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Author Topic: My Story Not new, but still learning about this!

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My Story Not new, but still learning about this!
OP: March 06, 2023, 02:14:14 AM
Hi all,

New thread for me before Ursa Major comes and twonks me on the head with a gif....

Can someone help me link to my old threads?

Ta

Previous thread: https://mlcforum.theherosspouse.com/index.php?topic=12002 - UM
BONK!


You thought you'd get away?  ;D
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« Last Edit: March 06, 2023, 03:27:45 AM by UrsaMajor »

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#1: March 06, 2023, 03:30:20 AM
Attaching
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Me - 60, xW - 54
Together 19 years - Married 17 at separation & 21 at D-Day
S - 16, D - 12
1 Dog
BD#1 - August 2015
Atomic BD - 13 Dec 2015
House sold & separated - Mar 2016
Divorce final 30 August 2019
Moved on in life

Survival Instructions for Newbies
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A "friend" will not "stand by you" no matter what you do. That is NOT a friend. That is an enabler. That is an accomplice.
A REAL friend will sit you down and tell you to your face to stop being a firetrucking idiot before you ruin your life and the lives of those around you.

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#2: March 06, 2023, 03:41:18 AM
Thanks UM...

and thanks for the bonk on the bonce
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#3: March 06, 2023, 07:35:35 AM
Thanks UM...

and thanks for the bonk on the bonce

Hey, what are friends for?

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Me - 60, xW - 54
Together 19 years - Married 17 at separation & 21 at D-Day
S - 16, D - 12
1 Dog
BD#1 - August 2015
Atomic BD - 13 Dec 2015
House sold & separated - Mar 2016
Divorce final 30 August 2019
Moved on in life

Survival Instructions for Newbies
Site Map
 
A "friend" will not "stand by you" no matter what you do. That is NOT a friend. That is an enabler. That is an accomplice.
A REAL friend will sit you down and tell you to your face to stop being a firetrucking idiot before you ruin your life and the lives of those around you.

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#4: March 08, 2023, 11:05:08 PM
Hey Biscuit  :D

Oh yes..... I've seen that too..... when the MLC'er is confronted by the reality of death and it's like a recreation from Monty Python's Holy Grail: "Run Away!!!! Run Away!!!!".
To say they can't deal with it, or even really understand how to be empathetic is such an understatement. While it's easy to wish their response is different, what I have seen says they are completely incapable of understanding.

Congrats on passing a year!!! That's a huge milestone!! Big accomplishment!! Give yourself a pat on the back by friend.... you deserve it.  8)

Very sorry about your friend. That is one of the rotten things about life: Death keeps increasing in frequency as time goes by. Glad you are accumulating new friends though. Isn't it wonderful when people get to see you and realize that "hey, this guy is pretty great". We all need it. I think most LBS forget what it's like to be appreciated and valued..... even at the simplest level. So good to see you breaking out of that, it changes so many things.  :D

-SS 
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W - 43
M - 46
Together 28 years, M 25
No kids
BD - 27th April 2019
Start of Shadow - Feb 2012

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#5: March 19, 2023, 02:28:05 AM
It's Mothers Day here in the UK.

So, Happy Mothers Day to all on here with children and grandchildren. I'm sure many of you are having to go through the s%^t of MLC along with the difficult job of raising children. I hope your kids are treating you like the heroes you are!

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#6: March 20, 2023, 06:10:34 AM
Bit of journalling.

So W has settled in to her routine of spending time with the kids at the house (i'm not there anymore) and then disappearing to where ever when she doesn't have the kids. She has made the effort in recent weeks to return to go to most of the kids/family events when she doesn't have them. I'm pleased about this as they like to have us both supporting them at the many shows / performances / matches they get involved with.
I've not seen monster in a while and most of the time she is polite and cordial and often the interactions are pleasant and sometimes even fun. She is most definitely not the W of old though, but I do see glimpses of that wonderful person on occasion. She makes an effort with the kids at the moment which is great. I continue to try and detach from her, to varying levels of success!

I am doing well, despite having the odd day when I'm feeling pretty down. I've taken a trip abroad in recent weeks and had a wonderful time with friends and co workers there. The marathon training was going brilliantly, although this weekend I picked up a small injury which will put me out for a couple of weeks probably. I hope to be back running fairly shortly, I'll miss the exercise and that few hours to just think and run - I might meditate instead!

My days are filled with work, which is going pretty well, I can feel my concentration returning and I'm far more engaged than last year. I'm about to start a job with an old coworker who I love very dearly, she's been amazing this last year and spending more time with her will be lovely.

Evenings without the kids I try and schedule dinners or fun stuff to do with my fantastic network of friends. I feel completely blessed to have such a good group of people around me. I only discuss the MLCer with a couple of them, and they are not friends that W really knows so I feel safe talking openly to them. One was treated very badly by a cheating fiance who basically BD'd her just over a year ago - so she kind of gets a lot of it.
My calendar for the year is filling up. I'm planning a couple of trips with old friends and new to look forward to. There's a wedding coming up in June too which I'm looking forward to.

I continue to do IC with a fantastic therapist, who is not hugely knowledgeable really on MLC but understands identity crisis and offers good advice and coping strategies for getting my life back on track.

D is coping well, she is a bundle of energy and is such fun to be around. S not coping so well but I offer him all the support and love I can. Being a teenager is hard anyway, without having to deal with the fallout of MLC. He's a complicated but lovely young man and I try and instill strong family values in him, which he seems to take on board. He has a girlfriend and treats her well, although there's some geographical distance between them so they don't see each other that often.

Hope all on HS are well... such a great support for all of us (not so) newbies!

Biscuit x
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#7: March 20, 2023, 08:25:19 AM
Quote
I continue to do IC with a fantastic therapist, who is not hugely knowledgeable really on MLC but understands identity crisis and offers good advice and coping strategies for getting my life back on track
I have one in the same and she has done wonders for me being a sounding board and also open to hearing thoughts on MLC, but she also believes in identity crisis and in the end that is what it is.
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There is almost something harder about someone being alive and having to lose what you believed to be true of them than someone actually dying.

Indefatigability - determined to do or achieve something; firmness of purpose
perspicacity- a clarity of vision or intellect which provides a deep understanding and insight

Married July 1991
Jan 2018 BD1 moved out I filed for Div/ H stopped it
Oct 2018 moved back
Oct 2020 BD2
Feb 2021 Div-29 1/2 years
July 2021 Married OW
Feb 2022  XH fired
May 2023 went NC after telling XH we could not be friends
Aug 2023 XH moves w/o OWife

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#8: April 09, 2023, 02:43:15 AM
Happy Easter to all on HS.

I know for some on here this time of year will have a meaning far more profound than it means to me. I hope those of you who are Christian enjoy a day of celebrating the  rebirth of Christ and that your faith helps you through what is meant to be a family day which some of you will be spending without your families intact.
I’m going to enjoy the day with my wonderful children and a massive pile of chocolate!
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#9: April 09, 2023, 06:37:27 AM
Happy Easter Biscuit!

His resurrection always reminds me that there is hope, life after death, joy after sorrow and peace.

Enjoy this blessed day with your children and chocolate!
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"Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see" Hebrews 11:1

"You enrich my life and are a source of joy and consolation to me. But if I lose you, I will not, I must not spend the rest of my life in unhappiness."

" The truth does not change according to our ability to stomach it". Flannery O'Connor

https://www.midlifecrisismarriageadvocate.com/chapter-contents.html

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#10: May 06, 2023, 02:57:53 PM
Good evening lovely HS people.

Not updated for a while, I will do in the next few days but I have a question for the vets on here, particularly ones who have older kids.

My son 16 and I were having a chat today, he was talking about the dramatic change in his mum and wanted to speak to me about it. He said that he himself feels like he doesn't know who he is a lot of the time. He 16 so I remember feeling like that myself, you're trying out new versions of yourself all the time. He also said he'd had a chat to his mum and she said she said she told him she doesn't know who she is anymore and doesn't know herself.
He asked me if I knew what was wrong with her. I said I had some ideas about what was going on but couldn't be sure. He wanted to know if the old mum will ever come back. Anyway, there were other kids around and they demanded we watch a movie with them so the conversation stopped there whilst we had some belly laughs at a romcom.
So the question is, do I tell him about MLC? Or even parts of it? I don't want him to worry about his mother, or spend weeks looking up MLC like I did! I want to reassure him that his mum will be ok eventually, but as we know if and when she's through the crisis she might not be the same old mum.
It's a dilemma, and I'm sure they will be varied opinions on here. But some stories of how others have handled such questions and how they got on would be really helpful.  He's a very mature 16 and incredibly intelligent and worldly wise.

Thanks all

Biscuit x
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#11: May 07, 2023, 03:48:32 AM
My kids are older than 16, but I did tell them it was MLC. I did explain that it is not about the “known idea of MLC” but an identity crisis. Questioning where he is in life and is he truly where he should be. Feeling overwhelmed by his perceived failures and not being able to clear his head enough to work through his thoughts, so he is escaping dealing with it. I have always reassured them it is not about them or me. It is all about him.
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There is almost something harder about someone being alive and having to lose what you believed to be true of them than someone actually dying.

Indefatigability - determined to do or achieve something; firmness of purpose
perspicacity- a clarity of vision or intellect which provides a deep understanding and insight

Married July 1991
Jan 2018 BD1 moved out I filed for Div/ H stopped it
Oct 2018 moved back
Oct 2020 BD2
Feb 2021 Div-29 1/2 years
July 2021 Married OW
Feb 2022  XH fired
May 2023 went NC after telling XH we could not be friends
Aug 2023 XH moves w/o OWife

B
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Not new, but still learning about this!
#12: June 21, 2023, 06:23:42 AM
So time for an update.
I just noticed I've been on HS forum for a year tomorrow.. lots has changed since then!
So, I'm doing pretty well, properly GAL and getting out to all kinds of events and seeing lots of friends and family. Don't spend half as much time moping about these days but try and embrace everything good in life rather than focussing on the bad. Not sure if I'm detached enough just yet, but definitely getting there and able to view things through a completely different lens to a year ago. Just like Elton John, I'm still standing, just in slightly less flamboyant clothes and not as good on the piano.
Have realised of late that I've probably got ADHD like my son, which has kind of opened up my eyes to how I do things now and explains many of my difficulties and strengths too in the past.

As for W, movement there I think. Not sure if OM is still lurking about but the kids haven't seen him for a while, so hopefully he's buggered off to wherever he crawled out of. Seeing a new kindness to W that I've not seen in 18 months. Not monstered for ages and being pretty considerate when I do see her. This morning out of the blue she texted that she was going to our favourite specialist shop for food and would I like anything picking up? Weird to get a text like that, I'm not reading anything into it. Of course I said yes - why not? Nice for Mrs B to do something for me for a change!

Kids are doing well, looking forward to a summer trip in a few weeks which me and W will split in half so we both get time in the sun with the kids and our friends. Remarkable that this happened too as just a few weeks ago W was saying it was her holiday and no way was she going to not have her 2 weeks in the sun with the kids.

Right, off to have a cup of tea and do some work! (work is on fire too - done 3 big projects recently and now working on 2 amazing things!!)
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Re: Not new, but still learning about this!
#13: June 21, 2023, 08:44:14 AM
Biscuit and Mad, thank you for bringing up what to tell the kids. I’ve been saying your parents are going through something now but we both love you. They are 17 and 15 so they are older and they just kinda say it is what it is. W is still at home and we live in separate rooms, we occasionally have dinner as a family but with teens they kinda do their own thing. Any advice on what to tell the kids? I don’t really want to say MLC, I don’t think they would understand and if W knew I was saying that I think monster would definitely make a comeback (haven’t seen monster in a couple of weeks)
Thanks
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#14: June 21, 2023, 09:02:02 AM
Baxter,

Personally I think what you've been saying is just fine - esp if they're not asking questions.

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#15: June 21, 2023, 01:39:27 PM
I don't think for my part it is wise to tell your son about MLC. I guess he is sensitive, so he is already understanding a lot and your wife's MLC is already a burden he is carrying. To tell him anything at this stage would lead only to bad consequences :
- for your W when she will hear about it, as she will know it is coming from you she will deny it
- for you because your W will tell you are manipulating her son, you are involving him
- and also for your son, that will add another burden to him as he is already dealing with his own teenage crisis. Children shouldn't parentize their own parents when they are young. I fear he might be paying this later.

The burden is heavy, I believe our role as fathers is to carry it alone and protect as most as we can our children.

I am blessed with three children, two daughters of 16 and 14, one son 5. They are already affected by our current situation, they are already suffering from it so I try to protect them the best I can. In front of them, I always stand  alongside my W : I believe it is my place (it is also a change I have decided to do after working on myself, in the past I was more ambiguous)

Only thing I did few days after I discovered OM : I asked my three children to pray for both of us. That's all. When D14 wanted to ask me about our crisis, I told her that it is not her concern. And the prayers I asked were already too much for my W : Monster blamed me to have done that (I have no regret and no remorse). When I told W that our children are affected by our situation, she denied it (obviously), so I never raised again the topic. 
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M 44, W43. Married 18 years, together 21
3 children D17, D15, S6
OM discovered Dec 22, BD Jan 23 (few days after)
W still living at home
Aimer, c'est donner sans attendre de retour et tout acte est prière, s'il est don de soi (Antoine de Saint Exupéry)
Love means to give without expecting return, and every act is a prayer if it is a self-gift. (thanks OffRoad !)

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#16: June 21, 2023, 04:40:27 PM
Kids are smart and already know something is wrong, but what?? So, I think you talk to your kids in a manner they can handle. Mine were in their late 20’s so I could explain in more detail that he is having an identity crisis. They totally agree. They are old enough to see the writing on the walls. I do think all kids at different ages and personalities etc have to be handled in a way that will bring the least amount of distress. My kids are a give it to me straight. It has saved them some anguish on having some plausible explanation for the madness.
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There is almost something harder about someone being alive and having to lose what you believed to be true of them than someone actually dying.

Indefatigability - determined to do or achieve something; firmness of purpose
perspicacity- a clarity of vision or intellect which provides a deep understanding and insight

Married July 1991
Jan 2018 BD1 moved out I filed for Div/ H stopped it
Oct 2018 moved back
Oct 2020 BD2
Feb 2021 Div-29 1/2 years
July 2021 Married OW
Feb 2022  XH fired
May 2023 went NC after telling XH we could not be friends
Aug 2023 XH moves w/o OWife

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#17: June 22, 2023, 12:40:59 AM
Kids are smart and already know something is wrong, but what?? So, I think you talk to your kids in a manner they can handle. Mine were in their late 20’s so I could explain in more detail that he is having an identity crisis. They totally agree. They are old enough to see the writing on the walls. I do think all kids at different ages and personalities etc have to be handled in a way that will bring the least amount of distress. My kids are a give it to me straight. It has saved them some anguish on having some plausible explanation for the madness.

My words were not against you, I am sorry if they did hurt you. Your situation is different from mine, Biscuit's and Baxter1's. I have no experience with adult-kids and I believe you did your best with your children, what I said is applying only for kids who are under 20 , and just my humble POV sharing.
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M 44, W43. Married 18 years, together 21
3 children D17, D15, S6
OM discovered Dec 22, BD Jan 23 (few days after)
W still living at home
Aimer, c'est donner sans attendre de retour et tout acte est prière, s'il est don de soi (Antoine de Saint Exupéry)
Love means to give without expecting return, and every act is a prayer if it is a self-gift. (thanks OffRoad !)

B
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Not new, but still learning about this!
#18: June 28, 2023, 07:54:09 AM
Minor journalling.

A week since my last post and I've been having a whale of a time on my GAL journey. Took a trip on my own for the weekend to a different part of the country and enjoyed a night out where I met up with some old friends and made a ton of new ones. It was great fun.

W has continued to be incredibly nice, a continuing transformation over the last month or so. Maybe some of the vets can help me. Is this normal ? She's offering to help with the kids more, she's being really kind towards me. This is a side of W I've not seen for 18 months and to be honest it's actually slightly unnerving! There seems to be no malice in her at all at the moment.

Strange!
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#19: June 28, 2023, 10:21:50 PM
Minor journalling.

A week since my last post and I've been having a whale of a time on my GAL journey. Took a trip on my own for the weekend to a different part of the country and enjoyed a night out where I met up with some old friends and made a ton of new ones. It was great fun.

W has continued to be incredibly nice, a continuing transformation over the last month or so. Maybe some of the vets can help me. Is this normal ? She's offering to help with the kids more, she's being really kind towards me. This is a side of W I've not seen for 18 months and to be honest it's actually slightly unnerving! There seems to be no malice in her at all at the moment.

Strange!

Consistent actions over time are what count..... It may be a touch and go, it may be that she has turned a corner, it may be that you are trying to taste green with your elbow.... No way to really know in the short term... Most of the time, it is only in hindsight we can say "that is when they started getting their head out of their .....fog...."
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Me - 60, xW - 54
Together 19 years - Married 17 at separation & 21 at D-Day
S - 16, D - 12
1 Dog
BD#1 - August 2015
Atomic BD - 13 Dec 2015
House sold & separated - Mar 2016
Divorce final 30 August 2019
Moved on in life

Survival Instructions for Newbies
Site Map
 
A "friend" will not "stand by you" no matter what you do. That is NOT a friend. That is an enabler. That is an accomplice.
A REAL friend will sit you down and tell you to your face to stop being a firetrucking idiot before you ruin your life and the lives of those around you.

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#20: June 29, 2023, 12:15:02 AM
Thanks Ursa….

Let’s see what happens!
I’ll leave her to it and continue to have fun GAL ing, spending time with the kids and working hard on myself and  actual, you know, work!
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Re: Not new, but still learning about this!
#21: June 29, 2023, 02:56:55 AM
Biscuit, that sounds great! I would be cautiously optimistic, either way sounds like you’re having fun with GAL, good luck.
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#22: June 29, 2023, 05:07:04 AM
B- Nice is better than mean. I agree to carry on and see if it sticks or this is cycling. Sounds good however.

FH- no offense taken at all. Was just further explaining. Can we LBS even get offended anymore ? Heheheh
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There is almost something harder about someone being alive and having to lose what you believed to be true of them than someone actually dying.

Indefatigability - determined to do or achieve something; firmness of purpose
perspicacity- a clarity of vision or intellect which provides a deep understanding and insight

Married July 1991
Jan 2018 BD1 moved out I filed for Div/ H stopped it
Oct 2018 moved back
Oct 2020 BD2
Feb 2021 Div-29 1/2 years
July 2021 Married OW
Feb 2022  XH fired
May 2023 went NC after telling XH we could not be friends
Aug 2023 XH moves w/o OWife

B
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Not new, but still learning about this!
#23: July 18, 2023, 05:15:36 PM
A bit of journalling.

Had an excellent week last week. W and S16 went away on a city break and D11 went on a school trip. So had a week to myself with noone here to have responsibility for. Although I missed the kids it was a great week as I got to concentrate on work during the days and spend time with friends and family in the evenings. Went to the cinema one night, saw my sister, went to see The Who at the O2 and went to a brilliant 50th birthday party too.

W and S returned and W had actually brought me home presents from their travels - wow, what a change. Since returning she has also offered to help with the kids when it isn't her day with them (this hasn't happened since BD). She's also offered to cook for me (what the actual F?) and generally been completely lovely. One small blip when I brushed her arm as she left where I live which she said I was breaking her personal space boundary - other than that it's been a pleasure to spend time with her. Text messages are incredibly frequent again too for the first time since BD, always friendly and kind.
It seems like movement through, and progress seems to be being made in her (and me) and it's a hell of a lot easier to deal with than monster so I'll take it as a positive (for now).

S16 get beaten up and mugged for his phone and bag last weekend, which was awful, but W stepped up to the mark and did lots to help him (which should be an automatic response for a parent - but a few months ago when he was in severe pain and had to go to hospital she didn't really help in any way).
Again, all might be temporary! S16 is feeling much better now but I'll keep a check on him as this type of thing is pretty traumatic but seems a scarily common thing to happen to his age group in London (3rd time in as many years, in broad daylight in fairly busy areas).

I've been hanging out with quite a lot of gay girls recently, this has been great for me, as I miss female companionship but don't want to go on dates. I've been told by a couple of them that I attract the attention of gay women as not that many straight men are as unthreatening  to hang with or accepting of them and their sexuality. Great to get different perspectives on love and life too. Very refreshing.
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Re: Not new, but still learning about this!
#24: July 20, 2023, 01:58:51 PM
B-
I got caught touching W hand once without permission, monster showed up that day! I think it’s great that the texts and communication are getting better. I’m in that space now as well, for now(0 expectations). I’ll have to try hanging out with lesbians, I met an awesome crossdresser when I first started GAL, LGBTQ people are the best. Sorry that your S got mugged, I’m sure it was a scary experience. We were talking about taking a trip to London a couple of weeks before BD, I have a feeling that won’t be happening ( at least not together).
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#25: July 21, 2023, 08:54:42 AM
Big day today... it's my birthday!

W and kids bought me some really thoughtful presents and W and D11 also painted me some small canvasses which are beautiful and brought me some joy - what a change!
Tonight the whole family will go to dinner - really looking forward to that!
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#26: July 21, 2023, 09:13:27 AM
Happy birthday Biscuit!

Enjoy your family time. Glad that your W made this special for you!
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"Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see" Hebrews 11:1

"You enrich my life and are a source of joy and consolation to me. But if I lose you, I will not, I must not spend the rest of my life in unhappiness."

" The truth does not change according to our ability to stomach it". Flannery O'Connor

https://www.midlifecrisismarriageadvocate.com/chapter-contents.html

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#27: July 21, 2023, 09:29:49 AM
Big day today... it's my birthday!

W and kids bought me some really thoughtful presents and W and D11 also painted me some small canvasses which are beautiful and brought me some joy - what a change!
Tonight the whole family will go to dinner - really looking forward to that!

Happy birthday!!! Have a great one!
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#28: July 21, 2023, 02:03:32 PM
Have a nice birthday Biscuit ! And so happy for you about W's present !

FH- no offense taken at all. Was just further explaining. Can we LBS even get offended anymore ? Heheheh

thanks for your words, I like what you write about "offended" : you make me laugh ! Actually we become masters of patience and humility with this crisis.
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#29: September 22, 2023, 06:38:45 AM
Hi all,

I've not journaled for a while so here goes. It's been a couple of months and a few changes.

So the summer holidays came and went. We took a big family holiday with lots of friends, which W and I  split, her the first week, me the second. I had such a great time with the kids. W was upset initially about splitting the holiday, and has very slightly monstered about it since, but this was like a sort of cuddly Jim Henson monster compared to a full on horror film one.

I've continued to have lots of time with friends and family, and on the whole I've been doing pretty good. There's been a few dark days but not too many and the darkness doesn't last as long or hurt as much as it did a year ago.

W continues to be communicative, kind and helpful - which is obviously better than angry and secretive.

W suggested we do family therapy to talk about the impact of the seperation and other challenges for the kids. We have been trying out a counsellor but W thinks we should change (I'm fine with trying out another one). No relationship talks in these sessions, or in our normal conversations - I'm just keeping most interactions light and friendly for the time being. Just the fact that she's willing to talk to someone is quite a revalation tbh as she was totally resistant to talking therapy when BD happened.

I don't think there is another OM, but we live apart and she does her own thing so who knows? She has told a mutual friend that she wants to be on her own for the time being.

Anyway, back to work... I'll report if anything interesting happens in the coming weeks.
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#30: September 25, 2023, 02:43:45 AM
So the summer holidays came and went. We took a big family holiday with lots of friends, which W and I  split, her the first week, me the second. I had such a great time with the kids. W was upset initially about splitting the holiday, and has very slightly monstered about it since, but this was like a sort of cuddly Jim Henson monster compared to a full on horror film one.

What did she want instead - that you take the whole vacation? That she takes the whole vacation? That you both have the whole vacation?

That is kind of what happens when you separate and decide to leave your family - the family time gets split between parents... It is called "consequences" and we all are well aware of just how much a Mid-Lifer LOVES consequences that don't fall into line with the way they think it should be....   ::)
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#31: September 25, 2023, 01:30:30 PM
lol Ursa, Consequences eh - how inconvenient?

Yeah, she wanted the whole vacation... no matter that then I wouldn't get a holiday with my kids for the second year running. She saw sense in the end but wasn't that happy about it. I've not heard any complaints about it for a couple of weeks but it will be stored in the bank to refer to later no doubt!

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#32: September 26, 2023, 12:30:49 AM
lol Ursa, Consequences eh - how inconvenient?

Yeah, she wanted the whole vacation... no matter that then I wouldn't get a holiday with my kids for the second year running. She saw sense in the end but wasn't that happy about it. I've not heard any complaints about it for a couple of weeks but it will be stored in the bank to refer to later no doubt!

I got that this Easter too... Last Easter, MLCxW took the kids for the entire 3 weeks and went to the Maldives with them... This year, I took them to the US to visit their grandparents (my parents), my cousin and their Stepsister (my D33) and MLCxW complained that I took them the entire holiday... uhmmmmm .....

So, it was OK for her to have them for the 3 weeks but not OK for me? I just mentioned that was the same as the previous year with the Maldives and that was the end of the whine-fest....
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#33: October 06, 2023, 05:58:39 PM
Minor Journaling,

Just back from a great trip which I undertook as a solo mission but met many old friends on, and made a whole load of new friends too. It was like the ultimate GAL getaway! Great fun, good food and amazing music in the most incredible location.  It's strange, for the first time I thought, well it would be nice if W was here because she'd love it but....I'll just love it on my own! Strange feeling, but kind of liberating I suppose.

This weekend I was due to take D to an event on Saturday, whilst S did some school work and then met his GF. A couple of days ago W texted and said that she'd like to join D and me at the event if I was OK with it... of course I am, the more the merrier! Be nice to do something together!  Today a friend who I was hanging out with whilst on the GAL getaway texts and says she has covid. I did a test and - poooo, so do I.  I let W know, and straight away she's offering to help out with the kids and making arrangements to keep them busy for the weekend so I can recover. She also offered to go shopping and get whatever I needed for the next few days.
Amazing stuff, we're into month 5 or so of fairly consistent and brilliant parenting and support from W. It feels less like a touch and go but more like a touch and make no meaningful comment.... Things are definitely changing in W.... but we're only 20 or so months past BD, so not sure if its gonna stick! Let's see.

One advantage with living apart (maybe the only one thus far) - it's a hell of a lot easier when one of us has Covid!
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#34: October 06, 2023, 08:56:07 PM
Good update except the covid part!
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Indefatigability - determined to do or achieve something; firmness of purpose
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Married July 1991
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#35: October 07, 2023, 05:31:21 AM
Hi Biscuit,

I am a little over 3 years since BD and my XW started being more helpful too around 2 years.  It has for the most part made things more peaceful which is good. She still is in replay and occasionally cycles into craziness with her actions.  I’ll take mostly peace with the occasional reminder that she is still lost.

You are doing really well and hope recovery from COVID is going well.

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#36: October 08, 2023, 04:59:30 PM
Thanks HF,

Not sure where W is in her journey, I’m told it’s wise to take your attention off of that…. The last round of replay behaviour has stopped, but I know that doesn’t mean that another delivery might be right around the corner!
W turned up today with what might be called a care package in the US, but here in Britain we’d probably say a weekly shop! Full of all my favourite healthy foods and a few not so healthy snacks. Anyway, very considerate, and I thanked her for her kindness…. Had loads of nice stuff to eat whilst I watched the footie this afternoon. Yum.

Hopefully I’ll test negative in the next couple of days so I can see the kids.
W leaves next Monday for a trip for a couple of weeks to see family who are a long way away, so I’ll get a fortnight with the kids then.

Onwards and upwards…. it’s not been this positive in a long time.
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#37: October 09, 2023, 02:03:53 AM
Guard your heart Dear Biscuit, this condition, it comes in cylces. And get well soon!
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#38: November 07, 2023, 10:51:23 AM
Minor journalling -

I've been feeling a little low in the last few weeks - I think my W's touch and go / reconnection made me want more from her and quickly, but that's not how this thing works, and I should know that by now! So I was expecting too much I think.
What I have seen from W in the last month is a continuing reconnection, she is offering acts of service and generally continuing the kindness which started back in June. She went away for a couple of weeks and stayed in contact - although much less than when she is here - which is understandable. Since she's been back communication has been good. We enjoyed a night out last night as a family for the first time in ages, it really was lovely and saw much of the old W in the way she acted around all of us. We have another family night out planned on Saturday which I'm looking forward to.
She's taken to wearing her eternity ring again - although not on her wedding finger as before - but it's nice to see her wearing it. What it means - nothing or something - who knows?
I remember reading here before of a couple of situations when W's and H's attempt a reconnection phase before dropping out of replay and into depression. Does anyone else have experience of this?

For now I'm enjoying the time we spend together as a family and I'm keeping communication light and friendly and free of any R talk. I'm not seeing monster, it's all a lot easier than this time last year when I was a total mess.
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#39: November 08, 2023, 12:32:23 AM
Hi Biscuit,

I am so happy for you that you see good progress in reconnection from your W, and that you keep enough lucidity to acknowledge you own inner status and change it.
Reconnection time is not a bed of roses, good for you that you enjoy the good moments together in family !
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#40: November 28, 2023, 03:36:00 AM
Minor journalling.

Things continue very much along the same path they've been on for a few months. The kids spend half their time with each parent and we spend some time together as a family if there are school events or football matches etc.
W has taken on a much more active role with the kids and is being much more helpful in pretty much all areas, which is a real improvement.

On days when W doesn't have the kids she is seemingly always offering to help me and contacts them individually too to say hi or whatever.

It does feel like things are pretty good between us - we talk everyday - but it's never a deep conversation, never R talks and all quite 'surface'. She hasn't once apologised or shown any verbal remorse for any of her actions when high energy replay had her spinning like a whirling dervish. She seems much more settled and doesn't monster at all.

It does however feel like we're a bit stuck, for want of a better word. It's kind of a limbo, there's no real substance to any of our talks and interactions. My son told me the other night that he's really glad W and I are getting on as it's important for him that he sees that we care for each other.
I'm still standing but would ask if anyone else has experinced this type of limbo? It's like nothing has really progressed for a few months, although I suppose we are spending more time together, and speaking more - which I suppose is progress. But it's so slow from day to day!
I have attempted twice in the last few months to say something about my feelings, but W doesn't want to hear it - so I've backed off from that.
No outward signs of depression or withdrawl from W so not sure if she's liminal when no-one is there with her - or if she has avoided thinking about what she's done and is sticking her head in the sand still.

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#41: November 28, 2023, 06:18:30 AM
Reconnection and reconciliation (if they happen) take place with the breathtaking speed of a herd of turtles....

Also keep in mind that some Mid-Lifers, after they come out of the tunnel, never do apologize or show real remorse, preferring to sweep things under the carpet (conflict-avoidance) so one thing you will need to consider at some point is whether or not the lack of an apology or remorse is a deal-breaker for you or not....

Other than that, MLC Progress looks like this....

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Divorce final 30 August 2019
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#42: November 28, 2023, 06:35:48 AM
Thanks UM, both for the reply and the obligatory visual aid!

Does a spoken apology mean a deal breaker? Hmm, I guess I'll have plenty of time to think about that while she simmers away. Maybe not all things need to be said....
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#43: December 21, 2023, 03:36:21 PM
Bit of journaling tonight.

I’ve read up on Acorn’s thread recently from back in 2017 and 2018 and can see some parallels going on with my situ - as well as many differences. I think Acorn’s souse never left but me and w have been living apart for 18 months.
Reconnection has been going on since June of this year and things are going well. It’s very very slow, but when I look back six months ago to now there’s been a definite improvement in our time spent together. Sometimes progress is slow and other times there are significant improvements in the quality of our interactions over a very short space of time.
The last couple of weeks have been one of those periods with some accelerated reconnection happening. It happens to coincide with the run up to Christmas so it’s not really surprising that we’ve had more family time together. It’s the quality of this time which has increased more than the actual time that’s really improved though. Just this last week every time I’ve needed to visit w I’ve been invited in for a drink or to hang out. Tonight after I took D12 to see a film she wanted to go and pick up her bag from W and get some vouchers and money for Christmas shopping tomorrow. W invited me to stay for a drink and we sat together on the sofa having a chinwag whilst D looked for what she needed. I ore-warned W we would be visiting so she made a huge effort to get all the presents wrapped and under the tree. D was delighted! She loves seeing the bottom of the tree festooned with presents and was really excited. Well done W - she did good and made our D’s night.
It’s a very weird stage this reconnection business though, as an LBS you see loads of potential and not just glimpses but massive chunks of the MLCers previous personality but it’s still not the same old W. Hard to explain… we both sent each other cards today too, and here’s a weird one - out messages to each other were word for word exactly the same - the only differences was mine had 2 more x’s than hers. We laughed about that and then it was time to whisk D away to go to bed and we said goodnight. These interactions have been becoming more frequent, we probably see each other every day at the moment. I’m enjoying it for what it is and Acorn’s thread, which I mentioned earlier has given me the mantra of zero expectations- just enjoy the moment!

Anyway, a great few days recently, and lovely to be spending time together in the run up to Christmas.

X
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#44: December 22, 2023, 02:02:24 AM
It must be really hard and in so many ways, feel quite unnatural, because in the 'normal' scheme of things one would be looking for shows of commitment and passion. But the crisis / depressed person likely isn't able to do that with any consistency - if at all. So it is a leap of faith in many ways, to keep the engine in neutral and hope for an onward journey. But all too human to have expectations. Wishing you the Best of British :) (and a great Christmas).
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#45: December 22, 2023, 03:47:42 AM
Kaydee,

Nail on the head there! Totally right about how it feels.

You’re from England so you’re appreciate the gravity of my current situation - I’ve brought my daughter and a load of her mates Christmas shopping - in Oxford Street - 3 days before Christmas. 😂
Right better go and find them!!

Lovely Crimbo to you too! And everyone else on HS.
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#46: December 22, 2023, 04:05:35 AM
You’re from England so you’re appreciate the gravity of my current situation - I’ve brought my daughter and a load of her mates Christmas shopping - in Oxford Street - 3 days before Christmas. 😂
Right better go and find them!!

Oh my, did you sniff the Christmas spirits and get all nostalgic :) hope you find them and/or have your GPS tracker on. Good luck, and Merry Christmas!
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#47: December 22, 2023, 04:11:22 AM
Kaydee,

Nail on the head there! Totally right about how it feels.

You’re from England so you’re appreciate the gravity of my current situation - I’ve brought my daughter and a load of her mates Christmas shopping - in Oxford Street - 3 days before Christmas. 😂
Right better go and find them!!

Lovely Crimbo to you too! And everyone else on HS.

And to you, Biscuit!
Oh my word, teenage girl heaven and grown up hell all in one long street…. :o Was it packed?
You have definitely earned about a million Santa Dad points for that  :)
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#48: December 22, 2023, 04:48:07 AM
Hi Biscuit,

I am glad for you that things are going well and that your situation is improving. I hope you can provide a nice record of reconnection & reconciliation in the next months, first for you and also for all the avid readers. These stories are few, and from male LBS pov it is very rare.

I wish you the best for you and your family ! Merry Christmas !
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Aimer, c'est donner sans attendre de retour et tout acte est prière, s'il est don de soi (Antoine de Saint Exupéry)
Love means to give without expecting return, and every act is a prayer if it is a self-gift. (thanks OffRoad !)

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#49: December 22, 2023, 09:19:16 AM
It was quiet in the montning and absolutely rammed by the time we left. Had a wonderful day and managed to come back without losing any children (I think I’m a bit lighter on cash than when I left this morning though).
What an amazing day!!
Witnessed a really touching scene when 3 police officers were questioning a homeless lady who was asking for change. I thought they were going to tell her off but they just wanted to make sure she was warm enough and that she knew all the places in central London where she could get a hot meal and a bed for the night. Made me feel incredibly humble and lucky and also glad that I’m a Londoner and that people doing jobs on the street in our city actually care for others in need - unlike most of the people in power.  I spoke to the police officers afterwards and wished them a very merry Christmas.
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#50: December 26, 2023, 03:00:32 AM
So Christmas Day came and went.
We had a wonderful day as a family, presents were exchanged, food was cooked and consumed and a few drinks and ended up with card games, charades and a festive tv special with us all cozied up in the lounge.
It was hard to leave! It was meant to be my evening with the kids but they were tired and didn’t fancy leaving the cosiness so I left them with W and came home quite late. It was a good day full of laughter, joy and traditions. The presents w and the kids chose for everyone were fantastic.

The conflict in emotions is something I have to deal with. I really do enjoy family time but I hate saying goodbye. I really do think my kids get an awful lot out of spending time as a family so I push through the emotions and deal with the downside on my own when I have time and space to process.

Seeing the whole family as well as lots of other families on our traditional Boxing Day get together today. A walk in the woods followed by food and a pint. Should be fun, it’s a beautiful winters day in London. Again, I’ll enjoy the moment and process later once we all say goodbye.
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#51: December 26, 2023, 06:44:39 AM
So Christmas Day came and went.
We had a wonderful day as a family,

If it is ok Biscuit I'd like to focus on the positive on this. That is terrific!!
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#52: December 26, 2023, 07:25:13 AM
Thanks for sharing your day with us. Our family is also together and have spent several Christmases together. All together in the same place.

There is lots of laughter, joy and traditions as you mentioned.

Quote
The conflict in emotions is something I have to deal with. I really do enjoy family time but I hate saying goodbye. I really do think my kids get an awful lot out of spending time as a family so I push through the emotions and deal with the downside on my own when I have time and space to process.

It became easier over the years. I think I feared that when he would leave, that would be the last “ goodbye” but that had not been the case at all. He has increased his contact with me and I am more at peace.

Acceptance is key. He has his life to live. I have my own vibrant and enjoyable life. But sometimes, the magic is still there and the ease of being together is something that feels so much better than my ”fears”.

Enjoy your Boxing Day and your pint after!
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« Last Edit: December 26, 2023, 07:27:11 AM by xyzcf »
"Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see" Hebrews 11:1

"You enrich my life and are a source of joy and consolation to me. But if I lose you, I will not, I must not spend the rest of my life in unhappiness."

" The truth does not change according to our ability to stomach it". Flannery O'Connor

https://www.midlifecrisismarriageadvocate.com/chapter-contents.html

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#53: December 26, 2023, 02:34:54 PM
Thanks for sharing your day with us. Our family is also together and have spent several Christmases together. All together in the same place.

There is lots of laughter, joy and traditions as you mentioned.

Quote
The conflict in emotions is something I have to deal with. I really do enjoy family time but I hate saying goodbye. I really do think my kids get an awful lot out of spending time as a family so I push through the emotions and deal with the downside on my own when I have time and space to process.

It became easier over the years. I think I feared that when he would leave, that would be the last “ goodbye” but that had not been the case at all. He has increased his contact with me and I am more at peace.

Acceptance is key. He has his life to live. I have my own vibrant and enjoyable life. But sometimes, the magic is still there and the ease of being together is something that feels so much better than my ”fears”.

Enjoy your Boxing Day and your pint after!

I’m also very glad to hear you had a lovely family day Biscuit (and XY). I agree that the conflicting emotions are worth pushing through. Thank you XY for advising that it will get easier over the coming years. We’re a bit ahead here (in Aus) so it’s already ‘the-day-after-boxing-day’ where we (M and I) also had a traditional (for M) family and friends get together (he hosts and cooks for about 30 people every year! It was fabulous to be a part of it this year). Glad you’re also enjoying such a tradition but I had to laugh at it being a ‘beautiful winters day in London’ because it’s the middle of summer here but it was a ‘winters day’ weather-wise! Rain, cold, fog, the works 🤣🤣
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BD 9th Sep 2018
OW - he (supposedly) met her in the pub a week before BD, told me about her a week after BD. Thinks 'their planets have collided' because 'their eyes met across the room' and they had an 'instant connection'. Lives with her. Is building a life with her.
Jun 20: H plans to buy a block of land and build a house with her (never happens).
May 22: Movement... (likely T&G? Time will tell I guess)
May 23: Yep, definitely a T&G last year. Still have contact but very minimal. He is a long way away from me these days. He doesn't seem particularly happy in his new life... but he's still there soooo....

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#54: December 26, 2023, 03:40:36 PM
Todays get together was wonderful. A walk in the beautiful woods of north London with a crew of about 20 or so adults and kids who have been friends for many years. Many of our friends are no longer together as couples but we usually try and get together on Boxing day. A couple of friends have new partners, but for those people they had a more "normal" break up - in that both people tried their very hardest for each other and their kids to make it work - counselling for years etc - but it just wasn't to be. And they are happy with new people and everyone gets along.
I didn't chat too much to W as so many others were there who I hadn't seen for a few weeks. One of our friends came who recently lost a close relative and we had the biggest hug and she thanked me for my support over the last few weeks as her family come to terms with a sudden bereavement.
We ate lunch as a huge group, as we waited for food I got the playing cards out and we had a couple of rounds of sh!thead - which is a very fun card game. I lost! Lol. I slipped up once and called W a pet name and I didn't get daggers - just a smile.
After the meal we said goodbye to W and D12 decided she'd like to go with our good friends kids to another park to try out their Xmas present - an electric motorbike for kids! I needed to go home and pop something over to W, so did that and then went to join D12 and her mates on a BMX track to try out the electric motorbike. It was brilliant fun - the kids we were with are more like siblings than friends to D12, we spend so much time with them! Their racial makeup is very similar to my kids and they often get mistaken for siblings by others.
The night drew in and me and D12 came home and watched tons of football (or soccer if you're from North America). My D has got more and more into football since me and her mum have lived apart. It's a really lovely way for us to bond. Although W is a football fan and comes with us to watch matches every week or so, she rarely watches other teams play, whereas D will watch any football game on TV. In fact a couple of days back when I asked D12 what festive  film or TV she'd like to watch with me - she said - "Liverpool vs West Ham dad, it doesn't get more festive than that!".
Anyway, another lovely day with family and friends. I have much joy in my life through the people around me. It's sad that the crisis has taken away the W I once knew, but it does feel like she's very slowly returning to her pre-BD self.
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#55: December 26, 2023, 04:50:49 PM
Your holidays sound lovely, Biscuit, and it sounds as if you navigated the moments spent with your W quite well.  The family time, even though different than before, is still so important, even more so for your kids.  Good on you for putting their needs first, even though it means you deal with all the extra emotion and conflicting feelings in the aftermath.
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#56: December 27, 2023, 09:21:50 AM
Hello and Happy Holidays!

I am glad that you had a wonderful time with your family. You are in a difficult time and still making the most of it.

Quote
Reconnection has been going on since June of this year and things are going well. It’s very very slow, but when I look back six months ago to now there’s been a definite improvement in our time spent together.

All of this process is so slow. Remember, just as she has changed, so have you. The relationship will be different. Think how you have changed over the past eighteen months. This is now two different people coming back together and all new marriage. It's okay. All relationships evolve over time and hopefully, so will yours.

Just remember how well you are doing now and know that you have survived the worst and are open to any resolution moving forward. That puts you in a good position and you can handle her and your emotions as you go to the next stages.

Just enjoy the new year, keep focused on being detached and living as if she is not coming back. That will help with the emotions when you do see her and maintain your own emotional health.

You are doing great!

(((Ready)))

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#57: December 28, 2023, 06:20:55 AM
Thanks guys.

Yet another family day yesterday. And again very successful. 4 families out for lunch then back to one of our houses for drinks, laughter, music and dancing.
Their house is big enough that the kids were in one area and I spent much time with the other dads in the kitchen and the W's played pool and chatted.
W left pretty late but I stayed and chatted to 2 of our friends late into the night. It was a difficult conversation as they were saying they thought that me and W were getting too close and that we should sell our house and live completely separate lives (we own 2 houses and live apart anyway). I told them that where me and W is at the moment is working for us as a family, that they are entitled to their opinions and that there's not a one size fits all for families living apart. Just because all our separated friends have decided to spend almost no time together that doesn't mean me and W should do the same.
I got the "you should move on" talk. It was well meaning and kind but I told them that I have moved on, I've grown and healed loads and I've forgiven W for what she did and I feel ready to start spending more time with her and the kids and that it doesn't destabilize me. And moving on for me doesn't mean finding a new relationship, it means finding myself again and learning to love who I am and appreciate all I've got.
Two more things came out of this conversation which were interesting (it was with a husband and wife - both are friends with both me and W). The wife said that my W is racked with guilt and she feels like when W spends time with me this guilt is compounded (quite possibly true) and that I need to give W more space to process her guilt - an observation I'll think on. Although my W has been very vocal throughout her crisis when she wants to be left alone, maybe she needs more space!
The husband spoke very very briefly about my W's OM she was seeing for about a year - I've never spoken to anyone about this person before. He said  - "he's a f@£king nobhead and I've no idea what your W saw in him"! Again I've not focussed on the OM ever really - but it was kind of reassuring to hear that he was probably an affair down in most of our friends eyes.

3 days on the trot seeing W and family and all were good  - at least for me- but no more family plans for a couple of weeks so I'll let her be and give her some space to think about how this quite intense period of contract has been for her - and I will do the same.

Loads more festive football on TV today so I'm going to see an old mate and get a takeaway and a couple of beers and we're going to set up 2 tv's in his lounge so we can watch both games (one is my team and the other is his). I think it will be great fun! Probably lots of football banetr and swearing I imagine!
Kids back with me tomorrow so I'll take them to a gallery in the next couple of days and try and have some fun times with them.

Festive wishes to all - B x
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#58: December 28, 2023, 11:02:23 AM
Hello,

A lot of stuff packed in a very concise post.

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It was a difficult conversation as they were saying they thought that me and W were getting too close and that we should sell our house and live completely separate lives (we own 2 houses and live apart anyway). I told them that where me and W is at the moment is working for us as a family, that they are entitled to their opinions and that there's not a one size fits all for families living apart.

This is a very true statement and there is never a one true route for for happiness or a making any relationship work. There are many happy couples that sleep in separate rooms and are completely content as they are unable to sleep together. They are still intimate, but enjoy their own space. Nothing wrong- their choice and it makes the relationship work.

The purpose of this site is to support you as you go through this process. Many of us on this site have moved on, others still stand, and we have had couples come back together. A new relationship is not always the answer. I love my new wife, but she is not a replacement for the ex-wife. She is a completely different person and our marriage is not the same as my previous marriage. It's different and we face different issues and interact differently.

Quote
The wife said that my W is racked with guilt and she feels like when W spends time with me this guilt is compounded (quite possibly true) and that I need to give W more space to process her guilt - an observation I'll think on.

Guilt is a feeling that is projected outwards and doesn't take responsibility for actions or decisions. "You make me feel bad". Remorse is feeling sorry for the hurt they have caused, "I am sorry that my actions have hurt you and I realize the pain I have caused." That's inward and has empathy. Guilt is a MLCer reaction towards the LBSer while still in the tunnel and remorse is an action of a person truly seeking forgiveness. This is the tricky part of reconciliation and that is why the people who have actually reconciled have intentionally gone slow.

Quote
The husband spoke very very briefly about my W's OM she was seeing for about a year - I've never spoken to anyone about this person before. He said  - "he's a f@£king nobhead and I've no idea what your W saw in him"! Again I've not focussed on the OM ever really - but it was kind of reassuring to hear that he was probably an affair down in most of our friends eyes.

I was born in the south of the United States and we have a saying, "If you go looking for love in the Kitty Litter Box, what do you think you will find?"

Just saying and have a fantastic day,

(((Ready)))
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#59: December 28, 2023, 11:10:11 AM
Thanks Ready…

Great reply!

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#60: December 30, 2023, 05:23:53 PM
Quick bit of journaling;

After 3 days of loads of interaction and family time over Christmas, the last 2 days have seen a massive drop off in the amount of contact between myself and W - pretty much none TBH. That's fine, we spent a lot of time together over Christmas and I imagine it's fairly overwhelming for W and she needs to retreat a bit into her shell. I'm pretty sure she'll circle back around after the festive period - but who knows with these MLC folk?
As for me, yesterday was brilliant, had D12, S17 and his GF over for a really fun movie and pizza night. We had such a laugh, it was lovely to see D and S laughing and joking together! They are amazing kids.
Today myself and D12 took family friends (the 2 sons of my female BF - the ones that look like D12's siblings - and her exH) out to an incredible exhibition in London. The kids loved it. The art was performance and video based, but was quite adult in nature. I loved fielding the kids questions about the art - "Biscuit - what does it mean, what's it's supposed to be" etc... Well, what does it mean to you? How does it make you feel? What do you imagine the artist was feeling when she was performing that piece? The beauty of having kids come along to these types of things, is for me, their innocence,  they aren't afraid to sound stupid or unsophisticated or uneducated in asking these questions.  Made me think a lot about our adult lens on the world and how a fresh perspective often throws up new understanding in any situation. The exhibit was fun too, with interactive elements the kids could really get involved with.
We took them to another exhibition afterwards of impressionist art but by then they were a bit spent and the art didn't engage in the same way. Maybe we should have done the exhibitions the other way round!
Took the kids for food to one of our faves then back to our friends house for more socialising, catching up on life, wine and a huge dinner cooked by me and BF's exH. Really really fun day!
Tomorrow is NYE. I'm taking the kids to the football in the afternoon before dropping them over to their mum. She's got a load of our friends over for NYE drinks which I'm not invited to (which kind of smarts a weeny bit tbh, but less than it would have a few months ago!). Then I'm going for a new years dinner with another couple of our friends, then will maybe have a glass or two at a  mates house and watch some fireworks.
I've bought W a bottle of champagne for her festivities tomorrow night and written a card saying that I hope 2024 will bring joy to her and that we will continue to strengthen our friendship - but I'm not sure if I should just give her the bottle, or the bottle and card or neither!

Happy New Year fellow LBSers, B x
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« Last Edit: December 30, 2023, 05:29:58 PM by Biscuit »

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#61: January 07, 2024, 04:34:59 PM
Quick Journal before bedtime.

The drop off in comms didn't last long from W. A couple of days after NYE and things were back to how they've been, frequent messages and calls - all positive and planning the odd family thing too. I texted her last Wednesday and said I was going to take the kids to a show that night and would she like to tag along? Or yes please she answered - that would be great. We had a lovely family evening together - she brought the snacks and drinks along and I bought the tickets for the show. Fantastic fun, and lovely for the kids to see all of us laughing and joking.
This weekend was MIL's birthday celebrations which I was kind of invited to - in a sort of - well when you drop the kids over come in for a bit sort of way! I stayed for a few hours and it was really nice to see her family. I was welcomed with open arms and me and the in laws sat around chatting for a few hours whilst she cooked them all dinner. I made myself scarce before I outstayed my welcome and let her and her family enjoy some time together.
W's memory is a little bit shot at the moment - we discussed a couple of things about parenting logistics at the get together which she had forgotten later in the day. That's OK with me - I didn't make her feel stupid about it - just sort of had the same conversation again over text. She seems pretty settled at the moment, no monstering at all. 

Tomorrow is our anniversary - I'm not sure whether to mention this at all or not - maybe a light text saying remember 19 years ago? I dunno - maybe not.

Onto me, I've been doing pretty good these last few weeks. I've started doing dry january - it's the longest I've kept that up so far. I've found it pretty easy, which is surprising actually. I usually love a social drink but have had no problem going to see friends and going to events and not drinking at all. I don't really drink enough to get hangovers but I've noticed I feel more positive after a week totally off the booze. I've been getting out and about quite a bit, seen a ton of great films and had a few meals with friends. There's loads of football on this time of year too so I've been to loads of games, both with W and kids, just kids and also with friends. I've also felt more comfortable staying in on my own - which I've avoided like the plague for the 2 years since BD - but it's getting easier to fill my time at home alone. I've detached a bit more I think, hopefully a healthy amount for where I'm at - it's difficult totally detaching because we still communicate a lot. But I'm not stirred emotionally by W's reactions to stuff so much and I think that's a positive.
Work is going to pick up this month, so that will keep me very busy in the days.
I still think about W a lot and miss the life we had, which was mostly really good fun. But there's good to be had from life atm.

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#62: January 07, 2024, 05:08:26 PM
Biscuit,

That all sounds so positive.

I think it is natural to miss the old life. You must wish the MLCer did but they see it through a different lense.

You can only make good decisions and you seem to be doing that.
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#63: January 08, 2024, 03:40:52 PM
I saw W a couple of times today and we texted and emailed - no mention of our anniversary.

This evening I buckled and sent her a message saying Happy Anniversary!

I didn't get a positive response. However it was quite interesting. This might have stirred monster some time ago but she sent a text back saying she wasn't comfortable with that type of message. So despite feeling that I messed up, I actually feel like it is progress in a way, as she's telling me what she is and isn't comfortable with. I replied that I was sorry it made her feel uncomfortable and that wasn't my intention.
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#64: January 08, 2024, 03:57:30 PM
Biscuit,

My wife says it makes her uncomfortable when I tell her I love her. So I don’t do it very often.

But I reckon it is ok to do what is right for you every now and then.

The progress I have made is that I now make good decisions for me and for my kids. I think you have managed that well.

It is just so sad. How I wish the story could be rewritten in their heads but it seems very difficult.

Help
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#65: January 08, 2024, 11:09:39 PM
Thanks Help,

Yes, I get why some one who has guilt wouldn't want to hear about how the person who they have hurt feels about anything. And on the most part I totally respect her wishes not to hear about my emotions. I suppose it must be frustrating to tell someone a few times about something that annoys you and they continue doing it. A bit like a rational partner asking you to close the toilet seat after going for a pee and you continuing to leave it open! I honestly thought she'd be ok with the anniversary message given how things have been going but I guess I was wrong.

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#66: January 08, 2024, 11:42:56 PM
Looking from cheap sheets, I feel she is preferring you "friend-zoned" and the message was  reminder of different perspective she wishes not. In the end many of the MLCrs live with the dream/illusion that you can have the cake (benefits of relationship, happy family etc) and eat it (divorce, freedom, affairs).... In the end you two need to define how the relationship is and works, and where you set the boundaries and what your life will be alike.  This time she set the boundary on you.

Possibly the question you need to answer with yourself is "can you live rest of your life friend-zoned if required?"... At least your messages convey the feeling you desire a lot more. Often time the true progress happens only when you drop the rope totally and there are no expectations or pressure (nature of the beast ).

Alvin
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« Last Edit: January 08, 2024, 11:50:44 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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#67: January 09, 2024, 02:34:57 AM
Thanks for the reply Alvin....  I'll take some to time to think about what you have said!

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#68: January 09, 2024, 07:04:35 AM
Thanks Help,

Yes, I get why some one who has guilt wouldn't want to hear about how the person who they have hurt feels about anything. And on the most part I totally respect her wishes not to hear about my emotions. I suppose it must be frustrating to tell someone a few times about something that annoys you and they continue doing it. A bit like a rational partner asking you to close the toilet seat after going for a pee and you continuing to leave it open! I honestly thought she'd be ok with the anniversary message given how things have been going but I guess I was wrong.

B

Are we sure they feel guilt?  I havent seen any mention of it in Shock Sis or any of the fog stories.  I see none of it 2 years in now.  Sure afterwards once the fog lifts/depression, but not during....

It's more psychopathic IMO.  Like devoid of any conscience/guilt.  The MLC can inflict tremendous pain on the LBS yet feel no empathy.  That's how psychopaths behave. 
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#69: January 09, 2024, 07:56:28 AM
Why,

Shocks sis described having guilt with her throughout her whole MLC but running from it as far as she could.

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#70: January 09, 2024, 07:57:23 AM
And one of my W's best friends has recently told me how W has told her she is racked with guilt
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#71: January 09, 2024, 08:45:35 AM
Why,

Shocks sis described having guilt with her throughout her whole MLC but running from it as far as she could.

I know that after the fact the MLCer says they felt very guilty throughout.  I get this.  But that's after that fact, looking back.  Like saying I was a rebellious teenager and I made mistakes as a kid, vs that kid in the moment saying they feel truly guilty and understand what they did. 

Just because you feel guilt a few years later, does not mean you experienced guilt back then.   

There's hardly any guilt.  I feel guilty that I hurt this person, so Im going to hurt them again and again???  Im just not buying it.  If anything they feel justified in their actions.
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« Last Edit: January 09, 2024, 09:10:52 AM by WHY »

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#72: January 09, 2024, 09:45:04 AM
I believe there are a number of named emotions that all exist within a tightly overlapping space. I'm thinking of guilt, remorse, and regret, at least. I won't attempt to define them but I can imagine someone actively experiencing "guilt" even as they behave in ways that would add to it. Once they have obtained a certain level of emotional maturity their "guilt" might transmute into something more productive which may result in contrition and atonement, or even just ensuring they don't end up in similar situations again.

Maybe the MLC'er does not experience guilt, maybe they do but are unable to recognize it, maybe they do but don't want to and suppress it, maybe something completely different. I don't know. Regardless of the particulars, the external behavior is just as off-putting.
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#73: January 09, 2024, 10:05:01 AM
I believe that while in crisis, the MLCer compartmentalizes anything that doesn't work for their present life. They believe that they are on the right path to "happiness" and "freedom" and don't experience what a normal person would if they hurt someone they loved, not "feeling" much of anything = Anhedonia: refers to the reduced ability to experience pleasure, and has been studied in different neuropsychiatrie disorders.

"Although it is difficult to disentangle the specific role of anhedonia in major depressive disorder, imaging studies have clearly shown that the severity of anhedonia is correlated, in depressed patients, with a deficit of activity of the ventral striatum (reflecting decreased function of the nucleus accumbens, probably as a primary event) and an excess of activity of ventral region of the prefrontal cortex (concerning an increased function of the VMPFC and the orbitofrontal cortex, probably as a secondary phenomenon)."

If this is of interest, there is more indepth at https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3181880/.

There is something "wrong" with the MLCer's capacity to "feel" anything and the causation has been debated many times...without any clear answer to why. Mermaid did great research into this several years ago on HS.

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Like saying I was a rebellious teenager and I made mistakes as a kid, vs that kid in the moment saying they feel truly guilty and understand what they did.
Teenagers do not admit to "wrong doing". What changes a child from a sweet enjoyable boy or girl to a teen that seems to have no boundaries or concern about their families...and then back again as they reach young adulthood and leave much of their risk taking behaviour behind them, is part of their developmental stage of life as per Erik Erickson "Identity vs Confusion."

Not all do and some continue with substance abuse, sexual promiscuity, high risk taking behaviours etc . into adulthood.

We do not know what is going on in the MLCer's head. It is interesting when MLCers come back and give us some insight into their personal journey as well as LBS posters who continue to have a relationship years later with their spouse...the observations are all subjective and as Acorn has coined the phrase "a sample of one" should always be kept in mind.

My question, for I am curious is: what does it matter if they feel guilt or not? Doesn't change much for the LBSer.


I also suggest reflecting on Why's comment and perhaps looking at it differently:

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I feel guilty that I hurt this person, so Im going to hurt them again and again???  Im just not buying it. 

So can we detach enough so that their actions don't hurt us? Do we allow ourselves to be hurt by "expecting" that they are going to act in a normal human way...or like the person they once were? For they are not that person anymore.

A technique my therapist taught me was to freeze frame the situation that is causing me distress. Make it smaller, make it less bright, dim the lights, decrease the volume until it becomes something I can manage without being set off kilter. It helped me a lot when I was unable to comprehend...why the heck is he doing what he is doing?

And of course MLC 101...this is not about us and not about our marriage.
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« Last Edit: January 09, 2024, 11:52:06 AM by xyzcf »
"Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see" Hebrews 11:1

"You enrich my life and are a source of joy and consolation to me. But if I lose you, I will not, I must not spend the rest of my life in unhappiness."

" The truth does not change according to our ability to stomach it". Flannery O'Connor

https://www.midlifecrisismarriageadvocate.com/chapter-contents.html

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#74: January 09, 2024, 10:23:59 AM
Quote
I believe that while in crisis, the MLCer compartmentalizes anything that doesn't work for their present life. They believe that they are on the right path to "happiness" and "freedom" and don't experience what a normal person would if they hurt someone they loved, not "feeling" much of anything = Anhedonia: refers to the reduced ability to experience pleasure, and has been studied in different neuropsychiatrie disorders


I agree. I do think some depending on how long they have been in the MLC and what type they are clinging vs vanisher shows just how much they are avoiding. My XH was a clinging boomerang as long as I contacted him, but vanishes if I don’t. The last convo we had 8 mths ago when I said I could not be in contact with him anymore he said, I’m sorry. I don’t know what happened to me.  I believe that ! I also know in 2018 when I said he had to open up, get some help or leave, he said, I can’t talk about it!!  I do think  for some their pain is just to immense to address, but I do think at least in my XH case that he knows something is terrible wrong. And a fresh face and family allows him to be who he chooses to be now where thats how they know him, because those from the past can see he isn’t him self
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There is almost something harder about someone being alive and having to lose what you believed to be true of them than someone actually dying.

Indefatigability - determined to do or achieve something; firmness of purpose
perspicacity- a clarity of vision or intellect which provides a deep understanding and insight

Married July 1991
Jan 2018 BD1 moved out I filed for Div/ H stopped it
Oct 2018 moved back
Oct 2020 BD2
Feb 2021 Div-29 1/2 years
July 2021 Married OW
Feb 2022  XH fired
May 2023 went NC after telling XH we could not be friends
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#75: January 10, 2024, 08:22:04 AM
Wow.....

I got an apology from my MLCer today - I'm really sorry to have caused you so much upset.

It felt sincere, let's see what happens in the coming months - it's definitely felt like she was trying very hard to make up for the past recently but this is the first time it has been vocalised.

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#76: January 10, 2024, 10:08:06 AM
Wow.....

I got an apology from my MLCer today - I'm really sorry to have caused you so much upset.

It felt sincere, let's see what happens in the coming months - it's definitely felt like she was trying very hard to make up for the past recently but this is the first time it has been vocalised.

That's quite the change.  BUT, remember, you're a pro LBS at this point.  You need to see signs of consistent behavior over a long period of time before making any conclusions.  They will continue to run back into the tunnel and go through all the stages again...  So brace yourself.  I think it took Shocksis another 18 months?

But hey, it's something, if not for your own internal closure/peace.  Keep doing what you're doing Biscuit. 
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#77: January 10, 2024, 10:23:10 AM
You're correct Why - draw zero conclusions - but it was very refreshing and felt heartfelt on her part....

But yeah we all know - rinse and repeat!
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#78: January 11, 2024, 12:50:58 PM
Is it about two years Biscuit?

How does it feel? Better or worse.
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#79: January 11, 2024, 04:09:17 PM
help,

It's 2 years next month. The general trajectory for me has been upwards. The first year was really really tough, but I could see I was making progress even when I was at my lowest ebb.
In the last year it has got a lot easier. I've progressed hugely with my personal growth and healing in this time. But, it's really only possible to see how much in hindsight, as the steps are generally small ones when you're taking them. A bit like trudging through sticky mud for a year - without once looking back. It feels like a right slog, but then when you turn back and look where you were - you've actually walked many many miles.
I'm not sure I would have ever voluntarily stopped drinking and partying whilst I was living with W - so it's good that I've taken a good long hard look at myself and got myself in check.

Do I wish it hadn't happened - yes, definitely.
Am I making the most of what I've currently got - without doubt!

Thanks, B x
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#80: January 11, 2024, 04:52:40 PM
I think most of the situation “getting better” over time is actually a result of the LBS evolving and becoming stronger.  Stuff that would leave me in a puddle for days in the beginning no longer affects me in the same way.  I think it’s less about MLCer improvement and more about LBS strength. 

In reading RCR and HB, it seems like the MLCer change is so slow, it’s only noticed like 6 months down the line and not in the moment. 

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#81: January 11, 2024, 04:54:02 PM
Good work Biscuit

I too am a much better creature. But gee, I wish she would give me a go.

I hope you both find your way forward
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#82: January 11, 2024, 09:34:07 PM
Biscuit, so sorry you got the smackdown over your anniversary text.  I have heard that it's best to mirror the MLCer.  IF they wish you a Happy Birthday, then their next birthday you can wish them one.  On anniversaries, let them reach out.  They may or may not, but put the ball in their court.

Now, this doesn't mean that you can't privately do something yourself to honor the day.  Give yourself a little gift, or go on an outing, or if it's not too painful, re-watch your wedding video.  Maybe not 2 years in, but later, when you are stronger.

The first few years, the passing of the anniversary meant everything to me.  I had to definitely find some self-care for the day.  But after time moved on, it felt ok to just let the day slide by.  Of course, at that point my MLCer was married to someone else, so it just made sense, for me.
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#83: January 11, 2024, 10:33:20 PM
Faith,

That's great advice - thank you! I like the idea of a little private celebration, because, to me, it is worth celebrating - it was the start of many many happy times, which were real, at least to me. Recently W accepts and has said that we had many good years and loads of wonderful moments together.

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#84: January 12, 2024, 06:25:34 AM
Quote from: Biscuit
Do I wish it hadn't happened - yes, definitely.
Am I making the most of what I've currently got - without doubt!

I love these sentences ! Well done, and thanks to write here
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#85: January 14, 2024, 03:04:40 PM
Thanks for the replies fellow LBSers.

Last couple of days with the kids have been brilliant - we've had so much fun - we went to a funfair / arcade. We've watched films and eaten dinner on the sofa (this is definitely a treat in our house, we usually sit at the table as a rule - bith W and I had this instilled into us as children and it's stuck with both if us since).

An interesting observation came upon me tonight. Yesterday I dropped D at a Saturday club (very close to where W is). As I got there W texted to ask if I'd go round there to see her for a chat (I've no idea about what, but she obviously wanted to speak to me when the kids aren't around).
The Biscuit of even a few months ago would've been round there like  a shot, and totally monkeybraining about what she needed to speak to me about alone.
Well I texted back and said it's not convenient now as I'm using the Saturday club time to do something, and unless it's urgent it will have to wait. Didn't even worry about what it is she wanted to say - theres not much more she can sling at me that would hurt me any further than she has TBH. 
Anyway apparently it can wait. I'm not going to worry about what  it is until I find out - if that makes sense?

Night, B x
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#86: January 14, 2024, 06:27:13 PM
That is a good sign B.

It is amazing when the power dynamic changes. When there is no more hurt than can give you.

But I believe in love and reconciliation. If that is what both want and are prepared to work at it.

Of course, I am fool. But I don’t mind being that fool.
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#87: January 14, 2024, 10:44:18 PM
Helpnewc,

I agree it's a good sign. I'm going to suggest a small edit to what you said:

That is a good sign B.

It is amazing when the power dynamic changes. When there is no more hurt than can give you.

But AND I believe in love and reconciliation. If that is what both want and are prepared to work at it.

Of course, I am fool. But I don’t mind being that fool.


Not a fool. I changed to "And" to emphasize that the LBS healing is not in opposition to possible reconciliation. Those that have reconciled show the strength and reserves they need for that process.
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#88: January 15, 2024, 02:04:05 AM
I like the edit
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#89: January 15, 2024, 05:46:22 AM
Hello,

Quote
The Biscuit of even a few months ago would've been round there like  a shot, and totally monkeybraining about what she needed to speak to me about alone.
Well I texted back and said it's not convenient now as I'm using the Saturday club time to do something, and unless it's urgent it will have to wait. Didn't even worry about what it is she wanted to say - theres not much more she can sling at me that would hurt me any further than she has TBH.
Anyway apparently it can wait. I'm not going to worry about what  it is until I find out - if that makes sense?

You are learning the game. You don't have to jump at every moment on her whims. Trust me, if the tables were turned, she wouldn't rush to speak to you either. You responded like someone in a healthy mindset would respond. You did state you had other plans, but if it was important, you would drop those plans. Of course, if it was a true emergency, she would have called you.

You are now in a different place and that makes a difference because you are not wasting a lot of emotional energy on possible exchanges. This keeps you grounded and not wired to her crisis. After all,

Quote
Treasur, w has kind of said, like she did when she bomb dropped that the kids are hers, the cats are hers and the house is hers. Which is obviously ridiculous as all these things are shared. She likes the life we built, just wants to erase me from it!

I don't know your wife and I have never talked to her at all. However, from the post above, she doesn't want to erase you, she wants complete control. When people feel that they are losing control over a situation especially their life (ie Mid-life crisis) they begin to take very controlling actions to try and bring the illusion of control back.

However, reality is that no one is in complete control. Some may know more and have more influence than others, but there is no ultimate human or group of humans that controls and orchestrates our world. Your wife doesn't, Ready doesn't and neither do you. We try and make decisions and take actions over ourselves and influence others. We don't always make the right choices and don't always influence our loved ones. That's okay, it's called life.

And now you have reached the point where you are living yours again.

Have a great day,

(((Ready)))
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#90: January 15, 2024, 07:36:59 AM
Thanks Ready,

The control thing is interesting actually. W and I had a conversation last week where she said she isn't comfortable with me being friends with her friends or speaking to her family. That's strange I said, aren't you constantly hanging out with my best mate? That's different she said - "she's more my friend now - so why are you always calling her?|. Because Mrs Biscuit - I've called her on a near daily basis for almost 30 years and I'm not about to stop because we have seperated and the 2 of you are friends. And by the way, I'm absolutely fine with you being friends with people who I introduced you to.
Then the conversation moved onto her best friend from childhood. I met my W and her besty from school on the same night. The 3 of us became great friends. Then I started dating W some months later, we all continued to be friends, we lived together, holidayed together, hung out etc.
So in the last 2 years I haven't seen her best mate as much, obviously. But, we stay in touch by text and see each other occasionally. W told me last week that it makes her friend uncomfortable that I contact her. Really, that's odd Mrs Biscuit - she often contacts me.
Anyway that evening I happened to bump into W's best friend at a birthday drinks. Her friend told me then that she was totally comfortable hanging out with me but had done less in the first year or so after BD because W had given her the cold shoulder or been rude to her about staying in contact with me.
At the time W had told me this friend of hers felt uncomfortable around me.   It was nice to know the truth - and that W was , as you say Ready, trying to control the situation.
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#91: January 20, 2024, 01:05:07 PM
Biscuit,

Did you have the conversation with your wife?

Help
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#92: January 21, 2024, 01:52:41 AM
Help,

Had a few conversations in the last few days with her. It seems to me like her trigger at the moment is controlling her 'story' or how others percieve her. When talking to mutual friends they might often say - how are the W and kids? That is if they haven't seen them. I might tell them that they've gone to a museum or on a day out today, something quite innocuous and that they are all fine. If my W were to then speak to this mutual friend and the friend would  say - Oh I heard you and the kids went to see that exhibit last week - then that will really stir anger in W with me. Like I'm somehow trying to control other peoples perception of her.
I've explained to W that who I speak to and what about is none of her business - and the same for her. I think it's going to be a tough lesson for her to learn that we can't control anything others people do and say but can only control our reaction to what is said and done. I know that has been a hard lesson for me to learn in  the last couple of years, but it has been an essential piece of my healing.

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#93: January 21, 2024, 02:28:25 AM
Yes, the control stuff is so weird.

First you are accused of it. And then they want to control you.

It remains the strangest experience of my life.

The apology seems to have not led to any greater insight.
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#94: January 21, 2024, 03:07:27 AM
Help,

No, the apology was never going to be insightful, she's still in crisis! But it was an acknowledgement, which to me was an important step - she may have acknowledged to herself that she has behaved badly, but to admit this to someone else I think is a step forward.
Whilst in the throes of the crisis the double standards will continue - yes it crazymaking sometimes for the LBS  - but accept that's the way it is for the moment. Don't accept any blame which is yours not to shoulder.
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#95: January 21, 2024, 03:31:40 AM
And the need to control others is really just a loss of self control.
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#96: January 22, 2024, 12:58:22 AM
Help,

No, the apology was never going to be insightful, she's still in crisis! But it was an acknowledgement, which to me was an important step - she may have acknowledged to herself that she has behaved badly, but to admit this to someone else I think is a step forward.

There is a quote that says something to the effect of "An apology without a change in behaviour is only manipulation."
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A "friend" will not "stand by you" no matter what you do. That is NOT a friend. That is an enabler. That is an accomplice.
A REAL friend will sit you down and tell you to your face to stop being a firetrucking idiot before you ruin your life and the lives of those around you.

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#97: January 22, 2024, 01:46:34 AM
Good point Ursa

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#98: January 26, 2024, 10:42:01 AM
There is a quote that says something to the effect of "An apology without a change in behaviour is only manipulation."



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#99: January 29, 2024, 06:13:57 AM
An interesting week or so in MLC land over here.

Things with me have been really good. After a long period of work being totally crap (due to industrial action in my industry), things have picked up massively with more work coming in than we have seen in 6 months. This is great for me as I love keeping busy and new projects mean a new creative outlet.

We have been doing end of year taxes and W and I have been on lots pf calls about that. We had a tax problem and so we are cashing in some investments to make things easier (it's just moving money really but it's complicated). W has grabbed the bull by the horns on this and has organised all the meetings to hit the dealines. That has been great to witness as she is clearly back to being really good with this stuff. In order to free up some money we have both agreed to cash in some savings - now here's an interesting turn of events - W has twice what I do in her name in investments, but she suggested she cash in the whole lot and give me some to cover the fact I have less. This was quite significant as she had no need to do so (legally speaking the money is hers) - but offered to share to help me. Thanks Mrs Biscuit - that was actually really kind - especially given where we were a year ago when she wasn't sharing much at all - progress in some way.

I've also had a slight problem with S. He got upset last week about something that would normally have blown over in a day or so. But the next day he's attacking me over text - not only for what he and I had disagreed with but also accused me of crossing W's boundaries and not treating her right. The thing was the way he was sayijng it, and the specific things he accused me of were phrased exactly as W had put them in a discussion a couple of weeks ago.
I thought about this for a couple of days - then decided to ask W about it. I said, "W - our son is accusing me of stuff which we discussed a while ago - and the funny thing is about it is that he knows the specific things and details than you and I discussed. This leads me to think that the only way he could know these specifics would be:
1. He's bugged one of our houses or phones
2. he's overheard one of us talking about this disagreement with a friend
3. One of us has directly told him exactly what was said in that conversation (but I didn't say anything to S - and I can't imagine you would have discussed this either Mrs. B)"

And W immediately 'fessed up and said, "I'm sorry, I discussed that conversation with S - I didn't think he'd hold that against you"
I then said that it was inappropriate for W to discuss what we had spoken about - and involving our son is bound to create problems - she is his mother and of course he's going to get annoyed if he thinks someone has wronged her. She treats S like a friend sometimes more than a child and I pointed out that blurring that line between parent and friend might not be the best way to communicate with our children. She listened and I hope took this on board - but we'll see. Anyway she was very apologetic - but that may be because she got caught out - who knows?
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#100: February 15, 2024, 04:37:01 PM
Great that she is sharing finances!  Sorry about the over-sharing with your son.  My friend just split with her husband and he told their 10 year old all sorts of adult stuff about the situation.  Horrible.
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#101: February 21, 2024, 06:12:34 AM
So, today marks 2 years since BD. A lot has changed in that time and I thought I'd post for my own benefit and maybe some of the newer members might like to read about how the situation is (sample of one - obviously!) 2 years down the line.

The first 6 months or so were horrible - I moved out of the family home (before I knew anything about MLC and was being guilt tripped into believing I was an awful person). Then almost as soon as I was out W started a new relationship (could have been before - not much truth happening then!). That was the hardest bit I think. W was monstering about everything under the sun.

By a year in my main struggles were with W wanting to introduce her new boyfriend (boy being quite apt - she never told me how old he was but maybe 15 or so younger) to our kids and have him over at our house. That too hurt like hell. The thought of another person being in my home with my kids - super icky.

18 months in and the cracks were really starting to appear in the fantasy. I think OM had gone - don't know what happened there - not my business really. Soon after this W really started to soften and be much nicer to me. This made things so much easier - I could be honest in conversation and no longer felt like I was walking on eggshells the whole time. We began to talk regularly as well as texting each other many times a day.

2 years in - so we are still reconnecting - but it's a very slow process. We don't really have any relationship talks as such but we do speak often and show each other respect and it's obvious we care a great deal about each other. The selfishness is there from time to time, but nothing like before. Things are getting easier and we often spend evenings or days together as a family and those times are good. W is very very slowly showing signs of returning to the person she was. I don't know how she is when I'm not around, but I suspect she struggles with much of what she has done in the last 2 years. Again I don't know, and we've not spoken about that.

In terms of my personal development. Well that has been enormous. Back at BD time I was regularly drinking too much, and partying a bit too much too. That's all gone - I couldn't have handled this all still doing that. I've run a marathon - which I never could have imagined doing. I'm much healthier overall.
I'm pretty good - all things considered. I'm not one of those who say I'm glad this happened, because I'm not. I miss having W with me - as an ally and friend and cuddling up to her at night and all those things. However, I've accepted that she no longer wants that. Would I try and reconcile if the chance ever came along? I think I'd give it my best shot - like everything in life! But if that chance never comes along then I'm determined to still make the best of my life.


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#102: February 21, 2024, 07:07:34 AM
Such a nice update Biscuit, thanks for sharing.

There is a set of "milestones" for the LBSer and it may take different lengths of time to get there for each of us. Your expereince will help others see that they will not always be in such intense pain as they once were.

Quote
2 years in - so we are still reconnecting - but it's a very slow process. We don't really have any relationship talks as such but we do speak often and show each other respect and it's obvious we care a great deal about each other. The selfishness is there from time to time, but nothing like before. Things are getting easier and we often spend evenings or days together as a family and those times are good. W is very very slowly showing signs of returning to the person she was. I don't know how she is when I'm not around, but I suspect she struggles with much of what she has done in the last 2 years. Again I don't know, and we've not spoken about that.

Your observations are also helpful and glad to see that she is showing a different persona two years in. Unfortunately, for some MLCers it takes much longer.

The fact is, you have made a decision to allow her to go through her crisis without interfering and a huge amount of acceptance of what she is going through.   You have not shut her out and have grown in your own self greatly, becoming a "better version of yourself"...a phrase Matthew Kelly uses.....

I too enjoy the times we spend together as a family, even though our daughter is an adult and doesn't live nearby. These family times are really important to all of us.

So thanks for your encouraging post that it is possible to build something from the ashes. You are showing that you can focus on taking care of yourself and growing and still show compassion and empathy to your spouse.

This is something each one of us decides for ourselves. it requires a great deal of patience and the ability to learn how not to take their actions "personally"...not always easy but possible.

Continue to update us please. I always find it interesting to watch the process unfold in their crisis.
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#103: February 21, 2024, 10:23:55 AM
Has she shown any signs of taking accountability for what she did?  Or started to “do the work” on herself?

I just ask because what may feel like reconnection to you.  Is actually just another coping mechanism for her as she continues her crisis.

Either way you’re doing fantastic and keep it up.  Be that lighthouse.  But I’ve learned so much about these MLCers.   It’s hard for me to take things at face value anymore. 

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#104: February 21, 2024, 02:18:47 PM
Why,

Thanks for replying. So, "doing the work", hmmm, depends on how you look at it. Accountability? - not so much, a couple of apologies but other than that not much. Getting help from a trained therapist? - I don't think so, although she has spoken about it - we don't live together so I'm not sure what she does when we're not hanging out together. Starting to reflect and understand what has happened? - yes I think so.
So yes, there's a long way to go in those respects.

What do I see, which I would be interpreted as not a coping mechanism but the actions of a person reconnecting with an estranged friend or spouse? A lot actually. She  shows great kindness, although tries to hide this sometimes, (for instance I have received very thoughtful gifts - which the kids have said mum chose, or bought - but when I thank W for them she says - oh S or D got that for you). She makes a real effort to ask how I feel about a situation or topic - but I sometimes feel like she finds it hard to understand or comprehend my response (lack of empathy maybe). She goes out of her way to help me  out with the kids if she knows I'm busy or have work commitments. I've journalled very recently that she has financially helped out with our combined tax bill this year - she did not have to do this at all.
We genuinely have fun together, we laugh, joke, poke fun at each other and enjoy each others company (up to a point!). I'd say these things feel like a reconnection. We also have had good and pretty deep conversations about a range of topics - mostly to do with the kids - some about family and friends - but none about "us".
It feels like progress to me - it's definitely better than a year ago, and probably 3 months ago, and maybe even better since last month - and if it stays at this and we just stay as friends and co-parents then I'll take that over monster wife from hell anyday.
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#105: February 21, 2024, 02:38:38 PM
That sounds very positive.  Good for you two.  Keep at it and please keep the updates coming. 
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#106: February 21, 2024, 03:12:52 PM
Will do Why!

Thanks for following along. So glad we all have each other here on HS. A really wide range of views on the whys (no pun intended) and wherefores of the MLC situation. A hugely wide range of personal experiences of our spouses and x's but with common themes obviously.. But the real defining trademark for me is how much compassion and empathy pretty much everyone I've interacted with here has. That would be another take away from the last 2 years - the camaraderie and support from the hugely diverse members of HS - a proper lifeline for many of us I'm sure..  I think it takes a special type of person to try and understand a spouse going through this - rather than just totally sacking them off - and there are many special, wise and understanding people on HS. I'm very glad I found you when I did - what an enormous source of support and advice.

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#107: February 21, 2024, 09:21:12 PM
I would have never got through this without this place.  Thank you fellow LBS. 
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#108: February 27, 2024, 03:29:40 PM
Hi all,

It's funny how, sometimes when you're not looking for advice or even really thinking about your own situ - just reading up on HS and seeing how your fellow travellers on the forward moving journey are getting on - and you happen upon something that feels really pertinent and relevant for how you've been feeling. Tonight I got one of those little gifts. I think it was French Husband that had compiled some reconnection stories and data recently - I used to hang onto these stories in the early days, I think we all do, not so much now - but I saw mention of a poster that I couldn't remember from when I was first on HS - Broken Hearted 1971 - so I looked him up - and the first comment I saw on his thread was this, from BBhelp:

"The other suggestion I would give you BH.  Try not to have so many "Discussions".  Listen...you are trying to solve a Rubik's Cube...She is trying to solve one blindfolded.  NEITHER of you know what , when, why or how...you are just turning the damn cube over and over.  Slow down.  You cannot get to where you are trying to go overnight...no matter how many times you talk about it 2+2 still doesn't equal 5.  You need to have discussions on the weather, the children, the news, etc.  Watch a movie, play a game.  Bring down the pressure on you both. "

It felt like I needed that advice today. I've hung out with W quite a bit in the last few days and I've been thinking about trying to discuss "us" but I realise when reading that thread that this is not the time, she's no where near ready for me to broach that discussion - and maybe when she is she will let me know. I should just enjoy that time every couple of days when we get to sit and chat about not much for what it is - then go about my day and let her be.

We are enjoying each others company atm and are starting to spend more time together when it's time for the kids to switch houses. It used to be just say hi, hand over the stuff and then bugger off. Now, it's always, come in, have a cuppa and sit and watch some TV or chat a bit about work or friends or the kids. Much less transactional and much more friendly - and the hand over has gone from seconds to sometimes an hour or so. It all feels really natural and easy (at least for me- and I think for W too). Anyway - feels like progress - and the kids definitely like all of us hanging out and having a bit of a chat and a laugh together.


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#109: March 11, 2024, 03:07:36 PM
Bit of random journalling!

It was Mother's Day here in the UK yesterday, or Mothering Sunday as it was traditionally known I believe. I made sure the kids made a really big fuss of their mum. She has been a fantastic mum to them in the past (not so much a couple of years ago!) and is, again, a wonderful mother to them now. I didn't spend the day with them as I was seeing my own mum and my sister, but I booked (and paid for) her favourite restaurant for a slap up meal for W, the kids and MIL.
I also took the kids shopping so they could each choose a gift and additionally D12 choose a load of photos from my computer which we had printed and then she made into a scrap book. I also bought something for the kids to give to W which I knew she'd love. Anyway she had a lovely day with them - and was touched by the presents and fuss they made of her..... job done. She thanked me for my efforts too and let me know how special her day had been.
I had a lovely time with my mum too - a big family brunch at my house with tons of food and love and laughs.

In the evening I took S17 to an incredibly swish industry party I'd been invited to attend. We had a wonderful (and quite late) night. It was so nice to see him interacting with some seriously talented industry professionals (S17 wants to work in the same industry as me and W) and hold his own in conversations. He is wise beyonds his years sometimes and has such amazing knowledge about a range of subjects. He did me proud and I'm really glad he came along.

Not really much to report other than that. We're continuing along on our path of slow reconnection. Oh there was one thing - W mentioned that there was an exhibition she'd like to go and see. I said - do you want to go together? She said she'd like that a lot. Not sure if that will happen but if it does it will be the first time we've done something like that since BD.
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#110: March 12, 2024, 02:18:09 AM
Thank to journal the good news ! There are few reconnection stories and all the stories that are ongoing bring hope to me :  firstly because you are getting better and better, your children as well. Then because you handle the slow reconnection very well. You and W doing something together would be great, yes, and you know you can keep "no expectation" until it actually happens
Please continue to journal here !

Quote from: Biscuit
It's funny how, sometimes when you're not looking for advice or even really thinking about your own situ - just reading up on HS and seeing how your fellow travellers on the forward moving journey are getting on - and you happen upon something that feels really pertinent and relevant for how you've been feeling. Tonight I got one of those little gifts. I think it was French Husband that had compiled some reconnection stories and data recently - I used to hang onto these stories in the early days, I think we all do, not so much now - but I saw mention of a poster that I couldn't remember from when I was first on HS - Broken Hearted 1971 - so I looked him up -

Isn't it an example of what CG Jung calls "synchronicity" ? I am glad I was part of helping you, even without knowing it.

 
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M 44, W43. Married 18 years, together 21
3 children D17, D15, S6
OM discovered Dec 22, BD Jan 23 (few days after)
W still living at home
Aimer, c'est donner sans attendre de retour et tout acte est prière, s'il est don de soi (Antoine de Saint Exupéry)
Love means to give without expecting return, and every act is a prayer if it is a self-gift. (thanks OffRoad !)

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#111: March 12, 2024, 02:45:16 AM
Nice to hear that you sound in a better place, Biscuit, and we all wish you well.
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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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#112: March 12, 2024, 07:03:32 AM
Thanks for the update. Helping your children to make sure that their mother has a good Mother's Day teaches them many good things. You can rest knowing that she had a wonderful day and the beauty is...you didn't do any of this expecting that it will change anything...but because she is mother to your children.

I also loved reading about your son...smiling. To see them grow and expand into their own worlds is so fascinating. Glad he got to attend that function with you.

Quote
Oh there was one thing - W mentioned that there was an exhibition she'd like to go and see. I said - do you want to go together? She said she'd like that a lot. Not sure if that will happen but if it does it will be the first time we've done something like that since BD.

I have worked with dysfunctional families throughout my nursing career and for the past 12 years with children who have severely dysfunctional families. The family dynamics in my family are dysfunctional...we are a broken mess. Yet, still a family. The fruits of being able to remain in contact has been important for our family.....in my case, it's hard sometimes......because he remains an enigma.

I can enjoy being with him, the hard part for me is dealing with how I would like more, and he is not capable of giving me more. It gives me insight into the reality of who he is so it's helpful as I sometimes think of him as who he was.

He'll come to my home this week, I will make us a St Patrick's Day meal. We will cook together and talk about many things, but not a word about "us".

Thank you for posting. You have a great balance between your own needs and those of your family.
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« Last Edit: March 12, 2024, 07:06:11 AM by xyzcf »
"Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see" Hebrews 11:1

"You enrich my life and are a source of joy and consolation to me. But if I lose you, I will not, I must not spend the rest of my life in unhappiness."

" The truth does not change according to our ability to stomach it". Flannery O'Connor

https://www.midlifecrisismarriageadvocate.com/chapter-contents.html

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#113: March 12, 2024, 08:14:06 AM
This...

"I can enjoy being with him, the hard part for me is dealing with how I would like more, and he is not capable of giving me more. It gives me insight into the reality of who he is so it's helpful as I sometimes think of him as who he was."

Exactly this for me too.

For me it's slowly slowly getting used to the new normal of spending time with W - which itself is constantly evolving too. A few months ago I would be treated like I had an infectious disease if I got too physically close to W. Now she gives me a big hug when we part company. This is just one easily discernible thing to observe but there are many verbal or non verbal cues which  I can notice evolving over time. The trick is to not read too much into these or have any expectation that there will be any sudden changes.
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#114: March 24, 2024, 04:41:13 PM
Minor bit of journalling - I think I like to do this now and again so I can look back in time, as well as a chronicle to other members of HS!

Had a really wonderful weekend with the kids. They were both in a stage show today and I offered to help as a chaperone as I have a police check in place to work with children.
Wow - what a great thing to do. The show was amazing, 250 kids of mixed ages and abilities in perfoming arts - but they really just seemed like one unit. The amount of times I heard the older kids spurring on the young ones and giving them props. It totally melted my heart.

There were 2 shows and I watched the second one with W and MIL after being relieved of my chaperoning duties by another parent. W had friends over all weekend but was keen to come along. We sat and watched our kids belt out songs and do dance numbers and had a couple of drinks and danced along in our seats with big smiles on our faces. it was really special.

When I got home with the kids and W went to the family home without us we continued chatting over text about plans in the next couple of weeks. I let W know that all of the kids and my efforts putting on the show were worth it to sit and watch the show with her and how much I had enjoyed it. She kind of ignored that text but I'm glad I let her know. About 50 messages back and forth after that I'm ready for bed and happy that we'd spent the evening together and that I can do that without any fear or expectation from her - I guess that's detchment at some level.

Anyway - it was an excellent show and I had a wonderful time with my children all weekend and with my W for a few hours at the end of it.
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« Last Edit: March 24, 2024, 04:42:44 PM by Biscuit »

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#115: March 31, 2024, 03:36:29 AM
Happy Easter everyone on HS, particularly those on here who draw strength from their faith.
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#116: March 31, 2024, 11:11:53 AM
Happy Easter Biscuit. Today is truly a message of hope and joy.
May all members of this community, families and those struggling find the hope that Our Lord gives us this day and always.

Alleluia, He IS risen!
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"Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see" Hebrews 11:1

"You enrich my life and are a source of joy and consolation to me. But if I lose you, I will not, I must not spend the rest of my life in unhappiness."

" The truth does not change according to our ability to stomach it". Flannery O'Connor

https://www.midlifecrisismarriageadvocate.com/chapter-contents.html

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#117: March 31, 2024, 03:20:14 PM
Here here, Xy,

I'm not at all religious but I realise that many on here are and I have an enormous amount of respect for other peoples beliefs and faith.

All the best, I hope you enjoy this most special of days.

B x
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#118: April 02, 2024, 03:50:14 PM
Quick journalling and observations.

So it's Easter holidays for the kids at the moment. We were going to split the holidays but I had some last minute, and very concentrated work come in and I asked W to take up the slack with childcare and she agreed to pretty much look after them the whole time so I can take care of work commitments.

Last week D12 spoke to us about doing an Easter Egg hunt - which is a family tradition on Easter Sunday and W told D she thought that maybe she was too old for that kind of thing. D12 looked crestfallen - I think sometimes the kids hang on to these traditions as they represent their recent past. I think W noticed this too because she agreed later that the kids still find it fun. Anyway - I wasn't invited over on Easter day by W for the egg hunt but I think they had a fun day and a nice Easter Sunday roast with W  - and that was the important part.

Yesterday was Easter Monday - so a bank holiday in the UK. I had arranged to pick up D12 and take her to a gallery and for a walk. When I got over to the family house to pick her up she wasn't so keen!  I said it was her day with me to do whatever she liked and she can choose what we do -  she chose rock climbing - pretty random! The next available session wasn't for a couple of hours so I booked it then D12, me and W sat around chatting and drinking tea and having a laugh. It was a nice bit of family time and I said to W that I enjoyed these moments. She said nothing - but her smile maybe suggested that she does too.

Rock climbing was great, exhausting and a proper work out! Then D12 cooked lunch for me and her and we hung out and watched films and read together.
Then it came to the late evening and time to drop her back with W. Much colder reception form W in the evening - she wanted me to just drop D12 and go - no invite in or what have you.

Today I had to work but D12 and I were meant to come to my house this evening to watch football and have dinner. As I left work W called and asked when I'd be back to pick up D12. D12 wasn't keen on going anywhere (she was listening in on the conversation) and said, "mum why can't daddy come here and watch football and have dinner"... W said - yes that's fine. So we all had dinner together, and D12, S17, W and I watched the football and had a really nice evening. I could tell W was tired and she went up to bed before the game was finished. Anyway it was a lovely family evening.
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#119: April 11, 2024, 04:38:45 PM
Just journaling....

Not really much to report. The last few days have mainly been me working hard and having a bit of contact with kids and W.
On Tuesday night I had some stuff to drop to the kids whilst they stay with W during the holidays and I work. When I arrived to see the kids and W I was invited in and hung out with them all and watched TV for a couple of hours and shared a couple of glasses of wine with W. It was a really nice evening, and my take away was how this would be such a boring / ordinary evening for almost everyone I know. For me, after BD, it seems like some kind of paradise! The opportunity to just hang out with my family and watch crap TV seems so precious that I'll never take that situation for granted ever again.

Work has gone bananas, which is great for our finances, but lame for spending time with the family, but after a long period of no work I feel grateful for it.

W seems very irate about finances in the last few days, despite agreeing that we're not actually in any dire situation and have at least enough money to sustain us for a year or so. Maybe she's planning some kind of escape again and wants to make sure she has enough money to do so? Who knows? She's being totally transparent about spending recently and seems committed to trying to make our combined income work for the family.
Such a weird situation sometimes, operating as a family unit in terms of childcare and finances etc but not living together or sharing other elements of family life. I've kind of got used to it but I'm sure to outsiders or those not familiar with MLC it would seem totally wonky.
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#120: April 12, 2024, 12:20:59 PM
And then today I asked if w and the kids wanted to come over for some food and to hang out this weekend.

W texted back saying she wasn’t comfortable being asked over for lunch.
Then 2 minutes later was back to sending funny photos etc.
The flip flopping doesn’t really bother me at all anymore but it is pretty odd!
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#121: April 15, 2024, 12:55:10 AM
And then today I asked if w and the kids wanted to come over for some food and to hang out this weekend.

W texted back saying she wasn’t comfortable being asked over for lunch.
Then 2 minutes later was back to sending funny photos etc.
The flip flopping doesn’t really bother me at all anymore but it is pretty odd!
flipity flopity flip flip flop
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Me - 60, xW - 54
Together 19 years - Married 17 at separation & 21 at D-Day
S - 16, D - 12
1 Dog
BD#1 - August 2015
Atomic BD - 13 Dec 2015
House sold & separated - Mar 2016
Divorce final 30 August 2019
Moved on in life

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