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Author Topic: My Story living is an opportunity

F
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My Story living is an opportunity
OP: September 19, 2023, 01:32:37 PM
Hell all, Here I go for a second thread ! Thank you so much to this community, for the great ressources and advices that are available here. It helps me a lot to read your words. Now I feel the need to change the title, that was previously surviving a MLC

Now I know that I will survive whatever the outcome. More than survive, I will live, eventually thrive. And, to copy Acorn's words, my life is not defined by MLCer, so the new title is consistent with what I want to do : focus more on myself. This is my journey, my life. So no reference anymore to MLC.

Then the opportunity word comes from my IC. The counselor asked me at the end of our first session "then this situation with your W is for you an opportunity ?". It took me a few seconds to answer, then I said yes. I never wanted this to happen, and I don't wish to anybody to become a member of this LBS club. But now that I am in, I choose to face the situation, to make it an opportunity for me.

I am now accompanied by an IC and a spiritual counselor. I want to deep dive in my childhood wounds in order to understand and overcome some of my "hurting patterns" that I could not amend by myself. I took many inputs from W as I value her point of view : W is the person who knows me best. I want also to deepen my inner life, since I do that I observe that I improve my relationships with others.

To make a summary, I had BD in January 2023, since then I am working on myself and after ~2 months I detached. Then from February to August I have seen a very slow and steady reconnection from W and a slow improvement of our relationship.
 
August 20th, I got a car incident when driving with our children. Nobody was hurt, then I observed that this car incident was a big push for W in her crisis, kind of repetition of BD. She immediately disconnected with the children and me, now she is reconnecting very fast with our children, and with me she is currently on a rollercoaster. She sends me many contradictory signals or baits to make me react, and I don't react. The consequence of the car incident showed me that my W is still frail and this crisis will last a long time. Before that event I did not observe at how the statement that I read in this forum "it will be worse before it is better". Now I see.

I am still standing, and since the car incident I made a step back according to the new distance with W. I may also distance a bit with this forum for daily life : in the last months I have read many stories and it helped me a lot to understand what is happening. Now I understand each story is different after the first months that are very scripted, so I can't expect my story to be a copypaste from another story & I don't want to focus on the phases, stages, or timeline. I even don't know what I face : is it a MLC or MLT or something else ? only time will tell in hindsight.

W is in her journey, I am on mine. I hope one day our roads will be

No trial has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tested beyond what you can bear. But when you are tested he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it Corinthians 10,13
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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 !)

H
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living is an opportunity
#1: September 19, 2023, 07:05:38 PM
Dear French,

I think this is a very wise post and reflects my own journey.
You are right you may need this forum less but it will still be here when you do.

Use the time. Reframing is such an important skill.

As is patience. Whatever may come.
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B
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Re: living is an opportunity
#2: September 20, 2023, 04:57:57 PM
FH-
When I first started with IC I was told that I was going to pulled into her crisis. I didn’t know what he meant at the time but after a while I figured it out. She is changing and it is forcing us to change. After an event like this you have no choice to change. I(you, everyone here) has been changed through the MLC, I would rather not have this be the source of my change but no one asked us out opinion before we were thrown into the crisis.
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F
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living is an opportunity
#3: September 25, 2023, 06:26:30 AM
thank you very much Baxter1 and Helpnewc !
Yes I know this forum is here to support me and it is a big relief knowing you are here, thanks !

Today I want to share here the insights of another French LBS, he is part of a community of LBSs following a rare French "coach" talking about the midlife crisis. 5 years after BD he is finally accepting the divorce that he delayed during years. Now he sees 4 main factors that influence the duration and intensity of the crisis, I added one fifth factor :
1) Level of initial suffering (including FOO wounds)
2) LBS doing "what to avoid" (in French we call that les interdits / the forbidden things
3) stickiness of the "bandage" (pansement = French name for OP)
4)  capacity for introspection of the MLCer
(5)  entourage of the MLCer (family, friends) : sometimes the traditional family is helping positively, sometimes the divorced "friends" have negative influence

What is interesting in this POV is that, between the 4-5 factors that may influence the crisis, only one is under control of the LBS.

My scientific mindset is telling me that it might be possible to compile the datas from all the stories then to figure out the level of the crisis. But on the other hand, I don't think we can foresee the future and I believe the human nature is unpredictable (for good or bad). At the end I think that wanting to predict the future means having expectations, and for my own wellbeing I learned it is best to keep "no expectation"

Another simple criteria (result of the 4-5 factors) to distinguish between minicrisis (MLT) and big crisis (MLC) is the determination for the spouse under MLT to destroy everything that has been built : marriage, finances,

According to the French LBS the duration of minicrisis (MLT) might be
- mini MLT some months
- small MLT : 1 to 2 years
- classical MLT : 3 to 4 years
- big MLT : more than 4 years (rare)

A bit of journaling

life is nice. I spent good time with the children and the friends during this weekend. And the next weekends will be busy also. I feel more and more at peace and I feel my detachment is also increasing. I did not react to the balls that W is sending to me the last week. Instead I continue to keep my line : listen, be light, polite and friendly. I communicate what is needed, no more, no less. I am satisfied of me also because I was able to set up a boundary last time I wanted to discuss some topics with W (related to children and to joint decisions we had to take) : when she began to rant I said simply "OK I see you feel not well so let's discuss another time when you feel better", and she stopped immediately.

I raised the Christmas holidays topic. It was settled 2 years ago that this year we will receive my brothers and their family (spouses + many children). So I asked W whether it was fine for her. She answered instead that she does not know if she will be here for Christmas. I continued with my question, because I want her to feel comfortable, then she said "you do what you want". Then I said (again) that, as I am an adult, I want what I do, and I do not want to invite people behind your back, I finished with "it is your house". I know there are small truth darts hidden in all these words, on the other hand I don't want to hide who I am.

W told me also that she will travel in Switzerland in October for 3 days, to see an old and sick friend from her father. I know there is more to the trip : it is also the preparation of an escape path. I won't react to this escape path, I am happy that I have the knowledge because I can prepare to respond appropriately, may this escape path become revealed to me by W... It seems obvious to me that W is reliving what made her mother 30 years ago after W's father death : abandon the children. Crazy how this crisis is a transgenerational thing :  fathers have eaten sour grapes, and the children's teeth are set on edge is such a human reality.
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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 !)

F
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living is an opportunity
#4: October 13, 2023, 03:25:35 PM
Hello all,

something happened today that made my situation clearer for me. I felt strangely the need to check the computer from W, and by doing it I found evidences that OM has booked a room in Geneve airport for one night and 2 people during W's travel.
I am a bit surprised because this news has few impact on me. I only felt the need to walk outside for a short time in order to clear my mind and to decide what to do. I won't speak to W about what I discovered and I don't feel the need to do it.

I am fortunate in my situation : I have a lever I can use on OM, and I will use it. I'll send a message to his superior, asking him to take strong actions about OM who is behaving as a wolf, not as a pastor. I want OM to be afraid to continue the relationship with my W.

My main concern was about this weekend : I had planned to drive with the children for a 5+ hour journey (moutain roads) for a collegemate meeting Satturday, then drive to my brother for a familial event on Sunday, then drive back home 5+ hours. W is not working this weekend but she does not want to join us. Today when I came home, I found W cooking a big amount of meat that was not ready for our dinner. So this big amount of meat is totally abnormal for her normal alone needs. 
I don't want to go these events and ruminate about what W might be doing and with whom. I don't want to drive after an eventual bad night with few sleep.

So I took a decision : a work colleague got covid (no) and I have suspicions of covid (no). I will stay home the weekend with the children (yes)
Since I took this decision, I feel at peace : finally I will maybe sleep very well this night ?  ;) There is something more : in the last weeks I felt a strange unease about this planned travel, similar to the one I felt before I got car incident in Poland. Call it guardian angel or presentiment if you want : the new me wants to hear the small signals.

Tomorrow I will observe with curiosity the actions and words of W. Now she has not realized that we will not leave her alone. When I told her about the covid and that I don't want to take risks, she said : "oh you will go to the pharmacy early to get a test, or you will find a pharmacy on the road". Funny, before BD she was the zero-risk person, and I was the familial-event-is-worth-breaking-rules-guy. Well, people change...
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« Last Edit: October 13, 2023, 04:01:42 PM by FrenchHusband »
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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Re: living is an opportunity
#5: October 13, 2023, 04:05:12 PM
Not sure I see how tanking OM´s position helps you as your wife is as culpable as he is. She is an adult and is responsible for her own actions. By giving her a pass and laying the responsibility on the "pastor" you are controlling the situation and I fear it will come back to bite you in the butt.
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BD 1/15/ 10 then BD 8/21/10
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F
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Re: living is an opportunity
#6: October 13, 2023, 09:53:34 PM
Hi FTT,

my action towards OM is mainly because he promised me to not contact my W anymore and to not answer her calls (whatever form). He used the words "I firmly resolve" that are parts of a prayer called act of contrition, these words have a big weight coming from the mouth of a priest. Comparing now his words and his actions, I observe that there is something rotten in this guy's inner self.
I know that snooping is not good for me, OTOH I feel responsible to inform the bishop because he asked me to keep him informed, and I believe he deserves to know the truth about this priest. Maybe there are other abuses, other marriage and family broken ? I feel concerned about abuses within Catholic Church & I don't want to remain silent.

then about W, what should I do ? The physical affair is not a boundary to me, and I did not formalize a boundary to W. For me the emotional affair is worst than the physical affair, so the main news for me is the confirmation that OM is coming back. Yes my W is adult and is responsible of her actions, I agree. From my understanding of MLC, the affair is just a measurement of how much pain there is. The affair is imo a distraction for MLCer, something that helps them to avoid the reality and inhibits them to look at the mirror. After reading Shocksis thread and as I had myself a mild MLT/C before W - no affair but I may have had one with different circumstances - I am able to understand her state of mind.

About controlling : I was a non controlling husband in the past, I had a big trust that had been built during many years. Trust has been broken and I am not this man anymore. I have chosen to open my ears and eyes, to be attentive and present. I don't want to be controlling or a jailer, so I have to find the right balance. I would like to tell W in a straightforward way what I am doing and why, atm I feel that won't bring any good to her and me.

I like the poetic words "tanking OM's position"! I have observed in January how bad is the influence of OM. OM is clearly abusing his position. Tanking OM's position may reduce his "stickiness", then it may help me in the end. I am ready to take the risk.

Please feel free to advice me what you'd do in my situation ?

Edit : not for me, for another French LBS whom I am in contact with : do you have knowledge of reconciliation story with a vanisher-type MLCer ? The French LBS is 67, her husband 62, M40 years and T42. BD July 2017 (2 month crisis) and ABD Nov 2019. Big FOO wounds

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« Last Edit: October 13, 2023, 10:23:10 PM by FrenchHusband »
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 !)

R
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living is an opportunity
#7: October 13, 2023, 11:11:09 PM
FH, these are all hard things you are going through. Just want to acknowledge that. I wouldn't want to live through that part of my journey again. It was very painful.
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living is an opportunity
#8: October 14, 2023, 01:55:39 AM
I agree with Reinventing. I am so sorry.

I don’t know how this new information changes your current boundaries or the approach you have taken with regard to your wife, or even if it does. But I do know that it is likely to be a painful unwelcome bit of information.

I think you are wise to change your plans involving long driving hours with your children though. It is safer not to be doing that while a good part of your mind is distracted or your sleep is impaired. Your children are too precious to put at risk. You are too precious to put at risk. Perhaps that was the real gift of your last accident, to not take this trip now. What other nice plans do you have for the weekend? Ideally something that takes the focus off your wife’s doings or not doings completely  :)

On the OM issue….I think FTT may be right. There is a phrase in English, ‘the illusion of action’. It’s a very normal response in we humans when we feel helpless to instinctively want to do SOMETHING….but it is not our only choice, sometimes not the right timing and sometimes not the choice we would make after a little time to breathe. How you feel about it is understandable, both as a husband and as a church member, of course it is. But it may be beyond your control and indeed your responsibility. His superior already knows there is an issue; how or if he acts on that is not your job or on your conscience. OM knows that what he is doing is wrong. Your wife knows that what she is planning is wrong. They may or may not follow through with their plans. It may or may not give them want they think they want from it. All out of your hands, my friend. It is not your job to be the policeman of others’ choices and tbh you can’t control that, can you? But it is very normal in a situation where we feel unsure or afraid to see our need for control spike even if we are not normally big on control….normal as a trauma response, not necessarily useful though.

And it simply may act as a distraction, that illusion of action, from giving yourself the necessary time to see where this new information takes you. Or indeed the challenge of accepting what is beyond your control and working out how you live with that. So my best advice is to do nothing until you give God and your own wounded spirit the time to consider these things. It is the difference between reacting and responding and, as a person of faith, I believe that this space is often where we create the opportunity for God to show up and do his work beside us.
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« Last Edit: October 14, 2023, 02:03:59 AM by Treasur »
T: 18  M: 12 (at BD) No kids.
H diagnosed with severe depression Oct 15. BD May 16. OW since April 16, maybe earlier. Silent vanisher mostly.
Divorced April 18. XH married ow 6 weeks later.


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

K
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living is an opportunity
#9: October 14, 2023, 02:50:32 AM
I agree with other posters and add that you may end up inserting yourself into a drama triangle, and unwittingly add more passion fuel to it. As if often quoted here - 'the Titanic needs no help sinking' - it usually turns out to be true.
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