now there is not one to work on.  OK  Duh.  I do many times need the 2 x 4 between the eyes.  I am not good at gey...I like black and white.  She gave it to me from then on.

She wanted and got me to concentrate on me and me alone.  She wanted me to heal.  She pushed my buttons.  I left there so angry many days and with a homework assignment.  Over the week or two in between sessions...I thought and thought a lot.  I did the work and had to go back and tell her she was right about me.  She would say ok...good job...give me a hug and push some more buttons.

She did her job.  She make me look inside me then look around me.  She got me started on the healing track and I am the one who needs to keep it going.  Come to think about it...I need to send her a TY card and an update on me.  I did it last year at BD...time to do it again.  She deserves to know I am one of her sucesses.

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10.29.17 BD-Moved out to OW/A began in  6.17
3.5.18 OW moved away/H moved in with F
3.19.18  H moved home into spare room 
7.14.18  Moved to be with OW (another state)
9.4.18  Moved back-Living with Parents 
11.1.18  OW moved back.  H living w/her in D's basement room. 
11.18 - H started visiting on holidays
11.26.18 Call from H.  BIL died suddenly.
1.19 - H announced to my inner circle that he moved to sisters  inc all belongings
2.19  H volunteers to house and dog sit whenever.
Spring 19  H visiting house and doing chores on a regular basis
7.20 OW2 Confirmed  5 hours away 
Summer of 2020 Less help with chores
Spring 2021 - helping with chores again

4.83 Started Dating
8.10.85  Married

D -32 Married with 3 children 
S - 30 Married and is now a Dr.
3 Dogs-he left them all behind

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Re: Newbie here: my story
#34: October 16, 2019, 08:43:36 AM
You will know if you have found an IC who gets you. Who gets the balance right between validating how you feel as ok AND challenging your thoughts about what you DO. Without validation, we don't feel safe enough to be honest about the messy stuff. Without challenge, we don't stretch and explore and do the hard work to grow as Sam and others say. If your IC doesn't feel right, leave and find another.

Jmo but there is nothing shameful or wrong in how you feel about your step kids. You may not be able to change how things are right now, or do much with the feeling, but it is ok to feel how you feel.

And jmo too...I HATE that phrase 'move on'...I find 'move forward' feels kinder and more useful.
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« Last Edit: October 16, 2019, 08:47:14 AM by Treasur »
T: 18  M: 12 (at BD) No kids.
H diagnosed with severe depression Oct 15. BD May 16. OW since April 16, maybe earlier. Silent vanisher mostly.
Divorced April 18. XH married ow 6 weeks later.
Healing and growing found here https://littleplotbythesea.wordpress.com

"Option A is not available so I need to kick the s**t out of Option B" Sheryl Sandberg

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Re: Newbie here: my story
#35: November 04, 2019, 09:13:35 AM
Having a bit of a down day today. I just got back from visiting my sister, BIL and my nephews. It felt good to be in a house filled with love and laughter. Really missing that today. Good news is I got a happy greeting from my dog (who generally isn't very demonstrative) when I got home this morning.

I've been thinking a lot about my life right now. It's ok. I have a really good career and know that I make a difference there. It's fulfilling. I do miss my h and step kids a lot though. That fulfilling part of my life seems to be on hold and that's not a great feeling for me. I'm sure being around my sis and her family is what has brought this all up.  I really think, in general, I'm doing well on focusing on my and living my life--just a bit sad today.

I've also been reflecting back over the last few years. Hindsight is 20/20, but I think my h started his MLC much earlier then BD, probably a year, maybe a little more. That would put him at the 3 year mark. I felt very disconnected from him for a while before BD. I'm actually pretty sure if I hadn't asked him what was going on, he would still be here and I would still be feeling disconnected and frustrated not knowing what was going on. He'd be pretending everything was ok, because that's 100% what he did. Not as if this information really changes anything at all. It's simply an observation....hopefully he finishes cooking soon because those 4 months of him being "back" were so great.

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Re: Newbie here: my story
#36: November 04, 2019, 02:06:13 PM
Following along as well Surviving and I am so sorry that you are in the same boat as the rest of us. It really is so incredibly painful. My husband also asked me if I thought he was "broken". I was really very surprised at the question as he seemed determined , in charge of his life and seemed to know exactly what he wanted, which was not our marriage. I told him that I thought something was a little bit "broken" and to talk to me about what was happening. This was before I understood MLC and I had NO idea what was happening. He monstered about the fact I told him something was broken...for months even though he asked and used the word "broken" in his question. He swore for months that I "kept calling him broken ".

I also had him tell me that my step-daughter was "uncomfortable " around me or to come home . I remember the blood draining into my feet in shock. How was it everyone around me was betraying me ??. My step-daughter has been with me since she was not even two years old. I am her mother and I adore her beyond words. We are tight  and always have been .  I took her to the park and asked her . She had no idea about the situation with my husband ...so I told her. He wanted to leave, not happy blah blah , all the usual. This girl denied EVER having such feelings or ever telling her father any such thing . She said " I would never leave you if I was on fire ". He lied in such an excruciating fashion. I love my step-daughter ...she is mine. Do not believe 99% of what they say . Maybe try to talk with them and put those very valuable relationships in good standing. I am sorry this is happening to you .
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« Last Edit: November 04, 2019, 02:07:29 PM by barbiedoll »
Married April 1985
5 children
Bomb Drop April 2013
Thrown out of house August 2013
Affair discovered November 2013 (i guessed who)
Home December 3 2013
The Journey Of Reconciliation .. is for the brave .

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

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Re: Newbie here: my story
#37: November 04, 2019, 02:30:01 PM
I know I may be along a bit late but, as a outsider I would contact the step kids. My “dad” isn’t biologically mine and if he suddenly stopped communicating with me. I would be hurt. I understand you have tried but it seems to me like he may have interfered and said something. Your not his girlfriend that he’s only known a few months. Your his wife. And you will mean a lot to them. JMO
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BD & MLCer moved out - November 2017
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Moved in with Ow - November 2019
Ow met children - December 2019

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Re: Newbie here: my story
#38: November 04, 2019, 04:57:52 PM

I also had him tell me that my step-daughter was "uncomfortable " around me or to come home . I remember the blood draining into my feet in shock. How was it everyone around me was betraying me ??. My step-daughter has been with me since she was not even two years old. I am her mother and I adore her beyond words. We are tight  and always have been .  I took her to the park and asked her . She had no idea about the situation with my husband ...so I told her. He wanted to leave, not happy blah blah , all the usual. This girl denied EVER having such feelings or ever telling her father any such thing . She said " I would never leave you if I was on fire ". He lied in such an excruciating fashion. I love my step-daughter ...she is mine. Do not believe 99% of what they say . Maybe try to talk with them and put those very valuable relationships in good standing. I am sorry this is happening to you .

Oh thank you so much for sharing! It's nice to know I'm not alone with the stepchildren thing. I do think the oldest and youngest are angry with me as we were always close and they won't speak to me.  It's so very painful. All I can think is that they are mad I kicked him out but honestly...,he didn't want to give up his EA and I wasn't in the place to be able to deal with that emotionally. I so want to talk to them. It's also a fine line. I guess I could broach it with the "I know your dad told you about the affair..." or something like that. It's hard because I want to believe him when he tells me he told them. I actually do believe he did, but I still don't know why they are so angry with me. :-(
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Re: Newbie here: my story
#39: November 05, 2019, 03:20:18 AM
Oh thank you so much for sharing! It's nice to know I'm not alone with the stepchildren thing. I do think the oldest and youngest are angry with me as we were always close and they won't speak to me.  It's so very painful. All I can think is that they are mad I kicked him out but honestly...,he didn't want to give up his EA and I wasn't in the place to be able to deal with that emotionally. I so want to talk to them. It's also a fine line. I guess I could broach it with the "I know your dad told you about the affair..." or something like that. It's hard because I want to believe him when he tells me he told them. I actually do believe he did, but I still don't know why they are so angry with me. :-(

If I had to take a SWAG and put on my Mind-Reading hat, I would suggest that it may be due to the fact that they have already lost one mother (if they are your step-kids) and now, they are loosing a second one. They possibly feel like that loss is your fault since you kicked H out. Whether or not H has said anything about the affair is a different matter. If he has told them, I am sure that he has spun a lovely tale of why he had to do it in order to validate and justify his actions.Your approach to the conversation COULD be a good one but, if he hasn't told them (and why should he? Right now, he has them where he wants them, spun up and angry at you), they may be totally shocked.. .  The answer that you get back may surprise you (that he either hasn't told them or given some other cockamamy justification that doesn't reflect reality). He might even turn the table of his misdeeds and project them as something YOU did to HIM..
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Together 19 years - Married 17 at separation & 21 at D-Day
S - 14, D - 10
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BD#1 - August 2015
Atomic BD - 13 Dec 2015
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Divorce final 30 August 2019

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

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Re: Newbie here: my story
#40: November 05, 2019, 06:39:02 AM
Ursa:
Yes, that's my fear which is why I actually haven't done anything. I'm pretty sure they are pissed that I kicked him out. I get paralyzed by the fear: do I reach out to them? Do I not reach out to them? I feel like if I do, I'd like to make it about our relationships and not their dad. That I love and care about what happens to them. That I hope they are doing well. Etc etc. 

Their dad is so in the tunnel right now. He recently update me on my MIL (who is really ill) and then said "I told my kids that grandma might not make it until Christmas."  That was hard to bite my tongue. Yep, they are biologically his children. Doesn't make my feelings for them any less.  :'(
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Re: Newbie here: my story
#41: November 05, 2019, 07:24:52 AM
The thing is that you do not know WHAT he told them about the EA or even IF he told them.  Mid-Lifers are heavily invested in NOT being the "bad guy"so they tell stories (OK, let's be blunt, they lie) in order to not have to accept blame for their actions.

Since the "kids" are really all adults though, it is difficult to establish a relationship if they do not want one...
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Me - 58, xW - 50
Together 19 years - Married 17 at separation & 21 at D-Day
S - 14, D - 10
2 Dogs
BD#1 - August 2015
Atomic BD - 13 Dec 2015
House sold & separated - Mar 2016
Divorce final 30 August 2019

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

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Re: Newbie here: my story
#42: November 05, 2019, 08:09:46 AM
Boy are you right on the inability to accept responsibility and lying to be the "good guy." It boggles my mind how MCLers really can't take responsibility when they are in the throes of the crisis. I remember at the beginning trying to make my h see how utterly irresponsible he was being. Of course everyone that reads this will know what happened...he monstered which was quite honestly the only time I saw that in all the years we have known each other. I remember being so upset at that and saying "I don't know why you are being mean and nasty. Your actions have caused this."  HA HA HA. It just fell on deaf ears. I've learned to just zip it because he's not ready to hear things like that.
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Re: Newbie here: my story
#43: November 05, 2019, 05:58:48 PM
Yes Surviving, you can't tell them anything, especially difficult to get them to see the error of their ways because they are totally convinced they are right about what they are doing.

Sorry about the monster session.

If you want to engage with your step children, send a short text saying you are thinking of them.  It's up to them to respond.  It's a start just to make some contact.  Many of us here have children we miss :'(
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"And when they ask you about me and you find yourself thinking back on all of our memories,
I hope you ache in regret as the truth hits you like a bullet and you find yourself replying: ""She loved me more than anyone else in the entire world and I tried to destroy her."  He failed by the way. 
http://mlcforum.theherosspouse.com/index.php?topic=8412(Denjef's thread)

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Re: Newbie here: my story
#44: November 05, 2019, 07:34:36 PM
Surviving,

  I consider myself to still be somewhat new, but when I discovered this site, i posted a little and then more... the people here have been wonderful and they truly can help, support and give you the virtual hugs that you will need. I have found a safety in being able to share my wins, frustrations, fears, anger and hurts here.....people here care and no one in my real world has ever experienced anyone in MLC so being able to come to a place where people both care and get it means a lot..



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Re: Newbie here: my story
#45: November 05, 2019, 08:33:18 PM
Quote
If he has told them, I am sure that he has spun a lovely tale of why he had to do it in order to validate and justify his actions.Your approach to the conversation COULD be a good one but, if he hasn't told them (and why should he? Right now, he has them where he wants them, spun up and angry at you), they may be totally shocked.. .  The answer that you get back may surprise you (that he either hasn't told them or given some other cockamamy justification that doesn't reflect reality). He might even turn the table of his misdeeds and project them as something YOU did to HIM..
.

Yes...I would be very surprised if he told them and even more surprised if he took responsibility for it . Skip the middle man all together and talk directly with your step-children. It just might solve some of the issues.
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Married April 1985
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Bomb Drop April 2013
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The Journey Of Reconciliation .. is for the brave .

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Re: Newbie here: my story
#46: November 07, 2019, 11:12:05 AM
Well, when it rains it pours....

My h has a female woodworker in his shop for the next 2 days filming content and then there is a workshop on Saturday. He told me about this a few weeks ago. This is how his EA started. He was "collaborating" with a female woodworker 3 years ago which turned into an EA. As you can imagine, I'm super triggered by this. I haven't done or said anything. For all I know, this is literally just a business relationship. I know for a fact that he has business relationships with other female woodworkers that are nothing more than that.

We had that false return a few months ago. I feel like he's back into replay or depression, or both. Who knows? Anyway, I'm just posting here because I know you will all understand. I'm heading out of town tomorrow because I knew this was coming up and I know I will do better if I'm hanging out with friends and distracted.  I didn't realize she was going to be here today though: I mistakenly thought it was just Friday and Saturday. That's it...just triggered. One step forward, two steps back.
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« Last Edit: November 07, 2019, 11:30:04 AM by Surviving2019 »

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Re: Newbie here: my story
#47: November 08, 2019, 12:34:54 AM
You really can't do anything about his actions but you can step away and allow the crisis to unfold the way it should.  The less you think about potential ow's, the better.  It's a trigger but he may not be thin king about anything but being professional in this instance. We get used to expecting the worst but it doesn't always happen.
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"And when they ask you about me and you find yourself thinking back on all of our memories,
I hope you ache in regret as the truth hits you like a bullet and you find yourself replying: ""She loved me more than anyone else in the entire world and I tried to destroy her."  He failed by the way. 
http://mlcforum.theherosspouse.com/index.php?topic=8412(Denjef's thread)

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Re: Newbie here: my story
#48: November 08, 2019, 02:02:36 AM
Ah yes.. The good old "Coming up with all kinds of doomsday scenarios and expecting the worst before it happens"... also known as ....



Monkey-braining!

Yes, it may actually come to pass that he goes tripping down the Replay Path but it is not a guarantee. Either way, there is absolutely NOTHING you can do about his choices... You DO have a choice about YOUR reactions to his shenanigans and, it looks like you are already taking some steps to do so...
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« Last Edit: November 08, 2019, 02:04:12 AM by UrsaMajor »
Me - 58, xW - 50
Together 19 years - Married 17 at separation & 21 at D-Day
S - 14, D - 10
2 Dogs
BD#1 - August 2015
Atomic BD - 13 Dec 2015
House sold & separated - Mar 2016
Divorce final 30 August 2019

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

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Re: Newbie here: my story
#49: November 08, 2019, 05:42:56 AM
Ah yes.. The good old "Coming up with all kinds of doomsday scenarios and expecting the worst before it happens"... also known as ....



Monkey-braining!

Yes, it may actually come to pass that he goes tripping down the Replay Path but it is not a guarantee. Either way, there is absolutely NOTHING you can do about his choices... You DO have a choice about YOUR reactions to his shenanigans and, it looks like you are already taking some steps to do so...

 ;D I love the graphic. I'm going to envision that the next time I start looking at worse case scenarios! It gave me a good laugh to see it and I think it will be very helpful.

Yep, I'm doing my best to manage my reactions. Of course a small part of me wants to go to his apartment and let him have it. Then I want to go to the shop during the workshop and tell all the participants about his craziness.  Then who look crazy?! ME! ha ha ha ha! I know that I can't do anything about it. I know all of those things would make it worse. I've gotten pretty good over the last 2 years at managing my reactions when he does ridiculous things.  I'm proud of myself for that growth.  If only my brain would get on board with my actions. :-)

I'm actually in an affair recovery group and many of the women were talking about how unfair it all is (yes absolutely it is). Then they shared all these things they have done to "get back" at their husbands. They asked me what I'd done and I was like....nothing really (apart from screaming at him when I discovered OW, and then calling him and telling him how disappointed I was in his actions a few months later). I've had tons of opportunities to tell his family, friends, throw his crap on the lawn, smear his and her name in the industry, tell his kids, blast him in our community which is small and which he is pretty well respected, etc etc. I just don't do it. It won't help.  I would also be lying if I said I haven't considered these things. I have. But I can only control myself and my actions. I just need to get a bit better at detaching so my brain doesn't really care what he's doing. I was there before he came back, so I have confidence that I can get back to that place with a little more time.  This trip to Portland will help me tremendously.

If I think rationally, I doubt he has any clue this is triggering for me. He knows the former OW is triggering for me. He knows the state she lives in is triggering for me. He knows the tool company that she represents is triggering for me. That's about it. And how I handle triggers is absolutely my responsibility as sucky as that is.

Thanks for the support Ursa and Savor Faire!
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Re: Newbie here: my story
#50: November 08, 2019, 10:07:43 PM
Your affair recovery group sounds like a bunch of smiling assassins!!

Talking about what happened helps at the beginning but after a while it's just best to deal with this yourself.  I am a firm believer that going over and over this again and again just makes it worse.  Living your best life and getting on with it is definitely the best option.

I try to keep my story simple these days and just report positive stuff which happens in my life.  The main reason for staying is to help others rather than rehash all my stuff which just keeps me in a bad place and I no longer want or need that amount of negativity.

Revenge is a terrible idea and I am glad you took the high road.  I feel for those who do stupid things, they will feel foolish about it one day and it makes them look really bad.  Maybe a book club would be better ;D
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http://mlcforum.theherosspouse.com/index.php?topic=8412(Denjef's thread)

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Re: Newbie here: my story
#51: November 09, 2019, 04:02:50 AM
Ahhh revenge. I did that myself. I did some awful things. I attacked Clingtons cat with a child’s spade. Didn’t damage the car. Which in hindsight is a blessing. I messaged Ow calling her vile names. I phoned her at her work. I’ve even sent her pictures and screenshots of Clington being unfaithful. Do I regret it now. Yes I guess I do. But I also think that made her dig her claws in even more. But I also own it as part of my journey. Gave me something to build on.

I get asked so often “would you take him back” I answer honestly and tell them I don’t know and the answer I receive back is almost always the same “well you need to firetruck somebody else. Show him you can get it too”. I undsertand the notion of “to get over one get under another” may work for some. But not for me. I wouldn’t want to use somebody else like that.
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Re: Newbie here: my story
#52: November 09, 2019, 03:50:21 PM
Revenge sounds nice in theory.....and I have done it once to someone.....a long time ago.
But I now will take the more biblical “heap burning coals upon their head”, which is what shame feels like anyway.....like your face is on fire.

Not to mention.....if revenge is what I take often that’s the only satisfaction you get.....

And at the end of the day I still have to live with me.

On a lighter note....that revenge (15 years ago) was creative, brilliant and funny.....I may have put BB pellets in the air caps of all 4 tires.....and took all cups, spoons and bowls (enjoy eating your cereal off a plate with a fork), annnnnnnd unscrewed every lightbulb just enough that the lights wouldn’t work.......and then maybe taken a seam ripper to every third seam in his favorite pair of pants so when he put them on they came apart at the seams.

For like 2 months afterwards I would get asked.......”what else did you do?”

🤷‍♀️🤷‍♀️🤷‍♀️

It seems petty but it was satisfying.....what was he going to do? Call the cops and tell them I loosened lightbulbs? 🤣🤣🤣

I have grown as a person though..........I have better ideas now😉

Just kidding.
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“God allows us to feel the frailty of human love so we’ll appreciate the strength of his.” C.S. Lewis

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Re: Newbie here: my story
#53: November 10, 2019, 07:20:47 PM
Wow! Oregon is beautiful. Spent much of the day hiking with my brother. I’m packing to head home now. I’m feeling a bit down. Going home to an empty house...that kind of sucks. I know that by Tuesday or Wednesday, I’ll be back in the swing of things and feeling pretty good. But the sadness about heading home: *sigh* another unwanted part of being an LBS.  :'(

Can’t o just shake my H and tell him to come home?!  ;) ;D  ::) (totally kidding).

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Re: Newbie here: my story
#54: November 13, 2019, 06:25:05 AM
Surviving - I so wish we could shake each other's husbands and shake some sense into them....
Coming home to an empty home is the hard...I just came home from visiting my D and the emptiness is just there.

Just like you I never even considered revenge, because I love that man and really have no ill intentions. The only thing I wanted him to experience is the type of pain that he caused me, which is why I hoped the OW would break his heart, but that doesn't seem to pan out either - as usual he will be the leaver.
The OW - I try not to think about because while she was the pursuer, she was not the one married to me.

You do sound really good though
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Re: Newbie here: my story
#55: November 14, 2019, 11:16:29 AM
Quick update. I got home from Portland Monday. Our dog had a vet appointment for a suspicious lump which was being biopsied. I contacted H and thanked him for watching the dog and also to just let him know that I was having the lump biopsied (It's benign thankfully).  I received a snarky test back from H stating, "No need to thank me for watching the dog. She's an easy keeper."  Some may say I'm reading into a text message, however I know my H and typically he will respond "yep" or "no problem."  I didn't respond to that message at all. This was Monday. It's a boundary I'm putting up: he wouldn't say that to anyone else. He wouldn't treat others that way. I'm not ok with being treated that way so no response is for me, the natural consequence of sending me that message.

Yesterday it snowed here. He sent me a text messages warning me about road conditions, accidents, and delays.  I didn't respond  because I was at work. He sent me a second one two hours later. Neither of which I responded to. I've been reading a number of posts from others that seem to have similar interactions with their MLCers: close, then withdraw, then close, then withdraw. This has been the pattern since he left the second time 10 weeks ago. I haven't responded and don't really intend to.  It's odd because I do want him to come home. I struggle with knowing the balance on leaving the door open, while also respecting myself. Thoughts?
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Re: Newbie here: my story
#56: November 15, 2019, 11:32:03 AM
Surviving - I am not saying you read into the text message about the dog, because only you know your H, but I know I have read emotions into something that wasn't there.
I am so very glad that the biopsy came back as benign.
If you do not feel like responding to his messages, then don't. I believe it's all about what you are comfortable with and what your gut says.
In my case I always responded to any message because throughout this whole crisis he always responded to any and all of my messages, but like i said I think it's whatever you feel is right for you.
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Re: Newbie here: my story
#57: November 16, 2019, 07:45:08 AM
Schratz66-
I actually ended up thanking him. Also, strangely enough, a tool company delivered a package here Thursday night. That hasn't happened in over a year. So I contacted him and arranged a time to drop it off. He was very odd: a little snarky when talking to me, and also as if he didn't want me to leave. He kept showing me things in his shop (ie. the result of that workshop in which that woman was here). He was very excited about it--almost like a teenager, looking for validation on his projects. I told him the finished product looked good, and I was glad he learned a new skill.  Every time I tried to leave he would start talking about something else. I purposely arranged the drop off time knowing I had a meeting I had to attend so there was a specific time I had to leave. I let him know that, and again, he tried to keep me there because I still had some time before I needed to leave. Thankfully, a customer showed up after about 15 minutes so I was able to leave at that point.

I then received a text message from him an hour later letting me know he finally figured out how to get a nativity project mapped on his CNC machine. It's a gift I've been wanting to make for my mother for over 5 years. I bought the plans 5 years ago and he was going to help me with it. He then decided it would be "easier" if he could figure out a way to let the CNC cut it so I didn't have to jigsaw it. He never really seemed to have the time to actually map it for the CNC though. I'm to a point where I simply want it done and I have absolutely no problems doing the manual labor on it. Talk about weirdness. He's invited me to work at his shop "anytime."  I don't really need his help with the project, but I do need to borrow the jigsaw....it's all very odd.

Also, and I know this is very typical: he looks terrible. Like he hasn't been sleeping. It's sad and funny at the same time because he has such a large social media presence for his business and always puts on the mask of being super happy for his followers. When that mask is down--boy does he look sad, tired, and just plain old. It's in stark contrast to how I've been. I'm eating, sleeping and exercising. Recently several people have told me that I'm looking healthy and happy. The strange journey of MLC right.  :o

This will probably change for me, but right now I'm feeling pretty ok. It feels liberating to be back in that head and heart space. I was there for about 16 months after he left the first time, and then had that setback when he left again this August. I'm thankful that I feel I'm getting back to that place.
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Re: Newbie here: my story
#58: December 04, 2019, 05:29:11 PM
The reason he contacts you with nice stuff after the horrible is guilt.  He knows he's being horrible but feels he can't help the behavior and feels guilty.

He still feels nothing for you and will continue on that path until the crisis is over, the only reason he is ever nice is due to guilt for what he is doing to you and he doesn't want to be seen as the bad guy.  He also needs to be able to tell others he is being nice to you and what he's done.  His feelings for you are gone until the crisis ends.

A really good reason to focus on you and  keep away from the man who is no longer the same version of himself.
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"And when they ask you about me and you find yourself thinking back on all of our memories,
I hope you ache in regret as the truth hits you like a bullet and you find yourself replying: ""She loved me more than anyone else in the entire world and I tried to destroy her."  He failed by the way. 
http://mlcforum.theherosspouse.com/index.php?topic=8412(Denjef's thread)

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Re: Newbie here: my story
#59: December 05, 2019, 03:36:05 AM
The reason he contacts you with nice stuff after the horrible is guilt.  He knows he's being horrible but feels he can't help the behavior and feels guilty.

OR he's after something - manipulative "niceness." They can all be sweet as honey when they need something from us....

Until we say "No." ...

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

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Re: Newbie here: my story
#60: January 30, 2020, 11:48:13 AM
Just a quick update: not much happening here. I haven't heard a peep from my stepkids since August.  My H is running. He's just focused on work, work, and more work. As far as I know, no OW or anything. Maybe work is the OW? HA HA HA.

On my end I have mostly good days. Sometimes I feel sad, which I think is normal. Especially given that he came home and then left again. I do look back at my growth over the past 2 years and I'm pretty proud of the work I've done. I've worked through a lot of that co-dependency stuff. I'm way better at holding my boundaries with others. I'm ok with saying no, and being aware of my own needs. My business is booming which is awesome.

I still struggle with little bouts of anger at time, but it's less and less. I would say I'm getting better at releasing that anger. I'm waiting for the day when that anger doesn't even exist. I know it's actually stemming from hurt. I know that I feel hurt that he came home after that 18 month separation, told me what I wanted to hear, I started to trust him, I let my guard down, and then he left again. I think part of the hurt also stems from the way I've carried myself. I haven't sought revenge. I've tried really hard to take the high road. I'm kind and civil when we do interact. I know as I continue to heal, this will get easier.

That's it. Quick update. All is well. I am growing. My h....maybe? Maybe not. Hopefully he's growing a bit.
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« Last Edit: January 30, 2020, 11:49:26 AM by Surviving2019 »

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Re: Newbie here: my story
#61: January 31, 2020, 11:16:02 AM
Thank you for the update Surviving...you sound very grounded and at peace as much as we can be in this storm.
Keep going - you are doing so well
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Re: Newbie here: my story
#62: February 05, 2020, 04:27:33 AM
FWIW, some people do have work as their ow. It’s not that uncommon.

Secondly well done you on not seeking revenge. They say revenge is like holding a hot coal. The longer you hold it. The more it burns. But it only hurts you.
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Newbie here: my story
#63: April 03, 2020, 02:05:29 PM
Could use a little support please. So Covid19 seems to have really thrown H for a loop. He’s been reaching out more which is kind of nice. It’s nice to hear from him and hang out a little as I’m currently working from home and really missing seeing real live people. H has some major fears about his mom dying and his D dying. I listen when he talks but try to keep it short and sweet.

Yesterday he caught me while I was walking the dog. Invited me to his place for a drink. I kindly declined. He offers to take the dog during the day while I’m working as she does bark when people walk by the house. I told him I would let him know, then went on my merry way after a few more minutes of small talk. An hour later he is texting asking if I want a camera for my social media feeds. Told him thanks and I could probably  use it. He wanted to drop it off this morning: I declined that as I had to work right away. Now he seems to be butt hurt or something. I say this because he has been reaching out pretty consistently and he hasn’t at all today.

I don’t feel the need to reach out to him. I’m busy working and doing my thing. I know he’s scared. His work has been affected as he can’t travel to teaching jobs, work is his OW. He’s always really social too, and I’m the only one he is comfortable seeing right now bc we are in a shelter at place order and both of us work from home and haven’t been in contact w others. However...I don’t feel like I need to meet this need of his. It seems this is all about how he is feeling and what he wants. I am standing and do want to reconcile but I don’t want to be hindering any of his progress by being overly giving of my time. If anyone can weigh in on this, I would appreciate it. He may be feeling rejected, but I was really quite pleasant about saying no. Actually, the only definite no was to the drink. The other two were “thanks: that will be great. I’ll let you know.”
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#64: April 03, 2020, 02:43:08 PM
Hi Surviving-

I think all you are doing is great!  Yes, right now many people are being shaken and being awakened up.  Him gravitating is a good thing, but it could be the security blanket thing as well.  The balance you're doing is great because you're getting stronger and make it respectful and on your terms.  Love the sinner, hate the sin.  Keep doing you and be the lighthouse. Inside these MLC'rs are scared and broken children.  Just like their leaving was to selfishly seek comfort of another kind.  We don't want to encourage we are a safe haven to rest and leave.  That's what I love about reading what you're doing.  If you keep doing you, it will force him to look outward at other things than himself. I have no doubt guilt and shame isn't hitting them with a worldly crisis.  They must come as you know to be serious about change.  Then do the work without a guarantee we will be there.  Of course, all words and actions over a long period of time must line up.  Stay safe and keep up the good work.  Keep planting good seeds where you can.  He must till, water and cultivate his own garden too.  No weeds allowed!! :). God Bless!! GGG
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#65: April 03, 2020, 04:37:54 PM
  Him gravitating is a good thing, but it could be the security blanket thing as well. ..Keep doing you and be the lighthouse.

GGG4life:
Thanks for putting into words what I was trying to say. I want to be a lighthouse, but not a security blanket that keeps him stuck.  Time will tell. It is a crazy world we are living in right now. I'm sure glad that these last 2.5 years prepared me to be living on my own. It was a blessing in disguise. :-)  I'm a bit bored at times, but peaceful and good. I wouldn't be this way if I haven't had the last 2.5 years to practice.
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#66: April 03, 2020, 05:04:09 PM
I am so with you on that.  My 3 year to bomb drop will be August 21st.  Ex left in November.  What a journey as I'm sure you all can relate to.  We are such different people than when this first started. I only want these lessons once-lol.  Somethings it took me a year to learn on my face.  You're right on time.  None of this isn't about not loving them. It's truly about taking care of ourselves and the mess they left us with.  If they are not destined to be a part of our new life, how much wiser and stronger are we as we enter into our new journey.  We never got stuck waiting for them or because of them. We believe in ourselves first!  That's a success in itself-lol.  Hang in there!! GGG



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#67: June 21, 2020, 06:02:54 AM
Bit of an update and could use some support. Quick history: a year ago H and I were deep into a false return. Since covid, he’s been around more and more. Talking about the future. Initiating activities, etc, all the while saying things like “just so you know, we aren’t in a relationship. I don’t want to give you false hope.” Blah blah blah. I feel like honestly, I’ve been doing well in keeping expectations pretty low. Just smiling and reminding myself this could be a touch n go. But it felt great that he seemed so back to “normal.”

Yesterday, he invited me to the shooting range in the afternoon. A few hours before he was to pick me up, he came over and told me he is flying to Texas this week to help OW with a building project. (Both my H and Ow are “YouTube influencers.”). Anyway, I was completely caught off guard for two reasons:
1. His daughter is super autoimmune so H and I have been very much following guidelines to reduce any chances of her contracting COVID. Now he’s flying to Texas? What the heck?
2. He told me he hadn’t been in communication with her at all until a few weeks ago when she reached out. I had truly believed that she was completely out of the picture and to hear that she isn’t was a big blow. And in hindsight, he seemed a little off last week and I’ll bet that’s when this plan to fly to Texas was hatched.

I’m really struggling of course with feeling so hurt that he continues to make these choices. I know there is no amount of anything I can do to make him change his mind. Clearly he’s back into replay or something. It sucks because he’s been so much like his “normal” self lately. I didn’t react too much except to tell him I’m feeling hurt by his choice and as he began to minimize it (“it’s just business”) I asked him to stop because that invalidates me hurt and could he please leave. This is actually very huge growth for me! No questions about her. No guilting. No letting him minimize. So good for me I guess.

Anyway...it’s been suggested that I now implement a huge boundary for my own peace of mind. Like “while you are in contact with her, I cannot be in contact with you.”  I’d love to hear thoughts on this. Suggestions on wording, etc.

Darn it! I was doing soooooo well too. Ugh. It’s like a whole new BD 😢
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#68: June 21, 2020, 08:49:37 AM
I think boundaries are more for you and what you need from it. If that works for you stick to it. I don’t have practical help because I haven’t been through that but I’m sending hugs
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#69: June 21, 2020, 09:06:40 AM
I'm sorry, Surviving.
It sounds as if you responded to that 'surprise' incredibly well and I hope you recognise that bc it must have been hard. It's not much consolation I'm sure but this is pretty textbook behaviour by both ow and MLCers.

Imho boundaries are better without much in the way of words; much more about behaviour. Your h won't like them and he will try to gaslight and BS you, just as he did with his 'just business' comment. So it is important that you take time to get clear in your own head what is acceptable to you and not. Talking about boundaries can perhaps make them seem like a negotiation.....and real boundaries tbh are not.

Take your time. Reflect on what you need for yourself now. Limit contact with his BS until you know what this is.
After all, as you might say to him, you wouldn't want to give him false hope  :) ::)
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« Last Edit: June 21, 2020, 09:08:31 AM by Treasur »
T: 18  M: 12 (at BD) No kids.
H diagnosed with severe depression Oct 15. BD May 16. OW since April 16, maybe earlier. Silent vanisher mostly.
Divorced April 18. XH married ow 6 weeks later.
Healing and growing found here https://littleplotbythesea.wordpress.com

"Option A is not available so I need to kick the s**t out of Option B" Sheryl Sandberg

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#70: June 21, 2020, 09:18:08 AM
Thanks. I think I did respond fairly well. Honestly, the number of emails I wrote and then deleted yesterday were a lot but that’s ok. It helps for me to get those thoughts out.

I figured it’s pretty typical behavior. I guess I was expecting there to just be more female influencers since he’s so obsessed with his job and trying to gain popularity by aligning himself with the female woodworkers. So, that behavior I was preparing for. I was not prepared for it to be the OW. Sigh.

I like the idea of boundaries just being behaviors. I’m going to give it some thought and figure out what I need. No worries....I’m not going to be communicating with him at all. I did tell him he will need to self quarantine from me when he gets back from Texas so that helps with the physical boundary piece.
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#71: June 21, 2020, 09:21:05 AM
Sorry to hear about your update.

I think boundaries are healthy however, they can also be perceived as push behaviours, or "threats".   I think its perfectly reasonable to not want to hear about OW, but telling him that he cant be in contact with you while he is with her, may not bode well with him.

The boundary could be, when we have to interact with one another, I will not engage in any conversation around OW.   If he is on the phone and talks about her, state your boundary and then end the call.   In person, reiterate the boundary and then excuse yourself to leave, or ask that he leave (perhaps state you think its time he leaves as you have plans, or things to get done).

Boundaries are for you and to protect you from harm.  They arent there to coerce him a behaviour (if that makes sense?)

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#72: June 21, 2020, 10:28:46 AM
Yes. The boundary thing makes sense in that it’s not a coercive technique but rather for me. I think where I am currently struggling (given this new information), is that he and I have been spending time together several days a week and talking on the phone daily.

Maybe I’m feeling like this is a bit of cake eating? He wants to spend time with me and now I find out he’s still in contact with her.  I really don’t want to push him away as he was beginning to be more and more “normal.” So that leaves me feeling stuck. Maybe no contact? Maybe limited contact? The reality is, I was very much enjoying this time we were spending together.

Thankfully, since he feels “safe” enough to travel to Texas, I think I can safely start hanging out with a few of my friends again which will be good for me.
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#73: June 21, 2020, 11:44:27 AM
Quote
He wants to spend time with me and now I find out he’s still in contact with her.

So, as an example, you start by acceoting that this is the current reality. (And when ow/om are involved, they all lie to a greater or lesser degree, so just stick with the basic facts and sensible assumptions imho)

Which means you get to consider what kind of time, if any, you are prepared to spend with a h who currently has a relationship with an ow. What kinds of activities would you be prepared to do if you spent time together and which not? How much of your honest thoughts and feelings - or indeed other information - do you feel comfortable sharing with someone who may be discussing some of these things with someone else? What kinds of conversations are you prepared to have and not prepared to have? Or listen to or not? So, as an example, you might feel comfortable having lunch someplace and chatting about politics or work or family members.....or going for a hike somewhere...but you might not feel comfortable talking about some of your new GAL plans or having him stay overnight or listening to him talk about his 'influencer' stuff which he shares with ow.....you might feel comfortable seeing him once a week but not more....or chatting on the phone but less f2f....or indeed hardly at all. You might feel you could rely on him to mow your lawn...but not look after you if you were ill.....and you might be prepared to buy him a pizza...but not a car. And so on......

It's ok for you to choose and accept what feels appropriate and healthy for you.
In reality, if you think about it, we all have concentric rings of relationships....our boundaries with a stranger in a shop might be different than with an old friend for instance. And that shapes both our boundaries and expectations. One of the trickiest things in this situation is probably working out how close to your inner ring you are prepared to let him be whereas before all this, I'd imagine that he was right in that inner circle bc you trusted him.....and now things are different.

But I would encourage you to work with the reality you have not the future reality you might want.
If things change, your boundaries can change....which is another good reason for not feeling the need to make grand statements about them lol. Simple phrases like 'right now I'd prefer to....' or 'that doesn't feel comfortable to me at the moment'. Or indeed the joys of 'no thank you', 'not now' or 'not like this' lol.

Take your time  :)
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« Last Edit: June 21, 2020, 11:52:16 AM by Treasur »
T: 18  M: 12 (at BD) No kids.
H diagnosed with severe depression Oct 15. BD May 16. OW since April 16, maybe earlier. Silent vanisher mostly.
Divorced April 18. XH married ow 6 weeks later.
Healing and growing found here https://littleplotbythesea.wordpress.com

"Option A is not available so I need to kick the s**t out of Option B" Sheryl Sandberg

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#74: June 21, 2020, 12:21:17 PM
What do YOU want? Do you want to have a non relationship with a guy who will fly off at a moments notice to visit a person he has already had an affair with? See how that sounds? That is something some people can do to save their marriage. And some people can't.

Figure out what you are OK with. What you can have right in your face and what might be tolerable in the background. Set your boundaries accordingly. For myself, this situation would be "It's been nice having you around, but I'm  not comfortable with you flying off to visit that person. When you no longer have a relationship with her, business or otherwise, give me a call."

 For you, you have to decide where your lines are. Talking about OW? Having any kind of relationship with her? Flying off to meet her? Is having him around in a non relationship worth whatever stress this causes you? ( The answer yes is ok, if that is how you truly feel)

Your boundaries do protect you, and if they appear as a threat, and it is important to you that you never appear "threatening", it's your choice to take that into consideration. Or not.

If you can enjoy his company while he is with you and either manage your feelings or not care who or what he does when he isn't,  your boundaries will be different than if it will eat at you when he is elsewhere. Figure out what you can manage. Then set your boundaries to protect you. That's my suggestion.
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#75: June 21, 2020, 12:49:10 PM
Offroad and Treasur:
Great advice and I really appreciate it. You’ve both given me lots of things to think about.

Offroad you bring up a great point and I’m thinking a lot about it. When she’s in the background, it doesn’t bother me but when it’s in the foreground like this (and my naivety on believing him that he stopped contact and maintained that after our false start has been shattered), it’s tough.  He will also be retiring in 2 years and I know she’s not going to want anything to do with him as she won’t be able to use him for her own financial gain (wow how on earth the MLCer can be attracted to someone like that  ::). Lots and lots for me to think about and decide what I can and cannot handle.

I definitely like the advice on the boundaries as in how much time I want and am willing to spend with him and what that actually looks like.

Treasur—hahaha! No way do I want him taking care of me if I’m sick. I sure hope he doesn’t pick up covid during his travels. I’m not feeling particularly caring and attentive at the moment and I’m the only one he has here.  :D hahaha.
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#76: November 24, 2020, 10:26:17 AM
Been a long time since I posted. I feel like so many things have changed and so many things have stayed the same. Quick update.
BD #1  October 2016 (he told me his kids didn't like me. We all lived together and got along well.
BD #2   Sept 2017 ( ILYBNILWY and discovered EA) He moved out in October 2017


We had a 6 month period last year (before I learned about MLC) when he was home.  Did a lot of work around healing from the EA. Lots of admissions on his part, and empathy and understanding of how he hurt me. He left in October stating his kids didn't like me and we don't have a future. Blamed me for the disconnect.

Fast forward to this year.  We have been solidly reconnecting since March of this year. He cut off all ties with OW, gave me access to his computer, cell phone, etc. I have keys to his apartment and his business. He invited me to work on an RV renovation for a instructional video firm he works for. We had plans to vacation in April 2021. Lots of talk about the future. Fun and playful. More like the man I first fell in love with, except a few changes of being more assertive with friends.  Over the past few weeks I have felt disconnection. Sure enough, last night he told me his kids don't like me and he's afraid that if we continue then he will lose his relationship with them.

FWIW: he's a great father and has a great relationship with his kids.  I have seen all of the kiddos since March and we are all civil to each other. I just saw the middle kid this weekend and we got along well. I completely understand his fears, but I am at a loss. The kids had a "family meeting" amongst themselves at the end of Sept to decide what to do about me. They then shared with their father the plan that I would absolutely not be invited to any events with a plus one (weddings, etc) future. I'm sure part of his angst is about the upcoming holidays.

I haven't seen or spoken to him today. This is very unusual as he typically is in communication with me frequently. I try to remind myself that this is not about the kids. This is about his fear. It's tough.

I do see a difference. In the past when he is anxious about his kids, he disconnects. Then we have the conversation that they don't like me (all in October by the way), and he blames me for the disconnect, tells me we don't have a future, and then leaves.  Yesterday he did say that he realizes he disconnects because he is scared and "can't get out of my head."  He also said it's not my fault. He is "conflicted" because he loves me, loves being with me, is happy with him, but so worried about the kids. He didn't say we should end it. It was left fairly nebulous yesterday.

I know there is nothing I can do. But I'm really struggling. We have been so great the last 8 months.  I find that I made the mistake of feeling somewhat safe with him and reconnecting. I'm just heartbroken right now. Maybe I'm just looking to see if anyone else has had these similar things with their MLCer.
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« Last Edit: November 24, 2020, 10:42:53 AM by Surviving2019 »

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#77: November 24, 2020, 11:46:51 AM
Have the kids ever said anything to you directly about not liking you?  Have you ever felt disliked by them directly (not from your h telling you)?    How do you feel about approaching them (one on one) to open up a discussion about it?
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#78: November 24, 2020, 11:50:56 AM
They haven't ever said anything directly to me. I get the vibe from the oldest that she really doesn't like me. She's quite rude when I try to talk to her. I actually think she's the "ring leader" of the whole thing. She is a bit like a bull in the china shop just knocking down anything in her way.

I asked him last night if I should talk to the kids. He said that would probably make it worse. The kids and I were very disconnected for the past three years. After we separated, they didn't want anything to do with me. I have slowly been reconnecting with them since this more serious reconnection attempt, but I think it will take time to heal that.
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#79: November 27, 2020, 07:07:34 AM
Journaling today:
After three days of not hearing from him, honoring his request for space, he reaches out to ask me how much foam I want for the dog's bed. Back story, he asked me to be part of a video series of remodeling a camper. I was so very excited about it.  We worked together on creating a list of things to do to it, etc, etc. The whole premise was to set it up for the two of us to be able to travel in.  At this time, it does not look like I will be a part of this project. Yet another disappointment. Another thing I was looking forward to do with him, and his fear is running the show.

It leaves me wondering: can he really not go without speaking to me for three days?  Clearly he doesn't see how that question would be hurtful to me. No consideration for how I might feel about not being included in the tear out of the camper. I know he's not currently in his right mind, but I'm feeling pretty irritated about it. Asking me what I want. Seriously...what I want is for him to overcome his fear related to his children and set some firm boundaries with them that will be safe for our relationship. SIGH.

Thankfully, I have a meeting with RCR tonight and hope to gain some more clarity. I know he will want to come over to drop off the foam. I will be unavailable until I figure out  how I am going to tell him my boundaries and what I need for us to move forward. And how to let him know that if he's unable to set those boundaries with his kids, I'll be moving forward without him (as very sad as that is), without it sounding like a threat or manipulation.
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#80: November 28, 2020, 07:09:07 PM
Hello Surviving,
following your Journey.

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#81: November 29, 2020, 08:26:31 PM
Had the conversation with him today letting him know that he doesn’t need to choose between me and the kids, that he can have all of us. I was super calm and factual when I talked to him: he accused me of trying to “psychoanalyize him.” Sigh. He’s complained in the past that I’m too emotional. Guess you can’t win with an MLCer: if I’m calm I’m “analyzing,” if I’m emotional I’m trying to “influence him because I’m biased.” 🙄

Long story short:,he acknowledges that the kids still talk to him even though they know we are together. He’s worried “about what might happen in 5, 10, or 15 years. I can’t risk losing them.” There clearly is no risk given that the still have relationship with him. He has no boundaries with them and they run his life. Not yet done cooking, I thought he was close: back to just doing me.

I’m sad, frustrated (that he’s so scared he can’t see reality), and honestly, just emotionally drained. I’m feeling a sense of relief right now though. I knew something was up. I was just waiting for the other shoe to drop. I’m proud that I was able to speak my side. Onward.
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#82: November 30, 2020, 10:12:20 AM
Hello,

First of all, I am sorry that this happened to you. You are going through a tough time because MLCers tend to come back, move forward and then move back again.

Just know he is using the children to justify his actions. He could have just as easily blamed the color you chose for the last car you bought. I am now in a blended family and both my wife and I maintain strict boundaries when it comes to the children. I advise her kids when they seek it and support them, but I am not the "parent". I leave that up to her and she does the same with mine. Just like your situation, they are grown and starting to venture out. While her two still live with us, it won't be long before they leave the nest.

With that said, he is not done baking and you need to detach yourself from him. No more relationship talks or discussions. If he accuses you of analyzing him just say, "I am sorry you feel this way, but until you are ready to fully commit to our relationship, I need to protect myself emotionally from the situation."

Just remember, MLCer lie, manipulate, and they all know our weak points.

((((Ready))))
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#83: November 30, 2020, 01:58:03 PM



With that said, he is not done baking and you need to detach yourself from him.


Yep, back into the oven he has gone. I've walked out of the kitchen and have no desire at this time to check the oven.

I totally agree about the blended family stuff. And it's all very logical--boundaries and communication are important. The operative word being logical, which H currently is not. He showed that to me quite clearly.

Back to life as an LBS: doing my things, enjoying my free time, spending my mental energy not thinking about him.
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#84: December 11, 2020, 07:14:53 AM
Journaling today. So I found out why the kids are so angry with me. They have accused me of being cruel to their mother and that I am unable to be civil with her which is why I would not be invited to any future weddings.  And they have "proof" I am cruel because three years ago I once vented about a client (aka vented about work). Therefore I must be cruel. Please tell me how many people have never vented about work?

This whole situation upsets me so much. For seven years I put up with the ex-wife's cruelty to me, her emotional abuse and manipulation of her children, and her constant crazy antics. I never retaliated. I never said a word to her kids. When they would complain to me about her, I would simply say, "I'm sorry that is happening. I really can't talk about your mom." The kids have no idea whatsoever of the cruel things that their mother did to me, and they won't find that out from me. It's not my place to tell them those things, nor is it healthy for them. So here I am being accused of being this terrible person, when the reality is I have taken the high road for years to protect the kids.  And, at this point, no real contact with them in 3 years so how do they even have any idea of the type of person I am? 

Here's an example of my real life "cruelty," Last year in December, after another long touch and go had ended, I went to a painting night with some of my girlfriends. Guess who was teaching the class? The ex-wife. It was a bit of a shock. What did I do?  I acted like a rational, civil human being. I enjoyed the time with my friends, thanked her at the end, tipped and left. I know for a fact that was twisted to her children because my H called and asked me about it. His daughter had called and wanted to know why I went there to hurt her mom. WTH?  I was there to enjoy my time following another separation from my H. I had no idea she was teaching, or I wouldn't have voluntarily put myself in that position. I would have just opted for a different painting night.

And I feel such hurt and disappointment towards H. That he would not stick up for me when the kids tell them why they don't want me around. I assume this because he is not the type of man to stand up to his kids. Otherwise we would not be in this position. He knows that I have not retaliated or spoken ill about his ex-wife. I actively encouraged him to stop speaking ill about her out of respect that she is the mother of his kids. It's mind boggling to think this is happening. I know that taking the high road is the best option...I'm just incredibly frustrated today.

The reality is, this is his problem. I know that. I KNOW that. It is really between him and his kids. It's also up to the kids to grow up as well. They say they want their dad to be happy, but only with a different person--how immature. As an adult child, I think how would I respond if my parents were divorced and re-partnered. I know what I would do--if the new partner treated them well, added to their happiness, and supported them, I would be happy. It would not affect my relationship with either one of them. I would be civil and kind to whoever the new partner is.   

I am posting this mostly as a way to get my thoughts and feelings down today. If anyone sees anything in my writing that indicates maybe I'm the messed up, irrational one, please tell me. I'd appreciate any feedback.
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#85: December 11, 2020, 08:15:00 AM
Surviving,

I am sorry you are going through all this - it is not easy at all.

I am the mother of three adult children, slightly older than your step children. My middle son died last year, he was almost 26. It was a sudden, unexpected death. I was married to their father for 26 years when he told me that he didn't love me as he thought he should (he was already involved with ow). We had been a couple for 31 years at that point. He finally divorced me after 30 years of marriage. He told me that he needed to regularize things with ow (she is a psychologist).

I love my h. very much. At the time of his leaving home, I was told that I was a manipulator, a cruel dictator - he said his therapist suggested that.

I am a stander.

I try not to have contact with ow. My children were 16, 17 and 19 when their father left home and revealed his relationship with her, so I sometimes had to see her in the distance, or greet her distantly at times when he brought them back from visiting with him. She did her best to get involved with their lives, she was affectionate, she cooked for them, she gave them gifts, she found out what they liked and struck up conversations with them about these subjects.

As they were older, they soon found ways to visit with them and get their father's attention, which was the only thing they really craved. My d had self harm issues and the ow told my h. that it was probably due to my lack of a close relationship with my d. That I was the one who needed help to learn how to be a better mother and accept my lot in life.  Ow came round with my h. and met with my d at the local gas station to assess her.

I kept parenting issues between their father and I. When he couldn't solve the problems or be of any solid help (all they wanted was their dad's sole attention), I stepped in and got them the help they needed or simply and silently loved them, hugged, kissed, sat beside them.

What I am trying to say is that no matter the age of the chidren, they want their parents and anyone who stands in the way of their getting the attention they crave is not going to be popular.

My stand started almost 10 years ago. Many things have happened since then. My h. has learned to keep his life with ow separate from his relationship with his children. He seems to be happy like this and it is a lot more peaceful for my kids, who have access to him without ow necessarily being around.

Just another point of view.
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#86: December 11, 2020, 08:24:45 AM
For what it’s worth, it doesn’t seem to me like you are in the wrong here. I think you’re right to take the high road in your interactions with the xW, and to not discuss the xW with the kids.

It seems to me that, as you said, this is a situation where your h should be in your corner. Certainly, I say this as someone with no kids in the picture so I’m sure there are nuances I don’t understand. My parents split and my dad remarried when I was young, and I know it was a difficult situation for him even though there was no real acrimony in any of the people involved. So there’s no way around the fact that this is a difficult situation in the best of circumstances, and I am sorry you are having to deal with it.
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#87: December 11, 2020, 08:39:31 AM
Mitzpah:
Thanks for your response.  I agree it's simply because I'm not their mother. I really just so disappointed that my H isn't able to stand up for me, and/or separate our relationship from the relationship with his kids. I'm able to be civil when we are all together. :-( And for what it's worth, I have not inserted myself into his interactions with the kids. He's got this idea that the only way it can work is if we can all hang out when the kids are in town. I don't actually think that needs to happen, but it's what he wants. I would of course do that if that's what he wants, but I don't think it's necessary, Just like I may want to hang out with my own parents without my H around. Our marriage counselor told us years ago that our marriage and his relationship with his kids needed to be separate. 

Curiosity--I have so many friends whose parents divorced when they were children and adolescents and while it wasn't easy, they were most definitely able to make it work. Sad that it seems my H isn't strong enough to do this. Sometimes it makes me think maybe he just doesn't love me enough to be strong enough to find a way to have all of us in his life. :-(
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#88: December 11, 2020, 09:00:22 AM
Surviving,

My d had self harm issues and the ow told my h. that it was probably due to my lack of a close relationship with my d. That I was the one who needed help to learn how to be a better mother and accept my lot in life. 


I am sorry you experienced someone blaming you for D's self-harm struggles. :-(  That is so sad. I hope D is doing well now. Glad you were able to support, love, and get her the help she needed :-)
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#89: December 11, 2020, 09:25:18 AM
Surviving,

My d had self harm issues and the ow told my h. that it was probably due to my lack of a close relationship with my d. That I was the one who needed help to learn how to be a better mother and accept my lot in life. 


I am sorry you experienced someone blaming you for D's self-harm struggles. :-(  That is so sad. I hope D is doing well now. Glad you were able to support, love, and get her the help she needed :-)

Thank you Surviving, she is very well nowadays. She lives thousands of miles away but we are very close and more understanding of each other now. A friend of the family who knew us all well, gave me some very good advice at the time and although it took a while, she stopped the behavior. I just silently stood by her and allowed her to work out her "demons" letting her know that I was there for her, that I loved her dearly no matter what. That I would never reject her and she could count on me. She put me to the test sometimes and thankfully I was always in a position to step up to the plate for her.

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#90: December 13, 2020, 06:55:53 AM

Just know he is using the children to justify his actions. He could have just as easily blamed the color you chose for the last car you bought. I am now in a blended family and both my wife and I maintain strict boundaries when it comes to the children. I advise her kids when they seek it and support them, but I am not the "parent". I leave that up to her and she does the same with mine. Just like your situation, they are grown and starting to venture out. While her two still live with us, it won't be long before they leave the nest.

((((Ready))))

This is sooo true. I thought I had muted all his social media accounts, but apparently forgot one. Yesterday a post popped up that he is at his friend's hunting cabin. The kids are 100% an excuse. Do I think their opinion of me makes him uncomfortable,....yes I do. But...it is an excuse. His two youngest kids are in town for the holiday. His son, who H has told me he is very concern doesn't spend time with him because of me, is in town right now and H is gone.(Nevermind that I think a lot of 21 year old's home from college would want to spend time with their friends rather then parents). It really struck me when I saw that post, that this is not about the kids. It's a convenient excuse. If you were really, truly worried about your relationship with the kids,  you would be spending time with them while they are here, not lollygagging at a hunting cabin for the weekend. Of course I know I'm coming at this rationally and he is not.

He currently can't run to teaching venues around the country because of Covid (which has been his MO for the past two years. Gone every weekend). So run away from me, and your kids. Find a new distraction, a new place to run. Ok. Got it. And social media is now unfollowed for my own sanity. :-)

On to Christmas cookie baking for me today. Once the holidays are over, I'll be a little less strict about my social distancing as I was doing that to protect my SD. She has a very serious autoimmune disease. So it will be nice to just GAL and spend time with friends again.

I do appreciate the great advice from all of you. I am also 100% convinced it's not about the kids, and he's run right back into that nasty MLC tunnel.
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#91: December 13, 2020, 08:18:38 AM
Hello,

Quote
So I found out why the kids are so angry with me.

I don't think they are angry with you, but they are very conflicted. They are all facing difficult choices in regards to a very convoluted and complex relationships. They have their mother, they have their father, and they have you. Now they have to decide on how to navigate all of this.

Quote
FWIW: he's a great father and has a great relationship with his kids.

You stated that they have a good relationship with their father and he is a good dad. Nothing wrong with that. However, with your latest connections with him, do the children know how to accept that? For all we know while he was out and about his kids decided to join team dad and bad mouth you to let him know which side they were on. Now that you two might get back together, will that impact their relationship with him?

Then there is their mother and her interactions with them in regards to you. That creates another system of alliances and conflicted feelings.

So in the end, the kids took the easy way put and you've been voted off the island.

The good news is that this too.  like MLC,  can pass and with time, you can re-establish those connection all over again.

((((Ready))))
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#92: December 14, 2020, 09:58:40 AM

You stated that they have a good relationship with their father and he is a good dad. Nothing wrong with that. However, with your latest connections with him, do the children know how to accept that? For all we know while he was out and about his kids decided to join team dad and bad mouth you to let him know which side they were on. Now that you two might get back together, will that impact their relationship with him?

Then there is their mother and her interactions with them in regards to you. That creates another system of alliances and conflicted feelings.

So in the end, the kids took the easy way put and you've been voted off the island.

The good news is that this too.  like MLC,  can pass and with time, you can re-establish those connection all over again.

((((Ready))))

Ready-I agree with you that this can pass and the connections can be re-established with the kids. I guess it will have to wait until he is done running as he's gone back into that pattern over the past two weeks,

I thought a lot about your comment about the kids joining team dad. I think there is a a lot here, and you have definitely helped me shift a bit on that. My  H has told me he's have "long, deep conversations" with the kids about our relationship. First, I think that's super inappropriate because...boundaries. Secondly, I have no idea the context of those conversations, but I image there as a bit of team dad stuff going on there. This is precisely why I do not talk to my family about what is going on. I don't want them to take sides because when he comes out of the tunnel, there will be those relationships to repair as well if I had done that.

I wanted to hop on here and thank you for your insight. :-)
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#93: December 16, 2020, 01:06:52 PM
As I'm looking back at my thread, and some journaling I did around this time last year, it occurred to me that I haven't really changed much. I think that's part of the problem. Sure: I re-engaged in hobbies I liked to do. I got my own life, but deep down, I didn't really detach from my H. I just pretended like I did. And, after listening to the video from RCR yesterday, I can see this is a form of avoidance.

I've been avoiding completely detaching. I've avoided setting up real, firm boundaries  surrounding the kids when H tries to come back . Why? Because I'm avoiding the notion that he might not be ready, or he might never be ready. I'm avoiding what I perceive to be the complete end to our relationship. I'm avoiding the pain that would cause me, but realistically, the avoidance is causing me more pain because it is keeping me stuck in this painful cycle. It's ironic since this whole entire mess boils down to avoidance. He's avoiding things, and I'm avoiding things. If I'm too afraid to set a boundary with him, what kind of relationship is that? 

I know that I've grown through this process. I'm also sad that I'm still stuck in avoidance mode. I've done better with friends and family, but clearly there is more work for me to do. I've got to work through this fear, grow, and completely detach. Whew. Hopefully I can figure it out. I want to get to a place where this whole MLC thing is just some annoying background noise and not the focus of my attention.

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#94: December 16, 2020, 01:33:42 PM
I wanted to comment on team Dad. I wondered why my kids (xh and mine) were all "This is all normal and fine" when it was far from normal. I recently discovered my D bought all of her father's lies. I told her she could believe as she liked. If she ever wanted to know the facts I could prove, she could ask. That she gets to choose whatever relationship she wants to have.  I could see in her face that she suspected some lies were lies. She hasn't asked to see any proof. Kids, no matter how old, manage as best they can with the information they have, and really may not want to know what is fact.

 Your last post shows you are really working through it all, and know you deserve to be out of limbo, however you decide to get there. You keep taking care of you.
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#95: December 16, 2020, 02:00:38 PM
I wanted to comment on team Dad..... Kids, no matter how old, manage as best they can with the information they have, and really may not want to know what is fact.


Offroad--
Thanks for your post. I have no doubts that they are on Team Dad and Team Mom. I also think they are going on what they've been told, and that's the very frustrating part for me. Some of the things that I have been accused of are complete lies, but I do not feel I am in a position to say that. Then I would be perceived as calling their mom a liar. It's up to my H to do that. This is the heart of what frustrates me--that it's within his power to tell them the truth should he be able to stop avoiding conflict with them. But....I don't know if he can do that. I wish, years ago, I would have simply said "that's not true" when they would say things to me. I thought I was doing the right thing by simply keeping my mouth shut. Oh well. I can't go back and change the past.
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#96: December 27, 2020, 01:22:16 PM
Tiny update. H has been trying to come over all week. I was gone for the holiday. He made some excuse about wanting to clear the driveway this morning (I’ve already taken care of it on my own). Then he asked if he could come over. I gave him a time.

He showed up with my travel toothbrush.  :o Not things that are important to me that are at his place. And he gave me a Christmas present, a homemade knife. Asked about my Christmas. I said “it was good, thanks for asking.” Then he started talking about his kids, particularly the oldest who is the most outspoken against our relationship. I responded w “that’s good,” “oh...nice,” and “ok.” He looked all sad when I didn’t offer anything else and then he left.

Sigh....I’m resisting the urge to call and ask him if there was anything else he needed. I’m sure that’s what he wants tho. To see if I’m still on the hook. As a side note; he looks horrible—-really puffy which is very very weird for him.
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#97: January 06, 2021, 11:50:03 AM
I'm slightly struggling today. I know this is my own issue. I need to detach more. I need to put my feelings on a shelf. I get that, but man somedays the feelings are overwhelming, And I also feel a bit like a fraud. I'm more "faking it til I make it." I'm busying myself with work, hobbies, etc. I am taking time for prayer throughout the day. I'm also doing individual therapy again to slog through some of my childhood wounds. But where I am struggling specifically today is simply missing my H.

The past few nights I've had terrible dreams, so I'm sure that's also contributing to this. I have woken up crying the past two mornings. It's so frustrating. This isn't the first touch and go. I've survived this before. I know I will again. I know it will get better. That I will feel better soon, but today is just one of those days.  I simply feel very sad. I get tearful out of the blue. *sigh*

This too shall pass. My moto for the day.
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#98: January 06, 2021, 11:59:50 AM
Stay Strong Marching,

You are doing better than you think you are. This must be an awful trying time. You are showing great courage and charisma! I don't have a lot of advice but I do offer my support.


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#99: January 14, 2021, 09:41:40 AM
Journaling a little:
Anniversary was on Monday. Not a peep from H which isn't surprising. It's been 7 weeks since he said he was done, using the kids as an excuse to run. It seems like he's back into replay. What little bits I've heard from friends is that he is trying to make connections with other women.  I can't say that I'm surprised. This is most definitely his pattern after a long touch n go: he leaves, then starts acting very much like an irresponsible teenager. Pre-covid he would be traveling all over the US and meeting young influencers. Now, from what my friends have said, he's been spending some time with another woman. I've asked my friends to simply not tell me. Again, this is not surprising because his ego is so fragile, and I know he's looking for happiness and hoping he can find it with a change of scenery, a change of pace, a new partner, etc. I hope some day he can realize that no matter where he runs, how much he distracts, who he is with, he will never be happy until he does his own inner work.

Me, I'm quite depressed. I've decided that this leaving is almost to the level of the leaving after BD. I was so very certain he was out of the whole running phase this time that I allowed myself to connect and open up to him. He did and said everything I wanted. So the level of devastation this time is so much more than it was when he ran last year. I believed with my whole entire being that he would not run away. We even talked about it and he said he would not. Foolish for me to believe him. I know it. I just so badly wanted that to be the case. Boy these long touch n goes are very hard. I'm not sure how others manage this, although I know it's quite common.

I actually asked my dr for anti-depressants today. My skills aren't working too well for me. I am sleeping way too much, have no appetite, and quite honestly, I find no pleasure in things I use to do. I'm generally very active and exercise does me good. I'm too distracted to make it through a workout. Yesterday I broke down in tears doing my HIIT workout. Silly really. Especially since I know that would be one thing to boost my mood, but I am struggling to shake this.  I know I'm depressed. Sheesh...this is what I do for a living which makes it all the more difficult. Like I should be able to overcome this. I've done it before. I'll do it again. But that doesn't leave me feeling any better. Actually, I feel a level of shame and frustration that I'm back to this place--this place I thought I would never be again.

I want to detach from him. I want to not be focused on an outcome. I need to do that for me. I'm also confused on how then I can continue to stand? I'm hopeful some of you can shed some light on this. I know that I need to live my life like he's never coming back. I get that logically. Emotionally, I simply want my H back bc when he's not in the tunnel, it's amazing. So how does one actually let go of any outcome for reconciliation while still desiring that? Ugh. Which spirals me into thinking maybe things would be better if I moved on. I could leave this whole crazy mess behind me. Then my heart just hurts so badly....clearly I'm not there yet.  :'(

On a positive note--I did get my Covid vaccine yesterday. Not too bad although I had a killer headache about an hour later and my arm is pretty darn tender today.
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#100: January 15, 2021, 04:29:59 AM
Marching,

Getting a little medicinal help is perfectly reasonable under the circumstances.... Just make sure that you follow the doctor's dosing protocol to the letter....

As for your Mid-Lifer - a few things...
#1 - sounds like he is reading the "Mid-Life Crisis for Dummies script page for page... The long T & G shows him that you are still around and right where he thinks you should be so he runs off again, spewing some tripe about who it is someone else's fault other than his (like someone held a gun to his head and forced him to do what he is doing? Uhmmmmm ...NOPE!)
#2 - How does one know when a Mid-Lifer in the tunnel is lying?  Their lips are moving...
#3 -
Quote from: Marchingforward
Again, this is not surprising because his ego is so fragile, and I know he's looking for happiness and hoping he can find it with a change of scenery, a change of pace, a new partner, etc. I hope some day he can realize that no matter where he runs, how much he distracts, who he is with, he will never be happy until he does his own inner work.
Yep.... No matter how fast they run, how far they go, or who they are with, there they are.... One can not outrun one's own personal demons as they are inside and are carried with ....

It is quite normal to be going the cha-cha (you know - 3 steps forward, 2 back, 2 forward, tree back, three forward, one back, etc.) at this point, especially when you thought he might actually be getting his head out of his .... fog.... and the tears will come, whether they are wanted or not.... No reason to be ashamed... Yeah, it is frustrating as all Hades but, it is a part of the Living the Best life as well.....
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#101: January 16, 2021, 07:19:18 AM

IIt is quite normal to be going the cha-cha (you know - 3 steps forward, 2 back, 2 forward, tree back, three forward, one back, etc.) at this point, especially when you thought he might actually be getting his head out of his .... fog.... and the tears will come, whether they are wanted or not.... No reason to be ashamed... Yeah, it is frustrating as all Hades but, it is a part of the Living the Best life as well.....

Yes, back and forth. So much worse then the last T&G because I really, truly believed he was out of the fog. I don’t like that I feel emotionally strong at all. I know this is because I didn’t remain detached when he was back. But man it sucks. I’m a Christian and I’m even struggling to pray which is completely new for me. This journey isn’t one I like being on. I know I have some of my own stuff to work on, so I probably need to embrace this as a time of more self growth. Shifting my mindset right now is really hard. It’s that whole feeling good one day and then feeling sad or anxious the very next. Sometimes not even days: sometimes it shifts by the hour.  :(
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#102: January 18, 2021, 03:06:22 AM
Shifting my mindset right now is really hard. It’s that whole feeling good one day and then feeling sad or anxious the very next. Sometimes not even days: sometimes it shifts by the hour.  :(

Quite normal, I assure you... Sometimes it may be minute by minute... The key is to take that minute by minute and migrate it to hour by hour then to day by da, week by week, month by month and then, before you know it, you are where you want to be, albeit possibly without your Mid-Lifer who is off busy trying to find his next fix of "happy."

But, what the Mid-Lifer is doing is really, when it comes down to it, irrelevant (unless of course they have gotten their head out of their ... fog... and are seriously trying to make amends....) .  It is what YOU are doing for MarchingForward that is what is important...
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#103: January 18, 2021, 11:27:20 AM
There are times that I struggle to pray too.  When that happens, I find other people's prayers and repeat them.  It seems to help me.
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#104: January 25, 2021, 08:53:02 AM
Everything your going through sounds fairly normal. It’s also how I felt at the start too. However what worked for me, was finding just one thing a day I liked and really focusing my thoughts on that one thing. Sometimes it was as simple as waking up a hour before the kids. Sitting downstairs watching TV with a cup of coffee. I found this helped me.
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#105: January 25, 2021, 09:16:41 AM
Marching -
Following along.
Sorry that  you're here, but know you're in good company.
It's okay to not know what to pray.
Just pray your heart, and even tell God that you can't find the words right now.  He understands....

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#106: January 25, 2021, 09:26:14 AM
Thanks for the support everyone. I get frustrated with myself at time. I find myself here again, after I thought this was all behind me. It's so frustrating. I know I've managed before, and I will manage again. Just difficult to be back in this emotional spot once more. The antidepressants seem to be helping and I'm not crying nearly as much. Just now starting to feel some enjoyment in things I once loved. Still feel very far from God and that my prayers are simply ineffective or unheard. I KNOW that's not the case, but those feelings are there.
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#107: January 25, 2021, 04:03:34 PM
Hello,

Quote
I want to detach from him. I want to not be focused on an outcome. I need to do that for me. I'm also confused on how then I can continue to stand? I'm hopeful some of you can shed some light on this. I know that I need to live my life like he's never coming back.

Detaching is not like turning of the water hose. It is a process and your situation is different. Even though my w went of the crazy rails, I had a lot of support systems to help me, I had my children, I had my friends, and I had my family. That enabled me to maintain a lot of balance when my ex was going through her crisis. Detachment is a process and takes work.

Detaching and standing are different concepts. Think of mission and vision statements. Standing is a vision of the future. You may want to save the marriage and want your husband. However, you can't just focus on the vision. You need to complete actions and goals that will put you in the position to reconcile. This is where detachment comes in and supports the LBSer in meeting their vision. In another post, I wrote that the connection between one person and their spouse is like a live wire that has snapped. The current is flowing and is dangerous. The only thing you can do at the moment is cut off the power. That's detachment. Now you are in a position to reconnect the line or disconnect it and you can live with either choice. Because regardless of your vision, you still have to live. You have to deal with the day to day issues. Detachment enables you to reengage your life and you can still stand.

Quote
I get frustrated with myself at time.

My advice is you need to become your best friend all over again. You need to start celebrating who you are and the person you have become. The major difference between the LBSer and the MLCer is that the MLCer becomes dissatisfied with who they are and try to become someone new, the LBSer excepts who they are and only seeks to refine themselves.

My goal to you is that on your next post write three things that you do that bring you peace. Could be simple like the first cup of coffee in the morning or an intense workout. Write them and why they bring you bliss.

Quote
Still feel very far from God and that my prayers are simply ineffective or unheard.

Open your eyes, ears, and heart. He hears and his love will always be there for you.

(((((Ready))))





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« Last Edit: January 26, 2021, 06:10:36 AM by readytofixmyselffirst »
"Always look in the mirror and love what you see."

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#108: January 25, 2021, 06:34:24 PM
Lots of good thoughts being expressed here Marchingforward.

Quote
I get frustrated with myself at time. I find myself here again, after I thought this was all behind me. It's so frustrating. I know I've managed before, and I will manage again. Just difficult to be back in this emotional spot once more.


I do not think it is possible to get all this behind us. This is a hugely significant event in our life, on so many levels. I have not seen many LBSers who ever get to a place where this doesn't hurt. What I have seen is acceptance that this has happened, that it cannot be changed, it is part of our personal history. Our memories are stored in our brains....even the most insignificant memories are there and we are not "surprised" when those memories flood our thoughts.

His return home and then leaving again reopens many of the wounds. That is normal. You are responding appropriately.

Quote
The antidepressants seem to be helping and I'm not crying nearly as much. Just now starting to feel some enjoyment in things I once loved.


that is good. The AD's can help you to find energy and motivation to engage in life again.

Quote
Still feel very far from God and that my prayers are simply ineffective or unheard. I KNOW that's not the case, but those feelings are there.

This and the next question are really important but also very hard for me to respond to. You know that God is aware of everything that happens. Our prayers for a restored marriage  are definitely heard. But you know God doesn't "reward" us by how we pray by giving us what we want. His plans are far above what we can conceive. We may never know in this life why....but I trust in His plans for my life.

There is a story about how our lives are like the underside of a tapestry..this explains it better than I can:

"One of my favorite pictures of God’s working in our lives, especially during hard times, is the picture of God weaving a beautiful tapestry together with both light and dark colors (joyful and sorrowful times). On this side of heaven, though, we stand behind the tapestry and usually see only the knotted ends and frayed edges of what God is doing. If we could get “on the other side” of the tapestry, we could see God doing something beautiful, but we live on the underside with painful circumstances and God’s purposes unclear.

This image comes from a poem of unknown origin that was popularized by Corrie Ten Boom (author of The Hiding Place).

Biblically, that’s not what God tells us is needed. Ask Job. Ask Joseph. Ask the author of Ecclesiastes. Our seeing the tapestry from God’s viewpoint and understanding the whole story is NOT the answer. God says the answer is to know and trust the Weaver, to know and trust that He is indeed making something beautiful, that He is in fact a God who redeems and restores even the most broken and hopeless situation even when we don’t understand why or how. He actually calls us to live almost exclusively looking at the underside of the tapestry. Our hope from that side is a trust that there is a beautiful side being created by a Master Weaver who “knows, loves, and cares."


Quote
I want to detach from him. I want to not be focused on an outcome. I need to do that for me. I'm also confused on how then I can continue to stand?

We were married 32 years. My Bd was June 2009. I have been standing for over 11 1/2 years. I am pretty well detached, I expect nothing from him. I can spend time with him and know that this is all it is.

I was thinking today, an idea that I had from the beginning.This was not my choice. The thing that I loved and have always wanted was a family. He walked away from that, does not mean I have to.

The end result is unknown and I surrender that to Our Lord. I do believe that he can change my husband's heart but that might not happen.

One thing that is important to me is the promise I made to God. I feel that "if" my husband ever makes it back to our family, the door will be open and I will be here.

I do live as though he is never coming back. I have built a good life and before COVID it was quite good..but it took me many years to get to this point and a great deal of therapy.

If I had to do it all again, I would do exactly what I have done. There are no regrets about standing. It is the right thing for me.

Listen to what God tells you. Unfortunately, we do not spend enough time in silence and  I had to learn how to stay still...silent retreats, praying when I am walking, going to Adoration...where I am not distracted, where I can quiet my mind.

It is very hard for me to explain. But is is possible to be detached and still stand. it takes time and work and lots of trust in God's plan.

I hope that you will find what you need to become whole again. Humans are amazingly resilient. I do think about my husband every day, and that is ok. I am in a place where thinking about him, thinking about us brings a smile to my face...I think that is how God has answered my prayers, by giving me peace.
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#109: January 26, 2021, 09:49:34 AM

In another post, I wrote that the connection between one person and their spouse is like a live wire that has snapped. The current is flowing and is dangerous. The only thing you can do at the moment is cut off the power. That's detachment. Now you are in a position to reconnect the line or disconnect it and you can live with either choice.  Detachment enables you to reengage your life and you can still stand.

Thanks for this! This is a great illustration for me. I really appreciate it.

Quote
My goal to you is that on your next post write three things that you do that bring you peace. Could be simple like the first cup of coffee in the morning or an intense workout. Write them and why they bring you bliss. 

How did you know my morning cup of coffee is a peaceful activity?  ;) That is one thing that brings me peace. The simple pleasure of tasting the coffee, feeling the warmth of the mug in my hands, the quite of simply sitting and enjoying the aroma: these simple things bring me peace.

Being in nature brings me peace. Right now it is hearing the crunch of the snow beneath my boots. Observing the sparkling of hoarfrost on the trees. Enjoying the beauty of the scenery around me.

My third thing is spending time with my horse. I have always found horses to be very calming and peaceful.. Mine is a fairly flighty breed, so it's best if I approach him from a place of peacefulness. Over the years, he and I have settled into a very peaceful, relaxing routine together.



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#110: January 26, 2021, 06:08:47 PM
This and the next question are really important but also very hard for me to respond to. You know that God is aware of everything that happens. Our prayers for a restored marriage  are definitely heard. But you know God doesn't "reward" us by how we pray by giving us what we want. His plans are far above what we can conceive. We may never know in this life why....but I trust in His plans for my life.

There is a story about how our lives are like the underside of a tapestry..this explains it better than I can:

"One of my favorite pictures of God’s working in our lives, especially during hard times, is the picture of God weaving a beautiful tapestry together with both light and dark colors (joyful and sorrowful times). On this side of heaven, though, we stand behind the tapestry and usually see only the knotted ends and frayed edges of what God is doing. If we could get “on the other side” of the tapestry, we could see God doing something beautiful, but we live on the underside with painful circumstances and God’s purposes unclear.

This image comes from a poem of unknown origin that was popularized by Corrie Ten Boom (author of The Hiding Place).

Biblically, that’s not what God tells us is needed. Ask Job. Ask Joseph. Ask the author of Ecclesiastes. Our seeing the tapestry from God’s viewpoint and understanding the whole story is NOT the answer. God says the answer is to know and trust the Weaver, to know and trust that He is indeed making something beautiful, that He is in fact a God who redeems and restores even the most broken and hopeless situation even when we don’t understand why or how. He actually calls us to live almost exclusively looking at the underside of the tapestry. Our hope from that side is a trust that there is a beautiful side being created by a Master Weaver who “knows, loves, and cares."


The end result is unknown and I surrender that to Our Lord. I do believe that he can change my husband's heart but that might not happen.

One thing that is important to me is the promise I made to God. I feel that "if" my husband ever makes it back to our family, the door will be open and I will be here.

I do live as though he is never coming back. I have built a good life and before COVID it was quite good..but it took me many years to get to this point and a great deal of therapy.

If I had to do it all again, I would do exactly what I have done. There are no regrets about standing. It is the right thing for me.

Listen to what God tells you. Unfortunately, we do not spend enough time in silence and  I had to learn how to stay still...silent retreats, praying when I am walking, going to Adoration...where I am not distracted, where I can quiet my mind.

It is very hard for me to explain. But is is possible to be detached and still stand. it takes time and work and lots of trust in God's plan.

I hope that you will find what you need to become whole again. Humans are amazingly resilient. I do think about my husband every day, and that is ok. I am in a place where thinking about him, thinking about us brings a smile to my face...I think that is how God has answered my prayers, by giving me peace.

Xyzcf- thank you! Your entire response was so helpful for me. I love the tapestry example. I’m also very grateful for your wise words on standing and detaching. I think you did a great job explaining it.  :)

I find it very difficult to Just be. To simply rest. This is one area where I need to grow for sure.


Journaling:
I had my therapy appointment today. My therapist has been trying to help me work on my childhood wounds. I had an interesting experience with a form of meditation she wanted me to try. Basically, it boils down to me not feeling safe, or rather, my inner child not feeling safe. She asked me, “when in your life have you ever just been ok to rest and lean on someone?” I had such a visceral reaction and started crying. She then said “you’ve not had emotionally available parents. You’re the oldest and was always taking care or your siblings bc your mom wasn’t emotionally there. Then you married a man who, the minute you started to feel safe and allow yourself to just be, the rug was pulled out from under you.” So this is my chance to learn to just be. That it’s ok. It’s a new level of feeling for me. Feeling that sadness in knowing that I didn’t have the support  I needed. Feeling for that young child that I wasn’t able to be, the things I wasn’t able to experience bc I was so busy tending to the adults and other kids in the house. Discomfort in knowing that there is this brokenness that still needs to be healed. I’m familiar with devastation  and despair. The last few years have been full of that, but this is a whole new thing. A whole new set of feelings t work through.
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#111: January 27, 2021, 05:04:05 AM
She asked me, “when in your life have you ever just been ok to rest and lean on someone?” I had such a visceral reaction and started crying.

THIS sounds vaguely familiar.... Just slightly differently phrased - "Who can you lean on for support when you need to." Answer - me, myself, I and God....
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#112: January 27, 2021, 05:53:44 AM
Hello,

Quote
How did you know my morning cup of coffee is a peaceful activity?  ;) That is one thing that brings me peace. The simple pleasure of tasting the coffee, feeling the warmth of the mug in my hands, the quite of simply sitting and enjoying the aroma: these simple things bring me peace.

Being in nature brings me peace. Right now it is hearing the crunch of the snow beneath my boots. Observing the sparkling of hoarfrost on the trees. Enjoying the beauty of the scenery around me.

My third thing is spending time with my horse. I have always found horses to be very calming and peaceful.. Mine is a fairly flighty breed, so it's best if I approach him from a place of peacefulness. Over the years, he and I have settled into a very peaceful, relaxing routine together.

This is amazing, especially the horse. Try to build on these activities that bring peace and joy to you heart. Take that same peaceful approach that you use for your horse to other aspects of your life. As Xyzcf stated, it is in the moments of silence, like when you are in nature, you can hear. This is how you detach and cut off the power.

You are doing well and just keep doing the things that bring you peace.

(((((Ready)))))
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#113: February 07, 2021, 11:13:10 AM
Hi all. Just a little update and I could use a little support. Ended up seeing H Friday. Had some tax stuff to give him. First time we’ve interacted since he left besides some passing in public. Had a very nice conversation. All of it was surface level. There were a few times he seemed to want to say something to me, but stopped himself. This is actually his pattern after he has left again. Eventually he will tell me he wants to spend more time together, etc. It’s a pattern I’m use to. I didn’t pressure or encourage him to finish his statement. I stayed in my lane so to speak.

Later that night, I was at boxing. We both attend the same boxing gym but due to Covid, we have to sign up for time slots. The sign up sheet is not private. I always make sure I don’t sign up for a time when he is there bc I wasn’t sure how I would react to seeing him. I signed up for Friday over a week ago. I went earlier in the week and he wasn’t signed up for Friday at that time. Well, at some point he signed up and was there. Ok. I put in my big girl pants and worked out. We chatted a little bit. He tried to flirt with me a little. Also asked me if I was comfortable going to karaoke (nope, our state is horrible about Covid so no way).

Here’s where I’m struggling—I’m feeling the pull to contact him. I won’t. But I don’t like that I feel emotionally “hooked” again after those few interactions where he was like his “normal, pre MLC H.” When I see those snippets of that man I once knew, it gets tricky. I find myself thinking about him a lot today. I’m trying to shift the focus back on myself. I’m also unable to do some on my typical outdoor activities that help me recenter due to extremely dangerous windchills today, and not many of my friends are very Covid cautious so spending time with them is not a great idea either.

I’ll probably jump on the treadmill at some point today. Maybe I can force myself to do a home improvement project or two....
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#114: February 08, 2021, 05:53:39 AM
Well, first off, you know the pattern so you are aware of it.. The game is called "Chase." You are doing you and he gets a little worried that you might be moving forward without his or finally getting out of the rocking chair so he finds a way to make contact and tries to reel you back in...

He wears the mask of "normal H" so that pulls you in as well.... He lets you see just enough of what you want so badly to see that it pulls you back into the fold for a while.  However, you are aware of the dilemma and now you can decide to do something about it, whether that is avoiding his contact or doing something that will help take your mind off his antics for a while or whatever it is you need to get your feet back under you.....

You'll get past this speed bump on the road to progress and, at some point, H is going to realize just exactly how far he is behind you ...

UM

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#115: February 08, 2021, 06:21:44 AM
UM-THANK YOU! That is exactly the reminder I needed.  :) I cannot allow him to "hook" me.
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#116: February 08, 2021, 06:55:37 AM
UM-THANK YOU! That is exactly the reminder I needed.  :) I cannot allow him to "hook" me.

Exactly.... Be "the one that got away."

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

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#117: February 08, 2021, 07:59:29 AM
We once went to Santa Fe and spent the time wandering in the many, many art shops that are there. I was in one store and I started to feel "strange". The shop keeper told me that I was on sensory overload and that I should go outside and have a cup of tea and focus on looking directly into my husband's face. Something that was was very familiar to me, because all the art and colors was too much for my brain to handle.

His face was so well known, that it calmed me. It was an interesting experience.

Even now, when I am with him, I feel more "normal" than any other time, even after all these years. But that connection that is still there comes at a price.

it's one thing to have memories and thoughts in our mind, but quite something else when they are in our physical presence.

There is something that still connects me to him, and that is unsettling. Try as I might, even though he is not the man I once knew, there is still enough there that draws me to him, like a moth is drawn to fire I guess.

It's normal for some people to continue to have really strong reactions to being physically in their presence.
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« Last Edit: February 08, 2021, 08:00:37 AM by xyzcf »
"Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see" Hebrews 11:1

"You enrich my life and are a source of joy and consolation to me. But if I lose you, I will not, I must not spend the rest of my life in unhappiness."

" The truth does not change according to our ability to stomach it". Flannery O'Connor

https://www.midlifecrisismarriageadvocate.com/chapter-contents.html

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#118: March 22, 2021, 12:16:22 PM
I'm back and not in a great place. I read a lot of your posts and find so much wisdom in them. An update: I've been living my life. Working through some childhood wounds. Digging deep. Feeling a bit detached and apathetic from H so of course...he reaches out.

He's been reaching out for the past week or so. Happy little texts. We have spent a few evenings together. No R talks. Just superficial stuff. He talks about his kids and stuff a lot. He did apologize for the affair at one point. So I felt safe enough to look on his social media. MISTAKE.  Turns out, he was out snowshoeing (an activity we always did) with a woman about a week before he started contacting me. When he came back for the long touch and go last year, I was always suspicious he was dating people when he didn't reach out to me. He confirmed that during the touch and go. The lightbulb clicked and now I know exactly why he hasn't been reaching out. It appears they are no longer seeing each other so of course, "back to Marching."

This is where I struggle so much. I know many people have run into this during MLC. I want to keep the door open for him if he gets his act together. I also don't want to be a door mat or a "fall back" plan each time he tries to date someone and it doesn't work out. He always wants to be physically intimate with me too when he starts reaching out. This is how our long touch and goes start. He will reach out. Eventually we will see each other. He will initiate intimacy and, like the replayer he is, he's suddenly back and wanting us to "try again."  I was looking at what happened last year (also in March by the way, and in a span of 2 days he was texting and calling me all the time from when we had met for a drink).

A wise member of this forum told me I can say to him "I'm not going to be physical with you while you are not committed to me, because I'm worth more than that." He always wants to be physical with me and then the long touch and goes start. This is his pattern. Is it ok for me to say "what's different? Why do you suddenly want to spend time with me?" Admittedly I have a lot of fear behind this because that could mean he will be done. But honestly....what do I have to lose? I am partially responsible for staying in this cycle of his. I continue to allow this crazy making behavior and I need to stand up for myself. I need to put some firm boundaries in place.

Unfortunately, I'm not as detached as I should be because I have been cycling since I found out about this date (last night and today).  I'm not sure how others have handled this. How to keep the door open while also letting him know that I am not some toy to be picked up whenever he is lonely, wanting to see me etc, and then tossed aside when he gets scared.
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#119: March 23, 2021, 06:38:16 AM
Hello,

First of all, I am so sorry that he managed to hurt you again.

Quote
Turns out, he was out snowshoeing (an activity we always did) with a woman about a week before he started contacting me.

So, he thinks that when he isn't involved or seeing someone else, then it is okay to pursue you? That he suddenly wants to be intimae with you while he is between his bimbos. That is not only manipulative, but extremely disrespectful towards you. MLC can cause confusion, loss of identity, and create a self-centered mindset, but it doesn't rob anyone of morality. A MLCer has an affair, spends like crazy, and destroys their family because it feels right, that they have found the answer even though they know they are hurting others. That's why you h's actions are deplorable. He doesn't even see you as friends with benefits, he see you only as a benefit.

Quote
I also don't want to be a door mat or a "fall back" plan each time he tries to date someone and it doesn't work out.

Exactly, you don't want to be in a situation where you feel you have to keep an eye on your husband every second because he may be pursuing someone new. That will only lead to a complete breakdown on your part. No, you can't and won't be an option B for a serial cheater. Being with someone who you can't trust is not a healthy marriage, it is putting both of you in a living hell.

Quote
Unfortunately, I'm not as detached as I should be because I have been cycling since I found out about this date (last night and today).

Detaching is very hard when you feel that you are making progress towards your goal of saving your marriage only to have your progress dashed by the reality of how nasty someone can try to manipulate you. Regardless of the situation, no one likes to feel used and when you realize you are being played, it is both embarrassing and hits you right in the gut.

If you want to learn how to handle it, stop elevating him.

Quote
Admittedly I have a lot of fear behind this because that could mean he will be done. But honestly....what do I have to lose?

Eliminate the fear of losing him. He is a liar and a cheat. That's like dropping pennies on the floor, I ponder the loss of energy and discomfort in regards to the money lost and often just leave them in the street. You have to flip the switch, what does he lose when you are done? Detachment is the idea that you are open to any result, that may be with or without him and the deep knowledge either way, you will be just fine.

You are the prize- not him.

Have a good day, be kind to yourself, and know that you will arrive to a better place- it is all within you,

(((((Ready)))))


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#120: March 23, 2021, 07:23:34 AM
Ready-
You are right. He's just a broken man who has lost all morals and values. I know in his mind that "we are separated" gives him this weird justification to date. That's not the man I married. This is a seriously flawed individual. He's looking for happiness and thinking he can find it with the next partner, the next job, the next adventure, the next you name it.

I'm trying to work through that fear of losing him completely. It's hard because we have had these times of "normalcy" during the long touch and goes when he seems lucid and back to himself.  And it is like you said....it seems we are moving towards the goal of saving the marriage. When he's "back" I have access to his passwords, cell phone, key to his business, etc. I don't worry about him pursuing other people. Then away he runs back into the tunnel and I have no idea who that person is or what he's doing.

I like your questions about flipping the switch. He will lose A LOT if he loses me. I'm not perfect but I'm a darn good partner. Recently a few people I know have reached out to me and told me what an inspiration I am to them. That's hard for me to swallow because I'm still recovering from the loss of self-esteem and self-confidence from the affair. But they are right. I have so much going for me. It will be his loss completely.  I am the prize.

Thank you for your kind words.  :)
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#121: March 23, 2021, 07:24:13 AM
I am so sorry MF.

Once you do something once, it gets much easier I'd imagine. Once a line was crossed, much easier to cross it again and again. That is probably the case with many of these men. (or women, I guess). Then the diversion, the endorphins, the chase becomes an elixir.

The problem is, there are A LOT of crazy people out there. They are throwing away something solid for who knows what with whatever baggage and agenda they come with.





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#122: March 23, 2021, 08:00:31 AM
I do think it is important to note that I am standing for my marriage. I am trying to figure out how I do that in a healthy way with heathy boundaries. Not in a, I’m sitting at home pining away from him way, not in a way where o am a doormat, but in a way where I am growing and living my life but am open to reconciliation.
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#123: March 23, 2021, 09:25:49 AM
IMO, no intimacy without commitment. When he comes back, do you insist he have an std check before becoming intimate? If not, you put your health at risk. That alone would make me think twice (or three or four times)  If you choose to "date" your husband knowing that you are one of a possibly never ending string of women, please protect yourself.

What are your boundaries? Do you plan to stand for your marriage by allowing him to treat you as a backup plan? It doesn't seem like whatever marriage comes out of that would be very healthy, like you will take whatever crumbs he gives you. Do you feel like you are being respected when he does this? Do you say "Sorry, no intimacy until we are in an emotionally and morally commited relationship?"  Do you feel good about yourself when you allow him back without any real effort on his part?

Standing doesn't mean accepting poor behavior unless having your marriage is more important than having a healthy marriage of mutual respect. You don't have to be cruel about your boundaries, but you do need to know if you have any and what they are. Do you have any requirements for him to be allowed in your life?
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#124: March 23, 2021, 09:57:06 AM
OF- yes, we have those conversations when he came back the last two times. I insisted in an std check and I was 100% sure there were no other women as I had access to everything. (Plus, he was always always around me). I’m not ok with crumbs. I’ve also made it very clear to him that I’m not ok with him running away because of the kid stuff.

My issue is in these times when he’s trying to come back. The initial reach outs following a running spell. In the past, I’ve waited until he seems invested  before having those tough conversations and he has received them well. This time, I am thinking about just being super up  front. But that’s new for me. I do know I’m scared that if I say something up front, he will run again but honestly, then he’s not ready anyway.
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#125: March 23, 2021, 10:30:46 AM
Hi Marching, I need to catch up on your thread.

I think even though these MLCers are hard to believe most of the time, you still know him better than anyone else. What may work for one person may not work for another.

All you can do, is do what works for you.  If it stops working then try something else.
Advice is never a one size fits all.

My H had no ow either so I understand.  Mine was the same, he was always with me, unless he was at work.  I used to think...if there was someone else she sure isn't getting much of his time.  No texting, no hiding his phone.  All he did was work, come home, eat, sleep...and do it all over again the next day.  He never went anywhere without me.
I believe his work was the alienator.

Anyway I just wanted to say, listen to all the good advice you are getting, but take what you may consider will be helpful for you, and just leave the rest.
Everyone has their own story. The important thing is you are getting nice support here.

Hugs
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A quote from a recovered MLCer: 
"From my experience if my H had let me go a long time ago, and stop pressuring me, begging, and pleading and just let go I possibly would have experienced my awakening sooner than I did."

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#126: March 23, 2021, 05:19:47 PM
It sounds like you have some boundaries that work for you. I may be off, but it sounds like you are worried that if you ask for what you need, you are afraid he will bolt. Is it that you are afraid you might say something that will make him never come back? What do you think you might say to him that would make him run and never come back? Are you afraid that having needs of your own will scare him off?

I ask because I was nothing but polite to my XH even when I was holding a boundary, he stayed for 18 months, then left anyway. No yelling, no argument, he just decided to slink off while I was at work and slink back in from time to time to steal things that were not his, and leave the things that were his. It wasn't anything I said that made him run.

I am concerned for your emotional and mental wellbeing that he comes back, you get attached, he leaves again, you will be devastated again. You don't sound as if you are detached enough yet to be able to observe and say "There he goes again."  You deserve to be able to put all your own boundaries in place to protect you. If he stays or goes, it's not on you, it's on him.
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#127: March 23, 2021, 05:51:47 PM
OR-Yep, you've hit the nail on the head. I am afraid I'm going to say something that will drive him away. I know that's my own fear that I need to deal with, and the reality is: if he bolts because I state a boundary, it's not healthy. If I can't speak my mind or share my needs, that's not healthy.  I also recognize that while he's in MLC (and who knows if he will ever get out) nothing I say or do is really going to matter anyway.

I also have not detached enough. I am able to get to this apathetic, just don't care place when he's gone and that feels good. Sure there are days I miss the man I married, but that's not who he is right now any way. When he comes back, I struggle to remain detached. You're absolutely right that I become too attached and then I'm devastated when he leaves again. I'm working hard on my inner stuff that causes me to attach to quickly. The very weird thing is, it's only with him. Not with other people in my life. *sigh*
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#128: March 23, 2021, 11:12:08 PM
Quote
The very weird thing is, it's only with him. Not with other people in my life. *sigh*

There's a fair chance that, in addition to the normal attachment a normal person has to a normal spouse, there is an element of trauma bonding maybe? When a person is also an object that represents the potential for pain (or the release from it), our brain does some odd back flips I think. And things like fear and control are part of that. Imho attachment is not just about attachment to a person. Just a thought....which might help you have a kinder eye towards yourself....
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« Last Edit: March 23, 2021, 11:13:55 PM by Treasur »
T: 18  M: 12 (at BD) No kids.
H diagnosed with severe depression Oct 15. BD May 16. OW since April 16, maybe earlier. Silent vanisher mostly.
Divorced April 18. XH married ow 6 weeks later.
Healing and growing found here https://littleplotbythesea.wordpress.com

"Option A is not available so I need to kick the s**t out of Option B" Sheryl Sandberg

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#129: March 24, 2021, 02:53:24 AM
Quote from: Marchingforward
Yep, you've hit the nail on the head. I am afraid I'm going to say something that will drive him away. I know that's my own fear that I need to deal with, and the reality is: if he bolts because I state a boundary, it's not healthy. If I can't speak my mind or share my needs, that's not healthy.  I also recognize that while he's in MLC (and who knows if he will ever get out) nothing I say or do is really going to matter anyway.

2 things here:

First (starting with your last part above) - You are 100% correct that NOTHING you do or say will alter his trajectory on his crisis but knowing it in your head and believing it in your heart are two VERY different things and to get from one to the other takes time.

Second - and maybe more pointedly - who is the "him" you are afraid of driving away? The person that you USED to know as your H or the "Bug in the Edgar Suit" that is inhabiting his physical body at this time?  I would suggest that the current version of H (The Body Snatcher version) is NOT someone you want to have hanging around anyway....

You are worth more than being his side piece when he doesn't have anyone else to do the mattress mambo with (I am sorry to be so blunt but no matter how much lipstick we LBS's want to put on the MLC pig, it is STILL a pig). You are worth more than being his "Plan B." And, as long as he is dipping his wick outside the house, you are also sleeping with the OW and anyone else SHE has been with besides your MLCH each time you are intimate with him.  Your own health, your own physical and emotional well-being is worth more than that.
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Atomic BD - 13 Dec 2015
House sold & separated - Mar 2016
Divorce final 30 August 2019

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

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#130: March 24, 2021, 05:56:32 AM
Hello,

Quote
OR-Yep, you've hit the nail on the head. I am afraid I'm going to say something that will drive him away. I know that's my own fear that I need to deal with, and the reality is: if he bolts because I state a boundary, it's not healthy. If I can't speak my mind or share my needs, that's not healthy.  I also recognize that while he's in MLC (and who knows if he will ever get out) nothing I say or do is really going to matter anyway.

This is a great point. You can't let fear be the conduit of your interactions with you MLCer. In fact, the fear itself is a false sense of control. Our little LBSer brains think,  If I say x, he may leave me forever. It also translates to, if I  say y, then he might stay forever. Of course the moment they leave, we blame ourselves and say, "Darn it, I must have said the wrong thing."

How you live your life and how you set boundaries with your MLCer may influence him. When you set a boundary, it is done so in a manner to let him know that it is about your feelings and not to punish him. "I cannot be with someone who I feel is unfaithful because it hurts my self esteem and buts puts me at risk of harm."  The boundary sets respect for yourself and lets him know that he needs to respect you.

If he bolts- fine. Your boundary influenced him that he knows he can't be with you because he can't respect your boundary. That in itself is a sign of respect towards you and it influenced his actions.

Just know, once you set a boundary, it is firm and you can not yield. MLCers are master manipulators and you need to stick to your principles. It has been a long time, but RCR even packed her husbands bags and had him leave. Just know that when you set a boundary, he will in all likelihood, test your boundary and you need to be ready to respond.

Other than that, you are doing fine and I know how hard all of this is and most of all, I know how much you hurt. Please take care of your physical and mental health. During this time, you need to be your own best friend and look after yourself.

Have a great day,

(((((Ready)))))
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#131: March 25, 2021, 08:57:35 AM
I appreciate all of you caring so much and reminding me to care for myself. Rest assured, I am definitely taking care of my physical health. That's why I am setting this boundary with him about intimacy now that I know he was out with someone a few weeks before he started contacting me.

I'm also eating, sleeping and exercising well, and also keeping up with my therapy. It's such a weird thing for me to be a therapist and also struggling with these things. It's like I KNOW how to deal with the anxiety, depression, and grief but I do struggle at times. I don't necessarily think I have any trauma bonding as Thunder suggests but it is worth thinking about. Both H and I were the target of parental alienation from his ex-wife which can absolutely be traumatic. I'm more inclined to think it's based on our attachment styles (anxious attachment (yours truly) and avoidant attachment (him)). I am working really hard to heal my attachment wounds so I can have secure attachments with others. I can say that, while there are still times I FEEL anxious, I am much better at managing that anxiety, shifting my thoughts, and not actually acting on it. For sure 3 years ago I would have completely acted on my anxiety. This time, I came here to post and get some guidance, spent time exercising and shifting thoughts, and did some mindfulness. So progress for me, although I know I've got more work to do.

As much as I would like to NOT be on this journey, there have been some real positives for me. I was completely unaware of some of my internal things that needed to be worked on. MLC has brought those to light and given me the opportunity to start unpacking my own stuff and healing there. One thing I do not want to do is live my life unaware of myself. Unaware of places I may be sabotaging, unhealthy, etc.
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#132: March 25, 2021, 10:35:32 AM
Until recently I never, not for a moment, thought there could be a positive to this ordeal.  Supposedly it is a “gift of time” for us to grow.  Made no sense to me…until last week.

We have been stripped to our core.  “Laid bare”, so to speak.  Now we can see things that were hidden, things that are solely ours.  For me the gifts are clarity and the chance to learn and grow if we have the strength.

Sounds like you are learning and growing and that you obviously have the strength to finish this journey.  Bravo!!
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#133: March 25, 2021, 11:33:25 AM
intimacy now that I know he was out with someone a few weeks before he started contacting me.

No offense to old(er) men on here but I am bewildered at the idea that these old(ish) men seem to having a never ending pool of women. Where do they meet them? Bars? It's so perplexing.

I have a divorced nephew, 39, good looking guy, engineer, MA in robotics, well read, well traveled and he has been divorced for 10 years and can't find a decent woman.

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#134: March 25, 2021, 12:22:48 PM
Quote
can't find a decent woman.

Well, that might be the heart of the issue.....MLC spouses rarely seem to find decent women  ::)....although most of us are a bit taken aback to realise just how big the sandpit of the disordered seems to be lol.
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« Last Edit: March 25, 2021, 12:26:30 PM by Treasur »
T: 18  M: 12 (at BD) No kids.
H diagnosed with severe depression Oct 15. BD May 16. OW since April 16, maybe earlier. Silent vanisher mostly.
Divorced April 18. XH married ow 6 weeks later.
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#135: March 25, 2021, 03:03:46 PM
Treasur-you might be right. I don't talk much about the OW that I discovered 4 years ago. She's a celebrity. I mean really. She has her own TV show and everything.  Three months after I asked him to leave (2 weeks after discovering the EA) I decided to take a trip to visit my best friend. I was, of course, a wreck. I'm on the plane and look over at the lady next to me. She's reading a magazine and there's OW! It was horrible.  The whole thing was a HUGE blow to my self-esteem and self-image. I've now come to realize she's just another broken person. At the time of the EA, she was married. I believe she is now divorced...so sad that two marriages were destroyed because of their actions.

The woman H was snowshoeing with in February--well, she appears to be the standard affair down. She is in her 60s and honestly looks to be a chain smoker and alcoholic. Again, I have no idea what's going on. Shame on me for snooping on his social media. But I honestly laughed out loud when I saw the picture. My H looks stressed out, unhappy and very OLD. I almost didn't recognize him. He looks forced to be in the picture.  She just looks icky.  For all I know they are simply acquaintances that chose to go snowshoeing that day. I have no clue. I'm not asking.

I can say when I met H, he was a kind, thoughtful, caring, emotionally connected, adventurous, fun, amazing person. He's not that person now. The tricky part is when we have these longer touch and goes, that guy seems to be back. But...I can't actually imagine any woman of substance being with him the way he is right now. He's not the man I married. As we have all experienced, he's some weird, alien version of who he was.
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#136: March 25, 2021, 03:09:23 PM
Quote
can't find a decent woman.

Well, that might be the heart of the issue.....MLC spouses rarely seem to find decent women  ::)....although most of us are a bit taken aback to realise just how big the sandpit of the disordered seems to be lol.
BBM ^^That. Right there.

IMO, the MLC person, male or female, finds someone equally disordered, else the other person would go find someone not in MLC. Sure MLC person can love bomb, or wear their mask and fake it, but not usually. If an MLC man has money, he can find a plethora of people who want to help him spend it.  Plus, the places to find non-disordered people are usually not as easy to negotiate. If you go to a bar, you usually find a drinker. This ups the probability that they have alcoholic tendencies. If you go to concerts, not a lot of ways to get to know new people even during breaks. If you like to hike, well, people are usually hiking, not chatting (meetup does have some hiking for non-hikers, though). If you actually followed Covid rules in your area, you might not have gone out at all, but that doesn't seem to stop MLCers. The only place I found people I liked was off roading, woodworking and Ghost Hunting (Meetup, got to love them), and most were attached. But hey, if I walked into a bar that played Celtic music, I could have my pick of desperate drunks. My pick was none, BTW. But at some point there might have been someone normal who turned up to listen to Celtic music if COVID hadn't come along.
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#137: March 26, 2021, 02:25:03 PM
Journaling a little-
Woke up in a bit of a funk today. The weather is getting nicer and this is the time of year H and I used to start planning camping and backpacking trips. I know I can do them on my own. I have done them on my own and enjoyed them. But I am feeling a bit sad today. Missing those pre MLC days and how nice they were. Somedays I am sad and frustrated that this whole horrible thing came hurtling into my life. *sigh*

I'll let myself cry a little bit, then I'll go for a nice walk and practice some mindfulness. I'll enjoy the sun on my face and the little signs of spring that are popping up all over.
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#138: March 28, 2021, 07:18:22 PM
@OffRoad I have been looking at joining some meet ups as well.
I have to find a way to get out and meet people.

I am doing an Intro to Cryptocurrency meet up this week but it is virtual.
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#139: April 28, 2021, 02:35:16 AM
Phew! Finally caught up, I know I’m late to this party but fwiw I don’t think anything we ever say or do will ever change the trajectory of the timeline/crisis etc. At BD I did some deplorable things to clington. And I mean, quite bad. Yet he still clings to me like a stray puppy. I don’t think my actions change a single thing. Weather I’m the nicest ever or the queen b!tch.
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#140: April 28, 2021, 06:01:39 AM
Sachat3-thanks for your insight. I tend to agree that really nothing we are going to do is going to change anything. I was advised by someone to not let H have any access to me. I have set a boundary about sex, and surprisingly he didn't monster at that. He's currently cycling back right now. So I do spend a little bit of time with him. I don't reach out. I don't initiate anything. I will agree to one out of every four things he suggests. If I was to set a boundary not allowing him any access to me, that would need to be for me, and not to manipulate or control him. As it's not, at this point, causing me harm, I am ok spending some time with him. I don't know if I agree with "let them miss you so they come back" therefore don't spend any time with him. During our long touch and goes, he is able to tell me he missed me. He described a really sad life either sitting at his place lonely, or running, running, running, but feeling lonely and miserable even in that process.

I could be quite wrong about this of course. From reading articles by RCR, it seems to me that boomerangs need boundaries at certain times, but that's for the LBS anyway, not the MLCer. Nothing I do or say will speed this up. I'm working on my own life and my own self. Maybe someday I will get to a place where I want nothing at all to do with H. Not there yet. But when if I get to that place, telling him he has no access to me at all will be for me, and not to "hurry" him along this crisis.
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#141: April 28, 2021, 06:45:12 AM
Marching, you seem to be doing the right things here - meaning that the only “rules” you follow are the ones that apply to your particular situation and that help you move forward in your healing. There’s a wide range of what’s right or what’s best for any particular LBS, from No contact all the way up to a live-in with extensive daily interactions. As long as you are moving forward with whatever detachment you need to heal, it’s all okay. As long as you are clear about your boundaries, it’s all okay. And I agree with Sacha, nothing we do is going to measurably affect their crisis, so our actions are about what is best for us.
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#142: April 28, 2021, 09:48:37 AM
Curiosity-Thanks.  :D It's sure not easy, particularly with a boomerang/clinging boomerang. And given that we've had two longer touch and goes (6 months and 9 months), it can be quite confusing. I'm settling back into myself which is really nice.  I've got lots of super good things going for me, including lots of referrals to my business in the last few weeks. Also a new contract with our county to provide equine assisted therapy to trauma kiddos.  :D

I love my H so I feel like I will always have a bit of hope that he can navigate this crisis. But, this is his crisis. I can do nothing to speed or hurry it along. I can use this time to grow and work on the things within me that need to be worked on. I'm sure I will have days along the way when I struggle. That's part of the journey. And who know...maybe he will get to the place where he wants to return and I don't want that?  Anything is possible.
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#143: May 04, 2021, 10:14:08 AM
Time for an update.  Over the past few weeks he has been texting me several times a week. Mostly stupid stuff, but whatever. So H came by last week. I set the boundary on physical contact.  He didn't monster about it which surprised me a bit. I didn't think I would hear from him again, but surprisingly, he reached out the next day. Just a superficial friendly text. I got two more over the next two days. Suddenly the contact stopped which is what I figured would happened.  It does have me wondering a bit about the "fog." It felt like my pre-mlc H was sort of peeking his head out of the tunnel over the past few weeks. I'm sure he got a bit scared about feeling so good around me (he basically said as much), so now he's back into the tunnel. But this is bringing up some questions for me about the "fog" or the "tunnel."

It seems to me that after he draws close to me, he runs off. Whatever. I know this cycle so it's not surprising. What is surprising to me is his memory when he's back in the fog. For the past few weeks when he's been reaching out, he says things that tells me he remembers things, or is thinking about me. Today, I ran into him at the local coffee shop. Keep in mind, I think he's run a bit back into the tunnel. We chatted a bit. He launched into this whole thing about my step-daughter looking at a house for sale. He and I had this exact conversation three weeks ago at the gym. During that time, he was drawing really close to me which culminated to the visit last week and me setting the boundary on physical intimacy. I'm wondering if anyone that has contact with their MLC sees this?

The reality is, I do want to R. I am standing for my marriage. I'm not letting his crisis keep me stuck. However, I am curious about how it is possible that even one week ago he was remembering things we had talked about, like telling me "SD and her fiancé didn't get that house," to today stating, "well SD and her fiancé have been looking at houses. They looked at one that would have been perfect" (this is the house I already knew about it), And he proceeded to describe the entire house which we had already discussed a few weeks ago. *Sigh*  I'm curious if anyone has seen this? Thoughts about it. Etc.
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#144: May 04, 2021, 11:18:48 AM
Hi Marching,

I have seen everything you are describing.  Over a year ago when my H was deep in the tunnel he would remember things and then run away again.  He would have spurts of clarity and then I think would realize that what he was doing was so wrong and hid again.  I liken it to "testing the waters"  maybe anchor checking to see if you will still be there for him?  This is where I put a physical boundary  on our relationship as well.  He was all over the place.  This is where I had to stand still the most.

The memory thing is very real.  The MLCer has a brain of swiss cheese.  I started to write things down that he didn't remember as I thought it may be me that was losing my mind.  The worst was we were going to meet somewhere for dinner.  I set the time and told him I would meet him there.  He got on the train and forgot to get off.  He called me when he was way past the restaurant because he didn't remember what our plan was.  I thought many times he might have a brain tumor.  Everyone in our company noticed it as well.  He became known for forgetting things.  His memory pre MLC was pretty amazing.  We joked with him that he remembered nursing on his mom as a baby. 

It's hard to watch this and not be worried.  My H's memory is slowly returning.  It's not so obvious now but it's still there.  I wonder if MLC will have a permeant effect on them here.   Just wanted to share my experience as it seems what you are seeing is similar to my situation. 

Roo
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#145: May 04, 2021, 11:41:19 AM
Marching....

I am seeing the same memory issues.  They come and go.  They were bad prior to BD.  Got better.  Recently (like the last few months), they seem to get worse.  Then spurts of being better.  Then worse again. 

I contribute it to cycling.  The worst being when he is falling back into the tunnel.  The best is when he is has the short Near Normal episodes. 

You got this!  Keep Marching Forward!
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10.29.17 BD-Moved out to OW/A began in  6.17
3.5.18 OW moved away/H moved in with F
3.19.18  H moved home into spare room 
7.14.18  Moved to be with OW (another state)
9.4.18  Moved back-Living with Parents 
11.1.18  OW moved back.  H living w/her in D's basement room. 
11.18 - H started visiting on holidays
11.26.18 Call from H.  BIL died suddenly.
1.19 - H announced to my inner circle that he moved to sisters  inc all belongings
2.19  H volunteers to house and dog sit whenever.
Spring 19  H visiting house and doing chores on a regular basis
7.20 OW2 Confirmed  5 hours away 
Summer of 2020 Less help with chores
Spring 2021 - helping with chores again

4.83 Started Dating
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#146: May 04, 2021, 02:01:23 PM
Roo--Thanks for the information. It's quite mind boggling for sure. Another weird thing he said at the coffee shop was "oh, I finally found those roof racks I was telling you about for the new car."  :o Nope...never happened. He told me he got a new car. Nothing about roof racks. Crazy making. I would question my own sanity if it wasn't that I have a really good memory and I'm 110% certain about what we've talked about.

I'm also relieved to hear that you set the boundary on physical intimacy around this point in the journey. Mine is all over the place too.  What's interesting to me is that one week ago he was wanting to be physically intimate, telling me he can't be around me because he's too tempted to touch me, followed up by "what's wrong with me? I'm so weird" (not weird to want to be physically intimate with your wife but oh well), can I just spend time with you, I miss being with you, trying to touch me, etc. Today, it was like I had cooties.  :o Standing awkwardly near me but also sort of away from me. *sigh* Yes, it's something else.

Sam--Thanks! Yes, I think the whole falling back into the tunnel is really what's happening. It's so frustrating to watch them fall back when we get these glimpse of the person they once were.
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#147: May 04, 2021, 02:47:25 PM
Quote
What's interesting to me is that one week ago he was wanting to be physically intimate, telling me he can't be around me because he's too tempted to touch me, followed up by "what's wrong with me? I'm so weird" (not weird to want to be physically intimate with your wife but oh well), can I just spend time with you, I miss being with you, trying to touch me, etc. Today, it was like I had cooties.  :o Standing awkwardly near me but also sort of away from me. *sigh* Yes, it's something else.

Marching, in my case when it started to feel like I was with a teenager I cut it off.  It was so strange, like he was just discovering girls  ::) and I was his new girlfriend.  No thanks.  I went through about a year straight of him acting like this.  This is where he got into trouble with woman at work (Who sued him for sexual harassment) He was most likely acting on this teenaged boy impulse.  It's creepy to say the least for a 55 year old man.

I still see flashes of his teenage self.  They are less and less.  Just wait until he mentions going somewhere with you that he actually went with someone else. My case it was OW 1.  When I explain this to him now he is confused and then a lightbulb goes off and he is silent.  It doesn't bother me like it used to.  I just say "yep, that wasn't me"  He did a period of about 6-8 months of head spinning cycling.  Hold onto your sanity during this time.  Try not to make sense of any of it, it's a waste of your time :)

Roo
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#148: May 04, 2021, 08:41:11 PM
Reading your thread is like looking at my own experience, except not with such long T&Gs.  They are so hard to recover from—esp the longer ones. And you’ve endured some doozies. You definitely have the right mindset to get yourself through it.  Good for you. I am always so emotionally exhausted and spent after.

Had to laugh at the high school-ish antics. But for the crisis, can you ever imagine starting to date one of these guys? Omg. And the memory loss is for real. My H must have repeated the same story 10 times during this last time around. I actually thought he was joking.

Anyway, you sound very strong and level headed.  Huge accomplishment with a Stage 5 clinger always coming around.

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#149: May 05, 2021, 05:13:21 AM
KIT-You made me laugh out loud. "Level 5 clinger" that's exactly right. Yes, I am ok now. I definitely have my moments. I find the worst to be following the long T&G's because they are so long that I convince myself that he is finally done with this crisis. The most recent three weeks when he was texting and trying to find ways to see me...that I knew wasn't going to stick so it's easier to stay detached. The hardest part for me during the T&G's is that he is literally sharing all sorts of emotional stuff, talking about the future, acting like the mature man I married and not this scared little boy. So I am very emotionally exhausted and do sink into depression right after he leaves. Good news is those depressed times are shorter and shorter.  One of the hardest parts for me following a long T&G with H is the sudden silence. I mean, he is sooooooo attentive, present, communicative during the T&Gs that the very sudden empty house and lack of communication gets to me. Oh well.  Nothing I can do about it but keep on keeping on.

The memory thing is so weird. I'm glad to hear many others are experiencing this. My H will say, "Stop me if I've told you this..." then proceed to tell me something I don't know about. Fine no problem. Then he will launch into something we have already talked about multiple times as if it's completely new information to me. I use to just listen. Now I'll say things like (in the recent example about my step daughter house hunting), "Oh, right. Is this the house with the nice fenced yard?" To which he will say "Huh? Did we already talk about this."  :o ???

No, I cannot imagine dating someone who is in a crisis. I often think about how appealing my H really is. I mean, I love him but the rose colored glasses are off at this point. The reality is: he's almost to retirement age, has no savings, a marginal business, lives in a sort of crumby apartment, and has super unmanaged ADHD and anxiety. Does he have good qualities? Yes of course he does. Is he a great catch---ummm...not the way he currently is. It's hard for me to admit that, but probably good for my own healing. The man he was pre-MLC was a very amazing person. The man he is now--it's heartbreaking really.
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#150: May 05, 2021, 06:44:28 AM
Exactly—we know the people they were when we married them. Now they are a shell of that person.  My Hs OW is beyond broken to keep chasing him as if he were the answer to all her prayers, and yet she told me how often they break up and fight. Sounds amazing!

And that silence after they run back in the tunnel afterwards is deafening. But like you say, we move on quicker and quicker.
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#151: May 05, 2021, 08:55:57 AM
But like you say, we move on quicker and quicker.

And it is time for you to move on too... to a new thread!

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Newbie here: my story
#152: May 05, 2021, 04:02:12 PM
Ursa-
You find the best pics.

I think I created the new thread correctly if you want to close this one. If I didn’t do it right please let me know.

Link to new thread
https://mlcforum.theherosspouse.com/index.php?topic=11771.0
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