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Author Topic: My Story MLC husband, looking for help and ideas

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My Story MLC husband, looking for help and ideas
OP: May 15, 2021, 06:08:14 PM
Hi everyone, i wish you all a good day.
I am asking for help, ideas, comment, sharing in my following story with my MLC husband. I write it in outlines so we can track easily.

- 2013-9/2020: a marriage full of love (from my side), and lots of love/fight (from his side, his words).
he had 9-5 job, came home at 6 to dinner everyday. sex was perfect, communication was ok, lazy in household work, he supported 60% of family finances.
we have 2 kids (4yo, 8yo). he turned 40. i am 38.

- Sep 2020: he got into heavy poker playing more and more, went to work less and less, but i didnt know that.
the only thing i knew what that he came home later, skipped dinner, skipped household work more.
i felt like there was something outside that was dragging him out of the home but didnt know what it was. so we had more fights and relationship/sex got cold for 2 months.

- mid Nov 2020: in a fight when he came home late without a reason, i told him to move out, he went out that night.
next morning he came back and played with kids, didnt say much, i told him to get out again and we'll talk later.
he moved out for real. came home when i wasnt at home to take his things out.
i was angry with him and enjoyed my life without his presence for 1 month. and think of my mistakes, my anger, his mistakes, his anger.
and i made the decision to work on the relationship again, but i waited a while until i really wanted to do it, we kept complete silence during 1 month.

- mid Dec 2020: i called him to meet in a cafe, he was polite but distance, that's when i realized he was very different at those meetings.
then we had sex but he couldnt function, the first time ever in history, so i realize the lack of love at the moment from his side.
i told him to come home, but he rejected. then after a few days after my constant requests he came home for a few days but then left home again for real.
then he only came home at weekends and mostly played with the kids, did the housework, fixed things around the home, supported more financially.
but absolutely no emotional connection with me. after the weekend, he disappeared during the week days and i could never contact him.
he also quitted his job and fell in to very heavy poker addiction.

- mid Jan 2021: i found out that he rented a flat, lived there with a new 18 beautiful year old girlfriend that he got only 5 days after getting out of the home.
 girl was the total opposite of me: young, no education, naive, no work, always looked up to him.
and played poker heavily during nights and days. he still came home at weekends and left for week days, saying he needed time to make a choice between a life of freedom with that girl and a family life with me and kids.
and told me the classic: i love you but i am not in love with you.

- early Feb 2021: he came home for real, saying he quitted on the girl and started to build love again with me.
this worked for 3 months. he did perfect housework, played with kids, took me out on bike trips, said love me a lot, called me sweet nicknames, and spent much more money on the family.
for 3 months, he initiated lots of hugging, holding hands, a bit of kissing and sex. but one thing: sex was rare and always failed, and he told me the love feeling with me came back a bit and bit but was lost again and again during these 3 months
during this time, i was in deep sorrow since i found out about the young girlfriend, so i asked a lot of question during that period and pushed him into a lot of stressful conversation about love and his affairs.
so he was stressful, angry, still tried to love me. he also restrained from playing poker at home, but admitted playing outside of home a lot and earned a lot of money to finance the home from poker. no job.

- early May 2021: i went thru his phone and founded out he had been keeping the relationship with the girl friend, both emotionally and sexually. their talks showed that he loves her crazily and she just loved him a little, but she agreed to stay in a relationship with him.
we went to big fights about this, he said he never wanted to lose the family, but the love for me is gone. and said ok he quitted on the girl again.
he still tried to show me love, but sex still failed and he admitted he didnt feel love.

- mid May 2021: after many big fights, he said i dont want to work on love with you anymore, and he wanted a divorce. i said i dont want one.
he admits everything was his fault, i am a good wife, but he has no love left for me and the reason why he has not leaving the home yet is only because i asked him to stay.
he also shows many signs of MLC: losing weight heavily, stressful, no focus at looking for a job, always saying "i need to change", talking about he was full of life 10 years ago and he wants to work on being like that again, got angry at everything at home from dog to cat to kids. he also started playing poker at home right before my eyes days and nights, and i guess he connects with the girl again or hasnt ever really stopped with her because i know he loves her.
he still does the housework perfectly, plays with kids, supports the family financially, talks to me about general things, but absolutely no emotional connection with me
the last talk's conclusion as of yesterday: he will stay at home because i asked him not to leave, but no man-woman love for me, he just feels a family bond with me. but not sure if he should stay with the marriage or pushes for divorce. mostly he is considering two choices: MARRIED LIFE vs. LIFE OF FREEDOM, and he will tell me when he figures it out.
I am also having a mild health problem, and both my mother and younger brother may have to go to surgery this year and they're gonna need my help. he says he's gonna help me in these things too, out of compassion not love.

QUESTION:
I am an emotional shipwreck as of now. i will over come this sadness, and am doing all the self-care, kid-care, self-focus like all the advices here.
But now the question is clear: I am having a MLC husband, and the last nine month has destroyed me a lot. Now he's a heavy poker addicts, has a girlfriend outside that he loves, doesnt love me anymore, wants a divorce and only stays home because I asked him not to leave or put the heavy weight of raising two kids and maintaining the home on my shoulder.
So should i Stand and wait for his MLC to run its course? Or should i start looking for his replacement because my time of youth and beauty is running out (38yo)?
I still love him, about 30-40% of how i loved him before these 9 months.

I am not really looking for the answer from you because i know only i can answer that. But after i tell you the detailed story, i really need your judgements on probabilities of things, just the probabilities, like:
- this looks like more of MLC (temporary) or a permanent change in him?
- when his MLC is over, will the poker addiction continue and destroy him and things he have (family, relationships...)?
- does the love for me can ever come back when he keeps saying that he doesnt love me now everytime i ask and i know there's someone he loves now? to be honest his words was always like: i still love you, but the man-woman emotion is very weak and the family emotion is strong
- should a wife stand for a husband with gambling and love issues (very dead-end issues)
- and other things if you want to drop a few lines.

Thank you very much. Just writing this out already help me a lot. I really hope to hear from you.
A lot of love,
valentine4ever
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« Last Edit: May 15, 2021, 06:59:43 PM by valentine4ever2021 »

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MLC husband, looking for help and ideas
#1: May 16, 2021, 05:57:00 AM
Hi V,

Welcome to the board  :D Sorry that another person has to find their way here, it isn't a fun process..... but the people here have hearts which are are solid gold  ;D

He sounds very typical. No real red flags to me (beyond MLC that is).

They normally shack up with someone: Check
They normally take on at least one bad habit or vice: Check
They can't feel love: Check
They run away, come back and run away: Check

All LBS's will ask "do I stay or do I go?", and this can only be answered by you. Yes the clock is ticking, and it's a very difficult thing to deal with.
That being said, going to another relationship just because the clock is ticking will not fix the problem or make it go away. You have kids together, he's not going away.
Can he make it back? Yes. Can he be lost forever? Yes.
The best question (IMO) is: What was he like before and is that the person you really want to be with?
I'm guessing he has some damage from his youth? Does he come from a broken family?

His gambling as far as you know started last year...... he wasn't sliding at all before that? Getting grumpy, short, angry?
Any big jolts in his life the last couple years? Losing job, finances, death of someone he was close to?

What he's going right now is masking his pain and trying to cover it up. Sometimes it's a mortality question (in part), was he worried about turning 40?

If he's doing things at all, that's a good sign. He didn't just *POOF* with a vanishing act.
I'm sorry to say it, but that 18yo and him will have to burn out on their own. Nothing you can do there. Until he has doubts and begins to think/feel again, there is so little you can do beyond take care of yourself, work on yourself, take care of your kids and make the best life you possibly can.
How are the kids? That is the most important part. Since they are young, hoping they aren't aware at all.
Since there are kids, it will be easy to have resentments towards him in this area. It's not about you and it's not about them, it's all about him. Never forget that (not an easy thing to do).

Just a little insight: He probably can't feel anything, is probably totally numb..... only able to sorta feel anything when in the middle of something extreme. Hence the gambling, hence the 18yo. The thing is: There will come a day when these things can't cover up what he has to process....... and then it'll all come tumbling down. You can be kind and caring during all this, but until he is ready, nothing will make a difference to him.
It sounds like he has stabilized somewhat, but it's very early. There's no way he's ready to work on anything. He will lie to himself about it, and his twisted perception will make him think he's telling the truth. You are the one with their head screwed on, you're going to have to be the one who is rational and grounded.  During this time, your feelings will go dark to protect yourself but also so you can handle the situation. It's gong to be a long while. Take your eyes off him, put them on yourself and your kids. While he's checked out on you and the family, you're going to have to be totally checked in on yourself and them.

Deep breaths, go slow, and be kind to yourself. Only have to get thru today as best you can. Tomorrow will take care of itself.
Can't stress enough that journaling is very important. Come back and update your story as often as you can, it really does help.

-SS
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MLC husband, looking for help and ideas
#2: May 16, 2021, 07:35:02 AM
Thank you very much SS for your grand support. You really spend a lot of time on me.
All I talked about him was heart-breaking events. Still you say no real red flags? You must know a lot to say so, can you name some real reg flags for me to learn about?

He has liked poker a lot for more than 10 years. But during the marriage with me, he restrained from playing a lot because he still loved me enough to stop. But then he got imprisoned for 3 months back in 2018 because poker was illegal in my country. I got him out using a lot of money and connection, and he stopped for a while. But the suppressed feelings may be accumulated. Until Sep 2020 when he kinda lost his job and income, then he went to poker due to his suppressed addiction and for income also.

You say a lot of valuable things in "just a lot of insight...". Can you tell me some more insights: about how could these MLC guys turn into total monsters like this? You mention pain, why are they in pain? Why do you think he has stabilized somewhat?

I really hope for your further advice. Once again thank you so much on your valuable time here. I wish you all the best SS

Regards,
valentine4ever2021
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Re: MLC husband, looking for help and ideas
#3: May 16, 2021, 08:07:35 AM
Hi Val, I'm so sorry you are going through this.  It's very hard to understand what goes through their mind during this crisis, but remember a midlife crisis is about depression.  The depression makes them feel unhappy and they can be in a lot of pain.  I don't think anyone in their right mind would choice to feel this way, it just seemed to happen to certain people, for various reasons.
Their hormones just seem to go out of whack and they feel pretty miserable.

Fear of aging.
Some trauma in their childhood.
A lot of money problems over a long period of time.

Just try to remember it has nothing to do with you or your marriage, regardless of what he tell you.  I don't believe they love themselves at the moment so it's hard for them to love anyone right now...and that includes the 18 year old ow.  She is just there because she temporarily helps him feel better, but the depression does not go away and she is not the answer.  Try not to give her any importance, she could have been anyone so there is nothing special about her.

I have found the best thing I ever did was to stop talking about our relationship.  He has no answers for you so it will just frustrate both of you.
Just maybe be friendly and light when he is around. 

Now friendly does not mean treat him like a friend, he is not your friend right now, but friendly like you would be with a neighbor or a co-worker. 

Your job right now val, is just take good care of yourself and your children, in every way and let him figure himself out.  He will either come out of this or he won't, some don't, but you need to stay healthy for your family.

Standing is right, there just isn't much you can do to help him.  It will just takes time and him doing some inner work, which can take years sometimes.

I'm glad you found us.

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

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MLC husband, looking for help and ideas
#4: May 16, 2021, 12:02:48 PM
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MLC husband, looking for help and ideas
#5: May 16, 2021, 12:08:26 PM
Thank you very much SS for your grand support. You really spend a lot of time on me.
All I talked about him was heart-breaking events. Still you say no real red flags? You must know a lot to say so, can you name some real reg flags for me to learn about?



Hi V,

Yes, no real red flags....... it's very, very typical (I'm sorry to say, and that's NOT to minimize what you're gong thru...... oh we know how TERRIBLE this is).  :)
So a red flag, a real red flag, is something irreversible....... they divorced you the weekend after bomb drop and announce an engagement immediately. A pregnancy is announced. They chop off their arm.  They decide that tattooing 95% of their body is a good idea. They sign up to colonize Mars.  :o

The general idea being: They're going to cause themselves a whole lot of damage. That's a given. No way around this. They're going to hurt the marriage and if the LBS lets them, destroy it as well. All they're really doing is blowing up themselves, and all the anger, hate and disappointment is them lashing out until they figure out the real problem (which is themselves). It isn't you he's mad at...... it isn't you he doesn't love...... it's himself.

That he has a previous addiction and has returned to it make a lot of sense. With that being said, I would ask if you have a plan to get by if he disappears entirely. He could lose it all. He could be arrested again. Or he could disappear. It happens are you going to be ok? Nothing should be off the table, the MLC'er will shock in what they are capable of.

9 Months in, he almost certainly isn't at bottom or anywhere near it. He has a long, long way to go. Years. It'll probably take some bad hits before getting to the bottom, and the bottom is a nasty, ugly place. This is why you're going to need to focus on you, getting stronger and be able to stand on your own. You can love him, have compassion for him, and hope....... but he will drag you down with him if you hold on to him (and I'm not saying giving up, no no no). Now is the time for you and your kids. He'll catch up later, or he won't. We hope that he will, but you're also going to have to be prepared in case he doesn't.

There's also no way he's going to be able to hang with that 18yo. She must have some serious issues to be hanging with a 40yo man. Just another broken person. Later on (probably much later), you will find compassion and perhaps even pity for her. Probably the same for him as well. Often times, these people who break, they were carrying around some really heavy, ugly things around in their life (in their past) and they just couldn't bear the weight any longer. They ARE sad individuals, and at their core....... just people. Although they want you to believe they are happy and have "found themselves" or "their soul-mate", it's all lies. They are tormented people. Broken people who become emotional junkies, just trying to patch over their pain instead of heal. The best we can hope for them is that one day they do manage to face themselves and crawl out of the MLC tunnel. It's up to you if you want to start again when he comes out, and there are ways to help promote that. All that is going to be your choice, the areas which you control: Which is yourself and yourself only.
It's going to take some time just to figure it all out and process your own emotions. Just go slow, no rash decisions, no outbursts with him. Give him time and space, and give yourself time and space too. Slow, slow, slow. Time is on your side, and now you have all the time in the world. Slow. Deep breaths.

You're going to be ok. Promise.

-SS
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Re: MLC husband, looking for help and ideas
#6: May 16, 2021, 12:22:26 PM
Hi V4E:

I am so sorry you are here, welcome to the club no one wants to join but we do anyway. You are and will get lots of good advice. But first and foremost you have to figure out where you stand. What I mean is this: is he having a full on MLC or is this relationship related? This is in no way a comment on your relationship, only you can answer this. Think of it this way: when someone is starting to have what we generically call “MLC” there is psychological event going on internally to them. It has nothing or little to do with you, you relationship. It is an internal crises. The marriage/relationship becomes the focus of the pain and a victim as they place the blame on you and their lives. This you can do nothing about, nothing you do will alter the course of this.

On the other hand if this is more relationship based then you have to make choices there, maybe try to engage etc. It will be hard for a lot of us to “remotely” diagnose this. I have seen quite a few people here (not saying this is the case with you) that are really having relationship issues but either cover that as “MLC” or don’t want to face it. But the issue is that won’t help.

If its MLC he will change, his behaviour will change. He will lose ability to show empathy (assuming he could before). He may become very self absorbed. This won’t happen all at once. Think of it as a slow process (what people will say is entering the tunnel). He will cycle, change his mind, get better, get worse. It will take time.

BTW if this is MLC you are looking at a VERY long time frame. This is very hard to hear initially, we have all been there. Think years not months. The first step is to stabilize yourself, protect yourself, start to detach and start slowly getting to a place where your well being is not tied to what is happening with him. This is what you need to do whether you decide to move on or to stand hoping he will recover one day. That is not for right now, you have time to decide. But you will need to protect yourself. If this is MLC you will need to get comfortable realizing you can’t “love” him back, “hope” him back. And its so hard to stop analyzing every little thing.

And one last thing: I have a different definition of red flags than SS (not that I disagree with his concepts, just the use of the word). A red flag is generally anything you see that should raise an alert. Everything he has done so far are “red flags” for your relationship. I would call SS’s “red flags” as deal breakers.
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« Last Edit: May 16, 2021, 12:24:09 PM by marvin4242 »
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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MLC husband, looking for help and ideas
#7: May 16, 2021, 12:23:54 PM
Hello,

So glad to meet you but so sorry for the circumstances that we meet.

You mentioned that your husband likes to play poker and this intensified. One of the first things you need to do is protect your finances as MLCers can go through money like water over a waterfall.  In your current situation, you need to take care of yourself and your family to make sure you can support and sustain them despite your h.

I feel that MLC is crisis of identity and has less to do with age more with life transitions and your h has decided that his life path, the course of where he is going not longer satisfied him.

Quote
Fear of aging.
Some trauma in their childhood.
A lot of money problems over a long period of time.

The start can be of many issues. Even great success can trigger the crisis. Close death, serious illness to themselves, or immediate family can all create the circumstances for the crisis to erupt like a volcano.  Some may have been set you even met him.

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Just try to remember it has nothing to do with you or your marriage, regardless of what he tell you.

This is great advice. Because it has nothing to do with you, you can't talk, plead, or cry him out of this crisis.

Quote
Now friendly does not mean treat him like a friend, he is not your friend right now, but friendly like you would be with a neighbor or a co-worker.

Even better advice. You don't know him now and he doesn't even know who he is either so deep discussions to try and figure where he stands are fruitless and aggravating.

Quote
their talks showed that he loves her crazily

No, he loves being in love with her and the high it creates. Just like gambling, he seeks actions and activities that give him emotional highs to fill the empty void he feels about his life. Once again, this is all about him and his journey.

Now, it is your journey as well. Your journey to recover from the trauma that he has inflicted on you. You need to become healthy for you and your children. Be good to yourself- make sure to eat, sleep, and even exercise if possible. Just know that this is a marathon not a sprint and it is going to take a long time.

Enjoy your evening with your children,


((((Ready))))




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MLC husband, looking for help and ideas
#8: May 16, 2021, 04:54:02 PM
Dear SS, Thunder, Readytofixmyselffirst,
I am so happy to have three people like you, appearing in my dark times out of nowhere and totally understanding the problem I am going through.
A lot of what you said was true, even you are not here to witness the situation. So yes there must be a template, a model, a prototype of the MLC guys that all of them are just replicas with variations.

To clear some of the things you said, and to give you more information for giving me more ideas, advices:
- Yes we had relationship problems, but it's like other 10-year marriage problem, tiny thousand cuts, no really special mistake from my side (i've never cheated, stolen, lied... or done any big things to destroy the marriage). He admits by his words that I did nothing wrong and it's all his fault. (But I know in his mind, I am and the kids are the obstacles to his free life, I know)
- Yes he has a new tattoo that covers his left arm fully, and talking about having new tattoos coming.
- Yes he bought a new sport bike and started dressing up like those 20-sth riding around
- Yes, before the start of these MLC symptoms 9 months ago (going back to poker when he knew he's gonna lose his job, and i told him to get out of the home), he was and now still is a very disappointed and failing person in a lot of aspects in his life: He doesnt have a career like he wants, he doesnt look good like he wants, he doesnt save much money, he has fights with his wife, he hasnt done anything nice to his parents, his friends and relatives are all much more successful than him and they dont look up to him...

To say some of the good/bad things he is still doing around the home:
- He continues to tell me he is still choosing between leaving for a free life vs. staying unhappily with the family, this is just a temporary stage before that decision, give him a short time.
- He still takes kids out so they have some air in covid time, although i know it's partially he wants to escape the sight of me being around.
- He buys toys and plays with the babies and me, but at the same time shouts at them very angrily for everything little messy they do
- He cooks, does housework, cleans the house, bathes the dog and cat, fixes broken things around the home (very handy man)
- He told me not to show or talk about my emotion and love with him, it's my thing and i can find someone else to love/have sex if i want
- He still makes me hot tea, get the toothpaste gel on my toothbrush like he used to when we're in love, gives me foot/hand massages when he wants to
- He shares with me his highs when he wins a poker game.
- He asks if my mother and brother were ok with their health
- He plays poker online all the time while doing those things mentioned, and maybe texting the 18yo girl.
- He's gonna disappear during week days again though no work outside, and may still come home for dinner and sleep on time (7pm), temporarily.
... everything is mixed signals, but I understand, trying not to put up any hope about sweet things he is still doing or get too disappointed by bad things.

I am also using this thread as journaling, and hope that the advices/comments from you will give me more and more strength to go through all this. Thank you very much for being here with me right now.

I also wanted to ask one more new question: During this time, i know having rebound relationship(s) with someone for whatever purpose (sexual, short-term, long-term...) is a big distraction for me from all the pain I am enduring, e.g oxytocin/dopamine from sex/love with someone new will help me a lot. I still look young and pretty enough, so guys are still following me around, but havent done anything with anyone during the marriage. But during the last 9 months i was living a life very lack of sex/love most of the time and it's years ahead we're talking about, and this is driving me mad. So in general case of a LBS, how do they deal with the lack of sex/love in their life during these husband's MLC years? I have a high sex drive so sex is gonna help me alot, I really cant have no sex in years.

Thank you very much for reading up to this point. Please drop a line or a word to let me know i am not alone. I really wish you the best in your days, in your lives my friends.

Regards,
valentine4ever
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« Last Edit: May 16, 2021, 05:23:16 PM by valentine4ever2021 »

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#9: May 16, 2021, 05:33:05 PM
Hello,

Quote
I also wanted to ask one more new question: During this time, i know having rebound relationship(s) with someone for whatever purpose (sexual, short-term, long-term...) is a big distraction for me from all the pain I am enduring, e.g oxytocin/dopamine from sex/love with someone new will help me a lot. I still look young and pretty enough, so guys are still following me around. And it's years ahead we're talking about. So in general case of a LBS, how do they deal with the lack of sex/love in their life during these husband's MLC years? I have a high sex drive so sex is gonna help me alot, I really cant have no sex in years.

My personal advice is at this time, you need to avoid any and all relationships until you have recovered from the shock of all of this. Give it some time and then move forward. The key to all of this is learning how to respond and not react to his crisis. Once you are on firm ground, and set some boundaries considering him and his behavior, then we can move forward with other aspects of one's life. You also have children involved and all of this can be very confusing for them as well. So while you are getting grounded, you need to help ground them as well.

I hope this helps and use time right now to focus on just you and the children.

(((((Ready))))
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