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Author Topic: My Story Life goes on.

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My Story Life goes on.
OP: November 20, 2020, 06:39:31 AM
A new thread. May it be the golden one.

I am going to keep posting but a little more vaguely as things with h have got weird. Thank you from all of my being, for being along with me as it did.

There are two things — well, a lot of things, but these two stand out — I understand more clearly since last night. One is that those of you who have been married for decades are experiencing something a little harder than what I’ve gone through with h, and at the same time, because of the duration and nature of your married life, you may be filtering it all through a lens I don’t and can’t really access.

People firetruck up. It’s not really feasible in contemporary times to avoid that. And when they firetruck up, it might be not a case of mental illness or MLC but just the way humans peak and valley over the course of a lifetime. The time you have given to your one beloved spouse has been generous and kind, and invaluable. Don’t you ever criticize yourself or break yourself into pieces over what mistakes you made in your long marriage. Those are the natural peaks and valleys of a lifetime, too.

For those of us who married late or twice or more and didn’t have long time with the spouse to know and fully grow with them, it’s a bit of a different story and maybe many bits of many more stories. Not just of a husband or wife or two but of many more intimacies and relational patterns and upsets, and somewhat, recoveries. It doesn’t mean our marriages were lesser or that we are better at recovering, because they aren’t and we probably also aren’t. It just means we had shorter ones and are maybe stuck between “oh this again??” and “I am probably never going to get this right”.

But it also does mean that we may see more in the overall story, ours or yours, simply by the dubious virtue of having seen and lived more stories.

I have to tell you, those of you whose marriages are long, I have so much love for your marriages and for you. It isn’t a romantic thing but just a life one; you and your spouse, whatever happened or happens, made a thing together that was good and invaluable and life sustaining. Literally life sustaining. That’s a measure of God’s will and love and protections, and from another perspective here I want you to always know how important that is, and how important you are.

You all are lighthouses. Whether you Stand or not is not the most important thing. What’s most important is that for all the time in your marriage when things were ok or bad or beautiful, you Stood. You Stood every day and night, even as you slept. That’s remarkable, if you think on it. That’s amazing.

Commitment is beautiful and you did a good job. You made an art of it. Listen to me: I mean it. Don’t you ever get down on yourself for what wasn’t good. Do the math sometime. Imagine if you were paid a dollar for every minute, every second. Your marriage was and is worth quite a lot, and only because you were in it.

You.

Those of us whose marriages were late or second or third or shorter, we know all kinds of things you might not. Myself, I wouldn’t say these things are good. Mostly they are confusing and sow a lot of self-doubt and shame.

But one thing I know is that even the MLC is just the peaks and valleys of the course of a lifetime. Life isn’t simple, although it should be. And especially this year is particularly hard for everyone alive, married or not. So please understand that what’s happening isn’t you and isn’t your fault and in fact probably isn’t even ever totally final, unless you decide that it is.

People firetruck up, in really, really horrible ways, and then if humanly possible they often come back. While they are away, just let them be away. Focus on you most of all, and on your children and other loved ones. Stay You, Stand for You.

I looked at all my camera roll favorites last night and saw at what I think is probably/maybe a final deepest rupture between me and h, that the two plus years since I last saw him have actually been outrageously deeply beautiful. There has been so much love here and it’s visible right in the palm of my hand. H was gone and is gone and was awful and has been AWOL and good again and terribly mean and cold — but there has been so much love here anyway, every day, every night, even when I am alone.

This has been a terrible two years and 2020 has been a survival effort every day and night. One benefit you long-marrieds have had is the one wherein having a primary attachment in adulthood means the very rhythms of your physiology have been regulated just by the natural and continuous presence and proximity of that person. The biggest and worst harm of this pandemic year may turn out to be that those who are sheltering alone may come out of it very emotionally and physically dysregulated. It won’t mean anyone is mentally ill; it may mean they are medically compromised. Touch deprivation qualifies as actual abuse. So many people will be coming out of it very traumatized as well.

Hug whoever is in your bubble. A lot. Hug them a lot. Because they need it, and so do you.

And look toward the coming care systems. Out of all this and no matter when your spouse defected or how long it’s been since you were last held by safe adult arms, all the world has suffered these deprivations in some way since the virus was identified. So one way to think of it all may be that now is a good time for you to be here, examining your marriage, spouse, and Self, and learning what it is You want and really need and can do, for You.

Caring for yourself now is going to make a difference in every one of us alive at this time. Think of it that way. It’s not that you owe it to anyone; it’s that whatever you do in the spirit of care for Self is going to make it a little bit easier for anyone watching to also move forward.

People really screw up and hurt themselves and others. And then come back, not necessarily to do it again but because they need and they do love. While they are away, you need You. Love *You*. Just keep doing that. It may take a learning curve, but it’s worth it.

It’s ok if you decide you don’t want anymore of the sh!tshow or screwed up dynamic. You do get to choose. And it’s not a decision you need to justify, whatever you decide.

Marriage has its benefits and we all know that. Having more than one or having a broader span of experiences relationally doesn’t really mean anything, either, although maybe it results in some different insight, not unlike passport travel or being a food taster or, you know. Some people may be wandering or restless spirits; that happens with trauma sometimes. And some, even active and adventurous, accomplished and well-informed, are also the rock or the root or the lighthouse or core. Maybe we are all a little or a lot of both at the same time, I don’t know. I just know that marriage is also often as hard as it is beneficial, and people sometimes really firetruck up and can’t even explain why.

*

The other thing I know, after last night, is that the woman h left me for is now going to have be the one to absorb all the costs of his choices. Because besides him, she is the only person who has really benefited from them.

*

The title is after a song that was released last night. This is a gift, from D and me to you, one that we didn’t originate but that we are passing along because we trust it, and the souls who gave it to us.

When you’re ready, watch and listen. I am sure you won’t be sorry.

https://youtu.be/-5q5mZbe3V8

And when you’re ready, too, the lyrics translation:

https://www.google.com/amp/s/genius.com/amp/Genius-english-translations-bts-life-goes-on-english-translation-lyrics

Life goes on.
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« Last Edit: November 20, 2020, 07:01:21 AM by terra »

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Re: Life goes on.
#1: November 20, 2020, 07:26:04 AM
I’m reducing my intake of MLC-specific input lately and especially now that a different and heavier life event is coloring h’s expression. It’s weird to say but at least death is factual and the resulting grief is better known or acknowledged as valuable and normal, with more readily available instruction and support.

People still suck at it though, grieving when someone has died. I’ve been at it for 40+ years and that is my observation and judgement, in the still-resident inner 10-year-old.

This morning I looked to see what internet says about how a parent death impacts an affair. Just for kicks. It doesn’t matter if it does or doesn’t, I was just curious and so I asked.

The truth is that our grief display is going to come out at whoever is near or nearest. H is angry. It may be ok that he is angry at me for the comparatively smaller thing he is angry at me about. I know his anger at me is partly a means of feeling something other than the raw awful astonishment of his parent loss. He has also said with clear self awareness — prior to the singular focus this past week — that the anger or needless fighting is so that he can just feel *something*. Anything, at all.

So, death. A death loss is going to kick up all kinds of buried stuff, and will hurt, and it’s anyone’s guess how that will be expressed.

I am very, very peaceful about death matters. Those are close to my core and I have been dressed in all of it a long time, almost like I was born to it. It makes me a bit of a spooky person and also a bit aloof; people have called me ethereal, even in corporeal form, which, I don’t disagree. Maybe just a different kind. But also kind.

It’s ok if all the bull of him charges and rages and then rests, in the china shop of someone different. She’s not me and the china shop allusion isn’t about ethnicity; I have no clue who or what she is or looks like or comes from. I only know that I am valuable and a bit delicate and fragile in my own life as it is or has been. So if there’s going to be destruction, even if there is comfort after any clean up, that can happen in the house he made instead of here in the one that he left.

On grieving the loss:

https://www.affairrecovery.com/newsletter/founder/infidelity-betrayal-grieving-the-loss
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Re: Life goes on.
#2: November 20, 2020, 08:38:58 AM
What I also know, since last night:

There are any number of things that I will only ever say in person, now, to h. Not that they need to be said, or said aloud at all, but that nothing of the sort will be said in texts maybe ever again.

This isn’t because they could or would be used against me.

It’s because these are the things that a wife says to the husband under her own roof. Things of quietness and care and good humor, the kind only he would ever “get” or need or understand.

It doesn’t matter what he does today or any other day. I’m good.

As for the woman he lives with, and the thing he is mad at me about, I don’t think his father ever saw the then or future good of us as us being a couple who would build business legacy together. We were good because it was about love and about the good of the children.

FIL really loved all the children.

I know they all miss him; they loved him too.

It didn’t and doesn’t make him a saint, but it’s important. Not everyone loves all the children or even any, and some who might aren’t always loved back. He did and he was.

I know FIL wanted that his son should feel and be loved and happy. If the woman h left me for does that for him, at this point I confess I am all for it. I want him to be loved and happy, too. That doesn’t have to come from me, I know.

It does have to come from within himself, though. I know that also. And that’s the trick of it. If we can’t love the Self that we are, foremost and at the root, from what I have seen all along that lack of Self love results in a life that is just, chronically,

m i s
e r
a
b l e .

That’s not how I live, even if some days are wastelands and some nights are centuries long. So I’ve wondered about that, too, this week. How aside from the grief, and aside from midlife or any physical or financial pains, what is it like to live alongside a person who might not see its own goldenness and strength and sweetness and value?

I mean, I already know what that’s like. I’ve lived it even if sometimes it’s me who is the miserable one. But now that I know certain truths about me and remember that I *like* me and *love* me and truly enjoy myself?

What would it be like, really, to live alongside a person who couldn’t see their own deep value, or even, who doesn’t want to?

Not that I have anything figured out. Just, taking the space I’ve been given, to think on what will work for me going forward.
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« Last Edit: November 20, 2020, 08:40:03 AM by terra »

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Life goes on.
#3: November 22, 2020, 07:27:03 AM
Terra - -
Following along on your new thread...
The video "Life Goes On" was really well done, and I enjoyed watching it.  Thank you for sharing.

I also have to admit that the beginning of your thread made me cry.  Cry for my loss of my single, long-term marriage.  You made me feel different and unique, cared for.  I am absent physical touch, and got a hand massage the other day and thought that I was in heaven!  Now that S19 is moving back home (because covid), at least i get daily hugs from him...  It's been nice.

As always, your musings and contemplations are so deep...
One thing that resonated with me is the fact that you're happy that H's loved, and that it doesn't have to be you.
I'm not sure that I'm there yet.
I don't think that anyone could love H the way the I did.  And I say "did" because my love for him now is different than it was when we "fell in love". 
I honestly don't believe that ow loves him to the capacity the I did/do.  Maybe I'm too haughty, but I truly don't think it's possible. 

I look forward to following along...
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Life goes on.
#4: November 22, 2020, 08:11:13 AM
Hello,

Quote
I know FIL wanted that his son should feel and be loved and happy. If the woman h left me for does that for him, at this point I confess I am all for it. I want him to be loved and happy, too.

Yes, your heart is in the right place in regards to letting go. Wish your h the best and detach. However, your h does not love and is not happy.

Quote
and the thing he is mad at me about,

If he was so happy, why have anger towards you. I'm not angry with my ex anymore. No more rages or anger. She may have a boyfriend or not- I don't care. I am in a house filled with love and that love nurtures and sustains me. Just like you, I am at the point where I can wish my ex the very best and let it go.

But your h hasn't and that is why he still lashes out at you. The demons that haunt his heart are still there and no one, you, OW, or I can exorcise him of his spirits- it is up to him alone to fight them or at least recognize the terrible things they can make him do.

Love is important, but you can neither receive or give love until you have it for yourself.

Ow may give love, but he doesn't feel it, he doesn't believe it.

Your h is a charmer, and from my perspective, his ability to capture the attention of others is more important than having a sustaining relationship with one.

So why is he angry at you? Because despite all the charm and quick wit, the deceptive smiles and winks, when the mask comes off, he is a monster. He would like to hide the monster that he can be and he truly believes that the only person that knows the real him, the real person behind the mask, that knows his sins- is you.

And that is the anger and the source that fuels his attacks on you is fear.

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

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Life goes on.
#5: November 22, 2020, 09:11:29 AM
Whew!
That last paragraph Ready wrote could not be more true.

These types think they can start over..clean slate because this next person doesn't know them like you do. All the things they have done will just go away.

They think it will be better with this next person. No it won't, the same thing will happen to the next person. They will do the same thing.

Because your H has not changed. And he's not going to. This kind of behavior works for him. Gets him what he wants.
His demons are not yours to deal with.
He fears you because you know him.
Who he is at his core.

But its twisted because I think he sees you as a safe person to target. And why is that? Because you put up with it.

Again all I can tell you is stay with no contact.
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There are two ways of spreading light:
Be the candle; or the mirror that reflects it

Don't ask why someone is still hurting you; ask why you keep letting them.

At some point you have to get sick of going through the same sh!t.

Women are NOT rehabilitation centers for badly raised men. It is not your job to fix ,parent, raise or change him.
You want a partner not a project.

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Re: Life goes on.
#6: November 22, 2020, 02:31:55 PM
Sea, Ready, in it, thank you. I had to take a day off from this yesterday and by the end of it, I took a Valium and went to bed really early and didn’t wake until after the sun had already been up for a while. You folks and the ones “backstage” in PMs this past week have been a real blessing for me.

I think the latest go-round with h, and the life event it centered on, really has clarified some of the issues that aren’t likely to be reconciled. He’s going at me for $$$ when he’s moneyed enough and repartnered and well-stationed where he is; he knows the circumstances here have been poor since he left. I have a real problem with men hassling me about money. I also have a problem with his doing so while D is still in my home and care; he knows what it’s like to live on nothing while trying to keep a child nourished and sheltered. These two problems, I’m pretty angry about and astonished, too.

What I know is that it’s been abuse and that his father’s death doesn’t give him any right or excuse to do it.

A third and major problem, I realized instantly upon waking yesterday, is that S told him what he needed and wanted, and was brave and clear enough to argue and plead for it, and h told him no and flew back to ow.

This might have hit differently if h were flying back to any other state, but it happens to be the one my parents all defected to. I realized that history aside, I side with children and will always advocate for them, even and maybe sometimes especially the newly adult ones. H overriding S’s need in time of grief doesn’t sit well with me, I don’t respect the reasons given, and in previous years this was reason for me to ditch a few friends permanently, my mother too. So I’m at some resolved place, now, and I understand it’s no longer my story to negotiate or navigate. H is on his own; he can struggle or soar through it with the woman he left me for.

I actually have been sitting here composing various petitions in my head. The divorce petition, a TRO petition, maybe or maybe not a responding statement to whatever formal declaration he might make about the one thing he is fixating at me on.

I understand that I know a lot about him, enough that he maybe ought to be afraid. Today I understood that really, if he were to file police reports or lawsuit?! there is plenty I could counter with, to dismiss it and also get him into a lot of heat where he lives, and maybe financially too.

It strikes me as weird, to have clarity and that much potential power over somebody else, and weird also that I have zero even reactionary impulse/reflex to do anything to him. But, you know. If it comes to that, there it is.

I took that pill last night because the dog is driving me crazy, on top of all this from h. I seriously cannot wait for the vet appointment; I don’t know what is up with this animal.

I had actually spent yesterday morning suddenly aware of how a lot of my own focus in the years h has been gone, all converge finally on one gentle place in me. And how to leverage that into something good for others, all others, and how pertinent it is for right now. So I got to sketching and storyboarding and have a loose but clear plan. It won’t pay the rent but it will pay for all the other basic needs, and it will be good.

Something about that was really the thing that people say — that when you let go of the wrong things, the right things show up. In this case, whatever I felt obliged assigned or willing to do for or with h, suddenly traded out for my own creativity and peace, a new thing that might be loved and needed by people I don’t even know.

I went to bed last night feeling relieved that he apparently had taken a day off too. Somewhere in all the multiple texts daily since whenever he started on me, he did say he would be at me every day until I do what he has asked. So last night I felt relieved. And I’m glad I did, because I slept really well, and finally long enough to seem normal again.

Of course first thing this morning I see he texted sometime after I went to bed. I thought about this for a while, and then in the middle of some other task, I decided to just block him.

Do you know, here it is some four hours later and right now at the top of my SMS there is another text from the area code he lives in? And a business-like email from his “business only” email account, today, too.

Listen. You can pretend this is only business. But who does business like this on a Sunday.

So I’m still just not answering. This all feels very much like when I was married before and the person turned out to be prone to actual diagnosable psychotic episodes. And this feels identical to weathering through those. I finally understand that when I truly can’t even begin to wrap my head around what someone is saying or doing, it’s usually because they have gone all the way off the rails.

So I’m not even going to try. I notice the simple fact of that other SMS and the “business” email account showing up today does bug me. But I’m still not going to respond.

One thing I am glad to be able to say: I never really feared that he would physically harm me. He’s a beautiful person somewhere underneath all this, and is not about physical brutality. He’s cunning and likes psychological combat, though, and so although I don’t fear being physically hurt, I know I have to keep a hard boundary around me and D anyway. Probably permanently.

On loving him and wanting him to be/feel loved and to have a happy life: I don’t know why it has been him that I’ve loved so deeply. In retrospect it may just have been the right timing — D and S were both very young when we met. I was full of love anyway, with never-ending replenishments of even more. It’s possible I could have loved or perceived anyone, then, the way I loved and perceived h. Which is a little strange to realize. The human body and brain do some interesting things, chemically, and maybe being a fairly new mother was part of why I bonded the way I did.

I’m still capable of it, but at this point I get that it is more psychological than physiological now. And more a habit than anything exactly deserved. So guess what: I get to break or subvert that, and I know it.

I don’t like a cold or stiff approach, in relating. That’s what he’s sticking to now, no matter what, and that he’s doing it every day, I am ok disregarding whatever my former feelings were.

Yesterday it really struck home that sometimes we think we love someone so much, when really it might be more true that we love the person we are, when loving them.

I did love him and I did love S, and at this point and under the circumstances, there isn’t really anything I can do about it.

If he lived in this house, I would have him carted off to hospital by the police, for a psychiatric examination and 72-hour hold. Instead I am just blocking the line. I let D know the other night that he may push this to LE and if he does that’s fine. But if LE shows up here, I told her, I just want you to know it’s not a surprise to me, I’m not going to jail or anything, I’m not in any wrong, and it’s just a thing that can happen in a life. I am not worried so don’t you be either. It’s just a thing where maybe we learn new information about how things work.

On the woman he lives with: I think he must be kinder or at least nice to her. Why else would she be there? So it’s good that she’s there, or that someone is, anyway. He’s 2500 miles away from home and family. It’s pretty there, but it’s COVID time. I can’t imagine being there that way, and trying to cope “alone” with father loss.

My mother suffered a legit nervous breakdown in those circumstances. At about the same age, too, I think.

That’s ok.

I no longer begrudge him the choices he’s made or is making. I can’t imagine what it’s like to live with them, though.

Thank you again for reading along and for comments. It’s clear to me that there’s a lot of weird about him right now and so your words and insights are a big help and comfort.

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Re: Life goes on.
#7: November 23, 2020, 08:19:54 AM
This morning up again before the sun. I’d love to find a way to just sleep until it has risen; I think I got about six hours last night, if that, and it doesn’t feel like enough. It rained overnight, though, so that’s nice. Yesterday when D was getting ready for outdoor friend date with her select person, she asked me — the same way we discuss wearing another layer during whatever weather — if she should take a shower. One of those things where you don’t need to but it might be nice but it also isn’t necessary so you’re on the fence, and someone else’s input might help you make the decision either way.

I told her I was outside earlier and it was 36°F.

We both laughed and the shower was not taken.

This child wears the clothes I bought over 20 years ago and the face and physique and mentality I had at her age. She presents visually and energetically as a woman in her twenties, and mid to late twenties, at that. It’s really weird and wondrous and scary, to notice that really, she’s not too far off from that decade. S is already there and he carries himself older too, I saw recently.

This morning I thought to h,

I’m sorry you are far away from S and me right now. I’m sorry this upcoming holiday will be so different from any other year.

I think it must be very hard, to be that far away from family, during a time like this and during this time of year especially. So I’m sorry that you are.

*

My mother had a legit nervous breakdown in those circumstances, at about h’s age. My own age.

This morning when that above thought about distance came out of my heart like the voice of my own grandmother, I remembered the year both grandparents died.

And I remembered that that year, when they did and I was so far away from family, I had a legit breakdown too.

It’s nothing I can do anything about, if h does. Last night he blustered that he had no problem coming out here to take care of the issue he is going at me about. I copied it to the contact log. This morning I notice the math doesn’t wash; he is ranting about $$$ when it would take $$$$ to travel.

I kind of think he is already tailspinning. I also think if money is the issue, which I know full well it isn’t, he ought to save the trip here and apply the effort and funds instead to go be with S.

The funny and sad part is that with FIL gone, and MIL absorbed into the nest of siblings and grandchildren, and S home with his mom, xw — there isn’t anywhere for h to land. There’s no root, no nest, no soft place.

That’s why I went down, the year that I did. It was a million years ago, but it’s why I went all the way down.

H was so mad the other week, about D. Last night I read idly about personality disorders, and saw that this is just sort of typical fare.

It’s her birthday time. It wasn’t when he yelled at me last week, but now it is. That means it is also the time of year in which I became a brand new mother for the very first time, so, the time of year in which I became a wondrously valuable new person, brand new identity.

I like this identity. A lot. This time of year is a co-celebration, and mixed up in Thanksgiving, and most people don’t understand. It isn’t just family time, in our house, D and me. It’s so much more.

Even that aside, though, I think it must be really terrible to be thousands of miles away from the ones you love, this time of year. It doesn’t even matter that it was his own choice and continues to be. It’s just sort of low-grade harrowing and really sad.

That doesn’t mean I’d issue invitation. There’s no room here and h’s needs and current temperament collide with what D and I — and S, though he is living with his own mom in a different house altogether — feel and know and deserve.

I don’t know if it’s pity or empathy or projection I’m feeling. Probably a good measure of each. But the trees are all full of color against the wet gray sky here, and there’s so much gold and so much good. This is when we celebrate, here, something over and above Thanksgiving. Just JOY. Just LOVE. Just APPRECIATION, of how much has been done in a year, all the years, and how much good is coming.

We live a good life here and we *give* a good life. Every day. With h away all this time, I notice it several times a day: gosh: look at how much love there is. And it’s here because we’ve made it that way, because we like it that way, and it feels good.

Love feels better than just about anything, I think. Gratitude. Gratitude is a big part of it. When I look at the love that is here, I don’t feel I am missing much else.

We don’t have a lot here, but we have love, and are grateful for what we’ve got.

It’s raining, and it’s cold out, but it still feels like a really good day.
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Re: Life goes on.
#8: November 23, 2020, 10:25:57 AM
Ready, I had to pull this forward again, because I think it really must be the crux of all this stuff from h:

Quote
Love is important, but you can neither receive or give love until you have it for yourself.

What I need to keep aware of is that I have it and D has it and we both give and receive love just fine. That isn’t evident in many parts of our extended family or my or her dad’s or even h’s FOO. But we have that here in my house, and it’s worth protecting and cultivating.

It’s really weird for me, to look at h or anyone else and understand that some key element is just missing. I don’t believe the stuff he is ragging on about even matters. I notice I am pretty well outside all of it (and after two-plus years now, good that I am), and I know I live in actual truth. It’s weird to see that he doesn’t or isn’t, and that it’s not the grief or bereavement “doing” this to him — he’s just doing what he always does. I just didn’t know he would ever focus it squarely on me.

I’m waiting til D goes to her dad’s tonight, before I call LE again to maybe bump the case to the next step. Not scared of anything, just, let’s set about putting a real stop to it. I definitely have got a whole school of other fish to fry, this month.
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  • Gender: Male
Re: Life goes on.
#9: November 23, 2020, 02:11:55 PM
Quote
It’s raining, and it’s cold out, but it still feels like a really good day.

You know Terra,after a bit over 5 years after the first bd,I try to have the mindset of "all days are good,just some are better than others"...(((hugs)))
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