Midlife Crisis: Support for Left Behind Spouses

Midlife Crisis => Resources => Topic started by: Rollercoasterider on April 17, 2010, 01:26:39 PM

Title: Resources: Mirror Work & Paving the Way
Post by: Rollercoasterider on April 17, 2010, 01:26:39 PM
Title: Re: Resources: Self-Focus & Paving the Way
Post by: Rollercoasterider on May 04, 2010, 06:50:28 AM
James J. Messina’s Tools For Coping Series
Book 1: The Self-Esteem Seekers Anonymous Manual
Book 2: Laying the Foundation
Book 3: Tools for Handling Loss
Book 4: Tools for Personal Growth
Book 5: Tools for Relationships
Book 6: Tools for Communications
Book 7: Tools for Anger Work-Out
Book 8: Tools for Handling Control Issues

These are the nine initial books of the series, he later added more to cover additional topics. Several years ago I found Dr. Messina’s articles and created a link list. His webpage has since changed and I have updated the and realized there are many more articles—I had only a few of the many chapters from The Coping Series. I am providing links to those articles I originally had listed and when you follow, you will be able to see others in his menu. I am not endorsing the articles linked here more than those I have not linked. I think the entire series is worth reading.
The article that is most valuable to many here is the Detachment article. I have put that in a larger font so you can find it quickly.

Tools For Handling Loss (http://www.coping.us/toolsforhandlingloss.html)
CH 2: Stages of the Loss Process (http://www.coping.us/toolsforhandlingloss/stagesoflossprocess.html)

Tools For Personal Growth (http://coping.us/toolsforpersonalgrowth.html)
CH 1: Understanding Self-Esteem (http://coping.us/toolsforpersonalgrowth/understandingselfesteem.html)
CH 3: Self-Affirmations That Work (http://coping.us/toolsforpersonalgrowth/selfaffirmationsthatwork.html)
CH 5: Building Trust (http://coping.us/toolsforpersonalgrowth/buildingtrust.html)
CH 6: Handling Insecurity (http://coping.us/toolsforpersonalgrowth/handlinginsecurity.html)
CH 12: Overcoming Perfectionism (http://coping.us/toolsforpersonalgrowth/overcomingperfectionism.html)
CH 14: Developing Patience (http://coping.us/toolsforpersonalgrowth/developingpatience.html)
CH 17: Stress Reduction (http://coping.us/toolsforpersonalgrowth/stressreduction.html)

Tools For Relationships (http://www.coping.us/toolsforrelationships.html)
CH 4: Handling Fear of Rejection (http://www.coping.us/toolsforrelationships/handlingfearofrejection.html)
CH 6: Improving Assertive Behavior (http://www.coping.us/toolsforrelationships/improviingassertivebehaviors.html)
CH 7: Overcoming the Role of Victim or Martyr (http://coping.us/toolsforrelationships/victimvsmartyr.html)
CH 10: Goal-Setting in Relationships (http://www.coping.us/toolsforrelationships/goalsettinginrelationships.html)
CH 11: Handling Intimacy (http://www.coping.us/toolsforrelationships/handlingintimacy.html)
CH 12: Handling a Fantasy Relationship (http://www.coping.us/toolsforrelationships/handlingfantasyrelationship.html)
CH 13: Handling Forgiving and Forgetting (http://www.coping.us/toolsforrelationships/forgivingandforgetting.html)

Tools For Communications (http://coping.us/toolsforcommunications.html)
CH 2: Improving Listening Skills (http://coping.us/images/Improve_Listening_Skills.pdf)

Tools For Anger Work-out (http://coping.us/toolsforangerworkout.html)
CH 7: Handling Resentment (http://www.coping.us/toolsforangerworkout/handlingresentment.html)
CH 14: Eliminating Passive Aggressiveness (http://www.coping.us/toolsforangerworkout/passiveaggressiveness.html)

Tools For Handling Control Issues (http://www.coping.us/toolsforhandlingcontrol.html)
CH 7: Letting Go Uncontrollables and Unchangables (http://www.coping.us/toolsforhandlingcontrol/letgouncontrollablesunchangeables.html)
CH 8: Developing Detachment (http://coping.us/toolsforhandlingcontrol/developingdetachment.html)
CH 11: Eliminating Manipulation (http://www.coping.us/toolsforhandlingcontrol/eliminatemanipulation.html)
Title: Re: Resources: Self-Focus & Paving the Way
Post by: Rollercoasterider on May 04, 2010, 07:37:20 AM
Get To Know Yourself

Healing a Broken Heart

The Gift of Caring

The Myth of the Stages of Dying, Death and Grief
Title: Re: Resources: Self-Focus & Paving the Way
Post by: OldPilot on May 16, 2010, 02:43:33 PM
This book I would highly reccomend reading for the LBS is Susan Anderson's
The Journey From Abandonment To Healing.
Susan Anderson has been working with abandoned spouses for 25 years, has identified slightly different stages and considers the LBS/Abandoned experience akin to a form of PTSD.
It is helped me tremendously.

Here is the link for the outer child inventory


According to Anderson we all have an inner child and outer child conflict.
By identifying our outer child traits we can help to overcome the outer child and become adults.

Also want to put a post in here from the DB Board
written by Lost For Words on the Stages of the LBS

My thoughts on the LBS stages;

Denial- Without a doubt the first phase. It could be as simple as denying that there is something wrong or amiss. Eventually turning to denial that it is actually happening to us, denying our part in everything, and the worse part.....denying our inner self's to come out. Maybe because we don't know how.....but at the point everything is caused by some outside catalyst. Sounds very MLC like to me?

Bargaining-I put this here instead of after anger because I feel the deep seated thought out anger is yet to come. We have felt the quick anger brought on by emotional pain and trauma, but not that thought out and reviewed anger that is to come. So we beg, plead, whatever it takes (during this stage I actually saw the positive side of an open marriage...granted my situation is only slightly different...LOL). We will do whatever it takes to save the marriage, yet haven't realized that the marriage is gone. dead! Fini!

Anger-This stage is third...why you ask? At this point our bargaining, selling of our soul, absolutely nothing has had the expected results. So we feel deep down anger and conviction that we are right...they are wrong....and We will win no matter who loses! This very well might be the hardest stage for anybody going through this. I have been scanning lightly in newcomers and see so many of that boards "mentors" stuck themselves in this stage. Trying to control what is uncontrollable out of anger and not based on sound decision.

Depression-At this point the energy involved with our anger is used up. We are burnt out......and now we are ALONE. Yes...we have been alone in the physical sense for some time, but the bucket is finally empty.

-Slightly different than anger.....more identified with long periods of being OK....then boom.....anger comes bursting back in very brief, but extremely intense blasts. I think it is almost a triggered response...a missed ball game, long weekend with a sick child, or coming up short on a mortgage payment. A catalyst disturbs the beast sleeping within.

Acceptance-I place this before forgiveness because I feel you have to accept the marriage is done before you can forgive the damage it's death has caused. At this point you know that you are alone. The resentment is gone because you accept that triggers from resentment are just yours alone to deal with. This is also a great time for personal growth. Confidence that you will survive on your own, that you can do thing yourself, and that the sun will still rise tomorrow.

-Regaining on confidence continued. New perspective of the things around you. Constant questioning...of yourself and the principles we follow. At this point anything is possible....for ourselves.

Forgiveness-At this point you can forgive yourself for your part in the demise of the marriage. You can also see the pain the process has caused our spouse. The knowledge that neither party has really come out of this unscathed is apparent. You will know at this point that the journey was beneficial for both parties as long as neither got tripped up in their respective journeys. Maybe the marriage is renewed...maybe not.

Renewal-The world is different (I know that I see it differently). We are almost reborn to a life that that has unlimited potential. Things that were once taken for granted are cherished...and things thought essential are no longer that important. We are finally able to cash in on the independent self that we have found within ourselves.

Living again-At this point we move on, piece, whatever hand we have been dealt. Everything behind will be seen with compassion for the pain it caused and the enlightenment about ourselves that we achieved.

Having nothing to do with my POST but to add on to the Messina Article all the Detachment articles

Developing Detachment


this post is missing from this website

Also it is in a PDF file on a dartmouth website
found below here
Be Patient and Let Go

and Post #7 of this thread by HB
Title: All Sermons in ONE Thread; Lessons and All Written by Heartsblessing(2002)
Post by: HeartsBlessing on May 19, 2010, 01:03:13 AM

Hello again Friends,

Now pay strict attention, this thread covers the LESSONS you need to learn as you take your personal journey to wholeness.  I created the lessons as I learned them...during the time of my husband's crisis there wasn't much information on MLC, much less what you had to learn about what to fix within yourself.  These were created with the insight the Lord provided me with, much like the inspirational help I got in writing the stages.

There were added things I put in that I'd thought would help at that time...feel free to skip over what you don't think is relevant.

The "Time-line" sermon outlined my own history, so I will include it as well, and these are posted in the SAME order I wrote them so long ago.

Enjoy the reading, and prepare to learn the lessons of a lifetime...these ARE the SAME lessons the MLC'er SHOULD learn as he/she comes through the tunnel, except of course for the "time line" sermon. :)

When you wade your way through these, there is an added post from my views in this present day and time. :)
Title: Re: All Sermons in ONE Thread; Lessons and all Written by Heartsblessing(2002)
Post by: HeartsBlessing on May 19, 2010, 01:05:20 AM
The importance of establishing a "Time-Line"

October 1999-My husband was involved in an accident that killed a man instantly. He had a nervous breakdown that day and beat himself to pieces for something that was NOT his fault-nothing I or his sister could say would make him feel better.

Late November 1999-He experiences a great burst of anger-entering the tunnel but I was unaware of anything EXCEPT I sensed the emotional "door" closing between us.

November 1999-December 2000-He withdraws at times, throws tantrums at others-insults me at times, but yet so loving at others-We are fighting near continuous-more than once I saw him throw his wallet at the front door or throw glasses in the sink because he feels that what he says is NOT being listened to. Tells me to "shut up" near constantly-and no matter what I say or do--it's not right in his eyes-and I'm confused.

Skips checking for my voicemail messages some nights-seems to be 'teasing' me about running away with a "boyfriend" if I'm late leaving a message. Starts coming home later and later on Fridays nights, and sometimes wouldn't show up until Saturday morning of each week.

Ignored me and son totally, and shuts down-we bought a house during 2000, and moved-the stress of all this got to me, and I blew up one night in November of 2000, he threatened to leave me that first time, saying he didn't have to listen to what I was saying-I begged him not to leave me-and we ended up on the bathroom floor, trying to figure out what had triggered this HUGE fight.

In hindsight, not long after we moved in September of 2000, our emotional and spiritual bond disintegrated-and I felt the effects of that break.
His distancing got worse AFTER the fight in November.

January 2001-August 2001 He spends more and more time on the computer-becomes more angry and distant. I'm at a loss what to do except to leave him alone. If I did ANYTHING in the way of affection-I would get angry looks and if I interrupted him, I would get angry looks.
If I entered the room while he was on the computer, he would close whatever he was looking at-I didn't think too much of that.

In May, things took a different turn-he came out of the bathroom one day and I saw he'd shaved his beard down into a goatee' and the look on his face was like that of a small child that had done something wrong-I didn't like the goatee' I HATED it, and said so. He just disregarded me.

I began to discover breath mints, he began taking care of himself even better than he had in the past-I just went on with my life-it was all I could do-I didn't know anything then-I just trusted him like I had always had done.

In July 2001, his Dad died, but he didn't call me to tell me until TWO hours after he knew-and he acted strangely, not wanting me to go with him, and I thought I wasn't going to be able to as son was going to summer school at that time, and couldn't miss.

My sister-in-law offered, on her own to keep son while we went, and my husband was NOT enthusiastic about it--strange, considering you'd think he'd have WANTED my comfort, but he didn't.

The whole trip was weird-He stepped out of the motel room and was gone for almost three hours, and his excuse, when he came back was that he'd talked to the clerk-I found out later on that the OW had a 1-800 number, and figured that part out in hindsight.

PLUS-I discovered he has TWO messages on his cell-phone, but he won't allow me to retrieve them for him, says his "code" was messed up-his step-mother said she left ONLY one-guess who the other was from? OW, no doubt.

Anyway, he's in this big hurry to come back and go to work after the funeral, even though his step-mother begged him to stay at least one more night, but he refused. I can't explain his attitude-it was like he couldn't have cared less how she felt, and he didn't want to take time out of HIS life to spend time with her. I remember being VERY angry about what he did, but couldn't do anything about it.

And so we resumed our lives, supposedly. By August of 2001, I was UNABLE to reach him anymore-things were bottoming out, and though I knew he loved me(or thought he did) I didn't think he cared. And so therefore I let him go into the hands of the Lord to deal with.

September 2001 marked a turning point-two days after the attack on the World Trade center, I was fixing to log-into the internet when I saw that my reycle bin had something in it-I hadn't thrown anything away, and so I looked, discovering my son was accessing pornography--oh LORD!

I called him into the room and showed him what I'd found, and got onto him, telling him that he was grounded until I could speak with his dad about it.

I was floored, but ok, understanding that kids sometimes are curious-but of course I couldn't tell HIM that. LOL

Then it occurred to me that the cookies were still on the system and I had to get them off. When I ran a search, my HUSBAND'S login showed up-and my heart dropped into my stomach-I logged into his desktop, and looked at his history-and discovered HE was accessing--and had been for over FIVE months-mostly red-headed porn.

This was the bomb that got dropped on me.

It was two more days before I could confront him, and I did it over the phone-we had a really strange conversation, but it seemed important to him that I not throw him out-and the "old" me was still there, so you can imagine the tantrum I threw! LOL

He said many strange things-like when I kissed him, he said, like it was new discovery, that I had the SAME affect on him I always had-and in hindsight, again, I now know he'd fallen out of love with me, and OW was there and had been there, possibly since December 1999.

September 2001-January 2002 After two weeks of attempting to get to the bottom of this, he decides he doesn't want to do this anymore, and more garbage spewed, possibly from guilt and who knows what else.

In late October 2001, I started finding signs of an affair-and I lived in denial for two weeks because I COULDN'T believe he had done this to me. But I was living blind and I knew it, so I asked for the blinders to be taken off my eyes-and they were. Every sign you could imagine, hit me in the face-my husband was CHEATING on me, but lied when I confronted him and threatened to leave in late November, when I finally jumped him.

It was the start of three weeks worth of misery and emotional deprivation that was worse than what I had suffered before.

We were arguing constantly, and he laid down the law to me concerning SEX of all things-that I couldn't have him when I wanted him-I would just have to hold him and be fulfilled.
Or when OW would come up: He'd say that he was too fat and ugly, and NO girl would look at him-and the arguments went on and on, and the ANGER in him was terrible.

Though he first said that I hadn't anything to cause this, he then turned around and said I hadn't given him enough SEX during our marriage-it was actually the OTHER way around-he was projecting his feelings on me. He also said that I criticized when I shouldn't-another projection.

He also said we needed to start out as Friends first then progress to the lover's stage-I remember hitting him with "Friends don't DO things like this to each other."

And I just kept arguing with him, which made things worse and worse, pushing me to the brink of suicide-that was when I found Jim Conway's site and found some of the answers I needed.

When I finally GOT what I had to do, and asked the Lord to help me, things started to get better, but were far from being finished. It was strong, within my own mind by December 15, that I had had enough and was leaving-the next day my "guide" showed up, and started me along the path to where I needed to be.

A couple of days later, he began making his way out of the tunnel-traveling the emotional parts, hitting a major change on December 31, 2001-it was another three weeks before he bottomed out, not once, but twice, and instead of starting into Acceptance, he bounced into Withdrawal instead.

February 2002-March 2002-It was during this time, my husband stayed in Withdrawal-trying NOT to have to face the changes he would have to make, and his "head-clearing" tantrum, and some of my more important lessons were learned during this time. On March 24th, he broke that Withdrawal, and talked some asking me for forgiveness, confirming WHEN this started-after that he started into the final stages of Acceptance.

April 2002-July 2002 This was a strange time for me, as I discovered he still didn't "get it"-that, in a way, it was STILL all about him, and nothing concerning me. There were many hurdles to get past, and I was disgusted many times-he kept slipping back and forth between Withdrawal and Depression, having "pity" parties for himself, that I listened to quite often.

In late May, we rebonded emotionally-and in early June, another change occurred, I started seeing a "replay" of December.

He would run me over to get to the phone-and an old fear jumped up and bit me in the tail-I ended up picking a fight with him, and more lies were told. I remember telling him that "this is STILL ALL about you, isn't it? When you are ready to talk to me, you know where I am."

The split began all over again, only this time there was no "old" to see, only new and the children. And, of course I was on the road with him as he passed through the final revisitations of the stages.

Going into early July he was still "processing", but on July 10, the spiritual bond between us rebuilt itself, and he crossed over into the final stage of Acceptance.

Through the rest of July, August and on into September, he has continued to process himself -AND YES, he FINALLY asked for the answers that were inside him all along, and he began to receive those- and I have seen him change continuously into what he is becoming-on September 28, he passed OUT of the storm, facing his Final Fears on November 3, coming out of the 'gate' completely.

His ending and my ending has come together, as I finished the "clean-up" November 25, 2002, with an outpouring of "old" feelings to make way for the new ones in this New Beginning that we are both experiencing. He has NOT come out the same person he was-it is like getting to know him ALL over again, and he has to get to know ME all over again, for BOTH have changed and are NOT the SAME people we were.

Edited by the Author for  deletion of some material
Title: Re: All Sermons in ONE Thread; Lessons and all Written by Heartsblessing(2002)
Post by: HeartsBlessing on May 19, 2010, 01:07:15 AM
This concerns LIFE'S LESSONS

The life's lessons you are to learn out of this are simple ones, but HARD to put into actions

They involve Control Lessons first and foremost.

The rule of thumb to remember is the only person you can control in this life is YOU, not anyone else-and change must begin within before a situation changes without.

That means ALL control you THINK you have must be released: physical, spiritual-everything.

The MLC'er, no matter how erratic he/she is acting, is NOT a child, and does NOT need help-they must be allowed to work this out on their own and make decisions accordingly.

I know you think you are helping if you try to show them what you perceive they are doing wrong, but they will see it as CONTROL, and run further away.

You have to learn to separate the behavior from the person, and set boundaries as to what you will and won't accept, taking care of YOU in the process.

Focusing on what the MLC'er is or is not doing is NOT helping YOU-it is only dragging you down further and further, and you WILL hit rock-bottom and have a nervous breakdown, worrying about things you CANNOT and DO NOT have control over.

You must learn, also to STAY CALM in conflict-the more emotional power you give a situation, the worse it can escalate. Tap into the inner strength you KNOW is there and use it to your advantage.

You must face Childhood Wounds and heal them, whatever those may be, and they will be found on your journey to find YOU. That means exploring your childhood, looking at the patterns YOU are repeating-and change your behavior accordingly-that is part of your growth.

Remember no one does anything to YOU-they do it to THEMSELVES, as this has NOTHING to do with you, and everything to do with THEM.

IF you don't like a situation, CHANGE IT-taking the steps necessary to do so. Each individual is different and it may take a combination of things to achieve this change.

Learn that happiness, self-validation, self-esteem etc comes from WITHIN you, and is NOT found in outside factors-NO ONE can make you "complete". You must learn to find these things WITHIN.

Then, and only then will True Love be born-you will need because you love, not love because you need.

Accepting yourself is extremely important as we must live with ourselves for the rest of our lives, and we know deep within our hearts what we can and cannot live with.

We must "let go" no matter how painful that might be, it is through the giving of this freedom, we may regain our MLC spouse. Because we will NEVER own anyone, but OURSELVES.

That inner peace we are searching for CAN be attained through the "letting go" totally-it is the peace we can have WITHIN the storm.

And until we reach that point, we will always be confused-it is through the clearing of our mind that the answers will come from the place they have always been--within ourselves.

There are NO answers to be found outside of us, otherwise.

We can and must trust ourselves to do the right thing at all times, trusting in the Lord to guide our feet along this journey.

And understand that NO MATTER WHAT HAPPENS, we WILL be all right.
Title: Re: All Sermons in ONE Thread; Lessons and all Written by Heartsblessing(2002)
Post by: HeartsBlessing on May 19, 2010, 01:09:56 AM


when we detach completely, what makes us want to get BACK involved with our WAS's?

One of the biggest factors is the hope of getting a better marriage out of this ugly mess, which I'm getting now. Sure, there will always be problems and it won't be "paradise" from what I have seen come about as he has changed, it is MUCH better than what I had the first 16 years of marriage.

But then I'VE changed, too, and know more of what I want and need out of this marriage, and I don't hesitate to ask for it.

And there are better things out there, PLUS worse things out there-the question is, what would you find first?

EVERYBODY has problems of varying degrees-there are very few that have undertaken the journey we have gone through, and come out changed and mature(intact).

The change that comes is one of maturity-and love is there NOT because of need-it is the other way around-the need is there BECAUSE of the love. And the married couple truly becomes FRIENDS for the first time in their lives, able to lean on one other and carry each other's burdens when needed-it becomes as it should have been to begin with.

I didn't realize until my husband came out of his storm with all these changes that a cycle had been broken-he no longer treated me as my dad had-my changes and wound-healing had something to do with that, which, in turn evoked a change in HIM.

And yes, I like what he has become MUCH better than what he used to be. And can work with it.


What did it feel like, from your view, after you detached?

What he didn't seem to matter as much, and his behavior didn't affect me like it once had-before he would have upset me badly when he got angry, now it doesn't even affect me-I usually tell him I'm sorry he feels the way he does, and just leave it at that. If he's irritated about something, instead of automatically thinking it was my fault, like I once did, I ask him if he'd like to talk about it-if he doesn't, I just leave him alone, and he usually comes and talks to me sometimes.

But, I don't "get scared" that he's planning something out of the ordinary-I'm strong enough to take whatever comes around-it was part of my changes, too. I back down enough so he knows I DO need him-this was a problem before, but I don't get all "clingy" and "desperate" with him. It would run him off, I believe.


Is your H a much smaller part of your life and thoughts?

Yes, and no. He does NOT consume my life and thoughts like he once did-I DO have a life of my own or a reasonable facsimile, thereof. My life, is actually quite boring to other people-I don't go out much and when I worked, I usually went to work, came home, did what I had to do in the house, taking care of business here on the home-front-it is much like I used to do.

I visit sometimes, but I don't stay gone from home much-and I spend time with our son-as much as he can stand me.

In effect, I don't do ANYTHING except what is required of me, here at home.

I spend time with my husband when he comes in off the road....

I choose to spend my time the way I see fit, and I do NOT pursue my husband for attention-that backfired on me before-so he pursues ME.

But the main thing is, I'm content with my life as it is. I'm not hard to please, and I don't crave excitement.

I think of him quite often, but not obsessive thoughts-that is part of being detached from him.

I love him, but he is not a means to an end, either. If he left me tomorrow, with the lessons I've learned, I would understand it was NOT me, but HIM.

And so, the cage door stays open-he can choose to leave ANYTIME he wants to, but so can I, and he knows this.


Reconnecting with our H would not end our journey because they are the reason we are on it and changes need to be made to continue on with them. We cannot go back to the way things were, the old M is dead. If we were to hook up with someone else, they would be wanting us for who we are now and we would not feel the need to change/grow and we wouldn't. Thus ending our journey. In fact to find someone right now and hook up with them would validate in our minds that we don't need to make any changes because we are "wanted" by someone just the way we are.

She is correct, S&A. Reconnecting with my husband did NOT stop my journey, as evidenced by my posts concerning this journey we are on.

We will continue on this journey long past the "changing" stage, where our changes will be "tested" over and over again, until they are in place permanently.

Only then will we be allowed to "move on", forgetting the pain, but remembering the LESSONS, we were taught.

And we won't do that until we learn EVERY lesson we are given to learn.

I discovered there was ONE MORE THING I had to learn besides the basic life's lessons, and I went on to learn ONE final lesson, ONLY THEN, have I begun to "move on" with my life.

I learned not to gripe and complain, and the reason why I shouldn't-as it does NOT change anything, and keeps the original problem alive and well, getting me "stuck".

And, in essence, I am finishing my journey in tandem with my husband-because I started on this journey BECAUSE of him in the first place.

The growing HAS to take place and the changes HAVE to be made, otherwise, you will recycle what you didn't learn another time-and that trial might be much worse than what you are currently going through.

I was shown that while in this-and thinking I wanted to escape it-but I couldn't if I wanted to come through completely and keep my marriage, too.

Besides, I loved and still love my husband with the SAME unconditional love I always had, this time, though it's GOD'S LOVE I love him with, as my human love would NOT withstand what I was going through during that time.

I had ALWAYS loved him unconditionally, no matter what, and he was unable to accept that in the past, always "setting me up" to reject him, which I NEVER did.

That was the difference between me and his mother-and the reason behind the affair.

I was not given this understanding in ONE day-it came over months of growing and changing, and being willing to listen and learn, opening my mind to what the Lord was showing me.

He showed me a great deal about my husband AND me, plus what led up to his MLC.

I was able, then, to understand the "whys" and "hows" of this whole trial.

And some of it, I got at one sitting-some came trickling down a little at a time, when I could understand better.

And, like I've posted before, I knew what the OUTCOME of this was going to be, all I had to do was walk the journey, making the necessary decisions to get there.

I was one of the blessed ones, who knew from the start, and I asked why the Lord was so willing to show me to outcome-and it was because I had always been obedient to Him in ALL things.

He also said the marriage was meant to be, and meant to go on, as He had put me and my husband together in the first place-and of course this was done for a reason-we both had things to teach one another that would take a lifetime to learn.

There was hope as long as I still loved my husband, and I came on through with him, obeying ALL I was told to do-and each time I was given instruction, I was told the outcome, but it was up to me to do what I was told to do to bring about what was to be.

I made many mistakes, and time was added because of those mistakes-and there were some mistakes made on my husband's part-and again, time was added-we BOTH had a hand in lengthening this.

But that time was necessary to make sure the lessons held, and I accepted that-I had to.

Many times I got disgusted and wanted to run away, my patience was being developed during this trial, and everything that happened, increased my patience-it was the gift I was most lacking in, so therefore, my trials to develop Patience were the worst.

But, the Lord was AlWAYS patient and long-suffering with me, letting me know all the time, that it was up to me to stay or leave-and reminding me of what would happen if I did.

No, I didn't stay because of the Lord, though I was obedient to Him in ALL things-I stayed because I loved my husband and was willing to forgive him, and help him rebuild our lives together.

I have been married all my life, and my husband is, in spite of what he put me through, a good man, and I know I could NOT do any better than him-he has always taken care of me, we both have faults and make mistakes, and I know that, too.

I decided to keep what I had, knowing he DOES love me dearly, more now than he ever did, and it SHOWS in a way it never did before.

And, though he said, while deep within the tunnel, he loved me just the way I was, the changes HAD to made, anyway-I don't believe I would be married now if I hadn't taken the time to learn, grow, and change.
Title: Re: All Sermons in ONE Thread; Lessons and all Written by Heartsblessing(2002)
Post by: HeartsBlessing on May 19, 2010, 01:11:38 AM


But anyway, Saph, it may not be good DBing and I do realize that and have tried to urge the church to confront H like Christ rather than like the Pharasees. But God called me to file(with the church)...I am sure of this...as I did not want to do it. I am not a trouble maker and am quite shy and timid and confronting and challenging my church of 4000 members is not in my nature to do. I felt alot like Jonah for awhile as God was calling me to do this and I was saying "I dont hear you". He got louder until I consented.

I started to answer this the other day, but my husband came home for a week, so I've not gotten back until today.


I was struck by what I read, and now fully understand what you are having to do.

Just as the MLC'er BECOMES the opposite of what they were pre-tunnel, the Left-Behind Spouse BECOMES the opposite of what THEY were through the journey that must be taken to "grow up".

The weak become strong; the strong become weak, the quiet become loud, the loud become quiet--see the correlation?

We MUST become direct opposites of what we were before--as I had to do during my husband's MLC, and the changes on our end MUST become permanent.

I was outspoken, and had to become quiet. I was a pursuer, and had to become the pursued. I was emotionally out of control, and I had to become calm.

I was instructed to keep quiet no matter what my husband did or said, while YOU are being instructed to bring this all out in the open using what you have been given to use.

It seems that He looks at our personalities, and causes us-if we allow HIM to change us- to become the OPPOSITES of what we were before, and uses us to bring about circumstances we wouldn't normally bring about due to the way our personalities are.

What we would NORMALLY do, is NOT what we SHOULD do. We must do the OPPOSITE.

That is WHY there are NO set rules for dealing with our husband's MLCs. And, though I KNEW about becoming the opposite of what I had been before, I didn't know WHY, until NOW.

And, you know, I never THOUGHT to question Him on it. When I became the opposite of what I was before, it worked, just has He had said it would, and I simply thanked Him for helping me to change and went on.

I had advised in one of my threads concerning BECOMING the OPPOSITE, but at that time, I don't think I expounded on WHY-I actually didn't know why, I just knew it had to be done.

Now, I know why.

The reason we must become the opposite of what we were before is we must learn to experience ALL facets of our personalities, and face EVERYTHING we are--we are preparing for the second stage of life, and ALL facets of our personality must be brought forward and integrated, and in the process, we are changed forever by the Lord.

He has allowed this to happen, yes, to test you, but you are being "molded" on the potter's wheel at the same time-and that in itself causes a "breakdown" of your "old" self, bringing about the fashioning of a "new" self. Though this trial, we are thrown repeatedly against the wheel until we come back together (are integrated) into someone totally new.

In your mind, you are seeing what didn't work before, and so you, yourself, are in the process of changing into someone you weren't before, just as your spouse has become the opposite of what he was before-his personality should undergo the near exact same changes you are going through and he should reintegrate into a different person, too-IF he allows this to change him-once OW is gone and he is out of the tunnel.

At times you are resisting the changes, but here is where faith is exercised, and you must allow the Lord to change you-this is the way it must be, He knows what you will face later on, and that is why these changes are necessary-you are being equipped for something that's coming down the road.

You are learning to stand up and stand strong in a way you haven't had to do before-and though the first standing is hard, it will get easier once it's done. You are learning to walk on faith in a way you've not done before, because before, you were AFRAID, and the Lord is driving the fear out of you with what He is doing within you.

We are instructed to bring about certain situations to get certain results, and the Lord knows what He is doing when we receive instruction, and usually, you are advised of the outcome so you will know ahead of time what will happen if you do, and the consequences if you don't obey.

Becoming the opposite is a necessary part of "growing up" and coming forward, as we must learn to handle ANY situation-and the changes within must happen.
Title: Re: All Sermons in ONE Thread; Lessons and all Written by Heartsblessing(2002)
Post by: HeartsBlessing on May 19, 2010, 01:13:08 AM
This concerns Temptation during Total Rejection


However, I would caution you (and everyone else) to beware of trying to get our needs filled through another man. We are at a very vulnerable place right now and in my opinion we could all be affairs waiting to happen. Be wise in your relationships with men. As an example, I am friends with a married couple and they both equally want to help me. However, I've set up boundaries with the man such as never meeting alone and never talking on the phone with him unless his wife is on the extension. I don't have any sort of "designs" on him by any means, but I do believe I would be stupid to think that nothing could ever happen. We mustn't let Satan get a foothold.

I have preached about this SAME thing before about the DANGEROUS position the WAS places the LBS in while they are out trying to find themselves and have gotten OW.

I REMEMBER that one pretty clearly. And, like you, ICBI, I recognized the dangers of accidentally getting involved with another man-I isolated myself from ALL men except my brother-in-law(I trust and still trust him), and the only people I associated with were women during that time.

I did it to protect THEM AND ME. The abandoned and unloved feelings were pretty bad for me-worse feelings I had ever felt in my life-I mean it was like totally being cut-off from feeling loved-and I had NO ONE except the Lord-and me.

I did make it through and the feelings DID pass, but it was several MORE weeks before I would trust myself to associate with the men I knew at work again-and I never told them what I was doing, I just distanced myself from them, and wouldn't even talk to them-thank goodness they never paid that much attention to what I was doing. LOL

I asked the Lord to keep helping me through, and He did, but I had to face this temptation and overcome it.

It would have been so easy to have gotten involved with another-and I could see that ahead of time as this started.

So she's right, you MUST be careful--you would betray YOURSELF-and both of you would have matching guilt and things might get worse instead of better.

On the other hand, most importantly-it is considered ADULTERY; hands down if you get involved with another while still married, regardless if sex was involved or not. And that is what I think.

Gotta watch Satan closely during this time-he will throw temptation down in front of you in a hurry, because he would like nothing better than to see you fall down hard.

It was also shown to me a long time later that I delved MUCH deeper into myself during this time, as my journey to find me was beginning, and the vast majority of what I looked at, of course had to do with ME. Everything I needed to look at and work through was brought up during that same time, and I don't think I'd have seen it that clearly if I hadn't gone through what I did.

What my husband did in depriving me, felt like a "repeat" of my emotionally deprived childhood-and old wounds were ripped open then-but they were healed later on--I'm not sure when that happened-but I do know it was later, sometime during my journey.

The changes I made had alot to do with those old wounds, and that was shown to me later on, too.

All things happen for reason, always.

First of all, S&A, you have answered your OWN question, so, really you KNOW the answer and it lies deep within your OWN heart.

You recognize that you are NOT finished with your journey in this pit you have been in for two years. And until you ARE finished, you will still be in there.

I've said this before, but I was commanded to CHOOSE before the worst parts of this came about-BEFORE I even KNEW about the affair-and I was told the outcomes either way. I had just a couple of days before discovered his access of pornography, and was understandably angry-but went before the Lord to see what I should do-so I wouldn't do anything foolish.

You see the devil had put in a bid for my family-with me being the STRONGER-I had to be convinced to bow out(Satan had used my husband against me because he was unable to bring me down directly), first-then the rest would follow, and these were things I was shown AFTER I chose my path-and in my mind there was NO going back.

I could have gone either way-the Lord does NOT tamper with Free Will-He already KNEW what I would do, but He STILL had to give me that choice-and my love being what it was I chose my marriage knowing He would work things out.

And it went from there to here-the path was FULL of obstacles and decisions to make to get where I am now. I was not ever allowed to just sit and wait-there were instructions I had to follow-just as you are having to do now-and things I was guided into that brought about positive results.

The Lord WAS with me during the time of total rejection, and strengthened me-because I ASKED Him to. I knew, like you do, if I did anything like my husband had done, I would betray ME-and I was still married, faithful to my vows, and I still LOVED him.

Besides the Lord kept counseling me, showing me that my husband did STILL love me, but was so confused and his feelings were buried deep within himself.

The MOST important thing shown to me of all was, that if I changed my mind, left my husband and married another-which was MY right to do, I would repeat this whole process ALL over again-and with the Lord promising me that my marriage would come back together, and things would be better-I would have been STUPID to have strayed from the course I had decided on.

The devil, on the other hand, continued to try and try and get me to bow out and leave, but I never would-and so that made my trial much harder.

I have seen ALL things the Lord has told me ahead of time come to pass except one-and it's upon me-and I cannot tell what it is-because of Satan--but I will tell all when it happens, because it signifies the END of everything.

I have been holding onto the promise of the Lord concerning the END for over a year-and I look back, seeing how far I have come from where I was.

He charged me to obey Him in ALL things, just like I had always done before, and I didn't miss--I knew I couldn't-whatever I was told, I did, even if I was uncertain deep within my heart, because logically, it didn't look like it would work out--but it did. He knew MORE than I did, and STILL knows more than I do.

I have seen my faith and belief in Him increase greatly over this last year, and I do NOT doubt Him in any way-although the devil has tried hard to shake my faith and place doubts in my mind many times-all I ever knew to do was HOLD ON and just keep going.

Yes, there were times of anger and frustration and impatience on my part, but those feelings were carefully hid and controlled, because to let them out gave the devil a place and power over me-and I could NOT allow that to happen.

Most of all, I was shown that I was the "key" to restoring my husband to fellowship with the Lord. That is all I can say about that, but a great deal rested on ME to help him come through his MLC.

As close as you are to the Lord, S&A you KNOW His voice-it is unmistakable-and as long as you listen to Him, you will NEVER go wrong.

You have always appeared to be extremely discerning when it came to what you believe. Listen within yourself NOW, and hear His voice speak within you-for His sheep KNOW His voice, and you are NO different.

You WILL know if/when the time comes to give up and go on with your life-He will let you know. But, at the same time, HE will tell you that it is YOUR decision, and will give you the consequences of your actions either way-as it concerns YOU AND YOUR SPOUSE.

He does NOT hold you accountable for your spouses actions toward you and the marriage-the fault laid with your HUSBAND and not YOU. And if your husband goes on and marries OW, you are released, totally-the Lord will NOT hold it against YOU-this was beyond your control.

BUT--whatever you are supposed to learn from this-will have to be learned BEFORE you are released from your marriage vows. I believe you are already released from those due to adultery on your husband's part, but there are additional lessons you must learn, and He is leading you into them-things you are afraid of, learning NOT to play it so safe-for you must LEARN to step out in FAITH and bring him to accountability-and you must NOT back down. You are charged to stand strong and He will be with you and use you to speak.

NONE of our paths are the SAME-each one of us takes a different path in our lives, to learn DIFFERENT things that pertain to ONLY US as individuals. And the Lord leads, guides, and directs as HE sees fit. But we must be ready AND willing to submit to HIS will, not ours.

Concerning the subject of temptation, Satan can and will throw temptation at you in ANY form and if he can't attack you directly, he WILL do it INDIRECTLY. And since one of his strong point is patience, he will keep attempting to wear you down UNTIL you fall. And he LOVES to see servants of the Lord fall down.

HOLD ON, S&A, the LORD can and will meet your deepest needs-that is but ONE of the reasons you must go through this total rejection from your husband--it is so you will turn to the LORD, and cast everything upon HIM, realizing that HE is the only one who can MEET your deepest needs.

It also rips open "old" emotional wounds, and makes you face those so you can ask for help to heal them, making you stronger as you go.

Yes, the Lord DOES use these type situations for this purpose. But you have to open your eyes and see this.

And keep the devil at bay-he has nothing for you but misery and destruction--you just CAN'T fall, S&A, you have come TOO far to even open your mind to this type of possibility.

Opening your mind to the POSSIBILITY of sin is the FIRST step to falling into it-read the story of David and Bathsheba.

We are to bring every idle thought into captivity and keep our minds on the Lord always. That way, there is NO room for Satan to work.

The battle is intense, but it can be won through holding onto the Lord and continuing to be obedient in ALL things. 
Title: Re: All Sermons in ONE Thread; Lessons and all Written by Heartsblessing(2002)
Post by: HeartsBlessing on May 19, 2010, 01:14:27 AM
This concerns placing blame and anger totally on OW, instead of directing it toward the SOURCE-the WAS

This sermon caused some controversy on the thread it was posted on-but it was necessary-I didn't want to offend anyone, and still don't-it was part of the lessons I learned-and anyone can still learn from this-don't get "stuck" in misdirected anger, learn to face the actual SOURCE that started this whole mess: the WAS

Now, one other thing, and this is based on many posts I have seen:

Why do you ladies place ALL the blame, and direct your anger at OW? I'm just curious about that-or maybe that is something you have to learn about--at first, I was angry at just the OW, but then the Lord made me realize the fault laid with MY HUSBAND-HE was the one who started this, not her.

She carried some of the blame once she found out he was married and wouldn't let him go-I don't believe she KNEW until he was ready to break it off-I believe he set her up to reject him and it backfired on him!

But you see, the total BLAME for the whole situation getting started laid on HIM-and so HE needed to be the target for my anger, NOT HER. Sure, she might have known or not known, he was married, and still tried to hang on, but you have got to see where IT ALL STARTED FROM-THE SOURCE WAS THE WAYWARD SPOUSE! That's who started this whole mess.

And the brunt of your anger needs to be directed toward HIM-see what I'm trying to tell you?

The WHOLE fault for starting this lays with the wayward spouse-and you must face that--just like I had to. Your husbands CHOSE this path, and when you direct ALL the blame on OW, and put NONE on him-you are defeating the purpose and living in denial-reality MUST be seen for what it is-they have committed the MOST selfish act there can be:
breaking their marriage vows and putting the marriage asunder in the losing of their committment. And you have EVERY right to be ANGRY at your MLC spouse!

Work through your feelings, reach forgiveness for your husband and OW-then let it go, as you can't change the past-you must now look to the future, that is one thing you CAN change.

Don't allow this to wield power over you-you've got enough on your plate as it is.

More on understanding OW and MLC'er-and what they think they need from each other

This is a partial quote of mine from another thread-it might help to answer your question:


But when all was said and done, I DID overcome-and see OW in a different light than I did before-and without hate and resentment in my heart toward her--she is to be pitied rather than hated, because her problems are much bigger than ours will ever be.

We are learning what we need for this life, while OW stumbles along in the dark, never understanding why she cannot be happy with what she is doing with married men-using them for MONEY and MAINTENANCE.

You still think this is all about sex? Think again-sex, most of the time has NOTHING to do with it-it is only used as a "weapon" a last resort to try and keep the man--mostly what the OW is after is the MONEY she can get from a man-and if that is the ONLY thing she gets she can be happy with that-she only uses her sexuality to try and keep them, and most of the time she will get dumped like a rock, always being left behind.

I'm not saying they are ALL not interested in sex, but think about it--it is true that some will be happy with just getting MONEY from the married men-as they are concerned with THEMSELVES, and not the man-and the bad part is that when the OW is finished USING the man-she will dump him and walk away without a second look-as he has served his purpose with her-she has found something she considers "better".

The description above is the OW's idea of "True Luv"-they have NO idea what love really entails-and so they equate it with "using".

I recall posting one time that "neurotics attract neurotics" and that is VERY true in MLC-OW has problems, the MLC'er has problems and for a time, they meet needs within each other.

OW is not looking for anything EXCEPT what SHE percieves SHE needs-and the MLC'er is doing the same thing with her.

Most of the time NEITHER one is aware they are "using" each other-until the affair begins to dissolve.

I understand, too, that is NOT always this cut and dried and black and white, but it IS an underlying reason OW takes up with men that look less than desirable-they are not so much concerned with that as they are with MONEY and MAINTENANCE.

One of the first things OW tries to find out is how much money they have and have no shame about begging them out of it, because she perceives that as "being kept", and ultimately that is what she is after.

She has NO interest in really pursuing a committed relationship, she is just as selfish as the MLC'er has become while deep within the tunnel.

When the affair dissolves, she is outraged because her "meal ticket" has just gone out the window, and she engages in "pursuing behaviors" mostly for that reason.

And, of course the she refuses to take her half of the blame-ALL the blame goes on the married man who up and left her--high and dry--she is ANGRY because he is no longer there to "keep her" in the lifestyle she is accustomed to.

I am convinced this is NOT all about sex-it is about selfishness, using and obsession. On both parts.

Yes, the affair meets some needs, but disregards others-and the "caring, love and intimacy" that helps a relationship get off the ground and grow is NOT there.

Theirs is mostly built on deception, and "what's in it for me?" routine, and both don't care who they hurt.

This was the answer S&A provided to my question-and I brought it here for additional help in "letting go" of the resentment and ill-will that is sometimes transferred to the OW alone:


Why do you ladies place ALL the blame, and direct your anger at OW?

I have done much thinking on this for two years as the Gnat has been so central to my story, though as you say...just a symptom.

The main reason is because it is easier to hate her than our H. We are emotionally attached to H and arent to the OW so it costs us less pain to focus our hate on her (for whom we do not care) than on our H who have done a heinous thing to us. Our H's betrayal is very personal as he was the one who promised to love, honor, cherish us and forsake all others. He knew our heart and did it anyway. AHHHHHH

This is hard to bear.

Secondly, though I realize this is sexist, I think the media at least has portrayed men as being highly controlled by their sex hormones and on some level they cant help it (lame I know...they can help it...) Somehow I think we tend to think the OW should know better and it is an offense to treat a female sister like this.
Title: Re: All Sermons in ONE Thread; Lessons and all Written by Heartsblessing(2002)
Post by: HeartsBlessing on May 19, 2010, 01:16:01 AM
This is concerning CYCLES

A "cycle" starts when the same behavior is repeated over and over for a period of time and there is NO end to it-it "circles" in other words. And the person repeating the "cycle" must have help to break free from it.

Something HAS to give when a cycle starts, someone's behavior has to change or a confrontation has to ensue.

For example:

Say a man has OW, but wants his wife too seeing them both because he is too weak to decide what he wants. The wife states her stand on it, and he promises to get rid of OW. But he ignores what she says and lies to her so he can keep right on seeing OW AND his wife, too-"fence-sitting" is a better word for that or "cake-eating".

After giving the man a reasonable period of time-usually a week, the wife then needs to change her behavior toward the man, "cutting him off", "going dark" AFTER telling him ONE MORE TIME where she stands.

In effect, the change of behavior SHOULD break the "cycle".

When it doesn't break, something is wrong-the wife MUST stick to her guns and NOT allow him to see her at all-"cycles" are difficult to break when the wife lacks the strength to enforce her stand. IF he moves on, she has lost nothing, but allowing for human nature, most of the time, the man will go on and dump the OW, coming back to the wife, knowing she means business, and won't allow him to get away with this.

You see, people will do what we allow them to get away with, and when the SAME problem crops up AGAIN and AGAIN, it begins what is called a "cycle" and a change in behavior is called for to break it. And that change MUST be solid, no waffling-self-respect is at usually at stake.

In MLC, there are certain times when this will work, and you must know when those times are.

I've seen several cases here of "cycles" and some them continue on and on, because the LBS lacks the strength to make a stand, afraid of being willing to lose all to possibly regain the MLC'er.

As long as the MLC'er is waffling between the wife and OW, it is a good time to break a cycle.

It might try the patience of the LBS, but in the end, unless the MLC'er goes nuts and chooses OW, it should work.

There are other "cycles" to look at, in the cases of disrespect-controlling and manipulation can be stopped.

It calls, again, for a change in behavior-reacting in a way that the MLC'er does NOT expect, and refusing to take anymore.

My husband used to control me with anger and threats when I confronted him, and he used to say things that would "shut me up". If he didn't want to discuss something he used to say hurtful things to me, so I would withdraw and say nothing else to him. And this cycle was going on while he was in his MLC-I stopped that cycle by changing my behavior and reactions to his hateful statements-the next thing he did was threaten to leave, and I, instead of crying and begging like I did before, just cut him loose, and invited him to leave if that was what HE wanted to do.

He's never repeated that behavior again, and that was the only "cycle" I got stuck in.

The bottom line is, you have to overcome your FEAR, and make a stand against what you know is WRONG, not worrying about what might happen, just knowing your self-respect is at stake, and being strong enough to stand.

If he really wants to leave..etc, he will do what HE wants to do, and there's NOTHING you can do about it. But you cannot become a "doormat" for him to walk on. You must be resolute and strong without becoming soft. And you don't have to put up with wrong behavior. It CAN be stopped, point-blank.

This is a Q and A from LSL, asking me to further define what must be done during a cycle

This does MORE explaining and helps to further your understanding.


Now, you are making MY brain hurt! LOL!

Just kidding.



When you commit to a course of action-the "consequences" of that action no longer matter-you are letting go of that.
Making your stand is NOT considered 'punishment'-that is up to the Lord to "punish" people by causing them to reap what they sow.

You are simply deciding what you will and won't tolerate and taking steps to CHANGE that situation, through actions and/or confrontation. It is the equivalent of saying "NO MORE" and not backing down.

The actions you take depend upon the situation faced-I outlined two different examples of making such a stand in my last post.

Most situations are NOT so different, LSL, and the "bully's" reactions are usually NOT that different, unless he/she is totally twisted, and/or at the "point of no return"-or is determined to leave forever, anyway. OR, even, they IGNORE the LBS actions, and just continue their unacceptable behavior-in THAT case-you either ACCEPT it or NOT-your choice all the way around. There are some "die-hards" that will NEVER see what they are doing to hurt themselves and others-and of course that is covered in psychiatric disorders. They are beyond help-and you cannot help them, and MUST just let them go totally-getting on with your life.

What behavior you are standing up against determines the changes that have to be made in the LBS-this is "solution-based" thinking-it DEPENDS on what you are facing, LSL as to what you need to do. IF one thing doesn't work, try something else-each person is different and it might require a combination of things to bring about a desired result. No one can decide that for you-it is always YOUR choice-and you know your husband better than anyone else.



There are several possibilities the LBS can use, and the only three options are:

1. Ultimatum, which in the case of MLC won't work unless the MLC'er is READY to give OW up, and is attempting to CAKE-EAT.

2. Going dark without saying a word, but the WAS won't "get it" so a confrontation IN THE CASE OF OW is usually necessary BEFORE going dark.

3. Just tolerating the situation, and going on endlessly for years, allowing the cycle to continue-had to throw that one in-it is the LEAST desireable option, but one that is usually chosen because fear dictates the actions of the LBS.

I, quite honestly, don't see any OTHER ways of handling this type of situation WITHOUT a confrontation of some sort-the LBS has to come to the point of deciding what he/she will and won't tolerate and take action-and that course of action is UP to the individual who is on the receiving end of this.



I had my insight and someone to guide me in this, LSL-but your own intuition is your BEST indicator--use the tools you have been given through DB, self-help books, the Bible, and this messageboard to help you-that is what they are here for-for one thing.

On the other hand, watching the situation is one of the BEST indicators as to when the BEST time is to confront-I can't exactly explain it, but YOU WILL KNOW-it goes back to your intuition-and the "cycle" that develops will become so clear even the person involved within CAN'T miss it unless they are totally BLIND, or choose to be. Depends on, again, what each of us are willing to live with and tolerate. If you're not satisfied with a situation, CHANGE it, taking the steps necessary to do so.

Again, when you take a course of action, you LET GO of what the consequences may be(spouse goes on and leaves, etc). But understand we are human and there is so much even WE will tolerate before something must be done, and each of our tolerance levels are different-what is totally UNacceptable to one person may be totally Acceptable to another-each one of us are different-those differences must be taken into account.

In short, we each KNOW, deep within our hearts what we can and can't live with.



That is totally up to the LBS-different circumstances call for different courses of actions-again it DEPENDS on the circumstances-and when you KNOW the options you have, you can make a choice that "fits" within those options.

In MLC, there DOES come a time when you will have to "be willing to lose all to possibly regain him" and the circumstances ARE differing.

In my own case-and I know I've told this story before-I was attempting to hold my husband accountable for OW, plus his behavior, and I triggered a tantrum in him--now, in the past he'd always controlled me through anger and threats, and that had always worked then, but not at the time I confronted him.

He threatened to leave me because in his words "You won't shut up", and I released him-telling him if that was what he wanted to do, do it, but don't threaten me with it again-and I never raised my voice-I had learned TWO lessons that day-the first was to stay quiet in conflict, and the second was the "being willing to lose all to possibly regain him" lesson.

He threatened me with other stuff(no physical violence, though--that line had been drawn YEARS before) and I just kept putting the decision to leave or not to leave BACK on his shoulders and was calm about it.

He never left.

He has NOT repeated this particular behavior again-and at one time it WAS a bone of contention between us-I had ALLOWED it for many years, but no more-I had made my stand, and he responded to that stand by STOPPING the behavior-I didn't give him the SAME reaction I had given over the years-I had changed the tapes.

Now, remember the decision I made at that time was NOT made ahead of time-it was made in a split-second, because the tantrum and threats were made UNEXPECTEDLY-I did NOT know what he was going to do until he did it.

But, you see, I was guided into holding him accountable, and I was "pushed" until I did it-the Lord would NOT allow me to back down, as the "old" me would have done before-I could NOT revert back to "old" behaviors-it was placed within me to confront and I did-but you see, WHEN I did I "let go" of the consequences of my actions-leaving them to the LORD to work out.

If he HAD left, there was NOTHING I could have done to stop it-and I knew that, too, even BEFORE I confronted-but I had to be READY to accept whatever the result would be-it was up to my husband whether he stayed or went, not me.

All these things passed through my mind that day, but I settled myself afterwards, knowing I had done all I could, but I wasn't willing to let him manipulate me anymore-I wasn't a child, and neither was he-and he DID respect me a great deal more after that.

Now, concerning making him leave in the case of OW DOES have its advantages-it causes him to "miss" the LBS, and OW has the burden of meeting ALL his needs, not just some of them-and she doesn't know him the way the LBS does, and so he becomes dissatisfied with the affair and it burns out--UNLESS he is determined to start over anyway-again that is BEYOND the LBS' control--everything comes down to being willing to LET GO of controlling ANYTHING concerning another person-because really, we don't OWN anyone except OURSELVES, and all things happen for a reason.

The STAND CAN mean going through with what the LBS has said he/she will do if certain conditions are not met, and that is NOT control-the WAS has broken their marriage vows, and the LBS has the right to demand a choice, but in MLC, that can happen only when the MLC'er is CAKE-EATING.

Do NOT make your stand UNTIL you are READY to live with the consequences of what you are saying you will do-that is WHY I say you CANNOT waffle-you must stand strong and be willing to go through it.

Otherwise, the cycle will definitely repeat itself, and the time will be lengthened to ensure you learn the lesson and "get it" right.

One more thing, even if the WAS REFUSES to leave-you can STILL make your stand and go at least "dim" on them-refusing to have much of ANYTHING to do with him/her-and sticking to it, getting on with your life.

Though I talked my husband out of leaving when I found out about OW, and he treated me terribly, I ended up going totally "dim" on him, and that sent him the message that he could LOSE me-I was calm, quiet, but firm that this had better stop-but I never threatened him or said anything that indicated I was going to leave-I just had very little to do with him for awhile-and he got the message, loud and clear.

But, deep down, I hurt so badly that it was unreal-but that did pass, in time, and I felt I was doing the right thing, and knew it for sure when I observed him coming back toward me later on.

Whew, Lord, I hope I have explained this in a way that will help you ALL to understand how this works--I KNOW how it works having been there before, but explaining it in a way that is understood is hard, but I think I got it right.
Title: Re: All Sermons in ONE Thread; Lessons and all Written by Heartsblessing(2002)
Post by: HeartsBlessing on May 19, 2010, 01:17:16 AM
This concerns FORGIVENESS

I forgave OW-without speaking to her at all-I had my instructions-and I knew I could forgive her without seeing her-and I did that.

I also forgave my husband long before he asked me for forgiveness for ANYTHING he did.


I actually feel I am ready to forgive - as a generality: tho suspect [as in my autumn leaves analogy], forgiveness-to-the-point-of-no-anger-anywhere may be a long time coming. But maybe it isnt true forgiveness so long as there is any drop of anger left?

The FEELINGS, however DO still have to be worked through-I remember being puzzled when I made up my mind to forgive, but yet I still felt angry, betrayed, hurt--etc.

I drew on somone else's wisdom to help me-because I was taught that when you forgave someone-the feelings automatically went away, and they weren't doing that.

I STILL had to work through my feelings-when I forgave, I just committed not to bring it up-released the offending party to the LORD to handle, because HE will make sure they "reap what they have sown".

You see, although they might ask the LORD for forgiveness, and He DOES forgive when they ask, the NATURAL consequences of the actions are not stopped-they STILL have to experience "reaping what they have sown." Because, whatever a person does, good or bad-it ALWAYS comes back-and not always in the same form it has gone out-most of the time it is worse.

I have observed my husband reap hard what he has sown-and that has actually lasted all this time, plus the fact he has had to LIVE with what he has done to our marriage--I, on the other hand, have not. Yes, everything he did affected me, but I didn't do what he has done, and don't have to live with the betrayal of self and marriage vows.

I learned to separate the behavior from the person-having never learned that before in my life.

No, I don't and won't ever feel that I did anything so bad I DESERVED this-what I had to look at and eventually reality hit me from both sides during my journey-was the fact that I had turned a "blind" eye to most things in our marriage, and he took advantage of that--I had MORE invested than he did, when the balance should have been more equal.

I remember my husband saying that I had "always done what I was supposed to do." And post-journey-I realized this to be true. Wasn't a bad thing, though-he never really had to worry about me-and that was PART of the problem-he'd started taking me for granted, and when I found out about OW, for the first time in 15 years, he experienced FEAR-because NOW he had crossed the line that should NEVER have been crossed-and he had to face that he might actually LOSE ME.

Everything he had ever done to me in that 15 years flashed before his eyes-I remember him speaking of it and apologizing over and over. But those things had been forgiven a long time ago and weren't worth re-hashing--this I knew, but I listened anyway.


Most people probably won't have the insight & guidance you have had, HB, when speaking directly with your H about this. For myself, I know if I had let all my blame & anger show at the beginning when it was very raw, there would be no way back. This is why it is so important to me, to make the decision to never throw destructive emotion at either of them.

You couldn't anyway, it wouldn't change a thing-your husband HAS to know how you felt about what he did, and that is different from "throwing destructive emotion".

It is very, very hard to separate the actions from the person-OW had NOTHING to do with you, but yet you were extremely hurt, and that is understandable. You can think all you want to, but it is what you DO that will impact the situation. And the words spoken must be chosen carefully, because two things in this life cannot be taken back:

A moment in Time
A spoken word

I forget who told me that, but it is true-and I know, during this, there have been many times I have had to bite my tongue, and if I HAD to speak, my words were chosen carefully-because to lose control, totally, could mean the end-and I would have brought that upon myself.

The Lord protected me while I was ignorant, but when my eyes were opened, it fell to ME to be careful-that's why I gave ALL control to Him-but it still took me time to be able to do that. And He has continued to direct my steps since then. And will always do so for the rest of my life.

I have been extremely fortunate that He sent me help-no, make that BLESSED. He sent me help because I was obedient to Him in all things. People often think that serving the Lord is "boring" "no fun" and we are uptight, judgemental people. That thinking comes from dealing with people that have CHOSEN to be that way.

As I have grown in my walk, I have realized that the Lord DOES have a sense of humor-I have experienced it as I've grown closer to Him-and he doesn't want us to walk in condemnation of ourselves-that does NOT mean we can "sit on the fence" and serve both Him and the Devil.

It simply means we are to do the best we can to walk in His light, serving Him to the best of our ability, making an effort to stay out of sin-we know right from wrong-being willing to give ALL control to Him, so He can help us.

In short, we must develop a relationship with the Lord, not just pay lip-service, and do good works. We must have faith, and belief in Him, and be willing to follow in His steps.

It has been said, and the bible says this, that the Lord's people are a "peculiar" people, and I find that to be true. I am a humble person, taught to love and help others, and my ACTIONS speak louder than anything I could ever say, and somehow, people actually DO see Him in me.
There is something different about me, and it has been remarked upon before-but I didn't understand what they were talking about until my own understanding came about.

And I have seen this same thing in other people.

I, myself, have continued to be obedient to Him in all ways, all things, and I don't find it "boring" at all.

He has brought me through SO much, and brought me to the level where I now currently stand.

Jesus never said we would have it easy down here, but He DID say HE would be WITH us during our trials, and He would never leave us. He will help, but we must ask-if we ask not, we have not.

I would not have made it through, if the Lord hadn't been with me this whole time.

I think I got carried away. But the Lord is SO good to me.
Title: Re: All Sermons in ONE Thread; Lessons and all Written by Heartsblessing(2002)
Post by: HeartsBlessing on May 19, 2010, 01:20:01 AM
This is concerning Acceptance

My husband started into Acceptance back in March-breaking the stage of Withdrawal. I was told very little, but he did confirm that his MLC started in October of 1999.

After I forgave him, he did NOT want to discuss it anymore, and left me very hurt and confused. I managed to get through the hurt and confusion and kept going.

I would figure most men or women going into the Acceptance, stage, will go into it in "steps". At least my husband did.

From a spiritual point of view, it was a battle he had to fight on his own-I could only stand by and watch him.

He made a final split-similar to the one I had seen 6 months before on his exit from the tunnel with the same-aged "children" (a 4 year old and a 15 year old)I had seen then.

Sometimes, he'd start his day as the "4 year old" and end it as the "15 year old"-my son was seeing the SAME personas I saw.

Even though he was into Acceptance, he STILL put me through a great deal of stuff-and there were things he had to work out on his own. The temptation was placed before him to return to things as they once were when he was in "Replay", and thank God he didn't return. I was there when things were placed before him, but I had my instructions not to interfere and keep my mouth shut no matter what I saw and heard-this went on for eight days, and I witnessed alot of things during that time, in "speed-dial" fashion.

Things began to go much better after that eight-day period, but I was still puzzled from time to time-as he STILL went back and forth briefly through differing stages in the coming weeks--except "Denial" and "Replay".

In describing how this stage works, it is like "shutting" or "closing" doors after brief revisits with each stage except "Denial" with no going backwards into what was going on before-the temptation is simply there, but not taken. And, like the other stages it is slow-going, and severely tries the patience of the sane spouse that is trying to keep things leveled out.

And ONCE each stage is "revisited" and the door is closed-they can NEVER return to what once was.

I saw mine emerge totally from MLC itself around two weeks ago, but am still observing changes as they keep occurring.

Some of his "old" personality is there, and I feel "awake" in a way I never was before, but there is some new changes there, too.

Sometimes, my frustration is evident, and I want things I know I cannot have, as I know I cannot change him, but I'm attempting to accept the things I cannot change, knowing I must keep going on, being here if he needs me.

I also realize this has changed ME in a way I haven't ever been before-and my old wounds have healed, and I won't ever go back to what I was once before.

Only time will tell how it goes now. I'm still being guided by the Lord in how to deal with new developments as they arise.

Now, whether he comes and speaks to me of this a final time, I won't know unless the time comes-but the rules in this game are still the same: the answers will come from HIM and not ME-and as willing as I am to help him, he must help himself, regardless if I'm allowed to help or not.

But I know, deep within my heart, I cannot help him if he doesn't allow me to.

Take care.

I do know he's NOT exactly the same person I once knew---that much is evident. But there is enough of the old for him to be very familiar to me. And I must adjust once again for a final time.

More Q & A's from LSL concerning Acceptance


Look backward in this thread most of these questions have already been answered-look at page 3 and 4-I describe Acceptance in those posts.

I will answer these questions in short-form:


When an MLCer enters ACCEPTANCE is he/she completely freed from all the other stages?

Yes. Once they enter the final stage of Acceptance-the "doors" are closed, forever, and they can NEVER return to what was.


Are all those other connections severed so that it is a clean break and then the Acceptance begins?

Acceptance is entered in stages, LSL, as I have explained elsewhere on this thread-severing those connections forever is but a part of this. But, yes, once there is a clean break-the final stage of Acceptance is entered-and there is NO going back to what once was.
The changes that are demanded from a MLC'er continue to take shape and form.


Can we recognize this entering into acceptance, or only in hind-sight?

Depends upon how spiritually "open" you are-some things will be recognized physically-they become more peaceful and relaxed and voice their acceptance of things.

Some things are shown in a spiritual manner-we were unable to rebond spiritually UNTIL he passed through the final temptations and the "doors" were closed forever to him-this was a battle I was allowed to witness as it took EIGHT days to finish, and I could say NOTHING, but I watched-it was necessary for me to be there as my presence along with the Lord's; helped him to overcome this final battle-the Lord knew what He was doing when He placed me with him-we were out on the road when it occurred.
So I did know when he entered the final stage of Acceptance.


You mention thes "splits" - how does this work - what does it look like?

That again, is described on page 3, LSL. What happens, happens as they are on their way out of the tunnel.

Their personality "disintegrates" into several people-it is kind of like a psychiatric disease-schizophrenia, Three Faces of Eve...etc.

You will see many people within, personalities you have NEVER seen before-and you will recognize YOURSELF in some of them-as normally, we pick and choose how we are "packaged"-and did this a long time ago, when we became adults-or so we thought we did.

Each personality comes forward to be seen and tested-plus there are children who are mixed up within, too-the products of childhood wounds, second adolescence, etc.

You never know who you are going to see at any given moment, and it is hard to keep up with, but the bottom line is you MUST accept what you see-no matter who is showing.

You will see "flashes" of the OLD, "flashes" of the "new", and it is an internal struggle.

The best way to react is to accept this split and be patient-no matter who you see.

For it is at this time they will choose what they will keep and what they will throw away-and come through as mature adults for the FIRST time in their lives.

IF this doesn't complete-they WILL recycle-I saw it happen with my husband-description, page 3.

Normally they should complete this internal battle, face their final fears, bottom out and come on out of the tunnel-beginning the start into the stages of Acceptance.

My husband took a detour-bouncing into Withdrawal instead-description page 3.


Do you see these children chronologically until all issues from these ages are resolved?

Not necessarily, LSL-I only saw TWO children-one was 3 or 4 and one was 15.

His actions showed me the children-and I thought I was going crazy until our son said the SAME thing. We just kept being patient with the children-and YES, they would show up on his job. LOL

The 4 year old liked peanut butter on his pancakes. And was impatient, hustling and rushing-practically dragging whoever was with him along-not sure what he was in so much of a hurry for, I just ran with him, and so did our son. LOL

The 15 year was totally laid back, in no hurry- complained constantly, never happy with ANYTHING-possessed a HUGE appetite for sex, and checked me out constantly-I looked the part of a teen-ager and he was definitely attracted to me, sexually. But he also talked a great deal more to me, too, he was MORE open than I had ever seen him-and all that was packaged in the 15 year old.

I can NOT tell you what he managed to work out, other than job, family, and accepting himself-the other things I have NOT been shown-it is NOT for me to know-if the Lord wants me to know, He will have my husband tell me, and that may be the final key to getting totally out of this-and shutting the door on my end of it.

I am having some vague stirrings about that, and yes, there are some things I know, but-I cannot tell anything I know...yet. I cannot have Satan dabbling in this ANYMORE-and that has happened before when I didn't keep my mouth shut.

I can talk about the past all I want to, as it is set in stone-but what's coming, I cannot until it completes.


How do you know when this splitting is done? (is it a hind-sight?)

Depends again on your spiritual perception-his reintegration was slow, but steady. You will see him "come back together" into a changed, more mature, person-the immature traits you knew before his entrance into the tunnel will be gone, burned out of him.

The changes will continue, and you will see more and more as time goes on-he must be let go totally this final time to allow his changes to finish-he will come out of the storm during this final stage of Acceptance, and while he is still changing, but the changes will complete themselves-in time AFTER the exit from the MLC storm. He will take care of any unfinished business during this time-relationship repair, asking for forgiveness, finally "getting" the damage he has done-or he should, to close this out completely.

That last part was what the Lord has given me to say-I don't exactly have that final experience-I'm only as far as him coming out of the storm, and he is still in the "changing" department, completing his changes. 
Title: Re: All Sermons in ONE Thread; Lessons and all Written by Heartsblessing(2002)
Post by: HeartsBlessing on May 19, 2010, 01:49:30 AM
May 19, 2010
As an added note, I don't think I realized just what a busy lady I'd been back at that time....I do realize that I got VERY longwinded writing these posts. :)

Is ok, though, will make for some interesting reading  I would think.  Incidentally, the final sermon on Acceptance explained more of what a person could see when and if the MLC'er gets that far.

People's comprehension/understanding will not ALL come together at the same time, each person sometimes has to read, re-read and maybe read some more, and ask a thousand questions before they "get" what they have to get.  :)

Please be patient with people that take various amounts of time to get what they need to do or even fight and argue about what they are having to learn...always remember where you came from, and remember that someone was patient with YOU, when YOU were in that same place.

Having compassion can go a long way toward helping someone that is deep within their misery; it is heartbreaking to see someone that has just had the bomb dropped on them...and knowing you were there once, too.

I always tried to NEVER forget where I came from, I answered many questions over and over and over and over until I saw the "lightbulb" come on, and they got it...then, you know, there were ALWAYS MORE questions..there always is, as not only the initial "getting it" has to be done, but LEARNING the aspects and many other things of this crisis need to be done as well on an ongoing basis.

We that have gone before are the guides that leave that trail of "breadcrumbs"..bits of information that helped in each of our individual situations.

Although, the circumstances of the crisis may be similar, no two people are the same, nor will their crisis be the same either.

Something to remember and oft repeated again and again and again. 

Always remember, too, that each person's journey, whether the marriage comes through or not, is ALSO different, as we each have our own issues, baggage, and wounds that must be healed within us.  These are brought out during the spouse's MLC, and sometimes brought out once AGAIN when/if the LBS goes through that same change themselves, triggered by the spouse's MLC.

Only when we come through successfully, whether with or without our marriage, will we be equipped to experience life at its fullest.

I came through his MLC WITH my marriage, but if my journey hadn't been taken to wholeness, things could have just as easily turned the other way, losing my marriage anyway, mainly because the "old" me wasn't going to work.  Regardless, and even though I completed the journey, this was ALWAYS a possibility I STILL had to face throughout this crisis, as my husband held the decision of whether or not he would return to our marriage and keep it.
Believe it or not, when going through my transition, I held the SAME decision within my hands, and decided to keep what I had.

Each individual person has that SAME power, regardless of how powerless you may THINK you are.

Those of you who are hurting now:
Work through your anger, misery, hurt.  Accept it, forgive the person that wronged you, forgive yourself for being a human being; pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and go on into the healing process...in time, you'll need to use that experience to help others come through what you've already been through.

Believe me, you can reach the place I stand in now.

I look back over 8 years now since I went through the misery of his MLC, and from where I stand now, I can tell you, it was worth EVERYTHING I went through.  I walked the journey of a lifetime, becoming a better person than I was before through the lessons I learned.
I didn't become perfect(I only wish, LOL), but I became more confident, more settled, more tolerant, more loving, more sensitive than I had ever been.

Growing is always a good thing, attitude is the most important thing, as it doesn't matter WHAT you face, it is the ATTITUDE you have while within.
Each one of us learns to endure, learn what we need to learn, and come out better than we were before. 

You're going to be ALL right, no matter what happens, and there will come a time when you will SEE that with a certainty...regardless of what happens or doesn't happen.  Marriage or no Marriage, you'll be FINE..and a success for having GROWN through this opportunity that is also called your Spouse's MLC.

May God be with you all.

Much love,
HB :)

Title: Re: Resources: Self-Focus & Paving the Way
Post by: StillStanding on July 28, 2010, 01:49:10 PM
For people who have some way of reading ePub-style ebooks, I've compiled a bunch of articles from James Messina, including the above articles, into an .epub file.

Link does not work - deleted - OP

Here is the list of included articles:

Tools for Anger Work-Out

Eliminating Passive Aggressiveness
Handling Resentment

Tools for Communication

Improving Listening Skills

Tools for Control Issues

Developing Detachment
Eliminating Manipulation
Letting Go of Uncontrollables and Unchangeables

Tools for Handling Loss

Stages of the Loss Process

Tools for Personal Growth

Accepting Personal Responsibility
Becoming Vulnerable
Building Trust
Developing Patience
Handling Guilt
Handling Insecurity
Having Fun
Overcoming Perfectionism
Preventing Burnout
Spirituality in Recovery
Stress Reduction

Tools for Relationships

Creating a Healing Environment
Goal-Setting in Relationships
Handling a Fantasy Relationship
Handling Fear of Rejection
Handling Forgiving and Forgetting
Handling Intimacy
Handling Relationship Barriers
Helping Another Recognize the Need for Help
Improving Assertive Behavior
Overcoming the Role of Victim or Martyr

There is software for the desktop that can read .epubs, most notably Adobe Digital Editions:


These can also be read by iPhones and other smartphones as well -- that's why I originally started the project, for offline access to the articles.

Finally, there is a website called Bookworm (http://bookworm.oreilly.com/) where you can upload .epub files for viewing in a standard web browser.

I'm slowly adding other articles from the website to this .epub, and will post a final version when it is ready. The copyright information at the bottom of each articles states that it is okay to redistribute the articles for educational or noncommercial uses; I plan to send a copy of my completed .epub to James Messina for his approval as well.
Title: Re: Resources: Self-Focus & Paving the Way
Post by: StillStanding on August 03, 2010, 04:51:36 PM
Here are some more links to articles about control issues:

Overcoming the Need to Fix

Eliminating Caretaker Behaviors

Eliminating Overdependence

Accepting Powerlessness
Title: Re: Resources: Self-Focus & Paving the Way
Post by: StillStanding on August 04, 2010, 09:54:10 AM
It may be a bit on the frivolous side, but I liked these comics:

Title: Re: Resources: Self-Focus & Paving the Way
Post by: OldPilot on August 11, 2010, 12:44:38 PM

More than likely you have already written about this somewhere. Maybe you could link it up to this  for an answer.
I just want to point out to there seems to be some confusion when "paving the way" runs into your boundaries.
The Boundaries IMHO should come first. Before you worry about paving the way.
You can not drop your boundaries to pave the way. I do not believe that will work.
If you want to move this to a new thread that is OK but I thought that some people might need a reminder.
Title: Re: Resources: Self-Focus & Paving the Way
Post by: Rollercoasterider on August 11, 2010, 05:15:46 PM
I don't think I have addressed it specifically, but it is a good topic for the Newsletter and I will start thinking about coming up with something.
As for Paving the Way, it is also important to note that you re Paving the Way regardless...but what are you paving it with, and of course you it's not the Way home if it is paved with negativity.
Title: Re: Resources: Self-Focus & Paving the Way
Post by: StillStanding on September 08, 2010, 04:19:19 PM
And now for something completely different. From Wikipedia (sections in bold are highlighted by me):

In a business book by James C. Collins called Good to Great, Collins writes about a conversation he had with Stockdale regarding his coping strategy during his period in the Vietnamese POW camp.

"I never lost faith in the end of the story, I never doubted not only that I would get out, but also that I would prevail in the end and turn the experience into the defining event of my life, which, in retrospect, I would not trade."

When Collins asked who didn't make it out of Vietnam, Stockdale replied:

"Oh, that’s easy, the optimists. Oh, they were the ones who said, 'We're going to be out by Christmas.' And Christmas would come, and Christmas would go. Then they'd say, 'We're going to be out by Easter.' And Easter would come, and Easter would go. And then Thanksgiving, and then it would be Christmas again. And they died of a broken heart."

Stockdale then added:

"This is a very important lesson. You must never confuse faith that you will prevail in the end—which you can never afford to lose—with the discipline to confront the most brutal facts of your current reality, whatever they might be."

Witnessing this philosophy of duality, Collins went on to describe it as the Stockdale Paradox.
Title: Re: Resources: Self-Focus & Paving the Way
Post by: StillStanding on September 28, 2010, 08:07:35 AM
Don Miguel Ruiz wrote a book called The Four Agreements; I found it a bit tedious to read, but I liked the idea of the four agreements.

Here is a good article about the four agreements, and what they mean:
Title: The LBS Journey.
Post by: HeartsBlessing on October 14, 2010, 09:45:17 PM
Now, each newbie needs to read this; whether you think you need to change or not...every marriage has had its problems; and IF lives and marriages were perfect; there would be NO reason or need for the MLC.

But since NO ONE'S life OR marriage is perfect; and every last one of us has our faults and foibles...the journey needs to be walked to wholeness and healing by each and every one.

If you think you don't need to grow and change; I will tell you now, you are not being totally honest with yourself and are within deep DENIAL; and it is NOT the river in Egypt.  :)

If you don't grow and change, you are hurting no one but yourself...as IF you don't recognize flaws within you; you will take these same problems into another relationship; and get to do it ALL over again...even if it's within the SAME relationship.

You will recycle your lessons until they are learned, or until you die; your choice.

The Bomb Drop you received, regardless of what form you received it in, represents a 'wake up' call to action...when your MLC spouse put you upon a path that was NOT of your own making; he/she made it all about YOU, the LBS; just as the crisis is all about THEM.

The two of you are on separate paths, whether you like it or not.

Even AFTER you finish learning the lessons of a lifetime; your spouse's MLC is the trigger for ongoing growth and change that will last the rest of your life. 

I have been out of this for a long time, and I'm still growing and changing; looking deep within myself from time to time to see how I'm coming along...this will continue until I die. :)

I began by recognizing the need to walk this journey around three months after the bomb got dropped on me, so long ago. I wasn't perfect; it was time for me to grow up and become what God meant for me to be.   I also had damage from my childhood AND my marriage to face and heal; and you will need to do this, also.  :)  Whatever you don't understand, just ask about; there is always someone here who is at one place or the other in their journey.

Some are far ahead, and some are just getting started.....we are here to help you however you need help in understanding what you must do to grow up within your spouse's MLC.  :)

With that said, here we go. :)

Each person takes this journey as an INDIVIDUAL. There are no right or wrong ways to take this journey.
What's important is that it's taken, in its entirety. The only place you cannot start, is at the end, LOL, as you will not know what the ending is, until you reach it.(A little humor to brighten things up.)

Unfortunately, I don't remember any kind of roadmap to start you out...I've suggested the "Mirror of self-honesty"; it is as good a place to start as any, it will help you to begin seeing yourselves as you really are within.
Being honest with yourself is VERY important; it is the only way to changing whichever areas that need change within you.

Remember, it's NO ONE's place to judge you for what you see and reveal to whomever you choose to use as a sounding board(this is someone you can trust and talk to that can help you put these things into perspective).

Also remember that the answers are contained within YOU, no one can "give" them to you...and if you think you can't find them, well, you just haven't "tapped" them yet.

Above all, don't be afraid..this is not a test where you score for how well you do. You can take as much time as you need to complete this path.
But it must be done.

Attitude is important; don't take this journey in the hopes you'll get your spouse back.
This is for YOU, not them...they should NOT be in the picture you're looking at of yourself. This is an INDIVIDUAL journey; just as your MLC'er/WAS is on a journey that is all about them, this is all about YOU.

One of the best things in this life, is to come through the journey the LBS spouse takes, learns the lessons of life, fixes the things within that are wrong with THEMSELVES, and come out on the other side, whole, and healed.

They know within themselves in the end, without the shadow of a doubt that they are and will be all right regardless of what their MLC'er does, the marriage comes back together or not, or even the twists and turns that life may take in the future.

Life, when it comes down to it, is nothing BUT one big problem to be solved, and solve it you will, as you live each day of your life. You will, when you come through, carry the tools needed to do this once your journey is completed.

How to get there? That's NOT a one size fits all answer. Each person's journey is different,tailored to the individual themselves...no one can "tell" you what to do; or how to do it.

You just do it, and it starts by looking deep within yourself.....

You've just been bombed; you're lost and afraid. The person you've given your life to, has betrayed you, abandoned you, says they don't love you anymore, or give you the speech of "I Love you, but am not in love with you". When you ask them why, they tell you they don't know, or blame you with every bad thing they are feeling...and it is hard NOT take them seriously.

You're uncertain what the future will hold, and that is a normal feeling..but you don't think it's normal. These things should not be happening, you think to yourself.
You want strength, but can't seem to find it. You can't eat, sleep, nor seem to get away from depression.
The fallout is everywhere, there is thick dust you can't seem to see through.

Eventually, you reach out for help as things do not seem to be coming back together as you'd hoped they would.

What you meet is a group of individuals going through the SAME thing; they tell you it's "MLC", it's NOT your fault, and furthermore, begin to try and get you to see that you must go through what you perceive is more pain and suffering; and you don't want that.
You want a "quick fix", you want your life back, you want your spouse to look at you like they used to.

I've got a newsflash for you:
You're NOT going to get that; when your spouse went into the tunnel; your marriage and your life, as you knew and saw it, DIED.
Get it? It's dead, as in not coming back ever again, burned to the ashes, GONE.

All the crying, begging, pleading, clinging, demanding...all destructive behaviors will NOT help to fix anything.
They will only cause MORE damage, as disrespect from the MLC'er will ONLY increase.

One thing you need to worry about as the dust from the fallout settles, is protecting yourself from the MLC'er if he/she is financially irresponsible..you may think this doesn't have anything to do with this journey, but you're wrong.

This is the FIRST thing you DO need to learn..protect yourself from those who would hurt you.
A firmly set boundary in the financial area alone for now, is very important; if you do NOT have money to support yourself and your family, you will go bankrupt, and lose everything material that is necessary.

The MLC'er is NOT going to be responsible, so YOU have to be..formulate a plan, and stick with it; ESPECIALLY if there is an OW/OM involved. Neither needs your money, YOU DO.

The next thing I suggest, if you need to, see a doctor, and get a physical. Why? Because MLC takes its toll on you, and YOU are important..if need be, get some anti-depressants or something of that nature, to calm you down so you can begin to cope with what's happened. Your mind will need to be clear, as when you "get it" you will begin the journey within yourself.

Looking within yourself is one of the HARDEST things anyone can do or ever will do. I can't tell you where to start, as everyone is different, but you can start by looking in the mirror of self-honesty; UNCOVER that mirror and look hard. Anyone who says they have NEVER made ANY mistakes in their lives is LYING to themselves AND to everyone else who knows and loves them.

Be prepared to "sort" out what you see with someone you trust who understands what you are doing. A Sounding Board is really important, someone who will be honest, and straightforward; helping you to begin see the areas of change that are needed within you; also they can help you effect those changes, making them permanent.
This is important work on yourself; DON'T NEGLECT IT, don't skip over it, thinking it's not important.

In time, as you progress, you will see yourself as you really are, seeing some VERY hurtful things, things you will NOT like.

Are you still fighting the fact, that you will need to take this necessary introspection after reading this far?
I can tell you something from experience: You're only hurting YOURSELF,not anyone else; this is where the "Control lesson" one of the MOST important lessons in this life, comes into play.

The only person we can control in this life is OURSELVES, not anyone else. The MLC'er did his/her damage, sure, BUT, you cannot help him/her; accept that you can only help yourself.
That means taking the focus, such as it is, OFF the MLC'er, and putting it on YOU as the important person.

As time passes on, and you learn about YOU, beginning to fix the areas within you that need to be fixed, you will CHANGE. And for the better, NOT worse. You'll gain strength, understanding, confidence, and patience from this walk down the path toward a better YOU.

Read self help books, talk to the people on this board, do more things for yourself. Get a life that's separate from the MLC'er; get on with it..time won't stand still because this has happened; it marches on just like it always has. Don't waste it in "pity parties" or wishing for the MLC'er to come back, nor spend any more time grieving than you'll need to in order to accept this major "death" in your life...things have CHANGED, and you'll need to change right along with it.

You'll find, given time, that happiness is NOT found in another person, it is found WITHIN ourselves.

This is a PROCESS, not only a journey; and as you effect the changes within, people WILL see these changes, even the MLC'er that left you behind. Most importantly, they will affect the reactions of others toward you.

Taken properly, in time, it will no longer matter to you if your marriage makes it or doesn't, you'll find that YOU have grown stronger, see more clearly; most of all you'll know within your heart, that you WILL make it, regardless of what happens. If your marriage rebuilds itself, AND the MLC'er makes all the necessary changes he/she must make as well, it will be a bonus.

You'll find you don't really need another to "complete" you; you'll be complete within yourself, regardless.

And you'll begin to deal on your own terms, as a more mature individual for what you've done within YOU.

This is NOT a "magic pill" designed to solve ALL your problems, but it will help you cope with ongoing problems, not just in the MLC.

This process will take, TIME, you'll suffer PAIN, sometimes you will feel GUILT..other times you will feel SHAME. Don't run from them, EMBRACE them, as your attitude will be most important. You're not alone, others have gone this same route, walked this same road toward healing, and wholeness.

It is most important that when you accept all the mistakes you've made, make all the necessary changes, that really NEED to be permanent, that you FORGIVE, not only the MLC'er and anyone else who has hurt you, but YOURSELF.

Take each day as it comes, one day at a time, one step at a time, be kind to yourself, you're human, and not immune to making mistakes.

Again, this journey is for YOU, and ONLY YOU.

This is the journey of a lifetime, an opportunity for YOU, take it, and make the most of it.
Title: Re: Resources: Self-Focus & Paving the Way
Post by: StillStanding on November 14, 2010, 07:08:53 PM
Everyone needs to watch this video.
It's 16 minutes, so it's a bit long for the average YouTube video, but it's worth it: "Validation" starring T.J. Thyne and Vicki Davis

Title: Re: Resources: Self-Focus & Paving the Way
Post by: Love being on higher grounds on November 14, 2010, 07:32:21 PM

That was AMAZING!!! So much truth in the simple things, IF you take time to notice

Title: Re: Resources: Self-Focus & Paving the Way
Post by: StillStanding on February 25, 2011, 04:27:55 PM
A lesson in patience and self control -- the Marshmallow Test:

Title: Re: Resources: Self-Focus & Paving the Way
Post by: Moving Forward on February 27, 2011, 07:31:51 AM
hello all,
I found the website below early in 2010 when I really wanted to understand how women became the OW in married men's lives. This website is all about self esteem and living within boundaries which protect and serve us.

There are so many good reads on baggae Reclaim which get me thinking about me and the role I played in (all of) my relationships and whether they are healthy or not.

I thought I'd share it with you all:-



Title: Re: Resources: Self-Focus & Paving the Way
Post by: StillStanding on May 27, 2011, 10:09:05 AM
One explanation for why thought-stopping techniques are so useful and necessary is because there are elements of the human brain that cannot tell the difference between a hypothetical or imagined scenario and a real one.

The most obvious example would be romance novels and other erotic writing or imagery. If your body didn't react to steamy sex scenes, there would be little reason for the "adult entertainment" industry to exist, right?

On a tamer note, this example is used a lot in hypnosis and creative visualization examples; this excerpt comes from Getting Things Done by David Allen.

It appears that the nervous system can't tell the difference between a well-imagined thought and reality. To prove this to yourself, picture yourself walking into a supermarket and going over to the brightly lit fruit-and-vegetable section.

Are you there?
OK, now go to the citrus bins—oranges, grapefruits, lemons.
Now see the big pile of yellow lemons.
There's a cutting board and a knife next to them.
Take one of those big yellow lemons and cut it in half.
Smell that citrus smell!
It's really juicy, and there's lemon juice trickling onto the board.
Now take a half-lemon and cut that in half, so you have a quarter lemon wedge in your hands.
OK, now—remember how you did this as a kid?—put that quarter of a lemon in your mouth and bite into it!
If you played along with me, you probably noticed that the saliva content in your mouth increased at least a bit.
Your body was actually trying to process citric acid! And it was just in your mind.

So consider this: every time you imagine your spouse and the OP together, there's a part of your brain that starts processing as if it's actually happening right now, in front of you. Who needs to deal with that kind of imagined stress on top of the already real stress in their life?
Title: Re: Resources: Self-Focus & Paving the Way
Post by: good4me on May 27, 2011, 01:50:36 PM
Bad visual  >:( >:(

But I completely understand what you are saying . Thanks for the information .. it's power for all the LBS here standing  :)
Title: Re: Resources: Self-Focus & Paving the Way
Post by: Herefornow on May 28, 2011, 10:13:21 AM
I used visualization when I had cancer.  I used to visualize my big mass as a bunch of balloons and popped them one by one with a pin in my head.  This has really helped me with the LBS journey as I can now just switch off the really bad images.  I still have pity parties, but no visions of H and OW.  It takes time to really get into it, but it does work.
Title: Re: Resources: Self-Focus & Paving the Way
Post by: StillStanding on June 22, 2011, 09:41:37 PM
I was going to wait until I had finished the book and then do a proper book report, but I just had to jump in to say that anyone who is struggling with forgiveness and detachment needs to pick up a copy of "Forgive for Love" by Dr. Fred Luskin.

Amazon link for physical book (http://www.amazon.com/Forgive-Love-Missing-Ingredient-Relationship/dp/B001FOR5U8/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1308803180&sr=8-1)
Amazon link for Kindle ebook (http://www.amazon.com/Forgive-for-Love-ebook/dp/B001140WGG/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1308803180&sr=8-3)

I've been trying to write a forum post about the necessity for forgiveness in healing and dealing with MLC, but I've scrapped at least two attempts because I couldn't get my point across. Then I started reading this book and I feel that Luskin hits every point I wanted to make, and then some.

Here are a couple of choice quotes; emphasized parts are mine...

Forgiveness reminds you that it is not just what your partner does, or does not do, that causes you pain. Much of your suffering comes from having wanted your partner to do something different from what he or she actually did. You wanted the garbage to be taken out and got garbage staying inside instead. You wanted peace and quiet and got a rude awakening. You wanted a neat house and came home to a mess. When you want something different from what you actually get, you are always in a position of struggle. That struggle often shows up as anger or despair or a sense of helplessness. The good news is that you can get over those negative emotional reactions and learn to be at peace.

One of the great misconceptions about forgiveness is that it is the same as reconciliation. Reconciliation is deciding whether or not to talk to your lover again after an infidelity. Forgiveness is deciding whether or not to let go of the anger and despair you feel because you did not get the loyal partnership you wanted. Reconciliation means reestablishing a relationship with the person who hurt you. Forgiveness means making peace with a bitter part of your past and no longer blaming your experiences on the offender. You can forgive even if you don’t want to have any further relationship with the person who hurt you. In fact, you do this every time you forgive someone who is dead or someone who has left, never to be seen again. Every time you forgive someone you knew for only a short painful moment (like the driver in a hit-and-run accident that killed a loved one) you do this. With forgiveness you have a choice. You can forgive and give the relationship another chance, or you can forgive and move on to a new relationship. The choice is yours.

To make things worse, Debbie told everyone she met what an unfeeling louse she was married to. She would call her friends to tell them every time Sal did not meet her expectations, and she described in minute detail how uncommunicative he was. She took what her husband did personally and then blamed him for her distress and unhappiness. Debbie felt angry, abandoned, lonely, and scared, and she felt that these feelings were Sal’s fault. Blame is not the same as asking someone to change his behavior. By blaming Sal, Debbie gave him responsibility for how hurt and angry she was. Since she often felt bad, that gave Sal an enormous amount of power and made Debbie feel small and helpless. Debbie worsened the situation by creating a hostile grievance story about Sal’s failings and how helpless she felt. She told this story over and over.
Every time Debbie complained about her husband her stomach would hurt and her body would tense. That is the sort of thing that happens when we blame other people for our physical and emotional experience. To Debbie, her suffering was Sal’s fault. Like many of the people I work with, Debbie did not know how to deal with her disappointment without complaining about her partner. Debbie felt that if she constantly complained about Sal and let everyone know what a louse he was, then she would not be held responsible for their marital woes. The temporary glee she felt when recounting her travails was dwarfed by the power it gave her husband to make her miserable. Rather than successfully resolving her marital troubles, Debbie remained fully in her husband’s thrall—a helpless victim of unkindness and lack of care.
Title: Re: Resources: Self-Focus & Paving the Way
Post by: Moving Forward on June 23, 2011, 01:50:32 AM
Forgiveness is at the heart of the LBS journey in my view - but it's not just forgiving our MLCers for their behaviour it is also about truly forgiving ourselves but the people we've had issues with or who have had a nagtive impact on our life along with the people who's actions in our MLCers pasts meant they are in crisis today.

Learning about and how to fogive has been the most amazing part of my journey and I now incorporate forgiveness in raising of my children - I was never taught how to forgive or say sorry....and that is such a sad thing to say.

The book which was invaluable to me is 'Fogiveness is a Choice' by Dr Robert Enright and he details the scientific process which leads to fogiveness (if you choose that path).

I have found inner peace from a huge range of issues - most of which i didn't even realise I had an issue with - I ma less tense and more deliberate in my choices and I feel the positive impact of chosing forgiveness - but it's like a lot of things with our journey you have to do it every single day - there are no short cuts in this journey if we are to benefit truly from it.


Title: Re: Resources: Self-Focus & Paving the Way
Post by: truth_seeker on June 23, 2011, 08:15:18 AM

I would agree forgiveness is at the heart of the LBS journey as it gives us peace to move forward in our own journey whatever the outcome might be with our MLC.  Holding the mirror up and recognizing my own patterns, struggles and part of myself which I have been holding on to has empowered me to begin to release the toxicity within. 

It's interesting this topic is brought up as I was reading some of the articles yesterday and hit on the piece on forgiveness and forgetting by James Messina.  RCR listed it at the beginning of this thread. 


IMO Forgiveness is a two-way street.  It is a process which is to be embraced and incorporated into our lives if we are to become healthy and whole.  I realize this now more than I did when first starting on this journey.  Part of our growing up.  Never too old to learn.   ;) ;)

Thank you SS and MF for the book recommendations.  I'll have to check into them both. 
Title: Re: Resources: Self-Focus & Paving the Way
Post by: StillStanding on June 23, 2011, 10:35:11 AM
The book which was invaluable to me is 'Forgiveness is a Choice' by Dr Robert Enright and he details the scientific process which leads to fogiveness (if you choose that path).

"Forgive for Love" also gives evidence that both situational forgiveness (forgiving a specific act) and dispositional forgiveness (becoming a more forgiving person) not only improves for relationships but provides actual health benefits from the decreased stress on your body. Luskin has conducted a number of studies that show people who learn to practice real forgiveness reporting a decrease in stress; overall improvement in mood, both toward their SO and people in general; and more positive outlook on life.
Title: Re: Resources: Self-Focus & Paving the Way
Post by: Trustandlove on June 23, 2011, 12:29:17 PM
I will look at those recommendations; I've been given "Forgiveness is Healing" by Russ Parker; it's from a Christian viewpoint. 
Title: Re: Resources: Self-Focus & Paving the Way
Post by: StillStanding on June 25, 2011, 08:04:22 PM
I will look at those recommendations; I've been given "Forgiveness is Healing" by Russ Parker; it's from a Christian viewpoint. 

While I don't know anything about Fred Luskin's religious beliefs and he doesn't explicitly write "Forgive for Love" from a Christian viewpoint, I've seen the book listed on several online Christian bookstores. I think my church has a copy in its reading library as well.

EDIT: Here's a link to the discussion thread I started: http://mlcforum.theherosspouse.com/index.php?topic=1965.0
Title: Re: Resources: Self-Focus & Paving the Way
Post by: Mermaid on June 27, 2011, 05:40:59 PM
For those of you (like me) who just get angry, whose buttons are easily pushed...

http://jamesjmessina.com/toolsforangerworkout.html (http://jamesjmessina.com/toolsforangerworkout.html)
Title: Re: Resources: Self-Focus & Paving the Way
Post by: StillStanding on August 16, 2011, 10:04:52 AM

Saying "No" To Selflessness
How putting your spouse’s needs and interests without voicing your own can lead to a complete loss of love for one another.

"My partner means the world to me. I would do anything for him. I want nothing for myself. I want only to please him."

This is something you might hear or say when you first fall in love; the whole world seems to fade into the background. Your lover is center stage. When you’re apart, you intensely long for this person. You imagine being in one another’s arms. You plan wonderful events to surprise or please your spouse. You feel complete.

Fast forward five years and now it’s more like, "I wish they would give me a break!" You no longer feel complete, but instead feel depleted. Your days revolve around catering to your spouse. You long for the few moments you can get away from the "ol’ lady" or "ol’ man," whether it be grabbing a drink with buddies or taking a "breather" when your spouse visits relatives or has to travel for business. Why do most romantic relationships sour so fast? What mental policy is guaranteed to destroy any marital paradise? And what mental policy can rescue your romance?

Try an exercise: Look at the quote at the outset of this article, and see if you find a clue in it. The death knell to a great relationship is in that quote. Don’t read further till you try this.

Did you identify the death knell? If you pulled out these sentences: "I would do anything for him. I want nothing for myself. I want only to please him," you are well on your way to a more rewarding romance. Becoming a doormat in a relationship destroys love. Selflessness, or altruism, is the romance-killer policy.

To see the selfless pattern clearly, let’s take a trip into the life of Mandy and Dan. Dan is Mandy’s dream companion: smart, handsome, ambitious, caring and passionate about their lovemaking. Secretly, Mandy doesn’t feel as though she’s completely worthy of him. She’s always felt a tad insecure. To make sure he stays around, she tells herself that she must make him happy. That thought is soothing to her. "At least I’m not selfish," she muses, "I’ll be the best wife I can be."

Dan and Mandy go apartment hunting. Dan loves the city; Mandy loves the country, but she feels guilty letting Dan know how strongly she feels about this. So when he suggests looking only at apartments in city, she meekly says, "Okay." As they check out apartments he’s chosen, she’s silently at war with herself: Yes, they are all decent apartments, but in the city! She coaches herself to believe that her needs are not that important. What matters is that Dan is happy, so she feigns approval of Dan’s top choice. Dan senses her hesitancy and encourages her to voice her opinion. She adamantly insists, "Oh no! I really like the place!" and feels shaky and a bit nauseous inside. This becomes their home.

This selfless pattern continues with their hobbies: Dan enjoys skiing. Mandy doesn’t like the cold but doesn’t dare tell Dan her preferences (dancing and playing volleyball). So they spend a few weekends every winter on the slopes. Dan can’t understand why it takes Mandy so long to pack for these trips, and why she seems to catch colds when they arrive at the lodge, leaving him to ski alone.

Mandy’s selfless, altruistic policy is multiplied in countless daily choices. No wonder Mandy wants a "break" from Dan. He’s not a bad guy, but increasingly she sees him as selfish and feels resentful. He is baffled. He senses something is very wrong with his wife but can’t quite put it into words.

Of course, men often make the same mistake, and in many marriages both partners try to sacrifice for one another, ending in mutual insecurity and mutual resentment.

Self-valuing, not selflessness—nor a "my way or the highway" narcissism—is essential for romance. When both partners learn to value themselves and learn how to communicate well with one another their romance flourishes.
Title: Re: Resources: Self-Focus & Paving the Way
Post by: Millvina on October 30, 2011, 04:26:42 AM
Found this site today, some good stuff free.


Title: Re: Resources: Self-Focus & Paving the Way
Post by: StillStanding on November 18, 2011, 12:16:15 PM

Why Should I Be the One To Change?
By Michele Weiner-Davis

You're really mad at your partner. You've explained your point of view a million times. S/he never listens. You can't believe that a person can be so insensitive. So, you wait. You're convinced that eventually s/he will have to see the light; that you're right and s/he's wrong. In the meantime, there's silence. But the tension is so thick in your house, you can cut it with a knife. You hate the distance, but there's nothing you can do about it because you're mad. You're really mad.

You try to make yourself feel better by getting involved in other things. Sometimes this even works. But you wake up every morning facing the fact that nothing's changed at all. A feeling of dissatisfaction permeates everything you do. From time to time, you ask yourself, "Is there something I should do differently,?" but you quickly dismiss this thought because you know that, in your heart of hearts, you're not the one to blame. So the distance between you and your partner persists.

Does any of this sound familiar? Have you and your partner been so angry with each other that you've gone your separate ways and stopped interacting with each other? Have you convinced yourself that, until s/he initiates making up, there will be no peace in your house? If so, I have few things I want to tell you.

You are wasting precious energy holding on to your anger. It's exhausting to feel resentment day in and day out. It takes a toll on your body and soul. It's bad for your health and hard on your spirit. It's awful for your relationship. Anger imprisons you. It casts a gray cloud over your days. It prevents you from feeling real joy in any part of your life. Each day you drown yourself in resentment is another day lost out of your life. What a waste!

I have worked with so many people who live in quiet desperation because they are utterly convinced that their way of seeing things is right and their partner's is wrong. They spend a lifetime trying to get their partners to share their views. I hear, "I'll change if s/he changes," a philosophy that ultimately leads to a stalemate. There are many variations of this position. For example, "I'd be nicer to her, if she were nicer to me," or "I'd be more physical and affectionate if he were more communicative with me," or "I'd be more considerate and tell her about my plans if she wouldn't hound me all the time about what I do." You get the picture… "I'll be different if you start being different first." Trust me when I tell you that this can be a very, very long wait.

There's a much better way to view things when you and your partner get stuck like this. I've been working with couples for years and I've learned a lot about how change occurs in relationships. It's like a chain reaction. If one person changes, the other one does too. It really doesn't matter who starts first. It's simply a matter of tipping over the first domino. Change is reciprocal. Let me give you an example.

I worked with a woman who was very distressed about her husband's long hours at work. She felt they spent very little time together as a couple and that he was of little help at home. This infuriated her. Every evening when he returned home from work, her anger got the best of her and she criticized him for bailing out on her. Inevitably, the evening would be ruined. The last thing he wanted to do after a long day at work was to deal with problems the moment he walked in the door. Although she understood this, she was so hurt and angry about his long absences that she felt her anger was justified. She wanted a suggestion from me about how to get her husband to be more attentive and loving. She was at her wit's end.

I told her that I could completely understand why she was frustrated and that, if I were in her shoes, I would feel exactly the same way. However, I wondered if she could imagine how her husband might feel about her nightly barrage of complaints. "He probably wishes he didn't have to come home," she said. "Precisely," I thought to myself, and I knew she was ready to switch gears. I suggested that she try an experiment. "Tonight when he comes home, surprise him with an affectionate greeting. Don't complain, just tell him you're happy to see him. Do something kind or thoughtful that you haven't done in a long time…even if you don't feel like it." "You mean like fixing him his favorite meal or giving him a warm hug? I used to do that a lot." "That's exactly what I mean," I told her, and we discussed other things she might do as well. She agreed to give it a try.

Two weeks later she returned to my office and told me about the results of her "experiment."

"That first night after I talked with you I met him at the door and, without a word, gave him a huge hug. He looked astounded, but curious. I made him his favorite pasta dish, which was heavy on the garlic, so he smelled the aroma the moment he walked in. Immediately, he commented on it and looked pleased. We had a great evening together, the first in months. I was so pleased and surprised by his positive reaction that I felt motivated to keep being 'the new me.' Since then things between us have been so much better, it's amazing. He's come home earlier and he's even calling me from work just to say hello. I can't believe the change in him. I'm so much happier this way."

The moral of this story is obvious. When one partner changes, the other partner changes too. It's a law of relationships. If you aren't getting what you need or want from your loved one, instead of trying to convince him or her to change, why not change your approach to the situation? Why not be more pragmatic? If what you're doing (talking to your partner about the error of his/her ways) hasn't been working, no matter how sterling your logic, you're not going to get very far. Be more flexible and creative. Be more strategic. Spend more time trying to figure out what might work as opposed to being hell bent on driving your point home. You might be pleasantly surprised. Remember, insanity has been defined as doing the same old thing over and over and expecting different results.

Look, life is short. We only have one go-around. Make your relationship the best it can possibly be. Stop waiting for your partner to change in order for things to be better. When you decide to change first, it will be the beginning of a solution avalanche. Try it, you'll like it!
Title: Re: Resources: Self-Focus & Paving the Way
Post by: StillStanding on January 15, 2012, 11:25:51 PM
Here's an interesting experiment for journaling:


280daily is a journaling website that allows you to write one post a day of 280 characters(*) or less; it works out to about 40 words or so. You can also attach a single image to your post.

(*)You also get a monthly quota of 500 additional characters, in case you feel the need to express yourself more. If you go over the daily 280-character limit, the excess is deducted from your quota.

It's not a social network (in fact, in one of the FAQ questions they describe themselves as an "anti-social network"); there is no option to link to specific posts, or public timelines. The only people who see what you write are the ones that you show your posts to.

I've been trying it for almost a week; I get a reminder email shortly after I get home, and it gives me a chance to sum up my day without getting bogged down in specifics.
Title: Re: Resources: Self-Focus & Paving the Way
Post by: Trustandlove on January 26, 2012, 06:40:40 AM
Don't know if others have found these, but I came across this site today and found it useful:

This one about working through your anger:


This general one about staying positive; we all need that....


And this one about letting go, which I found particularly sensible:

Title: Re: Resources: Self-Focus & Paving the Way
Post by: OldPilot on June 01, 2013, 09:21:25 AM
We started a thread called LBS Script that includes The LBS Stages.

Here is the Link.

Title: Re: Resources: Self-Focus & Paving the Way
Post by: Slow Fade on July 31, 2013, 12:47:03 PM
Ok, so I took the quiz and answered honestly and came up with "mildly dysfunctional relationship". More proof to me of MLC. If we were only mildly dysfunctional, we could have worked things out ! Instead he ran like cheap mascara!
Title: Re: Resources: Self-Focus & Paving the Way
Post by: justbelieve on September 06, 2013, 06:30:42 PM
Slow fade I took the quiz too and got the same result! I was thinking this morning how nothing was so bad we couldn't fix it. And I'm NOT romantisizing the past (I was questioning myself on this alot) it really was an awesome relationship and so 'easy' Even he said that a few months before BD! How lucky we were that being together was so comfortable & easy. Well apparently, in MLC works, that's a bad thing. Grrrrrr!
Title: Re: Resources: Self-Focus & Paving the Way
Post by: riverbirch on September 09, 2013, 04:05:08 PM
I took the quiz too a while ago and got the same results. :o
Title: Re: Resources: Self-Focus & Paving the Way
Post by: Ready2Transform on September 09, 2013, 04:29:46 PM
Same here.  But I tried to answer with regards to our pre-MLC relationship.  Despite how others may think there must have been something wrong for things to get to this point, we were truly that fist-bumping couple that managed really well together, until the moment that everything suddenly flipped for us as individuals.
Title: Re: Resources: Self-Focus & Paving the Way
Post by: Slow Fade on September 11, 2013, 11:28:34 AM
Same here.  But I tried to answer with regards to our pre-MLC relationship.  Despite how others may think there must have been something wrong for things to get to this point, we were truly that fist-bumping couple that managed really well together, until the moment that everything suddenly flipped for us as individuals.

Same here R2T. We were the couple everyone envied. We finished each others thoughts and more often than not when he was calling me I was calling him at the same time. We were a well oiled machine. Until MLC........
Title: Re: Resources: Self-Focus & Paving the Way
Post by: i can and will cope on September 15, 2013, 01:59:05 PM
Same here R2T. We were the couple everyone envied. We finished each others thoughts and more often than not when he was calling me I was calling him at the same time. We were a well oiled machine. Until MLC........

this is exactly the same as us i really dont get it , i just know itis so so hard??? hugs xx
Title: Re: Resources: Self-Focus & Paving the Way
Post by: ehill on September 18, 2013, 06:51:05 AM
Same here. Thats why this is so hard. All I keep thinking is How did we get here from there?  ???
Title: Re: Resources: Self-Focus & Paving the Way
Post by: StillStanding on October 03, 2013, 05:28:31 AM
HeyJude posted this article elsewhere and I didn't want it to get lost. It has helpful tips on dealing with your MLCer's drama and helping to gain detachment.

Don’t Respond to Drama and Drama Won’t Come Back Around (http://tinybuddha.com/blog/dont-respond-to-drama-and-drama-wont-come-back-around/)
Title: Re: Resources: Self-Focus & Paving the Way
Post by: I reckon so on December 21, 2013, 09:59:56 AM
HB, I really get a lot out of your post. You have a great deal of wisdom and insight and you put your thoughts down very well. I am wondering if you could share with the how the Lord gave you the assurance of the outcome in the beginning? Through prayer and reading the scriptures the Lord has prepared me along this journey. For me, BD was January, 2013. My W moved out in November, 2013. The main place that the Lord has, I feel, spoken to me through in the scriptures ends in redemption and reconciliation. All the things that I feel He has prepared me for have happened. In hindsight I believe He was speaking to me about her eventually leaving. In my heart way deep down, I just don't feel like it is over even though she left and has filed for D. If you are able to, could you share how you knew?

Thanks, IRS
Title: Re: Resources: Self-Focus & Paving the Way
Post by: StillStanding on December 26, 2013, 09:36:07 PM
Unfortunately, HB left this site a while back and no longer posts here.

If I knew the answer to your question, I'd gladly share it...
Title: Re: Resources: Self-Focus & Paving the Way
Post by: BB64 on December 28, 2013, 06:42:45 AM
HB, I really get a lot out of your post. You have a great deal of wisdom and insight and you put your thoughts down very well. I am wondering if you could share with the how the Lord gave you the assurance of the outcome in the beginning? Through prayer and reading the scriptures the Lord has prepared me along this journey. For me, BD was January, 2013. My W moved out in November, 2013. The main place that the Lord has, I feel, spoken to me through in the scriptures ends in redemption and reconciliation. All the things that I feel He has prepared me for have happened. In hindsight I believe He was speaking to me about her eventually leaving. In my heart way deep down, I just don't feel like it is over even though she left and has filed for D. If you are able to, could you share how you knew?

Thanks, IRS

You sound like you do know. Don't question why. I know too and have always done, even now that he has sent me into the depth of nowhere.
If you are filled with confidence that your w will come back but you are not sure why you do know...you have answered your own question  ;)
Title: Re: Resources: Self-Focus & Paving the Way
Post by: I reckon so on December 30, 2013, 08:09:14 AM
You sound like you do know. Don't question why. I know too and have always done, even now that he has sent me into the depth of nowhere.
If you are filled with confidence that your w will come back but you are not sure why you do know...you have answered your own question  ;)

Thanks Booboo, I guess the truth is that I am afraid to really let go and believe that she will come home someday. When will someday be, what will she be like, what will our marriage be like, what if I believe and she never does? I have had no problem believing the negative things would happen, crazy isn't it? One evening while winding down football practice for my sons team, I felt impressed by the Lord to give Him the night in prayer. About midnight as I was out walking and praying I suddenly felt this thought flood into my consciousness. The thought was that my W had just stepped onto a road that would lead to an affair. It was very sobering to say the least. As I thought about what I felt the Lord spoke to me and all of the emotions I was feeling at the time, I felt that the Lord was also asking me what would I do. If that was to happen, would I forgive her and be willing to reconcile? I feel the Lord revealed that to me and gave me the decision to make. I settled that night that I would forgive her if she did. I don't know if she has had a PR or not or if she will, but I have already committed to forgiveness and R. I Know the Lord is working in me just as much as He is working in her and both of our roads will not be easy. I pray everyday that He give me the opportunity to deal with the hurt and shame and be able to offer unconditional love and forgiveness to my W someday and that our family is back together again.

Title: Re: Resources: Self-Focus & Paving the Way
Post by: StillStanding on January 18, 2014, 09:42:38 PM
From the thread on boundaries and consequences (http://mlcforum.theherosspouse.com/index.php?topic=4524.0):


Boundaries in relationships help us take ownership: One of the biggest problems in maintaining healthy relationships is the lack of ownership. We don’t take ownership of our own feelings. We are not authentic. Instead we placate, please, pretend or pass off responsibility saying things like “It’s your fault I feel so mad.”

We also don’t typically own our own wrong-doing and confess it. Instead we blame-shift, minimize, rationalize, lie and make excuses. And we don’t want to own our own limitations. Instead we over-function and end up feeling like victims (telling ourselves that we had no choice) or resentful martyrs (because we said yes when we wanted to say no).

Having a clear understanding of our boundaries changes that. Boundaries help us own OUR feelings, OUR thoughts, OUR needs, OUR desires, OUR beliefs, values, and attitudes, OUR behaviours, and OUR words. They are 100%, ours. Our boundaries help clarify what we have to work on (ourselves), and that we are not responsible to manage the thoughts, feelings, values, words, or behaviours or another adult person anymore than we are responsible to manage what they put into their mouth to eat.
Title: Re: Resources: Self-Focus & Paving the Way
Post by: Musica on January 27, 2014, 07:00:08 AM
A resource to help when you are having a bad day ...  5 mins and 38 seconds that could help you 


Hope it helps someone xxxx
Title: Re: Resources
Post by: Musica on January 29, 2014, 05:00:45 AM
A resource to improve self-esteem ..for women


And for men ..


Hope I am posting these in the right place!!  They are heavily based on Christianity ... but still give a good message to those of other faith, or those who do not believe in any faith!


Title: Re: Resources: Self-Focus & Paving the Way
Post by: OldPilot on May 10, 2014, 07:18:00 AM
A great resource for Victim - Rescuer - Persecutor Triangle.

For the LBS this is a MUST read!