Skip to main content

Author Topic: My Story Steady as she goes...

A
  • *
  • Mentor
  • Hero Member
  • Posts: 1113
My Story Steady as she goes...
#10: March 11, 2021, 03:28:12 PM
Hi Curiosity,
I hope I'm wrong but it wouldn't surprise me if your w didn't move in.   Not that she won't but that it wouldn't surprise me if she didn't.  Just from experience with my own MLCer plus what others have written here, it seems that in the early days they have every intention to do what they say they will but as the time approaches they stall, back up, and go in another direction.   Just be prepared in case that happens to you too.   Best to respond unemotionally, like it's no big deal to you.   If she does move in, then still be prepared for her to move out again at some point.   If you were 3+ years in, I would be less inclined to think this, but at 1 yr it's a good possibility.   Not that you are or will do anything to push them away, but they just don't seem to be able to think their way forward with us around.  We muddle their minds a bit I think.   

I'm happy you are prepared emotionally and mentally for whichever way it goes, but I think it might still be hard on you if it doesn't happen.   If it doesn't just focus on all those good things you mentioned like spring is here or almost, fruit trees are in bloom, travel may be possible soon, longer and warmer days.    Either way there is lots good ahead for you. 
  • Logged

C
  • *****
  • Hero Member
  • Posts: 692
  • Gender: Female
Steady as she goes...
#11: March 11, 2021, 04:12:58 PM
Anon, I think you’re right - that even if she does move back in, it won’t be for good. She moved out for a month last summer, then was back for three months before her October move-out. I had wondered if she might remain a live-in MLCer but the fact is, her anxiety was too amped up for her to make any progress - and that was with me being relatively calm; I was far more anxious about her presence after BD2 but before the first move-out. Still, she is anxious - not just here, but in general. I do think there’s a decent likelihood she will end up needing space and I don’t know whether she’ll try living here or back out of it between now and the end of the month.

I’m not sure what it is about the three year mark, but there does seem to be something to it - I recall reading a thread about it here, and a friend whose MLCer is at three years is seeing some possible movement. In my case, her MLC could possibly be three years if you consider all behavioral changes, and it would suggest the start being around her turning 40. But counting from BD2 is probably the most accurate and that is ten months. Even the start of the EA was only 18 months ago. So I am operating as though this is movement within the tunnel, not a move out of it. Would I like for this to be the end of what was really more MLT than MLC? Absolutely - but I do not believe that is the case.

It’s funny... when we are status quo within the tunnel, I don’t think nearly this much about where she is in the process. This just goes to show you how easily I can fall back into overanalyzing every little bit of this incomprehensible process. And if she does move back in, this level of analysis, even if it’s not from an anxious place, is something that she will perceive as pressure... so it’s a good time for me to practice taking my eyes off her and putting them on my own life.
  • Logged

C
  • *****
  • Hero Member
  • Posts: 692
  • Gender: Female
Steady as she goes...
#12: March 15, 2021, 03:10:31 PM
It’s amazing how the loss of one hour from the weekend throws things off for several days. And maybe it’s not so much the hour; but the fact that it’s not quite as light in the morning when the alarm goes off. I don’t know... I will say that despite feeling a little disoriented by the still-pretty-dark skies when my alarm went off this morning, it’s a pretty good day here. I got some time-sensitive work done; I am taking the day off tomorrow to see my dad who will be out in my part of the world; I’m generally feeling pretty good about work and home and the approach of spring (though it has been chilly and rainy here!), perhaps because of the later sunset time.

I’ve been thinking about trauma and PTSD and betrayal and gaslighting... and how often the occurrence of betrayal, gaslighting, and trauma lead to the development of PTSD. I’m earlier in the timeline than many here, so I can’t say what might happen in the future in terms of any future betrayal, or even any triggers that might arise out of the things that have happened so far. But I know I went through a period of shock, a period of bargaining and the whole “pick me” dance, and then a period of feeling resentment and anger and being very aware of the trauma and gaslighting, and very hurt and angry at her about it. It wasn’t constant; I had times over the past several months where I thought I’d reached detachment and acceptance, only to cycle back into the anger and venting.

Now, we just passed one year since BD1. The anniversary of BD2 is still a couple of months away (I know the date of BD1 but not the exact date of BD2). It seems too soon for me to really be past the anger and hurt, but I find that even when I think about what has happened - even when I think about the possibility that there is still gaslighting and cake-eating going on - the anger just can’t take hold in me. I feel absolutely secure in who I am and what I’m worth, I feel like the things I do for her are because they’re kind things to do for someone I care about who is in crisis, not because I have any expectations of reciprocity or because she will be indebted to me because of anything I do. I feel comfortable setting boundaries around things that would be disrespectful or hurtful to me, and I feel like I can be honest with myself about what that might look like.

I know nothing more about her plans to move back home; I can’t see a way for her to have made other arrangements, but her lack of forward movement on it and really her lack of acknowledgment of the fact that it is theoretically happening in the next two weeks does make me skeptical.

I assume this is not even a touch and go; I don’t think she is even thinking about coming back to the marriage at this point. In my mind it is ongoing escape and avoid, it’s just that she is shifting from being a clinger to (possibly) being a live-in once more. And that’s okay; I’m ready for it. I do my own thing while she’s here; if she specifically asks to do something together I will happily participate but I don’t seek her out. I have plenty to keep me entertained. If it does turn out to be a touch and go, I’ll know it when she’s gone again. If it turns out to be the beginning of reconnection, I will know it when I feel confident that we are connected once again - which might take years. In the meantime, it’s just another loop in the roller coaster. I’m just keeping my eye on a steady focal point - my own path forward - so her loops don’t make me dizzy.
  • Logged

  • *
  • Mentor
  • Hero Member
  • Posts: 11270
  • Gender: Male
  • You can't please everyone. You are NOT a pizza!
Steady as she goes...
#13: March 16, 2021, 01:17:04 AM
You may be closer to the beginning of the "timeline" but you are MUCH farther along the path of your own healing than I was at that point in time after BD.... . Congratulations! You are doing amazingly well IMHO
  • Logged
Me - 58, xW - 50
Together 19 years - Married 17 at separation & 21 at D-Day
S - 14, D - 10
2 Dogs
BD#1 - August 2015
Atomic BD - 13 Dec 2015
House sold & separated - Mar 2016
Divorce final 30 August 2019

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

C
  • *****
  • Hero Member
  • Posts: 692
  • Gender: Female
Steady as she goes...
#14: March 16, 2021, 09:57:38 AM
Thanks, UM! Having this forum and the people here has done so much for me.

A little anecdote about where W is... she has a home office set up in our detached garage, but it’s chilly out there so she often works in our bedroom. Recently, the house was being cleaned in the afternoon so she was going to go out there and work - it’s been weeks since she has worked out there. I went out an hour or so before and turned on the space heater so it wouldn’t be so cold in there, then about a half hour later I heard her go out and come back in soon after. I asked how the temperature was and she said it wasn’t too bad, she’d gone out to turn on the heater. She didn’t explicitly say she had turned it on but she implied it. I said that I was glad it wasn’t too cold; I’d turned on the heater but not very long ago. And she was so relieved, she said, “thank god... I’m so spacey, I was wondering how long ago I’d left it on and how long I’d been trying to burn down the garage, I decided I wasn’t going to tell you it was already on when I went out there.” And we sort of laughed about it but it stayed with me. She’s still foggy, she’s still not talking to me, she’s still got this idea in her head that I am the grownup and am disapproving or judging or otherwise intimidating or scary. I honestly don’t know where this has come from - I’ve never doubted her adultness or competence or brilliance or capability.

Anyway... I didn’t take it personally, unlike a previous evening when we were watching the news. One of the correspondents came on, and my W and MIL were talking about the terrible makeup and decor and all of this, then my W said “Curiosity doesn’t like it when we’re catty and judgmental.” I did take offense because I hadn’t said anything, I just wasn’t participating. I did respond that I wished she wouldn’t do that, I wished she wouldn’t assume how I was feeling or reacting to what she did. And I think in some ways it needed to be said because a big part of our pre-BD problem was that she didn’t tell me how she was feeling because she assumed my reaction would be one she didn’t like. But still, I was frustrated with myself for not just letting it go.

So she’s still psychologically in the same place. It’s helpful for me to know because it reminds me that any reconnection would require her to feel like I and our home are a safe space - and I will have to be sure that anything required of me to make that happen is something that I’m okay with, too.
  • Logged

C
  • *****
  • Hero Member
  • Posts: 692
  • Gender: Female
Steady as she goes...
#15: March 25, 2021, 11:45:53 AM
So, the move-in is happening this weekend. She has to be out of her rental place by Saturday 11am. We have a niece coming to stay with us and it seems like she might be coming to visit as early as tomorrow afternoon. My W is worried about that because she wants to make sure all of her things are back here before the niece gets here so that she doesn’t have to explain anything. So I don’t know how much her family knows about the separation... I assumed the local relatives all at least knew she was sleeping elsewhere, even though she is here most days.

She is considering taking some time off from work in a few weeks and is planning to get away somewhere pretty - without me. She will likely go alone, an enabler friend might join her for part of the time. So she’s planning at least a temporary escape even before she is back in the house. Which is fine. Probably better than fine; it’s good because it shows me where she is and allows me to keep my expectations at zero where they belong. My assumption, whether she is physically in the house or not, is that she is still in the tunnel until there is direct communication with me that shows meaningful growth in terms of the way she navigates her relationship with me.

I am doing well with it all. I can see her pain and anxiety and depression, and I can empathize without getting pulled into her cycle. My initial impulse when she showed anxiety about the niece moving her visit up was to apologize for the stress it caused her... but then I realized that I have nothing for which to apologize. This is my home, MIL is my guest, she wants her granddaughter to visit. I am fine with that and the timing doesn’t matter to me because I have nothing to hide. At the same time, I also don’t want to knowingly do something to make things difficult for my W, so she has asked for some help moving her things back in and I will help her with that. I want home to be a safe space for both of us, so if there’s something I can do to help with that, I will - but it has to be a safe space for me first, so I have to be sure that my boundaries are clear and that I understand my motivation for doing things - I’m not going to “nice” her back into the marriage, so being nice or considerate or supportive has to be done purely because it feels like the right thing, the healthy thing, for me.

I am also due for a few vacation days this month; I don’t know that I will go anywhere because things are still pretty limited due to the pandemic. But I will probably do a couple of day trips to the local beaches or hiking trails, get outside and celebrate spring, take my laptop along to do a bit of journaling and creative writing, meditate a bit. Maybe even seek out a cooking course online. I am grateful for the coming warmer days, the gradual reopening of things as vaccinations are more widely administered, and the life I have.
  • Logged

  • *
  • Mentor
  • Hero Member
  • Posts: 2956
  • Gender: Female
  • Time is a Gift! 🎁
Steady as she goes...
#16: March 25, 2021, 07:37:38 PM
Sounds like a good way to spend a few days C.  It will be interesting to see how w does with the move back in.  You stay in that good place of no expectations C.
  • Logged
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."

K
  • *****
  • Hero Member
  • Posts: 5637
  • Gender: Female
Steady as she goes...
#17: March 26, 2021, 01:36:36 PM
It is so good that you have such a keen understanding of all this C b/c a live-in MLCer is probably the hardest to deal with.  I know I am so much more at peace when my H goes dark. Then when he becomes a close-contactor, my emotions are triggered.....still. SO I have much respect for you. But I can also see by how and what you write here that you are eons ahead of where I was at this time in H's MLC. It is true kindness you are showing to W now, in helping her move and providing a safe place. And regardless of how she responds to it, your kindness and love is never wasted.

Enjoy your vaycays. I have a feeling you will need many of those to maintain your sanity. You really are doing great. Good luck this weekend!
  • Logged
Me 49
H 48
S13
BD 5/16
H Moved out 6/16
OW--yes. Worked for H. EA turned into PA while I was in chemo. On again/off again like every high school romance

A
  • *
  • Mentor
  • Hero Member
  • Posts: 1113
Steady as she goes...
#18: March 26, 2021, 02:00:40 PM
You are sounding great Curiosity!!  Your attitude at this stage is admirable.  I hope some newbies are here following your thread 🙂   Looking forward to your next update!  Anon.
  • Logged

C
  • *****
  • Hero Member
  • Posts: 692
  • Gender: Female
Steady as she goes...
#19: March 26, 2021, 02:20:22 PM
Thanks, FW, KIT, and Anon, for following along. I recall reading, I think originally I saw it on HB though it has been referenced and confirmed here a number of times, that the harder part of all this is the later stages, when the LBS is tested on the lessons learned during the early stages of the crisis. Now... I don’t for a moment believe we are in those later stages yet; while it could be an attempt to see whether home feels safe enough for her to try to reconnect to the home and pets at least, I am assuming this is a wallower who tried to replay and has at least temporarily given up on the attempt at high energy. I do see glimpses of her helping around the house, asking about my day, even the occasional hug. She slips and calls me by a pet name now and then. None of it is a clear, intentional cycle toward me and our marriage, and until it is unmistakable, I will assume this isn’t reconnection. Even when it seems unmistakable, I know that touch and goes can fool anyone.

It is interesting how things evolve; often I can see the pain, anxiety, and depression, and then sometimes I get glimpses of the adolescent brain and priorities - time off from work? Road trip with enabler BFF! Making plans and talking them through with me... not even on the radar, at least so far. And even after she first moved out in October, I would be upset when not looped in on her plans. Now, I observe and acknowledge and live my life. I have learned patience, I have learned to not be emotionally dependent on her. I am sure I still have more to learn, but I do believe I am a better and more understanding person because of this journey so far. And yes, I’ve done a lot of work, but I wouldn’t have known where to begin without this community, as well as the articles by HB and RCR. I don’t know where the relationship will go from here, but I do know that I am going to be more than just okay, I am going to be whole and happy.

Move-in is imminent, and the arrival of warm weather is perfectly timed. This means I can get out for a walk or go to the beach or the park or even just go into the backyard and smell the citrus blossoms. (Though really, who am I kidding, it’s essentially outdoor weather year-round here.) I am doing a bit more writing again. Still not as mindful of my diet as I would like to be, so I will be working on that next. Mostly, though, I am maintaining my friendships and my gratitude for all that is good in my life. And I will be here a bit more often, because when impatience tries to creep back in, the wisdom here helps keep me on track.
  • Logged

 

Legal Disclaimer

The information contained within The Hero's Spouse website family (www.midlifecrisismarriageadvocate.com, http://theherosspouse.com and associated subdomains), (collectively 'website') is provided as general information and is not intended to be a substitute for professional legal, medical or mental health advice or treatment for specific medical conditions. The Hero's Spouse cannot be held responsible for the use of the information provided. The Hero's Spouse recommends that you consult a trained medical or mental health professional before making any decision regarding treatment of yourself or others. The Hero's Spouse recommends that you consult a legal professional for specific legal advice.

Any information, stories, examples, articles, or testimonials on this website do not constitute a guarantee, or prediction regarding the outcome of an individual situation. Reading and/or posting at this website does not constitute a professional relationship between you and the website author, volunteer moderators or mentors or other community members. The moderators and mentors are peer-volunteers, and not functioning in a professional capacity and are therefore offering support and advice based solely upon their own experience and not upon legal, medical, or mental health training.