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Author Topic: My Story Wife MLC - BD (Late July) and Path Forward over Past 3 Months

H
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This is my first post outlining my story since the BD in late July when my W told me that "She loves me but is not in love with me".   I found this out after discovering an EA through W's odd behavior and some inappropriate texts.   This led to her blaming me for our marital problems and me doing everything in August to try to save the marriage.   Unfortunately, I did not understand MLC at the time and was only pushing my W away from me.    September then went into complete chaos as she started lying about her location and had some nights of excessive drinking.   This was not the wife that I have now for our years of marriage.  I finally started to read about MLC and I also found this site.   

After the chaos in September, I finally started to first focus on me and take care of myself.   I am exercising, sleeping well, and focused on taking care my two children.  I also have been seeing a counselor and the session have helped me handle this extremely hurtful situation.

I wanted to send a note to everyone that your stories and experience have been really helpful as I start this unwanted journey.   Intellectually, I know what I need to do to take care of myself, detach for the time being, and lower my expectations for my W while she is in the tunnel of her MLC.   At the same time, emotionally this is so challenging because my W and I have already been through so much as she had life-threatening complications from surgery years ago.   We made it through almost 2 years of recovery, and I stood by her side as she fought for her life.

As I have reflected on our current situation, I am taking on honest look at myself and do see that there are things that I need to do to be a better husband and father.   For now,  I am working on myself, and I know my wife needs to work on herself and figure things out.   Hoping to reconnect with my W and eventually work on our marriage in time.   Have no idea when and if that will happen.     
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W - 42
M - 45
Together 19 years, M 16
2 kids
BD - July 2020
W Left Home - January 2021
W Filed for D - May 2021

5
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Hello Heavenly,
I am by no means a Veteran but one of them will come in and share their wisdom very soon.  I just want to tell you if this indeed MLC there are a lot of us here riding the crazy train with you  In the meantime dive in and do your research it will help you navigate through the convoluted journey you are on.

If i can give u any advice, understand there are no quick fixes, this is a marathon not a sprint.  So buckle up and prepare yourself for a different life experience.

5hil
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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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C
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HeavenlyFocus,

Welcome my friend. I just started this in July as well and it has been a rollercoaster of emotions. My anger is what seems to keep surfacing as of late. I punish myself looking at her Pinterest page and constantly seeing things about soulmates and picking up and starting over elsewhere. It's really annoying and ridiculous to read. When I read them, my knee jerk reaction is to message her and say "stop pinning this $h!te and just go then. Live your little dreams, but your ass is going to be dead to me."
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Married 14 years
5 children - S17, SS16, D11, D8, S5
BD: 23 July 2020
EA: Aug-Nov 2020. Different country, all online.
Separated: 5 April 2021

H
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5hil,

Thank you for your words of advice.  I understand this a marathon and we just passed mile marker 1.  Will take things one day at a time and understand there will be ups and downs with this journey.

Old Pilot,  Thank you the welcoming to the board and for all the resources.  I have started to review these resources previously which is helping me as I start my journey.  I am working on me and am using the time I have been given to find my best "me".  Appreciate  your support.

CastleofGlass, I understand how you feel and I feel the same way.  My W is currently not in a good place and I know is messaging/talking to someone.   Even with this going on, she told me tonight she is in a better place and was implied  she wants to make things better.   She has been going to counseling so she is at least working on herself too to some extent.   It is hard to know what to believe so my main focus is on being the best me.  I also know what I want in my marriage in the long-term but understand that is not possible currently.   It is up to my W  to figure out her issues and will see if she is able to eventually provide the love and commitment that a healthy marriage requires.    No/low expectations in the near term while high expectations for the long-term health of the marriage.    Will see how things play out.  Taking things one day of of time but it sure can be frustrating and  heart crushing during this dark time.

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W - 42
M - 45
Together 19 years, M 16
2 kids
BD - July 2020
W Left Home - January 2021
W Filed for D - May 2021

H
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I had a question from the group.  I currently am working on me and have a good understanding of what my W is going though and the actions that I need to take.   

One significant challenge that I have is that my W  has not only disconnected from me but also some of her closest girlfriends and even her parents.   I have encouraged her to spend time with her girlfriends and connect with her parents but she doesn't seem to initiate the contact.   She clearly doesn't want face some of the poor decisions that she has made and receive any tough love.

How did you approach your MLC situation with your close family and friends.   Some of the her friends don't understand what is going on but do feel disconnected from her.    Appreciate everyone's insights and sharing how you approached your MLC situation with family and friends.
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W - 42
M - 45
Together 19 years, M 16
2 kids
BD - July 2020
W Left Home - January 2021
W Filed for D - May 2021

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How did you approach your MLC situation with your close family and friends.   Some of the her friends don't understand what is going on but do feel disconnected from her.    Appreciate everyone's insights and sharing how you approached your MLC situation with family and friends.

If you mean how you approach your Mid-lifer to deal with the situation with family and friends, the answer is : YOU DON'T!   Her choosing to not keep in contact is NOT your circus, NOT your monkeys.

If you are talking about how YOU deal with them, you need to decide what sort of R you wish to continue having with them. Where there is any appearance of them having to choose sides, you may be setting yourself up for disappointment. If the are coming to you and asking questions, they need to be directed to your Mid-Lifer. You do NOT want to go sticking your hand into that fire by telling them that your Mid-Lifer is .. well ... a Mid-Lifer.... You can validly assume that anything that you say to them can and will be reported back in some fashion, even if it is not with bad intent....

If it is with YOUR family and friends, you can choose to be honest with them: she is going through some sort of identity crisis and is on a different path or something like that. No need to bad-mouth her (that would be contraproductive anyway)but just being blunt that she is "experiencing technical difficulties" and that if there are questions, they need to be addressed to her because she is making her own choices now over which you have no information or control....
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« Last Edit: November 05, 2020, 04:26:10 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
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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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Welcome to the forum, HF!   May you find it supportive and helpful.

One significant challenge that I have is that my W  has not only disconnected from me but also some of her closest girlfriends and even her parents.   I have encouraged her to spend time with her girlfriends and connect with her parents but she doesn't seem to initiate the contact.   She clearly doesn't want face some of the poor decisions that she has made and receive any tough love.
 

This is NOT your challenge.  It’s 100% hers.  The sooner you can discern what’s on your side of the street and leave hers alone, the better you will be able to detach and survive, and then thrive.   She makes her own choices and there will be consequences, including soured relationships.

It’s difficult for some LBS to step away from advising, hovering, nudging, and we refer to ‘love’ as the reason(excuse?)  Phew, don’t I know all about that!  However, once you step back from it all, you free yourself to focus on you, the person you CAN control.   And one side effect I found out was that it is a most loving thing I could have done for my floundering MLCer.  He was free from my interference, however small, and had space to work on himself, bearing all the nasty fallouts from his atrocious choices.       

None of this is easy and it takes time to sort ‘yours’ and ‘mine’ because couple can and do become codependent over the years.  That is one of the self introspection I was forced to do.   I suspect many of us had to go through this step...

Wishing you all the best.
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« Last Edit: November 05, 2020, 05:26:58 AM by Acorn »
Feb 2015: BD. 
Dec 2017: Seriously reconnecting

H never left home.

H
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Thank you UrsaMajor and Acorn for your feedback and recommendations.   I do understand that it is 100% her challenge and I know I need to let go.   I guess it's been hard because I have been her support as she had dealt with chronic health issues over the entirety of our marriage.   I know I need to do this.

As for her family and her parents, they definitely know she is not a good place as we had a pretty big incident recently when they visited from out of town.   I would prefer to keep the details private but what happened made it pretty clear that she is in a crisis and I was put in a position where I had to explain my W issues.  Since then I have been supportive but letting my W handle the relationship.   I will not initiate communication but also will tactfully explain where the relationship when we see them during the holidays.   Will keep it high-level and will leave it my wife to talk about the details her with her family. (Currently planning to visit but who knows what will happen)

Lastly, the most difficult challenge has been how to handle this with "Our Friends".   Our best friends respectively are with another couple and my male friend has been a great support to me allowing me to vent and process this during our crisis.   His wife has reached out to my W and had some initial conversations in person.       Hoping my wife continues to have conversations with her friend who I know will provide "tough" love regarding my wife's current decisions and behavior. 

Understand that I have no control at this point but trying to work through and process everything going on.   Will continue to focus on me and detaching from my W. 
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W - 42
M - 45
Together 19 years, M 16
2 kids
BD - July 2020
W Left Home - January 2021
W Filed for D - May 2021

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Hi Heaven,

It is very typical for these MLCer's to turn away from friends and family.  It's most likely their guilt driving this.
People who love and care about her will be honest with her and they do not want to hear it.

She may find new friends who will accept her story because they don't know her, or you, which makes it easier for her, but they will be shallow friends.

I would just suggest you leave her completely alone.  No trying to get her to do anything.  Trust me there is nothing you can say or do to change her mind.  All it will do is anger her and make things worse.

Your job now is to take good care of yourself, have no relationship talks with her, and live your life the best you can.  I know how very hard this is, but it will get easier with time.
She will most likely be gone emotionally for a long time.

I'm glad to hear you are exercising, sleeping well, and focused on taking care your two children. There is nothing you can do for her, but you can do good things for yourself and your kids.  Focus on that, my friend.
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« Last Edit: November 05, 2020, 08:00:16 AM by UrsaMajor »
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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One significant challenge that I have is that my W  has not only disconnected from me but also some of her closest girlfriends and even her parents.   I have encouraged her to spend time with her girlfriends and connect with her parents but she doesn't seem to initiate the contact.   She clearly doesn't want face some of the poor decisions that she has made and receive any tough love.

How did you approach your MLC situation with your close family and friends.   Some of the her friends don't understand what is going on but do feel disconnected from her.    Appreciate everyone's insights and sharing how you approached your MLC situation with family and friends.

As others have said, you dont.   Anything you do towards her, will be perceived as "controlling".   You really cannot help her out in anyway and just need to let her go and figure this out. 

She will remove herself from a lot of people.  In my sitch, my W defriended our friends on SM.  She hasn't spoken to them since January, when BD hit.   I did tell her that it was her responsibility to repair those relationships, but that was up to her, if she ever chose to.   Thats back when I wasn't aware of what was happening.

Now that I understand its MLC, I have left my W alone.   I dont speak to her and I certainly dont give her advice.   I refuse to give her a reason to label me as controlling. 

Its a hard journey this crisis, and its one that will go on for years.   The best thing you can do for yourself, is to step aside, leave your W to her journey, and focus on your healing.  Because if you allow yourself to get sucked into her BS, you'll never heal

Remember, not all MLC'ers return after their crisis.   So its important that you detach as if your marriage is over.  Focus on you, cleaning up your side of the street so that IF she returns, you can be a lighthouse.
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Me (W) 44 - W 42
BD - Jan 17, 2020

H
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Thank you Thunder and LBS_Les for the advice.   Unfortunately, my W has been an emotional wreck and it is starting to really impact our kids.   I do have counseling scheduled for our kids so doing what I can to make sure they have support.

As for  the W, she had an argument with my daughter tonight and I had to try to calm things down.  She then started being negative saying all these things to me in front of the kids putting me down as a father.  I tried to redirect and calm the situation down  but it was extremely difficult.   Afterward we had a one-on-one and she again started talking about us "not being on the same page".   I then got e motional and confronted her about an alleged affair that she has been having saying how can we be on the same page.  I've known for about two months but she still hasn't admitted it.   I haven't talked about it since September.   I left to conversation stating that I know she needs time to work things out, and I will give her the space to do that.   I told her I still want to work on our marriage but know that it will take time.  Will leave it her to decide if she wants to work on the marriage.   Ultimately, she needs to make a decision because currently she is tearing our family apart and hurting our children.

This journey is so awful.  Will give her space and only will talk about our marriage with a counselor.   I am done having these conversations at home.   

Prayers for a better day tomorrow. 

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« Last Edit: November 05, 2020, 09:48:24 PM by HeavenlyFocus »
W - 42
M - 45
Together 19 years, M 16
2 kids
BD - July 2020
W Left Home - January 2021
W Filed for D - May 2021

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I'll echo the advice you've been getting. It is so hard not to help someone whom you love when you see them in pain, but you really have to get any notion of controlling or fixing the situation out of your head. My xw called me controlling for things like asking where she was when she was drunk so I could drive her home rather than letting her drive herself.

In the case of my xw, she did cut herself off from healthy friends and found a new group of friends who encouraged her in her new unhealthy lifestyle and "didn't judge her." These were miserable women. Just miserable. Don't be surprised if your W finds some cheerleaders who encourage her to be selfish.

As for your kids, I think the best thing you can do to help them to be OK is to be OK yourself. Eat, breathe, drink water, sleep, exercise, pray...
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"I'm slowly learning to expect nothing and appreciate everything."

Together 28 years, married 27. Two adult kids, ours

BD #1: 2016 - EA  |  BD #2: 2018 - FA

W moved out - June 2019 | OM#3 - July 2019
W asks for divorce - August 2019 | Divorce final - September 2019 | Moving on

My thread: https://mlcforum.theherosspouse.com/index.php?topic=11537.new#new

New Here? Read this! http://mlcforum.theherosspouse.com/index.php?topic=1149.0

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Welcome HF

Sorry that you had to join the s-show that is MLC.

Definitely focus on you and the kids.  And take care of your body right now.
One foot in front of the other.
Try to stay out of her circus and her monkeys as much as you can while still being in the same home.
Sending hugs.
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"Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass - it's about learning to dance in the rain."

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H
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Thank you FaithWalker and PJ Will be OK for your feedback and support.

My W came to me tonight and indicated that she didn't want to be in limbo and wanted to give it a couple of months to work things out.   She is living in our home in a spare bedroom and we have been still doing family things together while giving each other space.   She has been more engaged at home with our kids lately and maybe does want to work on the marriage.  At the same time, she hasn't been completely honest with me about a potential extramarital relationship and still seems confused and angry monstering from time-to-time.

She also has communicated some valid concerns about our marriage and me.    I know there are things that I need to work on so I don't put the entire blame on her with where our marriage is currently.   Just trying to navigate this difficult time and try to be the best husband and father that I can be.

She mentioned scheduling an overnight so we can just talk and get away to start working things out?    Part of me really wants to schedule this overnight date but the other part me is concerned that she is not ready and maybe I'm not either with all the hurt.   Thinking it may be a good idea if I can set up boundaries for the evening.    She is very emotional right now and still blaming me most of the time.  In addition to blaming,  she is communicating to me her needs of what she wants with her marriage.

Would appreciate advice on how to best handle this overnight date and future communication.   Thinking we need to start the discussions on what we individually can do to be our best selves and then focus on getting on the same page with parenting which she is interested in.   Maybe set boundaries on  discussing some of the key issues in our marriage for now as I'm not sure either of us ready.     Any advice on the best approach would be greatly appreciated.

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W - 42
M - 45
Together 19 years, M 16
2 kids
BD - July 2020
W Left Home - January 2021
W Filed for D - May 2021

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Thank you FaithWalker and PJ Will be OK for your feedback and support.

My W came to me tonight and indicated that she didn't want to be in limbo and wanted to give it a couple of months to work things out.   She is living in our home in a spare bedroom and we have been still doing family things together while giving each other space.   She has been more engaged at home with our kids lately and maybe does want to work on the marriage.  At the same time, she hasn't been completely honest with me about a potential extramarital relationship and still seems confused and angry monstering from time-to-time.

She also has communicated some valid concerns about our marriage and me.    I know there are things that I need to work on so I don't put the entire blame on her with where our marriage is currently.   Just trying to navigate this difficult time and try to be the best husband and father that I can be.

She mentioned scheduling an overnight so we can just talk and get away to start working things out?    Part of me really wants to schedule this overnight date but the other part me is concerned that she is not ready and maybe I'm not either with all the hurt.   Thinking it may be a good idea if I can set up boundaries for the evening.    She is very emotional right now and still blaming me most of the time.  In addition to blaming,  she is communicating to me her needs of what she wants with her marriage.

Would appreciate advice on how to best handle this overnight date and future communication.   Thinking we need to start the discussions on what we individually can do to be our best selves and then focus on getting on the same page with parenting which she is interested in.   Maybe set boundaries on  discussing some of the key issues in our marriage for now as I'm not sure either of us ready.     Any advice on the best approach would be greatly appreciated.

Ok, first things first.   Please remember in their MLC, "Believe NOTHING they say and only HALF of what they do".

Your W is VERY confused right now.   And I am not saying its not possible for her to want to work on the M, but she may be cycling.  Fear may be preventing her from walking away, pockets of clarity may prevent her from leaving.   But ultimately, until she reconciles those demons in her mind, she will always be thinking of leaving.  So hold ZERO expectations on what she says and how things are going.   One day she may be all in, another day she may be all out and screaming for divorce. 

The confusion is very common early on in Replay.   My W was confused and would be in touch with me to keep a connection.   Now she's off in the tunnel and we no longer speak.  In the early days, I could hear the confusion in her words, she didn't want to go, she thought she might be making the biggest mistake of her life, she wanted to be friends.   Now we barely speak, and are two strangers living in this world.

As for discussing what you individually can work on?  Thats trying to control the situation. You are trying to control an outcome in chaos.

What I suggest is just having a discussion and listening.   No planning, no trying to debate her words, just listen and validate where she drops truth bombs.

They spew a lot of confusion,  but if you are actively listening, you can often read between the lines.   Then, shift your focus on how you can clean that side of the street up, on your own.   Your W can say to you "You dont do the dishes enough".   so you start to do the dishes every day, 3 times a day, and she will still be mad, and then find another reason as to why she cant work on the M.

You have to be patient.   This is still very early on, and very new.   This is a marathon, not a sprint, and for her to Properly go through her MLC, this will take years.

Any Reconciliation of the marriage this soon risks another BD down the road.
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Me (W) 44 - W 42
BD - Jan 17, 2020

H
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Thank you for the advice and encouragement.  My gut tells me she is not ready for the deep conversations and I need to just listen and validate as you recommended.  This is so emotionally challenging but I have the strength to be patient.  Will keep taking things one day at a time.
   
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W - 42
M - 45
Together 19 years, M 16
2 kids
BD - July 2020
W Left Home - January 2021
W Filed for D - May 2021

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Just wanted to send a quick update that I have had a great two days.   I finally started to feel a shift in my perspective from worrying about my MLC W and instead focusing on my own journey.   

Also was able to communicate effectively the need to move her overnight idea to work on our marriage to a dinner date instead with more focus on parenting as a start.   She is not ready to truly work on our marriage and address the difficult challenges in our marriage.   Figure we can start to get on the same page with parenting and see how she does in time.   W said she wanted to give our marriage a few months  to see if things get better but I can't worry about timelines or what she says.   She needs to work on herself and I will continue to take things one day at a time.    I will be ok no matter what direction our marriages does.   
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W - 42
M - 45
Together 19 years, M 16
2 kids
BD - July 2020
W Left Home - January 2021
W Filed for D - May 2021

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Great update HF.  Think of it as a marathon and not a sprint.
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Survival Instructions for Newbies

The Apology Every LBS Deserves

My Journey

"Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass - it's about learning to dance in the rain."

"Don't become a container for bitterness.  It's a toxin that destroys what it's carried in."

H
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Thank you FaithWalker!
I feel like I am 2nd mile marker and have a long journey to go.  My detachment is going well except when I cycle into anger responding to selfish attitude of my MLC W.  The thing that is eating me up inside is the lying about the EA and most likely PA.   I can see this is eating her up inside too and yet she continues to lie and live in her lost world. 

Question for the group.  How did you handle the lying?

She did bring up MC again and I sent her options.  I empowered her to take the initiative and schedule the MC.  Don’t think she is ready and will see if she schedules.  She also was gone for work (not sure if it was really work) the other night and texted our two D and me but only addressed my daughters in the texts.  Very weird times but will continue to press forward.  I committed to God to love and support her and will do so from afar right now.  One day at a time. 

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W - 42
M - 45
Together 19 years, M 16
2 kids
BD - July 2020
W Left Home - January 2021
W Filed for D - May 2021

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Question for the group.  How did you handle the lying?


In one ear and out the other.  Treated H’s words as just sound bites with no meaning, equivalent to ‘blah blah blah blah blah....’.
Well, except when he talked about his FOO issues. 


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Feb 2015: BD. 
Dec 2017: Seriously reconnecting

H never left home.

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Heavenly -
I agree with Acorn - words to be ignored.
DO NOT try to reason or confront their lies because they will just try to tell you that you're crazy and seeing things/paranoid, etc.
Trust your gut.
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Hey HF,

Good!!! Really Good!!!

Yes, you're got it: One day at a time. Time really is your friend here and the one constant is change. Drag it along, string it along and see it change as it dangles in the wind..... all the while working to make yourself better.

Good job man!! Keep going.

-SS
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I can't say it any better than Acorn - in one ear and out the other.

Or treat the lies like the latest COVID conspiracy theory the cashier at 7-11 feels compelled to share with you. "So the virus came from alien lizard people? Hmm. Very interesting. Thanks for sharing."

But seriously, you're doing really well. Definitely better than I did at the same point. It's so hard not to go into detective mode and/or fixer mode. But all you can do is be that lighthouse standing strong. If you decide to jump into the whirlpool and rescue her, you're only going to get pulled down. Very hard to do when someone you love is sinking, but it's all you can do. Keep your focus where it needs to be and it will be better. No promises it will work out the way you want it. But it will be better. Be good to yourself!
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"I'm slowly learning to expect nothing and appreciate everything."

Together 28 years, married 27. Two adult kids, ours

BD #1: 2016 - EA  |  BD #2: 2018 - FA

W moved out - June 2019 | OM#3 - July 2019
W asks for divorce - August 2019 | Divorce final - September 2019 | Moving on

My thread: https://mlcforum.theherosspouse.com/index.php?topic=11537.new#new

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Thank you Acorn, Seahorse, Standing Strong, and PJ for your wisdom and laughs. (Alien lizards lol.)

Quick update:  W went to IC and came back with a suggestion for a MC that has more experience.  MC has experience to deal with marital issues that we are dealing with.  Empowering W to schedule the appointments.  Still want to be cautious that she is not just trying to check the box and at the same time give her space and time to eventually do the work.   Will drag it along as SS suggested.

My W is emotionally fragile right now although she has been through significant medical trauma in her life so she is a fighter.   Will tell her story some day and I know the fighter is still in there somewhere.   

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HF, sounds like you are going about this the right way. If your W is genuinely seeking to do the work, on herself and on your marriage, giving her room to take the initiative seems like a good idea. You are proceeding with caution but proceeding all the same, and that is all you can do.
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Quick update.  Really proud of myself the past 24 hours as I handled W's first "work overnight" in awhile very well.  (Not sure it was  true work overnight)  I didn't ask her about the trip and just gave her space.  W also is trying to schedule MC appointment today but waffling a little bit since therapist calendar is a couple of weeks out.   I can go into the on-line calendar and book an appointment now but I want her to book the appointment.   Without her wanting to truly work in MC, the visits will be meaningless.   Tough for me to hold back as I am a planner but I know this is the only way.  We'll see if she does follow  through with scheduling the appointment.  I am not bringing it up after my initial text and phone conversations.  Keeping my expectations low for now.

I also played tennis with one of my friends last night.   It was so great to be outside in a safe environment while having some quality time with a good friend.   During the pasta couple of years, I have neglected myself somewhat so this MLC situation ultimately will be good for me regardless of the outcome in my marriage.   Time to GAL.   
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I also just scheduled time to consult a lawyer just in case to protect myself.  Feeling very empowered right now.
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Definitely good things, HF!
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Survival Instructions for Newbies

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Thx FW for the support.

Time to journal the latest update.    Brokenness and hope together.  My W and I finally talked for the first time in over a month.   We originally had scheduled time for our family to meet up with other families, but my wife was not ready to get together as she is not ready to face some of her past behavior and decisions.

While we discussed our marital challenges  today, I really tried to listen and validate her feelings.   Although I don't think our marriage is the primary cause for the MLC, it does appear that our marital challenges did contribute to her MLC.

The positive news is that she did appear to commit to going to counseling together.  Although she suggested previously, I am not sure she really wanted to go to counseling. Today I got a different vibe that she meant at least giving it a shot.    We had a fun family night tonight for the first time in a awhile.   This gives me hope.

At the same time, I will continue to take things one day at a time.   My Dad had a MLC and never went to counseling.   My dad was in the MLC for over 10 years and finally came out of the tunnel with his 3rd wife.

As for my W, I don't know what will happen.  She at least appeared to peak out of the tunnel tonight.  I will take it for now and continue to focus on my journey.  Hope she comes along for the ride.   I am working to make myself better and will be OK no matter what.

Early Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

HF
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Happy Thanksgiving HF.  Having hope is a good thing, I think different then having expectations.  Lately I keep repeating a saying that one of my relatives used to say and that was "All is right in the end, and if it's not alright now, it's not the end."  Or something to that effect.
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Thx FW.  Hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving too with your S and you feeling better by Thanksgiving day.

The past two days were good at our house.  W was the best I have seen her in some time.   Gives me a little hope but still not sure what to expect in the coming days, weeks, and months.   Will provide more detail on my next update later this week.   Continuing to focus on me and take things one day at a time.  Very thankful for the great things I have in my life even while living through this brokenness.


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It's been a good couple of days for the family.   My W was more like herself this past weekend but went back to be in her other world yesterday which was expected but emotionally difficult as we enter the the Thanksgiving Holiday.   As I encountered this change, I immediately started to detach again which I did last night following our family time together with our kids.   I enjoyed some quiet time out on our patio and my W came out to check on me and stayed for a couple of minutes.   You can see and feel the confusion insider of her.   Plan to continue the balancing act of detaching when she's in the tunnel and being there when she peeks out.   One day at a time.

So thankful this Thanksgiving holiday for finding the love and support that this forum provides.  Dealing with my MLC wife has been extremely heart breaking, and I'm grateful for the support that many on this forum have provided through advice and their own stories. 
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Hi HF,

Excellent!!! That's the way to do it  :D

She fades in, she fades out. Totally normal..... and you'll be getting stronger and improving all the while. In time what she does will roll off your back and you can choose to watch or not (watch is actually the wrong word - maybe notice?).

You're doing very good. Have a great Thanksgiving and enjoy all the good parts........ discount or discard the bad (if there is any).

1st set of holidays post BD for you, it will be strange.

-SS
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Thanks SS for the continued support.

Time to journal my latest update.  It's been a very interesting week as my W has continued to be more like herself although still somewhat distant with me.   We had a great holiday and only had her sister and nephew over.   Overall, we had a good time and my wife was pleasant.  Unfortunately over the holiday, my W started feeling ill and needed to be tested for COVID.   We are still awaiting results but so far my kids and I are ok.   I only have a slight runny nose.

As for the past couple of days, I have helped take care of my wife and we have actually watched a couple of movies together in the guest bedroom and she seemed to want my company.   This is the first time in months and felt like before even just for a brief period in time. 

Now, I am still being level headed and working to detach and connect based on her current state.   I also am continuing to focus on myself and will see how next week goes as we start MC. 

I will not settle with what I want out of my marriage and yet I'm willing to be patient as my wife works on herself and I work on me.  Will be a interesting couple of weeks with the Christmas and New Years holiday coming up. 
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Time for another journal update.   Been in kind of a holding pattern as my W got sick over the holiday weekend and we were awaiting COVID test results.  She was negative but never felt completely better.  Then her fever came back over a week later and now she retested with another negative test.  Still could be COVID so we are in quarantine again and hoping the rest of the family stays healthy and the W gets better.

My W and I went to IC together for our oldest daughter.  Overall it went well with my W and I keeping mostly focused on our daughter.    My daughter was then able to see the IC herself which made me feel good.  She has dealt with a lot of the damage from this past year and I'm glad she has someone to talk to.  At the same time, the key issues in our marriage and my W's life still haven't been addressed.   We had planned to go to MC but I had to push it back at least a week until W is better and our family is in the clear from COVID.

Overall, I am doing well as I deal with my W's cycles.   She was more like herself over the holiday before getting sick and has since been more distant again.   Just playing the long game being patient while slowly putting in emotional boundaries to help me handle the current hurt in my marriage.   My W has figure out her life before we can work on our marriage.   Will continue to take things one day at a time.   
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My W has figure out her life before we can work on our marriage.
Exactamundo
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"I'm slowly learning to expect nothing and appreciate everything."

Together 28 years, married 27. Two adult kids, ours

BD #1: 2016 - EA  |  BD #2: 2018 - FA

W moved out - June 2019 | OM#3 - July 2019
W asks for divorce - August 2019 | Divorce final - September 2019 | Moving on

My thread: https://mlcforum.theherosspouse.com/index.php?topic=11537.new#new

New Here? Read this! http://mlcforum.theherosspouse.com/index.php?topic=1149.0

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Just need to vent a little bit.  Trying to co-parent in our current live-in     but sleeping in different rooms can be challenging.  I had both of my Kids crying in my bedroom tonight within 30 minutes of each other  after conversations with my W.  One was a typical friend issue that my D had and the other was an inadvertent mistake made by my wife with the other D.  It’s not that my W said anything wrong in the first situation.  I actually agree with that advice she gave.  It’s that my W is unable to show emotion or love when handing the conversation.  I would give my W grace with being sick but I have seen this other times.  With the mistake I know they happen.  It’s just that my W has does this before and my kids notice that she is not on top of things like she used to.

My biggest struggle is that my W wants love and support but doesn’t want it from me.  I will continue to work on being the best father and husband but it’s tough to do in our current situation.   I know I need to detach but this isn’t always easy with the kids.  Appreciate anyone’s insight on how to desal with a MLCer whose communication and esteem are challenging right now. 

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HF, before I knew what my STBXW was going through, I remember analyzing her interactions.

Our situations are different, but the behaviour or pattern is the same.   Hot, cold, close, distant.   Not to make excuses for your W, but she's in teenager mode.   If we look back at how we acted as teens, in ourselves, we can see how selfish and self absorbed we were.   Some days we loved our parents, our friends, school, other days, we thought we were better off dead (or was that just me being dramatic?  ???)

The point is, whatever we went through as teens (as we all managed differently), we went through it, in the most immature of ways.

So if you think of your W, she's gone back to that period of our lives, so we see the behaviours play out in many forms.

All this to say, please dont focus on what or how your W is reacting.   Dont expect much from her, because unless she was on MTV Teen Mom, she doesn't know how to be a parent right now.   Sadly, it falls solely on you
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Thx LBS_Les for your advice.  I have been working to focus on me and support my W from a safe distance.

Time for another journal update:  My W has been ill since Thanksgiving weekend and finally has started to feel better.   We had to move counseling again because our MC was exposed to COVID and had to be quarantined.   We are now going after the Christmas holiday and I honestly have no idea what to expect.

As for the last two weeks, things with my W have started to move in a better direction.  This past weekend she joined me to watch a movie in our bedroom which she hasn't done for months as she is currently sleeping in our guest bedroom.    She also had planned to have a work overnight this week and I communicated strongly that I would support the trip if it was a legitimate work trip.  She had taken a couple of fake work trips with OM which she still has not admitted to me.   Thinking this will come out in counseling.   In the mean time, she didn't say anything about the overnight trip so I guess she is not going.  Not sure what is going on but I will continue to give her space and am here to talk when she is ready.

Our family life has improved and we have been working on co-parenting.   Our family time with our kids is my main focus for now.   Allow my W to focus on her own issues and I will be there to support her when she is ready.

Hoping everyone has a wonderful and safe holiday and I wish you all the best.  HF
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Hello,

I feel for you. The holidays were very tough for me and the family. Do focus only on your kids and let her deal with her own demons.

 
Quote
Thinking this will come out in counseling. 

Let's  discuss this one deeply. I did marriage counseling for years and it went nowhere. During all of this time, Om was never a subject or mentioned. She denied his existence to the counselor and stated it was over. Even the counselor knew she was lying.  In fact, the counselor stated that my ex was one of her most puzzling cases she ever had. She didn't want a divorce, but she didn't want to commit to the marriage either. The counselor even stated that her actions were extremely unfair to me as it left me in limbo. Despite all of that, she wouldn't budge.

Hopefully others will chime in, but my advice to you is to set specific boundaries for MC during the first session:

1) If we are going to commit to MC, then we both need to work on our marriage. I am here to listen and learn. I know I have made mistakes and I can right many wrongs, but we are not going to waste the counselors time if we are not here to work on the marriage.

2) No OM. Om is a distraction for our marriage and the work we both need to accomplish. As long as OM is in the picture, we can't work as a couple. It will be hard and it will hurt, but no OM. As long as OM is in the picture, there is no marriage so there is no need for MC. 

This is my advice and trust me, I am no expert on counseling. This is my anecdotal experience and your therapist may be entirely different from mine. You can even acknowledge her efforts (coming into the room) but you are not going to compete with another person. Her affair probably has little to do with you as a person, but it has a huge impact on your marriage.

Until counseling, enjoy the holidays with your children and hopefully others will chime in on the issue of Marriage Counseling. Let your faith guide you and keep your heart and head strong and healthy.

(((((Ready)))))


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Heavenly -
I tend to agree with Ready -
My (x)H and I went to MC during his affair and he was basically not present.
After several months of denying an ow, he finally admitted it after she made it public on social media.
I thought that MC would hep us work through that, but he was unable to get off the fence, and it did nothing to help us.
We were given homework every week, but he would never do it, and didn't even remember to fake it at the sessions.

So basically... what Ready said...

Good luck; I hope that she continues to do things with you and that your family has a nice holiday.
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Heavenly,

Thought I would drop in here with my 2 cents on MC.  My H has been in MLC for almost 5 years now.  We are now on our 3rd round of MC.  First round happened right before BD #1.  My H was having an active affair and denied the entire thing.  It was horrible.  He blamed me for much of what was going on in our marriage.  I was so confused.  I thought we were going to counseling to fix our marriage.  He was going to counseling to keep me hanging on and to appease me.  We stopped this counseling at BD.  The Marriage counselor became my personal counselor for awhile after that.  She basically told me there was nothing I could do to save this marriage because my H had one foot in another life. 

Marriage counseling session #2 happened a couple years later after OW withdrawal.  My H was in IC and his IC pushed for marriage counseling.  I went and it was interesting.  Learned a lot about communication but after each session my H started to feel like the counselor was picking on him.  He would get angry at me because I was emotional and hurt  and I finally decided it was not worth it.  He was not ready to commit to a mature relationship and was still doing replay crap. 

Fast forward 2 more years.  My H is SLOWLY exiting replay.  He now is showing more and more remorse with tinges of wanting to put our marriage back together.  I reluctantly started MC again after his IC recommended someone to us.  I fully interviewed the counselor and we started almost 2 months ago.  For the first time in 5 years honesty is coming out.  We are having difficult conversations because we both are ready to have them.  I don’t know if it’s the counselor or me or my H but it all seems to be working.  This is 5 years in and a lot of work individually. 

Many people in here warned me about MC while my H was still in replay.  I listened but thought that maybe my situation would be different, it wasn’t.   My advice is not to have any expectations that MC is going to fix anything especially while she is still in replay.  In fact it may make your W withdraw more as she is poked. 

I still have no expectations from MC.  I’m learning a lot of good tools for communication and learning my place in how our old marriage functioned.  Our MC is big on focusing on our individual selves not our marriage. 

I wish you luck.  This whole journey is so difficult.  I know you want answers, I know you want to fix things.  I did too.  Please take care of yourself first and foremost.  Your W is in her own journey. 

Roo
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HF, not much to add except agreement with the posts above. We went to MC briefly between BD1 and BD2, but my W was in her emotional affair at the time. Her ability to commit to working on our relationship had nothing to do with our actual marriage; it was completely based on how much freedom she had for cake eating. It seemed to me like we were both making great progress in improving our communication and intimacy; my W commented several times in our sessions how remarkably quickly we were making progress. And she told me privately how solid we were and how certain she was of our relationship. But as soon as her affair got complicated, she withdrew from our relationship completely. And it happened in a matter of days - not because of anything that happened between us, purely because of the affair. So even if they are willing to go to MC... if they are not fully committed to you and the marriage, they are at least partially trying to check off a box so they don’t have to feel like the bad guy in the marriage.
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She also had planned to have a work overnight this week and I communicated strongly that I would support the trip if it was a legitimate work trip.
First of all, good job with this.

As for what to expect in MC, I would recommend having zero expectations. My experience was difficult. In fact, xw used the final session to announce that she was thinking of divorce. During our four sessions, xw wanted to talk about everything but her cheating. Our MC happened towards the end of our marriage and several years post-BD. I agreed to it as a last gasp attempt to save the marriage. I'm guessing xw used it as a way of checking the box so she could say we tried. By the last session, I was preparing for MC like a pinata prepares for a birthday party.

I think Roo's post is perfect. I don't want to discourage you about MC. You may learn some things about your W, your marriage and yourself. But I think Roo's H is probably a pretty good example. If the MLCer is wanting to work on the marriage and take responsibility for what is broken, it can help. If they are wanting to justify what they've done or blame you, it could be hurtful and confusing.

Take care of yourself HF!
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"I'm slowly learning to expect nothing and appreciate everything."

Together 28 years, married 27. Two adult kids, ours

BD #1: 2016 - EA  |  BD #2: 2018 - FA

W moved out - June 2019 | OM#3 - July 2019
W asks for divorce - August 2019 | Divorce final - September 2019 | Moving on

My thread: https://mlcforum.theherosspouse.com/index.php?topic=11537.new#new

New Here? Read this! http://mlcforum.theherosspouse.com/index.php?topic=1149.0

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Thank you Ready, Seahorse, Roo, Curiosity, and PJ for all your words of wisdom.   Re-reading your posts helps me to sort through the difficult journey.

Journaling:  Well, I actually had some great days with W and kids over the Christmas holiday.   We really enjoyed a Christmas Eve dinner and my W actually slept in our bed for the first time in months.  The next night, I invited her again with no expectations and told her she is always welcome when she is ready.  She politely declined but was more like herself for a couple of days.

After the Christmas holiday,  I walked into the guest bedroom and she hid her "work phone" as I walked in.   I know I'm supposed to ignore this behavior but it triggered me.   I followed up with a text to her work phone with the message that I hope someday the work phone is used strictly for work.   Didn't receive a response back.

We were supposed to go the MC the other night but the counselor is still in quarantine until she tests negative as a family member in her home is positive.  We rescheduled for next week and instead went on a date night.   During the date, my W wanted to talk about the relationship so I  cautiously engaged.   It was still the typical blaming me for the issues with our marriage.   All I did is listen and I did confirm the issues that I do need to work on such as being present and not distracted on my phone while spending quality time with W and kids.   I do own my part in the issues with our marriage and will do what I can to work on me.

As for her, I did clearly communicate that we both have a role in our marriage issues and she needs to want to work on the marriage too.  I also was clear on the boundaries regarding honesty and being faithful in our marriage (No OM).   We can't work on our marriage while OM is in the picture.

I came across as truly understanding her needs in our marriage which some are valid.   Also, being on the same page regarding parenting seems to be one of the key areas that we can focus on first.    Just not sure if she is ready to work on herself and her issues that contributed to our marriage problems.   I will go into MC with no expectations from her and clear expectations for myself to keep working on me. 



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Great update, HF! Sounds like you are handling this touchy situation perfectly. I think that as long as you go in without expectations and as long as you are setting boundaries without doing anything that she could read as trying to control her, you are doing all that any of us can.

Very happy to hear about this; it’s early to know for sure but it seems like you are moving in a good direction.
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You sound great HF. Your kindness and patience are great attributes and will help you through this journey. I pray that your W is only going through a transition and this will end soon.

As for MC, I am another who tried it a few months after BD.  I love PJs analogy about the pinata. I felt completely beat up after every session as I tried to be the good LBSer and allow H to voice his complaints about the M, which was essentially a reiteration of everything he said at BD. And then after we stopped going, HE was relieved b./c he always felt beat up on. Hmmmmm. Anyway, he was carrying on in his affair the whole time, but still on the fence. I had no idea b/c he told me there was no one. And I believed him. After a few sessions, he had enough and the affair went full throttle.

Everyone is different. Every MLCer is different. If MC works for you, then keep it up.

 
I will continue to work on being the best father and husband but it’s tough to do in our current situation.   I know I need to detach but this isn’t always easy with the kids. 

Hard to be a good H when you are concerned there is still an OM. Your best focus and intent is your kids. They need one sane parent. I've always admired those of you with live-in MLCers. You have true grit and strength beyond measure.  Love and kindness are never wasted.  But energy is--and the kids need as much of it as you can muster.
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OW--yes. Worked for H. EA turned into PA while I was in chemo. On again/off again like every high school romance

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I am not a big fan of MC unless both parties are interesting in the marriage long term.  In most cases, the MLC spouse is not and the LBS is, so it leads to nowhere with a lot of frustration by the LBS.  In my case my EW, in my opinion, went to counseling so she could tell everyone she tried but the fact of the matter is she did not.  In fact, the counselor gave my EX the green light to be more “honest” with me without any regards to the marriage or the family.  It appears to me in the United States MC is more like IC unless you find a faith-based MC which my EX would not participate because she knew she would have to answer some heavy questions.  What I am saying is do not hold any hope on MC while you W is in this current state.  It also appears, in my opinion, your W is monkey branching meaning she is holding on to you just enough until she is positive she wants to stay or go to OM/find OM.  This went with my EX for about 6 months until she found OM that was willing to stay with her long term and at that point, she completely cut all ties to me and within a few weeks filed for divorce.  Hopefully that is not your case, but it seems to me she is conflicted so can go either way.  Regardless, plan for the worse and hope for the best.   
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Married 19 years
Together 21 years
M – 53
W (MLC) – 44
D – Now 18 (BD 14)
D – Now 21 (BD 17)
BD1 – Nov 2016 ILYBINILY
EA/PA? (OM1) – Nov 2016 to April 2017 (W wanted PA)
BD2 - May 2017 W left without D's
BD3 - July 2017 OM2
Aug 2017 filed for divorce so "I couldn't move away with kids".
March 2018 - Proceeding with divorce and told kids about OM2.
Dec 2018 - HER Divorce final

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Sounds good HF  :D

Hope you had a really nice time.
Gotta take what we can get, and it's good to enjoy what is offered when it is offered.

Following along  ;D

-SS
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BD - 27th April 2019
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Hello HF:

Been reading your thread and you sound like you are doing ok and getting great advice overall. I just wanted to add to the chorus of voices about MC. Therapy of any kind, solo or in group, is not a magic process. It REQUIRES real desire from the person participating to enact real change. Sadly when someone is in MLC they are so fractured and confused that this is not the case. So the old joke really applies. “How many therapists does it take to change a light bulb? Only one but the light bulb has to want to change.”

Add to that the fact that most therapists are not trained to see MLC. They will initially look for fundamental “marital” problems and will focus on those. But that is not productive. This is not a martial problem, this is a major psychological event occurring in ONE PARTY. You can’t fix this via MC. This will require intensive IC and only when and if your wife is truly ready. MC will be required to address the damage and issues that are SECONDARY to what is happening with her. I know this may be hard to hear, but it is a true extension of the fact that you have no control and sadly no role to play in her crises. Its not your fault, and you can’t help her. Extend that idea to MC. I would suggest IC so you can start processing and dealing with the hurt and damage. Being the best you (I am quoting Ready here) is the best thing you can do to mitigate the hurt to your kids. There are other posters here who can offer great advice on how to help your kids as they have lived through it.

And lastly, yes there may be “issues” in your marriage. But that is not what is happening. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take a hard look, examine, learn or grow. But stop taking on the blame that is being thrown on you. Not because you are perfect, but because it is all noise and distraction. Don’t give it voice, don’t give it oxygen. My wife went through the entire list of how everything was my fault as I completely left her alone. And four years out she is still very unhappy and now tells me about all the problems with her “soulmate.” So don’t take the misdirection. Keep the focus on you, your kids, and your well being. Your wife is going everything she can to keep her discordant emotions from overloading her, and making your the bad guy is one of her failing coping mechanisms.
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First signs of MLC Jan '15
BD 1 Jan '17, BD 2 Mar, Separated Apr, BD 3 May,BD 4 Jun '18
First Sign of Waking up-Dec '17, First Cycle out of MLC Mar '18-Jun ‘18, Second cycle Jul '18-??
Meets OM Jan '17 and acts "in love," admits "in love" Jun '18, asks for divorce Jul '18

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Thank you Curiosity, KIT, RSA, SS, and Marvin,
I appreciate everyone’s advice. 

Tonight I was triggered as she used her work phone again to take pics while our family was out having fun.  The work phone is what she has used In the past to communicate with OM.  I have gotten to the point where I need to know what happened with the OM and that MC next week needs to be a priority for both of us.  I made this clear with my W and she wasn’t ready to talk or tell the truth.  Will have to come out in counseling.

I am willing to be patient but can’t continue in this situation without marital boundaries.  Time to detach until counseling and will ask for specific boundaries in counseling.  She may not be ready for MC but I am not going to go through motions to let her just  check the box.

We are at a tipping point and she ultimately needs to make a decision. 

Appreciate the continued support.  This situation is just awful and I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy.  HF
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Well, I finally broke down and got really upset and angry at my W last night.  I’m not sure if this will end things but I just can’t handle being in a marriage with lies and deceit. Wish I had a more positive news for the New Year but I am extremely dejected right now.

HF
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Im am sorry the year ended in that manner for you. We are all only human and can take only so much. Perhaps what you said was necessary for your own mental health.

Also understand that often the mlcer will provoke again and again to get a reaction out of you. If you are exhausted or already in a bad head space, it makes it difficult not to react. And also, if you don't say your piece in one way or another, it kind of eats at you from the inside until you can reach a state of detachment where what they do really doesn't affect your well being.

Perhaps it's time to do what is good for you. You know she is cheating and lying. You cannot control what she does, but you can control what you do. What might you do for you?
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Thx Off Road for the encouragement.

I needed to get my feelings out before counseling  just disappointed in the manner in which I did it feeling so much rage after having a couple of drinks.  I am better man than how I acted last night.

As for what I will do for me, I think I need to get back on my regular exercise routine, do some fun things with my daughters, and give my W and I space.  We also have someone in our family coming to visit who really needs support from my W and  me right now.  Focused on helping others is always a great thing.

We have our first MC season scheduled for this week.  Will see if W still wants to go but at least my feelings about her lying and the  need for healthy  marital boundaries is clear. 





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Hello,

Just some advice as you tackle the issues:

Quote
I needed to get my feelings out before counseling  just disappointed in the manner in which I did it feeling so much rage after having a couple of drinks.  I am better man than how I acted last night.

This is exactly why we can't suppress our emotions. As we cap things, trying to be the stoic and rational man, all we are doing is putting a flimsy cap on a high pressure line.

My IC, who was amazing, told me that people will never remember the event, just how you reacted. People will remember moments of seeing your joy and also your meltdowns. Just know, it is absolutely fair and okay to be angry about the affair. I also want you to know that how you approach the affair in counseling will have a huge influence on your W.

First of all, don't avoid the affair. Your w may deny, minimalize, or blame you for the affair. Be prepared for all three. However, regardless of your w's words, make the affair separate from your w. Avoid calling her a cheater or a dishonest, no-good liar. Instead, explain how the affair effects you. How it makes you feel. "When I think of the affair, I feel angry and hurt."  "Because of the affair, I feel I can't trust what my wife tells me and it makes me very sad."

When you call your w a cheater, it defines her character. This is perceived as an attack on her. By making the affair a stand alone object (don't even call it her affair. Just the affair), you can express your feelings and how much hurt without attacking her.

Remember, MC is not about being right or getting the counselor to agree with you. It is not a boxing match with the MC as a referee either.  If either of those situations occur, your w will shut down and quickly view MC as a something you tried but didn't help. Even with my advice, she may still flee, but by not filleting her character, you can lob a few truth darts that will have far more influence down the road.

Also, keep a journal of your feelings. Your good days as well as the bad. Your can then look back and see your journey and focus on your strengths. Also feel free to practice what you are saying by posting on the forum. There are some amazing people who can review what you want to say and how it may be interpreted by your MLCer in a way you did not expect.

I feel your pain and I have been there. Be good to yourself and know that you are in my prayers,

(((((Ready)))))
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Thank you Thunder!

Quick update:  My W decided to rent a temporary  1-bedroom department and rent furniture.  It gives her time to figure things out and will protect me and my emotional health so I can focus on me and my children.   Still hurts but I know this is needed at this point.  She is not in place to work on our marriage now and who knows how long it will take if ever.   The good thing is that this decision has opened up discussion within her family about the current situation and her actions have been brought out in the open.  She eventually will have to confront her own behavior and decisions.  I am being honest but also trying to be careful what I say.  It will be easier once she is away and I can get a better hold on my current emotions.

Thanks to everyone as I know this is her journey and there is nothing I can do to help her through it.  Time to detach, focus on myself, and my kids.

HF

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Sorry to hear your W is renting a her own place. I'm sure it's not what you've wanted, but it sounds like you have a good outlook on it. I hope it helps.

I've been thinking about your posts from Jan. 1 and your disappointment with how you expressed yourself. Ready is right about how people will remember how you reacted more so than what you were reacting to. But, I do want to encourage you to give yourself a little grace. You're certainly prepared to forgive your W for a lot of things. So, I hope you'll be forgiving to yourself too.
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"I'm slowly learning to expect nothing and appreciate everything."

Together 28 years, married 27. Two adult kids, ours

BD #1: 2016 - EA  |  BD #2: 2018 - FA

W moved out - June 2019 | OM#3 - July 2019
W asks for divorce - August 2019 | Divorce final - September 2019 | Moving on

My thread: https://mlcforum.theherosspouse.com/index.php?topic=11537.new#new

New Here? Read this! http://mlcforum.theherosspouse.com/index.php?topic=1149.0

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Thank you PJ for the support.  Yes, I have given myself some grace and have started to forgive myself.

Now  Some Journaling:   My W moved out today and actually I feel very liberated.    Last night was very difficult as we spent time as a family outside on our back patio.  When the kids went to bed, my W and I talked and she still is lying and not telling the whole truth.   I don't want to be in a marriage that does not include honesty and faithfulness.   Although I am sad for me, my W and our kids, I know this is needed at this point.   Until she is ready to face her bad decisions and behavior, it's better that she is gone.   Time to focus on my spiritual and personal growth while taking care of my kids.   I'm going to spend some time thinking about what I want in my next relationship whether that is reconnection with my W or a new relationship after a D.   I do not plan to file and will let her figure out what she wants to do with her life for now.   As others say on this forum.  One day at a time.     HF 
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Hey HF,

What a tough day..... be gentle with yourself. Not your fault, not your monkeys/circus.

I hope it brings some real relief for ya (and it will).

-SS
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I am sorry you find yourself at this point. Its very hard to deal with and good that you choose to focus on you and your kids.

As a suggestion, you may want to file for separation to protect yourself financially. Also please make sure you have the original copies of important documents (birth certificates, house deed, car titles, etc) and you might want to get rid of any joint credit cards. Open new cards in just your name. This is just to be safe since MLCers are notorious for running up debt. Filing for separation gives a date for when you should no longer be responsible for her debts.

Best wishes for your future, however it turns out.
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There is no legal separation in my state so I will have to protect myself through monitoring credit and I may have to close our two joint cards and open up my own.   Just trying to process this as she just moved.

Journaling:  Since she has moved, I find myself trusting her less and less emotionally.   We started talking today about plans to share kids and we both are still very emotional.  She's still upset about our recent fight and I am finally done with the lies and deception.

At a point, all I can do is detach and let her go.    Will be hard this weekend when kids are gone.   Never, ever going to get used to this but I will manage.

HF
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Hello,

Quote
She's still upset about our recent fight and I am finally done with the lies and deception.

You and I are on different sides of the coin. My ex lied about everything and it hurt me because I so desperately wanted to believe her. Your ex lies and it hurts you because you so desperately want the truth. The common factor is that our spouses in crisis lie. They lie all the time. The key is not to let the lies pull you into her crisis and emotional tornado.

I am not saying that you can't be upset. It's been over ten years since bomb drop and even thinking about OM can get my blood boiling. What I am advising is to accept that your wife is a liar and she can't be trusted and it will help your emotional state and allow you to detach from the crisis. Arguing with a liar is like rocking in a rocking chair. it's something to do but won't get you anywhere.

Quote
My W moved out today and actually I feel very liberated. 

Glad that she left and you stayed. I made a major mistake when I moved out the first time. Got it right with the divorce and kept my house. I was lucky that OM was thousands of miles away or while I was out the first time, he could have moved into my home. With her out of the house, you won't be triggered by her and her antics.

Quote
We started talking today about plans to share kids and we both are still very emotional.

Take your emotions out of this and make this all strictly business. Your focus now should be to protect yourself and your children. This isn't personal, out of anger, to be mean, or to punish your wife. Instead, you have to look for your best interests as well as the children because she's not going to. During your interactions with her, as I quote Thunder, "You can be friendly, but you are not friends." No more relationship talks or trying to get to the truth. Just set up the rules of the separation and who is responsible for what bills and when to see the kids. Note the date that she moved out and set up consultations with the top three divorce attorneys in your area. Know the laws and know your rights.

Quote
Never, ever going to get used to this but I will manage.


No, but you are only in this mess for a little over five months and are in a much better place than I was. Keep the focus on you and your children.

((((Ready))))







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The day my w moved out was one of the worst days of my life. I remember it like it was yesterday. But it was also the the point at which things started to get better for me. You're already noticing that you look at your W differently. You'll get a new perspective on things as you spend more time apart. That whole forest/trees thing.

Absolutely cancel your joint credit cards and visit with attorneys. Most will offer a $100 initial consultation. Your #1 job right now is to protect your kids from this madness and MLCers often seem to think that an impending divorce means everything they want to buy is 50% off.

I got a separation agreement. It's not legally binding in my state either, but the fact we had it may have helped limit xw's spending post-separation. She never declared any post-separation debts on our mediated divorce agreement, even though there were definitely some.

I think you're doing amazingly well. At 5 months post-BD I was still trying to figure out which truck ran over me. Take care of yourself and those kids. Onward and upward!
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"I'm slowly learning to expect nothing and appreciate everything."

Together 28 years, married 27. Two adult kids, ours

BD #1: 2016 - EA  |  BD #2: 2018 - FA

W moved out - June 2019 | OM#3 - July 2019
W asks for divorce - August 2019 | Divorce final - September 2019 | Moving on

My thread: https://mlcforum.theherosspouse.com/index.php?topic=11537.new#new

New Here? Read this! http://mlcforum.theherosspouse.com/index.php?topic=1149.0

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Thank you Ready and PJ for the advice.  I have consulted an attorney and will be prepared if W files.  She also found out about a lawyer through  a CC transaction and I let her know that I am not filing and standing for my marriage.   Will look into cancelling joint CC in time and plan to watch closely.

As for me, it's almost been 1 week with my W gone.   I am still very sad for me, my kids, and my W, but I do realize that this needed to happen.  She needs to figure things out on her journey and I can no longer tolerate being hurt by her actions.   Her behavior was starting to wear on me which was causing me to become toxic.    Time to heal and detach until the time if/when she is ready for any kind of reconciliation.   Obviously I still have hope but I am now at a point where I'm realistic that my hope may never come.

My W is one of strongest people that I know who has been through some significant medical issues in her life.   It's hard for me to watch her struggle as I have always taken care of her.  In some respect I turned more into her caregiver which led to some of our issues.   

For now, I am focused on taking care of me and my kids.  Appreciate the continued advice and direction as I struggle and hurt on this journey. 
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Quick update:

My W picked up the kids for the 2nd time away and both kids hugged me with little one crying how much she is going to miss me.   I will never, ever get over having to spend significant time away from my kids but it's the reality right now.

I also have to say that detaching is becoming easier with the W gone.   I am going to stick to my strict boundary of only talking about the R with a counselor and let her be on her journey away from our family.   One day at time. 

HF   
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I look forward to my weekends when my W is away.  I can relax and not feel like I have to walk on eggshells.  I do have a strict boundary that when she is with the OM over the weekend or week nights, I will not text her unless it has something to do with the kids.  She isn’t going to get the best of both worlds.  Once you stop worrying what they are doing when they aren’t home, it really is the best time to detach
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Yes... I think that often a part of us wants them to stay in the home at first because it feels like it will make reconciliation more likely. In reality, though, detaching is (while never easy), so much easier when they aren’t always in your shared space. And honestly, for most of us, that lack of detachment leads to emotional cycling that is far worse than the physical separation could ever be. I have great admiration for the LBSs who can navigate an in-house MLCer, but for me it was a relief in many ways to get some physical distance from the crisis.
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Thank you Curiosity and ME.  The detachment with the W out of the home has been easier and allowed me to focus more on me.

Journaling:   Well it's been an eventful couple of days since I started having COVID symptoms last week and I am still awaiting my test result.   Fortunately, my symptoms have been somewhat mild and I am starting to feel better today compared the previous couple of days.  My kids have been with my W which has made me feel better that they are safe.   It's also given me time to come to terms with what has happened over the past couple of weeks and allowed me to take the focus off of my wife and instead focus on me instead.

I guess where I'm at right now is the following:

1. I need to focus on me and what unhealthy aspects of my life I had over the past couple of years.   There is mirror work that I need to do. 
2. My W needs to focus on her issues separately.   We can only do this alone at this point
3. Maybe we eventually focus on us again but only when healthy boundaries are in place.

Will see how things go.   Just trying to patient and focus on me for now.

HF


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Hello,

Quote
Will see how things go.   Just trying to patient and focus on me for now.

I agree with this 100%. You have been at your w's side for the past two years as you dealt with her medical issues. You do need to take the time to reestablish a life outside of the consistent demands that you have been under prior to bomb drop. Now you just got hit by another wave just as you thought the waters were going to be calm.

Quote
I need to focus on me and what unhealthy aspects of my life I had over the past couple of years.   There is mirror work that I need to do.

While you are looking at the unhealthy aspects, take the time to review the healthy aspects. Personally, I think you have a great amount of patience, you did commit to and take care of your w during her medical crisis. For me, it was gathering a deeper understanding of things in my life I could fix and those things that I would have to manage. If I run out of sugar before I need to bake something, the solution is to go and buy more sugar. That solves the problem, the issue I need to manage is keeping track of my supplies so that when I go to the store, I have an organized list of what I need and what I don't need. I will always need to restock supplies. However, by managing one issue, I eliminated the horrible habit of having too much of one item and completely out of the other. The major difference is that I will have to keep my list going from now on, it is not a one and done item. Managing a problem is accepting it will never be completely solved.

Quote
My W needs to focus on her issues separately.   We can only do this alone at this point

This is the difficult part because from her mindset, you are the issue. She solved it. The time element is that she will reach the point that she realizes that the core issues that she feels come within and are not from the outside. You just have to accept that no matter how many signs you hold up in front of her trying to get her to solve her issues, she won't read or accept any of them.

Words from PJ-

Quote
Your #1 job right now is to protect your kids from this madness and MLCers often seem to think that an impending divorce means everything they want to buy is 50% off.

Excellent point and may I add 50% off and 100% your responsibility.

Quote
I think you're doing amazingly well. At 5 months post-BD I was still trying to figure out which truck ran over me. Take care of yourself and those kids. Onward and upward!

Very well stated and true. I would also like to commend you on your progress and work. I was still a complete wreck at your time and point. You may not feel it, but you have come a long ways.

(((((Ready)))))



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"Always look in the mirror and love what you see."

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Thanks Ready!

My W's medical issues have been on and off since we got married 16 years ago and the severe event occurred 10 years ago with over a 3 month stay in the hospital and she almost didn't make it.  In some respect, I lost  a piece of myself as I put her and the kids first.   I absolutely had to put my life on hold as I took care of my W and kids 10 years ago, but there almost is a part of me that never came out of that time period.  I also give my W some grace as lot of her struggles have a lot to do with what happened too her.

At the same time, blaming me during her MLC and identifying me as the problem is not OK.   I think deep down she knows that I am not the problem but she needs space and time away to figure things out.   I will just focus on me and my kids while detaching for now.    Open to whatever possibilities may come.
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Journaling:

Not too much new as my kids and I both tested positive with COVID and are currently in isolation.   I am almost back to normal and the kids haven't really had any symptoms other than just feeling tired.   We have had some nice quality family time at night and are making the best of of isolation.

As for me, I have been grappling with my life and really focusing on what happened to me over the past 10 years.  This really isn't me focusing on my MLC W at all, more thinking where do I want my life to go from here regardless if my W comes back or not.

Over 10 years ago, my W had life threatening complications and had a very long hospital stay across many months and over a two year recovery with multiple surgeries and hospital stays along the way.   Our kids were also very young at the time so I almost put my life on hold except for my family , work, and church.  My W also dealt with unimaginable pain and suffering and fought to be back with her family.

As my W recovered, our marriage stayed strong and we made it through one of the most difficult times in our lives.    Over the past couple of years, I can now see that I'm not sure either of us came completely out of the co-dependent relationship that was needed at the time.   I was still serving as her caretaker and she was still over depending on me for a lot of things.    We both also never went to counseling together to deal with our traumatic experience which I now see may have helped.   

Now, I don't have any regrets about the past 10 years.   My W and I did our best to work through one of the most challenging periods in our lives.    We both our somewhat broken from it and need to do some internal work on ourselves to figure things out.

As for our marriage, she needs space and time to figure things out on her journey, and I I think I'm finally at a point where I am starting to detach.   Main focus now is where do I want my life to go?   Will focus on my kids and do my best to grow personally, professionally, and spiritually. 

Appreciate everyone's stories as they have helped me to see I am not crazy for reacting the way I did to my W's MLC, and it's great to have others that understand being a LBS.     Although I am lonely at times right now, I still have hope for my life and look forward to whatever the future holds.   Hope everyone enjoys your weekend!  HF



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I am very glad Covid has been more mild for your family. I know so many people who tested positive, and have no idea how it happened. Pretty much grocery store was their only possibility.

It sounds like you have a handle on detaching. How are the kids doing?
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Hi Off Road,

I know who exposed me and I even had a mask on.  Might have helped to limit my symptoms.

As for the kids, they are handling things pretty well.  Focused on their current sport activities, friends, and school.   Doing pretty well handling the separation and making it through COVID isolation ok.  They come out of isolation next weekend in time for their upcoming events.   
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Hey HF  :)

You have Covid..... what's it like? Feel like a cold or something?

You sound really good, lots of internal work..... right on!!  8)

-SS
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Hi SS,

My symptoms were mild and came after 8 days from exposure.  Like to think the mask helped reduced the severity.

Symptoms felt like a severe cold with mild fever.  I never felt awful but just felt Blah for about 5-6 days.  Fortunate I didn’t have respiratory problems.  Prayers for those that have been impacted worse and it looks like I only exposed my kids who are doing well. 
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Hello,

I am so glad that you and your family are doing fine with covid. I know some people that have light issues and others that have had it more serious. 

Quote
Main focus now is where do I want my life to go?   Will focus on my kids and do my best to grow personally, professionally, and spiritually.

This is where you need to focus your problem solving skills and make your plans. You can't place your plans on the whims of your MLCer. That's like putting all your financial hopes on winning the lottery. Might happen, but the odds against you.

You do have control over your life and what you need to do to move forward. This is where the energy and thinking needs to go now.

Keep it all about you and your children!

((((Ready))))
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Over the past couple of years, I can now see that I'm not sure either of us came completely out of the co-dependent relationship that was needed at the time.   I was still serving as her caretaker and she was still over depending on me for a lot of things. 
I can really relate to this. My xw has had some health issues that got worse right before BD. She did become reliant on me for a lot of things. I was happy to help of course, but I think her dependence on me may have contributed to her crisis. It's hard to say for sure, but it was almost like she was trying to declare her independence at times by acting out like a teenager. Her relationship with OM2 began almost to the day when she finished physical therapy for her last surgery.

I don't know what to tell you to do as far as issues of independence/interdependence/co-dependence go. But it's definitely something to work through. It's tough because so many of the manifestations of these states of being happen on an unstated and almost subconscious level. But props to you for doing the work.

I also can relate about pondering the "where do I go now?" question. For so long, that wasn't a decision we made alone, right? And it was also a decision based on a lot of responsibilities and which had to take the needs of another person into account. I know when I got to the place where I could do whatever I wanted, it felt a little paralyzing. So many choices!

From my vantage point here in the cheap seats, you seem to be doing extraordinarily well. Keep up the good work and be good to yourself.

To life!
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BD #1: 2016 - EA  |  BD #2: 2018 - FA

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W asks for divorce - August 2019 | Divorce final - September 2019 | Moving on

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Ready, thank you for your continued wisdom and steering me to focus my energy on my journey.

PJ, the co-dependent issue is one that I will have to work through for some time.   When really looking at my situation, I don't really fault me or my W for the unhealthy co-dependent relationship that evolved over time.   I truly believe we did the best that we could under extraordinary circumstances.   I just don't understand and can't tolerate the lies and deception from my W during her crises.   I am at least at a point where I can accept it is her crisis and let her go to work on it herself.  It just hurts me to see my kids being hurt in the process.

Will continue to take things as they come.

HF

   
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I am at least at a point where I can accept it is her crisis and let her go to work on it herself.  It just hurts me to see my kids being hurt in the process.
Absolutely
Will continue to take things as they come.
That is all that you can do. You can't control anything else except yourself and the relationship you have with your kids...
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Good increased detachment HF!!  :D

Right on!!

-SS
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Hello everyone,

I have a question for the group.   One thing that I am struggling with is trying to emotionally handle the relationship with my two D's and their communication with my MLC W.   I want them to have a good relationship with their mother but currently it seems that my W talks with my D's almost every night while I give them space while they are with their mother.  Part of this has to do with space as my W is temporarily living in a 1-bedroom apartment while I am in our family home that allows for more privacy with each girl having their own rooms.   I guess ultimately, I want to have some boundaries when it comes to my time with my D's and at the same time I understand and fully support their continued communication. with their mother.

My other struggle is that I have chosen to keep the reasons for my W's and my arguments and our marriage issues private even though my D's who are both 10+  in age wanted to know what happened.    I eventually plan to tell them tactfully what happened if my W decides to file for divorce.   My D's know I want to work on the marriage and where I stand.   I guess it's just hard emotionally to see the girls long for their mother while somewhat distancing from me when they are gone.   I plan to take the high road but emotionally it can take its toll on me since my W is the one who left and created this chaos in the first place. 

Appreciate any insights that others may have.   Only want what is best for my girls and for me, and I understand that life isn't always fair.   My girls only want their mom back at home and our family whole again.  Will continue working to detach from my W.

HF

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My xW is a Clinger as far as D10 is concerned... S13 she has relegated to the "also ran" category as he prefers to spend his time with me (Since we are still in lockdown and will be for the foreseeable future - at least mid-February and they are already talking about making it longer) because, according to him, he can study better (home school) here where I live rather than at his mom's where his little sister is as well. D10 is, however, trying to break free more and more and xW is not dealing with it well.... When D10 is with me, xW calls D10 so I can fully understand where you are coming from.

One the one side, it is a pain to have the Mid-Lifer interrupting "your" time while you are respectful of theirs (then again, "respectful" and "Mid-Lifer" go together like "Screen door" and "Submarine" ::)  ) but at the same time, you are showing your D's that their R with their mom is not something that you want to get involved in or, worse, to hinder or that they are in the middle between you two.

I think the way you are dealing with it at the moment is probably the best you can do at the moment.... - Just being the stable parent, not demonizing your Mid-Lifer but being there and the rock on which they can lean on...

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Thank you UM.  I appreciate the support as I will do my best to support my kids and manage my own internal emotions and hurt.

Journaling:

My W picked up the kids and has them for the next week. The hardest part is saying good bye to my D's but I have to accept this is just how it's going to be for now.   After the initial hurt with them leaving, I am looking to be intentional over the next week on what I can do to help me rest, heal, and ultimately grow.   Continuing to go limited contact with W.   Working to set boundaries regarding communication and no relationship talk.

Lastly, kind of in a holding pattern for now.  W has not provided me with any feedback regarding her future plans since she moved out weeks ago.  What's interesting is I feel like I'm starting to detach and thinking about the boundaries that I need to set in place regardless of whether she comes back or not.   Our old marriage is definitely over and not sure if she' capable or I'm interested in a new one.  Will continue to be intentional and focus on me.   That's all for now.

HF
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Quote
My other struggle is that I have chosen to keep the reasons for my W's and my arguments and our marriage issues private even though my D's who are both 10+  in age wanted to know what happened. 
This is a tough one. I don't know if I handled this right myself, but I never told my young adult kids about w's affairs. When we were married, I didn't want to do anything to embarrass my w and make it more difficult for her to come back. I kept thinking she was going to snap out of her crisis someday and that the fewer people who knew about her affairs the easier it would be to rebuild.

Now, telling the kids would just seem a little weird. And I think it might blow up in my face. But it's frustrating because I feel like the divorce has damaged my reputation. I feel like people assume I must have done something wrong. Why else would she leave? And I'm sure she's told the kids and other people her own rewritten history.

So there has been a cost to stay quiet. But I still think it was the least bad option and the least damaging to the kids.  I won't lie if the kids ask me what happened, but they haven't been asking. Someday they might and I suspect they probably know more than they've let on. So I'm staying on the high road for now. But it's frustrating. The karma bus is slow.  Anyway, that's what I did. Others may have better ideas.
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W asks for divorce - August 2019 | Divorce final - September 2019 | Moving on

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Hello,

This is a great topic and really splits fine lines. On one side, we have young children that do not have the capacity to understand some adult situations as their cognitive, social, and emotional development is not prepared to deal with adult content and situations. This is why often, children blame themselves for the failure of the marriage since Mommy and Daddy are perfect, it has to fall on them. So keeping it completely quiet is not beneficial but overloading them with too much information will be a detriment as well.

Many experts see that when divorce leaves one parent with all the children and that parent is alone, there can be a tendency to elevate one of the children (typically the oldest)  into a parental role. They help take care of the other children, they listen to the single parent's issues and day, they hear everything that went wrong in the marriage. Once again a child is elevated to an adult role without the necessary tools to handle such a role.

My advice is to give the information at their level. If they ask and they are young, "There are some problems between Mommy and Daddy that are our problems and are between us. Just know that Mommy and Daddy love you and want the best for you." Honest and to the point.

Teenagers may need more, "Your mom or dad has crossed significant boundaries in our relationship that has forced us to separate at this time. It has nothing to do with you and hopefully we can fix the issues between us, but if not I am prepared to move forward and continue to provide and take care of you."

All of this is walking a tightwire and requires a deep understanding of each child as they are all different and have different needs.

Quote
This is a tough one. I don't know if I handled this right myself, but I never told my young adult kids about w's affairs. When we were married, I didn't want to do anything to embarrass my w and make it more difficult for her to come back.

PJ, I had the same mindset and felt if I blew it up in my w's face and told the children,  she would have no choice but to leave. It is not a bad route because we want to focus on the issue, not the person. However, in my case, my ex told my children she was in love with another man.  Now she wonders why the oldest dislikes her. That is one relationship that I stay out of.

The final comment is when it comes to you as a person, what are your defining traits? For myself, I can be very decisive. I can listen to others, research the issue, considers the pros and cons, and then I move forward and not look back. That is when I am in control and Ready has that trait in balance. When I am out of balance, I am impulsive to my detriment. My impulsiveness comes from a self-centered mindset to either protect myself or try to make something go away. In other words, my strength can be my downfall. So how and when you address your children as either young, teenagers, or adults, come from a place of strength and not weakness. This will help both you and the children move forward and maintain a sound relationship regardless of the narrative put forth by the MLCer.

Hope this helps, and have a great weekend,

(((((Ready)))))

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Thanks PJ and Ready,

My kids are 11 and 13 so they are old enough to understand the situation and why I was upset.   Plan to keep it more focused on the lying and my W's behavior.  Do not plan to mention anything about OM.   I don't care about him and honestly don't want to give him any more thoughts.   Thinking I will tell my kids if my W files.   Don't want to burn a bridge but also I want to be consistent about my desire to work on the marriage.   I want to be able to look in my kids eyes and tell them I did everything I could to save the marriage.   Figuring the truth ultimately will come out.   Lastly, the only thing that would force me to bring it up sooner is if my W continues to talk about her being afraid of me to the kids based on our one fight before she moved out.   I was very, very angry and had enough of the lying but I would never hurt her.   I will set the record straight if needed if she doesn't take the high road.

Appreciate the advice and support.   Will continue to walk the tightrope with this situation.

Thanks,

HF
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I mentioned this somewhere, but the opportunity to say what you need to say will present itself, you just need to be ready for it. Kids are not stupid, but they can be led astray by an accomplished liar. My D thought "people just fall out of love".  I assume you don't want them growing up to think that cheating is ok or that abandoning their commitments is appropriate without at least trying to work it out.

There is "taking the high road" and there is letting children think cheating is acceptable because you "fell out of love". It's never good to just blurt out that their other parent is a lying cheating piece of garbage. It is acceptable to say "I believe in commitment and choose not to pursue divorce until there is no choice. I will not be lying about or to your other parent, having romantic relations with another person, or walking away from my commitment at this time. Your other parent has chosen differently, and has moved out and I have no control over that. If you have questions, I will answer if I know the facts."

As to not contacting your kids while they are with her, your choice however I want to point out that no harm no foul in texting good night, good morning, hope you have a good day, etc. Or sharing if something awesome happened to you that day. If you want to contact them, do so unless they say not to.

JMO.
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« Last Edit: February 05, 2021, 01:20:12 PM by OffRoad »
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Thanks Offroad,

I really like your suggestion for talking to the kids.  I also have been texting the kids most days when they are gone. .  It’s just they my W has been talking to them almost every day as we have more privacy in our house.  Just have to do my best with the current situation.

HF

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Journaling:

Well, I had a discussion with my W about whether we go to counseling or sell our current home which needs our 2 incomes in the long-term to remain.   Initially she just wanted to sell the home and then reluctantly agreed to at least 1 counseling session. (checking a box I think)

She is still in replay and blaming me for everything.   I understand that MC at this point won't help but I feel like I need to at least try so I can tell my kids I did everything I can to save our marriage.   I am detached enough to let her go and am going in with no expectations.   Selling our home doesn't change my willingness to stand and I will continue to protect my kids and my finances.

7 Months after BD and I am finally at a point where I have let go.  Still doesn't change the hurt that I feel, and I absolutely can't stand being away from my kids half the time.  Will keep everyone updated on this journey and appreciate your support and guidance which has made me stronger.

HF
   
   
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Seven months? You're a fast learner! When I was seven months post-BD I was a mess. Of course, I had a wallower so everything was slow motion.  ::)

You may be right about her checking a box with MC. Going into it with no expectations is probably the best approach for you.

Others will be able to explain this better, but some good advice I got was to pay attention to how I communicate in counseling. Keeping your words about your own thoughts and feelings works better than anything that could be taken as criticism or accusations. For example, saying "when I saw that you sent OM photos and flirtatious texts, it made me feel hurt and rejected and made it difficult for me to trust you" might work better than some other ways you could communicate to the counselor that your wife has been cheating.

Keep up the good work. This is a difficult time, but you're going to be OK. Let us know how we can support you.
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W asks for divorce - August 2019 | Divorce final - September 2019 | Moving on

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Thank you PJ.

Well, counseling may not even happen as she responded this morning worrying about our credit cards and finances which is partially a good thing because now we have the opportunity  to lock down a couple of our joint cards.   Just continuing to remind myself she is lost and I have to let her find her way.  She is still not able to even talk with me on the phone.   This morning's interaction bothered for me a couple of hours and then I let it go.   Getting better at detaching after she starts to stir things up.

Plan to enjoy the weekend with my kids as we get ready for the cold winter weather.

HF
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Hello,

Quote
but some good advice I got was to pay attention to how I communicate in counseling. Keeping your words about your own thoughts and feelings works better than anything that could be taken as criticism or accusations.

This is outstanding advice not only for counseling but how to communicate with others period. By addressing the actions not the person and using how you felt has more impact than attacking the other person.  I as I stated before, calling your wife a lying cheater will not help the situation. Just speak that the idea of an affair really hurts your heart.

Quote
This morning's interaction bothered for me a couple of hours and then I let it go.   Getting better at detaching after she starts to stir things up.

Plan to enjoy the weekend with my kids as we get ready for the cold winter weather.

Very strong statement. You are no longer letting your wife's words or actions validate or define you as a person. By shifting your focus and love to your kids, you can sustain them and support them during this crisis. You will help them learn how to navigate and deal with tough issues that they will face in the future.

Continue being the best father and share your love and heart with those that want to be with you.

Enjoy your weekend and no you are making great progress.

(((((Ready)))))
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There is "taking the high road" and there is letting children think cheating is acceptable because you "fell out of love". It's never good to just blurt out that their other parent is a lying cheating piece of garbage. It is acceptable to say "I believe in commitment and choose not to pursue divorce until there is no choice. I will not be lying about or to your other parent, having romantic relations with another person, or walking away from my commitment at this time. Your other parent has chosen differently, and has moved out and I have no control over that. If you have questions, I will answer if I know the facts."

JMO.

I wanted to thank OffRoad for this advice a couple of weeks back as a discussion with my youngest D presented the opportunity to take the high road and still address the issue about my W's OM.   My youngest told me that she knows her mom is texting OM and is lying to her when she asks who she is texting.  She even gave me the fake name that my W is using for OM.   I was caught off guard initially and then recomposed myself and paraphrased the above indicating I have never lied to my daughter, have not lied to my W, still love my W, and still want to go to counseling to work on the marriage.  I also let my D know that I  am giving her Mom space as there are things that she needs to figure out.  No matter what, I told my D that I will be there for her and her sister.   We will make it through this difficult time and will be OK no matter what.

This was a tough day being Valentines Day, but my conversation with my D renewed my spirit to focus on me, love my daughters, and continue to take the high road while detaching from my W.   My focus needs to be on my relationship with God.

HF
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Well, counseling may not even happen as she responded this morning worrying about our credit cards and finances which is partially a good thing because now we have the opportunity  to lock down a couple of our joint cards.   

Good Morning (at least it is morning on my side of the planet),

Maybe I am missing something here but what does her worrying about finances have to do with seeing an MC (outside of the obvious cost of an hour)?

The fact that she is worried about finances and the credit cards would be worrying to ME because the Mid-Lifer usually has NO concept of moderation or that there are limits to what they can spend... The fact she is worried would be a sign for me to take a good hard look at those cards. Locking them down or paying them off and cancelling them altogether would likely be a good step. xW1 left me with nearly 20K$ in credit card debt which I paid off and then, after the separation/D racked up an additional 20K+ to the point where she had to declare personal bankruptcy. 

This is not to say that yours will do the same but Mid-Lifers are known to go through cash like water over Niagara Falls
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Thanks UM,
It seems my W is on a journey to be more independent after relying on me.  It has appeared that she is watching her spending more lately.   I have been watching our 2 joint cards and can shut them down if needed.  I just need to run my credit report to make sure she hasn’t opened any in my name.

Appreciate your advice and will be careful.  Been more focused on myself but now appears to be the right time to protect myself financially too.



HF

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Journaling : 

This week has been absolutely crazy as I live in Texas as we dealt with winter storms that brought bitter cold to Texans that aren't used to the cold.   I have lived in the northern part of the US so I'm used to cold but the homes in Texas aren't built to deal with subzero temperatures.  Our electrical grid in Texas is another story as they failed to winterize the grid to prevent the power losses.     We also had rolling blackouts for 3 days which were challenging.   Fortunately, our blackouts weren't too long so we were able to keep the house warm enough to prevent burst pipes and damage.   Some others in Texas were not as lucky so appreciate your thoughts with those individuals impacted.

As for me, I am overall doing well.   My W still has agreed to go to one MC visit but I don't think it will do much good.  She is still in replay and blaming me for her unhappiness.  At a point where all I can do is let go but I am least going to try MC so I can tell my kids I did everything I could.

I remember when I first posted this fall that I came hopeful that she would quickly come out of her MLC fog.    The more I interact with her, the easier it is for me to detach.  She is broken and I am broken somewhat too.   All I want is take our brokenness and work to individually heal over time and maybe heal our marriage.  I will stand for our marriage but for now my 100% focus is on my healing and my kids.

I am sure I will have more questions for the mentors on this site as I continue down this journey.  Appreciate your  help as I work to take care of me.  It's not my crisis to solve.

HF

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I remember when I first posted this fall that I came hopeful that she would quickly come out of her MLC fog.    The more I interact with her, the easier it is for me to detach.

Unfortunately, this whole process is NOT a sprint to the finish, It is an ultra-marathon Tough Mudder slog.

The best you can do is to detach and run your own marathon while she runs her own course. The race courses will be VERY different for each person and yours may end up being easier in the long run.... As OP keeps saying, this all takes time and you have been given that gift of time....
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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.
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Yes UM.  This is the ultra marathon that I didn’t know I would be training for.   Will take this time to heal and move forward.  Up to my W to figure out her own path.
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You sound like you've come to a place of acceptance HF, which is really good.

And yes, you are running an ultra marathon you didn't know you were going to be running. And you're training for it while you're running it.

What a sad situation there in Texas. I'm glad you were able to stay warm and your pipes didn't burst. I'm in Oklahoma myself. It's been COLD here and there's a lot of snow, but my power stayed on the whole time. Today was the first day it got above freezing in almost two weeks, so it was great to get out of the house and do normal things again. Interesting how your perspective changes - today I'm grateful for running water and electricity, which I have pretty much always taken for granted.

Keep up the good work of healing and moving forward. Take care!
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Thanks PJ!  It's been great to get back to above freezing temperature and have a pretty normal week.   I really enjoyed the snow but would rather go skiing in Colorado that see it my backyard .

Journaling:  Well, my W indicated this past week she would go counseling but didn't respond with what day/time would work best.   I haven't heard anything for about a week and not planning to push it.  W also continues to contact the kids all the time during my time when I have them and seems to be struggling a little with the separation.   I want to tell her that she created this and the door has always been open for her to return.   She'll have to figure that out on her own.

As for me, I met with my IC and I've gotten to the point where I am able to let my W go.   I am still standing for my marriage but no more begging or even hoping.   I know what I want for my next relationship and she will have to work on herself and maybe then she can provide what I ultimately need.   

Looking forward to spring break in  a couple of weeks and I'm taking my kids away for a  couple of days.  Will be fun!

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My W finally responded and we have counseling scheduled for next week.   She is set boundaries for the discussion so it appears she doesn't really want to work on the marriage.   Still, I am standing for my marriage and want to look my kids in the eye to let them know that I did everything I can to save the marriage and our family.

Question for the group as I head into MC.   How did you handle standing for your marriage while still moving on and protecting yourself and potentially your kids?   

Let expand on my dilemma.   I made a marriage covenant with God which I am steadfast in living up to until the day if/when my W divorces me.  At the same time, I also need to protect myself and the kids if she doesn't want to work with me through separation and potentially the divorce.    Being the father, my biggest worry is custody of the kids and want to make that joint custody is arranged and geographic location limits are set regarding custody until my youngest is out of high school.    I feel confident that I have a strong case to pursue full custody if things in W's life go downhill further but I don't want to pursue that right now as it would eliminate any chance of reconciliation and I truly want to kids to have a positive relationship with my W.   I'm just concerned that her MLC could escalate things which I would be given no choice but to fight for custody and protect my self interests.   Not a fun situation and would appreciates insights from your own experience.



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Heavenly -
Such a tough situation to be in, and I'm sorry that you're in it.
I think it's good that you're going to counseling together, even if she's setting boundaries.
Anything that can come out in the open is a good thing, as long as you are able to not react to it.

When I went through legal proceedings, it was easy because my S15 at the time would have nothing to do with H, so I got full custody.  I am sure that with younger kids it's much more difficult, and I respect that you want to keep a good relationship between your children and your W.  I think joint custody is a good place to start as long as your children will be receiving appropriate care and attention from your wife while they will be with her, and obviously that they are safe.  You can also put down boundaries such that the op is not able to be around the children while they are with her - if that is what you choose.  Just try to think about what you want.

AND, the custody can always be changed if the circumstances change (unacceptable living conditions while with wife, not following conditions, etc). 

The bottom line is that your kids will know who's there for them, and that you've done everything you can to keep the marriage together.  Most important thing is to protect yourself and your children during this tumultuous time.

Good luck,
Sea
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Start with logistics. Are you even able to have full time custody right now? Is she? Do your kids like spending equal time with both parents, or do they prefer one over the other. Who is keeping the house, therefore the kids local friend group and school? Knowing these things help.

Who will get the kids to school? Whomever has them? Then it makes sense for both parents to be local to the kids chosen school. Restrictions on moving children from city, county, state are fairly common. Needing permission to take them out of state or country is fairly common. Having a 50 50 agreement and the kids staying more one place or the other is fairly common. Unless the parents live really close, 1 day at parent 1 and 1 day at parent 2 is pretty tough on kids, so consider living logistics during the school year.

Think about what is best and what the kids want. 50/50 (or school year with weekends/summer) with geographical limitations is a fine ask. If she says no, then you have to fight for it in court. Just know what you will fight for.

Also, keep in mind, you may want your kids to have a "good" relationship with their mother, but they get to feel how they feel. Should it end up the case,  do not make them wrong if they are upset or angry with the situation. My kids good relationship with their father has resulted in a daughter who doesn't believe marriage is worth the bother because men just leave (after all, he "fell out of love") and a son who is struggling through college because he is living with his father who is gaslighting and setting him up to fail at every turn. I'm no longer sure that encouraging a relationship with a messed up person is the correct thing to do, but don't believe in standing in the way of one, either. I am mentioning this in case your kids get confused and wonder why (as mine did) I would allow anyone to treat me that way. It can be VERY confusing for them and while you do need to explain your perspective, you also need to honor theirs and have open communication. JMO.
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Quote
How did you handle standing for your marriage while still moving on and protecting yourself and potentially your kids?
This is a tough spot to be in. I've been in a similar spot myself (my kids were older, so it wasn't completely the same). I felt really conflicted since I had made promises to my w, to my kids, and to myself. And it sometimes felt like I had to break one promise or the other.

I don't think compartmentalizing yourself is healthy - at least long-term. But when my xw filed, I became adept at putting on different hats. There was my business hat, my Dad hat, and my husband hat. In my case, it was usually pretty easy to know which hat to wear for the occasion.
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Thank you Sea, OffRoad, and PJ for your insights.

AND, the custody can always be changed if the circumstances change (unacceptable living conditions while with wife, not following conditions, etc). 

The bottom line is that your kids will know who's there for them, and that you've done everything you can to keep the marriage together.  Most important thing is to protect yourself and your children during this tumultuous time.

Good luck,
Sea

Sea, The fact that custody can be changed overtime gives me comfort in seeing where things go.  The one positive over the past months of separation is that my W does seem to be focused on being there for our kids.  She has taken responsibility for getting the kids to school and has made them a priority. 


Also, keep in mind, you may want your kids to have a "good" relationship with their mother, but they get to feel how they feel. Should it end up the case,  do not make them wrong if they are upset or angry with the situation. My kids good relationship with their father has resulted in a daughter who doesn't believe marriage is worth the bother because men just leave (after all, he "fell out of love") and a son who is struggling through college because he is living with his father who is gaslighting and setting him up to fail at every turn. I'm no longer sure that encouraging a relationship with a messed up person is the correct thing to do, but don't believe in standing in the way of one, either. I am mentioning this in case your kids get confused and wonder why (as mine did) I would allow anyone to treat me that way. It can be VERY confusing for them and while you do need to explain your perspective, you also need to honor theirs and have open communication. JMO.

OffRoad, This is the thing that does worry me about the collateral damage that may occur.  I am sorry to hear that you kids have been impacted but I guess the only thing we can do is have open communication as you suggest and be the role model for our kids.   So far I have tried to be the best father I can be to my children being open and honest with them throughout the separation. 

This is a tough spot to be in. I've been in a similar spot myself (my kids were older, so it wasn't completely the same). I felt really conflicted since I had made promises to my w, to my kids, and to myself. And it sometimes felt like I had to break one promise or the other.

PJ, see your point and guess will have to see how things play our with MC and in time as my W figures out her own journey.  I am willing to give it time to see if she will come around but there may be a point where I have decide between standing for my marriage and doing what is best for me and my children.
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Hello,

Quote
My W finally responded and we have counseling scheduled for next week.   She is set boundaries for the discussion so it appears she doesn't really want to work on the marriage.

Really, how does that work? The counselor facilitates the conversation and there are no taboo subjects. That's what kills marriages because no one wants to discuss the core issues. The failure to resolve leads to resentment and that lead to more conflict and the end of the marriage. Once again, I want to emphasize that you don't want to make the session about her and attacks about her, that she is a bad mother, that she is a liar or a cheat. It will make for great energy but instead attack the issue. For example, ask the counselor, "How do we restore trust in our marriage?" Note the we aspect, and let's be honest, as much as we don't trust the MLCer, the MLCer doesn't trust us. Be prepared for her to attack you and let the arrows pass through you. Detachment means you no longer allow her emotional charges to disrupt your emotional core. If you are standing for the marriage, then lets discuss and try to heal the marriage.

I am giving this advice because I realized that MC rarely works for MLCers. I wasted a lot of emotional energy because I felt she needed to come around and make the changes. For over two years, we never discussed the marriage instead it became more of a extended IC for her and I was kinda of there. So my advice is based upon my own reflections on how it could have shifted so that I wasn't wasting time or energy but at the same time influencing my MLCer.
That's the critical piece that I want you to focus on. Too often, we go into the session seeing the counselor more as a judge and we want to prove our point at the expense of the other person. Instead, the true purpose of the counselor is to facilitate a conversation to resolve the conflicts concerning the marriage. So by focusing on the marriage and avoiding the blame game, you maybe able to influence the mindset of your MLCer. However, if you go in to do battle, it will only leave both of you wounded and hurt.

Quote
How did you handle standing for your marriage while still moving on and protecting yourself and potentially your kids?

That's actually an easy one. I, for one, like to be alive. I try to eat healthy, exercise, and avoid crazy activities like climbing Mount Everest. However, to protect my wife and family, I have life insurance. A rather large policy that I really don't want to use. And yes, my new wife still tries to get me skydiving lessons for every holiday (Okay, that's a lie). It's not potentially protecting your kids, it is protecting your kids. In fact, flip it to, protecting the kids and potentially myself. 

Quote
The one positive over the past months of separation is that my W does seem to be focused on being there for our kids.  She has taken responsibility for getting the kids to school and has made them a priority.

That is good, but be prepared for phases. Many MLCers from what I have read go from high energy phases to low energy phases. She may be there for the kids everyday and it is all about the kids and then like a light switch, she goes completely quiet. It is almost like a bipolar situation so be prepared.

Offroad gave great advice in regards to the children and their relationship with their mother. You want to be the neutral voice in that regards. I often told my children, "While I hope you have a good relationship with your mother for your own wellbeing; it is your choice and I respect your decisions." Of course they are older and even to this day, I stay out of the equation.

You are doing well and I am glad the counseling is helping. Have an awesome day,

(((((Ready)))))
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Hi HF  :D

It may be disheartening about her not wanting to talk about certain things....... I would say "don't despair"..... there is always change, in all things. What she can't do today will be different tomorrow...... and MLC'ers are not able to confront all of themselves anytime soon.
Just like everything with them, they have to figure out it's safe 1st.

Try to look at it from her shoes, weather she wants to work on it or not (she could be either or a shade in the middle and not sure): This is dipping her toe in..... how scary that must be. There is that which she can admit to herself and that which she can't..... both of which will take work. They fear being hit over the head with what they've done, they don't see how anyone can love or forgive them for what they've done. It will take time.

I would say, give it patience, and avoid the word "you". If the MC is good, they will draw things out. You'll probably have to be the one to gently but firmly say that you do not want to D and establish yourself as the rock (if that's what you want, and if she doesn't know this already). I would be on the lookout for signs of empathy, or if she is devoid of that. She may attack you but that is an opportunity to show strength, be honest, hold your ground where there are lies, and give ground where there is truth. If anyone is going to be the example and lead, it's you. She will learn from it, or she won't. You'll be able to see this pretty fast (and it'll probably be very small to begin with) but it will be a very long process also. It's not a brawl, ask questions, seek understanding. It's really not for you, you're not broke. It's a  great excuse for her to open up and talk things out which are inside her that she doesn't understand, from this you can learn. Draw her out (slowly and safely).

Well, it will be good or it won't.... it's up to her, but you can help. I really hope it will be good. It is a challenge one way or another and the best way to confront it is head on. Good luck!!  8)

-SS
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Hello,
.
I am giving this advice because I realized that MC rarely works for MLCers. I wasted a lot of emotional energy because I felt she needed to come around and make the changes. For over two years, we never discussed the marriage instead it became more of a extended IC for her and I was kinda of there. So my advice is based upon my own reflections on how it could have shifted so that I wasn't wasting time or energy but at the same time influencing my MLCer.
That's the critical piece that I want you to focus on. Too often, we go into the session seeing the counselor more as a judge and we want to prove our point at the expense of the other person. Instead, the true purpose of the counselor is to facilitate a conversation to resolve the conflicts concerning the marriage. So by focusing on the marriage and avoiding the blame game, you maybe able to influence the mindset of your MLCer. However, if you go in to do battle, it will only leave both of you wounded and hurt.

Thanks Ready!  Your advice has always been so helpful.   Yes, I am going into the session with no expectations.  I will be focused on marriage and listening to counselor and my W's feedback.   I also want to communicate my desire to still focus on the marriage with clear boundaries.   Also willing to say that I will let her go to figure out her own issues.  I am in a better place now and I'm not sure our original MC appointment 2 months ago would have been helpful.   This one might.

Hi HF  :D

I would say, give it patience, and avoid the word "you". If the MC is good, they will draw things out. You'll probably have to be the one to gently but firmly say that you do not want to D and establish yourself as the rock (if that's what you want, and if she doesn't know this already). I would be on the lookout for signs of empathy, or if she is devoid of that. She may attack you but that is an opportunity to show strength, be honest, hold your ground where there are lies, and give ground where there is truth. If anyone is going to be the example and lead, it's you. She will learn from it, or she won't. You'll be able to see this pretty fast (and it'll probably be very small to begin with) but it will be a very long process also. It's not a brawl, ask questions, seek understanding. It's really not for you, you're not broke. It's a  great excuse for her to open up and talk things out which are inside her that she doesn't understand, from this you can learn. Draw her out (slowly and safely).

Well, it will be good or it won't.... it's up to her, but you can help. I really hope it will be good. It is a challenge one way or another and the best way to confront it is head on. Good luck!!  8)

-SS

Thank you SS.  I have always appreciated the patience that you have showed with your W.   I am one who does have patience and can serve as the example and role model for my W and my children.   It was much harder when W was in the home and openly lying and communicating with others outside of healthy boundaries in the marriage.    I now realize that she had to leave in order for us both to heal.   It's up to her on whether she wants to come back and I can only control me and focus on my kids.   Will be interesting to see how this plays out.  Have no idea how she is going to react.   
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Time for some journaling.

I am glad that I received the guidance from many on this forum and also read a previous thread about MC and MLC because both were very helpful.   My W is still lost in the fog and pretty much gaslighted during the entire session blaming me for our current situation.  During the first half, I was very patient and made it through just fine.  During the second half, it became more difficult as she really became angrier and it can be exhausting defending against her accusations.  I did my best and overall was ok.

The next 24 hours were difficult and I didn't sleep much that night.   By the next night, I started to regain my focus and was back to my detached ways.  Planning to meet with the MC one-on-one next week to provide the other side of the story that I couldn't properly tell in this first session.   Also want to talk about setting clear boundaries for future sessions if and when my W is truly ready to work on our marriage.   She isn't ready right now and I can accept the reality.  I will not tolerate future sessions where she blames me the entire time without any self reflection on her part. 

HF

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« Last Edit: March 04, 2021, 08:46:08 PM by HeavenlyFocus »
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This was my exact experience in MC as well.  Everything was my fault. Even when she attempted to take some blame, she turned herself into either a victim, where her actions were completely dependent upon me, or she turned herself into a long-suffering heroine.   The therapist really was no help here, as she didn't seem to see the signs of an OM, and didn't seem to realize anything about mlc. She basically just told me to stay quiet, supportive, and that women were complex creatures and that I had married a multi-faceted human being. The implication was that men were simple and that I needed to just sit there and support her as we "ripped the bandage off her wound."

Therapy ended the day that I exposed her infidelity. The therapist seemed to get angry that I had intuited for a while that there was someone else involved and hadn't said anything. She told us to go take 6 weeks to figure out what we wanted to do and that we were both smart and we would figure it out ourselves. I think that was a horrible decision on her part, and bordered on malpractice, if such a thing can be attributed to a marriage counselor. She dumped us off at the worst point of our Lives and left us to flounder. I left the house 7 months after that day, and now I'm awaiting the final draft of stbxw's settlement proposal.
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Still home.  Threatened to leave several times and has asked me to leave about a dozen. 
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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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Hello,

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Everything was my fault.

Yes, that's why I wanted you to go in prepared to be attacked and not let it get to you. If you were walking down the street and a crazed man tried telling you that the world ended yesterday and we were all just figments of his imagination on the day he died, would you try to debate him? The MLCer doesn't change the moment they walk into a counseling session. If they have been blaming you for everything, why would their perspective change? Your ex went in to the session to prove she was right. Your position is not to place blame, but to acknowledge that you want to work on the marriage. As I stated before, by avoiding personal attacks and addressing the aspect of marriage, you may influence her.

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The therapist really was no help here, as she didn't seem to see the signs of an OM, and didn't seem to realize anything about mlc.

This is a great statement. In fact, some therapists will not even engage in counseling if there is an affair currently going on as they feel the emotional connection of a third party eliminates any chance of moving forward. I would bring up OM, but not calling her a cheater, but that a marriage can not be sustained if one member of the couple is involved with someone else. Don't say it with anger, but matter of fact, just like driving down the left side of the road in the US will eventually get you into an accident. As far as transitional crisis, it is recognized during adolescence but not afterwards. This is old but very telling:

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The items in the factor suggested a pattern consistent with Erikson's theory of adolescent crisis, and was labeled the Identity Exploration Crisis (IEC) factor. Adolescents who were actively engaged in identity exploration were more likely to produce a personality pattern characterized by self-doubt, confusion, disturbed thinking impulsivity, conflicts with parents and other authority figures, reduced ego strength, and increased physical symptoms.

For some reason, it never occurs at any other transitional period of our lives?

You did well in counseling because you already were aware that she wasn't going in to save the marriage, she was going in front of a stranger to prove her point and justify her actions. If she barks at the moon in June, chances are pretty high she is going to bark at the moon in July. Just sayin. You went in not to fix her, but have some influence by not attacking her or blaming her. Because if you did, it would be like throwing uncooked spaghetti against the wall hoping it would stick.

It's Friday! Relax and have a great weekend!

((((Ready)))))





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**That's what kills marriages because no one wants to discuss the core issues. The failure to resolve leads to resentment and that lead to more conflict and the end of the marriage**

100%. Also, in my case, an inability to face things aren't anywhere close to perfect. I just tried to ignore that forever.

Resentment leads to poor intimacy and lack of overall trust.

In my case, also, MLCer can't handle criticism. Very narcissistic. Even when he started acting out it was "we" have these problems caused by "you".

My daughter actually said to him, "I've never seen you do the things for her that a man does for a woman". His response, "well she never does it for me"

What do you even do with that?
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My daughter actually said to him, "I've never seen you do the things for her that a man does for a woman". His response, "well she never does it for me"

What do you even do with that?

Ignore it like an adult would ignore a three-year-old having a temper tantrum that starts with "But THEY started it!"

That kind of argument is nothing more than revision of history... Besides, what were those things? Are they even within your capabilities? I mean, your daughter specifically said "... that a man does for a woman..." so, unless you have both transitioned to the opposite gender, his reply was simply his self-made and self-propagating "Poor me I am such a poor victim" pity party

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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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Hey HF!!

It sounds like you did really good  :D

Couple things jump out at me...... you said the 1st half you got thru just fine, but by the 2nd half she was essentially spoiling for a fight.
That's really good IMO (if I'm reading that right). You were strong, it was rolling off your back, and she became frustrated because of your calmness.
Excellent!!

So she blamed you, nothing new there...... but she was able to voice it, which is very useful. Get that crap out of her head. She is unable to lay blame where it belongs (herself) so of course it has to be pointed at you. Just shows where she is at the moment...... and keeping it bottled up isn't going to help anyone (especially her). Personally, I hope she can exhaust herself..... just blow that top until all the steam escapes. It's in the exhaustion that they find some peace and can have some honest thoughts filter thru. Really great job on being a rock thru it. That's exactly what is needed. You're the rock, she's a wave/tide..... she'll break herself on you and scream and rage that you are unbroken....... after all, how is it possible you still stand while she knows she's broken?  ;)

So you get your part next week eh? Good. Just remember it isn't a fight, it isn't a wrestling match. Calm, slow and strong (resolute). Just tell the truth and see how she responds. If her memory is distorted, or if bits shine thru. It isn't about proving something to her (impossible), it's about sparking her own thoughts, evaluations and feelings. She has to question herself and come to her own conclusion. Doubt, self-doubt in her current course of action in relation to her values, experiences (both of which do not truly change) is what is needed. Identity crisis...... She has to conflict with herself. Do this without attack, just by questions that cause her to think, and explanation of your understandings, feeling and thoughts. Differentiating yourself as an individual, and a person (not a character).

Well, that's my thought anyway.

Once again though..... Good Job!!! You made it thru!! The 1st one is the hardest, and the one with the most attacks. Next time there'll probably be more, just a little less..... and that's a victory. Just a little better as it progresses, it builds on itself. If the counselor is clueless, then it'll be an education for them as well. They can't solve it, they just bring her to the table. Get her talking, keep her talking, draw her out..... that crap inside has to be released.
Now you know where she is, and that's intelligence!! You know more than before, and which direction she's moving. Priceless.


Just a side question: What is she like afterward? Exhausted? Is she more agreeable? If so, how long does it last?

Keep going!! You're going to grow from this. Embrace it.

-SS
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This was my exact experience in MC as well.  Everything was my fault. Even when she attempted to take some blame, she turned herself into either a victim, where her actions were completely dependent upon me, or she turned herself into a long-suffering heroine.   The therapist really was no help here, as she didn't seem to see the signs of an OM, and didn't seem to realize anything about mlc. She basically just told me to stay quiet, supportive, and that women were complex creatures and that I had married a multi-faceted human being. The implication was that men were simple and that I needed to just sit there and support her as we "ripped the bandage off her wound."

Yes Disillusioned, it's really frustrating that my W wasn't able to own up to her actions and turned herself into the victim.   My focus was strictly on our marriage and also the boundaries needed to restore trust.


So she blamed you, nothing new there...... but she was able to voice it, which is very useful. Get that crap out of her head. She is unable to lay blame where it belongs (herself) so of course it has to be pointed at you. Just shows where she is at the moment...... and keeping it bottled up isn't going to help anyone (especially her). Personally, I hope she can exhaust herself..... just blow that top until all the steam escapes. It's in the exhaustion that they find some peace and can have some honest thoughts filter thru. Really great job on being a rock thru it. That's exactly what is needed. You're the rock, she's a wave/tide..... she'll break herself on you and scream and rage that you are unbroken....... after all, how is it possible you still stand while she knows she's broken?  ;)

Yes SS, she has been exhausted the past couple of days and hasn't felt well.   I just continue to give her space and am back to my detached self.   Also was able to provide additional help with the kids since she didn't feel well.   Need to be careful that I don't let her take advantage of me and at the same time I can see that she is really broken and it has to be exhausting.  I can have compassion for my W while still standing up for clear boundaries regarding being honest and faithful in our marriage.   The truth will ultimately come out. 

My appointment is with the MC only so my W will not be present.  It will give me a chance to outline what has happened from my perspective while also being honest about the challenges with our marriage.  Not trying to blame everything on my W but want to be very clear about my needs and the boundaries that are needed to restore trust in time.  I am training for this MLC marathon and ready if she opens up and eventually wants to work on the marriage.  First she needs to work on herself and I will do my own mirror work and GAL.

HF
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« Last Edit: March 05, 2021, 11:05:59 AM by HeavenlyFocus »
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Quick journaling update:

I was able to go back to the MC by myself and it felt good to provide my thoughts about my marriage and especially the events over the past year.   I was able to outline  the boundaries that I need for future MC sessions and the counselor seemed to support my boundaries.   The counselor also offered to reach back out to my W regarding her next steps with counseling.   Think this is helpful as I can leave my W be and let her figure out what she wants with the MC's help.  If my W chooses to stop MC, then I at least tried and can continue my detachment.  Let the MC know I am standing for the marriage but I am willing to let my W go if she truly wants another life.

So now I can will continue on my journey to take care of myself and GAL.   I have a fun weekend  planned with my kids  which is so needed at this time.

HF

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I'm glad you were able to have that discussion with the MC, and it was probably best done as an independent session. You are on a good path - standing as long as feels right for you, detaching, moving forward with your life.
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Thanks Curiosity for the support.

Journaling:  I had a great weekend with my kids as it was so good to get away.   I also was able to meet with my W over the past week to talk about our home situation and whether to sell our home.   My W has a temporary lease which will end in the coming months and she ultimately has to make a decision to come back home to work on the marriage or we move our separate ways.  The interesting thing is she actually wanted to talk more about the relationship than the home situation.   I continued to listen and validate some of her feelings that are valid while also communicating my desire to work on the marriage with the MC and the boundaries that I need regarding honesty and faithfulness.

She still is not ready but said she would think about continuing MC.  I also offered to take her out for her birthday in a couple of weeks and and she accepted somewhat reluctantly.  No expectations at this point but I want to be able to say that I did everything I could to rebuild our marriage if my W and I are able to heal.

I know that this will be a long journey and will continue to detach and focus on me in the near term.  Just want to focus on my journey and leave the door halfway open if she wants to walk through and join me on the adventure.   

HF
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Hello,

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No expectations at this point but I want to be able to say that I did everything I could to rebuild our marriage if my W and I are able to heal.

True, but I think you passed that mark a long time ago. If I recall, you spent two years at her side while she went through life-threatening medical issues.

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I also was able to meet with my W over the past week to talk about our home situation and whether to sell our home.   My W has a temporary lease which will end in the coming months and she ultimately has to make a decision to come back home to work on the marriage or we move our separate ways.  The interesting thing is she actually wanted to talk more about the relationship than the home situation.   I continued to listen and validate some of her feelings that are valid while also communicating my desire to work on the marriage with the MC and the boundaries that I need regarding honesty and faithfulness.

Very interesting. Had both of you met to discuss the future of the relationship, she would have wanted to talk about selling the house. They are so unpredictable.

Just keep moving forward and live your life with peace and bliss.

Have a great weekend,

((((Ready))))
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Hello,

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No expectations at this point but I want to be able to say that I did everything I could to rebuild our marriage if my W and I are able to heal.

True, but I think you passed that mark a long time ago. If I recall, you spent two years at her side while she went through life-threatening medical issues.


Thx Ready.  I know that I have been there for her.  I guess when I say I want to do everything I can to rebuild our marriage, I am doing it more for me to help with my healing.   Detaching while still being there to work on the marriage will allow me to let her go in a healthy way if she chooses another path.   I can look myself in the mirror and also tell my kids that I did everything I could to save our marriage.  I don't want to live in bitterness or despair and have hope for the future regardless of the outcome of my marriage. 
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Time for another update as it's been some time since I last update.  Lot going on in my life.  This past week was interesting as my daughter had a sporting event trip that both my W and I went to.   During that time she ended up scheduling dinner for our family and we ate out together for the first time.  Not reading too much into it but we were at least cordial and had fun as a family.

This next week will be interesting as it is my W's birthday.  I have invited to take her out for her birthday and it appears she is willing to go.   She is then going to visit her family taking our kids which will give her the chance maybe sort some things out.   I continue to focus on me and while remaining somewhat detached.
 Still leaving the door open if she wants to walk through and eventually talk things over.  Not pushing anything at this point regarding the M but will need a decision on her home situation when het temporary rental ends soon.  Will see how the wind blows and I am open to all options that may come.

HF
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HF, it sure sounds like you are in a good place regarding your detachment and focus on yourself and kids. Being open to all outcomes, not attached to any particular one, is essential - and it doesn’t have to mean you can’t hope for a particular outcome, just that you will live your life and be okay with whatever happens.

Thanks for the update... as a fellow member of the class of 2020, I appreciate knowing how others are navigating this.
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Hello,

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Time for another update as it's been some time since I last update.  Lot going on in my life.  This past week was interesting as my daughter had a sporting event trip that both my W and I went to.   During that time she ended up scheduling dinner for our family and we ate out together for the first time.  Not reading too much into it but we were at least cordial and had fun as a family.

Nice. You've got it right. You didn't plan or try to set up the event, it just happened and she ordered the food. You didn't try to analyze the conversation or try to gauge her in any manner.

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This next week will be interesting as it is my W's birthday.  I have invited to take her out for her birthday and it appears she is willing to go.

Another nice, if she declined-okay. You are prepared for either answer.

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She is then going to visit her family taking our kids which will give her the chance maybe sort some things out.

Just be really detached from this. It takes a long time to sort out a plate of spaghetti. She may come back more unsorted. But-that's on her.

Quote
Not pushing anything at this point regarding the M but will need a decision on her home situation when het temporary rental ends soon.  Will see how the wind blows and I am open to all options that may come.

Perfect. She has to make the decision on her rental and when she makes that decision, you will be ready for any option she chooses. You are doing well and seem very grounded. The focus of living your life as opposed to trying to fix her life creates a better mindset and leads to better mental and emotional health.

Have a great day and be good to yourself,

(((((Ready)))))



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Well, it's been awhile since my last update and so much has been happening that I finally had some downtime to process everything going on.

First, the good news is that my W and I did have dinner a couple of weeks  ago.  We had a good time and  we also agreed to sell our home and split the proceeds.   It was the most healthy conversation that we had in awhile and I've continued to be the husband that I need to be regardless of the outcome.  Our current home situation needed two incomes and my W is nowhere close to being out of the tunnel.

As for some tough news,  my wife accidentally slipped and inadvertently let me know that she is involved with the OM even though she still hasn't admitted it to me.   Truthfully, I have known that she most likely still involved but it was nice to be able to confirm without me having to pry.   Gave me a chance to set boundaries while still focusing on my own journey forward taking care of me and my kids.

So where am I at?  There is a part of me that is still very angry.   I can't stand the lying and it is the lying that hurts me the most.   I don't spend any time thinking about the OM as he is not worth it.   I am sad for my W as I see that she is struggling but there is nothing that I can do to help her.  She has not only hurt me, but she has blown up relationships with some of her best friends and even her parents.   Not sure what life she wants, but she is running away from our previous life.   

As for my kids, I am continuing to Love and Support them during this tough time.   My kids needs stability right now and it has to be my top priority.  At the same time, I am trying to focus on me during my downtime when they are gone.   This is my time for rest, recovery, and time with some close friends.

The lying event that occurred last week with my W has taken me to the next level of attachment.  I am no longer expecting anything from her and am letting her go.   I still plan to stand for the marriage but unsure of the timing for how long.  Some family and friends don't want me to stand anymore but I am still committed to my marriage.   As we sell our home, I will be moving to a separate banking accounts and my W and I will pay off all debt.   This will eliminate any of the financial concerns that I had in the previous months.

So in summary,
1. I am still in a good place of detachment and really letting my wife go at this point to figure out her life
2. House being sold and finances are in good shape
3. Focused on supporting kids and taking care of me too
4. Got my first vaccine shot today (Yay!)

I appreciate everyone's stories and insights which has helped me on my journey.  My future is bright no matter what!

HF

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HF, thanks for a great update. You sound like you are in a really good place financially as well as emotionally. You are truly learning the lessons this journey teaches us.

I understand the anger, and I agree that it’s the lying that really continues to rankle, even after the shock of the betrayal has largely worn off. For me, I feel like the anger has dissipated and just doesn’t really take hold in me anymore, but there are times of annoyance and frustration at the inconsistencies in W’s behavior and her words. She would say I am her best friend, but her actions would be nothing like the way you treat a friend. She would be anxious or stressed out in our home or around me, but seek me out and spend time at home anyway. Even now, she moved back home, she talks about buying furniture or updating the yard furnishings for entertaining... but she makes no move to connect to me emotionally or even to talk about the practicalities of our future (together or otherwise). And it does help to know that inconsistency and lying and general fog are part of crisis and that’s just the way it’s going to be, but there are still moments of frustration. It gets better - so much better - over time.

We each have differences in our journeys, and I have no advice to offer - the basic guidelines about protecting yourself are things you are already doing very well. I just wanted to reach out to say that you aren’t alone and you are doing all the right things, and I’m glad to hear that you are making such great progress toward healing.
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Hey HF!!!

You sound good!!
I'm sorry she was not forthcoming about OM, but they normally aren't.  :(
You handled it very well.

So happy that you have the finances all squared away. That's a really big deal. Hope you have given yourself a good pat on the back.

-SS
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Hello,

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There is a part of me that is still very angry. 

That is actually very healthy and normal. You have been through a lot and have a lot to process.

Quote
As for my kids, I am continuing to Love and Support them during this tough time.   My kids needs stability right now and it has to be my top priority. 

I am so glad that you have made the right choices in your priorities. Your children need a strong father at this time. Just like you didn't cause the crisis, neither did they. Let them know how much you love them and that they will always be your number one concern.

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Some family and friends don't want me to stand anymore but I am still committed to my marriage. 

Only you will know when you are ready. There is no need to rush and as OP states, you have the gift of time. Use this time to heal and process the trauma. Allow your children to heal as well.

From the cheap seats of the house, my perspective is that you have handled the crisis very well. There are two points to navigating a major crisis. One, being brutally honest with the situation and two, building hope that is based on reality. I think you have done well on both aspects.

Enjoy your weekend with your children,

(((((Ready)))))
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Thx Curiosity, SS, and Ready,

It's interesting that I am finally reaching a point of detachment where I am truly letting my MLC W go.  I see her truly for what she is right now, and I want no part of it.   I am still standing for my marriage, but she's has to her own work to do.    Until then, my world is focused on me and I'm not spending much time thinking of her anymore.  She consumed my thoughts when I started on this forum and now she's somewhat an afterthought.   

Not sure what this means, but this summer will be interesting as we sell our home and truly separate.   Biggest concern at this point is the kids.  They are doing well but selling the home is a big step.   Just need to stay strong and continue to be the stable rock that they need right now.

Will see how things evolve.   

HF



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Catching up, HF.

First of all, I have to say that from where I sit, you seem to be handling things like a champ. In the first year after BD I was still trying to figure out which way was up and what truck had just run over me.

Quote
Biggest concern at this point is the kids.  They are doing well but selling the home is a big step.   Just need to stay strong and continue to be the stable rock that they need right now.
This is so important. As much as we hate to think about it, some day our kids will go through some personal trauma or crisis of their own. In your actions, you are modeling how to deal with things in a healthy way. You are not drinking yourself into oblivion or hopping into bed with the first warm body that comes along. Your example will help them when they go through hard times of their own. So Bravo!

Good luck selling the home!
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Together 28 years, married 27. Two adult kids, ours

BD #1: 2016 - EA  |  BD #2: 2018 - FA

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My thread: https://mlcforum.theherosspouse.com/index.php?topic=11537.new#new

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Thanks PJ!  Yes, I am focused on acting with integrity and being the example for the my kids.   Taking things one day at a time.

As for a quick journal update.   We accepted an offer for our home, and I have found a place for me and my kids.   It's not the ideal place that I want to live but the location of our new place will be best for the kids and keep them in the same schools.  I am content for now and looking forward to my next chapter.

Will provide more updates soon.   Life is definitely interesting at this point.

HF

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Hi Everyone,

Well I got the big news today that my W has filed for divorce.   I was very emotional for the first hour but am doing ok now.  I have accepted her crises and will move forward to GAL and be the best father for my kids.   I did everything I can to fight for the marriage but it takes two to rebuild a marriage.   

Would appreciate advice on how to handle communication with my kids.  I have kept quiet about the reasons while I was so angry with my W this fall and on NYE.  Feel like I need to tell them the truth about my W's lying and inappropriate relationship but keep the details limited.   I  mostly want to reinforce that I love them and will do the best that I can to work with their Mom during the D process.   I am assuming my W already told the girls about the D as this is how she has handled things in the past.   My kids are with her right now.

Overall, I'm very sad about the ending of my marriage but I'm also grateful that I am in a good position right now.  I will be ok.

Have  a great weekend everyone!

HF
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Hi HF,

I am so so sorry for your family. Work on making your kids feel as safe and loved as possible. Your wife can try and polish a turd all she wants it’s still a turd.

  You do not have to take responsibility for her choices.  This was her idea not yours and the kids should know that.  Her life with her kids is now going to be hers alone. You don't have to play happy family as you aren't one. Though you might want to do that. That is up to you alone.

  You are going to get the Let's be friends for the kids sake.  That is entirely up to you. I Don’t do that and  I don’t think I ever will.

  Fight for everything you want. This  might be the biggest BUSINESS decision you make in your life. Please protect you and your kids at all costs.

  Please be easy on yourself and the kids. We are all here for you.

God Bless
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Hello,

First of all, I am so sorry for the news. Even though it is her choice and part of the process, it doesn't lessen the pain.

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Fight for everything you want. This  might be the biggest BUSINESS decision you make in your life. Please protect you and your kids at all costs.

This is critical. Often you may want to soften so that you won't be a bad guy in her eyes. Just know that she will do anything to improve her situation at your expense.

She chose to divorce you and she needs to live with the consequences of that choice.

As far as telling the children,  brief and to the point. "Your mother has filed for divorce. This choice has nothing to do with you and know that I will always be here for you and my choices and decisions will always be in your best interests and reflect how much I love you."

As far as your w goes, you don't have to speak for her at all. Just like Father said about being friends for the sake of the kids, it is not my cup of tea either. In the presence of my ex, I am polite and respectful towards her and I never bad mouth her to the kids,  but I don't treat her like a lifelong friend either. However, this is your choice and how you respond is up to you.

On another note, her loss- not yours. This will be a decision she will live to regret.

(((((Ready)))))


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Thank you Father and Ready for your support and advice.

I know I need to protect myself and will make sure I will be OK as we work through the divorce.   What's important to me is that I handle this with integrity and show my girls how to work through adversity in a healthy way.  Just need to balance taking care of myself without letting the anger and frustrations harden my heart.

Acorn's post today highlighting the differences between Happiness and Joy really resonated with me.  My MLC W is searching to happiness and blaming all outside factors including me for her unhappiness.   I am focused on God and experiencing Joy in my life no matter what the outcomes or issues that I'm dealing with. 

Yes protecting me during the divorce is important and I won't let my W manipulate me or the kids.  At the same time, how I respond and teach my kids during this time is also important. 

Will keep everyone updated as this unwanted journey evolves.  Really appreciate everyone's support and stories that have helped me during this difficult time.

HF

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Hi HF,

I'm so sorry to hear this. She has made a terrible decision, and it will come back to her in time.
You are focused right on what you need to be focused on, you're going to be more than ok.

-SS
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Thx Standing for the support.

Well, the monster is back and back with vengeance.   Not really sure why as she is the one the filed but it doesn't look she wants to make it easy right now as we sell the house and work through the divorce.   Really need to focus on detaching for now and taking care of me and my girls.   Can't believe what she has become.   I would never want to be filled with so much anger.

HF
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Journaling again.  Well, we sold the house.  Feels good to have the burden off my shoulders.   Will be moving in a couple of weeks and will start to get settled in my new life.  Continue to focus on my own self-care and taking care of my kids.   One day at a time.

HF



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Wow! That was fast!  Do you have your new place scoped out?
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Hey HF,

I guess the hot housing market is good for something  ;)
That was super quick.

Over here I know homes are selling in 4 hours of listing (how crazy is that?).

So monster is back...... and angry eh?
How long are you looking at the D talking? Going to slow walk it, or just let it go?

Stay strong, you're holding it together really good.

-SS
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Hi OR and SS,

Yes, the housing market is red hot.  It's the one really positive thing out of this nightmare.   Compared to all the worries I had earlier this year, I feel really good about how the house situation has worked out. 

As for the D, it's really up to my W at this time.  I can tell she is really struggling and am not sure if she really  knows what she really wants. The D could move really quick as she continues on the MLC train or she could finally peek out of the tunnel to halt the divorce.  If she wants to move fast and is reasonable, then I will let her go quickly.  If she starts to reconsider and wants to slowly work on things that I will slow roll.

Either way, I know my life is heading in a better direction.  Not going to let anger harden my heart.   

HF
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Hey HF,

Just saying.... if she's very conflicted right now (which it sounds like), then she will probably flips back and forth in rapid succession. How is her energy level at the moment? Actually doing the D would take a lot of energy for her to do it on her own. If you don't help, she could stall out mid D. Doesn't mean she's peeking out, just fighting with herself.
Are you in a spot to allow her to wrestle with herself for awhile?

Here is where you can (non-aggressively but firmly) state your opposition to a D so that it rests solely in her lap..... if that's what you want.

-SS
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Hi SS,
I have been consistent about my opposition to the divorce and she still wants to follow through.  I am willing to hold off for awhile but I don’t think she wants to wait.

Journaling:
Well, she came to pack up her things and was ugly and angry accusing me of moving some things to the storage unit.  I have only moved a couple of things and nothing of hers.  The thing that frustrates me is that have been 100% honest and he have not done anything dishonest this entire time. 

Although I am patient, it is very difficult to deal with the MLC behavior of lying and blaming me.  I will continue to act with integrity but my patience is starting to wear thin. 

HF
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HF,

Just remember that her Monster has NOTHING to do with you... You are the spawn of Satan who is the cause of ALL her problems so ANYTHING that she feels is an issue is your fault....

When she accuses you, you may wish to ask for concrete information - "What things are you missing?" "When was the last time you saw them and where?" "Would you like to go check the storage unit to see if your items are there?"  Basically call her bluff.... and then "I will not accept being unfairly accused by you. You are welcome to converse with me in a polite and helpful manner. Anything else will not be tolerated."

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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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Thanks UM,

It was over something so trivial as bathroom towels.  I know I shouldn’t get angry but I’m so over her behavior.  Will take your advice and offer to go visit the storage unit next time.  Should be able to detach better once our moves are complete.

HF
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Thanks UM,

It was over something so trivial as bathroom towels.  I know I shouldn’t get angry but I’m so over her behavior.  Will take your advice and offer to go visit the storage unit next time.  Should be able to detach better once our moves are complete.

HF

OMG!  YOU MOVED THE TOWELS? Maybe even WASHED them?  How could you?!?! You horrible evil LBS you....

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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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Love it UM!

Well today didn’t get any better as W is still angry and upset.  The good news is that I was able to let it go and had a good session with my IC.  At a point where I will only go to IC occasionally. 

I also had a great evening with my kids.  This D will be a bumpy ride but I’m going to do my best detach and focus on my kids while not letting the tough days linger.

Getting close to my second thread.  Can’t wait to update my thread and get W out of the title.  Already know my next thread title.  😉

HF
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Well today didn’t get any better as W is still angry and upset.  The good news is that I was able to let it go and had a good session with my IC.  At a point where I will only go to IC occasionally. 

I also had a great evening with my kids.  This D will be a bumpy ride but I’m going to do my best detach and focus on my kids while not letting the tough days linger.

Quite likely that she is angry and upset because you are NOT angry and upset and reacting to her.... You are not fulfilling the role of the evil LBS who is bitter and ranting and controlling and all the other stuff that they accuse us of being so that means.... their fantasy world is not quite all pink cotton candy clouds, puppy dogs, and unicorns running around farting clouds of rainbow glitter.... Mean old Mr. Reality is a real buzz-killer

Just don't move the towels...
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BD#1 - August 2015
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Divorce final 30 August 2019

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

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Journaling:

Well, we are in moving out process.   I have a couple of more items to get ready and will move out over the next week.  There is apart of me that is grieving but I also am relieved to be moving forward.   When you look back at the dysfunction over the past couple of years, I don't ever want to go back.  Transitioning to the joint custody is still hard but I am getting used to it.  I also am continuing to focus on my kids and they are relying on me to be the stable parent during this time.  Just ready to get the D issues worked out with my W and get to a better place.    Hope everyone is enjoying your weekend.

HF
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Hello,

I understand the your feelings of grief. This is part of the process. I also understand the aspect of moving forward. Because of the despair and pain of the immediate past, you have to look forward to the possibility of a better future.

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I also am continuing to focus on my kids and they are relying on me to be the stable parent during this time.

This is wonderful because they do need stability in their lives and I think you are the best man for the job.

Have an amazing day,

(((((Ready))))
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Thanks Ready!

My W is still a mess right now as we both move, work through initial stages of divorce, and try our best to provide a quality life for our kids.   She does appear to trying with the kids which is one positive.   I just don't know how I co-parent with her right know when I don't trust her.   Hoping it will get easier in time.

Well, time for my second thread.  My new thread is provided below.

HF

https://mlcforum.theherosspouse.com/index.php?topic=11779.0
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