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My Story My life after separation with a clinger
OP: March 28, 2021, 02:47:29 AM
https://mlcforum.theherosspouse.com/index.php?topic=11670.150

Starting my new thread in this journey

Thank you roo, barbie, marvin, treasur and offroad for your insights. In regard to detachement, I think everyone is different. Based on my experience, some can detach easily but honestly I cannot. Maybe I am not as detached as the others, but I am still proud of the progress I made. Like what offroad said, we cannot directly compare our emotional experience/detachment to that of the others. I think our background, traumas, FOO have a lot to do with how you work on your detachment. It is hard to focus on detachment when your emotions are at times overwhelming. The bad memories that kept playing in your head also trigger these emotions. Sometimes I am able to control them and calm myself down but other times I am overtaken by these emotions, thus I react to it. My H has been trying to reconnect in is own understanding of what is right. Sometimes it doesn't agree with my own understanding of what reconnection is, thus, we end up having a emotional disagreement. What I have noticed though, the things that I told my H in the past like him being so selfish in certain things, he tried to correct them. There are still incidents where he is still this very selfish person, but maybe this is also a process. What I feel at the moment, is I am happy at times when I have my time alone. Like today, my H went cycling and I know he will be out there the whole day. I used to be pissed off when he does that, but now, I am just happy I have my apartment for myself.

Regarding the conditions I asked him before, such as calling the other woman in front of me, I am not so much affected about it anymore. I feel like I don't care anymore. I feel like if he does that again, I know I have to prepare myself financially and I know that I can kick him out this time. The emotional disaster that comes with it if ever it happens again is maybe not as painful but I know I will be deeply hurt. But whether one starts with a relationship with a another partner or work on the marriage and start all over again, the risks are I think the same. At least that's what my therapist told me. There is always a risk.

There are things that still my H say and not do it. I don't know if he forgot about it or it didn't really matter to him. But this has been him ever since. He says things and not do it. And I would be frustrated. My H used to say something to me even before MLC and when I confront him about it after weeks or couple of days he would tell me he didn't say it and I misunderstood it. I doubted myself for so many years and i thought I was crazy or I imagined things. Yesterday, my H and I were planning to go cross country. And I told him where I wanted to go. He agreed and even checked the weather forecast. When we started driving I noticed he was driving in a different direction. When I asked him where we were going, he said a different place. I told him I told you this morning I wanted to go to this place and you agreed. He said to me, to my shock, that I never said it and I mentioned it last night but we never agreed. I was just stunned. I insisted myself, and told him the details of our conversation and he said, well yeah I maybe/was right and he had a different understanding. I just couldn't understand if he really forgot the conversation or it's part of gaslighting. But then I realized he does forget a lot of things when he forgot to load his huge bag that night when we passed by his apartment. We arrived in my place when he realized the bag was not in the car and that he left it on the street. So I don't know to be honest if being forgetful is part of MLC. Anybody with a similar experience?

Right now, my triggers have come down a bit. I am too busy with other things. But who knows how I feel in a the next days. 

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Me 45
H    48
Married 13 yrs no kids
BD May 2019 (I moved out Nov 2019)
EA or PA with ex gf (not sure), H spent 3 nights with the hoe during our vacation in July 2019, it was a friendly encounter according to H
H wanted D April 2020 but didn’t file it
Contact never stopped, H now wants to reconcile
Me not sure

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My life after separation with a clinger
#1: March 28, 2021, 08:14:42 AM
Attaching. There’s a lot of wisdom in your post. I think it’s important to recognize that detachment doesn’t happen all at once, and also it looks different for everyone, but it might also look different for one person when considering different relationships. So detaching from an old friend might look different than detaching from a spouse. And your version of detachment from your spouse might look different from mine from my spouse.

The other thing that resonates with me is about really knowing who you are and really knowing who your h is - the selfish bits, the forgetfulness, the deep involvement in his sport - and how you respond emotionally to those things. Truly understanding what a reconnected or reconciled relationship looks like requires this level of knowledge and acceptance, then doing the work to figure out if that relationship, faults and all, fits into what you want your life to be. I see you and several others doing that work, which seems incredibly difficult at times but also essential. Thank you for sharing here.
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#2: March 28, 2021, 02:53:56 PM
Attaching. Thank you for continuing to share your story. I'm a few years behind you and your experience and questions are very enlightening.
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My life after separation with a clinger
#3: March 30, 2021, 04:02:30 AM
Quote
In regard to detachement, I think everyone is different. Based on my experience, some can detach easily but honestly I cannot. Maybe I am not as detached as the others, but I am still proud of the progress I made. Like what offroad said, we cannot directly compare our emotional experience/detachment to that of the others. I think our background, traumas, FOO have a lot to do with how you work on your detachment. It is hard to focus on detachment when your emotions are at times overwhelming.
.

All very true Dragonfly . I also had extreme difficulty emotionally detaching from my H. It did not seem like the "right " thing to do .  Even though I went zero contact when he was out of the house , detaching emotionally was very very hard.  I have discovered that emotional detachment ( in reconnection) is actually a form of self-care in many ways.   I wish I could remember exactly how my therapist worded her advise to me ...but it was something about selfcare in protecting myself from "crazy".   Not to engage in fruitless argument that will upset me, put my blood pressure up and leave me very angry.  I do think of that advise and have often been able to not react to things that are bad for ME.  Perhaps it has some sprinkling of acceptance....that I can not change him , his perceptions, his avoidance etc. so to continue to "pursue" change is not in my best interest. It takes a lot of practise .  I found this interesting .

https://drkarenfinn.com/divorce-blog/unhappy-marriage/372-a-little-emotional-detachment-could-save-your-unhappy-marriage

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. I feel like if he does that again, I know I have to prepare myself financially and I know that I can kick him out this time. The emotional disaster that comes with it if ever it happens again is maybe not as painful but I know I will be deeply hurt.
.

If your H ( or mine) were to ever do it again, we will see and know the signs , won't we?.  We will trust our instincts just a little more.  I do not believe it would ever hurt as much as the shocking 1st time... For myself, I never ever worried about him doing it again. I never tracked him, traced , followed , questioned etc. . I could not stop it the 1st time and I have no doubt I could not stop it the second. In some ways , I would have had my answer ( end the marriage) if he chose to do that again and all the indecision would be gone. I have no time to waste tracking a grown man who will do what he wants .  It will never happen to me twice, I can guarantee that .

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But whether one starts with a relationship with a another partner or work on the marriage and start all over again, the risks are I think the same. At least that's what my therapist told me. There is always a risk.
.

I completely totally and utterly agree with this.  If I leave this marriage , I will never want a new relationship. No thanks ....the risks and costs are too high for me .  I believe I would be fine on my own at this point in my life and my focus would be on my kids and grandkids rather than another romantic relationship.

Quote
. I just couldn't understand if he really forgot the conversation or it's part of gaslighting. But then I realized he does forget a lot of things when he forgot to load his huge bag that night when we passed by his apartment. We arrived in my place when he realized the bag was not in the car and that he left it on the street. So I don't know to be honest if being forgetful is part of MLC. Anybody with a similar experience?
.

I also have this "gaslighting" issue off and on in my marriage.  But is it really gaslighting, because that is deadly and will make you absolutely insane.  I have several ways of dealing with this in my marriage ( now that it has happened many times).  Sometimes during a discussion, I grab my little notebook and write it down ...especially if I think it is important and he will deny it at some point. I do this while he is sitting there and he says " what are you doing?".   I say " writing down what we just agreed on ( and I read it to him ) so there is no issue about either of us forgetting. Silence.   Or , when there is a dispute or a disagreement about what was said ....I simply refuse to participate . I "detach" and remain silent.  This seems to make him doubt himself ( maybe you did say that and I forgot) and it passes with him usually agreeing he " may have not been listening properly" rather than viciously defending himself. Silence is golden at times. Or during a conversation...I re-play it sort of like a summary.  I even say " this is what we agreed on right? .  So do not end up arguing about who said what in a week. Right?" .  And I make him agree right then. It has solved 80 % of the issue . Whether it is true gaslighting or "forgetting"  or being distracted etc...I am not so sure at times.   Forgetfullness is indeed a huge part of MLC.  My H could not remember anything , nor could he make a decision. He constantly forgot things. I remember him coming home once and he brought coffee. He put them on the porch table.  He went into the house and made some phone calls etc and came out with 2 glasses of ice tea. He stared at the coffee and said " did I bring coffee home?" . Many many examples of this and some continues today.  He came in the house last week and left the truck running in the driveway!  . It is part of MLC brain apparently.
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The Journey Of Reconciliation .. is for the brave .

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#4: April 04, 2021, 10:58:02 AM
Quote
I never tracked him, traced , followed , questioned etc. . I could not stop it the 1st time and I have no doubt I could not stop it the second. In some ways , I would have had my answer ( end the marriage) if he chose to do that again and all the indecision would be gone. I have no time to waste tracking a grown man who will do what he wants .  It will never happen to me twice, I can guarantee that .

I’ll keep this in mind. Sometimes I have the urge to check his phone. But then I think to myself for what. Like you said if I was not able to stop it the first time and even the second time I will never be able to prevent it the next time. And like you said, we know now what to do. In my case I guess there will be no more talk this time. It will be just between lawyers.

Detachment is I believe a big challenge for me. I do take care of myself a lot. I now know the things I like and I do them now whether my H likes to join or not. I say what I think. But to emotionally detach is something that to this day I haven’t mastered. The pain from the memories are hard to block and they affect me almost every time. At times I am able to brush them away at times I have to let it out thus it ends up with R talks with my H.

For the last couple of days now I have been camping with my H on a camping van for the first time which we both enjoyed. The other day, he went jogging by himself which was totally fine with me because I got to have my me time. He came back and told me he wanted to show me something. We went cycling there and he brought me to the menhirs which I have always been wanting to visit. I asked him to take a picture of me with the menhirs and he took it in a hurry because he wanted to show me something else. Now this is the part that I hate about my H, everything has to be rushed and combine in a short span of time. Almost all our travels in the past were so stressful for me because of this. Anyway, I looked the phtos quickly and I said I looked so ugly and ask him if he could do it again. He said to me well if you look ugly then you’ll always be ugly and I can’t do anything to change that. That was it. He said then we’d rather go back to the camping site. I went back and went for a walk by myself to cool myself down. He came back to the van and just stayed in bed with his phone. I went to bed without talking to him and he came to me and said he wanted to show me something on the phone. He acted like nothing happened until I pointed it out to him. Then he turned it back to me that I also insulted him by saying I don’t like his beard which he knew from the very beginning. And he started enumerated things that I said that hurt him. For me I feel like he always turns the conversation into him being the victim. Maybe I did hurt his feelings when I said I didn’t like his beard or I didn’t like that he shaved his legs but I also told him it’s his body and he can do whatever he wanted. So in the end he cried because he was hurt. He did apologize though for his comment. I am sure he would not say such insulting comments to his ow. What actually made me angry is the fact that he had so much respect for her and he protected her no matter what. The following day as we were driving to this place we wanted to visit I was just so disturbed. I opened up the conversation about the cheating and what he made me go through. My H up to this day denies this.
Like you Barbie all I wanted from my H is to be honest, to talk to me. To come forward and tell me exactly what he was planning with the OW and why suddenly he made a 180 degrees back to me. The only thing my H could tell me was that he thought the antidepressant he was taking for over a year at that time changed him. But I told him he was not in a trance he he decided to be with the Ow. He said at that time he didn’t think it was wrong. He was angry at himself and he didn’t know who he was anymore. He wished he could take back the decision he made then. He wished be could take way the pain from me. He said sorry so many times but I just cannot accept it right now. I haven’t totally forgive my H. This was a very hard talk. We ended up both in tears. I told my H I don’t until when I can stay loyal to him. At times I already thought of being a relationship with another man. I am tired of playing the good wife. So yeah the show goes on. My H never really talked about it except how he felt at that time. My questions will probaly remained unanswered. So now I continue the trip with him. We had wonderful moments I must say. There were just moments when bad memories were too painful.
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H    48
Married 13 yrs no kids
BD May 2019 (I moved out Nov 2019)
EA or PA with ex gf (not sure), H spent 3 nights with the hoe during our vacation in July 2019, it was a friendly encounter according to H
H wanted D April 2020 but didn’t file it
Contact never stopped, H now wants to reconcile
Me not sure

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#5: April 04, 2021, 04:59:54 PM
Hello,

Quote
Based on my experience, some can detach easily but honestly I cannot.

Under the operations, you can't be detached because......

Quote
For the last couple of days now I have been camping with my H on a camping van for the first time which we both enjoyed.

You are doing things with him as a couple. Now, I have never been in reconnection so my perspective is very weak and based on reading other threads. However, detachment is hard to do if you are in the process of reconnecting with someone else. I could be wrong bit detachment is more for replay when the MLCer is having an affair, monstering, and otherwise deep in the tunnel. This is the time to detach from their crisis and let them work through the process. Hopefully others will chime in as my knowledge and definitely no experience to relate.

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Now this is the part that I hate about my H, everything has to be rushed and combine in a short span of time.

I am guilty of this as well. I tend to be task completion so I can check the box. I forget that part of the process is to enjoy doing the task rather than bask in the triumph of accomplishing the task. It becomes more about getting things done and I start to rush myself and everyone around me. Until IC and we walked through how everyone around me was feeling about the experience. She said something very profound, people really don't remember an experience based upon the outcome, they remember how they felt and how you acted. Ooops. Even now with this as part of my psyche, I have to check myself.

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I am sure he would not say such insulting comments to his ow. What actually made me angry is the fact that he had so much respect for her and he protected her no matter what.

This is part of your journey and I believe that healing yourself first is essential to reconnection and ultimately reconciliation. To be transparent, I was told by my ex that she and OM was just an emotional affair. It wasn't until after the divorce that I found out that she had met him on several occasions, so there was a physical aspect as well. Had I known earlier, who knows what would have happened then? Just know I would have really felt betrayed. Can't say I would have been calm or measured. In fact that wound would have been bomb drop two had I known about it before the divorce.

However, this really isn't about OW. She never made any vows to you, she didn't marry you, your H did. In the beginning, I hated OM. Figured he was the bastard that stole my wife. In the end, he was just another object in my ex's life and for all I know, she lied to him as much as she lied to me. Yes, I still see him as a low-life scumbag; but I don't care what transpired between them- he could have been the very best thing ever- but he got the worst of my ex.

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For me I feel like he always turns the conversation into him being the victim.

From my perspective, this is passive-aggressive behavior to enable him to redirect the conversation elsewhere. To still remain in control. Once again, my opinion and nothing else.

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My questions will probaly remained unanswered. So now I continue the trip with him. We had wonderful moments I must say. There were just moments when bad memories were too painful.

As I posted on Barbie's thread, I truly wish I had an answer for you, some marvelous bit of wit, but I don't. Some people guard their hearts really well and just don't let people in, maybe they don't want to share the truth because the reality is too frightening even for them.

Songand Dance gave a great idea of treating it like a rope you have to gently pull. Maybe that's the best you can do. I really don't know. Just know that I hear you, I feel for you, and I am here.

Happy Easter,

((((Ready)))))
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#6: April 04, 2021, 11:34:12 PM
Ready

Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts. I really appreciate everyone’s opinion and love to hear others experience. You are absolutely right and you told ne before already not to give so much importance on the OW because she was just a symptom. I always remind myself of this when I start to think about that b!tc#. Sometimes it’s hard maybe because I am not totally healed yet and the fact the my H never said anything about her. He made sure she’s not dragged into the mud or the chaos he caused. Also I am very affected about her because my H already betrayed me with her during the first year of our marriage. He was secretly in contact with her on facebook. I accidentally found out about it when I saw he texted her he would have married her and not me if he could turn back time. That time, I just froze because we just got married in a church with my whole family attending it. That was a month after our wedding. To this day he still doesn’t think he cheated on me. He said every couple when they fight they say those things to their ex. I don’t know which planet my h comes from but he thinks this way. The MLC with OW was a second offence my h did to our marriage. I believe if the OW weren’t as obese as she is now, my H would have divorced me right away. So there, that’s the reason I am sometimes very much still affected with his hoe. Though I blame my H for the most part because he was the one who initiated everything. He was the one who chose to hurt me.

I read from one of the threads here about love languages. And I find it very interesting. I have certain expectations from my H after the chaos that he’s caused. But pf course those expectations were never met. His way of redeeming himself is going on holiday together. When I say I want to go on a camping van he booked it right away. There was a time when I said I want to go to Santorini and woke up this
Morning with my H researching about the place.  He said to me two days ago when we had this heavy talk about what happened that he’s been trying to make things better and he regretted what he did. He asked me if I could see what he’s doing which he meant going on holidays with me. I told my H this is just a bandaid. He thinks doing this is addressing the problem. I just don’t get the logic.

But yeah, maybe this is my H’s love language. This is his way of showing remorse. I probably need to have an open mind and an understanding heart. But I will not trust him like that ever again.  I know my H now. He says something and he doesn’t do it. He is still like that. There is one thing that is very concerning for me. I mentioned this before. When my H started MLC (before I knew it was Mlc) he became very forgetful. Until now he forgets a lot of things. Could this be really a part of MLC?
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H    48
Married 13 yrs no kids
BD May 2019 (I moved out Nov 2019)
EA or PA with ex gf (not sure), H spent 3 nights with the hoe during our vacation in July 2019, it was a friendly encounter according to H
H wanted D April 2020 but didn’t file it
Contact never stopped, H now wants to reconcile
Me not sure

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My life after separation with a clinger
#7: April 04, 2021, 11:35:13 PM
I wish everyone a blessed and happy Easter. ready thanks again for your listening ears and open mind.
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Me 45
H    48
Married 13 yrs no kids
BD May 2019 (I moved out Nov 2019)
EA or PA with ex gf (not sure), H spent 3 nights with the hoe during our vacation in July 2019, it was a friendly encounter according to H
H wanted D April 2020 but didn’t file it
Contact never stopped, H now wants to reconcile
Me not sure

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My life after separation with a clinger
#8: April 05, 2021, 02:17:16 AM
Fwiw, dragonfly, I think there is a time when it might help to look at our spouses behaviour through an MLC lens and perhaps a time when we need to keep it simpler than that.

I caught my breath when I read what your h said about taking the photo. It sounded mean, cruel and unnecessary.
What would you normally do if someone said something like that to you? And if that is different from what you actually did, why is that do you think? If you could go back to that moment, would you have done something different?

Detaching is, as Ready says, rather difficult when you are engaged in a lot of interaction with someone. So, perhaps, you should not give yourself such a hard time about not reaching some hypothetical state of detached nirvana but just accept that you feel how you feel? And maybe focus on behaviour more....yours and his. Bc feelings and actions can be separated....one does not have to follow the other. And the behaviour that you find acceptable (in both of you) and your tactics for when you don't find behaviour acceptable or comfortable?
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#9: April 05, 2021, 04:22:58 AM
Quote
You are doing things with him as a couple. Now, I have never been in reconnection so my perspective is very weak and based on reading other threads. However, detachment is hard to do if you are in the process of reconnecting with someone else. I could be wrong bit detachment is more for replay when the MLCer is having an affair, monstering, and otherwise deep in the tunnel. This is the time to detach from their crisis and let them work through the process. Hopefully others will chime in as my knowledge and definitely no experience to relate.
.

This is a brilliant observation and query. Why would we be detaching IF we are in some process of reconnection or reconciliation?  How does that make sense and why do we keep pushing detach detach deatch?   I struggle with this immensely and can add my thoughts or experience .  Firstly , there is nothing "healthy " about a marriage that has imploded by MLC shenanigans.  It is so shattered, so broken and damaged that it will takes years to repair..if it is even possible at all. To detach from a healthy, loving , mature marriage or relationship would make zero sense ....but that is far from what we have . We have 2 shattered , emotionally reactive and deeply hurt people ...yes 2 . My H almost destroyed himself with his own actions and choices. I love the analogy I see from time to time about adults with their inner child speaking internally from wounds not healed . (https://www.boredpanda.com/burning-man-festival-adults-babies-love-aleksandr-milov-ukraine/?utm_source=bing&utm_medium=organic&utm_campaign=organic) . I my case , I believe that we are so traumatised that our interactions seemingly rarely have an adult present. We are like 2 demanding , immature , wounded children reacting from our wounded inner child.  There is seldom an adult in the room initially and this makes a highly reactive, angry and impossible situation...worse.

The mistake I made was trying to heal my marriage as number 1 priority . Isn't that the purpose of reconciling?. I was wrong and it took me years to see that. We could never have evolved into a healthy marriage from 2 injured children. I needed to heal myself into my "adult self" before I could ever ever have the marriage I wanted . He would need to do the same work.  In order to do that "self work" , there must be a level od detachment to make space to do so.  I use detachment as a "space maker "  so I step away from continually being triggered and reacting from a wounded place from the past.  I use detachment for "pause" , for rest , for "thinking, learning, healing , processing  ME stuff...for my healing work.  Otherwise I am just a child in a cage fighting with his caged little boy. I detach to protect my recovery , to not react to him , to allow space to heal triggers etc.

In the perfect world, this is not meant to last forever. The hope is you grow together at some point as mature , healthy adults. Maybe yes... maybe no. Its hard to forecast the outcome. I use detachment as a tool of selfcare and to protect myself from the kind of crazy interactions that are so painful, so devastating and damaging ...until such time they are not. Detaching is understanding and respecting acceptance...I cannot change another person. I cannot change his reactions, shut down, perspectives, beliefs, interpretations or how he "hears thru
 his wounds".  I can detach , take care of myself , apply copious amounts of selfcare and refuse to allow myself to be combative, rageful, reactive and hurt by interacting with him.... who I cannot change anyway.  I can go to the beach with a lovely fat book , do yoga and soak up the sun and rest....or I can waste an entire day doing battle, yelling, crying , reacting to him. I am done with that .

some of the ways to practice compassionate detachment:

Refuse to engage in a conversation with someone who is being irrational, disrespectful, or hostile.
Don’t allow someone to affect your moods, thoughts, preferences, opinions, or plans.
Realize that you are not responsible for the shortcomings, failures, and poor choices of others.
Understand that you are not being selfish when you protect yourself from someone who hurts you. 
Accept that you can still love someone and need to protect yourself from him or her.
Recognize that you deserve to be loved, respected, and treated with kindness.
Focus on the opportunities you have for fulfilling your potential and creating the life you want.

https://incessanthoughts.com/how-to-detach/

 




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Married April 1985
5 children
Bomb Drop April 2013
Thrown out of house August 2013
Affair discovered November 2013 (i guessed who)
Home December 3 2013
The Journey Of Reconciliation .. is for the brave .

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

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My life after separation with a clinger
#10: April 05, 2021, 05:15:31 AM
Dragonfly, read all of what Barbie has said and read it again.  This is pure gold.  Great post Barbie. 
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Husband 55
Me 55
Kids 3 sons 29, 27, 25 1 daughter 20
BD #1 Spring 2016
BD #2 Winter 2017
married 33 years.  Together 35
H never moved out except 3 weeks after BD #1
OW 30 year single mom employee-He says EA only I don’t believe him.

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#11: April 05, 2021, 09:45:23 AM
Quote

some of the ways to practice compassionate detachment:

Refuse to engage in a conversation with someone who is being irrational, disrespectful, or hostile.
Don’t allow someone to affect your moods, thoughts, preferences, opinions, or plans.
Realize that you are not responsible for the shortcomings, failures, and poor choices of others.
Understand that you are not being selfish when you protect yourself from someone who hurts you. 
Accept that you can still love someone and need to protect yourself from him or her.
Recognize that you deserve to be loved, respected, and treated with kindness.
Focus on the opportunities you have for fulfilling your potential and creating the life you want.

https://incessanthoughts.com/how-to-detach/

Agree with Roo the entire post is extremely valuable, especially the above about compassionate detachment.   This is something that I'm still trying to figure out with my MLC W.   Hope the best for you Dragonfly, Barbie, and all the others on this board dealing with their MLC spouse.
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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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My life after separation with a clinger
#12: April 06, 2021, 10:22:05 AM
Barbie I had to reread and reread your post to make it sink in in my stubborn brain. It is very insightful what you said about not letting yourself get affected by the action of my H. But truly today it was so hard. This morning my car didn’t start, my h offered to take me to school. I was very thankful that he was around. Otherwise I would miss work. It’s my birthday today so I could not avoid but think my H must have prepare something. He told me would bring my bike that he dismantled and have it fixed at the shop because he couldn’t do it himself. Durinh the day m H asked me what I wanted to eat for dinner. He came to pick me up at the end of the day at work to which I am very grateful. Then I asked him his day was, he started telling me he had coffee with his boss, he went to the sport shop to buy a new gadget then he went to have his bike readjusted, he did his laundry in other words everything about him. And then he said he bought me a cake but he forgot the cake and he didn’t have time to have my bike fixed. He said to me this morninh as well that he wanted to buy me present but since i already bought the present that he wanted to give me, he didn’t get me a present. I told him I don’t need a material present but I just need to be loved by him. Well, today I was just so upset because he couldn’t even fix me a dinner, he bought cheese which I know I will have to cook and prepare myself. Really minimum effort to nothing. I came home, and arrange the apartment because everything was a chaos after we came from camping, he didn’t even think of maybe doing my laundry as well. He came home with me because he picked me up from work and then he sat in front pf the TV because he was too exhausted from running around for his sport. He even had the time to cycle and he didn’t think that perhaps he could call the garage and have my keys fixed. All these are so frustrating that after arranging the apartment I went to bed and closed my bedroom while my H watched tv until it was time to go for his sports therapy. So now he’s gone for 1.5 hours and is probably expecting I would do the cheese and he eats when he gets back. My H has totally turned into a person I don’t know anymore. It’s hard not to get affected. And I didn’t have any expectations at all until he started enumerating what he did for himself that I realized I was at the bottom of the pyramid.

I will try to soothe myself and not react but I am just so tired right now. I always prepared something special for my H on his birthday that when he comes from work he just sits and enjoy his dinner. I sometimes need this once in a while on my birthday. Made me ask myself what is my worth in my H‘s husband. Do I have worth at all. I know this where detachment comes in but like what Treasur said I just have to accept that this is what I feel at the moment. I want to allow myself to feel this way because I am really hurt.
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Me 45
H    48
Married 13 yrs no kids
BD May 2019 (I moved out Nov 2019)
EA or PA with ex gf (not sure), H spent 3 nights with the hoe during our vacation in July 2019, it was a friendly encounter according to H
H wanted D April 2020 but didn’t file it
Contact never stopped, H now wants to reconcile
Me not sure

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#13: April 08, 2021, 11:33:11 AM
Hello,

Quote
Barbie I had to reread and reread your post to make it sink in in my stubborn brain. It is very insightful what you said about not letting yourself get affected by the action of my H. But truly today it was so hard.

I read your post and I am the first to agree that your h was a self-centered a$$hole. OMG. In context, my wife and I both had our second vaccine shot for covid. Both of us were really tired and had body aches the next day. She went to work and stated she felt so tired. I texted her that I would order pizza for dinner and knowing she had to go to the store to buy items for her lunches that she makes and sells on Friday, I told her that I would drive her to the store and help her shop and then we would go pick up the pizza.

This was your birthday and all of his actions demonstrated no consideration for you at all. I know my wife's favorite food and places she likes to eat. It seems from my perspective that your h did nothing to support you and he knew that this was your day.

So, process your hurt and now think how you are going to respond. Like I posted before, you don't want to paint him in a corner where he feels that he does nothing right and doesn't want to even try. I would mention how you enjoyed camping and had a good time with him. Then ask him, how would he rate himself on your birthday?  Let him talk and listen to him.

If you do need to talk, use I messages to respond. "When this happened, I felt hurt. I did not want to prepare cheese on my birthday and I felt sad because it seemed I was not important." The use of "I" statements are you to address your feelings without attacking him personally. That only will shut him down. If he talks, even if you don't agree with him, thank him for opening up and talking to you.

After he is done, then journal his statements and how you felt. Reread Barbie's post and then plan your next response.

I am so sorry he hurt you on your birthday. Make sure you do something special for yourself and make that day your special day!

(((((Ready)))))
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#14: April 08, 2021, 12:10:29 PM
Hi Ready thank you for this. I am actually crying right now. So that evening on my birthday when he came back, I was already cooking the potatoes. I did my laundry and tidied up my place. He came back from his massage at 8.30 pm. I was taking a shower when he came back so he started preparing the table. He told me he bought a special wine. I never mentioned about anything and we just talked about somethjng else I can’t remember it even anymore. At some point he was talking about himself again. I finally blurted out That I felt like I am at the bottom of his pyramid. He asked me what I meant but I told him just forget about it. He said to me he was thinking of buying me a present that day on my birthday but he couldn’t decide and he wouldn’t want to just buy anything. He started thinking about my present on the day of my birthday and he didn’t have time anymore of course because he was too busy about himself. So he said, which is for me very manipulative, that I was so special that it takes time for him to find a perfect present for me. In the end there was no present at all. Now the cake, according to him is in his fridge in his apartment. He forgot because he was busy. The bike, he brought it to the shop to have it fixed but never got it back. So I have to go to the shop and get my bike. That night after dinner he offered to clean the table. I went to my room and he watched tv until he was too tired and came to the room. He was being nice to me and I finally talked about it. He said he knew I would feel upset because he knows I think I am not important to him. He said sorry. I think It has become a habit to him to say sorry but I don’t know if those words even mean something to him. I believe if one is sorry then you don’t keep doing things that hurt your loved ones. I told him he could have brought my car to the garage to have the keys fixed but instead he went for coffee. He said he thought about it but he didn’t have the key. Really shallow reasons. He could have driven to my school and got my keys. Then I started talking to him about how I envy at how much respect he gives to OW. He never said anything bad about her and he has always protected her not to get dragged. I, his wife, has received all kinds of insult unimaginable. He paid for all the hotels they stayed in when they were holidaying together while he almost used up all my salary for our vacation. That’s why I am so angry about the Ow. He said to me she is not important to him blah blah. And it will not happen again because now he knows what he wants. Everytime I ask my H why the OW was physical with him he said he didn’t know. She just grabbed his arm without saying anything. He was crying most of the time because he felt guilty while being with her. He said he was the problem but then he said it was the antidepressant that changed him and made him do those things. He said he couldn’t understand himself why he did those things. He said he’s telling the truth now but actually all I get from him is his standard answers; I dont know, I have no idea, I forgot. It was a very frustrating talk that I gave up and went to bed feeling upset. I cannot win because he always has a reason why he didn’t do anything.

I came home the following day really very upset. I texted him and told him I didn’t want to see him for now. I told him that he was not interested at all to work on us because he hasn’t done anything. The marriage counselor’s name is sitting on the table and he hasn’t touched it. He texted me back and told him we needed a counselor and that he would call the one my therapist recommended. He asked me to send it to him. Which I didnt reply anymore. He told me I was his soulmate and he only wanted to be with me. a lot of blah blah. I said so many hurtful things to him because I was really very angry. I told he he and his ow deserved each other. I was just so furious that he booked her an expensive hotel while he left me in a $h!tety hotel that day he came to see her. So instead of doing something to appease me today my H didn’t bother to text or call and went to the mountains to do his sport. He probably will spend the rest of the week there enjoying himself. Texting everybody pictures of what he’s doing.

How more selfish can they get? It’s just hard to believe sometimes. I am really like a spare tire. When I get angry and upset he disappears. I am only nice to be with for as long as I shut my mouth.

I am sorry for the rant today. I just feels very bad. I don’t even want to eat right now. I feel like this is all my fault because I put myself in this situation. I should have known better. I let myself be carried away by his words when deep inside my body is revolting and telling me this is not right.
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Me 45
H    48
Married 13 yrs no kids
BD May 2019 (I moved out Nov 2019)
EA or PA with ex gf (not sure), H spent 3 nights with the hoe during our vacation in July 2019, it was a friendly encounter according to H
H wanted D April 2020 but didn’t file it
Contact never stopped, H now wants to reconcile
Me not sure

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#15: April 08, 2021, 12:38:16 PM
Please don't apologise, Dragonfly, and please don't beat yourself up any more.
Or you'll have to beat most of us up too bc most of us here have done similar things. At least for a while  ::)

Quote
I let myself be carried away by his words when deep inside my body is revolting and telling me this is not right.
I know feeling like this right now probably feels pretty awful.
But I want to encourage you to see it as a door not a wall.
Some wise bit of you is telling you what you need right now - bc where you are feels so horrible - and imho the benefit of letting yourself feel how you feel is that you get to see the shape of the doorway out.
I would also encourage you to keep it very simple for the moment.....
Do some things that make you feel just a little bit good (doesn't matter what they are, big or small), some things that remind you that your birthday is an opportunity to celebrate for you that you are still here, breathing in and out.
Second, accept that your h is currently lost in self-centredness and entitlement. It isn't right....but it is how it is. Make that your starting expectation....that he is a self-centred a$$hat....bc it hurts you every time you expect something better. So stop.....release yourself from that pressure.
Third, give up on words. His are worth very little. And yours are a waste of good breath bc if you have to explain to an adult how to not behave like a self-centred a$$hat, you are already fighting a losing battle. It isn't that he doesn't see; it's that he disagrees that he should. Or thinks he can work round it. Trust that you know how people behave when they value you.....let him work out how to do that or let him live with the consequences of not doing so.

But please do not beat yourself up for trying....it's normal....sometimes we have to touch the stove enough times to start to really see clearly why it's time to stop.

And from all of us here, Happy Birthday....I promise there will be better birthdays and sunnier days to come, dear girl x
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T: 18  M: 12 (at BD) No kids.
H diagnosed with severe depression Oct 15. BD May 16. OW since April 16, maybe earlier. Silent vanisher mostly.
Divorced April 18. XH married ow 6 weeks later.
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#16: April 08, 2021, 12:46:37 PM
I’m sorry that you still have to be on the receiving end of this selfishness and inconsistency. It seems like often these attempts at reconnection happen when the MLCer isn’t done yet - they are still in their tunnel of selfishness, and even though they say they want the marriage, their actions do nothing to prove it. It seems to me, as someone who is still in the “GAL/MLCer is still in the tunnel” phase, like the decision to reconnect and the early steps of reconnection are in many ways as hard as the days after BD. It’s not shocking in the same way, but it’s hard to know what your boundaries need to be and what your level of detachment needs to be.

I wish I had words of wisdom to offer beyond that, but healthy boundaries and healthy detachment are key to making it through this stage, it seems, and there is no clear guideline about what those should be. Know that you have support and an outlet here, though, for anything you need to process.

Adding: what Treasur said, with all of her usual eloquence, is so on target. Base your expectations on his actions - which is to say, keep your expectations at zero. And yes, you should definitely celebrate your birthday for yourself, and know that we are with you in spirit.
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#17: April 08, 2021, 01:33:51 PM
Thank you Treasur. I’ve been telling myself for weeks not to expect anything from him and just see take him for his actions. But probably deep inside I was expecting better and hoping and it gets squashed every time he shows is self centeredness and his selfish self. Thank you for reminding me that life is still good to me. I was so lost in my H’s promises that he has changed and he wanted to make things better. And then it feels like being slammed with the door on your face.

This $h!te really hurts. I wish I could just shut my mouth and not say anything to him.

Curiosity thank you again and again for being here. I think my H hasn’t come out totally out of that tunnel. He’s wanting to but then he is not ready to face what he has done. He keeps telling me he is not proud of what he’s done and he wants to make things right. But the how is missing at this point. As for my boundaries, I actually have no more idea what to set. He is not monstering anymore. He can be rude at times but then I would just walk away and not to talk to him anymore if that happens. So far that’s the only boundary I have now. He has stopped contacting those women, according. I don’t even know if I should believe because he was also that convincing when he told me he was not meeting the OW. But then it turned out they spent three nights together going to romantic places and going romantic stuff together. So really, I know my H is still not telling the whole truth. I realized even if I put him on an electric chair he will never tell me the truth because he is so not ready at all.

My H just wants holidaying with me. He opens up with joy and excitement if we talk about holidays and traveling. When it’s about how I am feeling then suddenly it becomes a sad moment.

Yeah so now , he’s gone. Do not know what he does and do not want to ask either. I will definitely buy my cake tomorrow for my belated happy birthday. Thank you for you words of encouragement.

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Me 45
H    48
Married 13 yrs no kids
BD May 2019 (I moved out Nov 2019)
EA or PA with ex gf (not sure), H spent 3 nights with the hoe during our vacation in July 2019, it was a friendly encounter according to H
H wanted D April 2020 but didn’t file it
Contact never stopped, H now wants to reconcile
Me not sure

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#18: April 09, 2021, 08:37:13 AM
So I got home from work today with a present and bday candles on my table and a cake in the fridge. My H obviously came to my apartment as he has my key. He made my bed which was a mess. This morning and had my bike fixed. Just wanted to share some positive notes. And now I don’t know where he is. lol I wish everyone a great and relaxing weekend.
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Me 45
H    48
Married 13 yrs no kids
BD May 2019 (I moved out Nov 2019)
EA or PA with ex gf (not sure), H spent 3 nights with the hoe during our vacation in July 2019, it was a friendly encounter according to H
H wanted D April 2020 but didn’t file it
Contact never stopped, H now wants to reconcile
Me not sure

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#19: April 11, 2021, 07:09:57 AM
Hello,

I wrote a post the other day and lost it somehow. I do hope you had a day to celebrate you. Happy Birthday!!!!

Quote
And now I don’t know where he is. lol

The less you care about where he is at and the more you care where you are will help you on your journey to recovery.  Based upon where your h is as, he is self-centered. His needs come first. In order to flip the switch, I believe that you need to be upfront and verbal in regards to your expectations. Personally, the birthday fiasco was a lot of would've, could've, should've on his part. He took care of his business first. If he was falling short on getting your cake or other things done, he could have simply called you and let you know. Then asked you what would you like in the given circumstances. What hurt you the most was not having the cake or dinner, but realizing at the last second that none of this is going to materialize and that you would be responsible for providing dinner. It's like you think you are off tomorrow, have your fun plans set, and then you have to go to work the next day. Talk about bad attitude.

Have you thought about having a conversation with your husband regarding the marriage from this perspective: Heart, head, and hand. When you talk to your h, is he emotionally connected to you and the marriage? Is there passion, empathy, and a desire to bring bliss to your life?
The head comes to play when he thinks before he speaks to you. Does he plan and think around you as a couple? Is he able to effectively communicate with you about everyday plans both short term and long term? It's nice he likes to plan fun things with you, but what about dinner tonight? How about taking out the trash.

Finally, the hand is the actually work. Does he follow-through and do what is necessary. What are his visible actions? By all means, enjoy your sports. Everyone needs an interest that sparks them. However, that still means carving out time for his marriage. You don't live on a shelf waiting to be dusted off and played with at his convenience.

I am only giving suggestions because I find myself in a quandary with him. One one hand, he can be just a jerk. However, in many ways, I see he does try...however when he fails, he gets snapped at which only leaves him frustrated. It's like he gets a B minus for the camping weekend, overall, he did fine, but a few errors made him feel like he failed. Especially when it becomes a blow out and OW becomes the central issue. Then he may assume that you are going to hold OW over him for the rest of his life. Just giving perspective. I've never met or spoke to your H. Please heed my words as marginally thin advice at best.

My aim and goal is to support you in becoming healthy and whole. Most importantly, I want you to find bliss and peace in your life-with or without him. Preferably with him. Just know regardless, we are here to support you and your journey.

Hope you had a good weekend,

(((((Ready))))

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#20: April 12, 2021, 11:53:04 AM
Ready you asked the right questions which made me ponder. My H never talks about us, about how we move forward or about short term and long term plans about our marriage. The only thing he talks about is either about his sport and training,since our camping he now talks about the research he’s doing on what camping van to buy or about our next holiday together. When I talk about us or about what he is not doing then he starts telling me he wants to fix what he ruined or he tells me we need a therapist but no action has been done so far about the therapist. Believe I am not going to that either. I’ve done my part.

He does some house chores though. He cleans up the table after we eat, he puts the dishes in the dish washer and takes them out. This is my old H. He’d been doing these things before MLC. It’s still the same dynamics. I cook, I prepare the table and he heats and cleans up. Not always but he does.

I’ve always told my husband that there’s a lack of passion in our relationship. When I feel like I want to be intimate with him, he is so cold. This is not something new. It has always been like this in our relationship. I feel like my needs were not met. Only when he feels like it and whether i like it or not I just have to do it because I feel like it’s my responsibility as a wife. Up to this day, I feel rejected when it comes to being intimate. He always says he’s tired and exhausted.

When I spoke to my H a couple of days ago why I was upset about my birthday, he told me he wanted to reassure me I can trust him again, build my trust, blah blah. I said to him how he is goin to do that because so far I’ve heard only words, empty words to be exact. He told me then By reassuring me, by actions he can rebuild the trust. If you ask him what particular actions, he doesn’t have answers to that. Which is for me again very frustrating.

So I had an appointment today with my therapist. I told her about what happened on my birthday and I asked her if I was wrong to have reacted like that. She told me based on what I told her that it seems like my H doesn’t have the emotional competence to meet my needs in a relationship. She thinks that perhaps he probably meant it that I am important to him but he doesn’t have that competence to show that love or that emotional connection. And I believe she is right because my H has been mostly cold to me. Cold in a way that I don’t feel appreciated, I never heard my H telling me I am beautiful or I look attractive. Also when making love he barely kisses me. I felt like a prostitute in the past where the man just walks away after making love. My therapist asked me the question then what do I want from my H. I actually just wanted to be respected, to be loved and cherished. But There were a couple of moments only where I felt I was loved and cherished let alone respected. When for example i would suggest to my H where we could go and what we could do, he always had a counter idea. In the end we most of the time ended up going where he wants and doing what he wants.

My therapist also asked me why do i think my h is not doing what i ask him to ex making an appointment with a therapist. I reflected for a while and the reason why he is not making so much effort is because he knows i am always here waiting for him no matter what he does. Why would one do any effort? I would not either.

Ready it’s funny when you said that my h would assume that i would always hold ow over him his whole life because he said exactly those words. He told me so this is my life. You are going to always raise that issue.

Thank you for the points that you’ve raised. And thank you for your support ready. I always appreciate to hear from a different perspective because it’s so hard to see the whole pictures sometimes especially when you are so involved in a situation.
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Me 45
H    48
Married 13 yrs no kids
BD May 2019 (I moved out Nov 2019)
EA or PA with ex gf (not sure), H spent 3 nights with the hoe during our vacation in July 2019, it was a friendly encounter according to H
H wanted D April 2020 but didn’t file it
Contact never stopped, H now wants to reconcile
Me not sure

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#21: April 13, 2021, 05:08:40 AM
Journaling
After our heated exchange of texts last week regarding my birthday which lead to me telling my H that he was not doing any action to show me he wanted to work on us like making an appointment with the couple’s therapist, my H texted me today that he made an appointment with the therapist. At least there’s progress I guess. Now, the big question would be: will he be open at the therapist’s? Will he open up himself? Or will he trap me again in a corner?

I like to believe there’s little progress with my H. Very slow progress in fact. Is this what reconnection is all about? I take his actions all the time with a grain of salt. I like to think positive and I hope we re getting there. I would love to hear what it was like for those who reconnected/ reconciled. How was it at the very beginning?
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Me 45
H    48
Married 13 yrs no kids
BD May 2019 (I moved out Nov 2019)
EA or PA with ex gf (not sure), H spent 3 nights with the hoe during our vacation in July 2019, it was a friendly encounter according to H
H wanted D April 2020 but didn’t file it
Contact never stopped, H now wants to reconcile
Me not sure

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#22: April 13, 2021, 07:59:29 AM
Hi Dragonfly,

Just my 2 cents with a live in Clinger.  Putting a label on where they are (ie reconnection or not). Has always led to expectations from me which in turn has led to disappointment when my H didn’t go the path that I thought he should be on.   Turn your focus on yourself and tell yourself “my H is in MLC somewhere”.  He is not going to follow your timeline.  Believe me I know this one so well. 

Please don’t get your expectations up about MC being the fix for him.  I’ve been 3 different times in 5 years.  While I learned something new each time, it didn’t shorten his MLC in the slightest.  He’s still in it and fighting his way out on his own.

Keep focusing on yourself and not what your H is doing or not doing.  It will save your sanity. 

Hugs, Roo
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Husband 55
Me 55
Kids 3 sons 29, 27, 25 1 daughter 20
BD #1 Spring 2016
BD #2 Winter 2017
married 33 years.  Together 35
H never moved out except 3 weeks after BD #1
OW 30 year single mom employee-He says EA only I don’t believe him.

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#23: April 13, 2021, 06:18:24 PM
Hello Dragonfly .  Been awhile since I talked with you but I do read along. You get excellent advice and comments time and time again.  I suspect you are tired of hearing "focus on yourself"  as I did , but it really is the only way to survive . And it is incredibly hard to do . I had been married 30 years when my H went to crazy-land and my focus had always been on my marriage and my children. I had NO idea how to focus only on myself. And it just felt all wrong to focus on me when my marriage was on life support. It took me a very long time to understand and to learn to detach and look only at my growth, selfcare and focus.  I still remind myself everyday to do just that .  I wish there was another way, but for now it is the best way to get to know yourself and heal what only  YOU can heal .

Quote
Turn your focus on yourself and tell yourself “my H is in MLC somewhere”.  He is not going to follow your timeline.  Believe me I know this one so well.
.

I like this a lot.  Your H IS still in some stage of internal chaos ...still searching for external things ( his sport ) to fill a void internally. He is still running in circles and in all likelihood can not be what you need right now...maybe never. One of the hardest things to accept ( for me) was that I was 100% responsible for my own healing no matter who hurt me . It was not going to come from my H.  I fought that like a warrior ..but the truth is only I can "fix" me .  So, the focus had to be on that and off of a man that was still chasing himself in circles. Its hard ...all of it . 

Your marriage will never be the same . Ever. You will never have your "old" husband again.  Attached to him will always be the memories or shadow of what he has done. It is now woven into your history and that is permanent . You cannot go back. Neither can I.  We can only move forward and we can only do that by healing ourselves . This is hard work, lots of tears, therapy, questions, anger and doubts. Do we even know who we are anymore ? Or do  we want a "new" marriage with this person.   And just when we may think we know..we change our PTSD saturated brains . It took me years to even stabilize and stop being highly reactive...years. 

Quote
I would love to hear what it was like for those who reconnected/ reconciled. How was it at the very beginning?
.

Of course it goes without saying that we are all completely different people and will recover in different ways. Or not recover at all....it is that profound of an injury to who we are as wives and mothers. I doubt anything will ever hurt me as much .  At the "beginning "  I raged . I cried for years Dragonfly.  And I mean wept . I wanted to "flee" as part of my fight or flight response was never off.  I thought I might go insane , I was admitted to a trauma centre for 3 months....lived there .  I could not see past extreme emotions, I could not soothe or calm myself, I felt hatred that I never experienced in my life...both for my H and for his OW fling ..who was my friend. I discovered all my own FOO issues had been ignited into yet another layer of pain that I had to deal with. I think I was in emotional shock for a very very long time.  You are "normal" , you are a human reacting to one of the most profoundly painful betrayals that can happen , you are finding YOUR way and you are good, you are strong and you will find a way to rise above it in your own time.  Go look in the mirror and see that that lovely lady is your top priority . 

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Married April 1985
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Bomb Drop April 2013
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Home December 3 2013
The Journey Of Reconciliation .. is for the brave .

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

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My life after separation with a clinger
#24: April 19, 2021, 05:41:02 AM
Roo and Barbie thank you for sharing your experience. I always appreciate it so much how it went with those who have experienced this MLC longer than I have. And Roo you are right I have to stop having expectations because it will just hurt me. They don’t follow a linear pattern and if I have to analyze every act I would go crazy in the end. Like in your early stage Barbie, I’m still struggling with controlling my reactions. I’ve listened to some podcasts about how we are responsible to our own emotions but as human as we are it is still hard for me. What I am doing right now is swallowing my feelings. I feel so heavy inside. I don’t talk to my H anymore about marriage or plans or relationships. Even if I want to talk so much I keep it to myself. But then deep inside I am dying because I cannot express my emotions anymore because it is useless. I’ve noticed that my H just keeps quiet once he notices that we are heading that direction. Then we don’t talk. Then he acts like everything is normal. Our Mc is going to be done on video con. I cannot imagine how it’s going to work because I will be sitting next to my H and talking to the therapist on the computer. But I said to my H we can just try and if we don’t feel like continuing it, we will just stop. So no pressure on his part.

My H has nothing in mind right now except his sport. I don’t ask where he goes I don’t text him either. He asked me once what I was planning to do while he cycled and I said I didn’t know and I would figure it out later. He said then that I was not sharing to him my whereabouts and my plans. I go out with friends and I don’t tell him the details anymore. I’m giving him his own doze of medicine. But honestly deep inside it’s killing me. I don’t want to be in this marriage where it feels like you have no husband at all. It feels like both of you are just floating in the air. I know I have to focus on myself and my own plans for the future and I am doing that. It’s just that it’s nice to have someone with whom you can talk with about your future together and plans together. My H is nowhere else except in his sport world. All he researched was a new helmet, new saddle or new sunglasses or whatever he needs for his triathlon. I let him be, he will have his first triathlon in June and we will see what happens next.
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Me 45
H    48
Married 13 yrs no kids
BD May 2019 (I moved out Nov 2019)
EA or PA with ex gf (not sure), H spent 3 nights with the hoe during our vacation in July 2019, it was a friendly encounter according to H
H wanted D April 2020 but didn’t file it
Contact never stopped, H now wants to reconcile
Me not sure

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Re: My life after separation with a clinger
#25: April 19, 2021, 07:02:08 AM
DragonFly: as Barbie and others have said you are getting excellent advice. And it comes from experience and with hindsight. Yes it is very hard but the only way to feeling better is to follow that sound advice: stop worrying about him, what he does, what he says and focus on you. Nothing you do, say, think, suffer will in any way impact him right now. And he is deeply impacting you.

This may be a great time for the good old "fake it till you make it." It is hard, and you aren't just going to change things overnight. But maybe focus on step by step. When your mind goes to thinking about what he is doing make yourself stop. It will happen over and over again, and you simply just have to keep coming up with ways to break the habit.

We all need to be heard, understood and loved. Its hard but accept right now and for a while to come it will NOT be coming from your H. So start finding alternatives. Little bits at a time, friends, family, whatever work. Again it won't fix anything immediately but if you keep doing it step by step over time it will start to really help.

This really is a case of the journey of thousand steps. If you don't spend every day taking a few steps you will find yourself in the same spot months later. But taking each step doesn't seem like much change, but in a few months you may look back and wonder "how did I come this far?"

Which is what I read in what Barbie, Roo and Ready are saying. Fake it till you make it.
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No Kids, 23 years at BD1 (4 years), married 21
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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My life after separation with a clinger
#26: April 19, 2021, 10:40:41 AM
Dragonfly, I agree with both Marvin and Barbie. Sometimes “faking it until you make it is the only option”. It has come in handy many times. 

One more thing that has helped me tremendously to get the focus off my H and MLC is volunteering.  In the last 5 years I’ve taken on many volunteer opportunities but the most important one has been being a court advocate for kids in foster care.  I knew nothing about the court system or child welfare system so I’ve learned so much.  I’ve had the same kids for over 4 years now.  What started as a GAL activity has turned into a big part of my life.  One of my kids is in Juvenal detention and I was able to visit last week.  (Because I’m vaccinated). He was so happy to see me and I realized how much of an impact I’ve made on his life.  I can’t help my H so turning that energy into helping someone else who truly needs it has kept the focus off my marriage and my H. 

Maybe look around for something you can put your energy towards?  I’ve delivered meals to shut ins during covid as well.  For me it has given me perspective on others and what they are going through and makes me realize my troubles aren’t so big. 

My 2 cents anyway. 
Hugs, Roo
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BD #1 Spring 2016
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My life after separation with a clinger
#27: April 19, 2021, 01:40:23 PM
Dragonfly: the absence of plans for the future together is definitely hard. At least for me it has been. My W's MLC journey started during the pandemic so sometimes I'm able to tell myself that the pandemic is in part preventing us from making plans, but I know it's not just that. A lot of survive-the-affair books mention making plans for the future as a critical reconciliation thing to do together. Future plans bring hope. In the meantime, maybe make plans for the future for you? Part GAL/part hope building.

I like the idea of spending time volunteering. Giving to others is such a great way to feel better about yourself.

Keep moving forward, one step at a time.
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My life after separation with a clinger
#28: April 19, 2021, 04:07:34 PM
I'm following along as I have a boomerang/clinging boomerang. Not at home, but just down the road. Reading your thread, and others who have been in this with a clinger is so helpful. Boomerangs are their own special sort of adventure I guess.  :o
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My life after separation with a clinger
#29: April 20, 2021, 06:40:21 PM
Quote
What I am doing right now is swallowing my feelings. I feel so heavy inside. I don’t talk to my H anymore about marriage or plans or relationships. Even if I want to talk so much I keep it to myself. But then deep inside I am dying because I cannot express my emotions anymore because it is useless. I’ve noticed that my H just keeps quiet once he notices that we are heading that direction. Then we don’t talk. Then he acts like everything is normal. Our Mc is going to be done on video con. I cannot imagine how it’s going to work because I will be sitting next to my H and talking to the therapist on the computer. But I said to my H we can just try and if we don’t feel like continuing it, we will just stop. So no pressure on his part.
.

This is concerning Dragonfly . Not that I do not know what you mean..i do know.  But no where should the message be to "shut up and put up" or to stuff all our emotions.  I do not support that and we know as women , it simply will not work. It is why we eventually explode, attack and have all kinds of physical problems , all stress related.  It is not the message we should be giving each other.  But what do we do then?   What do we do when it feels like extreme frustration , high reactivity, anxiety and emotions that we cannot control and hurt , questions and confusion will not leave us alone.   And trying to deal with a husband that clams up and triggers us into reactivity.  Stuffing is not the answer at all, it will fester into resentment we may never shed.  But what is the answer ?   Some of my thoughts ..

1. We need to talk. Women process their emotions by talking . We are not "happy"  otherwise. We need solid girlfriends, supports, an outlet for our thoughts and emotions to be expressed. Many a best friend has saved troubled marriages. I rely on my lady-friends for these connections , support and understanding.  You can vent, feel heard and find your own way to get these needs met. Should these women to women connections take the place of a husband. No. But for now .... it may be all we have.
2. Our own therapist is HUGE. I cannot say this enough.
3. Selfcare x 100 ... over and over.  Finding what soothes us, makes us laugh or just feels good.  This was very difficult for me to learn...I had no idea the power of selfcare .
4. Get control of your anxiety. Whether it be medication or by whatever works. I had anxiety ..unrelanting, soul sucking anxiety so bad day after day after day, I wanted to die. Anything to make it stop.  I know that 90% of my reactivity came from severe anxiety. . I could not make space to respond calmly, rationally or "in control".  My fight or flight was always ON.... and boy, I am one nasty fighter ( or flee'er).  Only when I had my anxiety under control could I get control of me.
5. Find out what your reactivity is truly about. Its inside of you. Its in your FOO. My mother punished me with refusing to talk. She slammed cupboards, doors and we knew she was mad. But refused to talk . We were always guessing who was in trouble. My husbands "clam up " avoidance triggers that little girl pain and rejection.  I can remind myself...all this pain is not just about him.
6. For me personally... I have to find ways ( still working on this) to change my  tone, my aggressive starts to conversations, my ability to walk away with dignity and confidence ... not slamming doors. To soften ....all these sh%t-kicks life has handed me has made me tough and hard. My feminine self is lost. My H is most certainly afraid of the ticking time bomb of unpredictable crazzzy I can be . I become his father . Where is your H's triggers?.   Not that we are responsible for them... just recognize where they are.
7 . Learning to love being alone... in thought or hobby. Lost in a great book. Just sitting ...grows wisdom somehow.  Wisdom to know we can find ways to be our own needs. We are never without ourselves. 

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The Journey Of Reconciliation .. is for the brave .

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

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My life after separation with a clinger
#30: April 21, 2021, 02:28:20 AM
Thank you all for your kind words. I started jogging yesterday to help with my tiredness problem. i always feel exhausted especially after work or when I am relaxing. It went well for the first time and I had a bath after. My H came home and said he was exposed to his parents who tested positive. I was also exposed yesterday to one of my student’s who was exposed to someone in the family who tested positive. He was pissed off because he’s worried about his training. I asked him if he’s not worried that he would infect me since he came to my apartment. He said he could leave if I want him to. So I told my H he can stay since we were both exposed anyway. The whole night he was so absent-minded and the only worry he had was that his training would be interrupted again if ever he gets the virus for the third time. So I said to him that it was a bit selfish that the only thing he’s worried about is his sport and his triathlon. His parents are sick and they are very old and there could be complications. And he said well isn’t it ok to be selfish and just want to reach his goal of joining the triathlon. He said he’s not worried about his parents because he knows they will make it. So I didn’t continue the talk anymore. It still stuns me though how selfish these MLCers are. Nothing goes around their mind except me me me. I asked myself, I wonder what he is going to do next when all this triathlon fever would subside.

Today I woke up really very sad. I dreamt about my H cheating on me again and he left me. I didn’t sleep well. My H noticed I had a bad dream again and he would caress my back every time. So I got myself ready for work this morning and I couldn’t find my car key. I started panicking because I would be late for work. I had some sort of a crisis probably triggered by the situation that I just cried. I called my H since he went back to his apartment to cycle in his place. He told me he can come if I need help. I just cried on then phone and I told him I was exhausted and overwhelmed And I can’t anymore. The only thing he could tell me is if I wanted him to come. He said after his cycling he would come. I do not blame my H for my crisis this morning. But somehow I felt so alone. I told him later he didn’t have to come today. I realized I have no one else. My H doesn’t give a flying firetruck about me even if I was dying. He just cared about his stupid training. I thought I was already ok since BD, but I realized today I have so much bottled emotions that just all came out today that I couldn’t think properly anymore and I just broke down. I felt my body so exhausted and my mind so tired. I noticed that I have been forgetting a lot of things. When I came down to the garage my key was in my car. It took me a while to calm myself down. I cried the whole morning feeling $h!te that I fell asleep. I had to call therapist to have a talk with her today. I hope it helps.  My H has not contacted me or called me. What an @$$hole.
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Me 45
H    48
Married 13 yrs no kids
BD May 2019 (I moved out Nov 2019)
EA or PA with ex gf (not sure), H spent 3 nights with the hoe during our vacation in July 2019, it was a friendly encounter according to H
H wanted D April 2020 but didn’t file it
Contact never stopped, H now wants to reconcile
Me not sure

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My life after separation with a clinger
#31: April 21, 2021, 04:45:52 AM
Dear girl, you sound in distress and I am so so sorry for that.
I want to encourage you by reminding you that our bodies often speak when our mouths can’t. And that your feelings of exhaustion and memory problems are so normal when anyone is feeling this kind of distress.

I don’t know if you are yet in a place to process Barbie’s hard won wisdom, but I agree with it too.
Right now you seem to be caught in a loop of looking to your h for help and support, having (normal) expectations of being treated as if you matter and feeling the pain of seeing the gap between what you want and the current reality. We get it....most of us have spent some time there....and that is why we are encouraging you, when you feel ready or when you really just can’t anymore, to stop doing that. To find solutions and support in other ways and places. To accept that you don’t have to be silent just bc your h does not want to hear you.

Hug from here x
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T: 18  M: 12 (at BD) No kids.
H diagnosed with severe depression Oct 15. BD May 16. OW since April 16, maybe earlier. Silent vanisher mostly.
Divorced April 18. XH married ow 6 weeks later.
Healing and growing found here https://littleplotbythesea.wordpress.com

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

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My life after separation with a clinger
#32: April 21, 2021, 06:06:55 AM
Dear Treasur,
I just got back from my therapist. It was not just a distress. I had a huge panic attack this morning. I recognized those feelings it was like being taken by a time machine back to BD day. I felt so helpless. My therapist told me the same thing, my h is not capable of showing empathy and maybe he’ll never be. It was normal what I felt because of the trauma I had to go through. She compare me to a person who keeps trying to hop on the horse and keeps falling down. She told me at some point I will learn to stop going on that horse because it just hurts me and makes me sick. I told her I felt like I have a h but I don’t really have an h. She said my mind is so confused because I do have my H physically with me but he is not really around emotionally. He cannot give me my needs of husband and wife emotional support because maybe he’s just not capable at the moment or he just doesn’t have empathy towards others. This is my reality now I only have myself. She said I am not alone because I have myself. I think my therapist is encouraging me indirectly to leave my h for good. She said there’s no question that my H is a good man but he can’t provide what I need in a relationship. I am not sure anymore what I want. I’ve always wanted my H to come back and now that he is back he is not really here. I asked myself then do I really want this? Am I willing to wait until he comes out normal again if ever that will ever happen. It’s true what everybody said, my H is so totally disconnected emotionally. And it’s painful to watch that.
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Me 45
H    48
Married 13 yrs no kids
BD May 2019 (I moved out Nov 2019)
EA or PA with ex gf (not sure), H spent 3 nights with the hoe during our vacation in July 2019, it was a friendly encounter according to H
H wanted D April 2020 but didn’t file it
Contact never stopped, H now wants to reconcile
Me not sure

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My life after separation with a clinger
#33: April 21, 2021, 06:32:15 AM
I’m so sorry, Dragonfly, these unravelling feeling patches are just awful, I know. But it sounds like you have a good IC who ‘gets’ the effects of trauma and that is a very good thing indeed.

Don’t worry overmuch about what others think you should or should not do about your marriage. Or even tbh what you think you want re your h/m. Partly bc your lens is likely a bit skewed right now. Partly bc it doesn’t matter as much as you think. Mostly bc you do not have to decide on this right now......your short term job is to rebalance yourself away from the anxiety and distress towards more solid ground. That’s it.....no more and no less....there will be time for other things when you feel more sturdy.

And imho acceptance is the key. Accepting that where you are is where you are right now. It may not always be so but it is right now. And you get to decide how much or how little of it you want to engage with. What hurts and what heals, what leaves you feeling weaker or stronger. Day by day, hour by hour.....and you can change your mind too  :)

What do you feel you need to do currently to find bits of that, Dragonfly? Whatever it is....things that are solely in your hands and control though....do more of that.
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« Last Edit: April 21, 2021, 06:35:19 AM by Treasur »
T: 18  M: 12 (at BD) No kids.
H diagnosed with severe depression Oct 15. BD May 16. OW since April 16, maybe earlier. Silent vanisher mostly.
Divorced April 18. XH married ow 6 weeks later.
Healing and growing found here https://littleplotbythesea.wordpress.com

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

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My life after separation with a clinger
#34: April 21, 2021, 06:37:45 AM
Good morning Dragonfly,

Your therapist has told you some things that are difficult to comprehend. Intellectual we can see that they have no empathy or compassion for us, and yet whatever their "passion" is (for my husband it's his work, yours is his training) they have intense devotion and interest.

As you have read, we see this over and over again in the way we are treated.

Without value, without worth.

Many years later, I am still trying to "climb on the horse" or I was until last Christmas...and now, I can see more clearly the ghost he is. I am much more aware of the lack of concern he has for me, yet there is still a thread that connects me to him. Learning to live with that thread without it harming me has been hard to do.

Some people have been able to cut that thread and are not so affected by their spouse's actions anymore. But myself, and several other long timers still hurt from the lack of any recognition from them of how we feel.

For 10 years my husband lived on another continent but he would come back here on business. Somehow, he would "always" let me know he was here.....he'd drop off gifts at the door or find some reason to see me. He has "wormed" his way in to Christmases and other family events..always making me think, well he must care somewhere inside about us.

He moved back 1 1/2 years ago, initiated contact with me for a bit...I was very upset when I found out he was coming back here and thought seriously about moving. Knowing that he is here makes it harder for me.....

I don't know dragonfly. This is the thorn in our side and for some of us, it continues to impact us for years. I am "better" now. Like you I wanted my family back, and so have never shut the door on him. I actually don't think it would have mattered if I had, the thoughts and feelings and confusion about how someone I loved could treat me this way would have been there regardless.

Whatever your feelings are, they are the right ones for you. I do know that they seem incapable of meeting any of our needs or showing any kindness towards us.
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"Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see" Hebrews 11:1

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

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

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

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My life after separation with a clinger
#35: April 21, 2021, 07:59:06 AM
Dragonfly, lots of hugs from my world.  I have been where you are many, many times.  I have often wondered “ is this all I get after all I have been through?”   I understand completely.  Your H is there but not really there.  He is totally incapable of giving you what you need. 

Is there anyway to take a break from him?  Can you go stay with a friend?  Maybe go get a hotel for a few nights?  For me I had a friend I could always call and say “I need a place to stay tonight”. She never questioned me, never judged.  Some times you need to get away from the situation to see it clearly.  When our H’s are always right in front of us it’s hard not to expect them to act like they used to.  It’s hard to see the bigger picture when we are muddled down too close.

I too have been through the entire dissection of our marriage.  Seeing the reality of things is another process for us as an LBS.  I questioned everything .  I questioned if my H ever loved me in the first place. 

Your H is broken at the moment.  He cannot help you.  I believe you are at a point all of us LBS’s get to at some point.  You start to realize you need to save yourself.  The only way for me to save myself and allow my H to stay in my life was to detach completely.  I started living my life like I would be ok no matter what the outcome.  It’s your choice weather you stay in your marriage or not.  You need to focus on what you need in order to go forward.  It is so incredibly hard I know.  I resisted this for a long time and damaged myself in the process. 

So many hugs your way as you find your way back to Dragonfly.  Once you find her again you will realize how great and strong and capable she is.  You will find yourself on the other side of the tunnel and it’s a feeing feeling.

Hugs, Roo
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BD #1 Spring 2016
BD #2 Winter 2017
married 33 years.  Together 35
H never moved out except 3 weeks after BD #1
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My life after separation with a clinger
#36: April 24, 2021, 06:31:22 AM
Dragonfly,

I took me a long time to discover that everything I was looking towards others to give me was a thing I was not giving myself. And if I would see that expectation and attend to it....it became much less desperate to get that thing from others.

I hear you say you are exhausted.....what would you do for someone who’s exhausted....ask less from them...give them some time to recuperate, remove all unnecessary tasks, give them a vacation, rest relaxation self care?  You can give those things to yourself.

I hear you say you need emotional support.....you can affirm and validate your own feelings. You can create safe places for yourself to feel them. You can make your feelings matter and it will encourage you to see that you really do matter.

You say it bothers you that he doesn’t make your health or safety a priority......dragonfly can make her own health and safety a priority....by doing actionable things to protect herself.

By doing these sorts of things we began to feel much more safe, we see our own value, and it stabilize ourselves and our emotions. Our ability, worth, value, and importance never lies in the hands of another person. There are people who see your worth and those who cannot. That’s it. So if we keep asking someone with an inability to see our worth to value us and make us important we begin to think we aren’t worth very much......it’s not true.

You can be the person who values and honors you. You can make yourself important. You do not need to wait around and see if he suddenly develops that ability.

Hugs

❤️Courage ❤️
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H 37
S16
Wallower/Chaos kid
EA discovered 3/31/2019
BD March 31 2019
He left 10/6/2020
Status: I’m done. Stbxh remorseful, texts and apologizes a lot, is in therapy and several treatment teams.
“God allows us to feel the frailty of human love so we’ll appreciate the strength of his.” C.S. Lewis

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#37: April 24, 2021, 11:07:29 AM
Quote
Dragonfly,

I took me a long time to discover that everything I was looking towards others to give me was a thing I was not giving myself. And if I would see that expectation and attend to it....it became much less desperate to get that thing from others.

I hear you say you are exhausted.....what would you do for someone who’s exhausted....ask less from them...give them some time to recuperate, remove all unnecessary tasks, give them a vacation, rest relaxation self care?  You can give those things to yourself.

I hear you say you need emotional support.....you can affirm and validate your own feelings. You can create safe places for yourself to feel them. You can make your feelings matter and it will encourage you to see that you really do matter.

You say it bothers you that he doesn’t make your health or safety a priority......dragonfly can make her own health and safety a priority....by doing actionable things to protect herself.

By doing these sorts of things we began to feel much more safe, we see our own value, and it stabilize ourselves and our emotions. Our ability, worth, value, and importance never lies in the hands of another person. There are people who see your worth and those who cannot. That’s it. So if we keep asking someone with an inability to see our worth to value us and make us important we begin to think we aren’t worth very much......it’s not true.

You can be the person who values and honors you. You can make yourself important. You do not need to wait around and see if he suddenly develops that ability.

This is just the best. Thank you Courage . This is very very hard to learn...I wish there were short-cuts or formulas to follow or step by step directions to get to this place. But there is not.  I am a student trying to learn these exact things . I think it is doubly important if you live with an avoidant partner ...learn to give yourself what you need because your partner cannot.  It a hard journey to this place  but at least there appears to be a destination of calm, peace and self-reliance. That has to be less painful .
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Married April 1985
5 children
Bomb Drop April 2013
Thrown out of house August 2013
Affair discovered November 2013 (i guessed who)
Home December 3 2013
The Journey Of Reconciliation .. is for the brave .

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

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#38: April 24, 2021, 02:01:45 PM
Wow Courage you just hit the bullseye. This is exactly the words of my therapist. When I told her I felt alone that day I had a panic attack, she told me I am never alone because I have myself. I didn’t quite understand it until I read your post. Like what Barbie said, this will be a hard journey for me. I will keep your words in mind everytime I feel like wanting the support of my H. Thank you so much for this.
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Me 45
H    48
Married 13 yrs no kids
BD May 2019 (I moved out Nov 2019)
EA or PA with ex gf (not sure), H spent 3 nights with the hoe during our vacation in July 2019, it was a friendly encounter according to H
H wanted D April 2020 but didn’t file it
Contact never stopped, H now wants to reconcile
Me not sure

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My life after separation with a clinger
#39: April 24, 2021, 03:08:31 PM
Dragonfly, and Barbie too

I think for me the emotionally taking care of myself was the most difficult. That required reparenting.....and there are several good books and articles on it.

If you, like me weren’t parented with emotionally supportive parents, than dealing with your emotions is hard, and equally hard because it is the triggers that your inner child is holding. When we reparent the inner child in a loving way, we lose our triggers, learn to love and have compassion for ourselves and learn to trust ourselves and look to ourselves for validation, support, and reassurance.

What does it sound like: it sounds like me talking to little me.

So if I’m angry “I know that you are angry little courage, and it’s a good thing that you are angry, thank you for showing me that we don’t like and won’t tolerate this kind of treatment. I’m proud of you for showing me that. We are going to put a boundary in place so that we can do something about this.”

If I’m sad “ I know that you are sad littl courage and that your heart hurts, of course it hurts, you loved him very much and it’s sad to let people go. It’s okay for you to cry and I will be here taking care of you while you do. It’s safe for us to feel these feelings even if they feel really big.” And then I do comforting things for myself, like hot showers, and warm fuzzy blankets and big steaming cups of tea and lots of pats and massages.

Sometimes it’s just me.....sitting with a tough feeling and chanting to myself “I allow this feeling xyz (whatever that feeling is) in my body, I love this feeling in my body, I love my body for telling me how I feel”

It allows me to open up and just relax into the feeling and then let it pass.

If you want panic attack tricks let me know....I have lots of them.

Love you guys

Courage
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#40: April 24, 2021, 04:35:43 PM
Yes Courage ..you are saying exactly what I had started to practise with my therapist  just before Covid .  Talking to my little girl self.  Feels awkward and just weird , but it is what she was having me do.  We are in the tightest lockdown ( 3rd wave) that we have ever been in so seeing my therapist is way down the road. I know enough to identify a trigger as coming from a childhood place but I fail to talk to that little person. I will do some research and find something to work on as these triggers are profoundly painfully to me.  Its hard to distinguish affair triggers from FOO triggers ...or maybe they all run together.  Had several triggers these past few days and I am exhausted by them to the point of just wanting to sleep and hide .
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#41: April 24, 2021, 05:25:07 PM
Of course it feels awkward love,
When has anybody ever talked to Barbie or little Barbie that tenderly?
And it feels frightening at first because while you have a great many defenses for unkind word you probably don’t know what to do with kind tender compassionate ones.

It would make me cry every time I tried it at first. Many times it was the first time I had ever experienced it.

But so worth it.

❤️Courage ❤️
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#42: April 24, 2021, 06:06:39 PM
Quote
he can’t provide what I need in a relationship. I am not sure anymore what I want. I’ve always wanted my H to come back and now that he is back he is not really here. I asked myself then do I really want this? Am I willing to wait until he comes out normal again if ever that will ever happen. It’s true what everybody said, my H is so totally disconnected emotionally. And it’s painful to watch that.
Hello,
This is a really good thread to read about reparenting the inner girl child. I’m new here but I have been aware of and practicing this process for a while now. It’s nice to see other people talk about it.
I can relate to this part a lot that you were asking Dragonfly. The way I see it for myself right now is that I was never emotionally available to give myself what I needed. Because of not knowing what emotional availability even was I never knew my partner was emotionally unavailable. As I learn to be what I need for myself and know what it is to be emotionally available for myself and be the parent for my little girl I never had I see the unavailability in my partner even more. At this point the way I cope with it is that I have some patience with him because I just became emotionally available to myself and I’m still learning. I was attracted to him because he was emotionally unavailable. I did not know that at the time. We were a match in that department. The more emotionally available I am the more I long for it from him. But I do better right now when I work on getting it from me instead cause he can’t give it. But I have hope that it might change. It changed for me. I am an avoidant moving toward secure. And I had my own crisis before his crisis and my LBS journey has overlapped. I’m working on finding my way to myself still. And I’m new and this is my first reply and it’s scary for me to put myself out there. But I can really relate. Thank you for sharing.
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#43: April 26, 2021, 11:20:34 AM
Dragonfly, and Barbie too

I think for me the emotionally taking care of myself was the most difficult. That required reparenting.....and there are several good books and articles on it.

If you, like me weren’t parented with emotionally supportive parents, than dealing with your emotions is hard, and equally hard because it is the triggers that your inner child is holding. When we reparent the inner child in a loving way, we lose our triggers, learn to love and have compassion for ourselves and learn to trust ourselves and look to ourselves for validation, support, and reassurance.

Thank you for so so much for sharing your story. It helps me reflect on my own past/childhood. My parents were not available at all for emotional support. My father left us and my mother was just emotionally unavailable. She would be so frustrated about me that whatever I did was never enough. As a child it was very confusing because you thought your parents are there to protect you. I was beaten up and publicly embarassed by my mother so many times because she couldn't handle me or because I had fights with my sister. Up to this day, I still do not understand why she treated me that way and honestly, I still have resentment towards here. My mother was one big passive aggressive person to the extent that i suffered inside. I brought it to our marriage. I used to stonewall my H when I get so frustrated and he suffered from it too. Somehow, with this experience that was forced on me by my H, I learned a lot about my FOOs, myself in general and why I react to certain things. Somehow a blessing in disguise. Maybe God wanted me to see myself this way, though the hard way.

Quote
What does it sound like: it sounds like me talking to little me.

So if I’m angry “I know that you are angry little courage, and it’s a good thing that you are angry, thank you for showing me that we don’t like and won’t tolerate this kind of treatment. I’m proud of you for showing me that. We are going to put a boundary in place so that we can do something about this.”

If I’m sad “ I know that you are sad littl courage and that your heart hurts, of course it hurts, you loved him very much and it’s sad to let people go. It’s okay for you to cry and I will be here taking care of you while you do. It’s safe for us to feel these feelings even if they feel really big.” And then I do comforting things for myself, like hot showers, and warm fuzzy blankets and big steaming cups of tea and lots of pats and massages.

Thank you for this. I have never thought of this and to be honest I learn more from the site than from my therapist. I applied this strategy yesterday when I had a huge trigger. And I don't know how much it helped but it made me very emotional that I cried while we were hiking. I cried because I could actually picture myself trying to reassure my child self. It was a very emotional scene as I never experienced that as a child to have an adult reassuring me that I am safe, that there is somebody who will protect me. While walking I just bursted into tears I had to hug my H, indirectly telling him I needed his support.
 
Quote
If you want panic attack tricks let me know....I have lots of them.

I would love to hear some of your tricks for panic attack. I will try them and figure out which ones work for me. I don't have many panic attacks but I do have triggers. Something my H would say, it could be a name of his friend or his boss that was all part of the past since BD and it would just make me so angry. Maybe Barbie you can relate to this. Our conversation would then turn into me blaming him or just sort of attacking him verbally (not in an insulting way but just reminding him of all the $h!te he did)

This is something I also need to work on. Not reacting to my emotions. I need to learn how to distinguish what's the reality and what's triggered by my emotions. It is so hard to zip my mouth even if my brain knows that what I'm about to say is not productive at all. But it just feels good sometimes to let it all out.

My therapist told me today, it is ok not to forgive my H for now. She knows that no matter how many times I said to her I forgave my H, that I haven't actually totally forgiven him yet. She said, some people cannot forgive right away or cannot even forgive and it is ok. She said that my wound is still bleeding and that my reaction/behavior is a result of that bleeding wound. For some, it takes a long time to heal. It was a good talk with my therapist, it helps me reflect on my actions and my behavior. Like what everybody said here, the only thing we have control of and we can change is our own behavior. My therapist also told me, that I think I need my H (because this is what I told her) but she thinks that my H needs me more than I need her. And this is somehow true. My H now acts like a teenager trying to prove that he is independent but at the end of the day he comes back to me for support and validation. This is what my therapist sees in our relationship.

I just have to share this story: Yesterday my H and I went for a hike which was amazingly beautiful. The nature really helped me divert my attention from focusing on my marriage's current situation. My H had planned to go jogging and swimming that day for his triathlon training. But the hike went longer that we came home already late. So he had to do swimming and jogging until almost midnight, which I really find crazy and not normal anymore. But what's not crazy in this whole MLC situation. My H then came back at almost midnight from his jogging and asked me if I appreciated that he spent time with me hiking instead of jogging and swimming during the day. And of course me and me triggers, answered my H in a very defensive way. I said to him: Are you trying to say that I owed you because you chose to spend time with me instead of doing sport? He then said, he just wanted to hear if I appreciated it. Which I did not answer. This is just an example of me being so defensive because I hear him from an LBS point of view and for me it was like Hey you should be thankful I spent time with you. This is something I needed to change and just be neutral in all dealings with my H. This is very ambitious for now, but I will try and try.

Fixed Quotes-Offroad

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« Last Edit: April 26, 2021, 06:56:58 PM by OffRoad »
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#44: April 26, 2021, 11:35:53 AM
I can relate to this part a lot that you were asking Dragonfly. The way I see it for myself right now is that I was never emotionally available to give myself what I needed. Because of not knowing what emotional availability even was I never knew my partner was emotionally unavailable. As I learn to be what I need for myself and know what it is to be emotionally available for myself and be the parent for my little girl I never had I see the unavailability in my partner even more. At this point the way I cope with it is that I have some patience with him because I just became emotionally available to myself and I’m still learning. I was attracted to him because he was emotionally unavailable. I did not know that at the time. We were a match in that department. The more emotionally available I am the more I long for it from him. But I do better right now when I work on getting it from me instead cause he can’t give it. But I have hope that it might change. It changed for me. I am an avoidant moving toward secure. And I had my own crisis before his crisis and my LBS journey has overlapped. I’m working on finding my way to myself still. And I’m new and this is my first reply and it’s scary for me to put myself out there. But I can really relate. Thank you for sharing.

Adult thank you so much for sharing this. I think I can relate to being emotionally unavailable. I was never emotionally available for myself. All my life, I was trying to be the problem solver of the family. My mother and my sisters, whenever they have a problem they come to me. I then have to find ways to solve the problem. I don't know what emotional availability even meant because nobody was emotionally available for me, not even my mother. My H was a person who always needed validation. I remember he gets really upset easily when I am not emotionally available for him. He always needed my validation and my attention. I believe because this was how his father is with them. I feel like they are competing for their parents' attention and validation. In his family it was always a competition with his brother since they both married a foreigner. Who learned the language faster and better, who had the better wife, who was able to adapt faster. I felt like I had to compete. My H pressured me to do lots of studies because he wanted to show to his parents that he was a good husband. He didn't want to do the same mistake his dad did to his mom (not supporting her to get integrated in this country as she is also a foreigner). In the end, I think this responsibility that he put on himself became too much for him.  And I couldn't support him anymore as I myself was so overwhelmed from all the pressure he and I put on myself. 

I like to change myself. I like to support my H in his sport. I like to encourage him and appreciate him, but I really struggle with the pain. It's like a tug of war in my brain. If I support him and encourage him, then maybe he'll see that I am his ally and not his enemy. But if I do that then, I betray myself because I support him despite what he did to me. I am in this limbo at the moment and it is quite hard. As for my own goal, I am trying hard to find at least a 90% job so I can be financially independent and I would not be scared anymore if my H decides to stay in his tunnel. The good thing about this whole situation, if you can call it a good thing, is I learned to enjoy my time whether being alone or being with my friends. I learned that it's actually sometimes nice being alone.

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#45: April 26, 2021, 01:01:56 PM
Hello,

Quote
My H then came back at almost midnight from his jogging and asked me if I appreciated that he spent time with me hiking instead of jogging and swimming during the day. And of course me and me triggers, answered my H in a very defensive way. I said to him: Are you trying to say that I owed you because you chose to spend time with me instead of doing sport? He then said, he just wanted to hear if I appreciated it. Which I did not answer. This is just an example of me being so defensive because I hear him from an LBS point of view and for me it was like Hey you should be thankful I spent time with you.

Personally, I don't think he felt you owed him anything. From my cheap seats, he was looking for an affirmation that you liked what he did. That you noticed that he put you first over his sport. It's like a child trying something new and asking, "See me, am I doing it right?"

Just my opinion,

(((((Ready))))
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#46: April 26, 2021, 01:33:42 PM
Quote
Personally, I don't think he felt you owed him anything. From my cheap seats, he was looking for an affirmation that you liked what he did. That you noticed that he put you first over his sport. It's like a child trying something new and asking, "See me, am I doing it right?"
.

Yes. I agree and it was my thoughts as well.  And I believe it ( as silly as it may appear) ...my husband does the same from time to time.  Seems like they are starving for affirmation ( my H is ) or to be told they finally got something "right".  Sigh...
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#47: April 27, 2021, 04:24:54 AM
Dragonfly,

I know some of what I say may be stuff you already know. But on the chance that some of it isn’t....I’ll tell you what I see.....because every bit of it was true for me.

Quote
  My parents were not available at all for emotional support. My father left us and my mother was just emotionally unavailable. She would be so frustrated about me that whatever I did was never enough. As a child it was very confusing because you thought your parents are there to protect you. I was beaten up and publicly embarassed by my mother so many times because she couldn't handle me or because I had fights with my sister. Up to this day, I still do not understand why she treated me that way and honestly, I still have resentment towards here. My mother was one big passive aggressive person to the extent that i suffered inside.

My father left: abandonment, value, worthiness and lovability wounds.

“Whatever I did was not enough”: the belief that love is earned. The belief that our actions control the emotions of other people. The belief that we are responsible for other people’s emotions.

“Because she couldn’t handle me” : there’s that I’m too much.....or my emotions are too much for another person to handle.....(that’s why we are emotionally avoidant, try to make ourselves smaller, milder and more digestible for other people)

“Because I had fights with my sister” so instead of tending to your emotions or the injustice you felt you were enduring, you were taught that standing up for yourself is wrong, your emotions were inappropriate, and  that you shouldn’t expect comfort or validation.

“One big passive aggressive person”: so you were trained to be hyper vigilant, to constantly spend your energy watching and being aware of another person to control how they felt so you could be safe......thereby teaching you to ignore your own feelings and responses, you didn’t matter in this equation, only her and her feelings and her pleasure or displeasure.

My recommendation is to purchase the book “Codependent No More” read it cover to cover, then take that 8 page list of things codependents believe and work your way through the ones you see that you are holding.

Example: codependents believe they are responsible for other people’s emotions.
1) where did you learn that?
2) how did you learn that?
3) who in your life makes you responsible for their emotions?
4) what does that cost you?
5) what would it look like in action to no longer be responsible for other people’s emotions?
6) what boundaries can I put in place around not making myself responsible for other people’s emotions?

(If you aren’t in a place right now to purchase the book, dm me and I will get you a copy)

It will help you see and navigate all the false beliefs you are holding that passive aggressive parenting teaches. It will help you understand yourself and why you respond how you respond. It will get rid of some of your triggers.....because it’s some of this same beliefs that are triggering you.

I also have to say that their is an enormous amount of grief work that goes into this process. I have to identify that false belief, I have to grieve that I shouldn’t have been taught that and everything it cost me, I have to forgive  myself for not knowing in the past what I know now, I have to grieve for little courage that wanted to be loved and this was the only paradigm in which she thought she could access love.  And I had to accept that this was me, that that belief was taught and that it was okay to let that belief go and step into a new one.
Sometimes we don’t talk about how scary stepping into new  beliefs and actions feel, it goes against everything we were taught, it can be panic inducing to teach ourselves how to do things differently.
And every bit of that process  is emotionally challenging and full of fear and self doubt, and worry about allowing ourselves to become this new thing that is a kind of person perhaps you never met before. I am now someone new, and new to me.....I am different now than everyone I grew up with and that raised me, I am emotionally secure.....and often times it might feel a bit lonely. That’s part of it too. And it’s okay to feel all of those things. And when you do......keep growing. 😊

I hope this helps. You are doing amazing. I’ll make a post about panic attacks for you in a bit.

Sending you love

❤️ Courage ❤️
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BD March 31 2019
He left 10/6/2020
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#48: April 27, 2021, 05:20:54 AM
I will add this as a side not i case you need it.
For me with many things like emotions or love I had to start at the bottom with what is it? In order to see why my belief was wrong.

Emotions:
Emotions are a bodily sensation that we labeled.

When you were young and got scared, your parents saw your physical response to being scared and went “courage you are scared” (labeling the emotion, validating the emotion), then picked you up and comforted you (teaching you how to comfort yourself or respond when that emotion arises).

Most parents are good doing this with toddlers, most not so good with children and teenagers. As we grow, we are supposed to move from our parents being the thing that soothes and solves our emotions, to being taught a toolbox of things we can uses to manage and handle our own emotions.  Sometimes you don’t have any tools in that toolbox.

Emotions are created by the story we tell ourselves about a person, response, situation or thing. It’s the meaning we give things that creates the emotions we feel.

I can’t feel another person’s emotions. I can’t feel what makes them happy, therefore it can never be my job to make someone else happy.

Most of our society teaches us to ignore our own bodies in favor of other things or other people, many of our wrong beliefs are centered in this.

Finish everything on your plate teaches you to ignore the feelings of being full to avoid the shame of killing starving children in Africa. Pushing through illness, discomfort, tiredness.....all these things teach you to ignore or not listen to your body.....and emotions are a bodily sensation.

Children believe they are their emotions, when you reject certain emotions in them.....they feel rejected, and they blame and label themselves as bad for having that emotion, they also shame themselves when that emotion comes up.

Shame is misplaced blame.  A child’s brain will always prioritize attachment over blame, because they cannot survive without attachment. So when an adult does something hurtful or bad.....a child placed the blame on themselves, and believes it is because they were bad, wrong or unworthy or not lovable so they can preserve that attachment to the adult. This is the formation of our shame messages.

That was a lot of information, but hopefully it helps you?

Love ❤️ courage❤️
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#49: April 27, 2021, 07:03:04 AM
Quote
Quote
Personally, I don't think he felt you owed him anything. From my cheap seats, he was looking for an affirmation that you liked what he did. That you noticed that he put you first over his sport. It's like a child trying something new and asking, "See me, am I doing it right?"
.

Yes. I agree and it was my thoughts as well.  And I believe it ( as silly as it may appear) ...my husband does the same from time to time.  Seems like they are starving for affirmation ( my H is ) or to be told they finally got something "right".  Sigh...

Mine does this as well.  Sometimes I feel the need to pat him on the head and say "way to go buddy" like I did with my kids  ::)

I do believe they didn't get this as a child.  I know in my H's case ,the positive affirmations were few and far between. 
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#50: April 27, 2021, 08:26:06 AM
My MLCer needs a lot of affirmation as well - and it’s funny that words of affirmation actually is tied for last (with gifts) for W’s love languages. To be fair, there’s not a huge difference between her most and least important languages, but still - the idea that it’s last for her, when she so clearly seeks that validation, seems odd to me. Is it a matter of not knowing themselves so that these quizzes often misrepresent them, or are they ashamed of the need for validation so they try to mask it, I wonder?

Just wanted to add to the growing list of those with MLCers in need of frequent praise or affirmation or validation.
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#51: April 27, 2021, 08:54:56 AM
Quote
the idea that it’s last for her, when she so clearly seeks that validation, seems odd to me. Is it a matter of not knowing themselves so that these quizzes often misrepresent them, or are they ashamed of the need for validation so they try to mask it, I wonder?

I think you are correct about this Curiosity.  My H even states that he is embarrassed about needing so much external validation.  I believe this is what has driven his entire MLC , his need for validation from others.  (Mostly women)  He is currently working through this very thing with his therapist.  He talks a little about it and recognizes that it is what he really missed out on growing up, but especially through his high school years.  He had little self worth.  It went dormant for 30 years.  When he started getting external validation for the company that he built and his appearance which included obsessive exercise,  he ran with it.  He appears to be addressing it within himself and I do see positive changes.   Hoping he can love himself again for who he is not what he has done. 
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#52: April 27, 2021, 01:03:49 PM
....My H then came back at almost midnight from his jogging and asked me if I appreciated that he spent time with me hiking instead of jogging and swimming during the day. And of course me and me triggers, answered my H in a very defensive way. I said to him: Are you trying to say that I owed you because you chose to spend time with me instead of doing sport? He then said, he just wanted to hear if I appreciated it. Which I did not answer. This is just an example of me being so defensive because I hear him from an LBS point of view and for me it was like Hey you should be thankful I spent time with you. This is something I needed to change and just be neutral in all dealings with my H. This is very ambitious for now, but I will try and try.
I applaud your ambition.  What someone says, the words, the tone of voice, your own mood all play into how you "hear" something. This is very hard, because had he said "I really enjoyed spending time with you today. I am going to go do my swimming and jogging now and I'll see you later" it would have given you the opportunity to say "I really enjoyed our time together, too". That's kind of what a normal relationship looks like. It's not a "favor" to spend time with someone or something that usually needs acknowledgement. But in his mind, he changed his schedule for you, though you could not know that. You could not know that he was going to go swimming and jogging later because he never said, "Hey, I want to spend the day with you, but I'll need to do my swimming and jogging later so I keep up with my training." He just assumed you'd get it and thank him for it.

I think I know how this goes. I was raised to be several steps ahead, know what someone needs without their ever asking. It was very disappointing to me when I got out on my own and found out there were very few people who did this. I thought it was a normal thing you do for people you care about. Pay attention to what they like and don't like, fill in the blanks when they need to be filled in, and someone would do that for you. Nope. You got used to not asking for things because (in my case) there were siblings and we were all looking out for each other, no asking required.

Sometimes when people are so involved in taking care of themselves, they have no bandwidth to care about someone else. This is not necessarily a bad thing, because sometimes this is necessary, but IMO, also needs to be recognized by the person with no bandwidth and conveyed to others. While I know you want to spend time with your H, you might consider that your bandwidth might be low (to maybe nonexistent) and give him a heads up. I've said to people "I've love to spend time with you, but I have absolutely nothing to give anyone today. If all you want is someone to watch TV with, I'm good. If you need advice about something, I'm no good." Then they can decide what they want to do. His bandwidth may also be low, and he's giving as best he can and wondering if it is enough. It can make situations a little wobbly. Maybe just get in the habit of saying Thank You any time he does anything with you/for you. It can't hurt.

You are learning so much and really doing well.
Virtual Hugs.
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My life after separation with a clinger
#53: May 02, 2021, 10:34:01 AM
Offroad I do need to make it a habit of appreciating small things my H is doing. You have a really great point there about filling in the blanks, reading what people need even before them telling you. I think, like you said it has something to do with how  one grew up. In regard to appreciation, everybody loves to be appreciated but on the other hand it can also be very hard for me after all that happened. It is so hard to separate the now and the hurt from the past. It is hard to put the pain aside and focus on what is now. I have struggled with this for so many days now. Mostly I have struggled with my H’s behavior not being bothered about our current situation. He knows I am struggling and I believe he is struggling as well. But all I can see is he tries to avoid talks about how we are going to move forward. I haven’t for quite sometime now raised that issue. And I tried to live my life and do something to prepare myself for the future. I let him be with his sports. But today I think I failed big time. That feeling that kept gnawing inside me. I couldn’t hold it anymore today and I told my H I am planning to accept the job and move out of my apartment. He told me why we can’t plan together and why he is not part of the plan. The whole conversation ended up and some sort of exchange of blames and words that are hurtful. I have been reading and listening to this boon about non violent communication that Acorn recommended but in the heat of the moment it was just hard to apply. There was this work colleague that he saw that BD when I tried as a result to overdose myself. He said this day that he might like her which was very painful. But he said there was nothing between him and her to this day it was hard to believe. So he said to me today to call her so I have my proof and I called her which I regretted afterwards because it didn’t help my anger. The woman then said there was nothing between her and my H and when they were together until 5 in the morning they were in a group. She said to me if I want her to feel guilty about her actions being friendly with my H that it was not her fault but my H‘s fault to do things that would cause a problem in our marriage. All I could tell her was her actions have affected other people’s lives in a very destructive way. She tried to lie obviously in the beginning that he didn’t know my H at all. Point is I didn’t even know what to tell her when I called her. I was just carried away with my H challenging me to call her because he thought I didn’t have her number. I regretted the phone call in the end because it didn’t help. In fact I feel sorry for my H because definitely he was embarrassed. But that moment I didn’t care anymore. He humiliated me to our friends and family. i believe for so many weeks the pain that I cannot talk about with my H has turned into resentment. It is so frustrating to want to talk to your spouse and yet you cannot talk about it. I feel so embarrassed about myself that even called that woman. I know she would lie to me. I do believe my H did not have any relationship with her and that she was just one of those trial and errors.

My H thinks I am always blaming him. When I asked him what he thinks of our situation, he said we still have a chance. He can see a future together with me. That we can plan a future together. Whatever he said today nothing was concrete. It seemed to me like a child dreaming of what the future would look like. He always said sorry about what he did but he has not mentioned anything about what he is going to do about the actions he did in the past. I am aware my healing is my own work but I also believe we need our spouses to work with us to help us heal. Whatever I say anyway my H always turns it around that he becomes the aggravated one.

It was so frustrating that we couldn’t even talk. I don’t think he heard me and maybe I also didn’t hear him. I honestly don’t know how to move forward from this together. I have been thinking for so many days now that I want to give up. I don’t know how the others have made it but the whole infidelity is for me at the moment insurmountable. Plus I feel so frustrated because we are living like trying to avoid that huge elephant even if it is already obstructing our view. I don’t even know what we are. My H comes every 9 pm or even later to talk a bit with me and then go to bed. Next morning he goes to his apartment and work there comes back again and sleep at my place. On Saturdays we wake up have breakfast, he does his biking I meet with friends. I come home late as possible so I get so tired and just go to bed. Sunday he does his sport again and I do some house chores. I ask myself all the time if this is the kind of marriage I want. I feel so jealous looking at my friends being so loving with their husbands. I am jealous with my friends who have houses and kids and husbands that are loyal to them. Sorry for complaining, it’s just not my day today. I don’t have the right to complain knowing that some have even bigger problems than me.
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Married 13 yrs no kids
BD May 2019 (I moved out Nov 2019)
EA or PA with ex gf (not sure), H spent 3 nights with the hoe during our vacation in July 2019, it was a friendly encounter according to H
H wanted D April 2020 but didn’t file it
Contact never stopped, H now wants to reconcile
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#54: May 11, 2021, 05:06:06 AM
Journaling

Yesterday, my H and I had our first couple's therapy. Before the therapy, I warned my H that if he does something like what he did in  our 2019 talk with a therapist (basically putting all the blame on me), I will walk out and he can forget about the therapy because I will not come back anymore. This time, our therapist was the one that was recommended by my IC. He seemed to know exactly what he's doing. We were asked why we were there, what happened. I spoke first and I said to my H that if he didn't agree he could always intervene me. So he basically agreed to everything I said about what happened. When it was his turn, he said he suffered unhappiness and he didn't know what was missing in his life. He then said, he gave all the support to me to be integrated in his country and not to do the same errors his parents did as his mom was also a foreigner. He continued by saying, he forgot about himself and he put himself in the back burner. That's what caused his unhappiness. He said he regretted so many of his actions and the things he said to me which were hurtful. What I found interesting is the fact that he said, he put himself in the back burner and he prioritized me. And not he is trying to compensate he said he missed during those years in his life. I just realized after reading a lot of the stories here that my H was/is in a full blown midlife crisis. Sometimes in the past, I doubted that my had MLC. I thought he just really cheated on me. So my H said to the therapist he wants to make it right and work together to save the marriage. It was all in all a really good talk. We talked afterwards about why we liked each other. It was a surprising question for me because after what happened I couldn't say many things anymore that I liked about my H. I had to think for a while what I liked about him.

Our therapist will talk to us individually in the next meetings. We will also have talks where both of us have to come. So far I am happy about how everything went.

As for my H, his triathlon saga continues and I have learned to accept it. I have learned to find something that I enjoy when he is out the whole day. He also tried to do his trainings either early in the morning or in the evening so we could spend time together. There's going to be a lot of changes as I am most likely going to accept a new job offer which means I have to move out from my current apartment. I told my H I am moving out in case I will get the new job. He started to look for apartments for the both of us. So crossing my fingers that  the good days are going to keep coming.

As for the triggers, it getting less and less. My new job will hopefully give me the financial security that I won't be scared anymore no matter what happens. My H keeps on telling me now that we had so many good and happy moments during our marriage which was totally the opposite of what he said during BD or when he was cycling and monstering. I still don't trust him, and when I look at him, I still cannot believe he did what he did. My H still has a lot of selfishness at the moment. It's still all about him, but I tried not to get bothered anymore. I learned I am the only one who can love myself truly and whom I can trust.
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Me 45
H    48
Married 13 yrs no kids
BD May 2019 (I moved out Nov 2019)
EA or PA with ex gf (not sure), H spent 3 nights with the hoe during our vacation in July 2019, it was a friendly encounter according to H
H wanted D April 2020 but didn’t file it
Contact never stopped, H now wants to reconcile
Me not sure

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My life after separation with a clinger
#55: May 12, 2021, 10:08:40 AM
Dragonfly,

This all sounds very positive and promising! Yet you sound very cautious, not yet optimistic. I'm two year behind you so I can only assume that that's due to two years of pain and disillusion. I admire how detached you are, I wish I were there.

Good luck, courage
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#56: May 12, 2021, 12:59:57 PM
Thank you Deparis. I am not familiar with your story but I hope things will also get better on your side. We all deal with our MLcers differently and I think we just have to be patient with ourselves. I can tell you, I am not as detached as you think I am but I am slowly learning to love myself and trust my judgement. I always tell myself, I have to be independent and I have to be ready whatever happens. I am trying most of all to work more because one of the reasons why I was so scared to lose my H was because of financials. I thought I won’t make it alone. I was in a bubble. My H did everything and he shielded me from any problem. That was before BD. So it was scary out there. But now I know I am totally fine with or without him. I found myself again, a strong and independent person. There are still times though when emotions can get very overwhelming. I would easily snap at my H. He must have been angry when I get to the point of reminding him of what he did but he learned to accept it as well; that this is going to be a long journey. I am not sure if I have learned to detached but what I’m sure about is I have learned not to care anymore to live my life and do things whether my H is joining or not. I started to make new friends and reconnected with my old friends. It feels good.

Journaling:

Today my H texted me while I was with friends that he planned a surprise for me tomorrow since it’s a holiday. He wanted to do something together. When I thanked him for doing this, I could sense he needed that affirmation. He needed that appreciation, maybe I didn’t do enough. So it’s also something I have to work on myself.
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Me 45
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Married 13 yrs no kids
BD May 2019 (I moved out Nov 2019)
EA or PA with ex gf (not sure), H spent 3 nights with the hoe during our vacation in July 2019, it was a friendly encounter according to H
H wanted D April 2020 but didn’t file it
Contact never stopped, H now wants to reconcile
Me not sure

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My life after separation with a clinger
#57: May 15, 2021, 04:08:48 AM
Hi Dragonfly , been reading along and I am happy that you have found a more emotionally stable place and things going a bit better for you at the moment. If you are anything like me , we come to believe that perhaps the worst is behind us , that we might survive this after all and finally there is moments of peace ...and then suddenly something happens or is said and we utterly loose our footing and spin back into that black hole. This has happened to me countless times It isn't a straight line of healing at all is it? . So be prepared for some forward and backward and know it is "normal".

Quote
When it was his turn, he said he suffered unhappiness and he didn't know what was missing in his life. He then said, he gave all the support to me to be integrated in his country and not to do the same errors his parents did as his mom was also a foreigner. He continued by saying, he forgot about himself and he put himself in the back burner. That's what caused his unhappiness. He said he regretted so many of his actions and the things he said to me which were hurtful. What I found interesting is the fact that he said, he put himself in the back burner and he prioritized me.
.

Very interesting to me .  My husband said these things.  Different wording but the same message or meaning.  My H said he did everything and gave everything to  " 6 women"   ( myself and daughters )  and never did anything for himself.  That he felt it was finally " his turn" to do what he wanted for himself. Very MLC lingo and attitudes of arrogance and entitlement. Of course I knew nothing about MLC at the time , so it was utterly gutting .  He was suffocating doing "everything for everyone else" and he was "done".  He told me he felt "nothing" for me and had not for years and years. He said he had been" trying to leave me for years" ....and I know that this was the start of PTSD. This exact moment because I remember physically feeling like I had left my own body and was floating in confusion, shock and a "unreal" feeling. Never been the same from that moment on.  And no matter what anyone says ... it is trauma-branded into your brain and you do not / cannot forget what was said. Ever.  We remember ...sometimes daily.   So, it is some internal chaos inside that leaves them profoundly unhappy, unable to feel emotions, yearning and searching to relieve the pain they are in, regretting decisions they made and in critical emotional condition.   And it reminds me of the saying " you hurt the ones you love the most ".  My H was 100% positive that I was the cause of all of his unhappiness . He was also positive his job was a huge source of unhappiness. He was not "appreciated and recognized for his skills".   He quit both things ...his marriage and his job. Not for a second was he any happier after that.  I remember in the early days wondering about the statement " its time for ME now ...to do what I WANT ".....   I guess he wanted to have an affair.   If he had wanted things for himself like a hobby, learn to fly a plane, a motorcycle, a trip around the world , he could have done all that without destroying his family.  But an affair?   No.  Not inside of my marriage. 

I can tell you 100% that without question my number 1 issue was feeling "blamed".  Or somehow responsible for  his decision to have an affair..or I was a bad wife or that I created a " child - centered marriage " ( so he said ) and he was then neglected ( blah blah blah .... 5 of them one of me ). RAGE . Trust me ...RAGE. This is a man that NEVER complained about a thing, was always perfectly fine, no problems and suddenly has a decade of stored resentments , examples, criticisms and complaints to the point of wanting "out?".    No matter what I did....thousands of dollars in therapy , every calming technique breathing , CBT, ice-packs, cue cards in my purse, support people, crisis lines ....I could not tolerate the anxiety in my body when I heard blame.  Or the truly blind anger. No one could help me ...no one.  I reacted to blame when there was none ( apparently).  I was "hearing thru a trauma - wound".   Everything he said I interpreted as a blaming statement and would react in the most profoundly rage filled ways. The injustice was destroying me ....it felt like " you say nothing for years and years and now you have this list of things you were not happy with ....how is that my fault?".  Not once did you attempt to tell me or resolve any issues you might have had.   This is how avoidant men seem to behave...say nothing ( so you never truly know whats going on) and then explode everyone's life. I thought he was " fine"...as he said.   

My point is , I understand why you "warned " your H before meeting with the counsellor. I would bet I have done the same . I have left the counselling office in an extreme panic when I heard blame...almost like a time traveler. I would suddenly be outside her office standing in the parking lot with no real understanding how I got there. It was that fast . I broke the glass in her door.....   I quit counselling because all I could hear was "blame" and it was incredibly enraging. I promised a divorce if I heard 1 more blaming statement.  So two problems for me .  I was hearing blame when there was none.  I was told this by 2 therapists and often spent time dissecting  what he said to what I heard.  I thought I had lost my mind.  The second problem is trying to avoid the deep triggers is NOT healing them. It is just trying to manipulate the external world to not trigger MY internal world.  And of course that is not possible. I wonder what would have happened ...for example ..if someone besides my H blamed me for my H's affair?. Like my sister. What if I heard blame from her?   Would I trigger and destroy my relationship with her ?   Society for the most part can still imply blame on the wife for poor sad unhappy husbands that we "could not keep happy".   I had a co-worker for years that must have had some trauma or deep hurt around the words " honey, sweetie, darling etc". If anyone called and used those terms in conversation...she hung up on them.  She expected somehow the external world NOT trigger her ...impossible.  It is deep healing work, facing our triggers, owning them as our own and doing that work rather than expecting the outer world to accommodate us .  So as much as I do understand "warning " him.... it really is not the answer is it?. We need to deal with it, heal it and thereby destroy the power it holds over us.  Not easy work . I have reached this place after years of therapy, internal shifts, re-arranging how I hear things and sitting in the pain. I no longer feel any reaction if I imagine I am being blamed.  I KNOW it was never my fault in any way shape or form and it no longer has any power over me.  It took years to find this inside of me.

I am so glad you have found some calm and rest and peaceful moments .  You are indeed growing and learning thru this shattering experience and will continue to have good moments and suddenly back to rage, divorce, injustice etc.  That was my experience and maybe still is from time to time.  So glad the counsellor has your respect and can assist in this next phase of healing.  Doin good Dragonfly!
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The Journey Of Reconciliation .. is for the brave .

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#58: May 15, 2021, 07:07:44 AM
Hello,

Quote
I can tell you 100% that without question my number 1 issue was feeling "blamed".

This is really a revealing statement. To me, this is to two hits. One, the affair was devastating, but to be then blamed for it is another huge issue. That is what is really hurting your heart. How can your h truly show remorse for something that he feels is your fault?

Quote
My H said he did everything and gave everything to  " 6 women"   ( myself and daughters )  and never did anything for himself.  That he felt it was finally " his turn" to do what he wanted for himself.

This Cinderella viewpoint from the MLCer really drives me crazy. When my family was first starting, I worked six days a week to support my wife and young daughters so that my wife could stay home. I worked hard and long hours, but it was all worth it. To know that I provided a place for them to sleep and eat in safety. That we could afford to do some good things together and that my ex was there to care for them as needed.

Sure, I had my "me" moments. I watched my football on Sundays and I did go and buy my running shoes. I never felt empty nor did I look elsewhere. Even in my new marriage, I don't think that I give everything or its not about me, because it is about us.

I also agree that its okay for a spouse to pick up a new hobby and become obsessed with it. Training for an ironman triathlon is a huge commitment. Running a marathon is one thing. A triathlon is huge as you swim 2.2 miles, then ride a bike for 100 miles, and then finish with a marathon. It takes proper training and knowledge of nutrition during the event or you won't finish.

Your h was fine with training, but he crossed the line when he involved someone else.

Both of your H's can project all day long on you, but the affairs where personal choices and they have to own it.

I am glad that you have a good counselor and you listened and hopefully your h comes through and realizes how much he is going to need you now and in the future.

Have a great weekend,

((((Ready))))


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#59: May 16, 2021, 12:23:44 PM
Hi Dragonfly , been reading along and I am happy that you have found a more emotionally stable place and things going a bit better for you at the moment. If you are anything like me , we come to believe that perhaps the worst is behind us , that we might survive this after all and finally there is moments of peace ...and then suddenly something happens or is said and we utterly loose our footing and spin back into that black hole. This has happened to me countless times It isn't a straight line of healing at all is it? . So be prepared for some forward and backward and know it is "normal".

I still spin back into that black hole. Mostly when we are at home, we talk about anything else and just because of one word coming from my H, it could be a place where the OW lives, or anything that reminds me of the OW then I would just freak out. It would turn into a huge argument, me blaming him for putting me into this position. Example was last night, my H woke up around 4 or 5 in the morning. He went to the other room and browsed with his phone. I didn't notice he stood up because I was deep asleep but I did notice when he came back to the room. I asked him what he was doing, he told me he couldn't sleep and he didn't want to wake me up so he went to the other room to use his phone. That was it, it just set me off. I told him he was definitely chatting with the OW again as it is the perfect time to chat with her due to time difference. It turned into a huge argument. He profusely denied he is not in contact anymore with the OW and he is not interested either to be in contact with her. It might be true but for me that's just a trigger. I started telling me H he never really proved to me that that email address he used to contact the Ow was really deleted. There was never a proof, he could be lying; I would never know. He said he forgot the email address so he couldn't give it to me anymore to check. I just gave up because I know he would rather die than put the OW in an awkward situation. Then I thought to myself, even if he would give me that email address, he would create another one if he really wanted to contact her. I just don't understand myself why I keep on pursuing this topic when I know it's going to be useless. Whew, it's not that I enjoyed interrogating my H, it's just that sometimes, I couldn't avoid it. There's just so much pressure in my chest and such heaviness, that I don't understand myself why. There is so much I have to learn.



My H was 100% positive that I was the cause of all of his unhappiness . He was also positive his job was a huge source of unhappiness. He was not "appreciated and recognized for his skills".   He quit both things ...his marriage and his job. Not for a second was he any happier after that.  I remember in the early days wondering about the statement " its time for ME now ...to do what I WANT ".....   I guess he wanted to have an affair.   If he had wanted things for himself like a hobby, learn to fly a plane, a motorcycle, a trip around the world , he could have done all that without destroying his family.  But an affair?   No.  Not inside of my marriage.

I can totally understand this feeling Barbie. Same for my H, he was miserable in our marriage for 10 years; It was a toxic relationship, we were just surviving not thriving anymore; I caused his depression and burnout; he was unhappy in all areas in his life including his job. He said mostly because of me. When I read some of the stories here, I would say they seemed to have some sort of a script that they read to their LBS. My H up to this day, denies that he had an affair with that woman. He always says, he wanted to talk to her because he thought she can solve his problem. She did advise him to divorce me. When I found out about their escapade, he said to me he never regretted that he came to her. He would have done it after 10 to 20 years. It was very important for him to see her. But surprisingly now, he says it was a huge mistake and if only he could turn back time, he would undo that part. He now knows that what's missing in his life is his sport, hence the triathlon. Not to mention my H will turn 48 this year and if ever the ironman will be allowed again here, it will be his first time. On the other hand, it's probably good for him. Shall I say, rather sport than women? I cannot help but sometimes ask myself, what's going to be next when this whole triathlon craze is over? Who knows LOL.



  It is deep healing work, facing our triggers, owning them as our own and doing that work rather than expecting the outer world to accommodate us .  So as much as I do understand "warning " him.... it really is not the answer is it?. We need to deal with it, heal it and thereby destroy the power it holds over us.  Not easy work . I have reached this place after years of therapy, internal shifts, re-arranging how I hear things and sitting in the pain. I no longer feel any reaction if I imagine I am being blamed.  I KNOW it was never my fault in any way shape or form and it no longer has any power over me.  It took years to find this inside of me.

I totally agree with this barbie. I need to work on my healing. My H cannot help me as he is also facing his own demons. But in fairness to him he did try to reassure me, especially when I have nightmares. He would wake up and hug me and tell me it is ok that he is here with me. I guess he is trying hard to make things right but on the other hand, he never wants to talk about what happened with the OW. Why can't I just let it go like the other LBS here. I can't understand why sometimes  I am so obsessed in knowing what truly happened. I know it would hurt me even more. I just wanted him to be truthful to me. But he just can't be and that is for me very frustrating, truly frustrating. It is somehow a relief to know that this process I am going through is normal. If you tell me it took you years to finally come to where you are right now, then it must be normal for me to be sometimes very reactive. I am glad to know you have come to a point where you have accepted the things that happened and you have realized that it was not about you and most of you have learned to face your triggers without it affecting you. That's probably where we all want to be, don't we?

I am so glad you have found some calm and rest and peaceful moments .  You are indeed growing and learning thru this shattering experience and will continue to have good moments and suddenly back to rage, divorce, injustice etc.  That was my experience and maybe still is from time to time.  So glad the counsellor has your respect and can assist in this next phase of healing.  Doin good Dragonfly!

I have my peaceful moments but like you still I still have those moments, where you just want to divorce and give up. I hope good things will continue to come for all of us here.
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« Last Edit: May 16, 2021, 12:25:07 PM by Dragonfly33 »
Me 45
H    48
Married 13 yrs no kids
BD May 2019 (I moved out Nov 2019)
EA or PA with ex gf (not sure), H spent 3 nights with the hoe during our vacation in July 2019, it was a friendly encounter according to H
H wanted D April 2020 but didn’t file it
Contact never stopped, H now wants to reconcile
Me not sure

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My life after separation with a clinger
#60: May 16, 2021, 12:44:31 PM

This is really a revealing statement. To me, this is to two hits. One, the affair was devastating, but to be then blamed for it is another huge issue. That is what is really hurting your heart. How can your h truly show remorse for something that he feels is your fault?

My H attempted to do this during our therapy. He didn't blame me directly, but he said, he gave so much of his time to me so I could be integrated in his country and the trying to have a baby was also one of the factors that lead to his crisis. Thus, he neglected himself and decided to find himself again ( unfortunately in the arms of another woman, LOL). He then said, it was all wrong what he did and he saw that he hurt me a lot. He never admitted he cheated. I know he will tell the therapist it wasn't cheating because he never slept with her blah blah.



This Cinderella viewpoint from the MLCer really drives me crazy. When my family was first starting, I worked six days a week to support my wife and young daughters so that my wife could stay home. I worked hard and long hours, but it was all worth it. To know that I provided a place for them to sleep and eat in safety. That we could afford to do some good things together and that my ex was there to care for them as needed.

Sure, I had my "me" moments. I watched my football on Sundays and I did go and buy my running shoes. I never felt empty nor did I look elsewhere. Even in my new marriage, I don't think that I give everything or its not about me, because it is about us.

A normal person would think this way. It's just logical. But these MLCers are just so full of themselves, that they think they did more to the extent that they forgot themselves. It's that selfishness and being egoistic. But of course, they don't want to be branded selfish and that's why they justify their actions with I devoted my life to my family or my wife that I didn't take care of myself anymore. Believe me, my H did his sport and during BD he said to the whole world I prohibited him from doing sport. So now, I tell him do your thing and I'll do mine. If you have to do your sport fine with me and I'll meet somebody else or my friends and do something with them. I am very fine without him. Same for vacations, I know I can travel alone now and I am not scared anymore to do that thanks to MLC.

I also agree that its okay for a spouse to pick up a new hobby and become obsessed with it. Training for an ironman triathlon is a huge commitment. Running a marathon is one thing. A triathlon is huge as you swim 2.2 miles, then ride a bike for 100 miles, and then finish with a marathon. It takes proper training and knowledge of nutrition during the event or you won't finish.

My H is so much into his Triathlon at the moment. He's been training rain or shine. it's going to be in June and July if ever they will allow the competition. So I let him be. He trains 6 days a week, maybe this is what he need. To prove to himself that he is not that old yet, that he can still do what young people can do. I have no idea, for as long as he is not monstering, fine with me.[/quote]

Your h was fine with training, but he crossed the line when he involved someone else.
Both of your H's can project all day long on you, but the affairs where personal choices and they have to own it.
I am glad that you have a good counselor and you listened and hopefully your h comes through and realizes how much he is going to need you now and in the future.

His justification about the affair was he needed someone to talk to so much and he believed she could show him the way to happiness. He wanted to talk to her so much about his miserable marriage life, his struggles with depression and difficulty at work. To which he says today it was a mistake to contact her and tell her about our life together. But yeah, that's my H after he's done something that would hurt me he always says it was a mistake. He already cheated on me a year after we got married and it's with the same person. When I found out about it, he said it was a huge mistake, he would never do it again. So it's like an old record now playing in my ears. I know the line already. Sometimes to be honest, I feel disgusted when my H touch me or kiss me. Is this a normal thing?

My H needs me more than I need him. He needed my emotional support. He realized it now. But the question is, does he need me now to be more emotionally stable in preparation for his ironman competition? Or does he need me as a wife to be always by his side no matter what? I don't know. But I know I am done playing the good wife.

Thank you for sharing your insights ready. I wish you a nice weekend.
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« Last Edit: May 17, 2021, 06:59:07 AM by UrsaMajor »
Me 45
H    48
Married 13 yrs no kids
BD May 2019 (I moved out Nov 2019)
EA or PA with ex gf (not sure), H spent 3 nights with the hoe during our vacation in July 2019, it was a friendly encounter according to H
H wanted D April 2020 but didn’t file it
Contact never stopped, H now wants to reconcile
Me not sure

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#61: May 20, 2021, 02:25:42 PM
Journaling

My H‘s ironman is fast approaching. Since weeks, he has beend waiting for a green light for the competition to finally take place. For the last couple of days, my H started telling me he’s been feeling tensed, not sleeping well, almost like being unhappy again but  he didn’t want to say that word. I on the other hand have been preparing myself for another blast. This evening, he came home from his swimming training very down. He said he didn’t finish his training because he was so tired and his body couldn’t do it anymore. He said he felt like he’s going to have another burnout. These were all signs before he BDed two years ago. He said yesterday that he was not motivated to work anymore, he wanted to have a harmonious environment at work and in life in general. Tonight. As we were laying in bed he said he was sorry for giving me a hard time and that none of this is my fault. I said to him I‘m just here to support him. On the other hand, my defense mode is on high alert. I told myself, if he bd‘s again that would be the end of the line for me. I don’t think I want to go thru hell again. This experience has changed me a lot especially trusting people. My mother was probably right, we can only trust ourselves.

I am not stressed anymore about trying to fix him. If he goes thru the same $h!te again I know I will not try to fix him again because that’s not my job. Funny that he is still sad despite all the sport he’s been doing which he said what he missed doing when he got married to me. He is still not feeling fulfilled despite the fact that his ironman competition has now been approved; despite the fact that he said the only thing that keeps him going in life is his sport. Me, I’m totally out of the picture but I don’t care anymore.
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Me 45
H    48
Married 13 yrs no kids
BD May 2019 (I moved out Nov 2019)
EA or PA with ex gf (not sure), H spent 3 nights with the hoe during our vacation in July 2019, it was a friendly encounter according to H
H wanted D April 2020 but didn’t file it
Contact never stopped, H now wants to reconcile
Me not sure

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#62: June 02, 2021, 07:47:25 AM
Hi everyone, just wanted to write some updates.

My H and I went on a week holiday along the coast. I told him was going to a country which is along the coast and he was free to join me if he wanted to but if not I would still go alone. He decided to join. The day we left he had a huge anxiety issue. He said he thought he was gonna have another break down. I suggested to him it was good he was taking some days off from work and time off from his extensive triathlon training. He was very worried he couldn’t join the triathlon because of his health problems (still about him, but slowly getting used to it though at times it still hurt). During the first two nights of our holiday, he would wake up sweaty and tensed in the middle of the night and he would wake me up as well like a helpless child. I had to help him do the breathing exercise and the techniques I’ve read from the book and podcast “the power of now.” He would start to relax and sleep again. It was like this for two nights. He said though he felt rested the next morning because he would sleep till 9 am. When we moved to a different hotel,he didn’t sleep at all during the first night. The second night, I moved to a sofa because it became very unbearable, all the complains about feeling weak, not sleeping, being scared. Unlike before I did not attempt to solve his problem anymore. I had to think of my own well being. I might have been selfish but it was too much for me at some point. I decided to sleep on the sofa and gave him the bed. All in all we had good days together. At the end of the holiday he started regretting not doing so much sport but also said to me it was good that he rested. So I don’t know what really his feelings are. We had a few talks about the OW, at least coming from me which was probably not a good idea. I just can’t help it at times. It’s like something that bugging me and I had to let it out. As usual, my H is tight lipped when it comes to the affair. Somehow, during the trip sometimes I wished I was alone then I would have rested better. It was also stressful for me as I had to deal with all his complains about not feeling well. He told
Me though he just wanted to share with me how he feels but he was not blaming me. There were times during the trip that my H was very irritable.

Now we are back home. And last night, he woke me up again in the middle of the night because he was tensed and he was soaking in sweat. I had to tell him to change his shirt and get a drink and put him to sleep like a child. I felt like a meditation instructor last night while trying to calm him down. He thanked me this morning for helping him go back to sleep. He has a month to train before his triathlon and I am not sure if this anxiety attacks and sleepless nights are because of his triathlon and work or if it is still related to his depression. His psychiatrist is not giving him any medication anymore because of the effects in 2019 when he went into full blown crisis. It’s really a struggle for me everyday. I always have this feeling of wanting to escape.
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Me 45
H    48
Married 13 yrs no kids
BD May 2019 (I moved out Nov 2019)
EA or PA with ex gf (not sure), H spent 3 nights with the hoe during our vacation in July 2019, it was a friendly encounter according to H
H wanted D April 2020 but didn’t file it
Contact never stopped, H now wants to reconcile
Me not sure

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#63: June 02, 2021, 07:40:54 PM
Hi Dragonfly , been away from HS for a bit . Felt like I needed a break for a bit and have been very busy in my greenhouse and garden.  I guess its fair to say I needed some "thinking" time to myself as there are parts of me that are still very unsettled and yearning for "something" that I feel is missing .  But I thought of you often and it is good to read an update with its ups and downs , the good and the not so good and your strength as you continue your journey forward. Unless a person has walked a path of infidelity and betrayal , they have no idea whatsoever how profoundly difficult it truly is . Some say it is only second to the death of a child ...that's how painful it is .

Quote
He said he thought he was gonna have another break down.
.

I am curious about this statement . What is your interpretation of what he means by this ?   My H has referred to his time of crisis as a " breakdown" ...mentally , emotionally etc.   It is certainly not how I see it when I look back at his behaviour, arrogance , entitlement ...seemed very confident in his choices to me .  Regardless, it is certainly a mental health issue or identity failure of some kind.  How do you respond to this statement?   

Seems your H has a lot of anxiety that affects his sleep, thinking etc. I do think it is good that he shares this with you and can accept some support if you feel able to offer some. I do not believe my H would ever tell me if he had anxiety ...and even if I noticed and asked ...he would deny it.  I am not sure he could identify it as " anxiety"  as he is always "fine".  If my H felt on the verge of another breakdown...I would never know . It would not be something he would say out loud I am sure.  All and all , I see his confiding in you a good thing .

Quote
Unlike before I did not attempt to solve his problem anymore. I had to think of my own well being. I might have been selfish but it was too much for me at some point. I decided to sleep on the sofa and gave him the bed.
.

And this is what we learn on our journey isn't it. ?  We are not responsible for another persons happiness, sadness, crisis, anxiety or problems ....we can choose to help or support or we can choose silence and letting them deal with themselves.  It is a choice and it is based on "looking after ourselves first".  Putting our own wellbeing as a priority is wise and I have become astonishingly good at it.   As a mother of 5 daughters and a husband , trust me ...I NEVER even considered putting myself anywhere on the priority list . Ever. It has taken practice to learn how to look after myself as a priority  ...and I refuse to see it as selfish . It isn't .  Good for you for leaving him to his own discomfort, fixing his own issues and taking space for yourself !  Brilliant aren't we ?

Quote
We had a few talks about the OW, at least coming from me which was probably not a good idea. I just can’t help it at times. It’s like something that bugging me and I had to let it out. As usual, my H is tight lipped when it comes to the affair.
.

I fully understand ..I do.  I talked and asked about it for years. I dreamt about it, I triggered constantly, I cried an ocean , I wrote about it and I screamed about it in rage ..... I still can come up with questions but I no longer have the need for the answer. Meh. No longer matters . But it took a very very long time.  There is nothing whatsoever wrong or abnormal about you . Understanding trauma and PTSD ... it rarely leaves you alone.   It lessens over time .

Quote
I always have this feeling of wanting to escape.
.

I felt this in such a deep desperation...I almost left multiple times. Kept a suitcase in my truck . Ptsd keeps us activated and this need to "flee" was so profound , so unrelenting ...I talked endlessly to my therapist about it. I know with absolute certainty that the ONLY reason I did not give in to my need to "flee" was because of my daughter . I would never ever ever just leave her there to deal with him and wonder where I was ...but I sure sat in my truck and wept about it...it was that powerful of a need to leave.  I tried to talk to my daughter about it...just in case I left " for a bit" ...and she would not need to worry etc etc.  She told all her sisters and some sort of " intervention" happened and they all wanted to ask me a million questions.  I don't answer to them ... but I could never leave my kid. Had she been living on her own, all settled and established....I would have left .  Not sure for how long ,,,but I would have been gone.    I understand the need to escape...






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The Journey Of Reconciliation .. is for the brave .

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#64: June 08, 2021, 01:45:54 PM
Dear Barbie,

It’s good to hear from you and that you seemed to have found your peace again. I am still amazed at how you got to this point. I am still far from where you are now. But I hope to get there someday.

You asked in your reply what my interpretation was when my H told me he thought he was gonna have a breakdown again. Back in 2012 my H had a burnout from stress from work and at that time we were trying to have a baby. I am not sure if the MLC already started then or if it was just purely a depression. Since then he was on and off with his antidepressant. When his full blown MLC happened in May 2019 (bd day) he told me he wasn’t depressed at all even if he was taking the antidepressant. Today he admitted, he was in a midlife crisis back then and now he tells me it was his antidepressant that made him crazy. He just felt something was missing in his life ( that is what he is telling me now). He realized now that it’s not the women but it’s sport that’s missing. His excuse about his affair with his ex gf was it was never an affair. It was just a friendly talk and he thought she could solve his problem aka his unhappiness in life. Duh! I don’t really know how to interpret what he said about having a breakdown but what I can say is I think he wants to be alone again. Since he has been sleeping and staying in my place for sometime now, he started saying he couldn’t sleep again. I think it’s just another alibi for wanting to have space again. Two days ago he said he had the worst night at my place because he couldn’t sleep. So I told him to go back to his place and stay there for two weeks. So he went back to his place. He just didn’t want to say it in my face I think. I could be wrong but that’s how I see it. He said to me though, that whatever he is feeling right now that it is not my fault. To be honest, I am not sure anymore if this is the kind of marriage I want. I feel like he is treating me as a gf sort of a home base whenever he feels like it serves him. And then he would withdraw again whenever he feels like there is too much closeness. I haven’t talked about relationship anymore because I think he would take that as another pressure. He said to me his life, relationship, job and health are all not in balance. It is too much for him and that he needed to find that balance. He’s been going to therapy which is good for him.  Also he went to our MC for his individual talk and he said he liked the therapist because he didn’t feel being judged. The therapist apparently asked him about his childhood, family and how he was brought up and his relationship with his parents and brothers.

So this breakdown for me could be really another burn out or could still be related to MLC. I don’t know anymore to be honest. I feel like I am tired of being his soft landing site. I myself, feel like I really want to run away from all this $h!te and go somewhere else out of reach from him. My H is now staying in his apartment and he said he had a goodnight sleep there but during the day the tension comes again. I am very cautious this time and I think my walls are up again and my fight or flight mode is activated again. I think this is the result of having been gone through a huge trauma.

I think your H probably doesn’t share with you his anxieties because he wanted to be seen as a strong person. And sharing your anxieties and worries can be taken as being weak. My H is different, he tells me all his worries, his insecurities, his pain and everything that is not good. And sometimes, I am tired of helping him and trying to cheer him up. Sometimes I just wanted to have a husband who can support me emotionally as I am really struggling with what happened. But my H doesn’t have this capability. At the moment it’s all about him and his struggles whether it’s the sleeping problem or tension during the day.  I had to remind myself every time that I cannot fix him.

I just wonder what happens when the triathlon obsession is over. What’s going to be next? For now, I am unsure about what I really want.

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H    48
Married 13 yrs no kids
BD May 2019 (I moved out Nov 2019)
EA or PA with ex gf (not sure), H spent 3 nights with the hoe during our vacation in July 2019, it was a friendly encounter according to H
H wanted D April 2020 but didn’t file it
Contact never stopped, H now wants to reconcile
Me not sure

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#65: June 10, 2021, 07:05:11 AM
Hello,

Quote
I just wonder what happens when the triathlon obsession is over. What’s going to be next? For now, I am unsure about what I really want.

I think this is a fair and actually strong statement because it doesn't involve your H at all. This is an honest appraisal of you. As I have posted before, the forum doesn't exist for the journey of your MLCer, it is a testament to your journey to recovery.  If you don't know what you want, You will never reach a point of being satisfied with your relationship with your h or anyone else.

In order to be at peace with others, to engage in a fulfilling relationship that builds both people, you have to be at peace with yourself and have a relationship with you first. Who is Dragonfly33? What does she want? What does she need?

I have pondered with both you and Barbiedoll regarding the need for all the details of the affair and how your H's being tight and unwilling to go there only made you more upset. It wasn't until I watch a short video on Affair Recovery, that I truly got perspective. And it is only one point on a very complex issue so please don't think I am oversimplifying the situation.

In my situation, I played a lot of stories between my Ex and OM. Lots of visions and ideas of their relationship since I knew so little, I filled the void. When it comes to their relationship and actions, I don't and never will know what is real. Maybe that is why I have never forgiven her. I have never walked away with a sense that I have the true story. That I know what is real.

But you also realize that to get the reality, you have to create a safe place to hear the truth without losing it or it will only justify the natural response to stay silent on the matter in the first place. Like the line in the movie, if you want the truth, better be prepared to handle the truth.

Quote
He realized now that it’s not the women but it’s sport that’s missing. His excuse about his affair with his ex gf was it was never an affair. It was just a friendly talk and he thought she could solve his problem aka his unhappiness in life.

Now, this is the hardest part of it all. Is this real? How does this distort from your vision of "reality". If this was just a few lunches together, I could possibly see it. However, I believe that they spent a night in a hotel together. That is not "friends" or "talk" and that is why you state his version is an excuse. Also, he sought her to solve his unhappiness, that is not about advice, he was seeking connection.  Once again, if you want him to be open, you have create the place for him to come clean. I don't know if he will.

Quote
I feel like I am tired of being his soft landing site.

I also agree with this. It's not about the time spent together or even the quality of the time. It's a sense that you feel that you are just in his life to meet his needs at the moment. Almost like a TV. You fill his day when he wants you to fill his day. He wants you to connect with him to sustain him, not the other way around. Its very hard to describe the feeling or put it in words, but it seems that in his eyes, you are a special possession in his life and not a special person. The person aspect is a sense of mutual respect and support, the possession is just a reflection of his ego and mood at the moment.

You can't just be there for him. He has to be there for you.

I hope this helps and you have an amazing day!

((((Ready))))


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#66: July 01, 2021, 03:00:36 PM
Hi Ready thank you for all the things you pointed out especially about creating a safe place for my H to be honest with me. Honestly I am not capable of doing that right now. I cannot help but be emotional and at times angry. The pain this whole $h!te has caused me is so deep that you just get so overwhelmed to the point of not thinking or taking things rationally. A lot of times I get carried away by the painful memories or as you say thoughts/ scenes that an lbs imagined because of the lack of information or truth from the WS. It’s been more than two years already since BD and it seemed like everything is still fresh. The triggers I always describe them as coming to me like waves. It can be seconds or minutes apart. Some days are harder and some days are good. I can only say, which was hard to imagine when all this started, that it’s true what everybody here said. The crying and the triggers get lesser and lesser. Not because the pain is healing in my case but because I got tired and sometimes to be honest I don’t give a damn anymore whether my marriage works or not. Although I sometimes feel guilty for feeling this way. I ask myself all the time, is it the right thing to do to throw in the towel. I wonder if some of have been on this situation.

As for my H, he’s made a 180 degree turn and he’s telling me now that he loves me so much which is the total opposite of what he told me during BD. For me this just so hard to understand and I even ask him myself how can he say he loves me so much now when he told even last year he wanted to divorce because he wanted to have a new relationship. Of course I get the usual template response: He was angry at me. Perhaps that’s the truth or perhaps another lie. Who knows what to believe.

Few weeks  ago I had a talk with my H. He told me he didn’t want to work anymore. I asked him if he’s talking about his current job or if it’s not working in general. He said he didn’t want to work in general. And he just wanted to cook for me and I’m sure although he’s not saying it, he just wants to do sport. This makes me think somehow, is he tired of having a responsibility? He always felt a huge responsibility on me when I first settled here. He felt he was responsible that I got integrated here. And he never had such responsibility on another person in his life except himself. I am quite sure my H is still struggling in his MLC. The way I see it, he loves the freedom he has now, to be in a non committal marriage. He comes whenever he wants and then retreats back to his apartment when he wants his space. That is just my interpretation. I could be wrong or my judgement is just clouded by my hurt. So far nothing much has changed except that my H now loves me very much. I should be very happy hearing this and I am very thankful I don’t have the monster anymore or the shark eyes. But somehow, a part of me tells me to be cautious. I have so many uncertainties and a huge urge of wanting to flee in the hope that I can start a new life without him. I am religious and sometimes I think I am very ungrateful to God for not being just contented that my H is partly back. The only comfort I have is the fact that this is not a sprint but it is marathon and I need to have a hell of an endurance to survive this till the end.

My H will be competing in the ironman this weekend and he travelled to where the even will be held this week. He said his mom is accompanying him. To be honest I don’t know if it’s really his mom or the OW. Most likely not the OW as she won’t be able to enter Europe anyway without quarantine. I am not even bothered anymore to know where his staying or who really he is with or whatever he does there. I got to a point where I am really tired to be bothered at all. He’s trying to give me updates where he is and mostly about his sleeping problem or sport injury. I really hope that this competition will make him happy. As for me, I am still far from being totally healed but I am more confident that one day I will get there
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BD May 2019 (I moved out Nov 2019)
EA or PA with ex gf (not sure), H spent 3 nights with the hoe during our vacation in July 2019, it was a friendly encounter according to H
H wanted D April 2020 but didn’t file it
Contact never stopped, H now wants to reconcile
Me not sure

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#67: July 01, 2021, 06:39:43 PM
So, if he doesn't work, who is going to pay for his apartment? Or does he have enough saved up on his own to do that? Because it would be prudent for you not to let him spend all of any jointly saved money you have.
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#68: July 02, 2021, 05:43:47 AM
Quote
  So far nothing much has changed except that my H now loves me very much. I should be very happy hearing this and I am very thankful I don’t have the monster anymore or the shark eyes. But somehow, a part of me tells me to be cautious.

Just a word of advice from another LBS who’s H has told me many times over the last 5 years that he loves me very much as well.  Actions speak so much louder than words.  They can talk the talk, but can they walk the walk?  My H’s words used to mean everything to me, I believe for him they were a way to keep me hanging on.  Yes, please be cautious and learn that if his words of love aren’t followed by actions of love they are empty words.  My H is just starting to realize this more and more. 

Keep working on yourself Dragonfly.  I know this is hard work.  Taking off the rose tinted glasses of how your relationship used to be can be gut wrenching.  I am dealing with this as well.  We are working on something new.  We both have changed and are trying to see what is going to fit now.  Lots of hugs. 

Roo
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#69: July 02, 2021, 06:34:42 AM
Sorry Dragonfly but



All talk, no action... except that he still comes and goes as he pleases, he wants someone (you) to take care of him and now that he realizes that, without working, he won't be able to afford his flat, he is all lovey-dovey with you?  But he has still taken off to go to a Marathon somewhere.... with someone esle (who knows who)....

Once his actions match the words, THEN you will know he is on the way out of the tunnel... Until then, it is just more
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#70: July 02, 2021, 11:23:15 AM
Offroad, I don’t think he will quit his job even if he said he doesn’t like it. His hobbies are too expensive to afford without a job. I actually tried to encourage him to have long term and short term goals so he will be inspired to work. He’s been applying for other jobs. It’s probably like his fantasy. I know he’s tired but I don’t know from what.

Roo I understand exactly what you mean. I’ve talked about these observations to my therapist. My h is obviously not ready at all to take responsibility for what he’s done. I have expressed my expectations of a healthy marriage and my H is not up to it. He tells me he loves me, he is honest and open with me and he’s showing his honesty by telling me what he’s doing. He can tell me anything but without proof I will always take it with a grain of salt. By telling me what he does, that’s him being honest. He also told me what he did when he was with the OW except that he skipped the part that he was together with her for 3 nights. So he can continue telling me what he does but it doesn’t mean anything to me. He said he wanted to move in with me, but he is not actively looking for a new apartment and tells me he cannot sleep in my place so he sleeps in his apartment. He said he misses me and loves to so things with me but when we were together he goes biking or running or swimming. So yes his words and his actions don’t reconcile but he says they don’t have to reconcile. Though I am very slow at learning my lesson but I did. And like you said Roo, we have changed a lot through this journey.

Whoever he is with right now if it’s really his mom, I don’t care anymore. I’ve learned it the hard way, whether I am close by or not I cannot control his actions. He will do what he wants to do.     Funny he said to me before he left that he will send me a picture that his mom is with him when he gets there but no picture was sent. I didn’t ask either. It’s still blah blah blah. He sent me a the link to track him during his ironman but I am so not interested at all. I don’t know if it’s wrong not to show him any support but I just dont give a firetruck anymore about supporting him. He gets to firetruck around and I have to support him in his hobbies. Why do they get a free pass after what they’ve done?
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Me 45
H    48
Married 13 yrs no kids
BD May 2019 (I moved out Nov 2019)
EA or PA with ex gf (not sure), H spent 3 nights with the hoe during our vacation in July 2019, it was a friendly encounter according to H
H wanted D April 2020 but didn’t file it
Contact never stopped, H now wants to reconcile
Me not sure

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My life after separation with a clinger
#71: July 04, 2021, 09:46:52 AM
Just a question to those who stopped standing. For so many months now, the idea of divorcing my H has been playing in my mind. I feel tired of being disappointed or hurt. I am also tired of dancing to the tune of my H‘s music. All I wanted is a normal relationship between husband and wife. Like having a husband who is there for me, who I can trust and who I can do things together. I am not getting older and somehow it scares me not to be able to find someone when I am too old. I really miss having a connection and not feel the pain anymore. It is just so hard for me to forget about what my H did and to forget abouz the OW. It’s so hard to not think about what they could be doing when they were together. It’s so hard to accept the I don’t know or I forgot replied from my H. It’s so hard to hear or accept that my H has so much respect for her than for me especially that he told her so many bad things about me but I never heard him speak about her in a bad way. He even told me that he didn’t care if she was fat. It’s so hard not tp think that maybe my H is with the OW in his Ironman competition. Maybe he flew the OW there though he said he is with his mom. But after all those lies it’s so hard to trust his words. I have zero trust in him. Is this a normal feeling or am I just one of those who refuse to move on. My sister who supported me in the wake of my H‘s BD barely speaks to me because I gave my H another chance. She said she and her husband went through a difficult time when my H abandoned me. She is so angry about my H because he threatened to sue her. She is anyway also very rude to me when she doesn’t get what she wants which is I should divorce my H. But I refuse to let her do the decision for me. So right now, no matter how I tried to GAL, deep inside I am very confused and disturbed. My therapist is not really helping a lot I think except that she tells me I am doing the right thing and I shouldn’t be afraid because I am a strong and intelligent woman. I think my H on the other hand is doing great. He‘s finally achieved what he always wanted, the ironman. And me I am still lost. I feel like everybody is supporting him and I am the loser. It’s a really $h!tety feeling. I feel like once we divorce I can move on and start a new life. It probably will be difficult especially if my H doesn’t support me financially anymore but I just want to escape from this horrible ordeal away from my H who reminds me of the pain everyday.

Sorry for the complain here. i just feel so down today.
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Me 45
H    48
Married 13 yrs no kids
BD May 2019 (I moved out Nov 2019)
EA or PA with ex gf (not sure), H spent 3 nights with the hoe during our vacation in July 2019, it was a friendly encounter according to H
H wanted D April 2020 but didn’t file it
Contact never stopped, H now wants to reconcile
Me not sure

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My life after separation with a clinger
#72: July 04, 2021, 11:03:03 AM
Nothing to apologise for, Dragonfly, not a thing. Vent away  :)

Fwiw, seems to me....and seemed in my own situation....that divorce does some things inherently but it does not do others. If you go through one by one the items you posted - all of which seem entirely normal and understandable to me - you may want to reflect if a divorce will address the issue. Or not. If not, and the issue matters to you, it may be worth considering what other kinds of actions might. Bc you can perhaps do some of those regardless and may need to do some of them to heal even if you decide that divorce is the right choice for you.

Breathe. Take your time. Sit with your thoughts and feelings for a bit maybe. (And worth remembering that a) feelings evolve so you may not a,ways feel how you do right now and b) feelings are not necessarily facts, even if what you feel is the reality of how you feel.

Just a thought x
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H diagnosed with severe depression Oct 15. BD May 16. OW since April 16, maybe earlier. Silent vanisher mostly.
Divorced April 18. XH married ow 6 weeks later.
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Re: My life after separation with a clinger
#73: July 04, 2021, 03:28:20 PM
I've written about three replies to you so far, and each time I feel like I'm probably not the most objective person. ;) I want to first and foremost say that working through this major event is in no way complaining. If putting yourself first is that out of practice - tackle that first!!

Your BD is not that long ago, and I don't want to be a wet blanket, but I doubt you haven't considered yourself that this may just be an extended touch and go. He's wanting to quit his job, do this competition thing full time? That's very replay. Not that people can't do that, but in a couple - that's a joint decision. And he seems to not bring anything to the table in terms of how will this be paid for, how will lack of income from a steady job be covered, and is this the lifestyle you actually want. Keeping you as more of a custodial parent role instead of a wife is a red flag that this isn't about the affair still for him. Plus of course not addressing anything in a way that could heal your marriage.

My xH quit his job a few years before BD. Tried "working in my business" (essentially he played on FB all day) which I was far too eager to make him partner in, thinking he'd really be a go-getter. I had no proof he would be, and that was an issue I had to work through: giving away too much of my power to people because I loved them. Nevertheless, his choice to bounce from flash in the pan idea to idea to make money that never appeared lead to my bankruptcy after the divorce. I almost lost my house many times. The consequences of flying by the seat of your pants and trying to cover everything can be very real. Not just financially, but the stress is unimaginable. If you want to be the breadwinner, get stable with what that means and how it will affect your budget. Whether you stay together or not, this will serve you. And know you can't make him work if he decides he won't.

Despite being a happily apathetic divorced LBS, I'm not encouraging you one way or the other. Your gut is telling you some stuff though and I think it's valid to hash out what you really want for your future. You should do that anyway, MLC or not! He could be the greatest guy once again, and you'd still have the right to not choose his new lifestyle as your path if it doesn't feel right for you. And on the flip side, if you're banking on finding Mr. Right after divorce...it's not as fun as you'd think to look. ;) I've continued to attract the same kind of people as my xH was. Artsy, cute, and interesting...and also flaky, shallow, and not in it for the long term. So there's something to be said for having a foundation already with your xH, if you want to continue keeping that line open to see if there's movement that goes somewhere you can live with.

I really loved my xH and I was still in it at the point you are. Stayed in it past divorce. But truthfully, I like my life now. It's on my terms. But it took some time to get here.

Your sister has had her experiences with Monstering, and we can all empathize with that. And no doubt she loves you and just wants you to be happy and whole. She can't make your decisions for you though, and while everyone doesn't understand standing, it's not fair for her to put more pressure on you to do what she wants. Still, there's a relationship that you can focus on healing. Don't give up on talking this one through. Her caring is probably what's making her angry. But your position is also valid. I hope you find common ground and get back on track.
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My life after separation with a clinger
#74: July 04, 2021, 10:44:32 PM
Deciding not to stand because you want to go find someone so you wont be alone isn't the best reason to decide to stop standing or to decide to divorce. However, wanting to not be treated poorly is a fine reason to remove yourself from any situation with anyone.

Let me ask you, would your life be better without someone who only wants to spend time with you when he wants but not when you want? Could you ever trust him again?  Could you separate from him, not be with him, and be without romantic male companionship for an amount of time?

Jumping out of a relationship in hope you will find another usually means you are searching for your own outside affirmation. Not that there is anything wrong with wanting another relationship, but that ought not to be your reason for throwing in the towel, as it were.

Being ignored, lied to, cheated on, left behind, not having your wants and desires taken into consideration are all great reasons to stop your stand. Why? Because those should not exist in a committed relationship.

Protect yourself yes, whether you stand or don't. Let him do what he needs to do and you step back and let him, but do not let him drag you down. You can stay in your own apartment and do not let him come over. Unless you are ok with hanging with a person who you feel disrespects you, put boundaries in place to keep you from getting into a toxic get together . If you don't want to wait for him to get his act together, you can stop your stand at any time. If you do want to wait, you figure out how much contact you can handle.

Do it for you, not simply so you can find someone else, but because you deserve a life that gives you joy.
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My life after separation with a clinger
#75: July 05, 2021, 01:40:56 AM
Quote
Do it for you, not simply so you can find someone else, but because you deserve a life that gives you joy.

Prompted by OR, worth reminding you that there is a lot of ground between Standing and Not. Including a kind of ‘IDK so not deciding either way’ place. And that Not Standing and Divorce, depending on your circumstances, are not necessarily the same thing. One can do one and not the other; or one and then the other follows later when you feel ready. Plenty of LBS folks here have done that. And you will know when you are ready for either one.

I agree with OR that your h sounds as if he is still not able or willing to have a normal relationship of reciprocity, a partnership. It’s still all about him, it seems, which is pretty ‘replayish’. Just so happens that his new escape plan involves you in some way....perhaps there is a post-Ironman strategy in his head and being with you enables it, idk. And OR is wise to remind you of the risk for you of financing it. I think the truth is that, post BD, there actually is no ‘We’, no partnership....just two individuals. And one caring rather more about the other than the other cares about them. Takes most of us a while to adapt to that ‘new (not) normal,  :)

But it’s a good reminder for you and the rest of us that the ow, huge as that is for us, is one of many symptoms of ‘escape and avoid’. And there’s plenty of others. Maybe even the LBS sometimes hence the kind of ‘touch and goes’ that people see.  Plenty of stories here of a spouse still being in escape mode or being an unreachable half-spouse at best long after an affair has ended. It was never about you, Dragonfly, it was never about ow.....it’s about him and the hole in him. And only you can decide how much you are prepared to invest in a half-spouse or if you can find a sustainable way to do so without the cost to your wellbeing seeming too high. I couldn’t in my situation. Others here can in theirs. There is no right answer, only what you believe is right for you starting from where you are.

In essence, it all comes down to what feels like an ok way to live for you in the detail of the day. And what you want that you think is available based on the situation as you see it.
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« Last Edit: July 05, 2021, 01:42:36 AM by Treasur »
T: 18  M: 12 (at BD) No kids.
H diagnosed with severe depression Oct 15. BD May 16. OW since April 16, maybe earlier. Silent vanisher mostly.
Divorced April 18. XH married ow 6 weeks later.
Healing and growing found here https://littleplotbythesea.wordpress.com

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My life after separation with a clinger
#76: July 05, 2021, 02:11:22 AM
Quote from: Ready2Transform
He's wanting to quit his job, do this competition thing full time? That's very replay. Not that people can't do that, but in a couple - that's a joint decision. And he seems to not bring anything to the table in terms of how will this be paid for, how will lack of income from a steady job be covered, and is this the lifestyle you actually want. Keeping you as more of a custodial parent role instead of a wife is a red flag that this isn't about the affair still for him. Plus of course not addressing anything in a way that could heal your marriage.

THIS ....

Actions, not words... and his words are NOT matching his actions at all.... "I want to reconcile but I am going to take off and jet all over the place to various races while not having any income to pay for a plane ticket... "

What's wrong with this picture?

What R2T, OR and Treasur have written is all RIGHT on target
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My life after separation with a clinger
#77: July 05, 2021, 06:55:33 AM
Thank you R2T, Treasur,Offroad and UM for sharing your thoughts about my situation. I think, I think I may have been misunderstood when I said my H wanted to stop working. He still is working with his current job and he has not quit at all. It was just some of his thoughts that he shared with me because he was so unhappy with his job, with his health and his relationship and himself perhaps. I think, the idea of quitting his job has something to do with not wanting to have a huge responsibility. This is just my assumption. But like I said, I don't think he is going to do that. He is so scared about his future, let alone not having an income; I cannot imagine him risking that as we are in living in a country that is very expensive.

I've just been to my therapist today. I had a huge talk with her about these feelings of whether to throw the towel or not. She asked me the following questions: Can I live alone without my H? Considering that he was alone in his triathlon trip, would I still want to leave him? We talked about forgiveness and trusting him. I asked her, how can you trust a person who is not doing anything to prove that he is trustworthy? How can you forgive when you are still hurting? It is so hard to forgive and forget when the other person is not doing enough to deserve that.

I know my H is in full replay still. Nothing matters to him except himself and his triathlon. Although, since he arrived in France, he keeps asking me thru text how I am a one or two information about what he's doing. I have no idea where he is staying. Obviously this is not what a normal married couple would do. The OW was definitely just a symptom and I keep reminding myself about that. Yet it is still very hard to not take it personally, especially that up to this day my H denies he had an affair with her.

Let me ask you, would your life be better without someone who only wants to spend time with you when he wants but not when you want? Could you ever trust him again?  Could you separate from him, not be with him, and be without romantic male companionship for an amount of time?

These are exactly the same questions my therapist asked me today. What I know now, and this can maybe still change, is that I don't want this half-husband anymore if you can still call it a husband. I don't know if I can trust him again. Right now, I do not trust a single word that comes out of his mouth. He told me when he left for France, he would send me a picture together with his mom there to prove he is with his mom, but no picture was sent. He tells me things that are not followed up with actions. He said he wanted to move in together but he hasn't quit his apartment and he's enjoying his so called privacy there. So right now, I don't trust him at all. It's the only way to protect myself from believing on his lies. I think I can separate from him and not being in a romantic relationship with anyone. I cannot imagine right now to have another relationship though I wish I had someone right now with whom i can have a trusting relationship. The idea of starting a new relationship scares me and at the same time, I have this wishful thinking that someday, I will have someone that is trustworthy and that values me as a wife.



Quote
Protect yourself yes, whether you stand or don't. Let him do what he needs to do and you step back and let him, but do not let him drag you down. You can stay in your own apartment and do not let him come over. Unless you are ok with hanging with a person who you feel disrespects you, put boundaries in place to keep you from getting into a toxic get together . If you don't want to wait for him to get his act together, you can stop your stand at any time. If you do want to wait, you figure out how much contact you can handle.

I thought of getting back my house key when he comes back and asking him to take all his things away. I think I need a long break from being disappointed over and over again. How does one know that it is over? I even ask myself, why do I keep him allowing to do this to me? My head is so overwhelmed right now. I bought so many books to help myself including the Non violent communication and the power of now which helped me learn to focus on what I have now. But all this information can sometimes be so overwhelming and you don't know anymore what to do.



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« Last Edit: July 05, 2021, 07:58:44 AM by UrsaMajor »
Me 45
H    48
Married 13 yrs no kids
BD May 2019 (I moved out Nov 2019)
EA or PA with ex gf (not sure), H spent 3 nights with the hoe during our vacation in July 2019, it was a friendly encounter according to H
H wanted D April 2020 but didn’t file it
Contact never stopped, H now wants to reconcile
Me not sure

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My life after separation with a clinger
#78: July 05, 2021, 11:44:29 AM
Hello,

You have received a lot of good advice. There is no magical remedy or quick hack to fix your situation. Finding Joy wrapped it up so well when she posted if she stays in the marriage and reconciles, it will be a difficult journey, if she divorces and stays single, it will be difficult, and if she starts a new relationship, it will be difficult.

No matter what option, the journey is going to be hard.

Couple of points that I have really pondered, not just for you, but for myself as well,

Quote
I've continued to attract the same kind of people as my xH was. Artsy, cute, and interesting...and also flaky, shallow, and not in it for the long term.


and
Quote
I even ask myself, why do I keep him allowing to do this to me?

On the first one, it can be flipped to "why am I attracted to such people as well?" One of my big faults is to be the "rescuer" of the damsel in distress. When I dated, even after my ex, I found my self in short term relationship with another woman that needed my "help". In the end, all hero's have a bad day and before you knew it, she found another "hero". One thing I didn't do was try to stick this one out. I was done the second I found out about the other man. Of course the new hero did last either and she tried to get in contact with me. Nope, not going to be anyone's option B.

With my new wife, she told me flat out, "I don't need to be rescued. I was fine before you and I can be fine after you." Our marriage reflects that value and there is mutual respect and admiration for each other. Going with her in a few minutes to wash the car. We enjoy each other's company.

So with that in mind, why are you attracted to your H? There has to be something or you wouldn't be here. If you do stick it out, what is going to change? How are you going to find satisfaction with a person who so far has found little or no reason to change?

On the second issue, I struggled with a lot. I endured far too much garbage from my ex. I was so afraid of pushing any boundaries because that would make her leave. It got me nothing but a lot of pain and hurt. She left anyway. I don't know or care that had I set a boundary if it would have had any impact on the outcome of our marriage, but it would have saved me a lot of pain as she pretty much walked all over me.

Time after time, your h has made verbal commitments to you-both big and small and then fails to follow through. This is disrespectful and erodes all trust in the relationship. Because in the end, despite all your claims that you don't trust him at all, you are like me, in the end, you want to trust him. I wanted to believe my ex. I wanted to be the loving husband that endured to demonstrate how much I loved her. My optimism became my own worse enemy and I kept thinking to myself that she was going to come back; that she was going to change.

Whether your marriage survives or not, you need to draw a line in the sand; to set a boundary that protects you. Very simply, "Don't tell me anything you are not going to do." If he tells you something and fails to follow through, go dark. Let him know what he said and that he did not meet the standard. Going dark is acceptable because who does business with a liar? Don't let him squirm or double speak an excuse. He either does or doesn't and you are prepared for either case. A boundary to give you the space and time to recover from your own trauma; to start looking and focusing on you and not your H.

If he respects your boundary, great; if he doesn't great- because now you've regained your own personal power. To stop letting his fantasies, stories, false promises, and half-hearted attempts of being your husband gaslight the reality of who you are as a person.

Then as you go to your therapist, less focus on him or your marriage, but a deep dive into your traumas-past and present to resolve so that you become whole again. Once you feel whole again, to see yourself in a better light, then move onward regarding your relationships with others.

You've got time and this is your journey,

((((Ready))))
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My life after separation with a clinger
#79: July 05, 2021, 12:31:25 PM
Wow Ready! While I was reading your response I felt like you put everything that I wanted to say into words. It felt like you lived what I had experienced. Thank you for the questions that are really very significant in my situation right now. It made me ponder, why did I choose to marry my H. When I met my H, he was a very sensitive person. I can still remember it well. I was with my sister and he was with his two brothers. His elder brother was very talkative that time and he was fun to talk to. We were all laughing and he got all my attention which didn’t make my H happy at all. He wasn’t happy that his brother joking with us and he was sort of left out. And me, being the hero, I tried to make him feel good and showed the attention he wanted. It didn’t stop there, even when we got married,  my h hated it when I focus my attention on my family especially every time I went home to my home country. I would spend time with my relatives and sometimes I left him alone. He hated it and it was always the cause of our fight. He couldn’t understand that I only see my family for a couple of weeks once a year or once in two years. He was also jealous that I called my sister regularly because I wanted to speak to my nephew, the only baby in the family at that time. My therapist told me I am a pleaser. She was right, with my H I was the one who always tried to adapt to the lifestyle he had. One example is the sport. I was never sporty and he was and is still very sporty. So I learned to do his sport so we could do something together. But never the opposite. It was always me who needed to adapt. But this is also one of my FOOs. I always tried to please as a child the adults in my family especially my mom. I was scared she would get angry and same for my H. I was scared he would get upset. Now my H treats me like his sounding board. I get the: I am not feeling well, I‘m not sleeping well, I injured myself and all those things that aren’t good in him. Then me the rescuer always tries to find a way to alleviate whatever his feeling. I thought by supporting my H I was doing a great job as a wife. And surprisingly my H said I didn’t support him or his love of sport. I wasn’t sporty enough. This was during BD.

I am not sure to be honest if he’s going to change especially the cheating part. He always had a reason why he did it. The first one, he was angry at me and it was normal for people to say something like I should have married you instead to an ex gf. The same ex gf he spent 3 nights with 11 years later. This time he said he wanted to talk to someone and that person was the ex gf. He crossed the whole atlantic to talk to her for 4 days about his depression and failed marriage and how miserable I made his life. I am really scared to give this another chance because  what if he gets angry again, he will run to the hospital x gf again. He said this will never happen anymore because he now doesn’t want to contact her ever. Same line when he did it the first time . I just cannot trust this person.

Like you I was scared to push him and set strict boundaries because I am scared I’m going to lose him totally. When he doesn’t show up it hurts me still. For some reason I long for his presence. I am still hoping that we can survive this but I am not doing the hard work anymore. i am not saving this marriage because I know I cannot save it by myself. Deep inside I want to give up but also I still have hopes my H would change. My therapist told me, it seems like my H doesn’t have any intention of changing. Perhaps he won’t, or maybe he will. Only he can decide that.

Thank you ready for giving me an idea of what boundaries I can set. Sometimes I‘m totally lost and I don’t know anymore what to do. And these emotions can be drowning that it robs you from thinking rationally. I keep reminding myself that emotions don’t always reflect the reality. Sometimes we just need to acknowledge them and feel them. Thank you again Ready, I will try to keep my boundaries this time. Hope I can stick to that and not be persuaded by my H‘s pleading.

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H    48
Married 13 yrs no kids
BD May 2019 (I moved out Nov 2019)
EA or PA with ex gf (not sure), H spent 3 nights with the hoe during our vacation in July 2019, it was a friendly encounter according to H
H wanted D April 2020 but didn’t file it
Contact never stopped, H now wants to reconcile
Me not sure

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My life after separation with a clinger
#80: July 06, 2021, 04:07:08 AM
 Dragonfly ... such great responses from some great people.  So much to think about, consider, wonder about, rage about and just anxiety provoking situations ...this is likely the hardest place to be, it truly is.  There were times I thought I knew what I wanted and the very next day, I wanted the opposite desperately. My emotions were all extreme whether good or bad and the fall from one extreme to the other made me feel like I was going insane .  I slowly started to realize I was in a constant state of reactivity.  I reacted to everything he said or did or failed to say or do. He was in full control of my mental and emotional state ...the "me" was just a bystander.  If I wasn't in a state of reactivity, I worked myself into a painful state  thinking that he " might be doing this , he might be doing that, maybe I am missing something again, he cannot be trusted, he is a liar...why do I even want to be with a liar and a cheat?   WTF is wrong with ME?. I felt judged, stupid, deeply confused, enraged ...all of it seemed to be in response to what he did or did not do.  Just the worst exhausting trap for anyone trying to live thru this . To find ways to stop reacting, detach, find myself again was the hardest journey I have ever walked but I was done having HIM in control of ME more than I was. 

I have been asked many many times how I could ever stay with a man that I cannot trust. I never had a good answer or response other than the typical " if he ever does that again he will be out , I will divorce blah blah and more blah" . People who asked me that were judging me ...or so I felt and I went thru a long period or withdrawing and isolating myself. Everything and everyone hurt me.  Trust?  .  It is a fact ( for me) that I will never trust my husband again. Ever. I do not believe it can ever be as it was .  However, I have heard many many women say that they indeed trust their husbands 100% even after such betrayal. We attend Retrovaille ( a Catholic run program for marriages in crisis) and I have listened to many women, speakers, lectures that say trust has been fully re-established . Now, how is that possible for some and not for others? .  I do not know the answer but I wonder often. The place I personally am at is that I have no intention of trusting anyone .  And it was like a decision ..I simply do not want to . So I do not "work on it or try to trsu" and just have decided it will not happen and I am OK with that . I rarely ponder the issue of trust. Of course that leads to all other kinds of soul-ponderings doesn't it?   Can you ever truly love a person you will never trust? . Why would you stay with an "un-safe" person? . What kind of truly deep intimate connection can ever be made without trust?   Why is that enough?  And I could write a thousand more.  ANY LBS that is desperately waiting and hoping that their MLCer returns has to ask themselves all these questions and face the worst breech of emotional and intimate trust they will ever experience. I think they ( as I did) fail to recognize the profound losses that can never return.  Best to truly not get what you are hoping for sometimes ...say I.  When I finally understood that trusting myself was FAR more important than trusting others , I started to recover my balance. I TRUST that I am sooo strong, I have wisdom now that I never had before, I am capable of making myself my own life, I will handle anything that is thrown at me ...because I can. Even it is thrown at me by him. I will be absolutely 100 % with certainty perfectly fine.  I depend on me and my abilities, strengths and capacity to overcome things that I cannot control in other people.  They can not control me anymore either so IF I ever again am betrayed I KNOW what I would do. I got it all inside of me ...my power of choice and control of my own life. Trusting me gave me a softer, calmer place to rest and I like it here..but it took a very long time.  And my H sees this in me . I think he looks at me in awe and confusion sometimes ...but as I have told him ..... Try me. If it ever happens again , the outcome will be so cut and dry different, he won't recognize me.  I very rarely struggle with trust issues. I never wonder where he is, who he with etc etc . When he 1st returned, I almost felt that if he is going to contact the OW or see her, lets find that out now rather than later. Then the struggle is over because I KNOW what I would do. And I very rarely worried about it. However, when there were times that I did feel suspicious or was triggered , it was a complete PTSD spiral into attack and self protection mode. I have also been told trust is a decision. Once you are secure and able to solidly know and trust your own decisions and capabilities , and boundaries then trusting can be a decision. So perhaps it is more about trusting ourselves and not so much about them.  .  I got my own back ...and I don't carry a knife.  He will do what he will do ....just as he did before.  And so will yours. It always leads back to "work" on yourself .

For me, the loss of respect has been far more painful than anything else.  I struggle with having little to know respect anymore and that is a huge loss.

My H quit an extremely high paying job about a month after he moved out. I saw it on his email that he forgot to log off of when he left and ran away from his terrible life. He quit because " they were not using him for the skills he had"...apparently.  It was utterly shocking, I can't tell you. Now I had a whole set of financial threats . He left town, worked for "cash" and honestly at that point he could have had surgery to become a women , and I won't not have been shocked anymore. They "quit" everything they believe is the source of their deep discontent , anguish and pain they are in.  Trying to find relief . As astonishing as this is , I believe his boss "knew" what my H was going threw. I spoke with his boss. And he told me as much. He said H was going thru a lot , he was searching for control , his brother had just dies etc etc.   When my H returned home , within weeks , his boss called and was  was offering my H  his job back.  And he did go back with a lot of therapy and support. So, I would assume they saw"the skills he had" .

There is always a statement made " actions speak louder than words ". Thats a very handy measuring stick, especially when you cannot or will not trust their words.  For me personally , I needed some "words" in a desperate away. His silence was perhaps the top of the "trigger-list".  I know Song and I have both struggled with needing words  from men that in reality are under-developed emotionally, are not "verbal " in the 1st place or in the case of my husband is full of deep shame. . My H is extremely avoidant so he is far FAR more likely to avoid talking about any of it as it triggers all his pain and shame. That I see is excruciating.  My husbands actions right from the start have been flawless . He would get a 10 out of 10. Every single thing he has done has shown a commitment to heal, fix , re-build , stay the course, attend therapy faithfully, be 100% accountable to where he is and has never failed to do so.  His actions have not shown selfishness or "being all about him"......BUT ( and I wonder about this ) he has always been a "people -pleaser" . So is this just more of that and he has put himself , once again, as a last priority?  I don't know...I have a tendency to over-think every single thing in the universe.   His "actions" have consistently been about me, the girls and family.   BUT..it has been beyond excruciating to have a man that will not talk, share, be vulnerable, trust me ( I am an un-safe person...imagine that ?) . So while I agrees actions do speak lounder than words....some LBS ( me) need the "words". My H will leave "elephants in the room until the end of time"...he uses them to hide behind. 

I am much further down the road than you my friend. I know the place you are in, spent a lot of time there. And I do not envy that part of the journey at all.Time alone will not heal everything...but it softens and healing happens in tiny pieces . And it truly is about healing yourself above healing the marriage. .
Just my thoughts and struggles spoken from one LBS in recovery to another.

 As Ready has said , and so have I many many times...there is no "easy path". No trap door to escape thru and find the "happy life". It will be hard to stay and equally hard to leave and divorce.  Just different pain.  After infidelity ( or MLC )  there is much pain and life alterring hurt. No place to go to walk around the entire mess that is not painful.






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#81: July 06, 2021, 12:50:36 PM
Side question to Barbie, and this is a real question, not a judgement, because I am confused (Happens to me a lot)

You posted
My husbands actions right from the start have been flawless . He would get a 10 out of 10. Every single thing he has done has shown a commitment to heal, fix , re-build , stay the course, attend therapy faithfully, be 100% accountable to where he is and has never failed to do so.  His actions have not shown selfishness or "being all about him"......BUT ( and I wonder about this ) he has always been a "people -pleaser" .

But then you also posted
BUT..it has been beyond excruciating to have a man that will not talk, share, be vulnerable, trust me ( I am an un-safe person...imagine that ?) . So while I agrees actions do speak lounder than words....some LBS ( me) need the "words". My H will leave "elephants in the room until the end of time"...he uses them to hide behind. 

I am unable to understand how "Every single thing he has done has shown a commitment to heal" when you "have a man that will not talk, share, be vulnerable, trust me". The latter says to me that he has not shown a commitment to heal. He has shown a commitment to maybe you and your daughters to prove he is going to be trustworthy and not cheat or lie or whatever else he did during his time away, but that is not the same as "heal" and it is not the same as trying to heal the marriage and family in my mind. Healing encompasses working with each other to create an environment where all can flourish. Hiding from your own pain and hiding what you have done for fear of repercussions, as he appears to do from your descriptions, is anything but that. Is there any chance you could explain that differently so I might understand?
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#82: July 06, 2021, 06:27:39 PM
Thanks OffRoad... I think I was addressing the quote or phrase " actions speak louder than words "..  or " believe nothing they say and 50% of what they do"  My husbands actions...from being accountable to where he is, money he spends, presence in the family, work around the house, following thru when he says he is going to do something etc , have been steady, stable and consistent. He has never been late, never goes "missing" , always calls .

His "words" fail him.  He is avoidant and continues to be. That has not changed ...so he has NOT healed or done the "work".  Lets call a spade a spade .  He triggers and shuts - down and will ( in fact) still try to blame.  I wish I could describe something different but it would be a lie. He still has not fully been accountable for the money he spent, he has not apologized for that and it remains an issue.  Shame ...the therapists tell me.  I believe he will not change ...he will remain wounded, unhealed and avoidant. I truly believe that. The therapist that is working with him tells me he is fully capable of healing and changing. I do not believe her and I have stopped waiting for this magical change .

Sooo..."if" actions speak louder than words , does it therefore mean I have a great , healed marriage? Afterall, his actions are very good.  Of course it doesn't !  I am not sure why that is even a saying, but that's just me.

Quote
I am unable to understand how "Every single thing he has done has shown a commitment to heal" when you "have a man that will not talk, share, be vulnerable, trust me". The latter says to me that he has not shown a commitment to heal. He has shown a commitment to maybe you and your daughters to prove he is going to be trustworthy and not cheat or lie or whatever else he did during his time away, but that is not the same as "heal" and it is not the same as trying to heal the marriage and family in my mind. Healing encompasses working with each other to create an environment where all can flourish. Hiding from your own pain and hiding what you have done for fear of repercussions, as he appears to do from your descriptions, is anything but that. Is there any chance you could explain that differently so I might understand?
.

Everything he "does" shows a commitment that he wants  to heal ( or "fix") the marriage ...NOT himself so much.  His physical actions and behavior .   He is not "healed" or done the work required to heal.   He is a worker or performer and that is what he does to make ammends or make it right. Thats what  he wishes my love language was , but it is not.  He has done a lot of therapy and is still easily  triggered and shuts down.  You are entirely correct, he is far from healed and therefore my marriage remains  unstable, painful in many ways and not "healed".   He becomes frustrated that  no matter what he does, what he builds , fixes or buys it is not enough .  It is not enough at all. I have told him many many times..."I appreciate all that you DO, but I never wanted all that stuff. All I ever wanted was YOU. He just stares, gets a bit emotional at times and says nothing. I do not believe he will conquer his enternal trauma and free himself . I hope that makes sense in some way. 
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« Last Edit: July 06, 2021, 06:29:56 PM by barbiedoll »
Married April 1985
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The Journey Of Reconciliation .. is for the brave .

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

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#83: July 06, 2021, 08:02:10 PM
Thank you Barbie. It seems a little clearer to me now. He gives what he can give and gives it 100% and willingly, it just isn't exactly what YOU, specifically, need. That does not negate his actions, for he appears to be doing the best he can and it is obvious he is trying. He is not being oblivious or self centered, just self protective. I appreciate you rephrasing it for me.

Back to you, Dragonfly.
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My life after separation with a clinger
#84: July 12, 2021, 05:19:49 AM
Dear Barbie

While reading everything you said, I felt like our stories have been crafted out from the same script.  All the feelings, emotions and thoughts you described are exactly the same as mine. Like you said, there were and still are days when I feel very sure that I want out and then the next day, I am unsure again. Sometimes, I think probably I am borderline like what my H told me when I went ballistic after I found out about his escapade with his ow. I know she is just a symptoms and has no importance in my journey but I have to admit I hate her so much. There are days when I can focus on myself and my healing and where I am not bothered or probably I am too tired to be bothered what my H is doing. But there are also days like you when I think what could he be doing now, or is he with another woman or am I stupid to allow him to come to me whenever he feels like. It is indeed a very difficult journey and I,myself, don't know what the outcome will be. I am far away from where you are now, very far away. I am still as you said very reactive: reactive to what my husband says or does not say, to what he does or he doesn't do. I do believe, it needs a lot of effort to be in a place where you can only focus on yourself and what's good for you regardless of what your H is doing or not doing. Every day I keep telling myself, what I had before is gone and it cannot be brought back anymore. I keep telling myself, that I have to accept that my H  will never ever be fully truthful with me and that is the kind of person he is. He will never tell me the truth because that would put him in an unsafe situation. This is just one of the most difficult things to accept and live with. I still up to this day try to ask him to tell me the truth but he seemed to be forgetting what happened or perhaps it's just selective amnesia. Who knows what runs in his mind.

Two days ago, I packed up all his things that he left in my apartment because I couldn't live with him anymore. And I thought to myself, if I do this once and for all, it will hurt a lot but then I could move on without him like being a widow and hope that someday things will become easier. Rather than being in a pull and push relationship (if you can still call it a relationship). I thought a lot about the things I wanted to tell him without blaming and ending up in a fight. I texted my H to come by and pick up all his stuff. He came and he was crying. We had a talk and I told him, I am so tired of being in this situation. We were both hurting each other and I feel like I've given everything and I have nothing else to give.  Now the best part is, he kept saying sorry. He said it was him who ruined our marriage, he cheated(I am not sure if he's saying this just to appease me), and he wanted to move in back with me. He said, his crisis started when I decided to cancel our Invitro. He said, he was angry and he didn't feel like he has a purpose in his life when I did it. Just a background story: I cancelled the invitro because he was already very angry and very stressed at that time. He didn't even bother to know what was going on or what the doctor said. I went through a lot of difficult times when we were doing the IVF and I suffered a lot. Those of you who've done this process know how it is like. My H was during this time already busy going to the gym with his work colleague who was also having an affair with their married ceo (according to my H). So, this is something new now. It was the IVF that triggered his crisis. He said he knew he had a huge crisis then. He said he was willing to do everything to fix what he did. When I asked him what did he do to fix it, he said by coming to me , he is showing that he is committed to this marriage. I was just in awe. He believes he is fixing everything by coming to me. Mostly he just watches tv or on his phone looking at triathlon news or new helmets or whatever it is about sport. Nothing about working on us. It was so frustrating to hear all these words that I just wanted to scream and punch him in the face. It's so frustrating that he doesn't understand what I am trying to tell him. THe worst part is he keeps telling me what he has to do but doesn't even do a single thing that I ask him to do. Why bother to ask when you know you won't do it anyway.It took a lot of effort for me to keep myself calm. He said he would quit his sport just to make me see I am important to him but then after he came back from a week away to do his triathlon, first thing he did this weekend was go biking. So, contrary to your H Barbie, my H tells me everything I want to hear but doesn't follow throught with actions. So I don't know which one is better. I'd rather have a man with actions than one with empty words.
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#85: July 12, 2021, 05:46:01 AM
Talk is cheap.... anyone can talk.... Consistent actions are where the rubber meets the road...

Talk?
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My life after separation with a clinger
#86: July 12, 2021, 07:11:09 AM
Ah dear Dragonfly girl, such a lot in your last post....

So I am going to keep it simple bc you are probably just exhausted....

1. Highly unlikely you are borderline and not sure a malfunctioning human with an agenda met by blaming you and gaslighting is the best source for a diagnosis if you are  :) What you probably are is a) exhausted and b) caught in a post-trauma loop of reactivity (which is common). If you want a diagnosis, talk to a professional with no hidden agenda  :)

2. Your h’s ‘story’ does not add up from the cheap seats compared to your own recollection about the IVF. You stopped it bc he was already disengaged, angry and busy hanging out with a work colleague who was an Ow already to somebody if not to him. He was investing his energy elsewhere. His story is that your decision to cancel it was some kind of trigger for him that made him feel so angry and purposeless that it flipped him over the edge. These two chronologies do not quite add up. Plus - and he may well have felt/feel angry and purposeless - you are not and never were responsible for his feelings or reactions to how he felt. I suspect you had plenty of your own rather painful feelings at the time about such a difficult choice, not a decision i’d guess you made lightly. Which he seems unconcerned about from what you post. He obviously has more work to do.....and, intentionally or otherwise, he is gaslighting you I think.

3. Your h evidently thinks right now that showing up is sufficient. Like turning up to a party with a six pack and waiting to be entertained while one sits on the couch lol. And presumably complain that it was a crap party afterwards  ::) You know that it is not sufficient for you, necessary perhaps but not sufficient. And that’s ok. You’re allowed to feel how you feel. And you do not have to have a party, invite him to the party or pay any attention to a party pooper on the couch metaphorically speaking.

You don’t need to make any big decisions or do anything dramatic right now. You’re tired so you need to recharge your battery. That might mean doing things that top you up relatively easily, solid self care things. It might mean limiting your exposure to things that drain you right now. Instinctively your gut will know if things are one or the other. Take a few days or weeks and trust that.  We’re here when/if you need us.

Hugs from here

Ps don’t forget to breathe xxxx
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« Last Edit: July 12, 2021, 07:15:19 AM by Treasur »
T: 18  M: 12 (at BD) No kids.
H diagnosed with severe depression Oct 15. BD May 16. OW since April 16, maybe earlier. Silent vanisher mostly.
Divorced April 18. XH married ow 6 weeks later.
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#87: July 12, 2021, 07:50:40 AM
Funny UM, he said that himself that he knows that I think he’s just all blah blah blah. First step my h is now doing to fix what he ruined is buy a mattress so he can sleep in my apartment. He said living together will fix what was broken. He hasn’t made any further appointment with our therapist and now I just paid for both appointments we did that won’t be even covered by our insurance since it’s a couple‘s therapy. I just paid it without further qualms and will not push on the couple’s therapy unless he initiates it.

My H talked about his unhappiness in his job again. He doesn’t feel like he’s needed because he says he doesn’t know anything. But I have to give him credit on that, he was hired for a different function and now he has to do something different. He also said to me during our talk the other day that he knows I hate him and it hurts him not to feel loved by me. What the heck does he expect from me?
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EA or PA with ex gf (not sure), H spent 3 nights with the hoe during our vacation in July 2019, it was a friendly encounter according to H
H wanted D April 2020 but didn’t file it
Contact never stopped, H now wants to reconcile
Me not sure

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My life after separation with a clinger
#88: July 12, 2021, 08:03:31 AM
Dragonfly, I wish you lived next door, I would come over and give you a hug and let you know that you are not alone.  Many similarities to my situation I’m a few years ahead of you. .  Read Treasurs post a few times.  It is spot on. 

I have been in analysis paralysis so many times.  He is gaslighting you and you are seeing it maybe for the first time.  I know for me I never thought my H would do it to me.  He did and now I see it clearly.  Trying to figure out the “why” of MLC is fruitless.  Jump off his roller coaster and really try to disengage.  There is no making sense of the senseless right now. 

He is on his own journey. He keeps wanting to pull you along because he thinks he needs you.  My hope for you is to start to find your own way out.  Breaking the chains of codependency, been there still working on that. 

Figure out what Dragonfly needs right now and start to make steps towards that.  Like Treasur said.  No big actions are needed right now.  Baby steps towards your own healing.  Start small and slow. 

Hugs,
Roo
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Re: My life after separation with a clinger
#89: July 12, 2021, 08:26:47 AM
He said he was willing to do everything to fix what he did. When I asked him what did he do to fix it, he said by coming to me , he is showing that he is committed to this marriage. I was just in awe. He believes he is fixing everything by coming to me. Mostly he just watches tv or on his phone looking at triathlon news or new helmets or whatever it is about sport. Nothing about working on us.

DF: I am so sorry, this just sounds so hard. And you do sound very exhausted. I really feel for you.

You are getting great advice from everyone above, so please read, re-read, and re-read again. I am only here to add something that may not be what you want to hear, but I feel it has to be said FOR YOU.

Please try to see that you are making this even harder than it is for yourself. First as hard as it may be start to accept that he is NOT ok, that he is STILL in a very fractured state. If you can start accepting then you may understand why I am saying what I am about to right below.

Please stop deluding yourself. There is no "us" right now. For there is be an "us" it REQUIRES TWO functioning, healed and self aware adult living in reality. I would venture that NO PART of him meets any of these tests. And I am really not trying to be in any way harsh or sound like I am in any way blaming you, but I would say if you looked carefully at yourself you may find you are not meeting some of these tests right now.

Focus on yourself, your well being, your mental and emotional health. Do it with him NOT being ANY part of that equation right now. Get yourself to being ok, then being good, then being great. Sadly you have to do that right now WITHOUT him. That is the reality test. Find ways to meet your own needs without him. That is the healed part.

That way he can do his own spin cycle, and you can continue your life. That doesn't mean you have to "move on" if you don't want to, but as others have pointed out so well you can "move forward."
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My life after separation with a clinger
#90: July 12, 2021, 08:29:20 AM
Quote
First step my h is now doing to fix what he ruined is buy a mattress so he can sleep in my apartment. He said living together will fix what was broken.
And what do you think about that, Dragonfly? Pros and cons for you right now?
Bc you know....and I know in normal times we wouldn’t need reminding of this.....just bc he thinks or wants something may no longer be a good enough reason on its own for you. And it’s ok to say no, not sure, not now, not yet, not like this....
It is, after all, your apartment.....
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H diagnosed with severe depression Oct 15. BD May 16. OW since April 16, maybe earlier. Silent vanisher mostly.
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#91: July 12, 2021, 09:52:12 AM
Hello,

Quote
You don’t need to make any big decisions or do anything dramatic right now. You’re tired so you need to recharge your battery.

Great advice. You are trying to deal with him and as I have stated before, really want to believe him. Instead, focus on your self-care. Do things on your own without him. He wants to have his separate "me" time and have you available for his emotional support. That's draining your batteries.

Quote
Please stop deluding yourself. There is no "us" right now. For there is be an "us" it REQUIRES TWO functioning, healed and self aware adult living in reality.

Very good point. I understand his need to pursue a hobby or interest. But when the hobby impacts all other aspects of your life (professional, social, and mental) health. Then it is no longer a hobby but a compulsion.

From the cheap seats, I see the IVF as gaslighting. If he had been with you to every appointment and bugged the doctors to death. If he was infatuated with baby items and books, I would get it. When both our babies were born, I went to every doctor's appointment. For the first, I read "What to Expect when Expecting" (I think I had it memorized for the second). I bought the rocking chair and we set up the room together.

I don't feel that from him. Not at all. Almost the entire process was a distraction for him and you weren't paying enough attention to him. That's not him involved with you, but appeasing you.

As Marvin said, move forward not on. Live for you and let him fumble about. Until he truly "gets" you, why do you keep trying to "get" him?

Be good to yourself,

(((((Ready)))))
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#92: July 12, 2021, 11:17:12 AM
This is such a challenge, especially when they’re always around and, one way or another, trying to reconnect or make amends or otherwise try to put things back into some kind of order. There is an article on one of the websites, either here or at Hearts Blessing, about how the later parts of the journey are where we are tested on the lessons learned in the early part of their crisis. Not that I recommend stage watching, but in general, we learn detachment while they are off in space spinning their wheels - then we’re tested when they come back with words not matched by actions. We learn to develop our own identity while they are off pursuing whatever they think they missed out on - and then we’re tested when they come back realizing the grass wasn’t greener, but also unwilling or unable to take on the responsibilities of being an adult in a healthy relationship.

It’s a challenge, because we do remember the good, healthy version of our spouse. Maybe now we see the flaws that we glossed over before, but we still see the person we loved - and they are saying the right things (at least some of the time). It’s really easy to soften those boundaries and let them back in - even if we detached from their roller coaster, we didn’t fully detach from the relationship or the person. And that’s even more true if they didn’t stay away long (or at all) or go very far from us.

A lot of wise people have given a lot of great advice, and I’m basically just agreeing with it all. Trust your emotions, and give yourself permission to put your wants and needs first.
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#93: July 12, 2021, 11:48:18 AM
1. Highly unlikely you are borderline and not sure a malfunctioning human with an agenda met by blaming you and gaslighting is the best source for a diagnosis if you are  :) What you probably are is a) exhausted and b) caught in a post-trauma loop of reactivity (which is common). If you want a diagnosis, talk to a professional with no hidden agenda  :

^ THIS!!!!!

I have not read the posts since reading this from Treasure, but had to stop to highly agree with about this.

If you are BPD then, every person on this forum has BPD...We were all shocked and then made to feel insane about expressing sorrow to our spouse.  I was gaslighted into almost believing I was ADD, so that my XH could get more custody.  I went so far as consulting 3 therapists, which all concluded I was fine and maybe my XH had an agenda.  Had I sunk any deeper into HIS NARRATIVE...maybe I would have given him custody....Luckily, deep down I couldn't completely swallow his story and usual just replied with NO BEEPING WAY!

This is why GAL is so important...not to win the spouse back, but to realize you are just as powerful and wonderful as before BD.

 
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« Last Edit: July 12, 2021, 12:22:21 PM by Zion »

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#94: July 13, 2021, 01:21:35 AM
I have a different question....

It is HIS crisis and HE is the one needing his "space" now and then so ... why are YOU paying for BOTH apartments?  He is a grown person with a job. He wants it, he should be paying for it... HE signed the lease, right? HE should be responsible.... By relieving him of HIS responsibility, he gets another "Get Out of Jail Free" card and doesn't have to actually DO anything to improve the R, doesn't have to be accountable or responsible for HIS choices, HIS actions...
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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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My life after separation with a clinger
#95: July 13, 2021, 09:46:13 AM
Things to consider. If you let him move in and it doesn't work out, how do expect to get him out? Do you want a boring roommate, for that is all he will be until he stops thinking of only his own wants and desires? Do you think YOU can heal with him constantly in your face with his all about him attitude, sport and ignoring you? Can you live in the same space and simply let him do what he needs to do, you do what you need to do, and not let it affect you? Will he quit his job when he is sponging off of you? Is there any kind of upside for him to move in with you for YOU?

If this is a big apartment, maybe it could work if you give each other enough space and you detach enough to not care what he does. If you can do your own thing as needed. If it's not, that makes it more difficult.

Remember, just because he wants to fix what he broke that doesn't mean you have to let him do it his way  (or even at all if you get to that point). You GET to have opinions, you GET to have boundaries and enforce them, you GET to have feelings and work through them. You can say "I need my own space right now. Why don't we try dating, like we are starting new?" 

If letting him move in with you is not detrimental to YOU, and you want to stand, and you want him to work through his own issues, you have to be able to do things like  not care that he chooses sport over time with you, either listen to him drone on about it or become genuinely interested or put a boundary in place where you say that you need to be alone now and leave, keep yourself busy enough that it doesn't matter if he is there or not, not do things for him like laundry or cooking. He would need to pull his own weight.

It's a lot to think about when your head is still spinning, but important. Don't shortchange yourself. Whatever you choose, you need to be prepared to live with it, and a live in MLCer is not easy.
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#96: July 13, 2021, 01:49:55 PM
 

If letting him move in with you is not detrimental to YOU, and you want to stand, and you want him to work through his own issues, you have to be able to do things like  not care that he chooses sport over time with you, either listen to him drone on about it or become genuinely interested or put a boundary in place where you say that you need to be alone now and leave, keep yourself busy enough that it doesn't matter if he is there or not, not do things for him like laundry or cooking. He would need to pull his own weight.

It's a lot to think about when your head is still spinning, but important. Don't shortchange yourself. Whatever you choose, you need to be prepared to live with it, and a live in MLCer is not easy.

All of this is great advice, OR, just highlighting what stood out to me the most as someone whose MLCer moved back in after 6 months away. Detaching is always hard, but even more so when they are in frequent contact. Live-in MLCers are a whole other level - especially when they left and moved back in, or when they are saying the right things but not following through. It’s really easy to believe the words, to develop expectations that they naturally fail to live up to, and then to get caught in that cycle where you’re on their roller coaster and they feel like you’re pressuring them or expecting standards they can’t possibly meet. When they live with you, it’s that much harder to escape from their crisis and regroup - you don’t have inherent physical distance so you have to have enough emotional distance that you can separate your emotions from his words or actions and from his emotions.

My MLCer doesn’t “say all the right things” since she came home. There are no promises or words of love or wanting to win me back. She does give me glimpses of the person I used to know, though - talking about shared future plans, for example. She is usually very much focused on herself - her aches and pains and worries and her successes and hopes - but increasingly, she asks me about my day and how I’m feeling and things like that. She rarely reaches out to me and never talks to me about our relationship, but she does talk to me when she’s anxious or upset about work or family things, and comes to me for a hug when she needs comfort even though she rarely offers me comfort. I have reached a place where I am okay with this - I appreciate the level of companionship that we do have, but it’s less than I want in the long term. For me, this is a situation that allows me to stand and to continue living my own life, finding my own joy and contentment, alongside but not exactly attached to my MLC spouse, but it isn’t the same as a meaningful connection and partnership. I can see that she is genuinely working to become unstuck, and I am content in my life as it is, so this situation is not counterproductive for me in my own healing and growing process.

Really consider yourself, your own needs and wants. No matter what he’s saying, his actions are clearly only in service of his own needs and wants. Make sure that you maintain a safe space for yourself, where you can be exactly who you are and express all of your emotions without any fear of backlash.
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#97: July 13, 2021, 03:10:41 PM
Good thread and good advice from all.  Learning to navigate a stay at home clinger is difficult.  I hope it can help you find your way Dragonfly. 
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#98: July 13, 2021, 11:40:45 PM
Dear all thank you so much for sharing your experience, words of wisdom and for even slapping me with reality. Sometimes I need it. Roo it is indeed very difficult to navigate when you have a live in clinger. You become hopeful and you get disappointed. I truly am trying to get out of my former comfort zone and that was with my H. It is a fight within yourself and I think that is the hardest part. Those of you who had a live in MLCEr will understand what I mean. I am at work right now and there‘s so much I want to share later in regard to all your advise. I am very thankful that you spent some of your precious time responding to this thread and I have been reading them over and over again. i will get back later. The struggle continues but I am working on it. Have a great day everyone. Hugs to all of you.
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Me 45
H    48
Married 13 yrs no kids
BD May 2019 (I moved out Nov 2019)
EA or PA with ex gf (not sure), H spent 3 nights with the hoe during our vacation in July 2019, it was a friendly encounter according to H
H wanted D April 2020 but didn’t file it
Contact never stopped, H now wants to reconcile
Me not sure

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#99: July 14, 2021, 03:25:15 AM
Will look forward to your update, Dragonfly, and sending you hugs.

Like others have said, i’m a bit concerned that you might make your own recovery harder if you let your h move in to your apartment so I hope you are taking your time to reflect on the reality of what that might look like. You have options, Dragonfly, please don’t forget that. Your h may not like them, some might feel harder maybe....but they are still available options if you decide to choose them.

And you might find it useful to go back and read your very first post....to consider honestly where you think your h is compared to where he was, and to gauge how much of his current behaviour might be cut from similar gaslighting, blaming or self centred cloth? If only bc that might help you assess what you are dealing with and what you need to stay away from anything that might cause you further significant damage. Just a thought.
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« Last Edit: July 14, 2021, 03:27:44 AM by Treasur »
T: 18  M: 12 (at BD) No kids.
H diagnosed with severe depression Oct 15. BD May 16. OW since April 16, maybe earlier. Silent vanisher mostly.
Divorced April 18. XH married ow 6 weeks later.
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#100: July 21, 2021, 01:23:35 AM
Ah dear Dragonfly girl, such a lot in your last post....

So I am going to keep it simple bc you are probably just exhausted....

1. Highly unlikely you are borderline and not sure a malfunctioning human with an agenda met by blaming you and gaslighting is the best source for a diagnosis if you are  :) What you probably are is a) exhausted and b) caught in a post-trauma loop of reactivity (which is common). If you want a diagnosis, talk to a professional with no hidden agenda  :)

Dear Treasur, thank you for helping me stay grounded and sane. I've already asked two psychologists if I was indeed borderline even at the beginning of this whole mess and they both said I was not. I've asked all the people I've worked with and they all told me I was normal. It's just that sometimes, I feel like I want my marriage to work out and in just hours or sometimes even minutes, I change my mind and I would tell my H I want him out of my life.



3. Your h evidently thinks right now that showing up is sufficient. Like turning up to a party with a six pack and waiting to be entertained while one sits on the couch lol. And presumably complain that it was a crap party afterwards  ::) You know that it is not sufficient for you, necessary perhaps but not sufficient. And that’s ok. You’re allowed to feel how you feel. And you do not have to have a party, invite him to the party or pay any attention to a party pooper on the couch metaphorically speaking.

I had so many talks with my H about this. I told him that the way I see it, he just wants everything to be back to normal. And of course he says it's not and he is trying his best. Which means according to him is coming over to me, doing the things that I like apparently which rarely happens because either he can't hike because he is injured from whatever sport he is doing (frequently) or he would go with me on stand up paddle or on the boat but then he would swim to train for his triathlon eventually leaving me on the boat alone. No matter how many times I have pointed this out to him, he just doesn't get it. My therapist told me, he either doesn't understand it or refuses to see it. Either way, I have to accept that he is like that. My therapist asked me this question: Can you live with a person like that? I don't think I can to be honest.

You don’t need to make any big decisions or do anything dramatic right now. You’re tired so you need to recharge your battery. That might mean doing things that top you up relatively easily, solid self care things. It might mean limiting your exposure to things that drain you right now. Instinctively your gut will know if things are one or the other. Take a few days or weeks and trust that.  We’re here when/if you need us.

I have told my H a couple of times for the last two weeks that I wanted out. I even packed his stuff in my apartment and told him to leave me alone. He would usually cry and would beg me to give him another chance. He said, he is up to now also hurting. I believe this is the only truth I can believe up to now. I also wonder why his stories from when he was with the Ow up to now constantly change. Before he told me, he had to see the OW because he wanted to have closure with her and it was about their past, he wanted to talk to her because she is the only person who would listen to him and she is very calm (not until she attacked him physically to have sex with him). Every version of the story he told me in the past was apparently now a lie. He told me it was all a lie and now he is telling the truth. His truth is he just wanted to talk to her about his issues and she would listen and would give him two options on how to deal with it. For me, it just doesn't add up, what does anyway with these MLCers lol.
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« Last Edit: July 21, 2021, 01:52:09 AM by Dragonfly33 »
Me 45
H    48
Married 13 yrs no kids
BD May 2019 (I moved out Nov 2019)
EA or PA with ex gf (not sure), H spent 3 nights with the hoe during our vacation in July 2019, it was a friendly encounter according to H
H wanted D April 2020 but didn’t file it
Contact never stopped, H now wants to reconcile
Me not sure

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My life after separation with a clinger
#101: July 21, 2021, 01:51:21 AM
so here's another update to my MLC saga:

I've been to my psychologist the other day and I told her about my issues which is still struggling to trust my H and whatever comes out of his mouth. I've really struggled about wanting to know the full story with the OW. I know I've been told here so many times if not a million times about taking the OW out of the equation, but I still want to hear the full truth from my H. I want my questions to be answered. My H told me the cheating will never happen again and he will never contact his woman again. He's said this 12 years ago when I found out he was flirting with his ex gf. He did it anyway again. He said it was different two years ago because he had a midlife crisis and now it's over. Who knows if the midlife crisis is over. I don't think it is.  Were some of you in the same situation? How did you manage these urges when you wanted so much to know the details. My H seemed to be determined to dig his heels in, and he evades this questions by saying he forgot because that was two years ago or he doesn't know anymore. This thing about forgetfulness, it makes me wonder how he can remember things that happened 10-20 years ago but he doesn't remember what happened with OW. My therapist then asked me, why do I need to know the truth? Why do I keep asking these questions? It happened in the past and I should focus on what's is in front of me. Isn't it normal to want to know the truth? I feel like I can't move on until my H answers all my questions. Maybe it's just me. Maybe this is what's keeping me to move forward. I am really clueless.

I have been asked her so many times by the veterans to think of what dragonfly really wants. I've thought about it so many times. I realized all I want is a partner I have a connection with, a partner I can laugh with or joke with, someone I can trust and I can talk with about everything. As a child I never had this, not even with my mom. She's abandoned us so many times and I had a deadbeat dad who left us. I've longed all my life to have this connection with somebody. I have my H back now, but I don't feel that connection. We are just two individuals in the same room. Two individuals who have differrent paths and these paths never meet. I've explained this so many times to my H to make him understand how I feel, and he sees it differently. He now says, we are meant to be together, he is very happy but I don't see that in him. He is probably in a comfortable and familiar environment with me but I don't think he is happy either with the whole sitch. Or perhaps he is just contented that he has his stupid wife whom he can fool anytime and he can do his triathlon training until his last breath.

Yesterday I went on row boat with him. He came with me but he looks so bored while I was paddling. He said he was just tired. There were times I looked at him and asked myself if I want to live my life with this person in front of me. I asked myself why i am still with this person. I have no answers. I then saw a couple with their SUPs and they were talking, laughing and jumping in the water. I was so jealous. I wish I had that. I told my H about how I feel. He told me we are doing something that we like together being on the boat. He said to me, you see even if he did what I wanted to do which was the boating, it would still be not enough for me. I would still complain. He expected me to be happy that he was there, but actually it was as if he wasn't there. We never talked, he was just sitting there looking like he was bored to death, or he was doing his phone. That was already so much effort probably for him.

So yeah, every day I have more and more questions and I get more and more tired of this non existing marriage. I'm going on a holiday trip alone: My H didn't want to join because he said he cannot take holidays as his boss is not around. But this was only now and he always has a reason. but I know it's because of his upcoming triathlon. I guess this person will always lie just like his mother.
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H    48
Married 13 yrs no kids
BD May 2019 (I moved out Nov 2019)
EA or PA with ex gf (not sure), H spent 3 nights with the hoe during our vacation in July 2019, it was a friendly encounter according to H
H wanted D April 2020 but didn’t file it
Contact never stopped, H now wants to reconcile
Me not sure

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Re: My life after separation with a clinger
#102: July 21, 2021, 02:24:35 AM
DF: I don’t mean to sound unsympathetic in any way. I can feel how you are struggling with all this in your posts. Having said that there are a couple of themes that seems to be in your posts I’d like to point out. This is for you, so obviously ignore as you wish.

One is that it seems you are trying to feel safe and in control by understanding, or hearing the story, or needing your husband to be constantly reassuring you and proving to you that he is not lying, that he is there, that he is connected. This is completely understandable from what you shared about your background and what has happened with your husband. But I fear that in this you are both pushing away the fact that your husband has done this before (with or without MLC) and the fact that you are putting your well being and agency on the actions and feeling of someone else. This is problematic at the best of times and downright torture when its someone who himself is lost and in turmoil.

Second is this: you two seem to be in a codependent dance right now. What I mean is he is doing what he thinks you want to do and you are looking for him to do what you need so you can feel safe. Sadly neither really works. It tends to lead to resentment, anger, isolation and eventual shutdown by both parties. So in a way it is probably moving you in the opposite direction of what you desire, no?

Its counter intuitive but maybe, just maybe, the way to get to reconciliation is if you both removed yourself from the “relationship,” did your own work, then reengage when ready. Otherwise the pain, resentment, and the exhaustion just may build to a point where one or both of you give up.
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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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My life after separation with a clinger
#103: July 21, 2021, 03:15:48 AM
I want to echo what Marvin said, Dragonfly.
How you feel is entirely understandable given your own early life experience and the behaviour of your h.
It is completely normal - and very sensible - to feel a need to understand what happened when we got badly hurt in order to not be in that situation again. Like the Charlie Brown cartoon when Charlie goes for the kick and Lucy pulls the ball away  :)....once is a surprise, twice feels like a foolish mistake, right? You are certainly not clueless.

The problem is that our brains get a bit glitchy when we feel deeply unsafe and are craving safety and certainty. Which means we can tend to ask the wrong questions and look in the wrong places for what we need.
Knowing more about ow won’t do it; you’re not married to her.
And knowing more about what your h did and why he did it is a false quest imho.
Bc actually you know enough, my friend. Your h has had a relationship with an ow in some shape or form, not once but twice. Your current h is that disengaged miserable disconnected blaming man on the other end of the boat., playing on his phone. The one who thinks his physical presence sometimes should be enough for you. The one who wants a different kind of connection than you do. Who puts himself and his sporting activities first most of the time and finds your search for reassurance and safety seemingly a bit annoying.

I wonder if that is what your IC means when they say to look at what’s in front of you as opposed to being consumed by questions about the past? Bc actually what you are trying to know is if it will happen again and if the h you see in front of you is the best you’re going to get, isn’t it? And tbh details about the past....particularly from his mouth....are not likely to be very useful in judging that.....and indeed, if you were going to base it on what you do already know, the answer is probably not what you’re looking for is it?

But perhaps a different and more useful way of approaching what you are trying to figure out is to stop looking at ow and look more closely at the h right in front of you right now. And to trust your own instinct about what you want vs what you’ve got. And if the gap feels too big, turn your eye back to you. You want to feel safe and connected....maybe some other things too....and if your h can’t give you that, how can you create a life that makes you feel those things regardless? Recognising that while your instincts are good, your own FOO experience might mean you don’t have an easy template to fall back on so you might need to build your own. And how does spending time with your h help or hinder you in doing that? (Hence Marvin’s suggestion about ‘removing’ yourself from the relationship to some extent so you can focus on your needs rather than your marriage or his needs.....doesn’t mean you have to make big long-term choices either....just choose to put some things down so you can pick other things up)

Sounds to me like it is the perfect time to take a solo vacation. To do lots and lots of self care. To get a feel of who you are now. To chat to people who know nothing about you but what they see in front of them. To comfort yourself with old pleasures and push yourself to try some new ones. And to take a contact vacation from your h and your marriage too maybe so you can just do you without background noise. Where are you going on vacation? What plans do you have already? What would make it the perfect kind of vacation for you right now, my friend?
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« Last Edit: July 21, 2021, 03:28:57 AM by Treasur »
T: 18  M: 12 (at BD) No kids.
H diagnosed with severe depression Oct 15. BD May 16. OW since April 16, maybe earlier. Silent vanisher mostly.
Divorced April 18. XH married ow 6 weeks later.
Healing and growing found here https://littleplotbythesea.wordpress.com

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

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Re: My life after separation with a clinger
#104: July 21, 2021, 05:40:15 AM

One is that it seems you are trying to feel safe and in control by understanding, or hearing the story, or needing your husband to be constantly reassuring you and proving to you that he is not lying, that he is there, that he is connected. This is completely understandable from what you shared about your background and what has happened with your husband. But I fear that in this you are both pushing away the fact that your husband has done this before (with or without MLC)

Thank you for your opinion.I don't think I am pushing away the fact that my H has betrayed me twice without and with MLC Marvin. This has been always a topic everytime my H and I have a discussion about our what went wrong with our marriage. Yes you are right, I am trying to understand, why he did it the first time and even repeated it the second time around with the same person. If you have been told many many times that he loves you so much and he would never imagine a life with someone else, then it can be very confusing. But of course I believe he's continued to gaslight me even until today. I am very aware of that. And I don't question my sanity anymore because I know my truth.
 
and the fact that you are putting your well being and agency on the actions and feeling of someone else. This is problematic at the best of times and downright torture when its someone who himself is lost and in turmoil.

I have to disagree with this. It is a fact that I am very affected still by the actions or the no actions of husband, but I am not putting my well being based on what he says or does. I have done a lot of things for myself regardless of what my husband does or does not do. It is hard I guess not to be affected when the person in front of you, tells you he will do everything to save this marriage and not do what he says he will do. You are right about him being lost and in a turmoil himself. And there are days, when I feel like I want this torture to end my ending the marriage and run away somewhere where he cannot find me anymore or hurt me anymore. There are days, when I can shut down and just focus on myself and my own plans for my own future. And that happens when I am with friends or at work which is most of the time.

Second is this: you two seem to be in a codependent dance right now. What I mean is he is doing what he thinks you want to do and you are looking for him to do what you need so you can feel safe. Sadly neither really works. It tends to lead to resentment, anger, isolation and eventual shutdown by both parties. So in a way it is probably moving you in the opposite direction of what you desire, no?

Yes you are right about this. This is where we're at at the moment. If you call it co dependency then it is probably is. I am trying to do things together with him because I obviously wanted to find that connection that is probably not gonna happen. And it does lead to frustration when your H is physically there but not there spiritually or emotionally.

Its counter intuitive but maybe, just maybe, the way to get to reconciliation is if you both removed yourself from the “relationship,” did your own work, then reengage when ready. Otherwise the pain, resentment, and the exhaustion just may build to a point where one or both of you give up.

What do you exactly mean by removing ourselves from the relationship? Do you mean, to separate again and not see each other? My therapist told me something differently, which is to continue the couple's therapy and see from there if we still want to be together or not. It is to be honest very exhausting when you seek connection that is non exisitent.
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Married 13 yrs no kids
BD May 2019 (I moved out Nov 2019)
EA or PA with ex gf (not sure), H spent 3 nights with the hoe during our vacation in July 2019, it was a friendly encounter according to H
H wanted D April 2020 but didn’t file it
Contact never stopped, H now wants to reconcile
Me not sure

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My life after separation with a clinger
#105: July 21, 2021, 06:04:22 AM
The problem is that our brains get a bit glitchy when we feel deeply unsafe and are craving safety and certainty. Which means we can tend to ask the wrong questions and look in the wrong places for what we need.
Knowing more about ow won’t do it; you’re not married to her.
And knowing more about what your h did and why he did it is a false quest imho.
Bc actually you know enough, my friend. Your h has had a relationship with an ow in some shape or form, not once but twice. Your current h is that disengaged miserable disconnected blaming man on the other end of the boat., playing on his phone. The one who thinks his physical presence sometimes should be enough for you. The one who wants a different kind of connection than you do. Who puts himself and his sporting activities first most of the time and finds your search for reassurance and safety seemingly a bit annoying.

Treasur, I totally understand what you said about asking the wrong questions. Even my therapist pointed this out to me. But there are just moments, when like you said our brains get glitchy, that I become this angry and hurt person again and it doesn't matter if what I ask or say is rational or not, it just needs to get out of my chest. And if my H cannot handle this, then I told him many times he is free to leave and I will never beg him to come back anymore. As I have told my therapist, these probing situations on my side happen usually when I get triggered by a word or a place that reminds me of the betrayal and the OW. I know my H is responsible for all the BS he did and not the OW because it was him who sought her. it was him who searched her and who called her and who booked and paid all the hotels for both of them using our money. But sometimes, the pain inside doesn't make you see what's rational or not and what makes sense or not.

I wonder if that is what your IC means when they say to look at what’s in front of you as opposed to being consumed by questions about the past? Bc actually what you are trying to know is if it will happen again and if the h you see in front of you is the best you’re going to get, isn’t it? And tbh details about the past....particularly from his mouth....are not likely to be very useful in judging that.....and indeed, if you were going to base it on what you do already know, the answer is probably not what you’re looking for is it?

My IC told me that perhaps my H is telling his version of the truth. She said she doesn't believe that my H is still in contact with other women. She said, that I should trust my H because trust is a gift you give to someone despite what this person did in the past. And if I cannot trust him, then this marriage would not work. On the other hand, I cannot just give my trust to someone who especially broke my trust twice just for this marriage to work out. My questions are not how to make this marriage work out but if I could accept the fact that my H is like that and live with the risks that come with him. You are right, I should stop asking my H about it, because anyway, I know most of the words that come ouf of his mouth are going to be most likely a lie or his twisted version of the truth.

But perhaps a different and more useful way of approaching what you are trying to figure out is to stop looking at ow and look more closely at the h right in front of you right now. And to trust your own instinct about what you want vs what you’ve got. And if the gap feels too big, turn your eye back to you. You want to feel safe and connected....maybe some other things too....and if your h can’t give you that, how can you create a life that makes you feel those things regardless? 

I wish these questions are easy to answer. I myself feel like I am lost. But Marvin is right, I need to remove myself from the relationship and maybe work on not being ruled by my emotions. At some point, either I will master the art of detachment or I will unfortunately just shut down my emotions. I feel like my therapist cannot help me further especially on working on my FOOs.

Sounds to me like it is the perfect time to take a solo vacation. To do lots and lots of self care. To get a feel of who you are now. To chat to people who know nothing about you but what they see in front of them. To comfort yourself with old pleasures and push yourself to try some new ones. And to take a contact vacation from your h and your marriage too maybe so you can just do you without background noise. Where are you going on vacation? What plans do you have already? What would make it the perfect kind of vacation for you right now, my friend?

This vacation is definitely going out of my comfort zone as I will be travelling on the plane and I have chosen not to get vaccinated. It will be the first time I will be island hopping on my own and the first time I organized things on my own. I almost backed out from this holiday when my H told me he was not coming but what the firetruck, I will do it regardless. I just hope things will work out. I will be going to places that my H didn't want to go or preferred to postpone for the whole time we were married as he didn't see it interesting. I am doing this for myself and of course to face my fears of travelling alone to a country where I don't speak the language. I've always travelled to countries where I speak the language, whether it be English, German or French and it just gives you a sense of safety and comfort when you can communicate exactly what you want to say. With the current Covid cases spiking up, it will be more challenging without my H, but I trust God has everything under control.
I will be leaving next week, and I hope to not contact my H for the time being I am away. I will try to practice shutting him out of mind when I am there and just focus on my own H free vacation.
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H wanted D April 2020 but didn’t file it
Contact never stopped, H now wants to reconcile
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My life after separation with a clinger
#106: July 21, 2021, 06:20:30 AM
Very good point. I understand his need to pursue a hobby or interest. But when the hobby impacts all other aspects of your life (professional, social, and mental) health. Then it is no longer a hobby but a compulsion.

Funny you said this a week ago. My H injured his achilles tendon or whatever you call him from the jogging and he could barely walk. I just didn't say anything anymore and he was so annoyed he couldn't train for his upcoming full triathlon in August. This is not a hobby anymore, it is an obsession.But that's my H, if there's something new that he likes, he would do everything maybe cross the whole atlantic and the pacific combine to get it. To appease me as he couldn't join me on my summer vacation, he said he wanted to travel with me in December. I'm not counting on that anymore.



If letting him move in with you is not detrimental to YOU, and you want to stand, and you want him to work through his own issues, you have to be able to do things like  not care that he chooses sport over time with you, either listen to him drone on about it or become genuinely interested or put a boundary in place where you say that you need to be alone now and leave, keep yourself busy enough that it doesn't matter if he is there or not, not do things for him like laundry or cooking. He would need to pull his own weight.

Mostly I don't cook for him anymore. If I do then it's for both of us and I decide what I want to cook. Thought at times, the old me "the good wife" still pops in once i a while when I decide to be nice and ask him what he wants me to cook. Most of the times to be fair with him he would say, I don't have to cook for him. But then he would ask me if I have his "chosen sort of food" which I always say to myself, you should be the one making sure you have your food. Of course I don't say it out loud as it would just create friction.

It's a lot to think about when your head is still spinning, but important. Don't shortchange yourself. Whatever you choose, you need to be prepared to live with it, and a live in MLCer is not easy.

It is indeed difficult to have a live in MLC (althout in our case not totally as he still has his own apartment). It does spin your head sometimes. 
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Contact never stopped, H now wants to reconcile
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My life after separation with a clinger
#107: July 21, 2021, 06:30:26 AM
My take fwiw...

Quote
What do you exactly mean by removing ourselves from the relationship? Do you mean, to separate again and not see each other?
Marvin will speak for himself, but what I meant was to mentally separate yourself from the relationship. To do Me, not We, for a little while until you feel you have created some clear steady safe ground in your own head. To lay it to one side not necessarily to make any decision about We at all.

Quote
My therapist told me something differently, which is to continue the couple's therapy and see from there if we still want to be together or not.
And you must decide what value you are getting from the couples therapy right now. Or not. And how you see your h’s behaviour changing as the effect of it as he has his own realisations. Or not.
It must be quite hard to detach emotionally at the same time as doing joint therapy though....you can always pause it for a little while of course, if you wish.

Quote
It is to be honest very exhausting when you seek connection that is non exisitent.
Bc this ^^^^
I don’t know if this kind of pursuit-distance pattern was in your relationship before; only you know that.
But perhaps you need a break from the seeking in order to get your eyes back on you.
And perhaps to give your h a chance to step forward in connecting when you step back.

It is scary I think for all of us to do things that change the patterns we are used to....
But if you honestly feel in your gut that what is happening now is not working for you, then sometimes doing something different is the only remaining answer. And a little faith that we will be ok anyway  :)

Ah yes, PTSD is a big pile of poo  ::)
And yes, it produces all kinds of overwhelming emotions, some of which we can feel ourselves getting caught up in even though we don’t want to.
And
The only person who can figure out how to heal from your trauma is you. Sorry. Well, with some love from here and a good trauma therapist  :) Your h cannot heal what he broke. And the fact is that he did break things....so like it or not, neither of you can go back to how life was before or act as if these things did not happen. He can make it harder, sure, or if he gets healthy, he might even be able to support you. But he can’t heal you. Sucks, but it just isn’t how it works.  ::)
And i’m conscious that I sounded pretty negative about where your h is at right now, but of course few of our spouses are evil or without any good human qualities. They are usually however self-centred, fractured and flailing around trying to feel better or avoiding feeling worse, justifying their actions to make themselves feel ok usually or looking for a quick way out of a hard place. As we are.
Which is also why these folks cannot be the ones to heal us, even if our poor sad little brain glitches think they can.

Go you on the vacation! So proud that you didn’t cancel, Dragonfly!
Please travel with care for yourself and others if you are not vaccinated. I’d guess that getting covid would not make your life any easier right now.....but dig your spoon into every bit of joy, delight and peace safely available. Let your mind rest and stop chasing the answers for a little bit....let God send you some of those post-it notes that we can so easily miss while we are running around seeking stuff  :) See the vacation as a gift to yourself from You x and come back to tell us all about it xxx
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Re: My life after separation with a clinger
#108: July 21, 2021, 06:40:34 AM
DG: thanks for the response. As I said my comments were essentially food for thought, as they always say take what helps and leave the rest.

Treasur answered perfectly about what I meant. Its not physical separation or moving on, rather both of you deciding to stop working on “us” for a fixed period of time, each of you working in individual therapy to address your own pains and needs, if you engage only keep it light and superficial and I would even say in very limited contexts and terms (no expectation activities, limited time) and absolutely NO relation discussions or how each of you feel or are hurt.

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My life after separation with a clinger
#109: July 21, 2021, 08:21:30 AM
Quote
It will be the first time I will be island hopping on my own and the first time I organized things on my own. I almost backed out from this holiday when my H told me he was not coming but what the firetruck, I will do it regardless. I just hope things will work out. I will be going to places that my H didn't want to go or preferred to postpone for the whole time we were married as he didn't see it interesting. I am doing this for myself and of course to face my fears of travelling alone to a country where I don't speak the language. I've always travelled to countries where I speak the language, whether it be English, German or French and it just gives you a sense of safety and comfort when you can communicate exactly what you want to say. With the current Covid cases spiking up, it will be more challenging without my H, but I trust God has everything under control.
I will be leaving next week, and I hope to not contact my H for the time being I am away. I will try to practice shutting him out of mind when I am there and just focus on my own H free vacation.

Dragonfly I just wanted to pop in here to say good for you!  Travel on my own was a game changer for me.  For the first 30 years of my marriage we did every vacation together.  I never flew to far because I was terrified of flying.   Never overseas.  After BD I learned Spanish (Kind of) Joined a global Volunteer group and went to Cuba, Ecuador and Australia (This was a 17 hour plane ride!)  I conquered my fear of flying and the fear of being alone.  It changed me drastically.  I am still changed to this day.  I plan a trip to where I want to go invite my H and have decided it will be fine either way.  Sometimes he joins me sometimes he doesn't.  It's ok.  I have a trip planned next month to Amsterdam to visit our son.  I am going solo and have many plans while my son is working during the day. 

I hope you find peace and I hope you start to find Dragonfly again.  Who are you without your H?  Enjoy every minute and please try to stay safe. 
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My life after separation with a clinger
#110: July 21, 2021, 09:44:36 AM
You are sounding good, Dragonfly. Ah, answers. We all want them rarely get them and usually the answer is that the MLCER is screwed up and justified their actions by twisting things in their minds. I get wanting to know the why's and wherefores. I think for most of us, we figure if we just know why something happened, then we can clean up our side of the fence. I mean, if one of the reasons my mlcer would have he left was because I left my craft supplies out, fair point and I could learn to put them away. If a reason was that I craft at all, deal breaker for me he can pound sand. If the reasons have any validity, then knowing the reasons are helpful.

However, that would be applying logic where there is none. The whole "the mlcer is afraid of the LBS" when the LBS has done nothing "scary" except call the mlcer on their BS or gotten upset because they have been betrayed. What can you do with that? They can't really explain it unless it might be that the OW/OM did all the work and the mlcer didn't have to do anything they didn't want or be responsible for anything. What can you do with that, either? That's not a relationship I want. But at least if you KNEW that, you could say "Huh. You are right. I DO  expect you to be responsible for yourself. I still do. If you can't be responsible for yourself, maybe we don't have a future." At least it would all be out in the open.

Sadly, I don't think an mlcer, especially if the identity disintegration is valid, has the capability to know why they did what they did at first. It probably makes no sense to them, either. Not if they want to come back, anyway. They might come back because they want the familiar person, but the person they left is no longer the same. They might be trying to repair what is irreparable. And I think this is more where your therapist is trying to lead you. What was is broken beyond repair. So try to build new. In that way of thinking, why the hand crafted vase was broken doesn't matter, just that it is broken. Hand craft a new one if you still want a vase.

And yet, knowing that the vase was broken because it was smashed on purpose, or because the structural integrity was flawed and it just crumbled matters. At least it does to me.
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My life after separation with a clinger
#111: July 21, 2021, 09:59:47 AM
What was is broken beyond repair. So try to build new. In that way of thinking, why the hand crafted vase was broken doesn't matter, just that it is broken. Hand craft a new one if you still want a vase.

And yet, knowing that the vase was broken because it was smashed on purpose, or because the structural integrity was flawed and it just crumbled matters. At least it does to me.

I agree with this.  Understand why the first vase broke so you don't build the new one with the same vulnerabilities/flaws/issues.  But the old vase is still gone. 
Unfortunately, building a vase only requires one person, while building a new relationship requires two.  So that's the hard part.  Because one party (you) can understand what caused the old one to break and know how to build a new one so that it's sturdy and solid, but if the other party (your H) doesn't also understand that, then the new foundation will still have the same old cracks.  That's I think what folks mean about separating to BOTH work on becoming two whole separate individuals who have a shot at coming back together to build a new solid relationship.  You can't tell him "This is why the vase broke, I know how to build a new vase so let's build a new vase based on what I've learned."  You can only control what you work on and hope that he works on his things, but ultimately he's the only one who can truly do that and not just give lip service about changing/growing.  One of the hardest lessons of LBShood is that we really do have no control over if/how they work on themselves. 

I truly, truly hope your H finds his way, Dragonfly.  But jmho, when they say they want to fix the marriage, that's great, but it's not going to ultimately help build a more solid foundation if they don't understand, admit and work towards fixing whatever it was deep within themselves that caused them to do things they themselves can't even understand why they did them.  Just like we always say, it's not about the marriage, so when they say they want to fix the marriage, they also need to want to fix whatever it was that led them to use the marriage as a scapegoat.  Hope that makes sense.
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My life after separation with a clinger
#112: July 21, 2021, 10:00:58 AM
Quote
  They might be trying to repair what is irreparable. And I think this is more where your therapist is trying to lead you. What was is broken beyond repair. So try to build new. In that way of thinking, why the hand crafted vase was broken doesn't matter, just that it is broken. Hand craft a new one if you still want a vase.

This  ^^^^^  Is the only way for me to have a relationship with my H.  Starting new. 
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My life after separation with a clinger
#113: July 22, 2021, 03:31:27 AM
I truly, truly hope your H finds his way, Dragonfly.  But jmho, when they say they want to fix the marriage, that's great, but it's not going to ultimately help build a more solid foundation if they don't understand, admit and work towards fixing whatever it was deep within themselves that caused them to do things they themselves can't even understand why they did them.  Just like we always say, it's not about the marriage, so when they say they want to fix the marriage, they also need to want to fix whatever it was that led them to use the marriage as a scapegoat. Hope that makes sense.

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My life after separation with a clinger
#114: July 22, 2021, 08:25:33 AM
Hello,

Quote
I've been to my psychologist the other day and I told her about my issues which is still struggling to trust my H and whatever comes out of his mouth. I've really struggled about wanting to know the full story with the OW. I know I've been told here so many times if not a million times about taking the OW out of the equation, but I still want to hear the full truth from my H. I want my questions to be answered. My H told me the cheating will never happen again and he will never contact his woman again. He's said this 12 years ago when I found out he was flirting with his ex gf. He did it anyway again. He said it was different two years ago because he had a midlife crisis and now it's over. Who knows if the midlife crisis is over. I don't think it is.  Were some of you in the same situation? How did you manage these urges when you wanted so much to know the details. My H seemed to be determined to dig his heels in, and he evades this questions by saying he forgot because that was two years ago or he doesn't know anymore. This thing about forgetfulness, it makes me wonder how he can remember things that happened 10-20 years ago but he doesn't remember what happened with OW. My therapist then asked me, why do I need to know the truth? Why do I keep asking these questions? It happened in the past and I should focus on what's is in front of me. Isn't it normal to want to know the truth? I feel like I can't move on until my H answers all my questions. Maybe it's just me. Maybe this is what's keeping me to move forward. I am really clueless.

You are not clueless and you are not crazy. Because your H won't tell you the "whole" story and there are so any different versions of the truth it forces you to accept your "version" of what happened. In my situation, I saw the two of them together and and it was not a great picture. Since I had scant details, my imagination created my "reality".  The point is that if he can't be open and honest to you about OW, what else is he being less than transparent about. Trust comes from being friendly and reliable. Your H is being neither to you and your needs. That's how I would respond to my therapist.

In addition, you already have trust issues from the poor performance of your parents.  Virtual hug for you right now. I get the "why" of your need. I just don't know if you will ever get it.

Quote
Yesterday I went on row boat with him. He came with me but he looks so bored while I was paddling. He said he was just tired. There were times I looked at him and asked myself if I want to live my life with this person in front of me. I asked myself why i am still with this person. I have no answers.

This is just as hard. Your H has a hard time distinguishing from being there from being present. If my wife and I run errands, and all I do is drive, walk the stores, complain how long she takes to get her stuff, and stay on my phone the whole time, I am there, but I am not present. However, if I walk the aisles with her, look at the things she likes, discuss her issues at work, and engage in both chit chat and the deeper issues about us, I am present. We still have our spats and disagreements. Like any couple, we are still working on our marriage to make it better. Anyone who tells you that a good marriage just happens is either single or deranged.

When your H complains of being tired, ask him, "Do you approach your triathlon training with the same mindset? If no, then why do you see the time with me as tiring?" Once again, boundaries need to be set, if he is doing something with you, he needs to interact and be with you, not just there. Otherwise, you might as well be alone.

Quote
I almost backed out from this holiday when my H told me he was not coming but what the firetruck, I will do it regardless.

Yes, he needs to see you will move forward without him. Once again, the relationship cannot be all about him. There needs to be open communication, sharing ideas and thoughts, and intimacy. Without that, both of you are just two people in the room.

You know what you want, can he meet your expectations? What aspects of the relationship you can live with, live without, and in some instances modify for the marriage? It's a lot of work, but the work does pay off when you are with someone that enhances your own life.

Take the time to think and process. You have your own internal issues as well as the issues with your H. Just as he needs to work on himself, you need to really look at yourself as well. As you resolve your issues, you can become healthy to sustain yourself-without anyone. Instead of focusing on the vase that is broken (marriage), fix the one that can be salvaged first (yourself). Then if you want to, then you can focus and build a beautiful vase because you are coming from a place of great strength.

Have a beautiful day,

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My life after separation with a clinger
#115: July 23, 2021, 01:42:47 AM
You are sounding good, Dragonfly. Ah, answers. We all want them rarely get them and usually the answer is that the MLCER is screwed up and justified their actions by twisting things in their minds. I get wanting to know the why's and wherefores. I think for most of us, we figure if we just know why something happened, then we can clean up our side of the fence.

This is so true. Last night, I woke up in the middle of the night because my H woke up and he made some noise in the kitchen. Then he came back and I asked him what he was doing. He said to me directly, he was eating and drinking water because he was having a hard time sleeping and that he was not doing anything behind my back. It just came to my mind like some sort of awakening after he said that, that the reason I kept on asking question what he did with the OW, if he had an affair with her and other women he was with during his escapade mode, and the why questions, was because I wanted to have some sort of confirmation that I was not crazy or I didn't imagined those things. My H had been gaslighting to the full extent from the time he BDed even up to the time I found out about the OW. He insisted he was not cheating. Even when I first found out about the OW before MLC, he insisted he was not cheating despite the fact that i saw what he wrote to her. For the longest time I have been gaslighted by him, the me asking questions and truthful answers is to prove myself I was not crazy. And maybe this is the wrong thing to do because like you said, I will most likely never get the truth. I will have to settle to my own judgment of myself that I am perfectly normal and what I saw was real.


Sadly, I don't think an mlcer, especially if the identity disintegration is valid, has the capability to know why they did what they did at first. It probably makes no sense to them, either. Not if they want to come back, anyway. They might come back because they want the familiar person, but the person they left is no longer the same. They might be trying to repair what is irreparable. And I think this is more where your therapist is trying to lead you. What was is broken beyond repair. So try to build new. In that way of thinking, why the hand crafted vase was broken doesn't matter, just that it is broken. Hand craft a new one if you still want a vase.

This! I've been telling my bestfriend about this. The only reason my H came back to me is having the sense of being with a familiar and safe person. I guess we LBS will never be the same and the same goes for the MLCers. They may come back but totally a different person. Perhaps some parts of the old person is still there but for me my H has now become a stranger. Sometimes, I stare at him and ask myself: Who is this person? I guess I have to learn to accept that what we had before is gone like to broken vase and it cannot be repaired. I need to build myself first before I can start crafting a new vase with my H. With my current state right now, I don't think I can build a healthy relationship.

Thank you offroad for explaining this in a very logical way. It helps especially now when nothing in my life or what happened seemed logical.

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Me 45
H    48
Married 13 yrs no kids
BD May 2019 (I moved out Nov 2019)
EA or PA with ex gf (not sure), H spent 3 nights with the hoe during our vacation in July 2019, it was a friendly encounter according to H
H wanted D April 2020 but didn’t file it
Contact never stopped, H now wants to reconcile
Me not sure

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#116: July 23, 2021, 01:55:25 AM
Quote from: Dragonfly33
I guess we LBS will never be the same and the same goes for the MLCers. They may come back but totally a different person. Perhaps some parts of the old person is still there but for me my H has now become a stranger. Sometimes, I stare at him and ask myself: Who is this person? I guess I have to learn to accept that what we had before is gone like to broken vase and it cannot be repaired. I need to build myself first before I can start crafting a new vase with my H. With my current state right now, I don't think I can build a healthy relationship.

First, one does NOT make the trip to Hades and back without learning some transferable skills. One does NOT make the trip to Hades and back without changing. That change may be deliberate and healthy (i. e. working through the issues) or it can be done by being dragged, kicking and screaming, through a pile of hot coals and broken glass, which results in nothing particularly positive... but it IS different...

Second, the Bolded text above is a VERY pointed and valuable self-assessment. If one knows they are not in a good position to engage in or build a healthy relationship at the present time, then it makes sense to put that on the back burner and do the stuff necessary in order to make the building/engaging in a healthy manner possible.
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#117: July 23, 2021, 02:05:42 AM
You are not clueless and you are not crazy. Because your H won't tell you the "whole" story and there are so any different versions of the truth it forces you to accept your "version" of what happened. In my situation, I saw the two of them together and and it was not a great picture. Since I had scant details, my imagination created my "reality".  The point is that if he can't be open and honest to you about OW, what else is he being less than transparent about. Trust comes from being friendly and reliable. Your H is being neither to you and your needs. That's how I would respond to my therapist.

Thank you ready. I keep telling myself I am not crazy. But after being manipulated for a long time, you just need that justification that you are not crazy. I'm not sure if you understand what I mean. It's so hard to explain. Even though I had evidence my H had an affair, he continues to deny it and it makes you feel crazy. It reduces you to someone who doubts herself. My H now tells me everytime we talk about it, he was cheating and he was the one at fault. But deep inside I know he says this to shut me up or probably the advise of his psychiatrist. He used to tell me before his psychiatrist told him to do whatever he wants and not feel guilty about it. Probably what pushed him to see the OW. He also said, his psychiatrist told him to tell me the truth that he was planning to see the OW but it seemed to me that he encouraged him to see her. Perhaps I am wrong, it doesn't matter now because it happened already. Now my H refuses to tell me what his psychiatrist told him because he wants privacy. He is so obsessed about this privacy thing just like his mother who I think has an affair with someone in France. When she goes there, she doesn't want anybody from her family including her husband to know where she is and who she is with. She is also unreachable unless she emails them.



Quote
However, if I walk the aisles with her, look at the things she likes, discuss her issues at work, and engage in both chit chat and the deeper issues about us, I am present. We still have our spats and disagreements. Like any couple, we are still working on our marriage to make it better.

This is what I have been telling him. But he seems not to understand it. I have told him countless times even before BD that he is physically with me but really not with me. Now it has even gotten worse. We just don't have anything to talk about because I gave up. I gave up trying to wake up a person whose intention is not to wake up.


Quote
When your H complains of being tired, ask him, "Do you approach your triathlon training with the same mindset? If no, then why do you see the time with me as tiring?" Once again, boundaries need to be set, if he is doing something with you, he needs to interact and be with you, not just there. Otherwise, you might as well be alone.

Honestly, this is so embarrassing. My H has been telling me all the time he doesn't want to be intimate with me because he is so tired and stressed. He said we have to wait until his tiredness and stress will go away. Which makes me ask myself, how come you can cycle for 7 hours on the weekend and swim and run for kilometers during the week but you are too tired to do anything with me. I know to ask this question is useless because he will have another stupid answer to every question I ask.



Quote
Once again, the relationship cannot be all about him. There needs to be open communication, sharing ideas and thoughts, and intimacy. Without that, both of you are just two people in the room.

These are almost the exact words I told him. But it's like talking to a wall. He will say, I will consider it and think about it.

Quote
You know what you want, can he meet your expectations? What aspects of the relationship you can live with, live without, and in some instances modify for the marriage? It's a lot of work, but the work does pay off when you are with someone that enhances your own life.

Right now, I cannot live with the kind of relationship we have if you call it a relationship. Definitely with his mindset right now, he is not ready to meet any expectation I have. The only thing he does, is promise he will do it. Which I know will never happen because that's what he is.  Maybe he has always been like this even before BD and I have been really frustrated in the past because of this behavior. The question would be is he willing to change and if not, can i accept him just like that?

Quote
Take the time to think and process. You have your own internal issues as well as the issues with your H. Just as he needs to work on himself, you need to really look at yourself as well. As you resolve your issues, you can become healthy to sustain yourself-without anyone. Instead of focusing on the vase that is broken (marriage), fix the one that can be salvaged first (yourself). Then if you want to, then you can focus and build a beautiful vase because you are coming from a place of great strength.

I know I have so much that I have to work on myself. And I hope one day, I'll get to that point where I will learn to love myself and be the better version of my former self. And hopefully I will learn to trust myself that I will be ok alone regardless of what will happen to my marriage.
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« Last Edit: July 23, 2021, 03:28:29 AM by UrsaMajor »
Me 45
H    48
Married 13 yrs no kids
BD May 2019 (I moved out Nov 2019)
EA or PA with ex gf (not sure), H spent 3 nights with the hoe during our vacation in July 2019, it was a friendly encounter according to H
H wanted D April 2020 but didn’t file it
Contact never stopped, H now wants to reconcile
Me not sure

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#118: July 23, 2021, 01:41:30 PM
I'm throwing this in here because it shows what life is supposed to look like. I work remote, I chat with my co-workers by Teams. Sometimes it's about our lives. I was chatting with one guy at work about our weekend plans. He has a fiance and a 3 year old boy. I ask about his finace and son and he tells me about their weekend adventures and I make suggestions for things my kids liked at that age. He asks me about my plans and I tell  him I am trying to figure out what color to paint a old cast aluminum table I'm going to use to put a raised garden bed on. We chat on Teams back and forth for about 5 minutes, he makes suggestions, we trade pictures of colors, I make a decision. We go back to work.

That is what normal looks like. It's not all about him and his life, it's not all about me and my life, it's about two work friend people sharing part of their lives equally, listening, giving input and trading stories. THIS is what a relationship of any kind should look like at the most BASIC level. If you can't even have this, then what have you got?
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« Last Edit: July 23, 2021, 01:42:40 PM by OffRoad »
When life gives you lemons, make SALSA!

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#119: July 23, 2021, 03:21:16 PM
Good point offroad. i have to say I am guilty on not showing interest on what he has to say about his triathlon. It is not because I am not interested but it’s because I am looking at it from the lenses of a hurt person. I‘ve told my H so many times, if none of what he did happened I would be his first supporter like I supported him in the past with all his competitions. Right now, I have none of these enjoyment sharing our passions and interests. He‘s mostly not interested either in what I do or who I am with and if I share things with him he sometimes reacts but I think out courtesy. Nothing matters at the moment except with triathlon. I cannot expect to have an interesting sharing moments with him because in the first place there is no relationship at all let alone a healthy one. We are just two individuals under the same roof.

So today I told him I booked a hotel near the airport as I‘m flying early on Monday. He said he could take me to the airport and he could also pick me up. I didn’t want to ask him because I just didn’t want to bother him anymore and maybe hear complains. He offered it so I might as well take it.

Something out of the topic Id like to share. My H invited me to watch a movie tonight and I told him he can choose whatever he wanted to watch. As usual he couldn’t decide which one he really liked. He gave me two options and I decided for „The Mauritanian.“ I wad hesitant to watch it because it was a drama film and I‘ve had enough drama in my life at the moment. After watching the film, I have to say it’s a must watch film. Amazingly done and the story was just incredibly sad but in the end at least justice this time prevailed. What struck me the most was what the guy said at the end of the story, that he chose to forgive those who abused him. I thought to myself, if this guy could forgive those who tortured him in such an inhumanly possible, then I can choose to do that as well. He said in arabic the word for free and forgiveness is the same word. Maybe it’s meant to be that way,  because forgiveness is the only thing that will set us free from all the pain we’ve been through. Happy weekend everyone
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Me 45
H    48
Married 13 yrs no kids
BD May 2019 (I moved out Nov 2019)
EA or PA with ex gf (not sure), H spent 3 nights with the hoe during our vacation in July 2019, it was a friendly encounter according to H
H wanted D April 2020 but didn’t file it
Contact never stopped, H now wants to reconcile
Me not sure

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#120: July 25, 2021, 09:39:33 PM
On my way now to my summer vacation. Quite nervous as I am alone but it’s a learning experience for me. H spoke to me last night when we were in bed. He said he wouldn’t do anything behind my back and he will never contact the OW which he calls this time the b!tc#. I know he called her this word to make me believe that he has no intentions of recontacting her. I just listened to him without saying anything except OK. He said he promises it will not happen again but of course only time can tell if that is the case. He then said he is very worried I am traveling alone as where I’m headed to is known to be a party island in the summer. He said he felt like he’s sending off his daughter and he could never imagine having a daughter. He’s worried as there will be lots of men going out and he thinks I’m so naive that I would be easily fooled to which I responded that he was the only one who fooled and I know how to take care of myself alone now. He had a hard time sleeping because of the fact that I said I’d like to experience going out there. So I just reassured him I’m not going to do anything stupid.

He offered to take me to the airport early in the morning. I take it as something positive coming from him. So I‘m off to my well-deserved break now. Happy Monday everyone.
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Me 45
H    48
Married 13 yrs no kids
BD May 2019 (I moved out Nov 2019)
EA or PA with ex gf (not sure), H spent 3 nights with the hoe during our vacation in July 2019, it was a friendly encounter according to H
H wanted D April 2020 but didn’t file it
Contact never stopped, H now wants to reconcile
Me not sure

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#121: July 25, 2021, 10:24:26 PM
Wishing you a very nice trip, Dragonfly.

I know I am probably in the minority with what I’m about to say, but I would be very turned off by my former husband if he returned and referred to the OW as “that b!tc#.” It seems to be assigning a majority or disproportionate amount of the blame to her and demonizing her for his choice to break his vows.

Obviously it would not be pleasant to hear him say she’s wonderful or say nice things about her (and she does bear some responsibility). But it would be ideal if he took full accountability by saying “I never should have been with her” without feeling the need to use a derogatory term for her. I hope he gets to that point, where he can courageously and honestly  say, “Dragonfly, I hurt you and I used another woman as a bandage to avoid facing my own feelings/pain/insecurities.”

Anyway, as I said, others may not share my opinion but it’s just that, my opinion. I’m really really happy, and a bit jealous lol, that you’re taking this trip, DF, and I hope you have a fantastic time and enjoy all kinds of things while you’re gone.

xx
Nas
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#122: July 25, 2021, 11:45:07 PM
Hi Nas

He did admit it was all his fault. It admitted it was him who sought her. He never blamed her until I insisted in the past so many times that she was partly fault for accommodating him despite the fact that he was marriage and for forcing herself to have sex with him. I don’t think he thinks she’s a b!tc#, he used the derogatory word because that’s what I called her. She is in fact a b!tc# with all her bikini pictures popping up on the web and on a dating site. I thought he probably used the word to make me feel he doesn’t want her anymore. But I know he doesn’t consider her a b!tc# at all. I never heard him talk bad things about her since I met my H. He talked so many bad things about me but never about her, not even a single word. I believe he has so much respect for her and that’s why it is so painful for me. That’s why up to this day I am very affected about her and my H‘s past. Maybe one day I can move forward from this.

I‘m happy to be away for some time. I needed a break from my H and from all the painful memories. I hope and pray everything goes well. It’s challenging to travel nowadays but I‘m glad I can still do it.
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Married 13 yrs no kids
BD May 2019 (I moved out Nov 2019)
EA or PA with ex gf (not sure), H spent 3 nights with the hoe during our vacation in July 2019, it was a friendly encounter according to H
H wanted D April 2020 but didn’t file it
Contact never stopped, H now wants to reconcile
Me not sure

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#123: July 26, 2021, 12:37:42 AM
Have a good calm holiday, Dragonfly. Recharge your batteries and let simple joys heal your body and spirit.
And pay no attention to your h....you know who you are.....he’s throwing silly spaghetti against the wall to see if any of it sticks bc HE feels uncomfortable about this new Dragonfly I suspect. Or a bit of FOMO  ::) Nothing to do with you, not your problem.
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« Last Edit: July 26, 2021, 12:38:43 AM by Treasur »
T: 18  M: 12 (at BD) No kids.
H diagnosed with severe depression Oct 15. BD May 16. OW since April 16, maybe earlier. Silent vanisher mostly.
Divorced April 18. XH married ow 6 weeks later.
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#124: July 26, 2021, 12:55:18 AM
Have a good calm holiday, Dragonfly. Recharge your batteries and let simple joys heal your body and spirit.
And pay no attention to your h....you know who you are.....he’s throwing silly spaghetti against the wall to see if any of it sticks bc HE feels uncomfortable about this new Dragonfly I suspect. Or a bit of FOMO  ::) Nothing to do with you, not your problem.
I had the same thought... You are getting out of the rocking chair on the porch and he is getting nervous that his anchor is pulling up....

I also agree with Nas that his use of the name is not particularly encouraging or appropriate.  This may be a boundary to set with him - that you are not interested in hearing the derogatory term and, in reality, are not interested in hearing about her at all.  Words are cheap so he can talk all he wants about not seeing her but the proof is in the pudding ... Just be aware that the old animal brain (yours) will be in an alert state that says "Well, this time he didn't contact OW but what about NEXT time...." and that is something that only you will be able to control - it comes with the rebuilding of trust that, at some point, the old animal brain goes into hibernation when you truly feel he is back and not interested in OW anymore....

I hope that you have a wonderful vacation! Just be Corona aware!
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Atomic BD - 13 Dec 2015
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Divorce final 30 August 2019

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A "friend" will not "stand by you" no matter what you do. That is NOT a friend. That is an enabler. That is an accomplice.
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#125: July 26, 2021, 01:13:57 AM
Treasure and UM thank you so much. I hope to enjoy this trip with myself and I am sure this will help me detach myself from a very codependent relationship.

UM like I said the not interested and not contacting OW or any other woman is only believable to me thru constant reliable actions. My radars are still very much active.

I hope you both have a nice summer break too. I‘m happy to have a break from the constant rainy days here.
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Me 45
H    48
Married 13 yrs no kids
BD May 2019 (I moved out Nov 2019)
EA or PA with ex gf (not sure), H spent 3 nights with the hoe during our vacation in July 2019, it was a friendly encounter according to H
H wanted D April 2020 but didn’t file it
Contact never stopped, H now wants to reconcile
Me not sure

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#126: July 27, 2021, 07:40:35 PM
Dragonfly ..I hope you have the best time-alone vacation ever. It was a very brave thing to do and I am so impressed. You and I have very similar struggles Dragonfly and I understand 99% of what you talk about.  I do hope you find deep peaceful moments and rest. 
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The Journey Of Reconciliation .. is for the brave .

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#127: August 02, 2021, 03:18:25 AM
Hi everyone

Just wanted to drop by. I am having a blast traveling by myself. I met other people and I feel more confident about myself doing things I thought was difficult to do alone. Greece is beautiful and the food is amazingly good. Lots of sunshine here, full of history and the water is warm. It’s good to be free like this.

There were a couple of moments when I missed my H but mostly I just forgot about about him. He texted me he had diarrhea or that he’s not sleeping at all. I didn’t give any possible solutions anymore. He‘s old enough. I plan to keep doing this, traveling by myself. I also feel like beinh away from him helps me to detach, to appreciate life by myself. To see that I can live by myself as well in case my marriage won’t make it.

Sending you all some sunny sunshine here from Greece!
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H    48
Married 13 yrs no kids
BD May 2019 (I moved out Nov 2019)
EA or PA with ex gf (not sure), H spent 3 nights with the hoe during our vacation in July 2019, it was a friendly encounter according to H
H wanted D April 2020 but didn’t file it
Contact never stopped, H now wants to reconcile
Me not sure

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#128: August 02, 2021, 04:42:11 AM
Just wanted to drop by. I am having a blast traveling by myself. I met other people and I feel more confident about myself doing things I thought was difficult to do alone. Greece is beautiful and the food is amazingly good. Lots of sunshine here, full of history and the water is warm. It’s good to be free like this.

There were a couple of moments when I missed my H but mostly I just forgot about about him. He texted me he had diarrhea or that he’s not sleeping at all. I didn’t give any possible solutions anymore. He‘s old enough.

I hope that you aren't affected by any of the fires on any of the islands!

Sounds to me way over here in the cheap seats that H was testing to see if you would "do something" about his "problems." Good for you for not responding/replying. You are 100% right. He is grown up. He has made decisions that have led him to the place where he is at the moment (you know, consequences are a REAL buzz kill). You were relieved of duty to be the caretaker by his own request so ... that is just the way his life is now...

Hope that you are having a great time!
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Together 19 years - Married 17 at separation & 21 at D-Day
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Atomic BD - 13 Dec 2015
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Divorce final 30 August 2019

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A "friend" will not "stand by you" no matter what you do. That is NOT a friend. That is an enabler. That is an accomplice.
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#129: August 02, 2021, 06:02:40 AM
Have a lovely time in Greece, Dragonfly.
And maybe temporarily block his number so you don’t accidentally pay any roaming charges for receiving his ridiculous texts lol.
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#130: August 02, 2021, 06:46:10 AM
Dragonfly, so happy that you are off traveling and enjoying yourself! I hope it continues to be a healing and happy experience for you.
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#131: August 02, 2021, 11:36:19 AM
UM, I haven’t  heard of the fire. So far the islands where I went too were peaceful. My H I suppose had been trying to get my attention. I never initiated any text with him just like what he did when he was with OW. I’m guilty of giving him a dose of his own medicine but also I’ve been training myself not to be too attached to my H anymore. He’s probably seeing a different me now but he’s not saying it. I used to listen to him and believed everything he told me in the past like where should I go or what should I do. Now, I’ve learned to trust my own judgment. Despite all the painful experience I went thru with MLC, there are positive things that come with it and this is one of them. I rented a car by myself, I drove with friend, got lost and enjoyed that part when things didn’t work out. I intend to keep doing this and I hope I will find my own healing. I cannot say there is
 No more anger in me but I can slowly control it now.

Treasur, you’ve always had a good sense of humour and that’s what I like about you.

Curiosity, I hope so  too. I hope that this will be a way to heal myself and overcome my own traumas in life.

It’s so beautiful to be traveling alone. You meet new friends and you learn to deal with failures when things don’t work the way you expect them to. Today I just got fooled by the pricing for the massage I booked but instead of raging about it, I just thought it’s not worth it to stress myself for 20 Euros. I learned to self-soothe. I’m starting to love the new me.

My H offered me to pick me up at the airport tomorrow. And he sent the present to my sister. I take it as something positive but won’t let my guards down. I’m going back home tomorrow and I’m so glad I did this holiday. I wish all of you here a great week.
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Married 13 yrs no kids
BD May 2019 (I moved out Nov 2019)
EA or PA with ex gf (not sure), H spent 3 nights with the hoe during our vacation in July 2019, it was a friendly encounter according to H
H wanted D April 2020 but didn’t file it
Contact never stopped, H now wants to reconcile
Me not sure

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My life after separation with a clinger
#132: August 05, 2021, 03:50:26 AM
Now I'm back home. It's been raining the whole time but somehow it still feels good to be back home. My H picked me up at the airport, it was a weird feeling when I saw him. I felt like being confronted with reality that I don't want to confront yet. What I've noticed when I was still in Greece, he was constantly asking me how my day was, what I did or asking me to send him photos. When I came home, he was not interested at all or at least showed any interest what I experienced. Nada! Just my observation, but for me I'm almost not bothered anymore if he showed any interest or not. I prepared myself already.

My H's competition is this coming Sunday so nothing matters in his world right now except his TRiathlon training. I've accepted it, but on the other hand I've prepared myself that when all this obsession is over, something else might come up again. This morning when I woke up he said he dreamt of his bestfriend that he had a depression because he was so focussed on his son and not on himself. Now, I think he is so convinced that the reason he had depression was he was focussed on our relationship or as he believed he put me as his priority. And to solve that problem, he turned his focus on himself to the extent that he's showing some narcissistic behavior. I didn't say anything except all these dreams are coming from thoughts. He's been telling me that his friend who is a family man, doesn't have time for himself because he is so focussed on his son and his son's sport, his family,  his home and doing his yard. He doesn't have his private life and it's always about his son. For me it just shows, how immature his mind is. It sounds to me like of of my teenager students. He is so detached  from the fact that men his age have different priorities now, and that is their family. I remember when he BDed, he said he wanted to go out and nobody wants to go out with him. Of course because men his age approaching their 50's have families and going out is the least in their priorities. This MLC mentality never ceases to surprise me that sometimes I could roll my eyes in front of him but luckily i managed to control myself.

When I arrived back home two days ago, the only thing he told me was he was stressed because he had to wake up the following day to pick up his boss to go to the office. His boss thinks they are still neighbors that's why he asked him all the time to pick him up when he goes to the office as he didn't have a car. For me it's abuse of power, but he likes to slave himself to his boss. He sometimes asks him to look at the weather forecast or whatever stupidity tthat he could do himself. Anyway, I told him if you are not happy about him why don't you decline and tell him you don't live in that apartment anymore as he is mostly staying with me. He said, well I don't like to talk about my private life to other people, which made me wanted to say: Well you spoke about every single detail about your private life and mine to your ex gf whom you haven't seen for 15 years nor you had any form of contact. And suddenly you felt so close to her and told her about your deepest emotional turmoil. I had to bite my tongue literally because I know, it doesn't take me anywhere. It just amazes me how he doesn't see the stupidity of his actions. His words constantly contradicts his actions.

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Me 45
H    48
Married 13 yrs no kids
BD May 2019 (I moved out Nov 2019)
EA or PA with ex gf (not sure), H spent 3 nights with the hoe during our vacation in July 2019, it was a friendly encounter according to H
H wanted D April 2020 but didn’t file it
Contact never stopped, H now wants to reconcile
Me not sure

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My life after separation with a clinger
#133: August 05, 2021, 04:27:29 AM
His words constantly contradicts his actions.

Well, there you go....

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My life after separation with a clinger
#134: August 22, 2021, 02:24:58 PM
It's been a while I haven't written here. I just need your opinion or a different perspective.  Today I had a huge meltdown. For over a week, I have this chest pain. It started from a dream about my mom betraying me. In my dream I cried so hard that it woke me up a huge pain in my chest. It felt like a huge rock was stuck in there. After that night, I struggled with my situation and the whole betrayal of my H. I just wanted to escape, sometimes I don't know if I am happy with my H or if I want to leave him. I don't know if I still want this marriage or not. I just feel the need to escape from the pain.

Last night, I had a talk with my H. I had to let it out. I asked him to tell me everything with all honesty. First he was aggressive. He told me he was not welcomed in my apartment and I was treating him like a piece of $h!te, giving him a small place in my cabinet for his clothes. He told me he cannot decide in my apartment because I made him feel that it's mine and mine alone. Well to be honest, the apartment is mine, under my name and I'm the one paying for the rent. He didn't want to quit his apartment which he pays a lot of money. He is not paying single penny in my apartment. I suspect he thinks the apartment belongs to him too as he is paying me an alimony anyway so it's his money afterall. I just walked out of him as he started shifting the blame on me. And then he came to me and apologized and started telling me the whole story from when the whole crisis started. He said it started when I cancelled the Invitro that we planned. He said although he was not very involved, he wanted so much to do it. At the time, he really wasn't interested at all. He came with me to the doctor twice but that was it. I was confronted with a lot of issues regarding my uterus and I was in so much pain. But my H at the time didn't pay so much interest.  H said last night he really wanted it. Then he said, it added the problem that my mom came to us for a holiday. He felt like he didn't have any purpose in his life. He had no goals after we cancelled the IVF. Then, we had an argument that morning of the BD when he met this woman from his office that he had been going to sport with. That morning when he said he wanted to divorce and that he had no more feelings for me.He said he didn't expect it would spiral down when I tried to overdose myself and ended up in the hospital that same day. He said it was too much for him to handle. He started contacting the OW. He said he just wanted someone to talk to who can understand him. That was when I interrupted that it was all bull$h!te about wanting to talk to her. Then he said, he cannot tell his version because I would interrupt him and would not believe him. Can you blame me, if I would not believe what he said about wanting to talk to the Ow after he booked themselves all the hotels and the whole time when he cancelled our vacation, he was already planning what to do with the OW. I just couldn't keep my nerves anymore. I just told him, he is just not capable of being truthful. That was the end of our talk.

Tonight, like I said I had a huge meltdown. I just want him to leave. I told my H, I couldn't take it anymore and I want us to be separated. I told him he can go back to his apartment and continue a life without me for a while. My H at first started throwing blames on me again. He said, he 's working hard for this relationship to work, what he meant by this is going to his therapist every two weeks to work on a strategy how to behave with me. His therapist is not a couple's therapist at all. He specializes in patients with depression and burnout. In fact, he was the one who encourage my H not to feel guilty about anything he does which catapulted him into becoming an @$$hole when his MLC peaked. When my H was saying this, I felt like I just wanted to die. I begged him to just leave me and leave me alone for the rest of my life. I told him I wanted to go away and forget this thing happened to me. I was in tears and I felt like I wanted to tear my chest open because it was just too painful. My H said to me he will go away so I won't kill myself again. He was in crying and suddenly he was in a huge rage mood. He said he didn't want to talk to me that moment and he needed space because he would tell me really hurtful things. Perhaps it was a good strategy. He went to the bathroom and locked himself there. He was crying there, sobbing like a child. I left him alone. After a while I got worried so I asked him to unlock the door. He opened the door and we had a talk. He said, he hated himself for what he did. He said he firetrucked up and he cheated on me . Then he started talking about not having a child. He was sorry not being able to give me a child. None of that was our fault. it just didn't happen. He said, sometimes he still wanted to have a child with me. I got really confused because few days ago while we were talking to my friend, he made it clear he never wanted to have a child anymore and that was a close issue. I reminded him about this and he said, it was just a defense mechanism. I don't know honestly what to do anymore. i feel like im on a dead end. I feel so helpless. My H has now calmed down and he's back to watching videos on his phone. He is not initiating any talk so I'm just sitting in my corner now doing my thing. This is us everyday. We are like flatmates living together. Totally disconnected from each other. Each one has his/her own life. I cannot live like this for long. I long to have someone I can talk to and trust, someone I can have a normal relationship with, someone who I can confide in when I am having a bad day. I am so tired at the moment and i just want to scream. But I cannot talk to my H about how I feel.

Some of you may judge me about putting my finger in the blender again or touching the stove. But I just can't take it anymore. I cannot ignore this heaviness in my chest. I feel like I am not doing what my body is telling me.
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Me 45
H    48
Married 13 yrs no kids
BD May 2019 (I moved out Nov 2019)
EA or PA with ex gf (not sure), H spent 3 nights with the hoe during our vacation in July 2019, it was a friendly encounter according to H
H wanted D April 2020 but didn’t file it
Contact never stopped, H now wants to reconcile
Me not sure

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My life after separation with a clinger
#135: August 22, 2021, 03:00:01 PM
I am so sorry dragonfly for the pain that you are going through. Reading your post it struck me that 1) your husband is all over the place and 2) he is blaming you for everything.

This is a very difficult place for you to be, wanting to have real conversations, wanting to express how you hurt...he's not giving you any of that.....

I remember Stayed talking about when her husband wanted to come back, how he had to own what he did, which he did and any reconciliation stories I have read, the MLCer is able to express their remorse. This is not happening with your husband.

There is not a perfect answer. Some LBSers are able to have a live in MLCer while others just cannot deal with the upsets every day. Space is sometimes needed for the LBSer to heal. And that can be terrifying for it feels like you are pushing them away. But they are already away and I doubt that anything we do will make that any worse.

Having chest pain and some of your other symptoms seems like you are in fight/flight/freeze mode and all the hormones are rushing to try and 'protect" you...but when they are constantly elevated, it causes huge physical and emotional problems for us.

I hope that you do not feel judged here. Each individual couple's story is their's and their's alone.

Quote
But I just can't take it anymore. I cannot ignore this heaviness in my chest. I feel like I am not doing what my body is telling me.
If we pay attention to our bodies and our inner feelings, and follow them, we cannot go wrong. We get better and better at this as time goes on, as we listen to what our needs are.

Try not to "second guess" and just let him go. You do not have to deal with his issues, he will someday hopefully be able to respond to your needs without laying the blame game on you for all ihs issues.

Take good care.
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« Last Edit: August 22, 2021, 03:08:46 PM by xyzcf »
"Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see" Hebrews 11:1

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

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

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

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My life after separation with a clinger
#136: August 22, 2021, 08:34:50 PM
Dragonfly .

It has been awhile since we have talked my friend . But your post tonight is really powerful description of our travels after betrayal, our pain that keeps surfacing unpredictably and our constant indecision.  I understand you completely ..you really have no idea . I have done/experienced all of what you describe. I have been exactly where you are and I honestly am so grateful to no longer visit that place as I was "stuck" there for years.  I am going to be very honest with you Dragonfly, based on my own experiences and travels thru that dark place of instability, out of control emotions and rage.  I distinctly remember an episode very similar to what you describe. I remember just sobbing in the bathroom and honest to god....I looked in the mirror and said to myself " Barbiedoll, there is more "wrong" with YOU than Him at this point".  It was a huge realization that I was absolutely out of control of ME and that was keeping ME from the life I wanted , from the person I wanted to be, from feeling happiness or joy . I was betraying myself in many many ways by failing to deeply detach and do my own work.  NOT my marriage . NOT my husband's work. Only mine.  At this point Dragonfly , I say with absolute kindness and respect ....there is more "wrong" inside of YOU than your H. So the focus needs to get extremely narrow and urgently place yourself at the top of the priority list.   In my experience , everytime I started to ruminate, hurt, felt ignored or not his highest priority or surges of injustice or ( especially) that I did "not know everything" ...I would attack my H every single time . EVERYTIME. You are doing that Dragonfly . That is what I see. I am not judging either of us. You have deep deep mother wounds ( as do I ) and until those are healed , processed or resolved ...part of the rage and anger you are throwing at your husband...really belongs to your mother.  They did similar things didn't they?  Abandoned you? Never made you the priority?  Would not emotionally connect with you?  Not ALL your rage belongs to your H . Some of it is very old , from YOUR childhood ...and nothing to do with your H.  Heal yourself and put your marriage away for now.  This was a huge turning point for me . Stop trying to fix him , your marriage or anything else....just YOU.  Hard hard stuff ...I am sorry. YOU are now in your own crisis. Time to face your childhood trauma and wounds and deal with that mountain of pain. That has zero to do with him. Just as his "stuff" has nothing to do with you.  Your "work" is in the mirror, not in the man.
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My life after separation with a clinger
#137: August 22, 2021, 09:51:47 PM
Dragonfly, my experiences in my own life and in my spouse’s crisis have been dramatically different than yours, so I don’t have specific wisdom to offer, only my support and heartfelt wishes for you to find peace and strength. I am glad to see that Barbie has offered her own words of wisdom, though, as it seems to me that her experiences are similar to yours, and I suspect that you and she will both find healing in similar ways.
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Re: My life after separation with a clinger
#138: August 23, 2021, 12:54:47 AM
DragonFly: I am so sorry, it just sounds awful. No judgements about what you are going through, at the end of the day this is all just so painful and difficult. We do what we do when we can do it.

I find that when I am feeling lost, in great pain, and can’t take it anymore, going back to basics is always a good start. And that, like what xyzcf, barbiedoll have already said, is to let him go emotionally and focus back on yourself. Trust your own body, your own feelings. Emotional or physical pain is our way of letting us know something is NOT right. We need to listen to the pain and take steps to reduce or eliminate it when we can.

So what can you do to reduce your pain? Can you really stop having any expectations of him if you are living together? Can you really, for right now, view him simply as a distant room mate? If not then what is the next step to reduce the pain?

I just urge you to go back to basics, stop focusing on the “big picture” for right now and see what you need to do to get back to ok one day at a time. We all want someone to share our life with, but it is on us if we try to rely lean a non existent wall. We will fall down every time.

I am sorry but I don’t remember, are you working with anyone, a therapist, to help you with dealing with all this? And as barbiedoll suggested help you tie your current situations with maybe other triggers that are amplifying the pain?
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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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My life after separation with a clinger
#139: August 23, 2021, 02:11:01 AM
As others say, dear Dragonfly, anyone who judges and finds you wanting has simply not spent even a minute in the agony of your current shoes. No one here will judge you bc we know how damn hard those shoes are.

We also know, although we know it doesn’t feel like it to you probably, that this time of deep pain will not last forever even if it takes longer and is harder than you and we might wish for you. We all wish we could wave a magic wand or stage a prison break from the pain.....but I hope you can hear us and trust us that there is life on the other side of it, that you will not always feel how you feel right now. That it is a staging point, not a destination. And that it is ok that you do feel how you feel, that it is normal and understandable.

We also know that it is a time to drop back into very basic self care.......to feed and strengthen yourself for a little while, almost like rescuing a little hurt animal.......sleep, fresh air, simple food, peaceful and kind small everyday things and people......until you feel steadier and safer and stronger. To reduce the noise of new things that hurt you by stepping away from them for a little while. And that sometimes when we don’t know what to do about a given painful problem, the answer is to do nothing but have faith that there will come a time when we do know.

We also know that the answer to your pain does not lie in resolving your marriage or lie in your h’s hands. It probably feels a bit upside down, but we know from experience that you tackle the pain and healing first. And then, when you feel on steadier ground in yourself, you can choose to deal with your marriage in whatever way is best for you.

Trust how your body feels. That’s a truthful real thing. Respect that, respect your spirit’s yearning for calm and quiet and no more pain. Respect simple facts like it IS your apartment regardless of how your h feels so you can not allow yourself to manipulate or be manipulated. And that listening to someone else’s POV is not the same as talking about your own POV.....and sometimes you just can’t be in a place to do that. Feelings are not facts.....and healing requires us to separate one from the other usually which can feel hard to do, I know.
Find a compassionate therapist who understands trauma.
Accept that, right now, your h can’t help you and you can’t help him. That, for the moment, neither of you have the necessary bandwidth. But you can hurt each other.....so try to do whatever you need to do to reduce that.
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« Last Edit: August 23, 2021, 02:58:07 AM by Treasur »
T: 18  M: 12 (at BD) No kids.
H diagnosed with severe depression Oct 15. BD May 16. OW since April 16, maybe earlier. Silent vanisher mostly.
Divorced April 18. XH married ow 6 weeks later.
Healing and growing found here https://littleplotbythesea.wordpress.com

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

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My life after separation with a clinger
#140: August 23, 2021, 03:37:45 AM
Drangonfly

Hope you can feel the love coming from HS to you. We hear you, understand you and believe you.  We get it and will listen whenever you need it.

The advice you have been given is sage:

From Barbie
Quote
Your "work" is in the mirror, not in the man

From yourself and picked up by UM
Quote
His words constantly contradicts his actions

From Treasur
Quote
Find a compassionate therapist who understands trauma

From xyzcf
Quote
any reconciliation stories I have read, the MLCer is able to express their remorse. This is not happening with your husband

From Marvin
Quote
let him go emotionally and focus back on yourself

(I have finally learned how to quote sentences - I think!)

Sending you peace
Rose 🌹



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Married 15+ years with 2 children
BD1 - 2016
BD2 - 2017
BD3 - Sept 2019
MOW Mar 2016-Jan 2018
OW2 - Feb 2019, age 30
H left home Oct 2017 to stay with his parents
Bought a family Puppy mid 2018 - referred to as ‘P’

Link to advice by my mentor, Phoenix, on what to tell the children about H leaving - reply #33 (it had a glitch)
https://mlcforum.theherosspouse.com/index.php?topic=9313.30

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My life after separation with a clinger
#141: August 25, 2021, 01:04:14 PM
Thank you for all your support. Barbie and Tresur, I know this problem is now about me. I told my H about it that day I had a meltdown. I need to work on this with my therapist. It’s really crazy when it gets you. The trauma, the memories, the mind that keeps replaying the whole traumatic experience, the need to be loved which I‘ve always wanted ever since. Even today I still couldn’t have it. It’s so hard not to be so overwhelmed and to be overcome by these mixed of emotions of anger, pain and sadness.

Treasur you are right about feelings don’t have to be true. I try to keep reminding that but they do sometimes feel true. The next day after that difficult day, I felt a better. My H never mentioned anything anymore and continued to be normal. I don’t think I will achieve or even get a glimpse of that moment when my H would really show concern about me. Hard pill to swallow.

Barbie I envy where you are now. I long for that day to come when even the slightest memory of the OW and what my H did would not affect me anymore.
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Me 45
H    48
Married 13 yrs no kids
BD May 2019 (I moved out Nov 2019)
EA or PA with ex gf (not sure), H spent 3 nights with the hoe during our vacation in July 2019, it was a friendly encounter according to H
H wanted D April 2020 but didn’t file it
Contact never stopped, H now wants to reconcile
Me not sure

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My life after separation with a clinger
#142: August 29, 2021, 02:50:51 PM
I feel like I am back to square one. How can this be possible? I just feel so stupid right now not being able to move forward and learned my lesson. I hate myself for being hopeful that one day my H would come forward on his own accord and just be honest with me. But that will not probably happen not even in a million years. My golly, am I just this hard headed. Why can’t I just let it go. Why the need to know everything when I know it’s not gonna make things better. Why I am still with my H? Why do I cling to him when we are living like college housemates. Why do I allow the memory of the OW to stay rent free in my brain? I ask myself today if I will ever get out of this limbo. I ask myself if any pyschologist or psychiatrist could help me at all or am I just a hopeless case.

Tomorrow I have a couple’s therapy with my H. I don’t know if I should be happy about it or this will be another opportunity for my husband to bulldoze me again. I feel like I would just sit there tomorrow and let my H do all the talking. I just feel so hopeless today. Been crying the whole day and it never stops even after I went out to watch a movie and just be by myself. If only I had the power to change anything in my Life, I would erased the day I met my H so I would not have to go through this pain. Sometimes I ask God if I was really a bad sinner to deserve such kind of punishment. This is the most painful I have experienced in my whole life. And it goes on and on. How do you stop the pain?
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Me 45
H    48
Married 13 yrs no kids
BD May 2019 (I moved out Nov 2019)
EA or PA with ex gf (not sure), H spent 3 nights with the hoe during our vacation in July 2019, it was a friendly encounter according to H
H wanted D April 2020 but didn’t file it
Contact never stopped, H now wants to reconcile
Me not sure

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My life after separation with a clinger
#143: August 29, 2021, 06:03:24 PM
I know you don't want to hear this, or maybe are just not ready for it yet. YOU are the only one who can stop your pain and I have found one has to feel it, mourn the loss causing the pain, and let it go. And that could still take a while for you to get to that place where you are capable of getting to stop on your side because you do keep putting your hand in that fire and expecting the result to be different.

This does not make you stupid. It makes you a human being who invested in your marriage and is having a hard time coming to terms with the realty that your H quite possibly gaslighted you, lied to you, lied about you, cheated on you, and who knows what else. Wrapping your mind around that is HARD when it is not something you would do. You trusted and he broke that trust. That freaking HURTS! And when it doesn't appear like he gives a rats patootie that he has hurt you in this way, it continues to hurt while you expect a person who could do this to you to have your standards and they do not, at least not at this time.

Everyone gets to where they need to go at their own pace. If I look at the fire and think "It's going to hurt if I put my hand in there" and do it anyway, that is my own fault. It's all about me and what I do. If I look at the fire and think "Is that still going to be hot?" and put my hand in and it is, it's still all about me and what I do. If I look into the fire and think "I don't care if it is hot or not." and put my hand in, it is STILL all about me and what I do, If I look at the fire and choose not to put my hand in, it is STILL all about me and what I do.

Bottom line, this is all about you and what you are doing at this time. Unless and until you are ready to look at the fire and say " Hmm. That's a fire. How about that? I'll remember it's there if I need it for something" and go do whatever YOU want to do right then instead of letting the fire captivate you into doing something with it when it isn't what you want to do and in no way helps you, you are not detached from the situation.

Be kind to yourself. You invested yourself, it's not like you can just flip a switch and stop caring. It takes work, hard work on your part to decide that you will be OK, with or without him, and you don't need to cling to bad options.  That you are a fine person and can have a fine life all on your own.  If you take care of you, then if your H figures himself out or not will not matter because you will be OK.  You can still stand for your marriage, detach from the situation and take care of yourself.

If you want to know if a psychologist or psychiatrist can help you, keep trying.  If the first one is not helpful, try a different one. Give yourself a chance to take care of you, irrespective of being part of a "couple". IMHO, YOU, as an individual, matter.
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When life gives you lemons, make SALSA!

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My life after separation with a clinger
#144: August 29, 2021, 06:32:05 PM
Dear girl
Everything OR said
Plus
The pain will start to stop when you say No to more new pain bc you need your energy to process the pain you already have.....
and you just don’t want to do what you’re already doing....
and you decide you’re worth a life that feels better than it does right now....
and you put your healing first, front and centre in whatever way makes sense to you at the time....
then it begins....
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T: 18  M: 12 (at BD) No kids.
H diagnosed with severe depression Oct 15. BD May 16. OW since April 16, maybe earlier. Silent vanisher mostly.
Divorced April 18. XH married ow 6 weeks later.
Healing and growing found here https://littleplotbythesea.wordpress.com

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

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My life after separation with a clinger
#145: August 29, 2021, 08:21:23 PM
Quote
I feel like I am back to square one. How can this be possible? I just feel so stupid right now not being able to move forward and learned my lesson. I hate myself for being hopeful that one day my H would come forward on his own accord and just be honest with me. But that will not probably happen not even in a million years. My golly, am I just this hard headed. Why can’t I just let it go. Why the need to know everything when I know it’s not gonna make things better. Why I am still with my H? Why do I cling to him when we are living like college housemates. Why do I allow the memory of the OW to stay rent free in my brain? I ask myself today if I will ever get out of this limbo. I ask myself if any pyschologist or psychiatrist could help me at all or am I just a hopeless case.
.

Dragonfly. This truly hurt me to read. It makes me remember , gives me waves of anxiety and reminds me of the profound angusih I was in for a very very long time. Years. It took me close to 5 years to gain some kind of control over the pain and confusion I endured. Its almost a trigger...just the memory of that place. And to be utterly honest I still feel ( rarely ...but still times) when I am am circling the rim of that black hole. I am so sorry , I hear every word and have felt all of it.  You are NOT back at square 1 I can assure you. No matter how a dark day feels ...you have survived every other dark day with 100 % success and you will survive this time and place as well. We are like some kind of jeep stuck in the mud reving forward and backward, forward and backward ...trying to get out.  The only failure will be giving up ...and you and I have proven we are indeed strong kick-ass women and will not be giving up on OURSELVES. We "might" come to a place where are marriage just isn't going to "fit" the new us ....but we never give up on ourselves. Its just not an option.

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hate myself for being hopeful that one day my H would come forward on his own accord and just be honest with me.
.

I battled hatred for myself...different reasons , but I absolutely remember telling my therapist that I " hated myself in ways that were so incredibly scary". It just destroyed your sense of self and who you thought you were.  What if...just consider this ...what if, your H has told you the truth? What if...you have the truth already?. What if he never had sex with this women ? Not ever .  It is NOT an impossibility . He has repeated this adamantly from the start....what if it is true?  I never believed some of the stuff out of my husbands mouth either ...because every spec of faith and trust in him was gone.  Hard place to be ...the betrayed suffer immeasurably . He finally told the therapist " I have to lie to get her to believe me because she will not accept the truth!"  He said " I refuse to tell you what you "want to hear" because it just is not the truth!". My H NEVER changed his story . Do I believe him 100 % ?.  No , I do not and have accepted that I may never again fully believe another human on this planet.  I am not going to die or suffer needlessly over the actions, the choices or the decisions HE made that had ZERO to do with me . I should suffer endlessly over that ?  NOOOO , I just don't think so. It had nothing to do with me !  And "if" he has an inability to be 100 % honest ( due to deep shame , shock, trauma ) , THAT has nothing to do with ME either. What would change Dragonfly if he finally told you the "truth" you want to hear? What would change? .  These are the thoughts I finally started to accept over a very long period of time. My job was to protect myself from needless endless suffering, ruminating and pain . You may never ever know the full and detailed truth ..that is fact. Neither will I. At some point it matters less and less and less . I know that therapy with a trauma specialist and a good year of EMDR helped tremendously...but it still took a very long time.  I believe you have PTSD from betrayal and that adds a whole other layer of complications, reactions and difficulty recovering. 

I do have more thoughts to share but it is storming so bad and power just went out!  Off to find some candles . I will add my thought tomorrow my friend.

https://truthscouts.com/blog/betrayal-trauma-12-symptoms-and-how-to-heal/

https://sexandrelationshiphealing.com/blog/the-trauma-of-betrayal-part-one-what-is-betrayal-trauma/
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Married April 1985
5 children
Bomb Drop April 2013
Thrown out of house August 2013
Affair discovered November 2013 (i guessed who)
Home December 3 2013
The Journey Of Reconciliation .. is for the brave .

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

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My life after separation with a clinger
#146: August 31, 2021, 12:17:57 PM
Offroad, Treasur and Barbie, thank you for being patient with me. Thank you for reminding me over and over again. I really tried hard to do all your advice here. There are just some days when the feeling of anger and hurt is too overwhelming and you just lose control. Once I am in that cycle it is hard to get out. I just lose my rational self.

Yesterday we had been to the couple's therapist. My H couldn't say a single word. I told him he can talk to the therapist when the therapist asked us where were at now. He couldn't find the words or he was just trying to be in his safe place. Same behavior when he speaks to me. I could picture him like a turtle going back into its shell to protect itself. Then he finally asked me to help him. I had to tell the therapist what happened during the time after our last session. I was in so much pain and tears just fell like a helpless child.  Our therapist said he could see a lot of pain in me and my h said he knows I am in pain but he doesn't know how to repair what he broke. He was talking about repair and I said nobody can repair what he broke.That marriage was gone. My H started saying he was scared to talk because he was scared to say the wrong thing and I would leave him. There might be truth to it but on the other hand I think he was just looking for a reason not to talk about it. My H was so quiet during the whole session. He said to the therapist he felt helpless and that sometimes when we fight he wanted to run away. He even said his triathlon is his way of coping. Whatever he did and is doing now, he managed to justify everything in a way that the therapist would think it's for the good of our marriage. I told the therapist this is his escape. Then my H said, we are not moving forward and that we are stuck in the limbo. he missed the good moments and he didn't want to talk about it when we have good moments because he wanted to enjoy those very few moments with me. He also said he wasn't sure where this is going and wasn't sure if this was going to work out. That's all he could muster. He kept saying if he could turn back time, he would undo what he did. This was just so typical of him. He does something that he knows would hurt me and then says sorry and says he would undo it if he could.

So yeah, there's not much progress on that front. I guess I have to just keep myself busy to forget about everything and focus on work and back to studies I guess. Maybe if I am too busy with studies and work, I can take away my focus from him and our marriage.
It's been a hard week at the moment. In my work place a lot of our students have been tested positive and it's all so exhausting. At the moment, I don't feel secure both in my workplace and at home. Every day I always think of running away.
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H    48
Married 13 yrs no kids
BD May 2019 (I moved out Nov 2019)
EA or PA with ex gf (not sure), H spent 3 nights with the hoe during our vacation in July 2019, it was a friendly encounter according to H
H wanted D April 2020 but didn’t file it
Contact never stopped, H now wants to reconcile
Me not sure

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My life after separation with a clinger
#147: September 01, 2021, 02:24:17 PM
Hello,

I think you are getting some good advice. Just like you, I am dealing with only one active Covid case, but several scholars have been sent home for having symptoms and have to isolate for ten days. It just puts everyone on edge and it is always in the background.

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Our therapist said he could see a lot of pain in me and my h said he knows I am in pain but he doesn't know how to repair what he broke. He was talking about repair and I said nobody can repair what he broke.That marriage was gone.

My only concern is you need to reach a point where you make a decision. Right now both of you are in limbo. He doesn't know what to do and you can't get past the pain he has imposed. That makes both of you stuck in a non-existent relationship that is not benefiting either one of you. Remember, in counseling- the therapist doesn't fix the marriage, instead the therapist is a guide and it is up to you as a couple to re-establish the relationship. You are right, there is nothing that will "fix" what he did. It is up to you to accept and commit back to him or not accept and leave the relationship. That is your power and your choice.

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My H started saying he was scared to talk because he was scared to say the wrong thing and I would leave him. There might be truth to it but on the other hand I think he was just looking for a reason not to talk about it. My H was so quiet during the whole session.

My recommendation is that your h doesn't need to speak. He needs to listen, really listen. He needs to repeat back to you what he has heard. He needs to then ask clarifying questions to make sure that he truly understands you. He then needs to empathize with you. Through this, both of you can start to come to a resolution.

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Whatever he did and is doing now, he managed to justify everything in a way that the therapist would think it's for the good of our marriage.

He doesn't need to justify for the therapist, He needs to justify to you. He's not going to marry the therapist. Remember, the therapist is not a judge and is not going to decide right or wrong- they are trying to save the marriage.

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My H started saying he was scared to talk because he was scared to say the wrong thing and I would leave him.

He needs to stop this line. He is not afraid. If he was afraid, he wouldn't have had an affair. What he needs to clarify is he afraid of losing the marriage or of losing you? If he is afraid of losing you, then his actions need to change to reflect what you need. That makes him in a healthy marriage.

I know all of this is hard, but even running away and joining the circus may seem appealing, it just kicks the can further down the road.

Be good to yourself,

(((((Ready)))))

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My life after separation with a clinger
#148: September 01, 2021, 04:04:43 PM
Quote
My H couldn't say a single word. I told him he can talk to the therapist when the therapist asked us where were at now. He couldn't find the words or he was just trying to be in his safe place. Same behavior when he speaks to me. I could picture him like a turtle going back into its shell to protect itself
.

My H has also done this in therapy. I was rather relieved to witness this as he has said that I am "not safe"....but he apparently "turtles up" on the therapist as well. Sometimes she waits for more than 5 minutes for a response from him. She says he is "flooded".  Some men seem to be wired for "protection" not "connection".   I am not sure if this is stonewalling or he truly is overwhelmed and dissociates emotionally.

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but he doesn't know how to repair what he broke.
.

I absolutely believe this . Most men are not as emotionally practised as women and strong , intense emotion seems to paralyze some. My H has said this exact thing several times and I believe him. He has no idea how to repair the profound damage he did.  He actually was in shock for a time , at himself and what he did. He saw my extreme reactions and I remember him saying " I never knew you loved me that much " He is way out of his element and comfort .

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My H started saying he was scared to talk because he was scared to say the wrong thing and I would leave him. There might be truth to it but on the other hand I think he was just looking for a reason not to talk about it.
.

My H has said this exact word for word statement . He " never says the right thing, can't get it right, doesn.t have the right words, is scared to death that he cannot fix what he broke etc".  He is afraid of my reactions...that makes me "un-safe" apparrently. My H is full of fear, no doubt in my mind. Sounds like a sad little victim to me. However, I think what is unsafe is the emotions and feelings he experiences internally ( like triggers from his past ) and this overwhelms him and he shuts down. Sort of like the 6 year old or 10 year old little boy being screamed at by a parent , shut down and paralyzed . This was his reaction as a child to emotions and he still does the same. Far from healed and not much to do with me.  Whatever the reason...the outcome is the same. You cannot get anywhere . He does this with me , he has done it in therapy and he has done it with a screaming freaking out teenage girl.

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Every day I always think of running away.
.

Me too. I always had this need to "flee" , sometimes desperately. My mind will always go there if I am feeling hopeless , angry and profoundly unhappy. I have come close to actually doing it ..but my daughter is here. I sometimes wonder if it is the same absolute desperation to "run" that cause many MLCer's to run.

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He needs to stop this line. He is not afraid. If he was afraid, he wouldn't have had an affair. What he needs to clarify is he afraid of losing the marriage or of losing you? If he is afraid of losing you, then his actions need to change to reflect what you need.
.

I completely disagree with this. I absolutely believe they are afraid.  I cannot speak for Dragonfly's H but only my own and yet many similar statements have been made.  If he was afraid , he would not have had an affair? . Incredibly untrue..a man in a true MLC BELIEVES his wife is the reason for all his misery. His marriage IS the culprit for his profound unhappiness and he walks away in that frame of mind .  Its all about FEAR, depression, hormones, confusion. All these emotions are so deep, so impactful and encompassing he is utterly out of control of himself and his life . Its impulsive search for pain relief or to "feel" anything better than misery or suicidal thoughts . It has very little forethought just driven to some "action" to get out of the pain. He is NOT thinking or fearful about "loosing his wife". 

At the other end , when they have returned ( and by no means healed) , NOW they are afraid of loosing their wives. Dragonflys H has stated this and so has my H ...many many times. But they are walking on thin ice and they know it. They are afraid to say anything to " make it worse, say the wrong thing and end up facing some catastrophic emotional rampage of reactivity from us ...the LBS. Or to hurt us even more. They are avoidant ( based on fear) , they have low emotional IQ's and in my H's case , has developmental trauma . Its all about fear .

https://www.meno-power.com/midlife-transformation/why-do-midlife-crisis-husbands-blame-wives/







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Married April 1985
5 children
Bomb Drop April 2013
Thrown out of house August 2013
Affair discovered November 2013 (i guessed who)
Home December 3 2013
The Journey Of Reconciliation .. is for the brave .

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

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My life after separation with a clinger
#149: September 01, 2021, 11:19:53 PM
Ah dear Dragonfly, think of us like little tent pegs securing you to safe ground  :)
We all need to borrow a bit of objective spare brain sometimes when we are whirling in the storm and get a bit lost. Normal. We have been there and we get it. It won’t always feel the way it does now.....we know that too.

It seems to me, if you are going to continue to do MC, that you need a new operating rule that you simply will not speak on your h’s behalf. About anything. And to push back with your MC therapist if they are asking you to do so or colluding with your h’s desire for you to ‘help him’. To just say No, that’s not my job. Why? Well, practically speaking you can’t with any accuracy, can you? (Or you would not have been so bewildered by his actions.) Emotionally, it feeds his avoidance and the pattern around that in your relationship bc his feelings are not yours to own or figure out what to do with. And for your own healing tbh, speaking solely for yourself, for your own pain and uncertainty, is quite enough to carry.

You may need to accept that your h has the right to choose silence and perhaps to learn from the consequences of that. And that you have the right to speak but also the right to not share all of your thoughts and feelings in front of your h.....you have the right to silence too, you know, to say No, not now, not like this, not yet, to also be afraid or unwilling. You may need to learn to accept that the h (or others) who caused your pain cannot be expected to heal it....that this is your job, not his....but you can reasonably expect them not to add new pain and to have self protective boundaries if they do. To learn to breathe and pause and consider ‘is this mine or not mine?’ before you engage.

It is one of the reasons why doing MC with someone who is avoidant or still flailing in their own crisis is quite so difficult, I think. And perhaps damaging for you unless your MC is policing those kind of boundaries competently with a clear eye. One doesn’t need to judge the whys of someone else’s fear or avoidance to refuse to fill the void....but, as is often the case, we may need to unlearn old habits and to refuse to own someone else’s silence. It is quite possible that you may need to learn to sit with the discomfort of his silence while your h needs to learn to speak....probably a tough challenge for both of you. And now may not be the time. Like it or not, your h’s actions and your reactions to them have lead you to being exactly where you are right now.....these things happened, neither of you can unhappen them and it leaves you both in a metaphorical new country, doesn’t it? A place where the old shared habits no longer work. You can acknowledge that your h’s expression about wishing he could undo what he did is a kind of sorry perhaps and also acknowledge that his feelings about it, or yours, don’t change the reality that you are where you are and that wishes won’t magically create anything different. Like a child wishing Christmas would come quicker really. It’s an understandable feeling.....but neither of you are time lords  :) Both of you will need to figure out individually if you are willing or able to get past the fear in order to DO things differently to build something from here. Or not. Which is also a solo job isn’t it? Even in MC.

You are not alone. Some other LBS here, like Barbie, have been in pretty similar shoes.

Please consider carefully if, right now, investing energy in solo IC rather than MC (with a largely silent spouse) is more or less helpful to you. Bc it’s ok to say No, you know, if it is adding new pain or simply feels too much to carry currently until you feel as if you are on more solid ground in yourself. And you can change your mind at any time. Your marriage was never solely your responsibility and repairing it bc of your spouses actions is certainly not.....it is like trying to clap one handed while feeling like a failure or being blamed bc you can’t. And that is imho a painful fool’s errand which you do not need along with everything else.

And meanwhile keep hunting for small joys and small inches of safe, solid ground which have nothing to do with your h or your marriage.....bc that is where the door out of limbo lives regardless of what your h does or doesn’t do....and treat that ‘running away’ feeling as a big parp parp noise that actually means you need to drop back to doubling down on your self care x
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« Last Edit: September 02, 2021, 12:16:45 AM by Treasur »
T: 18  M: 12 (at BD) No kids.
H diagnosed with severe depression Oct 15. BD May 16. OW since April 16, maybe earlier. Silent vanisher mostly.
Divorced April 18. XH married ow 6 weeks later.
Healing and growing found here https://littleplotbythesea.wordpress.com

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

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My life after separation with a clinger
#150: September 02, 2021, 01:54:13 AM
And, while you are contemplating Treasur's note and hunting for small joys, you need to stat a new thread....

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Me - 58, xW - 50
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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

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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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My life after separation with a clinger
#151: September 02, 2021, 02:53:23 AM
A PS from me...

Quote
Thank you for reminding me over and over again.
I want to remind you to honour and respect the life you have been living. For at least two years now, a bit over. Plus his EA in 2009. Plus living with his depression since, what, about 2012.
Not bc of what this says about your h or what you should do about the whole situation.
Simply bc this must have been a hard and exhausting way to live at times. And how you feel now is also an effect of that reality. We heal imho by treating ourself with great kindness and gentleness, particularly if life has been hard and exhausting for longer than we like to remember.
And I am sending you one of my best hugs and a head butt kiss from Gracie the cat x

New thread:  https://mlcforum.theherosspouse.com/index.php?topic=11829.0 
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« Last Edit: September 23, 2021, 04:51:44 PM by Thunder »
T: 18  M: 12 (at BD) No kids.
H diagnosed with severe depression Oct 15. BD May 16. OW since April 16, maybe earlier. Silent vanisher mostly.
Divorced April 18. XH married ow 6 weeks later.
Healing and growing found here https://littleplotbythesea.wordpress.com

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

 

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