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Author Topic: My Story “As much as you burn me, baby, I should be ashes by now.”

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Hi HeartTattoo

Nice to read you.

... think what brought on these musings today was reading RCR’s FB article on the difference between MLC affairs & Exit affairs. She acknowledged more explicitly than I’ve read before that marital reconciliation with MLC is uncommon. When I first joined HS, I didn’t get that impression.

Interesting. I always thought most, if not nearly all, MLCers come out of MLC, but reconciliations are rare/very rare, for a number of reasons, the main one being that the LBS has moved on, also because MLC lasts too long. I still think the same. What I remember is that, in the past, saying it used to lead to a lot of upsetness.

I guess my message is, if you are still reading, hope for reconciliation if that is what you desire. Don’t burn bridges. Don’t take revenge. Don’t do any further damage to the family your MLCer has devastated. But, above all else, take care of yourself. Get healthy & stay healthy. Do whatever Mirror Work you need. And, prepare for a life without your MLCer, because that is most likely where you are headed. Realistically, that is where most LBS’s are headed.

Wonderful message. Allow me to add that without the MLCer does not equal without someone else in our life. Of course, if we don't want someone else/new, that is fine as well.

I am grateful for the life I have now. I am financiall

Very glad to know you are leading a good life.

Going back to RCR articles, one of the things I think they tend to fail to show/say is that the alienator is often going to stay around for years on end. And if not the first alienator, the second (or third, or...). The articles about the "affair" (I don't call living togethr an affair, it is a marital like relatioship while still married to someone else) isn't going to go away just because infatuation ended, or because it come out in the open.

MLCer and alienator relationships can last for many, many years. 
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Sometimes good things fall apart so better things can fall together. (Marilyn Monroe)

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Preach it like it is, sister! I agree with this absolutely.

Hi, Mitzpah. You made me laugh with this.

I sometimes look back & cannot believe the level of pain & despair & mental/physical anguish I was in & just how long my gradual recovery was (& really it continues on). I hate the thought of the pain that MLC brings to so many spouses & families.

I want to reassure readers here that recovery will occur. Each day post-BD seems like forever when your mind is racing in turmoil & your body aches & your future is shattered & you pace & panic & cannot bear the thought of another night alone. But the years in the rear view mirror go by quickly, especially once health & stability return.

I don't know if my "preaching" helps any newbies. But I do think it is important that they understand that the chances of marital reconciliation are slim (or perhaps as Anjae posits the timeline is just too long). I think the collective mind of HS understands this much better than it did five years ago. It is obvious that there are many here three, four, five, seven, or more years on who have no signs of return from their MLCer & indeed many of these MLCers are ensconced in M's with the alienator or in a marital-type R. Whether they are happily ensconced is another question, one I am not informed enough to answer. But we know the statistics about second M's & all the baggage drug along into these new R's. I hope all MLCers "enjoy" the consequences of these new R's.

I know you have great faith, Mitzpah, & live in the confidence of that faith & the love of your children. May you continue to have that peace.

Hugs,
HT
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Detach and Survive: A Book of Self-Care for the Wives of Midlife Crisis Men
The Journey from Abandonment to Healing, Susan Anderson
Healing the Shame that Binds You, John Bradshaw
The Addictive Personality, Craig Nakken
https://www.midlifecrisismarriageadvocate.com/chapter-contents.html

M'ed 41 years
BD-Jan 2013
Legally separated Feb 2013
D'ed without my consent July 2015
H M'ed OW Sept 2015

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I had hope of reconciliation until my MLCer married the OW.  That was it for me. 

I am taking care of me, as well as doing some work on me.  It is my hope that your prediction that I will one day have a good life, as well as a happy one, is 100% accurate. 

Still Baffled,

I love your handle. I, too, am still baffled. My mind spun in circles for so long trying to make sense of this & trying to figure it all out. Part of my recovery was letting go of that & realizing I will never make sense of my H's actions. I do think of him often, but I am just sad at what his MLC/depressive-addictive tendencies led him to do. So out of character, so at odds with his value system, so not the image of the "good guy" he had portrayed all his life.

Yes, my H's M to the alienator was IT for me too. He didn't have the strength of character to even inform me. A short simple email would have been the sensible & appropriate thing to do. No, a month after the fact he called our younger son & told him. It was left to him to inform me & in turn for me to inform my older son who has been more deeply affected than his brother.

At 2+ years, SB, you are probably out of the deep drowning waters of the LBS, but you will gain more & more peace & stability in the years ahead. Nurture the person you are now. I do so many things now that were not characteristic of the "old me". Life knocked me up-side the head, I guess it knocked a few connections loose. It's not a better me, just a different me.

Keep taking care of SB & moving forward.
Hugs,
HT
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« Last Edit: April 28, 2018, 07:43:21 PM by HeartTattoo »
Detach and Survive: A Book of Self-Care for the Wives of Midlife Crisis Men
The Journey from Abandonment to Healing, Susan Anderson
Healing the Shame that Binds You, John Bradshaw
The Addictive Personality, Craig Nakken
https://www.midlifecrisismarriageadvocate.com/chapter-contents.html

M'ed 41 years
BD-Jan 2013
Legally separated Feb 2013
D'ed without my consent July 2015
H M'ed OW Sept 2015

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Interesting. I always thought most, if not nearly all, MLCers come out of MLC, but reconciliations are rare/very rare, for a number of reasons, the main one being that the LBS has moved on, also because MLC lasts too long. I still think the same. What I remember is that, in the past, saying it used to lead to a lot of upsetness.

The articles about the "affair" (I don't call living togethr an affair, it is a marital like relatioship while still married to someone else) isn't going to go away just because infatuation ended, or because it come out in the open. MLCer and alienator relationships can last for many, many years.
Hi, Anjae,

You may be right. Some (most?) of us will never know if our H's come out of MLC because we have no contact. Maybe they may begin to see light again, but for various reasons make no move to the spouse. Maybe because they know the spouse is in a new R, maybe because of guilt/shame or difficulty taking the steps of reconciliation. We see what a very slow & painful process it is for some of those here whose H's have returned or are in that process. Maybe they feel trapped in their "new R" with the alienator--financially, in guilt, in co-dependence, etc.

And, yes, it just takes too damn long. I think that is another thing RCR has begun to appreciate. It is now over 5 years post-BD for me. As you know, my H said he had been involved with OW for five years prior to BD. In discussions with his co-workers about his behavior at work & thinking about some odd behaviors I recollected, I believe he was showing signs of MLC two years prior to that. A very, very long period of MLC. And we are old! I don't have time to wait around for this old man to get it together & kitty-foot around for him to develop enough accountability & remorse for me to even stomach the sight of him. From the joys of MLC right into the joys of the dementia too prevalent in his family. And at this point, there is absolutely nothing that indicates this Vanisher is even remotely near the end of his MLC cycle.

Allow me to add that without the MLCer does not equal without someone else in our life. Of course, if we don't want someone else/new, that is fine as well.

I am at the two year mark with my gentleman friend. I enjoy the companionship of some meals together, some travel & social outings together. We are more compatible in some areas than I was with my H. In other ways, less compatible. It is just very different at this juncture than the very long R, started in our teens, that I had with my H. It can never be the true partnership I had with my H, planning a future, raising children, building a home. I will never M again & cannot see how my new companion & I could even live together happily. It is enjoyable, but not joyous. It is nice, but not completely fulfilling. I guess it truly is up to me to find that joyousness & fulfillment within myself.

I admire that you are still here, Anjae, faithfully guiding others through their experiences & offering your wisdom. I hope you & your family are well.

Hugs,
HT
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« Last Edit: April 28, 2018, 08:17:46 PM by HeartTattoo »
Detach and Survive: A Book of Self-Care for the Wives of Midlife Crisis Men
The Journey from Abandonment to Healing, Susan Anderson
Healing the Shame that Binds You, John Bradshaw
The Addictive Personality, Craig Nakken
https://www.midlifecrisismarriageadvocate.com/chapter-contents.html

M'ed 41 years
BD-Jan 2013
Legally separated Feb 2013
D'ed without my consent July 2015
H M'ed OW Sept 2015

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I think most of us will know our MLCer has come of crisis. They will reach out. Doubt the LBS being on a new relationship will prevent a MLCer from reaching out.

Also doubt the MLCer is aware of the difficulty of the steps towards reconciliation. But the LBS is, or has become more and more with the stories of those reconnecting/reconciled.

And the LBS may not even want to try. I doubt I would want to. Mr J's Replay has been going on at nearly 12 years since he left. I am not going to waste any time dealing with the problems of reconnection. Not now. If it had been 3 three years? Sure. 5 most likely. Even 7. But, then again, by then, I don't think I, or others, really knew what reconnecting meant and how long it also takes.

We know Replay takes a long time. But we tend to forget that the other stages of MLC (reconnection and reconciliation aren't MLC stages, they happen at certain MLC stages) also take a very long time and what it means.

No, nope, sorry, I don't want the trouble, the difficulty, the problems of reconnection. Am I being selfish? Most likely. But I have to right of wanting to keep the peace I found. And not wanting it shaked by a broken MLCer.

I am in for a nice, joyful, kind, gentle relationship, I am not into more darkness, struggles, problems. Mr J was a very, very nasty MLCer. Dealing with his nasty, and years long looking after grandmother, made me want something light, simple, trouble free. If that makes me superficial, so be it.  That and wanting a bedroom of my own.

In fact, I turned men down because the were complicated or wanted something I didn't.

I don't mind being around when/if I have some time. I am well. Family is also well.
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Sometimes good things fall apart so better things can fall together. (Marilyn Monroe)

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Great updates, HT! It's lovely to hear that your surviving and thriving has evolved into acceptance and contentment. Your advice and openness is wonderful, especially for those newbies who rely on the wise words of the vets.

Sending hugs and continued strength to you.  :)
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BD 29 Nov '13
Left home 8 June '14
Does not live with OW

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Good to see you post HeartTattoo,

It's nice to hear you have a gentleman friend for outings and companionship. I agree, I think at our age we can never find the R we had before because we are not young and don't have the time and life to build what we lost. Building a home and raising a family - all takes many years and a lot of ourselves. I can understand you not wanting to marry again. I wouldn't either. Well I'm still married to my H anyway! 😄

I've dated, had couple R's but I'm ok on my own too. I've built a new life and made some lovely friends along the way. I've built an even closer bond with my children so feel very blessed with what I have. I wouldn't swap my life with any MLCer, whatever or wherever they may go!

It must be hard with a vanisher but it's also hard with a clinger too just different reasons. I don't know which is best TBH! Maybe a vanisher helps you to detach and let go much quicker?!? My H has periods of quiet but then pops back up again. It's like picking the scab off when he does! Re-opening my wound that I try so hard to make heal.

Big hugs

X
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I want to document the experience of a rare contact with my Vanisher MLCer.  He emailed two days ago asking if he could call as he needed to speak with me about something. After letting it sit for a little over 12 hours, I responded. I tried to anticipate what this unusual call was going to be about. I needed to mentally prepare. My candidates were something like this, in order of likelihood:
1.   Money, more specifically seeking to change our alimony agreement
2.   Serious illness, needing me to inform our kids
3.   Serious illness, wanting me to reconcile him with the kids
4.   An attempt at “amends”, that 9th step of 12-step programs like AA
5.   Some “reaching out” from the tunnel exit

My instincts were right. He began the call without any preamble. No “how are you, how are the kids”. His voice was flat & unemotional throughout. So, he starts out telling me that he is losing his job, the business he works for is being sold, & it doesn’t look like there will be a place for him in the new organization. He has been looking for another job, but he’s already been told his experience is out of date, working in the same place for 28 years.

None of this should come as a surprise. This prospect was raised 2 ½ years ago during our D proceedings. This business has been officially on the market for one year. He’s 65 years old with indeed a very narrow work history. One should have been preparing mentally & financially for such an occurrence. It should be noted, too, that he has not & will not be struggling. His income for many years placed him within the top 10% of US wage-earners.

So, he wondered if I could “forgive” any part of his remaining obligation. After a short pause, my response was simply “No”. I thought that is what you would say, he said, but I was told to ask you first.

I told him I was sorry about his job, but that we had an agreement & he had assets. I told him he could withdraw from his retirement funds, that he was old enough to withdraw without penalty.

Well, I guess there could be some sort of reduced lump sum payment, he replied. I told him I didn’t care about any lump sum, but that we had an agreement & it wasn’t that generous of an agreement to begin with, given the circumstances.

And that was it.

I suspect he has talked to his lawyer & he was the one who told him to ask me first. I had discussed this very possibility with my own lawyer on our last meeting, because it seemed a very real possibility that he could lose his job before our alimony agreement terminated. She told me that because we had made a last-minute agreement in court, that the judge did not make the ruling, that the judge could not change our agreement. I am not 100% sure of this, because judges seem to do whatever they damn well please when it comes to D. My financial settlement was not fair, not because of his infidelity & abandonment. No one cares about that anymore. But because of his income vs my time as a stay-at-home Mom & lower paying jobs, the length of our M, & the limited time before he would presumably retire. I would not be surprised to receive a letter from his lawyer or even some sort of court summons, which is what I got, with no warning, in response to our preliminary discussion of D.

I had some anxiety anticipating his call, but I was glad I had time to process the possibilities, think them over, & rehearse what my answers would be. The possibility of nearing the light of the tunnel exit seemed unlikely to me. I have come to believe he never will. While he acted like a decent, honest, honorable person, he also lived a life of denial—running from his family history of mental illness, from his own symptoms of depression, from his alcoholism & other addictive behaviors. He deluded himself for five years that his infidelity would not harm our M, that I was also unhappy, that his behavior was “what happens all the time”.  His phone call only reinforced my belief that he will live the rest of his life in the dark tunnel of MLC.
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Detach and Survive: A Book of Self-Care for the Wives of Midlife Crisis Men
The Journey from Abandonment to Healing, Susan Anderson
Healing the Shame that Binds You, John Bradshaw
The Addictive Personality, Craig Nakken
https://www.midlifecrisismarriageadvocate.com/chapter-contents.html

M'ed 41 years
BD-Jan 2013
Legally separated Feb 2013
D'ed without my consent July 2015
H M'ed OW Sept 2015

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My brain flip flops between "not surprising" and "shock" that he´d want you to make a bad deal worse- for you. The fact that he called you tells me he still does not get just how much damage he did to your future. When HE is faced with an economic crisis, it IS a crisis but when YOU were faced with an economic crisis, it was not even on his radar. Wow- hope OW is reconsidering her choices as she thought she won the lottery. Guess they´ll both have to learn to budget and she will be carrying the economic load. Helllooooo karma bus.
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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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So sorry, HT. You did an amazing job of handling it! It's incredible the way the vanishers pop back up when there's something we can do to help them live their new lives. I hope he hits all further road blocks to bothering you again.
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