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Author Topic: My Story Rebuilding Rebuilding our marriage and family

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My Story Rebuilding Rebuilding our marriage and family
#10: August 14, 2021, 07:59:59 PM
Acorn, I so appreciate your sharing of your reconciliation and rebuilding story, and the wisdom you have gained along the way (as well as the lessons and wisdom gained by your h). It may be the story of one person and one family, but some themes are universal, or nearly so. I love the analogy of the garden, and also the conversation about the need (or lack thereof) to revisit their points of crisis.
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A
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Rebuilding our marriage and family
#11: August 29, 2021, 09:39:15 AM
Thank you, Tornup and Curiosity, for sharing your experiences and thoughts.  :)

……

H and I have been working side by side in our garden for a while now (our summer project) and it is turning out to be quite the talk-fest.  We chat about anything and everything, from the mundane to our innermost thoughts. 

Yesterday, we were excitedly talking about the sudden appearance of tender new growths (almost overnight!) on trees and shrubs that were severely pruned back in the last few weeks. That led to us discussing apparent ‘suddenness’ of what’s been unfolding in Afghanistan and how the degree of suddenness seems to be in the eye of the beholder. 

We agreed that, in some life events, the suddenness is total and complete to the people involved in them and to the observers.  In other events, they are viewed as inevitable, even anticipated, by some with deep insider knowledge, but a complete shock to others.

Well, that convo eventually arrived at sharing our personal experiences from 6.5 years ago.  What happened then was a nuclear BD to me but it was an inevitable collapse of dam for H. 

I said to him I did not see those fracture lines in his ‘dam’ at all and it seemed to me that he did a 180 on me and our kids overnight.  He explained that, for quite a while, others saw what what he let them see and he wanted to see for himself also.  It’s not because he wanted to hide the state of disquiet in him from me, it’s just that he did not know why/what was bothering him, how to dispel it, or had any words to describe it.  He thought he was going crazy and wanted to cling to sanity by maintaining normalcy, albeit superficially — kind of ‘fake it till you make it.’ 

Based on what he shared over the years and he articulated clearly yesterday, he was not wilfully withholding communicating with me about whatever was brewing inside of him.  He just did not have the words for it and he was clinging to ‘normal’ by his nails and trying desperately to climb into it. 

I would like to note that our conversation did not evoke any emotional discomfort in either of us. I think that’s a positive sign of healing. 

Sample of one. 

Have a great Sunday!


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« Last Edit: August 29, 2021, 09:44:45 AM by Acorn »
Feb 2015: BD. 
Dec 2017: Seriously reconnecting

H never left home.

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#12: August 29, 2021, 09:50:03 AM
Following along (as always)....... love reading about your story.  :D

-SS
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M - 44
Together 25 years, M 23
No kids
BD - 27th April 2019
Start of Shadow - Feb 2012

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#13: August 29, 2021, 04:48:28 PM
Well, that convo eventually arrived at sharing our personal experiences from 6.5 years ago.  What happened then was a nuclear BD to me but it was an inevitable collapse of dam for H. 

I said to him I did not see those fracture lines in his ‘dam’ at all and it seemed to me that he did a 180 on me and our kids overnight.  He explained that, for quite a while, others saw what what he let them see and he wanted to see for himself also.  It’s not because he wanted to hide the state of disquiet in him from me, it’s just that he did not know why/what was bothering him, how to dispel it, or had any words to describe it.  He thought he was going crazy and wanted to cling to sanity by maintaining normalcy, albeit superficially — kind of ‘fake it till you make it.’ 

Based on what he shared over the years and he articulated clearly yesterday, he was not wilfully withholding communicating with me about whatever was brewing inside of him.  He just did not have the words for it and he was clinging to ‘normal’ by his nails and trying desperately to climb into it. 

Thank you Acorn,

Your sample of one has been so helpful to me as I continue to work through the collapse of my W and our marriage.   In hindsight, I can see some of the fractures in my W and how she was trying to keep it together until her dam Collapsed.   Don't know if I'll ever insights from her as she is still running away in her crises but you and your H's story is so helpful.

HF
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W - 42
M - 45
Together 19 years, M 16
2 kids
BD - July 2020
W Left Home - January 2021
W Filed for D - May 2021

T
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#14: August 29, 2021, 09:13:43 PM
Quote
He explained that, for quite a while, others saw what what he let them see and he wanted to see for himself also.  It’s not because he wanted to hide the state of disquiet in him from me, it’s just that he did not know why/what was bothering him, how to dispel it, or had any words to describe it.  He thought he was going crazy and wanted to cling to sanity by maintaining normalcy, albeit superficially — kind of ‘fake it till you make it.’

My XH said something similar. He knew he wasn’t right, but thought he would be able to pull it together, but it just got worse and he was embarrassed to tell anyone that he thought he was going crazy. He let it go for years until he cracked and started using bad coping methods.

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H-54 W-58  Married 7/6/91 Kids d-30 s-28 d-14
2009 D14 dies from cancer
2013-D30 marries & issues for H begin
Summer ‘15 pulling away
August ‘16  H turns 50 & promo requires travel                     2017-disconnected
Jan 2018  H rather div. then talk.  H stopped Div.
march 2018- BD1 found old phone 3 EA ‘17-H in therapy
EA ow1-49,  EA-ow2 57, EA- ow3-58 not reciprocated by OW
Sept ‘18 bought 2nd Home in new state H new job
Oct 2018-H moves home
Oct 2020 BD2
Nov 2020 H move to 2nd home in other state
OW4- 46 subordinate at work
Div filed-Dec ‘20   Div final-Feb ‘21
Aug21- H regrets & some clarity. Still escape and avoid
Oct 2021- detaching

The beginning of my journalling
https://mlcforum.theherosspouse.com/index.php?topic=11796.0

A
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#15: August 30, 2021, 09:52:12 AM
Thank you, Standing, HF and Torn, for following along!

…..

I feel obliged to add that I try not to guess what’s in his head and just stick to what he tells me and proves with his actions.  (I can just about hear UM’s ‘don’t try to taste green with your elbow’  ;D) My tendency in the early days of LBS-hood to conjecture or assume what’s in another person’s head, make prognoses, or credit myself with the power to change another person has been quite diminished.  I’m hoping to keep it that way. 🤞

Tornup, just to clarify:

According to my H, ‘I think I’m going crazy’ period was around 6-7 months, though that was plenty long enough for him — because of the excruciating pain — to describe it as ‘for a while.’   He said he was mostly happy, content and enjoyed life until that period.  No wonder he was bewildered about his descent into emotional upheaval and felt that he might be going ‘crazy.’  It was such an unfamiliar territory for him.
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« Last Edit: August 30, 2021, 09:54:03 AM by Acorn »
Feb 2015: BD. 
Dec 2017: Seriously reconnecting

H never left home.

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#16: August 30, 2021, 01:36:30 PM
Hey Acorn,

Just curious..... that whole "I think I'm going crazy" period, W did that for a bit and said that too (repeatedly).
I'm wondering if he described it to you while it was happening. In W's case, she described it as "loud" and "many voices".
Would be interesting to know how a male MLC'er describes it. Did he?

-SS
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M - 44
Together 25 years, M 23
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BD - 27th April 2019
Start of Shadow - Feb 2012

A
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#17: August 31, 2021, 06:40:45 AM
Just curious..... that whole "I think I'm going crazy" period, W did that for a bit and said that too (repeatedly).
I'm wondering if he described it to you while it was happening. In W's case, she described it as "loud" and "many voices".
Would be interesting to know how a male MLC'er describes it. Did he?

Hi SS,

Disclaimer first:

 I cannot guarantee my recall accuracy.  I must confess I have forgotten a lot of details surrounding H’s crisis, particularly the earlier times.  As I heal and move forward, my memories of the MLC era seem to fade and disappear.  H is the same way.  Not sure why.  You would think it was one of the most memorable events in our lives!   

….


if I remember correctly, H did not mention ‘going crazy’ in those months leading up to BD. He was very quiet, brooding, distant and withdrawn.  It’s only recently that he shared with me the words, ‘I thought I was going crazy.’

If I may, I would like to put forward my view that how much/little or what the crisis person says has more to do with the said individual’s personality traits and background/history than their gender.  (I admit I went with quite the troglodytic approach to forming my opinion — a general impression.  Look at the bright side; I am not so deep in the cave that I think my opinion equals objective truth.  ;D)

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« Last Edit: August 31, 2021, 06:41:51 AM by Acorn »
Feb 2015: BD. 
Dec 2017: Seriously reconnecting

H never left home.

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Rebuilding our marriage and family
#18: September 01, 2021, 02:24:37 AM
Attaching now that I am back from vacation
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Me - 58, xW - 50
Together 19 years - Married 17 at separation & 21 at D-Day
S - 14, D - 10
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BD#1 - August 2015
Atomic BD - 13 Dec 2015
House sold & separated - Mar 2016
Divorce final 30 August 2019

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#19: September 05, 2021, 10:04:33 AM
Happy Sunday!

Thank you, Big Bear, for following along! 

I love gardening.  I don’t mind the benefits of gardening with H — he does all the heavy work. ;D  However, I would be amiss if I did not mention another benefit — he occasionally talks about his crisis.  Another shared moment, another brick in rebuilding.

S1 had a minor traffic accident a few days ago.  No one got hurt.  Phew…  It was his fault and he had no qualms taking full responsibility for it.   That led H and me to a conversation about our kids taking/not taking responsibilities for themselves, and how some of our insights into their maturity level can be gained by looking at this factor alone.  We shared some examples of our own experiences of taking/not taking responsibility in the past and how it seems to be in our nature to pass the buck when unpleasant consequences are in our faces.  He said, ‘Yes, I’m a good example of that.  I realized after a while that the first step out of the deep hole was to take full responsibility for digging it.  I’d say that was the turning point of sorts for me.  Mind you, the temptation to stop at realization and not to take it further was very strong.  It’s easy to read the book cover.  But it takes a lot of time and effort to slog through a tome that is all about you.’  Not verbatim, but pretty close to it. 

This conversation prompted me to reiterate my view that LBSs and MLCers/WASs/cheaters are fully responsible for their choices. 

By all means, keep and cherish your love, empathy and understanding for your spouses if they are suffering, and if that is your choice (it was mine), but I personally wouldn’t be proactive in reducing their responsibility on their behalf.  Understanding the background (e.g. MLC) for their choices does not somehow grant them diminished responsibility.  I think we can sometime confuse or amalgamate these two aspects.   

It’s bad enough when MLCer/WAS/Cheater shoves off their culpability to someone/something else.  It’s even more perplexing when LBS does that on their behalf.

The question to ask is about ourselves, and to take responsibility for the way we think. 

Why do some LBSs appear to be keen on reducing the accountability of MLCer/WAS/Cheater for their choices by attributing some or all of it to other factors?  (Please see below for examples)

What do you get out of that?

I have asked myself the exact questions and the answers were not pretty.  However, it was a necessary step in my healing.

….

With apologies to Dr. Rosenberg — [……] are added by me:

We deny responsibility for our actions when we attribute their cause to factors outside ourselves.  [We deny MLCer’s/WAS’s/Cheater’s responsibility for their actions when we attribute their cause to factors outside himself]

# Vague, impersonal forces—[He left because he was in the ‘fog’]

# Our condition, diagnosis, or personal or psychological history—[He is having an affair because he is in MLC/depressed and confused]

# The actions of others— [OW manipulated him]

# The dictates of authority—[his counsellor said he should leave marriage if he is unhappy]

# Group pressure— [He wants D because he hangs around with the divorced]

# Uncontrollable impulses—[He could not control himself in the face of temptation]



These are not easy to wrap one’s head around.  I emphasize that the purpose of understanding the meaning of responsibility is not about sticking it to MLCer/WAS/Cheater.  But it is about clearly seeing who is responsible for what and refraining from diminishing personal responsibility for oneself or one’s spouse — and doing so without anger or vindictiveness; but with love, empathy and understanding in your heart.

I suggest that understanding ‘responsibility’ is crucial in seeing reality and moving forward with both eyes open. To deny or lessen your own or other’s responsibility is to deny reality.

I do not think it is a coincidence that H started healing when he completely stopped blaming other people/things/conditions and took full responsibility for his choices and started to look within himself for whys. 

Looking back, the same can be said for our relationship.  We could start seriously reconnecting when both of us stopped blaming factors outside of ourselves — while recognizing extenuating circumstances — and took full responsibility for the way we each behaved and reacted. 

Sample of one.

Enjoy your long weekend!





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« Last Edit: September 05, 2021, 11:18:01 AM by Acorn »
Feb 2015: BD. 
Dec 2017: Seriously reconnecting

H never left home.

 

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