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Author Topic: My Story The Dawn holds the heaviness of the Night

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My Story The Dawn holds the heaviness of the Night
OP: May 22, 2021, 03:53:10 PM
I have been chronicling my story at another site, but as the environment became more and more toxic I gradually moved over here (which I find incredibly well moderated, thank you moderators) with many wise and insightful veterans and not so veteran participants. But I have not moved my story here, because I am now passed year four, a lot has happened, and it is simply not important anymore to restate. I mainly chronicle my story now to “give back” to all the other people who came before me. Like most of you I spend many many hours reading stories, absorbing and learning from everyone else’s hard earned experience. It was a lifeline, a teacher, a companion and comfort in the first few months. As such I write hoping maybe someone else will gain a small amount of the same by reading mine.

But I find that there may be no point writing this next chapter to come elsewhere, as the audience is not interested. So it occurred to me to start a thread and share what is to come, yet unwritten, here. So please bear with me as this may be long. You see my wife after being out of the country, and essentially has not seen me in almost three years, has suddenly decided she is coming back next week.

To be clear I have really detached and moved on from anything that is going on with her. My approach with her since the early days has been to “meet” her where she is. When she disappears I do not reach out. If she sends a text about trivia, I respond exactly in the same tone and depth. A few rare times over the four years where she has been more “lucid” and she has engaged in deeper levels I have also matched her in the same manner. But I spent a period of time detaching from, taking care of, watching, analyzing or in any way “waiting” to see what she does. I accepted that our marriage was over, started grieving, went back into therapy, and have slowly moved on and restructured my life without her being any part of it. This is after we had built what was a very good life together as partners for 23 years before her MLC.

It was all very much “textbook.” We have no kids, we were best friends and very well matched and balanced in our relationship. We planned and had a good life, but also did things on our own. I honestly didn’t see it coming and experienced the typical “I love you” statements on Friday, and on a Tuesday morning I was given the “speech” with no warning. And yes looking back I started finding the subtle clues of her inner fracture preceding in the past 1.5 years. Hindsight is always correct but never useful. She cycled hard for the first six months, we met up and separated multiple times, many long and deep conversations, many many insults and raging and blame. You all know the drill I won’t bore you. Then she disappeared for six months. Then she came back and was like her old self and for 2 months it seemed she was better. She even started therapy, started talking about our life, our plans etc. Then after a 3 week separation due to trips she came back and said we should go our separate ways with no warning. All of it is script, soul mates, destiny, ILYBIANILWY, you repulse me, I never loved you, etc etc.

So three years after this last BD (number 4) she disappeared. Then many many cycles of shallow touch and goes. Some texts for a few days then silence for a couple of weeks. The touch and goes got shorter and shorter in duration and cycle. And now, without any rhyme or reason she has decided to leave her “fantasy life” and come back home for a little bit. To be clear this is NOT any kind of declaration of return or reconnection. She has excuses and reasons which I am sure she doesn’t understand. One of them is to come back home to get vaccinated for Covid (very wise idea). But I can sense there is more. She has randomly dropped comments about how she hates where she is (the dream place), how she is sick of the OM (yes she will say things to me as if we are still the same close couple we were for years and years). And lately on a scale of 1 to 10, where 1 is her old self and 10 was the worst monster during the cycling times, she is maybe around a 3. If at the worst of the time she was emotionally in her early teens I would say she is in her late teens or early 20s at her best.

For me as I said I have moved on. I have been in a good relationship for three years. It has been growing slowly and organically with no particular goal in mind. Neither one of us is looking to get married again, nor to live together. She is completely aware of what is going on in my life, the full story of my STBW(?), and her sudden return. I can not in any way imagine ever wanting a relationship like I had with my wife at this point, much less see a path to any kind of reconciliation. First she is nowhere near capable or ready, and I have moved on. There has been too much said, and I have grown and changed and like so many here say I am happy with my self, and by myself. Its a case of never say never, but any path even if it existed is probably another five to six years assuming my W ever was serious about trying to heal herself.

So all I wish right now is for her to find her footing, to stop running. To take the time alone to heal, to grow, to truly find herself and get to a contented and authentic life. If she ever starts down that path and if she needs my help I will be there for her. I will always take care of myself first, but with all the years we had (she was truly my best friend) I will do my best to help, if she wants it. And maybe one day in the distant future we may be real friends in the present, not just in the past.

I have no idea how brief or long this chapter will be, but I think I’d like to share it here. I welcome advice and feedback from veterans or any insight if anyone sees me not being honest with myself. And the title is a line I keep hearing in my head at times from an amazing Sade song. So I am going to post this link here, with full credits to Nas who has started and owns the song concept!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZL4sGl9MSOA
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« Last Edit: May 22, 2021, 04:22:06 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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The Dawn holds the heaviness of the Night
#1: May 22, 2021, 05:29:14 PM
 Welcome! And thanks for sharing your story.  :)  This is a great group with great people.
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The Dawn holds the heaviness of the Night
#2: May 22, 2021, 09:09:47 PM
First, let me commend you on an absolutely stellar song choice in the magnificent Sade:
🎶 I've cried for the lives I've lost
Like a child in need of love 🎶

Having had a heavy day myself today, those lyrics were like an opening of floodgates, a bit of a cathartic release tonight (in a good way).

🎶🎶 My tears flow like a child's in need of love
I've cried the tears
So build the fire, light the flame
Bring me home🎶🎶

Thanks for sharing parts of your story and this as yet unknown unfolding chapter. I can imagine that even with good detachment and a “new normal” for yourself and your own sense of what “home” means to YOU (a huge deal in its own right), and even with intermittent contact throughout, seeing her after a long while will bring up feelings and maybe even lead to revelations of your own.
I’m glad you have this space to share and be heard. I hope it’ll be a help to you and I have no doubt it will help others on their own journeys of moving on (or even standing in whatever unique way that is defined to each individual).

You have imparted wise words to many in your time here, so welcome to your own story here.
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The Dawn holds the heaviness of the Night
#3: May 22, 2021, 10:16:51 PM
Thank you, as Nas said, for the Sade song and for deciding to post about this next chapter in your life, Marvin.
Funnily enough, we come here with MLC stories but I often think that actually we act as witnesses for each other’s stories as LBS. How important that is at a time when most of us feel so unheard and unseen in RL. And perhaps life after being an LBS. Which may be just as important to read about for those looking for hope in the dark days.

You sound very calm. (I’m sure there have been plenty of times when you have not been  :) ) As if you are no longer striving for answers or chewing on the perennial questions of what was real before her crisis or feeling the need to label her. I rather envy that calm....not quite there yet, or not all the time  :)

You sound as if you are not standing for your marriage now, but standing for your wife’s healing if you have any part to play in it? And that you were standing for a while? What changed for you? And what do you see as the biggest changes in your mindset or actions that got you to where you are now?

To help others here who may be in a similar place....are you still legally married and if so, how have you handled the practical and financial aspects of that bc there are others here probably in a similar situation. (I think there might be such a thing as MLC Time lol....certainly I found that LBS Time was a thing  :)....years can feel like years and also not, can’t they?)

And with hindsight, what made you decide that your w had what we call MLC here? Your w sounds like an intermittent boomerang....patches of vanishing, patches of pop up anchor checks? Does she come with the kind of unresolved FOO baggage for instance that many (but not all maybe) seem to carry? Was there an event or series of events that you see as the catalyst for her unravelling?

And how are you feeling in yourself about your w’s return to the country?
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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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Re: The Dawn holds the heaviness of the Night
#4: May 23, 2021, 04:44:06 AM
Thanks MF, Nas and Treasur.

I pretty much followed the typical LBS story myself. In the first few weeks I was completely pretzeling, confused, lost and had no idea what was really going on. Obviously like most I still assumed my wife was my friend, my partner, worth my trust, and as I started to understand much later what a mistake that is. But most of us make it because we simply can’t know that our loved one is no longer a coherent functioning psyche. They hide it so well. Two things really helped me in those early days. First was that her behaviour and distancing triggered my own abandonment issues. I still remember the moment when I realized this. This immediately helped me take my focus off her and back on myself, and I found a good trauma therapist. And almost at the same time this helped me start to look at her with clearer eyes and realized something was “off.” And a little search like most of other LBSes led me to various MLC sites and boy did that help. Once I started to separate what was mine and what was going on with her that helped me start to regain footing early on. Not that there was not some real periods of deep pain, lots of grief, and a long time before I started to internalize and process that my marriage was over. I understood it intellectually within 2 or 3 months, but emotions are like a giant boat, they don’t turn on a dime. After 23 years it took a long while for things to slowly realign themselves.

I don’t think I ever stood for my marriage in the more strict sense as I am not religious. Rather I was really concerned for the well being of my friend and my wife, it was so obvious how much pain and turmoil she was in. I had known her for so long, and we talked about and shared everything openly. We knew each other’s past, childhood traumas, what haunted us etc. And to watch her split in a way into multiple competing facets of herself, the anger it was so difficult. But because I already had learned to detach from my past it helped me stay a little more “back” and observe. And it reduced the damage. It didn’t take it away, but it helped. Initially I also was trying to save myself by “fixing” what was going on, but that is very normal. Over time I slowly separated from “us” to “me” again and picked back up all the parts of my well being that I had put in our relationship. Over many many many months. In fact the biggest damage I noticed was that over the years my wife had become a great reflection in which I could see my strengths and weaknesses. She was very insightful, honest and empathetic before it all fell apart. So inadvertently I had placed my own view of myself in her lens. So when she fractured and started distorting me (over the time before BD1) without me noticing I had slowly started to feel diminished. It was from her subtle digs, her jabs, her hostility. I hadn’t noticed but I had shrunk. At BD it was no longer subtle, but overt and hostile. That in a strange was helped, because some of things she said to me were so not aligned with who I am that I started to question what was going on.

Treasur to answer you questions directly: yes we are legally married, but functionally we have not been for over 3 years. She ran off with her “soul mate” at the start, and I actually know the moment our marriage was over. It was at BD1. Financially there is no danger for various reasons, but where I live in order to finalize a divorce we need an agreement. Truthfully right now I don’t think she could handle anything too complex, and I can not imagine how she would go through a divorce process. And even if I could drag her through it I don’t think its fair. When we do agree about finances I would like her to be of “sound mind” and make good decisions that she is happy with. I can’t imagine that can happen right now. But I engaged lawyers early on and have taken steps to protect finances.

MLC is a colloquial terms for a significant psychological event. Honestly it is easy to see when we are removed. There are periods of deep disassociation (shark eyes), memory loss, total loss of empathy (which can be a hallmark of deep emotional pain, the psyche shuts down empathy just like the body will collect blood in the core, its emotional survival), and the rage and anger. In my Ws case she also started lying. When I caught her in the first lie it truly shocked me. She had not lied in 23 years, she had no need to. She was happy to “call me out,” always stood her ground, and we could talk about anything. Then I noticed she was lying about small things too. Honestly I quickly started seeing how she was no longer operating as a functional adult, but I could see behaviours of a child in different ages. I remember one very poignant conversation we had in one of her touch and gos, where she was still blaming me, but at the same time was sharing with me what was going on because she trusted me. I had already detached and was not talking about anything of us, but listening. And suddenly she said “why are you so distant?” I reminded her she wanted space and that I was doing just that. She started crying. I asked if she wanted more space and she curled up like a ball in floor sobbing the word “no.” It was like a 4 or 5 year old. It was heartbreaking.

So I am now going to say to others: no matter how much love or empathy you may have for your MLCer (or none at all, it all depends on who they were and what happened) NONE OF THEIR PAIN is yours. You can not fix it, you can not make it better. Maybe the hardest thing to accept after accepting that your relationship as you knew it is over is this. That you may need to remove yourself, because seeing them in pain can be deadly, but without accepting that nothing you do will matter or help you may damage yourself trying to do just that.

Anyway I’ll live it here for now with this other song of the same album:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_RVoBR1AlVQ
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« Last Edit: May 23, 2021, 04:46:41 AM 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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The Dawn holds the heaviness of the Night
#5: May 23, 2021, 05:22:04 AM
Thank you marvin for sharing your story. The similarities in so many of the stories are really quite incredible. The back and forth quite crazy making because it doesn't make any sense to us. One minute hot, then cold and distant. The lack of empathy is something I still have trouble coping with.

It helps others to read these stories, the common concepts of their behavior being compared to being a child. It is also important to recognize our own trauma and to get the right kind of therapist for ourselves who can treat the trauma we have experienced.

My husband lived out of country for 10 years and suddenly returned. Unfortunately that has opened up wounds for me, again.

My difficulty is my memories of the life we once had and how much I miss that life.

I also think that personally, the ability to love again has been completely destroyed in me and that scares me.

So even though we detach, (and it took me much longer than it did for you and others), we need to acknowledge the damage that has been done. Often we tell people to work on themselves and to heal and become whole again, I somehow keep stumbling on that road.

Thank you for being so open and for your ability to express what this is about.

The one of many phrases that were significant to me that you wrote:

MLC is a colloquial terms for a significant psychological event.

That helps me when my heart breaks over the love that was once so beautiful and is now long gone.
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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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The Dawn holds the heaviness of the Night
#6: May 23, 2021, 05:24:59 AM
Thank you for posting Marvin.  Your words hit home in so many ways.  They also go to show that MLC is a journey for the LBS as well.  A journey that is life changing for sure.

Quote
So I am now going to say to others: no matter how much love or empathy you may have for your MLCer (or none at all, it all depends on who they were and what happened) NONE OF THEIR PAIN is yours. You can not fix it, you can not make it better. Maybe the hardest thing to accept after accepting that your relationship as you knew it is over is this. That you may need to remove yourself, because seeing them in pain can be deadly, but without accepting that nothing you do will matter or help you may damage yourself trying to do just that.

This may be the biggest lesson I have had to learn through all of this.  For me I found peace after I did.  As my H and I move forward in putting a relationship back together, this lesson is first and foremost.  We each have to own what is ours. 

I look forward to reading more about where your journey takes you.  Again, thanks for sharing.

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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The Dawn holds the heaviness of the Night
#7: May 23, 2021, 08:21:16 AM
Marvin, I have been grateful for your insight and wisdom on this forum throughout my journey, and in your own story there are yet more lessons that apply to many of us. Thank you for sharing your story and for the reminders about the need to detach and care for ourselves.

What hit home for me is the spouse having been a reflection in which you could see your strengths and weaknesses, and the initial insight being replaced by distortion of that reflection. When you trust that person implicitly and therefore you trust their view of you, it takes some time and work to realize that the distortion is about them and not about you.

Following along with you...
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Re: The Dawn holds the heaviness of the Night
#8: May 23, 2021, 12:32:04 PM
.... So when she fractured and started distorting me (over the time before BD1) without me noticing I had slowly started to feel diminished. It was from her subtle digs, her jabs, her hostility. I hadn’t noticed but I had shrunk. At BD it was no longer subtle, but overt and hostile. That in a strange was helped, because some of things she said to me were so not aligned with who I am that I started to question what was going on.
I think this happens a lot. We trust our spouse, so if they are subtly digging at us, we think they must be accurate in their assessment of us. For those that got the ramp up to BD where their spouse flip flopped from "You are the greatest thing since sliced bread." to "Can't you do anything right", it might take a while to figure out how much damage might have been done to our own perspective of ourselves. It wasn't until my ex accused me of things HE had done that I recognized his previous gaslighting.

It's hard won when you can get the distortion separated from reality. That must have been very difficult, yet eye opening, for you to sort if she had started well before BD and you considered her a reflection you could trust.

It sounds like you are well prepared for the next part of your journey where your paths could meet again. I hope it is drama free and that all goes well.
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When life gives you lemons, make SALSA!

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Re: The Dawn holds the heaviness of the Night
#9: May 23, 2021, 12:56:11 PM
Thank you all for your thoughts and feedback.

My difficulty is my memories of the life we once had and how much I miss that life.

That helps me when my heart breaks over the love that was once so beautiful and is now long gone.

Xyzcf: not that it helps but for me part of it was true and real acceptance that that part has been gone for along while. Its not easy but so essential. I’ll just quote more Sade (works for now):

“Nothing's quite how it seems
The ghost of my joy
Won't let me be”

Roo: Thank you and I always enjoy and appreciate your story and insights as you move along your path with your H.

Curiosity: Thank you and welcome along for this part of the ride!

It sounds like you are well prepared for the next part of your journey where your paths could meet again. I hope it is drama free and that all goes well.

Thank you for the good wishes, appreciated and I know what you mean. But my expectations are at nill, and as far as it going well: heh! Not a chance!

 8)
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« Last Edit: May 23, 2021, 01:00:38 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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