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Author Topic: My Story My new Normal 5.0

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My Story My new Normal 5.0
#10: June 02, 2021, 09:05:05 AM
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Me - 31
H - 37
3 children together D6 D9 D11 (D1 D4 and D6 at the time of BD)
Together - almost 8 years

BD & MLCer moved out - November 2017
OW discovered - December 2017
Moved in with Ow - November 2019
Ow met children - December 2019

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My new Normal 5.0
#11: July 13, 2021, 05:17:04 PM
Thought I would update a bit since there seems to be rumblings on dealing with reconnection so I thought I would add in my experience.

Reconnection continues, My Hand I are both on our own paths towards healing.  Some days I feel hopeful, others I do not.  I guess as an LBS we go through our share of cycling as well. 

Last week was my extended family reunion.  I could tell it was bothering my H.  This would be the first time in 3 years that he has seen my 3 sisters and mom and Dad all together.  Facing all of that would be tough.  A few days before my H started to shut down.  I have noticed that when he gets with family, he becomes quiet and complacent.  He told me the other day that he is "afraid" of saying the wrong thing.  This is new.  The more he awakens the more "afraid" he is of how people view him.  He has a long way to go in maturity in this aspect.  His crisis was/is an identity crisis for sure.  As he struggles to put back an identity and "build his character"  (His words) he has become very afraid of what other people think.  He was quiet throughout the vacation.  I can imagine that it would be tough to face my big support group.  They all don't even know half of what happened, but they were all kind and gracious.  He must deal with guilt and shame, more and more this is coming out. 

This brings me to something I would like to warn people about as they are in the middle of dealing with the craziness of MLC.  Reconnecting will be much more difficult the more people you share your story with.   I did share all my pain and hurt the first two years with my sisters.  They tried their best to understand. They always had my best interest at heart but could not understand why I would stay.  I stopped talking to them as I joined HS and started to share my story with people who understand.  I do not think my sisters would be so understanding if they knew the whole story.  If you are standing it will make it much easier for you in the long run the less people you inform about it all.  They are judging you as well as your MLCer.  The last 3 years when the subject has come up, I have said "We are doing well and working on it” that’s all.  I have a friend from here who I text almost daily and share the insanity.  She gets it. 

I see my H dip in and out of the tunnel, I see such clarity at some moments and such confusion in others.  I now can understand the confusion a bit more and know when to back away.   In the beginning my expectations often got the best of me and brought me pain.  I am learning how to detach at a moment’s notice.  My H is trying to understand it all.  He does see a therapist weekly, he is doing the work.  The more I deal with my own pain, the more he is able to deal with his.  We talk about it sometimes but mostly we are living two lives that are not quite connected.  The insanity of the drunk texts, the always needing attention, the constantly working out and dying his hair are all fading.  The affair hurt is fading and is being replaced by a feeling of "It all happened and there isn't anything I can do to make it unhappen"  He is dealing with his employees that have a broken relationship with him as well.   He has a lot of work to do in all facets of his life.  I hope that he continues on a path forward. 

As for me I continue to move ahead.  A new job is giving me new confidence.  I am getting back some of the self respect and love that I lost during the first few years of MLC. I am different.  I am losing the fear of things not going the way I had planned them.  People are noticing my new roll with the flow attitude and it is nice.  I feel like for the first time in a very long time I am able to express myself calmly and clearly.  I am making my voice heard.  Really would recommend the book Non Violent Communication.  So many good things there. (Thanks Acorn) 

I think I am at a place of peace.  I am owning what is mine and changing things that don't work.  I have my boundaries in place of what will and will not work for me.  My H seems to be respecting those boundaries. My marriage is no way, shape or form back.  There is a long way to go before that happens.   The fear of what lies ahead is gone.  I have done some hard work to get here.  It is true that for the Mlcer as well as the LBS the only way out is through.  The anger, the triggers, the pain of the affairs are being put away. The rose colored glasses of my marriage are off and a new way of doing things will have to be implemented in order for us to have a marriage.  We are both making the choice to move forward slowly.
Wishing you all peace as you continue the journey you never asked for.  I hope you all have a chance to find yourself in the process of healing.  I know in my case this has been a bit of a blessing. 
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Kids 3 sons 33, 30, 28 1 daughter 24
BD #1 Spring 2016
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married 36years.  Together 38
H never moved out except 3 weeks after BD #1
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My new Normal 5.0
#12: July 13, 2021, 06:22:36 PM
Thanks for the update, Roo. I read a lot of reconnection stories early on in this process, largely out of wishful thinking at the time. In addition, my W was at home for a while at the beginning and now has been back at home for a bit more than 3 months. I wouldn’t say we’re in reconnection - it might turn out in hindsight that we were, but I think it’s the kind of thing that you often can’t definitely say in real time. But the purpose of reading the reconnection stories has changed for me. Now, it’s a reminder that when they come home, they are not healed. Not only that, it often seems like much of the heavy lifting in our own journey happens when reconnection is being considered or is in progress.

You’re right that sharing the details of MLC with people in your life will complicate reconnection. I have been lucky in that most of my family and our mutual friends live far away; only a few people know all of my side of things. I struggle with discomfort around the idea of socializing with her enabler friends; a part of me is embarrassed even though logically I have no reason to be. But a part of me still gets stuck on the idea of what they must think of me, what has she told them about me and about our relationship. So there are definitely struggles, and it’s helpful to see how others are navigating the choppy waters of life with an at-home broken person.

Seconding the recommendation for Nonviolent Communication; it’s so beneficial. I am happy that you have found the blessings in this, that you are finding your voice and your path. I wish you continued peace, strength, and healing - both you and your h.
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#13: July 13, 2021, 09:49:11 PM
I find I once again need help with understanding. I acknowledge I am not a person to be worried about what others think. I definitely worry about what I think about my own actions, but am pretty forgiving of me if I am really doing the best I can.

What is the concern if you tell other people what your MLCer has done. He/she did it, right? Why would hiding that seem to be the proper thing? If people don't accept that you are choosing to stay, that's a them problem. Are you afraid of standing up and saying, "Yeah, he screwed up royally. He had admitted his transgressions and is seeking to make amends.  I choose to give him a chance to prove himself."? It seems fairly simple, but perhaps I am clueless?

Trust me, I had my share of people who didn't get it while I hung in there for 18 months. I faced off with family members more than once with "I choose to stand for my marrage until he files for divorce. I'd like to think he'll figure it out but if not, I know I did what I could."  At the time, i had no evidence he cheated and that would have also been a line for me. But I was going to be danged if I was going to hide all he did. If he couldnt handle what he had done, I was ok with him being gone. I will never hide poor behavior, quash my feelings, pretend everything is ok when it isn't again. That isn't partnership or compromise.

What is the plus side of not telling people you trust? I get not dumping on every stranger or the gossip mongers That's just crazy anyway. But I don't see an upside to hiding why you've been upset from people you trust. Why would you be embarrassed or uncomfortable? Are you not proud of your stand? (Real question)
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« Last Edit: July 13, 2021, 09:50:56 PM by OffRoad »
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#14: July 13, 2021, 10:20:26 PM
I think this is a very individual process and would certainly not presume to answer for anyone else. For me, I admit that it is a part of the fixer, the protector… I’m not ashamed of my own decision to stand - I’m proud of keeping my word when I made those promises to my spouse in front of our friends and family. But I know that she has a lot of guilt and shame already about the betrayal, and I know that my family does not easily forgive or move past betrayals, and they aren’t necessarily willing to give a lot of latitude for something like MLC. For me, standing includes keeping the potential path to reconciliation as clear as possible without compromising my own integrity - and that means that I wouldn’t actively lie if asked about our circumstances, and I would have been open with family and other friends had I needed more emotional support than I had from my small circle of closest friends. Had my W been away longer, had she actually gotten into another relationship, had she caused financial destruction or further emotional trauma than she did… my needs might well have been different. And she might still do any of those things, and I would still consider discussing the entirety of the situation with trusted friends and family. But knowing my w and the fact that working through her shame is already a challenge for her, and honestly is something that she might not successfully resolve as it is… I didn’t want to add the shame of knowing that my family knows and is judging her. Perhaps a part of that is still an unhealthy level of protection and fixing - but I feel certain that I am not protecting her at the expense of my own well-being; rather, I have found a support system that allows me to preserve family relationships and leave the path a little clearer than it would otherwise be. As Acorn says, sample of one.
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#15: July 14, 2021, 05:33:56 AM
Off Road,  I tend to agree with Curiosity on this one. Curiosity thank you for sharing so clearly.  My H did not monster, he was never angry, he was never out spending tons of money, he never left. All situations are different.  I should have maybe clarified that in my post. 

For 30 of the 35 years we have been together my H has been a good man.  He had/is having a crisis for sure. Deep in his core I know he has morals and values, he lost all of those during this time.  It was shocking to me and just as shocking to my sisters.  For the first 2 years I cried and tried to explain things to them.  After about a year of this it started to turn into a pity party for Roo.  Every phone call started and ended with this subject.  They were walking in egg shells I could tell they were talking to each other and were highly confused as to why I would stay.  They would tell me they loved me but they were worried about me.  They were losing respect for my H daily.  They didn’t and still don’t understand MLC.  One sister has told me that she feels like I was making excuses for him. 

I guess like curiosity says it may be my fixer/protector problem but I also think that saved my character.  Finding someone or a group of people who understand was life saving for me.  In some ways I may have been protecting him, but I was protecting me as well.  I don’t want people to view me as “poor Roo, she is so naive”.  Talking with people who do not understand was causing this.   

When we spent a few days at the beach together I think my sisters started to see that I was doing what was right for me.  They don’t know all that I went through to get here but they do see a strong, confident Roo.  I think the pity party would have continued if I kept in that path. 

Don’t get me wrong, having a confidant is essential.  One good friend who doesn’t judge, a good therapist who understands MLC, a group of online people who completely get it. 🙂 

I guess what I am trying to say is not everyone understands MLC and sometimes the more you explain the more confusing it gets.  It can do more damage to both your spouse and your integrity.  Don’t know if it cleared it up!  My 2 cents for the day! 
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Husband 58
Me 58
Kids 3 sons 33, 30, 28 1 daughter 24
BD #1 Spring 2016
BD #2 Winter 2017
married 36years.  Together 38
H never moved out except 3 weeks after BD #1
OW 30 year single mom employee-PA

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My new Normal 5.0
#16: July 14, 2021, 07:34:54 AM
Off Road, 

Just realized I didn’t answer your question.

Yes, I am proud of my stand.  I wasn’t at the beginning because I was a mess.  I wasn’t proud of my actions, words and responses.  I am more proud of how I feel I kept my integrity for myself.  I am also proud of the grace I have been able to maintain for my H.  It wasn’t always easy.  He is a broken man, breaking him more will serve neither of us.  He has enough struggle dealing with what he has done.  I did and continue to stand but not always still. 

So yes. I am proud and hold my head high while I have compassion for my H. 

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Husband 58
Me 58
Kids 3 sons 33, 30, 28 1 daughter 24
BD #1 Spring 2016
BD #2 Winter 2017
married 36years.  Together 38
H never moved out except 3 weeks after BD #1
OW 30 year single mom employee-PA

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#17: July 14, 2021, 08:37:59 AM
Grace, compassion and integrity.  If I may comment, please?  I personally regard them as some of the most essential ingredients for NonViolent communication.  Passive-aggressive interactions, one-upmanship, firing off truth darts which have nothing to do with upholding your boundaries but to point out how ‘wrong’ the other person is and how he/she can fix him/herself, and other violent ways that inhibit emotional connection could not possibly lead to any forward movement in reconnection, could it, now?  These ‘violent’ ways of communicating wouldn’t work with anyone, let alone MLCer!

Wouldn’t you agree that practicing these on yourself first gives you some ides as to how the other person at the receiving end might feel.  I think one of the ways to practice compassion and grace on yourself might be setting up the boundaries that you can enforce and which protect your dignity. 

You are doing so well, Roo. I am not even talking about how you are handling yourself in reconnection.  It’s about learning more about you, and your own growth.

((((HUGS))))
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« Last Edit: July 14, 2021, 08:53:04 AM by Acorn »
Feb 2015: BD. 
Dec 2017: Seriously reconnecting

H never left home.

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#18: July 14, 2021, 10:58:11 AM
Hello,

Always so much to read and digest. I was reflecting back on the previous thread when you returned from your mother's home and found the house and yard in disarray. You got down to it and mowed the lawn. If I believe correctly, your H arrived as you were completing the lawn.

On the day of the repairs done by you, he made some comments before going off on that strange tangent about you not knowing what a broom closet was and basically making a joke about you being a witch. There is something in his own perception of self that feels attacked when you accomplish traditional "male" tasks. From my perspective, his "humor" really came across not only as odd but as passive aggressive.

Why does your H text female employees. Not only does it provide his need for attention, but feeds his own sense of power and masculinity. His own crisis is that does he want Roo the wife as an equal partner or as a subordinate?

I have been reading articles on decision making and how what we perceive as rational decisions are still impacted and forged within our emotions. We may think we are looking through a crystal clear glass, but instead there are a lot of triggers, bias, and past trauma that blots our view and our decisions. As your H transitions through the crisis and becomes whole again, he really needs to examine his decision making process and how such a smart man can make such poor decision particularly with his wife and his employees.

Quote
Really would recommend the book Non Violent Communication.

Thanks, I am going to add that to my list!

Keep moving forward,

((((Ready))))
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#19: July 14, 2021, 02:56:21 PM
Thank you all so very much for your explanations! I have such a hard time because you can tell people what someone else has done without anger or upset, without making that person you are speaking about into an ogre unless of course their own actions show them to be an ogre. Our own D asked me why I stayed with her father, when he was obviously being a jackhole. See, the outside world can actually see it, so I'd be more concerned the world thought I was a clueless individual and just didn't tell me--Poor Offroad doesn't even see how screwed up her H is and she's still with him type of thing. I would want them to understand I know full well what I am doing and I choose it for X reasons.  They don't have to agree with me. That is where my mind goes. I'm an everything on the table kind of person. "Just the facts, ma'am". It's why MLC, with all the lies and deceit confuses the heck out of me.

As to grace, for me grace isn't covering something up, nor is it sweeping it under the rug. You can address poor behavior with grace. You don't have to tell everyone how "wrong" your mlcer is. I remember telling people facts. What actually happened. Would they maybe think what he had done was wrong? Yes, but again, that's a them problem. When my children would do something wrong, I didn't hide it from anyone else. I made them be responsible for their own actions. To make amends for what they had done. My son wasn't supposed to eat in the living room and spilled grease on the couch? He got to clean it up and he cleaned it as best he could until it barely shows. Otherwise, he'd be owning that stain until the couch gets recovered, so he chose to show he tried. My D didn't call from the bonfire like she was supposed to or answer her phone? I showed up and sent her home.  Very quietly, so that her friends didn't even know I was there, but she had to explain to her friends why she had to leave.  I was not understanding why the MLCers are not held as accountable as children are, not only to us but to the world in general. I'm still not quite sure I do, but I am trying.

I don't disagree with what works for each individual. I would like to at least understand, if it is possible for me to do so. So I truly appreciate everyone's thoughts and opinions and that you don't take offense when I really want to see another person's point of view.
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