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Author Topic: My Story How to conduct myself around the MLCer

L
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My Story How to conduct myself around the MLCer
OP: October 12, 2021, 05:53:52 AM
Hi everyone,
This is such a wonderful place for aching hearts. I've read so many of the threads and articles here , they have helped me in my journey so fat , now I'm lost
I need advice regarding how to interact with my MLCer
He is in a relationship with a 25 year old prostitute he met when he went on a business trip to Phillipines in September 2019. She has 3 children.
He returned home in feb 2019, I sensed something was wrong , confronted him ,initially said he was rehabilitating a woman , as I knew he was lying and put pressure he accepted to being physically intimate with her.
Tried breaking up with her maybe a lie to convince me then to be calm, I was all over the place , finally in June 2020 said he wants  both of us in his life he cannot choose and will not let her go. Wants to live life with her as she is exploited and she has no one to care for her.
I did all the things wrong crying pleading rationalizing etc
He is in touch with her (not able to travel due to covid) sends money for her expenses, stopped sharing his account details with me.
Left home sept 2020 ,kept visiting home once in 2 months. If I ask for D he leaves home or does not talk about it.
He lives on our farm all alone , used to  call me everyday and speak for hours.
If I tell him I wont be part of his life if he has OW he monsters and stops contact.as long as I don't talk abt OW he is good, if i draw the line he monsters.
He has not told anyone abt her.
I have been the pursuer ,I went NC in May 2021
Except for 1 message every month regarding expenses which he provides
He does not call or message me nor do I, we were physically intimate till march the last time he was home
He has not spoken  to my elder son for 7 months , plays online games with the younger one.
My kids miss him , they r going through grief.
What do I do now
Should I reach out to him?
He may visit this week : how do I behave around him?
Is it ok to be intimate with him ?
His friend wants to talk to him : will it help?
I wish to save the marriage. I'm lost don't know what to do.

H -43 me - 43
BD march 2020
OW from September 2019
2 sons 16y and 10y
T 23 years
Married 18
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« Last Edit: October 20, 2021, 07:21:56 AM by OldPilot »

T
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How to conduct myself around the MLCer
#1: October 12, 2021, 06:53:43 AM
Oh, there are so many similarities in your story and mine in behavior and OW ( m XH is a coworker, not a prostitute) I am 10 months post BD and my XH is now moving OW in. I have told him as long as he is being disrespectful to me an our children and he is involved with OW there is no more contact with me. Do not reach out to him. Do not sleep with him. He has hands in both cookie jars and it is not healthy for you to put yourself at risk sleeping with him.

It’s all easier said than done, but turn your focus on you. Make plans for yourself to keep you focused in a new direction. I got this advise so many times. So hard to break away, but it is your healthiest option for YOU. Do things you have put off or maybe didn’t do because it was not something he enjoyed. His actions are showing you that he is only worried about how he feels and what serve him.
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H-54 W-58  M 7/6/91 Kids d-30 s-28 d-14 (dies 2009)
2013- moments of disconnect start
Aug 2016 promotion requires travel   
Oct 2017-total disconnect
Jan 2018- moved out H
Mar 2018- BD1 found old phone 3 EA ‘17-H in therapy
EA ow1-49,  EA-ow2 57, (EA- ow3-58 not reciprocated)
Sept ‘18 -2nd Home in new state H new job
Oct 2018-H moves home
Oct 2020 BD2 does not return home from B trip
Nov 2020 H move to 2nd home in other state OW4
Div filed-Dec ‘20   Div final-Feb ‘21
Oct 2021- XH moves in OW4
https://mlcforum.theherosspouse.com/index.php?topic=11796.

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How to conduct myself around the MLCer
#2: October 12, 2021, 09:09:03 AM
Not many similarities in our stories, but to me the advice from Tornup is spot on. He is trying to have it all, thinking only of himself. You need to put the focus on yourself and your kids, on building the best possible life for you as an individual and for them. It’s hard, and sometimes even when you think you have detached and started to focus on you, something will happen to make you realize you have a long way to go. But keep doing the work; it’s so worth it.
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How to conduct myself around the MLCer
#3: October 12, 2021, 12:56:27 PM
Hello Lostinthewoods,

I am sorry that you are going through this.

There have been other posters whose spouses have become involved with women in foreign countries, usually requiring transfers of large sums of money.

Have you consulted with a lawyer?  Your financial safety is really important. I know you wish to "save your marriage" and getting legal advice doesn't mean that you have given up but he is not the man that you knew for so long and he will most likely do things that you would never imagine he could do.

He wants both of you in his life...what do you want? Is this acceptable to you? It doesn't sound like it is so you get to make that decision. You do not need to try and change your beliefs in any effort to "keep him".....he needs to figure out what life he wishes to live.

Regarding being intimate with him, make sure that you use a condom and even more important would be for him to be tested for STD's so that you don't end up being infected.

MLC is not about you and not about your marriage. He is on his own journey and you can only watch and see his disintegration.

What is most important is taking care of yourself and your family. Build a life with things that you enjoy. Find a therapist that can help you to sort out all the feelings and issues that his crisis has caused in you. Many of the members here were diagnosed with PTSD as our whole lives were blown apart. Exercise regularly, get enough sleep, things like yoga and meditation can help. Sometimes medications are necessary for depression or anxiety.

People on HS are good at seeing things that sometimes when you are in the thick of things, you cannot see (or cannot accept/believe). You know your situation best and so trust your inner voice on how you want to proceed.

Our children also have a difficult time with this and sometimes we don't have the energy to help them through these very difficult years.

Many of our friends and family will not understand and that will make it very lonely for us as we know who these men were before their crisis.

Ask questions, read the articles about MLC.

I keep going back to this phrase:
Quote
I wish to save the marriage. I'm lost don't know what to do.

I am standing for our marriage and have done so for over 12 years. That's different I think than trying to "save our marriage" because  our marriage ended at BD. There really is nothing you can do to change the dynamics of your relationship. If he can navigate through his crisis and comes through it, then together you may be able to rebuild a life together. But for now, stepping back and just letting go of him is the best thing for you...giving yourself space to heal and become whole again.

Difficult to do...we really want to "solve" this, take care of it, find a therapy that will resolve things but unfortunately that doesn't seem to help. Most likely his friend reaching out to him will not change his mind about anything.

Take good care of yourself!

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« Last Edit: October 12, 2021, 12:59:12 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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How to conduct myself around the MLCer
#4: October 12, 2021, 03:48:34 PM
“How to conduct myself around the MLCer”

I get it.  Initially, I didn’t want to do the wrong thing to push my H even farther away from me and our children. 

The thing is, you eventually come to realize that your conduct should not be about MLCer, but about yourself — to deeply honour your dignity and autonomy.
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Feb 2015: BD. 
Dec 2017: Seriously reconnecting

H never left home.

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Re: How to conduct myself around the MLCer
#5: October 12, 2021, 04:10:40 PM
Dear lost, you are getting very good advice and support but Xyzcf's words are GOLD!

Please reread what she has said.

Hugs
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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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How to conduct myself around the MLCer
#6: October 12, 2021, 10:11:14 PM
Thank you all ao much for your advice and responding so quickly , I feel better knowing that I can come here to have my confusion cleared.
I do not want to live in a triangle relationship, it hurts me so much just knowing he is sharing himaelf with someone else ,when I saw that my husband who could not emote too well with me , going ga ga and all mushy with this OW , it broke my soul , even though its been almost 18months since BD , and haven't spoken to him or seen him for the past 6 months it still feels raw and hurts as bad .
I am in IC ,  I am trying to overcome this pain , some days are good , some bad , when I see my kids fall apart it kills me , I feel like I'm swimming against the tide trying to save my family.
I have let him be , I have no intention of getting together with him as long as he has OW in his life.
I have read NC is not good for reconciliation , I've also read to go dark , it is confusing my overloaded brain , should I continue NC , as he does not reach out to me , sometimes it scares me , I think he is going away from us , that he is choosing the ow and her family over us (out of sight out of mind).
He has not stopped paying bills ,

 if I have to secure myself financially beyond doubt I will have to divorce him and even then he could make my life miserable by refusing to pay delay payment etc . In my country there are no other options.
I've told him to go live his life , have asked him for divorce on multiple occasions, he refuses to discuss it . In the beginning he used to physically abuse me , but not anymore I will never know when that monster will wake up again. If he comes here to stay. He has told my little one he will come home sometime this week . My little one misses his dad very much ,in fact  he was the one who asked him to come home . I don't want to hurt my son. It's been 6 months since he left .
I've stopped talking about the ow since Jan.
If I behave himself around him (ie not ask about marriage or ow he will treat me well , if I were  to ask then all hell will break looae)
I dont think I can have friendly conversations with him after this long gap , how do I behave. Should i just ignore him.
 I got him tested for STDs when I knew he was intimate with her. He has not been able to travel back till now due to COVID , he is in touch with her through facebook etc , online sex etc
 I need some practical advise and tips please .
My only reason for allowing him to be intimate and maintaining peace is to make him see how we could be . I feel disgusted when I'm intimate with him as the visual images of them being together  comes to my mind.
I am a stay at home mom fully dependent on him financially. It feels like I'm walking on eggshells around him.

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How to conduct myself around the MLCer
#7: October 13, 2021, 12:21:21 AM
LITW- I can feel your torment in your words. First off you can not allow yourself to be put in any position to be physically abused ever. Please talk with your IC  on this. The monstering when the conversation is not going in his direction is pretty MLC script. I personally would remain NC. This seems very unhealthy for you and you do not seem to be getting any positive interaction at this point.

You do need to secure yourself financially. Talk to a lawyer and get some advise. You will also need to start living like he is not coming back and that means also looking for employment. Try and focus on how to make yourself more independent of him. He is not the man you fell in love with. This crisis could take years and you need to make sure you and your family are safe and secure. Place all your energy on you. He can not appreciate or return the energy you are putting in him at this point.
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H-54 W-58  M 7/6/91 Kids d-30 s-28 d-14 (dies 2009)
2013- moments of disconnect start
Aug 2016 promotion requires travel   
Oct 2017-total disconnect
Jan 2018- moved out H
Mar 2018- BD1 found old phone 3 EA ‘17-H in therapy
EA ow1-49,  EA-ow2 57, (EA- ow3-58 not reciprocated)
Sept ‘18 -2nd Home in new state H new job
Oct 2018-H moves home
Oct 2020 BD2 does not return home from B trip
Nov 2020 H move to 2nd home in other state OW4
Div filed-Dec ‘20   Div final-Feb ‘21
Oct 2021- XH moves in OW4
https://mlcforum.theherosspouse.com/index.php?topic=11796.

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Re: How to conduct myself around the MLCer
#8: October 13, 2021, 06:06:55 AM
I totally get your desire to "save your family." Unfortunately, that cannot be a one person pursuit. Taking that onus off your plate opens up A LOT of space for you to invest your energy in saving yourself and the emotional well-being of your kids.
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me 51
H 51
M 27
BD 1/15/ 10 then BD 8/21/10
D final 8/13

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How to conduct myself around the MLCer
#9: October 13, 2021, 07:04:08 AM
Quote
I am in IC ,  I am trying to overcome this pain , some days are good , some bad , when I see my kids fall apart it kills me , I feel like I'm swimming against the tide trying to save my family.

I am glad that you have a therapist. The trauma that is caused by this type of sudden and abrupt change in our lives causes our fight/flight/freeze nervous system response to go into high gear, to remain on continuously which can cause many problems. Learning to change the response back to a calmer state is very important for our physical and emotional well being.


Quote
I have read NC is not good for reconciliation , I've also read to go dark , it is confusing my overloaded brain , should I continue NC , as he does not reach out to me , sometimes it scares me , I think he is going away from us , that he is choosing the ow and her family over us (out of sight out of mind).

We initially want information of how to “fix” this, what types of things do we need to do to help our marriage survive. Unfortunately, without a willing partner, there isn’t anything that we can do, no magic formula, no “manual” of how to win him back (although there are many sites that you can obtain coaching, MLC is not the same as a marriage that has ended due to other issues).

The best thing to do now is to evaluate your life and what that looks like without your spouse.

It goes against our nature not to try and do something. My own personal belief is/was continue to allow him to be a part of our life. Others have found that it’s better to not have contact. When there are children involved, that is sometimes impossible to do.

Quote
In the beginning he used to physically abuse me , but not anymore I will never know when that monster will wake up again. If I behave himself around him (ie not ask about marriage or ow he will treat me well , if I were  to ask then all hell will break looae)

Quote
My only reason for allowing him to be intimate and maintaining peace is to make him see how we could be . I feel disgusted when I'm intimate with him as the visual images of them being together  comes to my mind.

These two comments raise huge red flags to me. Have you discussed this with your therapist? Both of these statements make me wonder if perhaps you are dealing with a domestic violence situation. Even though he is not physically abusive at the moment, there is fear that he could be if you do anything that makes him angry ie: “behave yourself around him”.

This is not a healthy dynamic. If you have not already addressed this in IC, please do. You might also wish to contact a domestic violence agency and goggle “battered woman syndrome”.

Physical/sexual and emotional abuse is NEVER OK.

Quote
I dont think I can have friendly conversations with him after this long gap , how do I behave. Should i just ignore him.

One piece of advice that was helpful to me was to treat him as if he were a long lost relative who you do not know very well.

Do not have talks about the OW or your relationship/marriage. Keep your focus on the practicalities of your financial needs, the needs of the children.

You do not need to contact him. He knows very well where to find you.
 
Quote
I got him tested for STDs when I knew he was intimate with her. He has not been able to travel back till now due to COVID , he is in touch with her through facebook etc , online sex etc

He could still be having sex with others that you are not aware of. Your writing about being intimate with him and how it makes you feel would suggest to me that for your own sake, this is not a healthy intimate relationship and could be detrimental to your well being,
 

Quote
I am a stay at home mom fully dependent on him financially. It feels like I'm walking on eggshells around him.

MLC can last years and there are no guarantees that he will continue to support you financially. You might wish to look into going back to school, or finding a job. However, having some legal advice about this would be a good thing because sometimes your settlement will be dependent upon your income and ability to work.

Please do not trust that he will be “fair”. Obtaining legal advice to know what you potentially might be entitled to will help you to take back control over your life.

Discussing a “divorce” with your husband and having him ignore you will not protect you. Once assets are gone/ sent to the OW, hidden or otherwise squandered, there is no way to get that money back.

I have been standing for 12 years and never wanted a divorce. I was able to obtain a legal separation to divide our assets. I was shocked at how little he wanted to “share” with me after 32 years. Some countries do not have legal separations and a divorce might be necessary for your and your children’s protection. You do not need his “permission” to further investigate what this means and I know it is very very hard when you want your family and marriage to survive this…..but it is something many LBSers wished they had taken more seriously.

 
Quote
I need some practical advise and tips please .

We say “put your oxygen mask on first” and so take care of yourself. You can make a list of all assets, the amounts in each accounts, tax returns with the present date. A lawyer can maintain a copy of this for you so that moving forward you might be able to prove how much he has spent on the OW.

Keep a record of ALL your household expenses for at least 6 months. Every expense, hair cuts, gas, mortage, groceries, kid’s activities. This will also be helpful going forward to have a very clear idea of how much you need to live comfortably on.

Plan for what type of work you might wish to do and the educational requirements you will need.

Take good care of yourself. Get enough rest and try to decrease your anxiety level.

Find some activities that you enjoy. Do you have friends that you are close to? Is there a group that you would like to participate in?

Exercize, especially outdoors in nature.

Enjoy your children. This is a very difficult time for them and breaks away from the sadness can help them realize that they still have one strong and supportive parent.

Plan ahead for the holidays and what you will do, who you will spend them with.

Know that this is not your fault! Be gentle with yourself and continue to ask questions and read as much as you can about healthy mental health strategies for yourself and your children.
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« Last Edit: October 13, 2021, 07:06:44 AM 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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How to conduct myself around the MLCer
#10: October 13, 2021, 10:31:56 AM
Thank you tornup and forthetrees for you reply
It's true that a marriage needs both of us to be invested to make it work . It is so difficult to accept the reality that my marriage may be over
 xyzcf thank you so much for taking time off and giving me such detailed and clear reply about actionables. A big hug to you all.
When he comes home I'll just treat him politely, only respond if he asks anything  like with a lost relative. This is a very good advice , thank you.
I will not allow him to be physically or sexually abusive with me anymore , I will go to the law for protection if he repeats it again.
Emotional abuse I dont think I can stop him, I just have to learn to handle myself better and stop letting his actions bother me and make myself strong.
I have consulted a lawyer , but nothing very promising. Since our assets are in joint names , he cannot do much about it , only thing he can squander away is his salary. So far he has fulfilled his commitments for the Bill's.
I have friends with who I have shared my ordeal they are supportive of me of whatever decision I will take.
I pray , I get solace and leading.
I am planning on doing my Masters, just haven't been able to pull myself to do it yet , I'm forgetting things , not confident if I'll be able to finish . I'll make that decision soon, once my son finishes high school ie in a year I'll try to get a job. Not many opportunities where I live.
I did blame myself for a year wondered where I went wrong , I even asked him , he told me nothing was wrong with me and I was the only one who can love him so much , but he cannot leave her , he says it's my choice to end the marriage because he does not want to end it with me.
As I've read about MLC I thought I should give this sometime because making that decision.
He started these MLC signs in 2015 (unhappy with life , not satisfied with work - even though he was doing well. Wanted to get away from it all.
I did not know about MLC then , only knew about it after BD. By now it's too late to help him as he is in the peak of his crises , in his mind he is helping the ow out of a bad situation as she has not been loved ever before he is her knight in shining armor who will love and protect her and show her there is more to life. Basically she has painted a convincing damsel in distress story and he fell for it and her , I know he must love her enough to sacrifice his family for it.
This knowledge hurts but it's the truth.
I'll keep coming here for help and guidance , thank you once again for your love


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T
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How to conduct myself around the MLCer
#11: October 13, 2021, 11:29:29 AM
Quote
  in his mind he is helping the ow out of a bad situation as she has not been loved ever before he is her knight in shining armor who will love and protect her and show her there is more to life. Basically she has painted a convincing damsel in distress story and he fell for it and her , I know he must love her enough to sacrifice his family for it
He doesn’t love himself, so he can’t love her. My XH affaires down the same way. They need the ego boost for their insecurities. She is just a distraction from whats wrong with him that he wont deal with. Don’t give the OW another thought. She could be anybody and she is not the issue st hand. His messed up MLC brain is the issue
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H-54 W-58  M 7/6/91 Kids d-30 s-28 d-14 (dies 2009)
2013- moments of disconnect start
Aug 2016 promotion requires travel   
Oct 2017-total disconnect
Jan 2018- moved out H
Mar 2018- BD1 found old phone 3 EA ‘17-H in therapy
EA ow1-49,  EA-ow2 57, (EA- ow3-58 not reciprocated)
Sept ‘18 -2nd Home in new state H new job
Oct 2018-H moves home
Oct 2020 BD2 does not return home from B trip
Nov 2020 H move to 2nd home in other state OW4
Div filed-Dec ‘20   Div final-Feb ‘21
Oct 2021- XH moves in OW4
https://mlcforum.theherosspouse.com/index.php?topic=11796.

t
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Re: How to conduct myself around the MLCer
#12: October 13, 2021, 01:26:53 PM
Hello and I am so sorry you are in these circumstances, and also glad you found here.

In addition to the other advice given, please consider not having sexual intimacy with him at all. Regardless what the young woman has been up to or whether she has ever been “loved”, and regardless whether she is far away and inaccessible now — she has a history of prostitution. I can’t think of a higher risk occupation.

Last I heard, men cannot be tested for the variant(s) of HPV that cause cervical cancer. That is transmitted and shed and shared asymptomatically and can verifiably result in a medical condition that can actually kill you. It doesn’t appear to impact men the same way. But if a woman contracts it, it can result in at the very least a year or more of irregular pap results, painful biopsies, and whatever methods of treatment or removal, followed by continued watching and medical expense for years afterward.

If a man has visited and fallen in love with a prostitute, it’s probably not a reach to guess that she was NOT the first or only such professional he has approached.

Your sex, your body, your health, and your love are all worth so much more than this. And I know it’s difficult to say no to the spouse we have long loved, but at this time you are dealing with a different person.

I was in my mid-40s before I ever knew there was an HPV variant (or more) that could kill a woman. It took six years or more for my body to clear the virus and because the pandemic happened next, I have no idea if any trace of it still remains. H swore ow1 and ow2 were “clean”, but he also swore they were gone.

The biggest thing is that your h has proved to be a liar. So if you can, be stalwart and keep your precious body apart, for now. He really has to earn that gift of you back.
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How to conduct myself around the MLCer
#13: October 14, 2021, 04:59:33 AM
Thank you for your reply turnup in some weird way it feels comforting. I know I have to let it go , I don't want to see them happy ( the devil in me I guess)
I also know I have no control over his stupid MLC head and heart which is devoid of empathy and emotions for me. I wonder how they can have so much love care and concern for ow and her kids her family but not for his own kids and a wife who stood by him in all times.  I just can't understand it , his reaction to me is conditional ie I have to accept the ow as part of  our lives  then he will be good to me otherwise I get nothing only contempt, hatred and distance . But if the ow distances herself he is so distraught begs and pleads with her , its mind boggling. 
My husband knows the ow is 100 times worse than me(his words) and he can only try to make a life with her,  but still wants her at the cost of everything he has built so far .I cannot understand the logic.
In fact he thought we could all live together as one big happy family (ROFL). I don't know how to insert emojis , I dont see an option  , please let me know how to do it.
I think he thought his wife was so stupid or too much in love with him to deny him this , I have always accepted what he wanted. But this is my line , I cannot and will not tolerate this nonsense.
Like I've said earlier I fear losing him , he was my life and my world.everything revolved around him.for me it hurts too much.
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L
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How to conduct myself around the MLCer
#14: October 14, 2021, 05:16:28 AM
Hi Terra thank you for your precious advise , I didnt know abt HPV and cervical cancer , the scary thing being it cannot be detected easily, I had  got myself tested for STDs , everything was normal .after reading your experience  I can only hope I will be ok .

I was in my mid-40s before I ever knew there was an HPV variant (or more) that could kill a woman. It took six years or more for my body to clear the virus and because the pandemic happened next, I have no idea if any trace of it still remains. H swore ow1 and ow2 were “clean”, but he also swore they were gone.

I hope you are ok and fine now!

The biggest thing is that your h has proved to be a liar. So if you can, be stalwart and keep your precious body apart, for now. He really has to earn that gift of you back.

Yes I see the liar that he's been . I was living in a fog , it's clearing only now after 23 years. Sad
I always thought he was gods blessing for me throughout my marriage I have lived in a bubble now I have to rethink everything , in fact even my friends told me that this may not be the first and only instance as no one just picks up a girl off the streets if he hadn't done it before , I refused to believe them. I trusted him more than me. But reality has bitten real hard , now everything he has done , everything that he was  has now become question mark in my head. I'm wondering why I didn't see it earlier how dumb can I be ??
I will not be intimate with him after this , I don't know how this will go , if he will monster or withdraw further away from us I don't know . I dont know if he will walk out , it makes me panic when he walks out on us , I get panic attacks it drains me , I only wish I can stand my ground , I'm fed up of being treated like I've made the mistake, he is punishing me for not accepting his new life by not talking to me and emotionally withdrawing from us .  I know I need to draw my boundary now.
oh God it's so tough so tough , hurts so much . God give me strength.
Thank you all for your love
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« Last Edit: October 14, 2021, 05:21:21 AM by Lostinthewoods »

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How to conduct myself around the MLCer
#15: October 15, 2021, 02:00:12 AM
Hi everyone hope you all are well
He has told my son he is coming home tomorrow, he has not said how long he will stay , it's been 6 months since he left since we have spoken.
I don't know what to do when he is here its sad, and painful to see him again , I had started learning to live without him   :( it will open old wounds and my progress is going to be stalled.

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How to conduct myself around the MLCer
#16: October 15, 2021, 06:28:18 AM
This is terribly anxiety provoking for you. His telling his son and not letting you know after no communication in the last 6 months is really not right.

The feel very entitled don't they?  And absolutely no sense as to how this affects us.

Please stay safe.

Set boundaries around where he will sleep, whether he is allowed to touch you or not and plan to get away from the house to give yourself a break from his being there. You can also decide if you will listen to him talk about OW or not. You can speak clearly about that stating that you will not engage in conversation about her.

Do you have a close friend or family nearby? It might be good for them to know that he is coming to the house.

I hope this visit will be peaceful. Breathe, go for a  walk and don't let him take away the progress you have made. You are not the same woman as you were 6 months ago. He will soon find that out.
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« Last Edit: October 15, 2021, 06:30:00 AM 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."

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How to conduct myself around the MLCer
#17: October 15, 2021, 09:44:50 AM
Thank you xyzcf for your advise, I have decided I'm going to treat him like a long lost relative like you said in the previous post, no touching, no friendly sweet conversations etc .
I've informed my friends that he will be in town and their numbers are on speed dial.
Its heartbreaking to see my son so excited, I feel he will be disappointed because at the back of my mind I feel we may not be a family again.
He already knows that I will not entertain discussions about the ow , he does not do it unless I talk about our relationship and her presence in his life anyway it does not go well , so those discussions are a no no.
I think he is just coming because my son was missing him and he asked him to come .
I hate the way he is behaving, I hate everything about him now.
I don't know why I'm standing , don't know if it is worth it.
Sometimes the thought that he maybe in MLC and may change is what makes me want to stand for some more time . I guess eventually some decision has to taken and closure got.
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How to conduct myself around the MLCer
#18: October 17, 2021, 07:06:21 PM
Hi everyone,
An update , he has come home , even though he has not spoken to me for 6 months he talks to me like life is normal, no apology , nothing, just started talking, no physical touch, not even a hug.
I can't understand him.
I don't know what to do !!
Should I not talk to him or should I talk ? I'm walking on eggshells, I hate this
He is still in touch with her , I saw him messaging her ,
How long more should I wait
I cried the whole night . I'm so hurt
Why can't he go if he loves her so much and leave us alone?
Why throw these crumbs?
I'm lost as usual and so so hurt.
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Re: How to conduct myself around the MLCer
#19: October 17, 2021, 07:24:36 PM
Hello and good to see your update; breathe easy now that you’re here.

For what it’s worth, I said a rule early in that h would not be making or receiving calls or texts or otherwise communicating with ow1 while with us here. Absolutely not under our roof, nor on the doorstep, nor in the front or back yard, nor down the block, etc. The time with us was to be time with us only, and if he needed to talk to that person so badly, he should just leave.

 ::) That worked very well although a year later he was off and running with ow2, and still is. So, grain of salt —

For ow2, I have tried to remain in as little contact as possible. He continues to attempt contact and when I accept, he already knows there is a boundary that this person is not to be discussed at all with me. Periodically he mentions something or other about them, usually a complaint, sometimes a baiting, and I just let that subject drop like a stone. That person gets no airtime in my life, time, or home. And it’s a bit satisfying when he tries to put it there; I either pause “...ANYWAY...” or else bluntly “That topic doesn’t work for me; next topic please.”

He’s used to getting his way but I’m getting mine now. You know?

I also have been known to legitimately yawn, look around the room, and then announce idly “Can I call you back? I need to pee.” <— That one is the best, and I only say it when it’s true. Then I take my sweet time (ahh  ;D) and also be sure to go to the kitchen and pour and drink a long tall glass of water afterward. Because it’s important to stay hydrated. And maybe after that I file my nails, or feed the pets, or check email for a while. Because it’s also important to keep myself priority here.

That sounds like game-playing, and it kind of is. The main thing, though, is that in this current circumstance, you are actually the most important person, and the one whose time and energy are most valuable.

Ok to mirror and give back whatever he’s giving.
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#20: October 17, 2021, 08:38:41 PM
Lost, tell us some more about your situation.  You do not deserve to be walking on eggshells.

I had a live in MLCer for 18 months. At first he would monster at me, but after a few months i shut that down in varying ways. I had to tell him to stop interrupting me, that i got to have an opinion, and that he treated complete strangers better than he did me. I was not going to walk on eggshells or be treated as a second class citizen. As he understood i was not goi g to be monstered at, I took control of the master bedroom. It was my space because I could not be in the same space as him for long periods of time. I would be in the main part of the house from when S and I got home, around 4 pm, until xh got home, then I'd disappear into the bedroom. When I did have to converse with him, it was short, polite, courteous. 

Taking care of myself was the best thing I ever did, but I did not start to truly heal until he moved out.

Do you WANT your H there? If so, then what is it you fear that you are walking on eggshells?
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How to conduct myself around the MLCer
#21: October 17, 2021, 08:50:26 PM
Thank you for your response

Today I wonder if its MLC. In your experience , is it MLC ?
He seems very clear with his decision?
In these 18 months after BD not once has he waived on his decision of wanting to live with both ? Except for the first 2 months No confusion, no indecisiveness. Now he is closer to her and moving away from me .
Am I doing things that's pushing him away?
I'm not crying , pleading, etc , I'm just trying to ignore , he doesn't care nor does it hurt him.
He seems to be happy with the choices he has made and the life he is living now.
I'm so tired of this , please help me .
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#22: October 17, 2021, 09:08:46 PM
He is a distant contractor, does not live with me , I was healing when he was not here for 6 months, now he has come here to spend time with the  children (I don't know his intentions really as he did not say anything to me.). Now when I see him messaging her my wounds are reopened again .
I'm hurting, does this pain ever go away?
He does not sleep on our bed (for the first time after BD). Sleeps on the couch , I'm in limbo cannot discuss the  elephant in the room , in the past he has always monstered or just left home. He never gives answers only keeps repeating that he wants both women and yet treats me like this because I have told him I cannot live with him if he has another woman in his life , it's like because I have made this choice he keeps himself distant , if I accept his conditions he will treat me like a wife.
I fear he will walk out , my  children  miss him a lot , they even went though grief and were feeling very low. Both of them lost interest in anything, I can see their happy faces and it hurts me to hurt them again .
I want to have peace at home , but it's not easy as I hurt so bad , I can pretend only for that long.

Are there things i should do to help him realize ? Should I  behave like nothing was wrong ? Is it possible to bring him back?  If i ignore him will it push him into her arms?

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#23: October 17, 2021, 10:45:06 PM
I am so sorry you are going through this. I can only speak for my own situation. It appears there is small percentage of MLCers that "come back". The ones who do seem to own their own actions, identify that what they have done is inappropriate, have remorse and work to make amends. But they have to get there themselves. Nothing we do really affects it too much.

The best thing you can do for yourself is take care of you. Set  boundaries to keep your sanity. For example, If he wants to visit the kids,  he can come for x days. He can step outside if he must call or text OW or you will leave the room if he does not. You take back your power as best you can.

I, personally, started walking on eggshells so as not to "make my xh want to leave" but he took that as my permission for him to treat me poorly. I deserve better, so I stood up for myself. If he didn't like it, he could leave. I was worth more than being treated poorly. So are you.

We talk about detaching and what that meant to me was changing how I saw the situation and my xh. I did not break him, I could not fix him. If he did not like who I am, all of who I am, and was not willing to work with me to resolve any true issues we might have had, then I was not going to prezel myself into someone different to "make him happy". I could jump through every hoop he threw up and it still would not be "good enough". But I AM good enough. I don't need him to say so. You are good enough, too.

Is it MLC? Was he always this way? Cruel and unfeeling and rude and selfish? If he was, not MLC.  If he wasn't,  if he was kind and sweet and thoughtful until suddenly he was not, then maybe MLC. if he had a hard childhood, or was not well versed in how to deal with bad things happening, maybe MLC.

In truth, you have what you have. If it isn't working for your mental health, the saying is to put on your own oxygen mask first. Take care of yourself so you can take care of your kids. Make sure you are financially secure. Speak to an attorney to see what you need to do to protect yourself.

As to how you act around him, my suggestion is to be as normal as you can. Be polite and courteous unless he disrepects you. If he disrepects you, call him on his poor behavior calmly and without emotion as best you can and remove yourself from the situation.

This is very hard. You want them to get their head on straight, but you cannot force that. You might want to keep things calm for your kids. I get that. But you matter, how you are treated matters, what you need matters.  You are the only person you can control, so best to think about what is important to you.

The pain lessens, gets tolerable, and for some it will go away. For myself, 6 years in and it still sometimes hurts, but more in a way where I recognize something my xh did in someone else I am dealing with. I consider that a warning to get away, so not a bad thing. It took me two years to get almost normal and nearly 3 to be able to concentrate well enough to read a book again. It does take a while if you had a long marriage. You just keep going forward, one tiny step at a time. It's not easy, but you can get there. Just so you know. :)

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« Last Edit: October 17, 2021, 10:48:39 PM by OffRoad »
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How to conduct myself around the MLCer
#24: October 17, 2021, 11:52:04 PM
You sound afraid. And that’s not a good way to live.
You sound as if you are waiting on things you can’t control. And that’s not a good way to live either.

I’m sorry that you and your kids are in this situation, but here is where you are.

If I understand what you posted, your h lives somewhere else and you and the kids are living in what was your marital home? And you have had little contact with him but he arranged with one of your sons to visit, not with you? He showed up, you’re not sure why or for how long, he is still in contact with ow and sleeping on the couch?
Ok. Start with the practicalities bc OR is right that you need to reclaim some of your own power back.

This is your home. Once he moved out, he no longer lives there. He is a visitor. It is reasonable to expect a visitor to a) ask to visit and b) have an agreement on how long they are visiting for. It is reasonable to ask him how long he wants to stay and/or tell him how long you are prepared to have him visit. And what his plans are for spending time with the kids while he is there so you can organise your own time accordingly. This is all normal and reasonable; do not let him gaslight you into pretending otherwise.

In reality, you are now separated co-parents bc you live separately. It is probably time to make future arrangements on that basis. Ask him what his plans and wishes are for that. Be clear that future visits should be discussed with you first not your children. Would it work for the kids to visit him where he lives next time, for instance? He is already spending marital assets on ow and MLCers can spend money like water and throw all kinds of sudden dramatic actions into the mix like leaving their jobs or running off to another country.......you may need to have some contingency plans that protect you and your kids from whatever your h does. Jmo.

If you have not already taken legal advice, particularly if you and your kids and your home are all financially dependent on him, i’d suggest that you do that. You may not be ready to act on the advice yet but information can be helpful and make you feel less vulnerable. A lot of LBS here understand why they couldn’t/didn’t do this earlier, but wished later that they did.

And for how you should act while he is there? Forget expecting him to behave like your h. Tbh forget expecting anything much of him at all. Treat him like a strange visiting uncle who you don’t know well. Be civil but say little. Avoid all emotional relationship talks. Arrange to be busy....out when he is with the kids, doing other things in other rooms when he is there. Tbh....and we have all mostly been there, so we get it....you are probably being your own worst enemy right now. Why? Bc you are afraid to make him angry, afraid of pushing him away more, afraid that you won’t like his answers if you challenge him, afraid that you will make things worse or that he won’t ‘like’ you. Well, my friend, the tough news is that the ship you are trying to save has already sailed. Your h lives somewhere else and is focusing on an ow and your old marriage is no longer the same. It may or may not be rebuilt, most aren’t and none quickly, but it is not going to happen just bc you do whatever he wants and live in fear. Not sure I have seen one story here of ‘nicing’ them back tbh.

I am truly sorry bc I know you probably wish that you didn’t have to deal with any of this and that it would all just repair itself. But that is very unlikely, as you also know, and hard as it is, it may be time to start the slow process of adjusting to this new current normal of separated life. The good news is that, as you do, bit by bit, it will give you more of a feeling of control over your own day to day life and make space for nicer GAL things.

Trust the simple reality that what is broken is now broken. And you did not break it. And bc you did not break it you simply cannot repair it on your own. It is normal and understandable to grieve, and grieve hard, but take small steps to adapt to the new reality anyway. I took too long to do that and it damaged my life much more and for longer than the loss of my h.  ::)

What are you doing to take care of yourself? To GAL? And do you have an IC or a good local support system as you navigate this unwanted change in your life?

And if you knew for sure that your marriage was over, that you will just be coparents for the next few years, what would you do differently now?
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« Last Edit: October 18, 2021, 12:17:54 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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"Option A is not available so I need to kick the s**t out of Option B" Sheryl Sandberg

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How to conduct myself around the MLCer
#25: October 18, 2021, 05:09:55 AM
One thing that sticks out at me like a thumb pounded with a hammer is that you say he wants both of you (you and the OW)

Can you say "Cake Eating?"



You will need to come, in your own time, to the conclusion that you are worth more than being a side-chick to OW for MLCH. It is a hard road to travel and a hard place to get to but, the bottom line is that you don't deserve to be sloppy seconds...

MLC'ers HATE boundaries, restrictions, consequences and responsibility like Satan hates Holy Water but, for your own well-being, there needs to be some boundaries set.... For example, when will he show up to visit the kids, where will he stay (he gave up the right to stay at home when he a) left and b) started doing the mattress Mambo with OW(x)

Treasur and OffRoad have nailed it pretty well - You need to shoot the wolf closest to the sled first and that is to get yourself in a position of security (financial and legal) because you are the one that your kids will be looking to as their stable place. The other thing is that this is NOT going to be a race to the finish if it is MLC, it is an ultra-marathon slog through the mud and you are going to be the "rock" for your kids because Lord knows that their Father is about as stable as a bowl of Jello.

I am really sorry that you are having to go through this and I can tell you that many of us have walked the road that you are on in one form or another so you are not alone.

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How to conduct myself around the MLCer
#26: October 19, 2021, 12:31:50 AM
Thank you tornup, offroad and ursamajor for words of wisdom, I will try to calm myself.

I have to get my legal rights checked once again , I will do it once he leaves.

Yes he definitely wanted to do the cake eating , I've removed myself from the triangle , have clearly told him I'm not going to be living with him if he has the ow in his life , when I put this boundary down he stopped talking to me and I also did not reach or talk to him for the past 6m expect for finances once a month.

He does not seem to care , in fact he is sleeping on the couch voluntarily , no sadness there,  I dont think he misses me either.
I have a feeling he is here for the sake of the kids. My elder one hardly communicates with him .
My little one is only 10 and misses his dad and talks and spends time with him.
I'm just being normal , talking on need basis. I hurt badly , just putting up a face is so tough. Mostly left him to himself.
He talks to me normally , no remorse absolutely nothing, no apology
He does not flaunt the ow in my face.
He talks to her before I come down or after I go to bed.
I caught him messaging her when I came down unexpectedly.
Just the knowledge that he is choosing a prostitute over a family of 18years hurts me.
I guess this pain only keeps giving.
I wish to try and stand for my marriage I've asked him to divorce me if he does not want me , he refuses , it's been almost a year since I've told him the D word.
It's like he is punishing me till I accept his  conditions, I'm not going to accept it. I think he knows that now,
I've always been the pursuer and for the first time I've pulled myself away.
Not making up with him.
I know I'm worth it , there is no comparison, sometimes I'm strong to let him go ( in my mind , I can't control him) but sometimes I miss my husband.
He is staying by himself the ow is in her country , they are not in physical touch now for the last 19months, however it is a physical affair , they lived together in the hotel for 5 months, with her 2 little children met her family etc .
He lived a family life with her .
He knows she is not good for him (that's what he told me, till we we taking about her) , but is not  willing to let her go .
Initially he tried to play it low , he is only getting worser with his conviction to keep her in his life .
I thought limerance should reduce , it doesn't look like its slowing down any time soon .
I have a feeling he feels obligated towards her as he has promised to take care of her.
I don't know anything anymore , I'm so tired

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How to conduct myself around the MLCer
#27: October 19, 2021, 06:51:59 AM
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I don't know anything anymore , I'm so tired

The feelings and emotions that the LBSer feels drains us and tires us out. Our bodies are in a state of fight/flight/freeze and that stays active, especially if we are physically in their presence..it is easier to block them from our awareness when they are not physically present. Yet even then, the trauma from what has happened continues to drain our energy and take away our joy.

Because you have children, and you want what is best for them, he is going to be in your life in some way. To be able to do that is difficult, because you somehow need to separate your feelings towards him from the needs of the kids to see him. I found, when trying to manage through the "divorce"..that I would ask myself to separate the "business" from my emotions. I guess in your case, the "business" is his seeing the children.

Which is not necessarily best for you.

It might be helpful to have a legal agreement in place with visitation for the children somewhere elsewhere than your home. He is trying to control the situation by refusing to engage in discussion about a divorce but you do not need his permission to proceed. Based upon several stories I know of, the OW in a foreign country could be receiving money that rightfully belongs to you. He will hide things from you and at some point, money you thought was safe is gone. This has been the pattern for other men who become infatuated with a foreign woman.

In my mind, my number one priority had to shift to my own well being and that of our daughter's.

Looking in, anyone would say he is being disrespectful and hurtful to you, you'd say that if it were happening to one of your friends....but it is hard for us, even when we see it to say...no...you will not do this to me.

It is hard to talk to someone who refuses to talk to you. Hopefully he will get tired of sleeping on the couch and leave you alone.

We are here to listen. You are not alone.
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« Last Edit: October 19, 2021, 06:55:26 AM 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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How to conduct myself around the MLCer
#28: October 19, 2021, 07:51:10 AM
Quote
Tbh....and we have all mostly been there, so we get it....you are probably being your own worst enemy right now. Why? Bc you are afraid to make him angry, afraid of pushing him away more, afraid that you won’t like his answers if you challenge him, afraid that you will make things worse or that he won’t ‘like’ you. Well, my friend, the tough news is that the ship you are trying to save has already sailed. Your h lives somewhere else and is focusing on an ow and your old marriage is no longer the same. It may or may not be rebuilt, most aren’t and none quickly, but it is not going to happen just bc you do whatever he wants and live in fear. Not sure I have seen one story here of ‘nicing’ them back tbh.
Read this quote from Treasur over and over and over!!! It is SPOT ON!!!!
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H-54 W-58  M 7/6/91 Kids d-30 s-28 d-14 (dies 2009)
2013- moments of disconnect start
Aug 2016 promotion requires travel   
Oct 2017-total disconnect
Jan 2018- moved out H
Mar 2018- BD1 found old phone 3 EA ‘17-H in therapy
EA ow1-49,  EA-ow2 57, (EA- ow3-58 not reciprocated)
Sept ‘18 -2nd Home in new state H new job
Oct 2018-H moves home
Oct 2020 BD2 does not return home from B trip
Nov 2020 H move to 2nd home in other state OW4
Div filed-Dec ‘20   Div final-Feb ‘21
Oct 2021- XH moves in OW4
https://mlcforum.theherosspouse.com/index.php?topic=11796.

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Re: How to conduct myself around the MLCer
#29: October 19, 2021, 04:42:54 PM
Lost, I’m skipping over everyone else’s good responses right now because I just realized again — your h is telling you he wants to live with you and with the AP.

My h went on about the very same thing for two or nearly three years. He did so while living with ow. This is not tenable, I’m telling you right now. And maybe someone else here can speak to that and tell you differently, but in case they can’t — just know that the stupid idea is one of the ways the wayward will really grind you down. Like into a fine powder. Please don’t let him do this to you; you don’t deserve it, are more than adequate spouse just as you are. He is mouthing off as though the idea isn’t disagreeable to the interloper and I can pretty much promise you that it is just as detestable to that person as well. IF he has said it also to her.

People who triangulate in this particular manner are a mess, manipulative, and malevolent. However you can, exit and stay out of that triangle. I am pretty sure it is all in his head, and that he does not have “permission”, “buy-in”, or “approval” from the third party. At best it is probably an idea he uses to distance the both of you from expecting or wanting too much of him, or from holding him firmly accountable for his BS.

It’s a power trip and a titillation, even if he seems very addled or worse, painfully sincere when he bounces the weird happy throuple idea to you. My h was very earnest about it for a long time. It made me genuinely physically sick and also psychologically batsh!t; it just *hurt*.

If my h were here in person and proposed it, I would tell him GET OUT. Absolutely GET OUT of this house.

It’s disrespect. And I don’t care how many couples or families these days are happily poly — if that’s not for you, nip it in the bud with sharp shears and hold your boundary. If the topic hurts when it comes up in discussion, it’s time for discussion to close and for either or both of you to retire to your own safety.

I don’t know that I’d say it is indicative of MLC, but when it comes out of nowhere and with zero respect or empathy for you at midlife, I think MLC is probably a perfectly fine explanation for it.
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How to conduct myself around the MLCer
#30: October 19, 2021, 08:26:33 PM
Thank you for xyzcf, tornup and terra for being the guiding light , really grateful to you all for taking your time out to be my strength and letting me vent out here.

Yes Terra that is what he wants he told me till 6 months ago that she will be part of his life forever and I can do nothing about it , when I asked him for D and to let me go , he says nothing asks me to do it if I want to that he is happy as he is. (I stopped talking to him about her or our relationship or anything at all, until now when he has visited home , he just started to talk to me only general stuff). He does not see how he is hurting us , I don't think it matters to him at all , he is only concerned with his happiness.
I have told him that it was not possible for me to accept this life ever , now he treats me like a stranger. No compassion, no care no love , it hurts so bad to see him living at home yet does not care about me. He does stuff at home and talks to the kids. Very little with the elder one and quite friendly with the little one , talks to me like someone who is visiting,
He has only gotten worser as the days have gone by in terms of the way he is treating me , ( total emotional withdrawal) . Specially since I've put my foot down.

He has told the ow that he is married and that he loves his family ( I know this as I've seen her FB update about the way he loves me and his family, this was in the initial months of BD) , she is ok with it as this is very common in her circles considering her background. Now he is being loyal to her . He has shown her how he lives ,his house farm etc.  maybe she is in this for the money or is genuinely in love with him I dont know nor do I blame her , she is doing what she has to do to keep herself economically safe. Where did my husbands brain go?? I don't know .
He can't see the hurt he is causing , he spoke to his friend yday regarding MLC in general and how people choose a different life after they are 40. I suppose he has justified what he is doing in his head and not willing to look inwards.

He was mostly someone who did what he wanted, but he has never behaved so hurtful and definitely did not believe in polygamy in fact he hated people like that . Even hated people who cheated.

Now that he is doing it , it seems ok . He says life happened and he didn't go looking for it and we are all causalities in this. He has said and done  many hurtful things in the last 18 months , in the MLC world this is still early.
He has been in this relationship for 2years now.

Terra did your husband realize what he was doing and how hurt you and the family?? Did he ever feel remorse.
Is it worth standing for this marriage??

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How to conduct myself around the MLCer
#31: October 20, 2021, 12:51:00 AM
I am going to do a little cherry-picking with my answers here and I apologize in advance for my bluntness..... I have been around the MLC Mulberry Bush twice now so may have a somewhat different point of view after having to get back off the floor twice (in two VERY different ways as I had 2 VERY different types of MLC'ers - first was a high-energy replayer with a Monster the size of Godzilla on Steroids and the 2nd is a low-engery wallower)

Yes Terra that is what he wants he told me till 6 months ago that she will be part of his life forever and I can do nothing about it , when I asked him for D and to let me go , he says nothing asks me to do it if I want to that he is happy as he is.
Sure he's happy.... He's got
CAKE!
all he wants... he gets to play happy family to the rest of the world (including OW) and have OW on the side..... And OW has so little self-esteem that she accepts this.... What about you though? You DO have a say in this....
"There is nothing that you can do about it?"


(I stopped talking to him about her or our relationship or anything at all, until now when he has visited home , he just started to talk to me only general stuff). He does not see how he is hurting us , I don't think it matters to him at all , he is only concerned with his happiness.
Sorry but... He does see it, he just couldn't give a rat's patoot less..... It does not register with him at all because he is solely focused on getting his next shot of "happy."

I have told him that it was not possible for me to accept this life ever , now he treats me like a stranger. No compassion, no care no love ,
And you expected ... what ... from him? That he'd suddenly get his head out of his .... fog once you told him that you could not accept being cheated on and laid down boundaries?  First, MLC'ers HATE boundaries. Second, MLC'ers HATE responsibility. Third, MLC'ers HATE accountability. Fourth, MLC'ers HATE anything and anyone that is a buzzkill to their world of pink cotton-candy clouds, little fuzzy puppy dogs and unicorns running around farting clouds of glitter in Schmoopieland. Finally, as the LBS, the one who, in the MLC'ers warped way of thinking, is the cause of every sort of discomfort and negativity that they have EVER experienced in their entire life, you are just adding (in his swiss-cheese-brain) to his misery and it is ALL YOUR FAULT.

it hurts so bad to see him living at home yet does not care about me. He does stuff at home and talks to the kids. Very little with the elder one and quite friendly with the little one , talks to me like someone who is visiting,

That is because he IS just visiting... He's going back to OW at some point....
He has told the ow that he is married and that he loves his family ( I know this as I've seen her FB update about the way he loves me and his family, this was in the initial months of BD) , she is ok with it as this is very common in her circles considering her background.
She's OK with it ... for now... while he is still being the sugar daddy or whatever he is to her....

Where did my husbands brain go?? I don't know .
Sorry for being so blunt but his brains have settled right between his legs....

He can't see the hurt he is causing ,
Again, he does not care....
he spoke to his friend yday regarding MLC in general and how people choose a different life after they are 40.

I suppose he has justified what he is doing in his head and not willing to look inwards.
Yes, he has and no he is not... yet... Until they go <splat> on the rocks at the bottom, they won't look inward either....

He was mostly someone who did what he wanted, but he has never behaved so hurtful and definitely did not believe in polygamy in fact he hated people like that . Even hated people who cheated.

Now that he is doing it , it seems ok . He says life happened and he didn't go looking for it and we are all causalities in this. He has said and done  many hurtful things in the last 18 months , in the MLC world this is still early. He has been in this relationship for 2 years now.
"Do what I say, not what I do" is a very common motto for Mid-Lifers. In fact, you will be surprised how often the Mid-Lifer will make comments about how awful this or that person is in the news because they are doing this or that... Meanwhile, back at the ranch, the Mid-Lifer is doing EXACTLY the same $#!t but for them it is all OK because they 'deserve to be happy."
Is it worth standing for this marriage??
"This marriage" is dead as a doornail and was the instant that MLCH walked out the door. The REAL question is whether or not it is worth for YOU to stand for the possibility that he will (at some point) get his head out of his .... fog.... and make real progress towards coming to grips with whatever internal issues he has that has propelled him down this path, whether he has caused too much damage to recover from, whether the future LITW will be someone that is interested in the future version of MLCH and vice versa (one does NOT make the trip to Hades and back without changing, i. e. learning a few transferrable skills).

UM
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Divorce final 30 August 2019

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How to conduct myself around the MLCer
#32: October 20, 2021, 06:43:56 AM
Thank you Ursamajor for that reality check , I know I have to personally detach from him , detachment does not come easy. I am trying,
I feel such great loss. In the beginning it was unbearable I've cried everyday for almost a year. Now I'm in a slightly better place.
I know now he is cake eating,
Before reading your reply I was of the opinion that since he is mostly staying away and we have no physical contact or any deep emotional conversations , I was not enabling cake eating .
I've let him make his choice , I've clearly stated I would not continue this relationship if he wants to be with ow.
He is also keeping himself as far away from me as possible, making polite conversations only.

I have not told his family except for an aunt and his mom ( she refuses to talk to him about it)  , i have told only a few of my friends no one has confronted him as they feel, he may stop paying the bills and putting me in a tough situation, or that he will feel entitled and just bring her here and live with her , right now he has not told anyone. Everything is happening secretly .Even when his friend tried to ask him he refused to open  up or tell anything about the ow .

I'm not sure if it is a good idea for friends or family to confront him , should I expose him.

Knowing my MLCH , he will use it an excuse and flaunt his affair and the ow. Once exposed he will have nothing to hide I would have made it easy for him.
He will bring her here and  live with her in our secluded farm. He is not in touch with anyone , has hardly any contact with anyone from the family. (He was always like this ) only get togethers once a year , they have good fun , however he was very close to my sister and since the day I told her about the ow he does not talk to her.
Does not have friends who he confides in , everything he thinks is made up in his head , he thinks the ow is in love with him and because of his love and affection he has saved her from her bad life , has refused to see a therapist he says he does not want anyone else getting into his head as these are his choices.
I don't think he will miss his life.
He wants to develop his farm and quit his job , does not want to be answerable to anyone.
 I suppose there is no rock bottom for a man like him .

And yes I understand my marriage is dead, the hope is for him to become someone with morals and values , I'm not expecting him to be the same person he was before BD . In fact I dont think I want even that man now .
After giving my all and tolerating all his BS he threw sh$$ on my face.
I don't know why I hurt so much for someone who gave so little.

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How to conduct myself around the MLCer
#33: October 20, 2021, 06:53:05 AM
Ursamajor ,
Some of your replies and memes had me laughing .

Facing MLC twice , that must have been horrendous.

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How to conduct myself around the MLCer
#34: October 20, 2021, 07:01:05 AM
Lostinthewoods- introvert, isolation from family, no friends, avoidant!!!! All in my XH as well. The OW/Om could be anyone. She/HE are interchangeable. They are a clean slate. Someone who does not know their past, their mistakes and failures. They can start a new. That is what avoidant people do in crisis. Expand their escape from the reality of the life they need to escape from.

I have not spent a year crying, but I have spent a year attached and it has made my life miserable. Everyone told me DETACH and it doesn’t happen until you get tired of being in a place that is not evolving FOR YOU. Just keep working the best you can to focus on the life you want FOR YOU without him FOR NOW. These MLC’rs can make the sanest person literally insane.  They may not have their aha moment of realization, but you will have that moment when you decide enough is enough and you direct your attention to YOU!!! Mine just came. Oh, how I wish I could have gotten there a long time ago. Time carries us through the pain to healing.
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« Last Edit: October 20, 2021, 07:02:53 AM by Tornup »
H-54 W-58  M 7/6/91 Kids d-30 s-28 d-14 (dies 2009)
2013- moments of disconnect start
Aug 2016 promotion requires travel   
Oct 2017-total disconnect
Jan 2018- moved out H
Mar 2018- BD1 found old phone 3 EA ‘17-H in therapy
EA ow1-49,  EA-ow2 57, (EA- ow3-58 not reciprocated)
Sept ‘18 -2nd Home in new state H new job
Oct 2018-H moves home
Oct 2020 BD2 does not return home from B trip
Nov 2020 H move to 2nd home in other state OW4
Div filed-Dec ‘20   Div final-Feb ‘21
Oct 2021- XH moves in OW4
https://mlcforum.theherosspouse.com/index.php?topic=11796.

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Re: How to conduct myself around the MLCer
#35: October 20, 2021, 07:21:36 AM
Welcome to the Board

You are in a good place.
Your H/W  is on his/her own journey.
You can not do anything to control this trip.
Come here and read or vent, we will listen.
Give your H/W space  he/she needs to heal himself/herself.

I would not ask him/her anything unless you can have no expectations.
Sometimes asking them questions will be thought of as pressure.
You do not want to do anything that can be thought of by your H/W as controlling or pressure.

Your need to start working on you.
There is nothing that you can do to help your H/W.

He/She has given you a gift.
It is time!!

Use the time wisely to make yourself a better person.
Look in the mirror to see what it is that you can improve.
Take care of yourself, breathe, eat, sleep, exercise.
GAL.

Read some books on depression. Both for yourself! And for H/W.
Believe none of what he/she says and 50% of what he/she does.

Read the resources from this site.
The links that are in my signature.

Detach. - The single most important thing you can do

The detach link and HB's 6 stages of MLC(rewritten from Jim Conway) located in the resources above.
http://mlcforum.theherosspouse.com/index.php?topic=4.msg380#msg380

Developing Detachment
http://jamesjmessina.com/toolsforcontrolissues/developdetachment.html

http://www.midlifecrisismarriageadvocate.com/self-focus_releasers_detach.html

http://www.livestrong.com/article/14712-developing-detachment/

RCR has asked everyone to keep to one thread until  that thread is 150 posts

Keep posting and asking questions and we will try to answer them.

Knowledge is Power - Sir Francis Bacon
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Re: How to conduct myself around the MLCer
#36: October 20, 2021, 09:27:18 AM
Good morning and I agree with UM and the sassy blah blah dog. One thing I like about bears and dogs is that they are pretty frank.

The thing about the ow in this case is that she is very, very far away — that means that both of these people are able to “sustain” their “love” for each other and to feel it ever so deeply. Because long-distance relationship is made of whatever words or images, and the body on either side of the geographical expanse has all that expanse and a lot of time on its hands to fill in the gaps. With itself, understand? And with its own imaginings, projections, set of memories, and intentions that the other person doesn’t really have opportunity to see in the flesh or to take issue with. There’s weird “noble” ideals such as remaining “true” to that person or relationship, but that’s kind of a fantasy too; if you count the minutes two people in LDR are actually in contact or conversation with each other, how much time in any day or night are they doing something entirely else? It’s not the same as living in proximity and relating under the same roof.

This is why I cut contact with my h. There’s no telling what he is up to when he’s not here in the same physical area, even if I had mountains of cash and socked a PI on him 24/7. So much of his infidelity happened or happens via the cellphone, so any PI would have to see into all that too, and I already know that I don’t want to know.

The long-distance fantasy can go on for a LONG time. Prior to smartphone or internet technology I think this was far less common, but it wasn’t unheard of or very uncommon even back when. People just have more immediate access to others, now, all over the world. Here too; on HS we are spilling the tea daily and to a readership that we don’t even know where we all are or what we look like, etc. I struggle with this and at same time, I still do it. I just don’t intend to ever shack up with it, or to prioritize any internet connection over my family.

My h played it for a long time like he couldn’t understand why or how his choices hurt me, the kids, his folks. I think sometimes he really didn’t understand, and that was mind-bending to me, because like like yours, he looked down on cheating and cheaters, and spouses and *especially fathers* who did not put their family first and highest priority.

There’s a self-healing practice about what would you do in life if it weren’t so crazy or unacceptable. I did that consideration in my 20s and nobody likes my list ;D except me. It is all very crazy and unacceptable! The point of the consideration is to meet your own shadow and befriend it somewhat, and find reasonable and non-harmful ways to exercise and integrate it. I have a dark little list and I am ok with how I walk it or live it in the ways that I do. It feels like h and other MLC types have got hold of that self-healing consideration and just detonated it, misunderstanding the whole exercise and really using it to justify some of the worst of human behavior.

One thing I know: If the person you are married to isn’t trustworthy, don’t trust them. Even if you promised in your vows that you forever would. The vows are usually before God and He wants for you to stay sensible, self-valuing, and aligned with Him most of all. Not to get religious about it; just, no matter how much we love someone else, our own body and brain and heart have to know that if push comes to shove, except in the case of children and the very vulnerable, it really is about Me First.

That may be what an MLCer thinks too, as it goes about wreaking havoc in the lives and hearts around them. In that case, some other tiger or T. rex is chasing their brain, and you can expect that it has probably been doing so for most of their life. Trauma changes our brain even physiologically, especially in childhood it can inhibit the development of key brain function. That’s not anyone’s fault; it’s just how we are made. I see it more in my h than I do in myself, but I see it in myself too.

At many points, my h was as simple as a child, in his inability and lack of understanding. Like some part of his emotional comprehension suddenly cut short at age five. He wanted two wives as winsomely as a little child wants both pieces of candy, and at some points almost cried. I say so because I think if your h displays similar emotionality, the mother in you will feel it and want to respond, console, pacify, make it better. We just can’t. Whatever that wanting is, it’s not something we have the power to fix, or really, even give much credence to.

My h was childlike about it all for a year or more. About two years in, I don’t exactly know what changed. He chose in favor of the ow and installed her quite firmly (or she installed herself, I don’t know). Then he just got mean. It seems like he must know how it hurts me, and I think now he deliberately does/says things to cause me pain; he’s pretty specific. I can’t tell anymore if he is unaware or acutely aware. I still cherish the good man I thought I knew, so I have cut contact to limit the damage to my ...what may have been illusion, or projection.

That is my way of self-conservation, self-preservation, Me First. If I were not a mother, I can almost guarantee I’d be living with him and probably going crazy from ongoing triangulation. Instead I live with my D and her cat and h doesn’t know where we are now. I can breathe and I can also tease apart some of the marital dynamic, and most and best of all, I can see and feel and be who I actually am.

No eggshells. Well, ok, *some* eggshells, but only in the kitchen and only when I am cooking or baking. Get the good nourishing stuff out of any moment or interaction, and then toss the eggshells right away.

You’re going to be ok, as much as it not feel like that initially. In some ways it’s a matter of getting to know yourself again — you’d be surprised how much we give up or suspend or reserve, even in healthy couplehood — and resetting your priorities and what you actually stand for.

You don’t have to stand for disrespect. You can state your basic and very reasonable normal expectations, and at any show of disrespect, you can show it the door.

Sometimes I think h mistreats me now simply because I told him No and said clear boundaries. But I’m glad I said and hold those. I’m sad at the divide, but — if this makes sense? I feel safe on my side of it.

One of the most important parts of this whole crummy relational experience is that you know full well who YOU are, and what YOU authentically stand for. For me, finally, it turns out I stand for myself and all children, and oddly enough, a mountain. And really the spousal relationship especially when negative can take a back seat.

That’s taken a lot of time and tears to figure out for myself. So take each day as it comes, sometimes minute to minute, and even when each minute seems endless or just tawdry and awful, know that each minute to come WILL come, and you’ll come right along with it. You aren’t alone.
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How to conduct myself around the MLCer
#37: October 21, 2021, 07:34:46 AM
Thank you for your replies, I read your posts again again,I will reply to your posts in detail however now
I need your views on the below
 it's his birthday this Saturday, do I get him a cake , popular opinion (friends) says no
For my Birthday this year
He just messaged me : Goodmorning and Happy Birthday.
no call , no gifts , nothing.
I do not know what to do, I thought I will take the high road and get him a cake and nothing else .
Should I wish him at all?
What is your opinion?
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How to conduct myself around the MLCer
#38: October 21, 2021, 07:45:47 AM
That’s a tough one. I think just a simple message Happy Birthday?? My XH did email me first thing with his work email. “Wishing you a Happy Birthday” It would have been more personal with a text, but he did reach out.

With that said even with my children being adults I would do a combined gift from all of us. My XH had all his bird feeders stolen from his condo. His Birthday is next weekend and he is moving in his gf that weekend. Before I was told I bought replacements from all the kids and also made one with his college team and used a license plate for the roof from one our first cars.

I gave them to him as they were already done. That will be the last bday gift from me. He will have to look at that personalized bird house for years to come. I always did one hand made gift. To me there is nothing better. For me is was a good way to end the gift giving. It was by far more than he deserved.
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H-54 W-58  M 7/6/91 Kids d-30 s-28 d-14 (dies 2009)
2013- moments of disconnect start
Aug 2016 promotion requires travel   
Oct 2017-total disconnect
Jan 2018- moved out H
Mar 2018- BD1 found old phone 3 EA ‘17-H in therapy
EA ow1-49,  EA-ow2 57, (EA- ow3-58 not reciprocated)
Sept ‘18 -2nd Home in new state H new job
Oct 2018-H moves home
Oct 2020 BD2 does not return home from B trip
Nov 2020 H move to 2nd home in other state OW4
Div filed-Dec ‘20   Div final-Feb ‘21
Oct 2021- XH moves in OW4
https://mlcforum.theherosspouse.com/index.php?topic=11796.

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How to conduct myself around the MLCer
#39: October 21, 2021, 08:48:21 AM
What are your expectations for him reacting to a cake or other present?

Unless you can honestly look yourself in the mirror and say TRUTHFULLY that you are OK if he does not acknowledge the cake or that he throws a purple hissy fit over the cake, or that he gets all gushy over a cake... Unless NONE of these or ANY OTHER reaction at all will phase you in the slightest, a simple message like his is MORE than enough....

Anything more, in the eyes of the Mid-Lifer is either an invite to a cake-eating party or seen as the big bad old LBS putting pressure on the Mid-Lifer and trying to guilt trip them, especially if he did nothing more than a text message for your birthday....

There IS no "High Road" here. There is the road to healing and the road to the Roller Coaster... Your choice....
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Together 19 years - Married 17 at separation & 21 at D-Day
S - 14, D - 10
2 Dogs
BD#1 - August 2015
Atomic BD - 13 Dec 2015
House sold & separated - Mar 2016
Divorce final 30 August 2019

Survival Instructions for Newbies
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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.
A REAL friend will sit you down and tell you to your face to stop being a firetrucking idiot before you ruin your life and the lives of those around you.

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Re: How to conduct myself around the MLCer
#40: October 21, 2021, 10:15:17 AM
Lost, if you are early on in this it can feel “normal” at least to just follow your heart and do what it loves and knows how to do. I’m not even going to say it can backfire, because I know in j’s case, these gestures were maybe mistakenly still expected but also still accurately (if silently/privately) treasured.

I no longer remember if it was 2 years or 3 years after BD and moveaway, he sent me a photograph of a collection of small things I’d given him over the years, with admission that they still meant a great deal to him. That was beautiful and I cried over it, but it didn’t change his choices or actions toward me or toward home. Folks around me said that photograph and message were manipulative. Maybe so, but even today and very far apart from him, it still touches my heart and I’m grateful he made the gesture.

This morning I think it was so long ago mentally that I ought to just forget it. Instead there is a trace of hope still because of it, and because I still don’t understand why he did what he did to us or even how adults engage in relational commitments, anymore. I feel like a child but I can’t shake that remaining 1% hope that still hovers in my spirit and kind of hurts me from time to time.

So there are reasons not to gift, and at same time, honestly I regret not giving the things I wanted to give, regardless of what (and who, and where) he chose.

It’s not wrong of you to give.

It’s also not wrong of you to not give.

This whole passage is full of choice points and contradictions. Normally I might tell you to skip his damn birthday and give only what he gave you, mirror his giving exactly. But I do regret not giving; it was one of my love languages with him and I loved to do it, and on some level, he loved that about me, and has kept the silliest little things.

I have a beautiful hand carved music box with a deep message of love engraved on its lid, with two specific music rolls tucked inside, mysterious scrolls full of little holes that don’t make any sense until you fit them into the mechanism and turn the handle. It was a gift for what would have been our 10th anniversary and I didn’t give it. I didn’t bring it when I travelled to where he was, that year, because I knew he wasn’t seeing me. And I didn’t throw it away, either, then or when D and I moved a month or so ago. I still have it and I’ll tell you it shames me when I see it. I can’t unroll the tapes and play those two songs, because they hurt.

They hurt because they did not get to complete their purpose. So if you give, complete the action. And know that doing so might not net you the result you most like, but maybe down the road it does count that you did it.

Now’s a good time to refresh your memory about what are your own love languages, and notice how you might leverage those into love for others, even strangers, the whole world. As you might guess, I’m a fan of Words of Love. I love all the languages but the one about Gifts was really prominent in the way I loved h and the kids, but most particularly him, because he was always so touched and surprised.

The first time I sent “gifts” to someone who wasn’t h, it was to a unknown buyer and just friendly. And the second the gift left my hands, I felt absolutely stricken and terrified, as if the whole world was coming down on me. That was so stark and sudden and paralyzing, and it made me realize how much damage had been done by h’s changes and behaviors. I’m telling you because if you are a giver and a celebrator and you love to love visibly in actionable ways, it’s important to experiment with giving on a greater or more ordinary scale to others in your world now, and it’s important too to notice where doing so feels like it hurts you.

From my own situation and regrets, I would tell you go ahead and do what your heart and spirit tell you they want to do. It’s not stupid or wrong and it’s not going to harm anyone, either way. Ignoring can be a consequence for him, a “giving” in kind, but if it hurts you to do that, well. Here we are all saying take care of you first. Or maybe it’s just me saying that ;) really. But do what you are moved to do and just know that in all, it’s a small thing, and just the one day.

It can kind of hurt either way, and that’s the part I truly don’t understand — whether at midlife we are all just supposed to hurt a bit more than we have in earlier years, and how hurt can feel like deepening and becoming more whole, more ourselves, good and bad at once.

One thing that might also help you is just to decide, and go full steam ahead on your do or don’t do. Rule one out and just go ahead with the decision you like best.
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How to conduct myself around the MLCer
#41: October 21, 2021, 11:03:07 AM
Loved everything about what Terra just said to you!!I want to also add I gave H the option to not take them and he at first declined them and I was actually fine with that. He then asked to see what I made, not the others. Just the handmade gift. He then after seeing said “ so cool” “ if you would still like to give it to me I would  like to have it, thank you”. I am with Terra. Gift made or bought should complete there purpose. What I also found interesting at my daughters wedding he had his personalized tie bar on that I had made with his initials. What no one but he and I know is on the part unseen I had “I love you” engraved. He is still wearing it. Not sure I could with guilt, shame and a new love???
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H-54 W-58  M 7/6/91 Kids d-30 s-28 d-14 (dies 2009)
2013- moments of disconnect start
Aug 2016 promotion requires travel   
Oct 2017-total disconnect
Jan 2018- moved out H
Mar 2018- BD1 found old phone 3 EA ‘17-H in therapy
EA ow1-49,  EA-ow2 57, (EA- ow3-58 not reciprocated)
Sept ‘18 -2nd Home in new state H new job
Oct 2018-H moves home
Oct 2020 BD2 does not return home from B trip
Nov 2020 H move to 2nd home in other state OW4
Div filed-Dec ‘20   Div final-Feb ‘21
Oct 2021- XH moves in OW4
https://mlcforum.theherosspouse.com/index.php?topic=11796.

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How to conduct myself around the MLCer
#42: October 21, 2021, 02:46:26 PM
Do what you want to do.

We did not turn into them. And the way they treat us does not mean that we have to change and treat them back in the same manner.

Each of us have different situations. You do have children who might enjoy having cake with their dad for his birthday.

I love what terra wrote:

"It’s not wrong of you to give.

It’s also not wrong of you to not give".

I do not give a gift or card or any acknowledgement of our anniversary but I do get him something for his birthday and Christmas (his love language is gift giving so he buys me amazing things).

I find the hardest part is finding the right card.

So do what feels right, to you, in your own heart.
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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

L
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How to conduct myself around the MLCer
#43: October 22, 2021, 04:47:11 AM
Hi everyone,
Thankyou all for your replies, I'll give you some more insight into the current situation, my older son does not talk to MLCH, I don't talk much to him too(5 sentences throughout the day max)  , only my little one talks and spends time with him.
I don't know why MLCH is still at home , if it were me I would have left.
He works , games and watches TV.
A part of me wants to cut a cake for him,  no personal gifts.
Another Part of me says if I get him a cake I maybe behaving like a doormat and giving him the wrong idea  that I can be taken for granted.
Totally Confused  :-\
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T
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How to conduct myself around the MLCer
#44: October 22, 2021, 08:30:34 AM
Simple card and done??? Go with the child is talking to him and let them pick out a gift maybe?  There is a special steak sauce my XH likes and it is not available in stores. I knew there is no way he would order it and was sure he was almost out. He was. That was part of the gift. Maybe there is something like that? Something unique to him, but not “ gushy with sentiment” ?? The card I put everyone’s names on as well. No special hand written note.

Just go with your gut. That is the best you can do
  • Logged
H-54 W-58  M 7/6/91 Kids d-30 s-28 d-14 (dies 2009)
2013- moments of disconnect start
Aug 2016 promotion requires travel   
Oct 2017-total disconnect
Jan 2018- moved out H
Mar 2018- BD1 found old phone 3 EA ‘17-H in therapy
EA ow1-49,  EA-ow2 57, (EA- ow3-58 not reciprocated)
Sept ‘18 -2nd Home in new state H new job
Oct 2018-H moves home
Oct 2020 BD2 does not return home from B trip
Nov 2020 H move to 2nd home in other state OW4
Div filed-Dec ‘20   Div final-Feb ‘21
Oct 2021- XH moves in OW4
https://mlcforum.theherosspouse.com/index.php?topic=11796.

t
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Re: How to conduct myself around the MLCer
#45: October 22, 2021, 10:00:49 AM
Good morning — it sounds like somewhere in your history you internalized someone else’s wrong rule that you should question yourself and doubt your ability to decide.

Guess what! You get to decide. And you get to feel ok and even proud of and stable in your decision and deciding ability.

Many people grow up in environments and attachments that make us doubt our own abilities. It’s time to notice where that happened — in FOO or along the years since — and recognize that some of these “I know better/best” folks *didn’t and don’t*. Some people in our lives are just better at mouthing off and like to have their way and hear themselves talk.

Listen to you. Listen to your own inner voice and your own innate command center. It’s ok for you to even just flippantly toss a coin or decide by “pick a number between x and y” or even pull petals off a flower while singsonging a rhyme, or counting “eenie meenie miney mo”.

That might sound sarcastic but I am saying it earnestly to you and to your inner child. It’s truly ok for you decide, and you don’t even have to overthink it. There’s a big YES option and a big ABSOLUTELY NOT, and if you’re stuck in the grey in the middle, confused, just see which extreme you lean even slightly closer to. Then build on that.

Breathe deeply, and I agree with the above comment — consult the child who has continued to communicate with their dad. This can all be light-hearted and light touch; none of it is the end of the world and I don’t think you can do any of it wrong. It can be as ordinary and natural as the light switch or power button on an ordinary appliance: on, off. And any communing, just know it isn’t endless. It will be a matter of minutes or hours at your own discretion.

You get to decide. And whatever decision you make, it will be ok.
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L
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How to conduct myself around the MLCer
#46: October 24, 2021, 01:35:26 PM
Hi everyone,thank you so much for the responses,  sorry for the late response.
I was totally drained emotionally.
Here is the update , the day before his birthday he cooked and played with my little one for a long time , I was around and had light conversation with him , at midnight I wished him  happy birthday and gave him a hug , he did not hug back , just tapped my shoulders and said thank you. At that moment I decided that he was not in a frame of mind to appreciate anything other than his selfish feelings for himself and ow so I did nothing, no cake , no special cooking nothing, behaved like it was like any other day, did not even remind the children to wish him, however he told my little one in the course of some conversation that it was his birthday and my little one wished him.
Sunday I spent watching movies , did not want to engage in too much conversation with him.
Taking it one day at a time , I know he will leave soon.
It hurts if he is here, it hurts if he leaves ,
What terrible way to live , I just hope this pain will end soon .
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