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Author Topic: Interacting with Your MLCer Those of you who walked out - did you apologize your mistakes in M?

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So... As I'm now walking the path towards D, I have started the process of cleaning my closet from ghosts, skeletons, spiderweb and absolutely anything that might create regrets on later point in life if left unsaid.

One important part is the mistakes made. We all make mistakes, and a twenty year marriage is guaranteed to include lots of mistakes that neither LBS or MLCr acknowledged before this crisis and self work.

I know MLC behaviour hurt as all very deeply, but I'm sure all of us have seen also our own mistakes along the road. Some are onetime offences, some are serial violations (my biggest sin being that I cheated by putting too much time into life happening and things other than our interpersonal R, allowing W to drift apart).... I'm now taking full accountability of even the slightest of mistakes never voiced aloud. Saying out the apology of specific action, and how sorry I am not for not understanding the hurt it must have caused at the time.

And in this process I'm understanding that we all learn of mistakes. If this marriage was a twenty year practice run, then it definitely made me lot better equipped for next R. And it will be better, way better regardless of who it happens (still thinking our partners are temporarily insane by giving up a 20 years investment/training of making another person grow and then let someone else reap the results).

Needless to say, the apology situation is like game with score of 10-0. The MLCr has not made a single apology and that is okey as well. This is me paving the way, setting an example she may or may not follow when done with her demons. It must be somewhat impossible to genuinely apologize when dealing with low self-esteem, resentment, stress/anxiety and god knows what that MLCr must deal with it. To accumulate all that hurt and to not be able to be vulnerable and human; it makes their own hell they will roast and cook.

I'm curious... Those of you decided to walk out
of your M (and/or dropped the rope) , did you do this process I'm now doing? Or if you did not do so, then why?

And at what point did you do so? When hammer was knocked, or as early as possible (my sitch, the papers are in but still living under same roof - I want my part said before I move out).

Alvin.
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« Last Edit: May 06, 2020, 10:07:00 PM by AlvinTheMaker »
At time of BD.... Me: 43, XW: 41
Kids: G19,G18,G14,G12,S5
Together - 20½ Years, Married 19 Years

BD ("I don't love you"): Feb 2019, 
BD2 ("I don't want to fix this marriage."), Mar 2020
D filed May 2020, D finalized Dec 2020
I have moved on, and am in new relationship.

Lessons from Stoicism and REBT helped me to exit the chaos zone and become a better person. 

"Happiness and freedom begin with a clear understanding of one principle: Some things are within our control, and some things are not. - Epictetus"

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Perhaps the most important question is why you want to do that?

Imho words are largely wasted at a certain point; our spouse doesn't want to hear us.
And if they do, it becomes a false equivalence....we apologise for normal human failings which they convert into blame and justification for rather worse things that they do not apologise for or stop doing. And it can varnish over the reality that this is not a mutual ending to a m, not a reciprocal parting.

You said on.a post recently that you now see that perhaps you pursued too much?
Quote
This is me paving the way, setting an example she may or may not follow when done with her demons.
If this is why you want to do it, is this not more of the same? (Which is normal, Alvin, most of us have done it....which is why perhaps we see it so clearly in others actions)

Like me, you like words. But perhaps it is worth considering if this is a time for less words or that there are no perfect words to be found for either your w or your kids?

Going back to your question, I did apologise at one stage early on....even if i wasn't quite sure what I was apologising for lol. My then h simply ignored it. And then much later, at a similar stage to where you are now perhaps, I sent a thank you goodbye letter with no expectation of a response. Which is just as well bc I never got one  :) I have no idea if he even read it. But I did it for me bc it felt wrong to end 20 years without thanks or a goodbye. My xh never expressed either, but it was a kind of closure action for me so it served a different purpose and I feel ok about doing it. But I needed to have got to a place where I was much more detached than I had been so i could be really honest with myself about why I was doing it.
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« Last Edit: May 06, 2020, 11:57:13 PM by Treasur »
T: 18  M: 12 (at BD) No kids.
H diagnosed with severe depression Oct 15. BD May 16. OW since April 16, maybe earlier. Silent vanisher mostly.
Divorced April 18. XH married ow 6 weeks later.


"Option A is not available so I need to kick the s**t out of Option B" Sheryl Sandberg

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I agree. The why part matters most..I'm doing it for number of reasons, none relating to pursuing. Personal integrity possible matches best

It is good to acknowledge ones errors and apologize for the "misbehaviour"  from those affected (whether or not they were hurt by it was and is always their choice). That is essential for every human being. Process of apology leaves you with clear conscience, and does make you better equipped to do own healing. You know you made a mistake, and you made the effort to amend it. It is up to them to accept or reject it. No response or forgiveness is required back...

Alvin.
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« Last Edit: May 07, 2020, 01:56:09 AM by AlvinTheMaker »
At time of BD.... Me: 43, XW: 41
Kids: G19,G18,G14,G12,S5
Together - 20½ Years, Married 19 Years

BD ("I don't love you"): Feb 2019, 
BD2 ("I don't want to fix this marriage."), Mar 2020
D filed May 2020, D finalized Dec 2020
I have moved on, and am in new relationship.

Lessons from Stoicism and REBT helped me to exit the chaos zone and become a better person. 

"Happiness and freedom begin with a clear understanding of one principle: Some things are within our control, and some things are not. - Epictetus"

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All I can note fwiw, Alvin, is that what you say now sounds different from when you said  "This is me paving the way, setting an example she may or may not follow when done with her demons." The former is more about who you choose to be regardless; the latter is about hoping to engender a reaction in someone else. Perhaps paving A way for yourself is different from paving THE way you think someone else should follow? I think we have all wrestled with that at times. You will of course do as you see fit, and respond to answers to your question as you choose....only you know what is really true in your heart and intention.
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T: 18  M: 12 (at BD) No kids.
H diagnosed with severe depression Oct 15. BD May 16. OW since April 16, maybe earlier. Silent vanisher mostly.
Divorced April 18. XH married ow 6 weeks later.


"Option A is not available so I need to kick the s**t out of Option B" Sheryl Sandberg

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That is one of the reasons I wanted to hear experiences of others. To get various comparison points what these things mean to each of us, and maybe adopt something into my existing mix (that is what self growth is largely about).

And yes, the perspective of closure (and the effect it has on any kind of new beginnings) is important too.... In a way this is very a unique point in time of being LBS, possibility to make sure there's very little unfinished business that would be soil for negative triggers to grow.

Alvin.
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At time of BD.... Me: 43, XW: 41
Kids: G19,G18,G14,G12,S5
Together - 20½ Years, Married 19 Years

BD ("I don't love you"): Feb 2019, 
BD2 ("I don't want to fix this marriage."), Mar 2020
D filed May 2020, D finalized Dec 2020
I have moved on, and am in new relationship.

Lessons from Stoicism and REBT helped me to exit the chaos zone and become a better person. 

"Happiness and freedom begin with a clear understanding of one principle: Some things are within our control, and some things are not. - Epictetus"

b
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Quote
Perhaps the most important question is why you want to do that?
.

I also wonder why . It is a form of pursuing behavior Alvin and it does feel like a tactic of manipulation in my opinion. If it is for yourself , then that is an internal job and need not be spoken out loud. If it is to aid in healing and personal accountability etc etc, then your spouse has nothing to do with this process.  Too many words spoken out loud for a process you feel is important to you. I do believe you anticipate a response from your spouse to apologies etc...lets be real, who won't?. I think silence is hard for you Alvin not meant as a criticism , just an observation from another pursuer. Not everything has to be said out loud for it to having meaning.  When I was finally able to "drop the rope", it was an internal decision and change that was never shared with my spouse. Just my opinion. Silence can be golden .
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Married April 1985
5 children
Bomb Drop April 2013
Thrown out of house August 2013
Affair discovered November 2013 (i guessed who)
Home December 3 2013
The Journey Of Reconciliation .. is for the brave .

Anger is like a candle in the wind ... it blows out the light of all reason.

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Hi Alvin,

I just want to be clear I understand.  Is your question: those of us LBS's who moved out did we apologize for wrong doing in the marriage, or did we not?  Am I correct?

If it is, I moved out because his divorce was almost final and I felt I needed to now be on my own.

Did I apologize to him for anything?  No
I never felt I did anything to apologize for.  I did not want this divorce, he did. 
Was I a perfect wife, oh heck no.  He was not a perfect husband either.
I made a lot of mistakes in our marriage over the years, but I already apologized for them at the time.
He made mistakes too.  That was all in the past. 

The reasons he gave for wanting to end the marriage really had nothing to do with me, and I expect that could be the case with you also.

Do you honestly feel what you did, or how you acted, gave her good reason to want out?
Is what you did really serious enough for her to blow up your marriage and family over, after 20 years?

If you do then by all means apologize.  It will make you feel better.
Just don't think it will matter to her, because it won't. They don't care. So do it for yourself.

If she is just in a crisis and not thinking straight, then what are you apologizing for?
I'm just asking because most of these MLCer will find any reason to excuse what they are doing.  They even make them up if they need to.

So my question is, did you cause this to happen or is she just in a midlife crisis?

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A quote from a recovered MLCer: 
"From my experience if my H had let me go a long time ago, and stop pressuring me, begging, and pleading and just let go I possibly would have experienced my awakening sooner than I did."

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Alvin - Also FWIW with me...

We were in marriage counseling (during my H's affair, early on).  He was denying the affair but told our MC the things that he felt were wrong with me, and decided to take responsibility for his feelings, and those that I thought could have been an issue in the breakdown of our marriage.  So, I apologized for my part.  He did not - wouldn't even admit the affair.  That was almost 3 years ago.

Circle around to about 4 months ago - in a text - H said "you never apologized for your part in the breakdown of our marriage".  I told him that I had already done that, recalled the setting (I remember it vividly).  I did not apologize again.

So -- my point is -- if she's in replay it doesn't matter.  Even if you do it for you - it won't stick and won't matter.  If you feel you need to, I don't see anything wrong with it, but not sure what it'll accomplish because even though it's for you - she'll probably still bring it up again in the future?

Good luck and let us know what you decide.

Sea
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Just an observation....and this is adopted from what CH has shared few times.

If you knew you had misbehaved accidentally with stranger on street (say spilled sugary soda on their dress years back, and not addressed it properly back then),  you surely would make proper apology if you on later date came across the same person, acknowledging and owning your past mistake?  Why would the person you have lived for decades be worth less?

The fact they don't accept it verbally is their issue.
The fact they may omit and forget it is their issue.
All we have is our side of the street, and keeping it clean from dirt.
Alvin.

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« Last Edit: May 07, 2020, 04:39:19 AM by AlvinTheMaker »
At time of BD.... Me: 43, XW: 41
Kids: G19,G18,G14,G12,S5
Together - 20½ Years, Married 19 Years

BD ("I don't love you"): Feb 2019, 
BD2 ("I don't want to fix this marriage."), Mar 2020
D filed May 2020, D finalized Dec 2020
I have moved on, and am in new relationship.

Lessons from Stoicism and REBT helped me to exit the chaos zone and become a better person. 

"Happiness and freedom begin with a clear understanding of one principle: Some things are within our control, and some things are not. - Epictetus"

m
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Something about the question ringed hollow and I had to think about it a bit. Because the truth is if ones spouse is truly in MLC and not simply leaving the marriage for personal reasons or because of the behaviour of the spouse the apology, like everything else we do, makes no difference. So if it is for personal reasons sure, why not. If it is to again manipulate or control, well then its more denial of reality and trying to pretend there is control when there is none.

Then it struck me what the issue was. I think it is a made up story that somehow if we do xy or z on the way out the door, if we “have our say,” if we do some combination of magic incantations there will be “closure” and we will move on. And I realized it is more denial of reality. It is more attempt to pretend we have control and that we are ok. Because like almost all human affair there is no simple, clean, delineated moment, there is no simple answer. There will be no “closure” to a 20 year or any long term relationship no matter what we do. Divorce or not, apology or not, selling the house or not. And this is true even when there are no kids. When there are kids in common well what does closure look like exactly? This will be with us for a very long time.

We grow and heal when we realize the true nature of ourselves, of our spouses, of our friends. About how we are all imperfect, that there are better and worse ways to exist, but there is no exact answer. That behaviour to others MATTER when they are guided by empathy and gentle care of the other, and words only matter when they are exactly aligned with that. And that our kindness, care and growth is shaped by thousands of small acts and steps and rarely by one specific action or ritual.

I owned my part internally like others have said as I re-examined our 23 years together. I was not perfect, but I was not bad. Nothing that happened came from anything I did. I did not badger, control, direct, demean, list faults nor leave. I had bad moments like we all have had, I said things I wish had never been said in the moment, out of my own pain and lack of self awareness. But they were transitory and my actions were always guided by love and empathy for my wife. So I could apologize for tiny things, but I am proud of our life together and how we treated each other vast majority of the time.

And finally I fear an apology is sometimes nothing more than a whitewash. It simply puts a pin and says “see, I said I am sorry so its all ok now. I may have caused you great anguish and damage but hey I just said sorry, so no problem.” Which I guess circles back to another topic of how hearing our MLCers say they are “sorry” may really not be worth that much after all. Its the damage done that counts.
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« Last Edit: May 07, 2020, 05:09:13 AM by marvin4242 »
No Kids, 23 years at BD1 (4 years), married 21
First signs of MLC Jan '15
BD 1 Jan '17, BD 2 Mar, Separated Apr, BD 3 May,BD 4 Jun '18
First Sign of Waking up-Dec '17, First Cycle out of MLC Mar '18-Jun ‘18, Second cycle Jul '18-??
Meets OM Jan '17 and acts "in love," admits "in love" Jun '18, asks for divorce Jul '18

 

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